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No Practice For Caps

As you might have guessed by now, the Caps did not skate today. Instead, the players are participating in a team building excercise. Details are sketchy, but I heard a military base and Black Hawk helicopters are involved.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know why there hasn't been a practice update. I am, however, on duty, so if any news breaks, I'll get it up quickly. I also hope to post the Bruce Boudreau interview from last night's Washington Post Live. Boudreau spoke openly about expectations and hinted that Alex Ovechkin might spend some time on the penalty kill during the regular season, an issue he hedged on earlier this week.

The Caps will be back on the ice tomorrow at 10:30 over at KCI.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 8, 2008; 12:33 PM ET
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Will see you tomorrow @ KCI. Was going through withdrawls there for a moment.

Posted by: OleMiss | October 8, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - why no coverage anywhere of the golf event? Last year's coverage was pretty decent.

Posted by: on ice | October 8, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'll be out "sick" tomorrow...

Posted by: Egon | October 8, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I think most everyone agrees that expectations are higher this year. How high? Do people really believe the Caps are going to be Cup contenders this year? Or will it take another few years? I personally feel that we are a few pieces away. Some of those pieces are seasoning (Alzner). For those of you who don't think the Caps are Stanley Cup final bound this year, care to posit what the lineup will look like when they do reach the Cup finals? Feel free to subtract and add pieces from inside the organization and out.

Posted by: TJ2 | October 8, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

i too may be 'sick' tomorrow. hmmmm.....

Posted by: Go Skins Go | October 8, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted on last blog entry:


If you want to take a long hard look at the Caps D, Please, go read the article on japer's: "In defense of jose..." It may open your eyes a little bit regarding what we really need(ed) in DC for this season. If you take issue with the information provided in the Season Summary, please, I'm willing to discuss.

As for Alzner taking Schultz/Erskine's spot...I highlighted back in ...oh when was it, june or july that Alzner had 0 chance of starting the year with the big boys. It has NOTHING to do with talent. It had EVERYTHING to do with who you have to get rid of to make room for his 1.6M cap number. Neither make more than King Karl. So you have to dump someone else. Lepisto + Alzner is MUCH MUCH more expensive than Juice/Skine. With more than half our D up for renegotiation at the end of this season, the situation will play itself out. But there was no way it was going to happen for Oct 10.

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 8, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I will love to see Ovie on the PK every now and again, not every game and not even most of the time either. only when we need a goal, a boost. I think it'll be great for team morale to have him on the PK at the right time. plus if he was as good as preseason that can't hurt either. I can't wait for sturday I'm flying in from alaska to go the game and cheer on Theo, Feds, Ovie and the Caps

Posted by: GoOVcaps | October 8, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the update. I'd rather see Semin on the PK, though. He's both better at it and also doesn't see the same ice-time that Ovy does.
/2 cents


Posted by: Sapper | October 8, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Black Hawk helicopters. That's a few steps up from Ron Wilson's team-building bowling!

I thought BB had said that Ovie taking a shot off the leg (foot?) ended the PK experiment. I guess anything is still possible at this point.

2 more days, people!

Posted by: Jill | October 8, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Team building:

"Ok, Matt, fall back. Eric, catch him otherwise he'll bust his head on the floor and you'll have to take his slot in the line-up."


Posted by: old time hockey | October 8, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@On ice

TSN had some video of the golf event, including Leonsis offering Ovechkin $100 Billion dollars (from the bank of Zimbabwe), if he could ace the same hole again.

Posted by: old time hockey | October 8, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I think the Penguins did a day of basic training at a base before last season- you see what that did for them.

Anxious to see a recap and pictures from the event!

Posted by: Chris | October 8, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"kozlov to toronto for draft pick, caps making room for prospects?"

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

many thanks, old time hockey.
Anyone have a link?

Posted by: on ice | October 8, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Reminder the Bears open season tonight at the baby pens. anyone want to watch or listen. audio only

and has link for video which costs $6.00

Posted by: Chad | October 8, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Do you know if they archive the video?

Posted by: Jordan | October 8, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

They say they do. It is a new service this year for the AHL.

Posted by: Chad | October 8, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Any KCI regulars tuning in right now? I have a few questions as I try to make plans to vist there for the first time.

Posted by: Riddler | October 8, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a regular, but they'll not be there today. Not unless they've started flying blackhawk heliocopters indoors.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 8, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they are their today and just rolled in semis with blackhawk heliocopter simulators.
I was thinking of Thursday or sometime next week.

Posted by: Riddler | October 8, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I guess that would possibly explain the flight of Black hawks I saw flying north from Northern VA over Bethesda and hour ago. I know in training when we got to ride our first black hawk (door open, nap of the earth) it go tme very pumped. Of course, later that week they told me to jump our of said helicopter....

Posted by: Leeguru | October 8, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I went to Odenton a few times and it was always real casual. I sat in the stands with Joe Reekie and chatted with hime for twenty minutes or so. I also hung out with Jamie Heward and his family for awhile doing the same thing.
The players would be available after they left the ice to sign things or chat as the headed to the locker room. Is this basically how it still is?

Posted by: Riddler | October 8, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse


Generally if you want an autograph at practice now, you'll wait around by the player's entrance/exit outside after practice. The players don't walk through the mob between the ice and locker anymore like they used to have to at Piney.

Posted by: Jordan | October 8, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

The Caps should repel from Blackhawks onto the ice for the home opener. That would get the crowd pumped up. May be a bit of a logistical problem, not to mention altogether impossible.

Posted by: Hooch | October 8, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Jordan.
Is that a mob scene now outside compared to Piney?

Posted by: Riddler | October 8, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse


On weekends it can be a little hairy. Weekday morning practice isn't usually bad at all, though.

Posted by: Jordan | October 8, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

So they dont fly to Atlanta until tomorrow night I assume?

Why not get in town early?

Posted by: SA-Town | October 8, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse


It is usually more well attended than Piney Orchard but I wouldn't call it a mob scene. Even during playoff fever last season I always could park, find a good seat, never waited in a long line to buy refreshments. I usually don't take well to change, but I like Kettler better than Piney Orchard. It is also in a way better neighborhood for finding good restaurants.

Posted by: uncatim | October 8, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the help, guys.

Posted by: Riddler | October 8, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Wait for 2 consecutive losses, then go, it will be a ghost town.

Posted by: Chief | October 8, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Chief, as I have already predicted, the team is going 81-1. So how can there be 2 consecutive losses?

Posted by: Leeguru | October 8, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse


I have been to a number of practices and let me just say this. DON'T GO ON WEEKENDS. it's more trouble then it is worth and a lot of the players escape to the lower levels of the garages to avoid the mob that is the Caps fans. weekdays are perfect. generally if you wait outside the big window that has the capitals logo on it you will catch big name players like Semin, Ovie and Backie and even green. Laich generally sneaks off to the elevators heading to the FC. what you need to do is ask around when you get there, there is always a fan who comes to a lot of practices who can tell you where to go when. I have mastered the art of recognizing the player's cars so when I see their cars parked on the top level I know who to expect to come out, like I said ask around because other people have memorized player's cars as well. The food court is always a good place to go, the coach hangs there and a lot of hungry players head that way after practice.

Posted by: GoOVcaps | October 8, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

So the best bet for autos tomorrow would be to hangout the exit after practice?

Posted by: Egon | October 8, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey Sluggo,
bitter much?

Posted by: MNMNT | October 8, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Wherever you sit on the OV PK debate, the very fact that it's being discussed as a real option is encouraging.

Late in 2006, Tarik wrote a good piece about Ovechkin's shortcomings regarding his defensive responsibilities. This resulted in him not getting as much ice time late in close games, which of course limits his scoring effectiveness.

Part of the 65-goal equation last year was Ovechkin's focus on playing a complete game. Hence, he was on the ice both more often and in more situations.

Now, his commitment to playing defensive is such that Gabby is considering using him on the PK. Granted, he's not necessarily expecting OV to be a shut-down PK forward. But this would simply have been impossible two seasons ago.

This is all part of the maturation of a guy who has already proven he can be the best in the game. And it's fun to watch.

Posted by: John in Mpls | October 8, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

What I like about AO being on PK is that it keeps the D-men honest. They'll think four or five times before pinching in. Everyone knows that you don't leave AO in anything less than a 2-1 situation. Get him 1-1 and it's lights out. He just has to remember that he's not a QL out there, because we've all seen him go down and block shots.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 8, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the great insight. I have some game used sticks of some of the players and GMGM too that I'd like to get signed at some point. It's about a three hour ride for me so I'd like to be prepared as much possible as far as what I can expect to encounter. The signatures are secondary to checking out KCI for the first time and watching practice. Also, hopefully meeting a few fellow fans would be great also.
BTW Is GMGM ever accessible or is he in some sort of prviate area watching the practice?

Anyway, here's Hershey's roster I thought I'd share for people who have not seen it posted yet. Looks like they are stacked for a great season.-
Here's the Hershey roster, in numerical order:

1-Daren Machesney-G

2-Patrick McNeill-D

4-Josh Godfrey-D

5-Tyler Sloan-D

6-Sean Collins-D

7-Karl Alzner-D

10-Andrew Gordon-RW

11-Keith Aucoin-C

12-Alexandre Giroux-LW

13-Steve Pinizzotto-RW

14-Jay Beagle-C

15-Michael Dubuc-LW

17-Chris Bourque-LW

18-Kyle Wilson-C

19-Darren Reid-RW

20-Bryan Helmer-D

21-Graham Mink-RW

22-Francois Bouchard-RW

23-Andrew Joudrey-C

24-Mathieu Perreault-C

25-Maxime Lacroix-LW

26-Quintin Laing-LW

27-Grant McNeill-D/F

29-Dean Arsene-D

30-Michal Neuvirth-G

31-Simeon Varlamov-G

32-Greg Amadio-D

36-Oskar Osala-LW

37-Sami Lepisto-D

Posted by: Riddler | October 8, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

still 3 goalies in Hershey eh? Wonder who will get loaned out and when that will happen?

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 8, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Neuvirth nursing an injury?

Posted by: Leeguru | October 8, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse


If you see someone who's signature you want leave practice early, you better get to the exit early.


I need to defer to others regarding weekend practices, I guess I haven't been on a weekend since the team's new found popularity.

Posted by: uncatim | October 8, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Sombrero Guy:

Interesting article on Prior's take on Hershey Bears goalie situation:

Posted by: uncatim | October 8, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Great article.

Does any one know how many players we have under contrat between the Bears and Caps? It has got to be close to the limit of 50

Posted by: Riddler | October 8, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Team Building exercise, huh? Maybe they'll get a t-shirt that they can wear on Wednesday Nights...becasue Wednesday night, the conditions are perfect. (Business Time - FLight of the Conchords)

Posted by: Dan | October 8, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Please -- no AO on the PK!

Posted by: notfadeaway | October 8, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

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