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NHL Opens Investigation

The NHL has interviewed Washington Capitals front office employees as well as members of the team's medical and training staffs in recent days as it investigates allegations made by a Florida man arrested last week on steroid charges.

"We're following very closely the developments in Florida as the case progresses," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told me this afternoon. "We think it's important from the league's perspective to investigate this because any allegations of this type are concerning."

The league's investigation is being conducted by its security and legal departments.

Interviews with Capitals personnel are ongoing, Daly said, but so far investigators have not been able to establish any connection between the team and suspected drug dealer Richard Thomas, who was arrested Tuesday in Lakeland, Fla., and charged with possession and intent to distribute steroids. During a news conference that night, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Thomas claimed he had sold steroids to the Capitals and Washington Nationals.

"While there seems to be no evidence to this point that would substantiate any of the claims, it's something we feel we have an obligation to follow up on," Daly said. "We are in the process of touching base with relevant personnel within the Washington organization and finding out as much as we can."

There is no timetable for the NHL to complete its investigation, Daly said. Federal authorities are also conducting an investigation into Thomas's claims.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 31, 2009; 5:56 PM ET
 
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Comments

What really seems odd about this whole steroid case is the fact that no names on the Nats or Caps were mentioned. Only mention of those two teams and no other teams. It would make more sense to me if some Florida teams and/or players would be named, as well.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, lets hope they investigate to their hearts content and find nothing about our boys.

Carrying over:
CapsFan75, Oy, yes. I went through a bottle of Clorox spray and a can of Neutra-air today. I've decided I'm just going to get a suite for a Caps game for my bachelorette.
My major was Hospitality, but that gets you a business degree from JMU, so I got all the CIS, accounting, etc. I've got an Excel doc full of contract info, waivers, physical stats, ages, etc. I'm a nerd, what can I say? And yes, I'm a year and four days older than Backstrom.
It was Green & Ovi. I'm just saying our young guys still have some hijinks in them and may need a steadying presence or two, even if its just BPoths. Although Laich has that Saskatchewan-boy calmness going for him, so maybe that's all they'll need soon.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 31, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
I agree that the DC connection seems odd. When they were arrested the police said that they did not name names. I wonder what that's all about? Either he is full of beans or (given the fact that he seems to have a huge ego) he was just trying to exploit his "15 minutes" or he is using that as a bargaining chip or he is protecting his customers or he's a Bolts fan or ... ?!? :-) Who knows!! But the whole thing seems a bit dodgy to me. Guess Caps fans have something to follow this summer, after all. :-/

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 31, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

@Red Birdie (from previous threads)

Do you have Orioles season tickets? Or do you buy tickets for whenever?

I was at the O's game today. (We have Sunday only season tickets.) Too bad their offense was anemic. (I hear the Yankees actually lost today.)

I hope that Detroit's hockey team has as good of luck as their baseball team did today (since they're the ones who beat the O's). Go Red Wings! Still no Pavel for today.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

We bought one of the "holiday four packs" this year that included Opening Day (take that, overpaid Yankees!) and then three games of our choice in April and/or May. Mr. RB is from the Detroit area, and we always take in the Detroit series, so it was ideal for us.

We quite fortunately/unfortunately were in Baltimore for the game last night, thus missing the Wings game. But it was a long-planned extended family outing that we couldn't back out of.

How was the crowd today? On Friday (aka, Happy Matt Wieters Day) and Saturday, it was surprisingly full.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 31, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the drug dealer is a Pens fan or the hockey teamfan of a team other than the Caps.

Posted by: MReilly9 | May 31, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

@Red Birdie,

There was a pretty good crowd at Camden Yards today.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

MReilly9:
Maybe he's one of our trolls?!? Who has not been posting lately? ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 31, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I'm absolutely convinced this wannabe Victor Conte is a disgruntled Pens fan. (can't figure out why he hates the Nats, though. Maybe scared that their era of suckitude will come to an end before the Pirates and their two decades of painful pitifulness does?)

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 31, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

oh yes, did everyone see that the Brett Hull as GM experiment (aka "Why signing Sean Avery to a long term contract is detrimental to your job security') in Dallas is over? Boy, that was quick.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 31, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Or he's a Bolts fan upset over the hot stick incident. *shrug* The NHL is going to conduct a full investigation. They have to, they have no choice. I wouldn't be surprised to see each and every player called back to Washington over the summer as part of this investigation. I understand that, and really, I want them to do all they can, poke into every corner, and do due diligence. If there's something to it, then as painful as it will be, let's get it dealt with. If the accusations are proven false, and I believe that they will be, then the man doesn't have a leg to stand on. I still think he's looking for a plea bargain that will help keep him out of jail.

The thing that gets me is that we've heard nothing, nothing at all, to corroborate the story, no snippets of information, no details, no nothing. Nothing since it first leaked. Either there's a damn good lock job going on, or there hasn't been anything. Knowing the nosiness of the media, my money's on the latter. There's just something hokey about this story.

Posted by: kittypawz | May 31, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. They got another ex-player who will make horrible moves.

Good ol Nieuwendyk.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Another very good Russian center drafted by the Caps in 2004, Mikhail Yunkov, wants to play for the Caps this year.

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7375-Washington-Capitals-Examiner~y2009m5d31-Another-Russian-wants-to-play-for-the-Capitals

Posted by: MReilly9 | May 31, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I know its been a bit over shadowed by the conference finals and now the attempted coronation of the flightless fowl, but you'd think that if these accusations were true, not so much the specific "I sold to the Caps" but the "steroids (or other PEDs) are used in hockey," that retired players would come out like they ended up doing in baseball.

I don't have the book with me, but I don't recall a single mention of steroids or PEDs in Shaun Ansell's Steroid Nation that came out a couple years ago, and was pretty comprehensive in covering drug use in sports.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 31, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Yunkov: “I do consider myself a playmaking center but I also consider myself a defensive center. I don’t get to watch the NHL that much but during an interview in Toronto the Phoenix Coyotes said that I resembled Ron Francis in my style.”


Word...I would like a Francis type center please.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Aw c'mon RichmondPhil! Nieuwendyk has actually had practice working in the front office with the Leafs. He may last a few weeks longer than Hull.
MReilly9, Hmmmmm. I like that he's supposed to be good defensively as well as offensively. Do you know when development camp is going to be held this year? I'd like to make it up there to watch a day.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 31, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

D camp is usually mid-July. give me a few minutes and I'll go dig out the tentative dates.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 31, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Ok, D camp, according to an earlier Tarik post, is July 12-18, but those may be off by a day.

however, I just re-read the article and it appears that Yunkov is preparing to come for rookie camp, not D camp, which I think is usually in August.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 31, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

never mind, rookie camp was mid-September last year. I have no clue with camp Yunkov is referring to.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 31, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie, Thanks! I think Yunkov was referring to rookie camp in September, right before actual training camp. But I'll have better luck getting a day to come up for D-camp in July since work will get a lot busier once the students come back.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 31, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Not sure which camp Yunkov was talking about in his quote but he probably meant the September one just before the main camp begins. He should go the July camp to show the Caps coaches his game and how he can perform on the ice, as well as begin to develop ties with other Caps prospects.

Yunkov seemed very happy at the post 2004 NHL draft party that Ted invited all the Caps fans (Caps Road Crew) to in Raleigh, NC. He didn't speak English then, not sure if he can now, but he seemed like a nice kid. Also at this draft party was Ovechkin, Mike Green, Jeff Schultz, and Chris Bourque. Not sure if any of the other 2004 Caps draft pics attended, maybe Sami Lepisto? - But former Cap Calle Johansson was also at the party.

Posted by: MReilly9 | May 31, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Good News, the Hockeys Future website has the Caps improving from 11th in the December 2008 NHL Organization Rankings to 6th in the Spring 2009 Organizational Rankings.

December 2008:
http://www.hockeysfuture.com/nhl_organisation_rankings/?start=6

Spring 2009:
http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/11242/hockeys_future_spring2009_organizational_rankings110/

Posted by: MReilly9 | May 31, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: tess2201 | May 31, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I was looking if the Caps had ever hosted a draft, to see if maybe it could happen in the future. And Montreal pretty much gets it whenever they want. I wonder how the League chooses who gets the draft? Is it bid on like the All-Star game? And if the Caps are indeed in the Winter Classic with Boston, does that negate their ability to get either a draft or all-star game in the next century?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 31, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

The fact that the Frozen Four was deemed a success for Verizon Center should bode well for the Caps if they do bid to hold an All-Star game or an Entry Draft. I wonder how many years in advance these things are determined?

Posted by: tess2201 | May 31, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

i doubt we could trade for him, but imagine having Laich and Helm in front of the net on both PP lines... Hadn't seen much of Helm, but wow has he turned it on. That's the winger/center we need.

Understand by watching more of the Bears playoffs that Mink has some of that in him, guess we will see next year if he makes the team.

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Not exactly the same as hosting the NHL Draft but the Caps usually host a Draft Day Party - but I have not heard if they are doing this again this year.

Posted by: MReilly9 | May 31, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I heard a very vague rumor that the all star game might be coming in the near future. But it was nothing even remotely solid.

I'm not sure what the process is, but I went when St. Paul, MN hosted in 2004 and had an absolute blast at all the fan stuff. The convention center would obviously make an ideal location for that. Never mind that you'd think the NHL would want to capitalize on a city that has embraced hockey so enthusiastically and just happens to be one of premier cities in the world.

Knowing our luck, Bettman will have the NHL host the Official Sidney Crosby Love Fest in Pittsburgh as soon as possible, and DC will never get an all star game as long as the little gnome is in charge.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 31, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

(From previous posting) @ Raber:

"Also, I still think Varly is too aggressive. The Pens figured that out in game 2 and that's why Sid was crashing the net and scoring open net goals."

I don't see how a goalie can ever be too aggressive. You can say that his/her (let's not forget women's hockey) timing is off, or is out of position or made the wrong choice of save or whatever but being too aggressive? Come on! Fleury made an incredible move the other day -- it wasn't even a save. To eliminate any possibility of a breakaway, he skated practically to the blue line and re-directed the puck, as if he were a forward. Hasek used to take unbelievable risks that way and intimidated opponents. He has to grow in confidence, discipline, technique etc; he should control his aggressiveness not lose it.

What did folks think of the Pens-Wings game yesterday and is anyone watching tonight?

Some Caps fans are rooting for the Pens, thinking that it will sting less if we can claim that we were beaten by a Stanley Cap champion.

Posted by: caraveli | May 31, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Once Ted has helped bring us the cup, I think that he should take over for Bettman, then we can host the ASG

:)

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

i doubt we could trade for him, but imagine having Laich and Helm in front of the net on both PP lines... Hadn't seen much of Helm, but wow has he turned it on. That's the winger/center we need.

Helm just came up from Grand Rapids. The Wings don't have any intentions of letting him go. He's definitely in the Wings' plans for another bazillion seasons of utter dominance.

By the way, Wings are utterly dominating the flightless fowl, but the score is 0-0.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 31, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Some Caps fans are rooting for the Pens, thinking that it will sting less if we can claim that we were beaten by a Stanley Cap champion.

Nothing ever takes the sting out of losing to the penguins. If anything, watching that collection of obnoxious, classless, punk SOBs raise the Cup would be like rubbing great handfuls of salt into freshly raw full-body wounds. Besides, I respect the Wings organization so much, I utterly hate the Pens, and Mr. RB is a Wings fan. Therefore, I root for the Wings.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 31, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Caraveli,
Watching now, still amazed how Detroit either has set plays or just knows where everyone will be going 90+% of the time. Outside of that my new favorite player to watch on the Wings is Helm....darn Detroits system and recruiting. Overall, thinking that Detroit still is the top dog, no matter how the NHL marketing machine wants to twist it.

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

RedBidie, ohh i know...mainly just dreaming.

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Normally, I would say "I can't believe that they just called that!" but given how The Gnome wants his sucky sucky boy to win the Cup, I'm not the least but surprised.

Maybe Babcock will re-enact that "penalty" in his post game or tomorrow's press conference, to my delight. His reenactment of Kronwall's hit on Havlat was Oscar worthy.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 31, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Interesting news on Yunkov wanting to join the Caps now. Okay Mikhail (or do you want to be called Misha or a more Americanized Mike or Mickey), there's now a vacancy for a second line center with Feds gone.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh Crap, the Pens scored a power play goal. Kronwall was in the penalty box.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

when do the Bears and Stingrays play again?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 31, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Bears game 2 is Tuesday. Not sure about the Rays.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 31, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Rays play again on Thursday.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 31, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, pressed submit too fast. That should read: Rays play again on Thursday. They're up 3 games to 2 and are in Alaska for the last two games of the series.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 31, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

i haven't given up hope on Stefan, but he will not be his brother... goal, wings!

nice

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

think the plan is for him to replace Poti after his contract is up, if he can make the big club... that was what the look for this year.

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

caps28fan:
who are you referring to...Kronwall?

Posted by: tess2201 | May 31, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

If Staffs was acquired to replace a D man, wouldn't it make sense to have him replace someone who wasn't signed through '10-11? Even Pothier is signed through next season. All our UFA dmen are Hershey guys.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 31, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, he hasn't played great, but he hasn't played horrible...just not sure if he can make the leap full time. He has the offense skills that Poti has/had for the PP2 unit, but still has some development. Fortunately his brother didn't really start playing full time until he was the same age as Stefan is now....I believe...have to double check that.

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Malkin miscue allows Wings to go up 2-1.

Posted by: MReilly9 | May 31, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

jmu-girl...true, but not all d-men develop at the same time. From watching some Hershey games this year, Stefan has what Poti was supposed to bring, just younger and less developed. Course I really like how Sloan has played also...

So question for everyone. Does Bob Woods replace Leach or is there another lined up?

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

sorry, jmu_capsgirl...did not mean to get your sn wrong, know you have been on here a while...time to put the beverage down
:)

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

caps28fan, how many Bears games have you seen? Staffan's done very well. He is putting in a ton of ice time full strength and power play. In many cases he is the only dman out there on the PP. He and Bourque man the blue line kind of like Greenie and Ovie. Before Kronwall was picked up Lepisto was the main PP guy, and I'll take Kronwall over Lepisto any day. He's a lousy fighter, but he plays a good physical game. Has cut down on his turnovers considerably as the season progressed.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 31, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

caps28fan, You're right. I was just thinking since he wasn't a far-planned acquisition that he might have been there in case Pothier had a set-back, rather than replacing Poti eventually.
Tess & I were discussing the coaching vacancy earlier, specifically Woods replacing Leach & French replacing Woods. Sounds like it could work, but I guess it might depend on how the Bears do, the available candidates outside the organization and if they want to steal Hershey's head coach twice in three years.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 31, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

caps28fan, not a problem. I answer to stuff a lot farther away than that, even with my real name. I'm normally the only JMU anything on here, so its not like its confusing.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 31, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

sorry, only seen 5 games 3 regular season and 2 playoff games. Unfortunately only online.
I knew that Lepisto was running it, thanks for filling me in though. I had all intentions of making it up to Hershey this year, funny how time slips by

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Not sure about Woods as the next Caps defensive coach. I would prefer that the new coach have some experience with either playing or coaching at the NHL level. BB does have a long history with Woods though - which makes it possible for Woods.

Posted by: MReilly9 | May 31, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

caps28fan:
no problem. I sit at the end the Bears defend twice, so I find myself focusing more on goalies and defensemen.

LOL...loved Franzen popping Kunitz into the bench!

Posted by: tess2201 | May 31, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Never will I root for the Pens. I am pulling big for the Wings and hope may Octopi get tossed on Mellon Arena's Ice in a couple nights.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | May 31, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

caps28fan: Yes the Wings are amazing and I would think the Caps could learn a lot by seeing how they handle the Pens. I never saw the Pens crash their net, for example (not for long anyway). How do they do it? Watching them dominate us in puck posession and spending most of the time in our zone was traumatic--even when we won. They were even more dominant with the Canes. Well, they don't seem dominant now.

What impresses me about Detroit is their consistency. They were the only team who started strong and ended strong. The Bruins, the Sharks and the Caps ran out of steam, while the Canes and Pens got going late in the season. But the Wings were strong all along. They also repeat this success year after year. I don't understand how they do it. Is it a unbeatable system that gives them that consistency, whom they recruit or what?

Posted by: caraveli | May 31, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

@RedBirdie

Agree with you on the Pens and their organization. Seeing them raise the cup would salt too many fresh wounds for me too. Their stars remind me of a girl my younger daughter had trouble with in middle school. A superstar swimmer and superstar student who spread trash about her. (And to top things off, she shares a birthday AND country of birth with that particular Penguin.) So when I was reading about the Pens this year (and all the trash talk), I was reminded of those days.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised to see Lepisto moved in a package and Kronwall signed to a two year deal....that or the Leafs will pick him back up.

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

The Wings would be a good team to take lessons on how to operate. Consistent all year. As for the Pens, to screw around at the beginning, fire the coach, and then hire rent-a-players.......

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

rphil: "No one is beating the Wings this year. Hopefully I am wrong and the Caps can."

__________________________________________

cstanton: " No one is beating the Sharks. They are the complete package."

Cheef: "Sharks, of course. They got everything they need to go all the way."

StanleyCup1907: "Sharks will win the Cup this year."

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I am pulling big for the Wings and hope may Octopi get tossed on Mellon Arena's Ice in a couple nights.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | May 31, 2009 9:57 PM |

all about the octopi.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Just not convinced that the D-system is solved by bringing Woods up. Still not sure if it's the system or if its personnel though.

30 days till Free Agency...GMGM was up at the combine today....is it September yet?

Nice that Detroit plays the same song (Hell Yeah) as we have as our video....wonder how many rinks play that song?

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Hear the "Caps" song playing in the background?!? :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 31, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

Interesting you post the predictions. Note the source: two of our trolls, StanleyCup1907 and Cheef, and cstanton, who I think is a Caps fan but a pretty negative one.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

So, 2-1 Redwings after two periods. It is early yet but my most fervent hope that the Redwings win this game and go on to sweep the Penguins. I also hope the Cap's front office and players are noting what kind of play and players it takes to win the SC. All the more so to make next year our year.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 31, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

My pick was actually Wings-NJ.

NJ got picked off quick, of course. haha. I didn't post that for myself, just wanted to let you guys know who our 2 favorite trolls and favorite negative nancy said was going to win the Cup.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Dag - Hank had his face right in the blade of Ozzie's skate.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 31, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil : Since cheef is never wrong, bettman will award the Cup to the Sharks.

Posted by: uncatim | May 31, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl (from earlier thread)

I guess Backstrom must be a sentimental favorite of yours (with a close birthday and only a year apart).

Coincidentally, my first born is a year (plus a few days) older than Schultz and nearly a year younger than Semin.

My youngest is 3 years minus a week younger than Varly.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I will say though that cstanton said that during the regular season. Well before the brackets were made. He did change it when the brackets were made.

sc1907 and Cheef however, whether they were joking or not, both did say the Sharks would win the Cup after the brackets came out.


wings score. their 4th line > pens 1st line.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

can i just say, I hope Detroit sweeps the Pens...
3-1 Detroit

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

gill is having his problems this series (snicker).

Posted by: uncatim | May 31, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Goal by #8 in red!

Posted by: tess2201 | May 31, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Justin Abdelkader again! Woo Hoo? He's had more goals this playoff series than the entire year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

@caps28fan

Join the club -- for wanting a sweep. Pay back time for Orprick and company, the very guy who seemed intent on injuring Semin.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Wings are just too good, top to bottom.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

gill is having his problems this series (snicker).

Posted by: uncatim | May 31, 2009 10:17 PM |

Seems like Eaton and Scuderi have been there only solid D men this series. Even Gonchar has looked horrible out there.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Of course, Pens fans will blame guess who for Gonchar's non-performance this series. Without being too obvious about it, they'll blame the guy whose last name means "lamb" and is actually similar to the Latin word for 'sheep'.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Haha, if Gonchar/Pens fans try to use that, they'll look like huge babies.

Cole and Ruutu both took much more vicious knee-on-knees delivered via Orpik and..i think Cooke? Not too sure. Strangely, we heard nothing of it from our fellow Pens fans...haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75, If I had a little brother, I'd want it to be Nick. I'd definitely go Bradley on somebody if they talked trash about him. As it is, I have an older brother a lot like Greener, (although two days older than Flash) even down to the "But please could I play forward, Coach?". My brother wanted to be a forward so badly, but even as a kid, he was built like a linebacker, so he always got put on defence. I've always been a bigger fan of the "character" guys - Laich, Brads, etc. Probably the small-town Canada girl in me.
@Boo, its okay. Hank doesn't need his face all that much for his cardigan modeling contract. Not that it hurts.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 31, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom would be one of my sentimental favorites. I just love his attitude and the fact that he is such a work horse. Gives it his all, doesn't talk much and gets it done. I like the silent "under the radar" type guys. I also think that a strong center man is needed for any team to succeed, so I hold him to the same standard I would Ovechkin.

Plus, look at the kids hair. Crazy! He needs a haircut.

Did anyone see the video when he curses on air in Sweden? Supposedly he was extremely nervous and it just came out. There is a youtube video on it and I think Steinberg did an article on it before.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

@jmu,

While my favorites are the forwards who are members of the "gang who can't finish scoring chances" brigade whose age falls within 1 year of my first born; i.e. Semin, Ovi, Flash, and Fehr. (To be fair, they have scored plenty even despite the missed chances.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Woo Hoo. Three and a half minutes to go. Hang on, Wings.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom has beautiful hair. Too bad it's wasted on a guy. I had heard that he can't trust anyone in North America to cut his hair. Gee, wonder how long his hair would get if the Caps ever made it to the Stanley Cup finals.

BTW, my husband had a college friend (male)who had beautiful blond hair that was wasted on a guy.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Now, 1 and a half minutes left.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

JMU,

Were you originally from Canada?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Z vs. Malkin !!!


Satan is a bit**! third man in! third man in!

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

the way malkin was throwing his punches reminds me of a certain bongo player lol.

Posted by: minicoop828 | May 31, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

malkin - no tie downs - is that a suspension?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 31, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Kirk:
You get tossed for the game with no tie down so if anyone is out it would only be for 18.2 seconds.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 31, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

On the subject of hair, Ovi's hair is a lot like my younger daughter's. Of course, hers is longer (and she pays much more attention to it). She also has blue eyes. (This lead me to believe -- is there a common ancestor somewhere?)

I once read that a Danish scientist had figured out that all blue eyes people share a common ancestor from 5000-10000 years ago. It seemed that a mutation had caused blue eyes.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

i think that is a suspension!
in the regular season though and when it doesn't involve anyone on the Penguins

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

malkin - no tie downs - is that a suspension?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 31, 2009 10:43 PM |

+instigator with 5 mins left.

Satan for third man in?

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Malkin's getting pretty feisty in his old age.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

No fight strap is just a game misconduct ... and that did not look like an instigator to me?!?

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 31, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Semin wasn't suspended for not tying down his straps but he got a 10 minute game misconduct. Malkin just got the 5 minutes for fighting -- no game misconduct.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl

Your brother's about 9 months older than my first born. Oddly enough, Flash shares a birthday with my younger daughter's boyfriend but is 5 years older.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Wings... win one game, do it 2 more times.

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Take that back. I checked things out and Malkin did indeed get a game misconduct penalty. 19 minutes total this game, 17 for that play alone. He got 5 minutes fighting, 2 minutes instigator, and the 10 minute game misconduct.

Oh Geno, methinks you're getting awfully frustrated.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

hopefully Datsyuk can make it back for game 3...but todays report didn't sound good about him limping (foot?)

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

@caps28fan

Agree with you, there. So Malkin takes lessons from Semin on how to fight.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

@caps28fan

I'd like to see Pavel back, as well.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Crosby's love tap at the end of game 1, Malkin trying to mix it up with Hank game 2

can't wait for Game 3....
Frustration boiling over?

Posted by: caps28fan | May 31, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

What Malkin did there was sort of dangerous.

He was flailing his arms with his frickin stick in his hand. That's dangerous.


Pasha would make this series all the more fun to watch.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I'd rather see Pasha back also.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 31, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that Malkin got instigator - so will he be tossed for the next game or are they gonna pull another Walker? And if he got a misconduct for not being tied down, then shouldn't Hank have gotten one, too? I didn't think either one of them were tied down ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 31, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

No one will be suspended.

NHL won't do that, especially Malkin or Z.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Phil:
My point exactly; Walker didn't get tossed, either. But if it was Brash ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 31, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

So basically it was Oswood beating Fleury tonight, right? The Pens actually had more shots on goals. Two more wins. Go Wings!

Posted by: caraveli | May 31, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

"Oh Geno, methinks you're getting awfully frustrated" snicker. I'm not watching the game, but I'm laughing at y'alls comments. I'll watch the elimination games. I just can't bear to watch before then.
I definitely have hair-envy for Nick. Mine looked like that a long time ago.
@CapsFan75, Yes ma'am, I was born in Nova Scotia but moved to southern VA when I was ten. I still think of it as "home" and would love to move back at some point. My brother exhibits nearly none of the traditional "first born" qualities. Although its funny, he wanted to stay in Richmond, near where he went to college and I wanted to go as far away as possible and it worked completely opposite. I'm still at JMU and he leaves in a month for New Mexico.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 31, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

@Boo
I actually don't mind that they don't get suspended. In fact, I want all the good players in to make a good series. I mean, watching it, it really wasn't that bad.

Now the Walker incident played out almost exactly like the Brash incident, except worse. In that case, I want to see retribution. Cheap shots, etc.

But I don't want to see them get suspended for something petty like instigator or tie down. If one of them cheap shotted one good or something, then I would feel differently.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 31, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

They won't suspend Malkin, and I hope they don't. We don't need any more crying. Forget the fact the Wings won the first 2 games without Draper or Datsuyk. Granted, none of the bounces have gone the Pens way at all, but that was bound to happen as many good bounces as they got the rest of the way (especially against us).

I hate the Wings as much as anyone, and they do obstruct all the time, but the complaints about the officiating on Pensblog are mildly humorous given that there was plenty of stuff that could have been called both ways tonight. Hossa and Helm were getting interfered with just as much as anyone. Complaints about reffing in a game when PP chances were 1-1 until the garbage that happened in the final minute is a little over the top. Makes it sound like they expect to get every call and ignore all of the stuff that was done the other way.

If they have a complaint tonight we have an even bigger case for games like Game 3 of our series. Oh well, as much as I like seeing the Pens lose I just can't stand the inevitability of another Wings Cup. They DO get away with a ton, even if I think there was just as much they let go the other way tonight. Osgood has been more lucky than good. Also not sure how Z gets away with his diving in the crease all the time.

Get this sad feeling in my gut that literally if the Wings stay healthy it could be us and the Pens killing each other in the East finals next year for a chance to try to stop them again.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | June 1, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I think the 10 minute misconduct for not tying down fighting straps is one of the dumbest rules. Okay, they did institute it back when there were more goons and the goons would take off their jerseys to fight. But the guys who get caught these days aren't the goons. Just Semin, Hossa, and Malkin.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 1, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

@ Jschon

Drove to Detroit Saturday with my son and went to tonight's game at the Joe. And what a game it was! Talk about some angry Pens fans, we had a group sitting behind us that were yuking it up good after the 1st period while they were up 1-0. They were as angry as Malkin near the end of the game. I couldn't resist, so I asked my son "hey, who do you think will be the next Penguin to follow Hossa's lead and defect to the Red Wings...Stahl, Geno, or Cindy?" Picture an angry Pen's fan stuttering and finally blurting out "they...they can't do that....they're all under contract, aren't they?" We all laughed heartily at that. They ended up walking out with about a minute or so left.

We're leaving Tuesday, and driving to Pittsburgh and going to game 3 there. Got lucky and scored some tickets. Take care.

Posted by: btcg | June 1, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

come on, Detroit, keep it up! 2-0. So far so good.

Posted by: oo7 | June 1, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

man watching zetterberg is a lesson in what it takes to win the stanley cup.

Posted by: am_jim | June 1, 2009 2:46 AM | Report abuse

Malkin didn't get a game suspension for instigating in the last five minutes?? NHL is becoming NBA... one big fixed circus. Bettman and Campbell should be replaced.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 1, 2009 6:00 AM | Report abuse

My post from Friday:

I predict the Wings in 6 again. Fleury will prove to be the reason they can't win a championship too. The other thing that will happen is Bylsma will finally have to make adjustments and will fail.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 29, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm not claiming to be Nostradamus or anything but the goaltending and coaching has been the difference.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 1, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

I am glad the officials are letting the players decide the outcome but there certainly seems to be A LOT of penalties ignored. My Dad grew up a Hawks fan (as did I) and views the Wings much like we view the Pens, and that is, they get a lot of phantom calls their way, and get away with more calls. Besides all the penalties at the very end it is shaping out that way. Up to that point I think the Pens had 3 penalties and the Red Wings 2.

Knowing this, and now experiencing this, I wonder if our players are the problem when it comes to clearing the crease. Players like Orpik hit away from the play and are not called for interference. Matt Cooke took a run in game 1, well after the whistle, at a Red Wing in front of the net, no call, and even the announcers were surprised. Last but not least, Crosby, his two handed cross-check to the jaw of Zetterberg in Game 1 was dirty as heck. Star player or not, that was BS, if that was Ovi, he would have been sitting for 2. My thought is, Orpik with his dirty hits, and Gil with his interference because he is slow as hell, were wearing Caps jerseys they would be in the box way more frequently.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 1, 2009 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Phil:
I don't "want" anyone to get suspended either, I just want consistency in calls/decisions. Seems like the Caps always come in on the short end of that stick.

fanohock1:
Funny you mention that. During last night's game I said something to Mr. Boo about how different the reffing is in the playoffs and how they tend to let guys play more (DET only had two calls last night, and one was on Hank for fighting in the last minute). I think I prefer it - it makes for some exciting hockey as things keep moving, intensity builds and plays can really develop (or all heck can break loose!). Not that I want them to give guys enough room to play dirty, but I do think they could loosen up a bit in the regular season.

CapsFan75:
It's actually a game misconduct and guys get tossed for it. I agree - it's silly. Besides, if you're not tied down and get in the fight, the beatdown that results is punishment enough!

Posted by: --Boo-- | June 1, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

--Boo--: I agree, I wish they would let the boys play more. Give a disparity in penalties to the Red Wings or Pens that the Pens had against the Caps and these games turn from exciting to a one-sided game. Again, I am glad they are letting them play. Oh, the most blatant Orpik interference was the when he hit Hossa in Game 1. The announcers raved about how big of a hit it was but the fact was Hossa never had control of the puck and took 2 strides without having it anywhere near him because Malkin knocked it away and then there was Orpik. If that was Jurcina, Morrison, or Eskine, it would have been a penalty, and we couldn't have complained as fans because it was a penalty. Just sayin'.

It is a great series though. I don't know how many of you are impressed with Zetterberg but the guy is amazing. He does whatever it takes in all 3 zones to get it done. On the same shift he'll end of on his belly in his crease and then the Pens crease.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 1, 2009 7:08 AM | Report abuse

I can see why Z has been a finalist for the Selke in the past. Just think of the possibilities if Pavel is healed.

A lot is being made of Pittsburgh having last change in games 3 and 4 and Bylsma getting Crosby away from Z, Lidstrom, and Rafalski. Problem is there are so many solid Red Wings that you can't avoid them all. Besides, something tells me that Babcock knows a thing or two about how to adjust in road games.

I did not really think Malkin's "fight" was really much more than emotion. However, I am a little surprised more has not been said about Talbot's shove to Osgood that started the whole thing. Not that the shove was Kunitz or Avery on Varly like, but just the whole trend that continues for teams to try and mess with goalies. Seems like that is something the NHL should be more concerned with than whether a skilled forward has his jersey tied down.

Finally, Game 3 should be really interesting. I wonder if the trend of 1 or 2 penalties a team will continue?

Posted by: Kim-3 | June 1, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Go Wings.

Posted by: ridgely1 | June 1, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

@Kim-3: Pretty much. Both teams got away with a spectacular amount of crap last night, and I'm part shocked and part not that Malkin's suspension was rescinded. It's been plain to me since Game 2 that the NHL wanted to get Crosby his Cup this year, and having Malkin out for Game 3 would all but doom the Pens.

I don't mind "letting them play" or "calling it tight" - I'll live either way, so long as they call it the same on both sides. Since they seemed to be doing that last night, I wasn't too upset. Malkin not getting suspended and neither Hank or Geno getting game misconducts for not having their fight straps tied down is stupid and makes Bettman's intentions blatantly obvious, though.

And, agree with Kim-3. The refs need to worry about protecting the goalies much more than they do.

Posted by: kittypawz | June 1, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Kim:
I agree - the hit on Ozzie was ridiculous ... kinda like Crosby's love tap the night before. Why they are being allowed to do stuff like that is beyond me. Oh wait, they're the Pens ... nevermind.

Posted by: --Boo-- | June 1, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

@btcg

You must be loving it, not the driving but the results. No Dats, 2 wins. Looking forward to your Wings party. I'll get on the mic in your studio and melt faces with my version of Dont Stop Believ'n.

Have you people in here been reading Japers? He's been going over all the Caps and their individual seasons, goods and bads.

Posted by: JSchon | June 1, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: tess2201 | June 1, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Also, @jmu_capsgirl: All our UFA dmen are Hershey guys.

Not so. Jurcina and Morrisonn are both up and UFA. I put together a list of everyone, RFA and UFA, whose contracts come up this year - there's 24 of them. I expect to drop close to half of those - we have to drop at least a third to meet our eight new contracts coming into this year. I'm sure we drop Pokulok, ShaMo, Machesney, Brash, Fedorov, and Kozlov. I'd like to keep Johnson but I don't see how that works. Lepisto may also be a drop. I'm pretty sure we keep Jurcina, Bourque, Sloan, Mink, and Giroux. (Would so love him to break out at the NHL level but I don't think that'll happen.)

Posted by: kittypawz | June 1, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Woow everyone is blowing up what the pens do but what about what the Wings cheap shots they give, the elbow to Stall’s face. People still talking conspiracy SERIOUSLY? if there was a conspiracy the Pens would have recieved their penalty shot in game 1 and the Wing's 2nd goal would not have counted in game 2.

Posted by: cocorules | June 1, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

in a little case of thread weaving, Backstrom once told Steinberg that his favorite player is......Zetterberg! Got a ways to go on the beard thing, though.

my husband was not amused while watching the Malkin-Zetters tussle and I yelled out "Kick his @$$, Sexy!"

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 1, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Yeah, up 2-0 coupled with Lebron's ouster makes life pretty good.

Looks like Ozzie is 2 games away from the Conn Smythe, much to the chargrin of his detractors.

Call ya when I get back.

Posted by: btcg | June 1, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@cocopuff

Woow everyone is blowing up what the pens do but what about what the Wings cheap shots they give, the elbow to Stall’s face. People still talking conspiracy SERIOUSLY? if there was a conspiracy the Pens would have recieved their penalty shot in game 1 and the Wing's 2nd goal would not have counted in game 2.

No bias eh? How is it that Sid is on the NHL commercial skating around a Wing player and the Pen's are shown celebrating? I thought the Wings won last years Cup?

The Wings are the least penalyzed team in the league, and don't have a goon on the roster.

Posted by: btcg | June 1, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

cocorules: Are you implying that after Malkin tripped Kronwall at the point and then went on a breakaway and was stopped that he should have gotten a penalty shot? How about Helm getting slashed across the hands on his breakaway. My point is neither team is being called. Is it because it is the Stanley Cup Finals or because it is the Pens and Red Wings. Most EC fans would say it's because it's the Pens, and WC fans would say it's because it's the Red Wings.

Regardless of any of that Crosby's two handed cross-check to Zetterberg's face was an extremely dirty and dangerous move. Zetterberg didn't go down like a sack of potatoes though so since he didn't exaggerate Crosby got away with it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 1, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Anybody read Colin Campbell's explanation for not suspending Malkin when he should be suspended according to the RULES that govern the NHL.

The NHL is a joke, the leadership is a joke, and it speaks VOLUMES to how the league is completely slanted to certain teams.

A joke. A complete and pointless joke. Have fun in Russia Brashear. Maybe they won't suspend you there for a shoulder check.

Posted by: cblankner | June 1, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@cblankner:

Do you by chance play inline at The Box?

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 1, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@cblankner:

Do you by any chance play inline in N. VA?

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 1, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I guess the Nats didn't use the steroids properly.

Posted by: wis193 | June 1, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if everyone remembers that picture of that lady with the mullet that was posted on here so many months back but I'm going to assign that mug to cocorules. It makes her statement just that much more silly. And she wonders why we think so little of them. *sigh* My sympathies to these intellectually challenged people that like the Penguins.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | June 1, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

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