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Morning roundup: The finishing touch


(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)


Nicklas Backstrom scored twice in the third period and Alex Ovechkin added a late goal as the Caps beat the Senators, 5-2, at Verizon Center to capture their second win in a row. | Full story »

Postgame wrap-up:

And now for some morning linkage:

*Boyd Gordon finally gets a goal to call his own (Examiner)

*Backstrom shines in win (Ed Frankovic)

*Mike Vogel's postgame notebook (Washingtoncaps.com)

*Another rough outing for Sens' Pascal Leclaire. (Ottawa Citizen)

*All-around Caps effort. (Joe B)

*Game highlights:

*Pond Hockey: the passion of hockey and its roots. (SnagFilms)

*Ted wants to fight you. (Ted's Take)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 8, 2010; 5:28 AM ET
 | Tags: Morning roundup  
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Next: Boudreau: Varlamov could begin skating this weekend

Comments

What a terrific Caps effort last night. Our offense was buzzing, and our D kept the Sens from getting chances. Jose was solid, and just when Erskine starts getting his most crap of the year, he turned in a fantastic performance start to finish. Great hustle. And Backstrom is a goal scorer! Ovi's goal was also a beauiful combination of muscle and finesse. Gordo's goal was a muscling team effort too. And Knuble got back on the board.

Like I said, great effort.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 8, 2010 5:56 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to finally getting the game in HD, I thought I saw two more Caps goals that should have been reviewed (or at least re-shown on replay). Goals where their goalie pushed the puck back out into the paint.

Anyone else?

Posted by: Bartolo1 | January 8, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Jose should start in Atlanta tomorrow night.

Posted by: CapsChick | January 8, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Great game last night. The team really looked in sync and kept the tempo energetic. I could feel the confidence of the team. So happy for Theo's game and rebound control. He knew what he had to do and he did it. Loved how the scoring spread across the lines. All the lines had good scoring chances too. The energy at the phone booth was electric. Good job boys, good job.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 8, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Also thought that Ovi was really focusing on his defensive game tonight as well.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 8, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

@Bartolo1 - Do you have the points in the game where those happened?

Posted by: irockthered | January 8, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

the Sens sure looked like they could use Theo... he's better than what they've got

Posted by: joek443 | January 8, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

From a few threada ago, but just wanted to touch on the trading Theo, and having Varly/Neuvirth/Holtby for the playoffs. It's not that I think Theo is a great goalie, but with the way DC fans are, should one (or both) of the young guys get shelled in playoffs- I don't want them to turn into Carey Price. The Montreal fans/media absolutely destroyed him and his confidence a coupel years back. With the way these fans ar around here- the same could easily happen. Price is just now coming back into his own- 2.67/.915

On this team- with all its offense- I'd take those numbers any day.

That's my morning (hungover) ramble. Good crowd at VC last night too.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 8, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Oh- and on Boyd Gordon's goal- awesome. That whole shift was amazing, and the way that he stuck around and finished with some serious determination:

Good. On. Him.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 8, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

@Fro_ - I'd have to agree with that, because I've seen the shellacking that any player on the team not named Ovechkin gets when the fans are being pissy. It's not cool.

Posted by: irockthered | January 8, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

@irocktheread and @Fro

Agreed! So far they both tend to get a free pass from fans when they are shaky, unlike the criticism heaped on our veteran.

And as for our vet Theo, I'm delighted that he showed that he is still a contender--good for him to challenge the youngsters. I like the competition.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 8, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Theo's had some great games this year. Would love to see him be able to streak together a half dozen or more. He's got it in him.

I find the whole "trade Theo" issue silly. It would be foolish. Give these 21 year olds some time to season, please.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 8, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Theo's had some great games this year. Would love to see him be able to streak together a half dozen or more. He's got it in him.

I find the whole "trade Theo" issue silly. It would be foolish. Give these 21 year olds some time to season, please.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 8, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse


I don't think there is anyone on the Caps, or most fans for that matter, that doesn't want Theo to have success and split the starts with Varly/Neuvy down the stretch. But the fact is that he's been anything but consistent since early in the season. He needs to follow tonight's win with another strong effort.

Posted by: cainoo7x | January 8, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

They did review at least one no goal last night.

Posted by: saintex | January 8, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know what he deal is with the astronaut? I'm assuming it's just a gimmick to get some attention. But if it's attention you're looking for- why not try streaking naked (redundant) across the ice during a stoppage of play?

Go big or go home.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 8, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

First of all, Theo is AWESOME when he can square up on the shooter. The problem is...if any second save (off a rebound) requires athleticism, he's finished. I have all the confidence in the world in him to stop the first shot, especially from the top of the circles out.

Second of all, Erskine was just ok. He is not a very good defenseman. He is a VERY poor man's Mark Tinordi. And yes, I agree, the Caps need someone who knows how to play the body on defense. Shultze, Potty, Morrison, Pothier, and Green have no idea that this is a checking game (no, I'm not saying ALL of these guys are playing poorly). What I'm saying is...if they can get Shultze and Morrison to understand they are BIG STRONG guys who can hit...then Erskine is BYE BYE!

While I don't agree that Gordon is a "mainstay", I do agree he is a tenacious forechecker who can win way more faceoffs than any other guy on the Caps (not named Steckel), and he knows how to play the game in our defensive end. And with the need for someone to "fight" (even though bradley stinks at it), Quinten Laing will become great friends with some guy they pay alot of money to named Sloan (?)...

This could be their year...they need more out of Laich and Morrison (B)...and Varley to stay healthy...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 8, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

why not try streaking naked (redundant) across the ice during a stoppage of play?

Posted by: Fro_ | January 8, 2010 9:55 AM

-------------------

Would YOU want to be checked into the boards while not wearing pads (or anything else)?

Posted by: greggwiggins | January 8, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@ GreggWiggins....you forgot...by Matt Bradley...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 8, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Unless it's Jessica Alba (or someone similar) in the Astronaut costume, I would prefer that he/she decline the opportunity to streak naked.
Great win! Go Caps!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 8, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand how these guys got to the NHL and don't ever play the body. If you take the guy with the puck out of the play, most likely the puck will not score on its own. There must be a reason why they don't, I just don't know what it is.

Posted by: ejohnsto | January 8, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

It was a great game for us. A complete effort. Dominated them from start to finish. I wouldn't really get all excited about Theo yet because he had very little to do in this one. Ovechkin's goal was one of his best this season. BTW, funny how this goes. 3 games without anyone wearing a C 3 pretty bad losses. Finally decide who the new captain should be and we're back on track.

BTW, if anyone is interested in more on the drama playing out in the Russian media after Russia's terrible performance in WJC that I mentioned yesterday here's a full article on that. Filatov vs. the head coach. In my opinion, it's pretty pathetic and unprofessional of the coach to shift responsibility for bad results completely onto a bunch of teenagers.

http://bit.ly/7PybmQ

Posted by: ranndino | January 8, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps: Were you formerly known as "SinkingCaps" here on this board?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | January 8, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I thought Erskine had a great game, he played as well as I've ever seen him play.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 8, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know what he deal is with the astronaut? I'm assuming it's just a gimmick to get some attention.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 8, 2010 9:55 AM

-----------

I was at the game last night and saw him during the 2nd intermission. He was posing for pictures and such down in the concession areas. I asked him what his inspiration for his outfit was. He paused for a moment and said...

"Outer space!"

It may be for attention, but you have to admit that it's pretty effective. After all, we are talking about him now...

Posted by: kresneck | January 8, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Horn guy and Goat ("Let's Go Caps") I get, but spaceman makes no sense to me either.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 8, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The freaky "astronaut" had a VW patch on the left side of her/his suit yesterday. I wonder if he/she is getting money for sponsors now.

Didn't Green give out like 3 train wreck checks last night? How many checks does a player have to give on a regular basis to get a pass after win?

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 8, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Thursday Thoughts on (paraphrases of) various troll-oid statements I have recently observed:


Ø "Trade Theo Now" Ø

Excuse me?!?!? Take away the screen/deflection in the 2nd which he had no chance of stopping. Also take away the missed defensive coverage against Cheechoo late in the 3rd (against whose point-blank shot Theo still managed to make the initial stop!). And guess what: so-called "threeormore" has himself a SHUTOUT!


Ø "Boyd Gordon Must Go" Ø

Scores gutsy grind goal in the first period of his first game since the back injury. Take that, haters!


Ø "Erskine is a bad hockey player" Ø

FWIW, "bad" hockey players generally don't earn contract extensions like the Sexy Lumberjack did, not too long ago. Granted there may be smoother, faster skaters on the team than he, but last night he handled his assignments well, and was dishing out a lot of good hits (hence, being named one of the stars of the game).


Ø "Crosby is a more complete player than Ovechkin" Ø

GTFO! Maybe OV didn't get a hat trick last night, but the fact was that the Sens played better than their record, and better than the score reflected. As befits his new Captaincy, Alex did it all, and did it well.


I also enjoyed witnessing:

Knuble out of the slump!
Bäckis is the Über-center!
More solid support from Poti last 2 games!
More solid performance as center from Flash!

Nuff Said.

GO CAPS!

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 8, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"It may be for attention, but you have to admit that it's pretty effective. After all, we are talking about him now..."

Yeah, but you never see his face. What good is anonymous attention? Of course, I don't understand it even if it wasn't anonymous.

Posted by: ouvan59 | January 8, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

@rhino40

amen to all of that

Posted by: _stevo | January 8, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

trade Theo for the astronaut!

Posted by: butcherbaker | January 8, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey! I like the Astronaut Guy! Basically, those of us who are from California deal with winter cold in one of two different ways:

1) DENIAL: e.g., my former boss at Nordstrom, who would go outside in a blizzard dressed in a tropical-weight suit without batting an eye.

2) OVERKILL (I fall into this category): e.g., those of us who would wear a NASA space suit if we could at this time of year. Never mind that it takes up to 4 hours to get dressed in one and you have to drag your climate unit along with you--those damn things are down good to -400 °F!, which is pretty f****** cold any way you slice it!

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 8, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I find the astronaut as freaky as the dude that comes in the full red body suit. Some other goof hits a block of wood with a stick and the dude in the full body suit dances to the beat. That's just friggin' weird.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 8, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Astronaut Guy is a STH else he sure goes to lots of games. VW is a major sponsor...hmmm I have not met him yet but he still makes me laugh when I see him & so do Joe B & the Locker for that matter.

On to more important things; Theo was great. Could have had a shut out for the most part. Love seeing Gordo get a goal. Erskine was slamming people all over the place. Loved seeing Green keep Cheechoo down on his ass for a while. OV's goal was sick. Just good all around team play. Keep it up boys!

Posted by: Iceman10 | January 8, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The team was hustling last night.

I loved the PK where Green tipped the cross-ice pass, then hustled over and dove to clear the puck from the zone.

Reminded me of the other night (when CI was down and there wasn't much of any chatting about the game), where BMo dove to interrupt a tap in, and then somehow got himself to the other side of the ice to clear the zone. Same game, Semin's going after the guy after Semin scored; and his blast with 2 minutes to go was huge!

Great to see these Caps play.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 8, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The freaky "astronaut" had a VW patch on the left side of her/his suit yesterday. I wonder if he/she is getting money for sponsors now.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 8, 2010 12:47 PM

-----------------

VW was handing out stickers to anyone that wanted one. Either he wanted one, or someone nabbed one and stuck it on his suit.

Posted by: kresneck | January 8, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm a "Threeormore" Basher, but I still give him credit where it's due - he had a good game last night. I gave him credit the last time he had a good game, which was like a month ago - hence the problem. If he could do what he did last night with any sort of consistency, no one would be calling for a trade. The problem is that his ratio of games like these to "Threeormore" games is roughly 1:3.

Green I think is taking his team Canada snub to heart. He was hitting out there last night. The defense as a whole looked much better than I have seen them in a while.

The NHL should be afraid of a Bakis who just recently discovered "(sic) Scoring Goals is Pretty Fun."

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 8, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

【 live score】 and 【odds advise 】
http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: bgfgf402 | January 10, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

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