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Sloan Practices at Forward

Practice just wrapped up here at KCI and I've got a few notes and quotes to share:

*Today's session was short but pretty intense for the day after a road game. A lot of the 50-minute practice focused on defensive positioning in front the Caps' net. Anyone who watched last night's game in Philly knows it wasn't so good, especially for the Tom Poti-John Erskine pairing. The tandem was on the ice for five goals against.

"That's why we practiced what we did today -- blocking out battling front of the net," Boudreau said. "It's one thing to be in good position but together, they had a rough game last night. I told both of them that I've seen them play better."

*Goalie Semyon Varlamov worked closely with Arturs Irbe on catching pucks. Of course, Varlamov dropped a long shot last night and it directly led to Mike Richards' third goal. It's becoming obvious that closing his glove on shots is definitely a weakness.

"It was something [former goalie coach Dave Prior] was working with him on last year," Boudreau said. "So we just wanted to remind Arturs that this is something that Dave worked on. So he brought him in and wanted to work on that glove hand."

*While most of the lineup will be the same tomorrow against Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers, there was one notable change. Left wing Boyd Kane was sent to Hershey today and to fill his place, Coach Bruce Boudreau put defenseman Tyler Sloan on the fourth forward line. Sloan hasn't played yet this season, but it appears he'll be in the lineup tomorrow as a forward and perhaps as a "swingman" if Boudreau elects to go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

"I did it for him a couple of times in Hershey," Sloan said. "It's been a while. We'll see how it goes. It's not where I want to be, but I'm playing."

This isn't an experiment or even something that's going to happen often, it seems. Sloan is just holding a spot for Eric Fehr, who is getting close to returning. It also gets Sloan into his first game of the season.

*I'm writing a story for tomorrow's paper on Alex Ovechkin's hot start to the season. This is the first time in his career that he's notched three points in three games.

"After the first period [in Philly], the coaches said, 'Jeez, it just doesn't look like Alex has it tonight,'" Boudreau said. "Then I said, he's got six points in the first two games. He can't do this forever. Then he goes and gets three in the second. He surprises you every day."

Ovechkin didn't skate today, but he's fine, a team spokesman said.

*Mike Knuble suffered a pretty bad cut on his left ankle last night when he was struck by a puck. He finished the game and was on the ice today, but had to get stitches. In the locker room after practice, his sock was stained with blood, a la Curt Schilling. When I mentioned this to him, Knuble, a big sports fan, shot back: "Yeah, but my sock is not going in the Hall of Fame."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 7, 2009; 1:48 PM ET
 
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Comments

Interesting news about Sloan--looking forward to seeing how that works out.

Also, how about that quick Knuble wit? lol

Thanks as always, Tarik.

Posted by: wocoliz | October 7, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Tough for Nylander. Next they'll have "a Cap for a day" promotion, where one lucky fan gets picked from the crowd to skate on the fourth line while Nylander watches from the press box.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 7, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"In fact, this is the first time in his career that he's notched three in three games."
-----
Don't you mean six in three games?

Posted by: CapsChick | October 7, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

So, now it comes down to the fill-in D man from Hershey getting more time than Nyles as a forward. Is he not good enough to play 6 minutes a game now? I guess the Caps are still trying to work something out with moving him, but this is getting down right insulting now.

Posted by: Grape8 | October 7, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Put Sloan out with Backstrom, and he'll light the lamp twice.....bank on it...

The guy could pass gas, and no one would smell it..thats how good he is...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 7, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Well one thing we know about Sloan is that he can skate! Is there any news about Nylander - Getting rid of him is going to be key to signing both Semin and Backstrom!
'oldtimehockey sign me up for the Cap for a Day program. Can't wait to see Fehr!

Posted by: psugolf | October 7, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"In fact, this is the first time in his career that he's notched three in three games."
-----
Don't you mean six in three games?

Posted by: CapsChick | October 7, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I think he is talking overall points, not just goals.

Posted by: hbcapsfan | October 7, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Re: referees and (bad) calls...

At the beginning of every season, the refs are given the directive to enforce things by the book. As the season progresses, things usually settle down and there are less calls for marginal stuff (the "let the boys play" style of officiating). That said, a lack of consistency from ref to ref may still make it hard for players to know what a penalty is from night to night (as well as making the fans go insane). However, I'm sure that all teams have a book on each ref so the coaches can at least enlighten the players about tendencies of certain refs to call things a particular way (no different than pitchers being aware of different strike zones for various umpires in baseball). Whether the players choose to heed that advice is a different matter altogether.

Also, consider that there's a new sheriff in town for the current season. Long time NHL referee Terry Gregson took over as the Director of Officiating replacing Stephen Walkom, who had held the post since July 2004. His vision of the way games should be called, and regarding specific rules such as goaltender interference, may take some time for the on ice officals to implement in a somewhat consistent manner. FYI, Gregson will be a guest on NHL Live on XM Home Ice/NHL Network sometime between 12-2pm tomorrow, so tune in!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 7, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I just had a baby, so I can't go to all these games coming up back to back. I have 2 season tickets in section 101. If interested in a Sharks or Preds game let me know at schmisek at gmail (dot) c 0 m

Posted by: NoDak2Caps | October 7, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Nicky just racked anouther assist.

Posted by: saintex | October 7, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

What is Nylander going to bring to the 4th or even 3rd line? If he's not centering one of the top 2 lines he should sit. Do you want to sit Backstrom (8 assists) or Morrison (2 goals, 1 assist) to put Nylander in?

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | October 7, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Just listened to Bruce on the radio (106.7fm) and he was asked about how distracting the Nyls situation was to the team.

His response was that "Nyls has been a complete professional and works just as hard if not harder than anyone else at practice. He comes to work, puts in his time and does a good job of keeping in shape" (not exact quotes but paraphrased). THEN he alluded to the fact that (and I think these were his exact words) "we've made our boat and we'll see what happens." alluding to and exlpaining the fact that everyone knows what is going on (i think he meant - made our bed-) He then went on to explain that it's not easy in Nyls position and GMGM was the man handling it.

So...as if it wasn't clear before, I think Nyls hasn't a chance seeing the ice time unless an injury to BMo or he gets to ride the Zamboni between periods
IMO

Posted by: TottenhamCaps | October 7, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Nylander was lousy as a winger. He can't really center "shutdown" or "energy" lines either. His only real place is scoring line center.

Posted by: koalatek | October 7, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that BB said most of the same stuff with regards to the defense as many of us.

Poti and Erskine. Yes, they have "played better."

And, yes, it's only the third game of the season, but we could've held Filthy to zero pts instead of 2 and that could be relevant when jockeying for #1 seed in the East.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 7, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town

You're comment just made my day! Nothing like a little gas humor to make things ok again. :)

Posted by: CapsKH | October 7, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm not going to complain about taking 5 points out of the first 3 games, or even taking 1 point out of a game in Philly. The frustration for the team comes in that they know they in a sense gave this one away. Philly can talk about their defensive miscues as well, but ours were far worse.

Obviously I've seen the D play better, but I have little faith when it's a bouncing puck in front that guys like Erskine, Juice, or even Poti lately will be steady enough to corral the puck and clear it out of the danger zone and/or clean out a forward who's lurking.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | October 7, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

And I meant to say "Your" ...stupid fast typing!!

Posted by: CapsKH | October 7, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@MetalCapsFan - Given the refs have a book on each player and their tendencies (so-and-so is a diver, so-and-so hooks, etc.), you can probably make book on it being the other way 'round too... If not, well... I'm working on a book for each ref.

;-)

Posted by: irockthered | October 7, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

TottenhamCaps,
Nys couldn't drive the Zamboni. He would take it to center ice then circle around a couple times and go the other way.

Posted by: NFeKPo | October 7, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Kane was adding zip to the Caps offense.

I have not seen much mention in the many comments, but I though BMo played a great game last night.

And @NatyBG, from last thread, sorry for my missing the obvious joke.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 7, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Schultz was underwhelming last night, strong camp or not.

Posted by: vsmartin007 | October 7, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The Nyls thing is getting more disturbing and mystifying by the minute. Please someone explain to me how is Sloan, a D man, better than Nylander in tomorrow's line up.

Posted by: caraveli | October 7, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

@NFeKPo - ha! That's too funny. I'm not a Nylander hater, and I find the situation depressing more than anything else, but it is kind of amazing how much of his time he spends skating in circles. Or at least, he used to, when he actually played.

Posted by: hillg | October 7, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

yeah i thought Sarge had a weak game, altho by his standards probably a strong one.

Glad to see Sloan on the wing. He's a big body that can crash pretty effectively and he played that same role in Hershey a few times.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 7, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli - It's not that simple.

It's not just "a forward" vs. "a defenseman".

Nylander is a center. He is not very effective at wing, and not effective at all on a fourth (checking) line.

Sloan has played wing in the past, and apparently has done well enough to do so in this case again. He's a VERY powerful skater, and is willing (as a defenseman) to use his body.

Both of these factor into the decision to start Sloan at wing, where he CAN play reasonably well, rather than starting Nylander in a position in which we know for a fact he is ineffective at best, and utterly incompetent at worst.

Posted by: irockthered | October 7, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

We have had in the past, as a side note, several players who can play effectively at both forward and defense. I believe it was most recently Fedorov who played both sides of the line, but I believe both Clark and Laich can skate either position, as well.

Versatility is good. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | October 7, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli, Its partly a question of skill set. Sloan as a D man might fit in better as a defensive (read third or fourth line) winger than Nylander, who's more of a playmaking center. Yes the "first line" players are typically the "best" players, but its also an offensive versus defensive thing. You don't want Ovechkin (or Nyles) trying to guard the opponents best offensive players (and vice-versa). But, Sloan playing wing might be good at that skill.

Someone above noted that they thought Nyles playing winger wasn't a great fit, which I honestly don't remember. I can say from my own experience as a defenseman, I found it easier to play center than wing when forced to play up. Obviously, we're talking about a wide variance in skill level, though.

Teams need defensive-minded forwards. Obviously, everyone loves watching OV and the 1st two lines light the lamp, but a true fan of the game also appreciates the draws of Steckel, shot blocking of Laing or the selflessness of guys like Bradley.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 7, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I can't remember Boyd Gordon ever doing anything as dumb as taking that offensive zone penalty late in the 3rd last night. It cost us the game.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | October 7, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

BTW, when I said Kane was adding "zip" I didn't mean energy -- he was adding zero. His send-down was a fait accompli.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 7, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

CapsChick

He meant 3 points in each of his first 3 games

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | October 7, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

GMGM has a serious beef on Nyls, since the series against the Rangers. He has told BB, in no uncertain terms that he will not play but he should make him work hard for his money. I don't see this changing, unless we have so many injuries that half the Bears team is wearing the Caps uniform and Bondra or Gartner decline an invitation to lace up.
As for our problem on D last night, around the crease, let's not forget that down low, the Center is the third defensemen and has a critical role to play. I don't think that our centers were exemplary last night in that domain.
One more note, Backie's passing instincts right now, reminds me of none other than Gretzky's passing abilities. Of course, Gretzky could also put the puck in the net at an infernal frequency but I think that Backie has the potential to be a 30 goal scorer as well as a 80-90 assists per year player.


Posted by: atybat | October 7, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Nylander is only not playing because of his salary...There is no way we need him at that cost...we must think he can still be moved, and we dont want to risk injury, otherwise, he might of cracked the lineup...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 7, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Was at the game last night.

Tarik, glad you finally mentioned the deadly duo of Erskine and Poti. They were simply awful. Mike Green had to be bailed out a couple of times as well. Rest of defenders were good, even Schultz.

Glad Boyd Kane is gone. He played, what, 30 seconds, and went to the penalty box? Put him on waivers and let's hope the Flyers take him back.

Varly simply is being pushed too soon, and surely Boudreau knows that. So what if he's a fan favorite, he's not mentally tough enough for the NHL. He needs a good season in Hershey as a starting goalie to get the bugs out of his very talented system. If Neuvirth is healed, bring him up to back up Theo, who did well in relief last night.

And for the record, the officiating was truly bad, but the Caps PK was worse. . ..as were the Flyers fans, who are the worst fans in the US. They are nothing but drunk losers and slobs who have nothing else in their lives but missing teeth, body odor, and the Flyers.

Posted by: Exile_in_Philly | October 7, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Fehr 61 12 13 25
Nyls 72 9 24 33

Their stats are close to the same, why not use Nylander in his position until Fehr comes back?

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

@ The Nyls thing is getting more disturbing and mystifying by the minute. Please someone explain to me how is Sloan, a D man, better than Nylander in tomorrow's line up.

Posted by: caraveli | October 7, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

This is my take on the situation. They do not want him to play at all, under no circumstance. Its not about who is better in the line-up, they DO NOT WANT him to play. If he knows he is not going to play ANY more games, he might be more reluctant to waive a trade,move to some other club.

Hockey players want to play games, and if he knows that under no circumstance he will skake with the Caps ever again, he will be more willing to work out something where he can get ice time somewhere. If not.....he will be the highest paid practice player in the history of the league. And I give kudos for Nylander for taking it like a professional.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | October 7, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I still don't understand where things went wrong with Nyles. It wasn't his fault that he got hurt and the team traded for (and resigned) Feds. And then to sign Morrison shows that this has nothing to do with "fitting into the system". They could've used that $1.5 million to find a good defensive defensemen that doesn't score on his own goalie. It's a bad PR move and all the league is watching. They need to resolve this quickly

Posted by: ablake70 | October 7, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Steve Hindle/Hockeybuzz on last night's game...

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Steven-Hindle/The-Battle-Has-Begun--Briere-Gives-Flyers-6-5-Victory-in-Round-1/98/23475

Need some more Caps fans on there! Come spew venom at Philly Fan!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 7, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"'In fact, this is the first time in his career that he's notched three in three games.'
-----
"Don't you mean six in three games?"

Versus showed a stat last night saying that Ovechkin is only the third player ever in NHL history to score 3 or more points in each of his team's first three games in a season. I think the reference here was in regard to that statistic.

Posted by: 1995hoo | October 7, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Can we get an overview of the Nyls beef?
How did it start? Highs, lows? etc?

Posted by: gconrads | October 7, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the NHL rule actually reads more like this:

Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal; or (2) an attacking player initiates intentional or deliberate contact with a goalkeeper, inside or outside of his goal crease. Incidental contact with a goalkeeper will be permitted, and resulting goals allowed, when such contact is initiated outside of the goal crease, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact. The rule will be enforced exclusively in accordance with the on-ice judgment of the Referee(s), and not by means of video replay or review.

with the addendum:

(ii) Except where the Teams involved are the Flyers and Capitals, in which case a) A Washington player who is checked into the Philadelphia goalie shall be assessed a minor penalty for Goaltender interference, and b) no penalty shall be assessed against a Philadelphia player who deliberately runs over the Washington goaltender.

Folks, this is NOT the first time that the Caps have appeared to be victims of a double standard regarding goalie interference (See ECQF, 2007-2008; Kozlov, Clark, etc. repeatedly get checked from behind into the goaltender and end up in the Sin Bin, but PHI practically sits on Huet and...nothing).

I'm just sayin'...

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 7, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

This is my take on the situation. They do not want him to play at all, under no circumstance. Its not about who is better in the line-up, they DO NOT WANT him to play. If he knows he is not going to play ANY more games, he might be more reluctant to waive a trade,move to some other club.

Hockey players want to play games, and if he knows that under no circumstance he will skake with the Caps ever again, he will be more willing to work out something where he can get ice time somewhere. If not.....he will be the highest paid practice player in the history of the league. And I give kudos for Nylander for taking it like a professional.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | October 7, 2009 4:03 PM

-----------------------------------------

You hit the nail on the head. I would add that the reason we'd rather move him than play him when he might be useful is history (he hasn't played well for us the past few seasons) and cost (he's way too much of our salary cap). Moving Nylander = best shot at a cup.

Posted by: Raber | October 7, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Can we get an overview of the Nyls beef?
How did it start? Highs, lows? etc?

Posted by: gconrads | October 7, 2009 4:27 PM

Nyles will continue to be an issue until the Caps find the money to fix the D. Also, while Semin is all but begging to be resigned, but Backstrom has only said that getting 100pts will be good for his next contract. Wonder if the Nyles situation has any effect on him wanting to stay here?

Posted by: ablake70 | October 7, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if under these circumstances we may see Nylanders best play ever. He should be motivated. Before the injury I thought he was one of our better players. Is it his fault that management overpaid?

Posted by: chillwill1 | October 7, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I would add that the reason we'd rather move him than play him when he might be useful is history (he hasn't played well for us the past few seasons) and cost (he's way too much of our salary cap). Moving Nylander = best shot at a cup.

Posted by: Raber

I don't want to be a Nylander promoter or anything. If the decision is that we don't want him on the team, so be it. There are 2 falacies though to these arguments.

1. not playing well - Nylander had 33 points last year in very little ice time. While his circling drives everyone batty, you have to ask how the heck he got 33 points last season when he played 72 games or tied for 7th place on the team. Is that production worth his salary? No. But to say that he's not played well isn't exactly accurate.

2. too much on the cap - Yup, except we're paying him to sit for no apparent reason. It's like buying a car and then refusing to drive it because you don't like the floor mats. You're still going to make the payments on it. You might as well drive the thing. If you can find someone that will buy it from you, THEN you stop driving and part company.

To play Sloan who has never skated on wing instead of Nylander who has (though his normal position is Center) is kind of silly. You know you CAN get production from Nylander. Sloan is a maybe, but probably not.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I have not seen much mention in the many comments, but I though BMo played a great game last night.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 7, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, hopefully BMo can keep it up and he will prove he is the 50 point scorer we got him for!

Posted by: breaklance | October 7, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Folks, this is NOT the first time that the Caps have appeared to be victims of a double standard regarding goalie interference (See ECQF, 2007-2008; Kozlov, Clark, etc. repeatedly get checked from behind into the goaltender and end up in the Sin Bin, but PHI practically sits on Huet and...nothing).

I'm just sayin'...

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 7, 2009 4:31 PM

-----------------------------------------

Conspiracy theory time... McCreary I agree about though. He LOVES his Penguins.

Posted by: Raber | October 7, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

the Sloan thing seems a little ridiculous. i mean can't we come up with a little better backup plan??

Posted by: doughless | October 7, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

ablake70

Nylander knows that after this season he'll be moved. Everyone knows that. Worse to worse, the Caps can send him to Hershey, waive him, buy him out. His cap hit is a non-issue next year. That means there's no real pressure to re-sign Backs and Semin at the smallest increases possible. I think everyone knows (including Nylander) that Nylander will not be a Cap in 2010-2011.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 7, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Greg S.,

I agree with you on both points, but you have to admit that the Caps are a few pieces away from completing a cup worthy team. Those pieces are in the defensive end mostly, and they require some cap space to pull off. Unless you're suggesting something crazy to drop our cap hit, Nylander is the odd man out.

In order to move Nylander, you can't convince him that he might play here by putting him on the ice now. He'll never waive his NMC if he thinks he might get time. GMGM can't put him on the ice if he wants to ever get rid of him.

Nylander provides a benefit now if we put him on the ice, I'm not disputing that. But when we're trying to make some moves to make our team better in the defensive end, we need Nylander to be willing to waive that NMC, which (sadly) means making him miss playing so much that he eventually gives up and packs his bags.

Interestingly enough, If he said he wanted to leave Washington then maybe we could play him and only sit him when we're close to a deal. He said exactly the opposite at the beginning of the season. If we play him now, we're stuck with him for the remainder of the season.

Posted by: Raber | October 7, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Umm... there are quite a few men I wouldn't mind seeing in a photo like that, but Zdeno Chara is not one of them.

Posted by: hillg | October 7, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

It looks like they're going to trade Nylander, and they have an interested buyer. Under those circumstances, there would be no sense in playing him and risk the possibility of him getting injured - whereupon his value would plummet. I'm remembering Bill Guerin last year, who was benched by the Islanders because the trade to Pittsburgh was in the works.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | October 7, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

the Sloan thing seems a little ridiculous. i mean can't we come up with a little better backup plan??

Posted by: doughless | October 7, 2009 5:05 PM

my guess is that BB may be trying to force GMGM's hand (i.e.: "let me play nlys or move him so we can get someone else in here"). i don't have any problems with whoever BB decides should be on the ice on any given night - but choosing the 8th of 8 d-men to play wing seems just a little odd to me. i think GMGM will not allow BB to put nlys on the ice (and before any of you say it - i know he is not the best fit for a 4th line winger) so BB is putting any abled body out there right now.
its a real shame that they can not find a way to utilize some of nlys' talent. i hope that a team nlys would like to play for steps up - before he is unceremoniously dumped when his NMC is up. i like nlys because hes always given his all while on the ice - even when hurt - even though it is apparent he is not worth his current salary.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 7, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

BMo played very well. Always seemed to be around the puck.

Poti-Erskine pair last night - Terrible
Poti-Juice pair from Saturday - solid

I like that Nyls shows up every day and I hope that he drops his NMC so that he can play somewhere. Just because he doesn't work for us doesn't mean that he wouldn't work for somebody else.

I didn't notice Sarge doing anything last night which I guess is a good thing. I didn't see anything positive but I also didn't see anything negative.

I want Ovie to get 50 in 50 this year.

Nicky and Ovie are best friends so I definitely see him coming back.

Feel bad for Varly but he needs to work on his glove.

I would like to see Neuvy come up for a couple of games though just to see how it goes.

Theo is looking good so far. Don't see how he could have stopped either of those goals.

Posted by: pkendrick | October 7, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Raber - I don't think the psychology of Nylander is to stay in a place where he's not wanted. The Caps have made it abundantly clear they don't want him on the team. Playing him, and him playing well, would actually help move him. It would pick up interest in him. And if he didn't play well, he might well become desparate and want to leave to a less than desirable team to him.

Either way, with him off our books now, we can get that much needed D-man provided one is still out there.

RedRocker1 - We've been hearing of this trade for a year now. OK, not a full year but it seems like it. The trade was supposed to come to let CBo stay in DC, but it didn't happen. That was a week ago since that fell through apparently. Time to bite the bullet and play the guy.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Tarik:

What's with the players' names and numbers being on the backs of the defensemen and goalies jerseys at practice today, when generally they are blank on the back. In contrast, the forwards jerseys were still blank on the back? Made me wonder.

Posted by: theresa21 | October 7, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

went to practice today and the nylander situation is just weird...everyone jokes around with each other stays after and works on drills together; whereas, nylander did stay after, but just stays by himself, does skating drills by himself, and just doesn't really talk to anyone.

i kinda feel bad for him

Posted by: _stevo | October 7, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Remember I said it first and now TV analysts are jumping on the bandwagon:

"Ovechkin could get 70 goals this year..."

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 7, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The issue isn't Nyles NMC. GMGM stated the Nyles waived his NMC to complete the Chicago trade last year, but that Chicago backed out. It seems that the real issue is that the Caps want Nyles to willingly walk away from $8.5 million. How many people would honestly do that? Heatley got roasted for trying to back out of the contract he signed. The Caps signed a contract with Nyles (NMC and all) yet it's Nyles' fault that they don't want to honor it?

Posted by: ablake70 | October 7, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

70

Dig it.

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 7, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Just found the answer to my question on twitter via the caps media, "some Caps wearing special practice jerseys today that will be auctioned off Oct 17 and Oct 27 as part of Hockey Fights Cancer month".
Now I can stop wondering.

Posted by: theresa21 | October 7, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

@pkendrick

I'm glad BMo is playing so well. He, Knuble, and Laich seem to be making a great scoring line this year. (So, the OBS boys can stay together and allow us to still have another scoring line.) On the check list: Caps get 2 scoring lines this year. Check.

I hope Varly gets it together. Watching him is making me feel like the parent of the kid who screwed up in Little League. I say, if after 10 starts, he hasn't gotten it together, then send him to Hershey and bring up Neuwirth.

I know Nicky likes being with Ovi even though he's probably not Ovi's best friend. Semin seems to have that honor. (Okay, Nicky and Alex S., I guess you guys will be giving us the "I want to play with Ovi" discount.)

I hope the Nylander situation gets resolved sooner rather than later. It just does not seem like a healthy situation for anyone's mental health. We can't buy him out at the moment, because that produces a very large cap hit for a longer term.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 7, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

My seat neighbor has some tickets for sale to several games since they can't make it to all the games, including the Devils and the Sharks for next week. Lower section, behind the goal, near the top of the section.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 7, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

As Don Cherry said on the weekend: "Tape your ankles, boys!" It would cut down on the ankle/achilles cuts, etc.

Posted by: rufusthedog | October 7, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Ablake - yes in some ways I do think it's Nyls fault. If he would/could play the way he did 3 yrs ago when that contract was offered to him then I think he would be a fit here. He wasn't that player last year and something else happened that has him in the dog house. Granted he's here now and is in great shape and wants to put the past behind him but I guess the bridge has been .. well ... blown up really. I don't get it either and its extrememly frustrating but I know if I'm this frustrated as a fan then I know Ted, GMGM and BB have got to be wayyyyyyy over it by now.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 7, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

@hillg That Chara picture was horrible. Even with that great body, I couldn't get pass that face. Yuk!

@Greg S I'm not talking about money. I'm sure the Caps will break the bank to resign Backstrom. I just find it interesting that he has not stated that he wants to resign here like Semin has and I wonder if the Nyles situation has affected him. How can any player not look at Nyles and not think it could be them someday?

Bottom line is that Ovi has dedicated himself to this team when he could have gone anywhere else. If it is a personal vendetta against Nyles, they need to put it aside to build a winner around Ovi. With Nyles, they could have 3 solid lines, without they have one and a half.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 7, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface Nyles was in the doghouse when they resigned Feds. He lost his position and BB tried to force him into spot for which he was ill-suited. Whatever the reason, everyone needs to act professionally. I don't see how giving Nyles a chance is any worse than bringing in Boyd Kane, or making Erskine-Poti the 2D pairing against the freakin' Flyers.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 7, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

chris bourque is suiting up for the pens tonight

Posted by: _stevo | October 7, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

chris bourque is suiting up for the pens tonight

Posted by: _stevo | October 7, 2009 7:38 PM

-------------------------------------------

Cool. Best of luck to him.

Posted by: Raber | October 7, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

and bj is starting for the pens, ugh

Posted by: _stevo | October 7, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Enough of the BS already. Get Nyls in the game, let him earn his way on to someone's team, maybe even ours!! Still has plenty of talent, as last night showed, we could use some more power play firepower.

Posted by: biggamehuntr32 | October 7, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

At least Nylander has the big paycheck to cash to make up for having to come to work everyday where they don't want you. This has to be kinda tough on the rest of the team also, to have a guy skating around at practice and being in the locker room, but to not be part of the group. If Nylander would pay me a tenth of his salary, I would shave my head and go to Kettler and skate around for him. Unfortunately once I skated a couple circles and wiped out they'd probably catch on pretty quick...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | October 7, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

70

Dig it.

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 7, 2009 6:08 PM

shhiiiiiiiiiidddd....

I can dig it!

BTW, I dont like watching Brent Johnson with Cindy. I ALWAYS want them to lose, but good save just now on Doan!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 7, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

If we're ever going to a truly great hockey franchise, we'll need to learn how to part with players respectfully. Look at how we parted ways with Bondra, Olie, and now Nylander. Now look at the Red Wings. No wonder everyone respects them. They honor their's, we dump ours. Not cool. Think about it GMGM. Oh yeah, and I guess we'll need a few cups.

Posted by: biggamehuntr32 | October 7, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Nyls will wait the Caps situation out for the year if he has to.

Him staying on through the season does not have an effect on resigning Nick and Semin.

Choosen not to play him in preseason and this season decreases the chances of the Caps trading him. If you want to move his $4.6 million salary this season, management better showcase him to gain interest in him. Put some wax on him and drive him around the block a few times and show tht the engine still works well.

This move of not playing Nyls now that he is injury free had a lot of vindictiveness written of over it.

As for some of you saying Nyls can't play on the a wing of the checking line, that statement is ludicrous.

Posted by: puckman | October 7, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Nyls situation doesn't last all season, but I would not be surprised. Wonder why no area "journalists" can have a sit down interview with him and get his thoughts on the situation? Coming up from Richmond for tomorrow's game. Does anybody know a good Northern Va spot for used youth hockey skates/equipment for my boys? Choices down here not good. Thanks. Go Caps!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | October 7, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

kcbrich - Actually the journalists need to sit down and interview McPhee, Boudreau, Leonsis and/or Patrick. Someone needs to step forward and ask the gutsy questions. Nobody in town wants to be the Larry Brooks of WDC. One or more of these guys has decided not to play Nylander. Michael has been on record that he is ready. He's just waiting on Boudreau to give him a game jersey.

Posted by: puckman | October 7, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

Nyls wasn't necessarily in the doghouse when the Caps resigned Fedorov. He was first line center when he signed with us in 2007-2008. (The Caps figured it would take time before Backstrom was ready to step into that role.) Then, he got hurt and needed surgery. Backstrom then stepped up to the plate and became 1st line center (when Bouds became coach). They then traded for Fedorov who they hoped had enough in the tank to help the Caps to the playoffs. He did and was such a big hit with the players that he was resigned.

It's more like Nylander Wally Pipped himself out of a job (1st Line Center) than him getting in the doghouse. (He did center the 2nd line for a while last year when Fed was out with injury.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 7, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

@puckman

But if Nylander remains with us next season, then it will impact the signing of Backstrom and Semin. (But maybe they can waive him or send him to Hershey at that point to avoid the cap hit.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 7, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

capfans75 - I believe he will be moved next year in some fashion (trade, waive or buy out). His NMC expires at the end of this season and his salary for 10/11 is 3 mil.

Posted by: puckman | October 7, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if any of you remember this or not but the Flash/Fehr/Nylander line played very well together. BB didn't leave it together for long, but another line with 2 20+ goal scorers being served by Nyls would give us 3 legit scoring lines. Then a 4th line/shutdown line with options of Steckel, Gordo, Bradley and Laing. I know it's not going to happen but nyls would earn his money in that situation.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 7, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

This is sweet Phoenix is up 2-0 with less than 9 minutes left in 2nd. If they could steal 2 points and take them to the West from the Pens it would be awesome.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 7, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

puckman, what question do you want answered. nylander isn't playing because the team is hoping to move him. they would rather give playing time to guys who have a future here. i forsee him getting on the ice only if backs or bmo gets hurt but not on LTIR. even then, bb probably moves laich to center.

i'm pretty sure corey and tarik have asked mcphee and he's answered in his own, say nothing way. ted's not going to talk about it, and he shouldnt. and nyls has answered the question too.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 7, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to hex the 'yotes, but I have a Pens fan cussing here in my living room. It's still 2-0 Phoenix early in the 3rd. He started out confident and starting to get really pissed, this is awesome.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 7, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Noticing something in the Pens game tonight. The penalities are 9-6 with 15 minutes left in the third. It looks like at least for now the refs in the NHL are trying to send the message that this is not a "let them play" league.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 7, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

fanohock: I will be leaving for practice in a few mimnutes and going into a locker room of 25 Pens fans. I am going to love hearing all of them complain about the refs.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 7, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97: Have a great time at practice. Not only do you get to play hockey you get to hear some first class whining. At the end of the first the Pens fan over here said that Crosby would be talking to them in the locker room because he won't be happy. I said yeah I'm sure Crosby would say "come on guys, if you play harder I'll ask Mario if you can come over for pizza after the game tonight." Actually got a chuckle out him on that one.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 7, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

dcsports - The team is not going to move him - they can't. Nobody wants to and/or can't take on his $5.5 mil salary this season. To begin with, Nyls will only accept a trade to a limited number of "NHL" teams.

I don't agree with you that the team has hope of moving him. I do agree with you that the only way he gets back in the line-up is if there is a major injury to #19 or #9.

There are numerous legitimate questions that can be asked that haven't been asked. You can start with why was Nylander the only player not to play the last 9 games (inc. preseason). How bout, is Nyls capable of playing the wing on the 4th line. I could go on and on. Maybe Tarik can give me his press pass and I'll most findings on this blog! :P

Posted by: puckman | October 7, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

BTW Sami Lepisto is a Coyote and getting quality ice time. Not sure if that means we let a talented guy go, or if Phoenix is weak. If Lepisto strong point was as a puck moving defenseman and only managed 4 goals and 34 points in the AHL, I tend to lean toward Phoenix being weak.

Bourque is getting time on a line with Fedetenko and Malkin. Not much happening on the line though. Malkin now back out without Clark, looks like it was more of a motivation thing for Dupuis because Bourque stated on the 4th line.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 7, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Elvis has left the building. Coyotes just scored an empty netter to make it 3-0 with less than a minute to go. Phoenix is taking those 2 pts to the West. Couldn't have been a better night of hockey. If the Pens play like this against Philly tomorrow they will get destroyed.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 7, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Pens killed themselves tonight with all the penalties. Couldn't seem to get any momentum in the game. And I thought the majority of the penalties were legit calls, for both teams. And Phoenix played well defensively. Bryz really didn't face many quality shots.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 7, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's a story about a hockey game.

Team loses to worst team in hockey.

Team scores 0 goals. Nada. Zippo.

Team gets called for 10, yes, you read this right, 10 minor penalties.

Who is this team? Why none other than last year's World Champions, the Stanley Cup winning Penguins who lost to the Phoenix Coyotes.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 7, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

How great is this? I just noticed that Phoenix completely shut out Pittsburgh. I hope I was not an illusion.

Posted by: caraveli | October 7, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

I do remember when Flash and Fehr were doing so well together. That is, when Fehr was in his goal scoring streak. They were centered by several people. Nyls, Backstrom, Fedorov, Steckel. (I think it was mostly Fedorov.)

Thus, Nyls is not bad with that pair. He also wasn't bad with a line of Kozlov and Laich either. Or at least Kozzie seemed to score when teamed up with Laich and Nyls. So there are people who can do fine with Nyls. (Okay, Kozzie is gone and Laich seems to have found a home on the KLM line with Knuble and Morrison.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 7, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

It was not an illusion. I couldn't believe it either. The 'Yotes shut out the Pens. Plus, the Pens took 10 (count them 10) minor penalties. Two of the 'Yotes goals were power plays. The last was an empty netter. The Pens even topped our penalty total from last night! I thought we were bad but...

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 7, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

How'd you end up with a Pens fan in your house?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 7, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

@ kcbrichmond

Try play-it-again sports in Leesburg. The last time I was in there they had a boat load of used skates and equipment. You might want to give them a call first as it is probably a bit out of your way.

Posted by: christrice | October 7, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Re: Ovechkin getting 70...

He's definitely off to a good start (also in the points race), but with the Olympic break I think it'll have the feel of 2 separate seasons. Hot players could turn cold, and vice versa. I just hope Ovie's at his absolute best down the stretch & into the playoffs...

Posted by: Hatfield223 | October 7, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

@ Capsfan75: I would not say Phoenix is the worst team in the NHL. They are 2-0 right now and last year might have made the playoffs if they didn't fall apart in the last month of the season.

As for Lepiso. I think he might be a decent D-man, he looked real good in the PK today against Malkin. However I think him moving on was a result of us have so many D-men already.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 8, 2009 1:43 AM | Report abuse

This just in, C Bourque a non-factor in Pens loss. 0 shots, +/- 0, and

*whew*

If we let go the second coming of Gretzky, at least it didn't bite us right away!

Posted by: Raber | October 8, 2009 3:59 AM | Report abuse

EDIT: sorry for the double post. Accidentally had a less than sign.

This just in, C Bourque a non-factor in Pens loss. 0 shots, +/- 0, and less than 10 minutes of ice time. Was credited with 2 hits though - props for that.

*whew*

If we let go the second coming of Gretzky, at least it didn't bite us right away!

Posted by: Raber | October 8, 2009 4:01 AM | Report abuse

Capsfan75: I ended up with a Pens fan in my house because he's a friend of my son's. They met playing pick-up hockey over the summer and are now on the same team. He's actually not a bad dude. Get this, my wife thought he was such a nice guy that I got ordered, yes I said it, ordered, to take him to a Caps/Pens game this year. I have 4 season ticket seats. I gave him the news last night but laid down some ground rules. First, absolutely no black and gold of any kind, NONE, no Steelers or Pirates either. No powder blue either. I told him he doesn't have to stand and cheer when the Caps score, but he can't stand and cheer if the Pens score either. He is allowed to clap while sitting but nothing more.

I'm not at all happy with the fact that I have to bring a Pens fan with me but the fact is he's a good guy. He is a native Pittsburgian (is that what they're called). He and his wife are young teachers (24 and 23 years old) and a couple of the nicest kids you'd ever meet.

My son, who's 19, and I did celebrate the Phoenix win after he left last night. We were nice enough to not go crazy when they scored while he was there.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 8, 2009 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Sid the Kid's Leadership was on full display last night.

Is Mario giving refunds for that mess? Will they coast into March again, and then start to play?

Posted by: SA-Town | October 8, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Just some things to think about with regards to the "play Nylander" sentiments.

The first line center position is covered so let's look at Nyls centering the second line. In the Flyers game Morrison drove the center lane and scored a goal. Yep, it went off his boot, but driving the center lane like that is something coaches like. Can anyone name 3 times when Nylander drove the center lane? Okay I'll make it easy can you name 1? And of course I'm not talking about break aways or shootout type situations.

As a 3rd or 4th line winger you block shots and dig in the corner to get puck possession. Has anyone seen Nylander do much of that?

He doesn't fit.

On him not playing well/not playing well: Sure Nylander has played well for the Caps. But, he hasn't played well consistently. In the games he played last year half the time he hurt his team more than he helped his team. Let's say I'm exagerating. For debate purposes let's say 70% of the time he helped his team more than hurt. Is that what you want and expect from someone making that much money?

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | October 8, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

In my previous post I meant to add that as a 3rd/4th line winger you're expected to be defensively responsible and collapse to help the D. Also you'll see 3rd/4th liners block shots. Again, has anyone seen Nylander do a lot of shot blocking? Any shot blocking ever?

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | October 8, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

It was good to see Lang making a difference for Phoenix last night. When the Caps blew up the team in the spring of '04, I was sad to see him go (sadder only about Bondra). I always liked him, and for him at the age of 102 to still put up a point against his old team was kind of neat. My wife finds him easy on the eyes, too.

Posted by: 106T | October 8, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

BetterOffWithFedorov

Caps vs Lightning 3/19/09 Nylander on a quasi breakaway. He does go to the net. It isn't his preferred method of scoring. Just like Backstrom doesn't shoot enough, neither does Nylander.

That same game he's digging in the corners and also blocked a shot.

He irritating, overpaid for what he does, but he's definately not worthless like you make him out to be.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 8, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

@ If we're ever going to a truly great hockey franchise, we'll need to learn how to part with players respectfully. Look at how we parted ways with Bondra, Olie, and now Nylander. Now look at the Red Wings. No wonder everyone respects them. They honor their's, we dump ours. Not cool. Think about it GMGM. Oh yeah, and I guess we'll need a few cups.

Posted by: biggamehuntr32 | October 7, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with trading Bondra for Brooks when we were starting the rebuild. If I remember correctly Bondra was trying to get a shot at the cup and we were gathering pieces for the future.

Olie.....sorry, but we rode the "hot" goalie and he took it to heart. He was the one who didnt want to come back. His play had declined so bad, he was just an average goalie at the end.

You think the great one had hard feelings when the Oilers traded him to the Kings? Its a sport, and its a business as well.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | October 8, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1:
(this is about 12 hrs late...sry) In your ideal sitution with a Flash/Nyls/Fehr line you gave a choice of 4 players for the 4th line. Where could Captain Clark fit into all that? I agree with you, it sounds ideal, though won't happen.
I'm really interested in seeing Nyls play -- they keep saying he's in great shape and working really hard in practice, I'm curious! I can't go to practice myself being that I'm in Texas, but I'd love to see him in a game situation. Though I sadly recognize there's about a 0.1% chance of that happening.

Posted by: DCTexan90 | October 8, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

like it or lump it another good cindy crysby montage::

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCNrKSUcv1E

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | October 8, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

@DCTexan90: Nyls isn't playing. I like him too by we're spinning our wheels speculating. It's not going to happen.

@fanohock1: We're Pittsburghers (not "pittsburgians"). And I may have grown up there but I fully turned on the Pens and can't stand them as much as any good Caps fan. 'scuse me for loving the steelers.

finally, we'd better be ready when the Coyotes come to town.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 8, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Staffan Kronwall's first NHL goal lifted the perfect Calgary Flames to a 4-3 victory...just fyi another Ex cap defenseman playing elsewhere.

Posted by: RichC3 | October 8, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Where is Tarik with the morning round-up? Work today is slower than burning in hell for an eternity and I need some Caps news to read!!!!

Posted by: eorr53 | October 8, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Pens shutout by Yotes!! nice. feel a little bad for Johnnie, though. he made some nice saves.

Posted by: doughless | October 8, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

RichC3: I'm not shocked that Kronwall made the squad. I liked him a lot here. He's the same type of player as his brother. He moves the puck well, and destroys forwards that make the mistake of carrying the puck with their head down.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 8, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

game day morning and no updates from 3 beat writers, what's going on?

Posted by: Bagher | October 8, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@hockeypuck1 - The holding call on Gordon was VERY weak. He grabbed the guy who checked him's jersey on his way to the ice, and got called for holding. That is a B.S. holding call, and personally, I don't blame Gordon for it. He was falling; he flailed, he grabbed, he let go, he landed on his keester, and when he got whistled for the penalty, clearly said something very VERY bad on national television. That wasn't a hold. That was a D'OH! And it should not have been called any more than the "goaltender interference" call on Laich (who was checked into the goalie!) or a couple of the other calls were called.

Posted by: irockthered | October 8, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

@RichC3 just fyi another Ex cap defenseman playing elsewhere.

Kronwall was claimed on waivers, so I wouldn't shed too many tears over him. And Lepisto is off to a good start, but let's not quite put him in the same category as Johnny Oduya.

Teams lose good players all the time. When Alzner and/or Carlson make it to Washington, these D 'losses' won't matter. (Except Oduya. That one still hurts.)

And when the team finally gives up on Eric Fehr, as many here hope they do, and he ends up scoring 30 goals for another team, I'm sure those same pitchforks will be cursing to themselves about giving up too early.

Posted by: P-Mac | October 8, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

To play Sloan who has never skated on wing instead of Nylander who has (though his normal position is Center) is kind of silly. You know you CAN get production from Nylander. Sloan is a maybe, but probably not.

Posted by: Greg S.

Actually, Sloan skated at wing for Boudreau in Hershey. He's a very good skater, and I believe he will do better as a checking line winger than Nylander would as a checking line winger.

Bottom line: Nylander is NOT a checking line ANYTHING. Center, wing, defenseman, GOALIE, Nylander does not play on the checking line.

Posted by: irockthered | October 8, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Folks.....I made no comment one way or the other on Kronwell, it was just an FYI...lol

Posted by: RichC3 | October 8, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Nylander is all about the money.

We need him off the books...he is not worth his paycheck...thats all there is too it...

We want that cap space come playoff time...he wont play so he does not get hurt...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 8, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Here's what the lineup could look like tonight:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin

Laich-Morrison-Knuble

Laing-Steckel-Clark

Sloan-Gordon-Bradley

Morrisonn-Green

Schultz-Poti

Erskine-Pothier

Theodore

Posted by: SA-Town | October 8, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@RichC3

sorry about that. rofl.

Posted by: P-Mac | October 8, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Greg S.:
1) How does this:
"Sure Nylander has played well for the Caps. But, he hasn't played well consistently."

Translate into "but he's definately not worthless like you make him out to be"?

2) I said that I wasn't talking about breakaways or quasi breakaways on the drive the center lane example. I'm talking driving the center lane upon entering the zone like Morrison did the other night. Maybe he isn't that type of player but I betcha the coaches liked what Morrison did. And if Nylander did that maybe he'd be playing instead of being a healthy scratch.

I have nothing against the guy. He just isn't bringing what the coaching staff is looking for. It doesn't make him bad or the coaching staff bad guys. It just means he it isn't a good fit.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | October 8, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

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