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Semin Expected to Be Fine

Alexander Semin's left leg is going to be fine, both he and Coach Bruce Boudreau said this afternoon.

Semin went down awkwardly after bumping Jay Beagle and came off the ice favoring his left leg. But Semin was spotted walking around about a half hour later without much of a limp and said he's "okay."

"I don't think it's serious," Boudreau said. "I don't think this is an injury; it's a little tweak."

The status of Chris Bourque, however, is a little less clear. Bourque was blindsided by Patrick Kaleta midway through the third period last night and went down in a heap. Bourque tried to come back, but didn't feel right.

"I wouldn't even call it a concussion," Boudreau said of Bourque. "He just didn't feel very well. So we wanted for precautionary reasons to keep him out today."

Bourque is officially listed as day-to-day.

Here are some other notes from Tuesday's practice:

*Jose Theodore did not practice today because he was the only player in camp who had not received at least one day off, Boudreau said.

*Semyon Varlamov will start tomorrow against the Blackhawks. Boudreau also hinted that many of the Caps' stars will suit up again.

*Asked to gauge his team after three preseason games, Boudreau said: "Our defensive play has been really good. Our power play was really horrible yesterday. We're pretty well getting down to one group, so we can start working on it on a regular basis [over] the next week to get ready for Boston.

"I would also like to see us get some more offense going," he added. "But it's hard to demand an awful lot of stuff in the preseason ...the veteran guys know they have to be ready by the beginning of October and that's what they've [set] their schedule for. Coaches want them to be ready by Aug. 1. So we just have to have a little patience with the offensively. Alex and Semin and Nicky and Mike, they'll come on, they'll be better. They've only played one or two games."

*The story I wrote on Alexandre Giroux is now supposed to run in tomorrow's Post. He's had one good game, one okay game and one, well, not-so-great game. But he's still in the mix, Boudreau said today.

Giroux knows what he has to do -- and that's score. He had a chance on the first shift of last night's game, even beat the goalie, but clanked the shot off the post from close range.

"I know they know they I can score, but now I got to do it," Giroux said. "I need to prove that I can do it on a regular basis."

The lineup for tomorrow's game has not been announced yet. But if Giroux doesn't play, he'll get another shot (or two) later this week. Boudreau said the battle up front will come down to the last day.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 22, 2009; 3:21 PM ET
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Next: Tonight's Lineup: Caps vs. Blackhawks


I still suspect we'll see Giroux in next Thursday's lineup.

Posted by: CapsChick | September 22, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I prefer Aucoin, who has more NHL experience (and poise).

Posted by: thiazzi | September 22, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Semin is tough as little ankle bump is going to hold him down...

Posted by: SA-Town | September 22, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan26 IE Schultz staying and Alzy going back down

I don't see why it would confuse you as Schultz has more experience and is just as good if not better then Alzner is at this point in there respective careers.

Give the guy a break... He is a decent D-man. Just because he doesn't fit your preconceived notion of being a bruising big man doesn't mean he isn't effective.


Posted by: Dizzy1205 | September 22, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Sigh... do I really have to go through this again? Schultz is slow, and he hasn't gotten any faster since he's been with us. He gets beaten to pucks all the time and his teammates frequently have to come bail him out. And I can't tell whether he's incapable of hitting guys hard or just unwilling to do so, but that's a real problem for an NHL defenseman. There are all kinds of D-men, but if they consistently get beaten and can't knock guys off the puck, that makes them the ineffective kind. I know I'm not the only one who finds this guy pretty underwhelming.

Posted by: capsfan26 | September 22, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, I was at the game last night and Schultz was our best D out there.

Posted by: donkey1 | September 22, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone catch BB's comments about whether or not Nylander will play in the pre-season? If he does not retire or go play in Sweden, looks like tons of pine-riding time for him.

Posted by: TrackCollector | September 22, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Donkey, you are a donkey. Schultz the best dman on the Caps last night? I am glad I dont sit beside you bc I would need an entire season to teach you hockey.

Posted by: numero94 | September 22, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse


You still in the upper bowl?

Posted by: Steve_R | September 22, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Schultz is very slow and it cost him at times. The only other guys that are that slow are the big defensmen who can move people or are willing to drop the gloves. Schultz does neither, I'm ready for him to be replaced. It is just a shame that he was with with BB in Hershey because that may be the only reason he is still around.

Posted by: tomdchancar | September 22, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Heck, even if Schultz were still slow and not very physical but contributed a lot on offense, I'd be willing to let it slide. You could pair him with a physical stay-at-home defenseman to compensate for his lack of physicality and speed. Early on, Green had quite a few moments where he struggled defensively, but he's such a huge asset to the team offensively that nobody had a problem letting him play and improve his defensive ability -- which is exactly what happened. Schultz, however, hasn't really improved, and I'm really tired of waiting for him to develop his so-called potential. If he is still useless by the end of October, I hope we can fool some other team into thinking he'd be worth taking in a trade.

Posted by: capsfan26 | September 22, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

That's good news about Semin, bad news about Bourque - and as someone said, that doesn't bode well for his being able to stay at the NHL level. It is not, however, a size issue. Not in my opinion.

I was at the game last night, as well, and thought that Schultz looked VERY good out there. Certainly he looked better than Alzner did. He hit, he took guys off the puck, and he took shots - more than any other defenseman. He had more hits credited to him - and I saw them - than anyone on EITHER TEAM.

Y'all have to get over your notion that big = bruiser.

Best D last night probably goes to either Schultz or to Erskine, who was positively a BEAST out there, and jumped to Ovechkin's defense when Ovechkin got jumped after hitting someone.

As for Karl Alzner... I believe that he needs another year in Hershey. He consistently makes mistakes that are very costly - witness: the mistake that led to goal #2. He admits to them, which is great - it means he acknowledges what he needs to work on - but he still makes them.

Furthermore, in order to keep Alzner, we need to unload a salary larger than his, and Schultz's salary is smaller. Considerably smaller. It doesn't make sense to offload Schultz's salary to keep Alzner. Shaone Morrisonn has a larger salary than Alzner does, and he is the only one of the defensemen who do have a larger salary that I can see trading, but I would not do so for Alzner. Not yet. He's not ready.

As for Keith Aucoin:

Yes, he's smaller than most players on the Caps - certainly smaller than everyone on the regular lineup. BUT he had more goals and more assists in the AHL in 70 games than Nicklas Backstrom did in the NHL playing all 82. With Giroux, Aucoin is a force to be reckoned with.

If you think being small makes a player ineffective, I suggest you talk to Danny Briere. Or Maurice Richard. Neither of them is over 6' tall either.

Posted by: irockthered | September 22, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Yep. Take away BB's chocolate-covered crush on 55, and all you have left is a team-leading +/- (against opponents' top-2-lines), with low PIM and low turnovers. At 23 years old. For $1.1M less than ShaMo.
Good thing all the hockey genius is in this forum and not actually managing a hockey team. Chumps.

Posted by: redlineblue | September 22, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I want to see Giroux (C) and Aucoin (RW)
take over for Fleischmann (C) and Fehr (RW) to start the season. We need those two positions, due to Flash and Fehr missing the start of the year, and Giroux and Aucoin fit the bill very nicely, IMO. They are a legitimate scoring combination - a scary one, if you look at their Hershey numbers! - and I want to see them both get a chance.

Posted by: irockthered | September 22, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

@redlineblue - *APPLAUSE!*

THANK you!

Posted by: irockthered | September 22, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

What idiots! Shultz has the best plus minus of any d'man in the SE division since he joined the Caps. I believe that BB probably thinks the job of a d'man is to NOT GET SCORED ON. If so many people skate around him, explain the stat! The best you do is claim because you have superior hockey knowledge you know more than anyone including the coach. I doubt that seriously! If you have stats or even logic back up your stupid claims about Schultz or else shut up.

Posted by: majiksea | September 22, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I was there last night, and Schultz didn't stand out to me one way or the other. Most of the defensemen - along with most of the forwards, including Ovechkin - made some mistakes. It's a single preseason game and it doesn't tell us much. I'm basing what I say on the past few seasons of sitting in the arena on a regular basis watching these guys play, including the games Alzner played with us last year, in which I thought he was a very solid and savvy defenseman with great potential who improved even over the course of his first partial season in the NHL. He's only going to get better as he plays more at this level, whereas Schultz has been playing at this level for a few years now and I still have no confidence in his ability or his potential. It's my opinion, I'm entitled to it, and I know that many people share it. Reasonable minds may differ, of course... although anyone who has actually watched the team on a regular basis from decent seats should know by now that Schultz's statistics are actually pretty misleading, because they don't capture all the many, many times that his teammates have had to bail him out because he got beaten to a puck or failed to hit someone. Half the time, the forwards who are on the ice with him are the ones making the defensive plays that Schultz should be making, probably because they know ahead of time that he's likely going to muck something up and are there to cover for him. But of course that doesn't get reflected in the statistics, so the people who don't actually know how to watch the game trot out the statistics to show how Schultz is actually really good... and on and on we go.

Posted by: capsfan26 | September 22, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Well said redlineblue,chumps indeed, you are being way kind!

Posted by: majiksea | September 22, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Yes, very well said. If someone disagrees with your opinion, obviously that person must be a "chump." Ad hominem attacks are widely considered to be very intelligent and mature debate tactics. You should be very proud.

Posted by: capsfan26 | September 22, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@Capsfan26, I assume you are a pro scout for one of the teams. With all your superior hockey knowledge and game watching ability, I'm sure your skills are in high demand! I've only been a hockey fan for 40 or so years and a full season ticket holder with the Caps for 10 seasons and I would never presume to tell a bunch of people I've never met that I am so much smarter than they are, let alone how much smarter I am about hockey than the coach and GM are. Wow "You the man!" A legend in your own mind!

Posted by: majiksea | September 22, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

So Capsfan26, I'm smarter than you and I know hwo to watch hockey better than you do are intelligent and mature debating tactics??? How about stats and logic?

Posted by: majiksea | September 22, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

if it takes someone as bad as schultz to make the forwards play some d - maybe there should be *more* schultz's on the ice at $750k - he doesn't *suck* as bad as some of you clan - and i'll ask again because i never get an answer. who would you pick up at ~$750k the outshines schultz? i suspect this questions doesn't get answered - because the answer is - there is no one out there

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 22, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

clan = claim

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 22, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Actually I've had season tickets to the Caps for 22 years, so if that's what we're using to determine expertise, well...

My point is simply that statistics don't tell the whole story, so pointing only to statistics and saying "obviously this guy is a good defenseman" is too simplistic. I have watched many good defensemen over the years, for the Caps and other teams, and in *my personal opinion* Schultz doesn't have what it takes and most likely never will, whereas I see great potential in Alzner and hope that he gets a chance to prove himself.

If others have watched Schultz play and don't think he's slow, or think that he's physical enough, or acknowledge that he's slow and/or not physical enough but don't think that it matters because he's good in other respects, then so be it. They're just as entitled to their opinions as I am to mine. The point of a discussion forum is to discuss and debate issues and share viewpoints, right? There's no need for people to get nasty about it.

Posted by: capsfan26 | September 22, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

This is a key point and made by IRTR.

"Furthermore, in order to keep Alzner, we need to unload a salary larger than his, and Schultz's salary is smaller. Considerably smaller. It doesn't make sense to offload Schultz's salary to keep Alzner. Shaone Morrisonn has a larger salary than Alzner does, and he is the only one of the defensemen who do have a larger salary that I can see trading, but I would not do so for Alzner. Not yet. He's not ready."'

In a salary cap world, you want to keep the cheap guys that are servicable and a few high priced, high performance guys. Alzner has a pretty big NHL cap hit (mostly in bonuses), but for determining the cap hit for the team you have to assume that they'll be paid.

So forget about substituting Alzner for Schultz. Not gonna happen. In fact, it can't happen - there's no cap room.

Carlson for Schultz? Carlson isn't quite ready. Next year for sure. I'd be more tempted with Sloan for Schultz.

Posted by: Greg S. | September 22, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

numero94--apparently you also need to teach me about hockey only maybe you should attend the game first before lobbing Schultz bombs here. He WAS good in last night's game. Not that it was a terribly good game--the entire team was a bit rusty I thought. But with all the other undisciplined players out there last night I am not sure why several of you have gone after Schultz.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 22, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Capsfan, sorry if I distracted you from the sensible case for Schultz' value by my use of the word "Chump". Schultz, quantifiably, doesn't turn the puck over much. Schultz, quantifiably, makes his team's D more effective: that is, the other team scores against the Caps less often when he's on the ice. Of course you're entitled to the intriguing belief that your occasional observations are more telling than reams of data.
I, similarly, am entitled to believe that anyone who doesn't see Schultz as a solid value is a chump.

Posted by: redlineblue | September 22, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan28--it doesn't matter how long someone has been watching hockey and I am a huge proponent of courtesy. Of course posters disagree. And I get tired of the snarkiness (word?). I would like propose though that people should keep an open mind and not use a single player as a whipping boy. He is held to a higher standard for a young developing d-man than other players and I wish a lot of the posters would cut himsome slack. With all of the criticisms we could be making about last night's game, it doesn't make sense to me to single out Schultz. And yes stats have to be included in any assessment of a player--I don't mean as the only assessment--but to analyze a player without taking into account the stats makes no sense to me.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 22, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

anyone that's paired with mike green and the first line wingers most of the time will have a good +/- . you can't just pull that number and say he's a good defenceman based on that. he's a liability that's lucky to be surrounded by a high powered offense that makes his +/- look good. he's a defensive turnstile. he sucks.

Posted by: nwilson2 | September 22, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

and this isn't based on the preseason, i said this all last year too. and it's silly to call anyone a chump for having an opinion that isn't yours. and before anyone wants to jump on this wagon either, no i'm not a new fan. i've been a caps fan for almost 20 years.

Posted by: nwilson2 | September 22, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

With regards to all, I've had season tickets for 40 years, Caps season tics for 10. Enjoyed watching Mullen start his career. I just love it when someone says I'm smarter than you, I know more about hockey than you, I watch hockey better than you do, and then turns around and says lets keep it civil. Better you just do as nwilson and pull an opinion out of your a$$.

Posted by: majiksea | September 22, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I claim no hockey expertise, and no suitcase of statistics to throw into the mix.
I do have a question, though; could it be that BB was right when he said that Schultz is bigger and more obvious in his mistakes, and less obvious when he does something correctly?

Posted by: bluejeener1 | September 22, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

In a salary cap system, a player's absolute talent is less important than his cost-effectiveness. Schultz is not Chara or Pronger, but he has reasonable talent and is cost-effective. This is the problem I see with Nylander. Even at the most optimistic, he is a $1.5 M talent at this stage of his career, but with a $5.5 M salary.

Posted by: zmega | September 22, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, covering 52's defensive 6 is about the easiest +/- duty a guy could pull. Certainly you're not gonna find yourself facing a lot of odd-man rushes if you're paired with Lambo.
Anyway, I think it's absurd to say everyone else is why 55's defense looks good on paper. He's a 23 y.o., $765k defenseman who's only remarkable in that a vocal minority has fetishized him. Why doesn't the whole D have Schultz-like numbers? Are they not bluelining for the same 'high-powered offense' that makes a 'turnstile' look like a solid second-pair dman?
If anyone can tolerate a dispassionate look at what Schultz does and does not offer, you can find it here:

Posted by: redlineblue | September 22, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

>>Schultz is not Chara or Pronger

And thank 8 for that. Take a look at Chara's first three years!

Posted by: redlineblue | September 22, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Schultz has been paired a great deal with Juice too. Not just Greenie.

And nwilson2 by your analysis, then Backstrom's great stats are only because he is on Ovie's line. Sorry I don't agree with your logic.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 22, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

could it be that BB was right when he said that Schultz is bigger and more obvious in his mistakes, and less obvious when he does something correctly?

most certainly.

i tend to leave the evaluation of skill/talent/potential up to the professionals.

there isn't a player on the team (this years - or any years past) that i haven't been disappointed in their play. but to continually single out a player and harp on the few glaring failures seems a little to destructive to me.
just wait until theo has a bad game (or lets in a weak goal) - and they'll all be out asking for GMGM's head with the possibility of signing theo being the only thing worse than the nyls signing.

i guess i'll never understand how some choose to see only the negative and ignore the positive. differing options do make for interesting reading - even if, to me, it is annoying

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 22, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks redlineblue. I enjoy going to Japers for calming analysis of players and games without the emotion-laden discourse I often read here.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 22, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

anyone that's paired with mike green and the first line wingers most of the time will have a good +/- . you can't just pull that number and say he's a good defenceman based on that. he's a liability that's lucky to be surrounded by a high powered offense that makes his +/- look good. he's a defensive turnstile. he sucks.

Posted by: nwilson2 | September 22, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Mike Green is the least of their problem on defense... I'm sure you didn't think Larry Murphy wasn't much of a defenseman either and look how his career went AFTER he was pretty much got run outta town.

Can Green be better on defense? of course but to to call him a liability on defense shows you don't know much about hockey.

Posted by: joek443 | September 22, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse


i see what you're saying, i didn't really explain fully. schult'z +/- is good, but he doesn't put up any of the scoring numbers himself. backstrom has tons of points and actually adds to the offense, schultz adds nothing to the offense but gets the +'s anyways. true, being with green will leave him with odd man rushes sometimes, but having two of the best scorers in the league on the ice with you will inflate your +/-

@majiksea - i don't really see what you've achieved with that comment. okay, you like schultz. great. i don't, and i'm entitled to that. and i'm certainly not alone.

Posted by: nwilson2 | September 22, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

BTW--when we posters disagree could we all PLEASE stop making the "I can p*ss farther than you" comparisons. After a year of reading this message board, all I can say is UGH!

It is IRRELEVANT how long someone has been a hockey fan, a Caps fan, or a STH fan. Or a player or a coach or anything else.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 22, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

@joek - i'm talking about schultz being a defensive liability, not green. certainly green can improve, but he's got an upside. i just don't see one with schultz

Posted by: nwilson2 | September 22, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Personally the Red Wings have been after me for years to be a scout. They are real tired of the pros and think my experience in a beer league and sitting on my butt watching games would be perfect for what they need. Ken Holland thinks my advice would be just what they need to turn things around and I'm sure he is right. With me picking talent and coaching they would be lucky to win another game, but that said this one is not that hard to call. Sort of like is Nyls earning 5 mil sitting in the press box.

Posted by: majiksea | September 22, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

@newbie - i agree. the only reason i pointed that out is because that's a knee-jerk reaction some people have on here is throwing out the "oh you're a new fan" thing, but i agree with you.

Posted by: nwilson2 | September 22, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Shultz got 3 shots on goal last night, second only to Ovie. Sooner or later shots on goal, become goals or assists.

Posted by: majiksea | September 22, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

@majiksea - excellent, tell Ken Holland that we'll trade nylander and schultz for datsyuk and zetterberg!

Posted by: nwilson2 | September 22, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

It is done, tell Eklund!

Posted by: majiksea | September 22, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: nwilson2 | September 22, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

nwilson2, ok got you...

I think it's too early to give up on Schultz.

about Green, yes he has room to improve on defense and deserves to be criticized when he plays poorly but there's always been a segment of "fans" in this town who pick on a defenseman because he doesn't play like Langway or Stevens. When I watch Green play, I see another Larry Murphy, a future hall of famer. Murphy should have finished his career as a Cap but didn't because of those idiots and I would hate to see the same thing happen to Green.

Posted by: joek443 | September 22, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

nwilson2--I appreciate your courtesy in clarifying your point. My rejoinder is what about the fact that Schultz is often paired with Jurcina, not just Green. Are you therefore saying that his good =/- is due to Juice's offensive skill.

I think the stats are more complex than that. Like words they can often be used to present many different interpretations.

We are all entitled to our opinions but I have to say I don't understand why so many of you have identified Schultz as a serious problem. For his age and his money and where he is in the lineup, I think of him as a solid if unspectacular d-man.

It seems to me that many of you want him to be a different kind of player. Not that he's bad at what he does but that he doesn't hit and use his size the way you think he should. And that he should be more offensively talented, like Green. But hey maybe that's why Green does turn-over the puck more. He takes more risks. I think that when Schultz is with him, he's pretty good at countering Greeni's riskier play. Maybe Green's =/` would be worse if he didn't have Shultz paired with him.

I think that often old arguments need to be looked at from a different point of view.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 22, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse


fair enough. and i agree, it's a valid point that he's cheap and young, but i think that should be taken into account in regards to his ice time. i feel like he's a 3rd pairing kinda guy, not a top 4 d-man that's on our PK. we had a real problem last year clearing the crease in front of our goalies and schultz certainly doesn't seem to help that. his development shouldn't be such a trial by fire - i think they should've kept him in the AHL longer

Posted by: nwilson2 | September 22, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

After months of putting up with those "fans" who feel the need to vent on Schultz, it is refreshing to read so many in defense of the guy. Does every team need a scapegoat so the fingers can be pointed in the same direction at each loss? Wouldn't it be novel if they gave out the 3 losers of a game instead of the 3 stars. Might be that Schultz received them less frequently than some of you bashers expect.

Posted by: gonchpup | September 22, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Fans like the flashy play, the high-skill goal, the big hit. Ovie brings all that (along with winning, of course). Players that don't bring that will be less popular. Players whose game is not pretty, who look awkward, and who are noticed only when they make the big mistake get tarred and feathered. It's the nature of the beast. Life is unfair.

Posted by: zmega | September 22, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I understand the point of flashy play opening the door to popularity and am fine with that... just look at the numbers of #8, 52, 28, 19
that you see on game day. That's normal. What bothers me is the arrogance of fans mouthing off as A-holes and then covering it by saying it is just their opinion. On top of that, it's getting old and we've heard the same "opinions" from them far too many times. How about at least finding something new to complain about.

Posted by: gonchpup | September 22, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

i agree that schultz is more of a 3rd pair d-man. the 'depth' on d is they have a lot of 3rd pairs.

the only one that consistantly could be called a 1st pair, is green, and not because he is a stellar defender but sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
a lot of people here call for alzner or carlson over schultz - but they are not any more than a 3rd pairing either. the only argument for that would be to completely give up on schultz and deal with the growing pains (good or bad).
poti and pothier aren't going to make anybody forget about the likes of langway or stevens.
if for some reason schultz works well with green then i don't think it should be changed - anyway, i don't see anybody stepping up that can take that away right now.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 22, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup - who are you to call anyone an a-hole because we don't agree with you? if you want to start a new discussion about something else then get off your high horse and do it. if you like schultz then great, many people respectfully disagree. that doesnt make me or anyone other schultz non-fan an a-hole.

Posted by: nwilson2 | September 22, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

nwilson2 - Why don't you re-read what I said. Did not call anybody an "A-hole" but DID make reference to mouthing off AS one. Big difference. Just asking fans to let the Schultz-bashing go as it has gotten quite old. We get it... you don't like the guy. And speaking of horses, you're beating a dead one. Something new to discuss?
How impressive Alzner's been on the ice and how well he carries himself in post-game interviews. A class-act for a kid. Great to see his humility and am certain he is extremely coachable. Great future ahead of him.

Posted by: gonchpup | September 22, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I really like Alzner's poise on and off the ice. Seems sometimes you can actually see him out-thinking the rush. All well and good he feels ready to add some aggression: I'd much rather try to teach a smart player Bashing than try to teach a Basher smarts, especially in "today's NHL".
I call Alzner Mr. Kleen (for his language and his 2 PIM--for delay of game!--in 30 NHL games) and look forward to seeing much more of him.

Posted by: redlineblue | September 22, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

How about this...feel free to chime in.

With Flash and Fehr boarderline to make it back soonish...would you think keeping Aucoin and Giroux and using Flash and Fehr for trade bait is a good idea??? I personally think the energy Aucoin has brought to the line up in the previous season was pretty unmatched by any call up. Giroux needs some time but has it somewhere inside him busting to get out (yes I know he's not shown it yet..but he's more than proven himself in Hershey.)but would people agree that it might be a good trade? For possible future draft picks??? Anyone???

Posted by: TottenhamCaps | September 22, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Just pre-season, but still enjoy watching the Pens lose - this time to the Leafs in OT. Toronto might be a team to watch this year, and looking forward to a good one on opening night at home.

Posted by: gonchpup | September 22, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Schultz at $700K is, by my rating, an EXTREMELY good value.

Now, some of you have 40 years as a season ticket holder. Others have been following hockey since Moses led the Sinai Snipers to the Promised Cup.

Like with anything we buy, we judge value as performance versus price. Is this such a difficult concept? Do I need to schedule remedial learning sessions?

Schultz gives you first- or second-pair minutes. His +/- is above average. He's still young and hopefully will improve. By all accounts, he listens to his coach.

You can't have all 23 players making $5-9M. I've posted this before ad nauseum.

I want Schultz on the team and I want Sloan as #7 d-man. I don't mind if they send Alzner back at least to start. Trade ShaMo to make room and then trade Jurcina if/when Alzner is ready.

I want Aucoin on the team. Great value for $500K and he is GONE in a NY second if you try and put him on waivers.

I will put a C-note to anyone - Aucoin if active all year on the Caps roster will get 40 pts. 40 pts. That's Kozlov production at 20% the cost.

Aucoin, Sloan and Schultz are three of the best values in hockey.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 22, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Could this fall's training camp be titled "the little Frenchman who could"? That's assuming either Aucoin, Bourque, or Perrault make the team. All those guys fall into the category of "little French guys". Giroux is French descended but not little.

Little French guys rule.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 22, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: Little French guys rule? Well, at least you didn't say, "Little Corsicans rule."

You know, if I didn't know you better (and actually I don't know you at all), I'd suspect there was a "petit" rendezvous way back in the day (75 perhaps?) with said "petit Francois" and maybe a bottle (or two) of wine and the rest can be left to our continental imaginations?


Just to let you know, I have "a little French" in me.


Signed, The Viscount

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 22, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

IRockRed: As for Keith Aucoin:

Yes, he's smaller than most players on the Caps - certainly smaller than everyone on the regular lineup. BUT he had more goals and more assists in the AHL in 70 games than Nicklas Backstrom did in the NHL playing all 82. With Giroux, Aucoin is a force to be reckoned with.

a force to be reckoned with? lol, you don't know much about the AHL do you? There are players every year who put up very impressive numbers but who are considered marginal nhl prospects. Aucoin is not a great nhl prospect no matter what he does at the ahl level. You only have to watch him at the NHL level to figure out he's a decent depth player for the checking lines and thats about it. And its not about being "small" necessarily. Aucoin doesn't have the other tools to compensate enough for being small, that is all

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 22, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I love all the Schultz bashers...not! The fact is they just like to have a whipping boy (like Larry Murphy who BTW is now in the HOF). Mind you I am not making comparisons in play, only some fans' ability to dislike a player no matter what. I guess those fans also dismiss BB's hockey knowledge. BB would not continually play him if he was hurting the team (see one M. Nylander). Rage on!

Posted by: ralCapsFan | September 22, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: Again, please, do the math.


Kozlov (last year) $2.5M

Kozlov (last year)......40 pts

Aucoin required (percentage)....8 pts.

Last year he got 6 pts in 12 games w/only 10:10 mins/game. Meanwhile Kozzie has 15 mins/game and got 40 pts all year.

For the Love of God and for all that's Right in the World...put the guy on the roster as the 14th forward...dress him for 40 games...he'll give you 20 pts...and a shot in the arm when some of the prima donnas get too big in the britches.

MY GOD. Aucoin and Schultz together make $1.2M! They aren't "cap busters."

Can we move on to something that makes a difference?

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 22, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse


Your last post gave me a good laugh. (Nope, wasn't trying to praise a certain Corsican named Napoleon who once ruled France.)

Our Frenchmen on the bubble (les petits Francais) were born in a variety of years. No one can say that the French are underrepresented on the Caps, what with Boudreau as their coach and Pothier on their defense.

BTW, I am not French although some could argue that my last name is a anglicized version of a celticized French name. (Irish descent but the name not one of the original Irish clans.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 22, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Aucoin is comparatively old. And, yes, he is small. But for some reason, he seems to do well on a line with Semin.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 22, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I was at quite a few AHL games last season, and I make it a habit of studying what I watch.

Aucoin and Giroux put up some incredible numbers last season together - Giroux set records FFS! Nobody has EVER put up the goal numbers Giroux put up last season in the AHL. They ARE a force to be reckoned with at the AHL level. At that level last season, their numbers were better than Backstrom's and Ovechkin's here. If they can do even HALF - hell, even a THIRD! - what they did there in the NHL, then they will amass quite a few points, and they'll be as good as their counterparts in our third line were last season.

Fleischmann: 19G, 13A in 73 games
Aucoin: 25G, 71A in 70 games

Fehr: 12G, 13A in 61 games
Giroux: 60G, 37A in 69 games

Flash = 0.44 points per game
Aucoin = 1.60 points per game

Giroux = 1.40 points per game
Fehr = 0.41 points per game

Yes, this is AHL vs. NHL, but the numbers speak. They don't have to put up phenomenal numbers... just decent numbers will do.

Aucoin is a right wing.
Giroux is a center.

What are we missing from our lineup at the moment?

Fehr is a right wing.
Fleischmann is a center.

GEE. Aucoin and Giroux played first line in Hershey, with Graham Mink last year. Put that on the third line here? Yeah, that could work... they may not have top line NHL speed, but they can sure score goals; they know how. And they're gritty, too. It's just a matter of getting the timing down for the NHL.

And guess what - little Keith Aucoin had our ONLY goal last night. Ovechkin didn't get one; Semin didn't get one. Green didn't even SHOOT. Backstrom didn't get a goal. Keith Aucoin did.

I'm thinking very happy thoughts about substituting Aucoin and Giroux for Fehr and Flash until they can come back. And - AND - since Aucoin's cap hit is small (

Fehr and Flash, due to injury factor issues, are not good trade bait, though. Flash missed a fair amount of last season, and nobody knows how Fehr will pan out post-surgery. He could be great; he could be mediocre or worse, and he could re-injure himself. Very few teams will take the chance on that, not until he's played half a season or so and proven he's healthy. Same goes for Flash. His current injury issue (deep vein thrombosis) is nothing to sneeze at! But he wasn't healthy last season either, and for that reason, most teams probably won't be willing to trade for him.

Posted by: irockthered | September 23, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

CRAP. I can't use the < sign without an > sign. What I was saying was...

Aucoin's cap hit is <$500k. Giroux' is $500k. Keeping them both after Flash and Fehr come back might just be possible...

Fehr's cap hit is ~$772k. Flash's is $725k. Neither of them would make sense to trade, because their cap hits are low, and their numbers are decent. Not fabulous, but certainly worth what they are paid. Like Schultz, they are low salary, decent yield for that salary players. This is another reason they won't be held out as trade bait. While their salaries are low, it doesn't make sense on OUR side to trade them for the same reason other teams might jump at the chance to get them - IF they were both completely healthy, which they aren't. Not yet, at any rate, and they'll need to prove durability now before they're really tradeable.

Players we would want to trade are those making MORE money than players we want to bring up from the AHL.

Tom Poti = $3,500,000
Brian Pother = $2,500,000
Shaone Morrisonn = $1,975,000 Karl Alzner = $1,675,000
Milan Jurcina = $1,375,000 Jeff Schultz = $715,000

We aren't trading Green.

Tom Poti is the only veteran defenseman we have.

Brian Pothier, due to concussion issues, is more valuable to us than to other teams.

The other defensemen do not make sense to trade due to lower cap hits.

ShaMo and Juice are the two that make the most sense to trade, IF we trade a defenseman.

Posted by: irockthered | September 23, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

I left off Erskine at $1,250,000.

For comparison's sake, Green's cap hit is $5,250,000. IMO, he's worth it. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | September 23, 2009 1:43 AM | Report abuse

One more, and I'll shut up about Giroux and Aucoin: This hinges on Giroux being able to take a left wing spot, as Flash frequently does in "Flash-Steckel-Fehr." IF Giroux can play at left wing (which he did not in Hershey; that was Graham Mink), then it could work.

If not, Bourque-Steckel-Aucoin might work... and Bourque's cap hit is only slightly higher than Giroux', at $575k.

The main reason I am thinking Giroux-Aucoin is because of their obvious success as linemates in Hershey. They consistently played on the same line, and did very well. Of course, I am not Bruce Boudreau in disguise, so I'll leave it at "just a thought."

Posted by: irockthered | September 23, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

"Moses led the Sinai Snipers to the Promised Cup"......quote of the year right there....LMAO Tom!!!

Posted by: PhilR | September 23, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I bet we could find a trade partner for both Fehr and Flash easily. A d man is the more obvious choice though.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 23, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Just pre-season, but still enjoy watching the Pens lose - this time to the Leafs in OT. Toronto might be a team to watch this year, and looking forward to a good one on opening night at home.

Posted by: gonchpup | September 22, 2009 9:46 PM |

I wonder where sc1907 is? His team may not be bottom 5 this year...yeah!

Posted by: richmondphil | September 23, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: uncatim | September 23, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Just to let you know, I have "a little French" in me.

tominfl: that may be more about your personal life than we needed to know! But just out of curiosity, how do you type at the same time?

Posted by: majiksea | September 23, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Johnny got run over at the top of his crease.. like every other time he's been hurt.

Leafs are going to be interesting to watch this year.

Posted by: thiazzi | September 23, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Yep, the Leafs are gonna be the new Flyers....that first home game they better have Sudgen in the lineup!!

Posted by: PhilR | September 23, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

It would appear that Gabby likes Schultz. So, argue on. He stays until Gabby sees someone he likes better.

Posted by: adhardwick | September 23, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Coach B likes the kid Schultz.......i think I'll go with the coach on this one.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | September 23, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

re: Olie's retirement.see- TEB tweet, minutes ago.

Congrats Olaf, on a wonderful career! You get my vote for best Caps goaltender, ever!

Posted by: Max231 | September 23, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Schultz was a 1st-round pick - obviously somebody dropped the ball there, bigtime - but, be that as it may, he will continue to play and get every benefit of the doubt.

But please, enough with the Chara/Pronger comparisons already - those two are powerful, deceptively fast athletes with a mean streak - none of which JS possesses, from what I've seen.

Only a dummy makes his boss look bad in public - and BB is anything but a dummy. Thus, we are stuck with JS.

Posted by: govtimbo | September 23, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

IRTR as usual makes very good points and arguments. Maybe it helps that I tend to agree with her.

I thought Schultz played very well Monday night and noticed him being a little more physical. He is still young and learning. Most of the detractors here would not recognize if he changed or improved because they are only looking for mistakes and anything good that he does is quickly dismissed as a fluke and then forgotten by them. I'll go with Coach BB's instincts and opinion.

Go Caps!

Posted by: _Mark | September 23, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I've only got one question for everyone here. Why are all the 55 haters expecting him to be Pronger from the start? I'm originally from CT and remember Pronger not being that great of a dman when he was in Hartford way back when. (Sorry, he's the only BIG dman that sticks out to me.)

Posted by: jwash4472 | September 23, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

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