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Morning roundup: Caps' offense still clicking

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Morning Roundup

Even with Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green sitting up in the press box, the Caps managed to get some serious offense going -- even if it was almost all in the third period -- Saturday night:

Sparked by Mathieu Perreault's first career NHL tally and a pair of late strikes from Tomas Fleischmann, the Capitals erupted for five goals in the third period and routed the Florida Panthers, 7-4, before a capacity crowd .
"We can say their goalie struggled and [José Theodore] maybe let in a couple of softer ones than he normally has, but I thought we showed great determination in the third period," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It was really neat to see Mathieu Perreault start it all."
The goal total was Washington's highest since February, and the five third-period goals were the most in a period since March 2008.

The team was off yesterday (and so were we), but we should get injury updates on Ovechkin, Green, Jeff Schultz and others when practice begins this morning at 10:30.

Other odds and ends:

* In The Hockey News, get to know Michael Nylander. (Add your hilarious Michael-Nylander-is-on-waivers joke here, but I will abstain.)

* Some guy who probably hasn't really been watching Jose Theodore play writes that he is "struggling and rather shaky" and that you should pick up Semyon Varlamov on your fantasy team. (The Hockey News)

* Green tweets that he and Ovechkin would rather have been on the ice Saturday, though they did seem to be having a good time:

(Photo via @Greenlife52)

Greenlife52: "Me and Ovie at the game tonight wishing we were out there playing with the boys... Let go caps"

* Caps' No. 1 fan has the best hair ever. (Capitals Outsider)

* Ted Leonsis depletes the world's supply of dashes to tell us how much he enjoyed Saturday night's game. (Ted's Take)

Hall of fame inductions

This afternoon in Toronto, the Hall of Fame will induct its 2009 class, and it's one of the best ever. The inductees:

* Brett Hull (profile via St. Louis Post-Dispatch):

There never has been a story like it, in hockey, in any sport. There never has been a son follow his father's trail to the Hall of Fame with such prodigious steps, ones that he has taken toward being enshrined Monday in Toronto. There never has been an athlete in St. Louis with more layers -- some gruff, some gracious, all unforgettable.
"I remember we were in Los Angeles one night, and we're tied with less than a minute left to play," former Blues forward Kelly Chase recalled. "And (coach Brian Sutter) wants the checking line out there for a faceoff. But Brett jumps over the board and goes and stands by the dot. So now there's too many guys out there and they're arguing over who should be out there and finally the referee comes over and says, 'OK, one of your guys has to get off the ice.'
"Brett looks at Richie Sutter standing next to him and tells him, 'Richie, get the (...) off the ice.' Finally, Richie skates off, they drop the puck, Brett gets possession, carries it down the wing, cuts to the middle and just rips a shot over Kelly Hrudey's shoulder to score.
"Then he skates back to bench, slides to a stop and says with a smirk, 'As if we're going to play overtime in LA.'"
It was classic Brett Hull, irreverent, incorrigible and at the same time, irresistible. A Hollywood property titled "Hullie" would include credits like 741 career goals and 650 assists, 86 goals in one season, 50 goals in 50-or-less games twice, 33 career hat tricks, 24 playoff game-winning goals, eight All-Star appearances, two Stanley Cup rings and one Hart (MVP) Trophy. And in the background, only one soundtrack would suffice, Frank Sinatra's iconic song, "I Did It My Way.''

* Brian Leetch (profile via New York Times):

When Brian Leetch is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night, he will be celebrated for his many achievements as a Rangers defenseman and as a keystone player on what may have been the best United States national team ever assembled.
But the brightest moment of Leetch's career took place alongside a Russian, who combined with him to form one of the most offensively dangerous blue-line partnerships in N.H.L. history.
"It was like some kind of magic -- we both knew what the other one was going to do," said Sergei Zubov, the defenseman who played alongside Leetch on the 1994 Rangers power play, and who worked seamlessly with Leetch and Mark Messier to create the famous first goal of the Game 7 victory against Vancouver that ended a 54-year Stanley Cup drought.

* Luc Robitaille (profile via Los Angeles Times):

Luc Robitaille was never the fastest skater or most purely gifted player on the ice at any level he played. For a while, he wasn't even the most prolific scorer.
"It's funny he got 600 and some-odd goals in the NHL. It surprises me because he used to be a passer," said his father, Claude.
"I would say, 'You could score once in a while.' He'd say, 'Yeah, but it was the better play. We have more chance of winning. The other guy is a better scorer than I am.' "
Somewhere along the way he learned how to score like few before or since.

* Steve Yzerman (profile via Detroit Free Press):

The Red Wings have grown accustomed to seeing Steve Yzerman as an executive, as a man who is now on the business side of hockey.
Those who not long ago played with him, though, remember easily enough what made him a Hall of Fame candidate: the 692 goals, the 1,063 assists, the individual awards and the Stanley Cups -- and the grit it took to accumulate all that glory.
"What sticks out most about Stevie is his determination," Nicklas Lidstrom said Saturday at Air Canada Center, where Yzerman along with former teammates Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull were honored before the Wings-Maple Leafs game, part of the festivities that will culminate with Monday's induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. All three were part of the star-laden 2002 Stanley Cup championship team that included five players still on the Wings: Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper.

* Lou Lamoriello (profile via The Star-Leger):

He has never scored an NHL goal or stopped a single puck. His best coaching came at the college level, very much out of the spotlight.
And yet, Lou Lamoriello has put his undeniable stamp on hockey in general and on the NHL in particular.
He is, according to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, a visionary whose induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame Monday in Toronto is long overdue.

Brian Leetch, Brett Hull, Steve Yzerman, Luc Robitaille and Lou Lamoriello (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 9, 2009; 5:44 AM ET
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Next: Green returns; Ovechkin, Schultz, Nylander missing (updated)


Thanks Lindsay & one more link. On Mathieu Perreault:

Posted by: uncatim | November 9, 2009 6:18 AM | Report abuse

In six more hours, there will be a resolution to the Nylander situation. Or at least closer to one.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 9, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

If we all just take a brief look at the standings, you'll see that there is only 2 teams in the entire league with more points than us, 2. Both Colorado and San Jose have 26 points to our 24 and have played in 18 games to our 17. Pittsburgh has 24 points too, but they have Malkin, Gonchar and Kennedy out due to injuries.

We have scored more 5 on 5 goals than anyone in the league. Our goaltending is in much better shape than last year at this point. We're nicked up but even close to how bad it was last season. We have taken fewer penalties this season per game than last. Secondary scoring is here big time with 4 players averaging a point per game (Ovi, Backs, Laich, Semin), 5 if you want to add Flash. 3 others are very close (Knuble, Morrison, Green).

We are tight against the cap. Our PK is below 80%. We take some bad penalties late in games.

All these things are very fixable and the truth is, there are maybe 27 teams that would love to have our issues. We could be Detroit.

Posted by: JSchon | November 9, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

I look forward to hearing that Nylander and his cap hit are gone (or at least partially), so the Caps can call up Alzner to help out the nicked defensive corps.

And Flash is the man coming off injury. I'm glad Gabby stood by this kid.

And Semin, what a Jeckyl and Hyde player. I think if the Caps can trade him for a more consistent, if less talented, player, go for it. My dream trade is for Kovulchuk out of Atlanta (not going to happen, but I can dream).

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | November 9, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for the link, the title is too good. He really played well Saturday and I am super excited for him!

I am hoping to see some of the injured players back this week! But if they aren't 100%, let them rest!

Posted by: NatyBG | November 9, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Yahoo Sports reports Ovie's out for 2-3 years with an injury...

Posted by: SA-Town | November 9, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse


...the link is missing ... ;)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 9, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

fun facts: matthew perraults goal marks the first goal scored for the caps by someone drafted by the caps outside the first or second round IN TEN YEARS.

he doubles the number of goals scored for the caps by a caps draft pick outside the first round since the 2000 draft...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 9, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

ps. the last caps sixth round or higher draft pick to score a goal for the caps...zednick...a 10th rounder in 94. does not include johnny oduya, a 7th rounder who never played for the caps.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 9, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

ok, i take back my first fact as zednik did score with the caps in the past 10 years, but after he had already left and come get the point though...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 9, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

he doubles the number of goals scored for the caps by a caps draft pick outside the first round since the 2000 draft...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 9, 2009 8:46 AM

Well, according to this, since he doubled, there was only one other, and that would have been Bourque, with one goal last year as a 2nd Rd pick.

Pettinger scored 52 goals as a 2000 second rounder, and all were scored since 2000, but I guess he doesn't count based on the way the sentence is written.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 9, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan: Also, Bondra was taken in the 9th round, 1990 I think, and he scored into 2004 for the Caps.

But I know what you meant.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 9, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

yeah, ok. let me revise my statement. perrault is the first guy drafted since 1995 outside the first or second round to score for the caps...either way you slice it, not so good...but it is amazing how few guys who get drafted outside the first round make a dent in the nhl...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 9, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

@JIMALLCAPS -- I don't think you can take a look at Semin's play as a Cap overall to assert that he's an inconsistent player. He has been an extraordinary talent until only recently, where it appears that he is playing injured. He's an amazing player and we should keep him if we can. I believe we should sit him until he can heal -- he is hurt.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 9, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Mathieu Perreault reminds me of a younger Danny Briere. An energetic, little "pest" that keeps on scoring. I love it! Hope they find a way to keep him up in the NHL for a while.

Posted by: JohnWWW | November 9, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I don't write on here much anymore because...I don't. I do read almost everyday and the negativety is sometimes maddening. I like what Ted wrote on his blog. Folks, enjoy the ride. We are near the top of the league. If you don't stop to enjoy it now, you won't appreciate it when it goes away.

As long time Caps fan, I am enjoying this and looking forward to the rest of the season.

Let's Go Caps! I'm in, through good, bad or great.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | November 9, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

... this shouldn't be a problem if he indeed "keeps on scoring" ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 9, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

FL killed us from behind the net. why do we let opposing teams skate down to the circles in our end before we engage? JT60 had to face a bunch of shots righ in front of our net. good play by the Caps in front of the net. keep it up. Semin is lost. why do people make excuses for this guy...."He doesn't have anyone on the bench to talk to." that is easy to solve.

Posted by: doughless | November 9, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

by the way, i meant good play by Caps in front of opposing net.

Posted by: doughless | November 9, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse;_ylt=Akl3_2ZP6V90cEF7f925SWh7vLYF?urn=nhl,200908

Here is the link of multiple weeks, but I just dont think it's real. It very well could be Ovie getting sick of questions, and saying it's going to be a long time.

If it really were this long, we would have structural damage...

Posted by: SA-Town | November 9, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

If it were really long, we would get cap space and give an opportunity to our prospects to prove themselves in the NHL.

That is, aside from Nyls' situation, which may get us the requisite cap space in any event.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 9, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

1. I've enjoyed watching Semin from the first year he played here, he was 19 I think, and he would skate and stick handle around anyone, he just couldn't finish back then. However, the statement about not having anyone to talk to on the bench without Ovi is troubling. Why isn't he talking to his current linemates about the next shift? I can understand him not wanting to give interviews in English, but it speaks volumes about his lack of commitment to the Caps and NHL if he can't speak enough English yet to talk hockey on the bench.

2. Perrault will never compare to Briere unless he learns how to spear players in corners and generally use his stick as a weapon.

3. I enjoyed the games this weekend. I liked how aggresive on the puck the team was especially on the PK. They were able to clear the puck much more quickly and got serveral good scoring opportunities will killing penalties.

Posted by: ds_kelly | November 9, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

OV soap-opera is a little ridiculous. this may be the opportunity this team needed to solidify a little different style of play....more team oriented and a little more gritty. i am ready to see this team turn a corner. OV may come back to a team with a little different attitude. D still has to step it times they look pretty good, then back to pedestrian. more solid on our blue line and less porous up the middle. slowing guys at our blue line will be a good start.

Posted by: doughless | November 9, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

it speaks volumes about his lack of commitment to the Caps and NHL if he can't speak enough English yet to talk hockey on the bench.. . .
Posted by: ds_kelly | November 9, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I don't see how you are in any position to know how much English Semin speaks to his teammates, let alone hold up that phantom assertion as proof of an absence of commitment. This is getting silly.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 9, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Like I stated before, I do want Ovie to be out another 3-4 weeks. I want the team to coalesce around this situation and show team spirit, I want BB to have to make his players more aware of their defensive play, I want GMGM to eat his words when he told me that Perrault would never play in the NHL, I want Semin to be traded before he bolts to the KHL next year (because it will happen), I want Nylander to get a second chance elsewhere and get some Cap space, I want Carlson in DC, I want.... is it Christmas yet?

Posted by: atybat | November 9, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

The team can put up 7 without Ovie...waive him or trade him for draft picks...

Posted by: SA-Town | November 9, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: guer_j | November 9, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Less than 2 hours until the Nylander resolution. Or hopeful resolution.

Posted by: gebster | November 9, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Concerning the absence of Ovie:

A team - even a deep team as the CAPS - can compensate the loss of a superstar only for a short time and use it for confidence building ...

.. so Ovie and Green should be back before the team starts losing a couple of games ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 9, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm with CTCapsPhan--let's enjoy the ride. It was a great win--especially because it came in the 3rd period and without Ovie and the scoring was spread across the team. As for the Ovie drama--clearly his jokes dry and self deprecating are taken seriously by many. Only Ovie, his doctors and trainers, and management know the details--oh and of course Ovie's barber. Good thing he likes to keep his secrets and his hair long.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | November 9, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

NY Islanders
@ New Jersey
@ NY Rangers
@ Toronto
@ Ottawa
@ Montreal
@ Carolina

10 games left in November, a possible 20 points available. There is no reason to think we can't get 15 points out of this schedule. Ovi should be back for the Canada games. He loves playing in Canada.

Posted by: JSchon | November 9, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

As for defense I think Schulz and Green were needed that night but the d-men on a whole played really solidly. I liked how the long minutes usually taken by all three were spread across the team.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | November 9, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

doughless: One thing the team did Sat night that they haven't done much this year is take the body. I remember Ovie's rookie season we were still the lunchpail Caps and he'd get breakaways from backchecking and the puck squirts loose and away he goes. Then forechecking to make puck go in slot and he shoots he scores. Ugly goals from hard work, I think what you're alluding to is also what BB talks about. Every goal the other night but the last one was from three feet in front of the net. When the players make themselves not over-rely on Ovie, they play much better.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 9, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse


15 points? Possible losses to New Jersey, NY Rangers, Buffalo, Ottawa (and one game to Montreal) ... not counting playing to the standards of Carolina ...

I know, sometimes I am a little bit pessimistic ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 9, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I find some of the comments about Semin not having anyone to talk to on the bench utterly stupid. Last I checked, none of you morons play in a Caps jersey and sit on the bench. There are occasional footage of Semin after scoring a goal, chatting up Backstrom or Laich so there's no truth to what you muttonheads are saying. Like most people, he's entitled to an offnight here and there. As far as giving excuses, I think if you had the opportunity to speak with him, you people would come off as utter d-bags to even waste such an opportunity dwelling on his errors and I would imagine he'd pose the same question to you "Are you always on your A-game at work?" Let's pose it to your supervisors and see how many of them start laughing their heads off when it comes to your own work ethic. Unless you guys are the epitome of perfection at work, I'd keep your "Semin blows" comments to a minimum before we find out which "Five Guys" you work at.

Let's Goo Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 9, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Let's Goo Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 9, 2009 10:51 AM

Maybe you - not me.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 9, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse


my comments related to Semin came from BB. i think the guy looks lost w/o OV. don't know about your location, but at my Five Guys we spell good with a "D".


my point exactly.

Posted by: doughless | November 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse


... a minor "g" for goaltending, a double "o" for the offense, and a "D" for defense ? where the CAPS have the possibility to get better ... ;-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 9, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

BB was in my opinion talking more about Semin's ease with Ovie and that he himself can't get into Semin's head. Semin does talk to the other players on the bench most notably Backs. I take comments to mean he is a reserved guy who is most comfortable with Ovie--not that he doens't understand or speak English. Personally I think BB finds him an enigma. Coaches are always looking for that connection with a player--how best to motivate them. That's how I interpreted his remarks. Semin actually does play pretty well defensively.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | November 9, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

15 minutes to the Nylander resolution.

Posted by: gebster | November 9, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@sonyask, I have no knowledge of how much Semin says on the bench or what he talks about when he is there, nor did I claim to. I merely commented that it would be troubling if he isn't talking to his teammates based on the statements the BB made of the weekend.

Posted by: ds_kelly | November 9, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I used to enjoy reading this blog...

Posted by: Caps16Fan | November 9, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

it was a nice ceremony on saturday... Yzerman, Leetch and Lucky Luc all look fit enough to still play but Hull looked fat.

Posted by: joek443 | November 9, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

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