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Pothier Might Play Tonight

Here's the latest:

Pothier in, Green Out?
Appears there might be a change in plans. Brian Pothier said he expects to play tonight, though he didn't know who he's replacing. Based on what I'm hearing, it could be Mike Green, who is believed to be nursing a minor injury.

"I'm more excited than nervous," he said.

I joked that the Thrashers were scratching Ilya Kovalchuk to help him out in his first game back, to which Pothier responded with a laugh, "That's fine. I appreciate that. If they want to help out the process, that's fine with me."

Kovalchuk, as I reported earlier, is out with an upper body injury.

Boudreau on Pothier
"He's like a kid in a candy store," he said. "Physically, he's fine. He's been working out with us for two months. The mental part... is four games in Hershey enough? I don't know. If he comes back, and by the end of the season, can be back to level he was at before he got hurt, it's a huge addition to our team. It's a big question. But only time will tell."

Records on the Line
The Caps can tie a club record for consecutive victories on the road tonight by posting their sixth win in a row away from Verizon Center. That would tie the mark set in 1983-84.

The Thrashers, meantime, can set a franchise record for consecutive wins. If they beat the Caps, it will be their sixth in a row.

Theodore In
Based on the morning skate, it appears that Jose Theodore will start tonight at Philips Arena. I'm guessing that means Simeon Varlamov will play tomorrow at the Panthers.

Brash Update, Part II
Donald Brashear is, in fact, on the trip. I just didn't see him earlier because he did not skate. He told me that his knee is feeling better and that he hopes to play before the team returns home on Sunday.

Fedorov Out?
Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't say this morning whether veteran center Sergei Fedorov will play tonight. But I wouldn't count on it. If he's out with what the team is calling an "illness," that means Keith Aucoin gets back in.

Boudreau on Diets
"This is a stupid analogy," he said, referring to Saturday's sloppy 5-4 shootout win over Carolina. "But it's like a guy on a diet. You can do it for a little bit, but every now and again, I'll fall off the wagon. I think on Saturday, we fell off the wagon and said, 'Let play pond hockey again.' When you play pond hockey the goalie has to be incredible. And thank goodness Theo was."

Closing In
Alex Ovechkin needs one goal to become the first Capital to score 50 goals three times. And I'm going to go out on a limb and say that there's a good chance it happens tonight. Ovechkin has 16 career goals on Kari Lehtonen, six more than any other goalie, and his 23 against the Thrashers are his most against any opponent.

I'll check in with a lineup before the game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 16, 2009; 12:53 PM ET
 
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Next: Green 'Questionable' For Tonight

Comments

Cool. Good luck #2

Posted by: PonMan | March 16, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

from last....

Oh, and speaking of salaries, caps, and the CBA since I know we have some smart analysts on the blog, what's the deal with Avery? How is the that whole money thing working? Big contract in Dallas, cut, sent to AHL (Rangers org.), onto waivers, brought to New York. I'd like a little money timeline on who's paying what to whom (who? whom? whatever).

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

It'll be good to see how Pots reacts tonight. Its a shame Greenie will be out though!!

Posted by: Don-Ald | March 16, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

You say that Ovy will be the first Capital to score 50???

Did you mean in 3 consecutive seasons??? Or something along those lines...???

Thanks and keep up the good work!
R~

Posted by: rdiehljr | March 16, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

should that read "first capital to score 50 goals in 3 straight seasons?"

Posted by: sirbobalew | March 16, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I never thought Greenie would sit out a game, but if he'll be out tonight so be it. The game must go on. I'm happy Brian is confident in his return to the NHL.

Go get em boys!

I just love how candid our Russian guys are.

Here's a quote from Ovi:

You were literally flying on the ice...
I won't lie, I wanted to score the 50th goal at home. But, apparently, God wants me to score it in the game against Atlanta. Especially since the game will be televised nationally.

Posted by: bajgirl | March 16, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"Alex Ovechkin needs one goal to become the first Capital to score 50 goals. "

By Tarik El-Bashir | March 16, 2009; 12:53 PM ET
Previous: Pothier 'Probable' to Play This Week |

I think you mean the first Capital to accomplish the feat THRICE.

Posted by: ThisGuy | March 16, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@ThisGuy,

Excellent. Thrice.

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, mad minutes scramble on defense. What's the odds that Boudreau found out Kovy would be out and decided to cut Greenie a break? That has interesting implications on defense, too. So, if Green is out, could we be looking at:

3-26
2-4
55-23

I'm trying to stick to pairings that have been used in the past as much as possible - minimal disruption is good.

Also, what do our PP units look like?

Posted by: kittypawz | March 16, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Odds are it will happen tonight, and it wouldn't be the 1st time Ovie scored #50 in Atlanta. (rookie year), or on Versus (10 goal Boston game last year)

Posted by: BBDwrestling | March 16, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Welcome Back Pots!
Sorry to hear that Greenie is nursing something. Hope it isn't serious and that he is back for Florida tomorrow.
HOCKEY FANS - a friend of mine (former d on my men's league team) has written a book called: STARVATION LAKE- A HOCKEY MYSTERY by Bryan Gruley (www.starvationlake.com) It is a great book and must read for any hockey fan! Check it Out!

Posted by: psugolf | March 16, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to mention that Varly looked super in his last start for Hershey this past Saturday night (fortunately, a 'shoot-out' was not necessary). Best of luck to him (& Pothier)in DC

Posted by: hersheybearfan | March 16, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I just spoke with Tarik, he wants me to tell you that he meant the FIRST to score 50 goals, just as he wrote (nobody else has 49, so he will get there first).

He would like me to add that, in another development, #8 will be the first to score 50 goals three times ina row.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Of course, Tarik changed the blog entry to what he really meant....

With no Mike Green or Feds the PP point play asignments should be interesting. AO on the left - as normal (though I'd move him) and...who? How about a PP with AO, Semin, Backs, Laick, and Nyls? I think Nyls would be very good on the point because I suspect he'd stay at home and make some nice passes. He is a very good stick man. Of course, we'd lose any semblance of a slapshot from the point....

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

or Laich. Laick being the undrafted, but similarly name player, from somewhere else in Canada.

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Why not put Juice on the point? Just let him take slap shots the whole time. I suppose he needs to be a bit quicker with his release to make it work.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 16, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Brought over from the last thread:

Ric who? What was he champion of?

Since the Caps seem to have a hard time "getting up" for lesser opponents I see BB putting Varlamov in net tonight? Why? Because the boys will play EXTRA hard to make sure the rookie's confidence doesn't get shaken.

FYI, last week when the Caps were headed into Nashville I was confident they'd win but thought that having to claw for wins now would get them ready for the playoffs. Well, they've done a great job, winning each of the last 4 by one goal each. The problem. My hair is going to fall out. So, I'll take it back. How about we get some blow-outs so I can sit back and laugh as the clock runs out. LET'S GO CAPS!!!! By the way, was Verizon rocking during the shoot-out Saturday night or what?

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 16, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

on april 17th, 2008 another reference was made to this undrafted player. His orgins remain undetermined.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Juice has a whopper shot. He would score eventually with that thing, right?

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo:
Ovechkin likely will score 50 goals in three consecutive seasons, but it won't happen this year.

Two seasons ago, he scored 46.

Posted by: rw-c | March 16, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Oddly, I'd consider putting Jurcina on a PP point, as long as he stays there, just to have a good hard slapshot from the point that is capable of drilling through traffic. His only problem is accuracy. You also need a Dman back there anyway.

Also, here's a crazy idea. A really crazy idea. Can we get them to knock it off with the cute and even out the PP production between two squads by doing this:

AO/Backs/Koz/Laich/Jurcina
Semin/Nylander/Flash/Fehr/Poti

Major problem I see with the second unit is lack of anyone decent in the dot. Maybe Steckel instead of Nyls?

Posted by: kittypawz | March 16, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@capsgirl,

Juice would be nice - break some panes of glass in Atlanta. It's really a solid idea because we know Juice would stay home (what was BB's quote a few weeks ago about sports cars and trucks?). He could keep the puck in the zone and just let loose every few seconds with the Howitzer. He'd probably have time, right? Everyone watchin Back, AO, and Semin - they'd probably ignore him. I'm not sure Brooks would want to be the screen man with that thing coming in...

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

He would like me to add that, in another development, #8 will be the first to score 50 goals three times ina row.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 1:20 PM


its not 3 in a row just 3 times. 3nd year only had 47 or so.

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | March 16, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

2nd year sorry

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | March 16, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Tarik would like for me to retract his prior error and wants it to read "50 goals three times".

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

@mauree (from several posts back - sorry, got busy at work)

Did you miss where I said "I'm not complaining"?

@Lindsay

Thanks for the update. I heard some nasty rumors about the WP cutting back on beat writers and internet bloggers - wanted to make sure the biggest reason for me coming to the WP.com was sticking around.

Could we get him a camera already? :)

patrone

Posted by: patrone | March 16, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

If Pothier goes tonight he may get some PP time, remember one of the reasons they went out and got him was as a PP QB.

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 16, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

you could set Juice up, but not the same as greener, who likes that wrister. Probably better with two fowards back there, though.

I'd like to see him get a shot at that duty, just to see what he could do back there.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Pothier is going to have a goal and 2 assists on the PP tonight...Maybe a few bone crushing hits too..(OK..maybe not)

Posted by: SA-Town | March 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

3 of last 4 50 goals, 2 of last 3, and 2 of last 2. there, that simplifies it.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 16, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Also, here's a crazy idea. A really crazy idea. Can we get them to knock it off with the cute and even out the PP production between two squads by doing this:

AO/Backs/Koz/Laich/Jurcina
Semin/Nylander/Flash/Fehr/Poti

Major problem I see with the second unit is lack of anyone decent in the dot. Maybe Steckel instead of Nyls?

Posted by: kittypawz | March 16, 2009 1:36 PM

Why would they change anything on the PP when they're scoring so often? No point in evening it out when the second unit doesn't get to see the ice too much anyways.

Posted by: feyd991 | March 16, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Very Excited for Pothier!! IF he plays... but hopefully not taking Green out of the line up tonight...

Posted by: chberan | March 16, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

ds_kelly, you're thinking of Poti.

Posted by: koalatek | March 16, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Another example of Caps fans not being satisfied with this awesome team. The Caps have the 2nd best, 2nd only to Detroit, PP in the entire league. Please stop complaining about a good thing fellow Caps fans.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 16, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Any book with a character named 'soupy' automatically rocks!

Soupy loosened up his buckle as he made for the bathroom...

Posted by: gconrads | March 16, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

sales will increase if you put in soupy.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1, feyd991: Um, because we're missing both Green and Feds possibly? I'm not saying permanently, sheesh, just while they're out, what are our alternatives?

Keep your hair on, people.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 16, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

This might be too soon, but it seems nyls and backstrom work well together.

nyls on backs wing maybe?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 16, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock---Was that a serious question about Ric who?? How could anyone not know who Ric Flair is? And for those of you who are confused, this is being continued from last post.

Posted by: PhilR | March 16, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I remember being at an Atlanta home game against the Caps. It was tied in regulation ('cause #8 scored with 30 seconds left) and at the OT faceoff, #8 got the pass and beat his opponent forward, got behind the 1st defender and shot thru the other defender thru Kari and into the net, all in under 6 seconds.

You could hear a pin drop in that stadium.

Ovie won over some fans on that day, i can tell you that.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Not crazy about Juice being the lone blueliner on the PP. Yes, his shot is a howitzer, but his aim is a bb gun. His passing and skating is weaker than Poti and Pothier. I see a missed shot careening off the boards or an intercepted pass going the other way for a one on none or two on none with yet another good shot-handed team. No thanks, Juice on the PP.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 16, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@fanofhock,

I don't think there's complaining - Green is out and he mans the point and dominates on the PP. Feds has also been playing the PP of late. So, unless you think we should only play three on the PP - in lieu of figuring out who might be out there - it's not complaining.

And, I finally want to say this; I know it'll be drawn out of context, but here goes. I'm new to D.C., been here about 2 1/2 years (retired military) and never had a hockey team near where I lived. What I know, and love, are the Caps. For those that were here 30 years ago, and those that lived through all the really lean (bad?) years, I have great admiration (I'm a lifetime Cubs fan.) But, please, get over the "we have a great team now so no one should complain" hairshirt. What happened even five years ago isn't relevant to THIS team. If you read all the junky posts by Pens fans they do nothing but claim Stanley Cups from 15 years ago and Steelers SB wins as jusfication for their crappy team over the last 7-10 years (barring last season)...and we hate that. This "we're good now but don't complain because we used to suck" mentality is exactly the same thing we call them out for, in reverse.

When you want your team to do well, and discuss players and options, there's nothing wrong with it. "The woe is me" is getting a bit old. I'd think that having people interact - with strong opinions - about a team you love would be the greatest thing in the world.

There. I feel better.

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

jeeze, dude. you feel better now? Good, now go add up some numbers and bring me a milkshake while you're at it.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

does anyone have a link to watch it online tonight?

Posted by: carolinebk | March 16, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

@saintex: *stands up and applauds* THANK YOU SIR.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 16, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

anyone know a link where to watch it online?

Posted by: carolinebk | March 16, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Point well taken, though. Yes, we should limit the negativity, but not at the expense of 'why complain, we are pretty good'. No retreat, no surrender. Take no prisoners, kill them all.......*wife throws a shoe and threatens to call the psychiatrist.....again*

Really, I want the Caps to show me that they HATE to lose. They like to win, yes, but do they HATE to lose?

Come playoff time, we will see.

I luv 'em, but that doesn't mean I wont tan some hides if need be.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@caroline

You can watch at hockeystreams.com - about $4 a day for every game, $10 a month. Works best for me since I don't have any cable.

@whygo,

What flavor?

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I wish Tarik would do the live chat thing at 7pm. Oh well. Anyway, I think BB should play Varly tonight (Atlanta not as good, obviously) and Theo tomorrow vs. the Panthers, but I guess he's got other ideas.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 16, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

saintex: Very well said. I'm one of those fans who lived through the 'lean years' but I agree with you whole-heartedly.

Posted by: tess2201 | March 16, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Why, Navy Blue, sir!

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@WhyGo

I totally agree with you. I'm hoping that Feds' experience really rubs off on them as the playoffs approach. He's the guy on the ice that knows the pressures and successes in the post-season; I think he's invaluable. Such a different mentality this year - instead of scrambling, which heightens the focus; it's a matter of keeping it going when everythings is pretty much safe, as far as the playoffs are concerned, this season. Seems like a fine to tune up the machine instead of relaxing.

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, man, Navy!

I think AF blue would be better.

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

yeah, they do seem to be on a downhill coast. Long, hard slog a pro hockey season is, so I guess it's hard to fault them too much. I just want to see that killer mojo in the post-season.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

remember in the movie 300? when the guy says to the humpback "may you live forever"?

instead of that, let's just say that the AF has good food.

hehe.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

my prediction is pothier plays a game here or there, doesn't meet expectations and doesn't make the playoff roster. you heard it here first ! :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 16, 2009 1:09 PM

there is cstanton1 again - Mr. Negativity... are you the same guy that was at the Hershey Bears game that told the ref he should have been on that plane with his family? - http://johnwaltonhockey.blogspot.com/2009/03/two-ugly-incidents-saturday-night.html
I was at that game that night - guess you were too acting like a fool.
Like someone else said - real classy.

Posted by: _828 | March 16, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Another example of Caps fans not being satisfied with this awesome team. The Caps have the 2nd best, 2nd only to Detroit, PP in the entire league. Please stop complaining about a good thing fellow Caps fans.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 16, 2009 2:00 PM


these kinds of comments are more idiotic than any troll that comes over here. Discussion to some idiots = "gloom and doom" and abject negativity.

here's a clue pal, fans can come on here and post completely critical observations about their team and it still doesn't mean what you think it does.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 16, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau: If he comes back, and by the end of the season, can be back to level he was at before he got hurt, it's a huge addition to our team.

this to me is just posturing by our coach. Brian Pothier was not a great defenseman by any stretch prior to his injury. He's shown a lot of courage trying to come back but to expect him to be a great addition after this much time off even if he plays the way he did before is ludicrous. He may have a good shift or even a decent game overall here and there but game in and game out he is not a solid NHL defenseman. Fans who complain about turnovers by Schultz and Green, wait till you see Pothier in action again. He gets pressured into turnovers the same way some of our other defensemen do. And unlike Schultz who is big enough to shake off the odd check, Pothier coughs up the puck too frequently if a forechecking forward crowds him deep in our zone. With no pressure on him he can look smooth. But how often is there no pressure on our defensemen? Certainly not in the playoffs where you barely can breathe before getting hit hard.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 16, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

the plane, boss, the plane!

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I wanted to throw out some Backstrom love.

I think there was a post a within the last few days that tallied up the sneaky good season that he's having but there's even more to it than the numbers. He is very quickly becoming a dominant player at his position. He plays both ends of the ice very well, he's always back, gets a ton of pucks in the corners, and skates well out of the zone. He's also learned the "stiff arm" of using his left to keep off defenders in the offensive zone while he's moving the puck behind the net. It's not often you see anyone get the puck off his stick deep in the offensive end. He's scoring more, piling up assist, and impressing me all around.

I know we know - here in D.C. - how good he is but I think he's going to be a top three center in the near future.

And...he never seems to get too out of whack on the emotional side. I love me some Backstrom.

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1, I'm not saying Pothier is going to come back and be a stud, but give the guy a chance before you say he is going to suck. Why, cause you don't know what's going to happen.
Some stuff you post is legit... but others, it's just like - Green sucks, he turns the puck over... so what? he is 24 years old... that is what I expect him to do. You act as if we have a bunch of veterans on the team and we don't. Then, you come on here tooting your two cents in a negative way... where does that get you? Are you personally able to change the team? How has that worked out for you so far?
I understand people are going to post whatever... but, when people like you say the team is not going to make it past the first round because they did not pick up a goalie or a defensman... well, that just makes me question all your comments. If you can see the future, by all means, let me know... but, until then, people coming on here to bash players - well, I can give them my two cents.

Posted by: _828 | March 16, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@ Saintex

Agreed. Backstrom is turning out to be even better than we could have imagined. And just think about how much more he'll do for Ovie in only one more year?

It makes me water at the mouth as a Caps fan.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | March 16, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, will we have anything definite on MG prior to game time

Posted by: dreamteam49 | March 16, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | March 16, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

Last time Pothier played the whole team sucked...So whats your point?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 16, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Since Schultz does such a wonderful job in screening OUR goalies, I think we ought to park him out there on the PP and tell him to do the EXACT SAME THING to the opponent's goalie. And I'm only being half sarcastic about that suggestion.

Posted by: CindyJennings | March 16, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town, he doesn't have a point - he doesn't think of those things. He thinks short term and in the moment. Last month, he hated Semin... now, he has a Semin jersey.

Posted by: _828 | March 16, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

@koalatek - nope, Pothier was signed a year before Poti and in his first year in DC led the Caps D-men in scoring here is a quote from comcast sports Caps page from when he signed:

Pothier has a low panic threshold and clears the zone effectively. He is a mobile defenseman who can lead the transition with a strong pass out of his zone, and he has latent powerplay quarterback instincts.

Poti was brought in the next year since the Caps still gave up 3rd most goals in East and finished ahead of only the Phlowers (ok that part is irrelevant but I couldn't help myself).

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 16, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Cindyjennings meet cstanton, I think you two will get along wonderfully. Just a hunch.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 16, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Ovie asked the air "what is wrong with my a$$?".

The air replied "the problem is not with your a$$, it is what is INSIDE the a$$"

Ovie farts. Pardon me, but that is funny.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

NHL.com asks is Ovie the second coming of Rocket: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=414102&navid=DL|NHL|Home

Posted by: Southwester | March 16, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I think Nyls would be very good on the point because I suspect he'd stay at home and make some nice passes. He is a very good stick man. Of course, we'd lose any semblance of a slapshot from the point....

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 1:25 PM

Juice has a whopper shot. He would score eventually with that thing, right?

Posted by: WhyGo | March 16, 2009 1:33 PM


23 on the point...hmmm...Yes, he must score eventually--or break (more) glass trying. Besides, having OV doing the ol' "grip it and rip it" from the dots gives the enemy netminder even less time to react...

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 16, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

saintex

You asked about how Avery's salary doesn't shoot NYR's cap. I don't know their numbers, and I rather distrust NHLSCAP, but... Avery was brought to the Rags on call-up waivers. When Dallas sent him down to the AHL team, NY (or any team) could have picked him up then at his full salary. By waiting until Dallas called him up, Dallas now pays half his salary and carries half the cap hit for NYR.

We did the same thing with Montreal this year with Kronwall.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 16, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@southwester,

Holy crap! I just read the article and I think it's a nice comparison. Even some Montreal folks don't find it out-of-bounds.

What even more amazing is Hartnell. I've not liked (hated) Hartnell for a few reasons: he plays for the Flyers, that hair kills me, and seems like a jerk. After the last few weeks I still don't like Hartnell because he's a Flyer, but that's it. Apparently, he's been growing his hair to donate to cancer survivors, and he gives a pretty good, and honest, interview. It's nice to hear someone like Hartnell chuck out the compliments.

Don't get me wrong, I'll still boo him but it's simply because he's wearing an orange-and-black Flyer sweater.

Great story.

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

@ Saintex

Agreed. Backstrom has quietly, even here in DC, become an elite player, imo. He's not flashy like Ovie, Semin, or even Green, but he's racked up some rather gaudy numbers, 100% under the radar.

Now, if only he could win some face-offs!

But, has anyone noticed his hair lately? He's sporting this strange, bleached-out Swede-fro. EPIC FAIL! Time to stage an intervention.

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 16, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

@Greg,

Cool. A pretty smallish hit on the remainder of the season then for the Rangers. If they keep him do they have to pay his contract salary (signed with Dallas) next year or is there provisions in the CBA to dumpt that salary and start anew?

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

saintex,
I have a real issue with Hartnel as well, however, I saw him in the penalty box hitting his stick on the glass when everyone was standing up to salute the troops... I thought that was pretty impressive. I didn't know about the hair thing as well... pretty crazy... maybe it is that whole black and orange thing!

Posted by: _828 | March 16, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie

He didn't get his hair cut last year, either. He has a hair stylist in the homeland that does it when he goes back. I don't think that there's any donation of his locks to a cause or anything. He just really likes this particular stylist.

At least that was the story last year.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 16, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@Red,

The SweFro is getting out of hand but he's 20 and likes to sport those numbered hats he's buying everyone. After seeing Feds win 16 of 24 (?) faceoffs in Nash (or was it Philly?) we've got just the man to teach him. Of course, I doubt Feds would worry too much about his hair - 91 is still rockin' the Russian hockey mullet and he's almost 40. Ah, Feds.

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

All teams have holes. Even the Wings and Sharks and Bruins and Devils. No team will ever have a D full of Lidstroms (who by the way makes mistakes too) or Gretzskys and even if they did, they could not afford to keep them. So, you fill the holes up with the best young players you can get. You let them grow and mature so that when they are in position to really succeed you can fill in your new holes with younger players. It is a cycle.

My point is this, we will always have holes even when we win the SC. The best teams find a way to limit the exposure of those holes (sounds weird)and win regardless.

Could we have taken another D man or goalie at the deadline? Maybe, but then we would not have the youth to fill in our future holes consistently and then we would be complaining about other things.

I have been a fan for over 30 years and I like this team and their future. It has been put together better than any other Caps team in history. Not just for now but going forward.

Does it drive me crazy that they make mistakes? Of course it does, but my kids make mistakes too and I don't get all over them about it. I help them learn. Just like the Caps FO.

So for the negative ninnies out there, you don't have to accept all that is rosy and not give opinions but get off the soapbox about how we need to improve this team through other players. Improvement will come with maturation and from within.

We now return our regularly scheduled programming.

Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 16, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@CTCaps,

Next time the kid doesn't do his job, pick up another kid off waivers or at the deadline and slot him in - it's the only way.

Nice post.

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't goal #50 AND point #400 be sweet?

That's right. Ovechkin is only one point away from 400. Here's hoping he kills two birds with one stone tonight!!

Posted by: virkulous | March 16, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

saintex, Avery's contract is still valid for however long it is. I think the Stars pick up half of Avery contract for all of those years (and half gets charged to both the Stars and Rangers' caps).

Posted by: koalatek | March 16, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

NYR buys half the contract remaining. It was pretty much agreed to in order to get him out of Dodge - or in this case, Dallas. Dallas gets half his salary cap hit back. If they hadn't done this, he'd still be fully on their books, because he was poison. No one was going to touch him. NY thought he might be worth the risk, but only at half the hit.

Proved to be a good risk so far. 4 goals in 6 games? Not too shabby. Dallas now has more cap space. Worked out OK for all sides.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 16, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Feds is so awesome he can do whatever he wants! 3 Stanley Cups says "I rock Russian mullet!" (or is it "In Russia, mullet rock you!"?)

But its not so much Nicky's little SwedeFro, but the fact that he bleached it! It screams "But Ovechkin and Semin said it would attract the ladies!"

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 16, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@saintex

I would, but my 5 year old son already has a wicked one timer. I see a lot of future with him.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 16, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Beat Atlanta!

Geez, it's still hard for me to get up for these division games...the NHL really screwed up with realignment.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 16, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

@CT CAPS FAN

Thats a great post, but you left out the fact that Shultz doesnt hit anyone, Theodore is our weak link, Nylander is overpaid and wont be moved like he should, Steckel cant score, and Backstroms hair is too long.

We will never win until Ovie gets a front tooth.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 16, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

@ SA-Town,

I know your response is tongue and cheek but for those that actually believe that, Shultz is one of the youngsters, Theo is no longer a weak link and he is only one more year (and according to my sister he is cute so I guess we can when a beauty contest), Nyls is a hole we are living to deal with, Stecks is not paid to score and Backies air reminds me of a greek goddess blowing in the wind as he glides down the ice on horseback.

Also, OV will lose the rest of his teeth before he gets a new front tooth.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 16, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

@ SA-Town,

I know your response is tongue and cheek but for those that actually believe that, Shultz is one of the youngsters, Theo is no longer a weak link and he is only one more year (and according to my sister he is cute so I guess we can when a beauty contest), Nyls is a hole we are living to deal with, Stecks is not paid to score and Backies air reminds me of a greek goddess blowing in the wind as he glides down the ice on horseback.

Also, OV will lose the rest of his teeth before he gets a new front tooth.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 16, 2009 4:40 PM

Does the beauty contest mean the whole team (Semin and Schultz will drag us down!), or do we get to pick our top 3 or 5? In that case, the Caps totally win the NHL beauty contest :p

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 16, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm proud to be a brunette, but I have to confess to a bit of envy when I see Nick's flowing blonde locks. He does need to cut it, though. Can't he afford to fly said favorite stylist over to cut it here?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 16, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Should say Backies hair

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 16, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I believe we can pick the best 3-5 to represent. Maybe a contest within the team to pick a finalist.

I really want to be in another country when it gets to the bathing suit and evening gown competition though.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 16, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I have been going over line combos in my head as we come to a stretch run and I wanted to see what all of you hockey experts thought the playoff lines would be...... I am just throwing them out and this is what I think would serve us best..

8-19-25
28-92-16
As much as I don't like Nyls, I think he has got to be on a scoring line and he has got to pick up his game for a deep run.
21-91-14
This could be one of the best shutdown lines in the playoffs with massive amounts of scoring potential. In the playoffs, you need a line like this.
87-39-10/15
I am not a big fan of this line with Brash or Bradley on it. I think you need Brash in the playoffs to make sure no funny stuff happens but he didn't raise a hand during the Philly series. He needs to remember what his job is. Bradley is painful to watch through these eyes. 9 pts in 70 games is absolutely horrible, and I've played hockey my entire life....Watching your teammate get the sh*t kicked out of himself is not always the spark you are looking for, especially in a 7 game series...


The D-fence is even harder to choose....
We have 2 Right handed D-men and 6 Lefties. The two righties are Greenie and Jurcina, both of which I think should start... The 6 Lefties are Poti, Pothier, Mo, Alzner, Erskine, and Schultz... Poti is a gamer so he gets a jersey, if Pothier can get back to the way he was, hes a top 4 d-man on any team, Morrisonn seems to have great chemistry with Greener so I guess he gets one. I dont think Alzner has played enough in the NHL this year to jump right into the playoffs, keep him in Hershey and let him feel what it is like there...So I believe that leaves 55 and 4. I think 55 has shown that he is not a gamer and last year basically b*tched out of the series because its physical nature. Erskine is a bit slow but has shown he is an adequete 5-6 dman and a physical force. He moves people out from the goalie and is not afraid to drop'em. I am giving him the sweater.

So

26-52
3-23
4-2

What do you think?

Posted by: numero94 | March 16, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

@CTCaps

Shultz is probably one of the best D-men at the league for his price. He does what is asked of him, and makes decent decisions for being so young. You are right that he fills a hole nicely and opens up bank-roll for Mike Green's Lamborghini.

I really did like your post though..The lineup is all about balance. The Penguins are playing better now, but we saw what happens when you put too much money in the wrong places.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 16, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom probably bleached his hair so EA Sports gets it right next year. In NHL 09, Backstrom has black hair!

Posted by: rw-c | March 16, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Nickie didn't accompany the Alexes on their recent visit to the Hair Cuttery.

@RedBirdie:
You have GOT to be kidding me! Semin?!? Have you ever seen the guy?

Posted by: 28_is_amazing | March 16, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@ 94

i think those line combos are pretty solid. nylander is tough to figure out a place to slot him in

Posted by: _stevo | March 16, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Hair Cuttery give me the shivers.

Didn't Nick go back to Sweden over the All-Star break? I'm getting suspish, was his stylist gone or is that when he went blond?

"This is some serious ish we're dealing with..." - Crash Davis

I expect some background on Backs' hair in tomorrow's post form Katie or Tarik.

By the way, great job on the coverage.

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Wait, is Nick blonder than usual? I thought he was always that blonde. I apparently haven't been paying enough attention.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 16, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

jmu, my friend said the same thing about Nick's hair... I thought it was that blonde, however, I am a guy and I really don't pay attention to dude's hair color or lady's nail color and whatever else there is.

Looks the same to me only longer. But, we are going through the same thing we did last season... he wont cut it here.

Posted by: _828 | March 16, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

BTW - CTCapsPhan, great post... however, you might have used too much logic for some of the people on here to understand.

Posted by: _828 | March 16, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Saintex:

Don't know the exact cap implications, but the Rangers are on the hook for 50% of Avery's salary for the length of his contract (I believe it's 4 years) -- Stars still obligated to pay the remaining 50%.

Posted by: fugitivemango | March 16, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Nick is usually more of strawberry blonde. He's looking a little more Barbie blonde these days.

As far as line combos (what's more interesting? the game or the hair? hmmm...), it doesn't make sense to put 92 on the second line just because you'd like more productivity out of him. 28-19 and 28-91 are far more effective pairings than 28-92. This team has been amazing this season without/in spite of 92.

We need more secondary scoring from 14 & 16 like we were getting in Jan/Feb.

Posted by: 28_is_amazing | March 16, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

were talking about players hair color and hair styles...what in the wide world of sports is going on here? lets get back to grumbling about lines, whether brash is worth $1M per year and if schultz will get benched in favor of a traffic cone. geez.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 16, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Man, I'd hate to be on the hook for half of Avery's contract (how much is it and for how long?) while he's playing for another team. That would piss me off. Have the Caps run into that situation recently? I'm guessing the Stars are eating at least a couple mil a season. That's a couple of good young defensemen.

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@dcsports,

I think we've dealt with all the sports stuff....it happens. We're all just waiting on game time and are a pretty punchy crowd. I got nothing left on lines, BP02, Varly, d-men, or salary caps.

Another 90 minutes and we can blow that game open.

Posted by: saintex | March 16, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie, what are you talkin' about?! Semin is SO cute... he has a beautiful face. In fact, he's one of the best looking guys on the Caps. Theo is cute also, as is Brooksy. I don't think a lot of people would agree with me on this but I think Flash is kinda cute too. But the cutest of all is Neuvy, sadly he isn't here right now. Oh and Schultz... I agree with you on. ;/ Okay I think we're done talking about beauty contests now, I don't even know how this started.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 16, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

_828, I'm the worst girl ever for noticing stuff like that. Its got to be a pretty drastic deviation from "normal" for it to even register.
Well, I hope the Caps come out hungry for 2 and I can come home to a win tonight. Off to class! Let's go Caps!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 16, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm almost embarrassed to post since it really does feel like we've all run out of things to talk about. We got ourselves doing predictions on who'd win a beauty contest and then I recall seeing someone make a post somewhere today joking about putting their kid up on waivers if they make a mistake and then call up another kid from the minors. Sadly, someone had to mad dog my buddy Alexander Semin about dragging down the teams man quotient because they found him unattractive, so I felt compelled to defend him. With that, I'm just gonna' defer to rachel216's opinion about Alexander Semin. Geez, new thread! Please!!! *snicker*

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 16, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

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