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The new All-Russian line of Alex Ovechkin, Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Semin got the Caps offense going yesterday recording all of the team's three goals (and the three primary assists on them) in Washington's 3-2 come-from-behind win over Carolina. But the victory at Verizon Center came with a price as Fedorov (lower body) and Shaone Morrisonn (groin strain) both left the game with injuries, read more about the win in Tarik's hard-copy edition story.

*The Hurricanes looked "dumbfounded" after the Caps' late rally, according to the News & Observer.

*Ovechkin and Fedorov share their respect for soon-to-be Hall of Famer Igor Larionov with the Toronto Sun.

*For about a week now we've heard all about Semin's comments about one Sidney Crosby. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Joe Starkey brings up perhaps the more original feud, the one between Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin.

*What's your take on the NHL's new injury policy? As injuries pile up for some of the bigger names in various cities (ie Marian Gaborik, Sidney Crosby, no one knew what was wrong with Rick DiPietro for several days either) many have questioned it. But ESPN's Pierre LeBrun has a new twist on the policy, saying there should be full disclosure through March 1 when most teams begin stretch runs for the playoffs.

In the system:
*The Bears have three road games in three days this weekend beginning tonight at Albany, tomorrow at Wilkes-Barre and Sunday at Bridgeport and will likely look to improve their special teams. Despite winning eight of their first 12 games this season, Hershey has only the 28th best penalty kill in the AHL (which only has 29 teams) and the league's 14th best powerplay.

*Bears defenseman Dean Arsene remains sidelined with complications from a 2007 sports hernia surgery. Tyler Sloan and Graham Mink won't make the trip to Albany either.

Tarik will have injury updates and more from this morning's optional skate.

By Katie Carrera  |  November 7, 2008; 9:37 AM ET
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Next: Morrisonn, Fedorov Listed as Day-to-Day (Updated)


I am hoping for a Sami Lepisto callup today.

Posted by: _jordan | November 7, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

As much as I liked the russian line yesterday, I am already tired of hearing how they jumbstarted the offense. Backstrom centered the line in the third and was on the ice for both of Semin's goals. Does that mean that Backs should be first line center? No, but I think it means that AO and Sasha are magic together regardless of who the center is.

On another note, did anyone else see the amount of blood on the ice after Semin's GW? I think his follow through on the shot clipped Brindamour. He went down in a heap and had to be helped off.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | November 7, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

at what point in the season will the entire hershey bears become the caps because the entire caps roster will be sidelined with groin ( sorry lower body) injuries

Posted by: _stevo | November 7, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

From the last thread

Johnny got the hard hat from last nights game and deserves it. He also deserves the start on Sat. I would like to see BB quit appologizing for JT's horrible play and go back to putting the hot goalie in the net. We will see!

Folks the ice has been discussed to death here. Ted does not own the VC, Abe Polin does and he has said he does not care about hockey, does not care about the ice and will not invest in the equipment needed to improve it. He will manage the building for basketball and concerts (and horses)and to hell with hockey. Until Abe kicks the bucket we have what we have. The NHL ice guru does show up about once a week however, I have talked with him and he said we have average ice most nights compared with the rest of the NHL. Dan Craig said our ice usually ranks between 12th and 20th in the league. After seeing the ice in Ottawa the other night we are obviously not alone.

Posted by: majiksea | November 7, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

DONE!! :-D

Pledge Joe, right?!? (All these darn name changes - I can't keep up!). Anyway, loved your Green comments ... too funny!!

Posted by: Boo- | November 7, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Dont expect good ice on Saturday either. It is too warm.

Posted by: SA-Town | November 7, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

just cuz ur on the ice(backstrom)... doesnt mean u create... they had more chances and shots on net in the first 2 periods, just watch the highlights, nothing but the russian line except when the caps are getting scored on... thx nyls

Posted by: vik191 | November 7, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Jeff Schultz for portraying the Caps as a bunch of pansies by not fighting last night. It makes me sad that sometimes Gods cruel humor gives us the Jeff Schultzes of the world with the inches on us smaller folks but no cajones to go along with it.

Schultz getting the hard hat. What Clarkie needs to do is give him a nice little push into the cars coming out of the Verizon Center parking lot driven by people who have had a few too many. Then Schultz can finally register an official hit on the night.

Posted by: joshipants | November 7, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@joshipants - uncalled for and rude. Can it.

Re: Brind'Amour - not sure; hope it isn't too serious. He was down for longer than I like.

Re: Sloan and Mink - what's up with them?

Re: Fedorov and Morrisonn - ditto?

Posted by: irockthered | November 7, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm not going to reiterate the obvious and previously hashed to death observations about last night's game. But... :)

Poti looked quite good out there on D. He's being nice a quiet out there keeping bad guys at bay.

Green on the other hand has turned into a pylon.

Laich's stock keeps going up. He's got guts and can score. That blocked shot and interception was the turning point.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 7, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse


At first I didn't understand "Pledge Joe" - I thought, no, I'm Joe B! Do I need to polish your tables to get my membership card?

Glad you thought my Green comments were funny. They were also serious.

From now on, I think I will sign off with my original "Tarik name."

Joe B

Posted by: rw-c | November 7, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why everyone's giving Backstrom crap -- he single-handedly created many opportunities last night, both on the powerplay and at even strength. That was his best game all season, it's just bad luck that he's not getting anything to go in for him.

And, yes, actually. I think he should be the first line center, even with Fedorov IN. I think that line starting out together last night did the trick, and the continued Ovie-Semin pairing will continue to pay dividends. And i think that Backstrom can seriously help that line. No matter how you look at it, there are maybe 3 players on the Caps who are better stick-handlers than Backstrom, two of which are/were on his line (Kozlov and Semin), and his countryman, Nylander.

He deserves praise for his effort last night.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 7, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@majiksea: Heh. I've hesitated on JT, noting that a lot of people here were so mad about Huet walking away from the table that they were willing to throw him to the wolves before he even started. I wanted to give him a fair chance. But the fact is that right now, Johnny's the hot goalie. Go with what works. :)

Re: the ice - very true. I still maintain that the ice shavings from every game should find their way into Abe Pollin's pants.

@Greg S.: Tend to think that Green should switch to forward entirely. XD Trade him? No. Take him off D and turn him loose on offense? Maybe.

@joshipants: I think you'll need to demonstrate how for him. You first.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 7, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

joshi - You should be thanking Schultz, as well as Johnson, for keeping the Caps in the game on the endless odd man rushes. Fighting Walker would have accomplished nothing other than throwing momentum back to the Hurricanes.

Posted by: AngryNomad | November 7, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

unfortuantely the team is still looking for the pretty pass -- the arena was booing the team in the 3rd because they wasted so many chances in stead of shooting --- we got lucky and won last night -- thanks to Semin and Johnson
Bruce needs to make it mandatory for inside the blue line to shoot until our guys stop getting too fancy--how many giveaways did nylander have?

any update or Brind'Amour -- did the skate or stick get looked bad

Posted by: caosgary | November 7, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: honed | November 7, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse


Thanking schultz? For preventing odd man rushes?


Posted by: _stevo | November 7, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

brin'amour got hit with semin's stick on the game winning goal. not to make light of it, but it can only help rod's looks. he's a great player but tought to look at.

speaking of high sticks, should a penalty been called on that? i'm not clear on wheather players were responsible for their sticks at all times. i recall olie (i think) got called for a high stick on his follow through in a playoff game a few years back. i seen to recall that it was a bad call because the rule was that you were not responsible for your stick on the follow through, but he got called anyway.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 7, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure when schultz didnt fight walker his thoughts were "this really could swing momentum back to carolina"....more like " i am going to get my a$$ handed to me by someone 6 inches shorter than me"

Posted by: _stevo | November 7, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Actually, he did not say Schultz was preventing odd man rushes. Re-read it.

Posted by: _Mark | November 7, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

From the other thread:

Johnson has to start Saturday, not just because he's playing great, has the "hot hand" and deserves it... but because night-in/night-out, he gives the team a better chance of winning than Jose "Three-or-more." It's as simple as that.

But while Johnny should definitely be considered the number 1 guy, let's not fool ourselves... this team needs an upgrade between the pipes.

Posted by: sinbin | November 7, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@ mark

whatever he said it implied that schultz was helping on D which if you watched the past 10 caps games is clearly not the case

Posted by: _stevo | November 7, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I'll add to the general chorus of people who are tired of hearing Pittsburgh commentators/writers/etc. whine about their stars getting hit during games. OV had plenty of legal hits on Malkin, if you don't want to get hit, don't play hockey.

They seem to think that OV must be mentally unstable to repeatedly take the other teams scorer out of the play.

Anyways, good win by the Caps last night, major boost early in the season. Good to keep Carolina close. Still plenty of things to work on, and plenty of players who have yet to wake up fully, but overall a definite improvement towards playing true Caps hockey.

Posted by: AMHV2772 | November 7, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

As far as the possible high stick penalty on Semin with Brindamour, here is the rule:

"However, a player or goalkeeper is permitted accidental contact on an opponent if the act is committed as a normal windup or follow through of a shooting motion. A wild swing at a bouncing puck would not be considered a normal windup or follow through and any contact to an opponent above the height of the shoulders shall be penalized accordingly."

Posted by: _Mark | November 7, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Which part of brind'amour's face did it hit? That was pretty nasty

Posted by: _stevo | November 7, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure grandpa Rod will be fine. He's already a patchwork of scars. He's hockey-tough.

Posted by: _jordan | November 7, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Is Schultz an All Star? No. Does he have his lapses? Sure, as have all of our D. A sweeping generalization that he is not helping on D is inaccurate. He may not hit like some people would like. He is young, not playing as bad as some would suggest, and will continue to improve.

Posted by: _Mark | November 7, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

As I think about Semin's controversial comments on Crosby, I start to wonder if two thing are in play that have yet to be mentioned:
1) I wonder if Semin thought his comments were off the record. He strikes me as one of the more immature guys and appears very uncomfortable with the press. If he did speak assuming his comments wouldn't be published, then he can't claim as much because it would be an admission of guilt whereas blaming the problem on a poor translation comes off as a claim of innocence.

2) Semin, being Russian, may in fact be trying to focus more attention on fellow Russian and Crosby teammate Malkin. Perhaps this is too sophisticated a theory but I suspect it may be a very common sentiment among the Russian NHLers that Malkin is being unjustly overshadowed by Crosby, leading to someone like Semin to make a blatantly honest, yet indiscreet comment. If Semin wanted to make a serious statement knocking Crosby, he would've been better off attacking his propensity to dive and whine, rather than his hockey skills.

Of course another explanation is that Semin was just being a bone head and as Occam's Razor states, "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best."

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | November 7, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Okay, guys. No, it wasn't perfect. Nothing ever is. Yes, there is room for improvement. Anyone who says that last night wasn't an improvement over the last several games and wasn't a hell of a ride should check their drawers for black eyeliner and razor blades.

Seriously. Our boys took a step in the right direction last night, and they ALL deserve kudos for a job well done.


That was last night. Time to focus on the Rangers game. This is going to be big. We need to win this one - we've GOT to keep the momentum started last night, and carry it through at least the next three games. Last night was good, but it's got to be reinforced, bolstered, extended. if our boys want to be the kind of team we all know they can be, they've got to put forth that kind of effort for sixty minutes, every game.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 7, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

_Mark - Thank you for being a voice of reason.

_stevo - This is the problem with people in general. They don't recognize defense unless it's a blue liner scoring goals or making monster hits. Schultz has been beyond steady on defense this year - the prior game was a rough one, but was his first bad game overall in a good while. Nobody else on the defense, save perhaps Poti, can boast that kind of defensive consistency. But because he quietly goes about doing his job, most don't take notice. Last night he was hung out to dry repeatedly by Mike Green, but he adjusted from the prior game and played the strongest defensive game of any Caps blue liner. Something tells me you would not have appreciated Johansson's play, either.

Posted by: AngryNomad | November 7, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse


thanks for explaination, but i know what a defensman is supposed to do. I loved Calle Jo, kevin hatcher, leaping larry murphy, and on the other end of the spectrum gonchar and green. Schultz is none of these. The one thing i'll give him is that he stays healthy which is a plus.

ps new thread

Posted by: _stevo | November 7, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Of course Schultz stays healthy. He avoids any and all contact. Biggest loser in hockey. And we seem to have our share of them. I hope Eric Mestery grows a pair before making his way up the ranks. I couldn't stand to see TWO beanpole shyboys up here. It was just embarassing to see him run from Walker. How do you have the nerve to even face your teammates after that ? And how many TO's did Mike Green have last night?

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 7, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1....... well put

Posted by: _stevo | November 7, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey all, Long time no chat!

Did anyone read that article linked above about Ovie/Malkin?

It really looks like this guy is out to make OV a villian. Obviously some of his points are correct... but to say Malkin is a boyscout and everything is happening becuase of OV is ridiculous!

Posted by: Scofield | November 7, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

guess my complaining about the ice was not in vane...players getting hurt because it is so crappy. ABE FIX YOUR BUILDING!!!!!!!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 7, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom played a great game last night - he was just snakebitten on getting goals -points. He completely controlled the puck when he had it though.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 7, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

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