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Lepisto Sent Down

The Caps just confirmed John Walton's report out of Hershey that defenseman Sami Lepisto has been assigned to the Bears.

The move comes one day after Lepisto had a tough night in Carolina. But more importantly it means that one of the Caps' regular defenseman will probably be ready to play on Wednesday against Boston. Mike Green (bruised shoulder) and Tom Poti (groin muscle pull) are the likely candidates.

We'll know more tomorrow when the players return to practice.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 8, 2008; 1:17 PM ET
 
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Comments

Great to hear one of our blue liners may be returning.

Posted by: cbs75 | December 8, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't that just mean that Tyler Sloan's foot is healed enough to skate and they decided to keep Collins over Lepisto?

How do we know this is really a sign that a Caps Regular is lacing up?

Posted by: dailykos1 | December 8, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope whoever is coming back doesn't end up leaving after the first period..

Posted by: _jordan | December 8, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Is the Lambogreenie coming out of the body shop?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Gotta be Green. Lepisto is his minor league "match". If they'd sent down Helmer or Collins, I'd think it was Poti coming back.

Posted by: ThisGuy | December 8, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

very interesting....

Clark update via a friend who just sold him a camera: "Yeah, still sporting a cast." bummer.

Posted by: RedBirdie | December 8, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

While Lepisto has a booming shot, I thought that his stick work was not great. I am impressed with Collins. I think with some confidence he could be another Mike Green (the one man breakout)and he is physical and smart. Lets hope it is one of our regulars that is coming back. I would not be surprised if more go down tommorrow or Wednesday morning.

Posted by: psugolf | December 8, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't that just mean that Tyler Sloan's foot is healed enough to skate and they decided to keep Collins over Lepisto?

Posted by: dailykos1 | December 8, 2008 1:30 PM
------------------------------------------
+1, with an eye towards Green based on his Friday quotes.

Posted by: Section117 | December 8, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

From previous thread.

ranndino

I have no problem with people coming here with different opinions. But when you start spouting unsupported BS around, that's when other readers put their filters up. Be careful not to fall into the Chief-trap.

If you honestly believe that the team is throwing JT60 under the bus on the ice, explain why you believe it to be so. If you think BB's "shielding" a veteran goaltender from the BS he's faced his whole career, explain why you think so.

Making wide-sweeping generalizations without evidence or argument doesn't make for good discussion.

You mention it's a "results" oriented business. If that's the case, why on earth would BB not put the best player(s) on the ice? He's been a no-bulls guy since he got here, yet you seem to think he's manning a whole puppet show behind the scenes just to keep the media/players happy? Support your arguments, please.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Question, when Semin and Fedorov return will be have to send a certain #27 down due to salary cap issues? I cannot remember if having Clark on LTIR alone allows us to keep Karl up, or if it was a combo. What about when Schultz returns?

Posted by: Kim-3 | December 8, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Could mean Sloan, too. Forgot about him. But I'm thinking Green or Poti because they are puck movers who can play on the PP.

Posted by: el_bashir | December 8, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice to get both Green and Poti back. Both of those guys are great at initiated a push out of the defensive zone. As far as goaltender talk from the last thread, here are the latest stats:

Theodore's save pecentage is 88.8% and ranks 41st out of the 46 goaltenders listed. He is 1 of only 12 goaltenders in the league with a save percentage below 90%. His goals against average is 3.06 (hence the nickname Three-or more) which ranks 38th of the 46 goaltenders listed. That makes him 1 of only 12 goaltenders in the league with a GAA of 3 or more.

Johnson: He is 20th in the league with a save percentage of 91.3, and is 23rd in the league with a 2.59 GAA.

Johnson plays with the same D-men in front of him and gives up horrible rebounds as well but has much better stats. Johnson makes a good salary, 1mil of I remember correctly and expected to be a solid back-up. His numbers are indicative of just that. Theodore is among the top paid goaltenders in the league and when asked, should be able to stand on his head.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 8, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

O Please O Please O Please let it be Green.

That said, I think secondary scoring--whether it be from a regular returning from injury or from one of the (many, many) Hershey call-ups--is of crucial importance.

Like I said before, the more scoring we get from the Gordons, Brashears, and Bradleys, the more the opposing D must take notice...thus freeing our main threats to do more damage. You can't triple-team OV when you have Green etc. to worry about.

The Nylander situation reminds me a lot of when we had Adam Oates at center: a gifted quarterback and solid two-way player who--unfortunately--wasn't scoring a lot because he was rarely shooting the puck (relatively speaking). That changed when he actually began to take more shots. Nobody expected it and pucks went in the net.

Nyls: SHOOT THE PUCK! NO ONE WILL EXPECT IT AND YOU WILL SCORE!!! Kozlov too...In fact, EVERYBODY shoot more!

To review:

More shots on the opposing net = More time spent in the attacking zone...and (statistically speaking) some of those shots WILL go in. At worst, you'll MAKE the opposing goalie EARN his payhcheck.

More time spent in the attacking zone = Fewer scoring chances for the enemy.

Fewer scoring chances for the enemy = Less dependency on goaltending...i.e., if the puck stays in the other guys' zone all night long, you don't need a Vezina-caliber netminder to win games.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 8, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

With the way Sloan has played, I think we could probably consider him one of the regulars now. I think it's going to be hard to send him back to Hershey when everyone is healthy.

Posted by: WVPhil | December 8, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

While I agree that this was one of Lepisto's game-to-forget, contrary to some of you, I don't think any of the goals, last night, were his fault.
I think he had a horrendous night during the PP, he was indecisive on his play and mishandled the puck quite a bit. Somewhat surprising to me, he had been doing a good job moving, distributing, and shooting the puck during the PP, but last night? ... well, it was a different story.

I still think he will be a good here with the Caps.

Posted by: opita | December 8, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully this means Green is coming back. I agree that it would seem Sami is his match. I was actually thinking about that this morning that all the callups are based on duplicating whoever we have up here. And hopefully the corner has been turned; injuries healing and the team coming back. If we can get through the rest of this month, have the regulars return, maybe integrate some of the new meat (Alzner and anyone else who has earned it) and still be in the position we are in (first in the SE, above .500, etc) then we will be fine. We weren't going to go undefeated against the Canes, and to only lose 3-1 was ok. I'm hopeful!

Posted by: Leeguru | December 8, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

FFSEnough,

I've got to check out of here for now so don't have time to repost. See the last thread. As far as the crap you just said here I'm about to put my filter up because that was ridiculous. I just wasted a ton of time supporting my arguments with facts, which you successfully ignored while informing me that comparing goalies based on stats is stupid. You should watch yourself as far as people deciding who's closer to Chief. Speaking for others is a sign of weakness and you assume that the majority thinks like you. I'm sure most have already made up their opinion of me based on what I post. Your last post simply shows that you're not to be reasoned with as you ignore good arguments and completely misrepresent what was said in your replies. I'm done wasting my time with you. Emotion over logic is a clear sign of you know what. It's also ironic to see your last post and compare it to my last post on the previous thread. Shows who is the mature one.

I'm sad to see Lepisto sent down and hope it wasn't for that one mistake last night. He had a good game overall. The only positive is that I hope this means that Greenie is ready to go.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

After watching the game last night, Am I the only one who thinks the Cane's Fans are some of the most annoying and least educated hockey fans. They seem to cheer at the odd times and probably think this morning that they outplayed the Caps for most of the game.

Posted by: psugolf | December 8, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry it took so long, lots to write.

ranndino

I think both of us would like to have a good discussion about this with eachother. I trust in your knowledge, but I'd like to hear it.

I'm looking for a few things here, clearly you are seeing something I'm not. More specifically, Fundamentals. Up until your last post on the other blog, you had yet to mention his penchant for butterflying early. This is what I was looking for. I noticed it quite a bit earlier in the year, and would agree that he was a bit...goofy. Not so much lately. I'm assuming your bummed about the 3rd goal last night, which brings me to the question I asked before. When you don't know where the puck is, but it's close. You cover as much net as you can, get in your butterfly and hope for the best. As a goalie, you can't do anything else short of making a WAG. Now, as to why he "loses sight" of the puck more often, who knows why. Could be a communication thing. New team + new D every night it seems does not make for a good combination. Last night it was the wall of 43 laying on the ice infront of him blocking his view.

Regarding goalie stats LIKE GAA AND SV%, these are stats that are used on sites like NHL.com and ESPN because they are easy to understand generalizations. They are not the primary means for which goalies are compared at the end of the season. Corsi + stats that remove the value of the team infront of them (Goals Against vs Quality Chances) are typically used when doing actual comparison and Vezina voting. It is the D's responsibility to prevent quality chances which they did not do on either goal last night.

fanohock just posted what I've been looking for to be a jumping off point for discussions. BJ's got much better stats on his side right now than JT. I have no doubt that BJ's the better goalie right now. The ONLY thing I've been arguing today is for people to place the blame for last night's 3 goals where it squarely belongs. If you want to call me a JT apologist, fine.

Unfortunately, I'm off to a meeting for the rest of the day. I'll hop back on when I get home and see what's going on.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

FFSEnough,

BTW, as far as who the majority agrees with that's pretty clear from the game thread. Everyone except you and a couple of other Theo apologists have seen more than enough of him. You may also wanna check the opinion of fans around the NHL, pundits, other GMs and coaches, etc. I assume you that your opinion of his play is in a tiny minority.

As far as supporting my arguments I've done so time and time again. There was no blanket generalizations in my statements. I actually take pride in not doing that. Unfortunately, talking to someone like you this way is pointless and a complete waste of my time.

You're gonna ignore it anyway and soon enough resort to personal attacks because you're one of those emotional queens that can't deal with someone disagreeing with your opinion on anything.

Only you support your opinions with good arguments. Right. Like the ones where goalies can't be compared to other goalies based on stats or when the fact that Theo gets constantly outplayed by the opposing netminder has no bearing on judging of his performance. Those are some amazing arguments. How can I argue with that? I'm done replying to you. Have a nice day.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

psugolf, friends of mine in Raleigh freely admitted to me that they know nothing about hockey. In their defense, NO ONE down there knows anything about hockey, so its hard for them to learn about it.

Posted by: RedBirdie | December 8, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"assume" should be "assure" in my previous post, if that's not clear.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

ranndino

I'm sorry for my tone in the post in this thread, it was written before I saw your reply in the morning reading.

In no way do I want to shut people out who bring good arguments, and now that I've read yours, I've responded and look forward to some more discussions with you. We clearly disagree on JT60 right now and I'm actually enjoying the back&forth here.

I only spoke out of frustration above, and I apologize.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking Sloan sticks around until Erskine is back, which may be never.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 8, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Re: Erskine,

Isn't this his second concussion in less than a year (the Calgary game in March being the first)?

Posted by: Section117 | December 8, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Rhino

We've been getting scoring from secondary lines. Saturday's game was Blue liners. The game before from Brash and ... it escapes me, and AO.

There are others that need to pick it up, and Nylander is one of them. He's way off the pace now. Still, a good year can be salvaged, but he needs to start last week.

On the positive side, what's up with Jurcina? Last 3 games he has 2 shots, 1 goal, 2 assists. Maybe he's realized that he can score and put up points?

To your point:
/i "More shots on the opposing net = More time spent in the attacking zone...and (statistically speaking) some of those shots WILL go in. At worst, you'll MAKE the opposing goalie EARN his payhcheck./i/

Last night's game has NC with 2 shots on net in the 3rd and they netted 2 goals. They had 4 more after that. We had 12 and fairly controlled the flow of the 3rd. Didn't work out so good for us.

All I'm saying is it's OK to be beaten if you played well. It means the other team did something to prevent you from scoring which means we have a little work to do.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 8, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

FFSEnough,

Funny how our posts keep crossing. Just when you thoroughly pissed me off you write a reasonable one, probably since you saw my nice one after you wrote me a nasty one.

I don't really have time to argue about this anymore, but you are wrong about me not mentioning Jose's penchant for flopping way before the shot is taken. I've mentioned this time and time again. Check the last few threads. Do a page find by my nickname. It's not my fault that you missed it.

Stats like GAA and especially save % do over the course of the season give a pretty good indication of goalie performance and are used by everyone, including scouts. They try to separate a team's performance as best they can, but... In any case, Jose and Brent play behind the same D, for the same team so in comparing those two this is a moot point.

You can call this a blanket statement, but I see Jose allow at least 1 bad goal in every game, often 2. For a #1 NHL goalie with his salary that is completely unacceptable and is way below expectations. If he puts together a streak of 5 games in which he plays up to snuff I'll be the first to admit it on here. I have nothing against him personally and for the sake of the Caps wish he'd get it together.

Your arguments are the same as were posted here by Kolzig lovers last year. The fact is that he is a washed up goalie and should not be playing any longer. He was good once, but isn't anymore. It's sad, but a fact, which someone people, including himself just can't seem to accept and take it out on posters who state the obvious based on reality. Kolzig is proving this point once again in Tampa. Despite their atrocious play Mike Smith's numbers are more than respectable while Kolzig's are horrendous.

OK, I really gotta get off here.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

@Ranndino
"Not quite sure why you are tossing Juice's name in there. 42 was paired with Helmer (43) all night. "

You are right. I was reading 23 rather than 43 on the jersey, I have no HD TV and I am still hearing blah, blahs, by our play-by-play team. My apologies to Jurcina.

"And there were only 3 goals scored by CAR last night."

Huh? I was only talking about the first goal.

"2nd goal, JT ABSOLUTELY has Kozzie to blame. Again, those who don't believe me, go back and take a look."

I disagree. I think Kozzie could have played better, but the same goes for Backstrum, and JT - why was he looking so much to his left when the puck and the Hurricanes are back on his right? I don't think he was even aware that there was a goal. By the way, notice all 6 Caps are there and the only one fighting for the puck is Lepisto and 2 Canes.
I think Backstrum could have helped more before Stahl came into the picture, and Kozzie could have engaged in the play. Having said that, I think JT is ultimate responsible for the net and he had lost awareness of where the puck was, that is why he got caught looking to the left when he was being scored on his right.

But most important. One must give credit to a great play by Stahl.

Posted by: opita | December 8, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Re: Erskine,

Isn't this his second concussion in less than a year (the Calgary game in March being the first)?

Posted by: Section117 | December 8, 2008 2:25 PM

3rd concussion. He suffered one in Dallas also. The 2nd one was Godard.

Beagle's another Caps prospect who has now suffered more than 1 concusssion and who will be fighting an upward battle to get back to play hockey at the same level.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Did I hear correctly that Semin is now on LTIR? I thought I heard Beninnati say something along those lines last night. So we're actually saving some money for our playoff push, should we need it?

Maybe? Anyone?

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | December 8, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

1) With regard to a question about Johnson's salary. He makes a very modest 812K this season. he's a UFA after this season.
2) The Caps have some tough decisions to make with regard to Johnny. If he continues to play as the defacto #1 goalie, he probably will want a nice pay increase to stay, else he'll go on the open market next July to see if he can hook on as a starting goalie somewhere.
3) With Jose signed another season and the Caps probably close to the cap max again next season it'll be tough to have a "backup' making 2+ million

Posted by: fauxrumors | December 8, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom screwed the pooch on the 1st goal. Sami had a rough game but overall he's serviceable in tiny doses. Collins is the better defenseman of the two and has showed it all year long. SC was our best defender in the rookies game also.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Apology accepted. We're cool. If you follow my posts you'd notice that I always try to be logical, reasonable and support my POV with good arguments... which is what makes my posts long sometimes. I wanna make sure I explain my POV well. I also try my best not to get emotional and if you look at my posts the only times I do is when someone says something completely obnoxious and stupid about one of the Caps players like questioning their injuries and implying that they're enjoying sitting in the stands.

I'll finish with this...

If Jose loses us one more game I'm going up to DC and pulling his groin while he's asleep.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Jose has semi-stolen one game this year...unfortunately with our defense he needs to be so much better.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 8, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Sammy LoPisso. Good Riddance. Go Play for Atlanta

Posted by: nocheese | December 8, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Opita,

You might wanna go to the eye doctor as you're arguing with the wrong guy (first the numbers mixup and now this). Your points should be addressed to FFSEnough, not me. I'm actually on your side.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I think it is Erskine's second concussion this year. Plus he had that ankle or groin thing too, IIRC.

O/T, but for those of you who read TSN, this column with a fake call between Avery and Ray Emery (in Russia), is hysterical. http://www.tsn.ca/columnists/james_duthie/?id=258902

In admin issues, I'm getting these weird messages in Outlook that says my "email" to Tarik, (i.e., this comment) is undeliverable. Anyone ever have that problem?

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 8, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

DrinkingPartner,
If my understanding of LTIR is correct, we only save money until he's off LTIR. Then *poof*, its gone. We have to be back under to fit his salary back in.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 8, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

psugolf,

Some of our fans on here think that we played badly last night (and generally judge the team's performance based on the final score only with us being a favorite for the Cup after every win and the worst team in the league after every loss), that Green and Semin are faking injuries, that Theo and Kolzig are still great goalies and that our GM is terrible.

Every team has its share of fans that don't know much about hockey.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I enjoy my experience in the RBC Center yesterday even though our Capitals lost. The stadium was nice, I appreciated how it was easy to get to and from, and the fans I sat next to in Section 304, Row C, were talkative and friendly.

Yes, some of the Hurricane fans aren't sure what warrants a penalty -- such as the "ref, you suck" chants after a clean check by Brashear; the delay of game penalty against Carolina for an obvious puck-over-the-glass; and of course, they protested the penalty shot awarded Ovechkin.

Tsk tsk, learn your hockey, folks.

I was chatting with one Caniac about our teams having some injuries and we agreed that it's better to have the injuries at the beginning of the season.

"Yeah," I said. "I want my team healthy for the playoffs."
"I'd just like my team to get in the playoffs," the Canes fan quipped.
I laughingly "apologized" for using the p-word in front of him. :)

Posted by: Cerealman | December 8, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

@ whoever asked:

Semin has been on LTIR. I don't remember when he was placed on it, but is eligible to come off this week sometime. They placed him on it retroactively after he missed several consecutive games, if memory serves.

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | December 8, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

ranndino

I don't even know where to start in terms of your last post.

"I just wasted a ton of time supporting my arguments with facts"

Which of your arguments had facts? I seem to recall it was all players don't trust Thoe, BB doesn't trust Theo but has to play him. Where are the facts?

"Speaking for others is a sign of weakness and you assume that the majority thinks like you."

ummmm...I believe it was you who said "Also, your opinion differs with anyone who knows anything about hockey, so what does that say?" in the last thread.../just sayin

"I'm sad to see Lepisto sent down and hope it wasn't for that one mistake last night."

Actually I'm pretty sure it was his performance for the majority of his call-up, with the culmination being the fall down last night. I've been more impressed with Sloan and Collins followed by Helmer then finally Lepisto.

Posted by: Yoshietree | December 8, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

nocheese,

Sammy LoPisso? Really?

You're not one of those right wing nuts, by any chance, that seem to think that they're making a clever political point by screwing around with someone's name, are you?

This type of stuff seemed clever to me when I was in 1st grade. In 2nd grade not so much. Now... well, you get the point. Maybe.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

ranndino

Don't worry, JT will pull his own groin on one of his many "out of place" kickout saves ;-)

That or on our horrible ice.

Sorry I missed some of your posts a bunch of blogs ago. I was pretty good last year at keeping track of where people were in their opinions on certain players, but in changing jobs and spending weeks away from the blog here and there, it's tougher for me to keep track this year.

RE: comparing goalies. I've always had a problem with commentators saying that one goalie outplayed another. I see it more as one team's offense outplayed another team's defense. Case in point: Detroit. Osgood has absolutely ATROCIOUS stats this year (almost as bad as JT60), but he's 10-1 (last I checked). Reason? Redwings like the caps give up few shots, and score a bunch of goals. We're still giving up a few shots, but we're just not scoring enough to win games right now.

Earlier in the season I was talking about how opponents would have to score 4+ to beat us. I still believe that's the case, when we get healthy.

I've really come to enjoy alternative stats when comparing teams/goalies. While there are things I disagree about with Corsi, it's a decent tool to use on a game-by game basis, but horrible for trending. GAA/SV is much better to use for trending over a long period of time.

There's a very good report (Ryder) that typically finds it's way onto Japer near the end of the year that highlights all of the "obscure" stats that I wish were more popular. My favorite for goalies is the "GAA vs Quality Shots Against..." Brings us to Kolzig from last year. On occasion I'd hop on and defend him like I was trying to do of JT last night. While neither would be near the top of the league with that stat, their numbers look a lot better when you take a look at quality chances vs gaa. Now, the stat in no way tries to relate if a goal was via a quality chance, I'd imagine if it did, JT's would look much worse than Kolzig's last year (by that I mean, JT seems to stop the quality's more than the non-qualities, where Kolzig was stopping non qualities but giving up the qualities.)

Either way. I think we're somewhat on the same page. Would we like a better goalie? Sure. Did we have any options this offseason? Not really. JT's an upgrade from Olie, and I don't think anyone would want Huet right now.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@Ranndino,
LOL. My apologies. I didn't page or scrolled down, as I should have, so I didn't realize that you were being addressed by FFSEnough and not addressing me.

Oh, well, it was just a clarification and an opinion. Not worth the trouble of pursuing.

Posted by: opita | December 8, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

As for LTIR.

When LTIR is claimed for any player, we are no longer "under" the cap or "saving" money for later in the season. Which is why we need to enjoy Alzner while we can, cause as soon as we have 0 players on LTIR, Alzner is back in Hershey (barring trade).

I was tough on 47/27 earlier in the year, but his play has been improving since his powwow with Bruce. It's not hard to look like the best Dman on the ice when you are playing with the rest of your Bears teammates where you are the best dman on the ice.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

re: Lepisto- If defensemen take longer than most to develop, offensive defensemen take even longer. Green had a whole season of development in the NHL before he became a regular contributor and people STILL complain him. It'll be interesting to see if the Caps organization can still afford that kind of patience.

Posted by: honed | December 8, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Ranndino,
Agreed the "funny" names are not so funny and unnecessary, but why drag politics in to a hockey board?

Silly name calling goes across all political and otherwise boundaries.

Posted by: _Mark | December 8, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Greg S.:

"Last night's game has NC with 2 shots on net in the 3rd and they netted 2 goals. They had 4 more after that. We had 12 and fairly controlled the flow of the 3rd. Didn't work out so good for us."

You are exactly correct...which is what made last night's loss so galling. Generally speaking (emphasis mine), if you keep throwing the puck on the enemy net, the opposition should NOT be winning on so few shots...unless something is breaking down in your own end.

It (lots of shots on net) should usually accomplish something more than making the opposing goaltender look good.

To clarify, I didn't say we don't get **any** secondary scoring...just not as much as I think we ought to, which is what made the recent Brashear goal against NYI and the D-driven win in TOR so gratifying.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 8, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't able to post my thoughts after the game, so here is my 2 cents:

First goal I blame Caps' defense for not being able to clear the puck. Second goal I blame on bad luck. Theodore guessed wrong on where the puck was gonna get passed. He leaned to one side, while the puck went the other way, where Staal was able to put it past him. Third goal, Caps should've cleared the puck, but at the same time, Theodore should have made the save.

Last night's game was a bit disappointing, in the sense that Caps didn't get the two points, and the division just got a little bit more tight. Other than that, I thought Caps were the better team. It was just that Carolina had the better goaltender. Leighton was definitely the difference maker in last night's game.

Posted by: elicea | December 8, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

FFSEnough,

I'll check out Coris and Ryder. One clarification about what you said. When a commentator or I say that one goalie was outplayed by the other that doesn't mean one team's offense outplayed the other. It actually has no direct correlation to the result of the game because a goalie can outplay his counterpart even if he loses. We're simply talking about the fact that one goalie was much better than the other. Last night's game was a clear example of that. While Leighton had an excellent game Theo wasn't even average. In fact, I'd say that Leighton stole that game from us. This also happened in Edm - SJ game this weekend. SJ completely dominated the game (much more than we did) and yet managed to lose because while Roloson was unbelievable for the Oilers, Nabokov allowed 3 goals on just 17 shots (although not necessarily his fault... some really unlucky bounces). As far as your example with Detroit goes Osgood has not been good this year and they've been winning despite his crappy goaltending by scoring a lot of goals. This is why there's so much talk in hockey circles about Detroit needing to upgrade their goaltending. They're patient because Osgood has shown a tendency to suck in the regular season and all of a sudden play great in the playoffs.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The Caps have 8 players that are AHlers playing vs NHLers... what do you all expect? A win every night? 4 of them on our blueline.

I was just hoping for a point last night.

While our other players are hurt, I am not expecting much. When our roster gets back to normal, that is when I will expect more. Heck, half these kids have not even played in more than 10 NHL games and there is a reason why they did not start the season in the NHL.

Posted by: _828 | December 8, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Yoshietree,

Are you FFSEnough or just lonely?

I'm not gonna waste my time replying to your "points" that you've pulled out of my convo with... well, not you.

Anyone can be "clever" and pull quotes out of context to make someone look stupid. You're being disingenuous and are simply trying to produce a reaction because you're obviously bored. Not going to oblige. Plus, once again, I was not talking to you.

I disagree with your assessment of Lepisto's overall play. I'll leave it at that. I also have gone out of my way so far to say how impressed I've been with Collins. He's proving that my initial assessment of him just based on his college stats (posted here at the time of his callup) was correct. I also have been impressed with Helmer and Sloan has gotten better, although he really struggled at first. Lepisto needs more games at this level. He was getting better and better, IMO. If I judged Sloan on the same # of games as Lepisto has been up my judgement would not be particularly positive. Also, you can choose to ignore the fact that Lepisto contributed a lot offensively. I don't. I don't think he's being sent down because of his performance, but more because either Green or Poti are ready to go, just as Tarik said.

FFSEnough,

I'll check out Coris and Ryder. One clarification about what you said. When a commentator or I say that one goalie was outplayed by the other that doesn't mean one team's offense outplayed the other. It actually has no direct correlation to the result of the game because a goalie can outplay his counterpart even if he loses. We're simply talking about the fact that one goalie was much better than the other. Last night's game was a clear example of that. While Leighton had an excellent game Theo wasn't even average. In fact, I'd say that Leighton stole that game from us. This also happened in Edm - SJ game this weekend. SJ completely dominated the game (much more than we did) and yet managed to lose because while Roloson was unbelievable for the Oilers, Nabokov allowed 3 goals on just 17 shots (although not necessarily his fault... some really unlucky bounces). As far as your example with Detroit goes Osgood has not been good this year and they've been winning despite his crappy goaltending by scoring a lot of goals. This is why there's so much talk in hockey circles about Detroit needing to upgrade their goaltending. They're patient because Osgood has shown a tendency to suck in the regular season and all of a sudden play great in the playoffs.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

As for who will becoming back, I think it will be Mike Green. Bruce likes to replace players with other players who has a similar style. And as ThisGuy said earlier, Lepisto is his [Green] minor league "match".

Posted by: elicea | December 8, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I have a question for anyone that understands the salary cap. If a player is placed on waivers and he clears them and is assigned, does his cap hit come off the books? I know this is the case for the younger players, but didn't know if there is a difference for veterans and their contracts? I assume we still owe them the money but it is not a salary cap hit.

Posted by: ThePat | December 8, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post. My reply to Yoshietree kept going into moderation and I couldn't figure out why since I wasn't using any nasty words.

I finally checked the way I spelled his nickname and realized that I missed the "e" in the middle accidentally sticking the colloquial word for "feces" in the middle of it, which the blogging software picked up. Oops :)

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

ThePat,
Yep. If a player clears waivers, his future cap hit comes off, leaving the team with just what they paid him for the time he was there on their accounting books. If a player comes up, they're not given the whole contract amount, its divided by the days in the season. So, if a guy is here for 14 days: (Cap Hit/Days in Season)*14 days
As soon as they go back down, their contract drops to whatever they make with the lower team.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 8, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

An addition to that: That assumes they are on a two-way contract. If, for instance, Ovie got sent down to Hershey, we'd still be paying him his 9 million bucks, since he has a one-way contract.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 8, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

_Mark,

It wasn't my intention to drag politics into it. As someone who considers himself independent I just noticed the penchant for right wingers to do this all the time. I'm not being political. It's just an observation. I have not really seen too many "clever" distortions of names on liberal blogs while every post on a conservative blog seems to contain a new way to spell Clinton or Obama. Nocheese's really bad at attempt at doing this with Lepisto just reminded me of it.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks JMU. Was just curious due to Vrbata and Gratton being waived today by the Lightning. I know Vrbata's number doesn't count anymore. But knew Gratton was an older player so I thought his might, but I also think the age where it would indeed still count is 35 or at least I think thats the case.

Posted by: ThePat | December 8, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl, there's some exemption about players aged 35 or over. I remember Anaheim got NO cap relief for putting someone on waivers because he was aged 35.

Posted by: koalatek | December 8, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue...

Posted by: MetalCap | December 8, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

FFSEnough,

You are right when you say stats don't tell the entire story... but they do say a lot about Three-or-more. Over the last 4 years or so (apart from a streak last year) JT's gaa has been over 3 and his save % under .890. He has the nickname because he's worked so hard to earn it.

You say when we're healthy an opponent will need 4 to beat us. That is certainly not the case in the playoffs. It doesn't matter how many shots you give up... that one softie he lets in costs a game and then a series.

If we're building a cup contender here, and we all hope and think we are... we need a drastic upgrade. I'm not saying there was one available during this past off season... I'm just saying we need an upgrade. You can defend Three-or-more all you want and talk about team defense is at fault. You can also talk about all of this to the guys on the golf course in May if we don't get better between the pipes.

One last thing... the Red Wings aren't "like the Caps." We're getting there. But we still have a little ways, and a lot of Cups (starting with... um... one) to go.

Posted by: sinbin | December 8, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

ranndino,

Go to Japer's for the breakdown on the Corsi (not sure how to spell it) stats. He's been doing comparisons by game and over blocks of time. I'm still trying to figure out the worth of the info honestly.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Call me a hater if you must, but I actually defended Jose early on. I thought he needed time to settle in - I think that time has come and gone. He does not need to be a superstar, just consistently average. If he does not turn the corner soon, then I will be hoping that Johnny has what it takes to stay (get?) healthy and be #1 (never thought I would say THAT a year ago!). For what it's worth, I have never resorted to calling our own players names, and am most disgusted when Caps fans boo our boys at the VC. Having said that, I must confess that I am mildly amused by Threeormore ... please don't hold it against me!! :-)
-Boo!

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 8, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

@ShariLeigh131
Semin was placed on the IR about 2 weeks ago and was eligable to come off last Friday when they placed him on LTIR and he is elgiable to come off tomorrow.

Posted by: Graveysgrl | December 8, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Semin was just retroactively put on LTIR at the end of last week and is eligible to come off tomorrow. Of course there hasn't been enough announcements of Bears headed back to Hershey to make this Caps fan believe Semin or Federov are coming back yet.

If Kettler ice was completely quiet today it makes me wonder why none of the guys skated. You would think at least one of the injured guys would have wanted to stretch their legs. Maybe the medical staff was given a day off thus forcing the injured players to stay away from the ice without Caps Medical assistance standing by.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 8, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Lepisto is an offensive dman so I assume that Green is taking his spot since he's the most elite offensive dman in the league! I hope he beats Weber, Boyle, and Lidstrom in the dman scoring race!!! GO LAMBOGREENIE GO!!!!!!

Posted by: onthebeach96 | December 8, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

It's about time for our luck to turn around. Hopefully the rest of the boys are not far behind....

Posted by: minicoop828 | December 8, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Ok... So just poking around on some stats...

Ovechkin is 2nd only to Brashear this year in PIMs with 32.

He had 40 all year last year.

Discuss.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I read the blog ALOT but generally don't comment, however this year I forked over the cash for the center ice package and have seen every game but one this season ( technical diff screwed up my DVRing of the game). I say this cause I wanted to jump into the debate about JT.......He is friggin HORRENDOUS. I say this because I have watched alot of JT over his career and for the last 3 years I would say he is a shadow of himself. I can remember him standing on his head frequently and a great playoff run or two where HE was the main reason where is that????!!?!?!?!!?

AS someone asked previously "NAME A GAME HE HAS STOLEN, for us, THIS SEASON?"

Posted by: bryaningrocery | December 8, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

OV is trying to do TOO much. He is the guy that goes out and makes the big hits every game. I haven't looked at the numbers but since he is on the PK, and skating for just about all 2 mins of every PP he's more fatigued. When players are fatigued they will make mental errors and get called for more penalties. They will tend to reach and hook rather than keep their legs moving. This is of course my opinion.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 8, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

FFS:
I think he is desperate - Ovie is doing whatever he can to carry a depleted team, which is leading to more penalties. Thoughts?

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 8, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Brash and Bradley have to pick up the physical aspect of their games. That is why they are here. Hitting is part of OV's game and he should not change that, but he shouldn't have to be the one setting the tone every game.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 8, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

bryaningrocery:
As much as I am not a big Jose fan, he has had some big games (for example, his shutout against the Habs). The problem is that he is not consistent. I'd give up all of his big games (not that there have been many) for a bunch of reliable average ones.

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 8, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@ all the JT60 Haters:

IMHO, if your O can only put up 1 goal in a game, chances are the team will lose.

Posted by: CapManJ | December 8, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

@ bryaningrocery

I agree with most of what you said with one exception, that being the game against the Habs. He was lights out, and had another goalie been in net it might have been a completely different outcome. Otherwise, yeah you're right, he's left a lot to be desired.

Posted by: dcfury | December 8, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

CapManJ:
No doubt. Dave and I discussed that after WE were shut out - it did not matter who was in goal; if we cannot find the net, then our goalie situation is a moot point.

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 8, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

CapManJ:
BTW, if you are talking about last night, our SOG were actually very high but their keeper was on fire. Overall, given our depleted state we are playing well. Besides, with a lot of rookies being out there I can forgive a lot of mistakes. I am less forgiving with the keepers - we have not had to call up a goalie, so our seasoned boys between the pipes should be saving the day.

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 8, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

CapManJ/HeyBooBoo: A goalie that makes 4 mil a year is expected to go on the road and steal at least a point. The game was tied with 5 minutes left and Jose gave up 2 goals on 4 shots, and gave up the chance to get a point on the road. He is killing us and I think he knows it and that's why he is playing worse as the season goes on. He probably doesn't know what to do to get out of this tailspin. When he got back in the net after Johnson kind of took over the #1 job and then hurt his hip Jose was quoted saying something like the time away from the net allowed him to work on things in practice. He went on to say he felt he was going to start playing better because of the extra time with the goalie coaches. I didn't quote him because I can't remember exactly what he said but the quote was in a WaPo article.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 8, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

capmanj,

and if your goalie gives up 3+ a game with a save % south of .900 it makes it a little harder to win.

Boo & dcfury,

I don't think he stole the game against the Habs, he played well, but the Habs were not hitting on all cylanders that night. Just an opinion.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1:
preaching to the choir.

steve:
good point.

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 8, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

with the return of some our 7 injured caps and the play of the ahl fill ins maybe gmgm should look at packaging up some of our quantity for some quality and so much needed cap space .......... dangle that carrot george

Posted by: wendel2 | December 8, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

wendel,

Who would be on your wish list to see GMGM try to trade for?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I agree with a few of the folks above about Ov doing too much, but also agree it's who he his. It's his personality - don't think he could give less than 100% if he tried. Coach could take him off the PK, but who to put in when half the team is on IR? I would make more of an argument to keep him off PKs if we had more of the team back - only because it's a risk that would not normally be so necessary.

BTW - regarding my earlier post this AM... Anyone know if it is possible to watch the game wednesday from out in Arizona? I was really looking forward to it. Will have Internet and no idea what the hotel cable is like but I am pretty certain it would be a miracle if I found it on a pay channel. Hopefully you guys will be descriptive if all else fails!

Posted by: vkova10 | December 8, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I can agree that JT60 has not been on top of his game and his sub-par play has cost us some points. I also think that because of injuries this team has not played up to their potential both offensively and defensively.

Bottom line is we have JT, if he's gonna give up 3 goals a game then our O needs to step up and score 4 a game.

Posted by: CapManJ | December 8, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone ever feel like it is Groundhog Day in here? Different names, same story?!? :-)

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 8, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Elicea,
I would say the first goal last night was all Backstrom. he mad a lazy backhand flip pass to the D that was intercepted and directly resulted in a goal. Hard to blame that one on the D. However, he did make up for it with an awesome 1-timer.

Posted by: WVPhil | December 8, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"Bottom line is we have JT, if he's gonna give up 3 goals a game then our O needs to step up and score 4 a game"

Actually, I'd prefer to see Johnny get more starts as long as he can hold up. The O needs to step up...? Theo needs to get his head screwed on straight.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Steve:
You're my new best friend!! :-)

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 8, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Boo,

Don't type angry! (to paraphrase)

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

My opinion of last night is that we got beat by a better team. Staal was flying around all night and I told everyone watching with me that they better score again bc Staal is gonna get one. Whitney has always been a Cap killer and in the right place at the right time. The first goal Backie has to get that puck out. Through it high out in Ovie's direction, whatever but get it out. The Staal goal was just a great pass behind the net after a lot of pressure. The Staal line was in our end all night.

I don't think we have to outright choose a #1 goalie. I think it is like chosing between Semin and OV for a goal. If we can get them both going and play well in front of both of them then we are going to be a hard team to deal with.

Lastly, I think BB and GMGM have done a fantastic job keeping this ship afloat. You can't name many teams (Maybe 4) in the league where you can take away 4 top defensemen and 4 top nine forwards (One who was leading the league in goals and points when he went down) and expect them to compete in a month that the Caps had. This has only made the Caps a better team and I guarantee you that other teams are taking notice of that.

Wait until we start getting these guys slowly but surely off IR and watch the W's rain from above. Semin-Fedorov-Fehr, Green-Poti could play as a first line on half the teams in the NHL and they are all out. Think about it.

Posted by: numero94 | December 8, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Steve R: When all the D return, it would seem perfectly logical to trade...Morrisonn. His cap number is almost $2M and it would let you keep Alzner, if that's what you wanted to do. Alzner will soon hit the ten-game mark anyway. Once this counts as his first NHL season, meaning he will get UFA at 26 instead of 27, and assuming he's playing well, why send him down? Green, Poti, Alzner, Sloan, Jurcina, Collins, Helmer and Schultz, when he's back - pick 7 and one is in the press box.

Also, Nylander is absolutely not giving $4.8M worth of value. Not sure anything can be done about that.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 8, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Steve:
As long as I'm not drivin' ... ;-)

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 8, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Boo! What I do to deserve that? The don't type angry thing was for the groundhog day thing, not the best friend thing.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

tominfl,

And get what in return? Draft picks?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Steve:
I figured that's what it was for (hence my response :-)). I said that you were my new best friend because I agree with your statement about Johnny/Jose. It just sounds so logical to me, but I guess everyone does not see it that way. No matter, the voice of reason = music to my ears!! :-)

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 8, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Steve,

Just making a point that JT is what he is (an average goalie who is playing very inconsistently at this time). Getting shut out or only scoring a goal is not acceptable to me, so yes the O needs to step up and make some things happen.

Posted by: CapManJ | December 8, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

vkova10,
mauree generally has links, but http://atdhe.net/ has pretty good quality feeds for pretty much every game that's televised. I've used it to watch west coast NHL games in the past and the Skins game sitting in the library "studying" last night.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 8, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

on the habs game:
breaks my heart to say this, and it breaks my heart to talk down a shut out (for sure the goalie version of a hat trick), but a) that wasn't his best game; jt60's best game was the loss against phoenix (we may have lost, but theo was inarguably PHENOMENAL that night), and b) that shut out and his productivity that night were about showing up his own team, rather than being about standing up for his current team. plus, he knows the moves and techniques of his old team and his old coach since he spent most of his career with him. people keep telling me to give jose the benefit of the doubt, to give him time to adjust, but hey, idealists and those in denial: with a third of the season out, jose's playing with the same mediocrity as ever, and there's a guy on the bench waaayyy too often who, for his sub-million salary, is playing like he wants (and furthermore, judging from his recent performances, DESERVES) the position a helluva lot more

Posted by: jess4caps | December 8, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Me being the voice of reason.... That's a little out of character Boo.

CapManJ,

So your expectation of acceptable for the O is to score 4 as Theo is going to let in 3? Just using your words, but gotta say, that's pretty unreasonable.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

BB has done an unbelievable job and his call-ups have responded. Ever since the injuries hit us hard I have said that I would be happy if our call-ups could play .500 hockey that we will be in business when our guys return. Still doesn't take away the fact that our goaltending is suspect at best. Since we wasted money (for two years) on Theodore and BJ doesn't seem to be sturdy enough to play a 50 game season our goaltending help is going to have to come from within. I will continue to keep my fingers crossed though and hope that JT can improve his play.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 8, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Lepisto has a headache and will be out of the lineup for awhile.

Ovie had a hard time lifting his arm today.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 8, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

@steve jt..any d man except green
any forward excepet ov semin if the deal is right since we do have depth

Posted by: wendel2 | December 8, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Steve:
I trust you can handle the responsibility ... ;-)

I am most amused by this we need to score 4 to off-set our keeper discussion. Is that not the exact same exchange that was on this board a year ago?!?

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 8, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

This callup was a good opportunity for Lepisto to prove he can put together multiple good outings in a row. The knock on him last year was inconsistency; he'd follow up a solid performance with a shaky one.

Even if he was sent down because Green is healthy, he did nothing to change minds in the FO regarding his consistency. He looked good against Toronto, but he really struggled in Carolina.

Maybe it's a pressure thing, maybe it's a focus thing. Maybe it's luck, or maybe he hasn't been able to string together enough games to find a groove. I don't know.

What I do know that he doesn't have the defensive acumen to warrant a long-term assignment in the bigs where he can sort this out, much like Jurcina has been afforded. He needs to make the most of these opportunities.

I like the guy. I genuinely hope he works it out.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 8, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Steve: Yes, you can take picks for Morrisonn. Then you have picks to deal at the deadline.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 8, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

@WVPhil

I remember someone not being able to clear the puck, but I didn't remember who. So I assumed it was the D. My apologies. I may be young, but anyone who knows me will tell you I have the most horrible memory. (:

Posted by: elicea | December 8, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Boo,
I won't hold the fact that you like Threeormore against you - just don't let me catch you using it! :)

Ok, really gotta run now! Bye!

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | December 8, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"Lepisto has a headache and will be out of the lineup for awhile.

Ovie had a hard time lifting his arm today."


windjammersouth,
Why was Ovie lifting Sami's arm?

Posted by: _Mark | December 8, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a day.

I missed the game last night due to familial obligations and only now am really catching up on what happened last night.

So glad I'm not the only one who thinks the sky isn't falling, because it's not. So the division got a little tighter. Once we get our injured back, we'll be fine if we can go .500 and weather the storm.

So apparently 8-19-25 had a bad night. I think we forget that they're human too. It just proves that we can't lean on them every time, every night, and expect nothing bad to ever happen. It just proves the point about secondary scoring. For heaven's sake, Saturday night's scoring came from the BLUELINE. Am I the only one who says "that's great, but where were our forward lines?"

All in all, shrug and move on. Caca transpires, folks, we learn from it, move on, and hang in there. Let 'em have one.

Let's talk Wednesday. Green back would be awesome, but I don't think he alone will save us from Boston. Am hoping for Semin or Fedorov too (or both?) Poti'd be nice. I think Sloan's here to stay, honestly, and I think he deserves it. He's made some mistakes but by and large he's been a real trooper. I like Alzner too, he and Jurcina as a pairing are miles ahead of Juiskine. I liked Collins and Helmer in Toronto, didn't see Carolina so can't comment. Mo looks a lot better when he's not trying to be Green Jr and he just stays at home and is his defensive S@H self. You guys know my feelings on Erskine (I think).

Hey, completely o/t question. Some of my section-mates are trying to get me to try out to sing the Star-Spangled Banner at the games. I'm a classically-trained singer but don't have a lot of entertainment experience. I talked to my rep, and in order to do that, I have to submit an audition tape and a resume at the beginning of the season, so I have some time. I just don't know where to go about finding a recording studio that can and will do audition tapes for reasonable prices - I'm used to live auditions :( Anyone know anything about this?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 8, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

@_Mark - Good point!

Posted by: irockthered | December 8, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

On the OV arm thing... does anyone remember the hit along the boards that he took? I was watching the game and I swear I heard someone yell out a hugh scream in pain, then saw OV shaking his hand. It made me take note from the couch. Did anyone else see/hear that?

Posted by: WVPhil | December 8, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz-
no idea, but if you find out lemme know!- i'm a music major/singer as well

Posted by: jess4caps | December 8, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Kittypawz,
Semin is on LTIR and not eligible to come off until Friday at the earliest.

Posted by: WVPhil | December 8, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

numero94,
What game did you watch? The Canes did not get a shot in the 3rd until there was less than 10 minutes left. Washington peppered Leighton with shots and kept the puck in their end most of the game. Remember we were the road team, and did have the oppurtunity to sleep in our own beds like the Canes did. The Canes played at home the night before. If anything, Leighton outplayed JT60 but the Caps totally outplayed the Canes. That's what makes it so frustrating.

Posted by: psugolf | December 8, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: elicea | December 8, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

WVPhil: Thought they said last week that it was Tuesday, not Friday. Tarik?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 8, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Realistically, how far away is Varlamov from playing in the NHL? What do we do at goalie this offseason? If I remember right, BJ is in his final year and JT has two more. Also, any ideas what happened to the Nyls trade to Chicago? Did he nix a deal or was that rumor BS?

Posted by: CaliCapsFan | December 8, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

@ CaliCapsFan:
Cannot say whether it was rumor or not, as Nyls was being played on the 3rd and 4th lines until all the injuries but that said I heard he has a no-trade clause during the season. He's got several kids in school here I believe.
-----------------------------------------
Realistically, how far away is Varlamov from playing in the NHL? What do we do at goalie this offseason? If I remember right, BJ is in his final year and JT has two more. Also, any ideas what happened to the Nyls trade to Chicago? Did he nix a deal or was that rumor BS?

Posted by: CaliCapsFan | December 8, 2008 6:43 PM

Posted by: vkova10 | December 8, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Got a question for all the knowledgeable Caps fan that post here. Did Ovie ever wear the "A" during his rookie year of -2005-06? I don't remember him wearing it.
Thanks for any input

Posted by: Riddler1 | December 8, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

@CaliCapsFan

1) Varlamov is estimated to be two years away from coming up.
2) Theodore still has time to prove himself to be worth the money Caps' are paying him. In my honest opinion, Theodore has played some good games, but in some of those games Cap's defense was not there to help him out.
3) If Johnny keeps playing at the level he is at, right now, Caps may give him an extension.
4) Of course, there could also be that chance that Caps' management plan on bringing Varlamov up as backup, next year.
5) Nylander trade to Chicago was just a rumor that got thrown way out of proportion. Many details between the two teams didn't make sense. first off, Chicago didn't have the Cap space to acquire Nylander, well that is unless they had traded Khabibulin (sp?). And there was talks of Byfughlein (sp?) being part of the trade, but I don't see Chicago letting go of such a talented young player, with tons of potential. Third, Sopel for Nylander? no no no no no! And fourth, Nylander has an NTC

Posted by: elicea | December 8, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

From http://alexovetjkin.blogspot.com/2008/12/semins-injury.html linked above:


The doctors nevertheless gave you a green light.

AS: And what the point to go out with the pain in the back and then get injured again?

Hey Tarik -- maybe I've missed it, but is this accurate? That he has the okay from the docs?

If so, you would think they wouldn't let him play if he could make the injury worse... so are we just dealing with a hockey player with a low tolerance for pain?

I hope not... can't score many goals from the sauna.

Posted by: sinbin | December 8, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Fascinating piece about how the Caps have drafted over the past ten years that Katie linked to in the last post and I am surprised how the the cogniscenti haven't commented here.

The article causes me to wonder if the Caps are finish well this year and next: how successful will they be in the draft? The article clearly shows how poorly they choose in the late rounds.

Posted by: Landshark | December 8, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

ok so Lepisto got manhandled behind the net, but what about three-o-more? can't we do something with him?

Posted by: ergoroc | December 8, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

WVPhil: I heard the scream. I have it recorded on the TV, so I could watch. I also saw Ovie then shaking his hand. The announcers said the scream was Whitney, I think, who received just about then a high stick near the eye. My initial thought right when it happened was it was Ovie.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 8, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

From Tarik's article of Dec. 6th ("Sloan Questionable Tonight") --

*Semin has been placed on LTIR, but he is eligible to come off on Tuesday. Erskine was placed on IR.

Was that accurate, Tarik?

Posted by: irockthered | December 8, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

where is Semin? who has a real update on his back? I have watched the tape of when he hurt it over and over. pinch nerve is all i can assume. give him a cortizone shot and get back in there. JT60 is no good. Green we need you badly. Sloan you are needed too. Tough stretch to take a AHL team into.

Posted by: daddy_axe | December 8, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

@WVPhil

I saw and heard the same thing. I thought I saw Ovie shaking his hand as well but then he played as if he weren't injured.

Joe B and Locker explained that one of the Canes screamed because of a high-stick or something like that- but they are not always the most reliable.

Now I am stressed . . .

Posted by: ChrisAm | December 8, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Just read Semin piece. Oh boy . . . I know his history is a but checkered but I really hope he is not the head case he sometimes appears.

Posted by: ChrisAm | December 8, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 8, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

So, for those of you knowledgeable about the cap situation and history and such - what are the realistic odds of Sloan staying up?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 8, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

jmu: You beat me to it in posting that Bears article. :)

Anyone else watching the Sabres/Pens game on Vs? These announcers slay me. Fedotenko scored the first two Pitt goals, and all these idiots could talk about was Malkin being the set-up guy.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 8, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

it's because malkin is so much easier to pronounce than fedotenko! duh.

morons.

Posted by: jess4caps | December 8, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

semin out and green out.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 8, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz,
I'm not sure we have the cap space to keep him here all season. The issue is, if he keeps playing solid D, at such a low cap hit (475,000), other teams may take notice and snatch him off waivers when we do send him down. I'm not positive on the cap situation though. We might have enough to squeak him under for the duration.
Roster freeze is in two weeks. We can recall all the guys we want, but no waivers or trades, unless its to make space for guys to come back off LTIR.
I would guess Sloan is definitely safe til that ends sometime after Christmas, for sure.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 8, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Can everyone start sending messages to Backstroms that he needs to do more of his snapshot from last night. We all know he can, BB knows he can, I just hope that may give him a little more confidence to shoot the puck against Boston. Why does it seem, IMO, that we were roofing the puck more at the end of last year and not so much this season?

The big concern obviously for Weds is that Boston has been just as good as SJ, only with better goaltending.

GMGM how about making a trade with Boston for Manny now that he's back? :)

I know we need to give JT60 more time...but that reminds me where is that shirt that Ovie changed into at the beginning of the season?

It said something motivational...like good is not good enough or the time is now. Anyone remember this?

Posted by: caps28fan | December 8, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Re JT60 - take a look sometime at the start of the period how he tries to scrape down the ice in front of the goal. Seems very spazzy and uncoordinated to me, kind of like he plays sometimes during games. The bottom line is that the Caps will not be a Stanley Cup contender with JT60 in goal. Johnny has moments of greatness but also has tendencies to give up a soft goal at the worst possible time. Yes we have a lot of AHL guys on D right now (and many of our NHL regular D-men also leave a lot to be desired), but the difference between a team that goes deep in the playoffs and one that's out quickly is goaltending. It's obvious to me that BB and GMGM know goaltending and defense are serious problems (with JT60 far and away the most significant) but there's not a whole lot they can do at the moment so the offense will just have to go out and try to score 4 goals every night to offset the defensive and goaltending weaknesses.

On the bright side, I thought Collins and Alzner played great games last night, Aucoin and Giroux with a bit more playing time could really click into gear, so we're fortunate to have decent support from Hershey during this crazy time of major injuries.

Posted by: remy117 | December 8, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 8, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

vkova10

If you're in the Phoenix area and can wait until 7 or so, you're welcome to come over to my place. I have Centre Ice and can use some Caps company for the game! I tivo all the games and watch them when I get home.

Posted by: stuffedinvader | December 9, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Riddler:
I thought Ovie did wear the A during the latter part of his rookie season ... no?

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 9, 2008 5:03 AM | Report abuse

never resting, not even on vacation: here comes the BooBoo! :D

@Tess
I watched it until the 3-3 (passed out due to intense day at work). It was a fascinating game. I too was annoyed by the commentators. They had an orgasm on an Malkin assist that seemed normal to me.

Anyway, fascinating and good game. The Pens played well but couldn't capitalize on three 5 on 3 (yes, three) situations, one for two full minutes. BUF never gave up and (I see now they score) they won.

Here's for everybody becoming healthy soon - we need it. Last 10 games we lost 6, not exactly a good record. Not all losses are because of the missing players, but... let's just get healthy :D

Posted by: mauree | December 9, 2008 6:05 AM | Report abuse

i am glad someone else see what i see in goal. theodore is not the answer. period. he is not going to suddenly play better. he is fundamentaly flawed. as for Semin, he needs to be 100 percent, as with Green and Federov. Don't be suprized if you do not see them until Christmas

Posted by: ergoroc | December 9, 2008 6:22 AM | Report abuse

"Bottom line is we have JT, if he's gonna give up 3 goals a game then our O needs to step up and score 4 a game."
I have 2 issues with that statement:
1) Bottom line is JT is being paid to be a number one goalie and he needs to start playing like one.
2) This is post 1980s NHL, you don't score 4 a game. Right now Boston is tops in the east at 3.35 gpg.

But, I will agree with the sentiment that you have to do whatever it takes to win.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFederov | December 9, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

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