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Steckel Out 2-3 Weeks

Checking line center David Steckel suffered a broken right index finger in the third period tonight when he was struck by a shot. He is going to miss two to three weeks, according to the team.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 5, 2008; 11:25 PM ET
 
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Next: Huet: 'I'm Ready'

Comments

Well, no offensive loss other than faceoffs. He's been the go-to guy on face offs.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 5, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

This is a big loss...Ferorov is going to have to take more face-offs..and even worse, Gordon is still going to have to play

Posted by: opus | March 5, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Or as he's sometimes called...Fedorov..oops

Posted by: opus | March 5, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Dang it! Bad timing to lose Stecks!

Posted by: Tracy | March 5, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Please note that I said no OFFENSIVE loss, other than face-offs. He doesn't generate much in terms of points. I think we have enough face-off artists on the team.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 5, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

This should please the Laing fans...

Posted by: Jill | March 5, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Too bad is was not Poti. POTI SUCKS!!!! He was personally responsible for the only goal the Sabres scored, first he did not clear, then he left his guy standing in the crease and hit him after the goal was scored. He also let three Sabres skate around him and take shots on goal. He was an F-ing pylon tonight, bench him till April. Jurcina and Schultz were only a little better, our D was pathetic. Screw all the Kolzig haters on this list, with that D Roy would have looked bad most nights.

Posted by: Bob | March 5, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Laing fan, but it always sucks when a spot is opened up due to injury. It's always better when the coach has more options, rather than less.

Posted by: Kurt | March 5, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Tarik -

Why know mention of Pothier in your WaPost article? What's his status? BTW, wish Clarkie would re-consider and come back vs. Boston. That's his 32nd B-day!!!!Anyway, does Pothier even come to K-Plex? The longer he's out without much mention... it's starting to sound more career ending??? Is it?

Posted by: Tracy | March 5, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

@Bob

Does Green suck, too? He's been responsible for a lot of goals, too. Take the 3rd one against the Leafs, for example. There he took the puck out from under Olie's glove and then lost it behind the net to a Leaf. They scored on that. AO sucks, too because he looses the puck all the time because of the stupid curve on his stick. How many break-aways did we see on that? How many chances on PP have we given up because of that? Same with Semin, Backstrom, Kov... Coach B sucks becuase he doesn't run our lines all the time... They all suck. We're back to the Crapitals!

Posted by: Greg S. | March 5, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Bob, what do you think of defenseman Tom Poti? Do you feel his play is coming along nicely?

Posted by: Kip | March 5, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Clark should come back when he is ready, and not a moment sooner. Remember, he already tried coming back too soon once this season.

Posted by: Jill | March 5, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

My wife is going to be distraught...she'd leave me for Steckel in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Sam | March 5, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

@Jill

Oh I agree! I don't want Clarkie to re-injury himself!!! It's killed me he's missed as many games as he's one of my all time favorite NHLers. Also one of the main reasons I decided to head to Boston for the road game... It was his b-day too. Fortunately he'll be there to see the huge banner I had made for the trip. I meant him returning would have been a cool b-day present for him.

Posted by: Tracy | March 5, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Are you not pleased?

Posted by: jillfan | March 6, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

This stinks. Does Laich move back to a C position now?

Poti had a rough patch tonight. He confuses me. At times he plays extremely well and at other times he looks like a statue. Not the kind of play you expect from a seasoned vet.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | March 6, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Tough break about Steckel.. when we look back on this season (whether the Caps make the playoffs or not) we will be amazed at how many serious, long-term injuries the Caps have dealt with.

But for now...

Laich should move to third-line center.

Fehr should move to second-line right wing.

That brings Laing back into the lineup on the left side of the third or fourth line, or maybe Fleischmann on some nights when Bruce thinks he needs more offense.

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | March 6, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Oh - and GREAT game by Kolzig tonight.

I've been critical of him all year.. maybe all he needed was a serious threat to his job security.

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | March 6, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Can't fault anyone tonight. BB made the right call putting Kolzig in, as it means Huet can spend the rest of the week nursing his back and preparing for the game Saturday. He's also given the option of starting Olie on Saturday and Huet against the Pens (what I'd personally prefer).

Nice work boys - let's keep it up with some wins this weekend! Oh, and GET WELL SOON STECKEL!

Posted by: Raber | March 6, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

@Oneal: Not that I'd prefer this, but BB might also move Flash back into the lineup. I think we need some more grit, but we'll find out if Laing gets recalled tomorrow.

Posted by: Raber | March 6, 2008 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Losing Stekel hurts. Boudreau has been starting games with him and his linemates Cooke and Bradley. They set the tone with rentless forechecking. All four lines on the Caps are really putting intense pressure on the teams with their forecheck. That is a part of Ovechkin's game that is often overlooked. His speed, physical play and desire for the puck create alot of turnovers.

Caps fans have to really enjoy watching Kolzig rise to the occassion. Suddenly, the team has two hot goalies. They way things are going if Johnson ever gets to play again, he will probably post a shutout. Really must be tough for him since he has actually played better than Kolzig. Without the Huey pick-up he may have become the main man in goal down the stretch.

Posted by: rogerr | March 6, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, the day after a game to the coaches and players get together andwatch film of previous nights game? Do they watch film together of the next team they will play? Film study is big in football, for pitchers and hitters in baseball, for defenses in Basketball. What about ockey?

Posted by: rogerr | March 6, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Looked like Olie played pretty good tonight! I'm pretty happy about the idea of a Olie/Huet combo for the next year or two, kinda like the detroit duo. Olie still plays great, especially when he doesn't have to play 72 games a season. I'm also really liking having federov on the team, i think he could teach the young guys some valuable leasons. I really hope both come back next year. Any chance Federov could play wing next year with Nylander and Semin, that would probably be a pretty fun line to watch. Obviously, OV, Kozlov and Backstrom should stay together forever!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 3:20 AM | Report abuse

I said about a month ago that BB will look like a genius if the 'rest Olie' plan worked and sure enough Kolzig's numbers since he started playing fewer games have gone right back to those we'd taken for granted back when. Johnny's a great guy, but I'd like to see Kolzig and Huet get signed over the summer and do the binary star thing for a while. It improved goaltending overall and gives us a chance to let Kolzig enjoy the success he's helped the team build for.

And man...8th place is not so far away... Kinda funny - we've seen 1st and 15th, now 3rd or 8th would do....

Posted by: TheCapitalist | March 6, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Sam:
I am definitely in your Briere club - can't stand that guy, regardless of what team he is on. He's a dirty, cheap little player ... he needs a good smack upside the head. Also, RE: Steckel, your wife is not alone ...

Steckel has been good this year, but he is not the best guy we have. Besides, Clarkie is almost back ... Laing can fill in the gap in the meantime (although not in the center, of course). I don't want to lose any of our guys, but there could be worse ones to go. He'll be back in time for the playoffs ... :-)

Bubba:
The game (and the pre-show) were on CSN+ (Cox 74) all night - the guide was wrong.

Posted by: Boo! | March 6, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Oneal:
Way to man up RE: Kolzig (seriously). If only the other Olie haters were not so one-sided. Contrary to poplular belief, I am not a one-sided Olie lover, I just think he deserves a little respect (not a guaranteed job). You call 'em like you see 'em - that's admirable.

Posted by: Boo! | March 6, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

I have to admit, Olie played extremely well.

Too bad about Steckel. He is a key player for face offs and the PK. I would rather see Laing take that spot than Flash.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | March 6, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

TheCapitalist:
Yup, I think the duo will work nicely. And I was looking at the standings, too - the way the Canes are playing, we may see 8 before 3! Don't forget, we were lower than 15, too - we were as deep in the basement as you could go! :-/ Like I said in a previous post, this has been a TREMENDOUS season, regardless of how it ends. The boys deserve our props no matter what at this point.

Posted by: Boo! | March 6, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

BearsWoooo:
I agree - I don't get it with Flash, although, now that I think about it, he probably will get the nod. :-/ I hope BB gives Laing a chance to get back into the game ... it would be nice to see him out there again. Having said that, it may be a moot point if Clark is ready to go.

Posted by: Boo! | March 6, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

I would love to see Clark back in the line up. But I'd definitely take Laing's grit and grinding over Flash's getting knocked off the puck constantly.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | March 6, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

This is horrible news for a checking line that just flat-out produces. Also hurts the PK big time. I'd hope BB sees our PK as a major reason we are hanging onto leads in big games. Laing has to be the replacement.

Posted by: FFS Enough | March 6, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Listening to the post-game interviews for the last two games ... "Don't Stop Believin'" is playing the locker room again. What a fitting song for those guys! :-) That's pretty cool.

Posted by: Boo! | March 6, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Lindy Ruff said that the reviewed goal was not a goal. He said they thought it was at first, but upon review he agreed with the call. I don't think it was lip-service; he was pretty adament about it. Given the final score it was a moot point, but I suppose it could have changed the momentum. He also said Ovie was DANGEROUS and that he is hard to match since he skates for so long! :-)

Posted by: Boo! | March 6, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

If Lindy Ruff thought the refs blew the call on the no goal, I think he would be prety vocal about it. he isn't a shy kind of guy.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | March 6, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Hey Sam and Boo --

While Steckle is out you better keep track of your wives to see where they may be at all times. Get in on Bang a Gong!

Posted by: Terminator | March 6, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Laing is a much better PK so I'm hoping he gets the nod for the game...plus he's physical which would be good against Boston who is out to get blood I'm sure!

Posted by: K | March 6, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

@Terminator
lol I think Boo! was speaking for herself :D

Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I like Stecks too, but having so many checking line type forwards that are already seasoned in NHL games comes in handy right about now. GMGM doesn't look too bad right now.

Can't the darn Canes lose a couple for us!

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | March 6, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

After a wide-open first seven minutes of the second period, Ales Kotalik, from the blueline, blasted a power-play slap shot through the pads of Kolzig, who was screened by Thomas Vanek to tie the score 1-1.

Tarik,
It was clearly a wrist shot.
But... alright, I am with you, let's give a slack to Olie. He played above his own average.

Posted by: Yo | March 6, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Terminator/mauree:
Uh ... yeah ... I don't have a wife. I was not speaking for myself, but I certainly was not speaking for my wife ... :-)

Posted by: Boo! | March 6, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Yo:
You could learn something from Oneal ...

Posted by: Boo! | March 6, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

@Boo!
I meant 15th in conference...we were really that far down!.... Not sure if we were 30th in league and don't care...just thinking playoffs which was hard at 15th in conference! I see playoffs making Ovechtank hungry - let's see if he can keep up this week's 2.5 goal average. (hey that would be decent for a goalie!) Also it's good to see some give and take. I'm not 100% for or against any player... just have to be reasonable or it's just ranting... I like it when people start a post with GMGM or Player X sucks etc, that way I know just a few words in I can go straight past it. I also love the folks that declare themselves MRHOCKEYGENIUS, again, skip... Some people don't understand the connection between humility and credibility.

Posted by: TheCapitalist | March 6, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

The biggest impact of Steck being out will be his faceoff abilities. This will sting a little bit. But we do have some capeable forwards ready to go.


Tonight we will be rooting for:

Minnesota
NY Rangers (as much as it pains me)
Tampa Bay
Florida (just because ;)\

Lets go Caps!!

Posted by: cs | March 6, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

TheCapitalist:
AMEN!! I could not agree more. And I knew what you meant, it was just much worse than that! :-) It really couldn't get any worse, which makes it such a great story - regardless of the ending. (BTW, I think you have created a monster - surely someone will start using the MRHOCKEYGENIUS screen name!! ;-))

Posted by: Boo! | March 6, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

"I also love the folks that declare themselves MRHOCKEYGENIUS, again, skip... Some people don't understand the connection between humility and credibility." - TheCapitalist

Well said. I've heard enough from the self proclaimed "experts" telling us that they are the only ones on this board that understand hockey. I find that the ones who proclaim this do so only because their argument has no real substance, and they never have anything solid to back up any of their claims. So they instead go on the attack and tell us that they are an expert and we don't know anything. I think most of us dismiss these people with a hearty Yeah...whatever...

Posted by: BearsWoooo | March 6, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

BearsWoooo:
You said it! And notice how quiet they are when things don't go the way they say they will?!? That's the problem with being one-sided - you can only show up 1/2 the time; and if you try to show up all the time, then 1/2 the time you have to have some bogus arguement. It's SO tired.

Posted by: Boo! | March 6, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

@cs:

I hate the Pens but I would rather them help wipe out the Panthers. We won't catch the Pens anyway so only FLA can hurt us. Let's save the hate for Sunday!

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | March 6, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

@TheCapitalist

I'm positive we were alone (point-wise) in #30 so it had to be at least one point. If I recall correctly it was 2 points less than #29.


Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

@CT Caps Fan - I guess you are right, I shouldn't count Florida out yet. Will be sure to save my rage for Sunday.

Posted by: cs | March 6, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

you proved me wrong last night Olie. Good work my old friend. Now put Huet in this weekend!

Posted by: fansince72 | March 6, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else see a correlation between things hitting Olie in the head and his level of play increasing?

Posted by: AP | March 6, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

As one of Oldzig's stern critics, I have to admit that he had quite a game last night.

Posted by: Finn | March 6, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

AP - Good Point! Maybe he needs a good shot in the head to help him focus. Or as Locker would say "a kabong on the ol' coconatta" ;)

Posted by: BearsWoooo | March 6, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Oneal

Oh - and GREAT game by Kolzig tonight.

I think you're the first one (and only one) of the perceived haters :) to compliment his game.

I've been saying for awhile now that while he is not the Olie of old, he still has some gas left in the tank when given the necessary rest.

Posted by: Yosh | March 6, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad Olie did what I wanted him to do to shut all of the mindless anti-Olie types up.

I'm glad Quintin will be getting some playing time, but not at all happy that it's at the expense of Steckel. :(

Posted by: Jordan | March 6, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I can't imagine who I'd rather have in net for each of this weekend's games. Beating Boston will be tough, as they are going to be hungry like the wolf (I smell fear, I smell blood, and I'm comin to eat-choo).

Then again, the Nat-TV matchup with Pitt is a showcase game for the league and we need to put our best team out for that. If we come away with 2 points from the weekend I'll be pleased.

I'll be even more pleased if Olie gets win 300. I'm getting troubled at the lack of milestone-awareness by the TV guys. Brash is close, Olie is close and no mention from the guys in the booth.

Posted by: FFS Enough | March 6, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

i bash kolzig too and admit he played well untill that last play when they tried to stuff he had the puck but.....he fell in the net?no one pushed him in
either way good gaem for him good win for us

Posted by: andrey | March 6, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

5 more wins to complete the first of © TWO 7 Game Win Streaks

Time to head hunt the Bruins and the Pens...

Need losses by Philly, Boston, and Caronlina tonight... Rangers could lose too - I will be okay with that.

The Caps need to try and catch those 6th & 7th place spots - not just Carolina (3rd) a Philly (8th).

Posted by: 828 | March 6, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Re: Ruff & the non goal

"It wasn't a goal. I watched it and it was the right call," said coach Lindy Ruff. "When the whistle went, the puck's on the goal line. It's really close but it was the right call."

source: http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/story/292679.html

Posted by: Yosh | March 6, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@FFS -- with regards to Olie and milestones, I say they should treat it like a shutout. Don't mention it until the clock is over and PRAISE IT (that's what I'd do...)

----

Glad to see the Olie haters admitting that he played great last night. Takes a big person to admit when they are wrong. Props to them.

Let's take it 1 game at a time and keep hope alive. GO CAPS GO!!!

Posted by: Go Skins Go | March 6, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be nice to beat the hated Pens in front of a packed house?

Posted by: Finn | March 6, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

FFS Enough,

I would say making the playoffs is more important than 300 wins or 300 points... I am 100% sure the players would agree.

Maybe it's like a jinx as well and the announcers have been advised to not say anything until it happens.

Posted by: 828 | March 6, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Finn,

Unfortunately, a ton of Pens fans are going to be there.

Can the phantom person who put the Crosby "I'm Thirsty" picture in the urinals please do it again... Maybe add Malkin as well?

Posted by: 828 | March 6, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

828,

That would be even nicer! To see all those drunk Pens fans go home with nothing?

Posted by: Finn | March 6, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Finn,

and have to pee on their two best players...

Posted by: 828 | March 6, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

828,

That would be awesome!

Posted by: Finn | March 6, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: More Props for Ovie | March 6, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Oh how we love to waffle... GMGM is the worst, Olie needs to never play / GMGM is brilliant, Olie still has it in him...

I don't think the many people believe that Olie can't be a good goalie. His problem is consistency. Thank god he was on last night, enough to beat the sabers one night after they played Philly.

However, I could still find quite a few times while watching the game where I felt like he was just behind the puck, giving up juicy rebounds, or otherwise not looking like the goalie he used to be.

Does anyone else not get that empty feeling in their stomach EVERY time he leaves the crease or goes behind the net ("what's he going to do now", "which team is he going to throw the puck to")? Even worse, don't you get worried as soon as the other team has the puck behind the net ("Are they going to score from behind him again")?

I don't have those feelings when Johnson or Huet is in net.

So yeah.. Olie played well last night.. or well enough to get the W in regulation. Still doesn't change my opinion about who our best options in net are.

Honestly, DC is known for it's fickle fans. So to hear the Olie haters praise him after 1 good game is just as typical as it is to jump on his back for 1 bad game. However, he's proven over the past 2 years that he's not as good as he used to be. Now that the team in front of him can't be blamed as easily, it's time to really address the issue. The ONLY thing i've ever seen GMGM do that i've liked in the past 4 years was his activity during the trade deadline. At least he made 1 good move in seeing that too. (Bring BB to coach was a great idea, only one month too late).

Here's to hoping that one of the worst GM's in the game, and one old tired goalie, are able to pull out their A games for the rest of this year and help the rest of the team to the playoffs.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | March 6, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@ FFS

Huet in goal for the Bruins. He has owned them in the past. Of course, his back has to be better. Johnson for the Pens -- the Caps need someone with good lateral movement the way the Pens move the puck. Back to Huet for the Flames and then Kolzig for the Thrashers to close in on 300.

BTW, Kolzig got his bell rung on that awesome poke on the break-away and played very well. Way to go, Zilla!

Posted by: JIM | March 6, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Clark travelled with the team to Buffalo, but is he practicing yet? Getting back Cap'n Clark for the playoff push, after losing Steckel for 2-3 weeks would be great. The Caps are going to miss Steck's physical presence and face-offs. Somebody (Laich or Gordon) has to man-up.

Posted by: JIM | March 6, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Sucks about Steckel...thank God we have someone to fill his spot on the PK.
GO LAING GO!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: hockeyguru | March 6, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Just took a quick look at the standings and the East is so close that I feel the Caps may not need to win the division to get in the playoffs. We are right on the heels of the Rangers, Bruins, and Flyers. All it would take is for the Caps to go on a nice stretch where we at least get a point out of every game.

I took a look at the bottom of the standings and it looks like Tampa Bay is pretty much done for the season. Which makes me think, what if they get the number one pick and add Steve Stamkos to their line up. Along with Lecavalier and St. Louis, they could rebound quickly next year.

Posted by: Lowell | March 6, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I'm not as hard on Olie as some people here, but I've definitely been on him this season over subpar play. He was gangbusters last night - easily his best display of the year. Perhaps the specter of being driven out by a younger, highly talented goalie gave him the oomph that he needed to pick up his game.

That was win #299 for Kolzig. Getting #300 in front of a packed house, broadcast coast to coast on NBC, and against Cindy and the Penscum would be incredible. Huet should be in net for Boston on Saturday, Olie at home on Sunday.

Posted by: HolyOlie | March 6, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

If there are crosby photos in the urinals, I will drink 4 extra beers.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | March 6, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

@Tarik (and his editor),

Do you have a new stats person in the dead tree version? The standings this morning were not done to norms. They had everyone by points-including Carolina and San Jose- instead of having them seeded 3rd as they should be as division leaders. Yes there was a note that that's how seeding is done, but frankly it was strange to see Carolina listed at 7. My immediate thought was "Who's in first in the SE then?" only to see that Montreal was in third (also wrong-they are the 2 seed).

Please change this back to comport with the seeding norms.

Thanks.

Posted by: old time hockey | March 6, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Johnson has barely been getting action at practice, i don't see him playing in a nationally televised game on Sunday.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | March 6, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Ok. Boys and girls get back to reality:
GMGM sucks
Olie sucks
Semin sucks
Koslov sucks
Poti sucks
Russians sucks
Ovie no sucks
Laing no sucks
Johnson maybe sucks
Backstrom sometimes sucks
Tarik no sucks


Posted by: x | March 6, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

@ Sombero Guy

300 for Kolzig on national tv and over the Pens would be awesome.

I just don't think Ollie's style is best for the Caps chances of winning because the Pens move the puck well creating a lot of lateral movement for a goalie. Also, Ollie has been prone to give up juicy rebounds, and with as much offensive balance the Pens have, I prefer a goalie who controls the puck better.

Whoever is in the net, I want a big win over the Pens. The Caps with Federov can play with the Pens, having two legetimate pivots on two legit scoring lines.

It's a bummer that Stecks won't be centering the shut-down line. They have been awesome lately.

Posted by: JIM | March 6, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

What on earth will the Olie haters do? He's no longer last in any statistical category -- tied for 17th in wins, 39th in GAA and 44 S%. Still not great, but certainly much improved throughout the last month. I'm not a Kolzig lover, but those with the irrational hatred have lost perspective -- especially the personal attacks.

Posted by: Hook | March 6, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Very typical reaction to a good game by Olie. Olie played very good last night, the goal he let in was a screened shot, not his fault.

One game or two games or even 5 games doesnt make you a top tier goalie.

I watched the game in a bar in Alexandria last night, and there was an older couple sitting in front of me, in their 50's. They were there to watch the Caps too. After a few minutes of conversation Kolzig came up, this was her quote, "he sucks", as she she put one finger into her mouth as to gag herself, not really the response from a older woman drinking red wine wearing David Yurman jewelry. Her husband plays in a senior hockey league and they are both season ticket holders.

The debate will go on and on. Olie apologizers will use games like BUF as an example of how good Olie is. Olie haters will use his season long stats and record as their excuse for replacing him with Huet.

I personally have no issue with Olie, he just inst that good anymore. I would like Huet to play the majority of the games when he's healthy.

The personal attacks in here are getting ridiculous. Live and let live people. People who hate Olie arent idiots and people who love him arent moronic.

I'm enjoying my hangover.

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@Oneal

I too have been critical, although not as vocal. I'm curious to see how much that game took out of him.

He was much quicker than he has been this season and literally owned the net. I have a feeling he's a bit sore today. :)

Posted by: keef | March 6, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Can't see what the complaining is about? 13 goals for vs 3 against last 2 games, and we are 2 points out of a playoff spot! Lines look solid; new players are contributing hugely (thanks GMGM!); getting secondary scoring; goalies are playing well; and the defense has been steller. What else can we nit-pick?

Posted by: Hew | March 6, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

AP:
I have to admit, I thought the same thing last night ... poor Olie's head - this superstition could make for a bumpy rest of the season!

fricknoutstandin:
I applaud the haters who complimented his game. They did not say that he is all that and a bag of chips, just that he played well LAST NIGHT. That does not make the fickle - it makes them honest and genuine. Kudos for not being stubborn (unlike some people ...).

Posted by: Boo! | March 6, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

written yesterday:

LAING4PRES,

HECK YOUR SIGN ON NAME SAYS ENOUGH. I NEED COMMENT NO FURTHER ON YOUR OPINIONS. WHEN KOLZIG LOSES THE GAME FOR US THIS EVENING I WANT YOU TO REMEMBER YOUR "BELLY-ACHING" COMMENT.

heh heh heh heh heh


And don't Buffalo fans know that OV thrives on adversity? They should try cheering him next time if they don't want him to score.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Sorry keef, Olie didn't "literally" own the net. The HSBC Arena "literally" owns the net. Olie figuratively owned the net last night. But you are right, he played very well. I wish he played that well every time he is in net.

Posted by: Just sayin' | March 6, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

@Boo

Yeah, I said it, he played above his own average. :-) What else do you want me to say?

Putting him in goals at home on Sunday sounds good, but too risky... If Huet plays well and won't have too much load I'd rather see him vs. Pens. Let Olie make his 300 win some other day when playoffs are guaranteed.

Posted by: Yo | March 6, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Let's not go overboard on Olie's performance last night. Yes, he had a solid game. But there were too many rebounds left out in front of the net. Sabres either mis-fired / wiffed or our d-men did their jobs in clearing those rebounds away. Huet does not give up nearly as many second / third chance rebounds as Olie. If he's physically ready, Huet should start both games this weekend.

Posted by: 8 is enuf | March 6, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@ YO

Put Ollie in the pipes before a Friday night crowd vs. the Trashers (my spelling). It's his best for a W for 300 and a friendly home crowd (the Pens game crowd will be mixed). Ollie has a good record vs. ATL. Huet owns Boston. Either Huet or Johnson match up best vs. the Pens in terms of goaltending style.

Posted by: JIM | March 6, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

LAING4PRES,

HECK YOUR SIGN ON NAME SAYS ENOUGH. I NEED COMMENT NO FURTHER ON YOUR OPINIONS. WHEN KOLZIG LOSES THE GAME FOR US THIS EVENING I WANT YOU TO REMEMBER YOUR "BELLY-ACHING" COMMENT.

Where is Mitch? Je me souviens!
laing4pres for President!

Posted by: kevbpgc | March 6, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

To All,
How Bout them caps, glad everyone saw the same game I did last night and I find it very refreshing to everyone giving Olie the credit "he deserved last night". Olie was great, he picked it up a notch, but as stated by many this morning, the "D" really was inconsistent to say the least, no heartbreak for me about Stecks, there are others that can step in and carry the load. What a nice "O" performance last night! 8th looks good about now! Loved seeing Ovie get booed and rise to the occasion, yet to get cheers from the crowd after the second goal - he is given so much respect by the hockey world and he is a Washington Capitals player, who would have ever thought for 13 years???

Posted by: Greenie | March 6, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

@JIM

I don't know, this sounds good, but what would you say if Caps lose to Thrash? So far Thrash owned us this season.

I'd rather ride Huet as much as possible.

If it wouldn't be another great game by Ovechkin, we could be cooked. First goal, yes, Olie was screened, no question, he goes on his knees to cover low pucks, that's the right move... How on Earth he left 5 hole open? A wrist shot goal from blue line? ...hmmm...

And then he falls inside the net instead of in front of the net. Result? Puck goes in, but Toronto officials can't say on replays if it completely crossed the net or not.

So we were that close to lose the game. 3:2, 3:42 left, who knows?

That's why I am cautious, let him win his 300 win after playoffs are guaranteed.

Posted by: Yo | March 6, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I Loved OV after 2nd goal, waving to the crowd. And after Brads comment the other night about hearing the chant for 10 goals and then he went out and did it, that the players do hear the crowd and do respond. Cheers loudly and often. My nickels worth on Olie,his goals against average since the trade is less than 2 a game. Nothing like a little competiton for motivation.

Posted by: Rich C | March 6, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

if it completely crossed the net or not.

I meant crossed the red line...

Posted by: Yo | March 6, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

At least Laing4Pres signs his name...

@fricknoutstandin

"However, I could still find quite a few times while watching the game where I felt like he was just behind the puck, giving up juicy rebounds, or otherwise not looking like the goalie he used to be.

Does anyone else not get that empty feeling in their stomach EVERY time he leaves the crease or goes behind the net ("what's he going to do now", "which team is he going to throw the puck to")? Even worse, don't you get worried as soon as the other team has the puck behind the net ("Are they going to score from behind him again")? "

Where the heck are you during the games? Is Olie the goalie of old? No. Noone here will say that. He's still a good goalie, just inconsistent with an inconsistent D in front of him.

Why would I worry about him wandering behind the net?? When was this an issue? Because of a wierd deflection off of the boards or glass? How many times have I seen Brodeur get that on him?

Come on, let's get real. Huet was beat for 4 goals by AO. We shouldn't play him at all becuase he's so porous. What a worthless acquisition by gmgm.

Sheesh!

Posted by: Greg S. | March 6, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

What's happening at Kettler right now?

Posted by: Finn | March 6, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

@Just Sayin'

No, he literally owned the net. He cut it out and put it in his shorts when he skated off the ice.

Posted by: keef | March 6, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Ok then, so he literally stole the net...I can live with that:)

Posted by: Just sayin' | March 6, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@ Yo

1. The playoffs won't be garunteed until the last day of the season, most likely, b/c the standings are so packed

2. Too much Huet may lead to a nasty relapse with his back

3. This team needs two hot goalies, at least -- they have that right now

4. Olie was very good last night and he has been very good for the most part since the trade deadline (rested enough). For goodness sake, he let in ONE goal. I wish he had stopped the one, but he was SCREENED. He also had a monster poke on the breakaway and took a shot on the noggin for it.

5. I have stated that Huet and Johnson should start the next two games because (a) Huet owns the Bruins, (b) Johnson has better lateral movement and gives up less juicy rebounds than Olie -- not good against the Pens. Huet twice in a row with back spasms is asking for a relapse.

6. Kolzig and the Caps can beat the fading Trashers. Since the trade deadline, they have played pretty mediocre. A big home crowd to honor Olie will be really classy.

Posted by: JIM | March 6, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

This goalie talk is so old at this point. How many times must the same points be rehashed over and over again? Geez people, move on to something more interesting.

Posted by: Leigh | March 6, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@Leigh

What should we talk about?

What's a bigger story in WAS?

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The six game road trip will make or break this team.

Posted by: Hew | March 6, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

here's something to quiet the goalie talk...

HOW ABOUT ERSKINE's play the past few games? He single-handedly saved a goal last night and did quite a bit of boom-lowering. He had one lapse in the d zone where he didn't get an easy clearing attempt out on the PP, but we killed it off nonetheless.

Posted by: FFS Enough | March 6, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon,

Oh, I don't know.

1) The Playoff Push
2) Ovey approaching 60 goals
3) Ovey possibly on his way to winning just about every award in the offseason
4) Backy possibly on his way to winning the Calder
5) Boudreau possibly on his way to winning the Adams
6) The caps have the player with the most goals and points in the league, the rookie with the most points in the league, the defenseman with the most goals
7) How tough Saturday's game is going to be. Boston is going to be amped up.
8) Buy tickets for Sunday people! I'm sick of feeling like I'm in Pittsburgh East. This team deserves your support.

I'm sure other things can be talked about other than the goalie situation. I feel like everything has been said at this point. Some people think Olie is still a Vezina caliver goalie, others have lauded GMGM's pickup of Huet at the deadline.

Posted by: Leigh | March 6, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@Leigh

It would be nice if anyone could buy tickets to the game on Sunday. Sold out already. The only way you're getting a ticket is if you go to the other sites and you KNOW you'll get charged more than the seat is worth anyway.

Wish I could go, it's the day before my birthday!

Posted by: IrresistibleForce | March 6, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@ JSchon:
No we dont have a bigger story than the goalies... its not like we have the best player in the league or the fact that he's hilarious.

Yep none of that... just goalie issues.

jk jk

Posted by: MetalCap | March 6, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

IrresistableForce,

According to a friend of mine, that game was sold out weeks ago. I really hope that doesn't mean that the Penscum fans planned their invasion early.

Posted by: HolyOlie | March 6, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@IrresistableForce,

People might want to seek out home games against the Pens when tickets go on sale. The rivals pack that was introduced this season was designed to get more of our fans at these games, and I'm a little surprised they werent more effective. Maybe next year.

Posted by: Leigh | March 6, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@ FFS

I'm happy to eat crow re: Erksine. He has improved his play greatly lately. He is playing the stick, puck, and body, not just option 3. He has a decent slapshot. He still gives up more ground than he should in transition -- not trusting his speed, skating ability to stuff a break early (probably wise).

How bout Green's diving keep in last night? A thing of beauty -- mostly because it worked. He is very brave and keeps improving. His rushes almost look like a gifted winger. Love to watch him skating through teams opening space for OV, Semin, Backs, Kozlov, etc...

The whole team is playing with energy and confidence

Posted by: JIM | March 6, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@JIM

It makes sense. Let's hope Kolzig won't lose to Thrash :-)

I've heard on the news that Bulin was out because of back spasms. I don't know how long he was, but it could be a nasty thing. Hopefully it's minor for Huet.

Posted by: Yo | March 6, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm sandwiched up here in PA between the Flyers and Pens fans. I know quite a few Pens fans that are planning on the trip to DC on Sunday. I tired to get tickets last week, but it was sold out.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | March 6, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I am a season ticket holder and the Caps have a way that you can post the ticket at ticketmaster and sell it if you have an extra. I did that and I seriously got almost 2x what it's worth. That was pretty cool. I hope it's not a Pens fan but if it is they are going to be pretty miserable b/c almost everyone around me is a STH!

Posted by: k | March 6, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@ Yo, we'll find out Saturday. If Huet starts, he is fine. If he sits, something is up. No way should anyone but a healthy Huet play the Bruins given his career dominance of the B's.

BTW anyone notice how scalpers are buying tickets before games to resell. Earlier in the year, they were just selling as far as I could tell. A good sign for turning a profit at the phonebooth (full house).

Posted by: JIM | March 6, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@MetalCap and Leigh

Ok... you talked about it. Now what? There isnt a discussion in any of those things. No argument. We all agree on those things. Should we have 250 posts jocking OV?

Post 1
He awesome!!!!
Post 2
No, he's really awesome!!!
Post 3
You're right, I forgot the "really"
Post 4
You're both wrong, he's really really awesome

The best conversation typically is on a topic that is somewhat polarizing. OV being great and about to score 60 isnt remotely polarizing. All great things but hardly a topic for discussion for a WAS Capitals blog. Maybe if we were in a Penguins blog those topics would be interesting.

But we all agree that OV is great and should score 60, and has a realistic chance at 4 trophies. BB and Jack Adams. Backstrom and the Calder.

Maybe we should all ask Tarik when Clark is coming back or maybe Pothier. Maybe if we all ask they will come back sooner.

Maybe if we all yell loud enough in unison Q.Laing will get in the line-up.

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@ JSchon

I thought you wrote you were enjoying your hangover. Did the advil wear off? Thx for the humorous post.

Maybe we can all comment on the relative worth of Capeman's discoballs to stir the pot?

Posted by: JIM | March 6, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Jschon,

Maybe all of you goalie argument worshippers can keep it all in one blog posting, so the others, who would like to read the blog/comments but are annoyed at the repetition, can avoid reading the same comments over and over and over again.

Posted by: Leigh | March 6, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@JIM
Im a holistic healer, no pills.

Water and greasy food, or beer and greasy food. Whatever is readily available.

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone heard the story about how the Panthers tried to draft OV the year before the Caps did? Supposedly, OV was too young for the draft in 1993 by 4 days and the Panthers tried several times on draft day to get around the minimum age rule but the NHL kept saying "no can do". The Sabres announcers were talking about it on their pre-game last night. Does anyone have more details on this? Or is this make believe. At a minumum, when I hear things like this, I thank God OV is a Cap.

Posted by: 8 is enuf | March 6, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I have 10 tickets and will be there with 9 others in red jerseys

Posted by: Callejo | March 6, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@ Greg S.

I've been reading these blogs all year, just don't respond. But I know that back in October, there were MANY people hating on GMGM, and for good reason. He has made a mountain of mistakes, with one set of good moves lately. I still believe that his records speaks for itself, and i'm not impressed. Maybe he can turn it around, and as stated, I hope so. I'm just saying i'm not sold.

As for where I watch the games, the majority are at home, in front of the TV, and the rest are in section 107 when the wife cooperates. No goalie is perfect, and Olie isn't the worst. But his stick handling leads to far more turn overs then most goalies, and "miscommunications" happen far too frequently. He is also slower to react, and lets in more sloppy goals then on average then he should.

I'm just curious what the point of your retort was? Olie isn't the best option in net for the CAPS when Huet is healthy and Johnson has been practicing, and it amuses me when all the flip-floppers come out of the woodwork to praise him after a win, and slam him after a loss. That's my position, and it's fairly easy to prove if you look at the archived posts.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | March 6, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@ JSchon

How very Burger King buddhist of you or is it the Zen of a local diner and bar? If you ever convert to pills, vitamin b-12 is a life saver and provides for florescent urine, so it's almost as entertaining as asparagus pee

Posted by: JIM | March 6, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I sympathize with your quandary. I feel the same way when I read about the Clark and Pothier health questions.

Unfortunately, I have no control over the situation. I do have have a choice to either read it or not read it, as do you.

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what the status is on Clark and Pothier's injuries?

That one's for you buddy! j/k.

Posted by: Leigh | March 6, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Clark is skating still unsure of a time when he'll be better. Pothier hasn't even been seen around

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@FFS,
I'm not convinced about Erskine, still waiting to see him as a more consistent guy, or maybe I was just hoping - he had a very good game all the way around last night. Still not sure??? I see brilliance in Green, hope it's not a one season thing for him, seems consistent, but must always be paired with a stay at home guy!! - my favorite "D" of all time - "Calle Johansson"!!! Want Laing and Clarkie back!

Posted by: Greenie | March 6, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

i think Backstrom should be getting more respect from the rest of the league...he should be the front runner for the calder, but the two chicago boys keep overshadowing him.

Posted by: Hew | March 6, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@ Hew

If Backstrom keeps playing like he has of late and the Caps make the postseason, he'll get strong consideration.

Posted by: JIM | March 6, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

post 250
You guys are idiots, he is really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really awesome. GET IT RIGHT!

sheesh

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

This is off-topic but who cares.

Some of my earliest and happiest memories are going to the Capital Centre with my dad to watch the Caps and Denis Maruk.

In this great article in the Times...

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080306/SPORTS06/160751293/home.html

... they interviewed Maruk, and it turns out he's still keeping an eye on the Caps. And he even played with Boudreau in juniors!

The article ends with a suggestion that the Caps bring Maruk back to Washington to watch Alex shoot for his record (60 in a season). I know the individual accomplishments don't mean as much as the playoffs, but I think it's a fantastic idea.

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | March 6, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@ 8 is enuf

That is a true story about Ovechkin. At the time, Florida argued that since there had been four leap years in Ovechkin's lifetime, he should be considered old enough for the 2003 draft.

The NHL didn't buy it, and the rest is history.

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | March 6, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I always liked watching Maruk and his fu man chu. He was the king of cherry pickers in those days. I think off the top of my head he had like 132 points one season, but do not quote me there. Came here cheap right after the Northstars and seals merged, they had to many players. Anyway as far as Pennies fans, they will be here as always. Ted used to block anyone from certain area codes after the Cup Finals and there were more wings fan than caps at the game, it was a lesson learned at the time. Dont forget..early start not the time on tickets.

Posted by: Rich C.. | March 6, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, I think Backie sees the ice better than any Rookie to play the game, maybe even better than Forsberg.

Posted by: Greenie | March 6, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Oneal

Then FLA would have been wrong as there was no leap year in 2000. :^)

Posted by: FFS Enough | March 6, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

FFS Enough..

That's awesome.. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that meeting..

FL - "We'd like to draft Ovechkin"

NHL - "He's too young, by four days"

FL - "Or so you may think! Actually, there have been four leap years in his lifetime, so he's old enough"

NHL (after consulting NHL's resident leap year expert) - "We admit, that is a solid argument. However, there was no leap year in 2000. Therefore, Ovechkin is one day too young for this year's draft. Good luck with Nathan Horton."

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | March 6, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Was it the Seals or the Cleveland Barons?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

My bad... I forgot 2000 was divisible by 400, there was one in 2000.

Posted by: FFS Enough | March 6, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

You may be right, as one point they were the seals or barons, they moved the francise but I do not remember the order...will google...let u know

Posted by: Rich C | March 6, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

OV and South Beach. Now that would've been a scary combination!

Posted by: 8 is enuf | March 6, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

After nine money-losing seasons and continued low attendance, minority owners George and Gordon Gund persuaded Swig to move the team to their hometown of Cleveland in June 1976, where they were renamed the Barons. After two more years of losses, the Gunds (by this time majority owners) were permitted to merge the Barons with the financially struggling Minnesota North Stars. The merged team continued as the Minnesota North Stars under the Gunds' ownership, but assumed the Barons' place in the Adams Division.

Posted by: Rich C | March 6, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Tarik has a new post. Huet is in against the Bs

Posted by: BearsWoooo | March 6, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

While I battle my hangover, here some numbers to chew on. Thank goodness for leftover pad thai.

There are really 7 teams battling for the play-offs. WAS, CAR, BUF, NYI, NYR, PHI and BOS.

Of these remaining teams, CAR has the easiest road ahead in terms of opponent records.

CAR .460 6H, 7A
WAS .476 7H, 7A
BOS .489 8H, 7A
PHI .496 8H, 7A
BUF .498 7H, 7A
NYI .503 6H, 8A
NYR .507 6H, 9A

*BUF plays CAR twice.

*PHI has a really hard finishing 6 games
they host NYR, NYI, then road games @NYR, back to back @NJ and @NYI then @PIT, then they host NJ and finish with PIT

*NYR's last 10 games are all against division foes.

Most of these teams will be lucky to go .500 the rest of the way.

Posted by: JSchon | March 6, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Haven't posted before, but thought I would share that my son and I are die-hard Caps fans who moved to L.A. six years ago. He is 10 now and we have had the hockey package on Direct TV the whole time. He has converted his ENTIRE group of L.A. friends to Caps fans and many is the afternoon (games are usually on at 4:00 or 4:30 out here)that our living room will be packed with them -- they all have gotten their parents to buy them Caps jerseys.

We want the 3 spot, but some among our Left Coast Fan Club would like to see us get 8 and eliminate the Pens in the first round to start a precedent of returning the favor!

Posted by: B&E in L.A. | March 6, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon,
Good way to look at it! Nice presentation!
Sometimes I think we play better on the road although stats don't always conclued that for us. Feel like Ovie can bring any crowd to their feet, Road or Home!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

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