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My Opening Night Lineup; Fehr Update

While waiting for the Caps to introduce goalie Jose Theodore, I got to thinking about line combinations for next season. Based on last year's successful combos and conversations I've had with folks in the organization, here's what I came up with:


That would leave Gordon and Fehr as your extras. Semin, meantime, plays on the right side just in case Ovechkin takes a long shift.

As far as the defensive pairings, I'm banking on the top four looking like this:


That would leave Alzner, Jurcina, and Erskine to battle it out for the third pairing. It's also assuming Brian Pothier isn't playing.

What do you think?

Update:Fehr has accepted his qualifying offer.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 10, 2008; 1:32 PM ET
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Next: Joe-Zay Thee-O-Dore and Other Stuff (Update)


Tarik, Do you think they might try Gordon on the wing at some point if Flash does not produce or maybe for Bradley from time to time?

Posted by: Pat | July 10, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Is Clark ready?

Posted by: ? | July 10, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Is Fehr still eligible to be returned to Hershey w/o going through waivers?

I think Clark's status is still iffy.

And, lastly, what about Lepisto? No chance he makes a run at the team? I would rather see him around than Erskine.

Posted by: old time hockey | July 10, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

i wish bruce would consider putting feds between ovie and semin its so much better that way

Posted by: atg | July 10, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

first? (Do I care?)

THIS is true summer filler-fun. Is that 3rd line good enough in their own end? I'm not seeing Kono-Halpy-Dahlen there.

Posted by: michael | July 10, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm not looking forward to a Jurcina-Erskine pairing.

Posted by: tallbear | July 10, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Your third line won't work. Flash won't be here because they'll need to lose his salary.

Posted by: b.orr4 | July 10, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I love how Fedorov is your second line center. A lot of posts on the boards think Fedorov is our 3rd, but not with the chemistry he had w/ Semin and (a long shift taking) Ovechkin. Those lines look so awesome, I cant wait.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - how is Alzner, and Lepisto for that matter, speed-wise? It just scares me that Erskine, Jurcina, and Schultz could all be in the top 6. People that don't ice skate are faster than them.

Posted by: Eddie C | July 10, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I think it's amazing that the Caps are deep at, take a deep breath, the CENTER position. Those look like three very potent lines packed with 9, yes 9, 20-goal scorers. Not to mention a 60-goal scorer.

On another note, it's a shame that we let Cooke go just so Bradley could be an "extra."

Interested to hear about TAY-O this afternoon.

Posted by: Geremy | July 10, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm honestly torn about positions for Feds and Nyls. I feel like because these two have stellar vision it's hard to say who will be a better fit for Semin. I feel like Semin's the kind of player who wants the puck at only certain times. Either of these two guys are more than capable set-up men so who's it going to be?

If Nyls can dish to Flash or Clarkie, what's going to happen with the puck? Will Flash be able to hold on to it?

Hate to say, but perhaps considering the somewhat 'softness' displayed by Flash this past season, Fedorov maybe a more suitable fit to center the 3rd line. After all, Nyls was brought in as a second line center for a reason.

Also, Tarik, don't forget the stellar D match-up of Feds and anyone else ;)

Posted by: spiff | July 10, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse


I like it... but regarding Nylander playing on the 3rd line, do you think that poses a problem (chemistry/ego wise) that he is dropping for the first to 3rd line? I am only playing devil's advocate here... I think he could work well with Flash (although that kid better show something early or he's gonna be in the press-box early)

I also think a rookie Alzner is better than Jurcina either way, just too much defensive prowess, not to mention Erskine finds himself out of position a lot, he needs someone to make up for that.

Posted by: Scofield | July 10, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

1) Can't see placing Fleischmann on a 3rd line. Thats usually a checking line, and he's NOT going to be effective in that role.
2) Also thats a lot of cash to be paying a 3rd line center in Nylander! If Fehr can't crack the opening lineup he needs to stay in Hershey.

Posted by: Fauxrumors | July 10, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Another Line Combo:
Ovechkin - Backstrom - Kozlov
Fehr - Nylander - Semin
Laich - Fedorov - Clark
Brashear - Steckel - Bradley

Gree - Morrisonn
Poti - Schultz
Alzner - Jurcina


Posted by: Japers | July 10, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Sami should at least be in the mix.. please?

Posted by: Jordan | July 10, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I think we'll be seeing more Brashear and Flash scratches than Fehr and Gordon.

Posted by: Ben | July 10, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I think the bigger question is which of those players isn't going to be in a Caps uni on opening night, because the payroll is approaching the cap rather quickly and there are players yet unsigned.

They have about $1.8mil left under the cap at the moment with Pothier out, according to Corey Masisak's analysis. I'm pretty sure Mo's going to take up the bulk of that, which leaves big question marks with Gordon and Fehr still in limbo.

Chris Clark could be a wild-card, depending on how his recovery is going. Last I heard, he still isn't skating and still experiences some pain.

At least one Cap is leaving. My money's on Flash, though that would only free up about $725k, though combine that with Erskine's $500k and that's another $1.2 in cap space, which might cover Alzner should he end up spending the season in the big league.

Posted by: HolyOlie | July 10, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Good topic. I guess enough pieces have fallen into place that we can start doing this. You would know management's plans better than I would, but here are the lines I would like to see:


Fleischmann and Gordon as the extras


Erskine as the extra

I could definitely see the benefits of having Fedorov paired with Semin, but I just don't see Nylander fitting in well with 3rd line minutes. Since Fedorov will be playing on the top unit power play and penalty kill, I think that role would be better suited for him.

I don't know what to think about the D...who knows if Alzner is ready yet, but if he is, I would want to pair him with the most experienced defender, and that would be Poti right now...

Posted by: Nick | July 10, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: Simon says | July 10, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I like Japers' lines. I am also hoping that Fleischmann turns it on this year. I know that the Caps organization has had high hopes for him.

Posted by: Radfish | July 10, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Nick, except drop Juice or Erskine for Lepisto.

Posted by: Jordan | July 10, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that's the first I've seen Nyls at 3rd line center position. And Flash on the active roster over Fehr? Really?
Fehr deserves more of a look than Flash at this point. Flash got a whole, healthy season to make an impact. Fehr has had no consistent time here, and assuming he remains healthy, deserves the chance. I think at this point, his upside is greater than Flash... at least on this team.

I get the Semin - Fedorov chemistry thing, but Nyls is such a skill guy, that I can't really see him excelling on what is typically a grit/checking line. Feds is much more capable of the defensive role, with the occasional scoring help.

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 10, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm baaaaack!

The top four is looking like this:


(sorted by the height and skill)

Posted by: Papa 'Slapper' Schultz | July 10, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Ov - Backs - Kozlov
Semin - Nyls - Fehr/Flash
Laich - Feds - Clark
Brash - Steckel - Bradley

I suspect that Clark is a bigger question mark right now than is being let on.

Clark's absence (+ Olie's departure) would make the signing of Feds (leadership) all that more important, and $4m would then be a bargain.

Posted by: Sem-antics | July 10, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Fedorov gets an A on his chest this go-round.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

So no Borque instead of Flash? And I think I'd much rather have Gordon instead of Brashear most nights.

Posted by: TG | July 10, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse


It seems to be a mistake to have Clark on the 3rd line. I understand Kozlov worked well with Ovechkin and Backstrom, but that's looking at 15-20 goals, Clark with Ovechkin and Backstrom loosk 25-30 goals. Remember Clarks production on the 3rd line at the beginning of last year, but then the change? First game on the first line he had 2 goals. Just saying, it compliments Ovechkin and Green's booming shots to have Clark in front of the net instead of Kozlov down low.

Secondly, the Caps need to stop kidding themselves that Fleischmann belongs in the NHL. He's the perennial AAAA Ball player. He is a waste playing 3rd line minutes and doesn't deserve top 6 minutes. He is too weak and won't take the body to carry the puck in. He is also a sever defensive liability. I understand his salary is only 750k, but it's a waste of money and cap space. I said this same thing about Klepis and Beech a couple years ago, look where they are now. Gordon does more for this team hockey-wise than Fleischmann.

P.S. You the man Tarik! Thanks for the continued updates!

Posted by: PK | July 10, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

can we give Jurcina to someone for nothing. Does any one want him? He would free up about 831,000 of cap space that we need. Plus he had two assists for philly in the Playoffs in fact one was a beutiful one timer feed

Posted by: Bagasome | July 10, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Alzner is getting way too much credit before even playing a pre-season game... and for that matter, Lepisto is getting outright dissed...


Bradley (scratch)
Flash (scratch, trade)

Green-Morrisonn (RFA)
x-Erskine (healthy scratch)
x-Alzner (AHL)

Pothier (LTIR)


Posted by: FrankM73 | July 10, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

We could probably give Juice to the Lightning. They have a clown car defense at the moment.

Posted by: Jordan | July 10, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Today I am announcing 2 1/2 week hockey clinic immediately following the development camp.

For two and a half weeks we'll be working exclusively on developing and honing THE PATENTED JEFF SCHULTZ' HALF SLAP SHOT. The seats are limited. My assistants, Green and Ovechkin, will help you with the basics of hockey and I will work on intricate details of the half slapper.

Contact Caps PR for reservations.

Papa "We kill 'em dead" Schultz

Posted by: Papa 'half slap shooter' Schultz | July 10, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

1: Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
2/3: Laich-Nylander-Fehr
3/2: Semin-Fedorov-Clark
4: Brashear-Steckel-Bradley

Flash to Hershey.

Posted by: jak | July 10, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I like your thinking, Tarik. Flash was hot and cold (hence the nickname) last year, but I think Fehr really stepped up and would be the third guy on that Nylander line.

Fehr-Clark-Nyls? That would be a very BIG line. Hard for fourth and fifth defensemen to deal with.

I like the D pairings too... we'll just have to wait and see about Alzner though.

I'll miss having Laing around though. And have we just given up totally on Chris Borque?

Posted by: Rep. Heath Shuler (D-SC) | July 10, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I have yet to hear anyone say this but I don't much like seeing Semin at the RW. I love the fact that he's a 2nd line LW. Opponents will be attacked relentlessly with a strong Semin LW coming in after an Ovie shift. I would think that could translate (a la last year) into a lot of opportunities.

My take...

Ovie - Backstrom - Kozlov
Semin - Nylander - Clark
Fleishmann - Federov - Laich
Brashear - Steckel - Bradley

Green - Morrisonn
Poti - Schultz

I like the thought of Alzner, Jurcina and Erksine battling it out for next in D.

Posted by: Larry | July 10, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse


I like the lineups, but I think Feds and Nyls will switch periodically through out the year. Mainly cause I don't think Feds has the legs for #2 center Minutes.

And I wouldn't be surprised if Feds is not in the day to day lineup in Nov. and Dec. (if we are winning games like we all fully expect to do). An 'upper body injury' will be used to rest his legs. He'll practice every other day, he'll travel with the team, he'll be on the ice for warm ups for some games. He'll mentor Semin/Ov. But this will be GMGM/BB's way of resting him. As soon as an injury occurs he'll pop up ready to play.

I do think Flash has a short leash, but he'll be given a solid opportunity.

I do not think Clark will be healthy by the opening game. If he is 100% healthy; and he can play, then I'd rather see him on the top line. If this happens I hope GMGM has the balls to punt Kozlov (sorry OV but its best for the team). Clark will put more points on the board then Kozlov will.

As for the D; Let's punt Jurcina. He's worthless. Erskine's the daily scratch. Give Alzner some quality ice time.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | July 10, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who watched the playoffs?


Posted by: TJ | July 10, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin - Backstrom - Kozlov
Semin - Nylander - Fehr
Laich - Fedorov - Clark
Gordon - Steckel - Bradley

Brashear, Fleischmann extras

I like Fedorov with Semin, but I think Nylander is much better suited to a second line role, even if the idea is to roll three scoring lines. Although, now that I think about it, Nylander might provide a little more pop on the third line that Fedorov would. So, maybe:

Ovechkin - Backstrom - Kozlov
Semin - Fedorov - Clark
Laich - Nylander - Fehr
Gordon - Steckel - Bradley

Posted by: blanket | July 10, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Backseat Bruces, Monday BBs...

Simons says:


Posted by: Simon says | July 10, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

On a related sick are our two PP units going to be?

NOBODY in our division is going to be able to defend that!

Posted by: #13 | July 10, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Who's the shut-down line? I don't see sending any of those lines out against the other team's top line. Something like Federov-Laich-Clark would be a killer shut-down line on paper, but I wonder if that also wastes some talent offense-wise.

Backstrom and Semin clicked so well in the playoffs, I wonder if there's a way they can get together, though who centers OV in that case?

Like most here, I think Flash has been given his chance, and with the roster tight the way it is, it's time for him to go. Would like to see Fehr get a serious, healthy audition this year over more time for Flash.

Posted by: katzistan | July 10, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

YEA!!!! Papa Panzer Half-slapper Führer Faust is back!!! Wake the kid and phone the neighbors!

Sieg Heil!

Posted by: Achtung! | July 10, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@ Papa Schultz

That whole "half slap shot" thing was funny for a like a week last season... it's dead now. let it go bud. thanks.

Posted by: Scofield | July 10, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

presuming he's healthy, i see clarkie back on 1st line RW for some part of the season. as for the PP

OV green

followed by


Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | July 10, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse


You're not the only one who watched the playoffs, but OV and backstrom had great chemistry during the regular season and will be skating together for years to come. You want to keep developing that on ice relationship.

Nylander has been a + player his entire career so people shouldn't make too much of his low +/- from last season.

I understand the idea of wanting Feds to center either OV or Semin, but he would make a better 3rd line center than Nylander. Skating with Laich and Clark could help them not only shut down opponents, but put some goals in as well.

Feds can get time with OV and Semin on the PP.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | July 10, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

It was asked for in the previous thread, so here's the full Dev Camp roster as promised.

Posted by: HolyOlie | July 10, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Why does the 3rd line have to be considered a "grind line" or "checking line"??? I like the idea of having 3 lines that can score consistently.

Posted by: Thomas | July 10, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

There is a chance that Clark doesnt come back until the second half of the season.

If Clark sits, Fehr and Flash both might get some playing time.

Alzner and Lepisto can split time between Hershey and DC. That will take care of our cap and player issue as well.

Posted by: bc | July 10, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

This is what I'd like to see
Steckel centering 2 of Bradley/Gordon/Brashear

I think that Laich, Feds and Clark are all top 6 players, but their values as guys who can grind (Clark/Laich) and play some defense (Feds) would be pretty wicked as a checking line. I think playing with Nylander and Semin would allow one of Flash/Fehr (preferably Fehr) to break out.

Posted by: | July 10, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Putting Laich and Clark on the same line would be counteractive they both serve similar purposes (forechecking, crashing the net)...same is true, really with Semin and Ovechkin, albeit the talent disparity between those two is greater than that between Clark/Laich. Better off to mix them up and create a greater balance. Not that I think these will be the line but here's an option that creates a lot of balance and a good mix.

Ovechkin - Backstrom - Clark
Laich - Fedorov - Semin
Fehr/Fleischmann - Nylander - Kozlov
Bradley - Steckel - Brashear

Posted by: nhcaps | July 10, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Fehr made $800K last season, so a 5% qualifying raise would make it $840K right?

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | July 10, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

1. i'm hoping fehr tops fleischmann

2. i don't like our d. we need more d power. that's a mediocre top 4.

smack that.........

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

It's more than what we want or who we think is ready. It's about $.

You can NOT replace Juice/Skine with Alzner/Lepisto WITHOUT freeing up 1M in cash from somewhere. Juice is @800k, Skine@500k, Alzner@1.6, Lepisto @700.

You also have to look at who is capable of playing in Hershey without going through waivers. That's why Flash starts and Fehr is in Choco-town. Also why Lepisto and Alzner will have to work extra hard to make the squad.

This team is DEEP. We can lose a Defender and bring up Alzner. We can lose any but one FWD and have guys that can fill the role. BE HAPPY about this depth. It gives is the ABILITY to take a chance on Flash. He's not going to make/break our season from the 3rd line.

Keep an eye on next year. Juice, Erskine, Schultz and Lepisto are RFA (Erskine is UFA) meaning each will be trade bait at some point this year. As mentioned above, we have a LOT of depth at C. Laich and Koz can cover meaning we can dump a C at the trade deadline for whatever we need at the time.

For lineups, I'll go a bit more indepth.
Semin/Feds/Kozlov (Koz really got Semin going)
B/S/B (to whoever said 3rd line is your checking line... uhh, wtf?)


Based on what happened last year, i don't see us carrying 7 Dmen unless we have a long road trip or 4 games in a week. Chemistry on a team is huge, but chemistry between 2 Blueliners is even more important. Look at Green when Mo was out.

(let's be honest, Ovie doesn't like to sit for any part of the PP).


Boy-howdy I'm getting excited!

Posted by: FFS Enough | July 10, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse


But then why would you put two set-up, puck-possesion guys in Nylander and Kozzy on the same line? Kozlov to the first line, dammit!

Posted by: Jordan | July 10, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I agree with TJ. I liked the playoff adjusted top two lines and I'd like to see them in the regular season they have great potential.

That second line with Semin, Backstrom, and Laich was on fire (game 6) and the top line with Ovie, Feds, and Kozlov communicated well with one another and made things happen that weren't happening in the first few games of the playoffs.

Posted by: caps81 | July 10, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Screw Kozlov. Put Clark at RW on the first line. Gives us the net-crashing presence we need. Too many soft Euros.

Posted by: clark's groin | July 10, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Also, those knocking the D. Please head to


Posted by: FFS Enough | July 10, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I would think Feds on the third line with plenty of ice time both PK and PP. I agree with several that Clark may not be back at the begining of the season, so a little cap relief there. Let Fehr play. He was hurt all year long and was just getting into playing shape in Playoffs. Given a full training camp and who ever center him, he will be good for 30 goals in playing regularly. But he needs to prove that he can. The plan should be the great ready for a long run in May, so resting both Nyls and Fed once in a while during the season make sense. So Gordo gets fill in time when others rest or sorry, get's traded. BB should do what Bowman did for years. Keep mixing the lines all year long to both baffle the opposition and to see what works best in May, October is just warms ups.

Posted by: Rich C | July 10, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Sombrero Guy-

Yea thats true OV and Backstrom have some good chemistry.

I just liked what Backstrom brought to Semins game.

Posted by: TJ | July 10, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse


You could turn my point back at me and argue that Semin and Backstrom will both be here for a long time.

I'd prefer Fedorov to skate on the third line and be fresh for PP and PK.

The good news is we have 3 centers that at any given moment can perform well on the first line. How many other teams can claim that?

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | July 10, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@ FFS Enough;
I have no beef with the D as a whole; I have beef with Jurcina (I'm still bitter over his play in the playoffs).

Erskine is a #6 Dman; Good not great, but tough.

Schultz just needs some more time. He'll get there. It was his first full season in the NHL; he'll be ok.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | July 10, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a mistake to play Steckel over Gordon. Gordon, I believe, had more points, a better +/-, and I think was statistically better on the PK. Steckel has him beat on faceoff % by a whole half of a percent. Steckel is bigger, but he doesn't use his size, so it's not an advantage. I also think it's a mistake to play Brash every night, but that's something that probably won't change.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Sombrero Guy-

Yea I hear you, its nice to have these sorts of problems :)

Chemistry is a funny thing. I just didnt see any between Nylander and Semin. But OV is our #1 guy and whoever plays best with him should get the spot.

Guess we will see how Nylander comes back, his play will determine where he fits in.

Posted by: TJ | July 10, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

OV - Backstrom - Kozlov
Semin - Feds - Laich
Fehr/Bourque/Flash - Nylander - Clarkie
Gordon/Brash - Stecks - Brads/Gordon

Get rid of flash
Semin hates playing Nylander... look at some game tapes of Semin's disgust of playing with him on the power play at the beginning of the season.
Fedorov at his age is playing much better than Nylander, and he is a better defensive player; that's why he deserves the second line center position. Nylander is a great passer and with a guy like Clark on your line who can put the puck in the net down low, I can see something good coming out of combining them... The poor part of our team is that third line wing which we have no idea who will fill that position. No one there in my opinion is NHL ready, although Bourque is the most impressive of all. I'd like to see Mathieu Perrault up there. He looked good at camp last year and was the player of the year in the Q. What do you all think about him?

Posted by: Perl Puck | July 10, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Good picks, Tarik. (As if I expected less.)

Of course chemistry is important and it will be interesting to see how Clark and Nylander actually fit back in with the current roster.

Since we got him, I've said that the Caps won't be good until Chris Clark is your third line winger. That's where he belongs.

Posted by: SkateFreeOrDie | July 10, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

It's easy to forget that Semin was hurt pretty much the whole time Nylander wasn't. They didn't really have a chance, I would think, to figure each other out while both were healthy. Also, Steckel doesn't use his size? Wha? Huh? He rocks somebody at least twice every game.

Posted by: Jordan | July 10, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Not simply trying to be different here, but reasoning this out, consider these lines:

Ovechkin - Nylander - Kozlov
Semin - Backstrom - Fehr
Laich - Fedorov - Clark
Brashear - Steckel - Bradley

1st line: Ovy doesn't need "the best" center to be great. He scores so many goals on individual effort, and Nylander is the first center on 20 clubs.
2nd line: Nicky and Semin had some good chemistry in the playoffs... let's see where that goes.
3rd line: Someone else proposed it, and I love it; the shutdown line, with real scoring prowess. If it stayed together it could win many games for us.

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 10, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse


I came up with those lines because you place your two best net crashers (Clark and Laich) with your two best goal scorers (Ovechkin and Semin). Ovechkin and Clark have played well together before so they get matched up. Also, it allows Nylander to play with other skilled players and someone else who can control the puck (Kozlov) and you hope that they can take some pressure off of Flash having to be the skilled winger on the line who controls the puck (which he has proven he is not so good at at this point in his career). This in turn gives Flash more room as well and maybe Nylander and Kozlov can find him. I just think these combinations maximize your scoring potential on all three lines. I really can't see Flash playing with a grinder and Nylander, he isn't good enough to be the go to guy on a line.

Posted by: nhcaps | July 10, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@Clark's groin

did you watch the Stanley Cup finals?

Posted by: doughless | July 10, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

First of all, when you have 3 bona fide play-making centers, you're not gonna have a pure shutdown 3rd line. These guys are better at OUTSCORING the opposition (not pond-hockey, just positive +/-), rather than purely SHUTTING DOWN the opposition. Yes, the opponents' top lines might have a bit more room to score, but they will have tremendous difficulty stopping the Caps' 3 productive lines.

With that, my view on the Caps lineup is evolving, and the focal point is.. Kozlov! I think the playoffs have shown that he is not fast enough to keep up with Ovy and Backstrom against the opposition's top defensive guys. And his possession-type keep-away style is actually pretty similar to Nylander.

So for out top-9 I am thinking (granted I am assuming a healthy Clark at some point):


Ovy-Backstrom pairing is the future, so even if something else is more effective temporarily, these two need to learn to play with each other for the next many years. Clark has shown that he can score with Ovy, and his speed+grit should make that line more effective in playoffs.

Feds needs to be kept with Semin, IMO -- it will let him rediscover his playmaking touch, and will keep Semin motivated. Laich needs to play with these guys in order to establish and hone his own offensive skills, and obviously he is also there to provide the grit and crease-presence.

Nylander and Kozlov, I am thinking, might have a great time playing together, especially against 3rd-pairing d-men. They are both very skilled, wily veterans who excel at the possession game. They would need a sniper to play off of them, and hopefully one of Flash/Fehr can do the job.

What's not to like?!

Posted by: Vlad | July 10, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the complete roster.

Posted by: gp11 | July 10, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

@ Perl Puck

I was gonna let it go but I just can't. You are obviously a new fan which is great, welcome!! But to say that Bourque is more impressive than Fehr or even Flash (I am no Flash fan) is ludacris....Go back and watch last years playoff series.. Besides Semin, Fehr was night in, night out the best player on the team.. And he just got his back straight after a year and a half out for injury... Fehr is gonna be an NHLer..Watch this year..And the poor part to our team is CHIEF and his stupid comments..

Off to Kettler...

Posted by: Roger #94 | July 10, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

First of all there shouldn't be an Ovechkin-Backstrom pairing. Backstrom worked excellently with Semin in the playoffs and personally admitted that he finds Semin's more evenly paced style more suitable to his than Ovechkin's run and gun. Another thing is that Fehr has to be there over Fleishmann, at least until Fleishmann proves himself to not be a waste of a position. Fedorov was great with OV and Semin, but we can't do that since we need depth. So I think this would be by far the best setup

Ovechkin - Nylander - Kozlov/Laich
Semin - Backstrom - Laich/Kozlov
Clark - Fedorov - Fehr
Brashear/Gordon - Steckel - Bradley

Green - Morisson
Poti - Schultz/Alzner
Erskine/Jurcina - Alzner/Lepisto/Schutlz

Laich, Clark and Kozlov are players that do about the same on anyone's line since their purpose is to establish pace for the game and do the dirty work. However Clark won't be at 100% and is at risk of reinjury so he's best suited for the 3rd line, at least at the beginning. Laich and Kozlov can be switched around depending on their effectiveness. The Capital Punishment line from the World Championship can be the first line of the powerplay (with the Swedish Meatball line being the second one), this will give Fedorov quality minutes. This way we have 3 quality scoring lines and a checking line that can contribute, something no one else other than Detroit really has.

Also, Alzner may make a good fit with Poti since they have the same style and Poti would make a good mentor. As much as everyone hates Erskine he's the only one who can pitchfork opposing players out in front of our net, so we need him unless we get something extra out of Schutlz, who should ideally be a stay at home junkyard dog but is afraid to use his body. One of the rookies (Lepisto/Alzner) should definitely be paired with Poti though.

Posted by: Alex | July 10, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Heh, I just realized I put down the same exact lines as nhcaps.

Exactly, mate!

Posted by: Vlad | July 10, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

When was the last time we had this many great comments about Caps hockey in July?!?!? Que the Foo Fighthers. I'm ready for Caps hockey!!!

Surprised at the Steckel support. Like him but think Gordo is much better all around player. Does so much of the unnoticed dirty work. Flash is too soft. See him as an extra only. But I don't see Clarksie being ready for opening night. And I have to jump on the Lepisto bandwagon. The defensive lineup needs a slapshot more than Greenie.

Posted by: Shawn | July 10, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Right on Vlad...good to see someone else is thinking on the same wavelength there.

Posted by: nhcaps | July 10, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse


>> Ovechkin - Nylander - Kozlov/Laich

I don't think this works because Nylander is even less suited to Ovechkin's run-and-gun than Backstrom. Besides, long-term its Backstrom who will remain a Cap, so why not try to establish chemistry between your core guys?

>> Semin - Backstrom - Laich/Kozlov

That would have been a good line..

>> Clark - Fedorov - Fehr

I think this would be a waste of Fedorov, because skill-wise, none of these guys are in his league, and after his banishment in Columbus, plus the age factor, he won't be able to carry this line offensively.

Btw, Kozlov is not a dirty-work kind of guy. He can play the possession game, but he is basically a slow perimeter player with great size and skill. He is not effective on the forecheck or at going to the net..

Posted by: Vlad | July 10, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Poti and Alzner will be the D's number 2 line this season.

Mark my words....

Posted by: Villainaire | July 10, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

At Roger #94,

New FAN? NEW FAN?!! Clearly you shouldnt judge other fans. Born in 1988, I have been a fan since I was born pretty much which means through thick and thin I have stuck with my Capitals. Don't ever question another fan's support for his team!
To get on with your comment (before I burst), I am not saying Fehr is a bad player, and I know he had that back injury for a while. That kept him from playing in Hershey where he is supposed to be grooming himself for the NHL. A year out of development can take a lot out of a player, which means he is not where the Caps expected him to be by now, and frankly, he's not too impressive. Bourque has been impressive especially in the AHL at the end of the season and the playoffs.

Once again, do not judge other fans because in all honesty I have been a supporter of this team longer than most of the people who are part of this blog!

Posted by: Perl Puck | July 10, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Just mentioning Nylander gets me excited for Fall. I think we all forgot he was on our team... I just hope Clarke and Pothier are healthy. I miss both of those guys. It's a shame.

Posted by: Capies | July 10, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I've been walking around the past few days mumbling to myself about this very topic, and in the end, my lines mirrored those of Japers. On a related note, I've noticed people keeping their distance from me on the street recently.

I disagree with Vlad about the shutdown line, though. Fedorov is one of the most defensively responsible centers in the game, and he certainly has the ability to anchor a shutdown line. Laich-Fedorov-Clark could be the same kind of puck possession, shutdown line like Kono-Halpern-Dahlen was, offense and all.

Between Gordo and Flash, I think I'd rather see Gordo in the reserve role. However, I think they'll go with Flash there, thinking he's still young enough for him to have a breakthrough season.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 10, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Vlad to a degree that when you have three very good offensive lines, they are shutdown lines in a sense that they keep the puck away from the other team. It goes along the lines of that old football expression where the best defense is a good offense. Furthermore, I think a line like Ovechkin-Backstrom-Clark is pretty responsible in their own end and, in addition since they would be the top scoring line, they could also exploit the defensive liablities that other team's top lines usually have.

Posted by: nhcaps | July 10, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand this Lepisto bandwagon, I was underwhelmed each time he was called up last year. I'm no fan of Juice and Erskine but I trust them over Lepisto, Alzner on the other hand sounds like he'll be giving them a run for their money...

Posted by: Rex Sexington | July 10, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@Mark Tucker:

>> Ovechkin - Nylander - Kozlov

Again, I think this line would be less than the sum of its parts. I like Nyls-Kozlov idea, but those two play the game at a different tempo than Ovechkin. They can't keep up with Ovy, he doesn't excel at their cycle game, and the whole line might be in trouble on defense.

>> Semin - Backstrom - Fehr

Could be a good line..

>> Laich - Fedorov - Clark

I don't think this line would score much. Feds no longer has the ability to single-handedly generate scoring chances for his wingers, and besides none of these guys are good finishers. Both Laich and Clark seem to work better feeding off broken plays when the defense focuses on the primary threat -- and there is no primary threat on this line. Defensively, it would be great, but then signing Feds makes a lot less sense 'cause you could plug a much cheaper Gordon into that role.

Btw, its just my 2c, I don't claim to be any kind of authority on the ideal lines, just really excited to debate the possibilities!!

Posted by: Vlad | July 10, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

two guys that have no business playing this year:

flash and erskine

flash is a wuss and erskine doesn't know how to skate backwards.... sorda a big problem if you are defensman in the nhl.

Posted by: Zack | July 10, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

We're all speculating, as we enjoy doing. Things will really shake out after preseason camp. I suspect that there will be new faces and familiar ones gone.

I don't expect Clark to start the season. I'm thinking around New Years.

Posted by: Greg S. | July 10, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I gotta agree. Flash fell ill to the Flyers intimidation immediately in the playoffs and never got over the way Backstrom did. In terms of Erskine I really think he's a solid D man but his penalties are ridiculous at times.

Posted by: Capies | July 10, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Who's at KCI?

15 minutes since the puck dropped... has Hauswirth scored yet?

Also, I'm surprised that Krug wasn't one of the casualties for the drills this morning. He got belted in the 3rd period and was favoring his left forearm. He played a shift afterward but it looked bad.

He's a soldier.

Posted by: Defense Wins Championships. | July 10, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@ Perl Puck

"Once again, do not judge other fans because in all honesty I have been a supporter of this team longer than most of the people who are part of this blog!"

That doesn't mean you know what you're talking about :-)

Posted by: Scofield | July 10, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Have to be honest, I hate the thought of Nyls and Kozlov on the same line. Nyls will spin around in circles endlessly while Kozlov lurks in the corner and plays keep away. Neither will shoot the puck. Ever.

Posted by: Steve R | July 10, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@John at Mpls:

I don't disagree at all that Laich-Fedorov-Clark would be a great shut-down line, if not one of the best in the league.

But then why did we sign Fedorov for 4M if Gordon is almost as good in the shut-down role?

I think Fedorov is still a lot more valuable as a legit play-making center, particularly when paired up with an elite winger. And we have exactly these wingers! If you think about it, Fedorov was bred to play with Bure and Mogilny. He knows how to feed fellow Russian snipers, how to cover for them on D, how to combine with them. And both Semin and Ovechkin are going to be willing to learn and to go the extra mile playing with Feds, because he is an icon in Russian hockey.

All I am saying is, the typical shut-down 3rd line has become canonical because teams can barely field two (forget about three!) offensively-gifted centers, so then the most cost-effective 3rd line solution is to put together fast, gritty players and have them try to shut-down the opponents' best line.

But the Caps are in this unique situation of having 3 very good play-makers in the middle, so I think the fact that McPhee did sign Feds for 4M (at the likely cost of having to let Gordon walk) means that the Caps intend to field 3 legitimate scoring lines, and no pure shut-down line.

Posted by: Vlad | July 10, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Here at Kettler, the kids are playing alot faster and harder than yesterday. BB is still almost right beside me.

#42 is all over the place again today. He looks like a winner.

0-0 7 minutes in.

Posted by: Roger #94 | July 10, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Im afraid we have the same problem as the D

Yeah Shamo is good Green is an offensive guy but who is the shutdown D man? Look at most team's rosters. There is at least 1 guy that you can point to who will be on the ice and will smother any puck that comes to him.

Caps do not have great D, just bodies playing a position. Thats the real problem. The D is better than TB, but it will give us fits.

Posted by: Tommmy | July 10, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Krug and Carlson.... Just got into a little shoving match..Nothing big but it is getting a bit chippy.

Posted by: #94 | July 10, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@ Scofield

;) dualy noted, u may not know me, but trust me, i know more than the lot of you.
this blog is pretty violent by the way. at least i am not calling people out like that roger 94 saying someone has only stupid comments; blogs are forums not battlegrounds!

Posted by: Perl Puck | July 10, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

They had good results last year, and should have even better results this year after gaining the experience of playing with each other.

Semin needs Fedorov to keep him focused, and I think that Fehr has the tools to excel in the 2nd line, 2nd shooter position. Not to mention, if he ever fills out appropriately, he has the potential to dominate as a power forward. Clark is the second choice for wing here as I think Fehr has more overall potential than Clark.

Flash has a good shot when he has the chance to take it, Nylander can give him those chances, and Laich can make sure the goalie never sees it coming.

This would be my '3rd line.' We've got 2 and 2a above here, with Ovie's line being 1. The energy line and the shutdown line would essentially be the same, which could be bad, but with the other 3 lines we already have assembled here, I can't say that's really a problem.

Except for the problem of coming up with a good 4th line :-).

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | July 10, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse


Why not do it that way?

Posted by: Pat | July 10, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Bouchard goes to the sin bin for a dumb tripping penalty in his own zone and white capitalizes on it a minute into the penalty. #90 Pinnizotto with the tap in from Osala.

@Perl Puck

You havent gotten a taste for the CHIEF yet. You will be thinking the same way I do soon.

Posted by: Roger #94 | July 10, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping it's Alzner and Jurcina, because Erskine's a waste of ice time.

Posted by: Joe | July 10, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

How does Osala look? I remember Katie saying that he was impressive on the first day, is he one of the obviously better players?

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | July 10, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Power Play to Blue on a Slash.

Note: Alzner and Godfrey have played only 2 shifts a piece and there is only 4 min left in the first. I found that to be rather interesting.

Posted by: Roger #94 | July 10, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Roger 94,

Since youre there hows Perrault look? He's the one I have wanted to hear about but haven't yet.

Posted by: Perl Puck | July 10, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Osala looks good, hes a big boy so it helps him out here with the youngin.

#42 Hauswirth scores on the PP. That is 4 goals in 4 periods for him. I picked him out yesterday and this kids name isnt even on the regular attendee roster!!! The kid is amazing!!!

Posted by: Roger #94 | July 10, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why he went undrafted if he's really tearing it up at Kettler (at least, i assume he's undrafted)? Anyone have any other info on this kid, aside from the fact that he's out of Nebraska?

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | July 10, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Hauswirth, that is.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | July 10, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse


We'll I didnt notice it before but there are a coouple different players out there today.

Which bring me to Perrault. I think him and Michal Neuvirth were sitting right beside me. I keep forgetting these kids are indeed kids....Me being only 27 I am not an old folk but 18 to 20 year olds are still kids.

Alright, 1-1 after one. I am gonna go have a beer and as me, Jschon and Super found out the hard way yesterday, you cant take them out of the snack bar.

Posted by: Roger #94 | July 10, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Mark my word besides Alzner don't be surprised to see Godfrey in the Caps line up. I like this kid he can do it all. We will see in September!!

Posted by: JR | July 10, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Ovie- Nylander- Kozlov
Semin- Backstrom- Fehr
Laich- Federov- Clark
Gordon- Steckel- Bradley

Green Shultz
Poti Alzner
Jurcina Morrison

Ovie and Kozlov are good plus minus guys that will protect Nylander in that department. And Nylander can draw players and get the puck to Ovie. Backstrom and Semin had some nice chemistry in the playoffs and Fehr will go hard to the net and can finish. And Federov between Laich and Clark could be one of the best 5 on 5 3rd lines in hockey. The 4th line can frustrate any top line in hockey. I want Alzner to play with an experinced pro while he learns the ropes. Poti is the best option for that.

Posted by: jdug | July 10, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Whoever is wearing the Walter #9 jersey...please return it to the childs section of the Pro Shop. Just a bit too small.

Oh...and the guy with the hat. know who Im talking about...put that thing in the closet that you just came out of.

Posted by: Fashion Police | July 10, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Here is some stats on the kid.

Heres another story on him win a National Championship in U-18. He looked to be draft eligible. I am gonna take to someone about him.

Posted by: Roger #94 | July 10, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Here's the way I see it:


They didn't sign Nylander and pay him all that money to hang out on a third line. They need Clark to crash the net and be a responsible 2-way forward.


Laich crashes the net and plays solid 2-way hockey.



Brashear plays when they want an enforcer. Fehr plays when they need to rest Clark, Nylander, or Fedorov.


Bye Jurcina. Lepisto is first up from Hershey. Schultz needs to get better this year or be replaced by Pokuluk or (next year) Carlson.

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | July 10, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse


Yeah the #9 is a bit small or I am wearing 4 shirts cause its freezing in this place.

Heres the story I forgot to add on the last post.

Posted by: Roger #94 | July 10, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

F1) Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
F2) Fehr-Fedorov-Semin
F3) Laich-Nylander-Clark (if ready, otherwise Fleischmann)
F4) Bradley-Gordon-Brashear

Extras: Fleischmann, Steckel

D1) Poti-Alzner
D2) Green-Morrisonn
D3) Schultz-Lepisto or Erskine

Extra: Erskine or Jurcina

G1) Theodore
G2) Johnson

Lepisto or Erskine would depend on what type of D Bruce wants. If he wants more offense from the back line, and Lepisto puts in the effort, he can make this team and make Jurcina expendable. Alzner should make the team if he puts in the effort, and effort has never been an issue for the kid.

I'm still not sold on Fleischmann, but he could be in 2008-09 what Brooks Laich was in 2007-08 in terms of scoring (he's not feisty enough to be Brooks Laich in the corners.) Clark would be nice to have back too. And as an outside wildcard, there's always Chris Bourque, who appears to be ready to play in the NHL...

Posted by: Mike L | July 10, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Just got the story on the #42 Hauswirth kid.

Evidently this kid went through the draft and was undrafted. The ahole that I asked who is too cool for school or I scared him with my kids shirt was short with me but I asked him if you could sign a guy after the draft and he said yes. The guy also noted that "he might just be having a good two days".

Thanks guy!!!! We have two or three blue chip dmen out there and an undrafted nobody has 4 goals....Awesome..I feel alot better about these "NHL ready" kids now.

Posted by: Roger #94 | July 10, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

In an effort to keep scoring balanced, I think we should put Brash on the 1st line LW and drop OV to the forth line LW......and just see how it works...

Posted by: Balance | July 10, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh..

Well just got another scoop. Now I am for sure Neuvrich and Perrault are beside me. A lady just talked to Neuvrich and it looks like him development camp is over early. Something might be wrong with that knee he had surgery on. These kids are alot smaller and younger than I thought.

Posted by: roger #94 | July 10, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse


Actually, Hauswirth isn't "out of Nebraska". He's from Wisconsin. He played for the Omaha Lancers last year. Omaha is in the USHL, which is the only major junior league in the US, and the skill level relative to the QMJHL/OHL/WHL is decent. Nowhere near on par but decent.

[For a comparison: One USHLer went in the 1st round of the 2008 NHL draft (OHL: 11, WHL: 8, QMJ: 0)and 3 went in the 2nd round (OHL: 5, WHL: 4, QMJ: 7).]

You don't hear much about the USHL since we in the States use the NCAA as our major junior system for the most part.

A short list of notable "recent" USHL graduates: Joe Corvo, Ty Conklin, Ryan Malone, Dan Ellis.

Hauswirth helped the Lancers win last year's USHL championship. Had 6 points in 13 playoff games.

I don't have an insight as to why he went undrafted. He's 20. Last season was his only one with Omaha so far. I guess teams want to see more data from major juniors before committing a draft pick.

Then again, there are a respectable number of effective (some great) NHLers who were undrafted. Hopefully Hauswirth will be the next.

He stood above the crowd yesterday.

Posted by: Defense Wins Championships. | July 10, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the mostly redundant post, I was working on it for a while and didn't see the stuff before my post.

My bad.

Posted by: Defense Wins Championships. | July 10, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

flash plays better outside the nhl... so let him play outside the nhl.

Posted by: jim* | July 10, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

You in the balcony again today?

Posted by: Defense Wins Championships. | July 10, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

This is probably gonna be one of my last posts but I just talked to the 2nd round draft pick, the Russian kid and Neuvrich, Perrault and him are injured. He didn't speak very good English but I did get that out of him.

2-1 after 2 I believe.

Posted by: Roger #94 | July 10, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The balcony is actually closed today for some shindig so I went all the way down the side.

On a different note, the Caps are drawing a big crowd and lots of beautiful woman. Lots and lots of toddlers also. Still have their Greenie fauxhawks.

Posted by: Roger #94 | July 10, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Love all of the line talk and some great ideas in the posts. Since it has been done pretty much, how about the PP units as someone mentioned earlier - SICK!

Ovie - Point
Green - Point

Poti - Point
Fedorov - Point

Suggestions? I like Laich and Clark on each so we have a net crashing/grinding presence in front that can work in the middle and not on the perimeter the whole time. Fedorov on the point can still shoot and he is really intelligent and creative with the puck. Kind of shows how much we miss Pothier - we really don't have another defenseman beside 3 & 52 who can play the puck moving/offensive game... (no offense Papa Panzer)

Posted by: Roose | July 10, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Fedorov will have so many minutes on the PP, PK and taking important faceoffs, I suspect he'll take a regular shift on line #3, not #2. And Nylander needs more regular minutes than he'd get on line #3 to justify his $5.5 million salary. I also think Alzner needs to play 20+ mins or he won't develop properly. I think he pairs with Poti (allowing him to play a more offensive role).

Ovechkin - Backstrom - Kozlov
Semin - Nylander - Fehr
Laich - Fedorov - Clark
Brashear - Steckel - Bradley

Morrisonn - Green
Poti - Alzner
Schultz - Jurcina

That leaves Flash, Gordon and Erskine as spares/injury replacements. Fehr and Flash need to be on line #2 to be effective -- they are offensive players. If neither puts up respectable numbers, then Clark can move to line #2 and Gordon moves to line #3 on RW.

Posted by: regehr | July 10, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Wanted to do one more post about the game. White tied the score with less than a minute left on a beautiful pinch in and pass by Alzner.

The shootout went I'd say around 10 players deep on each team but again, #42 Hauswirth sealed the deal on a nice top corner shoot out goal.

Hey Tarik,

Can you see about this kid? Why on earth did this guy go undrafted and what is the story on getting this kid in the organization? 6'4 and 200 plus pounds, he is a monster and has been by far the best player in the scrimmages.

Can you see about

Posted by: Roger #94 | July 10, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Sami Lepisto anyone!


Flash/Brash/Fehr/Gordon will be the fab 4 in and out of the line-up this year with possibles call-ups in Bourque/Bouchard/Perrault aka mini st.louis!

Posted by: ZackAttack | July 10, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Semin-Nylander-Clark(semin was hurt when they were together, so you have to give this line a shot again)

Brash/Gordo scrathes


also on a sidenote Hausworth looked Great out there...better then most on his team anyways

Posted by: capshockey98 | July 10, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

It's definitely nice to be this deep at center, especially since injuries can happen at any time. Hard to believe Nylander, with his salary, could be looking at 3rd line duty all year. Is it really only July 11th? September seems so far away...

Posted by: wienerdog4410 | July 11, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

The bummer is that while there's so much talent all the way through the offensive lines, the defensive pairings don't hold to the same standard.

I'm all for young guys getting tons of ice time, but I'm not sure Jurcina should be one of them.

Posted by: Still Missing Konowalchuk | July 11, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe no one is marking Laing down as even an "extra." He has to clear waivers to go down and he's under contract for another year...

Posted by: Summer | July 11, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: The Nice | July 12, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

I like Ovie with Backs and Kozlov, worked well last year so don't mess with it....Laich with Feds and Semin is a great line too, Nylander on a third line will be interesting,i'm sure he will work his butt off to make the top 2. I'm from canada and Alzner is the real deal, he gets lots of praise for what he did with team Canada and in the Western hockey league...looking forward to seeing how he works out. Can someone report on Clark and pothier,are they going to be ready or what?

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Posted by: carrie | July 15, 2008 4:18 AM | Report abuse

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