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Roster Housekeeping

As I mentioned yesterday, the Caps will have to make a move when Sergei Fedorov (and his $4 million salary) comes off long term injured reserve in order for Karl Alzner to remain under the salary cap, and thus, in Washington.

GM George McPhee acknowledged as much during a conversation with the beat writers this afternoon. McPhee, though, declined to go into detail about how he plans to accomplish this.

Fedorov is eligible to come off LTIR on Friday, though he might not be ready to play until Saturday or even Tuesday.

"We'll see what our lineup looks like" when Fedorov returns, McPhee said. "With respect to the salary cap and the roster, you go game by game because things change game by game. [When Fedorov] is ready, we'll do something."

One easy (but temporary) solution would be to put Tom Poti on LTIR retroactive to Dec. 21, the day after he suffered his latest groin pull. That would buy the Caps (and Alzner) a little time.

When asked if the Caps would consider making a trade to alleviate some of the salary cap pressure the club is under, McPhee said, "Trades are hard to make. You would rather have a lot of depth. Every once in a while, someone is going to have to sit out that doesn't want to sit out. But it's nice to have depth. And you need it."

Based on what I've seen, I don't understand how the Caps can send Alzner back to the minors. He's been one of their most consistent defensemen over the past month, and just as important, he's made Milan Jurcina a much better player.

"I don't want him, or anyone else, hanging on every word I say about what could happen," McPhee said when asked if he would consider sending Alzner back to Hershey. "We'll just see how things go, and we'll make decisions as we move along."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 7, 2009; 3:33 PM ET
 
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Comments

Can we pay Jarkko Ruutu to bite Nylander so he has to go on LTIR?

Posted by: baldinga | January 7, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Who would have believed we would have to much depth. Only with the salary cap can a team have to much wealth. Even though the cap probably helped us catch up to the rest of the league faster.

Posted by: seminplusovieequalgod | January 7, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

LOL @ Ruutu biting Nyls.. hilarious.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | January 7, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

wait a second.....

George McPhee DECLINED TO TO INTO DETAIL!?!?!?!?!

Posted by: jamebow | January 7, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I've said in places that Alzner has worn a Bears sweater for the last time. Now I think it'll be for a game or two while McPhee makes roster moves to clear space.

But the point remains: Alzner is here to stay. Basically.

Posted by: ThisGuy | January 7, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

this is a prime example of one of the more irritating qualities of GMGM: everything he says is about as clear as coffee!! i mean really, George, enough with the talking but saying nothing. i realize the guy can't spill his guts, but can't he just acknowledge that he has a situation to deal with?? don't know about you all, but I am getting a little tired of the constant changes. lets get a plan and go with it!! if we are keeping Alzner in DC, hatch a plan and implement. geez, how frustrating

Posted by: doughless | January 7, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

There are a few folks we could lose and keep Alzner...PLEASE don't send him back! That whole Ruutu biting fiasco is TOO funny!

Posted by: NatyBG | January 7, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

McPhee Translation = You just keep showing up, buying beer, wearing red, cheering loud....and I'll keep rolling a top 5 team in the NHL out every night...

Posted by: SA-Town | January 7, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking Alner's going to Hershey when Poti and Federov return and will stay there until they can trade someone to free up cap space (please let it be Nylander). Really, what are the alternatives? Can they just waive Nylander?

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | January 7, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Alzner will come back to Hershey unless there is another injury that keeps him up. They wont waive anyone because they will be stuck paying half their salary and that wont help them out any. (ie...Clymer) It would make sense to send Alzner to Hershey till they can make a trade and free up cap space. Its not like he will never play in the NHL again.

Posted by: HBFan | January 7, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

With the way Alzner is playing, and the way Schultz is playing, would it not be smart to dump Schultz? I don't really understand how he has stayed up so long. He isnt the fastest skater, he is somewhat clumsy, and he almost seems like an outlet for people on the other team.

Posted by: capsfan55 | January 7, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The appropriate translation is:

"Poti will go on LTIR, until such time as he's ready to come off, we'll hope for another injury to a guy who costs enough to keep Karl up. If not, he's going back to Hershey."

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 7, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. I'm not sure whether waiving Nyls helps at all. How old was he when his contract was signed? If he was 35, then you get no relief.

Posted by: koalatek | January 7, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town:

Bingo

Posted by: Fro_ | January 7, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@baldinga - Bahahaha! I can hear the conversation now...

Peters: "Coach Ruff?"

Ruff: "Yeah?"

Peters: "I can't play tonight..."

Ruff: "Why not?"

Peters: "Rabies..."

Posted by: irockthered | January 7, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

With the way injuries have been in DC it would be dumb to dump anyone right now. It would be smart to send him down and as soon as a good trade is available or another injury he will be right back. My guess is that is why they are so leary about just dumping someone. They didnt want to send Alzner down after pre-season but it was the most logical thing, stupid then to sign Erskine to a deal like that but we dont make the calls.

Posted by: HBFan | January 7, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

So, if Alzner has turned Juice into a top 4 D man on this team, what would happen if we paired him with Green?

Or take Juice, who doesn't like to worry about his other D partner, and pair him with Green, and give Schultz to Alzner and see if he can turn Schultz around.

Instead of King Karl. Can we please refer to him as King Midas?

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 7, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

People just need to stop with the "dump Schultz" talk. Just stop it already. He is good, getting better, and McPhee REALLY likes him. He isn't going anywhere. He is cheap. Losing him provides no cap relief.

Just stop it. OK?

Posted by: ThisGuy | January 7, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Thisguy. Schultz is a decent stay at home defenseman, the Caps will resign him down the road.

Posted by: HBFan | January 7, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

GMGM is gonna get jiggy at the deadline. And it will be glorious. For now, though, it's gonna take some creativity to make it all fit.

Posted by: Zornado | January 7, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Lets trade Nylander to the Islanders. They can't trade their veterans because they are too close to the salary cap minimum. their draft picks will be high because... well they stink. Package Nylander with one of our young goaltenders and get a high second round pick and some later picks.

Not going to happen though with the no trade clause. Who would waive a NTC to go to the Islanders? I grew up on the Island and I wouldn't even want to play there.

Maybe the best choice is to get Joe Sakic to give Nylander snow blower lessons.

Posted by: lornemyoung | January 7, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Re: Ruutu - He got a two game suspension without pay for that move... Good for the NHL!

He'll be out for the games against Boston and the New York Rangers, and eligible to come back for the game against the Hurricanes on 13-January.

Posted by: irockthered | January 7, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Schu-u-u-ultz drives me nuts. One shift he works the D angles like a minor deity. Next shift he's skating through waist-deep water. One shift he dumps an attacker on their Upshall--only kidding! Next shift he's a red pylon. If he were 6' even he'd be in Hershey, stickin' pins in an Alzner doll and taking testosterone supplements.
HBF: If "good isn't good enough", why should the Caps cling to a "decent" s@h defenseman?

Posted by: redlineblue | January 7, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

this is a prime example of one of the more irritating qualities of GMGM: everything he says is about as clear as coffee!! i mean really, George, enough with the talking but saying nothing. i realize the guy can't spill his guts, but can't he just acknowledge that he has a situation to deal with?? don't know about you all, but I am getting a little tired of the constant changes. lets get a plan and go with it!! if we are keeping Alzner in DC, hatch a plan and implement. geez, how frustrating
Posted by: doughless | January 7, 2009 3:58 PM


Developing, sticking with, and executing a plan are how the Caps got to be as good as they are.

Re Nylander being waived - he has a no movement clause so no, he can't be waived without his consent.

Posted by: capsbluelinedotcom | January 7, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Nyls can not be waived and he is preparing his retirement. He will be very selective where he goes as he is making beaucoup $$ and he is comfortable here with his family. I think he can still be very useful. He wins a majority of his critical face-offs and still has some good hockey. To his defense, he has not been able to play with the same linemates for more than 8 straight games this season.
Anyways, he is not going anywhere. I know it, he knows it and George knows it. Only people who don't know it are writing in this blog.
Schultz is a farce (at the moment)for anyone who knows the game. His plusses is that he is still quite young (defensemen don't mature fully until about 26-28 yo) and he is a big kid. He needs to be developped and would do much better in the AHL for the moment.
Cordially,

Posted by: atybat | January 7, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

schultz is slow, hasn't made any strides over last season, doesn't hit, i can throw a wiffleball faster than his slapshot, and he is a pu***. why not get rid of him?

Posted by: _stevo | January 7, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

One of the Baltimore reporters Tarik says Morrisonn is on the block and Poti will go on LTIR. Are you hearing this too?

Posted by: bulldog23 | January 7, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

@redlineblue:

a.) he is 6' 7". Where he'd be if he were 6' is irrelevant.

b.) What makes you think he is done improving? The dude is all of 22 or 23 years old. He hasn't even filled out his frame. He is underrated with the puck. He is our best penalty killer on D, besides Poti. He is cheap.

It drives my crazy how short-sighted and foolish people are when it comes to Schultz. Is he the next Phaneuf? Of course not. But NO ONE IS ASKING HIM TO BE.

Posted by: ThisGuy | January 7, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"Instead of King Karl. Can we please refer to him as King Midas?

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 7, 2009 4:12 PM "

So am I to understand that in addition to turning every defenseman he plays with into gold (jerry gold!), Alzner also can fix my car's muffler and brakes?

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 7, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

thisguy.....if by underrated with the puck do you mean an inch above god-awful

Posted by: _stevo | January 7, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@bulldog

I can see Morrison being the odd-man out.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 7, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I can't figure out who's going to be where next week and, quite honestly, I don't care to hurt my bean about it anymore. Clearly some young players need to develop, some others needs to be moved, and some sat. I've thought about it all quite a bit but now I'm done. Being as the Caps no doubt employ a Capologist (great name in this organization!), and GMGM, BB, and Ted seem to know what they're doing, I trust them to sort it out. I'll just keep cheering for the players on the ice.

I suddenly feel lighter...I'm floating on air.

P.S. Don't show up tomorrow night and take the 'Jackets for a JV team. We are 9-1-2 vs. the top teams in the East (Bruins, NYR, NJ, Pitt, Philly). Makes me wonder where those other 10 losses came from. Oh yeah, Atlanta, Flordia, Columbus, LA, Minnesota ...

Posted by: saintex | January 7, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@SombreroGuy

And evidently he's got the ears of a donkey hidden under his helmet.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | January 7, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

...and we are the only team in the top 16 in the East with a losing road record. I'd like that remedied also. Maybe that will be the focus of my complaining.

Posted by: saintex | January 7, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

To know what GMGM is gonna do, you have to wait until he says what he's NOT going to do, then expect the opposite.

he said something to the effect of "We're not going to be big players at the trade deadline" the got Huet, Fedorov and Cooke.

he said something along the lines of "we weren't that impressed with him" about AnGus then went and picked him with their first round.

Karl should only start worrying if GMGM says "were definitely sending Alzner down until the end of the year"

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 7, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

ThisGuy:
you're right!
if Schultz was Phaneuf then you'd have to pay him like Phaneuf (6.5m i think) - then you would have to move OV to make cap room. every player on the team can't be the best at his position. i would think at best you could have 4 quality forwards, 3 Dmen and a goalie. thats one third of the team you could call quality. everyone else is a role player. you can't have it all - so GMGM will have to work with want he's got and we'll have to live with it. so far i'm happy

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 7, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Um, Schultz is ONLY 6'6" ... (actually, I thought he was only 6'5", but the roster says 6'6").

Posted by: Boo- | January 7, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

They are going to trade Semin. we will never be able to resign him when this contract is up and remain under the cap. Get rid of him now when we can still get some return. Then Steve R's idea of putting the Sexy Lumberjack on the right wing can happen!

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

stevo,

One thing going for Schultz is that he doesn't keep getting concussions. Hopefully your guy takes care of his noggin.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I thought Erskine was going to center Semin and Ovechkin?

Posted by: Boo- | January 7, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse


hint: never believe rumors

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | January 7, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

nope, he's more of a natural wing.

Mark my words people, Semin is trade bait!

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Where is Rog94?

I kept telling him that Alzner was a playa. He deserved a sweater after training camp.

Rog, come take your medicine.

Alzner averages 20:40 TOI, and would be around a +14 had he started the season, more incredibly Jurcina might have around 15 to 20 points with a even +/- rating.

Rog, you get in this house right now.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru:
I thought you never said 'mark my words'??

Posted by: Boo- | January 7, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I thought the moment needed it. I needed to emphazise it

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

i have watched him play and i don't see whats so great about alzner. all he does is make the right play all the time due to what appears to be a tendancy to be in the right position. he does all of this while displaying the type of calm demenor you would expect in a veteran blue liner. and doesn't take any penalties while doing all of this. BORING. we don't need any of that type of play up here.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 7, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Lee,

Left wing, he's replacing Brash. But he needs to fix the glass jaw before that can happen.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@ThisGuy: I didnt suggest Schultz is "done improving", but he's a solid three years behind, say...Alzner. 55 is Erskine minus the hitting, or Eminger minus the pressbox time. The whole team's young, and mostly more effective in their roles than is Colonel Klink's foil. Why not give him Eminger's spot?
Mentioning Phaneuf in the same sentence as Schultz is, again, a trail -you- are blazing. Somethin' wrong with your CAPS LOCK KEY?

Posted by: redlineblue | January 7, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@Leeguru

I think there will be room for Semin. We obviously need make some moves but we are stocked with young cheap talent to plug in holes.

Assuming Semin will except $7.5M and Backstrom excepts $5.5.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan, you're right. he goes to hershey for more seasoning.

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Roger, JSchon is right. Time to own up pal.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, enough with the trade speculation. No one knows what McPhee is gonna do and all this speculation comes from what exactly? People giving their 2 cents on who will be traded/what will happen down the road are honestly no better than Eklund.

I trust McPhee to do the right thing. If anything, he has proven to be very savvy and won't do anything that could jolt us a few step backwards (like trading the scoring threat on our 2nd line.)

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | January 7, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Jschon, that's 22 million tied up in 3 players. We would be better served with the draft picks for Semin. He's hurt all the time, wears gold jewelry while playing, and still hasn't learned english.

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

leeguru, indeed. maybe he can learn how to take a crucial holding penalty or something. toss the puck over the glass...anything.

someone noted nyls has a "no movement" clause which would affect his ability to be waived. my understanding is that it is a no "trade" clause, meaning he can't be traded without his approval. if he gets waived and claimed by another team i'm thinking he would be required to report. i could be wrong of course.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 7, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Words I hate...

Grit
Trinkets
Seasoning
Knick Knacks

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Knick Knacks is two words but I hate non-the less

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Flyers
Pens
Rangers

Add these JSchon

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

knickknacks?

Posted by: Boo- | January 7, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Roger, speaking of humble pie, I saw your buddy (the Tampa fan) riding the metor home. Tried to talk to him. He kept changing cars....

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Some of us in here barely have a grasp on the Engrish language.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

There are kno knickknacks in hockey ...

Posted by: Boo- | January 7, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

@redlineblueline: We'll have to agree to disagree then. Erskine minus the hitting? That's pretty harsh. I stick to my guns when I say that he is good with the puck, is our second best penalty killer after Poti, and is unfairly maligned simply because he does not hit. Which is where the Phaneuf refernece comes in: he doesn't have to hit. As Capt Kirk pointed out you can't have it all...every roster needs several cheap, reliable defenseman. Considering how young and cheap he is, there is zero reason to dump him. None. Zero. No benefit. AND MY CAPS LOCK KEY IS FINE THANKS.

Posted by: ThisGuy | January 7, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

none-the-less is another one!

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@Leeguru

Semin, OV, Green, Backstrom, Alzner, Varlamov are going to be lifelong Caps... If I were GMGM or GMJS

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

JSchon, if you have too much seasoning, grit can result.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

And we always thought Bondra would be too. There is no such thing in sports.

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

@ dcsportsfan1:

I've heard both as well. I can't weigh in on Nyles' contract though since I'm not him, McPhee, or his agent. I have no direct knowledge of the details of his contract. Although most tend to think it is a "no movement clause."

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | January 7, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

no trade. all players are waivable

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru:
it would seem the caps have enough money to pay players while they are on LTIR. if they've got 9.5 mil for OV - then they need to find a way to pay Semin too. I think Semin is the most skilled skating/puck handler on the team. i would hate to see him play against the caps - i say find a way to keep him. on the other hand i see him as possibly wanting to go to the KHL - if GMGM has any indication of that - then get whatever you can for him.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 7, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, Gaborik could be had if the offer were right...

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Once in a while there's a thread that is especially thick on idiotic commentary from tools who don't have a clue about hockey or much of anything else.

There's nothing wrong with Schultz. He's been very good since he returned from injury and is still very young. Not to mention that he's cheap.

McPhee is a brilliant GM who has done a magnificent job over the last few years. If you don't see that it's your problem. The cap makes things very complicated and he has maneuvered his way through it all very well. All of the people who are criticizing him would be completely lost if you had to do his job and don't understand even 10% of the cap issues, so please be quite and stop embarrassing yourself.

Sorry, I'm not in the mood to be especially polite today and I have little patience for obvious stupidity.

Now... Obviously Alzner is an NHL D and we have to try and keep him up for the good of the team. However, we can't just throw players in the trash can. I trust McPhee to make the best move possible under the circumstances. Which is what he said he'll do. He wasn't being unclear. Some people still act like trades are as easy to pull off as they were before the lockout. There's a reason there hasn't been even one significant trade in the NHL this season, people.

As for Ruttu, I'm glad to see that the spirit of Mike Tyson lives on.

Posted by: ranndino | January 7, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

isn't Brygl-whatever on the tading block?

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

But Atl might be moving somebody the Wild's way....

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Lee, By-Flu-Gen?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Gaborik makes Semin look Bruce Willis in Unbreakable.

Semin > Gaborik

Gaborik more expensive than Semin

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Or do you mean.....

Bryzgalov?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

no, that goalie in pheonix you would never shut up about

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I also hate these words...

We resigned Erskine

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

ranndino:
you're right too.
GMGM would not show his hand in the press even if he did have a trade in the works. Alzner up or down, Semin says or traded - i'm rooting for the caps and will just trust that the right moves are made at the right time.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 7, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

speaking of goalies, John Grahame had his KHL contract terminated by Avangard Omsk. Why, you ask?

From ESPN.com:

"Grahame is disputing Russian media reports that describe an alcohol-related incident at an Omsk nightclub, which may have contributed to his termination. Russian newspaper Sport Express wrote that Grahame was released for "repeated occasions of regime breach by Grahame that was expressed in common alcoholism."

Posted by: baldinga | January 7, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh please. We are SOOOO much better than that Flyer-lover Eklund.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | January 7, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Right, Bryzgalov. Nah, he sucks. Forgetaboutit.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

JSchon,

When he's moved to wing next year, we'll have another emergency D-man around. Hopefully he's better at skating forward than backward...

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

There will be a core of forwards and D-men that will be kept for a long time (another 5-7 years). I would expect that group to include AO (duh), Semin, Backstrom, and Fleishman possibly. On D would be Green and Alzner and possibly one other.

The rest will go through the rotating door through trades and development for the years 4, 5, and 6 in prep for the guys leaving and/or retiring from the core group.

That means guys like Stecks, Gordon, Fehr, etc are all expendable. We'll see them for 2 or 3 years and they'll be traded for another developing asset.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

How's Carlson looking?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

#92's contract is irrelevant. He is here to keep Backstrom happy. So unless he wants to leave a real good team that pays him more than he is worth, we must live with him.

Posted by: plantguysteve | January 7, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom needs Nylander to be happy?

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't hate to see Morrison go. I think Schultz is the better player and I'd rather keep him over Morrison. Morrison takes too many bad and untimely pentalties.

Posted by: KAS2 | January 7, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Don't show up tomorrow night and take the 'Jackets for a JV team. We are 9-1-2 vs. the top teams in the East (Bruins, NYR, NJ, Pitt, Philly). Makes me wonder where those other 10 losses came from. Oh yeah, Atlanta, Flordia, Columbus, LA, Minnesota ...

Posted by: saintex | January 7, 2009 4:44 PM

WORD. We had ISSUES on the road earlier this season, in the not-so-distant past. Columbus is angling for a playoff spot, and Rick Nash is a beast. Not to mention that their goaltender (Mason) is angling for a Calder Trophy at the rate he's going. Be very sure that a road game against the #2 team in the EC is on their roadmap to the playoffs.

They will come out looking to fight. We need to be ready and knock it off with the slop and the cutesy and kick some tail. Semin, that means you.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 7, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

GMGM is awesome @ hiding his move as he should be. This team does not need to make a move to contend for the CUP. Assuming POTI & Alzer are on D. The D is getting better. GMGM also doesn't want to move Nyls. Nyls play a puck possession game and creates for his line or whoever is out there; like a PG in basketball. GMGM knows you need depth down the middle to be a good team.


From what I've read on Tsn nyls stock is rising who need help. GMGM might have to trade him if he gets a deal he cant pass up cause the fact is we could use nyls this year kids in hershey will be ready to take his spot next year for cheap.

Posted by: smartfan | January 7, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

"regime breach"? Only in Russia.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | January 7, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

from Pierre lebrun

Who wins in a fight? Alexander Semin or a wet noodle?

Pierre LeBrun: Semin in a 12-round split decision.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 7, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz,

I'm hoping Semin let's others do the butt kicking. It'll be a good night if he:
a)doesn't get broken
b)doesn't (ever) drop the gloves again
c)does something that makes us say "holy sh@@, did you see that!"
d)did I say no injuries?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

ranndino is right. We've rehashed this old debate over and over and over again. We wouldn't be where we are without GMGM's cap and drafting genius, and they've got a lot more numbers and know more rules than we do. Let him figure it out and we'll cheer for whoever is on the ice. I'm getting brainache reading all this back-and-forth.

Fehr and Steckel have fantastic chemistry, though. If they can get someone who can bury the puck, or if Fehr can beat the goalies, we'll be cooking with gas.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 7, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Nash left the game last night with a lower body injury. No word yet on why or if he will be available for Friday.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | January 7, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Schultz is 22 years old...he will be a very good player with a some more experience. That is a tough position to learn and your mistakes are much more obvious to the fans. Cut him some slack.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 7, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Does Nicky have his own pad or is he pulling a Crosby and living in Nyls's basement?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

PS - Schultz is already a better Defenseman than Green yet no one is saying Green sucks because he is so offensively talented.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 7, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Pure prospect. I would suspect 2 or so years out. I think the Caps want D-men especially to work in Hershey for a year at least.

Alzner is a unique asset that would cause most any GM a very pleasant headache to have. Carlson may prove to be the same, but I really don't see it at this moment. He's young (18) still. Let's see him in action for a bit and see what he can do with the big(ger) boys.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@lyle

There is not one educated Hockey person that would ever mistake Mike Green for Jeff Schultz. Not one. Sorry pal.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

SteveR: Well, there's buttkicking as in dropping the gloves and buttkicking as in dropping a half a dozen pucks behind the opposing goalie. The first type, I agree, leave it to Brash. The second type is Semin's bag.

smartfan: Got a TSN link on that?

I'll admit I'd like to see what Nylander can do in a shootout.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 7, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Lyle-,

Lee's 10 year old daughter has a harder shot than Schultz. Still, I'd prefer to keep him over Mo.

And if Green sucks on D so much, please explain his +/-

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Carlson needs more seasoning and knick knacks

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I repeat, Nyls can not be waived. And, although Backstrom and Nyls are both Swedish and Nyls has acted sort of a surrogate father for him last year (he lived with the Nyls' family) I trust that they both understand that hockey is a business.
BB has wrecked Nyls chances of being traded to a club he would have wanted too by playing him with guys who don't have enough sense of hockey to get to the free space so he could give them the puck (Clarke for example). Nyls had 1 point a game last year before his injury and he was the second best pointer in pre-season. He still has some game but will probably not get two show it under the current BB system and time-use.

Posted by: atybat | January 7, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Steve,

The baby's shot is harder than the 10 year old's.

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

But Carlson does have grit

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

waitingsince75: Crap. That's not good, I was looking forward to seeing him play. Hope he's okay.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 7, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

If I had a daughter I would keep her away from Rog94.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R:
did semin ...
a) drop the gloves
b) have them get pulled off with the jersey and pads?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 7, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

JSchon, that's true. Schultz is Prongeresque in size.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Why do some people in here think that the best defensemen only skate backwards?

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Is Prongeresque a word?

If so, add it my words to hate list.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I will not take back my words. I think the way he is playing right now is a direct result to his first 15 games down in the "A". It gave him the confidence needed to play with the big boys.

I will say he is an absolute player and looks great in Red.

Schultz is garbage and made so many mistakes last night it rakes my brain.

Nylander is the most overpaid and underachieving player in the NHL. Hands down.

Clark's face looks like a truck ran into it. And it was only Wade Redden.

I would package Schultz and Nylander for a beer at the Verizon Center.

Look at lil Nicky...#5 in total points in the NHL.

GMGM is a genuis. Yeah I said it...

Where are all the Theodore haters now?

Flyers and the Caps are the best 2 teams in the East.

I am dead sexy...

Posted by: numero94 | January 7, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

JSchon,

That made me laugh. Rog was giving a Tampa fan a serious earfull of sh@@ at that game. Pretty entertaining and well deserved.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Next season, say goodbye to the following:

Feds
Kozlov
Brash
Johnson
Mo

Gone through trades:
Nyls
Semin

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

That was strange. Just like mentioning Beetlejuice 3 times.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Lee, we getting Komo out of any of the trades?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Rog94

I've got 21 words for you...

Alzner is a stone-cold steady calm mo-fo. Eat it. Give him a damn sweater. How does humble pie taste?

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

YES. Komisarek trade talk.

I'm an expert.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Isn't mo-fo one word?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

i believe it is two, but with the hyphen in this environment it can be one

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

You folks are in rare form today! Funny how a win over the Flyers brings out everyone's razor sharp wit. Thanks for the chuckles after a long day of driving & unpacking!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

By far the most important thing is to put the best hockey team possible out on the ice each night.

Alzner is already one of our 3 best d-men (Green/Poti/Alzner), so sending him back down would hurt the team. GMGM, don't hurt this team! They've already been through enough adversity.If GMGM wants us to continue to kick a@@ night in and night out, he'd better not send Alzner down!

If GMGM is a (somewhat) smart man.....he'll figure something out that doesn't include sending Alzner down.

As far as Schultz is concerned, he's what, like 22yrs old? He's maturing and getting better as his experience grows and he will be a bonafide stud in a couple of seasons.

Some of you people on here need to show some patience......

Posted by: JustAnObservation | January 7, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I said a better defensemen - not a better offensive defensemen. Watch Green in his own zone - not very good yet.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 7, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

wow! just like old times in here...where's scofield?

Posted by: fullright | January 7, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

@lyle

If you havent figured it out yet, players have different roles on the team. Schultz and Green have different roles.

Green performs his role so well that he was voted 7th in Norris Trophy balloting.

Schultz does not perform his role as well as Green.

I like Schultz, but he aint no Green.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Didn't I hear that Poti and Pothier were coming back, Alzner and Juice were going down (don't want to break up THAT pair!) and Schultz was going on LTIR?!?

Posted by: Boo- | January 7, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

GMGM knew (as did most of you here) before the season that alzners 1.675m could very possibly cause cap problems. especially if he proved, which i think he has, that he is ready for the big club.
it still doesn't change the fact that when feds comes off of LTIR something has to be done. i hope that GMGM doesn't make any 'hasty' move(s) that could hurt the team in the long run. if alzner has to go back to hershey until someone else gets hurt or GMGM can make a 'smart' move - then down he goes.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 7, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@ThisGuy
I doubt we're in complete disagreement. When Schultz is working the geometry and his wingspan like he can, he's very frustrating to The Other Guys and I dig that about him. (see my ref. to "minor deity", above). But he might be flatfooted, or try a pound of finesse where an ounce of thump would do nicely, on the very next shift, no?
As the great NHL GM, Ray Davies, said: Cheep is small, or not too steep. But best of all, cheep is cheep. Since I'm in the tank for overpriced Fedorov and some other future jillionaires, and since Verizon will have great ice in hell before I can play up to Schultz' worst shift in seventh grade:
I WILL LIGHTEN UP ON SCHU-U-U-LTZ, a little.
Cheers.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 7, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Maybe AO can put Nylander on LTIR like he almost did Clark.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | January 7, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

@redlineblue: Ounce of thump. Very well put, sir. XD

Posted by: kittypawz | January 7, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

As I said yesterday, Mo has become expendable. He was Green's crutch. Now that's Schultz's job.

1 year deal, decent defensive defenseman, I could see any number of rebuilding teams with bad/young defensemen using him. But trades ARE hard to make in the salary cap era. What's he worth, a draft pick? A prospect? We sure as hell don't want anyone back. I think GM has probably been shopping him, and hasn't had any takers.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 7, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Alzner will go back to Hershey. hate to say it but it's true. What should really happen though is Clark going to hershey, or being shipped off in some form of package deal (maybe with Fehr and a first?).

Poti to LTIR is only a temporary solution.

Posted by: DrAdamson | January 7, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

@ atybat:

Nyls winning faceoffs?

Sorry, he cant even do that right. Nyls is well below 50% on the year. So is Backstrom, but Nick is a sophomore, not a 10 year veteran.

Posted by: DrAdamson | January 7, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

@ LeeGuru

And Semin is OV's best friend.......don't think that won't be part of the sign Semin concept.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 7, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Will Schultz ever be good enough at cutting off space and using his length to make up for his scary lack of speed?

No matter how smart he plays, it seems like he will always be vulnerable to getting beat on quick transition plays or turnovers where he doesn't have time to get good positioning. It doesn't look like he'll ever be able to rely on speed to recover.

It's kind of like a pitcher than relies on locating his pitches to be effective as a pro. If he doesn't hit his spots, he doesn't have any stuff to bail him out.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 7, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

@capsfanmiss,

and OV is semin's best friend, I think he would stay partially cause of that if the offer was at least ballpark

Posted by: bryaningrocery | January 7, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I've heard a rumor, and my sources are pretty good, that Malkin is getting bored with the non support in Pittsburgh, and REALLY wants to play with OV.

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Just have Ovie line up Nylander...

Posted by: oo7 | January 7, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru, surely you jest? Your sources realize that's just how his face looks, right?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm a bit baffled by all the anti-Schultz talk here.

Schultz led all Capitals' defensemen in plus/minus last season, and he did the same thing the season before that (which was also his rookie season).

Let me say that again. You who want to get rid of Schultz are saying you want to get rid of the guy who has been the best plus/minus defenseman on the team every year he has played.

And Schultz' cap figure is only $750,000 this year.

So it's nearly impossible to understand why you would want him to leave, unless you're just trying to say he's valuable as trade bait, which I don't think is what most of you anti-Schultz folks were saying.

Morrisonn is currently NINTH in plus/minus amongst Caps' defensemen, was fifth amongst Caps' defensemen last season, and just like Schultz, you can count on him to hardly ever post any points.

And look at penalty minutes. Neither are notable fighters, but since the start of Schultz' rookie season through today, Schultz has 52 penalty minutes, while Morrisonn has 199. Morrisonn has played in more games over that time, but even in terms of PIMs per game, Morrisonn has 1.11 per game during that time, while Schultz' career average is only 0.36 per game.

And Morrisonn is making nearly $2 million, and his contract expires at the end of this season.

If it's a defenseman that has to go, it is very, very clear that Morrisonn is a much better candidate than Schultz.

Posted by: youaresquishy | January 7, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Looking Ahead: Really really Good News (update)

The last 21 games of the season the Caps schedule includes:

13 games against division foe
4 against Atlanta
3 against Tampa
3 against Florida
3 against carolina (2 at home)

2 games against the Maple Leafs

1 against the Bruins (A)
1 against the Penguins (H)
1 against the Flyers (A)
1 against the Predators (A)
1 against the Sabers (H)
1 against the Islanders (A)

Looking good for the stretch run...

GMGM and Coach need to encourage ample time off for our injured to get healthy. No need to rush Feds back. Postpone the Alzner situation and give Feds 2 more weeks and Poti 2 more weeks. (Really)

We need to be completely healthy for the last 21 games. THEY will matter and we can almost run the table with a healthy team.

Posted by: windjammersouth | January 7, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

JMU, THAT was very funny!

Posted by: Leeguru | January 7, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Bears Update:
Bears at Norfolk- 1st Intermission: Bears leading 1-0 on a goal by Giroux. Varly in goal. Game currently in a delay due to a power outage that happened during the intermission. Possibly going to start the second period using emergency lighting. Gotta love the minor leagues!

AHL All-Stars: Giroux and Helmer for Team Canada; Aucoin and Bourque for Team PlanetUSA.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 7, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I sat in Section 400 last night and every time that Schultz was on the ice this obnoxious guy behind me yelled out that Schultz was a bum and that he needs to get off of the ice. Then when each of Schultz’s shifts on the ice was finished he would yell out “thanks for getting off the ice - Schultz”. I couldn’t believe that there is such negativity and hostility directed at Caps by “so-called” fans at home games.

Posted by: MReilly9 | January 7, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@squishy:
>>Schultz led all Capitals' defensemen in plus/minus last season, and he did the same thing the season before that (which was also his rookie season).
Sigh. I WILL LIGHTEN UP ON SCHULTZ. You don't have to get all *factual* about it. Jeez.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 7, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru:
I heard something similar, but it was not based on boredom, rather being treated like #2. (Apparently Ovie is not the only Russian who is frustrated with all of the Crosby-love.) I guess they got chippy with eachother at practice today ... who was it who did that here a couple of years ago - Muir and Semin? I don't remember. Anyway, go figure ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 7, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Hahahaha, Leeguru. Drop that on hockeybuzz.com and see who you can give a headache :)

@tess2201: Awesome! That kind of stuff is just plain amusing. Not quite as good as the Spectrum scoreboard a couple of months ago - that was lovely. :)

Posted by: kittypawz | January 7, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I also want to add that Schultz' numbers are good despite the fact that he's often been paired with Green, who is one of the most offensive-minded defenseman, if not THE most, in the NHL.

I'd also like to back up what other Schultz defenders have pointed out--he's played in only 136 games so far--not even the equivalent of two NHL full seasons yet. I have heard that Schultz' role is one that it takes some time to learn to really play well at this level.

So, there is almost no chance that GMGM will be getting rid of Schultz at this point unless we're getting some sweet considerations in return.

I do like Alzner an awful lot, and I think most of the hockey world agrees that we're going to do whatever it takes to keep Alzner around.

Posted by: youaresquishy | January 7, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

1) Schultz is only Prongeresque in height; not in weight or attitude.
2) I have been saying that moving Mo is the easiest solution, and I still say that.
3) I am a Theodore detractor and not yet sold on the NHL's #40 goalie in GAA.
4) Im sold on Alzner being NHL ready to keep. I also have said his ultimate partner is Green.
5) Semin fits into the team too well to trade.
6) Finally, why are the Flyers loaded with funny-named Finns? Timmo Timmonen? Lassie (a girl dog) Kukkonin? Ossie Vannanen? What's next - Pukie Pukkonen (team doctor) and Flossie Flossonen (team dentist)?
7) I still think Tarik should call out those lousy Filthydelphia tabloid writers for those crappy articles in the Examiner and the Daily Whatever.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 7, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

youaresquishy

Here we go. Think about what you said. Mo was 5th now 9th on the team. Who did he play with last year? Green - who scores goals, plays on the first D-line usually backing AO. This year D's behind 3rd line now with many fewer goals. Goals = + in the +/- game.

Schultz takes Mo's place, so his +'s skyrocket, and no kidding. Last year was backing up 2nd and 3rd line that didn't score as much.

Also, he does PK's now. Frankly, I can't remember how we're doing on PK, but they don't count against you, so it doesn't adversely affect your +/-. So, if they kill 80%, the other 20% that score don't hurt his number.

He looks good because the others around him make him look good.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Funny...the ice at MSG was just called a 'potato field'...atleast we are not alone in sucky ice. Question, why doesn't management seem to want to address the issue?

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 7, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm an expert.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 5:50 PM

We're all bloody experts! That's why we're all here.

Isn't it? :)

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Bears Update:
End of the 2nd...tied 1-1.
The lights are back on...

Posted by: tess2201 | January 7, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S.

My actual quote was... (or very close too)

SWEET. Mike Komisarek trade talks.
I'm an expert.

That is a very narrow sliver of expertise. I claim to be an expert on nothing else.

Except for flightless birds and the Civil War.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Sweet. More bad ice talk.
I'm disgusted.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru:

You say goodbye, and I say hello. Hello, hello!

Sorry...

You said we'd bid adieu to Feds, Koz, Brash, Johnson and Mo.

I'm not too sure about Koz and Brash. Koz is pretty hot now, and it's always good to be hot when your contract comes up for renewal.

Brash gives us grit. He is more replacable now though than Koz IMHO.

Sending Nyls away in a trade? I could see it happen. Could be either on March 4th or at the end of the season. Again with all the usual issues about cap space, NTC, etc, etc.

I don't see a way that GMGM would let go of Semin though.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Geez...didn't know this was verbotin. Take a chill pill dude.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 7, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

JSchon

Just kidding around.

Have this computer game Civil War Generals. Haven't played with it in awile. Fun game.

The only flightless birds I'm interested in finding out about are ones that are extinct - especially from playoff games this year.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm very relaxed... borderline comatose...

Worked out and ate 18 inches of Subway food... Watching Commando on AMC.

The one-liners in that movie are so classic.

I'm only disgusted because we have talked about the ice ad nauseum. I mean its comedic at this point. Like Clarks groin, Pothiers thumb.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Love the TSN title for the Ruutu story:

NHL Bites Back

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I do realize the numbers for defesnemen are not necessarily the largest part of the story, and even though I watch almost every game, I don't have a great handle on exactly how the numbers got to be the way they are.

Caps have consistently been in the bottom third of the league in the PK, and are consistently not much better than 80%. But the most important penalty killer is the goalie, and the Caps haven't been world-beaters at that position over any of Schultz' time here.

I do not believe Schultz is the world's greatest defensive defenseman. But I do think he's worth the $750,000 that he counts against the cap, whereas I doubt that Morrisonn is really worth the $2 million contract for this season that he won in arbitration.

Both, I think, have contracts that expire at the end of this season.

If it's a choice between one or the other, I don't see any way Morrisonn stays and Schultz goes unless some other team is really into Schultz and wants to give up something valuable.

Posted by: youaresquishy | January 7, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Missed the other one:

"Two for biting"

Wonder if Bettman thought of that before suspending him...

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Agree - but aren't many posts on here adnauseum...trade Theo, trade Nyls, Schultz is no good...etc. etc. etc.

Here is a question - why do you think Ovie's PIMs this year are so far up from his previous years? He is playing a more physical game no doubt...any ideas why?

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 7, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

youaresquishy

Is Mo worth $2M? No. I'll agree with you there. Is Schultz worth $750K? Meh. His contract is up this year. I expect he'll be traded.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

And I'm saying that because I'm an expert.

ROFLMAO

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S.: It could be worse, it could be the one I dropped on JP earlier:

"Eating Peters"

Posted by: kittypawz | January 7, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

LOL Missed that one. That's a good one, Kittypawz.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

But the ice thing is just... eh... Hey we don't have Edmonton's ice, neither does NY apparently.

At least all the other stuff is team, player related.

We all agree we have smelly ice, where is the argument or opinion there? Thats all, know what I mean?

OV more PIM's? I have no idea.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

windjammersouth:
thanks - i would have never known

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 7, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Why we need a gentle Obersturmbanfuhrer of Defense Schultz?

Obersturmbanfuhrer Schultz: Because I am taller than you, you, you and yes, I am pointing at you too...

Zdeno Chara (out of nowhere): And what about me?

Obersturmbanfuhrer Schultz: If you bent over I can't tell the difference...

Posted by: CodePoetry | January 7, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Ok...question dropped.

Am curious if anyone does have any thoughts on Ovie's PIMs being so far up this year and matched previous years just about with half the season to go. Here is breakdown:

05/06 - 52 PIMS
06/07 - 52 PIMS
07/08 - 40 PIMS
08/09 - 46 PIMS halfway through

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 7, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

So how many points does Sundin get tonight against the Oilers?

Will Vancouver put him out for 10+ minutes?

Will the Oilers focus on him and try to wear him down?

Will there be oxygen on the bench for him?

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru, Classic Malkinface joke. They're too easy.

Aucoin just missed a penalty shot. :( C'mon Bears!!!!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

ralCapsFan:
Ovie's PIMs started going up with we started getting injuries and had to call more of the kids up - I think he was over-compensating ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 7, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Norfolk's defense sucks as bad as Tampa's... Bears up 3-2.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Had to check myself here a few times. Could this really be the CBC reporting this? The first C in CBC still means "Canadian" right? Check the comment

On the NHL rankings.

4. WASHINGTON CAPITALS [up from 6]
Record: 26-11-3 (55 pts)
Last 10 games: 9-1-0

Quietly have joined the league's elite despite injuries.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Greg, Are you happy or upset about that?

Walton just called Varlamov "Iron Curtain"! :-D

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

A Canadian news outlet and major sports producer - especially of hockey - calls a team from the "SouthLeast" division an "Elite" team???

About damned time!

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Bears win! Or do they?? Fight breaks out in front of Varly at the horn, but then when the Bears were on the way to the dressing room, they put 2 seconds back on the clock. Or did they? Nope, its over now. Walton is either upset or trying not to laugh. Bears win 3-2. Norfolk are still a bunch of goons.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Bears win 3-2
Goals by Alex Giroux, Kyle Wilson, Andrew Joudrey.
Varly gets the win.
Home games Friday vs Houston, Saturday vs Albany; Sunday game at Wilkes-Barre

GO BEARS!

Posted by: tess2201 | January 7, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

@Boo

Good point...me and my buddy were wondering and had some theories. Yours makes sense. Others I have have heard is whether he is also over compensating since we don't seem to be one of the most physical teams in the league he may be trying to take up the slack?

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 7, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Greg, too true.
Varly 2nd star, Joudray 1st star.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

ral:
Could be. I also think he is maturing as a player - he is bigger and stronger and, knowing what I "know" about his personality, part of it is probably that he just wants to be the most well-rounded player he can be. Ya know what I mean? In other words, if he was looking for opportunities for improvement a year or so ago, needing to hit more was probably one of the very few that he could identify. Well, that and learning how to find the back of the net in a shootout ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 7, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

@ralCapsFan - It isn't management's fault the ice at the Phone Booth is bad. The owner of the Phone Booth is the problem, and nothing can be done about it right now. If we'd quit scheduling basketball games right before hockey games on the same day, and keep the temperature in there a decent low for 24 hours before the game, it would help, but the Phone Booth's owner is not willing to do that. I don't get it either...

Posted by: irockthered | January 7, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

No Rick Nash for CBJ this Friday (link http://blog.dispatch.com/cbj/2009/01/vogts_a_busy_man.shtml ). So now we just have to watch our for Clutterbuck.

Posted by: AMHV2772 | January 7, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Re: Ovi's PIMs... Alex Ovechkin is most often guilty of hooking (5x) or interference (4x) - that accounts for 18 of his PIMs right there. The rest are one- or two-timers, and the 2 for "closing hand on puck" were just stupid. The referee who called that called it three times in the same game, and I've not seen it called before or since.

Posted by: irockthered | January 7, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S: *bows* I do try. Every now and then I succeed.

Somehow I think that nickname for Varlamov is plain going to stick. :) (Iron Curtain)

I dunno about Ovi and penalties. He does seem to be taking a lot more this year. Maybe he's just playing a lot more freely this year? Can we look at games where he's taken penalties and correlate that to games where people have been hurt?

Posted by: kittypawz | January 7, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

@Boo

Good comments dude. He definately has matured as a player and maybe takes his physical game when he thinks we need it as a team.

@rockthered

Thanks...I sometimes forget that Ted is not the owner of the arena and that it is a multi sport venue and that this is something we (and most teams) have to deal with.

Also, totally agree on your PIMS breakdown.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 7, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Dude. XD

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Here is where the Caps stand vs the league...

4th in team hits
6th in team giveaways
3rd in team takeaways
1st vs top 10 teams
19th vs middle 10 teams
4th vs bottom 10 teams

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

It's all a great conspiracy. You see, most of the officials are Canadians. Canadians hate that a Russian is a better than their beloved fellow Canadian Cindy Crysby, so they're calling AO closer and letting CC get away with 3rd man in, instigating, and bag punching. The only reason they called CC on the fighting was they couldn't get away with not calling it.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness we get to see Jiri Novotny back at Verizon!

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | January 7, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Would that 6th in team giveaways be a good thing? As in we're the 6th team LEAST likely to give up the puck? Or as in we're the 6th most frequent giver of the puck?

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

6th is bad. 6th worst.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

CLUTTERBUCK!!! Wait a minute, I thought he played for the Wild?!?

JMU:
:-P

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 7, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Rick Nash is out for Friday? Tough break for Columbus. :P Remember, though, it's not just Clutterbuck we have to watch out for. Mason is hot in their net right now, rookie or not, and hot goalies have given us some serious problems lately because we rely a lot on sharp one-timers and don't crash the net much.

So, who gets the start in net for us? Theodore is a beast, but it's the first of a back-to-back, so do we give Theodore two starts in a row or do we save him for Montreal? (Montreal just overtook NYR in the Conference standings, btw.) I'm almost inclined to give Theodore the start vs. CBJ just to keep a rhythm going and let Montreal deal with a goalie they haven't faced yet in Johnny.

Also, anyone else watching the Vancouver game?

Posted by: kittypawz | January 7, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

CT:
Did you say your niece was going to hold up a Russian sign for Ovie? If so, she may have been sitting near me ...

Ral:
I owe you a clever comeback, but I am struggling to find it.

Fellas:
Can ya help me out?

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 7, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

That's a record we need to destroy. I don't like being 6th in giveaways. I'd like us around 20th or better.

I vote JT in Montreal. IMHO.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Help...

What kind of help?

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Boo, I'm confused too. Did he get traded?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

JSchon:
A snappy comeback to this post from ralCapsFan:
"@Boo: Good comments dude ..." Although you are a fine one to ask, given your email today!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 7, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Or is there TWO of them?!? *gasps*

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Geez, grammar is obviously not my strong suit.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm enjoying all the love for GMGM. As recently as a year ago everyone and I mean everyone was ready to burn him at the stake. A lot of people wanted him fired before Hanlon.

Posted by: SuperG5 | January 7, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

jmu:
I don't think so, but if he is up for grabs, I want him on the Caps just for his name. ;-) BTW, your post is still making me laugh!

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 7, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

TWO Clutterbucks?!? Sweet ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 7, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

How about this ...

ral:
I appreciate your kind words, but I don't think that Mr. Boo would appreciate you calling me a dude ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 7, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

But I thought he played for the Wild, too. Did he? Has four years of college (drinking) really destroyed my brain cells that bad? What post??? I don't think I've been that witty, but hey.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Good Story on the Caps in the Post for Thursday by Thomas Boswell.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/07/AR2009010703498.html

Posted by: MReilly9 | January 7, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

jmu:
he is still listed on the wild's roster ... AMHV2772 must be drunk.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 7, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Mason's numbers for the last 2 games.

0-2-0, 3.52, .894 in last 2

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Greg:
Ooooh ... I like those numbers!

MReilly9:
"I've been Capped" - I love it! Great article - thanks for sharing.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 7, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Schultz takes Mo's place, so his +'s skyrocket, and no kidding. Last year was backing up 2nd and 3rd line that didn't score as much.

He looks good because the others around him make him look good.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 8:42 PM
-------------------------------------------
Some food for thought on Schultz:

a) He didn't work with Green from the beginning of the year, had 2 weeks before Green went down, and then Schultz went down. They've only been together as a pairing for maybe a dozen games.

b) He was +12 last year (Erskine might have been the one he spent the most TOI with, I don't remember), but that led the team's defensemen AFAIK.

c) He was 3rd last year in SH TOI for defensemen.

And since folks have been mentioning his name with Pronger's, remember that Pronger came into the league and underachieved for his first couple of years too. Not everybody can be hot straight out of the chute like OV and Backstrom.

Posted by: Section117 | January 7, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Haha, I didn't even read that part of their post! I thought we were getting the Clutterbuck reference from an article I didn't read. I need a nap and a better pair of contacts.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Poor JMU ... take a little time off of school and your brain turns to mush ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 7, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Section117

I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

@Boo

Sorry if offended the senses. Still trying to get the word accepted universaly...obviously I have a ways to go.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 7, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm blaming prolonged proximity to my parents. And my contacts. If my respect for Pothier wasn't high already, two months of the wrong contacts pushed it through the ceiling. Who knew your eyes focusing wrong would make it difficult to function? :-P

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

ral:
Not offended at all - and that is certainly not the first time that has happened (whether intended or not). I'll actually assume it's a compliment?!? Regardless, I think it's kind of funny (but then again, I'm easily amused! :-)) Anyway, no worries ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 7, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I think the whole problem with Schultz is we can all see the potential for him. He's big, long reach, pretty good positionally, knows his limits. He could be a great package. We hear he's strong, but we don't see it. I'm just wondering when he'll show it all put together.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

FYI and FWIW

Schultz was a scratch +/- until he came back from his injury.

If GMGM doesn't go Erskine on him, I'm OK with him sticking around.

Wasn't he with Jurcina last year?

I dunno. I'm too old for this memory cr@p.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Greg, Wasn't Schultz with Poti most of last season?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Schultz is 23?

Whats the fuss about?
He's got one thing you cant teach, size.
He'll get better.

Posted by: JSchon | January 7, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S: I like those numbers, but he's sitting on .934 and GAA of 1.82 on the season. Those are frightening numbers for a rookie. He may be in a bit of a slump, but with Nash out, expect the rest of the team to sharpen their game, especially their D.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 7, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Greg, is that
to go Erskine, v.; colloq: To make an overpriced, overlong commitment in exchange for a dubious asset
?
Or is GMGM giving out concussions in a shrewd cap maneuver?

Posted by: redlineblue | January 7, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Section117

I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 10:56 PM
-------------------------------------------
Good luck with all that.

Posted by: Section117 | January 7, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

http://sensarmy.blogspot.com/2008/12/no-habs-no-michael-nylander.html
I still want to know if the players actually get these.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Man, the Canucks' PP is a real tongue twister. Sundin plus the two Sedin brothers.

Also, the Oilers just got owned by Bernier to the tune of two goals in 12 seconds.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 7, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Section117

It hasn't worked yet. But I'm persistent.

redlineblue

I was thinking in the colloquial, but that latter part is intriguing...hmmmmm

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz, lol. I was kinda hoping they'd do that so the announcer has to say it. I think the Canucks should start a jar for every time an announcer switches a Sedin with Sundin and vice versa. All the money goes to charity.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 7, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz

Bite your - well I guess it'd have to be fingers wouldn't it.

My reality sez that he's chunking a 3.52 and .894 damit! :)

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

TSN POLL - cast your vote!!!

What was the biggest hockey story of 2008?

The year of Ovechkin - 30%
Brian Burke joins the Leafs - 12%
The outburst of head shots - 6%
Sean Avery’s antics - 25%
The Sundin saga - 27%

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 8, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

@Greg S.: Naw, I'll leave the body-part chewing to Ruutu. :)

I hope you're right, but I've got to fulfill my role as resident Eeyore, right? Can't not point that out.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 8, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of resident Eeyores and things we do to get the Caps to win, I still have some of the prayers from last season. I found them the other day when I was cleaning out some files on my desktop and they made me chuckle. Crazy times.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 8, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl: The announcers are getting around the rpoblem by identifying them as "Daniel", "Henrik", and "Sundin". Pity - the tongue twister is funny.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 8, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz - I don't have a full correlation; however, in the game vs. Anaheim (where Green took that hit from Pronger that put him out for several games), Ovi took two penalties:

* Charging (the only one he's had all season)
* Interference (one of four)

On Dec. 4, the game he returned from visiting his sick grandfather, he also took two penalties:

* Cross-checking (one of two this season)
* Boarding (the only one he's had all season)

The other cross-checking penalty came in this most recent game.

In the game on Oct. 25 vs. the Stars, three slashing penalties were called. This is an unusually high number; one was called on Ovechkin, one on Fedorov, and one on Crombeen. This was a 6-5 win in OT, but nobody was injured. The officials, Joanette and Martel, seem sensitive to slashing calls... (I will correlate this for sure later).

In the game against the Habs, where Leonhardt was suited up, Ovi was called for a double minor hi-stick on Kostopoulous, who was credited with four hits in that game, one on Alzner. Kostopoulous also got into a roughing incident with Sloan, so there's some evidence of him picking on the kids... not much, though... He also hit Morrison, Laich, and Giroux.

I suspect the hi-stick was accidental in that game. There were two other calls for hi-sticking in that game, both on the Habs.

The officials were McCreary and O'Rourke, and 9 penalties were charged to the Caps, vs. 6 to the Habs.

Posted by: irockthered | January 8, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

hey guys, quick question are club level seats that much better than regular seats?

My brother wants to get me tickets to friday's game for my birthday and I didn't want him investing in club seats, if they're not worth the money.

I've only ever been in the lower level and the nosebleeds.

Posted by: diehardcapsfan | January 8, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

@diehardcapsfan: I had club seats once and only once - they were okay, but I like my perch on the rail of the 400's better. I see more.

@irockthered: McCreary? That's all we need to know. :P Only thing is, Leonhardt suited up against Ottawa, not Montreal.

@jmu_capsgirl: Prayers? That should be funny. It's amazing what we'll do to help our team win, isn't it? I wonder if there's enough fodder for a sociology thesis on sports fans.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 8, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

If you can get a decent price and sit on the side the Caps score twice, the Club Seats are the best seats in the house. No better view of the power play then that.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 8, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I think the front three rows of club are the best seats in the house. A close second is on the rail in the 400s. A much better overall view than anywhere else.

Posted by: saintex | January 8, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

With such ayoung team, we could benefit from some veteran help. I 'd think we could go after Bill Guerin. He is still a great scorer, a great leader and a guy everyone respects. He could be signed next year for little money and this team could be set to go for a Stanley Cup.

Posted by: jftoha | January 8, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

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