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Neuvirth to start vs. Atlanta

Based on the morning skate, it looks like rookie goalie Michal Neuvirth will get his second career start tonight against the Thrashers, since he came off early and Jose Theodore is getting in some extra work.

Viktor Kozlov also confirmed moments ago that he will indeed return to the lineup. Although Alex Ovechkin did not skate, if one fills in the blanks, Kozlov will be on the top line with Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

I'll have another update in a bit.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 26, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
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Next: Morning Skate Update



Posted by: ThisGuy | February 26, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

yay, i get to see neuvy in person tonight!

Posted by: capsfan8 | February 26, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I'll be front and center in Sect 100. I'm very excited to see both Kozzy return and Neuvirth's home debut!

Posted by: RicketyCricket | February 26, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

NOY-VERT! NOY-VERT! I am definitely looking forward to seeing what he can do again. He looked really good in his last start, and if Varlamov is going to be injury-prone (though at least he's skating again!), I'm hoping we have another good prospect in Neuvirth. I don't want us to have to trade for another Rent-a-Goalie next week... they're hard to hang onto.

VERY good news about Kozlov coming back. We need him on the top line, and that frees Fedorov up to skate with Semin, which is where we need HIM most. :-) So YAY!

Posted by: irockthered | February 26, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

TEB - quick unrelated question,

How many draft picks, outside their own, do the Caps have this year and beyond? I know when we purged years ago we overloaded with picks and prospects, but have we used all our extra picks? Could you see McPhee dangling the extra picks at the deadline?

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | February 26, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I do believe if Pronger gets moved to a team in the east, like Boston or NJ, they will win and go to the finals. Same with the caps, if they can trade for him, they will win the East. The window for winning a cap is a small opening so if the deal can be done, do it. Trade Shultz and MO and throw in Bourque or someone else and the Caps can win the Cup this year. They need a dman that will clear the crease and after watching Tuesday night, Shultz is not now or will ever be the guy for that. He will learn to be a better defenseman no doubt, but he will never be a physical guy. When Scott Stevens came into the league, he was always out of positon, but no one and I mean no one was allowed to stand in front of his goalie. He learned to be a better defenseman position wise, but no one ever stood in front of his goalie for 20 years.

Posted by: RichC3 | February 26, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

YAY, that made me cheer out loud!

Posted by: CapsKH | February 26, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad Neuvirth is getting a start today. Hopefully he'll start another game this weekend so Theodore doesn't get worn down too much as the season progresses.

Posted by: dcox50 | February 26, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Excellent news. I just added Neuvirth to my fantasy team yesterday so that he'd be available for me today. Go Noy-vee!

Tarik, thanks for the update. This is exactly what I wanted to know when I came here just now.

Posted by: ranndino | February 26, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse


go here:

it's a wonderful site for all transactions...

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 26, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

pronger is the missing link to win a cup?


Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

It's been a long couple days since that loss...bitter taste in my mouth. Hopefully, we come out on fire tonight and stay out of the penalty box. We gave the Flyers an entire period on the power play...definetly something the Caps need to fix before April.

Go get Pronger!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 26, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Florida Panthers general manager Jacques Martin was in attendance for Wednesday night's game between the Flyers and Kings, which either means the Flyers are very interested in Panthers defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, or the Flyers are very interested in Jay Bouwmeester. For the record, Martin said he was in Philadelphia Wednesday night because his Panthers had the night off between games in Boston on Tuesday and New York tonight. What's curious is the fact Martin plans on returning to the Wachovia Center Friday night to see the Flyers play Montreal. Sure sounds like a boss taking inventory before making his next purchase. "There's not much to say about Jay other than he's playing well," Martin ..."

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 26, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see Neuvirth starting tonight. We certainly have a lot of hope regarding our future goaltending situation. I also hope the CAPS are well-rested after two high energy games and have done their game film studies. And listen to coach BB, as his record with the team proves he knows what he is talking about!

Do not take Atlanta too lightly, as easy/automatic wins tend to turn into loses.

Posted by: TrackCollector | February 26, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

My guess is a combination of wanting to rebound from Tues, wanting to protect a rookie Goalie, and Kolzov returning will translate to a solid effort tonight.

Posted by: stormblue | February 26, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Do not take Atlanta too lightly, as easy/automatic wins tend to turn into loses

well then maybe you guys should stop calling them easy/automatic wins.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see "baby chex" get a home start.

Posted by: tomdchancar | February 26, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The start of that stretch run WJS was predicting.

I predict the Caps go 16-5. Will that be good enough to catch BOS???

Hope to see the FFS line out there tonight.

Posted by: DrAdamson | February 26, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Will be good to see what Neuvy can do, I must admit I am hoping this kid is the real deal.

I've been geeking it up to the max all day working on stats so I guess I was in a geeky frame of mind before.

Talking of stats, some cricket news for you Boo. England are 108 without loss at lunch on the 1st day of the 4th Test in Barbados. Strauss 71* and Cook 37*. I know what you're thinking, what no extras in a full session? I know, amazing eh?

No doubt you are following ball by ball coverage anyway!

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 26, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Don't get many chances to see practice (normally I'm on the West Coast), but here's what I saw:

Ovie was out there for the first few drills, but skated off soon after that. He was skating with Nicky and Kozzy.

Green missed just about every shot he took high. Yes, it was practice, but I'm starting to miss his old stick...

Pothier and Kronwall were playing 3-bar (or a similar derivative) after practice with the coaches. There was even a check on Brian against the boards - maybe he's close to being cleared for physical contact?

Posted by: Raber | February 26, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Oh, forgot to say that I didn't see either Fedorov or Semin out there this morning. I expected Sergei to take the skate off, but Semin?

Posted by: Raber | February 26, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

semin always takes practices off.

usually no big deal.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Some reading on Chris Pronger. I would really love to see him in a Caps sweater for a few seasons, as long as Mrs. Pronger likes D.C. better than Edmonton.

Posted by: crooks_c | February 26, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Please, not Pronger. I hate him, at a personal level. Theo, I disliked because he played for the Avs, but hey, he's our three-or-more now and he's who is either taking the Caps to the promised land, or sending me into tears. But Pronger? Deep, deep loathing. Ranks right up there with Crosby.

Posted by: RedBirdie | February 26, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

the only reason you wouldn't want pronger here is for "personal reasons?" You're telling me you don't want one of the best current defenseman in the league because you dont like him? Not the cap issue, or the fact we give up to much O, or the fact that he would be a rental, but because you dont like him?


Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Brodeur is back!

uh oh.....

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Pronger's always been the kind of guy I hate to see playing against us. He's also known by most as a cheap player (elbows to the head, stepping on legs, etc.) and while he is a good defenseman, I'm not sure that rubs me particularly well.

Maybe my opinion of him would change if he wore red?

Posted by: Raber | February 26, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

yeah, he's cheap. he's dirty. but he gets the job done, and adjusted considerably well to the new NHL, unlike some other defenseman, cough Witt, et all.
pronger would be an awesome rental, but i think one that costs too much.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: fredhilljr | February 26, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Re-posted from previous thread and edited:

To all Season Ticket Holders.

After 2 years of purchasing 11-game plans in the 100's sections, my brother and I are unable to do so next season due to the greatly increased success and populartiy of the CAPS. According to team representatives, all LLs have been sold out to STH.

Are there any year 2009-2010 STHs in the 100s and 200s sections with 2 seats (side-by-side) who want to sell off 10 to 15 games? It would be our intention to discuss and select the games, as well as issue you payment for all those games, prior to the start of the 2009-2010 season.

When contacting me by e-mail (, please indicate the seat location. Thank you for your considerations! "Rock the Red!"

Posted by: TrackCollector | February 26, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse


ducks are about to unload one of their d men soon...

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

if the caps can indeed go 16-5 - that would give them 113 pts for the season.
bos would then only be able to get 23 more pts then they have now, also with 21 games to go. 10-8-3 (or something similar) would be needed.
i think the caps can do 16-5 - i'm not sure bos will play at .500 for the rest of the season

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Q: Would it be a good idea if Sidney Crosby gave up his captaincy in Pittsburgh? Do you think being captain has added more pressure to the kid? (Steve Chan)

A: He should have the 'C,' like Alex Ovechkin's got the 'C' in Washington. He is a strong leader, but what he doesn't have is the support group of older players to back him up and give him counsel. He lost two valuable voices, Gary Roberts and Ryan Malone, to the Tampa Bay Lightning. What Sidney needs to do is quit talking so much on the ice. He's expending the wrong energy. He looks rattled. He lost his cool playing against Ovechkin and the Capitals on Sunday. He's also starting to get a reputation with opposing players as a whiner, and nobody wants that. Crosby's a good kid. He should concentrate on scoring goals and setting up other people. Oops, there aren't a lot of other people to pass to in Pittsburgh.

From Edmonton Paper; did I miss something? Is Ovechkin wearing the "C" now?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 26, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

OV always had an A.

crysby should give up wearing panties and try putting on a jock strap

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

that'll never not be funny!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 26, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

That was just so low-end of him to do that. Maybe you forgive a swing or two when you lose your cool, but he went on and on when the guy was already engaged (code violation bigtime), compounded it by smacking his sac (aimed the hit, on purpose) then compounded that by totally denying that anything of the sort occurred when confronted by teammates.

In addition, he blind-sided another center on the face-off (the guy was probably laughing the whole time, but we will never know for sure because Cindy pulled the dudes jersey over his head) and proceeded to wail on a defenseless player (Brashear would likely have stopped hitting when he saw the guy couldn't defend himself, as would most honorable fighters) all of this was done in a fashion that ensured that Cindy would not take any punches and was only designed to show everybody how 'tough' he was.

What a total dumbass he is. I used to respect and admire him, as did most/all of us at one time. Now I am embarrased for him and those that have to skate with him.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 26, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"Pronger's always been the kind of guy I hate to see playing against us. He's also known by most as a cheap player (elbows to the head, stepping on legs, etc.) and while he is a good defenseman, I'm not sure that rubs me particularly well."

That's exactly why I don't like him. I don't care how good he is--he's a dirty, cheap shot player (just like Crosby!).

Patrick Roy is considering a great goalie, but what a vile human being, and I think most of us are in agreement on that one. If someone offered me a time machine to go grab Roy in his prime and have him backstop the Caps, I'd still say no.

Posted by: RedBirdie | February 26, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

RebBirdie I agree with your thoughts on Pronger. Plus with the way they call penalties on the Caps he may be in the box all night. Too bad JovoCop is too expensive and doesn't want to leave PHX.

Posted by: ds_kelly | February 26, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

pronger is a cheap shot artist and could be long term problems in a team that thrives on chemistry.

Posted by: am_jim | February 26, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

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