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Crosby Out, St. Louis In

Some of you folks may have aleady seen this, but for those of you haven't the NHL announced this afternoon that Sidney Crosby will miss the All-Star Game for the second straight year because of an injury.

Crosby, who suffered a sprained left knee against the Caps last week, will be replaced by Martin St. Louis.

Read the story here.

Yep, I'm officially on the ASG beat as of this post. I'm scheduled to arrive in Montreal early tomorrow morning and will be blogging (and taking your questions) soon after getting to Bell Centre. Can't wait (though I could do without the snow and frigid temps).

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 22, 2009; 4:52 PM ET
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That makes me happy. Does this make me a bad person?

Posted by: Leeguru | January 22, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse


Me too...guess we are a-holes.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 22, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Backstrom screwed himself by declining the invitation for the young stars game since I would think he would be the next center to play instead of St. Louis.

Again...Caps get screwed. However, this is sorta bitter sweet.

Posted by: redskins2448 | January 22, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse


You're a bad person already, being happy for MSL just takes away some bad karma.

Wait... Or were you talking about Cindy....?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 22, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"If there is one thing as certain as death and taxes it's this: There is always something new and intriguing going on with the Flyers and it most often has to do with injuries and possible comebacks from aging free-agent superstars.

In a conference call that started as anon today's surgery that will keep Danny Briere off the ice for a minimum of 4 weeks, general manager Paul Holmgren said he has inquired about the health of Peter Forsberg.

That relevation came at the end of an interview and didn't actually sound a news item. But being Forsberg, and now that the Flyers are without Briere for at least the next 11 games, it is news that will make headlines across the hockey world."

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 22, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh NOOOOOOO, now the Canadian media will have to focus on Ovie. They run the risk of actually showing how much better than Sid he is, and the Kid might not get all the attention.

Posted by: SeattleRob | January 22, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

St. Louis? Really? I guess they felt they needed two players from an up and coming franchise like Tampa Bay. Have they even seen the Southeast standings? If they were pissed at Backstrom, then at least take Mike Richards (it really pains me to say that) or someone else who actually plays on a winning team.

Posted by: jsaltman | January 22, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse


Cindy! Who cares about MSL? Not only is the slapfighter not playing, it's because of an inury sustained while playing the CAPS!

Posted by: Leeguru | January 22, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Everyone here realizes what this means right? Ovie is going to be in the starting lineup now, almost for certain. To add to the awesome, he'll be playing on the line with Malkin...

Posted by: Raber | January 22, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom got screwed again, but it's all good...he can rest.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 22, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I for one thought it would be interesting to have both Sid and Ovie present at all the festivities including the skills comp, but I guess having Malkin around would probably play it up already. On another level too this doesn't allow people to compare the 2 guys side by side. Well played Sid... good planning. :(

Posted by: rh71 | January 22, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

So who starts? St Louis belongs there, should have been him not Vinnie in the first place. But Backstrom was NEVER going to get a second invite

Posted by: majiksea | January 22, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Ovie should run Malkin as soon as they drop the puck, despite wearing the same jersey.

That would basically cement his position as the toughest, most skilled player in the world.

Superman wears Ovie underoos.

Posted by: gtydings | January 22, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

So does this mean that Ovi has a chance to start now? Surely St Louis will not also take Sid's starting spot.

Maybe Malkin or St Louis will also replace Sid in the Breakaway Challenge.

Something tells me that Malkin will take the first step to rebuilding the relationship with Ovi. Especially if there is a chance that they will be on the ice at the same time :)

Posted by: Kim-3 | January 22, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I think it's for the best, really, if he's injured. THN complains that stars they want to see are skipping the game - well, it's a meaningless game in which they all run the risk of injuring themselves and damaging their teams' chances at the playoffs/trophies/what have you. The All-Star game is meaningless, MSM, and I don't fault a lot of these guys for sitting it out in favor of resting and working towards a Stanley Cup (a much more meaningful goal).

Myself, I'm glad Backstrom is sitting out the YoungStars game, though I wonder how much of that had to do with the loss in Ottawa. I hope the guys will be practicing over the break at least - they need to spend some time with the PK in particular.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 22, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

The NHL all-star game is the biggest fraud except for the NFL Pro Bowl. Remind me to be twenty miles from television set that day whenever it is.

How about writing about how the salary cap works during the playoffs, how/if minor league players can be called up during the playoffs, and other inside baseball.

Posted by: MKadyman | January 22, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

What is this All Star game you speak of? ;)

St. Louis over Richards or Gagne? Weird but meh. I'm having trouble pulling up the energy to be that peeved.

Posted by: ratgurl46 | January 22, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

the press release should have said....crosby crying for all-star game, st.louis is in and the capitals nicholas backstrom gets screwed another time

Posted by: _stevo | January 22, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Nobody cares about Crosby :)

Posted by: rachel216 | January 22, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone even going to watch the all star game? I don't even think I will. I might but it seems kinda lame to me

Posted by: hockeygrl76 | January 22, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Question: with the BOS game coming on Tuesday, are the Caps on vacation until Monday? Do they practice at all before Monday? Should they?

Posted by: mauree | January 22, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse


Ask Jeff Carter what he thinks would of happened to him if Ovie had steam-rolled him last game.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 22, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse


I think the NHL has a freeze on pratice. It is really meant for players to take a break and many of them go on vacations with the wife and/or family.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 22, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Backs didn't get screwed again. He'd already said he wasn't gonna bother turning up for the weekend.

The NHL can hardly (and shouldn't) ask him now. If anyone did the screwing it was Nicky to himself. Had he not have turned down the Young Stars invite he would have been upgraded now.

Look, before anyone kicks off, I'd rather he missed it anyway and took a break, and I totally agree he should be there by right, but to say this turn of events is screwing him again, nah sorry it's not.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 22, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Add me to the list of being an a-hole! Although, I kinda agree with those of you who think the game would have been a great chance for Ovie to show up Cindy once again.

Posted by: goskins1982 | January 22, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dave, I put that post up, FWIW. Now go to bed. And FWIW, I agree, Nicky didn't get screwed. He should rest. He needs to rest. I'm cool with that.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 22, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I for one will definitely be watching. I will watch one guy, one bright light, one shining star that outshines all the others. Right now Alexander Ovechkin IS the National Hockey League.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | January 22, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks SA-Town.

I'll be watching too... but that game is not very exciting... w/o grit it's more like a party than what I usually enjoy.

One thing I'd like to see is All Prospect Stars game in the same event. The best young prospect will fight for a spot on this game, then will play hard to be noticed... no?

Posted by: mauree | January 22, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Add me to the list of the a-holes too.
Although, I wish it was someone other than St. Louis replacing him. Maybe...Backstrom?!?!?
Yeah we got screwed.

Posted by: ILikeLaich | January 22, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Actually, watching the Caps is like watching an all-star game every few days. Not only do we have several of the best players in the game (Ovie, Green, Backs, Sasha), we have a former all-star in Federov and several future all-stars (Flash, Varlamov, Alzner.)

Speaking of All-Star games - The Hockey Network showed the 1989 game this afternoon - now that was a showcase - 99 vs. 66 - and Mike Ridley was in there too :o)

Posted by: Z-Money | January 22, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, that guy always finishes his checks. Now that he's seen the video, he knows exactly how bad he's hurt. And he's hurt real bad, okay? Like, vanHellemond might have to cut the crusts off his sandwiches bad. Bettman's cookies and the latest issue of Tiger Beat bad.
I suppose you're thinking "Ovechkin's so much tougher in every way than The Golden Child, it's not even funny."
Or maybe I'm just thinking that, again, and projecting. Sorry.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 22, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Geez Dave - up so late on a school night and the Caps are not even playing?!? What's up with that?

The ASG is pretty lame ... best part is the mic on the goalies. By the skills comp is fun - can't wait to see what Ovie's got up his sleeve this year!

After the Winter Classic there was some chatter that that would become "the" big NHL event each year and the ASG would go away. Can't say I would object - at least the Classic means something. Thoughts on that?!?

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 22, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

bon chance, TEB. il fait froid au jourdhuis.

or something like that. my French is almost as bad as my English.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | January 22, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Oops! Make that "but" not "by" ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 22, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha. Aujourd'hui, I think is right. (Today.) My French is passable but far from fluent.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 22, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to see what Ovi's got up his sleeve for the skills competition either.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 22, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

@whoever it was that asked if the Caps practice during the break:

Tarik stated on the blog after the Sens game "The Caps are not scheduled to practice until 4 p.m. next Monday at Boston College."

Also, I had to listen to the Mon afternoon game on the internet while at work, and Jeff Shultz was interviewed post-game. He specifically said that he and his girlfriend and Fehr and his wife were going to Florida for a few days of sun and golf. I would guess most of the guys are either vacationing or visiting family.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 22, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

A break is good for everyone involved.

I'm glad Nicky is skipping the Young Stars game for a chance to rest. Sorry Crosby won't be able to participate in the All Stars game, but only as a person who doesn't like to see anybody hurt.

As a hockey fan, well... cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it! Poor baby. :-p

Posted by: irockthered | January 22, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz & bottomfeeder::

C'est frites! that's the 'Canadian' way of saying it's freezing! it was -40C yesterday. hope TEB brings his long-johns!!

Posted by: mcmags1128 | January 22, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

@Boo, I think the Winter Classic would be a FINE replacement for the ASG. The Classic offers real competition. Unlike the ASG, it's really satisfying both to hockey fans and to idle 'event chasers' .
You could have suntan teams meet on neutral ice (Park City? Parry Sound?) once in awhile, just so the same 12 cities aren't always hosting a la Stupor Bowl...

Posted by: redlineblue | January 22, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

@tess2201: That was me, and explains why I didn't see it. Was roadtripping and never did manage to catch up on everything. Thanks.

Sounds like the guys take a vacation. Good. They need it.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 22, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Nikki is not resting, he flew off to Sweden to visit Dad; 9 hour flight x 2 plus heavy partying...not saying it's wrong; it's his choice... but to say he's resting is an overstatement...

Posted by: atybat | January 23, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Well, I do feel bad that Crosby is not well enough to make the game this weekend....but I feel...waaaay worse for all those Pens fans who spent countless hours voting him in the starting line-up (though he is one of the few on that lineup that does deserve it in all honesty). Hopefully Ovie will take his place amongst the starters where he belongs! Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | January 23, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

The NHL release justified why MSL was selected, but how does the NHL actually choose replacements for the ASG? Is it based on fan voting (which we already know is flawed) or is there another defined process? I'm curious because Lecavalier is already representing TB, and I would have thought that the NHL would have picked someone from an unrepresented team.

Posted by: firehorse | January 23, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Well, I had a post all well thought out and for some reason, it just decided not to post. But anyways, I'm actually excited about this weekend--four straight days of some of the best in their respective leagues--NHL & AHL. The NHL's game might be like watching women's hockey if the women suddenly forgot how to play defense, but there are better things to watch that weekend:
1)the skills competition - always fun and the breakaway challenge has only made it more so.
2) The red carpet. See which player has the best fashion sense.
3) Seeing the talent that the West has - unfortunately this involves actually watching parts of the game.
4) Skills competition part deux - AHL style. (only one network seems to be carrying it, so if someone finds a feed, care to share?)
5) AHL All-Star game. Generally less ridiculous than the NHL's. It's like the WJC with less acne.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 23, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

I just read your article "Capitals, Still Have Room for Improvement" and I wanted to say that is the best article I have read in the post in a long time. Good stuff. Although, you might be getting some people upset when you write that OV is leading the Caps in minor penalties.
(amusing myself, I wonder how many of those were lazy penalties like semin's - :) )

Posted by: superX | January 23, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Actually, they did an outdoor game in Vegas, so they can do a game any place! I think it would be cool to be at an outdoor NHL game with shorts on! :-) But, I must confess, bundled up with snow falling is more appealing to me.

Boy, this is starting to feel like the summer break. I don't know how football fans do it - only 16 games a season?!? I would go nuts.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 23, 2009 5:53 AM | Report abuse

I've already told you why US football has to be limited to 16 games a season.

I like the piece on Japers, sounds like a good trip. My feelings on being an away fan are that it is your job to make as much noise as possible in supporting your team.

It gives such a boost to the guys to see/hear their own fans in enemy territory.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 23, 2009 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Tariq--Ask the Habs management if you can interview the guy that made the monkey-something software that they used to get their players voted in.

Posted by: spanch | January 23, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

If only you believed that! :-P Personally, I am indifferent. I liked football when I was a kid, but now? Eh ... I was actually invited to a Super Bowl party (that's bowl, Dave - not ball); I just don't know that I give a hoot enough to go. I might feel differently if I didn't live in the DC area - I've never gotten into the Redskins (sorry, folks!). BTW, apply what you said about football to baseball and I'd have to agree (although the math does not work out, but you get my point). I simply don't get the appeal of baseball (sorry again! :-))

Geez, see what happens when the Caps are not playing? All sorts of unrelated blathering!!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog commentary.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 23, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

as much as us Caps fans complain, imagine how red Wings fans are feeling! The Red Wings two reps pulled out, and the NHL didn't replace them with other Red Wings! So, yep, the defending Stanley Cup champs have ZERO players in the All Star Game!

And this is the sort of thing that makes hockey look bad.

Posted by: RedBirdie | January 23, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

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