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Gordon Aims to Make Most of Chance

My story for tomorrow's Post is going to focus on Boyd Gordon, who for now at least, is Michael Nylander's replacement on the second line.

Gordon is a shut down center by trade, but he's got some offensive upside. After all, he played as a rookie (albeit briefly) with Kip Miller and Jaromir Jagr.

So why would he feel out of place on a line with Tomas Fleischmann and Alexander Semin? Apparently, he doesn't.

In the Caps' 4-2 win over the Senators on Tuesday night, Gordon was solid, if not spectacular, and skated 17:22, his highest total since early November. He also saw 2:03 on the power play. It's a different role than he's used to filling, and it's going to take some getting used to, but he said he likes the challenge.

"I just want to contribute and be dependable defensively for those guys," Gordon said. "I really don't want to change anything I do."

Coach Bruce Boudreau said he was pleased with Gordon's performance vs. Ottawa and plans to keep him on the second line--for now. (I imagine that could change if Chris Clark gets healthy, which would allow Boudreau to move first line right wing Viktor Kozlov to second line center.)

"He's going to score you some points," Boudreau said of Gordon. "He's not a scoring threat like Michael Nylander, but at the same time, he gives some balance to the line."

Asked who would start in goal tomorrow night against Edmonton, Boudreau said he hadn't made up his mind. Olie Kolzig has been in net for 15 of the team's 19 wins, but backup Brent Johnson made some big saves against the Sens.

"We've got two good goaltenders," Boudreau said. "Olie is the guy who's going to play the brunt of it and he's our No. 1 guy. And when Brent can come in a give some relief to Olie, then fabulous."

Also, Alex Ovechkin, Donald Brashear, Quintin Laing (general body soreness), Brian Pothier (concussion) and Clark did not skate today (practice was optional because of the brutal schedule). The lines were the same.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 16, 2008; 11:07 AM ET
 
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Next: Steinberg Visits Kettler

Comments

Tarik: Are you KIDDING ME?!!!

There is a serious goaltender issue in town -- did you read Mike Wise? -- and you're giving us a puff piece?

Shame.

Posted by: 20008 | January 16, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Furthermore, Olie's body language on the bench yesterday said volumes. When Johnny got run Olie didn't move, didn't stretch, and ignored it. Geez.

Posted by: 20008 | January 16, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

There's BB answer to the goalie situation.
I can live with it.

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Tarik-

Out of towner here - wanted to say thanks for all your work, articles, and blog.

Should we be worried about Alex not practicing lately?

And what about Kolzig mini meltdown in Wise's column. Thoughts?

Thanks
Matt - Columbus, OH

Posted by: Matt | January 16, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I think for now we are just going to have to split time b/t Johnny and Olie...nothing wrong with that. I can't really comment on how close the young guys are to playing in the NHL but eventually we are going to have to do something unless these two can become consistent...

Posted by: K | January 16, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

20008,

You are dumb.

Sincerely,
Your future self.

Posted by: 20009 | January 16, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

20009 lol!!!

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S.

Thanks & back atcha. Shame Lee isn't around. He missed a good chance to confirm me being a bozo & bust your chops for being sappy.

"General body soreness".... Gotta feel for Laing

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Laing, did you guys noticed yesterday's last high stick on him? Ouch!!! If he had the front teeth, it would have knock them out. There was some blood BTW, it should have been minor double (not that it mattered since it was 1:30 left in the game).

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Yep, would be nice to have a follow up on that piece. Call Ted and ask how many emails he has recieved. If the line for Olies autograph is an indication, there is a problem in Dodge right now. We have no plan for replacing Olie, Johnnie is NOT a #1 goalie and we sure arn't going to trade for one.

Posted by: bob | January 16, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@20008

You need to get a grip, man. Goalie controversy? Are YOU serious?

Posted by: Tarik | January 16, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I hope that Olie is just being misrepresented in the Wise column...we've come pretty far since Thanksgiving I'd hate for dissention to begin when were at the cusp of a potential p-f run...

Posted by: Unitedfan | January 16, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

See what happens when you don't feed the beast in a timely way, it gets really cranky ;-D.

Hope that you are well, thanks for your continuing great service.

Posted by: Clarendon | January 16, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

What is Patrick Roy doing these days?

J/K - Johnny and Olie will due for now. We just need to keep up this pace. If I have time, I am going to try and figure out the East'n Conf Records since BB took over - we have to be up close to the top.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
me, too. gotta respect BB for that, especially after the article. he could have been petty, but he was not.

RE: Olie's body language, I didn't see it that way - he was paying attention when Brent went down. I don't think back up keepers start stretching until the coach tells them to get ready to go out (otherwise it would be very presumptuous on their parts). I also saw him pat Johnny on the back in between periods - I think he supports Brent; he is just upset about his own situation. There is a huge difference ...

Posted by: Boo! | January 16, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I didn't say goaltender controversy -- you did. I said "issue," and there is clearly an issue. Last I looked, Olie is third-from-the-bottom in NHL goaltending stats.

But other than your mischaracterization of what I wrote, yes, I'm serious. Read your own paper.

If you don't think what Olie said -- including about divisions on the team -- isn't the biggest inside-the-room story to break on your beat all year, you're trying too hard to be friendly with everyone. There's crackerjack stuff in that column.

Posted by: 20008 | January 16, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Tarik is the man btw...I live for his blog updates...I'm stranded at school in PA (in flyers territory UGH) and its nice to follow the team vicariously through this blog and always know whats going on. So thanks for your hard work...I hate seeing people bust your chops

Posted by: Unitedfan | January 16, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@20008,

Oh and one more thing, check with me tomorrow night and ask again about the goalie controversy, okay?

Posted by: Tarik | January 16, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

One more thing (again), Tarik: I didn't say there was a goalie controversy, you did. OK? If you're gonna bust my chops at least do it honestly, OK?

Posted by: 20008 | January 16, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

And one more thing, I did read Wise's column. Actually, I read it before anyone else, including the editors. So, like I said, catch a grip man.

Posted by: Tarik | January 16, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

That is I didn't *use* the word "controversy," you did. Sorry for the confusion.

Posted by: 20008 | January 16, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

honestly I wouldn't have like it if Olie started stretching immediately *stares at 20008*

You're right Boo! I didn't think it that way, it wasn't easy to make the right comment on Olie... BB somehow always manage to say the right thing.

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting some popcorn, this is getting good.

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Tarik-

Any word on how Chris Clark is feeling?

Any chance he plays tomorrow or Sat.?

Posted by: captnclark | January 16, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

20008 = caps suck... in which, if I was a betting man - caps suck = Larry Murphy.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, can you at least post and educate us a bit on the Wise piece? For example, why did Olie speak with Wise and not you? Do players feel like they can get more of their thoughts printed when dealing with a columnist versus a beat writer (a good one in this case, no offense intended)?

Do you think perhaps it was not just frustration, but perhaps also a little tweak from Olie to get Ted and George going on his next/final contract?

Thanks, keep up the good work.

Posted by: Caps Fan in MD | January 16, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Its great when people wait for my comments.

I still think the Caps suck. Too bad they dont have any games against Ottawa.

Now for Kolzig...I take everything I read in newspapers with a grain of salt because things are too easily taken out of context. However, Olie has been around way too long to even allow himself to say some of those things in public. Too much self pity with him. His comments should have been....

"The team is playing well and winning, and if having Johnson between the pipes gets us into the playoffs then I am all for it."

Then he should have gone into the coach's office and had a discussion with him..not saying it to Mike Wise.

The team will eternally be terrible until Kolzig is on the shelf.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

bwahahahahahah

Posted by: @20009 | January 16, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

and no..im not 20008

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I love Olie, I love what he's meant to this franchise, to the community and to the game.

But when he's 39th in the league in GAA and 42nd (out of 43) in save percentage, I think it's completely fair to refer to there as being a goaltending issue. Especially when the backup is playing well.

I also think it's fair for the newspaper's readers to wonder why the paper's beat writer pretends that none of this exists and then dishonestly goes after his readers.

Posted by: 20008 | January 16, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Post of the year so far goes to 2009!!!

2008, you provide comic relief to this forum, but not much substance.

Olie is a respected veteran on a young team. His play may have slipped but he has value to this team.

GMGM will cut ties with him the minute that dynamic changes. Remember Peter Bondra????

Get a grip and leave TE-B alone. He is doing a fantastic job.

Posted by: Genotype55 | January 16, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - Thanks for the great updates as always and especially the upcoming piece on Gordon. Last night I heard a post-game interview with Dean Evason talking about Gordon and Semin on the same line. Evason's comment was that Semin is great on offense but "lacks in the other end" so that's where having him on a line with the D-minded Gordon is a good thing. I thought Boudreau's quote about Semin at the end of your story today was also very telling. It seems like the coaching staff is very aware of Semin's limitations (as showcased in Sunday's game) and are making a point of trying to address them in order to help him develop. Any comments?

Also (still directed at Tarik) I would be interested in your opinion on Neil running down Johnny at the start of the game. I've heard everything from "it was done deliberately to take him out," "he left his feet/skates," etc. but since I sit behind the other goal, and no replay was shown at the arena, I'd be interested in your take on the incident. Did it appear deliberate? Why was there no penalty called on Neil? Why didn't Bradley or someone else get up in Neil's grill? And most importantly, do you think Johnny is feeling any lasting effects? Obviously I am mostly calling for speculation, but in my opinion your (Tarik's) speculation holds more water than Joe Blogger's opinon. Thanks!

Posted by: Jill | January 16, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Steve R - pass the popcorn.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Geno:

There's substance in the post right above yours (which, to be fair, probably went live while you were typing).

Posted by: 20008 | January 16, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

@caps suck

So you are Larry Murphy?

"Your name is Larry, isn't it? Did you get a gun? I didn't get a gun."

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Please dont feed the trolls.

Posted by: captnclark | January 16, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Kolzig is showing a lack of respect to his new coach and Brent Johnson, thinking that only he knows what is best for this team.

Posted by: 90210 | January 16, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

You know, there is nothing like being called out publicly or for a goalie, being pulled, to motivate oneself to raise your level of play.

Olie is a pro, has played a lot of games, has been pulled before, has broken his stick over the crossbar, has thrown towels, sat looking dejected, etc... But that doesn't and hasn't created a "goaly controversy". Olie knows BJ isn't in danger of stealing his starter job. Olie also knows he only has so many starts left before its time to get a job as a commentator, coach, rancher, or activist.

His comments in that Post article aren't inflamatory and don't point to any sort of rift on the team, unless you choose to read that way, which I suppose is you're perogative (cue Bobby Brown).

Perhaps it was written that way to give you something to squirm about... After all, journalism is more than providing facts, its about illiciting thought and generating conversation/debate. If you want bare facts, grab an almanac, dictionary, or encyclopedia.

(not saying that there is fabrication, but things are posed a certain way in articles for a reason.)

Posted by: CCCP11 | January 16, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@20008 - I've read the Wise column twice, and I don't see anywhere that Olie said anything about "divisions on the team." Can you please clarify specifically which quote you are referring to? I guess I just don't see that "crackerjack"-ness of the piece.

Posted by: Jill | January 16, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@Boo!

You're absolutely right about Kolzig's reaction last night. I was right next to him (even have a photo of him helping to fix the glass that came out of its runners next to him) and he looked concerned when Johnny went down and paid attention to what was happening on the ice.

Between periods he patted Johnny on the back and was talking with him.

Posted by: keef | January 16, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

828:
Can you please pass the popcorn to me before you pass it back to Steve R?

Posted by: Boo! | January 16, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Jill,

I sent behind the Caps bench and the ref was explaining to BB that Johnson was moving out when Neil was coming across - so, it was like Johnson "skated" into Neil. I thought it should have been a penalty and I would like if they are able to "not avoid" the goalie in those situations - then we should not have to avoid those situations when the goalie is behind the net.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"I had a great relationship with Glennie," Kolzig said of Glen Hanlon, whom Boudreau replaced in late November. "He finally had a team that he deserved. As players, we just couldn't get it done for him. Bringing Bruce in, half our team really responds to him because they played for him in Hershey, so I think that's been really positive."

Posted by: 20008 | January 16, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

The only goalie "issue" or "controversy" here seems to be rooted in Olie's slightly hurt feelings over the fact that he hasn't yet been offered a contract, and/or his sense that Boudreau may not be as solicitous of his feelings as "Glennie" was. No more -- and that a goalie "controversy" doesn't make. He's had the large, large majority of starts, and Boudreau has said that he's the top guy. The fact that Olie's feelings may be a touch off-center at the moment doesn't mean that there is some raging goalie problem, or that there are "divisions" on the team. It just means that Olie's a proud guy -- who came off, fairly or not, as being in my view a touch whiny in the Wise piece.

Posted by: Bartz | January 16, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll never attack Tarik..he does a good job of covering the team..even if he is a bit of a 'homer' J/k

Just spout my opinion on the state of the team.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

AND, Kolzig is not going to stretch and get on the ice until the trainer says Brent cant go. Do pitchers run out to the mound when they are called in for relief? No, they take their time and milk every second so they are mentally ready.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

You can take Mike Wise with a grain of salt. He didnt even bother to check when Boudreau took over, he listed it as December. He also referred to Kolzig not playing as a "benching" which is completely inaccurate. Johnson merely started a game.

Posted by: Homer | January 16, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

@20008 - Okay, so in that quote, Olie talks about Hanlon, and then says how great it is that the team brought in a coach whom half the team has already played for in Hershey.

What's all the fuss?

Posted by: Jill | January 16, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

For the fifth time, the only person here who used the word "controversy" was Tarik. (Who did a nice, and completely dishonest job of twisting what I said.)

I said that there was a goaltending issue, and I think the stats bear that out:

Olie is 39th in the league in GAA and 42nd (out of 43) in save percentage. I think what I wrote is completely fair, especially when the backup is playing well.

Posted by: 20008 | January 16, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Anyone can contest that I cant stand the Caps as much as the next guy and even I dont know what 20008 is getting at.

...BTW..I live in DC for all those who think I live in Philly, NY, Pitt, Buffalo or whatever.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

This whole goalie mess is crazy. It's not a mess - it's only a mess if the Caps are losing and right now, we are not losing. We are catching up.

Let's talk about Crosby on the cover of Women's Fitness... what's up with that? He's 19... if he is not in good shape, there is something really wrong with him. Get someone out there that is 26-35... that would be impressive... not some kid that isn't out of puberty yet.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I sure hate it when things get obfuscated

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Caps Suck - did you get out of the right side of the bed today? Are the Caps starting to grow on you? You got yourself an Ovechkin Jersey last night, didn't you?

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

What do you mean you don't know what I'm getting at? The numbers pretty much speak for themselves. What is so confusing?

Posted by: 20008 | January 16, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Actually, i got myself a Kolzig jersey then burned it in effigy

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@ 828

Caps still suck.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

20008 - the numbers do speak for themselves, however, Olie is finding a way to win with those numbers and that is what people are trying to say. BB said that Olie is the man - until he says otherwise, Olie is the starter and Brent is the back up. I have come to deal with that so I'm not rocking the boat. When we lose 4 straight or however many straight, then I will argue... but, like someone stated - we have not lost 2 straight in regulation since BB took over. That aint too bad.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

20008 - I dont know what you are getting at because the Caps have 2 backup goalies dressed in 'starters' clothing.

6 of one half dozen of the other..both goalies are bad....could be worse..could be the 'canes and have Michael Leighton starting

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Caps Suck guy really hates the Caps. I think he is just unhappy with them right now. I think he is someone who used to really love the Caps and for some reason became disenchanted with them. His posts seem to indicate that he actually follows the team and seems to worry about their situation.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 16, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@20008
Your nick is confusing

You first refer as Wise's interview as "the issue" then obfuscate yourself by saying the stats are "the issue".
Also, the fact that you insist on "I didn't say controversy, Tarik did"

You asked for it :D

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I really don't understand some people's need to stir the pot. Maybe their masochists or something. Not talking about Olie.

Right on Tarik. There's no "controversey" or "issue" here, jusy Olie letting Mike know what's on his mind. You can do that with a collumist. It's their job to get views on things. The beat reporter's job is to report the news, not make the commentary on it.

Posted by: EricS | January 16, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Disregard that, I suck balls.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I know, I know... I feed the trolls... but she looks so cute in the pink Crosby jersey.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@Caps Suck,

Actually, i got myself a Kolzig jersey then burned it in effigy

Posted by: Caps Suck

If you burned it in effigy, what did you burn instead of it?

Posted by: Bobo | January 16, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, how can you honestly have any faith in your employer if they will continue to employ Mike Wise?

I feel sorry that you have to run into a person like that in the hallways from time to time.

Posted by: sean | January 16, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@ BearsWoooo

I follow sports in general. I come from a family of sports agents. The Caps confuse me. All be it OV has a huge contract that is worth a lot of money..good for the fans but not the league.

Think about it..all other GMs are now looking around saying...great now i will have to fork over that much money at some time. GMGM has single handily ruined one of the goals of the cba. Yeah, the cap goes up year to year but budgets generally dont.

What makes you think the Caps can remain competitive year to year with a big chunk of budget being taken? I would much rather seen them spread the money out a little evenly.

If AO loves being in DC so much he would have agreed to take a 5 or 6 yr deal worth a little less in the short term to put a good team around him. But management and OV has their heads so far somewhere its unreal. I guess you cant blame AO though because if someone offered me 9 mil and change Id jump on it too.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

clearly Johnson is playing better then olie imo this season if he would have stayed in the pitts game , we probably would have won it..Olie falls under pressure...think of all the playoff series we've lost since 98....Olie is simply OLD...

Posted by: capshockey98 | January 16, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Screw popcorn. Somebody pass me a beer.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 16, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

@Caps Suck,

Couldn't agree less. The Oilers are ones who have screwed up the market with the offer sheets to Vanek and Penner.

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@Steve R.

I've got the beer. Can you pass the popcorn?

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The team is winning, regardless of Olie's save %...he is still keeping the team in games when they fall behind early. He's not what he used to be, but his leadership on this team is as valuble as his play...you people are reading too much into stats (see Nylander's +/- before his injury) Stats count on fantasy teams a whole bunch, but the MAIN thing to be concerned about is W-L for the TEAM. Not how many Olie has compared to BJ. And, STOP FEEDING THE TROLLS!!!

Posted by: Caps Suck SUCKS | January 16, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, Caps Suck thinks we actually think he has something constructive to say... Who was waiting on him and his ignorance?

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

If you follow sports then I'm sure you know that OV certainly isn't the first player to make 10 mil a year. In fact if a guy like Vanek is getting that kind of money, I'd say OV is a K-mart blue light special at that price. I don't think you can say that the Caps are responsible for ruining the CBA. There are plenty of other GMs shelling out big bucks and long term deals to players that are not as talented as OV.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 16, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@ SteveR

You're right..but Im not talking about the Oilers

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Caps Suck,

Why don't you look at it this way? In 7 years, players might be making a ton more than AO and we locked him in at the right price. The Caps have room on their cap to sign our players... unlike the Pens when they have to sign big time contracts with multiple players.

AO is one of a kind and deserves one of a kind deals.

The people that hurt teams and the league are people like Chara or the GM for Edmonton... he is prolly one of the reasons why Alex was signed now and not later.

I don't see why this deal was bad at all... Alex is to Washington as Yzerman was to Detroit and I believe with him here, we will be competing for the Cup real soon.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey Capz Suk,

Your palat of Zoloft just got here, need to sign for it. Don't forget your "DC" address. All those other cities have such great hockey teams so that is why you live here huh Cindy?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@828
Amen brother!

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 16, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Im not saying the Caps are SOLELY responsible.

Im not talking about other teams, Im talking about the Caps

Vanek isnt worth anything, we all know it and time will tell on that one.

As it will with the OV deal. 5 years down the line when the Caps havent done much besides get knocked out in the 1st round of the playoffs once everyone will be wishing there was more money for the Caps to spend on the right pieces

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@ 828

one thing you forgot about the Pens..new arena coming..with that comes a lot of new revenue..they will have the money.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

And in 5 years guys with OV talent will be getting 12-15 mil a season...

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 16, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@Caps Suck

On the AO deal. I posted this on CBC.CA last week...

Even after sleeping on it, this is still a great deal.

This is a good deal for the Caps on a lot of levels. First, the simplest to get is this. One of the other 29 teams - probably the Oilers - would have offered him the max on an offer sheet. The Caps would have had to match it. So, the Capitals SAVED over $1 M per year by signing him to a $9 M deal now.

Second, it's a long term deal in 2 phases. As the salary cap goes up, and we all know it will, the gap between the $9M and 20% of the cap widens making this even more economically appealing.

Third, he is the face of the NHL around the world. He's smart, articulate, damned funny, hard working, hard checking (9th in the league in hits), high scoring, high assists, thrilling player.

Fourth, the Caps team is built around him. Over the past 3 years the Caps have gathered players that compliment AO. Green, Backstrom, Semin, Kozlov, Nylander, Fehr, and others in place, or in the pipeline. Some are just beginning to become players in the NHL, like Green and Semin.

Finally, there's still a fair amount of cap room for Ted Leonsis to move around and make deals in the FA market.

In an interview with Tarik el-Bashir of the Washington Post, AO said:

"Ovechkin told me (Tarik): "I cannot say how happy I am. I didn't want to go nowhere. If I want to go somewhere, I could sign for three years."

"I decided I didn't want to go anywhere, and they didn't want lose me, so we signed a long-term deal. It won't put more pressure on me. I will play the way that I always play."

This kid is a joy to watch on the ice, and is a phenominal ambassador for hockey world wide and here in DC. This was a great deal.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Why do you care if they have no money in five years, you hate them. Remember?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 16, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"Im not saying the Caps are SOLELY responsible."

Then try to avoid phrases like "single-handedly"

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 16, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

20008:

If the numbers speak for themselves, then what does "20008" say?

Sorry, but I had to ask ... ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | January 16, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

If it is falling, the sky is doing it very slowly over the course of 80-whatever games, not today. BB clearly said Kolzig is the #1 goalie. There is only a controversy if Kolzig sux enough to warrant being #2 next year and balks.

P.S. The Cap's goal at this time probably should be to win the division. Looking at the points, the odds are good making the playoffs also means winning the division.

I don't know about you but I'm going back to my bomb shelter now.

Posted by: austinsteve | January 16, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't care if the Pens play at FedEx field - they still have to cover multiple contracts. You think Malkin wants less than Alex? You think Conklin wants less than Kolzig? You think Stall wants less than Semin... Not to mention paying Gonchar, Feury (if you keep him). The Pens are hosed in 2 years and will be at the bottom of the barrel... like they were for 6 years straight going into last year.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@austinsteve

Don't go there! Watch the fireworks and have a beer!

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"Looking at the points, the odds are good making the playoffs also means winning the division."

Agreed. Given the strength of the Atlantic and Northeast divisions this season, I'd almost feel safe in saying that whoever finishes second in the Southeast will be playing golf the day after the regular season ends.

...almost.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 16, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

It's my zip code.

Posted by: 20008 | January 16, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@captnclark

I spoke to Chris after last night's game. He said he was feeling no better, but no worse. He did suffer a setback, but it's not like he's back to square one.

He didn't skate today, so that probably means he won't play tomorrow. We'll have to see what happens on Friday at practice before talking about Saturday.

Posted by: Tarik | January 16, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Nobody is doubting Ovechkin's commitment to the game or his work ethic.

The thought process is what is being questioned. Yeah, you lock him up now for a long time and save a lot of money. But you could have locked him up for 6 yrs and still saved money.

Taken that money saved and built an actual contender. Yeah you have young guys..

Green is up and coming and with each passing day will command a higher salary and if he doesnt get signed by the end of the season and still leads the league in D goals..watch out..thats going to have to be a big contract that the caps probably cant afford

Nobody is too excited about Kozlov's play and Nylander..who knows if he will be the same..every hockey player i have dealt with who has ever had shoulder surgery of any sort never is the same.

They need to have enough money to sign some proven 20-30 goal scorers and a couple solid, proven D to compliment Green. By this point int he season, they SHOULD have 4-6 guys in double digits, not 2.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Fluery is a RFA at the end of this season. Malkin and Staal are RFAs at the end of next season. Just between the 3 of them, good point about if they keep them 828, how much? I'm laughin' already. geez...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

20008:
Oh it all makes sense now ... and here you had us all obfuscated!!! (Not that that ever happens - we are usually pretty much on top of ... everything! ;-)) Thanks for the clarification.

Posted by: Boo! | January 16, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S,

Yup, beer and popcorn, lunch of champions.


"one thing you forgot about the Pens..new arena coming..with that comes a lot of new revenue..they will have the money."

Posted by: Caps Suck

You're going to need it to re-sign Sid in 5 years. Plus all the revenue in the world doesn't change how much you can spend with the cap.

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Big win by BJ, but Olie better start in boston...

Posted by: soon to be 19-0 | January 16, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Caps Suck

This should answer your question - http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08016/849393-125.stm?cmpid=sports.xml

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

828

Conklin wont command much..remember..he was in Wilkes Barre not too long ago..he will take something to keep him in the league. Fluery..imho..is done with the Pens if Conklin keeps going like this.

Malkin wont want more than OV because nobody will give it to him..remember, he is JUST now starting to heat up.

Staal, you could get away with a 2-4 mil 3 yr contract.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Caps Suck - if we didn't have injuries, I have no doubt we would have at least 4... Semin and Clark have been out - those are two of our 20-30+ goal scorers

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why people get so upset when a GM offers a player big bucks. The GMs all agreed to the current CBA. If a team wants to offer money to sign a star player why does that make them the bad guy? Because they didn't give your team a chance to steal that player away? If all teams are trying to fill seats in their arenas, they need to win. In order to win they need to sign good players. In order to sign good players, they need to spend money. Sometimes they may need to "outbid" other teams to acquire good players. Any employee will be tempted to change his place of emplyment for more cash, even (or should I say ESPECIALLY)pro athletes. I've never heard anyone leaving an auction (or ebay)saying, "The guy that won cheated, he outbid me!" That is kinda how it works.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 16, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

NHL.com keeps stats for qualified goalies, I think a minimum of 16 games. There are 43 goalies they include.

GAA - 3.04 (39th of 43)
Save % - .888 (42nd of 43)

Bryzgalov would have been sweet.

Posted by: Rob | January 16, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Lets go caps, hopefully we can get the 8th seed in the playoffs so that we can beat ottowa 8 times in a row!

Posted by: Troy` | January 16, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

So WHY would you want to renegotiate in 6 years? He'll be in his prime (29 years old) and with the cap up would have to shell out perhaps 14 or 15M per year? That makes no sense when you look at this agreement at only 10M!

I think you're just jaded because he negotiated his own deal and didn't use an agent. No 5% for you or daddy.

Pass the popcorn!

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

@Bobo
"@Caps Suck,
Actually, i got myself a Kolzig jersey then burned it in effigy

Posted by: Caps Suck

'If you burned it in effigy, what did you burn instead of it?' "

That was the funniest thing I've read in a while - I had to wipe the Pepsi spray off my monitor, thanks to you.

@Caps Suck

Better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

Posted by: Shaggy | January 16, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Conklin is 11-0-1... if he keeps that up, do you think he will settle for something? Heck no... he will be saying "show me the money" with stats like that. Right now, he is prolly the best goalie in the league and that is why the Pens have had their success.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

@828

He has been a beast in net. Damned miserable !@#$^R&T*(U)((*_(

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I think agents get 10%... I think Caps suck is just bitter that Crosby got hoes on his contract and will be leaving the Pens in 5 years because they can't afford him.

I think everyone is a winner in the AO deal... as for the other 29 teams... WHO CARES - that's the enemy... keep up or shut up.

Popcorn passed to Boo! - pass it to Greg S. Need a beer and some floss!

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Conklin is a throwback, an up and down goalie - the league will figure him out before too long, and he'll sink back to earth.

Posted by: Shaggy | January 16, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@caps suck

Emmy, is that you again?

Posted by: on ice | January 16, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Rob

Thanks for opening up the brizgaloff can of worms again......OY....

Posted by: dave | January 16, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@828,
"confluence". I like it.

If anyone was there last night, I think you would agree it was the fastest we've looked all season. Nice to say, since it was the Sens we outskated. We looked good. Edmonton is also fast so if we can keep up this speed against Fla, they are toast.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Can we just think what being back in the playoff hunt may do to Olie confidence the rest of the season? Things were rock bottom for him at his age, on a sinking ship that was supposed to be good this year.

Now things are looking better, and I have confidence in him as a competitor. I would like to see Johnson every 4th game, and I think with reduced turnovers in our half of the redline things will get better for our net-minders.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 16, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@Shaggy,

Glad you liked the one liner, it was too good to pass up.

Posted by: Bobo | January 16, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Tarik-
Thats not great news but many thanks for looking into it.

@ the rest of you

Why are you all still talking to this loser? All the trolls want is attention. Why else would they bother talking on the blog of a team they dont even like?
I dont care if it's from DC or not, its still a Pens fan or Slugs fan or whatever.

Posted by: captnclark | January 16, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Rob.

Posted by: 20008 | January 16, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I heard somewhere that agents get between 3 and 5% of the deal. Could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first nor last.

And Crosby doesn't have anyone but himself to get jazzed at. He thought it was cool that he got 8.7M. Just like his jersey number. I kid you not. How immature.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Ted says we have plenty of money to sign the needed players and I have to believe him on this. We haven't spent a huge amount of cap money on the guys we have...

Posted by: ted says | January 16, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

So many posts!!! What's up?

Posted by: Finn | January 16, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@captnclark

Because every now and then, Caps Suck comes out with something reasonable. Like his response to 828

"Conklin wont command much..remember..he was in Wilkes Barre not too long ago..he will take something to keep him in the league. Fluery..imho..is done with the Pens if Conklin keeps going like this.

Malkin wont want more than OV because nobody will give it to him..remember, he is JUST now starting to heat up.

Staal, you could get away with a 2-4 mil 3 yr contract.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 01:59 PM "

Is "Confluence" the word of the day?

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, was that actually you sparring with 20008? As you can see, I can put your name in and not be you. It just seemed out of character some of the things "you" said in response.

Posted by: Tarik | January 16, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

BearsWoooo, there was some sort of gentlemen's agreement by GMs not to "steal" each other's RFAs by offering above market deals. Lowe ignored warnings from Buffalo and Anaheim not to offer the contracts. Before last offseason, I doubt that there would have be any serious offers to Ovie unless negotiations broke down. Thanks to Lowe, the threat of a mega offer became real and now teams have to change their thinking.

Posted by: tallbear | January 16, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

@Bobo
"@Caps Suck,
Actually, i got myself a Kolzig jersey then burned it in effigy

Posted by: Caps Suck

'If you burned it in effigy, what did you burn instead of it?' "

That was the funniest thing I've read in a while - I had to wipe the Pepsi spray off my monitor, thanks to you.

@Caps Suck

Better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt


Refer to original post by someone else about me liking the Caps..then you can get what I was getting at.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree with many posters who have said that Olie has slowed down & is but a showdow of his old self. Johnny, well he is an adequate backup & that is all. I am surprised that so many seem to think that the 2 young goalie draftees will be the answer in the very near future. I disagree---in the future yes, but not for 3-4 years. Look at montreal Cory Price, I think that is his name, was sent back to the minors for mor seasoning. there is no question that if in fact Olie is washed up, the Caps are going to have to find another starter for next year.

I repeated this from the previous thread. For some reason the new post wouldn't show up in my browser, even though I clicked on the blog 4 times.

Posted by: sidehillman | January 16, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

apparently the grammar police are out today

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Thanks for the update on Clark. I hope he's back soon, but only when he's 100%. We cannot afford another set-back by coming back to soon.

Posted by: Tracy | January 16, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine what this team would be like if everyone was actually healthy! We'd be awesome!

Posted by: K | January 16, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

@Bears Woo,

How's Fehr looking?

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine what it would be like if they didnt start 6-14.

Its probably going to be too tough to overcome.

Posted by: JamesD | January 16, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@sidehillman

Well, here is something you can use to refresh the browser if you didn't know it already.

For some reason, they site does not refresh or clear it's cache, so, when you go to blog.washingtonpost.etc.html - the next time you go to it, you are basically going to see the same thing. You try to refresh - still same thing. To fix this, add a ? to the end of the html. The question mark forces the page to reload.
Examples:
blog.washingtonpost.etc.html?
blog.washingtonpost.etc.html??
blog.washingtonpost.etc.html???
blog.washingtonpost.etc.html????
etc...

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I know right - had we won just 3 more games, we would be right there.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

wow you guys are cracking me up today. 2k8, you brought that on yourself bro.

Tarik, any word on Pothier?

it would be interesting to see the caps go with a 2 goalie rotation like minnesota did with Rolo and fernandez, and the avs are doing with theodore and budaj.

Posted by: pch49 | January 16, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Yeah,
You guys and gals do not know how many times I figured it if we would have been .500 at Thanksgiving. Anyway, we just need to move on and keep up the 2 out of 3 win pace 'til April.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

@Tallbear

I don't think it's so much of a gentlemen's agreement as Lowe put in a riddiculous offer sheet for an above average player in LA (? or was it Anaheim?). Then he started looking at Buffalo. That's what started the current escallation in contracts.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

100+ posts, and I think I'm one of the first people to talk about the topic that Tarik brought up in Gordo. I think he had a terrific game last night, he really added that tenacious forecheck to that line, and they got a lot of chances.

Posted by: Stephen | January 16, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

They can win at that pace but at some point the bottom will fall out. Of course the team has already had a bad slide in the beginning of the year but at some point they are going to hit a rut like every team does. The hole they put themselves in might not be able to be undone..unless some freak thing happens and every team in the SE loses each time the caps play and they take the 1st spot.

Posted by: JamesD | January 16, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

It was Dustin Penner from Anh, and I don't think his numbers are anywhere near where they expected. Speaking of the ducks, anyone know how Suts is doing? I can look up the stats but wondering if anyone has seen a ducks game lately.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised that it took this long for anyone to bring up Boyd Gordon. Because he's really not the topic of the day: The goaltending situation should be. Which was what I said in the first place.

Posted by: 20008 | January 16, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I saw some of the Ducks stuff on the NHL network last night

Sutherby looked ok..nothing spectacular but solid from what the announcers were saying.

Posted by: JamesD | January 16, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@James,
Cool, glad to hear Suts is getting ice time.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to float a crazy idea of mine and see what y'all think: I, for one, am getting really tired of everyone dumping on the Southeast Division and the teams therein. Yet why has this poor, untalented group of teams accounted for two of the past three Stanley Cup champions if the division is so bad?

I have a theory about this: it's the result of the unbalanced schedule. The teams in the Southeast are very evenly matched, and they spend a good part of the season beating up on each other. I'm convinced that each team in the division costs each other more points in head-to-head matchups than other teams experience in their respective divisions. For example, look at the intradivision record thus far this season:

Atlanta: 9-7-1
Carolina: 9-8-1
Florida: 9-8-1
Washington: 8-7-1
Tampa Bay: 10-9-1

If you don't believe that this parity is unshared by the other divisions, just take a look at their intradivisional records. Also, I don't know why this is, but please note: only 5 games inside the Southeast Division have been decided in overtime or shootouts. This tells me that virtually every Southeast Division game has only provided the winning team with its two points in the standings, instead of two points for the winner and one point for the loser. I haven't analyzed this for the other divisions, but I'd be interested to find out how the divisions stack up in this area.

So I bristle when they talk about the "weak" Southeast. It just ain't so. And I'm convinced that when the league goes to a more balanced schedule next year, you'll see just how competitive these Southeast teams really are.

I know it's a long post, but I had a lot to say. Comments?

Posted by: George H. | January 16, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I've seen a couple of games...he's not putting numbers up per se but he's doing what he does best: being gritty...
I thought Boyd did well last night but nothing overly spectacular. He played a good solid game and I think I do like him on that line b/c it does balance the line out doesn't it? I mean until we get Semin to be more defensive :)
I think putting him on the second line was a good decision by BB.
By the way Tarik have you gotten any updates on Nyls and how the surgery went? (If it's over?)

Posted by: K | January 16, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@JamesD

You just convinced me...Im not going to another game. Maybe I'll start knitting myself a jersey so I can wear it next year.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 16, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@pch48

From Corey's blog BB says Pothier is making baby steps in his recovery. I would be suprised if we see him again before Feb

PC

Posted by: PC Caps | January 16, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@ stephen, yeah you're right. Semin's first goal came off a turnover and a decent forecheck for that matter. I really hope Gordo fits in with Semin on that line cause I believe Kozlov is more effective on wing than pivot.

Posted by: pch49 | January 16, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Steve R / 828:
What is this, air popped?!? passing to Greg S ...

Posted by: Boo! | January 16, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@ George

You may see some difference next year but thinking about it, the "new" schedule will only amount to a few extra games outside your division..the SE will continue to get bad press probably.

Personally Id love to see division realignment. Caps need more games against philly, ny, pens buffalo and ottawa

Posted by: JamesD | January 16, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@BernieWolfeFan

Suts is playing more and more, nothing spectacular but he's contributing more and more. He almost scored twice yesterday. The Ducks are beginning to win consistently after a slow start.

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@ SA

Its just my opinion. If a team continues on a torrid pace of winning 2/3 games, eventually fatigue catches up and if they make it to the playoffs they might be ineffective.

Im not saying jump ship but I think the hole is too much. It seems like anytime someone gives an opinion that people dont agree with around here others jump all over them.

Posted by: JamesD | January 16, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Sutherby's doing well. That team is good enough that they don't need him to do more than hit people, stick up for his teammates, get pucks, and kill penalties--all things he does very well. Everything that's been said about him (announcers, Carlyle, Burke, etc.) has been very positive, so it looks like it was a good fit.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 16, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@GeorgeH. comments that say the southeast is weak, obviously dont take into account 2 cup champs in the past 3 seasons.

Posted by: pch49 | January 16, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@George H,

I can't speak for the divisions strength or weakness, but I do know I hate watching the Caps play Fla, Atl, Car and Tampa 8 times each. I have much more fun when it's Pitt, NJ, NYI, NYR....

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't like seeing any other teams 8x. I don't like it now and I wouldn't like it if we changed divisions....boring!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 16, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

@Boo! Steve, Greg, 828

*makes his best impression of Shrek's Cat puppy eyes* those popcorns sure look yummie...

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

How about this for a division

Wash
Phi
NYR
NJ
Pitt

I wouldnt mind seeing games against these teams more

Posted by: JamesD | January 16, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

@JamesD

We are 5 points out of first with 2 games in hand...I think that the teams above us KNOW that going head to head with us going to be an extreme indicator of who makes the playoffs.

Since when does winning 2 out of 3 games burn you out?

"if they make it to the playoffs they might be ineffective." - I'll gladly deal with that issue when it comes.


Posted by: SA-Town | January 16, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@George,
I agree. I've always questioned this "south-least" reference anyway. Besides, teams go up and down sometimes. Look at TB right now. Next years schedule will be interesting, if not revealing.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Right..but again, its just my opinion.

the beginning of the season slump and now the recent resurgence gives more hope but in order to win you have to play hard fast physical hockey. Not all teams are going to keep that pace up for half the season.

Its easy to take things lightly and lose but harder to continue to win.

Posted by: JamesD | January 16, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, off topic but trying to settle a debate.

Question is, who is the fastest cap?

I'd have to think its Ovie, but I've heard that Bradley and Pettinger can fly also.

Posted by: pch49 | January 16, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@mauree

Who could resist!

Pull up a barko. *passes a beer and the popcorn*

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

@Mauree,

There's beer too..

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

All,
Thanks for the update on Suts. I asked because The Caps had 12th and 13th pick in 2002 and we chose Eminger ahead of Semin. Life goes on.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

sidehillman accurately breaks down the "goaltender issue": no plan going into next season. It kills me that the team is coming together, tempering their metal, yet going into next year looking like monsters, they have a backstop "issue". If it ain't one thing with this team it's another.

And Caps suck is just worried that other smart athletes will negotiate their contracts without his or his colleagues services. And then he might have to find a real job.

Posted by: Clarendon | January 16, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

all right!
hmmm I shouldn't at 3:30 in the afternoon... *drinks the beer anyway*

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Olie is the one man this organization owes its success, let alone much of its fan base, to. You may be able to purchase talent like Olie's--but not loyalty.
While he may have had a bad game here or there, he's still the heart and soul of our team. The one stat that matters is wins-- and he's one game below .500.

He should be allowed to play out his last couple of years in the only uniform he's ever worn. It's what he wants, and considering all he's done for Washington, it's what he deserves. He believed in us all of these years-- now it's time to return the favor.

Posted by: suzanne | January 16, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Olaf's leverage:
Former face of the franchise
Still the best option in goal
No replacement in the system for years
Access to the press

GMGM/Ted's leverage:
Olaf can't stop break-aways
Olaf is old
Olaf has bad stats
Olaf isn't the missing piece for another team's cup run

The Caps need Olaf and Olaf needs the Caps. Nothing is going to change. These are just the musings of a frustated old goalie that feels a little unapreciated. Olaf will be around for another year, but I'm sure GMGM is aware of the contract situation for every other starter in the league.

Posted by: bob | January 16, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@Suzanne,

I can appreciate loyalty to Olie. He's been loyal to the team/town and does deserve it in return. But, does that mean overpaying him for his services next season? Is Olie willing to take a major pay cut?

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHA..real job

Didnt say I was a sports agent. We've got 3 in the family and its a business i want no part of. Who wants to start out by making a living negotiating deals for single A ball players? Or NBDL players?

But Clarendon is right..there will be a backstop issue as long as Kolzig is still around. He wont be happy riding the bench while young talent gets all the playing time.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Wise piece was just awful. It sure looked like Olie was just using Wise to get a few things off his chest. The veiled shots Wise took at Boudreau were shameful, especially coming from someone who I would guess has never said one word to Boudreau.

Of all the good columns that could be written about this team over the past month, it is a shame that Wise came up with this one. There is no appearance at all that he made an attempt to get any other side of the story.

From his use of the word "benching" when referring to a backup goalie playing, among other comments, it is clear his hockey knowledge is minimal at best. I would love to know exactly how much Caps hockey Wise has watched this year.

Tarik, keep up the great work! Really sad that the Post even ran this column; I thought it was just terrible.

Olie is also a smart guy who knows hockey as well as anyone. He knows very well that a signifcant part of the reason he was pulled in the Flyers game was to give the team a spark. But he knew in Wise that he had a "useful idiot" and who would have no clue as to whether he should be questioning any of these comments.

At the end of the column, it is nearly impossible to even figure out what Wise's central point is. Just a terrible job.

Posted by: CW | January 16, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Many of the points Wise Mike makes regarding Olie have been pondered by may onlookers, myself included. Afterall, Hanlon was a goalie too, and alot of blame last year was shoveled onto the D when too many pucks came buzzing by the net. This year, the shots against is down, but the results are the inverse of what would have been predicted by the Hanlon-Kolzig school of Goaltenders anonymous.

Johnnie had a great game in Hershey, and was named 2nd star of the game. Too bad for him, the rest of the team decided that having an NHL goalie was their magic bullet, and decided they didn't need to make the effort. Shame on them.

The passing of the baton is inevitable, akward and sometimes painful. That this is a delicate subject is good, because Olie has stuck out the many changes of Caps personnel, managers and players alike.
But goalies can't improve their game if they ride the pine, like we've seen with some of our D. Even Emmy had a great game against Philly.

Johnnie deserves a chance to play, improve and show us "who is Brent Johnson?"

We already know Olie.

Posted by: dogdaze | January 16, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

STEVE R! Who is drinking all my beer?

Where are the Doritoes?

The trolls are out today.

I will cut Olie some slack. He has been loyal to the caps, saying during the fire sale that he did not want to go anywhere. He wanted to stay during re-building. As for his tanrum at getting pulled, I think we all know how emotional he is. (He breaks sticks during practice). ANd no golie wants to either sit or be pulled. He is slower, and older, than he used to be, and I think he acknowledges that. That said, if he is resigned, i hope it's as a back-up and for much less.

Posted by: Lee | January 16, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@dogdaze..I'm with you...I'd like to see what Johnny really has to offer. I think his stats could be a bit misleading b/c he's never played on a consistent basis. I thought he did ok last year when Olie got hurt. It took him a bit to get used to being #1 (which is never good) but I definately think there could be something there.

Posted by: K | January 16, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

@Lee,

I think a better question is who hasn't been drinking your beer?

You get stuck watching Pens highlights last night?

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

@Steve R.

Nope. "World Police" was on. I win!

Posted by: Lee | January 16, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't he 1-13 last year when Olie was out b/c of his knee?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 16, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

there was nothing wrong with Olie's quotes. The problem I have is in the way they were presented and "spun". By a guy who has never been to a hockey game!!! How does he even get in the locker room?

Posted by: sean | January 16, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - I noticed you replied to captnclark's question but not mine. Since this is the second time you've disregarded a question from me this week, should I take the hint and not ask any more? :) Do I get any credit for trying to ask semi-intelligent hockey questions instead of just coming here and stirring up kerfuffles like some of the others?

I am not feeling the love... ;)

Posted by: Jill | January 16, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

From what I know about Johnson's past, he was the #1 in St. Louis and lost the job, but I don't think it was from performance. If memory serves, he was hurt for a bit, and never regained his spot. He has a career GAA of 2.62 and a save % over .900. Considering how poor his first 2 seasons were statistically with the Caps, it shows how good his numbers were before coming to DC.

I'm not saying the Caps should plan on having him as the starting goalie for next season, but I definitely think he deserves to play at least 50% of the games between now and the end of the season.

I'd be happy to see Kolzig stick around as a backup, for backup money. The thing is, I don't think you want Kolzig (as is) to be backing up a guy who isn't capable of playing 80-85% of the games. But at the same time, I don't think Kolzig would be happy with that sort of situation.

Posted by: Jeff | January 16, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Just because I wanted to verify my "memory"...here is an except from an old Washington Post article:

"Johnson won 34 games for St. Louis in 2001-02 and began the next season as the Blues' No. 1 netminder. But he suffered two serious injuries -- a high ankle sprain and a pulled groin -- and was limited to 38 appearances. He never regained his status with St. Louis."

Obviously that was a number of years ago...but he's still only 30. Given the chance he could help out between the pipes down the stretch.

Posted by: Jeff | January 16, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Kerfuffles? That word is making me feel obfuscated.

@Lee,

"World Police"....? How'd you get so lucky?

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

was that the real Tarik arguing with the trolls earlier, or someone posing as him?

Posted by: Lee | January 16, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

About Johnson, I always thought of not playing him more per say, but Olie a little less. That is something Hanlon understood (Glennie reference) and hopefully BB is not learing this as on-the-job training.

Olie can be solid but he is getting overworked. At his stage, when Olie doesn't play he gets rested, not rusty. And Johnson seems to play better with a more regular rotation. If Olie starts tomorrow I'd like to see Johnson against Fla.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Steve R

Fehr is looking decent, but seems to tire very easily. His shifts are short and he seems very winded. I guess that is to be expected after such a long lay-off. The other night when the Bears were on the PP, he could hardly skate any longer and headed to the bench, creating a turnover and odd-man rush. I'd say he still has some reconditioning work to do before he's ready.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 16, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Re: Will the real Tarik please stand up

I think it had to do with the mention and comparison of other Post writers and comparative article subject matter choices.

Posted by: Fluffy P. Sez | January 16, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Has Johnson played in back to back games this season?

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Who do we petition to have the purported verb "obfuscate" eliminated from the english language?

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@Bears Wooo,

Thanks for the update. Wonder if it's likely that we'll see Fehr on the RW in the bigs this year. Hmmm, Kozlov to center and Fehr on the wing or a Bourque call up at center?

Anyone have thoughts?

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S,

You'd have to give me another word that's as fun to say first.

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Steve R -- Johnson hasn't started 2 games back-to-back. He's played a full game + garbage time in back-to-back games twice.

Posted by: Jeff | January 16, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

@Steve R

Olie's already indicated that he would sign for much less to make room for Alex's contract.

Posted by: suzanne | January 16, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm a big Olie fan but Johnson is a far better puck handler. Last night that was very evident. It's almost like having half a defenceman back there. Johnson is quicker to the puck and knows how to get rid of it. I think we should give him a chance and see.

Posted by: gawferstud | January 16, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

@suzanne
He did? Can you give more details? First time I hear this.

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

@BernieWolfeFan

With that reasoning, I'd rather see Johnny take the reins tomorrow and put Olie in on Saturday. Let Johnny play while he has a little steam behind him.

Without jinxing it, tomorrow should be a win for us (even though EDM is probably fuming) and Saturday's an important game.

Posted by: keef | January 16, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

*writes down time & date of keef's comment* we'll see about that jinxing

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Los guys and gals,
What about Olie discussing retirement? I'm thinking that was just kneejerk stuff after a bad week but hypothetically, we could need to fill a spot regardless come summer. And no, don't bring up whatshisname but any RFAa or UFAs you think GMGM should be eyeing? Does anyone know what we have for draft picks in the bank?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Most of you have probably seen this, but Dan Steinberg has a good Ovechkin story today.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2008/01/ovechkin_his_hair_and_floor_ho.html#more

Do you think he has the ability to do anything without giving 100%? Going all out against middle-schoolers...classic.

Posted by: Jeff | January 16, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@Suzanne,

That's news to me. Puts an interesting spin on things. Johnson is still under contract for another year. If Olie is resigned, are the youngsters going to be in the AHL? Reassign Johnson and let Olie mentor one of them?

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@mauree

I'll be at the game, so if we lose, you can come punch me. :)

Posted by: keef | January 16, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@BernieWolfeFan

I've been saying it for a little while now...

LUNDQVIST

He wins games.

Posted by: keef | January 16, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else notice how Puckguru and Chief don't post when the Caps win? And since BB arrived, that's been more frequent....

Posted by: Lee | January 16, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

@Lee,

Now that you mention it..

@Bernie Wolf,

Huet

@Keef,

Where are your seats? Just in case of the jinx kicking in.

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@Steve R

Now that's the trick, isn't it? :)

Posted by: keef | January 16, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

@keef,
Good point and I've thought about that as well, but I think that would be misunderstood by all involved as Olie losing his starting job. I agree 100% about the Mo but BB seems to be good at keeping the room focused. I'm just hoping Olie starts tomorrow for confidence reasons, and Johnny gets Fla for all the right reasons.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

@Keef,

Let me guess, you're the one wearing an Ovechkin sweater?

Lundqvist... That's a tough one. I'm not crazy about the idea of the Caps putting offer sheets on other teams RFA's. Oilers are now on an island after Vanek and Penner.

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Lundqvist and Huet huh. I'll dig a little, thanks.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Huet and Bryz are going to be UFA. Those are the only two that jump right to mind. Earlier in the year I remember rumors that the Habs were looking to move Huet for a #1 center. Don't know if true or not though.

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Exactly what effigy should be cremated to relieve Keef of his jinx?

Posted by: Clarendon | January 16, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@Claredon,

Might I suggest #68 from the Pens

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Lundqvisk is currently making $4.25 M and is RFA. I don't mind making an offer on him, just not do something like the Oilers did and give him an offersheet of 10M for 120 years.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

A Lafontaine/NYI sweater?
That goal against Bob Mason still makes my beer go flat. Yikes.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S,

Aren't the Rangers tight on cap space? I don't know how much avail $ they have.

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Why not put offer sheets out there? Its perfectly within the rules of the cba. Every team can do it..so why not the caps?

The Rangers really cant let Lundqvist go..they dont have much besides him in goal.

I want to throw this out there...

If Olie does decide to retire or the Caps dont re sign him...who do you think can fill that void?

Being as Johnson is not a #1 and you dont want a rookie between the pipes...of available goalies..who has the most realistic shot of ending up in DC?

Posted by: JamesD | January 16, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

My Rangers (*sigh*) have only $2M in cap room to work with, and 7 count 'em 7 UFA's to get signed.

Frankly, I think we go shopping there. Give them a break after all we've done for them with paying half of Jagr's salary, we'll take a D-man off their hands, too.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

@Clarendon,
I know I'm dating myself but I'm not trying to be rude if you do not about "that goal" and Pat Lafontaine. Do you? If not, that's ok because I feel much older than my age right now anyway :o)

@Greg,
I figured we/GMGM would need to spend around that much for a top tier goalie anyway so hopefully we can just get one, ya know?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Just to chime in on posts that claim the Caps must win two out of three for the rest of the season to make the playoffs:

Atlanta is one game over .500, Carolina is at .500, Florida is two games below .500, the Caps are two games below .500 with two, three and one games in hand over Atlanta, Carolina and Florida, respectively.

In baseball terms, the Caps are a game and a half out of first place in the division with 37 games left to play. Unless one of the other teams in the division get incredibly hot, the Caps don't need anywhere near two wins in every three games for the rest of the season.

Posted by: Joe B | January 16, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Here you go...stick it to Philly...Jeff Carter is a RFA at the end of the year..not signed...

versatile can play wing but natural center...id go after that

Posted by: JamesD | January 16, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I thought Tarik had said Olie would take less to stay until he retired. Johnny is not a #1 and you won't find one in the unenployment line. I remember when all of you wanted to put in Ouelette and now Ouelette is playing in a beer league someplace. We need to wait to see how our kid goalies turn out and rely on Olie until then.

Posted by: Bob | January 16, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

BB's daily dialog is up. I saw someone pinching his cheeck, Boo! was that you??

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

That last comment wasn't mine and was deleted. Folks who comment under someone else's name will be banned. We've done it before, and we'll do it again.

To the folks who abide by the rules, please carry on.

Posted by: Tarik | January 16, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

@BernieWolfeFan

Works for me.

They have a lot of D-men coming up as either RFA or UFA; 2 RFA4 and UFA's. One of the RFA's looks pretty good, and cheap. Fedor Tyutin makes just under $1M. Scouting says he's a bit chilly, so he may go cheap. They also say that he's a top 4 D-man with good size and excellent hockey sense.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

@Steve R

HAHAHAHHA - that would have been the better response.

I can narrow it down for you - I'll be the one NOT wearing #8.

Posted by: keef | January 16, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@Steve R

The NYR are tight on space the rumbles are they may be looking to dump our favorite player to relieve it.

I don't think they'll let Lundy go anywhere.

Posted by: keef | January 16, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,
I recall the article about Olie taking a paycut to stay, but do you think The Caps would want to keep him just out of loyalty? Also, if a Cup contender wants Olie come trade deadline, we should let him get a shot, out of loyalty correct?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
you know it!! :-D i'll have to watch it when i get home ...

Posted by: Boo! | January 16, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Caps sucks is a loser with no life....ignore it he'll go away

Posted by: Troll | January 16, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

olie's never wanted to be traded to a "contender." kolzig said repeatedly that there are no guarantees he'd win a cup elsewhere, so he'd prefer to stick it out where Lord Stanley would mean the most.

Posted by: alex | January 16, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Photo of the pink helmet for those who haven't wandered over to the Bog:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2008/01/kanye_the_pink_helmet_and_barb.html

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | January 16, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

What would a contender want him for?

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Haven't read any comments how Jay (his original post was January 11, 2008 at 12:23 PM) predicted exactly the course of action of Nylander's season ending injury including playing one more game against the Flyers before calling it quits. Seems odd.

Posted by: Just make a save | January 16, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

@Bob: I think you've summarized the Caps view of their goaltending situation, particularly as far as Varlamov is concerned. I had hoped he'd play in the AHL this year, and next year expect he'll be either in Hershey or possibly here.

But while we're throwing potential UFA/RFA goalie names around: Marc-Andre Fleury.

@Greg S: Rozsival?

Posted by: Fred | January 16, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow...
I spend one day trying to get some work done and I miss all the fun.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 16, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Just a blog, but of reading interest.

http://chat.mapleleafs.com/index.php?showtopic=68301

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 16, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Philly is man handling the Panthers 4-1 end of 1

Get this...Jokinen gets a fighting major 1 min in.

Posted by: JamesD | January 16, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Oilers looking for momentum
http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=350204&nhlLink=true&page=NewsPage&service=page

Don't know about Florida, I wish they are not too hungry when playing with us.

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Lundqvist would be a good option. You can always try to work out a trade in the offseason for the players rights and work out a deal before they become a RFA. Plus the Rangers have Al Montoya, a former top five pick, waiting to move up. He's been fantastic in the AHL and would be a much cheaper option.

Posted by: nhcaps | January 16, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

@Keef,

What about Pascal Leclaire?

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Pascal is a great programming language. Don't think it's used too much anymore though...

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S,

The beer I'm drinking is dulling the pain.

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Why would Pascal leave Columbus? He look like their #1 goalie there. His numbers are good, he's making 1M. Think gmgm can steal him from them?

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

lol Steve, raw (not normalized) number of wins?? Talk about beer goggles!

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

hey mauree:
i just got back from a "lady" skate!! ;-) did i miss any excitement?!? things seem to have quieted down ... are the trolls gone?!?

btw, I listened to the daily dialogue - BB sounds VERYup on Olie ... did anyone hear that any differently? it is just the expanded version of what tarik wrote above.

by this time tomorrow we will hopefully have another 2 points in our pocket ... LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!!

Posted by: Boo! | January 16, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

wb Boo! Nothing much happening. FLA was losing 4-1, made it to 4-3 then lost it. The Devils lost too, and will host FLA on Friday... I think that's good for us.

Steve is drinking too much beer it and he's finding way to make Olie look good :D, but at the same time suggested Pascal (a very good goalie from Columbus).

Trolls will never go away - they might be distracted by something trolly, but will always come back, think about zombie movies.

How was the lady skate? That's on rollers or ice?


Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Also, I meant Montoya would be a cheaper option for the Rangers so they might be looking to go that route

Posted by: nhcaps | January 16, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
that would be ice ... and it was just lovely, thank you! :-)

btw, just watched the caps/sens post game interviews on www.nhl.tv. johnny was downright giddy! he said he could not remember the last time he won at home. good for him - he earned it. coach paddock, on the other hand, looked MISERABLE. sooooo dejected and obfuscated. poor guy. he also looked like someone popped him in the mouth - do you think he and slapshot gabby got into it after the game?!?

Posted by: Boo! | January 16, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

oh mauree, we have fallen behind AGAIN!!! :-/ see you on the next post!! :-D

Posted by: Boo! | January 16, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

@Boo:
re: Paddock mouth pimple.
Losing to the Caps 3 times in 20 days? Being swept by them? He compensated with chocolate.
Tons of it. Hence the giant pimple.

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

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