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Ovechkin Departs Early

Alex Ovechkin left this morning's practice at Verizon Center after less than 15 minutes on the ice. I didn't notice a limp when I saw him walking outside the locker room a few minutes later, but it's believed that he's been nursing a sore groin/upper leg muscle. But knowing Alex and his threshold for pain, I'd be surprised if he misses any time because of it.

Now that the opening night roster has been announced, the forward lines look very familiar to the ones that were making the rounds over the summer:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Laich-Fedorov-Semin
Fleischmann-Nylander-Clark
Brashear-Steckel-Bradley

The defense pairings were as follows:

Morrisonn-Green
Erskine-Poti
Schultz-Jurcina

The extras were Gordon and Fehr. Gordon was assigned to the fourth line while Fehr skated with the third.

I'll try to get an update on Ovechkin's status later.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 7, 2008; 11:38 AM ET
 
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Next: Laing, Sloan Clear Waivers

Comments

Hopefully OV just had to leave early to get to Super Cuts.

Posted by: Caps 423 | October 7, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

please please please say that he OK

Posted by: oh no | October 7, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,
Is the shot to the foot during the Boston game an issue?

Posted by: ? | October 7, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Would be interesting if:
16 was in for 25
15 in for 87

I'd be curious to see those combos.
25 is an enigma right now. You never know when he will show up (c:

Posted by: CantMissKid | October 7, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I like these combos. They seem extremely strong. I'm extra excited for Friday now. My Center Ice package is all set up. Lets go Caps!

Posted by: Capies | October 7, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

just wondering, anyone know how the lineup looked like at the start of the season last year?

Posted by: chopseuy | October 7, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@? - good question! He did take a nasty shot while on the PK on Sunday... hopefully he didn't break anything, but knowing his pain threshold, even if he did, he's not going to be far from the ice unless he can't walk...

Posted by: I Rock the Red | October 7, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Love the forwards, hate the D (with one or two notable exceptions...i.e., the top pairing). We better score a ton this season.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | October 7, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

If it was the groin/upper thigh injury, why was he playing in the golf tournament yesterday???? I think this is probably very minor.

Posted by: Pat | October 7, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

So Gordon's offensive production still leaves him out of the lineup in favor of Fehr, who had one goal. I guess they want to keep building confidence. hmm

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

OVIE out for at a month!!!!!!!!!!!! -- groin problem. Holy crap.

Ouch.

Kozlov sucks for his money. We need someone more dynamic on Ovie's line.

Posted by: truth and lending | October 7, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin seemed to do just fine last season with Kozlov on his line...

Posted by: caps caps caps | October 7, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

But on a different note, have you seen the BB commercial?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4oLJOMbeYU

Posted by: RobMonroe | October 7, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

For some reason I was thinking Schultz would be paired with Poti, and Juice and Erskine would be the third pairing. I guess that may still happen at some point. I'd be confused if Erkine got more ice time than Schultz and Jurcina.

Posted by: Jill | October 7, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I want to say this was last years opening night roster:


Ovechkin-Kozlov-Fleischmann
Backstrom-Nylander-Laich
Pettinger-Gordon-Clark
Brashear-Steckel-Bradley

Morrisonn-Jurcina
Schultz-Pothier
Poti-Green

Posted by: AP | October 7, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

If/when BP is healty enough to play, I'd assume this is the "D" lineup-


Morrisonn-Green
Schultz-Poti
Pothier-Jurcina/Erskine

Of couse, it is not as simple as plugging him into the lineup. Salary cap space would have to be created. I guess some sort of trade with an emphasis on dumping salary will occur at some point this season. I don't expect it to happen before the 20 game mark or so. That would give GMGM and staff a good chance to evaluate the play of both the Caps and Bears rosters and proceed with a transaction(s) accordingly.

It sure is nice to have the problem of who to keep versus who to demote or get rid of as opposed to picking up players off other teams scrap heaps to meet the salary cap floor and fill out an already thin roster. I'm happy with the decisions thus far leading up to the opener in Atlanta.

DROP THE PUCK ALREADY!!!

Posted by: Riddler | October 7, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Laing in the opener, against the Capitals!

Posted by: greg | October 7, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@Jill
"I'd be confused if Erkine got more ice time than Schultz and Jurcina."

Schultz will also be used heavily on the PK. He may not get as many 5 on 5 minutes but he'll be up in the 18 minute range with the PK time.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 7, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I know this has been asked before, but anyone have any good spots where I can go in Hershey? I just got tickets for their game against the baby pens on 10/19 and will be making a weekend out of it. Thanks

Posted by: AP | October 7, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@ AP

I'd like to do the same thing at some point this season. My trek would be from Ocean City so speninding the nite and checking out Hershey park or other activities would be in order. I'd love to see your feedback/suggestions after your game.

Posted by: Riddler | October 7, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm really liking the Laich-Feds-Semin line, I think if Feds can get semin to wake up it could be a really productive line for us!

Posted by: MF | October 7, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Sure thing, I'll let you know what was going on.

Posted by: AP | October 7, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Riddler: I'm honestly against Pothier ever playing again. As good as he was/is, he's one hit away from permanent scrambles, and as much as he has struggled with his recovery on this concussion, I'd rather he be around and functional for his two young sons than that he play hockey. Some things are just more important. I wish him and his family all the best, but I really think he's done and should be done, for his kids' sake.

Posted by: this space for rent | October 7, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

FOR THOSE UNHAPPY WITH THE D.
http://japersrink.blogspot.com/2008/07/in-defense-of-jose-defense-in-front-of.html

Initial posting credit goes to Sombrero.

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 7, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Tarik: Has Laing cleared waivers??

Posted by: Blonde Caps Fan | October 7, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

AP - Aside from Hershey Park, there's Chocolate World and Hershey Gardens. We went to the Bears Den sports bar before & after a playoff game, but it was just OK. I think there was one called Shakeys that might have closed recently. You can also hit up the bars in Harrisburg.

Posted by: Jill | October 7, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

If Ovechkin will have to miss the first game:

1 Laich-Fedorov-Semin
2 Bourque-Backstrom-Kozlov

Posted by: Dave King | October 7, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Extreme pairing
Schultz-Jurcina

The Tallest - The Heaviest


Posted by: Dave King | October 7, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

As excited as I am for the season to start, I am heartbroken for Laing. He deserved to be kept up, somehow...

Posted by: hockeychick0207 | October 7, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@ AP


you may want to get tickets for that saturday the 18th it i the Bears home opener. and hershey park will be open for Hersheypark in the dark. I would not wait long to get the 18th tickets cause it usually does sell out.

Posted by: Chad | October 7, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

NEW BLOG! WOO

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 7, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I think it's good that we're breaking up J&E. Poti is solid. Schultz is solid. If we gotta have Juiskine, I think this is the way we gotta use them.

Posted by: Jordan | October 7, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Per tim leone of Patriot News Laing cleared

Posted by: Chad | October 7, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Dave King: Makes sense to me.

Just a thought, and people please don't flame me for this, but maybe it might not be such a bad thing to have Ovi miss a game or two early. While I'm in no sense of the word wanting anyone hurt, at the same time, if catastrophe does strike mid-season, it'll be good for our top lines to know what to do if Ovi does get hurt. Playing an early game without him might help work that kink out.

Posted by: this space for rent | October 7, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

@this space for rent

I could not of stated it better myself. I'm sure he's struggling with that very issue right now. But...

The majority of athletes struggle to walk away from the game under any circumstances-injuries and declining skills among them. It's just my gut feeling that he will be back in a Caps uniform this year. Is it the right or wrong decision? Who knows but I could never argue agaisnt your viewpoint.

This is his second concussion with the Caps, right? Has he had any previously?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

@FFS

haha thanks but I'll defer all credit to J.P. at Japer's Rink for taking the time to write up the whole thing.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 7, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I Forgot to post my nmae-sorry
@this space for rent

I could not of stated it better myself. I'm sure he's struggling with that very issue right now. But...

The majority of athletes struggle to walk away from the game under any circumstances-injuries and declining skills among them. It's just my gut feeling that he will be back in a Caps uniform this year. Is it the right or wrong decision? Who knows but I could never argue agaisnt your viewpoint.

This is his second concussion with the Caps, right? Has he had any previously?

Posted by: Riddler | October 7, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Kozlov bashing is fair. He provides the defensive presence on the first line so that Ovie & Backstrom could do their thing. He's a pretty good all around player and almost unstoppable on the penalty shot

Posted by: red dragon | October 7, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@ red dragon,

I agree. I think Kozlov takes more than his fair share of criticism. Yes he is a big guy and isn't aggressive, but that doesn't make him worthless. He is VERY difficult to knock off the puck and his work along the boards is remarkable at times. I greatly disagree with those that pick on his skating and say he's slow. I was watching the preaseason game @ Boston and their announcers were commenting on this and how amazing his strides are. One stride for him goes a LONG way. Besides, he's skating next to Ovy who is always blazing...

Posted by: caps caps caps | October 7, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Re: Pothier

Brian Pothier has small children. Last year after his injury, playing with them was reported to have laid him out for several days. I am against his EVER setting foot on a hockey rink again, for that very reason.

I'm sure he wants to be able to keep up with those kids of his, see them graduate high school and maybe - hopefully - college - and be able to talk about it, and if he takes another bad head injury, as TSFR said, he could be perma-scrambled.

Bad head injuries are associated with behavioral issues, as well, and we don't want him going scrambly and lashing out at his kids one day because he took a hit in the noggin...

I wonder if that young baby of QL's is another reason that Boudreau sent Laing down to the Bears this season... he's already got one Caps Daddy injured, after all... :(

Posted by: I Rock the Red | October 7, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Re Kozlov

I have no problem with him. He, like a lot of Caps players before him who don't play a physicla enough style of hockey and happen to be big men are in the eyes of a certain segment of Caps fans deemed to be unworthy of praise for what they do bring to the the table. They only harp on the aspect that feel that matters the most-being physical. The clasisic example was Larry Murphy. He was eventually whooped out of DC. All he has done sense leaving Washington is win four Stanley Cups and become a member of the HHOF. He's got one of the most impressive resumes of any deensman to ever play in the NHL. However, he was no Scott Stevens when it came to dolling out body checks.

Posted by: Riddler | October 7, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

@ Truth and Lending

Where'd you get "out for a month?"

Tarik is saying minor; Massiak over at the Times is saying that a team spokesman says he shouldn't miss any time.

If you've got access to info we don't, please, post the source! :)

Posted by: I Rock the Red | October 7, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

No offense everyone, but maybe we should let Pothier decide for himself if he should play. Let's assume he doesn't want to end up a drooling vegetable who can't play with his kids. Within those parameters will decide when and if to lace them up again.

As for the current D core, I really dislike that third pair because it means Erskine plays more than he would paired with Juice, which ideally would be once every 5 shifts or so.

I heard OV's injury was due to the golf tournament. He was driving cart, got his foot stuck in the brake and.... (jk).

Posted by: old time hockey | October 7, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

@Old Time Hockey:

Of course it's between Pothier and Boudreau and the folks who make those decisions. I'm just sayin'... I personally believe he shouldn't play. He's been down for months from an injury - over half a year now. In a lot of other sports, that would have been called "career-ending".

Maybe hockey players have extra-thick skulls. :-p

Posted by: I Rock the Red | October 7, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Flash=waste of space. Can't wait to see how many passes from Nylander get wasted.... Hope I'm wrong, but yuck.

Posted by: 3vafans | October 7, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Riddler,

You are SO right about Larry Murphy. He also got booed (not "whooped") mercilessly in Toronto after playing for Washington. Bet they too wish they had one of his four Cups...

All,

Got my tix for the season opener in Atlanta! FYI: I used to be "tokyo fan" but I got transferred this summer to Georgia, so I'll now go by the "CAP-lanta" handle... Go Caps!

Posted by: CAP-lanta | October 7, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I like the way the second and third lines are looking, with skill and grit on those lines and the first line being what it is, those three lines should eat up 90 % of all even strength time in games. AND can't wait to see alzner called up and lined up with poti, exciting times

Posted by: PeterShakotko | October 7, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

dear i rock the red hows the view from your mothers basement why dont you get a life.

Posted by: cap fannn | October 7, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

TV Schedule questions:

Why do I need Center Ice if I get CSN and Versus? It looks like only Nashville and Florida are not being carried.

What channel is CSN Plus on DirecTv?

Posted by: Chris A | October 7, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

erskine sucks.he is the worst D man. He will be replace by Karl very quickly. I think milan has potential but if he doesnt show up lepisto soon will be taking his spot. There is no upside for erskine except taking more penalties if you consider that an upside.haha

Posted by: smartfan | October 8, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

if you get CSN & CSN + you dont need center ice unless your going to watch other market games. Versus is on the higher package than just plain CSN if you get both dont bother with center ice

Posted by: smartfan | October 8, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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