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Boudreau: 'It's an exciting part of hockey lore'

Deciphering lineups in the regular season isn't easy. Figuring them out in the playoffs is even tougher. But there were a few cues at KCI this morning:

*Semyon Varlamov came off the ice way before Jose Theodore. So he figures to be tonight's Game 7 starter.

*Quintin Laing, David Steckel, John Erskine and Tyler Sloan stayed on the ice for extra work. So it appears they're out.

*Scott Walker, Tomas Fleischmann and Brendan Morrison all came off early. Coach Bruce Boudreau wants to keep everyone guessing, I guess. But this much we know:
One of them isn't playing tonight. Fleischmann didn't take any line rushes.

So, based on the morning skate, the lineup could look like this:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Morrison-Semin
Chimera-Belanger-Fehr
Walker-Gordon-Bradley

I hope to have a better idea after the pregame warmup. But that might not be possible. Boudreau didn't show his real lines in Montreal on Monday until the game started.

*Alex Ovechkin didn't practice yesterday and didn't skate (or talk to reporters) this morning, either. Asked if his captain was healthy, Boudreau said, "I hope so."

*It was also tough to gauge the team's mood. Seemed serious but not too uptight. There was little discussion of the details of tonight's game, such as getting the power play going or how to beat Jaroslav Halak. Much of the talk was about coming out with energy and wanting it more than the Habs.

In the end, really, isn't that what Game 7s come down to anyway?

"Game 7, what it is, it's an exciting part of hockey lore," Boudreau said. "Heroes are made and goats are talked about on TSN on the highlights for the next year. It's an exciting time for an athlete because this is the position you want be in."

Brooks Laich added: "Once you get to a Game 7, the skill gets wiped out of it. It becomes the will and the want that determines the series. From our side - from their side, too - you're going to see a real hungry team tonight."

Said Mike Knuble: "We all know what's at stake. There's no question. ...In theory, in a seven-game series, the better team wins out. Montreal has shown they're a much better team than what they came in [seeded]. We're all ready to play."

*Boudreau on whether there are benefits of being pushed to Game 7: "I don't know if there are benefits. I'll be able to tell you that tomorrow, whether it was beneficial or not. You can sit here and think of reasons why it's beneficial. If you win, you've been through the tough times. ...Or you can sit there are say, 'What happens if we have to go through another seven-game series?' It's either or. It just depends on what kind of slant you want to put on it. I think you're going to see a great hockey game with both teams willing to do what it takes to win."

*Jaroslav Spacek skated this morning. But the speculation down at Verizon Center is that he won't play.

*The Caps have only lost three straight games in regulation once this season -- to Carolina, San Jose and Los Angeles.

One final thought: This could be my last morning skate update until September. It feels weird to be typing that in April.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 28, 2010; 1:24 PM ET
 
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Next: Scott Walker anxious to get back in the game

Comments

Fist. Lets go Caps

Posted by: griz0615 | April 28, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Don't let me down OVI and the Caps!!!

Posted by: ttn703 | April 28, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Belanger scores tonight. Bank it.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | April 28, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Win, and move closer to the Stanley Cup. Lose, and you're choking dogs for the next 12 months.

Posted by: Langway4Eva | April 28, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

it will be interesting to see the Alzner-Carlson pairing, if they are put out there, together.

Posted by: elicea | April 28, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Thanks for the buzzkill Tarik. Let's hope not, buddy.

Posted by: MarylanDChris | April 28, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Actually Tarik you need to get ready to write about the hostile environment at Wachovia Center. Caps win 5-1.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 28, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"Fist"

Even if it's a typo, it's my new Caps motto.

Fist!

Fist!!!!!!!!!!!!

end it.

Posted by: saintex | April 28, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I would love these lineups. Get Walker and BMo in there for some vet leadership and get Flash outta there who has sucked so far these playoffs!

Posted by: capsfan5252 | April 28, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"could be your last morning skate update"???

Book it Tarik: it will be.

A coach who holds option practices when the season is on the line - and what's worse...semin, green and ovechkin not showing up for optional practices is a clear indication that this team has no clue about winning a cup. Does anyone on earth think that Crosby takes practices off with the same regularity as our "captain"??? I'm tired of the spoiled, euro lack of work ethic. In the playoffs, it's about heart...not hairstyles. And the caps key players have no heart.

Posted by: dingram3 | April 28, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Seriously Tarik! don't tell me you have already thrown them under the bus! Stay positive people!

Posted by: capscoach | April 28, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Carlson could be a surprise hero tonight. The kid's a gamer.

Posted by: SavedByZero | April 28, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody else notice the slapshot Ovie took to his hand during one of the powerplays last game? One of the Habs were clearing the zone and Ovie was at the blueline and threw his hand out to keep it in. To me it looked like it hurt him. Maybe the reason for him not being at the morning skate?

Posted by: ludeman95 | April 28, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I hope Walker is in for Flash. I also hope the Caps watched the Wings and saw what they did to take down a great goalie. Holmstrom and Big Bert were in front of the net on every shift.

The Power Play was having someone carry the puck to the blue line then drop it for someone coming from the back. This got the Yotes PKers to stop and wait for the second guy and kept them on their heels.

They crashed the net every time the puck got there. Look at Lidstrom's first goal. There were three Wings all almsot in the crese the puck came out and he burried it.

THEY CAME OUT HITTTING! I can not stress that enough. The Wings are not known as a physical team but they were hitting big early. For the first 5-10 minutes they were not making good passes but they made up for it by out hitting and out working the Yotes and it wore them down.

Finally their big guys came up big. Datsyuk had two goals, Lidstrom had two goals, and Zetterberg had three assists. This coming as some were saying Lidstrom was too old and losing a step. Mike Green can shut up a lot of critics if he can come up big tonight.

Posted by: icehammer97 | April 28, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

My facebook post:

The CAPS are going to win tonight... The CAPS are going to win tonight... The CAPS are going to win tonight.... I keep telling myself this... IF they don't, then they are CHOKING DOGS!!!

this pic is attached:

http://www.petinsurance.com/healthzone/education/first-aid-for-your-pet/~/media/All%20PHZ%20Images/Education/PEPs%20Web%20images/pet%20help.ashx

Posted by: tony325 | April 28, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

My two cents are this: Get OV off the point in the PK. Cut Green's ice time by 25 per cent. Fire a rocket up Semin's butt. Sit Fleischmann for a game and bring back John Erskine.

Times running out for the type of A games the Caps brought to the table during the season.

Go Caps!

Posted by: capper3 | April 28, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@ dingram3: I'm hoping you're not of Caucasian descent because most of the trailer trash in Pennsylvania that calls themselves Pens' fans are most likely from Western Europe, so your Euro trash comment lumps you in just nicely. But I guess you didn't know that. Figures.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 28, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@dingram -

I get what you're saying completely, but until you can give us hard numbers on how many practices cindy crysby chooses not to attend you shouldn't say that.

on the other hand if i was ovi, i would at least get the boys out there to work on the PP.

This just an assumption of what you're trying to say but i think you're saying that this is when a captain must step up somehow and lead his team. he must lead by example. I too wonder what the example being set it.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 28, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

i think i'm gonna puke .....

Posted by: madmax521 | April 28, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Ovie is anything but lazy...if he is not on the ice then I assume there is a reason...you can't practice the PP that much in a practice anyway...unless you are willing to put our own defenders in the line of fire and risk injury. I am sure they have gone over what they plan to do differently and practicing it would risk injury be only marginally beneficial, and then the Habs would know what to expect.

Posted by: capscoach | April 28, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

@ Icehammer

great comments. I was thinking about that last night. We've heard all season how the Caps want to model tha organization after the Red Wings. I sure hope they were watching and are prepared to do the same tonight. The Caps have it in them, they just need to do it for 60.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 28, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

pheonix sunx...

Posted by: beachhotel | April 28, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

i think i'm gonna puke .....

Posted by: madmax521 | April 28, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abus

__________________________

ME TOO... I just can't imagine our season being over.

Posted by: tony325 | April 28, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

wow....root for a "team" all season and get to a climactic game#7 and 1/3 of the lineup played less than 25% of the team's games????? i'd rather lose w/guys that played their hearts out for us than win with players recently added who haven't bled for the team

Posted by: vermontcaps | April 28, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

4:53 until the puck gets dropped.

Posted by: puckman | April 28, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Who's going to be our Jack Bauer for the day?

Posted by: puckman | April 28, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@ saintex

Haha, "fist" was on purpose. Glad someone caught it.

Posted by: griz0615 | April 28, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

with the PP you can still work on something without defenders there. Like player positioning, personnel changes and movement. it can help if you have to make in game adjustments by switching players and where they position themselves. especially with our PP right now, any work is good work.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 28, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

A coach who holds option practices when the season is on the line - and what's worse...semin, green and ovechkin not showing up for optional practices is a clear indication that this team has no clue about winning a cup. Does anyone on earth think that Crosby takes practices off with the same regularity as our "captain"??? I'm tired of the spoiled, euro lack of work ethic. In the playoffs, it's about heart...not hairstyles. And the caps key players have no heart.

Posted by: dingram3 | April 28, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

____________________________________

I just want to point out that YES SIDNEY CRYBABY DOES MISS OPTIONAL PRACTICE during the playoffs:

http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=526475

see 1:39 pm:

1:39 PM:
Seven Penguins participated in the optional practice at Mellon Arena. Those that laced up the skates are Matt Cooke, Ben Lovejoy, Eric Godard, Ruslan Fedotenko, Deryk Engelland, Brent Johnson and Brad Thiessen.

_________________

There is a reason it is called "Optional"

Posted by: tony325 | April 28, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

the people who keep mentioning optional practices have no clue about running a hockey team, thanks for the opinion , everyone has a right to be wrong...

Posted by: boomer44 | April 28, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

@ tony325

If our Captain had a Cup and performed when it counted, I wouldn't mind that he sat out some practices.

Besides, the Pens win so it's ok for them to have optional practices. The Caps just blew a 3 games to 1 series lead and are on the brink tonight. Optional should be MANDATORY under those circumstances.

Posted by: SuperZ3383 | April 28, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"This could be my last morning skate update until September. It feels weird to be typing that in April." Don't say that! That's bad juju!

Posted by: futbolclif | April 28, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

flash getting a jersey is a joke....he and semin will be on for at least one habs goal...probably the winner that sends the caps to the golf course

Posted by: dshowler | April 28, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I think the Caps watched last night's game: Caps win 6-2. Big games from Ovi and Semin bags 2. Alzner comes up with a huge blocked shot early in the game and sets the tone.

This is why I love hockey.

GO CAPS!!

FIST!

Posted by: dwelkinor | April 28, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Enough of the negativity. Caps fans pep talk: www.goodoldhockeyblog.blogspot.com

Must read for Caps fans!

Posted by: slowe0738 | April 28, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I dont know if its the caps or if it me but why do i feel like I'm gonna have a HEART ATTACK every time the caps play,mostly on big game nights.Do any other teams do this to there fans or am i just a too DIE HARD caps fan.If they lose tonight i just dont know how much more my heart can take.I just hope they put this one away early,win this game,so i can live to fight another day.LETS GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | April 28, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps I don't think games played has anything to do with it. Belenger lost 7 teeth for this team in the playoffs. Has he given less blood then a guy like Flash who won't get into the corners and hit?

Posted by: icehammer97 | April 28, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

#8 needs to get back on track and crush somebody. If the Habs are supposedly smaller, make those boys know it. Ovie needs to set the tone. Honestly, we need the fire that got him suspended.

Posted by: DexterMorgan | April 28, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey if you're going down to Verizon tonight, you had better get into Halak's head. Halaaaaaaaaak.

Posted by: Sticksboi35 | April 28, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I am counting on the Hershey MOJO taking out all the rest of the bad juju!!!!! Lets go CAPS!!!!

Posted by: maryjane2 | April 28, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

flash getting a jersey is a joke....he and semin will be on for at least one habs goal...probably the winner that sends the caps to the golf course

Posted by: dshowler |

Then i guess its a good thing that flash ISNT getting a jersey tonight.Its already been said,hes out.BUT,the thing that worries me is varly.I really think BB should of went back to theo.Varly hasnt been doing that good and has been lettting in the first couple goals the last couple nights so i dont like this move.I think theo would bounce back and give a highlight performance but BB never gives him that chance.Its kinda wrong i think.Well i hope I'm wrong and varly stands on his head tonight cause this game is gonna come down to goaltending.Just hope varlys ready for it.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | April 28, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"Heroes are made and goats are talked about on TSN on the highlights for the next year."

If that's truly the case, I'm not sure whether to be grateful or sad that I don't get TSN. Guess it depends on my opinion of goats.

Posted by: SuzieInMD | April 28, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@SuperZ3383

What if practicing yesterday would make some players weaker today and less effective? Do you still hold that practice should be mandatory? If so, then thank god you're not a coach.

In holding a practice it is all about weighing the pluses and minuses. Yes they may get slightly better (I highly doubt it, they've been playing/practicing the entire year, one hour of practice isn't going to make much of a difference) or they may not heal as quickly and be more tired and sore for tomorrow.

It is up to the coach to determine what will be better for the team. Having a set rule, no matter what the cirucmstances, is not bright.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 28, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@Jordan_Kitts, from your post to God's ears.

ditto @ fanohock1.

here's my own wish -- that we DO NOT ALLOW 2 GOALS IN FIRST 10 MINUTES. that's been killing us this series.

i think it would make a huge difference for the Caps if they were able to score the first goal or even 2. the tension/panic would subside. team would start to remember that they're good and they can do this.

man, how nice would it be to move on to 0-0 blank slate in 2nd round? especially against a flyer team which has lost jeff carter, simon gagne and ian laperriere to injury?

fist.

Posted by: troyerlaw | April 28, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I just want to point out that YES SIDNEY CRYBABY DOES MISS OPTIONAL PRACTICE during the playoffs:

http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=526475

see 1:39 pm:

1:39 PM:
Seven Penguins participated in the optional practice at Mellon Arena. Those that laced up the skates are Matt Cooke, Ben Lovejoy, Eric Godard, Ruslan Fedotenko, Deryk Engelland, Brent Johnson and Brad Thiessen.

_________________

There is a reason it is called "Optional"
_________________

Pens clinched 6 days ago and don't play again til at least friday. If this team had clinched with a week of practice between series then I can see having optional skates and the team leaders skipping the skate.

First, I hate the pens and cindy-
I think the point was more towards leadership style and ability. Cindy puts the team on his back and has his best games when everything is on the line-OVI tends to be in the background. Besides OVI, most european born and raised players tend to be less emotional then N.American players. Emotion can carry less talent over subdued more talent in a short series of games. Talent will win out over a season, but can easily be outworked for a couple of games in the playoffs.
I think this is where dingram was going.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | April 28, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

MANDATORY under those circumstances.

Posted by: SuperZ3383 | April 28, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

________________________________

That is on Bruce Boudreau... not Ovi... In all seriousness, these guys know what is at stake & know how to play hockey. Practice isn't going to get our defenders to check people at the blue line before they enter the zone unless the coach actually teaches it... so it doesn't matter... it's on the players to take it upon themselves tonight & get this done.

"practice, we're talkin' 'bout practice... not a game, but practice..."

- Allen Iverson

Posted by: tony325 | April 28, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Hit people at the blue line. Clog up the blue line. Block shots. Win.

Posted by: EricinReston | April 28, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Heroes, baby, heroes.

Fist!

Posted by: saintex | April 28, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

It feels weird to be READING that in April.
They aren't going to lose tonight.

Posted by: oo7 | April 28, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

@ gratefuldid. So let me get this straight. Varly gives up a weak goal at the start of a game and he needs to be pulled. Theo can't stop a beach ball and gives up goals on three straight shots (end of game one and start of game two) and he is going to have a great game if he plays?

Posted by: icehammer97 | April 28, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Tarik

From you?!

Posted by: Willy6 | April 28, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Pens clinched 6 days ago and don't play again til at least friday. If this team had clinched with a week of practice between series then I can see having optional skates and the team leaders skipping the skate.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | April 28, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, your problem there is that you didn't click on the link. That article was posted on 4/21. They were, I believe, in between games 4 and 5. It wasn't yesterday.

Also, I don't think Ovi lacks for emotion. He is, in fact, criticized for having too much of it.

Posted by: dwelkinor | April 28, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

were not talking about practice were talking about leadership.

If 1 hour practice is going to make an NHL player too tired to play, then there needs to be some serious looks at the entire program at KCI. If a player is too injured to practice is different, but how many options have the big time 'leaders' of this team attended during the good and bad stretches over the past years. There is a trend of thinking that they don't need practice but 'just play our game'. Well boys, 'your game' hasn't been worth c--p in the playoffs!

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | April 28, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I do wish some of you people would go jump off a cliff already so the rest of us do not need to be exposed to your whining and complaining. When you can do a better job on the ice speak up, until then well......the cliff awaits!

Posted by: PhilR | April 28, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

As the captain, I don't think Crosby would sit out an optional practice the day before the most important game of young career. He's aleady proved that he's a winner, Stanley Cup, Olympic GWG for the gold. I don't like him much, but can appreciate him as a great player, and young leader on that team.

OV should have been the first one on the ice yesterday, and he should have dragged BB, Flash and Semin with him. If I'm GMGM, the message is coming through loud and clear that maybe there are some players and coaches in the organization that don't know how to overcome adversity. I believe OV can, but I don't know about the other 3. It doesn't matter if they played a great game on Monday, if all parties are on the ice, it sends a pretty strong message to all involved, management, teammates, fans, that the last two games, and the play of Flash and Semin, have been completely unacceptable.

Posted by: Fletch22 | April 28, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Now let me see your war face!!!

-AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH

FIST!!!!!

Posted by: griz0615 | April 28, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: saintex | April 28, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@Fletch22

What if them practicing would have an adverse effect on their ability to play tonight? Would you still require they practice?

Posted by: sgm3 | April 28, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

My $0.02, for whatever it's worth...

*Demote Green to the 2nd PP unit and give his point on the 1st to Carlson. Captain America is clutch. Green is the opposite of clutch. That's nothing new.

*Bench Flash and give a slot to Walker (looks like BB is going to do just that). Fleischmann has fluctuated between being Mr Turnover, Mr Whiffed-Shot, and Mr Invisible this whole series. The Habs have come out hitting a lot harder the last couple of games and have early goals to show for all that passion. Ersk can't keep up with them, so Walker's your next best bet. Some fresh legs and fresh passion *should* be a good thing.

*I like Alzner-Carlson a whole lot more than Sloan-Carlson or Erskine-Carlson. Let's hope their Hershey chemistry is still rolling and that Karl takes a cue from his buddy and maintains his composure in what is, by a huge margin, the biggest game he's ever played.

*If Sasha could find a way to nail the top corner instead of sending it high, wide, or directly into the middle of the net, he'd be right up there with OV and Nicky for points this series. He's so close, just needs to calm down and get his sniper aim back in line.

*Come out of the gate tonight as though this were not game 7, but the 4th period of game 6. Halak might have been hotter than the surface of the sun on Monday, but he's not known for being consistent. Hit him up for an early goal or five, get in his face and make him uncomfortable in his own net, and he'll break. Sloppy play and lack of passion were problems in games 1, 2, and 5, and if our season ends tonight I place the blame right there, but they had some serious mojo rolling on Monday night and they need to not wait until the 2nd or 3rd period tonight to find it again.

*I love BB and am not advocating his removal, but he really needs to stop coddling the guys. He should've gone all Herb Brooks on them after game 5 - hold them on the ice after a sloppy game and bag skate them until they either figure out what "killer instinct" means or the VC staff turns the lights off. When you're at risk of letting yet another series slip away over sloppy and dispassionate play, no practice should be optional. Warm and fuzzies aren't gonna get your guys to start playing like their ice time depends on it. Tough love: it makes your team salty; it gets results.

*Philly is hobbled with injuries and I badly want to see Erskine throwing whoever's left up there around the ice like rag dolls. LET'S GET THIS DONE! GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: ModestProposal | April 28, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Now that's a lineup. Alzner with Carlson should be fine on defence and I have enough confidence in Varlamov for him to start. The only thing I might consider doing is moving Walker up to Fehr's place depending on how they are playing. But it's a good start. If they get through I'd give Fleichmann a shot in the next series but he's been sloppy this series. What they really need is for Semin to start making something happen. Any production out of the 2nd line and this series could have been over by now. I think they'll need his help tonight to get through Halak.

Posted by: Stu_c | April 28, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@cadlecreek - that may well have been where dingram was going, but he sounds not so bright, so who cares? Question: who has been the single most dominant playoff performer of the last hockey generation [as measured by playoff points per game + physicality] - Peter Forsberg, hands down. And where was he from?

2nd Question: Which team has had the most consistent playoff success over the last hockey generation? The Red Wings, of course. Now, take a look at the roster, and what do you see? Geography does not matters! What matters is if you can play, no matter where you're from.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 28, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

In the words of the great "Chubs" from Happy Gilmore. "Just easing the tentative baby.."

Hunter Game 7
http://hunter-shot.blogspot.com/

No worries people...

Posted by: jake81 | April 28, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

'It's an exciting part of hockey lore'

Exactly what BB said before we beat the Rangers in game 7 last year?

This is good karma.

GO CAPS!!!!
ROCK THE RED!!!

Posted by: cfrazier91 | April 28, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I BELIEVE.

Posted by: ljo211 | April 28, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping that the zebras behave tonight because the Habs are going to come out strong and play as dirty as usual. If we can get Walker or Knuble park themselves on the crease, we might be able to score a couple of early goals. Not having Flash in the lineup is a huge improvement; I bet Bruce took that decision with a heavy heart, but it long overdue. I predict we'll see a lot of secondary scoring tonight. Go Caps!

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | April 28, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Let's Go Caps! Victory Tonight!

Posted by: Justafan | April 28, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

“Fate loves the fearless.”

- Brooks Laich

Yesterday.

Posted by: saintex | April 28, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

too much stress. I'm nervous about putting Varly in net. He looked like he was sweating bullets last game. And, in my opinion, didn't play very well.

Where is Sergei Fedorov when you need him?

Posted by: ChuckCounty | April 28, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

This diehard fan, season ticketholder will not be at the Phone Booth or in front of Versus...I simply cannot take it - my heart may give out. I am heading out to a long dinner - will glance at my phone at 10 pm for the ESPN Game Update SMS. That last SMS will be the final score (unless OT). Atleast I will die one death with that glance instead of every minute we are trailing in the game. If we win, DVR awaits - that would then be the dessert.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | April 28, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Timbo_1

Q1: I would take Messier in the playoffs over any player in the world ever. If you throw physicality into the equation plus points I would want Claude Lemieux(sp) or Theo Fluery. I would put Forseberg in the OVI cat: not your average Bure, Yashin, etc.

Q2: How many cups would they have in the last 20 years without Steve Y.? 1 in 2008. Look at Datsyuk in your face hard nose N. American style player. Same with Kronwall, Lidstrom, Zeterburg, Franzen, Holmstrom. Detroit gets Talent that plays a hard defence first style puck possesion game. The caps are big, fast and soft playing a stretch pond hockey type of game.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | April 28, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Not participating on the ice is not the same as not being there and not participating at all. I do not think that Ovie is home watching movies and eating junk food. Ovie is known for his intensive video review and off ice regimen. He does not need to be on the ice to be leading the team. Most of the strategy is done off ice at this point. I think they are all aware of what is at stake and we just have to hope that they are up for the challenge. I also BELIEVE in this team.

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | April 28, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Political_Stratgst:

I'll be doing something similar. These games kill me. I'll play softball tonight, and probably go O-for b/c I'm so flustered about the caps.

Posted by: ChuckCounty | April 28, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, all the bed wetters need to sign off now. Don't bring the rest of us down. No brakes, Driver 8. We can reach our destination but we're still a ways away. We're taking the Habs down and then bring on Filthadelphia. I can smell the cheesesteak farts from their fans already.

Posted by: TheLeaver | April 28, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

To Washington Capitals:
At the start of game seven, hit Cammalleri, slow him down!

Screen Halak, the goalie

From there you should be ok!

Win Caps Win!

Posted by: konki4650 | April 28, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Tonight’s Refs, Dan O'Halloran and Brad Watson were the refs of last years game 7 against the Rags. They called a grand total of 3 penalties that game, two on NY and one on DC. Given the Caps special teams this series, let's hope they forget their whistles again this year.

Posted by: azayatz | April 28, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

if semin , ovechkin , varlamov will not put their mind , body , and hearts for this team to win tonight , and in a couple weeks will join Russian national team to play in world hockey tournament in may ! that means they don't care about LORD STANLEY CUP . and everything achieved this year is absolutely NOTHING 000000000 !! PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG .

Posted by: knopka | April 28, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

if semin , ovechkin , varlamov will not put their mind , body , and hearts for this team to win tonight , and in a couple weeks will join Russian national team to play in world hockey tournament in may ! that means they don't care about LORD STANLEY CUP . and everything achieved this year is absolutely NOTHING 000000000 !! PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG .

Posted by: knopka | April 28, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Where is Sergei Fedorov when you need him?

Posted by: ChuckCounty | April 28, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. You might be on to something there... Scrap the entire 2nd line, sign Fedorov, Hunter, and Druce to one day contracts, and make them the 2th line. If they can bring the Concorde out of retirement for one last flight, they might make it by puck drop. Don't even land, just kick the doors open and have them parachute onto F Street in uniform!

Nah :) We got this. Someone's gonna be a new Caps playoff hero tonight. Carlson's due for another massive clutch goal and Halak is due for a shellacking. Nothing left to do but play the game. Believe.

Posted by: ModestProposal | April 28, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

* Senators defenseman Anton Volchenkov doesn't seem too convinced by the Mike-Green-for-Norris talk.
"Green? He's like a fourth forward when he's out there for Washington," Volchenkov told Puck Daddy's Dmitry Chesnokov. "I don't see him playing that seriously defensively, but offensively he is of a lot of benefit."

I hope Greenie is motivated to play defense that he is so capable of playing.

Posted by: instinct227 | April 28, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I.... (gulp) believe.

Posted by: ChuckCounty | April 28, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

it amazes me how many people on here evelate the littlest things into a realm of unrealistic importance... like an optional practice!

I'd be willing to bet that if we polled the users who post on here we'd see that the same users that unrealistically elevate these issues are:

1) ones that have little or no skating experience!

2) (if they have) ones that play in a novice beer league once a week (I play in 3 myself)!

3) have never played 3-4 games of competitive, demanding ice hockey a week and know the physical demands of performing at a higher level like professional atheletes do!

Far too much negativity... breathe! Even if the Caps lose, Bruce and GM are not getting fired and the world isn't ending...

A bit of perspective: If you found out a loved one was in ICU right now, would you...
A) go the Caps game tonight?
or
B) be at the hospital in minutes, likely praying?

'B' all the way, right?

It's just a game, breathe! The professionals know what they are doing... and that is NOT US!

Finally, Go caps... please, PLEASE end this by the second period... I have a playoff game of my own tonight... Erg!

Posted by: FrankM73 | April 28, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

mdestp,
agree 100% with all of your stuff, flash and green are having horrifically bad series- its ironic, the only thing either of them bring is offensive potential, yet neither has shown even that. Varly makes me nervous too, he can be a head case after giving up a goal, I hope BB puts him on a VERY short leash tonite. lets go caps!!

Posted by: peabody2 | April 28, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Cindy puts the team on his back and has his best games when everything is on the line-OVI tends to be in the background.

Can we stop with this myth that Crosby is a big game performer.

-During last year SCF, he had 1 goal and 3 assists in the 7 game series. When his team was fighting to hold on to the 2 goal lead in the 3rd, the Next One was in the locker room injured. Of course, he recovered just enough to carry that Cup around the ice.

-In the Olympics, Babcock could not find suitable line mates for Crosby. He changed Crosby's line mates every game, because out of the best 17 Canadian skaters, no one was good enough. But he scored the game winner, so I guess that makes him clutch. Someone should let Maxine Talbot know that he's underpaid.

-Against the Sens last game, Crosby did have his team on his back. They were skating over him and his -2, 0 point performance to a series victory.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 28, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

cadlecreek1

Well, how many did Stevie Y win without Federov? And who had more playoff points? Who had the higher playoff points per game average?

OK, tough to argue with Messier, but he and Forsberg are simply in a different class than Claude and Theo. They were clutch snipers but still needed somebody to set them up; neither was much of a playmaker [and Theo was a disaster once he left Calgary - for what we now know are understandable reasons].

Agreed Detroit gets talented athletes who play tough; my point is you shouldn't limit yourself to Ontario or Saskatchewan to find that. And, I'd differ on the part about overall team speed [with the obvious and notable exceptions such as OV, Semin, Carlson and Green, I'm talking overall.

I do like the OV-Forsbeg comparison, obviously they excel in different areas but both could do everything on the ice, and both are physically dominant - listen to guys who played against him [like Keith Jones or Ray Ferraro] talk about Forsberg, it is awesome. Neither would be fun to go against, I'll say that.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 28, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

i think i'm gonna puke .....

Posted by: madmax521 | April 28, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abus

__________________________

ME TOO... I just can't imagine our season being over.

Posted by: tony325 | April 28, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse
__________________________

I was puking at the end of game 6

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | April 28, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

FIST!!! OMG- Fist...

Posted by: kateoconnell4 | April 28, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

FrankM73,
haha your so right. I was thinking the other night. I've ice skated once. And I could barely get around the rink. These guys make it look so easy, backwards, forwards, side to side, etc... But hey, it's fun to watch.

I'm learning a lot from NHL 10 (PS3), aparently not enough though, the game continuously calls me idiot for my line changes. eh.

Posted by: ChuckCounty | April 28, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

кулак!!!!

Posted by: griz0615 | April 28, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

Great point about Crosby - Malkin saved his bacon last spring; it was hilarious to hear guys like Barry Melrose and Grapes Cherry try to talk Crosby up for the Conn Smythe when they couldn't even convince themselves, he'd disappear against the Wings for shifts at a time. Babcock put his strongest defensive matchup [granted he had a few to choose from] against Malkin's line - not Crosby - for a reason.

Inconvenient facts, I guess.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 28, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

screw "exciting hockey lore." no reason for game 7

Posted by: doughless | April 28, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Frank - I completely agree, I've played my whole life [always thought I started skating at age 4; my Pops admitted to me last christmas it was a month before my 2nd birthday, guess he really did want me to be a player!] - and I still feel it if I play even two days in a row, the quads, glutes, lower back, everything! These guys have played nearly 100 intense, brutally physical games this season, getting the crap knocked out of 'em night after night. If they feel they need to give the legs a little break here and there, god bless 'em!!!!

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 28, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Green WILL have a good game tonight!

I refuse to face yet another heartbreaking series.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | April 28, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@ dingram3: I'm hoping you're not of Caucasian descent because most of the trailer trash in Pennsylvania that calls themselves Pens' fans are most likely from Western Europe, so your Euro trash comment lumps you in just nicely. But I guess you didn't know that. Figures.
Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 28, 2010
-----------

Wow.

Posted by: Dalliquippa | April 28, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Lets Go Caps!! FIST!!!

Posted by: MHPosoloso | April 28, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Hard to believe you actually WROTE this before the game, TEB.

"One final thought: This could be my last morning skate update until September. It feels weird to be typing that in April."

I guess sports journalists aren't superstitious.

Posted by: longtimedem | April 28, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

don't choke, yet.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 28, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I second that as well.

Posted by: RITdude | April 28, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

@ChuckCounty and Timbo_1:

they really do make it look easy when in reality the edge control that it takes to skate even remotely close to that hard and fast and accurately every shift for 20 minutes a game is just amazinf... then compare that the AHL or ECHL or CHL or OHL or etc... and those guys still are amazing... LOL

Posted by: FrankM73 | April 28, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I think tonight is an important game for Semin. He's only signed for another year and after last year's series vs Pittsburgh, if he can't get anything going this year either I could see Washington trying to get rid of him. Regular season points are fine, but you've got to be able to make something happen when it counts or you're just taking up a valuable roster spot. Ovechkin's played pretty well this series, but the other Alex could be on the move in the off-season if he doesn't show something tonight. If they could find a team that would take him for a year, being an UFA after that.

Posted by: Stu_c | April 28, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Re: BB
First, I don't think that BB should be fired. For some reason, I still believe this team can at least make it to the ECF. But BBs playoff performance has been less than stellar. It's not that they are 1-2 (so far) under BB, it's the way they've lost.

BB doesn't seem to respect the other team. He thinks the Caps can out talent everyone in the league. Look at the stuff he says, "When Semin's on he's game he can score 4-5 goals on his own". What?! Like some NHL playoff team is going let Semin fly down the right wing and score at will because he is light years ahead of everyone else.

Or take the Pitt (and Rangers) series when it was clear that Green was struggling. What did coach do? Play him 25-30 minutes a game.

I know that Green is the best offensive defenseman in the league, but teams have managed to win the Cup without him. The guy had 25 turnovers in that series alone, but never had his ice time reduced. The Wings managed to finish off the Blackhawks in 5 and take the Pens to 7 without Datsyuk and Lidstrom for a few games. But BB felt that this team couldn't survive without Green.

Sure, he started Varly and Gordon in game 3. Posters on this blog were calling for those changes since game 1. Does that make cstanton1 qualified to coach the team?

I don't claim to be Scotty Bowman, but I do know that strategy is more than numerous line changes and riding your horses into the ground. I'd just like to them work as a well oiled machine instead of relying on talent and individual play.


Posted by: ablake70 | April 28, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73:
I was going to try to put an end to this optional practice business, but you did a fine job. So, I'll just try to add a little:

I think that Ovechkin and Crosby are good captains that will do the right thing. If the thing to do to help their team win is rest they will rest. If the best thing is to go to practice they'll go to practice.

I don't like Crosby. He plays for the Pens. But, he's a fine player and with the exception of the too many hats on the ice thing does the right thing.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | April 28, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Come on OV - lead this team to victory!!! Show them the way - they will follow!

Posted by: Jaymagz | April 28, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

I agree with all the points you pointed out on BB and some of the mistakes he has made coaching. I also don't believe BB does a good enough job of matching lines.

Personally, I would love to see BB get the Ovie line out there against PK Subban early, and then have Ovie make a rush on him down the ice. I'm guessing PK might fall for some of Ovie's moves that Hal Gill isn't since Subban has never played Ovie before. Such as Subban playing a little back and leaving open the shot between his legs.

But cstanton1 wanted changes but was NEVER been calling for Gordon. He, along with most posters, do not like Gordon and I, admittedly, had my doubts about him.

Also, posters, along with the media, were split in the middle on who to start, Varly or Theo in game 3. The same question is being brought up tonight too and we will see the results.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 28, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Frank - you said it man, a buddy plays in the Coast [and sometimes the A] and the edge control is absolutely freaking amazing - along with everything else about his game. And he works so hard, and is absolutely in incredible shape - I really consider it a privilege when he comes out to skate with us in the summer. He's a treat to watch [not so much to try and cover]. I get tired just listening to his workouts.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 28, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Just 1 win....what do I freaking have to do to get 1 win!

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | April 28, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@BetterOffWithFedorov:

Thanks!
regarding Crosby, I hate him because of the Pens, the first year diving, and the complaining.

however, the amount of pressure on his shoulders (as Canada's next Gretzky) to succeed gives me respect for how he handles himself witht he media. it's inconceivable to you and I how much pressure that really is... ugh, would drive me nuts!

and anyone that says that they wouldn't want Crosby on the caps because he's a whiner needs to just think back to the 2005 draft when everyone went "OMG, if we could get Corsby WITH Ovechkin... we'd rule!" everyone was drooling... hell, I'd take crosby on this team...

it's inconceivable (I keep using that word) a trade could be done (cap, trade value, him being untradeable, etc..) he'd be traded but I'd gladly have Crosby on this team...

Posted by: FrankM73 | April 28, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Full moon tonight. All of our STARS will be aligned and we will kick some Montreal a$$ tonight..............UNLEASH the FURY!!!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 28, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

FIST!!!!

Posted by: kateoconnell4 | April 28, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

But you said it will be determined if they win the series or not. Well that has come down to one game. Therefore you are basing your analysis on the winner of this game (the winner of the series). The bounce factor could play in heavily in deciding this game. I have a hard time deciding how great a team is based on one bounce, be it good or bad. I think you need to look at the overall work, giving weight accordingly.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 28, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

but it always boils down to one game in the end. The elimination game. Would you feel any differently if this was game 4 of the series and the Caps had lost the first 3?

the bottom line is, we have allowed the Habs to take us to 7 games. So whether or not a lucky bounce seals our fate in the end, you can't use that as an excuse to make your point.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 28, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Let Go Caps! Start fast, get some traffic in front of the net: drag a skate across the crease, make some contact, fight to stay goal side of defense and harass Halak, step it up in the neutral zone, create some movement, don't let up and win this damn thing!!!

Posted by: kschirm13 | April 28, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else wearing adult diapers tonight during the game??? No chance any of us will want to use the loo during any second of it.

C'mon, Caps! Let's unleash that hoo-freakin' fury! Make the Canadiens pay! Hurt them badly!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 28, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

damn there's a lotta chatter on these boards, my head is spinning.

i hope for a good game tonight. No slow starts, no lapses, no nothing. Go out play hard, dig yourself out of the hole you created, advance to the next round, learn from past mistakes, etc etc

and if we lose, its hopefully one step closer to a new and better regime.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 28, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

What are you talking about?

I'm not using this game as a determining factor, you are when you said if the Caps don't win this round they can't be considered the best Caps team ever. (Implying if they win game 7 they can be considered)

Posted by: sgm3 | April 28, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

One of 2 things will happen tonight:

Caps Blowout Victory

or

Repeat of Game 6.

Posted by: LesGrossman | April 28, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Ivan Carter just predicted on WPL that not only will the Caps win tonight, American Hero will score the winning goal.

Personally, I don't care which one of the Caps scores the GWG, just as long as one of them does.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: wocoliz | April 28, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Never read so much bloody negativity in my whole life!

All you negative people pretend you know the game.

You toss out garbage and pretend to be some type of expert, but you're probably a bandwagon rider that never played the game.

This is playoff hockey.
Regular season means squat.

This is the Habs we are playing, and not some team from Carolina or Georgia...

Habs have a sweater that is embedded with a 100 years of pride, history, character, and WINNING.

If anyone thought this was going to be a cakewalk, then you truly do not understand the game, and its roots, or the 100 year old Habs jersey and their 24 Stanley Cups.

When Jean Beliveau shows up at the rink with his 10 Stanley Cup rings, what do you think that does for the boys?

When Henri Richard shows up at the rink with his 11 Stanley Cup rings, what do you think that does for the boys?

When Guy Lafleur shows up at the rink with his 5 Stanley cup rings, what do you think that does for the boys.

Who can show up at our rink?

That's why we need to start our own history.

Caps will WIN....but the lesson learned will be to NEVER disrespect your opponent ( hello Mike Green...) and NEVER believe that supposed pure talent will always beat HEART and GRIT and GUTS!

That might be basketball...
That might be baseball...
That might be football to a lessor degree.
That is NOT hockey!

GO CAPS!

Posted by: htgolf | April 28, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

i think this game is won or lost in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Do we let halak believe he's a goalie god by shooting right into him with no traffic in front of him or do we crush his soul with a couple quick goals by having our sticks down in front and ready for any rebounds or deflections?

Do we ride our crowd's energy to victory or do we get deflated after giving up an early weak goal?

any thoughts?

Posted by: natresgroup | April 28, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

@LesGrossman

I agree. The first 10 minutes will be so important. The Caps need to do more than just hit and play aggressive they need to score in the first 10 minutes.

Unfortunately, the Caps tend to tighten up and play worse when the pucks aren't going in. Definitely one of the big negatives of the team. An early goal (assuming that hopefully no goals are given up) could really get everything going and get the Habs on their heals.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 28, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

@ Timbo_1

I was confused. When reporters talked about optional practices, I thought the team looked at video, drew up plays on the board, talked about the last game, and maybe did some easy drills on ice. I never thought they were talking about full out, hard skating. So yes, I am guilty of flaming players due to ignorance. I've never played organized hockey, but I do know you can't follow a big race with a hard run the next day.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 28, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

@wocoliz

I agree. I don't care if the score is 1-0 Caps or 8-7 Caps as long as the Caps win.

And I don't care if the hero is Ovie, Semin, Green, ShaMo, BMo, Corvo, or any other player as long as the hero is a Washington Capital.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 28, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Halak was a goalie god in the Olympics, but he did give up 5 goals in the last period to the Finns in the bronze medal game. He can be beat.

The key to winning is the Caps need to relax and be patient. No need to force anything, the Habs will make a mistake. Fans at the game need to cheer loud for this team until the game is over and everyone leaves the ice. This is no time for fair weather fans.

Let's go Caps!

Posted by: ablake70 | April 28, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

I agree, good advice. If the Caps get scored on first, make sure to cheer incredibly loud for every check delivered immediately afterward.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 28, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

What are you talking about?

I'm not using this game as a determining factor, you are when you said if the Caps don't win this round they can't be considered the best Caps team ever. (Implying if they

win game 7 they can be considered)

Posted by: sgm3 | April 28, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

now you're just talking in circles.

Again, you're willing to proclaim this as the best caps team ever regardless of their playoff perfomance and success THIS YEAR.

you can't get away from that. Basically, you're removing playoff success as a criteria for how you judge this team presently.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 28, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

No, you are again completely wrong.

I am using the successes of everything to judge the quality of the teams. And based on all the prior Caps teams I think this year's Caps team has passed them regardless of how any future games pan out. Any more wins in the postseason by this Caps team will just push them that much further ahead of all the past Caps teams.

Again. With the exception of 1 team, no Caps team has ever won more than 8 playoff games, and only 2 have won at least eight.

This year's Caps already have 3 and hopefully more. But I think those 3 wins combined with all the other criteria, including those mention by you, put the Caps ahead of all the prior team.

If there were multiple Caps teams with dobule digit playoff wins and possibly even some with 16 then this team would not be there yet, but that's not how it is.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 28, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Halak was a goalie god in the Olympics, but he did give up 5 goals in the last period to the Finns in the bronze medal game. He can be beat.

The key to winning is the Caps need to relax and be patient. No need to force anything, the Habs will make a mistake. Fans at the game need to cheer loud for this team until the game is over and everyone leaves the ice. This is no time for fair weather fans.

Let's go Caps!

Posted by: ablake70 | April 28, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

****

Good point - once the bubble breaks good things probably come in 3's or 4's.....

Didn't Henrik Lundqvist look normal once the Caps got to him last year?

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 28, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Come on OV - lead this team to victory!!! Show them the way - they will follow!

Posted by: Jaymagz | April 28, 2010 4:52 PM

Well, he didn't do it last year in game 7, missed it at the Pics, this would be the way to redeem himself. Bonus: No camera incident.
I'm heading down there now,they had better show up.

Posted by: LarryDavid | April 28, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I fully endorse and support HTGOLF's post...

*clap, clap*

Posted by: FrankM73 | April 28, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73:

I'm on hiatus right now (not enough $$$), but I also play in one of those "beer leagues".

On one occasion we had barely enough skaters to ice a team. The opposition had 2 subs.

Our first sub didn't show up until the middle of the second period, and he was a forward (I play Defense). Our next two subs to arrive--only one of whom was a blueliner--did so just before the third period.

A top NHL defenseman gets around 20 to 30 minutes of ice time. I was on the ice for over 30 before my first shift off. By the time the final horn went off I had played 42 minutes (we play 3 X 15-minute periods). Somehow, we won that game.

I don't claim to be an expert--hell, I didn't start playing in any league until I was 38 years old, and the story I just described to you happened at age 47.

I did, however, gain an even greater respect for what NHL players do.

So, I am with you on the "Optional Practice" thing.

Posted by: Rhino40 | April 28, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40:

I feel ya'... I'm in 3 leagues now... played a game 4 years ago in Reston where we had a goalie and 5 skaters... played all 60 minutes (running clock, so about 50 mins) and won 1-0... not one player in the handshake line looked up and they just mumbled "good game"... being dead tired was never so much fun!

And if I'm not mistaken I've played against you in F'fax and on MCI center ice years ago ;-) but privacy shall remain private.

Posted by: FrankM73 | April 28, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

it amazes me how many people on here evelate the littlest things into a realm of unrealistic importance... like an optional practice!
Posted by: FrankM73April 28, 2010 3:49 PM
---------------
Agreed!
Most only know what they read and sometimes the local writers are in cahoots with the local coaches.

The fellas that didn't go on the ice were:

1) Hurt and getting "quiet" therapy
2) Working out dry land
3) Meeting coaches-watching video
4) Getting in to a bubble zone
5) Resting from big minutes

They were not:

1) Texting
2) Sleeping
3) Sightseeing

Posted by: htgolf | April 28, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino - well that's what you get for agreeing to play defense ;-) That's a hell of an effort though, I hope your teammates gave you a cold beer [or two] in the locker room after!

Nick Lidstrom turns 40 today [I think] and played almost half the game last night, and he plays an active game. I really don't know how some of these guys do it.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 28, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

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