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Posted at 11:32 AM ET, 01/23/2011

Leonsis: 'Enjoy the day off'

By Katie Carrera

Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis discussed his team's 4-1 win over Toronto, Alex Ovechkin's commitment to group success and having three young goaltenders in the system on Ted's Take this morning. (He also said people who expressed angst and concern about the team before the road trip can "Take the day off.)

Here's an excerpt:

With our third young net minder in goal, anyone think we are well positioned in net for a long time with three stellar young goaltenders? Know of any other team in the NHL that is as well positioned? Well done front office.
Hockey Night in Canada and Alex Ovechkin gets a hat trick.
I want to remind people that Alex has said to me and to the world that he isn't interested in individual performance metrics. He is only interested in winning. I am proud of him for his belief system. Isn't that what we want from a captain?

Check out the full post here.

Canadian media got wrapped up in the performance of Saskatchewan native Braden Holtby and rightfully so as he looked poised under the Hockey Night in Canada spotlight in his 35-save performance.

--"Him being an NHL goalie, it is not a huge surprise," [Luke] Schenn said. "He has an unbelievable work ethic and he played well for them tonight. He is going to be a good goalie in this league for a long time." (Sun Media)

--Don Cherry had good things to say about Holtby's game in his post-game comments. (video)

--Even Damien Cox took a look at the recent successes of the latest young goaltender to occupy Washington's net.

By Katie Carrera  | January 23, 2011; 11:32 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Capitals provide Braden Holtby with plenty of support against Toronto
Next: Matt Hendricks on his highlight-reel breakaway against the Maple Leafs


one game does not a season make. Lets not pretend they play like this every game

btw, anyone miss Poti?

Anyone besides Bruce I mean.

Posted by: cstanton1

How bad is that resigning right now? Think about how much more cap flexibility we would have had. Poti was tradeable as an upcoming UFA. With two more years left, his contract is a disaster.

We are two moves away, and now, we have 3 goalies. This is within McPhees grasp. No excuses left.

Posted by: underpants2 | January 23, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse


Please stop patting yourself on the back. You just won a regular season game against Toronto. Hold the celebrations until you at least win a few playoff series.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | January 23, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

lost to top tier Vancouver and Philly, but beat lowly Islanders and Toronto, and everything is going great, right.

Posted by: Bagher | January 23, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't able to watch the game, but saw a recap. Looked like Ovie was all over the place and played one of his best games. Holtby looked like he made some great saves, but I'm not sure he is ready to be a #2 at the NHL just yet. His play though will make for an interesting off season with all 3 goalies. BB is a Varly guy, so he will always be the #1 so long as he is healthy.

I really think we will be just fine. Add Semin/Bradley for Beagle/King and we get that much stronger.

I think 10 should be back within a week. 28, I have no idea when he's back....

**to answer someone from a previous post, no, this isn't Matt Bradley posting on these message boards....Just a fan of #10.

Posted by: MattBradley10 | January 23, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Don Cherry also had some negative things to say about David Steckel and his hit-heard-round-the-world during the first intermission. Biased blowhard.

Posted by: aybee27 | January 23, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

What a good win last night, and the debate over DJK and Erskine’s inclusion in the lineup (yes, our two pylons) SHOULD BE OVER. The two have now played 10 games together and the Caps are 5-games over .500 (compiling a 7-2-1 record, averaging 3.3 goals for and 2.3 against.) In the 39 games one of them wasn’t in the lineup, the team is 8-games over .500 (going 20-12-7, averaging 2.7 goals for/game and 2.6 against.). Of those 10games, the only team (of seven different ones) to beat the Caps in regulation was Boston, twice.

Is it possible that the toughness #4 and #17 bring to the lineup can really make that much of a difference, especially as it relates to scoring? Do the skilled-players really benefit from their intimidating presence on the bench? Here, I’ll let you decide:

In the 10 games DJK and ERSKINE and have played together:

Ovechkin: 10gp 7goals 9assists 1.60ppg and a “Star” player 4 games

Backstrom: 10gp 5goals 9assists 1.40ppg and a “Star” player 4 games

In the 39 games when one of #4/17 wasn’t in:

Ovechkin: 39gp 12goals 23assists .89ppg and a “Star” player 4 games

Backstrom: 39gp 7goals 25assists .82ppg and a "Star" player 4 games

The data definitely suggests, I mean INDICATES, that the Caps are a better team when Erskine and DJK are BOTH IN THE LINEUP. We all know that how Ovi/Backstrom go, so goes our offense. Even though #4/17 might not put up offensive numbers, their presence certainly enables OUR STAR PLAYERS TO BE STAR PLAYERS.


Posted by: vermontcaps | January 23, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Lost to top tier Vancouver and Philly? Those two teams are only FIVE standings points in front of the Caps. The poster that complained the other day about the sky is falling idiots on this blog was absolutely right. Is everything perfect? Of course not, but things are quite a bit better here than some of you ANALysts think or more likely than you want to admit.

Posted by: croftonpost | January 23, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Lost to top tier Vancouver and Philly? Those two teams are only FIVE standings points in front of the Caps. The poster that complained the other day about the sky is falling idiots on this blog was absolutely right. Is everything perfect? Of course not, but things are quite a bit better here than some of you ANALysts think or more likely than you want to admit.

Posted by: croftonpost | January 23, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Vermont, I don't know whether you saw the game last night, but I have never seen Erskine have a worse game. He made at least 3 misplays leading to odd man rushes and was knocked around a good bit by the Leafs. I don't know what Poti's health situation is, but if he is able to go I would not be surprised to see Erskine sit. I say this as an Erksine supporter (not to the extent that you are, but even his mom probably isn't that extreme).

Posted by: zmega | January 23, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Looks like S. Crosby is skipping the All Star Game citing Post Concussion Syndrome. He may be in attendance but not playing.
No surprise to me.

Posted by: nicety251 | January 23, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Why Rule 48 doesn’t go far enough….
The David Steckel hit on Crosby is a classic example: As noted by reporter David Molinari, “Those who believe the hit was inadvertent can look at a replay and come away convinced they are correct. Those who have no doubt that Steckel knew exactly what he was doing can watch the same footage, then point to it as evidence that they are right.” What all can agree on is that Crosby’s head was the sole point of contact and that he has missed the month of the past 8 games and counting with a concussion. (
Within the comment section on this blogsite, there are assurances from Cap’s fans that “Steckel tried to avoid Crosby…dipped shoulder etc” exposed as delusions by Steckel’s own account when he said he “never saw Crosby, and didn’t realize anyone was there.” When Bruce Boudreau was quoted in The Star saying that "the team KIDDED STECKEL ABOUT THE HIT." (Laughing about inflicting a serious injury on another player is as low as a human being can get. Doesn't matter who it is.) The comment’s post said “I’m sure this was before the team realized that Crosby was injured” again exposed as delusion by Boudreau’s further comments.
Clearly leaving “INTENT” as part of the criteria for judging headshots and penalties for them is setting the League up for perceived failures, controversies and complaints as everyone’s mind reader abilities seem to rest on rooting interests for their team and players. (A suspension for dirty play during the signature Winter Classic with HBO camera coverage would not have been good press for the League after all).
Intent is impossible to guess, and we never actually know, and as long as it is criteria for headshot calls, fines, suspensions and penalties will be impossible to get right. The idea gaining strength is the concept that the NHL adopted years ago regarding high sticks. “Players have to be responsible for their sticks. If they hit someone, regardless of reason, it is a 2-minute penalty. If they draw blood, it is 4.” This is as clear-cut a rule as can be found in hockey and means no one needs to be a mind reader. Head hits need to be eliminated from the game. This rule change would move us a step closer to letting the players have a role in making that happen.

Posted by: Onetimer101 | January 23, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Onetime101, would you feel this way if Cindy Crysby hit Steckel by accident & got suspended for 3-4 games?
An accidently high stick that causes injury will not get a player suspended. However,
60.4 Match Penalty – When, in the opinion of the Referee, a player attempts to or deliberately injures an opponent while carrying or holding any part of his stick above the shoulders of the opponent, the Referee shall assess a match penalty to the offending player.
This infraction will often carry a suspension.
Would you also suspend Hedman (Tampa Bay) for the Crysby hit? He didn't target the head (hit was between the 8 & 7).
One more thing, have you ever played contact sports? If he see it, the last thing Steckel wants to attempt is avoiding that contact. That leaves him off balance & totally exposed to injury. Maybe Cindy should watch where she is skating next time.
Fehr & Steckel collided on the ice. Should Steckel get suspended for that too?
F-ing $%&*#burgh whiner.

Posted by: chriscaps | January 23, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Erskine almost missed the Islanders game because of injury. You can't expect his best when he is dinged up. Of course, no matter how he plays, BB is going to sit Erskine for Poti. Of course, Poti will only play 2 games before another trip to IR.
DJK is providing some good minutes. The other left wings get some extra minutes when DJK is short shifted or gets skipped. This seems to be working well. He doesn't have a prayer of staying in once the forwards on IR get back.
Oh well, it's fun while it lasts.

Posted by: chriscaps | January 23, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

One more thing about the Steckel/Crosby hit. Steckel was at full throttle when they made contact going north/south towards the puck. Crosby was half-heartedly skating across the ice aimlessly. It was Crosby that caused the contact in the first place. If he wasn't cluelessly skating across the ice while not paying any attention to what was going on around him, the contact never would have happened. Steckel can't be blamed because he inadvertently hit his head. Players can't just recklessly skate across another's path then cry foul when it results in injury. This is like blaming ongoing traffic when another runs a red light. Crosby caused the collision.

Posted by: croftonpost | January 23, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Ted comes off really bad in that blog of his. He acts like his entire readership is made up of the kind of screwballs who email him constantly complaining about the team. He just talks down to everyone.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | January 23, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

What I'd really like from our captain is the leadership skills to show up for optional skates.

Posted by: smithjr60 | January 23, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

you people are never happy. BJ King is not the reason the 1st line is scoring. John Erksine is playing his best hockey this year, but wasn't he in the lineup for most of that 8 game losing streak? He's not a major difference maker.

We have 3 good young goalies. we have holes and are adjusting to a new scheme, a new system and a whole new philosophy. Stop whining. Boudreau and McPhee aren't getting fired this year, and probably won't next year unless we go in the tank now and don't come out.

I have never seen so many ignorant and uninformed nonsense in my life! This team has holes to fill (2C and a RW, my choices are Mike Fisher/RJ Umberger and Jason Arnott). our d is good. We need Fehr and Semin healthy or we need to trade for another 30+ goal scoring winger.

If we don't win the cup this year, I'll live. Really. I cry when they lose in the playoffs and that means i've shed thousands of tears over the past 30+ years. But i am willing to give the young guys time to develop so we can be good for a long time, not just this year! And I'll give Gabby time to get the new philosophy working. There are signs the team is learning to play a brand of hockey that wins in April, but doesnt score 6 goals a night. Go read what Doc Emerick said the other night on the island. He thinks the Caps might be a sleeping giant.

And for god sake, BJ King is not our savior! Stop whining! I'm out

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 23, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Another way to slice it: Caps are 4-2-3 since the WC. Of those 9 games, they are 4-0-1 against teams outside the conference's top 8, and 0-2-2 against teams in the top 8. Last night's win over the Leafs looked good but I want to see some wins against tougher opponents. There won't be any Islanders or Leafs to beat up on come playoff time.

Not entirely convinced about this new "defense first" system either. They still allow a high volume of shots and appear to have difficulty moving the puck out of their own zone. They have done better applying pressure in the neutral zone and clearing loose pucks from the crease and slot areas. Carlson and Alzner have proven themselves as the #1 defensive pairing. For their low GA games, I think stellar goaltending has been more the cause, but it has cost us the health of our top-2 netminders. Neuvy and Varly made the saves at the cost of their health.

Final answer will come with time, but I hope Ted will forgive me if I won't start singing hallelujah because we just beat the 12th & 14th ranked teams in the conference. Start by beating the dirtbag Rags tomorrow!

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | January 23, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

"And for god sake, BJ King is not our savior! Stop whining! I'm out"

Who is BJ King?

Posted by: Hatfield223 | January 23, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

"BJ King" would be a great name for a gay porn actor btw.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | January 23, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

If Leonsis has a brain, he'd be shopping one of those goaltenders for a "hot" prospect, preferably a center. Of course, said prospect would be a one-way player typical of the Caps: all O and no D.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | January 24, 2011 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Leonsis is such windbag. Most owners would want at least one stud goaltender, not three middling ones. Not fat Ted.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | January 24, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

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