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Fedorov On 'D' (Updated)

With a game against Roberto Luongo and the undefeated Canucks looming tonight, Coach Bruce Boudreau appears to have changed things up. Sergei Fedorov is wearing a black jersey this morning and he's working with the defensemen. Michael Nylander, meantime, has replaced him as the second line center, while Boyd Gordon is centering the third line.

I'll have more on this after Boudreau talks to reporters.


Here's the lineup:

Scratch -- Fehr

Scratch -- Erskine

Johnson will start; Theodore will backup. (This was the plan from the start, according to Boudreau.)

Other notes and quotes to get you ready for tonight:

*About the switch on the blue line, Boudreau said: "I've been thinking about it all weekend and tonight seems to be a good fit. The other pairings [Morrisonn-Green and Poti-Schultz] went really well last game and [Vancouver] has a very good forechecking team and Feds can move the puck. And they are very quick up front"

*Just as important, Boudreau noted, was the need to get Gordon into a game. He was a scratch in the first two contests.

"He's a solid NHL player who hasn't played I two games and I don't want to leave him hanging," Boudreau said.

*As for Johnson in goal, Boudreau said: "This was scripted. I thought this first weekend I wanted to see Theo twice - once on the road and once at home. If you look at how many games he plays a year, that's 50 or 55. So this was a good chance for Brent to make his debut."

*The Caps will be looking to beat Luongo for the first time since 2004. They have gone 0-7-3 against the star netminder (who Boudreau coached in minor league Lowell) in that span. Luongo is 2-0-0 with a .926 save percentage and 1.94 goals against this season.

*The Canucks have scored 11 goals in back-to-back wins against Calgary.

*Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa returned to Vancouver to have his knee examined and is out. That's a huge loss for the Canucks.

*Boudreau was also asked about Backstrom's performance through two games. He's got an assist but, according to Boudreau, doesn't look 100-percent up to speed yet. The rookie of the year runner up missed a lot of training camp with an ankle injury and is struggling on faceoffs, winning just 28.6-percent.

"He's not where he was at at the end of last year," Boudreau said. "I don't know if he's a notoriously slow starter. I know him, but I don't know him well. He said he's fine. He only played 15 minutes last game, so maybe I need to play him more to get him into it."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 13, 2008; 10:15 AM ET
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Next: Rangers' Prospect Cherepanov Dies



Posted by: First | October 13, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Chief sucks

Posted by: Bobo | October 13, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Sit Jurcina!

Posted by: Section 400! | October 13, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I like Federov on D!! Sit Juice.

Posted by: hey hey | October 13, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse


either play him at D every game or don't... how is the team supposed to build chemistry when they are mixing it up?

Posted by: Whackamole | October 13, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse


Can you let us know the kind of ratings the Caps got on their first weekend on Comcast and where it rates with the Nats and Wiz from last season?

Posted by: ratings | October 13, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

comments awaiting approval? That's gonna kill the conversation, but will weed out some of the idiots.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 13, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

This is gonna be an interesting game. Federov is GOOD on defense.

Posted by: i rock the red | October 13, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Well why not? Let's have him play D and take Nicky's draws.

So who's more tired, 23 or 4?

Posted by: Steve R | October 13, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I hope this means Erskine will be sitting this one out. And I'll be glad to have Gordon out there!

Posted by: Jill | October 13, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Who is getting benched on defense?

Posted by: Russ | October 13, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I am excited for this. It shores up the D and also puts another scoring threat on the ice.

Posted by: Jordan | October 13, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"comments awaiting approval? That's gonna kill the conversation, but will weed out some of the idiots."

It may kill the number of comments, but can only enhance the conversation.

Addition through subtraction.

Posted by: Gustafsson | October 13, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Ugh, I don't like this at all. Not that I think Fedorov won't be better than Jurcina or Erskine, but this is not a long-term solution.

But, OK, would I rather have Gordon in the lineup than Erskine or Jurcina? Yes, I would. Maybe this is just the best way for them to get their 18 best skaters out there.

Posted by: blanket | October 13, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

... though my comment was not awaiting approval

Posted by: Gustafsson | October 13, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

That's great to hear that the D is going to have some good experience back there tonight. However, this move is still concerning. Again, I'm well aware that we are only 2 games into the season, and I'm not going to scream "the sky is falling", but if we need to pull Feds back to D already, that says something to me, something like: Well the *hit ain't gettin' done on D.

I have a feeling that the D core needs to either A)Step up and watch a ton of film & practice their butts off to elevate their game B)Continue playing this way for a while until Feds can shore up the blue line and teach some things to everyone (I think we can clearly see the leadership he provided down the stretch to our young forwards) C)Rough it out this season and see what pops up around trade time and start shopping around.

Just clarifying - not saying the Caps are screwed or done, and that won't change my enjoyment or enthusiasm for each game they play - just saying that as fans, we'll have to be tolerant.

Posted by: migz | October 13, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Smells like a high-scoring one tonight.

Posted by: Section 117 | October 13, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@Gustafson - its not as bad as I expected it to be. I was expecting more of a delay in comment approval but so far so good.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 13, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I commend Fedorov for being so flexible - not every super star offensive veteran is going to quietly move back and forth between O and D. I do wish they'd stick with something, though, I can't see how any chemistry or consistency can be built if he's playing with different guys every night. Plus, he's an offensive creator AND maybe the best faceoff guy on the team. A big strength of this team was having offensive fire power like Clark and Neylander on the 3rd line - now it just looks average.

Posted by: AJ | October 13, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

This ought to be a very interesting game. I like that BB isn't afriad to mix things up a bit. Vancover is looking very good, a good test.

Posted by: TheCapitalist | October 13, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Odd, I thought that the Caps played great dee for most all of the last game -- what less than 10 shots in the last two periods? Maybe BB watched enough tape to see someone on the blueline not playing so well (Erksine or Jurinca?). I'm a little surprised that either Alzner or Sami was not called up. I did notice that the Jurskine pairing did not get much ice time in the last two periods.

Posted by: JIM | October 13, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Based on saturday's performances, it should be schultz that sits but we know that won't happen.

Juice/Erskine make people nervous with their play, but schultz was the worst d-man on saturday and really needs to pick it up

Posted by: O-V-P | October 13, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Somewhere in Hershey, a Finnish man is biding his time..

Posted by: Jordan | October 13, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Nylander was great at controlling the puck in the game. Maybe BB wants the second line to keep the play in Canucks end more?

Posted by: JIM | October 13, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse


I'm thinking that at least 5-6 of the goals let in so far by our keepers should have been saves. How is the D to blame for 4 periods of poor goalie play?

Posted by: Steve R | October 13, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

although my first comment seemed to get filtered. I'll try again. Who sits, Erskine or Jurcina? I'm guessing Fedorov will play with whoever of those two is left out there, so he'll be fresh for PP duty.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 13, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

maybe Sergei begged BB to play D tonight. I mean Sergei said that he really likes to play defense. Very interesting. I hope it all works out tonight.

Posted by: CapsFanInHollywood | October 13, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

What is this comment approval of which you speak?

Posted by: comment approval? | October 13, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@Steve R

That is a true statement, and I'm attributing that to jitters & communication. But everyone else will claim otherwise. I'm giving Theo until the end of Oct. to make a final passing judgement. But that still doesn't excuse them from not being stopped either as a veteran goalie.

However in the Atlanta game on the PK's the D was terribly out of position quite a few times. I wasn't very impressed on how the D handled themselves until the 3rd period on the home opener either.

Posted by: migz | October 13, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

i think our d was pretty good last game, but moving the puck out of our zone could be a bit better, especially from a couple already mentioned d-men. that said i trust feds (or lepisto for that matter) to improve us in that department tonite

Posted by: mike d | October 13, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

For what its worth, Erskine is an even 0 and Jurcina is a -3 through two games.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 13, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

can someone tell me if theodore has always been a terrible puck handler or is this something new. he's appears to be a disaster when he has to play the puck. i have never seen a goalie turn use his glove backhanded and low on the stick. lets hope he has gotten all of this cheesy goals out of the way early...

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | October 13, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse


I dont know much about the Canucks, but could this just be a match up thing, where we expect this to be a more wide open game, as opposed to physical in front of the net?

Can anyone else chime in on this?

Posted by: SA_Town | October 13, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@ Sombero Guy -- I bet Erksine, he got beat to the corner fairly often on the dump-n-chase. Feds has much better wheels and anticipation. Can a defender take a faceoff? Maybe BB wants Feds to take FO's when a center is chased out???

Posted by: JIM | October 13, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

BJ starting--wow. So do we start up a pool for how long it takes Varm to be called up?

Posted by: JIM | October 13, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I got a notice when I first made a comment today that all comments had to be approved by the owner of the blog. Haven't seen it since so I guess they either approved by IP address or that was a temporary glitch.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 13, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I'd think that it's a match-up thing. The Canucks scored 11 goals in their first two games against Calgary, and they've got some good skaters on that team, at least from the limited time I watched the 2nd Calgary game the other night.

I'd hope a strong start leads to a win, since we play that team on Thursday on the road.

Posted by: Section 117 | October 13, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad he sat Erskine and not Juice. Juice is a and a physical presence that we clearly missed when he was hurt last year.

Glad to see Gordo get some time.

Posted by: Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) | October 13, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

This is not a smart move. When this experiment fails we will be seeing the sexy lumberjack again

Posted by: stevo | October 13, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather have Fed at center. Bring up a D if need be, Lepisto or Alzner. Fed on the blueline should be an emergency thing, like an injury or someone obviously sucking. But to just do it all the time, I'm not a fan of that. AND, if McPhee had just gotten a quality Dman like he was supposed to, it wouldn't be necessary, would it?

Not to beat a dead horse...

Posted by: oo7 | October 13, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Hey, at least we'll get to see Johnson's J.Crew portrait up on the Jumbotron tonight...

Posted by: Section 117 | October 13, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Thoughts on the
"Red Rockers"?

I thought they were hot!

Posted by: Girl Watcher | October 13, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have the stats for faceoffs Sat night? They could not win one all night it seemed. It was not just Backs that could not win one. But when they HAD to have one with down a man and goalie pulled,
Feds took it. And he did win it.
Maybe that is why Gordo is back in to help with faceoffs.

Posted by: Rich C | October 13, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Gustafsson | October 13, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Rich C,

50% as a team I think. Stecks and Nicky got their butts kicked. Feds was a total beast.

Posted by: Steve R | October 13, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Alzner will be here before you know it. He has more poise than anyone on our blueline. Trade Koz and a draft pick for a solid blueliner. I hate to think that there are people out there who would have juice riding pine with erskine in the game. Sure juice's constant give aways on clearing passes are sickening, but erskine's all around lack of skill is even worse.

Posted by: capsHSC | October 13, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Just a quick comment about things I noticed at the Bears games this weekend:

Varlamov looked good. Good positioning, quick movements, needs work on rebound control, gave up on softie 5-hole.

Alzner is a work in progress. He was out of position frequently, and got out-muscled more than once.

Lepisto seemed like he was tripping over his own feet all night, although I think the ice may have been crappy because other guys were falling down as well. It was very warm in Norfolk both nights.

Bourque looked like crap Friday, much better on Saturday. Showed good hustle and had some good moves.

Bouchard's shoot out goal was SWEET!

Posted by: tess | October 13, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Erskine is important when other teams are crashing the net, and trying to screen the goalie.

Like him or not, you have to have D-Men that can move people out in front of the net.

Posted by: SA-town | October 13, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Re: Fed on D - I like it.

Re: all the change-ups - good! Keeps 'em on their toes. Everybody should be able to play with everybody else.

Re: the Red Rockers - who cares? I'm not going to hockey games to watch T&A. I'm going to watch hockey.

Posted by: i rock the red | October 13, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Not sure how I feel about this as well...

On one hand I think it will be an interesting change-up and have faith in Fed's abilities on D. However, I think the Semin, Feds, Laich line has been moving really well together and would hate to see that broken up. Wonder how this will affect Semin's play of late? I think he's been fantastic.

As for Backstrom - I'd love to see him step it up a little bit. He's been extremely quiet...

Posted by: caps caps caps | October 13, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

There is nothing that says that Feds wont skate at C for some shifts tonight. It is going to be a work in progress. The main thing is staying off the penalty kill, because our D could get worn down quickly if we are in the box all night.

Posted by: SA_town | October 13, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@i rock the red

See, you need to look at the package as a whole....

It now has my three favorite things

(I guess that's four)

Posted by: Girl Watcher | October 13, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, the experiment is just about dead. I was able to keep some data for the first two periods of Fri's game. I was at the game Sat so I have no defender choice data.

The problem is being able to actually enjoy the game while keeping the stats. It just got too damn hard. If I'm watching by myself, I may try to continue to keep track, as I can stop the game, back it up and all that. But with friends over, I won't be keeping the stats.

I'm also not sure if the data I gathered from Fri night should be kept. That HAS to be a defensive anomaly in the season, and would probably be tossed during normal statistical analysis. Not a single defender had a good night on defense Friday night.

Findings from Fri night's data through 2 periods.
1. ESPN has all of the defensive handedness backwards.
2. ATL more often chose the Juice-Schultz pairing as a target for their top line.
-It was hard to find a clear "preference" here, with 3 entrances on Juice vs 2 on Schultz. However, 2 of the 3 on Juice were passed across to Schultz' side.
3. BB seemed to try to get the Poti/Skin pairing out against ATL's top line.
4. There was a very clear trend in dump-ins that I am going to keep an eye on for the next game I watch. Non Line-Change Dumps were shot from the Green, Poti and Juice side of the pairings almost 2:1 in each case. What this means, I'm not sure yet. Do players prefer to dump when faced with those players? Are they trying to isolate THOSE players OR their partner in a chase for the puck in the corner? I doubt we'll ever know (goalie wild-card has a lot to do with this)

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 13, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe i'm actually saying this, but take Jurcina or Schultz out. Keep Erskine in for the physical game.

Posted by: Thomas | October 13, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I for one am inclined to wait and see what happens - I'm not the Jack Adams award winner and I'm not going to sit here as a neophyte and question the Bruce's decisions.

Looking at JP's assessment of the last two games, I think I see why Boudreau shook up that third line. Maybe he's looking for better chemistry? I mean, we all know Nyls is a beast playmaker, so why so little fizzle on Saturday? Maybe that's it. *shrug*

Posted by: this space for rent | October 13, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse


That ice sucked hard. The puck was rolling all weekend.

Would you agree that Sami looked to be the more NHL-ready of the two? He was solid in both ends, and only got caught jumping into the play once that I saw.

Posted by: Jordan | October 13, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

More important than who plays (Juice or Erskine) is how much they play...they have to play less than 10minutes a cannot have them out there for 15-20minutes a night...Green and Mo, Poti and Shultz need to each play 25minutes to keep the 3rd pairing limited to just a physical presence...but I fear with Feds playing D with Juice, Juice will see way too much ice time for him to be effective!

Posted by: mike b | October 13, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

In what way does Alzner, a player who has yet to lace up for a regular season game, have more "poise" than anyone else on our blueline? In what way is he poised? Please explain and cite examples.

I hate to bust people's bubbles, but the lack of rookie/vet bonus cushion is a very serious reason we will not see Karl any time soon. He is TOO EXPENSIVE for us to carry on the roster until past the mid-way point of the season. He costs more than Juice/Erskine combined. We are only 700k under the cap right now, and to carry Karl WITHOUT TRADE OR LTIR consideration, we have to build 1.675M in space. What that means is unless somebody gets hurt on D, he's stuck in Hershey until past the midway point of the year. (we have to build enough daily average UNDER the cap to cover what he would put us over for the remaining games of the year).

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 13, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, given a choice, I'd call Lepisto up before Alzner. He looked good except for the ice problems. I tend to focus on defense more than offense for some reason, and I was especially watching Sami and Karl all weekend. Karl needs work. He's going to be very good someday, but he's not there yet.

Posted by: tes | October 13, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Just did some quick math. Without injury, we have to play Alzner-less for 47 games in order to build enough cap space for the remaining 35.

I don't know how the playoffs are figured into the cap, but if we have to be under the cap for playoff-games also, the Alzner-less stat would increase to @60 games.

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 13, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@ FFS Enough,
Playoffs don't figure into salaries. The salaries are based on the regular season. They technically don't get paid for the playoffs.

Posted by: Gustafsson | October 13, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Tonight worries me. The Caps have historically done bad against "hot" goaltending. They need to start off strong, not allowing early goals.

On a more fun note, the baby has finally learned to throw her hands over her head and say "GOAL!" I'm so proud...

Posted by: Leeguru | October 13, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

bloody Devorski is one of the linesmen tonight! Yuck. (Refs are Dave Jackson and Wes McCauleu; linesmen are Devorski and Andy McElman)

oh, and its Canadian Heritage Night at the Phone Booth, eh!

Posted by: birdie | October 13, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Yeah agreed Leeguru early goals like the one Vs. the Blackhawks are not good, we need to start off stronger. Poti and Schultz together again.... Ewwwww - Erskine Scratch? EWWWW .... Johnson in goal, It can't get much worse than Jose... I say give it a shot, even if Steve O won't agree with my goal tending choice.

Posted by: section 405 behind the loud guy | October 13, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Am I the loud guy in 405?

Posted by: stevo | October 13, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Johnson looked really good against atlanta, well actually he did look better than no way jose, but that isnt saying much

Posted by: stevo | October 13, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Lee, is she yelling "goal" when we score or them?

Posted by: Steve R | October 13, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I've liked the Caps' depth at center, but on the other hand Nylander's been under-utilized with such limited ice time.

I don't see that new 3rd line (w/ Gordon) as any kind of scoring threat.

Posted by: jak | October 13, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Loud guy must be the one who yells: "Doooooooo betterrrr". Annoying last season, still annoying.

Posted by: Loud guy sucks | October 13, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse


Well, she's just arbitrarily doing it. She did walk up to the TV during the Redskins game and do it, but it was a timeout. We'll work on it during games. Oh, and she does it in the morning when she wakes up, comes into out room, looks at the OV bobblehead on my dresser, and giggles.

I'm all for shaking up the D tonight. I blame the shakey start to both bad D and bad goaltending. Juice was squarely to blame for the 2nd goal, Joe Say for the first. That said, Joe Say squared himself up and seemed to get through that hump he needed to. Hopefully he is ok now. I was starting to feel like I did when Olie was there last year. Fear on everyshot.

Posted by: Leeguru | October 13, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Mauree do you have a link for the game tonight?

Posted by: Seahawk | October 13, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Should be the link for tonight. (I saved it from last season)


Posted by: Leeguru | October 13, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Tonight's game is on VS so you should be able to get it on most cable networks

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 13, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

That definitely earns you points with me. I may be called a complete girl but, awwwww.
Your next project is to Caps-style this:

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | October 13, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Those are the kinds of lines I like to see. I hope they're enough tonight against the Canucks. Didn't they have offensive trouble last year or something? Not the case now, anyway. A win tonight would quell the misgivings I had about the Atlanta game.

Posted by: Tex | October 13, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@Sombrero Guy

I don't even get versus. I'm at college and the only games that I will get all year unfortunately are the occasional games that NBC picks up.

Posted by: Seahawk | October 13, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse


You should have taken that into consideration when choosing a school. Let me guess: you were one of those that looked at "academics" when picking a college...

Posted by: Leeguru | October 13, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse


We're gonna have to discuss that 2nd goal Sat night. Cause in no way do I see that as being Juice's fault. Jose did a pitiful job of covering the post on that flurry. Clark got beat to the corner for the puck, and Schultz was out above the right-side face-off circle, leaving Juice to cover everything from the corner where the puck was, to the left side of the ice. (Flash by the way did a great job back-checking on the play).

Juice did a good job of not screening Jose, and of keeping Skille from getting any closer to the net.. Problem was the rebound came RIGHT to Skille's tape, before 55, 17 OR 23 could get there. Problem 2 was Jose's insistence that his 5-hole be open when he's GUARDING THE FREAKING POST. You have to be a WALL at the post. Force the players to pass around you or hammer one home by your skate. Having open 5-hole in that situation is just dangerous. as we saw.

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 13, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

By the way. I LOVE the new this year, and the WORKING links to highlights of each goal.

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 13, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse


I'm just in it for the hockey. Not a beer fan either.

I know, I know - blasphemy, LOL!

Posted by: i rock the red | October 13, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

FFS Enough,

I'll go look at it again, but from what I saw, it bounced in front of juice and he made no move to the player. It still may have gone in (Joe Say was screened) but that is what stood out in my mind.

Posted by: Leeguru | October 13, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

If you don't have TV coverage of tonight's game you can usually catch it on the internet.
You can try the Canuck's web site, they may show it as it is a road game for them.

Posted by: Duff | October 13, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse


try'm watching a stream of the StL vs Tor game right now

Posted by: Anonymous | October 13, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Also, the baby video is great.
It was part of a whole contest ran by the Canucks to find the ultimate fan.
Tons of prizes all year long for weekly or monthly winners, then last home game they brought them all together in one section and named the ultimate fan.
I think every team in the NHL should do that every year. It was great.

Posted by: Duff | October 13, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

@ FFS enough -- you are right. JT had his legs open holding the post, which is a rookie mistake. Juice played that sequence well enough for a competent goalie to stop a routine shot. JT has a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to stay a #1 goalie.

Posted by: JIM | October 13, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I support sitting Erskine over Juice. Juice had some decent plays vs CHI, whereas most of what I remember of Erskine are giveaways.

I was hoping to see if tonight if Theo had got all the jitters out in the first two and a half periods, but it can wait.

Posted by: AM Capsfan | October 13, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I like the move and I guess Gabby wants more size out there with Federov but through both games 1 and 2 I felt Erskine played better than Jurcina. However, I have to admit Jurcina picked everything about his game up during the second and third periods against Chicago. Hopefully Gordon will be as much a beast as Federov has in the faceoff circle or Backstrom & Steckel pickup their faceoff skills tonight.

LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Freq Frustrated Caps Fan | October 13, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

BB will either be condidered a genius or a chump depending on how this works.

Good to see Boyd in the game. I don't think he offers as much as Steckel all around, but he's not a stiff.

Question: Are the scratches still green? If so, I can use my green practice jersey with a 16 on it from last year (Sutherby) for Fehr. (Ok that's mean, but I would be shocked if he played 25 games this year.)

Posted by: old time hockey | October 13, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I very much doubt that that BB would scrach Green. Read the post it says Erskine will likely get the scracth tonight.

Posted by: Thomas | October 13, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

NY Rangers prospect Cherepanov is in resuscitation (heart stoppage)

Posted by: Anonymous | October 13, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about they typos. Scratch*

Posted by: Thomas | October 13, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@Cap Fan 1 - Delayed response

The Atlanta announcers said only two goaltenders they can think of position their goalie stick the way JT does and say, as others have said here, that it is generally frowned upon

@Caps alcoholics - Ultra-delayed response

Posted by: austinsteve | October 13, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Thomas, I'm 99.9% sure he was asking if the scratches wore green jerseys, not that the team would scratch Mike Green.

All things considered, I'd rather have Erskine in there than Jurcina. I thought Erskine had an extremely solid game last Saturday night. I prefer an even 0 to Jurcina's -3 as well. Regardless, both play similar roles, and I guess the logic is Jurcina has a better shot, and is bigger.

I would also like to say I am very impressed with Semin and Fleischmann so far. Fleischmann has looked VERY solid, and I see him going to the right places, and just holding the puck a lot better. And that shot block sequence was golden.
Semin, I was really impressed with when he was forechecking, and he stick lifted and nearly stole the puck off a potentially lazy defenseman right in front of Khabibulin.

Things aren't that bad, and I think we'll be happ with this team come May and June.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | October 13, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse


Green as in the color of their jerseys, not as in Mike Green being scratched.

Posted by: Steve R | October 13, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

RE: "NY Rangers prospect Cherepanov is in resuscitation (heart stoppage)"

It's now saying that he's passed away and the accident was caused by Jagr (his teammate) who accidentally ran into him. Any other info? I don't see anything on TSN..

Posted by: Clarendon | October 13, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh man. I'd really feel bad for Jagr if Cherepanov doesn't make it. Accidents happen, but what a horrible one.

Prayers with Cherepanov and his team and family.

Posted by: this space for rent | October 13, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I can't find anything in English about Cherepanov, but does confirm that he died in hospital. Gods. That's just awful news. :( I can't find any other confirmation.

Very sad news indeed. :( Thoughts and prayers to his team and family...

Posted by: i rock the red | October 13, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes Steve O it does happen to be you....

Posted by: section 405 behind the loud guy | October 13, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

TSN confirms Cherepanov story

Posted by: uncatim | October 13, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: uncatim | October 13, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

That's awful. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and teammates.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | October 13, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

With Fedorov playing D tonight we have three defensive pairings with puck moving defencmen. That can trouble other teams big time.

Posted by: Niko | October 13, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Incredibly sad. my prayers too are with his family.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 13, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Frankly I aam much more concerned with Johnny being in net tonight, but them I guess I am concerned with the guy in the net every night with the Caps, but Johnny's best efforts tend to be good enough to win games we should win, seldom are they good enough to steal a game we should not win. Anyone going to the chalf talk tonight?

Posted by: Bob | October 13, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

By the way, not more concerned about Johnny than Cheraponov, that is tragic, he was a great prospect and I wonder if some of our Russians knew him?

Posted by: Bob | October 13, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Seeing Fedorov back in the defensive zone in my opinion is more reassuring than Erskine. Erskine brings a physical presence but usually gets worked around like a door post against opposing forwards. Not to mention he cant hit the broad side of a barn with a pass.

Feds brings a great feel for the puck and both defensive and offensive presence while on D. However, he should not be kept back on D permanently. I'm interested to see how he plays back there against a quick, energetic Vancouver team.

Lets hope Luongo stumbles tonight against OV and the boys and breaks his chain of having the Caps number during play.

Lets Go Caps!

Posted by: towsoncapsfan | October 13, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but Jose played WORSE than Olie on Fri night!! (Does that make me not only a Semin hater, but an Olie hater AND a JT hater?!?)

I'm with ya ... maybe saying 'hate' is like saying 'bad' but meaning 'good'?!? :-D

The bobblehead on YOUR dresser? I thought you wanted that for your girls? ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | October 13, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

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