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Morning Skate Update

Here's the latest from KCI:

Michal Neuvirth will start in net tonight against Atlanta, which is 3-1-1 in its last five games. That likely means that Jose Theodore will get this weekend's critical set of back-to-backs against Boston and Florida.

Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't say which players are going to be the healthy scratches, but Staffan Kronwall stayed out for extra work, so it's likely that he's one of them. And if I had to speculate on the forward who will be out tonight, I'd say it will be Michael Nylander, who has one point in eight games.

Some other notes and quotes:

*If it seemed like the Caps misfired on an awful lot of shots in Tuesday's 4-2 loss Philly, well, they did. To be exact, there were 22 misses and 12 shots that were blocked before reaching the net.

Boudreau said he has addressed the issue with his players.

"You just tell them to hit the net," he said. "It's coming down to practice. If you equate it to baseball terms, it's like guys striking out a lot. You just tell them to focus more. Put your eye on the ball and hit it. Instead of aiming for little areas, aim for bigger areas. Aim for the top quarter or top third of the net instead of the top six inches of the net."

*Boudreau said after Tuesday's loss that he would consider benching players if they didn't stop taking penalties (one of the league's most penalized teams, they've been whistled for 18 minors the past two games). Yesterday, Boudreau called a team meeting to discuss the matter.

"They understood what I was talking about," Boudreau said. "We want to cut it down because the better teams in the league all have better power plays. So we can't afford to take a lot of penalties."

"The [problem] is when you stay out too long, you get tired," he added. "And when you get tired, you do lazy things. Instead of skating to get a guy, you're reaching to get a guy. And anytime you touch a guy with your stick between the knee and the shoulders, you're going to get a penalty."

Boudreau didn't name names, but he was talking about the two Alexes. They have taken the most minors among forwards on the team -- Ovechkin has 31 and Semin has 23.

*After tonight's game, the Caps will have three more meetings with the Thrashers. In fact, 13 of the remaining 21 games are against the Southeast.

*Ovechkin's 11 goals in February are the most in the league. Ovechkin's good friend, Atlanta star Ilya Kovalchuk, is almost as a hot, having scored 20 goals in his past 24 contests, with 10 coming this month.

*Rich Peverley, since being claimed off of waivers from Nashville, has 18 points in 18 games with the Thrashers. Ovechkin and Semin lead the team in minor penalties among the forwards, with 31 and 23, respectively.

*And as you know doubt read in Dan Steinberg's A1 story today, the Caps can tie the record for consecutive sellouts with their 10th in a row (which stretched from the end of 1988-89 season through the start of the 1989-90 season).

I'll check in again before the game with a lineup.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 26, 2009; 11:45 AM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup

Comments

Wow. Why are we scratching Kronwall again? He was good in the two starts he got, and I'd like to see him get more face time.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 26, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Pens trade Whitney to Ducks for Kunitz, according to TSN.

Posted by: ThePat | February 26, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I have a suggestion for which D they should bench...but I won't use my "out loud" voice.

Posted by: CapsKH | February 26, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I am glad Neuvirth is getting the call, although Theo has been adequate I still think he will be the weakest link in the playoffs.

Posted by: opita1 | February 26, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

schultz has to have pictures on GMGM or something..personally he needs to sit for letting Asheum(sp) to waltz thru the other night, neither schultz or green layed a finger on him, and this was after schultz got the delayed call against him

Posted by: sasha8 | February 26, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

With the Ducks aquiring Whitney, my guess is Pronger is going to be out the door at the deadline.

Posted by: ThePat | February 26, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Q: Would it be a good idea if Sidney Crosby gave up his captaincy in Pittsburgh? Do you think being captain has added more pressure to the kid? (Steve Chan)

A: He should have the 'C,' like Alex Ovechkin's got the 'C' in Washington. He is a strong leader, but what he doesn't have is the support group of older players to back him up and give him counsel. He lost two valuable voices, Gary Roberts and Ryan Malone, to the Tampa Bay Lightning. What Sidney needs to do is quit talking so much on the ice. He's expending the wrong energy. He looks rattled. He lost his cool playing against Ovechkin and the Capitals on Sunday. He's also starting to get a reputation with opposing players as a whiner, and nobody wants that. Crosby's a good kid. He should concentrate on scoring goals and setting up other people. Oops, there aren't a lot of other people to pass to in Pittsburgh.

From Edmonton Paper; did I miss something? Is Ovechkin wearing the "C" now?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 26, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Schultz-Green is a nightmare combo - in a bad way.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 26, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

lyle: No, EDM's not paying attention.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 26, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Kitty, Kronwall is a depth player, brought in for the occasional game and practice (8 d in practice). But he is strictly AHL material. We are already struggling on D. Kronwall allowed Smith 4 whacks at the puck in the Avs game. Do you really think he should be getting ice time when we are trying to catch Boston?

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 26, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Bruce's point on the penalties is spot-on, but I can't see him following through on benchings if it means sitting Ovechkin.

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 26, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

not necessarily pronger, i see neids going first.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 26, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Whitney's just been traded to the Ducks....

Posted by: atybat | February 26, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

waiting: I've read they see some NHL potential in Kronwall, and one bad play does not a bad player make. It's also unlikely, and relatively unimportant, if we catch Boston (although I would enjoy doing it). I would think its more important to see what he's got (if anything).

Posted by: mikebrady1 | February 26, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Why are we scratching Kronwall again? He was good in the two starts he got, and I'd like to see him get more face time.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 26, 2009 12:09 PM


exactly. Apparently he needs to look like a pylon before he replaces Schultzie.

Boudreau moans and complains about his team but he needs to start taking ownership of the issues he himself causes with his roster decisions. The way he uses his players from Schultz to Nylander to Semin (on the PK) causes numerous issues for this team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 26, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

niedermeyer I'm guessing has a no move clause with his contract, I con't see him signing a contract that didn;t have that I mean he took so long to come back, i'm pretty sure he has no plans of being hsipped away so I'm sure he has that in his contract. that being said I def agree pronger has a high chance of being traded. if that kunitz thing is true, i'm a little shocked. i know his productivity has declined a bit but he's still solid and the ducks really need him. ducks are my fav west coast team so i'm def interested in what happens with them.

but caps first and foremost. KILL ATLANTA TODAY!!! lol

Posted by: capsfan387 | February 26, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Thread Bite:

Cindy-Bashing:

That was just so low-end of him to do that. Maybe you forgive a swing or two when you lose your cool, but he went on and on when the guy was already engaged (code violation bigtime), compounded it by smacking his sac (aimed the hit, on purpose) then compounded that by totally denying that anything of the sort occurred when confronted by teammates.

In addition, he blind-sided another center on the face-off (the guy was probably laughing the whole time, but we will never know for sure because Cindy pulled the dudes jersey over his head) and proceeded to wail on a defenseless player (Brashear would likely have stopped hitting when he saw the guy couldn't defend himself, as would most honorable fighters) all of this was done in a fashion that ensured that Cindy would not take any punches and was only designed to show everybody how 'tough' he was.

What a total dumbass he is. I used to respect and admire him, as did most/all of us at one time. Now I am embarrased for him and those that have to skate with him.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 12:38 PM

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

when BB starts to become the second best coach in the NHL, instead of the first, then ill take your criticisms of him seriously.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

lylewimbledon:
OV always had an A.

crysby should give up wearing panties and try putting on a jock strap

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

neids has expressed returning to NJ a few times. he does have a NTC, and im sure if he went anywhere it would only be to NJ.

you guys care about crosby more than the capitals.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@waitingsince75
You honestly are telling me that Schultz is better than Kronwall? I didn't see Kronwall getting burnt as much as Schultz is getting burnt. I would MUCH rather see Kronwall in there for Schultz!!!!!!!!!!! If they aren't going to scratch Schultz, I'd like to see the caps get a experienced top 2 defensmen so maybe Coach BB can finally realize that to be a good Defensmen, you DON'T get burnt game in and game out. I don't have anything against BB, in fact he is one of my favorite coaches in the league. The fact of the matter is, I don't see what ANYONE sees in Schultz except for his height.

Posted by: Thomas32 | February 26, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

My inside source tells me that Jeff Schultz posesses compromising photos of Bruce Boudreau, George McPhee and Ted Leonsis from a drunk night of partying last year after making the playoffs.

But hey, we can always hope for another broken finger.

Posted by: OviToSemin | February 26, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Could Pronger help Schultzie find a way to play angry?

Posted by: Steve_R | February 26, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Niedermeyer and Pronger dont have a no trade clause in there contracts.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 26, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

criticize BB and ninja will come for you.

you might be correct, but the ninja will still come for you anyway.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Thomas,

"The fact of the matter is, I don't see what ANYONE sees in Schultz except for his height"

I'm thinking the Schultz's upside is much higher than Kronwall's. Keep in mind that Kronwall couldn't crack the Leafs vaunted starting 6.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 26, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

i was pretty sure nieds did..

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R:
yes - but it would be because pronger would take ALL of his ice time

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Scott Burnside: Agreed. Fascinating turn of events for the 2007 Stanley Cup champs. Brian Burke has left the house and now GM Bob Murray has to make some tough calls. If he thinks Niedermayer will return for one more kick at the can -- and an automatic berth on Canada's 2010 Olympic team in his home province of British Columbia -- then I think it'll be tough for Murray to move the slick-skating Niedermayer.

True, he doesn't have a no-trade clause; but unless Niedermayer agrees to be a rental and then re-signs with the Ducks this summer, it's a big risk to take. So I say Niedermayer stays. And if that's the case, Pronger will almost certainly be dealt. But is that by next week or before July 1? Hmm. Lots of market for both given their skill level and experience. Pronger's got another season at $6.25 million, but that's not a lot given the player.

LeBrun: Interesting, indeed, that neither player has a no-trade clause; that gives Murray some flexibility. The frustrating part, no doubt, is the Ducks don't know what Niedermayer will do, and that information would be so beneficial right now. If they knew he would retire for sure, they would trade him and keep Pronger. But Niedermayer, being true to form, said he's not going to make that difficult decision until the offseason. And believe me, the Ducks have inquired.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 26, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

six days till trade deadline. I'm waiting till something happens, then I'll tell everybody that I knew all along that this was the plan and just couldn't say so, because it would have tipped our hand.

Honestly, though. Am I the only one on the edge of my seat waiting for the first post that goes 'Caps trade for ______!!!!?'

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

thats weird.

i can still see nieds going to NJ.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Good one Capt, that'd work

Posted by: Steve_R | February 26, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Unlike some of you, I don't really have anything against Schultz per se. He gets top minutes against top players and is still third on the team in +/-? Sure, +/- may be misleading but it's not useless. That's got to count for something. He plays PP and PK both. He's only 24, folks.

But I liked what I saw of Kronwall, and as someone else said, one bad play does not a bad player make. He laid out some absolutely solid hits and was rarely caught out of position in the two games I watched where he played. I'd like to see a bit more toughness in the D and I think he brings some of that to the table.

Ah well. Bruce and GMGM are both paid to do this, not me. Wonder of Bruce will keep his promise to start scratching people who take dumb penalties.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 26, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Hah! he'd need to call up the first and second lines from HB if he actually DID sit the culprets.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@WhyGo: I've requested March 4th off from work, and it looks like I got it.

Gonna watch Tarik's chat at 1 PM.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 26, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

speaking of schultz, yesterday was his birthday.

happy birthday.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

doesn't OV have a lot of penalties that were 'given' to him (too many men, goalie penaltie, etc) becuase he is a good player to rest and have come out of the box on fire?

I mean, I don't see him as innocent, but not really one of the top 'bad penalty' guys. Am I right?

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, we will not have to wait till the last day for a trade.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Then, Kitty can go fishing or shopping for the day off!

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

i don't really care who BB puts on the ice as long as they give their all for 60 minutes. i also agree with BB's philosophy of never give up and eventually good things will happen. i've said it before - they'll never go 82-0-0 - even though i want them too.
one of the tough things about team sports is your opponent is always trying to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
time to start a 21 game streak tonight against atl

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

How about 81-0-1? That'll do.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | February 26, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Ossi Vaananen, Glen Metropolit and Chris Minard all waived.

Philly making Briere room?

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Need to separate out the hooking/holding/slashing/tripping/delay-of-game from the boarding/roughing/bench penalties and see who is top six in those areas, then return to discuss.

Somebody whant to do that?

I is tired.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Kronwall is a minor league guy at this point in his career. He really is not very good...not sure why everyone is clammering to put him in at this point in the season when we are trying to catch Boston. We have enough liabilities on the back line - why add another?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 26, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

phil,

what was the source for that?

Posted by: Steve_R | February 26, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see Schultz be the D that is benched. There seems to be no accountability for him? What makes him so special - seriously. His mistakes are rewarded with more playing time and I just dont get it. I recall in Hershey he got a lot of time as well and I also remember the fans there having the same reaction of "WHY??"

Posted by: Grape8 | February 26, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

mikebrady1:
ok - i'll settle for that as long as the pens go 0-82-0

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

my philly friend.

it makes sense i guess because he was supposed to come back tomorrow.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Having Whittney would have been nice. We need a strong D-man. It would be nice to have a Pronger-type player, too. Not sure we need the 6.25M cap hit next year, though.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 26, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

philly friend

philly

friend

friend philly

Nope, those two just dont seem to go together no matter what I try.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | February 26, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

of course, minard is in reference to make room for kunitz.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@WhyGo
"doesn't OV have a lot of penalties that were 'given' to him (too many men, goalie penaltie, etc) becuase he is a good player to rest and have come out of the box on fire?"

If you are asking if those penalties add to Ovi's totals, no, I don't think so. Too Many Men is a bench minor, doesn't count toward any specific player. And a goalie penalty counts toward the goalie's PIMs even if Ovi serves the time for him. But yea, in alot of cases he serves those penalties because you want him flying out of the box when the 2 min is up.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 26, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz I am with you on getting Kronwall out there

re:waitingsince75

are you blind from whacking something else--everyday you have to dis Kronwall for supposedly one mistake --I was at the game and don't recall that one goal causing us the game---how about the fact he leads our defense in neutral zone hits for the year

Posted by: capsgary | February 26, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

tess2201:
flying out of the box and BB trying to keep him under 25 min a game.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"And as you know doubt read in Dan Steinberg's A1 story today..."

Really?

Those words don't seem right in that order, but I can get behind them.

Posted by: Section117 | February 26, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

tess2201:
flying out of the box and BB trying to keep him under 25 min a game.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Flying out of the box may seem like a good idea, but it could backfire; for instance, if the opponent gets penalized then we are playing 4 on 4 and our best player is not available.
To keep him under 25 minutes a game makes more sense. LOL.

Posted by: hock1 | February 26, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Philly definitely trying to make room for Briere.

Metropolit hasnt exactly done much and Vaananen has become the odd man out.

if they clear waivers they are trade bait at the deadline.

i can see them going after Bouwmeester if Florida will deal

Probably Parent/Metropolit and a pick or 2 might suffice if Florida is out of it.

They get a veteran forward and young promising D man

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | February 26, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Lyle:

I don't think EMD thought OV was wearing the C either, I think they mean figuratively.

Posted by: AMHV2772 | February 26, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I resent the fact that we're implying Sidney Crosby doesn't wear a jock strap. He does...just not the way you guys would expect. =P Let's leave the poor guy alone already. Or rather, let's rest up until we see them again in March. We might use our best zingers before then.

Fear the Weagle, Thrashers! You're next!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 26, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Phil just talks about Philly. Leave them alone and talk about the Caps.

Meh.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Crosby is a Ball-Slapper

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Is there such a thing as "keyboard Tourettes"?

I think I have it....

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Capitals Insider: How definite are the dates for the playoff matches? I just bought tickets to what should be the 2nd playoff match the Capitals will be playing on Thursday, April 16th. The tickets, however, are prefaced with a notation that the date might be changed. Can anyone share their experiences on whether it's likely the game might be moved up a day or two or move down a day or two? Flying out for the game but still trying to figure out what's the safest date to fly in so I don't get caught stuck in LA or on the plane as the Caps face off. Help?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 26, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Home Game #2 of the first round?

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I disagree, whygo, he wasn't ball slapping. There was a tenderness to his touch with his stick. *awkward smile*

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 26, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Homne Ice would be the biggest determinant of whether the dates were changed. TV coverage would be second. The league will choose the dates based on all of the match-ups, so there is definitely a chance for it to change.

Posted by: Baildog | February 26, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, first round, game 2.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 26, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Call my man Jim Van Stone at 202 266 2200 (widely published number, relax) and tell him I sent you. He'll say "who?" and then maybe answer your question (actually, he does know me).

Seriously, give him a call, he'll help you out.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm okay with the date changing. Just, I need it to change to a date within the time I'm in DC, if it has to change, you know? =/ Ideally, if it stays on the 16th, then I could take a red eye on the 15th, rest up when I get into DC in the morning and then be fired up for the game. You could see how problematic it would be if say the game date changed to the 14th or the 15th. =( My butt might still be in LA on the 14th or on a stupid plane on the 15th.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 26, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

nope, ball-slap all the way.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, whygo, though I might need a little more background on who Jim Van Stone is or what he does. For all I know, he's your barber or your mailman. =P And would he know if I mentioned "whygo" sent me?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 26, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

He is the VP in charge of ticket sales. He knows me by site and name, but it won't matter, he is a 'team player' and will get you the answer.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll email him now and tell him to expect a call from somebody out west looking for game date details for home game #2.

Howz zat?

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@Steve_R
CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHAT SCHULTZ'S UPSIDE IS??????????

@lylewimbledon
And you're telling me, the way Schultz is playing he isn't a minor leaguer???? He sure is playing like it!!

@kittypawz
No disrespect, but I don't think you know as much about hockey as you think you do. Yes, +/- does say a lot about a defensmen, BUT it doesn't show how he is playing defensively. Schultz gets burnt game in and game out. He also doesn't hit at all. Asham's goal last game was pretty, BUT Schultz should have had him.

@To everyone else that thinks Schultz is playing fine
Watch him next game and watch how many times he gets burnt. I don't know if its because of how many min he is playing but I would MUCH rather see Kronwall or someone the caps get from a trade in there more than Schultz.
When Schultz is on the ice, I always start to bite my fingernails. He is one of the only guys I get nervous about when he is on the ice.

@to everyone who agrees with me
Thank you for finally realizing that Schultz should not be on this team. He should be down in the minor leagues. Schultz wouldn't be able to crack the roster on any other top team.

Posted by: Thomas32 | February 26, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

if we arent needing Kronwall why are we paying him to sit? Wouldnt we be better suited to have an extra forward so forwards that are sluffing off could be sat out. Nylander and Brash come to mind but there are others who come to mind each game. There is no incetive for dmen if they know Kronwall wont be called on to replace them. Sloan was a better choice

Posted by: wendel2 | February 26, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

You wont know the exact date of playoff matchups until all seedings are set.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | February 26, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

And we all know who your extra forward choice would be Wendel, but why don't you tell us anyway:-)....Nylander I can see as sluffing off as you put it but Brash, come on, completely wrong there!

Posted by: PhilR | February 26, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

The Hockey News posted the article below today. I was hoping to get evaluation. I am a lifetime Caps fan but I feel like there are still some weaknesses that have to be taken care of before we are going to win the Cup. But if this article is true it seems like we will end up starting from scratch again.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/23818-THNcom-Blog-Washingtons-winning-window-a-small-one.html

Posted by: ERHDC1 | February 26, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Finally back from school and I get awesome news that NEUVY is startin' tonight, YEAH!! :) Can't wait!!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 26, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@Thomas32

I think all of our defensemen suck at defense...no one has impressed me all year...except Alzner there for a bit.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 26, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

That'd be awesome, Whygo! Thanks. Look forward to any future keyboard tourette syndromes from you. Just let him Oliver from Los Angeles will be calling. Thanks.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 26, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Whygo. I'd appreciate that. Let him know that Oliver from Los Angeles would be calling. =)

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 26, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

EHRDC1:

Well, we have finally built a good (going on great) team the right way -- and this guy is advocating throwing out everything for a win now attitude. Personally, I don't want to make the finals this year and then fall in to oblivion -- which is pretty much guaranteed if you follow his advice. Lets win for the long haul - they (the Caps organization) seem to have a pretty good handle on players and the cap.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | February 26, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@Thomas32: First debater to attack the person instead of the idea just lost the argument :) I know, I know, your mind is made up, don't confuse you with the facts. We don't need no steeenkin' stats!

Besides, show me one person on this board who knows more about hockey than BB and I'll show you someone who is in the wrong line of work.

Tarik actually has a very interesting comment on Schultz in his chat. It'll annoy you, but I think you should read it anyway. Like Tarik, I see both sides - he gets burnt, yes, and that's frustrating, but he also does a lot of good things.

But I know I shouldn't confuse someone once their mind is made up, so I'll leave it there :)

Posted by: kittypawz | February 26, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

@phil any forward who is making 1 way money in Hershey like giroux or any prospect like bourque. What is so great about Brash and his fight every 10 or 12 games? he goes entire games with out registering a hit. there are cheaper goons but do we really want one or need a gritty forward who can hit irritate and even pk like we got from matt cooke last year

Posted by: wendel2 | February 26, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The writer of that THN article apparently hasn't looked at the Hershey roster or something. The Caps aren't really that bad off, we still got a good selection of prospects. And it's not like anyone aside from Backstrom and maybe Semin (who really knows what Semin is thinking) is looking for a mega-deal. And I think GMGM would be able to say "Thanks, but we'll go in a different direction" if say, Flash asked for 3 million.

Posted by: koalatek | February 26, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

The game on the 16th would be game 1 or 2 of the series. Game 1 can only be on the 15th, there is a concert at Verizon the 14th. So the 16th will most likely be game 1 or game 2 if they play back to back on the 15th and 16th.

Posted by: ThePat | February 26, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@wendel2

Are we watching the same games? He makes a hit everytime he is on the ice.

That line is one of our best, If they could produce goals then it would probably be the 2nd best after our #1 line. But as it stands they are in the offensive zone most of the time they are on the ice. They are the only ones who really forecheck and they almost allways commit the to the backcheck. Its Blue collar lines like the one Brashear is on that make good teams. With there strong forcheck they really make the other team pay in terms of energy.

He is a role player who plays a role bigger then just an enforcer and he plays it well. The enforcement part of it is just a bonus now. He has changed his game a lot since his days in Montreal and Philly.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | February 26, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

brashear is a pretty bad fourth line LW actually.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I've got a game #7 ticket I'll sell you.

No refunds.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@Thomas32

If BB thinks Schultz should be on the line every game... even though I don't agree i will drink the koolaid for now.

I don't think we should give up the farm to get someone who will kill us on the cap next year though.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | February 26, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

care to elaborate?

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | February 26, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

phil is not watching the same game as me. Do you have an HD TV?

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

just look at the 4th line wingers across the league.

brashear does play his role well, but at over a mil/yr, you can get guys that do what he does for cheaper and have offensive upside.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

brash plays 9shifts a night and takes as many dumb penalties as he has fighting majors. we has limited skills and isnt worth 1.2million

Posted by: wendel2 | February 26, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

I would very much like to know what Schultz does that is good. Because I don't see anything. Everyone that is saying that Schultz is good with the exception of the caps organization, probably doesn't play hockey at a competitive level. I want someone on this board that likes how Schultz plays to tell me why he deserves to play game in and game out over a guy like Alzner or Kronwall. The fact is that the caps need a top defensmen because our defense especially Schultz, isn't playing that well devensivly.

Posted by: Thomas32 | February 26, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

But Brash also draws his share of penalties by frustrating the opposition

Posted by: mikebrady1 | February 26, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

It would appear BB is visibly suffering from a number of "annoyances" lately.

Penalties, Kromwell (no ice time indicates no interest), most likely Nylander, probably Semin (which I don't share), and penalties again.

Some would say he needs a win tonight to relax but I say more likely he knows he may lose one of his more favorite, more dependable, players in the coming days.

btw, Flash has by far the least # of PIM of all the Caps regulars (ok cept Kozlov)


Posted by: austinsteve | February 26, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

on SD TV Brashear is white and about 4ft tall. You have one of those sets?

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

whis is it when veterans like brash and clark aren't getting it done on the ice anymore people who have never been in the dressing room describe them as being leaders in the dressing room? Leaders to what the buffet, the bar ,the bank?

Posted by: wendel2 | February 26, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Whygo, but I'm sorta' tapped out of paid vacation time for the April trip. Was there earlier this month for the games against the Kings and Panthers. I'll bet that Game 7 ticket will sell soon enough, to a local fan, no less. =)

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 26, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, ThePat, for the info. Yeah, the site I bought the tickets for the 16th, advertised tickets for the 15th as Game 1 and the 16th, Game 2. *crosses fingers that Game 2 stays on the 16th and doesn't get moved to the 15th or the 22nd*

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 26, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

@whygo

When I use my rabbit ears I can't even see Brash at all, he is definitely a HD player

Posted by: mikebrady1 | February 26, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

brash can fight with anyone is the league and is a better player than most enforcers. to me, he is worth the 1.2 and i hope we resign him next season

Posted by: _stevo | February 26, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I was joking you, man! no refunds on a game 7? Like a waterfront lot in South Dakota?

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

@wendel2

Look around man everyone on this team is getting called for stupid penalties. its not just him and its not always his fault.

@richmondphil

Thats just a difference of opinion then.. I think he has gelled quite well with Brads and Gordo. They all have had lots more chances then usual the last couple games just haven't put it in the net, but the whole team has had that problem.

I personally think he is a good fit, but lets say you are both right and we deal him, you aren't going to get much for him, and would you really want to go up against him in the future? I wouldn't.

And I don't see many other 4th line guys that forecheck and back check available in the league. and I dont think you bring someone up from Hershey to fill in that spot at this point in the year, not with that line gelled the way it is.

just my opinon...

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | February 26, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Game Notes. For your reading pleasure.

Courtesy of STH's.

http://capitals.nhl.com/ext/Game_notes/0809/022609_vsATL_GameNotes.pdf

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

i also fail to see how brashear has stepped up his game since his nucks/flyer days.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

@Thomas32

No disrespect, but I'm pretty sure that kittypawz knows more about hockey than you do. Come here often and you'll see - and think twice before posting a statement like that, it really diminishes your message.

Having said that, I agree on everything you said about Schultz - but then again, it's just my personal opinion - and if BB thinks otherwise I'm probably wrong.

Posted by: mauree | February 26, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

As far a Kronwall, I think I read somewhere (maybe here from a capologist/CBA type) that when someone is plucked from waivers on the way up, they have to spend 10 games with the NHL team before being reassigned. Any confirmation?

Also, still on Schultz, are we? Take a look at the summary of last year's stats at www.hockeyanalytics.com and sort by player contribution (PC) by team, league-wide, position, or whatever you choose. It's sabermathematics which is generally objective (I don't think the guy is a Schultz lover...if he knows anything about actual names) and the totals from last year are solid (#2 on the Caps and #30 league-wide). I'll take that and combine it with BB's assessment and trust that he belongs. That's good enough for me.

I have, over the last three or four games, really watched Schultz and the domesday scenarios are crazy. If he gets out of his positional responsibility area then he is in trouble because his speed won't allow him to get back in position. He doesn't find himself out of position that oftern, at least to my eyes. He's been beat, as has everyone, but he also makes some very good, subtle plays.

No, I don't think he's Lidstrom - nor will he ever be - but I'm not as pessimistic as a lot of fans.

Posted by: saintex | February 26, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Wendel2: "whis is it when veterans like brash and clark aren't getting it done on the ice anymore people who have never been in the dressing room describe them as being leaders in the dressing room? Leaders to what the buffet, the bar ,the bank?"

Why is it when someone isn't scoring all the sudden they suck and should be kicked off the team? this is hockey there are roles to be played... he plays his and he plays it well in my opinion.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | February 26, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Brashear - major leader in the locker room - his line always grabs momentum back - he is the only reason our stars don't get run more - passes well - hits - mucks it up in the corners - takes it for the team every shift...that is well worth the money. There are a lot of other things going on the ice besides skate, pass, shoot. Goons are a necessary evil, and he is one of the best.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 26, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

i said he plays his role well here and our 4th line is pretty solid, but I am just saying that there are tons of 4th line forwards who can expend energy, hit people, fight, and have a little offensive upside and more athleticism that cost less than brashear.
trading him would be stupid, and i never suggested that.

I just fail to see how he is anywhere near almost being a top-6 forward on this team, when he isnt even almost top-6 4th line wingers.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Then its obvious we haven't been watching the same games. Even the Philly fans that sat in back of me at the game the other night all commented on it and were actually kind of impressed by it.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | February 26, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Here's a placard I'd like the Caps to print and handout for the stretch run.

http://thepaddle.blogspot.com/2009/02/ao8.html

Posted by: saintex | February 26, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@mauree
I really doubt VERY much he/she knows more about hockey than I do from the way they are saying stuff on this site. In fact a lot of people on here don't seem to know too much about hockey. I guarantee you I know more about hockey considering I've been actually playing hockey my whole life, unlike half of you that probably play beer league.

Posted by: Thomas32 | February 26, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I think that GMGM has a very tough time coming up now, and viewing the current circumstances, we would win the lottery/stanley cup with Chris Pronger from Anaheim, Antropov from Toronto, Backstrom from Minnesota.
We can sacrifice Theodore, Gordon, Nylander (A MUST GO), Jurcina, Morrison, Neuvirth, Bourque (DECLARED NHL READY At THE START OF THE SEASON?) Our team would be deadly as such...THERE WOULD BE NO COMPETITION

Posted by: masterx09 | February 26, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Lets keep it in perspective.Jeff Schultz is a 22yr old defensemen and sometimes plays like one.

Posted by: sporttraveler | February 26, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Brier's coming back for Friday's game. The Metropolit move is real. Here's the TSN link:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=268780&lid=sublink01&lpos=headlines_nhl

Posted by: Greg S. | February 26, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

pardon me for asking this, but is the little "2" thingy some kind of "inside math" symbol that people at MIT think is neat?

Otherwise, let's go with this.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

what the hell are you talking about? i have agreed with your assessment about brashear, my problem is that he has no offensive upside and he gets paid a hefty price for a 4th line winger.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

@Thomas

You are awesome! In case you didn't know...

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 26, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Whygo...yeah, some dork involved in it. It's merely a squared symbol so you get

GR8 8

MVP x 2

Posted by: saintex | February 26, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Thomas32 says:

I used to have to walk to a rink two miles thru the snow, uphill BOTH ways....just to learn to be the hockey great that I am today.

The rest of you know nothing!

I AM THE GREATEST, HEAR ME ROAR!

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

PROBLY A BALL-SLAPPER, TOO...

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

how awesome would it be to have both niklas backstroms on our team?

im not so sure backstrom is going to be moved though.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

mike richards is a ball slapper

Posted by: masterx09 | February 26, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

1.2 for brashear is considerably less than what laraque is being paid and donald is much better than him hockeywise and probably equal fighting wise

@sportstravel

schultz isnt 22 he is 24

Posted by: _stevo | February 26, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

And by the way with the +/-, he is playing with guys like Green, Semin, Ovie, and Backstrom. If you put Schultz on a team that isn't on the top 8 teams in the league and guys that don't have as many points as these guys, I guarantee you his +/- wouldn't be as good as it is now.

Posted by: Thomas32 | February 26, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@Thomas32

I don't know how much you know or not - but if I can tell you lost many points with your first statement.

But as I said, I agree point by point on everything you said about Schultz. Matter of fact I repeated those same things over and over since many months now.

Posted by: mauree | February 26, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Phil, you are entitled to your opinion, but I'm just thinking that saving a few hundred K with some other no-name fighter is not that big a deal.

Fans love him, I love him and his family are true American heroes. His uncle risked his life for us. My father served with him, I met him and can tell you that Brash is descended from Heroic kin.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

laraque?

brashear has, and will always be infinitely better than laraque.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

the wild are trading backstrom and gaborik

Posted by: masterx09 | February 26, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

saintex:

I thought it would mean OV 64....

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

If you put Schultz on a team that isn't on the top 8 teams in the league and guys that don't have as many points as these guys, I guarantee you his +/- wouldn't be as good as it is now.

Posted by: Thomas32 | February 26, 2009 3:43 PM

Well they weren't a top 8 team last year, and he led the backline in the stat, so...?

Posted by: Section117 | February 26, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo...if he scores 64 (fingers crossed) that would be even cooler.

Posted by: saintex | February 26, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

just tryin' to be precise.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

117:

Blashphemer!

32 never wrong!

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo:
are you biased towards a ₂?

would you prefer an inverted sideways 5 instead. വ?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

hey guess what, my father and uncle risked their lives too. I'm sure tons of people here have risked their lives too. I understand his specific adverse situation and being the first certified african-american master diver, but i fail to see what this has to do with hockey.

i love brashear and what our 4th line does, but its a pretty expensive 4th line.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

playoffs last year Brash did not protect the elite players. We had forwards and goalies getting run. Laich and Bradley did more enforcing than brashear. he is overpaid and overrated and not needed

Posted by: wendel2 | February 26, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil/WhyGo:
we all (most of us anyway) like brash. can somebody be found that can fill his role for less money? i would think so - but i hope not. he does hit, mucks in the corners, is willing to protect the talent and skates like a slug. his line is the most refreshing line to watch on the ice

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

we want to win the playoffs>there is no fighting in the playoffs. Brash is a waste of roster spot in the playoffs just like he was last year

Posted by: wendel2 | February 26, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

@capt

whygo was defending brash, i think you meant wendel2.

i think it needs to be said that although we both hold dissenting opinions about brash, i wouldn't go as far as wendel2 is.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

wendel2:
you are wrong - only because i say so and for no other reason

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

@capt

whygo was defending brash, i think you meant wendel2.

i think it needs to be said that although we both hold dissenting opinions about brash, i wouldn't go as far as wendel2 is.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

double posts are the best posts.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo - you're still my second favorite! DES (don't ever stop)
Boo is #1

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I just like the guy, bottom line. He is worth what he gets, in publicity, name recognition and output. Saving a few hundred thousand isn't woth it.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

AZ is pretty slick, eh?

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo:
what makes you say that¿

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Phil:

I'll defend the defenders (and the family of defenders). I'm crazy that way. Thank you for your service.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Dude!

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Did you see in the Pens game Brooks Orpik was too scared to drop the gloves with Brash... THAT'S why we have him, and that's why he's the man

Posted by: tURBO8 | February 26, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

lol Kirk & WhyGo

Posted by: mauree | February 26, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo:
SoЯry - ઽome┬ime౭ my typinⓖ can be a Γittle dysl∃xiറ

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Yep, it'll be nice having Kozlov's "round peg" in the Caps round hole. The missing "piece in our puzzle"

Being the perfect top line center for the Caps, projtecting the puck, drawing extra players,

So big, so talented, and his job is so "simple" just passing the puck to Ovie and Backstrom.

It's not like in the 10 games before he was injured we lost more games than the 10 games starting with his injury...

Just the necessary popping the overhype of his return like a blister. Hope he gets 2 assists and a goal

Posted by: austinsteve | February 26, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

For what is worth, this quote from Ted Leonsis is why I think the Caps will make a big splash before the trade deadline. Ted wants to get the Cup as soon as possible:


I think a couple of things happened. One, because it's a home-grown team. And I believe in this, that when a kid's young and he just starts and he starts to grow up, the fans almost adopt them. And so Ovechkin, and Semin, and Green, and Backstrom, [fans]feel like they're theirs, and they're gonna watch them grow up. So there's a deep fondness.

Kids will talk for years about the Ovechkin goals. It was the No. 1 [viewed] video on YouTube for a day. I mean, that's a culture phenomenon. Number one searched video on YouTube. I mean, that's amazing. And so we had 19,000 people, it'll go into lore, it'll be there were 100,000 people who attended that game.

And we can win a Cup. That's why I just am singularly focused on that. There's this generation that's ready to be grabbed, because when you win a championship and you have immortality, that becomes your touchstone.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | February 26, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan:
sounds more like 'stick with the plan' to me. i predict no blockbuster moves. just a more stable s@h Dman without giving up any young talent or prospects. i know, i know - plenty of you think sarge doesn't have any talent already

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Schultz +17 44 games played
Kronwall -1 2 games played

and you wonder why? Look around see how many d'men are +17 in the NHL. Look at the chat today to see Tarik's take on Schultz!

Posted by: majiksea | February 26, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Habs trade Begin to Dallas for Janik

Posted by: majiksea | February 26, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Actually, look at Dan Steinberg's blog where the rest of the piece is from. The behind the lines part of the story was that they expect to have all season tickets sold out to the point where they have a waiting list. To get that waiting list you have to have an excitement that only the SC can bring. Success needs to come in the next year or so for the game plan to be in place. I think they are going for it this year because his goal is to go from 50,000 core fans (as he has determined the base to be) to 100,000 by this time next year. To do that, you need to take success to a much higher level.

The gauntlet is down. Going for the Cup...this year!

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | February 26, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan:
that sounds like a plan. hope they don't give away the farm though

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

we want to win the playoffs>there is no fighting in the playoffs. Brash is a waste of roster spot in the playoffs just like he was last year

Posted by: wendel2 | February 26, 2009 4:00 PM

sure there is less fighting in the playoffs, but there is a lot of hitting and a lot of need for deterrents on the ice. and if you havent noticed lately, the 4th line has done some good forechecking and provides energy. he'll be valuable in the playoffs, but most likely wont play every game.

one only needs to look back at the rangers game a few years ago when brash fought orr and shanny and got tossed. the rags immediately started taking runs at ovie as soon as brash was tossed. he doesnt have to drop the gloves to add value.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | February 26, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

If not now, when?

Any moves that are made to last for a period of today through next season are fine with me. Obviously, there are untouchables but that's only half the team. If a move can be made for a player that BB likes and fits under our cap through next season, then do it.


Posted by: saintex | February 26, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone is still down after Tuesday's game, I have a little something that will cheer you up.

Basically for the Caps it comes down to finishing 2nd or 3rd in the conference at this point. And the difference is massive, as they certainly want the extra home game in the 2nd round vs Jersey if all four of the top teams win in round 1.

So I took a look at the combined home/road records (much more of an accurate picture than the opponents overall records) for all the upcoming Caps opponents and likewise for all the upcoming Devils opponents. So for instance when Caps play Atlanta tonight I used 12-16-4 (Thrashers road record), and when Caps play Boston on Saturday I used 20-4-4 (Bruins home record).

Caps opponents aggregate h/r record:
279-274-85

Devils opponents aggregate h/r record:
322-255-76

The Devils have by far the tougher set of opponents down the stretch. To wit, if we take the pts/gm% for each set of opponents and project that out for an 82 game season, the Caps would on average be facing an 83pt team while the Devils would on average be facing a 90pt team.

So over their last 20 and 21 games respectively, the Devils will be facing a team that is on average SEVEN points better than the team that the Caps are facing.

It is inconceivable to me, based on this much tougher set of opponents, that the Devils can finish in 2nd.

Now if we can just make use of that 7th game at home in the 2nd round if we need it...as opposed to last year...


Posted by: DaleDUI | February 26, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Donald Brashear has 9 majors this season, ranked 33rd in the NHL (majors by number of games) in 56 games. CBJ's Jared Boll leads with 20 in 54 games played. Riley Cote in Philly has 18. Laroque in MTL has only 7, but he's sat most of the year with only 25 games played. Laraque gets a major in 28% of his games. Brashear in 16.07%.

On a % basis, Mike Brown in Ana gets a major every other game.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 26, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

@dcsports one only has to look back to last year against philly when brash fought no one and did nothing as we got run out of the series. his value has faded faster than my walmart jeans

Posted by: wendel2 | February 26, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

take away brash's goal in game 1 last year and caps probably lose that game
philly carried play most of the game except for a few moments..brash's goal was one of them

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | February 26, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I think a lot of us are feeling Brash is overdue to make his presence known. I was looking at his PIMs after last game and for his career, I remember thinking they are down noticeably this year. (Maybe I made that up though)

His minutes are down too, maybe that makes it hard for him to build up that hallmark card badwill with the other team...

Posted by: austinsteve | February 26, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

The argument that Brashear takes too many fighting penalties doesn't pan out. The argument that Laraque is better than Brashear is based apparently on taste, because Laraque is thought of worse than Brashear is by coaches (Laraque sits a lot). The argument that he takes stupid penalties applies to the entire Caps squad, probably more so to Semin and Ovie than any other skater (based upon PIMs).

In otherwords, they're reaching for justification to spew at Brashear in some kind of hope to get Brashear off the team. To what end, who the heck knows.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 26, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

@ wendel2

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't recall any fighting in the playoffs last year from any of the 16 teams. Buy some good jeans and they won't fade either.

Posted by: ludeman95 | February 26, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Keep away from the cheap junk they sell in WalMart, too. You may pay a few more dollars, but they'll last longer.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 26, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

The argument that Brashear takes too many fighting penalties doesn't pan out. The argument that Laraque is better than Brashear is based apparently on taste, because Laraque is thought of worse than Brashear is by coaches (Laraque sits a lot). The argument that he takes stupid penalties applies to the entire Caps squad, probably more so to Semin and Ovie than any other skater (based upon PIMs).

In otherwords, they're reaching for justification to spew at Brashear in some kind of hope to get Brashear off the team. To what end, who the heck knows.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 26, 2009 5:36 PM

reading comprehension.

no one here ever tried to say laraque was better than brashear in any way. the other two "arguments" you are assessing come straight from wendel, so "they're" not reaching since it's only one guy.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

You are all optimistic if you think the biggest hurdle is getting the 2nd or 3d seed. The biggest hurdle to me is maintaining consistency on many fronts--goal-tending, D, intensity, playing all 60 minutes and all types of teams, etc. I was unnerved by Colorado and Philly because of how quickly the team unravelled in certain situations.

I know they are brilliant and exciting. Do I have the confidence that they can gain and sustain momentum in the next 21 games, or through the first two rounds of playoffs, and not unravel? Not quite yet. Am I wrong?

Posted by: caraveli | February 26, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Keep away from the cheap junk they sell in WalMart, too. You may pay a few more dollars, but they'll last longer.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 26, 2009 5:41 PM

Nice statement, Greg S. I was about to say, the fact that wendel's wearing Walmart jeans, his opinion about Brashear just lost so much weight.

It's been said time and again, Brashear plays his role. It's like people getting upset about going to a romantic comedy and getting pissy that there wasn't enough action. Duh, you're going in there with the wrong expectations. I don't go into a game thinking Brashear better score a goal. I go in thinking Brashear, kick some a$$!!! Another thing, just because Brashear isn't fighting a lot doesn't mean he ain't doing what he's supposed to be doing either. There's a time and place for it...

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 26, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

denis to stars.

ducks and habs seem to be the big movers so far.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting nervous! I want Michal to do well! Go Neuvy! and Go Caps!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 26, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

sasha8,
your comment that, "Schultz must have "Pictures" on GMGM" has to be one of the best cracks I've heard all year. Outstanding! I'm STILL laughing... HAHAHAHAHA....

Posted by: Puckguru | February 26, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse


Finally getting to read yall's posts.
@mikebrady1
Re the philly friend...classic!!
You're absolutely right, those two words will NEVER match.
Meantime, I'm still awaiting that tough, gritty, hard-nosed, take-no-prisoner type defenseman! I think kittypaws is coming around on this also...glad we agree.

Posted by: al852 | February 26, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

i'm hoping BB can get the team focused to play like they did the last two month of last year - starting by at least the first week of april. we know they have the ability to play 60 minutes every night for a sustained length of time. if they are still playing like this in the second week of april - then i will pay attention to all who here that panic!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Geeze Louise, Schultz, Schultz, Schultz. The guy needs to have his owm blog already!

Every play has his good and off moments. Do we all forget what Green looked like three years ago? hot - cold - warmer - hot - tepid . . .

But Green worked on his game, I mean he REALLY worked on his game. And we all see how those efforts have blossomed - and he still has an off game, even now leading the NHL.

What separates Green from Schultz though, is that #55 seems about the same as last year. A little slow, sometimes caught offguard, an errant pass here and there. I think the greatest disappointment is on the developmental side. We ALL see the HUGE potential, it just remains elusive as ever.

How many other NHL players have a 6 ft 6 frame? Not many, but alot who would know what to do with it if they had. C'mon Jeff, we know you have what it takes. Stop keeping the secret to yourself!!!

Posted by: dogdaze | February 26, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

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