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Morning Links: Not a Bad Start to the Season


(Getty Images)


The Caps won easily last night, with goalie Jose Theodore redeeming himself by stopping 19 of 20 shots in a 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins.

Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich scored two goals each in a game that was controlled by Washington throughout.

Some links for your morning reading enjoyment:

* Ovechkin on the win:

* NHL.com recap: "Ovechkin had the second two-goal performance of his career on an opening night -- he made his debut in 2005 with a pair of goals in Washington's 3-2 win at Columbus. Ovechkin had only one assist in his other three season-openers."

* Alex Ovetjkin: Terrific start for Ovechkin and the Caps.

* Washington Times recap: "Sign up Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau for 81 more of those."

* Boston Globe recap: "for the 17,565 fans at TD Garden and the thousands more who tuned in on Versus - albeit not via DirecTV, given the dust-up between the network and the satellite provider - the sight of the Bruins getting rolled like a barrel over Niagara Falls didn't serve as a pleasant entrance to the 2009-10 season after a summer of hibernation."

* D.C. Sports Bog: Caps are Vegas' darlings (pregame post)

* Puck Daddy: Brooks Laich is one of Thursday's three stars.

* Japers' Rink: "Going in to the game I wouldn't have had Brooks Laich on the first powerplay unit. Oops."

* On Frozen Blog: "As this week has progressed and more and more media outlets -- particularly those in Washington -- have come forward with their Stanley Cup contention forecasts, the Caps have emerged as quite a chic selection. Thursday night they performed as if they were aware of it and sought to justify it."

More to come from practice later today, which Tarik says has been pushed back to noon.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  October 2, 2009; 9:45 AM ET
 
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Next: Friday Practice Update

Comments

I'm still grinning over last night's game. Way to go, Caps! I can't wait to rock the red tomorrow night.

Posted by: hillg | October 2, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Damn Versus

I can't get cable (Comcast) unless I spring for the $2,000 to run the cable down my driveway, therefore Directv.

No complaints with DTV in the many years I have had it until now - I was starving for news of last nights game and will be doing the same for the Flyers game next week.

Damn all involved....

Posted by: NJNJ | October 2, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Sweet game last night.

So now there's a scoring race on the Caps between Ovie and Laich? I could like that a lot.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 2, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

If you have DirecTV and missed the game on Versus - who should you blame?

Versus is owned by Comcast. Comcast is owned by Ed Snyder who owns the Philadelphia Flyers.

Also, the NHL, via their website, asks that the fans email DirecTV is help resolve this matter.
http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=57131

Why doesn't the NHL ask the fans to email Ed Snyder and his company Comcast?

Do you think there's a conflict of interest here???

Posted by: puckman | October 2, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I saw a lot of red last night at the bars in Ashburn.

The Caps have really taken over. Chants after every goal, booing the lone Bruins fan.

Posted by: JSchon | October 2, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Lindsay Applebaum

I hope you (WaPo) noticed that the NHL standings were wrong in the dead tree version. According to that, the Caps have 2 points, one win and a loss. We've only played one game...

None of the Western teams have played yet, apparently, either.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 2, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

WOW....how sick is Nicky? I've heard people talk about his awareness but last night he was just dynamite. I knew he was good, but I was just blown away at how complete his game was last night. Could have been the 8 beers I drank.

Great game boys...can't wait tomorrow.

BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: TottenhamCaps | October 2, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Tarik

What is up wiht the story about Forsberg coming to the caps? and Nylander is being traded?

Posted by: tpatton2 | October 2, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I didn't notice this at all last night, but apparently it's true.

from THN:

Theodore lost his stick for much of the first 2 minutes of the game, but the Bruins were unable to capitalize.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 2, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Now we see why Nylander is not needed at 4.5 million. We have plenty of offense. We need more role players, and his money will be needed down the stretch to upgrade at positions...

We have to get him off the books.

Posted by: SA-Town | October 2, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I thought Pothier was one of our best defensemen last night. It doesn't matter that he isn't the biggest guy. He is the puck-carrying "D" in his pairing and the Caps had a lot of simple breakouts because he carried the puck, with his head up. Pothier won't sit, the Bruins are considered just as tough, if not more tough, of a team as the Leafs. Pothier had a friggin' BEA utiful hipcheck last night too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 2, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Greg S.,
Yes, Theo had his stick knocked away and it was a while before someone gave him a stick. It was in the corner for a while and the Caps even cleared the puck at one point, but still no one got his stick or gave him one right away. We were lucky.

Posted by: _Mark | October 2, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

for the people without comcast, you can watch the games online, (just buy a nice monitor or hook up to your tv), and secondly, you can buy a slingbox, connnect it to someone who has comcast, then connect it to your computer and you'll get the comcast feed via your computer.

There's lots of ways to deal with the Vs issue other than going to a bar...but acutally, that's a great excuse to have to go out 41 nights this season! It could be worse.

I'm interested to see how the Caps fare against the Leafs who will be trying to make the game physical / fight. Erskine and Bradley are going to have to answer the bell a lot more this season...hope they're ready.

Posted by: Jaymagz | October 2, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@puckman

neither party is free from guilt here. DirecTV probably ran some numbers and decided that having Versus on a lower tier was a loss for them, and so they want any subscribers interested in Versus to specifically pay extra for the channel. that plan won't work for Comcast because they want to keep Versus on the wider tier, ie more subscribers so they can charge advertisers more money to run commercials on Versus.

this is not unlike the YES-Cablevision spat a few years ago. after the greater New York City area was dark of Yankee games for a full season, YES pulled back on their demands and Cablevision 'won'.

Versus may be reading too much of their own press. their coverage has improved, but they still are a niche market (limiting broadcasts to Monday and Tuesday) within a niche market (the NHL as a whole). DirecTV may be losing subscribers specifically because of this issue but it's probably nothing compared to the millions they rake in each year via NFL Sunday Ticket.

Posted by: P-Mac | October 2, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Pothier had a friggin' BEA utiful hipcheck last night too

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 2, 2009 10:43 AM

It was perfect.

Posted by: Fro_ | October 2, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I was delighted with last night's outcome. D was more solid than ever, and OMG that power play! Good work by Theo. Needs to work a little on the rebound control, but still a good game.

I don't think TEB meant to disrespect Brooksie.

It's just that if you asked most people at the beginning of the game:

"Who do you think is most likely to a) score the first Caps goal of the new season or b) score two goals on opening night?"

...the most likely answers given for both of those questions would be: a player named Alex, Nick or Mike.

If this is indicative of OV's pace for the season and he stays healthy, I could see him potting 70 this year.

You heard it here first, folks: Ovechkin. 70 Goals in 2009-2010. Seventy.

...How 'bout them Flames (my second-favorite team after the Caps)? They opened quite a can of whup-@$$ against Vancouver--the dark-horse pick to win the Western Conference...

...Who would have guessed that Colorado--of all teams--would thump the mighty Sharks?

...and what Leafs/Habs contest would be complete without multiple fights? You think the Caps/Pens feud is ancient; we've got nothing on these guys. It's almost an unwritten NHL rule that whenever Toronto and Montreal meet, fisticuffs are de riguer!

All in all it bodes for an interesting season.

CAPS ALL THE WAY!

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 2, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Flames did good, but Jokinen and Iggy didn't do much.

My fantasy teams got killed last night. And today, CHI plays FLA and in one I have Vokoun and Huet. D'oh.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Pothier had a friggin' BEA utiful hipcheck last night too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 2, 2009 10:42 AM


@fanohock1: did anybody happen to see just who it was Pothier leveled with that hipcheck? I saw the check, but no the number. I SOOOOO hope it was Lucic ( = payback).

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 2, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Erskine did not have to fight last night and he did. Proud of him.

He should have said, "sorry, maybe if your team scores another goal i'll fight you."

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@Rhino40

I, and steveo, both believe it was Byron Bitz.

Was definitely not Lucic. I think him getting completely ripped open on Ovie's second goal was embarrassment enough for him.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@puckman-you are sooooooo right. someone named @pat blasted me here the other day for suggesting that bettman should take a more active role in resolving the DIRECTV mess. He said "the NHL is working behind the scenes to resolve this". Bull. NHL knows where it's bread is buttered. more money for Versus equals more rights fees for NHL. and Bettman isn't enough of a diplomat to hide that agenda. Comcast is a heavy handed company that has completely exluded from the Philly market (my market). Pox on Comcast, I hope this really blows up and ESPN jumps back in the picture.

Posted by: smkinjersey | October 2, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

i meant to say Comcast excluded DIRECTV from carrying Comcast Sports Net Philly, I was so angry and typing fast I lost my train of thought.

Posted by: smkinjersey | October 2, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

left out part of my post-meant to say Comcast has refused to allow Comcast Sports Net Philadelphia onto DIRECTV. Blatant monopoly move.

Posted by: smkinjersey | October 2, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

For those interest NHL Network is showing a condensed version of last night's Caps vs Bruins game at 3pm. It will be from 3-4. If you haven't seen that kind of wrap-up, NHL Network does a great job, much better than just catching highlights on a sports channel.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 2, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

@smkinjersey

blame the FCC. Comcast is not required to offer CSN Philadelphia to DirecTV (or any other dish company) because the broadcast never touches a satellite.

Posted by: P-Mac | October 2, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Additionally, anyone lucky enough to be home to watch TV, and you have VERSUS, they have a double header beginning at noon. Chicago vs Florida from Finland @ 1200, and Detroit vs St. Louis from Sweden @ 3. They are both live. For Directv peeps the Chicago game is on CSN-Chicago. Shouldn't be blacked out because Center ice is free right now.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 2, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock
I was also impressed with Pothier's hip check by the boards. Where did that come from? Are we going to have our finesse players getting more physical this year?

Posted by: zmega | October 2, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

* NHL.com recap: "Ovechkin had the second two-goal performance of his career on an opening night -- he made his debut in 2005 with a pair of goals in Washington's 3-2 win at Columbus. Ovechkin had only one assist in his other three season-openers."

hmm...i seem to recall being at this game...and i've never been to columbus....

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 2, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

So the Leafs come out gooning...we just bury them on the Power Play....

We have to be smart, and draw the penalties..

Lets hope the refs look at the line-up and keep in mind what is going on here.

I hear people crying now.."The Caps get all the calls."

I thought the hook on Knuble last night was weak though...real weak.

Posted by: SA-Town | October 2, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1
I was there, too. maybe we were inside the then-MCI Center because was open to local fans to watch the road game on the JumboTron? (turns off sarcasm)

Posted by: P-Mac | October 2, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Thanks fanohock, I am working from home today and did not know about the games starting at noon.....not much work getting accomplished this afternoon now!

Zmega, if I remember correctly back when Pothier was healthy a couple years back he used that hip check a few times. I think he is just back to full strength this year and showing everything he has which is great for the team in case we need a little trade bait around the deadline!

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The good 'ol hipcheck is usually used by the smaller guys because it is a timing hit, you have to be agile. The hipcheckis also a way for a smallish (relative to hockey defenseman) players to give a good, hard, painful, hit without having to weigh 200+lbs. Green likes to use it, as does Poti. Neither Green or Poti are big as far as weight, both right at 200lbs, so they are not normally going to have the size to stand players up and smash them on the boards like Jurcina and Erskine when they're clicking on all cylinders.

For those who haven't seen Schultz yet this season, and have been hoping he uses his size, are going to be pleasantly surprised in his increased physical play IMO. He's not exploding on people yet, but he did finish some nice checks. He's beginning to guide players to the boards and smearing they along the glass. I like Schultz and was happy to see him progress. It's part of his maturization as a defenseman.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 2, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

If I could be so bold to ask a favor? I am DVRing (If it's not in the dictionary yet it will be soon) the Chicago vs Florida game to watch when I get home. Please don't post any scores...pleeeeeease.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 2, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Conflict of interests are everywhere. Direct TV has exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Package and who owns DTV? Murdoch who also owns Fox.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | October 2, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

comcast owns the flyers, so you'd think they would have an interest in making sure their product gets out to as many people as possible. i'm sure the flyers are going to be on versus plenty of times.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 2, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

get Verizon Fios and you can see Verses. You don't need cable, just not DirectTV.

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 2, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

You got it fanohock, I can't believe there are actually some empty seats in Finland for the NHL?? I thought it would be packed!

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

At the Rangers pre-season game on Sunday, Schultz definitely used his size and did some glass-work on more than one occassion.

Still confused about the wearing-shorts-while-paintballing, but we'll save that for another day.

Posted by: Fro_ | October 2, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

pothier looked awesome, D in general seemed to be in position all night long, they would get an A (9 shots over the last 40 mins?, I think Theo/Varly could get used to that).
I would agree with splitting up the alex's to spread the talent around a bit. They should both be shooting every chance they get & have knubs/laich to cash in the change.

Ave's were on fire last night, kids put up a great game for old man Joe

Posted by: donkey1 | October 2, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how I feel about being called "chic."

Posted by: nicko | October 2, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Great win; my only issue is that the second line was invisible. I have concerns with Brendan Morrison as the no. 2 center.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | October 2, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I though Morrison played a decent game considering he missed much of the preseason for some reason...give him a chance to gel with his linemates, he did well in the faceoff circle.

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

B Mo played fine last night. If the line remains Laich-Mo-Knuble, the line might not do that much scorin 5 on 5 but they won't make mistakes and give up goals either. Mo needs a sniper to feed it to, not 2 net crashers. Knuble and Semin will move around all year based on matchups so he'll look good half the time and be invisible half the time. And its better to be invisible than making mistakes and giving up goals.

Posted by: ThePat | October 2, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

ESPN has this on their rumors page about the deal with #92

Michael Nylander was a healthy scratch last night, so it might be a sign that the Caps are close to getting rid of him.

Earlier this week, Caps GM George McPhee told the Washington Post, "We're still working on things."

Well, the "things" was a transfer to the KHL club Lokomotiv, according to the Russian outlet RIA Novosti via Japer's Rink. But, for now, Nylander is still slated to play today.

Makes me wonder if Nylander has changed his mind about playing in Europe.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 2, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Was I the only one last night who had visions of vintage Nylander while watching Nicky make a few spin moves?

Posted by: Tex21 | October 2, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

i thought BMO played a decent game. That line didn't score, but then again they didn't give up any goals either

Posted by: _stevo | October 2, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Yes Tex, that was just you....Nicky is a completely different player than Nyls, there was no circling and getting knocked off the puck easily. As a matter of fact I saw him clobber a couple Dmen behind the net who were trying to take the puck from him.

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

What a win - So much for the question mark on D and in goal. The defense played solid only scrambled arount a little after the Bruin's goal and in the two minutes Theo lost his stick. Otherwise I thought they were very calm and spectacularly positioned. Credit Bob Woods on that one!
Only one game - can't wait to see what they can do with a little more practice under their belts. Rock the Red - Always!

Posted by: psugolf | October 2, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Someone please share with me why the Flyers have gone from the Conference Finals in 2008, to a 1st round exit in 2009, to a favorite in the Eastern Conference? The additions of Pronger and Emery? They will just accumulate more PIMs. With the loss of Knuble, out the door went 30 goals, and solid penalty killer. Pronger is good, there is no doubt about it but besides him Timonen and Coburn, they have just about as many defensive question marks as we do. I'm not buying into the Flyer thing. I do however think that the darn Pens are in just as good of shape this season. Bastar...

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 2, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I too, thought Pothier was our best D-man last night and among he best player on the ice. Yes, the hip check was sweet, byt he also did a great job of disrupting the B's rush at our blueline on sever occasions in the 3rd.

Did anyone else see Brooksie's interview with CSN from inside the locker room after the game? Not sure if it has been discussed already, but he had a big ice pack on his right shoulder. I don't think its anything serious, so lets not all freak out, and probably hald the team was rocking icepacks, I'm just saying I noticed an ice pack and I don't think I've noticed too many players in the past giving TV interviews w ice packs on.

Posted by: griz0615 | October 2, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

sorry for the typos... I'm on a cell phone. Tiny keyboard and screen

Posted by: griz0615 | October 2, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"but he had a big ice pack on his right shoulder."

Posted by: griz0615 | October 2, 2009 12:53 PM |

I did see that, and was curious as well. I'm going to be optimistic and chalk it up him having "goal-shoulder".

Also, Ovechkin's hit on Recchi was awesome- but did they ever show the Chara cross-check? You could see just a sliver of it, but I don't recall them catching the whole thing. Anyone know if it was nasty?

Posted by: Fro_ | October 2, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1- I laughed MAO when Flyers signed Emery, and laugh even harder at the schmucks that hype them as A favorite in the East!

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | October 2, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Ice packs are pretty common after games...heck football players take a bath in buckets of ice...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 2, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Pronger will be a solid member of their blue line. Timonen probably plays the best against Ovechkin, besides Chara. (last night, not included). Emery is a very good goaltender. Stats do not lie. However, it's up to him to see if he can ever return to his elite form. Knuble's 30 goals is nothing to them. They have studs like Giroux and JVR stepping up.

Philly is really strong this year. I hardly doubt as strong as all the hype they are getting, but they will be a team to beat come playoffs.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Joe Finley may be getting bumped down to the ECHL. He was not at practice today for the Bears...wonder whats going on there.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 2, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Also dont forget Danny Brierre is finally healthy for Philly. That should help them out a lot.

Posted by: ThePat | October 2, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I think the flyers really overpaid to get Pronger but the Caps don't have anyone nearly as good as him in their own end. yes the D looked good last night and hopefully they will keep improving but the B's don't have anyone near the caliber of Crosby and Malkin. it's just the first of the grueling 82 game season plus the olympics.

Posted by: joek443 | October 2, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Before this BMo thing gets out of hand, I clearly said in my post that he played a very good game. I just said out of the 3 people on that 2nd line, BMo had the most "trouble." He had the only glaring mistake, which was not capitalized on, so it doesn't really matter. Knuble had a stupid high stick.

I, in no way, shape, or form ever insinuated that BMo had a bad game.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Everyone thinks they overpaid for Pronger. It's Philly, what can you do? They like to overpay for superstars.

Kessel was a bigger robbery, I think. At least Pronger is proven...Kessel...not yet.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Ice packs are pretty common after games...heck football players take a bath in buckets of ice...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 2, 2009 1:08 PM |

This true, but I've seen the football players with the ice packs during the postgame.

I had never noticed it on hockey players during the post game interviews- until last night. That's why I found it as curious.

Posted by: Fro_ | October 2, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

BTW don't think the flylers will live up to the hype and go all the way. this ain't a fantasy league, this is real hockey. anytime you add significant new pieces to a team, it takes time to develop.

Posted by: joek443 | October 2, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Puckman, Comcast is a $44B publically owned company. Ed Snider sold his stake in Spectacor to Comcast. He is still chairman of Comcast Spectator (that owns the flyers). Comcast owns both Versus and Comcast Spectacor. But Snider does not own Comcast the big company.

Posted by: rjma1 | October 2, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I feel so bad for Vokoun.

He's a great goaltender who will never get his chance to shine in the elite tier like he should in Florida. Looks like they still want to give up the most shots in the league again.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Was Cbourque claimed because Bissonette was claimed?

I think so. If none of their guys were claimed, I bet they would have let CBo slide.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The Flyers are good, but dumb. That coach is the biggest idiot on the face of the earth, and most Flyers fans will tell you he sucks.

I also hate to say it, but they didnt stack that team with the smartest guys in PA. People like Scotty "The Glove," Hartnell and Riley Cote...Dan Carcillo still thinks the most penalty minutes wins the game...It's a joke in Philly...Mike Richards is also still crying because his play-buddy Joffrey is gone...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 2, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I had never noticed it on hockey players during the post game interviews- until last night. That's why I found it as curious.

Posted by: Fro_ | October 2, 2009 1:20 PM
-----------------------
I recall an interview of Fedorov last year when he had an ice pack on his ribs. When asked about it he laughed and said it was because he was tackled by Ovi. That could explain Brooks' need for ice last night...tackled by Ovi. :)

Posted by: tess2201 | October 2, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Was Cbourque claimed because Bissonette was claimed?

I think so. If none of their guys were claimed, I bet they would have let CBo slide.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 1:40 PM

I read something to this effect the other day. Keep in mind that the Pens also got to wait until everyone else passed on the waivers, so they could see whether their guy was picked up at that point.

Either way, he's the 13th forward on their team and likely won't see any playing time anyway. If they hold him up and we handle our cap issues, he could end up back here (if he's worth nabbing).

Posted by: Raber | October 2, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

BTW don't think the flylers will live up to the hype and go all the way. this ain't a fantasy league, this is real hockey. anytime you add significant new pieces to a team, it takes time to develop.

Posted by: joek443 | October 2, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't think they're being tagged as automatic Cup winners. They're being touted as a legit contender, that's all. Its a step forward from last year. Just like the Caps. Its one to hate the Flyers, we should all do that. But I guarantee you that if we had landed Pronger this place would be awash in Stanley Cup optimism. McPhee said it right -- Pronger will be a big boost to that team for 2 years. Whether they can win it all in 2 yrs remains to be seen. James Van Reimsdyk is another piece to their puzzle that some fans forget about. He's a young John LeClair in the making, but he skates better. And Hartnell, Carcillo, Cote etc are all role players. I'd take any of them on my team. What they do, they do well.

the team to watch this year is Tampa. They made the most improvement this offseason. Their big ?mark is goaltending. But their defense is much better and they're going to be one of the harder teams to play against.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 2, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Atlanta picked up Christoph Schubert from the Senators on re-entry waivers. You certainly get the pick of the litter when end up having a sh__ty season!

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 2, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Hartnell also put up 20+ goals last season. Flyers are a good team, and I am a huge fan Giroux and JVR. Along with Briere and Carter, they are a solid team. Like I said, they will be a team to beat in the playoffs. Hopefully not our team to beat.

As far as Tampa, I think if Mike Smith can stay healthy, they will do fine. No one knows if he is a playoff goalie yet, but when he is healthy and on his game, he's a very, very good goaltender.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Some of us are awash in Stanley Cup optimism without old man Pronger. We have a very good team that has a very good chance at making it to that level.

Posted by: _Mark | October 2, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

rjma1 - Snider owns 43% stock in Comcast Spectacor.

Posted by: puckman | October 2, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

yeah i agree - i don't think we match up well with the Flyers in a playoff series. But I'd love to play them anyway. Its always good to:

A - avenge a recent playoff series loss
B- beat the Flyers.

Its a good measuring stick of our mental tenacity to go up against a team like that over a series. It hardens you up for battle. Another reason I wish our division had better rivalries.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 2, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Kulikov, a 2009 draft pick, is also logging substantial minutes already. Quite an exception. Hope they don't rush the kid.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Some of us are awash in Stanley Cup optimism without old man Pronger. We have a very good team that has a very good chance at making it to that level.

Posted by: _Mark | October 2, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I meant MORE awash, lol

I still think personnel-wise we have some question marks. Will BMo stabilize the 2nd line? Will he be durable or will that 2nd line be in flux all year like it has been in the past?

And on paper, I have a hard time seeing our current defense as a Cup winner. Will Mike Green take a step forward in his defensive game this season or will be get even worse because of his aspirations to hit the 50 goal mark. How will Poti play? How will Pothier hold up? I still think we need one more solid defenseman to crack our top 4.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 2, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

2-2 CHI/FLA in Finland. CHI has 40 shots, FLA has 20. Poor Vokoun.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

It definitely looks like Steckel and Laich will be two players who play a prominent role for us this season. Aside from that one screwup, the Steckel-Laing-Clark line had a lot of jump in last night's game. And as hollywood melrose said last night, Laich could score 30 goals this year ala Clark.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 2, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh man Richmondphil, fanohock is not gonna be happy with you....he is DVRing the game and aked for no score updates. Still can't believe all the empty seats in that arena....the announcers said it was a sellout but there certainly are a ton of empty seats.

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

sharp scored for hawks, 3-2

Posted by: _stevo | October 2, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, I hope he does not check it/there are a lot of updates to bury it then!

At least it's just tied, right?

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

It's cool that Koistinen scored.

Posted by: thiazzi | October 2, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I guess but now _stevo is in his doghouse...LOL!

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that was nice to see Thiazzi, and the reaction the crowd had was cool and his acknowledgment of that.

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Very entertaining game....

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Who was Ottawa's GM back then? He sure looks like a tool right now...

The 26-year-old Laich, a former sixth-round pick dumped by Ottawa and plucked by Caps GM George McPhee in a string of unheralded but franchise-building moves, is a garbage man. Over the last two years he had 44 goals and could reach 30 in 2009-10. His goals Thursday were vintage Laich: "I got two goals from a combined two feet out of the net," he said with a laugh -- although his facts were accurate. Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau was happy for the grand-stage illustration that his team is not all about Ovechkin. "We've got guys on all four lines that know their roles," Boudreau said. "We've got guys that know how to play the game."

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 2, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

It's cool that Koistinen scored.

Posted by: thiazzi | October 2, 2009 2:25 PM |

Haha. Whatever.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Just saw an old friend back in the NHL according to TSN, Adam Oates was named an assistant coach today. The article credited Oatesy for helping get their PP straightened out in the pre season

Posted by: BBDwrestling | October 2, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

with Tampa Bay, oops forgot the team he was introduced by

Posted by: BBDwrestling | October 2, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I thought you were referring to the Blogs Troll fantasy league. I dropped Koistenin. Figured you had picked him up.

Speaking of, I've got like 10 CHI/FLA people in that league. Including Vokoun and Huet. At least all the players I have seemed to remain positive.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

@BBDWrestling

That's awesome for Oates. He had great vision on the ice, so maybe he'll make a great coach.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Is Koistenen on Thiazzi's fantasy team??

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

No, Someone else from this blog though picked him up. I think it might be CapsFan75's husband, not sure on who's who in that league.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Burrows scored for me last night so that helped a bit....big fantasy night for me tonight, can't believe I actually have to root for Malkin to get points!! Hopefully he will have a hat trick and the Pens still lose!

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Which team are you?? I'm the Hagerstown Hitmen....missed the draft and that upset me a bit!!

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so that would be you who picked up Koistinen, right?

I am the Richmond Riverdogs.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I did, had a player I had to put on IR so I took the best thing I felt was available.....Still confused about the scoring in that league....Is it combined score for three days or an entire week...in other words how often do the teams we are playing change??

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Versus vs Direct TV issue.

If the DISH Network is available they still have Versus available with one of thier packages. May be worth looking into as it might not cost anything to convert?

Posted by: _LFR | October 2, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

If its normal head-to-head, should be weekly.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Impressive game - Vokoun played lights out.

Side note: It's strange not feeling like I should be rooting against other SE teams. It's nice just being able to worry about how we're playing and not worrying about the other guys.

Posted by: Raber | October 2, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I am in another league which drafts tomorrow morning to get ready for Super Saturday (All 30 teams play tomorrow!). Let me know if you want in. It's rotisserie, as opposed to h2h.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 2, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Ok, wasn't sure how it worked.....tell you the truth I forgot I picked up Koistinen...turned out to be a pretty good move!! I'm in three leagues so trying to keep up is nuts!!

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, why not....four teams should be fun!!!

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

FWIW - if you have DirecTV and call to complain about not having Versus you can get Center Ice Package for either $40 or free depending on whose on the other end...Just making sure everyone saw this from a previous post (I called last night and got it for free a friend called this afternoon and got it for $40)

Posted by: caps22042 | October 2, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

any truth to the rumor of peter forsberg coming to washington? the rumor or (story) depending on your take was mentioned during the Colorado v San Jose game and Sakics retirement. The reporter was from Colorado. he was commenting on Forsbergs health and said keep your eye on him in Washington??? im assuming this would be after or part of a nylander move

Posted by: irish15 | October 2, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Wish I had insider information for you Irish but everyone has heard that rumor but whether there is truth, who knows. I hope not, we don't need someone who can't stay healthy and is 36 years old I believe.

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Andrei Markov out 4 months with a leg injury

Posted by: stulaloyd | October 2, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Markov lacerated ankle tendon out four to six months.....Montreal is done before the season even starts...

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Andrei Markov out 4 months with a leg injury

Posted by: stulaloyd | October 2, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised half the Habs aren't out after last night's game v Toronto. The Leafs ran most of em thru the boards. Exelby crushed Max Pacioretty, he had a hard time getting off the ice. My favorite 3rd liner in hockey - travis moen - had quite the game for Montreal. One of the best FA pickups this offseason.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 2, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Definitely bad news for the Habs.

Another tidbit--McCreary is reffing the Wings-Blues game right now, so I don't think we have to worry about seeing him tomorrow night.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: wocoliz | October 2, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

God I hate McCreary!

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

PhilR, don't we all?

Posted by: wocoliz | October 2, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Good. I hope they won't have McCreary refereeing for us tomorrow night; that would suck. He is beyond a doubt the most slimy, biased, blind WALRUS the NHL Officials' Association has to offer, and I am counting the hours until that bezelwort retires!

I CANNOT **STAND** BILL McCREARY!!!

That said, just because he's refereeing the Wings-Blues tonight doesn't mean the NHL won't stick him on a plane and fly him over a timezone to put him on the ice for the Caps' season opener just out of sheer, unadulterated spite. :-p

(No, I don't really believe that; it'd just be our rotten luck if they did. I hope. I do very firmly believe he's biased, though. During the playoffs, the Penguins went 8-1 when that beastard was on the ice, and multiple times last season, the Caps had to overcome a 2-to-1 penalty defecit to win their game when he was on the ice.)

Posted by: irockthered | October 2, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

So how do you really feel IRTR??!!

Posted by: PhilR | October 2, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

IRTR, you couldn't have expressed how I feel any better!

Posted by: wocoliz | October 2, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

No, my husband's not the one who picked up Koistinen. Someone else did.

On Markov, bad news that he's out for 4 months. My husband's picked up Markov for several teams.

(Okay Caps, look out for Toronto's cheap shot artists tomorrow.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 2, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Everything is hunky dory, but I wouldn't jump to any conclusions and say that Theo redeemed himself. My grandma could've been playing in net for us in this game and the score would've been the same. Kessel-less Bruins looked pathetic on offense and were completely shut down by our D. Theo had absolutely nothing to do for the most part. He had maybe 1 tough save to make other than the one he didn't make (on the Bruins goal).

Posted by: ranndino | October 3, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

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