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Gordon Has Broken Hand; Clark Criticizes VC's Ice

Boyd Gordon's mysterious injury, as it turns out, is a fractured right hand. It should keep him out at least a few more weeks.

Chris Clark (strained groin muscle) did not practice again, so I would consider him doubtful for Friday's game in Jersey. He later criticized the ice conditions at Verizon Center, which he believes may have contributed to the injury he sustained against Florida on Nov. 28. Clark called the ice the "worst in the league."

Update: I caught up with Gordon at KCI. He said he suffered the broken hand in the first period vs. Florida when he was hit by a puck. He's wearing a hard cast, and after the team's practice, skated on his own for about 20 minutes.

Gordon was optimistic about getting back into the lineup sooner rather than later, but said he won't know for sure until the cast is removed. It should be noted that Gordon played the remainder of that game, skating 15:38, and even scored in the shootout. Afterward, he knew something was wrong and went for X-rays.

"It's already been a week, but we'll see where we are in about 10 days," he said. "It wasn't a slap shot. I was just trying to break up a D-to-D pass."

As for Clark, here's what he said about the ice at VC:

"There's a lot of ruts in the ice. It's soft. It's wet half the time. I could see a lot of injuries coming from the ice there. It could cost [players] their jobs."

"I"ve been trying to get it fixed. I've been going over the ice reports. I've been trying to tell them that it's [a problem]. But it's been three years since I've been here, and it's the worst in the league. It's tough to play on. Even guys on other teams say the same thing. When we're facing off, they say, 'How do you guys play on this?'"

"You think it would be to our advantage. But it's not."

By the way, today is the 10th anniversary of the first hockey game at Verizon, a 3-2 OT win over Florida.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 5, 2007; 11:03 AM ET
 
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Next: Nylander Out vs. Devils

Comments

Undisclosed upper body fractured right hand injury

Posted by: Anonymous | December 5, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

looks like Laing will be staying for a while. I hope he takes advantage of it.

Posted by: straub21 | December 5, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

So why all the mystery, unless he broke it punching someone/something in the locker room or elsewhere off the ice?

Posted by: Fred | December 5, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

did he score that shootout goal with a broken hand? can you ask?

Posted by: sheesh | December 5, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure his hand was fine for the shootout, it had to be. Usually, if it was a Babe Ruth too hungover to play situation, they'll say he ate too many hotdogs ya know? My guess is he punched the wall next to Poti's head.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 5, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

i do not get why they can't say it right away. it was so obvious, but he came out saying it is a minor injury....

Posted by: Helge | December 5, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Bummer about Gordo. Makes you good story on Laing all the more timely as it appears he is going to be sticking around for awhile. As such, you may want to go beat on the editors for the spelling problems on Sports page 1. The headline "Lang time coming" and the teaser's use of the word "Lang" made me hope that Robert Lang was coming back...


Posted by: old time hockey | December 5, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Dinner and Dancing after exhibition at the Club last night? Did you go? comcast sportsnet was there. It all looked very cheery for the outdoor skate in front of the "public". Come on, dish!

Posted by: Clarendon | December 5, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I remember playing at that rink when I was younger. Hand warmers in the skates and all that stuff..

I hope Laing sticks around too. I would be pleased if he becomes -the- callup guy when these types of situations arise in the future.

Posted by: Jordan | December 5, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

You would think that when the Captain of the home team and the opposing players that come to DC complain about the ice sheet at VC that something would be done about it. The thing that kills the VC ice is the fact that the building is a multi-use facility. There is no chance the Caps will ever get a building to themselves so I won't even mention it. However, I thought the guy that maintained the ice for Edmonton was supposed to be the best in the league. Is there anyway the Caps could get him out here to pull up the current sheet and lay down a new sheet to make the game better?

Posted by: Mitch | December 5, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Too bad John Kordic isn't still around. I heard he knew a thing or two about ice.

Posted by: Fire Hanlon | December 5, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, one would have to think that the Captain coming out and not just saying it's bad, but that it's the worst in the league would be a rather large red flag to those responsible for it.

Posted by: Goat | December 5, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Ive played hockey for about 20 years(I'm only 26) and during the season ticket holder skate, I notice that the ice was much softer than most sheets I've been on. Soft, wet ice is typical for around here and can lead to several lower body injuries (probably doesn't help Semin when he skates either). Instead of getting someone from Edmonton, where it is cold and easy to maintain ice, get someone from a like climate to lay a decent sheet.

Just another reason why the Capitals have not future in Washington. We can build them a $50 milion state of art facility but can't put down decent ice for a game.

God I love this town!!!!

Posted by: Roger | December 5, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

the Frozen Blog was at the outdoor practice, too. They talked to the coach and green about the ice.

http://www.onfrozenblog.com/2007/12/05/at-frozen-country-club-for-outdoor-fun/

Posted by: Caps Fan | December 5, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

10 years and they still can't get the ice right.

Posted by: Jill | December 5, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

SHeesh,

Did you not read Tariks post or what?

Posted by: feesh | December 5, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Abe Pollin for the wonderful conditions at Verizon!!

So that's why we haven't been good for the past 5 years. It's the ice. I just thought we were terrible. My bad.

Posted by: wanggo | December 5, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The fact that it's a multi-use facility isn't what kills them. Almost every team in the league is a multi-use facility. I do understand that VC is one of the busier ones, but that alone isn't the issue.
The fact is they either don't care, or have the time to make it better. If places like Phoenix, TB and Florida have better ice than us it rediculous. This is another problem I trace back to Ted who is NOT a hockey guy.

Posted by: Capfan1 | December 5, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

There are tons of multi-use facilities in the league whose ice is far better than that at VC (all of them, as a matter of fact). Very few teams play at hockey-only facilities. What they need to do is talk WSE into upgrading their machinery, or bringing in people who can do it better than those currently employed.

Tarik,
Any chance of a hard-hitting investigation into the reason(s) behind the crap ice at VC?

Posted by: HolyOlie | December 5, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

This is another problem I trace back to Ted who is NOT a hockey guy.

Really? I guess you haven't been to the practice facility.

Ted doesn't control the facilities at VC.

Posted by: slappy | December 5, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Tarik-

Thanks for scooping the ice issue. More noise needs to be made for something to happen. I'm assuming it's on WSE/Pollin and not Ted?

Posted by: bill | December 5, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

In unrelated news, Clark's reserved parking space at VC has been given to Laing. Clark now parks across the street at the AARP. (Inside season ticket holder joke...)

Posted by: Schultz for Calder | December 5, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,
When Nylander returned, he mentioned something about the VC ice. He said it was "poor" then but now it really is the worst in the league. This is coming from a guy who skated The Garden ice. Talk about your multi-use, busy venue. Maybe a quote from him directly?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 5, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The Verizon Center is still run by the inept Pollin crowd, right?

Wasn't there a Post article a few years back about the deteriorating conditions at Verizon Center, about how there was little to no maintenance and upkeep at the arena?

I specifically remember the story about the rat that died under the Caps bench. Apparently the smell was so bad, the players had to scoot down to the other side of the bench in order to avoid the horrible smell. And no, I'm not making this up.

I don't hold Ted responsible for any of this. It's Abe Pollin's facility, and it seems like the place is run by an incompetent old man. It's Bush league, it's unaccountable, and VC has been like that for years.

It won't change until Pollin sells and Ted takes over.

Posted by: Blackaces | December 5, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

But there are HDTV's in the luxury boxes! Why are you all complaining about the ice!!!

Posted by: Stormblue | December 5, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The other teams seem to score just fine on our Ice.

Posted by: Michael | December 5, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

It is my understanding that the VC is one of the heaviest used multipurpose facilities in the NHL. I also understand that the Canadian teams' venues are primarilly single-type use, so you'd see hockey, figure skating, ice shows, etc.

The weather certainly hurts the ice, also the use of the facility for basketball, concerts, trade shows, etc. where they have to cover the ice really hurts it.

NHL does have a technical team that can be summoned to the facility to provide advice. I think they did that in Carolina.

But, hey, that requires a venue owner that gives a rat's backside.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 5, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

good point Michael. let's have a bake sale to help fund better ice conditions...i'll make brownies:}

Posted by: fullright | December 5, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I was whatching "How it's Done" on the Science Channel last night, and they showed how the Canadiens make their ice. THEY TURN THE TEMPURATURE DOWN!!!! The pipes underneath the building keep the concrete cold, and it can be monitered. I guess that guy got fired at VC.

Posted by: Lee | December 5, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@GregS,
My point earlier about Nylander coming from the NYRs. He played at The Garden which is the busiest multi-use facility in the world. Their's is fine. We can go on and on about the ice but it really does come down to total committment from the ownership to resolve issues like this, which in turn translates to product excellance, which in turn translates to winning, then to a championship. So far, we are stuck in neutral in all those ways. Let's just hope we have a good showing this weekend.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 5, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Maybe someone just needs to change the filter.

Posted by: thawall | December 5, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

the ice issues are not Ted's fault, as I understand it.

He's actually pretty upset about the poor conditions too. Read into that what you'd like.

Posted by: Tarik | December 5, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I miss Jeff Toms.

Posted by: Mike | December 5, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Hockey-only facilities; by this I mean no NBA, could have college ball..

Tampa
Florida
New Jersey
Long Island
Pittsburg
Buffalo
Montreal
Vancouver
Edmonton
Calgary
Ottowa
Phoenix
San Jose
Nashville
Carolina
Columbus

So about half have a no-NBA facility. DC is really unique in that we have a NHL team, a NBA team and a college team all on the same surface in addition to the concerts. In alot of places the Hoyas would have their own house on campus. The V Center is one of the busiest arenas in the country. I think only the Staples Center and Madison Square are busier, though I bet Boston is right up there.

Personally, I think the biggest problem for our ice isn't the use, it's the chilelrs on the roof. They're 10 years old now and I don't think they've ever been replaced. That really needs to happen soon. A renovation of the concrete pad would be good to, but they would have to move the Mystics out for a summer to do it.

Wow, Boyd played the whole game with a broken hand? I'm assuming it wasn't as severe as Caron's last season, but wow, that must have been insanely painful. Major dap for Boyd.

Posted by: EricS | December 5, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

@BernieWolfeFan

No arguments from me! MSG is the heaviest used facility in North America if not the world. They're not afraid to have a basketball game in the afternoon and a hockey game that same night. They know what the heck they're doing!

You'd also think that as the Caps official rep that GMGM would weigh in on this issue, too. There's a good possibility of HIS players getting hurt. You'd think he'd see this as a vested interest.

I know the ice is crappy for both teams, and that the other team doesn't have problems scoring on us so why whine about it. I would hate to see a talent like AO be destroyed because of the ice, which could happen.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 5, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Still don't understand the mystery, but I have to say Gordon's a hockey player!

As to the ice, its just more evidence that this is a hockey wasteland, as far as the players are concerned. It says something that Captain C has been trying to get it addressed for some time; it says even more that he's out in the public with his comments now.

Posted by: Fred | December 5, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,
thanks for writing Clark's opinion about the ice. It's rather impressive. That is actually doing something about it. Hopefully the right people will pick up the alarming situation and act on it.

Posted by: mauree | December 5, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, if Ted is so upset about the ice, why doesn't he work with Abe and WS&E to get conditions improved? Doesn't Ted own something like 44% of WS&E? Are you saying Abe & his people refuse to work with Ted to improve conditions?

Posted by: Jill | December 5, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we should scrap the ice all together. We could be a roller-derby team.

Posted by: Michael | December 5, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Ah, just pump some more brine through down there and you'll be fine

Posted by: Jonny | December 5, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Carolina's arena is NC State's home floor, FWIW. We all know the Caps are last in the Phonebooth pecking order. I'm sure Pollin looks at it and says "hey, there's ice, what more do you want?"

Posted by: tallbear | December 5, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Do you think the Caps should get Mark Recchi now that he has cleared waivers?

Posted by: johnny boy | December 5, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

It's too late now. All teams have passed on him. He's either an AHL'er, or will be bought out.

Posted by: Greg S | December 5, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet Sluggo could fix the ice.

And I remember that Jeff Toms goal like it was yesterday.

Posted by: silly me | December 5, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Someone will get him on re-entry.

Posted by: ... | December 5, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Could be interesting stuff coming from California.

The Ducks state that Niedermayer is returning, though noone knows exactly when. The Ducks have room in the cap for this year for him, but not next, so they have to clear room.

The Hockey News also reports that "it is suggested" that they'd be willing to trade any of their current defensemen other than Prongs.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 5, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse


I don't think Ted and Abe are on the best terms. Remember a few years back Ted complained about The Caps always having to share locker room facilities? Also, hasn't the Verizon Center/Cap Centre had the same facilities guy for the longest time-Bill Harpole?

Posted by: dave | December 5, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,
Is it still Bill Harpole still the VP of Operations for the Verizon Center? Perhaps you can interview him and find out what he is doing about this ongoing problem. The NHL League office should also have some input into ice conditions for its rinkis since it does risk injury to its players. Didn't the Caps have a lot of groin injuries also due to the bad ice in the late 1990's? I think it may have cost trainer Stan Wong his job as the fall guy, but it was likely just the bad ice.
Jacob

Posted by: Jacob | December 5, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

About Recchi, I posted this earlier.

Just because Recchi is potentially available does not mean we should make a stretch to get him. Sure I know, I know, things could not get any worse in the long run but I guess the snow falling here in DC has everyone thinking like we were bottle fed Labatts as mites. Besides, something like that would involve GMGM pushing the buttons and THAT should scare you more than the beltway commute tonight.

What about Sydor being shopped as well? I think getting a 35 year old veteran D for short term is more practical. Jay Leach and Dean Ev would be much happier I'm sure.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 5, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Feesh,
if you would take a second to think before typing you would have noticed the time of my post in relation to the time of tarik's initial post, which OBVIOUSLY had not been updated yet. and while im there, who's to say he wasnt just responding to my request of providing futher detail about when he broke it, which by the way tarik, i thank you for.

Posted by: Sheeeeeesh! | December 5, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Hockey News rankings:

30. Washington (30)
Alex Ovechkin leads the Caps with 20 goals and Michael Nylander is second with seven. Need we say more?

In otherwords, the Offense bites. But we knew that.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 5, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg S.

It is pretty rare that we disagree so this should be fun.
Our offense is not lighting it up, that much is true. But I think the problem is that our D is soft.
We have forwards like OV, Nylander, Semin, these guys are asked to play more of a two-way role (Because our D sucks) when they need to be "let loose" so they perform their primary function. SCORING GOALS!

Opinions?

Posted by: pmoravek | December 5, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S,

Yes the offense does bite. Interesting stat I just saw:

Both Kolzig and Budaj have the same GAA of 2.81, but Budaj's record is 9-5 and Zilla's is 7-12-1.

Be nice if we could score 3 goals a game...

Posted by: Steve R | December 5, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I think to an extent you're right. But let's face facts. It's a pretty big step from 20 down to 7 for your first and second scorers. I don't see Nylander playing too much D, but see AO doing A LOT of it.

I think it may be time for GMGM to go shopping in Anaheim. Watch him trade Green... :P

Posted by: Greg S. | December 5, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Ohh, I forgot about the Ducks. Anaheim is a dedicated arena as is Minesota, so that's over half are non-NBA buildings. College doesn't count as much due to the far lighter usage of the building. NC State I think plays only half their games there anyway.

Recchi? Ehhhhhh. I can't really see the use in giving him the ice time when the kids really need it more to continue developing. I can't see him being an improvement much over Erskine either.

Posted by: EricS | December 5, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S,

Trading Green.... Bound to happen as I just got my away Green jersey as an early Christmas gift.

Posted by: Steve R | December 5, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

You want a solution? Kick the mystics out of the building! Have them play at UMD. Take the load off over the summer and allow them to do maintenance then.

Posted by: womens bball sucks | December 5, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@ GregS, pmoravek

I'm not sure what it proves, but in the 6 BB games these are the goals (correct me if I'm wrong):

AO = 1 + 2 + 1 + 2
Pothier = 1
Nylander = 1 + 1
Clark = 1 + 1
Green = 1 + 1
Gordon = 1
Brashear = 1
Backstrom = 1

Not too bad.

I think we should expect more from Semin (who sucked these games) and Kozlov, while Backstrom is growing up nicely.

I'm optimistic though: since BB took over, the caps have the most shot on goals/per game and the least shots against / per game in the whole league (again, correct me if I'm wrong).

Posted by: mauree | December 5, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Good sweater to get. I really like Green. He's turning into a potent D-man. I only wish Poti would take note!

I don't know if GMGM will shop anyone at Anaheim let alone Green. I just hope he isn't stupid enough to do that unless it's a no-brainer deal. It's just that GMGM's been acting like ALL the deals are no-brainers, as in he has no brain to engage to think out the deals he makes...

Posted by: Greg S. | December 5, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I think an issue on offense is that we seem to score very few rebound goals. I don't know what our guys are doing in front of the net, but they're not banking home any goals (I'm looking at you, Nylander).

Posted by: tallbear | December 5, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

@Mauree,

How many goals did we give up during that 6 game spread?

Posted by: Steve R | December 5, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

pmoravek: Take a look at the shots on goal - that's where the story is. The offense is only suffering in getting that lamp to light up, not getting that puck to the net.

Point being, yeah, the defense is weak but we're not sacrificing scoring attempts by working the puck outta our zone.

Posted by: keef | December 5, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I'll trust your numbers

AO 37.5%
Pothier 6.3%
Nylander 12.5%
Clark 12.5%
Green 12.5%
Gordon 6.3%
Brashear 6.3%
Backstrom 6.3%

So, with AO spending so much time doing D and playing goal, he's still managing to get 37% of the goal production. I find it interesting that the D is kicking in so much of the remaining offense.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 5, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S: Francois Beauchemin? No trade, just a straight deal for draft picks. The Ducks don't need that much cap room to bring Niedermeyer back, but they do need some.

Posted by: Fred | December 5, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

@ Steve R

Goal Scored: 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 4 = 16 = 2.67/g
Goal Given up: 1 + 4 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 3 = 15 = 2.5/g

you have a point.

Although, and now it's just the fan in me doing opinionated-math, it really is
18 scored (=3/g)
14 agains (=2.3/g)
due to wrong referee decisions :D

Posted by: mauree | December 5, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

If you want to lodge a complaint, do it here. I just did. It's embarassing that we'd even have to do it, but this is DC after all.

http://www.verizoncenter.com/about/contact.shtml

Posted by: Fat guy | December 5, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

@ Fred

lol I wish. The ducks will never give up Beauchemin, he's their second best d-man after Pronger.

Posted by: mauree | December 5, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Since we are talking D, I ask again about Sydor. He too is being shopped in Pitt. Wouldn't he be able to help the other end as well as teach the younger Ds a few things? Just a thought...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 5, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@Mauree,

Should the OV own goal count in the goals against total?

I do like the trend of us actually outshooting the other team, but Tallbear has a good point of us not doing a good job on rebounds (OV has had a couple of nice rebound goals though).

Posted by: Steve R | December 5, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The reason we're not getting the rebounds in is because there's noone willing to get in front of the goalie and pay the price for going there. Backstrom shows some willingness, but then he'll get creamed and not go there again until next game. I thought that's where Koz was supposed to camp out.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 5, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Between Alex O's head level slap shot and the defenders pounding ##$% out of anyone camping out, there does seem to be a lack of Caps in front of the net...

Posted by: My Head Hurts | December 5, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if anyone from VC was looking at the ice on 270 this morning for some pointers....

Posted by: Lee | December 5, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

About playing in the slot, Boudreau, Eveson, and Leach were all centers in their playing days. I think that aspect of the game has been covered by the coaches but just not tweaked and implemented yet. BB is on the right track as we all can see, but pushing and shoving as a power forward is an offensive scheme like any other. It would not surprise me in the least if we see Brash in that role similar to what Hanlon was doing it but "tweaked" ya know?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 5, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Brash is good wreaking havoc around the net. It's just too bad his hands are like rocks. He just missed one last game, too.

But it isn't enough to have one go into the slot. They all need to pass through. That's how you get the D-men out of position, and traffic in front of the goalie. If enough guys go through the crease, the D will lose track of them.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 5, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this thing with the lousy ice is our way of trying to make visiting teams fear coming in here?

Posted by: George H. | December 5, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

@ mauree: according to TSN, they did say anyone but Pronger.....:)

Posted by: Fred | December 5, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

And Brian Burke is holding a press conference at 6:30 pm before the Sabres game tonight. Hope springs eternal.

Posted by: Fred | December 5, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Clark's comments are only half the story. So who is responsible for making the ice better? Pollin as the landlord? Leonsis as the team's owner? Patrick as team president? Just who is responsible here?

Posted by: Joe | December 5, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Clark's comments are only half the story. So who is responsible for making the ice better? Pollin as the landlord? Leonsis as the team's owner? Patrick as team president? Just who is responsible here?

Posted by: Joe | December 5, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

did anyone hear Bruce B on XM Radio today? anything interesting?

thanks

Posted by: Bill | December 5, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

@Fat guy: Thanks for posting that. I just added my complaint.

And a bunch of comments directed at people (who I don't really want to check on):

RE: Recchi/Beauchemin

I don't want to add to our team until I see what we can do Friday. This is the first time we're having real practice since BB came to town.

RE: Gordon's hand

No way that's the real story. Somebody go find footage of that game and find me the play where he injured it. It certainly took the team long enough to find a play where something hit his hand. I'm more sure of the "hitting something" hypothesis now than before.

That shootout goal was far too pretty to be scored with a broken hand. Plus, OV's blocked slapshots with his hands - I doubt Gordon broke it on "a D-D pass."

RE: Offense

We've looked better since BB, but not good enough. We're not getting contributions from all the places we need them. I agree w/ everyone who's commented on the lack of rebound goals. Maybe Kozlov thinks his face is too pretty?

Really though, I think we have a bigger problem moving around in the zone. Whoever said more movement leads to the defense getting out of position is spot on. I personally think our bigger problem is scoring off of a rush. Other than OV, who else has scored after we've skated the puck into the zone? That probably explains the 6 goals in 4 games.

RE: Defense

We look no better under BB in this category. That being said, we're only just now having real practice with him. I LOVE the fact they did suicides. At the very least, it shows BB is going to push these guys.

RE: Friday

Let's crush the Devils (who have been playing well). It'd be nice to gain some respect around the league.

Posted by: Raber | December 5, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Well Boys...
I do think we are heading in the right direction. I really like an aggressive forecheck anyway.
I hope we do NOT start shopping Green around. He is another building block for the future of the team.
A word about the shots. It ain't the number of shots, it's the quality. In other words, shots from the point, where the Goalie can get a clear view, are useless.
I'd rather see less shots, but a higher percentage from the circles in.

Posted by: pmoravek | December 5, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Re: Gordo's hand
If any of you guys have ever broken a bone in your hand, it can creep up on you after the fact. Once it starts to swell the pressure makes it more painful and tougher to use. You can play with it up until that point.
That being said, I am not totally discounting the theory of a cover up.
If anybody in that locker room is gonna take matters into their own hands...
(The pun is INDEED intended) a heart & soul guy like Gordo would be a definite possiblity.

Posted by: pmoravek | December 5, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Re:Re: Gordo's Hand

If it was broken when he scored the shoot-out goal, shouldn't this be a case of: "if it IS broke, don't fix it!" ;-)

Posted by: Clarendon | December 5, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

@ Clarendon

I like it!

What's the movie where a kid breaks his arm, then he can suddenly pitch a baseball at like a hundred and twenty miles an hour?

So the script goes like this, Gordo defensive specialist and superb penalty killer, breaks his hand and suddenly he has the soft touch of Mario Lemieux around the goal. He leads the team to the playoffs with ninety somethingodd goals and then re-breaks his hand right before our seventh game against the hated Penguins and regains the touch of a cinderblock.

...any Hollywood producers that may monitor this blog can contact me via email for the entire script.

:-D

Posted by: pmoravek | December 5, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah...gordo's hand..blah blah Clark's groin. Big deal! Nothing against those two but the line-up is more dynamic with Flash and Laing. Flash is a quicker on the forecheck which is better in BB's system plus he can score and Laing has as much heart or more than Gordon and Clark. In other words those two won't be missed too much.

Re: offense

The formula is simple: When you have an open net shoot it and score. I've seen Nylander and Steckle and Backstrom to name a few miss wide open opportunities at critical times of the game. Good teams bury those opportunities. It's that easy! BURY THE OPPORTUNITIES!!!

Posted by: Darryl Hockey | December 6, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Let me take you back to March 8, 2004. Bertuzzi broke the neck of Steve Moore that night. Apparently, according to a claim filed in court, Marc Crawford called for it to happen. Bertuzzi was questioned under oath and affirmed it.

Bertuzzi is being sued for $38M, and has attempted to hide his assets' ownership under his wife's name.

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2007/12/05/nhl-bertuzzi-moore-lawsuit.html

Posted by: Greg S. | December 6, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Crawford probably did call for some "payback"
I am also sure that did not include hitting the guy blind-side and jumping on his back.
This was not honorable and it has ABSOLUTELY NO PLACE IN THE GAME.
You go after a guy, you challenge him, you drop your gloves and stick, and you go.

Anyone who has played the game knows what I'm saying.

Posted by: pmoravek | December 6, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

If you ever go to a game in Tampa, you will notice one thing, IT'S COLD! And I'm not talking relative to the climate, it's actually 40-some degrees in that arena when the doors open and it rarely gets up to 50 during a game. Verizon Center on the other hand is set at 68-70 degrees so fans don't have to bundle up to watch the game.

I got to be on the ice during a game for a contest and you could actually feel heat coming down on you from above (I didn't win the contest). That may have something to do with it too that the heaters in the building are touching down on the ice and that's not a good combination for a nice sheet. Heaven forbid you feel just a touch of cool when you're down near the ice. Turn the thermostat down a little and make the ice better. I've neve been in an NHL arena that was so warm. Carolina is even colder.

Posted by: Comparing Ice | December 6, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

What's going on at the games, I just don't understand why the ice is so bad. I lived in LA for two years and the ice at Staples Center wasn't bad. They have two NBA teams that play there and concerts and shows pretty much every other night.

And also, why do they let the Olympia drivers look like they do. Those head sets make them look ridiculous and they're not dressed very well. It looks like they just picked up their clothes at a Goodwill before they went to the game. Plus, I've never seen them smile. I know it's something minor, but it looks like it'd be a fun job. From my seats right above the Olympia entrance they always seem to have a scowl on their face like they're waiting for a break to come along.

Like a previous poster said, it's also way too warm in Verizon Center, I think it's the warmest I've been in and other people in my section have been to a lot of the arenas on the east coast say it's the warmest too.

Posted by: Stephanie | December 6, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

bertuzzi ought to be in jail. plus anaheim is wasting money on him.

Posted by: jim* | December 6, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

It's not just temperature regarding ice; it's also humidity. If the Caps would go out and buy a couple dehumidifiers, it would help the ice tremendously. And of course, keep the building cold.

Posted by: Patrick | December 11, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

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