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Morning Reading List

Preston Keres--TWP

*The Capitals continued their success at home with a 4-3 shootout win over Montreal. But it wasn't Alexander Semin's game-winner in the shootout nor David Steckel's tying goal with less than three minutes in regulation that had the Verizon Center crowd buzzing. No, it was Alex Ovechkin who added to his highlight reel collection of goals with the Caps first tally of the game.

*Here's the Canadiens perspective on the game from the Montreal Gazette and also the Times recap.

*In case you missed it last night, Mike Green decided to give the stick he used during his record-setting, eight-game goal-scoring streak to the Hockey Hall of Fame after all.

*Here are the highlights from last night's game.

*Green makes The Hockey News' top-10 list of plus-minus team leaders. On a slightly unrelated note apparently THN's Ryan Kennedy thinks stopping him is also the solution to solving the Caps.

*Also, you can also check out the full transcript of Green's NHL conference call from earlier this week on Mike Vogel's Dump and Chase.

*Tampa Bay Coach Rick Tocchet talks about the respect he has for the Capitals during a Q&A with the St. Petersburg Times.

*Both Green and Nicklas Backstrom talk about the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in this week's Southeast Division notes.

*Thanks to the Caps' Nate Ewell for this one: In addition to the NPR features you've grown accustomed to this season, Ovechkin and the young Capitals were the focus of a segment on NPR's "Only a Game" program. (Click on Alex Ovechkin at the bottom of the page.)

*Dan Steinberg may be at Nationals spring training in Viera, Fla., but that doesn't mean he hasn't found a way to incorporate hockey into his many baseball posts. It turns out the Nats young left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler grew up a hockey fan in St. Louis.

*In his chat yesterday, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun said that he doesn't expect the Caps to "move big assets" at the trade deadline. (If you don't want to read the full transcript search for Washington.)

In the system:
*Braden Holtby posted his sixth shutout of the season earlier this week as he led Saskatoon to a 3-0 win over Red Deer.

*Holtby and the Blades didn't have as good of an outing yesterday though, falling 5-1 to Calgary. Caps prospect Joel Broda netting his WHL-leading 46th goal of the season for the Hitmen.

*Credit to Mike Vogel for bringing attention to interviews with John Carlson and Holtby on "The Pipeline Show."

By Katie Carrera  |  February 19, 2009; 4:35 AM ET
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Next: McPhee: Ovechkin will be 'fine'



This is why Ovechkin is the most exciting athlete in all of sports! Last night's goal vs. Montreal was an absolutely insane display of awareness, creativity, cleverness, amazing skill, explosive speed, raw power, strength and finesse.

Just watch what he does! Sees the puck loose for a split second and goes for it (awareness), passes it off the boards to himself beating his 1st opponent (creativity, cleverness), accelerates towards the net (explosive speed), protects the puck with his body as he's getting knocked over (raw power & strength), goes to the backhand to protect it, then back to the forehand and deposits it into the net while falling on his fanny (amazing skill & finesse).

Posted by: ranndino | February 19, 2009 4:51 AM | Report abuse

There really is no need to do the Morning Reading List on UK time. I appreciate it and all but honestly, you get some sleep.

And now seen Ovie's goal. Wow! The speed at which he makes the move at centre ice is unreal. It's a thing of beauty.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 19, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

Is it any wonder the team sold 1000 new STH plans the first day of availability?
The Great 8,the guy is unreal. The guys around him aren't too shabby either. I can't wait for this weekends games. Especially Sunday. But Friday is big. We're creeping up in the points race,keep it going Caps!

Posted by: ridgely1 | February 19, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

It was a thing of beauty. Just like Scholes' goal, it was very Dave.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 19, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know the name of the hockey school that Craig Laughlin speaks about during broadcasts on CSN?

Posted by: Kevin9149 | February 19, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse


Oh the joy we will get chanting that city's name in a depressing tone. Habs will beat the tonight too.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 19, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

One of my favorite moments from last night's game was when Brashear crushed that Montreal player near the boards, then wouldn't respond to Laraque's goading and instead drew a penalty.

Discouraged over the Capitals offensive ineptitude late in the third period, I chastised the Laich-Nylander-Steckel line as having done "nothing" all night long.

Seconds later, Steckel scored. Me and mouth. :O

Posted by: Cerealman | February 19, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

I think it is through the Caps at Kettler.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 19, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Also, I've learned that not only can Nylander not make a good pass while skating in circles, he also can't pass when sitting on his brains at center ice.

Posted by: Cerealman | February 19, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Ovie's gettin' a lot of love on NHLOTF, BUT they said the Habs were up 3-0 and they called Ovi "Al Ovechkin" ... ?!?

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 19, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse


Network Hockey. It's his school, try

Posted by: apoptosis | February 19, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

You're right of course, Scholes goal last night was classic Dave. Have you seen it?

I'm not sure you could say that about Ovie's goal. If I tried that I'd maybe have killed myself. However, if you mean he executed it with style, panache and flair, then you're right, it was very Dave.


Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 19, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

You mean Network Hockey?

"No normal goal, not sick", Ovi you crack me up. How hard would a Ovi Top 10 goals be anyway?

Posted by: koalatek | February 19, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Was it just me and being a little too used to watching Caps on Comcast, but were the NHL TV broadcaster just a little biased in support of Montreal last night?

Posted by: bucknelldad | February 19, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Not a good third period, but what a game nonetheless - all Caps goals were spectacular.

And look at the standings. What a season this has been so far.

Schultz is better paired with Jurcina it seems, maybe because Juice is very aggressive and it's a good match. However, every single time he was challenged on the boards, he lost the puck. Every. Single. Time. He needs to improve that part.

Posted by: mauree | February 19, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

@ Tarik
What is the deal with Kostitsyn??? Before the game it was all over the web that he had been sent down. Funny for a guy who wasn't there he sure played a big part in last night's game. When I look I find no explaination about why he was back.

Posted by: majiksea | February 19, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I didn't notice a Montreal bias on TSN. Doesn't mean there wasn't one.

If only the Capitals could learn to stay out of the penalty box. Better cut down on those penalties before the playoffs start.

However, I went off on the TSN analyst who read a message from Kovalev on his Blackberry during the pre-game last night. What a schmuck.

Just me, or is Bruce the worst-dressed coach in the league? What's with the blue-striped shirt with the gray-and-pink tie?

Posted by: Cerealman | February 19, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse


There's two of em, the Kostitsyn brothers, Andrei and Sergei.

Posted by: Cerealman | February 19, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I like how there are two groups of people when it comes to reactions to that goal. There's the "wow what a goal...." crowd and the "Yeah, great goal but did you SEE that backhanded behind the back deke and go pass of the boards to himself?" crowd. I'm in the second group. That was a thing of beauty. That Canadien totally bit on the deke, and it looked like Alex was going to go East West but suddenly he's in and charging the goal. Too much! These are special times and the next few years with the Alexes, Backs, Green and etc... Fasten your seat belts!

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | February 19, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

@mauree: Fair enough. Everyone's got things to work on. My point and reason for making that comment is that he tends not to get enough credit for the things he does right.

Of course, if you ask this board, we should trade away everyone except Backstrom and Ovi, so that's not exactly a good measuring stick. :D

I agree, not exactly a solid third last night, and if we play that way against Colorado, we will get stomped. Overtime and shootout were amazing - can we put Backstrom on the shootout more often?

Posted by: kittypawz | February 19, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Just read the Rick Tocchet interview in the St. Pete Times that Katie shared on Capital Insider. Here's the final quote, a great one, about the Caps:

"You can tell they like each other. They like being at the rink. You can tell hockey is fun. Sometimes it's almost like a puck on a pond. The Capitals have that attitude. They have fun. They're kicking soccer balls after practice, 20 guys. A guy scores and five guys hug each other. They're happy for the guy who scored. When you win, that happens. That's the stuff you've got to create."

Posted by: bucknelldad | February 19, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I am concerned about Ovechkin's foot. I hope that we get an update soon.

Posted by: MKadyman | February 19, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

About Green deciding to give the stick up - sure, it lost the mojo. When a stick loses the mojo, why not? You can speculate about whether it lost the mojo because he refused to give it up, but hey. That's academic right now.

In short, that was an ugly, ugly win, but a win it was, and it's still two points in the books. We've got stuff to work on and stuff to think about, but remember that good teams still find a way to win when they're not at their very best - and we sure weren't last night.

I would have liked to see fewer penalties, but I also have to factor in some very, very weak calls and some outright stupid ones. The problem I saw on the PK was not kicking their guy out of the crease - two of three of those happened because Jose was screened, and I pin those on our D.

Sadly, if we don't solve the focus problem, and we don't solve the penalty/PK problem, we're probably headed for a short playoff run. We've got to deal with that in this stretch, and keep it dealt with.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 19, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Still no word on the absense of Juice late in the 3rd.

kitty mentioned something in the previous thread about "clearing the crease."

It's a tough topic. You can't just skate in and knock someone's block off who's standing in the crease. Well. Sometimes you can, but when you're playing a game with Kelly Sutherland as a ref, you don't even think about it. Remember. Hooking/tripping/checkingwith a guy who doesn't have the puck is interference. We got called for 2-3 of these early in the year.

So, how do you handle goalie screeners? You have to establish position yourself. Just as you can't destroy them, they can't destroy you. Once you establish position, it's up to your PKers to keep the shots coming from your goalie's sight lines. This is a VERY hard task, and is much easier for PP unit to move the puck around and find the screened lanes, rather than be forced into open sight lines.

It's a tough job. As a defender, you basically have to play infront of your goalie like Shaq plays in the paint. Get your big ass in there and back the dude out. That takes a long time, and most of the time the PP unit can still work around what you've done.

Notes on the game from last night. MANY missed penalties early in the game (first 5 min). Trips, hooks, clutch/grabbing that went uncalled. Sutherland had a great game of making up whatever penalty he felt he needed to call. His partner wasn't so bad, and was the one who called the hook on Semin that the crowd sounded like they didn't enjoy. From my couch, it was absolutely a hook and an easy call (but probably also a dive). The ones that Feds has been called for lately, though, are tougher to swallow. His are more simple whacks to the hand area and it seems like every time Feds does it he gets called.

Someone mentioned earlier. It took me a few minutes to explain why Brashear's baiting of LaRaque was a fantastic play and something the Donald should be doing more.

Backstrom's shot on the shootout was awesome. Not for any technical merit. He just skated in and blew it right by Price.

14/91/16 and 21/92/10 were great producing-nothing lines tonight. Continuing the disturbing trend though... 92 gets like 5 points in 4 games, then we give him new linemates, then we sit him down for a game, then give him new linemates again. What's worse, is we give him Bradley and, now the only player on the team who can't finish, Brooks Laich. I've laid off Fehr for the past couple weeks now, cause he's finally putting some in the net, but Laich has more goals on his stick blade than anyone not named Ovie/Semin. They just don't seem to be going in.

Posted by: FFSEnough | February 19, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

sorry Austin you missed the game last night. That sucks but hey hope you kept your glass full. You know we won don't you? Keep your eye on this thread for late breaking news.


Posted by: windjammersouth | February 19, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

A few times this season, when the team is down towards the end of the game, it seems BB decides to use Fedorov on D to pack an extra punch of offense for that (hopefully) comeback... With Fedorov out there as D, and three forwards and Mike Green....basically they have their power play unit out there...

So, my guess is nothing was wrong with Jurcina, he just was the one that Fedorov ended up replacing on the D rotation....

Plus, if you see a picture of the players on the ice after the game, congratulating Theo, Jurcina is definitely there! (if he was injured or anything, I would assume he would be in the locker room...)

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 19, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

@ Cereal
I see said the blind man. After that game I wish they had sent both down then!

Posted by: majiksea | February 19, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Good article about Nick Backstrom on|NHL|Home

Posted by: tess2201 | February 19, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I thought we had the chance early in the 1st to bury them. Semin's shot looked good but was missing high. Price had a few nice stops as well.

The 2nd was pretty weak, as well as the third in my opinion. Our shot selection wasnt the best, and they blocked alot of them. It's amazing this team can get 2 pts when they dont seem to be clicking on offense.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 19, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

That or the fact that he fell down and went boom ... ;-)

I've gotta say, the NHL would be NUTS to not put the Caps in the Winter Classic next year. I hope they are finally on the Ovi/Caps bandwagon and do the right thing. If so, a roadtrip may be in order!

BTW, am I the only bonehead who did not put the "F Street" line name together with the fact that the VC is on F Street until I was sitting at the game? Duh.

Posted by: Boo- | February 19, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

3 Stars from Montreal Gazzette:

1. A. Ovechkin; 2. David Stecjel; 3. Andrei Markov

They sure know their hockey players up there in Canada! Nice Editor!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 19, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Steckel wasn't on line with Nyls and Laich. The third line was 21-92-10 and the fourth line was 15-39-87.

Nyls was good last night so I'm not sure about the ranting. I watched Schultz all night and I think the hockeyanalytics stats are correct and a lot of us fans are wrong. He doesn't make many mistakes and he's not flashy.

A great win.

Nothing to add on The Goal.

Posted by: saintex | February 19, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I know BB will put Feds on the ice for some added punch. But we tied the game up with 3 min left. Juice didn't touch the ice after the 10 min mark of the 3rd. Didn't play a single shift in OT either (not surprising, Erskine got 0 OT time either).

Guess he could be OK. I was just worried, seeing as his TOI was lower than any other non-4th-liner in the game.

Also, Fehr didn't touch the ice in OT. I find that very odd.

Posted by: FFSEnough | February 19, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse


Shultz does play a smart game and is cheap. How many dumb passes does he make? With the salary cap, you cant have studs at every position. You have to have some cheap solid players down the lineup.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 19, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

FFSEnough, I don't think there's enough time for Fehr to get OT ice time. You have 8-19, 28-91 (although it was Laich last night I think), Flash-Nyls as the main forward pairings and you want Ovi and Semin to get two shifts in the five minutes.

Posted by: koalatek | February 19, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse


Not sure if you're referring to the misspelling of Steck's or the selection of Markov as 3rd star. J's right next to K. Just a simple fat-finger there.

I've been talking with my STH buddy about this quite a lot this season. There's typically "Three-Star" etiquette that most arenas follow for a game.

Unless a team gets shut-out/blown out, you typically see at the very least, 1 star for each team. That hasn't been the case often at the VZ this year. There have been quite a few close games that 3 stars have all gone one way or the other. Do star selections really matter? Afterall, it's the media in attendence that picks them.

I've got no problem with the star selections from last night. Markov had a good evening for his team (3A's). Could we give out more to the Caps? sure can.

Posted by: FFSEnough | February 19, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Addition to above:

NHL has Markov listed as star 1, Stecks 2, Ovie 3.

Posted by: FFSEnough | February 19, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

i thought nylander was okay last night UNTIL he did his circles and turned the puck over for a montreal 2 on 1 and they rang it off the pipe. if they scored there i would have shot him

Posted by: _stevo | February 19, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The exclusion of Fehr from OT ice time is more of a surprise that the team didn't want to press and try to keep Fehr's points streak alive. Yes, you're still trying to win a game, but I'd rather Fehr be out there than Laich right now, let Feds take the draw and have him drop back on D.

Posted by: FFSEnough | February 19, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Great game last night - was fun to watch.

Again, I'm concerned about the dumb penalties...if we don't show some discipline down the stretch those dumb penalties will haunt us in the playoffs.

Semin needs to put a leash on his seems to trip everything that comes near it!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 19, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

FFSEnough: The one knock on Fehr, even in that article, was he's not the fastest skater. That might limit the amount of time he plays 4-on-4.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 19, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Steckel was on the ice with Laich and Gordon on the goal late in the third, so apparently there was some line shifting.

Either way, the bottom lines hadn't generated many scoring opportunities until Steckel scored.

Posted by: Cerealman | February 19, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse


From Espn players poll: Note - he got the highest percentage out of any of the questions asked!


Crosby• TOP VOTE-GETTER: Sidney Crosby (52%).
• More on Crosby | Statistics | Penguins page
• A simple Google search will tell you what some fans think of Sidney Crosby on the ice ("cry baby" is the most often-used G-rated word); but at various times in his short career, Crosby has been accused of complaining too much to officials about calls or non-calls and embellishing fouls to draw penalties. It was a subject that was heightened during last season's playoffs. Crosby has repeatedly denied being that kind of a player.
• OTHER MENTIONS: Chris Pronger (8%); Sean Avery (7%); Steve Ott (5%); Ryan Getzlaf (4%); Shane Doan (3%); Marc Savard, Darcy Tucker (2%); Todd Bertuzzi, Mike Richards, Kris Draper (1%); 8 players with one vote.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 19, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Is Eric Cole coming to the Caps? Is Morrision leaving and a couple of prospects leaving?

The Zoo wants to know.

Posted by: windjammersouth | February 19, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@ SA -Town
I thought we had the chance early in the 1st to bury them. Semin's shot looked good but was missing high.

I was at the game and sit in the end the Caps warm up . Semin was missing high all warm up and was one of the last ones off the ice because he was taking extra shots, he looked disgusted with himself

Side note, Last nights game was the fifth of six for the wife and I .5th of a six pack to the origninal six teams package.
They haven't lost when we are there. Next game in our package is 3/5 against Toronto.

Will be taking 10 days off and leave you guys in the cold, as I'm going to Belize to fish for Tarpon, Permit and Bonefish with the wife, eat your hearts out. Ha.

Posted by: billd2 | February 19, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Note on shootout:

I saw someone chew out the people in front of them last night for standing during the shoot-out.

If you dont want to stand in the shoot-out..please leave.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 19, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

AHL's Albany River Rats bus wrecks, some serious injuries.

Posted by: uncatim | February 19, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town, that is pretty silly. I mean, I have a bad back and I have asked the people in front of me not to stand for long periods of time (...and they were pretty unhappy, but I really didn't feel like explaining...), but even *I* stand up for a shootout. Savages. :)

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | February 19, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Ryan Smyth is rumored to be available...I would love to see him parked in front of Cap's opponent's net!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 19, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Or Brenden Witt...can we get him back please!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 19, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse


The shootout takes a few minutes at best, and everyone is about to leave anyway. It's just stubborn crap when 99% of the place is on their feet.

Im all about waiting for the whistle..not leaning forward...but some people should just watch it at home with that attitude.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 19, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: uncatim | February 19, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Are you serious?!? Where the heck was that? Boo hiss on them! If I could stand for more of the game without infuriating those around me I would ... there is NO way I would sit during a SO.

Posted by: Boo- | February 19, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

There are times when it is totally appropriate to stand up! I was so annoyed a few games back when I was asked to sit down during the pre-game warm up! Being a poor college student, I tend to buy the cheaper nosebleed tickets and that was my chance to really take in a close-up of the players...Everyone was standing up for the warm-up (I was behind the goal) but a guy a few rows behind me did not feel like standing, and barked at me to sit down since I was blocking his view....was not even the game!!!! Oh well.

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 19, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

uncatim, That's awful! Wishing the guys speedy recoveries!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 19, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"Boo hiss on them!"

Boo!....are you referring to yourself in the third person now?

Posted by: SombreroGuy | February 19, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Listen if you can't handle the physcial requirements of attending a HOCKEY game don't go to the game bad back and all. For Chris sake it's a HOCKEY game.

Stand up a shout and stand as long as you want.

You think the animals in the ZOO sit down??


Posted by: windjammersouth | February 19, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Hmm ... I don't think I have ever actually hissed on anyone before ...

Posted by: Boo- | February 19, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I can see Boston within our sights...I think we can take first overall, especially the way our schedule plays out. It's like a NASCAR race, they lead all the way until the end, but I think at some point they may crash into a wall and we zoom by em!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 19, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

new thread

Posted by: _stevo | February 19, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

This is precisely why I'm not giving up my last-row seats. The concrete wall at my back has never yelled at me about standing.

Posted by: 106T | February 19, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Oh wow! My thoughts go out to all those involved in the bus accident! Here's to quick and speedy recoveries all around!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 19, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I've been a Nyls defender for a while but last night's game has pushed me close to the edge.

It's not that he doesn't have skill, it's not that he is "past it" or has nothing to contribute, and it's not that he's a bad overall player—what I'm finally realizing (and I guess many of you have already realized) is that Circles is simply out of sync with this team. There were at least a few times last night where he was just a beat behind his teammates, and—maybe I'm projecting—I could even sense that at one point Mike Green was getting impatient waiting for a pass that came seconds late. This team is about speed, precision, and aggressiveness and Nyls offers little of each.

Of course the OT turnover was like the last straw. I can imagine BB and the boys on the bench rolling their eyes as they watched that one.

Obviously he's gonna be hard to move, but I'll no longer be opposed to seeing #92 as a healthy scratch.

Posted by: donknutts | February 19, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Funny that Tocchet commends the Caps on "that attitude." Maybe he should have shown some of that attitude when he actually wore a Caps jersey for 13 games in 1997. As I recall, he couldn't wait to get out of town. What a jerk.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | February 19, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I had someone complain at me last night about standing during the shootout, too. What's with these people? It's a dramatic finish. Get up and scream for your team in the shootout. You're going to be up and down anyway - up screaming if your team scores or your goalie makes a save.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 19, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

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