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Erskine Gets Extension, Questionable For Tonight (Updated)

John Erskine limped onto the ice for the morning skate and stayed out there for the entire session. But he was clearly uncomfortable and Coach Bruce Boudreau said he isn't sure if the rugged defenseman will be able to play tonight against the Coyotes.

If Erskine can't go, Sergei Fedorov will take his spot on the blue line.

Update:I'm hearing Erskine signed a two-year contract extension on Tuesday. I'll try to get figures later today.

Here are some other post morning skate notes and quotes to get you ready for tonight's game against the Coyotes:

*I caught up with Erskine after he came off the ice, and he said he's in considerable pain and won't know until later whether he'll be able to play.

"I don't know, it's pretty sore," Erskine said. "When I push, it's really sore. It's kind of like a bad charley horse. But it's not a charley horse. It just gets tight."

*As previously reported, Jose Theodore will start for the Caps and Mikael Tellqvist will make his first start of the season for Phoenix, who have lost three straight.

I asked Wayne Gretzky about the decision to play Tellqvist over Ilya Bryzgalov, and here's what he had to say: "Mikael is one of the most liked guys in the locker room and the guys really like playing in front of him. He had a good camp and he's ready to go, and we need a big game out of everyone, and Mikael seems to give everyone a bit of a boost. It was the right time. Hopefully our players respond."

*The Coyotes are going to dress Brian McGrattan and Daniel Carcillo, both of whom will make them a good bit tougher. Carcillo is coming off a two game suspension for picking a fight with Chicago's Ben Eager while Carcillo was on the bench. McGrattan will be playing for the first time this season.

*Coach Boudreau said that he's going to be more prudent with the amount of time he's giving to Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green. Ovechkin, who is seeing some time on the penalty kill this season, is averaging 25:03 per game and Green is getting an average of 27:19. Green's total is fourth most in the league while Ovechkin's is the highest in the league among forwards - by almost a 1 ½ minutes.

"I believe I'm giving him too many minutes, no doubt about that," Boudreau said of Ovechkin. "It's not conducive. When you're playing more than 23 minutes, it becomes a little bit ...That was the game plan [in Calgary], but then you start losing and you start pressing, and when you're pressing, who do you want on the ice?"

"I would rather have him a 21 minutes and [so he can] be stronger," Boudreau added. "Nick, too. But we're trying to get them out of a slump so you keep throwing them out there. Sometimes less is more. We would rather have balance. But the game dictates that."

Pressed on the matter, Boudreau said he plans to keep using Ovechkin on the penalty kill - for now, at least.

"If you look at what I do," he said, "I put him on the first 20 seconds and that's it. He's not like a Steckel or Gordon. Unfortunately [Alex] gets trapped in our zone and he goes for 45 seconds, and that's what you don't want."

As far as Green's minutes, Boudreau said: "If he could play 20 to 21 to 22 minutes that would be good. He's playing 27, 28 and that's too many. It's not the minutes, it's the lengths of his shifts that are getting his fatigued."

That's it for now. Hopefully I'll have an update on Erskine's contract before game time.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 23, 2008; 2:43 PM ET
 
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Next: Erskine Gets $2.5 Million

Comments

1

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | October 23, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

2 defenseman down......not sure if he is ready, but how much longer before we see Karl? I guess it depends on how long someone is out and if long term then someone can be brought up and not count against cap....if I have the reading on rules correct.

Posted by: RichC3 | October 23, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm clearly uncomfortable when Erskine is on the ice too!

Posted by: BearsWoooo | October 23, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Poor Erskine. Hopefully Fedorov continues to play strong on D.

I would die happy if I'm Tyler Sloan and I get to be paired up with Sergei effin Fedorov, by the way.

Posted by: _jordan | October 23, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Okay, after two days of refering to their arena, does anyone else agree with me that this is the WORST name for a sports arena around?

(and if not, please tell me what IS the worst!)

armonroe - formerly RobMonroe

Posted by: armonroe | October 23, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Erskine questionable? Who knew?

Posted by: Greg S. | October 23, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I was just about to make the same comment about the name of that arena. It really can't get worse than that.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 23, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

armonroe, I agree 100%.

Posted by: GoCaps08 | October 23, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

armonroe

Yeah It's pretty bad. It sounds like it coould be Monica Lewinski's myspace page or something.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | October 23, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

@BearsWoooo,

You see the Bears all the time. Who do you think is more ready, Sami or Alzner?

Posted by: _jordan | October 23, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Erskine got extended? I'm so confused.

Posted by: _jordan | October 23, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused too, the only other blueliner who will be UFA is Mo (I think). If they ever plan to bring in Alzner/Lepisto, that is a lot of bodies...

Posted by: honed | October 23, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey Caps fans check out:
http://capsstop.blogspot.com

Posted by: bagasome | October 23, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

We shouldn't be surprised that Erskine got extended. Its probably at or below $600K a year. He isn't our best defenseman but he's not as bad as some of you make him out to be. He's a cheap option, and we will need cheap options at both forward and D if we want to keep guys like Backstrom, Semin, Alzner etc around at the prices they'll command in upcoming RFA and UFA negotiations.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | October 23, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

just testing the system. used to be just billd now billd2. who would have thought there would be 3 of us. LOL.
Will enjoy getting a second look at Sloan, hopefully more minutes due to less special team time.

Posted by: billd2 | October 23, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I would die happy if I'm Tyler Sloan and I get to be paired up with Sergei effin Fedorov, by the way.

Posted by: _jordan
----------------------------
Jordan: I just said the same thing to someone yesterday.

And on the subject of d-men, I'd bring up Sami before Karl. Karl looks good, but there also moments when I watch him and think "that's why he's in Hershey".

Posted by: tess2201 | October 23, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

@Boo!

if Lee became Leeguru i think you should become ChiefBoo

Posted by: SombreroGuy | October 23, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Clearly they must see something in the habitually penalty box-bound lumberjack (aka pylon) that most of us don't see, as I would think that Erskine would be the last one the Caps would want to sign to an extension.

Posted by: 1hockeymom | October 23, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey Caps fans check out:
http://capsstop.blogspot.com

Posted by: bagasome | October 23, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Typo

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 23, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

@Tess

Agreed. I felt the same way after the Norfolk weekend.

Posted by: _jordan | October 23, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Oy...Erskine. Erskine, as a #7 d-man, is fine. As a regular skater it's scary. Even when he is in position he takes bad penalties (like the cross check last game...he was where he needed to be and STILL did something stupid). I'll give him credit for being hard-nosed and willing to clear the crease on the PK...unfortunately he's often the one in the box creating the PK situation.

According to NHLNumbers Morrisonn, Jurcina, and Schultz are all RFA's next season. I sure hope that means we have Green, Morrisonn, Schultz, Poti, Alzner, and Lepisto (or another young'n) as our top 6, and Erskine as #7. If that's the case, I'm cool.

Posted by: Jeff_ | October 23, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

of all the players to give an extension to... we pick our clumsiest defenseman. What a terrible excuse for a big guy. Always out of position and rarely delivers the big hit. Hardly "rugged" in my book.

Posted by: zloss126 | October 23, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

this is weird that they signed erskine for that long. But either way congrats to the guy.

Does this mean we can punt Jurcina? (I will admit he's been playing better then I expected)

Posted by: goskinsgo | October 23, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Two more years of Erskine. Break out the champagne.

I was going to say what others have said about Jobing.com Arena. Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. Never heard of the site, either.

Posted by: JillC | October 23, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

And Poti and his contract might be on the move after this season, with Alzner taking his place at about half the cost.

Possible 09-10 blue line?
Green-Mo
Schultz-Alzner
Lepisto-Jurcina
Erskine

Posted by: SombreroGuy | October 23, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

1) Your unlikely to see Mr. Alzner much this season. For the same reason the Caps signed Erskine. As it was alluded to earlier, he probably got like 600-700 for the 2 additional seasons.
2) If the salary cap goes DOWN, even subtracting Fedorov's 4 ml the Caps are gonna have to make some serious choices next season, and having 1 guy on defense making a little over the league minimum helps.
3) In addition to Feds, this might be the last season for several Caps: Morrisonn, Kozlov,Jurcina and Brashear. Additionally semin might be difficult to retain beyond next season.
http://newfaux.blogspot.com/

Posted by: fauxrumors | October 23, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Extended Erskine? Uh, what? *shrug* I'm not GMGM, but I imagine it's a $$$-related move. Probably also minimizes confusion.

As for Erskine being questionable, mmm. Can't say I'll cry. I really liked Schultz/Jurcina out there, oddly. Which leaves Feds with Sloan - #89's going to think he's died and gone to heaven, anf if Feds does for Sloan what he did for Jurcina, we'll be cooking with gas.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 23, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Sombrero regarding the Lumberjack

Posted by: doughless | October 23, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

@Sobrero -- how long do you think we sign Mo for? And for how much?

Posted by: goskinsgo | October 23, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

find room to sign Komisarek on the blueline!! that should be everyone's campaign.

Posted by: doughless | October 23, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Sombrero,

Assuming Poti leaves, flip Schultz and Jurcina, so you get the stay at home/slightly offensive pairings that Boudreau is slightly fond of.

FWIW anyway.

Posted by: Section117 | October 23, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Erskine is cheap, but is he really a long term play? unless they think Green will develop into a sufficient two-way D that they can jetison Mo and pair Green with whomever, then we need to be thinking about having money to sign Mo again.

Here's my 2009 Blue line:
Green
Alzner
Schultz
Poti
Lepisto
Mo
Juice

Maybe Sami doesn't make it, so Erskine stays, but Erskine and Juice are duplicative. Erskine also only makes sense if they cut Brash loose and let Erskine do the fighting. That saves them 500K. Erskine might spend a lot of time bleeding though.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 23, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Mo will be gone. He's at 1.9 mil now and probably not looking for a salary reduction. And guess what, the Caps happen to have a guy with a cap number of 1.6 mil in Hershey.

Posted by: koalatek | October 23, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@Goskinsgo

In my opinion, Morrison is worth about what he's makingm under 2 million. I can't see him doing anything this season to warrant a raise. He isn't going to produce much offensively, but he can save Mike Green's butt when Green decides to become a 4th forward from time to time. I would have argued that Morrison was worth more like 1.5-1.75 but the arbitrator gave him 1.95.

I also think (hope) next offseason will be a different experience for UFA's. Teams won't be giving the Jeff Fingers of the world twice as much money as they're worth. As has been noted, the decline of the Canadian dollar will likely mean no salary cap increase, and a possible decrease.

Additionally, there will be some adjustments made to the CBA in negotations between the NHLPA and the NHL during June before the free agency period begins. Should be interesting.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | October 23, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

UFA's for 09-10:

Fedorov - $4,000,000
Brashear - $1,250,000
Kozlov - $2,500,000
Johnson - $812,500

RFA's:

Fehr - 735,000
Gordon - 725,000
Schultz - 763,889
Morrisonn - 1,975,000
Jurcina - 881,250

Posted by: Greg S. | October 23, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

OK.

If Erskine is out, Brash has a bad hand, and Bradley has stiches in his lip/nose, then who is going to keep their 5 guys with majors in line?

Anyone think that Phoenix is gonna bring the muscle on us tonight? I think we need to see Laich, Clark, really trying to take the body tonight.

Posted by: SA-Town | October 23, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@ SombreroGuy

Spot on with Erskine! Im happy for him and to have him around for two more years. He's a perfect scratch/5th/6th Dman on a team that has plenty of offense and is a bit lacking in the physical style of play. Its amazing what some people see watching a hockey game that I must be missing every night ;)

Glad to see steps instituted to sweep out the trash (trolls) It seems to be working so far.

Posted by: Riddler1 | October 23, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

wooooohooooo the lumberjack will be in dc for years to come, i was worried i was going to have to buy a new jersey

Posted by: powerstev | October 23, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

apologies for dropping Morisonn's superfluous N at the end of his name in my previous post.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | October 23, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Boycott BMW? But what would the overpaid, self-important yuppy A$$hats drive?

And I also agree with those that said isn't Erskine questionable every night? I would actually think him in the press box would be less questionable!

Dave, are you going to wake up at 5am to follow the caps game tonight?

Posted by: Leeguru | October 23, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Whee! No spaces in MY username any more...

Erskine... hmm. OK, I'm not GMGM, or Boudreau. He's got to have come cheap... I hope.

Tarik, do we have tonight's lineup yet? I can't stay up late enough to actually watch the game tonight - gotta work early!

Posted by: irockthered | October 23, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Hello everyone. This is the poster formerly known as Kim. I have three kids, so #3.

Shouldn't Jurcina also step in with some physical presence? I mean he is, well, large. I would so love to see him develop a little edge to his play tonight.

Posted by: Kim-3 | October 23, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey Caps fans check out:
http://capsstop.blogspot.com

Posted by: bagasome | October 23, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

@bagasome - We've got it. Thanks. Blogger's being a PITA at the moment. Will look after work.

Posted by: irockthered | October 23, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Based upon what is known today in terms of plans, I would suspect that Morrisonn is dealt at the trading deadline IF Alzner is ready to come up.

Brashear is resigned at about the same as where he's at now. This is "protection money" so to speak.

Johnson is dealt at trade deadline. Someone will need him and we have plenty of goalies to choose from in Hershey. This would be good exposure for them, and probably a pick for us next year.

Kozlov is an enigma. I don't think I'd sign him, but I see his value. I just don't know the guys in Hershey well enough.

Fehr, Gordon and Schultz will both want a significant increase, possibly double what they're currently making. I'd be tempted to give 1/4 at most 1/3 more and stagger the lengths of the terms (more on this later).

Jurcina I wouldn't sign, except now he's starting to turn it on. So I don't know.

Then there's Fedorov. Will he want to retire? Good possibility - he's 39 next month. If he doesn't, I'd suspect his offer will go down possibly in half. He still offers a lot of value to a young club like ours. He's been there, done that, got the tee shirt and got it signed.

The interesting thing to me is how well GMGM has spread out the signings. He's got 10 this year to do (one already down), only 5 next year unless Brash and Feds are signed one year terms and that gets it to 7. This makes the planning process really easy to do.

There's a boat load of kids to be signed in Hershey, some may actually get to play in DC this year. Who knows if some of them will get raised or dropped. If they'll stay down, I'm sure their rate won't significantly increase.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 23, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure Gordon, Fehr or Schultz can realistically expect significant raises. MAYBE Schultz just because of the possibility of another team offering a tall d-man with long term upside a bigger contract than we're looking to offe.r

Posted by: SombreroGuy | October 23, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

from the previous ...

Plumber Joe (I mean, rw-c ;-)):
Gotcha! We'll change it on the roster in preparation for the initiation. Please bring two forms of valid photo ID and eye of newt.

Greg:
But of course! Actually, I think I have to wait for Dave to tell me that it is official first ...

Sombrero:
I think that's what Leeguru used to call me! :-)

BearsWoooo:
I just can't think of a clever reply ... :-o

Posted by: Boo- | October 23, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm sort of hoping that the "extension" is actually leg extensions to help him skate faster and be less of a pylon. But that's just me. I can dream, right?
10 pm, oy. Definitely will be taking a pre-game nap. And studying during intermissions. I'll be glad when I sign my job contract so I can start slacking off on school and start watching hockey more. (joking)
Laich's going to have a big game tonight. Just hope he doesn't have to throw down, he's not very good (see Richards, Mike). Can't wait for game time!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | October 23, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

So I can't quite figure out why everyone is in a rush to bring up Alzner. Think of NFL QB's who sit and watch for a few years (Aaron Rodgers) vs the guys who get thrown into the fire right away (Jamarcus Russell). Who would you rather have? A little seasoning in Hershey could go a long way. Plus there's no way we can do it with the cap right now.

Posted by: WVPhil | October 23, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

WVPhil

Everyone thinks that since we signed him to a big contract he's ready to go now. Also that he's already figured into the cap limit at the NHL level. He's not. So we'd have to make room for him by getting rid of a few players. And that's NOT done by sending down to Hershey. That's being traded out of the Caps system altogether.

The words that the Caps management have used are "will be", "when he" and other adverbs designating future tense. These have been selectively filtered out by these persons. So phrases like; "Alzner will be the defenseman that we have been lacking..."; or "We will bring him up when he's ready...".

Posted by: Greg S. | October 23, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

They must be keeping him to fight.

That's all I can figure. I'm not an Erskine basher, but, if not for this reason, this doesn't make any sense to me at all. Alzner and Lepisto will be brought up at some point, which, though more expensive (which may not even be a concern by then -- maybe the cap will rise), seems necessary simply to field the best possible team. We've got Godfrey and Carlson in the future, as well, and if even one of them turns out to be NHL-worthy -- well, it just seems like Erskine doesn't have a skill spot on this team.

And I don't think Poti's going anywhere, either, unless he's legitimately played out of a spot, in which case we'll all be extremely happy in that it means we'll have a strong corps. I think he'll remain a Cap at least through another contract.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | October 23, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I bet the screen name Sexy Lumberjack is available. Or Dungeen of Doom. Hmm ...

So, any predictions for tonight? Glad to hear that Ovie and Green are getting less time - I prefer quality over quantity!

Greg:
"wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more!"
Love it! :-)

Posted by: Boo- | October 23, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Next year we also get the benefit of the ability to not count bonuses. At least to 7.5%, and defer it to the following year. At some point you need to pay the piper, though.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 23, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Erskine's song:

He's a lumberjack, and he's okay.
He sleeps all night and he works all day.

I cut down trees. I eat my lunch.
I go to the lavatory.
On Wednesdays I go shoppin'
And have buttered scones for tea.


But this is a family blog...

Posted by: Greg S. | October 23, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm laughing my butt off over here, because that's exactly the song that popped into my head when you guys started calling him a sexy lumberjack.

Posted by: _jordan | October 23, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Greg S

Great analysis. Well thought out.

A couple of your opinions I disagree on though.

I don't see Mo or Johnny being traded at the deadline. With the Caps expectations of making noise in the playoffs this year, I don't see them leaving themselves vulnerable to ineffective play or injury at the goalie position. Should Jose falter or get injured post trade deadline, I don't see the Caps willing to tap one of their rookies from the minors on the shoulder and telling him just stop the puck. As far as MO, I'm not quite as convinced he won't be moved but I still think it's a long shot. If BP makes it back into the lineup and plays well, I could see it possibly happening. Otherwise, he's too valuable to a team like the Caps with high expectations and who aren't particularly deep on experienced, effective Dmen as it is.

Posted by: Riddler1 | October 23, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Greg S,
Nice reference. I remembered my cousin teaching me that song when I was a kid. Neither of our moms were very impressed.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | October 23, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Greg S,

Erskine wears women's clothing and hangs out in bars...?

Posted by: Steve_R | October 23, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Greg:
Hmm ... I am seeing a trend here ... can I ask what your favorite TV show is? ;-)

Posted by: Boo- | October 23, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

He's a big BBC fan apparently. XD

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | October 23, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I love Monty Python, no doubt!

I always wanted to be a lion tamer, too! I even have the hat that says "Lion Tamer" on it in great big neon letters!

Posted by: Greg S. | October 23, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

...

So who's Erskine's background singer? We know Ovi likes goofy hats ....

Posted by: kittypawz | October 23, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mauree | October 23, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

BBC America. Monday nights is "Top Gear" and Friday nights "Dr. Who" interspersed with Monty Python. If they'd broadcast Caps hockey, I wouldn't really need another channel.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 23, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Man, this Blog is like some sort of Spanish Inquistion...

Posted by: WVPhil | October 23, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Not the Comfy Chair!

Posted by: Steve_R | October 23, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

You never expect the Spanish Inquisition!!!

Posted by: Greg S. | October 23, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

regarding the bonus cushion being back, that will help if we have to go over to pay for bonuses, but we have to be under in the following season by the same amount we went over.

In other words, if you use the bonus cushion, your salary cap for the next season is X - amount of bonus cushion needed.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | October 23, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz, GregS, et. al. -

Ovechkin, Bäckström and Semin in the background...

and now I must make the video...

MY EYES!!!

Posted by: irockthered | October 23, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

OK, guys. Let's grim up.

Final score 7-3 Caps. AO on the scoreboard. I'll be honest. I probably won't watch all of it. Lord knows I need my beauty rest.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 23, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh no! MP has taken over! LOL!!! :-)

Posted by: Boo- | October 23, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Greg:
I saying 3-2 Caps - Ovie, Semin and Nyls.

Posted by: Boo- | October 23, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Greg and Boo:
I think we're due for a good one tonight...Caps win 4-1. Goals from Ovie, Flash, Brooks and Greenie.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 23, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S. Good analysis.

I don't think Johnny goes at the deadline. He's not the kind of goalie people want as the insurance heading into the playoffs. One of the two Chicago goalies on the other hand.... Mo at the deadline, maybe. I think that goes back to my comment as to how much of a 2 way D Green becomes.

Kozlov isn't coming back. Ditto Fedorov. I don't know if the latter retires or moves on (my guess is retires). And, IMHO, he will have been worth 4 million. Either the young Russians pick up his good habits or they don't.

Gordon porbably stays if Fedorov leaves. But, as much as I like the guy, he's eminiently replaceble. Hell, we can even get Halpy back, probably at a discount. I think he's an FA again next year.

Schultz and Fehr are interesting. Schultz stays, but I bet he only get 1.5-1.9, depending on how his year goes. Fehr's number is too variable to predict, especially since he isn't playing. I personally think the guy has way more native talent than Flash, Bradley and Gordon, but its hard to grow as a player sitting next to Tarik in the press box. He's big enough, IMHO, to play Kozlov's role on the RW with Ovechkin, but they haven't really given him a chance.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 23, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Let's go 4-2 Caps. Two from Semin reunited with Nyls due to Fed back on D tonight. Backstrom gets off the schnide and Laich gets a much needed ugly PP goal.

Posted by: WVPhil | October 23, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

So, does anyone know the forward lines for tonight?

Posted by: CapsRockTheRed | October 23, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I think it all depends on Erskine who appears to be a game time decision.

Posted by: WVPhil | October 23, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

How could Erskine be a game time decisions if he couldn't skate this morning and he's still limping?

Posted by: mauree | October 23, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Forgive me, Tarik, but I must ask the question(s):

How is our friend Brian Pothier managing with his recovery? Has he made any more progress since you last reported?

Enjoy Phoenix- and let's go Caps!

Posted by: Terptwin | October 23, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Mauree

How could Michael Jordan put up 30+ pts in the playoffs with the worst case of the flu you've ever seen? :)

Not that Erskine is Jordan or anything, but these guys are big time athletes and somehow manage to do amazing things all the time.

Posted by: WVPhil | October 23, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

@jordan

hey im a bears season ticket holder...i would have to say lepiso is more ready than karl...this is just my opinion...but i dont really think karl is near as good as sami

Posted by: bearsfan26 | October 23, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Well if you play with a flu the only negative is you're weak (ok, not if you are MJ)... if you play hockey limping, chances are you could really injured yourself.

Posted by: mauree | October 23, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm with mauree. Would much prefer that Erskine didn't skate for his sake. Don't push it, dude, or you'll miss a lot more than one game.

Put Feds with Sloan - he'll learn good habits, and Sloan would benefit so much from a pairing with Feds in this game it's unreal.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 23, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

(let me open a parenthesis here:

Tarik:
I'm happy about the signing in, I think it will enhance this blog a lot.

Is there any chance to introduce an "edit" button for our posts? Sleep deprivation, beer, happy pushy finger and my poor English drive me crazy sometimes :D

close parenthesis)

Posted by: mauree | October 23, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Mauree

Point taken. Perhaps a bad example on my part. Rather than expand on that, let's just say it's possible he could get treatment on it after practice and it could get better.

Whether they are better off or not with him in the lineup (healthy or not) is a whole different argument.

Posted by: WVPhil | October 23, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

In the end, if the Caps we love show up, it doesn't matter who's on the ice, we'll win.

I'm still a bit afraid about the Coyotes... they could play sparkling and fast hockey, and they play at home after 3 straight losses... if we don't really bring it on it could be troubles.

C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS! (I learned that one at Verizon center :D )

Posted by: mauree | October 23, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Is there another place other than the Turtle to have a drink before or after the game on Tuesday thats close to Verizon (Pref.within a block or is the Turtle still my best bet

Posted by: washingtoncapitals | October 23, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how this works, and who's going to move to make room, but for this team to be a true threat IMO, it will need a journeyman-type veteran defensive defenseman. Yeah, I know guys like Jay McKee and Willie Mitchell make no headlines, but they also rarely make defensive mistakes, and they know how to poisition themselves (ahem....lumberjack). We have an exciting combo with Green paired with (Mo, or really, anybody), but we need SOLID defending from the rest of our D. We dont have it now.

Posted by: Pivonka | October 23, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik - I'm with Mauree about the "edit" button.

Also - there have been a lot of questions about Brian Pothier. How IS he doing? I'm more concerned that he's able to play with his kids than play hockey, but still...

Posted by: irockthered | October 23, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

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