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Ovechkin's Late Heroics

It wasn't their best effort. In fact, as I wrote this in this morning's Post, the Caps probably didn't deserve anything from last night's 6-5 shootout loss in Newark.

But Alex Ovechkin's goal (set up by a ridiculous pass from Nicklas Backstrom) with about a second remaining is definitely worthy of its own post. If you haven't seen it yet, click on the video below. My favorite part is the reaction of the Devils on the ice. I haven't seen dejection like that since Ovechkin scored 'The Goal' from his back in Phoenix a couple of years ago.

Anyway, with a long western swing looming, today is a day off for the team and for me. Check back tomorrow morning for the latest on the injured guys. There wasn't an official update last night, but I'm thinking Alexander Semin (shoulder/back) and Shaone Morrisonn (groin) will be ready to go on Wednesday in Anaheim, while Sergei Fedorov (ankle) will probably need more time.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 16, 2008; 1:08 PM ET
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Next: Monday Morning Update (Updated)


I still can't believe that happened last night, that was unbelievable, Ovechkin is amazing, so is Nicklas

Posted by: rachel216 | November 16, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

i could watch that video over and over again :)

Posted by: rachel216 | November 16, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I had to watch last night's game from Lebanese Taverna in Harbor East in Baltimore. Was there for a birthday party but i got them to put the game on the TV in the corner.

When Ovechkin scored the tying goal I jumped up and yelled "YEAH BABY!" so loud I scared a poor girl near me so badly she spilled her cosmo.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | November 16, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

That's a lot of praise coming from the NJD play by play guy

Posted by: SombreroGuy | November 16, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I was fortunate enough to be in the arena for the goal and it is something I will never forget!

But Tarik, as nice as AO's finish was, the heads up play of Backstrom and AO deserves the real credit. The fact that both didn't get caught up in the mayhem of the scramble and put themselves in position to make that play...I don't think any two Caps could have done that in the entire history of the organization. The for Backstrom to keep his composure and grab the puck and thread that pass for AO's finish...UNBELIEVABLE!

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | November 16, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

patience to stand there as they fought for it and the clock ticked down.

Posted by: am_jim | November 16, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Give kudos to Eric Fehr for keeping the play alive in the zone with a awesume diving effort. By the way who got the hard hat last night?

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 16, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

it would have been so cool if that happened at home, Verizon Center would have gone CRAZY.

Posted by: rachel216 | November 16, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Nick and Ovie stole a point right there. I could have done a backflip when they hooked up for that goal.

We gotta stop using Alex in the shootout, though..

Posted by: _jordan | November 16, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night and the look on Devil's fans faces were priceless. As the Caps aren't so hot at shootouts I'd like to see them be more agressive in the OT period.

Steve in Jersey

Posted by: sjshanno | November 16, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

And an explanation of why Boyd Gordon was used in the shootout would be nice.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | November 16, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

When will the Caps Fly out to the west coast? I hope they leave today or Monday to get a little adjusted to the time difference.

Posted by: washingtoncapitals | November 16, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

This announcer makes the game exciting regardless of which team makes the great play, not a homer there for sure.
Our announcers are more like two casual observers of the game more interested in chit chat that in what is happening on the ice.
Great observation of the winning play, did anyone see or hear that from our broadcasters? I don't think so, or maybe I had already tuned them out.

Posted by: opita | November 16, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Just saw the reply on NHL on the Fly and Joe B's call was "Rebound loose. Wild scramble in front. SCOOORRRREEEE! OVECHKIN BUZZER BEATER!"

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | November 16, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse


Just to let you know I have season tickets this year ;) When did AO switch to a NikeBauer stick? I thought he has a deal with CCM.

Posted by: 415M | November 16, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Until that last goal, the most entertaining moment of the evening for me was watching Ovie celebrate Backstrom's prior goal by smashing Backstrom face first into the glass. Don't know if anyone else noticed. Reminded me of what Green has said previously - that it's dangerous to score a goal when Ovie is on the ice with you.

Posted by: puff1 | November 16, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

puff1, I agree! That was classic. Backstrom probably didn't see that coming. And I remember the Green interview. I think that Green used the word "scary" to describe seeing Ovechkin coming at him after he scores. I love the celebrations. This team is so fun to watch.

Posted by: Jen12 | November 16, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

A few answers:

Alex switched sticks when he returned from Russia. He does have a contract with CCM, but I'm not sure what he can and can't do when he comes to sticks. Remember, Tiger Woods is a Nike guy, but he can use whatever club he wants.

As far as why Boyd Gordon got a chance in the shootout, I was jammed up on deadline (combo of early saturday deadlines and a long game) so I didn't get a lot of extra time to ask questions last night. But, I'm just guessing here, having covered Boudreau for a year now, he either wanted to reward Gordon for a good game or he played a "hunch". His "hunches" usually work. This time it didn't.


Posted by: el_bashir | November 16, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Haha, thats funny! That's why Ovechkin is the best! I think Greenie said that he tries to run away from Ovie when he scores cuz he knows Ovie is going to prance on him and probably drag him down to the ice.

Posted by: rachel216 | November 16, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

That logic doesn't fly, JSchon. By that same token, you would/should have been calling for trading Backstrom and Ovechkin for their slow start, too.

There is no team that can sustain the kind of pace the Caps put up at the end of last year. It just can't be done. People get hurt, tired, lose focus, get mispaired, have problems at home... All kinds of things going on. It's up to Coach B and GMGM to sort it out and "fix" what is their responsibility, and the player's responsibility to "fix" their performance.

But throwing these two under the bus at 11 games is crazy. Not much better at 16. Their production potential is huge.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 16, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Wrong Greg S.

Ovechkin/Backstrom/Semin and list of others are the future of this franchise.

Nylander/Kozlov/Poti are not.

I am only stating that we have lots of talent not playing regularly, like Fehr, Bourque, Alzner, Lepisto, Aucoin and Gordon because we have veterans in the twilight of their careers in taking valuable minutes.

My question Greg to you is this...

Where would we be without Nylander and Kozlov this season and having Fehr and Bourque playing their minutes?

Worst case scenario is the same record, but those 2 players now have more NHL experience by playing 13 minutes a game every game instead of 8 minutes a game every 4th game.

Posted by: JSchon | November 16, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

or in Bourques case, not in the league.

Posted by: JSchon | November 16, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Caps Fans check out:

Posted by: bagasome | November 16, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Fehr will be a player, but not right now. Bourque is a work in progress and is doing fine in the AHL where he belongs.

Kozlov had a goal and an assist last night and is always in the middle of things. In the middle of the scrum in the last seconds of last night. Nylander has to work it out like several other players, but he can rack up the points. Last year was on track for 80. Got 80 the year before and 70+ the one before that. Fehr is a long long way from that kind of production. He won't sniff 40. Bourque won't make an appearance this year. So give up 130 points? for 40?

Posted by: Greg S. | November 16, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

At some point Greg S, players become ineffective. Players get old, injuries take longer to recover from. They get slow, their feet, their hands. 82 games feels like 182 games. Its sad Greg, but it happens.

The tricky part is when to make tough decisions like replacing those veterans with younger less experienced players.

For me, trading Nylander to free up time for Fehr isn't a crazy or insane idea. I'm not saying trade Nyles for a ham sandwich, but this team will recover from the loss of playr like Nylander. Case in point, how are we doing without Fedorov?

Not bad. 4-0-1.

Posted by: JSchon | November 16, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

As a 33, 34 and 35 year old player, Nylander racked up 79, 83 and 37 (injury half way through the season) points.

As a 31-2, 32-3, and now 33 year old player, Kozlov gets 51, 54 and now 6 this year so far.

33 is old?

When does AO's contract end, and how old will he be?

I agree that AO, Semin and Backstrom are the face of the Caps hopefully for a very long time. This is still a very young team, and a few older players are needed to calm the kiddies. That's what Fedorov brings to the table. Not a lot of points, though every one is welcome, but experience. That's the same thing that Kozlov and Nylander bring, only with a heck of a lot more points than the kids.

This team IS rich in the talent pool, but they're not ready for prime time yet.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 16, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Semin and Backstrom will be RFA in 2010. Will we be able to afford both? We're talking about a lot of money here...

Posted by: mauree | November 16, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

smart teams and gms rebuild every year not just when they become too old and have players with no trade value and big paychecks ... ex the leafs last few years
nylander clark brash kozlov and federov are all near the end and will not bring the cup to the caps....we better phase some of them out rather than hurt developement of their the cap is more of an issue as our young guns need to be resigned

Posted by: wendel2 | November 16, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse


I agree that they will need to be phased out before they burn out. At 33 and 35 they're not quite there. Nylander is close to it, but he can still put up very good numbers. 33 is way young to be getting rid of because they're "too old".

I said last year that Fedorov's main value this year is experience, and that he wouldn't be needed next year as Semin, Backstrom and Ovechkin find their way with his help. Next year I hope to see Fedorov in a different capacity but still with the team.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 16, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse


They will be very expensive. I sure hope we can afford them because I sure as heck don't want to play against them!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 16, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Phasing out older players is one thing, but outright getting rid of them at the wrong time is ridiculous. The reason this team is winning is because of the combination of experience and youth, you cut Nyls, Koslov, Clark, you are back to old caps hockey, wait until next year, well next year never comes with that mentality. I am with Greg S. on this - I think.

Posted by: opita | November 16, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse


They're RFA's in 2010-11 along with Fleishman. Semin's making 4.6 now. Backstrom's at 2.633. I don't know what the market will look like in 2 years time.

Kozlov at 2.5 is UFA at the end of this year (that should please a lot on this board). Personally, I'd think about resigning him for 2 if his performance level is good and the price is right (and no, not 10 dollars and 28 cents).

Something tells me that Brashear won't be here next year or possibly the year after.

That Erskine deal really sits poorly with me. Maybe he's Brashear's replacement? I really haven't seen Erskine play the role of "enforcer", but at 1.25 he'd better show us SOMETHING!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 16, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

No Feds and no Nylander means Laich, Steckel, and Gordon are our centers. Thats what we had last season. THen they went on the tear when Feds, Huet and Cooke arrived. We're deep at center because of Feds and Nyls. If you trade Nyls, you have Feds, but he is a little old to be the first line center night in and out, I think. He's already injured. Therefore, is it worth trading Nylander for a dman, or a center? It has to be someone relatively young, right? Half the people here are trying to trade Gordon away, so there needs to be another center. I don't see many teams able to make that trade right now. At least, not ones that Nyls will waive a clause for. Unless you bring in a rookie from Hershey and take picks and a just lower the payroll. Is that likely? I think the Caps should gear up for a run because Semin might only be around until his contract comes up. Doing that would be tricky and requires trading prospects too.

Fun to think about, but worthless to speculate over.

Posted by: oo7 | November 16, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I like these Devils commentators, they're very nice... many times when I want to see the highlights again, it's always the opponent's commentators, and whenever we score, they're like, "score." This guy is like "SCORE!!!!!!!!" and says a bunch of nice things.

Posted by: rachel216 | November 16, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I was at my house alone when Ovie scored. I jumped and screamed, and just couldn't believe it.

My favorite part is when the commentator gaffs a bit and says, "he scores! but doesn't count, he scores"


Posted by: redskinsux | November 16, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Torts and Melrose will start an Ex-coach's Club in Tampa?

Posted by: Greg S. | November 16, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

redskinsux, you don't like the Redskins????

Posted by: rachel216 | November 16, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

this sucks! canes and lightning tied at 2 with 6 minutes to go, the last thing we need is a 3 point game..

Posted by: rachel216 | November 16, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

opita @ 2:21 PM: I know this a late reply, but what the heck are you talking about with the announcers? Mike Emrick used to be pretty good but is now nothing but a maniacal screamer, and the other guy can't put two intelligible words together.

Posted by: Kellyinbalto | November 16, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Tarik and/or Administrator,

Can you or another admin please suspend/ban the spammer "bagasome"? They have continued to repeatedly post a link to their blog, despite multiple requests to stop. I can probably dig up a bunch of examples if necessary.

Surely there must be some policy that we can use to put a stop to this?

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | November 16, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The Devils announcers were entertaining last night and very complimentary toward the Caps. Put me in the camp for glad this is Kozzie's last year. He was like 25th last year for most points, RW. Playing with Ovechkin? To make the cap work, you need to move up Laich, Flash and Fehr, and then prepare for Osala, Perrault, Borque and Bouchard. As someone said, Backie and Semin need to be paid, both RFA in 2010 (not 2011 I believe). Caps lose by a touchdown last night w/o Theo. Where was the defense? I've said it many times, we need to move a forward and get in a guy like Bob Rouse or Joe Reekie as the primary SaH. Everyone has become enamored by the "pretty pass." Well, it works for some but not others (obviously).

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 16, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

One thing I forgot: Feds has missed five games. Tarik's line above said he's unlikley for Wednesday. If he misses 10 games, you get to do the IR thing and save 10/82 of $4M, or roughly $500K on the cap. If he can't play Wed-Fri-Sat, at that point the team gets to make a decision. $500K here and $500K there and you can bring up Alzner.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 16, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Koz, Nylander, and Clark all have a place on this team. Koz , when he is on his game is a monster along the boards, and he has chemisrty with OV. Fehr will get his ice time, just give it a chance. Clark and Nylander are both comming off of injury shortened seasons, give them time.The young guys in the system will be here, sooner then you think, give them a little time to season some at Hershey....this is the plan.

To dump Koz, Poti, Clark, Nylander, to save dollars now, and to rush the young ones, would be a hugh mistake right now.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 16, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

People, people ...

It's way too early to worry about who to dump and who to resign in 2010. The team hasn't accomplished jack yet. We are talking like we already have a Eastern Conference title or a Cup under our belts.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | November 16, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Who wants to dump Poti? If any of the D need to go, it is Mo. That's an easy call.

Posted by: ChrisAm | November 16, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

If OV owns 'the goal' does Backy own 'the assist'.

What amazes me every time I watch the replay is OV's patience to stay camped out on the post instead of blasting into the pig pile. Is that maturity?

The last players on the ice are the ones the coach believes in: OV, Backy, Gordo, Kozzie, Fehr, and Green.

Posted by: meagle | November 16, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Hershey wins 9-0 Sunday.

I'm not kidding.


Posted by: TheRealOneal | November 16, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse


A year ago the Washington Capitals were mired in last place in the Eastern Conference at Thanksgiving when they fired head coach Glen Hanlon and installed Bruce Boudreau. The Caps, of course, went on to win the Southeast Division and Boudreau was named coach of the year. The problems that afflicted the Capitals, however, pale in comparison to what seems to afflict the Lightning. Maybe that's just time altering perceptions, but one thing is undeniable: The Lightning will play Sunday in Carolina and then at home against Florida Tuesday. Two division games. Two victories will put the Lightning back in the thick of things and help distance them from this ugly sideshow. Two losses will reinforce what already seems apparent, that this bomb wasn't detonated only by Barry Melrose.

Posted by: Boo- | November 16, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea who are the people you mention. I was referring to the video that Tarik posted of the last goal. Compare that clip to one from our announcers, if you don't have one, here is what a poster wrote:

"Just saw the reply on NHL on the Fly and Joe B's call was "Rebound loose. Wild scramble in front. SCOOORRRREEEE! OVECHKIN BUZZER BEATER!"

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | November 16, 2008 2:28 PM "

Not only did the guy calling the play in the video made it exciting, he analyzed the play, showed the great pass by Backstrom, and he was from the opposite team, just to name a few differences. Our guys put me to sleep with their constant chit chat about things that have not relation to what is happening on the ice; it is frustrating, to me, that at times we don't even know who gets the assist until 10 minutes later if at all, or who is involved in a critical play. This guy in the video, which I don't think I ever heard before, may yell a lot, but he seems to talk about what is going on the ice not about off-the-ice triviality.

That is what I was talking about, of course, you don't have to agree with me and you might prefer the constant off-the-ice BS our announcers seem to dish out, apparently, many people do.

Posted by: opita | November 16, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I like Joe and Locker, and I liked the announcer in the clip above. In fact, I was impressed that he was so enthusiastic about a team that was not "his" ... pretty cool that he gave the boys their props! Anyway, I've heard lots of announcers that I do not care for (or can't stand), but this guy gets a thumbs up from me. Nonetheless, I still like our guys (including Kolbe), too - I think they are entertaining, informative and fun to listen to. I could be wrong, but I don't think I'm alone ...

Posted by: Boo- | November 16, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Im not trying to dump all of those players, just suggesting that we are going to have to make some serious decisions about significant personnel sooner than later, and its never too early to speculate on the future.

If you think for a second GMGM and Ted are not thinking about signing Semin and Backstrom, even though we are 2 years away, you're as naive as they come.

My plan isn't drop all the vets and bring on the youngsters.

Dump 1 high priced veteran.
Create salary cap breathing room.
Create a spot for a hungry youngster to develop.

Simple and neat. Not complicated.

Posted by: JSchon | November 16, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

The Devils' color guy is Chico. Heaven help me if I can remember his real name. I could probably find it somewhere, but that's too much effort for a Sunday night.
Didn't watch the game last night for work, but I've watched that last goal about a million times. I'm still in awe of Backs pass and Ovie's absolute faith that Backs would make it happen. (I realize Ovie probably wasn't 100% waiting for Backs--just a loose puck--but let a girl dream) Very cool to think they'll be ours for a long time.
I'm really excited to go to the Bears game on Saturday. Can't wait to see the guys in action!!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | November 16, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

The Devils' color guy is Chico. Heaven help me if I can remember his real name. I could probably find it somewhere, but that's too much effort for a Sunday night.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | November 16, 2008 9:10 PM
Would that be Glenn Resch FTW?

Posted by: Section117 | November 16, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

The Devils' tv play by play announcer is Mike "Doc" Emrick, one of the all time greats, who was just honored last week at the Hockey Hall of Fame with the Foster Hewitt award for broadcasting. If his voice is familiar to you it may be because he also does the national play by play on Versus and the NBC games - like Joe B. He is a veteran and a real class act, one of the best in the business.
His color sidekick is Glen "Chico" Resch, a former goalie for the Islanders and Devils, who is very knowledgeable, funny and opinionated. They are a great team and when I watch on Center Ice they are always gracious and complimentary to the opposing team, while clearly supporting the Devils. I said recently after Brodeur's injury that I would love to have a dollar for every time over the past years Doc has yelled "Saaaave Brodeur!"

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | November 16, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

In not-really-related news, the Bears absolutely humiliated the Senators tonight, sending them home with a 9-0 shutout rout that included 7 goals in the second frame and outshooting them 46-26. I almost felt bad for their goalie.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 16, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Correction, 6 goals in the second frame. My bad.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 16, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Chico Resch had a great call on the Caps first goal in the Friday night game. During the first power play (only power play?) he is talking about the Caps power play struggles and how the Caps are trying to funnel the puck on the power play to AO and how that is the problem with the power play. Not less than 5 seconds later AO scores (later given to Laich on the tip) and Chico just says how getting the puck to AO on the power play is key to success.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | November 16, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

That Bears game was incredible.

My comment: Bears 9, Senators ... et tu, Brute?

My favorite moment had to come late in the 2nd frame, though... the poor announcer!

In the second period, there was a fight at 16:40... a goal at 16:46, and another goal at 17:10! The poor announcer was in the middle of announcing the 5-minute penalties for Chas Johnson and Greg Amadio when the goal came in for Graham Mink (assisted by Keith Aucoin), and he was in the middle of trying to announce that when the second goal, for Keith Aucoin (assisted by Alexandre Giroux and Graham Mink) came in. Too funny!

Posted by: irockthered | November 16, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz and irockthered:

That was a fun Bears game tonight!
The sad part for Binghamton is that they got shut out 3-0 by Wilkes Barre on Saturday night. Follow that with the 9-0 pasting by the Bears tonight, and Bingo had are realllly bad weekend.

Posted by: tess2201 | November 16, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for reminding me the color guy is the old Isles goalie Glenn "Chico" Resch. I've been listening to Mike Emrick do hockey for over 20 years, and like I said he used to be great but in the last 5 years or so my ears can no longer take his screeching. In the clip Tarik posted Chico was having a hard time putting a complete sentence together (guess he was depressed at that point). IMHO, Joe and Craig are one of the better broadcast teams around. My only complaint with Craig is some of his classic language-mangling ("he should've went to the net"), but we got used to it and just laugh at it now.

Posted by: Kellyinbalto | November 16, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse


You are way beyond irritating. I don't wish anyone failure. I do hope you success takes more time than you can afford.

Posted by: WCAPS1 | November 16, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

eric fehr is a top line nhl winger and deserves his shot now, def over kozlov probably nylander, though he is a center, too. joey b is just as talented (more so if you ask me) as the devils pbp guy, though he is good (in fact i believe both are utilized by Versus). the devil's playbyplay guy's job isnt to be objective, it is to make the local viewers get excited about the game, which he did and im sure joeyb would have done if the roles had been reversed. summation

eric fehr: its time
caps announcers: joey b is my fav in all of sports

AO and nicky backstrom...very possibly an historic combo

Posted by: formerlylove | November 16, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: MNMNT | November 17, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Poor hockey ... the Rodney Dangerfield of (North) American sports:

And yet such jokes still amuse me. At least hockey fares better than soccer, which is listed as "Women's Sports/Soccer" (Ha! Sorry Dave ... ;-)).

Posted by: Boo- | November 17, 2008 3:05 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin's last gasp goal on a brilliant assist by Backie made me almost jump out the window. I don't even mind losing the SO. This was a great game to watch and we still got a point.

People who keep getting on Greenie's back know absolutely nothing about hockey. JSchon already explained why multiple times. All I will say is that Mike is a brilliant defenseman. He does things out there every night that very few D-men in the league can do. Every GM in the NHL would give their right arm to get him if they could and every person who understands hockey salivates over him. He's an amazing talent. Please learn to appreciate him or shut the hell up, at least so that we're not subjected to your ignorant whining. Green is actually incredible defensively considering the way he plays. The whinos only notice when he makes a mistake. They somehow don't notice when he makes brilliant defensive plays. Yes, I said defensive plays. Because of his skating he gets back into plays that 99% of NHL d-men would have no chance to get back into. Also, in order to be as offensive as he is he has to take chances. Most of the time it works. Once in a while it doesn't. That's normal. Green is being compared by every pundit to either Paul Coffey or Scott Niedermayer and with good reason.

I would say something similar about Nylander. I think he's a very good player. He just needs to play with the same, good players for more than a game. It would be a shame to see him go, IMO.

Clark, on the other hand, is absolutely useless right now. I dropped out of following in the NHL for a few years so I didn't catch his great season when he scored 30+, but I see nothing of any value in him now and have no idea how a player who fumbles the puck every damn time he gets it could have scored 30+ in the NHL. Maybe it's the effects of the injury, but he's just taking up a valuable roster spot now and frustrating players that have to play on a line with him.

Posted by: ranndino | November 17, 2008 5:29 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: tess2201 | November 17, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

My thought on Green is that no, he isn't that bad defensively. I've seen him do the absolutely frightening skating required to catch up when he does get caught out. I sure as hell wouldn't trade him now.

But, he does get caught out from time to time, and the answer to that might be in who he's paired with. He needs a solid stay-at-home D behind him to cover his six on those occasions when he does slip up, and he needs a defensively-responsible forward in front of him for the same reason. Last season, Morrisson did a nice job of that, and we were cool. This season, with Morrisson falling apart (at least to my eyes, thoughts?) who can step up? JP's posted a defense assessment this morning on Japers' Rink:

See if that makes some sense to you. His assessment suggests that Schultz is struggling with the load. Someday in the near future I bet it'll be Alzner, but not right now. I hate to break up a good thing in Sloan/Poti. Jurcina or Erskine ... not going there. :)

Hope this made sense.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 17, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

So I'm thinking 5 pts on this road trip would be a success.

Im interested to hear the health status this a.m.

Sounds like Feds might not even make the trip?

Posted by: SA-Town | November 17, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

OMG you guys have such an exciting team...I love watching the highlights and always try to catch one of your game, but it's rarely on around here (I live in Montreal)...I can't wait for the Caps vs Habs games!

Posted by: maly_79 | November 17, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

kittypawz -

Like I said before Green is an offensive d-man so slip-ups are part of the deal. All offensive d-man screw up badly once in a while. Even the god of offensive d-men himself, the all time great Nicklas Lidstrom. There's no need to get on his back about it because that's like admonishing Ovechkin for shooting too much (since he doesn't score on most attempts).

I hope you were kidding when you even mentioned the word "trade" in the same sentence with Green. There are only a few d-men that are comparable to him now in the entire league (Lidstrom, Campbell, Boyle, Bouwmeester) and he's younger than all of them. He's an absolute gem and we're lucky to have him. He's as untouchable in terms of a trade as Ovechkin.

I agree with the rest of what you said. Green needs to be paired with a stay at home D. Mo did well last season, but has been hampered by injuries so far.

Lastly... Sloan has not convinced me yet. I watch him carefully and while he makes a lot of good, simple plays he also makes major screw ups quite often. He's getting better and better though.

Posted by: ranndino | November 18, 2008 4:19 AM | Report abuse

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