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Notes From Day 5: Who Gets the 'A?'

Here are a few notes from today's on-ice sessions at KCI:

*With the departure of Sergei Fedorov, one alternate captain's "A" is up for grabs this season, and there's no shortage of options. Coach Bruce Boudreau listed Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, Mike Knuble, Tom Poti, Brooks Laich, David Steckel and Matt Bradley among those who he considers strong leaders.

Specifically speaking about the possibility of Laich taking on a larger role as a leader in 2009, Boudreau said: "I think he's got leadership built into him. He was a leader last year; the guys really respect him a lot. He's definitely so much of a leader that he's a guy that you consider putting an 'A' on him."

*Boudreau did swap centers between two sets of line combinations for tonight's game, hoping to get some extra energy from the Finley-Gustafsson-Pinizzotto line. The other group is now Bourque-Beagle-A.Gordon.

*With 66 players still on the camp roster, it's not guaranteed that all of the prospects will find their way into more than one preseason game, if they even make the lineup for one. So we'll see who among the younger guys can impress the coaching staff enough to get another look.

"It's a big thing to get a game now," Boudreau said. "We've got so many guys in camp. It's the same message we want to send tonight: You're playing a game. If you want another game, you better be at the top of your game because we'll probably put almost a totally different lineup together on Saturday and probably again on Monday."

*In case you missed it, today is Alex Ovechkin's 24th birthday. Before the second group of skaters took the ice, Alexander Semin snuck up on his teammate and smashed a towel full of shaving cream in his face to the cheers of the Kettler locker room.

By Katie Carrera  |  September 17, 2009; 11:59 AM ET
 
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Next: Caps 4, Sabres 3 (OT)

Comments

Hahahahaha. Happy Birthday Ovi.

Just remember, we're 1-0 when Brads wears the C. Just sayin'.

That said, I can see Laich getting the A. It makes sense.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 17, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Laich - plain and simple.

Backstrom? No
Green? No
Knuble, Poti, Bradley? Perhaps, exclusively based on veteran status.
Steckel? Possibly.
Laich? Absolutely.

Posted by: Semvechkin | September 17, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Poti frequently wore an "A" the past couple of seasons, either when Clark was out and the Caps fielded three As, or when another A went down.

Posted by: RedBirdie | September 17, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

give the A to Brads or Brooksie

Posted by: doughless | September 17, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Green, Backstrom, Steckel, Laich.... No
It should go to either Poti, Knuble, or Bradley (in no particular order)

And since we're talking about the A, isn't it about time we named a C? We haven't had one for the past 2 seasons, and no one can convince me that this isn't Ovie's team. Last year he skated with the prospects and drove himself to the Philly preseason game. He's the heart, soul, and face of this team.... Wait, do I even need to make a case for him? He's Alex freakin' Ovechkin!!!!!

Sorry Clarkie, I still like you... But its time to step up, be a leader, and pass the torch.

Posted by: griz0615 | September 17, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I need one more team to get to an even 10 in yahoo. One more please. E-mail lornemyoung@yahoo.com if you want to join up in this fantasy league. The draft is tonight.

On topic, I'd like to see the A on Laich or Steckel in that order.

Posted by: lornemyoung | September 17, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Brooksie would be a great choice, he seems to have a great attitude and that is key for a leader. I also feel like he genuinely wants to be here and that means alot to me as a fan.

Posted by: NatyBG | September 17, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@griz0615: I attended the fan forum teleconference call with Brooks Laich and Matt Bradley earlier this week, and both of them were very, very adamant that Chris Clark was their captain for reasons that we are not privy to (and that's what they said).

The C is not our decision to make. It is the decision of the coaches and the team, and frankly I find it presumptuous of anyone to decree who they think the captain should be. There's a lot of things that go on that we the fans don't know about, and shouldn't know about, and among those things are a lot of the major factors in who gets the letters. Yes, I can see why Laich would get the A based on what I have seen, but as long as the team wins, I frankly don't care who wears it.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 17, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Someone was dicussing preseason games being broadcast for other teams. IMO it is just owner preference when it comes to broadcasting preseason games. Two years ago when the fan base was at its lowest in years Ted had a couple of preseason games on TV to draw interest (of course that's my opinion). MSG isn't full but the Rangers are having all of their preseason games on the MSG channel. I caught a game two nights in a row on MSG. I might have said this in another thread, but the Caps are on MSG both times they play the Rangers. If you don't have Directv go to a local sports bar because they'll most likely have Directv and they'll probably put the game on one of the TVs for you. There was a watering hole in Northern VA a lot of people on here talked about last season. That might be a good one to visit.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 17, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

i would give the "A" back to bradley

Posted by: _stevo | September 17, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

From a previous thread:

richmondphil, How many complete games have you seen Gustaffson play? Preseason? Regular season? Playoffs? I'm guessing the total is zero, unless you spent alot of time over in Sweden the last few years. Are you a professional hockey scout? How you can make that absolute determination that he is behind is absolutely beyond me.

Heck, I couldn't give you a scoting report on B-Mo or Knuble right now that would be based on MY OWN observations, because I haven't focused on watching them play during their long careers (the fact he goes to the net is from what the pro scouts say). I could give you a scouting report on Ovie, Green, Laich, etc. cause I have seen them play alot and know their tendencies and abilities from watching them. I also haven't really heard the guys who are paid to do the scouting say that Gus is behind.

Ultimately the only assesment I can make having never seen Gus play in a full game anywhere is that the hockey people in the organization aren't saying he is behind and he was not expected to be at the NHL level and hasn't cracked the line-up yet.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 17, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

From a previous thread:

atybat, If you want to flip out over goaltending during an intrasquad scrimmage on the fourth day of training camp go right ahead.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 17, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Kitty,

I think its OV's team, but I also said it was up to Clarkie to pass the torch. It's NOT a decision for us fans. Also be careful of calling the kettle black when you say that Brooksie should wear the A. ;o)

FWIW, I have heard Ovie say "He is our leader" in reference to Clark, but Ovie has shown leadership on and off the ice. As for the locker room... I can't speak on that because I'm not in there, but I agree that guys play key roles in there that we don't always hear about.

Posted by: griz0615 | September 17, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Ovie is the heart and soul of this team but Clarkie (from what I have heard) is the work horse. He is the first one in and the last one out and does all the little things. The team loves him and it showed when he was on the ice.

As for who gets the other A, I have a question. Would giving the A to someone make them elevate their game? Would they feel more confident and therefore play better?

I don't think Laich's game would change as I think he would do what he does anyway. Knubs and Poti are vets so I don't see that changing anything. Nicky on the other hand could get a swell of confidence and use that to play even better then he already does.

Personally I would like to see Laich get it but I could see how they could make an argument for Nicky.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 17, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@freakinandpeakin

Don't you think that the goalies in this organization would and should want to be on the top of their game due to all of the supposed goalie controversies?

Posted by: thiazzi | September 17, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Freakinandspankin said "If you want to flip out over goaltending during an intrasquad scrimmage on the fourth day of training camp go right ahead. "

Come down your high horse there Buddy. All I said is that he performed poorly during scrimmage. It doesn't affect my day to day life; it doesn't influence my mood, nor what I will have for dinner tonight.

Posted by: atybat | September 17, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The Hockey News preditions are out for the coming season.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/27922-Screen-Shots-Eastern-Conference-predictions.html

While I have several issues with Proteau, I think these are pretty close to what I'd expect. The first 3 in the East (the West comes out next week):

1. Washington. The Capitals play in the league’s weakest division. They improved a dangerous forward unit with the off-season additions of Mike Knuble and Brendan Morrison. Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin and Nicklas Backstrom haven’t yet reached their career zeniths. I don’t care how tentative their goalie situation is – this group very well could be this season’s Penguins (only without the coaching change).

2. Boston. The fact the Bruins believe they can succeed without the contributions of Phil Kessel demonstrates just how deep this organization has become under GM Peter Chiarelli and his crack team of scouts. True, they won’t be able to sneak up on anyone anymore, but coach Claude Julien’s consistent demands on his best players means they won’t have to.

3. Philadelphia. Philly was THN’s collective pick to win the Stanley Cup this season. They’re also my personal pick to win it all. But virtually everything needs to go right – with Ray Emery and in league disciplinarian Colin Campbell’s office, to name two areas – for them to rise above the other power players in the East during the regular season. In the ultra-competitive Atlantic Division, I don’t see that happening for any team.

Posted by: Greg S. | September 17, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

As far as the second "A", why not rotate it. Simple, lots of people rate it, give them all a chance until someone takes it and makes it theirs.

Posted by: RichC3 | September 17, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

They could do what the Bears did and two different A pairs, one for home and one for away.

Posted by: thiazzi | September 17, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

...There is actually a lot to infer from the scrimmage. GMGM and BB were up there and observing attentively...

Posted by: atybat | September 16, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

All I said was the scrimmage means jack. There is no hitting, because the teammates don't want to hit each other. Also, Varlamov was facing one of, if not the top, line in the NHL in Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble and there is a good chance he had the likes of Amadio, McNeil and Flemming playing defense in front of him.
So, I disagree that there is anything to infer from the scrimmage.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 17, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

The more I read and hear about Coach B, the more thankful I think we should be to have him.

Posted by: Greg S. | September 17, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

My cousin just called: said he saw Ovechkin driving by lake Erie going north. Now that is the Heart and Soul of this team!!!

Posted by: washingtoncapitals | September 17, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Laich's definitely a team leader in the way he performs on ice and deals with the media. The guys have a lot of respect for him and it was that and his skill on ice that sold me on getting his jersey over Federov's (based on he's an nhl legend). Add in his leadership as the team's associate to the NHLPA and I think its a done deal.

I could see Backstrom getting it though.

Posted by: breaklance | September 17, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

What happens when Varlamov faces St. Louis-Lecavalier-whoever with Schultz and Erskine in front of him 6 times this season?

I don't think you can just dismiss a scrimmage performance like his that easily.

Posted by: thiazzi | September 17, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Why can't tonight's game be on TV?! I want to watch it so bad.. ;(

Posted by: rachel216 | September 17, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Found a couple sites that claim to have a stream of the game. I'll post them here if they actually work.

Posted by: thiazzi | September 17, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

CAPS hockey finally begins tonight...

score.

Posted by: carsonspence | September 17, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

poti and ovechkin should be a's and knuble or laich should get the c

Posted by: gocaps01 | September 17, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Knuble would be my first choice to get the "A" since he is already showing leadership and mentoring abilities in camp. Laich would be my second choice.

@washingtoncapitals: According to Sports Bog, Ovie is off to watch the Mystics first playoff game.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2009/09/alex_ovechkin_turns_24.html


Also, Sports Bog has a post with photos of Leonhardt's new goalie mask.

Posted by: pstenigma | September 17, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I've never felt that the team's best player should wear the C. In fact, I'd argue that the C is more effective when it's worn by less of a superstar. Yes, Ovie has heart and passion, so let him use that to blow away the opposition and fill the net. Leadership can come from a grinder, like Clark or Laich.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | September 17, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

@griz: Oh please. I said I can see why he would get it, not that I wanted him to get it. There's a difference.

I stand by what I said.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 17, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to believe that just a couple years ago all the guys were so young and inexperienced that it was hard to pick a C and two A's.

Better to have too many options than too few!

(That being said, I like the idea of Knuble -- we're counting on him to being something new and stabilizing to the table, and the way the guys are working with him in camp, I think there's a lot of trust there... plus he was already leading stretches!)

Posted by: nicko | September 17, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Ovy's celebrating his birthday by going to the Mystics. (Gee, will he take anyone -- like Semin?)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 17, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

in the words of frosty 'HAAAPPY BIRTHDAYYY' OVI! as far as the second 'A',totally should be brads or brooks.GO CAPS!! and neuvy is gonna be our star goalie of the future,watch!

Posted by: gratefuldid | September 17, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Like it or not OV takes off a lot of practices and/or leaves early from practice. He has his very legit reasons and BB supports him. But a captain can't operate like this... until he learns to pace himself (which may never happen) he can continue to be a leader -- but not the captain. A captain needs to be there first, leave last, 24/7, around the clock, around the world. Not a slam on OV, it's just the way things are (as I see it).

Posted by: Dave_in_Alexandria | September 17, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Like it or not OV takes off a lot of practices and/or leaves early from practice. He has his very legit reasons and BB supports him. But a captain can't operate like this... until he learns to pace himself (which may never happen) he can continue to be a leader -- but not the captain. A captain needs to be there first, leave last, 24/7, around the clock, around the world. Not a slam on OV, it's just the way things are (as I see it).

Posted by: Dave_in_Alexandria | September 17, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if Langway, Hunter or any of the other captains the Caps have had over the years were always the first to come and the last to leave?

I don't know this first hand but from what I see and hear I don't think OV is the most dedicated player in the NHL but in this day and age, the guy who should wear the C is the best player on your team and there's no question who that is on this team.

Posted by: joek443 | September 17, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't know this first hand but from what I see and hear I don't think OV is the most dedicated player in the NHL but in this day and age, the guy who should wear the C is the best player on your team and there's no question who that is on this team.

Posted by: joek443 | September 17, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

That surprises me to no end. Where did you hear this? Usually someone who is the best, or near the best, in a league works harder than anyone else. Talent alone only gets you so far, drive and determination is the rest.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 17, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't know this first hand but from what I see and hear I don't think OV is the most dedicated player in the NHL but in this day and age, the guy who should wear the C is the best player on your team and there's no question who that is on this team.

Posted by: joek443 | September 17, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse


Disagree. I'd suggest that respect and leadership in the room also play a part in the decision-making. Look at the current list of captains; are they all the best players on their team?

Posted by: Section117 | September 17, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

when Gretzky and Messier were both on the Oilers, Gretzky wore the C. Not that he wasn't a great leader but he was the better player and the player in the world. Messier was probably the best "leader" we've seen in hockey in the last 25 years but he didn't get to wear the C when he played with the Great One.

Posted by: joek443 | September 17, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Found a couple sites that claim to have a stream of the game. I'll post them here if they actually work.

Posted by: thiazzi | September 17, 2009 3:58 PM

Any luck yet?

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

The buffalo radio link from the previous thread works.

Posted by: uncatim | September 17, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

The radio is on washcaps.com w/ Vogel and Kolbe, but I'm still hoping there's a video link somewhere on the interwebs...

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

That surprises me to no end. Where did you hear this? Usually someone who is the best, or near the best, in a league works harder than anyone else. Talent alone only gets you so far, drive and determination is the rest.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 17, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

you don't take off practices when you're truly dedicated.. anyone see Michael Jordan's HOF induction speech last weekend? for those who isn't familiar with MJ behind the scene, that was probably the worst, bitter and unusual speech for such an occasion you've ever heard. For those who already knew what he was like, that was pure Jordan.

MJ never took off practices, he was always the hardest worker. he was cut from his high school basketball team once and from then on he was the most driven athlete on the planet.. and some might say he was the biggest jerk in sports as well.

Posted by: joek443 | September 17, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

The buffalo radio announcer said there is no tv in the building tonight, Idon't know if that includes webcasts.

Posted by: uncatim | September 17, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Giroux!

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

1-0 Caps: Giroux from BMo and CClark - sounded like a dirty goal picking up garbage in front of the net.

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Ovi leaves practice early, he has cherries to pick!

Posted by: puckheaded1 | September 17, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

when Gretzky and Messier were both on the Oilers, Gretzky wore the C. Not that he wasn't a great leader but he was the better player and the player in the world. Messier was probably the best "leader" we've seen in hockey in the last 25 years but he didn't get to wear the C when he played with the Great One.

Posted by: joek443 | September 17, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse


Guys like Lanny MacDonald, Guy Carbonneau, Dave Andreychuk, Rod Brind'Amour and Derian friggin' Hatcher weren't the best players on their team, and yet they wore the C when they hoisted the Cup.

Posted by: Section117 | September 17, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

funny they can't get at least one cam for streaming video. NHL is so cheap.

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 17, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

What were the reasons for holding Ovechkin, Semin and Green out?

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 17, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

1-0 Caps at the end of the first period. (Man, games go fast when there's no TV!)

Posted by: wocoliz | September 17, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

puckheaded1 said: "Ovi leaves practice early, he has cherries to pick!" What a punk thing to say. I get tired of people like you accusing Ovi of being a cherry picker. If he's such a cherry picker why is he known for going through and over people to score goals? If he was a cherry picker his goals would be scored on breakaways. If you a questioning Ovi's defensive zone work, talk to the experts that say he has improved his two way game as he has matured.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 17, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Caps up 1-0 after 1. Shots 8-7 Buffalo

Varlamov has sounded good so far. He's stopped a few odd man rushes. Buffalo had the first PP and the Caps killed it off pretty easily.

On the other side, Lalime has looked "Scrambly" according to Kolbe - overplaying shots and sliding all over the place.

Vogel gave Schultz some props at the end of the first for containing Pominville in the corners in the dying seconds.

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else having trouble with the Caps audio feed saying that station is currently full? Guess the Buff audio is only option.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | September 17, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha puckhead is back! LOSER!!!

Posted by: rachel216 | September 17, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Just in case anyone is wondering the Buffalo audio feed is working fine.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 17, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

joek443, From what I understand Ovie is told not to practice to get rest. I am also willing to bet that most elite athletes have had a practice off late in seasons, even Michael Jordan. They need to let there bodies heal from a full season grind.

I'm willing to bet that Ovie is one of the hardest workers on the team, if not the NHL.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 17, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Tarik via twitter:

"A day after yielding 8 goals in 40 mins, Varlamov comes up huge. Stops 7 shots in the 1st, including Roy on 2-on-1 and Ennis on breakaway."

atybat, how important are those intrasquade scrimmages?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 17, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

i hate listening to opposing team's commentary. i like the caps feed being full. DC is becoming a hockey town.

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 17, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

With over 70 guys in camp BB needs to get a look at some of these guys before sending them to Hershey. With Ov, Semin, and Green being locks BB can leave them outta the line-up for the 1st couple of games. I hope they play Monday!

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 17, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Laich or Brads. Push comes to shove, as much I love Brads, this is Laich's time. The Captaincy awaits him.

Posted by: saintex | September 17, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

1-0 caps giroux scores

Posted by: wendel2 | September 17, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

With over 70 guys in camp BB needs to get a look at some of these guys before sending them to Hershey. With Ov, Semin, and Green being locks BB can leave them outta the line-up for the 1st couple of games. I hope they play Monday!

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 17, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Per Tarik via twitter:

"Caps make cuts: Eakin, Flemming, Casavant, Kugryshev, Mestery and Mitchell sent back to juniors. More cuts coming after Saturday's game."

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 17, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Varly must just made an unbelievable save. The Buffalo fans sounded stunned.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 17, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

freakinanscratchin said: atybat, how important are those intrasquade scrimmages?

As important as everything else in pre-season...because, scrimmage and pre-season games are not mutually exclusive...

Posted by: atybat | September 17, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like Schultz is the same old slow Schultz. I was hoping he'd learn to skate a bit better in the off season :(

Posted by: abuddy2004 | September 17, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear Varly is back in form. I understand that Giroux is not the best defender or the toughest guy in the corners. But if he keeps scoring in the exhibition games, after 70 goals last year in Hershey, he could make things tough at cut-down time. Wouldn't they have to give the guy a chance?

Posted by: zmega | September 17, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Waved off goal for Buffalo - whistle blew and then Pominville kept whacking at it until it went in. Pretty good pressure for Buffalo on the PP here...

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Kolbe just mentioned that the Caps have no shots on goal in the second period. Best chance was actually a deflection off of a Sabre stick.

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

atybat, you're so clever

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 17, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Is the game on regular broadcast radio?

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | September 17, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

DCG, afraid not. The next two will be, though.

Posted by: wocoliz | September 17, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks! I really miss hockey.....

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | September 17, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Still 1-0 Caps after two periods. (I'm so glad it's finally hockey time again!)

Posted by: wocoliz | September 17, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

any scraps yet?

Posted by: _stevo | September 17, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Caps end the second up 1-0 and tied 17-17 on shots. Second half was a much better effort from the team, tallying 10 shots and getting several good scoring chances. Varlamov has sounded really sharp so far.

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Caps end the second up 1-0 and tied 17-17 on shots. Second half was a much better effort from the team, tallying 10 shots and getting several good scoring chances. Varlamov has sounded really sharp so far.

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 8:33 PM

NHL.com says it's 19-17 caps shot wise, so either I misheard Kolbe or NHL.com is wrong...

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

The Buffalo announcers mentioned "lawnmower man" Finley being involved in some after-the-whistle pushing around the goal. The announcers seem to be calling the game pretty straight, giving Caps players credit where appropriate (better than what you get from announcers in more redneck cities like Philly and Boston).

Posted by: zmega | September 17, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

No Raber, at the time you posted the Caps had registered 0 shots in the 2nd -- then they finally came to life.

Posted by: uncatim | September 17, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

free tix for the preseason,
2 tix for monday
2tix for wednesday
4 tix for sunday

We are out of town for the week and true fans should be able to attend

if you are interested post with your email in the morning and I will respond (I won't be able to check the blog until about 10 am friday)

Posted by: donkey1 | September 17, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Buffalo scores - Pominville. Varlamov made a good initial save but the rebound control wasn't so good.

1-1

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

forgot to add, we will be at monday's game can pass on then or near metro center on tuesday

GO CAPS!!

Posted by: donkey1 | September 17, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Raber, how are you watching the game?

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 17, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the link icehammer! too bad i just tuned in for the 2nd buffalo goal... good thing its preseason!

Posted by: mrszilla | September 17, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Sabres score on a delayed penalty off a deflection in front. 2-1 Buffalo.

Not sounding too alive this period.

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

2-1 Sabers on a deflection goal. Schultz let his man get free for the tip. Announcers said the shot was so slow it should have been stopped even with the tip.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Raber, how are you watching the game?

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 17, 2009 8:51 PM

Heh, I'm not - just relaying what the announcers are telling me mostly. Thus all the use of the word "sounding" instead of "looking." I figure this is the best we'll get in terms of highlights, so might as well write it down somewhere.

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

this announcer sounds like hes reading a really boring book outloud

Posted by: mrszilla | September 17, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Not only was it Schultz who didn't get his man out of position on the deflection, but the (Buffalo) play by play guys commented "I don't know what Schultz was doing" earlier when he flubbed a puck in our own end. (Down in the corner I think.)

General rule for non-scoring defensemen:
The more you hear their name, the worse it is.

Posted by: mischadc83 | September 17, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

mischadc83 thanks for that about Schultz earlier I missed the first two periods since I was at my own hockey training camp. I really hope that Schultz ends up not on the Caps this year. I don't think he is as bad as some make it seem but all of his mistakes are magnified here and I don't think we will overcome that.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Donkey1, I would be interested in the sundays tickets I can take my wife and 2 kids. My email is p.covitz65@comcast.net

thanks

Posted by: petercov1 | September 17, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Knuble Goal! Reviewing it though. Right in front of the net like we need!

Posted by: OviFan08 | September 17, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Caps have tied it, but they're going upstairs to see if it was kicked in.

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

caps got a goal... going to be reviewed bc sabres are whinning... or it may have been kicked by knuble haha

Posted by: mrszilla | September 17, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Caps might have a goal on a scrum in front. They are checking to see if it was kicked in by Knuble.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

GOAL COUNTS :) !!!!! go knuble!!!!

Posted by: mrszilla | September 17, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Call stands - hardworking goal by Knuble in front!

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Goal. From the sounds of it they only had the one angle from the jumbotron feed so they couldn't get a good view. Caps are now PKing.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

For those who are really missing hockey and just want to see a live game http://atdhe.net/9331/watch-new-york-islanders-vs-calgary-flames- has the Islanders/Flames game that just started.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Knuble's gritty goal is a sign of things to come!

Posted by: --Boo-- | September 17, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Caps killed it off. Clark was the one in the box.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

shots are 27 for caps - 22 for sabres

Posted by: OviFan08 | September 17, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

sabres goal. 3-2

Posted by: OviFan08 | September 17, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

icehammer: There's also a TOR-PHI game on NHL Network.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | September 17, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Sabers 3 Caps 2. Caps turn the puck over in their own zone and the Sabers punish them for their mistake.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Beagle!

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Beagle!!!!

Posted by: ralCapsFan | September 17, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Followed immediately by a Caps goal to make it 3-3. Go Caps!!!

Posted by: wocoliz | September 17, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

3-3 Caps just tied it up Beagle with the goal.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

holy hockey game batman!!! we tied it up!!! wtf! 3-3! Beagle got it! im going to be pissed if we lose now!

Posted by: mrszilla | September 17, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

GregAnnapolis ok I don't get that so I just use the internet to find games until comcast gets center ice set up for the season.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

And the Caps go on the power play FOR THE FIRST TIME TONIGHT with 35.8 seconds to go in regulation.

Posted by: wocoliz | September 17, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97, strange, I thought Comcast recently moved the NHL and NFL Networks to the 'classic' tier but maybe I'm wrong. Oh well, game isn't as exciting as ours anyway. ;)

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | September 17, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Probably getting another man up. Dirty hit from behind to Morrison. Slow to get up, hit from behind into the boards from no-man's-land.

Posted by: thiazzi | September 17, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Starting OT with 5-3.

Posted by: thiazzi | September 17, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

GregAnnapolis NHL and NFL network are on a seperate sports tier for me (I am just outside Pittsburgh for college) and I don't feel like paying extra when I am already going to get center ice.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

overtime... with 5-3 advantage...

Posted by: mrszilla | September 17, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like S. Morrison might be a little shaken up. Announcer said that he got up slowly after a hit from behind.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope Morrison is OK. Clark standing up for him.

Posted by: zmega | September 17, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Pothier got it! WOOO!

Posted by: thiazzi | September 17, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

icehammer, gotcha.

Well, hopefully our 5-on-3 unit gets things done early in OT! :)

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | September 17, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

C-A-P-S, CAPS CAPS CAPS!!!!

Posted by: wocoliz | September 17, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Pothier with the winner

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Pothier OT goal!!!! Caps win! Oh yeah!!!!!

Posted by: OviFan08 | September 17, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

POTHIER!!!! CAPS WIN! hahaha what a third period!

Posted by: mrszilla | September 17, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Pots!!!

Posted by: ralCapsFan | September 17, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't know this first hand but from what I see and hear I don't think OV is the most dedicated player in the NHL but in this day and age, the guy who should wear the C is the best player on your team and there's no question who that is on this team.

Posted by: joek443 | September 17, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Honestly--you've got to be kidding. Ovie is an incredibly determined, dedicated, and hardworking athlete. He has said again and again and again how an elite athlete can't rely on talent or past success--that an athlete has to work hard all the time to get better each and every year. His goal in his own words is to keep working hard in order to continue to be the best.

The times I've read that he missed a practice, particularly late last season, it was because he needed to rest his body. He takes a pummeling out there on the ice. And it doesn't mean he is out partying. He's still working out in a gym or on a bike or getting therapy for his body.

Don't confuse his having other interests or using his voice for causes outside the NHL for being undedicated.

Usually I enjoy reading your posts, even when you go off on Nascar, but you are way off base on this.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 17, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

:D

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | September 17, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Goooaalll! It turned into a pretty good game.

Posted by: zmega | September 17, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

COOL!!!! WE WON!!! GO CAPS!!! Don't know who scored cuz the radio thingy doesn't work anymore. I just saw it on NHL.com

Posted by: rachel216 | September 17, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Interesting stat of the night: Schultz leads all skaters with 22:42, if the box score page on NHL.com is to be believed.

Posted by: Raber | September 17, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't know this first hand but from what I see and hear I don't think OV is the most dedicated player in the NHL but in this day and age, the guy who should wear the C is the best player on your team and there's no question who that is on this team.

Posted by: joek443 | September 17, 2009 6:44 PM

Is joek443 seriously a Caps fan? I don't believe it. You obviously don't know much about this team or Ovie. What do you see and hear that makes you think Ovie is not the most dedicated player? Who is more dedicated? I can't believe you're being serious. newbiecapsfan07 is right 100%, Ovie plays when he's hurt and he barely misses any games. Do you see how excited he is when he or one of his teammates score? He wants to win sooooo bad. Sorry but you're crazy.

Posted by: rachel216 | September 17, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

are there going to be highlights of the game? hmm..

Posted by: rachel216 | September 17, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

As for the C, Ovie himself said early last season that he didn't want to be Captain, that Clark was their Captain. And had Clark not been injured so much I don't think there would be all this bellyaching about his captaincy. There are a lot of ways to be a leader in the locker room, on the ice, and in front of the media. And I think our guys have done a great job of handling these varying roles. This team has great chemistry. This really is a non-problem for them.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 17, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Why must the "best player" get the C? It doesn't work that way - never has necessarily. I lived in Detroit in the 60s. Gordie Howe at that time was the best NHL player ever - up the that point. He was "A." Alex Delvecchio was Captain.

The Captain is the best leader, not the best player.

The day after he signed, I said Knuble should get the 2nd "A." I still hold to that. Laich will have his day and so will Green. Experience is part of leadership.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 17, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Is joek443 seriously a Caps fan?

Posted by: rachel216 | September 17, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHA! You don't know how much I enjoyed that! I guess in some people's world you can slag on the players, but criticize ownership or management and you are a hater.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 17, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

The Caps didn't get a power play until 35 seconds remaining in the 3rd period? Was McCreary the ref? Were the Sabres wearing their own jerseys or Penguins jerseys?

Glad to see Pothier with the winner. He is a very fundamentally sound player. Was he on the list of potential alternates? He could be.

Hope he plays well enough to get an extension. He's a steady player.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 17, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Yet when the Caps finally got a power play, they took full advantage. The Slugs sounded like they were playing dirty at the end. Hope B Mo is okay.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 17, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

BTW, someone already renamed him "joke443" instead of joek443.

Sometimes he makes a quasi-astute observation, but there's always this underlying negativity to his posts.

I shouldn't pile on, but I already have.

"Caps blog penalty...tominfl1...two minutes for roughing the poster."

OK, I'll go sit in the box.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 17, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

rachel216--I soooo agree with you. Much of what I enjoy about Ovie is the sheer joy he gets from playing hockey. He radiates enthusiasm and single-mindedness about the sport.

And Joe443, I know you are a fan. You follow them closely and make interesting points about the Caps, and sometimes I agree with you.

But I think this idea about Ovie not being dedicated enough comes from your anti-Olympic bias. Even Crosby who is known for his determination has spoken out in support of Ovie's Olympic desires. Elite athletes want to be the best and to play against the best--in any venue.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 17, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

@ rachel216

I'm sorry but didn't I say OV should wear the C because he was by far the best player on the team?

he's not the only player who plays hurt, get off the soap box, would you?? NOBODY is a hundred precent healthy especially in the playoffs... everyone player has some sort of injury.. I didn't say he wasn't a hard worker or dedicated player.. just not the most dedicated or the hardest worker because the player with that kinda talent isn't often the hardest worker or the most dedicated of all the players.. unless his name is Michael Jordan.

Posted by: joek443 | September 17, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

joek443,

Are you serious? Or you trying to get a reaction from people?

I think everyone and their grandma who follows hockey can see that Ovie is by far the most dedicated and the hardest worker on this team and in the game period. Ovie's greatness is based on him going 100% on every shift. That is what separates him from everyone. He is not the most skilled guy in the world. But his determination and hard work and 100% maximum effort on every shift is what separates him. He grew up with Mom and Dad who were Olympians and pro Athletes. The instilled hard work in him from Day 1. Ovie shows up to practices routinely before everyone else. He also routinely is the last one to leave. Since Ovie came to the league there has never been a question about who is the most dedicated to the game. I think you know this and just trying to get a reaction.

GO CAPS...

Backs with 2 assists. Knuble and B.Mo made a nice introduction to the team on the scoresheet.

Posted by: lightshow | September 17, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

I think Clark has established himself as a good leader. No matter how many times he gets hurt he fights to get back on track. As nice as it would be for him to repeat his 06-07 season, he's not that kind of player. His job is to lay down hits, rally the team and forecheck. He's done a great job at all three of these when playing and I can see why he was given the "C".

I know Crosby and Toews are both captains of their team, but It doesn't mean Ovie has to be. We've done a good job at selecting team captains.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | September 17, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I am loving this... bwahahaha

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 17, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Look, the only person around here who has even a clue about the hardest working player is......Tarik.

And he isn't going to say. First, he cant even be sure, since even he doesn't know what each individual player does back at home in the summer. Nor does he follow everyone around in the training room and exercise room and on the road during the season. Even Tarik I'm sure has a life and has other things to do.

Since everyone on the team is pretty much behind Clark, why would anyone think that the team and management are wrong in their support for Clark?

OK, with Clark and Ovie, we got an older guy and a younger guy. I always think one of the three being younger is the max they usually do. So you'd think the other assistant would be an older, experienced player.

The Caps signed Knuble specifically because of his experience, dedication and leadership. He was a 4th line guy for years and later in his career put his skill and experience together to become an overachiever. Kinda like the way we envision Steckel a few years from now.

So, no knock on Steckel, but you reward someone with "A" after they've earned it, not because you see them growing into it. Ovie got a letter at a very young age due to being a unique talent. The Caps have several other top tier players (Green, Semin, Backstrom) but none of them are Trophy winners. Get a Trophy and you gain status. Ovie has how many Trophies? Can we count them? Is it 8? He was RoK his 1st year. Then 4 his 3rd year - Hart, Ross, Richard and Pearson. The last year three (Malkin was Ross). Is that correct? 8 trophies is rarified when you consider none are the Cup. I'll bet Datsyuk has close to ten, incl Cup. I counted last year - I think Gretzky had like 35 but there are more trophies now (Richard is new).

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 17, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Crosby made captain when he was 20. I don't think he earned it. I still don't think he really has, even though they won the cup.

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 17, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

LMAO this is just hilarious... all I did was repond to the guy who said that OV shouldn't wear the C because he wasn't the first to come and the last to leave so wasn't a great leader.

I said he should wear the C because he's the best player even if he's not the most dedicated or hardest worker on the team... why don't you people jump on the guy who said that OV doesn't deserve to wear the C instead?????

Posted by: joek443 | September 17, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I could care less who wears the C. I'm sure the team will work it out. We have a lot of great leaders in that locker room in addition to Clark and Ovie.

I jumped on your post because you said Ovie wasn't dedicated enough, that he missed practices, that other guys were the first on and last off the ice. And boy did I disagree with your assessment of his dedication.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 17, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

And freakin--give it a rest. Sometimes I've agreed with you and sometimes I haven't. I often find you a tad negative--well maybe more than a tad--but I have never knocked your fandom for the Caps. I have never called you a "hater" as you so elegantly put it.

This board has an lively mix of "glass half full" and "glass half empty" posters and I usually enjoy reading the dialogue, or is it more a diatribe. But for the first time I find myself getting irritated. So I'm getting off now, firm in my conviction that Ovie is 100% dedicated to doing whatever it takes to winning the Stanley Cup.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 17, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

check that again newb, that other guy who says OV doesn't deserve to wear the C said that the reason was he wasn't the first to come and the last to leave the practices.. that was HIS reason, not mine.

with this team OV is so much better than anyone else on this team that quite frankly it is really a joke for anyone else to wear the C. Wearing the C isn't just about the "leadership". To me leadership is which player would this team miss the MOST? is there any doubt as to what the answer would be??

as far as OV's dedication issue, I don't know what he does in the off-season or what his practice habits are. frankly I really don't care what he does when he's not playing as long as he doesn't get in trouble. but the only time he's in the news during the offseason is when he has these big parties or whatever. Guys like Michael Jordan, the late Walter Payton and Jerry Rice are known for their legendary offseason workouts as well as all their accomplishments on the field.

there's nothing wrong with enjoying life but as Ted Leonsis asked OV during their flight back home from the NHL award ceremonies, "do you wanna be like Michael Jordan or Charles Barkley???"

Posted by: joek443 | September 17, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Sorry joe443 I should have included Dave_in_Alexandria in my fierce disagreement about Ovie's dedication. But you raised the ante with the Michael Jordan comparison. So I focused my ire onto you.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 17, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I think there are several awards that address the question of who the best player is. The captaincy is about who the most effective *leader* is. On ice leadership is part of it, but so is off ice leadership, like in the dressing room, at closed door meetings, during practices, with the media, when the team travels and when they're involved with the community. A lot of this would be things fans wouldn't (and shouldn't) know about.

I'm with those who think the team can figure it out. And if anyone doesn't want to be the captain, it probably isn't a good idea to make him.

Posted by: miseaujeu | September 17, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Guess you are still raising the ante. What I know is what Ovechkin has said in interviews both in video and print. And I mean the serious interviews, not the fluff stuff of late. He has celebrity status and he can't look sidewise without someone taking notice. And he's not afraid to give his opinion. I don't follow basketball but even I can see you are comparing an elite athlete at the beginning of his career to athletes at the end of their career, even deceased ones. Really can you let the guy get into his prime before making those kind of comparisons. Good night now. Sorry I wasn't able to listen to the game.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 17, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Few days ago the new player of Dynamo Moscow (played for Finland national team, btw) Leo Komarov said that he was overwhelmed after seeing how hard OV is training with Dynamo in the summer.

Just OV has his personal conditional trainer and he prepares himself by his own schedule and plan. Also OV said they (he + trainer) have adjusted this years preparation to gain more season-long stamina and for having less on-ice practices (in case there will be much official games alone this year).

Posted by: Rambutan_ru | September 18, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

If anyone still cares at this point, Brooksie gets my vote for 'A'.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: AmyS1 | September 18, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

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