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Ovechkin: 'Vacation is over'

Alex Ovechkin will return from a two-game suspension tonight at St. Pete Times Forum, and Jose Theodore will start in goal as the Caps attempt to bounce back from an overtime loss in Raleigh on Thursday.

Coach Bruce Boudreau said he expects Ovechkin to play as if he's "making up for" lost time. If you recall, the last time Ovechkin returned from suspension it happened in this very building on Dec. 7. And he scored twice.

"He's missed some games [and] he wants to make up for it," Boudreau said. "He loves hockey and it hurts him to sit on the sidelines. ... I wouldn't expect anything other than Ovie effort from Ovie."

Here's Boudreau talking about Ovechkin returning to the lineup:

Ovechkin joked, "Vacation is over. ...It's nice to have days off like that, but it's too expensive to watch two games."

Here's two-time MVP talking about returning and the goal scoring race:


Meantime, Antero Niittymaki is expected to be in net for the 'Bolts, who are 36 points behind the Caps in the Southeast Division but only six points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference. So it looks like the Caps can expect another strong effort from a desperate team.

Boudreau, in an effort to rest players up for the playoffs, will scratch Matt Bradley, Tyler Sloan, Quintin Laing and Joe Corvo tonight.

As a result, the lines and pairings will be scrambled again. Here's what they looked like at the morning skate:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Morrison-Semin
Fleischmann-Steckel-Fehr
Chimera-Belanger-Walker

Schultz-Green
Erskine-Poti
Morrisonn-Carlson

A few more notes:

*The Bears notched a team record 52nd win Friday, but they lost Michal Neuvirth to a lower body injury. No word yet on the extent of the injury, other than he's listed as a day-to-day.

*Boyd Gordon's latest back injury isn't serious, according to GM George McPhee. The checking line center, who been working with the Bears' trainers while the Caps are on the road, could be ready to play Wednesday against Pittsburgh.

*Shaone Morrisonn, who is from British Columbia, is leading the NCAA pool in the Caps' dressing room. He offers no apologies to his American teammates.

"To be honest, it because B.C. is a hotbed for basketball players," he said deadpanned, "like myself and Steve Nash."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 20, 2010; 12:12 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's lineup: Caps at Lightning

Comments

Sucks to see Bradley scratched, but I am laughing at the fact Corvo is scratched. He can say he's resting him if he wants, but it's obvious even BB has noticed the faults on Corvo's game.

(And yes, I am aware he had two goals last game.)

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Also, Ohlund and Malone are out. Their best defender and their "Knuble" guy. Two big pieces missing.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

So does this mean that Corvo has replaced Schultz as every Caps fans favorite whipping boy?

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | March 20, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, because I called out Schultz a ton last year, and I just go from "whipping boy" to "whipping boy", right?

It has nothing to do with Corvo's piss-poor defensive play since he came to Washington, right?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

glad to see erskine in the lineup tonite...hope he plays well and picks a fight w/someone to get back on BBs radar...the caps desperately need the physicality and intensity he brings to the backline; he deserves more than a token game every-other week....go caps

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 20, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Stecks has played well lately but I can't see him as a third line center in the playoffs. I think he wants to see Morrison and Belanger continue to put the heat on each other and see who steps up. Good.

I'm not sure how much hockey Corvo has played this year. I was hoping he'd actually help DEFENSIVELY by adding quickness. For the most part, when teams pin us down in our own end, it seems as though part of the reason is our blueliners seems so slow afoot that they simply can't beat people to the puck. Looks like I was wrong about that...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 20, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Could not agree more on Corvo, he has not lived up to his billing as of yet.

Just because GMGM gets a guy doesn't necessarily mean he's the next Brian Leetch - as is becoming readily apparent. Atrocious decision-making in his own end - so far anyway.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

AAAAAHHHHHHH

Erskine DESERVES nothing
he brings NOTHING to the table
yeah, he is big, but he takes dumb penalties
he is also sooo slow and tampa forwards just skate around him
this is actually a TERRIBLE decision considering the Tampa forwards like Stamkos and St. Louis are going to see him and immediately think BREAKAWAY

he is a known defensive liability against fast forwards cause he is slow and not a vey good skater, and if if tocchet is any sort of coach at all, he will put his top line out on the ice every time erskine is on the ice...

Well, at least we get to see how theodore looks against soem real chances...

Posted by: cotelloer | March 20, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Corvo's learning a new system and adjusting to new teammates. I wouldn't write him off yet.

Interesting to see Steckel on the third line. I do like Belanger with Chimera. That's gotta be one of the fastest lines in the league.

Posted by: butcherbaker | March 20, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Exactly. I didn't have a problem with the trade, as I felt it was going to be an upgrade at the blue line. But, the guy is almost unbearable to watch sometimes. He hasn't shown me anything, except a good wrist shot. I don't care about Corvo's wrist shot though, haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Corvo needs to learn he is 2nd dog to Green...

also, why are the Caps so atrocious this year 4 on 4?

IMO, it's cause the defensive pairings are cohesive other than schultz and green...green and corvo playing together, even if only because of shift change, have got some serious work to do...

Posted by: cotelloer | March 20, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The mistakes I watch Corvo makes sometimes can be attributed to a new system/new teammates.

But most of them are just horrible decision-making.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I think it's rather obvious that BB planned these lineups shortly after all the trades were made so everyone gets a little playing time

Erskine won't be playing instead of Corvo in the playoffs, that's a guarantee

Posted by: joek443 | March 20, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Tampa's actually pretty tough, all in all. Kenopka and Downie..Malone is injured though.

I don't mind seeing Erskine in this game at all.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Erskine would be fine against boston

and no other team in the playoffs

Posted by: cotelloer | March 20, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Totally - I like Stecks' effort but the 3rd line center?! That seems like a waste of Flash and Fehr's obvious offensive talent, for an NHL center Steckel's not exactly Forsbergian in his dishes.

And the D definitely need to win many more loose pucks in our own end - one of the reasons I like Carlson so damn much; he wins a ton of puck battles. And then he makes good, crisp passes - also a weakness of some of our blueliners.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Boston? Have you even watched them play a game this year? The Bruins of 08-09 has been long-gone.

I am actually almost positive that Tampa is up there in fighting majors this year. If not that, I know for a fact that Kenopka and Downie are top 2 of 3 guys in the top 3 in PIMs.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau is giving Stecks a reward and trying to get him some points

That's why he is on the 3rd line

Also, those are my top 2 line combos come playoffs

Posted by: cotelloer | March 20, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'd switch Steckle and Belanger, otherwise the lines look as good as they could. The D needs to wake the F up tonight and forget about scoring goals.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | March 20, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Agreed Green and Corvo together is a problem - and no, not because of Greenie, either.

I actually think ShaMo-Carlson look great together - hopefully BB keeps giving them shifts to get used to working together; that is potentially a great pairing, IMO. Carlson looks like the real deal - and will only get better.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Erskine would be fine against boston

and no other team in the playoffs

Posted by: cotelloer | March 20, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse


yeah many years ago in the old Boston Garden with the 180-foot long ice surface...

Posted by: joek443 | March 20, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I would really like Bmo to show me something tonight skating with Semin and Laich, both defensively and offensively

Stecks on the 3rd line is interesting, cause one of my problems with Fehr and Flash palying together is what tehy do defensively, and Stecks could make up for that easily enough, but can he contribute any offense...

Posted by: cotelloer | March 20, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

@cotelleor - ok on Stecks, fair enough, and agreed on Ersk, love the effort but yikes is he not speedy.

I just don't think BMo is a legit #2 center on a good team anymore - most of the guys he'd go against are faster, and stronger. Bad combo.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Kenopka has 24 majors, with no misconducts. Al 24 of those are fights. He leads the league.
Downie is 3rd in the league in PIMs.


Tampa is easily one of the tougher teams in the East, and arguably the league.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@cotelloer

c'mon give erskine some love....not sure what you want out of a defenseman of erskine's ilk, but he brings exactly what the caps need....i'd take his physicality and shorcomings over corvo's offensive abilities and shortcomings anyday of the week; he played regularly last year (save for injuries) and did just fine; he was playing regularly this yr. and doing just fine, then injuries again...with ovi having an even larger bullseye on his back due to his growing reputation, better to be safe than sorry w/our 100 million man and have some kind of presence in the lineup

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 20, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Downie, dirty fvcker - I forgot. And now I understand the lineup better. I think.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

@Real_ESPNLeBrun My day is off to a good start. Leafs coach Ron Wilson just made fun of my suit at his morning news conference. Yeesh. about 2 hours ago

somehow I'm not surprised that Wilson would make fun of someone's wardrobe... lol

Posted by: joek443 | March 20, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

@ govtimbo

Yeah, ive wracked the Bmo problem over in my head...he fits on the playoff roster, cause he obviously has some skill, but I agree, he isnt a 2nd line center...

Here is my problem:
3rd line with Bmo
flash-bmo-fehr

that line has some major issues defensively...however, if you move belanger down to the 3rd line:
flash-belanger-fehr

I like the look of that line, but then it's the old problem of getting someone to play with laich and semin...So, i move bmo up, cause he is fine offensively with them, and defensively, Semin CAN play some pretty good defense and Laich is, obviously, very sound...so, it's even...

I dont know though...

Posted by: cotelloer | March 20, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with a defenseman of Erskine's ilk... but I do have a problem with Erskine because he's just not that good and too darn slow

he's fine as a 7th d-man, nothing more

Posted by: joek443 | March 20, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I keep reading reports that Corvo isnt quite up to full speed, yet

and that was a pretty gruesome injury, but this guy does have some pretty considerable playoff experience on Ottawa and Carolina...so, I gotta believe he can ramp up his game...

Also, Poti looked rusty on thursday, is that possible after only one game off?

Posted by: cotelloer | March 20, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Poti has been rusty all season.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Chimera's speed is insane, too bad his stick handling is up to par. Coulnt Semin or Backs teach him something?/ It must be soo frustrating for him to position himself so well and not being able to finish the job.

Posted by: guer_j | March 20, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

*not* up to par

Posted by: guer_j | March 20, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

For a team headed towards the Presidents Cup we sure have a lot of CRITICS OF some pretty good players. Are you people ever satisfied???

Posted by: duckyjimpond | March 20, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Our 4th line for tonight, should be called the Foreign Legion Line. All started out the season on a foreign team. Captain Belanger at you service.

Posted by: carlton46 | March 20, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"I have no problem with a defenseman of Erskine's ilk... but I do have a problem with Erskine because he's just not that good and too darn slow

he's fine as a 7th d-man, nothing more

Posted by: joek443"


Agreed.

Posted by: butcherbaker | March 20, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

all of you complain about corvo. watch the carolina pitt game. pothier getting out worked below the goal. two penalties. the last one lead to a goal. I think GMGM was in serious discussions on kaberle. i read that a proposal of Fehr Stefan Dela rovere plus second was on the table. Net of it i still like corvo for the price we paid. I am glad we kept fehr

Posted by: samb99 | March 20, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Sucks to see Bradley scratched, but I am laughing at the fact Corvo is scratched. He can say he's resting him if he wants, but it's obvious even BB has noticed the faults on Corvo's game.

(And yes, I am aware he had two goals last game.)

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 1:00 PM

Maybe you haven't noticed, but Boudreau has been rotating which dman has been scratched - just happens to be Corvo's turn. Corvo has been playing much better than most of you are giving him credit for, as long as he hasn't been paired with Green. He's like Green, where he needs to be paired with a stay-at-home dman.

As for BMo, I think 2nd line center is really the only position for him. He's not up to being a 1st line center anymore, and not physical enough to be the permanent 3rd/4th line center. 2nd line with Semin and Laich was working pretty well for the first half of the season, and seems to be working again. I think, come playoff time, the 4 centers will be Backstrom, BMo, Belanger, and Steckel, in that order. Barring injuries, of course.

I love that Walker and Erskine are both in tonight - hopefully, it will keep Tampa's dirty play to a minimum.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 20, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I point the finger sorely at Corvo for the goal late in the third 4v4 last game. Yes, Green had already pinched on a 50-50 puck, but he had a shot to keep the puck in the zone (and did for a second). Corvo pinched when their defenseman had full control of the puck and Corvo was the last man back. It was a really dumb play.

His two goals were nice, but that's how you lose games by a goal - with stupid mistakes like that late.

Posted by: Raber | March 20, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Last game in Tampa had some rough stuff going on w/ Downie picking a fight w/ OV and Brads budging in. Now Bradley's scratched for this game. This is one game where BB should get all this "tough" guys out just in case. I remember Steckel sticking up and fighting Kenopka and getting beat.

Posted by: visionof75 | March 20, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Holy cow! Carolina wins it in OT with less than a second on the clock!

Posted by: Raber | March 20, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Crosby puts up another goose egg in the goals column. The race is still alive!

Posted by: Raber | March 20, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@govtimbo & visionof75 (and others)

I'm kind of surprised that they're scratching Bradley for this particular game, given that he's the guy who fought for our captain against this very team.

Other than that, the lines look pretty good.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the 'Canes on their second straight win in OT. At least they do the same thing to our arch-rivals as they do to us. Legace is now injured. (Guess we could say he's leaving a legacy of injury.)

A Bettman point for Pitt. Time for the Caps to gain ground on them.

Also, time for the Caps to get some revenge for last game, not to mention the "fight club" game that we lost in Tampa back in January.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I find it funny when people say Erskine is too slow to go up against a specific team's fast forwards (like Tampa's) as if no other teams have fast forwards. In fact, I would say that 99.99% of the teams in the NHL have a #1 line with very fast skaters.

Point is, with this philosophy, you don't play him at all. He is not my favorite, but he does bring grit against someone like a Downie.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 20, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

any point for the Pens is a consolation prize for the Caps. If they take their division they are likely the No. 2 seed and the last to face the Caps in the East.

Then again, at this stage either NJ or Pgh in the second spot is probably a good thing.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 20, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The problem with our D-pairs is our second line... Poti and Corvo simply do NOT work together. Both of these guys want at least second line minutes but one of them SHOULD be on the 3rd line pair with Carlson.

Green - Schultz
Corvo - Morrisonn
Poti - Carlson

Personally, I like Corvo better than Poti at this point - I've never enjoyed watching Poti play in his own end. IF Juice can come back before the end of the season, and plays well, Poti should be riding the pine (but of course, he won't).

Posted by: freakinjoe35 | March 20, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't even think it is Pittsburgh that will come out in 2nd. I think NJ will over take them and run away with #2. They have an easier schedule to end with and now 2 games in hand.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 20, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

re: critics - yes, maybe I'm hard on defensemen, D being a notoriously tough position to play in the NHL. However, look at the playoff performances - it is no secret that that is a glaring weakness [overall team D], GMGM's proclamations notwithstanding.

So, I don't think a question here or there is out of order - especially not when Joe Corvo is billed as "the Answer" - and has played like anything but, in his own end at least. John Carlson, right now, is hands-down a better all-around player than Corvo, and makes better decisions to boot. And that will only improve with playing time.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Just rewatched the Corvo pinch 4v4. It was worse than I remembered. Green had skated a bit low to look for a pass. When the Carolina defenseman got the puck, Green started frantically trying to get back in position. Four strides after he started skating back towards our zone, Corvo comes streaking in from the point to try and take the puck away from a defenseman who has full control.

To recap, Green (who at least had a history of pinching at bad times) recognized that the Carolina player had full control and that he needed to haul a$$ to get back. A few seconds after Green makes this decision, Corvo still thinks it's a good idea to try and pinch?

Sorry for harping on Corvo, but that kind of boneheaded play just infuriates me.

Posted by: Raber | March 20, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

John Carlson, right now, is hands-down a better all-around player than Corvo, and makes better decisions to boot. And that will only improve with playing time.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 3:52 PM

Can't agree more, although I will say that Carlson has the possibility of playing in his first playoff game and getting undressed by Dubinsky in the third period. He also has the possibility of scoring the game winning goal on a no look shot late into OT.

Only time will tell!

Posted by: Raber | March 20, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@ freakinjoe

i think if juice comes back, we can pair him with poti and have shamo with corvo

i kind of like that
so,
green-schultz
corvo-shamo
poti-juice

Posted by: cotelloer | March 20, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Song for today, in honor of Carolina beating Pittsburgh in OT at the VERY last second of OT:

----------------------------

In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina
Can't you see the sunshine
Can't you just feel the moonshine
Ain't it just like a friend of mine
To hit me from behind


Yes I'm goin' to Carolina in my mind

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you haven't noticed, but Boudreau has been rotating which dman has been scratched - just happens to be Corvo's turn. Corvo has been playing much better than most of you are giving him credit for, as long as he hasn't been paired with Green. He's like Green, where he needs to be paired with a stay-at-home dman.

_____________________

Lol, okay.


all of you complain about corvo. watch the carolina pitt game. pothier getting out worked below the goal. two penalties. the last one lead to a goal. I think GMGM was in serious discussions on kaberle. i read that a proposal of Fehr Stefan Dela rovere plus second was on the table. Net of it i still like corvo for the price we paid. I am glad we kept fehr

Posted by: samb99 | March 20, 2010 2:42 PM |

What does Pothier's play have to do with Corvo's play right now?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The only Caps who have played every game since the Olympic break have been Backstrom, Laich, Semin, Green, and Knuble.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

was that a blonde moment. pothier was part of the trade for corvo and corvo is a upgrade over pothier

Posted by: samb99 | March 20, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

NJ and Pitt going 2-3 in either order is great for the Caps. That means either one or both go out in the first round or they have to face each other in a tough series in the conference semis.

Posted by: butcherbaker | March 20, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The only Caps who have played every game since the Olympic break have been Backstrom, Laich, Semin, Green, and Knuble.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 4:12 PM

Other than missing OV's name (and possibly Schultz) that list is exactly as I would expect it.

Posted by: Raber | March 20, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Corvo's decision-making has been questionable. Nonetheless, the guy has played, what, 7 games or 8 games with the Caps? Just a reminder that Chimera, who everyone seems to love at the moment, was a big question mark for folks at that stage with his new team. Corvo is playing an entirely different system than he played witht he Canes.

I'm not saying that some fundamentals don't seem to be missing, but I think there is room to lay off a bit.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 20, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Again, what does Pothier's play right now have to do with Corvo's play right now?

Absolutely nothing.

The trade is done, we have Corvo. I don't care how bad Pothier plays, that's never going to justify the trade. I want to see more out of Corvo.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@butcherbaker

not true. nj and pitt are in the same division. so they would be number 2 and 4. with buffalo as the number 3. which would mean caps would have to beat pitt and nj in round 2 and 3. tough road...

Posted by: samb99 | March 20, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

NJ and Pitt going 2-3 in either order is great for the Caps. That means either one or both go out in the first round or they have to face each other in a tough series in the conference semis.

Posted by: butcherbaker | March 20, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I think as a practical matter the Pens and Devs have to be seeded 2 & 4 or 4 & 2, with the Sabres taking the 3 seed.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 20, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm not even being that hard on Corvo. Nor has anyone else. We are applying criticism to a Caps player, like you all and we all apply to other Caps players. I don't understand what the problem is here?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

the point is that we are better of than we had. so if we had kept pothier we would have been worse off. so we are in a better position. how much better time will tell. he is better in his d game and much better in is O game

Posted by: samb99 | March 20, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@freakinjoe35

Oddly enough, Corvo and Poti have one thing in common -- Italian ancestry. Corvo is the Italian word for Crow.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm not even being that hard on Corvo. Nor has anyone else. We are applying criticism to a Caps player, like you all and we all apply to other Caps players. I don't understand what the problem is here?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

LOL you're kidding, right? you and cstanton1 have been on the anti-Corvo bandwagon from day 1

Posted by: joek443 | March 20, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

And I never questioned Chimera. Like the Corvo trade, I thought it was going to be an upgrade. In this instance, he has been phenomenally better than Clark. In Corvo's instance, I'm not seeing a "2nd round+Osala" improvement over Pothier.

I understand new teammates/new systems..yeah, whatever. That doesn't explain most of his mistakes at all. Nor does an injury explain them. It's just dumb decision-making.
I saw hardly any dumb decision-making from Chimera in his first 7-8 games. He may have missed a pass here and there (explained by a new system/new teammates), but he didn't try to pinch up at a guy who had already poke checked the puck through his legs.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@butcherbaker

not true. nj and pitt are in the same division. so they would be number 2 and 4. with buffalo as the number 3. which would mean caps would have to beat pitt and nj in round 2 and 3. tough road...

Posted by: samb99 | March 20, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

You beat me to it @samb99, but you are assuming that seeds 1-4 win their series. If any of the 5, 6, or 7 seeds win then we play the lowest of them in round 2.

Here's an amazing fact: Caps can clinch the East by playing out the season 4-6-1, and that's assuming the Devils or Penguins win every remaining game.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 20, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

LOL you're kidding, right? you and cstanton1 have been on the anti-Corvo bandwagon from day 1

Posted by: joek443 | March 20, 2010 4:24 PM |

I meant this specific post, and anyway, that's not even right.

Did I not defend the hell out of the Corvo trade from cstanton1 himself? Yes I did, go google it. It was not until Corvo played, until my opinion changed.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

And I have to chuckle...I am being grouped into a same camp as my former arch-nemesis, in cstanton1. Gotta love that.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil, it's fine to critique. I guess my post comparing to Chimera was intended to give reason for optimism. I'm a glass-half-full type.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 20, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Chimera is a 3rd line winger who plays 10-12 minutes/game... Corvo is a 3 or 4th d-man who plays 17-18 minutes/game, it's a much more demanding position

it's like comparing an outfielder to a middle infielder in baseball

Posted by: joek443 | March 20, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

so if we had kept pothier we would have been worse off.
Posted by: samb99 | March 20, 2010 4:21 PM |

Listen, I have no doubt that Corvo is a better hockey player than Pothier 99% of the time.

I am failing to see what that has to do with Corvo's criticism. Basically, what you're saying is that since Corvo is an upgrade over Pothier, it doesn't matter what Corvo does because we are better off either way. That logic seems faulty to me.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

i fail to see what you get by bashing corvo. lets support our players and wish for good health and our first stanley cup. can we agree on that.

Posted by: samb99 | March 20, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

@joek443 -- it wasn't a one to one comparison. The comparison was made because loads of posters here were wondering what the heck Chimera brought to the team when he was 7 or 8 games into his tenure as a Cap. He then adjusted to the system and has become a key contributor.

Everyone agrees that Corvo has room for improvement, but the point is that getting used to the system can go a long way toward attaining that.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 20, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

i fail to see what you get by bashing corvo. lets support our players and wish for good health and our first stanley cup. can we agree on that.

Posted by: samb99 | March 20, 2010 4:34 PM |

So the second you try to criticize the play of a player, I am going to copy and paste this comment.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

you are not making any sense and i get the sense you get some joy from bashing our players. what ever works for you

Posted by: samb99 | March 20, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Sports blog commenting, like politics, makes for some strange bed fellows.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Sigh...

We've got extremely, overtly negative posters at Japer's, and we've got people who don't even allow you to validly critique the play of a player on CI.

Is there a normal, middle ground anywhere?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

@Capsfan75

Sigh...I don't even know what to say really right now.
I guess you can just consider me a troll now, what with all the joy I get out of all the negative posts I make. Mark me, put me in Tom's division. I am no better than windjammer.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@ Sonyask

yes, that was the point that I was trying to make as well.. Corvo plays a more demanding position than Chimera so you would think it would take longer for him to adjust

Posted by: joek443 | March 20, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil, it's fine to critique. I guess my post comparing to Chimera was intended to give reason for optimism. I'm a glass-half-full type.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 20, 2010 4:30 PM |

And I am usually as optimistic as they come here. I am the one usually telling people to calm down. But again, It's not like I have given up on Corvo. But until I see some more of what we've have so far, any and all criticism towards him is valid.

I certainly was not the first to notice Corvo's mistake, nor was I the last. And perfectly reasonable posters have also noticed Corvo's mistakes.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

yes, that was the point that I was trying to make as well.. Corvo plays a more demanding position than Chimera so you would think it would take longer for him to adjust

Posted by: joek443 | March 20, 2010 4:48 PM |

Valid point, but what bearing does it have on what I said? I said Corvo's mistakes have nothing to do with adjusting to a new system.

Sure, I'll agree that defenders have a bigger learning curve. That isn't a response of any sort to my claim that his mistakes have nothing to do with adjusting to a new system.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I have a bit more generous take on Corvo sitting out. We're playing a goon team, so BB wants Erskine in. The logical place to put him is on the one unbalanced d-pairing - Corvo and Poti both being offensive minded. So, either Corvo or Poti had to sit.

But how about Belanger on the 4th line? I'm not sure what to make of that - message to Belanger or reward to BMo and Steckel.

Posted by: zmega | March 20, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@duckyjimpond

"For a team headed towards the Presidents Cup we sure have a lot of CRITICS OF some pretty good players. Are you people ever satisfied???"

Amen brotha! If/when we win the Cup it'll be because of a lucky bounce, the other team was hurt, somebody shined a laser in the ref's eyes, the gravitational pull of the moon changing the tides you name it! Oh yeah and wait for this one, "we were lucky to win the Cup this yr with (x), it'll never happen again"!

Not saying you can't critisize players but blaming a guy who scored 2 goals in a game as the sole reason for a loss is pretty ignorant.

Lets not focus on the fact that we were 9.5 seconds away from not getting any points. Lets focus on the 1 play that "contributed" to us not getting the 2nd point.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 20, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Not saying you can't critisize players but blaming a guy who scored 2 goals in a game as the sole reason for a loss is pretty ignorant.
_________________________

If this is directed towards me, I would like to read where I blamed Corvo for any of the losses. If this is directed towards Raber's comment, then I kindly step out between you two. :)

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

excellent,no corvo,finally a defensive lineup i can stomach watching.

not a bad forward lineup either if it stays that way.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 20, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

We have not scored a single goal against teams currently above us in the standings. We haven't made a single save or blocked a single shot. Do we really stand a chance in the playoffs?

Just a thought.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 20, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

excellent,no corvo,finally a defensive lineup i can stomach watching.

not a bad forward lineup either if it stays that way.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 20, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

good, guess that means you won't be watching this team in the playoffs since Corvo coming outta the lineup for Sloan or Erskine is slim to none unless he's injured... excellent!!!

Posted by: joek443 | March 20, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil - I strongly disagree that you, or anyone else here has been overly critical of Corvo [or any other Cap, for that matter].

Look, the D-corps has been an issue for 3-straight off-seasons, and we gave up a lot [a proven NHL d-man, a top prospect, and a #2] to get a guy billed as "the answer" who quite frankly, has played like anything but. OK he's in a new system - but 1) the decision-making has been very questionable, and I don't know that that is a teachable trait; 2) for a mobile d-man, he sure seems to lose a lot of loose puck battles; and 3) his passing sure hasn't been ultra-crisp, so far at least, see #2.

Obviously, this is a terrific team, right now the best in the league - but we aren't perfect, and it's frustrating that known, identifiable weaknesses appear to have been so badly mishandled.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"Is there a normal, middle ground anywhere?"

Posted by: richmondphil


LOL--well probably not, but politics is meaner. At least we are all Caps fans. I do believe, however, that CI and Japers' are the two best two places to go (my favorites at least), including the commentary. When I travel farther afield in the blogosphere, I find it a scary, profane-filled, trolling kind of place. Here and Japers' we just all get a bit grumpy sometimes.

As for Corvo I think he's our new Greenie. His mistakes are going to jump out but hopefully the upside will be that his offensive creativity will be unleashed under Bruce.

I personally am going to cut him some slack at this time. I get the feeling that playing defense as an offensive/defensive player under Bruce's system is extremely demanding and is most effective with good chemistry, having that instinctive knowledge of where the fellow players are going to be, which only comes with time. IMO Corvo of all the new players, Chimera included, has had the biggest game adjustments to make.

As for tonight, I think it was Corvo's turn to sit out. He clearly is the kind of d-man that Bruce likes despite the fact that he and Greenie are not traditional. And therein lies the criticism by so many Caps fans. At least Greenie will be given a break for a change although I've noticed that said criticism has really tapered off--something about that 14 game streak methinks!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 20, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh and like Sonyask I am most definitely a "glass-half-full" kind of fan. Every team has areas that need improvement and there is no question that compared to our offense our defense is the weaker aspect. How much so I really have no idea, but there are a LOT of teams that wish they had our kind of problems.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 20, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

EVERYONE will get a game off before the playoffs start... well maybe except Ovi, he kinda took care of that himself

Posted by: joek443 | March 20, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

LOL--he certainly did.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 20, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@govtimbo: The problem is that no team is, ever has been, or will ever be perfect. Sure, there are weaknesses, but if you fix the weaknesses you identify, what else does that break? If you get that perfect shut-down defenseman, what if they're too slow and end up breaking that terrifying north/south rush? That perfect player simply doesn't exist. You can scream for a crease-clearer all you want, but none were available at the deadline, and don't tell me Volchenkov because nobody who has two brain cells to rub together would serious try to tell me that OTT would trade their best Dman to an EC rival while they're shooting for the Northeast Division title. 'Tain't gonna happen, bucko. Team-building is a balancing act, and any move you make to shore up a weakness can break something else.

Frankly, I tihnk McPhee knows what he's doing.

Your average long-term Caps fan needs professional help and probably medication for anxiety and sports-induced self-esteem issues, because they simply can't think in any terms other than unremittingly negative. Too much psyche damage from too many losses will do that to you.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 20, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns

Yeah, CI and Japer's are the two best sources for anything Caps related. Japer's just does a wonderful job covering everything Caps, despite me avoiding the comments section. Honorable mention to the guy over at alexovetjkin blog, who also has a wealth of Caps/Ovi-centric information. His name is slipping my mind right now.

Anyways, like I said, I have not given up on Corvo either. But his mistakes have got to be put under a microscope, or else they'll never change. Like the recent Japer's post on Poti's mistake to leave his stick in the shooting lane instead of the passing lane. Without critique, there would be no improvement. BB is closer to the action and has a much more adept hockey mind than any of us, and I am sure that he does what he needs to do behind closed doors to address these mistakes.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

The alex ovetjkin site has a great interview with Ovi's mom, complete with a photo of a young Ovi on inline skates. Sorry for the cliche: "but the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

For a guy who knew no English five years ago, Ovi is great, especially with idiomatic expressions, but when I read a translated interview I realize just how expressive the Russian language is and how difficult it is to convey the sentiments in English.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 20, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

@govtimbo

While I agree with your assessment of Corvo, I don't necessarily think he was ever billed as "the answer." The Corvo trade...only time will tell (ie; his playoff showing) if the trade paid out.

In fact, "the answer" for me was Belanger. I was on board with wanting a 3rd line penalty-killing center as the #1 priority, as opposed to any upgrades at the blue line.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz: :^)

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 20, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

first of all to all the mcphee apologists who continually make references to this myth that good defensemen simply aren't available via trade or that it would take a lot to add one - over McPhee's tenure here there are many many defensemen who would've helped us that have gone to other teams. McPhee either has no creativity or he doesn't find those same defensemen "attractive"

He coulda had James Wisniewski for a cheap price. Same with Bryce Salvador. Those were just two in the past year or so who changed teams who could have been real nice upgrades to our defense. McPhee has yet to add one single player on defense who is considered a strong steady leader. We lack for leadership on defense. We need one or two strong veteran guys who can play it tough and still pull down quality minutes. After Tinordi, McPhee could never fill that void. He's a failure in that regards. Has he added top shelf skill all over the board? Yes he has, Hershey and the Caps are proof of that. But with regards to adding some defensive leadership and tenacity, he's failed.

And I do believe he tried to add an Andy Sutton type but once again, couldn't get it done. So he overpays for a Corvo and pretends that his sights weren't set any higher than that. whateva

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 20, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Haha yes, I posted that picture in the previous post.

Look at those skinny legs, haha. Now his calf is the size of his chest in that picture.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Your average long-term Caps fan needs professional help and probably medication for anxiety and sports-induced self-esteem issues, because they simply can't think in any terms other than unremittingly negative. Too much psyche damage from too many losses will do that to you.

Posted by: kittypawz

You are probably right. Still, I've been a Cubs fan all my life and I have somehow managed not to be so negative. I will say, though, I fully relate to the anxiety about impending disaster in the playoffs. It's probably why I became so attached to the Caps when I moved here in 2002.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 20, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

random sidenote - man do i hope the Caps give Andrew Gordon a chance at some point. He deserves it. He's like a Chris Kunitz type imo - fiesty, gritty, quick, all over the net, good hands. Not often you find a player like that in the Caps org. And he's really improved significantly every year, he has the right attitude. Check out his goal from yesterday's Hershey rout (its at the 30 sec mark). He's on the RW, passes the puck to the point, then charges the net to provide a screen, then goes and gets the puck out of the corner and makes a beautiful play to stickhandle thru and score the goal as he's falling. Worth watching. And later he went after Osala who had just gone out of his way to drill the newest Bear - Grant Lewis. Gordon's got character written all over him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNLNMPcvy2E

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 20, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm not negative about the playoffs, or the Caps in general at all. I loved all of GMGM's moves this year. Off-season to the deadline. Second best regular season in Caps history, behind..ding, ding, ding, last year.

I just want to see Corvo play better. It's all I ask.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

So funny that you mentioned the alex ovetjkin site as I was writing. I love that site--total Ovi fan (okay by me) but includes so much as long as it's tangentially connected to Ovi. And he doesn't leave out the painful stuff--video cam incident and all.

That Japers' piece on Poti's defensive lapses was really interesting. Gave me much to mull over.

I have no trouble with fans criticizing the players, although I think the players are probably much harder on themselves. The post game interview had a very downcast Corvo who looked and sounded for the world as if he held himself personally responsible for losing that game. It was not the best game by a number of the players--and the penalty laden 2nd period was just terrible. I thought that it was a horribly ref-ed game--no whistles during the first, then nothing but whistles during the second. May tonights be better on all counts.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 20, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and it's only the second best for a few more games. Then it officially becomes the best regular season ever.

Now, lets see some progress in the playoffs!

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Also, I don't for a minute buy this blame-shifting onto BB - when he transformed our team from one of the worst to one of the best, almost overnight - it didn't seem like many of our guys struggled very much with the adjustment to BB's system.

Nope, the blame goes much higher. Clearly, BB can flat-out coach.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I hate 7:30 puck drop.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1: There's two problems with your method of thinking, the same two you've always had.

1. This isn't fantasy hockey. Who says the players you name were available? Remember that the market was limited this year with so many teams still trying to make a run to the playoffs. I'll bet my bottom dollar Wisniewski wasn't available, and I know damn well Salvador wasn't (not that his stats impress me anyhow). Seidenberg doesn't fit. Andy Sutton is a freaking pylon and when someone said the Caps were talking about him I said DO NOT WANT.

These are not your father's Caps. That kind of player simply doesn't fit with the way the Caps play the game, and to try to shoehorn them in is more likely to break the team dynamic than it is to have the desired effect. You're still thinking in the 1990's when they played that lunchpail game. Times have changed, sir, and you need to catch up and think about who will match the Caps' game as it is now instead of trying to turn back the clock and change it to what you're used to.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 20, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

right because the game has changed so much over the past year or two that that type of player serves no purpose. Its all about offensive defensemen or veterans the quality of a Poti. Please. If that was the case why do quality teams still employ hard hitting defensive defensemen ? MStuart, Volchenkov, DMurray, Orpik, just to name a few.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 20, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

@govtimbo

"#2] to get a guy billed as "the answer" who quite frankly, has played like anything but."

Dude what are you smokin? And why aren't you sharin? Who on God's green Earth ever uttered those words? Lay down the pipe bro. Or in the words of the ESPN football guys "C'mon man"!

Corvo was a bit of an upgrade from Pothier and a depth move. Nothing more, nothing less. LMFAO! "The Answer"!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 20, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

and ms kitty, as to your giving McPhee the eternal benefit of the doubt that perhaps those 2 players I mentioned simply weren't available to him or that there were Cap issues associated -fine. Then explain why he's never been able to acquire players like that? Players who can pull down top 4 mins while still providing a strong gritty defensive presence? Its more than coincidence when you look at his record over 13 yrs. Its p h i l o s o p h y. And because he doesn't think that type of player is what a good team needs, he hasn't bothered acquiring one. The closest he came was Jurcina and frankly Juice isn't close to being a top 4 guy and even if he was doesn't exactly fit the bill anyway. Even the Wings who everyone loves to point to as the Caps new model du jour employed players like Brad Stuart and Kronwall.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 20, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

no matter how much the game changes, there's always a role and a need for strong defensive players who bring some leadership and tough defensive play. The guys willing to do the dirty work and who set the tone for the rest of the defense to follow. Just because the transition game of today is more prevalent it doesn't mean your defensemen can simply forego the other aspects of defensive hockey that will always be present - engaging forwards aggressively, separating them from the puck aggressively, clearing the crease, protecting your goalie from too many garbage or close-in goals, etc etc. That stuff will always be there, you can't take it out of the game. And having a strong defensive leader back there makes the entire defense play with some better intensity and awareneness.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 20, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Don't worry, Phi. I don't consider you a troll. Usually, you make reasonable points. I might not always agree but your points are reasonable. cstanton tends to be critical most of the time, although he's definitely a Caps fan.

No, you don't deserve to be consigned to the same Doofus brigade unit as Windjammer, who's been conspicuous by his absence this year. (The Caps are winning, that's probably why.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Hmm--for one to like many of the moves that GMGM has made defines someone as a McPhee apologist. Oh well--guess I am then. I didn't realize that arguments had to be so black and white--I tend to see things (sorry for the vagueness) in varying shades of gray.

To build a team in today's NHL world of parity is IMO very much like a game of chess. Sometimes one has to move sidewise in order to advance. That's how I look at the Corvo move. As much as I loved Pothier the move alone caused a defense shakeup which is also a good thing. It's another way of getting guys out of complacency and developing new avenues of chemistry. And no one is missing Osala given the depth at Hershey.

I cut GMGM slack on what was actually available at deadline and what it would have cost us to make certain deals. I think it is no surprise that some of the hottest names out there ended up staying with their respective teams. Perhaps the cost--for this parity period--was just too high for more GMs than McPhee.

As for the Caps, a funny thing happened to me during the streak. I developed confidence in this team. They pulled out wins they had no business winning, they played hard throughout the games, they were able to ramp it up when the game was slipping through their fingers. Yeah I know that they haven't quite found their streak mojo yet (I think the line of Chimera/BMo/Fehr has come closest), and Bruce is still playing around a bit with the lines, but I feel good about this team. I really do feel that they have a great opportunity to win the Cup.

There is no magic elixir assuring them of a Cup, but I am confident that their battle will be hard and fierce and fought to the end.

I am so ready for the playoffs now.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 20, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I know you always wanna see the pens lose but right now you want them to win and finish second in the conference, ahead of NJ in their division... that way the caps won't see them till the conference finals

Posted by: joek443 | March 20, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

On the picture of Ovi, as a child with his mom and her Olympic teammate:

I think he looks better with long hair than he does with close cropped hair. (Okay, I know there's such a thing as hair that's too long on guys but Ovi hasn't really crossed that line yet.)

BTW, I prefer my guys to have hair as opposed to the close cropped look. (Guess that's what happens when you come of age during the "hippie" era.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Well, we're all rooting against NJ as well -- except when they play the Pens. Keep them behind, also.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

@joe443--agree. I want them to have the 2nd seed. If we have to play them then I want it to be in the finals. Losing in OT was kinda perfect for me--gain a point, stay two ahead of the Devils, but still lose. But now it's time for the Devils to lose so the Pens stay ahead. Hard to parse my emotions in Pens and Devils games. Maybe they should both lose them all--LOL.

@CF75--Love that pic--total mom buzz cut. I've done it to my son. He hates it. Must be why Ovi prefers his shaggy look now. At least she can get scissors on his hair now and then. I kinda like the cleaned up scruffy look that he adopted after the break.

Is it 7:30 yet????

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 20, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I think there is definitely room for strong, defense-first d-men on this team. In fact there is room for 4, one in each pairing and one as a reserve. It looks to me like the plan for next year is that the three starters would be Schultz, ShaMo, and Alzner, maybe with Erskine as a back-up. I would be OK with that. If GMGM can find an upgrade, great.

Posted by: zmega | March 20, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Eric Fehr needs a better center than Stackel - one that can set him up.

Posted by: MReilly9 | March 20, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I think Corvo is better then Pothier and his talents are better suited for this team. His speed is amazing and having another guy to that can generate points from the blue line is a plus. He is no worse than Pothier in the D zone.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 20, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns

On the hair styles moms love to give. Back when I was 4 years old, I had cut my hair really short. So my mom then liked it short for a long time afterwards. At 7, I got tired of the real short look and finally started growing it out. But I only could let it get so long. And then time for a hair cut (even though not as short as when I was 4.) And long, straight hair was not an hairstyle option. (Long hair had to be curled.)

The 70's came along and long, straight hair was actually in. So that's what I did. Is it any wonder I've had long hair for the vast majority of my adulthood?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

New thread started, gang.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

@Well, we're all rooting against NJ as well -- except when they play the Pens. Keep them behind, also.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010

No need to worry about the Pens or the Devils for the eastern conf. it's a done deal the would both have to run to run table to catch us.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 20, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how to watch the game online?!? Stuck at work, surrounded and outnumbered by hoops fans!

Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Btw disagreed about Pothier's D. His first/outlet pass was invariable tape-to-tape.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

"invariably" tape-to-tape. Damn brain!

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

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