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Schultz Out Tonight

Based on the morning skate, it appears Jeff Schultz will be the odd defenseman out tonight against Tampa Bay, since he is staying on the ice for additional work with assistant coach Jay Leach.

It also looks like Jose Theodore will start and that both Keith Aucoin and Oskar Osala will suit up. If that's the case, that means Alexander Semin (and Donald Brashear) will be sidelined. Semin has definitely been under the weather, but I also observed him walking out of KCI the other day with a pronounced limp.

Perhaps Coach Bruce Boudreau will confirm some of this when he speaks to reporters in a bit. So check back.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 27, 2009; 10:41 AM ET
 
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Next: Semin 'Questionable' for Tonight

Comments

Judging how most people find Schultz a bit of a stationary skater on the ice, I'll agree that this might be good news that he's sitting this game out (finally). As for Semin, I'm hoping he gets better. I'd rather he rest until he's fully functional. No point in sending him out onto the ice in a foggy haze. Let's give the Lightning a replay of last week's game. I wanna' see the Caps hit 3 goals or more tonight, yeah?

Let's GOO Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 27, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Have an extra ticket for tonight's game if anyone wants to join me in 426

Posted by: Steve_R | March 27, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Reposting:

Katie or Tarik:
Aucoin took a puck to the face in the Bears game Wed night. Does he look ok?

Posted by: tess2201 | March 27, 2009 10:32 AM

Posted by: tess2201 | March 27, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

that news just made my day. and pysched to see osala play again

Posted by: _stevo | March 27, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

with sarge and semin out, who's going to give the bolts the beat down if they go after ovie?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 27, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

It's about time Schultz got benched!!!

Let's see...he's slow, has a wussy shot that he can NEVER get thru to the net, provides very little offense, is not at all physical, isn't particulary good at retrieving loose pucks in our zone (due to his slow footspeed) ...and he constantly screens our own goalies!

It is puzzling that it has taken him this amount of time to get benched.

In fact we played better when he was injured and out of the lineup! (last years playoffs as well as this year!)

Posted by: asharifi10 | March 27, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@ashrofi10

He also is a plus 13, doesnt take stupid penalties, and rarely turns over the puck coming out of the zone...all at a bargain basement price so we can afford high price stars like Green and Ovie.

Any other complaints?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 27, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Looking forward to some Osala, and the Caps should beat the bolts even w/o Schultz.
@dcsports: Not to worry. There's a reason Nylander's a (Chuck) Norris trophy finalist..

Posted by: redlineblue | March 27, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

@ashrofi10

He also is a plus 13, doesnt take stupid penalties, and rarely turns over the puck coming out of the zone...all at a bargain basement price so we can afford high price stars like Green and Ovie.

Any other complaints?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 27, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

yes, he has huge ears

Posted by: Moose33 | March 27, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town

Joe Sakic was a -40 one year. +/- is one of the most warped statistics out there.

Schultz rarely goes against the other teams top lines (Poti and Mo usually do).

Also he is on our 1st PK unit and we have one of the worst PKs in the league in large part because we can't clear the crease (Schultz being the worst offender)

Posted by: asharifi10 | March 27, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town and ashrofi10, you guys just teamed up to create an excellent "pros and cons" scouting report of schultz. Well done!

I don't subscribe to the "useless" camp re: schultz, but he definitely has a lot of weaknesses, and I'm glad to see him taking a seat tonight. Especially since the potential for fireworks means we can't afford to leave either Jurcina or Erskine on the bench.

Posted by: GusDaMan | March 27, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

schultz= C3PO

Posted by: daddy_axe | March 27, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

So I guess we won't see the lumberjack with the forwards tonight? Oh well, we lose the double nickle for a night, and get the double O

Posted by: superpaqman | March 27, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

According to an old post at Japers, Schultz actually has played against (collectively) the 2nd best quality of competition this season of any of our defensemen.

So, he's managed to keep his PIM's down, with the 2nd best giveaways/game stats on the Caps blueline, with a good +/-, against the 2nd best opponents.

Does he have flaws? Absolutely...but I'm not sure that his scratch tonight is something to be overjoyed about. All of our D-men have issues. At least Schultz stays out of the box when he is on the ice.

Posted by: Jeff_ | March 27, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Caps PK is 20th in the league at 79.8 %. Perhaps to be expected for more of a high-flying offensive style team, it's 1/10th a point behind New Jersey, but 1.9 percentage points better than Detroit's PK.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 27, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

1) He's a plus because he's always out there with Ovie's line--or when he's paired with Green and he scores--+/- is an overblown stat.
2) He screens Theodore more often than the opposing teams' PP--and gets death glares from Theo because of it.
3) He is deathly afraid of hitting or getting hit-he counts on his reach to make a player lose control of the puck--while he's reaching, they're burning him for a scoring chance. He gets burned more than a joint at a Dead show.

...but, he's 6'6" and is a +14!!! Spare me. He's a 6'6" softie. Hopefully he'll be good one day--and I hope I'm alive to see it.

Posted by: R617 | March 27, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

>>Schultz rarely goes against the other teams top lines

Evgeni Malkin wants to know who's been wearing Schultz' jersey. The Devils want to talk with your statistician. And you have an inquiry from Detroit, too.
Schultz is good. That's why he plays so many minutes; it's why every metric you can find says he's one of our better DEFENSEmen; it's why BB didn't scratch him till a playoff berth was secure. Schultz is good.

Posted by: redlineblue | March 27, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I don't find Schultz useless either, but I agree that there's something strange going on with him.

Does anyone remember last spring when we were ramping up to the playoffs, when Schultz and Greenie were paired together a lot? They were even featured as a dynamic duo of sorts on either CSN or maybe in The Washington Post.

Anyway, they complemented each other perfectly, with Schultz being a defensive stay-at-home defenseman, and Green being an offensive powerhouse who often cheated at the blueline with Schultz hanging back.

I hate to say this, but it's almost as though Green's maturation and extreme development this season have made Schultz appear useless by comparison, as though Green has outgrown him (and I'm aware they aren't usually paired together anymore, but I think the point still stands).

I do like Schultz and hope he comes around, and I do appreciate the less tangible qualities he offers, but lately he's seemed weak and out of place-- and with Pothier back I really wouldn't mind Erskine in for Schultz for a couple games until he gets his bearings back.

Posted by: happy_cap | March 27, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"...but, he's 6'6" and is a +14!!! Spare me. He's a 6'6" softie. Hopefully he'll be good one day--and I hope I'm alive to see it."

Schultz not putting people through the end boards is that big of an issue? That's the same mentality that ran NHL HOF Larry Murphy out of town.

Posted by: FLDave | March 27, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Perfect. As if we didn't see the endless Schultz debate once the headline appeared. I actually think it's probably the most overblown debate the board has engaged in this season.

Posted by: saintex | March 27, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"That's the same mentality that ran NHL HOF Larry Murphy out of town."

I LOVE Larry Murphy :)

Posted by: happy_cap | March 27, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Schultzie's improved a lot over time, and he still has more in him. Remember when Mike Green played like lost little boy out there before last season? It'll be good to see some new energy tonight, and while I'm sure some of you are far smarter than Boudreau on this question, I too don't think Schultz's absence is a real plus.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 27, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, 'paired with Green' is a real luxury for a defenseman. You're not gonna see a lot of neutral zone turnovers and oddman rushes if you're paired with Green. You just hang out and let 52 pad your misleading +/-.

All 55 does is take good options away from attackers. It's not sexy like an icelong rush, or satisfying like an open-ice crush, but it's verry valuable. And Schultz does a Ton of it.

Posted by: redlineblue | March 27, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

happy_cap, are you sure you're not thinking of Mo? He was Green's partner last season, but for some reason they were split at the beginning of the current

Posted by: honed | March 27, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

R617... A lot of people agree with you.

Posted by: RedRocker | March 27, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

RedRocker....a lot of people don't

Posted by: meagle | March 27, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@redblue
It's not sexy like an icelong rush

haha, By the time Schultz started one of those you and I would need a shave and a haircut.

Posted by: bhound69 | March 27, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm not the best hockey analyst out there but the games I've watched on tv on the left coast, taking into account what people have said about his performances near the net, even I noticed something odd about the few times where it looked like he was blocking our goalie and/or just sorta' did nothing when another team was like thisclose to our net. Left a bad impression and was a bit of a head scratcher as to how that helps our team if he's in the way of the goalie and not helping to clear the net of opposing team players. *shrug* I welcome any change that the team wants/needs to make right now before the playoffs. The one playoff game I get to watch at Verizon Center better be a good one, especially since I gotta' sit behind the visitors' bench. C'mon, Caps, give the hometown crowds a win!!!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 27, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Perfect. As if we didn't see the endless Schultz debate once the headline appeared. I actually think it's probably the most overblown debate the board has engaged in this season.

Posted by: saintex
---------------------------

Nah, "the chanting at the Goalie sucks/lame" debate or WJS/SC trolling

Posted by: Redwolf1 | March 27, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

AHHH! A return to normalacy. With OV's celebration put down to rest, it is time to focus once again in the bashing of Schultz and the occasional insulting of Semin and Nylander.

Posted by: opita1 | March 27, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Normalcy not normalacy.

Posted by: opita1 | March 27, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@FLDave...that's not a big issue for me--but he could institute his body more, particularly when opposing players are carrying the puck--insted of just poking at the puck with his reach. And he does screen Theo--ALOT--on the PK. That's just poor positioning. When he was thrust into this lineup two years ago, it was too soon. I think we are seeing another Eminger--just taller and slower--a guy's who's development was significantly stunted by being rushed to the NHL--because at the time, the Caps had nothing better.

Posted by: R617 | March 27, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Schultz is just another tall, gangly defenseman with no physical edge to him at all. It's the "calling card" of our defense:
Poti / Jurcina / Schultz - tall with long sticks who cannot play physical.

Erskine is tough, but not as talented.

There's a reason why Boudreau played Fedorov on the point excessively last year in the play-off's, and it wasn't due to injuries.

Oscala, another experiment near play-off time, and Pothier is still shaking off the rust.

Here we go.....

Posted by: Jaymagz | March 27, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't a huge fan of Larry Murphy but the guy racked up assists and scored a ton of goals on the blueline as well. When he went to teams where he had "more to work with" he fit in quite well.

Schultz is not Murphy. Not close. He's slower and a TON less offensively gifted..not even close.

Kevin Hatcher was an OUTSTANDING dman in his first few years here. Once he decided not to use his size he became a defensive liability and we turned around and traded him for Mark Tinordi! Tinordi didn't have the offense of Hatcher but was a TON more physical.

Physical play intimidates the opposition and is great for creating seals on opposition cycling and clearing the crease so your goalie can actually see shots coming at him. In the playoffs the value of physical play increase exponentially!

That is why less physical players like Kozlov are an EPIC FAIL in the playoffs...much like Schultz was last year.

Erskine, Jurcina and Eminger played better in the playoffs than they did in the regular season last year..why? Because they were our most physical D!

Posted by: asharifi10 | March 27, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Jaymagz,

You've been much missed on the boards bro!

Posted by: asharifi10 | March 27, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

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