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Saturday Morning Update

There are three goalies on the ice, including Brent Johnson, who, based on the 15 minutes of practice that I've seen, still doesn't look 100-percent. Which is perhaps why Simeon Varlamov is still here.

Also, on first glance, it appears that Mike Green and/or Jeff Schultz are awfully close to returning. They are skating as a pair and going all out.

Missing are: Tomas Fleischmann (flu), Sergei Fedorov (ankle), Alexander Semin (back) and Tom Poti (groin). Alex Ovechkin and Donald Brashear also aren't skating, but I'm willing to bet that they're getting a "maintenance day" and will be able to go tomorrow.

A couple of other early observations:

*A new Mike Gartner banner is hanging on the wall here at KCI next to Dale Hunter, Rod Langway and Yvon Labre. His jersey is being retired tomorrow during a pre-game ceremony and he's expected to be here at some point this morningwatching practice with GM George McPhee.

*There's a huge crowd here this morning. I'm bad with crowd esitmates, but I'm guesssing in the neighborhood of a 1,000.

I'll have more a little later.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 27, 2008; 11:05 AM ET
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Next: Fleischmann Has Pneumonia; Helmer sent down (Updated)



Posted by: laxhoss | December 27, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

So another roster housekeeping post might be in order tomorrow?

Posted by: Section117 | December 27, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Where can I read the article about Crosby "Hail the king?"

Posted by: johnbear1 | December 27, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

ok...not sure why people are having issues viewing the picture of the goal that was washed out. i am too computer illiterate this morning so if someone gives me an e-mail, i will send them the pic and they can post it. it is an awesome picture.

yeah boo i have my priorities straight : much so i need to take the skins out of my name and be capsbearsrays instead!

Posted by: CapsSkins | December 27, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Way to lift up your team! :-P

It is in the paper version of The Hockey News. You can see the cover here:
I don't think it is available to everyone online since the mag just came out, but it may be in a month or so (just sure how that works). I can see it online since I subscribe to THN; I used to be able to forward articles, but it looks like that is no longer an option. Sorry!

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 27, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Looking Ahead: Real Good News

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 them back.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 27, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

mabe I'ma liitle bit of a homer but I was pretty pleased with Clark's return, showed a lot of energy

Posted by: superpaqman | December 27, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

btw if you want to send me your e-mail to post the picture, you can e-mail me:

Posted by: CapsSkins | December 27, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

How long is Semin out? I can never get a handle on when this guy is coming back or not?

Posted by: Buts16 | December 27, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

@ superpaqman- I agree. I thought Clark was decent last night and showed a ton of energy as well...It was nice to see him back

Posted by: The_Spear | December 27, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@buts16 - as a huge fan of Alex S. and owner of him in my fantasy league as well, I watch and read everything I can about him. however, their isn't much news out there. The fact he took a back injury after the shoulder would lend one to believe that next week seems reasonable. however, looking at his history with injuries, it makes more sense to wait for him to be 100%, than to rush him back in.

We are lucky in DC to have the Alexs. There is really no reason that our team shouldn't be selling out nightly. If the rest of DC knew how amazingly talented our young team is, and how great the quality of play is on the crappy ice at home games, it would be impossible to get tickets. We have arguably one of the best products in the nation right under our noses. I just hope that Semin can get rid of his injury bugs.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | December 27, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse


I also agree it's a shame we can't sell out each and every night, but I'm still happy with the crowds we have. Another STH and I were discussing how lucky we were here in the National Capital Region to have such talent on our team. Yet, the Redskins still have a waiting list on Season Tickets? Give me a break.....

Does this area want to watch champions play? Come out and watch the Caps. Its rock-'em, sock-'em action, non-stop. Totally awesome. I was nothing but an NFL fan until I came to my first NHL game. Now, my only question is..."Why did I wait so long"?

Posted by: Dougeb | December 27, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I have my moments with this team. I'm not sold on JT, Nyls drives me crazy, the injuries are something to behold, and they still win. JT had a nice game last night and maybe it is a matter of a good first period. Nylander was much better last night. Both deserve some praise. Even though I won't agree with every player doesn't mean I think we can build a fantasy team. I'll make no bones about wanting Varlamov to stay up but I've never doubted the team as a whole. BB knows from coaching. The brilliance of the move last season was either luck or an understanding that bringing up a fine coach from the minors was the best plan. GMGM and BB have hit it all...every game. I'm simply amazed as what we're watching.

I'll be critical because I believe the idea that good isn't enough. We can all see in the team's behavior that this isn't a matter of next's now. The defense can drive me nuts but the offense makes me happy.

Every game I imagine AO just taking them from the locker room to the ice and imagining how much they believe. We can feel it. Obviously, his goal last night was jaw dropping...but it's not the goal itself as much as it's the ideal he gives to the rest of the team.

There's something brewing in D.C. It's this year.

Posted by: saintex | December 27, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, what do you think when your Michael Wilbon continuously cite hockey as irrelevant; but there's an obvious excitement in the area regarding this team? A thousand or thereabouts show up for practice, and "nobody cares about hockey"? Pretty interesting.

Posted by: pga6 | December 28, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

I know they want Varlamov to get more playing in but just give Johnson a rest until he's feeling better. Keep Varlamov up for another week or so and don't rush Johnson back this time. Same goes for Green and Semin. There isn't much you can do about the crosscheck to Semin's lower back but Green wasn't ready to go back with his injury. Don't bring him back until the 3rd against the Rangers.

And Kozlov's been picking it up the past couple of games.

Posted by: Stu_c | December 28, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

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