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Pothier Scratched Tonight

Interim Coach Bruce Boudreau just said that Brian Pothier will be a healthy scratch against the Thrashers. The veteran defenseman will be replaced in the lineup by John Erskine, Boudreau said.

Pothier ranks fifth on the team in scoring with two goals and 10 points and is tied with Alex Ovechkin for the team lead in plus/minus with a rating of plus-4. But his errant pass in the first period of last night's 3-2 loss in New Jersey has apparently earned him a seat in the press box.

"I just think that his play has not been up to the way he's capable of playing," Boudreau said. "It's not that he's any worse than anyone else. But I think he's got more to give. Sometimes when you've never sat out in the year and a half that he's been here, sometimes looking from above will give him a different perspective and Monday he'll come back with a vengeance. That's the hope, anyway."

Boudreau also said he's made other changes to the line combinations, but he declined to go into much detail about them.

Olie Kolzig will be in net, Boudreau said.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 8, 2007; 5:30 PM ET
 
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Next: Boudreau Outtakes

Comments

sending a message, its about time. would work out better if there was better depth defensively and it didnt have to be Erskine or Eminger coming in.

Posted by: Donald | December 8, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I cried a little bit when I read this! I beginning to fall in love with Coach Boudreau. I am really beginning to think this is just what this team needs, everyone, and I mean everyone needs to be held accountable and I respect that a lot!!!! And hearing that volcano boy is finally being held accountable for his performance is something the fans around here including myself have been calling for (and of course something a little more extreme) to happen for a long time. How a guy like Jurcina could be benched for several games for poor play (and yes he did go through a bad little bout) but volcano boy was permitted to continue his horror show night after night is something that has left me stunned for weeks now. Bravo Bruce! You have my complete support now!!!

Posted by: Puddin_an_Semin | December 8, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

How about giving us the Nylander story ?
You know it's juicy.

Posted by: Chief | December 8, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

good decision - as I watched that pass last night I thought to myself "now, he shouldn't be playing tomorrow....but there's no chance that will happen"

I think Eminger should be in ahead of Erskine though

Posted by: dmg | December 8, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I am guessing Nyls got hurt at home. Maybe he dropped a mirror on his foot... or got checked hard by one of his kids. Probably told his wife that he asked to be traded to Edmonton.

Posted by: 5 minutes of intensity | December 8, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Folks,

Don't get me wrong, so far I like what BB is doing, but... if he won't do what he does, such as sitting Potier or saying that the King is naked (referring Olie's soft goal from backhander of defensive defenceman Vishnevsky), he is gone by All-Star break...

That's why I like when Tarik always puts 'interim' there... :-)

I am telling you, it takes several years for the Coaches of Scotty Bowman caliber to get the team going... I am afraid Boudreau won't have this luxury... It's bad because I like him...


Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 8, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Pothier was a very expensive mistake. I haven't liked him all season. He must leave DC, he is lazy and lacks motivation. I too support Coach Boudreau in his decision to bench Pothier.

I say bench Pothier for the next game as well, and kick his ass in practice.

Posted by: AZR | December 8, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Can we just do lashes like in Sudan?

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 8, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

i'm thinking we'll see backstrom-ovechkin-semin tonight.

Posted by: pgreene | December 8, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

like an Alzheimer patient I'll find myself cheering for the Caps no matter what. Brain-pushing them for every battle and getting pissed if they lose. Where are my antacids?

Arg lol.

Posted by: mauree | December 8, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Schultz flattened Nylander in practice. The Swede's circling device is bruised but does not require surgery.


Posted by: redlineblue | December 8, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

alexovetjkin,

here's the records of teams Bowman's coached in firs first and second year with them:

23-21-14
37-25-14

46-16-16
52-10-16

18-10-7
38-29-13

39-32-9
56-21-7

46-30-8
33-11-4

...so I don't know about "several years" to get going

Posted by: dmg | December 8, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you go Gabby!

Listening to the walkman while taking the dog out, and it was just a great blast from the past to hear Ron Weber interviewed. His favorite radio moment as a the Caps radio voice was Hunter's goal against the Flyers in that seventh playoff game that alowed the Caps to advance. While he was the voice of the Caps, they made the playoffs 14 straight years.

Did you hear that? Oh it was just the Caps disappearing...

Posted by: Clarendon | December 8, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

OK, so why is BB not sitting Olie and playing Johnson? Slap and spit but he can't have it both ways. I guess that is why BB is still interim. Come on, let's really play the plan. Get it folks?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 8, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

About time Pothier was benched for stupid bonehead blays. Should happen to the rest of the team--especially those players who continue to make blind passes right to the middle of the ice. Maybe the players need to institute a kangeroo court and really start fining stupid plays--real fines that get into big money. The money could go into a pot to help Ted bring in people who really want to play--and show it with their intelligent efforts.

Posted by: Phoco | December 8, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I pledge allegiance, to Boudreau...

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | December 8, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Overall the Caps played Much better in the Jersey loss than the Panthers win. Much more cohesive, and it's great to see them attack on the penalty kill.

We still can't hang with Jersey, but we were a much better team in a short span with the exception of a few key mental lapses.

Diving or not, Semin is going to get a reputation as a pushover if he doesn't watch it.

Posted by: Icebat | December 8, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

well this has been a surprise so far...

Posted by: jim* | December 8, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

@Ice,
Semin already has that rep. When his new contract kicks in, he will be pushed around even more. Time to put up or shut up and hopefully he does not end up giving. Guess we will see.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 8, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Semin did take some abuse on Schultzes goal. That was nice to see.
Can't believe the scoring tonite...
It's nice to see somebody besides OV lighting the lamp.

Posted by: pmoravek | December 8, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

what a goal by Green.

Posted by: mauree | December 8, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

caps plan on getting all of their goals of the season in 2 games. lol

Posted by: jim* | December 8, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

i think green could be the D a franchise is built around

Posted by: czechsmix | December 8, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully this will help Nyl's and Clarkie's therapy.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 8, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

so far Green is +6, just in this game. he's been on the ice for every goal, and not been on the time the trashers scored

Posted by: czechsmix | December 8, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but Olie let in a complete softy on the 3rd goal

Posted by: czechsmix | December 8, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

@czech,
I say again, "soft" was used last night. Johnson needs to play if BB can truely evaluate.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 8, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I've been saying since two days before Thanksgiving (thank you for Coach B.) that what this team needed was a coach who would hold EVERYONE accountable. Extend your shift? Sit out your next shift. Stupid turnover? Lackadaisical efffort? Have a night or two off. Gabby is our man. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Posted by: Kevbpgc | December 8, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

is it me or the ice looked better tonight?

Posted by: mauree | December 8, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

WooooHoooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: kevbpgc | December 8, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

@Bernie

I completely agree

Posted by: czechsmix | December 8, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Clarendon-
I was a college freshman in spring of '88 when Huntsie beat Hextall for that goal. I had dropped a tab about 20 mins. before the goal and was watching the game before heading out to a party. What a night ;)

Posted by: kevbpgc | December 8, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

@dmg
A couple of days ago I watched Red Wings swept by NJ in SCF on NHL network. This was the year (1995) when RWs won the Presidents Trophy. A year passed after that and then RWs won two SC in a row.

Yeah, that's a pipe dream for Caps now, but even if you make over .500, it's a long way after that to SCF for a Coach and a team.

Now did anyone notice that a "giant midget" Schlutz scored a go-ahead goal? Hello?

Viva Papa Schlutz!

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 8, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Schultz rules! (hopefully the spelling is correct now) :-)

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 8, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

FREE WINGS FROM THE AUSTIN GRILL!

Posted by: 6 GOALS | December 8, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Very nice. Glad to see that someone other than AO can score. About damned time!

Now, Green, a very good D-man, has 7 goals. That's really nice. I'm really pleased with his play. Why is he the second leading scorer?

Will we see this team on Monday? Wednesday? From here on out? Why do we have to beat them up to get something from them?

Posted by: Greg S. | December 8, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

And Schultz still sux. He can't clean out squat. Their stuff in was courtesy of Schultz. That was his man that skated around him and put it in.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 8, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Just got home from the game - Olie looked like an All-Star goalie at times, then let in the 3rd one from Holik. Soft doesn't begin to describe that one!

Brash was wearing the "A" tonight and played pretty well - for him anyway. Couldn't believe he didn't drop the gloves any. Ditto Bradley and Erskine.

Semin seemed to be getting some legs back, but he is easy to take off his skates. He's going to pick up many more diving calls if he keeps it up. That being said, he did draw 2 penalties tonight, not that they weren't deserved.

Ovie's play continues to impress. I had nightmares of them washing out his goal as I'm pretty sure it went in off his boot. Had flashbacks to the Carolina game, but thank goodness they didn't even really confer on it. Got the crowd back into it with a couple of nice checks. And if you doubt his heart, watch the tape for his diving play near center ice to clear the puck deeper into Thrasher territory. It was 6-1 or 6-2 at that time, and his play allowed us a clean line change.

I haven't read the final stats, but we seemed to own Atlanta on the faceoffs, and that without Gordon or Nylander. Laing continues to impress, with another critical blocked shot. Motko didn't particularly impress or disappoint.

Schultz looked so lost when the puck came to his stick for his goal. Thank God he shot it, though. I fully expected him to pass. That seemed to give him some confidence as he took the body on someone shortly thereafter and got a couple more shots on goal throughout the rest of the game.

And Green - his second goal was something you'd expect from Semin. Top shelf, short side, water bottle. He has impressed me all season with his play, and tonight really capped it off.

Posted by: alpca3877 | December 8, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else think of Paul Coffey when they watch Green? Very smooth skating, agile & a variety of shots.

Posted by: sidehillman | December 8, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

semin should have drawn at least 2 more that i saw.

Posted by: jim* | December 8, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Did you all hear BB's postgame press conference about Brash's role? Brash is fine and he nor Bradley are responsible for our current situation. Besides, the players choose who wear the letters so let's put that to rest. They both played well tonight.

Also, admit it fans. Atl was off their game and we kept pressing like a good team should. Hope this continues for a winning streak! Go Caps!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 8, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

YE OF LITTLE FAITH!! I told you they could win tonight!! :-) Now let's just hope they win Mon ... if not, they could tailspin the rest of the week, and that would not be fun, especially since I am going Wed and Fri!! ;-) Regardless, that was a fun game to watch (even if ATL was off their game) ... I hope they only get better with the return of the missing 3. Woo hoo!

BTW "5 minutes of intensity" - I think you are right - he said Edmonton and can't remember anything after that ...

Posted by: Boo! | December 8, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I just hope the hockey gods don't convince gmgm (or whoever our gm is 4 years from now) to trade Green for a bunch of draft picks. That kid has the potential for greatness, we need to sign him to a loonnnnggggg contract.

Posted by: Steve R | December 8, 2007 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me where the Austin Grill is? I want my free wings!

Posted by: Steve R | December 8, 2007 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Schultz got a lucky goal (Semin hitting the deck was hilarious, btw), but he still hits like freaking pillow on skates.

This win was largely due to Kari Lehtonen being off his game, which he seems to do from time to time. All three of the goals against were ridiculous, our defense was still weak, and our offense looked more lucky than skilled for most of the goals; this team isn't going to get anywhere unless we become NJ Devilish on the forecheck, or upgrayedd our defense.

@BernieWolfeFan
No, Brash still sucks. He can't pass. He can't skate. He can't shoot. He can't check. He fumbles the puck. He can get penalties like crazy. He can fight, but he barely does that any more. Who cares? Ovechkin, our most aggressive and powerful hitter, needs "protection"? More "protection" than Bradley and Erskine and Clark and Laich can provide?

I think not. I don't think we need a goon on this hockey team. As for Brash "giving his linemates room", I haven't seen that happen at all. Why would a defensemen get intimidated when Brash comes a-wobbling at them? What's he gonna do, Schultz their face into the boards and give 'em a power play?

Don't get me wrong, I think Brash is a good guy, and I like him. But I don't think he should be skating when we have a full roster.

Posted by: MikeZ | December 9, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

@Mauree -

The ice at Verizon Center DID look better tonight - during all three periods. I wonder what happened.

Posted by: Hockey Dad | December 9, 2007 12:07 AM | Report abuse

@MikeZ
Brash didn't do any of the things you talked about since a few games now. And I thought he played rather well tonight. I don't know what you're talking about and I'm gonna dismiss you with a "bah!".

I'm watching the interviews. My god, Backstrom looks like 16 years old lol. Some of our guys (Green included) look like they didn't even start shaving yet... so young. If they can grow up nicely they're going to win big things in the future (hopefully with the Caps).


Posted by: mauree | December 9, 2007 12:20 AM | Report abuse

@MikeZ,
Ouch, you make Brash sound like a Jerry's Kid LOL. Well, BB did see the "room" so do you think he is wrong?. Besides if Brash was so cross eyed, I'm sure Boudreau would have no problem sitting him next to Pothier in the press box on Monday.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 9, 2007 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Even if Brash stopped getting thrown in the sin bin (which he has, for now) or fumbling the puck (which he hasn't), it doesn't change the fact that he's a slow skater with ECHL-class skills, and is taking a slot on the roster that SHOULD be filled by Clymer, or Sutherby, or Laing, or Bourque, (or Zubrus, or Zednik...)

Posted by: MikeZ | December 9, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse

@BWF
I'm sure Brash won't be benched, because he didn't make any major screw-ups this last game. I just don't think he's NHL-calibre.

Also, we're lacking three players. That kind of ties BB's hands. But, when Gordo and Clark get back, I would like to see Laing stay in the line-up and Brash take some time off...

Posted by: MikeZ | December 9, 2007 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Mike Z,
You're an idiot.

Posted by: Puckguru | December 9, 2007 3:16 AM | Report abuse

ANOTHER glaring mistake by GM.
Signing Pothier, especially for that price.

Bringing back Nylander, that too will end up a disaster, so will Kozlov.

Posted by: Chief | December 9, 2007 3:41 AM | Report abuse

Attended last night's game and it was great to get a win. Impressed that we scored 6 goals and I have my ticket stub and I need to know where there is an Austin Grill so I can get my free pound of wings. Is there really an Austin Grill????

Mitch ~ I got to use BOTH armrests last night! That, of course, is an indication that the game was modestly attended.....

Posted by: Wanda | December 9, 2007 7:21 AM | Report abuse

@MikeZ

Admittedly, last night was not Kari Lehtinen's finest hour.

Our forecheck was more aggressive and directly resulted in the first goal of the game. It also seemed to throw Atlanta off their game, so I think you have to give some credit to the Caps for the poor showing Atlanta had overall. They didn't let them do what they like to do. Defensively, our play in the neutral zone and in our own end (where we need more physicality) admittedly could be better. The power play still needs lots of work. The penalty kill was not bad. Offensively, more shots and more traffic. Overall, I can see systems that we're trying to implement rather than having the sense things are just chaotic, so I think we ought to give them a little time and see where they are in a few weeks before coming to any conclusions. As to Olie, there were times he stood on his head as well as times he didn't, and I thought his game last night was a mixed bag. And I suspect Semin now has the rep for being a diver, so he's not going to get some calls when they are legitimate.

The ice didn't look as atrocious as it did in the previous game, but it still was a long way from being good.

Finally, I wish someone had decked Exelby, who I thought rook way too many liberties. I guess his -4 on the night speaks for itself, and maybe we were better off with him on the ice rather than off, but I really thought he deserved to be called out.

Posted by: Fred | December 9, 2007 7:21 AM | Report abuse

It's time to get off of Shultz's back. His role on he D is not the punishing checker but rather the positionally cognizant stay-at-home defenceman. Can he get tougher? Yes, but his style is a less aggressive approach in favor of being in position and in the "New NHL" it's important to have a defenceman like him. He rarely makes risky passes like Pothier and he moves the pucks effectively out of his zone. His size makes him a good asset on the penalty kill as his wingspan takes up a lot of space and once again he is well positioned. He just doesn't make a lot of mistakes and keeps the game simple just like BB likes it. He's also a plus player and on a team at the bottom of the league in goals scored certainly says something. So let's get off his back and channel the positive. BTW I thought Jurcina had his best game as a Cap last night. Maybe Pothier can sit a little longer

Posted by: Darryl Hockey | December 9, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Pothier should have to buy a ticket to Caps games. He hurts the team more than Jagr ever did, and we PAID to get rid of Jagr.

Posted by: Jupe | December 9, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@Daryl Hockey

Schultz has 2 goals and 1 assist? One assist? Poti and Pothier have 8, Morrison has 6. D-men are supposed to have high numbers in assists. He is incapable of clearing the crease. These are his job duties. All he does is take up space on the ice, bench and salary cap. One goal doesn't make him a hero.

@MikeZ

On Brashear - again. No, he's not greased lightning out there, and he doesn't score a lot. He is definately punishing on the ice. He's a very physical player that makes people think about where he is on the ice.

He apparently didn't like playing for Hanlon, but likes Coach B, because his game has markedly improved. He's passing very well to guys in front of the opponent's net very well and generates chances. He hasn't had any penalties that I can think of since Coach B came in.

Do I love him? Not really, but he does what is asked of him and he does it well. He's a tough guy that can clean out an area.

He's one of the few out there that will stand up for his linemates, and that's important for a TEAM. This is one area that the Caps have to work on - standing up for eachother. This is what all the great teams do day in and out. Brashear is a model for that. He played 4 years for the Flyers and Canadiens, 5 for the Canucks. These aren't teams that are deficient in tough guys, but are all teams that have the respect of the other NHL teams in part because of them and guys like Brashear.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 9, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@Darryl Hockey: I could live with Schultz if he was an effective non-hitter, but he's not. He regularly allows the opponent inside access to the net.

Posted by: keef | December 9, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

So what if Schultz got a lucky goal or we were lucky because of XYZ ... how many times have we seen games where the other team got a lucky bounce or lucky whatever?!? It is about time that the Caps got a break ... LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: Boo! | December 9, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I didn't mention a word about Schultz's goal intentionally because he is not player where goals or assists should be a barometer of his ability. Rather, the +/- is a better gauge and he is a + player on a team with low offensive output. He can and should get tougher in the corners and especially in front of the net. He is a position defenceman and moves the puck well. In time he is going to be a good serviceable defenceman. I merely find the energy looking at the positive more well spent than harping on the negative.

Posted by: DarrylHockey | December 9, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Saw Pothier in practice yesterday- Saturday. He was working with Eminger and the 2 assistant coaches (those who were not scratched were just riding a bike or whatever workout they do in the locker room). To his credit, he as working very hard, all out and appeared to be trying to improve his game. While Green is becoming a superstar, we need more than 1 puck moving defenseman (Poti seemed to have trouble last night).

Posted by: 121 K | December 9, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Lehtonen's ears are still ringing from the Semin shot that knocked his mask off? 4 points, +1 in 5 games, nice to know he is back. Also his goal against Brodeur was incredible.

Puckguru, LOL.

Posted by: pch49 | December 9, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

@ kevbpgc,

Those were the days!

Re.: 6 goals

How weird it was to see a goalie not "come up large" against the Caps. Kari Lehtonen was let'n 'em in last night. On some of those goals, I wondered if that was a glove on his left hand or a country ham.

Posted by: Clarendon | December 9, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Wikipeadia: "Deterrence theory holds that nuclear weapons are intended to deter other states from attacking with their nuclear weapons through the promise of retaliation..."

Caps need Brashear as the country needs nuclear weapons. He is at the best use when he is not fighting, it scares the opponent even more.


Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 9, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Brashear is a fairly disciplined loose cannon. On the forecheck he's a little bit Tonelli--it aint pretty, but the other team seems to find it Quite Annoying. That's valuable. Due respect to AO's physical play, I'd rather have his talent drifting around the high slot when the dislocated joints are being issued.
Would somebody please suit Eminger up for 8 straight games? How much less effective than Pothier could he be, once he's in whatever groove he has?
Oldie Kolzig and Brent Johnson both are fine backup goalies.
Schultz's second hit of the season will earn a fine, suspension, and standing O for what he does to Jagrrl Wednesday night. And you said this season was lost!

Posted by: redlineblue | December 9, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@PuckGuru
What a stunning, eloquent insult. I, sir, am wounded.

@Fred
I agree, for the most part. I think our offensive play could have been tighter, and I think we could be a lot more aggressive, up and down the ice.

I was annoyed that the Thrash got those 3 goals, when it should have been a full-on rout.

@Greg S.
"He's one of the few out there that will stand up for his linemates"

I think that statement is flat-out wrong. When we've got a full roster, we've got Clark, Bradley, Gordo, Laich, and Ovechkin, all of whom have better hockey skills than Brash, and are just as tough. And that's just on the forward lines.

He's not punishing on the ice, because he can't check. The only thing he's good at is fighting. Winning in a fight is necessary in combat sports. It is wholly irrelevant in hockey; nobody wins or loses in a hockey fight, it's wholly subjective.

@alexovetjkin
That is more of an argument against the existence of paid criminals... er, enforcers in hockey than an argument for Brash being on the roster.

Posted by: MikeZ | December 9, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@MikeZ

While not being as crude as PuckGuru, I don't know if I agree with you regarding Brash. When he, Bradley and Backstrom were on a line together (the 4th line!) they were our most effective unit out on the ice. Now day in, day out he might not be as good an overall player as the guys you mentioned--but he plays with a hell of a lot more energy. Sometimes that energy comes in the form of fights or other rough plays, but no hockey player in the NHL would say Bradley or any of them are as tough.

He's also a relentless forechecker, far better than most of our guys on that front. His skills just rarely show up on the scoreboard, but I think the intangible factors he has are very valuable.

As for the 3 goals, I completely agree. Kolzig should be benched for the last one, players in peewee are trained to at least go down when the puck is shot through the crease. The other two just looked like defensive miscues, which are harder to place exact blame on.

Posted by: czechsmix | December 9, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Austin Grill is at 750 E Street, right around the corner from the phone booth. I'm hitting them up tomorrow before the NJ game!

Posted by: alpca3877 | December 9, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The Austin Grill redemption is only good tonight -- and the restaurant in Springfield is out of wings until 8:00 tonight. Seems they didn't anticipate pent-up demand!

Posted by: Fred | December 9, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

This actually DID happen to Ovechkin last season after Brashear got tossed in the game vs. the Rangers 12/30/06:

Colton Orr crosschecks AO - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07lzWueATqw

Having #87 in the line-up has seemed to keep that kind of nonsense to a minimum. That's reason enough for Brash to be in there.

By the way, you can't last 14 years in the NHL if you don't perform in the roll the coach gives you.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | December 9, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

You know, in all of this, i don't think I saw one mention of Pettinger. He had a great game himself last night, and It's nice to see that Clark's role can be filled by either he or Pettinger.

In fact, i might have liked Pettinger on Ovie's side more than Clark. The main reason I think is simply because he's left handed. They're going to create a lot more chances simply because they are on each other's shooting side when they pass back and forth. I'd like to see the Backstrom (who also had an all star night) - Ovie - Pettinger line together again. I had fun watching them last night.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | December 9, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@MikeZ

I think you'd better look again. If you stick with it, this video discussion on an open ice check by Brashear.

http://broadband.tsn.ca/?vid=24128

There was a pretty brutal hit on the boards in the loss in NJ by Brashear. The vid that follows that one talks about the need for "enforcers", as well.

I think you'd better watch him a little closer. He's no big point getter, but he does his job.

So what happened when Zubrus boarded AO in NJ? Who in your vaulted enforcers stood up for him? THEY SKATED PAST HIM! Brashear would never have done that.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 9, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

While I'm not a huge Brash fan, I do have to say that he's playing much better hockey since Bruce came on board. Mistakes (dumb penalties) seem to be down, and he is a holy terror on the forecheck.

Posted by: Steve R | December 9, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

do you know anything about the WHY the practice this week is mostly @verizon ??

Posted by: Helge | December 9, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

DrinkingPartner - AMEN!! Petty played a great game - I was so happy for him! I hope that will get him out of his rut. While he was never the best player out there, he was a solid, dependable player last year. If he can get back to that, it will do wonders for the team. Maybe it is just an issue of getting him on the right line?!? Who knows. All I can say is, the lines need to settle down soon if they are ever going to get into a groove (like BB said, a groove is not much different than a rut, so hopefully they are in the process of working out of one and into the other!).

Posted by: Boo! | December 9, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Mmm mmm good! No probs scoring wings at the A.G. up here in Charm City. Yums!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | December 9, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Devils lost with the Rangers in OT today. How will that affect tomorrow's game?

The Devils are another league compared to Atlanta. Our boys better play 110% to have a chance with these guys.

And with the Rangers on Wednesday.

Posted by: mauree | December 9, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Devils play won't be affected at all with this OT loss tonight. Coming off a 9 game win streak, one has to know that you can't win them all. Devils have been streaking and I expect them to bounce back against the Caps.

Posted by: Tom | December 9, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

*Sigh*

Imagine a 9 game WIN streak!

Posted by: Greg S. | December 10, 2007 12:10 AM | Report abuse

One improvement I noticed in the Capitals last two game is their forechecking, which still needs work, but I cheered each time the Capital defenders stepped up in the neutral zone and forced an errant pass that resulted in an icing by the opposition.

We never saw that with Hanlon; we let teams waltz into our zone. Now I see more defensive pressure in neutral ice from the Caps and that gives me hope with Gabby behind the bench. Those face-offs in the opposition's end can turn into tasty scoring opportunities.

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | December 10, 2007 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Yes, a 9 game win streak would be nice, although sadly improbable with this team.

Let's see if we can put together a win streak of more than 3 games. With the December the Caps have (in terms of competition), I'm going to say no.

Posted by: Tom | December 10, 2007 1:13 AM | Report abuse

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