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Capitals want to take advantage of busy November schedule

By Katie Carrera
Morning Roundup

The month of November is a busy one for the Capitals, who know this is also the time that they can begin to pull away from the rest of the Eastern Conference. Washington enters tonight's game against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden sitting atop the conference standings with 20 points and 10 wins and four games in the next six days.

"I think it's important that this time early in the year, that you put distance between yourself and the people behind you," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Because there's going to be times that you're going to go through rough stretches, whether it's through injuries or just the ups and downs of a season. When you have the opportunity, you've got to be able to focus and concentrate and win each game."

For some of the Capitals' younger players, as was noticed with goaltender Michal Neuvirth last week, the strain of playing so many games in a short period of time can be an adjustment to prepare for both physically and mentally. So how they fare through one of the first tough stretches of the schedule this season, with games nearly every other day in November, could have a large impact.

"It's definitely a lot tougher to play with one day off only in between," Karl Alzner said. "It's nice in the American League when you have four days or so just practicing, to work on anything or do what you want as a person. But although it's going to be difficult to play games nonstop, it can help us get into a rhythm if we're playing good."

I'm on a train en route to New York and will have more updates from practice, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

FROM THE POST
Don't forget that today at 12:30 p.m. I'll be hosting a live video chat from Madison Square Garden, if the asbestos doesn't get me first. Send in your questions about the season, the morning skate, and more then save that link for the chat itself.

Mike Green is back to playing at or near 30 minutes for the Capitals, and the team is on a four-game winning streak. Coincidence? Probably not.

If you haven't heard Mike Knuble's interview on Elliot in the Morning from Monday, you should listen to part 1 and part 2. Or you can head over to the D.C. Sports Bog where Dan Steinberg has some excerpts including, among other things, the right winger considering sacrificing a goat to break his scoring slump.

AROUND THE WEB
Original Capitals play-by-play radio voice Ron Weber was honored with the Foster Hewitt Award by the Hockey Hall of Fame Monday and you can check out a Q&A with him on the Caps' website.

Former Capitals forward Dino Ciccarelli was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame as well and his speech from the ceremony is below. Be sure to check out some of Alan May's stories about being Ciccarelli's teammate.

By Katie Carrera  | November 9, 2010; 8:03 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Live Caps Q&A: Tuesday, 12:30 p.m.
Next: Brooks Laich ready to go against the Rangers

Comments

Conversation between Varly (aka the goat lender) and Knuble:

Knuble: Hey man you gotta spare goat you could lend me.
Varly : For a teammate of course I do.
Knuble: Thanks.

...time passes...

Varly: Hey Knubes where's that goat I lent you?
Knuble: Uh...
Varly: You didn't lose it did you?
Knuble: Uh...It's worse than that. You see I haven't been scoring goals lately and uh...

:)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | November 9, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else get the impression that Knubs reads the CI posts? I mean really??? He talks about sacraficing a goat...that is not just a mere coincidence. We are getting through.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 9, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

If we, mere spectators, every day spend time reading about a hockey team, I wouldnt be surprised if members of said team read and post using speudonims.

Posted by: guer_j | November 9, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

@ SAOTI

While it is funny to think based on our postings players make comments and there maybe some truth to that at times. However this is not the first time Knuble has made reference to animal sacrafic.

Knuble had better be careful to make sure the goat sees him coming, don't want to have GB and his enforcer Colin come after him for a blind side "hit"

Shout out to Section 115 !!!!!!!!

Drop The Puck !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh yeah, Flyers Suck !!!!!!!!!! :)

Posted by: bqts | November 9, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@bqts

Well then perhaps Knubs' pseudonym (as guer_i mentioned) is tominsocal1. What better way to throw us off his scent, than to make us think he is some random guy in Cali? After all, it was tominsocal that coined the term Goat Blood Drinkers. Tom is also older and very knowledgeable about hockey. Makes sense...

Kind of like how we know BigGameSid is really just Mario defending his basement dweller, and not an actual fan. He hopes by building up Cindy's ego, Cindy will finally move out and then he can turn the basement into his man cave like he has wanted to.

It all comes together on CI.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 9, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Its quite this morning, where is everyone? They can't really be working :)

Posted by: bqts | November 9, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

@bqts

I'm pretty sure that the fancy people in toney "Section 115" don't really use the terminology "shout out" often.

Maybe they would understand you better if you were to say: "Hail! to all of the sporting chaps and old boys of Section 115! Tally ho, lads, and DO wave your crimson cravat for the success of Ted Leonsis' venture!"

Posted by: large23220 | November 9, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

We can play the "Name Those Scratches" game. That can be fun sometimes.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 9, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@ large23220

Your an a$$ !!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: bqts | November 9, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Oh I know his name, you know the guy, the guy that is always at the hot dog vendor, whats his name :)

Posted by: bqts | November 9, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Would be interesting to see if someone like Stecks gets scratched to make room for DJK. DJK got scratched against Philthy, but will BB do the same against the Rags? Hmmmmmmm....

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 9, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Would be interesting to see if someone like Stecks gets scratched to make room for DJK. DJK got scratched against Philthy, but will BB do the same against the Rags? Hmmmmmmm....

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 9, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

With Brooks possibly out maybe king get a jesery anyway move hendrick up to second and so on

Posted by: bqts | November 9, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I am not Mike Knuble. Honest.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2010/11/mike_knuble_vows_to_sacrifice.html

It is funny, though, for him to use that term. Did he read it on here? Doubtful, but...

For now, we can just say that Knubes has joined the Dark Siders. If he starts suggesting "Hunter for coach," though, or that he "really misses cstanton1," we'll know he's reading CI.

Maybe, too, when the other Caps players here Knuble's quote, we'll get some quotes in response, like, "He doesn't need to kill a goat, he just needs some Kool Aid."

On another subject, I wonder if PETA will raise objections to Knuble's quote. You know they will think about it, because even though he was talking in jest, they might worry some teenager would find it funny to do that.

Finally, if Knuble DOES sacrifice the goat, joek443 wants to be there to collect the blood in his goblet.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 9, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal1

I am sure there will be enough to go around for all of us, there better be :)

Posted by: bqts | November 9, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

So is Poti back this evening or do I have to suffer through another night of Sloan? When teh hell is GMGM going to actually pull the trigger and bring in an upgrade on D??!! At this point I would take a second pairing guy just so I don't have to watch fricking Sloan every night!!

And Steckle needs to be on permanent hot dog/nacho duty from this point forward, the guy has been simply atrocious this year!

Big enough rant for you tominsocal? Been busy all morning so haven't been able to post!

Posted by: PhilR | November 9, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

capscoach: You might want to rethink the way you send messages. I know you respond to me sometimes and I detect nastiness that maybe you don't intend. If you are having problems with many others, maybe the trouble isn't with them :). It's just like the driver who complains, "Everyone is a bad driver! They all honk at me!"

BTW, I have three daughters ages 25-30 so you being female has no bearing on my thoughts towards you, just like I don't against you for being a kid :).

Once more, the Kool Aid and Dark Sider is all in fun. These are two distinct groups of posters. You can't just always call them "those who are always positive" and "those who are always negative."

I myself am a Fence Sitter, sometimes leaning to one sode and sometimes to the other. I love Bradley, don't like Flash. I like Gordo at 800K but not Steckel at 1.1. I think GMG does some great things but hasn't filled out the roster properly. And BB is a good coach but stubborn and, until he wins in the Playoffs, there will always be a nagging question.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 9, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

PhilR: I'm sure that hooded robe feels good with the cold weather!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 9, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Ahh, forgot about Brooks being possibly out, not sure on Poti...

So we are probably looking at:
Ovie-Backs-Semin
Fehr-Flash-Knubs
ChimChim-Gordo-Hendricks
Brads-Stecks-DJK

Green-Shultz
Carlson-Alzner
Erskine-Sloan

Would much rather see Poti in the line up.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 9, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

And BB is a good coach but stubborn and, until he wins in the Playoffs, there will always be a nagging question.

Posted by: tominsocal1


Should be "until/IF he wins in the playoffs"......I'm just not so sure of his ability to adjust when needed. He has done a few tweaks so far but I don't see them as being enough. He still needs to implement a shut down 3rd line to play against the oppositions number 1 in the playoffs. I just don't see him moving away from his three "scoring lines."

And yes, the robe is very toasty this time of year!

Posted by: PhilR | November 9, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

clearly it is knuble's turn to provide refreshments at the meeting.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 9, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

brooks should play and neuvy to start says BB

Posted by: _stevo | November 9, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

@ SAOTI

I do like that third line lots of grit and speed to go with it.

Question ....... Anyone else think it is only a matter of time until Carlson/Alzner become the top d line ? Next year GMGM has to be wondering do I put my money into them or give Green another 5m a year deal.

Posted by: bqts | November 9, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Capt: I think it's very suspicious:

1) I coin the term Dark Sider and accuse them of slaughtering goats to drink the blood.

2) Katie inadvertently calls Varly a goat lender rather than a goaltender.

3) Knuble claims he will sacrifice a goat.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 9, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Any word on an MJ call up with laich out.

8-19-28
14-90-22
25-15-16
17-39/10/26

Don't like King that much, but given the nature of the Rangers, I'm guessing BB wants to throw him into the lineup.

Posted by: chatton | November 9, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Brooks Laich to Corey Masisak:

Laich: "I'd like to leave what happened in that game behind. I feel good today, felt good on the ice and am excited to play a game tonight."

Maybe BB did bench him and he wasn't hurt. In which case if BB did do that good for him, as I stated yesterday Brooks was not playing well at all.

Posted by: ThePat | November 9, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@chatton

Dont think we will see MJ tonight. The question is whether or not Laich plays.

If Laich plays we probably will see...
Ovie-Backs-Semin
Flash-Laich-Knubs
ChimChim-Gordo-Fehr
Brads-Stecks-DJK-Hendricks (with either Stecks or Brads eating dogs n nachos)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 9, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

And Steckel appears to be scratched tonight, Hendo centering the 4th line. Poti looks to be out and Laich appears to be playing.

Posted by: ThePat | November 9, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

SAOTI wins

Steckel is going through the "scratches" drills with Holtby and Poti. Expect Hendricks to center King/Bradley on the 4th line

posted by cmasisak on twitter

Posted by: ablake70 | November 9, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

BB must have read my 10:54 post and banned Steckle to the hot dogs and nacho's!! First Knuble and now BB, they really do read what is written on CI!:)

Posted by: PhilR | November 9, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

i don't think we should let this goatlender thing go. it is quite amusing :)

i was marginally disappointed, but not surprised, to see that i wasn't the first to make this connection.

perhaps knuble should sacrifice viktor kozlov (kozlov means goats in Russian)

Posted by: j762 | November 9, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

perhaps knuble should be looking at viktor kozlov (kozlov means goats in russian)

looking for some fights tonight with that 4th line...

Posted by: j762 | November 9, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

Dont forget what started it all...Cstanton1 telling us all that we need to keep a close eye on this guy Hendricks that will be attening camp. And what happens...the Caps sign him.

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 9, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

If he does read this...

1)Thank you for making green into a TRUE defenseman. He is playing outstanding.

2)Start giving Fleishman and Fehr the wrong schedule of times.

3)Alternate Holtby into the rotation a little more often. Even when crystal varley gets back.

4)See number 1.


Posted by: SoaringCaps | November 9, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Not only does Kozlov mean "goat" but Ovechkin I believe means "little lamb."

The only thing we need is a grassy knoll as the location of Knuble's sacrifice and we have a full-blown conspiracy.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 9, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps,

Do you think BB made Green a TRUE defensemen or do you think it was Yzerman? Seems to me that Green began to really work on his defensive game after getting snubbed from the Olympics last year so I'm not so sure you are thanking the right individual. Did BB make Green the best OFFENSIVE dman in the NHL? Yes, but the defensive side of the house I believe falls on Yzerman's snuff and Green's hard work in the second half of last year and the off-season.

Posted by: PhilR | November 9, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

And we agree, let's see a bit more of Holtby between the pipes!

Posted by: PhilR | November 9, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@ Phil R

Yzerman is the one to thank it that is what people choose to do but as I posted earlier and no one said anything

Question ....... Anyone else think it is only a matter of time until Carlson/Alzner become the top d line ? Next year GMGM has to be wondering do I put my money into them or give Green another 5m a year deal.

In time we will see lots of Holtby. Slowly people slowly.

Posted by: bqts | November 9, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@Phil,

I would hope that a coach who sees a player everyday during the season and, you know, actually coaches a guy would have more impact on a player's development than a former-great simply stating - one-time and at a distance - that someone isn't defensively responsible to a sufficient degree.

But I think you're right to be skeptical.

Might some credit also be due to the assistant coach (is it Bob Wood?) with primary defensive duties?

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | November 9, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I was speaking generally in my post...only the "i got your levity part" was directed at you. I never thought I had a problem with u until you mentioned that "we" might.

I really do think certain people blame me for running off cstanton (which is hugely unfair and incorrect)I wasn't even the one being nasty to him that evening...some other poster set him off (easy to do) and somehow I got caught in the line of fire)I was being sarcastic when I said lets just try to get along...sorry my humor does not translate to the CI...I will put smiley faces everywhere from now on to be clear :)

TO ALL POSTERS:

If at any time u feel I am speaking down to you or nasty...just bring it up...I am work in a school and I talk to kids all day...my tone very well accidentally transfer to this blog...I mean nothing by it.

Can we bring up some hockey stuff to debate now?

Posted by: capscoach | November 9, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I really am a nice person people!

Posted by: capscoach | November 9, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

bqts,

To tell you the truth I think they can keep all three if they don't plan on re-signing Semin......If he is re-signed then who knows what they do, I think the way Green is now playing that you need to get him signed without a doubt.

How many years do Carlson/Alzner have on their current contracts?

Posted by: PhilR | November 9, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@bqts, the above is for you as well, then.

(and I may be understating Green and Stevie Y's interaction at Team Canada's selection camps prior to the Games. Perhaps the point stands, regardless.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | November 9, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

bqts,

If Green is willing to sign an extension for 5M per year, lock him in for as long as you can.

Capscoach,

No need to apologize, people have thin skins sometimes for no good reason.

Posted by: Steve_R | November 9, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Alzner (1.6m)is rfa next year and carlson (.85) the following year, but you have to also keep in mind we also have 5m tied up in poti and sarge as well and still need to sign or do something on semin, bradley, gordon, hendricks, laich, knuble, flushman and china doll too all next year. And all of that is with out even thinking about hershey, sloan or fahey

Posted by: bqts | November 9, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

perhaps knuble should be looking at viktor kozlov (kozlov means goats in russian)

looking for some fights tonight with that 4th line...

Posted by: j762 | November 9, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

stevie_in_gp,

I just really noticed that he began working more on the defensive side of the game once the Olympic rosters were completed. I think that Yzerman leaving him off really hurt him and that is what started everything. Now Woods may have certainly helped out but why did we not see this effort until after Team Canada was announced?

I also heard BB complian about him not producing offensively late last season when it was obvious he was concentrating on the D side of the house......that is wny I don't believe he deserves any of the credit on the D side.

Posted by: PhilR | November 9, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach

I think most posters would forget your argument with cstanton1 if you'd stop bringing it up every five posts. He wasn't banned. It's his decision not to post, so get over it.

I don't follow the AHL, so I had no idea teams have four days off each week. I've been impressed with Carlson and Alzner these last few games, but this could get ugly fast. It will be a real test to see how these two hold up with games every other day.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 9, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

bqts,

Alzner should be able to be resigned for about the same amount, he hasn't shown 1st pairing skills thus far in my eyes. Flush is gone after this year, hopefully sooner! Sloan also bye-bye, don't see Knuble coming back (likely retire), Laich could be an issue and Brads can be replaced cheaper out of Hershey (I like Brads but no money for him).

You have got to lock in Green if he continues at this pace.......the guy has been nothing short of outstanding on bto O and D.

Posted by: PhilR | November 9, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

bqts and stevie,

Moving on to next thread.......

Posted by: PhilR | November 9, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@Phil,

You're right about the appearance of the timing, certainly.

I wonder just how much of this is a question of personal maturity. He really is just a young guy.

Of course, the line between internally-inspired maturation and listening to all the various "mentors" and people giving advice - and deciding what weight to give to each - is a fine one. Being an offensively-gifted d-man may actually be a challenging position, professionally speaking, for a host of reasons.

I know you and I tend to come down on different sides of the debate as to whether WE GUESS Boudreau's influence is overall positive or negative: I tend to surmise that what is said publicly is not the entirety of the message. (Indeed, I even read some of Boudreau's public comments differently. Perhaps I'm being too forgiving.)

Long story endless: I'm glad he's focusing more on that which clearly comes less naturally to him.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | November 9, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The Caps organzation's leading scorer is in action tonight in Swift Current. Sorta surprising that Cody Eakin's 10 goals and 19 points leads the apparently scoring challenged organization after the first month of the season.

Posted by: dull | November 9, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

i must say that the goatlender typo, and all the ensuing posts (including some great investigative journalism into pseudonyms here on CI) has provided some of the best non-hockey entertainment i've seen in a while.

thanks for the laughs all, especially Katie. Much appreciated.

Posted by: PSD1 | November 9, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

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