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Erskine, Poti and Gordon Missing From Practice

Practice is underway here at KCI and there are a few players who are not skating. Defensemen John Erskine and Tom Poti and center Boyd Gordon are not on the ice. Erskine, of course, left last night's 3-2 loss to the Devils after getting hurt early in the second period and Poti appeared to be in pain late. I'm not sure what's wrong with Gordon yet.

One other notable development: Coach Bruce Boudreau, in his continuing search for balance on his top two lines, has switched things up again. The top forward combo is Alex Ovechkin-Brendan Morrison-Mike Knuble, while the second trio is Brooks Laich-Nicklas Backstrom-Alexander Semin.

I'll have more after practice.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 13, 2009; 11:18 AM ET
 
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Next: Boudreau: 'The Graph Is Going Up'

Comments

those first two lines look like they may work well

Posted by: _stevo | October 13, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

They are showing Gordon his 3 penalties in the last 10 minutes of the last 4 games on repeat in the video room.

Posted by: ThePat | October 13, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Maybe BB is going to send Gordon to the minors?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 13, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

What people seem to overlook is that there was mention that Knuble and Morrison had played together before and that was the reason why Knuble and Morrison were always on the second line together. I'd like to see how the two lines play, though I'm a little taken aback that Backstrom is on the second line. Kinda' unusual but we'll see, right?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 13, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm usually not good at predicting the next step, and it may only be used in practice, but based on a comment about Semin and Morrision not being able to get the puck out for 90 seconds, I swear I thought...why not have Backs center that line? Backstrom is know for great/strong on the puck play in our zone, so this switch may work. I guess we'll see. Who knows though because BB didn't have the top 2 lines practice together before last night's game. They did in the preseason, but not at yesterday's practice. BB has to go with instinct when he shuffles the lines.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 13, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I think as fans we need to stop thinking about this as a line 1 and line 2 thing. I honestly believe BB feels he can have a 1a and 1b with snipers like Ovi and Semin split up. I don't think Backs would look at it as a demotion, just like I don't think Semin did yesterday. Once you've slipped to the 3rd line from the 1st or 2nd, now your role has changed.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 13, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I agree our problem is offense right now. When you score 3, 2, 2 goals(our last 3 games) the margin for error is really small and everything is magnified. When you go 1 for 9 on PP and 0 for 2 with 5 on 3 (Ranger Game) Will be tough to beat anyone. Yesterday we had numerous chances to put the game away on the Power Play and another 5 on 3. We are 2 for 17 in last 3 games that's 11% would put us in the bottom 3rd of the league with that %.

I think the problem so far lies in meshing styles. Where you have Green, Semin, Ovie, Backstrom with great amount of skill and they want to move it around with quick passes and find those seams. Last year many times our Power Play had Feds, Kozlov, Semin, Backs, Ovie, Green and Flash a combination of those 5. Boudreau would throw Laich from time to time in their to mix it up but for the majority of the time we had 5 guys with immense amount of skill moving the puck around and setting up those tap tap goals.

Bottom line it will take a little time to mesh Knuble and Bmo with the skilled guys. I also think when Flash comes back will give us more creativity on top two lines.

11% on the power play is not going to win you many games.


P.S By the way watched Carlson over the weekend. 20-30 more games in AHL and he will be bored. He is already the best D-man between the two teams on any given night. Alzner looks like he is playing a lot more aggressive this year and challenges forwards early and doesn't back in to the net as he had a tendency to do that last year when called up.

Posted by: lightshow | October 13, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Gordon has been confirmed with a diagnosis of Can'tstayonmyskatesforlongerthan 10seconds, this is only worsened by his other condition of can'twinaphysicalbatlletosavemylife-itis.

Hopefully we wont see him for another couple of weeks.....

He was truly horrible last night...looked like a salmon flopping around on the ice.

Posted by: opus1m | October 13, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking BMo should go top line, he has been playing brilliantly as of late(well like an actual veteran nhl-er opposed to 8's level of brilliance).

Backstrom and Semin tend to work very well together if only because Semin isn't Ovie. He can make plays happen where semin isn't as defensive or amazing, sorry to say.

If we are going to keep losing might as well play Varly, though we should let Theo stay hot for another game or two.

Posted by: breaklance | October 13, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

via Corey's twitter

Nylander and BB are having a long talk right now...I guess practice just ended. Maybe Nylander is going to crack the lineup.

Posted by: ThePat | October 13, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I think he is looking for production from both lines, and we havent gotten it yet...There is one constant...Ovie's line = Points..

I think we are finding that Ovie and Backstrom are our two top players on offense that make things happen.

Maybe splitting them up for a game will produce 2 rolling lines...I think we need 5 goals to beat San Jose...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 13, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone here want my "Meet the Team Party" tickets for tonight? I have four. I put them on craigslist for $20 each but I would sell here for less. Make me an offer. It is at six flags in MD. I am in Gaithersburg and you'd have to come get them.

Posted by: capsfan5 | October 13, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

after the long talk part those are just my thoughts, not coreys

Posted by: ThePat | October 13, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Nylander to 3rd line center. Steckel to 4th line. Gordon out.

This also puts some offence into the 3rd line which is desperately needed.

Posted by: puckman | October 13, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

As a follow up to my last post, I now have one ticket for tonight that I will give away for free. Post something saying you want the free ticket and I will email you.

Posted by: capsfan5 | October 13, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

i am happy to see changes in the top 2 lines. BMo is playing his butt off and Knuble had the puck in front of the net more times than I could count last night. Backie looks really strong. of all these guys, Semin is the one to handle with kid gloves. did he pout the whole game?? i don't understand why a guy with such natural talent can't work like a team player. geez, maybe Backie can hold his hand and tell him everything will be alright on the secong line.

Posted by: doughless | October 13, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@breaklance Putting Varly in against a team like the Sharks with that many offensive weapons would be a huge mistake. People on this board would be screaming for him to be sent back to Russia. Besides, I'm curious to see Theo against the western Capitals.

I agree that BB should try Semin and Backstrom on the 2nd line. Those two are the best play makers on this team and they work extremely well together. At times, I think the Backstrom/Semin combo is better than the Backstrom/Ovi because Semin is a better passer than Ovi. Unfortunately, Morrison is not Fedorov, so I think the top line would suffer. Maybe Nylander?

Posted by: ablake70 | October 13, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

This team still has no identity. It's not the "hardest working team in hockey" or the "most talented team in hockey". What is it?

We're still juggling line combo's, have Nylander out, carrying 8 defenseman, played Sloan on wing to give him some ice, lost Bourque due to poor cap management (even w/ a capologist), no defenseman had scored until Green last night..

I put some of this on Boudreau. It's his job to get this team prepared and focused. Too often its' seems he's whining about not executing something - well do something about it Bruce!

Posted by: Jaymagz | October 13, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Very interesting observations from practice. Thanks, Tarik. I hope Erskine's injury won't keep him out of the lineup for long.

@capsfan75, thanks for the info about Red Birdie, and I'll check Japers' for her posts. Too bad she gave up on this board (although I can't blame her at times). She's always on point and entertaining, and we need as many voices of reason as we can get right now--although I'm really enjoying ChickenLittle's comments.

Posted by: wocoliz | October 13, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

i agree about BB; the guy doesn't seem to be able to make descisions or act like the coach. i think Ted's comments after Red Wings game were aimed sqaurely at the "coach". if the players don't take him seriously, there is gonna be trouble.

Posted by: doughless | October 13, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I remember reading a lot of posts not too long ago about how disappointed people were with Poti. Was I dreaming, or did Poti play an outstanding game last night? I was so impressed, but I'm sure I'm not as expert as others on this blog, so I'd really like to know what people thought about Poti's game last night.

Re: Boyd Gordon and other players who have off nights now and then, I really don't understand calling for their heads at this point. You would have thought Green was the devil incarnate, and so how many people were sad last night that he scored and played great D? Do you still want to trade him? Maybe it's a never ending type of discussion, like booing at your own team at a game because you paid money for the tickets (something else I can't support doing), but I would like to see the focus in discussions based more on analyses and not just knee jerking "off with their heads" rhetoric. Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 13, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I think the players take BB very seriously.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 13, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Tominfl: how was your experience at the VC yesterday?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 13, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

via Corey's twitter

Nylander and BB are having a long talk right now...I guess practice just ended. Maybe Nylander is going to crack the lineup.

Posted by: ThePat | October 13, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

BB - "ok nyls, i'm gonna have to put you in."

Nyls - " "

BB - "Dont go scoring 4 goals and 3 assists and have us look like a bunch of tools for sitting you and your big fat salary."

Nyls - " "

BB - "Seriously, you'd like Russia..."

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 13, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

dccitizen1: The problem is that people are still screaming at Green. Not two minutes after he scored, and had a world class give and go with Semin (the other guy people want traded) a guy in 431 screamed at him to get up. Not taking into account he was f'in tripped. Some of these guys can never win. When they have a good game "it's about time." When they have a bad game some want their heads. Nobody wants to acknowledge that Brodeur stole another game for the Devils. The Caps had 11 shots in the 2nd period, about 3 of them, including the one that Green thought he bagged were great saves that kept the Devils in it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 13, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The conversation with Nylander was not about playing time according to BB. Nylander declined to talk about it.

Posted by: ThePat | October 13, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Nylander to 3rd line center. Steckel to 4th line. Gordon out.

This also puts some offence into the 3rd line which is desperately needed.

Posted by: puckman | October 13, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

And makes them a worse defensive team in the process.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

dccitizen1: The problem is that people are still screaming at Green. Not two minutes after he scored, and had a world class give and go with Semin


so ? ? you think because Semin makes some incredible plays once in a while that it cancels out everything else he does which is negative and makes him untradeable? Please. The Sabres dealt a similarly enigmatic talent in Alexander Mogilny and got back a nice package of Peca, Mike Wilson and Jay McKee. This notion that Semin is untradeable because of his immense skill level is just a very narrow-minded view. It shows no historical context whatsoever.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70: Morrison not being Fedorov may not be a bad thing for playing with Ovechkin. Fedorov really showed his age on the top line: he just couldn't keep up. Trailing the play doesn't cater well to the chaos Ovechkin's breakouts cause. If Morrison can keep up and provide options that may be enough. Ovechkin doesn't need to be matched with the best playmaker on the team to make magic happen. I think the Ovechkin, Morrison, Knuble experiment could be great.

Posted by: swags | October 13, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Everything else Semin does is negative? He doesn't make incredible plays every once in a while. You know what cstanton1, let's trade him and get some cement head that throws his body everywhere because that's what you think this team should be stacked with. Please don't say I put words in your mouth either because 90 percent of your posts have to do with a players inability to play the body. I would be willing as a fan to trade Semin for a talented player. Not one that is in his late 30s though. Nor someone like Bowmeester who would be getting hammered here just as much as Green if he was on our team. You probably would have wanted to trade Gretzky and Kurri because they didn't play the body in a time when the league was much more brutal.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 13, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"Non-existent forecheck"? Not so much...did anybody notice that hit Bãckis laid on one of thge Devils' d-men late in the game--it was almost OV like.

As for Bäckis on the 2nd line; yes, he is arguably our best pivot an so should be on the top line.

With that said, as much as we take the OV-Bäckis axis for granted, OV frankly could produce an exciting game for us even with a seal and a walrus as linemates; I say give it a chance; the 2nd line can really benefit from the presence of a top-nothc playmaker like Bäckis.

While it is tempting to lay all at the doorstep of too many penalties (as was true in most of the pervious losses), it wasn't the mainly penalties that led directly to the loss. IMHO, it was the extended NJ flurry late in the third when we couldn't clear the zone, couldn't get a change and couldn't get a whistle. The penalty kill could have been untested, perfect or both, and that much time pinned down in the defensive zone would still have left the players on the ice spent and probably a goal-against.

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 13, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I see this change more as a need/benefit for Semin's play than anything. Maybe the Ovie, Nicky, Sasha line was more Nicky/Sasha than Ovie/Sasha all along. If we could get both lines clicking - then Wow.

I do not understand how some are so hard on Gordo. He wins face-offs, is always scrappy (yes he does wind up down a lot, but is always in the mix), and he is a fourth line guy. He just needs to get rid of his "penalitesinthethirdperioditis" and he will be okay.

I am starting to lose my patience with Poti, but maybe he is hurt too.

Was the ice wierd last night? I have not seen any comments about it, but there sure were a lot of people falling down last night. Let's hope Kiss does not do too many encores tonight.

Posted by: Kim-3 | October 13, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

please dont split up OV and Backstrom.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | October 13, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm also sure Mogilny thinks about the Peca trade when he shines his Stanley Cup Champion ring too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 13, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I would have loved the result to be much better, but had a great time at VC last night. A very entertaining game. The first penalty was a harbinger, and yes they did come. The OT PK was a huge boost. So sorry Theor couldn't cap off a great night with some stops on the shootout.

So, the second line was not as strong as expected -- I put that one on Semin, who was again plagued by bad decisionmaking when passing (he did do well on the PK, though). Nonetheless, I saw a lot more energy and tight play with these line combos; I would not give up on them yet, though I'm intrigued by Backie on the 2nd.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 13, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau has shown he's not afraid to sit players he's not happy with. Not long after he started he benched Pothier after he made a stupid play that cost the Caps a game.

Now, it's time for Boyd Gordon to sit, at least for one game. If he's not going to score, then he can't keep taking penalties late in games.

As I've been saying for about a week now -- Nylander gives the Caps three lines that can score. The team is stronger with Steckel as a fourth-line center, not a third. It's time to get beyond whatever differences exist with Nylander. If he's healthy and motivated, he can help the team win.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | October 13, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree with Oneal.

I also think a trade has to be coming in the very near future. With Flash coming back soon something has to happen because we will be over the roster limit when he comes off IR. Either a trade, or Sloan or someone else is going to be put on waivers.

Posted by: ThePat | October 13, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@ fanohock1: Don't bother trying to reason with cstanton1. He will call for a trade whenever he wants, like the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland calls for the head of anyone. Let's just be grateful that no one in the Capitals management actually cares for what cstanton1 thinks.

I'll take Alexander Semin, warts and all instead of gambling him away like cstanton1 wants.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 13, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Fanock: You know what cstanton1, let's trade him and get some cement head that throws his body everywhere because that's what you think this team should be stacked with


What an incredibly stupid comment to make. Well done. You're right. The comparison I threw out there with historical context behind it using the Mogilny trade as an example showed a bunch of cementheads coming back in the other direction. Good to know, I didn't realize Mike Peca, Mike Wilson and Jay McKee were all cementheads.

You outdo yourself every time Fanock.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of concrete crania, who saw the Brashear-Orr fight from last night...LOL

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 13, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm also sure Mogilny thinks about the Peca trade when he shines his Stanley Cup Champion ring too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 13, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse


wow, another incredibly stupid comment. Mogilny didn't win a Cup with Vancouver. Buffalo benefited from the trade, they were never hurt but it. Here I'll let you read a little blurb so you can educate yourself a little more before you start wagging your tongue.

"Unfortunately that good year was never followed up in Vancouver. He dipped to 31 goals the following year. Pavel had returned and took up a lot of his ice time. By 1997-98 Pavel had returned to his usual form and had 50+ goals. Mogilny only had 18 in an injury shortened year. With Pavel sitting out the 1998-99 season in a contract dispute, Mogs only scored 14 times.

Clearly Mogilny had become a huge disappointment in Vancouver. In the meanwhile Jay McKee and especially Mike Peca developed into big parts of a strong Buffalo Sabres organization that went to the Cup finals in 1999. Five years after the traded that was supposed to be lopsided in Vancouver's favor had taken place, you would be hard pressed to find someone who would trade Peca for Mogilny straight up.

The Canucks finally gave up on Mogilny in 1999-2000. He was traded to the New Jersey Devils for Brendan Morrison and Denis Pederson. There was no doubting that Mogilny was the most talented player on the team, perhaps more so than Pavel Bure ever was even, but he was too inconsistent. Many nights he was simply invisible. Not helping matters was an array of injuries and a good playmaking center which he publicly begged for."

http://sabreslegends.blogspot.com/2009/03/alexander-mogilny.html

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

@ fanohock1: Don't bother trying to reason with cstanton1. He will call for a trade whenever he wants, like the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland calls for the head of anyone. Let's just be grateful that no one in the Capitals management actually cares for what cstanton1 thinks.

I'll take Alexander Semin, warts and all instead of gambling him away like cstanton1 wants.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 13, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

gee go figure LeftCoastCapsFan = Mr "I don't see anything wrong with anything the Caps do, have ever done, or will ever do".

we get it. You prance around your room in a Caps cheerleader outfit.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Sonyask: So, the second line was not as strong as expected -- I put that one on Semin, who was again plagued by bad decisionmaking when passing
------------------------------------

whaat? Semin did something wrong? holy crap. According to the board pundit here --Fanock -- the guy should be in the HOF because of his incredible give-n-go passes. lmao

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@swags Fedorov clearly lost a step, but slowing down the play wasn't so bad. He was still a strong skater, had good puck possession skills, and had good hockey sense. And Feds was still dangerous enough to draw attention from the opposition and still set up a good scoring chance. It's still early in the season and BMo has looked good so he should be given a chance.

@Rhino40 "OV frankly could produce an exciting game for us even with a seal and a walrus". Love it. But with teams like Detroit putting 3 guys on him every time he looks at the puck, he needs a line mate that can draw some attention.

As for Semin, I don't think he's pouting; I think he's scared to make a mistake. Hell, the guy is even dumping in the puck.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 13, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I'd take Mckee now for league minimum. Stupid penguins.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 13, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Comparing Mogilny winning a Cup with the Devils 5 years after he gets traded from Buffalo to Vancouver makes no sense. Different teams. Apples and Oranges.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of concrete crania, who saw the Brashear-Orr fight from last night...LOL

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 13, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse


Brashear's definitely trying his darndest to win over some NY fans. He gave Orr a nice elbow to get things going. He's too strong for Orr. The second he locks him up and gets in tight he can start ragdolling him around.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: Incredibly stupid comment? Did I say he won it with Vancouver, no I didn't, he won it with NJ. His path of trades eventually lead to a Stanley Cup Champioship. None of the 3 players traded for him, regardless of where they have ended up, have their names engraved. Kyle Wilson had an impressive NHL career by the way. McKee and Peca went to the Finals, that is a fact, but alas, no Cup.

It's amazing that if one doesn't agree with your opinion, they're an idiot. The mutual respect is obviously out the window. Yeah, I'll take the Caps over the Rangers in 7 while you trash them when they're down 3-1.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 13, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Feds is gone and the two guys we replaced the Russians with are much better.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 13, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I like the new line 1 combination. BMo has been terrific and I like Ovie being flanked by two gritty veterans.

We need more grit. Why did we allow the Devils' late flurry to overwhelm us? Why couldn't we clear our net?

Posted by: caraveli | October 13, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, too bad we let Brashear and his salary go to NY. He's -1 on a team that is on a 5 game winning streak. Oh yeah, he had a good fight yesterday. That's worth 1.4 million.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 13, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

just because some aspire to be a Red Wings clones doesn't mean the rest of the NHL does. if the Rags think they get something they need from Brash for the money they gave him, well then they got themselves a bargain. personally, i like Brash.

Posted by: doughless | October 13, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Caps lines at practice (per Corey/WaTimes):

Ovechkin-Morrison-Knuble

Laich-Backstrom-Semin

Clark-Steckel-Fehr

Laing-Nylander-Bradley

Morrisonn-Green

Schultz-Jurcina

Sloan-Pothier

Tom Poti, John Erskine and Boyd Gordon are not on the ice. Erskine and Tomas Fleischmann were on the ice before practice.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

i would move Nyls to 3rd line and Stecks to 4th

Posted by: doughless | October 13, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

just because some aspire to be a Red Wings clones doesn't mean the rest of the NHL does.

Posted by: doughless | October 13, 2009 2:17 PM


Apparently, the Red Wings don't want to be Red Wings clones anymore either since they signed Brad May last week. At $500,000 that's quite a good pick up, cheap sand paper right there.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Last season: Alexander Semin in 62 games 34 goals 45 assist 79 points and +25, 77 PIMs. The +/- was a complete turn around from his effort in the 2007-08 season. He is maturing. Based on his interview regarding how fans call for his, and his team mates heads, when he leaves, we won't get squat because he will probably walk as a free agent to the KHL. When that happens there is nothing that guarantees draft picks or right to match. That's not a stretch either because he'd simply be going home and making good money to do so.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 13, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Be interesting to see if Nyls plays...

Posted by: Sonyask | October 13, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

More from Corey post-practice:

* Boudreau said Brian Pother didn't play after the Devils' second goal because he "wasn't playing very well." Then he said Pothier might have played in overtime but the penalty messed up the pairings and prevented it.

Pothier, understandably, wasn't in the best of moods after practice.

* Tried to talk to Michael Nylander today, but he declined. He and Boudreau had a lengthy conversation after practice, and the coach said it was about "life" and not about his role on the team or playing time.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

fanock: Kyle Wilson had an impressive NHL career by the way. McKee and Peca went to the Finals, that is a fact, but alas, no Cup.

-------------------------------------
good god dude, please stop. Kyle Wilson? Are you serious? ??

And by your logic, a player who goes to the Cup but doesn't win it is automatically a worse player than a player who happens to be on a winning Cup team? Are you that stupid? So lets see, Dale Hunter and Rod Langway never won Cups. I guess that means the Devils' Ken Daneyko was a better defenseman than Langway was. And obviously Randy McKay was a better player than any other player who has ever played in the NHL but just hasn't won a Cup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

so far this season, Pothier has been one of our most consistent d-men. i think BB has some misplaced angst.

Posted by: doughless | October 13, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, too bad we let Brashear and his salary go to NY. He's -1 on a team that is on a 5 game winning streak. Oh yeah, he had a good fight yesterday. That's worth 1.4 million.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 13, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

i love emotional and subsequently DUMB you get with your comments. You have a coupla fans discussing a fight between Brash and Orr, and you get your panties all bunched up and decide to make that into some silly argument that doesn't even exist. No one here's making a case for Brashear to still be with the Caps. You're gonna have to try harder if you want to just argue.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

With great expectations, come great disappointments. What I think always needs to be remembered is there are 82 regular season games. Things will balance out.

If I remember correctly:
07-08 after 6 games - 3 3 0
08-09 after 6 games - 3 2 1
Now after 6 games - 2 2 2

Patience, grasshopper, patience.

Posted by: jdhoover | October 13, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Forgot this part - This is relevant for trading this player I don't like or beating up this other player that I think sucks etc.

Posted by: jdhoover | October 13, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Last season: Alexander Semin in 62 games 34 goals 45 assist 79 points and +25, 77 PIMs. The +/- was a complete turn around from his effort in the 2007-08 season. He is maturing. Based on his interview regarding how fans call for his, and his team mates heads, when he leaves, we won't get squat because he will probably walk as a free agent to the KHL. When that happens there is nothing that guarantees draft picks or right to match. That's not a stretch either because he'd simply be going home and making good money to do so.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 13, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

He's maturing? Really? So why did Boudreau finally have to call out Semin ? You could tell by his comments that he considers Semin to be a repeat offender for bad and selfish penalties. Apparently Bruce doesn't think Semin has matured.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree cstanton1! Scoring goals is only half of the equation. Numerous teams in this league will be able to score with the Caps. Stopping the other team from scoring is a necessity as well. Why hoarde a bunch of scorers if you can't stop anyone. 4 losses out of 6 is NOT the end of the season, but giving up leads in the 3rd when we should be shutting teams down is discouraging. Scoring is for women and children. In your face, grinding, painful hockey is for the GODS!!!

Posted by: IamThehockeyGod | October 13, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Fanock: It's amazing that if one doesn't agree with your opinion, they're an idiot. The mutual respect is obviously out the window.

------------------------

mutual respect? You mean the mutual respect you showed when I suggested Semin can be traded for good value and gave some historical context for a similar situation in the past where a team traded a highly skilled young player and got back more than equal return? Instead of discussing it in a non-emotional way, you make a ridiculous assertion that I only want to trade Semin for a bunch of goons. So much for mutual respect.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Schultz-Juice sounds like an incredibly slow pair.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 13, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

grumpy in here today...losing sucks.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 13, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I agree cstanton1! Scoring goals is only half of the equation. Numerous teams in this league will be able to score with the Caps. Stopping the other team from scoring is a necessity as well. Why hoarde a bunch of scorers if you can't stop anyone. 4 losses out of 6 is NOT the end of the season, but giving up leads in the 3rd when we should be shutting teams down is discouraging. Scoring is for women and children. In your face, grinding, painful hockey is for the GODS!!!

Posted by: IamThehockeyGod | October 13, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

We definitely need to stiffen up defensively. But if you can get good return for a Semin (i.e. top 4 dman still in his 20s, maybe a rugged scoring winger in the mold of a David Backes), then you don't need a 1-for-1 return on a trade in terms of goal equivalent. Semin is a high risk high reward player and you either keep rolling the dice with that kid and hope he figures out what it takes to be a more complete player, or you trade him now while his value is still high.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

New post, maybe we can leave the arguing on this one!

Posted by: PhilR | October 13, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli More grit? Really? The Caps have enough guys that can stand in front of the net. They need more guys that can put a puck in a wide open net and guys that can make a play so that a gritty player can put the puck in the net. They need another finesse player to go along with the grit.

@fanohock1 Arguing the Semin case is pointless. If he doesn't has 1 turnover people will proclaim he is the worse player on the ice. I find it amusing that people will rave about every great pass the Backstrom makes yet won't acknowledge that it is often Semin who sets the play in motion. They won't be happy until he's gone.

@MetalCapsFan I can't believe BB said Pothier didn't play the rest of the 3rd because he didn't play very well. I not sure, but I kinda thought the 2nd Devils goal went off his stick, but that is crazy to punish Pothier especially when you're already down a Dman.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 13, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Schultz-Juice sounds like an incredibly slow pair.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 13, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

yeah those guys don't complement each other very well. I see a lot of blind hurried clearing passes in their future.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

New post, maybe we can leave the arguing on this one!

Posted by: PhilR | October 13, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

agreed...some fans just get a little weepy when you try and discuss potentially trading away one of their favorites, lol

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

He's maturing? Really? So why did Boudreau finally have to call out Semin ? You could tell by his comments that he considers Semin to be a repeat offender for bad and selfish penalties. Apparently Bruce doesn't think Semin has matured.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 2:31 PM

Do you ever think that BBs comments about Semin are personal? I have yet to here BB blast the turnover machine Dave Steckel or Mr. Good for an untimely penalty Gordon. And I've never heard BB say anything nice about Semin.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 13, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

If we're lucky, maybe all three got sent to Saskatchewan. I'm no hockey expert but its pretty clear to me that the offense is not the issue for this team. The Caps D is seriously lacking in skill and chutzpah. I've never seen a worse group of guys at playing basic D and clearing the puck out of their zone. Even when its 5-on-5 they look like they're down a man.

Posted by: dtc1 | October 13, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

strangely, I suggested those line combos myself (but only in a comment, alas, on the previous Insider post). I think it was a matter of time because Backs and Semin have always played very well together. And Ovie's good enough to play with anyone in any event. I agree that these are not number 1 or 2 lines, but two number one lines he'd roll out equally...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 13, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Chill, folks. Yes, it's been diappointing so far, but it is far to early to give up hope and call for blowing up the team. Consider the positives (and believe it or not, there are many):

--OV is **still** on pace to get 70+ goals this season.
--If Semin stay shealthy, he could **still** get 50,
--Bäckis could easily get 100+ points.
--The team defense IS getting better, believe it or not: for most of the DET game, we were out-trapping one of the trap-iest teams in the NHL, to the point where they (the Wings) were almost constantly getting called off-sides.
--Like him or not, Theodore has been more and more the goalie we need him to be.
--The FA acquisitions have been paying off; not only in goals-for but also in net presence; Knuble is--to a certain extent--causing opponenents to rethink their defensive schemes, b/c it's not just OV or Green blasting 'em in from the point anymore. Menawhile, BMo is bringing sneaky speed and sees the ice well.
--The PK is getting better--perhaps not so much in the shorthanded-threat department, but definitely in terms of pressuring the point & half-walls, and clearing the zone.
--Bradley continues to be one of the hardest-working guys on the team.
--Though we aren't winning much, we also aren't getting blown out.

Anyhoo, regardless of how much hockey knowledge, NHL Lore and Coaching/GM'ing expertise one brings to this table, the fact remains that NO team in the modern era has gone undefeated for an entire season.

cstanton1, consult your scrolls and tell me (because I confess that I honestly, sincerely do not know for sure):

What was the most points amassed by a team in a single NHL season in the modern era (from the 1960's on); which team was it, and when?

Whichever team that was, I will bet you real money that they lost some games that season.

I'll start really worrying if we get to mid-November and still stink.

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 13, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1: Hate to disappoint you, but I have better things to do than dwell on things that are an interest and not my life. Hence, no Caps cheerleader outfit but keep dreaming. The Caps will have bad games but you'll sadly note you thinking Semin should be traded now isn't going to reach the ears of the people who can effectuate that, much less be considered. Sorry to break it to you. I think the Caps will continue to take their chances with Semin staying on the team. Better than have him on an opposing team.

Btw, you don't have to respond to every post you disagree with. It's a tired schtick.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 13, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

It kills me --in fact more than kills me, if there is anything worse than violent death-- that the Pens are doing great. The likes of Rangers or LA Kings don't bother me if they have a winning streak.

However I am not panicking. In fact, whether I am right or wrong, a part of me is happy for some reason. Do you remember last year how the Pens, Carolina and all kinds of teams that were struggling in the first half of the season, suddenly caught fire during the last quarter? And we all remember how the Caps ran out of steam at the most critical juncture. Maybe it is good that they are being humbled now and shown how much is still left for them to become a great team.

ablake70

It seems that the general consensus, including BB, is that the team suffered from too many finesse players and too little grit last year. Knuble was supposed to remedy this but he is one person. To score goals, they have to crash the opponents' net some times and clear the puck when our goalie is being crashed, like yesterday. It seems to me that when the opponents are aggressive in a physical, gritty way, we start playing like individuals and give up any momentum we achieved. I think this is one of the situations in which lack of grit shows, isn't it?

Posted by: caraveli | October 13, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see Sloan in there. He deserves a chance.
I am looking for an update on Carlson and Alzner if anyone has one.

Posted by: jgrasse | October 13, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

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