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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 01/ 9/2011

Eric Fehr takes another step toward consistency with goal against Panthers

By Katie Carrera

As the second period against the Florida Panthers began Saturday night, it seemed as though the Capitals might never get back on the scoreboard. But by following the simplest of goal-scoring instructions in going to the net, Eric Fehr again helped Washington break through.

Fehr's goal at the 5:32 mark of the second period ended a goal-scoring drought of 96:27 for the Capitals, who hadn't seen a puck cross a goal line in their favor since Fehr's breakaway tally in the Winter Classic against the Penguins a week earlier. But when Mike Green wrapped around the net and threw the puck out in front, the right wing was waiting to knock it into the net.

"I was just going to the front of the net with my stick down, hoping there'd be a rebound or anything," Fehr said. "Luckily, he put it right on my stick...I'm feeling pretty good right now. I want the puck -- that's always a good sign, so hopefully we can keep the ball rolling. I thought our line did a great job of forechecking and trying to create energy for the team."

The goal was Fehr's fourth in the last six games; he also has three assists during that span. Fehr was the hero of the Winter Classic, scoring two goals to help boost the Capitals over the rival Penguins, but even after that success, Coach Bruce Boudreau stressed to not "anoint" the right wing for one solid performance.

Consistency is Fehr's main goal and obstacle at the same time. He's been a healthy scratch four times this season and is feeling pressure to produce goals and points, like much of the locker room, when the team as a whole can't manufacture offense the way it has in the past. After Washington's 3-2 win over Florida on Saturday, though, Boudreau said he sensed Fehr growing more self-assured.

"He's getting more confidence. Eric's a guy that lives in confidence and he's playing a little bit more and so those are all good things," Boudreau said. "If I recall correctly, he started scoring a lot of his goals from the middle to the latter half of the year last year, too -- so maybe he's just naturally a slow starter and he's going to come on now."

Fehr posted a career-high 21 goals and 39 points in the 2009-10 season. Twelve of those tallies and 20 of those points were recorded in January or later.

By Katie Carrera  | January 9, 2011; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Eric Fehr  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps get the goals they need, beat Panthers 3-2
Next: Capitals' penalty kill continues on a roll

Comments

Erskine will be back in the lineup tuesday and someone else will sit. 7 healhty d is a good problem to have. deal with it.

Posted by: pebowers | January 9, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

You really think BB is going to "rotate" 7 dmen? This is like Ground Hog Day, only instead of Corvo we get Hannan.

So Poti misses a week because of his concussion, now Erskine misses a week so that Poti can "find his legs." Will Erskine now get consecutive games plus, so that he can find his game legs, too?

BB came out and publicly said ice-time would be based on merit. Well, I'm glad some astute posters here are calling BB on his BLATANT LIE. Caps gave up 1 goal, going 2-0-0 against Pitt/Mtl. We take #4 out and give up 3 goals, going 1-0-1 against TB/FLA. CLEARLY, BB ISN'T GIVING THE CAPS THE BEST CHANCE TO WIN BY BENCHING ERSKINE.

Just so everyone knows, here are the stats for the backline since Hannan came on board and BB said ice-time would be based on merit:

Carlson (17gp) 1g 5a 6pts +3 12hits 27blocks 24shots 12giveaways 12takeaways 0fights

Alzner (17gp) 1g 2a 3pts +2 32hits 19blocks 25shots 8giveaways 7takeaways 0fights

Green (15gp) 3g 4a 7pts +1 44hits 32blocks 38shots 15giveaways 9takeaways 0fights

Erskine (13gp) 0g 3a 3pts +2 35hits 20blocks 13shots 7giveaways 0takeaways 1fight

Poti (12gp) 0g 5a 5pts -4 3hits 15blocks 12shots 8giveaways 0takeaways 0fights

Hannan (16gp) 0g 0a 0pts -6 19hits 25blocks 7shots 14giveaways 1takeaway 0fights

Shultz (8gp) 0g 0a 0pts even 5hits 13blocks 3shots 5giveaways 2takeaway 0fights

Yes, the chosen ones have assumed their guaranteed spots and Erskine is the odd-man out once again. I doubt we'll see him on Tuesday as BB will say, "The D is playing really well and the pairings are starting to develop some chemistry. It's important we have some continuity on the backline as it can only have a positive impact on the forwards, and we need to get our offense clicking."

Watch how BB will praise the 6dmen for the last couple games, but there will be nary a word coming from the coach praising #4. So long as BB is the coach, we'll be nothing but a doormat for other teams to step-on as they march to the Stanley Cup.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 9, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

It is really nice to see that Jose Theodore shut out the Pens in Pittsburgh last night. I guess that the Pens like to lose at home on Saturday nights! I'm sure that cindy was crying from the Press Box and complaining about something during the game.

@sgm3
@CapsFan75

I agree that putting Fehr on the second line would be the way to go if Semin is out of the lineup for the next game against Florida.

Posted by: MReilly9 | January 9, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Ranking Erskine's stats on the backline for the 17games since BB said ice-time would be based on merit:

T-3rd goals scored
4th assists
T-4th points
T-2nd +/-
2nd hits
4th blocks
2nd fewest giveaways
1st fights

#4's clearly playing well enough to earn himself a seat in the pressbox...UNBELIEVEABLE!

And now with Semin apparently out with his injury, I just can't wait to see Sloan dress and play forward against TB. Wait, maybe the team will call-up A.Gordon from Hershey....you know him, he's the guy who has played the same amount of games as DJK but has put up worse numbers, comparatively, of what should be expected coming from the 4th line.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 9, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

He certainly praised the work of backline in the winter classic. Anyone with eyes could see they played well. I think BB is not as concerned with these regular season games as he is with the playoffs. I truly think he wants Erskine rested and ready for April, if I am wrong then I am wrong. I want 4 playing in the playoffs at his best, it would be foolish to not want this. If this means the most physical dman we have sits some nights in January then I am fine with it. If we drop a few regular season games so be it. Just a reminder, 4 played 6 of the 8 games during the winless streak. He sat one of the games we got a point during that streak. Not saying he caused us to lose, just saying having him in the lineup does not make for a sure W. Not sure what "stats" you are talking about but both DJK and Gordon have played 8 games, they are both -2 but Gordon has 2pts vs. 1 for DJK. It is a moot point since Boyd Gordon will go back in the lineup very soon.

Posted by: pebowers | January 9, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

It is really nice to see that Jose Theodore shut out the Pens in Pittsburgh last night.

Posted by: MReilly9 | January 9, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Theodore stonewalled the Bruins the game before, too, winning 3-1. I bet Theodore would've shut-out Montreal in game #5 last spring HAD BB NOT RENEGED ON HIS WORD to grant him a longer leash come playoff time.

BB is a joke of a coach, and it sounds like "24/7" portrayed him as one when viewed in Bylsma's light. How any player can trust (or otherwise get inspired or motivated) by ANYTHING THAT COMES OUT OF BB'S MOUTH is beyond me.

Because we like Flyer retreads so much, we should FIRE BB and hire John Stevens.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 9, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

It is a moot point since Boyd Gordon will go back in the lineup very soon.

Posted by: pebowers | January 9, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

It'll be good to be getting someone back in the lineup who plays with the heart of a champion and the ferocity of a lion.

Boyd Gordon should NEVER WEAR A CAPS JERSEY AGAIN!!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 9, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

A little reminder for @vermontcaps: Take your medicine.

Posted by: pcalvert | January 9, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@pebowers

Please tell me you're joking and that you really don't think BB is "resting" Erskine so he'll be ready for the playoffs.

It's quite simple, really. Green will play because he's an incredible talent when he's on. Poti will play because he wears an "A" on his jersey (huh?) and makes 1.5 million per year more than Erskine. Shultz, Alzner, and Carlson will play because they're the chosen ones. Hannan will play because GMGM traded for him in-season and those players aren't capable of playing themselves out of the lineup.

Erskine will be benched because of petty politics and not because of the quality of his play. We might see him again this year if someone gets hurt, so you know I'll be rooting for one of the six entitiled-ones to succumb to injury.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 9, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps: Actually, just go away!

Posted by: sidehillman | January 9, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

We might see him again this year if someone gets hurt, so you know I'll be rooting for one of the six entitiled-ones to succumb to injury.

Posted by: vermontcaps

Yeah, I routinely wish injury to players on my favorite sports team too. It works out well!

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 9, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I find it hilarious reading some of the posters complaining about the Caps now. They were the same ones complaining in the offseason about playing more defensive, and how the Habs didn't get lucky but that they beat us because of their great coaching and great defense.

___________________________

It's just asinine to say that the Habs won because of "luck", especially considering they went on to the Eastern Finals.

Do you really think the Habs aren't a good team and were just "lucky" ? They probably need to do something about Gorges going down recently, but you are kidding yourself if you say they won because of luck.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 9, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

He and hunterforcoach are like racing "fans" who claim to love the sport because they enjoy watching cars wreck and flip over 20 times. They only love it for all the sideshows that most of us consider distractions.

Posted by: joek443 |

Why? Because they like Erskine? That's a horrible analogy...

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 9, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The Caps must be doing okay if the hot topic is who is the 6th & 7th d-men. According to the CORSI numbers Sloan is really bad, Erskine & Poti are next lowest.
Green/Hannan
Carlson/Alzner
Schultz/Poti
Pressbox-Erskine
Hershey-Sloan (if everyone else finally gets healthy)
It looks like Schultz is the 5th d-man & Schultz/Poti is a better pairing than Schultz/Erskine.
I'm guessing vermontcaps is going to be turning off a whole lot more boring defensive Caps games in the future. Boring, defensive hockey works in the playoffs and has a better chance to win the Cup (with or without Erskine in the lineup).

Posted by: chriscaps | January 9, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

On defensive personnel, I've heard reports that Poti himself says he's not "right". It may be time to have Erskine come back in his place -- at least for the next game or two. I thought it was premature to extend Poti for as long as they did, given the eye injury. I would have preferred to wait and see how it goes. I agreed with getting Hannan. Erskine wasn't our main problem but he needs his minutes managed. Beyond him, we really don't have the depth in the farm system to withstand too many injuries to our d-men.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 9, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Another way to look at it is that Poti needs some time on the ice to get back to normal to prepare himself for the playoffs(him and Carlson were, by far, the Caps best defenseman last year in the playoffs).

Having 7 D-men ready for the playoffs is better than having 6 ready, and a guy who hasn't played in 5 months.

The Caps did not, and should not, sit Hannan/Green or Alzner/Carlson. They are the best two D-pairing the Caps have and the Hannan/Green pair are still getting used to each other so the more playing time the better. While the Alzner/Carlson pair is young and gaining experience by playing against the opposing teams top line. It is this learning experience that will make them better and more prepared for the playoffs.

That leaves Erskine/Schulz/Poti as the options. The first concern is paring Erskine with Schulz because they are both slow. BB may not want to do that, and for good reason. So that would then make the decision between Schulz and Erskine. That is tough because Erskine has played well this year, but so has Schulz and Schulz played great last year (+50).

In addition, Poti was coming off a long term injury and needed to get some playing time to try to right himself. Schulz missed about a month and just got back so he his starting to find his game again. Erskine hasn't missed a game all year. That is great work by Erskine and shows his durability which is needed for the playoffs. But, it also means that a sitting out few games in January is not that big of a deal since he hasn't missed any yet.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 9, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Petty politics? really? 7 players/6 spots. someone sits. period. Erskine will sit some games because he is actually the 6/7 d on the roster. He is a very good player, I am glad he is on the roster but he is definitely the guy who sits a few nights.

Posted by: pebowers | January 9, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

It's just asinine to say that the Habs won because of "luck", especially considering they went on to the Eastern Finals.

Do you really think the Habs aren't a good team and were just "lucky" ? They probably need to do something about Gorges going down recently, but you are kidding yourself if you say they won because of luck.

Posted by: richmondphil2

@richmondphil2

You misunderstood what I was saying.

There were many posters last night calling the Caps win over Florida as "lucky". I then stated that if the Caps were "lucky" to win last nights game then the Habs must have been "lucky" to win the series against the Caps as they were played in similar ways(except in the Caps loss they had much more offensive zone time).

But it was the same posters who yelled out after the playoffs that the Habs just beat the Caps because they were better and better coached, which is a fine conclusion(I personally reside in the middle in that I think the Habs played great and were coached great and the Caps missed many of their chances, but the Habs did receive a few favorable bounces also. But that's hockey).

I just want the posters to use the same analysis technique that they use for teams playing the Caps and to use that technique to the Caps themselves. I just want consistency. It seems to me that too many posters have a double standard in how they analyze the Caps versus how they analyze other teams.

The conclusions of each analysis will different but the technique should be the same.

So I was not calling the Habs win "lucky" just asking for consistency from some of the posters.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 9, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

*** a short story from whiny tale theater **

From the Sidney Crosby Finishing School of Whining and Complaining
I present to you the Class of 2011 (Summa Cum Laude) graduate: Dr. vermontcaps
Dr. vermontcaps completed his thesis on JE#4 with comprehensive statistical analysis of backline play since the Hannan acquisition of 2010. Included, but not limited to, goals, assists, hits, blocked shots and fights. We can be assured that his published works will be expounded on for the foreseeable future. What makes Dr. vermontcaps stand out though, is that he is currently working on a second thesis that concentrates on the BB theory. In this concept Dr. vermontcaps analyzes how BB is a ‘joke’ and calls him on his ‘BLATANT LIE’ of playing time being based on ‘merit’. We can expect to see Dr. vermontcaps continue his crusade to fire BB and ‘free’ JE4 and DJK.

Sincerely,
Hunterforcoach, Dean of the SCF School of W&C

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 9, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@ vermontcaps

It never ceases to amaze me how much negative crap gets posted on this site. The Caps are your favorite team and you bash them constantly and consistently? If you know so much about hockey, why aren't you a GM or coach there, vermontcaps?
Last time I looked, this was not Philadelphia. Maybe you are confused.

We are in the midst of the most successful run this franchise has ever seen, starting back in November 2007 up until this very moment. The longest losing streak this team has had since Gabby took over is the 8 gamer from last month. The Caps had their first taste of adversity and how have they responded? By going 5-0-2 since that streak and have ramped up their defensive game to championship levels.

So they aren't scoring like they used to, big deal! That will come around as the scorers figure out how to mesh their offensive game with the new defensive scheme. Wouldn't you rather have them do this now in mid season than try to change their system for the playoffs and lose another 7 game series?

This team is battling it out with Tampa and Atlanta for the division. They will be battle tested. They will have overcome their worst stretch of losing and be more grounded. This is a process. We were spoiled for the last few years. This team was talented, but not a champion. This could be the shift to the next level we are witnessing. It may not be pretty, but all good teams go through it.

And, if this team wins a cup with Coach Gabby, i will be scanning these very boards to make sure you, vermontcaps, and all you other naysayers, don't say a word about how great Gabby is or how you knew they would do it all along. This team needs dedicated and supportive fans. Not a bunch of whiners with their asinine theories and line combinations.

If you want to act like that, Pittsburgh is a 4 hour drive NW. They love whiners up there. We dont like them here. Good riddance.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 9, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I think Erskine is playing more than well enough to be in the lineup but it's a tough situation. Carlson/Alzner shouldn't be split up so they're both in for sure. Hannon's been adjusting to the team and his pairing with Green is working really well since being put together so I definitely wouldn't mess with that line either. Schultz has missed a lot of hockey this season so they want him playing, same with Poti. I think that once Schultz and Poti have played enough to show what level they're really at this year, Erskine would have a better shot at displacing one of them in the lineup. I'd rather have him playing than either of them right now but in the end I'd probably be sitting Poti. Schultz/Erskine could be a pretty good physical line that's tough to play against.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 9, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps: Actually, just go away!

Posted by: sidehillman | January 9, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I remember just wishing that my father's cancer would just go away. They gave him one year, he lived three. There were good times those last three years, and often as a family we chose to ignore the fact he was dying. Inevitably, he could not escape his fate.

The Caps managed to win one of the most boring one-goal games I can recall seeing last night. Times are good, right? BB is the cancer infecting the team, his favoritism and caste system undermining the very qualities that make teams champions. So long as BB is the coach, the Caps won't be able to escape their fate of being perennial playoff duds.

@pcalvert

I'll be off the meds for awhile. Now that we're into the second-half of the season, I'M JUST GETTING STARTED!

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 9, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm reading things wrong, but I'm assuming that Boyd Gordon's about a week away from returning. Maybe he'll be ready for the Vancouver game. Of course that makes it harder to figure what to do if Semin turns out to be out in the meantime.

Is it probably time to just go ahead and have Semin take the week off to get well and bring up Andrew Gordon? Given that Semin was already ailing before getting hurt last night. Did he ever fully recover from his "lower body injury" that had caused him to miss games in December? I frankly wonder that.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 9, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Its very easy to take the negative side of an argument. If the Caps fall short you get to say I told you so and feel superior. If they succeed you get to say I am glad I was wrong because I have been a fan and supporter of this team since the day before the universe formed. This is why taking the everybody sucks side of the argument is so attractive.

Posted by: pebowers | January 9, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I remember just wishing that my father's cancer would just go away. They gave him one year, he lived three. There were good times those last three years, and often as a family we chose to ignore the fact he was dying. Inevitably, he could not escape his fate.

The Caps managed to win one of the most boring one-goal games I can recall seeing last night. Times are good, right? BB is the cancer infecting the team, his favoritism and caste system undermining the very qualities that make teams champions. So long as BB is the coach, the Caps won't be able to escape their fate of being perennial playoff duds.

Posted by: vermontcaps

?????? That was one of the weirdest and inappropriate analogies I have ever read.

Seriously, did you honestly compare BB to your father's cancer?

Posted by: sgm3 | January 9, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

My father has been battling leukemia for the last 4.5 years. I am offended you compared your fathers situation with the coaching staffof the Caps. What kind of person are you? Do you think your father would appreciate that? Before I t5hought you were a whiner. Now I am sorry I even wasted my time trying to talk to you.

Cancer is no joking matter. For you to treat in such a flippant way just shows how ignorant and classless you truly are. I will no longer read or respond to your trivial tripe. You need serious professional help.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 9, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

While I am not happy about Erskine being in the pressbox, I do see some merit getting Schultz and Poti minutes to get in game shape.

I think a much more pressing problem is the weak play of Backis, OV, and Semin for most of this season (yes, Semin went nuts in November, but since, meh). At what point does a coach sit his best players to recover mentally and/or physically? At what point does his discipline players to play a system that the rest of the team is playing successfully? Will sitting Backis and OV (Semin is out with an injury right now) affect the team long-term because OV is not just the superstar, but the captain. Yes, OV's goal was a beauty, but his overall play does not mesh well with systemic play. If OV is getting cortison shots and Backis is wearing ice constantly, why not sit them for a week to heal up -- it's the middle of the season, so what better time of year to let them rest up.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | January 9, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that was an interesting analogy by vermontcaps. I sure wouldn't attempt to equate life & death with hockey but, to each his own. I lost all respect (actually I didn't have a whole lot in the first place) for vermontcaps when I saw his accidently posting about the Bruins. A Bruins and Caps fan? Now that I find offensive!
Look at the CORSI for the Caps d-men. Sloan is by far & away the worst. Erskine & Poti have the next 2 poorest CORSI. Poti/Erskine are the 6th/7th d-men. Schultz/Poti is a better 3rd than Schultz/Erskine so, Erskine will be in the pressbox alot.

Posted by: chriscaps | January 9, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I am also disappointed in vermont's rantings. He says some relevant stuff sometimes, but it sounds like he's got some emotionally-charged maturity issues. It's effing HOCKEY! It's a GAME! Maybe he should find something more worthwhile to get angry about. Wow...

Posted by: sca187 | January 9, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

People...

Vermontcaps is Erskine's mother...her son is a gift from heaven and nothing we say or nothing BB does will be good enough for her shooting star.

Posted by: capscoach | January 9, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I can understand Vermont’s rants; he’s a bit more verbal about Erskine than I am though.

BB made it clear that the lineup would be based on MERIT, not the name on the back of the jersey. Erskine has EARNED a regular spot night in/night out, PERIOD. He adds more to the team than Sloan, Poti and Hannan could ever think of bringing. He does not have the flash and finesse for first line D duty, but he brings intangibles NO OTHER D man can bring.

I've followed Erskine’s career since was a rookie in Dallas and frankly I'm shocked by his development. He always played responsibly, used angles due to his lack of speed/footwork and I never thought he would reach the level he has this season. Compared to last season, he’s added speed, improved his play in the offensive zone (last year he was afraid to put a puck on net) and seems more nimble. He remains responsible in his own end, intimidates opponents, clears out the crease and plays without fear. This is the type of player(s) you need in the lineup regardless of the opponent.

Watching our big men play like little girls is just too painful (Tom Poti white courtesy phone)...

Posted by: FLDave | January 9, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Why? Because they like Erskine? That's a horrible analogy..
--------------------------------------------------------

LOL no... I can see that you've not been paying attention.

To them a hockey game without a fight or two is NO fun.

Posted by: joek443 | January 9, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

look, Erskine is a great #6 D man, but I don't hear vermontcaps calling him out when he missed his man like he calls the others out.

Poti needs some playing time, so two or three games not playing won't kill Erskine. It is a GOOD thing to have both our 6 and 7 D men ready to play come playoff time.

Erskine does not play against top lines, or that many minutes...and I think that is b/c he is not built for that kind of play. I love the guy, but lets stop pretending he is the end all be all to our D.

If you haven't noticed, ALL our D has been pretty good lately...it's not like someone is out there crapping up the ice and Erskine is getting ignored anyway. Poti is a decent D man...he needs to be allowed to play and get back into game shape.

If Erskine was so great or thought he was getting ripped off by the Caps, why did he extend his contract with us for virtually the same price?

Posted by: capscoach | January 9, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"Times are good, right? BB is the cancer infecting the team..."
Posted by: vermontcaps | January 9, 2011 12:13 PM

You are the cancer in this forum. You contribute nothing and ctiticize everything. We all understand that you love sniffing Erskine's jock and you think BB is a boob. Since you are clearly unable to speak on any other topic, please shut up.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | January 9, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

BB came out and publicly said ice-time would be based on merit. Well, I'm glad some astute posters here are calling BB on his BLATANT LIE. Caps gave up 1 goal, going 2-0-0 against Pitt/Mtl. We take #4 out and give up 3 goals, going 1-0-1 against TB/FLA. CLEARLY, BB ISN'T GIVING THE CAPS THE BEST CHANCE TO WIN BY BENCHING ERSKINE.

@vermontcaps:
yo man... I've enjoyed past conversations with you and everyone else on here but it you are complaining about giving up 0.5 a game with Erskine VERSUS 1.5 without Erskine... well, then I think the Caps are doing very very well in the defensive category.

Long gone are the Dog Days of Doig and Kiwi... just relax a bit and enjoy that the Caps are Cup Contenders and their defense is getting better and better... as are the goaltending

I'm sure any team in the league would take 1.5 GAA per game for 2 games... be happy we had 1.0 GAA for 4 games. We are gonna win a lot of games with this new adjusted system... relax man, it's not worth the higher blood pressure. I mean, it's not like we've got Brendan Witt back there, DOH!

Posted by: FrankM73 | January 9, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

The Swift Current Bronocs in a rebuilding mode have traded Cody Eakin to the Kootenay Ice in the WHL.

“Eakin has been the best player to come to this team since Joe Sakic,” says Broncos General Manager and Head Coach Mark Lamb. “It’s a trade we didn’t want to do, but it’s the best thing for our hockey club in the long run.”

Eakin suffered a minor hand injury playing for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo, NY and is expected to be out of action one to two weeks. The Ice are gearing up to make a run at the WHL championship.

Posted by: dull | January 9, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

If you want to be a basher, go live in Philly. Stupid comments only further my belief that some of you know nothing about hockey and have are band wagon Caps fans. I've been a Caps fan since the team started, and trust me, the few problems that the team has now are minor compared to the past. The team is talented, exciting to watch and will win the Cup in due time. I heard a few boos at the FL game on Sat night and I don't believe that true Caps fans boo the team during a 1 goal deficit, AT HOME. This is a great blog for spirited discussion, typical complaints and armchair analysis. It is not the place to comparisons of any facet of sports to cancer or wishes injury on any player. If you're a basher - take a hike, I can give you the website for the Flyers, Dallas Cowboys or some other loser. You'll be right at home. Let's go Caps!

Posted by: loanphd | January 10, 2011 5:39 AM | Report abuse

VermontCaps you need to understand hockey a little more if that is your opinion. If you do not see Hannan clearing the front of the net BY FAR better then anyone else you need to watch much closer. There is no stat for that. On top of that he is clearing the zone very well with his outlets.

Erskine has played well but his talent are very limited. He has problems clearing the zone and while he plays the style the team sorely needs he is not great in front of his own net. Reminds me of Witt standing next to the post watching the other team score.

Erskine no doubt has improved and that fight against the Penguins was awesome but to win a cup you need players that are not limited out there like him. He is a perfect #7 D-man.

Posted by: Mike4169 | January 10, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Caps weren't lucky to win over Florida.

The team outplayed Florida in both the second and third periods and except for the unbalanced number of penalties assessed against Washington (the refs missed two or three illegal hits by the Panthers) the game wouldn't have even been as close as it was.

What's ironic to me is how poorly the Penguins have looked without Crosby.

Last year when Ovechkin missed a series of games the Caps posted a winning record in his absence.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | January 10, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Wrong on Erskine. He is exactly the kind of player you DO win a Cup with.

He is not a top 4 defenseman, but he is a guy that takes the body and wears guys out in the corners and in front of the net.

In the limited amount of ice time Boudreau has him out there for, he can be very effective - especially in the playoffs.

For all those that think a defenseman today has to be able to skate like Green or Phaneuf, remember that Hal Gill has been in the Stanley Cup finals two of the past three years, and almost made it again with Montreal last season.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | January 10, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

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