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Kolzig to Start; Tonight's Lineup vs. Buffalo

Olie Kolzig will start in net for the Caps and is expected to oppose Ryan Miller tonight at HSBC Arena, where the Sabres are looking to complete a season sweep of Washington.

Brent Johnson will back up Kolzig because Cristobal Huet still isn't 100-percent after suffering back spasms on Monday against Boston. Huet, though, took part in the morning skate and afterward said he was surprised by how good he felt. Coach Bruce Boudreau said Huet should be ready to start Saturday in Boston.

Captain Chris Clark also practiced this morning as he continues to ramp up his skating. He told me afterward that he had hoped to play this weekend against the Bruins, but now is aiming to return in a week or two. He's played only once since Nov. 28 because of a groin tendon injury.

"We didn't want to leave him at home," Boudreau said of Clark. "We figured that we could better treat him here and hurry up the whole process. At the same time, we're not rushing. If it takes two weeks and tons of practices, then we're going to do that. Because we don't want to him to play nine minutes, re-hurt himself and be out until the middle of summer."

Meantime, Tomas Fleischmann, Quintin Laing and Steve Eminger will be scratches.

Here's the lineup:
Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Laich-Fedorov-Semin
Cooke-Steckel-Bradley
Brashear-Gordon-Fehr

Defense
Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Schultz
Erskine-Jurcina

That's it for now.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 5, 2008; 11:58 AM ET
 
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Comments

Good news on Clarkie. The sooner the better.

Posted by: EricS | March 5, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

why Kolzig why

Posted by: Helge | March 5, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm not trying to be downer dude, but looking back on this season there are so many things to be upset about. I mean look at all that is good.

*Alex Ovechkin being mentioned as a possible Hart Trophy winner, some think he is the front-runner. I like to think so.
*AO will win the Rocket Richard and possibly the Art Ross, and maybe the Lester.
*Backstrom is in contention for the Calder.
*Boudreau contender for the Jack Adams.

Thats the good.
But the Hart, Calder and Adams trophies probably wont go to a team that didnt make the play-offs. And before any of you in here say Awards dont mean anything, let me remind you that Awards bring recognition to this town and the team. We battle everyday as fans and as an organization to bring credibility here. Being the team that has those trophies in the mantle mean everything.

Here is the bad.
Hanlon put us in a big hole going 6-14-1. There wasnt a change made until the 3rd four game losing streak. You could also say that GMGM put us in a whole too.

Our goaltending by and large has been utterly pathetic for most of the season. I wont spit out stats, I've already done that, but it has cost us games this year, plenty of them.

Injuries have been an issue for us too. We've lost our 1st line center and right wing. We lost our best pure defensemen and Semin for 19 games, imagine if Semin had 19 more games to perfect his toe drag? Thought provoking.

Again, I'm not trying to be a negative guy, but the play-offs are not guarantee and if we miss the play-offs by a few point, which is as likely a scenario as any, we have to consider this season a complete failure.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik

Do you any idea how the Swedes are viewing Backstroms season so far?

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I miss Laing being out. Any idea when or if he'll ever play again? His dedication and team play are inspirational.

Posted by: kenhockey | March 5, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Good oppurtunity for Olie to step up tonight and win a big game. Lets Go Caps!

Posted by: Bmore Caps | March 5, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Kenhockey,

I miss him too and wish he was playing.

But after Monday's showing, I don't see how Boudreau could or would make any changes to the line-up (barring who is in net of course).

Posted by: Jordana | March 5, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse


Tonight the Caps...UNLEASH THE FURY!!!!... on the Sabres!

Posted by: Jake | March 5, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I am curious, but which Calder candidate is going to make the playoffs if the Caps dont? Kane or Toews? Enstrom? Mueller then?

Posted by: Rob | March 5, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

4th line of:
brash - boyd - fehr

?

Posted by: Steve R | March 5, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

glad he's sticking with what worked for boston.

Posted by: wee | March 5, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

JSchon,
Sorry, I vehemently disagree with you about the season being a failure if the Caps don't make the playoffs. I do agree with you the problems were the deep hole we dug in Oct/Nov and the goaltending issues. Since Boudreau has taken over, the Caps have played very well. All the pieces are in place for next year. The players know they can win, the fans are back in droves, and there is plenty of young talent on the horizon. I read a web page which stated our mathematical chances of making the playoffs at around 33%. If we can garner 4 of the next 6 points and Carolina only gets 2 points, we are right in there again. And of course, it could go the other way. What is frustrating is watching the Caps play great one game, and then lay an egg the next. At least for me, I now have some reasonable expectation of a win when we attend the games in the Phone Booth. For the past several years, and early this, I had no positive expectations.

Posted by: Doug | March 5, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

You're right Rob. Calder winner likely wont be a play-off participant.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

So long as George is GM, Caps will FAIL.

Posted by: Chief | March 5, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

So what are the lines going to look like if Clark comes back soon?

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Clark?-Fedorov-Semin
Cooke-Laich?-Bradley

-d

Posted by: Dan V | March 5, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Is Ryan Miller starting for the Sabres?

Posted by: Olie Troll | March 5, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@Doug

I'm not saying we arent looking great for next year or the next 5 or 10. I think we're in great shape.

I am specifically talking about this year, a year in which we werent suppose to be rebuilding but making the next step. The next IMHO isnt coming close to making the play-offs.

There were things we could've changed that we didnt until much later for my liking. The changes might be a day late and a dollar short.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

That's awesome news that Clarkie is traveling with the team!

Why is Laing sitting again? He's been a major contributor to the team!!!! I've seen others starting to block shots with their bodies, but no one does it better than Laing. Is BB trying to determine if the team can move forward without him? I also heard a rumor that if Laing is sent down, Chicago indicated they would pick him up immediately. They want him back. Is there any truth to that statement?

Posted by: Tracy | March 5, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon

If miss playoffs by few points there is no way this season can be though as complete failure: ~20 pts improvement, Backstrom and Green have great seasons, attendence goes up which means that fans believe in the team, Boudreau shows he can be the guy, Caps play very entertaining hockey and they can beat pretty much any team in the league, also they are very resilient team, Ovechkin is having great season etc
I don't see how you can call this season a complete faliure.

Posted by: NIko | March 5, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

@dan v

OV/Backstrom/Kozlov
Semin/Nylander/Clark

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

j-shon--
Polthier's our best pure defenseman?

Posted by: c-way | March 5, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Kolzig?????????@##$%^&&**()__))((*&&^^ @$@#$@#$@#$$@$@%%$#@@##$%%^&^&**&&%$#@@#!@#$%^&* sucks

Posted by: jhon | March 5, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Agree the Adams doesn't work without the playoffs. If we don't make the playoffs, then Alex's ability to win the Hart is certainly curtailed, but if he does win both the Richard and the Ross, its going to be pretty hard to have him walk out of the room without the Hart too no matter if we make the playoffs or not. I know I'm biased like the rest of you, but its hard to claim that Alex isn't the most valuable player in the league, especially when measured to his value to his team.

Conversely, if we do make the playoffs, it helps Backstrom a lot. None of the other main candidates are going to the playoffs, so making it would set Backstrom apart. I'm torn on him. On the one hand, he's had a great explosion since they gave him 1st line time, implying that his numbers would be better if Hanlon hadn't dittered away with him playing as Brashear's right wing. Then again, I might be able to get 20 points playing with Ov. I personally think Toews or Kane are the best. Toews is getting jobbed because of the injuries, but it says something that he was hurt and is still in the mix. If he played all 82, there wouldn't be a discussion about who should win.

Posted by: old time hockey | March 5, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

If anyone thinks the line up is going to change after destoying Boston on Monday is crazy. If Huey was not hurt you would see the same 19...Virtually every forward has point....and I do personally believe the bigger line up makes sense going into later part of the season where physical play matters, for all intents and purposes, we in the playoffs if we lose 4 out 7 the caps are gone..

Posted by: Rich C | March 5, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

At Ketler Iceplex, I saw a Capital skating this morning around 10:30 am. He had on Federov's helmet in which I thought it was Federov. Do you know who was skating - Pothier maybe? Why was he wearing Federov's helmet - 91 on the back?

Thanks

Posted by: 828 | March 5, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@Niko

You state things that are very true. Attendance is up, but I think its because we are in a play-off hunt. Where will it be next year if we dont make the play-offs?

Ask TL, if we dont make the play-offs, whether or not the season was a success of a failure.

GMGM, may not have a job after this season. Why would you get rid of your GM if the season was a success.

For me success is making the play-offs and failure is not making the play-offs. All the other things are nice but they dont make up for another season watching other teams make a run for the cup.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Doug All We have to do is beat Buffalo Today and Carolina looses and were right back in it....33% huh...that is why its so important that we ride out huet and better our chances in making playoffs THIS YEAR not next and not the one after that, i'm tired of waiting, and to tell you the truth the fans are too, we want some kind of success and not failure.

Posted by: andrey | March 5, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

re laing
he is not on hershey's clear day list yet fehr is so sending him down is unlikely
plus he would have to clear waivers
so he sits...dont need him in 10-2 games but in close games we will see how some of our non defensive style forwards do.
really seems like a waste to sit him game after game. at least before the trade deadlin they were rotating sittin

Posted by: wendel | March 5, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS IF HUET IS FEELING NO PAIN HE SHOULD START THIS EVENING. ALL WE NEED IS OLIE TO GO OUT THERE AND LET IN A COUPLE SOFT GOALS(AS HE HAS DONE LATELY) AND THE MOMENTUM GAINED IN THE BOSTON GAME WILL BE GONE!!!!

Posted by: PHIL | March 5, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Please, people, there was no way Huet was going to start every remaining game. Moaning about Kolzig getting a game a week is pointless.

Posted by: tallbear | March 5, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
you crack me up! :-) thanks for, uh, "spelling" it out for us in the last thread! btw, you may want to try a pop-up blocker ... ;-)

JSchon:
"we have to consider this season a complete failure"
You've got to be kidding me?!? It has been a remarkable season, whether or not we make the big show. If we were playing now the way we did in Oct/Nov, then THAT would be a complete failure, but we're not. We've come a long way, baby, and we're headed for bigger things ... if not this season, then certainly next season and beyond!!

828:
Any chance it was Nyls (92 - not 91)?

Posted by: Boo! | March 5, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Bold move only playing 3 forward lines.

The sabres won't be expecting that.

Posted by: Stormblue | March 5, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@C-Way

Yes Pothier, IMHO, is our best all around defensemen. He's much better in positioning than Green and is the 2nd best offensive defensemen on the team.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

RE: Kolzig, let's all just hope that he plays the way he did against MN, rather than assume he has already lost the game. If the entire team shows up again (like the did against MN and Boston), then we can win it. Think positively, folks ... the Caps have the talent to take this one. It is ALL up the THEM (not Olie).

RE: Laing, when is he coming back?!? :-(

Posted by: Boo! | March 5, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Kolzig in goal??? Let's all join the 6 Goal Club. Ovechkin needs to score 6 tonight to give the Caps a chance of winning this game.

Posted by: Finn | March 5, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Caps come out on fire tonight...

On Saturday's game - which Boston goalie will want to play against the Caps?

Thomas - 7 goals on 24 shots
Auld - 3 goals on 10 shots

I hope Miller gets pulled tonight... maybe that will be our new things... the teams we play against - they have to pull their goalies.

6 more games to go for the first of two 7 game win streaks...

Posted by: 828 | March 5, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Calling the season a failure just because we don't make the playoffs is really short sighted. We've had an awesome year. Hanlon should have been gone long before Thanksgiving but the fact that the team was able to bounce back and even be in the running just shows the tenacity that this team has...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@Boo

I dont wear Red, White and Blue shades. I'm a fan that doesnt drink the Kool-aid.

I'm just being real. Obviously you're reality is different than mine, which is fine.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm not an olie basher, but I still think Huet should start. He is better than olie, and we have a good shot at making the playoffs. Is his back spasms not allowing him to play today or they want to give him a night off to feel 100 percent? Is there a chance of Laing getting in the line up soon or is he going to be sent down?

Posted by: Thomas | March 5, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Any word on whether Erskine will have to pay for the damage to the brand-spanking-new scoreboard that occurred when he was called for a penalty and angrily flipped the puck high into the air?

Posted by: Leigh | March 5, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Boo! - it was def 91... my eyes are not that bad. I honestly thought it was Feds, but he wasn't clean cut... he had some scruff on his face.

Finn - the 6 Goal Club has been abolished... the new club now is the ©TWO 7 Game Win Streaks Club

Posted by: 828 | March 5, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

this game is 100% on kolzigs shoulders, if he plays a great game we will win, if he plays the way he usually does we will lose. end of discussion.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

@anon

"We've had an awesome year"

This is wearing Red, White and Blue shades and drinking the Kool-aid.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Thomas - didn't you just get routed a few nights ago?

the man in the Fed Helmet was just doing laps with some cones... he was the only one there - well, some dude holding a baby was near the Caps practice benches.

Posted by: 828 | March 5, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Failure? No.

If nothing else happened this year, the Caps found a coach. That was one of the pieces missing. The other was a #1 to act as a bridge to the youngsters in net. We'll see how that plays out.

Posted by: Steve R | March 5, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The Caps need this one. Olie needs this one. We all needs this one. Lets do it!

Posted by: Caps 423 | March 5, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least Buffalo winning 2 of their last 5 is something.

Posted by: Olie Troll | March 5, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Steve R,

Don't forget the most important thing that happened this year... we signed the best player in the league for 13 years... I would put BB up there with that though...

Posted by: 828 | March 5, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes I wonder why I read these comments. You people want an injured goalie to play (although we have 2 other healthy goalies) and a Hershey call-up to be inserted back into the lineup to replace someone on the lines that snagged a 10-2 victory 48 hours earlier. Don't get me wrong, I love Laing, he is a great role-player and deserves to be a fan fave. But until the PK and blocked shots stats say otherwise, he isn't needed in every single game.

Posted by: Jill | March 5, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

828,

You got me there, 13 years was a pretty good thing too.

Posted by: Steve R | March 5, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

@Jill,
I'm with you...frustrating isn't it?

Posted by: K | March 5, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

@Jill

I agree...
What LW would you scratch for Laing?

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

If Huet is hurt, Johnny should start!

Posted by: Finn | March 5, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Jill, you are so right. It is disturbing to read many of these posts on a daily basis. They can be so negative. Olie is more than capable and should be given the benefit of the doubt. He usually keeps the team in the game, thus giving them a chance to win. They just have to play hard for 60 minutes no matter what.

Posted by: I love Jill more | March 5, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Tracy:

Laing used to be in the Chicago organization (AHL Norfolk) and they loved him there. I think if the Caps sent him down they would snatch him up in a heartbeat and it would be an awful move by this organization.

Like Jill said though, he's not needed in everyone game, especially with the depth this team now has at the forward position. It's better to preserve players than to use them up.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Sorry that was my post

Posted by: G-Rub | March 5, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Freakin lovely. Here is tonight's mathematical equation.

Capitals in Buffalo + Kolzig in net= a loss

Posted by: Mitch | March 5, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I would just like to point out to the Olie haters that Huet let in 2 goals against boston and Kolzig let in ZERO. AND, if Huet had started tonight, Kolzig would likely be in goal against Boston, and I'd still have to read 23092830 messages on this board bellyaching about putting Kolzig in. I mean... seriously.

Posted by: laing4prez | March 5, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Mitch,

the sun shines on a monkey's arse some days...
6 goals in one period should do the trick...

Posted by: 828 | March 5, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon - Up until recently I actually would have been OK with scratching Brash in games with non-physical teams...but now that he's a proven goal-scorer (haha) in addition to his pugilistic prowess, I say bring on The Donald.

Posted by: Jill | March 5, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

laing4prez,

Huet is also undefeated as a Capital and has allowed 2 goals in 5 periods... what is your point again?

Posted by: 828 | March 5, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

GO OLIE!!!!

This team needs WINS...not "fans" rooting for Olie to lose so Huet can start. You clowns REALLY want Huet to start, hurt his back worse, and be done for the season? Then it'll be back to the Olie/Johnson arguments you were having before the trade! You people really don't make a lick of sense sometimes. Caps will win tonight--but deep down you people WANT them to lose so you'll have more ammo and stats to try and shove down our throats when trying to make you sound like you know anything about hockey.

Posted by: P | March 5, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

GO OLIE!!!!

This team needs WINS...not "fans" rooting for Olie to lose so Huet can start. You clowns REALLY want Huet to start, hurt his back worse, and be done for the season? Then it'll be back to the Olie/Johnson arguments you were having before the trade! You people really don't make a lick of sense sometimes. Caps will win tonight--but deep down you people WANT them to lose so you'll have more ammo and stats to try and shove down our throats when trying to make you sound like you know anything about hockey.

Posted by: P | March 5, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Oldie Slowzig needs to hang up the skates. He is old, slow and and can't control rebounds. He is more than welcome to come back next year as the guy who sets up Huet's gear in the locker room. I hope the caps offense can offset the load between the pipes!

Posted by: C.H. | March 5, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Also--I don't want Laing in the lineup...he can block shots, but otherwise he takes up space. Nothing against him, but we need to play the lineup from Monday until they falter...

Posted by: P | March 5, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@laing4prez

That might be the most ridiculous argument and Olie apologizer has made on this blog, and there have been plenty.

I'm not sure why I'm responding other than to prove how silly the Olie folks are.

Huet faced 22 shots and Olie faced 5. Go think of something else for me to correct you on.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

P,

I think people think the same about Olie as you do about Laing... except for the block shots part.

Posted by: 828 | March 5, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

828 -THAT was a good one:0

Posted by: HAHAHA | March 5, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Everyone - go to nhl.com and vote for BB:

Which head coach has gotten the most out of his team this season?

HE is leading so far...

Posted by: 828 | March 5, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Oldie Slowzig... Damn!

Posted by: Finn | March 5, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

LAING4PRES,

HECK YOUR SIGN ON NAME SAYS ENOUGH. I NEED COMMENT NO FURTHER ON YOUR OPINIONS. WHEN KOLZIG LOSES THE GAME FOR US THIS EVENING I WANT YOU TO REMEMBER YOUR "BELLY-ACHING" COMMENT.

Posted by: PHIL | March 5, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Gretzky in the lead...

Posted by: VOTE FOR BB | March 5, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

828,

wow, i really like it when people use statistics to compare a goalie who has played an entire season for us with a goalie who has been in goal for 100 minutes... the logic is so sound.

I don't have a problem with Huet, I only have a problem with people claiming doomsday because we're going with Kolzig against Buffalo. He may not be as great as he has been in the past, but he is not nearly as bad as all the snarky comments made about him. Maybe people are just having a hard time finding things to complain about after a 10-2 blowout.

Posted by: laing4prez | March 5, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

PHIL,

I'M REALLY GLAD YOU KNOW HOW TO USE THE CAPS LOCK BUTTON. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR SUPERIOR TYPING SKILLS. THEY REALLY HELPED GET YOUR POINT ACROSS.

Posted by: laing4prez | March 5, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

laing4prez,

Kolzig is the second worst goalie in the league (SV%). That's statistics for ya.

Posted by: Finn | March 5, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

and when Huet goes down he doesn't look like a baby hippo trying to stand on new legs for the very first time

Posted by: CH | March 5, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@laing4prez

What does playing for us for the whole season have anything to do with what goalie should start?

By your logic, we should have Fedorov in the line-up because we've had 4 centers play for us all year.

What kind of logic is that?

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, Phil can we stop with the All Caps typing!

Posted by: IrresistibleForce | March 5, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

laing4prez,

No, I think people are seeing that the team is Winning with Huet in net. 12 Goals in 5 periods and only have allowed 2. I can only go by the stats that are in front of me and when a goalie gets hot, he can win a ton of games... look at Tim Thomas's streak of 6 wins... there are others as well.

I am all for Olie in net - would I prefer Huet, yes... but Huet is injured right now so everyone has to deal with it. I just hope Olie shows his real talent instead of messing around. But, if Kolzig plays the way we all hope he doesn't - then well, we need another 6 goals in one period again. I guess Olie has just lost a lot of people's faith in him... where as Huet has gained some faith.
Like I said, I am just going with what's in front of me - Huet is undefeated as a Cap playing two really good teams.

Posted by: 828 | March 5, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Can't understand what games you Caps fans are watching, Olie has been with the organization a very long time, it's not like the guy is going to lay down and let the other teams score, it is not his nature. For anyone watching the same games I do, I can count 4 out of the last 5 goals scored on him as being error by our less than 60 minute playing defense, how many times is the "D" going to fan on a puck right in front of the goal and leave their goalie no possible chance. How many times is our "D" going to skate with the offensive player and allow them to put their stick on the ice when crashing the goal, how many times are we going to take stupid penalties and give up 4 powerplay goals in a game (the last Carolina game - was I the only one watching???). They have to start manning up and taking responsibility for their actions and focus. Yes, Caps hockey is frustrating, but Olie is not the problem, he may not be as sharp as he was 4 years ago, but if you play a complete 60 minute hockey game any goalie looks good. I do agree that Huet is the better goaltender, but not if he isn't 100%. Also someone mentioned Johnny, please, his nickname isn't "Swiss Cheese" for nothing.
Go - Caps

Posted by: Greenie | March 5, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

1) Boudreau smartly keeps the lineup unchanged. Will be interesting to see when/if Clark comes back who sits. Its probably Fehr, but it makes the Fleischmann 2 year extension all the more puzzling.
2) If he's getting scratched with 2 regulars injured(Clark/Nylander) how can/will he fit in next year?

http://newfaux.blogspot.com/

Posted by: FauxRumors | March 5, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Nobody is going to win this goalie argument!

We all want the Caps to win - that's the bottom line... hopefully, we can do it with whoever is in goal.

Posted by: 828 | March 5, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Finn...etal

Kolzig is the second worst goalie in the league (SV%). That's statistics for ya.

Sigh. Alright for the last time...I really mean it this time.

I don't think that anyone on this board is debating the fact that Kolzig's performance has been atrocious at times this year. But in his defense, let's look at his play recently. I know, I know players are measured on their entire season, but his play of late (following his horrific game against Pittsburg on 21 January) has been prettty darn good.

Games Played: 12 (to include 1 period against Boston)
GAA: 2.52
Save %: .909
Overall Record: 6-4-2

Are the numbers Vezina caliber? Absolutely not, but are they horrible? Negative.

Posted by: Yosh | March 5, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

No, when Huet goes down he doesn't end up on his stomach with his legs opened wide like he's having a cavity search done!

Posted by: Mitch | March 5, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@Jill

It's not Canada, a lot of people are new to hockey. But I am with you.

Be prepared that Caps will lose tonight because of of Olie. If I were BB, I'd put Johnson since Huet is hurt. I wanted Kolzig to be replaced by Huet after second in Maple Leafs game, but BB didn't listen. :-)

Huet/Johnson give us a chance to win, Kolzig gives us a chance to lose.

Too bad.

Posted by: Yo | March 5, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Here are Huet's numbers as a Capital

2 Games Played
2 wins
1.20 GAA
.95 Save%
1 Shutout

Posted by: Broseph | March 5, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

So now all of a sudden ANYONE can play goal? I always thought goaltending was one of theys to a successful team. It always seems as though the teams with a hot goalie go deep into the playoffs. But suddenly "anyone" can be a goalie as long as the caps play 60 minuts blah, blah , blah. It's not oldies faul, the sun was in his eyes, and he didn't get a good nights rest, and his shorts are too tight, and his defensmen don't block everyshot that comes near him. I just don't understand why people make excuses for the guy. His performance has been painful at times this season. Enough excuses. A goalies job is STOP PUCKS! People always defend him by starting out with "sure he hasn't been as good this year, but...blah, blah, blibbity, blah" or "granted, he's let in soft goals however...yadda, yadda yadda". Listen to yourselves folks! The excuses are really lame!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I was shocked that Ovechkin in the conference call called Huet the best goalie in the league now. I agree, but this is the first time ever AO was not diplomatic and politically correct about Kolzig.

It's a final countdown for Kolzig. Too bad, his only fault is that he is old.

Posted by: Yo | March 5, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

and slow

Posted by: ch | March 5, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Same old excuses. Blah, blah, blah.. Oldzig is the leader... blah, blah, blah... Face of the franchise... blah, blah, blah...
No, he is not the leader. He ain't the face of the franchise anymore either. Give it up. His play lately? He comes out and declares that the game against the Canes in Carolina is the biggest of the season. What does he do next? LET IN 6 GOALS!!! Leader? He is awful!

Posted by: Finn | March 5, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon, @Doug

I disagree. If we don't make the playoffs it has not much to do with the 6-14 start as it has to do with the last month must-win failures. And I recall, for one reason or another (and that's just me) blaming BB for all of them. The man is not perfect, he's learning too.

Anyway today is the biggest game of the year point-wise. I would prefer Huet between the pipes, but that's no excuse, the best Caps HAVE to show up tonight no matter who is the goalie. And Olie please play the whole darn game, not some good saves then some softies.


Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Finn,
the 6 goals weren't his fault, someone in the stands had an oldie slowzig voodoo doll and made him jump out of the way of all those pucks! Can't you see it's not his fault, it can never be his fault! Why can't you see that?

Posted by: CH | March 5, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Amen to the person who states it is a goalies job to "STOP PUCKS." Kolzig has played past his time and now it is time for him to have his jersey hung in the rafters. Not an Olie hater here, just facts!!!

And sorry for the caps lock earlier. My system does that automatically.

Posted by: Phil | March 5, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Argh. The point is, Huet is not playing every game. Olie is still here. Olie will still get starts. Johnson is #3. Deal with it. There's no need to cry "we have no chance" every time Olie plays.

Posted by: tallbear | March 5, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

JSchon

I completely disagree with Pothier being our best D.

Take offensive D only, he's our #2 guy, finishing just about Schultz' half slapper from the point.

Defensively, I have ALWAYS felt playing the body will beat ANY player.... playing the puck beats 3rd and 4th liners. Our Best D-man at playing the body is Jurcina. I have NEVER seen him get run off of a puck in the corner, or "hang back" and swipe at a puck as some superstar skates around him. ShMo is #2 then I could go either Poti/Schultz/Erskine at #3. Schultz is making a TON of progress over the past few months. When I posted about this before, I had schultz behind Poti/Erskine.

In any case... Where would I put Pothier in there? Definately behind Jurcina and ShMo. Might Pothier be our best BALANCED Defender (O and D capabilities), I'd agree with you. But best... I can't agree.

Sidebar: Anyone else LOVE the ..."moron coach" commercials on NHLTV? "Hawk-Eat" cracks me up long after the commercial is over.

Posted by: FFS Enough | March 5, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

i would still prefer johnson to start over oli...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you people need to chill about Olie. I believe 99.9% of Caps fans would prefer Huet to play tonight, but face it, it's not happening. He's not going to risk his back. So our options are Olie or Johnny. Honestly neither are the ideal, but BB's going with Olie. Most people here seem to prefer Brent, but lest we forget, the one time this year Johnson faced the Sabres he gave up 7 goals.

But to say that we're doomed to lose simply because Olie's playing is, frankly, stupid and short-sighted. Last I checked, 22 out of 31 Caps wins this year have been when Olie started.

Posted by: kenjab | March 5, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Huet > Johnson > Kolzig

Posted by: Yo | March 5, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Finn, if you want to get into statistics, Olie has more overall saves than Huet. I also hear that Olie's save % is twice as high against green-eyed players with prime numbers for jersey numbers who like blueberry muffins.
My point is that statistics are flukey and can't say much about the two goalies head to head considering such different circumstances, i.e. one played most of the season for a team with a much different record than ours.
And true, the caps have "won" with Huet so far, but it's been five periods with him in net. That is not nearly enough time to be able to say "We consistently do better with him". If Huet continues to do well over the course of several more games, then hooray, but right now it's too soon to judge.
And back to my original point, they're still rotating goalies so we would inevitably see Kolzig at one of the next two games. Honestly, with Huet looking stronger now, I'd rather have him in net against Boston, who has a better record and will be pissed when we play them at home on saturday.

Posted by: laing4prez | March 5, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

FFS Enough,

Yes, those commercials crack me up too. But I think my favorite is the new father banging on the glass of the nursery and calling the rest of the babies losers. The first time I saw that I was almost fell on the floor laughing!!!

Posted by: Phil | March 5, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Breaking News from the Washington Capitals Statistics Page:

Olie Kolzig has 35 saves this season while Alex Ovechkin has 52 goals 36 assists 88 points and 50 saves without goalie pads..

Posted by: Mitch | March 5, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The whole goalie thing is really making this comments section hard to read.

Posted by: Jordan | March 5, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

JSchon

I do, however, agree with you re: not making the playoffs is a failure. IF ONLY for what we've seen Philly do. They were dead last last year and are in very little danger of missing the playoffs.

I'm with you though. I feel like your ultimate goal of the season is to make the playoffs. Not making it (especially when over half the teams in the league make the playoffs) is a failure. Where would the blame go? I'd toss it on GMGM NOT for the team he assembled, but 100% on his slow-to-yank Hanlon. Just 1 or two of those games as W's would have made this a whole other season.

Just because the season is a failure does not mean there are no bright spots for next season. This team needs to improve in the net (I disagree on the defense issue, other than remove 1 and call up another) and stay healthy. Allow Hershey guys to develop more so if we do lose a guy or two to injury we'll be able to call up someone who can step in and make a difference (Bourque).

Posted by: FFS Enough | March 5, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon
No on the complete failure. That is utterly ridiculous considering exactly what you pointed out - all of the injuries have made a big difference. Yet here we are, right in the middle of it. After the last 3 years, this can't be a failure no matter what happens. If they make the playoffs and lose first round, what is the season then? Sorry, but I disagree with that point in your post.
@Chief
Are you even a Caps fan? Tough to tell sometimes...

Posted by: Roose | March 5, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Time to play $100,000 Pyramid...Can you guess the category?

A screen door, a seive, swiss cheese, Olie Kolzig, a strainer, a collender...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

If Huet continues to do well over the course of several more games, then hooray, but right now it's too soon to judge

I am sorry, have you even checked how many games left? We are at the brink of elimination.

Let's just put Laing for Kolzig. How's that? I am all for it. :-)

Posted by: Yo | March 5, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

BB is the one starting Olie - that means Huet can't go. It also means he would rather him in there over Johnson. What everyone's individual preference in goal is does not matter.

Posted by: cs | March 5, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

At the top there was a comment if Bäckström has been getting any press in Sweden. Live in Sweden, seen 4-5 articles about him in DN, one of Sweden's biggest newspapers (and the only one I read, so I can't really get any more info) and I didn't the paper all of January when I was in Africa, so I might of missed some.

So, yes, he is getting some attention. He was loved by the Swedish press when he played in Sweden (won the Swedish equivalent of the Calder 2 or so years ago) and now that he is playing well in DC he is getting deserved praise.

Glad to see a Swede prevailing in DC, nearly quit the team (of which I have been a fan of since I was 4) after Johansson left. All bad words for Glen Hanlon fall on deaf ear, no one was worse than Bruce Cassidy. BB has done well this year, but Hanlon was deservedly praised during the rebuilding years. Kinda like the Kölzig thing, praised during the rebuild and now a scapegoat. As long as the Caps win, I don't care who is behind the bench or in net.

I still feel that when the Caps lost Gonchar, Witt and Johansson (the base of a somewhat boring defensive team that always made the playoffs) they lost their identity and their heart. Nice to see a new look and a coach that shapes it around the old mould.

Oh, Caps hockey has been frustrating all my life. Everytime I see a penguin I have to resist the urge to punch it due to post-traumatic stress that is Caps-Pens playoff series.

Posted by: Kullman | March 5, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

If you are going to use statistics to try to prove something, you need them to actually PROVE the point. Unfortunately in puckey, you can not use goalie stats to compare two different goalies. ESPECIALLY if they have played for two different teams.

Am I advocating Olie being better than Crystal-ball, no. Would I rather see Huet start? As long as Olie gets 300 this year, Huet can start as much as he wants.

As far as I am concerned. Here is what CAPS FANS should be rooting for tonight.
Olie gets 299.
Brashear gets 300.
Ovie gets closer to 60, but more importantly, puts more space between he and malkin.

Posted by: FFS Enough | March 5, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Huet is my number one since 3 years, now that we know that is not fealing well and that Oli is starting, let just give him some posotives energy so that he can win the game for the capitals tonight.

Posted by: Mélanie | March 5, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@Roose

You dont have to apologize. I expect people to disagree with me. I'm probably in the minority and thats ok too.

I'd told my dog that same thing I posted and he just looked at me like he was hungry. So I decided to type it in here and feed him.

@FFS

Like I said, all of the other things are very nice. But very nice doesnt quite do it for me. Maybe I'm too critical of a fan, but mistakes were made that might cost us the play-offs. I love the direction that we are going.

But when I see the blind faith fans in here, I cringe. When laing4prez says Huet allowed 2 goals and Olie allowed ZERO against BOS, I wince. I will cringe and wince tonight every time the Sabres put a shot on net, Kolzog has conditioned me to do that.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

To start, let me say I'd much prefer to see Huet in net tonight. But, he's still recovering (at least in the eyes of BB) so he's not an option. So get over Olie starting.

Everyone loves stats, and some have pointed out Olie's stats for his recent stretch of games as being decent. That was countered with a stat of how Huet has faired in his 2 games as a Cap. For those of you that love stats... here's one for thought. Who holds the record for the longest shutout streak in the NHL? Surprise, it's not Broduer or Hasek or Luongo, it's Brian Boucher... and who does he start for again?? NOONE. 2 games does not a career make.

Get over hating Olie for tonight. And, let's hope Huet can start in Boston.

Posted by: stuffedinvader | March 5, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm not up-to-date, what 300 will Brashear get? Points? Fights?

Posted by: Kullman | March 5, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@ FFS Enough

Actually, the Flyers are in very real danger of missing the playoffs. They're currently the eighth seed, only one point ahead of the Sabres, three points ahead of the Islanders, and just four points ahead of the Capitals.

They only have a game in hand against one of those teams, New York.

It's the only point on which I disagree with you, but it's worth pointing out.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 5, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Actually not to get technical, Boucher started and shutout his opponent for San Jose the other night.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

If we miss playoffs, it's a failure, but there's silver lining as always.

Look, I've discovered my half slap shot this season. For a while I was ahead of Green. I also think I have grown 1/12 of inch too. I am now 6'6" 1/12'''

Green finally has been dicovered by the hockey world of NHL. His reservation for All Star next season is guaranteed.

Ovechkin found gf on mySpace.

Kolzig is our Senior hockey player.

Laing is a hockey player.

Huet rhymes with hooray and for the reason.

A lot of positivity this season, but we must get into playoffs.

Why? I want to introduce the secret weapon of Washington Capitals, Papa Panzer Schultz's half slap shot in the playoffs. I am polishing it every day.

It's not over until I said so.

Yours Truly,

Future Head Coach of Washington Capitals Papa Panzer Schultz

Posted by: Papa Panzer Schultz | March 5, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Kullman

Brash is on the verge of 300 points. There are a few more milestones that could be reached by the end of the year, but these are the ones that are the closest.

John

I am mistaken with my comment about Philly. earlier in the year they were quite high in the standings and I guess that "feeling" that they were still doing well has stuck with me. I've been concentrating so hard on how we can beat Carolina I hadn't noticed Philly's slide.

Posted by: FFS Enough | March 5, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Ugh ... this is painful.

Yosh/Tallbear - I could NOT agree more. Everyone just needs to relax and support the TEAM, already, regardless of who is in goal.

For those of you who think Huet should play hurt, is that really the right thing to do? He will not be 100% and may aggrevate the injury, and then have to sit out even more games (ala Clarkie). That would put all of this endless debate to bed, because there would be NOTHING to discuss! Let him heal - he will probably be back by the weekend.

I voted for BB on NHL.com - he was #1! :-)

Posted by: Boo! | March 5, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I hope Olie stops a hundred shots today so I can come back here tonight and see what it looks like when people type with their feet in their mouths.

Posted by: Jordan | March 5, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I nominate Papa Panzer Schultz as top Norris candidate for Tarik's blog.

Posted by: FFS Enough | March 5, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

JSchon

My mistake, I missed that. I'm sure San Jose fans will be calling for Nabakov to be benched in place of Boucher now! :)

Posted by: Stuffedinvader | March 5, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

While I have been throwing out stats in defense of Kolzig...I think I should also say that I LOVE have Huet here and hope that we have for the next 2-3 years as a bridge between Kolzig and whichever prospect.

Posted by: Yosh | March 5, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@2:16

Things that get worse the more you leave them out?

Posted by: Olie Troll | March 5, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@ i love jill more,

Yeah, Jill knows her sh!t. A pretty savvy and knowledgeable hockey chick. :-) Try sitting next to her at a game sometime....she gets so into it, I'm scared she's gonna go over the glass and jump into play!

Posted by: Pothier's Thumb | March 5, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@Jordan

Olie winning tonight will be great for the Caps and all the fans who want this team in the play-offs. However, winning a game does not make you a good goalie. Olie has won 22 games this year and has lost 26, so even if he wins he's still been a below than adequate goalie for the season.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Laing is starting in goal tonight. Is everyone happy now?

Posted by: anon man | March 5, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@Olie Troll

Good guess, but no

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Yosh:
Again, I could not agree more! :-) You are moving into mauree territory ... ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | March 5, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I just wish the people commenting in this blog knew SOMETHING about hockey...it's obvious you most of you are just jumping on the 'bash-Kolzig' bandwagon...if ANY of you had the SLIGHTEST inkling of what a hockey game is, this blog would be more entertaining to read. As it is, it is showing me why so many people dismiss hockey in America...you make ALL hockey fans look like one-dimensional idiots. Pathetic.

Posted by: REAL FANS DON'T WHINE | March 5, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@ FFS Enough

I was surprised to see how far they've fallen as well. The reason I brought it up was to illustrate how the Capitals are within striking distance of the eighth seed as well.

If the Caps keep winning but Carolina refuses to lose, there's still a chance they sneak in the back door. Finishing with two more wins than Philly, NYI, and Buffalo is possible, especially with a win against the Sabres tonight.

Bottom line: just win.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 5, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Just a reminder: game is at 7:30. For Comcrap subscribers, it's on their lousy altnernate channel 4 cause the Gizzards are being shown on their main channel 251.

Posted by: cbs | March 5, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@ JSchon

I'm not defending Olie's stats or anything. I like Cristobal and would rather have him in net against Buffalo. But I like Olie as a guy and a player and I hope he puts up a huge game so all of the whiners will maybe stop posting here.

Posted by: Jordan | March 5, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

REAL FANS DON'T WHINE

While I share your sentiment about some of the discussions on this board...I sometimes wonder if some of the folks on here have watched a caps game let alone been to one this year...I must vehemently disagree with your name. My argument is pretty simple, 4 words actually.

This is Washington DC. Whining/nit picking/backseat coaching about the local teams (mostly Redskins) are as much a part of this city as the Capitol building and the White House.

Posted by: Yosh | March 5, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@REAL FANS DONT WHINE

Arent you whinning?

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

© Two 7 Game Win Streaks

That is what we need to make the playoffs...

Who's coming with me?

Posted by: 828 | March 5, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Most of the people bashing horrible goaltending know more about hockey than you could ever dream of. It is time to stop worshiping a washed up old hasbeen. Hes done! Get over it and get a life! Geez, talk about pathetic! You need to watch some hockey besides just Olie. You will see that there are many talented golatenders in the league that are athletic, quick energetic, flexible, and actually can stop pucks even when their team is performing poorly. You see, that is sort of the really important part of being a golaie, the actual stopping of the pucks. Anyone can play goal if the puck never gets near them , but you actually have to be talented to stop the ones that do. Now go back to telling all your highschool buddies how much of an expert you are.

Posted by: REALFAN | March 5, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Amen Yosh

Posted by: AP | March 5, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

So just to stir up the pot a little...did anyone see how Crosby "lifted" his team to a win despite missing numerous scoring chances and getting 1 assist...I read it on ESPN.com...quite entertaining. I can't believe how big a deal the media make out of that kid. It sounds to me like his game wasn't all that good.

Posted by: kcme | March 5, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@Yosh...
I know, maybe I should've picked a different name. But the bottom line is half the people reading these are bandwagoners, and their concept of hockey makes me wonder. I know this is a bandwagon town, but if you're going to base your arguments on the posts you read here and on the message boards, you need to watch a few games and THEN you can complain--but don't whine. "Why can't we start Huet? So what his back hurts! I WANT HIM TO PLAAAAAAAY!!!!" WAAAAH! Olie sucks and I don't want him to play ANY MORE!!"(insert stomping feet here).

Posted by: REAL FANS DONT WHINE | March 5, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

kcme,

Yes, his SECONDARY assist lifted the pens. Very Crosby-esque

Posted by: Finn | March 5, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

JSchon:
How is that 'whinning'?

Posted by: RFDW | March 5, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

ohhh...secondary...even better. He got first star of the night too...hahaha....

Posted by: kcme | March 5, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Blah, Blah Blah - excuses (Caps fans always make excuses- whatever - no excuses, I am a die-hard and one day we will win a Cup - oh ye of little faith), the comment was don't give up on Olie, the last time I checked the starting line-up was not Olie and no-one else, basically it boils down to one man can't play hockey so everyone needs to take responsibility and get better and stay focused. Last I checked it was the "D's" responsibility to defend, the "O's" responsibility to score and the goalie to make spectacular saves when the "D" and "O" get beat. You couldn't pay me enough money to sit in any crease in the NHL - my hat goes off to all goaltenders they have the worst job!
Go Caps!

Posted by: Greenie | March 5, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

You're whining about people whining...

Most of the people saying an injured Huet should start over a healthy Kolzig, dont actually mean that. Its just they have completely had it with Olie. Its called sarcasm.

And if they do actually mean to cart out Huet, then you shouldnt bother paying attention to them.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

As much as I have been down on Olie, I know know Huet should be rested.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I just want to start by saying that I do agree that Huet gives the caps the best chance to win but for whoever is saying that Huet is undefeated as a capital and has a shut out in is first 2 games is crazy. If those stats meant anything for long term success then these Kolzig arguments wouldnt even be taking place. If you all remember Olie's first 2 starts of the season were wins where he let in 1 on 53 shots.

Posted by: Luis | March 5, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Good lord people. Lets try to keep the personal attacks to a minimum.

My opinion:
If Huet is not 100% don't start him. Kolzig has been seeing more action and is mroe fresh than Johnson, Kolzig has to start. Kolzig's numbers, especially over the last month have been solid. When the team plays to their ability, his numbers have been great. I think just about everybody would prefer Huet, but lets hope and expect the team plays like they did against MN, NJ, Bos and not like they did against the TML.

As to this season being a failure if the caps don't make the playoffs...i could not disagree more. Disapointing? Absolutely. But how can you consider a season a failure when the Team has matched their point total from the previous seaosn with 16 games remaining. The chemistry developed this season between Back and OV is a success story. The young guys stepping up to fill the void left by injuries to Nylander, Clark and Pothier is a success story. BB's promotion to head coach has been a HUGE step forward. Green's emergence has been a HUGE step forward. There is a lot to be positive about, and a lot to ride our hopes on for the upcoming season. You can't call that a failure, especially when this team's best years are coming up in the next 4-5 seasons.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | March 5, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Good grief ... I'm glad we're not all sitting around a table ... this could get ugly.

Leeguru - where are you? Maybe you can straighten this whole thing out ... ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | March 5, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

JSchon,
I get it, but most don't, I just believe it takes the entire team, there is no one man show (other than Ovie who is so exciting to watch) and even he gives credit to his teammates for his succes. I also believe Huet is a much better goalie than Olie, but the reason we got Huet is for a playoff push and the future so I think everyone feels the same he is not making the great saves, it's not like we (the fan) have a choice if Huet is healthy or not. I just don't blame Olie for all the Caps trouble, it goes deeper than him and we all know it!

Posted by: Greenie | March 5, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

If Huet cant go, Brent is the better option. I hope I'm wrong, but I say Olie lets in at least 5 tonight. Hopefully we can score 10 again!

Posted by: fansince72 | March 5, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I hope your wrong about the 5 too!

Posted by: Greenie | March 5, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Sombrero

Forgetting previous seasons. What, for you, defines success/failure of a season? Can a team possibly have a successful season while missing the playoffs? Is your definition just producing more points than you did the previous season? I can accept that, but it is not my definition of a successful season.

There are pleanty of success stories pointing to a very exciting 2008/9 campaign. But taking this season as a whole, the team has not played as well as it should have. The proof is the winning % since Hanlon. When you don't play your best, you underachieve. Underachieve is just a nice PC way of saying you failed to meet expectations.

Posted by: FFS Enough | March 5, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

It's a little late, but Papa Panzer is possibly the greatest thing to happen to this board since Tarik

Posted by: AP | March 5, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@FFS Enough

Well said.

I really couldn't have said it better.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean Olie will start against the Penguins?

Posted by: Mac | March 5, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@Mac

No.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Realize this. Hanlon went 6-14-1. Had we just been .500 in those games we'd be 35-24-8, 78 points and 5 in the East.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Dressing Erskine tonight against the Sabres is a mistake. I like the guy but he struggles BIG TIME against the speed of Roy, Pomminville, and Afinogenov.

Posted by: Mistake | March 5, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@FFS Enough

I do understand wha you are saying, and If this were any season between 1985 and 2001 I would agree that a season that does not end with the Caps in the playoffs would be a disappointment. Then again you could take that argument even further and say that any season that does not result in a stanley cup win is a failure because that is the ultimate goal.

However, considering the struggles this team has endured since the fire sale, and considering the last two seasons when one of the only things we had to hang our hats on as Caps Fans was watching OV perform miracles, I am open to considering this season a success because of the steps the team has taken, and the talented youthful base that has been established from which a stanley cup contender can be grown.

If this team had not been missing Nylander, Clark, Pothier (And Semin for that matter) then we wouldn't be having this discussion. We'd be speculating which team we would rather match up against int he first round.

I think there is a lot to be optimistic about with this team, and that is what i am choosing to focus on. Just my two cents.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | March 5, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@Jschon,

And Hanlon would still be the coach. If things were different, they wouldn't be the same.

Posted by: old time hockey | March 5, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I guess my point was to get rid of Hanlon after/during the 2nd 4 game losing streak, instead of waiting until the end of the 5 game losing streak.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@JShone,
Good point about the Hanlon Error!
I guess what really makes sense right now is that they need to find a way to win every night regardless of who plays!

Posted by: Greenie | March 5, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Sombrero : "Then again you could take that argument even further and say that any season that does not result in a stanley cup win is a failure because that is the ultimate goal."

Part of me wants to say that I would. The only difference is that we have seen over the years that once a team gets into the playoffs, it's anybody's game. 8 beats 1. 1 wins out. I do feel though, that playoff hockey is the treat given to fans by a successful team. In my first year as a caps ticket holder, and 15th as a Skins holder, I have NEVER seen a home playoff game for any professional team. This is my best chance and I hope like hell they get there this year.

Is this team trending up? Of course. Is the rebuild over? If we sign Huet I'd say it is. Do we have the world to look forward to next season? Absolutely. This team is a 100+ point team with BB behind the bench.

Posted by: FFS Enough | March 5, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@Mistake...I agree with you, Erskine is horribly slow and just cannot get back fast enough to stop anyone. I hate watching him play.
@JSchon- I don't think that anyone would disagree with you about Hanlon needing to have been let go earlier but I don't think this season is a failure by any means. Say by chance we don't make the playoffs. We'd all be disappointed but they have made huge strides this year. I think BB has taken a really young team and let them play in a way that their skills dictate. They have improved and learned so much this year that they will be a force to be reckoned with. Not only that but we got a great goalie for way cheap who can act as a bridge between now and our young guys coming up (I'm working on the assumption that gmgm will do anything he can to sign him). I thin we have some major holes on D and even if we made the playoffs I question how far we'd actually be able to go. Calling the whole season a failure is just a little short sighted and too broad. There are so many things that have changed this year...at the start of the season (well a couple weeks into it anyway) no one believed we'd even be able to make up the ground we have. I guess I'm just taking the positive side of things and looking at the good.

Posted by: K | March 5, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@K

I just have a different opinion on success and failure than you, I understand.

All the other stuff you're talking about are nice and are positives.

However, if you live is PIT,PHI, NY, NJ, MTL, OTT and a dozen more cities you can have all the positives in the world and if you dont make the play-offs, the team will be called a failure.

Its just the mentality of the fans here vs another city that has Hockey tradition. We dont have any, and we never will as long as we accept any season result as long as there are positives.

I can't stand the Philly fans, Jersey fans and I hate Penguin fans. I hate them for many reasons but I'm also jealous of them. They are much better fans than we are, much better. They might be jerks but they are passionate and dont settle for positives like some people here do.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Here is why short and long term why it is so important to make the playoff. Short term, TED can pay the bills and maybe spend some more in Free agency. He does not have to pay the mistake in NY after this year so mo more is available to resign the coming due this year. Longer term, these guys need to see how much the intensity is turned up come Staley Cup time. Even if they lose in the first round it is experience that can not be gained any other way. Anb then next year they will be ready to go futher.

Posted by: Rich C | March 5, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Mitch-
So if we win tonight will you be congratulating laing4pres and remembering YOUR comments? Cause I will. Huet can't play. You want Johnny or Loafie Pylonzig? I'll take the former #1 thank you. I think we avoid the sweep.

Posted by: kevbpgc | March 5, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Can we please NOT say we've already lost the game because Olie is in net???

Huet's performance behind the Caps has been good so far. However, there is insufficient data to statistically predict an outcome as a result of his netminding the Caps.

While Kolzig's Save and GAA have not been very good, he wins games. Has he lost games? Sure.

There are some people in this world that can do no wrong. Apparently, Kolzig is one that can do no right by some of you. I would much rather see Huet in net tonight, but it won't happen. So FRIGGIN' GET OVER IT AND ROOT FOR THE CAPS!!!

Posted by: Greg S. | March 5, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@kevbpgc
I think we avoid the sweep also and start our streak!

Posted by: Greenie | March 5, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@ Greg S.,
I totally agree! Well said!!!

Posted by: Greenie | March 5, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Hope we pound the Pens on Sunday - I really hate those guys.

Posted by: Hew | March 5, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

RE THE CAPS LOCK:

I just checked my keyboard. It doesn't have a Caps' Lock, but it does have a NJ LW Lock. :b

I'm originally from Buffalo, but left before the Sabres entered the NHL. (I was an AHL Bisons Fan back when the AHL wasn't a development league, but had the 7th to 12th best teams in North America [the NHL having only six teams]).

Moral of the story: Go Caps, beat Buffalo!

Posted by: Joe B | March 5, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Thats great that there is finally a timetable at least for Clark's return.
Two weeks is acceptable, though I had really hoped he'd be back for the Pens game.

Posted by: captnclark | March 5, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Kolzig in Net = no chance against Buffalo at home.

Posted by: fishman | March 5, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Joe B:

Are you sure its not a Montreal or Detroit LW Lock? :-)

Posted by: Eric S | March 5, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

@fishman

While Kolzig doesn't have great numbers against Buffalo this season, he's got a career 2.60/.905 vs Buffalo in 32 games, winning about half of them.


But you know what? Brent Johnson's stats vs Buffalo the last few years are MUCH, MUCH WORSE.

Johnson's numbers vs Buffalo per year for the last three years (starting with this year)?

7.00 gaa/ .868 save%
32.00 / .333
6.56 / .806

Compare to Kolzig vs Buf over the last 3 years:

3.56 / .877
3.38 / .890
2.52 / .891

Kolzig has at least kept his save percentage in the high .800s vs the Slugs since 03-04 (when he was .936 or something).


Like it or not, Kolzig is the better play here.

Posted by: Jupe | March 5, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Huet has OUTSTANDING numbers vs the Slugs over the last three years.

.201 / .932
.242 / .923
.267 / .917

Wow!

Knowing that BB pays attention to these things, it may be safe to assume Huet is simply NOT ready to play due to his injury. Otherwise, he'd surely get the start.

Posted by: Jupe | March 5, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

@P Thumb

I would love to see Jill at a game. Next time I go I'll look for the lady trying to climb over the glass. Then I'll know it's Jill.

Posted by: I love Jill more | March 5, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Here is hoping that the Caps bottled the magic they had on Monday night that allowed them to pour in the goals and kept the Bruins bottled up.

Here is hoping that Olie CLEARLY sees and stops the 20 or so shots that the Caps allow the Sabres to get off.

Here is hoping that the Caps understand that they are in the playoffs for the playoffs: no letting up; just like in the playoffs.

If the team can make a sustained stretch run, then the season won't be a "complete failure.

Posted by: Clarendon | March 5, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting ready for a brutal loss.

Posted by: MikeZ | March 5, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what channel the game is on in DC - RCN ?

Posted by: DDB | March 5, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Well then...

1.00 GAA
.962 save percentage
3-1 WIN in Buffalo


Seems like the Kolzig Bashing Brigade were bleating about nothing, doesn't it?

Posted by: Jupe | March 5, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Kolzig had a nice game tonight, Jupe, but his numbers and play for the season have been subpar. This teams needs a healthy Huet to make a serious run at/in the playoffs.

Posted by: MadCap08 | March 5, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

The team as a whole was "sub-par" for the season. Olie was not the problem for most of the year, and has been very, very good over the last 5 or so weeks.

Personally, I'm glad we have both goaltenders. And it would be nice if the idiots who mindlessly bash Kolzig would open their eyes a bit.

Huet gave up 2 goals last game (vs Boston) that would've sent the Kolzig bashers into fits, even though the Caps won 10-2. The first was an undeflected shot from the point that went 5-hole, the 2nd was a put-away off of a rebound that Huet gave up right in front of himself.

If Kolzig had done that, the same moronic voices would've been bleating from their mom's basements that "the team had to score 10 because Olie sucks so bad giving up those softies!!!!"

Posted by: Jupe | March 5, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

And why is it that every time Kolzig puts up ANOTHER good game (a trend the last 5 weeks) people act like it's an isolated incident, and the SEASON stats are what matter?

Which goalie would you prefer right now...the one that was hot in October, or the one who's not now???

Posted by: Jupe | March 5, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Afinogenov gets the 3rd star, and no star for Olie?

What a joke. Way to go, Barfallo media.

Posted by: Jupe | March 5, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Olie won tonight.
Eat crow, sirs.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | March 5, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind INFORMED criticisms on Olie. But the unabashed name calling is childish.

Posted by: IrresistibleForce | March 6, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

How's this for informed -- Save Pct .892 -- 44th in the league. Look, nobody on here dislikes Kolzig. He's a great guy, has in the past been a very good Goaltender. Anybody that thinks he is a quality starting goalie in this league right now is kidding themselves. And I don't understand this mentality -- isn't everyone most concerned about winning (as opposed to hurting Olie's feelings) ?

Posted by: MadCap08 | March 6, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Funny to read how heated these arguments over our goaltending situation get. Yeah, Olie won last night, but thank god our D cleared all those rebounds when Buffalo had a gaping net. I guess some people would like Olie to start even if it hurts us as a team. To anyone who actually understands hockey rather than is mostly concerned with the soap opera it's clear who the better goalie is. It's Huet by a long shot. He makes even difficult saves look easy, his rebound control is excellent and the team feels much more comfortable with him in net as shown by results. With Kolzig in net they are running around the zone like crazy trying to prevent every shot and dive for rebounds.

Posted by: ranndino | March 6, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter who's in net, anymore. Competition is competition, and one or both will thrive, or one or both will be gone next year.

Here's an idea - leave the coaching to Boudreau, who's done fine (With the Goalie rotation since the deadline, what are we, 3-1?)

Posted by: Whiter Mage | March 8, 2008 2:24 AM | Report abuse

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