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Morning roundup: Loss to Columbus is secondary


(Getty Images)

Morning Roundup

The Caps lost, 5-4, in overtime last night to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but the bigger story, of course, was the injury suffered by Alex Ovechkin in the second period:

Alex Ovechkin was hurt during a scrum and missed the final 33 minutes 50 seconds of the game. Ovechkin said afterward that he had suffered an upper-body injury and that he was day-to-day.
The two-time MVP refused to say how the injury occurred or where he was hurting. And when asked if he feared the injury to be serious, he said, "I don't know."
Ovechkin did not appear to be in pain when he spoke to reporters in the dressing room wearing a suit.

The Caps are off today and it's unclear if we'll be able to get any updates until tomorrow. We'll keep you posted, but in the meantime, here's some morning reading and watching material:

Postgame wrap-up is here and Tarik's video (mostly about Ovechkin's injury) is here:

* NHL video:

* Washington Times:

The main early-season problems - discipline and blown third-period leads - were back Sunday for the Washington Capitals, but a more pressing issue was their hurting superstar.

* Joe Beninati:

I wish I could shed more light on the Alex Ovechkin injury, which occurred in the second period. After a seemingly innocent collision with Raffi Torres the Great Eight skated uncomfortably to his own bench and with a wave of his hand he was done for the night. Alex has been amazingly durable in his first five years in the NHL. We all hope he'll recover in time for Wednesday in New Jersey.

* Mike Vogel: "... the whole thing came unraveled like a cheap sweater in the final minutes of regulation."

* D.C. Examiner:

Around the NHL, top stars are dropping like flies thanks to a rash of injuries. Sunday afternoon, it was the Capitals' turn to experience that dreaded feeling.

Columbus Dispatch:

In a city consumed with a national health-care debate, the Blue Jackets and Capitals limped out of the Verizon Center last night after more than a few visits to their respective trainer's rooms.
Capitals star Alex Ovechkin was lost to an upper-body injury. Blue Jackets forward Derick Brassard and defenseman Fedor Tyutin nursed hand/wrist injures. Defenseman Mike Commodore played despite a pre-existing condition, a charley horse.
Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock was still awaiting medical reports on two or three other players after a night of hard hits and nasty slashes. But the Jackets' mental well-being, bruised by recent blown leads, appears on the mend.

* ESPN's Pierre Lebrun on the Caps' cap issues:

Star winger Alexander Semin and star center Nicklas Backstrom are both slated for restricted free agency July 1, and preliminary contract talks have already been held in both cases. I don't think Backstrom will be an issue. But I'm hearing things aren't going great on the Semin front.
What makes his case interesting is he's just another season removed from unrestricted free agency (July 2011), so a one-year deal for Semin bridges the gap to UFA land. Of course, the Caps would want to sign him to more than a year. There is also the fact there are the usual rumbles out of Russia that the KHL has a few suitors interested in a native son come July if he's still unsigned.

* In case you missed it, here's Mike Wise's column about "Gabby." Excerpt:

Boudreau's peak-and-valley minor league existence comes through. Further, he is proof that great players rarely make good coaches. "Because they don't know what it's like to fail," Boudreau said Saturday. "Or be yelled at. Or be put down. Or be disappointed. Sometimes they can't handle it because they've never experienced it."
In his book, Boudreau not only chronicles his repeated firings and demotions. But he is vulnerable enough to detail his brother's death while hitchhiking; the breakup of his first marriage to a woman tired of the peripatetic life of a hockey player and coach; his family's meager Toronto beginnings that forced them to assemble baby-teething soothers for extra money; his original booking on Flight 175 that struck the World Trade Center; and how he got to Los Angeles a day ahead of two men he knew who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Ted Leonsis:

I was at the Wizards game last night with my wife. We ran into Alex Ovechkin and his dad. I spoke to Alex a bit about the season so far, the schedule and the team.
Alex said, "I love coach. He is honest, loyal and knows the game. He doesn't tell me anything about offense though only about I must play D and cover the middle." He then smiled and said, "Bruceeee!!!!!!!"

* Speaking of, Boudreau will be on NHL Live today.


(Getty Images)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 2, 2009; 9:37 AM ET
 
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Next: IMG inks deal with Ovechkin

Comments

Geez,

It would be nice to have some defense!

I hope Yzerman wasn't watching last night? Green probably lost his spot on the national team- Nash made him look like a player still in Juniors.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 2, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Why are hockey injuries such so secretive? No other sport hides the nature of their injured players.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | November 2, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Green will make the Olympic team - they're looking for discipline and he's shown nothing in that regard to so far. He just doesn't seem to learn - his giveaways just keep coming. In regards to being schooled by Nash, I don't think it's a big issue. Nash was a monster last night. When he's on, he's extremely hard to stop.

Posted by: jakopz | November 2, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The Russian Machine never breaks.

He'll be back Wednesday night.

Posted by: saintex | November 2, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"Why are hockey injuries such so secretive? No other sport hides the nature of their injured players."
I guess it's because hockey is a full contact sport. If I were a hockey player, I would dread if my adversary knows where I'm hurting.

Posted by: guer_j | November 2, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Green is in a tough pool of talent to be on the Canadian Olympic team. There are plenty of more experienced Canadian d-men that can move the puck, play the point on the pp and play better in the d-zone. Nothing against Green. If he was a US passport holder, he would probably make the team.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | November 2, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Green got undressed by Nash. I don't put too much blame on Green though - Nash is a fantastic player in his own right and great players make great plays.

Posted by: snakegriffin | November 2, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Losing Semin would be tough. Seems like this is the year for Caps, next year we might not have the chance like in this season. Expect a lot of trades and some big one before the deadline.

Posted by: CodePoetry | November 2, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

"We have to be better disciplined as a close [team] and learn how to control the lead if we want to win hockey games," Laich said. "If we want to be an elite team, that has to happen. We've given away too many points this year."

Need Defense to be elite and the discipline problem has been going on for years...maybe stars need to be benched.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 2, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@hockeypuck1 - what guer_j said. Hockey is a full contact sport, and there are people out there who, if they knew where it hurt, would target that injury specifically.

Furthermore, it's not really any of our business what hurts! Wish him well, and be done with it.

Posted by: irockthered | November 2, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Losing Semin would be tough. Seems like this is the year for Caps, next year we might not have the chance like in this season. Expect a lot of trades and some big one before the deadline.

Posted by: CodePoetry | November 2, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

code, i really think the best chances for the caps are next year and beyond. first, although theo is playing well, their goaltending situation should be more settled. varly will have more experience under his belt and we'll know if neuvert is ready for the nhl. also, nyls salary will be gone one way or the other. that frees up space to bring up one or more dmen to replace, pothier/jurcina/morrison. we will have some additional cap space to bring in a FA dman. i also think the team will be more willing to swing trades w/ prospects/draft picks than they have in the past. this of course is predicated on their ability to wrap up back and semin.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 2, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@atybat (from last thread) - That's entirely possible; I don't think it happened during the scrum, though. You don't get your shoulder pulled out of its socket by punching someone in the face.

:-p

With an awkward fall (from personal experience) the acromio-clavicular separation is more likely than the gleno-humeral dislocation. The mechanics of the direction of the fall, plus whatever laws of physics apply at that point... but an a/c separation is highly painful and can be as debilitating as a full dislocated shoulder can be.

In the replay, I saw a hit to his side. His legs straightened, and he toppled like a felled tree, landing awkwardly. A fall on an outstretched hand (as appeared to be the case) is one of the most common causes of the a/c separation.

Of the two, if he'd done a severe a/c separation, he'd have had to be helped off the ice. Seriously. Those suckers HURT. Not that dislocating your shoulder and having it pop back in doesn't... but I had a grade 2 shoulder separation, and could barely have my arm at my side.

In the post-game interview, he appeared to not be in pain, so either it wasn't as bad as it could have been, or he was flying on the happy painkillers... :-p

Posted by: irockthered | November 2, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Green got undressed by Nash. I don't put too much blame on Green though - Nash is a fantastic player in his own right and great players make great plays.

Posted by: snakegriffin | November 2, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you. Other than Ovechkin, Nash has to be at the top of the NHL in terms of highlight-reel goals. Also, Theo was just as bad on that play; he committed way to early, Nash easily went around him and put it into an empty net.

Posted by: cainoo7x | November 2, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

On a different subject, am I the only one uncomfortable with Green's two hand slash on Nash, same for Knuble? I know that the players have very little respect for each other but I hate to see the players on my team being so cheapy. I have had my thumb broken 3 times when I played in Europe on cheap slashes; now in my more "mature" age, my right thumb aches all the time; I guess I see slashing, when the players has clearly beaten you as a very demeaning thing, in hockey (that and sucker punches).

Posted by: atybat | November 2, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

For those Caps fans who just jumped on the band wagon these past couple of years, did you see how gritty the Caps played without Ovie? Thats how they played for twenty years prior the Ovie era. It was fun to watch. Caps went to the net on every offensive posession, and it paid off. I hope they do that when Ovie returns, whenever that may be.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | November 2, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Trade Semin for Kovalchuk.

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