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Morning roundup: Home sweet home ice

Morning roundup

Update: Tarik reports from Kettler that Alexander Semin, who left practice early yesterday, is out on the ice shooting pucks and looks fine.

Update No. 2: Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin are the only players missing. Tarik will follow up soon.

The Caps are back at Verizon Center tonight for the first time in more than a week, and they'll be looking to use the home-ice advantage to snap a discouraging three-game skid.

Here are the details on tonight's matchup:


Montreal Canadiens (21-20-3)
Washington Capitals (24-11-6)
Verizon Center, 7 p.m.
Radio: 820 AM, 1500 AM

Morning links:

*Habs-Caps preview (

*Slumping Caps are dangerous Caps. (Montreal Gazette) [Ed. Note: Though, as reader jleftwing897 points out, they are not in the Atlantic Division as the story suggests. Whoops.]

*Fox5 hits Caps practice:

*Ted catches up after a conveniently-timed, weeklong vacation. (Ted's Take)

*Interview with the man behind the Caps' hip-hop anthem. (Puck Daddy)

*Media malfeasance and the like. I feel ya, friend. (On Frozen Blog)

*No Alex, no Sid = no casual hockey fan viewers for Winter Classic. (Kukla's Korner)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 5, 2010; 10:03 AM ET
 | Tags: Morning roundup  
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Next: Neuvirth in net, Fleischmann moves to center


Lindsay - I saw that record change! :)

Posted by: mikebrady1 | January 5, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Hallelujah, praise the Lord, & pass the mashed potatoes!

Let's get that confidence back. GO CAPS!

Posted by: Steakum | January 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Looking for a full 60 minute effort and someone to be wearing the C tonight....let's go CAPS!

Posted by: vsmartin007 | January 5, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

@mikebrady1 HA! Too quick for me. This thing is a template and sometimes, when I haven't had my coffee yet, well, you know... At least I fixed it this time!

Posted by: Lindsay_Applebaum | January 5, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

is the game on tv tonight? CSN Plus?


Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

my last post has been "held for approval". Why? No cursing, no links, no personal attacks.

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@Rhino40 that's bizarre, never heard of something like that happening. will check it out.

Posted by: Lindsay_Applebaum | January 5, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@Rhino40 - Too long, maybe?

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Though I appreciate the coverage and positive PR, the Fox5 journalist should not be wearing a Caps jersey.

Also, funny that the first 10 seconds or so are the Fox 5 anchors blabbing on and on about Zorn.

At least they did the interview!

Posted by: CF11555 | January 5, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Wow.... according to the Montreal Gazette, we're leading the Atlantic Division. Who woulda thought?

Posted by: jleftwing97 | January 5, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@jleftwing Ouch. Nice catch, didn't get a chance to read the story yet. That should never happen in Montreal!

Posted by: Lindsay_Applebaum | January 5, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"No Alex, no Sid = no viewers for Winter Classic."

Huh? The 2.6 rating equals the rating for the first Winter Classic between the Penguins and Sabres and ties the first Classic for the second highest regular season rating. Very misleading statement.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | January 5, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Anyone? Is the game on tv tonight? Comcast is showing the thug bullets game

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

There's an error in the Gazette article. The referenced passes were the cross-crease passes to Backstrom from Semin on the PP for goals in two games. The passes were not from Ovechkin. Boudreau only said "Alex" and an assumption was made.

Posted by: Steakum | January 5, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

So Tarik is tweeting that Gordo will be a healthy scratch and that Flash is practicing faceoffs.

Posted by: 106T | January 5, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Nevermind - I'm an idiot - i see it's on CSN plus...sorry.

The Wizards should be banished to CSN plus for every game...better yet...let em shoot each other and put us all out of our misery.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Lyle- at the top of the article it shows that the tv station is CSN-DC+. I'm assuming that's CSN+.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | January 5, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

For Center Ice viewers there's only 1 feed on tonight which usually means we're getting the away feed. Typically when this happens it also airs on NHL Network but it's not tonight so I'm a bit confused. Guess we just have to wait and see. We get to watch the game regardless.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | January 5, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse


The game should be on Comcast + (csn+)

In the Rockville (montgomery County) area, I believe that will be channel 4. You can check your cable listings online and see which channel it will be in your area....that's the best I could tell you...

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | January 5, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Nevermind - I'm an idiot - i see it's on CSN plus...sorry.

The Wizards should be banished to CSN plus for every game...better yet...let em shoot each other and put us all out of our misery.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2010 11:03 AM

LOL @ the shoot each other comment. Seriously though, the Bullets should be on CSN+ every game to begin with and in light of the Arenas mess (which I am laughing about, as I always thought he was an overrated arse) they out to be relegated to WDCA or NC8. :)

Posted by: Chase4 | January 5, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Who are the Wizards?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | January 5, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse


I had a couple post held for review which were way too long I'm sure.

Posted by: Hokies4Caps20 | January 5, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Am I to assume that even though this is a home game since it is on CSN+ the game will not be broadcast in HD?

Posted by: eorr53 | January 5, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure there is anything more boring than pro basketball...unfortunately those thugs are now Ted's problem... a whole lot different than canadien farm boys who have sensibilities and class. Arenas should be institutionalized and his 111 million contract voided on plain stupidity alone.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Dan Snyder has offered OV the Redskins head coaching job.

Hoping for a better effort tonight. FYI, I finally watched the Kings game (Go Kings Go). Kind of heavily defensive affair. The PP breakdown which lead to the GMG was monumental. When Craig L. goes "oh, oh", you know its going to be bad.

I know you guys were complaining about the officiating, but Green should have been gone for the trip (right before the Steckel call). It was close to a penalty shot in my book. He only touched the puck after he had already taken him down.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 5, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

you that is why I have never liked sports. I find it hard to give my money to people who break the law constantly and are terrible examples to young fans. However, that is before I started following Hockey ten years ago. While there are some train wrecks in hockey and few dumb choices -driving too fast- most of the players I can actually admire and support!I hope that never changes...

Posted by: kmr2r | January 5, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"The Wizards should be banished to CSN plus for every game...better yet...let em shoot each other and put us all out of our misery."

HAHA. Love this. But in all seriousness, they really should only be on CSN+. They don't deserve the HD. Go CAPS!

Posted by: JD09 | January 5, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@oldtimehockey - He can't be worse than what the Redskins already have as a head coach... :-p

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse


Well, momentarily they're headless. IMO until the fat head is gone, it really will not be much different. I hope to be wrong. If the Daniel won't fire himself, can someone initiate a hostile takeover?

Posted by: Steakum | January 5, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@Steakum - I wish... Gee, you think maybe Leonsis could go for a triple play and pick them up too? He could probably get 'em on the cheap...

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

No time to watch the game tonight with the World Junior finals on. I'll set the PVR if I get home in time.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse


That has been discussed in our house . . . if only. However, I am not sure which is the bigger headache: Skins or Wiz (not a pro-bball fan myself). If we're stuck with Mr. Imperious, I wish he would sit at the knee of Uncle Ted and learn something valuable.

Posted by: Steakum | January 5, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

CF11555: I agree that it's great to get the coverage but that it's not approprate for the Fox gal to be sporting a Caps sweater. But more troubling is her inability to stand still, stop her crazy gesturing and level/lower her giddy voice. Looks like a 14 year old girl meeting Nicklas Backstrom. A starstruck reporter is pretty bush league.

Posted by: jerseygirl15 | January 5, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention that a network reporter in a major market should know that it's a "forgone" conclusion not a "foredrawn" conclusion. She's no Tarik El-Bashir!

Posted by: jerseygirl15 | January 5, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'll grant you that Holly is kind of hyper, but she's a features reporter, not a sports reporter. She did look kind of funny in the later segment when Brock was loading her into a hockey uniform.

Today she was in a new tea shop in Bethesda - yay for caffeine!

Posted by: 106T | January 5, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

OK...LET'S TRY THIS AGAIN...Part 1 of 3

FWTW, I agree with you.

I think I speak for a significant majority of posters on this blog when I say that, if there were one single player anywhere else in the NHL that I would want to see in a Caps sweater, it would be Dion Phaneuf. I mean, he's like Ivan Drago on skates: whatever he hits, he destroys. He is the very epitome of the crease clearing, sandpapery, hard hitting D-man so many peopple say the Caps lack...and he can score!

That said, I unfortunately also think it isn't going to happen for the following reasons:

1) Calgary has him signed to a long-term deal for huge $$ (tominfl1, could you jump in here with the details? and do please correct me if I'm wrong).

2) We can't afford him--as in, we can't match that kind salary without running into salary cap problems that would impact our ability to keep the team's core together(again tominfl1, your details/analysis on this are welcome).

3) We can't afford him--as in, the key players CGY would almost certainly demand in return for Phaneuf would make the concept a non-starter (Tom?)

Remember, trades aren't made like this:

GM1: "How about trading our junk for your gems?"
GM2: "Sure!"

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 5, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

OK...LET'S TRY THIS AGAIN...Part 2 of 3

In most cases, to get something of (perceived) value, you must give something of (perceived) value in return.

The smart NHL GM must also consider his reputation in the long term, amongst his fellow GM's: He should neither appear as someone to be taken advantage of, nor as a less-than-honest dealer.

Of course, if a discussion of a Phaneuf-to-DC trade were to take place, I imagine it might go something like this:

THE SCENE: Larry Sutter's office at Calgary Flames HQ. Sutter is seated at his desk when the telephone rings...

LARRY SUTTER: "Thank You for calling the Calgary Flames, this is Larry. How may I assist you?" (sorry...had to throw in some call center humor there ;)--R40)

GEORGE MCPHEE: "Hey Larry--George McPhee down in Washington...How's it hangin'?"

LS: "In the icebox, as always. You think you have it bad down there when it's high 20's with a wind chill in the teens? Try coming up here this time of year. It's so damn cold we have to dip our food in liquid nitrogen to thaw it."

GMGM: "Sorry to hear that Lar...listen, you wanna talk trade?"

LS: "Sure, George. What's on your mind?"

GMGM: "I want Phaneuf. What do you want back for him?"

(to be continued...)

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 5, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know the CSN DC + channel in Arlington? I think its 77 but it seems like I never get any Caps games on that channel. GO CAPS!

Posted by: atkfiji | January 5, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

OK...LET'S TRY THIS AGAIN...Part 3 of 3

GMGM: "I want Phaneuf. What do you want back for him?"

LS: "Well...let's about half your active roster, and we get to pick which half."

GMGM: "No can do. Get serious Larry."

LS: "OK, then: How about Ovechkin, Backstrom, and your first-round picks for the next 5 years?"

GMGM: "Ain't gonna happen. Try again."

LS: "OK, about just Ovechkin or Backstrom?"

GMGM: "Are you out of your teeny-tiny, Lar? If I did that, it would be a coin toss to see whether Ted took out a hit on me or the fan base tore me to pieces in the street."

LS: "Sorry, George. But I had to try. You know how much people everywhere love that crazy Russkie of yours. Even with Cherry and Bettman trying to forcefeed Crosby to the entire hockey world. Can you imagine what he would mean for us to have him up here?"

GMGM: "I said fuggeddaboudit! Phaneuf is great, which is why I called in the first place. But you guys already won the Cup once. We never have, and I'm not about to squander our best chance ever of making that happen. Not for anything."

LS: "Oh well. Call me back if you change your mind."

GMGM: "Not likely." [hangs up]


Posted by: Rhino40 | January 5, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse


we have plenty of gems to part ways with if getting Phaneuf was possible.

Semin. Fehr. any defenseman...a whole slew of minor league players that will be great...draft picks...just saying, where there is a will there is a way.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse


Call me ignorant, but I am not sure why Holly should not have put on a Caps jersey for that feature segment about putting on gear. It's her gig. A few years ago she went out to LA for the Academy Awards and did a whole feature on getting glammed for it (boring, yes, but she IS enthusiastic). As someone said, she is not sports journalist, but a multi-topic feature queen.

Posted by: Steakum | January 5, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40: I'll post the new and updated 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 salary cap pictures for the Caps. Phaneuf is signed thru 2013-14 at $6.5M/yr.

The easy answer is you trade Semin for Phaneuf. Maybe you have to throw in something else. But, Calgary is loaded on D and they are short on RW. It makes sense from that standpoint.

If you trade Semin, Phaneuf fits in fine for next year ($500K impact, essentially corrected by Clark being dealt).

In a perfect world, you move Poti with Semin and you take back a lower paid winger. Don't know if that would work.

Semin is a world-class talent and gets you "in the door" to discuss a trade with Phaneuf.

I would not trade Backstrom though for Phaneuf. We'd be too barren then at center.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 5, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

2010-2011 Salary Cap

Ovechkin (2008-2021) 9.538
Backstrom (signs 2010-2021) 6.500
Semin (signs 2010-2016) 6.000
Flash (signs 2010-2013) 3.300
Knuble (impending UFA) 2.800
Laich (impending UFA) 2.067
Fehr (signs 2010-2012) 2.000
Chimera (signed thru 2012) 1.875
Bradley (impending UFA) 1.000
Johansson (est) 1.000
Steckel (2010-2012) 0.900
Perreault (w/bonus - impending RFA) 0.792
Laing (re-signs yearly) 0.550
S/T 13 Forwards 38.322
Green (2008-2012) 5.250
Poti (impending UFA) 3.500
Schultz (signs 2010-2012) 1.750
Alzner (w/bonus) 1.675
Erskine (impending UFA) 1.250
Carlson (EL 2009-2012) 0.846
Collins (impending UFA) 0.650
Sloan (re-signs yearly) 0.640
S/T 8 Defensemen 15.561
Varlamov (impending RFA) 0.822
Neuvirth (impending RFA) 0.822
S/T 2 Goalies 1.644
Total 23 Players 55.527
Cap Space 56.800
Available 1.273

As you can see, if you trade Semin, add Phaneuf, then drop Collins, and add Bouchard, you still have about half the space ($600K), so it fits.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 5, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Phaneuf fits maybe in 2011-2012 without a cap increase.

Ovechkin (2008-2021) 9.538
Backstrom (2010-2021) 6.500
Semin (2010-2016) 6.000
Laich (2011-2015) 4.000
Flash (2010-2013) 3.300
Fehr (impending RFA) 2.000
Chimera (impending UFA) 1.875
Bradley (2011-2013) 1.200
Johansson (est) 1.000
Steckel (impending UFA) 0.900
Perreault (impending RFA) 0.850
Della Rovere (EL signed 2009) 0.588
Laing (re-signs yearly) 0.550
S/T 13 Forwards 38.301
Green (impending RFA) 5.250
Schultz (impending RFA) 1.750
Alzner (re-signs 2011 - impending RFA) 1.750
Erskine (2011-2013) 1.250
Carlson (impending RFA) 0.846
Orlov (guess) 0.825
Finley (wild guess here) 0.800
Sloan (re-signs yearly) 0.640
S/T 8 Defensemen 13.111
Varlamov (signed 2011-2015) 4.000
Neuvirth (signed 2011 - impending RFA) 1.000
S/T 2 Goalies 5.000
Total 23 Players 56.412
Cap Space 56.800
Available 0.388

With current roster, Phaneuf in and Semin out leaves you $100K in the hole (assuming same cap).

You've added Bouchard to give a replacement RW and now you must remove a defenseman. Would be tight. Of course, if Varly keeps struggling with injuries and doesn't get $4M/year, or if Fehr stays cold and signs this offseason for two years at $1.5M versus the $2M (and JSchon) I have projected, or whatever else, maybe he fits. Essentially you have swapped out a $6M RW for a $6.5M D and then added a cheaper RW and cut a 3rd-pair D man. Is this what you want to do, rebalance and upgrade the D at the expense of the O? Some would say it's the right thing to do, some would say not. Me? I would do Semin for Phaneuf straight up I think.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 5, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse


Too funny. Enjoyed my lunch very much today reading your post.


I really didn't think acquiring him was at all possible but your numbers seem to suggest the Caps could. But what is Phaneuf like in the locker room. That is as important as having the right skill set.

However, can we all take a moment and think about the keening and wailing by Caps fans about the Clark/Jurcina trade and how it negatively impacted our team. Kinda scares me how voraciously people would "post" if we lost a major component, one of the young guns, of our team, the degree to which the chemistry on the team would be affected. I absolutely believe that these guys are professionals and trades are part of he business. But whew--the impact of a trade losing Semin would be deep. If a trade happened with him I assumed it would be long after the season was over. There is some serious chemistry on that top line when it's OBS.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 5, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know why the Canadians left off Phaneuf from the Olympics?

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 5, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

One other thing on Phaneuf, something to think on...I haven't checked, but I'm guessing he's capable of logging 25 mins a game. Green already does that. That's 50 of 120 mins of "D" time from two players. Your other 4 D then only have to cover the other 70 mins. Schultz plays 20 and I'm guessing Alzner will do 20 next year.

So, going forward, you only need two other guys to cover the other 30 mins, 15 each. Certainly Carlson can start out at 15 to break in and Erskine or Sloan the other 15.

Point is, a guy like Phaneuf on the roster is worth 1.5 players due to the minutes. Makes the strain less on everyone. I think the team is more balanced for the next two years if you go that route.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 5, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Features reporter or not, she is a journalist.

This is the exact type of stuff that tarnished George Michael's legacy, plagues Lindsay Czarniak etc.

Rightfully so, they are criticized for being "in the pocket" of the Redskins.

You are supposed to appear and be indedpendent from the subjects you are covering at all times - to eliminate biases.

It is, nice however, to have this problem as opposed to our previous problem (the media ignoring the Caps).

That said, wouldn't want the Caps to ever be accused of unduly influencing the media.

Leonsis is not Snyder. I'd like it to stay that way - even if it makes me look anal-retentive.....

Posted by: CF11555 | January 5, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Rumor has it that Phaneuf may have already asked foe a trade according to espn..... nevertheless, Phaneuf seems more like a pipe dream at best & Sutter would want the farm for him let alone the salary implications for the on the team. Now if I was GMGM, I'd shoot for Doug Murray but who really knows what's going on in that chrome dome of his. He has that ability to keep stuff like that close to his vest

Posted by: jleftwing97 | January 5, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

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