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Morning Skate Update

Here's the latest from KCI:

Viktor Kozlov will indeed miss tonight's game against Los Angeles. But there still is no update on Brent Johnson, who has been visiting specialists the past few days. Bruce Boudreau said Kozlov could return on Saturday; Johnson is at least out for the weekend.

I'm told the team does not expect to make any decisions regarding Johnson until later today or tonight. If you remember, GM George McPhee said on Tuesday that surgery is an option for Johnson, who has been suffering from a nagging hip injury. Apparently, going under the knife is still a possibility. But so is avoiding surgery and just resting it. Stay tuned on this one.

Here's some other stuff to get you ready for tonight's game against the Kings:


*If Johnson is unable to play, the plan is to keep Michal Neuvirth in Washington - for now.

"Varlamov is injured in Hershey, so Machesney is getting the workload down there and Michal is up here," Boudreau said. "Michal was getting a pretty good workload in Hershey, playing three out of four games before he came up here. So he's game-tested. So if he's here for any length of time, he'll play."

*Boudreau was typically guarded about his line combos for tonight, but Eric Fehr will skate on the first line with Sergei Fedorov and Alex Ovechkin. Fehr has been really good the past three games and was especially solid against New Jersey, where he rang a shot off the goal post and scored an empty netter.

"We have a lot of options on the right side," Boudreau said. With Fehr "it's confidence and playing his game instead of playing the way the other two want him to play. That's always a challenge when a young guy comes up and plays with two seasoned veterans."

*The Kings have won four of five and are "hungry" now that they've climbed to within five points of Vancouver for the eighth spot in the West. Don't forget the Kings beat an injury-plagued Caps' team 5-2 at Staples Center on that totally forgettable west coast trip in November.

"They're playing well and they don't give up a lot," he said. "They're hungry and they're close to a playoff position where no one would have given them an [chance] to be that close at this time of the year."

"The guys you focus on are the Kopitars, the Browns the Frolovs," he added. "They've got some offensive weapons they can throw at you."

I'll be watching rookie defenseman Drew Doughty, who has three goals and 15 points and seems to be out there every other shift. He carved up the Caps in the teams' first meeting.

*The Caps' 14-point lead over Carolina Florida in the Southeast Division is their biggest of the season and biggest in the Division since late in 2001. Fifteen points is the biggest division lead the Caps have ever had (and that was in 2001).

I hope to get an update on Johnson this afternoon. So check back.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 5, 2009; 11:52 AM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lines

Comments

Good news that Neuvy will be given a chance to play if he's here (there) long enough.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 5, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

FEHR ON THE 1st LINE!! Yes, it's about time. There is quite possibly the largest cheering section for Eric Fehr and it's located in my section - 400. Don't let us down...

Posted by: redskins2448 | February 5, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait see how Fehr plays on the top line with Ovi.

Posted by: 28_is_amazing | February 5, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Long enough likely = until the 14th of February. The 14th the Caps play Tampa, and the 15th they play Florida. Back-to-back games...one vs. 2nd place in the division, one vs. a team struggling for consistency. Looks like a great game to start Neuvy...if he's still here.

And yay for Fehr (potentially) on the 1st line!

Posted by: Jeff_ | February 5, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Bruce called Ovie a seasoned vet...He is 23...I love it...

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Oops...

I can't wait TO see how Fehr plays on the top line with Ovi and Fedorov. I hope he brings the same level of passion we've seen from him in the last two games.

Posted by: 28_is_amazing | February 5, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Bummer about Johnny. I'm curious about those "other options." I hope there's one that wouldn't take him out as long as recovering from surgery.

Posted by: 28_is_amazing | February 5, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I was looking at the game notes...Not one player on the Kings has a jersey number over 44

Isnt there some unwritten code that when your untested and young, you keep your number low? .i.e. Rookies cant just grab #95 because they like it ...

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

From previous thread:

@ kitty

lol, it's a commercial thats been on DC101 this past week, just think about how a 80 year old lady would sound saying that.

----

Can't find a link for it but if you listen to EITM its been on there the past few days.

Posted by: CapManJ | February 5, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: CapManJ | February 5, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Oooh, Fehr on the first line. Both nervous and cautiously optimistic. This should be interesting.

Yeah, the Kings make me nervous. They're looking for this one - it'll be something of a statement game for them, I'm guessing. And we historically take mental vacations when playing teams like these. Here's to a good solid win and two points for the good guys!

Posted by: kittypawz | February 5, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@CapManJ: Not in a position to look right now but I will later :) Thanks!

Posted by: kittypawz | February 5, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Good to see Fehr is being rewarded for playing well the past three games: 2 G 2 A. Remember, that shot that rang off the post against New Jersey went through the goalie's pads.

As a person who was Nylander-hater, I have to admit, he's stepped up his game the past couple of weeks. So glad to see that. If it continues, I'll will surely eat my words.

I hope Flash and Feds get goals tonight. It's been a while since those two have scored a goal, if my memory serves me correct.

Posted by: dcox50 | February 5, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I like Fehr up there as well. If he also learns how to stay in the crease, he could earn a permanent spot there next year.

Posted by: mauree | February 5, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Question for all.....Feds is twenty some goals away from the 500 mark. Do you think he will return nexzt season in an attempt to hit this landmark??!!

Posted by: PhilR | February 5, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@DaveUKCapsFan - Jeez, don't get your feathers in a ruff. I didn't say you didn't!!! I've just heard "skating on his own" used very often around here to refer to guys who don't come back for weeks later. That's all!

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm giddy with delight, about Fehr getting some 1st line duty!

Posted by: Hattrik23 | February 5, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR - I'd say it would largely depend on how close he gets this year. That would be really cool if he did, though!

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I see JT starting the next 3 games. If MN is still here next week-end he might get the nod against Tampa (front end of a back to back).

Anyone know where you can get a text messaging on updated Caps scores?

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 5, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@ SA-Town

I don't think so. Kyle Turris and Stamkos are both 91, for example.

And Flash was originally 43, which isn't especially low.

If anything, I'd say it's the other way around. You work down to your favorite number, probably. You earn that #12 or #8, now -- though no Capital will ever wear #8 again :-).

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | February 5, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Are we "players" at the trade deadline or is this team enough for a Cup?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 5, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I like the way the 14-19-16 line has been going, sad to see it get broken up so quickly. But injuries happen, and I think Fehr has earned the right to line up with Feds n Ovie.

Here's hoping that the Caps get some payback for the loss in LA.

Posted by: CapManJ | February 5, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Very excited to see Fehr with Ovie.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | February 5, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

@ Capsfannmiss

I believe CSN has something where you can get updates on the caps score via text message, I would check their website.

Posted by: CapManJ | February 5, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

hope eric fehr continues to prove me wrong and hope brashear is ready tonight. Ivanans is a really good fighter

Posted by: _stevo | February 5, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

3 game win streak with 16 goals over those 3 games. Let's keep it rolling tonight!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 5, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Are we "players" at the trade deadline or is this team enough for a Cup?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 5, 2009 12:27 PM

Depends on whether Johnson needs surgery. If so, and the rumors about Boston shopping Manny Fernandez are true, I think us joining the dance isn't out of the question.

Good luck to Eric Fehr. This is his great golden chance, and I'll bet my bottom dollar he knows it.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 5, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

YEAH FEHR...you deserve it! I hope he blows everyone away!

Posted by: NatyBG | February 5, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Just went to the Anahiem message board and there is a big conversation about how they wished they had Fehr instead of Getzlaf.

This time of year, good to give the minutes to the kids. Save the vets for a deep playoff run.

Tonight is another of those potential letdown games against mediocre teams. They're playing some of their best hockey of the year right now, lets see if they can keep it up over a team they might otherwise overlook.

Posted by: stormblue | February 5, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I am bummed about Kozlov, he will really be missed tonight! Johnson does need a rest, he hans't been himself as of late. I am curious to see how Neuvirth handles the NHL, maybe with Johnson out I will get that chance. If that doent's go well, does anyone know how long Varly will be out?

Posted by: NatyBG | February 5, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Capsfannmiss,
ESPN has text messaging and you can choose from different options:

Each score, end of period, final score. It is usually pretty timely.

Posted by: _Mark | February 5, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Just went to the Anahiem message board and there is a big conversation about how they wished they had Fehr instead of Getzlaf.

Are you serious? HAHAHAHAHAHAH. That is -amazingly- funny because I don't know how many times I've seen people say we should have taken Getzlaf. Grass is always greener, as they say ....

I suspect Theodore starts tonight. I could, of course, be wrong. Tarik didn't say :)

Posted by: kittypawz | February 5, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@ Everyone

2 players Dream
2 players Realistic

Pick two of each who you'd add to this Caps team to make it Cup worthy.

Dream = Dion Phaneuf, Martin Brodeur

Realistic = Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Ellis

They depend, though. Bouwmeester's no longer realistic if Florida continues to ascend and Ellis may not be necessary if Johnny heals.

Anyone else?

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | February 5, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The ONLY reason anyone would take Fehr over Getzlaf (and I admit to being a big Fehr fan) is due to salary. If they made the same amount of money there is no question which player you would take. Now, that said, Fehr has more room for improvement than Getzlaf, but that's because Getzlaf is already an All-Star caliber player.

Posted by: Jeff_ | February 5, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Fehr for Getzlaf? Make the trade before that sober up! I mean I like Fehr a lot, but Getzlaf was the better pick.

Posted by: majiksea | February 5, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The ONLY reason anyone would take Fehr over Getzlaf (and I admit to being a big Fehr fan) is due to salary. If they made the same amount of money there is no question which player you would take. Now, that said, Fehr has more room for improvement than Getzlaf, but that's because Getzlaf is already an All-Star caliber player.

Posted by: Jeff_ | February 5, 2009 12:53 PM

It was clearly a joke. That, or there are a bunch of imbeciles on that board. I stay at wake at night working on a time machine to go back to the 2003 draft to rectify that blunder :(. No offense to Fehr.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 5, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

maybe i missed it but whats wrong with kozlov?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 5, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The only thing Harp is good for is to sit at the top of a bLack and Tan!

Posted by: Leeguru | February 5, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Kozlov tweaked his groin in the first period of the Devils game.

Posted by: _Mark | February 5, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Dream- Kane, or Malkin - yes hate him but can you imagine?

Realistic: I think we might go after Pecca and De vries. Bouwmeester - Florida will want a lot of young talent and draft picks - plus they are in our division - not likely.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 5, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

no one in the world would make a fehr for getzlaf trade. there is only maybe 10-15 people in the nhl that the ducks would trade getzlaf for. sorry but i dont think fehr is on the list

Posted by: _stevo | February 5, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Re "are we players..." and other names mentioned as possible acquisitions; I don't get overly concerned with stats and "available" players. I just want us to get the players we NEED. Such as a strong, physical D-man, experienced or not, who can and WILL clear the crease, specially during the PK. And secondly, a hard-nosed tough guy with enough "cojones" to get in the crease on our PP.

Posted by: al852 | February 5, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@lylewimbledon -- out of curiousity, why Peca? The Caps already have a glut of centers, and he's a fourth-line guy on a good team at best, anyway. Steckel's a better player filling the same role, at this point in their respective careers.

No quarrels with De Vries, at least as a rental...getting long in the tooth, but he's the kind of solid player that might cut down on the periods of sloppiness we tend to see almost every game from the defense.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | February 5, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The Caps' 14-point lead over Carolina in the Southeast Division is their biggest of the season and biggest in the Division since late in 2001. Fifteen points is the biggest division lead the Caps have ever had (and that was in 2001).

***

The 14 point lead is actually over Florida, not carolina

Posted by: docjohnson | February 5, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I thought we had a 16 point lead a day or so ago.

Posted by: _828 | February 5, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@Drinking Partner - are we talking about guys on the block right now? I am.

Dream: Pronger, Backstrom (goalie)
Realistic: Kubina or Whitney

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | February 5, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town, I believe players usually prefer numbers lower than 30. A high number has a "that's the first number not already taken in the organization" feel to it. Now some players have reasons for picking higher numbers, but most players seem to prefer lower numbers.

Posted by: koalatek | February 5, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

@donjohnson,

nice catch. and great user ID.

--Tarik

Posted by: el_bashir | February 5, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

@ Howdy

I was thinking Pecca as a defensive forward...think he can play wing. I was just thinking that maybe we need a true checking line to shut down opponents 1st line during the playoffs. I like de vries because he can clear the crease. We have had issues with that. To get to the Stanley Cup - my guess is the road will go through Philly and Boston. They love to plant people right in front of the net - remember Hartnell last year? He killed us.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 5, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

For Dream, I assumed anybody active, otherwise I'd have said '87 Gretzky, and been done with it.

For Realisitic I meant anyone we might actually have a chance at. I personally don't think we could get Pronger for what we'd be willing to give up, otherwise, he'd have been on my list either.

But it can be interpreted however. I don't care. I just wanted to know what kinds of teams you all would "build."

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | February 5, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Isnt there some unwritten code that when your untested and young, you keep your number low? .i.e. Rookies cant just grab #95 because they like it ...

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2009 12:08 PM


It's usually a team-by-team thing. I think Ottawa started it during the mid-90s Yashin era, but I could be wrong.

Posted by: Section117 | February 5, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Um, I always like healthy players better than fragile ones. But Fehr lost a year's development to his back. If that's a harbinger, gimme Getzlaf. If it's not, I'm fine with Fehr. Kid's got -all- kinds of game.

Posted by: redlineblue | February 5, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

maybe i missed it but whats wrong with kozlov?


Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 5, 2009 1:00 PM


He's got an upper lower body injury

Posted by: Greg S. | February 5, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Question for all.....Feds is twenty some goals away from the 500 mark. Do you think he will return nexzt season in an attempt to hit this landmark??!!

Posted by: PhilR | February 5, 2009 12:23 PM

If Feds comes back next year, it won't be motivated by reaching a personal milestone.

Posted by: dml1077 | February 5, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

When we made our run to the Stanley Cup - IMO Esa Tikkanen was the final piece to the puzzle that put us through. I will be looking for that kind of player before the trade deadline...does he exist and be available?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 5, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

"Upper body"? Kozlov keeps his groin in a strange place!

Posted by: majiksea | February 5, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@Kyle
What's so special about Peca? Yes, he does hit well, has good defense, good playoff leadership to the team. But there's nothing else. Even if you compare him to David Steckel...Steckel is a much more interesting player, the way he moves, his anticipation of the play is so superb.

Posted by: justbrewit | February 5, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

sorry, meant @lyle

Posted by: justbrewit | February 5, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@Justbrew

I agree with you on Steckle - put him with Pecca and that's a good "Shut-down" line. I'm not sold on Pecca either - just thinking out loud. I'm looking for defense because obviously our offense is just fine!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 5, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

majiksea

No. Upper lower body.

I was being sarcastic and emulating our descriptive GM when discussing injuries.

I was going to add that he is day-to-day but may be out awhile but we expect him to play next year though maybe not on this team unless we decide to resign him or trade him at the deadline.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 5, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Calgary - Chicago should be a good late game!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 5, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Neuvirth is #30, by the by.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 5, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@DrinkingPartner

I really don't want to change the team at all right now, honestly. My dream team would win the Stanley Cup with the players we have.

Just for fun, I'd like to put the other Niklas Backstrom in goal, though, to confuse the announcers and make it amusing for them to call. And for further amusement value (and not for ANY other reason!) Andy Greene will be RFA this summer.

The Green-Greene ice of home, anybody?

Or Alexei Semenov... that could make for some amusing calls, too. Semen to Semenov back to Semen... I'd like to hear Joe B. say that ten times fast, LOL!

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know the extent, or even what type of injury Varlamov has? I keep reading he's injured, but nothing about what happened.

Congrats to Fehr, I guess. (I'm pretty down on him.) Hopefully Ovie can do what all of the great ones do.. make the players around him better.

One more thing... Give the C to Ovie. Clark has missed way too many games over the last 2 years to successfully do his job as captain. He was the Captain through the rebuild. When we changed uni's last year, we should have changed captains too. Nothing against the guy, but tell me its not Ovie's team.

Posted by: griz0615 | February 5, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

irockthered, aren't there a couple of other Schultz-es that are defensemen as well?

Posted by: koalatek | February 5, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

@griz0515 - OFB had a translation of an interview with Sovetsky sport on Varlamov...

http://onfrozenblog.com/2009/02/03/checking-in-with-varly.html

Posted by: SombreroGuy | February 5, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

@ howdy - what what?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 5, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

@koalatek: Yes, Nick Schultz is a D man for the Wild.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 5, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

When we made our run to the Stanley Cup - IMO Esa Tikkanen was the final piece to the puzzle that put us through. I will be looking for that kind of player before the trade deadline...does he exist and be available?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 5, 2009 2:08 PM


...and that is why I own what may well be the only Washington Capitals Esa Tikkanen jersey in existence (at least, i have never seen anyone else wear one). Purchased on the concourse during Game 3 of the Finals in 98.

Posted by: Baildog | February 5, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@griz0615:

I think Varlamov had a slight groin strain/tweak of some sort if my memory serves me right. But someone who knows for sure could correct me on that.

As far as Ovechkin getting the "C" on his sweater, it's not so easy. Clark, like you said, was the captain through the rebuild of this team, and the players on the team and the coaches have a lot of respect for him. Yes, he has missed a ton of games the past two seasons, but being a captain is not always about how many points you put up. It's about being a leader both on and off the ice, being an example of how to conduct yourself professionally on and off the ice, being another form of communication between the coaches and the players, handling officials and maybe even dropping the gloves if called upon. Ovechkin no doubt is the heart and soul of the franchise right now, but a player also must be able, and willing, to take on the role of being captain. Bruce Boudreau said Clark is the captain of this team when he comes back, so I think it is firm as to where that stands in the franchise.

Posted by: dcox50 | February 5, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"...and that is why I own what may well be the only Washington Capitals Esa Tikkanen jersey in existence (at least, i have never seen anyone else wear one). Purchased on the concourse during Game 3 of the Finals in 98.

Posted by: Baildog | February 5, 2009 2:54 PM "

You purchased that AFTER he missed the wide open net that could have clinched game 2, that we ended up losing in Overtime?????????????????

Posted by: SombreroGuy | February 5, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

@griz0615: How do you know that? Who has the C is not for us to decide. We know only what we see on the ice. We don't know what goes on in that locker room or outside of the public eye, and supposedly that's where a lot of the C's work happens. We're not privy to most of the truth and who holds the C is not our call to make.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 5, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

@koalatek - Not that are going free agent this summer... ;-)

Otherwise? Ian, Jeff, Jesse, Justin and Nick Schultz are all active in the NHL. Jeff, Justin and Nick are D-men. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

How about this issue:

Clark: 2007-2008 18 GP = 9 pts.
2008-2009 32 GP = 6 pts.

What do you do with that baggage?

Don't get rid of his "C" - get rid of him!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 5, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@SombreroGuy

Yes, I actually did. Despite the fact that I blame him for the sweep. Actually, my buddy I was with owed me for his ticket, and I had him buy it for me.

Posted by: Baildog | February 5, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

(Justin is currently playing for Anaheim's BCHL affiliate, Westside Warriors.)

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@lylewimbledon - I'd like to see you rack up more points than Clark with the injuries he has been dealing with... Let's let him get fixed up and come back first. Right now, he's on LTIR, so we don't have to count his salary. We won't be able to trade him in his current condition, and he's still under contract until the end of 2010-2011. Give the man a break! It's not hurting anyone to let him wear the "C".

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

That "baggage" is our captain. With luck he will return prior to or during the playoffs in his pre-injury form and help us advance. Come back healthy Clark!

Posted by: _Mark | February 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

@_Mark - *applause!*

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

@_Mark - *applause!*

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2009 3:25 PM

I second that applause.

Posted by: dcox50 | February 5, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Section 400 is Eric Fehr Country.....AKA "THE ZOOOO"

Eric Fehr is where he belongs. I thought this kid was going to be our #1 RW years ago. All of you haters can eat it.

Fehr has play 15 less games than both Steckel and Gordon with way less playing time than both and has the same amount of points.

To go a step farther, Fedorov has play five less games but plays on the #1 PP line and only have 5 more points.

This kid is going to be very good one day. He's 23 big, strong and likes to drive the net. He's not afraid to mix it up and hes defensively responsible. Note his +5, not bad for a guy that has played less than a full season of hockey.....

Another big night from the 1st line and Fehr has another multi point game.

94 out

Posted by: numero94 | February 5, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone know that Ovie is in a music video? Maybe this is old news to you all but I just found it. Search youtube for Vlad Topalov-perfect criminal and he is in there starting at 3:50 minutes.

Posted by: mikesfan | February 5, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why everyone wants to move the "C", or Clark, or both. He continues to have cred in the locker room according to what the players and coaches say. Even though he's been injured and wasn't playing to expectations the team continues to look to him for leadership. Being Captain is not because you're the highest scorer. You're Captain because you can get the other players to consistenly improve and work harder. Ovie can inspire, yes, but he sets goals for himself that the normal NHL player find as unattainable. This is why Crosby's a bad Captain (one of several). Clark leads the common player by example. Common players will follow someone who sets attainable goals and objectives because there's a hope that they can achieve them.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 5, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Well said Mark. I third that applause.

Posted by: hock1 | February 5, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

fehr is taking far to long to develop. we passed up getzlaf and mike richards for him. hell, we even passed up burns for him.

from that draft, hugh jessiman is the only one who has not played an NHL game from the 1st round. who's second? fehr.

steckel and gordon are both grinders and role players, so really there is no comparison. federov is 39 years old and has battled an ankle injury.

fehr is taking far to long to develop, and I hope he gets into the groove he needs this second half of the 08-09 season. that being said, i acknowledge that he has stepped up his grittiness recently and is actually burying his chances. good for fehr, but it does not change the fact that the guy took to long to develop.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

...and that is why I own what may well be the only Washington Capitals Esa Tikkanen jersey in existence (at least, i have never seen anyone else wear one).

Posted by: Baildog | February 5, 2009 2:54 PM

That's some guts man

Posted by: Section117 | February 5, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: PaintDrinkingPete | February 5, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh and what about Nik Antropov from Toronto. I think he would be fantastic and if Johnson is hurt bring in a viable backup if Varly is hurt.

I really dont know who you could take out but he would be a great addition.

Posted by: numero94 | February 5, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@lyle -- I see what you're saying, you want something Peca-like...it's just Peca *in particular* is a bit on the washed-up side, and is (I believe) still making a little over a million a season, which is a lot to spend on a fourth-liner.

On a related note: I think the "pick-three-of-Gordon/Bradley/Steckel/Brashear" fourth line has done a pretty good job this year, with the notable exception of a few too many dumb penalties (Huggy Bear in particular). Very high-energy, and they tend to spend a lot of time with the puck in the opponent's end.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | February 5, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Still wondering why Flash isn't moved up to the top line and Fehr up to the second line...

Still can't wait to see how he responds tonight to the promo though!

Let's Go CAPS!!!

Posted by: caps28fan | February 5, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

All this Fehr love is amazing. I hope his play makes me change my name, because I am tired of asking the question. This is a chance to do something special for him, I hope he takes advantage of it, gets on a roll, and stays on it...thereby justifying that draft status and maybe I wont see so much Getzlaf talk. I burn myself up thinking about that draft but to now see it on the board is making me uneasy.

Yours Truly,

WTF_E_FEHR

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | February 5, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Right there with you Greg. Clark has had a tough time and he deserves our support while going through his injuries. When he comes back, hopefully completely over the injuries, our team will be the better for it.

The man continued to play his shift after getting blasted in the mouth with the puck for this team and I am not giving up on him.

Posted by: _Mark | February 5, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Some people out in LA must be pulling your chain.....Fehr for Getzlaf? Why not trade Ovie for Malkin.....he has more points,n'est pas? Getzlaf has a Stanley Cup ring on his finger,and Fehr is one ring away from Hershey.....GIVE ME A BREAK!

Posted by: roccky | February 5, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Update:

Is anyone more excited than me about the beginning of the stretch run?

Looking Ahead: Really really Good News UPDATE!!!

The last 21 games of the season the Caps schedule includes:

13 games against division foe
4 against Atlanta
3 against Tampa
3 against Florida
3 against carolina (2 at home)

2 games against the Maple Leafs

1 against the Bruins (A)
1 against the Penguins (H)
1 against the Flyers (A)
1 against the Predators (A)
1 against the Sabers (H)
1 against the Islanders (A)

Looking good for the stretch run! All we need is a veteran puck moving defensman.

cool

Posted by: windjammersouth | February 5, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to remove the "C" from Clark - I want to move Clark.

Both his injuries over the past two years can be chalked up to him coming back too soon and re-injuring himself - the groin and wrist. Sorry- not going to give him a break. He is useless - he will never score 30 goals again - he eats up salary - and we have better younger players to take his place. IMO he is just dead weight.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 5, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

On a different note, when did we have a great record despite our keeper, and when did we have a great keeper but the team's record did not match? I can think of who/when in general, but I am not sure statistically when the most extreme examples of this were. Hmm ...

Posted by: Boo- | February 5, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Awww I missed Windjammer. Thanks for the update man - will you repost the same thing later? please

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 5, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

hey rockthe red
Wetside warriors are a junior team in BC one step below whl where Alner played and have no affilition to any NHL team nor does any major junior team for that manner

Posted by: wendel2 | February 5, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what the Caps record against west coast teams on thursday nights at home is versus LA's record at east coast teams on thursday nights. historically speaking of course.

Posted by: Leeguru | February 5, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

_Mark

It is that "get back up on your feet" when things go south, working through adversity and pulling out more than you thought you had that he has. It's maturity in large measure. But it's also his seemingly routine breaking of his own limitations that adds a lot to the locker room.

Ovie has sick skills. His limitations are like getting 70 or 90 goals in a season. Some players will be lucky to see 90 goals in a career.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 5, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

can't i'll be at the game. Section 110.

For the newbies i will post it again this weekend.

Thanks for your support.

Rock the Red baby!

Posted by: windjammersouth | February 5, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

no one is asking to trade fehr for getzlaf.

reading comprehension is usually a good trait to have when reading things on the internet.

we said that getzlaf was picked AFTER we picked fehr in the 03 draft. and so was mike richards. and brett burns.

getzlaf is not even on the Kings.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

TSN's Scott Cullen has his idea of what the teams need at the push to the playoffs and on to the Cup.

http://www.tsn.ca/columnists/scott_cullen/?id=265788&lid=sublink010&lpos=headlines_nhl

Per him, the Caps need:

The Plan: It's not surprising that the Caps are a team on the rise, but it's perhaps the success has come a tad sooner than expected. In any case, they'll need to decide if they are comfortable with Jose Theodore in goal (and he has been better in 2009) and whether or not there is a move to be made to solidify the defence so that they are legitimate contenders in the Eastern Conference.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 5, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I did a GF-GA ratio "thingee" last night and compared with standings (standings on left, order by ratios on right):
Boston Bruins Boston Bruins
San Jose Sharks San Jose Sharks
Detroit Red Wings Chicago Blackhawks
Washington Capitals Detroit Red Wings
New Jersey Devils New Jersey Devils
Chicago Blackhawks Minnesota Wild
Calgary Flames Washington Capitals
Montréal Canadiens Buffalo Sabres
New York Rangers Montréal Canadiens
Philadelphia Flyers Flyers
Buffalo Sabres Calgary Flames
Anaheim Ducks Florida Panthers
Florida Panthers Anaheim Ducks
Dallas Stars Pittsburgh Penguins
Wild Vancouver Canucks
Hurricanes New York Rangers
Penguins Columbus Blue Jackets
Canucks Dallas Stars
Oilers Los Angeles Kings
Jackets St Louis Blues
Coyotes Colorado Avalanche
Kings Edmonton Oilers
Predators Carolina Hurricanes
Avalanche Phoenix Coyotes
Blues Nashville Predators
Leafs Atlanta Thrashers
Lightning Ottawa Senators

Damned if I know what it means but I read it to say the Rangers and Wild need to make some adjustments before things get too out of whack.

Posted by: austinsteve | February 5, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

If Brash isn't resigned for next year, antone know what heavy weight ufa's are out there to sign for next year?

Yea, I know Erskine was resigned, but he's not in that weight class.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 5, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

can anyone find the grammatical error in windjammer's post? it bothers me every time.

Posted by: sirbobalew | February 5, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Fehr has not taken too long to develop...He's 23! Not every player comes into this league a bona-fide star. People have no idea what they are talking about. What about the other 14 teams or so that passed on Getzlaf and Richards...they each should have been top ten picks. If Fehr is 25-26 and still is in the same boat, then I might agree that he has been a bust. Not every first round pick is a stud. Look at Angelo Esposito.

Posted by: reesem37 | February 5, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Lee,

Dude, Harp kills a black and tan, need Bass or Smithwick

Posted by: Steve_R | February 5, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

@Lee & Steve_R

Harp sitting on top of Guiness is a half-and-half, not a black and tan. And both are delicious in their own way.

Posted by: sirbobalew | February 5, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

black n tan is insulting to irish.

Drink half n half in ireland (both irish beers as opposed to brit over irish)

They don't seem to care in Irish pubs here too much. I didn't test it out in Ireland when there

Posted by: austinsteve | February 5, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

No point in taking shots there, ressum. I actually do have an idea of what I am talking about. I am fully aware that not everyone develops by 23, but the fact of the matter is is that we and every other team had him basically pegged to become a career NHL'r by his 3rd year in.

has he lived up to expectations? no. has he taken to long to develop? according to his draft report, yes.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I think Brashear will be re-signed for next year. I think he "gets it" in terms of his role, and his presence has improved this year

Posted by: Greg S. | February 5, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

harp and guinness are a half and half. trust me dont go to ireland and call it a black & tan. you will get your a** kicked

Posted by: _stevo | February 5, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

and no other team missed out worse than us in the 2003 draft, except for the Rangers.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

yeah the irish will smack you if you call it a black & tan over there. the english storm troppers wore black and tan uniforms when they invaded ireland

Posted by: _stevo | February 5, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

black n tan is bass and guiness (brit - irish) nice fit, unless you aren't particularly fond of that whole history

Posted by: austinsteve | February 5, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

i like my orange juice.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Half and half, black and tan, whatever. As I have no plans on going to Ireland, my a@@kicking will have to wait.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 5, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

:)
Where is sombreroguy so I can tell him the check is finally in the mail so I can go to HH?

Posted by: austinsteve | February 5, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

phil, the Irish hate oranges too. St. Patrick was hit by one once. Ask for OJ and they'll beat you with potatoes and throw you in the well

Posted by: austinsteve | February 5, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

the Irish are quite the bitter ones huh?

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I just got my tickets in the mail today for the final home game of the year and I was looking at them and noticed that the game time is TBD. Does anyone know what's going on with that? It was scheduled to be a 3pm start. I know it's a couple months away, I was just wondering.

Posted by: ludeman95 | February 5, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil, any chance losing a year to a back injury would inhibit -your- development as a professional athlete? So now Fehr's twenty *two*. Watch him tonight and tell me he's coming on too slow.

Posted by: redlineblue | February 5, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Well gentlemen, to a spirited game. I'm sure the pending hiccup tonight won't stop the Caps from doing well in the playoffs. Let's Go Kings. (I promise I'll stop tomorrow.)

Should be a good game. The Kings are starting to heat up if not a little injured.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 5, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

It's just too bad that every first rounder taken in the draft cannot be a star. The Caps really screwed up by taking Eric Fehr. Man, if we had Getzlaf or Richards we'd probably have 2 cups by now. What a shame. Apparently, Richmondphil is an NHL scout. Hey Phil, who have we got lined up for next year. I hope Fehr has 4 goals tonight to shut all the haters up. GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: reesem37 | February 5, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Man, dogpile on Richmondphil time, is he Irish or something?

Okay, I'll admit it, the Irish don't hate oranges, I was just kidding with phil.

it's Pickles they can't stand!

(wow, if I'm like this now imagine after a couple of black and halfs)

Go Caps! HH calls

Posted by: austinsteve | February 5, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

reesum, you can find their draft reports pretty easily online during their draft. but go ahead and look more and more like a pompous ass with your condescending comments. go ahead and look at that draft. once again, we definetely failed second behind the abomination of Hugh Jessiman.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I have also not hated on Fehr my entire time on this blog, and actually defended him before numerous times.
objective reality is reality though, and facts are facts. it has nothing to do with richards or getzlaf. if you dedicated any research to this, instead of talking out of your ass, then look into that draft. I'm not just talking about missed stars in the 1st round. Go ahead, look at that draft and who we received every round.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

sarcasm was replied with sarcasm austinsteve, calm down now.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey MASTERLINK dude, any good links showing the game tonight?

Posted by: redskinsux | February 5, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

atdhe.com

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

no access..."forbidden"

Posted by: redskinsux | February 5, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

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