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Ovechkin back at practice

Quick update from Tarik: Alex Ovechkin is on the ice for practice. Not sure if he'll be participating fully or not. But he's letting his shots rip.

By the way, here's that photo gallery from last night.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 12, 2009; 11:03 AM ET
 
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Next: Video: Bettman on KHL relations

Comments

Hide the women and children!

Posted by: SA-Town | November 12, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town -

Nah, they're probably safer with him on the ice!

Posted by: yosemite_sam | November 12, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

FOr all of the non-twitterer's....

# David Steckel is expected back tomorrow, but it's unclear if he'll play. 15 minutes ago from web

# David Steckel is not here today because his grandmother has passed away. His status for the weekend is unclear, a team official said. 19 minutes ago from web

Posted by: hbcapsfan | November 12, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Thought's and prayers are with you Dave!

Posted by: hbcapsfan | November 12, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Cheers to Ovie's return! Cheers to secondary scoring! Cheers to 1st place in the Eastern Conference! Go caps!!!

Posted by: JD09 | November 12, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

In addition to Steckel, Backstrom, Semin, and Jurcina are also missing from practice.

Posted by: CapsChick | November 12, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

-Fehr for goal of the week.
-Varlamov was tremendous. Way to shut us all up Varly!
-More late penalties. Yah!
-For a bit of time last night, ShaMo was a wrecking ball. He had like 2-3 hits in a row.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 12, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Prayers to dave and here's to my two grandmas looking down from above.

As for Ovechkin, he better get back in the game soon before Kopitar gets too far ahead in the scoring race. Speaking of hat trick, he'd be one of a select handful to get three straight MVP's if he can pull that off.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 12, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Kopitar. My favorite zombie-looking Slovenian.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 12, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

For those interested, only Gretzky (he had 8) and Bobby Orr ever won three straight Harts. Eddie Shore (the inspiration for "old-time hockey" in Slapshot) did win 4 out of 6 in the 30s and Gordie Howe won 6 over a 12-year period.

Go Ovi!

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 12, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean the Great 8 will return by Friday or Saturday night?

Why aren't Backstrom, Semin, and Jurcina at practice today? I assume with Semin it is just to rest, because he is a little banged up. Why are Backstrom and Jurcina missing?

Posted by: Skins28 | November 12, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Phil: To the best of my knowledge, Kopitar is the only Slovenian I've ever seen. If not for him, would any of us realize that Slovenia even exists?

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 12, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@ tominfl1

Let Kopitar have the Hart. I'd rather see Ovi holding the Cup.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 12, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

3 games in 4 nights...some people need to rest or may be dinged up...

Thats why they aren't at practice...

Posted by: SA-Town | November 12, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: uncatim | November 12, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2775/4093950458_03e4645497_o.gif


LOL.

Especially that thing about Pronger.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 12, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Phil: To the best of my knowledge, Kopitar is the only Slovenian I've ever seen. If not for him, would any of us realize that Slovenia even exists?

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 12, 2009 11:48 AM

I am pretty sure he is the only Slovenian to ever play in the NHL, but I could be wrong.

My man-crush for the Kings, Brown, and Kopitar are finally paying off. :)

Posted by: richmondphil | November 12, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

trade is being discussed between the Red WIngs and Ducks that could bring Giguere to Detroit.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 12, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Correct, he is the only Slovenian to ever play in the NHL.

I'm grateful that I picked him up early for my fantasy team.

Posted by: JD09 | November 12, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The link @richmondphil posted is originally from Puck Daddy. Fun-ny stuff!

Posted by: irockthered | November 12, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

http://www.sportal.se/sport/ishockey/nhl/111500

Whatever that means...

Posted by: uncatim | November 12, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Plugged into the Swedish-English translator:

"Michael Nylander's future appears to spell the KHL.
His share in the NHL has fallen faster than a wasted 70-year-old on a Silja boat but the KHL is Michael Nylander is still a sought-after acquisitions.
Earlier today, reported from North America to big club Dynamo Moscow were most anxious to signal "Nye" but during the afternoon, more and more clubs public interest and is now waiting probably a tug of war.
One of these clubs will be Belarusian Dynamo Minsk as if you're going to go after the French-Canadian home rds.ca sitting in the driver's seat.
According to the page, the Washington Capitals and Minsk have agreed a loan of the Swede, but that information has not been confirmed by U.S. or elsewhere in Belarus.
Dynamo Minsk is otherwise mainly a fine refuge, and the team has no fewer than five Finns on the team (Hannes Hyvönen, Ville Peltonen, Ossi Väänänen, Mikko Jokela and Jussi Makkonen)."

Posted by: Chad8 | November 12, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@JD

Being a Kings fan, I was able to scoop up Kopitar in all 5 of my fantasy leagues. (well, except the one with thiazzi..he a Kings fan too)

Posted by: richmondphil | November 12, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"For a bit of time last night, ShaMo was a wrecking ball. He had like 2-3 hits in a row. --richmondphil"

Seemd to me like he was the ONLY one who was hitting. Was it my imagination, or were there very very few checks?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 12, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

If you look at the midpoint of last season to right now, ShaMo has been one of our most consistent hitters. When the rest of the team has 7 or 8 hits, Mo has 3 or 4. He does the little things. And he was really a wrecking crew v the Rangers. He was laying out all the Rangers' physical forwards. Nice to see. He had gone into a shell for a while after his run-in with Lecavalier 2 yrs ago but he reemerged. Thats why I don't mind a boarding penalty here and there. Shi happens. You don't make omelettes without breaking a few eggs along the way.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 12, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Seemd to me like he was the ONLY one who was hitting. Was it my imagination, or were there very very few checks?


Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 12, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

The Caps came off 2 physical contests where they had about 30 hits in each gm v the Panthers. I think thats the first time in a LOOONG while that has happened. This team isn't built to really do that consistently, they took the night off physically v the Isles.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 12, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Green threw that one goofy hipcheck in the 3rd.
And I remember Erskine throwing a hit near the boards.

But, you're right. Not a lot of hitting for us last night. ShaMo had 4 hits. the next was 2 for Green, Fehr, and Stecks.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 12, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Chad8!

Posted by: uncatim | November 12, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

This team isn't built to really do that consistently, they took the night off physically v the Isles.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 12, 2009 12:17 PM

No team should be built like that unless they want to burn out in the 1st round.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 12, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Juice;

-1, only 1 hit, 3 giveaways with no takeaways and was in the box for the tying goal in the 3rd.

Bad night for the Juice man.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 12, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

does anyone think BB has noticed that when the forward avg 18-21 min a game that the team is more likely to play a full 60 min game? this seems to be true even with ovi in the lineup. when they start getting in the 22-25 range, it appears that there are lapses in play. this can happen in any period - it depends when they start staying out for too long of a shift.
could just be my imagination though

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 12, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I really want to like Jurcina, but he's not letting me. Big body but I don't really notice him throwing it around that much. Blistering shot that never seems to find the net. I get pretty caught up in the offense for sure, not too D savvy. Anyone want to tell me I'm wrong here?

Posted by: Chad8 | November 12, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

No team should be built like that unless they want to burn out in the 1st round.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 12, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

there are teams in this league who can consistently get to 20-25 hits in almost every game. The Caps only seem to rack up the hits when they come off a stretch where their coach is mad at them. Coming off 2 wins v Florida, its pretty easy to predict that their physicality would be at a low ebb.

Turning that on or off isn't like a light switch. Teams need to get battle-hardened BEFORE they head into the playoff season. You condition your body and mind for that type of punishment so the playoffs aren't a total shock to one's system.

The old adage about we practice harder than we play so the games don't seem that grueling.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 12, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

what, NO video proof that OV is skating?????? i don't believe it till i see it

Posted by: doughless | November 12, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

No. If your team plays a hard-nosed game for all 82 games, you will probably be bounced in the 1st. Or 2nd, like the Bruins.

This is a common, to use your word, adage in hockey.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 12, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

the only way to get battle-hardened for the playoffs is actually playing in the playoffs... after two years of playing playoff hockey I'm sure most of them know by now that they need to work on for the playoffs

if some of them still don't know what it takes to win in the playoffs, need to get rid of them get some who do

Posted by: joek443 | November 12, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

No team should be built like that unless they want to burn out in the 1st round.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 12, 2009 12:23 PM


Or unless they only want to win 3 of their first 16 games. Go Leafs Go?

Not so much.

Posted by: Fro_ | November 12, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

It's a common criticism for high-powered, physical teams who burn out fast. Or for players who never toned down their play and developed tons of injuries, despite their aging body. (see; Forsberg)

If you play hard game in and game out all season, your body is going to be mush by the time the playoffs come.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 12, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

And that's why Ovie's high-powered style scares me.

And probably why the guy takes a million painkiller shots in the playoffs.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 12, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

also this is not a team that's built for hitting... playing smarter defensive hockey is what will help them win in the playoffs, not simply out-hitting everybody.

Posted by: joek443 | November 12, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I was wandering through NHL.com stats just to assauge my "home" attitude. I certainly don't watch every NHL game - I catch all the Caps games and three or four others a week - but I'm guilty of yelling about penalties, up-and-down goaltending, Mike Green's lazy passes, etc. Why? Because I watch every game. Maybe some very basic numbers bring everything back:

The Caps are seventh-best in (fewest) penalty minutes per game. The lack of fighting this year means that for actual minor penalites taken we fall right in the middle of the pack. Some of them couldn't come at worse times but I think every team has that issue.

The NHL doesn't track save % by team and I'm too lazy to do the math myself. But, the Caps lead the league in scoring and are 3rd (behind SJS and PHI) in average goal diff per game (+.72). Soft goals come and go, the defense can be spotty, but the end result is pretty dang good. We could want a 1.5 GAA number and 5.0 GF number but that is unrealistic. If our team save % is near .900 and the GAA is around 3.0 this team is fine.

That was a blast last night. And, most importantly, I sat up in 413, staring at the clock at the 6-minute mark of the 1st, and thought "this is the chance for this team to un*&(k itself and show that it can come back from two goals down and some bad play." They did.

If that doesn't make you happy, nothing will.

Well done, guys.

Posted by: saintex | November 12, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

well how about winning the Cup??

LOL the Caps in the mid 80's were one of the top 3 or 4 teams in the league during the regular seasons... it's not like they having this kinda success for the first time in their history.

this is still just the regular season, just the prelude... the main act starts in april

Posted by: joek443 | November 12, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

joek, agree that the main act is in April but this is the act we have now.

I know it's not the mid-80s anymore because I don't have my Flock of Seagulls' hair, my parachute pants, or my first girlfriend.

Posted by: saintex | November 12, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

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