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Semin Tries New Look

Alexander Semin is wearing a bright pink helmet in practice -- and Alex Ovechkin is laughing at him. No kidding.

I'm told that since Semin was the last player to score during a shooting drill/game in practice last week, and that's his punishment. It's a Bruce Boudreau tradition.

Also, goaltender Frederic Cassivi is not on the ice, so I'm assuming he's been returned to Hershey. Meantime, Brent Johnson (sprained left knee) is back from a short conditioning stint with the Bears. I hear Johnson was outstanding last night, making 37 saves in the Bears' 3-1 loss at Wilkes-Barre Scranton.

Looks like Chris Clark (groin) could be ready to go. Tom Poti (shoulder) is also on the ice, so I'm guessing he'll play tomorrow agains the Flyers at Verizon Center. Quintin Laing is also on the ice, as is Matt Pettinger (undisclosed injury). Defenseman Brian Pothier (concussion) is not and won't play.

So overall, it looks like the Caps are getting healthy at the right time.

Here are the forward combos:


The 'D' pairings have been rotating.

Update:Semin scored in the shooting drill/game a moment ago, flipped off the pink helmet and threw it to center ice. It's still sitting there. So, it looks like someone else will be wearing it next time. I'll tell you who when I figure that out.

Update:Steckel lost the game, so Brashear delivered the pink helmet to him. The players were all cracking up, even Steckel.

Update: Here's the latest. Clark said he will be a game time decision, but I'm getting the sense that he will try to play tomorrow.

Laing will be back, as will Poti and Johnson.

If Clark plays, Tomas Fleischmann will be a healthy scratche. Pettinger and Steve Eminger also are expected to be be a healthy scratches.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 12, 2008; 10:37 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ovechkin An All-Star; Green Not; Injury Update
Next: Clark Returns and Today's Lineup


lol I am picturing Semin with the pink helmet and AO laughin... priceless :D

Posted by: mauree | January 12, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Getting Green and Poti back in this important stretch is CRUCIAL!

I believe boys!

Posted by: Go Skins Go | January 12, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

If Semin has to wear a bright pink helmet, what is Schultz's punishment for being the non-hitting machine that he is?

Posted by: Steve R | January 12, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, any chance you can post a picture of Semin in pink?

Posted by: Steve R | January 12, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

how is Semin taking the punishment? Does he seem to be laughing it off or is he upset about it?

Posted by: mike | January 12, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

So how can Nylander still be playing if he's got a torn rotator cuff? Could some of our well-placed posters be full of it?

Posted by: b.orr4 | January 12, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Getting Green and Poti back in this important stretch is CRUCIAL!

I believe boys!

Posted by: Go Skins Go


Posted by: Steve R | January 12, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"So how can Nylander still be playing if he's got a torn rotator cuff? Could some of our well-placed posters be full of it?"

That would be a first, now, wouldn't it?

Posted by: pga3 | January 12, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Fun? Laughter? GAMES? At a practice?

Posted by: Lee | January 12, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Glad to hear the pink helmet got promoted from Hershey to DC when Bruce got promoted. The Bears had alot of fun with that game last year. Don't remember if Stecks ever wore it before.

Posted by: Tess | January 12, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Picture!?! Anyone??

Posted by: Scott | January 12, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

This sounds like something right up Steinberg's alley. Any chance for photos?

Posted by: Graham | January 12, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Does "flipped off" mean he turned it quickly upside down, or gave it the middle finger?

Posted by: Michal Handsauce | January 12, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Nylander is tough as nails. His style of play sometimes hides how tough he really is. He would play on a broken leg if he could.

I have no doubt that he is injuried.

Posted by: Rob | January 12, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update about Caps as always good info.. Would love to see the pink helmet.. lol
A question on the "forward combos"
Shouldn't it be ? >>

And please let us know when the d'pairings gets known by you.. And I am glad that Captain Clark is back..

Posted by: Gavle-girl | January 12, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm loving all the naysayers over The Deal, especially those who say it proves the CBA has failed. First, people see the total and forget to divide by 13. AO is not the highest paid NHLer. Also, nobody knows what salaries would be looking like now without a cap and whether a big money team would have been waiting until free agency season to wave a $20 million a year deal in front of AO. Ted would have to walk away, and we'd all have lost.

The other fallacy is that this shows that Ao is just greedy and could care less about winning. First, if you've even once seen AO celebrate any Caps goal, you know better. Actually this show's AO's commitment to having a decent team around him in the long run. The GM's job of managing the cap over the next decade was made MUCH easier by giving, um, cost certainty to a huge part of the team's roster costs. It also will look like more of a discount as years go buy and UFA offers hit the $15 mil level and higher. Assuming a long healthy career and improving as he matures, he may have cut nearly a half off his full career earning potential. What else can a guy do to prove he just wants to win?

AO and management both took huge risks and placed a lot of trust in each other and showed their committment to winning in the long term with The Deal.

Posted by: TheCapitalist | January 12, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse


Just got back from practice - Semin wearing pink got a lot of laughs from everyone!
Here is a picture for your viewing pleasure:

Posted by: AOthegr8 | January 12, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Given Semin's myriad "injuries", perhaps a permanent pink helmet would be fitting.

Posted by: Pothier's Thumb | January 12, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse


Great post, thanks!

Go Caps!!

Posted by: TripDonkeys | January 12, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Pink is very "in" right now.

Posted by: Alex Semin | January 12, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Did we have decent numbers at practice today? Im thinking sellout tommorrow?? Or will football hurt our chances?

Posted by: SA-Town | January 12, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I tried to get a photo with my iPhone, but it was terrible quality.

Boudreau said it's going to become a weekly thing.

When I wrote "flipped off", I meant threw it off.

Decent crowd at KCI today.

Posted by: Tarik | January 12, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The Semin picture is your typical EURO.....

Posted by: caphcky | January 12, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

That picture is hilarious! It's almost up there with the Segway video...

Posted by: K | January 12, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

@AOthegr8 thanks for the pic :) that's hilarious

You have a good point, without the salary cap other teams could have offered 20M/year to OV. But I'm curious: who is getting paid more than OV? I thought that, with his 9.7M average over 13 years, he'll be the highest paid player, Crosby being second with 8.7M.

Posted by: mauree | January 12, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that thing is U G L Y.

Posted by: EricS | January 12, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

mauree, I understand that the way Heatley's contract works, he gets $10M this year.

Posted by: steve | January 12, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse


sorry, a little too much into it lately.

Posted by: SUPER | January 12, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I thought his official salary was 5M or so. Oh well, it's not that important, who cares who is the most paid? AO is up there and he deserves it.

Philly games are always very very physical... watching Bruins/Philly. I'm worried about Nylander tomorrow.

Posted by: mauree | January 12, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

GREAT pictures - thanks for sharing!! :-D So what does the helmet say on it- Capitals?!? Regardless, good stuff!!

So it sounds like we are going to have most of the team back tomorrow! Hope so - would be great to see how they play at full strength, especially considering how well they have played depleated. Having said that, I hope we don't lose Laing - I love the way that kid plays! I would rather see Flash go down. Heck, I prefer Laing over Brash, but don't tell Brash that!! ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | January 12, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

So back in the late 1980's, the O's did something similar with a toy bat that players who went 0-4 with the dreaded backwards K would have to carry though the airport, with all the guys adn the public laughing....

Great move by BB.

Go Caps!

Posted by: DC Sports Fan | January 12, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Very curious about Clark. Hopefully that stupid injury is a thing of the past and we got our captain warrior back. I wonder: does he feel like kicking ass?

Posted by: mauree | January 12, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

So Steck gets the pink helmet now, how about Schultz wearing an entire pink uniform, for punishment for hitting like a high school cheerleader, during the Philly game? Now that would be funny.

Posted by: Matt | January 12, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who may be curious, Johnson played well last night for Hershey, although in a losing effort. He stopped 37 of the 40 Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton shots he faced. Hershey only managed to get 16 shots on WB/S, and the only goal Johnny got in support was a SH goal by Chris Bourque. Johnny got 2nd star of the game for his efforts. Let's hope Johnny can play that well when Bruce gives him a shot between the pipes.

Posted by: Matt | January 12, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@ Tarik,

If you're ever in need of a story, I thing a one on the intricacies of the "Pink Helmet Game" would be Pulitzer worthy. Ok, maybe not that good, but I imagine an interesting read.

Posted by: old time hockey | January 12, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Clarkie

Posted by: soon to be 19-0 | January 12, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Lets shut all those Flyer fans tomorrow. I hate seeing opposing fans making more noise than us. I want at least 1 FLYERS SUCK, chants a period. Like the good old days at the Capital Center.

Posted by: Pete Peeters | January 12, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Lets shut all those Flyer fans tomorrow. I hate seeing opposing fans making more noise than us. I want at least 1 FLYERS SUCK, chants a period. Like the good old days at the Capital Center.

Posted by: Pete Peeters | January 12, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The pink helmet thing is worth a chuckle, but why am I not surprised that Semin was the last on the entire team to score? I wonder where he left his "A" game 'cause he sure hasn't brung it this season.

Thrilled that Flash and Petty are the likely scratches. Was hoping to see Laing tomorrow.

Bring on the Flyers! Let's Go Caps!!!

Posted by: Jill | January 12, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm... perhaps BB could dress the whole team in pink as punishment for game losses as well.
Lose a game, play the next in pink.

Posted by: Michal Handsauce | January 12, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse


Any chance you could find out where to get that pink helmet, kid-size? My three year old daughter (Vera) loves the Caps, Ovey, hockey and now skating, and her favorite color is pink! She's demanding a pink helmet rather than her five-year-old brother's hand-me-downs.



Posted by: Jim H | January 12, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Change the subject. Is it true that in the NHL you can only insure 6 years of a contract. So that the Caps would be on the hook for the last $70M if OV got hurt after year 6?

Posted by: Ted Ferragut | January 12, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't you just be insuring the upcoming six years at a time so that in year 4, you'd be insuring years 4-10?

Not like I have any clue but it would seem like you could re-up the insurance if there was a six year max.

Posted by: keef | January 12, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse being the math major that I am. Years 4-9.

Posted by: keef | January 12, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

How does a conditioning stint work? If we can send Johnson to the minors for some temporary ice time, why not send Eminger down for some as well? It has to be better than wearing a suit for every game.

Posted by: JS | January 12, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I was at KCI today. Couldnt figure out why Semin was wearing the pink helmet, but now I know!!!

Johnson looked very very sharp in practice today, maybe BB sees that an starts him tomorrow.

Go Caps....

Posted by: Geotype55 | January 12, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm just glad that Laing is going to play....he is such a bad-ss

Posted by: Caps Crazy | January 12, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Steve R | January 12, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Put me down as a Quintin Laing man... Maybe, OV is the "face of the Caps" but Laing is starting to establish himself as the "heart of the Caps". The guy gives it 110%. How can anyone not be affected by his play? Its guys like Laing that provide the chemistry needed for winning teams. You cannot underestimate their value.

Posted by: Muddapucker | January 12, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

@Jim H,

That helmet was custom made ...with pink hockey tape. I bet someone out there makes a pink helmet for your daughter, I'm just not sure where to point you.

Posted by: Tarik | January 12, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Jim H.:
Any chance that purple will do?

Or what about just painting one? You could buy a used one from Play it Again Sports, a can of spray paint and ... voila!

Posted by: Boo! | January 12, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

You're quite popular. They do sell the same pink tape at Kettler, and unless you're looking really closely, you really couldn't tell it was tape.

Posted by: @Jim | January 12, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Steve R:
Thanks for sharing - interesting article (and good humor! :-)).

Glad to hear everyone on the Laing train ... and glad to hear that he is playing in lieu of Flash tomorrow! :-D

Posted by: Boo! | January 12, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Philly went to OT today. Good chance for us if they are tired. That game was very physical... hope our boys won't be intimidated.

Finally Pittsburgh lost, shees they won 8 straight.

*stares at Boo! and pink/violet helmets*

Posted by: mauree | January 12, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Someone's gotta come out with some thin body armor for Laing so he can always play back-to-backs. I'm glad he's had a few days to heal up.

Posted by: keef | January 12, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

LOL!! :-D Hey, as long it's hockey, I'm in ... I don't care what color the helmet is!! Besides, I was just trying to help a fellow Caps fan. But if it makes you feel any better, I don't own a pink Caps "jersey" ... it's the real deal for me!

I am trying to think of a Snappy come back about Laing's body armor ... it's not coming to me, but I am sure there is one!! ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | January 12, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: keef | January 12, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I watched the Avs-Canes game tonight on Center Ice ... was glad to see Svatos catch fire and score two late goals as Colorado rallied to win, 5-4.

The commentators on Altitude had a couple nice things to say about the Capitals, about how well the Caps (especially Ovechkin) are playing, and how they're only seven points behind Carolina with FOUR games in hand, and four more head-to-head games with the Canes. It was nice to hear positive comments about our team elsewhere.

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | January 12, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

interesting body language. at least he did not look so ... guilty when he spoke (like his last press conference)!

Posted by: Boo! | January 12, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

@keef, Boo!

*wears his Sherlock Holmes hat*

His body language tells me that...I don't think he's pooping right.

Posted by: mauree | January 12, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

And here I thought he was trying to picture Semin in a pink helmet! ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | January 13, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Hahahaha, you're probably right, mauree. That's the only thing that could cause that look of consternation...ehrm...constipation.

Posted by: keef | January 13, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I thought I would post this site... Just so everyone can remember how far this team has come. I can't even figure out the line combos. How in the world did they get through the season?

Posted by: Muddapucker | January 13, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about thin body armor, but how much more (if any) padding can Laing wear under current regs?

Posted by: Gelf | January 13, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Morning all :D

It's a good day for Caps Hockey isn't it?

If you look at the standings here you'll see the Caps have an unique opportunity to grab points and rally past a number of teams.

Today's the start of a 7 games in 11 days stretch. Philly, Ottawa (who won against Detroit in a EAST vs WEST best of the league kind of game), Oilers, Panthers, Penguins (who are very hot lately, 8-2) and back-to-back Leafs (who are desperate and might fire coach and GM soon... sounds familiar?). Five of these games are at the phone boot, and the opportunity is not only to grab points, but to conquer hundreds if not thousands more Caps fans and sell out our home games in the near future.

Let's be honest: the Caps have spoiled us lately grabbing points in the last 8 games and winning 5 of them. Should this results continue, we're going to find ourselves in a very interesting spot.

It all starts today.


Posted by: mauree | January 13, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Game Plan vs. Philthadelphia:

Give the Flyers a two goal lead early.
Philly has a penchant for blowing two goal leads. It's uncanny...

Posted by: Michal Handsauce | January 13, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

This is one of the best posts I've read -- a must read! (I wish I could write like this :-)

Posted by: alexovetjkin | January 13, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse


I did a quick check and a couple of the mercenaries like Briere, Gomez, Drury etc got shorter term >$10mil annual deals. I couldn't find a definitive listing of all salaries, I just wanted to confirm my memory that a few were making that much.

I don't like to pick on Crosby (lots of respect, great kid, awesome player etc etc) but his deal will put him on the market again probably at his prime. At the same time the caps will still know exactly what they are going to pay alex for the next seven years. Obviously building a balanced roster for a team will be easier knowing exactly how much cap room your star will eat up a few years down the line. Plus the cap hit for Alex will be lower then...when he goes to the $10 million phase the cap hit will still be 9.5. AO knows he needed to leave roon for enough support so he can win the cup. The way I see it, AO values the cup at about $124 million since he probably gave up half his earning potential lifetime to ensure $$ was there for a decent team.

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