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Quote(s) of the Day

Bruce Boudreau's postgame press conferences are always good for a laugh (or five), win or lose. But they're especially entertaining after wins.

Last night I asked him to assess Alex Ovechkin's four-goal performance in the Caps' 8-6 victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Sens. Without hesitation, Boudreau shot back: "He played okay. I might give him the day off tomorrow."

He later cracked, "I was looking for a skate to cut his other thigh -- if that's what he's going to do every game."

In case you're wondering, Ovechkin isn't the only player getting a day off today. They're all getting the day off (and so am I).

The Caps will return to the ice for practice at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

In the meantime, may I suggest you take a look at the standings? A couple more wins and things could get interesting.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 30, 2007; 5:16 AM ET
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Next: A.O. Named NHL First Star of the Week


Tarik, how fun and exciting was it to be at that game last night?!! To see Ovie with four goals, just an all out crazy/nail biter of a game.

Posted by: Jeff, FFX | December 30, 2007 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Is it true that Ovechkin would like to play in Montreal? Jack Todd of the Montreal gazette seems to think it could be a possiblity.
The rumour mill north of the border says he is not happy with his contract negotiations and he does become an unrestricted free agent next year.

Posted by: Robert | December 30, 2007 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Ovie becomes a restricted free agent next year. That basically means that the Caps have the right to match any offer he accepts from another team. He doesn't become a UFA for another five seasons. As to the rumour mill, neither the Caps nor Ovechkin are saying much about the status of any negotiations, and there isn't even informed speculation out there. If the Caps view Ovie as a one of a kind franchise player (and it appears they do), and if Ovie views himself the same way (and it appears he does), the typical risk calculation involved in signing or not signing today is different for both sides than it would be for anyone else. Today, Ovie would be crazy to sign for anything less than a max deal, and the Caps would be crazy not to wait to see if they can get him a little cheaper. I think it's safe to say that, in the interim, the lack of a long term contract doesn't seem to be affecting his play! Personally, I would be shocked if Ovie is playing anywhere other than Washington next season and for a good number of years thereafter. We're just going to have to wait to see what the details turn out to be.

Posted by: Fred | December 30, 2007 7:51 AM | Report abuse

@mauree: Joe and Lacher must have been reading your comments last week, as "killer instinct" was a big topic of theirs last night. The Caps finished! And whether Chris Neal was trying to set the tone for the 3rd period or not, Don Brashear made him pay big time for finishing his check on Backstrom in the second, right down to the "dust off" on his way to the locker room. The Caps had plenty of attitude last night, it was great to see.

Posted by: Fred | December 30, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree Tarik,

I see things getting very interesting with the playoff race in the east especially how the Caps catching up with the rest of the pack. Just think, we started out with a horrendous 6-14-1 start and we all knew that the team didn't have the confidence in themselves nor Glen Hanlon. But since Coach BB took over, He lit a fire under their behinds and they earned at least a point in 13 of their past 18 games and now we're only 5 pts away from the 7&8 seed, 7 pts from the 5&6 seed and only 8 pts from the division lead and the #3 seed. Now despite Kolzig's issues and somewhat chronic defensive breakdowns, the team will definitely get better as they still seem to adjust to BB's system. We all know that Kolzig is either in a slump lacking confidence or he's just a shadow of his former self which I'm starting to think that the latter is true. I love the guy like the caps fan but I think that he's just not as consistent as he used to be. However, I think if the the back end tighten up a little, Olie will be okay. I may seem overly optimistic but I think the Caps will make the playoffs if they keep up the "never say die" attitude. Of course... If anybody disagrees, please share your thoughts

Posted by: Jleftwing97 | December 30, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Ok serious question here. What will it take for the team to get to the it based on points or standings? Or both?

Posted by: newfan | December 30, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Come out on Tuesday, and you will see round 2.

Posted by: Donald Brasher | December 30, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Top 8 teams in each conference make the playoffs, with the three division winners gaining the top three seeds.

A win over Ott on Tuesday will make up for the really crappy back to back losses to Florida in the Fall.

The team is coming together, and with top end talent like Ovechkin and Semin, only goaltending will hold the Caps back.

Posted by: Caps Fan | December 30, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

newfan - they need to be in the top 8 in the east (so technically, it is both points and standings - they need to rack up the points to get at least to 8 in eastern the standings).

can the caps make the playoffs at this point? ABSO-FRICKEN-LOUTELY!!! the season is not even half way over and they are just 5 points from the top 8. 2008 has the potential to be REALLY exciting!! LET'S GO CAPS!!!!

i don't know what to make of kolzig. he has had some killer play this season, but he is hot and cold (and i don't see cassivi getting in the net anytime soon.) if he can find his mo-jo and the rest of the team keeps playing like it did last night, then the caps will be unstoppable!! (btw, mauree - how dare you hop back on my kolzig bandwagon when i was sitting squarely on yours after last night's game!! ;-))

regardless, tuesday should be an interesting game - i am so glad that i am going to be there. the sens will surely be thirsty for blood. i didn't think we could beat them once, certianly not twice ... can we actually do it a third time?!? i sure hope that it is JUST like last night's game - that would be fun to see live and in person!! :-D

Posted by: Boo! | December 30, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Globe&Mail: "When he's going like that and making moves on great defenceman and the puck seemed to stay with him all night, I mean, it's been a young time in my tenure here, but the guy sort of amazes me," Boudreau said.

CBS: "What impresses me most is that he actually played tonight," Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig said.

"If you guys would have seen the gash on his leg and I know a lot of guys were, not begging him but leaning towards,

'Hey, you think you can play tonight?' He had a lot of courage and he put on a heck of a show."

Viva Ovechkin!

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 30, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Ok, am I the only one who thinks that a player who already has 3 goals taking pot shots at the empty net and risking an icing call and D-zone face-off when up by only one goal, on the road, playing one of the best teams in the league is irresponsible?

I love OV as much as anybody, but he should have been benched after the first icing he caused by shooting at the empty net. I mean how many goals have we allowed off face-off losses in the last week, and is it me or did we not just loose a horrible come from behind last minute game to the Pens.

Posted by: livinit | December 30, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Yes, you're the only one.

If you have one person on the team who should be shooting from 175 feet, Ovechkin is that person.

It'd be irresponsible if Pothier or Morrrrrrissssssonnnnnnnn did it.


The Caps need to not let AO go to RFA open status. Edmonton will put the house on him in an offer and the Caps need to pay their price and not Edmonton's.

Posted by: Eddie C | December 30, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"I love OV as much as anybody, but he should have been benched after the first icing he caused by shooting at the empty net."

Were you comfortable that the one goal would stand up? I sure wasn't... it was a calculated risk that barely missed... he's nailed the second one and secured the victory.

Posted by: Dave in Alexandria (no longer in DC) | December 30, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

No-Ovie wants to be here. These things are said all the time. Just wishful thinking. Maybe reading too much into one of Alex's comments or such. This is a quote out of the Sporting News and Spector's response from (pretty reliable)on some of these rumours:

"Eric McErlain dismissed recent speculation the Washington Capitals might trade superstar Alexander Ovechkin, noting the club has plenty of cap space to re-sign him and reminding folks of owner Ted Leonsis' pledge two years ago that the Capitals would build around Ovechkin.

Spector's Note: Those suggesting Ovechkin should be shopped because he "deserves to play in a real hockey town" usually follow up by making the case for Ovechkin to come to their hockey town. It's also interesting that those pundits suggesting the Capitals won't or can't re-sign Ovechkin aren't saying the same thing about Calgary's Dion Phaneuf, probably because Phaneuf plays in a "real hockey town". Bottom line: the Caps have seven months - SEVEN MONTHS - to re-sign Ovechkin, and just because some clubs have taken to locking up their impending RFAs early in this season doesn't mean the Capitals won't be re-signing their franchise player. Unless Ovechkin publicly demands a trade, the Capitals are going to re-sign him."

Posted by: MinorTthreat | December 30, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse


I asked Ovechkin about taking the first shot that ended up with an icing. He was upset with himself and admitted he made a mistake.

Posted by: Tarik | December 30, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Great game bu Ovie, Backstrom, Semin, Nylander.

Some nice comments by Senators' fans on

Posted by: Joe B | December 30, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I would like to personally thank Ottawa Senators for giving Ovie a break, for the first time this year he was not shadowed and covered like other teams normally do to him. For example on a first goal he had so much time (relatively), so much space. It's unbelievable what he can do, oh well, we know he scored 4. But thank you, thank you, thank you Ottawa Senators, we had a show.

Next time on New Year's Eve he will have two guys shadowing him guaranteed.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 30, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

It feels really, really, really good to see Tampa Bay in last place in the conference. Really good.

Posted by: zamboni | December 30, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

7.5 mil a year? If this is what GMGM came up with, if this is true, it is an insult!!!!!

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 30, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Headlines and goals video replay for yesterday's game

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 30, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Look, get over the fact that Ovie took a shot and caused an icing. The game was a tremendous see-saw battle all night long. Ovie is a man and admitted to the press that he made a mistake with that shot. However, Ovie is also a CONFIDENT MAN therefore he took another shot and made it. When Ovie shows up in Washington or a visiting city to play hockey he's there to put on a show. You know, I know and the entire Capitals bench knows that they wanted Ovie to get his 4th of the night and really pack it into the Senators on their home ice. Job done, mission accomplished. We've swept Ottawa in their own building now it's time to put up some "Capital Punishment" and stand our ground at VC!

By the way, Ovie is so confident he could have made that empty net shot all the way from Halifax, Nova Scotia if he really wanted too. Give the man his props!

Lastly, if Kolzig thinks games like that are going to force him to retire early.....then hang them up dude we support you!!!

Posted by: Mitch | December 30, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I think that something might happen with respect to Ovie's contract soon. I don't remember if it was Tarik's article or the AP story, but Ovie mentioned how excited he was to play last night in part because his parents had just returned and were at the game last night. Ovie's mom plays his agent in real life.

Posted by: Clarendon | December 30, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin's mom does not represent him. I'm told he's been handling the negotiations himself, with the guidance of a lawyer.

Posted by: Tarik | December 30, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse


STTTTTTRIKE ONE!! :) Tarik just blew that fastball right by you!

Posted by: Mitch | December 30, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Don't kid your self, Mom's in charge. She is experienced, and Ovie will listen to her.

Posted by: Oldfan | December 30, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I think I'd believe Tarik before I'd believe Oldfan.

Posted by: Jordan | December 30, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Who do you take out of this line-up when Captain Clark comes back???
Pettinger or Flash or Laich or Laing or Bradley... if it was me thoe...


Posted by: ZackAttack | December 30, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Correct that i would take out Flash for Laing he deserves it...

Posted by: ZackAttack | December 30, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I'd doubt those sources. Until the league cracked down on this team you couldn't even find out what injuries they had; whenever a contract is signed the press release that accompanies it always reads "in keeping with club policy financial terms of the contract will not be released", so I doubt that anyone was able to discover the exact terms for their most important negotiation. I also doubt they would offend Ovechkin by offering him 1.2 million a year less than what Crosby makes.

In the end it doesn't matter. The Capitals can match and keep Ovechkin and they will. Period.

Posted by: dmg | December 30, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Allow me to pat myself on the back.. Yesterday I called for Pettinger to be out of the line-up.

He was and we scored 8 goals.

Thanks very much..


Posted by: Oneal | December 30, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Pat everyone else on the back too because you definitely weren't the only person wanting to bench Petty over the past couple of weeks.

Posted by: keef | December 30, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

>In the end it doesn't matter. The Capitals can match and keep Ovechkin and they will. Period.

But you don't do it by insulting your and NHL's best player. Better be careful, there's an option for a player to ask for a trade.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 30, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, is it you or impersonator? I want to put it in a blog, just double-checking :-)

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 30, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse


You called that one...
But now, do you put him back in?
He usually comes back pretty hard after a scratch.

Posted by: pmoravek | December 30, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

QUESTION per Eminger (sp?). If the CAPS want to trade him, shouldn't they be playing him to show him off to the other teams? Otherwise, he's an unknown quantity.

Posted by: Dezlboy | December 30, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic game last night. We'll have hell to pay on Wednesday! I think the Sens will bring their A game.

Again, not an Olie supporter, but he played a good game. 4 of the 6 couldn't be stopped. Even by Bryz. Can't do much about deflections.

Green should stay a little closer to home, and be cognizant of who is behind him. That is not to say he shouldn't stop pressing the offense. He just needs to be more judicious about it.

What happened to the Nylander we have grown to loathe? Could this be the end of that? Great Scott, I hope so! Now, we need to work on Kozlov!

On AO and the negotiations:

Since no one is actually IN the negotiating room with AO and gmgm, or at least none of us, can we please stop with the 'gmgm is insulting' AO? Since when did the Sun EVER report anything accurately let alone an ongoing negotiation. The deal will be done, and in good time.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 30, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Unless OV ends up negotiating with a new GM, consider him gone.

His mom may not be representing him, but you know her influence. Your comment is like one GM would say, just something to annoy people like his mom.

Posted by: Chief | December 30, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Considering how secretive the Caps are and Ovie doesn't have an agent to talk either, I can't take any of these contract rumors seriously. Where's this information coming from? His mom handled his contacts in the RSL, so I can see why most people think she at least has a say in talks.

So, is safe to say the Caps really do play to the level of the opposition? How do they smack Ottawa around twice and do nada against the Islanders?

Posted by: tallbear | December 30, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone heard about any of the local sports bars doing anything for the Winter Classic? I know that Bugsy's is showing it ... I thought I might catch the game there before going to the Caps game. Granted, the Penguins and the Sabres are probably my two least favorite teams, but I love the idea of an outdoor NHL game with over 70,000 fans in attendance. Can you imagine?!? I would love to go to a game like that ...

Posted by: Boo! | December 30, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Did I once read somewhere that every player in the NHL is required to have an agent negotiate on his behalf and the agent must somehow be certified or approved by the league? This would preclude AO's mom from being his agent or allowing him to negotiate his own contract. I think until Alex gets a real agent there won't be much news about the terms of any deal (that I feel is sure to be with the Caps).


Posted by: paulr | December 30, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Just for the sake of argument (since Ovie is a RFA), if money is truly the issue with Ovie, then he wouldn't go to Montreal. The taxation rate in "La Belle Ville" is significantly higher than other locales. To wit: "...with a combined 48% tax rate (federal and provincial), Montreal is the city with the highest taxes in the entire NHL..." Check out the story this quote came from for more on player contract tax issues:

At the end of the day, Mr. Leonsis will pony up the loot to keep the Great #8 in DC. However, the final amount will surely be pushed higher than if McPhee had locked Ovie up last summer since the forecasts have total NHL revenues rising yet again.

On that front, the price of admission will undoubtedly rise accordingly. As we're still in the bottom third of the league in avg. ticket price, noone should be crying.

So, no need to listen to all the various league-wide beat writers pontificating on Ovechkin's fortunes, as they all know that the fortune in question will be earned in our nation's capital.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | December 30, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"The team is coming together, and with top end talent like Ovechkin and Semin, only goaltending will hold the Caps back.

Posted by: Caps Fan | December 30, 2007 09:14 AM "

No. The fact that we don't have a single good defender is really what kills us...

Posted by: MikeZ | December 30, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@ MikeZ

Unfortunately you're wrong.
Yes, not addressing Defense over the past 6 years has done the damage, however goaltending is now ranked as the the number one issue. IMO.

So give a big thanks to GM for now being faced with HORRIBLE Defense & Goaltending.

Posted by: Chief | December 30, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

McPhee is well known for "low balling" players, this time he's gonna pay the price in a number of ways for "insulting" Ovechkin, this time I like seeing #8 collect all the cash.

Last night was an audition for a Canadian team, Canadain market for his future home.

Posted by: Chief | December 30, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

pmoravek -

I agree that's going to be tough to get Pettinger back in the lineup, especially if Clark comes back soon.

Maybe Bruce will come up with some kind of rotation for the checking forwards. But overall I'm just concerned that you get much more value from Steckel, Bradley, Laing and even Laich than Pettinger.

By the way, how great would it be for the Caps to win again Tuesday! Brashear's going to fight McGrattan, probably early in the game. Should be a good one..


Posted by: Oneal | December 30, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

players are not required to have an agent. however, if they do they do have to be certfied/approved by the nhl. ovie can negotiate his own deal...

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | December 30, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Cap Fan 1 has it right. those are the rules.

Posted by: Tarik | December 30, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Great game last night and a much better vibe around the team the last 3 weeks! I think Ted should consider making a public statement regarding resigning OV? The rumor mill is growing (Spector's "insulting 7.5 mil per year to Ovechkin") and will only get worse. While I know rumors are mostly bunk from writers who don't have any idea what's going on, a statement from the owner that OV isn't going anywhere would go along way to stopping the talk. We know GMGM won't offer up anything but mono-syllabic generic comments (if anything). GO CAPS!!

Posted by: Shipdriver | December 30, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, any news on Clarks recovery? Mild groin strain should either mean its getting better or he is getting an operation. Any idea of his return?

Posted by: Kiltman | December 30, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

...and since OV seems to be sooooo distracted by his contract situation.

C'mon guys!
All this crap about GMGM being notorious for "lowballing" and whether or not OV's Mom is recognized as an agent by the NHL.
It's all hearsay and specualtion by people who are in absolutely NO WAY connected with the situation.

Ted owns a business. This business succeeds by selling tickets. Ovechkin puts butts in the seats.
Now what do you honestly think is going to happen?

Posted by: pmoravek | December 30, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin acts as his own agent, the good, the bad, the ugly...

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 30, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

>Now what do you honestly think is going to happen?

You'll hear soon that Ovechkin is hiring the agent to represent himself :-)

>Ted owns a business. This business succeeds by selling tickets. Ovechkin puts butts in the seats.

Not in Washington. In Montreal, Detroit, Ottawa, Vancouver, but not in Washington. And the business succeeds by the simple broker rule: buy low, sell high. Is it possible to build successful playoff team without Ovechkin? The answer is yes. We saw Ducks under Babcock getting into SCF without any stars. So Ted said it many times: no top $$ to anybody, he is still paying to Jarg.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 30, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

If I'm not mistaken, it was reported here in the Post that GMGM and Ted were wanting to give AO a contract with a lower base salary then Crosby's, but full of incentives. That way they can try to sign a few more free agents in the offseason. However, Ted said that he would match any offer that was made to AO if they could not come to an agreement before that point.

Honestly, I think Ted and GMGM are making a mistake by waiting to hash this deal out. Yes, I realize there are SEVEN MONTHS left to resign him and yes I realize that the team is trying to climb the standings and enter the playoffs. However, Ovie has proven since day 1 here in Washington that he is the future of this team and wants to be the future of this team. Look at what happened when we acquired Jagr. Ted went stupid and signed him to a lucrative contract before he even put a Caps jersey on and played a game. Ted did this simply to keep an unhappy Jagr in Washington by showing him money. Now, Ted has an extremely happy Ovie in Washington and is wanting to play games it seems with resigning him.

Maybe I'm wrong and don't understand anything, but to me that just seems to be how everything appears on the surface.

Posted by: Mitch | December 30, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

The Ovechkin problem is simple: The longer the Caps wait to sign him, the more expensive he becomes.

It's like that billboard that shows the national debt -- the numbers keep rising and rising every day, and if the Caps are stupid enough to wait all the way until free-agency, Ovechkin will get a max offer, probably from Edmonton. They will have to match it or risk losing any fans they gain from putting things back together this season.

Every hat trick, every insanely good performance, every highlight-reel goal, every bone-jarring hit increases his value. The Caps should have bitten the bullet and locked Ovechkin up before the season started. Maybe they were gambling that he would have a rough season and the price would go down.

Bad call.


Posted by: Oneal | December 30, 2007 8:20 PM | Report abuse


Not sure where you got your info on the proposed contract for Ovie, but if I remember correctly, the new CBA does NOT allow bonuses to be added to any contract except for rookie contracts and signing an "older" UFA (over 35) to a one year deal. While I'm guessing there are other UFA's who were signed this year, the best example of this is the Rags Shanahan. He has a base salary of $2.5 million plus incentives/bonuses of $2.8 million. While his salary is $5.3 million, only his base salary of 2.5 million is counted against the cap unless he achieves the bonuses. Even if he does make the bonuses which would put the Rags over the cap, his $2.8 million bonus would be carried over as part of next year's cap hit.

No matter what, the Caps need to get AO's new contract done now. This way, McPhee (or whoever is the GM next year) knows if $ is available to hopefully fix the team's defense or goalie issues.

Posted by: capsfaninpa | December 30, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I plan to check with Clark tomorrow. GM said it didn't require surgery.

Posted by: Tarik | December 30, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

So am I the only one who is looking forward to the Winter Classic? :-/

Posted by: Boo! | December 30, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Forecast for Orchard Park, NY
Tuesday, Jan 1
High: 34 °F RealFeel®: 17 °F
Breezy with snow, accumulating an additional 1-3 inches

They better get out the snow plow as well. I'll be at the Verizon Center watching the CAPS after Cindy gets frostbite!

Posted by: LFR | December 31, 2007 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I can't see a situation where GMGM would not sign Ovie. If Leonis wants to keep the little fan base he has Ovie has to be signed. However, he doesn't have to be signed tomorrow and hopefully Ovie, his Mom and his Lawyer understand it's all business. I don't think his feelings should be hurt--it's just a transaction and he is a commodity. If you look at all he is bringing to the team as a player, as recognition and as a added reason for other free agents to even consider playing for a team they once didn't know existed then you realize the team MUST sign him.

Posted by: Capfan1 | December 31, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

LFR - I will be at the VC, as well ... I just wish that I could go to both (I actually think that the snow would add to the experience! :-)) Guess I will have to settle for the TV for the Winter Classic!

Posted by: Boo! | December 31, 2007 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone honestly think that we won't resign Ovie?

Posted by: Boo! | December 31, 2007 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Or should I say RE-SIGN?!? :-D

Posted by: Boo! | December 31, 2007 12:35 AM | Report abuse

So who determines the difference between "lowballing" and "asking a player to take less money to be able to sign other players"?

How might a free agent defenseman's agent advise him about either practice when consulting with his client about a potential future with various organizations?

Do agents get commissions?

So have we decided to base our playoff runs on rent-a-star defensemen who might happen to pop up in a given season?

Are we going to sign Green?

Who doesn't realize that Ovie's mom is a factor in his contract negotiations?

Does Ovie have a Lemieux-like mentor sheltering him a la Jagr? Or are his points due more directly to his own leadership?

Using the above standings link, 30% of the league has done at least as well as the Caps point-wise in the last 10 games. Is that good enough so far to make up the ground needed to make the playoffs?

Will the Caps score 8 goals again before another team scores 6 goals against us? How many times will one likely occur prior to the other?

Is GMGM's strategy that we score 7 or more goals a game to win to make the playoffs? If not, what strategy is he planning on employing? (assuming the plan is to make the playoffs)

If the Caps don't make the playoffs will GMGM be fired at the end of the season?

If it becomes mathematically impossible to make the playoffs will GMGM be fired at that time? Or will this occur in the off-season?

Posted by: That Guy | December 31, 2007 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Attention: Crosby needs help and Ovechkin is an answer!

"Here's something that would be fun to do: Washington mega-scorer Alexander Ovechkin, 22, is a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Offer Ovechkin what Crosby makes, then wait for the Capitals to match the offer. They would, but it would make for a marvelous week of dreaming."

Ok, now it is Pittsburgh who is after Ovechkin... bhahaha

If it'd happen, it would be the last nail to the Caps fans coffin. :-)

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 31, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 31, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

No worries, OV isn't going anywhere.

Posted by: Steve R | December 31, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"We saw Ducks under Babcock getting into SCF without any stars." by alexovetjkin

Are you talking about last year? They had a ton of stars on defense, in goal, even at their forward level.

Every team needs their stars - TB did it, Carolina did it, Ottawa, etc. You need those types of players. I wish we would have picked up Jokinen when he was not happy in Florida. He would be awesome next to both Russians.

I can't believe people are now realizing Olie's play. Our defense is better this year. We are allowing fewer and fewer shots. Last year, we were above 30 just about every single game. We can't afford for people to be inconsistant and right now, that is what Olie is.

Someone asked, what will it take to make the playoffs? Here is what I wrote a few days ago on here:

1) Get out of the basement of the NHL - Check
2) Get out of the basement of the Eastern Conference - Check
3) Get to .500 - 4 more wins and no loses.
4) Get to 4 games above .500 (That is winning 8-12 games before the allstar break.)
5) Enjoy the All Star break and get some rest.
6) Have a .750 winning percentage against SE Div foes the rest of the season.
7) Beat the Sabres!

That will get the Caps into the playoffs!

Posted by: 828 | December 31, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Oh - let me correct. That is winning 8 of 12 games... but winning 8-12 games will give you the same result.

Posted by: 828 | December 31, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

>Are you talking about last year?

Mike Babcock is a Head Coach of Detroit Red Wings. 'Ducks under Babcock' was several years ago.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 31, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

You had me confused... Even in '03, they still had Kariya, Havelid, Sykora... Gerber in net as well.

You need the stars.

Posted by: 828 | December 31, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

NHL.COM has an article on Ovie v. Sid.

I don't think either argument is that great. What does Crosby being "the face of the NHL" have to do with him being the best? It even goes on to make the argument that the Pro-Ovie opinion breaks down bringing up his age as some sort of "proof" he's better. No mention of AO's far superior two way play and much more exciting play. Ovie is thrashing him in goals, only four points behind overall. I believe I read somewhere he's also 10th in hits, I doubt Cindy even makes that list.

Posted by: CapFanatic8 | December 31, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I think Kariya was gone, but they had Michelin man Gigiere in the goals. Havelid is not a star, at least not of Ovechkin's caliber. Even Kariya is not as well.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 31, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Well, I dont think anyone is of Ovechkin's caliber - he is in his own breed by himself.

Posted by: 828 | December 31, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Ovie is a better player then Sid he just doesn't get the marketing Sid gets just b/c for some reason Sid was made the face of the crap if you ask me but whatever we all know Ovie's worth...

Posted by: K | December 31, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse


Read the article - personally, I am tired of hearing about it - they are both different types of players. I do like the thought of Alex doing more with less, I truely believe that.

Think about if the Caps make it to the playoffs. How sick is Alex going to be? Just when you think he couldn't play any better - he steps it up 2 more notches and because Playoff "Don't mind if I da" Alex.

Posted by: 828 | December 31, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

*becomes not because

Posted by: 828 | December 31, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Oneal pretty much has it right with regard to resigning Ovechkin; the longer they (meaning the club's braintrust- McPhee and Leonsis) screw around...any hope of him taking anything remotely near a hometown discount are done. They can pay market price now, or they can wait until July 1 until someone offers him a 12/15 year deal at the max (20% of the cap). Look at what Edmonton has done; among their "offers", they completely forced Buffalo to overpay for Vanek. If memory serves Carolina did this several years ago with Sergei Federov (forcing Detroit overpay). Which means McPhee will be forced to either mortgage everything to resign him, or lose him for 5 first round draft picks. A smart GM gets the deal done (i.e. Pittsburgh getting Crosby locked up) while McPhee and Teddy are still spooked by Jagr (who was a mistake from the off).

Posted by: Patrick | December 31, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Food for Thought.

"Why the Caps seem to play better against the best teams?". This question gained quite some momentum this season.

The Caps are an offensive team. Against average-good opponents this mean they will often out-shoot, out-hit and out-play the other team, who realize this and concentrate on solid D. Their goalie focus and often become their best player. So we have 11 players in one half of ice rink, lanes are clogged, not so easy to score.
How many times have we seen this? Several times the Caps looked like on a power-play while 5 on 5. But: that also means that most chances the other team has are 2 on 2, sometimes 3 on 2 rushes. You'll agree it's easier to score on these (and it's easier to fool the goalie on those, btw).

Incidentally this is the reason why the Ducks are struggling this year (I follow Anaheim quite a bit): I think the Ducks are even a better team than last year, but all opponents know this, chain themselves on D, their goalie excels and often manage to win.

A team like Ottawa, or NJ, or Detroit won't have this defense attitude, the game is more open, teams have more space, and the Caps will score more.

This is not the full answer to the original question, but I believe it partially addresses it.

Posted by: mauree | December 31, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

If GMGM's strategy is to wait for an offer for Ovechkin and then match, it is not the best strategy. First of all, if GMGM think nobody would dare, there will be several team who will try. Second and the most important is that he can alienate Ovechkin and Alex can ask for a trade. And the sesond part is easy because Alex represents himself. You can say to the agent 'why do you think Ovechkin deserves more money than Crosby', but it would be a lot harder to say it to Ovechkin without creating some kind of tension.

Whatever... Ovechkin will win in any case.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 31, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I agree Mauree, but most good teams put in their back up goalie in when they play the Caps. Also, they may look past them. Once the Caps get on a roll, teams seem to shoot them down - because they have to take the Caps seriously. Either way, when the Caps are on, they ARE a good team. They just can't commit those stupid penalties and play to win, not play to "not lose".

Posted by: 828 | December 31, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

i really think gmgm is waiting for them to be an above .500 team and/ or in the playoffs to sign him. the problem with this is that these things are hard to do with gmgm in his job.

Posted by: jim | December 31, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I just read the TSN updated Power rankings. Tampa Bay goes from 27'th to 26'th (improves 1 rank) while the Caps go from 28'th to 29'th (goes down 1 rank). I don't get it. The Caps move ahead of TB in the standings, December was a strong month point-wise and we have another great game against Ottawa.

Posted by: harry | December 31, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

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