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Odds and Ends: Boudreau Zeroing In

Here are some notes from this morning's skate at KCI:

Coach Bruce Boudreau didn't reveal his line combinations this morning, but he did reiterate that he intends to use the final six games as a proving ground for his playoff lineup.

"We have six games left [and] it's getting closer to the way it's going to look hopefully in the playoffs," Boudreau said of his lines.

Boudreau wasn't specific, but he did hint that he does not plan on having Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin on the same line in the playoffs.

"Very rarely does a one-line team win," Boudreau said. "You have to have at least two really good offensive lines. And by putting No. 28 on another line [that] really augments the fact that the best defense pair can't cover both lines."

'D' Rotation
Boudreau also said he's going to rotate certain defensemen over the final six games based on "feel" and the matchup. Tonight, it's Milan Jurcina's turn to sit out.

"I know the guys that are going to sit probably a maximum of two games each until [the end] of the regular season," Boudreau said. "Again, it's for Brian [Pothier]. The more games he plays, the more he'll be ready if we want to play him in the playoffs."

'I Do Drive Myself Crazy'
Some coaches don't like to focus on 'what ifs'. And then there's Boudreau. He acknowledged this morning that he keeps close tabs on each game in the Eastern Conference and has studied the remaining schedules of all the playoff hopefuls.

"That's fun," he said. "And I do drive myself crazy. But it wouldn't be me if I did anything else. I come in every morning, and I'll say, 'You know what, if it happens like this ...' And then [assistant coach Dean Evason] will go, 'Uh-oh, here we go again.' It's fun and it's what we do."

I'll check in with a lineup before the game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 1, 2009; 12:49 PM ET
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Hahaha! I love Boudreau! Best. Coach. EVER! He's so funny. "And I do drive myself crazy. But it wouldn't be me if I did anything else."

Rotating the D in and out is good; it lets the guys rest up some for the playoffs without getting rusty. :)

Posted by: irockthered | April 1, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the Caps will be offering partial plans for next season. Without my dear brother purchasing a pair of six-packs, I may be dependent on scalpers next year. I was pretty happy about the Caps new popularity until now...

Posted by: uncatim | April 1, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness. Here's hoping we've seen the last of the Care Bear line. Things have definitely heated up, and magic numbers are getting smaller.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 1, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Less and less likely:

"Fans have flocked to Verizon Center this year, as the team set club records for sellouts in a season (25) and consecutive sellouts (11). Twenty-one of the last 23 games at the Verizon Center have been sold out, and that trend looks to continue into next year as the Capitals sold more than 2,000 full-season tickets for the 2009-10 season in the first four days tickets were available."

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

They'll definitely be holding back some tickets for group sales, single game tickets, and partial plans. At least thats what I had been told in the past.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | April 1, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I heard they have a waiting list already for full plans. Puts the partial-plan at risk of becoming a relic.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

From last thread

Isles shut out Detroit last week, let's not play down to our opponent

Posted by: billd2 | April 1, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

uncatim: If next season is anything like this one, I'll probably have a few games that I can't make. (Hopefully my back won't be screwed up again; I missed a *bunch* of games to that.) I don't put my tickets up for sale in any "public" place like Ticketmaster's site, because I cannot be assured that the tickets are going to a Caps fan. I would rather accept less money for a ticket and have it go to a Caps fan. Hell, I'd rather have the ticket go unused than let an opposing team's fan sit in my seat.

Crazy? I prefer to call it 'principled'. :)

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | April 1, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I hope so SombreroGuy. I requested that my dear brother (have I mentioned what a great guy he is?) pounce as soon as availability is announced. Maybe I'll buy that swell fellow a couple of nice beers Friday. Great guy -- he was Teacher of the Year a few years back.

Posted by: uncatim | April 1, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

GregAnnapolis : I like your principles & will keep an eye out. Thanks.

Posted by: uncatim | April 1, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Very, Very good Karma for you, my friend.

How many years did we suffer from game after game of goals-against cheers louder than goals-for?

Hard to sit thru, but I did it many, many times.

Those memories prevent me from giving my tickets to unknown persons.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo: Never again. Not in our house!

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | April 1, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Frozen Four, Tier 1 youth hockey tryouts, USA Hockey Nationals, pre-tryout hockey camps, NHL Playoffs.


I'm getting an ice-cream headache from lot's & lot's of hockey!

Lovin' it.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

It still happens once in a great while. But only on the most-hated rival games and then only on crucial goals.

Lot's and Lot's of silent away fans are the new normal.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Partial-plans are where its at. Not enough free time and money to buy season tickets.

When I lived in the area, I always did that 11-game pick n plan thing. Do they still offer that?

Posted by: richmondphil | April 1, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

For those with questions about waiting lists, partial plans, etc...why not read Tarik's story in this morning's Post?

Posted by: CapsChick | April 1, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse


I think they have to keep a certain percentage for group, partial season and single ticket sales. Since there's only like 100 full ST sets left, I'd imagine that the partials will be the next group to really get hit hard.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 1, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo ...dont worry your NHL playoff headeache will soon go away. Than you can watch all your other hockey matchs

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 1, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Meetings will take place and either the partial plans will stay the same, be cut back or be eliminated. Depends a good bit on how we finish up, I'd bet.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I can't control the world, rat boy. But I can certainly enjoy the ride.

go pull it some more, rat boy.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

In Bruce we trust. He has won at every level he has coached. Here is to a good game tonight and to get our focus for a long play-off run. I can see us in the finals this year.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 1, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Caps Chick - good reminder. Thanks. As usual, good story, but still leaves the partial plan and 11-game pick-em plans in doubt or up for discussion.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Northeastern University's DC alumni chapter, which always attends one of the Caps-Bruins games, were told, essentially, that the odds of them getting group tickets next year are close to zero. I'm not sure how many of the "group tickets" are really going to be available, since the NU alumni group has been going every year since the lock-out. They endured the really bad years and I know they're a little peeved at the communication they're getting from the Caps regarding next year. (essentially, they're a loyal group who brings 25 people to a game every year, and they're being told "sorry, we probably won't have tickets for you next year." I'd be peeved, too)

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 1, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Is the "easy" remaining schedule a hinderence to preparing for the playoffs?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 1, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I hadn't been too concerned until I read Tarik's story this morning.

Posted by: uncatim | April 1, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse


Your bro is an un-freakin'-believable guy! STH, teach of the year. He even gives you tix! Wish my lazy bum of a bro would do that for me.

And his industry is doing remarkable things with early childhood development. Why we even have a pre-schooler that writes here! Imagine that!

Posted by: Greg S. | April 1, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Try calling the Red Wings or Toronto for group tickets or partial plans. They will likely pick up the phone off the floor after they stop laughing.

This is the problem we want to have, Caps fans. Hard-to-get-tickets.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Just curious then. Does this mean tickets won't be available for individual games through or other sites? I'm an out of state fan and buying season tickets is sorta' not an option (commute to and from the games would be horrible). Yay, for season tickets going like hotcakes. Darn if I can't get a few games in when I visit DC. Which reminds me, any word yet if the home game schedule for the Caps is finalized yet? I got tickets for April 16th and want to make sure my cousin and I are good to go. =)

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 1, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

the Pens coach stole Boudreau's "Juice Boy" idea!

Posted by: sargeantmofo | April 1, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Always tickets available on Ticketmaster (STH sell here) and other sites. You can still get seats, I think we are just saying the single game and partial plan sales at the beginning of the season are likely to be hard-to-get (quick sellout) or worst case, eliminated altogether.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Where did you get tickets? As far as I have been told, these have not yet been mailed out to STH's. Should go out this week.

I think we find out pretty much after the final regular season game. Then seeds are quickly linked and schedules made final right away.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

We had a tough time getting tix for last Friday's game. My wife bought them online, but I didn't notice where. I'll ask tonight (if I can remember - old fogey here...).

Posted by: Greg S. | April 1, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse


That's surprising. Who wants to go to a TML game anyway? I'd have thought that there'd be loads of tix available.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 1, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, maybe so. I was just using a famous name for emphasis. Red Wings were a good team to choose, maybe not-so-much the Leafs?

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Mostly just pointing out that a good number of top NHL teams tickets are way hard to get.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse


Please check your email (regarding ticket for tonight).

Thanks :)

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | April 1, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@uncatim, et al

Often, the ticket window will have tix for sale from returns. I don't know how that works. Exception was game 7 last year: there were no tickets to be had, period.

I often get scalped and it works, esp if you're willing to be a wee bit late. Then, the most you'll pay is face.

I'm a long time Caps fan but sellers, do sell to the hockey tourists as well. I'm running into people who've traveled from across North America (and I hear of those traveling even further) to see the fine brand of hockey the Caps are playing.

Posted by: WritingLight | April 1, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I "sold" my tickets to the last Pens game. Lower section, right behind the goal and under face value.. because I knew my 2 buddies would LOVE to go to the game.

That said, the partial plan was the best deal ever. I'll be sad if I can't take advantage, because i'm not able to make 40 games, but 6 or 11 is just right for most fans that have to commute forever to make a game.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | April 1, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I got tickets for the April 16th game on I've used them for the 3 games I've seen since October, so they've been pretty reliable and I haven't been turned away at Verizon for having fake tickets. =)

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 1, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I've got 2 tixs in 423 if anyone is interested in going tonight. I can leave them at will call for you. Want the seats filled with Caps fans vs leaving them empty.

Posted by: Tracy2117 | April 1, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else think that the reference "Number 28" sounds a lot like when the Tuna said "the receiver"???

Posted by: perspective6 | April 1, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm a STH and have the Pay as they Play option (an option for full-season holders where you only pay for the games they actually play in the playoffs, and pay after the games themselves). I don't have my tickets yet, and just contacted my Caps account rep - they'll be mailed out some time next week.

So if you don't have your tickets yet, never fear.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 1, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I got tickets for the April 16th game on I've used them for the 3 games I've seen since October, so they've been pretty reliable and I haven't been turned away at Verizon for having fake tickets. =)

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 1, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to rain on you and all (I truly am) but the regular season ends on the 11th. We won't have any idea what the finalized playoff secdule is until the 12th or 13th. its just impossible to know if the Caps will be playing on the 16th at this point.

last year, for example, the Caps clinched their playoff spot on a saturday night, but the regular seaosn didn't end until sunday (Laaaaaaaaate on Sunday ebcause of the west coast games). We bought our game 1 tickets the moment the Caps clinched, but had no idea when or who the Caps would be playing! We didn't get the finalized date and time until Monday, when the NHL announced that the Caps-Flyers series wouldnt' start until FRIDAY (god, that was a loooooooong week to wait!)

I guess I'm trying to say "be careful" because I would hate for you to pin down the 16th and then not have the Caps playing.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 1, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I am getting sick of meatheads who want to start fights in the stands. I just want to watch the caps not have some dumb*** land on my head (as someone did to a friend last month. Some of the "fans" have gotten out of control lately. I never saw this happen before recently..

What is going on with all the fights in the stands lately?

I think its people who go to the game just to drink.. not actually be fans.

Posted by: kmr2r | April 1, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

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