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Morning Skate Update

Coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed moments ago what we already suspected: none of the injured players will be back tonight. There is, however, hope that one will return for Thursday's game against the Islanders.

"You can see guys are getting closer," Boudreau said. "I'm hoping one can come back for Thursday's game and maybe another one on Saturday. [But] I don't know who."

As for why the Caps recalled Graham Mink and not someone else, Boudreau said: "I thought he played well the last time he was here. Sometimes you are looking at the fourth line and you need a bigger guys. He's really good along the boards and he's really good in the corners. He should be rewarded for that good effort."

Mink had four shots on goal in 9:56 of ice time in the Caps' 5-3 win over Atlanta.

As for Alex Ovechkin carrying the Caps while the team is battling injuries (he was named first star of the month for November) Boudreau said: "That's why he's the MVP. When the chips are down, people step their games up. The great ones always want [the team] to rely on them."

Here's a rundown on the injured guys and when they might be expected back:

*John Erskine (mild concussion) skated with the team for the first time since getting hurt in Minnesota. He said he's hoping to be back in the lineup soon. If not Thursday, he said, then on the weekend (at Toronto and Carolina).

*Tom Poti (groin pull) skated on his own for 10 minutes this morning. He said there's no timetable for his return, but he's hoping for the weekend.

*Alexander Semin (upper back strain) skated with the team again. When I asked Boudreau about Semin, he said, "I don't know. When he's ready he'll tell us he's ready. That's all I know."

*Sergei Fedorov (sprained ankle) skated hard today, but he still looks to be a week away or so.

*Mike Green (bruised shoulder) said he's feeling better each day. But he's not quite ready to return. Perhaps Thursday or on the weekend.

*Did you know four of the last five NHL first stars of the month are Caps?

Feb.-Evgeni Malkin

*Jose Theodore will start in goal. He is 4-1-1 in his last seven appearances with a 2.53 goals against avereage and .910 save percentage.

That's it for now. Katie will check in from the rink this afternoon. Since the game is not being televised, she will be live blogging the game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 2, 2008; 11:17 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Mink Recalled (Updated)
Next: Tonight's Lineup


Too bad Bourque didn't get the call up, but I like Mink's energy. Gotta get ramped up for tonight - keep the home dominance alive! Go Caps!

Posted by: Roose | December 2, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

If I read between the sounds like Semin is taking his own sweet time and not on the Caps schedule.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 2, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

FIRST. Looks like we should be getting an influx of players back in the next week or so.

Posted by: pebowers | December 2, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Bummer yelling first when you're third. JSchon, what's the fine for that?

Hope Green gets back soon. And Semin. And Feds. Etc etc.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 2, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I can hear the complainers now if Semin came back early and was not playing as well as before. And probably the same people implying that he is milking it now would be complaining that he was hurting the team.

I certainly hope that they all come back ready to play and soonest possible.

Posted by: _Mark | December 2, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

SERIOUSLY - I am pretty upset with the information that the team releases on the injuries.

Lets be honest, everytime there is a skate or Tarik talks to the guys they are "hoping" for the next game...SEMIN Was going to return 2 weeks ago. THEY ALWAYS SAY ITS NOT SERIOUS but why would they be out 5-15 games.

Can someone please explain to me why they say day-to-day and not 1-2 weeks or 3-4 games. It gives me A FALSE SENSE OF HOPE and I bet maybe 1 player returns this weekend.



Posted by: DCSPORTS | December 2, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Lets not start the argument about how someone is feeling. The player is the only one who knows how he is feeling, especially someone who got burned last year for trying to rush back.

Posted by: superpaqman | December 2, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Adapt and overcome. If it makes you that crazy, then don't read about the injuries. The team is disclosing all that they have to about the injuries. It leaves everything open to speculation, but it is what it is.

Posted by: _Mark | December 2, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I agree. All I am asking for is honesty from the player. Realistic timetables....

Posted by: DCSPORTS | December 2, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

darn malkin

Posted by: uncatim | December 2, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Point taken about realistic timetables. I wish it were a little more cut and dry, too. The secretive nature of it all is annoying, but that is not going to change unless the league changes it's policy and forces teams to disclose more.

Posted by: _Mark | December 2, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Yea you all make good points. I understand its the NHL policy to keep details internal.

I'll stop getting my hopes up and just expect the players to be out until the new year.

Thank god Hershey has players that keep the level of play high.

Posted by: DCSPORTS | December 2, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Hurray! No "Continue Reading This Post..." on this one!

But there were on previous ones :-(.

Has it changed for good :-)?!

Or not at all :-( ?

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | December 2, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Was it ever determined how Semin was injured?

Posted by: cbs75 | December 2, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The account for fines should be fairly bulging now! What's the use going to be for all this money?

Posted by: Greg S. | December 2, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Tarik Good Job .. Keep the info coming ... I for one look forward to your updates ...

Sometimes while reading some of the above and previous comments from so called fans I forget we are talking about a team from Washington and not Philly :(

Posted by: fredhilljr | December 2, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Glad some of the guys are getting closer to returning, but all of our call-ups have been really solid. I feel a little guilty, but I would much rather have Lepisto and Alzner here than our regulars Erskine and Schultz. I think it is just a speed issue for me, we seem to be keeping up better. There are still mistakes because they are young/inexperienced. There is just a lot of potential there.

As for the Semin injury - i suspect he knows himself and will be back when he can. Last season he tried on several occasions to play play through when he was not 100% and it cost him more time. Why would he repeat the same mistakes this year.

Posted by: Grape8 | December 2, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Greg, beer is always a good place to start

Posted by: Steve_R | December 2, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Re Semin: I saw the game when he was injured (I happened to be right behind the bench that game). Seemed he was hit, then for a minute or so he kept leaning over, supporting his arm and wincing. Then he said something to Boudreau and skated off to the LR never to be seen again. Guess that's not certainty, but I try.

And I really wish Boudreau would not put quotes out there like "He will let us know." It makes it sound like Semin is a wuss, and I find that hard to believe considering his efforts this year, and even looking at his trying to skate through a lingering ankle last year. Plus, every other news outlet is saying "shoulder" at this point and he is not traveling to games but staying for treatment. Unfortunately, I think he did really hurt his shoulder and why on earth would a team advertise that? So his next game back the other teams can gun for smashing his shoulder into the board? Guess it's not a well guarded secret at this point, but I get why they do it, just choose better words so fans don't think it's because he doesn't "feel" like playing yet.

Posted by: valkova | December 2, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

DC Sports

The reason you hear about guys hoping to be back "next game" is mostly because they, themselves want to be back for the next game. But things just don't heal the way you want them to all the time.

With Semin, there's a language thing going ontop of what I wrote above. Further compounding the problem is when somebody has an injury that has nothing to do with a broken something, or torn something else. There's no timetable for that stuff. Broken finger.. BAM 4-6 weeks. Fractured forearm? BAM 3 weeks. Sore shoulder? Meh. Groin strain? Pinched Nerve? There is no real timetable for that stuff, and the MD's can't force a guy out there. It's up to them at that point to tell the coach when they're ready.

The only thing that makes them sound like sissies in relation to that quote is people saying they sound like sissies.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Question for anyone daring enough to read some more into the CBA, if a player has a bonus included in his cap figure, does that cap figure diminish if they aren't able to reach that bonus? Say like if Alzner was due a $200k bonus for making the opening night roster, would that be removed when he started the season in Hershey?

Posted by: superpaqman | December 2, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm not at all concerned that Semin is milking this injury. I've had back problems most of my life. The severity can't always be measured by an Xray or an MRI. It comes down to the doctor saying 'on a scale of 1 to 10, how bad does it hurt?'. And different people have different tolerance levels. I have learned to adapt to my back problems, but I have a desk job. Semin will come back when he feels he can perform his job the way the coaches/mgmt expect him to.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 2, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@valkova re: advertising injuries.

AMEN. I certainly would not want it out that I'd done X to my Y if I was a hockey player. That would just incite certain dirty players to target my injury.

I am all for waiting until the guys know they're 100% before dragging themselves back onto the ice. That's what all the depth in Hershey is for! We have NHL-ready guys down there that we can't use except under these circumstances because of salary cap issues. Let's get them ice time with the big boys now, while it's still early in the season, and not be scrambling when we have two weeks to go and a division championship on the line.

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm just happy the injury bug is happening now and not in March-April...not that theses games don't matter.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 2, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

In response to Whitermage in the previous thread I am cutting and pasting here since Tarik provided an update and everyone moved.

Whitermage said: “As long as we're in the Southeast division, we could probably put mites on the ice and be competitive.”

My response was: "You know, I am tired of hearing the Southeast division slams already. In the 14 years since the divisions were realigned and the Southeast was created there have been 5 Southeast teams to win the Eastern Conference, 2 of which went on to win the Stanley Cup. The Atlantic has been most dominate, primarily because of the NJ Devils. An Atlantic team has won the Conference title 7 times, with 4 of those (3 being the Devils) going on to win the Stanley Cup. A team from the Northeast has only won the Conference Championship 2 times, and neither went on to win the Stanley Cup.
The fact is any team in the NHL can beat any other team. The parody is unbelievable. A perfect example of that is the Caps win over the Canadiens last Friday. There is not a bigger Caps fan out there than me. I put my flag out every game day, drive 70 miles each way to sit in my 4 season ticket seats at least 35 times a year, and I still did not believe the Caps were going to win last Friday. Was I there and screaming my head off. Absolutely. I am still in shock that not only did we win, but we shut them out. I believe the key in this entire injury riddled mess is the play of Theodore. If he can get into a groove and steal games like Brodeur always has, we can win some of these games that we aren't supposed to while we heal. GO THEO!"

I realize two team from the Southeast are in the basement of the entire league, but there are always at least a couple of teams (the Caps being one of them now) from the Southeast that cause problems in the league.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 2, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Sucks that the game is not on tonight.

VS is terrible...I miss ESPN coverage.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 2, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse


Did some digging. Seems Entry Level SPC's (what I THINK Alzner is)... Players only qualify for the following bonuses:

Exhibit 5 (which for defense are as follows:)
(i) Ice time (aggregate and/or per Game). Player must be among top four (4)
defensemen on the Club (minimum 42 Regular Season Games played by
Player and comparison group). (Note: an Entry Level SPC may contain
bonuses for both aggregate and per Game ice time; however, the
maximum aggregate amount the Player may receive on account of the ice
time category is $212,500.)
(ii) Goals: 10 GoalMinimum
(iii) Assists: 25 Assist Minimum
(iv) Points: 40 Point Minimum
(v) Points Per Game: .49 Points Per Game Minimum (minimum 42 Regular
Season Games played)
(vi) Plus-Minus Rating: Among top three (3) defensemen on the Club
(minimum 42 Regular Season Games played by Player and comparison
(vii) Blocked Shots: Among top two (2) defensemen on the Club (minimum
42 Regular Season Games played by Player and comparison group).
(viii) End-of-Season NHL All-Rookie Team
(ix) NHL All-Star Game (selected to play or plays)
(x) NHL All-Star Game MVP

Entry Level SPC's are limited to @212k/bonus, and a max of 850ishk total bonuses.

Teams can also set up bonuses for league-trophies separate from what the league hands out. (The league doles out multi-thousand dollar bonuses for stat hogs like Ovie every year that don't count against the cap). That is on a per-team basis and we won't know what those are, but can't exceed 2M/year. I will say, because Alzner's contract is 800ishk with 850ishk in bonus, I doubt he is eligable for team-based trophy bonuses.

As of this year, there's no bonus cushion. So all bonuses are assumed until the end of the year. I will keep looking to see if there is language that allows a team to ignore bonuses that "can not occur."

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

First off everyone can agree the SE division is weak. It is still professional hockey but in comparison to the other divisions in our conference the SE is clearly the weakest (probably the league too).

I don't want anyone rushing back from injury and I don't need an exact timetable. I don't think I am the only that gets excited when we hear that the players are skating....

All I want for christmas is to see GREEN, SEMIN, and OVECHKIN on the ice

-- On a positive note, this injury bug could def help our up and coming players step their game up (i.e Flash, Back, Kozlov). When we get healthy our team could be even better than it was before

Posted by: DCSPORTS | December 2, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

And here it is:

"The cash
amount of any Performance Bonuses contained in an SPC that
becomes impossible to earn in a given League Year shall, at that
time, be deducted from the Club's Averaged Club Salary."

So... Up until the player can not hit the bonus, the bonus is counted as if already paid. You do not get a "refund" on the year. Example. Alzner has 50-game bonus. Say he started in time to earn the bonus, but through injuries, he plays his 25th game with 20 left to go and can not earn the bonus. The 20 games left will not include his 50-game bonus, but we will not receive 25 games worth of refund for those days where the 50-game bonus counted.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"The fact is any team in the NHL can beat any other team. The parody is unbelievable."

Not trying to be the vocabulary police, but I hope you meant PARITY, not PARODY. Two entirely different meanings.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 2, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I like the Mink call-up. I think he provides the type of grit and pressure that we've been missing from Clark all season.

Posted by: JustAnObservation | December 2, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I am not slamming the Southeast Div, but did anyone see the Avalanche/Wild game last night? 6-5 and what a fast paced, back and forth game - it looked to me like it could have been the playoffs. Both teams were so energized. It was a great game to watch. Maybe I can find another good one tonight since we are blacked out. Any suggestions? Lately it seems like either we are energized or the other team is. We need our power players back, but I am so happy Ovie has enough energy to go around!

Posted by: valkova | December 2, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Just for fun:
Compensation from the League (winner figures noted, runner-ups get some too):
Hart, Richard, or similar awards(I would include Pearson and Ross here): $250k PER trophy from the league.

Goals, Assists, Points: $150k for winner (ovie got 2 of these last year)
Points per Game (min 42 played): $100k

So last year, the LEAGUE gave out 1.4M$ to Ovie for his awards. Nice chunk of change to go home with!

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Well said, fanohock1!

By the way, I have never played hockey before, but based on all the games I have seen, it is really more violent than football in terms of potential to be injured. Since football is played once a week, they have a chance to heal a bit between games, while hockey players may miss at least 3 or 4 games if they miss a week due to injuries. Plus, I agree with all the postings about not giving your opponents an insight of your injury, especially when most of your opponents have "Goon Squads" whose sole purpose is to expose those injuries again! I have seen opponents use their sticks illegally against Ovechkin and their skates against Rod Langway so I am not at all oppose to "Mis-Information" about injuries. This team is deep in young talent and it is actually good to see some of these call ups get a chance to play so early!

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 2, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the Southeast Division...

Yes, we have some weak teams. Tampa Bay, Florida and Atlanta are all pretty far down the standings.

But the Caps, if you take the league as a whole, are in third place in the Eastern conference behind Boston and New York, and in 11th out of 30 in the league. All the teams that are ahead of us, apart from the two mentioned, are Western conference teams (logical, huh?) We are tied with Calgary and Minnesota in points (29 each), and 12 points separate us and the formidable San Jose Sharks, who have an impressive 41 points - and are the ONLY other team in the league which remains undefeated at home in regulation time.

The month of November was positively brutal for the Caps in terms of schedule. A pair of back-to-back games, the second game resulting in injuries both times, and a hard west coast tour... but December does not look too much more polite.

We're back-to-back against Toronto and Carolina (Carolina being the 2nd game) this week, and then back-to-back again against Ottawa and Montreal. Right now, we're 3 points ahead of the 'Canes, and 5 ahead of the Maple Leafs... 9 ahead of the Sens, and the Habs are one ahead of us. So the important games in the back-to-back stands are coming second in both cases.

January looks equally wicked in the back-to-back department, with three sets:

Columbus, then Montreal (again); Edmonton, then Pittsburgh; and New York Islanders, then Ottawa.

It seems somewhat skewed that we're playing in so many back-to-back games, although I have not compared our schedule with other teams' yet... that will take me a while!

Still, after February 14-15, we are done with back-to-back games for the regular season, so hopefully that will help as the season comes to its close in April... the day off between games seems critical to keeping our guys healthy. As someone else said, I also believe we're done with the multi-time-zone road trips (whew!). So here's hoping!

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

FFSEnough, I don't think Ovie gets anything for the Pearson since that's a NHLPA award. But don't forget the All-Star Game and All-Star Team bonuses.

Posted by: koalatek | December 2, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@valkova - I wish I had. :( I'm in exile, with no access to CSN, Versus or Center Ice unless I try to find a sports bar somewhere up here in godforsaken Suffern, NY... (Anybody know of one???) I'll be glued to my computer and the radio broadcast tonight, I suspect...

Still debating going to the Rangers-Penguins game tomorrow night... if things go well at my disaster recovery simulation, I just might cough up the cash and do it, just to cheer against the Pens. I hope they wear their baby blue jerseys; it'll give me fodder for Photoshop evilness! ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse


Regarding bonuses, I haven't read up on this recently, but i believe once a bonus is no longer attainable it comes off the player's cap number. The problem is a lot of the bonuses are based on end of season results. I.E. scoring 50+ points, making the all rookie team, etc. Awards are announced end of the season, and it is numerically possible for a player to score 100 points in on game, even though it would never happen.

Some examples of bonuses that could come off the books would be opening night roster, minimum number of games played etc. Too busy to double check but I am 90% certain that is the case.

check under and then go to their FAQ to double check

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 2, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

The AHL announced today the Reebok EDGE/AHL rookie of month for November is Oskar Osala read the announcement at

Posted by: cocorules | December 2, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

tess2201: I did choose the wrong word. Thank you very much. You might want to keep in mind that although it isn't totally incorrect you may want to avoid using a conjuction when beginning a sentence and a preposition when ending a sentence. To use them in that manner is not incorrect per say, but as long as we are grading papers here...

Nonetheless, my face is as red as my Caps jersey for screwing up the use of parody. I won't do that again.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 2, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Where's Cheef to say that anybody could have drafted Osala and he'll never produce in the playoffs, etc

Posted by: _jordan | December 2, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@_jordan - SHHHHHH! If we don't say his name, maybe he won't show up today...! ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys thanks a lot for the hard work and info

Posted by: superpaqman | December 2, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Nevermind, FFS did a much better job haha, Ignore my previous post.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 2, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse


You're just about right. I've got a big long post above on it.

There is no "opening night" bonus. Just a games played and average minutes/game (where you can qualify if you are one of the top on the team). I find it interesting that the league calls out what can and can't be used as a bonus.


You are probably right about the Pearson. Though, it's given at the NHL awards ceremony is it an actual NHLPA award, or just voted on by the NHLPA?

The NHL All-star game is a tricky one. 1st-team All-Star is 100k, 2nd team is 50k. But is this like an "All Pro" selection in the NFL, or is it selection to the ASG? I'm not sure, language is strange: "A Player who is named to the official NHL All-Star Team at the
conclusion of each season shall receive the following bonus

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I think the all-star bonus has absolutely nothing to do with the all-star game. It's all about those end of the year first and second all-star teams.

Posted by: _jordan | December 2, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Also with regards to the SE division, you play your division rivals more and at times they can be the more difficult games to play becuase they know your style/plays/tricks so well. Standings don't matter as much. Same as in football, etc...
I dont have the stats to list, but i think the Caps actually did better against teams outside their division last year than in. And the SE was considered the worst then too.

Posted by: Grape8 | December 2, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

There I go again, I should have typed per se rather than "per say." I hope the Caps have a better day than I am right now. At least my day bad day will get better because I will be at Verizon tonight.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 2, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@FFS - the all star awards are league wide, end of season. The all star game is what's voted on by fans. I am fairly certain the "prize money" goes to the end of season league wide all stars

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 2, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Fanohock- I was so close to pointing that out, but thought better of it

Posted by: honed | December 2, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Steve R.

Beer is ALWAYS a good place to start. I'm just afraid with all the faux pas and rule violations that we've got enough "in the bank" to turn this economy around all on our own. And throw a hell of a good party to boot.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 2, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse


Thanks, that's what I thought initially, and since I haven't looked up who was named I didn't list that in the $ totals for Ovie last year.

$1.5M+ let's leave it at that. :-)

Anyone else besides me protesting the ASG if the NHL doesn't do something about the ballot stuffing?

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The official "All-Star team" is the First and Second team end-of-year thing the NHL announces. The All-Star Game selection is separate. All-Star Game selection can be a Schedule A bonus, All-Star team is a Schedule B bonus.

Posted by: koalatek | December 2, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I think the Semin situation is just strange. I know teams try to hide injuries, etc. But you can't help but get the impression that our old school coach thinks the guy is soft. And Bruce is probably right.

Semin's got great talent, no doubt... but maybe next time he goes on a scoring streak (that assumes, of course, he plays in a game sometime soon), we put him on the market and try to grab a solid D-man or goaltender.

Posted by: sinbin | December 2, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I rarely watch the all-star game, but if Semin, Ovie AND Green make it, I will definitely watch this year.

I like the skills competition better. They need to go back to the old-style skating race, though. That stupid sprint format last year was retarded.

Posted by: _jordan | December 2, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

can someone explain this stupid VS exclusivity rights crap. Forget being frustrated with the injuries, I just want to watch the game.

Posted by: JSeagull1 | December 2, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the vs stupid exclusivity... VS has the right to pick any of tonight's games that start in and around 7 pm. They picked another game, and since they pay the NHL a lot of money for broadcast rights, no other game can be on TV that would take viewers away from the VS game of the night.

This won't affect any west coast games as they don't start until the VS game is almost over, or is already over.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 2, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

JSeagull1, it's pretty simple. Versus picks one game to be their exclusive broadcast. No other game starting at or near the same time can be broadcast in the US. Usually they pick a Tuesday game starting between 7 and 8:30. They did not pick the Caps game this week.

Really, your ire should be directed to Bettman and the NHL schedule makers. This isn't baseball with rainouts, just have one game scheduled for the exclusivity window.

Posted by: koalatek | December 2, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@sinbin - I am one of the ones willing to take Semin's word for it. Shoulder/upper back strains are very subjective, and as someone (I forget who) said, the only way to tell how well it's healing is how bad it hurts on a scale of 1-10. With upper back pain, that scale can slide around like nobody's business. One day, it might be a 3, and the next morning - you slept funny, you rolled over wrong, whatever - it's back at a 7 or an 8. It's not like a break, where it will be healed, more-or-less, in X-amount of time. Anything involving soft tissue takes time to heal, and (as with Fedorov), the older you are, the longer it takes.

Semin will be back when he's back. And folks: it has not been all that long. Not really. Semin was injured in the November 14th game, and it's now December 2nd. That's less than three weeks ago. Forget the number of games involved. Less than three weeks. He'll come back when he's ready, and with all the frustration for his injury, he'll probably be back with a vengeance.

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

What is the VS GotN, out of curiosity?

Posted by: Section117 | December 2, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Lightning @ Flyers

Posted by: _jordan | December 2, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Tonight's VS game is Tampa at Philly.

Posted by: koalatek | December 2, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

OOOhhhhhh!!! Now THERE's a game to watch!


Posted by: Greg S. | December 2, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Well now we know why VS is carrying THAT one, even if it is a t**d.

Posted by: Section117 | December 2, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Sorry if i missed the info elsewhere in these threads, but is the Caps game tonight able to be watched on the internet in some way? Any info would be helpful...thanks.

Posted by: sj9096 | December 2, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Irockthered, looked at the number of back-to-backs when the schedule came out. Check there, it might save you time.

Budweiser has a funny commercial about a swear jar. Reminded me of y'alls "fund".

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 2, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse


You are 100% correct! I couldn't have said it better!

Semin is soft (and BB apparently agrees). Let's trade his lazy @ss and find a hard-hitting stay-home defenseman.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | December 2, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Semin for Derian Hatcher!

Durrrr and trade Mike Green while you're at it.

Posted by: _jordan | December 2, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl - Thanks! :) I will have to do that.

@sj9096 - I know you can pick up an Internet feed of the radio broadcast, but I do not know if it's being webcast anywhere... if I find out, I will let you know.

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered: right on.

Semin is a young gun and from most accounts has never really adjusted to the US. He is here for hockey. I don't agree with the other comments about his being soft or not feeling up to play (oh ye of little faith). Do you think this kid wants to be home texting his russian friends all day? I imagine that could be fun for oh..a day or so. All he does is hang around Ovie, Feds and Kozlov. Like IRTR, I am hoping Semin's frustration at not being able to play and help his team will pay dividends when he is able to finally get out there.

@Sinbin: I have to admit, I am puzzled by the way Boudreau keeps putting it on Semin. You are right in that he does not do that with anyone else. But as I stated before, I fear it is b/c they are trying to make his injury SOUND insignificant.

Posted by: valkova | December 2, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

This totally sucks! Can't watch the Caps tonight :( this really, really sucks :( guess i'm stuck with watching the Wiz...ewww

but anyway, GO CAPS! Go Jose!

Posted by: rachel216 | December 2, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Boudreau is trying to make Semin sound soft. Not deliberately. That is not the kind of guy Boudreau is.

He's saying that Semin will be ready when he's ready; he's not going to push the boy back out onto the ice before he's ready, and that's the way it is. I seriously do not believe Semin likes not playing. I mean, think about it. The man was the First Star of October! I'd love to see him and Ovechkin in a friendly rivalry for stars. That would be so much fun, and I'll bet they'd enjoy it, too.

But only if he's healthy. And it will take as long as it takes.

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks irockthered.

Posted by: sj9096 | December 2, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't even understand all that Versus crap, but we live HERE....this is our local team... comcast sportsnet should be able to broadcast it. It's just like how every Redskins game can be shown on TV here. I'm just so angry cause i wanna watch the game tonight!! theres nothing else good on.

Posted by: rachel216 | December 2, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Aside from having one of the best play-by-play guys in Joe-B, we also have a VERY good radio broadcast team. Check them out on the web if you can't get the game on TV.

Just cause the caps are on is no excuse to have to watch the Bullets.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I had a thought about the television broadcast (or lack thereof) tonight...does any one know if the game will be carried in the Miami local market? Or does VS have exclusivity over the entire country?

If it's being broadcasted by the Panthers carrier, you might be able to get it at a local sports bar that has a good DirectTV package.

Posted by: luvfades | December 2, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

There is nada on TV tonight!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 2, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

But, if you're, say a Ravens fan in MoCo or PG, channel 9 isn't allowed to show the Ravens game if the Redskins are playing at home at the same time. If the Nats are playing on a Saturday afternoon and Fox decides to show Yankees/RedSox, you would probably get a blackout as well. NBC and ESPN have blackouts for night football but there aren't usually other games scheduled, ditto for Sunday night baseball.

Posted by: koalatek | December 2, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The VS solution is to only schedule one game on the night designated as Game Of The Night

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 2, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse


Who would you have in mind for such a trade to come to the Caps (specific players)? Not that I'm a for it, just curious.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 2, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

To all those who say there's nothing on tonight, there's a certain season premiere of "According to Jim" that make you eat your words.

Posted by: Section117 | December 2, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

@lylewimbledon et. al.

If you want to see the game tonight, then come out to the arena. There are probably at least 1000 tickets available for tonight.

I'll be there.

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | December 2, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree IRTR, not deliberately, but it sounds this way because lately Semin is the only player getting that response from BB. I still think they are being REALLY quiet about him (even by tight lipped standards)...more so than any other player. So I am chalking BB's responses up to: 1) a deflection to stop talking about it and 2)to downplay the major issue of having a star winger injured. But IRTR your response works too!

Posted by: valkova | December 2, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

The NHL is going to have the game that they think will draw the most fans to the TV sets.

An SE division match up most likely wont draw ratings. The ratings in DC area for hockey arent bad, but not wonderful. Philly has a bigger market, larger fan base, and comcast/VS is based in their city. And if the Flyers weren't on TV, they'd probably go burn down the new multi million dollar Comcast tower.

The so called 'game of the week' wont draw a million people but what are you gonna do? Philly market is bigger. VS would be wise to do like Fox does and have all the games on their particular channel and showing the local game in local markets and put the game they deem to be the 'exclusive' one on in the cities that have no team playing that night.

Sucks that Bettman has allowed a deal like this to be struck. It especially sucks that he has allowed other games to be played on this particular night. His reign hopefully will end soon.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 2, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I dont know whats more frustrating....The Caps injury situation, or being forced to watch O'Reilly and Hannity instead of the game.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 2, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I am so glad this is the last time this will happen to the Caps this year, maybe folks will get over it. Turn on your radios for a night.

Posted by: pebowers | December 2, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Wait, I believe the CAPS game will be on internetfeed

Anyone know??

Posted by: DCSPORTS | December 2, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Will the game be on the NHL channel? Thinking about subscribing to it for when our games aren't broadcasted and we get into playoffs. Anyone else have it?

Posted by: CapsTerpsFan | December 2, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I have the NHL Network. It's decent, and does a great job of filling in during the playoffs where Vs leaves off. But I'm absolutely shocked that with a hockey game every night, they can't show a marquee out-of-market matchup each night. It's not like it's ESPN or Comcast or VS where you don't want to cram hockey down people's throats. It's NHLN! You tune in, you want hockey.

BTW, Wild/Avs game last night was AWESOME... Someone mentioned it before, probably best non-caps game I've seen all year.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Sorry CapsTerpsFan. I didn't fully answer your question.

No, caps game won't be on NHL. NHLN won't see a caps game prolly till playoff time, if we make it.

If you want to watch historical NHL stuff, and neat features, NHL Live (radio) TV Broadcast and other stuff, it's a good time killer if you're a big hockey fan. If you want hockey, Vs will give you more than NHL Network. If you are like me, and watch as much playoff hockey as possible, NHLN is a must at playoff time to get you 2 games at the same time!

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure Vs doesn't have exclusivity during the playoffs, CSN would show any playoff games Versus doesn't pick.

Posted by: koalatek | December 2, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse


Don't think so. uses feeds from CSN, Fox, etc. They don't do their own broadcasts.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 2, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to tell you the Semin has more damage then you know and it ain't a back strain. Yez what do you expect from GMGM.

Come on guys read between the lines.

We will see if how tough Greeny iz when he gets crunched against the boards on the same shoulder. Dislocation I'm telling you. Not a good thing in hockey even of the slightest nature.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 2, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse


70 miles, where are you coming from WV?

Posted by: SZALACH7 | December 2, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I hate the word "grit"...
Can we come up with a better word for it?


Posted by: JSchon | December 2, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: JSchon | December 2, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Windjammer, will you please just shut up?

You don't know either man personally, so your speculation is just that. And you're being obnoxious about it.

A dislocation WOULD SHOW UP in an MRI. Green's MRI was negative. A BONE BRUISE is not a wuss injury, and dollars to donuts say you have never had one, or you'd know better than to try and pull this cr@p.

Semin we have no details on, other than upper back/shoulder strain. But he is clearly frustrated. Tarik, didn't you say he threw his helmet across the room when you asked him how he was?

Yeah. That's a man who wants to sit at home and play hockey on the PlayStation. Right.

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

need a ticket for tonight

It looks like I'm going to have one extra ticket for tonight if anyone is interested.

Post on here or e-mail

Posted by: Yoshietree | December 2, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: Steve_R | December 2, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Any clue if there will be an internet feed of the game? I'd love to watch while I should be working.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | December 2, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

random question:
i'm redoing my office/man cave and would love to get my hands on a nice professionally done panoramic photo of verizon center, preferrable one from the first playoff game w/ all the red. i've got one from a skins game in RFK and one from the opening Nats game at RFK. if anyone knows where i can find one i would be most appreciative. i've seen similar pictures on the caps web site, but have not seen any for sale. thanks.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 2, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

tell me why semin isnt on LTIR?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 2, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately no game on tv means no online stream :(

I don't know who to blame but I'd like to know *shakes fists* If unsure, blame Bettman?

Wish I could take up on Steve's tix but can't :(

Posted by: mauree | December 2, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Son of a ...

Well, I must have had an upper body injury last night when I told my girlfriend that she could bring her sister to tonight's game (not knowing it was going to be blacked out). I came through for myself though and was able to get a ticket, not easy though, I don't think there are 1,000 avail. as some would suggest. See y'all at the game.


Posted by: SZALACH7 | December 2, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

See you there Super.

Shame you're not local Mauree.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 2, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

If the explanations for why tonight's game isn't broadcast were true why the hell is the Atlanta vs. Montreal game, which starts at 7:30 being televised? It's on my NHL Center Ice schedule. If it's because it starts half an hour later than the Versus televised Tampa - Philly matchup why couldn't our game be scheduled for 7:30 as well? This is bullcrap.

When will people stop posting garbage about injured Caps? I'm way beyond sick reading this idiocy. This garbage is being posted by the people who would take a day off from work because they got a mild cold and / or a paper cut. Shut the hell up already! The players will be back in the line-up when their injuries have healed.

Posted by: ranndino | December 2, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

There's a Spanish word for it, but I don't think it's fit for public forums like this...

Moxie and mettle are good ones. "Intestinal fortitude" is another.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 2, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I have NHL Network as part of the sports package I originally got to watch soccer (it also has Fox Soccer Channel and Gol TV) and it's cool because I get to watch NHL on the Fly every night (all the league highlights, news and analysis) as well as occasional games, especially Hockey Night in Canada telecasts. BTW, this weekend's Caps game will be on HNIC.

Posted by: ranndino | December 2, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse


The VS exclusive is US only - Canadian games can still be televised, I assume Atlanta is at Montreal, so it would be a Canadian broadcast.

Posted by: Ames00 | December 2, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

randino, i bet that game is broadcast in canada only. the versus deal is for us broadcasts only.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 2, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Do any of the other Fios subscribers out there know when the NHL network will start airing? I see it in the line-up as "coming soon"...

Posted by: superpaqman | December 2, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Just noticed a couple of posts suggesting that we trade Semin for a stay at home D. Is this a joke? I seriously can't take this anymore. Can this blog trade you people for someone with a f-ing brain? Idiots.

Funny enough I screwed up my back while moving recently and have had to miss a few weeks of games even though I play recreational soccer not professional hockey. It's not because I'm a wuss or don't wanna play. I'm dying to get back out there and am very frustrated, but I simply can't. Also, with back injuries playing when you're not 100% is risking a much more severe injury. Also, some days it feels better, than worse again. It felt better last Thursday so I actually went and played. Paid for it by feeling like crap for 3 days after and had to miss both weekend games. You idiots have no clue what you're talking about. STFU!

Posted by: ranndino | December 2, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@ranndino - OUCH!!! You have my sympathies. That sounds painful to even think about! I'm nobody's athlete, but my upper back/shoulder injury (type 2 separation of the AC joint, affecting upper back, neck, and every muscle in the general vicinity) was nasty enough!

At least the Caps don't have to deal with idiot doctors like the one at Kaiser Permanente who poked me in the collar bone, and when I went through the ceiling, declared it to be my rotator cuff and gave me 800mg motrin for the pain... When I went to a chiropractor two days later because I couldn't stand it, he actually had me *gasp* move my arm - and it failed everything BUT the rotator cuff!

Unlike SOME people on this blog, the Caps doctors know what they're doing. And for what has to be the fiftieth time, SEMIN WILL BE BACK WHEN HE IS BACK, AND NOT BEFORE, DAMMIT!

So all y'all "he's worse than we think, he's a wuss, he's soft, ad nauseum," idiots, STFU, OK? Just STFU.

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

On the bright side... "what do you want at the end of your fork?..."

Posted by: chuckatcws | December 2, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse


I think you're holding back on your feelings, man! Come on, man! Let it out!

I think that the difference between those who profess and those who practice is about 8 years of intensive medical training. I'll trust their knowledge and experience to clear players when they're ready to go.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 2, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Ames00 and DCSportsfan1,

Thanks for clarification on the Versus deal. The game is indeed in Montreal.

BTW, just came across this great news regarding the NHL Network. Now it's definitely worth getting?

US Hockey has signed an agreement part of which will be televising all of the US and Canada games in the World Junior championships on the NHL Network, in HD no less! They will also televise all medal round games.

Full article:

Posted by: ranndino | December 2, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Did not mean to include a ? mark at the end of the sentence above. It was intended as a definitive statement. Now it's definitely worth getting (the NHL Network).

Posted by: ranndino | December 2, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S. - AMEN. I trust the Caps' docs to know what they're doing, and I trust the Caps to know when it hurts too much to risk playing.

Sergei Fedorov came back too soon, and now he's out for longer. I think the rest of the guys have learned the object lesson for the season. Semin has shown a good deal of maturity since last season, as remarked on by Boudreau and others; I believe not pushing himself back onto the ice too soon is part of that maturity.

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

This article is horribe! The columnist uses As for too many times and he thinks Malkin is a Capital?! lol Could you imagine having Ovechkin, Semin and Malkin?
You might as well throw in Crosby and Luongo and maybe sprinkle it with a little Lidstrom and Campbell! :)

Posted by: tiemer | December 2, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Bettman was asked about the exclusive deal during his weekly call in show and he stated that the league contacted all the clubs and asked if they wanted to change the schedule for those days but they where told no that there was no TV coverage for those days anyways.

Posted by: cocorules | December 2, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

*Did you know four of the last five NHL first stars of the month are Caps?

Feb.-Evgeni Malkin

How is Tarik saying Malkin is a Cap. "Four of the last five" Ovechkin 3 times, Semin once, someone not a Cap once.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | December 2, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey anyone know if the game will be telecast on the web? I'm checking out StoogeTV to no avail

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | December 2, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

The reaction to the Semin stuff is cracking me up. Did I start this by saying the situation is strange? That one gets the impression that BB thinks Semin might be soft? That he would be great trade material? Nothing outlandish in these comments... but they still get recreational soccer players telling us all about his undisclosed injury because because they suffered the same undisclosed injury playing a game of co-ed footie?


Let's keep Semin and instead trade Steckel and Fehr for a legitimate # 1 goalie and all-star D-man.

You gotta give to get better, folks. And there should only be one Alex on this team who is untouchable.

Posted by: sinbin | December 2, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

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