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Morning Reading List: Green's Road to Success


(John McDonnell -- The Washington Post)


Mike Green
's career has been full speed for the better part of the past two seasons. He's flourished under Bruce Boudreau's system to the point where he is a finalist for the Norris Trophy, but a lot of what helped propel Green to where he is now is the support of his family and Western Canada roots.

Yesterday was likely Alex Ovechkin's final day of extra rest before the Capitals take on the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. More on Ovechkin, the team's potential profits from an extended playoff run and Coach John Tortorella's regrets in the notebook.

From your friendly, neighborhood D.C. Sports Bog:

  • There may be a lot of history to this Caps-Pens rivalry, but the current Capitals don't exactly have the emotional attachment to it that the fans do -- yet.

  • Now that we can pronounce Simeon (Sem-YON) Varlamov (Var-LA-mov)'s name correctly, better get cracking on his nickname.

  • The spoils from a safari through Penguins fans' photo galleries.

Ted Leonsis was on NHL Hour with Gary Bettman to talk about what could be a classic series. Listen to the audio clip here.

The Hockey News' Adam Proteau gives you his second-round predictions.

You can also check out the full slate of ESPN picks.

From the Ottawa Citizen, a story about how the CBC hopes to cash in on the NHL's dream series.

The Penguins' Perspective
Veteran Bill Guerin, 38, has been rejuvenated since joining the Penguins who have helped restore the old spark to his game.

Also providing a steady veteran presence to the Penguins in these playoffs is former Capital Sergei Gonchar.

While considerable attention is being paid to Simeon Varlamov, the other goaltender in this series, Marc-Andre Fleury, will likely draw significant focus as well.

Evgeni Malkin's focus, the Penguins acceptance of Ovechkin's enthusiasm and Pittsburgh Coach Dan Bylsma's emphasis on team play not individual flourishes in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's notebook.

In the System
Check out Hershey's lines and defensive pairings as we continue to gear up for the clash of Pittsburgh and Washington franchises.

By Katie Carrera  |  May 1, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
 
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Next: Ovechkin Returns to Practice

Comments

Is it Saturday yet?

Posted by: Sonyask | May 1, 2009 6:04 AM | Report abuse

We need the Green Machine at full throttle in this series. Go Mike! Go Caps!

Posted by: ridgely1 | May 1, 2009 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Is today's practice at 10:30? Is it open? Not on the Kettler schedule.

Posted by: MKadyman | May 1, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Terrific article about Green. Thanks, Tarik. Go Caps!

Posted by: tess2201 | May 1, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Oops! Thanks, Barry, for the article. Didn't check the byline before I posted.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 1, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

As a Caps-Bears fan (I live in Central PA and grew up in Arlington, VA), I watch both teams and was surprised by the Bears lines:

Lines:
Giroux-Aucoin-Mink
Bouchard-Wilson-Gordon
Bourque-Perreault-Beagle
Osala/G. McNeill-Joudrey-Pinizzotto/G. McNeill

D-pairs:
Arsene-Kronwall
Sloan-Alzner
Amadio-Helmer
P. McNeill-Carlson

Osala and Bourque are on the 4th and 3rd lines, respectively and playing LW not RW. I was hoping these guys would get the kind of experience in the Calder Cup playoffs to make the jump to the NHL next year with Kozlov perhaps playing his last year at RW. I was thinking that Clark, Fehr, Osala, and Bourque would all be competing for that spot, and maybe even Kozlov if he resigns for a lot less. I'm also a little disappointed to see Alzner on the 2nd pairing not the first and Carlson as an afterthought. I know the Bears want to win for themselves, but I'm surprised that the guys on the cupse of the NHL playing in the background.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 1, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

@JIMALLCAPS
Don't read anything into those line postings for the Bears. Like Bruce, Bob Woods changes the lines from day to day, and even shift to shift during the game. The boys you're rooting for will see plenty of ice time.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 1, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

From previous......44%/45% either one works for me. The point being, This owners are making money even as the Caps as an entity is losing money. Accounting tricks.

Posted by: RichC3 | May 1, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like the Pens think they have this wrapped up...I love it..bring it..

We have home ice for a reason.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 1, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Hey mike... time for new gloves ?

Posted by: hckyman | May 1, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Some thoughts:

1) Unless a guy like Fehr or 1 of the younger Bears step up, I think we need to resign VK. He doesn't hit or crash the net much for a big guy but the guys seem to thrive with him on their lines. & he does score the occasional big goal or pass. Plus no 1 messes with a 6'5" forward no matter if he's a paper tiger or not.

2) For those who wanted to sit Greenie early in the Rangers series - ummm who else were you going to put in there to move the puck?

3) Weird time to start the game tomorrow - on a Saturday. Thank God it's could be stormy tomorrow & most outdoor activites will be affected. So no reason to go to Gold Cup.

4) Caps in 6.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 1, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

This is great, I have to share:

http://www.bpwtf.org/files/page0_blog_entry1_3.gif

Posted by: Moose33 | May 1, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Man, the Pen's press is really up their on arses, aren't they? Hopefully all the arse-kissing the Pens are getting will go to their heads and provide motivation to our guys. They seem to get motivated by being labeled the underdog more than anything else.

Posted by: johnzilla | May 1, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

PENGUINS SUCK!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 1, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@ SA-Town "Sounds like the Pens think they have this wrapped up...I love it..bring it..

We have home ice for a reason."

I was thinking the same thing when reading the articles from the Pittsburgh papers. Everybody in that town including the writers make it sound like the Caps will need a superhuman effort to beat the mighty #4 seed Penguins.

Posted by: ouvan59 | May 1, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@ SA-Town and ouvan59

One of the big reasons for the #2 seed is because you got fat beating up on the like of Atlanta and Tampa Bay all year. Yes the Caps won the season series against the pens but this is a MUCH different team than you saw during the regular season. The Caps have 2 good scoring lines and a suspect D with an unproven goalie while the Pens have a goalie that has taken them to the SCF. I expect this to be an exciting series and I know the players aren't taking it lightly but don't get fooled by the 2-4 matchup.

Posted by: BiggJohn | May 1, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@lylewimbledon

You are exactly the type of bandwagoner, hockey-illiterate fans that gives solid knowledgeable Caps fans a bad name.

Really??? That's the best you can come up with?? How original.

Posted by: BiggJohn | May 1, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

@ouvan59

It's fine with me...I know Pittsburgh fans and Philly fans that were commenting on our series when we were down 3-1.

Philly fan: You got a hot goalie right now..Fluery is hot too, but Lundqvist is just unreal right now..

Pens Fan: That hot goalie is taking you down.

Both fans didnt feel the Caps were struggling at all, so for the media to act like our 7 game win vs the Rangers is a reflection of us playing bad is just hypocritical.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 1, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Some ideas:

1) I unfortunately know knothing about building web sites, but I DO know that "www.die_pens_die.com" is an available domain, last time I checked. Could someone please build it?

2) Great piece for the Jumbotron or YouTube: Montage of great Russian (8,28,25,39,91,40) goals/hits/saves from this season/playoffs season...set to Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture". Why? b/c the piece was written to commemorate Napoleon's defeat at the gates of Moscow. In fact, the parts of the piece that riff on the the French national anthem could be set to the scenes where Varly shut out MTL and OV schooled them with the Goal of the Year...

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 1, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse


One of the big reasons for the #2 seed is because you got fat beating up on the like of Atlanta and Tampa Bay all year.

And we were also 14-2-2 vs. the Atlantic & 12-4-4 vs. the NE division - so what's your point?
In fact, 1 of the criticism the Caps have had is not being able to put away the SE teams behind them going down the stretch.
If you haven't seen Carolina, u might to do some research.

Yes the Caps won the season series against the pens but this is a MUCH different team than you saw during the regular season. Why do idiots alway make broad sweeping generalization like this but yet like to point out other facts in isolation?

The Caps have 2 good scoring lines and a suspect D with an unproven goalie while the Pens have a goalie that has taken them to the SCF.
Posted by: BiggJohn | May 1, 2009 10:39 AM |
and the Pens goalie is just going to turn it on over night after a mediocre season?

You're making yourself look like 1 of those spinsters from DC but alas you aren't smart enough to be down here with the Phd's.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 1, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse


You are exactly the type of bandwagoner, hockey-illiterate fans that gives solid knowledgeable Caps fans a bad name.
Posted by: BiggJohn | May 1, 2009 10:41 AM |

LilJohn - your teams might be champions but u are the exact type of fan that America sees - 3rd rate.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 1, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

BiggJOhn

We played the same teams Pens did, DB. You mean Pens didn't get the likes of the Isles 8 times. You make it like we played the little sisters of the poor all season. Pens got hot when they changed coaches, other than that they underachived in the w/l column.

Posted by: bhound69 | May 1, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the enlightenment Rocco. In case you haven't done YOUR research, Fleury went 23-8 since Feb 1, hardly turning it on overnight. And again, he is a proven playoff performer.

I didn't realize that the spinsters had cornered the market on Phd's. Maybe I should call the moving van so that I can live amooungst the elite? JOKE!

Posted by: BiggJohn | May 1, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@bhound69

You are correct, this team underachieved a good part of the year. Since the coaching change, bringing in some needed players and getting Gonchar back, they have turned the ship around.

Posted by: BiggJohn | May 1, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I think you are going to see better hockey from Washington and Pittsburgh in Round 2 versus the sloppy play at times we saw in Round 1.

We know Pittsburgh's credibility given their run to the Finals last year before being stoned by the Red Wings, something that happened to the Caps in 1998.

But this Washington team is a mystery. Can they play a full 60 minute game with full intensity and offensive pressure?

This team played 2 periods in separate games against the Rangers and won 4-0 each time.

Makes you wonder what the score would have been with clean and crisp play throughout.

How good is this team?

We are about to find out.

The Capitals won't beat the Penguins playing one or two solid periods per contest.

Posted by: leopard09 | May 1, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I have one thing to say about Fleury's playoff performance:

BUTTGOAL!!!!!

Posted by: jec4p | May 1, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the enlightenment Rocco. In case you haven't done YOUR research, Fleury went 23-8 since Feb 1, hardly turning it on overnight. And again, he is a proven playoff performer.
but the 1-3 record 4.73 GAA .862 Save Pct vs. the Caps sticks out like a sore thumb.
As is the April losses to a couple of SE patsies right? or maybe giving up a 4 goaler to Tampa only to be bailed out by the offense. hmmmmm. which is it? turning it on since Feb1 or facing real competition in the closing month in the middle of a fight w/ Philly & showing Fleury for who he is - a sham - 1 year wonder.

And Since you didn't address the overall body of season issue, I'll count that as +1 for us Caps supporters > than u Penz guys.


I didn't realize that the spinsters had cornered the market on Phd's. Maybe I should call the moving van so that I can live amooungst the elite?
Posted by: BiggJohn | May 1, 2009 11:12 AM |

That would bring down our property value here.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 1, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

This team played 2 periods in separate games against the Rangers and won 4-0 each time.
Makes you wonder what the score would have been with clean and crisp play throughout.
How good is this team?
We are about to find out.
The Capitals won't beat the Penguins playing one or two solid periods per contest.
Posted by: leopard09 | May 1, 2009 11:31 AM |

Caps have played down to their opponents all season - big criticism esp. against the SE. But good wins/records vs. Boston, Det, Penz. & NJ.

Really the teams that have given us the most problems during the regular season are NYR & NJ & the SE's teams. Most have been eliminated.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 1, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Rocking the Red in Pittsburgh. Have standing room only tix in C-17 for Game 4. Need some more red to join me. Anyone making the road trip?

GO CAPS!!

Posted by: redrocker2 | May 1, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Since the pronunciation has been mentioned again...

The way the names are pronounced would have really been the most correct way to spell them in English. The rules of transliteration from Cyrillic into different languages are specifically for that. To spell the names in the target language exactly how they're pronounced in Russian (or as close as possible) so that there would be less confusion.

As I've mentioned before the most correct way to spell Varly's name would be Semyon Varlamov and the most correct way to spell Semin's name would be Aleksandr Syomin.

Sasha is not really a nickname. It's just diminutive of Aleksandr, which is like Alex to Alexander in English. Syoma, which is what Ovie calls him, is a nickname derived from the proper pronunciation of his last name, Syomin.

Posted by: ranndino | May 1, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

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