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Hanlon to Finland; Brashear Scratched;Poti Out

Former Caps Coach Glen Hanlon has agreed to coach in Finland next season, according to this report. Hanlon, who was fired in Washington on Thanksgiving Day and was later given a job in the organization's scouting department, will step behind the bench of Helsinki Jokerit. Hanlon had one year remaining on his contract with the Caps.

All the Dads are in the stands watching their sons, chatting amongst themselves and taking pictures at the morning skate.

Still not sure about Tom Poti's status for tonight's game at BankAtlantic Center, but it's not looking good. Stay tuned. I'll have a better idea in about an hour.

Update:Here's tonight's forward lineup:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Fleischmann (Flash to the first)
Semin-Kozlov-Pettinger (Kozlov down; Pettinger up)
Laing-Steckel-Bradley (Laing back in)
Laich-Gordon-Fehr (Brashear is scratched)

Update:Poti won't play tonight. He's got a bruised thigh from a knee-to-thigh collision in Atlanta and can hardly walk, much less skate, though he tried this morning.

With Poti out, here are the 'D' pairings -- as of now.
Morrisonn-Green
Erksine-Jucina
Schultz-Eminger

Some other tidbits from the morning skate:

*Brent Johnson will start in goal.

*When asked about the decision to scratch Brashear, Boudreau said, "It's his turn."

"We've got 13 forwards that have played pretty well, and Donald ...it's just his turn," Boudreau added. "He's a good player. I use him a lot. He's pretty responsible and he's a good forechecker. It's just three games in four nights, it's getting into Game 60, and he's not a spring chicken, and I thought he needed a little rest. It's a coach's decision."

*As for the reconfigured forward combos, Boudreau said he's still in "search" mode, trying to find what combos work. The Ovechkin-Backstrom duo is probably the only one he doesn't have to worry about. The Caps have scored four goals in regulation the past three gmes.

"It's the ongoing search," he said. "It took a while for me to get Nick up with Ovie and realize they were very good together. You just keep looking until you find a combination that works. We had Kozie in the middle with Semin for two games a little while ago and they scored four goals. If we want to go anywhere, we have to have secondary scoring."

*I hear that former Cap winger Richard Zednik is due to be released from a Buffalo hospital in the next 24 hours and will travel back to South Florida. That's great news.

*Ted Leonsis points out on his blog that the Caps will have a payroll of about $20.5 million tonight.

That's it for now.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 15, 2008; 11:20 AM ET
 
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Next: Caps Recall Lepisto

Comments

FIRST!

Posted by: Netsrak | February 15, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Any list of that dads that made the trip?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Big game tonight and tomorrow night.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: Super | February 15, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Mike Vogel is reporting that Poti is out tonight over on his blog.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | February 15, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I just saw that Rod Brind'amour is out for the rest of the year for the canes. I think that that will be the straw that breaks the camels back with them. Hossa's gonna be gone from Atlanta soon, and I think Florida doesn't have what is takes. I more afraid of Tampa catching fire and jumping into the race. Thoughts?

Posted by: We need 2 straight | February 15, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

yea, ditto on that. Florida is playing hard with Zed out and Jokinen on the block they are done and Carolina with Brind'amour out will hang tough but it's a huge loss. I agree, Tampa catching fire is worrisome. I am more worried about the caps' future goalie. We all love Olie but sports is a business and while no one wants to come out and say it, Olie is not really a #1 goalie any more. He's old, he has lost a step, understandably so. Problem is Caps' prospects are 2-3 years away so they don't have many options for a #1 guy next year. It's not Johnson. As they say, Olie plays 2 seasons for every one and it's starting to wear him down

Posted by: capsfan | February 15, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

No need to dwell on injuries. We got 18 guys ready to bust their tail's for a win.

If you cant get pumped up to get your name called (Eminger) at this point of the season...you'll never be ready.

Intensity and depth is not an issue. Our major concern is focus and trying to capitalize and finish our chances.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 15, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@capsfan

Are you serious? Have you read this blog? all people talk about is how Olie is done. That certainly isn't a not talked about situation for the Caps.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | February 15, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

So if the Caps win they're tied for 1st again. If they lose they're in a 3-way tie for 2nd, unless Atlanta beats Jersey, in which case . . . jeez, Caps need to put some wins together!

Posted by: honed | February 15, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Now lets all thanks Glen for putting us in this hole... Thanks Glen.

Posted by: TJ | February 15, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Just win baby

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 15, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I've got a great idea, why don't we trade Eminger and Clymer for a number one goalie? All the other teams have number one goalies they need to dump, so it should be easy!

Posted by: Bob | February 15, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Just knowing that Laing will be back in makes up for Poti's absence in my mind.

Posted by: DC FURY | February 15, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Freakin...

"That certainly isn't a not talked about situation for the Caps."

Your English teacher must be so proud...that's a double negative my friend

Posted by: NJ | February 15, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Another Olie bash once again. Have you watched the last 4 games he has played? He has made big saves when the team needed it down the stretch in these games, unless he is left out on an island by his defense like in Philly at the end of the game. Could he have done better in the shootout? Sure, but we never should have gotten to that point and we had our chances. If he doesn't get the job done from here on in, I will be the first to agree he isn't ready any longer to be a #1, but until then, let's give him a chance and a vote of confidence. His loyalty to this organization has earned him that much.

Posted by: Roose | February 15, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Nice, Laing back in, although I would like to see both Fehr and Laich in the lineup.

Posted by: Super | February 15, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather see Fehr.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 15, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I figured Tarik would be out doing extensive research with the the players and their dads,fishing, but that must be tomorrow's story.

Posted by: Rich C | February 15, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

@Roose

I agree. Go Caps!

Posted by: djphae | February 15, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Since this board doesn't give free rides to the goalies, why not mention Fehr's lack of production since his call up? He has done NOTHING since his call up.

He deserves to sit. Al least Pettinger kills penalties, forechecks and and plays a sound defensive game.

Fehr hasn't earned the right to be an everyday player. Pettinger has (his point drought not withstanding).

Posted by: Genotype55 | February 15, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Although I don't want to see it, I can see Fehr being returned to Hershey before long.
He's on the "healthy scratch" bubble right now, and you don't sit a two-way guy like Fehr, especially since he's been out for like, a year.

Posted by: Mark T | February 15, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"Freakin...

"That certainly isn't a not talked about situation for the Caps."

Your English teacher must be so proud...that's a double negative my friend"

@NJ, actually, it's not a double negative. It's a problem with punctuation. He could have said, "That certainly isn't a 'not talked about' situation for the Caps," or he could have said, "That certainly isn't a not-talked-about situation for the Caps." Either way, "not talked about" is used as a category, not as a negative per se.

What I want to know is, how did Netsy get the first post when he's got the super-slow dial up internet?

Posted by: aybee | February 15, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Kozlov down!? PETTY and FLASH of all people up? Wha? I predict these lines will last until the end of the first period.

Posted by: Jordan | February 15, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Where's 828 who owes me a bunch of WP points? I want to see if he wants to go double or nothing on Flash's performance tonight...

Posted by: old time hockey | February 15, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

at least Semin is finally back on the left.

Posted by: fullright | February 15, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

aybee, thanks for the back-up. I was about to make the same point that I failed in my punctuation. Of course, NJ probably refuses to use "and" or "because" at the beginning of a sentence even though it is perfectly acceptable English.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | February 15, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I won't be able to see tonight's and tomorrow's game *cries*

I liked Fehr, even when he was on the first line. Maybe he needs to pick up the NHL pace, but I thought I saw the potential of not only a net-crasher, but a prolific goal scorer. He didn't score yet but he was THERE a few times. I think he has talent, plus he's big, tough and not necessarely slow. I hope this 4th line affair is only temporary.

Posted by: mauree | February 15, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Why are you guys assuming Laing is playing when Tarik said either he or Fehr will be out?

Posted by: Jill | February 15, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

It has been changed, but it was Laich/Fehr possibly scratched. Now it says Brash is scratched.

Posted by: mpbowler | February 15, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@Genotype55
I disagree with you on Fehr but I loved your poem a few posts ago lol priceless!

Posted by: mauree | February 15, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Intersting 4th line there w/ no Donald. (Makes sense, as FLA is not the world's most physical/fiesty team.) We have Laich and Gordon who each have shown some offensive upside and a lot of defensive talent, and Fehr, who is supposedly the #1 RW of the near future. Maybe we can get some offense from this combo.

Posted by: old time hockey | February 15, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I hope moving Kozlov down is not a mistake.
Maybe Flash was told to get to the front of the net.

Posted by: Joe B | February 15, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

wow Brash scratched. Most of the bloggers here wanted this, except me. I still think an enforcer is needed but hopefully I'm wrong.

Posted by: mauree | February 15, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

mauree, i agree...i'm i little scared without Brash in the line up, even if FLA isn't neccesarily the most physical of teams...we'll see/hear.

Posted by: fullright | February 15, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@Mauree
I completely agree. Could Brashear be hurt? In the NHL, you still need to have an enforcer. Perhaps Gabby thinks he can get away with Bradley and Erskine who are both good fighters, but neither is a Brashear.

Posted by: No Brashear? | February 15, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

although Brads and Erskine are more than willing to fight, i don't consider either as "good" fighters.

Posted by: fullright | February 15, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but it really is Brash's turn to sit. His lack of stickhandling, speed, etc. has really been hurting us lately. Bradley has really blossomed into not only a physical player, but an-around great player.

Posted by: Matt K. | February 15, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse


i love this lineup cause it gives two lines of scoring, a great checking energy line (brad/steck/) and the 4th line is an energy line but could definitely score with gordon's passing, laich's shot/dangling and fehr going up front.

It also gives guys that NEED to score (flash/pettinger) the best opportunity to

Posted by: mike s | February 15, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Brash provides a presence that will be missed, but we will be a little quicker out there.

I thought Fehr was doing some good things on that first line, working the boards and crashing the net etc. I think it was unreasonable to expect him to perform to his peak potential after missing almost a year. I would rather see Fehr on the top line than Flash.

Note to Flash - Score twice tonight and make me eat my words.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 15, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Caps 4 Panthers 0 (yes a shutout by Johnson)

Goals by: OV, Backstrom (2), & Fehr

Posted by: Super | February 15, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Aybee - thanks for the lesson

F&P: relax, just having fun...

Caps 4 Fl 1

Posted by: NJ | February 15, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, if I was Florida I'd feel free to hit our youngster harder... NHL end of season? I'd go for it, especially if the Caps were dominating the game for a while (like I think they will).

Posted by: mauree | February 15, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I like how BB said it was Brashear's turn ... I'm sure #87 will be back in the lineup against Tampa Bay, in case A. Roy wants to create a ruckus.

We don't need Erskine and Bradley to WIN their fights ... just be willing to come to the aid of any teammates. Which they will. I don't see Florida wanting to start something anyway.

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | February 15, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Re: Brash scratched. He has seemed a bit slow the past couple of games. As Coach said, he isn't exactly a spring chicken anymore, maybe he does need a break. With that said, I'd rather cut his ice time (he's been 9-10 minutes consistently since BB took over), than scratch him. Not a doom and gloom forecast, but, without a presence dressed and ready, hopefully FLA doesn't get a bit frisky with any of the young guns. Sure Erskine and Bradley will stand up for their teammates, but they are not Brash....

Posted by: siad | February 15, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@ Super - way to go. You just ensured at least one Florida goal.

Posted by: Jill | February 15, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I am glad to see that Brash was scratched (again, please don't tell him that I said that ;-)) and that Laing is back, but Flash to the first line? Please ...

Posted by: Boo! | February 15, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Fehr being scratched isn't necessarily a demotion either. I don't think he has played badly. Maybe just a message "Hey Kid, your spot here isn't guarateed ya know" I expect to see him back in the lineup tomorrow.
Moving Flash up is an easy one to see. BB is trying to get him going. He keeps saying that he beleives Flash has the potential.

Posted by: pmoravek | February 15, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, is it too much to ask for other teams in the SE to start losing.. Really getting to me that everytime I look at the scoreboard these days, SE teams are winning...

Posted by: Dez | February 15, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Flash has been playing well as of late, he just hasn't been able to finish his chances. Maybe having him line up with Ovie and Backstrom can allow him some operating room and better chances to score some goals. Surprise to see Brash scratched. I know BB said he needs rest but Ovie plays every night so... Laing, Steckel, Bradley line is back together and probably our best defensive forward combination. When those three are on a line they also contribute the a goal here and there so it's good to see them reunited. Laich, Gordon, Fehr should be interesting. I hope it works and they generate some chances on goal.

Posted by: MadFlava | February 15, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Watched Coyotes defeating Dallas Stars yesterday on HD NET.

Larry Murphy:

"Bryzgalov is a Chistmas present for Gretzky for the next 20 years..."

"Bryzgalov is a gift fallen from the sky..."

I think GMGM should be investigated by the Congress on that Bryzgalov deal. Something really fishy went on, what he got in return, we'll never know...

Posted by: Bryzgalov | February 15, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE BRUCE BOUDREAU!!!!!!!!! Finally we scratch Brashear. don't get me wrong i'm not a Brash hater, but the guy's not even fighting it's been Bradley and Erskin for the most part. He's not exactly a hockey player so if he won't fight and can't score goals take him out. Finally we have a coach that sees that

Posted by: DC FURY | February 15, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@DC FURY
Nothing against Bradley and Erskine, but I think you (and some other) widened the definition of "fighting" to "getting one's behind kicked".

I stand by my opinion - although I acknowledge many people disagree so I'm probably wrong :D

Posted by: mauree | February 15, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Fleishman on the first line - he must be wearing knee pads.

If the 2, 3 & 4 lines don't start scoring, the Caps won't be in the playoffs. No need to worry about the other SE teams. As long as the Caps win, they'll be playing in April. They let the past two games go the wrong way - loses to CAR & ATL.

Bottom line, they need to return home with wins against FLA & TB, no matter who is hurt!

Posted by: Nils | February 15, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

DAREN MACHESNEY is 16-3 on the years and 10-0-1 at home. He is going to be great to watch in the next few years. There is no way he is three years from making his debut. I'd like to see him in a caps jersey, even though i think that would be to much of a risk as close as the race for the division is. Nevertheless, he should at least be the bears #1.

Posted by: capsfan08 | February 15, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Also, are offense is very streaky...so i predict we will put up some big numbers tonight and tom.

Posted by: capsfan08 | February 15, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I think I like Kozlov down on the 2nd. Not because he hasn't been performing..he has but him and Semin seem to be able to do things when they are together.
Flash to the 1st line I'm not too keen on but I guess if BB thinks he has greatness waiting to emerge then I'll take his word for it.
Brash being scratched is a good thing. Yes he's been playing well lately but we need this team to be as healthy as possible and besides Brash is slow and we have a lot of other physical players (Gordon, Laich, Bradley, Erskine, Laing, Steckel) I don't think any of them would be unwilling to drop the gloves if needed.

Posted by: K | February 15, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

capsfan08- I like the way Machesney plays. He seems to be really good and I don't know why people don't acknowledge him more then they do. Even Vogs said he could possibly be up here fairly soon. I don't think it'll take 3 years either.

Posted by: mustluvhockey | February 15, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I believe I'm the only pure Flash supporter on these boards. I think he's been doing the right things for the most parts, and at times he looks great. I think he's going to be a good player, he just needs to find his place.

Posted by: Stephen | February 15, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

If Poti's injury is just a bruise then that's a good thing. He shouldn't miss too much time.

Posted by: Ben | February 15, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@ Ben - well, if he can barely walk I'm not optimistic he'll return in the next few games.

Posted by: Jill | February 15, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@mauree

Oh i completely agree Brashear is with out a doubt the best fighter on the team. I'm just saying that they're the ones who are dropping the gloves. I'd much rather see Brash being more pugnacious, and Brads be in the press box but this is just how it is.

Posted by: DC FURY | February 15, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Stephen,

Your not the only Flash supporter. I agree, Flash has been doing the right things. It shows because he's had his chances. He just hasn't finished them, YET.

Olie haters,

I've just found out that Caps are on a verge of holding their opponents to 3 or less goals for the seventh straight time. So stop bashing on Olie. He's been playing great recently.... Both goaltenders have been playing great!

Posted by: elicea | February 15, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I found one short story in finnish (?) site about this:

http://www.ksml.fi/kiekko/finnish-hockey-league/hanlon-to-coach-jokerit-next-season(74593).ece

Does anyone know more finnish sites which language is English or French?

Posted by: mes | February 15, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

For tonight's game, scratching Brashear isn't a bad move at all. Florida isn't a really scrappy team. And if they do get uppity, we have others that can step up and "take care of business."

I'm not going to micromanage lines. Poti took a hard shot to his foot. I would guess he'll be out for a few weeks. Hopefully he'll heal properly. His offense hasn't been there, but he was a pretty solid D-man.

On Pothier. I'm guessing we've seen the last of him for this year, and possibly ever. Him being out this long and not practicing or going on the bike indicates it's serious. It wouldn't surprise me to hear him retiring over the summer.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 15, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Brash has been dying for a fight. Not too many want to go with him.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 15, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Once again the Caps game is on NHL NET!!!!! damn you comcast...... Re sign Olie

Posted by: Go Sox Go | February 15, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Where are you 828. You're the leader of the Six Goal Club. Just score six. That's all it takes.

Posted by: Esa Tikkanen | February 15, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

It's about time Brash got scratched. He's a great guy and good team player but he's a terrible stick handler and he always misses that first breakout pass. What about Semin? It might be a good idea to move him down to 3rd line or scratch him after his "soft" play of late and increasing amount of stick penalties. I agree with everyone else that Olie is on his last leg but hell the guy has been playing out of this world the last 2 weeks. Bring up Sami and scratch Eminger. Go caps!

Posted by: jake | February 15, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

UNLEASH THE FURY!

Posted by: Tom Green | February 15, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Kozzie can take some of the stickhandling duties off Semin, which should be a good thing. Good move.
Its time for Fehr to rock it up. Papa Fehr's in town to boot!
Caps win in a laugher , 6-1.

Posted by: Shaggy | February 15, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

(Gary Thorne post in late January)

When a team does not score first:
-Only 3 teams have a win percentage above .400
-17 teams are below .300
- Even Detroit is just 5-7-2 when it does not score the first goal.

The lowest win percentage in the NHL when scoring first belongs to the Kings at .529

I'd like to propose a Score First club
:)


Posted by: austinsteve | February 15, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Semin hasn't been taking that many penalties these past few games. And he' picking up his game. Like some had said before, give the kid time.

Posted by: elicea | February 15, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Caps are reporting that Lepsito has been recalled. Probably means more pine time for Eminger.

Re injuries: Poti will be back in a week. A bruise to the thigh can be treated pretty quickly. The foot stuff is nasty, ditto the groin that's nipped Clark. Agree that Pothier is probably done until playoffs if not season.

Re TV: Game is not on NHL net, its on CSN-DC, according to my schedule.

And, back to Brash... Look at Florida, they got Salei, Horton and maybe Allen who will be scrappy. None are real pugilists. Horton is huge, but he's not really a pure thug. Erskine or Brads may lose to one of them (especially Horton), but they won't get crushed as if they were fighting Laraque or other heavyweight. Really, a good game to have him skip, especially if it gets Laing back in for the PK. Remember that FL scores a really large percentage on the power play.

Oh, and a ps to 828, still waiting for you to accept my offer for more WP points, so I can repaper my bathroom with them.

Posted by: old time hockey | February 15, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

TJ-

The single reason the Caps went 6-14-1 is gmgm. mr. excitement needed to see in flashing neon lights that Glen Hanlon had lost the team. Some of us saw the lights in the distance last year, but gmgm's loyalty to his friend was more important then actually doing his job.

Glen's boss couldn't see through his friendship to fire his buddy. gmgm's boss, pres. dick p., obviously has such a great hockey mind that he sees what a great job gmgm is doing, so he feels everything is fine-- no need for any changes. Such great management. Too bad they are wasting the best player in hockey.

Sure would be nice to have a an anchor for the defense...

Posted by: Clarendon | February 15, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Old Time -

Outside the CSN area, the game is on NHL-Network. So if you live outside the CSN area and have center ice, then you don't get the game (unless you have NHL-Network).


I think one of the games next week is on NHLN too so if you can, get it. It's usually ~$2 to get for most cable packages.

Posted by: Scott | February 15, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

From the Finnish article on Hanlon:

"Washington and Hanlon had a five-year contract, but it came to a premature end in November when fans at the Verizon Center started calling for his removal".

lol

Posted by: pga3 | February 15, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Sounds perfect to me. I have read this post with a great pleasure. You should write much more often.

Posted by: dave | April 6, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I was getting pretty edgy reading this. If I say I'm disagreeing with your post I would say nothing. Reading this is meaningless waste of time.

Posted by: piffit | April 9, 2008 6:25 AM | Report abuse

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