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Quick Injury Update

Almost everyone is on the ice this morning at KCI, including Tomas Fleischmann and Sergei Fedorov (though neither is assigned to a line).

The word before yesterday's day off was that Fleischmann was going to be ready to go for tommorrow's showdown with the Flyers. But the fact that he's not on a line might mean he's not going to be ready.

Defenseman Tom Poti, though, is not skating with the team. He has missed six games (and 17 total) with a groin injury.

Here's how the forwards are lined up:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Laich-Nylander-Semin
Fehr-Steckel-Clark
Brashear-Gordon-Bradley

Both goalies and eight 'D' are on the ice, including John Erskine, who has missed 19 games with a concussion, and Brian Pothier, who has been out since last year with the same thing.

Bengt Gustafsson, meantime, is also on the ice. If you remember from a post last week, he is a "guest" coach for the week.

More later.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 5, 2009; 10:38 AM ET
 
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Next: Monday Morning Update

Comments

TEB - any word on Erskine? Haven't heard anything about him in a while.

Posted by: CapsGuy | January 5, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@Tarik - Are Erskine and Pothier taking the full practice, or are they just skating?

I hope Fleischmann is damnsure he's ready-ready before he goes back on the ice. I would FAR rather see him sit a couple more games out now than lose him for six or seven more if he comes back too soon AGAIN!

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Go Pothier Go

Posted by: _jordan | January 5, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I am going to guess Flash IS ready, but we are on a hot streak, and not making any changes. If we want to get Erskine in for Collins, I can see wanting toughness in front...but poor Erskine's first game back vs. Philly is a tough task.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 5, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Ditto on Fedorov!!!

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Here's a question for folks... (Repost from last thread)

I've been wondering if the NHL might consider a new rule, allowing the coach to dispute a penalty if one is questionable. Here's how it would work (like the NFL's replay rule).

1) The coach questions the penalty.
2) The penalty is reviewed by off-ice officials (like goals are reviewed).
3) If the penalty is bad, it is thrown out.
4) If the penalty is GOOD, the coach receives a two-minute bench minor for delay of game, servable either concurrently with or immediately subsequent to the penalty that was questioned, at the coach's discretion.

What do y'all think?

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered

Fleischman had Pneumonia. I doubt coming back too early is an issue. You must be talking about Feds ankle.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 5, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

what are the chances cote wants any part of what the donald has to offer him?

Cote should be smart and stay clear, but asham still has some answering to do for that two handed chop

Posted by: _stevo | January 5, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Send Flash outta there to cough on Flyers.

Posted by: CodePoetry | January 5, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town - Yeah; momentary brain-fart... :-p

Hopefully Flash is feeling more his old self! Still, I'd rather he didn't push it and relapse himself...

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I love the updates on Pothier. I think he'd be a hell of an addition to our D corps. But if we think we have cap issues when Feds and Erskine return, just wait.

I'm not sure if we could even figure it out without moving somebody and destroying our depth. I wonder if the conversation in GM's office is going like this: "Hey, Brian. I know you're feeling better and that's great. But there might be an extra 5M if you decide to spend more time with your family."

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 5, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

irtr

I'll repost what I had.

I think we can see some recent instances where BB'd love to challenge calls. Green's trip. Bradley's "delay of game..." But I would be willing to bet nobody would risk the extra penalty just to avoid one. And, again, how many Officials would want to go on public record as having made a mistake.

What I would prefer is the league make officiating disputes and their resolutions public. As it stands now, it makes it seem as if teams never challenge what goes on in a game, and no dicipline for officiating crews is ever handed out. In reality, coaches do challenge officials post-game via league channels, we just never hear about it.

I've said this RE: Football, and I think it would work in the NHL, too. Make the officials accountable to the media and you'd see a lot of makeup calls and "emotional" BS disappear from the league.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 5, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@stevo

I dont think Asham will be in the lineup for tomorrow, (he is hurt) and that is such a shame...

Cote is an idiot, and he will ask for more tomorrow. I would hope the refs have him pegged and ready for a Instigator and Game-Misconduct. I know Brash is smart enough not to try and start it.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 5, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

joejoe2007
in reference to your wise comments. wise's articles are hardly intelligent and regurgitate everything Tarik has been reporting for the entire season. if i didn't know any better i would think you're mike wise's mom.

Posted by: mnmnt_snow | January 5, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@_stevo - Cote is 0 for 2 against Brash last game, but I wouldn't expect him to be any smarter tomorrow night. He keeps starting 'em, and Brash keeps finishing 'em. Let him!

Hey - I just checked the standings...

On the last 10 games, guess who is tied for the BEST RECORD IN THE NHL?

YEP! Our very own boys in red are sitting at 9-1-0, tied with BOS.

Next-best is the Blackhawks, at 8-2-0. The Red Wings, who are only two points above us in the standings, are 7-2-1 in the last 10. They next play the Blue Jackets, who are 5-4-1 over their last 10, so I don't hold much hope for the Wings losing, but stranger things have happened this season. We are in a position to tie them for points tomorrow night.

LET'S GO, CAPS!!!

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I am all for challenges to penalty calls. You will risk an additional 2 minutes if not overturned, and you only get 1 challenge a game.

The Caps could have an off-ice replay coach send a message to the bench if it is a terrible call where the video would prove it...i.e. Greens all puck takedown.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 5, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town - Yeah, it's instances like that for which I'd want this. Most coaches would not be willing to question a call if it wasn't absolutely craptastic (like the Green all-puck-all-the-time takedown). I'd say three per game (one per period) maximum, though. That wouldn't delay the game overly much. In cases like the Green puck-hit, it's blatantly obvious on the replay that there should not have been a penalty called, and it took 10 seconds to prove it.

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Not sure about penalties being reviewed, but what about things like off sides or too many men on the ice (I guess that is a penalty). That off sides against the Rangers cost us a goal. Luckily not the game.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | January 5, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Hey, is there any word on why the younger, more-likely-to-play-for-the-Caps-in-the-future Gustafsson wasn't selected for the Swedish WJC team?

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 5, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

@FFSEnough - Yeah, making the post-game disputes public would be good. I'd love to have heard what was said, for example, about that cross-check on Semin... though I did finally unbend enough about the issue to watch it again on YouTube. It was a lousy recording, but it did look like a cross-check to me. The stick was in both hands, and parallel to the ice, and was pushed into Semin's lower back. That constitutes a cross-check, although I have seen shots like that go uncalled... I may ask the NHLOA what they are looking for to call a cross-check...

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

In regards to reviewing penalties...It's all part of the game and is a judgement call on the refs part (whether or not a trip actually occured). The game does not need to be slowed down; are we trying to turn the fastest game on the planet into baseball? How bout if MLB initiated replays for balls and strikes; the game would take 4 hours to play instead of 3. Overall, I think the refs do a pretty good job when calling penalties, and the way the calls are being made nowadays, what constitutes a "bad" call? Reviewing penalties would slow the game down and make it less appealing to outsiders of the game.

Posted by: reesem37 | January 5, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Challenging penalties in a hockey game?

Why do we want to be more like the NFL?

One of the beauties of hockey is it is primarily called from the ice during a fast paced game. There is a human element to it.

The teams make their own breaks out there. If they are getting tagged for borderline calls, then they need to start playing smarter.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 5, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

@reesem37

Im saying you have ONE a game per team. I doubt it would be used often unless it is a real game changing play that is obvious.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 5, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Pothier has a good while to go yet, its great to hear how well he is doing but they will want to make sure he is ready before throwing him on the D. Once Feds and Poti are back, they will have to make room for Alzner, so he will probably go back to Hershey. Unless they trade to make room to keep him. Either way lets hope this is the end of the injury bug for awhile.

Posted by: HBFan | January 5, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Just a quick tidbit, in the past 11 games Alex Semin has played in, the Caps are 11-0. Overall the Caps are 16-4-2 with Semin in the lineup. Check out his game log. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/players/gamelog?playerId=2139

The guy is more valuable to this team than meets the eye. That fight was good in the sense that he stuck up for himself, but he could have easily broke his hand. I’m just glad he didn’t break his hand. The Caps need him for the stretch.

Posted by: cj658 | January 5, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I hope Bengt doesn't get hurt! lol

Posted by: sargeantmofo | January 5, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm against reviewing penalties except in OT, when it's so much more costly - but only called penalties; you can't generate a penalty from a non-call. Granted, it wouldn't have helped us with Poti or Erskine last April, but that's when and the type of situation where you'd have it.

It would have absolutely helped with the BS Kozlov goalie interference call, though. Too bad that wasn't in OT.

Seems like it'd be too complicated to factor in.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 5, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

i say no replays on penalties unless it's a cut and dry call, ie. was it the other teams player who hit my guy in the face or was it my guy? did the puck hit the glass or was it deflected when my guy shot it over the glass? too many men, etc. and only if a penalty was called and the penalized team wants to challenge it. no replays for calls that weren't made but a team believes they should have been.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 5, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@CTCapsPhan - I'd rather see it for review of a badly-called penalty - again, the example in question is the penalty shot awarded because Green "fouled from behind" on a breakaway when in reality, Green actually hit the puck first, so that the puck was no longer in control of the other player when he tripped.

Too many men on the ice is a bench minor penalty, and I'm frankly surprised it isn't called more frequently, since the guys on the bench are not supposed to get on the ice until the guys coming off are 5' or less from the bench, and I see them coming on way before then a lot of times.

@rdy4all2000 and reesem37 - This is why the limits on the number of times a penalty can be reviewed, and the two minute delay of game penalty if the questioned penalty is not overturned. The latter is a rather strong deterrent, don't you think, to people using this power for just any old hook that didn't quite look right.

But everybody in the arena could see Green's "foul from behind" was bunk.

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Really interesting interviews today on the "Game Day" section of the caps website.
Paul Mara mentions that our building is becoming one of the more exciting venues to play in. (Compares to Montreal) and Valiquette has a very perplexed look on his face when the media guys inform him that OV is not a starter at the All-Star game.
It is worth checking out.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 5, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Tarik:

Will there be more, either here or in the hard copy, on Bengt Gustafsson's guest coaching stint? I'm sure plenty of fans are interested. Thanks.

Posted by: uncatim | January 5, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Reviews for anything but goals in the game of hockey is absolutely atrocious. You cant even review a penalty call in football.

We dont know what goes on behind closed doors at the NHL offices in regards to officiating. How do we know refs are not disciplined? We dont.

Hockey is a fast paced game that has a large human element to it and you have to accept the fact that not every penalty call is going to be a penalty when looked at during a slo mo replay.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 5, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Not sure how much the reviewable calls would help the game. I agree with the person who stated the refs need to be more accountable for thier actions after the game. I think Domi once said, let the refs have to answer to thier work after the game in a press conference when they can be asked about specific plays.

Its the nature of the game where plays are going to be missed and it stinks. But I have no problem with a ref saying "yeah, i just missed that call", though too many of those answers burn you too. Sometimes an explanation of why the call was/wasnt made is helpful and can help the league evaluate performance and maybe bring some consistancy to some of these calls. If a ref has to answer why a call was made in one instance and not another... that might force consistancy.

Posted by: Grape8 | January 5, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Pretty cool that the Caps vs Flyers rivalry is recognized on NHL.com. They're calling it the Hatfield's vs the McCoy's. The attitude of the Philly fans visiting Verizon makes it even easier to hate the Flyers. I was extremely disappointed with the group of Rangers fans in Sec 228 on Saturday. I haven't missed a Caps/Rangers game for some time and that was by far the worst group of Rangers fans I have run in to.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 5, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Pothier remains on LTIR even though he skates with the team, so he doesn't have to go to Hershey. The real question is if he doesn't come back this year, do we resign him for next year? He's UFA this summer.

If he comes back this season, Alzner and Collins (though I like Sloan better) are in the way, and fit with the team right now. Pothier's been out over a year.

Frankly, I hope he decides to retire for 2 reasons, 1 of which is greedy. The D we have can play pretty tight if they think about it. Why jeopardize it?

The caring and gentler side of me doesn't think that he should risk permanent damage to his brain. He should be selfish and think of what his life would be like, how that would impact his wife and kids, and his later life.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

But the real question of the day is what new nicknames has Alex Semin earned as a result of his flying fists (open palms?) of fury saturday night?

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 5, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Although other fans coming into the arena can be annoying. I think it makes some of the games fun. The crowd gets extra loud and it seems like there is something else to root for.

Ive seen games where fans from other teams are in the arena, being themselves and the reaction they received was negative so they started being negative.

Its fun to do a bit of trash talking at the games.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 5, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I watched Fedorov skate yesterday at Kettler. It was just him alone with Kozlov in street clothes talking to him. He skated real gingerly and looked to be in some pain. As Irock said...hope he stays away until he is completely healed...no need to rush back and reinjure a reinjury.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@ sombrero

Alex the Raging Sissy Semin

that might work

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 5, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@DrinkingPartner - Totally agreed on not being able to get a penalty that WASN'T called called, just getting a bad penalty that WAS called thrown out. :)

I would not expect the former to ever happen.

One dispute per game (or one per regulation period, and one in OT) at an absolute maximum per team would be reasonable; it wouldn't slow the game down any more than three TV timeouts per period does. They could cut to commercial while the penalty was being reviewed. With the possibility of a two minute delay of game penalty if the questioned penalty isn't overturned, I don't see teams abusing it at all. You WOULD only use it in cut-and-dried situations.

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@rdy4all2000 - I prefer "Monkey Fist" to that. He isn't a sissy if he uses an open-hand hit to avoid breaking his fingers. We pay him to score goals, not to fight. Calling him a Raging Sissy is just insulting.

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Bongo Boy Semin

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Re: NHLOA BBoards - I've just found out that all 10 of my questions will be answered by the NHL Officials Association. I'm looking forward to seeing their replies, and if I get anything of note, I'll be sure to post it here. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I heard Beyonce is mad because now she is not the only "Sasha Fierce" around.

OK. sorry that was bad.

Posted by: Grape8 | January 5, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I dont think Pothier is retiring if he is trying to come back. The question is will he be ready to play this year? Maybe towards the end of the season, maybe.

As soon as Erskine is healthy, Collins will be sent back to Hershey.

Alzner its up to the Caps, if they want to keep him up then they will have to make room for him. Which they are going to have to do once Poti and Feds are ready to go, provided no one else gets hurt.

March is just around the corner so only time will tell...

Posted by: HBFan | January 5, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Something interesting I did read on the NHLOA BBoards is this, though. It was in response to a question posted about the Boarding rule, and when the major vs. minor penalty is enforced, and whether a resulting injury comes into play in making the decision, because injuries to the head and/or neck from a boarding major result in an automatic game misconduct penalty. Here is the response, from linesman Shane Heyer:

The official would decide whether the infraction and not the result was worthy of a major or minor. If the infraction was judged worthy of a major and the result was an injury then the game misconduct would be added. Always judge an act and not the result. Having said that it is likely easier to defend a major when an injury is present.

I asked a follow-up question about his last sentence...

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@rdy4all2000 - Haha, hey I won't call the guy a sissy. He stood up for himself and fought back, even if the end results were pretty amusing. I can't wait for the next Russian interview translation discussing the subject.

Someone posted this on Japers Rink and i thought it was pretty hilarious

http://img75.imageshack.us/img75/3597/seminbongosyv0.gif

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 5, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@ irtr

Using that theory, he shouldnt go into corners, he shouldnt stand in front of the net, he shouldnt block shots, and he shouldnt finish his checks.

Heck, why shoot the puck, he might hurt himself doing that.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 5, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@HBFan - Pothier has stated that if he DOES retire, he wants to do it healthy. That is why he is skating with the team in practices. I don't blame him for waiting to make his decision, one way or the other, until after he's regained his health.

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Gus still rocks!

Posted by: GAU8A | January 5, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

He did stand up for himself..I was proud up until the end.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 5, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

irtr: RE: Penalty Challenging.

We have things in this game called "makeup-calls." It is something that has never sat well with me. Sure, maybe implementing a challenge system would get rid of a few "make-up" calls during a game, but the make-ups are there for a reason. Ref's know whey they may or may not have made a bad call. If they make a bad one, the other team usually gets their makeup very soon. (case in point, delay of game penalty on brads, we were only on the kill for 2 seconds or something dumb like that.)

As much as we get to complain about the refs, and as much as i think a system could be implemented, I think I prefer what we have now. Would only like to see refs more accountable to media.

Shock collars on the refs? Bad Ref, no Cookie.

Really though. I would also like to see more ref huddles. The penalty shot awarded on the Lambo trip is something that could have been nullified by a linesmen saying to the orange-striper, "Hey, I saw him get puck..." I believe there are only a few penalties a linesman can call, but it seems as if their opinion is viewed as second-rate to the orange stripers. I'd prefer a bad whistle, wait 10 seconds and have the right call made than a bad whistle, with bad call and bad result.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 5, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

1) I believe Pothier is signed through the 2009-2010 season.

2) The Green "trip." Yes, obviously, Green got puck first. But, he still tripped the guy (after touching puck first). I have watched enough to know when you get puck first it usually isn't called, but does it say in the rules you can trip players all you want if you get the puck first? This isn't soccer where you can "tackle" if you get ball first.

I would think, according to the rules, Green could still be guilty of tripping on that play but there couldn't be a penalty shot since it was puck first. Anyone know?

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 5, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@rdy4all2000 - Huh??! Where did you get THAT from what I said? All I said was that Semin wasn't a sissy for using an open hand to hit his opponent, and that I thought calling him one was an insult. It's a valid martial arts strike, after all.

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Now you are stretching for justification for slapping an opposing player.

Thats like pulling hair in a hockey fight..you shouldnt do it

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 5, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - Yes, that's right. The trip would still be a penalty, but the riskier penalty shot would not have been awarded.

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - continued. I would not have disputed a tripping penalty on that play. I would dispute the penalty shot being called, especially if my goaltender did not have a good record against the penalty shot.

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I agree that having fans from visiting teams make the games even more fun. Especially this year since we don't have to hear S%$^ when we walk out because the Caps keep winning. I also have no problem with visiting fans cheering at all. It's when the beer sloshing starts and fights start to break out in the stands. I especially like when the chicken dance plans. When we get to plug in "the flyers su&&." Even heard the Rangers fans a couple rows behind us laughing when we did it on Saturday. Hey, the visting fans pay good money to come in so they should have a good time too. I haven't sat on my hands when catching the Caps on the road. So I don't expect any other fan to either. Just have to keep things in perspective. Although I like my brews I'm sure alcohol is a contributing factor is a vast majority of the fan disputes.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 5, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1

You're right... He is signed through 2010. Actually, I don't think that next year should be an issue on the cap. This year it's an absolute cap. Next year not so much.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@uncatim
That is a great question. I always enjoyed seeing Bengt play. I am sure some of the current Caps could use some of his coaching tips.

Posted by: opita | January 5, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@ DrinkingPartner

Anton had his lower back issue to begine the season. He came back from the back issue and went down with a sprained knee. After he got back into the line-up a few games and then broke one of his fingers.

He has played about 20 or 25 games. I'll try to find the link/story I read about him.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 5, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@rdy4all2000 - Excuse me?! I am not the first or the only one to point this out. I maintain that Alexander Semin stood up for himself, and he is not a sissy, no matter how amusing the fight might look later. The only replay I have been able to find shows Semin's strikes from over Semin's shoulder. How do you know what they would look like from the other side? His hands are blocked by his body. Was he slapping, or was he using the side of his hand? I don't care either way. Semin is NOT a sissy. He stood up for himself, and wouldn't let another player push him around. I'm proud of him for it, but fighting is not his usual role.

Semin is not an enforcer, and he's not one to drop the gloves under normal circumstances. Whatever circumstance forced him to it this time - and I did see his opponent shove him in the face - the results were that he had the guy on his back and pounded the snot out of him for a few seconds before the referee tackled him, and I say, GO SASHA!

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

If we think about it, we have Goat, Sam and the cow bell dude trying to generate some crowd noise. If someone shows up with a pair of bongos, will we cheer or be too busy laughing?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 5, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm wrong ... but if Erskine is healthy to skate against the Flyers, I'd like to see him in the lineup for his added toughness.

Brashear, Erskine, Clark, Bradley ... the tough guys need to be ready against Philly.

Posted by: Cerealman | January 5, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The Kings have actual drummers they use.

Corey has the info on Anton.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 5, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Pit-NYR on Versus tonight.

I'm rooting for the Rangers, even if they're higher up in the standings.

Posted by: Cerealman | January 5, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I know you were only kidding, FFS, but I am sure that PA would intervene if the Caps didn't activate a healthy Pothier.

Semin must've been watching A Christmas Story a few weeks ago - TBS plays it for 24 hour straight starting Christmas Eve - because he looked just like Ralphie going after that bully. All that was missing were the mittens on a string. I'm sure if you were there, you'd have had heard him mumbling curses as he flailed away.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 5, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Replay?

Remember that even in the NFL, most penalties cannot be challenged. Replay isn't in place to second-guess penalties, its for other plays. In effect, the NHL HAS the type of replay that the NFL does: They replay goals and other plays. But would you want a challenge on a questionable non-call, or icing, or off-side? Further, hockey is a game fraught with non-calls and borderline judgements. There isn't a possibility for consistency, and so we have to trust the calls of referees.

Posted by: regniweol | January 5, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

To those still making fun or calling Semin a sissy, what you see on the mirror is not Semin it is YOU - move away from it.

Semin used the best technique under the situation, the hammer punch, it allows his arms more movement as well as provide him with a more vulnerable target. This technique is used quite often on the UFC and similar venues. Don't dismiss the speed on which those punches were thrown.
One last tip. If you ever find yourself on a real fight, don't cry if the other guy pulls your hair, it is allow, anything goes, it is not the movies.

Posted by: opita | January 5, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@regniweol - No, no, NO! We've been saying: question BAD calls that WERE made, *NOT* question non-calls that weren't made!!!

No challenging on icing.
No challenging on non-calls.
No challenging on off-sides.

JUST on bad penalty calls that WERE called, with the deterrent of a two-minute delay of game if the call stands.

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, jmu, for the point in the right direction. I had been wondering about Anton since I saw that a very different Gustafsson was playing for the Swedish National Team than I was expecting.

I can see now, though, that, given he's not even playing in the SEL, he probably wouldn't have been on the WJC team as it is. Maybe next year...

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 5, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@Steve_R: Don't tempt me. There's a music store in Takoma Park that is guaranteed to have bongo drums like that, and they'll show you how to play 'em, too. Maybe we play 'em after every fight.

Of course, the person who has 'em has got to have a Semin jersey on too.

@fanohock1: Agreed. The visiting team fans make it much more fun, and that's one thing that is cool about DC - since it's a transient city, you're guaranteed to have a few fans from the other team at every game. The chicken dance thing cracks me up - we did it down at Theodore's end of the ice with the Rangers too.

The clowns over in 428 were special, though. Real special. (I know where they were because I sit in 429, and they were one section over from us.) I missed some of the incidents for paying attention to the game but the end of the second and the third got pretty bad. Glad they got kicked out.

Also agree that the beer is a factor. A big factor.

@SombreroGuy: I gotta go with "Bongo". Nice and simple.

@tominfl1: That's how I would have called it. Yeah, it's a trip, but because he'd already had the puck poked away and therefore was not guaranteed a chance to score, it would have been a power play, not a penalty shot.

@ready4all2000: Gotta concur that I wouldn't call Semin a sissy. Yeah, he could use some lessons in fighting, but we don't pay him to fight, we pay him to make the opposing D and other goalies look stupid. I'm as glad he didn't break his hand. Yeah, it was funny and kind of sad to watch, but he stood up for himself, and that was cool.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@opita - THANK you for backing me on that. Semin is not a sissy!

@Cerealman - Anything to knock Pittsburgh further down is OK by me! :-)

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: no_private_info | January 5, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Semin fighting was adorable!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@Cerealman: Gotta go with the Rangers, too, but that's because I want to see Philly out of first in the Atlantic.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Im with opita

Alex "The Hammer Punch," Semin sounds like a good nickname.

I might get a #28 Jersey with "Raging Palms," on the back.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 5, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Sasha on the front page of the NHL section on ESPN

Posted by: DaleHunter | January 5, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

lylewimbledon:

The only thing about hockey that is supposed to be adorable is Mites on Ice!

Posted by: uncatim | January 5, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

How about just plan "Hammer Time"?

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | January 5, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered
I know some peole are just teasing, but it drives me crazy that they don't realize when enough is enough.

@Kittypawz
Contrary to what people believe, I have a feeling that Alex is one heck of a fighter. Don't let what looks like silly slaps deceive you, they were fast side punches. I also noticed that he has one quick left jab, he had used it before. And lastly, he put that guy down so easy all Stahl could do was cover. This kid can fight.


Posted by: opita | January 5, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

If Pothier plays anywhere this year it will be as a rehab stint in the AHL or ECHL. It wouldn't be rationale to think he would have game timing after a year plus without playing. Also, while it would be special to see him come back, concussions are not something to take chances with as in Chris Benoit and Justin Levens. Granted, those were in different sports (WWE and UFC respectively), but the thought is that the long term effects of concussions remain unknown and need consideration.

More info on concussions here:

http://www.sportslegacy.org/

Posted by: lornemyoung | January 5, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

@opita: Hm. He certainly took down Staal in a damn hurry, and while it didn't have a lot of style points, it sure as hell was effective. I had the impression that Staal just pushed him too far and he snapped, and figured maybe that was how he did it. Certainly I well know from personal experience that you can take out a bigger and more dangerous opponent if you're angry enough.

Maybe you're right, though I don't want to see him fighting very often, just because I don't want him getting hurt more often than he already does. I think the best of all possible worlds would be for him to establish that he doesn't drop 'em unless he flat has to, but if he does God help the person on the other end.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

@Uncatim

Lol - exactly my point.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Bradley? I have a Brads jersey and I love him. He seems to be willing to throw down with just about anyone, which I admire, but I wouldn't call him a tough guy. If Bradley throws down with a Flyer tomorrow night, I'm adding a small Flyer logo to my shirt. I'm going to add logos to the Brads shirt every time he drops 'em...just like the stickers or college football helmets or additional devices on military awards.

Posted by: saintex | January 5, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@optia - I get the impression that rdy4all2000 was serious...

Re: the side punches - I could not see clearly from the angle the replay showed, but I'll buy that.

Re: Visiting fans - I don't mind trash talk. It's when beer bottles (glass ones) start getting thrown that I start having issues. Also, the A$$-HOOOOLE chant is uncool and starts towards the line IMO. But the "DALE HUNTER BEATS HIS WIFE" chant was just stupid, and I had no issue with "LET'S GO, RAN-GERS!" either. That's normal stuff. It fires us up, and when the Phone Booth gets hot and shouty, it really helps our guys down on the ice. We're the 7th man out there, the team has said, and I think that's very good.

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Semin is NOT a sissy. A sissy would not have fought back at all. I do not think of him as being effeminate or cowardly, which are words used to describe a sissy. I was actually impressed with his fury. It was like a furious berserker, almost ape-like (Planet of the Apes came to mind, the Mark Wahlberg one) How about....

ALEX SIMIAN???!!! :)

Posted by: WTF_Fehr | January 5, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@lornemyoung: Concur that Pothier will probably do a rehab stint in the AHL before playing with the NHL again, for exactly what you stated.

It's up to Pothier. He's got a family to think about, and he knows it. He's stated that once he is completely, 100% healthy, he will decide whether to hang up his skates for good.

Also, on an unrelated note: If you are going to the Flyers game on Tuesday, be prepared for bad weather. NOAA forecast is calling for sleet and freezing rain with up to 1/4" of ice. Some Metro stations have a parking garage, and this might be a smart option if you take Metro - I know for a fact that New Carrollton and College Park on the Maryland side do, and that Greenbelt does not. I can't speak to Virginia, though.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Another note, as a frequent "Fehr Basher", I would like to acknowledge his resent play of late. He has played noticeably better, even if he isnt scoring, I think he is on his way to being a solid NHLer. He may never live up to the potential displayed everywhere BUT the NHL, but he is out there working hard.

Posted by: WTF_Fehr | January 5, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The ref probably got to explain it to Toronto in his morning's email.


From the NHL Rulebook....


Rule 57 - Tripping.


57.1 Tripping – A player or goalkeeper shall not place the stick, knee, foot, arm, hand or elbow in such a manner that causes his opponent to trip or fall..


Accidental trips which occur simultaneously with a completed play will not be penalized. Accidental trips occurring simultaneously with or after a stoppage of play will not be penalized..


If, in the opinion of the Referee, a player makes contact with the puck first and subsequently trips the opponent in so doing, no penalty shall be assessed.


57.2 Minor Penalty - A minor penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who shall place his stick or any portion of his body in such a manner that it shall cause his opponent to trip and fall..


57.3 Penalty Shot - When a player, in the neutral or attacking zone, in control of the puck (or who could have obtained possession and control of the puck) and having no other opponent to pass than the goalkeeper, is tripped or otherwise fouled from behind, thus preventing a reasonable scoring opportunity, a penalty shot shall be awarded to the non-offending side. Nevertheless, the Referee shall not stop play until the attacking side has lost possession of the puck to the defending side..


The intention of this rule is to restore a reasonable scoring opportunity which has been lost by reason of a foul from behind when the foul is committed on the opponent in the neutral or attacking zone. If, however, the player fouled is able to recover and obtain a reasonable scoring opportunity (or a teammate is able to gain a reasonable scoring opportunity), no penalty shot should be awarded but the appropriate penalty should be signaled and assessed if a goal is not scored on the play....

Posted by: Stripedguy | January 5, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@kitty and all

There are garages at Vienna, West Falls, and Ballston (attached to the mall, upholding the KCI...it's only a $1). There are surface lots at Dunn Loring and East Falls Church. The easiest access is off I-66 for West Falls. Get off at Glebe (120) and head south if going to Ballston. If you are riding in - and don't normally do it - it's best to get off at Metro Center, exit on the 11st St. side, and walk the four blocks to Verizon. I find the cramming on and riding the red line one stop to be frustrating and quite silly.

Posted by: saintex | January 5, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@saintex - This season, then, you will want to add:

* Thrashers (10-OCT vs. THORBURN)
* Penguins (16-OCT vs. BISSONNETTE)
* Islanders (16-DEC vs. JACKMAN)
* Flyers (20-DEC vs. GRATTON)

I love the idea!!! It's like those WWI fighting aces and the score cards on their planes. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@Stripedguy - Good point on the tripping penalty... If, in the opinion of the Referee, a player makes contact with the puck first and subsequently trips the opponent in so doing, no penalty shall be assessed.

I stand corrected. Since Green hit the puck first, and the player subsequently tripped, that should not have been a penalty at all. And that makes it a prime example for why coaches should be allowed to dispute a set number of bad calls per game (1 might be too few, but more than 3 might be excessive).

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@saintex: Yeah, you could do that, or go to L'Enfant and transfer to green/yellow there. I go to College Park usually, and after the game usually walk down to Archives/Navy Memorial and get on there. One stop longer, but Archives is a lot quieter and I can almost alwyas get a seat.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 5, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

If the weather is bad tomorrow night, does that mean there may be fewer Philly fans who make the trip down I-95? That would be a nice bonus!

Also - I heard that the Flyers had some injuries on their West Coast trip. Anyone have any updates?

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | January 5, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@kitty

After the Lightning game I took green to L'Enfant and Orange back around to Virginia. It may seem longer but with the late trains about 15 minutes apart and the big Verizon crowds, it's worth it. I like sitting.

Posted by: saintex | January 5, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Flyers injuries:

Simon Gagne (LW) Shoulder injury, day-to-day


Arron Asham (RW/LW) Right knee injury, sidelined indefinitely - IR


Derian Hatcher (D) Right knee injury, sidelined indefinitely - IR


Mike Rathje (D) Groin, sidelined indefinitely - IR


Daniel Briere (C/RW) Groin, early January - IR

Posted by: Greg S. | January 5, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

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