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Morning Reading List: Pothier Improving


(Gerald Herbert -The Associated Press)


After a shaky start in his season debut, Brian Pothier is showing that he's returning to his old pre-concussion form as he and the Capitals prepare for the playoffs.

In case you missed it last night, the outcome of a few games allowed the Capitals to clinch a playoff spot.

In his regular Q&A session, Jim Matheson from The Edmonton Journal talks about a potential "Green shift" in the Norris trophy voting.

The Hockey News gives you the Top 10 goal celebrations of all time (many with links to video evidence).

The Morning Skate runs down and evaluates all the excitement about, what else at this point, Alex Ovechkin's goal celebration.

Here are a pair of stories from the Edmonton Sun and Toronto Star that are all for Ovechkin's exuberance, which didn't make it into yesterday's MRL.

Also from THN, Ryan Dixon looks at the tough playoff road that teams will need to travel in the Eastern Conference.

In the System
Although the Bears recorded a 4-3 win over the Marlies last night, they were prevented from clinching a playoff berth because of Philadelphia's win against Binghamton.

While Toronto buzzed with Ovechkin talk earlier this week, one reporter took time to notice call-up Steve Pinizzotto, who didn't get a chance to make his NHL debut against the Maple Leafs.

Andrew Gordon reminisced about his childhood hockey days in Nova Scotia.

By Katie Carrera  |  March 26, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
 
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Next: Take Your Pick: First-Round Opponent

Comments

Playoff spot clinched. Time to rest ailing players, look at some Hershey players and prepare for the post season.

Posted by: FLDave | March 26, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

I see the celebration thing is dragging on.....and on.....and on.....

Has anyone thought of getting the Pope's take on it? I mean, everyone else has had a say, why not His Holyness?

Its a shame the Bears didn't lock their playoff spot the same night as the Big Lads did. That would have been a nice symmetry.

Also, well done guys on ignoring/not responding to you know who. I noticed a real drop off in his posts on catching up this morning and it's only because he wasn't replied to much. Keep it up!


Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 26, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

"I see the celebration thing is dragging on.....and on.....and on....."
I predict that there will be a time in the distant future when they will no longer be editorializing about Ovechkin's 50th goal celebration. Until then it wouldn't surprise me if news of the 2009 Stanley Cup champions weren't second billing to yet another editorial on the subject. :)

Enough already people. That horse has long been dead. Please stop beating it.

OBTW, congrats. to the Caps for making the playoffs.

Go Caps!

Posted by: BetterOffWithFederov | March 26, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Pothier improving every game gives me warm fuzzies. So glad to see him doing well again.

Playoff berth = nice. How about a division and some buttkicking in the last seven as a ramp-up to the playoffs pls? We only need five points in seven games to clinch the division, but we need to step it up, get some jump, and go into the playoffs ready to rumble.

The energy level problem could be in part the flu bug, and I hope that goes away soon, but ... after watching Bears/Marlies last night I can't help but think that having Brash back and a good fight might help with that.

I don't relish the idea of facing Carolina in the first round. They're scary good right now.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 26, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Love this quote from the THN playoff story:

"The Caps remind me a bit of the Chicago Blackhawks in that they’ve known roughly where they were going to finish in the standings since about the fourth game of the season. Motivation is sometimes tough to come by under those circumstances, but I’d bet my hockey card collection the Caps will crank things up come April. And with a young, hungry crew motivated by a first round collapse against Philly last year, Washington is ready to be a winner."

Posted by: Sonyask | March 26, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

kittypawz

have you seen the Pens yesterday? They too are playing well right now.

Posted by: mauree | March 26, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Who cares about the Pens and Canes being scary good right now?

They are fighting for a spot..someone has to be good, because the standings demand it.

It's a new ball-game come playoff time..We got to be scary good once they start, or we will go home early.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 26, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

@mauree: Yes, they are. Pens scare me less than Carolina does, simply because I know the guys will play hot for the Pens. Carolina, not so much.

It's worth noting that Carolina thinks of Washington as a rival. Caps not so much in reverse, altthoug that could change if Carolina kicks us out of the postseason. Kind of like us and Philly.

@SA-Town: That needs to start yesterday, IMO. We need to start ramping up and get that intensity going - there's a post over at Japers' Rink that shows basically that being super-hot and winning everything at the end doesn't matter so much, but having a winning record does.

I'd also like to beat the franchise points record, but that's me.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 26, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I agree with SA, certain teams are fighting for their season right now so are playing desperate.

There was a team last year that won their last 7 and only just scrapped into the post-season. We all know what happened to them then.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 26, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz - Agree with your comments about pens/car. It suddenly hit me last game against C that they really dislike us, and I don't think it's mutual yet. No question it already is with pens.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 26, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

And with a young, hungry crew motivated by a first round collapse against Philly last year, Washington is ready to be a winner."

wow, i guess i never considered last years playoffs a collapse. philly actually had more points than us in the regular season. its not like we went up 3-1 and lost the series. almost the opposite actually. i would consider a first round loss this year a collapse however.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 26, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Excuse the geeky stats for a minute but did you know that currently we have played the same amount of games against teams in the SE, ATL and NE Divisions (19 per Div).

We have taken:
24 points from 19 games against the SE
27 points from 19 games against the NE
30 points from 19 games against the ATL

That's points/game of:
SE: 1.26
NE: 1.42
ATL: 1.58

Amazingly against the ATL teams we have only lost twice in regulation, both to PHI.

Against the West we have played 1 less game but have taken only 16 points from 19 games at a rate of 0.89 points/game.

Just saying and yes I do have work to do!

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 26, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town

They (Pens, Car, but not just them) seem to be playing playoffs-like hockey right now. Mentally, physically, technically. They are preparing for it, training to face a PO series and certain problems which can't and won't be solved with just "effort".

I don't know about you but I'd like to see the Caps do the same. Do you think that the only thing we're missing is effort right now? I'm not sure, I hope so, but I'm worried we lack the proper mental and physical toughness right now. Do you think that it will be as easy as to turn on a switch? I surely hope so.

Posted by: mauree | March 26, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

DC,
Last year's playoffs was a let down though. Going from winning 7 in a row to losing 3 out of the first 4 games was kind of a collapse.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 26, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

let down for sure. dissappointment no doubt. but a collapse? i think thats a bit strong....and i think we all are pretty familiar with playoff collapses.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 26, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I hope management is not as fixated on moving up in the standings as some of the people here. While other teams are scratching and clawing to make it in, this is the perfect time to rest our players.

Posted by: FLDave | March 26, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Tarik -

Did I read that article correctly? Schultz can move the puck out of trouble? Schultz has been the source of most of the "trouble" - not the solution. His inability to clear the zone when pressured is one of the key reasons we're having so much trouble on D recently.

It's like tweedle-dee and tweedle-dubmer when they pair him up with Juice. They couldn't get the puck out of their end if they tried. Even if the ice was tilted down at a 90 degree angle - I still think they'd find a way to keep the puck in their defensive end.

Why are we calling Schultz a reliable Dman?

Posted by: patrone | March 26, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Why are we calling Schultz a reliable Dman?

Posted by: patrone | March 26, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse


Because he is.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 26, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Gee, Tariks huge head, the Washington Post title, and the ad sandwiched between those two, take over two thirds of the real estate of the page. Does anyone have a script that can automatically scroll the page pass that junk?

Posted by: opita1 | March 26, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Mauree,
We played playoff hockey for about the last 15 games of last season. In the end it was elimination Game 7 conditions, lose and you go home.

Then when the playoffs started we were flat.

I don't think the Wings were playing elimination type hockey for the last month of the season last year and they managed ok.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 26, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

@mauree: Do you think that the only thing we're missing is effort right now?

Yes, absolutely, and I'll tell you why. I got dragged up to see the Bears/Marlies game last night by a friend who'd had a tough day and wanted to shout a little bit. (This isn't a bad trip for me and can be done on a weeknight at need.)

What I saw in the first period was all but a carbon copy of the Caps/Leafs game throughout the first and a little of the second. Clogging up the blueline, can't get into their zone to save our lives. Too many penalties. (Part of it was bad ref'ing, but that's another tale.) The Marlies were chasing the Bears all over the ice and they ended up down 3-1 in the middle of the second.

Then Brennan and Rosehill dropped the gloves. Pinizzotto had dropped 'em earlier with Battaglia, but it turned into a hugging match and wasn't all that. It was nothing like the all-out scrap these two spent almost two full minutes on. From that point on, the whole tenor of the game did a 180. The Bears were suddenly doing the chasing all over the ice, and they looked like the team that had curbstomped the Marlies 6-1 in their last meeting. They ended up with three unanswered goals, an all-out all-ice fight (except the goalies), and a final score of 4-3 Hershey.

The ONLY difference was the ramp-up in intensity level for the bears courtesy Kip Brennan.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 26, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how Ovi celebrated the playoff birth last night....

Posted by: Leeguru | March 26, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Enough already people. That horse has long been dead. Please stop beating it.

OBTW, congrats. to the Caps for making the playoffs.

Go Caps!

Posted by: BetterOffWithFederov | March 26, 2009 8:06 AM


@BetterOffWithFederov. Too true. Not just dead, but mummified. Make that fossilized. XD

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 26, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Lee,
I believe Ovi was making an omelette but had to put the pan down as the handle got too hot. He tried a couple of times to grab it but it was still too hot.

Don Cherry was livid.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 26, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@DaveUKCapsFan: You're horrible! *snicker* Oh gosh. That was just too funny!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 26, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I'd love to see Pothier and Alzner paired during the playoffs.

Posted by: SuperG5 | March 26, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Still need to clinch the division. Need a few wins to do that. But most importantly this team must get healthy and get our rhythm going.

Posted by: straub21 | March 26, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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