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Fleischmann Has Pneumonia; Helmer sent down (Updated)

Here's the latest:

*Tomas Fleischmann's illness is actually pneumonia, so he might be out a while. "From everything I've heard, it's just a mild case," Boudreau said. "We want him away from the rink until he's better. It really weakens you. He's going to have to get his strength back."

*Bryan Helmer has been sent down. "It's not everyday that you send down a No. 1 star," Boudreau joked. With a pair of assists, Helmer was the No. 1 star in last night's 3-2 win over Buffalo.

*That move would seem to be a precursor to the return of Mike Mike Green and/or Jeff Schultz. Both players said they expect to suit up against Toronto tomorrow, but Boudreau, as usual, was more cautious.

Players "sometimes want to help the team so badly that we have to take the decision out of their hands," Boudreau said. "We want to make sure these guys are ready. They are pretty close."

*Brent Johnson (leg/hip) skated for about 30 minutes. But he did not exert himself and won't be in the lineup tomorrow.

*Jose Theodore will start and he'll be backed up by Simeon Varlamov.

*Boudreau on Viktor Kozlov, who has four goals in the past four games: "He's an important part [of the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom]. You look at last year they really started to take off, it was Viktor was put on that line. He's a good complement to them. He speaks English and Russian so he can communicate with either of the. That may sound silly, but it's important."

*Boudreau on Backstrom, who has 24 assists in his past 24 games: "He's going to get better and better and better. He's 21 years old. By the time he's 25, he's going to be scary good. I had once said he reminded me of Peter Forsberg. I might change that, he's more of Ron Francis because he can play both ends of the ice."

That's it for now. I hope to have a better idea of tomorrow's lineup in the morning.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 27, 2008; 12:48 PM ET
 
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Comments

What what WHAAAAAT!?!?!

Posted by: ThisGuy | December 27, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Pnemonia? Damn...

At least We got OVIE...THE DOCTOR

Posted by: DCSPORTS | December 27, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Looking Ahead: Real Good News

The last 21 games of the season the Caps schedule includes:

13 games against division foe
4 against Atlanta
3 against Tampa
3 against Florida
3 against carolina (2 at home)

2 games against the Maple Leafs

1 against the Bruins (A)
1 against the Penguins (H)
1 against the Flyers (A)
1 against the Predators (A)
1 against the Sabers (H)
1 against the Islanders (A)

Looking good for the stretch run...

GMGM and Coach need to encourage ample time off for our injured to get healthy. No need to rush them back.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 27, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Ouch, pneumonia is bad. And they send back Helmer after getting first star last night!? If we get Green and Schultz back we have almost our full original D line back, but without Poti (missed) and Erskine (better without him). That means Collins is probably the odd man out.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, though I won't be in attendance.

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | December 27, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

question for the people who attend the practices, Tarik mentioned that there was a huge crowd there today, is it always like that?

I was thinking of going one of these days, I wanted some of the players to sign my jersey but I thought with a huge crowd that would be hard to do.

Posted by: jogabonito | December 27, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Pneumonia? Eep. Poor guy.

I don't keep up with other teams' injury reports. Are we seriously cursed? Or is this just what happens in late December?

Posted by: jen-s | December 27, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Sucks for Flash but hopefully he'll get better soon. I was really impressed with Helmer yesterday, I hope that Green and Schultz can be just as good as he was.

Posted by: jogabonito | December 27, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

PNEUMONIA??! Yikes! Poor Flash!!! I hope he gets better quickly, and stays off the ice until he does! Wow, that's no fun at all. :(

Posted by: irockthered | December 27, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't get Boudreau's comment about the Laich interference call. He said at first, he thought the puck was past the goalie when the interference occurred.

But under the rules, at least if you read them literally, it wouldn't matter if the puck was past the goalie when the interference occurred--the only things that could've saved the goal would be either (a) the puck going across the line before the interference, or (b) a Buffalo defender forcing Laich into the goaltender.

The rulebook, which you can get at the NHL's website, says only that when a goalie is outside the crease, and an attacking player deliberately or intentionally contacts the goalie, a goal scored AT THE TIME of the interference is to be disallowed, unless the contact was caused by the defender. Look at Rule 69.4, and Table 18-2-D. There is no causation requirement in the rules. So even if Lalime had been at the red line, and Laich for some reason deliberately ran into him, and the puck was on its way into the net but not yet across the line, that goal should still be disallowed under the rules, regardless of whether the contact causes the goal.

This makes sense, although intuitively at first it might not seem to, because to know whether any given instance of interference causes a goal, you have to know what would've occurred if not for the interference, and in some cases it's going to literally be impossible for the refs to know this. So the rules just require simultaneousness--not causation.

Some refs might not call it the way the rules say to, and for all I know the NHL has issued some directive saying that refs are to infer a causation requirement, but under the rules as written, there is no such requirement.

Posted by: youaresquishy | December 27, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Greeny stay our for a couple more weeks? Geez louise

He is only hurting the team when he is in and out.

GMGM has got to get control of this situation.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 27, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

jogabonito,
Depends. I've been to practice with only about 20 people there, but, like Tarik said, sometimes there's a ton. Try a weekday practice once school starts again if you're looking for a smaller crowd.
And just a side note about attending practices, the garage at Ballston does not accept credit cards. Or metro cards. ;P I was about 15 cents short in cash. Good thing I had my checkbook on me.

Wishing Flash a speedy recovery!
Not sure if anyone watched the WJC game last night (or posted about it), but Della Rovere left the game in the 3rd after blocking a shot with his ankle.
All the info for the WJC can be found at www.iihf.com. Most of the games are on the NHL Network.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad we have a diagnosis on Fleischmann. When I was about his age, I came down with "walking" pneumonia. I felt better after 72 hours of antibiotics. And, I remember it did take about 3 weeks for me to regain my strength. I say all this because I hope Tomas takes his time to rest and recover!

Posted by: Terptwin | December 27, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Pneumonia? Oh man, that's rough for him. At least we get to see whether Giroux can start cashing in on those breakaways of his. :) Definitely hope he gets well soon, and doesn't rush back.

I went to the practice this morning, and it was really fun to watch, aside from being an education in its own right.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens to our D when all our Dmen are healthy again. Does the Hershey effect stick around or do we go back to sloppy D coverage? I think the Bears have had a really good effect on our blueline and I hope it sticks around.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy

It's over and done with. The call was made; Bruce said after looking at the tape he agreed with the call; it's old news...move on.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 27, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I think the niftiest part about that goal wash-out was that it made Ovi mad. When refs make Ovi mad, you get goals like we saw last night.

Awesome stuff.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

the interference was a good call. if refs dont call that, it creates a slippery slope. under the rules, there was actually nothing to review. the refs are human and made the right call.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 27, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

too bad politics drives roster decisions - this team is not automatically better off with Schultz (or even Green) replacing Helmer. Most of the Hershey callups have frankly outperformed our veteran injured guys on D. Get ready for more turnovers and inferior play in our own end with the return of either or both those guys unfortunately.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 27, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

It's a damn shame they don't call the interference penalties in the play-offs/when the flyers are playing.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 27, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

He's got 12 goals already I think. I thought Fleischmann was on his way to a 25-goal season, at least. I don't think so anymore. This sounds bad.

Posted by: youaresquishy | December 27, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking about the Backstrom comparisons the other day.. People do tend to say he's the "next Forsberg" a lot, and I think that has more to do with the fact that they're both Swedish than their playing styles. So I think Boudreau's on the right track with the Ronnie Francis comparison.

I'd say he's got a lot of the characteristics of Larionov; if you want to continue the non-Swedish deal. If he lays off the Twinkies in the off-season he might look even more like Igor.

Another point that I haven't heard (probably because he's getting so many assists) is that Backstrom has one heck of a slap shot.. It looks like teams back off of him on the power play, expecting a pass. He has the ability to make them pay for that, as we saw the other night on the Fleischmann tip-in.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | December 27, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

backstrom's backhand is aut-o-matic. up there with kotalik.

@cstanton its not really politics, as it is how the salary cap works. why would you throw away million of dollars for no reason? come on now...

@capsfannmiss
as much as i hate that series and all things flyers, that was not goalie interference in the PO last year in game 7. it was however, a really crappy goal to lose to.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 27, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I know more than my fair share about pneumonia. The problem is that it lingers, really zaps your energy and literally takes your breath away. We may not see Flash for a while ... just when I was learning to like him! :-/

Capsfannmiss:
Seriously! There was a lot more obvious, blatant goalie interference during our series with the Flyers ... where were these refs then?

Kitty:
Yup - Ovie is like the Hulk when he get's mad ... that's when he really plays like a monster. I love it!! :-)

Leeguru:
Did I chase you you away? :-(

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 27, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

if anyone needs to shoot more it's kozlov. when Ovi is out there, it almost seems like everyone isn't taking good shots and trying to get it to Ovi sometimes. kozlov has quite a shot on him.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 27, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Corey reports that Erskine skated at full speed, and hopes to get clearance Monday for full contact.

Posted by: Section117 | December 27, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

For the question on practice, I went today and there was a crowd. But it has been a while since the Caps had a Saturday practice at Kettler. For the past six Saturdays, the Caps have played away games and a lot of the Sunday practices have been canceled so it has been awhile since there was a weekend practice.

Posted by: NovaCath | December 27, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Boo,

I've actually had customers. I thought the economy was bad?

Posted by: Leeguru | December 27, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru:
Well, people are stocking up on their annual New Year's Beamers ... hello?!? ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 27, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

yeah, the little people are suffering, and the rich come in and buy my cars. And still haggle over 50 bucks!

Posted by: Leeguru | December 27, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I'd just love to be a fly on the wall when you finally break down and say what you are REALLY thinking to one of them ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 27, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"Don't buy the car then..."

I love having my own office!

Posted by: Leeguru | December 27, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on ... you can do better than that!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 27, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"maybe you can't afford a BMW then..."

"what's 50 bucks, a night out?"

"if i can get you the price you want wil you take the care today?"

"this is a special for today only. Offer ends at 5!"

Posted by: Leeguru | December 27, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

@ Leeguru,yeah, the little people are suffering, and the rich come in and buy my cars. And still haggle over 50 bucks!

that;s why they're rich


Posted by: billd2 | December 27, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

jmucapsgirl:

thanks a lot :) is there anything else that a first timer might need to know about attending practices?

can't wait till tomorrow's game

Go Caps! =]

Posted by: jogabonito | December 27, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

@capsfannmiss
as much as i hate that series and all things flyers, that was not goalie interference in the PO last year in game 7. it was however, a really crappy goal to lose to.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 27, 2008 4:02 PM

I know the one you are talking about, but the interference non calls early in the series were atrocious. And the one they called when Koz had a breakaway (with the puck) got checked from behind, and they called him for interference.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 27, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Kind of a tough call, but I am rooting for the B's tonight over the Canes. Might just be rooting for a no "three point" game.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 27, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

jogabonito,
Not really. If you plan on taking pictures at all, the entire rink has puck netting around it, so you either have to focus past it, or take them from below the glass.

Hershey is trying to tie the longest home win streak in team history tonight against the sixth place Binghamton Senators with 11 straight (Set in 63-64). The Senators are 5-0-1 in their past six games, their best streak of the season so far. http://www.hersheypa.com/events/hershey_bears/detail.php?id=2659
You can listen online at sportsjuice.com or theahl.com normally has updating scoresheets once the game starts.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

^ Thanks !

Posted by: jogabonito | December 27, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

@capsfanmiss: I'll take the other side of that game. :) Carolina doesn't scare me anymore, if we keep on going the way we are. I want to catch Boston, now. How sweet would top seed in the East be?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Not being "third by default" is pretty cool, I have to say.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl: I agree. Not being third by default is really cool, and being able to take it higher is cooler still. I think it's time we looked up instead of down and start worrying about how high we can go for the rest of the year.

Oh, and we're only three standings points below Detroit. Is that amazing or what?

Now I just hope that the awesome that Hershey brought to our blueline sticks around when the big guns come back.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I suppose I am on the "cautious" side. I need a little more "wiggle" room. I'll root for a "no three point game".

Here is to Columbus!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 27, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Here here!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Binghamton just scored. Bears down 1-0. 15:17 left in the first.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I must have missed their first goal, which was at 0:00? Anyways, Hershey now down 2-1, goal by Aucoin from CBo and PMcNeill.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

No score so far in the Carolina game, but the Bruins are having problems clearing the puck it looks like. The Boston announcers are all over how the Bruins are 22-1 sine November 1st. Am I the only person who gets warm happy fuzzies at the thought that that 1 was brought to them by our boys in red? :)

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Also, hear hear on Columbus tonight!

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz, not at all! Habs are up 1-0 on the Pens.
I grew up with HNIC, but man. These guys are idiots. "Markov an extremely effective point man for the Habs PP" and yet, Price had to make several stops during their PP with Markov letting it get past him on the point. Oh, and les Habs PP is 24th in the league. Nothing about that seems "extremely effective". Although they did give a shout-out to a menswear shop in my hometown during pre-game.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Practices tend to be boring with few people showing up for barely 20 minutes or so. Someone told me that this is the case with morning skates on game days. They are more interesting in-between games. I know I watched a great practice during the pre-season last year. If anyone knows which practices are best to watch, let us know.

Posted by: caraveli | December 27, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl: Yay! And Blue Jackets are up one on the Flyers. So far so good.

Yeah, I remember watch a couple of Habs games, and their PP was really anemic. Reminded me of ours at the beginning of the year.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru:
That sounds so familiar ... have we met?!? :-P

Joe:
Got carded again tonight! Twice in one week - that's a record. That didn't even happen when I was 21!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 27, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz, Pens scored a while ago, but the Habs scored again. I had to turn the game off though, it was exacerbating the gross sick stuff I've been fighting for most of the week, what with all the powder blue and the Malkinface and the general Crosbyness of it all. They actually said, "Crosby doing yeoman's work, fighting for the puck in the corner." I might be newly re-come to the game, but isn't that his job as a hockey player? To retrieve the puck in an attempt to put it in the opposing team's net? Heaven forbid he breaks a nail. Ugh.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching the MSG feed of the Rangers/Devils game - the announcers are still moaning about the defeat by the Caps on Tuesday. It's sooo sweet - I can't stop savoring that one, especially since I didn't turn the tv off when it was 4-0!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | December 27, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse


Here is an Ovechkin vs, Crosby blog and Ovie wins hands down.

http://www.lacrosseforums.com/showthread.php?p=1826210

Some highlights:

"Ovy the russian machine is unstoppable, he plays the game the way it should be played."

"Ovechkin. If i wanted to see people dive and cry in a sport I'd watch more soccer."

"Ovechkin is by far a better, more complete player than Crosby. There's no one more exciting to watch than him, because of the way he ignite an entire building with his physicality or his finesse.

Plus Crosby's a little wuss and gets away with all sorts of crap, like punching a guy in the nuts....

i do think crosby is kind of a faker. he embellishes on alot of the penalties that he draws."

"Ovechkin destroys Crosby. i don't even think they're on the same level. Ovechkin's physical game and ability to play the game are way above par. don't get me wrong Crosby is great, but he's no where close to Ovy'

"Crosby is a fine player, but he's wouldn't put up nearly the same numbers on a Team with less offensive talent. Oveckin has put up incredible numbers and inspired team mates when his best option was Alexander Semin, who only recently came into his own. Backstrom was a Rook last year, and we've had Vets go in and out.

Malkin is similar to Ovechkin, with out the tenacity. It also helps that he's got a natural passer feeding him the puck."

It seems that Ovechkin won a poll in Toronto. Why why is Crosby's face on so much media publicity?

Posted by: caraveli | December 27, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

too bad politics drives roster decisions - this team is not automatically better off with Schultz (or even Green) replacing Helmer. Most of the Hershey callups have frankly outperformed our veteran injured guys on D. Get ready for more turnovers and inferior play in our own end with the return of either or both those guys unfortunately.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 27, 2008 3:39 PM

cstanton1 - Helmer is fine for a short term replacement and heroic in his effort and very smart. But you can't be serious (or you don't know hockey). BH belongs in the same class as Quentin Laing. The only time he should be in an NHL sweater is when there are several injuries with the parent club. Neither has the talent to make an NHL squad or they would have been on one all of these years. There is a reason they are both AHL lifers. In fact, you are in trouble if either of these guys are one of your first few callups.

Politics? No. Salary cap? In some cases. Talent? In Helmer's case, yes.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | December 27, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl: Oh, ew. I still think those third jerseys turn them into the Pittsburgh Pooftas. :P Especially Crosby, who looks like he could do a commercial for Estee Lauder. (Sean Avery, are you listening?)

Boston/Carolina just started the second, and Boston's knotted it at 1-1. It's a pretty good game, the goalies are both playing hot.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

caraveli:
This one is my favorite:
"Ovechkin. If i wanted to see people dive and cry in a sport I'd watch more soccer."
HA!! I bet DaveUKCapsFan would like that one, too ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 27, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

And Boston just scored again. :P

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli: "Ovechkin. If i wanted to see people dive and cry in a sport I'd watch more soccer."

HAHAHAHAHA. WIN. :D

I think Ovi's tenacity just wins the house. He never gives up on the puck, and it's that that lets him pull out some of the sick goals that he does.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz, who's in net? Ward/Thomas?

As for those awful blue sweaters, I stand by my photoshop. http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcvxkmz_0hnfzs9gd&hl=en

I have a bad habit of automatically typing a "g" every time I type "-in", and I think I'm going to start calling him Ovechking just for my own sanity.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Although, here's a question for you guys. Where would the Caps be without Alex Ovechkin? No, seriously. Where would we be in the standings? What would we be accomplishing?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

jmu:
That works - OvechKING!! :-D

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 27, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl: Thomas for Boston and Ward for Carolina.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Kitty:
Actually, the boys have played surprisingly well when Ovie has been out. I think they've all got the fever ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 27, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Boo: Sure they have, but barring Ovi, do we have the talent to make the top, do you think?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz, in terms of just point production, middle of the pack, at best. In terms of the non-points--hits, energy, morale, etc--I don't think we challenge for 3rd in the division, let alone get a playoff spot. He's the player deemed most valuable to their team for a reason. A big reason. However, it might be interesting to see how a player like Mike Green or Nick Backstrom might step up in his absence to become a dynamic leader himself. *shrugs and raises her bottle of water* May we never have to find out.
And I like how we've got the girls' club going on right now. :-D

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

However, I'm sure we'd have gotten another top draft pick instead of him. So, I guess the question is, how do you feel about Malkin? or Crosby? Jordan Staal? or Pat Kane?
Gee, I'm seeing a pattern. Huh. I guess without Ovechkin, we're the Penguins???

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl: Hey, girls club works for me.

See, I think we'll never know, because there was some talk about how the Caps have far less talent around Ovi than Crosby has around him. I dunno about that -- Backstrom, Green, Semin, Fleischmann, Fedorov aren't slouches in that regard, and without Ovi, like you said, who knows who might have stepped up. Certainly the injuries would have hurt a lot more than they did, I think.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Hard to say if Semin was healthy. Add on Fed, Green and others (not mention guys like Backs who are already healthy), and that's a tough team to beat. Kozzie has been playing well lately - if everyone were to step it up like that AND if one of our keepers was consistently at least a B+, anything could happen. Not that I ever want this team to go without Ovie (and I can't stress that enough!), but if they can play as well as they can down eight men, then they could probably play pretty well without number eight.

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 27, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Bears still down 2-1. Third period just started.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl: Thanks for the Bears update. Send them a little bit of Caps love to take home with them and they'll kick a little third period ass. :)

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

BTW - BOS @ CAR is good stuff. 3rd period tied at 2 all and Boston is having trouble staying out of the sin bin.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Oof, Binghamton just scored again. Bears now down 3-1. Which means, since they're a product of the Caps system, that they will storm back in dramatic fashion and win 4-3.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl - Yeoman's work??! Oh. My. GOD. The agony! I can tell you, however, that the big reason that Crosby is all over the media and Ovechkin is not is that Crosby is better-looking (in some opinions), English-speaking, and Canadian. He's not all that and a bag of chips, and I can't think of anything else that might make him so very popular.

It's annoying, because Ovechkin is far and away the better player. That goal of his Friday night? Crosby dreams of doing things like that

Habs are up 3-2 right now, with 17:39 left in the 3rd. GO HABS?!

Posted by: irockthered | December 27, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

ARGH! No hockey in Indiana. But, there's a cool show about Titanic on the Weather Channel of all places...

Yeah. WANT. HOCKEY!!!

Posted by: irockthered | December 27, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Neuvirth is in net. Not having a very good game. 19 shots, 3 goals. Binghamton's goalie has now faced 40 shots, with one goal. Kinda feels like the Philly Fiasco and Nittymaki's hot night.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz, Of course being Canadian and an anglophone helps. The second coming of Gretzky can't be foreign. Grapes would hang himself.
However, good looking? *shudders* Anybody who has to have his jeans custom made cause his butt is so big deserves my pity, I guess. But he needs to lay off the lip plumper, stat.
I'll take Ovie's semi-unibrowish "Caveman" aesthetic anyday. At least he's got a personality.

Go Habs, indeed! I'm hoping the fact that I'm trying to learn 'Oh Canada' in French is sending good vibes their way.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, and Binghamton scores again. 4-1. Come on, Bears!!!!! 5 minutes left.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl - Ouch for Neuvirth! Of course, he's playing in the ECHL normally... who is his backup? Goepfert?

It's really bad timing for the Bears that both Varlamov and Machesney are elsewhere on a night when they could have set a record. The Bears have faced Binghamton and won three times so far this year. It looks like they are down 4-1 at the moment, though, with about 5 minutes left in the 3rd. :-( Bummer for the Bears, but they have enough games left (24 at home) that they have another shot at the record this year, once they get their regular goaltenders back.

Posted by: irockthered | December 27, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Actually - weird question. Is there any way we could have sent Varlamov back down then brought him back up to back Theodore tomorrow? I can see why it could be a logistical problem, but if both teams are playing at home... is there a rule that says we couldn't do something like that?

Posted by: irockthered | December 27, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl - That was me, not kittypawz, LOL! ;-)

I said for some people, he's better-looking. I didn't say for me, LOL! Those über-red lips drive me up a wall. Looks like he's a commercial for Cover Girl by Noxema... :-p

Posted by: irockthered | December 27, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

And we also have a bench minor for having objects on the ice and a game misconduct for throwing equipment to the Bears during that Sens goal. And that's the game. Bears lose 4-1.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

@jmu-capsgirl - Oh, now THAT sucks. But we can, and have beaten Binghamton this season - once 9-0 (a game I had the extreme pleasure of watching!) As I said, the timing on the goaltender business is bad... but it happens. And the Bears have 24 more home games this year.

A game misconduct, though??! What. The hell? What did they do, throw a stick end-over-end like a grenade or something??! That's ridiculous. The last penalty I saw for throwing equipment was two minutes, not a freakin' game misconduct!

Posted by: irockthered | December 27, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

irockthered, whoops! Sorry! Too much stuff going on in my brain at the moment.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Pity. Boston wins 4-2 and the Bruins commentators are talking about how the Bruins are beating up on the Southeast Division. Hey, you know that one loss since Nov 1? Yeah, that got handed to you by a SE Division team. Yeah, I know you don't want to talk about that. :)

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

AWWWW SWEET :) ;) :) :)

Blue Jackets shut Philly out, 3-0!

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz - Rock the Red-Headed Stepchildren of the Southeast?

Posted by: irockthered | December 27, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

YAY COLUMBUS!

Posted by: irockthered | December 27, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Go Jackets! Bruins can suck it.

irockthered, I'm hoping Tess can tell us what happened when she gets on next.
How about the "Rock the Red-Headed Stepchildren of the NHL"?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Alright ladies and gents, I'm gone. Enjoy the rest of your night!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 27, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl - works for me, LOL!

As a side note:

The Sabres beat the Islanders, 4-3 in the shootout.

The Devils are up on the Rangers, 3-2 with 9:00 or so left in the 3rd.

It's the Bolts over the Panthers, 4-3 with 15:00 or so left in the 3rd.

The Ducks and Stars are tied at 1 at the end of the 2nd.

The Blues are ahead of the Sharks, 1-0 with 9:50 left in the 2nd.

The Avalanche are up on the Red Wings, 3-0with 2:00 left in the 1st.

The Kings are up on the Coyotes, 3-0 at the end of the 1st.

And the Senators-Flames game has yet to start.

Posted by: irockthered | December 27, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha! Things are going our way tonight. Pittsburgh and Philly both lost. And Philly was completely shut our by Columbus. Can't wait for January 6. Hope we wipe them out.

kittypawz: here is another funny one from that blog. Though I am not a guy I can relate to the crush part: "i have a man-crush on ovie, yes thats right missing tooth and all. Dont try and cheat yourself you all know you like ovechkin. Ovie is just an overall better player. Unlike crosby he plays physical and scores without the rest of the team holding his hand."

Seriously, if someone styled his hair and shaved him, he could be pretty hot.

Posted by: caraveli | December 27, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Haha, Caraveli. I liked the other one better. I'm still thinking, though - do people really think that the Caps would be nothing without Ovechkin? And is that really true?

And yes, things are for the most part going our way tonight. Would have preferred a Carolina win, since we're chasing Boston in the standings right now. But both Pitt and Philly lose, and that's cool.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

The bears misconduct was not from throwing equipment but was from coach woods throwing water bottles at the ref.

Posted by: cocorules | December 27, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

The Rangers also lost, to the Devils, 4-2, so yay for that! Things are going our way tonight!!!

I don't believe that the Caps would be "nothing" without Ovechkin. This team is very good at pulling itself up by the bootstraps. Yes, Ovechkin is the MVP, but if they had to (Gods forbid!) do without him for a time, I think they'd pull through it OK.

Other games:

* Lightning 6, Panthers 4 (final)
* Stars 3, Ducks 3 (OT, about to go to SO)
* Sharks 2, Blues 2 (12:00 left in the 3rd)
* Avalanche 3, Red Wings 2 (2:30 left in the 2nd)
* Kings 4, Coyotes 0 (end of the 2nd)
* Senators 0, Flames 0 (6:00 left in the 1st)

Posted by: irockthered | December 27, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

CORRECTION! Red Wings 3, Avalanche 3 at the end of the 2nd. JEEZ! The Red Wings lit up like woah!

DATSYUK @ 14:05
HOLMSTROM @ 15:38
FRANZEN @ 18:03

Yowwies!

Posted by: irockthered | December 27, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

cocorules: HAHAHAHAH. Woods was throwing a water bottle at the REF? WHY? This I have to hear.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz: I can't imagine anyone seriously thinking that we would be anywhere near where we are now without Ovechkin (ans Boudreau for that matter). Yes, we can have a couple of successful games without him playing, but not having him on the team at all?...I say impossible.

In addition to his talent, he inspires, leads and energizes. He throws himself in the game heart and soul with seemingly unending enthusiasm and the ability to lift his teammates to a different level of playing.

Personally, I am completely convinced that Ovechkin and Boudreau are the two book-ends of the team's success and the engines that will get us to the Cup.

Posted by: caraveli | December 27, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Avalanche can pull it out. We're closing in on the Wings, with them currently only 3 ahead of us..... GO AVALANCHE!

Posted by: irockthered | December 27, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

irockthered:

I agree that the Caps would not be "nothing" without Ovie, but not where we are now.

But Ovie alone is not enough, as we know from the Hanlon days. It takes a genius of a coach like BB to create the winning environment and culture and make the right use of Ovechkin's talent (and that of other players).

I really think we've got what it takes--or we almost do. We need to improve the goalie situation and some of the defense. \

But I would not put it past Boudreau if he somehow turned Theo around and helped him reach his full potential. Who knows!

Posted by: caraveli | December 27, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Newbie ? for tomorrow's game - what's a good time to show up for warm ups / which section should we be near for my kid's to "high 5" the team as they start warm ups? Thxs.

Posted by: leebles | December 27, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

leebies: Usually warmups start at 6:30, and you'll want to be there around 6 if you want to get close to the tunnel. (6:15 was not early enough.)

Tomorrow's something of a special case, though, with the jersey retirement. Not sure how that will be handled.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, two guys does not a team make. If it were just Ovi on the ice, the D could just gang up on him, but they also have to worry about Green, Backstrom, Semin, and several others. While Ovi is definitely the heart and soul of the team, we can't simply dismiss the rest. I think that does them a disservice.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

thanks, kittiepawz! we've been to about half a dozen games so far but (ahem) not there early enough to do anything but grab our seats...

Posted by: leebles | December 27, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

leebies: Yeah, I've taken to wanting to be early and even adjusted my work schedule to make it work. Fortunately, my boss is good about things like that.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 27, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I just typed a huge post and my stupid computer lost it! So I apologize in advance if this double-posts.

Anyway, the officiating at the Bears game was horrendous. Twice as many calls against the Bears as against Bingo, and some blatant non-calls. The one that got Woods upset was when Chris Bourque was tripped right in front of the ref, and no call, and then the Bingo player goes into the zone and scores the 4th goal. Woods threw not one, but two (maybe three) water bottles at the ref, which of course got the bench minor and game misconduct (for obscenity!). Woods was tossed out and may face a fine and/or suspension, but I'm sure he'd tell you it was worth it. it was really quite amusing. Woods needs to work on his aim though.

As for Neuvirth, he was so-so. One goal was a deflection and one he was screened on; the other two he probably should have had. The Bears got credit for 44 shots on goal, but I wouldn't say they were quality shot. Elliot (the Bingo goalie) got #1 star and probably did deserve that.

The Bears play again Sunday night vs Albany, and it'll be interesting to see who is in goal (Goepfert backed up tonight) and whether Woods is behind the bench.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 28, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: tess2201 | December 28, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

@tess2201: Ah ha, I guess that explains it. That's funny, and yet not somehow. Poor Helmer having to walk into that.

Good morning, everyone. Hoping for a big effort tonight against Toronto. They lost their last two and three of their last five, and they're going to come out hungry to close the year. There's no reason why we should lose to them unless we come out flat, something I am seriously hoping not to see on a jersey retirement night.

On the other hand, one thing I observed during the Friday night game and am thinking about. I noticed during the Bears games that Bryan Helmer comes out to the Bears' goal and talks to the goalie now and then, when he gets the opportunity, as in before a faceoff and so forth. He did it again with Theodore after the first goal the Sabres scored. I'm guessing it's encouragement and a check-in of sorts. Can someone who's played hockey (especially in goal) comment on that and how that affects the game itself? Could the Caps benefit from doing that? I know I've seen AO do it now and then, but if it's what I think it is, it could really help keep Theodore on.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 28, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning, All!

The Red Wings got 1 point last night from the Avalanche - Wolski put one past Budaj for the win in the shootout - taking them to 51 to our 47, but that puts us two wins fromhttp://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalsinsider/2008/12/fleischmann_has_pneumonia_helm.html tying them if they lose their next two games outright...

The Sharks also got only 1 point last night, when they took their shootout loss against the Blues.

The Kings slaughtered the Coyotes, 4-0, and the Flames slapped the Senators, 6-3.

We're still sitting at 4th in the NHL, ahead of the Rangers Goals For (116-102), but also in Goals Against (we have 108 to their 103) - but we have played 36 games to their 38, so ours is the better record.

Let's keep it up! I'm getting ready to go to Indianapolis for my flight home; see y'all when I get back! I'll probably pop on one more time in Indy, if the airport has free WiFi. TTFN!

Posted by: irockthered | December 28, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Alright, both Carolina and the Rangers lost. Today is a great opportunity to take 2nd in the conference, and put 10 pts btw us and Carolina in the Division. GO CAPS!

Posted by: AMHV2772 | December 28, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

@leebles - I would make one amendment to the "show up at 6:00" thing. They open the doors at 6:00, and there will be people in line by then... so I would venture to guess that 6:00 would still be a bit on the late side to get in position to hi-five the players as they come out. I would also add that since tonight is the Gartner jersey retirement ceremony that getting there way early would be pretty important to being able to get where you want to be.

Posted by: irockthered | December 28, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

@AMHV2772: I would have preferred a Carolina win, all things considered. Yeah, I'm glad Philly lost - puts some distance between us and them in the standings, which can only be a good thing. But Carolina is well behind us, and I'm not looking in the rearview mirror too much right now. I'm eyeing Boston's top seed now.

It still tweaks me that Boston's announcers were all over how Boston is beating up on the SE Division and how they've only had one loss since November 1. Um, who handed you that one loss? Oh wait. That was a SE Division team, wasn't it? Yeah, I know you don't want to talk about that part. :)

Posted by: kittypawz | December 28, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Looking for tickets for tonight...
Money is no object...

Posted by: JSchon | December 28, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

@leebles

If you want to get an upclose view of the players and high fiving is not the only priority you could also go down to the glass at Section 113. That is the side opposite the tunnel the players come out.

During warm-up Ovie usually plants himself against the glass and sometimes tosses pucks over to little kids with signs or Ovie jerseys.

It is better to get there as early as possible as the glass is more crowded now than in previous years. People are usually pretty good about letting kids go up front.

Posted by: Kim-3 | December 28, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

jschon,

go to craigslist to look for tickets. that is where i get a lot of my skins/caps tickets. the closer the game gets, the lower the prices tend to go. last year i actually met someone with tix who became a good friend. he worked under Ted a few years back and is friends of the family. I spent 3rd period of the home opener this year in Ted's box. nothing better in life than having OV score a goal and getting a high-five from Ted!!! Lets Go CAPS!!!

Posted by: CapsSkins | December 28, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Tarik spelled "Gartner" wrong in paragraph three in today's paper and here http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/27/AR2008122701124.html?wprss=rss_sports%2Fcapitals

other than that, it was a good read...

GO CAPS

Posted by: Matt_L | December 28, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I would have liked to see more Helmer... and not given a immediate free pass at Schultz... and don't give me the "one is a NHLer, the other AHLer" non-sense... well, I guess we'll see when he comes back.

Posted by: mauree | December 28, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

In that lacross forums poll, the results are 61 for Ovechkin, 25 for Crosby, and 24 for "I like bagels, even when they're stale sometimes."

It'd be great if bagels took over second place.

Boo: Sorry I missed yesterday's meeting. The reminder didn't show up until this morning.

Joe B

Posted by: rw-c | December 28, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

um, did no one notice Semin skating yesterday? he spent some extra time by himself, and he did look like he was on the (slow) road to recovery!
pothier was also out there all suited up for a while!! that made me so happy :)
laich and the boys were having lots of fun at practice, they kept joking around and making fun of each other during drills. it was very cute!
also, varlamov looked GREAT in practice yesterday! :)

Posted by: lovecaps28 | December 28, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

JSchon:
Did you try TicketExchange? There is not a lot there, so I would jump on it if that's the way you want to go. Good luck - hope to "see" you there!

Joe:
That's Booprobation for you - does not bode well for membership, now does it?!? Ironically there were other "members" there who do not even know that they are members. In fact, I think it was a members only evening ... go figure.

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 28, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@Mauree
Coach likes Schultz.......

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 28, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

booprobation lol

Speaking of Semin, was anything done about his nerve, or whatever it was that put him on a wheelchair? Those sort of hits happen dozens of times a game, you don't want him to get re-injured like that...

I'm going to miss a few games I'm afraid :( ... in LA with girlfriends and parents. GF gift's were tix for the Ducks game on new year's eve :D so happy about that. Boo, I will boo once Pronger for you ok?

Posted by: mauree | December 28, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl
-As for those awful blue sweaters, I stand by my photoshop.
-http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcvxkmz_0hnfzs9gd&hl=en

this is f'n funny - is there any way you can put a skirt on him?

Posted by: kdwiedel | December 28, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

@Capsfannmiss
I trust BB but I think there's more involved, like salary cup, etc. I'm just worried, our D is pretty consistent right now, and I'd only give a granted spot to Green and Poti... not to Schultz or Erskine, they have to gain it back imho.

Posted by: mauree | December 28, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

mauree:
You're a real pal ... and a good gifter!! ;-) BTW, how many GFs do you have?!?

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 28, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Boo:
Are you telling me I'm on Booprobation now?
I'm Joe, not Jose.

While I'm too far from D.C. to attend games anymore, I had season tickets for some of the Gartner years (as well as season 1 [multiply that number by 8 and get the total wins] and some in the 90s up to 2000).

I'll never forget his signature goals -- skating at top speed along the rightside boards, taking a full windup and unleashing a wicked slapshot. I used to fear for the goalies and the net itself.

Posted by: rw-c | December 28, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Joe:
Well you did miss a meeting, and your name in Spanish is Jose ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 28, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Oops - new thread!

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 28, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

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