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Minor Moves

The Caps have returned center Anton Gustafsson, a 2008 first round draft pick, to his team in Sweden; defenseman Craig Swizter, a training camp invitee, has been cut; and defenseman Keith Seabrook has been returned to his junior team (Calgary, WHL).

I'll try to get the latest on Gustafsson's back injury later. But he looked very uncomfortable as he stood behind the glass yesterday afternoon watching the rookie game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 19, 2008; 8:47 AM ET
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Next: Backstrom Improving, Won't Skate Tomorrow



Posted by: mac | September 19, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

every analyst at the draft had major concerns about Gus' health. I guess they were right and GMGM was wrong

Posted by: sean | September 19, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

@ Sean, no need to panic at this time... We all knew AG wasn't going to see playing time for the caps for a number of years. Let the back rest up and he'll be fine. He's still young.

Tarik -- is anyone practicing today?

Posted by: Go Skins Go | September 19, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse


Could you also find out if Mestery is ok? Looked a little woozy as he got up after that elbow to the head, and I don't remember seeing him back on the ice afterward.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | September 19, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I really was expecting a good game bit it ended up being a laugher. Our goalies were rarely tested and our entire team outclassed and outplayed the Flyers.

Devils advocate would say that the Flyers were without their best two young players not to play in the NHL, Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk. But even with those two guys it would not have prevented a win by the young Caps.

The players that stood out at me were the entire 1st line. Perrault, as small as he is, doesnt get pushed around and is extremely skilled. Bouchard was by far the best forward on any team, he looked fantastic. Pinizotto looks like he would be a great 4th line player, always getting into the fray and has skill to boot.

To be honest, the 2nd line did very little. I don't know what Puckguru was watching, but Osala did nothing of note. He's big and runs over people, and thats great but that can't be all he is. Beagle looked ok, I've seem him look better. Kugryshev looks to be in the mix for the future.

We had probably 3 or 4 NHL goals the others were just plain bad goals giving up by the Flyers. That said Morin shined in 3rd line duty, Lacroix looked fast on the wing and Leffler was solid and overall looked better than line 2 by a wide margin.

Defensively, we looked very sound. No one stood out as being dominate but everyone looked very solid with the exception of Mestery who kind of looked lost from time to time.

I was sitting right next to Rog #94 and he was hysterical, yelling and pretty much keeping our section amused. There was one lone Flyer fan with a Simon Gagne sweater on near us and he couldnt bare to watch after Perraults amazing effort on his goal.

Posted by: JSchon | September 19, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

As I've said before, there was no way Anton was going to make this team this year (or next, probably) unless he turned out to be a Backstrom/Ovechkin-esque talent, which he could be (I've never seen him play), but even then, he'd already declared his intention to return to Sweden for the next two years.

And actually, that is one thing that concerns me about him -- he plans to play in the SJL again this year, instead of the SEL. Granted, Backstrom is a special player, but it doesn't seem that Gustafsson is going to project much above 2nd line duties, ever, anyway. So.. Yeah. He doesn't seem to be as ambitious as a first-rounder seems like he ought to be, if anyone gets my meaning. Why wouldn't he be aiming for the SEL this year, and the NHL the next? As opposed to staying in lower league. I'm excited to see him develop, but I have no delusions about him being a second coming of Backstrom/Forsberg/whomever.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | September 19, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

For those who missed the game, a couple highlights here. Morin's nifty move, the sweet pass to set up Bouchard's goal, a good save my Varlamov, and Dovgan's fight

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | September 19, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse


Gustafsson will be playing in the Allsvenskan, which is basically like the AHL. The reason was ice time. If he played with Frolunda in the SEL he would likely see limited ice time

Posted by: Cush | September 19, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Mestery, he may have returned after the elbow and I just missed it. I was at ice level so that made it a little harder to notice names and numbers.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | September 19, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Jschon for not mentioning your boyfriend Alzners name. I have no f ing clue what people see and maybe I am being hard on the kid but I didn't see any player on the ice that could make the Caps this year. He was yet again being pushed around by 18-20 yr olds that are not developed players. I heard everything about his outlet passes, where were those? If you think I gonna deal with a kid that doesn't really hit (I know its not a part of his game), throws it off the glass 75% of the time to clear that makes 2.1 mil everyone is crazy.


On the other hand Carlson looked like the real deal and I excited about him.

Posted by: 94 | September 19, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse


Dude, you like Erskine, a lot.

Enough said.

Posted by: JSchon | September 19, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse


Reason to have Alzner play on the big club this year.

1. He is no worse than Erskine/Jurcina/Schultz/Lepisto

2. Mo isn't coming back next year and Alzner needs to be ready for top line duty.

3. Cause I said so.

Posted by: JSchon | September 19, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Ted Leonsis needs to call Ted Lerner and let him know that this is how The Plan is supposed to look.

The Caps will be competing for a cup next year and we have not even begun to see the end of our prospect pool.

Well done Leonsis, great moves before the lockout.

Posted by: Patrick | September 19, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@ JSchon,
I have to agree with 94. I didn't see a whole lot in Azner either. Granted, it was only one game, but he was playing against his peers, not the Big Boys. I think the wise thing to do would be to send the kid to Hershey where he can acclimate himself to the pro game; rather than simply throwing him to the wolves. We aren't hurtin' for D men.
Which leads me to another point. It seems as though the vast majority of those that contribute to this blog, are itching to see the last of Jurcina, like YESTERDAY. I wholeheartedly disagree. This will only be Juice's 2nd. full year as a Cap. Ad, quite frankly, I'm anticipating at least a 25% improvement in his play. As we all know, usually defensemen take longer to learn their trade that forwards. I say, have a little patience with the kid. I'm convinced the payoff will be well worth the wait. I'm expecting a more decisive, assertive Juice this year. We'll see.

Posted by: Puckguru | September 19, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I too am a big fan Milan.....I think he has a lot more potential than people realize and with a bit more seasoning can eventually be a lot better defensively than he has been.

Posted by: sandecker | September 20, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

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