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Morning Skate Update (Updated)

The morning skate just wrapped up, and there's not a whole new to report.

Jose Theodore will start in goal and both Sergei Fedorov (ankle) and Jeff Schultz (finger) will return to the lineup against the Oilers, who will likely be without leading scorer Ales Hemsky (concussion).

Some other stuff you need to know:

*The forward combos will, in fact, look like yesterday's. The 'D' pairings will be:

Alzner-Jurcina
Erskine-Green
Morrisonn-Schultz

Erskine told me that he couldn't remember being paired with Green in a regular season game. He did, however, recall a preseason contest last season in which the two were partners.

*Boyd Gordon (back spasms) will likely miss at least the next two games, Coach Bruce Boudreau said. The checking line center could be back for Saturday's game against Boston.

*Tom Poti practiced again today, but he's not going to play before Saturday at the earliest - and that's probably optimistic.

So Karl Alzner can breathe easy. For now.

"You have to weigh whether it would be good for him to wait until after the all-star break," Boudreau said of Poti, the team's steadiest defenseman. "Because that would give him that extra week."

*Boudreau said he warned his players this morning about looking past the Oilers and ahead to Wednesday's showdown with Pittsburgh. We'll know by about the middle of the second period tonight whether they were listening.

"Two points is two points whether you're beating Pittsburgh or Edmonton," Boudreau said. "We've had trouble facing Western teams this year. So if we look past [the Oilers] shame on us. We talked about it."

In fact, seven of the Caps' 13 losses have come against the West (6-7-0).

*Does it appear that Alex Ovechkin is shooting more this season? Well, he's on pace for 517 shots, which would be a career high (despite missing two games).

*Asked if it was important to get a power play goal (or three) against the Oilers, who rank 28th on the PK, Boudreau cracked, "Why did you have to bring that up? That's like the kiss of death."

*Eric Fehr will be the healthy scratch.

*Update:I'm hearing the Oilers might not have Hemsky or C Shawn Horcoff, their third leading scorer, either. Horcoff has the flu. Also looks like Dwayne Roloson will get the start.

We'll check in again before the game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 13, 2009; 11:43 AM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lines

Comments

Erskine and Green scare me... but I wouldn't be surprised if the combo's change through out the course of the game.

and F pitt. I hate them

Posted by: goskinsgo | January 13, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

repost

@Leeguru
Yes, I am happy, and will be wearing my #4 proudly. I will have to look for Stevo. Pumped for tonight's game.

Tomorrow night should be great @ Mr. Days, they have always done a great job accommodating us, and you can't beat the price.

*SUPER*

Posted by: SZALACH7 | January 13, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Should be interesting to see Erskine back-up Green...not sure that is going to work.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 13, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I so hope we don't look past the Oilers. The Penguins are tomorrow night's problem. The Oilers are tonight's problem, and as Gabby said, we've had trouble with the Western Conference this year.

Too, the sloppy D the last couple of games has concerned me. We need to tighten that back up, and hopefully Gabby has done exactly that in practice yesterday.

Here's hoping for a good game tonight.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 13, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

after missing friday's game, i can barely contain myself ofr the game tonight and the lumberjack is back and paired with greenie to boot

Posted by: _stevo | January 13, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Tarik, why did you mention the PP? I bet you mention the S-word too when we haven't conceded a goal and there's only 10 minutes to go! :)

From the last thread, whoever called for more shot on goals after the last two games, I'd hardly say that 40 odd shots against Columbus was a low total. We just happened to be facing Mason who is an alien from the Planet Shutout!

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 13, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@Super

Ditto about Mr. Days. Also, I'll be getting to Days around 4 pm tomorrow with a small crew, but will proably be leaving around 5.30 to head down to Chinatown for the Cuse/G'town game. If you and 94 and company get out of work early, swing on by.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 13, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I just want to wash the taste of these last two losses out of my mouth. I'm really hoping for an early lead that turns into a laugher.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | January 13, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@lylewimbledon: Only one way to find out. One wodners if this is the time for experimentation, but we KNOW Erskine/Schultz didn't work. I think it's an interesting bit of psychology, and one that Bruce has used to good effect this year. You want someone to step up and perform? Throw them into the fire. And by pairing Erskine with Green, throwing him into the fire is exactly what Bruce is doing.

*shrug* It's as good a theory as any.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 13, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

well if you guys notice, green/erskine are riding the second pair. obvious the shutdown combo from jurcina and alzner will see more minutes, with green getting more in there on the special teams.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 13, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

No doubt that Mason was absurd. I also said in my post that there wasn't any beating him that night.

"More shots" was short sighted when you look at the raw numbers. I guess I just want to see guys like Semin rip it at the net and look for tips and rebounds rather than holding or looking for the extra pass or move. This has been particularly frustrating on the PP of late. That and the fact that it seemed like they were getting stood up at the blue line too often and defensive clears on the PP came way too easy.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | January 13, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@Kittypawz

I just don't have the faith in Erskine that BB does...guess that's why I'm not coaching in the NHL.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 13, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

If I was worried about anything it would be Feds level of health with the ankle. I missed his last game back. How was he?

Posted by: cappies | January 13, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Any word from Captain and the crappy season he is having or playing on the 4th line?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 13, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm out of town for tonight and tomorrows games, can someone please drop a link that the games will air on, if possible? I wwould be eternally grateful.

I predict a win!

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 13, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@UKDave

I actually felt our last couple of games, we played well. we had tons of good scoring chances on Mason, we just could not finish.

The habs game..oof. Isolated, stupid defensive mistakes lead to shortie goals and losing in the final minute.

when you get 40+ shots on net and dont score a goal, you dont deserve to win. ditto about us going 0 for 6 or 7 on the PP against columbus.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 13, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@Cricket

good point about us not being able to penetrate the blue line. OBS line is awesome and all, but none of them are standout rush guys. we need someone who can rush their zone and get the puck past their blue line. we can always get in right through, then usually it comes flying towards Jose/Johnson.

our even strength game seems to be hit or miss depending on what system the other team is using.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 13, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@drinkingpartner...
NHL.com and Center Ice both had a free 2 week preview. Not sure if that is still going on.

Posted by: cappies | January 13, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

i know we discussed this yesterday but i just wish semin would drop down to the second line and let kozlov play with ov and backstrom. like his size up there and it has always worked well.

im worried about alzner when poti comes back. i dont want him to be sent back to hershey.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 13, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

i like o-b-k better. Kozlov is able to penetrate the blue line without having to try to deke everyone out.

@drinkingpartner

there is a link me and all my friends use, i will try to find it and post it. its usually streaming all the games for free.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 13, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

capsfansince74: I hate to say it, but he probably will be, for cap reasons and roster space reasons. Of course, at the rate we're going injury-wise, the odds of that being a thing forever are pretty slim. Remember also that we'll probably have him come the playoffs anyway, and better to get him all the ice time he can handle in Hershey.

(We're apparently third in the league in man-games lost to injury.)

On a sort-of-related note, Tarik's comment yesterday that Pothier sought clearance to play and was denied says something really interesting to me. He also said that Pothier sounded disappointed. What does this say to you about Pothier's intentions vis a vis returning? I know that he said he was going to get completely healthy and then decide ... but watching him a couple of times at Kettler and then reading that makes me think that he intends to return to hockey. Thoughts?

(By the way, my feeling on that is that only he, his doctors, and his family can make that decision, and that it's not my place to opine one way or the other. Only he and they know what is best for him and his family, and I trust him to make the right choice.)

Posted by: kittypawz | January 13, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I think the main reason OBS is together right now is that there's nobody on the second line capable of protecting Semin. We've had a couple of runs made at him, some that put him out of games, and we can't afford that again. He's got to have someone on his line and possibly on the D as well who can and will stick up for him and drop the gloves if necessary.

(And I still have a sneaking hunch that Ovi can fight.)

Posted by: kittypawz | January 13, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

@drinking

I got a tip for hockeystreams.com last week and it's WAY better than my crappy NHL account - I can watch all games. The nice thing is that you can get one day ($3.99), one week (6.99), or more. If you're traveling for a week it's the best option that I've found.

Posted by: saintex | January 13, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

We will win tonight cuz my Caps hat is back in its display position. See, I went away for the weekend last Thursday and not only missed both games, but brought my Caps hat with me to wear.

But now I'm back and it's back. So win we will!

Posted by: sargeantmofo | January 13, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I was also away this past weekend... There's nothing worse then only having the Caps score on your cell phone and seeing the it tied with under a minute and next thing you know the page refreshes and they lose.

Posted by: cappies | January 13, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Lets just hope Erskine remembers how to play hockey.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 13, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I think E is on the line with Green because Morrison has looked like CRAP in the last few games. I am not sure what has been going on with him but he has not been playing well at all. That said it was one of our "top two?" who lost the last game for us with a horrible bush league play!

Posted by: majiksea | January 13, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

majiksea: It's easy to throw Jurcina under the bus on that one, but how many other goals could have been prevented? That first shortie should not have happened, and I'm personally of the opinion that Johnson should have had that last one. Let it go and let's focus on tonight's game.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 13, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

re: Pothier

Interesting if he is able to make it back this year. The caps could theoretically field a d corps of poti/ pothier/ green/ morrisonn/ alzner/ schultz as a top 6.

They would have to clear some salary (i.e. Nylander) for that to happen.

Posted by: stormblue | January 13, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Can we please just go back to the OBK line?
It worked all year. It worked for the 7 game winning streak, right?

drinking= down here in Myrtle Beach, I've caught some games on JustinTV.

Posted by: al852 | January 13, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The combination of Green and Erskine should terrify. . . . Jose Theodore. With Green's proclivities to jump into the offensive zone (very effectively), that leaves Erskine likely to face odd-man rushes. Erskine or Jurcina (an even more frightening combo) are almost always on the ice when opposing teams score, no matter how "tough" Erskine is supposed to be.

Posted by: bucknelldad | January 13, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

How come Wilbon never writes about the Caps.

Posted by: hessone | January 13, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@Bucknelldad

Thank you - been saying that all along...Erskine is too slow to cover Green when he jumps up. I love Green and his offensive skills, but I swear I saw him take on 4 guys vs Columbus during a shift change and cough up the puck. He is good for at least one of those mistakes a game and I hate to have Erskine covering 2 v 1

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 13, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

who?

Posted by: Baildog | January 13, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

F Wilbon and his NBA BS

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 13, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The Dallas v Detroit game last night was a high scoring affair. Most of the goals came from scrappiness in front of the net. Both teams had at least 1 and often 2 guys in front of the other's goalie battling for position, bumping and grinding it out.

If we could consistently do that, we'd have SJS's record. Perimeter shots will not win all the games we need to win. We need some attitude up front.

Conversely, if/when they try the same tactics on us in front of BJ or JT, we need the D-guys to put them on their wallets and get them out of the play.

Finally, we can't look past a single team. Every one of them can bite us. Atlanta did early on. We have to win every period, every minute, every battle for the puck. Never take the foot off of the gas pedal.

This Caps team has a nasty habit of letting teams back into games. They have got to break it now. They also have a habit of playing down to teams. They need to break that one, too.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 13, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@hessone

Wilbon doesn't even recognize hockey as existing in the DC area; he only recognizes teams that go 8-8 and take up almost the whole Sports section or teams that also play at Verizon Center that as of last night have 30 losses already. Don't hold your breath my friend... If you want to stick with someone who didn't normally cover the Caps but does a good job from time to time go with Mike Wise. Wilbon isn't a sports writer - he's a football and basketball writer.

Posted by: Roose | January 13, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The rumours of Vinny Lecavalier's imminent return to Montreal seem to pop up at regular intervals, but TSN guru Bob McKenzie is among those who believe the latest report has more legs than a centipede. The big question seems to be whether Lecavalier would agree to leave warm, sunny Tampa - today's forecast actually calls for rain ahead of a cooling trend that will drop the temperature to 16C - to become the next great star of the Canadiens. The question should be: Can Lecavalier help the Canadiens? A few seasons back, the question would have been moot. But Lecavalier's play this season has been good, but not great. He has 16 goals and 36 points, four points behind teammate Marty St. Louis ..."

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 13, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

hessone

Because he thinks hockey is boring and the season lasts too long.

Also, because he's an idiot. Same goes for his partner.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 13, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

if green steps up and leaves erskine or whoever with a 2 v 1, that is green's fault not the other D-men. If you say erskine is too slow to cover, then you would proably hate it even more to have schultz playing with green

Posted by: _stevo | January 13, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S: Agreed on both habits that need to be broken. It's hard to play at 100% all the time for 82 games, though. You'll wear yourself out and have nothing left for the postseason.

Because he thinks hockey is boring and the season lasts too long.

I have found that if you press most people who say that, they'll admit that it bores them because it moves too fast for them to follow, and therefore they get bored because they have no idea what's going on.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 13, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Like was agreed upon in the previous morning update ("forward combos" link up top), Ovechkin should be on a line with Backstrom and Kozlov, and Fedorov needs to play with Semin and either Flash or Laich.

Basically this gives the Capitals 2 lethal even strength lines, which will together log 45+ minutes in a 60 minute game.

Either of these 2 lines is stronger than 75% of the rest of the NHL's top lines. It would be a shame to let such depth go to waste by overloading the top line, IMO.

Posted by: DrAdamson | January 13, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

if green steps up and leaves erskine or whoever with a 2 v 1, that is green's fault not the other D-men. If you say erskine is too slow to cover, then you would proably hate it even more to have schultz playing with green

Posted by: _stevo | January 13, 2009 1:43 PM


no doubt. And you know its gonna happen. He does it at even strength and he does it with a man up on the PP. Drives me batty. No one should have to cover someone's butt as much as any of MG's defensive partners.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 13, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@_Stevo

It's absolutely Green's fault. I thought Morrison did a good job last year of covering for him, but Mo is not playing well. A quick and smart defensemen needs to be Green's partner - not Schultz, not Erskine. I'm afraid Erskine will rely on what he knows best - taking penalties.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 13, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, Mo had a slow start but he looked great in the Philly game. Missed most of the weekend games, though, did he look worse than the others? Anyway, pinching up is part of Green's game. Maybe in the future he'll have Alzner covering his back.

Posted by: honed | January 13, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

semin-fed-laich/flash

is better than 75% of NHL's top lines?

little bit of a stretch.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 13, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

no doubt. And you know its gonna happen. He does it at even strength and he does it with a man up on the PP. Drives me batty. No one should have to cover someone's butt as much as any of MG's defensive partners.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 13, 2009 1:59 PM
-------------------------------------------
Just how "batty" does it drive you?

Posted by: Section117 | January 13, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

If anybody is (really) bored, I am about to go on an local radio show on an ESPN radio station on the Eastern Shore to talk hockey. A friend of mine from high school is the host.

http://www.shanshariff.com/Welcome.html

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 13, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The Post's competitor is already looking ahead to the Pitt game - hope the team isn't!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 13, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The best partner for Green would be Alzner because he Has the best set of wheels than the rest. I am sure BB knows this but does not want to put the kid on a hot seat just yet. Down the road Alzner27 will be the one. As for the top line I think Semin really wants to play with OV and BB wants to keep this guy happy and so he should. Give them a couple games more and see what happens. If they don't fill the net go back to plan B.

Posted by: jgreif | January 13, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Tough first assignment for Erskine. Covering for Green your first game back could be pretty rough. It's great to be able to use Green in that way as long as his partner is able to deal with the rushes coming back the other way. I wouldn't have guessed that combo, at least until Erskine gets back into form. Even then it's a little iffy.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 13, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

If anybody is (really) bored, I am about to go on an local radio show on an ESPN radio station on the Eastern Shore to talk hockey.

Good segment from what I'm hearing man.

Posted by: Section117 | January 13, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I like reading this blog for all the hard-hitting insider questions Tarik gets to ask the players. I haven't seen one of the calibur of "Is it important to score on the PP to win?"

since maybe:
"Do you think because you scored a goal tonight you're going to score lots of goals next game? Every game?"

Posted by: SpeedSchtick | January 13, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

15,420 second until the drop of the puck

Posted by: _stevo | January 13, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Let's trade Schultz finger for Jeff Finger.

Or, let's call Jeff Schultz Jeff 'Finger' Schultz...

Any other ideas?

Posted by: CodePoetry | January 13, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Sombrero
Good effort mate. Maybe a chance of career?

richmondphil,
Re Mason. He made some outstanding saves and when he was (rarely) out of position his friends the Goalpost Brothers and Mr Crossbar bailed him out. I think we hit the iron 4 times.

Point is (yes there is one) sometimes you have those nights where its not gonna go in. It wasn't for a lack of effort, just wasn't our night.

Section117,
Not ignoring you mate. Had an enjoyable night Saturday watching the Liverpool game in a packed Manchester pub and an even better one on Sunday watching Utd murder Chelsea. Rafa is cracking and before you play again we could be top.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 13, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"Rafa is cracking and before you play again we could be top."

I think you will, based on that Chelsea game alone.

Posted by: Section117 | January 13, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@DaveUKCapsFan

What beer did you order in Manchester pub?

Posted by: CodePoetry | January 13, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

There has been a lot of speculation about Mo being trade bait. It does seem interesting that BB has broken up the Green/Mo pair. Maybe BB is just trying to find someone to jell with Green until Alzner is ready. Hence the Green/Schultz and Green/Erskine experiment. Hope Milan bounces back and Erskine practiced clearing the puck without sending it over the glass.

Still not sure why a 21-91-28 line is not rolling. I know Laich is not a fighter per se, but I would rather he step into the "protect Semin role" vs Ovi. Who was Semin paired with when he was on his role earlier in the season before the injury?

Posted by: Kim-3 | January 13, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@Sombrero

Nice work! enjoyed it

Posted by: fullright | January 13, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Section117,
Wigan (won 6 of last 7) and Bolton should not be taken lightly. Just like the Caps with the Oil tonight.

Code,
We were on Becks or Peetermans all night with bottles of Estrella to finish (I think!!)

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 13, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Was that contract number for Erskine in the dead tree edition correct? It said two year, 2.5 million. I thought it was closer to 1.5...

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 13, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Oldtime,
I think it was 1.25 over 2 years, hence the 2.5 total. I think.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 13, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"Well, he's on pace for 517 shots, which would be a career high."

517 would be the second highest total ever and the first time anyone came within 100 shots of Phil Esposito's record of 550.

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | January 13, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

DaveUK,

Wigan: 3 of those 6 wins are against the bottom of the table, and they're going to Old Trafford.

Bolton: Scored one goal all year against the Big 4. Combine that with an amazing shutout streak in League matches by the Devils, and who knows...

Understood about not looking forward and all, but there's no Steve Mason equivalent on either of those next two opponents right now.

Posted by: Section117 | January 13, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@DaveUK & Fullright - Thanks! Glad you guys enjoyed it. I'll give everyone a heads up if it happens again.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 13, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

117,
Ok possibly Everton are the only decent team they've beaten in that run but the aren't conceding many and in the PL that's still an achievement. Long way to go but Utd are right in it now. Late winners against Sunderland and Stoke have kept us in it.

Lets hope the Caps have no need for late winners tonight. Its about time someone got a whoopin'

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 13, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Sombrero,
Just remember us when you are rich and famous.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 13, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I'll have a pint of bitter.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 13, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Hello all,

Hope everyone has a great time at the game tonight bc I will not be in attendence (first missed game of the season).

Just to let everyone know, I booked Mister Days tomorrow and we will have the plasma room which is directly to your right when walking in. There will be $2 beers and apps until 8 or 9. I will be showing up for happy hour there anyways so if you see a guy in a white 94, that is me.

If you need directions use the internet!!

Posted by: numero94 | January 13, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

DaveUKCapsFan

Is Whitbread still around? I was in England for a month. I think my hand grew a pint glass appendage filled with Whitbread while I was there.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 13, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

If we dont absolutely steamroll this team, there is something wrong. I'm expecting a 5 - 1 score, AO with 2, Backs with a 4 point game (1G, 3A).

Posted by: Moose33 | January 13, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, I'll check out hockeystreams!


Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 13, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I think Steckle gets a goal tonight.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 13, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I've noticed in the past few weeks that Backstrom has been doing alot of covering for Green. I'm not saying it's right but he(Backstrom) usually gets back in time to break up the play if there is an odd man rush. Has anybody else noticed this too?

Posted by: ludeman95 | January 13, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Play Eric Fehr or trade him, he deserves a good chance. Nice to have the Canadian boys around for the playoffs, trust me. If he does not get ice time, how much longer will he stay?

Posted by: Freez | January 13, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The best partner for Green would be Alzner because he Has the best set of wheels than the rest. I am sure BB knows this but does not want to put the kid on a hot seat just yet. Down the road Alzner27 will be the one. As for the top line I think Semin really wants to play with OV and BB wants to keep this guy happy and so he should. Give them a couple games more and see what happens. If they don't fill the net go back to plan B.

Posted by: jgreif | January 13, 2009 2:34 PM


I'd take Poti over anyone else right now- he is defensively AWARE (something most of our other D are not) and he's willing to address a loose puck or a loose forward. Mo has also stepped up his game. The rest of our D including Alzner has too many holes in their game. Alzner's been taking awful angles and getting caught up ice recently. His play along the boards is also suspect. He's not physically mature enough to deal with forwards the way Mo and Poti are.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 13, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

lets hope we dont pull a blue jackets game and lose to a team when they don't have their two top scorers

Posted by: _stevo | January 13, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

**walks in, looks around, shakes his head while commenting: "Women!"**

Posted by: Leeguru | January 13, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I heard that Burns and Clutterbuck are on the trading block - maybe that's where Nyls is going?!? We sure could use some D and a good hitter, and they then need some offense strength ... thrown Flash in that package and it's a win/win.

Dave:
Is it safe to assume that you are not sticking around for tonight's game? :-)

Posted by: Boo- | January 13, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Flash eh?
Looks like the idea's gaining some...
:)

Posted by: austinsteve | January 13, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

WE NEED A WIN. PERIOD. LEADERSHIP AT THE BLUELINE. ITS GETTING NEAR THE TIME WHERE DECISIONS WILL BE MADE IN REGARDS TO A CUP RUN. NO MORE THAN 2 GOALS AGAINST.

Posted by: ergoroc | January 13, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I think Leeguru's just been cut off. :D

Posted by: Greg S. | January 13, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

@ludeman95
I too have noticed Backstrom helping out on defense a lot lately. I think this speaks volumes about his personal development as a player, and we are lucky to have him.

Erskine returning to the lineup makes me cringe. Kozlov on the 2nd line rather than the 8/19 line makes me wistful. Another mark in the "W" column makes me happy.

Posted by: 1hockeymom | January 13, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Did not mean to blame the whole loss on Juice, but in Johnnie's defense it is hard to follow the puck when the defenseman is doing a death spiral on top of it! That said, it would appear that Johnnie's true nature is shining through. Consistancy is what has kept him from being a #1 goalie for years and he is back to being inconsistent. I just hope the hockey gods stay on JT's side, we need one consistent goalie!

Posted by: majiksea | January 13, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Play Fehr over Clark...I don't see why he should be scratched. Or scratch Nylander. Tonight we need to get traffic in front of the net. You can have 60 shots on goal but if you're not going to the net and the goalie is playing well, pucks will be cleared away and you'll have nothing to show for it. And another thing...why look to the Pens like they are so good, both of these teams tonight and tomorrow are very beatable. I ain't scared of the Pens...they're damn near .500. GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: reesem37 | January 13, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

@Dave UK,

Ok, 1.25 per would be 2.5, but isn't "1.25 over two years" really 600K per year? If I told you that you would receive $9 over 3 years, you would expect about $3 a year.

Let me see what TSN says....

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 13, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Sombrero, Is your shot at fame going to be available anywhere? I've been stuck in class all day and won't be out til after the game tonight.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 13, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

never mind. It is 2.5/2. To paraphase several comments on this blog when it was announced: WTF?

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 13, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I've been married for a long time, so I've been "cut off" for years..... :[

Posted by: Leeguru | January 13, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

DrinkingPartner:
you can always try: atdhe.com

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 13, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom has covered for Greene because he is supposed to. When your D makes a rush it is usually the pivot who circles back. BB wants Greene to pinch so some of you need to let up on your criticism. He creates scoring chances. Poti and Mo are def the best 2 to pair with him.

Posted by: tomdchancar | January 13, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

CLUTTERBUCK! Damn you CLUTTERBUCK!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 13, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I feel your pain, brother...

Posted by: Greg S. | January 13, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru:
i long time could be a week!
Greg S:
i'm not sure you could imagine my pain

28 yrs - but it only seems like 28 minutes ....

... underwater

boo/jmu/pawz:
just an joke - not really looking for any responses

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 13, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

capt.,

if only a week.....

Posted by: Leeguru | January 13, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Boo,
Really, do you think GMGM is going for Clutterbuck because Ted can see all the jerseys he would sell with that on? I may be here for the 1st.

Ludeman95,
Nicky has been getting back more but as a centre its his job.

Oldtime,
I meant 1.25 for each of his 2 years. Oh well, whatever its still too high.

Lee,
I wondered when you were gonna walk in.

Greg,
Whitbread is still aorund. Its now a massive pub/restaurant/hotel chain. I can't think of a particular beer they brew though. Seem to be mostly hospitality now.


Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 13, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I got to where I pretty much ignore Wilbon. The NBA is a joke anymore. But his partner,who I used to kind of like, brings pretty intense feelings of dislike. His comments over the years about the Capitals and even the Nationals,his smarmy self serving jive a@# attitude make me sick.

Posted by: ridgely1 | January 13, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Let's start thinking about...playoffs...we should start grooming the canadian content on this team to muck it out in the corners and front of the net. Don't bench the young canadians (ie Fehr).

Posted by: Freez | January 13, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon is only interested in the Bears and the NBA.

I haven't seen him as excited as he was in 2006 when the Bears made the Super Bowl against Indy.

No doubt his love for the NBA comes from watching his hometown Bulls in the 90's.

So, for Washingtonians he is a zero.

But at least he is more honest than Kornheiser used to be.

Kornheiser lived here for 25 years and still maintains that he was never a Washingtonian.

What a joke.

He's in the perfect spot now, where he doesn't have to comment on or follow a specific team through the ups and downs and can merely jock-sniff each Monday Night with a new friend.

Posted by: leopard09 | January 13, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

thank god the Caps don't play in the Western conf. Wouldn't make the playoffs over there. Thank god for the good ole lame SE. And why wait till we're down by 3 goals before showing any real urgency in front of their net? stoooopid!

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 13, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

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