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Morning Reading List

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Frederick Breedon--The Associated Press

After allowing a goal in the first minute, a pair of fights and being foiled several times by Nashville goaltender Dan Ellis, the Capitals got back on the winning side last night as Sergei Fedorov's overtime goal snapped a four-game losing streak.

Here is the Washington Times recap along with a story from the Predators perspective from The Tennessean.

The Hockey News gives you their Top 10 Stanley Cup contenders. Yes, the Caps made the list, but they "might still be a bit green to make a Cup run, but they should win a round or two."

If you missed Tarik's chat yesterday, check out the transcript here.

In case you missed last night's game, here are the highlights.

Mike Vogel will be on the road with the Capitals the rest of the way during the regular season and here's his blog post from Nashville in which he highlights the Hershey-Milwaukee connection -- 11 current Caps and Predators played for one of those two clubs in the 2006 Calder Cup championship.

This week's installment of Steve Kolbe's Take 5 features assistant coach Jay Leach.

Dan Steinberg talks to Eastern Motors founder Robert Bassam about why the chain sought to have Ovechkin in their commercials. Also over at the D.C. Sports Bog, Steinberg shares some of the emails he's received after this round of Capitals vs Penguins.

In the system
The Washington Times checked up on Brian Pothier after his first game back on the ice after missing more than a year with a concussion.

The Hershey blue line is getting a little crowded these days. The Bears' defense corps consists of Brian Pothier, Karl Alzner, Bryan Helmer, Sean Collins, Tyler Sloan, Sami Lepisto, Dean Arsene, Patrick McNeill, Staffan Kronwall and Greg Amadio. Check up on Coach Bob Woods's line and pairing combinations here.

Much ado has been made about Alexandre Giroux's record breaking season, but Keith Aucoin is poised to join an elite group of Bears as well as he approaches the 70-assist mark.

Here are Bear Tracks to get you ready for tonight's game against Springfield. Hershey concludes the week with games against Wilkes-Barre on Saturday and then Bridgeport, whom Hershey is currently tied with for first place in the East Division, on Sunday.

GM meetings
Scott Burnside shares what the GMs recommended to help make fighting safer. Don't worry, fight fans, it's not going anywhere, but included among the suggestions is that players who drop the gloves immediately after a face-off would receive a 10-minute misconduct in addition to the 5-minute major for fighting.

TSN's Bob McKenzie offers his take of the potential new fighting rules and Darren Dreger shares Georges Laraque's opinion that the proposed changes are "a joke."

By Katie Carrera  |  March 11, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
 
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Next: Wednesday Update and Fight Story Preview

Comments

I hate not being able to sleep.

I agree that the proposed changes are stupid. Any fight off a faceoff is staged? Uh, no. How about your player got run with 1 minute to go in the last game, and it's the beginning of a new game between these two? That's still an honor fight and you're laying down the law early on. Nothing wrong with that. Not to mention the whole concept of sparking your team - made a huge difference for the Caps last night!

I don't see anything wrong with staged fighting, myself. It's up to the guys and their teams whether they want to engage in that. I really don't understand what the fuss is about.

As for the fighting after a clean hit, I agree that's a problem, but relying on the refs for discipline Does. Not. Work. The instigator rule is obnoxious as it is, and this just makes it more obnoxious.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 11, 2009 5:52 AM | Report abuse

Totally off topic, but Steve Mason is SO GOOD. Wow.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 11, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Still coming off the high of that win - that was very timely ... ready for another!!

TimDz:
Why would they want to meet me? And, given your line of work, should I be flattered or concerned/offended?

Rachel:
Mason gets my vote for rookie if the year.

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 11, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't sleep for quite awhile either,after Feds buried the game winner and all the build up prior to that point.These games are getting really intense. With no let up in sight.
Let's Go Caps! On to Philly.

Posted by: ridgely1 | March 11, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

"Not to mention the whole concept of sparking your team - made a huge difference for the Caps last night!"

I don't know about that. Both Brashear's and Bradley's fights had me a little worried since they got the crap beat out of them. Erskine put up a good fight, though.

BEAT PHILLY!! GO CAPS!

Posted by: RTR80 | March 11, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Belak should have gotten an instigator penalty when he jumped Erskine. He clearly went after Erskine and had his gloves dropped and let the first one go before Erskine realized he was in a fight. Although Erskine did a great job, because he was ticked he got jumped, he has to stay away from the fights because if he gets another concussion it may be the end of his career.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 11, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

What's with all this slump buster talk? Who said this:

"Until we've won two in a row, you can't say officially that we're out of our little funk."

Posted by: Section117 | March 11, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

RTR80: I have to agree. Brash got rocked and Brads, well, he's tough, but he almost always ends up on the wrong end.

This is the first time I have seen Brash get rocked, but even his last fight, which was some time ago, he didn't look good, and lost in my opinion. Can't remember who it was, I'm sure someone here knows.
Brash may have run his course with the Caps. He doesn't really bang the body like he was even earlier this year, he's not dominating fights, and he has only scored one goal all season. Sounds like a scratch to me even after his knee (nugget) is ready to go. The big boys may have found a way to beat him. They don't sit back and wait for him to grab them, the last two guys that fought him started by throwing punches before they clinch. Fighters used to sit back, Brash would grad them, shake them until they lost their balance, and then lights out. Seems there's a blueprint.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 11, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

going to philly on thursday. check this out. please comment on the post.

http://capsfanpensfan.blogspot.com/2009/03/caps-win.html

Posted by: hsk8er6 | March 11, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Fighting has always been part of the game and should continue to do be. Its the players that bumrush some one off the face off thats not expecting it (IE SIDNEY CROSBY VS. Brent Mclean) that should be held accountable.

And this is the same guy that talks about and promotes class, yet he can't respect a guy enough to square off with him and make it a fair fight?

Where's Don Cherry Now?

Posted by: CapsFan44 | March 11, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

fanohock

We also have to keep big john stud away from the the fights cause he's a defenseman. Short-shifting your defenders for 5 min can really cause trouble. A few forwards on a 4th line jumping into a fight isn't so bad, but I cringe every time I see a defender mix it up. It never helps the team.

This year, we are lucky to have immediate depth by being able to send Feds on the blueline in a pinch, so Big John getting in bouts is not such a problem. But next year if we have no Brashear AND no Feds, we're going to be in trouble if John throws down.

Anyone else thing Bradley knows what it takes to keep his spot on the team next year? He keeps sticking his nose where it doesn't belong, courageous as it may seem, I haven't seen Brads win a fight yet. But the guy's got heart and isn't afraid to take a whoopin to get the team going.

Last bits from me.

Magic number went from 11.5 to 10 in one night. That's just about as good as we could have hoped for on a night where both Florida and Caps played.

As much as last night made me miss Joe B's play-by-play, there were a few things I enjoyed from Smokin'. 1. He kept us updated on injured players not returning. 2. He did a very good job of alerting the fans to who was not on their normal lines (Laich double shifting on 4th, Feds on D in OT).

Just as soon as he said Feds was on "D" in OT, I turned to my wife and said.... "Of course he is on D, that's the best place for......." *redlight*... ... "...him in overtime!"

Lastly. There's been some rumblings against big ol 87 lately. Like Kozzie, you'll miss him when he's gone. The 4th line just won't be the same.

Posted by: FFSEnough | March 11, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

So if Brash cannot play on Thursday will the lines look like this?

8-19-25
14-91-28
21-92-16
10-15-39


Posted by: Kim-3 | March 11, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

FFSEnough: I have obviously rumbled against big ol 87 because I think the 87 we knew is already gone. He's been a fantastic role player, and I had the pleasure of meeting him at Six Flags at during the season ticket holder event, he's genuinely a cool guy. Sometimes it's just time to call it a career. If he does leave I hope it's to retirement because I don't want to see him in another sweater.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 11, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: hsk8er6 | March 11, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I could tell that Erskine did not want to fight. The guy missed a ton of games to a concussion, and doctors probably said not to fight.

I wish the refs would of looked at that when this guy starts to throw jabs at him.

I hope Brash is OK..we need him vs Philly. I heard it was his knee that was hurt when he fell.

I also heard but didnt see it, that it was a head-butt that split Brads nose.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 11, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Don Cherry had a great point last weekend on fighting. He mentioned that hockey is one of the very few sports people are always trying to "Improve". Other sports (he pointed to baseball) honor their traditions. Ice hockey in my opinion is the greatest team sport on the planet. The rules have been changed some many times even the officials don't know what a penalty is anymore (thus the inconsistent calls). The tradition of the game is danger with the constant rule changes trying to please everyone and draw a larger audience.

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

Really good win, the kind of win that elite teams have to get. Stopped a slide against an explosive team at home, that is trying to climb into the playoffs. Even though we outplayed them for 90% of the game, instead of giving up a cheap loss, we stuck with the system, through into overtime, and leave town with the W.

Also, was anybody else creeped out by the "lets go predators" chants?

Posted by: LouLewis | March 11, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Looked like two quick left jabs caused the damage to Bradley. The blood was all over the place before the helmet contact.

Maybe we will get to see the cute blond take his place for a couple more of the Redline Monday series. Unless they cake on the makeup, he will not be ready for primetime.

She said she was a gymnast.

just sayin...

Posted by: WhyGo | March 11, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

@FlDave

You have to change things to make it better. When numbers are struggling, goals are down, and feedback is that fan's hate ties...fighting is keeping families from the rink...ect...

How can you not change it? The goal is to have rinks full, and sponsors paying for ad-time. If the feedback is negative, it has to change, or the league will suffer.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 11, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Dave Steckel couldn't put the puck in the water from a boat.

Posted by: Kirg | March 11, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: hsk8er6 | March 11, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I handed out the shirts to wild-eyed folks that had anti-Crosby posters and stuff. No relation to my crew. Just random people having a good time dissing the opponent.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 11, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

There are 2 incidents in the past 12 months of Brash's career that I think have led to some feelings that he is no longer the player we knew.

The first was vs. Boston last year that cost us a game and almost the playoffs. That was a situation where his pugilistic tenacity so far outmatched his opponent that he took extra penalties for his actions.

The other was, I believe, a game vs. the Rangers this year, where he dropped his gloves and finished the fight in seemingly one motion, earning him extra time in the box compared to his victim.

We're also seeing players avoiding Brash this year. Maybe I just didn't notice it last year, but in very specific situations (Philly) where he needs to throw down with someone, he can't find a dance partner. In addition, I've never seen him draw as many penalties as he is this year. He's getting hooked and held quite a bit this year because he's the workhorse of the 4th line. He's the immovable object that requires "help" to win the puck.

Belak is no slouch. It's not like Brash has lost fights to "lesser" opponents. Are other team's enforcers getting better at what they do? Probably. They sure as hell are getting younger ;-) Is there a book on Donald? I believe anyone at that level who does their job well has a book against their opponents. If Donald decides to retire, I believe this team will need to fill his shoes from outside the organization. Bradley is not going to scare anybody away from taking liberties with our stars, and I'm not sure we have anyone in Chocotown that can throw down with the best in the league.

As for his line. He's the Kozzie of the 4th line. Keep an eye on it the next few games without him. Our 4th line is a tone setter, and one I take a ton of enjoyment watching.

Lastly though. Maybe this is the easiest way for me to make my point. Do you feel more or less comfortable going into Philly without 87 in the lineup?

Posted by: FFSEnough | March 11, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the reason for the struggle is all of the changes? I am not saying the league needs to go back to the clutching and grabbing of the 80's and 90's, but something has to give here.

Posted by: FLDave | March 11, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Last night was the first time Brashear got owned. Fact is if you fight sooner or later you're going to get tagged. Last night it happened to Brashear. He is still a top 5 fighter and can continue to be for a few more years.

Bradley on the other hand... Someone needs to glue his gloves on.

Posted by: FLDave | March 11, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I watched the Predators broadcast last night. There was discussion yesterday about homer announcers. The Preds announcers were very fair and objective. Terry Crisp, the sidekick, was extremely unbiased and entertaining. They showed a clip from "Slapshot" and relayed the story about it being Boudreau's apt. They didn't mention but it seemed very obvious that Bradley was a head-butt victim. Also, when Bradley earlier did the hit from behind, Crisp insinuated it should have been called (I thought it was a clear penalty on Bradley) but there was none of the whining you get with, say, Denis Potvin for the Panthers.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 11, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

That Hockey New article gives this summary of the Flyers:

"An exciting group of forwards in front of an up-and-down defense and inconsistent goaltending. That might be a recipe for regular season success, but it’s rarely a winning formula in the playoffs." Maybe the writer got his teams mixed up ...

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

How about the hit on Arnott that MO delivered

Posted by: Bobby894 | March 11, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

I watched the same broadcast as well. They heaped high praises on several Caps players. Particularly after the fans voted 2 to 1 that Crosby has had more impact on the league than Ovechkin. Then again what kind of voting do you expect from a bunch of hillbilly's?

I think Bradley was a victim of the Tootoo train. A helmet may have been involved, but Tootoo owned Bradley. Tootoo showed a great deal of class checking to make sure Bradley was ok when he came back to the ice.

Posted by: FLDave | March 11, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

FLDave,
Hockey isn't the only sport that has tried to change. Football (soccer) has tinkered with the offside rule so much in recent years that its now ridiculously hard to officiate on.

I agree, sometimes, change isn't good.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 11, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

There has been some complaining that Brash is no longer needed. He may not be fighting much this year, but I think that has more to do with Coach wanting him more involved in other aspects of the game. I don't believe that a lot of the "enforcers" in the league get the minutes he gets. I think there are still quite a few teams in the league that need to be kept honest by his presence, whether he has to throw down or not.

Posted by: _Mark | March 11, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

if brash is gone next year i wouldnt mind seeing laraque take his place. i know montreal is trying to get rid of him, but he does get paid more than the donald so i don't know if it would work

Posted by: _stevo | March 11, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Yea..all this Brash is done talk is garbage.

Just because he had a tough night last night he is not done. He gets more time then most 4th liners in the league, and seems to handle the puck, and dump it at the right time. He is very good at the cycle behind the net..(all things considered)

He is also a veteran and locker room leader...We are young, and alot of guys look up to his heart and work ethic...He probably works as hard as anyone in the gym, and on the ice in practice.

He does take penalties, but how many guys his size and skill dont?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 11, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I was only able to catch the 1st two periods on radio so I haven't seen the three fights - I was a bit downcast to hear Brash get dropped and Bradley bleeding. Down by one and we get hammered with fists. But, it didn't take long to realize that it's what the team needed - win or lose in the fights - some folks to show some energy and desire. By the time I got home for the third period I thought I was watching a different team than the one that's inhabited Verizon for the last two weeks: tougher, hitting, better d, staggering hits, peppering the opposition goalie...everything this team can do with it's mind set right. They'll need to keep the fire for tomorrow night in Wachovia. It's going to be loud and and rude in Philly tomorrow night and we need a win in that house to set-up a final run to the playoffs.

Well played, boys.

Posted by: saintex | March 11, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I can promise you this...

If Philly wants to fight tomorrow, it shouldnt be Bradley or Brash.

Brash may not play, and Bradley has stiches in his nose.

Time for Nylander to step up and drop em.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 11, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town,

Don't forget Semin with his pink undershirt and lightning fast bongo playing hands.

Posted by: FLDave | March 11, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Anyone notice Green layin on the ice after Feds' goal? I'm trying to find a good clip of everyone jumping over the boards... any leads?

Posted by: ovisgod | March 11, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I imagine we'll have another Brashear signing soon, as he's normally the guy McPhee gets under contract first. McPhee knows the value of having a guy like Brash around. Unlike CapsFan. CapsFan doesn't have a clue. CapsFan doesn't have any idea what Brash and Brads did for that team last night; that's why there's a ton of dumb comments about him and Bradley losing those fights.

Posted by: pga6 | March 11, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

This was posted on the Redskins blog today.
-----------
I am the one and only Guru, plenty of people agree with me.

However, I do voice my opinion much more strongly.

The first year or two, no one agreed with me. Now as each year passes, more and more people are realizing what a joke Jason Campbell is.

Unfortunately, it shouldn't take years for people to realize the guy can't play. I HAVE BEEN SAYING IT FOR YEARS... RIGHT HERE.

My HUGE push last year was to trade Jason Campbell, while other teams were still in the belief that he had potential. We could have gotten a high round draft pick for him prior to the 2007 draft.

I posted for hours, often using the tag line "TRADE JASON CAMPBELL"

I was berated, as I am now, but my almost everyone. I warned that he would have a mediocre year, that we would be a team that won between 7 and 9 games, and that wasn't good enough for me.

This is not an agenda. QB is the most important position on the team, and therefore should be the most scrutinized. For some reason, Jason Campbell gets a free pass and has every excuse made for him in the book.

The bottom line is that Jason Campbell will never develop into an elite passer in this league. We are the freaking Washington Redskins... we deserve an elite passer. If we continue to waste season after season on Jason Campbell, we will be blowing the opportunities to find that elite QB that could elevate us back to where all of us Redskins fans want to be... THE SUPER BOWL!


Posted by: Sports_Guru | March 11, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse
-------------------

Where are you PuckGuru!?!?! If you can't see the similarity then replace Jason Campbell with GMGM

Posted by: NFeKPo | March 11, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

@ovisgod,

I saw a few replays on hockeystreams last night and I definitely think Green pulled a falling over the wall when trying to celebrate move. Reminds me of Jules Winnfield telling his players to always have a measure of cool...Green was not cool laying on the ice. It was pretty funny. I think he was laughing, face down on the ice, before getting up and joining the celebration.

Posted by: saintex | March 11, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Anyone notice Green layin on the ice after Feds' goal? I'm trying to find a good clip of everyone jumping over the boards... any leads?


Posted by: ovisgod | March 11, 2009 10:25 AM

I noticed that also. I think he tripped jumping over the boards...

Posted by: NapTownMike | March 11, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but am I noticing that list of the Top 10 Stanley Cup contenders doesn't include the Pittsburgh Penguins? *snicker* BWUHAHAHAHAHAHA. Okay. I'm better now. Sorry for the sh*ts and giggles there. I just thought that was pretty funny. Anyone care to let the pensblog know, before they start with their consistent trips down memory lane?

It's great to be a Caps fan!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 11, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Given his age, it won't be the worst thing if Brashear sits out injured for a while and is rested for the playoffs.

Its just unfortunate that we play Philly tomorrow.

Posted by: stormblue | March 11, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

NFeKPo

the random capitalization... the arrogance of proclaiming himself the holder of the Torch of Truth... it does look really familiar haha

Posted by: mauree | March 11, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

We need to send Schultz to Hershey now.

Any D-man we have in Hershey is a big improvement over Schultz.

When Schultz learns to use his body to clear the front of the net and to punish forwards in the corner, he may be ready for the NHL. Right now, he's a detriment to the Caps.

Posted by: you-dont | March 11, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

stormblue,

The Caps can call up Beagle and be set for the Philly game. The Phlyers are a tough team without a real standout enforcer. With the Caps size they can match their toughness.

I don't think Brashear injured his leg. Jaw and/or concussion is more likely.

Posted by: FLDave | March 11, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I have a question. Where are Cheef, puckguru, and everyone else that enjoyed bashing the Caps the last 10 days. I believe the Caps need to play well and win, or at least take a point out of Philly to really consider themselves out of a slump, but I'm with them, winning or losing streak. We will only see the nay sayers if the Caps lay an egg in Philly...so...here's to not seeing the punks.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 11, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Off-topic but I want to point it out:
Every time anyone from Philly, Pittsburgh, NY, etc. talks about the Caps, they can't help but claim that the Caps only have a good record because they get to play the Southeast Division all the time and it is weak. But the Caps have a huge number of SE Div games loaded into the last few weeks of the schedule. At the moment, more than 80% of the way through the season, they've played FEWER games against the SE (14) than anyone in the East except Buffalo. That's right, Philly (17), Pit (16), NJ (16), Bos (19), Mtl (18), and the Rangers (18) have ALL played more. So the next time some ignoramus tries to bring up that tired argument, ask him to explain why his beloved Flyers, or Penguins, or whoever, were nowhere near the Caps in the standings on March 11 despite the supposed advantage of playing MORE games against the SE to that point. (By the way, this pattern has held true throughout most of this season).

As a follow-up question, you can ask the moron: If the Southeast Div. is such a disaster, why is it better at producing Stanley Cup Champions than the Atlantic or Northeast? In the 10 years since the SE was formed, the NE has zero, the Atlantic has two, and the SE has two. (SE 2 > Atl 2 because they were more recent, and they weren't the Devils).

Posted by: christiansonm | March 11, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

What's with the Schultz crap again? Yes, he was on the ice for the one and only goal against but so was OV, Backs, Koz, and Poti. Give Schultz a break. I thought he played his best game in a while offensively. He may not have gotten every shot on goal but he let a more slapshots go towards the net last night than the last few games combined.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 11, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

fanohock1,

The Caps can win every game and people will still find a whipping boy. This is the same town that ran NHL Hall of Famer Larry Murphy out of town.

The Caps are not going to win the Cup this year. The experience Schultz is getting this season will go a long way in his development.

Posted by: FLDave | March 11, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Schultz's first job is defense. It's his second and third job, too. He's never going to be a big offensive threat--and that's ok. But he has to be at least a competent defenseman.

Last night, Theo was screened on what was a pretty easy shot. And it was Schultz who was standing nearby, afriad to touch the screener.

Posted by: you-dont | March 11, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

christiansonm: It could also be added, although the race for the playoffs is very tight, if the season ended today, the SE would bring 3 to the dance. The Caps will have to stay on their toes because FLA and CAR are actually surging and MON and NYR are fading. If the recent injuries to FLA don't have too much of an impact 3 SE teams will be in the top 8 a month from now too.

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

Actually I thought Schultz had his best game of the year yesterday. He also had many shots. He still looked a bit "pylonish" at times, but he had no faults on the goal.

Posted by: mauree | March 11, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

you-don't, I'm pretty sure it was Poti doing the screening. Schultz was on the other side.

Posted by: koalatek | March 11, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

you-dont,

If Schultz would have cleared the player chances are he's sitting for 2 minutes. The crazy rules make being a defenseman very difficult these days.

Posted by: FLDave | March 11, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe that I'm defending Schultz, but on the goal he was doing what he was supposed too, tieing the guy on the crease.

Posted by: mauree | March 11, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

i am one of the biggest schultz haters and i even thought he played well last night. the first goal was everyone's fault that was on the ice. i think i only yelled "come on schultz" at the tv once which is way under average

Posted by: _stevo | March 11, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Easy to pick someone out of the crowd, everyone on the ice had a chance to get the puck out of the zone on the first shift. If you have ever played hockey you would realize that the pressure they were under for the first 48 seconds would have left them exhausted. Get off the bashing of Schultz, he played a solid game last night.
To be honest, the only negative in last night's game was still the lack of traffic in front of the net. The goals still had to come from the typical scorers. We need Stecks to bury one to regain confidence.
By the way, I though Brooks played phenomenal last night. His interview between the first and second did sound like a Captain. Our boys are growing up right before our eyes.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 11, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

christiansonm,

Great post.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 11, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The defense was very good last night. Morrisonn looked solid, and Jurcina's development continues to surprise me. They played well positionally and set the tone physically. The slump-busting started on the blueline last night.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 11, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Assuming Brash is out, we need to drop Flash back to where he had chemistry and bump up Laich.

Ovie-Backs-Kozzie
Laich-Feds-Semin
Flash-Nyles-Fehr
Brads-Boyd-Steckel

We need to get Flash and Fehr going again and when they play together they look a lot better.

Posted by: ThePat | March 11, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

What happened to all the negaive people? They dissappear when the Caps win I see.

Posted by: Bobby894 | March 11, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Schultz was the only Cap in the minus column last night (-1), but I thought he played a pretty good game, at least from what I could tell on TV. Ordinarily it's the opposite: his stats are much better than one would expect based on what we see with our own eyes. The guy is a puzzle to me. At least I think he is starting to improve. Better late than never, right?

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 11, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Yep, usually I bash Schultz, too, but I've been seeing a bit of better play out of him the last few games. And a couple of times I did find myself saying "Good job, Schultz!" Weird! Same with ShaMo.

I think the most annoying part of last night's game was the numerous calls the refs SHOULD have made against the Preds...but since they were committed against Ovi and Semin, the refs kinda just pretended they didn't happen. I'm so sick of the bias. It's got to be so frustrating to be them and never have these things called, mainly Ovi, some do get called for Semin. It's rather sad, I'm so used to it happening each game, I almost don't yell anymore. :/

Posted by: CapsKH | March 11, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

OK, so Brash and Bradley are out, and we're going to Philly. I know, you know, and Philly knows that now we've got nobody, and I mean nobody, that can stand up to them. They'll take this opportunity to bully the Caps all night.
GMGM lost his opportunity to pick up a couple of physical players, which everybody in the league knew we needed. So now, who's going to pick up the slack?
Hate to say it, but IMO if we don't get a quick 2 or 3 goals, we'll be in for a long night.

Posted by: scmonty1 | March 11, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

resigning brash at any cost would be stupid.
If the league changes the fighting rules goons are history
Even if they dont why does a team with the second lowest fight total in the nhl needs a part time enforcer who has 9 majors and 1 goal all year.
Get a grit winger that can skate and will hit somebody every shift not every week or so like brash has resorted to
he is done retire his number if u want but dont resign him

Posted by: wendel2 | March 11, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

What I foresee is a Cote by Philly to add more skill since Brash won't be there to dance. Asham is there other fighter but he is a decent 4th line guy like our Brads. Probably won't see any fights tomorrow but it will be a brutally physical game. Should be like the friggin' playoffs.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 11, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

What I meant to say was a Cote scratch since Brash won't be there.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 11, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The Schultz-bashing is beyond cliche, and somewhat ignorant. 55 is not exciting (Green) or experienced (Poti). He's just reliably good at diffusing attacks, choosing smart positions, and playing smart, simple, disciplined DEFENSE. I know--not sexy. But what, you think Malkin took the day off on Sunday?

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

Anyone see the goal Malkin scored in the first last night and his celebration after - jumping into the glass? The nerve! Someone needs to take him out or something.

Posted by: RiceandGravy | March 11, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

RiceandGravy,

What do you expect from a russian with passion for the game. At least it wasn't a canadian who did it. :)

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 11, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

If Brash can't play on thursday, and Nyls can't go, we should recall McNeill from Hershey. He is our toughest prospect yet. The man can dance!

Posted by: Andoy | March 11, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see the Flyers/Sabres game last night? Either the Sabres are that bad or the Flyers are really that good. I'm banking on the latter. Tomorrow is gonna be a really, really tough, physical game for our boys. This game can go either way: a blowout by the Flyers or a confidence building, gut wrenching tight win for the Caps.

Posted by: Andoy | March 11, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

If Nyls can't go, what about Beagle? I thought he was a pretty big and tough dude. But maybe he is not playing against Flyers ready.

Posted by: Kim-3 | March 11, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I only watched the first period of the Sabres/Flyers game. Sabres got a fluky goal by Afiniginov and Flyers got one on a PP when Hartnall was camping out in the crease (mental note Caps D). Guess the Flyers picked up the pace in the second and third periods.

I think it is a little of both Sabres are that bad and Flyers are that good. Seems Buffalo has imploded a bit since losing Miller. I fully understand. Stinks that Carter got two last night.

Posted by: Kim-3 | March 11, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

@ Kim-3 Beagle is a pretty significant drop-off from Nyles level of talent. Yeah, Nyles is slow and doesn't really fit the system, but he has great hands, superb face-off skills, and great vision. Beagle doesn't score that much at the AHL level -- a skilled center for a grinder is not that great an idea to me with Steckel and Gordon already filling that role. Maybe call up Aucoin who has sick skill at the AHL level and maybe be able to click with Flash, Laich, or Fehr. Or even Giroux who also has the skills and plays the Caps/Bears system well.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 11, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I saw someone say something nice about 'Chokin Al Koken'. Whew! He is useless. Joe is back on Thursday, right?

Posted by: nimrodrsp | March 11, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@redlineblue
"55 is not exciting (Green) or experienced (Poti). He's just reliably good at diffusing attacks, choosing smart positions, and playing smart, simple, disciplined DEFENSE."

Dude are you kidding me? I'm not gonna be an @ss and insult you or anything but I will say that I think you are way off base. Shultz hardly ever difuses an attach, is often out of position and his D is anything but disciplined. 55 doesn't know what to do in case of attack, often screens JT and flat looks lost on a lot of occasions. Just because we won a game doesn't mean that there still aren't problems. The bottom line is that the Caps are giving him every opportunity in the world to improve and my bet is that if he doesn't improve dramatically by next camp, he will spend a lot of next yr in Hershey. As a Caps fan there is alot of upside if he can figure it out and get that big frame going. Heck I'd settle for a good stay at home guy who is always in good position but 55 isn't there yet. Not even close. Of course he'll have a good game here or there, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while. The question is, can he start stringing together some good games together. Alzner is the epitimy of the S@H Dman and there is NO flash at all to his game and thats just fine with me, you can already see the skill with Alzner.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 11, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

nimrodrsp

SMOKIN Al Koken is great! Granted I've come to really like Joe B and the Locker but SMOKIN is a classic for us old time Caps fans anyway.

Speaking of announcers, anybody know if Lisa Hilary is married? Wow!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 11, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Theo is terrible. He allowed another soft goal last night. The defense is terrible too - they allowed Theo to allow that soft goal. And what's up with the offense? There is no chance they are going to go deep into the playoffs...

Oh wait, they won... they are fricken awesome... Stanley Cup here we come.

Sound familiar?

Posted by: _828 | March 11, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I think I heard the phlowers scored 4 in the 3rd last night, and don't forget sabers have LaLime in net. JT is better than that.

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 11, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

We always have Semin, as long as his sweater is tied down!

Posted by: Leeguru | March 11, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I expect Philly to be a brutally physical game, but we have GOT to get more traffic in the crease if we want to win this one. Memories of Dec 20th are writ large in last night's win - too many glorious opportunities that didn't quite make it home. Flash and Laich probably need to swap lines so that we get a crease-crasher on both second and third lines, and Nylander on Fehr's line might be able to buy him time to get to the net.

And if ShaMo does to Scotty Hartnell what he did to Jason Arnott last night, I will not say another bad word about him for the rest of the regular season.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 11, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@_stevo

The real question is, do you ever yell "come on schultz!" out of habit, even when he may not be on the ice?

Posted by: Kevin9149 | March 11, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I'd say that the game tomorrow is EXTREMELY important. Lose it, and we are 1-3 against Philly, and going into the playoffs with this curse is not the best thing to have, especially when we may meet them again. Win it, and we're not only respectable 2-2 but have momentum taking the LAST game of the season on THEIR rink.

Posted by: fnralch | March 11, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

@_stevo: I know you're a huge Erskine fan. Although I wish he wouldn't have had to fight because I'm sure his doc said not to if he wants to continue his career in the NHL, he went toe-to-toe with Belak and came out OK. After he realized he was going to have to go he went psyco and was throwing hay-makers, he was TICKED, and I am sure Mrs. Erskine called him last night to say WT*.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 11, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

How about Schultz trying to fight tomorrow. (Snickering to myself) Yeah that would be hilarious. I think fighting will always be controversial. I also think while Brash is not done, Bradley cannot be our "muscle" and when Clark fights he usually doesn't really win. We need to get someone in the off season to contribute that grit for next season.

Posted by: ERHDC1 | March 11, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Schultz is horrible. I can't believe he wasn't on the ice at the end last night when we were playing 4-on-4.

Give it a break.

Schultz was the only one at -1, really? That's shocking. The other four players who couldn't clear a zone for the first minute of the game - and left JT hanging out to dry - were all on the ice for the OT goal....because it's 4-on-4. Shultz was minus-1? That's some brilliant commentary.

I think Schultz was too tall last night. I didn't like AO's haircut.

Posted by: saintex | March 11, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

instigator rule is stupid.

staged fighting is stupid.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 11, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@saintex: thanks for proving my point. Just because the guy was -1 doesn't mean he played badly. Likewise, just because his statistics in another game might be better doesn't mean he played well. I think he's improving, but I'm not sold on him just yet. He's still too slow and rarely hits anyone; we can debate defensive styles until we're all blue in the face, but being slow is *never* an asset for an NHL player no matter what kind of style you play, and a good defenseman needs to be able to check much harder than Schultz usually does. He needs to develop more speed if possible, and he definitely needs to start throwing his weight around more. Hopefully the improvement that many of us have noted in the past few games will continue, and he'll finally realize the potential that BB and GMGM see in him.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 11, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hI5WoD8Sl4

this is how fighting should always be conducted. if you got business, take care of it. dont wait until both of your goons are on the ice to slow the game down.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 11, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin9149

yeah i have been caught before saying "come on schultz", but then it will be poti

@fanohock

i know erskine has the ability to fight, but i was somehwat worried when i saw it was belak. Mrs. lumberjack probably was not too happy

Posted by: _stevo | March 11, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

anybody got a link to belak pounding bras last night?

Posted by: wendel2 | March 11, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

after months of trying to discuss hockey but everyone thinking you are an idiot, it seems wendel has digressed into a cookie cutter troll.

nice.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOdpg4oxtNw&eurl=http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/63218&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: richmondphil | March 11, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

The Flyers have a way of matching up really well against the Caps. It really comes down to the secondary lines that usually outplay our secondary lines. Recently Lupul has become a thorn in the Caps side as Hartnell and Richards have consisently become.

With all that said, it will come down to whether the Caps want to pay the price and get to the net. You cannot beat Philly from beyond the the face off circles. You must attack them in the slot and pressure their D. After watching last night's game I don't think the Caps are up to that task. They played measurably better than their previous 5 outings but they still did not camp around the net. If you notice both of their goals were a result of defensive lapses and great passes.

Posted by: diner99 | March 11, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan26,

Agree with everything you said. I'm going to guess that he'll fill out - more strength and muscle than anything else - in the off season as he finishes growing. I think he's got a pretty good hockey mind but his physical traits haven't caught up yet. I think that right now he's a middle of the road defenseman and I can live with that for the rest of this season - I just don't buy at all the idea that he's no a top 6 player, as is. We all have players we yell at during the different points in the season: my current player is Mike Green and his point play - I yell a lot about that.

Posted by: saintex | March 11, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

It is official, wendel is not a caps fan. After a win, all he can bring up is the negative.

Just go away.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 11, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

if brash cant go vs philly, i suspect it will become apparant the value he brings to the table. i would expect philly to take some liberties (as they should) w/ semin, backs etc. they are in pretty solid playoff position and i think they would like to send a message to the caps about what a playoff matchup would be like. no better time when the other team's tough guy is on the shelf.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 11, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@saintex: it's scary to think he might not be done growing yet. The guy is huge!

It's actually quite nice to have the luxury of nitpicking about these types of little annoyances, isn't it? In seasons past there were so many things wrong, both big and small, that I wouldn't even have known where to start. This year it's all finally coming together. The defense might still be our weakest link, but if they keep playing the way they did last night, I'm not going to fret about it too much.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 11, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Poker, I hear you. Matter of fact, i started the season as a knee-jerk Schultz-basher. But do you really think the guy's playing 20 minutes a night, with plenty of {PK; enemy's top line; partnered to Walkabout Green}time, as a "development opportunity"? Or is there any chance BB values something in his game that others don't see?
See Japers for a close look at the Schultz question--but sports fans need a whipping boy, and I get that a 6'6" no-contact NHL defenseman is perfect for the job. Seriously: Where was Malkin on Sunday? Who the hell was Dallas Green?

Posted by: redlineblue | March 11, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Oops I meant Dallas Smith (Bobby Orr's backstop). See how un-memorable workhorse D can be?

Posted by: redlineblue | March 11, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I actually enjoy the trolls, wendel2 fast becoming one of them. It reminds us that while the Caps are on the ice, we're here safeguarding the sanctity of this blog and the players it represents. Eh, it also just gives us people to take out our aggressions on when our Caps are trying to score. I say, bring it! You can't blame them really. It sorta' s*cks to be them so why not troll along and hit people in the nads. It's sorta' fun for them, I suppose. Nad knockers.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 11, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

redlineblue:

I remember when the movie "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice" was out, the Bruins D had Bob (Orr)and Carole (Vadnais) and Ted (Green) and Dallas (Smith).

Say it out loud:
Bob and Carole and Ted and Dallas.

Posted by: rw-c | March 11, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Did Locker say a lot of soap on the rope for that trio?!? What the heck does that mean?

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 10, 2009 9:15 PM


@ --Boo--: Yes he did, and I don't know. I think he's making a run at the Malaprop Hall of Fame, with Jerry Coleman (former SD Padres announcer), Casey Stengel and Yogi Berra...

Barry Trotz looks evil. Shooting he be mugging someone outside the arena instead of coaching inside it?

Posted by: crooks_c | March 10, 2009 9:16 PM


@crooks_c: "Yesssss....everything is proceeding as I have forseeen, my young apprenticcccccce"

@all: Now THAT's what I'm talking about! We just out-worked and outplayed the team that beat defending SC champion DET 8-0. Let that sink in...maybe we CAN win it all...


Other notes:

1) I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed: what is this with every goalie we face lately somehow channeling Martin Brodeur?

2) Great all-around play by Morrissonn (sp?): he did a lot to silence the haters breaking up the 2-on 1 with Arnott and later wth the massive hit on same.

3) Also encouraging is the fact that we mostly stayed disciplined and won in spite of the arch Cap-hater McBleary...I could see the barely restrained glee on that SOB's face when he waved of the Fleischmann goal.

4) Great hits by Green too!

5) SOmeone please tell CSN that a few LESS graphics on the bottom of the screen (while the puck is in play) would be a good thing


By the way, I though Brooks played phenomenal last night. His interview between the first and second did sound like a Captain. Our boys are growing up right before our eyes.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 11, 2009 11:18 AM


@fanohock1: Too True; I was thinking the same myself!-- I wonder if another "21" was added to the Hard Hat last night...

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 11, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

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