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Posted at 1:01 PM ET, 12/11/2010

Familiar faces on both sides of Caps-Avalanche meeting

By Katie Carrera

Eleven days ago, the Capitals sent Tomas Fleischmann to the Colorado Avalanche in return for defenseman Scott Hannan. It will be a little strange, some Washington players said, to see their former teammate in a different sweater tonight at Verizon Cenrter. But there's also too much at stake for the Capitals as they try to snap out of this losing streak tonight to focus on the reunion much.

The last time Coach Bruce Boudreau wasn't guiding Fleischmann was the lockout year of 2004-05, as the left wing would spend the next five years and 23 games in the Washington organization primarily under his instruction. On Saturday, though, Boudreau wasn't focused on seeing one of the favorite players from the past.

"Love the kid, but he's not on our team anymore, so it won't be tough," Boudreau said.

Said David Steckel: "I'm sure it will be a little odd for the first time [to see Fleischmann]. You see him on TV but not in real life. It will be weird to see Colorado across his chest instead of Washington though."

In his four games with Colorado since the trade, Fleischmann has four points. He recorded his first goal as a member of the Avalanche last night on the power play in a 4-2 win over the Thrashers. When asked by the Denver Post's Adrian Dater about playing against the Capitals, Fleischmann acknowledged it will be "different" and said of Boudreau: "He's the one who gave me my start in the NHL. He's a very nice guy and good coach."

Fleischmann isn't the only one readying to oppose his former team, as Hannan and Matt Hendricks prepare to face the Avalanche.

"It will be a little bit different, [to play] a team that you played on for a few years seeing the faces that you played with. It's going to be a challenge," said Hannan, who is more concerned with getting his first win in Washington. The Capitals are 0-3-1 since the trade. "It would be nice to get in the win column here; it's too long in coming."

Then there's Hendricks, who has proven to be a shrewd addition to the Capitals' lineup since he worked his way onto the roster after coming into training camp on a professional tryout contract. Hendricks played his first full NHL season with the Avalanche and had hoped they might resign him at the end of last season, but that opportunity never came, and he arrived in Arlington to prove himself as a part of the Caps.

Hendricks said he's happy to be in Washington now and that showing Colorado what they were missing isn't his main goal tonight -- a win is -- but don't be surprised if you see him with a little extra spark in his step.

"I'm excited. It's going to be a good time," Hendricks said. " I've got a lot of good friends on the team, but tonight it's all business. I've been looking forward to this one all season."

By Katie Carrera  | December 11, 2010; 1:01 PM ET
Categories:  Colorado Avalanche, Matt Hendricks, Scott Hannan, Tomas Fleischmann  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: David Steckel: Caps 'haven't faced adversity like this in a long time'
Next: Statistical analysis: Don't panic just yet


Boy, we really do have a coaching problem. When a floater like Flush says that you're a "nice guy", we will not win the cUp with BB. Most coaches would have been on this guy to get his rear end near the slot to pick up an ugly rebound or deflect a shot. Flush is one of the reasons Halak looked like Roy. (Yes, there were rebounds. Rewatch the series.)

Watched the Pens play. They have personel that play "cUp hockey". We don't. We match up talent-wise. But, as far as heart and character go, we can't them in a best of 7. (Again !)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 11, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Yeah cause Flush really knows a lot about what it takes to succeed in the NHL.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 11, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

It's funny that Tim Thomas' GAA is so low. Like when the Caps scored 3 goals on him, the Bruins pulled him immediately. Who gets pulled after giving up 3 goals? Someone was worried about their stats that night. They should pull Neuvy after 1 goal and then he'd have a 1.00 GAA. Maybe I'm wrong...

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 11, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

if you pull the goalie 1 minute into the game after giving up a goal - his gaa for that game is 60.00. it doesn't help their gaa when they get pulled

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 11, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

GAA - Goals Against Average - # goals per (for every) 60 minutes of play

Posted by: puckman | December 11, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

60 * Goals Against / Minutes Played = GAA

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 11, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse


I, too, don't have the passion and energy today after seeing DJK scratched again (I think I've laid it all out after the Tor/Fla games.) Let's see, who to watch tonight: Boston-Philly or Caps-Colo? Is there really any choice?? Of course, I'll dvr the Caps game and watch it later BUT IT'S SAD THEY'RE BECOMING OPTION #2.

Tim Thomas is quoted today saying, "At this level, if you stop trying to improve, you're going to get left behind." Aside from BIG JOHNNY E, I don't see anyone striving to improve and laying it all out, game after game. (Correction, Hendricks is playing his heart out, too)

go caps, good luck against Colo....KEEP MAKING ME PROUD #4, wish I'd be watching you live

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 11, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I would just like to point out to everybody that the recent edition of The Hockey News just arrived , and, LOW AND BEHOLD: FIGHTING IS SIGNIFICANTLY UP THIS YEAR. I think I posted something about cycles and trends, and how the Pens seemed to be leading the way. We're slipping farther behind the front-running contenders (and I don't mean just pt-wise in the standings) so what do we do? HAVE A SEAT DJK, AND HURRY BACK ****55!

The good news? JOHNNY E'S BOUT W/BOULTON was the featured-picture speaking to the people here really think he's not known around the league, and teams would love to have #4 on their squad?

The watch is still on, and I'm keeping score until ****55's return and the SUBSEQUENT BANISHMENT OF #4, which will unquestionably happen so long as BB is still the coach. BB MUST GO!!

go caps, kick Av's a@@

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 11, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@vermont- Unfortunately Erskine doesn't scare any heavyweights as he can just hang with most of 'em. I still love the lumberjack because he's willing and shows little fear, he hits and plays like he has no fear. On this team he's the "enforcer" as it were since they rarely play DJK.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 11, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse


surely you jest; Ersk has been in the league long enough, HE HAS NO PROBLEMS HANDLING ANYONE LESS THAN A TRUE "HEAVYWEIGHT", and there's no shame in merely "hanging with them" the NHL, it's all about showing up and ERSKINE SHOWS UP IN A BIG WAY....that's what we want from a dman, someone who strikes fear in anyone other than heavies, and the heavies must know that he'll be willing to go(who are fearless anyway)...that said, aside from the freaky-huge guys such as Boogaard and J. Scott, EXACTLY WHICH HEAVIES DO YOU THINK WOULD DISMISS HIM AS NOT BEING A WORTHY COMBATANT?

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 11, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

@vermont- I'm not saying any of them would not consider him a worthy combatant, I just doubt they (any of the heavyweights)"fear" him (are afraid to go toe 2 toe with him). I don't think I need to state again how much I love Erskine and what he brings to our pathetically soft team, my point was that while he's willing and can hang with the best of 'em, he doesn't "scare" any heavyweights like someone like Brash did.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 11, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

There's absolutely no shame in merely hangin' with a heavyweight, my point is that if the best we can offer is someone who merely can hang with the biggest thugs in the league, where is the deterrent? Again, don't get me wrong, I, like you , am a big fan of Ersk.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 11, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

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