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Morning Reading List: Game 4


(John McDonnell -- The Washington Post)


After struggling to solve a hot goaltender for the first two games of this series, the Capitals -- and rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov -- have turned the tables on the New York Rangers. Varlamov enters Game 4 having stopped 55 consecutive shots and has shut out the Rangers for over 112 minutes.

Over at the D.C. Sports Bog you'll find:

  • Simeon Varlamov teaching his teammates some Russian phrases.

  • A discussion on what it's like to get punched in the face. Matt Bradley offered to give Dan Steinberg a first-hand experience, but he declined.

  • Some leftovers from the E:60 profile of Alex Ovechkin.

  • And some odds and ends from practice including those red hair streaks, Ovechkin watching practice from the bench again and that NBA-inspired celebration.

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun examines Bruce Boudreau's decision to start Varlamov in Game 2 and how the "gamble" has paid off so far.

The New York Times also profiled the Caps' youngest Russian.

Both NHL.com and Newsday look at Alex Ovechkin's contributions to the Capitals efforts despite his lack of presence on the scoresheet.

Through the Rangers' Looking Glass
The Rangers see defense as their key to the series, especially better defense than what they played in game 3.

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun has updates from Rangers practice and on the still day-to-day status of Chris Drury.

NHL.com's Dan Rosen suggests that the Rangers need a "smarter Sean Avery."

In the System
With a 2-0 lead, the Bears look to keep their foot on the gas as they face the Phantoms tonight in Game 3 of their first-round series.

Dean Arsene missed a second practice with an illness but Coach Bob Woods said he'd be ready for tonight's game.

The Bears' special teams units are clipping along at a practically-perfect rate against the Phantoms and 10 different players have scored Hershey's 10 goals in the series.

By Katie Carrera  |  April 22, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: All About Varlamov
Next: Ovechkin Takes Verbal Jab at Avery

Comments

One down, three to go. LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: CapsChick | April 22, 2009 6:27 AM | Report abuse

you know why varly is such a crutial aspect for the caps and this series.because well,when it comes to theo the rangers know what to expect-a small goalie that goes to the butterfly ALL the time.so they know to shot high on him.but when it comes to varly,the rangers or any team for that matter have a scouting report on him.they dont know what to expect or his weak spots(if any!).thats why i think its smart to keep varly in for the rest of our run to the stanley cup!

Posted by: gratefuldid | April 22, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

i meant to say "DONT have a scouting report on him" in my last post.

Posted by: gratefuldid | April 22, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

It may not happen with the rangers, but there is video on that kid who is in net, and with the brains in pro hockey behind the scenes they will find his weakspot and tendancies, being young he will struggle a bit to adjust, but in the playoffs that means time for golf.

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 22, 2009 6:43 AM | Report abuse

I have seen BB and now GMGM quotes where they seem to be hinting that they might go back to Theo in the next round. Of course, we still have a long way to go to win this round. Tonight makes me very nervous, I hope we can score first (I am still scarred from game 2)

Posted by: mikebrady1 | April 22, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

RE: Green, Ovi and Backs having red streaks in their hair (and why no one else did it):

"I'm trying to keep my hair right now," John Erskine said. "The teeth are gone, the hair's coming out."

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 22, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

I am a little anxious about tonight, but not scared. The Caps are a special team with special players. They will win tonight and win the series. As we have seen, when the Caps are focused they beat any other team, even when those teams give their best shots.

Posted by: crooks_c | April 22, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

be carful calling a caps win tonight. Lundqvist is known for shutting a team down after he gives up more than his normal amount of goals. You caps could run into a goalie and team "D" determined to give up no goals. Now I don't see a rangers shutout win( I never guessed there would be even one) but I also don't see the caps potting 4 again against one of the best team defenses all year.

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 22, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I still don't understand the "solving the Hot Goalie" comments. It was ONE game. Its not like the boys have been shut out 4 straight games. Hangin 3 on him in game one is not unsolved.

C-A-P-S! CAPS CAPS CAPS!

Posted by: jdhoover | April 22, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I agree JD, we have scored 7 goals on him to their 5. I think we have the skills to get it past him as was shown last game. It would have been alot more had the Caps been able to elevate the puck.

Posted by: hbcapsfan | April 22, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

By the way.. I am still looking for ANYONE who recorded the Sportsnite right before game 1. Comcast WONT give me a copy of my interview. I'll PAY for a copy damn it!

Posted by: jdhoover | April 22, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

@pokerface

ROFL, what a little cry baby you are it's halirious. I love it, I point out something someone said, KittyPawz gets all upset because she KNOWS she was wrong and she tries to get hostile and say stuff. I respond and than I'm the bad guy? ROFL ROFL classic. Oh btw its funny to me that you say that I'm an immature jerk and blah blah blah and you turn around and do the same thing. Guess what my man, you and KittyPawz make me laugh. Oh and if you're going to try and call me out, call Kittypawz out because she said something along the same lines to me. Lastly, in regards to you acting tough...ROFL. Grow a set dude. You must have been an only child or grew up with all sisters in your family. I'm assuming this post is your only interactions with men who aren't interested in getting their "hair done." As a result, I'll excuse your estrogen inflated personality.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 22, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

@ rangerfan44,

While I agree that the Rangers will come out more buttoned up on defense, it's not like Henrik gave up a bunch of bad goals. I don't think too many goalies are going to stop any of those shots so it's not a matter of him improving his play or deciding to shut the Caps out. He's been great in all three games.

It comes down to the Rangers D and if they can find a way to shut down the Caps offense as well as them being able to score.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 22, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Got to finish tonight. Cant let Henrik keep them in the game.

A play like Flash's last game has got to be buried.

LETS GO CAPS!!! One game at a time, and we will be ready come Friday when it's 2-2.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 22, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

That picture above says it all about NHL goalies. If they can see it, they'll stop it. Keep the Rangers out of the crease and get in front of Henrik. That picture is a lesson...

Posted by: saintex | April 22, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else think that SC = Stan Fischler? They're about equal on intelligence... and Fischler has been quiet recently over on his blog.

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 22, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't it amazing what happened to the Rangers when they faced adversity for the first time in this series? The caps came out to an early 2-0 lead and kept pouring it on. The Rangers didn't know how to respond and they ended up imploding (especially head case Avery). The same serves true for tonight. We need to try and get out to a quick 1-0 or 2-0 lead. The Rangers do not like coming from behind and have trouble responding.

Henrik did not play a bad game I didn't think in game 3 but we did exactly what we didn't do in game's 1 and 2. We got in his face constantly and we fought for every rebound. Laich's goal was a perfect example of how we just got in his face adn constantly were working hard in front of the net. If we can do that we win tonight's game and after seeing how NY responds to adversity, I think the series could be over if we win tonight. That's just IMO.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 22, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

DCsportsfan28,
Lighten up dude. Whatever is stuck in your craw can't be all that. I don't have the time or inclination to go back and research what I missed that has you all worked up, but I did not notice anything Kittypawz has said that should draw your ire. She seems pretty knowledgeable and not one to provoke these reactions, so ease up.

If it is over Theo, a lot of people, me included, thought he should get another chance and were worried about Varly. Fortunately Varly has so far proved our worries were unfounded. I am less worried now that he could get rocked and have his young confidence damaged. He has shown incredible poise for such a young kid.

Posted by: _Mark | April 22, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know if that poor excuse for a hockey player - Avery - is getting suspended or not?

Get a life!

Posted by: cfrazier91 | April 22, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

all we have to do is to cycle. Fake shots, fake pass, always be moving. If you stop moving the puck then their traffic jam in front is going to do all the work. Never stop cycling or moving the puck. Tick tack toe hockey, ohh and shoot where you create rebounds, shoot at his ankles or on the blocker, stop putting it in his chest.

Posted by: caps28fan | April 22, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I want to see the same effort out of our guys tonight as game 3. Even if the Rangers tighten up their defensive game, the Caps know what to do and we should still end up winning 2-1 or 2-0 because of the Rangers lack of offense. Drury being one handed has not helped them and hopefully Avery either implodes or changes his game because of game 3 and becomes ineffective.

Posted by: _Mark | April 22, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

and crash the net...didn't add that after we create the rebounds.

Posted by: caps28fan | April 22, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Dont forget Mara did not practice yesterday.

We have to wear them down...

Posted by: SA-Town | April 22, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

DCSportsFan28: It is an interesting observation: "The Rangers do not like coming from behind and have trouble responding." You may have a point there. If so, it means that establishing us as the "alpha dogs" right from the start will be important. We shouldn't allow them to build up a momentum and gain confidence. I wonder what we have that will throw them off, other than playing aggressively. We don't have an Avery (thank heaven because we know how it backfired). Come to think about it, they ARE afraid of Ovechkin. I think his coming to their practice was the first step in unnerving them.

Posted by: caraveli | April 22, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

We need to make sure we come out with same intensity and energy and don't have a let down after period 1 or 2. Play 60 minutes of hockey and the caps are hard to beat. BTW Tarik I enjoyed the Interviews with Varly, they were enjoyable to read.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 22, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Lets also not forget that 20% of MSG will leave early if the Caps go up 1-0 in the first.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 22, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Every player needs to take a seat in the stands and glare down at the rags during their practice
:)

Posted by: caps28fan | April 22, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Caraveli,

I agree man. I tell you what I watched a couple of Rangers games this year after they picked him back up and was impressed with how Avery conducted himself. I think when the Rangers first picked him up, I thought that he got "shafted" on some calls due to his reputation or got treated in a way that no one else would based off his reputation. And that's coming from someone who can't stand him!

However, right before the playoffs started and now into the playoffs it's funny that Avery has not changed at all. He's still the same old guy he was. I can't stand the guy. It's a shame too because as much as I don't like him he's a pretty talented hockey player. When I was watching Game 3 with a couple of my buddy's they kept yelling "Get Brashear out there to Fight Him" (referring to Avery). I told them that a part of me wanted to see Brashear or Erskine knock him out but to keep in mind that he imploded and really helped us with about 4 or 5 penalty's in that game. As much as I want to see Brashear rock Avery, I'd rather have Avery keep acting this way and getting at least 2 penalty's a game. After watching game 3 I wondered to myself do the Rangers dare sit Avery in game 4?

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 22, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Mara had a family issue of some sort, he wasn't injured. And who keeps asking if avery is going to get suspended? He didntt do anything worth that. He punched a player, he didn't slash him in the face

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 22, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@rangerfan, the NHL already cracked down on the Bruins (Lucic?) on "statement" penalties taken after a game is essentially decided. Avery's move falls pretty close to that category and there is already precedent this year. That's what folks are discussing.

Posted by: saintex | April 22, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

The following excerpt from an NYT article about Varlamov confirms exactly what I've been saying about him. His ability to see the puck through traffic is amazing. Something that can't be said about Theo at all (who looks like he has no idea where it is half the time which is why every shot through traffic is an adventure for him):

In contrast to Lundqvist’s cool technique, in which he rarely ventures even to the lip of his crease, Varlamov plays a frantic, spidery style. When there is traffic in front of his net, he bobs up and down with a staccato nimbleness to gain a view of the puck.

“Varly does a great job of finding ways around, like pushing you a bit with his glove so he can see, getting down low or standing up high to get a look at where the puck is,” Capitals defenseman Brian Pothier said.

Varlamov holds his glove high, sometimes nervously shaking it as he changes positions in front of the net.
“When Varly does something unorthodox-looking, he’s usually recovering from maybe an error or overpropulsion on his part to a certain place on the ice, and he has to rein himself back in,” said Dave Prior, the Capitals’ goaltending coach. “He plays a very sound style. He’s a very powerful goaltender. He can get places hard and in a hurry, and sometimes when the situation doesn’t unfold in quite the right way, he can recover and make a kick save. That’s his special talent and ability.”

Posted by: ranndino | April 22, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

rangerfan44,
I don't wander over to Ranger sites, but any thought on whether Drury will keep trying with the injury? If he can't take faceoff's you know he has to be pretty vulnerable in other areas. Sure he is a leader and has a bunch of valuable experience, but kinda like our Clark, at some point you aren't helping playing through an injury.

Posted by: _Mark | April 22, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"Sean Avery, who spends much of his time at the edge of the crease, clipped Varlamov in the mask as he skated away"

"clipped".....

Posted by: pierrelebard | April 22, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

rangerfan, i agree and i hope avery doesnt get suspended cause he was the caps #1 star on monday. i know it's hard to do, but the caps need to continue to turn the other cheek on him. it must be frustrating to avery to punch a guy in the face and not get the retaliation he was looking for. i think his rep and his yapping have caused the refs to keep a special eye out on him.

if he was going to be suspended, it would have come down yesterday early.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 22, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Avery won't get suspended for that... that's ridiculous. We need him in the game to keep up with his idiotic penalties. Granted a couple of them were questionable calls, but the questionable calls seemed about even. Avery should know that he's going to be under the magnifying glass here. I LOLed when he flipped out at Varly's little love tap, like it was some kind of outrageous slash.

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 22, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the NHL will suspend Avery, and that's cool with me....I can watch more meltdowns, but he as given a game misconduct for punching the goalie. Not sure where the "clipped" quote came from. I'm pretty sure that a game misconduct is a response to something more than a clip.

Posted by: saintex | April 22, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

If the CAPS team "D" plays like the last game the Rangers have no chance. Our skill players are better then theirs ten fold, and we will bury some of our chances. Varly has been better then the King, so far.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 22, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

@DCSportsFan28

I agree, Avery cost them 2 PPG's, he's a liability if he's not taking somebody in the box with him. His shenanigin's will be their downfall.

Posted by: bhound69 | April 22, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

_mark. I don't know for sure why Drury is in. Maybe because Dru at 50% is better than Voros on his best day, but he can still PK well and against the caps that is vital.

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 22, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

@saintex

"Clipped"

from the NYTimes article posted on the reading list!

I hope our writers don't have such distorted analyses...

Posted by: pierrelebard | April 22, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Yeah keep Avery on the ice, ha-ha the guy is a Super Tool. We're not punching back and we're scoring lotsa PPG's. We are going to light up the score board in mSG

Posted by: bhound69 | April 22, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Snake...have there been calls this series that have NOT been questinable? I mean maybe one or two but for the most part the calls made have been phantom on both teams

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 22, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@pierre Yeah, "clipped" caught my eye too. I wonder what a blatant cheap shot would look like.
Oh well. I hope Liberavery has another big night, he was definitely an asset to the Caps on Monday.

Posted by: redlineblue | April 22, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Again, Avery is in the books with a 10 min misconduct NOT a game misconduct.

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 22, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Oh I agree, but this seems to be the rule for the playoffs everywhere this year. Both games I watched last night had a TON of ridiculous calls, anywhere from phantom high sticks to players tripping over their own skates and drawing tripping penalties.

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 22, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@rangers, my mistake. Okay, a 10 min misconduct isn't a clip.

Posted by: saintex | April 22, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

It's funny that avery had one bad game and you think he will win the game for you. I bet you at least one cap wants to pay him back for what he did, exactly what he wants. We will see tonight how controlled the caps are.

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 22, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

rantdino:

Varly's PR people paying you?? every other word in you book-length posts is Varly. what gives??

all us hockey neophytes are excited that the NYT is confirming your expert insights. you consult with the NYT writers on that piece?? nice work

Posted by: doughless | April 22, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

rangerfan, considering at what point in the game it occurred does it matter whether it was a game or 10 min? can he get suspened if he gets a enough game misconducts vs 10 minute misconducts? i think there is a regular season rule about accumulated game misconducts, not sure about the playoffs.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 22, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

It wasn't for the clip, it was to get him off the ice and because states behind the play. The 2 min was for the ( cough ) clip (cough punch cough )

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 22, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Two Questions

1. Why does the Post no longer show the attendance in NHL boxscores?
2. Has anyone seen the TV ratings for games 2 and 3?

Thanks

Posted by: pdanziger | April 22, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Anyway, avery was thinking about tonight, not that game. I have seen him do it before, against the devils when the rangers won in 5. The game they lost avery seemed to lose his cool more.

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 22, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@ ranger

If I was a betting man, I would bet against any retaliation. My guess is that BB has issued clear directives to ignore Avery, which is why Erskine didn't lay him out after the facewash of Varly. I also wouldn't expect Avery to be so dumb tonight, either. Torts is a pretty disciplined coach, and I doubt he'd think twice about sitting him if he kept on his current pace.

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 22, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

At the end David Prior also mentions how good Varly's recovery time is. Again, something I've posted about. This allows Varly to have a chance even when it looks like he doesn't similar to Tim Thomas.

He's an overall much better goalie than Theo in every way regardless of age and inexperience. This was clear for me all year and I've posted detailed analysis of every aspect in which he is far superior to Theo.

The players also know this because it only takes a few practices for them to figure out which goalie is more difficult to score on. As Brooks Laich said after the last game Varly is very hard to beat in practice.

My guess is that Bruce consulted with some of the players prior to making the change before game 2.

All of this sucks for Theo who seems to be a nice guy so I have nothing against him personally as some people have claimed. I've just simply evaluated him objectively this year and he hasn't been very good at all.

Some people have found some flaws in Varly's game, for example. Any goalie has flaws, even the best ones. In fact, Tim Thomas and Dominik Hasek could be found doing many things wrong yet all they do is stop the puck.

Also, if you're going to point out flaws in Varly's game you have to look at Theo. There is a full bag of them and because of his age he's not gonna get any better. His ability to see the puck through traffic, concentrate, rebound control (or rather lack thereof), reaction time, recovery time and confidence level are all far worse than Varly's and unfortunately for him, at this point, are more suited for the speed of play and shooters in the Swiss league rather than the NHL.

Between Varlamov, Neuvirth and Brent Johnson we had all the goaltending we needed coming into this season. I understand why GMGM signed Theodore, but as I said back then it was unnecessary and a mistake. IMO he hasn't made many, but this was one. The good news is that Theo is under contract for just one more year although I wish we could find a way to ship him out after this season.

Looking forward to tonight's game. It's good to feel confident in our goaltending once again. I haven't felt this way since Huet skipped out on us.

BTW, speaking of Huet my evaluation of his signing last year also turned out to be spot on. I thought it was a great addition to our team because just like this year we had a huge hole in net (Kolzig) and he filled it extremely well. What happened with him this year in Chicago is irrelevant to how he played for us last year. Different club, different situation complicated by a resurgence of Khabibulin.

Posted by: ranndino | April 22, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

DC there is such a rule in the playoffs, but I don't know what it is, I have never seen it used.

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 22, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Tonight might be the game that Ovie and or Green light it up. Law of averages are working in our favor....three games no goals for either.......looks like it could happen.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 22, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

i dont think any sane caps fan wants avery suspended. We need him out there to take 3 to 4 more stupid minor penalties tonight. what a waste of talent D-bag.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | April 22, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

@ doughless

Just enjoying being proven right about what I was saying all year. Shows that I know what I'm talking about. Sorry that it's annoying to you.

Why don't you post some more about how we should trade all our Euros including the brilliant Semin for NA grinders and how Erskine is the best player on our team.

Posted by: ranndino | April 22, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

We need to keep that same composure. Torts is smart and I am sure he was careful in what he said to Avery so as not to make him chneg much. We'll see.

I know Avery was given a misconduct and not a game misconduct, but that would not stop the NHL from reviewing that and changing it after the fact. If they had any intentions of doing anything about it, they would have done it yesterday.

As far as Drury goes, at 10 or 11 minutes and using him in certain situations, I guess he can get by with positioning.

Posted by: _Mark | April 22, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

rantdino:

what is your blog URL??? since there isn't space enough here for the full text of your hockey tomes, hoping you have them posted by chapter on your blog. after reading them I will be up to speed on the game of hockey and will be able to post "appropriate" comments here on Tarik's blog.

thanks for all your help.

Posted by: doughless | April 22, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

BTW, last time I checked hockey games were ultimately won by scoring goals, not by outhitting or outgrinding or out dumping the puck into the corners.

While those things contribute to winning scoring goals is the #1 most important thing in hockey and looking at the stats around the league Euros seem to be very good at doing that.

People who still whine about Euros are dinosaurs who are living in the past. In today's NHL you need to have tremendous skill to score. Teams made up mostly of grinders can't score. Since they can't score they can't win.

The whole defense wins games mantra is simply not true. Offense wins games also. Case and point our game 2. We played good defense, but didn't produce any offense. We lost.

Speaking of outdated dinosaurs with regressive views on hockey Don Cherry used to own a junior team and instituted a policy of no Euros. After sucking horribly all year under a coach that he hired he took over the coaching duties and guess what was the first thing he did. He got rid of his stupid no Euros policy.

Posted by: ranndino | April 22, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I must say that I had never been a big Erskine or Morrison fan coming into this season. However, I don't think Morrison has gotten enough credit because he's made miles of improvement from what we've seen out of him the past few seasons. I think he's starting to look like a solid defenseman and has played great in the playoffs. Erskine I didn't think had a great season but I have to give him some credit for how he's played in games 2 and 3. Erskine has been absolutely solid the past 2 games. Keep up the good work boys!

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 22, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

is there anyone here advocating for our team to exclude europeans???

Posted by: doughless | April 22, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Let's hope Nyles and Theo sit again.

GO CAPS!

Posted by: FancyDan | April 22, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@RagFan

If a Cap wanted to get hit Avery back, rest assured, business would have been taken care of right there. I wonder how hard it was for Erskine not to hit back, result.....Avery 2 mins Caps PPG. Seems pretty easy not to get sucked into the antics when your team is taking full advantage of the p-brains misfortune. Think whatever you want, i'll bet you bottom dollar he will be a pussy cat tonight.

Posted by: bhound69 | April 22, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

If Avery was trying to send a message last game for todays game it didnt work.

Everything in the media is pointing to him being out of control and a liability in the last game.

Do you think the Rangers are feeding off his stupid play, and bad temper? No...In fact..even though John Erskine got hit in the face, everyone who knows hockey knows that Avery was the one that got "chumped."

Posted by: SA-Town | April 22, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Fancy Dan...

Varlamov has a 0.5 goals against...Peter Bondra has a better chance of starting for the Caps tonight then Theo.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 22, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@fancyDan

Amen!!!

Posted by: bhound69 | April 22, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

We won't see the same Avery we saw Monday night. Looking for Lumberjack, Mo and Pothier to continue the solid D. also, hoping we don't go back to the cute offense. Feds center 1st line, Backie second. Semin on second line. that helps keep cuteness to a minimum. rantdino, assume Bouds will stay with Varly. any insight on that call??

Posted by: doughless | April 22, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@SA-town

You know it, I know it, Rag fans won't admit it. I laughed at every penalty, wondering when it was going to end. I pray he's up to no good tonight again.

Posted by: bhound69 | April 22, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

If Washington continues to get superior goaltender from Varlamov and Brian Pothier continues to start in place of Jeff Schultz on defense (who is a turnover machine), the Rangers aren't going to win this series.

The Caps have too much up front for NY and with the hole in the net patched Washington should be smiling heading into Game 4.

Posted by: leopard09 | April 22, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

DCSportsFan28: Avery did not get shafted any more than any other player. His calls were 1/2 retribution (hello, Semin?) and 1/2 stupid, but 100% legit. People are making a story about it because he was consistently (and about time) called out on it this last game.

Lets not forget about game 1 and 2 when he repeatedly didn't get called for interfering with Mike Green (tripped him at the blue line on Gomez's goal, pushed him into and held him on the Ranger's bench when there was no puck), and the many other calls that were missed on him this past game like when he speared Erskine in the face during a goalie stoppage (probably would have been a 5 minute major + 10 minute misconduct penalty).

The guy is no saint and he got away with a lot probably because the refs didn't want to show favoritism, but that'll only last for so long.

Posted by: remain | April 22, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@rangerfan44: If I remember right Carcillo got suspended for game 2 and didn't even get penalized during the game. The suspension was based on review of the film. So, the fact that he got a 10 min misconduct has no bearing on whether or not the NHL levies a suspension. It hasn't been announced yet so I am guessing Avery will be playing tonight. Probably on a shorter leash because I think Tortarella felt he went over the line last game.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 22, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

In case you missed the spear, watch the end of this clip:
http://capitals.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlp=8473575&event=NYR436

Obviously intentional, obviously a spear, obviously to the face.

Posted by: remain | April 22, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

@remain

Thats what I'm talkin about, Erskine just looked at him, haha, while he gets escorted to the sinbin.

Officials watch plenty of tape and most likely realized this character was getting away with alot more than they saw. They just called a tighter game.

Hey how about OVIE saving the day, taking out the breakaway. MVP!!!

Posted by: bhound69 | April 22, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

classless D-Bag. Spears him in the neck.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | April 22, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Residents of St. Elizabeths in the District have published the following keys to the game:

Key for Caps win:
Brasheer must play - Nyls must seat

Key for Rangers win:
Nyls must play - Brasheer must seat.

They also have published the following statistics:

During the playoffs 100% of the time one team will lose while the other loses.
20% of their residents take their medicine if their team lose.
20% don't need it if the Caps win
60% post in Tariks blog

Now that is what I call meaningful statistics.

There is something about these people that I like ...

Posted by: opita1 | April 22, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

RE: Green, Ovi and Backs having red streaks in their hair (and why no one else did it):

"I'm trying to keep my hair right now," John Erskine said. "The teeth are gone, the hair's coming out."

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 22, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

all this talk of colored hair...but i havent seen a single picture that shows it...has anyone???

Posted by: deadskin | April 22, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

How about the Nats trying to jump on the "red" coat-tails? I keep seeing ads that don't quite say rock the red.

Posted by: remain | April 22, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"get you're red on" that's what it is.

It's like saying, wear your caps gear, we don't care, just show up!

Posted by: remain | April 22, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

It's baseball season already?

Posted by: Moose33 | April 22, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@remain,

I completely agree with you, my point was that when he first resigned with rangers he was getting no love from the refs which I thought was funny and I loved it. There were a few games that I saw where it was like wow that was definately a penatly someone commited against Avwery but they let it go. I didn't feel sorry for him nor did I fault the refs for it. I was just pointing out an observation I saw. However, since about 7 games left before the playoffs started and into the playoffs he's been back to his old antics. Every penalty he's earned in this series has been a penalty, and in fact they've missed a few calls on him in this series as well. He's constantly taking cheap shots after the whistle blows and he has been called on EVERY single one, but I guess the refs not always going to see it.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 22, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@remian

That reply is so obvious...How can Avery not expect to get watched like a hawk with that crap going on?

We have to bury the PP when he blows it for the Rags.

He is a liability.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 22, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The NHL has put themselves into a corner with this "is it a suspension?" talk. They went after Carcillo (harsh), didn't go after Camallieri for a very similar hit, and now you've got Pandora's Box wide open. Lucic was probably the worst of the bunch.

If Avery's hit is a suspension there won't be any more AHL playoffs because teams will have to call their entire rosters up.

Washington had the perfect tonic for Avery (ignore him). Eventually he'll do something dumb (like take a bunch of minor penalties, and yes- all four were legit minor penalties); when Scotty Bowman says you're the dumbest player he ever coached that's not a ringing endorsement of being Mensa material.

Posted by: jcurrin | April 22, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

With regard to regular 10-minute misconduct vs game misconduct, I looked this up yesterday (Rule 28). The main difference with a game misconduct (other than a $200 fine vs $100) appears to be this:

"the case shall be reported to the Commissioner who shall have full power to impose such further penalties by way of suspension or fine on the penalized player or any other player involved in the altercation."

http://www.nhl.com/rules/rule28.html

As has been pointed out, Avery did not get a game misconduct.

I look forward to seeing him on the ice tonight.

Posted by: CapsChick | April 22, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"Get your red on" was a Nats marketing slogan during the "Grand Reopening" of RFK when the Lerners bought the team in 2006, so it's not TOTALLY riding on the Caps coattails....even though it really is.

Posted by: iishoagie07 | April 22, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Avery's reputation is nothing if not earned. The officials know what sort of crap he pulls, and they tend to keep more of an eye on him than other players as a result. It's not a perfect system, but if Avery gets more calls and more scrutiny because of a long history of playing classless hockey, it's his own d*mn fault. It's not like we've never had players who were more scrutinized than others for their own unique reasons (Hunter, Brash, Semin, etc).

It's not a perfect system, but it's the one we've got. Avery can whine about it all he pleases, but he'll get no sympathy from me. He earned it.

Posted by: ModestProposal | April 22, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

@jcurrin when Scotty Bowman says you're the dumbest player he ever coached that's not a ringing endorsement of being Mensa material.


haha- I was thinking how Avery just has this "DUH" look on his face all the time. That explains it.

Posted by: bhound69 | April 22, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Gotta keep cool heads tonight...don't get goated into the BS, because the Rangers are going to bring a lot of BS tonight. Just like last game...let em mouth off, punch us, whatever - just keep giving us PP!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 22, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The Rangers are having an optional skate with only seven regulars on the ice. That became six when captain Chris Drury left the ice. He skated for about 10 minutes. No word on his status yet.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 22, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I forsee Avery changing up his tactics and pulling one of these tonight...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B53W-7tk4Uw

Posted by: superpaqman | April 22, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

DCSportsFan28: Yes, Avery turned out to be doing more to help us win than any other Rags player (and many of our players, for that matter). It was masterful. The Avery mean streak imploded against Avery. I see that he can shove it out but can't take it himself (like when others ignore him). And how fitting that he was trying to goad someone who did not speak any English. I would give anything for a repeat performance. (BTW, I am not a man. Just for the record).

Posted by: caraveli | April 22, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

It's 12:48 why no update yet?

Posted by: rarcr | April 22, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Caraveli,
Does that mean you are of the female persuasion or just a young buck? :)

Posted by: _Mark | April 22, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

opps, nevermind...

Posted by: rarcr | April 22, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Re Avery, As some have alluded to, the league has been clear that it will crack down on late penalties or actions that "send a message". One of the Flyers (shocker) got dinged with one of those, if memory serves.

Avery was yapping, but was that "sending a message" or Avery just be the jackass that he is. To me "sending a messagee" is more like a late hit kind of thing. Further, if we're going to go this way, you don't think Ersk was sending (a silent, glaring, menacing) message to Avery? I got that message and I was on my couch.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | April 22, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

oldtime,
avery was sending a message that if you don't retaiated against him then he will do more harm to his team than good. i agree that erskine sent a message that he's not going to fall for his act, but will be within arms reach if things get out of hand.

here's hoping the caps win then next two games and go up 3-0 late in game 6. i would like to see avery on the ice w/ erskine or brash. i think avery will show his true colors, which i believe are green.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 22, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Was it me or at some point, there was a shot of Avery backing up towards Varlamov at some point and literally timing a jump into Varly as another Ranger and several Capitals were skating towards the net? If anything, I don't think the refs saw everything that wretched excuse for a hockey "player" did in Game 3. Still, I have to give him credit for helping us out. If the Capitals don't retaliate, I'm sure the Rangers did when they got back to the locker room last Monday.

Hey, Avery, great game on Monday! Your tickets to a fashion show in Milan on their way, ya' princess!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 22, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

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