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Scoreboard Watching Time in the S.E.

Ask an NHL coach or player if he sneaks a peek at the out-of-town scoreboard on the mezzanine during a break in the action, and he'll probably tell you he's too focused on his game to worry about someone else's.

It's the politically correct thing to say.

Don't believe him.

I fully expect some scoreboard watching from the bench tonight when the Caps host the Edmonton Oilers at Verizon Center. That's because a Washington win, coupled with losses by Atlanta (vs. Montreal) and Carolina (at Ottawa), can vault the Caps past Florida and within three points of the Thrashers and Hurricanes for the Southeast Division lead.

Yes, three points. (Check out the standings for yourself here.)

While I don't think the Caps care one way or another how they get into the playoffs, so long as they do, it's starting to look like the most direct route will be through the weak Southeast Division, with the winner earning the third seed in the East.

The Caps have played two games fewer than the Thrashers and Panthers, three fewer than the 'Canes and they host Florida on Saturday. So with six Southeast Division games next month, and eight more in March and April, Alex Ovechkin and Co. could be in for some rare excitement down the stretch - assuming, of course, they continue to win.

Update:I'm told Kolzig will start in goal and defenseman Milan Jurcina will be a healthy scratch. So that means Steve Eminger will get in.

Chris Clark (groin) and Brian Pothier (concussion) are out.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 17, 2008; 10:39 AM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup vs. Edmonton

Comments

I believe the Caps can and will win the SE...but yeah, it's gonna get good! Possibly the most exciting spring for the Caps in years.

Posted by: Jill | January 17, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I love it. I've been scoreboard watching for a few weeks now. As long as our key players continue playing the way they are with some timely contributions from the likes of Gordon/Laich/Steckel and co. we could be poised to leap frog more than a few teams in the next few weeks.

Posted by: capthis! | January 17, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@Lee,

The wrath of Shultzie is seldom seen but often feared

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

They'll continue to win. It's obvious BB's system works. I'm a tad worried about the goalie situation and the appearance of some hurt feelings but it sounds like they have a craving for the playoffs. I can't wait to see Green's mohawk!!!

Posted by: K | January 17, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

BTW, it the few minutes it took me to type this entry up, a half inch of snow has fallen on my deck -- and it's coming down hard.

Posted by: Tarik | January 17, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Off topic:

Not to post a link to the competition or anything, but... ;)

Check out a great article in the Times on our two most famous Caps fans. Good fluff piece!

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080117/SPORTS04/616940662/1005/SPORTS

Posted by: Jay | January 17, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

if this team continues to play the way they have, with the exception of the flyers game, they could take the division lead. They'll have to fend off carolina the rest of the way. They are looking more and more determined. I've been waiting all season to see Semin pull off some moves like he did against Ottawa the other night. If everything starts clicking at once, the Caps could be poised for a playoff berth.

Posted by: 007 | January 17, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

THink about it:

WIn the SE, get a 3rd seed (Not the 8th). Get home ice advantage. Have the top two teams stumble (NJ & Ottowa), and the caps would be the top team in the east, with home ice advantage!

Posted by: Lee | January 17, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@Tarik,
No kidding! It's coming down really fast out here in Dulles. What else could we wish for than a snowstorm on the day Edmonton comes to town, eh? Kinda like when we were in Edmonton last year!

Posted by: Jay | January 17, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@Jay,

I just read that. Good story.

Posted by: Tarik | January 17, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Come on Steve! Who fears Shultz? his 4 year old sister? His goldfish? No pro hockey player does. Martin St. Louis Looks at him mean and Schultz falls down!

Posted by: Lee | January 17, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I just want to make the playoffs - I don't care what seed, however, I do agree with Tarik that most likely, we will only see one team make it from the SE division. "No points for 2nd place boys" (movie quote day).

Imagine Alex in the playoffs... you think he plays hard now?

Posted by: 828 | January 17, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

So on the topic of the post, here's something I think a lot of us have forgotten given its been a while since we've had a playoff caliber team in DC. The pattern of this year's Caps isn't that different from the Caps of old. We'd all complain about the darn horse show kicking the boys out of DC for a long road trip every October, the team would start slow with a horrible October, below average November, things picking up in late December and then the big come from behind push once the new year hit. This team is on pattern with a lot of the successful Caps teams in history. The difference between this team now and the teams here in DC since the lockout ended is that this team now believes they can win and can make the playoffs. If they go on a Caps-like run from here until March they could well be far and away out in front of the SE competition. But health and good fortune goes a long way in the NHL today, and one bad week or a string of 5 bad games can really bury a team now. Fingers crossed!

Posted by: Jay | January 17, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

BB has the Caps in a really good place to pull the third seed. The players are responding so well. Nyls goes down and Semin has his best game of the year. Ollie is playing a bit cold, and Johnson is getting hot. Green, Morrison, and Schultz are playing better. Gordo, Laing, and Laich are playing their butts off. This team is riding a wave into the playoffs. If they can beat the red-hot Pens in Pittsburgh, they are serious contenders.

Posted by: JIM | January 17, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@TEB
I noticed it took until the 5th paragraph for you to actually invoke the "p" word. Funny..

Allan Muir's mailbag addressed Nyls' injury and he said the Caps are toast, that GMGM doesnt want to prevent the development of one of our kids (Gordo, Bourque, Fehr), unless he goes "all in" (Muir's words) and signs a Mats Sundin.

Pretty good assessment, if you ask me, except I do not think the Caps are toast, and I'll tell you why: they have the best coach in the SE right now.

Posted by: Shaggy | January 17, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

WHAAT?! Tarik, you continue to ignore the biggest story in Capsland: the unconscionable treatment of our beloved Sluggo. Shame!

Posted by: Cpl Cespod | January 17, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@ Lee

Wishful thinking but if the Caps make it to the playoffs..3rd seed or 8th seed..be happy.

Posted by: JamesD | January 17, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I think this is huge - Caps cannot lose 2 in a row.

It would be nice to be unbeat'n in 10 games, that would help... but the biggest thing is not to lose 2+ games in a row like we have in the past.

Caps... say no to skid marks.

Posted by: 828 | January 17, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Dont forget to root for no OT games outside of us either...Stupid point system.

I would even prefer cutting the point if you lose in OT..a point for shootout loss.

Maybe we should start games w/ a shootout in case of a tie...teams would kill each other not to end in a draw.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 17, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

With the SE division being so weak, there is no reason why the Caps can't win the division. I think they can and they will, but the one thing that kinda sucks if they win the division is they will be the 3 seed and not the 8 seed. As of now the 1 seed is Ottawa and we OWN Ottawa (4-0). I would rather the Caps get the 8 seed and play Ottawa, then have the 3 seed, possibly lose, and the NHL says "The Caps are over rated, and they get home ice for winning a weak division." I'd rather win the 8 seed and play Ottawa. just my opinion.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The SE presents the Caps with their best opportunity to reach the playoffs, because the Caps can have an effect on BOTH their own results (wins) and those of intra-divisional opponents (points denied by the Caps in games they win against other SE teams).

Going in as an 8-seed is probably going to require help (three of the five teams ahead of them for eighth-place are not SE teams...someone else needs to deny them points, too)

Posted by: The Peerless | January 17, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Okay Okay Okay... enough playoff talk. We need to win tonight and get at least 7 points out of the possible 10 during this homestand. We have 4 of 6 right now.

Don't jinx us... Caps are looking good and we just need to keep it up. At our "current" pace, we should be alright.

Posted by: 828 | January 17, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The Caps have owned Ottawa in the regular season, but I'm not convinced that Caps would want the Sens in the playoffs. Then again, playing the Devils or Pens in the playoffs doesn't sound real appealing. Beating the Pens in the playoffs to get the moneky off the Caps back would be great -- like when the Skins beat the Cowgirls in 72 and 83 to launch the Skins as legit playoff contenders for years. Probably too early to worry about seeding, but nice to see it as realistic.

Posted by: JIM | January 17, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The path is clear. But we need a few good breaks as well. We need Clark and Pothier back healthy and soon for a good stretch. It would also be nice if Viktor added a few goals to his nice assists. And, of course, Semin needs to keep his re-found touch going. It'd be nice if GMGM stepped up at some point as well

Posted by: 3vafans | January 17, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

This sucks, the Caps should be aiming for 8th. Gosh

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,
Please, easy with the South-Least reference. You'll hurt TB and Carolina's feelings.

Anyway, almost 2 inches on the grass from my office window and snowing harder so I'll hit the road! Drive safe all.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 17, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

p.s. @828, good point. Let's not get ahead or full of ourselves.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 17, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I think that you are absolutely correct about the possiblity of winning the SE. However, I don't think that people are giving the situation between Bruce and Olie enough attention. This is the coaches first really big test and he has to find a way to handle the issue properly so that Olie remains a committed and active member of the teams push this year. Remember, even when he isn't playing he is one of, if not the leader on the team and if he begins to lose interst it could be a major negative to the Caps momentum. Additionally, while BJ has had some good games he has not had to carry a team in a long time, not sure I want to hang my playoff hopes on him just yet....

Posted by: Derek | January 17, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The snow is coming down HARD in Chantilly and I agree with Matt.
Let's shoot for 8th so we can sweep the first round.
(That is some serious smack-talk right there)

I've been actually watching the boards for a few weeks now too. The problem is not only that we need to continue winning, but that Atlanta & Carolina drop some points too. All we can do is try to keep winning and let the math take care of itself.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 17, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I don't care who is in goal - if the Caps score 6 each night, we win...

Posted by: 828 | January 17, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

And everyone eats free wings!

Posted by: Lee | January 17, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

What do you guys think about replacing Nyls with a rent-a-center?

Posted by: pmoravek | January 17, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

828,

That's a given

Posted by: Finn | January 17, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

This could really happen. Who would have thought that with the way the saeson started? Thank you BB!

@SA-Town

I agree the overtime points system sucks.
It was much better when both teams got a point for a tie and no points for a loss. I enjoy watching shootout goals by skilled players as much as anybody, but it should not determine the outcome of games. It totally takes the TEAM concept out of hockey! Shoot outs are for skills competitons and between period entertainment. Id' much rather see a team battle back, tie the game and come away with a point. Just my opinion...

GO CAPS!!!!!

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 17, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@pmoravek,

Or a rent-a-RW and move Kozlov to center.

@828,

Good point. OV and Green need to quit slacking and start scoring more. Put Laing in net also, his 5 hole seems smaller.

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Im thinking we may be a better team without Nylander...(only because he has been playing hurt prior..a healthy #92 I would take) He has been a major plus on the power play, but with that shoulder his D, and coming back behind the net, and even getting into the boards was not there. We are going to need some toughness, and he just was not a complete player before the surgery.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 17, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

If you look at the potential rent-a-centers, the pending UFA's, there is not a lot to choose from beyond the pricey Sundin.

The Caps can move Kozlov to center when Clark returns and they have Bourque and Fehr to try.

There are not really a lot of options on the rental market at wing or center this season.

Posted by: Rob | January 17, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I'm as jazzed as everyone that the Caps are finally making a run, but agree with 828: let's quit worrying about playoff seeding and whether we get to play Ottawa in April, and focus on beating the Oilers today. The Caps are playing well and riding a streak. To really get anywhere, they need to turn the streak into consistency. That happens by playing well one shift, one period and one game at a time.

Posted by: Fred | January 17, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Man, I hope those who want the team to shoot for 8th instead of a division win (in other words, aim low) aren't parents. Otherwise I weep for the future.

Posted by: Jill | January 17, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Sitting 2 games below .500

After that horrific start, not shabby to be within striking distance. Glad the Caps have BB as coach.

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Tariki,

Any room left on the Bandwagon???


LETS GO CAPS

Posted by: LIVINT | January 17, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@pmoravek,
I say hold off on rentals for the moment. Let's see if the team can keep the chemistry, get Clark back and produce. Backstrom has really stepped up, Kozlov can slide to center of if Gordo really continues to shine he can stay on the 2nd line, lord knows our org has enough checkers to keep the 3rd and 4th lines stocked. I'd say assessing the team and their standing in about 3-4 weeks and acting from there is a good idea. If things are looking good in 4 weeks the question is a disruption of chemistry vs. acquiring a rental (or longer term player) and adding depth in case of late season injury.

Posted by: Jay | January 17, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@Lee,

Come on Steve! Who fears Shultz? his 4 year old sister? His goldfish? No pro hockey player does. Martin St. Louis Looks at him mean and Schultz falls down!

Posted by: Lee

He's 8 feet tall and has a serious reach advantage when slap fighting

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Jill

LOL

Posted by: pmoravek | January 17, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Aim low? Aim for what you can get. I'd take any kind of playoff spot right now. I suppose it'l lswing on how healthy we can keep the team. Another major loss and things gets really dicey, not that they aren't already dicey.

Posted by: EricS | January 17, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Is it too late to set up FedEx Field or RFK for the "New Year Classic" featuring the visting Edmonton Oilers vs the Washington Capitals tonight at 7pm?

Posted by: 828 | January 17, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@828,

I don't think Bettman could get the penguins down here in time

Posted by: Lee | January 17, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Just a quick question, how many of the players are usualy on the ice at Kettler for the morning skates on game days? My squirt team is coming into town and we have an 8:15 game and would like they to stick around and watch some of the skate.

I got 29 parents and kids coming to the game this saturday, so no one can say i didn't do my part to help pay for OV's new deal :)

Posted by: Mike | January 17, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@Lee,

Good one!

I can hear the announcers now, "Sid ties his skate, Sid blows his nose, look Sid is talking to Malkin, Sid doesn't like that call. The other team scores. Sid is really upset, Sid sure cleans his visor like a pro, I can't believe Sid didn't get that call. Now 2-0 the other team. What vision Sid has, look at Sid bounce the puck on his stick blade, Sid just barely evaded that hit, Sid sure is quick"...

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Off-topic - when will we find out who won the table contest for the highest # of jerseys from the STH event?

Posted by: Tracy | January 17, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps are going to rent anything, they should rent some heavyweight toughness for the blueline. Never thought I would miss Brendan Witt, but the Caps could really use him or someone like him.

One way to honor and support Olie would be to have someone back there that can clear the crease. I am still galled by Knuble's 2 goals on Sunday.

Posted by: Clarendon | January 17, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - Any update on Clarkie's return? You said he's not back at square 1, but will it be another 10 games missed or will we see the fearless leader back sooner?

Posted by: Tracy | January 17, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Don't they have lil childeren books:

See Sid Run, See Sid Jump, See Sid get knocked on his but by Alex...

Posted by: 828 | January 17, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

See, I do think Schultz could take Syd. he's slap syd, syd would cry, Schultz would get a match penalty and a 34 game suspension, come back tough.

Posted by: Lee | January 17, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

lol Lee

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Olie's backstopping tonight.

Posted by: keef | January 17, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I am loving watching the effort these guys are putting forth...i think they can make a push for the playoffs, but obviously Nylander being out hurts. My main concern is not losing anyone else to injuries and whether the goaltending can step up and steal some games. Age, wear and tear could be a factor w/ Ollie and Johnson.

Posted by: MLK | January 17, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I think Olie in goal is a good decision. It will give him confidence he's number 1. And if needed, with Florida Brent can start.

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Five points out is still a lot. The Thrash seem to have come on lately, as well. Let's start using the P-word when we're within 2 or 3. Until then, let's just hope the Caps can come out every night like they come out against Ottawa.

Posted by: katzistan | January 17, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

And let's not forget the Caps have 2 in hand on Atlanta and 3 on Carolina

Posted by: dmg | January 17, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Matt on this one. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but wouldn't we rather get in as the 8 seed? The 8 seed plays Ottawa. We own Ottawa. (Insert Slapshot clip of goalie saying "Ownsssss, Ownsssss.")

6th seed could give us either the Habs or the Flyers, two teams we haven't done real well against.

Posted by: old time hockey | January 17, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Kolzig? Oh, no. Why change the winning team?

Posted by: Finn | January 17, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Don't really agree with Kolzig in goal considering what a good game Johnny had but hopefully he'll show us that he's out of his funk...

Posted by: K | January 17, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Playoffs!? Are you kidding me? Playoffs? I'm just hoping we can win a game....

Posted by: Jim Mora | January 17, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I wish Jurcina would find his game again. I loved watching him last season and can't figure out what's going on now.

0 hits on Tues. :(

Posted by: keef | January 17, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I still don't get how Shultz stays in the line up he doesn't do anything. He should be a healthy scratch.

Posted by: Thomas | January 17, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I personally don't think the Caps should set their sights on achieving whatever seed would net them the most desirable matchup. That would be a huge copout, and no true fan should ever suggest that.

They should strive to win every game and finish the season with the most possible number of points. Pure and simple. Fortunately Gabby sees it the same way.

Posted by: Jill | January 17, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - do you know at all if GMGM is working with Green on an extension right now? I know a lot of us think it's a priority, but I was curious if any work was actually being done on it, now that #8 is locked up. I was at the game Tuesday night, and I literally heard the cash register ring in my head when Green scored. I have to think his price goes up every day.

Posted by: mvk20 | January 17, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik,
Instead of telling us that Clark is out, save the cyberspace and just tell us when he's in. In my mind, I'll be shocked when he does show up on the ice.

Posted by: b.orr4 | January 17, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

6 pts out of 8th and 5 out of division lead.

Doesnt matter how many games in hand they have on anyone, if you arent playing about 500 hockey, then you arent making the playoffs...Caps are still below 500. Id concentrate more on playing above 500 hockey the remainder of the way instead of whatever other teams are doing.

Posted by: JamesD | January 17, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@Thomas

As much as it pains me to type this...I can understand why Schultz is in and Juice is out. Schultz keeps his position, doesn't have the the abundance of deflections that Juice seems to have, and amazingly enough he had 1 hit against OTT.

Schultz handled the puck better at the line on Tuesday better than I've seen him do recently so I guess the staff's seeing improvement in him.

Posted by: keef | January 17, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I was looking at the power rankings on tsn. Can someone explain to me how the Sabres are ranked ahead of the Caps when they haven't won in 10 games? How does that make any sense?

Posted by: ??? | January 17, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Green's extension is next up. I haven't spoken to his camp since last week, but they were expecting a call after the Ovechkin deal was finished.

Posted by: Tarik | January 17, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@Thomas,

What Keef said. Plus with 5 goals on 17 shots he's a sniper from the outside at around 30%....

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Totally off-topic, but:

Oh my god... The Sabres are 0-5-5 in their last ten.

Schadenfreude, anybody? I'm serving it up piping hot!

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 17, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Heh... ??? beat me to it. Odd that we both noticed that at the same time.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 17, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

What do you think is fair for Green? I would like to see him locked up long term. I think 10 years, $40-45 million is a good deal. Of course that means we'll have to ditch Semin when his contract is up.

Posted by: Sabah | January 17, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@???

Things should change soon hopefully. On the other hand, read their article on today's EDM-WSH game. We're depicted very very strong.

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

They must re-sign Green - he is sick!

Posted by: MLK | January 17, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@Sabah

Not sure about term, but I know he's gonna be seeking $4-5 million per. Of course he'll probably take less for more years, and vice versa.

Posted by: Tarik | January 17, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@Steve R

His percentage was a lot better right after that fifth goal - wasn't he like 5 goals in 6 shots or something? :)

Posted by: keef | January 17, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that with Semin others needing a contract as well Green will likely sign for 4-5 yrs 3-4 mil/yr

Posted by: JamesD | January 17, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Semin has a contract already...for 2 years 9 mil or something like that.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Thinking about it too

locking up Green for a LONG time will benefit the caps but remember, Green is really just starting to blossom. He might be wise to take a few less yrs so when he really hits his prime, he is on the market for a contract again.

Posted by: Tommmy | January 17, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but in 2 yrs...Semin is going to need more

Posted by: JamesD | January 17, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

@JamesD,

True, but Semin won't deserve more. Look for him to be traded in the final year of his extension. Especially if we have Ovi at 9mill, Green at 5mill, Nylander, Poti, Kozi, Backstrom extension. Too much money given to all these players that Semin will have to be the odd man out.

Posted by: Sabah | January 17, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

@Sabah,
I disagree, I think Semin has a lot of talent and I don't really think that he'll be the odd man out. I don't think Kozlov's contract was that long and if he doesn't improve I don't see why we'd keep him if Fehr is becoming healthy and lives up to what he's supposed to be. Not only that Nyls is a bit older and can't play forever. And let's not forget the influence Ovie may have on the decision. I think BB will teach Semin to become a more well rounded player and he'll start to improve defensively.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

ESPN also has the Caps ranked below the Sabres, but at least at 25, not 27. If the Caps keep winning and get to .500, they'll earn more respect. Yeah, the TSN article on the Caps-Oilers game definitely shown a brighter light on the Caps.
The trade market doesn't look good. ESPN listed Kolzig as a possible rent-a-goalie. I doubt it without a solid call-up goalie in the system.

Posted by: JIM | January 17, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

For Green's extension 5 years at 3.7 per seams fair to me. I LOVE just watching him skate, but since we just signed Ovie to a 13 year contract i'm thinking five is the longest we should do. That would make him the highest paid defenseman on the team right where he deserves to be.

Posted by: DC FURY | January 17, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHAH

I just got my call from Ovie...and I thought he'd forgotten about me. :)

Posted by: keef | January 17, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Don't get all your hockey info from ESPN, JIM. They devote maybe 1 minute to hockey per SportsCenter segment. Also, Semin's nasty goal the other night was voted #7 in top plays, behind a bunch of dumb college basketball highlights, so right there is a prime example as to where their priorities are. Read THN.

Posted by: G-Rub | January 17, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@Keef,

It was on my home phone. Doesn't he sound enthusiastic?

Posted by: Lee | January 17, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, is that really you on facebook? At first I thought it was a fan making up a profile for you? Does anyone else know when facebook jumped the shark and let middle-age people clinging to their youth on the site?

Play johnnie and eminger! Go caps!

Posted by: capsfan19 | January 17, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Green is only going to get better. 10 more years of him on the Caps PP wouldn't be a bad thing.

Plus that would be 10 more years I get to wear my #52 sweater...

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

That wasn't meant as a shot at you, Tarik. Just an observation in general. My 42-year old boss sent me a friend request the other day. Just weird. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: capsfan19 | January 17, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not Semin deserves more..he'll want more.

Posted by: JamesD | January 17, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

middle aged? hahahaha. I just turned 33.

I started a profile earlier this week so I could keep up with my classmates and friends scattered all over the place.

Posted by: Tarik | January 17, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

I know they said that for now there will be no trade or anything like that to get another player to fill a void, but in a few weeks and the Caps are close to the playoffs, have you heard anything about exactly what position the Caps would look for a rent a player?

Posted by: JamesD | January 17, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I still never received the Ovie call even though I'm a STH.

@capsfan19, Facebook has been open to anyone since Sept 2006. I am not on Facebook, MySpace or anywhere else, but good to know that a fossil such as myself (38) would be ridiculed by the young and rude if I were.

The internet was invented by a "middle-aged man" -- deal with it.

Posted by: Jill | January 17, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Not to worry Jill, I didn't recieve my phone call either and I'm a STH...hopefully I get one soon!

Posted by: K | January 17, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@Lee

Painfully so. ;)

Posted by: keef | January 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Can't find you on there. Add me.

Posted by: Sabah | January 17, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

hahaha Tarik is going to have all his WaPo groupies on his facebook page!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Ted has given GMGM the money to go out and get a rental. But GM doesn't want to give up any young assets to land one. I don't blame him. While there are some holes to fill, many of the youngsters are starting to establish themselves -- finally.

Posted by: Tarik | January 17, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

capsfan19

Get a clue dude. No need to be so harsh.

Posted by: capsfan36 | January 17, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@Steve
Shultz is a sniper that has to be one of the funniest things ive ever heard...have u seen all of his goals mayb like one or two were nice that went in all the other ones were lucky bounces or just the goalie being screened...id rather see emi in there every night than shultz...if shultz would use his boddy that would b another thing...i just dont get how hes that big but never uses his body...i realize hes a rookie but i still say send him down let him play in the ahl for a lil bit longer...hes not helping us out at all...hes hurting us...if neone saw the game that we went to ot vs the pengs...hes the one that knocked olie over...hes just a tall player that cant do nething and doesnt deserve to be playing in the show rite now

Posted by: Thomas | January 17, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I have a better idea, why not just let Gordon continue to center Semin & Fleischmann? Since he's defensively responsible, he can allow Semin & Fleischmann to do their thing and take chances while he'll benefit also.

Posted by: Jleftwing97 | January 17, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

I agree I'd hate to throw away our young talent that may be here a while on a rental. We have some very good young players and B.B. really knows how to utilize his players' talent.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 17, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I am just giddy that there's even a chance that the Caps will be playing for something other than a lottery pick in the next week or so.

Posted by: Goat | January 17, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Re: Ovie's phone "Call"

I'm not a STH (Not enough time to go to the games) but my kids are members of the Kids Club, so I assume that is why we got a call. Or because I'm not a STH and they want me to become one.

Posted by: Lee | January 17, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Where can I find a link of the UFA's at season's end. I'm curious to see who may move at the deadline. It's only 6 short weeks until the trade deadline (Feb. 25th).

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@Jill

Don't let the young & rude bother you. I am much older then you & when I encounter rude remarks re age, I just stop & think----The law of averages say "you" will be dead before you get my age.

Posted by: sidehillman | January 17, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAH, here's another beaut of a stat on Schultz:

The Capitals are 13-0-1 when Jeff Schultz has a point (4-0-1 when he scores).

Posted by: keef | January 17, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Did you know...

When a teams goal keeper scores, that team is undefeated!

Posted by: Lee | January 17, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

RE: Ovie's call

I thought it was supposed to go out to partial plan ticket holders since it's trying to entice folks to buy more tix. Not sure why I got it...maybe it's just for all plan holders.

Posted by: keef | January 17, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

@Lee - Yeah, according to my rep the calls went out to all STH, but according to the Caps message boards there are some STH who didn't get it...and plenty of non-STH who did (presumably because they are ticket-buyers).

I am not feeling the Ovie love!!

Posted by: Jill | January 17, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I've been hearing rumors about another possible Winter Classic next season being held at Beaver Stadium between the Pens and Flyers, and I think it's BS. Why do the stupid Pens get another outdoor game? How about an "Original 6" Winter Classic? Or make the All-Star game next season's Winter Classic? Why give CrosBytch and the Pens ALL the media attention? I'm still suprised that Bettman didn't suspend Ference for dropping the gloves with CrosBytch.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@Thomas,

Shultzie has around a 2 foot drop on his slap shot. Thing is dangerous. Granted, it's only moving at 40mph, but movement.

I think todays word has been changed from obfuscate to sarcasm.

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Welcome. Forgot to say from me.

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a plan holder, but I got the call today. I think they're just running it out to everyone on their phone lists.

I used to buy tix direct from the Caps so I wouldn't have to pay Ticketmaster's ridiculous surcharges. I'm pretty sure that's how they got mine.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 17, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I wouldnt mind seeing a Caps/Flyers outdoor game..make it a neutral site somewhere in PA considering the weather would cooperate for hockey a little better close to Pitt area..then it'll be almost equal distance for Philly and Caps fans.

Posted by: JamesD | January 17, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

JamesD,

I remember reading an article about the guy who was in charge of getting the rink set up for the Winter Classic not too long ago. He said that the state of ice-making technology these days is advanced enough to have an outdoor game in Florida in September.

I wish we could get old man Pollin to look into getting that sort of technology in the Phone Booth, but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 17, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Let's keep it in the division. A Caps/Panthers outdoor game in SC. We'll get the people who do the ice at Verizon to set it up, so there really won't be much of a difference.

Posted by: Lee | January 17, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I know they can do it, but did you see all the problems they had in buffalo?

imagine in another climate?

Posted by: JamesD | January 17, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@JamesD

I like that idea. Beaver Stadium would work well. I also think an outdoor game in one of the Southern States would work (Carolina, Florida, Atlanta, Tampa Bay). The NHL had that pre-season outdoor game in Vegas, so why not do one in the south or out west? if they made ice in Vegas, then why not anywhere?

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I also think they should do an AHL Winter Classic between Hershey and Rochester, the two oldest AHL franchises. Why just go with the NHL, show love to hockey at all levels.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm a STH and got my Ovie call last night.

Anyway, is weather going to cut attendance in half tonight? I really want to go, but if the roads are crapola...

Posted by: Scott | January 17, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

It'll never fly with the Park Service, but let's freeze the Reflecting Pool and play hockey in front of Abe (Lincoln, not Pollin).

Posted by: tallbear | January 17, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

JamesD,

I could be wrong, as I was only half-watching the game, but it seemed that most of the problems in the Buffalo game were due to snow piling up on the ice. Holding a game in a less snow prone area might even make it better (as long as it doesn't rain ;))

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 17, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I was just looking at some of the UFA's to be at season's end, and I must say, if the Caps want to go after some rent-a-players at the deadline to sure up the roster, there are quite a few great players out there. plus, the Caps have 14 million in cap space, so they can afford to spend a little bit of money. Rob Blake is a UFA, as is Adam Foote, and John-Michael Liles. As far as forwards go, there is Brian Rolston, Mike Comrie, and Mats Sundin. And goalies are Cristobal Huet and Henrik Lundquist (RFA). Just some possiblities. I excluded division teams, because a trade within the division is not likely.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I read somewhere that Olie could be a rent-a-goalie, but who has shown real interest in him? And why would they? His GAA is over 3 and his Save % is under 90%, so why would anyone want him, that and he is over paid.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@Matt...that was just ESPN speculating due to the article that was in the Post the other day...

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@Matt,

At what price would those players come? What players / picks would the Caps give up? The teams those guys are playing for now won't give them up as easily as the Ducks gave up Bryzgalov (sorry all, couldn't resist throwing Bryz out there).

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

@Scott

I'm sure attendance will take a hit. I'll be there though...thankfully I can just hop on a bus and hit the metro. Can't believe it's still coming down.

Posted by: keef | January 17, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I said right after the Nylander injury that I didn't really expect a trade soon, and after Tarik reported GMGM's opinion about not trading assets, I still feel the same way.

I think that if a trade was going to happen before the trade deadline, it would have been done already. Think about it -- the team knew about Nylander's injury for a while, so if they had any intention of trying to get a player for his spot on the 2nd line they should have already done it.

Now, things can change quickly to show another C is needed, but I think the only sort of trade that might happen would be a pick for a player, which wouldn't bring in a top 6 forward. The Caps have spent the last few years building up their system, so trading those guys away for a guy for a couple months doesn't make sense to me.

That said...trading a 2nd round pick come the trade deadline for a player...that makes sense. But that could have been in GMGM's plans even before the Nylander injury.

Posted by: Jeff | January 17, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Matt,

I also don't think that the Caps, as a team without depth in goal, would be shopping around their number 1 goaltender (like it or not) as long as they have a legitimate shot at a playoff slot.

If the wheels fall off and they fall out of contention, GMGM might ask Olie if he wants to move to a team that has a legitimate shot, but most teams that have a legit shot probably wouldn't be interested in a goaltender of Kolzig's age and with his numbers.

I doubt he'd take that offer anyway. Say what you want about his skill level these days, but he's as loyal as they come.

I'd equate this talk to the "AO wants to go to Montreal" sort of blather.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 17, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Matt-
I love your idea of an outdoor game in Florida!! If its possible, I say do it!

Posted by: dave | January 17, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Can we have ONE discussion where the name Brizgaloff doesn't appear>>> Sheesh!!!!

Posted by: dave | January 17, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

OK, delete the Ducks reference from my post and substitute: won't give them up as easily as the Pens gave up Recchi

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I am so rooting for Olie to have a big night tonight! Something tells me all of the guys will be doing their best to get him that win. A shutout would be nice. (That is shutout not shootout).

I will take a cue from the NHL commercial. Is this the game where the Caps make their playoff move? Is this the game where Backstrom gets his first NHL hattrick? Is this the game where Mike Green reaches legend status? Is this the game where every (Caps) forward scores a goal? Is this the game??? Any other ideas?

Can't wait for the game to start!

Posted by: Kim | January 17, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Olie is loyal and all, but he is a UFA at season's end and I think the Caps have other guys that will be UFA's that are more important than resigning Olie. Why not try and trade him now so we can get something back for him instead of losing him in the offseason for nothing? I mean Greeny is a RFA, but he is definitely a priority. I mean, Gordon, Laich, Fehr, Morrisonn, Flash, and Eminger are all RFA's as well, and I think they HAVE to resign Gordon, Laich, and Morrisonn. Brashear and Bradley are going to be UFA's and I think they both need to be looked at as guys to resign. It's not like the Caps won't have room to keep some of those guys, as well as sign some new ones.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@ Kim - Please tell me you did not just say the "s-word."

Arrrgghhhh!

Posted by: Jill | January 17, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I really don't think the organization is going to let Olie go nor do I necessarily think they should. If Olie decides not to retire I think that he'll take a paycut and split time with Johnny. Until our farm goalies are ready we really don't have many options. Any good goalies are either going to be super expensive or resigned before hitting the market...

Posted by: K | January 17, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

@Jill

Sorry, think it is from loss of sleep. I promise I will not use the "s-word" again.

Posted by: Kim | January 17, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Matt, unless you trade Olie to a contender strictly as a chance to win a Cup (like we did with Dale), it probably isn't going to fly PR-wise. And we still need a goalie ourselves.

Posted by: tallbear | January 17, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I think Olie should come out strong tonight, and he needs to play strong for the remainder of the season, especially since this is his contract year, but Olie has what? maybe 2 or 3 years left in his career? I want him to retire as a Cap, but at what price? He is NOT worth the money he is currently making. Thats all I'm saying. I love Godzilla, but only 1 Stanley Cup Finals appearance and only 1 Vezina Trophy doesn't warrant him making 5.45 million a year, when Marty Broduer has 3 Stanley Cups and multiple Vezina Trophys and he only makes 5.2 million a year. Why not spend similar money on a goalie who is younger and has potential to do Marty Broduer types of things in his career, that Olie hasn't done? If they bring Olie back, show him some love, give him around 3 million a year and give him a 2 or 3 year deal. Let him retire here, but at half the price.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@tallbear

Name a "Contender" who needs a veteran goalie with average numbers? I can't think of one contender that needs a goalie.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@tallbear

Also, it was easy to move Dale to a "Contender". Every team would love to get a Dale Hunter type of player at the deadline. He was the type of player that all NHL teams with a shot at the playoffs want. He was the ultimate team guy. Teams don't usually want an aging goalie with ok numbers to backstop them to the Cup run.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Right, there isn't one. But that's the only way the average Caps fan probably accepts an Olie trade.

Posted by: tallbear | January 17, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

For those that think Ollie won't be traded out of loyalty or Pr or whatever, please remember Peter Bondra crying when he was traded. I know circumstances were much different, but if there were a buyer, i could see him going. That said, who wants him unless he picks up his game. No matter what he says, his game has slipped. More than one goal for every 10 shots is not acceptable.

Posted by: Lee | January 17, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine many teams are heading strong in to the playoffs and looking for a goalie...You want to have your guy by then. Olie will stick around.

Posted by: Sean | January 17, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I just asked a question to ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose, and decided not to lead him by specifically mentioning the Caps.

Jeff (VA): I'll keep it short -- who wins the South East?

SportsNation Barry Melrose: I think Atlanta does. Carolina is just too bad on defense and they have injuries. Atlanta is the hottest team so I will go with them.

I find it interesting that he doesn't mention the Caps, considering THEY are actually the hottest team in the division.

Posted by: Jeff | January 17, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse


JamesD,

I could be wrong, as I was only half-watching the game, but it seemed that most of the problems in the Buffalo game were due to snow piling up on the ice. Holding a game in a less snow prone area might even make it better (as long as it doesn't rain ;))

There was numerous spots on the ice where holes had to be fixed. A variety of things came into play on that one. The surface under the ice and weather. If the weather is warmer..yeah you could do it outdoors but if you think the Booth's ice is soft..wait till you see that.

Posted by: JamesD | January 17, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Here is a list of UFA Goalies and RFA goalies that maybe the Caps might consider in the off-season or at the deadline:

UFA Goalies:


LALIME, PATRICK
THEODORE, JOSE
HASEK, DOMINIK
AUBIN, J-SEBASTIEN
BRYZGALOV, ILJA
AEBISCHER, DAVID
SANFORD, CURTIS
HEDBERG, JOHAN
BRATHWAITE, FRED
AULD, ALEXANDER
THIBAULT, JOCELYN
GRAHAME, JOHN
HUET, CRISTOBAL
DANIS, YANN
DUBIELEWICZ, WADE
VALIQUETTE, STEPHEN
CONKLIN, TY
HOLMQVIST, JOHAN

RFA Goalies:

HILLER, JONAS
LECLAIRE, PASCAL
TOIVONEN, HANNU
LEHTONEN, KARI
LUNDQVIST, HENRIK
FLEURY, MARC-ANDRE

So the market for goalies at the off-season and the deadline should be pretty good. Why shouldn't or couldn't the Caps trade Olie or else try to sign someone else for next season? The market should be promissing.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

...speaking of Melrose. He ranked the Caps a B+ and would have ranked us an A if we had had BB from the start.

Posted by: keef | January 17, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The name on that list that interests me, and I guess has interested me for the last week or two, is Jose Theodore.

First, let me reiterate that I don't really expect the Caps to make a significant change in goal next season.

That said, Theodore has looked pretty good over the last month. He's obviously drawing a huge salary this season, but I'd think that his value has dropped significantly since he signed his current contract.

Should the Caps decide to make an "upgrade" it seems to me you could get Theodore signed to a 2 (or maybe 3 year deal) for 3 mil or so per. That would be enough time to let any of the young guys work through the AHL, and if one was ready to take over as the #1 before Theodore's contract was up his salary wouldn't be so big that he couldn't potentially be moved for a mid-level pick, or even stay as a backup.

Again, I don't think any change is going to happen, but I'd rather have Theodore in net for the rest of the season than Kolzig or Johnson.

Posted by: Jeff | January 17, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

If we had BB from the start, the Caps would probably 1 or 2 in the Eastern Conference.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Brathwaite all the way

Posted by: JamesD | January 17, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST LUNDQVIST

Did I mention that I like Lundqvist?

Almost time to head down to the Booth! Go Caps!

Posted by: keef | January 17, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

If BB was smart, he'd sit Kolzig just because he popped off in that Wise column. It is obviuous that Kolzig isn't going to gracefully handle his diminished role.

Posted by: Jim | January 17, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Lundqvist would be cool but that will never happen...Theodore would be really good to I think but again will that ever happen? Probably not. I'm not so sure that gmgm realizes the significance of our goalie problem...is he blind?

Posted by: k | January 17, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Stop playing GM and get out there and cheer for Olie....you DC transplant fairweather fans who leave your seats during play, and talk about everything BUT hockey during the game..

Posted by: SA-Town | January 17, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Well I'm braving the weather and stepping out the phone booth!!! This ought to be messy....
Let's go Caps!!!!!

Posted by: K | January 17, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I know Olie and I can tell you ALL that the Wise article was bloviated to say the least. Olie's head is on straight and he's excited about the team and the teams future. Get a grip.

Posted by: Esa Tikkanen | January 17, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

SA

Everyone is allowed to have an opinion and 'play GM' if they want.

Face the fact...Olie's tenure is nearly done here and a new goalie is going to be needed. Personally, Id love to see him take a primarily backup role the rest of this year then retire instead of putting the team in a bad spot next year.

He wont ever be happy with a diminished role so he is always going to have to be the starter. I dont think the Caps can do much from here on out as long as Johnson and Kolzig are between the pipes. Goaltending gets you championships.

The team does need a goalie. No matter how much devotion everyone has to Olie, Id much rather see a winning product on the ice.

Posted by: JamesD | January 17, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Whoa Whoa Whoa SA-Town, I've been a die hard Caps and Kolzig fan since I was old enough to talk, and cheer for the Caps, but there comes a time when you have to realize that Olie is not a "spring chicken" anymore, and you have to start thinking about the future. I will cheer Olie and the Caps for the rest of this season and as long as the Caps are in existance. I'm a realist though, and Olie's time has soon come.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town -- who is that addressed to?

I mean, you claim we should "stop playing GM" and that we "talk about everything BUT hockey" during the game. Whether that is true or not we all care enough about the team to talk about hockey when it is NOT being played.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I personally want to see Olie succeed and win a Cup here in DC. But just because we want him to succeed doesn't mean he gives the Caps the best chance to win. What's wrong with discussing other options -- especially when he himself even mentioned potentially retiring?

Posted by: Jeff | January 17, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I figured it out! SA-Town is really GMGM using a screen name, lol, he's offended by our Olie criticism!

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

It's just nice to be back in the hunt, so Im trying to stay positive

Seeing my season ticket book laying around has been about as exciting as looking at unpaid credit card bills.....Im hungry for playoffs...

Posted by: SA-Town | January 17, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town

We are all hoping and praying for the playoffs this season, but it doesn't hurt to look ahead to the trade-deadline and the off-season. If the Caps keep playing the way they have been, make the playoffs, and win a few series, then all of us who think Olie is past his prime will eat our words.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

prediction

Edmonton 3
Caps 2

Winning goal takes place late in 2nd period..a softie past olie

Semin and Ovechkin score

Posted by: Tommmy | January 17, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Care to place a bet on that prediction? :)

Posted by: keef | January 17, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@Tommmy

Prediction:

If the game goes past regulation, and OT, the Caps fall in the shoot-out.

Lets hope the boys get this over with in regulation, cuz the Oilers are bad-ass in shoot-outs!

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

BTW

I got that from Gray's Sports Almanac 1950 -2010

Posted by: Tommmy | January 17, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

sure keef

what do you want to bet? I can give you my first born and my dog

Posted by: Tommmy | January 17, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Right on Matt. This team is having fun and the BB system keeps everyone honest. No favorites including #37. Mike Wise took comments out of context. Typical Washington Post reporting.

Posted by: Esa Tikkanen | January 17, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@Keef

If Tommmy loses, he wears the pink helmet!

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Your first born and your dog? Man...I'd never bet my dog!

Posted by: Jeff | January 17, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

WTF??? People are using the P-word pretty freely around here. Before we decide where we'll seed, let's win tonight, then the next and the next after that. We have a half season to get through yet. Lots can happen between now and then. So chill, guys!

Jeez, can't a guy work all day without all this crapola going on? Though it is nice to daydream... :)

Posted by: Greg S. | January 17, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

yeah, you can have the dog, he costs too much..so if i lose the bet, i win.

Posted by: Tommmy | January 17, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Caps are not getting enough respect. Since Boudreau took over only five teams in the league are doing better on a points per game basis.

Posted by: Gary Rissling | January 17, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

But not all teams had the start the Caps did.

Posted by: Tommmy | January 17, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Haha like the Back to the Future Reference

Posted by: CapFan8 | January 17, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Jay,

Your message about 100 posts earlier was exactly correct. In the past the Caps always started slow because they were on the road while the Cap Center hosted the horse show. Over the holidays they held their own, then in January/Feb/March they came on strong. Sometimes, really strong. Last year they were poised to do the same, but the flu, injuries, and lack of depth sunk them bad. Now, we have had a strong December, we are doing well in January, and I am hopeful we can do well not only in the SE, but against any team in the league. My fingers are crossed, too, but I think we are looking good. My despair early in the year has been transformed to a good feeling about the next several weeks. Of course, I may be in despair again in just a few hours, but for right now, GO CAPS!

Prediction: Caps 5 Edmonton 4 (because it will never be easy). Semin scores twice with an assist.

PaulR

Posted by: PaulR | January 17, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

This may have been said already, but there's no way I'm reading through 180 comments to make sure, but the player I think the Caps really need to go after is Hossa.

He's a RW by trade, but he can play center, and he's exactly the same type of brash, strong on the puck, playmaker that I think Ovie and Backstrom would savor. I don't see him as a rental, though, because I simply dont think we have anything we're willing to give up to get him for a month, especially if he for some reason hates DC.

Here's hoping Atlanta can't keep him and that we do our damnedest to bring him here.

Cheers

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 17, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I like the Caps not being given respect, They'll just have to go out and take it! They definitely have Ottawa and Detroit's respect! The rest of the league will soon follow suit!

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

@ DrinkingPartner

If the Caps do land Hossa it won't be in a trade. He is within our division, so a trade is not likely, but they could make a run at him in the off-season, seeing that he is a UFA. Atlanta would be complete idiots not to resign him though.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Ok if you seriously consider Fleury for a position here, then you're nuts. he's a TERRIBLE goalie. We need to get our young talent into Hershey and give them time to develop. I'm happy to have olie here another few years until one of the newbies is ready to take over. But Fleury...be serious! That's why when Fleury comes back from IR he won't be stepping back into his starting position. Conklin is MUCH better.

Posted by: IrresistibleForce | January 17, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Fleury is an RFA so getting him is not likely, but Conklin is a UFA and he isn't out of the question.

Posted by: Matt | January 17, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

wooo Tarik's on TV :D

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Here's to hoping the Caps 'D' doesn't hang Olie out to dry as in the loss to Philly. Anyone remember what it's like to have a punishing defense that destroys opposition forwards loitering near the crease and also clears rebounds? Seems long ago now...

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | January 17, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

In response to Matt's post:

NO
no
Old and likely a Red Wing.
no
Will likely get wrapped up in Phoenix
Really? Why would we do that?
no
maybe
no
no
no
NO
We could only wish
no
no
no
But can he play inside? Then no.
hahahahahaha

RFA's

no
We wish
meh
maybe
Serious pipe dream
no

That was fun.

Posted by: Raber | January 17, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

@Matt

I'd much rather see Conklin than Fleury!

Posted by: IrresistibleForce | January 17, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I hate to sound like a negative nancy, but you can get all ideas of Sundin, Hossa, of Lundqvist coming to DC. Even if they did hit the market i just don't see the Caps shelling out that much dough. If we do end up needing a goalie he'll probably end up being smaller name, but one name i haven't written off (mostly because i'm an irrational fan) is Cristobal Huet. Price is GREAT and he's a UFA at the end of the season. More likely he'll go to a team like the lightning, but i wouldn't completely write him off. Another name i can see coming to DC is Conklin. I've liked him for awhile and he will most likely be cheap enough for the caps to consider grabbing.

Posted by: DC FURY | January 17, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

raber you owe me a nyquil shot for having me scrolling up and down the page to match your answers.

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town: Yeah I hate those people! I was at the Avs game a week ago and we had this group of belligerent drunks in front of us who weren't paying any attention to the game and standing up at random parts during play. Things got worse when the most belligerent of the drunks somehow acquired a hockey stick and was waving it around.

Watch the game people, or at least don't hinder those around you from watching it.

Posted by: Raber | January 17, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

P.S. I recognize that my above post really doesn't refer to most people here. If you're here you clearly care about the hockey.

@mauree: We'll both need one if Olie has a soft night tonight.


Posted by: Raber | January 17, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to make it 200 posts

Posted by: JamesD | January 17, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Now THAT was a game!! Just got home - what a riot!! But I don't know if my nerves can take another one of those Sat night ... LOL!! :-D It was funny - there were not a lot of people there, but the crowd was REALLY into it. Speaking of, for those of you who were critical of Kolzig's game tonight (I know you are out there!), the crowd was REALLY behind him. And when they won, he had a HUGE smile on his face. It was nice to see him happy. Hopefully that shootout win will give him the confidence boost that he needs to get his game back ... permanently! LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!!

Posted by: Boo! | January 17, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

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