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Post-morning skate update

Another day in Montreal, another controversy.

Actually, make that two.

Many of questions from the huge media contingent covering this series today were about some eyebrow-raising comments Mike Green made earlier this week regarding the Habs and an upcoming story in Sports Illustrated about the steroids story that's hung over the Caps for the past year.

On Monday night, Green was quoted as saying: "That's the type of efforts we need to win. When everyone plays like that -- they don't have much out there. Really, they don't. We just have to stay out of the box, play them 5-on-5 and control the neutral zone and we're fine."

This morning, Bruce Boudreau was asked by the Montreal media about those comments -- specifically the "they don't have much" part -- and here's what the coach had to say:

"When I talked to Mike about it, he said that's the part they took out or put in," Boudreau said. "But it was a whole convoluted question that they asked him. He definitely didn't mean it. Because he knows damn well that Montreal is a heck of a hockey club."

In other words, Boudreau issued that standard that's-not-what-he-really-meant defense.

"When we play at the absolute top of our game, we can compete with anybody," Boudreau added. "If he meant to say that, then I think we agree with that. But he was dead wrong if he used those words, saying that Montreal isn't capable of beating us. They could quite conceivably be up 2-1 with two overtime games that we've played."

As for SI's forthcoming story that raises questions about whether the team and the NHL adequately investigated a Virginia chiropractor's claims that he sold steroids to Capitals players, Boudreau reiterated the club's position on the matter.

"The police interviewed a lot of our players [and] me," he said. "It was pretty in-depth. I didn't think at any time that they were worried about us. They were worried about trying to find out stuff about the guy who was supposed to have been dealing these things. I don't know anything else about the story. I'd love to tell you. But I have no clue."

The SI piece reads, in part:

On the day of Nagel's arrest NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly issued a statement: "Based on the investigation we have done and the information we have, there is no evidence that Dr. Nagel ever supplied (or even offered to supply) performance enhancing drugs to any current or past member of the Washington Capitals." The Capitals issued a statement as well: "This has been a thorough investigation, and we are satisfied that law enforcement, the NHL and our own internal investigation have not led to any link of steroid use by Capitals players."
However, according to an April 7 e-mail from Ian Floyd of the Polk County Sheriff's Tactical Drug Unit to Judd (his boss), there are serious questions about the investigations conducted by the NHL and the Capitals. "I called and spoke with [NHL executive vice president of security] Dennis Cunningham today in reference to the official statements made by the Washington Capitals and NHL regarding the 'thorough investigation,'" reads the e-mail, which Judd allowed SI to review. "Mr. Cunningham admitted that contrary to the below issued statements, no investigation was ever conducted into Dr. Nagel and his ties to steroids and Capitals players by anyone with the NHL."

Asked about the timing of the story and whether it might be a distraction, Boudreau said:

"I don't know what to say about that," he said. "Whether the timing is that they meant to do the timing at this time. Or if this is just the time that the story was broken and they've written it two months ago."

A couple more notes and quotes from this morning:

*Alex Ovechkin said he was sad to hear that his former hockey club, Moscow Dynamo, is rumored to be closing its doors after this season.

"If this happens, it's not going to be one person's [fault] it's going to be all people who own Dynamo," he said this morning. Asked whether there's anything he can do, he added: "It's not that simple. What can I do? Say, 'Don't do it?' It's a pretty hard situation for them. But I think they can find a way."

*While the Caps' lineup on D remains unclear at the moment, one big change we are certain of is Carey Price replacing Jaroslav Halak in the Habs' net.

The Caps faced Price four times in the regular season and scored two goals on 23 shots on him in Game 3 after he relieved Halak.

Price is much bigger than Hakak -- 6-feet-3, 219 vs. 5-11, 179 -- which means he's better suited to deal with the Caps' traffic in front. He's also a better puck handler than Halak, who beat out Price for the Habs starting job in the second half of the regular season.

"If you're a bigger goalie, you cover more ground," Boudreau said. "Carey is a really good puck handler, whereas Halak is an average puck handler. He's had great success against us. When you've sat for a while, it's not rust. He's going to ready to play the game of his life."

Check back close to game time for a status update on Shaone Morrisonn.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 21, 2010; 2:20 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Status of Morrisonn unclear
Next: Goalie coach on Varlamov: 'The sky is the limit'


Sports Illustrated, a once great publication, is just trying to sell magazines in a down and soon to be dead market.

All the players who saw that doctor spoke to police on demand apparently without their lawyers, and answered all questions, and then commented about it to the media. This story has no legs. (at least as far as the caps are concerned)

Every athlete accused of steroids who actually did it took the no comment route first (with the exception of the genius Rafael Palmeiro) and then was exposed. No one in this case ever came across that way.

Posted by: LesGrossman | April 21, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I saw the Green "quote" a couple of days ago. If I was a player I would give the same boring response.

"Both teams played good and we were lucky to come out with the win."

They would get bored with my interviews and leave me alone. This is becoming a soap opera with "bulletin board" material every day. I enjoy the coverage but really am tired on the controversy reporters like to create.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 21, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Whatever...he said, she said nonsense. There is a game to be played at 7.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 21, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

What Green said was right on the money by the way. Not a nice or smart thing to say, but not untrue.

Posted by: LesGrossman | April 21, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Mike Green was spot on with his comments. There is nothing Montreal can do to stop them when the Caps are on their game.

Posted by: rademaar | April 21, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Mike Green said Montreal sucks...and I think he is right...

Time to put the baby to sleep...Ole.Ole.Ole.Ole...

Posted by: SA-Town | April 21, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Montreal is a good, not great team. They have balance. But who on the team would you say has elite talent? I would say that 4-5 Caps have elite talent.

Posted by: zmega | April 21, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Price is in tonight.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 21, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I want to add one observation that is key to the Caps' success:


MTL can take this series back if we are happy with getting corralled onto the boards and channelled into the corners every time we carry the puck into the offensive zone.

We've GOT to stop playing along the boards. When we play between the dots, we score piles of goals. When we throw 30 "shots" a game at their goalie from bad angles and along the boards, this makes him sharper and more confident when we get real chances in the slot.

It is not a mystery that we've been SCHOOLED despite outshooting teams 2 to 1. That's a serious possibility when we don't work hard enough to play in the middle.

Posted by: large23220 | April 21, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I hope they are not complacent and think they have 2 games at home still to get it done. Get it done as quickly as possible. Come home with a 3-1 lead, not a split. I think many fans would not be happy with a split going into Verizon Center. Gotta play like we did on Monday. I think Semin finally gets a goal (his first point of the series) and we win... but I don't want to jinx it. Hope our PP comes along tonight.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 21, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Mike Green probably doesnt even know what he says half the time.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | April 21, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely. But, only as a last resort. The Caps create a lot of their chances off the rush. Dump and chase is not their strong suit, but it is better than turning the puck over.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | April 21, 2010 8:44 AM |

Again, I am not asking them to dump and chase. I am asking them to dump it in if they get stood up after they passed the blue line...

Posted by: richmondphil | April 21, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Let's go Montreal !

Posted by: stephenwhelton | April 21, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Let's go Montreal !

Posted by: stephenwhelton

Wrong place dude..keep booing during our National Anthem classy people.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 21, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Montreal has a solid team that could have been ahead easily in the first Monday night. While our strategy was to whether the storm in the 1st that night, I think tonight we need to try to deflate them from the get-go.

I like the idea of focusing on getting inside, to the net. Halak seemed to give up plenty of rebounds, but I'm not sure I saw a huge improvement from Price. And on the converse, let's continue to stay
tight out front on D. Keep it simple on both ends of the ice.

Posted by: Justafan | April 21, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I think John Carlson will make Mike Green expendable pretty soon. And the sooner the better. The guy is a nitwit and too cocky for his own good. As for the steroid thing, that's pretty much a snore at this point. But I wonder whether this guy Cunningham really agrees with Judd's characterization of their conversation...........

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 21, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

why is it that almost every DC-based pro team is always got to have some kind of drama?? really tired of all the stupid stories, quotes, etc.

Posted by: doughless | April 21, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

It wouldn't speak well for Montreal if they needed bulletin board material to get jacked up for a game as pivotal as tonight's.

I wouldn't be surprised if they try to rattle Varly the same way the Caps rattled Halak; crowd him, bump him, be physical in front of the net. Caps size _should_ work to their advantage here. Caps need to play smart, alert and physical in the first period cause the Habs will be gunning.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | April 21, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

We beat them physically in Game 3 -- need to do so again and moreso in Game 4. If ShaMo's out, then Erskine should be in there but everyone should be hitting.

Posted by: Justafan | April 21, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

lets keep our mouths shut and play the game. actions speak louder than words. Baldy should keep his trap shut, too

Posted by: doughless | April 21, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

So I agree that disrupting Oh Canada would be wrong, but what about singing Ole at the end of the game if the series is won here? Maybe I'm immature, but the MTL fans are really giving it to our guys.

Posted by: Brute | April 21, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Fat boy and now baldy.

BB must have beat you up when you were kids.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 21, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

When Habs fan boo'd the National Anthem a few years ago, Boston fans gave it a standing ovation.

(Yeah, Habs fans boo the Anthem quite frequently.)

Posted by: richmondphil | April 21, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Ole Ole Ole Ole
have fun on your vaca
Ole Ole ole ole
You won't play beyond friday

Posted by: Searchingforstanley | April 21, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I will shed a tear of joy this evening when the starting 6 take the ice and the rest of the team takes the bench if Tomas Fleischmann is nowhere to be seen.

Posted by: LesGrossman | April 21, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"a Virginia chiropractor's claims that he sold steroids to Capitals players,"

When exactly did this chiropractor tell authorities he sold steroids to Capitals players? The last I heard was that the ex-bodybuilder in Fla said he sold them to the Caps but the only thing that has been proven is that he sold them to the chiropractor. I don't remember ever reading or hearing that the chiropractor admitted or claimed he was selling them to the Caps. Lets get the story straight.

Posted by: eorr53 | April 21, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Not that we need more good reasons to close them out Friday, but it is pretty obvious that Pittsburgh has only one more game left with Ottawa. Don't want to start putting more mileage on our playoff odometers than they are putting on theirs.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | April 21, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Let's take it one game at a time.

Posted by: Justafan | April 21, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Granted we still have a game to play in Montreal before this becomes an issue but before people decide to boo the Canadian national anthem you should read this.

Take the high road and follow Beantown's reaction.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 21, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, in the day of declining revenues for newspapers and print media like Sports Illustrated, sensationalism rules the day.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | April 21, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Booing during the anthem would not be cool, however I figure the B'more bird fans would have a field day with the Canadian anthem.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | April 21, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Ryan O'Brien is in at defense for the habs (first playoff game). If Spacek can play then they will scratch Darsche

Posted by: Moose33 | April 21, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Get it right people!

It is BFG = bald, fat, guy = Boudreau. It is a term of endearment. :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | April 21, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

O'Bryne is 6'5" 234. I guess they are tired of being pushed around in their own zone. Also, apparently Gomez was not present at the morning skate but I doubt he doesn't play unless it's something serious.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 21, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse


It was nice of the Eyes on the Prize author to apologize. Funny how he is not allowing comments on that post. I would love to see what the fans on both sides have to say about the booing.

Posted by: griz0615 | April 21, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Canadiens, for you to offer excuses rather than outright, humble apologies is just a heaping load of crap. I was at Game 1 and Verizon Center stood at proper and quiet attention during the Canadian national anthem. We didn't stoop to your level. Great job on blaming the uneducated and poor Canadians for your lack of class during Game 3. Even better to try and insult our intelligence and say it's because of your country's competitive spirit. Game 3 proved to you that your team is at best mildly entertaining. No offense, but Capitals fans didn't pay good money to watch the Harlem Globetrotters play basketball at Bell Centre. Bring it, Canadiens. You guys are in for a world of hurt tonight! Goo Caps.

For the record, O' Canada, is a pretty cool song. =P

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 21, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Also, apparently Gomez was not present at the morning skate but I doubt he doesn't play unless it's something serious.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 21, 2010 4:24 PM

Stuck tampon probably....

Posted by: jdhoover | April 21, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

@poguesmahone - totally agreed about Carlson, he is the man. He's only going to get stronger physically, too - he just turned 20!

Great name, btw. But what on earth was Green thinking? Geez Louise, we really didn't need that quote.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 21, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Carey Price scares the heck out of me.
All world talent & less not forget what he did in the playoffs his first year.

When you're young & sit & inhale the game & digest it...sometimes it can come slower than be4.

Of course, I hope he's more like Jim Carey post 1st season than 1st season...

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 21, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

These two "controversies" are being created by the "huge media contingent."

God forbid they just let the teams play hockey.

Posted by: JillC | April 21, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I made fun of BB's weight to my gf one time but just read his book, and vowed to never do it again. He's apparently sensitive about it, so no more from me. I love BB, what a coach - I remember just before he got here, you could score tix on the street for like $5, there was no energy in the building, agent thinking about moving the franchise player, empty arena, etc. What a change to now. He is right up there Herb Brooks IMHO, hockey genius.

P.S. It really is too bad about his weight, he's one of the all-time scoring leaders in the A so he must have been one hell of an athlete back in the day. It looks like he's taking better care of himself now, which I'm very glad about.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 21, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | April 21, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I am beginning to genuinely hope that this clown car of haters runs Mike Green out of town, and that he goes on to win three Stanley Cups with another club like Larry Murphy did. You'd deserve it.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 21, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Not a hater, kitty. But that's just not a very bright thing to say outside the locker room.

And ftr, I never booed Larry Murphy, and was very glad for him. Ditto Gonchar.

Bruce Cassidy, on the other hand? Him I booed.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 21, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I am beginning to genuinely hope that this clown car of haters runs Mike Green out of town, and that he goes on to win three Stanley Cups with another club like Larry Murphy did. You'd deserve it.
Posted by: kittypawz | April 21, 2010 4:47 PM |

Oh yeah kp...I've thought & said the same before.

I never wish bad on any of our players while they are still here.
Never will make life tough on them either by booing or such nonsense.
I'm part of the solution not exacerbate the problem.

With regards to Murph & Gonch...multiple Cups says those haterz are wrong.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 21, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, I never booed the players - and the only [well maybe not the only] reason I booed Cassidy was because he hated Calle Johannsson, wrong because 1) he put in a lot of great years and loyal service, & 2) Calle could still play, Cassidy just couldn't see it.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 21, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Sports Illustrated is still in business? No kidding?

Posted by: caps1974 | April 21, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Mike Green is that he's about as stupid as he looks.

Posted by: alanb1 | April 21, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Price is much bigger than Hakak -- 6-feet-3, 219 vs. 5-11, 179 -- which means he's better suited to deal with the Caps' traffic in front.

Hakak who? Brodeur?

Posted by: Rhino40 | April 22, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

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