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Shorter Shifts in the Mile High City?

Capitals defenseman Jamie Heward said Denver's thin air is a concern for tonight's game against the Colorado Avalanche.

"Whether you want to believe it, or you don't want to believe it, you could feel it in the pregame skate," the veteran said this afternoon at Pepsi Center. "The biggest thing is your recovery between shifts. You have to be aware of it, especially guys who take longer shifts. They may have to break those down to 40 to 45 seconds. It's a concern for everybody, the players and the coaches."

"You have to monitor it when you have back-to-back shifts, like guys who are going from a five-on-five, to the power play, then back to a five-on-five," he added.

It's going to be interesting to see how - or if - this has any effect on the Capitals' game plan. I'm going to watch Alex Ovechkin's ice time. He's skating an average of 22:03 per game, so if that's significantly lower, we may have our answer.

Tonight's lineup is expected to include Olie Kolzig in net, and center Brooks Laich watching from the press box. Coach Glen Hanlon said Laich was bumped by winger Matt Pettinger, who is scheduled to make his season debut. Pettinger missed the first seven games with a shoulder injury.

As if thin air weren't enough - I'm actually getting dizzy while writing this (not really) - there's a winter storm warning for Denver tonight. But it probably won't affect the Capitals' travel plans because the players leave town for Vancouver immediately following the game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 25, 2006; 2:59 PM ET
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Next: Ovechkin Is "100-percent"


maybe the capitals should have trained in gilbert arenas's house. it wouldve helped dont you think.

by the way did you guys see my main men malkin and crosby last night? cuz if you did you wouldve seen that goal and assist each along with my man ekman. like i know you guys think with semen, ovechkin and that swede that y'all are gonna be something. but come on, you guys all know this is the future. be objective for a minute:


ladies and gents what i see in those 3 names is a decade worth of dominance.


Posted by: PPcupwinners | October 25, 2006 8:43 PM | Report abuse

He's right. The NHL should just give Pittsburgh the Cup for the next decade. (Or maybe not...)

Posted by: JLO | October 25, 2006 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Assuming Mario doesn't sell them and they are still in Pittsburgh, of course. There is a Pens blog at, maybe you ought to check that out?

Posted by: TopShelf | October 26, 2006 4:57 AM | Report abuse

Mario's already sold the team. We'll see in a few years whether the Pens can even afford to keep Malkin and Crosby (of course we have the same problem, just less dire).

So Tarik, how about an Ovechkin update? What the hell was he doing on the ice at the end of the game anyway?!

Posted by: tallbear | October 26, 2006 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Watch out for those Kansas City Penguins in a few years!

Posted by: Wes Mantooth | October 26, 2006 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Hey PP - if your objective is to get under Caps fans' skin, consider it done. Now why don't you move on because you and Bing and all the other whiners from Pittsburgh had best understand that this space is for hockey fans with a genuine interest in the home team. Bloggers, don't you agree? Tarik, I am all for free speech but we enjoy this blog, can you dispatch this clown?


Posted by: tokyofan | October 26, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

dispatch me from the blog?? i have not done any of the following:

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

thanks! and how do you guys know about penguins blogs. i'm a frequent visitor to this because i live in DC. later peeps!

Posted by: PPcupwinners | October 26, 2006 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Well fine, you didn't violate any of the official rules, but there's really no need to come to a Caps blog and rub it in our face about your players. I would trade our roster for the Penguins roster any day (sad but true), but that's for CAPS fans to discuss, not you.

Posted by: Capzz4Ever | October 26, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I would not trade Ovechkin, Kolzig or Semin. Why?

Posted by: Atty | October 26, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Did anybody see the article on

Excerpts from the article:

"Wayne Gretzky recently brought up Mike Bossy's scoring touch and Mark Messier's passion when discussing Ovechkin, which should be taken both as a ringing endorsement and cause for even more anger in both Edmonton and Phoenix"

What was more exciting, scoring the goal or breaking the glass?

"Breaking the glass, I think," he (ovechkin) said. "First time. I was surprised. 'Wow, I'm stronger!'"

Our man ovechkin has the strangest sense of humor, but I love him!

And seriously I wouldn't trade ovy for crosby AND malkin, nor anyone else in the league. As good as those guys may end up being, ovy has that thing about him that I think we'll all love to watch for years to come.

Posted by: capz lock | October 26, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Cool!China caps

Posted by: wholesale | December 1, 2006 2:40 AM | Report abuse

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