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Ovechkin 'questionable' for the weekend

The biggest news this morning was Alex Ovechkin's continued improvement from a left shoulder strain. There's been so much improvement (videos here), in fact, that Coach Bruce Boudreau called the two-time MVP "questionable" for this weekend's games.

"But you never know because he's getting so much better on a daily basis," Boudreau said. "If [head athletic trainer Greg Smith] gives me the word that he's okay to play, I got to believe I'm not going to sit him."

Boudreau said the team is going to remain cautious. But he also hinted that there's a possibility Ovechkin, who has missed three games, will practice with his teammates tomorrow wearing a different colored jersey.

"I don't know how much of a practice we are going to have tomorrow, but all I can tell you is that you see improvement every day," Boudreau said. "And if he keeps improving, and he's at 70 percent [today], it's not going to be too long before he's in the lineup."

I'll have more from the morning skate in a bit.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 11, 2009; 11:37 AM ET
 
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Next: Caps' collective health on upswing

Comments

Top of the East and Ovi looking good. These are good days to be a fan in D.C.

Ready for the Isles tonight...

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

YES!!!!! I Cant wait for Ovie to return! and what about an update on Circles?

Posted by: Skins28 | November 11, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

as GMGM said yesterday, he's one guy they need to hold back till he's one hundred percent healthy... questionable means he's out at least one more week

Posted by: joek443 | November 11, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Dont play him until Saturday at the earliest....This is why a quick start is so needed...

Get rid of Nylander's salary and start getting some experience for the boys in Chocolate town...

Posted by: numero94 | November 11, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Who in the world is "CIRCLES"...?? I thought Schultz's nick name is SARGE?

I don't know which name is more stupid...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 11, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I agree, no Ovie till next week...we need him, but...not for this weekend. Can't afford to lose him down the road.

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 11, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I wish Tarik would put very clearly what exactly it means that Nylander waived the NMC (can he be assigned with that waiving, or is another waiving needed?) and also is Nylander still in the DC area.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 11, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Circles is Nylander since all he does is skate in them.

Posted by: RogueBiscuit | November 11, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Sinking, you've never seen Nyls play?

Posted by: Steve_R | November 11, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Definitely keep Ovi out until he's at 100%. This team will be fine without him for another game or two, and I continue to firmly believe that the team is benefiting by his short-term absence.

Next time we play Columbus, though, I want to see at least one Blue Jacket sent to the locker room for medical attention. I don't like to see guys get injured, but two can play that game, Mr. Hitchcock, and if you think it's okay to run and injure other teams' stars, why them let's find out how you like it when the shoe's on the other foot, hmm?

F***tard.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 11, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Can any confirm that if nyls goes to Russia, he is still a contract on the caps books? If that is the case and the caps are maxed out on players under contract then the cap space is water until a trade of another player. Since no one bear player could absorb the total freed cap space.

Posted by: jay18 | November 11, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Circles = Nylander, SinkingCaps.

And, just in case you missed this one last season, Bongos = Semin.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 11, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Tarke's twitter message said all of the Caps were on the ice for practice. Did that include Nylander? T
@Sinking Caps - Circles is Nylander because he would skate in circles. The nickname Sarge for Schultz stems from the old TV show Hogan's Heroes that had a character named Sergeant Schultz.

Posted by: NovaCath | November 11, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Unforntuately, by the time we see the CBJs again it will be near the final week of the season and dorking around with revenge, fights, etc. probably won't be doable so near the playoffs.

Next year?

Posted by: saintex | November 11, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to dump anyone on the islanders. They are just a team with cap space and a need for defenceman. Could care less who we'd make a trade with if it happened anytime soon bc u doubt anything more than picks would be coming back from any team. I doubt we add a player via trade until mid January at the earliest

Posted by: ThePat | November 10, 2009 10:33 PM |

Yeah, but just because a team has cap space doesn't mean they are going to spend it. Most (non-contending) teams operate at their own "ceiling", which is usually way lower than the actual salary cap.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

You guys have too much time on your hands...Circles is a ridiculous name...seriously...90% of hockey players circle and pivot the play as they are moving.

Great nickname...career years before he came to the caps...not to mention:

920 GP
209 Goals
470 Assists
678 Pts.

Playoffs: 47-12-22-34

Whoever gave him the name "Circles"...how many points do YOU have in the NHL...just ridiculous...

I agree he needs to go...but ONLY because Boudreau can't make a square peg fit into a triangular hole...

Beagle, Perrault, Laing, Fehr will ALL never add up to the career points Nylander had...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 11, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

From what I read from the capologists here - and they know their stuff - here's the breakdown, simply put from what my amateur mind has gathered.

1. Nylander has already waived his NMC and cannot go back on that. He had to do that in order to be put on waivers. The NMC is dead.

2. If Nyls goes to the KHL then the Caps must pay him his money (Well, Ted will pay him his money) but he's not on the roster taking a slot nor does that money count vs. the cap.

I think that's all we need to know right now.

Any corrections?

Posted by: saintex | November 11, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Can any confirm that if nyls goes to Russia, he is still a contract on the caps books? If that is the case and the caps are maxed out on players under contract then the cap space is water until a trade of another player. Since no one bear player could absorb the total freed cap space.

Posted by: jay18 | November 11, 2009 12:11 PM |

Good question, but I am almost certain that he does not count as a roster spot. (Again, I am going back to when Kaspar was loaned.)

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I know teams have their own ceiling they work with...but the Isles and Coyotes have both said they are pursuing a defencemen with the injuries they currently have.

Posted by: ThePat | November 11, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

jay18: A team is allowed to carry 50 players with NHL contracts. Obviously the 23 on the NHL count against. Additionally, you have to add all the guys at Hershey, the Stingrays and still in Juniors or playing overseas if they've inked their entry-level deals. Guys like Collins probably count against that limit too. Last year at the deadline we were maxed up at 50, but since then a bunch of guys like Machesney, Bourque, Lepisto and a few others are gone. I don't know the exact number at this minute, but I don't think we've added any NHL contracts since Bourque left. So, we should have one spot at least.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 11, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@saintex

Looks right, except for maybe the 1st one. I am pretty sure if he was picked up on waivers, then he gets to choose if he actually wants to go there. Not sure though.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Perrault has a bright future ahead of him, if not with us, with some team.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Also, Fedorov, Kozlov and Brent Johnson at a minimum are gone from the 50 we had last March 1st. Then there's the former 2nd pick, Seabrook, we sent to Calgary.

I'm guessing we're in the low to mid 40s and not in any danger on this issue.

saintex: The NMC is not dead. See two threads back. He only apparently waived for another NHL team to claim him, but not so that he could be assigned outside NHL. I wish the reporters would confirm this.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 11, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

btw, the guys at Herhsey playing on minor-league contracts and the guys we've drafted but never yet signed do not count against the 50.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 11, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

saintex, someone has to pay nyls his money. could be the caps or could be they work something out between the other club. either way, nyls gets his money. also, it's only for this year and nyls has another year on his contract, but no NMC after this year.

consider this. nyls tears it up in the KHL. caps go into the playoffs with perhaps a banged up center or in need of some depth/experience. they could bring nyls back for that since there is no playoff cap. just saying its possible.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 11, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

So while waiting to hear definite answer to the Nylander situation, I strolled on over to the pensblog. I know- it's the pens, but it's an amusing site nonetheless. I don't post, just read some of the stuff they do. Even the Caps/Ovi bashing/photoshopping is pretty funny. Anyway, the Chris Bourque bashing has certainly been rampant. Apparently he's got 0G, 1A and is a -3 in 10 games (or something like that). Not saying I'm glad he's doing bad, just glad he's doing bad on the pens.

Y'all remember Chris Bourque- right? I think he used to play for the Caps.........

Posted by: Fro_ | November 11, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I guess Nylander is not news?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 11, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Seabrook ever got an entry-level, but I could be wrong.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Nyls will have to waive NMC to be assignmented/loaned either to AHL/Europe (most likely KHL). The initial NMC waiver only dealt with waiver wire. He still can refuse any assignment. Unless/until Nyls accepts an assignment he will still count against both the cap and roster limits. Once an assignment/loan is accepted he will no longer count towards either the cap or the roster.

This board has been rife with speculation as to why he waived his NMC initially, but we really don't know and can only hope that it is the first step in Nyls going. Also, do understand that we will most likely have to go through a portion of this again in July, though with no NMC the Caps can just waive him and be done.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | November 11, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@Fro

:)

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Tarik doesn't like to do much investigative work on the Nyls situation. He's happy to accept the garbage GMGM spews as face-value.

Posted by: CapsandRavens | November 11, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Phil: You might be right. Seabrook was 2006 draftee but in college at Denver.

In the "if anyone cares dept":

When you draft a player out of Juniors, you have two years to sign him, else he goes back in the draft.

When you draft a player in college, I think you have two years after the end of his senior year to sign him.

When you draft a player playing in Europe, I think you hold his NHL rights in perpetuity.

So you have three classes of players:

1) those w/NHL contracts or two-way deals
2) those with exclusive AHL or ECHL contracts
3) drafted but unsigned players.

#1 is limited to 50 at a time, other categories unlimited I believe.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 11, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

At home tonight vs Islanders...

I HOPE Varley starts and I am predicting a 6-2 win...Fleishman will continue his pace and Perrault will add a goal and an assist!

Varley will be stellar in the first and the Islanders will fade as the game goes...

If Theo plays...5-4 win...will be close till the end....but we will prevail!

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 11, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

saintex: The NMC is not dead. See two threads back. He only apparently waived for another NHL team to claim him, but not so that he could be assigned outside NHL. I wish the reporters would confirm this.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 11, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's assume for a minute that the NMC was dead as soon as he agreed to be put on waivers. Don't you think the Caps would have assigned him to Hershey already to start freeing up cap space? Every day he remains unassigned is lost cap space.

Posted by: cainoo7x | November 11, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Sinkingcaps,

Someone pee in your Wheaties this morning?

If ever a nickname fits a player, Circles does.

Posted by: Steve_R | November 11, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Where is the update on Nylander? We are all waiting and you haven't said peep yet today. Give us some news, man!

Posted by: CalleJoFan | November 11, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

While we are discussing nicknames, I think Schultz's should be changed to something a little more taylored to his on-ice personna. I'm thinking perhaps "Baby Giraffe". As his skating ability resembles a baby giraffe on ice.

Posted by: pivonkaforpresident | November 11, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Tarik probably doesn't have an update because there is no update yet. Calm down people..in due time...in due time.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@sinkingcaps--not sure why I'm bothering to answer you. BUT of course Nyls has had a great career--that is why the Caps signed in the first place with the now infamous NMC.

Posters don't argue that he is a bad player. They argue that he is not a good fit for the offensively driven system BB has in place. He was already here when BB took over. Neither of them have been able to adapt to each other. Part of what made Nyls so effective with other systems is his ability to slow the play down in large part because of the way he could maintain control of the puck by circling. Put that style in BB's system and Nyls doesn't fit whereas other players, Ovie being the obvious example, have thrived in BB's system.

I'm now wondering just how much Caps hockey you have seen recently from your seats in the 100s. When you slammed our entire defensive corps you made a huge point of saying that you could see just how bad Green, Schults etc were from your fabulous view of the ice. How could you have missed Nyl's circular style.

Maybe you need my birds-eye view up in the 400s.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 11, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

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