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Morning Skate Update

Here's the latest from Sommet Center:

No Changes
Coach Bruce Boudreau said before the morning skate that he expects to use the same lineup tonight that played Sunday. That means Jose Theodore will get the nod in net.

Round Two
Thanks to the NHL's quirky schedule, the Predators are one of three Western Conference teams the Caps will have faced twice this season (Columbus and Los Angeles are the others). When Washington hosted the Preds on Oct. 28, the Caps won 4-3 in a shootout.

Special Teams Will Be Key
The Caps have scored at least one power play goal in seven of the past eight games. But they'll face a pretty stiff challenge tonight. The Predators penalty kill is No. 1 in the league at home (89.4).

Strong Starters
The Predators have the NHL's fourth best winning percentage when they score first (27-6-2) and are a league leading 15-0-1 when leading after the opening 20 minutes.

Road Warriors
The Caps road trip could be exactly what the team needs right now. At least that what they're hoping after dropping four straight at Verizon Center. They're 4-0-2 in their last six road games, and 10 of their last 15 are on the road.

"It's nice to get away from home," said forward Brooks Laich, who expects to play tonight after taking yesterday off to rest some "bumps and bruises". In a road game, we're not going to try to impress anybody. We're not going to do anything special. We're going to simplify our game, just do the fundamentals."

Rinne Ailing
As I mentioned in a previous post, Nashville starting goalie Pekka Rinne looks like he's going to be sidelined tonight because of the flu. That could be big.

Injury Update
Michael Nylander (upper body) took the morning skate. But he isn't expected to play tonight.

Tonight's Mindset
"We still have to get better," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I thought we played maybe 45 minutes of the 60 minutes really well [against Pittsburgh]. But we're down to the stages where 45 minutes against teams that either need to get into the playoffs or their sense of urgency is so high [like eighth place Nashville], you have to play 60 or you'll get burnt."

Live Online
Don't forget that I'll be taking your questions in at 2 p.m.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 10, 2009; 1:17 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Rinne 'Doubtful' Tonight
Next: Tonight's Lineup

Comments

Tarik...my cell phone number is 703.....

Repost from TEB's new posting burn!

Laich's goal is #4 for the week per CBC.CA. Semin's from his knees is #1

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/ondemand/?playlistId=420a65442fa7b343551416840309cbb4deef0e97&videoId=1056930362

Posted by: Greg S. | March 10, 2009 1:27 PM

Posted by: Greg S. | March 10, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

4 - 2 Caps, Greenie with a PP goal and Ovie lights someone up along the boards (I know, a little safe)...book it.

Posted by: Moose33 | March 10, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

lets go capitals lets go

lets
go
cap
i
tals

lets go

Posted by: richmondphil | March 10, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

FYI it will be Koken and Loughlin tonight, Joe B is doing the Philly game on versus.

Posted by: ThePat | March 10, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I've never felt so strongly this season that tonight is a MUST WIN game for the Caps. I just think that they need to recapture the confidence and swagger that they had as a team until the past few weeks. LET'S GO CAPS!!!!! May the hockey gods smile benificently on you!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | March 10, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, that link didn't take you to the video. If you click on NHL News and go to News subcategory. On the Right you'll see plays of the week - goals.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 10, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

@DevilsCapsGal: Agreed!

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 10, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Looking for a much needed win!!!!
GO CAPS!!

Posted by: Bobby894 | March 10, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

OH Sweet. I like when Smokin' Al does the broadcast, he's a Homer like me. I don't like that my home town play by play guys gives accolades to the Caps opposition. That's what the national broadcasts are for. I like the way Kolbe sounds like he's gonna cry when a team puts a game out of reach. He's a fan! Joe B is too busy talking about the wings he had when in Buffalo, or the Philly Cheesesteak he had in Philly, or the sunshine on the golf course when in Tampa. Then all of a sudden he go, oh, someone scooooores. He's lame. Locker is starting to become more of a Homer, I think he had a pipe dream that Joe B was going to bring him to the National stage but it has happened so now Locker is sounding more like a fan than he did earlier in the year.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 10, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Watch, they will throw the kitchen sink at Ellis the first 5 - 10 minutes because they will be fired up. If Ellis can limit the damage, we'll be in for a game till the end...or it might be 3 - 0 by the end of the first.

Posted by: Moose33 | March 10, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Laich makes a very interesting point about the Caps not feeling the need to impress anyone on the road and therefore sticking to a more simple game. Someone ought to let the team know that what impresses us most when they play at home is WINNING. It's fine if the goals aren't scored on highlight-reel plays. Just put the puck in the net and win the game, and the crowd will still be excited even if the play wasn't fancy.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 10, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Anyone think that a better indicator of power play scoring percentage would be time it takes to score with a man advantage? Ie if you go 1 of 4 on the power play that's 25%. But if one of those power plays was thirty seconds it is still counted as a full man advantage. But if you score a minute in, didn't convert another for a full two minutes, and then had a thirty second advantage that would mean a goal every 5:30 minutes? I think this is more exact than saying 25%. Just been thinking about this for a while and had to share. Percentages are probably cooler though. Thanks!

Posted by: larryn703 | March 10, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

http://watch.tsn.ca/nhl/#clip147974

Top 10 on TSN. Semin has 2 on this one including the #1. No Laich, though.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 10, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"FYI it will be Koken and Loughlin tonight, Joe B is doing the Philly game on versus."

I'd prefer Koken and Fornes...

Posted by: FLDave | March 10, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1
Joe B. and CL have always been homer's. They just have the knowledge to talk about the other teams as well as their own. As far as an announcer, I've always liked the way Joe B. calls a game. You wanna talk about lame? Remember Jeff Rimmer?! He does the games for Nashville. That guy was terrible when he did the Caps games years ago. We are lucky to have a guy like Joe B. doing the games.

Posted by: rockinravenmaniac | March 10, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

greg S.

the list i saw had 2 semin goals, #6 and #3, and no laich. I think that list was hockey night?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 10, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"FYI it will be Koken and Loughlin tonight, Joe B is doing the Philly game on versus."

wow! what does versus have against Philly fans?

Posted by: hock1 | March 10, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Unleash the Fury, Caps! Hockey Gods are smiling down on you guys. Let it rain with goals!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 10, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I want to put the opposite point that the announcers should be homers. Yes, to some extent, they should be. Most of the viewing audience wants that team. However, since the advent of Center Ice and the MLB package, you have to remember that many are watching also who aren't for the "home" team. Some of the announcers are so brutally homeristic that they have lost all objectivity. Denis Potvin doing the Panthers cries like a baby when he disagrees with a penalty call against a Panther; ditto for Bobby "the Chief" Taylor on the Sunshine Network (Lightning). Rick Jennerette doing the Sabres can be awful to listen to when the Sabres score vs your team. I always really appreciate it when the other team announcers compliment the Caps and point out things maybe I didn't know. The Devils and the Islanders have always been very objective.

The worst announcer in sports - and the worst homer - Ken the Hawk Harrelson doing the Chicago White Sox. WGN is a national channel and the way he yells for Oriole homeruns to go foul or for the "Good Guys" to get the big hit will make you hurl.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 10, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Koken and Loughlin are fall down drunks when they are together. They are guzzlin bourbon and walking the sidewalks of Vanderbilt as we speak looking for co-eds.

Anyone know if it is on HD?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 10, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

capsfan26 - While I totally agree with the winning being the important part, I feels like your saying "But it's the thought that counts"

Posted by: superpaqman | March 10, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Koken and Loughlin are fall down drunks when they are together. They are guzzlin bourbon and walking the sidewalks of Vanderbilt as we speak looking for co-eds.

Anyone know if it is on HD?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 10, 2009 2:23 PM

are you wondering whether video of al and craig tolling for co-eds is in hd? lets hope NOT! my direct tv listing showed that the game is not in HD, but is on comcast HD so it will be better than the horrible non HD on the non-HD comcast channel.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 10, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@FLDave

Here's an old memory for you with Fornes & Koken. Mario getting knocked out by Gould.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XDaCrCTrXM

Posted by: puckman | March 10, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I can understand tonight, but the Philly game not in HD on a Comcast shared station?

According to Comcast all the remaining games are in HD except tonight, and Thursday...and 3/24 at Toronto.

3/16 vs Atlanta is on VS.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 10, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

As far as homer announcers, Pens take the cake. Just search for "Gary Roberts drinks water" or something like "Crosby ties shoelaces" clips..

Caps announcers are pretty good, but people often hate their voices. The guy from Buffalo is just insane, I have no problems with him.

Objectively, probably Montreal and NYC-area announcers are the best. The Rangers' color guy is a big homer, though, but not the worst.

Anyway, where are all those people who predicted an easy ride for the Caps in the last part of the season? Where art thou, WindSpammer?

Posted by: VladG | March 10, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

capsfan26 - While I totally agree with the winning being the important part, I feels like your saying "But it's the thought that counts"

Posted by: superpaqman | March 10, 2009 2:31 PM

I'm not sure what you mean, but my point is that they shouldn't feel a need to get fancy just to impress the home crowd. If they're capable of keeping it simple on the road, then they should be capable of keeping it simple at home too. I'd rather see a solid win without any dazzling goals, than a loss resulting from too much attempted cuteness.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 10, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad STH's get the play off tickets.Hopefully that'll keep the interlopers to a minimum. Tough....

Posted by: ridgely1 | March 10, 2009 1:04 PM

@ridgely1: "Interlopers" LOL

FYI it will be Koken and Loughlin tonight, Joe B is doing the Philly game on versus.

Posted by: ThePat | March 10, 2009 1:45 PM


@ThePat: could be interesting, if true. Question is, will Big Al blow a gasket when (not if) the Caps score a big goal?

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 10, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I listen to some of the away games on XM, and the WORST are Carolina and Buffalo. Montreal and Toronto are good. The Pittsburgh guy is annoying, but that's to be expected.

Posted by: Leeguru | March 10, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The colour women for NJ devils is the worst. I hope she is at least good looking

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 10, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1
"bb told the 3and4 lines that they need to crash the net and get more dirty goals"
I agree but wonder how the h they could have forgotten that they are suppossed to do that.Are lines 3 and 4 really that stupid?

Posted by: wendel2 | March 10, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm reminded of why I like Joe B. as an announcer every time I watch the local Flyers broadcast. I definitely prefer the less "homer" aspect of his playcalling. With the Philly Crew, I get to hear Bill Clement comment on Jim Jackson's choice of trousers and the rare odd comment on the opposition's play.

Posted by: geauxcaps | March 10, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The worst announcer in sports - and the worst homer - Ken the Hawk Harrelson doing the Chicago White Sox. WGN is a national channel and the way he yells for Oriole homeruns to go foul or for the "Good Guys" to get the big hit will make you hurl.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 10, 2009 2:19 PM

@tominfl: whether this is to be considered good or bad, I don't know, but I seem to recall from my time in San Diego that Ted Leitner (who covers the Padres) would always refer to them as "My Padres" when they were winning and "Your Padres" when they were losing...

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 10, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

rock the red and unleash the fury are great slogans but maybe they are too confusing for some caps.........maybe we should simplify them to GET OFF YOUR BUTT
or SKATE

Posted by: wendel2 | March 10, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@Wendel2 - How about what I always yell when the puck is in the Caps defensive zone:

"Get it the H*LL outta there!"

Simple enough??????????

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | March 10, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The home announcers are supposed to home jobs. They are talking to the target market.

They should be objective though, and not act like calls against the home team are all B.S, and they should point out the things the opposing team is doing right.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 10, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@Wendel2 - How about what I always yell when the puck is in the Caps defensive zone:

"Get it the H*LL outta there!"

Simple enough??????????

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | March 10, 2009 3:13 PM

Apparently not simple enough, since that is one of the biggest issues we seem to be having lately. Maybe we all need to hold up big signs with arrows on them, indicating which way they need to move the puck.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 10, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

@ rockinravenmaniac

Rimmer does the CBJ games.

Posted by: griz0615 | March 10, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Objectivity equals professionalism and knowledge. When Joe B. And Locker call a game, they highlight the oppositions mistakes and good plays to accurately disect the gameplay, point out what works and how/why, and how the play was beaten by the Caps or why the Caps failed. They are far from Homers. They say when the caps got away with a noncall, and they say when they disagree with the refs. I never feel that they are calling from one teams bench, and I like that. They are, in my opinion, the best TANDEM. Joe B is just as good on his own and he keeps Locker honest.

Sometimes, I have to turn off the audio when other announcers are calling games. I have little patience for morons.

I can't stand Koken.

Posted by: oo7 | March 10, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Capsfan26, that makes two of us.

and to follow up on VladG's post, watch this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVBkqV0UM-M

you will think twice before saying Joe B and Laughlin go off on tangents...

Posted by: superpaqman | March 10, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@oo7: I agree, for the most part. What I like about them, Joe B especially, is that they're objective when it comes to analysis, but you can tell that they're more excited when the Caps score and happier when the Caps win. It's a good balance between objective play calling and commentary on the one hand, and some pro-Caps emotion on the other.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 10, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Like everyone else, when I am frustrated I want to vent and George McPhee is sometimes the easiest target. But then there are the regular McPhee haters and puckguru's rant a few posts ago is an example.

Could those with a longer historical knowledge of the Caps than me, help out here. Wasn't McPhee the person most responsible with the "re-building" of the caps? I mean getting rid of expensive players, investing in young players and the long-term, getting Ovechkin and Boudreau? If so, this strategy has worked. It is what has gotten us here so far so I have to trust his current emphasis on the long-term vs. immediate improvement. What is his over-all contribution? From where I stand, it seems that--while he makes mistakes--his larger strategy has worked and he learns from mistakes. The net result looks very positive, but then, I didn't follow what he did earlier in his Caps career.

Posted by: caraveli | March 10, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@ puckman:

Thank You - Thank You Thank You. Many people forget that before Cindy with much more talent was Mario. All through college and even today my number was 23. For Bobby Gould! My favorite all time Cap! Mario took boxing lessons the next summer because of that fight. All I ever wanted to be was Bobby Gould. Thank you again! Long Live the Capitals! Lets hope that someone channels Bobby Gould tonight and brings some of the toughness back to the Caps!

Posted by: psugolf | March 10, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

WHERE CAN I FIND THE CONTENTS OF TARIK'S Q&A TODAY AT 2PM. I WASN'ST ABLE TO PARTICIPATE, BUT WOULD LIKE TO READ A TRANSSCRIPT. WHERE IS IT POSTED?

Posted by: caraveli | March 10, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"When Joe B. And Locker call a game, they highlight the oppositions mistakes and good plays to accurately disect the gameplay, point out what works and how/why, and how the play was beaten by the Caps or why the Caps failed."

Well, yes, they do that at times, but I seem to hear more nonsense unrelated to the game coming out of their mouths.

A couple of examples:
Many times a penalty is called, served, and expired before the viewer is aware of who got penalized. Other times a great play is started just out of the picture ending with either a score or close to it and the only thing the viewer and the viewer is completely oblivious to it - to many fans that is of no consequence as the only thing they see as a great play is the shot on goal, but to others like me who enjoy the game it is a shame not seeing or hearing how the play came to be.

If they were more into announcing the game, then maybe some of the viewers could become aware of some good plays that go unnoticed, and maybe, some of the maligned players would not look so bad after all.

Posted by: hock1 | March 10, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I changed my train of thought while doing my last post and i forgot to delete extra wording. In a nut shell what I meant to say was that at times viewers are not aware of all the events that made a good play.

Posted by: hock1 | March 10, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@wendel2 - new cheer for home games:
N-A-P-S Naps, Naps, Naps!

I was listening to the Caps @ Columbus on XM earlier this season and their guys were so bad I didn't know what was happening half the time. They spent more time yapping than calling the game.

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 10, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Here is a compilation of Lemieux fights, 3 out of 4 against the Caps. It has the Gould fight and shows Mario being helped off the ice with a broken jaw afterwards. At least the guy tried to fight once in a while unlike the great one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzyAPkB5m2Q&feature=related

Posted by: Moose33 | March 10, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

caraveli, from the Post bar up there, go to News->Discussions->Most Recent Transcipts

If Tarik's chat is still listed on the front page, you can still click on it and it'll show the transcript.

Posted by: koalatek | March 10, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

In addition to moose33 comments .... or like the way Crosby fights - punching someone's nuts from behind instead of facing the dude face to face.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wqR17KrLKw

Maybe Mario told Sidney while sitting at his kitchen table to fight this way to keep his jaw from being broken. Doesn't SC still live in Mario's basement???

Posted by: puckman | March 10, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 10, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Apparently not simple enough, since that is one of the biggest issues we seem to be having lately. Maybe we all need to hold up big signs with arrows on them, indicating which way they need to move the puck.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 10, 2009 3:30 PM

OUCH!

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 10, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Like everyone else, when I am frustrated I want to vent and George McPhee is sometimes the easiest target. But then there are the regular McPhee haters and puckguru's rant a few posts ago is an example.

Could those with a longer historical knowledge of the Caps than me, help out here. Wasn't McPhee the person most responsible with the "re-building" of the caps? I mean getting rid of expensive players, investing in young players and the long-term, getting Ovechkin and Boudreau? If so, this strategy has worked. It is what has gotten us here so far so I have to trust his current emphasis on the long-term vs. immediate improvement. What is his over-all contribution? From where I stand, it seems that--while he makes mistakes--his larger strategy has worked and he learns from mistakes. The net result looks very positive, but then, I didn't follow what he did earlier in his Caps career.

Posted by: caraveli | March 10, 2009 3:51 PM

mcphee inhereted a stanley cup finalist team in 98. if you look at his first few draft classes, they were in a word, horrible. most gm's would have been fired for that. i think because ted was a new owner, he relied on gm alot. to be fair, i dont think the caps had the best scouting department in the league as it was in the tail end of abe's ownership and he really didnt put alot of cash into the team/development.

when the team decided to tear down and rebuild it was gmgm who was in charge. he had made some great (and unpopular) trades to get picks and prospects. bondra for laich and a pick. lang for flash and a pick that became green. etc. since 02 his drafts have been pretty successful starting w/ semin, OV of course, green, backstrom, alzner and some still tbd (schultz, gustoffson, etc). he also got feds, huet and cooke here last year for basically nothing. no doubt they wouldn't have made the playoffs without that deal.

yes he hired bruce cassidy (flop) but also brought in BB, who has only won coach of the year in his first try.

dont listen to guys like cheef and puck"guru". they have an axe to grind w/ gmgm and prefer to dwell on his misses from 5 plus years ago rather than the overwhelming evidence of his recent success.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 10, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Locker needs to cease his monologues when something significant happens on the ice, especially when it happens just as the camera moves away from same.

And when a scrum begins in the corner with copious face-washes we don't want to see a shot of the fans.

Posted by: Bartolo1 | March 10, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Can I come back now? Are the trolls gone?

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 10, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I like TEB statement, "I don't know if it's just not in his makeup or what, but I know I'm not the only person who wants to see big Jeff starting hitting someone. Anyone."

Emphasis on "Anyone".

Posted by: puckman | March 10, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@waitingsince75: I'd suggest waiting till after we win one to really seriously come back. That drives the trolls away like nothing else.

In off-topic news, does this explain Philly fans?

Posted by: kittypawz | March 10, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

koalatek

Thanks SO much! I didn't realize there was a "discussions" category under "news."

dcsportsfan1

Thanks for the history lesson. Very illuminating. So it sounds like GM struggled for the first few years but improved greatly when Ted came and, together with him, became a key architect of the strategy that has started bearing fruit in the last 15 months or so, right? For a long time we all blamed him for getting rid of skilled players and thought that this was the reason for Caps' losses. Now it seems this strategy is being validated. I, for one, can now see the reasons behind many moves that did not make sense to me before.

My only criticism is that he may have been too soft on Hanlon and Kolzig, where his sense of loyalty took priority over hockey business, but I could be wrong.

Posted by: caraveli | March 10, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I like TEB statement, "I don't know if it's just not in his makeup or what, but I know I'm not the only person who wants to see big Jeff starting hitting someone. Anyone."

Emphasis on "Anyone".

Posted by: puckman | March 10, 2009 4:44 PM

Amen! He actually did hit someone in the Pens game... and then promptly fell on his butt. At least he tried, though. Hopefully this is a sign that he's starting to use his size for something other than screening his own goalie. Fingers crossed...

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 10, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

This is my first ever comment on the blog. Im 14, so go easy on me. Heres my opinion on the team:
- Nylander would be good if he could get on a line where he finds chemistry. Put him with Fehr and Flash.
- Ovi, Backstrom, Semin line is one of the best in the league.
- Feds is a legend, but put Laich in front of net on PP
- Steckel is good... but Gordon is just as good on PK. Gordon works harder too.
- Green needs to play with a stay-at-home D.
- Heres what my line up would look like:
8*19*28
21*91*25
14*92*16
87*15*10

52*3
26*55
23*4

*60*

Posted by: jacobware222 | March 10, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Joe B is the man, Locher rocks and I wish I could Afford Joe's suits.

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | March 10, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@jacobware222: Age aside, you are more insightful than a lot of so-called adults on here. :)

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 10, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

caravelli,
i agree on hanlon and kolzig. my opinion is that everyone knew hanlon was just holding a spot until the team turned it around. i dont think anyone thought he would be the one to take them to the promised land. i think he related well to the players at the start, which was key for a young team. obviously his scheme did not fit with the skilled players.

kolzig was a tough one. he stuck w/ the team when he could have gone elsewhere. the team stuck with him longer than they should have. not an easy call on either side. it ended badly and while everyone can take some blame for that, i put most of it on ted and gmgm. but we all know gm is not really warm and fuzzy to say the least.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 10, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

jacob, that kind of mature and thoughtful comentary will get you nowhere on this board.

i would put fehr in front of the net too. big rig and good touch. how about brash as well. no shortage of guys who can play that role.

green has been playing w/ schultz i believe. he's pretty much a stay at home guy. in fact, most folks here would like schultz to literally be a stay at home dman. as in, stay at home and dont come to the rink tonight.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 10, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

@jacobware amen, lets find a way to use Nylander effectively

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 10, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

@jacob

I smell a career in coaching in your future.

While Ovie and Semin can do nice things together, you probably will see them split up to keep scoring balanced. That doesnt mean that they wont skate together in the 3rd if we need to tie things up...

Do you think Brashear needs to punch someone?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 10, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Glen Hanlon is a saint. Lets keep mothers and old coaches out of it.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 10, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

green has been playing w/ schultz i believe. he's pretty much a stay at home guy. in fact, most folks here would like schultz to literally be a stay at home dman. as in, stay at home and dont come to the rink tonight.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 10, 2009 5:12 PM

The problem is, Schultz is so slow that even when he stays back, forwards can get around him too easily. When Green moves up, there's nobody there to bail Schultz out.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 10, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Lets not get on a GMGM rant here. At lot could be said on that. We are here now.

We replaced the head coach last year. If we don't do some damage this year in the postseason it won't be a coaching change or a GM change (despite various opinions of the people in those positions). But I expect there will be a change if the team doesn't bring it on a nightly basis and through the playoffs this year.

Posted by: austinsteve | March 10, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

i have really been watching schultz closely the past few games, and he hasnt looked all that bad to me.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 10, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

People continue to talk about Brash punching someone.........Why? he has like 8 majors all year and bradley has that many as well. Caps dont fight... we are 2nd last in the league with 24 fighting majors all year. We dont have the grit to drop them......second last in the league!!!! Suprised gmgm doesnt try to get hitting taken out as well as fighting....we are way to cs which is why when the going gets tough we go away

Posted by: wendel2 | March 10, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

@jacob - you have a good handle on the Caps.
IMO, generally I would keep Kozlov with Ovie because he is great at controlling the puck and keeping it from defenders while Ovie sets up for a shot. Also, as mentioned it spreads out the 2 best shooters across lines.

Also, you hit the Nyls problem on the head, the problem is there isn't really a line he has chemistry with because the Caps O is based on speed and transition and that doesn't fit in with Nyls game. I think he could work with Laich and Steckel since he too can hold the puck while they crash the net, and he should be able to help the PK since he is calm and confident with the puck.

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 10, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, we could debate Schultz's effectiveness ad nauseum. There's no right or wrong here, it's a matter of opinion. Either you think the guy plays well or you don't; either you think he's got potential or you don't; etc. Obviously BB and GMGM think he's doing well enough - or at least that there's nobody better who could replace him - and I'm sure they wouldn't be sticking with him unless they thought he had potential to improve.

I don't disagree that he has potential, I'm just tired of waiting for him to live up to it. The only improvement I've seen lately is that he threw that one check in the Pens game. He is still slow, he still gets beaten to the puck consistently, he still mostly gently nudges guys into the boards, and he was like a deer in headlights during the 2-on-1 on Sunday (fyi, Schultz, you cover the pass and let the goalie handle the guy with the puck - even mites know that). Sure, he makes good plays sometimes, but all of our defensemen make good plays sometimes, and they don't consistently show the kinds of deficits that Schultz does. Just my two cents, take 'em or leave 'em.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 10, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Well new poster Jacobware222 made some pretty good suggestions on line lineups (or line-ups). It's certainly a workable possibility. Laich & Kozlov are a pretty good combo together. (The best forward to team Kozzie up with, outside of OV, would be Laich). Although I'd consider recreating the F-Bomber line and putting Laich and Kozzie with Nylander. Laich, Kozzie, and Nyls combination actually produced a goal vs Detroit. (Kozzie is great for igniting lines that need it.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 10, 2009 5:39 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.

Posted by: windjammersouth | February 3, 2009 1:49 PM

I believe I slayed this troll.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 10, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan75, ds_kelly, SA-Town, mikebrady, capsfan26, Thankyou

@ dcsportsfan1... Hello to you to Mr. Mature.

Posted by: jacobware222 | March 10, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Great job on the analysis, Jacob. I don't know a hill of beans about assessing a game. All I know is "puck in net good". Oh, and where the dipping dots cart is at Verizon Center.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 10, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo - He has disappeared, that's for sure.

Jacob - Good first shot. But my favorite line is 21-39-16. That is a gritty line and I see this as a great third line for years to come, with the possible exception of Fehr moving up as he matures.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 10, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo, my hero!

lol @ LeftCoastCapsFan - maybe that's what needs to be said in the locker room before the game tonight - "Puck in their net good. Puck in our net bad. Dipping dots for everyone after game if we win."

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 10, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Brash on the power play in front of the net! How about it? As long as he is not allowed to touch the puck at any time unless it is in front of the net... How about parking Juice in front and let him block out the sun?

Kidding aside (sort of) it is time for our secondary scoring to come out of hibernation. I will predict a win tonight, and not coincindentally Fehr and Fleischmann will have a goal apiece.

Posted by: Roose | March 10, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Here we go with the Schultz arguments again. Japers' Rink has a pretty good Schultz discussion going, and that's all I'm going to say about that.

@waitingsince75: Good, I'm not the only one. I really like that line - good stuff happens when they're on the ice. A little more net-crashing and a dirty goal or two and amazing things will happen.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 10, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I am Jacob's Dad, and he's not the messiah. He's a very naughty boy.....

Posted by: richardware | March 10, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Haha, caught red handed

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 10, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, Jacob's dad, if you're the one who's taught him hockey, you've done a good job!

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 10, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

OMG! First Cheef, then Puckguru! The whole gang is back! And all it took was a losing streak! I really should read back in the archives more often.

All it takes is a win, and they go away. I hope the team knows that. They have to win for the fans in more ways than they know!

Posted by: Leeguru | March 10, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

@Leeguru: I just missed them so much. Shame the stimulus bill doesn't buy me a laser sight.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 10, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if we ask REAAALLL nice, if they will stay when the team starts winning again.

Posted by: Leeguru | March 10, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Best way to do that is chain them up to a wall facing a tv screen of the goal highlights of the Capitals on repeat overnight. That, or until we get them to genuinely admit the Caps are pretty awesome. No offense, but I'm hoping they don't so they would have to watch that highlight reel for hours on end.

Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 10, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Let's not panic: We have the best hockey player in the world; we have the best fancy-dan; we have the best Swede; we have a hall-of-famer; we have the best coach. The Preds will be a formidable foe, but win or lose we move on...we march to Philly and beyond...we march to the Stanley Cup.

Posted by: meagle | March 10, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

dots are next to section 110.

gotta have 'em!

Posted by: WhyGo | March 10, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!
Comcast is not carrying the game in HD AND Joe B is not calling it! That means we get Smokin Al in standard def, this sucks! I would watch the Nashville feed in HD if they did not block it. Again CRAP!

Posted by: majiksea | March 10, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Have NHL CI at home, but greedy NHL bastards charge extra for online access and I'm in LA. Anyone know where I can watch tonight game online? Checked all the sites I know, but no luck.

Posted by: ranndino | March 10, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I watched the Islander-Edmonton final outside in van bending the rabbit-ear antennas standing on one foot while drinking a Schaefer beer. I can deal with the non-HD feed.

Posted by: meagle | March 10, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

We are leaving our hotel in downtown Nashville for the game now! We need a big effort from the boys...word from our hotel is there is a large contingent of Russians in Nashville who are turning out in force to cheer on the Caps at Sommet! Hopefully our boys give them something to cheer about.

Posted by: nomarjax01 | March 10, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

be sure to go down to Music Row.

Not far from the rink.

must visit, before you leave.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 10, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I can deal with standard def, but why should I need to? Comcast is not showing anything else and the feed from Nashville is in HD. Comcast SUCKS, as always!

Posted by: majiksea | March 10, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

only thing more foreign than a bunch of Russians in Nashville would be a bunch of Caps fans.

Two for One and Double Trouble.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 10, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Buffalo up 1-0 over Philly -- go Sabres

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 10, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Calgary 1 NJ 0
Go Flames

Posted by: majiksea | March 10, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Word has it the the bad economy is effecting everyone. Seems Cheef's and wendel's budget does not let them consistently buy and consume their MD "Mad Dog" 20/20, Thunderbird and Night Train Express wines. So now they will be out of their drunken stupor more often and on the blog. Just a coincidence that the Caps are losing at the same time!
:)

Posted by: puckman | March 10, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

ThePat:
Thanks for the info on the previous! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 10, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Seems that no one is streaming this one. Boo! First Caps game I'm missing all season :(((

Posted by: ranndino | March 10, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

so far, pretty much like the last 4 games. look good, play well. still losing.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 10, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Thats the first time ive seen Brash lose a fight by getting knocked down from a punch. WoW

COME ON CALGARY AND COLUMBUS

Posted by: jacobware222 | March 10, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

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