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McGrattan Talkin' Tough

Not sure how I missed this yesterday, but apparently Ottawa tough guy Brian McGrattan has extended a standing invitation to Caps enforcer Donald Brashear to drop 'em.

From the Ottawa Sun:

"Any time there's another heavyweight in the lineup I'll always ask him to fight," McGrattan said. "I'll try to fight him again. I'll try to fight him every time we play. I fought him two years ago when we were in Philly. We'll see if he wants to go again on Tuesday."
Brashear declined McGrattan's early-game offer Saturday. Instead, he went toe-to-toe with Chris Neil at the end of the second period.

McGrattan wasn't done talkin' smack...

"I don't know if the coach told him not to fight or whatever, but if the guy doesn't want to fight, he doesn't want to fight," McGrattan said of being turned down by the 15-year veteran. "He obviously picked his spot."

"But [Chris Neil] is just as tough as anybody else too. I thought he did a great job, that he came back and won the fight at the end. Neiler's one of the tougher guys I've played with, too. Either one of us would have done a good job against him."

Neil won that fight? Are you kidding? Whatever.

I've never liked fighting for fighting's sake, but I do get a good laugh when Brash dusts off his hands as he skates off. Should be interesting today.

Update: Quintin Laing is out with a leg bruise. He'll be replaced by Matt Pettinger.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 1, 2008; 10:31 AM ET
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Next: Semin and Poti Sidelined


Hopefully Brashear whups his @ss this afternoon ; ) Happy New Year

Posted by: Don-Ald | January 1, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

If by "he came back and won the fight" McGrattan means that Neil was able to leave the ice under his own power then I suppose, yes, he did come back and win the fight. If McGrattan gets in to it with Brash today I imagine he can hope for the same "win". What a maroon.

Posted by: Dave in Alexandria (no longer in DC) | January 1, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Sens fans seem to think Neil won the fight just because he managed to take Brash down after the 22 or so lefts that Brash landed on him. Whatever is right!!

Should be a good one today (with a lot fewer goals)...Let's Go Caps!!

Posted by: Jill | January 1, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I am placing a personal bounty on the head of Tim McCracken.

He's the coach and chief punk on that Syracuse team.

- A bounty? - Yeah.

A hundred bucks of my own money for the first of my men that nails that creep.

That's eight o'clock at the War Memorial,

the Syracuse and the all-new Charlestown Chiefs.

Posted by: Just make a save | January 1, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

TSN reports McGrattan will likely be a healthy scratch today.

Posted by: DWard | January 1, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

It's a "Canadian" thing. No Canadian team does wrong when up against a US team. Hence Cherry's statements, TSN.CA's lack of coverage on our conference, The Hockey News, and CBC's concentration on Canada's teams. To a large extent, it's understandable as that's where their market is. But Brashear losing that fight? Not a chance!

This will be one TOUGH game!

Posted by: Greg S. | January 1, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Did you see how many times I hit his fist with me head? I so definitely won that fight.

Posted by: chris Neil | January 1, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Voting on for the fight has brash at 85%.
Where anyone gets a Neil win from is beyond comprehension.

Posted by: anders | January 1, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The Senators are going to be out for blood today. Hope our boys are up for it!
Hope to see a little more hand dusting today!

Posted by: Melissa | January 1, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

This is from an email I just sent the writer of that article.

"I love McGrattan, but I wanted to respond to him. If Possible, please pass this on.

1) I saw his early "challenge" and he didn't seem all that eager to fight Brashear. Brashear even shoved him and McGrattan didn't do anything. If I wanted to fight someone that badly I wouldn't let them push me without a response. Also he didn't make a glove drop move or cross check Brashear or anything. I watch a lot of games and if one enforcer really wants it they push or punch the guy and make it clear. In fact, Brashear didn't want to fight Laraque two nights before, but Laraque kept after him the whole shift and they finally fought with Brash dropping him with a right.

2) McGrattan was out there later and didn't do anything with his team down 4-1. If he's so eager, why didn't he force the situation at that point? What does he think he's too important to take an instigator? Was he afraid his ice time would drop from three minutes to two? Was he worried that no one would be able to open the bench door for the players who actually played?

3) Brashear went after Neil because he took a hard run at Backstrom. He pummled Neil badly and made him pay a price.

4) McGrattan won that fight with Brashear. I actually think he's being kind in saying it was back and forth. He contraolled and won the fight. However, Brashear had a torn rotator cuff and lost most of his fights that year. If you get video from that season he was not as good as he's been the last two years.

McGrattan needs to take some lessons on fight judging. I recall an article where he said he won a fight with Derek Boogaard. Boogaard did recieve most of the blows, but he level McGrattan so hard that his eyes rolled up in his head and he went down hard. Any fighter that gets stunned from a punch and goes down loses in any fighting sport. Ask any legit fighting judge.

McGrattan runs his mouth a lot for a guy that barely plays and may not even be in the lineup. I hope he is and I hope he and Brashear go. He'll look even more stupid if he's a scratch.

Thanks for reading and again I've always enjoyed the Sens coverage."

Posted by: John | January 1, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

think brash had to deal with Chris Neil after that very agressive hit on young Mr. backstrom. I would guess by Neil's play after that fight that he got the message.

Posted by: livinit | January 1, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse


I agree with the post above. The fight with Neil had a purpose and that was a response to Neil's hit.

McGrattan also thinks he won this fight:

Posted by: John | January 1, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Tarik about fighting for the sake of fighting. I don't think that is what makes hockey entertaining. I'm not even particularly sold on the idea that you start a fight to give your team a "lift" when they are not playing well.

I do think that what Brash did was perfectly execute the role of an enforcer. You take a run on one of our skill guys, then someone will call you out and deal with your transgressions.
As mentioned by livinit, Mr Neil was much more "polite" during the remainder of the game.

That's how it's supposed to work.
Any arguements?

Posted by: pmoravek | January 1, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

How could Chris Neil have won that fight? I'll give him credit for staying up as long as he did but man! How can he beat Brashear's fists up with his face like that is beyond me....either that or Brashear force fed Neil his soup but the bottom line is he wrestled Brash down...not with a punch

Posted by: Jleftwing97 | January 1, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey Just make a save

I want to respond to your quote by saying...

"None of that stinkin' root beer."


Posted by: pmoravek | January 1, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

There's a big difference in taking down the person who's been raining blows to your head with a punch and with a drag-down. For instance, take Brash's fight with Laraque at the VC earlier this season. Laraque was dominating the fight until Brash had a late resurgance and landed some strong lefts to knock George on his butt.

The take down is used when someone wants the fight to end. Neil knew he wouldn't be able to come back on Brash, so he used all of his available strength to bring him down. A take down is only close to a win if the bout was pretty even to begin with (like the Pettinger/Staal bout from earlier in the season). A lot of early fight tough guys, like Laraque (who, don't get me wrong, is one of the premiere heavyweights in the game right now) get their big punches in and than use their strength to just drag the guy down, ending the fight in their favor.

Brash beat Neil, not because he's afraid of McGrattan (as McGrattan said, Neil is as tough as anyone) but because Neil took a run at Nicky B. The only reason Neil gets a lot more minutes than McGrattan is because Neil actually has some playing ability.

Posted by: Stephen | January 1, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Do we think there will be walkup tickets available today? The ticket office isnt open by phone and I have no idea whether there are available seats. Anyone with some insights?


Posted by: S.L.S. | January 1, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Do we think there are tickets still available for today? The phone box office is closed and I can't get any info.

Posted by: S.L.S. | January 1, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

When I said I'm not a fan of fighting for fighting's sake, I wasn't referring to this instance. Brash definitely went after Neil for boarding Backstrom. I meant if Brash and McGrattan fight today just for the heck of it.

Posted by: Tarik | January 1, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

But at this point I wouldn't think they'd drop 'em just for the heck of it.
They'd be doing it for pride's sake and everything that has been going on in the Canadian media.

This is no slight on you or the WAPO Tarik, but you know how it is up

Posted by: pmoravek | January 1, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

There are ALWAYS tickets available. This is D.C.

Posted by: kenwood | January 1, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik,

Has anyone asked about a sports hernia with CC? Friesen had this a few years ago, misdiagnosed as a groin injury. He ended up with surgery.

Posted by: kenwood | January 1, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Beat me to it anders. Why do 15% vote against Brashear? Sens homers, mostly.

But of course Brashear didn't want to go earlier in the game. Obviously McGrattan was trying to change momentum, why would Brash give him the chance? He wouldn't have gone with Neil either if Neil hadn't have gone after him (where was the instigator on that? just b/c he went after a fighter and got the crap kicked out of him doesn't mean it's not an instigator)

Posted by: dmg | January 1, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse


Agreed with what you said about the fights. According to some on Don Cherry scored that one for Neil because Neil wound up standing and Brash didn't, but like you said there was no KO there, Neil basically just pushed Brash over.

I don't think Brash fought Neil b/c he hit Backstrom, I think he fought him b/c Neil gave him no choice.

Posted by: dmg | January 1, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Please. Falling on top of someone after they pummeled the ever loving crap out of you does not constitute a win. It was self defense. Neil knew if he stayed up he was just going to keep getting battered.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 1, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Silly McGrattan thinks Brash is afraid of him. There are codes among fighters and on is to let a fighter get into a groove first, and that means not challenging him in the first few seconds. Plus if Brash had gotten a game misconduct we wouldn't have had anyone to get back at Neil for creaming Backstrom.

Posted by: DC FURY | January 1, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'll have to mute the Winter Classic so I don't have to listen to the Crosby homerism. It's already nauseating and we're only halfway through the first.

Baby blue suits Sid.

Posted by: Jill | January 1, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

It's obvious the Mc Gratten knew he wasn't playing so mouthing off was a riskless proposition. Real bravado witnessed first hand.

And if they go after Backstrom again, I am quite confident that The Donald will pick his next victim carefully.

Go Caps!

Posted by: dogdaze | January 1, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I want to know what Don Cherry and this McGratten dude have been drinking up there in Canada. If anyone believes Neil won that bought after Brashear bounced his fist off of Neil's head 15 times in a row then they are retarded. In boxing they would have called that a UNANIMOUS DECISION for Brashear!!

Anyway, this outdoor game is pretty cool. I can only imagine what it is like to be there in person. However, I'm enjoying it a lot more sitting in my warm, cozy recliner!! :)

As for todays Caps game, the boys need to come out with fire in their eyes, butts and legs or the Senators are going to eat us up and spit us out. The worst team to play against is the team you've embarrassed twice in their home building. Lets hope all cylinders are clicking and the Caps can "official" win the season series of the Nations Capitals!!!!

Happy New Year everyone and lets hope that 2008 turns out to be a good year for the Caps and their push for the "second" season!!!

Posted by: Mitch | January 1, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

So, McGratton is a scratch? Oh...and Since Neil won the last fight with Brashear, I would expect Brash wants to even that up today.

Posted by: Rob | January 1, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

maybe it was a moral victory b/c Neil was a pacifist for most of the fight.

Posted by: jim* | January 1, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Crosby made a DROP pass!!!!

Wow! Look at Crosby, closeup, sittin' on the bench!!! He sits better than Gretzky!!

Wow! Let's slowly pan the camera closeup from his skates, his socks, his jersey, his face and his helmet!!! Oh, and look at how he makes sure his curly locks always stick out the front of his helmet!!!!

I'm so excited, I just might pass ouuuuu...

Posted by: Joe B | January 1, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sick of hearing crosby this.. crosby that..

Posted by: Sam | January 1, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree, this Crosby talk is rather obnoxious!! Last time I looked at the game there were two teams out there with full benches.

Posted by: Mitch | January 1, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I think the NHL is learning from today's outdoor game.

There's no need for any other players. Next year it will just be Sidney Crosby vs. an empty net.

Crosby will break every single game, season and career scoring record in that game (including assists when he plays the puck off the boards to himself.)

Posted by: Joe B | January 1, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse


Quintin must play today. I hereby would like to declare the start of the Quintin Laing Fanclub!! I believe that Quintin has earned his stripes in the short time he's been with the Capitals and I also believe the toothless grinder should remain with the Capitals. Is anyone interested in joining the fanclub?

Posted by: Mitch | January 1, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse


Any word on whether McGrattan is in? TSN said he would likely be a healthy scratch.

Posted by: John | January 1, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I've never been a big fan of Costas but his story about Goldthorpe was hilarious and brought back memories when I was a kid. I grew up in Colorado playing hockey and remember Goldthorpe played a season or two with the Denver Spurs of the old WHA. We used to go watch the Spurs at the Denver Coliseum which was more a rodeo venue than a hockey stadium. Goldthorpe was a piece of work and I remember he fought some true heavyweights like a guy named Steve Durbano who when kicked out of the game gave the finger to the crowd. Here's a link to a team photo of the Denver Spurs

and if you look closely there's Johny's father on the left. Old time hockey!

Posted by: Just make a save | January 1, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I am willing to be Vice President of that fan club, but yesterday at practice Lainger was limping badly on the way out to the ice.
Tarik had said something about him taking one off his calf while blocking a shot. (Go figure)

I really think this guy deserves a spot in the line-up on a permanent basis. He shows the heart & determination of OV with the defensive savvy of Gordo. Additionally i think it gives some of the other guys a boost when you see a guy play with that kind of grit.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 1, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

What is the point of having 70K fans if the first row is 50 ft away? Does Betteman think the ice is the same size as a football field?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 1, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Brash is Caps nuclear weapons. And nuclear weapons should be used for nuclear deterrent.

I like Brashear of lately. He really cherished under BB. He scores, he hits, if he fights, he wins. It was very smart of him not to pick up fight just for the sake of it, and then beat up Neil for his hit on Backstrom.

Does he has to fight McGrattan tonight? Absolutely not unless he feels like.

Viva Brashear!

Posted by: alexovetjkin | January 1, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

From Ottawa: "Job No. 1 at the MCI Center will be keeping a closer eye on Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin, who burned the Senators for four goals on Saturday night at Scotiabank Place."

Boy, I feel like it's gonna be an ugly game. Two people following Ovechkin everywhere and low scoring for both teams. Alex might have 2-3 shots on goal at best for the whole game.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | January 1, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe Comcast showed a slow-mo or different angle replay of the fight ... but does Neil even connect w/ Brashear at the very end? It appears to me that Neil attempts to swing (after getting hammered by Brash) and both players lose their balance.


Posted by: Caps fan in TN | January 1, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Neil landed the second to last shot, but what caused the knockdown was Brashear blocking the last shot and Neil's momentum coming forward knocked him off balance. I'm actually surprised that doesn't happen more on skates.

Neil did not land a good punch in the fight.

I'm going to laugh like crazy if McGrattan is scratched.

Posted by: John | January 1, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Brash = Rocky
Neil = side of beef.

Posted by: pch49 | January 1, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I feel like cr*p today and it has nothing to do with last night. Its all the Crosby talk on NBC!

Lets go Caps!

Posted by: Pothier's Thumb | January 1, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Five minutes to the featured game of this doubleheader.

Posted by: Joe B | January 1, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

McGrattan is in! Let's see what happens.

Posted by: John | January 1, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Typical Cindy Crosbytch -- she takes a dive and then looks around for the ref to call a penalty. Learned a lot from her mentor -- Maria. I wonder if the announcers, Wanger and Doc, get an extra dollar every time they mention his name.

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | January 1, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow, great fight. He punched Brash in the back of the head and then dragged him down.

Posted by: Jordan | January 1, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse


This ought to be good.

Posted by: Kurt | January 1, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I complain about Mike Green rushing when he should stay back, but he sure had a sweet one-on-five rush for a goal!

Posted by: Joe B | January 1, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Anyone lose the NBC feed to the PIT-BUF game? I'm at work and the channel froze for the remaining five mins of regulation, plus all of OT and the shootout. Not good for hockey.

Of course, I'm busy working ... and listening to the Caps on the radio! GOAL!

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | January 1, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse


Olie, please step up and shut these guys down.

Posted by: Steve R | January 1, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Caps Fan in TN:
Must've been a problem with your local affiliate. Had no problem with the feed in PA. Be glad you missed it. Crosby scored the gamewinner in the shootout. Can't stand him! GO CAPS!

Posted by: Tess | January 1, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Just make a save!

Posted by: Just make a save | January 1, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm making an appointment with my cardiologist tomorrow morning. My heart can't take much more of Olie Kolzig playing for the Capitals. Sad part about all of this.....I'm only 28 years old!

I hope, just for the sake of hoping, that Boudreau plays Cassivi in Boston Thursday night and gives Olie a few days off. He's obviously worn down and lacking confidence. Boudreau cannot be afraid to play Cassivi while Johnson is hurt or the team is going to end up getting hurt by bad goaltending from Olie.

Posted by: Mitch | January 1, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Why semin is not playing

fuc%?$ ankle I suppose

Posted by: tabarnak | January 1, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, whats the deal with Semin? Is he injured again!!!! Please more details

Posted by: Puddin_an_Semin | January 1, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Semin where are you.

Thank you for loosing me some money cause I pick you in my pool bi%??$

Posted by: Tabarnak | January 1, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

waiting for word on Semin. he hasn't been on the bench since the middle of the first period.

Posted by: Tarik | January 1, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Puddin_an_Semin | January 1, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

semin should rest long enough to heal properly.

Posted by: jim* | January 1, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I can't blame Olie for those two goals. Our D sucks. Why does Schultz seem to get all of these passes for his mistakes?

Posted by: tallbear | January 1, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

i'm happy w/ olie as long as the score isn't reversed.

Posted by: jim* | January 1, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, Ok so Joe B is saying that Semin is out with a tailbone injury but not for how long...and Poti with an upper body injury, any more insight or details Tarik? Thanks again

Posted by: Puddin_an_Semin | January 1, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

What a dandy save by Olie on that shot!!! Everyone run to your medicine cabinets and grab the tums. This could get bad.

Posted by: Mitch | January 1, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Semin should be sat on his tail bone for taking a crappy retaliation penalty.

Posted by: Jordan | January 1, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Got here late -- who won the McGrattan-Brashear fight?

Posted by: BD | January 1, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Same here, just got in to see the start of the 3rd but been getting box scores. Go Caps! If someone can, please post the Brash-McCrappin fight on YouTube. Thanks.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 1, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Just heard from someone at the game who said Brashear went down hard.

But he came back and played the rest of the way, chipping in an assist along the way. McGrattan barely left the bench. Check the ice time.

Which guy would you rather have on your team -- someone who's going to take the enforcer's best shot and still contribute, or someone who's going to punch once and sit?

Posted by: BD | January 1, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I hear ya Caps Fan! Hell, Brash almost had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick on that late 2 on 1. Just goes to show that maybe Brash really didn't go "down" that hard.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 1, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

The fight stunk, really nothing to write home about. McGrattan backed off after dropping the gloves and Brash finally got into him. Looked like McGrattan was trying the same thing Neil did, but without beating Brash with his head. They jawed at each other for a few moments afterwards.

Posted by: Doug Jarvis | January 2, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: HAHAHAHA | January 14, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

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