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Ovechkin Update, Alzner Sent Down

Alex Ovechkin didn't take part in practice this morning but Coach Bruce Boudreau said the break was a planned off day for the star left winger and that Ovechkin is fine after he crashed into the boards Tuesday night in Washington's 3-2 overtime loss to Boston.

"Just a stinger," Boudreau said. "He's the one guy that was at the All Star game...he skated on Monday and I had to kick him off the ice. So I wanted to give him today off to rest. He's probably a little stiff but he's fine. I asked him how his shoulder was and he said he's okay, no problem."

Ovechkin left the game against the Bruins late in the second period after he collided shoulder-first into the corner boards. He returned to the game in the third period though and only missed about two to three normal shifts at the end of the second frame. Seeing Ovechkin lying on the ice though, caused more than a bit of anxiety for Boudreau.

"Forget the breath, I lost my mind," Boudreau said. "He went in fast and hard. I was a little disappointed in the (TD Banknorth) Garden faithful booing him when he was down. There wasn't a person in the stands who could have taken that kind of hit and gotten back up."

*Ovechkin slipped out before anyone could talk to him but no one expects him to miss any game time.

*The other big news of the day is that rookie defenseman Karl Alzner was sent down to Hershey. Alzner was sent down to make room for Tom Poti (groin), whom Boudreau expects to return Saturday against the Red Wings.

"I was hoping to play last night, but it didn't work out. I'm hoping to go on Saturday," said Poti, who added he was a little sore yesterday and didn't want to take any chances. "If you play on it sore you can make it a little bit worse. You cant really compare to a game by doing practice and just being a little cautious last night and now I have a couple days to get ready."

*While he participated fully Poti wasn't stopping or going all out toward the boards, just as an extra precaution before the weekend.

"That's the hardest thing the stop and start," Poti said. "I'm trying to be a little cautious with it now. I'll do a little more tomorrow and really test it on Friday and see if its game ready."

*Boudreau is anxious to get Poti back especially considering the help he might be able to provide for the Capitals penalty killing unite which has given up at least one power play goal in each of the past nine games and 14 total over that stretch of 49 opponents power play units.

Poti's "a big part of our team he logs 28 minutes a night," Boudreau said. "There's not a lot of teams that can lose a lot of players but when you lose a defenseman that logs that kind of ice time it really effects you. Detroit lost (Nicklas) Lidstrom for 10 games they lost all 10. Boston lost (Zdeno) Chara at the end of the year last year and they weren't anywhere near as good."

*In addition to getting Poti back Boudreau plans to spend all of practice on Friday working on the power play and penalty kill. The Caps were on the ice for a little longer than normal this morning, about an 1:15-1:30, but Boudreau is happy to get some significant practice time in.

"We haven't had a chance to do something like that maybe since we lost to Buffalo 5-0," he said. "We played more games than anybody up to the break and it seems like the games were every second day and you can't have a hard practice in between. I think that might have been the first real good skate that we've had in a month and the players are good for it. They responded, they worked real hard and they get a little break tomorrow."

*Speaking of tomorrow, Boudreau got sidetracked on his way to his daily talk with the media but for good reason. The Caps held a draft for tomorrow's outdoor game at Chevy Chase Country Club which you can read more about on the D.C. Sports Bog but here's a teaser.

Goaltenders Jose Theodore and Brent Johnson are the captains and got to pick the teams. Can you guess the first two picks? John Erskine and Shaone Morrisonn. "Well, I don't know if they've got GM written on their future," Boudreau said.

By Katie Carrera  |  January 28, 2009; 2:35 PM ET
 
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Comments

FIRST!

Posted by: dcox50 | January 28, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Jose and Brent are being nice to each other by drafting the least likely players to score on the opposite team.

Posted by: _jordan | January 28, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

That's funny! :-) They are clearly more concerned about how many pucks they keep out of their nets than how many their teams put into the other net!!

Posted by: Boo- | January 28, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Lidstrom. Although the NHL can't even get the man's name right.

Posted by: koalatek | January 28, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I >3 Boudreau!!! OMG, he's so funny!

"I'll be on the ice, I'll be reffing," he said.

In stripes?

"I don't know, if we have one I might throw it on," he said. "Stripes make you look thinner, right?"

Posted by: irockthered | January 28, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Should've been <3 -- Woops!

Posted by: irockthered | January 28, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

@Boo,

If Tom Poti was one of the first drafted, I would agree.

Posted by: _jordan | January 28, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to see Alzner take Shultz's spot but I guess salary issues prevent that?

Posted by: JSeagull1 | January 28, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"Well, I don't know if they've got GM written on their future," Boudreau said.

hahahaha

Posted by: richmondphil | January 28, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik

Can you promote these signs for the Caps Road crew in your blog? It's a #91 tribute for the Wings game since most of his points game in that jersey.

http://www.capsroadcrew.com/images/91.pdf

I think it's a great idea especially for those with lower bowl tickets.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 28, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Jordan:
He may not be playing.

Posted by: Boo- | January 28, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

wing fans dont like feds too much..

Posted by: richmondphil | January 28, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

@Boo,

Good point.


...Tom Poti.

Posted by: _jordan | January 28, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

http://www.tboblogs.com/index.php/sports/comments/olie-kolzig-out-for-the-year/


Olie Is out for the year. Apologies if this was posted earlier.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 28, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@ranndino

from last post:

I admit I'm not a veteran hockey follower, although I consider myself a pretty fast learner. Can you enlighten me on all the small good things that Schultz is doing? Forget the sarcasm, I really want to learn if he's really doing something well.


Posted by: mauree | January 28, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I gotta wonder, if all things were equal, and GMGM/BB had to choose between Alzner and Schultz, who would they send down? We all know they are both developing, but I think Alzner's more of a keeper than Schultz. I wonder what the braintrust thinks of the two comparatively? Is this purely a cap move?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 28, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Schultz'd have to go through waivers, no?

He wouldn't make it down to Hershey, if it came to that.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 28, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I think we can all safely say that the Ovi experiment is over. After last nights performance (no goals, crashing into the boards and then laying there) he has no value to this team. He should be traded for a bag of pucks.

Mauree, I had been converted to a Schultz suporter after first refering to him as "pillow Head," but i have to say over the last few weeks he has looked horribly slow. He plays good postion, but that is of no use when he is caught behind the play.

Posted by: Leeguru | January 28, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@Leeguru: Man, I want your drugs. Great stuff.

Remember that there is no cap room for Alzner with Poti activated off of LTIR. Sorry, guys, it is what it is. I expect that if the PK does not improve post-haste, there will be movement at the trade deadline.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 28, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Boston fans are classless and obnoxious as any from Philly or NY. I hope we can return the favor one day.

Posted by: ridgely1 | January 28, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I think Olie is out for good. Sad he forced to end his career as a seldom used backup on another team, but, hey, money talks and I can't blame him.

Posted by: opita1 | January 28, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Darn, put in my place again.

Posted by: Leeguru | January 28, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@SombreroGuy - Thanks for posting that. Jeez, poor Olie! I really wish he'd retired at the end of last year... an injury like that at his age could spell a painful end to his career... ruptured bicep tendon. Ouch. :-(

Posted by: irockthered | January 28, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru:
i expected this kind of posting last night during the game
think of all the cap space that could be freed up - maybe pick up 6 more alzner's
good one

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 28, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Katie, checkin' in with the long post! I love it!

Posted by: ThisGuy | January 28, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Captain. always thinking towards the future, that's me.

Posted by: Leeguru | January 28, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Coach Boudreau, but the crowd was not booing Ovi's injury. I was at the game, and the boos really started when the Bruins fans were shown the replay of what happened. From the Boston perspective, the hooking penalty was unfounded, and many of the Black and Gold partisans thought Ovi dove and embellished the contact with Chara.

Don't forget the Bruins fans have a long history with the Canadien National Diving Team in Montreal, and have hair triggers when it comes to perceived flopping.

When Ovi was helped to the bench, the customary respectful applause was given by the Bruins fans.

Posted by: mstrfly | January 28, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

You guys are making me want to tear up that job application I've been working on. Is Boston really that bad?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 28, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

" He plays good postion, but that is of no use when he is caught behind the play."

HUH? Are you implying he plays good position for the opposition? Obviously, he is not doing it for the Caps if he is behind the play.

In regards to Schultz. I agree he could be more physical, but I don't think he is as bad as some people want us to believe, I have seen him make many good plays. I think Schultz has fallen to the group which contains Nyls, Semin, Kozlov, Johnson, and others. There will always be a group of fans who will look forward to one of these players' mistakes so they can be sacrifized for it.

Posted by: opita1 | January 28, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night. Two things:

1. The fans did in fact boo Ovie when he was down on the ice. I couldn't believe it. Classless losers. I admit, I responded with a rather classless salute in return.

2. There were lots of Caps jerseys in the stands. My buddy asked a kid wearing an Ovie jersey if he was a Caps fan or just an Ovie fan -- turns out he was a Bruins fan who sheepishly admitted to liking Ovie despite being a Bruins fan. I wonder where the Caps rank in terms of merchandise sales now as compared to a few years back? Ovie jersey must be near the top of the sales list, right?

Posted by: benjygrumbles | January 28, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

@mstrfly - One does not dive into the boards if one is sane.

While it could be argued that Ovechkin is not sane - he is, after all, a star hockey player, and plays like a madman - he is not particularly known for embellishment (that I am aware of), and anybody who saw him hit the boards could see he was hurt, or at least "stung" by the hit.

It wasn't just the booing, though... apparently some other unpleasantries were hurled, and those were rather unclassless.

By contrast, in a recent Caps game, when one Jamie Heward was laid out by our Alex Ovechkin, nobody booed while he was on the ice. Nobody was anything but worried half out of their minds, and that isn't just because Heward used to play for the Caps, either. From where I was sitting, I couldn't even see who was down, but there's no way I would have booed anyone at that moment, even if the officials had called a major boarding penalty on Ovechkin. Not with someone hurt on the ice and not getting up.

Hooking penalties are called based on the point of view of the official, and they have a fairly wide latitude. From the replay I saw, it looked legitimate. Perhaps they showed a replay from another angle at the arena... but they were calling "hooking" any time the stick was parallel to the ice and in front of another player last night, and that's just the way it was. They called it that way on both teams, so I have no quarrel with the officiating.

But I do take exception to the booing, under those circumstances.

Posted by: irockthered | January 28, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl
How can Boston be more obnoxious than the people on this blog. They are the same every where you go.
I am Caps fan, but I have seen some behaviour during games by our fans that is disgusting. Those kind of people are everywhere. mmm. Come to think of it, I might be one of them.

Posted by: opita1 | January 28, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl - E-mail me privately at irockthered {at} gmail {dot} com for my perspective outside of hockey; I won't post it here.

Posted by: irockthered | January 28, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Nylander needs to be traded soon! Clogging up cap space and room on the roster. Alzner is a gem though. Great puck movement and vision after two years we got our self a Scott Niedameyer

Posted by: mc2884 | January 28, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

mstrfly:
A couple of our fine fellow blog commentators were at the game and said that the Bruins fans were yelling some not so flattering names at our boy Ovi (names that my sweet, tender disposition will simply not allow me to repeat). So they may have been booing the play, but it sounds like they were booing the player, too.

Posted by: Boo- | January 28, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

mstrfly

It's a matter of simple etiquette. The direction of the boos do not matter. While a player is hurt on the ice, you keep your noise to yourself unless you are trying to encourage them to get up. There is ample time to boo later. I wish more fans understood this.

And any Boston fan who thinks that's not a hook is a damned moron.
Criteria 1: Stick parallel to ice. check.
Criteria 2: Stick in hands, impeding player movement. check.

Dive? Chara's hook took Ovie's weight off his right leg, which made it impossible for him to turn left and avoid the boards. Dirty, no. But contrary to what the Homer-B announcer on Vs. said last night, Chara's stick play was the cause of Ovie's wipe-out.

Locker can get bad. Joe B's partner last night was atrocious.

I have a question. Why do the caps not use the conditioning stints in the AHL? Send poti down for a game or two. Keep Karl up here and bring Poti back up when he's ready?

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 28, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Benjygrumbles, I think Ted said that Caps merch is still up from last year. Considering last year's re-brand, that's pretty good. Ovi jerseys I think was top 5 according to NHL.com's stats.

Posted by: koalatek | January 28, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Good, Alzner sucks. Bout time. I hear the caps are going to trade Ovi for that Dman in toronto, Kaberle Sp?

Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

FFSEnough:
Didn't the Caps do a conditioning stint with Johnny last year?

Posted by: Boo- | January 28, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

optia

I absolutely look to one player as my..."doghouse" player of the year. Someone I expect more from (typically) and someone I scrutinize heavily. Schultz has been my doghouse player this year. Not because of his play THIS YEAR, but because he has regressed from what he was last year.

He's not being as smart as he was last year, and worse yet, he's not being MORE physical to make up for it. I absolutely hate having him and Mo on the same line. That pairing is just stinking up the ice, especially compared to what both were doing last season.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 28, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Just joking. But seriously, I really think Chara sucks. Seems like he’s just so much taller than everyone else, and thus makes him look good. He looks slow as dirt, and seems like an oaf.

Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@mc2884 said:

Nylander needs to be traded soon! Clogging up cap space and room on the roster. Alzner is a gem though. Great puck movement and vision after two years we got our self a Scott Niedameyer.


Very astute recommendation and analysis... you have to be a talent scout for sure...You also have obviously a great grasp of salary cap issues and trade potential. Are you GMGM in disguise participating to this blog? Just playing with you... bad day, needed comic relief...


Posted by: atybat | January 28, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Boo

Not sure if I remember him being on a conditioning stint or not. I just find it odd that we have this resource that will help guys get back in game shape faster, and we don't use it...

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 28, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Chara is the front runner for the norris this year. His size makes him even more lethal hes come along way from being a tall oaf in Ottawa.

Posted by: mc2884 | January 28, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Nov 14th, 2008 | By Administrator | Category: NHL Replica Jerseys

NHL.com has released their best selling NHL team jerseys for the entire month of October 2008. It’s no surprise that two of the top five jerseys are from the new NHL third jersey collection. The one thing we noticed from this list was that the Washington Capitals team jersey was on this list while the Pittsburgh Penguins were not. If you looked at our top five player jerseys, the Penguins had two players in the top five, so that tells us the Capitals have a huge following of Ovechkin jerseys as well as blank jerseys that they get customized with other player names or they just keep them blank.

# 1 – Buffalo Sabres Third Jersey – $114.99
# 2 – Edmonton Oilers Third Jersey – $114.99
# 3 Washington Capitals Premier Jersey – $114.99
# 4 Montreal Canadiens Premier Jersey – $114.99
# 5 Philadelphia Flyers Premier Jersey – $114.99

Posted by: Boo- | January 28, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

irockthered, email sent, thanks in advance for the insight!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 28, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Best Selling NHL Jerseys Come as No Surprise as Crosby and Ovechkin Top the List
Dec 22nd, 2008 | By Administrator | Category: NHL Jerseys, NHL Replica Jerseys

When you say the names Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, you think right away of their puck handling skills, their slick passing skills and you are in awe of how they score goals on helpless goaltenders each game. Well you can now add that they are owners of the top selling NHL jerseys Best Selling NHL Jerseys Come as No Surprise as Crosby and Ovechkin Top the List this season, but really was that a surprise to you? NHL Director of E-Commerce and Development Joslin Warren was noted as saying recently that Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins jersey and Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals top the list of all the NHL jerseys sold so far this season, now the questions is, do you own any of these jerseys from these two players? Not only do these two players have the top selling jerseys in the NHL but their team’s jerseys are also doing quite well, it seems that the better the Penguins and Capitals do as a team, their team jerseys continue to sell and are in the top 10 in overall in jerseys sold.

Posted by: Boo- | January 28, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Did I read right where Bruce said we have to limit penalties to just 3 per game? WTf? That's a bizarre way to coach. I'm all for cutting down stupid penalties like hooking and holding calls where its clearly a lazy penalty but I have no problem with Backstrom pulling down Chara (assuming he even did and the ref didn't blow the call). FIX THE PK! You can't just tell your team not to take any penalties. There are good penalties that every team takes, whether its stopping a clear offensive chance like Backis did last night or whether its crosschecking someone in the crease or even an aggressive hit. Boudreau should have said that any player taking a lazy penalty (*cough* Semin) will be benched for a period if not the rest of the game. Thats what this team needs to focus on.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 28, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Last post about the best selling jerseys! :-)

I went to shop.nhl.com and under Top Sellers they have three jerseys listed:

Hawks Winter Classic
Wings Winter Classic
Caps Premier Home

Posted by: Boo- | January 28, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Olie's career may be over - moment of silence please.


Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Olie Kolzig will miss the remainder of the season, the team announced on Wednesday before departing for Carolina. Kolzig is scheduled to undergo surgery on Saturday to repair a ruptured biceps tendon in his left arm. The procedure will be done by Dr. Ben Shaffer in Washington, D.C., who has operated on Kolzig in the past. Kolzig said he first felt something was wrong during a practice on Dec. 17 when his catching hand went numb following a shot and then on a successive shot, the arm torqued causing him pain. A first MRI performed on the arm revealed a slight strain, leading to extensive rehab in order to try to heal the injury. But a handful of setbacks, the ..."

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 28, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

@FFSenough
I hear you. My attention span is that of a one year old child, so last year is history. But assuming that you are right, that those two are not playing as well as they did last year, why do you think that is? Do you believe it to be a physical thing? Coaching? Lack of motivation in both or either one of the players? Did the game changed and these two didn't adjust? Or simply that last year they played way over their head? I have followed hockey only for 7 years so the reason I am asking is so that I can understand it better.

Posted by: opita1 | January 28, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@FFS Enough

I think if a player is sent to the AHL on a conditioning stint, his salary still counts against the big teams salary cap. They can play in three games and they don't have to pass through waivers. Not positive, but I think thats it.

Posted by: sleepy3 | January 28, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

sleepy3,
That was my thought too, but Briere's salary was definitely not on the Flyers' books during his stint with the Phantoms before his surgery. They wouldn't have been able to afford it. They have 14 days of reconditioning, no game limit. And you're right about waivers, but I'm not entirely sure why the Caps wouldn't have used it, unless Poti declined it, which he is allowed to do.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 28, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Olie should've retired at the end of last season.

Posted by: CapManJ | January 28, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Theodore is playing well in net for the Capitals; can he get them to the cup?

Barry Melrose: Depends which Theodore continues to play. He's been great, and he's been awful. He knows he doesn't have to win 1-0 games, which takes pressure on him. This team is the best in the East, I think, but Theodore is definitely playing pretty well. He was solid last night.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 28, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Don't let the door hit you Olie

Posted by: The_Spear | January 28, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

One of the oldest and probably most pointless exercises in sports fan-dom is trying to argue the merits of a penalty. How a fan sees a penalty is completely biased by what colors the fan is rooting for.

In my life I've been a season ticket holder for both the Bruins and the Caps. I've been to a shade over 400 NHL games, where I've been rooting for the home team, away team, or completely neutral. Every home crowd is exactly the same; emotionally charged partisans for their team.

I did hear some classless things shouted at Ovi, but it was constant during the game. He's perhaps the best and most dynamic player in the NHL, and to Bruins fans and fans of the rest of the NHL he's on the enemy. Thus he is the target of derision and scorn. Most hockey fans rationally admire Ovi. What is not to love? But when you are in a crowd, especially when the Caps are the road team, emotion and not reason takes over.

Caps fans are just as passionate and can be just as derisive towards opposing teams' stars when teams come to the Verizon Center. It is the nature of the beast.

To my ears, the cacophony of boos really picked up as the replay was shown on the HD Jumbotron. Yeah, it was obviously a hook, but there had been several borderline stick infractions already called on the Bruins, and the Bruins had just scored to even up the game. The home crowd, like any crowd was not pleased. If Ovi hadn't crashed into the boards, the home crowd still would have been angry.

Posted by: mstrfly | January 28, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom may be tradable - anyone want him as our #1 goalie?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 28, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Why does Barry Melrose keep looking past the Bruins, he keeps saying we're the best team in the East but the Bruins are 11 points ahead of us...

Posted by: rachel216 | January 28, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

lylewimbledon, Glad I read the second part of your comment. At first I thought you were talking about Nick, before realizing you were talking about Nik. He's cheaper than JT60, but Minnesota is definitely going to want something back for him if they can't sign him. And we'd have to send JT60 or Johnny to them to make room. I don't see the Wild trading him unless they tank out of the playoffs or it looks like he's going to want out regardless of how the post-season goes.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 28, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

rachel216, the mullet is impairing his vision.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 28, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info Boo. Glad to see the Caps jersey rising the ranks. Also thought it was interesting that the All Star game did better in DC than other more traditional hockey cities. The tide is finally turning!

Here's hoping the Caps offer Kolzig a position somewhere in the organization. And that he wants to come back.

Posted by: benjygrumbles | January 28, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@ mstrfly - What is pointless is trying to make a rational argument for someone booing an opposing player after a horrific crash into the boards. Star or not that goes out the window when someone is hurt in that manner.

Posted by: The_Spear | January 28, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Rachel, my GUESS is that while the Bruins have a huge lead right now Melrose means in a head to head setting he thinks the Caps could take the Bruins in a 7 game series (and anyone else in the East).

Even after losing last night I think the argument can easily be made the the Caps controlled the majority of play last night, and they took both games when they were on home ice.

Let's hope that the Caps and Bruins end up playing a series in the playoffs because that likely would mean both teams won at least 1, if not 2, prior series.

The Caps and the Bruins seem to match up extremely well -- it'd be a heck of a series.

Posted by: Jeff_ | January 28, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Lyle, You are kidding right? Backstrom is the backbone of a playoff team. he isn't going anywhere.

I think Nylander is the doghouse player of the year. You can argue all you want about the reasons he is not scoring enough. But the fact remains that the powers that be expected more. It may not be Nyls' fault, but get someone in there who can produce with the players on the third line and within the system. The age old thing that he is being used wrong is silly. The player adapts to the environment, not the other way around. On the other hand, if Nyls gets going with Flash and with Clark/Stecks/Fehr on the other wing, we will have three very dynamic lines come playoff time. The only problem is that doesn't leave us any room to strengthen the back end come before the games are for real.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | January 28, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

Here's a similar situation to ponder. I was at the Caps-B's game in DC two weekends ago. There was an incident where the Caps were on the power play and Ovi was called for kneeing on Bruin's defenseman Dennis Wideman. The reaction of the two crowds were essentially the same, minus classes comments towards Wideman.

One close Bruins fan friend of mine suggested that Ovi's "histrionics" after the collision into the boards seemed "Ribiero-like". (If you don't know the story, go to You Tube and look for Ribiero injury). I disagreed, but again it is impossible to argue rationally with emotionally charged fans.

Posted by: mstrfly | January 28, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Lyle, Ollie doesn't eant back. He owns a team in Portland I think and that is where he will go. He'll retire a cap, one of those one day retirement contract. Of course, we'd have to send ALzner and Semin down to make room on that one day.

Posted by: Leeguru | January 28, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

that word was "want," stoopid fat fingers....

Posted by: Leeguru | January 28, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm just sorry to see his carreer end the way it did. He should have retired last year and watched his Jersay raised to the Phone Booth's rafters this year...but i understand about not wanting to let go.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 28, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl, that's funny!! :) He looks SO dorky with that hair!! Btw, you're most likely right, Jeff.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 28, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin is as tough as they come. Compare that to Crosby and, to be fair I have to admit, Semin.

Posted by: poguesmahone | January 28, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

@waitingsince

i think he was talking about the wilds goalie..hence the goalie comment..

Posted by: richmondphil | January 28, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Who said something about Niklas Backstrom (Min.) being available for trade? I haven't heard that. Is this true? I am feeling increasingly confident in Theo but if we had a Backstrom-Theo duo, it would be great. Varly seems to have fallen off the map at Hershey so I am not at all sure that he is THE future or when this might occur. What kind of contracts do Tim Thomas and Steve Mason have? One can dream.....

Posted by: caraveli | January 28, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru:
i thought we were in agreement - drop ov - we can have olie as the third goalie for the remainder of the season :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 28, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone thought of Ilya Kovalchuk as a good fit for the Caps?

Posted by: caraveli | January 28, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

how would we fit kovalchuk under the cap? i would love to have him but i think it isnt that likely

Posted by: _stevo | January 28, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Agree with poguesmahone, is anyone else disturbed (don't know if disturbed is the right way) of how "not tough" Semin is?? Everytime someone hits him or even touches him, he goes down. Many times he shies away from contact, and he's scared to be hit, and he obviously can't fight. It's like everytime he's carrying the puck and a defenseman pushes him he runs away.. he's way too soft.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 28, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

opps, I meant right word, not way.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 28, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Folks, i'm a long time caps fan.I go back to beers at 2.75 for a big gulp.Anyway there biggest prob is ther gm.He needs to kick ass.Oh by the way i miss you kristen at va hosp center

Posted by: jp14710 | January 28, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I seriously can't type :) OOPS

Posted by: rachel216 | January 28, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the need to compare Alzner to Schultz. Alzner is in his first year, Sarge in his 3rd - and 90% of that with the Caps, not Bears.

Alzner is very good at an earlier age than Sarge, but has made two errors in the last two games both costing a goal and possibly the game. He's good, but he's not that good! - at least just yet.

Green exhibited similar positioning mistakes and has come a long way since the Hanlon regime. Amazing what a little positive reinforcement can do to one's game and confidence.

Alzner will get there too, but probably not until next season. That he is a + on the =/- scale is still impressive.

Posted by: dogdaze | January 28, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

OH ,IM SORRY I MET KRISTEN

Posted by: jp14710 | January 28, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

oh F im drunk im really mean lisa

Posted by: jp14710 | January 28, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

OH ,IM SORRY I MET KRISTEN

Posted by: jp14710 | January 28, 2009 6:57 PM

oh F im drunk im really mean lisa

Posted by: jp14710 | January 28, 2009 6:59 PM


Greatest posts ever.

Posted by: Section117 | January 28, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Should've sent Schultz down, he looks terrible, slow, not physical and not to mention the worse hands in the league, he gets nothing on his shot, or for that matter even when he's trying to dump it out of the zone when they are killing a penalty, he flubs the puck several times a game. I don't know if that's from his finger or not, but it's awful..

Posted by: topshelf | January 28, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

The whole situation with Olie just makes me sad. I still maintain that both sides could have handled the situation better/different. I know there are so many different views of what transpired at the end of the season, Olie's play, etc. But right now I can only think of him and his family. Bottom line is that I think Olie is a good man, and I am proud that he wore a Caps sweater.

Posted by: Kim-3 | January 28, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

mason is a rookie and is in his entry level.
tim thomas is an awesome goaltender..but i would give a lot of credit to the defensive system boston uses.

ass far as backstrom being available, he is very much so. he will be a UFA next year...

and like i said before, we cannot afford to have both kovalchuk and ovechkin play here. well we could without making some sacrifices, or unless ovie wants to take a pay cut.


and red wings prove once again why they are the best team. locking up zetterberg, one of the best forwards in the league, to a 12 year/6 mil contract. insane how they are able to get players to stay there who could easily make an extra 2-4 mil...

Posted by: richmondphil | January 28, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Anybody watching NYR @ PIT ? It's a good game.

Posted by: mauree | January 28, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

A couple unheralded and likely to be ignored thoughts:

Chara is a beast. If you don't think Chara's a good Dman, you are going to be sorely disappointed in your own.

I would take Minnesota's goalie, Backstrom, in a heartbeat.

Olie should have finished it in Washington. I'm sorry mngt didn't handle it right, but he should have been the bigger man. Sad to see him out like this.

NOTHING that Melrose says matters. At all. If the beginning of the season didn't show that as proof-positive, nothing will.

Boston is a great town; no city is perfect, no part of this country is perfect; taking that into account, Boston can be a lot of fun if you can handle the cold.

JP, I hope neither Lisa nor Kristen read that. Jeez, man, step away from the computer.

Everyone has thought that Kovulchuk would be a great fit for the Caps. The likelihood of it happening for more than a playoff run is slim to none. The chances of it happening FOR a playoff run are also slim to none. The backstopping and D do not warrant that kind of trade.

This years underachievers are:

Nylander
Clark (both returning from serious injuries and having a hard time adjusting)
Laich (not putting up any where near the pts he did last year and isn't playing the same at all.)
Steckel (a younger Kozlov without the Offensive acumen)
Kozlov (10 goals and 18 assists is hardly enough for a second liner, let alone a first line player.)
Fehr ( he looks good on the forecheck, but is last years version of Flash. That said, I was looking for him the other night against the B's and was missing him. I like what he brings more than a couple of others. Play him with Ovi and lets see what happens.)

This is all just my opinion. Its only coincidental that I'm correct.

Posted by: oo7 | January 28, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and so yeah, Laich is putting up pts, but still seems to be a low factor too often. I expected him to climb from last years totals, not match them.

Posted by: oo7 | January 28, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Been reading all the Zetterberg press - I take back what I said about him looking like an old man of the sea ... he actually looks like a sexy lumberjack!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 28, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
I only have the Sabres/Flames game on TV - are you watching Pitt/NY online?

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 28, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Very interesting. Maybe they can trade some of the highly paid "under-achievers" for someone like Kovulchuk.

They have said that they think the re-building is complete and they are not planning any major trades, but maybe they will re-evaluate in light of performances to date and the play-offs.

My sense is that if there is a major move to be made, it will be in the D and goalie slots. If so, don't you think they must be thinking of Niklas Backstrom? They should. I am sorry to say it but Johny should go. They need a pair of the caliber of the Thomas-Legace pair.

Should we expect good choices? Sure some trades did not pay off, but don't you think that the GM's bigger plan for re-building the Caps has worked for the most part. I mean look where we are.

Posted by: caraveli | January 28, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

@oo7
interesting, no thought about Schultz?

@Boo

yeah was atdhe, but game isn't that much interesting anymore - 5-2 Pens and 2 minutes remaining.

Posted by: mauree | January 28, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin deserves more than being surrounded by Torvill and Dean

Semin, Backstrom, Fleischman, Green, Federov, Nylander, Jurcina, Kozlov, Laich and Alzner are all sissies on ice. Half the team is chicken sh!t to make contact.

No Cup for girls!

Posted by: gtydings | January 28, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

@Richwhere Phil

Where did you play college hockey? Maybe we saw each other.

Posted by: gtydings | January 28, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

oo7, I agree with you on Laich. He's disappointing me this season, although a week as a Red Wing with Holmstrom as his mentor would go a long way to help his cause. Maybe he's letting his pretty face go to his head. :P

As I said before with Backstrom, I don't think the Wild make a move with him unless they tank and look to be out of the playoffs or Nik makes it clear to them he won't re-sign or wants major cash. Although he's cheaper than JT60, he's also 2+ mil more than Johnny. We'd have to unload major salary to get him here if we wanted to also get that solid S@H Dman folks have been praying for. The Wild also have Gaborik's glass groin to deal with. What happens with him will probably factor in to their decisions come deadline day.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 28, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching defensemen in Anaheim vs Chicago

Chicago has a number of high +/- D-men and Anaheim has a couple of names as well

Posted by: austinsteve | January 28, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

It's almost down to 39 degrees here. brr.

Man, I sure wish I had snuggies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqHSIiAXdSU

Posted by: austinsteve | January 28, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Sure, I would love to see Laich finish more of his chances, and just put up more points than he has thus far....but I generally feel that he has been out there hustling almost every game (or consistently that is)...even when the team as a whole has had bad nights, I tend to feel that he is one of the few that never really seems to give up. Maybe I am wrong. I think if just settles down more, and keeps in front of net, he will get more in....But atleast I feel his effort is never really lacking.

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | January 28, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve, you and tominfl should get together and have a pity party. :P And those things just look like monk robes.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 28, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

oh c'mon jmu, they're super hot!
:)

I can't wait to wear them to my next cold weather outdoor sporting event

Posted by: austinsteve | January 28, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

The_Stanley_Caps, No, you're right. He's definitely got the Saskatchewan boy work ethic. I just expected him to continue the ugly goal scoring that he started last season. I've got higher expectations now.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 28, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

goddard dropped colton orr in that fight tonight, 3 seconds into the game

Posted by: _stevo | January 28, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

We had school closings today because there was a little sleet last night. I used to laugh at the lack of cold weather skills down here compared to DC, but the highways here are like roller coasters, you can't have them open when there's any ice.

And I remember living at the apts near JMU, not hunter's ridge... I forget the name, but we used to watch cars trying to get up the hill and spinning out and collecting at the bottom of the hill, crumpled fenders and all. So poor driving skills know no latitude.
:p

Posted by: austinsteve | January 28, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey people...

I need some advice from real Caps fans. I'm interested in purchasing new home jersey and need to pick from one of the following three players:

Alzner, Green, Laich.

Who should I go with and give me your reasons why please.

THANKS CAPS FANS

Posted by: CalleJoFan | January 28, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve, Fox or Squire Hills? They generally shut that part of Devon Lane down now when it gets icy. There's a difference between lacking driving skills and trying to drive up an incline of that angle in the ice.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 28, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

@gtydings

I haven't been on the ice in over 2 years, and haven't gone full contact in about 3. I've got a number of different health problems which prevent me from playing sports anymore. VCU doesn't have anything but a club team anyway. my freshman year i went out with them a few times, but like i said i can't really take part in overtly physical activities anymore.
I played in the fairfax system as a kid (because woodbridge didn't have a ice rink at that time), and then at skatenation in woodbridge until I moved down here.
I think you think i'm older than I really am. The thing is, is that my dad (who is a registered c-form applicant =) ) took me to caps games since i was a baby. That's why i may make references to the Patrick Division rivalry, etc....

@caraveli
the one-two combo in Boston is thomas/fernandaz. I think legace plays for BUF..or is that lalime...oh well. And as I said earlier, I am thoroughly happy with the Caps rebuild.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 28, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

@callejo

well, i would never replace a calle johansson jersey. haha.

but i would go with Greenie, since we are guaranteed that he is going to be here for a while. (and hes the best offensive d man in the NHL to boot.)

Posted by: richmondphil | January 28, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I honestly don't remember, which kinda sucks cause I lived there two years. Same side of the street as Hunters Ridge but further back by maybe half a mile. It was bigger than most at the time. There was a farm across the street at the time. i went to take pictures of the old barn and the old people who lived there "caught" me and somehow I ended up mowing their freaking lawn for them.
I bet that farm's gone now though.

Posted by: austinsteve | January 28, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Richmond,

Nice resume, might as well be a figure skater, and yet, you dish out to most who post here that you are a hockey expert.

Your comments reek of non-contact, jv hockey, yet the JV teams I saw would run you into the Boards.

Thanks for clarifying that you are a poser.

No wonder you view the Caps as a hard hitting team.

Posted by: gtydings | January 28, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

@gtydings: That was uncalled for, sir. Argue the ideas, but the first person to pull out personal attack just lost the argument.

Opinions are like bungholes. Everyone's got one and they all stink. Attack the ideas, not the person.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 28, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

lol wut. did you really just ask me a question to bait me into a troll post? okay...

I never once said the Caps are a hard hitting team? Please go dig up that comment and post it to me because talking out of your ass is really easy to do on the internet.
I left out a lot of things, because well, I wasn't expecting some internet tough guy to try to call me out on the internetz. what are you 12? I played full contact hockey in the southeast junior hockey league, which you know..isnt really saying much, but i HARDLY doubt you played in any tier above that anyway.

guess i shouldn't feed the trolls huh?

Posted by: richmondphil | January 28, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve, sounds like Squire. Harrisonburg has changed so much even since I started coming here 5 years ago. GoogleMap Satellite it at some point when you get the chance.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 28, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Looks like on Google maps the farm is still there. It was "only" 10 years ago. It's the apartments on Port Republic next to Deer Run road. Now that that's settled....
:)

Seems like everybody gave Alzner a pass on falling down on a goal last night(?) Seems like that was not exactly a compelling reason to keep him up with Poti's return

Posted by: austinsteve | January 28, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

funny timing

Posted by: austinsteve | January 28, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

JMU:
MN needs offensive leadership. Give them Nyls and JT or Nyls and (gasp!) Flash for "the other Backs" and ... CLUTTERBUCK!! :-D I'd be all over that.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 28, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve, oh, you're talking about Commons. I thought you were talking about the hill on Devon Lane. If its the farm across from the Food Lion, its gone. Its just a field waiting for more apartments. GoogleMaps is a bit old. They've been jacking up construction on the corner of Neff and Port since they started the new hospital out there. There's a CVS across the street from the Mickey Ds now. All those trees between Port & Devon are gone now too, they're building a high rise apartment complex there.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 28, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

clutterbuck is awesome.

i beleive he got his first NHL goal on us.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 28, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Phil:
Make that first two.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 28, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, totally the Commons!

Yea, my brain works!

I've been saving my Clutterbuck puns til the next time we play him.

Posted by: austinsteve | January 28, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Boo, Clutterbuck. lmao. The problem with that is cap space though. We can't send them 9.4 (or 5.6) million dollars and only ask for 3.8 back. However, throw in Big Bouch and its 7.9 million. We'd probably have to send them picks along with Nyls & JT60.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 28, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

JMU:
Whatever ... just make it happen! ;-) Besides, depending on their cap situation, they might be willing to take on more than they give up (financially). Picks might be the answer to bridge the gap.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 28, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

@jmu

were classes cancelled down there for the snow? and if so...was there keg sledding down fox hills hill?

Posted by: _stevo | January 28, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

_stevo, we had yesterday off and a two-hour delay this morning. No keg sledding. They didn't tell us class was canceled until 7 am Tuesday morning. I don't think I've ever seen keg sledding, though. hmmmm...

Boo, they've got more space than we do, but they're not exactly scraping the floor.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 28, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I have been reading the new THN and for the first time in a long time, I think they got it right! Normally it oozes Crosby, but this one is all Ovi, all the time. Our boy is finally getting his props!! Check this out:

- Ovi is on the cover (title: NHL's Most Wanted - 19 criminally great performers)

- In said article, Ovi is covered first (The Arsonist - As our best all-around player and goal-scorer, AO has set the NHL on fire this year); Crosby is covered fourth.

- 99 NHL players were surveyed about who was the MVP of the first half of the season - Ovi won with 47.8% (distantly followed by Malkin and Datsyuk - no mention of Crosby); of the four other 'best of' polls in different categories, the highest vote was 41.1%.

- The mid-season all-stars as voted by 30 NHL correspondents are:

FIRST TEAM
Thomas
Boyle
Lidstrom
Ovi
Malkin
Iginla

SECOND TEAM
Backstrom
Weber
Chara
Parise
Savard
Kessel

(Note - no Crosby)

So there ya have it! Has the world finally righted itself? Is the rest of the league finally seeing what we do? I do believe that Ovi is finally getting the respect that he so deserves.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 28, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

@jmu

no keg sledding down Lois Lane? comeon i lived in southview and we had a week off one year and there was probably 200 people every day in fox hills doing that

Posted by: _stevo | January 28, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Well don't look at me, I apparently can't even remember my own address. :)

I was over rattling cages at the Boston Globe comments section today, saw Greg S there too. In between barbs they said Ovie is the biggest name in hockey in decades.

Posted by: austinsteve | January 28, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

where is my ballhugger, gtydings at? how come he hasnt answered my rebuttal?

Posted by: richmondphil | January 28, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I don't know it was GregS, but it's not as big of a stretch that he was "CapsGreg" as me being "Joe Washington"(explain to Boston fan you're a home away from home Caps fan in Texas posting on a Boston website...). I'll ask when IC him again here.

Posted by: austinsteve | January 29, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

austinsteve:
You sound geographically challenged ... I am going to count all of the places that you mentioned instead of sheep tonight. :-) Nighty night!

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 29, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

_stevo, I guess the cops cracked down on it or something. I've never seen or heard of keg sledding. I guess you should just come down here sometime and show us newbies how its done! ;P

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 29, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

:)

You don't know the half of it!

I'm just procrastinating late night pre-Super Bowl cleaning and it's nice checking in with the late-night crowd.

Night

Posted by: austinsteve | January 29, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

oh, and gtydings. beleive me, if I could play hockey right now, I would. I can't even play in a beer league down here because of my health. but anytime you want to get deked around like a little b*tch, come down to richmond and let me know.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 29, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm the missing snow activity link. In my time at JMU I heard that the President used to tap the Christmas keg on the quad prior to my time, and we sledded down the hill at D-hall with trays from the cafeteria. I bet that's changed too.

When I was there somebody in Garber got busted for having a keg but nobody came forward so the main RA guy turned it into a bbq pit for everybody to use.

Posted by: austinsteve | January 29, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Okay I'm pulling a Boo and logging off for the night. From the RedWings page:

"Detroit (31-9-7) dropped its season-high third straight on Tuesday, falling 3-2 to Columbus in overtime to go 2-2-2 on its six-game trip.

The Red Wings, who opened the swing with a 5-4 loss at Dallas on Jan. 12, allowed an average of 3.83 goals in their longest stretch away from Joe Louis Arena in 2008-09. It's been a different story for Detroit at home, where it has won seven straight while allowing seven total goals."

Posted by: austinsteve | January 29, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

@ mstrfly

I was at the game and posted right after. Boudreau is 100% correct. The behavior of the Bruins fans when Ovie was down was disgusting. It wasn't just the booing, but chanting of "bullsh*t" and "p*ssy, get up!". One idiot also yelled "Hey, maybe he's dead!" which was met with laughter.

I lost a lot of respect for Bruins fans and I live in Boston and sympathize with the team (my 2nd favorite NHL team).

If you think that was a dive you're insane. Chara's play wasn't dirty, but Ovie lost his edge. Even he's not crazy enough to dive head first into the boards at that speed.

Posted by: ranndino | January 29, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

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