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Erskine Set to Return

Here's the latest from KCI:

John Erskine will return to the lineup tomorrow against Edmonton, and based on practice, he'll be paired with Mike Green. Jeff Schultz also practiced, but he's got to see the doctor about his surgically repaired finger, so he's questionable. Tom Poti also participated in the team practice, but he came off early (and isn't eligible to return until Wednesday anyway).

Boyd Gordon (back spasms) will be out again tomorrow; Sergei Fedorov will return.

Some other nuggets for you:

*Coach Bruce Boudreau, for one, is excited to have Erskine back. He brings a level of physicality the Caps' D-men as a whole sometimes lack.

"He's a presence out there," Boudreau said. "Same as Brash. So people a) don't take liberties and b) people think that he's a physical guy [but] he's a pretty good defenseman, too. He played 20 minutes a game in the playoffs last year and was quite accountable on every shift."

"He has some faults like everybody else," Boudreau added. "But he's a good acquisition when he's out there. I like having a big, physical team."

I'll have a story on Erskine in tomorrow's paper.

*If Schultz can't go tomorrow, it's likely the Caps will have to recall Tyler Sloan or Sean Collins (or someone else) from Hershey.

*Last week, Brian Pothier flew to Denver to be examined by Dr. James Kelly, the noted concussion specialist, and was hoping to receive medical clearance to resume playing. But Kelly, according to Pothier, told the defenseman he's not ready yet.

"I was optimistic," a clearly disappointed Pothier said.

Pothier said he will spend another few weeks getting therapy before attempting to get clearance again. There is no date set for his next appointment with Kelly.

You think the Caps' salary cap juggling is complicated/confusing now? Wait until Pothier gets clearance.

*Boudreau dedicated a large portion of today's practice fine tuning the power play. The unit is ranked sixth in the NHL (22.5 percent), but it's only 3 for the past 21 opportunities, including 0 for 6 in the loss to Columbus and 1 for 4 against Montreal.

The unit that received the most time in practice had Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin up front and Fedorov and Green on the points.

Doesn't hurt that the next opponent, the Oilers, are ranked 28th in the league in penalty kill efficiency.

*Speaking of the Oilers, lots of the talk after today's practice already was looking ahead to Wednesday's showdown in Pittsburgh, where it will be Ovechkin vs. Malkin and Semin vs. Crosby.

When asked about the well-publicized Russian interview with Semin in which Semin said, "What's so special about" Crosby?, Ovechkin, Semin's closest friend on the team, said: "It's a long time ago" and that it was a big deal only because "he said those things about Crosby. He picked [Chicago's Patrick] Kane and Crosby. It's his choice."

That's all for now.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 12, 2009; 12:41 PM ET
 
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Comments

Green and Erskine? That sounds like the defensive paring from hell.

Posted by: ratgurl46 | January 12, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

*Pairing. I don't proofread well enough.

Posted by: ratgurl46 | January 12, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Let's win tomorrow and takes some momentum with us playing Pitt on Wed.

Posted by: cbs75 | January 12, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@Ratgurl

I agree - do they cough-up the puck to each other and hope everything works out?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 12, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday!!!!! CROSBY! SEMIN! Will they rumble? Will Crosby sissy-jump Semin? Will Semin break out his bongo playing skills on Crosby's chest? Tune in this Wednesday and find out!

Posted by: RedBirdie | January 12, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

JMUGirl: looks like someone was in Harrisonburg recently: http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/horde_of_orange_monsters

Posted by: crooks_c | January 12, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I often thought that an Ovie/Semin line would be unstoppable...the Pens put their two best on the same line, right? But now that we've lost two straight with O/S, I'm wondering if it was necessary for Coach to change lines. Like...why try to fix something that isn't (or wasn't) broken?
Maybe we should put that old first line together again??

Posted by: al852 | January 12, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

How about we re-call Collins and Sloan and bench Jurcina for acting like Michelle Kwan at the end of Saturday night's game. He can do triple axle toe loops all he wants in practice, but don't do it with 20 seconds to go, in your defensive zone right in front of your goalie. I'm sure Gabby has had a few words with Juice about this, but he's not held back on scratching Nylander for his poor performances. Maybe it's Jurcina's turn to take a seat and re-evaluate things.

Posted by: mlewis31 | January 12, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

RITdude

from previous. What year did you graduate? 03 myself. Been back up for games since they moved to D1?

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 12, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I will be glad to see Erskine back...we need something to shake this team up after the past 2 loses! We really need a good home win tomorrow!

Posted by: NatyBG | January 12, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

According to the standings Semin was right...It is a non issues on Wednesday, and if the Pens want to get all hyped up...let em.....

Posted by: SA-Town | January 12, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Personally I would like to see him stick to SOMETHING with us now mostly healthy. I think the only question about Semin being on the 1st or 2nd is "Is that were he wants to be?". Should this matter? Hell no. Does it matter where he is concerned? I think so. I think he loves to play with his best buddy and if they are kept together they are going to be lethal. The second line consisting of Flash-Feds-Kozlov is a legit scoring threat. I still would like to see Steckel-Fehr kept together, and I dont care about the rest. But whatever BB comes up with, stick with it, lets get some good looks at chemistry going into the playoffs.

Posted by: WTF_Fehr | January 12, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention the Pens play @ Philly tomorrow. The only time I ever like Philly is when the play a team the night before we face them. Pens will be good and tired for our game Im sure.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 12, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

8/19/28
14/91/25
16/39/21
10/87/17 (until 15 returns)

17 and 92 odd men out in the short term.

Posted by: saintex | January 12, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

physicality includes TRAFFIC IN FRONT OF THE NET

Posted by: doughless | January 12, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

my erskine jersey is relevant again!!

Posted by: _stevo | January 12, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I actually really like the Green and Erskine pairing. We'll see how it plays out. I'd prefer Schultz and Erskine though. The key (as can be seen with Alzner) is to pair Jurcina and Erskine (our two strongest *potentially* physical D who used to be paired together to disastrous effect) with faster, better puck movers. I like where BB's big moon-shaped head is at! but I still think Ovie-Backie-Semin-Green all on the same powerplay is odd...who crashes the net for deflections and garbage rebounds?????? Don't get why BB is stubborn about that line and about Ovie-Backie-Semin top line. overkill.

Posted by: MTB7 | January 12, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

My problem with Erskine-Green...Green loves to carry the puck and inevitably coughs it up when he takes on 4 defenders...that leaves Erskine alone in his own zone and he is not the smartest and especially not the fastest to recover. Scares me.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 12, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Mark my word: THIS TEAM WILL LOSE TO THE OILERS TOMORROW. Simple reason: once again, they are looking past an opponent for the next game.

May be after tomorrow night's debacle, they will learn that every game matters in this league.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | January 12, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Kind of bummed Stortini's gone from their lineup, would have liked to seen him throw down.

Posted by: Section117 | January 12, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dannyboy,
I hope you are wrong and that they aren't caught looking past the Oilers. Your losing statement is a bit overblown and if/when the Caps win tomorrow night, it is likely that you will disappear until the next loss so marking your words is pointless.

I am looking forward to the start of another winning streak tomorrow night.

Posted by: _Mark | January 12, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

saintex

Funny lineup you got there. Anyone want to take an over under on saintex's 4th line faceoff %? I'm gonna go with

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 12, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

When Pothier is ready to come off IR, I suspect he will be sent to Hershey on a rehab assignment before coming back active with the Caps. Would that count against the Cap?

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | January 12, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

crap. got cut off.

I'm going to go with less than 30%.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 12, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

_Mark,

Believe me, I'm really hoping I'm wrong too...

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | January 12, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Maybe when we play the pens on Wed. they can leave with Jurcina now that he is playing D like Gonchar.

Posted by: ds_kelly | January 12, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

MikeL

A player on LTIR can take a conditioning loan to a minor league team for 6 days or 3 games (whichever is quicker). At this time, he is still considered on LTIR and does not count against the cap. Team can request a 2-game extension to this conditioning assignment.

Regular injured players not on LTIR can have conditioning assignments of up to 14 days. I am unsure if players not on LTIR/Conditioning Assignment count against the teams # for the day.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 12, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@FFSEnough,

BB had them together for the Philly game so I should have listed them as 87/15/10. Gordon was 9/16 in that game on faceoffs. They were also scheduled to go together vs. Columbus prior to 15 getting scratched: Bradley was 2/2 in that game. I liked them together vs. Philly.

Posted by: saintex | January 12, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Kind of bummed Stortini's gone from their lineup, would have liked to seen him throw down.

Posted by: Section117 | January 12, 2009 1:54 PM


you would. He's terrible at "throwing down".

They don't need him anyway, MacIntyre's back in their lineup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 12, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

That lineup was based more on Gordon being back than Clark in the lineup.

Posted by: saintex | January 12, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

you would. He's terrible at "throwing down".

In the sense that he would have started something, well, yeah. The couple of times I've watched HNIC when the Oilers are on he's gotten into it.

Posted by: Section117 | January 12, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Dannyboy, hey. It's my job to be negative. And who said the team was looking past Edmonton? I think you got the fans and the team confused. I also think you'll find that this team cares much more about Philly than Pit-burgh, and it's only the fans who have been around for a while that really have it in for Pit-burgh.

Also, how come we only see you when they lose? You're like cheef, only slightly less hung up on GMGM. If you'd like for this group to do anything with your words except laugh and ignore it, you'll think, then post, win or lose.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 12, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

saintex

Thanks for clarification. I doubt you'll ever see 10/87/17 out at the same time, barring some unforseen line-change debacle.

As for Brads' 2/2 vs CBJ. BB was using random centers on the 4th line that night, with Stecks, Kozlov and Laich all getting time as the pivot for the few minutes they played. Brads was not the designed pivot for those draws. Stecks was tossed from the first, and Laich was tossed from the second.

I was shocked to see how many guys were tossed from the dot that night, and most of the tossing came from the linesman NOT dropping the puck. I think we had 4 or 5 in a row where our main pivots were tossed.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 12, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

That linesman was a tool.

Posted by: saintex | January 12, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@saintex: I like your lines, by the by. I think the thinking behind 8-19-28 is that you can't put enough defenders on the ice to shut down all three at once. I see both sides of the argument but personally like 8-19-28, and putting Nylander with Kozlov - those two seem to match pace well.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 12, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"Mark my word: THIS TEAM WILL LOSE TO THE OILERS TOMORROW."

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

What, are you going to give us your big conference championship lock of the week next? Did we all just call a 1-900 number???

Posted by: panic13 | January 12, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: nhcaps | January 12, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Dannyboy is like the guy at the Craps table that is betting "No Pass."

Posted by: doughless | January 12, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I think the Capitals should call up Patrick McNeil this time if the need a D. He looks good from what I have seen. He has a fair numer of assists and a strong +/- for Hershey too this year.

Posted by: jryder3 | January 12, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Mark my word: THIS TEAM WILL LOSE TO THE OILERS TOMORROW. Simple reason: once again, they are looking past an opponent for the next game.

May be after tomorrow night's debacle, they will learn that every game matters in this league.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | January 12, 2009 1:50 PM

mark my words, you (or i) have no insight into what the team is or isnt overlooking. the team was tied with one of the top three teams in the conference into the last minute of a game in a hostile environment, on the road in the second of a back to back, against a rested team. they did that w/ sub par goaltending and without their number two and three pivots, including one of their top penalty killers. if you are suggeting the team isn't mentally tough, i think you are incorrect.

given that this team rarely loses two in a row, much less three, i think you should be confident that they will not be overlooking the oilers.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 12, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are overlooking this years Stanley Cup and forward to next seasons SCF for 2 in a row.

MARK MY WORDS...

Mancrush on Komisarek
"Why did we resign Erskine?"

Posted by: JSchon | January 12, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"Coach Bruce Boudreau, for one, is excited to have Erskine back"

Well, Bruce, you are alone on this one.

"He played 20 minutes a game in the playoffs last year and was quite accountable on every shift."

Yeah I remember him breaking records for 'amount of times one player loses stick within 20 minutes of play'.

Are we going with the pulled goalie to even it up to 5 on 5?

Posted by: OviToSemin | January 12, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Re Semin being paired with Ovechkin: one good reason - besides the oft-mentioned space Semin would enjoy on the ice due to attention paid to AO - is that Ovechkin will look out for Semin and AO will definitely repay any opposing player for hard hits on his bro.

Posted by: WritingLight | January 12, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Re: Semin's comments on Kane and Crosby

So, if the Pens are supposed to be angry at Semin for those comments, are we to suppose the Blackhawks will be particularly kindly disposed towards Semin when they play? He goes into the corner for the puck and Toews quickly gives him a high-five?

Posted by: WritingLight | January 12, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Erskine must be a helluva practice player, because it seems we see different player during the games.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 12, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

RE: Erskine & Green... lumberjack can't make an outlet pass right? Just toss it over to Lambogreenie and they're set. What's not to like? :D

Posted by: rh71 | January 12, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@WritingLight: Good point. Very good point. I didn't think it was an accident that Ovechkin was looking for fighting tips from Brashear. While I hope that Ovi never has to drop 'em, it's not impossible.

Okay. Scenario. Who besides me would pay to see this? Crosby goes after Semin and sucker punches him. Ovechkin hauls off and drops Crosby. Of course, that'd mean he'd be up against Goddard, and I'm not sure he'd win that one for sheer lack of experience. Unless Brash stepped in.

Of course, a lot of people are waiting to see what Crosby does in this game, I think. I don't think Semin will start anything - he doesn't care enough. Crosby might, though.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 12, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

NHCaps

Liked the comment in that link, too.

" 9. Posted by Jerk Store Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:18 pm EST

it would been funnier in that washington pic if Semin was standing to the right of number 87... cause then it would have read Crosby Sucks Semin"

Posted by: Greg S. | January 12, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

And this one, too...

" 23. Posted by Runnin up on ya ! Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:56 pm EST

Cries
Rather
Obsesively
Sucking
Bettmen's
Yodle
*C.R.O.S.B.Y.* "

Posted by: Greg S. | January 12, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin/Backstrom/Semin is a really dangerous line but if they go up against a team that puts their top D pair on them plus a shutdown forward line not even that combo will be able to come up with much. And if a team is able to throw their whole defensive system and trap against one offensive line you really need to back it up with a second good scoring line. Any team with a good defensive system, one really solid defensive pairing, and one strong checking line can shut down any single line in the league or at least limit them to one goal. My main issue with putting Semin on the top line is that there hasn't been much sustained secondary scoring so the opposition only really needs to focus all their defensive efforts on the top line. If the mindset is to have all 5 players on the ice shutting down the opposition's three top guys, it's tough to break through and score much.

I think possibly Semin isn't playing at full potential yet and they are trying to get him going before putting him on the 2nd line. And Fedorov may need some time to get back to full-speed again, same with Fleischmann. I think they will be spread out in a few weeks.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 12, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh Leeguru ... DannyBoy, dcsportsfan1 and JSchon are marking their words - I thought you were the only one who did that?

stevo:
Going to the game tomorrow? If so, I will keep an eye out for the Erskine sweater!! ;-)

Posted by: Boo- | January 12, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Super is happy! Would the sexy lumberjack have found the puck twixt his skates, or would he have just knocked the snot out of the opposing player?

Posted by: Leeguru | January 12, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The Tampa fire sale is about to start. Any truth to us getting involved with a three way trade with Tampa and the Habs?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 12, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru:
I vote for B.

Posted by: Boo- | January 12, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

You gots to know McPhee has Tonya Harding under contract-- freshening up Erskine's concussion (you don't want to know how); messing up Sch-u-u-ltz's finger (ditto); and re-injuring Poti's groin (through yoga! get your mind out of the gutter)--whatever it takes to keep the Alzner fund stocked.
8-19-anyone. Flash and Gordon should skate together, just in case...

Posted by: redlineblue | January 12, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@boo

of course I will be at the game tomorrow and will certainly be wearing my black sexy lumberjack jersey

Posted by: _stevo | January 12, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

boo, mark my words, i'm not marking my words....what does that really mean anyway?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 12, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

@ crooks_c, lol. Except around here, they're looking for the nearest Starbucks.
@ _stevo, *shakes head sadly* When will you learn? We need to have a discussion about who it is appropriate to crush on and who isn't appropriate. At least JSchon picked a guy who's dated the Cuthbunny.
Steve_R, Who would you be interested in if it did happen?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 12, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

TFP is saying that the Leafs may be preparing to deal Tomas Kaberle. HMMMMM......

Posted by: doughless | January 12, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I heard that too Steve...

Tampa gets Thomas Plakanec, Chris Higgins, Shoane Morrisonn
Washington gets Mike Komisarek, 3rd round pick 2009 from Tampa
Montreal gets Nylander, Lacavalier

Posted by: JSchon | January 12, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Mark my words: "Phrase said before or after a prediction or declaration to mean: "You should write down what I say (mentally or literally), because it will come true or be something unforgettable." Usually said in warning or in a betting situation, so that you can win a wager or say I told you so later."

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 12, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Tampa would never go for it. Their ratio of forwards to dmen in a trade has to be at least 3:1, but they prefer 5:1.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 12, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I think Ovie, Backs, Semin is a fantastic pairing until they start getting cute. Then they basically just waste a minute and a half of ice time that would've been better served by 10,39,14 or similar.

Posted by: Raber | January 12, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Giving up Mmorrissonn and Nylander gets us Komisarek? Sounds a lil 2good to be true, non?

Posted by: redlineblue | January 12, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

From TSN:

What the deal might end up being is anybody's guess, but sources in Montreal say the actual offer the Canadiens have put on the table for Lecavalier does NOT include defenceman Mike Komisarek, nor is it likely to, but would see Tomas Plekanec, Chris Higgins, prospect P.K. Subban, Josh Gorges and a package of draft picks including more than one first-round pick going to Tampa.

Caps not included.

Posted by: jmhall1 | January 12, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@jmu

the sexy lumberjack is beyond acceptable to have a man-crush on

the rumors of us getting komisarek i think are a little too good to be true

Posted by: _stevo | January 12, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

JSchon,

I'd heard Higgy and Plakanec and maybe a D man to Tampa, with Marty StL mentioned coming this direction. But Komo? That sounds pretty bloddy good to me.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 12, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

_stevo, The only thing remotely crush-worthy about Erskine is that he has tattoos and is probably a good dad. But those shouldn't cause your level of man-crush. I just don't see what you see in him.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 12, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see Kaberle in DC - now that he is willing to waive his no-trade clause, maybe he will be in the mix. Any chance of this going 4-way?!? Hmm ...

stevo:
Does that make you a sexy lumberjack by default?

dcsportsfan1/JMU:
I prefer this definition (from UsingEnglish.com) ...
"Mark my words is an expression used to lend an air of seriousness to what the speaker is about to say when talking about the future. You often hear drunks say it before they deliver some particularly spurious nonsense."

Posted by: Boo- | January 12, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

RE: Erskine & Green... lumberjack can't make an outlet pass right? Just toss it over to Lambogreenie and they're set. What's not to like? :D

Posted by: rh71 | January 12, 2009 3:15 PM


cuz Greenie will just lose it in the neutral zone like he usually does :)

I think Bruce's fascination with Erskine is that he's the only defenseman we have who gets upset when a forward gets too close to his goalie. While that is an important attribute to have, there's no reason the rest of our defense can't contribute in that way. The coach needs to demand that. You don't need to be Chara to adequately react to an adverse situation in your crease.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 12, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

jmu,

Think Monty Python. Makes me chuckle when I hear Erskine called lumberjack.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 12, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Boo-, I like that one better too! XD The last sentence just makes it.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 12, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R, Oh I know what you're talking about and it makes me chuckle too. I just don't know what stevo sees in him. Unless stevo knows what he looks like in women's clothing? I guess that could be it.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 12, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

boo,

Kaberle in DC would be great, but we'd need to send Poti and somebody back Tor's direction to free up $. Or Tampa's direction.... The plot thickens.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 12, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin is easily the most lethal first line in the NHL when they are clicking. Case in point the game at Carolina earlier in the year. The injury issues unforetunately haven't allow for continuity of lines to get theses guys really locked in. I would say Boston's top line probably ranks first right now because they have been playing together almost the whole season.

With regards to the Power Play, I can't say I'm a fan of Federov on the point. I think you throw Laich in front of the net to man handle and screen for Ovie's shots from the point. That's how they score at will in last years final playoff push.

Posted by: CaliforniaCapsFan | January 12, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to send out a note to everyone. I know there is a viewing party but for some of us, Springfield is too far to go. So Wednesday at 7pm at the Mister Days in Clarendon, we will be getting together once again. Mr. Days was a huge big screen, great place to eat and drink and they have plenty of specials.

Tomorrow, it is $2 apps and drafts until 9 pm. So if you are interested, come on out and rock the red with us (or white if you are superstitious about it).

#94

Posted by: numero94 | January 12, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Steve:
You think that Poti would need to go in order to get Kaberle, even with Mo going to Tampa?

Posted by: Boo- | January 12, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The number of enemy standing unmolested nears Caps goalies is quite odd to me. In close, Quick Question Karl is the only one who consistently gets tangled up with, much less abuses, the vermin.
This good-host policy in the crease does not seem to have reached other teams. And I dont see Erskine as sufficiently unfriendly to make up for all the bashing Caps don't do down low.
I'd love to see Komisarek in a Caps uniform. Is photoshop a GM somewhere?

Posted by: redlineblue | January 12, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I think Ovie, Backs, Semin is a fantastic pairing until they start getting cute. Then they basically just waste a minute and a half of ice time that would've been better served by 10,39,14 or similar.

Posted by: Raber | January 12, 2009 4:48 PM

"pairing" means 2! Just sayin'....

Posted by: Leeguru | January 12, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Not a fan of Ovie anywhere down low on the PP... he would get much fewer shots (not to mention a worse angle) and we all know who has the best / 2nd best shot on the team. If they stick him right in the middle, that will draw attention to the middle... opening up - poor shooting angles or low percentage cross-ice passes.

Just some thoughts from somebody not being paid thousands to make these decisions.

Posted by: rh71 | January 12, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Boo, Mo and who going? Nyls?

Mo 1.9
Kaberle 4.25 (I think)
Poti 3.something

Posted by: Steve_R | January 12, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I have an email out to my 2 sources to see what is what. It does seem that Nyls is gone, and although the malkin thing is not quite dead, it seems the deal Jshcon has mentioned seems more doable.

Posted by: Leeguru | January 12, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Steve:
Kaberle is 4.25? Ouch. Well then, Poti it is! :-) But if that's the case, then may Mo stays and it is just Flash and Nyls going with Poti? We're deep up front - if we need to add anyone to the trade list it should be a forward. I don't think it makes sense to lose Mo AND Poti, ya know?

Posted by: Boo- | January 12, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

True Boo, but that way we keep Alzner up and still have the Bears' guys in reserve as needed on D. Mo's 1.9 isn't worth it.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 12, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Steve:
I want more D than that ... and after all, it is all about me, right? ;-)

Posted by: Boo- | January 12, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

numero94

I'm going to try again to get there for Weds game. They having the $2 apps and drafts then, too? Or is today Tues and I'm just confused. Or did I work through last night and didn't realize it - it kinda feels like it.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 12, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget that Nyls has a "no trade clause."

I think the first line is more effective with Kozlov on it. He will go in the corners and get the puck. He is essentially a one man cycle in the corners really. When Semin is out there, you lose a bit of that and a little bit of defensive awareness.

If you put Semin and Fedorov out there with Laich, I think that's a pretty good second line. I wouldn't put Flash with them, because once again, you don't have someone to pay the price.

As far as the PP goes, I don't see why they don't put Steckel out there. Let him win the faceoff (which he will do) and then go plant himself directly in front of the goalie. He's the biggest forward we have right?

Posted by: WVPhil | January 12, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

WVPhil:
Once everyone is healthy, Nyls will start riding the pine again. Mark my words, he will waive the clause if it means he gets to play regularly.

Posted by: Boo- | January 12, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

*walks into room in Mickey Mouse pjs clutching teddy bear*

Hey its late but I heard all the noise about trades and was woken up. So are we us getting Karberle for Mo and Nyls (means we keep King Karl) or what?

I Nyls realises he's not wanted he will waive the clause. His wife wasn't a European style city and she would get that in TO. Plus his kids get a great place to develop too.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 12, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

94, If you're still having these parties at the end of the regular season, I may have to make it up for one. Do you try to do them for every away game or just the ones during the week?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 12, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

SteveR & Boo!

Poti's 3.5 thru 2011
Mo's 1.975 thru 2009

Kaberle 4.25 thru 2011

Kabs is 30, fast and can pass. His 26 points are nice, but the -10 not so much.

Poti's 31, 10 points and +6.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 12, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Greg:
Kabs +/- will improve when he is playing with the Alexes.

Posted by: Boo- | January 12, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

From The Hockey News:

"While [Senator's GM] Murray has discussed trades with other teams, he's not prepared to mortgage the future to save this season. That means no blockbuster deal appears imminent, nor does the arrival of any big-name players to bail out his club."

The article went on to say that he's not dealing away draft picks for a big name guy now in order to attempt to save his job and that of the coach.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 12, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Dave, are they footies?

Posted by: Leeguru | January 12, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru:
Uh huh ... his mom bought them for him.

Posted by: Boo- | January 12, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Awwwwww. How cute!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 12, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

We knew the college girl would like them! ;)

Posted by: Leeguru | January 12, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

XD You dudes are hilarious. I'm gone; class beckons.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 12, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Poor Dave - off to bed and can't defend himself ... guess we'll get an earful in the morning!! ;-)

Posted by: Boo- | January 12, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

He also wants out of Toronto after they asked about his NTC.

Speaking of moves. Anyone pick up this gem on THN?

"- Former NHL star Jaromir Jagr stated last week he wouldn’t rule out a possible return to the league in the future.

Jagr, who signed a two-year contract last summer with Omsk of Russia’s Kontinental League, suggested he’d consider signing with either the Rangers or Penguins, two of his former NHL clubs.

Of course it’ll depend on whether or not those two teams are willing to sign him. Jagr claimed he’d be willing to play for the league minimum to rejoin the Penguins out of gratitude to team owner and former teammate Mario Lemieux for all he did to help him develop into a star."

I'd like to pick him up just to dump him on waivers.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 12, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

GREEN AND ERSKINE??? you've got to be kidding me.. that's ridiculous... does anyone know who alzner is with...if anyone?

Agreed that maybe BB should put 8-19-25 together and put 28 on a line with 91 and 21...I dont know..just guess. anything would be better than the recent line combinations. I love the 8-19-28 line but it just hasnt been productive.

who's in goal? Jose I hope..?!!??

Posted by: -19- | January 12, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't see Jagr coming back to the NHL.

(BTW, should have said Dave's MUM ... silly me!)

Posted by: Boo- | January 12, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Greg....

$2 apps and drafts are a Wednesday night thing. Tuesdays is $2 Bud and Miller Light and half price burgers...Not bad either way..

JMU....

Depends when school gets over but we do them mostly during the week but a few of us get together to watch weekend games...

Posted by: numero94 | January 12, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

So maybe this time I'll finish my thoughts... :/

Re: Kaberle. Since he's willing to move, perhaps he'll be more motivated to play. I could see this happening, but a lot of things need to line up.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 12, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure what the last 21 games look like, if anyone knows, let me know. But......the next two games could be in our favor.

Tuesday home agaisnt the Oilers
Fact - Oiler had a late game on Sunday night
Will be traveling on monday and will play a angry Caps teams comming off of back to back losses.

Wed. night againt the Pens
Fact- We both play the night before, with the pens playing in a more emotional, and physical battle against their top rival.

I am looking for 2 "W's"!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 12, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone recommend a site that tracks a wide range of stats? Including pp total points, points per game (powerplay and even). Tired of doing the math myself, thanks.

btw, Semin's points per game are nice, but Malkins are even better.

Posted by: WTF_Fehr | January 12, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone recommend a site that tracks a wide range of stats? Including pp total points, points per game (powerplay and even).

http://www.behindthenet.ca/

Might be what you're looking for.

Posted by: Section117 | January 12, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

No time to read any comments really, but just wanna say that I, personally, am not looking forward to the return of the lumberjack as some of you call him. I think Collins is a much better d-man. Much better skater, passer and even shooter. Just not as physical.

Also, I don't know about this pairing of Erskine with Green. Green, by nature of being an extremely offensive D can be caught out of position so needs solid cover. Erskine is not exactly that. Forget 2-on-1's. I get scared when Erskine is facing one quick forward 1-on-1. Edmonton is a great skating team (their top 6 forwards are all very fast), so if this indeed will be the pairing it'll be really tested.

Posted by: ranndino | January 12, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

ranndino:

agreed... green is a great offensive and defensive guy..but needs solid coverage..and Erskine is not that guy.. Sorry but i liked collins and even Sloan as a more coverage capable guy...

Love green but this new match up could be dangerous

Posted by: -19- | January 12, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Green with a post-concussive Erskine does not sound like the stoutest D.
Extra minutes for D forwards like Stecks, maybe? Green with "Sterskine" is a solid 2way pairing. Keeps some Russian powder a few shifts drier for Wednesday.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 12, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

@ JSchon

I don't see how the rumored deal you mentioned would work in regards to the salary cap. MTL has next to no cap space. Even by dumping 3 players in this trade they would have to come up with about 1.9 mil of additional cap room to accommodate Vinny's cap hit. Nylander's cap hit is almost 4.9 this season so I can't see how MTL can squeeze him in also. They'd need about 5.8 mil of additional cap space to make this deal, unless I'm missing something.

Also, I'm not sure it makes too much sense for Tampa hockey wise, but that's never stopped them before from making a deal, so possible.

Posted by: ranndino | January 12, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

ranndino:
The buzz about Vinney is all over the place ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 12, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

94, I've no Friday classes, so I can make it up for Thursday-Saturday night games towards the end of the February once my senior dinner is over, depending on my work schedule. I guess I'll just ask you once I know I've got some time off to come up that way.
I watched the Oilers game last night. They didn't do a very good job of screening most of the night. However, their GWG came off a semi-screen, so they might learn. Their forwards tend to stand off to the side, especially on the PP. Gagner, Brule & Potulny had solid nights. We do need to watch them sneaking behind the D. They did it a couple of times, and it worked once, with a Brule goal.
Looking forward to watching the game tomorrow night, even if its on 3-hour DVR delay. Should be interesting, especially with Erskine back and paired with Green. They could surprise us. I can just hear the convo between BB & Erskine. "Hey John, glad you're back. How's your head feel?" "Great, Coach, I'm ready to go!" "Good, good, I'm pairing you with Mike Green. I'm going to need you to cover him on his 'one-man breakout' routine." "Actually, Coach, maybe I'll give it one more day." "Nonsense! You're cleared to play, you were raring to go." And Erskine walks away grumbling. The TSN guy said yesterday, "Who does he think he is, Mike Green?" when a dman on another team tried to lead the breakout. Sounds like someone's got a reputation. XD

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 12, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

has the lumberjack ever been paired with green?

maybe BB will stumble on something that works


2-0 detriot, the datsyuk pass was pretty dirt

Posted by: _stevo | January 12, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

_stevo, you just want him getting top minutes. XD

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 12, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

haha come on jmu, how dare you say that. i just wanted the lumberjack to get the time he deserves

Posted by: _stevo | January 12, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Some would argue he doesn't deserve any. Not me, of course, but just saying...

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 12, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Weird, so much talk about good trades... but lately I feel the desire to win with this team, with their their huge talent, and with their defects as well :D

Watching the DET@DAL game... Holmstrom is so good in front of the net...

Posted by: mauree | January 12, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

MAUREE! Where you been hiding?

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 12, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

@Boo

was on vacation with my parents and gf in LA. Couldn't do anything but watch the score :(

Posted by: mauree | January 12, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Can we temporarily loan Brooks and a few other guys, maybe Fehr, to Detroit to learn from Holmstrom? Or do you think Detroit will let us borrow him for a few weeks, even a few days?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 12, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
Oh that's right - on vaca with your GFs ... ;-) We missed you - welcome back!

JMU:
I'm sure they would not mind if it was a non-game night ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 12, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but I had to post this. May not be hockey related, but it is DC Sports related ... and pretty funny at that! :-)
http://www.theonion.com/content/news/tim_gunn_takes_wizards_shopping

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 12, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

little hockey knowledge;

you know the trade deadline is approaching when rumors about vinny start going around.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 12, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil:
There is SO much buzz about Vinney that I would not chalk it up to just being rumors. Where there's smoke ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 12, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

The Pens have PHI and the Caps back to back, then the Ducks, the Rangers and Carolina. They might actually lose them all given their confidence right now. I wonder what will happen...

Posted by: mauree | January 12, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

by the way anybody watching DET@DAL? Pretty good game, fast paced, playoffs-like level, awesome goaltending. Still, I miss the Caps :D

Posted by: mauree | January 12, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Whats the name of the song played in-game for the Caps music video where OV says"DC...ARE YOU READY TO ROCK!" I love that song please pardon my ignorance and help me!!

Posted by: psugolf | January 12, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

i think its called hell yeah by rev theory

Posted by: gringo132 | January 12, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Gringo132: Thanks!!!!

Posted by: psugolf | January 12, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
I was watching it - pretty interesting (and weird?) game. Should be a nail-biter in the 3rd!

psugolf:
That's the song, but they changed the words to "yell yeah" for the Caps family friendly version! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 12, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

@ mauree

"Holmstrom is so good in front of the net..."

Germans are so good at making beer.

Posted by: ranndino | January 12, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

@ boo

I know that the rumors are flying. It's just that when I read JSchon's post about this rumored trade my first thought was how the heck will this work with Montreal's salary cap. After I did a bit of research my hunch proved to be correct. I just don't see it happening. Vinny & Nyls combine for an almost $12 million cap hit this season and Montreal has less cap room that we do. Again, unless I'm missing something. Waiting for JSchon to explain how I might be wrong.

Posted by: ranndino | January 12, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

that datsyuk goal was sick

Posted by: _stevo | January 12, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

That was a heck of a game (Dallas v Detroit).

Did the Caps see all the traffic in front of the goalies? Did they see all of the deflections and redirects there were? How many times did Osgood get hit on his puck plays behind the net?

On Vinny

The GM said he's not shopping LeC - he's finding out what the market is for him. Is that what it's called now adays? And shouldn't he have done that this past summer BEFORE signing him to an 11 year deal? That's like buying a house without looking at any other houses or any other prices.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 12, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, if Vinny ever gets traded to Montreal he'll find out what pressure really is. Even when Tampa is playing like crap the scrutiny down in Florida is absolutely nothing compared to what would happen in Montreal. The Canadiens lose a couple of games and it's the end of the world. Hmm... kinda how some Caps fans react on here actually :)

Posted by: ranndino | January 13, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

@Section117

Thanks for the link!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 13, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Boo, That would be amazing. Our guys could stand to learn a thing or two from him. Who was acting as a travel agent the other day? We should get this happening, asap. Maybe Lee can call his people so they can call their people who can call Detroit's people so they can ask Holmstrom's people and we can have a semi-functional powerplay. And Brooks and Fehr can get another 20 goals apiece.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 13, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Lee,
No they are not footies but I do have some Sponge Bob slippers so my feet are warm. Thanks for the concern.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 13, 2009 5:26 AM | Report abuse

Dave,

Remember what I said last week how Liverpool would lose to Kettering or something silly? Do I get points for being in the ballpark for a Stoke draw and rafa acting like Rafa?

Posted by: Section117 | January 13, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Morning, folks. All hell broke loose at work and I just now got to read any comments after my last. There's no mention of the Caps in all this, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I think the only thing that's sure is that GMGM is going to do something that nobody expects and half this blog will complain about.

I'm concerned about Erskine/Green, too, but then I was concerned about Sloan/Green, and I thought Sloan was pretty solid in the Canadiens game. Who knows? The lumberjack might surprise all of us. $deity knows this season so far has been full of surprises of both kinds. I'm going to take a wait and see on this.

I'm looking for a bunch of points this week. After two losses, we need them badly. Come on, guys, a good effort tonight. Come out flying and ready to create traffic and score, because we can't afford a third loss.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 13, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Oh. One more tidbit - look at NHL.com's fan poll this morning. "Which team's recent run up the standings has been most surprising?" Washington leads by a narrow margin right now.

Everyone's all surprised. Ha.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 13, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Yeah the Erskine/Green pairing scares me too. I have visions of Green jumping up in the play and getting caught and the oposing forwards skating right by the not so fleet of foot Erskine for a 2 on 0 breakaway. Ugh... Of course I hope I'm pleasantly surprised and that instead it works out well. At least he'll clear out in front of the net.

@People making comments like the following:
"...Jurcina for acting like Michelle Kwan at the end of Saturday night's game..."
You've obviously never had the puck in your skates while your teammates are yelling "feet". Yeah Jurcina made a mistake and if he had it to do all over again I'm sure he would play it differently.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFederov | January 13, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I still don't understand why the Caps gave Erskine a new contract. The Caps do need a more physical player to set the tone in their defensive zone, but Erskine is not skilled enough to play the amount of minutes required. He is a #6 defenseman at best.

His salary plus that of Michael Nylander have the Caps over the barrel in regards to the status of Karl Alzner.

The club is going to have to trade a salary or two in order to gain the needed flexibility under the cap.

Nylander is the obvious choice, but he is 36 and carries a high cap number for the next 1.5 seasons.

A more likely candidate IMO is Viktor Kozlov. He carries a high salary cap number for a player that scores 15-20 goals a season, but has the size that another club may be looking for up front.

If Tom Poti comes back healthy he is another player I might look to deal at the trade deadline for another defenseman who has better size and is a bit more durable.

Poti is a good puckhandler and was acquired when the club didn't yet know what it had in Mike Green.

With Green as the primary blueliner on the power play, Poti's role on the team is less central than anticipated.

He could be of help though to a club that doesn't have a Mike Green and needs a primary set up man on the PP.

Posted by: leopard09 | January 13, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I really don't understand why the Caps start is all that surprising. I maintain that the Caps are one year behind the Penguins in their rebuilding effort (Pens got #1 in Fleury a year before Caps got Ovechkin)and both teams have as much talent as any others in the Eastern Conference.

What both clubs are missing is playoff experience and toughness which is only acquired through getting there and facing some adversity.

The Caps did that against Philly in a 7 game series last year while the Pens learned some valuable lessons in their series against the Red Wings.

The real surprise here is Boston.

Posted by: leopard09 | January 13, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

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