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Ovechkin, Russia to play for gold at worlds

Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia moments ago avoided a potential second international disappointment this year.

Pavel Datsyuk came to the rescue in Germany, scoring with 1:50 remaining to beat the host nation, 2-1, and clinch a berth in tomorrow's world championships goal medal game vs. Jaromir Jagr and the Czechs.

Russian Caps Semyon Varlamov and Alexander Semin did not suit up, presumably because they were being rested for the final, where Russia will be going for their third straight gold.

Big underdog Germany, meantime, almost pulled a big-time upset in a thriller. They capitalized on an early two-man advantage, blocked a bunch of shots and held Ovechkin to no points (and five shots) in 19:22 of ice. But Datsyuk capitalized late on a bad turnover at the offensive blue line.

Warm-ups here at Bell Centre just started, so I had better run.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 22, 2010; 2:38 PM ET
 
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Next: Ovechkin, Russia stunned by Czech Republic

Comments

I don't care what the racist anti-worlds people say! Go Ovie and Go Russia!

Posted by: capscoach | May 22, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"Resting" people so they can play in Finals sounds like an awful presumptuous strategy in a one and done type tournament.

Leave it to Bykov, who nearly got his team eliminated as a result.

Okay, Koshechkin (the Cat) did well in goal but Semin's replacement, Shushinsky, not so much.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 22, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

People have been making comparisons between the Caps and Blackhawks which is a good comparison due to when each started rebuilding.

However, the biggest difference is that Chicago invested a lot of money to a lot of free agents and that investment will cause them to gut a significant portion of their team in the offseason. If they win the Cup, then everyone will say it was worth it (and it probably was). But that is a very risky road to take.

I think Chicago is approximately $9M over the cap for next year. So they are going to have to get rid of a lot of good players to get under the cap.

The Caps have been taking the Detroit approach and not signing free agents to huge, long term contracts that will hurt the team down the road.

A true comparison really can't be given until at least 5 years down the road.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 22, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

That's a great post on comparing the Caps rebuild to Detroit's.

Chicago's in so much cap he** at the moment.

And, related to that, the Flyers who gave up so much to get Pronger and have signed him long term for so much money. If the Flyers win the Cup, it will be worth it. Otherwise, not so much.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 22, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Also, from the last thread, Jordan Staal was selected in the draft after Crosby was selected. He was in the 2006 draft with Toews and Backstrom (pretty good draft).

Posted by: sgm3 | May 22, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

People seem to forget, but the difference between success and failure in the playoffs is incredibly small.

Chicago: They were tied 2-2 against Nashville and losing by 1 goal with 40 seconds remaining and were shorthanded. Nashville had possession of the puck behind Chicago's net, but for some reason their forward made a dumb, blind pass from behind the goalline through the slot area. This enabled Chicago to get possession and for Kane to score the tying goal. Kane was hovering around the red line so it was basically 5 on 3. If Nashville doesn't make that dumb play Chicago may not even get out of the first round.

Philly: Down 3-0 to Boston and were in OT in game 4. Boston had a few very good scoring chances in OT that just missed. If one of those is a few inches over and sccores then Philly gets swept.

That's why people have to be careful when stating "we need to get ___ and we will win." or "we didn't win because we didn't have ___" There are definitely areas the Caps need to improve (D and 2nd line center being the most prevalent) to make them a better team and to increase their chances of winning.

But the line between success and failure in the playoffs is so small it always amazes me when a team wins to hear people glorify that team and its players and state how that is exactly how a team should be built and how every player battled and tried harder than the opposing team.

But if that close call went the other way that same person would be villifying the organization saying how horribly it is run and villifying the players saying they were outhustled and didn't battle hard enough.

Basically, it is ridiculous how one goal or one play can completely change the perception on the quality of a player or a team. When you think of how you are supposed to evaluate situations, it's sort of absurd actually.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 22, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. Flyers just beat the Canadiens in Game 4. Well, at least the Canadiens are not like THIS Canadian:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0WW9BXdKuc&playnext_from=TL&videos=OPhrFDEHSA0&feature=recentf

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 22, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

sgm3:
all acurate observations.
i'd take it one step further - many times a player is bashed for a single play or game. it is like the opponent gets no credit for trying to make their own plays or 'making' a cap look bad.
i don't believe the caps are that far off from playing for the SC. i hope they have a little more luck and skill next season.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 22, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

good teams somehow find a way to win no matter how small the margin might be, that's what makes them a good team. I would define a good team as a team with enough skilled players who HATE to lose.

nobody ever said the Caps would blow away everyone in the playoffs... anyone who believed that just hasn't followed playoff hockey that long. the margin has ALWAYS been small.

this team just doesn't have enough players who hate to lose.

Posted by: joek443 | May 22, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

hockey is one sport in which a will/desire to win often matters more than the skill level especially in the SC playoffs.

pucks seem to bounce your way if you outwork and outhustle the other team.

Posted by: joek443 | May 22, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

sgm, I just wanted to chime in and say that I don't post a lot, but I read most of the CI comments, and I almost always agree with you.

Posted by: Steph22 | May 22, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

SGM...good post... I think back to game 1 at home in OT...Backstrom with a 3 on 1 odd man rush and somehow there isn't a single pass made and somehow we dont score...Ugly looking play to say the least...Such is the playoffs. Cant wait for next year..

Posted by: 850-850 | May 22, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, BUT...now I know Pat Sajak is a true Caps fan, because according to John Walton, Sajak's in the crowd at Giant Center tonight watching the Bears play game 6.

(BTW, Hershey is down 1-2 to Manchester midway through the third period. If the Bears can pull this game out, they'll advance to the Calder Cup final. If not, they'll play game 7 tomorrow at 5:00 in Hershey.)

GO BEARS!!!!

Posted by: wocoliz | May 22, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

The Bears have just tied the score at 2-2 with 5:51 to play in regulation.

Posted by: wocoliz | May 22, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

@wocoliz

Giroux with the first goal. Patsy McNeil with the second goal.

Giroux is finally not being "Mauvais Sasha" in this series and is now "Bon Sasha".

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 22, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Hershey's going to OT--game still tied 2-2.

Posted by: wocoliz | May 22, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

@wocoliz

Can the Bears win another OT game? Will one of the Frenchmen there come through?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 22, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

I believe they can. Heaven knows they've had a flair for the dramatic this postseason. I'm thinking it might well be Giroux (although wouldn't it be lovely if it were Matty P?).

Posted by: wocoliz | May 22, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Boyd Kane with the GWG in OT, and the Bears advance to the Calder Cup Finals. McNeil with the assist. What a great win and such a nervewracking series!

GO BEARS!!!

Posted by: wocoliz | May 22, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

@wocoliz

That was an amazing comeback! Two amazing comebacks in a row!

Calder Cup Finals awaits the Bears.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 22, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

@wocoliz

I would really hate to be a Manchester fan right now. To blow third period leads two days in a row only to lose.

My gut feeling was that the Bears would win after they tied it up. Of course, they had me worried for a bit, too.

Next question. Where's Tess, the main person on this blog who posts the Hershey updates?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 22, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

With any luck, tess was actually at the game tonight. I streamed the audio over sportsjuice as usual. (Maybe next season I'll actually be able to make it up to Hershey for a game.)

Fourth Calder Cup Finals in 5 seasons...absolutely amazing. Yeah, this season ended badly for our Caps, but with this kind of talent in the pipeline, next season and the seasons after that look awfully good.

Posted by: wocoliz | May 22, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I just wonder how many of the Bears stars have NHL talent. Matty P certainly does, it seems as though Boyd Kane and Andrew Gordon might. However, Giroux and Aucoin, who both have been incredible in the AHL, have both been non-factors when called up to the NHL. Is there anyone else who has particularly stood out like that?

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 23, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

@timmnyv38

Here is a ranking of all the teams prospects. The part on the Caps is sort of telling of who is considered NHL ready.

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/nhl_organisation_rankings/

Posted by: sgm3 | May 23, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

"Where's Tess"
Of course I was at the game! Another nail-biter and another terrific finish. Looking forward to the Finals. I hope they can win it on home ice this time. I've been through 4 Calder Cups (1988,1997,2006,2009) and every one was won on enemy ice.

http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnewssports/2010/05/another_rally_eliminates_manch.html

"I just wonder how many of the Bears stars have NHL talent."
Alzner and Carlson, of course. Perreault, Bourque, Beagle, A.Gordon, Pinizotto...yes. Kyle Wilson maybe. Aucoin maybe (but getting old). Giroux seems like he would but can't seem to make the transition to the bigs. Kane, no. Can't wait to see Cody Eakin in Hershey full time next season. The kid is fast.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 23, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention Mikey Neuvirth in that list, but I think his NHL-readiness is pretty much a given. Holtby has shown good potential in goal as well.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 23, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

I didn't say Alzner, Carlson, or Neuvirth because I consider them Caps lol. Although I guess they technically are Bears. Problem is, the only time I get to see any of the Bears are when they're down here in DC - although I would love to get up there for a game during the Calder Finals. But thank you very much for the info!

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 23, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Fire McPhee; hire Doug Yingst.

Posted by: alanb1 | May 23, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

FYI - from the Ottawa Sun via Kukla's Korner:
http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/hockey/comments/is_volchenkov_headed_to_washington/

The rumor mill is heating up....

Posted by: m4ilm4n | May 23, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@m4ilm4n

They posted a link to that same news on the alexovetjkin blog spot as well.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 23, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@tess2201

Glad you got to see the game and get the thrill of seeing the Bears advance to the Calder Cup.

May the Bears show the "big boys" how to come back and win; etc.

They seemed to do a good job of making a comeback against a "hot" goaltender; i.e. NHL ready goalie, Jonathan Bernier. Played their game and played their system and it worked.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 23, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@tess2201

Glad you got to see the game and get the thrill of seeing the Bears advance to the Calder Cup.

May the Bears show the "big boys" how to come back and win; etc.

They seemed to do a good job of making a comeback against a "hot" goaltender; i.e. NHL ready goalie, Jonathan Bernier. Played their game and played their system and it worked.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 23, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@richmondPhil (where ever you are)

As you may have noticed, your boy may be coming to Washington. Yes, the Caps are prepared to spend the bucks for Volchenkov, the A Train, and the man I refer to as Vulture.

@TomInSoCal

So now include $5 Mill in your spreadsheet on Caps players for the Vulture.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 23, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

if we can add A Train and minus poti. that would be great. poti is neither a shutdown d or a offensive d. it will be hard to trade him with his injury

Posted by: samb99 | May 23, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

you wanna have both Poti AND Volchenkov, not him minus Poti. if these playsoffs have shown anything, you need a GROUP of good d-men to win in the playoffs, NOT just 2, 3 or 4 of them.

Just look at the Flyers with 3 SO's in 4 EC final games. You think it's all Leighton or Boucher before him??? it's mostly the team in front of them.

if they have to get rid of a forward or two to upgrade the D then that's just what they will have to do.

Posted by: joek443 | May 23, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

BTW I know some of you have a short memory but Poti was by far their best d-man when Green was out during the season.

Posted by: joek443 | May 23, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75 -

Yeah, and Spector had it too, but I knew RichmondPhil has a hankering for him while others don't think he's worth the 5M.

Posted by: m4ilm4n | May 23, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this has already been posted, but I just discovered that the Russia vs Czech champ game is on TV. Comcast in DC - channel 207.

Posted by: Jen12 | May 23, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The game is on universal sports channel at 2:30 Channel 464 on Fios in Leesburg

Posted by: goalscott | May 23, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

perhaps alread posted, but I just noticed that Russia vs Czech game on TV at 2:30. DC Comcast - channel 207

Posted by: Jen12 | May 23, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

He is the type of player the Caps have lacked for 13 years. 5 million would be a steal in my opinion. Considering he is a very rare type to find.

Posted by: Mike4169 | May 23, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

anybody know a directv channel?

Posted by: ebolean1 | May 23, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

anybody know a directv channel?

Posted by: ebolean1 | May 23, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

First, Caps need to be careful. If McPhee tells Ovechkin to call Vochenkov, that could be tampering.

Caps had like $1.3M in cap space when I posted the spreadsheet last week. That was with cap at same value this coming year as last year. Someone speculated the cap would rise 56.8 --> 58.0. That would be extra space. Anyway, trading Poti isn't a must. The first thing is to trade Flash. Take away where I have him pegged at 3.3 and you know have 4.6. Now takeaway Erskine at 1.25 and you have $5.85M. That fits Volch at $5M and a replacement from Hershey for Flash and it just barely fits.

If you want to do more, like bring back a defensive forward specialist in the Flash trade, something else must be done. Trading Semin is an option, or trading Poti if you got back a cheaper d-man (like re-signing ShaMo at about $2.5M) with then getting an upgrade at the deadline.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 23, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Russia totally dominated after giving up a quick goal.

They played 5 times better than the other 2 games I watched.

I haven't watched the Canada game yet but did Ovechkin get injured or something?

They've been saying that he hasn't looked right in the last 2 games. I've watched the first game against Slovakia, the last game against Germany and the first part of this game. I don't see that much of a difference in his play but I guess he does look a little bit less explosive.

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Here is some food for thought. Caps next year (with Flash at 3 and Schultz at 2) will have 20 skaters making $54M, $2.55M per. Of that, your 13 forwards will be at about $39M ($3M per) and your 7 d-men (as now constructed) at $15M or $2.1M per.

That is a significantly different investment in forwards as opposed to defensemen.

As an example, Filthydelphia has $18M next year for Pronger, Timonen, Carle and with Coburn projected at $2M.

You get what you pay for.

I did not check average salary by position for the whole league, but I would guess it would be close for forwards and d-men, a lot closer than the Caps. On one hand you have the highest paid players, forwards like Ovi, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, etc, but the forwards also have the 4th liners who are probably paid the least to offset that.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 23, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Niemi kinda reminds me of the last Hawk goalie who took'em to the SC finals, Eddie Belfour.

I don't think either could be described as a textbook goalie... they're not fluid in their movements, look somewhat awkward at times but they do whatever they gotta do to stop the puck.

Posted by: joek443 | May 23, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The Russian PP looks like the Caps PP.

Varlamov stopped a breakaway with the help of Kovalchuk applying back pressure.

Ovechkin went down and helped break up a shorthanded 2-on-1 in the 1st period.

Russia has completely dominated though after giving up that quick goal.

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching the finals on my computer on the adthe website. Look it up--I don't want to be accused of being some kind of adthe spammer. But it looks like for the finals there's actually a high-def broadcast, which isn't half bad. Normally it's a little grainy.

That's why yesterday I thought Varlamov was in goal. That, and because I don't understand Russian or whatever language I was listening to, and plus I was trying to watch it while I was doing something else. I just assumed it, because he'd been playing in all the other games I looked at and looked good. I apologize for misleading anyone.

But Varlamov is definitely playing today. I was watching an English-speaking broadcast today. Unfortunately, the high-def one and the English-speaking one aren't the same ones, and the high-def one seems to be like a minute ahead of the English-speaking one, so, you have to pick. I'm alternating.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 23, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I mean atdhe. Not adthe. I always mix up the second and two letters for some reason.

And Semin is playing today too. He had the flu the other day--nothing to worry about.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 23, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Ovechkin took out Fedorov accidentally and the Czechs scored.

2-0.

Fedorov is banged up. Maybe Ovechkin too.

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

People have been making comparisons between the Caps and Blackhawks which is a good comparison due to when each started rebuilding.

However, the biggest difference is that Chicago invested a lot of money to a lot of free agents and that investment will cause them to gut a significant portion of their team in the offseason. If they win the Cup, then everyone will say it was worth it (and it probably was). But that is a very risky road to take.

I think Chicago is approximately $9M over the cap for next year. So they are going to have to get rid of a lot of good players to get under the cap.

The Caps have been taking the Detroit approach and not signing free agents to huge, long term contracts that will hurt the team down the road.

A true comparison really can't be given until at least 5 years down the road.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 22, 2010 3:45 PM |

I'm definitely in favor of more of a Detroit approach.

Now, if we could start nabbing underrated prospects who turn out to be good, great, or incredible players like Detroit has been doing for, what, forever? Yeah, that would be nice. Clearly there is a witch in charge of the scouting department in Detroit.

And speaking of draft picks, can we have Oduya back? I like that guy. Can't believe he's a Capitals draft pick and isn't on the team. I was never really clear on how that happened exactly.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 23, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

It looks like at least Ovechkin is OK. Not sure about Fedorov. It looked like Ovechkin got tripped or caught his foot on the ice. He didn't hit Fedorov that hard.

Russia has totally dominated yet is down 2-0.

I think Ovechkin has been on the ice for both goals.

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The Ottawa Sun article says that the Caps are "prepared" to offer Volchenkov $5 mill/yr. If this is true then it is tampering. The Capitals cannot make or discuss making an offer before July 1. Mark Cuban just got fined $100K by the NBA for saying he'll go after Lebron and I'm sure Bettman won't hesitate to fine the Caps for tampering. Either this article is at least partially bogus or McPhee is being stupid (unlikely) or this is coming from the Volchenkov camp to drive his price up

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | May 23, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

It looks like Jagr and the Czechs will get their revenge.

I'd say that Russia has severely carried the play for about 95% of the game.

It looks like Ovechkin, Semin and Varlamov are going 0-for-3 between the Olympics, NHL playoffs and World Championship.

The Russians had far and away the best team in this case so it may be the most embarrassing, not that losing in the 1st round after winning the Pres. Trophy wasn't.

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

After seeing a few replays, I think Ovechkin caught his toe in the ice. Just bad luck. Hopefully they are both out there in the 3rd. It wasn't that bad of a collision.

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

But the line between success and failure in the playoffs is so small it always amazes me when a team wins to hear people glorify that team and its players and state how that is exactly how a team should be built and how every player battled and tried harder than the opposing team.

But if that close call went the other way that same person would be villifying the organization saying how horribly it is run and villifying the players saying they were outhustled and didn't battle hard enough.

Basically, it is ridiculous how one goal or one play can completely change the perception on the quality of a player or a team. When you think of how you are supposed to evaluate situations, it's sort of absurd actually.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 22, 2010 5:47 PM |

Playoffs are weird. In a culture where most viewers take the regular season merely as an incredibly long and involved way of weeding out about half the teams and seeding the others, I guess it's not really that weird for playoff results to get magnified by media, fans, etc., even close games/series whose results were largely a result of luck, chance, or whatever.

What I think is more absurd is taking the regular season merely as an incredibly long and involved way of weeding out about half the teams and seeding the others.

What the hell were we doing watching 82 games this regular season? Who among us didn't know before the season started that the Capitals would make the playoffs? If all we care about is winning in the playoffs, why bother? Why not just wait until the playoffs start? It's just like watching an 82-game preseason. Do we really care that much about exactly where the Caps are seeded?

I vote for the regular season meaning something, in and of itself, and for really celebrating the Presidents' Trophy winner rather than tentatively celebrating only if they happen to go on to win the post-season tournament. That would help get rid of the problem you are talking about--where just one unlucky event, one off moment, or whatever, in the playoffs can mean the difference between a "successful" season and a "failed" one, and can result in crazy reactionary changes in philosophy, personnel, etc., or, at least, fan suggestions regarding same.

I vote that the Capitals had an outrageously successful season overall, but a poor showing in the postseason tournament in a series they should have won. I vote to stay the course and don't change too much based on what happened in three games in that tournament.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 23, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The high-def broadcast just went away I think. These things happen when you're trying to watch on atdhe.

So, I'm trying to watch the English-speaking one, where I can barely see the puck. They just said Fedorov didn't come back for the third period. Russia still down 2-0 with like 18 minutes left in regulation.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 23, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Fedorov didn't come back out for the 3rd.

Ovechkin's gotta feel lousy.

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The Ottawa Sun article says that the Caps are "prepared" to offer Volchenkov $5 mill/yr. If this is true then it is tampering. The Capitals cannot make or discuss making an offer before July 1. Mark Cuban just got fined $100K by the NBA for saying he'll go after Lebron and I'm sure Bettman won't hesitate to fine the Caps for tampering. Either this article is at least partially bogus or McPhee is being stupid (unlikely) or this is coming from the Volchenkov camp to drive his price up

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | May 23, 2010 3:57 PM |

I doubt GMGM is doing anything illegal. He's a graduate of Rutgers Law School and I'm sure he is fully aware of where the relevant lines are. Don't worry!

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 23, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Russia looks done for sure now.

5 min major with 10 min left in the game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

The truth is, there is no real rush to sign Voly. What benefit would there be other the jousting of cost between the two camps to get him sooner then later.
Like said previously, I don't see GMGM doing anything rash.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan1 | May 23, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I doubt GMGM is doing anything illegal. He's a graduate of Rutgers Law School and I'm sure he is fully aware of where the relevant lines are. Don't worry!

Posted by: youaresquishy

Nah, I'm not worried, which is why I said it's unlikely McPhee is doing anything stupid. When I first saw this at TSN from an article in the Ottawa Sun I supposed it had been written by Bruce Garrioch, who has a tendency to make things up. Turns out it was Don Brennan, but apparently the Sun doesn't mind quoting speculation as fact, no matter who is writing it

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | May 23, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, papers can just make stuff up if they want, basically, because they don't have to provide footnotes, so there's no way to double-check anything.

A lot of times, they use language really carefully to kind of protect themselves, and Don Brennan did just that here:

"The A-Train appears to be getting ready for departure.

Five weeks before the opening of the NHL’s unrestricted free agent market, sources have confirmed that Senators defenceman Anton Volchenkov has put his Ottawa house up for sale.

All signs point to Washington as his next destination.

Talk is the Capitals are prepared to offer Volchenkov a salary in the $5 million-range, which would be a $1.8-million raise from his 2009-10 stipend. There is also the belief that the Caps will have star winger Alex Ovechkin call his comrade and sell him on moving to the D.C. area."

"Talk is..." That just means that someone somewhere is saying that the Capitals are prepared to make an offer.

"There is also the belief that..." That just means that someone somewhere believes that the Capitals will tell Ovechkin to call Volchenkov.

"All signs point to..." Y'know, that's just meaningless unless we know what signs he's talking about exactly.

Anyone could write the same article about any team and any free agent and be just as truthful and accurate. All you'd have to do is have your secretary say to you, "I believe the Capitals will tell Ovechkin to call Volchenkov," and then say to you, "The Capitals are prepared to make an offer." Or substitute the names of the team and players you want your article to be about. And now the article you want to write is true.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 23, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of chance things determining results, sgm3...

Datsyuk put a puck in the net at the end of the first or second period today that was disallowed because it happened a second after time expired. I guess the horn hadn't actually gone off yet though.

Russia lost 2-1. At the time, Russia had 0 goals. Maybe if the official operating the clock is a little quicker on the draw at stopping the clock for stoppages that period, maybe a tenth of a second faster on the draw each time, all those tenths of seconds would've added up to a couple of seconds by the time of the disallowed goal at the end of the period and Russia is in overtime now. Can't say Russia would've gone on to score another one of course, because had that counted the game might've gone very differently thereafter, but they definitely would've had a much better chance of tying or winning.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 23, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin and Semin on ice for both goals against. They each finished -2 and nobody else on Russia finished worse than -1.

Ovechkin accidentally took out Fedorov, who missed the entire 3rd period.

Then, as soon as they took Ovechkin off at the end of the game to tend to a busted lip, the Russians scored a goal.

Tough day.

He actually made some good plays. I'm not sure if either of the 2 goals against were due to anything he did wrong but I'm not positive. It would be kind of ironic though if one of his hits led to a goal for the Czechs.

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

one Russian left in the stanley cup playoff race.....another humble for OV 0 for 3 this year....we dont need a $5 million dollar dmen who will disappear in the playoffs...wait for the Chicago fire sale since they are like 9 million over the cap for next year

Posted by: wendel2 | May 23, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody hear about this little smoking scandal deal in Germany?

I believe this is a video of Semin caught smoking along with a few other Russian players:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDVPmbmxrW4

I don't think it's that big a deal if this is legit in the first place. It does look like Semin.

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Now that I see the date that this happened, I'm guessing that most of you were already aware of it. I'm just late to the party.

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

People have been making comparisons between the Caps and Blackhawks which is a good comparison due to when each started rebuilding.

However, the biggest difference is that Chicago invested a lot of money to a lot of free agents and that investment will cause them to gut a significant portion of their team in the offseason. If they win the Cup, then everyone will say it was worth it (and it probably was). But that is a very risky road to take.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 22, 2010 3:45 PM |

the Hawks are a much tougher and more fundamentally sound team than the Caps and I'd be shocked if they didn't win the Cup this year.

yeah, they overspent on guys like Campbell but I'm sure they will be able to find a sucker who will take him and shed some of their salaries.

as long as they keep the core of their young players, they're not gonna be a one and done team. they'll be around for years to come.

till the Caps get more players who know what it takes to win in the playoffs, they will be the Sharks of the East, teams with a ton of skill but not enough grit and toughness.

Posted by: joek443 | May 23, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

i still remember trade rumors two years ago of nylander to chicago for big buf. Amazing if that would have happened. He is a monster in front of the net

Posted by: samb99 | May 23, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Half of the prophecy has been fulfilled, Chicago is in.

The other half, unfortunately, is IMPOSSIBLE! (Yep, still a lil bitter...)

I got the Hawks over Philly in 5!

Dustin Byfuglien is money around the net.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 23, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

i know a while back joe finley was being tried by the caps a forward to jump start is career. he has the same size as big buf.. i don't know about his skating or hands.

Posted by: samb99 | May 23, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

So what was the general sentiment around here about Semin getting caught smoking a cigarette?

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

So what was the general sentiment around here about Semin getting caught smoking a cigarette?

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 6:35 PM
About the same if he had been caught eating at McDonald's. Neither one is much good for a hockey player, but neither one is illegal.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 23, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

i still remember trade rumors two years ago of nylander to chicago for big buf. Amazing if that would have happened. He is a monster in front of the net

Posted by: samb99 |

I never believed that rumor. Some people just have a lot of time on their hands and can make up crap. Either that or they set themselves up as "insiders" and parlay conjecture and wishful thinking into actual rumors. I should do that myself since I can make up things too

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | May 23, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Last I checked smoking is still legal and so is drinking... I'm guessing most of the guys on the team drink so is smoking somehow much worse than drinking now?

The margin of victory in the playoffs was talked about here yesterday, as usual the apologists said how things could have gone differently had this or that bounce gone the way of the Caps.

The Hawks just swept the Sharks, two very evenly matched teams. Except for Game 2, every game was tied in the third period, all basically one goal games. But the better team, the Hawks, found a way to win all 3 and won in a sweep even though it was by a small margin.

If you believe everything depends on lucky bounces and breaks and it's all outta your control, why even bother watching? I watch a lot of different sports and the only event that I can say luck has a lot to with winning is nascar racing at Talladega. In everything else you make your own breaks and luck by outworking and outhustling your opponent.

Posted by: joek443 | May 23, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

That's pretty much how I feel about it, particularly since I smoke myself.

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 23, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey Caps fans, it will all be better when the Russians win the Gold at the Worlds...OH..wait! News Flash! That didnt happen either!! The Czechs won 2-1!!! HA HA HA....

Posted by: wburn42167 | May 23, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I'd love if we could get Volchenkov - hard-hitting, shot-blocking, physical dman. One of the types we were missing last season. Him, Poti, Green, Schultz, Alzner, Carlson, one or two other dmen for backup - that would be a good group.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 23, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao,

I think you would be very shocked if you knew exactly who and how many NHL players smoked. Most american born players do not but the european and french canadian players are more likely than their counterparts. It is still so much of their culture. Oh yeah, they are fully aware of the negativity in health and publicity but if I had a roster of the 1997-1998 Solar Bears of the former IHL who played in the NHL at one time or another, the ones I point out would surprise you. ( I worked for the team that year)

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan1 | May 23, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

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