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Morning Reading List

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Rich Schultz--The Associated Press

*The Capitals extended their lead at second place in the conference and Michael Nylander recorded a multiple-goal game for the first time since Dec. 29, 2007 as Washington thwarted the red-hot Devils.

*Here are New Jersey perspectives from The Star-Ledger and the Daily News.

*John Erskine is on Take 5 with Steve Kolbe this week.

*There are a few more posts to share over at the D.C. Sports Bog: The folks that have taken up the "It's all your fault" chant after goals would like the rest of the Verizon Center crowd to join in the fun. Highlights and links to an interview with General Manager George McPhee. And don't forget the fan story/photos of a few Caps at Russia House.

*In case you missed the game here are the highlights:


In the system:
*With Michal Neuvirth's call up and Simeon Varlamov's injury, Darren Machesney is the lone goaltender in Hershey. And even Coach Bob Woods is joking that perhaps they could use a web producer/goaltender combo.

*John Carlson makes this week's hot list over at The Hockey News.

*Speaking of Carlson, the young defenseman won the hardest-shot competition at the OHL's skills competition yesterday with a slap shot of 96.0 mph.

*Joel Broda added to his league-leading goals total yesterday when he recorded his 40th during Calgary's 6-2 win over Edmonton.

*Practice was canceled today, but we'll be back to your regularly-scheduled blog programming tomorrow.

By Katie Carrera  |  February 4, 2009; 7:49 AM ET
 
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Next: Caps Fan Chant: 'It's All Your Fault'

Comments

First?

From the NJ papers, on Nylander's 2nd goal:

"That was a quick little shot, but I should've had it," Clemmensen said. "I thought he was going to pass instead of shoot it. I kind of outthought myself. He went short side on me."

all of NJ seemed to expect Nylander to pass based on the PK D.

Posted by: AMHV2772 | February 4, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Morning, everybody.

From last thread - @DaveUK: True story, man. Wasn't too long ago that Ovi having a slow night spelled doom.

Still have to say that I was not a fan of the line scrambles BB was doing. We came out slow and picked it up, though.

Nylander's showing improvement. A lot of it. He's shooting more. And he was a beast last night. I sure wouldn't try to trade him right now, although I was ready to a while ago because it looked like it wasn't working. Let's wait and see what happens. No hasty moves - this isn't a fantasy league!

Oh, in non-Caps news: THN thinks the EC Final will be the Bruins and the Flyers. So, so amused. Giant will make a killing in eggs this June, because there'll sure be a lot of hockey media wearing them on their faces if things go the way we all no doubt hope.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 4, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

I am glad to see Nyls pull it together. He is still a key to our success. He will be even more valuable next year as our 2nd line center, post-Feds. We are lucky now to have great center depth, but we lose Feds and Nyls and we don't look so good at the #2 spot. Of course, with GMGM, he can pull some rabbits out of the hat, so who knows.

Posted by: _Mark | February 4, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I guess my point here is, we're not there yet. We're not going to get that kind of respect, not for a while. A lot of people still don't think we're serious contenders for the Cup and that we'll choke in the first round of the playoffs. Okay, sez I. Bring it on. Oh, and put your money where your mouth is.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 4, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Green for Norris anyone? Nyls, most improved? ovie, biggest distraction for other teams? fehr, finally getting some breaks?

overall I LOVE MY CAPS!!!

Posted by: capsfan387 | February 4, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

all of NJ seemed to expect Nylander to pass based on the PK D.>>


Pass...do a spin first maybe...but see what happens when you shoot? I hope last night is a start to a new pattern for Nylander. I like him for his puck control, and yes, he does make some nifty passes....but thats all he ever seems to want to do...you could tell how hesitant he was to shoot last night.

I thought it was funny, if you watch his goal again, you could hear the players shout back door (OV was parked backdoor), and then OV cut in front of Clemm. So, I would assume they thought Nylander would go for a quick pass or tip in from OV. Thants my take on why Clemm. let in that soft goal anyhow.

Great win!
Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 4, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Oops! From the previous:

DaveUKCapsFan:
That's old news, dude (you and Cherry are just catching up!). I don't condone it; quite to the contrary. I just don't know why he's not getting 19 minute penalties (or whatever that was) for it. If the refs would smack him a couple of times (no pun intended) he would knock it off. Besides, he's a rookie; he's probably still figuring out the NHL (I would guess that you're not thinking straight when you are about to fight). He'll learn. And I'd still rock a Clutterbuck Caps sweater! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 4, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

That is the best lineup we can dress, and I hope BB keeps using it. Stecks and Gordon both need to be in the lineup for the PK, and Bradley just isn't as good as Fehr or Flash or anybody else who might sit. On nights when the other team doesn't have a goon, Brads could take Brashear's spot. But it was great having three lines stacked with guys who could be top-line players on many other teams.

Posted by: Kirg | February 4, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I still think our toughest match -up is against the Flyers. I can see why THN picked those two ( Boston/Philty)as a potential match-up. I think the CAPS like the ude dog role anyway.

I am still rooting for 3 teams from the southeast to make the dance. Maybe the division will get a little bit of respect.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 4, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

on Nyls' 2nd goal... he actually pointed to the spot he wanted OV to head over to behind the back red line so he had a pass somewhere... as soon as OV moved over everyone thought he was going to pass, then he shot (which I'm sure he was hesitant about). Surprised everyone.

Posted by: rh71 | February 4, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

@TEB

You forgot to mention Stefan Della Rovere's helping win the penalty shot portion of the skills competition.

Posted by: dc_homer | February 4, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

How bout them Penguins?

Posted by: SA-Town | February 4, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking about trades this morning on the drive to work. Regardless of the "who's hot, who's not" discussion, hasn't every player on this roster been coached by BB, either over the last 100+ games in D.C. or in Hershey (aside from the brand new Bears this year)? Also, the system we play is still being played in Hershey so all those call-up easily slip into the side - we essentially have two full teams playing the same game. ANY trade, regardless of how good the player may be, is going to take weeks to integrate into the team. Right now, the Caps have everyone doing the same thing throughout the organization; I'm not interested in any trades.

Posted by: saintex | February 4, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Great game, glad to see Nylander do some shootin.

Anyone else think that Clemmensen's mask was freakin awesome?

Posted by: CapManJ | February 4, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

It's a little early to have Green be considered a front runner for the Norris trophy, but if he keeps up this pace the rest of the year, he could win it (he'd finish with 25 goals and 60 points). Lidstrom and Phaneuf are probably better defensively than him and they're likely the front runners for the award.

Still he should be a finalist.

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | February 4, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

If Stretch gets sent to Hershey does he have to clear waivers? :)

Boo,
I started my last post with "I forgot to mention". It may well be old news but Cherry's rant was only on Saturday night. Yes I've been forgetful in mentioning it but as you clearly have a massive crush on Clutterbuck (does Mr Boo know?) I've been meaning to get your take on in.

Yes Clutts is a rookie but it's not like he hasn't played hockey before this season. Is it ok to fight with a visor in junior/minor hockey? I don't think so. The rookie excuse doesn't wash I'm afraid.

Cal "Chicken" Clutterbuck :)

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 4, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@saintex - What you say regarding our "plug-n-play" approach to team-building makes a lot of sense. It would take a while to integrate any new player into the system, unless he's already been coached by BB at some point in his career. We have been as successful as we have been, through as many injuries as we've seen, because we DO have the same system in the organization, top to bottom, and not just in Hershey, but all the way down to the Stingrays, from whence Neuvirth came.

I do feel for Machesney right now, though... no backup goalie in Hershey? It's worrisome... maybe we *should* send them Leonhardt, if only for practice, and pick up a backup web producer for ourselves... there's got to be one SOMEWHERE in the system!

Posted by: irockthered | February 4, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

JT reaches a milestone last night -- he is now over .900 SV% (.901) -- he'd dug himself in a big hole and is climbing out (hopefully it continues).

Posted by: hook99 | February 4, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Green has been played better D since Poti is back. He hassles more, and he's more effective. I thought he was a bit lazy before, but maybe he was just playing too many minutes.

Posted by: mauree | February 4, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@DaveUKCapsFan & -Boo- - from last thread, Re: Clutterbuck and fighting with a visor.

Boo's right; Clutterbuck should be penalized heavily for that... IF he starts the fight. If he doesn't start the fight, he doesn't get the "Instigator - Face Shield" penalty, or the attached "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" penalty.

47.6 Face Protection - If a player penalized as an instigator of an altercation is wearing a face shield (including a goalkeeper), he shall be assessed an additional unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Should the player (including a goalkeeper) who instigates the fight be wearing a face shield, but removes it before instigating the altercation, the additional unsportsmanlike conduct penalty shall not apply.

And from 47.11:

A player or goalkeeper who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting and a ten-minute misconduct.

So basically, to get 19 minutes of penalties for wearing your face shield during a fight, you have to have started the fight. If you didn't start it, you can get away with it.

Posted by: irockthered | February 4, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@capsfaninmiss: Yeah, I think so too on them liking the underdog role. I have to admit that I like it too personally, but then I think making bloviating jerks look stupid should be a national pastime. To me, the proof is in the pudding. I can understand why a lot of fans still call us the Crapitals. Not true, but let them find out the hard way :)

Posted by: kittypawz | February 4, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Great to see Nyls score two last night. JT was very good again: what can you do on a 5-on-3 or a bad short-handed breakaway. Green scores again. Steckel gets a required slap for taking a penalty in the offensive end on the PK. I know he's an aggressive killer, and I love him for it, but that was horrible.

I took a look at the vs. division standings this morning and noticed that the Bs have player 14 games vs. the SE and the NJDs have player 12. The Caps have played 8. Being as the media portrays the Southeast as the weakest division, it should scare the bejeezus out of them that the Caps of 16 of the last 30 vs. the SE. I wish I knew the schedule toward the end of the season.

Posted by: saintex | February 4, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

player? how about played x two in that last.

Posted by: saintex | February 4, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

saintex -- I'm pretty sure that I read somewhere that the final 21 games for the Caps are very favorable...could be wrong tho. :-)

Posted by: Jeff_ | February 4, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Saintex-
GREAT point.
Kitty-
I am of the opinion that using the word "bloviating", makes one a bloviator.

Posted by: kevbnyc | February 4, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Dave:
Call him chicken all you want. If I have a crush on anything it is the name, not the man or the player. And Mr. Boo does not give a hoot (he's heard worse). Just remember - there's no Calder without Cal!! ;-)

Posted by: Boo- | February 4, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"bloviating" "bloviator"

I give up...... :)

IRTR,
Think you missed my point. For all I know Clutterbuck is getting 19 minutes everytime he fights with a visor.

My point is Cherry (and Gretzky in the PHX game) were hammering Clutterbuck for the honour part of fighting with a visor. There was no "I can't believe he didn't get extra penalty mins for that".

I was:
a) shocked that Cherry laid into a good Canadian boy (imagine if it had been a European fighting like that)
b) wanting to wind my good friend Boo up that her favourite non-Caps is a coward!!

I didn't expect or want the rule book back! :)

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 4, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Good game last night. 2 or 3 more like that and we should be able to trade Nylander in no time.

Also, for the next 48 hours, I am a Kings fan again. I fully expect that my original team will lose, but I have to "represent". If you see a bald guy in a 1993 Kings jersey at the game, its me.

I'm sure one of our stellar goaltenders will have no trouble blanking the Caps...

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 4, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Dave:
I knew what you were trying to do ... and it ain't workin'! :-P

Posted by: Boo- | February 4, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

If you see a bald guy in a 1993 Kings jersey at the game, its me.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 4, 2009 10:26 AM

The Burger King jersey?

No offense but anyone wearing that thing deserves to get laughed at.

Posted by: Section117 | February 4, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@kevbnyc: Opinions are like bungholes, everyone has one and they all stink.

It's just what came to mind. :)

Now it's time to deal with the Kings. We always have problems with Western Conference teams, even at home, so I wouldn't overlook this one or blow it off. In fact, I think we need to win this one as a statement that we can handle the Western Conference and that we're not likely to be an also-ran in the playoffs.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 4, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The Caps are the kind of team that will sneak into your house late at night, drink milk straight from the container and just leave it sitting on the counter. They'll also take your sister out on a date and not call her again.

Posted by: djdavew2002 | February 4, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

My condolences to oldtimehockey. I think the mothballs his 1993 Kings jersey was stored in has made him delusional. J/K. Heading to DC tonight from LA for the Kings game tomorrow and guess what? I'm rooting for the more likely winner of the game against the Kings. Da' CAPS! Rock the Red!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 4, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

For all those excited about SE division games coming up....FYI Caps ALWAYS plays down to opponents level. (EDM, CLB, FLA, OTT...etc....)

Posted by: 555Mass | February 4, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

They won't have to play down too far to match Florida, they're smoking hot right now.

Posted by: _jordan | February 4, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Its a blank black jersey. I retired my Blake because he's dead to me. I only break out my "Triple Crown" gold 18 Taylor for special events. This season doesn't qualify.

My Blake was the one they use now, with the sparkly numbers. A couple seasons ago, Slapshot came down and started busting on the jersey asking if there was lipstick to go with the glitter.

Should I bring my broom for the season sweep of the Caps?

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 4, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@DaveUKCapsFan - Hehehee! Well, you got it anyway, and so did everybody else.

Now, I *could* go look at Clutterbuck (what a name!)'s stats to see if he's getting 19 PIMs every time he gets into a fight with his mask on - and I might do that later on, for my own edification - but I have better things to do this morning than paw through a bunch of game reports. ;-)

Nobody this side of the pond listens to Cherry; the boy needs a fashion designer like woah, anyway. ;-)

The rulebook quotes were for everyone's benefit, so that folks understand why good ol' Cal should be getting the book thrown at him for his cowardly behavior in fighting with his face shield on.

Cal Chickenbuck shall we call him, you and I!

;-)

*ahem*

In all seriousness: what a stupid rule! The NHL is supposed to be worried about head injuries, and yet they penalize players for protecting their heads and faces? OK, I understand that it's the *instigator* of the fight that gets the extra PIMs, and not the *victim*, but most "fights" that actually get fighting major penalties involve both players squaring off in the middle of the ice, and so "instigator" is rarely called... Does anyone have any insight at all into the wisdom of this decision?!

Posted by: irockthered | February 4, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

You should bring the broom to sweep up your teeth after the Red Army smacks you around.

Posted by: djdavew2002 | February 4, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I only break out my "Triple Crown" gold 18 Taylor for special events.

Kudos to you sir for supporting the Kings before Gretzky went there.

Posted by: Section117 | February 4, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

To be fair, the Kings have actually had a pretty good record in the MCI/Verizon center. The soft ice must remind them of home.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 4, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@Section 117,

Who?

No seriously, they've always been my team. You have to support the home team, not your dad's team. The Caps are my adopted team - 80 games a year (plus playoffs). My only concession to the Kings crappiness the past few years is I cancelled center ice while Cloutier was there. It was too painful.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of watching them, they aren't that bad (better than Ottawa...) this year. Goalies are young and a bit of an enigma; both have played very well at times. Brown, Kopitar and Frolov are very talented up front. Stoll dates or married Aver- never mind-. Doherty is a young D stud in the making. But, they have some of the same problems the Caps did a couple years ago: not much depth, a pretty green blue line. The Caps are playing well, but the Kings have done well catching teams that weren't expecting a stout test.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 4, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

irock,
the shield rule is there only for those who insitgate fights. the thought is that since these guys have extra face protection, they might be more inclinded to start a fight, particularly against someone who doesn't have a face shield, because they have extra protection. to avoid this, they implemented the rule for extra penalty for instigating w/ visor. when two guys square off w/ no instigator, the assumption is the guy who has no visor is fully aware that the other guy has a visor and choses to engage anyway.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | February 4, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Last night was a great night for Nylander. He's still not out of the dog house, but still.

In the FYI column, Nylander historically has 2 times the assists over goals. He's mostly a setup guy. In normal years makes around 20 goals, so I'm not upset about his lack of goal scoring. If this is the beginning of him bringing that game to the ice sheet, maybe he'll stick around. His timing would be impeccable.

On stats. I'm not wild about them as I'm sure you've figured out, but this statement is why I don't like them.

"Our power play was great and stinky at the same time," he (Coach B) said. "We never had any possession of [the puck] but we scored three times. But we'll take it because the numbers look good."

If the powerplay is "stinky" then no amount of perfume will make it more palatable. That's just luck. We need more work on the PP.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 4, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1 - Makes sense. Usually when two guys square off, the helmets come off anyway and are halfway across the ice before too many punches are thrown, especially as loose as some of these guys wear them!

So it's more a deterrent against instigating a fight than anything else, then. That does make sense. We don't want people (*ahem*Crosby*ahem) jumping people in the face-off circle, after all...

Posted by: irockthered | February 4, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

@Greg S. The PP set play off the drop has better been pretty awesome lately. They had like 4 PP goals in a total of 20 seconds of PP time this weekend. Its when they start moving around that they run into trouble.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 4, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

A quick note on VERSUS: Saw it mentioned in the game post, but had to say it again... any true Caps fan would have pretty quickly noticed that Kozlov was missing after the first period and that Boudreau was switching up lines to adjust to his absence.

Somebody said Joe B. alluded to it but I certainly missed the commentary team saying anything about it...the guys in the studio definitely didn't say a word about it...the "on-ice" reporter had time to interview coaches and players but didn't bother to report on it...just inexcusable for a national broadcast of a game.

rant over

Posted by: donknutts | February 4, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if the OHL Allstar game is available to NHL Center Ice subscribers?

Posted by: thegr8one | February 4, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

oldtime

Yup. They had us running around A LOT. IF we can win the face-off, there's a good chance that it's a 4-8 second powerplay. We had 2 PP where we ran around, couldn't get the puck in the zone and keep it there. That can't be acceptable.

It's the numbers. We were, what 3-4 on PP? Fantastic. But 3 of the 4 PP's had us running around being ineffective - and they got a shortie on top of it. That is not an effective PP. Stats don't tell the whole story.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 4, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

In defence of my boy, Clutterbuck.
http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_11606010

And Dave, lmao at your speechification. I was defending you until Boo threatened to have me deported. ;-P

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 4, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

irock,
in the case of crosby, there should be a penalty for instigating while wearing a cup vs not....

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | February 4, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@Greg S. - Actually, if the power play results in a goal, then I, personally, would call that "great," even if it was a face-off set play and didn't knock very much time off the clock, which, I think, is part of what Boudreau might have been calling "stinky" with his lack of puck possession comments.

I would say that it would largely depend on what you want out of a power play. Ultimately, an uptick on the score sheet is what we want, but also in a game where we're leading, any time we can waste off the clock helps us preserve that lead and helps us get the win. +1 in the first five seconds of the PP is the same on the scoresheet as +1 in the last five seconds. But if we do try and eat time, there is always the risk - and this happened last night when Langenbrunner got ahold of the puck - that the other guys will score instead of us.

And *that* I would call "stinky," right alongside Semin's passing without looking behind him by smacking the puck between his own feet right to the other team. We were three for four on the power play last night, and on the one where we didn't score, the Devils did. I can agree with Boudreau on "great and stinky" there.

1st PP begins @ 4:17 in the 1st
1st PP goal @ 5:58 in the 1st frame - I did not see this one, since I wasn't watching yet, but it looks like someone ate a fair amount of time there... did the other team have the puck?

2nd PP begins @ 8:08 in the 1st
2nd PP goal @ 8:12 in the 1st - that one had to be one of the set plays that have worked so well these last two games... again - I did not see it happen. I tuned in shortly after this happened. When we WIN the initial face-off in the PP, we are very, very dangerous.

3rd PP begins @ 19:30 in the 2nd and will carry over to the 3rd and result in a SH goal at 0:41 in the 3rd... the play-by-play doesn't indicate how the Devils got ahold of the puck, and my cold-encrusted head doesn't remember, other than it being sloppy on our part. NJ won both face-offs, and took the puck from us at least once during that power play...

4th PP begins @ 9:09 in the 3rd
PP goal @ 10:59 in the 3rd... we lost two of three face-offs in that power play, though, and the Devils got a shot off before they gave us the puck back.

It does look like we need to work on winning face-offs in power play situations... We only won 50% of our power play face-offs last night; the Devils won all of theirs, and that will bite us hard come playoffs time.

Posted by: irockthered | February 4, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1 - You have a point there... ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | February 4, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

On special teams: did anybody else notice that wonderful game of "keep away" we played when we were on the penalty kill late in the game? That was fantastic. The Devils barely got to touch the puck, and we shut down the power play quite beautifully.

Posted by: irockthered | February 4, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

For those who hate statistics, here's for you...
A show of efficiencies and efficacy on the Caps' last 10 games...

Games Points AIC PP60 PPS PM60

19 10 8 19:50 2.42 0.53 0.9
10 9 1 11:26 0.58 0.25 0.6
87 10 0 8:09 0.00 0.00 -0.7
91 9 6 15:09 2.64 0.43 0.0
92 9 8 13:34 3.93 0.67 1.5
28 10 10 18:32 3.24 0.32 0.6
8 10 14 22:30 3.73 0.21 0.5
39 6 1 15:47 0.63 0.11 1.3
16 6 4 9:13 4.35 0.27 1.1
14 10 6 14:27 2.49 0.4 2.1
15 5 1 13:52 0.86 0.33 0.9
25 10 4 14:37 1.79 0.15 0.9
21 10 7 18:15 2.3 0.23 -0.3

AIC = Average ice time per game
PP60 = Points per 60 minutes of ice time
PPS = Points per shors
PM60 = +/- differential per 60 minutes of ice time

Posted by: atybat | February 4, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

A few thoughts:

The bipolar Capitals fans are out in force today, eh? King Nyls today, bum Nyls tomorrow.

I am happy that BB found the 4th line as a way to sit a player.

Nyls and Semin are great players with bad labels.

I think it is nuts to suggest that this team needs players to help win the Cup. We have a great team. The Caps find themselves in a great position because of them.

I hope there is not let down playing the lesser teams.

Go Caps.

Posted by: opita1 | February 4, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Second post

To help a bit, Nylander has the least ice time of all forwards except Brashear, Fehr and Bradley.
Fehr has the most points per 60 minutes of ice time, followed by Nyls and Ovie. Kozlov has the least of all the regulars (top 3 lines). The most efficient players in terms of points per ice time are Nylander, Fedorov and Backstrom.
Fleischman has the best +/- differential per ice time, followed by Nylander and Steckel.
That is just a small snapshot of the whole picture, of course....

Posted by: atybat | February 4, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

First off, hats off to both teams for an extremely intense, fast game, a pleasure to watch and played at a high level. I thought last home game v Flyers featured two teams that played almost perfect games that night. This one good too. For Caps, first pp was one of our worst in recent memory, but ended with brilliant pass by Semin to Green.
Nyls began to be a physical presence on the ice in the new year, now it seems a good deal of his confidence is coming back. Maybe he was just working his way through his shoulder thing. I think we're seeing him on the PP because he wins faceoffs. Would like to see Bourque and Giroux get shots with the big club. Bourque can be like Edgar Davids on ice: small, fast, irritating to the opposition. I think GMGM willing to trade for Bouw, Kaberle or others; We're probably dangling any forward other than Ovi, Semin, and Backstrom, and any D but Green. But both would be rentals. I don't think we have a Cup winner here yet, but close, esp not with our PK. For the right piece (obviously a Chara would be nice but he's not on the market) right now, what are we willing to lose in the future? I think we could use a good shut down D and a truly good checking forward (like Madden).

Posted by: WritingLight | February 4, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

irockthered:
yes - my insight is that this doesn't apply to crysby. he's more of a chickenbuck than chickenbuck is. i don't think he'll ever 'square off' with anyone. he'll either jump them at the drop of the puck - or be the second man (if he qualifies as a man) in throwing a punch to the nads

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Off-hockey comment to our English fans.
That red card on Lampard during their match with Liverpool was attrocious.
I just saw the replay done by Beavis & Butt-Head. LOL. Those two guys make Joe B. sound great. "look look, oooo, oooo, ohh, aaaahhh .... " that meant there is a great play developing near the goalie.

My apologies to the hockey-only fans.

Posted by: opita1 | February 4, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Nylander did a great job last night - two goals is amazing for him! But I still can't wait to see that man traded. Give him enough time and he will be doing figure 8's against the boards again and hogging the puck. An early birthday present would be if they packaged Schultz in with Nylander and got rid of them both. Schultz generally hangs out away from the puck and looks scared of the thing!

Posted by: mikesfan | February 4, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

OK, here is a question born out of a moral dilemma and some comments in a previous thread. I am going to Boston for a long weekend to visit my cousin and to see the Beanpot finals. And, awesome person that he is, my cousin has a spare ticket for me to see the Bruins/Flyers game on Saturday. So the question is, if death is not an option, and presuming that mutually assured destruction is off the table, do I cheer for the Bruins or the Flyers? I am having a hard time justifying either, but I can't not take a side....

Posted by: jen_n | February 4, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Personally I think it would be a HUGE mistake for the Caps to trade Nylander. He's a great puck handler, and I would like to see him shoot more.

Federov and maybe Clark will be gone nest year. I know Nylander is making $6 mil? next year, but he's starting to heat up just in time for the playoffs.

Posted by: rmcazz | February 4, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey Clemmensen.... 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - (and even) 5 !!! IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!!!

8 - game winning streak + CAPS = 1 game losing streak. HAHAHAHA

LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!

Posted by: dsphvywght | February 4, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Jen_n
I would just enjoy the game and cheer for all the good plays regardless of the team. That sounds like a great match. I hope you have a good time.

Posted by: opita1 | February 4, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@jen_n

don't cheer, just enjoy the game and environment. there really is no other option.

Posted by: saintex | February 4, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

jen-n,
Given that choice, it is an easy call. Go Bruins. Never, ever root for the Flyers.

But that is just one mans opinion. :)

Posted by: _Mark | February 4, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

maybe we *should* send them Leonhardt, if only for practice, and pick up a backup web producer for ourselves... there's got to be one SOMEWHERE in the system!

Posted by: irockthered | February 4, 2009 9:51 AM


@irockthered:

XD I like it. However, wouldn't carrying more than one web producer with the big club involve some salary cap issues? ;D

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 4, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

jen_n:
root for both to lose - that way you'll be happy because one of them will

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I wish I knew the schedule toward the end of the season.

Posted by: saintex | February 4, 2009 10:07 AM

@saintex:

for God's sake DON'T FEED THE TROLL!!! (windjammer's mouth)

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 4, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

@Opita1

Regarding the Lampard red card- I believe the FA overturned it. Rightfully so.

http://www.iht.com/articles/reuters/2009/02/03/sports/OUKSP-UK-LAMPARD-brief-fapl.php

Posted by: Fro_ | February 4, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Could be a good time to pick up Gerber with Johnson out.

Posted by: Stu_c | February 4, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, in non-Caps news: THN thinks the EC Final will be the Bruins and the Flyers. So, so amused. Giant will make a killing in eggs this June, because there'll sure be a lot of hockey media wearing them on their faces if things go the way we all no doubt hope.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 4, 2009 8:02 AM


HUUUGE difference between the regular season and the playoffs. The Caps are a protypical successful regular season team that could have issues in the playoffs even against a less skilled opponent

Every year you have teams who do very well in the reg season and whose shortcomings are exposed in the playoffs.

I think the Bruins are definitely a legitimate EC final contender. As are the Rangers (great trade to pick up Eric Reitz on defense this week). The Flyers are a notch below and need a healthy Braydon Coburn. The Capitals are not as defensively sound as they need to be and they're better built for regular season hockey than playoff hockey. They could lose in the 1st round again this year depending on their opponent but they'll be better prepared this year than last.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 4, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

OK, I understand that it's the *instigator* of the fight that gets the extra PIMs, and not the *victim*, but most "fights" that actually get fighting major penalties involve both players squaring off in the middle of the ice, and so "instigator" is rarely called... Does anyone have any insight at all into the wisdom of this decision?!

Posted by: irockthered | February 4, 2009 10:45 AM


Its to protect the fighter's hand from getting cut, getting a lacerated tendon what have you. I mean you may as well just encase oneself in bubblewrap if you're going to wear a visor in a fight.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 4, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Nylander did a great job last night - two goals is amazing for him! But I still can't wait to see that man traded. Give him enough time and he will be doing figure 8's against the boards again and hogging the puck. An early birthday present would be if they packaged Schultz in with Nylander and got rid of them both. Schultz generally hangs out away from the puck and looks scared of the thing!

Posted by: mikesfan | February 4, 2009 12:27 PM


Amen brutha

I too want to see the Schultzman out of here. He is not showing much if any improvement from last year. I expected him to keep showing progress but its not happening. Too often he's our worst defenseman.

With Robert Lang out for the season, Nylander just got a little more attractive to a certain team :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 4, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

That idiot that's not satisfied with how the Caps are playing, the one who wants to be the center of attention with that moronic chant, isn't he the dude that used to drink the bong water before first period? Enjoy the game, and fish out one of those ludes you got stashed away.

Posted by: coastallp74 | February 4, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

>

Thx for the laugh Opita. You're correct. We don't need any players to help win the Cup. They should just hand it over to us right now.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 4, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

In that first link to the Jersey papers regarding reactions to the game...where is Theo's head in that picture with Gionta?!

Posted by: alee06 | February 5, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

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