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Saturday Morning Happenings

I'm still waiting to get an update on the status of Joe Motzko, Josef Boumedienne and Jame Pollock. They have not been with the Caps the past two days and are believed to have been waived. If they clear, which could come today, they will be sent to Hershey.

Alexander Semin is not on the ice for practice. He did not skate in the third period after taking a hit behind the Flyers' net during last night's 7-5 preseason victory over the Flyers. The Caps insist he's fine. I'm supposed to be interviewing him for a feature story later today, so I'll ask.

Update:Okay, just ran into Semin. He's limping pretty good. He's got a tight wrap on his right ankle, which leads me to believe he hurt himself when he stepped awkwardly on the net.

Update:Boumedienne has cleared waivers. I'm told he'll "likely" report to Hershey. I suppose he could also be weighing a return to Europe, although his contract does not include an out clause.

As for Pollock, it's believed he's been waived. Just not sure when he was put on the wire. So he might not be assigned for another day or so.

Update:Motzko has cleared waivers and is headed for Hershey.

Update:Semin postponed our interview because of his ankle. It's believed to be a sprain. Nothing too serious, but he won't play tomorrow, I'm told.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 29, 2007; 12:24 PM ET
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Next: Semin Out Tonight


I hope semin's okay for sunday's game. not surprize on Motzko, but i expected him to be waived a long time ago. not so surprized about the other too either they should do very well in Hershey.

Posted by: DC FURY | September 29, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I really hope Alex is ok, and I feel the Caps should definately NOT play him in the game on Sunday. Keep him out to heal for the regular season. Not to play in a meaningless exhibition game.

Posted by: kenhockey | September 29, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik,

Where's the contract for Flash? Or is he not going to get that from the Caps and head someplace else?

Posted by: slmperson | September 29, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I hope to heck that they're practicing their PP!!! 0-7?? That's awful!

Posted by: Greg S. | September 29, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope Johnson starts on Sunday, I really dont get why Halon is playing Olie so much. Hes not a 20yr old kid anymore.

Posted by: TJ | September 29, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Tarik-I know Caps said Semin was fine but then you see him limping, what do you think that means? something not serious and he''ll be fine in a few or are you saying it looks serious?

also-any thoughts on lineup for tomorow?

Posted by: mike s | September 29, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

OMG. I sure hope Semin is ok. If he's limping, they'll probably rest him. Looking forward to the regular season! Oh, and that Semin article should be interesting...

Posted by: chris | September 29, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@TJ: I was wondering this too. My guess is that Olie asked for some work, not that Hanlon insisted he played. Remember, Hanlon was a goalie back in his day, and since Kolzig's the leader of the team he gets to make many of his own decisions with regard to when he plays (especially preseason).

I hope Semin's doing alright. My guess is that everything is precautionary, but I was out for a minute when he went down. Wish I'd found a way to record the game so I could have a look at the injury...

If it's a sprain, he'll probably rest it a week and then play the first few games with a brace. If they're saying it's not an issue, it's probably not an issue.

Posted by: Raber | September 29, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

tarik, you are interviewing semin? does this mean he has given up on his non-english speaking ruse?

Posted by: jon | September 29, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm now going to be sitting down with Semin tomorrow. I'm going to use an interpreter.

Semin has an ankle sprain. Not too bad, I'm told.

As for Flash, he's going to sign, if he hasn't already. I didn't talk to him today.

Posted by: Tarik | September 29, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Sprains can be nasty. Hopefully it's not a bad one. As fit as hockey players are, AS should be back in the saddle pretty soon. Specially if he's walking on it without crutches or cane. As valuable a player as he is, I'm sure he's being well taken care of.

Posted by: Greg S. | September 29, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

In the "for what it's worth" column:

TSN.CA in the NHL Power Rankings puts the Caps at 25th. Their notes are "The Caps have at least brought in some help for Alexander Ovechkin, with rookie Nicklas Backstrom, Michael Nylander, Viktor Kozlov and Tom Poti all quality upgrades. If they all fit in seamlessly, maybe the Caps can push for a playoff spot."

Others in our division are:
Florida 15th
Atlanta 18th "expect a speedier team"
Carolina 19th "primed for a bounce back?"
Tampa Bay 22nd "depth is forever the issue

Other of interest:
NY Rangers 6th
Pittsburgh 9th
Philly 20th

Posted by: Greg S. | September 29, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone explain to me why the NHL front office thinks it was a good idea to start the season by playing the first two games in a country where no one gives a damn about hockey, and making sure it's not on TV anywhere in the country where the two teams are from? Does Bettman get some kind of 'golden parachute' if the league up and dies while he's in charge?

Posted by: zamboni | September 29, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, thanks for all the great work. Please be sure to let us know if Semin says anything in english. we are dying to know if he is getting better at english regardless of what he lets us in on.

Thanks for the updates and keep up the great work

Posted by: Doug | September 30, 2007 1:29 AM | Report abuse

If in three preseason games your starting goalie had a goals against average of 3.92

And a save percentage of .850

Would you be worried?


Posted by: Oneal | September 30, 2007 2:48 AM | Report abuse

From what I understand, he can speak/understand English decently well. I guess it comes down to having the confidence to speak it.

Tarik, well done on keeping us updated. I was worried about my boy Semin from the moment he fell onto the ice.

Posted by: SLM | September 30, 2007 2:52 AM | Report abuse

25th? I don't buy that. Lets see how the D takes shape. That number is still way too low.
Worried? No. They wont be allowed to fall too far out of contention by game 20.
Thats my guess at least, if the talking was legit.

Posted by: 007 | September 30, 2007 3:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad ESPN was kind enough to make us the invisible horse. We'll surprise some teams if people honestly think we're the cellar in the SE division this year.

I love how Philly is ranked higher than us with... two players who can score? I guess it doesn't matter if you can play defense and have a great goalie in net.

Wait, how many goals did we score on them? In the last 3 minutes?

Posted by: Raber | September 30, 2007 3:38 AM | Report abuse

By all appearances, Bettman doesn't like hockey.

Posted by: 007 | September 30, 2007 4:07 AM | Report abuse

I really apprciate your coverage of the Caps but I have to say I'm a little disappointed with the lack of media coverage of Friday nights game. Awesome 3'rd periiod with the fans (and Caps) really into it. It would be nice if press exposure could leverage games like that into expanding the fan base. Again, thanks for your blogs and press coverage.

Posted by: Harry | September 30, 2007 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Harry--I know what you're saying. but i don't usually write gamers in the preseason. imo, it's much more important to write about who is going to make the team.

Posted by: Tarik | September 30, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Semin can definatly speak English, he's probably just not ready to speak English with interviewers just incase he says the wrong thing. I don't blame him. Also, as many people probably have seen in person, he's very shy. Sometimes people just take that the wrong way and feel as though he thinks he's better than everyone.

Here's a video someone over on the Caps board caught of Semin and Nylander chatting it up.

Youtube Warning:

Posted by: Hayley | September 30, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Zamboni and 007 - Bettman is trying to expand into Europe to further dilute the NHLPA. He really doesn't like the NHL. Must be trying to kill it for some reason. Maybe to recreate it for the owner's profit? Obviously, I'm kidding here. But he IS smokin' somethin', and it ain't legal! I saw a poll on TheHockeyNews asking if the NHL should expand to Europe. Over 75% said "No". I think that the other 25% are Bettman's smokin' buddies.

Posted by: Greg S. | September 30, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Raber - Too funny!

The Cap's best shot at getting into the playoffs will be winning the division. It's still the weakest out there. The pundits think that Atlanta and Florida will be tough. I think they're right, but they are beatable IF our D solidifies. Otherwise, we'll have a new coaching staff.

Posted by: Greg S. | September 30, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse


Both games sold out, and were quite a big deal across the pond. As far as TV, I had it on 3 different channels, so I'm not sure who your cable provider is.

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