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Poti Likely Out vs. 'Canes.

The Caps probably won't have any of their injured players for tonight's game at Carolina. Alexander Semin (sprained ankle) and Chris Clark (lacerated ear) did not travel with the team, and defenseman Tom Poti (strained groin muscle) doesn't figure to play, either.

Poti took the morning skate, but stayed out long after everyone else had left the ice, which is generally an indication that he isn't ready for game action. But it also means the team's ice time leader is getting close to returning.

Looks like it's going to be Kolzig vs. Ward.

I'll update with the full lineup later.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 5, 2007; 12:30 PM ET
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Next: Godfrey Signs Entry Level Deal



Was Steve Eminger on the ice/in the building?

Posted by: Zaichik | November 5, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Bring Back Steve!

This is BS what the organization is doing to him.

Posted by: TJ | November 5, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Eminger was on the ice with Poti.

Posted by: Tarik | November 5, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: hockey lives | November 5, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, how much time does Hanlon have? I have got a feeling we'll be beat by the Canes and thumped by the Sens. Not sure about the Thrash. If we're 5:10 by Saturday, will changes be made?

Posted by: Finn | November 5, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse


Can we just cut through the BS, Eminger is not hurt.

Posted by: TJ | November 5, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The writing is on the wall.... after they lose to Tampa on Saturday the week will end with the team at 5 - 12. The next game will be Thursday which will give the team 4 full days to integrate a new coach for the Thursday tilt in Florida.

Candidates to replace Hanlon:

1) Boudreau
2) Dale Hunter
3) Bob Hartley

Posted by: Canp | November 5, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I think GMGM wants to trade Eminger, but there are no takers for the asking price.

Posted by: Finn | November 5, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Bab Hartly, the old ATL coach? If thats who I think you're talking about I hope they don't go that route. EHH! I cringe at that thought.

Posted by: Go skins Go | November 5, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I really hope Eminger has been scratched because of health issues and not because Shultz/Erskine have proved themselves to be steller defenseman.

Eminger and Green moving the puck up the ice with Poti, Pothier, Morrison and Jurcina. I really couldn't ask for a lot more than that lineup on D.

Posted by: Rob | November 5, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I think that I will go see the Johnstown Chiefs play Sat nite so I can a team play for three (3) periods.

Posted by: sidehillman | November 5, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Oy, Hanlon's getting replaced becasue we all know so much about how the Cap's management is thinking right now. Barring a total implosion ie: the team getting blown out every night, he's safe for a while. Ted's not a fool and firing a coach that the team likes having around right now would just be dumb.

Sounds like Poti and Clark will play on Thursday. We really need both of them back even more than we need Sasha back.

Posted by: EricS | November 5, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Never Hartley - I'd turn in my season tickets then. Need a hard nosed guy - yes. But one with class - not someone who ran the dirtiest team in the league last year.

Posted by: Zaichik | November 5, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

that was meant to be WATCH a team play 3 periods. I write about as well as the Caps play.

Posted by: sidehillman | November 5, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I've got a new guy on my hockey team named Alex (something Russian) who goes by Sasha...he scored 4 goals last night...think the Caps could use him? :-)

Posted by: Jeff | November 5, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: thepuckstopshere | November 5, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Yay! The blog timekeeper woke up! Now I won't think it's later than it really is.

Posted by: Wanda | November 5, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

To: Go skins Go. Yup, that's the Hartly I'm taking about.... and I also cringe at the possibility, but I think it has merit

Posted by: Canp | November 5, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I went to a Johnstown Chiefs game last year...good time. Best hot dog I've ever had.

Posted by: Rob | November 5, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I gotta agree with Zaichik. Hartley sucks. Lets suffer through Hanlon for the entire year then pick up Hartley.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | November 5, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

NO BOUDREAU!!!!!! We did that with Hanlon. Why cant we understand that this team has real NHL player so maybe, just maybe, they should have a real NHL coach. Why not get a real NHL trainer while they are at it.

Posted by: sean | November 5, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tariq,
Ted mentions in his latest blog posting that while the Caps are on a bad losing skid right now, they have very low GAA - which means we need more offensive output.

Obviously having Semin back would help, but he also mentions Fehr. What is Fehr up to, is he even with the team or is he re-habbing somewhere else??

Follow up - if he were healthy - where would you see him fitting within the forwards - 3rd line, 4th line or, dare I say it - 2nd line???

Posted by: Bizzaro Tariq | November 5, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

EricS is right on. It seems like the team likes and respects Hanlon and I don't think you can chalk up the bad record to poor coaching other than the questionable line combinations. If Hanlon were fire I think there's a good chance it would upset a lot of the players who would view it as a bad move that had been motivated by feeling the pressure of fans who don't realize why the team hasn't had the kind of success they'd have liked to so far.

Posted by: DMG | November 5, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The coach we need here is Pat Burns!!
He is hard nosed and he gets the most out of players. Well liked guy that is proven.....and I beleive he has a nice ring of some sort. He is still in the New Jersey system but he would take a NHL coach job in a second. Tarik what do you think??

Posted by: Brad | November 5, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Upset alot of the players..... that's a thought. The last thing the team should be worried about is upsetting the players. Need someone who will put team first... players second.

BTW, I listen to Pat Burns on a daily french radio show and he seems to being doing much much better. wouldn't be suprised to see him behind a bench for the 2008 - 2009 season.

Posted by: Rover | November 5, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I continue to think that everyone talking about coaching changes this soon into the season needs to share what they're smoking. The team is missing 70+ goals per season right now and we all know that while there is more depth this year, there just isn't enough.

If this team is still in the cellar come mid January, then it's time to start thinking change. Until then let's remember that even though Ted declared the 'rebuild' over, that doesn't mean this is a Stanley Cup caliber team. This is a team that should be on the cusp of the playoffs, and if all goes well in the 7 or 8 seed.

This year's opening day lineup had what? no more than 60% of last year's lineup? Maybe we should all take a deep breath and wait for some chemistry to develop. As we stand right now, the defense looks a hellofalot better than it did at this time last year, and that's without Poti for half of the games. Once Semin and Clark return and play for more than a few games as a full team we'll have a better idea of where they stand.

Posted by: Yosh | November 5, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe there are people around here that are so stupid as to actually WANT Hartley as the coach. Seriously, if you don't know what you're talking about, don't post anything. Of course, the only one posting at that point would be that "one who knows" freak.
Hartley. idiots.

Posted by: 007 | November 5, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

If they lose the next 3 to go 5-11 I could see GMGM making a move with a coach. Dale Hunter should be the guy!

Posted by: dave | November 5, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Finn, I tend to agree re: Eminger. What doesn't make sense to me is that handling his situation the way it's being handled seems to do nothing but reduce his market value.

Posted by: Fred | November 5, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Pat Quinn for coach! Though, as the caps have shown in the past - it takes a lot for them to fire a coach (i.e - read cassidy) so I suspect we'll be seeing Hanlon for some time...

Posted by: cs | November 5, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm planning to write something about Eminger's weird situation this week.

As far as Fehr goes, he's been completely off my radar. Haven't seen him in almost two months, which leads me to believe he's nowhere close to returning.

Posted by: Tarik | November 5, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Hartley only won a Stanley Cup.... don't need that kind of experience around here. Oh yeah, and over the last couple of seasons the Thrashers PP has looked pretty sharp.... nah, Caps don't need that either.

I agree that he's not my favorite guy, but his credentials are better than Hanlon's, or most of the other names I've seen floating about.

Posted by: SM | November 5, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I understand all Caps fan love Dale Hunter--and with good reason. Can I just politely suggest, however, that as great a player as he was, perhaps he is not the ideal coach? Not that I think we're going to have an opening to fill. But just because he's the guy you all know and love doesn't make him the answer to our problems.

Posted by: Melissa | November 5, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Half the season will be over by the end of January. I don't think that we can wait that long, though. This team is pedaling backwards, injuries not withstanding. There are more than 4 or 5 on the team. They haven't stepped up. I don't see this coach lighting a fire under them at all.

And, no, Hartley isn't any better at it. Who should take it? Good question. I stated in an earlier post (weeks ago), that I really didn't follow the coaches too closely other than the obvious ones. I'm starting to now. I really think we need someone that has coached (or is coaching) in the NHL that is not afraid to kick some high priced tail.

At the pre-season, I said that I doubted that this team would make it to the playoffs. I stand by that so far.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 5, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Here's a brain fart for us wise and unwavering Caps fans. Bench Fleischman and let Emminger play right wing!?!?!!?

Posted by: Mitch | November 5, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse hunter

Since he took over as coach of the Knights, their point totals have been as follows.

He also coached them to a Memorial Cup

The missed the playoffs the year before he arrived.

They made the playoffs but went out in the first round his first year

They made the playoffs but went out in the second round his second

They made the playoffs but went out in the second round in his third

They made the playoffs but lost in the semi's in his fourth

They made the playoffs and won the memorial cup in his 5th year

They made the playoffs and lost in the finals his sixth year

They made the playoffs and lost in the semis last year

He can coach, he has a history with the organization, he is a tough nosed player, and he knows the NHL.

If they are not going the experienced NHL coach route, I think luring Hunter to the organization would be a great move

Posted by: Dale the male | November 5, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse


We look forward to hearing the scoop on Emmie this week. My 2 cents - either give the guy a chance or trade him. He deserves that at least. It's obvious the kid wants to play.

Posted by: Tracy | November 5, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes Greg S. I understand that the year is half over by that point. But you need to give the coach...ANY coach...a reasonable chance to prove himself with a NHL caliber team. Hanlon has not yet been given that chance. Come back and talk to me when you can show me another coach that has put up the winning % Hanlon has with the level of talent he's had to work with over the last 2 years.

Posted by: Yosh | November 5, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

If there is a coaching change, it won't happen until December 2. Leaving aside my personal feelings, if it doesn't happen on December 2 it likely wouldn't be a consideration again until things are so hopeless in March that they feel they need to make it before the offseason.

Posted by: Jay | November 5, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

New coach.....Pat Quinn????????????

Posted by: BEEF | November 5, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse


Hanlon did as well as could be expected until this year. In fact, I'd say he did a pretty good job. With the crew he has now, though, he really screwed around a lot early with putting career AHL'ers on the ice and keeping them there. His lines were - curious. His inability to motivate players is unfortunate.

His moves earlier with putting Motzko up on line one could possibly be a dig at GMGM, but I just don't see that coming from Hanlon. I can't see him saying to GMGM, "OK, you want this kid to play, well here you go. You live with the consequences!" He's not the type.


I'm not knowing (or remembering) what happens on December 2. I agree that if the fortunes of the team are not improved by March, and he's still behind the bench, he'll be gone. Or one can hope!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 5, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Caps signed prospect Josh Godfrey. I like that kid a lot .... saw him at camp, wicked hard slapshot.

Also, I agree that December 2nd is a big day for Hanlon. After a 10 game stretch in 16 days, Hanlon had better be at least around .500 if he wants to keep his job.

Posted by: Rob | November 5, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Realistically, I don't see how Hanlon is going to be gone before the end of the season. His performance the past 2 years has been pretty good based upon the roster limitations.

Over the summer the "big 3" were added...Kozlov, Nylander, and Poti. They were supposed to add depth to the roster, etc. Well, Poti, Semin, and Clark are all out right now. These 3 are more valuable, overall, than the 3 that were added. So, while "the rebuild is over", I think Hanlon is going to be given the full season to make this work, or prove that he can't handle it. While he won't admit the injuries are a problem, they obviously are and management likely realizes it.

If the team gets (more or less) healthy in the next few weeks, and the team continues to lose 8 out of 10 games for an extended period of time then yes, Hanlon may not see the end of the season.

The thing is...if this team is healthy and can even produce the offense they did last season, in tandem with the improved defense the team has shown this season, the Caps won't be losing 8 out of 10 games very often.

The Caps scored an average of 2.87 goals a game last season...they are giving up 2.69 goals a game this season. Add the 70+ goals from last season that this lineup is missing and this team can be better than a .500 team.

My only point is that I don't think this team is going to be bad enough, over the next month or two, for Hanlon to go. But it wouldn't surprise me to see a major overhaul after the season.

Posted by: Jeff | November 5, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Tarik- What do you make of the early signing of Godfrey? Seems a little out of place right now...

Posted by: Zero | November 5, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"If" this... "but" that... Excuses, excuses, excuses... While the "rebuilt" is over and Hanlon and GMGM continue destroying hockey in Washington, Ted, who is still the only one in the bunch who kept his word and spent his money, will have to rebuild his trust with the fans soon. Otherwise the dispicable gaps of empty seats at the Phone Booth will be a permanent feature even when we start winning (hopefully). Enough experimenting. The NHL is a pro sport. People make money on it. If you want to experiment and give two hundred fourty second chance to someone, invest in youth hockey.

Posted by: Finn | November 5, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Godfrey signing make sense, whether today or in the spring; he was old for his draft class, only 2 months younger than Backstrom, and is done with the OHL after this year; this will also allow him to join Hershey or South Carolina at the end of the season if needed.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 5, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Why does everyone want me fired? You guys are so rude!

Posted by: Glen Hanlon | November 5, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Glen...nothing seem like a nice enough guy. My suggestion? Getting all of your players to play for 3 full periods (in ONE game...not over the course of 2 or 3 games) would be fantastic.

Posted by: Jeff | November 5, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Uh,oh. Mr. Hanlon, if that is not really you then someone is up for a whipping. See Discussion Guidelines, #l, last sentence. If it is you - keep up the good work!

Posted by: Wanda | November 5, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Mr. Hanlon, if you get a little one- on- one with Brindy, could you tell him I said hello?

Posted by: Wanda | November 5, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Unless the injured player is named Ovechkin, the injury excuse doesn't do much for me. Injuries must be dealt with ALL SEASON. After these 3 guys come back, inevitably other players will go down as well. Philly just beat us with Simon Gagne out of their lineup. The Rangers have been missing Straka and Avery.

Over the last 3 years, the personnel on the Caps power play has changed drastically... yet the results remain the same, and the team continues to lose close games because they can't score on the PP. When the guys on the ice don't look like they KNOW how to operate a successful PP at the NHL level then that leads me to believe that the coaching leaves much to be desired.

Posted by: SM | November 5, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Mike Brophy of The Hockey News has put together his power rankings. While Columbus is at #4 (!), the lowly Washington Capitals are... (drum roll)... dead last at #30.

Posted by: Finn | November 5, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I realize the injury excuse may not play well on this board...I'm not even saying it should be used.

But consider this. The Caps scored 57 power play goals last year. The 3 guys hurt, Semin, Clark, and Poti (obviously not with the Caps last year) scored 32 PP goals. When you are missing that much skill (and effort) your PP is going to suffer. Should other guys be able to help make up for that lost offense? Yes. Should the Caps be able to get the puck into the zone without them? Yes, one would hope. But at the same time, to pretend that the offense, and the PP, isn't going to be effected by missing 2 30 goal scorers and your "best" offensive defenseman is naive.

Yes, every team has injuries...but comparing the Caps missing these 3 guys to the Flyers missing Gagne is simply not an equal comparison.

Posted by: Jeff | November 5, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Injuries, schminjuries. When will this team start looking like they care about winning? When will they start playing with heart?

Posted by: Jill | November 5, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I guess I understand signing Godfrey, but a 3 year entry level from OHL? Why not a 2 way at most?

Drink no wine before it's time. Let the kid mature.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 5, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

After these 3 guys come back, inevitably other players will go down as well. Philly just beat us with Simon Gagne out of their
lineup. The Rangers have been missing Straka and Avery.

Bad comparison. Caps don't have the depth yet.

Having Briere and Lupul playing for the Flyers makes Gagne out not as troubling.

Having Jagr, Drury and most importantly Lundqvist playing well for the Rags made missing Straka and Avery not significant.

Clark, Semin, and (to a lesser extent) Poti mean more to this team.

THN power rankings are ponderous. The Leafs at #14!?

Posted by: slappy | November 5, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Its really funny/interesting that almost every1 is abandoning the Hanlon Ship already... i mean cmon people give the guy a break he/the team are doing the best they can right now without there Captain, Best Offense Defender, #2 goal scorer on the team... All you people wanting a new coach need to chill out and relax and just sit back and wait for Clark,Poti,Semin 2return to 100% then come All-Star break/Trade deadline if the Caps are still not improving then talk about possible coaching change, for now get off Hanlon's back...

1 thing I would like to see the Caps do is call up Chris Bourque and see if he can net some goals, with Eric Fehr out for only god knows when we are still missing that crucial scoring goals guy...

Posted by: ZackAttack | November 5, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

As for the Power Rankings, the cream will slowly rise to the top.

Posted by: Wanda | November 5, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

For Greg S.

In the case of the Godfrey signing,I believe that the contract count time doesn't even start until the player has actually played 10 regular season NHL games (Remember Eminger being sent back to Kitchener before he played 10 games?). Most entry level contracts for draftees seem to be 3 year and are two-way with the unless you are an Ovechkin or Crosby.

Posted by: Zaichik | November 5, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"I guess I understand signing Godfrey, but a 3 year entry level from OHL? Why not a 2 way at most?"

Greg S., it is a 2 way. All entry level contracts are 2 way.

Posted by: norske | November 5, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Zaichik, even Ovechkin and Crosby have two way contracts. And while you're right about the 10 game rule, you're wrong about Eminger. He was up for 17 games before they sent him back, thus activating the first year of his contract and making him an RFA a year earlier than he should have been. I always thought that was stupid.

Posted by: norske | November 5, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand this 'injuries are no excuse!' logic. If the team had a defeatist attitude about it that would be one thing but I don't think they do.

Of course all teams deal with injuries but take away any teams 2nd and 3rd goal scorers and #1 defeseman and they will struggle, period. The 'all teams deal with injuries' attitude is accurate for a whole season and if the Capitals were struggling mightily every time any player missed a game or two it's no excuse. But it's just not realistic to expect any team to play anywhere near their potential missing players that are so important all at the same time.

Speaking of potential, let's be realistic. Going into the season the Caps were a boderline playoff team; if you'd asked me where they'd be after 13 games I probably would have said 7-6 (if we assume no SOL). The fact they're 5-8, given the injuries they've had, shouldn't be surprising and while the injury situation is disappointing I don't even know you can say the results are.

Posted by: DMG | November 5, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

@Jill: We all wish they'd play with heart. We had that last season at least.

@slappy: I thought about Toronto being far too high as well, but they did beat the Rangers, Pens, and Habs recently. Forget that game when nobody showed up to play - kind of like how we'd all like to forget 8 of the last 10 games.

Posted by: Raber | November 5, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I had some serious questions about Hanlon before the season (he has never coached any team past the first round of playoffs, and that includes 1 playoff first round loss with the Canucks as an assistant), but I will quit with the fire Hanlon talk for now.

If you take 2 of the top 3 scorers off any team because of injuries, they are going to struggle. However, as was stated above by Jay, I really think December 2nd will be decision time for the organization. Until then, I'll let him play Brashear 14 minutes a night, scratch Eminger and refuse to play one of the true centers the team has with OV.

Posted by: Rob | November 5, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I want Hanlon gone, this is just flat embarrassing

Posted by: So furious | November 5, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

This year's team is WORSE than last.
I want my money back for the season tickets!!!

Posted by: 555CapsFan | November 5, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

This team sucks so bad I'm watching Dancing with the Stars.

Posted by: Wayne Newton | November 5, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Norske -

Apparently, I'm an idiot.

According to the CBA, all players under 21 must sign a 3 year entry level contract not to exceed $875K per with a maximum of $65,000 in the minors. You're right that all SPC's with entry-level contracts are, in fact, two-way deals.

My bust.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 5, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse


You're right.

The CBA does state that a Group 1 (age from 18 to 24) player with a SPC would make up to $875K per year max for 3 years. That contract is automatically a two-way deal.

My bust!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 5, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Fire Hanlon, NOW. This team is playing far below its potential, even with the injuries to Semin, Poti, and Clark. There are good coaches available: Quinn, Hartley, & esp. Pat Burns.

Posted by: Jim | November 5, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse


You're right.

The CBA does state that a Group 1 (age from 18 to 24) player with a SPC would make up to $875K per year max for 3 years. That contract is automatically a two-way deal.

My bust!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 5, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Fire Hanlon, NOW. This team is playing far below its potential, even with the injuries to Semin, Poti, and Clark. There are good coaches available: Quinn, Hartley, & esp. Pat Burns. Give GMGM a pink slip, too. Did anyone notice that GMGM bypassed the Ducks coach, Randy Caryle, who was in the Caps system in Portland.

Posted by: Jim | November 5, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Was not able to post on more recent topic, but as far as last night's game vs 'Canes, I am at a loss for words..........

Posted by: Wanda | November 6, 2007 7:11 AM | Report abuse


You're absolutely right. The CBA does say that an entry level contract is a 2-way and has a cap to it based upon age. Based upon his age, it's a 3 year deal up to $875K.

My bad.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 6, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

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