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Morning Reading List: Aucoin's Big Chance

(Bruce Bennett - Getty Images)

Keith Aucoin is making the most of his time with the Capitals, whether by bringing energy or making sure he's on Alex Ovechkin's good side by knocking the puck in the net the first time he received a pass from the reigning MVP.

Bruce Boudreau was on the Old Barn Hockey Show in Hershey yesterday and you can check out the audio by clicking on the link for the second segment here.

The Capitals' playoff games, and final three regular season contests, will be broadcast by WJFK 106.7 FM.

Alex Ovechkin's "Superhuman Spin" made it out of the Pool A of TSN's Play of the Year showdown. Now it's on to Pool B, where you can vote for Alexander Semin's "On Bended Knee."

Dan Steinberg has a few Caps morsels over at the neighboring D.C. Sports Bog, beginning with Shawn Springs' first visit with the team. "I hang with the Caps 'cause they're winners."

And what would the D.C. Sports Bog be if Steinberg didn't track down the Ted Leonsis look-a-like that was in attendance at the Caps home finale?

Thrashers Cliff Notes
Ondrej Pavelec, who allowed five goals the last time he faced the Capitals, is expected to start tonight in net for Atlanta. The Thrashers have important decisions to make at the end of this season regarding their future in goal and perhaps the fate of their prized prospect.

Defenseman Clay Wilson could also make an appearance against the Caps after being called up yesterday.

Frozen Four
Inside College Hockey offers "getting to know you" profiles of Bemidji State's Matt Francis, BU's Matt Gilroy and Vermont's Dean Strong.

College Hockey News breaks down the Boston U.-Vermont semifinal match up. You can also check out Jack Parker's opinion of being the top ranked team in the country and the Catamounts' familiarity with their Terrier opponents.

The Hockey News' Ken Campbell thinks it's tough to grow college hockey.

Greg Wyshynski chats with Bemidji State's Matt Read about the NCAA tournament, hockey movies, his Stanley Cup favorite, what college kids do for fun in Bemidji ("Um, ice fishing.") and more.

In continuing with our D.C. Sports Bog theme today, Steinberg offers the details of the union between one Bemidji State hockey team and the George Mason pep band.

By Katie Carrera  |  April 7, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
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Next: Brashear 'Very Doubtful'


Glad to see some updates on the Frozen Four. What kind of regular coverage is the Post going to give to the games? There doesn't seem to be much buzz.

Posted by: SuperG5 | April 7, 2009 5:56 AM | Report abuse

So does Montreal still want the Caps, or do they even make it to the playoff's with the loss of Schneider and Markov last night?

Posted by: austinsteve | April 7, 2009 5:59 AM | Report abuse

bring on the ???.Ooo who cares,just bring em on!!LETS GO CAPS!LETS GO CAPS!LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: gratefuldid | April 7, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Pitts and Habs are not in position to "want something" rather than just playe their best to get into PO.

Posted by: Hazz | April 7, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

who cares if they want us - we should want them (especially with the loss of markov and schneider). should be an interesting game ... i will definitely be keeping my eye on it in between caps action!

wow - first i was a smart@&& and now i am corny?!? you better lighten up or you're gonna give me a bad reputation! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 7, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

YES! An FM radio station for Caps games!! :D

Posted by: rachel216 | April 7, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Montreal is really hurting. I think that would be a first round treat to see them.

They need to win one more game, and I think they can hold the seven spot.

Our magic # is 5 for the 2 seed.

Posted by: mikef10 | April 7, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I like that Montreal wants us. They had been playing better lately but a loss to the Ottawa Senators is not good!! And now they don't have Andrei Markov or Matthieu Schneider.

Be careful what you wish for, Montreal!

We should hope for a Pens' win over Tampa and a Canadiens win over the Rangers to keep them in 7th.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 7, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Watching Pool B -- Gotta give my vote to Hagman. Semin's goal was amazing, but Hagman was skill and determination.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | April 7, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

JIMALLCAPS: I agree about the Hagman goal but since I am a Caps chauvinist, I voted for Semin anyway. I watched them all first, but but I knew how I would vote before clicking to TSN.

Posted by: uncatim | April 7, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Anyone going to the game tonight? My son and I will be sitting in 116 row T. Stop by and say "HI".

Let's go CAPS!!!!

Posted by: TrappedinGA | April 7, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I really want to see a Pitts/Philly first round, so I guess Im pulling for the Pens tonight. Is that allowed?

Posted by: SA-Town | April 7, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

You are allowed as long as you still enjoy seeing Crosby getting checked into the boards.

Posted by: mikesfan | April 7, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I asked my co-worker who is a Pens fan who he wants them to face first round and his answer was "anybody but Philly or the Caps!" :-)

Posted by: tess2201 | April 7, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I think the reason Malkin got leveled the other night is because he was looking in his rear view mirror. What he saw was Ovie on his a$$ in the race for the scoring title.

We need to take care of our own game tonight. If we can manage to win with a Devils loss (Toronto will show up tonight), we can trim our number to 1 point in our last two games, for a second place finish.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 7, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

My hopes for tonight: (1) Ov takes over first in scoring ala hattrick, (2) the Caps win, and (3) the Leafs beat the NJD.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | April 7, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

About PK and etc. from the last thread. I don't put a ton of stock in the PK% because the numbers between the top and the bottom aren't massive. With PK% you have the Rangers and the Wild running about up arond 87% but next 19 teams are all between about 83% and 80%. Not a huge difference in the grand scheme. I'd be much more concerned about the number of minors that lead to the PP - if you stay out of the box then the PK is less of a factor. If you take a look at PPGA the numbers grow a bit and minor penalties taken relate a more interesting story: the Wild have 304 and the Caps 402 - that's a huge discrepancy when you look at a more standard 80% PK. I can live the PK% for the Caps because they so seem to kill untimely penalties but the sheer number taken is a problem. I think it's been remedied a bit over the last month or so but simply staying out of the box is the key.

My two pennies.

Posted by: saintex | April 7, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see the boyz play all three periods for the next three games...time to get into playoff mode.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 7, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I really want to see...

1). 60 minutes of hockey from here until mid-June.
2). Ovie winning the scoring race - I really think he'll do it and have 60 goals (minimum) by the end of the regular season.
3). Montreal melts out of the playoff hunt. Doesn't even get in. There's justice in that for the idiocy that was the ASG voting. The rest of the hockey world will love it.
4). FLA sneeks in so we can lose the stupid SouthLeast moniker.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 7, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The pre-sale of playoff tickets for STH's is going on right this minute for another 3 days. If you know a STH, now is a good time to ask them to get you a pair of tickets (2 ticket limit per account).

I got in and out of the website in 10 minutes, so not as big a rush as last year when it took forever to get thru.

Good Luck, Caps Fans!

Posted by: WhyGo | April 7, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Wow... yesterday's Nats game just served as a reminder of how lucky we are to have the Caps playing for DC. There are probably about 24 or so other teams in this league who'd love to have our list of complaints to attend to at this point. As excited as I am for the post-season to begin, I'm kind of sorry to see this particular regular season end. It's been far too long between teams like this in this town. Go Caps!

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 7, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse


Selling out fast. Only single seats available for Game 1 or Game 2. No pairs together, only individual seats.

Those will be gone in a minute, I bet.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 7, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Dear Wash Post et al,

I do not care what football players think. Not about cars, not about anything, and definitely not about hockey. I don't care about them hanging with winners, I don't care if they attend Ames at verizon, I just don't care. The post and Comcast should stop trying to meld the fanbases and should stop pushing this issue. I'm sick of football being discussed during hockey time. Give it a rest, please.
who's with me? I have no problems standing alone either.

Posted by: oo7 | April 7, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Quick question: If not the Canadiens in Round 1, who then are we likely to face instead?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 7, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse


they can talk hockey with redskins all they want *as long as they somehow include cooley's wife*

Posted by: _stevo | April 7, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I would rather they keep pushing the material out there and let us decide what we want to bother with. If it is somehow Caps hockey related, then bring it on. I would rather have them throw too much out to us than cut back and maybe we don't see something that would have been of interest.

Sometimes less is more, but maybe this time more is better. :)

Posted by: _Mark | April 7, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse


You should look into calling a depression hotline.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 7, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

007, I so agree. Never was a 'Skins fan anyway, even during the few good years that these fans cling to.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 7, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree with poster oo7.

Posted by: sessal | April 7, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with oo7. As a matter of fact I found it almost insulting that some Wizards players were saying they wouldn't recognize a Capital player if they saw them. That was a statement by Butler if I remember right, back when the Caps weren't making the playoffs. I don't know for sure but with the overlap of games, and with the Wizards practice court at Verizon center, wouldn't they cross paths frequently? They park in the same Verizon Center underground garage.

I am sure if Wizards players wanted to speak with OV he woul welcome it in a heartbeat. Heck, everyone knows that Mrs. OV was an Olympic basketball player and OV has credited his Mom's athletic ability being the key more than his Dad's. OV, even being Russian, understood that he was standing next to, when it's all said and done, one of the best basketball players in history when he was with LeBron last week. OV is a phenom, and was already a Calder Cup winner when Butler made that statement. What a shame.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 7, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Not depression so much as, WGAS about football.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 7, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The pre-sale is for partial plan holders. Season ticketholders already received their tickets for the entire playoffs (I got mine a couple days ago). I bet games 1 & 2 are completely sold out within the next 15 minutes, if they aren't already.

Posted by: TwoBuckChuck | April 7, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Have to admit though. I am a 'Skins fan. The only time I miss a 'Skins game is if the Caps are on, or I am at Verizon for the Caps. Nonetheless, the Caps should have the spotlight to themselves. Of course that's my personal opinion, so don't be me up over it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 7, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm actually with you on that, oo7. I posted a comment on the DC Sports Bog that those meetings feel staged and that there isn't a real genuine interest other than they have nothing better to do and are only there because they have those VIP suites. Otherwise, I hardly doubt any of them would even buy a ticket for any of the games.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 7, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@twobuck, the pre-sale is for all STH, not just partial. I managed to get a nice upper pair for game 2 for some friends.

Posted by: saintex | April 7, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

You guys have no clue on marketing.

The Hockey writers are looking for web hits and stats to drive ad revenue.

They want to gain exposure by crossing stories between football and basketball with hockey and getting those fans looking at Caps content.

I would bet those Skins/Caps stories get way more clicks then just Caps stories alone.

They know they have your they want more..

Simple business stuff guys...

Posted by: SA-Town | April 7, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

no, I don't need a depression hotline. I need less football pandered to me. I don't like the "jockeys cool, see even the football players think so" bs. they're not showing up on their own, they're being brought together by the media. The media needs to stick to objective journalism. It's just a cheap excuse for comcast anchors to hang out with athletes. This is exactly why objectivity has gone out the window. The journalists (I'm using the term loosly, Steinberg) want to be stars too when they should be working harder at journalism. When you see a blond from csn sitting with Campbell at a caps game it's because they took him there and the director put the camera on them. When she asks him if he likes the game, it's scripted. Do you think he's gonna say no? It's BS. It's transparent and it's tabloid.

Posted by: oo7 | April 7, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

speaking of Skins, Jason Campbell was at the Islanders game a week ago and he couldn't have looked less interested. If dude is going to sit in a comp'd seat in row A then he should show some emotion and maybe lose the baby-blue sweater. Didn't even stay to the end. Gonk.

Posted by: saintex | April 7, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

glad to see some see thru the ruse.
I know it's marketing, SA-town, but that doesn't justify it. It's more of an attempt to pander. It's away for the non- hockey fan journalists to be involved and still hang out with football players. No one at Comcast besides lisa Hillary cares about hockey. And no one aside from Tarik and apparently Boswell cares at the post. It's only because the wiz suck and the skins have as well that we see so much interest. When was the last time the caps werent on HD? That's appropriate. Using football to move more hockey content isn't. it will stop the moment it isn't profitable, so it cease to be journalism and becomes tabloid.

Posted by: oo7 | April 7, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I'm talking about extra tickets, in addition to the ones I have for my season ticket seats. The sale got me an extra pair of LL seats for Game 1. Too late for Game 2, already sold out for pairs.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 7, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@saintex - Cool, thanks for clarifying. Wasn't sure if everyone got that promo code or not, since we're partial plan holders this year, & signed up for the full season next year to make sure that we got the playoffs.

Posted by: TwoBuckChuck | April 7, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@two, you got the code because you bought seasons for next year.

Posted by: saintex | April 7, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

exactly, saintex, Campbell stayed long enough to do the tv spot then he was gone.

Posted by: oo7 | April 7, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

oo7 is right. Who cares what football players think and that goes for politicians and other non-hockey people looking for exposure as well.

Posted by: hock1 | April 7, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse


You may be young but your reasoning is very sound and logical and your posts very thoughtful.

I don't think that Theo is bad (or that Johny is a sieve). I guess I am looking for goalies with the potential for breakthrough performances--the kind that has stymied even our star players in the past and, at times, shut us down completely. All three goalies are capable of this but, at least Johny & Theo, have been uneven on the stellar-performance level.

Oswood had trouble this year but he was absolutely phenomenal last year--at the top of his game. It is interesting how hard it is to sustain stellar levels of performance in goal-tending, by the way. Not sure it is as true with forward positions. Look at Cam Ward, Carey Price and our own Theo who has not repeated his Vezina/Hart trophy level as far as I know. This is why I admire Brodeur. His longevity is awe-inspiring.

But we are all blowing off steam. Who knows! Your scenario has as many chances at being right or wrong as mine. It will be really interesting to watch Varly and Aucoin tonight and see whether they cement their position or blow their chances. Can't wait.

Posted by: caraveli | April 7, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

sorry for the rant, everyone.
onto tonight: Huge game between Panthers and Flyers. Panthers are playing well while the rangers are sliding. I have mo idea who will win but it's a must for Florida.

Posted by: oo7 | April 7, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I know a better marketing campaign to get more people interested in the Nationals and Redskins (former and current) - try not sucking.

I don't think the Capitals need them riding their coat tails into the Playoffs. Correct me if I'm wrong but were the Capitals clinging onto the Redskins when they had their moment int he spotlight? No. It's almost as bad as seeing those pictures of that idiot Paris Hilton hitting on Jose Theodore. Ill.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 7, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

After reading the piece about Ondrej Pavelec I will feel sorry for him if he allows another 5 goals or so from us. Of course I want us to win but hope he is not humiliated. Ha! Watch him have a shutout against us to embarrass me for pitying him.

Aucoin must be under huge pressure for tonight's performance. If he can still perform well under this kind of pressure, he gets extra points in my book.

Posted by: caraveli | April 7, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

holy crap! Markovgone for 3 weeks and Schneider to have surgery?! Goodbye Montreal! That makes the Panthers game even more critical.

Posted by: oo7 | April 7, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree with oo7. I hate watching the Caps post game live and they keep sending it back to the studio to tell me about some Redskins crap I could care less about! They waste good time that the hockey knowledged announcers could be talking and analyzing the game. The people in the studio (meaning not Joe, Al, or Craig) always try to cover other NHL games and they can't even pronounce most of the player's names...they obviously don't keep up with hockey. When it is hockey time, it needs to be JUST hockey! The Redskins can be covered during their show, their post game coverage, and the sports night show on Comcast. Just let the Caps shine, they are the only team worth a damn in DC. And as far as the Wizard players not knowing what any of the Caps players look like...well the same could be said of them...they are a disgrace!

Posted by: NatyBG | April 7, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

A few things I agree with:
yes, Caravellu, I like jmu's thoughtfulness too.
yes, leftcoast, they do not need the redskins as next years season tix sales prove.

If Montreal blows this (all star karma) and Florida gets inill be thrilled. 1, I want our division to be tougher, 2 Florida has been down too long, 3, Ny could fall to 8th, Florida might get to 7th and the Caps get a great 1 at round match up.

Posted by: oo7 | April 7, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: oo7 | April 7, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

How'd we do with the Panthers? I know the last Caps versus Panthers game I watched back in October, we beat the Panthers but I know we also lost a game to them too. Should we be worried, if we do meet them in Round 1 instead of the Canadiens?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 7, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: KireDCU | April 7, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse


I couldn't agree with you more. It's just like High School...the losers (Skins) are always trying to hang with the cool kids (Caps). I was raised in DC, so being a Skins fan is in my blood, but I could care less about them now. When Danny gets lost and Cerato impales himself on a dull blade, then maybe I'll show interests again. Until then leave us alone with the football DB's.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 7, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Go Bemidji State! I would love to see a BU Bemidji state final game where Bemidji state holds their own. And considering what they did to Notre Dame, not to mention my boys at Cornell it could happen.

Posted by: ThatGuy1 | April 7, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

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