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Morning Reading List

As we wait to find out which Caps, if any, might be coming back from their injuries tonight against Boston, here's a story from Dan Steinberg on Karl Alzner. Radio play-by-play man Steve Kolbe also caught up with Alzner recently and you can listen to the podcast here.

*ESPN's E.J. Hradek has deja vu all over again as he reminds us what happened the last time the Bruins headed to D.C. on an impressive winning streak. Last March, Boston won six straight before taking on the Caps at Verizon Center, where the Bruins suffered a 10-2 loss.

*The Bruins called up forward Vladimir Sobotka from Providence yesterday after Stephane Yelle was injured on Monday night, but it's looking like Yelle could play against the Caps.

*In case you missed it, you can check out more links on the Eastern Conference leading Bruins in yesterday's list.

*Pierre LeBrun predicts a new NHL era of teams setting "budgets" in light of the economic downturn, and word at the board of governors meeting is that the salary cap will stay roughly the same for next season. There was also more talk of a growing interest in Europe's Champions Hockey League. Here's the Canadian Press story as well.

In the system:
*Hershey embarks on a two-game road trip to Texas this week beginning on Thursday when they will face the San Antonio Rampage for the first time, then on to Houston on Saturday to take on the Aeros in the teams' first regular season meeting.

*Sami Lepisto evaluates his seven-game stint in the NHL after returning to Hershey.

*Who knew that a player the Bears scratched three out of the first four games of the season would wind up their No. 1 defenseman? Such is the case of Greg Amadio.

*The Hockey News' Ryan Kennedy hopes to see Stefan Della Rovere make the Canadian world junior team.

By Katie Carrera  |  December 10, 2008; 8:39 AM ET
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Next: Osala Recalled; Fleischmann Hurting (Update)


Morning, Katie, and thank you as always for the tidbits. I must confess that I'm kind of worried about the game tonight - we'll see what happens, won't we? :)

From previous thread:
Jschon: I think we get par goaltending when Johnny's in the net. Isn't Johnson right in the middle of the goaltending pack stats-wise? It's Theodore we have to worry about. :(

Now, people can call me not a fan too for saying that I think mauree has a point about an attitude problem on the "easy" games. We don't come out to win every single night. We don't have that killer instinct. Maybe we will later in the season. I'm hoping to see it - if we came out to win every single night and with the goal of humiliating every opponent, we'd tear the conference apart. I firmly believe that.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 10, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I believe that too.

Last March, Boston won six straight before taking on the Caps at Verizon Center, where the Bruins suffered a 10-2 loss.

Oh man I remember that. What a game. Here's for a repeat tonight *raises his office bottle of water*

Posted by: mauree | December 10, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Repost from previous thread

Thanks section117 for posting that link about Pothier. I really hope he can make it back to some semblance of a normal life, whether that includes lacing up the skates or not. Good luck and keep working hard Brian

Posted by: _Mark | December 10, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I would hope it could be a repeat......but.........its two different teams then that last 10-2 game. Boston has it's injured players back, and we have some of or regular players out. Kudos to Boston at this point in the season......they are setting the pace for the east!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 10, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz & mauree -- I agree on the "easy" games. We need to come out with the killer instinct for every game, no matter how "easy" it is supposed to be. I understand not wanting to risk injury, but still...

Re: Greg Amadio - that man is a BEAST out there! I'd love to see him come up to the Caps.

Re: Sami Lepisto and the skates. What? It looked to me like he got hung out to dry, but if he's saying his skates were the issue, I'll buy it; he's the one wearing them... glad he got a new / different pair!

Posted by: irockthered | December 10, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse


I'm not going to use my pair of season tix for Friday's game- we're getting a group to go instead. Let me know if you're still interested. Drop me a line to discuss if you'd like-

Also, I didn't remember that Erskine/Lucic fight from last year. That was great. I'm wondering who is going to step in to take his place this year in that department? The obvious choice would be Brashear, but I wonder if Bradley will give himself another shot against one of the Bruins...

Posted by: Fro_ | December 10, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon from last post - VERY good point. Repost it here? That's a good discussion there. I think those teams would ALL be hosed in our situation.

Posted by: irockthered | December 10, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Saw Peter Bondra last night at Kettler rink (watching his boy practice with the Junior Capitals). This HUGE guy was sitting next to him (You know the kind, NBA size guys - when they sit on a couch, their kness are higher than their heads?) Yes, you guessed it - Chara.

Like some/most of you, I respect Chara for his hard work in the off season and his performance during the season. However, I hope he breaks both of his big toes and his butt falls off tonight - haha.

Posted by: WhyGo | December 10, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

@WhyGo: My monitor hates you for that last bit, dude. :D It almost wore some of the contents of my office water bottle when I read that.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 10, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Katie, the links are great!

Posted by: dezlboy1 | December 10, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

No doubt getting some "home cooking" from a fellow Slovac countryman while he is in town. Better than Boston Beans, I bet.

Posted by: WhyGo | December 10, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Since people have a hard time putting things into perspective around here, I've done some here for you...

Lets play this game... We'll use 6 players (2nd leading scoring wing, 2nd line C, top 2 defensemen, 4th defensemen, 2nd RW)
Where would these teams be without...

Patrick Elias (Semin)
Danuis Zubrus (Fedorov)
Paul Martin (Green)
Johnny Oduya (Poti)
Colin White (Schultz)
Jamie Langenbrunner (Clark)

Trent Hunter
Andy Hilbert
Mark Streit
Andy Sutton
Chris Campoli
Richard Park

Markus Naslund
Brandon Dubinsky
Mike Rosival
Dan Giraldi
Paul Mara
Ryan Callahan

Mike Richards
Jeff Carter
Braydon Coburn
Kimmo Timonen
Luca Sbisa
Joffrey Lupol

Sidney Crosby
Jordan Staal
Kris Letang
Alex Goligoski
Rob Scuderi
Peter Sykora

Phil Kessel
David Krecji
Dennis Wideman
Zdeno Chara
Andrew Ferrence
Blake Wheeler

Derek Roy
Jason Pomenville
Jaroslav Spacek
Andrej Sekera
Teppo Nummenin
Drew Stafford

Saku Koivu
Robert Lang
Andrei Markov
Roman Hamrlik
Francis Bouillon
Guillaume Latendresse

Daniel Alfredsson
Mike Fisher
Filip Kuba
Alexandre Picard
Chris Phillips
Jaarko Ruutu

Nik Antropov
Alexei Ponikorovsky
Tomas Kaberle
Pavel Kubina
Ian White
Mikhial Grabovski

Slava Kozlov
Todd White
Ron Hainsey
Mathieu Schneider
Nathan Oystrick
Colby Armstrong

Rob Brind'amour
Eric Staal
Joni Pitkanen
Dennis Sedinberg
Tim Gleason
Chad Larose

David Booth
Greg Campbell
Jay Bouwmeester
Keith Ballard
Nic Boynton
Radek Dvorak

Martin St Louis
Steven Stamkos
Paul Ranger
Andrej Meszaros
Lucas Krajicek
Jussi Jokinen

I'll stop with just the Eastern Conference. But also add to the mix, not only the is the last name on each list suppose to an injured Clark, also take away their points to represent an ineffective Clark as well. Add to to all list below par goaltending. Add to that the 3rd line C (Nylander) who is underacheiving, or the 2nd highest paid forward on each team, if you prefer.

Posted by: JSchon | December 10, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon: As I said above, I think we're getting par goaltending from Johnny, and the stats bear that out - he's right in the middle of the goaltending pack stats-wise. You're right that we're not from Theodore, because he's so hit-or-miss.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 10, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon - I think Tampa would be right where they are without all those players!

Poor Olie.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 10, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Let's just hope that we have gotten all the injuries to key players out of the way early in the season because the bottom line is we need those guys to have a shot at doing some damage in the playoffs.

I don't think there is a team in the league that would be able to perform as well as the Caps have while missing so many key contributors. However, if these guys can't get healthy and stay healthy than I expect it will be a disappointing end to the season.

Posted by: CapManJ | December 10, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Katie and Tarik- in NO way is this directed at you.

Shocked!! Shocked and stunned by what the Post calls "hockey coverage" this week in the home edition. A fluff story about suites and superstition?

The best team in the east is coming to Verizon tonight for what will be a very important game and THIS was the best they could come up with?

Today we have a front page story about a high school kid and another story about the Nats. Last time I checked, baseball season is OVER.

It pains me to say that Corey over at the Times offers better coverage on the NHL as a whole. When the powers that be look around and wonder why revenue and subscribers keep dropping, maybe they need to look in the mirror and ask why they wont cover the NHL the way a top flight paper should.

Again, not directed at Katie or Tarik or 99% of the posters here. All top notch and they make this blog the best on the Caps in the city. But, a high school basketball story? Really?

I'm done with my rant. Thanks for letting me vent. Have a good day everyone and..

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 10, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I think the only teams JSchon's list doesn't affect would be Ottawa, as they've still got Heatley and Spezza to tear it up, the Isles because they just suck (losing those players wouldn't make a whole lot of difference), and Pittsburgh, as much as I hate to say it, is still going to be a good team (just look at most of last year).

However, take those players away and New Jersey becomes non-competitive, so do Carolina, Philadelphia, Montreal, and Boston, for that matter. It's impressive how better-than-mediocre the Caps have managed to be with such a diminished line-up.

But also, no other team on this list had a player with the start that Semin did, and no other player on this list had the explosion of Ovechkin since he got back from Russia.

Malkin does have 10 more points in one more game than Ovechkin, but he didn't have the slow start that Ovechkin did. The Caps, in lots of ways, have over-achieved at this point in the season. It's very impressive that they're still competitive at all.

Can't wait for the game tonight! I'm rockin' the red bracelet at work today -- and getting some less than desirable looks...

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | December 10, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm done with my rant.

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 10, 2008 9:50 AM
I'm having a similar conversation with a certain weekend sports anchor who showed Wizards highlights with barely a mention of the win Saturday. At the end of the day, ask yourself this question:

Dude, how long have you lived here?

Posted by: Section117 | December 10, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm rockin' the red bracelet at work today -- and getting some less than desirable looks...

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | December 10, 2008 9:55 AM
Wearing clothes might help.

Posted by: Section117 | December 10, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I kid, of course, because I care.

Posted by: Section117 | December 10, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

117- I wont out anyone at the mentioned network, but I saw the same sportscast and just shook my head. You forgot to mention that "they" lead with five min of high school playoff football. Then went to college and then got to the caps at the end for about 10 seconds.

You're right, you're right. After 20 odd years here in DC, why do I still get surprised.

I'm gonna go see if they put Valium in the vending machine at work!

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 10, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Don't break it in half; it works better that way, trust me.

Posted by: Section117 | December 10, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

couple points:
I hope Pothhier will be able to lead a normal post hockey life, nice piece by Corey.!
As far as Caps coverage by comcast or the post, dont get me started...Big game tonight and the post is dealing with portis??
Please.... if i wanted to read/hear about a temper tantrum from a first grader i would call my sister and ask about how my nephew is doing..

Posted by: sasha8 | December 10, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

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