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Morning roundup: Caps power past Colorado


(David Zalubowski/AP)

Morning roundup


[Good morning, and apologies for the absence. Morning roundups will likely be sporadic for the rest of 2009 (holidays and such), but then it'll be back to full speed ahead.]

Tomas Fleischmann struck twice and Jose Theodore made 26 saves against his former team as the Capitals dismantled the Avs, 6-1, in one of their best performances of the season.

*Mike Green said he was "okay" after a nasty check by David Koci -- Boudreau called it a "bush-league hit" -- and that he expects to play Friday in Vancouver. Shaone Morrisonn, meantime, is "questionable," Boudreau said.

*Postgame wrap-up and video are here.

More links for your perusal:

*Highlights:

*The traditional rookie dinner (In the Room)

*Caps "cut through the Avs with the swiftness and precision of one of Alexander Ovechkin's skates." (Denver Post)

*On Theodore's triumphant return to Denver, and the Avs' mistake of not ponying up the $2 million extra to keep him. (All Things Avs)

*Suspension coming for Koci? (NHL FanHouse)

*Ted on striking a "delicate balance." (Ted's Take)

*Ovie's still clutch. (The Hockey News)

*Could the rookie of the year race be a goaltending battle? (USA Today)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 16, 2009; 9:20 AM ET
 
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Next: Poll: Do the Caps need an enforcer?

Comments

From last thread:
So one of the teachers I work with has the last name Nivirth..or something like that, so I asked him the origin of the name and he said Czech! and the name has been changed a bit. I might have just met Nuevirths long lost cousin!

Posted by: capscoach
___________

Thats funny. Yeah, I have a similar story. I just met a teacher at my school the other day, and she introduced herself as Mrs. Fleischman...she told me that its okay if I forget it, because many people have trouble with that name (not a very diversified school)...she told me to just think about the butter brand...I told her I would have no trouble remembering that name, and that I was a Caps fan and there is a player with the same last name....she told me that another teacher who was a big Caps fan mentioned that to her....Mrs. Bradley :) She also say that Mrs. Bradley loves to call her Flash. I thought it was funny anyway.


@TominFl: I also love the fact that the caps got to roll all 4 lines (even on PP). I think with the condensed schedule, that is a huge advantage to our guys, and makes the Caps an even bigger, better "rested" threat to other teams...Especially when we have the likes of Bradley and Steckel putting one in :)

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | December 16, 2009 9:23 AM

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | December 16, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Rookies dinner in Vancouver chosen by a guy from Vancouver. Vets, you will eat like kings tonight. Great game last night as well. 6-1 in their house, boo yeah.

Posted by: EricS2 | December 16, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Big John should have put this guy in the box as soon as he stepped on the ice. I love Erskin but if he is going to fill this role on the CAPS he needs to see this kind of thing comming and step up before something happens. There is no question that Koci is going to do something goonish with his team down 5-zip. There are just sometimes when you can't wait for the refs to take someone off the ice.

Posted by: LIVINIT1 | December 16, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Following up on some previous threads on whether the Caps need an enforcer or not, here's my two cents.

The Caps having an enforcer wouldn't change what happened last night. As we've seen from the stats, Koci doesn't seem to mind fighting, so the only thing that would have changed is perhaps Koci ends up fighting the enforcer instead of Erskine if the Caps' enforcer was out on the ice. Green would still have gotten boarded either way.

As we've discussed ad naseum in the past, the best way to combat this type of play is to have the Caps play with a teamwide toughness. The only way Koci gets reined in is if Colorado is worried that Stastny is going to get crushed.

The other way to combat this type of play is to have the league actually crack down on these type of hits by issuing a lengthy suspension. You've got to hit these goon type of players where it hurts, the wallet. Even a player like Koci might rein himself in a bit if he was facing a suspension of 10 games or more.

Posted by: cainoo7x | December 16, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

These guys should get an automatic 5 games suspension, and then tack on how many games the player they injured would be out.
So the gorrilla that hit Green would get 5 games, and if Green misses 2 games that would up goon's suspension to 7 games. There would certainly be less incentive to have a goon on your bench.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 16, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Everyone is talking about an enforcer taking up a roster spot. Look at where the Caps finished in the standings last year. Brashear was in the line up almost every game prior to his knee injury.

The enforcers are not going the way of the dinosaurs. I believe fighting is actually up this season over years past.

Fighting is part of the game, it fills a lot of seats and the league knows it. Name the last hockey fight you witnessed where the fans sat quitely or booed???

Posted by: FLDave | December 16, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

FLDave, and look at where the caps are now w/out an enforcer. the debate is not whether fighting is entertaining (it is, as long as it's not me in the fight) but whether there is a need for an enforcer for this particular team. i dont believe there is a need at this point, and dont think that if there was a guy like brash on the bench, it would make any difference.

incidents w/ duco, carcillo and now koci probably wouldnt have been avoided w/ brash on the bench. remember, all three of those guys were tossed from the game so how was an enforcer going to help in that situation. what we need on our side are guys who are willing to punish the other teams by finishing checks and playing physical. if they have to drop em too, thats fine. we have a big team but dont throw it around nearly enough.

clearly teams are going to try and finish their checks on green. thats been happening since he's come into the league. its a good strategy until teams start to get burned by it. no enforcer is going to stop that.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 16, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Are the Hartnell - Carter rumors true? If so, am I the only one here who would want Hartnell? Guy reminds me of Dale Hunter, a quality we could use.

Obviously, if Filthy moves him, it would be an act of desperation due to the circumstance. And it will/would happen quick. Cap hit is $4.2M. Going forward of course that would be an issue. I would expect to move equal salary to make this happen. I would offer Chris Clark, Jurcina or ShaMo and maybe Osala or Bouchard.

(Remember, Osala and Bouchard entry-levels are done this year so next year they must make Caps or go on waivers ala Bourque.)

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 16, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Hartnell would give you lots of the toughness that some people want in an enforcer, he would give you rugged 3rd line goal scoring and he would give you a pesty element ala Matt Cooke.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 16, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I think Bruce's post game remarks point exactly to the reason why we need an enforcer. Bruce basically said that Koci is worthless - he comes out for 3 minutes, fights the other team's enforcer, and then sits on the bench for the rest of the game. I agree w/ Bruce that this is not good for the game. However, the reality is that this exists right now. So if we had an enforcer, the two would fight and cancel each other out. That's been the point of carrying an enforcer for many years.

Right now, teams are taking too many liberties with our players. Sure, Duco and Carcillo really cost their teams in those two games where we made them pay. But last night, the game was already wrapped up (5-0) and Green gets injured. Koci didn't care about losing the game for his team, he just wanted to hit someone.

I think there's no harm in carrying an enforcer on the team. You don't have to play him every night. And you don't have to play him in the playoffs when fighting typically ceases.

Posted by: beerpongking | December 16, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 -- Philly i trying to tread water and sinking fast. maybe some desparation trades are in the offing?

Hartnell's got plus's but he's taking more stupid penalties than most all the league these days. That's a part of the game we're working to get away from, and lately we seem to be on course.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 16, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

hartnell is signed through 2013 and he needs a haircut. no thanks.

wow, philly has $41M in salary committed to 8 guys through next year. included $6.5 to briere...only goalie signed next year is boucher. ouch.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 16, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

So how come the big story's not our boy Kyle Wilson this morning? Granted, I knew nothing about Kyle before this week, but he's my man now. He showed great poise, and when you consider it's his first NHL game, amazing poise and made things happen.

Digging it out to get a point on his first shift was fatastic. The pickoff and rapid, perfect feed to Flash later in the game was a thing of beauty.

Flash was on fire too.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 16, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Hartnell is certainly interesting. Since he grows his hair for charity I give him a pass. Since I like this lineup:

AO-Backs-Knuble
Laich-BMo-Semin
Flash-fill in a Hershey guy-Fehr
Brads-Stecks-Laing

I don't have room for him anywhere. In fact, I can't even get Clark or Gordon in anywhere if everyone is healthy. I think we'll see MP back this year to center that 3rd line again; anyone pair with the Fs is going to do well - see Wilson. Even if someone moved Clark and Gordon for someone it would need to be a center if anything.

This team has a very strong set of forwards and it's the last place I'd dig for players.

Posted by: saintex | December 16, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The rumors that Jeff Carter knocked up Hartnells wife and Cote beat the snot out of Carter in retaliation, as cool and hysterical it would be if it were true are 99% false.

There was a similar rumor 10 years ago that Lindors knocked up Brind'amours wife and Lindros got the snot beat out of him.

Posted by: JSchon | December 16, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Hartnell has worn out his welcome in Philly for a lot of reasons, if the Flyers fans are sick of him, how could we stomach him? They hate him for his sloppy play, lack of defense, all bark and no bite and stupid penalties...

Please no Hartnell.

Posted by: JSchon | December 16, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

If the team is not going the "enforcer route" (and I'm not sure having one would make much difference), then players need to really protect themselves better and pay more attention to who is on the ice and the flow of the game. As pointed out in Avs blog, Green had his head down and didn't see the hit coming. Take the penalties, but try to keep your melon from taking the brunt of the blow. Because I don't give a hoot about 6 goal games in December if we're not healthy enough to make a deep run at the Cup in the Spring due to piled up injuries.

Posted by: LouLewis | December 16, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Most of the Flyer boards are saying that Pronger is the cancer. Carter and Richards are party boys after their big contracts. Richards shouldn't be the C. Hartnell is a joke. We should've traded for Kessel instead. Carter is clown and is one dimensional. We never address the goaltending.

Posted by: JSchon | December 16, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I think Bruce's post game remarks point exactly to the reason why we need an enforcer. Bruce basically said that Koci is worthless - he comes out for 3 minutes, fights the other team's enforcer, and then sits on the bench for the rest of the game. I agree w/ Bruce that this is not good for the game. However, the reality is that this exists right now. So if we had an enforcer, the two would fight and cancel each other out. That's been the point of carrying an enforcer for many years.

Posted by: beerpongking | December 16, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse


So your answer to one team having a player considered worthless is for us to waste money and a roster spot for someone that would be considered worthless?

That seems rather...worthless, to me.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 16, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Please no Hartnell.

Posted by: JSchon | December 16, 2009 10:26 AM

OK, I can go back then to wishing for my third line defensive forward, preferably a center.

Would you change your mind though if they'd take Poti in return?

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 16, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Poti for Hartnell?

No, only because of the contract. Both, however, if all things are equal, are pretty similar. I don't want'em.

Posted by: JSchon | December 16, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@DCsportsfan,

Based on his play so far, Emery should be cheap again next year for Philly too.

On the whole enforcer thing: I think it depends on the team. Maybe we don't need an enforcer. Maybe we just need an agitator (and I hate agitators). Our PP is usually pretty lethal, so having a DB like Avery or Cooke (and they are just two that popped into my head, this isn't a "let's sign so and so" thread) around taking a few cheap shots in exchange for some PPs, might be ok. But generally, I think enforcers are optional. Some teams need them, some don't. It really depends on the other guys.

As for the Caps, I'm slightly disinclined against an enforcer this year. At deadline time, sure a slightly meaner dude of some sort could come in handy. I'll probably regret this later, but: I think we can win it all with who we have (assuming Varly gets and stays healthy). Do we have the greatest D core in the league? No. Do we have guys who aren't all that we would want up front? Of course. But, I have a hard time imagining a salary cap nuetral trade that makes us that much better. Sure, Erskine or ShaMo for Pronger or Chara would be an improvement, but that kind of deal isn't happening.

Kings v. Caps in the finals. I feel it. Go Kings Go.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 16, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

As pointed out in Avs blog, Green had his head down and didn't see the hit coming.

Posted by: LouLewis | December 16, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

what? head down? are you talking about last night? how about head facing the other direction. i think he knew koci was coming but didnt expect, nor should he have, to be plowed from behind into the boards.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 16, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Kings v. Caps in the finals. I feel it. Go Kings Go.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 16, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Um, you mean Let's Go Caps!

On this board you must remain a Caps fan. On the LA board you can show your Kings favoritism. Wait, does the LA press even know they have a hockey team? :)

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 16, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Playing with an enforcer like Koci or Brashear essentially means you are playing minus a forward the entire game. Yes, teams are taking liberties with cheap shots on Green and others, but that comes with the territory when you are a great team.

Neither Detroit or Pittsburgh carries a true enforcer on their roster, and simply make teams play with their power plays. I would like to see another tough, veteran defensemen to clear the crease, not a goon who is on the ice to fight a tough guy for the other team. I don't see Hartnell being any great addition to our roster.

I agree with BB that the NHL needs to send a real message to teams that cheaps shots like Koci's will mean a 10-20 game suspension, not a few like with Carillo of Philly. It does seem that certain teams are using goons to take runs at players and it's up to the NHL to crack down with real discipline on both the teams and their players.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 16, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1

All I'm saying is that if BB says we will trade 6 goal games for cheap shots like that, then the players need to take note. I agree Green should not have to expect to get run like that, but if our answer is we'll just score more goals on the extended PP's the players need to expect it more and get turned around. It's just an example and a subtle point.

Posted by: LouLewis | December 16, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Most of the Flyer boards are saying that Pronger is the cancer. Carter and Richards are party boys after their big contracts. Richards shouldn't be the C. Hartnell is a joke. We should've traded for Kessel instead. Carter is clown and is one dimensional. We never address the goaltending.

Posted by: JSchon | December 16, 2009 10:29 AM

Funny how all Fan sites seem to be the same in the end:


Most of the CAPS boards are saying that Nylander is the cancer. Ovi is a party boy after his big contract. Clark shouldn't be the C. Sarge is a joke. We should've traded for Pronger instead. Greenie is clown and is one dimensional. We never address the goaltending.

Posted by: jdhoover | December 16, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

No enforcers! That's my take on this. Let the league dole out fines, suspensions, and more importantly -lengthy penalties- to discourage coaches from resorting to that tactic. Hockey has evolved. Each team in the league has far greater depth in talent than in years past. That guy, Koci, isn't AHL material and doesn't deserve to be on an NHL bench.

Posted by: gonchpup | December 16, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

But unlike us.. they really have issues.

Posted by: jdhoover | December 16, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1
"what? head down? are you talking about last night? how about head facing the other direction. i think he knew koci was coming but didnt expect, nor should he have, to be plowed from behind into the boards."

Careful- you could be describing Kaleta or Heward.


Posted by: jp426 | December 16, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Wilson played great, but they all do in their first NHL game...can he keep that up consistantly? That being said - what a 25th B-day - just wish he got a goal!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 16, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@jdhoover

That was great... I mean really, really good stuff...

Posted by: JSchon | December 16, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

jdhoover

leave OV out of it! He can party all he wants as long as the points keep coming.

Posted by: capscoach | December 16, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I know he can. Just saying folks that root for any team, no matter if its good, better or Gr 8 Te (in our case) can find something to gripe about.

Posted by: jdhoover | December 16, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

But Philly doesn't have to stretch the imagination at all to find something to gripe about :)

Posted by: capscoach | December 16, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

cody eakin got cut from Canada's world junior team

Posted by: _stevo | December 16, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

True, but then again, folks in Philly don't have much imagination to stretch in the first place..

Posted by: jdhoover | December 16, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they should suspend and fine the coaches to keep them from putting these enforcer goons into the lineups.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 16, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Good positive column in the Denver Post about Ovie. And some good digs at Crosby! Check it out:

http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_14007051

Posted by: TheOtherGuyInSection117 | December 16, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I guess I'd like to have an enforcer so the Caps Marketing pros could come up with some nifty Jumbotron animation for this song..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pujenWy-rM

Caution - mildly caustic language.

Posted by: jdhoover | December 16, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@CTCapsFan,

I would say, sorry, my Kings love came out, but, honestly, a 7 game series of my two teams (my hometown v. my current home and the team I have ST for), I would be happy with either winner, so long as the winner was determined here, right in front of me, rather than in the Staples center where I don't have tickets.

But to answer your question, the L.A. Times has pretty mediocre hockey coverage, but its passable. The best coverage actually comes from the LA Kings blog, which is run by a former journalist who quit his paper to work for the blog full-time. The blog is owned by the Kings and he's paid by the Kings, but I think his terms were no interference from the team on content. Its sort of like how Jason left the Post to go work for NFL network.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 16, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

i'm digging the way schultz is playing with Green...

Posted by: carsonspence | December 16, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@oldtimehockey,

That would be cool and a fun series to watch.

I travel to LA once a month and I NEVER hear the sprts radio stations talk about hockey. Always about the Lakers. Must stink to be there for any hockey fans.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 16, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Greenie and Sarge do seem to have found a rhythm. Maybe all Sarge needed was to KNOW that he needed to stay back. Mike certainly leaves no doubt that he will be offensively minded. That doesn't leave much for Jeff to do but sit back and cover.

Posted by: jdhoover | December 16, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"Big John should have put this guy in the box as soon as he stepped on the ice. I love Erskin but if he is going to fill this role on the CAPS he needs to see this kind of thing comming and step up before something happens. There is no question that Koci is going to do something goonish with his team down 5-zip. There are just sometimes when you can't wait for the refs to take someone off the ice.

Posted by: LIVINIT1 | December 16, 2009 9:41 AM "

Seriously?

Erskine reads Koci's mind now? And do you think the refs will be oh-so-understanding of that kind of ""pre-emptive" thuggery? You've got to be kidding. So, if Erskine follows your advice, he makes a dirty hit on Koci, draws the penalty, and the other team scores.

I'd rather have the league punish idiots like Koci to the max and have all teams' goons think twice about pulling that kind of stunt.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 16, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

---------------------------------------- +++
Hey--I'm a big caps fan but now live away from D.C. To TominFl1--I don't know why there
is a big talk about trading anyone right now--except if it's to pull up one of the players now and then from Minor league Hershey. But yes any team needs one or two enforcers,sure, but ones who know the time and place.Plus skilled and balanced team the Caps have right now--but don't want to jinx
them-But Trade Chris Clark or Jurcina~?? ( nothing against ShaMo )No way-but someone suggested that.Lastly A higher scoring team well coached and resourceful like the Caps are gonna get their opponents frustrated and the play will get chippy- so let's hope no dumb penalties-but that's the way it plays out sometimes. Let's go Caps--> and thanks to Tariq for the excellent coverage and man, is it a long season.

Posted by: zeppomarx | December 16, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@ CTCapsPhan: It doesn't stink so much. Though I'll say this, if the Kings got any good airplay when they were good, I would have become a hockey fan years ago. Unfortunately, fate had planned for me to see my first game at the Verizon Center last year and to become a fan of the Capitals and sadly, not the Kings nor the Ducks. Go, Caps, Go!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | December 16, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Tarik: for the round-up:

Ovechkin brings Caveman appeal to NHL

http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_14007051

Posted by: DKSW | December 16, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

zeppomarx: I was just throwing that out to see if people would want Hartnell, if he'd be available. He'd basically replace Clark on that line. Jurcina is a UFA at the end of the year anyway and the club is overloaded with d-men. It was a thought. I've had better ones. What I like in Hartnell is the pestiness, but it sounds like his negatives outweigh the positives. I'll therefore retract the idea and go back to a top defensive forward as A#1 need.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 16, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

dccitizen1

Erskin see Koci step on the ice.
Knows that he is out there to stir it up.
Lets him know that he is the guy to talk to.
Its not mind reading its a vetran move by someone who has been around the league.

You guys keep talking like an enforcers only job is to dole out punishment after something has gone down. That is only half the story.

Posted by: LIVINIT1 | December 16, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

again not one mention of Kyle Wilson's awesome night, what gives!

Posted by: capsfan387 | December 16, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

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