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Fehr and Lepisto Returned to Hershey

Right wing Eric Fehr and defenseman Sami Lepisto have been returned to Hershey, according to Coach Bruce Boudreau.

Fehr had one assist in six games and was a healthy scratch against Tampa Bay on Saturday night. Lepisto, meantime, was solid in his NHL debut against the Lightning, but with Tom Poti set to return from a bruised thigh, he was the odd man out.

"They weren't playing tonight" against the visiting Islanders, Boudreau said after the morning skate. "They're young guys and we want them to play."

"Eric has still only played in six games here in limited ice time," he continued, "and 10 games in a year down there. He's just got to play to get his scoring touch back. ...Sami we thought did a great job, but it gives us eight defensemen. These defensemen were doing very well before he came. But now we know we've got a very capable guy [in Hershey] and we've finally seen him. We won't hesitate to bring him back if needed."

The Bears play at Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton tonight.

Asked if either might get a recall soon, Boudreau added: "If it's necessary we will. But if things go well [in Washington] and we don't get hurt, then probably not in the near future. But those are guys we know can play, so it's nice to know we have that depth down in Hershey."

Without Fehr, the Caps don't have an extra forward. Defenseman Steve Eminger will be scratched tonight:

Here's the rest of the lineup vs. Isles:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Fleischmann
Pettinger-Kozlov-Semin
Laing-Steckel-Bradley
Brashear-Laich-Gordon

Defense
Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Jurcina
Erskine-Schultz

Olie will start in goal.

Boudreau was also asked about Brian Pothier, who has missed 19 games with a concussion.

"Brian Pothier, I haven't seen for a while," Boudreau said. "He's still feeling the same as he did. So that means no time soon."

Asked if Pothier is likely done for the season, Boudreau said, "I hope not. But who can tell? They seem to linger and they can just go on and on and on. I can't read them."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 20, 2008; 10:37 AM ET
 
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Next: Schultz Sidelined With Knee Strain

Comments

FIRST!

Posted by: Netsrak | February 20, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I can understand Lepisto getting returned with Poti being back in the lineup, but don't understand Fehr being sent back unless someone else is going to be called up or is there a trade immenent??

Posted by: Don-Ald | February 20, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Too bad, Mr. Fehr. But not surprising that he can't play top 6 forawrd NHL level right now after missing so much time. Hopefully he'll be back next year, although top 6 looks a little crowded. At least his dad got a free vacation out of his time here.

Posted by: old time hockey | February 20, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

We have penty of fowards to fill the role. I was hopeing erskine would get scratched for lepisto.

Posted by: capsfan08 | February 20, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Hunh, this is interesting. I guess Poti will be back tonight, so that explain Sami. Fehr.....just, hunh for now.

Posted by: EricS | February 20, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Sit Petty and call up Bourque

Posted by: MLK | February 20, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Tarik...any rumblings on the trade front?

Posted by: Matt | February 20, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Fehr was called up a bit prematurely, IMHO. Though it was a good experience for him in that he knows what to strive for. He just needs some time to work the rust out. I expect he and Lepisto on the roster for '08-'09.

Posted by: Ben | February 20, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Bourque fits better because hes a left hand shot, but i would still like to see Wilson get a chance...OR MOTZ!!!!

Posted by: capsfan08 | February 20, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Erskine serves a purpose on this team. He's a situational player against tough teams that aren't speedy like Florida. Speed teams make him look bad, but against the other 25 teams in the NHL he does fine. He's rarely so far out of position it hurts, and he's always willing to fight, even if he struggles with it.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | February 20, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik are you hearing anything regarding the Caps at the Trade Deadline?

Posted by: ELO | February 20, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Motz has has four points 2-2-4 in eight games with the caps. Meanwhile pettinger has only two more points 2-4-6 over the span of 53 games. This all coming from a guy who wears a pettinger jersey sitting in front of his tv on most nights. recall motz.

Posted by: capsfan08 | February 20, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

one more thing. Motz in a plus-1 with the caps while petty post a minus-12...

Posted by: capsfan08 | February 20, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Petty is snake-bit. it's a shame but this is a playoff run now, and we need secondary scoring not warm bodies.

Posted by: Matt | February 20, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I think it's only fair for Eric to be back in Hershey. If he's not getting adequate ice time with the big club, why keep him in the press box when he can be back in Hershey getting back into game shape and fine tuning his skills for a call up later this year. I don't see this as a big issue.

As for tonight, I hope Ovie and the boys can skate circles around the Islanders depleted blue line. If I were a betting man, I would say Dipietro is going to see a ton of pucks tonight.

Posted by: Mitch | February 20, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Man out D is scary, after our top 3 we have no consistent talent.

Posted by: TJ | February 20, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

You've cloned Laing and got him centering himself and Bradley.

Posted by: Gelf | February 20, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

I know that Q is the man, but I don't think he is playing wing and center. ;)

Posted by: Matt | February 20, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the Fehr assignment, but Lepisto surprises me. I guess this goes back to the heart of the reality of the difference in management's view of the D corp, and the fan-base's view.
Most fans I have seen comment, would rather have Sami over 2 or 3 of the current D men. It's clear that he was only recalled to address the Poti injury, and since Tom is in tonight... On a personal (selfish?) note, I'm kind of happy as I will be seeing my first Bears game Saturday, and them having Fehr and Lepisto in the lineup will make it a more enjoyable game.

Posted by: Mark T. | February 20, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Although we could use 2 Laings...let's be honest.

Posted by: SLM | February 20, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Sorry guys, that would be Steckel at third line center. He said he had the flu pretty bad. But he's much better.

Posted by: Tarik | February 20, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Wonder if this will help push Tampa to pull the plug and become sellers.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=230103&hubname=nhl

Posted by: Steve R | February 20, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

gotta say. I really like today's lines.

Posted by: MTB | February 20, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to your first game in Hershey, Mark T. I hope you enjoy it. Keep your eye on Beagle (lots of fun to watch).

Posted by: Kale | February 20, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Just roster moves then.

Wow, people really want Motzko back? Never thought I'd see the day.

Posted by: EricS | February 20, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@Tarik

No questions or words from Ovechkin about Malkin passing him in pts? It's probably better that Ovie doesnt go there with the spotlight he's got. He could be dubbed a selfish player quickly if he fires that up conversation.

The P.C thing is always to say, "Winning is all I care about".... You learn that in Superstar 101.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 20, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Hey guys,

Barret Jackman is supposedly available from St. Louis and he seems to get no real press about it. He seems to be a perfect fit in a Caps uniform and could become a long term investment with a contract. We need a little bit more physicality on the blue line and although he is not as big as a Brendan Witt, Mark Tinordi or Joe Reekie, he is a quicker skater and has a real presence on the ice. He also is a great tema player and has received nothing but praise in St Louis.

Thoughts?

Posted by: HokieCapFan | February 20, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

There's a new scoring leader in the NHL today and his name is Evegeni Malkin.

Malkin's two assists in Tuesday's 3-2 home victory over the Florida Panthers raised his point total to 79, one more than Washington's Alexander Ovechkin.

Posted by: Malkin is trying to steal the show | February 20, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Right now Malkin is in the playoffs. OV and the Caps have bigger fish to fry. All that stuff will work itself out anyway.

Posted by: JSchon | February 20, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Pettinger moves Semin out of his preferred LW spot, say what??? I hope the Caps are playing Pettinger to shop him because his game this year stinks. Maybe BB sees something in practice that ain't showing up in games??? I would have thought they'd give Fehr a shot on the second line ahead of Pettinger. And skating Erksine, bad idea. That guy can't skate and does not use his stick well. I'd rather Sami or Eminger was in.

Posted by: JIM | February 20, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Mark T.

You will have a blast on Saturday. Should be a nasty game. Part 2 of a home and home with Filthadelphia -bitter rivals. There will be tons of fights and some of them will probably be on the ice too;) Welcome to Hershey and have a good time dude!

Bears, Bears, Bears - WOOOOOOOO!


Hope OV is feeling better tonight. He needs a multi-point game. When the Caps play teams like the Isles, I wish they would open up the skating a bit more and not play such a conservative style.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | February 20, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Mark T.

I haven't commented much on our Defenders. But to address who I'd rather see Sami in for... I only have 2 for the list. Emmy and Erskine. Both are expendable IMO. Emmy has talent somewhere but has been given the short end of the stick by the team this year and needs a new home. His head's just not in the game when he does get a chance.

Erskine is a rough and tumble guy, but takes some bad penalties and brings few +'s. In the long run I think Sami would be a better D than Erskine.

Schultz, while I'd rank him 6th on the d squad needs as much experience as he can get. Give him 10-20lbs in the offseason and find someone to tune his footwork and he could be top 4 D on the team.

And just to fuel some discussion. Pure defensive abilitiy (from the dmen only) I'd rank what we have as follows:

1. Mo
2. Poti
3. Milan
4. Erskine (wtfbbq?!)
5. Green
6. Schultz

Discuss. /equip asbestos suit.

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 20, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Sorry FFS, but Erksine is a lousy skater (for the NHL), does not use his stick well, often out of position (b/c he is slow or overplaying a wing), and takes bad penalities (hooking, slashing, tripping) for being behind the play. He also is fairly inept at joining the rush. Gotta say Erksine is my 8th (time for the AHL). Asta la vista, baby

Posted by: JIM | February 20, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I think Jackman would be great- sounds like GMGM is not looking to make a move though? Unfortunately, 2 great players - Hossa and Prospal are available, but what are the chances they get traded in our division. They would be perfect fits for that secondary scoring the Caps are looking for. So, why not M. Ryder from Montreal - he had 3g last night, been rumored to be on the market and we have trade history with Montreal.

Posted by: MLK | February 20, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I never understand why Bruce won't scratch John Erskine. Honestly, he is so bad it is painful to watch.

He is always out of position, a terrible skater, and looks like he is a simply a cut below everyone else out on the ice.

I understand he is a big body, but in my opinion, he doesn't hit hard enough for a guy his size and I would much rather see Eminger and Lepisto out there instead of him any day.

Granted, Eminger and Sami are smaller and serve a different purpose, but this particular Caps team thrives on speed and quick passing, which is exactly what those two defensemen bring to the table.

If this team is going to make a run at the division title, where they will be playing against VERY QUICK and young teams down the stretch, there is simply no rationale for John Erskine to be on the ice.

Posted by: Zack | February 20, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Free BB translation service:

Q from Tarik: Is Pothier done for the year?

A from BB: I hope not, but who can tell?

Translation: He's done unless we go deep into the playoffs, and maybe then too.

Posted by: old time hockey | February 20, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Erskine does play the role of stay at home tough guy. Sort of the Witt role, without as much skill. Somebody gets too close to Olie, no one is going to be too afraid of stick figure Morrisson. Erskine, however, can remind the other team's forwards that they best remain outside of the blue area.

Posted by: Schultz for Calder | February 20, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Right now Malkin is in the playoffs.

A lot of people said Ovechkin will be considered for MVP only if Caps get into playoffs. That gives more chances for Malkin to win MVP. He came out of nowhere, Tarik even forgot to mention him.

Posted by: Fence | February 20, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@ SA-Town - clearly Malkin doesn't have a new girlfriend to distract him from the game, like Ovie does.

If Malkin wins the scoring race we'll know why!

Posted by: Jill | February 20, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Keep Erskine, we need toughness. Brash is a lousy skater too, so what? You people forgot how Erskine annihilated Darcy Tucker, that was awesome to watch. We need Erskine!

Posted by: Papa Schultz rules | February 20, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Tarik-
Is Fehr's demotion causing the lack of a backup forward an indication that Chris Clark might be near returning? What's the latest on him.

Thanks!

Posted by: Matt C | February 20, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Can someone get Malkin a gf? Or he can quickly become 40-year old virgin. :-)

Posted by: Papa Schultz rules | February 20, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

If you go back and check the goals against with which D men are on the ice, you will find that Erskine has the best percentage. Sure, he doesn't have the offensive capabilities of Green, but I know that he clears the ice in front of the net better than any of our other D men.

Posted by: Super | February 20, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Tarik I'm just curious. As a reporter, when you see Pettinger listed as the 2nd line left wing -- combined with your knowledge that he has just 2 goals and 6 points all season and he's a minus 12 -- Doesn't that ring a bell in your head that causes you to ask, "Uh, coach, Why is Pettinger on the 2nd line? And for that matter why is he in the lineup at all?"

No?

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | February 20, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Erksine may be tough and may have smacked Tucker, so what? He is a liability on the ice for the most part. The Caps do need a tough blueliner, but one who can skate and play the puck and body. The Caps miss Witt and Klee, but one of the kids may grow into the role (Schultz, Morrison, Jurinca all have the size, but not the mentality -- yet).

Posted by: JIM | February 20, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Good luck getting Malkin a G.F.

That dude looks like he took a hit 3 pt. stance in front of the ugly truck.

Posted by: Super | February 20, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Re: Erskine

I think we are seeing a different player out there. Would I like to see Emmy over Erskine, yes...but not the way Emmy's been playing lately. Do I think it's Steve's fault, no. It's hard to get your head in the game when you don't play enough.

I know I've seen Papa Panzer Schultz trip over more blue-lines and be "out of position" more than Erskine. He hits harder and has better body position on approaching wings than Schultz and Green.

RE: his stickwork... It is not often you will see slower defenseman, or ones that "don't skate well" use their sticks as their primary means of defense. The slow-poor skating ones that use their stick are more likely to get schooled by speedier offensive players. Erskine's strength is not his stickwork, but his body position on incoming attackers.

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 20, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@ Super, that's because Erksine is in the sinbin when the goal goes in

Posted by: JIM | February 20, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

JIM

I would like to see splits of who's in the box vs other team's PP goals.

That being said, ranking our D from +/- you get:

Pothier (5)
Schultz (3)
Mo/Sami (E)
Poti/Green/Erskine (-1)
Eminger (-6)
Jurcina (-7)

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 20, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Ease up on Erskine. He's a rock solid d-man who plays on the edge so he's bound to take penalties. Who cares if he can skate like Neidermeyer-it's not a figure skating contest. He pounds in front of the net and makes opponents accountable. The Big E has a role and he's going to stay in the lineup.

There will be no moves on the blueline. BB is satisfied the way their playing and certainly over the last 10 games they're getting stingier and stingier.

Posted by: Harry | February 20, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Erskine is a necessary evil - no one else intimidates opponents back there. Yes too many penalties, and stupid clearing passes - he is a huge liability; but he also punishes people. Eminger can't hit a cardboard cut-out.

Posted by: MLK | February 20, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Ideally, you'll probably want to combine Eminger and Erskine into one guy.

And maybe Ovie's GF can tell him "I'll like some wings tomorrow."

Posted by: tallbear | February 20, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

check out the newest caps blog

DCONETIMER.BLOGSPOT.COM

Posted by: DC ONE TIMER | February 20, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Matt Pettinger must have some "Special" relationship with management. His performance certainly doesn't warrant him being on the ice. what does he have? 4 points? 5 Points for the entire year? What a joke.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

JIM

Ok...I must be really bored here at work. Just went through each scoresheet in the BB era... Butts in the Bin = Goals looks like:

Green:4
Poti, Mo, Erskine, BENCH: 3
Steckel, Schultz, Nyls: 2
Random's: 1

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 20, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

In my recent research, I was pleased to notice we have a very strong PK group under BB, especially in the last two months.

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 20, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@Oneal

Yeah. I asked about Pettinger yesterday. BB said he thinks Matt had his best game in a while on Saturday. So he's hoping that he might have another one.

If he doesn't, what else are you going to do (if you're the coach). Coaches can't make a trades. He works with what he's given. He's in a playoff push, where veteran savvy often outweighs youthful energy.

He has ZERO extra forwards. What are his options? Call up Chris Bourque? Nothing against CB, but do you want a guy with 3 NHL games on his resume playing in the organization's most important stretch of games in four seasons?

Posted by: Tarik | February 20, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@Matt C

Clark isn't close.

@S-A Town

Ovechkin wasn't around this morning.

Posted by: Tarik | February 20, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Malkin looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid with a big nose. He cant get a girl.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 20, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, Erskine's usually in the box?
What about when he's on the PK? Our PK has been strong.
Does anyone else think it's more than coincidence that the lower scores and better goaltending came along when Schultz started throwing his body a little more?

Posted by: Whiter Mage | February 20, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

1) Don't understand the way Fehr was handled. He played well when he was allowed to be on one of the top lines. Then for some reason he's removed and players like Pettinger, who has done nothing, gets his ice time?
Unless Petty's being showcased, it doesn't make sense.
http://newfaux.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Fauxrumors | February 20, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to take the penalty --> PP Goal Against (PPGA) research one step further. PP Goals scored while in box vs. penalty minutes.

This can be read a few ways:
How vital is player to PK?
How often team bails out Player?
How many PIM are from fights?

Green: 52 PIM, 4 PPGA: 13PIM/PPGA
Erskine: 71 PIM, 3 PPGA: 23.7PIM/PPGA
Mo: 51 PIM, 3 PPGA: 17PIM/PPGA
Poti: 28PIM, 3PPGA: 9PIM/PPGA

Brashear leads the team. With 82PIM/PPGA. Not surprising as most his PIM come on fights which doesn't result in PP.

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 20, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Petty has dropped the ball this year and should be moved. Petty/Emmy a propect-Josh Godfrey(don't need him if Greener signs his 4.9/year deal), and maybe a pick for Trent Hunter.

Posted by: Harry | February 20, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Some stats from today's Game Notes:
In his last 5, Olie is 3-1-1, 1.97 and .932. He is 11-3-2 in his last 17. 3 away from 300 wins.

Backs is 1 point from 50.

Lepisto playing against TB marked the first Finn to play for the caps this year, marking a team record 8 nationalities on the season.

Expanding BB's stats over the season, we'd be 6th (29th prior) in power-play production since he took over and 22 (also 29th prior) in PK.

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 20, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

More:

With a goal Ovie passes Steve Konowalchuck for 12th all time on the team, and another point passes Bobby Gould for 21 in points.

My favorite segment: Upcoming Milestones was omitted from the notes today.

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 20, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the Ocho may not be the best looking guy around, but Malkin truly has a face for radio. Maybe thats why his visor comes down to his chin, and looks like its made of 3-inch thick bulletproof glass.

Posted by: Stephen | February 20, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Now that Brind-Amour is hurt, Malkin should be a lock for "1st team all ugly"

If I was the coach, Id move him to goalie.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 20, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I hate Erskine...hes terrible. I wish they would get rid of him. His penalties are sooo stupid. I say we can only justify one bad player to act as our enforcer and that's Brashear and even he's looked much better under BB. I've always hated Erskines play...there's just something about him....

Posted by: erskinesterrible | February 20, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town

Ugliest Player in the NHL:
Bobby Holik. It's Sloth on Ice!

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 20, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

@FFS Enough

You hit that on the head, that is one busted dude.

Posted by: Super | February 20, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Sending Fehr down is a good idea with Caps not playing again til the weekend and Fehr can play a couple games for Hershey til then.

Sitting Eminger is a joke, if given the minutes in BB's system, he could be right there with Green and Morrisonn at the top of the board. Have Schultz or Poti pair up Eminger and Jurcina / Erskine with the other. Maybe if they want to get a better big body with more upside, go Eminger and a pick for Jackman. I wouldn't give up on 44 just yet

Posted by: BBD36 | February 20, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

He has ZERO extra forwards. What are his options?

BB looks like a genius now. I was very critical of Flash, BB moved him to AO line and Flash responded. I guess anybody with AO could score, but it really gave Flash the confidence. He scored in the next game. Hopefully it will continue.

Way to go, BB!

Posted by: alexovetjkin | February 20, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@FFS Enough

Mike Ricci looks like Tom Cruise from Vanilla Sky.

If he made the hall of fame, they would cover his bust with a mask.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 20, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town, FFS Enough:

Ugliest player is Olli Jokinen, who seriously has the face of an infant child. Goo goo, ga ga.

Posted by: Jordan | February 20, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Jokinen looks like an egghead on that picture

Posted by: Finn | February 20, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@Jordan

Thus explains why he is on the trading block year in and year out.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 20, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

My vote is still Holik with Malkin and Jokinen tied in a close 2nd.

Holik takes on a whole other dimension of ugly when he puts his helmet on.

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 20, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody else grab a jersey from NHL.com yesterday? They had free customization all day, so I grabbed a white Quintin Laing jersey to go with my gold Nicklas Backstrom team Sweden jersey and my black dome logo Center Ice Viktor Kozlov jersey.

Posted by: Jordan | February 20, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to say that the ugliest player in the NHL is Jason Blake. He looks like Richard Speck.

Posted by: Stephen | February 20, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

As far as the NHL's most busted faces, you can't forget about Brind'Amour. With that schnozz, that guy smoke a cigarette in the rain with his hands tied behind his back.

Posted by: Matt | February 20, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I looked at it, and even made "Crysby" 87 jersey. Thought about how some people might think I was making fun of Brashear and decided against it. I didn't notice customization was free just that day though. Guess I missed my chance.

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 20, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

http://capsonfilm.50megs.com/games0001/0317/0317/timhunterchophouse.jpg

Tim Hunter was a bruiser face too. I was just waiting for him to jump the benches one game and have a go with the other coach.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 20, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Malkin is the biggest piece of sand... http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=354092

They call him Magical Malkin

"It's a great feeling to be leading the NHL in scoring," Malkin said through translator George Birman. "There are still lots of games left and Ovechkin is a good player. He will try to prove he's the best in the NHL. We'll see what will happen."

"I never had a stretch like that over here in the NHL or back when I played in Russia," Malkin said. "I just want to thank all my teammates who are giving me such great passes."

Who says that? Ovechkin would only care about winning - Crosby, same way... this guy seems to want the trophies. I'm sure Alex does, but he just wants to win. Malkin just comes out and says it.

I might not like him more than Crosby now...

Posted by: 828 | February 20, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey Malkin - nice points streak...


...for me to poop on!!!

Posted by: 828 | February 20, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Malkin just might catch Ovi in the goal scoring race too, all he has to do is put together a couple of 7-goal performances.

Posted by: Jordan | February 20, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I think the line-up for 2nite looks great! except for Matt Pettingers spot... Matty needs to be traded so when Capt Clark comes back he can play on the #2 or #1 line and then add Flash or the guy we get back from the trade with Matty Pettinger... give some team Matty plus are #1 in 08 for a solid rent a wing/center! for are #2 or #1 line!

Clark/Backstrom/Ovechkin
Rent-a-player/Kozlov/Semin
Laing/Steckle/Bradley
Brashere/Gordon/Flash or Laich

Posted by: Zack Attack | February 20, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Zack - you reversed Clark and OV. No way OV gets moved to the right.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 20, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Good to see all the ladies on this blog evaluating the looks of NHL players.

Posted by: None-ya | February 20, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know when gmgm's flight from Florida arrives? Hopefully it gets in after faceoff. That way BB can put together the line up he wants.
If gmgm makes it to the game I wonder if we'll see one of his new suits.

Posted by: someone else who knows | February 20, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Eminger sucks in a class of his own!

Malkin ugly? Have you seen the girls in Pittsburg? It is simply North West VA after all. I am sure he is a God with those ladies! If he likes his women dumb and toothless he is in heaven!

Posted by: Bob | February 20, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

@None-ya

I'm totally fine with rating the looks of guys. I don't think there's anything wrong with it.

On the flip side of things, when I was at the meet the team party, I was SHOCKED at how handsome Alex Semin was. Maybe that's a little weird, but I don't see a problem with it.

Posted by: Stephen | February 20, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

someone else who knows

"Anyone know when gmgm's flight from Florida arrives? Hopefully it gets in after faceoff. That way BB can put together the line up he wants.

Care to expand on that a little bit. I've heard a lot of trash talking about GMGM but never have I heard that he puts together the line up on a night-to-night basis. It's my impression that he simply chooses who gets drafted/traded and the coaching staff puts together the best line-up they can with what's provided.

Posted by: Yosh | February 20, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@828,

Ah, there you are. Where are my Post points?

@zackattack
Remember that Laich and Fehr are RFAs and Brads is a UFA. Plus we need to resign Green (Mo would be nice too.) We'll save money if we re-sign Olie for less than he gets now, but need more to pay for Green and Mo.

Line 1 is Ovie/Backstrom and ? Ideally its Fehr, but if not, some lucky guy like Clark or Flash gets the nod.

Line 2 is Semin/Nylander and ? Not sure who is ideal. Maybe Kozlov, maybe not.

Line 3 is Clark or Flash or Kozlov if not already used and then Gordon or Steckel and fungible player 1. ("FP1") Maybe Laich, maybe Petter.

Line 4 is Brash and Gordon or Steckel and FP2. Really, this could be anyone.

I actually see defense and goaltending as the bigger problems. Even if Olie plays again with us, who's the future? Can we get som Nuevirth games in before Olie hangs them up? BJ is a fine every third game guy, but he's not a Number 1.

D is troubling. Assume we re-sign Green. Assume Alzner is here. We get Poti, Erksine, Schultz back for sure. Pothier is he can play. Steve gets paroled. If Mo resigns, great. If not, we need some stay at home guy back there. Any available? Do they even make them anymore?

Regardless, that still only leaves us 3 sure thing good D-men: Green, Mo (or new guy), Poti. Schultz has potential, Pothier is questionable and Erskine is just muscle. We have other prospects but we're short on Vet D.

Posted by: old time hockey | February 20, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

If this blog had an MVP, it would be FFS Enough... thanks for the posts and research.

Posted by: TripDonkeys | February 20, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Did you see the article on Juneau in SI...great to see a former Cap doing really important work.

Posted by: MLK | February 20, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Too bad that Lepisto got sent down. I was hoping he would get the start tonight. I was expecting Fehr to go down since he dropped from 1st line to 4th line to healthy scratch. I guess he's still trying to get back into form after having such a long layoff. Hopefully, Fehr will get another shot soon.

Posted by: Lowell | February 20, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I highly doubt Alzner is with the big club next year. He was great in the WJC and has been kicking some butt for the Hitman this season but I think they'll give him a year in Hershey before bringing him up. Alzner will not turn 20 until September. Thats still pretty young as far as NHL D-men go. He COULD end up in Washington, but I would expect him to start in Hershey

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 20, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you Sombrero. No need to rush him along.

Posted by: Steve R | February 20, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

OK..This is my last post on ugly...But can someone down low please make a sign like this when Malkin comes to town on March 9th.

"Malkin, your uglier then ????!"

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thekishlife/243224958/

This would be great

Posted by: SA-Town | February 20, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@828

BWAHAHAHAHAHAA!

What was that puppets name? Triumph?

Seriously, it sounds like Malkin is more concerned about him winning the hardware (and beating OV is the process?) than his team winning. I can understand a competition with AO, thats fine and all... whatever, he's a Pen, I guess I really dont care.

Posted by: captnclark | February 20, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I have seen my fair share of Bears games and Caps game this year and I will tell you that the Bears have Sloan, Lepisto and Boumedienne which are better than Eminger, Erskine and Schultz.

Posted by: PaCapFan | February 20, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

PaCapFan

"I will tell you that the Bears have Sloan, Lepisto and Boumedienne which are better than Eminger, Erskine and Schultz."

Jury is still out on Lepisto, I don't know about Sloan, but as for Boumedienne, there's a reason he's in Hershey right now. Not to mention, you're seeing those guys play against AHLers, not NHLers...tough comparison to make.

Posted by: Yosh | February 20, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Read all the posts and gettin' ready to hit the road outta the office.

As for getting run over by the ugly bus, there are too many on the Pens, Flyers, and Sabres to mention.

Lets Go Cap-I-Tals!!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | February 20, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

@FFS Enough -- I like the stat, but think it should be represented in the inverse. Think of it as "power play goals allowed per minute in the box." Thus:

Green = .077 PPGA/PIM
Erskine = .042
Mo = .059
Poti = .107
Brash = .012

The lower the number, the better (like WHIP in baseball). Poti averages around a goal against every ten minutes he spends in the box.

That sucks.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | February 20, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

D is my biggest concern with the Caps LT. I see Green and Poti here for the duration. All of the others are expendible for quality players. Poti is playing the "stay-at-home" guy.

So there's one wanderer (Green) and one to stay home. Mo is good, but is tradable for a high quality D. Schultz, Erskine, Eminger can be traded for serviceable D.

I think we may have seen the last of Pothier - ever, unfortunately. I hate to see anyone go out that way.

Is Alzner ready to make the jump from Jr to the big show? I'd like to see him in Hershey for a year.

Realistically, below Mo, we're weak.

In net, Olie needs more rest between games. Johnson is a useful backup and has shown some strength in net. If he keeps his game simple, he'll be OK until the prospects get here.

MHO.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 20, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Yosh,

Judging by the quotes listed below on Capitals Insider 2/10/2008 it seems to be the case that gmgm (or someone other than the Coach) decides who will be in the game line up. THEN the coach makes the lines and pairings. I've been asking for a direct answer to this question for the past couple of weeks.

*I asked Boudreau about Pettinger's struggles this season. The left wing, who was scratched the past three games but was back in the lineup today, has two goals, six points and a team-worst plus minus rating of minus-12 in 49 contests.
"Hopefully sitting him out gets a little bit of a message across," Boudreau said. "Sometimes as a player you don't realize you're not doing the things that made you a scorer or the things that made you successful until you sit out and watch from above and see what it takes."
"He's like a cylinder off on everything. He's not quite fast enough, he's not doing everything competitive enough. Maybe a lot of it is confidence in his mind. The head has so much to do with the way you play."
*Boudreau also explained scratching Laing, saying: "Quintin is only being taken out to put somebody else in because he's been really good at doing what he does. We're going to miss that element. But you have to lose one element when you take somebody out and put somebody else in."

Reading this paints the picture that Pettinger, IN, Laing, OUT, was NOT BB's call.
BB is doing a great job with the team. Let's get a win tonight CAPS. The Playoff push is upon us!

Posted by: someone else who knows | February 20, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Give it up Greg S., Schultz is here for a long time and as a 22 year old d-man playing in his first full year of top level hockey he has already proven you and the rest of the Schultz haters wrong.

And, this d-corps continues to get better every game. With the addition of Alzner next year (no minor league hockey for a number 5 pick) we are looking at a long run of solid defense.

Posted by: Harry | February 20, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

someone else who knows:

You somehow managed to read that BB isn't making the lineup decisions from THOSE quotes? I'm not even claiming that he doesn't have the power (tho I absolutely believe he makes the lineup based on the players at his disposal), but those quotes don't support your position.

"Hopefully sitting [Pettinger] out gets a little bit of a message across"

Um, to me that is pretty obvious that he benched Pettinger. And he goes on to say what was missing from his game.

"But you have to lose one element when you take somebody out and put somebody else in."

He said it himself -- to make a switch you have to bench someone, even if he is playing pretty well. For the game in question there were other quotes pointing to the fact he wanted more speed in the lineup and most potential for goal scoring. That is Pettinger, not Laing.

Now, the question I have after the recent roster moves is how much input BB had in deciding that Fehr and Lepisto were returned to Hershey.

Anyhow, it's game time...go Caps!

Posted by: Jeff | February 20, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I had cravings... finally Hockey - finally the Caps :)

GO CAPS BRING IT ON!!


Posted by: mauree | February 20, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Random comment about the GA/PIM thing above. In theory, wouldn't having a higher number (like Poti above) simply suggest that you are valuable on the PK? I mean, if the team average is (for example) .08 and he is .10 that means that when he is in the box the team is more likely to give up a goal. To me, he needs to stay out of the box because from those numbers it shows he is more valuable on the PK than some of the other guys listed above. This obviously doesn't work for non-PK contributers.

Posted by: Jeff | February 20, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Semin! Always nice to turn some sustained opposition pressure right around.

Posted by: Kurt | February 20, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Nice Sasha!

"It was sick move"

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | February 20, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Good to see Laing get recognition. He blocked that slapper and the audience went crazy...

Posted by: MikeZ | February 20, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

LOL at Kolzig's assist. VC official scorer really generous there. Even Locker agreed.

Posted by: tallbear | February 20, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Great job, defense! Way to be there!

Why does this team love blowing their early leads so much?

Posted by: MikeZ | February 20, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

wtf.. Olie stones Guerin an then makes absolutely no effort to get back into position. Why does he do that sometimes?

Posted by: Jordan | February 20, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

@Jordan
Because Olie isn't quick enough.

I'm worried about the first line, they haven't been playing well in the past 2 games and are off the score sheet tonight. Right now Semin is carrying this team. Is it because Kozlov is on the second line and that they broke up the chemistry Ovie, Back, and Koz were having? Come on Ovie, score one tonight!

Posted by: Lowell | February 20, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

That wasnt only Olie's fault... Guys were standing around watching while they shouldve been marking guys on defense and getting back... I think Semin was slow on the move back into the defensive zone...

Posted by: JSchon | February 20, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the Wilkes-Barre Scrotal Penguins are leading the Bears.

Posted by: Jordan | February 20, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

So did Berrard ever fully recover from that terrible eye injury? Or is he legally blind in the injured eye.

Posted by: Lowell | February 20, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Hah, Bergeron shouldn't have made Semin angry. He wouldn't like him when he's angry.

Posted by: MikeZ | February 20, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Crap...

Posted by: JSchon | February 20, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

What is this, the third bank shot goal on the Caps in the past few games. One happened against Johnson. This is the second one to happen to Olie. It's like the Capitals secret weakness.

Posted by: Lowell | February 20, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I hate to see this team play a great opening period and then sleep through the rest of the game. WAKE UP CAPS!

Posted by: BearsWoooo | February 20, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Powerplay, This is a golden opportunity to win this game. Come on Caps!

Posted by: Lowell | February 20, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Goalpost... it's not encouraging to see this team start to play like they're snake-bit...

Posted by: Kurt | February 20, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Bears and Penguins also tied at 2-2 and heading for overtime. Fleury is in goal for the Pens on a rehab assignment from pburg.

Posted by: Tess | February 20, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

WBS Penguins score 12 seconds into OT. Machesney in goal for the Bears. Hope the Caps have a better outcome against the Isles.

Posted by: Tess | February 20, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I may be ugly, but I'm still top scorer....

Posted by: Evgeni Malkin | February 20, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

How can we miss so many emty nets?

Posted by: WHAT???? | February 20, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Ovie unlucky, hit the post and crossbar in this game.

Posted by: Lowell | February 20, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

%$#@*&%$#@@* *&$#%@#$!@!!%#$$@!@!!

Posted by: %$#@ | February 20, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Shootout order

Fleicshmann
Brashear
Pettinger


Posted by: I hope not | February 20, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I hate the shoot out

Posted by: BearsWoooo | February 20, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

CRAP! Another &*%$# Pipe!

Posted by: BearsWoooo | February 20, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

So many disappointments. Another loss to a sorry team.

Posted by: Puckguru | February 20, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the Caps really blew that one! I'm glad I'm not at the game or I would be yelling my head off. The way the Caps have been playing after the all-star break... I'm not sure that this team has what it takes to make the playoffs. A lot of blown leads have happen in the past 10 games. This team is not ready to be in the playoffs. The defense has holes, the goalies can't win the team a game if needed, the offensive pressure is inconsistent.

Posted by: Lowell | February 20, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Olie sucks.....get rid of this old bag

Posted by: capshockey98 | February 20, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Shoulda coulda didn't. Time to regroup. I don't like this trend though. Ovechkin seems to be getting smothered out there, and D-men are all waiting for his patented one on three move. I haven't seen it work in a long time.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 20, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Love Olie and always will, but he sucked tonight, and he has sucked on many nights. You never want to pin it on the goalie, but if we had Dipietro in net we win tonight. Or Vokoun. Or Cam Ward. Or most goalies in the NHL.

Posted by: Ben | February 20, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

With Kolzig's stats improving lately, I was hoping he'd turned the corner. But no, he's the same choke artist we've seen over and over this season. Hopefully he'll either right his (mostly sunk) ship or he'll get shipped out ASAP. I'd take either at this point.

Posted by: Kip | February 20, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The problem with this Caps team, at this moment, is that they've suddenly started to provide more questions than answers.

They haven't done that since BB took over.

That's not the hallmark of a playoff team.

Posted by: Kurt | February 20, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Damn lazy play in the 2nd period comes back to cost the Caps! You can't blame Olie for this loss.

Jeff,
Which other comments are you referring too? Regarding speed, OK I may give you Petty over Laing on that one. Scoring, Pettinger?
Laing is tied w/ Pettinger for points with 6 in 22 lesser games and a safer play at +5 as opposed to Pettinger's -12.

Referring to Pettinger, BB - He's like a cylinder off on everything. He's not quite fast enough, (OK Maybe I take Laing in that race now) he's not doing everything competitive enough.

Yes he benched him, but with a statement like that why do you put the player back in? Let's think, maybe you're told too.

Can we agree that Fehr's call up was gmgm's call? If so, yes he gets into the game and BB makes the right decision and reduces his ice time because after only 10 games played this season, the guy just wasn't ready. Lepisto was insurance and may be back if Schultz is out for sometime.

Jeff, I'm sure we can go back and forth with this however the important matter is how many sugars is gmgm taking in his coffee these days?


Posted by: someone else who knows | February 20, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

While I hate to put the blame on one player. They say your best player night in and night out has to be your goaltender. No one player has more influence on a game than the goalie. Right now, neither goaltender has the ability to steal a game for the Capitals if team isn't playing well.

The free agency signings haven't panned out for the Capitals. Nylander got hurt for the rest of the season and was a team worst -19 at the time he left. Kozlov hasn't been putting up the numbers we expected of him and hasn't made any of the players around him better.

The Capitals would be better off missing the playoffs this year. Trade the picks for first rounders in 2009 and try to draft John Tavares.

Posted by: Lowell | February 20, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Damned lazy second AND third. The only reason they woke up in the third was because NYI scored.

This team is not ready for the playoffs at all. We are not doing the fire sale, but there's no real reason to push to do trades to try to get in. There's no killer instinct here for the playoffs. With play like the past 4, they don't deserve it.

Let the howling begin...

Posted by: Greg S. | February 20, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

re: Olie. It's too bad. he's making great "normal" saves. but, game-in game-out, he's coughing up two scenarios:

1) playing the puck in the trap area
2) defending shots from behind the net

...both are unacceptable. we win this game if he's at the post like normal...! too bad.
2 points behind Carolina with 2 games in hand. Go CAPS

Posted by: MTB | February 20, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

You can blame one person for a major let down like that all you want, but it's never one person's fault a team loses, unless one person some how gets 30 minor penalties. ::cough::

Posted by: Whiter Mage | February 20, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but Ovie was the second best Alex tonight.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Olie Kolzig is the worst goalie in the NHL. All you "die hard fans" and "dedicated homers" catch a clue. I've loved this team since i can remember...but he has to go. He's done a lot for the Caps for many years...but he's a shadow of who he used to be. This team would be near the top of the East if it had a decent goalie...which it doesn't. I kind of hope they don't make the playoffs because if they do they're going to be embarassed. What a shame.

Posted by: Sam | February 20, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I'VE EVEN LOOKED AT THIS BLOG SINCE I REGRETTABLY DISSED A FEW OF YA'LLS' SORRY MOMMAS. AND, WHAT DO I DISCOVER? Somebody posting as "Puckguru." Freaking incredible!!
Obviously, it shows the real love/ envy some of you have for me. Which is easily understood. My understanding of the game is light years beyond the majority of you. And, I'm just egotistical enough to acknowledge. THAT'S WHAT YOU HATE! I understand. But, tough titty. That's just me. Love me, or hate me. I couldn't care less
To the creep who unabashedly is using my handle, "Shame on you!" There's ONLY ONE PUCKGURU. And, that's ME. However, as the old saying goes, "Imitation is the greatest form of flattery." And, I can certainly understand your attempt, regardless of how feeble it most definitely is. Goodnight...

Posted by: Puckguru | February 21, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

To the pathetic CHUMP attempting to impersonate Puckguru,
It just occurred to me, that those who regularly frequent this site know full well YOU'RE A FRAUD. My writing style is unmistakable and unique. That's common knowledge. So, lay it down, pal. I feel for one with such a low self esteem that they'd rather be someone else. Which is the same way I feel about all those jerks wearing Caps sweaters with someone's name on it other than their own. YOU'RE NOT OVECHKIN. OR, KOLZIG. OR, LANGWAY. You're YOU! Geeezzz. What's so wrong with that? You'll have to excuse me, but that's been a pet peeve of mine for years. Why would anybody stoop ( Because that's EXACTLY what it is, degrading one's self ) to wearing athletic apparel with some jock's name on it? I'm more than certain that MOST people that do that, have never played on an organized team in their lives. So, they live their pitiful, unfulfilling lives vicariously through someone else. That's absolutely disgusting to me. Oh, well. I'll give ya'll the floor to "Rip" me anew. I don't hardly give a hoot. Heck, as I just said in my previous post, I haven't bothered even checking this blog out for a good while. Which I promise to do again. Maybe, IF ( And, that's a very big "IF" I decide to return, hopefully all of you young, pimple faced jerks will have gotten yourselves a girlfriend ( Fat chance ) and will have discovered the pleasures of some REAL ENTERTAINMENT. Puckguru is out!

Posted by: Puckguru | February 21, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

I thought you changed your handle to "Puckgayru" thus leaving the "Puckguru" handle vacant. You are either in the closet or you are out!! You've got to let us know. Don't be ashamed, we won't care either way. This blog just wouldn't be the same with out some one being the negative a$$h@le in the group. That is why we take turns being "Puckguru".

Posted by: Puckguru | February 21, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

@Opita

It's your turn to be Puckguru now.

Posted by: x | February 21, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Will the real Puckguru please stand up... This is confusing.

Posted by: Lowell | February 21, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

UNLEASH THE FURY!

Posted by: jake | February 22, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

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