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Morning Reading List: Caps Find Motivation in History

(Preston Keres - The Washington Post)

The Capitals may already have a playoff spot, but with five games remaining in the regular season they're looking to capture a few more milestones to further cement this year's team in franchise history.

The Washington Times takes a look at Mike Green's unmatched offensive production. Check out the full story here.

What happens when Alex Ovechkin meets LeBron James? Go to the D.C. Sports Bog to find out.

Greg Wyshynski shares some more details of Green's promise to his childhood friend that he'd score two goals on Wednesday night. If only all athletes took fantasy sports requests.

List Islanders goaltender Joey MacDonald among those who think Green could walk away with the Norris Trophy this year.

You can vote for Alex Ovechkin's spin-o-rama goal against Montreal in the first round of TSN's Play of the Year showdown.

Speaking of the Canadiens, they defeated the Islanders 5-1 last night to move into seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Sabres Cliff Notes
A 3-2 overtime loss to Atlanta earlier this week hasn't done much to instill hope that the Sabres might reach the playoffs -- or that they'd succeed there.

Before that loss though, Buffalo won three straight games (scoring five goals in each) and appeared to be picking up steam for a late playoff push as several forwards found their scoring touch.

In the System
Hershey's marathon-man Kyle Wilson is on pace to play in all 80 games for the second straight season, marking the first time since a Bear has been able to do so since the 1991-93.

Goaltender Braden Holtby is en route to Hershey, Tim Leone reports and defenseman Joe Finley is slated to join the Bears on Monday.

After his Blades lost in a Game 7 Wednesday, Holtby told reporters in Saskatoon that he's excited to get to Hershey.

Both Keith Aucion and Alex Giroux were named to the AHL's First All-Star team and you can check out the full rosters here. The Bears haven't had a first-teamer since 2003-04.

Frozen Four
The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation announced the three finalists for the trophy, which will be presented on Apr. 10 at Verizon Center, yesterday.

Check out GM George McPhee's college hockey memories and his take on why the Capitals wanted to bring the Frozen Four to D.C.

By Katie Carrera  |  April 3, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps Sign Joe Finley
Next: Morning Skate Update: Sabres at Caps



Posted by: gebster | April 3, 2009 6:03 AM | Report abuse

Just had to do it. Let's go CAPS! Let's wrap up the SE tonight!

Posted by: gebster | April 3, 2009 6:07 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: ludeman95 | April 3, 2009 6:17 AM | Report abuse

What is with the "moveable type" page?

Posted by: NatyBG | April 3, 2009 6:19 AM | Report abuse

Green has been snubbed in the last two All-Star games and I have the feeling he will be snubbed for the Norris. He is getting alot of press but no accolades from the NHL but he is EXACTLY what the league needs. Heck, the Caps are what the league needs and its a great time to be a fan!!!!

GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 3, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

The Washinton Capitals are Southeast Division Champs! I can hear Joe Beninati say it already! Anyone going to tonight's game is SO LUCKY! Go CAPS! :D

Posted by: rachel216 | April 3, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: rachel216 | April 3, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

So we have done the MVP chants for Ovie, and should do them again tonight if he scores.

If Greenie scores tonight....Norris Trophy..clap...clap....clap.clap.clap.

I think would be in order. Agree?

What a story it would make if they both score and both get the chants.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 3, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

@rachel216 - SHH! Don't jinx us!!! Lord knows I really want to see us win tonight, but we are 2-1-0 against the Sabres, so a win is not guaranteed.

The guys need to concentrate, play the system, and stay out of the box... this game means something, dammit! GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: irockthered | April 3, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Wow the Sabres have two games in hand against the Rags. If they win both (and today's one of those games) they'll be within 2... they'll play like they mean it.

Posted by: mauree | April 3, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Green should be a Norris winner (or necessarily top 3 contender, but that's nothing against Mike. I simply think that the defensive aspect of the "league's best defenseman" should play at least a 50% part in the award.

Let's be honest...there's no better goal scoring, puck-moving D-man than Mike, but he will improve greatly at his defensive skills (being in position, not making bone-headed plays, etc.) in the next few years and will absolutely be Norris-worthy.

As far as opposing teams' goalies chiming in on who they think is Norris-worthy...that seems strange to me. I would think opposing teams' forwards would be better-suited to comment on who good another teams defenseman is..obviously the goalies simply know how much a threat Mike is in the offensive zone.

Posted by: pachanga74 | April 3, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Woohoo, I get home yesterday and waiting is a FedEx package with my playoff tickets! (Tickets not to taken internally.)

Posted by: koalatek | April 3, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Frozen Four: Did anyone see the highlight of the Air Force-Vermont East Regional Final? It went double-overtime and was decided by a Vermont goal where the puck passed through the net. Play continued because no one was sure a goal had been scored. Finally, the refs looked at the video, and 12 1/2 minutes later they concluded that the puck really did go into the top corner, just under the cross bar, and out the other side through the net. Great game. Special congrats to Air Force on their upset shut-out victory over #1 seeded Michigan.

Posted by: baruchgershom | April 3, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Just found this on the net while researching April Fools day. Good to have an owner with a sense of humor!
In 1996 AOL subscribers who logged onto the service were greeted by a news flash announcing that a "Government source reveals signs of life on Jupiter." The claim was backed up by statements from a planetary biologist and an assertion by Ted Leonsis, AOL's president, that his company was in possession of documents proving that the government was hiding the existence of life on the massive planet. The story quickly generated over 1,300 messages on AOL. A spokesman for the company later explained that the hoax had been intended as a tribute to Orson Welles's 1938 Halloween broadcast of the War of the Worlds.

Posted by: CapCenterholdover | April 3, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Green's a +23, which simply can't be done if bad positioning and 'bone-headed plays' are your defensive stock in trade. Are you suggesting only a s@h d-man should win the Norris? Or that the best defense isn't a great offense, after all?
I won't be bent if 52 -doesn't- win the Norris, but it makes sense he's on the short list.

Posted by: redlineblue | April 3, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

The winner of the AHL version of the Norris is being announced today. They usually have it posted by 2pm at Alzner is up for consideration, but I'm guessing the lack of S@H on the All-Star Teams makes it unlikely.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 3, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that Caps fans could make a better playoff bracket than what we wake up to this morning. The B's would have to deal with the Rags, the Pens and the Devils, and the red-hot Canes vs. the Flyers. The Caps draw the Habs. If it somehow ended up so in a week's time, I'd be perfectly happy.

Posted by: saintex | April 3, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I would like to freeze dry ands vacuum pack the current standings.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | April 3, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

The Caps' numbers rush is nowhere near the motivation the Sabres have tonight. They've got a mathematical shot at the playoffs and games in hand against the Habs and Rags, plus they despise the Caps. I'd look for a hard-hitting Sabres team to come out there. Fortunately, they'll be going after Ovi, which will only motivate his game and the teams's. I'd look for the Sabres to come out strong and the Caps to wake up and win. Go Caps!

Posted by: Sonyask | April 3, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Off topic:
Did anyone see Chad LaRose's leap into the glass last night after scoring the go ahead goal against the Rangers? Everyone is doing that now, so Cherry can shut it!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 3, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Let's give the team a big,loud send off this weekend off to finish up the season on the road. A weekend sweep would put a nice finish to a great home season. But,no question the Sabres will be at full tilt tonight.

Posted by: ridgely1 | April 3, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Sonyask: Agreed. Tonight's game will be really intense. Sabres need the 2 points badly. Both teams will come out hard. I think the Caps' energy level will be really high, with the thought of the division and the Sabres aren't exactly a bottom of the cellar team.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 3, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Stick a fork in the Sabers, they're done. A couple 1st period goals and they'll fold their tents. They don't have enough O to pass Fla & NY this late in the season and even if they did it would just be as canon fodder for Boston.

Posted by: ds_kelly | April 3, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

So, I'm hoping games 1 & 2 will be Wed 4/15 & Fri 4/17. My spouse made elaborate plans for me the 18th. Nothing is on the VC schedule for any of those days.

The hope is the League will want to have a game Friday night and Sunday. Do you think I'll luck out and they'll play Friday night, not Saturday?

Posted by: Sonyask | April 3, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Not exactly. The Sabres actually average more goals per game than both the Rangers and the Panthers.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 3, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Rachel's right. Plus they had little problem garnering O in our first meeting this season, when they spanked us 5-0.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 3, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

ds_kelly -- We can, however, bring forks with us to stick in them after tonight's game, because that will be about the end of the line for them should we win. With any luck, we'll see 2 teams whose fortunes are headed in entirely different directions.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 3, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling we might see alot of Sabres fans. They are the type that bought tickets for this game early on in the season.

I think we should usher them out with a Na-na-na-hey-hey goodbye!

Posted by: SA-Town | April 3, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

SA-town -- absolutely, and they really hate Ovi, considering him a dirty player for his hit on Briere a couple of seasons ago. Let's shut 'em up.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 3, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse


I don't think I was suggesting that bad defensive play was Green's "stock in trade." I'm just of the opinion that he shouldn't be amongst the top 3 or so considered for the award. Maybe it's just my personal preference that the award go to somebody who is foremost defensively sound and secondly adds offensive support.

I think that good offense does help the defense, but I don't think Ovechkin should win the Norris next year if we switched him to D just because he'd crush the league's defensemen in goals & points. I guess it surprises me to hear talk of Green & Norris on TV, etc., but I'm not complaining. I think he has a long ways to improve defensively...and that's a good thing because he'll be ridiculous in a couple of years.

Posted by: pachanga74 | April 3, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

A Norris Trophy for Green would not be great long term for him. While he's the best offensive D-man in the NHL, by no means is he a complete defenseman. Winning the award will only hinder his progress, and reinforce in him that it is Offense first, defense second. I don't mind this attitude on the PP, but Green has a ways to go defensively, and he needs to focus more on his D.

Posted by: gtydings | April 3, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse


Since when does Mike Green want to be a complete d-man? He is the 4th forward out there, and look at his plus minus.

The ice is tilted when he is out there, not to mention he sets records on the power play.

Green line puts it in the net way more then he lets them in, and that's all I care about.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 3, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

We'll see in the playoffs when a bad rush by Green leads to an easy goal going the other way.

Wouldn't you like to see Green become a better defensive player (his position)? He's already got the O skills.

It reminds me, and excuse the NBA reference, of Jordan. He could score all he wanted his first few years, but the team was average. When he learned defense, his team won championships. Ditto Federov in his early years

Posted by: gtydings | April 3, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Joey MacDonald just got Deuced by Green last night so I think his Norris opinion is a bit biased, don't ya think?

It would be great yes, but I too would be very surprised if Green got a Norris nomination this year. He needs much more defensive stability at this point, his +24 not withstanding. His backchecking has improved annually so I think he will see a nomination in a couple of years.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | April 3, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Uh, I meant the "other" night, not last night...geez.

@Rachel, yes, and props. Also, Steven Stamkos does the one-knee, fist pump all the time. Yeah Cherry, fist pump this!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | April 3, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

About those Sabres.

Ryan Miller has a GAA of 2.52 and a SV% of .918 The Sabres have a fairly permeable defense (1623 SA) so the SV% is a pretty important stat for him. And his SV% is the same as Luongo's and Mason's. Miller will most likely be appearing in the net for the US come the Olympics next year.

We won't be getting any easy goals tonight.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | April 3, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree that this won't be an easy game, and that we'd better come out flying and physical if we want to win - creating traffic, crashing the net, the whole kaboodle. The Sabres are desperate, and this is a game in hand for them; they'll want to make the most of it. They will bring their A game tonight, and they flattened us 5-0 early in the season. I haven't forgotten that. They are a bubble team, though, and we've had issues with that tier, too.

Miller is good, and I'll eat my hat if they put any other goalie in. (And call them idiots.) I'm hoping the boys will come out flying tonight.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 3, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Erskine out = Caps win.

Posted by: bucknelldad | April 3, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Green has been snubbed in the last two All-Star games and I have the feeling he will be snubbed for the Norris. He is getting alot of press but no accolades from the NHL but he is EXACTLY what the league needs. Heck, the Caps are what the league needs and its a great time to be a fan!!!!

GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr


Even though what you say may (unfortunately) happen, it makes no sense. Especially given Bettman's propensity for marketing Crysby to death because he's a Nice Clean-Cut Canadian Boy.

So then, why not Green? Isn't he a Nice Canadian Boy too--except with real skills? I guess he might be too much of a rock 'n' roller for Bettman's tastes...

Still, we can hope that we're both wrong.

Honestly, I think it's more of a bias against non-Original Six teams in general and against the Caps in particular.

Posted by: Rhino40 | April 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

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