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Morning Skate Update

The injury situation and the lineup are a little murky since the Caps have chosen to go all top-secret about everything this morning. The players wore only black and white jerseys and they never separated into lines or 'D' pairings.

I guess they're looking for any advantage they can get with the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins in town tonight.

Anyway, here's what I have managed to gather:


*Alexander Semin and Tom Poti are possibilities. Coach Bruce Boudreau said both players will take the pregame warm-up before deciding whether to play or not.

If Poti decides he can't go, and the Caps don't recall an insurance policy in the coming hours, that would leave them with only five defenseman. That right there tells me Poti is pretty sure he can play.

If Poti does play, he'll likely skate with Tyler Sloan.

"Again, I couldn't tell you right now, we're still on the fence on whether they're going or not," Boudreau said. "We might have to call somebody up this afternoon."

*Mike Green, Eric Fehr and Sergei Fedorov stayed on the ice long after practice ended, which is usually a sure sign that none of them will play.

*Tomas Fleischmann and John Erskine didn't skate at all. So they're out, too.

*As reported yesterday, Brent Johnson will start in net tonight.

*Expectations were low when Sean Collins was recalled last week. But in the two games in which he's suited up, he's really opened some eyes around here, even if his stat line is a little underwhelming.

"I was really impressed with the way he played, his steadiness," Boudreau said. "He made the right plays. I was really pleasantly surprised. And he worked well with [Shaone Morrisonn] and Morrisonn liked playing with him, so he's the guy we kept."

And with Green's banged up shoulder recovering more slowly than expected, Collins might stick around a bit longer.

*One more thing: Check out Dan Steinberg's entry on the DC Sports Bog about Caps' superstitions.

That's all for now. I hope to have a lineup before the game. But the Caps are apparently set on making that more difficult than in the past.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 10, 2008; 11:51 AM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup

Comments

Very interesting...

Posted by: Section117 | December 10, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

given what we are going to face with the Bruins, i'll take Poti and Semin in a heartbeat.

Posted by: doughless | December 10, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

sux about Flash

Posted by: doughless | December 10, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

All bets are off.

Posted by: Semvechkin | December 10, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

This is going to one wild ride tonight. I'd love to see Semin back. Sounds to me like the rest of them are probably no go's. The D is going to need to stand tall and make some plays. Please Bruce, have the vets fall back from the front lines and help out more on D. No point in giving up tons of goals and then trying to outscore them. I'll take 1-0 any day.

Posted by: saintex | December 10, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

We have had them out this long...If they get re-injured I am going to be pissed.

I would hold them all out.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 10, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Tarik: Thanks again for all the tremendous work you and Katie do. If you need input on your yearly performance review, please cut and paste:

Does exceptional work 7-days-a-week to keep readers as informed as possible.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 10, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Poti! YAY! My favorite Cap.

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

SA-Town,
OK, so we hold them out until when? We have been patiently waiting (ok, some not so patient)for them to be ready. At any point when they come up, they are going to face some physical play and we have to hope that they are not re-injured. We need them back when they are ready so that we can start re-developing chemistry and setting our sights on the top of the East again.

Posted by: _Mark | December 10, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Hooray for multiple posts before noon! I think Gabby is getting agitated and paranoid about letting the line combos out before the game. I hope it's just a temporary thing.

Posted by: ThisGuy | December 10, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

By the way, not to again sound old, but when I was a kid, we had three normal channels and one on UHF. No cable. No ESPN. No NHL Network or Center Ice. Sports was five minutes during the TV news (never hockey) and then the News-American and the Evening Sun came in the afternoon to tell you what happened yesterday. The whole world, in fact, was "black and white" until things turned into color in 1964. (Congress passed a law.) It's hard to keep up with all these newfangled changes. I haven't yet gotten a cell phone and I've never "texted," but I sure like these quickie updates.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 10, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I guess we'll have to wait until warm-up to see who's at least trying to play today. Warm-up will be exciting today, won't it?

We might even be able to figure out the lines too because they work in their lines during the breakout/regroup portion of the warm-up.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 10, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

If there's ANY question about Semin or Poti, I would keep them out. Tonight's going to be a hard, tough game, i would expect, and i don't want them working harder than they can handle. I'd keep them out until the weekend, probably, anyway, if I had control.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | December 10, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

How many people here actually believe we'll best the Beast of the East tonight? Any advantage we can get against the Bruins is good. IF BB thinks secrecy will help, that's good enough for me.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | December 10, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

darn, I'm going to miss warm-ups :(

Posted by: RedBirdie | December 10, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The problem with calling someone else up is that the Bears are currently in an airplane headed for San Antonio. So if someone can't go I suspect the Caps might be going shorthanded tonight.

Posted by: gman2797 | December 10, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, we need our regulars back in the lineup to contend, but the silver lining if these guys are out only the 2-3 weeks, is in that time the Caps have been able to work out and evaluate another 3-4 players that could make a real difference on this club down the line, and a couple of them may not be the most touted of the prospects from Hershey.

Posted by: leopard09 | December 10, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@Mark

How about when the players seem confident to get back in there? These quotes are what bothers me

Poti- "Im not sure"
Green - "Im 90%, it hurts to shoot."
Semin - "Shrugs..mumbles Russian curse words."
Federov - Doesnt even skate yesterday and you throw his ankle out there today?

I dont think so.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 10, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

This is so past rediculous it's insane. Hold out EVERYONE! Did I get season tickets to the Hershey Bears or the Washington Capitals?

Posted by: joshu1 | December 10, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

does nayone else feel the same way I do about Tyler Sloan? I feel like I'm a kid who found a puppy and is asking mom "Please? Please, can we keep him?" I assume we'll have to ship him back to Hershey one of these days......

Posted by: RedBirdie | December 10, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Boston is going to wax us tonight, and there will be more injuries.........HOLD 'EM out BB!!!!

Posted by: Iceman27 | December 10, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

OK, some are not ready and they are ruled out. Poti and Semin are the ones that are skating in the pre-game and then a game time decision. I am not going to read anything extra into those quotes.

I seem to recall that Green followed the 90% comment with one about expecting to be 100% after the next practice.

Posted by: _Mark | December 10, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
Sent you an email ...

Also, you are assuming that I am getting up early. I could be:
A) Getting up early.
B) Staying up late.
C) In a different time zone.
D) More than one of the above.
E) All of the above.

:-)

RE: Boo-, I must confess, I was not crazy about it either. So I did not change it just because you did not like it. Besides, even if you did (finally) get used to it, it's long gone now! :-)

-Boo!

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 10, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

See told you folks --

Not good. They will get re-injured because they are HUMAN!

Duh.

they need to talk off the rest of the season so they are ready for next year.

Greeny is in big trouble with that shoulder and without him it's all over now.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 10, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

These guys are frustrated by injury, tired of the questions, and tired of watching the games. Contrary to some assertions that they are milking the injuries. They are competitors and want to be on the ice contributing.

Posted by: _Mark | December 10, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

windjammersouth, how many browsers did you download so you can use multiple usernames without logging in and out, cheef?

Posted by: mnmnt_snow | December 10, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

We need a Trick from OVIE tonight!!!!

Posted by: Iceman27 | December 10, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Ouch! Sakic out for 3 months after breaking 3 fingers in a snow blower accident. Ouch!

Thanks good ness we don't have that many opportunities to use a snow blower around here.

Posted by: _Mark | December 10, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

windjammersouth: The more you c/p your BS, the more I think you're a fan of some other team and that all your pissing and moaning is wishful thinking so that whatever crappy team you support will have a shot in hell at the playoffs.

So come on, cough up. Which is it? Carolina? Atlanta? Florida? Tampa Bay? Come up, stand up and represent for your team. Have a pair. :)

Posted by: kittypawz | December 10, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Have they not won games that they should not have recently? Hey, strangers things have happened. I have not thrown out tonight's game. Anything can happen, especially if Boston comes in assuming that this will be a cakewalk. Even though the Caps kiddies are still playing, they are FULL of surprises! GO CAPS!! :-)

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 10, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm not implying that Poti, Green, Semin, Federov, Fehr, and Fleishman are capable of playing and choose not to do so, but I'm tired of getting a look at the boys from the farm. Now the D-men have filled in admirably and IMO we have 2 keepers now (Sloan and Alzner). The fact is I came into the season with high expectations and the way the boys came out with some a road win in Pittsburgh, a comeback win at home, and then a convincing win on the road at Carolina, and their dominant play at home it looked like the season was going as planned. Then as we all know the injury bug hit, and although the call-ups have done well our goaltending is obviously not going to carry us during the injury period, or deep into the playoffs. Sparked some talk in these circles that we just have to wait it out and Varlamov will be ready within a year or two because we took one in the shorts with Theodore. I raise the BS flag on that. My impression is the front office and BB expects this team to do well beginning THIS SEASON, or they would not have spent the money on Feds. So I guess I am just frustrated with the recovery of our guys. Some have implied that some of the injuries can be blamed on the conditioning crew, but I would go further and say that the slow recovery of these guys can be blamed on the medical and conditioning staff. I realize the training room looks like an overfilled hospital right now, but if players like Semin and Green have serious injuries that have forced them to miss so much time already, and possibly more, they need to stop sugar coating it for BB. If they need to be shelved for weeks, tell BB that, he has too many things to worry about rather than answer the injury questions every day. He should get his brief in the morning so BB can use that information to so HIS job. If we are to get injury updates the Caps should have a medical PAO take care of that for BB and GMGM. Some may say it's none of our business and that we are lucky we are told anything. To that I raise the BS flag too because I am a fan that spends a lot of $$ to see the Caps so I should be updated on the status of the players. One last point is that I don't think the players should be bothered with the question either. They are obviously frustrated with their inability to play and shouldn't feel like they are targeted by the press when wandering around Kettler for treatment.

Whew, now I'm off my soap box. I know this team is going to do well this season, even with the plug-ins right now. BJ or JT must raise their level of play so we can start raising some team hardware. I expect Varlamov to begin to contribute in a couple years, but only as someone carrying on the Dynasty started in 2007-08.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 10, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

mnmnt_snow

Just ignore...

Posted by: Greg S. | December 10, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

You are correct Boo,
Some good things have happened. It hasn't all been great, but it is no where as gloomy as some say. Again, The Bears and Caps will profit from the opportunities that some of these young guys have had.

Posted by: _Mark | December 10, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Mark:
Absolutely! If nothing else, we are enhancing our depth.

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 10, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie: Me too. I want to keep Sloan up if we possibly can.

However, I've got some good news for you. Maybe someone with more knowledge of the situation can correct me if I am wrong, but I seem to remember that Sloan is not exempt from waivers. He's played more than 10 games now, and he will have to go through waivers if he is sent down. Sloan is a young, cheap, S@H Dman with a bright future in front of him. If we put him on waivers, we will lose him to another team, who will consider it their lucky day. I'm not in BB's or GMGM's back pocket, but somehow I doubt they'll risk losing him. I think he's up for the year and they'll make a trade to keep him if they have to.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 10, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@fanhock1

Thats the longest paragraph ever.

And you as a season ticket holder should not be updated on the injuries of the players. I am sure that would be in violation of some HR rule.

I can't believe the utter despair in here. What will be everyones excuse when after we the SE and have 97 points?

Posted by: JSchon | December 10, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Kitty:
I have to ask (curiousity is getting the best of me, which is fitting given the cat referece ;-)) - are you male or female? Your name tells me one thing but your posts another, so please set me straight! :-)

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 10, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Just got home and catching up on all the posts. First off, David Steckel = Homecoming King was brilliant. BLO line. Also brilliant.

What number will Osala wear?

Will probably miss warm-ups too - rats.

Truthfully, I hope that we do hang with the Bruins. However, I am not necessarily willing to sacrifice a lot for this one game. We have quite a few games coming up. Just hope everyone is ready to come back, especially those that had injuries that getting hit by big people would not help.

Posted by: Kim-3 | December 10, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

JSchon

Probably cry that it wasn't 103

Posted by: Greg S. | December 10, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

HeyBooBoo: *laugh* Female. Why, what makes you think I'm a guy? :D

Posted by: kittypawz | December 10, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@RedBirdie - I agree totally about Tyler Sloan. I want to keep him!!!

Posted by: irockthered | December 10, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm excited to see Osala out there, but I hope everyone doesn't expect him to step onto the ice and be a point a game guy from the start. I saw him at the rookie game and in camp and he seemed a step ro two slow. Maybe the first couple months in Hershey have him ready to rumble...i sure hop so.

If he works hard in the corners and muscles people off the puck, doesn't make stupid turnovers, and gets back on D I'll be a happy Caps fan.

Of course if he comes out and scores a pair of goals I'll be ecstatic.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 10, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

To be honest there is no reason to believe the Caps can't win tonight. The Bruins don't play super team defense which is obvious considering they give up over 30 shots a game. Even with the crew we have (which luckily still includes the best player in the world) we can accumulate shots quickly. We just need Thomas or Fernandez to have an average day. If they play out of their minds and have a 92% or above save pct day it'll be tough, if they have an 88-90% day, we can win this thing. We still have snipers, and I guess we just called up another pure goal scorer is Osala.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 10, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz, you are completely correct. He had to go through waivers to go down(up?) to Hershey with Laing at the beginning of the season.
RedBirdie, I'll sign my name to the "Keep Sloan" petition if its circling the board. It is like finding a new puppy, only this puppy is completely house-trained! How can "Mom" say no?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 10, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Jschon and greg,
There will always be something to complain about for some people. They feed off the negativity and the attention they get from it.

From my Pollyanna-ish view, things are looking up.

Posted by: _Mark | December 10, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

i'm liking the secrecy...they're being smart about this, and it bodes well for tonight's game :)

Posted by: jess4caps | December 10, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Fernandez in Net Tonight

Posted by: SA-Town | December 10, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Man I hate being impossibly busy with work when all of this exciting stuff is going on.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 10, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon: I've wondered about that, too. Yes, this is definitely a rough patch with all the injuries, but damn, what's up with the sackcloth and ashes? Anyone remember last year at all? Guess not ^^

This is going to be a tough test tonight, and it's going to give us a really good idea of just how close to ready our boys in Hershey are for the big time.

Keys to the Game. I'm going to blow some smoke out my butt and see who gets lit on fire.

1. Stay out of the box. We don't want to play footsie with Boston's special teams - we will get burned.
2. Secondary scoring. We've got to keep them guessing and have scoring coming from everywhere.
3. Avoiding / dodging checks. Milan "The Wrecking Ball" Lucic is no joke. We've got enough injuries :(

Posted by: kittypawz | December 10, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 10, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Team D and goaltending will be the difference tonight.

People say the Bruins give up a lot of shots, but they also take a lot as well.

They've got some real good forward who are quick on the puck. They play an offensive game similar to San Jose, so the Caps better come ready to play tonight. If they come out with no energy or emotion, it's over quickly.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 10, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz - I would agree that we need to duck Lucic. He's seriously a hard-hitting guy, and we don't need a repeat of last January.

Definitely need to bring the secondary scoring up to speed, too... and yeah, staying out of the box is key.

I'm looking forward to this one. I hope we're coming out flying, with bells on.

Posted by: irockthered | December 10, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town: Fernandez in net tonight? Ha. Apparently we don't rate their hot goalie. I'm not sure whether to be relieved or insulted. :D

Now, let's make 'em pay for that choice.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 10, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Jschon/greg/_Mark: If you guys can't tell I wasn't complaining about anything except BB and the players being bothered you didn't read my GIANT paragraph. My complaint with the Med staff is that they need to be honest and say 4 weeks if it's 4 weeks. My poor kid just got a concussion, playing hockey no less, and was told no contact for a week. Not see how you feel day to day, but out for a week. That week become x2, x3, etc for successive occurences. Which mean poor Erskine for example should have been put on the shelf for at least 3 weeks from the outset since this was his third concussion.

The goaltending was of course brought up but it is no secret that one of these guys need to step up or we're not going to get 97pts. I still pick a healthy Caps team to go into the playoffs with a high seed, but will need goaltending to step up again if we hope to win the Cup.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 10, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I find it humorous that people want the injured to stay out yet complain about watching AHL'ers. If the wounded are to stay out, who's going to fill their skates?

I'm pretty excited about what I've seen so far on the ice. The team has kept competitive in spite of having 7 or 8 starters out of the lineup. Pretty much that means that the AHL'ers could be NHL'ers except for the fact that there are bodies in the positions now.

What I'm worried about is Bob Woods. If he keeps winning like this (11 in a row!?!?!) Tampa will come calling. What he's doing with ECHL/AHL'ers is remarkable.

On JT. GMGM cited 2 reasons he jumped on JT last summer. He was the best available goalie in the UFA. His contract was right, specially the 2 year part.

I'd be willing to bet that we see one of the goalies up from AHL late this year (trade deadline) or beginning of next at the latest. He'll be apprentice to whomever is #1. By the next year, both JT and BJ will be gone, and our home-grown boys will be in net.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 10, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz, don't ease off Fernandez. He's in the top five in GAA and SV% too.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 10, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Fernandez 8-1-1, 2.09/.926 and a SO.

Posted by: Section117 | December 10, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Agree with kittypaws' keys to the game.

The main person who has to stay out of the box is Ovie. When he's in the box not only do good things not happen, bad things happen. In order to stay out of the box, Ovie needs to not get too tired. When he's tired, he makes silly mistakes. In order not to get tired, he has to play shorter shifts.

We all want to watch him play, because he makes things happen when he's on, and he wants to play all the time, but BB has to firmly tell him: shorter shifts.

Some secondary scoring will take the focus off Ovie. Result: more scoring all around.

Dodging checks is good. It'll keep us healthy. But we can't be forced off the puck. So we have to stay fresh - tired legs can't dodge as well.

Best answer: short shifts, all around.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | December 10, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Having Semin would really help kick start the team... as for Poti, dunno if I like the idea of his first game back from injury being against Lucic...

Hopefully Donald can keep Lucic honest tonight. There still hasn't been any appropriate payback for Pothier's injury from where I'm sitting...

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | December 10, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1 - I'm of the opinion that a concussion, no matter how severe or "light," should be an automatic LTIR injury. There is so much we don't know about those types of injuries, and Brian Pothier is still trying to recover from the one he took last January.

There are so many problems, from dizziness to headache, vision problems, behavioral problems, that can come as the result of a concussion, that any professional hockey player who takes one really needs to stay off the ice for a good long while, until they know what the effects will be, and how to counter them, if that is needed.

These guys hit so hard it isn't even funny, and repeat injuries, as you say, get worse. Concussions are not something to play around with, and I am concerned for Erskine as a person as a result of his injury. The long-term effects of concussion are only something we're just beginning to scratch the surface of understanding on...

Ask Chris Benoit if you want severe consequences for repeated concussions. We don't want that in the NHL.

Posted by: irockthered | December 10, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The only reason Fernandez is in net is because of March 03, 2008

7 goals on 24 shots for Mr. Thomas...

He doesnt want to step back into the "Belly of the Beast."

Posted by: SA-Town | December 10, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm taking credit for the Sean Collins props! I was singing his praises even before his recall :)

Hope he stays up here. He's solid defensively and strong enough to handle nhl forwards

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 10, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

This is off topic but my friend who is a die hard pens fan sent me this and I thought it was kind of funny

http://thepensblog.blogspot.com/

I don't really care too much for the all star game but Ovie, really does deserve to be in the starting line up.. and it would be interesting to see him play with Malkin and Crosby.

Posted by: diehardcapsfan | December 10, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Duck Lucic, avoid Lucic. What the heck, this guy is big but the boys will not be ducking hits from anyone. Tell you what how about we just put all the Bears out there and keep all Caps left as healthy scratches because Lucic must be avoided? I've never heard so much hype about a guy that has a total of 17 points. Yeah, he crushed Pothier (6' 200lbs) with an elbow I might add, and he's 6'4 220.

For all of you already writing this off as a loss, even with the call-ups in the line-up we play with more energy than last year's Hanlon Caps and we managed to beat the unbeatable Senators (they were the Bruins and Sharks of last season at this point) in Ottawa. Caps will take it tonight because they're not supposed to. Let's go Caps!

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 10, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@MikeL-Caps 91

as for Lulic not getting paidback for the hit on pothier....big john broke his nose in a fight the next game after pothier was hurt

Posted by: _stevo | December 10, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@Boo

Sent you back. In the previous post I didn't imply anything, in fact I was asking which one is it :D

@Greg
on JT: I still think he can proves what he's worth, especially in the playoffs. Or let's just say I still hope. On GMGM... it's hard to say. Based on what I saw, there was not much else he could do - Huet's willingness to leave/greed/whatever put us in trouble (btw he's doing pretty good in CHI I heard). But who knows, maybe there was room to operate in term of pushing certain transaction. For example, Fleury resigning with the PENS wasn't written in stone, especially after a few players complained about the coach.

@Kittypawz
On Keys to the game: I think we also need to be smart about our system. We can't play it as it is against a team as strong as Boston. Need to be a bit more covered IMHO.

Posted by: mauree | December 10, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

sorry if this was posted earlier, but a pretty funny blog entry by Steinberg on Karl

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2008/12/karl_alzner_and_the_f_word.html

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 10, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

There are some injuries that are nastier than others. In a contact sport like hockey, getting the bell rung is no picnic. Specially since concussions have cumulative effects and they're easier to get once you've had one.

With Erskine out now for his 3rd week (?), I'm not looking forward to seeing him back anytime soon.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 10, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Lucic is a punk. if he thinks he is a big boy, talk to The Donald. i say he is a punk because a couple o weeks back when Laraque was in his face, he wanted no past. same applies with Brashear.

Posted by: doughless | December 10, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1,

I may disagree with you on things, but my thoughts about the negativity are more pointed towards Cheef, wendel, windjammersouth and others like them that seem to be vested in the Caps doing poorly. Thus they tend to be more active after a loss or bad news.

Now lets give the Bruins all they can handle and more. Pinning a nice big L on them would indeed be sweet. Go Caps!

Posted by: _Mark | December 10, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1 - perhaps "duck" is the wrong word. "Be aware of" and don't get caught with your pants down is more appropriate, perhaps?

Posted by: irockthered | December 10, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxeHEO4KSb4

Lucic got NOTHING on Johnny Lumberjack Erskine.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 10, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Has Erskine been in a fight this year? Even one? Seems concussions might limit this part of his game when he comes back.

I'm actually surprised he is not on LTIR...those hoping to see Sloan for a while - this might be why.

Posted by: stormblue | December 10, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I think we'll be surprised by the team tonight. We may see a few guys back - I trust the team to bring them back when they are ready - and we'll see some real emotion from the crowd. This game, whichever players suit up, was built for AO8 to carry the team. I think we'll see something special. I think the AO > Backstrom goal in the last home game v. NYI sent a strong team signal to everyone, particularly the kids. Strap in....it'll be a blast.

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

@fanohock1

I hear you. It is not a good thing to have so many injured players, but sometimes these things happen sports. How you deal with it is up to you. You can choose to be tired of looking at the call ups or you can view it as an opportunity to see and evaluate future players. I choose the latter.

Having been through it myself I can tell you that sometimes injuries can be quite nagging and keep you from playing and other times you get through what would seem to be a bigger injury in less time. Yeah I'm an amateur, but some things are the same or similar regardless of the level.

The bottom line is players want to play and no one wants to deceive the coaching staff.

Enjoy the game.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFederov | December 10, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Osala will probably be #36 as in Hershey. Dont expect a superstar right away but he definately has HUGE potential, a top player in last years world juniors and for Espoo Blues.

Posted by: musicburgler | December 10, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Man I'm psyched about tonight... Envy all of you going to the game...

I'll wear my Fed shirt while watching the game on the couch (yeah I'm weird but tonight.. man!)

LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: mauree | December 10, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

From the Times:

There were a few guys out on the ice after the morning skate (Sergei Fedorov, Mike Green, Eric Fehr and Chris Clark) working their way back from recent injuries -- but Brian Pothier was also out there skating around as well.

Pothier hasn't been on the ice since before training camp when he only went on for about five minutes (that gets mentioned in this story in today's paper). Today he was out there for about 15-20 minutes, shooting pucks and moving around a pretty good clip. He only had skates and gloves on, but it was a big step for him.

He said he wouldn't know until this afternoon or later tonight how it was going to affect him, but he was pretty excited about it. He said it was hard to hold back and it felt a kid getting on the ice again. Pothier is actually a little bit ahead of the schedule he laid out for me on Friday -- he had orignally planned on just working out through the rest of this week and then maybe trying to go on the ice as soon as next week.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 10, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait to Osala! He's so cute! ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | December 10, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I remember during rookie training camp when they came out after demolishing the philly farm club 7-1 Osala and Bradley were that all they were doing all week was seeing who could throw the biggest hits. Let's hope for Osala to do a Tyler Sloan first game impression in the first few minutes and level someone!!
LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: caps28fan | December 10, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Ovie 3 goals, Osala 2 goals. BB goalie little sunburn on neck from red light. From the 1 & only Canadian fan!!!

Posted by: oveshkin_rules | December 10, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

wow, I had some serious english problems on my last post. That was weird.

re-typing:
I remember during rookie training camp when they came out after demolishing the philly farm club 7-1. Osala and Bradley told me that all they were doing during the week was seeing who could throw the biggest hits. Let's hope for Osala to do a Tyler Sloan first game impression and in the first few minutes level someone!!
LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: caps28fan | December 10, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

anyone figure out the days lost in terms of European vs North American?

Posted by: wendel2 | December 10, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Do you think Don Cherry has the voodoo doll??

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 10, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

To add to SA-Town's comment above...

I got this from Section117 in an earlier post:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/dec/10/the-long-road-back/

It's a really good article about Pothier's condition, etc. Damage to his fourth cranial nerve has caused him a lot of trouble with tracking things visually... but if he's starting to skate again, that's a good start.

"When I'm better - when I've skated with the team and I am back to 100 percent and I'm flying around - then, at that moment, I can sit back and say, 'OK, now I am ready. Is it worth it?,'" Pothier said. "That's the moment that I hope I can get to. I hope I get to that position and have the opportunity to make that decision.

"My goal right now is to be able to function like a normal person. I want to be able to go to the park and play tag football with my kids, and be able to run and chase them as fast and as hard as I want to and not feel like I am going to explode. That's obviously the most important thing. And then if we can get me healthy enough to have a decision about hockey to make, then that would be great. ... I am putting off that decision as long as I can. I don't know if that is irresponsible or really smart. I haven't figured it out."

Posted by: irockthered | December 10, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Don Cherry is a voodoo doll with a big mouth!

Posted by: oveshkin_rules | December 10, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town: Pothier managed to get back on the ice at all? That's exciting and impressive. I'd just about given up hope. Now mind, he's stilla long way from a true return to the rink, and I'd be afraid for him, but ... wow. That news just gives me warm fuzzies inside.

Also, point taken on Fernandez. Sounds as if they've got a choice between hot and hotter right now - Hobson's Choice, if you will.

caps28fan: Ha. That was truly an impressive smack. That one moment right there told me that Sloan had a bright future in front of him if he could do that, and to draw a 9-minute power play in your first NHL game is no small feat. IMO, that should have cost Calgary the game.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 10, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

What I noticed is that Green, Feds and Fehr stayed on to skate with Pothier.

That means Green and Feds are 100% out tonight.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 10, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I guess Boudreau and I agree on Collins. Good to see. A bit of proof that I know something since I've been tooting his horn immediately after the first game he played for us and even before that making a prediction based on his college stats. Great to see a kid who was playing in the ECHL just a little while ago shine at the NHL level when given the chance.

Posted by: ranndino | December 10, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I just read the piece about Pothier. Very glad to hear he is recovering. Although he was on the ice with tennis shoes, and not skates, to read that he was on the ice at all was very pleasant to read.

As for tonight's game:

-I'm hopeful both Semin and Poti return; but I wouldn't mind only getting one player back.
-I'm excited to see Osala play
-And lastly, call me hopeful, but in my opinion Caps can win this game. Think back to the beginning of last season. Ottawa was the "monster of the east"; winning just about every game they played; but against the Caps', they were no match.

Posted by: elicea | December 10, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Kitty:
Why? Well, forgive my language, but you're a bit of a &@%%-buster (I say that with all due respect, of course!)!! ;-)

mauree:
Checking now! :-)

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 10, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm a big fan of Osala. Watched him in rookie camp. Should blossom but hope he doesn't get hurt!!

Greeny to be out most of January. You heard it here first.

Is the GMGM going to petition the league to change the name to the Washington Bears?

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 10, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

yup, you can tell things are heating up when we go to the "undisclosed" reports. But I like it, I have no clue why we post the injuries anyway, you might as well paste a giant bullseye on someones back. This will be a tough game for us, look for some big time hitting tonite. Hopefully our blueline is up to it.

Posted by: ergoroc | December 10, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

It's these types of [physical] games where I miss Erskine. He's one of the very few blueliners who isn't afraid to hit.

Posted by: elicea | December 10, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately the score will end up 4 to 1 tonight and the board will go nuts.

Tis the season as always fah la la la fah la la...

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 10, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

windjammersouth:
4 to 1 for the Caps?!? Yeah, the board will go nuts ... I'll take it!! ;-)

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 10, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Looking forward to hearing how Osala plays; wish I could watch. :-( Will be curious to see who else plays?!? I would not take Fernandez lightly - I have seen him play well (I believe against us one time?!?). Regardless, all hope is not lost - the Caps can take this one!

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 10, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

LETS GO CAPS!

- If we win this...Book your tickets to the CUP

Posted by: DCSPORTS | December 10, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Osala is not listed in the game notes that are provided to the media and season ticket holders.

Posted by: lornemyoung | December 10, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"Today he was out there for about 15-20 minutes, shooting pucks and moving around a pretty good clip. He only had skates and gloves on, but it was a big step for him."

Posted by: SA-Town | December 10, 2008 2:37 PM
----------------------------------

He only had skates and gloves on?? Wouldn't that be a little cold? :-) Sorry, but I think Corey could have worded that a little better. The mental picture....

Posted by: tess2201 | December 10, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Only one stream for tonight's game that I know of (atdhe):

http://atdhe.net/live-tv-1327.html

Posted by: mauree | December 10, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@ DC Sports

Are you planning a trip to the HHOF to see the Cup?

Because winning one game about 1/4 into the season doesnt guarantee a cup win.

By that logic, The Kings beat the caps a few games back, they should book the trip to the cup as well if the Caps win tonight.

A win tonight will boost confidence, surely, but by no means guarantees anything.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 10, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

@tess2201 - BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, you're right; that would be cold, particularly around the "produce section!"

ROFLMFAO!

Posted by: irockthered | December 10, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@HeyBooBoo - is being an &@%%-buster only the province of you men, then? Assuming you're a men? ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 10, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I think Boo! is referring to the fact that shes the peacekeeper and I'm pretty much Pollyanna with a copy of the CBA. Don't get many &@%%-busters in here of the female persuasion. :D

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 10, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and PensBlog has officially decided to start voting for Ovie.
http://thepensblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/ovechkin-counter-offensive.html

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 10, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

irockthered:
HA!!! Well played!! ;-) So you think I'm a &@%%-buster, huh? That's the first time I have heard that (but I suppose it was deserved ... this time, anyway! :-)).

JMU:
Thank you (I think?)?!? ;-)

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 10, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Completely meant to be a compliment. I know no one as good at keeping the peace. :D

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 10, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Kitty:
Speaking of &@%%-busters and peacekeepers, I should clarify! :-) No offense was intended (really); and I'm afraid that any further commentary on the subject would just dig me into a deeper hole!! ;-) Anyway, my apologies if any offense was taken!

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 10, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

JMU:
Pfew ... glad to hear that I have not completely fallen out of grace!! :-) I suppose that was a pretty big statement from 'ol Boo, huh? Guess I have loosened up a little too much vacation!! ;-)

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 10, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to fill the "&@%%" in "&@%%-busters" to understand what it means. Ah, to know english better.

I think you should stop me now, I have a pretty big imagination :p

Posted by: mauree | December 10, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Too much vacation, pshaw. No such thing! Take a half-day of vacation for me, please?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 10, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

jmu:
Can do!! :-) (And thanks for ignoring my typo ;-)).

mauree:
Oh goodness ... what have I started?!? Anyway, I'm sure one of the boys will fill you in!! :-)

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 10, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

When the Flash trade comes through
remember I said it first 2 or 3 days ago...

No, I still don't think it'll happen, but nobody else seems to be saying it and now he's "injured"

Posted by: austinsteve | December 10, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve:
Do you really think that? BB looooves Flash - I would think that he would put his foot down. Besides, everyone is injured - why would it surprise you if Flash was, too? ;-)

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 10, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Oops ...

FIRED COACH MELROSE SOUNDS OFF ON LIGHTNING, STAMKOS

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=259045&lid=sublink04&lpos=headlines_nhl

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 10, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

just weeks ago, bb was quoted talking about how far flash has come this season and how's turning into the player bb's known him to be all along. there's no way he's gonna trade him now, it's not gonna happen. and if it does i think he realizes he's gonna have a LOT of angry fans to answer to

Posted by: jess4caps | December 10, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

No I don't think it will happen.

But on paper he's the player who offers the most in the form of age, cost, and performance to another team while still leaving us proven scorers and rising talent.

If we had all of our starting defensemen playing tonight our D would still be... mediocre. We needed help on D before the injuries started.

Maybe it sweetens the Nylander pot(?)

Just pointing it out

Posted by: austinsteve | December 10, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz -

Fernandez is an excellent goalie and is not a backup. He was brought to Boston as the star #1, but his long term injury and Thomas' lights out play last season complicated the situation. Thomas has continued his great play this season, but Manny has been excellent as well, which is why I've said a few times on here that the Bruins have the best goaltending tandem in the NHL. Right now both guys are playing great so Julien is just rotating them. Thomas started the last game vs. Tampa so it's simply Manny's turn tonight. No other reason.

Really excited for this one. Still no word on whether Semin is a go?

Posted by: ranndino | December 10, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

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