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Morning Reading List

Manuel Balce Ceneta--The Associated Press

*Much to the dismay of the Capitals fans in Verizon Center yesterday it wasn't just any Penguin who scored the game winning goal in the shootout but Sidney Crosby, the object of their taunts, signs and personalized jerseys, who handed Washington its fourth-straight loss.

*In addition to the Washington Times recap, here are some stories with the Penguins perspective from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Tribune Review.

*This weekend colleague Corey Masisak talked to GM George McPhee about the Capitals' desire to be a long-term contender and avoid the downturn the Penguins experienced after their Stanley Cup Final run.

*If you missed yesterday's playoff-like game here are the highlights.

*As many of you may have seen over the weekend, Alex Ovechkin joined the ranks of D.C. athletes in Eastern Motors commercials. Dan Steinberg brings you not only the video of Chris Cooley's unwise decision to challenge Ovechkin's shooting accuracy, but the first-seen footage of Ovechkin singing the theme song. Of course I couldn't help but post the latter video below.

*Greg Wyshynski chronicles the work of the Caps fans who greeted Crosby and the Penguins with signs, jerseys, pacifiers, etc. that promised no one would misinterpret their sentiments toward the visiting club.

*In his latest hockeynomics column for The Globe and Mail, Alan Ryder expands upon the the Ovechkin v. Crosby debate with one question: How good could they become?

*We've reached another round of GM meetings and fighting's place in the league is the main course on the discussion table this time around. ESPN's Scott Burnside has the details.

In the system:
*Playing in back to back games for the first time in nearly two months, Simeon Varlamov allowed six goals as the Bears fell 6-3 to the Lake Erie Monsters yesterday. To make matters worse, Bridgeport won to tie Hershey atop the AHL East Division standings.

*Varlamov's return on Saturday however was another matter. Hershey thumped Staffan Kronwall's former team the Toronto Marlies 6-1, as Brian Pothier also made his debut after missing a year because of a concussion.

By Katie Carrera  |  March 9, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Pens 4, Caps 3, Shootout
Next: What's Gone Wrong?


OK, I have ALWAYS hated those commercials, but with Ovi doing it, well somehow I dig it now!! ;-) That's a riot - especially when he says, "It's gonna be a YouTube!" Too funny. Thanks for starting my day off right, Katie!! :-D

I cannot seem to be able to get my dog out of bed to go outside ... he just keeps raising an eyebrow and going back to sleep. I guess that means that I am officially up too early.

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 9, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

(that's be ON YouTube ... yup, I am up too early.)

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 9, 2009 6:14 AM | Report abuse

He's really arrived now. I like the commercials.

Posted by: ridgely1 | March 9, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the "downturn" of the Pens seems to be rectified. Especially the new trade dealine blood infusuion.

Posted by: ridgely1 | March 9, 2009 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Puckhead: I meant they've been struggling THIS YEAR, idiot. You probably didn't know they were struggling early in the season because you weren't paying attention until 6 games ago. But don't you feel so great?Only come here and comment when they win. Don't get all happy though, we've still taken 7 points out of a possible 8 from you, and like I said, talk to us once you pass us in the Eastern C. Okay, now I think it's time for you to leave, this is CAPITALS insider, not Pensblog, so please go back to Penblog and talk about how much you love Cindy. BTW, those pacifiers are much more needed by Sid than us anyday. That dude (or girl?) needs some thicker skin.

And I only post this because I KNOW that idiot will come back and check out the blog, what a no life loser who feels on top of the world after a win against the Caps. It's not like you even have a regulation win against the Caps.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 9, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

I just figured out why my dog had a hard time getting out of bed this AM - I forgot to tell him about the time change, so he thought I got up at 4:30 (as if 5:30 was not bad enough). Poor pup ... it's not easy being a dog.

Watching NHLN - Clutterbuck sighting!! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 9, 2009 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to the Pens for getting 2 out of 8 points in the series.

Nice game by LeTang yesterday.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 9, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Additionally the caps still got 7 of 8. Third period started to show the Caps I love again. Come on boys!!!

Posted by: ERHDC1 | March 9, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Great game yesterday. Another home game with an annoying, drunk, road fan behind me. Of course he was quiet as heck in the 3rd. I agree with those of you that think the Caps have now spun out of their funk. They played well, and Theo made some nice saves during the 3rd when the Pens kept getting put on the PP. I know I am biased but IMO the Caps did a great job controlling play when they weren't shorthanded in the 3rd. I thought they were going to close out the Pens at the end of regulation too. It was nice to see lines that didn't consist of OV and/or Semin contribute and apply consistent quality pressure. I think the Caps have been lacking in that area too.

For any Pens fans that are sitting and relishing the fact that they have won Stanley Cups and we haven' has been 17 years! Crosby had 27 points during the playoffs last year during the run but that's only because he was playing with Hossa and Malkin. By the way the GOAL scoring leader for the Pens during last year's playoffs was Hossa with 14, Crosby had 6, SIX, in 20 games, that's pathetic for a superstar(?). Of course we all know where Hossa is now. The Pens will not go as far this year in the playoffs because their only true consistent goal scorer is Malkin and he can't do it on his own. If the Pens sneak into the playoffs they will not go far. Pens fans clinging onto the past and throwing it in the face of much improved organizations (Caps are improved top to bottom, AA to NHL) would be like me bragging about how many Superbowls my Redskins have won. By the way, it has been waaaaaaay too long since the 'Skins have won a SB, and I do not talk trash about Superbowls with fans from top teams in the league since the 'Skins haven't won in so long. Factoid...the last year the 'Skins won a Superbowl was the 1991 season, '92 Superbowl, which coincidentally is the last time the Pens was a Stanley Cup, the '91-92 season. Stop living in the past Pens fans. Mario is retired and Jagr is in Russia.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 9, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

folks, there seem to be a lot of pens fans trolling this board trying to rile up the caps faithful. and hey, they should, their team finally won a game in the series. good for them. i for one am glad they are here and you should be too. here's my reasoning.

just 5 short years ago, when the pens were last in NHL attendance (after being near the bottom in the years before), they had on foot out the door towards kansas city. kansas city! then they "win" the lottery and draft cindy number one. and thank god. cause without that ping pong ball falling their way, we'd be heckling folks from kansas city. how fun would that be? not much. i mean, i dont know a lot of kansas citians who have fled their city like cockroaches in the morning to our fair town like folks from pittsburgh. what kind of decrepit, run down old industry does kansas city have that we could make fun of? i think they raise alot of cows (real cows, not the ones who put on jagr jerseys and go to hockey games with their boyfriends) in kansas city and i like steak. so lets be glad that they revved up the ol' pens bandwagon once cindy was on board.

ps. did anyone see an old kevin stevens or ron francis pens jersey at the VC yesterday? i didn't. wonder why?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 9, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Did anybody see the Hershey games over the weekend? How did Pothier look? Did he take any checks?

Posted by: Kirg | March 9, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1- fantastic post.

Pittsburgh is a dirty, ugly city!

Posted by: bestpilotonearth | March 9, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I was actually hoping they went to KC 'cause you still would have seen pens sweaters at VC and that would have been hilarius.

Would it be the KC Penguins? or maybe the KC Bookburners?

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 9, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

As weird as it would have sounded earlier in the season, I bet the Caps are glad to be on the road now. We haven't lost in regulation in the last 6 away and haven't been beaten by more than 1 goal in an away game for 12 games since the 7-1 hammering in Philly. In those 12 we went 8-2-2.

But the next two away games are tough. Nashville are fresh from scoring 16 goals against the Redwings in two meetings then it's Philly....

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 9, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

If the Pens had moved surely they would have become "KC and the Sunshine Band"?

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 9, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

At this point in the season, not really looking for moral victories, but they definitely looked like the Caps of 2-3 weeks ago in the third period. Hopefully that woke them up and they will get on a roll again.

It may actually do them some good to get out on the road; less pressure then the home games.

Posted by: adamkatzen | March 9, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Things are definitely looking up in CapsLand. Did you SEE Ovechkin after he whiffed that shot late in the third? I thought he was gonna break his stick on the bench, he was so darn mad. Poor guy! So close...!

The video of him "singing," though, makes my whole morning. My GOD, that's funny! I love Ovechkin, and I love my Caps! They are just a great bunch of guys! :-)

And we will be just fine!

Posted by: irockthered | March 9, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I cant believe on the other post that someone even suggested Semin should wear the C ...are you ppl smoking crack!!! The guy has yet to play full season IN HIS LIFE!
He is a great player tons of skill but he still has to play a full season and do it for a few years before he ever gets my accolades. Until than he remains a heartless Russian with skill but not Cup
material . As a foot note I wonder if he knows who Crosby is now?

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 9, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I think going out on the road will do the team good. I especially look forward to Thursday against the Flyers. But the Preds will be no slouch either. Go Caps!

Posted by: ridgely1 | March 9, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Yep the best remedy for losing at home to go on the road that said the best remedy for losing on the road is a home stand

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 9, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The Pens faltered this year in part because they traded away some very promising young talent to rent Hossa for the playoffs. The Capitals may be able to avoid such a downturn by virtue of maintaining the full value of their prospects and not making such costly deadline deals.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 9, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

StanleyCup1907: Not sure why you're here. Yes Crosby scored a goal in regulation (when wide open with zero contact), and then the penalty shot. Otherwise he had a lot of giveaways, nice blind passes to the high slot that let our guys turn immediately up ice on a 3 on 2, he would then be a full zone behind the play because he doesn't back check. Malkin on the other hand looks very dangerous and will take a beating to get the puck to the slot, don't like him, but definitely respect his style of play. If you are not a Caps fan...leave.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 9, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

like keeping Nylander & make a cup run...

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 9, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

leave please.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 9, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse


that is so completely wrong that I'm not going to even start to correct it. But I'll never cease to be amazed at how different our perspectives are on both the Caps status and other teams as well. Fun though :)

Posted by: mauree | March 9, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

folks, common sense... if you keep addressing and answering SC posts, then how can you expect him to leave lol...

Posted by: mauree | March 9, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Mauree, our Caps needed a stay at home defenseman (my choice Niclas Havelid went to NJ), and a net crashing forward. We definitely needed some help in net but goaltender movement was slim to none, would have been nice to snag the other Backstrom but the Wild got smart and signed him. A trade or two alone may not have spun us out of the funk anyhow, the Bruins made a few deals and are still having some problems. Do they now suck too, like some imply the Caps do (no you Mauree), no, they don't. The Caps do need to wake up though. If they can right the ship and play .500 hockey for the rest of the season they will clear 100 pts and take the division. They finally looked like they were ready to get down to playing playoff hockey yesterday. They played with grit and determination. Make no mistake about, the playoffs have already started.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 9, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Washington 3-0-1 vs Pens for 7 pts
Penguins 1-3 for 2 pts

Washington - 86 pts
Penguins - 76 pts

Caps Attendance - 18,072 per game
Penguins Attendance - 16,928 per game

Game over...thanks for the 4 exciting games...We'll take our MVP and the Jack Adams winner over your fired coach and dream of making the playoffs.

On to Nashville.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 9, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

oh ok fanohock1 sorry to have bothered you!

Must have read this wrong ..................We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 9, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The next few games will show us when and how the Caps will get out of the skid. At this point, it becomes a mental downward spiral and it's anybody's guess what will reverse the mindset of doubt and loss.

But, once again, when things get tough, and a one-goal difference counts, it becomes a goalie contest. And once again, the other team's goalie won. Yes, Theo made fantastic saves and yes he is a very good goalie. Obviously, very good is not enough when the other team's goalie is outstanding and 91% vs. 86% save percentage won the game.

It's good that Varly is back, though his performance was inconsistent. Still, I hope they bring him here as the back-up goalie. What's keeping them from doing it?

Posted by: caraveli | March 9, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@caraveli - IMO, the reason Varlamov is still in Hershey right now is two-fold:

A) he just came off an injury and needs to recondition a bit.

B) We have only seen three starts from Neuvirth.

I'd like to see one more start from Neuvirth before we bring Varlamov back up. And bouncing the goalies around like red rubber balls isn't cool. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | March 9, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

StanleyCup1907: Again, you are blinded by your sarcasm. Many Capitals fans come here to provide their personal insight as to what the Caps should do. They even come here to vent when the Caps are having a rough patch. You on the other hand are clearly here just to inject non-fan comments. So again, please leave.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 9, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Now I love a good Penguins bashing session as much as anyone else, but lets get real folks, the game was yesterday, we have a game tomorrow to look forward to and get geared up for. Pissing and moaning about a loss again isn't going to help the image of what people think DC sports fans are.

Posted by: superpaqman | March 9, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"He is a great player tons of skill but he still has to play a full season and do it for a few years before he ever gets my accolades. Until than he remains a [whiny Canadian] with skill but not Cup
material . As a foot note I wonder if he [stopped whiny for twenty minutes to enjoy his win]?"

How easy it is to change a few words and turn it into Crosby, who has yet to play a full 82 games.

Alright folks, enjoy your evening. Off to Raleigh to kick a few Canes/Canes fans in the shins!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 9, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

oh please oh please fanohock1 can I stay for just a few more min.

I come here to keep my eyes on Semin to find out why he isnt playing this time.
Its the comment about Cherry and other statements that get me going

But fanohock1 I hope you an find it in your heart to let me stay!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 9, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I saw someone ask how Brian Pothier's weekend went. It would be cool if Tarik could get in contact with the Hershey media to see what they think. I saw that he was rostered for both games and was a (-1) but the Bears site doesn't post detailed game sheets like the Caps. I am assuming Pothier will play at least through next weekend's Bears homestand before he and the Caps can begin to assess how he fits into the big picture. With that being case could some of you Hershey based fans provide some feedback to site as to what you think come next weekend? I'd shoot up there but the Caps have a home game next Saturday night against the 'canes so will be at Verizon.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 9, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Just a note on Crosby, he is a little baby. Me and my buddies were at their practice at Kettler on Saturday. We were up behind one of the goals and while they were messing around to start practice, my buddy called him a cry baby 3 times while he skated around the goal. THe third time he stopped and challenged my friend to get on the ice, in a real angry voice. At the end of the practice, my buddy did it again and he called the assistant coach over and the coach told him he was better than that. Why does any pro athlete respond to being called a baby?????

Staal, on the other hand, who looked out of it at practice we messed with a little too. He scooped some of the snow off the ice and flung it over his shoulder up at us, and turned around and laughed and just had a good time with it. Pretty much same scenario, two very different responses. Staal's I can respect, Crosby's I don't.

Posted by: ThePat | March 9, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Ok ok ..SC1907 is here cause he lost his pacifier at yesterdays game. Or the job fair cause he lost his in Pitts. Be gone..your moms calling SC1907 your lunch is ready

Posted by: RedRocker | March 9, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm still puzzled by the fact that many a black and gold clad mullet could be seen dancing and cheering on the steps of the art museum. I guess the fact that they prevented us from getting 8 out of 8 possible points, settling instead for 7 was reason for revelry.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | March 9, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I also like the Steelers jerseys and the terrible towels yesterday too. What a fan base!

Posted by: RedRocker | March 9, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Yes, folks, don't feed the troll. His shift at the drive-thru doesn't start until lunch time. "It" will attempt to find ways to rile us up about his man-crush, Sidney Crosby, and put down Alexander Semin, who kindly responded to Crosby's first goal. But like someone said, we have our game tomorrow. Let's focus on that. If the last two periods are an indication our men are back, then tomorrow should be a pretty good game.

Let's Go Caps.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 9, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Varly just back and they started him on back-to-backs? Isn't it too much maybe?

Really curios about Pothier... man, good luck to him!

I still stand by my opinions on our problems and needs (crease on both end of the ice) - but also that if the Caps play 60 minutes like they play in the third yesterday, those problems will be considerably less relevant.

Posted by: mauree | March 9, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau should replay that Gonchar goal with Guerin and a Caps' defenseman completely blocking Theo's view.

Then emphasize two points:
1. Our forwards need to do what Guerin did.
2. Our D need to move anybody blocking our goalie's view.

Neither will be successful all the time, but the Caps at least have to try.

Posted by: rw-c | March 9, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I left out a word -- Boudreau should continually replay that goal.

Posted by: rw-c | March 9, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of them seeing their mistakes and working on ways to fix it. I've always wondered why there always seemed to be a Caps player in front of Theo. It always looked like they were blocking his view. Here's hoping that they get a good game plan in place for Nashville. Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 9, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Okay, if we can't address the troll, can we at least hurl rocks and boulders at it? Just wondering.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 9, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

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