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Morning Reading List: A Future in Hershey


(Courtesy of Bill Duh)


Highly-touted prospect John Carlson, above right, is one of several Hershey Bears expected to see some ice time in Washington next season.

Capitals officials are using Games 3-5 of Hershey's Calder Cup final against the Manitoba Moose (Game 5 is tomorrow night at 7 p.m.; Hershey leads the series, 3-1) to get an idea of which prospects are ready to make the transition to the NHL.

More on the Bears

* Hershey goalie Michal Neuvirth continues to impress. From On Frozen Blog:

For the second consecutive game in this Calder Cup finals, and for the second consecutive day this weekend, Neuvirth was the game's first star. Deservedly so. He stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced. And while he was brilliant from start to finish, he was most brilliant when the Bears most needed to him to be: when a desperate Manitoba club threw everything including the kitchen sink at him in the game's final couple of minutes.

Here's Your Caps Fix

* From ESPN's Pierre Lebrun:

It appears veteran center Sergei Fedorov is leaning toward signing in the KHL, leaving behind an illustrious NHL career. He had held out hope that the Washington Capitals might still be an option, but his agent (Brisson) told us Saturday it looks more and more like the 39-year-old forward will sign with Magnitogorsk.

* In The Hockey News, Brian Costello takes a look at an NHL without the draft lottery:

Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin would be teammates in Pittsburgh. The Washington Capitals won the 2004 draft lottery and moved from third pick to first. Had that not happened, the Penguins surely would have taken Ovechkin first, Chicago would have taken Evgeni Malkin second and the Capitals would have had to settle for Cam Barker third. Would the Hawks be in the Cup final now with Malkin in the lineup? Would the Capitals have even made the playoffs with Barker and no Ovechkin?
Because of the lockout in 2004-05, the Penguins won a special weighted lottery in 2005 and got the right to select Crosby. Ovechkin and Crosby would have been rookie teammates for the Pens in 2005-06.

* Alex Ovetjkin (the blog) has transcripts of Russian interviews with Alex Ovechkin (the Capital) and Simeon Varlamov. Excerpts below.

From SportsDaily.ru:

What kind of assessment can you give yourself for this season in the NHL?
Ovechkin: We made a step forward in principle. But a step back too. I don't know whether the backbone of our team will be intact for next season. I do not know whether Serega Fedorov, Vitja Kozlov, Jose Theodore will remain. But our team was chic, competitive. And if you talk about the season, I took one trophy at least. So everything is fine. (Click here for the rest.)

From Samarskie Izvestia, Varlamov's hometown paper:

What is the city of Hershey? [There are better questions, but so many things about this answer made me LOL]
Varlamov: The population is slightly more than 13 thousand people. This is actually not the city, but more like a village or town with two-story buildings all over. The chocolate factory produces, in my opinion, and not only in mine, the best chocolate in the world. We rented a good apartment, but close to home were only fields and highways. Sasha Ovechkin's friends helped me to buy Lexus, a middle level class car by American standards, so that I could quickly get to Washington. (Click here for the rest.)

* Japers' Rink continues its look at every Capital this season "from Alzner to Varlamov." Today is Brooks Laich's turn:

For the fourth straight season, Laich improved his goal totals (while bettering his point total for the third consecutive campaign), and he's played in every one of the Caps' 206 games (regular season and playoffs) since February 21, 2007.

Around the League

* The Hockey News' Ken Campbell says the stars of both the Red Wings and the Penguins will decide Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final (Detroit leads, three games to two):

At this particular moment in what has been a series of huge momentum swings, that means Pittsburgh's big money players have to be a lot better in Game 6 if the Penguins are to have any hope of stretching this series to a deciding game next Friday night.

In the Detroit Free-Press, columnist Mitch Albom says Pavel Datsyuk's return has recharged the Red Wings:

"I think I said this earlier," coach Mike Babcock answered when asked about Datsyuk's return. Imagine if the Penguins "played the series without Malkin or Crosby and they suddenly came back. ...
"This guy's one of the best players in the world."

Tarik will join up with the series for Game 6 tomorrow night in Pittsburgh (and Game 7, if necessary), so keep an eye out for that.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  June 8, 2009; 8:51 AM ET
 
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Next: Morning Reading List: 'We're Ready to Go'

Comments

Thanks. Varlamov on Hershey was great.

Posted by: uncatim | June 8, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"I do not know whether Serega Fedorov, Vitja Kozlov, Jose Theodore will remain."

Does this mean Theodore might be traded, or just not the #1 anymore?

Posted by: GMUCAPS | June 8, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

what an awful way to start my day! Feds more than likely going to Russia and the thought of Ovie being a hapless Fowl. (although one wonders how well that would have gone over with Sid. He has a hard enough time playing second fiddle to Malkin.) but we should also note that the 2005 draft was in no way a legitimate draft.

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 8, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

RedBirdie, I was just thinking that. They took away the draft lottery to give Ovi to the Pens, yet keep it to give Sid to them too? I'm probably off here, but weren't we the worst team that year? I guess we should thank our lucky stars that we won the draft they should have and they won the one we should have. Or, ugh, we would have Crosby.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 8, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I dont think Ovechkin and Crosby could have been teammates. I think the weighted 2005 lottery precluded the first overall drafting team from 2004 from having the first overall pick again

Posted by: makplan20002 | June 8, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Lucky for us that's only a nightmare, and we all woke up, and we still have our Ovi. :-)

Bears. Tuesday. Wish I could get tickets, but the game is way sold out. :-( Man... the guy on eBay who is selling five pairs stands to make over $1000 on his tickets. Anybody got a pair they can't use, please let me know! (I know, ha-ha, but if I don't ask, the answer's automatically no. I believe in miracles. I'm a Caps fan!)

Posted by: irockthered | June 8, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

irockthered, Its unreal. They were 80 bucks last night and now... *whistles*. There's a single available starting at 60 or buy-it-now for 150.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 8, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I love Varly's comment "Sasha Ovechkin's friends helped me to buy Lexus, a middle level class car by American standards."

I will be in my 40's by the time I could own a lexus (w/o worrying about repo) and I'm an accountant.

Posted by: caps512 | June 8, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

in that weighted lottery, each team started with 3 chances to win, and would lose 1 chance for each season in the previous 3 that they won the lottery, or made the playoffs, down to a minimum of 1 chance. That's why a team like the Caps who were terrible on paper got screwed over. They lost in the first round to the lightning, and won the ovechkin Lottery so the Caps who had their fire sale at the end of the previous completed season would have without a doubt ended up in the bottom 5 teams in the league, had as many chances to win the lottery as the Detroit Red Wings.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | June 8, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

so yes, Markplan was correct that while Pittsburgh COULD have won the Crosby lottery, its unlikely they would have as their chances of winning would have been 33% less. This of course assumes that the lottery wasn't "fixed" as some people like to speculate.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | June 8, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I dont think Ovechkin and Crosby could have been teammates. I think the weighted 2005 lottery precluded the first overall drafting team from 2004 from having the first overall pick again

Posted by: makplan20002 | June 8, 2009 9:46 AM |

I believe you are correct.

Either way, I wish we had a "Malkin" to pick in 05. Not a bad 2nd pick, haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 8, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Too late. SombreroGuy is on the case.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 8, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm weird for saying this, but what we need now aren't stars. We've got stars and skill guys. What we really, really need are more of the bread-and-butter foot soldiers like Brooks Laich and David Steckel, and because of that, I think we'll find most of what we need in Hershey. Hershey sure seems to be able to play the gritty, physical game that we need to succeed in the playoffs - look at how they're beating up Manitoba. Having them go all the way to the Cup Finals sure doesn't hurt.

This is not to say that we won't get ANYTHING via trade or free agency. There are one or two places where we might benefit from a veteran presence. But after watching the Calder Cup Finals, I think you'll see more of next year's roster come from within than without.

Also, I'm in the market for two Hershey tickets for Tuesday if I can get them.

Posted by: kittypawz | June 8, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Here is more info on the game from Hershey last night:

http://wnst.net/wordpress/edfrankovic/2009/06/08/hershey-1-win-away-from-calder-cup/

Posted by: Emfrank123 | June 8, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Alzner, Carlson, & Kronwall -- that's not a bad bunch to move 1-2 up for next year. Now just a tank to mow out the crease and a significant upgrade on the blueline might just occur.

Osala, Giroux, Aucoin, and Bourque -- 2-3 from here may also help the Caps get better without breaking the Cap bank.

I'm excited that the Caps are doing so well with their talent, their prospects. Maybe even Neuvy and Varly on a rotation, trading away Jose 3ormore

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | June 8, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Is Ovie throwing Theo's name out for a reason? Could it be true? It would be nice to get rid of his paycheck, you know since he hasn't shown that he is worth it.

I like the article on Varly. I can't wait to see what he has at development camp.

I just scored tickets to tomorrow's game in Hershey...I really hope they win it on home ice!

Posted by: NatyBG | June 8, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I've seen it speculated elsewhere that Ovie may be a bit misinformed about Theo. There's been absolutely nothing to indicate that Theo or the Caps is looking to ship him elsewhere next season.

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 8, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

also from the Pierre LeBrun article:

"Panthers GM update
Doug MacLean, Neil Smith, Doug Risebrough, Les Jackson, Tom Lynn, Rick Dudley, Pierre McGuire and current Panthers assistant GM Randy Sexton are among the long list of names we've heard on the radar for the vacant Florida Panthers GM job. But we also heard the hiring might be delayed until the team is potentially sold."

PLEASE! Please please please hire McGuire so hockey fans everywhere are spared from his idiotic ramblings and blatant pro-Penguins commentary.

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 8, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@redbirdie

Just bc there is nothing to indicate it out in the public doesn't mean anything. Normally managment and the star players of the team tend to have a general idea of the direction the team is headed. I wouldn't be surprised to see Theodore headed back to Colorado, who is in desperate need of a number 1 goalie. If the Caps can pull off a trade at the draft, Theo will be out of here and they will resign Johnson to generate $3+million in cap space. Trading him will be easier than trading Nylander so I think that will be their first attempt.

Posted by: ThePat | June 8, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Colorado's a disaster. If I were Theo, I'd be mad if I got shipped there! (never mind that he masterfully burned all his bridges back in February....) In that same vein, Boston isn't going to resign Fernandez, he might be an attractive possibility for Colorado.

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 8, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@NatyBG: How did you do that? Score the tickets, I mean. They're sold out.

Wow. Ovi comment taken out of context + lots of wishful thinking + idle speculation = instant trade rumor.

Now we know where Hockeybuzz gets their content.

Posted by: kittypawz | June 8, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I went to Hershey on Saturday and there were tons of fans (not scalpers)selling there tix outside the main gate. We didnt need to buy any since we bought ours in advance, but my guess is they would have been face or less since so many people had them.

Also, just an observation, but nobody other than Neurvith really stood out to me as being NHL ready. Alzner and Carlson are most likely going to be up next year, but I saw nobody on offense that looked overly impressive. I was shocked at the lack of quality shots really taken from either team. Tons of dump and chase. That being said, it was still fun and I would love to be there for game 5.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | June 8, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

so, I'm playing around with stats because, well, I'm avoiding work. Slightly shocking statistic: only nine Capitals played more than 70 regular season games this year. WOW. And only two of them were D-men.

Which kinda puts the Caps dominating regular season in a new light.

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 8, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

While it is interesting to look at the situation in a vacuum, what Mr. Costello does not take into account is that had Entitlement Town (Pittsburgh) gotten A.O., the NHL would have had no incentive to rig the lottery to steer Lowblow Cindy to the Penguin Scum. Odds are pretty good Lowblow Cindy would be pulling her act on Broadway with the Rangers.

Posted by: CapsNut | June 8, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@capsfansince74: Actually, that doesn't surprise me all that much. Neither team was out to be pretty, and neither team would have been effective if they'd tried to be pretty. This series is about top-notch defense with solid offense (Manitoba) versus top-notch offense with reasonably solid defense (Hershey), and the duel between two goalies who will both play in the NHL someday, probably sooner rather than later. Manitoba is a bigger team than Hershey, which makes carry-ins difficult (they kept getting stood up at the blueline when they tried it), but Hershey is the faster and more mobile team, which makes dump-and-chase work.

In neither team's case are you going to beat the goalie with pretty shots. They're both good enough to stop anything they can see for the most part.

Posted by: kittypawz | June 8, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@CapsNut: Sean Avery + Sidney Crosby = Abbott and Costello?

Posted by: kittypawz | June 8, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

While it is interesting to look at the situation in a vacuum, what Mr. Costello does not take into account is that had Entitlement Town (Pittsburgh) gotten A.O., the NHL would have had no incentive to rig the lottery to steer Lowblow Cindy to the Penguin Scum. Odds are pretty good Lowblow Cindy would be pulling her act on Broadway with the Rangers.

Except the NHL didn't (and doesn't) consider AO to be a "star" and thus would still rig the draft to land the Great Canadian Hope in Pittsburgh. Remember, Ovie lost what should have been his rookie season to the lockout. When the 2005 draft rolled around, you had everyone salivating over the thought of this goofy looking kid that cries a lot but otherwise make tofu seem interesting swooping in and saving hockey, and, oh yeah, those crazy Capitals drafted some crazy Russian kid who might be good one day last year and maybe he'll finally get to play, but, ohmigod, SIDNEY CROSBY IS SOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

of course, then Ovie promptly went out and won rookie of the year, so......

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 8, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

With Feds most likely outta here, how crazy would it be to have Aucoin center the 2nd line? On one side, let's face it, he isn't Feds, but on the plus side, he has more energy than Feds, he's younger, cheaper, and will probably won't fade away towards the end of season.

If we lose Brash, how about putting Giroux on the 4th line and give him 12-14 minutes oer game? Giroux had tons of chances the short time he was here. He had many breakaways and 2 on 1s. He just needs more minutes. Hey, we gave Flash a chance, why not him? I think Giroux-Gordon-Clark line would be a good checking line with offensive upside.

Posted by: Andoy | June 8, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

It's absolutely stunning The Hockey News is overlooked during Pulitzer season. If we are going to play the "imagine if" game, how about THN engage in this "imagine if" game, how about these "imagine ifs":

a) Imagine if Pavel Datsyuk had been healthy in games 1-4.

b) Imagine if the officials called Eastern Conference Playoff games involving the Penguins with the same impartiality they showed during game 5 of the SCF.

c) Imagine if there had been a draft lottery in the 82-83 season, then, there is a good chance Lemieux would have been a Whaler, Devil, or Wing instead of a Penguin.

Deep reporting there Hockey News. Here's the next story idea for you: If Sidney Crosby had chosen to play basketball, he'd be better than Lebron and Kobe.

Posted by: Matt23185 | June 8, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

heck, imagine if:
1. The refs called the Caps/Pens series the way they called Game 5 of SCF
2. The Caps weren't skating around on broken feet
3. Bill Guerin said "heck no!" to the Pittsburgh trade
4. Kunitz was suspended for the cross check to the throat
5. Carcillo hadn't gotten into that stupid fight in the first round that prompted the Pittsburgh comeback

oooooh, this is a very fun game.

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 8, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Calder Cup game 5 SOLD OUT.
And don't go to the Nats game Tuesday hoping to see BB:

"Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau was scheduled to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a Washington Nationals game Tuesday, but that has been canceled so he can attend Game 5."

http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnewssports/2009/06/bears_moose_eye_game_5.html

Posted by: tess2201 | June 8, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

once again, the Nats get me all excited only to crush my hopes. Bad Nats, bad!

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 8, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The family and I just spent a great weekend in Hershey. We bought our tickets back on the 29th of May and were lucky we did because Giant Center was SOLD OUT and rockin'. If Giant Center had the option of opening more seating like they did in Manitoba they would have been able to sell thousands more, I'm sure of it.

The Hershey fans are definitely smart hockey fans unlike a lot of minor league cities. As for the Bears, man the Caps are loaded with talent.

I saw Carlson play for the first time. The guy is a beast. He carrier the puck out of the zone well, and hits like a freight train. The biggest part of his game that needs on are his outlet passes. He's good enough in the AHL to punish the guy that intercepts his pass, in the NHL he wouldn't be so lucky. At his age, just having a couple of things to tweak is awesome.

Although Giroux scores, he takes a LOT of shifts off. He is also easily rattled, as was Mink. Both great AHL players, just not sure if they can give us what we need. Either could fill in if Flash or Fehr were moved, but they aren't missing pieces to our puzzle.

Aucoin and Bourque were extremely impressive. The Moose are the top seed and those two fly around the ice and dominate vitually every shift. They are both ready for the NHL (as I think most of us thought of Aucoin in April). If Bourque doesn't make the squad the Caps should see what they can get for him because he will fit in with an NHL team somewhere and it would terrible to not get anything for him.

N E U V I R T H. It is too bad that we are stuck with Theodore because between Varly and Neuvy, we are set. They would push each other.

It was a good weekend of hockey up in Hershey. Those folks love their Bears WOOOO.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 8, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh, by the way, we stayed overnight on Saturday and went to both games 3 and 4. We saw the box with all the scratched players but didn't see any of the big wigs like BB or GMGM either day. I wonder where they hung out since Tarik said they were there on Saturday.

Wasn't NHL hockey, but a great time. What a history. We even went over to Hershey Park Arena before yesterday's game and the old stadium was unlocked. What a cool venue. My son played a tournament game there a few years ago. Sorry to hog so many lines. It would be nice for the Bears to win it at home I guess it has been a long time since they've won and skated the Cup at home.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 8, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention Kronwall. He looks awesome. I am probably in the minority because I thought he looked fine when he was with the Caps for a couple of games.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 8, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, I can't believe you would write an article like that first one and not even mention Q. Quintin Laing is a warrior and deserves to be (and should be) on the Washington roster next year. He has done more than prove himself and if GMGM and BB don't see that then they are crazy.

Posted by: SPKK | June 8, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1
Glad you (and all the Caps fans who visited) had a good time. We do love our Bears. Hoping for a big win on Tuesday!

If you picture the suite where the scratch players were, draw a diagonal line across the ice to the opposite corner and that's the official Bears box where GMGM and BB and others were hanging out with Doug Yingst. I think the box where the scratch players were is normally rented out on a game-by-game basis but I guess no one rented it this weekend. BTW, goalie coach Dave Prior was in the box with the scratches. Makes sense since the Bears defend that end twice...gave him a good view of his student.

Posted by: tess2201 | June 8, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice if Brian costello would remember that if the system were fair, the Penguins would have landed Ovy in '04, but the Caps would have been nearly as certain of getting Crosby in '05. The Caps traded every veteran worth a damn through the spring '04 deadline. The Caps team built to play in '04-'05 was set to be probably the worst Capitals team ever, or since their inaugural seasons and nobody in the NHL was close to how bad that team was.

However lucky we may have been to jump in '04, we were equally unlucky in getting hosed by the strike and resulting weighted lottery in '05.

Posted by: graywolfe81 | June 8, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I was there on Saturday, BB and GMGM were in the box right above section 103, they were both wearing red and easy to pick out. I really loved the playoff atmosphere in the Giant...and I really can't wait for tomorrow's game!

FYI: I got my tickets off of craigslist (Harrisburg). There were a few on ebay, but I got a deal from a local season ticket holder on craigslist.

Posted by: NatyBG | June 8, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I really had a post deleted because I compared Pierre McGwire to a feminine hygiene product?

Posted by: Jumpy66 | June 8, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Tess: Thanks for the info. We were in Section 114 and the box with the scratched players was to our left. Ironically the Moose players were in the box right next to them. Didn't know that until the Moose scored yesterday and they all clapped. Luckily that was their only celebration all weekend.

I just can't get over how deep our organization is right now. Many talented players were scratched like Lepisto, Finley, and Collins. That makes me wonder how much talent is buried down to the AA squad that just won the Kelly Cup.

It was in fact a perfect weekend of hockey. The Bears won both games, and the Pens got smacked around like punks.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 8, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Man, I'm a bonehead, the box with the scratched players was to our right.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 8, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Greetings,

I'm looking to ride share up to Hershey for game tomo (and will share expenses for gas, etc). Also, any tailgates planned, people want to meet by a section, etc?

Posted by: WritingLight | June 8, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@Jumpy66: I've had a post deleted for "calling bull****". I think it has to do with the number of keywords you use, but I'm not sure what the rules are.

...and the first attempt at posting this was deleted. LOL. It's like playing a game where the object is not to know all the rules?

Posted by: kittypawz | June 8, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1:
LOL! I was thinking when I read your post that the box would have been on your right because it was on my left (I'm near the Bears bench). Oh well, blame it on the fact that it's Monday.

Posted by: tess2201 | June 8, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Yay BB! Good job on his part on keeping his priorities straight! Nats suck anyway, although I would love to see BB throw out the first pitch.

Posted by: rachel216 | June 8, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

here is something interesting to keep everyone busy discussing for the rest of the day...

http://www.japersrink.com/2009/6/8/902819/nylander-to-the-khl-updated#comments

Posted by: SombreroGuy | June 8, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1: I noticed up there you said about Carlson playing well. I've been to every Bears playoff game thus far (and am going Tuesday :D) and I thought on Sunday he was seeming to be making more mistakes than usual. Just imagine, if that's what his off nights are like, then he'll be AMAZING on his good nights! Also, I hate being a smart a**, but Lepisto got a spleen injury (was supposed to be less worse than Laing's) back right before the playoffs, so that's why he's scratched; and as for Finley, I think he went back to school or something. Collins was scratched because Alzner was playing again.

I've been thinking that Sunday night's game was probably the hardest game of the series, period. I just have this feeling that Manitoba will either flop or only have the force from the last five minutes of Sunday's game going for one period.

And boy, are my ears still ringing! :)

Posted by: 4RBears | June 8, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1,
I am in the minority on Kronwall also...there are a few on here though that support signing him though...wonder how big of an impression he made this weekend with GMGM?

Posted by: caps28fan | June 8, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@sombreroguy

Nyls to Avangard Omsk: that would be fantastic. Would he take a reduction in salary or would they actually pay him that amount? With the extra space we could make a play to keep Kozlov in the fold.

Yunkov sounds good, also, and willing to play in Hershey which is a big plus.

Posted by: WritingLight | June 8, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1,
I am in the minority on Kronwall also...there are a few on here though that support signing him though...wonder how big of an impression he made this weekend with GMGM?

Posted by: caps28fan | June 8, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Kron's been AMAZING thus far. He's been getting points on a regular business. I wouldn't mind seeing him with the Caps next year.

Posted by: 4RBears | June 8, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

GAH. On that last post I meant Kron's getting points on a regular BASIS. Blasted school for not having air conditioning, frying my brain...

Posted by: 4RBears | June 8, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock

I liked Giroux when he was up with the big club - he missed some chances, but he was getting those chances which does signify. He seems to have good scoring instincts.

I thought Aucoin in the one game I saw (Tampa Bay) seemed shy to go into the corners or boards. The only knock I had on him...

Posted by: WritingLight | June 8, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I went to the Bear's game last night and I have to agree with 4RBears, Carlson made quite a few mistakes. I think he's a year away. Alzner looked solid and so did Sloan. I'd love to have these 2 in DC instead of Mo and Schultz next year.

I thought Bourque was easily the best player last night. He was flying out there, playing the point on the PP and he laid out Grabner at center ice. Plays a whole lot bigger than 5'6". Aucoin also had a decent game, had tons of chances. Giroux just looks like a lazy player. Hate to say it but I'm betting he'll be playing in Europe next year.

Posted by: jake81 | June 8, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Jake81: I'm not so sure about Bourque being 'the best' last night. He was sent out onto the ice a rediculous amount of time throughout the game. He definitely did get a lot of chances, but he didn't get through with many (if not all) of them. I agree with you on Coiner too, he's one of those players that I'm glad to have in Hershey. (God, I hated him so bad when he was with Albany...) But, Giroux definitely ain't lazy. He's been kicking butt all season and definitely hasn't slackened his work. I think he really wants to make it up to the N but isn't finding the right teams to do it with, considering the Caps' scoring depth already.

Posted by: 4RBears | June 8, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

@caps28fan: You could change your name to capsbears28fan since Kronwall wears #28 on the farm. The AHL just looks easy to him and he is as strong as an OX. He pushed scrums from the front of the net with relative ease.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 8, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@caps28fan: You could change your name to capsbears28fan since Kronwall wears #28 on the farm. The AHL just looks easy to him and he is as strong as an OX. He pushed scrums from the front of the net with relative ease.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 8, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@ WritingLight - My guess is they would pay his current salary, or possibly even more. The KHL is going to overpay to try and attract big name players in an attempt to gain legitimacy. I seriously doubt Nylander will go for it, but the fact that the story keeps popping up is interesting at least.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | June 8, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Maybe, I think CB28fan would work also :)

Who has Kronwall been paired with?

Posted by: caps28fan | June 8, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

since Alzners return... is what I should have completed my question with. I thought I saw him with Carlson while watching Game 1 at Manitoba

Posted by: caps28fan | June 8, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

KHL....redraft...about 50% of the contracts being fulfilled.....


I don't understand why anyone will sign over there when they are offered an NHL contract.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 8, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention Kronwall. He looks awesome. I am probably in the minority because I thought he looked fine when he was with the Caps for a couple of games.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 8, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Guess that puts me in the minority too. I liked what I saw in the two games he played with the Caps, and I REALLY liked what I saw of him in Hershey this past weekend. I know I have my fingers crossed to get him re-signed.

Posted by: Desu | June 8, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The KHL needs to poach some names from the NHL. It's fundamental to their business plan. Nylander has some name value (and is in fact an extremely skilled player). They know he doesn't fit here, so it makes perfect sense for the KHL to headhunt him. We know (unfortunately) he doesn't fit here, so it makes perfect sense to the Caps. But him moving to Omsk likely makes no sense to him and his family, and is not happening.

Posted by: Baildog | June 8, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I might be late on this but I never caught Arniel's comments on the Hershey crowd. What did he say?

Posted by: rachel216 | June 8, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

hey guess who dons' the main page here:

http://www.dobberhockey.com/

Posted by: caps28fan | June 8, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

http://www.dobberhockey.com/content/view/2006/1/

permanent link for when it gets changed

Posted by: caps28fan | June 8, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

It's my favorite person! - NEUVY! ;) Thanks for that caps28fan!

Posted by: rachel216 | June 8, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

conspiracy, paranoia.. where would we be without them...

Ray Bourque and Wayne Gretzky were both rookies in 1979, Bourque won the Calder Trophy and Gretzky won the Art Ross.. what does this all mean?? they both turned out to be all-time great players.

What do you people feel the need to bash Crosby just to feel that OV is a great player? They are BOTH great players!!! They are different but still great nontheless and will both end up in the hall of fame when their career is over barring injuries.

Who was better, Bobby Orr or Ray Bourque? Gretzky or Super Mario? I don't know but all I know is they were ALL all-time great players.

Posted by: joek443 | June 8, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, I'm glad we have Ovi rather than Crosby. He seems to be of better character.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 8, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

@Tess: I think Kronwall played with Carlson. The other pairings were Alzner/Helmer, Arsene/Sloan. I'm not swearing on that.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 8, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1 and Tess -- The pairings were Arsene/Carlson, Sloan/Kronwall, and Alzner/Helmer. Those have been the pairings since Alzner got hurt, and they just stuck Alzner back in where PMac or Ammo had been playing.

Posted by: RtR52 | June 8, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

joek443,

I am sure you have been on the Pens blog. Even after game #5, Pens fans were blasting OV. Both sides do it but at least we do not put out death threats.

I don't think any normal person here thinks Crosby is a bad player. It comes down to his ethics and actions. Cheap shots and not giving credit to other players. His personality stinks.

They are both great players, but we think our version of "great" is a better "great", a more fun "great" and a more exciting "great" (both on and off the ice) than your "great".

Caps fans, did I capture it well enough?

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | June 8, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

RtR52: Thanks for the pairings. I was just trying to piece together two games.

I also remember the Caps insider mentioning that Lepisto had gotten hurt in this forum because someone asked why the spleen injuries were starting to seem common. I did not know that Lepisto was out and when they announce the scratches they don't say whether they are healthy or injury scratches.

Tomorrow's game should be a blast. I sincerely hope the Bears win the Calder Cup so all of you long time Bears fans can see it skated around Giant center.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 8, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan: Well put.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 8, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan: Well put.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 8, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I also just got done looking up the Moose Captain, Keane, to see if it was in fact Mike Keane, and it is! That man was the Captain of the Candiens for 10 years or so and has his name on the Stanley Cup. That is a player that just loves to play hockey.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 8, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I think that the jury is out on Crosby being great, he is sometimes very good (not now during the Finals) but he is not great.

Posted by: MReilly9 | June 8, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

The NHL network just starting showing a re-play of last nights Wings-Pens game in case anyone wants to see the Pens get frustrated and take a bunch of stupid penalties.

Posted by: MReilly9 | June 8, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

My mistake - the NHL Network is showing Game 5 from Last Year's Finals.

Posted by: MReilly9 | June 8, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I like Kronwall's game. I'd be okay with him getting a new contract.
Pretty sure I saw Finley Saturday night, sitting with the rest of the guys. He had gone back to UND to finish taking exams and graduate.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 8, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

The KHL needs to poach some names from the NHL. It's fundamental to their business plan. Nylander has some name value (and is in fact an extremely skilled player). They know he doesn't fit here, so it makes perfect sense for the KHL to headhunt him. We know (unfortunately) he doesn't fit here, so it makes perfect sense to the Caps. But him moving to Omsk likely makes no sense to him and his family, and is not happening.

Posted by: Baildog | June 8, 2009 5:45 PM

Let me repeat for you.

redraft...about 50% of the contracts being fulfilled.

That means if you are not Jagr or Yashin, then you probably only got paid about half your contract this year.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 8, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan: perfect. I would add that Crosby seems to have zero sense of humor or ability to take himself any way other than deadly serious. I actually feel sorry for him. Ovie cracks me up, brings a sense of excitement and dazzle to the game that Crosby doesn't (at least, not to me.) Crosby is skilled, of course---but I'd rather watch Ovechkin.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | June 8, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

If you honestly believe that a renowned cheap-shot artist like Ovechkin has better values than Crosby, then I pray to God that you don't have children because you are not fit to reproduce.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | June 8, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I like Kronwall's game. I'd be okay with him getting a new contract.
Pretty sure I saw Finley Saturday night, sitting with the rest of the guys. He had gone back to UND to finish taking exams and graduate.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 8, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think I saw him... but I barely know what he looks like, so that may be why. Instead... I was looking at my 3 favorite black aces up there: Braden Holtby, Francois Bouchard, and Greg Amadio.
I also saw Sami Lepisto and Patrick McNeil, but I don't always have the best view of the Bears' box due to where I sit and my slight height problem.

Posted by: 4RBears | June 8, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I might be late on this but I never caught Arniel's comments on the Hershey crowd. What did he say?

Posted by: rachel216 | June 8, 2009 5:51
------------------------------
Rachel-- After game 2 in Manitoba, Arniel said that he wished they could play all seven games there because the crowd was so into it and he doubts if the Bears fans could ever be as loud as the Moose fans. Needless to say, I think we proved him wrong.

Posted by: tess2201 | June 8, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Reading that Mikey article, (I realize I'm the only one who calls him Mikey, but old habits die hard...) I realized something: anybody know how many years Machesney has left? I thought he's a RFA this summer.
If he still has a year left... then there's a 75% chance he's trade bait over the summer. I personally can't wait to see how Holtby conducts himself in the crease, I've had enough of watching his hotness in the stands.

Posted by: 4RBears | June 8, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Jumpy, let me know the next time Ovechkin is the third man in to punch a guy in the beans. Crosby is a great player but CTCapsPhan hit the nail on the head. Crosby reminds me of Lebron after he wouldn't shake hands. He's incapable of giving credit to anybody but himself. He's a poor sport and he doesn't he know it and apparently neither do you.

Posted by: ouvan59 | June 8, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I might be late on this but I never caught Arniel's comments on the Hershey crowd. What did he say?

Posted by: rachel216 | June 8, 2009 5:51
------------------------------
Rachel-- After game 2 in Manitoba, Arniel said that he wished they could play all seven games there because the crowd was so into it and he doubts if the Bears fans could ever be as loud as the Moose fans. Needless to say, I think we proved him wrong.

Posted by: tess2201 | June 8, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse
I don't think we proved him wrong, I know we proved him wrong. I've been through several GC sellouts since it was built, and I've never heard a place rocking any louder than GC on Saturday and Sunday!
Less than twenty four hours, and I have this feeling like this'll be like the 06-07 playoffs, but with a role reversal: Now HERSHEY is the one with the insanely awesome young goalie, and Manitoba's merely scrambling futilely to find that goalie's weak spot.
I swear Mikey has ice water running through his veins, the way he just snags the puck out of the air as if it were merely lobbed softly at him.

Posted by: 4RBears | June 8, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Jumpy66,
Only Pitt fans call OV a cheap shot artist, coincidence?

Take off the black and gold tinted sunglasses in those super special baby blue frames for a second before pointing the guns, because they are quickly turned back to your wonderful character cast of players, let's not forget the classless fans you represent on this board. How loud are the boo's going to be coming from the stands on Tuesday night around 10pm when Lidstrom hands the Cup over to Hossa? Better yet, how many players are going to try and exit this year because they know the pens aren't going to win a cup next year and go elsewhere because they can't stand playing with Sid the wonder kid?

Can anyone tell me what is in the water in Pennsylvania?

Posted by: caps28fan | June 8, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

now that i am done with my rant, because yet another fan from pitt feels the need to distract themselves from the memory of the whooping they got and make themselves feel better by talking smack to the boards of the teams that they beat this year....

CTCapsPhan well said, completely agree

Posted by: caps28fan | June 8, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me what is in the water in Pennsylvania?

Posted by: caps28fan | June 8, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, whatever is in the water doesn't reach Hershey! :) Or maybe chocolate negates the effects, you decide.

Posted by: 4RBears | June 8, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

sorry, was ranting....only really targeting Pitt and Philthy with that comment.

Chocolate does have a known effect to release endorphins, so it totally negates any ill effect in the water :)

Posted by: caps28fan | June 8, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

4RBears, I could be wrong, but I swear he was standing up through most of pregame and part of the first to the left side of the box. I only recognized him because he's so effing tall and one of the only guys in the box sans-beard and overall "playoff scruffiness". I was sitting across from them in 211, but him, Bouchard, and GMac were the only ones I recognized. If they were at the VC, I would have used my StalkerCam3000's zoom lens, but the GC's a bit tighter on removable lenses. I call him Mikey too, although generally only when I feel overwhelming affection for him, like when he's making those beautiful saves. And Saturday was definitely the loudest I've ever heard that place, although I've only been to a few games. Even the game I went to last round wasn't nearly as loud.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 8, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Heh. I wouldn't mind Crosby if he had more social grace than a pregnant yak and more personality than a block of tofu.

In other news - hey irockthered, I got it working.

Posted by: kittypawz | June 8, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

If you honestly believe that a renowned cheap-shot artist like Ovechkin has better values than Crosby, then I pray to God that you don't have children because you are not fit to reproduce.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | June 8, 2009 9:06 PM

I've already reproduced and I have three daughters in their 20s. Thanks, but I'll take Ovechkin. And if any one of them brought home either you or Cindy, my reaction would be the same, which you can figure out.

Go and date Cindy and enjoy it.

Posted by: tominfl1 | June 8, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

The NHL players themselves have already spoken-

QUESTION 3: IF YOU COULD CHANGE LIVES WITH ANOTHER PLAYER, WHO WOULD IT BE? Ovie wins

QUESTION 4: WHICH PLAYER COMPLAINS THE MOST ON THE ICE?
Cindy wins by a whopping 52%

QUESTION 1: WHO IS THE BEST LEADER IN THE NHL? Iginla wins OTHER MENTIONS: Nicklas Lidstrom (17%); Joe Sakic (11%); Patrick Marleau, Scott Niedermayer (5%); Rod Brind'Amour, Shane Doan, Brendan Morrow, Alex Ovechkin (4%); Chris Drury, Mats Sundin (3%); Zdeno Chara, Joe Thornton (2%); Chris Clark, Vincent Lecavalier, Ethan Moreau, Mike Richards, Jeremy Roenick, Brent Seabrook, Brendan Shanahan, Jonathan Toews (1%); eight players with one vote.

Hm... considering he wears the C, seems like he should be at least mentioned in that category. Again, the players have spoken. And the Caps represent with 2.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?page=0809playersurvey

Posted by: mrszilla | June 8, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I cant believe someone referred to one of the Bears as Lazy...this team is the benchmark of hard work and grit...nobody takes a shift off..BB should make the Caps watch Bears game film all summer

Posted by: wendel2 | June 8, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

@Jumpy66

At least Ovi doesn't complain about the hats thrown after a hat trick done by the other team's players. That, among other things, is why I think Ovi is of better character.

And, BTW, I already have reproduced. 2 daughters: one 24 and the other 18. They are both fine young women.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 8, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tess! I bet he feels really stupid now and is eating his words! GO BEARS!

Posted by: rachel216 | June 9, 2009 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin a cheap-shot artist? That's rich coming from a guy who idolizes the captain who came in third-man-in and socked a guy in the family jewels when he was already being held down by a teammate. Who grabs a guy off the faceoff unsuspecting and starts socking him. Who whines and dives anytime soneone touches him.

Oh please. Pull the other one, you puling little brat. Crosby didn't even win the one-on-one against Ovi in their series - the rest of his team pulled him through that.

@wendel2: I suspect that the Caps will get to see it up close and personal come later summer and early fall, so I wouldn't worry about it now. Let them have their summer off, they'll need it.

Posted by: kittypawz | June 9, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Just to weigh my two cents in on the Ov/Crosby debate, I have to say it reminds me a lot of Emmit Smith/Barry Sanders in the NFL. I remember a bunch of people (outside of Washington) actually hoping Emmit would never get the NFL rushing record, and clinging to hope that Barry would. One of the main reasons was style, Barry was the flashy player who made you say "oooh" whenever he touched the ball, and Emiit was always just kind of chipping away at things (5 yards here, 3 yards there) forever. In the end its just preference of style. That said, I can see Sid being the kind of guy who gets his points continuously and eventually (in retrospect) will probably have gaudy numbers, which is fine. Ov may or may not play himself out, or get on someone's bad side, but thats why we enjoy watching him, because we want the excitement he brings every game.

Posted by: superpaqman | June 9, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

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