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Morning Reading List

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Jim Young-Reuters

*After being limited to two goals in each of the four games prior to this weekend's back-to-back set, the Capitals racked up 11 goals in six periods. It was probably only a matter of time before the offense broke out and Washington did so in explosive fashion, tying their season high during yesterday's 7-4 rout of Ottawa that produced a few memorable goals.

*Here are Senators perspectives on the game from the Ottawa Sun and Ottawa Citizen.

*Dan Steinberg roamed the Verizon Center halls and seats during yesterday's game and discovered a peculiar thing, Capitals fans who were rooting for the Steelers in the Super Bowl. Check out this conundrum along with other bits from the Sunday matinee over at the D.C. Sports Bog.

*Remember all those Red Wings fans in the building on Saturday? Well Ted Leonsis, who admittedly admires the loyalty of Detroit fans, is ready to do whatever it takes to bring an all-Caps, all-the-time crowd to Verizon Center.

*Speaking of Saturday's game, for those who may not have seen Mike Wise's column about the Capitals win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings, check it out here.

*But back to the win over the Senators. If you missed the game, or just want to relive it, here are the highlights:

In the system:
*Andrew Gordon scored two goals to lead Hershey to a 4-2 win over Norfolk on Saturday for the Bears' seventh victory this season over the Admirals.

*The win against Norfolk allowed them to split the weekend after Wilkes-Barre/Scranton handed the Bears a 4-3 shootout loss in which Hershey recorded 49 shots but couldn't solve Penguins goaltender John Curry during the extra sessions.

*The Barrie city council plans to honor Stefan Della Rovere for his efforts on the Canadian World Junior team this season.

By Katie Carrera  |  February 2, 2009; 7:37 AM ET
 
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Comments

Spezza, Pominville, Toews, Smyth, Kopitar, Hejduk, Sykora, E.Staal, Kovalev and Jokinen...

You know what that list is?

Thats a list of some of offensive players that have fewer point in more games than M.Green.

Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Obviously, there were lots of good things on the weekend, but I'm most excited about the play of Eric Fehr. He has looked like a guy who could get chances but not bury them, and he has not gone to the net as hard as a guy his size should. But he had two very good games this weekend. If he can finally start to realize his potential, he could be the missing power forward we need. Needless to say, that would leave Chris Clark even farther out in the cold. What do you do with him? Is anybody going to take him off our hands?

Posted by: Kirg | February 2, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

JSchon, that's a stat! And you neglected to say 'first'--thanks.
Clark looks a little pale, I'm concerned he may be coming down with...Emingeritis!

Posted by: redlineblue | February 2, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Fehr 09 == Flash 08

Posted by: _jordan | February 2, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

@Kirg

I agree..much more pop in his step then Clark right now.

It's a young mans game, and that moved Fehr in front of Clark in my book. I also want to see Steckel in the lineup though, so the issue goes beyond a Fehr vs. Clark questions.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I think Steckel, even though listed as a healthy scratch, had a lower body injury from Saturday, right?

Posted by: saintex | February 2, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

@Kirg and SA-Town.

I also agree with you on Fehr's play. I'd like to see what he can do if Bruce would let him play a few games in a row. Plus, I think that the Flash, Backstrom, Fehr line as a whole has been excellent, and I'd like to see if they can build even more chemistry in the games to come. If they continue to gel, the Caps will have three legit scoring lines. That said, they've got 5 guys for the 4th line, and I think that if all five are healthy, Bruce should rotate them all in and out as needed. I like Brashear and Bradley, but I don't think they've played so well that they are immune from being the healthy scratch on occasion.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 2, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Steckel participated in the warm-ups yesterday before the game.

Posted by: 104_CapsFan | February 2, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

The Caps have lost 15 games in reg. and 4 in OT. Clark who has missed tons of games for injuries and now scratched has managed to play in 15 of those losses. Nylander has been in 17...

Obivously our regulars played in as many or more, but I think unfortunately Clark and Nylander are working themselves into a trade. Esp with our other third and fourth liners looking good.

Posted by: jerry2178 | February 2, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Agreed on 14-19-16 - the "teens line" is smokin' hot and did some great stuff in both games this weekend. Also liking 8-91-25 and 21-92-28.

Gotta wonder about Clark, though. He really does seem like the odd man out, doesn't he? It's sad and unfortunate, but what do you do? Can you rotate out Brash or Bradley on occasion?

Posted by: kittypawz | February 2, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Fehr is my boy...

I'm telling you Fehr is a top 6 forward, period. He is vastly more talented than Steckel, Laich, Gordon, Clark, Bradley, Kozlov and anyone else in Hershey.

His problem is that he trying to do whatever he can to play and if it means grinding and checking then thats what he has done. He will be much better used as scoring forward.

Putting Fehr with a skilled pivot is what he needs to develop. No slight on Steckel and Laich, but they are great face off guys but they lack the vision that Backstrom and Fedorov have.

Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

I think you could definitely rotate Brashear and Bradley out on occassion, and who you sit depends on the matchup. For example, I would definitely have had Brashear play yesterday as Ottawa has a couple of goons in Ruutu and Neil, but he could have easily sat against the Wings on Saturday.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 2, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Great weekend of Ice Hockey! Caps looked a little lazy late against the Sens, but with that much of a cushion its hard to blame them.

Ted should make special giveaways on big game nights, then have zero leftovers so STH cannot get them later. I bet people would not sell their tickets so hastily if magic bobbleheads or some other prestigious item was available.

What really makes me laugh is that the people selling those tickets in the lower bowl off for big games are also the idiots who keep their own stat sheet(no idea why), come on forums/blogs and act high and mighty because of their STH status("I and a bunch of STH think this way so we must be right"), and brag to all that they were on the jumbotron to all who will listen. Yet these "true hardest of hardcore fans" sell off tickets to the best matchups of the season? Strange

Posted by: trunkenmath | February 2, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

If GMGM could somehow package Clark and Nyls. I think Fehr, Gordon and Steck deserve to play. I think Clark and Nyls are done!!!! I also want to give props to Boyd Gordon on yesterday's game. His energy was contagious and he played an outstanding game. I think BB needs to sit Brash in games where the other team doesn't really have an enforcer. (i.e. Detroit) Get some young guys up here and give them a chance.

Posted by: psugolf | February 2, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon and _jordan: Exactly. Fehr '09 = Flash '08. If Flash in '09 is what we can expect from Fehr in '10, I think he's a keeper. Keep the teens line intact.

@cainoo7x: Yeah. I can see sitting Brash against the Wings, but he was needed against the Sens (and yes, he did have to lay down the law some in the first.)

Posted by: kittypawz | February 2, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Section117 | February 2, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Let's go old school: More points than Modano, Tkachuk, Bertuzzi, Selanne, Arnott, Nolan, and Zubrus

Posted by: gtydings | February 2, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon and others

I agree that Mike Green doesn't get enough national press. First, he's a PPG player as a defenseman, and second, he leads all NHL defensemen in scoring despite having played in 5-8 fewer games then the others near the top in scoring. As he matures defensively in the years to come, hopefully he'll win some hardware along the way, or at least make the all-star team.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 2, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I've got a new superstition! I don't bring the camera whenever we play Ottawa.

I didn't bring it the last time we played at home - we won, 5-1. I did bring it when I went to the game in Ottawa, and we lost that one, 3-2. Last night, I didn't have it, and what happens? 7-4 win.

So no camera for Ottawa games next season!

BTW: Kozlov, Fedorov and Johnson all go UFA in July. What are the odds of any of the three being dealt before then?

I would expect Kozlov and Fedorov to want to stay around, but I don't know about Johnny...

Posted by: irockthered | February 2, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

If Green doesn't miss anymore games this year he will be in the final 3 in Norris Trophy consideration.

Boyle, Green and either Chara or Wideman. No Lidstrom.

Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Kozlov and Johnson are gone IMO. Fedorov resigns for one more year @$3M.

Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

You cant sit Brash and Bradley. They are energy guys and locker room leaders and Vets. I just dont see them getting the scratch.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I think there is a chance Koz might stay next year with Fedorov if GMGM can get him a good deal. Johnson will leave. And I agree with JSchon, Fed would sign for 3 mil. He is happy here and happy to play.

Posted by: abuddy2004 | February 2, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

We had a slew of great goals yesterday and I know Ovi got the hat trick. I loved Fehr's goal.

But Greens flip pass to Semin who used his knee to fend off a poke check was crazy good, CRAZY good. Green obviously has been playing Corn-hole, that pass was a bullseye.

Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

funny things overheard on Saturday:

1. At the game, some girl several rows behind me: "Take Green off the powerplay! He sucks!" Um, riiiiiiiiight. (even my father-in-law, a die-hard Detroit fan who flew in just for the game, was itching to see Green play because he's heard so much about him)

2. From my brother, a proclaimed Bruins fan, although he's not a big hockey fan and he's never lived anywhere but Caps territory, but since my mother is all things Boston, my brother is unthinkingly all things Boston: "Alex Ovechkin is overrated. [insert me telling him he leads the leauge in, well, everything.] He only scores so much because they won't bench him." Ah, stupidity! The last bastion of the ill-informed.

Posted by: RedBirdie | February 2, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon: That had better be on goals of the week next week.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 2, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered

No cameras at Mr. Days either ;)

Posted by: SZALACH7 | February 2, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town

Steckel, Gordon and Clark are all energy guys, too. Clark is a veteran in this league, and the team captain. Steckel and Gordon are valuable as they are two of our better face-off guys, and they get significant PK time. Bradley I'd have a tough time scratching as he sees time on the PK as well, but I don't think he should be immune from the occasional scratch. Brashear sees 8 mins of ice time a game, and none on special teams, and he takes a penalty in the offensive zone once a game. He definitely has a roll to play, but you don't need it every game. So I guess I respectfully disagree with you on Brashear and Bradley being scratched.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 2, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I used to knock Kozzie, but after really watching his play this year I think GMGM should find a way to sign him back. great puck possession, plays the corners well, quality passes and pots the shootout goals.

Posted by: doughless | February 2, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@ JSchon - Fehr more talented than Kozlov?? I think that's a little bit of wishful thinking right now. Maybe in a few years; but as you said "he's doing whatever he can to play" ... someone "vastly more talented" than VK shouldn't have to play 4th line wing just to get in the lineup...IMO

I like Fehr a lot, don't get me wrong, and agree w/ all the other comparisons as far as skill/talent... Just my opinion, but there's no way he's better than 25.

Posted by: Scofield | February 2, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I just saw the Habs "throwbacks". Wow, I'm pretty sure I had footie pjs like those as a kid.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 2, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

JMU:
LOL!! Crazy stuff, eh? I could not watch the entire game - the sweaters made me dizzy. BTW, please check your email! :-)

Posted by: Boo- | February 2, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Boo!, lol, yeah. I just sent you one back.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 2, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

JMU: Aaannndd right back atchya! ;-)

Posted by: Boo- | February 2, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I think the rotation of players should start with the fourth line, period. "the energy line" is an over-used label, the energy will come from playing all four lines as it give a littl more rest to the other players. it seems to me that latetly the fourth line has not made much of an appearance, and if they are going to sit on the bench, they might as well be scratched. i say, don't sit guys that can play.

Posted by: superX | February 2, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

New thread!

Posted by: Boo- | February 2, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

" ... but calling it the NFL final a world championship still bugs the crap out of me ..." - randinno,

randinno,
lol, because i feel the same irritation as you. same goes for calling baseball a world series. but the worst i heard was some years back when an area team won the college soccer championship and the sportscasters kept referring to them as the new soccer world champions.


Posted by: superX | February 2, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

What a great weekend! My favorite of the weekend...Fehr's goal...he deserved it! I also enjoyed watching the 2 Sens players run into each other HA! The team as a whole did fairly well this weekend and made it one to remember! Also, thanks to the players who came out for signatures after the game at the STH skate! And WOW Ottawa got another new coach, CONGRATS!

@trunkenmath:
My husband and I are STH and we have only sold tickets to one game this season due to Christmas travel. So, not all STH sell out!

Posted by: NatyBG | February 2, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

NatyBG, same here on selling STH. Any occassion we haven't been able to use them, we've asked friends and family if they're interested. And someone is always willing to buy them, so I know my seats are filled with Caps fans!

Except the one time I made the mistake of letting my brother use them and afterwards he informed me that he hates the Caps. He has been blacklisted. No ticket for you!

Posted by: RedBirdie | February 2, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

If Green doesn't miss anymore games this year he will be in the final 3 in Norris Trophy consideration.

Boyle, Green and either Chara or Wideman. No Lidstrom.

Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2009 9:58 AM


lol - he shouldn't even be within sniffing distance of a trophy that requires defensive play to at least be a strong factor in that award. Green = all offense zero defense

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 2, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

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