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Mike Green eager to get back in lineup

Defenseman Mike Green is due back for tonight's game against Atlanta after serving a three-game suspension for an elbow to the head of Florida Panthers forward Michael Frolik during the first period of last Friday's 4-1 victory.

Green took part in this morning's skate at KCI and said he felt refreshed from the league-mandated break. The NHL's leading scorer among defensemen missed Washington's victories over Tampa Bay, Boston and the New York Rangers. Last night's 6-5 win against New York extended the team's franchise-record win streak to 12 games.

"It was tough to sleep last night," Green said. "It's been awhile since I've played a game, it seems like. It's only been a week, but to miss three games, it's tough. I just want to get back out there. The guys have been playing well, and it's always fun when you're winning."

Green has 52 points in 52 games this season, although the Capitals haven't exactly been scoring deficient during his absence. They averaged 4.3 goals per game without Green, and last night's outburst was Washington's highest in six games. The last time the Capitals scored at least six times was in their 7-2 triumph over the New York Islanders on Jan. 26.

"I had a lot of bumps and bruises, and they seem to be all gone now," Green said. "It seems like we play so many games that you can't get over your little injuries. Right now I feel really good. I haven't felt like this in a long time."

By Gene Wang  |  February 5, 2010; 11:57 AM ET
 | Tags: Mike Green  
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Comments

Green should come shovel my driveway if he's so eager to get out there.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

3-0 in his absence, and Green's injuries get time to heal. Things are really working out well!

I didn't enjoy seeing Green's elbow though. Not sure it deserved three games, but it wasn't very nice.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Trade him for an enigmatic Russian.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

If you are a playoff team in the East, and are not NJ, WSH, or PITs.

Welp...good luck. Yes..even you BUF.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Because so many Capitals are so near the top of this list, I've recently taken to posting PROD leaders here.

PROD is a stat ESPN keeps track of that measures points per minute of ice time. ESPN makes it a little difficult to look up though. Also, it's backwards--PROD is actually minutes of ice time per point, so lower is better.

Semin was your league leader (minimum 30 games played) last season, but he recently slipped back below Thornton for fifth place so far this season. Meanwhile Backstrom with his five-point night last night has moved into sixth. Caps now have three players better than the great Sidney Crosby at this stat this season.

And Fleischmann has moved into the top 10!

Here's how the race has played out this year so far (again, minimum 30 games played):

1. OVECHKIN 13:07
2. D. Sedin 13:44
3. H. Sedin 13:56
4. J. Thornton 16:08
5. SEMIN 16:14
6. BACKSTROM 16:41
7. S. Crosby 17:10
8. P. Kane 17:28
9. M. Gaborik 18:00
10. FLEISCHMANN 18:21
11. B. Richards 18:27
12. D. Heatley 18:30
13. E. Malkin 18:37
14. S. Stamkos 18:41
15. I. Kovalchuk 18:47
16. Z. Parise 19:13
17. P. Marleau 19:22
18. T. Connolly 19:37
19. M. St. Louis 19:38
20. D. Alfredsson 19:43
21. FEHR 19:57
22. M. Hossa 20:01
23. V. Lecavalier 20:09
24. E. Staal 20:13
25. A. Burrows 20:21
26. KNUBLE 20:22
27. A. Kopitar 20:22
28. P. Elias 20:55
29. R. Getzlaf 21:19
30. T. Plekanec 21:21

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

is youaresquishy the new improved version of the 21 game schedule?

Can we consolodate the schedule and the PROD into one post once we get to the magical 21 games left?

Posted by: Moose33 | February 5, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

And, yes, Green is the #1 defenseman in PROD. He's ahead of #2 M. Bergeron by just about two whole minutes. (Again, minimum 30 games played.)

But the Canadian Olympic team doesn't need the most productive defenseman in the world today to beat Russia, I'm sure. All they have to do is outscore Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Semin, Malkin, Datsyuk, et al.

I'm rooting against Canada.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

@Moose

Is that a windjammer reference? haha

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

All of that said, just because the Devils are better does not necessarily mean they are the best. But it definitely made things a lot more interesting.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 5, 2010 12:22 PM |

To clarify, I felt that NJ was the best team in the East before the trade. NJ and CHI in the West.

So yes, this trade would still make them the best, IMO.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I like that Fehr is ahead of Getzlaf on this list. Not saying Fehr is better or anything. But it's nice that he's ahead of him on any list. Y'know, because everyone with the 20/20 vision likes to criticize the Caps for drafting Fehr instead of Getzlaf. I dunno. I like it.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@ SA-Town...

LOL...but be careful what you wish for...if Green shoveled your driveway, he wouldn't do a very good job near your garage but he'd do an awesome job down by the street...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 5, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

it's time for BB to cut down on Green's minutes a little, it's clear that Poti still has some offensive touch left in him

no need to rely on Green exclusively to generate offense from the blue line.

Posted by: joek443 | February 5, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

That's right, windjammer, I forgot his name. I'm actually looking forward to 21 games left and the analysis that follows.

Posted by: Moose33 | February 5, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, the Capitals are still the best team in the East. In games against New Jersey this year in which Ovechkin was playing, Caps are 1-0-1, with the loss being in a shootout and the win being a 4-1 convincing one in these two teams' most recent game.

I think Kovalchuk makes them a closer #2, but they are not as good as the Capitals. I am not changing my prediction that the Capitals will be in the finals this year.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@Quishy...

Look, two things. Green is a nice offensive player, BUT, Canada has a ton of those guys, and even some who can actually play solid defense. NOBODY uses stats to pick a team. Stats only tell half the story. If you are on a high scoring team, your +/- and points are going to naturally be higher. If you are on a crappy team, your stats are going to be terrible. Look at the player as an individual, not through stats. Based on your analysis, Schultz should be on Team Canada too, bc he is leading ALL defense in +/-.

Secondly, what is the harm in having Green sit at home and get rested up for the stretch run. Personally, I wished Backstrom didn't make the Swedish team...he is a young kid who's body is not use to 110+ games. I care about the U.S. and the Caps. Green is Canadian...let him rest.

I am not sure a 2-week layoff is going to be good for us...but for players who get a million minutes a game, I'd like them to be rested for the run for the cup!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 5, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@ JoeK:

I agree. Green can be very valuable for us, but under a better minutes/game ratio...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 5, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to disagree with Kovy being a good trade. He's a great player, and maybe the cherry-pick style will still work while skating with 4 defensemen, but I have my doubts. Sure, the Devils are more offensive than they used to be, and a PP unit with Parise and Kovy might be good, but the Devils are still all about Marty. Supporting Marty is the prime directive. So, I'm not sure how that will work with him; I think his contract actually prohibits him from crossing the defensive blue line.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 5, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Regular season games mean nothing. We beat the Pens 3-1 in the regular season last year.Self-admittedly, you acknowledged to not watching much Devils hockey. So you are basing this just off the Caps/Devs match ups or stats or what?

Devils have been on somewhat of a skid recently. It will right-ship and get back to playing stifling defensive hockey, +1 of the best goal scorers in the league.

It really doesn't matter which one is "best", they are both cup contenders. Both teams are capable of winning the Cup right now. Hopefully we don't have to meet the Devils early in the playoffs.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Green is a great talent but BB's system has a lot to do with his success. If Green was playing for a team like the devils, it's highly unlikely he would put up the same type of numbers.

there are a lot of other d-men who would put up similar numbers if they got to play on this team.

Posted by: joek443 | February 5, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

oldtimehockey, people say the exact same thing about Ovechkin. So lets not get into a pissing contest.

Kovy has undoubtedly made the Devils stronger. To think otherwise for reasons like chemistry, different system, etc ..is laughable to me.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

there are a lot of other d-men who would put up similar numbers if they got to play on this team.

Posted by: joek443 | February 5, 2010 12:58 PM |

No there's not.
There are probably only a handful of them, who all probably make more.

Premier offensive dman are not as easy to find as you seem to think.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Special praise due for Knuble and (as much as it hurts me to say it) Poti. Knuble has been as advertised and then some - he is a diesel, like John Riggins in his hey day. Poti has really taken the wraps off his offensive game, which has been very valuable in Green's absence. I hope it continues.

Posted by: zmega | February 5, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

You can have BB's green light to zip in the neutral zone all you want, but do you really think Green's hockey sense, vision, offensive awareness, etc, can be replaced by any ol puck-mover?

Not to mention Green has one of the best wrist shots from the blue line, which also isn't easily replaced.

"There are alot of centers who could put up Backstrom's numbers if they were on this team." *rollseyes

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

if Green shoveled your driveway, he wouldn't do a very good job near your garage but he'd do an awesome job down by the street...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 5, 2010 12:39 PM |

FTW!

Posted by: Fro_ | February 5, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

And no I'm not a Green basher- but that's funny.

Posted by: Fro_ | February 5, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I agree with you but the Devils system might make Kovy's scoring production a little less. If you take less chances you are going to score less but you're also going to give up less chances.

So while they are adding a great player you can't necessarily just add his goals and say they will be scored.

I think that is the "chemistry" issue.

Either way, it still was an amazing addition for the Devils.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 5, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

A 26 year old superstar like Kovy, who for years, have turned absolutely crappy players around him into point scorers (Todd White last year..Rich Peverley...Afinogenov...the list goes on) is going to have no problems adjusting to the Devil's system. Parise had almost 50 goals last year people...I think you all are quickly forgetting this.

Seriously, I think people are under-rating Kovy. He is all the hype and then some. He is in the same tier as Crosby, Malkin, and Ovi. Now he finally gets the chance to show if he can shine in the playoffs.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps

I agree that it's excellent for the Capitals that Green won't be in the Olympics. I know in the same breath I said I'm rooting against Canada, so I made it look like I'm rooting against Canada because of the snub of Green, but really, I just always root against Canada.

I also agree that stats, at least ones that aren't normalized in some way to sort of take away the differences that are exclusively related to which team the particular player is on, aren't the whole story. No individual stat that I can find anywhere at any normal bigtime website is extremely useful when it comes to precisely ranking players, at least for most players (OK, like, I think Ovechkin is the best forward, and his stats reflect that pretty well, but, anyway). And that's especially true for defensemen.

I also agree that Canada has plenty of offense. But, I think, when it comes to trying to beat Russia, someone like Green who can score, who can create a lot of confusion in the opposition, who can really make a power play move, and who can get the puck from his own end all the way down to the other end all by himself, might come in handy. And my eyes tell me that Green's been pretty good at not screwing up on the defensive end this year.

But, y'know, I'm sure Yzerman has his reasons. And I do, personally, love that he will get rested.

The only thing I can say about the young Capitals who will hopefully not be too tired late in the playoffs is that probably the best players on the other team will have the same issue.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Devils have been on somewhat of a skid recently. It will right-ship and get back to playing stifling defensive hockey, +1 of the best goal scorers in the league.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

---------------------------

Kovalchuk playing a full year in New Jersey's system would probably top out around 35 goals. The Devil's strategy for the past 15 years has been to bore everyone to death. It's won them 3 cups, but, oh man, they are painful to watch.

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 5, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

A 26 year old superstar like Kovy, who for years, have turned absolutely crappy players around him into point scorers (Todd White last year..Rich Peverley...Afinogenov...the list goes on) is going to have no problems adjusting to the Devil's system. Parise had almost 50 goals last year people...I think you all are quickly forgetting this.

Seriously, I think people are under-rating Kovy. He is all the hype and then some. He is in the same tier as Crosby, Malkin, and Ovi. Now he finally gets the chance to show if he can shine in the playoffs.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 1:14 PM

Agreed. Parise is in my opinion an incredible forward, all things considered.

I hope Kovalchuk messes everything up somehow and scores just enough to make up for it. But I doubt that will happen. I do think the Devils are better. And I'm sure they probably have someone almost as good as Oduya waiting in the wings.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I meant that I think the Devils are better now after the trade than they were before, not that they are better than the Capitals.

I have a lot of respect for the Devils organization, and I doubt they would've made that deal unless they were pretty darn sure it makes them better.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Kovalchuk playing a full year in New Jersey's system would probably top out around 35 goals. The Devil's strategy for the past 15 years has been to bore everyone to death. It's won them 3 cups, but, oh man, they are painful to watch.

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 5, 2010 1:20 PM |

Again, Parise scored almost 50 goals last year. I know, no Lemaire, but do you really think he's going to force a pure-goal scorer to change his game?

Kovy's goals would certainly dip down in the Devils, but I would still say he'd get 40 easy. easy.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@squishy

I inquired about you naming Parise top 5 forward. I love Parise, and certainly he is one of the best two-way forwards in the world right now, but I was curious as to who you put before him and some after him.

Parise doesn't crack my top 5 forward list, but he's certainly right there.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully this will spur GMGM to find a way to improve the team, even slightly, at defense and on the PK. Not that I miss Jurcina or anything.

I strongly suspect the Eastern Conference finals will be the Capitals vs. the Devils, either way.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone hear about the Laser pointer in Theo's face all night last night?

Stay classy rags fans.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Parise is on pace for 37 goals this year. That could just be a drop but my guess is that Lemaire's system has something to do with that. Parise is a great player who, IMO, would score more goals on other teams.

I think Kovy, for a full year and after playing with his teammates for a while, would get 40-45 goals for the Devils.

However, there is always the possibility if he doesn't score early that he gets frusturated in the system and complains. Other scoring stars have done this when placed in a defensive sytem. I have no knowledge of Kovy's character so he may not be someone to do this, but it is possible.

I'm just listing possibilities, not what I am expecting to happen. My guess would be he fits in fine for the rest of the season and scores on a pace that would be about a 35 goals/season pace.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 5, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

@richmond

Just for all around value, and mind you I watch every Capitals game but not all that much other hockey, but do keep track of stats and stuff and have been watching for a long time, my top 10 forwards that I'd want to start a team with right now to play for one season:

(1) Ovechkin
(2) Datsyuk
(3) Crosby
(4) Parise
(5) Kovalchuk
(6) Semin
(7) Gaborik
(8) Thornton
(9) Backstrom
(10) Malkin

This is just off the top of my head, so I probably forgot someone obvious, but whatever.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

So the Caps get the Thrashers in their first game without Kovie. This is now a new team. Its not like Kovie is hurt, he is gone. I am just curious how you all think the game will turn out.

I think its going to be ugly. Caps win big!

Posted by: bigschu8 | February 5, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I'd have Backstrom over Semin as far as Caps players go.

I'd also put Malkin much higher. I hate the Pens but he is a great player.

I think Toews would have to be in the rankings too.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 5, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

When I first thought about the game tonight against the Thrashers, I was a little worried that there might me a little Caps let down with coming back from a road trip and with Greenie coming back. But in light of all change the Thrashers have recently gone through, I think they will have the let down.

Posted by: bigschu8 | February 5, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I probably should have put Hossa, Heatley, Savard, and Getzlaf in there, but I only have 10 places. I especially like Hossa. I love forwards who really know how to put the puck in the net. It's tougher to really evaluate forwards who get a lot of assists or otherwise make their whole teams better. But clearly Datsyuk and Crosby and Thornton and Backstrom are players that do that.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I would move Gaborik higher. Move Malkin higher.

Definitely agree about Toews. I love that kid..already said that he's better than Kane, and I meant it. I'd take Jumbo Joe off for him.

Oh yeah, Z-berg would probably need to slide in there somewhere as well.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't watch Chicago as much as I should. I admit it. Kane and Toews I'm sure are great players. I've been especially impressed by Kane when I do watch. But, yeah, if I were a GM, you'd have to fire me. But, I will be watching the Hawks in the playoffs this year, closely.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I would have Backstrom #3 behind Ovie and Crosby.

Posted by: bigschu8 | February 5, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The Devil's strategy for the past 15 years has been to bore everyone to death. It's won them 3 cups, but, oh man, they are painful to watch.

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 5, 2010 1:20 PM |

@butcherbaker:

...not only bore everyone to death, but bore us all "straight to #e11!"

...which is why I do not understand why NJD passed on the opporetunity to add #81 to their ranks when he left PIT, and let BOS get him instead...This meant that they (NJD) allowed an alliterative gold mine to slip through their fingers.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 5, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, comparing Kovalchuk to Jagr is an insult to Kovalchuk. Jagr was and is a crybaby when things don't go his way. Also, he seriously needs to buy a vowel.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 5, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Hossa is one of the best two-way forwards in the league. Enormous talent.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

.which is why I do not understand why NJD passed on the opporetunity to add #81 to their ranks when he left PIT, and let BOS get him instead...This meant that they (NJD) allowed an alliterative gold mine to slip through their fingers.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 5, 2010 1:54 PM |

Revelation would be upon us, had he signed with NJ.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

As to how the Caps will do tonight vs. Atlanta, I believe the Caps this year are 4-2-2, which really means 4-4, on second days of back-to-backs.

When that second game is at home, Caps are 2-0-1.

I will probably not be betting on the Caps tonight, just because the odds are -320 (that means you'd have to bet 3.2 times what you'd win if you want to bet on the Caps to win). Clearly the oddsmakers think the Capitals will win. Even on the Capitals, it's pretty rare to see the oddsmakers favor one NHL team over another by that much.

It's always tough the first day after a trade. Will the ex-Devils even be in the lineup? I hope Oduya isn't.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't watch Chicago as much as I should. I admit it. Kane and Toews I'm sure are great players. I've been especially impressed by Kane when I do watch. But, yeah, if I were a GM, you'd have to fire me. But, I will be watching the Hawks in the playoffs this year, closely.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 1:52 PM |

Haha, yours is a great list. These are all purely subjective. Everyone mentioned are the cream of the crop.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@butcherbaker:

...not only bore everyone to death, but bore us all "straight to #e11!"

...which is why I do not understand why NJD passed on the opporetunity to add #81 to their ranks when he left PIT, and let BOS get him instead...This meant that they (NJD) allowed an alliterative gold mine to slip through their fingers

For those who don't get my oblique humor in the above post:

1) Consider who currently wears #81 for the Boston Bruins. Go ahead, look it up. I'll wait for you.

2) Next: imagine that said player somehow winds up playing for New Jersey, and that he then begins making significant, positive contributions to that team's success.

3) Now consider how the headlines describing such events in the NJ/NY newspapers might appear.

Get it? Got it? Good.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 5, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

#2 can be explained by a Faustian pact.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Before everyone starts to panic about Kovy being in NJ look at how this changes NJ. Even assuming that Kovy can still score and play in the NJ system he will either be on the second line or they will have to play him or Parise on their unnatural side. If they play him on the first line then their secon line will have to deal with both Langenbrunner and Rolston fighting for the right wing spot. In the morning practice he was on the second line with Zubrus and Langenbrunner. Also now with Oduya gone their top four D is now Greene, Martin (hurt right now), Mottau, and White. Does that line up really scare anyone? Yes, they have a great system but this isn't the team that had Neidermyer and Stevens. Also their bottom two D are now Salvador and either Cory Murphy or Mark Fraser who are both averaging around 12 minutes a game on D of TOI.

Don't forget at the start of the year people though that the Rangers were going to be good on D, had a great goalie, and now had Gaborik to score for them. How has that worked out?

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 5, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Revelation would be upon us, had he signed with NJ.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 2:00 PM


Kudos to Richmondphil: All Hail One of The Smart People.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 5, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

#2 can be explained by a Faustian pact.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 2:17 PM

@richmondphil:

...Like the one Pat Robertson signed "to" (sic.) Haiti? HAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 5, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

#2 can be explained by a Faustian pact.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 2:17 PM

@richmondphil:

...Like the one Pat Robertson signed "to" (sic.) Haiti? HAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 5, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

If this were last year, Backstrom wouldn't be on my list. This year, Backstrom has been putting in a lot of goals, which I like, and damn if that assist on the Knuble goal last night wasn't brilliant. Just from watching him, he really seems to have turned himself into one amazing player.

In my opinion though, he's only really got most of one year of playing at such a high level, so I wouldn't mind if you stuck Hossa in my list, bumped Malkin up to #9, and ejected Backstrom. I don't mind if you move Hossa up more or whatever. Y'know, if you're starting a team and selecting forwards, to play for one year, you might not be completely sold on Backstrom yet.

And to a smaller extent that goes for Semin too, who has only been really brilliant last year and this one so far, so I don't really mind if you want to take him away also and put someone else in there. He hasn't been taking as many stupid penalties this year as he was last year I don't think, but I still see it happening every now and then, so there's still that issue you have to consider. Each stupid penalty is just stupid.

Datsyuk is definitely having an off year statistically. But I just love how he does all the little things so well. He's so smart, and sneaky, and obviously great on the defensive end, in addition to the playmaking and the scoring ability. I guess it'd be better if he were a little younger. He's 31. But, I suspect all the injury issues in Detroit have been hurting Datsyuk much more than his age has. I don't mind if you want to move him down a spot.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Here is a question for all of you who are hockey historians and incredibly sophisticated connoisseurs of the sport.

How did all the teams that broke records with their winning streaks (Penns, Devils..I forget there were two others) do in the playoffs that year. Did any of them win the cup? I am worried about the statistics people quote with regard to first seeds losing in the first round of playoffs. Hope my Caps don't burn out before playoffs. Should I worry?

I bet it will be Neuvy tonight. This is great because Theo looked a little tired last night. I guess he doesn't want to use Holtby.

Posted by: caraveli | February 5, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

Yeah I was wondering how they would line up. Elias I am pretty sure is mostly playing LW on the second line now. Parise is the top line LW. Kovalchuk is a LW. Rolston is pretty much the LW on the third line at the moment. It seems confusing.

But, I was thinking they'd just stick Kovalchuk and Parise together, one way or another and just hope that one of them doesn't mind being on the right. That seems like a deadly combination.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

So a team that has been in a skid recently needs to shake things up, coincidentally, at the same time as a trade? Okay.

Kovy is going to be fine in NJ. He is 26 years old. He is a superstar. He makes players around him better. He makes waived players pace pt/game.

Again, I freak out about NJ EVERY year, all the time. I was freaking out about NJ last year (who I had penciled in the East finals), even though they lost to the Canes.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Not to have mentioned zetterberg among the top 10 forward is a crime..and I intend to arrest you, just as soon as it stops snowing....in July.

Posted by: RichC3 | February 5, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I was SURE, last year when the playoffs started, that the Devils would make it at least to the conference finals. I'm not sure what happened there against the Canes.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The first Bruin #81 I thought of was Phil Kessel. Made me wonder what you were talking about until I remembered he's in Toronto now.

Posted by: Raber | February 5, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Parise is a left-handed shot, so moving him to RW shouldn't be that bad. Pretty sure he can't really play RW.
It's why we never see a Ovi-___-Kovy line in the Olympics.

@Rhino

LOL....

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@Rich

Hey, I mentioned Z-berg in there somewhere. :)


Also, "Pretty sure he can't really play RW." he = Kovy, not Parise.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40 - I have long maintained that the Bruins' #81 should sign with New Jersey, be promoted to Captain, and wear the #6...

It's his natural team!

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Hope my Caps don't burn out before playoffs. Should I worry?

Posted by: caraveli | February 5, 2010 2:24 PM |

@caraveli: Probably not--at least not for that particular reason.

That said, I can understand how you and many others might feel that way. Especially given the fate of last year's Bruins, and the Sharks since...well, every year since they started to make the playoffs.

No, IMO this Caps team is far, far better than that.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 5, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Call me crazy, but I'm one of those who thinks that anyone who ever gets ice time with Datsyuk looks much better than he actually is. I like Zetterberg when I watch him, though. And he's not always playing with Datsyuk. He can be in my top 20 for sure.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered:

....and after Lamoriello retires, then #81 retires, and becomes NJD's GM....


Satan, Devils Ink #6 Draft Pick To 6-Year, $6M Pact


....I just never get tired of that one...don't ask me why....XD

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 5, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Thought I saw Semin skating with the 4th line a few times last night but couldn't tell if Boudreau was double shifting him or trying to send a message to him after his recent spate penalties. Anybody know?

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | February 5, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, comparing Kovalchuk to Jagr is an insult to Kovalchuk. Jagr was and is a crybaby when things don't go his way. Also, he seriously needs to buy a vowel.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 5, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I'll take Jagr in his prime over Kovy any day. I'm not sure what you would call someone who would turn down a 8-year/100 million dollar contract.

Also Kovy hasn't done a darn thing in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | February 5, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

People have been calling for Miroslav Satan to get traded to the Devils for years. (Perfect fit last name.)

Other perfect fit last names include:

Paul Ranger going to the NY Rangers
Martin St. Louis going to the Blues

Satan traded to NJ would be a faustian bargain. (BTW, I actually work with someone named Faust.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I mean a 12-year/100 million dollar deal or a 7yr/80 mil deal

Posted by: joek443 | February 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Coming down from above Baltimore for the game to Greenbelt...can someone hook a brotha up with a snow report for Greenbelt Area please????

Thanks.

Posted by: opus1m | February 5, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

People forget the kind of career Jagr had before playing for the Caps. He was absolutely awesome.

I know he's a dirty word around here, but he was great.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 5, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Kovy hasn't done a darn thing because he's only been in 1 series, in which his team got swept.

Jagr is/was the better hockey player, that's for sure though.

@MUnchkin

I noticed that too, but he's done it before. Semin and Gordo seem to get on the ice together a lot.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure about Semin on the 4th line. Y'know, at one point I am pretty sure I saw Ovechkin on the 4th line.

But I think really recently Semin has taken a couple of bad penalties ala last year's version of Semin. For the most part though, I think he's been pretty good about not doing really dumb penalties this year.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Kovy will definitely help the Devils. It will probably give them a mental lift in their battle for the Atlantic Division. Will they necessarily go further in the playoffs than they have in the recent past? Are they built for playoff hockey, so to speak?

Those two questions remain to be answered.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@Richmondphil,

I'm not saying Kovy doesn't make them better or that he isn't a great player despite not playing defense, that's fine. The problem is that OV is the incredible player he is and puts up the insane numbers he does because the team is offenese first. We win but putting up lots of goals. The Devils win by preventing the other team from putting up goals. Sure, Kovy will help them score more, but at what cost to their defense with who they lost? This still isn't a team that will score 5 goals regularly, and with the gives on the blue line, they will let in more. I call for an early NJ exit from the playoffs yet again. But, this prediction isn't really unchanged.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 5, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Again, I point to Parise and his goal totals last year.

Oduya was mediocre this year and Bergfors goals are easily replaced by Kovy and then some. Kovy plays more defense than Bergfors, and scores 10x more goals.

This trade has done nothing but made a dangerous playoff team even more dangerous.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy

I don't think Semin will be on the 4th line permanently. I think it was more temporary since the lines were all scrambled up due to all the penalties. I've occasionally seen him on the 4th line for a few shifts every now and then.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

So will our "New Kid on the Block" be in goal tonight now that he's been recalled from Hershey?

Tonight will probably be a good time to rest Theodore, streak or no streak. Given the fact he had recently been injured, starting him in back to backs, especially when it's only a regular season, seems counter productive.

Theo and the Caps would be better served by having him more rested for the Penguins game on Sunday (assuming that the game takes place on Sunday, as planned, which depends on whether or not the Penguins can get into town by then.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, the Pens team that won 17 straight in 1993 was ousted by the Islanders in the second round of the playoffs that year. The Islanders beat the Caps in the first round. Anyone remember David Volek?

Posted by: gebster | February 5, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@Caraveli

Previous post above was for you

Posted by: gebster | February 5, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Waddell hit the panic button. He did not receive back nearly enough value.

He is going to be out of a GM job by the end of the season, if not before.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 5, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Devils play Flyers on Versus Monday night. That will be a good opportunity to watch how Kovalchuk meshes with his new teammates.

Posted by: gebster | February 5, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

There are some posters over on the Capital Weather Gang blog complaining about the NHL's "failure" to cancel tonight's game in view of the weather. If anyone wants tickets, try going over there and offering to take them at a discount.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 5, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Baltimore 20 to 30 inches
DC - 20 to 30 inches
Greenbelt - Sunny and 72 degrees

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 5, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@capsfansince74

Greenbelt --- 74 and Sunny. (That's a laugh)

Oh is Greenbelt hermetically sealed from the bad weather that's going around or what's the story?

(We need a little humor on a day like today.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

caraveli
Longest winning streak was Pittsburgh in 92-93 that year they lost in the 2nd round to NYI in 7 games.

Second was in NYI with 15 in 82 won the Cup as part of their dynasty.

Third was 14 games for Boston in 29-30 lost in SC final to Habs in 6 games.

Can't find the rest of the list online

Also some other streaks Longest undefeated streak Philly 35 games in 79-80 lost in SC Finals to NYI in 6 games.

So of the three longest winning streaks and the longest undefeated streak only one won the Cup. Three made the Cup and only the Pens who have to longest winning streak even didn't make the finals.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 5, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Baltimore 20 to 30 inches
DC - 20 to 30 inches
Greenbelt - Sunny and 72 degrees

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 5, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse


Awesome.....Life is Great!!!!! Got my SPF30

Posted by: opus1m | February 5, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

good work opus - your gonna need it in the sunshine capital of the world - Greenbelt MD!!

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 5, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering how Mr Ted can urge 20 thousand people to come out to Verizon tonight in dangerous conditions at the same time the Mayor of DC is urging all people to stay off the streets of Washington?
Am I missin something?

Posted by: dovelevine | February 5, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Anyone here going to the game. I gave my tickets to my office mate since he's more confident of his ability to drive in snow than either my husband or I is.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, folks. Let's not make this game look like it's being played in Atlanta. Let's rock the red!

Posted by: Sonyask | February 5, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Ilya Kovalchuk practiced on Friday morning with Dainius Zubrus and Jamie Langenbrunner.

The trade gives the Devils two very good scoring lines, although coach Jacques Lemaire would not commit to keeping Kovalchuk on the line, even tonight. The Devils top line will be Zach Parise, Travis Zajac and Brian Rolston. Don't forget that Patrik Elias is also close to returning.

Posted by: bigschu8 | February 5, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Got two tickets for the game tonight.
Sec 111 Row J Seats 21 & 22. Face value $99.
I will take the best offer.
Email me at nstraite@gmail.com

Posted by: Capsnskins1 | February 5, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I want to go to the game tonight but I'm really fearful of the road conditions. I haven't missed a home game yet this year - but is it worth an accident - spoken by someone who is a terrible snow driver!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | February 5, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Capsnskins1, just emailed ya.

Do we assume putting Kovy on the second line is a temporary, work-him-in move, or are there legit reasons why he works better on that line/with Zub and Langenbrunner?

Posted by: jcanix | February 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

jcanix,

I haven't gotten the email yet, call me at 240-994-0087

Posted by: Capsnskins1 | February 5, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Capsnskins1, will do.

Posted by: jcanix | February 5, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Dovelevine...every gov't official is urging people to stay off the roads, yet 18,200 Caps fans are going to have to go out tonight or sacrifice the cost of the tickets...playing this game tonight makes no sense.

Posted by: nomarjax01 | February 5, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I see @ the first sight of snow, true Washingtonians flee for the comfort of their lazyboys & to CL & Ebay to dump their tixs.

Gotta luv washington "sports" fans.

Posted by: Rocc00 | February 5, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I remember one time, in one of the last years the Capitals still played at the Capital Centre or whatever it was called then (was it U.S. Airways Arena or something?), I managed to drive to a game one evening in which pretty much the entire Beltway was one big sheet of ice. I'd never seen anything like it in my life, and I haven't seen anything like it since. It wasn't snow. It was literally a sheet of ice.

There were hundreds of cars on the shoulders, either afraid to drive any further or because they had skidded off the highway. But I'm pretty good at ice driving, so I made it safely.

I think the season at that point was pretty much a lost cause, unlike this season, but anyway, when I got there, I found out that they were giving away tickets to the next game to anyone that actually braved the conditions and got to the game. So I picked up 2 free tickets to the next game. Granted they were nosebleed seats, but I didn't care.

I doubt that's gonna happen this year, but you never know.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I want to go to the game tonight but I'm really fearful of the road conditions. I haven't missed a home game yet this year - but is it worth an accident - spoken by someone who is a terrible snow driver!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | February 5, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse
_______________________________

My advice would be: "Not just no, but HELL NO!" There are not too many hockey games worth dying for. FYI, my list would be short and comprised thusly: lake placid, game 7 of Caps in SCF. Perhaps this year if Russia plays Sweden for gold... Nah, I'd rather not sacrifice my chance to see the Caps hoist the cup.

Posted by: superswede19 | February 5, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I might have gotten only one free ticket actually. I forget. Whatever.

I'm sure the next game is already sold out, this year, so my post is probably dumb. I should delete it. But I can't. I'm not used to this selling out every single game thing, and I'm in San Antonio now, so forgive me.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone planning on taking Metro? I don't normally, but I don't want to drive.

I'm almost willing to bet that 8 inches hasn't fallen prior to the game ending.

Posted by: wahoo_Mike | February 5, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Wahoo, the reports say the snow show won't really start until after 7:00, but that it could accumulate at as much as 2-3 inches per hour after that. Personally, I'm going to the game, but I'm going to keep an eye on accumulation between periods and leave early if necessary (in order to get home via Metro).

Posted by: BobLHead | February 5, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

For those who don't want to go, fine. But given that the roads will be entirely clear pre-game -- and virtually empty (as they are now) -- and the Caps are in town, I do not understand any sentiments for not playing the game.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 5, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I am figuring that there will be announcements inside Verizon Center if Metro is preparing to close due to the 8" figure being reached. I just heard a metro rep on the news saying they expected to close late tonight.

Posted by: nomarjax01 | February 5, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't the mayor of a city supercede a team owner. Someone who listened to the Mayor and didn't go to the game should sue the Caps for their lost ticket money. This is so irresponsible by the Caps it's mindboggling.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 5, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

This is so irresponsible by the Caps it's mindboggling.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 5, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Pens fan? maybe. Trolling? yes.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 5, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

@superswede19

Somehow, I don't think we'll have to worry about snow if it were the 7th game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Unless global cooling is happening big time these days to the point where there are snow storms in June.

Unless the NHL expands and places teams in the Southern Hemisphere.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

There are thousands of fans planning to go to the game going by Metro. If people don't want to go, fine, but don't rag on our owner or anyone else. Freak out at home and enjoy the game in HD.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 5, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Firstly, the team really has no control over whether the game is played. The NHL rules require it to be played if the teams and officials are here - and they are.

Remember the January 22, 1987 "334" game at the Meadowlands where the Devils played in a blizzard and 334 fans showed up. They have a 334 Club and had a big celebration of the 20th anniversary in 2007. They had to delay the start of the game for almost 2 hours for the Devils players to get to the arena!

Speaking of the players, will the team put the Caps in a nearby hotel tonight? Otherwise, they will have the same problem getting home to Virginia and Maryland that the fans will! Anyone know? How about Tarik? Will the Post spring for a nice room at the Monaco?

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | February 5, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@Sonyask

I'll be enjoying the game at home, myself. If I lived near a Metro station that was underground, I'd go to the game. But I don't.

Normally, we drive to the Vienna Metro stop for weekday games since trying to drive to East Falls Church on I66, results in sitting in stalled traffic. I66 East inside the Beltway is essentially impassible during rush hour. And that's on a good day, much less a bad day.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't Greenie live across the street? Everybody at Mikey's place!

Posted by: Sonyask | February 5, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75, I don't begrudge you for that at all. I'm just reacting to the folks coming on here from the weather sites to tell us how irresponsible Ted is. Ted's my man!

Posted by: Sonyask | February 5, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Kinda odd we haven't heard who's starting tonight in goal. Woulda thought we would know by now.

@dovelevine
Irresponsible? Hah!
If both teams can get to the arena, so should you if you really want to go. This is not the first time that a game will be played before or during a major snowstorm and it won't be the last. In the 1980s, there were some Caps game(s) that were sparsely attended because of snow on the ground (I think an Edmonton game was one).

For years, the Caps had a policy where you could exchange your tickets for tickets to a future game. That's not going to happen now that every game is a sellout.

Posted by: gebster | February 5, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@DevilsCapsGal

Some of the Caps, like Backstrom and Fleischmann, live within walking distance of Kettler which is, in turn, within walking distance of Metro.

I'm sure if they thought that driving conditions were impossible, a few of the guys could take Metro and crash at the places of Backstrom and Fleischmann.

The story is that Nicky and Flash walk to practice at Kettler which is why no one ever seems to see them come out the door to the parking lot.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@Sonyask

Yes, they'll crash at Greenie's place. Or at Laich's. Or even the places of Backstrom and Flash. Rumor has it that Flash and Nicky walk to practice.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

so is the game definitely on? I don't want to leave now only to hear in 1 hour that it is cancelled!

Posted by: O-V-P | February 5, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I am looking to sell two tickets to tonights game. They are Club Level, 216, Row C, Seat 9 and 10. Face value of $125. Will accept best/reasonable offer. Also I know this probably a deal breaker but they will need to be picked up in annapolis. I also have parking pass for the game. If interested contact me at tlehtonen84@yahoo.com. Unfortunately neither me or the other person have four wheel drive and dont feel like risking it coming home from the game.

Posted by: snydercash4clunkers | February 5, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

@gebster

I think the players are already at the arena (and could get here before things got really bad.)

I did get to the infamous Edmonton game on Jan 13, 1982. But this weekend's storm sounds like it will be much worse. At least Metro's above ground stations were still open since the amount of snow was within an acceptable tolerance. (There were other Metro problems, such as an Orange Line crash that killed 3 people and resulted in a station being closed so all the people on the OL had to get out at one station and walk to the next.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

@snydercash4clunkers

Seriously?

Posted by: HeShootsHeScores | February 5, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, i know it is horrible late notice, but it is what it is.

Posted by: snydercash4clunkers | February 5, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

People are giving tickets away...

FYI, if anyone wants tickets, check out craigslist or other message boards. People are giving away tickets and/or slashing prices massively.

Posted by: HeShootsHeScores | February 5, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

@HeShootsHeScores

I'm obviously not the only person giving them away. (If you live near Ballston or any of the other underground stations, a good deal can be had on Caps tickets.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know, if I just show up at Verizon with cash, will tickets that have been given up by folks not coming be available at the ticket office? Is there a mechanism for this? (And yes, I know it's generally called scalpers on F Street, just maybe not in a blizzard.)

Posted by: jcanix | February 5, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

@jcanix

If you show up, I'll be shocked if you can't get tickets for less than face. Some folks will be giving tickets away b/c their seatmates will not be able to make it.

Posted by: HeShootsHeScores | February 5, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

@superswede19

Somehow, I don't think we'll have to worry about snow if it were the 7th game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Unless global cooling is happening big time these days to the point where there are snow storms in June.

Unless the NHL expands and places teams in the Southern Hemisphere.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

hahah. I was referring to games worth dying for, not necessarily games worth driving in snow for. =)

Posted by: superswede19 | February 5, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

snydercash4clunkers - I live in Annapolis and have been debating going to the game.... have a Jeep. Interested in a ride for a ticket?

Posted by: gonchpup | February 5, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

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