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Johnson Not Skating

Brent Johnson isn't skating this morning, a few hours after aggravating an old hip injury in the first period of Wednesday's 3-1 win over Boston. Johnson said after the game that he isn't too worried about it, adding that the only thing he can do is rest it and hope for the best.

I also don't see defenseman Tom Poti, who returned last night after missing six games with a groin muscle pull. Don't know what his deal is, but I'll check after practice.

Sergei Fedorov, meantime, is on the ice and assigned to a line. Mike Green is also participating fully. Still not sure if either will be ready for Friday's game against Ottawa. No sign of John Erskine, either. I did, however, see Tomas Fleischmann limping badly.

The lines are:

Laich-Fedorov-Bradley (Osala)


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 11, 2008; 11:13 AM ET
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Next: Green, Fedorov Getting Close


Let us hope that Poti is just taking a "maintenance day".

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

Guessing Poti's doing a maintenance day. Hoping, anyway.

Posted by: Section117 | December 11, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

FEDS!!!!!!! SEMIN!!!!!!!!!! GREEN!!!!!!!!!!! It's Christmas two weeks early.

Posted by: ThisGuy | December 11, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse


I've got some stuff for us to discuss, but for some reason blog won't let me post it. Seems to have an issue with a perceived swear word so I'm gonna go paragraph by paragraph so I can find what is giving the blog fits:

Let's find some common ground here, but more and more I feel like neither of us are fully understanding eachother.

1. Have I claimed JT should start over BJ? No. I agree with you here.
2. Have I claimed JT is better than BJ? Nope. BJ is playing better hockey at this point in the season.
3. Would I love to see BJ get a majority of the starts for a while? Absolutely. Barring injury, he has earned it.
4. Has BJ been making "game changing" saves that JT has been nonexistent on? He sure has.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 11, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

WOOOO WHOOOOOO!! The boys are back!!!

It's a festivus miracle, all the gloom and doom folks, watch the magic happen. We now get a look at what this team might be capable of doing with all the parts. (knocking on wood)

I can't wait for Friday night. And no, not just because of the burrito and speed dating promo. Thats just gravy!

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 11, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Now, onto the points where we seem to have a disconnect. (I've remove specific examples as I think this is where the posting problem is... I can repost examples if needed, but I don't think they are as I don't think either of us are going to "turn" eachother to eachother's dark side.)

I saw some major defensive improvement last night over the previous game in Carolina, with specific focus on the major points that we addressed and argued endlessly about after that game. I tend to feel that these are more things that BB saw we did wrong and fixed in practice, rather than the team just "preferring" to do them for BJ, and ignoring sound defensive hockey fundamentals when playing infront of JT.

Did we have some defensive collapses? Absolutely. Did we take even more illtimed/advised line changes? Yes. Heck, there was one where poti called himself off when the puck was at the redline, leaving (unknown defender at the time) alone on an island. May have been the Collins diving play mentioned earlier.


Posted by: FFSEnough | December 11, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else find it odd that Singles night is the same night as the next Caps Family Pack night? Just wondering....

Posted by: Leeguru | December 11, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

is it really? That is pretty funny. As I mentioned earlier, the person in the promo department, who came up with this gem, should probably polish the ol' resume.

Same night? HAAHAAA

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 11, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

What I will pick up on is the root of our disagreement. Goalie's absolute affect on GAA/SV, result and each goal and comparison of goalie play each night. I tend to feel like there are 3 things going on on every scoring chance. Goalie play is 1/3. Offensive player's action is another, and defending team's play is another 1/3. Let me preface this with, YES, BJ made some fantastic saves last night. The kind that keeps teams in 1 goal games. YES, JT has not made these saves as of his last few starts. Has JT made some flashy saves this year? Yes he has, but again, I agree, very inconsistent with a nudge towards "lucky" when he did make them.

To get at what I'm trying to say requires a look from a B's perspective from last night's game. Some would say we got lucky. Example. BJ's paddle save. We look at that from a Cap's fan's perspective as a fantastic play by BJ to stick with the play and make the stop. From a B's fan's perspective, attacking B made a great move and deke'd Johnny pretty good, but failed to lift the puck and got stopped by a diving stick.

On the play I feel is very similar to the 1st goal from CAR. Shot comes from left circle, BJ kick-save onto a B's blade in the middle of the ice. B player, because of defensive pressure (nonexistant vs CAR) is moving R to L, back into the play, and back into BJ. Shot, stop, uncalled Goalie Interference and further pain for BJ. Had the B player been moving L to R with the flow of the play, that's a goal, just like it was in CAR.

I'm gonna try to wrap this up now so we can both move on and put this to rest. I think we can agree neither of us will get anywhere with either of us. I'm not specifically trying to defend horrible goalies. What I will do is defend specific complaints from bloggers that I feel are unjustified. MOST specifically rebound control. Again, this is why I started posting here in the first place. Some fans (not saying you, Rann) seem to expect some unnatural stuff WRT Goalie Rebound Control. That's all I was trying to do for JT vs. CAR, and in the same vein, trying to show that the plays we complained about Monday AM are COMMON goalie actions, and small adjustments in coaching, personnel and quality of play can make a world of difference.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 11, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Finally. Japer has a link to some work being done to polish some new goalie stats. This is the kind of stuff I get excited about, being a person who hates GAA and SV% as metrics for goalie performance.

The stat is by no means polished and could easily be reevaluated and made more applicable. But it's the kind of statistical analysis progress that makes me happy.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 11, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse


Oddly enough, I think we sit very close to eachother. VERY close to eachother. I tend to be very enthusiastic WRT: Mites on Ice... if that gives you a hint as to who I am.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 11, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I have been VERY impressed with Collins so far. He seems to be a much calmer defenseman than Jurcina or Alzner.

Jurcina saved a goal last night by standing up the wrap around attempt behind the net when Johnny was out of position...and don't get me wrong, he's been solid the past few days. He still seems jittery to me in his own end though. He seems to throw the puck from our defensive corners almost immediatly without checking to see if he has time to skate the puck himself. It's been leading to some dangerous nuetral zone turnovers.

Any chance we keep Collins over Jurcina or Alzner?

Posted by: patrone | December 11, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The good news is that Semin doesnt need to rest the injury today.

Lets just hope Poti and Johnson are good to go tomorrow.

I like the idea of Theodore getting the nod back in Montreal. Oh boy will the fans be gunning for him...but hey...60 minutes - zero goals last time out...Show em what you got!

Posted by: SA-Town | December 11, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse


Chance we keep Collins over Alzner: I'd say this is almost certain when guys come off LTIR. If our D gets completely healthy AND Feds comes back, we'll see ourselves back to 6 dmen to continue to build space for Alzner late in the year.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 11, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

There is another issue that people need to be aware of that seems to be missing affecting the goaltending. The caps have not had a lot of actual practices in the last month or so. Take today for example. They are not going to have a full "all out" practice with a game tomorrow. The coach himself has said the team gets sloppy when they go periods of time without full practices. What I would like to see is the caps record after these ‘full practices” and which goalies benefited from it.

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | December 11, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse


Assuming we have the cap space, Alzner will be here for the rest of the season, let's hope.

And, assuming Poti is healthy and just resting, when Green comes back, I hope they keep Collins here and send Sloane down. Also, if Feds comes back, I hope they keep Osala over Giroux.

Posted by: Moose16 | December 11, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

As solid as Jurcina has played recently, and it's been solid, he did have one of those "Milan Special" passes in (I think) the second period right to a Bruins player at our blue line. If he could just quit doing that....

Posted by: EricCarr | December 11, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Last night before the game I heard Boomer on NHL Home Ice (XM Radio) say that Pothier is skating again. Can anyone confirm this?

Last night's win was huge but I didn't feel like it was the best Caps hockey we've seen. Seemed like Boston was very strong on the cycle and we struggled to clear the puck at times. The puck seemed to be in the Caps' defensive zone too much and too many times Boston was able to gain the blueline uncontested. Of course Boston's at the top of the EC so you'd expect that but I think the Caps were fortunate to not get bitten by some breakdowns last night. If not for the great goaltending, Caps would've lost.

But a win is a win and it's especially nice to see the Caps win games even when they aren't running on all cylinders. They should contend for the top spot when/if everyone gets healthy.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | December 11, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Brought this over from the last thread:

Not sure if it was mentioned yet, NHL Network's play of the night was BJ's save on the breakaway. That was exciting! Gotta give Jurcina some love because I always trash him. Although he had some minor mistakes last night I believe that was one of his best games as a Cap. He got a couple of his blasts off from the point which was nice. Not sure if those at home could see his biggest play develop, but is was when the puck bounced out from behind our net in the 3rd and either Kessel or Savard (couldn't make out the first digit it was *1) tried to slam it into the open net. First Jurcina stopped the forward progress of his stick blade, almost looked like a rejection on someone going up for a dunk in Basketball, and then he cleaned him out. That is what a big D-man is supposed to do. That was just an unbelievable game. Poti was a little rusty but a game changer. Of course his assist was sweet but the coolest thing I saw was in the first 10 minutes of the game when he started behind our net and there was not a break out lane open so he said screw it and simply took off and carried the puck out of the zone. The little things that he and Green bring to the team. Semin looked a little rusty too but his "sick" hands were there and ready.

OV, what can you say about him. When he drove Chara to the ice because he was tired of being held, it was priceless. He also made that beautiful move where he puts to puck in his skates while he goes around the D in the 2nd. Chara's so darn big OV was almost in the crease when he finally got around the giant, but it was a nice move. He also shouldered Chara out of the slot in the 3rd. Last night was definitely a another fun one at Verizon.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 11, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Last night before the game I heard Boomer on NHL Home Ice (XM Radio) say that Pothier is skating again. Can anyone confirm this?

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | December 11, 2008 1:14 PM
Corey at the Times mentioned that he was, but it was just skates and gloves.

Posted by: Section117 | December 11, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

man, if they played like that every night?!!? It was the best game they have played against a quality team that I have seen this year!!!

Posted by: bryaningrocery | December 11, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

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