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Monday Morning Update

Slowly but surely the Caps are returning to full strength.

Sergei Fedorov (sprained ankle) completed his first team practice in a while today and said he hopes to come off LTIR on Friday (the first day he eligible to do so) and possibly play on Saturday.

Meantime, Coach Bruce Boudreau hopes to get back Tomas Fleischmann (pneumonia) on Friday. In fact, the only players who Boudreau doesn't think will play at some point this weekend are Tom Poti (groin) and John Erskine (concussion). Poti skated on his own for 30 minutes this morning and appears to be getting better; Erskine practiced with the team, but still has not received medical clearance to play.

Some other notes and quotes from this morning:


*Alex Ovechkin on being snubbed by fans in all-star voting: "I don't want to talk about it. It is what it is. Fans don't like me probably."

The follow up question was, "will you use that as extra motivation?"

"Why not?," Ovechkin said.

Then Ovechkin was asked, "what's not to like?"

"Maybe I'm Russian?" he said with a laugh. "I don't know. It's their choice. Maybe ...I don't know."

*Boudreau didn't say which goaltender is starting tomorrow, but it's likely going to be Jose Theodore.

*Boudreau on tomorrow's game: "They have 50 points and we have 55. ...a) we don't like them and b) the importance is continually getting ahead of them in points. It's either
going to be a three point lead or a seven point lead. We want to be the first place team. If we want that to happen, we have to go through the Flyers."

Asked about the teams' previous meeting two weeks ago - a 7-1 loss in Philly - Boudreau added: "I don't know how much they like us, but we don't like them. I think the animosity was more frustration on our part. We thought we had played a pretty good game, but yet we were down 7-1. There were a lot of boiling points. They wanted to pile it on as much as possible. They were probably bummed out that their tough guy got beat up twice (Donald Brashear pounded Riley Cote two times), so they started coming after our guys."

*I'm writing about how the Flyers have become this group of Capitals primary rival.

Sure fans remember all of the losses to the Pens in the playoffs (the Caps are 1-6 vs. Pittsburgh), and of course, the media-manufactured Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby rivalry, but with Olie Kolzig's departure this summer, these Caps only remember getting their hearts ripped out last year and the 7-1 loss earlier this season.

Just ask them. I did. And while many mentioned the Pens as a rival, they said the Flyers are the big one now, with the Pens, Rangers and Carolina getting an honorable mention.

"We played them 11 times last year and it just seems the games against Philly are a little rougher," said Shaone Morrisonn. "Pittsburgh plays more of a skilled game. Philly has skill, too; they are a great team. But Philly plays physical. It's a different game than against Pittsburgh. Those two teams have both been big rivals, but right now I think Philly is the biggest."

Mike Green agreed, saying: "I would say so because of last year's playoffs, we got beaten by them so we have something to prove. And the last time we played them, we didn't play so well. It's important that when we play them [tomorrow] that we make a statement."

Asked if the Flyers were the team Ovechkin and his teammates like the least, Ovechkin cracked a smile and said, "Yeah, probably. They are good. And most of the time when we go there, the fans boo us."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 5, 2009; 12:58 PM ET
 
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Comments

Semin is NOT a sissy. A sissy would not have fought back at all. I do not think of him as being effeminate or cowardly, which are words used to describe a sissy. I was actually impressed with his fury. It was like a furious berserker, almost ape-like (Planet of the Apes came to mind, the Mark Wahlberg one) How about....

ALEX SIMIAN???!!! :)

Posted by: WTF_Fehr | January 5, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Another note, as a frequent "Fehr Basher", I would like to acknowledge his resent play of late. He has played noticeably better, even if he isnt scoring, I think he is on his way to being a solid NHLer. He may never live up to the potential displayed everywhere BUT the NHL, but he is out there working hard.

Posted by: WTF_Fehr | January 5, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Umm Tarik can you clear this up for me: In fact, the only players who Boudreau doesn't think will play at some point this weekend are Tom Poti (groin) and John Erskine (concussion).

Does that mean Pothier is back?

Posted by: zephyr33 | January 5, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait for tomorrow's game. Vengeance now!!

Posted by: cbs75 | January 5, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Last time Feds came back, he got injured in the second of a back to back. Why chance that again this weekend - wait a day and come back for the second game.

It will be interesting to see what happens if he comes back off LTIR - either a trade, Alzner goes down, or Poti goes on LTIR?

Posted by: stormblue | January 5, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Let's stop talking about the All-Star voting. It was a battle of the software script-writers. Montreal and Pittsburgh fans wrote scripts to vote repeatedly (and many times simultaneously) from each computer. The NHL decided not to do anything about it. My 14 year-old wrote a script for Ovechkin, but I made him go back to his homework before he figured out how to activate it. Case closed.

Posted by: Hockey4Life | January 5, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@Hockey4Life, actually the majority of the votes for the Pens were done after the CAPTCHA was put into place.
Most of the voting was done via txt message.

The fact is the Habs and Pens fans care more about the all star game than the internet community for the Caps.

Posted by: zephyr33 | January 5, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

i hope there are flyers logos in the urinals like there were for the rangers game. I remember either last year or the year before there were pictures on crosby in there and it was hilarious and the pens fans really hated it

Posted by: _stevo | January 5, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame that OV doesn't think hockey fans like him. He knows WE like him, but he has to know that even if fans of other teams don't like him, they love to watch him and respect him as a superstar. The Caps are selling out on the road more often now, and no disrespect to our great team, but most fans when we're on the road that aren't STH's go to see the Great 8. He rarely disappoints either, even when he plays in Montreal, or Toronto, they boo at times and then you will hear them ohhh and ahhh when he makes a move.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 5, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Steinbog has a nice little snippet about the man behind our infamous "peepics," you can read it here:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2009/01/capitals_urinal_art_a_history.html#more

I remember that "I'm thirsty" campaign, and it was hilarious.

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | January 5, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Come on! Forget about the All Star voting. Alex will play in the game just not be on the starting lineup. Who cares? He often isn't on our starting lineup! And anyway, wouldn't it be nice for the team to have a rest?

Posted by: mikesfan | January 5, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@kitty and all

There are garages at Vienna, West Falls, and Ballston (attached to the mall, upholding the KCI...it's only a $1). There are surface lots at Dunn Loring and East Falls Church. The easiest access is off I-66 for West Falls. Get off at Glebe (120) and head south if going to Ballston. If you are riding in - and don't normally do it - it's best to get off at Metro Center, exit on the 11st St. side, and walk the four blocks to Verizon. I find the cramming on and riding the red line one stop to be frustrating and quite silly.

Posted by: saintex | January 5, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

As much as I would agree that the Flyers are number 1 as a rivial, The Caps need to know that even since Ovie and Cindy came into the league the Pens have won more against us.

05-06 we won 1 in the season series
06-07 lost all 4
07-08 1-3 our win was a shootout.

Against the Flyers we have done better.
05-06 im not sure cause i cant remember

06-07 4-0
07-08 2-2 (Road team winning both games)

Yes I know playoffs create a rival again.. but lets not try and kid ourselves... The caps need to play well against both the Pens and Flyers..

I'll ask this.. If the Caps had met the Pens in the playoffs last year (and we would have if we won game 7) Could we have beaten them???? tough to say....

Posted by: darrylrbaker | January 5, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Also good to hear about Flash and Feds, but what will our cap situation look like after that? Will Alzner be sticking around, or will some sort of move be forced upon us?

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | January 5, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Can you please explain to Ovechkin (and Bourdeau) that Montreal and Pittsburgh fans stuffed the ballot...CHEATED...and that's why he's out?

The fact is that he probably got the 2nd or 3rd most legitimate votes in the entire league.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | January 5, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Ph Philly

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what move would need to be made but I wouldn't break up Alzner/Jurcina. I think they are our best defensive pairing.

Posted by: saintex | January 5, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

How is the Alzner situation going to play out when everyone is healthy?

IMO - he should stay up over most of our defensemen, but I know there will be a salary cap issue.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

As soon as Fedorov returns, they'll need to make a significant move. Putting Poti on LTIR is the easiest choice. Alzner going back down is the second easiest choice.

Posted by: koalatek | January 5, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or are Boudreau's quotes the most focused and game-specific since he came on (including the playoff series last year)?

Posted by: Section117 | January 5, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Poti on LTIR would basically keep him out until after the All-Star break as a month off would be Jan 20th. That would give them All-Star weekend to try to work out a deal to try and move someone or send Alzner back down if they can't get something done. That is my guess as to what happens if Fedorov returns later this week.

Posted by: ThePat | January 5, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Yup, totally agree with forgetting about the All-Star voting. Like I said a few minutes ago though, I just wish OV knew just how much OTHER fans respect his play. My uncle is a Hawks fan but calls me every time he catches a Cap game to rave about OV. My Dad has lived in Colorado for years now and is an Avalanche fan, he also raves about OV. I know that we Cap fans know how lucky we are to witness this guys career first hand.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 5, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I think its great that we have this "problem" with where to move all these NHL ready players, as guys get healthy and other guys get better. It shows what a good organization the Caps have become. But I am big on chemistry and consistency. I am liking Alzner/Jurcina. I like the option of having Pothier and Erskine, but dont necessary like the idea of re-integrating them into the team. I think their salaries dont allow for alot of nice/perfect options.

Posted by: WTF_Fehr | January 5, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@ WTF_Fehr

I don't like the Erskine option...hopefully they can get rid of him soon. Too slow and too many "lazy" penalties.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't consider sending down Alzner a real option at this point. Do you guys??

Posted by: honed | January 5, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

As a 30-year Caps fan now exiled in Philly, I hope at least 4 Caps get hat tricks and they have to bring in the trainer to be a goalie. I actually know some of the Flyers -- nice guys, most of them, but they do have chips on their shoulders when it comes to the Caps (especially Hartnell), and a big dose of humility is definitely in order. Coming of a tough road trip (1-2-1) and now facing some injuries, they'll be missing some players. And Brashear will need to be ready for a first period fight -- Riley Cote is a nutjob who is crazy enough to come after Brash again. Good luck with that!

Posted by: bucknelldad | January 5, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@darrylrbaker - in 05-06 the Caps were 1-3 against the Flyers

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 5, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Awww...Tarik tell Ovie that the Flyers fans boo at every team that comes into their building...not just us! They are just jealous that they don't have a powerhouse like you! As for the All-Star ballot...the boxes were stuffed!

Posted by: NatyBG | January 5, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@Honed

They may not have a choice due to salary cap reasons

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

No, Alzner has to stay. I swear as I sit here that when my son and I were at Verizon for the preseason we predicted Erskine would get waved and Alzner would make the opening night line-up. As I said about a month ago, may not have been as good of a transition if it would have happened that way. I say that because there were a lot of other Bears in the line-up which probably made Alzner feel a little less pressure than if he would have been the rookie among vets. I say we put Erskine on the trade block (might already be, we don't know) and see what we can get for him. Even if it's a draft pick, we get that and lose his salary. Salary Cap experts: Under the new CBA does it matter how Erskine leave, picked up off waivers, or traded, when it comes to getting his salary off the Caps books? If I remember right under the new CBA if a team takes a player from another team the new team then becomes responsible for the new player, totally. Teams can no longer take a player and leave a portion of the cost with the team that gives them up. Really am looking for clarification from a CBA expert.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 5, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

There are way to automate text messages as well on the internet, look up SMS. You can send a text message from a computer just like sending it from your phone and it is easy to write a script that will send it repeatedly.

Posted by: majiksea | January 5, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Awww. Ovi, it has nothing to do with the fans not liking you. The Pens and the Habs fans CHEATED, and the Caps fans decided the whole thing was stupid and called for the check. Something similar happened in the West - how in the HELL did J.S. Giguere get starting goalie over Niklas Backstrom? Backstrom is a far better goalie. It has nothing to do with us or anyone else not liking him - yeah, Pens/Flyers/Rangers fans boo him a lot, but most fans you'll find still respect him.

Damn. Now I want to give him a hug. :(

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Erskine isn't even close to the amount needed to fit Alzner under the cap. Karl's bonuses are probably all still acheivable so he has a 1.7(?) mil cap number.

Posted by: koalatek | January 5, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I want OV to get mad. He scores a lot when he's mad. Let's tell him it was the flyers that didn't vote for him!

Posted by: Leeguru | January 5, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Not sure whether or not this is any indication that the Caps intend to keep Alzner here, but I did see an Alzner tee at the shop in Verizon not too long ago. I can't imagine the Caps trying to market him if they don't intend to keep him around...

Posted by: luvfades | January 5, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Really, who cares about not starting for the All Star game.
Obviously, he is going to be on the team. This isnt a sport where the same 5 are playing more than half the game.
BB should just be diplomatic about it and stop trying to stir the pot and so should TEB.
its just a STARTING line up..not like he has been voted off the team

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 5, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru,
That's funny... that would be a good sign!

Posted by: _828 | January 5, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Flyer Fans did NOT vote for you - sick'em

Posted by: _828 | January 5, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I did a quick Caps ticket marketplace check the other day and there were A LOT of tickets available for tomorrow nights game.

I know the place is usually packed these days..but Id probably prepare for an influx of philly fans.

Actually in LA they were louder than the Kings fans the other night.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 5, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Which isnt too hard

but..Its LA..not like its around the corner

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 5, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

If we waive him and he's picked up, there's no salary hit. If he passes waivers going down and we bring him back up through re-entry waivers and is picked up, we have half his salary on our cap.

Thing is, he makes only $550K, so his cap hit is pretty small. Not too much help there.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I think the Capitals would make a trade to relieve their salary cap pressure before sending Alzner back to Chocolate Town.

Posted by: Cerealman | January 5, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

@ no_private_info (from previous thread): I knew I couldn't be the only one who saw the resemblance. Thanks for the link.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 5, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know where I can watch the game online tomorrow? I'll be outside of Houston, TX for work. I don't want to sign up for NHL gamecenter for a month just to watch one game. Thanks!

Posted by: johnpace2 | January 5, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

http://flyers.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=402181&page=NewsPage&service=page

Flyers injury report. God I hope Asham can play tomorrow.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 5, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

At the end of last month there was chatter about the Caps looking for a goalie. Thoughts were Florida and Chicago involved in a trade. Problem being we don't need 3 goalies - again!

Trying to unload salary for picks just isn't going to happen. Too many teams are in the same position as we are.

What we can hope for is to give up someone and get a cheaper someone and a lower pick.

To make it work, we would have to drop at least $875K in salary cap meaning the difference between what we give and get is $875,000. You will also have to have a team that needs the player(s) from us, and we would need player(s) from them.

Good luck, and happy hunting...

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

atdhe.net usually shows all the hockey games for free.

Posted by: _Tim | January 5, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Well not to bring up the Nylander rumors again, but now that Kane is out they could be looking for forward depth even more. To me, him or Poti are the only 2 guys that can be moved for something roughly $1million less to keep Alzner up.

Posted by: ThePat | January 5, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

@SombreroGuy

Thanks for the update so that means

Against the Flyers since 05 we are 7-5

Against the Pens 2-7.

Add all the media hype with Ovie vs Malkin and now Semin aka Ralphie vs Cindy.. I think its still with the Pens.

Posted by: darrylrbaker | January 5, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

ThePat

OK...and who would they give to us? They have $55,872 in cap space...Then we'd need to trade them to someone in order to make up the $1,675,000 (sorry. posted the wrong amount up above) for Alzner's cap hit.

And as the Chicago GM, would you want Nylander bad enough to give up someone?

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

If Poti were put on LTIR, both the 10 games missed requirement and the 24 days out requirement would allow him to return January 14th vs Pittsburgh. He would have missed exactly 10 games and 24 days.

If Poti isn't playing anyway this weekend, putting him LTIR only adds Edmonton on the 13th to his "must miss" games total. Then you keep Alzner at least through Edmonton.

What you do for Pittsburgh on the 14th is another move for another day.

1) You could trade Theodore. He's hot now. Most would disagree with that move and bringing up Varlamov.
2) You can trade Kozzie, keep Alzner and leave Fehr or Gordon (two early season scratches) with a jersey.
3) Trade Nylander - he'd need to waive the NTC.
4) Return Alzner to Hershey. Not the end of the world - he'd be back as soon as another injury and can be active for the Playoffs (no cap then) regardless.
5) Trade Morrisson since it makes room for Alzner and rids the club of the arbitration issue come next Fall.

If you trade Kozzie or Mo, it has to be for picks to fit Alzner in. Obviously trading Theo or Nylander you can bring back a player and have cap space for Alzner.

These are all the possibilities I can see. Anyone have any other?

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 5, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

When did post.com lock in the User IDs?

Anyway, got a very basic question here about cap stuff:

I understand why there are so many gyrations required to fit underneath the cap, which is imposed by the league. However, does it matter for actual payroll purposes? In other words, a player that is on LTIR doesn't count towards the cap (from what I understand reading comments). However, that player presumably is getting paid fully, correct?

and is there some sort of league penalty for trying to game LTIR? I don't think it would work in the long term (a team couldn't carry from a financial perspective 20 players on LTIR) but I could see healthy players being placed on IR to allow more time for trades, etc.

Thanks

Posted by: dukster | January 5, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

TEB, please make sure that OV knows about those evil philly phans and phlayers!

Posted by: Leeguru | January 5, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea who they'd give up, my guess is neither do they, thats why the trigger wasnt pulled before.

Im just saying now, if the high ankle sprain is something that keeps him out over 15 games that could be very damaging to Chicago. So they may be forced to do something.

They could send us Byfuglien like mentioned earlier this year. They have the extra cap space if Kane were to go on LTIR maybe, then they make another move when he comes off and we don't have to worry.

Posted by: ThePat | January 5, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

ThePat

Guys can be placed on IR retroactively. Meaning, Poti's "LTIR" clock starts as soon as he missed a game, not when he's placed on the list.

Would a month off till ASG be good for his groin, sure, probably. But lowering Greener's minutes/game can be crucial, and getting Tom back for PP can help with that.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 5, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

dukster, actually the way it works is that LTIR players count, you get an exemption to exceed the cap. LTIR players get fully paid and so they count toward the Players' Share.

The Commissioner has the authority to investigate LTIR claims. If he thinks the Caps are making bogus medical claims, he would probably void the LTIR exemption and the Caps would need to immediately come into cap compliance via "normal" means.

Posted by: koalatek | January 5, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I like the Poti on LTIR idea - gives the Caps a few games to ensure Fedorov is healthy before having to make a move.

Posted by: stormblue | January 5, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

dukster, LTIR allows the team to exceed the salary cap by that players salary. When a player comes off, they have to get back under the cap.
A team doctor has to make the determination for LTIR. IR doesn't allow for any monetary benefits.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 5, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I dont think you can trade Jose at all.. His salary and his overall play is not worth trading for.

Morrison could be trade bait since he has a 1 year deal.

I dont think its wise to trady Nylander either. If you do whos' our 2nd line center?? and then going forward into the off-season, we dont know what Federov will do, Im expecting retirement or if he wants to come back to DC its for half of what he's getting now.

To me guys like Erskine, Morrison, Shultz Gordon, Steckel, Bradley are trade bait along with a prospect in Hershey.. Thats all I can see the Caps trading.

Posted by: darrylrbaker | January 5, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@FFS Enough,
I understand that with Poti being retroactive on LTIR. My point was leave him on it until after the break. That makes sure he is healthy for the stretch run and gives managment longer to make a decision on whether to make a trade or just send Alzner down.

I personally think they are just going to send him back down when everyone is healthy. Because I dont think Chicago will want Nylander, eventhough I brought it up as an option and I don't think trading Poti is a smart move.

Posted by: ThePat | January 5, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

With regards to the All-star voting; it is a popularity contest not a talent one. There are.... maybe 25,000 Caps fans... In Canada, probably 50% of the hockey fans are Canadians fans. Probably 25% of the population are hockey fans and maybe 10% of those voted so... you catch my drift. Staying that the ballot box were stuffed trivialized the fact that there are just not enough hockey fans here to outweigh the volume of fans up North.
My brothers all live in Montreal and, although they can read the stats and see Ovie 2-3 times a year, it is just not enough for them to appreciate him to his just value. They know he is good but not how good... There are no heavy hitters in hockey journalism here in DC to make anyone notice the Caps. This will change only if Ovie gets visibility in the playoffs (Stanley cup Finals).

Posted by: atybat | January 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

@zephyr33 - Pothier is on LTIR. While he is skating with the team in practice, he is *NOT* playing, and he isn't anywhere near ready to start playing again, even though he's started skating. Baby steps is what his recovery is going to take.

@Tarik - Is there any update on Jamie Heward? The last I can find is on the Lightning's website from January 2, where he was released from Sibley Memorial Hospital and went home...

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Where is the realistic market - REALISTIC - for Nylander and his $4,875,000?

Wow. Suggesting Kozlov is almost sacriledge. Breaking up the first line? You're a brave (or foolish) man.

Moving Morrisonn makes sense on several fronts. He has a good history, just not so much this year. He could be sold to someone. A slightly less than $2M cap hit could possibly be absorbed by some teams. Problem being that he's one of the few SAH D-men we have, and we'd be moving him for a SAH D-man we need. This D corp needs SAH guys for the offensive minded D we have.

Varlamov played well in his 2 (count 'em, two) starts. I'd like to see him stay in Hershey and get time in net. So I think that JT stays. If he does go, we need a rental in his place.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Back to the trade debate, eh?

Mo is the likeliest trade candidate upon first glance, with Sloan ready to take his respective slot in the corps.

Feds, you have to think, isn't, but with the team doing as well as they are w/o him, you also have to think he might be.

Erskine probably is.

Jurcina, with new-found brilliance playing with Alzner, almost definitely isn't.

I don't think there'll be any moves, though. I think Feds gets healthy and goes back to #2, Erskine becomes a healthy scratch, and Mo signs for 2 years in the off-season.

Then again, we've got Schultz we need to sign, too. Of the two, I'd rather Schultz, personally.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 5, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

You really want to trade Theodore and bring a rookie to goaltend for playoffs? That worked so well for the Habs and Carey Price last year.

I think if anything Alzner will be sent back to Hershey and the first injury he will be called back up.

BB is all about giving guys their time in Hershey, Schultz, Green, Fehr, Steckel...Alzner just got lucky and got a shot early. I am not saying he does not deserve it but if everyone is healthly my guess is he comes back to Hershey until he is needed again.

I agree though Feds needs to make sure he is really ready this time and not play one game and get hurt again.

Posted by: HBFan | January 5, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

i would rather not have schultz

Posted by: _stevo | January 5, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Nylander is not going anywhere.

Posted by: HBFan | January 5, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

How about getting rid of Clark and Erskine? That will free up some room. Yes, Chris Clark

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Alex Giroux was named AHL player of the week by scoring 5 goals and 4 assists in his return to Hershey. WTG Alex!!! Hershey needed him back.

Posted by: HBFan | January 5, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to comment on Alzner --

I think GMGM does something to keep Alzner up. He's been steady, which, for a rookie, is practically amazing.

But I don't know what that something is. Does anyone know when this team will be able to have both Alzner and Fedorov at the same time? I mean, how many days left until the playoffs? Did we really not save much money by having some of the more expensives on LTIR?

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 5, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Between Mo and Schultz, there's more upside in Schultz -- he's a smarter player.

I'd much rather Schultz than Mo, if it comes down to that.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 5, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@ Drinking Partner

I believe I read earlier or maybe heard Vogel mention on a Caps report that Alzner could be brought up with less than 20 games left and everything fit under the cap. But that was when everyone was healthy.

I think GMGM will make a move if there is one to be had to keep him up. If there's not, he gets sent down.

Posted by: ThePat | January 5, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Mo is the likeliest trade candidate upon first glance, with Sloan ready to take his respective slot in the corps.

Mo's gone, but because I'm assuming he's going to ask for ask for the $2.4m per that he's not worth.

Feds, you have to think, isn't, but with the team doing as well as they are w/o him, you also have to think he might be.

A 38 year old UFA making $4 million and out a quarter of the year with ankle issues? Good luck selling that.

Erskine probably is.

Either Kuklas or Peerless suggested his role as a 4th liner should Brashear not re-sign, so maybe that's why he was extended, otherwise who knows.

Jurcina, with new-found brilliance playing with Alzner, almost definitely isn't.

His small cap hit helps that as well.

Posted by: Section117 | January 5, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

DrinkingPartner, as I understand it, putting guys on LTIR does nothing to help your "days clock" unless they stay out for the year. Essentially, you have to use up your salary cap space and then the exemption kicks in for the remaining overage.

Since Pothier is not expected to come back for this season, it's easy to think of his cap space as not existing, but this is wrong for Clark and Fedorov.

Posted by: koalatek | January 5, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

DrinkingPartner

I'm with you on this. I think a deal will be made and it will be one of the forwards (pure guess). Maybe Fehr, or Fleischmann and someone.

If they do dangle a D-man I hope it's Schultz and/or Erskine, but they barely make the money to cover Alzner's cap and that could leave one D short.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Greg S/Others:

I was listing possibilities, not saying which was best or right. I'm not the GM.

And, yes, I forgot to include Clark being traded as a possibility.

If you trade Kozlov or Clark, you get enough cap space to fit Alzner and another person, either Bourque or Sloan, so you now have 23 players. Or you could try and get Laing through waivers when it isn't an emergency and have him stay up as 23rd player.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 5, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Section 117

I had forgotten about the Peerless-Erskine blog, and I agree with that.

As for Fedorov, though, I think that there are any number of teams willing to take him on for his leadership and his legend -- that was sort of why we brought him here last year. I thought he was washed up last season and was proven wrong. The whole leading-Semin was an unforeseen benefit. I was surprised, at least.

Koalatek

Perhaps, that's true, but if we use less than the max Cap while players are currently on LTIR, doesn't that save room towards the overall $52 mil that we're allowed to spend at the end of the season? By spending $100,000 (or more) less, now, that means we're further from hitting that max Cap than we were, which technically means we are saving money for later in the year. Right? Or do I have it misunderstood?

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 5, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1

Trust me, I understand it's all possibilities!

While we've all been less than thrilled with Clark's performance, he is the team Captain. While a lot of people here think that AO is the true captain, I rather doubt that AO has the same senior authority aura about him that Clark does. It's one of those intangibles everyone talks about needing on a team. Apparently, Clark still has it. To trade that away may well send the wrong signal to the team. I know it's done occasionally, and the Caps did it in the recent past. But that was the "Fire Sale" times when everyone was traded away.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

A few items on the Kozlov discussion. Didn't the season begin with the first line as AO-Backs-Semin? Wasn't that when Semin really tookoff? I also noticed in the Blues game that Semin was moved from the second line back to the first line and he was playing there when he was hurt again? Am I hallucinating? I also remember some chatter about Kozlov possibly wanting to head back to Russia after the season - I can't remember if it was a happiness issue in America or not. Anyway, I don't think Kozlov leaving would be such a surprise. I don't want anyone to leave - don't get me wrong - it's just something I remember.

Posted by: saintex | January 5, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing that Mo is the one who gets traded (if the plan is to keep Alzner up).

Hopefully that is the plan, as Alzner is good and Jurcina is playing his best hockey as a Cap when paired with him.

Mo has not impressed this year, plus dumping 1.9M wouldn't hurt either.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 5, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"The Caps have won 11 of 12 and, more importantly, are in much better health with Alexander Semin and Mike Green back in action. Caps fans may not like it -- and judging by my holiday inbox they didn't -- but Washington is better with their third and fourth-leading scorers in the lineup."

-TSN.ca Power Rankings updated 1/5/09 (Caps are ranking #5 after receiving a #14 ranking last week)

Posted by: thecapsfan79 | January 5, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

@tarik

Did the Caps not want to take questions about Semin's fight? I would of thought you would of been looking for a quote.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 5, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Interesting article on whether today's brand of NHL hockey is better than the one prior to the rule changes coming out of the lockout. Opposite point of view to many hockey fans.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/102972-counterpoint-todays-nhl-better-than-before

Posted by: ranndino | January 5, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Best part of the power rankings is Pittsburgh going from 9 to 14

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Rivalries require 2 to tango. Where do Caps stack up on Flyers list of rivals?
Below Boston, NYR, NYI & NJ. In order for that to change, Caps need to beat Philly when it matters (as they did in '87).

Posted by: jsavagelaw | January 5, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

You know Greg, that just makes me smile. Hopefully their death spiral continues.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 5, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Between Mo and Schultz, there's more upside in Schultz -- he's a smarter player.

I'd much rather Schultz than Mo, if it comes down to that.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 5, 2009 3:37 PM


Ask Greenie who he'd rather play with. When MG and JS get paired its a unmitigated disaster usually. Mo covers Green's butt most of the time.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 5, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Yeah! :D

That and Philly sliding one slot from 7 to 8th. I was surprised to see where Briere was hurt. Didn't think he had a groin.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

DP, I think it depends on how exactly a LTIR day gets calculated. Do you get a partial just covering the players you added because of the LTIR or do you get a full exemption for the day.

Posted by: koalatek | January 5, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

@ saintex:

In the interview with PuckDaddy, Kozlov BRIEFLY mentions going back to Russia. It doesn't seem to be a serious consideration though since his daughter is being raised here - which he also mentions in the interview. I don't see Kozlov going back to Russia any time soon, personally.

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | January 5, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow...I think I'll just watch the games and let GMGM worry about this little salary cap issue. Seems like we are having a fire sale becasue we have some roster decisions comming up. Worst case scenerio is King Karl is in Hershey a few more games.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 5, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

First off, on Semin - most have completely missed what happened: Semin clearly thought that Staal was being attacked by a swarm of bees and he was merely trying to swat them away. Or perhaps Staal was on fire. One or the other.

Anyway, Semin's a great player, let's enjoy him while he's here and let's hope he doesn't do any more fights. If he's getting cross checked by someone he can use his skating to punish them with a hit when the chance comes.

What to look for tomo? I just scored a ticket. Who was going after the Caps' players last time? Personally, I think these teams respect each other. Imho, it was the Flyers who made the Caps into a great team last year, so I honor that in them, at least. But of course I hope we thoroughly beat them.

Posted by: WritingLight | January 5, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"We're picking up on the drumbeat of the red-hot Caps, led by none other than Alexander Semin."

-ESPN.com Power Rankings Updated 1/5/09 (Caps Rank #4 up from #5 last week)

Posted by: thecapsfan79 | January 5, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

@jsavagelaw

Actually, rivalries also can be created by opposing fans coming into our building acting like jerks....thus the Flyers and Penguins rivalries burn strong in D.C

Must be a PA thing.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 5, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

when they have to send alzner back down because of cap issues - you can blame him and his agent for getting him a $1.7m deal.
i don't think they should move anyone. work with who they have and if the cap numbers don't work - go with a smaller roster - they did it to start the year.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 5, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Caps are ranked 4 in ESPN's power rankings:

We're picking up on the drumbeat of the red-hot Caps, led by none other than Alexander Semin.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/powerranking

Posted by: _828 | January 5, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

a bit of a zing, huh?

Posted by: _828 | January 5, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

The Sharks are tied with the Capitals for the NHL's best winning percentage when scoring the first goal of the game (.826).

Posted by: _828 | January 5, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

cstanton,

Did Green steal your girlfriend or something?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 5, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Lopul and Nitti are out for tomorrow night but Gagne may be back.

Posted by: ThePat | January 5, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R,
Nope, there is always someone that has to complain about someone on the team. Personally, I am getting tired of defending them. Oh well, maybe they will have luck talking to GMGM to get them to change the team. I hear that is very possible to do.

Posted by: _828 | January 5, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Caps do not have the depth to trade any of their current D.

We do not want to see Sloan/Collins in the starting 6 come playoff time. Considering we've played those two plus Helmer at the same time this year, I can beleive anyone would want to reduce our NHL D experience via trade.

Forward is where we have spare bodies. We have two 2nd line centers and two 4th line centers and when everyone is healthy, 2 healthy scratches.

Posted by: stormblue | January 5, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

found this posting....

http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/buckets2004/177897

Tarik, have the Caps been given their proper space in the print copy yet?

Posted by: caps28fan | January 5, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

stormblue, the two 4th line centers combined don't make what Alzner makes.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 5, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Nittimaki will miss at least a week (including our game), so we face Biron I guess?

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The people bashing Chris Clark must have missed the past few games. He's starting to look like his old self. He's playing physical and getting good scoring chances again. There's no way we're trading him. We need his toughness in the playoffs.

As far as Alzner is concerned, there is no way he's going back to Hershey. Morrison will be waived or traded to make room for his salary. That's why Boudreau has demoted him to our 3rd defensive pair lately.

Posted by: VegasCapsFan | January 5, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I hope someone lays out Hartnell...major DB

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I have a single to tomorrow's game, first row upstairs, Section 409 Row A. I have other tickets elsewhere and need to sell my single. Anyone who wants it below face value ($45 for a $50 ticket) should e-mail jhamond@comcast.net. Thanks.

Posted by: jhamond1 | January 5, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Got a couple of responses from the NHLOA BBoard that I'd like to share.

1) What constitutes cross-checking?

"If a player has his stick against a player and is using it to battle and push with a player we deem this to be a good play. If however a player has to reach out and extend his arms in a forceful manner to make contact with a player then this would be considered a cross checking motion and result in a penalty."

- Tom Kowal

2) When is a player awarded a penalty shot when "fouled from behind"?

"The player does not have to have the puck on his stick when he is fouled from behind to be awarded a penalty shot. We have changed how we interpert this play over the years. If there is no one between him and the goalie and he is over his own blueline and he is clearly getting to the puck first and is fouled from behind this would be considered a penalty shot."

"The play we see most often is when a defending player dives to get the puck away from the offensive player. If the defending player makes contact with the puck first and then trips the player, there is no penalty. If however he misses the puck and then trips the player a penalty shot would be awarded."

- Tom Kowel

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

3) Why is the jersey tie-down rule in place?

"The tie down rule is there for more then one reason."

"First, to prevent a player from having his jersey pulled over his head leaving him unable to see and therefore in a prone postion during a fight."

"This rule was also brought in because we had situations were players were fighting after there jerseys had come off, and it was not only a dangerous situation but it gave off the wrong image of our game."

- Tom Kowel

4) When is a "Kneeing" penalty issued?

"If a player were to lead with his knee and use it to inflict punishment on a player it would be a penalty. Usually we see kneeing penalties were a player is trying to go around another player and the defending player leads with his knee and causes knee on knee contact which can result in a serious injury."

- Tom Kowel

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

AP writer made up the eggs story with Ovechkin:

http://alexovetjkin.blogspot.com/2009/01/dont-do-it-anymore-ovie.html

Posted by: CodePoetry | January 5, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S. - Yes; Niittymaki is out, and Biron is in. Of the two, I'd rather face Biron: 2.70 GAA, SV% .906 vs. the Caps, as opposed to Niittymaki's 2.62 GAA, SV% .913.

The backup goaltender is a Scott Munroe, who has never played against the Capitals or in the NHL.

Munroe came up from the Phantoms today to cover for Niittymaki; he was recalled previously to cover for Biron (presumably, since the dates match roughly to when Biron was out). His GAA is 2.22 and SV% .921 at the AHL level, but he has no NHL stats to view. Yet. He's been playing for the Phantoms since the 2005-06 season; his GAA has gone steadily down and his SV% steadily up since he joined that team. The GAA was 3.54 over 2 games in 2005-06, and was 3.05 over 40 games in 2006-07. Last year, it was 2.29 over 36 games, and this year he's played in 12 games for the Phantoms.

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@_828: Yeah, a bit of a zing, but if you want a zing, see the Pens entry at #15.

Losing four in a row feels like a punch right to the Valabik.

Or even what The Hockey News had to say about the Pens, who they place at #16:

Maybe the freefall ends if Evgeni Malkin jumps somebody on a faceoff

Personally, I just laughed. Semin won that fight, and it was a fair fight.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz

Semin won the fight but got no style points at all. Possibly even into the negative range.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Lupul, Niittymaki, and Briere are all out? So whose face is going to show up in the urinals?

(I gotta vote Hartnell.)

I'm still edgy about this game. So I'm a worrywart, so sue me. After December 20th, I think I have reason to be.

I gotta agree that I think we trade Morrisson and go with:

Green-Schultz
Poti-Erskine
Alzner-Jurcina

We're not going to want to pay Mo what he's going to want, and he's in the last year of his contract. Moving him makes room for Alzner straight up, and he's a strong Dman. I can see several teams looking to shore up their D being interested if they can make cap room.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I hope Biron gets a 3rd degree burn on the back of his neck tomorrow night.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S: No, no style points. But who asked him for style points? He trashed a pest and gave the ladies a nice show as he came off the ice. (And no, I didn't mind.) Me, I'm of the "if it works, what the hey?" school of thought, too.

Maybe he'll learn to fight. Maybe he shouldn't have to.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Just got home from a long day and didn't take the time to go through all these posts. Has there been any discussion about how all of these players coming back will effect Alzner? What are the cap implications of keeping the original roster and adding Alzner? I would rather carry 7 Dmen.

But we also have two extra forwards now (soon). Who gets scratched or traded? In my mind we can't keep Alzner without removing some $$ up front. I also think it is clear that he should remain in DC.

I can't believe we could keep the team intact without having cap issues. Any smarter people than me care to weigh in?

Posted by: waitingsince75 | January 5, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Glad you enjoyed the show! :D

I really do hope that he keeps his gloves on. And though I have nothing against the ladies getting a cheap thrill, I hope he keeps his jersey on from now on.

Which brings me to this.

I hope he will have his jersey tied down properly tomorrow. One thing Philly will stoop down to is cheap shotting him. They'd do it in the hopes of getting him to fight, pulling on his jersey and taking it off if they can. Anything to get him out of the game.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

although I enjoyed Semin's "Fight," Isn't fighting the reason we have Brash at around 1 mill ar year? He hasn't been holding up his end of the bargain. Not to jump on him or anything, but I have always felt he was over paid for what he did, and he does not often contribute what he was brought here to contribute. he is not supoosed to score goals, he is supposed to enforce.

Of course, ask Ryley Cote about Brash and you'll get a different response.

Posted by: Leeguru | January 5, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Im just looking to watch a good game.
Win or lose tomorrow night, I think its going to be exciting. I think the Caps/Flyers match up really well this year

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 5, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Kugryshev added the insurance empty-netter (his first of the tournament) for Russia. They beat Slovakia 5-2 to take the bronze medal in the WJC.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 5, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S.: 100% agreed. Semin had better tie his jersey down for the next several games at least, because Philly is not the only team that will try that in hopes of getting him ejected.

@Leeguru: Brash tried to go with Colton Orr a couple of times during the Rangers game, and the linesmen kept breaking it up. It's hard to have Brash on the ice when Semin is, but I do agree that I'd like to see Brash drop more.

I want to see Brash drop with at least one of these guys tomorrow night: Cote, Hartnell, Upshall.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

waitingsince75, scroll down about halfway into the posts for some illumination on this topic

http://www.japersrink.com/2009/1/5/709606/we-played-them-11-times-l#comments

Posted by: bigonetimer | January 5, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

VENGEANCE NOW - crush the ORANGE

GO CAPS! Glad to see that Bruce made it very clear that you all hate Philly. We all do. Please beat those pansies tomorrow.

Posted by: ejohnsto | January 5, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

So who are we rooting for tonight on Vs? I love to see Cindy and the Pens lose but I also want to build a bigger lead on the Rangers. Hmm, decisions, decisions.

Posted by: ludeman95 | January 5, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Considering (a) Erskine was just signed to a two-year extension that takes him through the 2010-11 season for a relatively low salary, (b) Morrisson was in 5th place in the +/- stat amongst Caps' defensemen last season, and is currently in 9th place in the +/- stat amongst Capitals' defensemen this season so far, (c) considering Morrisson will always get almost no points, notwithstanding the awesome goal the other day, and (d) considering Morrisson is playing under a one-year contract worth just a hair under $2,000,000, it's a no-brainer. If we can, then we need to keep Alzner, and get whatever we can for Morrisson, even if it's nearly nothing. Morrisson should not be getting three times as much as Schultz. Morrisson isn't that bad or anything, but he's not worth millions of dollars.

Alzner is already better, clearly, and he will improve as he gets more time in DC.

Posted by: youaresquishy | January 5, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Leguru
I could not agree more, someone needed to manhandle Staal last game and since most of us will score almost as many goals as Brash, he needs to step up like that one. If Staal won't fight him, he at least needs to put the fear of his wrath on him. Brash needs to protect our stars tomorrow! Ovie was cross checked by Staal on Staal's first shift back on the ice and Ovie was hit with a couple of cheap shots that deserved the notice of an enforcer who can't skate and passes erratically at best. Why else is he on the ice if not to take care of these situations?

Posted by: majiksea | January 5, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

@waitingsince75,

Remember Alzner was a callup anyway so his "demotion" to Hershey would not be such a shock nor loss as is, if you get my drift. If Alzner spent the rest of his first pro season in the AHL getting seasoned, I think the Caps braintrust would find that totally acceptable, cap space not withstanding.

IMHO, I disagree about Alzner "having" to stay folks. He and the Caps would be better served if he got butt loads of ice time as a Bear this season and came back more experienced in October full time. The Bears are Calder contenders again so that level of playoff experience has to be considered as well. Just saying, Alzner being in Hershey is a good thing Caps fans.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 5, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

did anyone who watched the rangers game think we looked a wee bit soft?

Posted by: bryaningrocery | January 5, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

not like we are not a tough team, and maybe noone wanted to take a boneheaded penalty at the end but I am a little worried for the playoffs....Philly should be a good toughness measuring stick though

Posted by: bryaningrocery | January 5, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Gotta go with rooting for the Rangers - I want Philly out of first in the Atlantic.

@BernieWolfeFan: Gotta disagree with you. Alzner is ready to play at this level. He doesn't need more seasoning, and keeping him up will continue to challenge him. So far, he's risen to that challenge amazingly well. What he does for Jurcina's game is so incredible - it's like getting two defensemen for the price of one, and the pair eats a lot of minutes. We need Alzner for Jurcina's sake and we need him as a solid, steady, shut-down D, which is something people have been clamoring for.

I'm really inclined to seek a trade for either Morrisson or Schultz and keep Alzner.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

there is no way hartnell or upshall want anything to do with Brash. Cote doesn't want it either but he's just too stupid to contain himself. I wish Briere was playing. Then there would a 100% chance Ovie would destroy him.

Posted by: Moose33 | January 5, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Gotta go with the Rangers too.

And Crosby deserves some payback for that cheap shot when he started that fight off the faceoff. Had he not caught that guy off guard, he would have been creamed.

Posted by: ejohnsto | January 5, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

If the only reason Brash is playing is to fight the other teams enforcer, why bother? When Gretzky played anyone who went after him had to deal with Marty. That was the deal rough up Gretz, deal with Marty. We need the same thing, if Staal roughs up Semin he should pay the price, rough up Ovie, pay the price. No one wanted to fight Marty, but they knew they had no choice and Brash should have grabbed that squirrel and shook it!

Posted by: majiksea | January 5, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

@Moose33: Maybe not, but maybe we'll get lucky and they won't get a choice. (I know, pipe dreams.)

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

There is a little Dale Hunter in the future for the CAPS. He is playing for Team Canada in the World Jr . Stefan Del Rovre is his name. He is a guy you hate to play against, but love on your team. He has taken some questionable penalties in the tourney.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 5, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

a few answers:

No, Pothier is not anywhere close to returning. He is jut starting to get his legs back underneath him. I still would be surprised to see him this season. But hey, if he can, that would be a pleasant surprise. He's been through a lot.

We didn't ask about the Semin fight today because we had about six quotes about the on Saturday night.

Joseph White didn't make up the quote about the eggs. I was standing there when Ovie said it. But I think something was lost in translation, so I didn't use it.

Posted by: el_bashir | January 5, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

After posting all the possibilities:
1) send Alzner down
2) trade Theo
3) Trade Nylander
4) Trade Morrisson
5) Trade Kozzie
6) Trade Clark

I agree with squishy and kitty (does that sound like a line from The Muppets?) that trading Mo makes most sense. This assumes that all the injured return to where we have the opening night 22 back as active. Mo really doesn't seem to have so much future with the club considering productivity vs cost. Alzner is a plus player and a steadying influence on others. If not paired with Jurcina, you could put him with Green so he could cover when Green rushes up ice (actually I can see Alzner paired with Green for the long haul). Trading Kozzie makes some sense, only if you want to keep Fehr in a regular jersey. Kozzie has played well though and why mess that up. I disagree with those who say Alzner needs more seasoning. He's really playing at an NHL level, and he's getting plenty of minutes. Moving Erskine or even Schultz won't get you the cap space for Alzner.

In an ideal world, I would like to get a player like Detroit got Brad Stuart last year. A nasty, tough S@H. Ideally, you could move Nylander and Mo and get that kind of player ($3.5M) in return, then keeping Alzner. The cap savings is enough you can add a 23rd player - either Bourque or Sloan to minimize the Hershey shuttle. The Fehr plays regularly and you count on Laich playing center next year when Feds retires (promoting Bouchard) or else Perrault comes up and Laich plays wing.

I know some people tire of the trade speculation, but my bet is the overwhelming sentiment on the blog (and, more importantly, in the Caps organization) is that Alzner needs no further time in Hershey.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 5, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I haven't had time to read through all the posts, so I apologize if this was already posted, but a friend of mine sent me an interesting article/link on the Crosby fight. I really enjoyed reading it, but i have to admit, the comments on the article were as whiney as Sid is on the ice....

http://msn.foxsports.com/nhl/story/9026062/You're-not-that-tough,-Sid

Posted by: BlondeCapsFan | January 5, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

@capsfanmiss: Yeah, I've been watching him. I like him and am thinking we might could use some of that, but he's got to stop taking bad penaltis and he's done a couple of things I don't approve of.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Pens will lose tonight to the Rangers. Now down 4-0 with a few minutes left in the game. They have now lost games in a row and things not looking good. Does their coach get fired in the next week or so or will they make some trades? Crosby has certainly not stepped up with his play.

Posted by: MReilly9 | January 5, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

congrats to alex semin for being nominated for the Rangers' website Moment of the Week for his fight with Staal. :)

Posted by: minicoop828 | January 5, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

MReilly9: I watched the Rags/Pens game too. I'm wondering what's going on within the Pens organization for them to suddenly be 'tanking'. This seems like a fast downward spiral and I'm curious if there are a few players on the team who aren't really being 'team players'. From the different articles I've read, that seems to be the problem.

Posted by: BlondeCapsFan | January 5, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

FINAL: NY Rangers 4, Pittsburgh 0

Wow. You'd think a team with two All-Star starters would score more than ZERO goals. *snicker*

Posted by: Cerealman | January 5, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

i was chuckling at the "Crosby Sucks" chants the came through loud and clear on my TV. Joe B, who was calling the game for VS, relayed the chant to the listening audience when it was "Let's Go Rangers" but stayed away from repeating the "Crosby Sucks" chant haha.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 5, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

BlondeCapsFan,

Versus seemed to make a big deal about Gonchar being out and how the Pens miss his play. But all teams have to deal with and overcome their injury problems.

It seems to me that the coach has lost control of the team and the players may be playing the blame game. They have lost 5 games in a row and 15 of their last 23. This is not good.

Posted by: MReilly9 | January 5, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Cerealman: For serious. I think they might have buried a couple of those chances if they could actually aim at the net. Plus, they just plain weren't precise and spent too much time quieting the puck and looking rather than shooting. They didn't have a plan and they didn't seem to be comfortable with one another. Maybe it is team playing that is the problem. You think there are a couple of prima donnas? Who are they?

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

man colton orr just beat the hell outaa goddard, makes sense since the pens just got their a**es handed to them

Posted by: _stevo | January 5, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Theo is starting tomorrow, Johnny told me today after practice.

Posted by: capsfan387 | January 5, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

MReilly9: Yes, I agree it's possible that the coach has lost control. Also with my dislike of the Pens, I tend to think there may be some egos there as well that might be a bit out of control (just my personal opinion).

As far as blaming the missing injured: not enough of an excuse as we Caps fans know all too well that injuries can be overcome. Yes, you miss the injured players but it isn't an excuse for a loss.

Posted by: BlondeCapsFan | January 5, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I read somewhere that MT is in the first year of a 3 year extension that pays him handsomely. They may not be fiscally able to eat that so the pressure is now on their GM. I would say some major trades may be in the works.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | January 5, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Cindy Crysby sings:

"And Im free, free fallin
Yeah Im free, free fallin"

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Please tell Ovie that WE LOVE HIM more than life itself. We voted for him, but we didn't cheat. And we're sorry to have let him down by not living on our cell phones, punching his code over and over again these past few weeks. The NHL all-star voting is ridiculous.

Also, why refer to the fictional Ovie-Crosby rivalry when Semin's thoughts create one that plain to see, black and white? Still, Pittsburgh is second to Philadephia. It turns my stomach to hit up a Hershey Bears game and see Philthy sweaters in the stands. Who are these intruders that calls themselves fans? If you love the Bears, you bleed red, not orange.

Let's settle this score with big hits and return their favors with a dirty game. I want Bongo drumns. I want Ovie glass slams. I want Briere to limp home with blood on his face!

Posted by: CapsTerpsFan | January 5, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik - Totally agreed with CapsTerpsFan and everyone else who posted it: WE LOVE OVI! We voted, but we didn't cheat. We didn't write scripts to vote over and over for him. He plays for a classy organization, and that classy organization also has classy fans.

Unlike the Penguins and their fans, who stuffed the ballot box for their boys - who are tanking badly!

Crosby spent 4 minutes in the box tonight: 2 for interference, 2 for hooking. Great example for his team. At least he didn't get another 19-minute penalty for being a cheapshot artist.

Pleased to see the Rangers back on top of the Flyers, at least for now. It's only by one point, though, so we need to beat the Flyers to keep it that way.

And we totally can.

With us sitting just two points behind the 3rd-in-the-League Red Wings, anything is possible this season! And may I say, "GO BLUE JACKETS!!!" ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

CapsTerpsFan:

Your comment re: Briere is inappropriate. Remember what Jamie Heward said about Ovi. Do you want that to be a lie?

Posted by: RedRocker1 | January 5, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Poor Ovie ... he needs a hug. Caps fans love him and other fans love him or envy us for having him. Either way, it's all good!

828:
Are you going to the game? If so, are you making a sign?

Steve:
I heard Erskine is coming back to center Ovie and Bongo.

johnpace2:
Go to www.atdhe.net on game day - the game 'should' be listed there. Good luck!

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 5, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I missed BB today on the Comcast Sports Washington Post Live show - but it is on again at 11:30 tonight...

Posted by: MReilly9 | January 5, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Got a chance to watch the world junior gold medal game tonight. Stefan Della Rovere is going to be a fun pest to watch in a few years.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 5, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

The Pens will be fine. The Flyers had a very rough stretch at the beginning of this season and they had an even rougher one last season (sorry, can't quote numbers but it's true, look it up). I don't think you'll see a coaching change in Pittsburgh unless they continue on the current pace for another two weeks. They are a good team (would it were not so) and they'll be in the postseason mix. Hate 'em both, HATE the Pens most. Olie may be gone but I'm still here and I remember all those playoff losses. I am soooooooo sick of losing to those guys, I can't wait until we beat 'em on the regular. I hope we get 'em in the postseason, and go all Semin v. Staal on 'em. :)

Posted by: kevbnyc | January 5, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

We don't NEED to play a dirty game to beat the Flyers. We just need to play the system. If we play the system, and we're out to win, then there is not a team in the NHL that can take us on and beat us.

1) Play the system.
2) Stay out of the box.
3) Score on the power play. The Flyers should give us many opportunities there.

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

we just need to play them like we did last time. their goalie stood on his head last game...otherwise it could have been 5-0 us in the 1st. i hope we have the same intensity, but are able to harness it and maintain through 3 periods.

Posted by: CapsSkins | January 6, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

CapsSkins: I hope you're right. I don't have a good feeling about tonight. Don't know why, I just don't. It's true that we did everything right and Niittymaki was playing out of his mind, and both Johnson and Theodore just tanked. We should have Biron in net tonight, but that doesn't mean anything.

We'll see. Prove me wrong boys. Don't let me down.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 6, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

@ kittypawz

I agree he has taken some bad penalties and done a few questionable things.......o.k. o.k. o.k. some over the line things, but Dale played on the same edge as he plays. I believe there is a place still in the game for a player like this....Give the kid some props for just making the team !

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 6, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

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