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Poti Out Tonight

Defenseman Tom Poti won't suit up tonight in Atlanta and will instead rest the groin muscle that's dogged him most of the season. Poti said the injury, which has forced him to the sideline three times for a total of 26 games, started to bother him again about two weeks ago but he continued to play through the nagging pain.

Now that the Caps have clinched the Southeast Division, however, Poti and the team have decided it's time to give it a rest ahead of the playoffs, which start next week.

"We're being smart about it this time," Poti said.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 7, 2009; 12:17 PM ET
 
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Comments

Dang, man! Consolidate!

Posted by: Greg S. | April 7, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Poti needs a rest....

I like this.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 7, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

For those who didn't see it in the comment thread below this post, Lepisto out for the season with a lacerated spleen...

http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnewssports/2009/04/lepisto_suffers_lacerated_sple.html

Posted by: StikSav | April 7, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Reposted from previous thread: Here's an interesting article about Olie Kolzig:

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/northwest/story/700505.html

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | April 7, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

It's good that Poti sits. Unfortunately, the message he's getting is it's his turn in the rotation, not that he's been playing like dirt for the past month and a half.

I'm good with Alzner staying in Hershey, too. Liked having him up, but he needs more seasoning.

Let's go CAPS! (and toronto, florida and rangers).

Posted by: Greg S. | April 7, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Who are our unrestricted free agents on D following this season besides Mo? anyone?

Posted by: PhilR | April 7, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I guess as long as I'm at it, go NYI, TB, and OTT too!

What's with these spleen injuries?!?!?

Posted by: Greg S. | April 7, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S

Yeah, remember the good ole days of yestermonth when they used the Update to preserve the integrity of discussion among the faithful readership?

Ah, I miss those days....

Posted by: austinsteve | April 7, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Sloan and Helmer are the only UFA's on D. The rest are RFA (Mo, Juice, Lepisto and Kronval)

Posted by: Greg S. | April 7, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Morrison is a RFA not UFA

Posted by: fauxrumors | April 7, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

From Last Post:

Gotta agree with HockeyTy. Jurcina is better than Schultz and Erskine, yet I've seen him make some mistakes recently as well. But than again all of the caps defense have been making mistakes lately. I don't agree with Alzner not being called up for playoffs though. He is better than Schultz and Erskine in my opinion. He does get knocked around quite a bit, but he's still faster than Schultz and Erskine. I'd much rather have him in the top d than Schultz or Erskine.

Posted by: Thomas32 | April 7, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Are we not looking at the same issues next year then concerning Alzner? Who's place is he going to take?

Posted by: PhilR | April 7, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I really don't think we need to feel sorry for Alzner. He will be with the big boys next year and a major contributor in our success. I don't think we will have too many issues keeping him here next year. Although we don't have an UFA defensmen on the Caps, they can still be moved via a trade. Jurcina, Morrison, or Schultz, are all expendable but marketable. The Caps won't leave Alzner down for another season so a move will be made, probably during the draft.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 7, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Unless Mo's play dramatically improves during the post season, something tells me that Alzner will step into his spot next season.

Posted by: Kim-3 | April 7, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

26 only has a one year deal ending this summer because he took the team to arbitration...Alzner will replacing Mo, my guess

Posted by: caps28fan | April 7, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

NHL.com has a Fans' Choice Goal of the Season. Ovi and T.J Oshie(Blues) are the two favorites right now and you can vote as many times as you want.
Please show Ovi some love, Oshie is catching him.

Posted by: bajgirl | April 7, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh goody! It's Bash $DEFENSEMAN Day! 9.9 Alzner had some serious issues before going back down, and I've watched him in Hershey since - he will benefit a LOT from a Calder Cup run with the Bears. Look for him next year.

Sorry to hear about Lepisto - ouch. That will hurt the Bears.

@fanohock1: I'd consider Schultz to be less expendable than Jurcina, simply because of his size and age. He's only 24, and 6'6" defensemen don't grow on trees whether they use their size like the fans want them to or not. Of the three, Morrisonn is most likely to go, simply because he's wanting a large contract and has already been to arbitration twice. Rumor has it he wants $3M, which is going to price him off the roster immediately.

I also liked most of our Hershey blueline, and in particular would like to see more of Sloan and Kronwall.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 7, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

From TSN.CA rankings of the team defenses. Caps come in 7th according to them. Ahead of us are the Pens, Canes, and Bruins in our Conference.

7. WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Mike Green
Tom Poti
Jeff Schultz
Shaone Morrisonn
Cumulative TSN.ca Rating: 308.09

John Erskine
Milan Jurcina
Brian Pothier
Cumulative TSN.ca Rating: 199.62

Comment: Green is the only standout, but he stands out from every other defenceman in the league, scoring 30 goals in just 63 games and ranking second on the team with a plus-24. The rest are solid, unspectacular and, in some cases, mediocre.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 7, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

PhilR, it's highly unlikely that Mo, at 2 million and probably wanting a raise, is back. I suppose the Caps could also choose not to re-sign Jurcina.

Posted by: koalatek | April 7, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I've been apathetic about Jurcina for a while... hate to say that but I don't really see him contributing that much. I like the guys coming up from the AHL, especially alzner, better because they are fighting for it. Don't really see him fighting for it too much...

That being said our entire team needs a swift kick in the a$$! We are good at rallying when it needs to be done but we've gotta figure out how to keep that energy the whole game, not just the last period! Hopefully once we're in the playoffs they will feel the pressure and will really work it.

SO many key games tonight! Working out who to pull for in each of them, I would love to see Pens vs Philly round 1 so one of them gets knocked out asap. Kind of wish I hadn't made dinner plans... maybe I can convince him to go to a sports bar instead...

Posted by: mrszilla | April 7, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The Plays of the Year; Ryan, Hagman and Semin goals were phenominal.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 7, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

You can also find the link on the Caps site in the NHL News section.

At the moment Oshie is ahead of Ovi. I voted until my hands were tired.

Posted by: bajgirl | April 7, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

@mrszilla: Getting takeout on a day with so much good hockey on TV qualifies as dinner!

I will be the first to put my neck out on this one but I am going to say that Pothier is going to be a key player in our playoff run. He already does a great job pinching in at the point. Not only knowing when, but doing it effectively when he does it. I swear that if ends up being a liability I will come right out in this forum and say I was the Jack A who made this statement. Pothier is playing just as good as our other defensemen we complain about and that was after a 14 month layoff. His play will only get better.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 7, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

As usual with NHL.com fan voting, the Caps are getting jobbed. Please vote for Ovie's goal here: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=416929

It shouldn't even be discussed in the same conversation with the other goals, which are all very, very good, but happen every season.

Posted by: crazycarl16 | April 7, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Mini Prospect Update: The London Knights, home of John Carlson & Justin Taylor, are in their conference semis. They're currently up 3 games to none on Saginaw. Game Four is tonight in Saginaw. If they win tonight, they'll play the winner of the Plymouth-Windsor series, which is 2-1 in favor of Windsor.
In 8 playoff games, Carlson is 1-10-11, +6, tying him for points with Tavares. Taylor is 3-4-7, +1.
You can listen to all the Knights games online on their website: http://londonknights.com/listen.asp

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 7, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

seriously people, i dont get all the negativity on Juice. all i see is upside in his game.

Posted by: doughless | April 7, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@StikSav - Oh NO! Poor Lepisto!!! :-( I'm with Greg S. What IS it with all these ruptured spleens?

Time to invest in some more body armor, or something...!

Posted by: irockthered | April 7, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@doughless:

Unfortunately I see Jurcina the same way I saw Heward... talented per se, but I don't usually see that much grit, that much heart. Actually saying he is like Heward is too harsh because I swear anytime Heward was on the ice the other team scored. Maybe we are spoiled with a team full of standouts (our offense, Green) but Jurcina just doesn't seem to contribute as much.

@fanohock1: Unfortunately I'm one of those loud and insane hockey fans (I try to coach, even if it's through a tv) so I'm not even sure if I want him to see this side of me yet. We'll see :)

Posted by: mrszilla | April 7, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE VOTE FOR OVIE....He deserves to win and the Crosby haters are out. Its for BEST GOAL OF THE YEAR. ONLY TAKES A SECOND

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=416929

Posted by: whsqb10 | April 7, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I think the Play of the Year should be between Hagman and Ovie. Both were terrific efforts.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 7, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Juice has improved enormously this year, and he's still on his way upward. Same with Sarge.

The injury explains some rotten play by Poti. I agree that Shamo's the odd man out.

Finally, Oshi's goal is the weakest on that pool. Someone in StL is working the net.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 7, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Greg S. | April 7, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Am I Debbie Downer or what? I swear I won't start another sentence with "Unfortunately" on this board again, no need for negativity when you are SE Champs!

LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: mrszilla | April 7, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Poor Sami. Guy just cannot catch a break.

I'm unsure about Mo being back next year. Earlier, I thought he absolutely would not, but then again, when you file for arbitration, you give up your RFA status, so apparently he wanted to be a Cap. He seems to have found his rhythm this season, too, so I'd peg him staying at 50-50.

As great (and I do mean GREAT) job the Hershey D-men (and all of those guys, actually) did when called upon this season, Alzner's really the only NHL-level guy, and he's going to have some growing pains. Sloan's the only other one I could see cracking the day-to-day line-up. No disrespect to Collins and the others who not only stepped up and played hard, but helped the Caps win more games than any team losing 350+ man-games to injury has a right to. I hope Hershey wins the Calder this year!

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 7, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

doughless, people here don't want upside (unless they're talking aboout a rookie), they want highlights

Posted by: superpaqman | April 7, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

i feel Juice has the potential to bring what a lot of Caps fans clamor for on defense: size and (when he uses it) physicality. the physicality has really picked up the second half of the season, as has him uncorking his slap shot. i mean the guy is second on the team with 155 hits and leads the team with 125 blocked shots. he is also second among Caps defensemen in scoring (11 points and a respectable +2)

add to that he is listed as 6'4" and 233 pounds. i hear people all the time on here speak to Green's evolution in stepping up his D game. i think Juice has serious potential and hope to see him step up his game next season.

Posted by: doughless | April 7, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

@superpaqman

Ouch! I'm new to actually posting on this board but this isn't some new bandwagon fan you are talking to here! When it comes down to watching the game, I don't see Jurcina as a consistent force. It says something that I worry whenever he gets the puck. Believe me, I'd love it if he proved me wrong but so far he hasn't.

Posted by: mrszilla | April 7, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree nomoney. It was painful to watch him last year, but he's really come into his own lately. Plus that shot is awesome.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 7, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I was responding to doughless, with all due respect Mrs. Z

Posted by: Sonyask | April 7, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Reading between the lines on the Kolzig post, I think we should expect him to announce that he is hanging up the blades this summer.

The TSN ratings are cool, but they are also based partially on "fantasY" sports model. In other words, who scores, high +/-, etc. Further, since Pothier's been out for 14 months, his "rating" is practically zero. So, take all that with a grain of salt.

In positive news from TSN land, Green is winning the Norris "voting" handily.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | April 7, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

No worries Sonyask... hopefully Jurcina proves me wrong since he's what we've got!

re: DevilsCapsGal's article on Kolzig

I really hope he can at least get one last good season, these past couple years haven't been too kind to him. I know he was fading skillwise but I still wish he could have retired with us (hence my name).

Posted by: mrszilla | April 7, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I'd agre. I think Pothier is being massively under-rated based on what I have seen of his play.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 7, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

almost everyone here has their 'd' man that they just don't like and would prefer to have just about anyone else one the ice instead of that player.
with the exception of green - every dman on the ice could/should be swapped out by a healthy scratch or a hershey bear according to the posters here.
based on the salary cap, playing pairs and styles, etc. - i'm sure BB puts the best possible team on the ice that give them a chance to win.
i don't really like to see any player 'bashing' - but i understand everyone has and is entitled to their own opinion.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 7, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Gotta admit Capt_Kirk_in_AZ you've basically hit the nail on the head... Jurcina's that guy for me, whether I'm right or wrong.

I think we all just get excited when we see such new, if raw, talent. Overall I'm really impressed with our AHL guys ability to integrate so well throughout the season. Hard not to love their energy.

Posted by: mrszilla | April 7, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

mrszilla:
i would agree that the bears that come up to play - seem to play with the enthusiasm of OV. they would appear to be 'into' playing more than some of the regulars are.
it will be interesting to see what they do with personnel during the offseason. with the salary cap and the 'core' of players that they should keep - everyone else is just trying to fill in the pieces at the right price. i hate the fact that almost everyone is willing to play for det for less than what they could get on the open market. with any luck - maybe some of the elite free agents this summer will see the caps as a path to the cup and play here for a reasonable salary - keeping us under (with some room) and improving the team

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 7, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

it would be super cool if somehow Ted could sign Olie so he could retire as a Cap and have his jersey retired! He Deserves it. And Juice needs to stay, smart player but just hasnt jumped up in the offensive play enough and let that bomb of a slapshot go, when he does his goals will come.

Posted by: TracyMD1 | April 7, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"In 45 games with the Bears this season,
Re Alzner

Alzner has four goals, 15 assists and is among the leaders in plus/minus with a plus 25. His 10 penalty minutes, by the way, are by far the lowest on the team."

Right here is the problem with Alzner: No hits, no goals, no ....., and only 15 assists. Everybody - almost - is on the plus side of the plus/minus by a considerable margin with the Bears!

Posted by: johnbear1 | April 7, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Tracy,

Why should Ted fork out $ for a gesture? Let Olie retire as a Leaf and 10 years from now the Caps can hoist 37 into the rafters if they want to.

Posted by: Steve_R | April 7, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

If they made the gesture to Kolzig they would have to do it for Bondra... they both said they wanted to retire as Caps (which at the time considering our rank, chances for the cup etc) was more than generous. Those were the two that really broke my heart. Those two will always get cheers from my seat, and many others, whether they are playing for another team or not.

Posted by: mrszilla | April 7, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

You ever get the feeling that in Hershey's locker room the players' names above each locker are only written in chalk? Talk about a revolving door!

Posted by: pacapsfan | April 7, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

a number of caps who were playing well haven't played as well since their groin injuries. if those injuries keep the team out of the second round or later 2 years in a row, i'd guess that money makes up for & passes controllign the temp/ humidiy in the phone booth.

Posted by: am_jim | April 7, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

both Erskine and Jurcina are defensive liabilities. neither skates particularly well and once committed can't recover to help out on the play.

I can't imagine that next season the D corps is not revamped.

Alzner needs to be promoted on a full-time basis.

The team also needs to add a rugged veteran defenseman that can be an on ice leader for the blue line corps.

Poti, Pothier are veterans but they are not vocal leaders and neither brings a physical side to their games.

Posted by: leopard09 | April 7, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

mrszilla, I remember it differently. I love Bondra and Olie (my favorite players before Ovie, Green and Backy) and hope their sweaters are retired someday but he chose to go to Atlanta when the Caps wanted him and only tried to come back after Atlanta no longer wanted him. Olie left because he was upset about Huet playing ahead of him. There really was no room for him with Johnson already signed as a backup. Maybe if he didn't make it so obvious about being unhappy playing behind Huet, the Caps may have tried to trade Johnson and keep him as a backup.

Posted by: GoEagles | April 7, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

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