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Morning roundup: Ovechkin vaults Caps into lead

(Chris O'Meara/AP)

Morning roundup

Alex Ovechkin returned from a two-game suspension and scored two goals to help the Caps blank the Lightning, 3-0, and move into the NHL lead with 44 points.

"It's 30 games in, but we want to be there," Ovechkin said. "If you're there, you have to continue the way you're playing and be the same team we were today." | More here ยป

Check out Tarik's postgame video and notes here.

*Caps continue to hit all kinds of marks when they play Tampa Bay. (In the Room)

*Tocchet, Lightning kicking themselves over loss. (St. Petersburg Times)

*Caps still own the Bolts. (Tampa Tribune)

*Game highlights:

*With five goals in six games, Eric Fehr could be a "serious addition" to your fantasy team. (ESPN)

*Before the Caps took over first place in the NHL standings, they were already first in the power rankings for The Hockey News and TSN (and perhaps others).

*If seeing links to Pittsburgh papers makes you cry, then you certainly can't handle this next link. (D.C. Sports Bog's most heartbreaking losses of the decade)

*Mike Green is Rodney Dangerfield. (ESPN)

*Late addition: Here's Ovechkin behind the scenes at his Men's Journal photoshoot:

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 8, 2009; 5:31 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps 3, Lightning 0
Next: Boudreau on Green: 'He's fine'


WOO OVIE IS BACK BABY!!!! love it love it love it. can't wait to see my boys on friday. WOO CAPS!!!

Posted by: capsfan387 | December 8, 2009 5:53 AM | Report abuse

The worste part of moving to fl. was movin away from my caps,and not being able to go to any game when i wanted to.But i guess a good thing outta all this is now living near tampa I go to all the caps-lightning games which so far has ment I'm pretty much guaranteed to see the caps win!I seen greenie's record breaking goal game and ovie's "hot stick" game last year so i guess i cant complain too much.And last nights game was another great one.I dont know what it is about the lightning but the caps just seem to have there number.Great to to see ovie's return and then score a couple,plus varly was amazing.The caps have something really special goin on and I'm glad to see and be a part of it!Hope it last for many more years cause this organisation desreves it.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | December 8, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

O YEA,Thanks Linds for an EARLY morning r.u.!Keep it up!

Posted by: gratefuldid | December 8, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Power Rankings; Schmower Rankings.... Just kidding... I love these things. It's nice to see the Caps getting some love as an elite program in the "experts" eyes. Although ESPN and CBS still have the Caps ranked 4 and 6 respectively (CBS had no upward movement over last week); even worse TSN had the Thrash (4) ranked higher than the Caps (5) last week.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | December 8, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

I am going to put it out there now. The Caps are going to win the Stanley Cup this season. Not because their defense is becoming more solid by the day. Not because their goaltenders are becoming reliable. Not because their offense is as potent as any in the league. The reason they will win the Stanley Cup is the same reason I put out in August. For the first time in 7 years I will not be here in DC when the Stanley Cup Finals take place. I will be out of town on business from the 5th of June through the 22nd. I will be here for the start but will not be able to experience the Caps lifting the Cup. I will be in Hawaii on business. Even though that sounds OK, it actually makes it even harder because I will be working when the games take place. I will purchase a VCR when I get there to at least be able to record the game(s).

So, maybe the improving defense, goaltending, and scoring machine will have something to do with them winning, the fact that I cannot attend is what pushes it over the top.

Did I mention I am a season ticket holder and also have 4 seats to every game for the ride? Yes, I will even have to sell my seats. They won't go cheap folks. If I have to miss seeing the games live, it's gonna cost whoever is in my place.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 8, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

This team becomes more dominant every time I see them....Varly is an absolute beast and BB is right, before years end the league will know who we have between the pipes....wasn't goal supposed to be our question mark this year per the so-called experts? Looks to be a strong suit to me....Go Caps!

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I think I saw more Caps jerseys than Lightning jerseys on tv last night.

Posted by: Bagher | December 8, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure I heard more caps fans over 1500!

Absolutely love it! Kicking @ss and taking names! Just gotta keep up the pressure! Buffalo here we come!

Posted by: mrszilla | December 8, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I was at Wachovia Center on Saturday night. The moment we stepped out of the truck and walked in front of the car parked next to us we were booed. It was snowing pretty hard so fans were honking their horns and leaning out to boo. It was kind of cool, nothing crazy, and a little funny. I started out by watching the 1st period from Section 221. The tempers flared a little when the Caps started capitalizing on the Carcillo goon move. Luckily I got a phone call from friends who had a box.

Get this, they have boxes all the way around the very top of Wachovia. Up to 20 people are allowed in them and they cost a total of only $850. Yes it's a bird's eye view, but I was able to enjoy the game without being hastled by drunk Flyers fans. There were complimentary sodas, water, pretzles and candy. You also called to have food delivered right to the box from the concession stands. The food cost the same with a tip expected once delivered. Tell you what a $10 tip to not stand in line and miss any of the game was worth it.

In the 3rd you could have heard a pin drop. Now, of course I was only in the general population for the 1st period, and I don't drink, but I do stand to cheer for the goals, I didn't get hassled at all. There was the obligatory, Caps suck, and where's your boy (because Ovi was suspended) but all stuff I would expect to hear when visiting a road stadium. I did see two brawls from the safety of my box, but they were in the 3rd, and if I was a betting man I would contribute it to alcohol and egos.

Overall, a great time. The Caps winning 8-2 obviously made it fun. If you plan to go next season (or the playoffs) I recommend you get a bunch of friends, even family together to get a box. Even if you only get 10 people $85 a piece would be worth it.

Let's go Caps!

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 8, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Capitals quick visit to Tampa can be summed up thusly:

"They came; they saw; they conquered; and then they got the he!! outta town."

fanohock: That's a sad tale.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 8, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the NHL standing's this morning this came to mind...


Cant wait for Friday night...

Posted by: SA-Town | December 8, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather have the NHL lead in June!

Posted by: stwasm | December 8, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I agree...nothing to get too excited about, because it means zippy...but you got to be please to be on top over 1/3 of the way into the season.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 8, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it's not June.

It doesn't mean nothing.

Here are your options: stuggling in 10th place in the conference on a four-game losing streak or where we are?

Of course 30 games means something.

Well done.

Posted by: saintex | December 8, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse


I was at Philly game as well - Section 104 - and I wasn't bothered but I'm low key in that arena...

Quietest I ever heard the place and I go a few times every year as I live in NJ and these are my buddies season tix.

What strikes me with the Flyers is that they traded all there depth, in part to get Pronger. I think the lack of depth will kill any team over an 82 game schedule. Makes you realize the Caps depth is so vital. Got to give GM a pat on the back for that.

As for last night... it was the first time this year I felt that, as the game was going on, we would not give up a goal. Solid D and a sparkling V in goal.

Posted by: jeets | December 8, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Question, what are the factors that go into Alzner's situation that he can go up and down without waivers???

Posted by: billd2 | December 8, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Great job, Caps. Excellent D, excellent team effort, and can you believe Varly's record? Could have used a few more shots where passes were taken, but live and learn.

You can tell the commentators who aren't watching closely when they say the Caps have goalie troubles. Semyon and Jose have simply been incredible during this run.

Big game Wednesday night. Go Caps!

Posted by: Sonyask | December 8, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

There is a reason Don Cherry has been elected DOOFUS EMERITUS.

The first reason is he wears the stupiest clothes of anyone on earth since Liberace.

The second reason is that he is a true DOOFUS in every sense of the word!

His comment basically says I should lock my car doors because I should expect someone wants to steal my car and almost as though they have a right to steal if I don't lock!

Memo to Don Cherry from tominfl1: Don, dude, riddle me this:

What looks like a Doofus, dresses like a Doofus and make Doofus remarks?

Answer: Don "the Doofus" Cherry.

Don: Do us all a favor and retire and start collecting your Canadian pension. You are no longer RELEVANT in the 21st century. You are just a DOOFUS.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 5, 2009 10:16 PM |

@tominfl1: Again, proof positive that what you post is 100% true:

Just a few questions: Who fills the Doofus Brigade billets for ranks O-7 through O-10 and "Special" (see here: )? And who is the Doofus Nation's Commander-In-Chief?". And do you have different people in mind for the Naval ranks a opposed to the ground forces?

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 8, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse


(A female voice calls out)

"Honey, I'm leaving for the store now. Do you want anything?"

GMGM bolts upward from his easy chair. "Hold it! What are you buying?"

"Milk, beer, steak, pork chops and laundry detergent."

GMGM quickly whips out an Excel spreadsheet detailing the family budget. "That's five items," he says. "We can only afford four."

"We can't get both steak and pork chops, dear?" she asks.

He looks anew at the figures. "Well, if you get chuck steak and those cheapo pork chops, we can do it. Also, if you trade the chicken you bought yesterday for a 'meal to be determined later,' then maybe it works."

GMGM waits for an answer from his wife, but hears only silence. Finally, "Honey, are you ever going to stop this?"

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 6, 2009 7:22 PM


Kudos to thee, for thou art a clever man indeed! I like your style.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 8, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Rhino40: I answered that one yesterday. A brigage only goes up to O-6 and there are no naval sections unless it's an amphibious brigade in the USMC. If that were the case, you'd have some landing craft. This is just a pure USA outfit though, all dressed in Don Cherry sport jackets, marching along and singing, "Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to bash we go."

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 8, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse


I was also at the philly game this year and let me tell you it was a little different than last years game (the 7-1 beatdown they gave us). This year i was in a suite too, but somehow still was taking lip from some flyers fans in the next suite over and from the fans in front of us.

The best part had to be seeing the wachovia center with about a 50/50 ratio of caps fans to flyers fans in the third period

Posted by: _stevo | December 8, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The only things used to determine waiver status is NHL games played and age when first NHL contract was signed. Usually, guys on their entry level deals and haven't played a full season or two are exempt from waivers.

Posted by: koalatek | December 8, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

So the boys play at Buffalo tomorrow. Just to be in Buffalo is a depressing thought..lets hope it doesn't rub off on the team.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 8, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

jeets: Yeah, the fans were pretty cool. Just a couple of scraps that attribute to alchohol use by both the Flyer and Caps fans. Even though the evening went relatively uneventful I did get a lot of warnings from employees. The ushers and ladies that worked in around the boxes gave what I thought were genuine warnings to be careful. I think those warnings made me more paranoid than I needed to be. However, the Caps did empty the place out early which probably made the exit more quiet.

Anyhow, these guys really are clicking right now. So many pieces contributing. Seems like Flash and Fehr take turns being the additional lethal threat. Backstrom is elevating his game and does it with so little show of emotion it is hard to believe he is 21. Captain Clark is playing solid, Ovi and Semin are just unbelievably gifted athletes. However, what is making this group begin to turn the corner, and must continue to concentrate on to continue around the corner is the improved performance of our defense and goaltending. The forwards are working hard in all 3 zones and our defensemen, no matter what combination of 9 (including Carlson and Alzner) have been used, they look pretty darn good.

Just be ready for a stinker here and there. It happens to every team. The good ones can just keep the valleys short and the peaks long. Can't help but have the same feeling I had a couple of years ago. This is the beginning of a dynasty. The cool thing is, these guys really do like each other too. Did anyone else see the face wash of stinky gloves that went across Ovi's face after Ovi congratulated Varly on his shutout?

I don't know about the rest of you but Ovi is a superstar unlike any I have ever seen in any sport. He has been considered by most the best hockey player on the planet for the last 3 years and he is still one of the guys. Even Junior Seau said he noticed that when he was an equipment guy for a day when he was doing his Versus show. Additionally prior to the 1st game of the season GMGM was asked on NHL Home Ice what he liked best about Ovechkin. GMGM stated it was the fact that Ovi is low maintenance. He just wants to win. If Ovi's head hasn't gotten big now, it won't because he continued to be level headed at a young age.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 8, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"I did see two brawls from the safety of my box, but they were in the 3rd..."

I wouldn't be surprised if it was 2 groups of flyers fans who were scrumming over some change that fell on the ground.

And B-lo got blanked last night- by Brodeur so it's not a huge surprise. But look for them to be fired up tomorrow night. This could be a tough one.

Posted by: Fro_ | December 8, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I beleive Alzner has a two-way/NHL contract which makes it possible to go up and down without having to worry about waivers.

Posted by: whiteltng | December 8, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Saw the face wash - it was prolonged and well-deserved (and probably very stinky)

Funny stuff...

Posted by: jeets | December 8, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

was borat in charge of that photo shoot? "very niiiiiice."

Posted by: capsfansince74 | December 8, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

one-way/two-way has *nothing* to do with waiver status under the CBA. A two-way contract simply means you're paid less in the AHL.

Posted by: koalatek | December 8, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse


You said it all so well right down to how Ovi is just one of the guys and is a low maintenance star because all he wants is to win. As he had said in various ways, it's not about personal stats, it's about the team, it's about the Cup.

I really like how disciplined they've become. Defense really clamped down hard in the 3rd period and the guys all played the system responsibly.

I agree that we will have a lull--in fact we should want challenges to better prepare us for the playoffs. Don't want the season to be easy. But as your say a great team weathers the valleys and learns from them. Perhaps the Caps rocky start although still managing to pull out points in OT is a large part of why they are clicking so well now.

As well as having the Caps learn how to rely on each other both with and without Ovi. He really is the double-rich buttercream (or cream cheese) frosting on to of the richest, most flavorful and dense cake in the league.

And words can't express just how fabulous is our goalie situation: 1a and 1b with Varly and Theo both playing like topnotch no. 1 goalies. We have the luxury of choosing the right goalie style against a particular team than just the current hot goalie.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 8, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse


Alzner is on his entry level contract which makes him be able to move without being exposed to waivers.

Posted by: ThePat | December 8, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse


Time for new challenges for your imagination.

Coming to CI blog (yeah we all know it's not a message board), a new installment of the dramedy (comedy and drama) serial "McPhee and the Washington Capitals" by the creator of the "Doofus Brigade" for all the nonbelievers in the greatness of the Caps and Ovechkn, the one and only TOMINFL1.


To be written soon I hope.

Seriously tominfl1, this is your funniest post yet and I've really enjoyed the Cherry Doofus installments.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 8, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

And the winner is.......


All Glory to the Hypno-Toad!

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 8, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I hereby call Don Cherry out of retirement and name him Field Marshal of the Doofus Army.

In related stories: Gary Bettman has been "elected" Maximum-Leader-for-Life of the Doofus Nation; Colin Campbell has been named Chief Apparatchik of the Secret Doofus Police

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 8, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

UEFA Champions League

Posted by: bgfgf402 | December 8, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather have the NHL lead in June!
Posted by: stwasm | December 8, 2009 8:33 AM


Posted by: Dalliquippa | December 8, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather have the NHL lead in June!
Posted by: stwasm | December 8, 2009 8:33 AM


Posted by: Dalliquippa | December 8, 2009 5:18 PM

Shouldn't we be cautious about saying that? Weren't the San Jose Sharks #1? I recall them not doing so well in their Cup run. =/

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | December 8, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

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