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Saturday Morning Update

As expected, Sergei Fedorov is on 'D' and Chris Bourque is on the fourth line (in Donald Brashear's spot).



Johnson will start and Theodore will backup.

I just asked GM George McPhee about Michal Neuvirth being sent to South Carolina. He said it's only so he can get a game in tonight. The plan is still to loan out Neuvirth, with a decision coming in the next few days.

More in a bit.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 18, 2008; 10:17 AM ET
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Next: Bourque Back in Town


anybody watching in oxford, ohio tonight?

Posted by: fizzity first | October 18, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh excellent!

Not so excellent that Brash is still out, but excellent that Fedorov is playing defense and Bourque is up. :)

Posted by: i rock the red | October 18, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse


Just how bad is Brashear's hand?

Posted by: uncatim | October 18, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

And Tarik, have the players commented on the condition of the ice at the Phone booth? Sorry you had to sit through football chat on WPL live last night. Check your earpiece next time!

Posted by: Leeguru | October 18, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I love the line-up qualifier for tonight:

Washington Forwards (a wild guess)
8-Ovechkin, 19-Backstrom, 17-Clark
14-Fleischmann, 92-Nylander, 28-Semin
21-Laich, 15-Gordon, 16-Fehr
56-Bourque, 39-Steckel, 10-Bradley

Washington Defensemen
26-Morrisonn, 52-Green
23-Jurcina, 91-Fedorov
4-Erskine, 55-Schultz

I like the last two lines -- lots of energy. I love Juice paired with Feds -- Juice really seems to shine in that pairing. Erks with Schultz is much better than the Erkjuice pairing.

Posted by: JIM | October 18, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Wowza, that fourth line is going to be all over the place. Hopefully Chris continues to show that he's ready to play up here!

Posted by: Jordan | October 18, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

i believe someone posted an awesome highlight site... i forgot the link and was wondering if someone can repost it. thx we beat the devils like we beat them last year go caps...

Posted by: vik | October 18, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I can see the second line playing most all of their shifts in the Devils' zone. When thsoe three are on their game, it's like watching a father play catch with his sons in the backyard. I wonder if teams will start to key that line with thier best pairing given the top lines --relative-- lack of production?

Posted by: JIM | October 18, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse


"I wonder if teams will start to key (the second) line with their best pairing given the top line's --relative-- lack of production?"

I think it's possible that one of the reasons the second line has had so much success is because teams are committing so much defensively to shutting Ovi down. And I find it hard to believe the top line is EVER going to draw less than a team's premier D pair while Ovi is skating on it. If Semin and Nylander continune racking up points at the rate they are now, the Caps are going to become a REALLY difficult team to play. Sounds good to me!

Posted by: JB | October 18, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Concur with JB. The reason Semin/Nylander/Laich is shining as much as they are is because teams are pouring all their D into stopping Ovi/Backstrom. I think Backstrom is a little lost without Ovi right now - was hoping they'd pair him with Bourque and see if those two can get a little bit of fire going.

Posted by: this space for rent | October 18, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I am always downing erskine and he by no means has won me over, but he played well in pitsburgh against malkin and crosby. Maybe played well is an overstatment, but he had his moments.

Posted by: capsHSC | October 18, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

@ JB and TSFR -- my point, yeah. The 2nd line has a bit of an easier time with 2nd pairings. But Nylander, Semin, and Flash have it off really well, so no dissing them. TSFR -- what do you mean by Backs w/o OV? They are both on the top line, but not really in sync yet. Backs is looking for super plays, not shooting enough, is part of the problem.

Posted by: JIM | October 18, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know why the games are not broadcast on FM 107.7 like last year? AM 1500 is a lousy signal in Virginia and 107.7 was so clear!--This link in 2007 talks about a 2 year agreement to broadcast on 107.7 also--
Anyone have some information?

Posted by: Crappy AM Caps radio | October 18, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse something like that.

Posted by: grrr24 | October 18, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse something like that.

Posted by: grrr24 | October 18, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@ Tarik

How long is Poti going to be out? I don't want us to lose another d-man to injury (not counting Federov) because I think we're going to be a little thin there no matter how well Federov plays on D. Playing Federov on D is ok for now, but I think it's going to wear him out over a long term.

Posted by: Russ | October 18, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Having played both O and D and reading Feds comments-D is easier to play!!!---less ice to travell--less banging

Posted by: Feds on D | October 18, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Crappy AM Caps radio,

107.7 pretty much went under (the whole 3WT experiment) so WTOP merged it back under their umbrella, and the games stayed on the remainding 2 stations (1500 and 820).

Posted by: Leeguru | October 18, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse something like that.

Posted by: grrr24 | October 18, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@ Russ, respectfully disagree, Feds seems to be relishing his play on the blueline, begging BB for it. Feds numbers are great and he's having fun. Sounds good to me. I am a little surprised that Sami or Alzner were not called up, but that may be good news that Poti will be back soon

I do worry about how thin the defense is getting, playing Erksine too much, too often -- yikes.

Posted by: JIM | October 18, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Ah well---Always can try aluminum foil on my car antenna :)

Posted by: Thanks Leeguru | October 18, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I like those lines. I only wish that top line could turn it on sooner rather than later.

Posted by: jak | October 18, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 18, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

ok, I'm a 'tard! That's almost exactly what grrr24 said... duh me!

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 18, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Anyone with any streaming links for tonight would suddenly become my new best friend.

Plus I could have a word with Queenie about sorting you out with an honourary knighthood.

Posted by: Dave UK Caps Fan | October 18, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@JIM: By Backs without Ovi, I mean that Backs and Ovi seemed to feed off of one another at the end of last year. One would set the other up. I'm speculating that part of Backs' problem getting started this year is that Ovi having the double coverage stops them from achieving that same synergy. Backs doesn't have anyone to play with, so perhaps he's trying to be cutesy because he's on his own out there. Giving him someone else to feed off of might give him a jump.

Like I said, I'm just speculating here, but it's an idea I'm toying with.

Posted by: this space for rent | October 18, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

End of first, 1-1, shots favor Devils 14-9. All in all a better first frame than previous. BJ looks good out there.

Posted by: this space for rent | October 18, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

End of first, 1-1, shots favor Devils 14-9. All in all a better first frame than previous. BJ looks good out there.

Posted by: this space for rent | October 18, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

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