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Morning Skate Updates

Tarik is running out the door to catch a train to New York -- Caps play the Rangers tonight at 7 p.m. -- so here are a few twitterific updates:

* Doesn't look like Chris Bourque is going to skate today (or play tonight). Tough break for a guy fighting for a spot.

* Judging from the players still on the ice, doesn't look like Michael Nylander is playing tonight, either.

* Looks like Jose Theodore will start in goal tonight at MSG. Could be backed up by Michal Neuvirth.

* The combos weren't obvious from this morning's practice, but it's POSSIBLE the top two lines will be 8-19-28, 21-20-17.

* Gonna be interesting to see if tough guy Brandon Sugden plays. He hasn't suited up yet, but he may be needed if Donald Brashear plays.

* I'm off to Union Station to catch my train. Will blog/tweet from NYC this afternoon.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  September 24, 2009; 11:31 AM ET
 
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Next: Olie on Retirement, Caps, Future

Comments

Michael Nylander is definitely getting the shaft. I don't blame him for sucking up his pride and collecting his big checks come the start of the season. The contract is what it is - he and the Caps organization signed it.

I think the Caps are being extremely hardheaded. BMo is down and they have, #92, a 2nd line center regulated to practice, only. Somebody give the smelling salts to Bruce & George.

I'm handing out Cap t-shirts with Nylander & 92 printed on the back at Sunday's game for all to wear!

Posted by: puckman | September 24, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Lindsay for the twitter to blog translation!

Posted by: _Mark | September 24, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else think it's odd that Brendan Morrison hasn't suited up for one of the last few pre-season games, particularly since he took that bad hit in Buffalo?

Posted by: Jordana20 | September 24, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

a. gordon, osala, and wilson were assigned to hershey

Posted by: _stevo | September 24, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Will tonights game be streamed anywhere?

Posted by: TottenhamCaps | September 24, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@ pukcman: Somebody give the smelling salts to Bruce & George.

GMGM has been too busy to notice. Anyone see Inglorious Basterds? See the resemblance to Hans the general? ;-)

Posted by: CapsRockTheRed | September 24, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Jordana20, you are not alone. Hoping he is alright.

Posted by: _Mark | September 24, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

As I stated before (and was ridiculed by some); GMGM has decided that Nyls will never get one more minute of icetime with the Caps. That was decided last year after an incident in NY.
GMGM told Nyls that he should not even show up for the camp than decided that if he did, he would make him work at practice everyday for his paycheck but he would not play him.
I see that GMGM has not changed his mind. Why do you think Nyls is here and the family is in Sweden? Some suggested that he was being kept off the line up in order to keep him healthy for a trade. That's ridiculous. You want to trade a player, you play him. GMGM is not even trying to peddle him.
Kudos to Nylander for being a consummate professional. I watched him at practice earlier this week. He pratices hard, stay on the ice for extra time. He looks sharp and executes everything to perfection. With no pre-season games, it will be very difficult for him to come in and help any team very short term in any fashion.
If BMo is hurt as it appears he may be, or if his past few years in the NHL is an indication of things to come; BMo will not be able to pivot a second line. So, I will ask again, who is our second line center?

Posted by: atybat | September 24, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@atybat:
Either stop mentioning or share details about the NY incident. Thank you.

Posted by: romicva | September 24, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@atybat - So you think that the Caps won't play Nylander AND won't try to trade him? How would you explain that kind of irrational behavior? Do you think they intend to eat a $5+ million salary just to make a point?

Posted by: zmega | September 24, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

atybat - elaborate on this incident. Inquiring minds and caring fans want to know.

Posted by: puckman | September 24, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

you have got to give a guy a chance to redeem himself. this whole nylander thing is inexplicable to me.

maybe he made a pass a ted's wife or something.

Posted by: jamebow | September 24, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I am getting disgusted at the treatment of Nylander. As someone said, the Caps organization signed him. He didn't hold a gun to their heads. Either get rid of him and buy out his contract if you are not going to use him, or find a way to integrate him into your system. Unless he is quadriplegic, don't tell me that the guy is so badly flawed that you cannot find the right role for him in the system.

What they are doing is cruel and unprofessional to him and demoralizing for the team. Unless there is something they are asking of him and they are trying to break him. But paying someone and giving them the cold shoulder does not strike me as a great strategy.

Posted by: caraveli | September 24, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

LET MICHAEL NYLANDER PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: puckman | September 24, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I am disgusted with Nyls treatment as well, and more disgusted that we don't have a reporter capable of digging into this subject. Run Tarik, run. Have fun at the game and if you get a chance twit or blog some tidbit of useless information.

Posted by: hock1 | September 24, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I find it annoying that no one is addressing the BMo concerns. I agree that they should at least give Nys a chance... it is preseason and that is what preseason is for.

Posted by: ERHDC1 | September 24, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...Morrison takes a hard hit and is missing time...Bourque gets nailed by Kaleta and is out...Semin takes an elbow by Eager last night. Is anyone else wondering when GMGM wakes up and realizes we need a Brashear-type player to protect the skilled players and pre-empt these events?

Just wondering....

Posted by: sj9096 | September 24, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

LET MICHAEL NYLANDER PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: puckman


thought i was never going to see a post like this

Posted by: _stevo | September 24, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

we do not need Brash (or someone like him) taking stupid penalties and making poor decisions (as Brash did in the playoffs). We need 'gritty' players playing with an 'edge' and asserting themselves when necessary.

Erskine plays with grit and will defend anybody, Bradley has been known to take a knockdown or two for the cause, Clark is finally healthy and can be gritty again, Juice and Poti have been told to start throwing themselves around more...plus you'll see more open ice from the better speed lines...

I agree with GMGM...Nyls slowed the team down and never 'bought in' to BB's system...he also moped and groaned and tanked last year...pay him $5mil to sit...so what?? he'll either end up running to Europe, take a 2-yr spread buy-out, or finally waive the NTC...anyway...he's not a part of the team.

Posted by: netminder71 | September 24, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Furthermore...look at the most successful teams in recent years...none have a real 'enforcer.'

Detroit has grit and glue guys...hard-nosed defensemen, and a Bertuzzi (or like him grinder/basher) to win the corner battles.

Boston has Chara to impose his will in his d-zone, Lucic to hit everything that moves through the neutral zone, and a guy like Bitz to provide muscle when needed...no goon there...

Bite my tongue, but Pittsburgh has done the same...a lot of finesse, and lot of small-ish forwards, only Orpik, Goddard, and maybe Hal Gill (once in a while) would throw anyone around...

The Flyers, have multiple large, slow goon-esque guys and they will fall flat again. Even with their power guys like Richards and Carter...NYR went out and muscled-up and they'll be terrible this year...

Wait and see...top 5 teams should be Caps, Bruins, Wings, BHawks, Pens...

Posted by: netminder71 | September 24, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

FREE MICHAEL NYLANDER!!!

Posted by: SA-Town | September 24, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

It is funny to see the let Nyls play thread here. I've never been a hater. I'd add that when Nyls played toward the end of the season last year he was actually crashing the net here and there and taking more shots. My hope had been that we'd see him this year much improved.

Apparently the organization decided to make life uncomfortable for him. If they ultimately succeed in dumping his salary, fantastic. If that's going to take too long or not work, I'd much rather see him center our second line and pass to some of the other net crashers.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 24, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

fyi Gill is no longer a Pen...but they've got aging Wade Brookbank and Jay Mckee to step in and be grit d-men..

you get the point...Wade Brookbank doesn't fight often...he's just a grittier defender.

i loved what brashear brought to the caps, but we've matured as a team...don't need him...but it would be nice tonight for erskine or sugden to give brash a fight.!!

Posted by: netminder71 | September 24, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@atybat--either tell posters what happened in your "New York incident or stop mentioning it. Rumor spreads like wildfire and serves no good. Gossip is like used tissues--I throw it away.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 24, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

kinduva bummer for Sugden that the only reason he's even up here is to dress specifically for a game where the Caps are afraid another team may dress a tough guy. If you're gonna use him like that at least give him a few games to show how he skates against NHL competition.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else think it's odd that Brendan Morrison hasn't suited up for one of the last few pre-season games, particularly since he took that bad hit in Buffalo?

Posted by: Jordana20 | September 24, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Brendan Morrison is built like Nylander for the most part rather than a Brandon Dubinsky. He's slight of frame and he's getting to the age now that he's not that durable.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Netminder71 has spoken...

"I agree with GMGM";
"pay him $5mil to sit...so what??"

Both quotes make you suspect.

Posted by: beeman | September 24, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I have a wait and see attitude to the Nyls situation but I feel compelled to point out that many, many posters complained ad naseum about Nyls last season. The refrain was to take him out of the lineup. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side for many of you.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 24, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I'll summarize what I see on the comments above re: Nylander.

"What about the grown men?! What about the feelings of the poor grown men who are paid millions to play a game?!?!"

Posted by: the_ocho | September 24, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Netminder:
Furthermore...look at the most successful teams in recent years...none have a real 'enforcer' -------


Where do you make up this stuff????
You must not have any clue what a real enforcer is. Ever heard of George Parros, Eric Godard, Bray May, Shawn Thornton? Those are all recent or current members of teams that went to or won the Cup. Thornton and May played almost every game when the Ducks won the Cup. Thornton also played big minutes last year with the Bruins. This notion that tough guys or enforcers somehow automatically make a team less successful is a lie.

And to call Pittsburgh a finesse team -- thats another misnomer. Having a lot of skill does not automatically make you a finesse team. Staal, Cooke, Kunitz, Orpik, Malkin etc are not finesse players. If you go back and watch the playoffs from this past year you'll see that every time the puck ended up in our end the Pens forwards would hammer our defense. Does that sound like "finesse" ?

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

i loved what brashear brought to the caps, but we've matured as a team...don't need him...but it would be nice tonight for erskine or sugden to give brash a fight.!!

Posted by: netminder71 | September 24, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Matured as a team? So mature teams don't need enforcers? Ok, got it.

So what will you have to say if McPhee reverses his decision and goes back out to find a tough guy because we're getting pushed around or taken advantage of on the ice?

Also, you mentioned Erskine and Bradley as giving the Caps enough toughness. Please - Bradley isn't a good fighter at all, he loses 5 fights for every fight he wins. I admire his courage but no one's afraid of Matt Bradley. And Erskine has concussion issues, so he's reduced to glaring at other players. Woohoo.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Nylander is going to lead a rally down Wilson Blvd next week before the season starts protesting "employers who pay you millions, but don't let you work."

It's a growing issue, and we will march together on Monday...

Posted by: SA-Town | September 24, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"Semin went down hard in the second period after catching an elbow from Ben Eager. Semin missed a shift or two, but is going to be fine, Boudreau said."

gee, too bad we don't have a tough guy to discourage actions like this. You think Ben Eager is going to run Alex Semin with an elbow if we have a legitimate heavyweight in the lineup? Most likely not. And this is only preseason.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

the pens have goddard, brookbank and rupp who can throw with anyone

Posted by: _stevo | September 24, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Come'on, for all his size...Malkin IS a finesse player in the end...his hands and skates are his best weapon.

Matt Cooke sucks, so thorow him out of any conversation. period.

Kunitz's main job is to score goals...whether he is finesse is a judgement call, but he's not terrible gritty or prone to fighting...neither is Jordan Staal.

I did not say Orpik was a finesse player either...read the whole comment before you flame someone...I mentioned that he is one of the Pens only heavyweights.

Also, regarding Nylander...the NHL is a business. He doesn't fit in the business plan and since we're not over the cap, the team can afford to send him a message. McPhee is doing so...simple as that.

Me personally, I don't like his style of play. The first time around when he was a Capital, the system was different and he fit better. Now, not so much...

boo hoo...let him sit and sulk...the business is to GET BETTER. He doesn't make the team better...it just so happens we made the mistake to give him a big contract and NTC.

Posted by: netminder71 | September 24, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

another thing -- this team is supposed to be "mature" and sticks up for each other, right ? We're leading by a lot in the 3rd pd of a preseason game and no one goes after Eager (who is a middleweight, not a heavyweight). What kind of msg is that? There's usually always excuses given when the Caps dont' respond to a cheapshot - like the score is tied or close, or we needed the PP, or whatever. There is always some excuse. But in a meaningless preseason game, there is no excuse not to go after a 4th liner who just kabombed one of your top skill players. No excuse at all for no response. Look around the league -- there have been a ton of "responses" to big hits by teams. Phaneuf hit Kyle Okposo and the Isles went after him. Matt Martin hit Drew Doughty and the Kings went after him with a vengeance. The Canucks, Leafs, Flyers etc all have been sticking up for each other in preseason games.
Every night, there is some measured response to a hit except on the Caps. And don't expect it suddenly to change in the regular season because we don't have that kind of team mentality. We are largely a finesse team with a few grinders who don't fight often or well.
We can pay lip svc and say that this is a team that sticks up for each other. But the proof is in the pudding. There were numerous comments by Caps players this preseason about how much Brashear had meant to the team. Now we're a less tough team because he's gone, and frankly we weren't that tough to begin with. This is not a team who likes to engage in physical contests, we'd rather outfinesse another team. I don't think that kind of style can take that far into the playoffs, sorry. You have to be willing to battle, and there are going to be games where those battles will escalate into something nastier. I don't see this team trading blow for blow. Its just not in their nature.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@netminder71

Last I checked Milan Lucic was one of the best fighters in the NHL. Shawn Thornton ain't bad either. Just because they can also play doesn't mean they're not goons. They're just goons who can play.

Then there's also Zdeno Chara who doesn't fight much anymore only because he doesn't have to. When he arrives at the scene it seems to have an immediate calming effect on the opposition.

We have no one like any of these guys. Imagine our first game vs. the Flyers this season. We'll have no answer. As cstanton1 said Matt Bradley isn't gonna scare anyone. He shouldn't even be fighting because he sucks at it and gets his ass kicked all the time. If you know the history of this blog you know that cstanton1 and I never agree on anything. This might be a first.

Posted by: ranndino | September 24, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@netminder71 said: "boo hoo...let him sit and sulk...the business is to GET BETTER. He doesn't make the team better...it just so happens we made the mistake to give him a big contract and NTC."

Again, who is our second line center? If you can not answer that question, how can you conclude that he doesn't make our team better. You can't judge from last year. He was never given the opportunity to perform.

Also, I don't think that his NMC is an issue anymore. It appears more to be a personal matter between him and GMGM. Nothing will be put on the table for Nylander, so waving the NMC is moot. For all purposes, the Caps have lowered his tradeable value to 0. His contract can not be bought right now. And, it appears that he won't have the opportunity to play. He can not walk out as that would entitle the Caps to fine him (forfeiting his salary).
He may still be in the picture if the Caps go through a catastrophic string of injuries but his playing shape and his confidence will be so low that it will be like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I think that it will come to a point where, even if Nylander holds himself professionally, he will be a distraction. GMGM may well tell him to give him his address in Sweden so he can send his paycheck over there.

Posted by: atybat | September 24, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

the pens have goddard, brookbank and rupp who can throw with anyone

Posted by: _stevo | September 24, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Of course they can. Picking up Rupp was a great move. That kid can actually skate a regular shift and will fight anyone.
"Netminder" has been smokin the ganj all morning. His comments are actually just laughable.

"Kunitz's main job is to score goals...whether he is finesse is a judgement call, but he's not terrible gritty or prone to fighting...neither is Jordan Staal."

Respectfully, you have no idea about any of this. Calling Kunitz not terribly gritty is just ignorant. He's one of the grittiest top 6 forwards in the NHL and has been since day 1 when Ana plucked him off waivers. He finishes all his checks, he hits hard and often, he goes digging for rebounds, he'll drop the gloves if he has to. But he's not that gritty, ok then.

And if you don't think Staal is gritty, then you must think Steckel is a dandelion. You obviously don't know this, but Jordan Staal just dropped the gloves with Mike Komisarek because of a hit (in PRESEASON) that Komisarek put on Matt Cooke.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

If you know the history of this blog you know that cstanton1 and I never agree on anything. This might be a first.

Posted by: ranndino | September 24, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

its like the 7th sign. End of the world! yikes!

Shawn Thornton is an example of a GM having vision. The Hawks only viewed him as a thug so he was relegated to policing their AHL Norfolk team. Anaheim under Burke saw that he could skate well for a big guy. And Thornton was getting some PP time in the minors so that meant he wasn't a complete slug on skates. Now he's become an essential part of the Bruins and I hear theyr'e going to use him on the PK this year. He's like a Chris Neil. More than just a 5 shift per game situational player.

Chara, Thornton, Lucic, Mark Stuart - thats not a bad foursome.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

unless you have an enforcer that can actually skate - he would be somewhat of a liability - i think brashes skating skills have diminished and he would not be very effective on this team. the other problem i have with giving a roster spot to a fighter is it takes the spot of a player that could produce. if a brash like player were to go directly after an Eager then that would make sense to me - but brash would only fight the other teams fighter - i do not see how that keeps the Eager's from hitting the skilled player.
i believe the players on the ice at any given time need to stand up for their teammates and i don't see how you can justify a 'brash' on every line. to me the bottom line is everyone needs to display a little more grit - even if it requires some bongo playing

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 24, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Well sure we gave him the contract and it's his responsibility to play well with a good attitude. That little media play he made over the summer didn't go over too well. In my opinion it perhaps was an effort to force something in a negotiation that I can only guess at--no gossip as I am most certainly not GMGM's hairdresser. I also think everyone is getting their panties in a twist about Nyls and preseason. Fact is we had and still have a number of guys trying to come up to the NHL and of course BB is going to use the preseason to try them out. He has to get the roster set. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Personally I am much more interested in BMo's fate than Nyls'.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 24, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

(repost from prev. Thread)
No reason to go to the pirate feeds last night -- the Caps Website had the same feed and it was fine. Dang I want to be at the pre-season games, but I've given up those tickets so as not to cheat the family of my time; there are all those regular season games I need to go to.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 24, 2009 9:31 AM


@sonyask:

I, too would rather be legit than fly the black flag (so to speak).

However, so far this preseason I have had no damn luck with streaming video through ANY channel, so I am stuck with AM radio/web radio.

I am a resident of Fairfax County VA and a subscriber to Verizon FiOS Internet.

Unfortunately, the last couple of games I haven't gotten home until around 7:30. and go to the Caps' web site and follow the link to view the game stream.

I click the "View" button (or "Play" or "Watch" or whatever), and it

Just.

Sits.

There.

And.

Does.

Nothing.

Last night was even worse for me because I could find no radio coverage to fall back on.

Perhaps you could help me figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Help, anybody?

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 24, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

How is it the CAPS are mis treating Nylander? Have they stopped giving him his pay check?? Her works half a day and still gets a full pay check...gimmie a break, if they don't want to play him, its their decision. No Big Deal.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | September 24, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Gordon, Oskar Osala and Kyle Wilson have been assigned to Hershey (AHL).

No surprises there...

Posted by: adamkatzen | September 24, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

if a brash like player were to go directly after an Eager then that would make sense to me - but brash would only fight the other teams fighter - i do not see how that keeps the Eager's from hitting the skilled player.
i believe the players on the ice at any given time need to stand up for their teammates and i don't see how you can justify a 'brash' on every line. to me the bottom line is everyone needs to display a little more grit - even if it requires some bongo playing

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 24, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Again, not an argument to have Brashear here specifically. You know how many teams out there still have enforcers, most of whom can skate circles around Brashear? Its because a lot of teams develop them thru their system. The Caps don't, never have actually. Every tough guy we've ever had has come via trade or free agency, not from within our system. Thats why our tough guys are usually older and more expensive.

And if Eager chooses not to fight, there's other ways for enforcers to get the msg across. We can just run their guys, or have our tough guy create some chaos in the crease, bump their goalie, force them to respond and then get theit butts kicked etc etc. There are plenty of ways to discourage teams from taking runs at your top players. Will there be guys in the league (i.e. Phaneuf) who will still do it? Sure, but the object is to REDUCE those occurrences, not completely eliminate them.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Just now realized that the last two Caps pre-season games were streamed on their website. Crap. That's what I get for not following this blog for a while.

So I assume tonight's game will be streamed as well, right?

Posted by: ranndino | September 24, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps you could help me figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Help, anybody?

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 24, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

you're not doing anything wrong. Are you watching the game locally or from some other part of the country? Anyway, I've had similar issues trying to watch the streaming vid. The Caps rookies game, I did everything short of hacking the server, still couldnt' get it come up from either the Caps or the Flyers site.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

(repost from prev. Thread)
No reason to go to the pirate feeds last night -- the Caps Website had the same feed and it was fine. Dang I want to be at the pre-season games, but I've given up those tickets so as not to cheat the family of my time; there are all those regular season games I need to go to.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 24, 2009 9:31 AM


@sonyask:

I, too would rather be legit than fly the black flag (so to speak).

However, so far this preseason I have had no damn luck with streaming video through ANY channel, so I am stuck with AM radio/web radio.

I am a resident of Fairfax County VA and a subscriber to Verizon FiOS Internet.

Unfortunately, the last couple of games I haven't gotten home until around 7:30. and go to the Caps' web site and follow the link to view the game stream.

I click the "View" button (or "Play" or "Watch" or whatever), and it

Just.

Sits.

There.

And.

Does.

Nothing.

Last night was even worse for me because I could find no radio coverage to fall back on.

Perhaps you could help me figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Help, anybody?

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 24, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1 said: "gee, too bad we don't have a tough guy to discourage actions like this. You think Ben Eager is going to run Alex Semin with an elbow if we have a legitimate heavyweight in the lineup? Most likely not. And this is only preseason."

ABSOLUTELY. It happened last year and Brashear did NOTHING. Sometimes he would beat the crap out of the other teams tough guy and it changed nothing. If Avery takes a run at a top guy, like he did already against NJ and checked Parise in the back by his bench, that Brashear getting his butt kicked by Belak is going to keep Avery from doing it again. BS, it doesn't work the way it used to. In the McSorley days Marty would beat the crap out of the culprit, that's why the tough guys worked. Now the unwritten rule is tough guy fight tough guy. They don't protect anyone anymore. I love the fights, I stand up for them every time, but if they worked and protected critical players in the manner you described Avery would get his @$$ kicked every game. Brash would have gone out and kicked Avery's butt for the crap he did to Varly the next game he was in. Tough guys are fun to watch fight but have no bearing on games anymore.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 24, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

BTW the Bruins haven't won any championships so the Shawn Thorton example is useless, as is the Goddard example. I got as much ice time in the Finals as he did, ZERO.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 24, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Tonight is not being streamed I don't think, but it is on MSG channel if you have directv sports package. Same with Sunday game, but I believe Sunday's game will be streamed on the website due to it being a home game.

Posted by: ThePat | September 24, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

From what I saw the Eager/AS incident was a fluke. It looked more like Semin's fault coming late into the play as Eager checked another Cap into the boards. Eager's arms were up and moving back after the check as Sasha skated into him. Sending Eager a message would have been rediculous under those circumstances unless another viewing angle shows it was intentional.

Posted by: pstenigma | September 24, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Last night was even worse for me because I could find no radio coverage to fall back on.
Perhaps you could help me figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Help, anybody?

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 24, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40: It was not intuitive. I've gone back to the site, and as best as I can figure out I went to the Multimedia page. No, you cannot just click play on the viewer; rather, there was an offer on the right-side banner to watch the Caps Blackhawks game with a Play Now button, as best as I remember.

adth.com or whatever it is had the same feed, but they had pirated it from the Caps site.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 24, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I heard tonight's game and Sunday's game will be streamed from the website too.

@Rhino40: I have to click Play, then let it sit there for 10-20 mins before the stream starts. But, once it starts, it stays for the whole game.

Also, I have had better luck getting the stream to run in IE instead of Firefox.

Posted by: lily2905 | September 24, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
in that scenario i could agree having an enforcer (fighter) on the team would make sense - provided you could get 10-14 productive minutes a game and have a decent PK when they are the only one sent to the box.
having an enforcer just to have one doesn't always deter the other team from taking liberties

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 24, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Correct me if I'm wrong but from what I've read and heard Sugdem and Finley are being considered for possible enforcer roles. Aren't they coming up through the system? Isn't that part of the reason that BB had Finley try out the forward position at camp, that he had the right mean streak tho' not a lot of experience yet at fighting. Aside from the fact of course that we have more promising d-guys coming up through the ranks.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 24, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

sugden is like 31 years old or so and not "coming up through the system"....finley could be an enforcer, but it would kinda suck to have used a 1st round pick on an enforcer

Posted by: _stevo | September 24, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:

In response to your question, I am a DC-area resident. I probably won't get home until 7:30 tonight, and I REALLY don't want to depend on AM radio...

("fffsschhkkhh Knuble hshsshfhfhfhfhfchchcfh Ovechkin shshsh Backstrom hkhkfpphkshshh sschhehchfhffhppppp and we've got a whistle on the play")

On Nyls:

IMHO, whether one likes Nyls or not, refusing to dress him (let alone play him), when he been VERY solid in camp seems petty and vindictive at best, and self-destructive at worst.

I am not claiming to be a hockey expert by any measure, but I don't have to be to see this for what it is.

Any way you slice it, allowing the situation to continue status quo is most definitely NOT in the best interests of the Caps, let alone those of #92.

@netminder71: Is that you, SZ? How's that slapshot?

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 24, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

CSN sucks!! They should be showing the games!! I don't care if it is just preseason!

Posted by: rachel216 | September 24, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40: It was not intuitive. I've gone back to the site, and as best as I can figure out I went to the Multimedia page. No, you cannot just click play on the viewer; rather, there was an offer on the right-side banner to watch the Caps Blackhawks game with a Play Now button, as best as I remember.

adth.com or whatever it is had the same feed, but they had pirated it from the Caps site.


Posted by: Sonyask | September 24, 2009 2:27 PM


@Sonyask:

Yes, that's what I did (clicked the right-hand side of the page), but still no joy.

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 24, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I figured it was time to make my Ali like return to the ring here...pretty much agree with everything cstanton has been posting so far in this thread. Brash served a role, but it was not nearly as broad as many other teams' enforcers can serve. He ends up being a liability on the ice anytime he's not just out there to send a message/protect someone. If the Rangers want to pay him 2.8 mil over the next 2 years for that, please by all means. Nothing but love for Brash, but we don't need that anymore and especially not for that price.

As for the Nyl's argument, sure, throw him in for a shot in the preseason. But I've watched Circles fail time and time again too much to want to see him hold on to the puck endlessly until he gets stick checked or leveled and turns it over. There was talk that he just needed to get his shoulder healthy and he could get back to producing like he had in the past. There is some disconnect there between him and the coaching staff. That much is obvious.

Regardless of whatever small gripes and holes we think need to be filled that we harp on endlessly towards BB and GMGM, all in all this is a team still on the rise. Everyone has another year under their belts.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | September 24, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

rhino40, the last two games that were streamed on the caps website i had to allow the pop up window to be viewed. once i allowed the popup from capitals.com i could get the video fine.

Posted by: dpierce4g63 | September 24, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

rhino40, the last two games that were streamed on the caps website i had to allow the pop up window to be viewed. once i allowed the popup from capitals.com i could get the video fine.

Posted by: dpierce4g63 | September 24, 2009 3:07 PM


@dpierce4g63:

Duly noted. I did look into that, and disabled the popup blocker, but the end result was the same.

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 24, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

why do some fans insist on making the argument that Brash sucked as a player and he makes a lot of money ? we all know this already. But that isn't a reason to eliminate that "role" even if Brash wasn't adept at playing it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

It looked to me as if Semin actually ran into Eagers Elbow rather than Eager taking a run at him.

I get/agree your point but I think what happened to Semin doesn't fit.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | September 24, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

that wasnt intended at DaveCapsfan, just a general comment. I wasn't at all displeased when we cut ties with Brash. He was here 2 yrs too long. Well, after his role in the Atlanta game, he didn't do much except sporadically. You can get younger cheaper better tough guys who can skate and hit effectively. And the rest of the team appreciates a guy willing and able to take on all comers. Also makes it easier on Brads and Erskine not having to do the heavy lifting. I think the overall value of having a tough guy in today's league is twofold

1-- it does provide some sort of deterrence even if it doesn't eliminate the cheap stuff

2-- its a boost to the bench, the fans, and it helps the entire team play more aggressively and with confidence.

having to rely on your PP as a deterrence, sorry that's just a weak move.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

By "coming upnthrough the system" I meant being in the minors trying to break onto our roster. I knew he was older but he is still in our system isn't he. What I don't know is whether we drafted him or got him through trade. As for Finley so he hasn't developed as management hoped but I am glad that management and BB are trying to find a role for him. He is definitely a big guy!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 24, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

It looked to me as if Semin actually ran into Eagers Elbow rather than Eager taking a run at him.

I get/agree your point but I think what happened to Semin doesn't fit.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | September 24, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

cool, yeah i was making a more general comment. I mean the last time a Cap not named Brashear went and dropped the gloves to answer a cheap hit on a teammate was I think Chris Clark under Hanlon in preseason.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Gordon, Oskar Osala and Kyle Wilson have been assigned to Hershey (AHL).

No surprises there...

Posted by: adamkatzen | September 24, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse


I think you're looking at potential first call-ups (at forward) depending on how things work out with Giroux. I don't see an nhl spot for kyle wilson but definitely for AG and OO.

And it looks like Boudreau will let Sloan get another crack at the roster this year. If he could end up being a serviceable dman then the Caps can cut ties with a player or two who make more money (ShaMo).

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

For all of those who think a big fighter is needed on a team. How many fights where there in the finals? One at it was with Malkin and Zetterberg. When Crosby took a questionable hit in game 7 did the Pens send people after Franzen? No they went out and who the cup. In the semis there were only two fights and one was Petrick Eaves and Miroslav Satan. Did the Pens win it when they had guys like Jarkko Ruutu or Georges Laraque? Not they won with guys like Bill Guenin and Chris Kunitz (who only has 7 career fights). Most of the time the guys like Brash don't even get to fight the guy who actually made the dirty hit they fight the other teams guy that does nothing but fight. Fighting while exciting to watch is a very overrated part of the game and is not really needed for a team to be successful. Whoever said the when the Duck won the Cup that Thornton and Miller played almost every game is wrong. Thornton only played 11 and May 13 of the total 16 and Parros 5. Also that team had a different make up then the Caps do. That team physically took opponents out of the game. One player does not do that. That team also had guys like Pronger crushing people. The Pens and Wings are the last two teams to win the Cup when they won the cup they were 23rd (Pens) and 30th (Wings) in most fighting majors. When the Wings won the Cup they had 21 fights the entire season. 10 were from Aaron Downey who didn't even play in the playoffs at all. The Pens had 39 of which 21 came from Eric Godard who didn't play in the playoffs. Next on the Pens was Paul Bissonnette with 4 who also didn't play in the playoffs. In fact there were 4 players tied for the team lead of people who played in the playoffs and each only had TWO FIGHTS each. Those were Crosby, Fedotenko, Guerin, and Kennedy. Looking at that I can really see that fighters are important to a championship team.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 24, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

As for Nylander. The Caps know what he can do. They know what he looks like when he is at his best and they know what he looks like when he is at his worst. They are getting looks at all the players they don't know as well. The ones they have to decide if they are going to keep or send to the Bears. They don't have to do that with Nylander because they can't send him to Hershey. Zetterberg hasn't played a game yet for Detroit. Does everyone think him and the Green Goblin (my nickname for Babcock) are fighting. No they are looking at other players to see who is going to fill the spots of Hossa, Hudler, and the other players who left. People are reading way to much into this.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 24, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Here's the thing. The way the rulebook has been rewritten in recent years, the role of the pure enforcer is being written out.

You can't just jump somebody in this NHL! 1) You'll be kicked out of the game (leaving your team to fill the hole you left with nobody on the bench for it) - this even happened to Crosby last year when he jumped some guy out of the faceoff circle. 2)There is a distinct possibility that you may be suspended for one or more games.

Instigator carries an automatic 10-minute misconduct.

Instigator in the last five minutes carries an automatic game misconduct PLUS a one-game suspension that doesn't seem to apply to Evgeni Malkin, but applies to the rest of the league.

Jumping someone for a legal hit will get you an instigator penalty, a misconduct, possibly a suspension. It is not worth it - even to a "pure enforcer" like Brashear - to risk the instigator penalty.

As for the Caps not protecting their stars, I will point out that in the previous game, when someone took a run at Ovechkin, Erskine went after him with all four sets of claws. As a result, Erskine got two for roughing; the other guy got two for instigator, plus a 10-minute misconduct, plus five for fighting, resulting in the Caps getting a five-minute power play during which they could have (had they not been rusty) scored at-will.

When Eager had his run-in with Semin last night, the following Caps were on the ice: Backstrom (not a tough guy), Ovechkin (sprang over to help Semin), Semin (on the ice, in pain), ShaMo (not a tough guy) and green (not a tough guy). Varlamov (obviously) couldn't leave the goal area and jump in.

Now who, among that bunch, would you have go after Eager? Ovechkin? Are you NUTS? Green? Green doesn't fight. BACKSTROM?! Hahahahahahaha! Don't make me fall over laughing. Semin obviously couldn't do it. That leaves ShaMo. ShaMo?! I don't think so. Not bloody likely, at any rate.

While Erskine could have retaliated on his next shift, IF he was on the ice at the same time as Eager, he would have certainly been penalized quite heavily, and could well have been suspended for his actions. For a preseason game, this is not a desirable outcome.

Posted by: irockthered | September 24, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

As a side note, I'd like very much to see Tyler Sloan crack the roster this year, and I believe he's a more likely candidate to do so than Karl Alzner is...

I'd also like to see Aucoin and Giroux up here... or Chris Bourque, though his injury may prevent that, depending on how severe it is. That incident looked BAD, and I (and just about everyone else) was very surprised it was called two for interference. Everyone I talked to said it looked like a high-stick incident...

Posted by: irockthered | September 24, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

irtr: loved your posts. Laughed. Yeah Ovie's a tough one. Tired of this enforcer thread. Agree we need to get grittier but really don't like staged fights. Love the pushing shoving eyeballing but not the stylized fistcuffs.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 24, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

also icehammer97: loved your analysis. I knew enough to know that neither Detroit or Pittsburgh has a fighting reputation whereas other teams-Philly and Ducks--did. But that's all I knew.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 24, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

also icehammer97: loved your analysis. I knew enough to know that neither Detroit or Pittsburgh has a fighting reputation whereas other teams-Philly and Ducks--did. But that's all I knew.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 24, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

hey newbie, why do the Pens carry a tough guy on their roster then? You think they're dumb enough to waste a valuable roster spot, not to mention the salary on a player that is in your estimation, fairly useless?

since you know..acc to IRTR the tough guy is being written out of the game. I guess the 20+ other NHL teams who use one are just stupid.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Now who, among that bunch, would you have go after Eager? Ovechkin? Are you NUTS? Green? Green doesn't fight. BACKSTROM?! Hahahahahahaha! Don't make me fall over laughing. Semin obviously couldn't do it. That leaves ShaMo. ShaMo?! I don't think so. Not bloody likely, at any rate.

While Erskine could have retaliated on his next shift, IF he was on the ice at the same time as Eager, he would have certainly been penalized quite heavily, and could well have been suspended for his actions. For a preseason game, this is not a desirable outcome.

Posted by: irockthered | September 24, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse


fans like you will find an excuse for anything. If you have true team toughness, which by the way is helped by having a real tough guy or two on your team, you shouldnt' have to microanalyze who is on the ice at what time. Do you think that other teams have to have a specific player on the ice to retaliate or send a msg that certain actions aren't tolerated? Do you watch other games around the NHL? Teams that are "Team-Tough" usually respond to an incident regardless of which players are on the ice. That could be your top line and your top defensive pairing. It doesn't have to turn into an all out brawl, but those teams will usually swarm a player who has taken liberties with one of their own. They don't have to wait for their tough guy to take a shift. The tough guy just offers a team some confidence they can play a certain style. He's not there to fight everyone's battle.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 24, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

nylander isn't playing because he is not good enough.

Posted by: jmy999 | September 24, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:

Düüüde, you must chill (and read my whole post before sparking up the flamethrower)!

I freely admit that you may know more about hockey than many of us on this blog--myself included. The vast majority of your points are well-reasoned (even those that I find myself unable to agree with).

Trouble is, your credibility is damaged when you resort to ad hominem attacks (e.g., "fans like you will find an excuse for anything").

Some people will agree with you. Others may not. It is what it is, so deal with it, OK?

You seem much too smart and balanced in your viewpoints to be a troll. Why act like one?

Peace.

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 24, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Cstanton1--why are going after everyone? I can "see" that you are on a roll today and that the the enforcer issue is important to you. But you keep jumping back and forth in you argument from true enforcer dude to whole team needing to be gritty and "swarm" the opposing team offender. Sseveral of the poster you've gone after actually agree with parts of your argument. Relax. Take a deep breathe. No one is attacking you personally.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 24, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys and gals,hope all of my Caps fans are doing well, even the ones that don't know what the fudge they're talking about! Just kidding, settle down everyone.
A couple of things about Nylander, first- Chill. Re-read Icehammer97s'last post about Nylander, it makes sense.
second- For all of the Nylander haters that think his style of play is not suitable for the team we have, I would remind them that he is one of the top passer/playmakers in the league,yeah still. It would be real interesting to see what a healthy Nyls could do with the matured snipers we have. BTW- even though I do like Nylander, I still love and LMAO every time he's called 'Circles' by someone.What can I say, it's a good nickname.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | September 24, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

What the heck was the Nylander New York Incident? Did he give GMGM a wedgie in front of the team? Did he order the prime rib and lobster for room service? Did he wear his old Ranger jersey into the locker room?... What did he do, this is too interesting to let go!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | September 24, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

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