Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Preparing for the Predators

Alex Ovechkin, Capitals, PredatorsAlex Ovechkin controls the puck against Nashville's Joel Ward, center, and Shea Weber in the Caps' preseason finale on Oct. 3. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Unlike most contests against Western Conference foes where Washington may not have much familiarity with an opponent, the Capitals played Nashville twice in the preseason. The intensity and personnel might not have been what the Caps will face this time, but it can make it slightly easier to prepare from a systematic standpoint.

The Predators are off to a perfect 3-0 start, and while they may not play the flashiest brand of hockey, they're a team that matches up well against the Capitals, particularly when considering their speed and physicality on defense.

"[Nashville's] one of those teams where they never really have a big superstar, but they're always playing well, they always play hard and they're hard to play against," Jason Chimera said. "I think the biggest thing is dictating the pace when you go out there. We've got to make sure we're the ones working harder."

Here are some other items to keep in mind heading into the Caps' game against the Predators:

--Washington's unblemished penalty-killing statistic will likely face another test Saturday. Nashville is 4-for-13 with the man-advantage this season and all three game-winning goals for the Predators have come on the power play.

Conversely, Nashville's penalty kill has given up three goals on nine chances.

--Regardless of which Nashville goaltender suits up, the Capitals will face one half of the tallest tandem in the league. Pekka Rinne, who missed the past two games with a lower-body injury but said earlier today that he is 100 percent, is 6-foot-5, while rookie Anders Lindback, who is 2-0 in his first NHL starts, is 6-foot-6.

If Rinne plays it will mark the first time the up-and-coming goaltender has faced the Capitals in a regular-season game. It isn't the first time Washington could see him, though, as Rinne played in the preseason finale at Verizon Center on Oct. 3.

"The big goalies, they cover so much net, you've just got to keep pounding away," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "The one equalizer is they can give up rebounds as any small guy. If they give rebounds up, the second shot's got to go high, but the second shot's got to go up all the time now because the goalies are too good. No secrets, just keep shooting where they ain't."

--Goaltender Dany Sabourin cleared waivers and has been assigned to Hershey.

--I'm working on a story for tomorrow's paper on the Capitals' balancing act with a now-healthy Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth. So keep an eye out for that.

By Katie Carrera  | October 15, 2010; 1:56 PM ET
Categories:  Nashville Predators  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Mike Green won't play in Nashville
Next: Capitals recall Brian Fahey

Comments

Jason Chimera said. "I think the biggest thing is dictating the pace when you go out there. We've got to make sure we're the ones working harder

-------------

i look forward to grading Chimera in this game and seeing if he can practice what he preaches.
so far, 4 games - 2 good, 2 average.

In fact, on a scale of 1 to 5. I give him a 2 in the first game, a 5 in the 2nd game, a 4 in the 3rd game, and a 2 in the 4th game.

So 13 scored points in 4 games. Avg of 3.25

He needs to be at about 3.75 to 4 for the season for it to be acceptable imo.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

is this hit suspension-worthy?

nick foligno is a chip off the old block. His dad was quite a physical player in his own right.
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5347654/nick_foligno_collides_with_patrick_dwyer_october_14_2010/


Dwyer wasn't injured on the play but NHL on TSN analyst Michael Peca said he didn't think that should factor into the NHL's decision.

"Dwyer got up and played the game, but I still think you have to set the precedent that the hit was dirty and you still have to suspend him."

this is funny...mike peca talking about doling out punishment for a blindside hit. He practically invented that hit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wclnrrir0T0

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"We've got to make sure we're the ones working harder."

This should be permanently posted above every locker.

It's not the only thing this team needs to improve upon but it's definitely on the short list.

We have not been one of the harder working teams in hockey (not just this season) and that needs to change, regardless of what McPhee does or doesn't do by the deadline.

The effort they put in against Ottawa needs to be what we saw most of the time.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 15, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

*what we see

Even after the postseason failures of the last 2 years, I worry that this team lacks the collective work ethic that is just as important as skill.

I think there have been signs that they are trying to do things differently in this regard early in the season but I wonder if it will last as the season goes on.

We've had 2 stinkers in terms of effort out of 4 games. I understand that every team has it's off nights but it wasn't like they were getting outworked by just a little in those 2 games.

Developing good habits early is crucial and this is a team that needs to develop new habits. A team can't re-mold itself halfway through a playoff series. It has to start now.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 15, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

agreed on the Ott effort. For sure. That was the type of game I see more frequently from other teams instead of the Caps.


btw, here's the fallout from the Peca hit on Selanne. You'll see names like Tkachuk, Dave Manson, Tim Hunter, Tie Domi, Gino Odjick. I love Tkachuk in this clip.

Hunter also bites Domi at the 6:03 mark. You can see it and watch Domi's reaction. Pretty funny

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajbpnr78bjA

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I think Flash is a biter, too.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 15, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

This season the Capitals will get the best effort of their opponents on most nights. Every other team will want to see how they measure up against the Caps - there is more of a target on this team than the Chicago champs.

Is it fair to expect every night the Caps to be reved up even higher? Probably not but lets hope that the competition makes them more battle tested by April...it should! That could be the big advantage the Caps have bt playoffs - if most games in the season feel like playoff battles it could.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | October 15, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

This season the Capitals will get the best effort of their opponents on most nights. Every other team will want to see how they measure up against the Caps - there is more of a target on this team than the Chicago champs.

Is it fair to expect every night the Caps to be reved up even higher? Probably not but lets hope that the competition makes them more battle tested by April...it should! That could be the big advantage the Caps have by playoffs - if most games in the season feel like playoff battles it could.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | October 15, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I think there have been signs that they are trying to do things differently in this regard early in the season but I wonder if it will last as the season goes on.

--tmac--

me too. That's why you grade each game or stretch of games. If they're not putting in the right effort as the season wears on, it'll get mentioned by someone on this blog...


a lot of this will depend on the roster that Bruce dresses.

What will the roster look like later in the season? IS Hendricks still around? Is Chimmychanga performing upto par? Is Flash improving? Can Erskine keep up the pace? Is DJK getting an opportunity and making the most of it? Is Majo improving? How about Alzner?

most of the other guys on the team I don't have a lot of questions on.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The only bad thing about the game Saturday night is that "Chokin Al Koken" is doing the play by play. Geez, I can't stand that guy!!!

Posted by: nimrodrsp | October 15, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

So I guess when Jarkko Ruutu bit Andrew Peters last season, he was honoring an old tradition...

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 15, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@yesisaiditfirst

But that was supposed to be true last season as well... and the one before that.

It's great if teams use as a measuring stick if it forces us to make tangible improvements in our work ethic and other areas.

That didn't seem to be the result in the past. Let's see if it happens this year.

Also, even though this is a Caps-centric blog and everybody thinks we are the end-all, be-all of the hockey universe... don't think for a second that teams don't use Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago, San Jose and several other teams as measuring sticks. I don't know how anybody can prove that we get used as a measuring stick more than any of those teams.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 15, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I think Flash is a biter, too.

Posted by: tmac2yao

pillow-biters don't count!


"So I guess when Jarkko Ruutu bit Andrew Peters last season, he was honoring an old tradition..."

Posted by: Rhino40

there was a lot of hairpulling as well that went on. Dave Semenko and Dave Schultz were both notorious for pulling their opponent's hair in a fight to gain an advantage.

its funny that hair-pullings, bitings, obscene gestures, and eye-gougings have occurred in this manly sport. All we need now are players talking about each other behind their backs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

i hear you. I have very little hope that Finley will be anything but a marginal AHL player. But I hope I'm wrong. I'd be happy as heck if he turned into an Engelland, haha

Posted by: cstanton1

I hope I'm wrong too. I will say this, he improved every year with ND. He appears to be a late bloomer. (trying to look for positives) In my book he's gone from "I don't think so" to "maybe".

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | October 15, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The only bad thing about the game Saturday night is that "Chokin Al Koken" is doing the play by play. Geez, I can't stand that guy!!!

Posted by: nimrodrsp

he's kinda slimey huh. I've heard some good stories about him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:
regarding Al... a friend of mine use to date him when she was a lot younger and she basically said that he was just a fun guy into having hot chicks around him and going out. so yeah, that could be slimy to some... OOOOR... just good taste to others! *cough* like me *cough*

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 15, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Koken's not so bad, but I do prefer the regulars (Joe & Craig).

Kinda miss seeing Joe Reekie on Postgame Live...what happened to him?

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 15, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Koken's not so bad, but I do prefer the regulars (Joe & Craig).

Kinda miss seeing Joe Reekie on Postgame Live...what happened to him?

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 15, 2010 3:17 PM

Reekie's Postgame Live contract extension was contingent upon a trade that was supposed to happen. The trade fell through, ergo no extension, and he ended up heading out West I believe. Apparently he saved costs by splitting the fee of the moving company with another person.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 15, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@frank

he always struck me as a tad scuzzy. I heard he looked past guys and tried to talk up their chickies. It was just a couple of stories so who knows if thats how he always acted. But I find that a bit scummy.

Wasn't he a frequenter of Good Guys? I could just picture Al walkin in there with a bunch of folded $1s. Maybe licking one and stamping it on his bald head while a hardworking future pharmacist tries to pick it up without using her hands or mouth.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Reekie's Postgame Live contract extension was contingent upon a trade that was supposed to happen. The trade fell through, ergo no extension, and he ended up heading out West I believe.
------------

chuckle

#29 on the team, #1 in your hearts. Gangly skater that he was.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

They were as much frustrated as outworked against the Islanders. Any team that forechecks hard and disrupts the Caps flow gives them fits. Our young D was exposed in that game. Couldn't deal with the pressure, but I guess they have the long season to work on that.

That said, the Preds will be a great test for the work ethic.

Posted by: congero | October 15, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

i always found it funny that Reekie chose #29. From my recollection, for that era, that was a # reserved (unofficially) for NHL tough guys. Seems a lot of em took that # because it was just an unpopular # so it was always available.

Gino Odjick
Daryl Stanley
Ed Kastelic
Don Jackson

I think that's why Ryane Clowe wears that #. A little homage to the past if you will.

The #21 was another tough guy jersey. Dave Brown and McPhee come to mind.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

erskine and sloan will lead the D in helping neuvy keep the preds off of the scoreboard

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 15, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Smokin Al seems to be a decent enough guy. I had a beer with him at Clydes after a game once. From what I recall (which isn't a ton)- he's a bit on the shorter side. He was cordial with me, so he's ok in my book. Kind of a dry personality though.

Posted by: Fro_2 | October 15, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

did he ask you if you had a sister?

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

There's a good chance. And an even better chance I offered to swap her out for any current girlfriend he had.

Posted by: Fro_2 | October 15, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

hehe

the koken charm.

remember when he got hit in the head with a puck and he had giant band-aid on his head?

another random memory was a prank caller who would call in and give Jeff Rimer all kinds of grief when he was doing the interviews between periods.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

foligno gets fined

------
Ottawa Senators forward Nick Foligno has been fined $2,500 (the maximum permitted under the Collective Bargaining Agreement) as a result of an illegal check to the head on Patrick Dwyer of the Carolina Hurricanes in NHL game #43, October 14, the National Hockey League announced today.

"While there was no injury as a result of the hit, it is clear that Foligno delivered a shoulder check from the blind side that made primary contact with Dwyer's head," said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. "It is also clear that Foligno was delivering the hit in an attempt to get the puck. Finally, in determining that a fine was the appropriate discipline for this incident, I took into account that Foligno has not been suspended previously by the League."

The incident occurred at 6:16 of the third period. There was no penalty assessed on the play.
-----------------

the fact that he was closer to the puck saved him here...

i guess it makes sense even though you can argue the action could have resulted in a concussion which would have resulted in a likely suspension.

injury/concussion=suspension

this is the hit i remember that started the debate on blindside hits

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2R8maaJPeFE

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:

I heard the same from my lady friend... sort of a lady's man but with an "I'll talk your girl up right in front of you twist and I don't give a #$%^!"

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 15, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

well, i hate to admit it but if koken had some good inside info on the team, i could see lending him my girlfriend here and there for some quality pillow-talk.

I'm assuming thats how Pokerface gets his inside info (zing!)

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

i'm gonna go out on a limb and say the Blackhawks are already further along in their latest rebuild than are the Caps

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTWTGm1K8Eo&feature=related

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm assuming thats how Pokerface gets his inside info (zing!)

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 4:27 PM

As the lender or the one being lended?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 15, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton01 -

yes, worthy of suspension - it looked just like the Richards' hit on Booth but Foligno missed. Glad they nailed him for it.

re: Al Koken - wow, who woulda thunk? It's not like he's movie star material. I don't think the "I'm a play by play guy (sometimes) for a hockey team, and have been since 1983" would do the trick...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 15, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

As the lender or the one being lended?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce

whats al koken smoken is the real question

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the "I'm a play by play guy (sometimes) for a hockey team, and have been since 1983" would do the trick.

--------------------------

i know, he reminds of a ron jeremy with a smaller appendage. Or maybe not.

parhaps the girls on this blog (capscoach, tess, sgm, katie, bigkitty) can offer up their opinions on Al

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

T
M
I

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 15, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

n
o
s
u
c
h
t
h
i
n
g

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

While I won't admit to my "transgressions" (isn't that the word athletes use these days) I can at least sleep at night knowing I never did "that" in order to get information! LMAO! Thanks for thinking of me though.

On a side note, I've seen women sleep with men for a lot less!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | October 15, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I can at least sleep at night knowing I never did "that" in order to get information!
----------------

uh huh

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

is Varly starting tomorrow..?

Posted by: rachel216 | October 15, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Leafs Rags tonight.

Should be some Don Cherry hockey goin down....

possible combatants tonight

Boogaard-Orr
Prust-MikeBrown
Avery v Leafs D


the irony here is, both the Rags and Leafs are coached by pacifist coaches and managed by pugilistic GMs. If Sather and Burke had their wish, it would be played in an octagon.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

possible combatants tonight

Boogaard-Orr
Prust-MikeBrown
Avery v Leafs D

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 5:52 PM |

@cstanton1:

"...played in an Octagon"...LMAO--good one!

Generally agree with this prediction except for the undercard, which should probably read thus:

Avery v. Leafs Roster.

Of course, if it ends up being Avery v. Phaneuf, there could be a fatality. bwahahahahahahaa!

(Cue music from Mortal Kombat)

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 15, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

...in which case Avery would be ill-advised to test his "rag-doll" stratgy against Dion. Rather, Avery should skate away from Phaneuf as fast as humanly possible.

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 15, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

i think avery could beat Phaneuf. DP's an overrated fighter and Avery's an underrated one. Still, I would love nothing better than to see Phaneuf catch Avery with a huge open ice tonite.

but good catch on the elisha cuthbert thing..i totally forgot about that. Avery is a d!ck no question. But he does add spice to the game.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

...Then again: "...thair ees an old Kleengon provairb that says reevench ees a deesh bayst sairved cold...and eet ees vairy cold een spaysss, Kark....".

I think I'll still take the over on Phaneuf. One good shot and Avery will have the jelly-legs.

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 15, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, sure, Avery could beat Phaneuf...

From behind...

With a baseball bat...

And maybe a shotgun too...

While Phaneuf is tied up...

And sleeping...

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 15, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Remember Mike Fornes and Al Koken called the Caps games on Home Team Sports. Smokin' Al was pretty bad then, he's improved tremendously. I remember Fornes tag line was: "A Shot...and a Gooooaaal!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | October 15, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Mike Fornes is also known for his hideous haircut.

Posted by: joek443 | October 15, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Can I call em or whut. Don't tell me I don't know my hockey tuff guys...first Bruess v Rinaldo now this. 2 for 2!


NYR
Brandon Prust : Fighting (maj) - 5 min
12:44
TOR
Mike Brown : Fighting (maj) - 5 min
17:58

---------------

btw, Souray is in for the Bears tonight. 1 assist so far.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Mike Fornes do Bullets games too? If he's the guy I'm thinking of, he had one of the great moments in Washington sports broadcast history. He was on screen at courtside, yakking it up at half-time of a Bullets game in Denver (if I recall correctly). A guy walks up to him and asks him if he is Mike Fornes. Fornes grunts "yeah," and the guy serves him with process. I think Fornes previously worked in Denver. One of the funniest things I ever saw.

Posted by: zmega | October 15, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Fornes did honesty. That's why he got canned.


Leafs are buzzin like bees out there. Phaneuf rocked Boogaard with a hit. My 2nd prediction of the night (not that it takes a genius or anything to predict this) almost occurred. Orr and Boogaard almost went right before the Prust fight.

i think i'm going to have to adopt the leafs as my 2nd team. I hope they continue to play well and make the playoffs. Even sweeter if we get to face em...

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Still a few minutes left in the game, but the Bears are delivering a spanking to Binghamton 7-1. Goal scoring pretty spread out: Gordon, Greentree, Willsie, Beagle, Perreault, Bouchard(2). Game has turned into a fight fest at this point.

Re: Al Koken...I think he's ok as an announcer. But a ladies man? Doesn't do much for me. Must have some "hidden talents".

Posted by: tess2201 | October 15, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Dude, tomorrow is going to be such a tough game. I hope DJK is playing. There will be so much hitting and net crashing. It's gonna rock! Who's stoked? ^this guy^

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 15, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

dj will have a tuff time with Belak. Belak's one of the most improved fighters recently and DJ has looked a bit overmatched. He should've done a little better v Gillies.

Souray +3 on the night and his token crosschecking penalty. love it

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 15, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

There must be some way to get Souray on the Caps roster.

Posted by: zmega | October 15, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Gillies has improved as a fighter since Boogs knocked him out 5 years ago in Anaheim. DJK did look like he was hurt. I still think BB must dress DJK, because Belak and Erskine have a history. Let DJ deal with Belak. BB must dress DJ. Belak is one of the few guys that I've actually seen put a "real beat down" on Brash.Brash was never the same after that fight.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 16, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

The Preds are going to be a serious test for the Caps. This is a hard working and physical team that passes well. They remind me of the old Caps from the 80s in some ways. It is a Poille trademark to have a tough team.

Posted by: cirrus_nine | October 16, 2010 2:43 AM | Report abuse

Logjammin

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 16, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

In all seriousness...if Green and Poti are both out tonight i see little chance of us winning. Especially if we don't win more face offs...without faceoffs we will have issues with puck posession. Does anyone know who we called up? The top two lines are going to have to be stellar for us to have a shot...all I want to see in this game is some serious effort...winning would just be a bonus. GMGM has to fix the D...we can't have Sloan and Erskine in the lineup together come playoff time.

Posted by: capscoach | October 16, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Just saw that Fahey was the call up

Posted by: capscoach | October 16, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Jeff Fahey?? cool didn't know he was a hockey player too...

Posted by: joek443 | October 16, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company