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Poti and Ovechkin skate

Tom Poti and Alex Ovechkin skated briefly this morning, so the thought around here is that both will be okay to play tonight against Toronto. I'll have to confirm this after the morning skate, but the Caps did not recall a defenseman.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 5, 2009; 10:14 AM ET
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Next: Poti, Ovechkin and Theodore all to play


Whew. You had me scared to death with all this stick-slamming talk.

Posted by: ThisGuy | March 5, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The shot to Ovie's foot made SportsCenter this morning. There was speculation that whoever made the shot would be immediately traded or banished to Siberia.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 5, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I hear you dave, but let me flesh out some details:
Last year they just barely made it to the post season. Great comeback, great acquisitions (Fed and Cooke, as Huet was a gimme and onece in ten years, if ever, do you get handed a player for nothing).
THis year, they are teetering between 2nd and 3rd place, with Florida coming on strong, Carolina making a push and set to play the Caps for the next month and a half. The Caps system relies on the Forwards playing defense, no harm there, except that if they sleep on a single shift, the defense cant handle the pressure and we see what happens.
So rather than try to improve in any way whatsover, the Caps, poised to make a run in the playoffs, are left as they are. Why? Becasue next year might be their year? What about injuries? What about the unknowable? Other teams seemed to think there were things they could do. Boston is planning on winning it all and proved it. Pittsburgh is intent on making the post season. Florida even tried to tighten up. Rangers certainly tried.
That tells me that mngt doesn't expect a trip to the cup this year and apparently are only going to do something if they're guaranteed to make it to the finals.
That sounds like every pre-lockout post season I can remember since McPhee has been around. The guy always says, 'nothing made sense, we couldn't get better". A 3rd line center like Antropov with some decent hands for 2 picks? Guerin for a pick (Guerin is no post season stud, but he really just needs to distract so that Ovie, Back, Green, Semin and Fedorov can do their thing). WHat I'm saying is, guys went for a few picks. Swing for the bleachers or dont swing at all?
Thats the part I'm getting tired of. I'm not wearing rose colored glasses so I'm not looking at our D and saying this is a good, deep blueline. The team has a few holes and thanks to the extra point for losing, are in good position.

But the regular season is NOT the playoffs. If people dont understand that, they soon will.

Posted by: oo7 | March 5, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse


I want to know :D
Yesterday jmu mentioned that Burke would have taken Nyls.

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse


I'm right there with you...

...and I think the Caps actually believe they cannot win it all this year, and they are probably right. So I'm guessing the thinking was "Why bother messing with what will be a stretch of Cup runs with a bad decision now?"

Only time will tell.

Posted by: soloman5000 | March 5, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

What is all this "we can't win it this year" loser talk. Enough already Ballstein! We can win any and every game we play, even if we're down 4-0 halfway through it! So enough with this self-loathing Caps pessimism. ENOUGH!

Posted by: ThisGuy | March 5, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I agree oo7..... But I am still conflicted on GMGM's choice. Picks are one thing, sending a bunch of players away is another. To me it seems like he didn't even make any attempt to negotiate. He just gave up before he even tried. Some mix of picks and players might have worked. Doesn't seem like he thought outside the box. But maybe it was a flat take it or leave it and he wasn't given the chance. Who knows unless we were there to hear the discussions.

And on another note if they really want to be around and a strong team for the long haul you have to think both short term and long term. Even if they don't think they can win the cup this year the more playoff experience our young players get the better. Going out in the first round (which I am not saying I think will necessarily happen) does not get them much experience.

I still think we need a new enforcer. Someone who can both log minutes, fight, and be an effective player and move the puck. I am interested in seeing how the boys respond today and also what GMGM will do to solidify and fix the holes in the off season. If he doesn't make any changes in the off season then he is just an idiot.

Posted by: ERHDC1 | March 5, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Soloman, apparently you're the only one that agrees with me : )
I was just reading the Antropov story from TSN and New York plans on using him in the crease on the powerplay. The caps didn't need a 6'6" winger/center with decent hands in the crease for 2 draft picks? That wouldn't have made them better?

I would straight up trade Steckel for Antropov; they could have had a pick in 2010 too, because we're winning the Cup that year anyway, Right?

Man, I'm pissed off today.

Posted by: oo7 | March 5, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I want Pittsburgh in the first round!!!!!

Posted by: griz0615 | March 5, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Nylander will have a goal and an assist tonight. He is PISSED at this blog and out to prove you wrong.

Also, if he is the #1 star, he will throw a bag of crap into the crowd instead of a puck.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 5, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Pittsburgh, they gave up so much to get Hossa last year at the deadline. He was a free agent and rolled out of town, theving the Pens with nothing. (Cry me a river. Oh wait, Crosby will)

We can go "all in" like the Pens did and sacrifice "the plan" to make one run at the Cup. But keeping these prospects here keeps us good for a long time.

Leonsis plans for the long haul. Daniel Snyder plans for the short term. How's that working out for ya Snydes? Gonna go out and sign T.O.? (Betcha he does)

Posted by: griz0615 | March 5, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers have grown thier own talent in-house. Look how successful they have been. Not making a move at the trade deadline was smart considering the asking price for who they wanted. Besides any true fan would know that using draft picks weren't an option. Andropov is no upgrade over anyone on the current roster. He is a streaky player and wouldn't be here past this year anyway! The Caps will be fine. You are assuming that additions made to other teams are successful. They may not be. We as fans, just don't know. So it makes no sense to predict doom. GO CAPS!

Posted by: psugolf | March 5, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse


On the surface, it does appear that McPhee didn't really attempt to negotiate. But we must remember, there are two sides to every negotiation/deal. Maybe the other side of the deal wasn't willing to negotiate about a player. And as far as the offseason goes, there will have to be some transactions. Federov is up there in age and may retire, meaning we'll have to go get a 2nd line center. And unfortunately we're stuck with Nylander unless he waives his No-Movement Clause.

Posted by: dcox50 | March 5, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Well I am glad Poti is back, and Ov seems to be ok. As for trade day 2009,I too was disappointed that a D-man wasn’t picked up...even if it was a rent a player type.

I don’t agree that the team doesn’t think they will or can make a run for the cup. That seems like a bunch of %$^& to me.

Posted by: RedRocker | March 5, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

dcox50 I totally agree with you if you read my whole first paragraph I said the same that we don't know if they just wouldn't negotiate. We need to combine some experienced players in with our young ones in the off season.

Posted by: ERHDC1 | March 5, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I dont know about anyone else, but why would you give up half of Hershey to get one D-man. That is not the way a team is built.

Posted by: RedRocker | March 5, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I like Nylander as a player...he may have lost a step, regardless he just does not fit in with this team and it's style of play. His puck posession at the top of the zone often leads to a turn over and an odd man break. He does not have the speed anymore to backcheck and correct the turn-over. While the Caps are a puck possession team, it seems more of a style of cradle a pass and then get rid of it instead of holding the puck for long periods of times. Nylander seems to disrupt that flow.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 5, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Once again, the Caps couldn't trade for just picks as they have 50 pro contracts on the books. Who would you have traded to get Antropov?? If you say Nylander I say DUH, anyone would have made that move just to dump his salary so that obviously was not an option.

Posted by: PhilR | March 5, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm not predicting gloom, psugolf, I'm saying i'm tired of the same Mcphee moments. "We couldn't get better." Last year was the first time he made a splash at the deadline. Its the same rhetoric. I'm not saying give up the farm, trade alzner or any crap like that. But his inability to make the team better heading into the playoffs is disheartening. I would love for the Caps to go deep. But I've been watching hockey for a long fricken time and I know what the playoffs are like. Its nothing like the regular season. A lot of people seem to think that if you're good in the regular season then you're good for the playoffs. Edmonton was the 8th seed a few seasons ago and went to the finals. The Flyers are perennially in the mix. Ottawa dominated the reg season and couldn't get past the 1st round for years.
You can always get better. Waiting 2-4 more years to see if Carlson and Alzner come along, and then make a run, is not what I had in mind. They have home ice advantage NOW.

Posted by: oo7 | March 5, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else think Alzner needs "2-4 more years to come along"

I think a lot of us think he is ready now, just no room under the cap.

Posted by: RedRocker | March 5, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I think Alzner is better at defense than 90% of the guys now! Erskine, Jurchina, Green, Poti, Shultz, Morrison - that gives me stomach ulzers come playoff time.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 5, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Alzner is ready to play now, he's already better than many. But I think he'll be a difference maker 2-3 years from now.

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

mauree from the last post:

"Get a Kuba for Flash, Steckel and a 3rd rounder. Get a Carcillo for Borque and a conditional pick."

Kuba wasn't going anywhere and the Yotes would have outright rejected a Bourque/pick deal.

Posted by: donknutts | March 5, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see them try these line combos.



Sit Steckel and Schultz until he decides to use that big ass body of his. I know this would most likely piss off Backs or Semin being on the third line but I think that would give three solid lines of scoring. And if we are stuck with Nyls we might as well use him!

Posted by: PhilR | March 5, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Nylander has a no move clause as well as a no shoot clause. what has he done anyways besides skate in circles, barely get any points, not shoot, give up the puck on a consistent basis...

Posted by: MNMNT | March 5, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

should have read Brad on the fourth line.....darn typos!!

Posted by: PhilR | March 5, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

sit Steckel? One of the face-off specialists? One of the few decent PK guys? ("decent" being a relative term this week, of course)

Sit Nylander and stop letting him muck up the game by skating in circles.

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 5, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

If you're going to send down Kronwall (after a solid, uncharacteristically physical game), where is Alzner? We've got to husband our D-resources better. Methinks, if anything, it is Mo who needs a night off or two, and we need Alzner HERE NOW. Use your creativity and solve the daggone cap problem and get the kid here. He is ready.

Posted by: JoeTink | March 5, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

GMGM DID make us better by not giving up the farm now. Instead of becoming a team that is good enough to make the playoffs every year only to lose out early in the playoffs, we are building to contend for the cup in future years. Young players DO get better, and that will apply to some on our roster as well as those in the minors. Personnally, I think GMGM is doing a fine job and we have a lot to be thankful for.

Things not happening fast enough for you, or still bitter towards GMGM for whatever reasons, I guess that is YOUR problem! But do take your bitterness and crying elsewhere.

Posted by: TrackCollector | March 5, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse


Toronto was not a team Nyls was asked to waive his NMC but he would have.

Posted by: atybat | March 5, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I think Schultz should sit. Get him angry so maybe just maybe he can use his size.

Posted by: RedRocker | March 5, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I haven't seen Steckel help out lately. He has been guilty of as many giveaways and stupid penalties as anyone else on this team. Why not sit him a few games and see if sitting the pine for four in a row has lit a fire under Nylander's butt! The guy is getting paid through the nose andsitting him the rest of the year makes no sense at all. They have got to try and get him going somehow and playing with a sniper like Semin and someone who will dig in the corners like Laich just makes sense to me.

Posted by: PhilR | March 5, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I heard some comments by GMGM this morning on the radio. I'm sure he had his eye on the possibilities, but said something to the effect that any moves would have required moving the likes of Alzner, Varlamov, Carlson. Too much, in his opinion, and I second that. Why get rid of so much potential to try a quick-fix at the end of the season.

Posted by: gonchpup | March 5, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Seems people didn't hear that part where Alzner and Varlamov and Carlson would have been the package for getting...was it Pronger or Bouwmeester?

That probably would have kept some people from yapping away about GMGM s*cking as a General Manager. Let's focus on tonight's game against Toronto...and Sunday's Armaggeddon on the Pitts team!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 5, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I too am disappointed that the Caps did not make a move yesterday. But they could not use draft picks because they already have the maximum of 50 contracts, and other teams wanted our best prospects. So GMGM dd the right thing. I simply do not understand why there is so much complaining going on.

Posted by: phillyreader | March 5, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

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