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Huet: 'I'm Ready'

Goalie Cristobal Huet said he's mostly recovered from the back spasms that sidelined him last night in Buffalo, and should be able to play Saturday in Boston.

Coach Bruce Boudreau said Huet will start against the Bruins, but he wouldn't commit to a starter for Sunday's nationally televised showdown with the Penguins.

Will he go with Huet again, or turn to Olie Kolzig?

Either way, it's obvious that Boudreau suddenly has got a good problem on his hands, with both Huet and Kolzig playing well and pushing each other for playing time.

Huet is 2-0-0 since coming Washington with a 1.20 goals against average, while Kolzig is 2-1-0 in his last three starts, stopping 52 of the 56 shots he faced in that span after last night's 3-1 win over the Sabres.

"They're playing well and they're getting enough rest and they know they've got a little competition to play," Boudreau said. "They're both competitive guys so it's great. "They both want to play every game. I think that's how you have to be."

I didn't see David Steckel today, but it's believed that his status - he's expected to miss two to three weeks with a broken right index finger suffered last night - has not changed. If it does, I'll update the blog when I hear something.

"He's a pretty big part of our club," Boudreau said of Steckel, who leads the team in faceoff winning percentage (56.3). "He kills penalties and has been very, very good on faceoffs of late, and he chips in with the odd important goal when he does score them. So it's a big loss. Other guys have been big losses, too. We just need to find someone else to do the job."

Boudreau's got options. It could mean Boyd Gordon will center the checking line, but the lineup for Saturday's game won't be known until tomorrow's practice. Today's session was very optional, and because of that, was lightly attended.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 6, 2008; 12:48 PM ET
 
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Next: Clark Getting Close?

Comments

© Two 7 Game Win Streaks

First

Posted by: 828 | March 6, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

If Huet is good to go, let him play back to back, see what he can really do. While you can't argue with the results from last nights game, Olie is still flopping around in the crease (and falling into the goal for that matter) for my liking. Personally thought that washed out goal at the end should have counted. There were several "yawning" net opportunities for the Sabers that they just plain missed or the D poked away. Olie's wins feel more lucky than good to me. So, like I said, if Huet can go back to back, let's start riding him.

Posted by: stuffedinvader | March 6, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

i definately think HUET is the best option for a dramatic post-season run by our caps! Kolzig looked good last night but only in part from the defence who poked away several oportunites that should have been goals by the sabres. Being a caps fan for my whole life now, i feel that this squad has the greatest potential for the stanley cup. Most likely not this year (although it would make a great cinderella story lol) over the next decade the rest of the NHL better look out for the nations capitals!

oh and ovechkin is by far the MVP of the league this year! 60 is coming fast!

Posted by: james | March 6, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

From wickadepia...."After nine money-losing seasons and continued low attendance, minority owners George and Gordon Gund persuaded Swig to move the team to their hometown of Cleveland in June 1976, where they were renamed the Barons. After two more years of losses, the Gunds (by this time majority owners) were permitted to merge the Barons with the financially struggling Minnesota North Stars. The merged team continued as the Minnesota North Stars under the Gunds' ownership, but assumed the Barons' place in the Adams Division."
From previous thread

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

While I battle my hangover, here some numbers to chew on. Thank goodness for leftover pad thai.

There are really 7 teams battling for the play-offs. WAS, CAR, BUF, NYI, NYR, PHI and BOS.

Of these remaining teams, CAR has the easiest road ahead in terms of opponent records.

CAR .460 6H, 7A
WAS .476 7H, 7A
BOS .489 8H, 7A
PHI .496 8H, 7A
BUF .498 7H, 7A
NYI .503 6H, 8A
NYR .507 6H, 9A

*BUF plays CAR twice.

*PHI has a really hard finishing 6 games
they host NYR, NYI, then road games @NYR, back to back @NJ and @NYI then @PIT, then they host NJ and finish with PIT

*NYR's last 10 games are all against division foes.

Most of these teams will be lucky to go .500 the rest of the way.

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Huet needs to start against the Pens...simple as that! They are in Olie's head...it shows everytime we play them...I'm tired of always losing to them (except the last time we played them which was sweet) but how many softies were let in in that game? Beat the Bruins and destroy the Pens

Posted by: Unitedfan07 | March 6, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

when sunday is all said and done with. i'll be saying crosby who?? and also we caps fans will all get the privilege to see ovie destroy malkin after what happened last game!

Posted by: james | March 6, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

If BB is definitely going to split the time please let Huet start against Pitt. Olie has never played well against them.

Posted by: cs | March 6, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

JSchon,

Good Stuff. I agree - I think we will have a better chance grabbing a 6-8th spot rather than trying to catch Carolina... however, they are on a roll as of late and hopefully, they will slide soon. It seems like we are just now catching our season ending stride. The timing could not be any better.

The Rangers are also hot - have not lost in regulation in 10+ games... I hope they hit the slide as well. Not too worried about the Islanders - just hope Philly, Buff, and Boston start messing up.

On the other hand - I would almost rather have a tougher schedule - we seem to do well against good teams. It's the bad teams in which we fail... they need to snap out of it and win the remaining games against the SE foes. Wins againts other teams would not hurt as well.

Just 14 games left... need to win 10-12 of those.

Is it too early to ask Santa for a Christmas gift?

Posted by: 828 | March 6, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else think that Carolina thinks that we are the thorn in their arse?

I mean - they are probably thinking - don't these kids give up?

Posted by: 828 | March 6, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

yea its funny how our boys play better against the better teams which is why i'm not too worried about our tough remaining schedule.

Posted by: onecapsfan | March 6, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

hopefully fedorov starts chipping in some points as well since we'll need them vs BOS and PIT this weekend

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

828

As much as Carolina is on a roll, the way I see it is that they have to go through us to get to the playoffs. Yes, we've had trouble with them this year. But, with two more games vs. Carolina, all the Caps have to do is keep pace with the CandyCanes and take those two games to win the SE. Will that happen? Hope so...

Perhaps that's a bit simplistic point of view as well....

Posted by: stuffedinvader | March 6, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

stuffedinvader,

Very good point - keep pace - win those two games and we are in.

Posted by: 828 | March 6, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

you guys are crazy. "kolzig's wins seem more lucky than..."

now you're just looking for an opportunity-- however unfounded-- to slam the guy. almost every save he made last night was a scoring chance. open your eyes! it won't kill you to state the obvious... that Olie is playing extremely well in this competative environment. why is it that XM home ice, tsn, the nhl, everyone gets it but washington?

Posted by: suzanne | March 6, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

poor johnson. you gotta feel for the guy. tarik, what's he doing and what kind of mood does he seem in these days knowing that both of the guys above him in the pecking order are doing excellent?

Posted by: jamebow | March 6, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

JSchon..

The Senators are not far from at least falling back into that pack of teams you're talking about.

It may be wishful thinking on my part, but how great would it be if Ottawa would keep losing. The way they've been playing lately, they are in danger of what would be a historic collapse.

Oh - and it is my prediction that both the Caps and the Hurricanes will make the playoffs. The rest of the Southeast has already packed it in, and those are the only teams the Caps and the Hurricanes will play for the last two weeks of the season.

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | March 6, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I was thining about changing my sname to 8192852... how cool would it be to have that as a phone number?

"What's your number?"
"Young Guns"
"Huh?"
"Young Guns - Alex, Backstrom, Semin, and Green - Young Guns"

Posted by: 828 | March 6, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

While I agree Kolzig is playing well, You still have to admit that his lateral movement is not what it used to be and his rebounds still come right to the front. It adds up to be an extra .5 goals a game. And when you look at how close the playoff race is that is the difference between getting in and not getting in. Thats why we made the trade and thats why every time there is a shot with a rebound us Caps fans are on the edge of our seats.

Posted by: @ Suzanne | March 6, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

suzanne

I'm not a hater. I'ma huge fan of Olie the Goalie. Have been since he took over. Yes, he made many very good saves last night. Is he still a viable goalie in the NHL? I think he is. Is he the best we have right now. I don't think so. I think the last Carolina game is a perfect example. He made some great saves, but was out of position, flopping around or just too slow to get to where he needs to be too often. In that Carolina game, we didn't clear the rebounds out and they ended up in the back of the net. In last nights game, we cleared those opportunities out of harms way.

That's why I say last nights win, while wonderful and needed, SEEMED a bit more lucky than good. Watch Olie closely and you'll see there are between 3 and 6 times per game where he's on his back, flailing with a loose puck near the crease. Olie has tremendous ability and he will make spectacular saves from time to time. But perhaps they're spectacular because they are Olie saves. With Huet, maybe they'd be routine. I love Olie to death, but Huet just gives us a better chance right now. Just reality these days.

Posted by: stuffedinvader | March 6, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Olie is playing very well...however compared to Huet he still gives up more rebounds and can't quite move as fast laterally as he once did. Huet is the better goaltender and should be starting both games this weekend.

what a great last month to the season...its such ashame espn doesnt have nhl rights or the coverage would be amazing, both on sports center, and hockey night. what in the hell was gary bettman thinking? what an idiot

Posted by: Pat | March 6, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

That game vs. Carolina on the 25th is HUGE for the SE title!!! In the middle of a late season, brutal road trip (stupid circus).

The Caps can secure 7th or 8th seed with Philly and Buffalo faltering lately.

I won't have any fingernails by this time neext month.

Posted by: JIM | March 6, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

According to http://www.japersrink.blogspot.com/ :

Sticking with faceoffs, Fedorov has won 70.6% of his draws since being acquired.

I guess Feds leads the team in faceoffs wins.


I want Pens to be completely destroyed, to be turned into a pile of ruble... :-)

For that, I defnitely want Huet to lead Caps on Sunday vs. Pens.

Hip hip Huet!

Go Caps!

Posted by: Yo | March 6, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

JIM

You still have fingernails?

Posted by: stuffedinvader | March 6, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

HUET!!! }:-)

Posted by: }:-) | March 6, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: 828 | March 6, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@ Tarik

Just curious, you said the skate/practice was lightly attended - who did show up? Im guessing one of the Emmy.

Posted by: captnclark | March 6, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

@ Yo,
Go Caps, beat those lousey Pens - hate them with an ultimate passion, even more than Filthadelphia. Hope Ovie gets many goals and Sidney is "Goose Egged". I don't think he is near as exciting to watch as our Ovie!!!

Posted by: Greenie | March 6, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Oops, "one of them was Emmy" is what I meant to say.

Posted by: captnclark | March 6, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

i know i have no fingernails anymore and by the time april comes around probably no fingers either!

Posted by: onecapsfan | March 6, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: 828 | March 6, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

down with the PENS! and up with the CAPS!

Posted by: james | March 6, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Carolina is a bit of a streaky team and their injuries are going to catch up with them before too long. I think the Caps just need to focus on winning as many games as humanly possible from here on out and the standings will fall where they will.

Healthy Huet + determined Olie + a very hot AO = One heck of a weekend coming up.

Posted by: HolyOlie | March 6, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Kolzig and Huet ... harkens back to the days of Riggin amd Jensen!

Man, it would be nice to go into next season with that Golaie lineup!

Posted by: CantMissKid | March 6, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

@828
Great article, somehow I missed that one. Love to see Fedorov pick up his game and start contributing big points.

Posted by: Greenie | March 6, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

can't miss kid-
nice point. Now that was quite a tendem.

Posted by: dave | March 6, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

A loss for Carolina tonight would be huge - we will be back where we were a week ago.

2 Games in hand and 3 points behind... only fewer games left.

Posted by: 828 | March 6, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Although teams rarely win the Stanley Cup when they have two hot goalies fighting for time, they do often go on very nifty winning streaks and can go deep in the playoffs. I'm assuming if they make the playoffs and actually win the first series, we'll all be ecstatic, even if they get swept in the next series.

If Olie plays better and makes the decision between them tougher, I would call that's a good thing for the team.

And, I'm still miffed about the Post's messed up standings this morning in the paper version.

Posted by: old time hockey | March 6, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

@old time hockey...

The post hockey page is a joke, but what do you expect, thats Washington for you. I always go on-line for everything Hockey.

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Gentlemen,

Kolzig's next win will be No.300 and that should be done at Verizon. If Huet performs well against Boston, I would put him up against Pittsburgh. Then Olie against Calgary for No. 300.

Posted by: straub21 | March 6, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

1) Probably the biggest question (other than who's starting in goal) is the Clark status.
2) We were left the other day with the impression that he might return this weekend. Anything new on this time line. Especially with Steckel out, if Clark is ready, might the Verizon faithful finally see a player with a C on his jersey for the first time in 2 months? Would seem to be a nice emotional jolt for the team.
http://newfaux.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Fauxrumors | March 6, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

No one is "slamming" Olie for no reason. He has played well recently. As well as he can play these days. What we are saying is that his best is not Huet's best because it is quiet obvious to anyone who understands hockey and isn't biased that Huet is simply a much better goalie at this point in time.

Like someone said, Olie's rebound control was not good again last night and we were VERY LUCKY to have our D clear them just before Buffalo players could deposit them into the gaping net.

Posted by: ranndino | March 6, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Whoever said that the rest of the Southwest already packed it in... That's what I thought also and then I noticed that Florida is quietly creeping up on us from behind. They're just 4 points behind now.

And those Leafs seem to be determined to shut everyone up. They have also been on fire since the trade deadline and are also just 4 points behind us now.

Posted by: ranndino | March 6, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

@oldtimehockey

How do explain the success of Detroit with Vernon & Osgood?

Posted by: JIM | March 6, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

828:

No one responded to your new phone number, so i felt like i should. That's some pretty nifty work you did there, haha. Great pick up line at a bar. Just call the Young Guns

Posted by: G-Rub | March 6, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Beacuse the standings have become so tight this year and every team seems to be capable of a playoff berth, the NHL has decided to cancel the playoffs and award the Stanley Cup to the Pittsburgh Penguins. We have also decide to combine all individual player awards into one award that shall be named the "Sidney". Only players named Sidney who play for the Penuins are eligible to win it. That way none of those pesky Russians can steal the show. *Stares at Ovie* Furthermore the NHL will be changing its name next season to the NCL-The National Crosby Lovers. Also, the game will no longer be played with a puck. From now on it will be a large orange ball bearing the likeness of Sidney Crosby.

Posted by: Gary Bettman | March 6, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

who the heck are we supposed to root for in the phi-fla game tonight

Posted by: sheesh | March 6, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

G-Rub,

That's not my number, but it would be cool to have it... I should call it with a 703 area code - 819 is Sprint Cell - so, it's gotta be someones number.

Posted by: 828 | March 6, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

GO Panthers....

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

828;

You should totally call it, watch it be some prison or mental institution.

Posted by: G-Rub | March 6, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Look at the teams ahead of us, not behind... we have to win...

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@Jschon - are you saying hockey people are two fast for paper... Why am I thinking of Warren Wallace (a hundred miles away, ready to strike).

Posted by: TheCapitalist | March 6, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Call Segway riders number: Ovie, Backis, Green, Bradley... Someone will answer... :-)

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@ Jschon,

Say what you will about the Post, but it is a paper of national importance with supposed high standards. (Last weekend's editorial section aside.) You could be stuck having the "Indy Star" or other bird cage liner as your local. Yes, Tarik's a one man hockey show which is small, but his coverage is top notch, and I would expect that ancillary pieces of the hockey section would also be done correctly. (I note that he isn't real quick to address this issue today, he must be on travel.)

@ Jim,

Fair point. Let me add the condition, "unless the team is filled entirely with all-stars and future hall of famers or Scott Bowman is there using his usual goalie-head voodoo." Let's be fair, its the exception, not the rule.

Posted by: old time hockey | March 6, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Tarik is great, no problem with the coverage he provides for the Capitals. This blog is great.

I'm a hockey stat idiot. I need a full box score. PIMS, Shifts, ice time, +/-... we dont get that in the Post.

What I was eluding to was the Post putting the standings per conference and having CAR the 7th ranked team instead of the 3rd. Its just a silly mistake.

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

hope this means laing will be back

Posted by: DC FURY | March 6, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I need to go easy on those protein shakes. Yesterday I had 4 PM, more than Brashear.

Did you see my half slap shot yesterday?

Exactly. I didn't either.

It's a secret weapon of Washington Caps and BB told me to wait till playoffs.
And BB said to wait until we'll get deep, very very deep into playoffs, like deep deep. I can wait, I am a team guy. Otherwise I'd be ahead of Greenie leading all NHL d-men in scoring. But... If I'd do it, other team would study, disect, analyze it and it wouldn't be a secret weapon anymore.

There's no 'i' in Schultz, no 'i' in Papa, no 'i' in Panzer.

Papa Panzer Schultz

Posted by: Papa Panzer Schultz | March 6, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@Jschon,

Its a sloppy mistake, one that I would not expect the post to make. Do what you can with the space you have, but jeez, do it right.

But I'm with you on stats. I have Caps VIP seats (first 2 rows) and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the stat sheets we get between periods. I wish they gave out shift charts too. Whther that justifies the 4 to 5 bills a pair the charge per game for seats on the glass, I'll leave to you.

Posted by: old time hockey | March 6, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Warren wallace - funny...
He never knew what hit him...

Posted by: NJ | March 6, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"Kolzig and Huet ... harkens back to the days of Riggin amd Jensen!

Man, it would be nice to go into next season with that Golaie lineup!

Posted by: CantMissKid | March 6, 2008 01:58 PM"

Are you insinuating that Johnson was the goalie problem this year? I think that would be wrong, and thus my undesired need to curb your enthusiasm.

Posted by: goalieman | March 6, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I am happy that Ollie has picked up his game, but he is still old and slow. There is got be a lot that has not been published, this team has made some decisions through out the year which seems odd to the outsiders; sitting Johnson instead of Kolzig is one of them. I have not seen them in practice but based on real games I would take johnson over kolzig.

Posted by: Goalieman | March 6, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@goalieman
Ease up buddy

Not knocking Johnson at all and I didn't say he was the problem.

If you read my post, I was comparing Jensen and Riggin to Hue tand Kolzig. Both pairs are 1 and 1A goalies

Posted by: CantMissKid | March 6, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@Goalieman,
Good comparison! No wait, Great Comparison!
Jensen and Riggin wore smaller padding so I guess that makes them "Tougher"-Right! I thought that was an excellent statement!
Huet and Ollie are both soft - ha ha just kidding!

Posted by: Greenie | March 6, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@ranndino

"because it is quiet obvious to anyone who understands hockey"...

if i'm so biased and unattuned to the game, how is it that, to a man, every host on XM Home Ice says that Olie is the more valuable commodity? certainly they know a little something about the sport, don't you think?

four months ago, i'd have agreed with you about Olie. personally i thought he was playing hurt, when i watched his lateral saves. now? sure, Huet's stats are better. his rebound control may be better... but what matters now not how Olie makes the save, but whether he does. and he has.

the flailing? that's technique. it's for Dave Prior to worry about-- not us. if Olie's stopping the pucks, we should be less concerned about his style than the outcome.

Posted by: suzanne | March 6, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I hope Olie gets the start tomorrow, and Huet against the Penguins.

BTW Tarik,
Does Boudreau know about the long history of Kolzig and the Caps getting lit up by the Pens? If not, someone needs to tell him.

Posted by: jak | March 6, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@ Stuffedinvader

I am just amazed that you and a number of others make such judgements about You-Eh based on 5 periods of hockey. Yes!! I know he played for the Habs before we got him, but he did not play without DEFENSE. The only D we have that would play for the Habs is Green and he plays offense, the rest of our D would be in their minor leagues or would at best be their 6 or 7 D. Give it a few games where our D disappears like Poti did last night, let him stop a few tip ins like Jurcina made on Olie last night. He may be better, but has has not had to show it yet. Olie has been left hanging by our so called D all year and been critized for it. I know our D is young and they will get better, but they are not better yet, we have suffered all year with an AHL defense. Personally I think Olie and the team have done very well to compensate for a glaring lack. BB saw the lack and changed the focus of the team away from defense and we got immediately better. The defense did not improve, but the team no longer relying on it helped a bunch. As I said perhaps You_Eh will do better left hanging on that limb, but we have not seen it yet.

Posted by: Bob | March 6, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Did you read Vogels latest entry?

You were in it Tarik.

Posted by: Anthony | March 6, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@old time hockey

My problem is that I'm a sports geek. I use to have Skins tickets but gave them up and only go to 3 or 4 games a year.

I have partial season tickets for the Wizards and Nationals. I have bought tickets to see about 10 Capitals games this season. I also go to UVA football games.

I'm all over the place.

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Papa Panzer Schultz's breakaway was pinnacle of the night, nay, the SEASON!!! That he did not score was not important - sometimes, you just have to let the art roll over you.

Posted by: Shaggy | March 6, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I am for Huet playing both games, because I want to see the result. Keep in mind that Huet is not a back to back games goalie. He has done very little of that and as we have seen already is prone to the nagging injury.

We are at a point here, though, were Kolzig gets slammed whether he plays well or not. There is no confidence here.

Funny, though. A look at the actual numbers shows that Kozlig has been the better of the two since the all star break. You'd never guess that by look at this forum.

Posted by: Rob | March 6, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

@stuffedinvader

I agree that Huet is better than Kolzig at this point, but several of Carolina's goals in that game were the direct result of D-men standing around scratching their rear ends and lazy backhecking by forwards. At least 4 of their goals (if memory serves) Kolzig had no chance on.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | March 6, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@suzanne,

YES!! thank you!! its about time someone else gets that besides me!! i totally and completely agree.

as for huet, i dont think that hes been challenged enough in his 1st two games as a cap for us to have a realistic view of his capabilities within our team dynamic. i'm definately eager to see what he can do when he is!!

am i the only one thats excited about having two #1 goalies?!?

Posted by: dawnh | March 6, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

When Hassik flails on the ice, is that out of position? He does it all the time, and his save and GAA are among the best in the NHL.

I don't deny that Olie's lost a step or two (or three). I don't deny that Huet seems to give up fewer rebounds.

What I have issue with is that Olie makes the stops. Most of his rebounds go to the corners where they should. Yes, some go out front. Yes weak ones go in.

Dominik has D to clear his rebounds. Caps D hasn't consistently done that. Part of the learning curve for D. Huet doesn't give up many rebounds, so the D don't have to think about it. I'm not real sure that's a good thing.

Olie's lateral movement is fair at best. he'll have a tough time against Pitts. Gimme Huet!

Posted by: Greg S. | March 6, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

@Rob
You're exactly right. I go to every game and I think everyone has more confidence with Huet. During the warm ups Huet looks more confident almost like he needs a challenge. Nothing against #37 but if he starts against the Pens forget about it.

Posted by: Esa Tikkanen | March 6, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Vogel: ...each of Washington's top seven defensemen -- the seven most frequently used defensemen -- are a plus or even in the plus/minus column. As best as I can tell, the Caps have finished an entire season with that distinction only twice, in 1983-84 and 1984-85.

Jeff Schultz leads the pack at plus-7.

Wait until I unleash my half slap shot when we get very, very very deep into playoffs!

Panzer

Posted by: Papa Panzer Schultz | March 6, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

OV getting a lot of love...from Buffalo of all places

http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/sabresnhl/story/292681.html

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | March 6, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

There is no denying our D and Forwards have been playing betetr defensively here lately, and there should be no surprise that the goalies (whether its Huet or Kolzig) have had better save %. There haven't been tap in scores or frequent odd man rushes, and the odd man rushes that have occured have been negated by our D. Twice last night Buffalo had 2-1 or 3-2 and never even came close to getting a shot off. Earlier in the year it felt like every odd man rush resulted in a goal

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | March 6, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

@Sombrero Guy

There have been a few Defensive brain farts, but they're getting better. One of the reasons it takes D longer to mature in NHL.

I REALLY love this team 2 to 3 years from now. Next year should be Division champs and go deep into the playoffs. The year after contending for the Cup.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 6, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

So I'm a little obsessed with line combos. what's wrong with that?

Posted by: Tarik | March 6, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The Buffalo News: Ovechkin is the best player of his generation.

I have to confirm that, just ask me. Even my half slap shot, the secret weapon of Washington Caps, pales in conparison.

Long Live Ovechkin!

You know one day when I'd be old and put my grandson on my lap and tell him about my half slapshot, he'd listen with admiration, and then I'd say, Ovechkin was on my team, he could say, "stop bs grandpa!"...

Well, I guess I'll need to work on that...

Posted by: Papa Panzer Schultz | March 6, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@Rob

How can you spit out "prone to the nagging injury" stuff without cracking a smile?

First, in order to be nagging it, it needs to be persistent and on going. He has missed 1 game, and is ready to go.

And in order to prone to something, you need to be susceptible to something, in this case back spasms.

Here is Huet injury list for his career...

*Suffered knee injury; missed first eighteen games of season and assigned to Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL) for conditioning, September 28, 2005.

Thats the list. Hardly prone to anything or nagging. I didnt find back spasms on his list of injuries.

When selecting a period of time to compare stats, try not to pick stats more in your favor.

Huet has never had the #1 job all to himself, he has split time recently with C.Price, D.Aebischer and J.Theodore.

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Trust me, Washingtonians...the Leafs will do their usual job of falling 2-4 points shy of the playoffs. They're too dumb to completely phone it in and get Stamkos (a local boy from the 'burbs), and they're not good enough to get to the 93-94 points they'll need to get in. Figure they'll get right to about 89-90 points. The rest of the Southeast:

Carolina is still coached by Peter Laviolette; proof that a team can win a Stanley Cup despite their coach driving the short bus. Giant tool.

Florida...two words- Jacques Martin.

Tampa...totally tanking for Stamkos. Related...does their coach know it's not 1997 anymore? What a tool.

Atlanta...could surprise. They totally sold a bill of goods to Pittsburgh. Wait until Pittsburgh finds out Hossa goes hiding in the playoffs.

But watching Ottawa implode...oh, that's just a bucket of happy since they were all but planning the parade in October. I mean, they brought back Bryan Murray; how's that working out?

Pittsburgh? Their trio of goalies...two career backups and a #1 draft pick who still hasn't done much along with Hossa.

I watched last night; Buffalo fans need to get over the Ovechkin hit on Briere; it wasn't intentional (unlike Briere's stick in the 'twins; pure retaliation and totally against the code, but then again, we are talking about Danny Briere). Of course, only those rubes would still take up for that guy after he bailed on them to go to Philadelphia.

I make four trips per year (with about 8,000 other Leafs fans) to Buffalo to see the Leafs-Sabres games; Buffalo is not exactly a hotbed of smarts.

Posted by: Patrick | March 6, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik


Nothing at all! We're all obsessed with line combos. Some of us are also obsessed with asking when Chris Clark will be coming back. Every day. Sometimes 4 times each day.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | March 6, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Esa, Rob and I think you are an idiot, go back and read his post again. This time REAL SLOW, maybe you will get it. Huet has played 5 periods, you think he is great,you want him to play 6 in 2 nights. Good Luck!

Posted by: Bob | March 6, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik

Obsess away! Frankly, I don't pay much attention to lines as much as some here. I'm more of a GM type interested in the business end of the deals and running a club. In my dreams, I'm really rich and buy my own club. I'm not, so I get to play fantasy GM through your blog. I appreciate the opportunity!

@Patrick

I feel for you. Having all those "No Trade" clauses must drive the GM - and the fan base - nuts. I'm surprised Matts Sundin didn't allow a trade knowing that the Leafs would bring him back...

Posted by: Greg S. | March 6, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh great, more "Olie is the best goalie ever' logic from the "Hockey Expert", ol' clueless bob

Posted by: CH | March 6, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm clueless? Where in my post did you read what I thought of Olie? You think Huet is the second coming of Roy after 5 periods and you call me clueless? Moron!

Posted by: Bob | March 6, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

@Patrick,

Big on naming the "tools" and jabbin' at the French-speaking super stars? You're a real Canadian alright. Order me up some Poutine when you have a chance.

Posted by: old time hockey | March 6, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

IMHO one of the main reason this team is playing better and giving up fewer shots, maybe a very simple reason...faceoffs, somewhere up the thread someone mentioned federov is like 67%. When you control the faceoff, particularly in your end...the puck get moved out of the zone..hence no shots and all goalies look a lot better...the shot totals the week or so have been way down...no coincidence...

Posted by: Rich C | March 6, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

@Rob & Bob

When pointing out our defensive inefficiencies please also point out Olie inefficiencies. A goaltender that moves better, controls the puck better and one that is more athletic will make our defense look better. Huet has the advantage on Olie in all those aspects.

No one is calling Huet Patrick Roy, what people are saying is that Huet is better than Olie at this point in their careers. Argue away.

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Huet may be everything you say, I have not seen it after 5 periods. You guys are better at making instant judgements than me. Have you talked to GMGM about joining the scouting staff? They could really use someone with instant hockey judgement like that, most of our regular scouts waste a lot of time watching players play hockey.

Posted by: Bob | March 6, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

@Bob

Since you are viewing things from Olie colored glasses, I suggest you look at any Hockey publication, hockey scouting website or ask anyone working within a Hockey organization. You'll find its not just the few people in here that are saying that Huet is an upgrade on Kolzig or are you afraid of what you might find?

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

@ Suzanne

I'm not going to argue about this anymore. I don't care what some guys on XM think either. Maybe that's why they're stuck on XM. Every hockey pundit would tell you that Huet is a better goalie then Kolzig is at this point in time. And to me, as someone who has followed hockey closely for 20 years, that fact is very obvious. Not to mention that the stats posted here a million times already bear that out. t's not just that Huet is better - he is A LOT better. I don't get why the Kolzig fans are so passionate and obsessed with trying to change everyone's opinion. OK, you're in love with Olie. Good for you, but please leave everyone else alone. We just want the Caps to win and we think that Huet gives us a better chance. That will not change regardless of what you say because you have no facts to back your opinion up. Kolzig's save % is below 90. There's nothing else to say here. He also lets in at least one cheap goal in almost every game and makes his teammates nervous.

@Gary Bettman

Well done. That cracked me up. I'm sure the NHL bosses are a bit peeved that not only their media darling and marketing star has been upstaged by Ovechkin on the league wide level, but that since he went down with an injury he's even been upstaged on his own team with many people finally realizing that Malkin is at least as good as Sid.

Let's hope the Wild win tonight.

Posted by: ranndino | March 6, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

@Jschon

I don't think there are many people who would argue Kolzig is BETTER than Huet at this point. Most have just argued that Kolzig's numbers have suffered due to playing behind a young and inexperienced D that has thankfully been finding its stride here over last month or so, as reflected by the stats of our three Goalies.

Most of the "olie lovers" are fans who get a little frustrated at the breathless, overly capitalized comments marked heavily by exclamation marks that amount to little more than knee jerk reactionary bashing of a guy who deserves more respect than that.

I think most of the "pro olie" comments usually contain the following....

1) optimistic agreement that Huet is a great pickup for the Caps, along with acknowledgement that he has not been tested much yet

2) Comments related to the uneven play of the D this season, and the burden that has caused our Goaltenders to bear.

3) Comments that even though Kolzig's numbers have declined, he did choose to stick by the organization and help with the rebuild...and we are a better team for it. We lost more games than we won during the last couple seasons, but imagine just how bad it could have been without Kolzig's presence. He singlehandedly won many games for us playing with a team essentially made up of minor leaguers, and some guy named Ovechkin.

At least thats my take on it. Looking forward to seeing Huet continue his dominance over Boston on Sat.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | March 6, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

c'est cool : Cristo semble gueri
faut qu'il cartonne samedi pour jouer le grand match dimanche :-)

that's cool : Cristo seems healed
needs to be brilliant saturday in order to play the big match sunday

Posted by: keopar | March 6, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@ Bob

We are not better than the Capitals scouts. We are actually in agreement with them and with GMGM. They obviously thought that Huet would upgrade our goaltending or they would not have brought him in here.

Also, I have watched Huet play for Montreal quite a bit too and have always been a fan of his. Way before the Caps got him I thought that he was one of the most underrated goalies in the league. One that wasn't talked about that much, but was among the best. He hasn't done anything in his first few starts with the Caps to change my mind. There are not many goalies we could have brought in that would have objectively been better than him.

Lastly, I have always been a fan of Olie, but there's nothing wrong with recognizing that his play has slipped. Just like no one would argue that today's Fedorov is not the same as he was 10 years ago why are you people arguing with such fervor about Kolzig? Just like Fedorov or any number of veteran players he's not what he used to be. That's just a fact.

Posted by: ranndino | March 6, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

@Sombrero Guy,

Be careful, that kind of rational, thoughtful discussion on the goalie issue is likely to get you flamed or banned.

Ok, maybe not banned. A nice summary of the hand wringing since the deadline.

Posted by: old time hockey | March 6, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I too think Huet should start Saturday. And if he does very well, with the Pens too. However, I liked Olie yesterday. One thing he payed a lot of attention to was to get up his feet immediately (except the ghost goal) - he was very fast in doing that.

Maybe he reads this blog and found out what he has to work on - and he did.

I think our goalie situation is improved significantly: not only we have Huet, but Olie is playing sharper.

Argue all you want but at least appreciate the positives :)


Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

@Sombrero

Man... I'd love to talk other topics. I've spewed out every argument and every stat about this topic. I try to be logical and base my opinion heavily on facts and stats and not my observations so I dont get confused for a blind Olie basher.

I get worked up when the name calling starts and when completely inaccurate things are said. I feel compelled to be the voice of reason.

When the likes of Bob, Rob and Whiter Mage come out and say the most assinine and unsubstantiated things, I'm going to come out guns a blazin'.

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

One more thing. If Kolzig played in a hockey mad town like Montreal or Toronto where the fans and the media turn on players very quickly he would have been replaced as the #1 a long time ago.

For all those who feel so terrible and concerned about how Olie feels don't worry about him. He's had a very good career and made over $40 million. Something tells me that he's going to be just fine.

Posted by: ranndino | March 6, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

@Gary Bettman and Ranndino,

The Onion had something on Sid a few weeks ago with lede like "With a goal and two assists last night, Sidney Crosby has saved hockey." It ended with "Bettman noted that while Marian Hossa, Pavel Datsyuk and Mats Sundin also had a goal and two assists last night, they did not save hockey."

That about sums it up. I actually think the league wants Sid to be the darling so that the Pens stay in Pitt. If the Pens can make the cup finals with Malkin, that's almost as good. And, of course, I'll toss out my usual chestnut that North American players, especially Canadians get more press by a media dominated by Americans and Canadians. Sid sells in Canada, Ov, not so much, mostly because they see him and Malkin winning gold medals in the olympics by throwing 100 goals past Broduer or Luongo.

Posted by: old time hockey | March 6, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

@ JSchon

Right on.

Although good luck with that approach. Most people think a good argument is whatever they just pulled straight out of their behind. Oh yeah, and the volume at which something is said matters also. The louder you yell the more correct you must be.

Bob, Ron and Whiter Mage are graduates of Sean Hannity and Bill O'Really debate school.

Posted by: ranndino | March 6, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

@ Old Time Hockey

The funny thing is that Ovechkin is actually very popular in Canada because he plays like a typical Canadian power forward and is everything that a douchebag like Don Cherry think a hockey player should be. Ironically enough, the #1 Canadian star of the moment fits the stereotype of a soft Russian finesse player a whole lot more than either Ovechkin or Malkin. Can you imagine if Ovechkin played hockey like Crosby and Crosby played like Ovechkin? We wouldn't hear the end of how much better Crosby is because he's an intimidating hockey machine and not just a typical Euro ballerina.

BTW, last night's Center Ice telecast (I live in Boston) was the Buffalo feed and man, did they sing Ovechkin praises! They pretty much spent the whole first intermission kissing his ass and even played a long clip of Buffalo's coach Lindsey Ruff talking about him in the most glowing of terms. Also, even during the game they kept calling him the best player in the world.

Last thing I should mention is that I don't really have anything against Crosby. I can appreciate great talent and the more amazing players the NHL has the better. I'm dying to see the Sunday game. Crosby is back just in time for that one. BTW, Pitt all of a sudden has their own goalie controversy going on.

Posted by: ranndino | March 6, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I love the Onion.

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

@ Patrick

I would say that the fact that Peter Laviolette won the Cup with Carolina would suggest that he's the opposite of a giant tool. Prior to that he also won the Calder Cup with Providence Bruins who had pretty much the same exact roster as the year before under the real tool Tommy "just work hard" McVie. On top of that the way they're playing now after losing their captain and best player would also suggest that he's far from a tool. And he got Samsonov playing like a star again after the whole NHL gave up on him. I'd say all of that makes him one of the best coaching minds in the NHL.

Posted by: ranndino | March 6, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

In my previous post I forgot to mention that the under McVie the Providence Bruins finished dead last in the AHL. As I said, the next year under Laviolette they won the Cup and pretty much dominated the league in the regular season.

Posted by: ranndino | March 6, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Tommy McVie may have had the worst team of all time to coach, except the caps were even worse the first couple of years before he got here. They were a rugged fighting team that at least stood up after he got here, but they were bad...no one has been that bad since I dont think. He was close to getting blood out of a stone..lol

Posted by: Rich C | March 6, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

You-Eh has let in 2 goals, the first goal was a softie through the 5 hole and the 2nd was the usual crappie D by the Caps youngsters. Like the man said I never said Olie was the best in the league, just said I will watch and make up my mind about You-Eh after I see him play in a game where the D hangs him out to dry for 2 periods. The Habs did not trade him because they thought he was their best goalie. All the breathless worship of a goalie before he ever stopped a puck is a bit much.

Posted by: Bob | March 6, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Also GMGM picked him up because he cost nothing, not because we carefully scouted him. Much the same way we got Johnnie off of waivers. A good deal is hard to pass up and if he works out, cool.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Damn both the Hurricanes AND the Panthers are winning. Let's just hope the tides turn in both those games and the Lightning beat the the Flyers. I don't want to jinx it but if the Flyers loose tonight and saturday, and we beat the Bruins saturday we're tied for the 8th seed.

Posted by: DC FURY | March 6, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I was reading the ESPN magazine tonight (not my usual rag), and a few tidbits caught my eye:

1) They said the Caps are more likely to make the playoffs than the Canes!
http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3267608

2) In another article that was published just before the trade deadline, they talked about how well the Habs were playing, citing a few key players including (you guessed it) Huet.

3) On the same page, they had an article about Vancouver and quoted Cooke.

4) Of course, they gush, gush, gushed over Ovie. :-)

On a separate note, poor Boston is taking another beating ... will it be another double-digit game?!?

Posted by: Boo! | March 6, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Scores are not good tonight. Boston losing 8-1... they won't take another beating Saturday, they'll fight to death. Carolina keeps winning. Shees.

Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for nothing, Minnesota. Ya'll stink.

OK, not as bad as Boston ... hehe. It'll be an angry Bruins squad come Saturday.

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | March 6, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh my... 1-8

Chara is going to be pissed off...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

8-2 from Toronto?... Chapter 11

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, either that or the wheels will have completely fallen off the Boston bus by then.

But your guesses are probably right: pissed off Bruins.

Posted by: Dinger | March 6, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

And we were upset about OUR lost to Toronto ... geez ...

Posted by: Boo! | March 6, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

On our City Limits blog at ColumbusAlive.com, we've been writing a lot about Columbus' quest for some sort of marketable identity. So we couldn't resist this telling tidbit, reported by Tom Reed in Saturday's Dispatch:

Ken Hitchcock's most humbling moment as Blue Jackets coach came in this radiant city on the Pacific Coast [Vancouver, British Columbia].

Hitchcock was trying to clear Canadian customs last summer when the agent asked him his occupation. He told the man he coached the NHL franchise in Columbus.

The agent grew suspicious and countered by saying, "There's no NHL team in Columbus."

Posted by: Feds must be happy to get outta there | March 6, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Just got home from the Coyotes vs. the Habs game. Must say that Carey Price looked stellar for the most part. Let up one softy, but stopped around 37 shots. That makes me understand why Montreal traded Huet, not because they weren't sold on him as a #1 goalie.

And because I can, seeing as it's almost 2:30 eastern... and no one will likely read this anyways...

Flailing isn't technique... it's getting caught out of postion and doing whatever you can to try and stop a puck. Olie does it more than I'd like him to. Does this make him a bad goaltender, not necessarily, just not a great one. Huet has better movement and doesn't need to flail as much, thus why I think he'll do better in front of our defense.

I'm not just looking at Huet's 5 periods in DC. I'm looking at his overall numbers and the games that I've watched him in on Center Ice. As I don't live in the DC area anymore, that's how I get my Caps fix. I use it for more than that, though, and watch other teams. Huet had Montreal in the upper eschelon of Eastern Conference teams. Olie had the Caps in the lower half. Seems pretty simple math to me. Ok, there's a difference in D. Here's how I explain that:

Olie: Gives up rebounds (to anywhere, corner, out front, juggles in his lap), doesn't move laterally well anymore, and can't get back into position to stop any of those rebounds.

Huet: Gives up less rebounds, can move better and get back into postion

Therefore, any lost rebound (i.e. goal) because of a lack of defensive ability should be curtailed by Huet as he will give up less rebounds. It's not that Olie isn't a number one type goalie, it's that Huet gives us a better chance, in my opinion. So, let's give him the games so that others can see what I can already see to be the truth.

Posted by: stuffedinvader | March 7, 2008 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Carolina is 6-1 in the past 7 games. Worse yet, their one loss is to the Rangers (who we also want to lose) and the rest of their wins are against teams that aren't fighting for playoff spots.

Even stranger is that they're doing it with the worse PK in the league. I'm getting sick of things going their way...

Posted by: Raber | March 7, 2008 5:38 AM | Report abuse

stuffedinvader:
Don't ever think that people don't read what you post ... ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | March 7, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Huet is ready
I am ready
Everyone is ready

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: Super | March 7, 2008 6:55 AM | Report abuse

@mauree
Scores are not good tonight. Boston losing 8-1... they won't take another beating Saturday, they'll fight to death. Carolina keeps winning. Shees.

The only good to come out of last night was the Pens' loss. If FLA can do it......

Posted by: keef | March 7, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

BOS losing was great. I dont think they'll be any harder an opponent after losing to TOR. I mean, its not like they will have forgotten about the 10-2 drubbing we gave them a few days ago.

After losing 3 straight and giving 19 goals in the process, they might be on a wrong side of a slide.

At this point, any team ahead of us just needs to lose irregardless of how they do it.

I know irregardless may not be a word, but nothing says regardless more than irregardless.

Posted by: JSchon | March 7, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

JSchon:

You are correct - it is not a word. But since you called yourself on it, it is a "mute" point.

(Please tell me someone got that joke?!? It is so sad when you have to flag your own jokes ...)

Posted by: Boo! | March 7, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

@keef
I'm not sure. Now you have a very angry Pen team. The fans were very pissed off. And they can watch the Caps tomorrow and prepare. I'd rather have a presumptuous opponent than a angry/attentive one.

@JSchon lol irregardless :D
Don't know about Boston... they're going to come out very strong. The trick (hear me out BB) is to clog center ice in the first and try to score on rushes. They'll demoralize soon if they can't secure the game fast.

Posted by: mauree | March 7, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

@ JSchon

Irrespective of your irregardless comment, last night's scores made the hunt for the playoffs more interesting. And by more interesting, I mean nerve-wracking.

Fla and TML are only 2 pts. behind the Caps. The Canes have a 5 pt. cushion. Phl moved up to 4 pts. ahead of the Caps for the 8th spot.

Solution: Just win Baby! Boston is ripe for the picking. The Pens can be beat. The Caps need the next 4 pts. to stay in the chase.

Posted by: JIM | March 7, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

FLA is also two games in hand... I am not too worried about Tor, NYI, and FLA - need Boston to start sliding, Philly to play .500 hockey, and Carolina to lose 5 or 6 of their last 12 games.

It's going to be tight - like tiger - from here on out.

I just wish we could get some help... Last night - the only good thing that happened for the Caps was BOS loss. Heck, Ottowa might be someone we can catch as well.

Posted by: 828 | March 7, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

If they're both hot goalies right now, why not give them equal playing time. Have Huet play Saturday and Kolzig play on Sunday and just alternate them for the rest of the season. There's no reason to have a hot goalie sit on the bench all the time. Make it a team effort. What's wrong with that?

Posted by: Dave | March 7, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm a bit worried that Huet could aggrevate the injury. Maybe have Olie play tomorrow and give Huet another day of rest.

Posted by: Lowell | March 7, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

@ Dave

I agree that hot goalies need to play, but I'd add a bit:

Huet is very good against Boston, so yes, he the right call there

Johnson or Huet will be better than Kolzig for the Pens due to their style -- faster laterally, less rebounds

Kolzig is better against Atlanta as he takes up more of the net and plays a more physical game

@ Boo

Nice moot/mute homonym joke -- right up there with Dr. Evil's caliber joke for the Fembots

@ 828

Nice assist on the Goldmember allusion -- Tight as a tiger, it's a keeper (hehe)

Posted by: JIM | March 7, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Boo,

Mute point...?


(before I'm called a dumba@@, the above is sarcasm as I got Boos's joke)

Posted by: Steve R | March 7, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The goalie controversy has been a bit over hashed! We should all get it now, we are lucky to have two goalies that both can win and nothing seems to create strong game play then a little competition. (This is a good thing as I see it.) Whoever the goalie is, they each know that they are under a microscope and if they don't perform they will sit. So I'm hoping we will see "Great Goal-tending" from here on out because according to the scoreboards last night, no one is going to help us out and we are going to have to do it ourselves. My last morning thought over my 2nd cup of coffee, I think the article posted in the Buffalo paper was one of class - never thought I would say that of Ruff. It has been a long time since I have seen something of that nature, prob. since the "Gretzky Era"! We have so much to be proud of.
GO CAPS

Posted by: Greenie | March 7, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Greenie,

Where is that article?

Posted by: 828 | March 7, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

If everything works out in our favor this weekend, this what the standing could look like after the Sunday games.

MON 87
NJ 84
CAR 77
PIT 83
OTT 81
NYR 81
BOS 77
PHI 76
WAS 76
BUF 75
NYI 73
TOR 70

There has to be some justice in the world.

Posted by: JSchon | March 7, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Greenie | March 7, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

At this point in the season we just need to win 9 of 13... that gives us 90pts...

The Atlantic Division are going to kill themselves the last 10 games. PHI and NYI, I'm hoping, finish outside the playoffs because of their schedules.

Then us, BOS and BUF would be playing for the last 2 spots in the East, unless we jump over CAR. Unfortunately those guys have forgotten how to lose.

Posted by: JSchon | March 7, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

JSchon,

That still keeps us one game in hand with Carolina... AND, that would continue our first of TWO 7 Game Win Streaks

I hope justice is served this weekend.

Greenie - def good article.

Posted by: 828 | March 7, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I really think we can jump Carolina if we can beat them twice. That is the key.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 7, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

AWESOME article!

"The more Ruff talked Wednesday, the more obvious it became that Ovechkin is the best player of his generation. Yes, that includes Sidney Crosby. The Penguins superstar is the face of the NHL, but Ovechkin is the guy coaches want on their teams because the Great Eight dominates in so many ways."

I pray for justice this weekend!

Posted by: Metal Cap | March 7, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town - completely agree... in one way, we are 4 games in hand with Carolina because we play them twice. As long as we stay with-in 5 points... those 4 games are an 8 point swing.

But, like they say - there is no point in having games in hand if you don't do anything with them.

Posted by: 828 | March 7, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

@Tarik (or his editors)

Thanks for fixing the standings in the dead tree version. I'll shut up about that now.

Posted by: old time hockey | March 7, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm starting to think that Carolina will never lose a game again. We need to win every game left if we want to stay close. Then the Flyers go and win last night - this is upsetting!

Posted by: fansince72 | March 7, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Carolina and Florida won convincingly last night. Carolina looks tight, dare I say much tighter than the Caps.

It's starting to look like we can't catch the 'Canes. At the same time, there's a decent cushion between Philly, NYR, Boston and the Caps.

Bottom line: the Caps must hold out hope that one of these teams is going to tank down the stretch. If Gabby keeps us on the current path -- great wins against contenders and fristrating losses to lesser teams -- we will barely miss this year.

Posted by: Beezer | March 7, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@Beezer

There is good chance that one of the Atlantic division teams will fall out, they all play eachother in the last 10 or so games. Even if they play .500 hockey, if we play .600 hockey we can sneak in. I hope we play .800 hockey, that would certainly do it.

Posted by: JSchon | March 7, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

@Jschon

Should I have said minor injuries then? Injuries short of major surgery? Huet missed a chunk of game before the trade with a muscle injury. The season before a hamstring cost him 20 games. An ACL the season before that.

42 games is his career high so far. You tell me what you would call it.

Its something that happens to him every season. Otherwise he plays pretty well.

How would you describe that?

Posted by: rob | March 7, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Tarik has posted an update

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | March 7, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

LAST... the last laugh at all those who think writing first is cool...lol..onto the next thread

Posted by: Rich C | March 7, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

You can't be last...

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Posted by: qrtdkvxs yhquar | March 17, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

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