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Nylander's Season Done

Veteran center Michael Nylander is scheduled to have surgery on his torn left rotator cuff tomorrow and will miss three to six months, I'm told.

If you remember, on Jan. 8, I wrote in The Post that a source had told me Nylander's shoulder was worse that the Caps were letting on -- the team said yesterday that he was taking the day off from practice -- and that surgery was a strong possibility. Well, now it's official.

Nylander, who has been playing in pain for more than a month and was unable to sleep because of the injury, was the Caps' second leading scorer with 11 goals and 26 assists. He also was a team-worst minus-19.

GM George McPhee will be speaking to the media soon.

Update:And, oh yeah, rookie center Nicklas Backstrom has been selected to prepresent the Caps in the YoungStars Event. I say "event," because it's going to be a three-on-three game. Here's the NHL's release.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 15, 2008; 11:59 AM ET
 
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Next: Boudreau on Nylander and Tonight's Lineup

Comments

Well...............*bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep*

Obviously, this is not good. Even if he wasn't quite the "savior" we were hoping for, he was a major contributor in moving the puck and winning faceoffs, not to mention his uptick in goals of late. This is a huge blow, ugh.

Posted by: EricS | January 15, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

NOOOOOO

Posted by: NOOOOO | January 15, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Will the Caps collapse, or will they fight thought this???

I one hand I can do without his +/- rating. On the other hand, Nyls keep the puck in the other team's zone, and hence away from Olie's 5 hole.

Backstrom's play gives us hope the Caps may survive this loss of skill at the Center position.

Posted by: Genotype55 | January 15, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

No surprise here.

Honestly, I don't know how much the caps will miss him. His plus/minus is atrocious and he doesn't seem to be able to dish the puck inside the offensive zone like he once did. We have another great swedish playmaker, and that's nicklas backstrom.

Posted by: Metro Desk | January 15, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

His puck handling and playmaking ability will be missed.

Posted by: KraziJoe | January 15, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

FRAK!

Oh well. Maybe now the collective plus minus of the team will improve. But in the mean time, we need to find a pivot who can dish the puck...does anyone have Kris Beech's beeper number?

Posted by: Dan in DC | January 15, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Is he out tonight?

Posted by: 828 | January 15, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

What is it with this team and midseason injuries?

Posted by: Scott | January 15, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes to Nyls for a successful surgery and speedy recovery...and thanks for playing through the pain for this long. We'll miss you!

Posted by: Jill | January 15, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean we will be looking for another player to center our #2 line? Our other centers (Gordon, Steckel, Laich) are more of a checking/energy line type players. How the Caps' management decides to handle this could be an indication of whether they've already called the playoffs unreachable...

Posted by: Jeroen | January 15, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Is he out tonight? That a joke or something?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Good thing GMGM stockpiled all those draft picks last season... Looks like he might need them now rather than at the trade deadline to find us some talent up the middle that doesn't cost us too badly in terms of roster players.

Of course, knowing the pace at which he moves and the deals he tends to make, it's probably wishful thinking.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 15, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Remy | January 15, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I say we get Heward back.

Posted by: Ovechkin | January 15, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

where is the credit to the original report...found under Steven Hindle of Hockeybuzz.com who broke this story at 9:30 this morning...
http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=12595

Posted by: jesus shuttlesworth | January 15, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Let's do it. 1st round pick + Emmy + Flash for Sundin.

Posted by: Sundin?! | January 15, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, do you know what the line combinations are going to look like tonight?

Posted by: Capsfan4evr | January 15, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Is this the point where I come in as the guy looking for attention and say something? LOL

Posted by: Jay | January 15, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Any chance they will move Kozlov to second-line Center? When he was playing Center what were his face-off numbers like? Not saying I would advocate that, just wondering. If they do move him down, I also wonder who would get the first line Wing slot.

On the second line it seems we really need someone with either some physical presence or the ability to hustle to, and maintain possession of, the puck.

Posted by: Kim | January 15, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Kozlov will be lining up at Center the rest of the season? Do we have any other option?

Man..We need Clark more then ever.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 15, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Playoff chances=Toast

Posted by: TJ | January 15, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

why wouldn't you at least give credit to the guy who broke this story...over two hours before you!

Steve Hindle of hockeybuzz.com...

Posted by: scooge mcduck | January 15, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

This is bad news. It was supercool to get off the "Nylander-is-bad" wagon (honestly he didn't bring much at the beginning of the season) and get on the "Go Nyl!" one. He was playing really good lately, scoring and assisting. Most people here, including me, changed opinion on him and got to like and appreciate him - and understand why Jagr misses him so much.

Kudos to him for playing with the pain, that's a very stressful and not light injury, and he never complained about it.

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Why would you want Sundin? He said himself he is nearing the end of his career. Its going to take a lot more than 2 players and a pick to pry him away from the Leafs.

So what do the Caps have now? Only 2 guys with double digit goal totals..1 is a D man.

Wonderful

Posted by: JamesD | January 15, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Time to move in for Sundin

Posted by: Finn | January 15, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

No, it was not a joke... apparently, he has been playing this whole time through pain - just wondering if he was playing tonight. No one ever said when the surgery is.

Posted by: 828 | January 15, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I guess now is the moment of truth for Kozlov. He has an opportunity to make up for poor play, hopefully he performs. Good thing my life doesn't depend on this.

Do the Caps call someone up? Or will they shift the lines around? Should be interesting.

Posted by: G-Rub | January 15, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Since you aer already paying for my services, just bring ME back.......

Posted by: Jaromir | January 15, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@ commenters with silly names - Helloooo, if you read your own link, this Hindle person even said in his posts he was waiting for confirmation from official team sources.

Obviously Tarik, as legitimate media, is not going to report anything until the team confirms it. His job is not to report rumors, but facts. Why give "credit" to a blogger's unconfirmed rumor?

Posted by: Jill | January 15, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with METRO DESK in that I'm just not sure whether his absence will make a huge difference. Sure he gets his points but how big a difference has he made in the Caps turnaround? And you're right, his +/- is attrocious. I think he HAS been a huge asset off the ice to Backstrom's development, and will continue to be so. Either way, its time for the youngins to step it up.

Posted by: dave | January 15, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Please tell me this at least means Clark is starting...

Posted by: Josh | January 15, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how/when Nyls got hurt?

Posted by: Question | January 15, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

So whats the odds on Semin having some phantom pain after tonights game?

Posted by: JamesD | January 15, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

4 comments.

1 -- Hope Nylander's surgery goes well and he heals up completely.

2 -- We really need Clark healthy, because chances are Kozlov will be centering the 2nd line, and Clark would complete the top 6 (with either Flash or Pettinger)

3 -- Flash (or Pettinger) gets yet another chance up front, unless Fehr finds his legs and earns his way to the pro team. Ultimately, Flash is getting more chances than he probably deserves.

4 -- I don't expect to see a trade for a few weeks...

Posted by: Jeff | January 15, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

In the immortal words of Bill Paxton:
"That's it, man! Game over, man, GAME OVER!!" HAHAHAHAHAAH

One of two things should happen now:
1. Eminger/plus ? traded fo a center
2. We find out how good Kyle Wilson of Hershey is.

Do NOT want Sundin. TOO late in his Career

Posted by: CantMissKid | January 15, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how many veteran Center Free Agents there are out there, but the Caps need to do something quick.

Posted by: Mitch | January 15, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@ Josh - I heard that Corey's reporting that Clark is out tonight and Johnny is in net.

Posted by: Jill | January 15, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how people can be talking about Nylander plus/minus or performance this season when it is obvious that he has been playing a good part with pain resulting from a serious injury. He gets a mulligan on any judgments until next season.

Posted by: Jim | January 15, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Final score tonight

Sens 5 - Caps 1

Semin scores the lone goal
Johnson gets pulled in middle of second

Posted by: uh oh | January 15, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

We can NOT afford to trade for Mats Sundin. That's absurd. This team isn't going to be making a cup run, and we can't afford to give up a first round pick in this draft.

We do have 3 seconds (i think) that could be used. But I don't see why you would do that for a rental player when you don't have a realistic shot at playoff success and only a slim chance of getting to the playoffs at all.

Kozlov can rotate into that slot. Motzko, bourque, or fehr (in a few weeks) can come in and play on the wing. Hopefully Clark comes back full soon. If not you may get to try Kyle Wilson out at center and move kozlov back to the wing.

There are many more, and better, options than trading for a rental player. Especially one as expensive as Mats will be.

Posted by: Mike | January 15, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@ Question

Remember when he missed games for the undisclosed injury. Thats when he first discovered the Torn Rotator Cuff. Been playing through it ever since.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Line-up today according to Vogel, no kozlov at center:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Fleischmann-Gordon-Semin
Laing-Steckel-Bradley
Brashear-Laich-Pettinger

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

To further what Jill said, the beat reporters know more than anyone outside the org. I'm sure Tarik knew this was a possibility but in addition to reporting standards that are much more strict than blogs or other "new media" websites sometimes you hold info back out of consideration for the team and player. Remember that although Steve broke the news as a blogger that we all still officially look to Tarik as the definitive word.

Kudos to both Steve and Tarik. And good luck to Nyls!

Posted by: Jay | January 15, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

This idea that Nylander won't be missed is ludicrous. Really. Nylander leads the Caps in power play scoring. NOT Ovechkin...Nylander.

I think we will find out that his +/- suffering was a result of his injury. His career numbers indicate he is not a minus player.

Here is where Kozlov comes in handy. Had the Caps acquired a pure RW rather than a versatile player like Kozlov, they would be in trouble.

The real question is who will they find for the RW spot to pick up some of Nylander's goals? I don't think Pettinger or Fleischmann is the answer. Fehr just started playing.

Bourque?

Oh...and if you want Sundin it will require a top player/prospect or two plus the first. Think Fehr or Alzner plus Lepisto or Bourque plus the first round pick.

For a rental.

Posted by: Rob | January 15, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah and

Alfie 2gls
Spezza 2 gls
Robitaille 1 gl

Johnson 3 goals 7 shots pulled for Olie gives up 2 on 4 shots.

Posted by: uh oh | January 15, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@Sundin?

So, you think: aging Superstar UFA is a fair trade for High first round pick + bucket of pucks + skate sharpening machine?

Me thinks that the Leafs won't go for that.

Posted by: old time hockey | January 15, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

So, Jay - how did you know? You said you knew something was up, but you couldn't tell... at least I think it was you.

I mentioned Gordon at Center on the 2nd line a while back but people shot that down. He may not be a top 2 liner, but he can win face offs... too me, that's good news for Semin.

Posted by: 828 | January 15, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Nylander surgey tomorrow and out 3-6 months per Vogs

Posted by: mj | January 15, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The question now becomes whether or not it would be a collective gain to bother to dress Pettinger, or whether the Caps should just skate two forwards on the second line.

Same can be said for Flash, I guess, but maybe it goes without saying at this point.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 15, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

My only question is this: if they've known about it this long, and it was limiting his effectiveness, why the hell did they have him playing at all and risking making the injury worse? Even if he insisted, that's a detriment to the team. This should have been done right after they discovered the injury.

Posted by: Mr. Pickles | January 15, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Good point. Laich actually led the league in faceoff percentage in December, so maybe he'd be someone to look at.

Then again, he was usually going against the third or forth-line center for the other team...

-----

I mentioned Gordon at Center on the 2nd line a while back but people shot that down. He may not be a top 2 liner, but he can win face offs... too me, that's good news for Semin.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 15, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

jay-
You've put together a valid argument. My point is simply that Steve deserves the credit, being a blogger who risked his reputation to put this news out before anyone got "official word"...for a blogger who is outside of Washington...actually in a different country, he deserves credit for picking up the scoop, getting accurate enough info to back it up, and putting it out there despite no confirmation from the mainstream...

Posted by: Mikhail Newfanlander | January 15, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping Nylander has a successful surgery and speedy recovery! He's amazing to have been playing through that kind of pain.

Posted by: Tracy | January 15, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

*&*^*

This really sucks. However, finishing this homestand 4-1 will make me feel a lot better starting with tonight.

I'm going to be honest. I dont see us doing any deals at all. I would be shocked if GMGM did a trade or any F/A.

The way I see it...

Ovy Back Flash/Pett (Fehr?)

Semin Koz Clark

the usual 3/4 punch.

Hey! Isnt Jason Allison available :)?

Posted by: MIKE SHWEDICK | January 15, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

sign Forsberg after LG Games end Feb. 10

Posted by: swedish solution | January 15, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

not good. not good.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | January 15, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I will be throughly confused when I watch the Caps and do not see that patented cutback/spinoff that he loves to do.

Posted by: Mike | January 15, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I thought Forsberg had to take himself out again because of the ankle.

Signing him wouldnt make a difference, he wouldnt play much.

Posted by: JamesD | January 15, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@Mikhail Newfanlander

I understand what you are saying, but the mainstream media is never going to cite a hockey blog, especially a rumor site known to be 95% wrong on rumors, for a story like this. And really, as a blogger on hockeybuzz what kind of reputation did he have to risk? Now he's earned a rep, to a degree. But to look for Tarik to cite Steve, well it isn't going to happen fair or not.

I communicate with Steve regularly and he and I talked about this quite a bit over the past week. So I'm not dissing Steve, in fact I've given him props for breaking it before the official word came down.

Posted by: Jay | January 15, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@ Mike

Id be more confused if I saw the Caps making the playoffs.

Posted by: uh oh | January 15, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

my admiration for nylander just reached an all-time high. i hope all goes well-- we'll miss him. i believe, tho, that the caps still have what it takes...the personnel and the will to win.

Posted by: frets | January 15, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Why are people worried about not making the playoffs.

Caps have played 3 less games than the division leading Canes and are 7 points behind.

Be worried when we are close be numerically ruled out of the playoffs - not now.

I think we will be alright. We won a few months ago with Laing and Motzko in there - not sure how, but we did... what's to say we can't do it again.

I said the Philly and the Sens would give us the most trouble on this home stand. We "should" beat Edmonton and Florida. They can still get 7 out of 10 possible points.

If that happens, we might be able to jump a few teams in the standings. Patient! In the last 10 games, the Caps STILL have a better record than the rest of the SE division. Wait for it...

Posted by: 828 | January 15, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Mike,

I'm not saying that the Caps should go for Sundin - he's more than likely too old to be of any significant use here. But the Caps management still needs to prove that they are serious about this team, and it is for that reason that he needs to be replaced. Shuffling Kozlov or under-ripe AHLers in to replace Nyls is tantamount to calling "game over" on this season.

This season is not over. It's barely half over, and the Caps have climbed up from the basement to within 4 points of playoff contention in less than two months. The organization has a lot of good momentum going from the AO signing and the Boudreau installation - they need to keep it going right now and find someone within the next couple weeks to keep the team's collective skill level up. Failing to do so would be demoralizing to say the least and, considering how far they've come and where they've come from since November, it would be simply a huge mistake on the part of a management that claims to be serious about building a successful team sooner rather than later.

One of the biggest knocks from the nay-sayers is that AO doesn't have a supporting cast that's anywhere near his par - most likely because the supporting cast that we as Caps fans see and love is yet unproven in the long term at the NHL level. GMGM has GOT to get somebody to replace Nyls. He doesn't have to be a superstar, he just has to be good.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 15, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

haha, replace one Swede with a better Swede, I like it. I really don't think that Pete would come back to play on a 14th place team. And by the time Feb. 10th rolls around we might be back in 15th with all these injuries.

Posted by: yeah Forsberg | January 15, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

At least there is a bit of good news! Baby Backstrom was officially named to the YoungStars team.

http://www.nhl.com/allstar/2008/youngstars_roster.html

Posted by: SLM | January 15, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

yeah Forsberg

Yeah, I guess we could be 15th... or, we could be 3rd. Guess it depends on how much faith you have. People compared Backstom with Forsberg... so, you never know.

See you all at the game... hope the Caps A team comes out tonight.

Posted by: 828 | January 15, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@Holy Olie

Yea, I totally agree. There's no doubt they need to do something, i mean look at tonight with Gordon on the second line.

i just would be shocked if they did something. I'm one of the few GMGM supporters out there. However, I would just be surprised.

I hope I am wrong though and they bring someone above average. Maybe not a sundin like you said, but not a kris beech.

Posted by: MIKE SHWEDICK | January 15, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Well I will be there to see Backstrom so that's excting.

Posted by: MM | January 15, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

TARIK-

On that note....

What did GMGM say? Did he say if he will be actively pursuing anyone?

Posted by: MIKE SHWEDICK | January 15, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Isn't McPhee's job potentially on the line? If you have a player go down, it doesnt meant that your work is done. He should be proving he can keep this team competative. We need a replacement.

Either get us another center - or get us a winger (something we can use anyways) and have Kozlov move to center. I am hoping some more fire power up front will compensate for the Kozlov move.

Posted by: cs | January 15, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

HolyOlie -

I don't necessarily disagree with your line of thinking. But I don't think you can risk the long term viability of the club by getting a rental player as expensive as Mats Sundin will be.

That means not giving up a first round pick. It means not giving up top-flight prospects.

And I didn't mean to sound as if the season is lost. I do think the caps have a good shot at making the playoffs. But I don't think they have a very good chance of advancing (unless they face Ottawa and then anything is possible!).

I'm also not sure that we have to bring someone in. We have a prospect that put up 54 points in 54 games in Hershey last year (wilson) and a highly thought of player in fehr (who isn't quite healthy yet) as well as guys like Bourque who could play a role with the club.

The caps have options with Kozlov's versatiltiy. They don't necessarily have to bring in anyone from outside the org. And they probably can't afford to bring in a highly priced player from outside the org unless he is UFA at the end of this season. Don't forget that the caps still have to sign Green and Morrisonn, kolzig if he's coming back, and 8 or so others who are rfa for next year. They won't have NHL cap problems with a highly priced player, but they'll have Leonsis cap problems.

It'll be interesting to see what happens.

Posted by: Mike | January 15, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Fleischmann-Gordon-Semin" (Dump and Chase)

Expect to see a lot of Semin going 1 on 3 vs. the Sens. On the plus side, should he turn the puck over Gordon will probably already be back in the defensive zone.

To me, the forecheck tonight is going to be extremely important to get turnovers and offensive chances. If the Sens are prepared properly OV should not expect to see much room out there.

Posted by: Jeff | January 15, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Was reading the Sens blog (no I didn't post there).

There's a why can't we beat the Washington Capitals thread... most of them say the Caps suck, only one recognize the value of the team with BB... and most think they'll win tonight.

GO CAPS FOR THE SWEEP!

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Don't trade for Sundin. He is a life-long Leaf. In other words, he'll cost too much. BB has been able to squeeze a lot out of the guys who played for him in Hershey, so let Gordo or Laich have a shot -- see what they can do. Maybe call up one of the juniors for a try-out???

Posted by: JIM | January 15, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, that bites! I go to lunch, come back and Nylander's out?

Just step away from Sundin. His style of play would not compliment the Caps at this juncture. Also, he's UFA in July (if I'm not mistaken), and bloody expensive to boot. He'd bust the budget for what end?

I was an early detractor for Nylander until I had a bit of an epiphany. His style of play is definately european. The number of assists he has is very large. He makes plays happen.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 15, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@ CantMissKid

I always remember the character he played, Hudson. Good movie and I sure feel like saying that myself.
However, recently we've seen someone step it up when an important player on the team goes down with an injury.
Hopefully, someone steps up to fill his spot.
That is a lot of injuries though. Really, is someone out to get this team?

Posted by: captnclark | January 15, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I've respected Nylander's play a lot more recently; his non-confrontational style seems a lot better when the rest of the team steps up the level of aggression. Still, he hasn't had a huge positive impact on the team; most of his goals are "garbage goals" - goals that could be scored just as, if not MORE, often by a scrappy forward like Clark/Laich/Gordon, etc. After all, they can dominate the slot, and Nylander does not. His assists aren't huge, either; he gets a lot of secondaries, and a lot of his primaries are more due to the work of the scorer, rather than him (that one fantastic across-the-slot pass to Green aside...). He drains a lot of time off the clock, which is tolerable when we're ahead (but it's not a good thing; 60 minutes of aggressive attack would be much better), but this is the Caps we're talking about - we're the kings of the one-goal loss and, lately, the come-from-behind victory.

All that being said, I hope Nyls surgery goes well, and wish him the best.

Posted by: MikeZ | January 15, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Mike,

I don't mean to say that the Caps need to bring in top dollar talent, and I agree with you that, unless we're talking about a skilled young center coming into his prime, it's not worth giving up the 1st round pick for.

Kozlov's skill at center, though I'm not as hard on him as a lot of people here are, is debatable and I just don't think it's a long term solution. I also don't think that a replacement for Nylander is going to be found in Hershey. That was a fine solution for the last couple of seasons, when the team was more interested in development than actually putting up points in the standings charts, but the Caps aren't in that mode anymore. The team has momentum and direction at the moment, and I think they're going to need to find someone with NHL minutes under their belt if they want to keep it going in the long run.

Like I said, he doesn't need to be a superstar, he just needs to be good.

Might be a good opportunity to find a hard-nosed net crasher with some offensive upside... Someone in the Chris Clark vein. They tend to come cheaper than the pure skill guys.

Dunno, I don't have names yet, I'm just throwing it out there.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 15, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"When someone's out, that's just an opportunity for someone to step up and make the plays."

- BB (paraphrased)

Posted by: keef | January 15, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

there will be no trades, don't fool yourselves.

if we are depending on Kozlov any more than we already are, then we are in deep *@#&#*. He has already underwhelmed this whole season.

This will hurt our PP the most, which is too bad since it just started to look good.

Posted by: ns | January 15, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I think the best route is to let Clark rest for at least another week until he 100%. There's no point in risking him just so we have a better chance at making the playoffs which we wouldn't go deep in anyways. Patience guys... our time will come.

Posted by: nautikal | January 15, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

congrats Nicklas ! Well deserved

Posted by: Helge | January 15, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

this will hurt the caps and there depth. He has done well on the offensive end, scoring and setting up people.

Posted by: smartfan | January 15, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Every once in a while when I am bored I will stop by this blog and read some of the inane comments made by some of the most obnoxious Capitals' fans, in hope that they have matured enough or learned enough to recognize good hockey and hockey players, but alas, it is not to be.
The negative comments about Nylander are beyond belief, only made by grossly ignorant Capitals fans (Notice I did not say hockey fans, these people would not recognize hockey even when the puck hits their hard head)

Posted by: Joe | January 15, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Whoever said the Caps are 4 pts out of a playoff spot..use your fingers to count this time.

They are 7 pts back.

Posted by: uh oh | January 15, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Huge blow... Ovechkin had at least three one-timers after Nylander face-offs win, and Green is leading d-men because of Nyl, at least 3 one-timers for sure after Nyl set him up.

If BB will manage the team to get into playoffs after that, Verizon center should be renamed BB center.

And how ironic? Larry Brooks was the first to report that Nyl had rotator cuff injury.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | January 15, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

No Sundin, please. We'll take our chances with what we have. If we choke down the strech, we'll be looking for picks.

Posted by: George McPhee | January 15, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

GM hasn't spoken yet. I don't have an ETA, either.

Posted by: Tarik | January 15, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I bet Jeff Halpern will come back.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 15, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Despite losing Nyls, the biggest holes on the team still remain between the pipes and at the blue line.

Olie clearly wasn't up for it on Sunday-- if only he could let the team know in advance when he doesn't have it ;-)

And it would be nice if someone on defense could clear out the Knubles in the league.

Posted by: Clarendon | January 15, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"He did a courageous job of trying to come back, but sometimes he didn't have the strength in his arm to play like Michael Nylander," Boudreau said. "It is very, very sore so he is going to get it fixed."

Clark is still dealing with a groin injury that will keep him out for the 19th time in 20 games.

Also, Brent Johnson will be in net against the Senators.

Posted by: Corey Masisak | January 15, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted: Tuesday January 15, 2008 07:51AM ET
Peter Forsberg's road to recovery - and to the NHL - is set to continue, as the All-
Nylander and Backstrom should lobby Forsberg to help, Swede to Swede... :-)

Star forward told a Swedish television station on Monday that he plans to begin all-out skating to test his right foot within the next two-to-three weeks. In a televised interview with Sweden's SVT, Forsberg said he's optimistic things will work out, but acknowledged that time for a comeback is beginning to run out.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Rob @1238
I couldnt have said it better myself. I will add this, this year wasnt a "playoffs or bust" year for us. That is another prime reason to not mortgage the future to get a rental late in his career

Posted by: Phil | January 15, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

HolyOlie -

I just breezed through the players on non-SE division teams who are becoming UFAs at the end of the year, and only one name really stands out...JP Dumont. But he's a winger and you'd still have Kozlov at center.

If you ignore the UFA bit there are all kinds of players out there. If you get a center the problem comes next year when Nylander is back...and so is backstrom, laich, steckel, and gordon. Who gets displaced or moved?

A winger opens up a ton more possibilities with less disruption next year, maybe.

If, IF, there is going to be a trade then it will most likely be for a guy who goes UFA at the end of the year. Assest that I deem to be available: second round picks and lower, pettinger, eminger, motzko, and the second tier of defensive prospects (no lepisto, alzner, godfrey, ruth...guys like hunt, pollock, maybe pokoluk, etc.).

A trade will be tough to pull off, and the other GM's have an upper hand knowing the hole that GMGM is trying to fill.

Posted by: Mike | January 15, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

We don't need a Halprin, Sundin or anyone else that's high priced and from out of our system. We can call up tallent. That's what they're there for.

We can't seem to catch a break, can we?

Posted by: Greg S. | January 15, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Call up talent?


Surely has gotten them real far recently hasnt it?

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

what a waste of time..I'd rather watch underwater basket weaving instead of caps hockey

who wants my season tickets

Posted by: Ricosuave | January 15, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, we should have a Caps Insider blogger meeting at the end of the 1st period tonight if you are at the game!

Posted by: JamesD | January 15, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

@Ricosuave,
I'll take them if you are giving them away.

Posted by: Jay | January 15, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

ooohhh....a blogger meeting. What would you do there? Stand around and cheer like those fools on the fan club's road trip do.

get real and a life.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

yeah blog this caps lose...yet again

Posted by: ricosuave | January 15, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Disregard those last couple posts. I've been in a bad mood ever since my mom told me I had to move out of her basement. If you need me, I'll be looking at a picture of Daniel Briere shirtless while I touch myself.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Looks like we have a few winners here today.

Caps Suck, why dont you do something like get a job.

Posted by: JamesD | January 15, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@JOe

Well said.

Posted by: sidehillman | January 15, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

leave brierre outta dis you fool

Posted by: nittymakie rules | January 15, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Great speller...typical philly trash

Posted by: JamesD | January 15, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,
Could you please get a registration process for this?
I cant take these rejects who took a wrong turn looking at internet porn.

Posted by: Tommmmmmy | January 15, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

to whomever "caps suck" is.....who in the world is your team?the penguins?flyers?sens? please state who your precious team is........

Posted by: capshockey98 | January 15, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow... You managed to misspell Briere and Niittymaki. Are you 12, or just from Philly?

Posted by: Smitty | January 15, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Wheeling Nailers

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Elmira Jackals

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

both of those teams could beat the caps too

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey, don't knock the Jackals. That's good minor league hockey!!

Posted by: boredatwork | January 15, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

*yawn*

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 15, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Well at least we have OVIE!

Posted by: fancy_nancy | January 15, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

elmira jackals??? WHAT A JOKE!

Posted by: fancy_nancy | January 15, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The owner should sell the team to a local group and put them in the USHL because thats how the Caps play.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I have such a great life that I spend all my time on other team's message boards trying to prove I'm superior, only revealing how truly pathetic my own life really is. If I had a job, girlfriend/wife, responsibilities, or anything at all that is worthwhile or meaningful in my miserable life, I surely wouldn't have time to do such immature things...sigh...I think I'll go jump off a bridge now and put myself out of my poor, pathetic misery!

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@Caps Suck

I'm curious. If you dislike the Caps so much, why do you persist in coming here to a Caps discussion board?

When there's something that I particularly dislike, I try to avoid it. Like Brussel Sprouts. Can't stand the little buggers. I don't go eating them just to reaffirm my feelings about them.

And FYI, call ups did work for us. We got Laing.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 15, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I feel we are losing sight of this blogs entire purpose....where is all of the love for the caps here?

Posted by: fancy_nancy | January 15, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

And of course we got B.B.!

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 15, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Please do not feed the trolls.

Even if they do not have respect for Tarik, I expect Caps fans to. This is his blog. Please do not sink to their level.

Posted by: Jill | January 15, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Caps call ups have done well for us this year...not to mention we have a lot of great players on our team that were call ups last year...so yeah the farm system does work and I have to say I think the Caps have a pretty darn good one!

Posted by: K | January 15, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I like blogs

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Laing? 4pt Laing?

Yup, that'll jump you in the standings.

Eminger can get 4pts by watching in the press box.


Ok ok..during home games its a suite...I know I know.


BTW..I do have respect for Tarik, which is why I never say anything about his reporting.

He's a good reporter, following a pathetic team.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

@GregS

*sigh* let's try not to feed the trolls dude... this guy is just here to get some kind of attention.

I miss the discussions with you, Boo!, pmoravek, Jeff, Lee, Jill, alexovetjkin, Mitch, dmg, 828, Dave in Alexandria (no more DC), Kim, etc... where are the good bloggers??

4 more hours to the game. One win a day keeps the trolls away... GO CAPS PLEASE!!!

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

How 'bout those Cubs?

Well, I'm going to be at the game tonight and I'm hoping for the sweep. We've got some turmoil, they've got some turmoil and we've won before without Nyles. It's upsetting but it's not the end of our season.

Posted by: keef | January 15, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

With Clarky still out out now Nyls, any chance of a Chocolatetown recall?

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 15, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Well said Jill!

I usually sign off when these folks get on the board. My Dad used to say "You've done nothing when you've bested a fool."

If nothing else, you can wait till after 8pm. By then their Mom usually makes them go to bed.
(Sorry, I couldn't resist a parting shot)

Posted by: pmoravek | January 15, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Jill


Perhaps it is you that is trollish...
Dave told me all about your man hands

Posted by: uncanny | January 15, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@mauree - I am honored to be included on your list. :) Looking forward to tonight's game...I will be there as always. It should be interesting to see the lines and what they can get done. So far this team has shown lots of resiliency in the face of adversity (injury) under Gabby's leadership.

Let's not forget both teams are depleted. But Ottawa is gonna be hungry.

LET'S GO CAPS!!

Posted by: Jill | January 15, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Do you guys remember the Sens fan who was on here a few weeks ago? I forget if it was last game or the previous one.
There was a real class act. He congratulated us on the win, and he was willing to discuss the game without venting his frustrations.

That was cool. I only wish more fans could act like adults that way.
It made for good blog.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 15, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

pmoravek,

It is bedtime when your mother calls me over

Posted by: uncanny | January 15, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

oops I forgot keef *hands him a beer*

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Me too mauree.
Back @ ya.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 15, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone else surprised that Mike Green didn't make the YoungStars? Does he not qualify?

Posted by: Beanboy | January 15, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@ pmoravek

Maybe all the Caps fans should take a page out of that book. 90% of the time I read how its the officiating or how much the other team didnt get legit goals or they lost because the other team was dirty.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@mauree

I'm just interested in the psychology. Why would anyone purposely post drivel in a public forum and expose their lack of knowledge while self-professing to be an expert. I know I'm not! Kripes I've learned tons this year, and mostly about the management of professional sports teams.

To say that all players to come up from Hershey have to score tons to be useful displays a woeful lack of knowledge about the sport. Laing, and I know you know, Mauree, blocks shots and hits. He's a great addition to the PK (that's penalty kill) and to the "energy line". A great addition indeed. But you knew that, Mauree.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 15, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Care to come out from behind your keyboard and discuss my Mom?

I didn't think so.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 15, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Let it go..its a blog, anyone can post. At least the caps get attention.

Posted by: JamesD | January 15, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Ummm..Caps dont need 'energy guys' or guys that do well on the PK. Look at the stats..what are they missing? Scoring. Thats why I made that comment. Now you have only 2 guys in the lineup with more than 10 goals..pathetic.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm telling you the Caps are sleeping giants. They are going to come out and prove all these naysayers wrong. In a few years we'll be looked at completely differently. We've gone through a rebuilding and we're having some tough times now but since BB took over the team has been competitive and even if we don't make it to the p-word this year we will next year. We got off to a horrible start this year so now we're making up for it. Had we been playing this way all along...well I don't need to tell Caps fans how close we'd be to that darned p-word!

Posted by: K | January 15, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Caps Suck

Since it seems like you are trying to have a legitimate discussion... I will engage.

I would think that many times when fans are watching their team and things don't go right, they site "tough breaks" or plays that are "unlucky" but at the end of the day...their team did not get the job done.
I think that's true of any team in the NHL.
We actually get down on our own guys quite a bit. (See Kolzig)
But I have NEVER gone on another teams blog and started arguments with other team's fans.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 15, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

@pmoravek
Notice how Caps Suck hasn't even stated what his team is so it can't get into a discussion with us about how the teams compare. It's just trying to stir the pot..insecurities, boredom, jealousy..who knows why...

Posted by: ignore'em | January 15, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

When it comes to scoring...
I think it's fair to say that our free agents have not worked out like we planned. There isn't anybody that had any idea that Kozlov would be sitting here with less than 10 goals at this point in the season.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 15, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

ignore'em
If Caps Sukc wants to discuss things rationally, then I'm cool with that.
This is why the blog exists...no?

It doesn't really matter what team he supports, I support the Caps.
Good or bad.

To me, that defines "FAN"

Posted by: pmoravek | January 15, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@Caps Suck

Before Laing came in, the PK was awful.

@K

It's a pretty long row to hoe this year. The deficit we had at the beginning could be too much to overcome. With Nylander out, that makes it that much more difficult due to the loss of his play making capabilities. They're big skates to fill.

Along with that goes the lack of Clark's willingness to crash the net. Two skilled guys that are out.

Having said that, we didn't have Semin or Clark for a good portion of the Coach B time, and other guys stepped up to the plate and got it done. Wonder who it could be this time?

And Caps Suck guy, don't respond to that question.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 15, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

How could you not forsee Kozlov not performing? Look at his numbers. Last year was decent. 25 goals. The only other time he scored more than 20 was 02-03 and he had 22.

70pts in 99-00 was his highest. He has been a consistent 'minus' player. For a guy that was projected to be such an offensive threat, he sure lacks on D and doesnt score very much.

25 goals last year was an anomaly for him. Not to mention it was the only year in his career he finished as a '+' player.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

sorry 99-00 he finished +24 as well..but 2 seasons out of more than 10??

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S.
Agreed...someone is sure to step up...maybe Semin will get his game back consistently, hopefully Kozlov..that would be a nice treat, Laich, Gordo, and Stecks are hard chargers..maybe one of them steps up...or even better maybe Petty or Flash start really contributing...
I don't know am I hoping too much? Possibly..it'll be a hard run for us but I'm sure the guys will surprise us. They have been ever since BB took over...although I do think the best case scenario would be if gmgm were able to get someone in a trade. I just don't know who it would be. Nyls and Clark are big skate to fill...

Posted by: K | January 15, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,
Is it possible to make similar interview with Ovechkin? I guess he will probably answer the same. He told Richards when the game was over "See you at All-star game"

Q. Are your parents involved as well? Do you discuss a lot with them, too, when you have to make a decision like this?

MIKE RICHARDS: Yeah, I didn't have to make any vital decisions yet. I'm not a big gambler, so I don't want to go into stocks where it's a big gamble and a high risk; so I'm just content with kind of keeping it simple and not doing a whole lot with it.

Q. Is real estate something that's easier to understand maybe than the stock market?

MIKE RICHARDS: Maybe a little bit, but I think again, there, it fluctuates so much, no matter where you're looking at real estate. I know I bought something back home already, but I bought that as more of a leisure and pleasure spot than real estate investment.

Q. Who are some of the players in the All-Star Game you might be looking forward to playing with?


MIKE RICHARDS: Well, I'm looking forward to being on the home team instead of the opposing team; it will be a lot easier having to play them than having to check them. There will be a lot of guys that you kind of respect so much both playing against them and seeing the skills, Ovechkin, guys like that, I'd just like to get to know them a little bit and see what they are like off the ice. Because you've played against them so many times on the ice, it will be a neat experience to get in the room with them and see what they are like.


Posted by: alexovetjkin | January 15, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Cheers mauree!

Posted by: keef | January 15, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I had what Nyls is going through. Can't imagine playing hockey with a torn RC. I give him an A+ for the effort and let's give him a pass until next year. He's a good guy. Good luck Nyls.

Posted by: gawferstud | January 15, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I frankly wondered about the "wisdom" behind signing Kozlov as well. He's a part-time player. Or that's his rap sheet. Very streakie.

The time he's been here has been - mixed. Sometime good, sometimes bad. We've been on him a lot.

The point is that there are a bunch of very young players here that are still developing. There are holes in defense for sure. There's a big one in Olie's 5 hole!

Coach B has done a remarkable job increasing point production and decreasing points against in his brief tenure. Signs are good. I'm just not holding my breath on this year.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 15, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I started disliking the Caps for all the boneheaded off season moves ive seen.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

wouldn't that be caps management sucks then?

Posted by: management | January 15, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

About the comment on seeing how kyle wilson from Hershey could do. We don't want him he is another puck hog and I think we have enough of those.

Posted by: hockeyguru | January 15, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Nick Backstrom. Even though it's a 3 on 3 "event", it's nice to see him get recognized.

I've always said to use Hershey more vertically anyway so if we need to, bring someone up and give them a chance before any signing.

To all the underwater basket weaving experts, the Teletubbies are on. Go, go...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 15, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

No, ultimately, its the team that sucks

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Still no word from George?

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 15, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@mauree, thanks for including me in your list.

I will try to focus on the positive things going for the Caps right now. Ovie, Green, Backstom, Laing, BB (there are more in my opinion, but those are the big no kidding ones)

I really hope they can win tonight. But I do believe that win or lose these guys will play with heart tonight. Wish I was going to be there.

I have a good feeling about Gordon and let's not forget that Emery is supposed to be in net. Maybe this is the night where some other players make that run to double digit scoring for the season.

Posted by: Kim | January 15, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Caps Suck,

Your input is appreciated, but I was just wondering if you could just sum up your thoughts on the team in two or three words. I just can't seem to get a read on what you're getting at.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 15, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik

Kudo's to you and thanks again for all your work.

Question for you. How did Coach B work them today? Hard?

Posted by: Greg S. | January 15, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Didn't we sign Kozlov because he got along with Ovie on the Russian National Team? I got the impression we needed to get someone that Ovie played with. It was an okay signing at the time. He only has a 2 year contract, so I think the feeling was that we could cut bait fairly quickly if it didn't work out.

Posted by: tallbear | January 15, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow...things blew up here..

I still stand by the prediction

Sens 5 Caps 1

Alfie 2
Spezza 2
Randy Rob 1

Johnson pulled after giving up 3 on 7
Olie gives up 2 on 4

Posted by: uh oh | January 15, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

2 or 3 words

Underachieving egos

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

And now that you've said that -- Please move along, little duggie.

Posted by: Caps Suck Sucks | January 15, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

@HolyOlie


UPDATE:


Through a team spokesman, GM George McPhee said rotator cuff surgery will keep Michael Nylander out for three to six months. Also, Nicklas Backstrom has been named to the Eastern Conference team for the YoungStars game during the All-Star Weekend.

Posted on January 15, 2008 11:52 AM

Posted by: fake Corey Masisak | January 15, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

jay, you called it last weekend. i doubted you, but you were right. kudos...unfortunatly.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | January 15, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@Capz Suk,
Look, I've already apologized to you for beating you up, stealing your lunch money, and giving you all those wedgies in school. That was a LONG time ago, and we were kids. What more can I say, can you pa-leeez let all that go!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 15, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

3 on 3? What a joke. Can we fire Bettman finally?

Posted by: :-/ | January 15, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Nylander is going to be very missed. Clutch goals and key assists. I hope I'm wrong, but I think, again, GMGM's limited moves in the off-season are going to be the story. He simply stopped too soon.

Tarik--Kudo's to you for practising responsible, ethical journalism.

Posted by: 3vafans | January 15, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I think Gordon will step up big with this line tonight. He is great on the Face-off. Now that he has been back from his injury for a while he should have his legs back.

Posted by: Super | January 15, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Caps Suck is a skins fan and worried that the Caps might take some coverage away from them!

Good luck Nyls been a fund watching you dangle this year.

Posted by: ALF | January 15, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, 3 on 3. I thought the same thing. I did not read who the goalies were going to be but it should be interesting I guess.

All Star events bring people who are not familiar with the game as most so I'm thinking this just might confuse some. "Honey, do they have to be a certain age before it become 5 on 5?" Basketball Bettman doing his thing. Oh well, congrats again Nick!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 15, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Nylander was OK. Poti I'm not sure of. He's kind of silent, but has assists. Perhaps there are other intangibles in the locker room and on-ice. Kozlov I'm down on and have been for awhile - as all know here.

gmgm needed one more UFA, but may have hit budget issues which prevented him from going on. Also, he missed on at least one pick possibly 2.

The needs are at least one D and a goalie we can count on. The rest is, or will be, fine.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 15, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@BernieWolfeFan - I believe the goalies are those selected for the All-Star Game.

Posted by: Jill | January 15, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Jill,
Ok, I thought they were but it mentioned something about the skills competion but not who would be in net during the "event". I still can't call it a game, ya know?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 15, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Greg S -- just curious...which pick did GMGM miss on (and what is the 2nd one that's still pending)?

Posted by: Jeff | January 15, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@mauree

Sorry to leave you with a troll. Steve R and I had a funeral to go to today. I've been reading todays posts and have the following comments:

Sorry to hear Nyls is hurt. He's one of those guys that you notice more when he's not there. He started slow, but he could have come on strong.

Caps Sucks is just a young boy who either wasn't hugged by his mommy enough, or hugged too much by his priest or daddy.

I WAS INCLUDED ON MAURREES LIST!! I'M SO HONORED!

We gonna sweep the Sens tonight!

Posted by: Lee | January 15, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

For that matter, what was the first?
Alzner's going to be a stud, and if Godfrey pans out, it's the second coming of Al Iafrate.

Remember, 25 teams passed on Peter Bondra 5 times, if I recall correctly.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | January 15, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

This is getting out of hand...

I just don't get all the animosity toward Caps management in the context of the team's current direction! As a Caps fan I couldn't be happier with where we're headed.

If I had to choose between a one-off "cup run" where we win it all only to have an off-season unload of old expensive players versus a consistently good team that starts making the playoffs year-in year-out and gets butts back in seats on a regular basis at Verizon and is the kind of team that makes you PROUD, please give me the latter every day of the week. That's what's happening here.

We have SERIOUS young talent in: Ovechkin, Backstrom, Green, Semin, Morrisonn, Schultz (yes he will keep getting better), Alzner, Fehr, Bouchard, Borque, and Godfrey, AND some great young grit in: Laich, Gordon, Steckel (that's 3 centers), and Laing (still only 28). In addition we have two young top goalie prospects in the pipeline: Neuvirth (looking to be the front-runner) and Varlamov.

What's more, because we've begun (emphasis on "begun" as this is the FIRST season we've been able to take the next step in terms of building for the playoffs) adding free agents the smart way (getting complimentary players for relatively cheap rather than overpaying for a Souray, or the proposed Sundin deals on this thread) we will be able to re-sign not only Semin and Ovechkin but also Green and others as the need arises.

This patient but thought-out process will result in a rock-solid group who have played together in the tough times and will be ready to be perennial contenders sooner rather than later(with the right additional complimentary moves, and I admit that might mean we need to find a goalie sooner than we'd like).

Lastly, we have a fantastic internally-hired head coach in Bruce Boudreau who could become a Caps legend before this is all said and done.

Bottom line: Ted Leonsis is one of the best owners (if not the best) in all of sports. His accessibility and transparency is remarkable and he is always fighting for our team (minus the controversial and distracting negatives of a Mark Cuban). GMGM made one disastrous decision (Bruce Cassidy), but other than that I can't complain too much (except that he should smile more...life is too short) -- especially in his patient handling of the post-strike rebuild.

Yes, we're already turning the corner but a lot of people on this board are still getting ahead of themselves. Sundin? Take a deep breath.

Posted by: MTB | January 15, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@MTB,

Great post! I agree. Patience!

Posted by: Lee | January 15, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

So, who's healthy in Hershey that we can call up? Last I heard, it sounded like everyone was hurt. Wilson, Beagle, Joudrey, Bourque, Fehr, Werner, and IIRC Barney were all forwards who were, over the past couple games, either out or playing hurt or just coming back from prolonged injuries and still need time to get back into shape... and that's not even touching the defensemen who've been hurt. Is anyone left in Hershey who's healthy enough to be called up? (Motzko again, perhaps?)

Posted by: IlikeLaichandFehrisFair | January 15, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I was unclear. My misses were picking up Kozlov and the second possible was Poti. Not that there was a UFA available that he passed on.

Now that I understand the Leonsis directions better, and I quickly state that I do like it, Poti and Kozlov may have been the limit of the budget. I just wonder if there were other players in UFA that were in the same ballpark salary that would have been a better fit. Poti's 30, so there could still be some development there. Kozlov I'm not good on.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 15, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if anyone here is aware, but players' salaries are only paid during the regular season. The significance of this is that the ownership of any team that makes the playoffs is guaranteed at least two home dates, which equates to a fairly significant cash cow. Economically, it stands to reason that the Caps should be in the market for a UFA to get them into the Dance, as I'm sure Ted and Co. could use the bump after signing Ovie.

Besides, the team cannot afford to be golfing come April. With management sure to raise ticket prices over the summer while needing to add to the season ticket base, a deal has to be in the works.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | January 15, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why so many people seem to think that an increase in ticket prices is a foregone conclusion. There is no valid justification for raising ticket prices while the arena is still 1/4 to 1/3 empty for most games.

Come to me with a ticket price increase after we win a playoff series, upgrade the defense, and address the goaltending issue.

Posted by: Jill | January 15, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I get the sense the Caps are thinking of sticking with Kolzig for one more season, then hoping Neuvirth or Varlamov will be ready.

While I agree with you that a defensive upgrade would be appreciated, I'm honestly pleasantly surprised with how much of the D has played so far this season.

A more pressing issue - even with a healthy Nylander - is a top-six forward. The Flash experiment has failed, and Pettinger's view of the ice should be restricted to the press box. Before injuries, this has been a glaring issue this season. When Semin or Nylander have been out, it's been even worse.

Maybe Fehr fits this description, maybe not. One thing is for sure - if the Caps are in a situation where they're calling up Joe Motzko, they're not positioned to be playoff contenders.

-----

The needs are at least one D and a goalie we can count on. The rest is, or will be, fine.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 15, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, D will be the issue tonight even with Heatley out 6 weeks. The Sens brought up a Russian from Binghampton to skate with Alfie and Spezza but we cannot get into a shooting match like last time.

Emery will be in goal and I'm thinking they will play more conservative D and not load the neutral zone on breakouts like last time. That is how the Sens use their speed but if you guys and gals recall, that is why we had so much room in front of Gerber early on. I think it could be a low scoring game with the Sens sitting on a narrow lead.

Anyway, Lets Go Cap-I-Tals!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 15, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

@MTB, I agree. Additionally I have heard really good things about Osala, Perrault, Bouchard, and Finley.

Posted by: pch49 | January 15, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

@MTB- I agree! Thanks for the insight...it sure puts perspective on things. I definately think that we have a great team building right now and I am excited for the future

Posted by: K | January 15, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The empty seats are precisely the justification for a ticket price increase. Noone will balk at a slight bump. Anyway, unless Ted has a secret grove of money trees, there needs to be some added income somewhere. Otherwise, the team will likely take themselves outta contention in the competiton to sign good players at exactly the time they need to add some talent to complement Ovechkin. Besides, we've been quite fortunate in that the Caps average ticket price is still in the botton third of the league, so while I don't expect prices to double overnight, I think we will all eventually feel the sticker shock of the payroll increase. I'll gladly share that burden with the rest of Caps Nation so that we can see the Cup raised by our guys in our house. Cheers to that!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | January 15, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Best of luck to Nylander. No need to kick the man while he is down.

I expect Semin will have about 15 shots on goal (he isn't going to pass to Flash, Gordo, or anyone else). Hopefully 2 or 3 go in. This is a GOOD thing. Semin is great!

PaulR

Posted by: Paulr | January 15, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"No one will balk at a slight bump."

...only Clarkie's groin. ;)

Posted by: keef | January 15, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@MTB
I agree, even (mostly) on GMGM...although not 100% on him :D . Nice post :)

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree about the prices. I know some of you have gone to NYR/NYI/Bos/Phi/Car games and know ours is not that bad. Besides, I think we all knew it was a given that they would increase regardless of the terms of Ovie's contract. An hour 'til game time. Gonna hit the road.

Lets Go Cap-I-tals!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 15, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention...

Go Caps! Go Caps GgOo CcAaPpSs Go Caps! G O C A P S go Caps! Let's go Cap-I-Tals CAP-I-TALS GO CAPS! Go Caps GgOo CcAaPpSs Go Caps! G O C A P S Go Caps! go Caps! Let's go Cap-I-Tals CAP-I-TALS Go Caps!GO CAPS! Go Caps GgOo CcAaPpSs Go Caps! G O C A P S go Caps! Let's go Cap-I-Tals CAP-I-TALS GO CAPS! Go Caps GgOo CcAaPpSs Go Caps! G O C A P S Go Caps! go Caps! Let's go Cap-I-Tals CAP-I-TALS Go Caps!

*breathes*


GO CAPS! Go Caps! Go Caps GgOo CcAaPpSs Go Caps! G O C A P S go Caps! Let's go Cap-I-Tals CAP-I-TALS GO CAPS! Go Caps GgOo CcAaPpSs Go Caps! G O C A P S Go Caps! go Caps! Let's go Cap-I-Tals CAP-I-TALS Go Caps!GO CAPS! Go Caps! Go Caps GgOo CcAaPpSs Go Caps! G O C A P S go Caps! Let's go Cap-I-Tals CAP-I-TALS GO CAPS! Go Caps GgOo CcAaPpSs Go Caps! G O C A P S Go Caps! go Caps! Let's go Cap-I-Tals CAP-I-TALS Go Caps!


Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Crap Nylander vilja vara missat. Kozlov blir en centrerat nu och han icke har den skickligheten av MN

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Børk?

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 15, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Translation of JSchon post:

Crap, Nylander will miss various games. Kozlov will play center I hope he kicks ass. I love Minnesota.


Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

@ Paulr

15 shots?

Ummm..no

Posted by: JamesD | January 15, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Actually, taking an honest stab at it based on the two foreign languages I speak (neither of which is Swedish), I think it's:

Crap, Nylander will be very missed. Kozlov will play center but doesn't have the stick handling of Michael Nylander.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 15, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

JSchon

Pardon You?

Posted by: pmoravek | January 15, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm gone all day to meetings and come back to this. Ugh. This is not neccesarily a season killer, but Nylander will definitely be missed. Anybody who tries to argue otherwise simply has not been paying attention this season. That being said, we have also been without Semin or Clark for much of the season and Backstrom has been stepping it up big time since BB took over. Lets not freak out yet.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 15, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Caps need a point tonight to be on track for the 7/10 I said they would need in this home stand!

Go Caps!

Posted by: Lee | January 15, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Nyls, what a bummer. Good luck with the surgery, heal up soon.

Say NO to Sundin, the price is too high for a rent a center.

GO CAPS!

Posted by: Steve R | January 15, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

mauree

Don't tell me...let me guess.
You are overseas again?

I tried that P2P website you suggested.
That's pretty cool.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 15, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

nono I'm in good 'ol green Virginia is for Lovers :)

Yeah p2p tv is pretty cool :D ... not great quality, but better than the radio. But tonight I can send my GO CAPS brainwaves directly to the TV cathode (yeah, old tv :D )

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

and yes, get well soon Nyls. We're looking forward to seeing you healthy next season.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 15, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one annoyed by the NHL press release re Young Stars? Why did they only call out two players and relegate Backstrom to the "also on the roster" status? Look at the point totals! Rookie of the Month for December! Arrgghhhhhh!!!!!!

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | January 15, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

@Sombrero Guy and all:
technically, Nyl could come back THIS season. NHL lasts till June *instigates* :D

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

MTB,

For 33 years, the Capitals have been preaching patience. And for the most part, I have given them the benefit of doubt. (here it comes:) gmgm and Pres. Dick P. have sorely tried my patience this year. Apparently, I was the only person who noticed that Coach Glen (what a nice man) Hanlon had lost the ability to do his job with the team last season. So, yeah, I am cranky that it still took 21 games THIS season for the team management to figure it out and thus seriously jeopardizing their playoff chances.

One of the gots-to-haves in the free agent market last summer was a stay-at-home defenseman. To me, this is where big money should have been spent. Insead the Caps hired Poti, a power-play specialist. How exactly has that worked out?

With regards to Olie and his situation, I was silent on that last year, though for a couple of years, I felt that his reliability was diminishing. I know that I am not the only one that noticed. Does gmgm have a plan? Who would start if Olie actually does injure himself in a significant way? Who would back up? Last year, when the call-ups played, I was less then impressed.

I know that Olie is and has been the stalwart of the Washington Capitals, and that he should be treated with the respect of such an integral teammate. But that doesn't preclude gmgm from laying the necessary groundwork for Olie's transition out. If he has a plan, has he told anyone? (I bet not!)

Look, Ted is a terrific owner. You don't have to go far to find the worst examples. I just don't think that he (or us, the consumers of their product) has been served well by gmgm and his team president.

Okay, time to go It's game time, LET'S GO CAPITALS!

P.S. In spite of not making "the list" I still respect the lister and those that made it. and several others. (trolls grow up!)

Posted by: Clarendon | January 15, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Chris Neil: go get him Brash!!!

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

@Clarendon et al.
The "list" explicitly names some of the most recent posters - but it's obviously intended for all the bloggers who, even when being very passionate, never trespassed into rudeness or insults. The good folks :), you know who you are.

Either Ottawa is very mad, or we miss Nylander a lot... no shots on the last powerplay :(

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Hello Fellow Fans!!!!!!!!! :-D

Glad to hear that I am still on the "good" list (schucks!). I just hope that Santa uses the same list!! ;-)

I am even happier to see that we have finally scored! That Green ... he really should be going to the ASG. What a shame ...

Yippy for Backs! He deserves it.

Bummer for Nyls - I hope he heals well, quickly and completely. I also hope that we don't lose anyone else! If we can get everyone else back, then we should be OK without Nyls. Should be interesting ... we'll see!

Johnny seems to be playing well. I couldn't believe that he got clobbered 38 seconds in! Thank goodness he bounced back.

Not to get ahead of myself, but I am looking forward to going to the game on Thursday. Wish I was there tonight ...

LET'S GO CAPS!!!
(oh, and TROLLS GO AWAY!!!)

Posted by: Boo! | January 15, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

mauree: I just realized that everyone is on the next thread ... see ya there!

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