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Morning Reading List

Don't look now but Mike Green has scored 12 goals -- 10 on the power play for the league lead among defensemen -- and quietly recorded 32 points in just 33 games this season after missing 13 with a shoulder injury. In a full 82 games last season he tallied 18 goals and 56 points, and the upward trend continues to show Green's improvement as the team's prime offensive threat on the blue line.

*NHL.com evaluates the Southeast Division at the half-way point of the season.

*Over the weekend, ESPN reported that the NHL and NHLPA have agreed to continue opening the season in Europe and also to take part in a World Cup of Hockey in 2011. Would you like to see the Caps open up their season in Europe sometime in the next few years?

Islanders Cliff notes:
*The worst team in the NHL at 12-29-4, New York has lost all seven of its January games. The latest came on Saturday as a 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils.

*The Caps have defeated New York twice this season, including a 5-4 overtime win in their most recent meeting on Dec. 16.

*With Rick DiPietro's health in question again and Joey MacDonald sidelined with a groin injury, the Islanders are scrambling for goaltenders. Washington will likely face Yann Danis, .873 save percentage and 3.82 GAA, The Islanders lost Wade Dubielewicz on waivers to Columbus this weekend.

*After defenseman Chris Campoli strained his groin against the Devils, the Islanders called up Jack Hillen from Bridgeport and have been practicing with Hillen on the power play.

*The hottest topic surrounding the Islanders these days is how long they might remain on Long Island. In case you've missed them, the hockey world is abuzz with rumors that the Islanders could be relocated to Kansas City or other Western sites if their building isn't replaced. As you may recall, Tim Leiweke has been trying to lure an NHL team to come to Kansas City for a little while now.

In the system:
*In case you missed it, the big news of the weekend in Hershey was that Alexandre Giroux first matched Brett Hull's AHL record of 14-straight games with a goal on Saturday night then passed the mark when he scored a goal in his 15th-consecutive game yesterday.

*The Bears went 2-1 over the weekend with a 5-3 win over Bridgeport Friday, a 4-3 shootout loss to Philadelphia on Saturday, defeated Worcester in a 3-2 shootout on Sunday.

*Justin Taylor had quite the night on Friday with a hat trick to lead London to a 5-2 win over Kitchener.

*Braden Holtby tied Saskatoon's franchise record of five career shutouts, his fourth of the season, with 26 saves in the Blades 5-0 win over Medicine Hat on Friday. He also backstopped their one other win (3-2 over Lethbridge) during the Blades clean sweep of their three-game road trip this weekend.

By Katie Carrera  |  January 19, 2009; 7:56 AM ET
 
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Next: Machesney Recalled (Updated)

Comments

I,ve got the feeling we will not over look the Islanders today. Here is to a 60 minutes effort and a "W"!!!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 19, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Posted from last thread.


I think that sometimes people forget that playing defense is also the responsibility of the center & wingers. At times, the O-men leave the D-men totally on their own. If a d-man is trying to make an outlet pass under pressure, it is the responsibility of the O-men to make themselves available.

A lot of this coordinated defensive play comes with experience. Also, our offense is so intent on going the other way, that at times they forget that the puck is still in their O-zone.

While watching other teams, I see their D-men make as many mistakes as our D-men.

Finally, when Witt was here, he made as many mistakes as Juice or Mo. The only difference was he hit much harder. His hitting many times put him out of position. He is also very slow.

I am loving this season as much as anyone as I have been a hockey fan for nearly 60 years, but I think that the long drought has made us a little too impatient. The plan is not 100% complete, but it is way ahead of schedule.

Posted by: sidehillman | January 19, 2009 6:27 AM

Posted by: sidehillman | January 19, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

"...but I think that the long drought has made us a little too impatient. The plan is not 100% complete..." - sidehillman.

I agree with that. I think GMGM has done a great job.

Posted by: opita | January 19, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Dear god yes caps come to Europe and do a season opener. Considering the Caps get more screentime(not including pay per view) than most Elitserien teams I think them opening in Sweden could make sense. Though skip the globe arena. Malmö has a really really nice NHL style arena that sure as heck isnt being filled by their team.

My only request would be some way for expats to get tickets ahead of time. I mean I am flying home to catch the last 4 of the season(live in München) so they could give us some perks.

Posted by: trunkenmath | January 19, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik,

Any word on Machesney, he was seen leaving the Giant Center will all his gear. Most would think he is DC bound since Johnny is under the weather and Varly is still injuried. But someone in the Pennlive Forum said he said he was going to Tampa but he will be back?

Posted by: HBFan | January 19, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

No, I don't want the Caps to open in Europe. They played in Russia once to open the season, years ago, and it took them weeks to readjust.

I am wondering if anyone would be interested in acquiring Briere. I'm not saying I support this, I'm just curious. (There are some posters who are instantly critical at the mere hint of any possible trade. Like the team is as good as it could ever be.) Anyway, suppose, just suppose, the Caps could move two veteran forwards to a third team that would then give a draft pick to Philly, and Briere comes our way.

Here's the point: Do you hate someone like Briere so much that you just wouldn't take him? Even if it might help the club?

The problem is he has a high cap figure for long time. Maybe too high and for too long. But he's a pesky player.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 19, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

@uncatim
You asked yesterday about Jay Beagle. Unfortunately I wasn't at the Sunday game (so I missed Alex's big game!). Beagle gave us a bit of a scare Wed night in his first game back when he took a big hit late in the game and stayed down for a while. He said later that it wasn't his head that took the hit but rather his shoulder. But still I don't know if he's 100%. He played Fri in Bridgeport and then sat out Sat against Philly. And Sun the only time I heard his mentioned was for a penalty. Of course all of the emphasis last night seemed to be on Giroux's line, and rightly so. Congrats to Alex! Hope he can keep the streak going even longer.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 19, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Beagle was good on Sunday he is good at hitting and digging deep for the puck. Once he gets back into the groove I am sure he will be scoring goals again.

Posted by: HBFan | January 19, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Tom:
BRIERE?? Really? Briere?!? You have GOT to be kidding?!? NOOOO!!! It's not becauce I think the team "is as good as it ever could be," it's because, 1) I can't stand that guy, 2) Ovie might kill him before he ever hits the ice, 3) if we spend money on anything it should be a strong S@H Dman, 4) someone else might kill him before he ever hits the ice, 5) if we can find a way to move a goalie we could really use a consistent keeper, 6) I might kill him before he ever hits the ice, 7) we've already got one good squirt in the system, and 8) I don't believe in booing my own team and don't want to have to start booing one of our players every time he touches the puck.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 19, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Wow, there's a lot to comment on here. I'll try to be brief.

Congrats to Alex Giroux. Let's hope he gets another chance to prove he can play at the highest level. Maybe he was just looking over his shoulder too much ala Alzner of late.

Caps to open in Europe? Yes please. How about the Manchester Evening News Arena? Still got an ice plant (unfortunately just for Disney on ice, High School Musical on ice etc) and seats over 17,000 for hockey. Just don't do it next season. It would be just my luck that we plan to come over to see a game and the Caps open in Europe!

Greeno has been brilliant of late. How anyone can complain about him I do not know.

Boo, sorry I "let you down" on my comments about the C. Maybe next time you want my opinion you should tell me what my opinion is first :)

(btw I'm working on it right now!)


Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 19, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Re: Sidehillman
"I think that sometimes people forget that playing defense is also the responsibility of the center & wingers."

I couldn't agree more. When this team back checks like they did with Boston their defense gets better. When Erskine is in there, he keeps people honest, same with Juice except on those occasions when he forgets how big he is!
I also thing that GMGM has done a fanastic job and set us up for many years to come.
Another solid 60 minutes and another 2 points! Lets go Caps!!!!

Posted by: psugolf | January 19, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

@Dave: I support having it in the UK. Between the Lower pound to € and the lower VAT, UK has become a candy store to buy stuff. I am heading up for the UFC fight next month since its soo dirt cheap atm.

Posted by: trunkenmath | January 19, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I am all for bringing in the best possible players to play for the organization. That being said, it takes alot more then that to make it happen. Trades are not easy to make with the salary cap restraints.

Trades have to "fit the puzzle" for everyone involved. It's not impossible, but it takes alot more than just swapping players, the dollars have to work as well.

I would not touch Danny boy with a 10 foot stick with his numbers, and length of contact, and injury history. Philly would be glad to get rid of this problem. What is Danny boy salary #'s ?? 6.5 million for 5 or 6 years?? He is WAY overpriced, whatever the number is....IMOA

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 19, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Few extra points.

Happy Martin Luther King day to all, can it ever have had such a significance as this year?

Sexy Lumberjack. He was great Saturday night. One superb block when he dropped to a knee as JT was out of position. I'm posting the below again (mainly because I thought it was funny and it didn't get a laugh during the game)

Ok so I guessing when Erskine was last concussed, the conversation went like this:

Trainer: "Hey Coach, I think John's concussed. He doesn't know who he is"

Boudreau: "Tell him he's Nick Lindstrom"

Finally, what a civilised time to start a hockey game today.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 19, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Katie's NHL.com article about the SE division is a must read - a whole lotta Ovie and BB love in there!! :-) My favorite is a quotation from McGuire regarding Ovie after calling him indestructible: "I would call him a cyborg."

Dave:
Notice I have not asked for it - I know it is a montain of a task!! :-) (Sorry!! :-/) RE: the C, thanks - I will be sure to give you marching orders next time!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 19, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Dave:
I loved the Erskine/Lindstrom comment the first time I read it; it is just as amusing the second time around!! ;-) RE: the 2pm game, we requested that especially for you!! :-) (Speaking of, I am glad that I don't have to work today!!)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 19, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I was at The Giant Center last night and it was terrific to witness Giroux make history. Machesney and Lepisto were doing an autograph signing after the game, but I have nothing more to share about his "travel plans" after that -- too bad, as I could have given him a lift back to Arlington! And finally, Briere simply can not join the team...if he wasn't beaten up in the locker room, the fans would jump him in the parking lot!

Posted by: Caps16Fan | January 19, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Caps16Fan:
Amen! LOL!! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 19, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

trunk,
Bring some german beer with you then!

Boo,
It is a massive task! Freed up my afternoon at work to finish it!

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 19, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Gotta sit at work today - anyone know if I can catch the game on my computer somewhere?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 19, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Re: Briere

You would need to a ten foot stick, he is liable to pop you in the twig and berries with his stick if it were shorter.

*SUPER*

Posted by: SZALACH7 | January 19, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

So far it's 100% against Briere.

We had a guy like him once - Dino Ciccarelli was very successful in a Caps jersey and it was a terrible move by Poile when they traded him. Of course, since Dino had been with Minnesota, and he hadn't built up the "hate equity" that Danny has.

I know you fans hate Danny - but do you really believe the players feel that way as well? I've seen enough trades to know that as soon as the guy puts on the sweater - he's your teammate. And it's not like Briere has pulled a Sean Avery - he's just overpaid and (currently) injury prone.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 19, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@dave Def man. Have you said where in the UK you are at?

Posted by: trunkenmath | January 19, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

@lylewimbledon: I'm at work too. I tried searching for some live video streams but no luck. I'm going to listen to the stream from the Caps website.

Posted by: lily2905 | January 19, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Answer to Tariq's question about opening in Europe. No. A very big, NO. Bad idea. Didn't hurt the Rangers to start, true, but time zone changes are a killer -- no positives in it at all.

And whoever is suggesting the Caps get Briere is a fool. Caps do NOT need another forward. They need to trade for Bowmeester in Florida. That's all they need.

Posted by: bucknelldad | January 19, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Here's another thought since I have nothing better to do today:

Let's say the Islanders (and this would be terrible, given the tradition, but understandable, given their attendance) move to Kansas City. How do you re-align?

From a rivalry standpoint, I'd favor Kansas City into the Central; Nashville into the SE; and the Caps into the Atlantic.

However, while more exciting, it would put the Caps against NY, NJ, Phil and Pitt for the division title. More games vs stronger opponents also means less pts for wild card, tougher games during the season, maybe more injuries, etc.

Would you go with your heart (go into Atlantic) or go with your head (stay in SE)?

Bottom line: If NYI becomes KC, almost certainly Nashville or Columbus comes into the Eastern Conf. Either one could go into the Atlantic. Columbus into Atlantic makes sense. Nashville into the SE makes the weakest division in hockey by a mile.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 19, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@Bucknelldad

Going east to west is much easier than going west to east. I think they would be fine

Posted by: trunkenmath | January 19, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Briere-
He is a good player even if he has had a few run-ins with OV. Our fans would get over all that as soon as he started scoring for us. But the bigger issue is cap space. I just don't see how we can fit him into the budget. (IMO he is overpaid anyway)

Europe-
I think Russia would be a cool place to start our season. Give the Russian machine a chance to play in front of his hometown.
That would be huge!

D-men
Somebody is going to need to go down to Hershey. Is it Alzner? Schultz? maybe you send Mo down for a "conditioning stint" to buy some more time? what do you do if you are GMGM?

Posted by: pmoravek | January 19, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Tom:
Yes, I think some of the guys hate Briere as much as we do.

Dave:
I feel like I am stealing from the tax payers of Manchester ... :-/

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 19, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

For those of you who are looking for the game online:

http://atdhe.net/live-tv-2.php?i=678

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 19, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

@ tominfl1

You raise a very good question.
Another factor would be expansion/contraction. Bettman is always saying he has no plans for either but would he be willing to contract the league if there were two teams that were really failing? Maybe expand if he had to move one team into the west?
There are lots of possibilites.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 19, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Awesome. Thanks, Boo.

Posted by: lily2905 | January 19, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

tominfl1.
A couple of comments on your post.

"No, I don't want the Caps to open in Europe. They played in Russia once ... and it took them weeks to readjust."
I agree from that point of view, but I would like to see the NHL go world wide, like soccer.

"I am wondering if anyone would be interested in acquiring Briere... (There are some posters who are instantly critical at the mere hint of any possible trade. Like the team is as good as it could ever be.) Anyway, suppose, ... the Caps could move two veteran forwards ... and Briere comes our way."

A mouthful, but let me try it. It is not that some of us think that the team is as good as it could ever be; it is, as someone else said it, that the trade has to make sense; a great team does not have the best player at every position, what it has is team chemistry where players play well with each other - that, chemistry, is harder to obtain than a replacement for a better player, you can always buy the best player, money talks, but we have seeing that before in many teams, it usually destroys a team.

" Do you hate someone like Briere so much that you just wouldn't take him? Even if it might help the club?"

This is obviously a question to those who play fantasy hockey. A real GMGM does not let personal conflicts come into play, that is if he wants to win.

"... (Briere) But he's a pesky player."
I agree and I like him a lot, but right now, no for the Caps. I like what we have.

Posted by: opita | January 19, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Boo,
Don't worry, they get their pound of flesh.

Trunk,
There you go, Manchester, reet up north lad!

Tom,
Interesting take on the implications of a move to KC by the Isles. I think the NHL would try to minimise the number of teams moving so they may go for a straight KC Isles/Columbus swap, Atlantic to Central.

I'm being selfish wanting the Caps in Europe. There are lots of negatives. If it was a scheduled home game, the home advantage is lost and lets face it on this season home ice is a real advantage for us. Plus STH are missing out on a home game. Granted it's not as bad as the NFL playing games in London and robbing one team's STH of one eighth of their home games, but still its not fair on the people who matter, the diehard fans.

How many here would follow the Caps overseas? Maybe Tarik/Katie need a poll.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 19, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Wait wouldnt STH get tickets to the game? You can get to europe and back for under 500$ when booking ahead

Posted by: trunkenmath | January 19, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Wait wouldnt STH get tickets to the game?

Posted by: trunkenmath | January 19, 2009 10:21 AM

We'd better. I'd do that trip, I've got family in the UK I need to see and for Mrs. 117 to meet. Two birds, one stone.

Posted by: Section117 | January 19, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

@daveUKCapsFan
I would like not only the Caps, but the entire NHL league play in Europe. I think there are tons of talent for a world league. Also, I would like to see the NHL play in a bigger rink, I think it would improve the quality of the play.

Posted by: opita | January 19, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Overpaid and injury prone. That in itself is enough to say no. We have no need for Spear Boy. Oh, and I can't stand the little twerp.

There, I feel better now.

Posted by: _Mark | January 19, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

NYI to KC, Nashville to SE, Caps to Atlantic would probably be the ideal scenario, but Detroit probably would convince Bettman to put them in the Atlantic or NE.

Posted by: koalatek | January 19, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I don't think we need Briere. The offense is very good when they all play together. Plus management is making sure that no jerk wears a Caps jersey, and I like that.

Posted by: mauree | January 19, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

My fantasy team a few years ago was called the Kansas City Penguins. It was so close to happening!

If the Islanders move out there, I want them to keep the name. Not for traditional or historic value - merely for comic value.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 19, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@Boo

Awesome - thanks man! Got nada to do at work today - sneak in the game.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 19, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Dave:
Breaking news - check your email! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 19, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

DaveUK: I sure hope if the Isles go to KC, they change the name. Nothing made less sense than when New Orleans Jazz moved to Utah and became the Utah Jazz. Or the Indianapolis Colts...

opita: I agree with you, you have very good points. I am thinking the only way the Caps would be interested in Briere is in the offseason, and only then if: 1) Kozlov left and 2) The deal made absolute sense from a cap space standpoint (i.e. if Nylander were in the package). Because the Caps and Flyers are capped out, the only way is if Philly traded him now for picks to Team X and then the Caps got him from Team X later for $6.5M worth of other players (Nylander and Mo).

If Kozlov and Fedorov leave after this season, you suddenly don't have "too many forwards." Ideally, rather than someone making $6.5M, you'd much, much rather have Bourque and Fehr assume those two spots. Promoting young, lower-paid players to the top club is always best when possible I think.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 19, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

About the game in 3 hours... is anybody else worried? The Islander are really desperate right now.

We come after a very good win against the best team in the east to play the worst team... the perfect environment for that attitude virus to prosper...

ps: I realize I constantly use "us" and "we"... well, I guess I'm confident enough in my fellow bloggers not to hold me accountable for that, right? ;)

Posted by: mauree | January 19, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry mauree...
You are safe with "us"
LOL

Posted by: pmoravek | January 19, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

D'oh!

The schedule says no HD today. Hey CSN, check your calendar. It's 2009.

Sports in std def is so 1990's.

Posted by: grackle5 | January 19, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I would take a Dino in a heart beat. Dino played with an edge, was full throttle all the time, and not going to back down from anyone. He would go to the net and get hammered, get back up, get hammered, get back up and put in a rebound.

Danny Boy is a coward. He is a power play specialist that has warn out his welcome in a very short amount of time in Philly.
He is WAY over paid and hurt alot.

We have someone in the pipelines that is similar to Dino- Stefan Dela Rovre......he is one of them guys you hate to play against, but like on your team.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 19, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Mauree,
I'd be upset if you didn't use "us" and "we".

Tom,
I only said KC Isles so you knew who I was referring to. I assume the name would change, although like JohninMpls says it was be funny if they kept the name.

Boo,
Hey man - emails checked. Thanks dude.

Trunk/117,
I would think even though STH may get offered tickets first, its hardly fair to make they pay $500 plus to see a game. I'm sure lots wouldn't/couldn't travel.

Opita,
The English Premier League mooted the idea last season of an extra game. Currently its 38 games, playing each team home and away once, thus its a level playing field for all concerned.

The idea was for an extra game for all 20 teams. These games would be played in different worldwide locations. Dubia, China, USA etc. There was huge public outcry and everyone was against it.

However, money is driving sport more than ever and it may still happen. It would be terrible for the game that the League Champions could be decided on an unfair system.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 19, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@DaveUKCapsFan

Hey man - emails checked. Thanks dude.
hmm... Boo, dude, should I tell him or you do? (or is he joking lol)

Posted by: mauree | January 19, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The only way I'd like to see a trade for Briere is if they also trade for someone to beat the crap out of him every day in the locker room.

Posted by: tw46 | January 19, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Im not reading all the posts..but why would Philly move Briere?

He signed an 8 year deal.

To put Briere back in the lineup Philly will have to move a few pieces. Remember, its pretty much the same team that started the season so it would probably mean that
guys like
Sbisa, Gratton, Powe, Kalinski will be moved back down to accommodate salary

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 19, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

That Briere contract was stupid when he first signed it, and will only get more stupid as the years trickle down. Methinks the Flyers are stuck with him.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 19, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Columbus isn't going anywhere. They sell a lot of their games. The fact that the Isles would move just ruins the fun of the Atlantic division. The NHL either needs to keep things the way they are now, or move some teams back to Canada.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | January 19, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Get rid of all the southern teams. More money for everyone else that cares about hockey.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 19, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Briere definitely belongs at the Phone Booth: Ask any urinal.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 19, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Briere definitely belongs at the Phone Booth: Ask any urinal.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 19, 2009 12:21 PM

@redlineblue:

OOOF! that's mean....but funny!

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 19, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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