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Morning Reading List

For today's hard-copy edition, Tarik takes a look at Jose Theodore's recently improved play. As mentioned after the win over the Leafs, Theodore has stopped 64 of the 68 shots he's faced since being pulled in the first period against the New York Rangers and is beginning to look like the No. 1 netminder he was signed to be.

*Alex Ovechkin was named the league's first star of the week. He has 12 goals in 13 December games that could help him garner the first star of the month as well.

*U.S. News and World Report's John Aloysius Farrell believes the Caps could end D.C.'s championship curse.

*The New York Post's Larry Brooks says the NHL "should be embarrassed for itself" by the way it overlooks Ovechkin in promoting the game.

"The NHL's All-Crosby-All-The-Time marketing machine has been detrimental to the sport by virtue of its exclusionary policy," Brooks said.
"We get it, Crosby is Canadian and Ovechkin is Russian. But we also get that focusing on one athlete at the expense of a contemporary at least his equal and now clearly his superior, is stupid strategy that makes for horrible business policy."

*Along those lines, Pierre LeBrun's question of the week is: Where should the 2010 Winter Classic be held? The Capitals have surfaced in conversations about this event, so what do you think? Would you go to a future Winter Classic featuring the Caps even if the game would likely be somewhere with a colder climate?

Sabres Cliff notes:
*Buffalo won its only game in the mere three days since they last met the Capitals -- a 4-3 shootout win over the Islanders -- in which the Sabres continued to suffer from their inability to close out games by giving up two third-period goals.

*Young players and call ups are nothing new to the Caps and the Sabres have a share of their own in Nathan Gerbe, Chris Butler and Tim Kennedy, who was returned to Portland on Sunday.

*Center Paul Gaustad could return to Buffalo's lineup against the Caps after missing the past five games with an upper-body injury.

*And just for grins, take the time to relive Ovechkin's goal that highlighted the Caps' 3-2 win over the Sabres on Boxing day.

In the system:
*The London Free Press has a Christmas story on Caps' 2007, sixth-round pick Justin Taylor as the Knights prepare for three games in the next four days.

By Katie Carrera  |  December 30, 2008; 7:54 AM ET
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Next: Alzner Not Expected To Play; Sloan Recalled (Updated)


I think having the Classic in DC would be great! Play it on the Mall with the backdrop it creates would be unlike anything you could see anywhere else in the world!

Posted by: Krazijoe | December 30, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Caps v pens/flyers/rangers at RFK. get the stands rocking. perfect site. no too big, lots of history.

but more importantly than where, how about when. why does the nhl insist on playing this game on one of the busiest sports days of the year? how about making it a staple of the week before the super bowl. a veritable wasteland of sports. they would have the day to themselves in terms of sports.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 30, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

@Krazijoe: The major problem with having the Winter Classic in DC is that the weather isn't really cold enough reliably enough at any time of year to make an outdoor rink a safe proposition. As awesome as it would be, it probably wouldn't work.

Thanks as always for the links, Katie. I had seen a lot of those, and why doesn't the Morning Skate from yesterday's NYT get a shoutout? Funniest hockey-related thing I've read in a long time.

I hope and pray Tarik didn't jinx Theodore in that article. We need him solid tonight and for the rest of the season.

Farrell's article was muckraking on Ovi, and I don't think Farrell really knows hockey very well. At least he got stomped for it in the comments.

As for the Winter Classic - would I go? In a heartbeat. I know how to dress in layers for a winter climate. Having the Caps in the Winter Classic would be AMAZING.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 30, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Yes! The cozy confines of RFK would rock like an old Redskins' game. I just hope that global warming wouldn't deliver rain or balmy temperatures. John Holbrooke

Posted by: Holbrookej | December 30, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Can we be sure the temperature could stay low enough to support a Winter Classic? I'm all for it, but as far as marketting goes, I see the 2010 WC being held in Boston. With an exciting team that people desperately want to love again, coupled with the recent success of all their other sports teams- I'm betting that the Commish sets up shop in Beantown for 2010.

Now that said- what I would give to have it down here at RFK/Nats stadium...

Posted by: Fro_ | December 30, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I'd love to see the NHL Classic played in DC -- an outdoor game at RFK, perhaps, would be great. However, as Tarik suggested, the NHL would likely schedule the game for a cold weather town with a greater hockey tradition. Based on that scenario, I'd travel to Boston to see the Caps play the Bruins, especially if they could play the game at Fenway. Now that would be a classic!

Posted by: braunt | December 30, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

All the points about the weather are dead on,so it probably wouldn't be played here. But RFK or Nationals Park would be perfect. Probably Pittsburgh is the closest it could be played here. ButI would go.

Posted by: ridgely1 | December 30, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

kittypawz, I think the NHL had an outdoor exhibition game in Vegas. If you can get ice to stay frozen there, I'm sure you could get ice here, the NHL would be the ones in charge of the ice, not the VC crew.

Posted by: koalatek | December 30, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

anybody with insight on how they're making the ice for the outdoor games...if the temperature is above freezing do they have machines to keep the ice frozen or would the league be out of luck?

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 30, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

The NHL played an outdoor exhibition game between the NY Rangers & LA Kings at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas in September 1991. The air temperature that day was 85 degrees, yet the game went off without a hitch. The NHL Network showed the game last week. So yeah, I think they could pull off a game in January in D.C. just fine, even if the weather doesn't cooperate.

Posted by: braunt | December 30, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Does the NHL control rain? Always a likely occurance in DC that time of year. But I think it would be a tremendous event if it could take place.

Posted by: ridgely1 | December 30, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Katie, not Tarik, posts the Morning Reading List. :)

I'm pretty sure they could keep a rink frozen in DC. How many of you grew up skating on "outdoor" rinks in the DC area that had a roof, no walls, and were only open in the winter?

::raises hand::

DC certainly isn't cold enough to freeze a rink by itself and keep it frozen, but with a bit of refrigeration tech under the ice, it shouldn't be a problem

With that said, I'd love to see the Winter Classic in Minnesota. I'd totally do the 5-6 hour drive from central WI to Minneapolis/St. Paul to see the Caps.

Posted by: theGelf | December 30, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

YES! I want to see Caps in the 2010 Winter Classic, that would be awesome! :D

Posted by: rachel216 | December 30, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Did you guys read that Brooks article about Ovie being overlooked?!? It's AWESOME!! FINALLY someone in the press said what we have all been thinking. Sad thing is that people are debating the issue in the comments. Give me a break.

RE: Playing the Winter Classic in DC, if they could do it in Vegas in 85 degree heat (which the Kings and Rangers did in ... 1992?), then they can do it here! Heck, we have outdoor rinks (I can think of at least two off the top of my head), so why not?

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 30, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

My guess is that next year's winter classic will be Caps-Pens at PNC Park. I'd say Heinz field, but Pittsburgh has a football team that actually makes the playoffs, and my guess is the logistics are too difficult.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | December 30, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

The Caps versus the Bruins in Boston's Redsox Park -- I'd be there in a heartbeat. OV scoring on his head after almost getting over Chara with the Green Monster as the background -- priceless.

Brooks is right -- all Crosby, all the time -- is just stupid marketing. What Crosby goal is near highlight quality as any of OV's top five? What about OV's reactions to scoring? Promote them both and other young stars like Toews and Kane and even Jeff Carter.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | December 30, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Would love Bruins-Caps at RFK, especially since I live a block from RFK.

More realistically, I think B's-Habs at Fenway would be awesome.

Posted by: katzistan | December 30, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Finally someone outside of DC is speaking up about the NHL's IGNORANCE of Ovechkin. Then again, it IS the NHL, which explains it.

Posted by: bundy44 | December 30, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: rachel216 | December 30, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

@theGelf: Thanks for pointing that out. I saw Tarik's picture at the top of the page and skipped over Katie's byline.

@ridgely1: Good point about the rain; I wonder what the NHL's contingency would be for the game in the event of rain; it's something they would have had to consider, even for the Buffalo and Chicago events.

Posted by: braunt | December 30, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Problem with using refrigeration tech is that refrigeration tech costs money. A lot of it. Las Vegas can put up for stuff like that if they want a game there; they'll drop for good entertainment. You think DC will? Not bloody likely, their spare change is drug money.

Nah, I think they'll go cheap and hold it up north. DC doesn't appreciate hockey enough yet, and as someone else pointed out, it rains in DC in January more often than it snows, which is a deal-breaker for an outdoor rink.

Wouldn't stop me from going. I'll go anywhere in the US to watch the Caps play in the Winter Classic.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 30, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I can't imagine Pitt would get the WC again so soon.

I don't hate Sid (he is a great player), I just have the fact that he gets so much attention while Ovie is practically ignored. It is really not Sid's fault; blame the NHL or the press, but not him.

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 30, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

If we could get the rink to hold and the weather to play along, playing in DC would be fantastic. The National Mall would be beautiful but I don't know that it's possible to build temp seating for about 20,000 - imagine how great it would be? Barring that, lets's his the road and play the Rangers in NYC (a temp ring in Central Park?), the Bruins at Fenway, or even Philly in the city of "brotherly" love. Roadtrip.

Great article on JT. I've been all over his play this year but he's looked solid the last two games. I've noticed that he seems to really focusing on angling deflections well outside the goal face...even in warm-ups you can see it. Anyone else notice it?

Posted by: saintex | December 30, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I would totally go anywhere in the U.S. or Canada to watch the Caps play in the Winter Classic. That would be so cool it isn't even funny! I'd hope that the NHL would make the decision early enough that folks can get tickets - both airline and to the game - in advance, but even so - I'd be all over that!

Agreed on someone FINALLY noticing Alex Ovechkin! Wow. "All Crosby, All the Time" - sounds like a plug for a TV show.

Posted by: irockthered | December 30, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Tarik & Katie, thank you again for all your hard work in feeding my hockey appetite. I hope that you are enjoying the holidays too!

@ kittypawz

I agree that Farrell's article is a bit of muckraking. OV would have passed if he could. When he was covered in a similar situation earlier in the season and Backstrom was open, he passed. I don't need to preach the choir here about how much OV loves seeing other players do well.

On the New York Post article, it is nice to see people outside of DC picking up on the disconnect between the NHL's marketing of OV & Crosby and the play and character of the two players. Another side bonus for OV, he doesn't look like the skeevy guy trying to pick-up your sister that Crosby does when he tries to grow a mustache come playoff time.

After being out of town and therefore out of the reach of Caps TV coverage, I am psyched to to see the game tonight.


Posted by: AMHV2772 | December 30, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

How about a showdown against Ottawa played on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Certainly cold enough, first Winter classic in Canada and we have some history. My question is what about the Olympics in 2010 in Vancouver, won't that interfere with the season somewhat

Posted by: Kiltmon | December 30, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the caps could travel to alaska to play a small town local team in an outdoor game.

do russians know how to play pond hockey?

Posted by: stormblue | December 30, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I watch a lot of Pittsburgh games on (they block my Caps while I'm home) and I've watched both Malkin and Crosby a lot this season. The Post article was dead-on - even if the comments section was a bit lost - on AO: he's a force that's far beyond either Penguin player. The writer made it pretty clear that he wasn't assigning best skater, best shooter, best passer accoladed...just best player. I think both Pittsburgh player are exceptional talents but no one explodes through the neutral zone, hits opponents, and carries his team like one. It's a joy to watch and I don't care one iota whether people don't see or watch. We do. We know.

Posted by: saintex | December 30, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

thinking a bit out of the box, but there are grumblings that the future Winter Classics may be at some neutral sites. How about the Caps playing either Boston or Montreal in Quebec City? Close enough for either fan base to get to.

Posted by: giffhipcheck | December 30, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the french lessons from last night (which I caught up with this morning). The best was prison de faute. Excellent!

Also thanks for posting the 2009 Year In Review. Lets hope at least part of it comes true.

As for the Winter Classic. If I was more local that I currently am I would defintely go to an outdoor game. I can't remember who said it yesterday ( :) ) but going to something like that is something all hockey fans should look to do at least once. Wrigley Field (or any ballpark for that matter) seems an odd choice though because of the shape of the stadium. Better to stick with football stadiums I think. RFK is a little oddly shaped IIRC.

I read the Larry Brooks article this morning too and saw he took a beating in the comments. I can see why people are asking why is he focuses on Ovie breaking Espo's shot record when Malkin is on course for 100 assists. However, I still think the shot record is something to keep an eye on purely because it has stood for so long and because it has seemed so untouchable.... until now. Don't get me wrong I'd rather we won the Stanley Cup than Ovie get the most shots in a single season but its a nice little side dish. Like onion rings.

The weirdest/funniest/most ridiculous comment on the Larry Brooks article was from a guy who said something like "At least Sid is a good looking kid, unlike Ovechkin".
A) Who cares how good looking a player is anyway. (Its not like Man Utd are blessed with supermodels either. Has anyone seen Carlos Tevez or Wayne Rooney??)
B) Even if looks did matter and I'm not that way inclined (although I do see myself as metrosexual as the next man) but Sid good looking?? Come on! I just don't see it. Ladies, help me out here?

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | December 30, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Besides the Winter Classic, another thing the NHL could do is schedule the Caps to play a couple of regular season games in Europe, like the league has done with other teams to start the season the last two years. The NHL held regular season games in England last year and Sweden and Czech Republic this year; if they could ever settle their differences with the Russian Hockey Federation, maybe they could have the Caps play in Russia next year to start the season. It would be a great cross-promotion for the NHL and Russian hockey, especially with as many Russians playing for the Caps. The bottom line is that the NHL has a great asset in Ovechkin and it needs to promote him more. Hopefully, the Ovy and the Caps will have a long playoff run this year that makes them too hard to ignore.

Posted by: braunt | December 30, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

There were powers working behind the scene before Ovechkin's highlight goal against the Sabres. Buffalo was looking pretty good and my son and I were concerned. All of a sudden I realized that our Ovechkin bobblehead wasn't on the dashboard, I mean, the TV stand. So I got it and put it next to the TV and - boink - Ovechkin goal. Prayer answered. Try it!

Posted by: tw46 | December 30, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Good part about Ottawa is that it would be the battle of the capitols!! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 30, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

The Caps playing in Russia would be HUGE!Moscow or St. Petersburg -- nice! Stockholm would also appeal with a few Swedes on the team.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | December 30, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I would definitely go to the 02 Arena in London to watch the Caps and pretty much anywhere in Europe too for that matter. Can I pick Prague or Helsinki please?

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | December 30, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse


Not sure either Ovi or Sid would win the "good looking award" But if that was how the best team should be picked then the Caps definitely would have an edge...Brooks, Semin, Nicky, Mike, Jose (although he is a little too pretty), Steckel, Gordo, and the list goes on. That is not even including players on the Bears or office staff that can suit up on occassion.

Posted by: Kim-3 | December 30, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see how the team does in Buffalo tonight. I want to see Jose battle against a good goalie on the road. I know Miller has faltered some this season, but he still is pretty good.

I am also looking forward to the game coming here on New Year's Day. Any over/under on whether Smith or Kolzig will be in net? Seems Smith has played a lot lately. Also, would be fun to watch a St Louis and Bourque match-up.

Posted by: Kim-3 | December 30, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I think a Caps-Pens game at the big ketchup bottle in stupid old Pittsburgh would be a huge ratings hit. I'd gladly go and "Rock the Red" amongst all those mullet-haired idiots up there in Pennsyltucky.........

Posted by: JustAnObservation | December 30, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Kim, I'll take your word for it (although Brooks does make me go a little weak at the knees! :) )

If the Caps opened the season in London would anyone here fly over for it? Pub crawl in Covent Garden? There is a Canadian Pub called the Maple Leaf which I believe is Hockey friendly.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | December 30, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Why do they feel they need to market one player from one team? There's lots of brilliant players that are great to watch and could garner local fans into watching. Take Pavel Datsyuk, Patrick Marleau (from the Sharks), Niklas Backstrom (Minnesota's goalie, not our Nicky), Eric Staal from Carolina, Jeff Carter or Joffrey Lupul from Philadelphia, Thomas Vanek from Buffalo. I even have to admit a secret fondness for Phoenix's Daniel Carcillo. Vs. actually has a pretty good ad illustrating this.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 30, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

just wanted to point out to the people that keep talking about ovie not passing to brooks the other day for the empty net hat trick goal. does everyone forget the 2 on 0 that ovie and backstrom (i think it was backstrom) had on an empty net a few weeks ago and ovie passed it over for the assist instead of the goal. how can anyone question anything he does? hes a hockey god!

Posted by: capsfansince74 | December 30, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

@DaveUKCapsFan: Sign me up. I like London - have been once. Just ... a word of advice for Caps fans thinking about flying into London: Gatwick, not Heathrow. Gatwick, not Heathrow. Heathrow is a clusterdoodle of epic proportions, and Gatwick has a train that runs out to Paddington Station or King's Cross where you can pick up the Tube from there.

Here's to Jose and our boys and a solid game of hockey tonight. It'll be a team effort. :)

Posted by: kittypawz | December 30, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

RFK stadium for the Winter classic next year. Every seat in that place is a great seat!

Posted by: blanknerc | December 30, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

My guess is that the next winter classic is going to be held somewhere in Canada. Calgary? Ottawa?

How about Leafs/Sens? That'd be a good one to see..well, if both of those teams get their act together and play good hockey, but I know that the Canadian teams are going to be itching to get a piece of the Winter Classic pie.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 30, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

They totally could (and should) hold a Winter Classic right here on the Mall. As others have pointed out, they can pretty much build a rink in any climate. And anyone who has been downtown lately knows, it's not that hard to build temporary bleachers. There is seating for tens of thousands for the inauguration.

Posted by: Scott_in_Shaw | December 30, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

winter classic in DC, the sexy lumberjack could build the rink himself by hand

Posted by: _stevo | December 30, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm telling you. Semin opened a door with his comments about Crosby. Now, everyone is wondering. That article in the NY Post is awesome!

Posted by: _828 | December 30, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Typically, I don't agree much with New Yorkers... What can I say? I like em, just don't agree with em...

But Larry Brooks hit the nail on the head.

Absolutely described the situation involving Crosby and his NHL media created status to a tee.

Crosby's good, no denying that but he's not the second coming either.

Ovechkin is earning his status among reporters and fans. He doesn't need the NHL to promote him, on the contrary, the NHL needs Ovechkin. For the most part, the world outside of Pittsburgh realizes it.

Posted by: muddapucker | December 30, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I would definitely go to watch the Caps in a Winter Classic. I just hope that season ticket holders (of both teams involved) would get an opportunity to purchase tickets at a reasonable price. My Uncle, born and raised in Chicagoland is going to the Winter Classic with my cousin on Thursday. The Blackhawks actually raffled off the right to purchase seats. The ones they got only cost $25 a piece, but they were lucky to have their name selected to do so. Again, I know it seems selfish, but I hope STH's get an opportunity to buy tickets to the Winter Classic even if on the road.

By the way, Chicago, believe it or not, usually has weather patterns very similar to us here in Maryland. We usually get a storm, with the same form of precipitation within 2 days of the it passing through the Chicago area. My point is, if the NHL was willing to let Chicago host it DC would be a possibility. If weather was the biggest concern the NHL would have had the Red Wings host it because Detroit's climate is more conducive to good ice.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 30, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

@DaveUKCapsFan - Crosby, good-looking? If he lost the uber-red lipstick, maybe... :-p Personally, I don't think he's all that cute.

@Scott_in_Shaw - Yes, they could build a rink, and temporary bleachers... but I don't know many people (myself included) crazy enough to sit out in the rain to watch a hockey game. In the snow? Hells yes, but not in the rain. And it is FAR more likely to rain than it is to snow here. Plus, if it didn't rain, it'd be in the 40s or 50s, and that just doesn't fit the "winter classic" mold. For a winter classic to be a true winter classic, there should be snow. Lots of snow! :-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 30, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

2010 Winter Classic, Caps vs. whomever @ Wells Ice Rink in College Park! lol

Posted by: sargeantmofo | December 30, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Still going to the WC?

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 30, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@ fanohock

The weather here is far from the weather in Chicago. They have this really big pool of water called Lake Michigan which has a huge effect on their weather.

After today, the highest the temp is going to be is mid 30s and in DC the temps are going to be high 30s to 50.

I must've missed the blizzard that supposedly should've hit Maryland 2 days after it hit Chicago.

I think you are stretching the weather argument a bit.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 30, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse


i still am, looks like it won't be as cold as was expecting

Posted by: _stevo | December 30, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

There are so many talents in the NHL, to focus on any one is not a smart play. Even to concentrate on our AO would be a mistake.

One of the best NHL ads was Carter's long version. The way he spoke his lines was more like a guy talking to you rather than a deadpan reading of a script.

The funniest by a mile is AO and Leonsis at the vending machine.

Toews is pretty special up in Chicago. So is Malkin - sorry, but I like his play a lot. We rarely see them in promos for the NHL.

The NHL has never done a good job of marketing it's star players. First it was Gretzky over some of the power houses, then when his star was fading they moved everything to Dallas with Modano until Iginla came around so they packed up and moved north. They have to spread the wealth because there are a lot of great plaers and great stories that aren't being told.

For the outdoor game, I think 2010 is a western division team. 2011 between the Caps and Montreal for a good game (and ratings), or Senators for the battle for North America or something.

And a tour of Russia or Sweden would kick!

Posted by: Greg S. | December 30, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Winter classic in RFK? Maybe. (Its not like the Redskins will need it for a playoff game anytime soon...) Nationals Park would work too, but it nay not be big enough.

But while its possible, note that its often very humid or wet here, even in the winter, and that makes for bad ice. Vegas's 85 was bone dry, which while warm for ice, is still a dry heat which helps a lot. If it rained on game day, the game would be a soupy mess.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 30, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Perfect example... What if Ovechkin Did this?

He would have been fined and suspended. Not the Golden Boy Cindy. In fact there was no mention of this except on blogs. Did Gary B put a gag order in.. I think so.

Posted by: ashburnpaul | December 30, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@ fanohock

Avg hi in January in Chicago is 31F, in DC its 43F.

Avg low in January in Chicago is 15F, in DC its 24.

Avg precip is 1.9" in Chicago and 3.57" in DC.

Other than that, they are similar.

Posted by: muddapucker | December 30, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I can't get youtube at work, but is that where Crosby tried the ole reach around and hit the dude in the crotch? They mentioned it on nhl on the fly and he basically said he was mad because he thought he was seriously injured. The NHL said, okay, and did not fine him or suspend him. A 20 year old kid would lie... no doubt about that.

Posted by: _828 | December 30, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

It's progress enough that the Caps are being considered for the Winter Classic -- it will NOT be held here in DC.

How about Caps-Devils (old Patrick Division rivalry) at Meadowlands? I'd go.

Posted by: jen-s | December 30, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

That may actually be the genesis of all this negative Cindy press. The masses have suddenly realized that the Emperor has no clothes - and good God get him some!

Posted by: Greg S. | December 30, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

You wouldn't see Gretzky ever do anything like that.

Posted by: _828 | December 30, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Morning Everyone!!!

Just want to invite everyone out tonight to Mister Days in Clarendon. Last time was a great time with around 10 to 12 people. They have $1.50 beers all night and half price burger night if that floats your boat. I will call in a little while to see if they can drop the big screen for us but I think it is highly likely if we have 20 to 25 people.

If you have any questions, throw them out. Hope to see everyone out..


Posted by: numero94 | December 30, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse


What's the difference in the wind chill?

Posted by: _828 | December 30, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I want to see the Capitals play an outdoor game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Moscow next year.

Lets take all of this Malkin-Crosby-Ovechkin-Semin controversy to the Motherland for ultimate resolution.

Posted by: muddapucker | December 30, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@ 828

LOL The difference between one flask and two.

Posted by: muddapucker | December 30, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@Greg S: Except that this year's Winter Classic is Western Division teams. I wonder if they'd do an east/west, or maybe a battle of the capitals (Caps/Senators). The only thing about that is the Senators aren't that good, and is it implied that the good teams are the ones under consideration?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 30, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

What's the NFL playoffs got to do with RFK? Been a while since the Skins played there.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | December 30, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Where is that morning skate report. We need updates Tarik!!!! Patience is not one of my strong points!!

Posted by: PhilR | December 30, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Dude it's 11:22. They're probably still skating out there.

Posted by: mnmnt_snow | December 30, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

puckdaddy did a pass or fail on a caps McLovin jersey....looks like it failed

Posted by: _stevo | December 30, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

We have an outdoor Rink in Glen Burnie. Now that is classic.

Posted by: washingtoncapitals | December 30, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I told you patience is not one of my strong points!! Just curious about Alzner and Brash!!

Posted by: PhilR | December 30, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

rdy4all2000: I was just on the phone with my uncle last night and he said the hockey Gods were smiling on Chicago because they have gotten more snow in December than they have in a while. The weather patterns are all jacked up this year genius. It snowed in freakin' Vegas and Washington State is getting record snow fall. FYI Chicago weather Dec 26th 56 (rain), and Dec 27th 63 (rain). So my point is Chicago is known for its drastic change in weather, and Indian Summers just like DC.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 30, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

You should bug Ted to put up a Webcam. You know he's into web 2.0, web 3.0 and web 4.0 stuff.

Posted by: mnmnt_snow | December 30, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse


Yeah, morning brain cramp. :P

I was thinking Pacific vs NW divisionals. My fingers weren't cooperating with my mind.

East vs. West could be good, too. Considering how Bettman hates to have them meet each other during the regular season, the western markets would get to see OV, Semin, Green and Backstrom while the east could see Cammaleri, Iginla, Souray, the Sedin twins, etc...

Posted by: Greg S. | December 30, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Skins made the playoffs last season.

Posted by: kevbnyc | December 30, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

But to say Maryland and Chicago have the same weather pattern is an ignorant comment. Sure it was 45 degrees in Iceland the other day. I guess they can expect a 90 degree summer as well

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 30, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The point Dave was trying to make is the skins no longer play at RFK so them being in the playoffs would have no effect of the classic being played there....

Posted by: PhilR | December 30, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse


I must have missed that.. Because he thought he was injured? Wow. I'll remember that the next time I kick somebody in the produce section. "Your honor, I thought I was injured so I kicked him where the sun don't shine."

Case dismissed!

Posted by: ashburnpaul | December 30, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Shouldn't you guys be on a weather blog to discuss temps in different cities instead of a hockey blog??!!

Posted by: PhilR | December 30, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

This entire Winter Classic thing is an abomination. It makes hockey look like a rinky dink sport.

Posted by: poguesmahone | December 30, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Is it not related to the winter classic? Present and future?

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 30, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

No, no no! No overseas regular season games. I want my 41 home games. If some euro wants to see the Caps, let them come here. We don't bring any of their teams here for their regular season games.

And look what it did to the stateside season starts for the teams who did all that ridiculous playing and travel overseas.

Why should I give up a regular season home game and how does a trip like that help the Caps? It doesn't. Just gets them exhausted.

The NHL doesn't need to promote itself like that. Plenty of euro players still put themselves in for the draft. And if they think that someday this will help them get a European division, then the NHL heirarchy is more bonkers than I already think they are. The travel required would devistate both the overall quality of play (exhausted players)and team budgets (less for players contracts then as well). No, no no! Keep the boys home.

Posted by: Varly | December 30, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I think the best idea so far is Caps v. Sens in Ottawa next years. A battle of national capitals on ice. Sounds great.

Posted by: saintex | December 30, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Not sure how a temporary arena on the Mall would work logistically but I would certainly attend! Other locales I would travel to would be Pittsburgh, Boston or Ottawa.

Posted by: Section303 | December 30, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

rdy4all2000: I grew up in Northern Illinois (Ingleside) I know what I'm talking about. The "average" temperatures are from the last 100 years combined so your statement is "ignorant." The weather patterns are very similar. When we get our little 2 inch snow falls they come from the West usually within 48 hours of the same system going through the Chicago area. A simple look at will show you the patterns, even today's. Our big snowfalls in MD come when the precip comes from the south and arctic air from the north.

The fact is Chicago was selected even though it was a risk is so it could take place at Wrigley field and the Hawks and Red Wings are finally a good match-up. There are other stadiums that would have been better suited. Soldier field would have been better, and would have sold out with University of Illinois at Champaign as a backup, but Wrigley is the ultimate backdrop in Illinois.

FYI rdy4all the Chicago Tribune is calling this December "...the fourth-snowiest December in city history...",0,7749541.story

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 30, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Tyler Sloan was recalled from Hershey.

Posted by: Kim-3 | December 30, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@muddapucker: Caps/Pens in Russia! Now THAT would be a great exhibition game next season.

@numero94: Clarendon's a tad far for a worknight, but I'd be interested.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 30, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Here's an idea that is guaranteed to cause some controversy...

Since a significant number of the team is Russian, why not pick a day in February to honor them and play the Russian anthem at a game? I am not talking at every game, I am talking about a "special night".

I mean, we play the Canadian anthem to honor Canadian teams, why not have a special night to honor our own Russian players by playing their anthem?

Is that such a bad thing? Not in my book, I think we ought to have a special night to play the anthem of each nationality that is represented on the Caps along with our regular Canadian and American anthems.

I imagine the NHL has a policy on anthems but its a thought...

Posted by: muddapucker | December 30, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

new thread...

let's talk about tonight's game :D Sabres are desperate and look for revenge. In BUF, it's going to be so very hard. Alzner out :(

Posted by: mauree | December 30, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

For the person above that asked how they make ice outdoors i can tell you because ive done it and had the opportunity to work with one of the guys responsible for that outdoor game in Vegas.

Underneath the ice they place plastic mats approx 4 feet wide that consist of hollow tubes that span the 85 foot side of the rink, "east to west". All of these mats are connected at the ends and glycol is pumped thru the hollow tubes "about the size of plastic drinking straws". The Glycol is chilled by using industrial rooftop AC units like you would see on the top of large buildings.

One of the hardest parts of making ice outside is not so much the heat but when the wind blows. A slight warm breeze will kill an outdoor sheet quick. If it does rain the sheet can be resurfaced to maintain the thickness as freezing water will freeze after time.

The guy I worked with told me that some of the players from the kings told him that the ice thay made in the desert that day was some of the best ice they had skated on if you can believe that.

Posted by: BLUELINER34 | December 30, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Like koalatek said, they did a game at Caesar's Palace in Vegas and it worked, and you know they have better chiller equipment now than they did then, but I don't see DC getting a Winter Classic game anytime soon.
That said, I think kiltmon brought up a good point about Vancouver 2010. I would not be surprised if the NHL skips the Winter Classic next season completely. The All-Star break is less than a week, the Olympic break takes much longer. However, if it happened and the Caps were in it, I might have to start looking for black market kidney auctions or something, because as Boo said yesterday, its just something you *have* to do if you can. I think a Bruins-Caps game at Fenway would be great, especially if the teams finish 1-2 in the East this season.
irockthered, you mean that lovely bright red streak Nick had across his forehead all last season, too? Comes from his helmet, I think, although someone who's had a hockey helmet on more recently than the '90s might be able to correct me.
Dave, not a problem! I was laughing over it and figured I'd share. As long as the KHL stays away from Ovie! Oh, and you must have missed the conversation we had about Crosby a few days ago. I think it was unanimous that he wasn't exactly hot, especially with his seeming addiction to lip plumper and red lipstick (or aversion to chapstick) and his huge caboose. I think if there's a Caps game in London, you'll have to take a few days off work to become official travel agent of CI.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 30, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

FINALLY someone pointed out the Crosby favoritism over Ovechkin without mincing words. I started thinking I was imagining things.

Like Larry Brooks, I was also stunned to see the all star voting. I still don't get it why Ovie was not at the very top of the list. The Russian vs. Canadian theory may have some merit because Malkin, who outperforms Crosby on every front, is completely overshadowed by him. I wonder what the "All-Crosby-All-The-Time marketing machine" is all about and who and what are driving it.

Posted by: caraveli | December 30, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Farrell completely missed the point of Ovechkin. Ovie wanted to pass Brooks the puck in the worst way...he even apologized on the bench to Brooks for not getting him his hat-trick, but he was just a little too well covered. Farrell's point to the story is Ovie made that goal because he is selfish and all great players need to be selfish. This is waht happens when outsiders jump on the bandwagon. They see the game and storylines the complete wrong way. As all of us know...Ovie is one of the most unselfish players out there. He will run through walls for his teammates and takes as much joy seeing his teammate score as he does in his own goals.

Farrell should stick to covering World News and stay away from hockey.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 30, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

who's better as a player - Ovie
who's better as a PR machine - Ovie

What league sucks as a business - NHL

gee wonder why...

Posted by: Rocc00 | December 30, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

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