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Morning Reading List

Alex Ovechkin returned to the ice with his teammates for the first time yesterday after a week-long trip to Russia to visit his ill grandfather. Read more about the boost his presence alone gives the Caps in Tarik's story for the hard-copy edition.

*While the Capitals are anxious to erase the memory of Saturday's loss, the Senators are looking to forget about some nightmares of their own -- the four losses Washington handed them last year in a sweep of the 2007-08 series between the two teams. Ottawa would also like to move past its sluggish start to the season, which has been the M.O. for many of the Caps' recent opponents (Calgary, Phoenix...).

*But a blog at The Ottawa Citizen predicts the Caps will win tonight's contest.

*Folks in Ottawa are growing restless waiting for center Mike Fisher to put points on the board after signing a five-year, $21 million contract in the off season. Keep an eye on him in addition to the Senators' usual suspects.

*The Capitals had a 24 percent boost in attendance this October as compared to last year.

*ESPN's Pierre LeBrun gives his take on Alexander Semin's comments about Sidney Crosby along with Washington owner Ted Leonsis' view of the situation.

*Do you love or hate the NHL's new injury disclosure policy? The Hockey News' Adam Proteau joins the growing list of those who aren't so enthused.

In the system:
*Hershey's Keith Aucoin was named the AHL player of the month for October, with five goals and 13 assists for 18 points in 10 games to lead the league in scoring.

He didn't exactly receive a warm welcome in Albany this past week, which some folks at the Albany Times Union thought he deserved.

*Tarik will have more updates from the morning skate in Ottawa.

By Katie Carrera  |  November 4, 2008; 9:02 AM ET
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Next: Live All-Star Ballot Results


good morning Katie

Posted by: capsfan01111 | November 4, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I did not get to see the game in Buffalo; I have FIOS and for some reason the game was not on CSN or NHL Center Ice. But maybe that's a good thing; apparently I didn't miss much. How was Nylander's performance in the game? I beleive some have noted that he, along with Clark, has not lived up to expectations thus far. It is a shame we can't call up Laing; his 150% might help inspire the team. And does anybody think maybe we should have tried to find a way to keep Cooke?

Posted by: 1hockeymom | November 4, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone.

My take on the whole Semin/Sid issue is that first, it is great that Semin is talking more. Love him! Second, it just illustrates the rivalry between the two teams. I think there still would have been backlash if he had mentioned Malkin (not from Cherry natch, but definitely from Pens fans and the "hockey in-the-knows" at ESPN). Does anyone really think there would have been as much of an uproar if he had made the comments about Vinny L? Wish we could get back to the old Patrick Division.

On another related topic, did anyone else see that apparently the Redskins faced the invasion of the Pittsburgh fan last night? All I could think was, welcome to my world.

Posted by: Kim-3 | November 4, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Wait, the Sens signed Mike Fisher to a 5 year deal? Maybe Ray Emery wasn't their biggest problem.

Posted by: Section117 | November 4, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

is Brent Johnson starting tonight?

Posted by: rachel216 | November 4, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I went to the Buffalo game on saturday and it was just pathetic. It looked like they were starting to pick it up in the second half, but couldn't get any quality shots on Miller except for a few posts and a crossbar. The defense and Theodore were just horrible. He let the first shot in AGAIN. When is Boudreau going to start Johnny. Johnny should at least get a chance considering how bad Theodore is doing.

Posted by: ILikeLaich | November 4, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

On Fios in Fairax, when there is a conflict with the Wiz, the Caps end up on CSN+ which airs on Fios channel 1. Something to keep in mind for the next conflicted game.

Posted by: _Mark | November 4, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Johnny is supposed to get the start tonight. He was held out of the last couple games due to illness or injury precaution. I will be glad to see him in net.

Posted by: _Mark | November 4, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for your comment. I am in Baltimore and we don't get CSN+ up here for some reason, only regular CSN. I guess that was the problem.

Posted by: 1hockeymom | November 4, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

This feels like a big game to me. Hopefully, Ovie is not too distracted and gets back on the score sheet. He loves to play in Canada, especially with the nice ice. Speaking of which...DC has some of the best athletes in the world. Isn't it a major responsibilty of Verizon Center to provide these guys with the best ice possible? It makes me sick to watch a fast-puck possesion team like the Caps play on the worst ice in the league! Often you can see plays develop only to get screwed up by a bad bounce or that extra second it takes to settle a puck on crappy ice. Who's fault is it? Is it Abe being too cheap to blow cold air through the building - the maintainence crew - the NHL?

Katie- any input? Is there anything we, the fans, can do to help fix this problem?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 4, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse


I remember reading somewhere that they put in some new and additional equipment over the offseason that's supposed to help with the ice.

I know it's a valid complaint and I agree 100% that we should strive for the best playing surface in the league, but I'm sooo tired of hearing about the ice at VC.

Posted by: _jordan | November 4, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

No problem, looking at the schedule it appears that you may have trouble finding the game a few more nights in November and December. I see CSN+ listed for 6 more games between now and January 9th. Hopefully you will be able to get the game another way.

Posted by: _Mark | November 4, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse


I just think the way this team plays- our ice hurts them more than say a defensive team like the Devils. And considering half our games are played on that crappy ice- it almost negates the home advantage which equals points in the standings.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 4, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Katie and Tarik, I just want to say how much I've loved the morning reading list! I hope it continues all season!

Posted by: RedBirdie | November 4, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Any word on lines yet, Tarik? I'm really really hoping that BJ gets the nod.

I'm also intrigued by the idea of benching Clark in favor of Fehr, just to see what happens. I'm not a puck guru and I couldn't give you all the technical reasons why, but I think it's interesting from a kick in the pants standpoint, from a "shape up or ship out" message-sending perspective.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 4, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse


I completely agree, and as a hockey player myself, I understand how bad ice (like at Kettler after a public session for example, ugh) can affect play. But Ted knows that the players think the ice sucks, he tried to do stuff about it, and it's in his capable hands. Pretty sure we can't do anything by complaining about it anymore.

@kitty pawz,

Agreed about Clark. He needs to get going for this team. As a captain, maybe if he turns it around, other guys will follow.

Posted by: _jordan | November 4, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

From previous thread:
Trading Green is possibly the single most ridiculous comment on this blog. Not just this week....or this season....but ever.

Its concerning that on the very day a country whos foreign policy and fiscal standing has such a bearing on my own country is going to the polls to elect a new leader, comments as ludicrous as that are being made by a potential voter. Scary.

From the reading list:
As if Therrien could take BB. Like thats ever gonna happen. BB was in Slapshot, if anyones a street fighter, its him. :)

Steve R:
Not had the pleasure of Bookers or Basil. Usually Makers or Wild Turkey.

I'd like to say that to become a Makers Mark Amdassador I was hand picked by a select panel of esteemed judges, who have noted my continued excellence in the field of Bourbon research and development. However, its simply a case of filling in an online form on their website!
"I thank you" is a reference to your appreciation of my attempted comedy.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | November 4, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

You know Jordan if you don't like what someone posts or your "sick of it" just don't post a response. I'm tired of reading people bashing others for posting their thoughts and the last few days you have been the prime culprit!!!

Posted by: PhilR | November 4, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Because agreeing with somebody equates to bashing them, right? All I'm saying is there's nothing we can do about the ice as fans. It's gotten media coverage, Vogel apparently got in trouble for talking about it last season, Ted addressed it.. what more can be done? It just seems like a waste, that's all.

Posted by: _jordan | November 4, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Campbellomics article.

Describes a new ranking system for players by weighting goals over assists, comeback goals over other goals, and the game-winner over the next goal.

Cindy Crysby doesn't crack the top 20. Semin is on top, Malkin is 10th.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 4, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@ Dave

And if BB couldn't get the job done, I know 3 Hanson brothers that could :)


Posted by: SZALACH7 | November 4, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@ Jordan

Whose responsibility is the ice? Does that fall on Abe, being the building's owner? The team's owner? The NHL? That's where I am impression of Ted is that he would provide or fix the ice so it is professional quality, and Abe only cares about the aweful Wizards so they take precedent over hockey since he no longer owns the team.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 4, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"...if you don't like what someone posts or your "sick of it" just don't post a response. I'm tired of reading people bashing others for posting their thoughts..."
Posted by: PhilR | November 4, 2008 11:24 AM

"Trade Green now."

Posted by: ergoroc | November 4, 2008 5:48 AM

Posted by: Section117 | November 4, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I think Jordan has a valid point about the ice being considered too much of a factor.

Yes the ice isn't the best but as the Caps get to play 41 games at VC, its condition shouldn't be a surprise to them. As they are more used to it than other teams it could be argued it is an advantage.

And someone tell Patrick Stefan that the ice in places like Edmonton is so great. Remember that game in 06/07 when he had an empty net.....

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | November 4, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Section 117,

Touche, I did jump on that comment.....

Posted by: PhilR | November 4, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

New post, boys and girls.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 4, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

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