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Sunday Update

Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Viktor Kozlov, Sergei Fedorov, Michael Nylander, Shaone Morrisonn and Brent Johnson didn't take part in this morning's optional practice.

Coach Bruce Boudreau said Johnson is "feeling under the weather" and that Jose Theodore will start in net tomorrow afternoon (Don't forget the game's at 2 p.m.) against the Islanders.

*Boyd Gordon (back spasms) will likely be back in the lineup against the Islanders, Boudreau said, adding that Gordon didn't play against the Bruins Saturday because the team had no need to rush him back.

*Meanwhile, neither Poti nor Morrisonn are making the trip to New York and Ottawa and aren't expected to be back until after the All Star break. That means that Karl Alzner and Bryan Helmer are here for now.

*As the team prepares for the All Star break after hitting the 60-point plateau on the season, Boudreau said the improvements he'd like to see are more consistency on defense and on the penalty kill. After Marc Savard's goal for the Bruins last night the Caps have now given up at least one power play goal in each of their past six games.

"We can kill penalties like we did at the end of the game and be outstanding," Boudreau said. "And we can give up goals that aren't good goals to give up. We'd like to be more consistent with that."

*The Caps have defeated three top teams in the Eastern Conference -- New York, Philadelphia and Boston -- in the past seven games all by a 2-1 score, which Boudreau says proves that despite all the offensive firepower Washington can play a tight game.

Those wins are "an indicator that we can play that way if we put our mind to it," he said. "If you take last night against a really good team, we don't give them a lot and the goalie plays great. Then there are nights where we're going to win 6-5. We're not consistent on the defensive end. I would like to be more consistent defensively and on the penalty kills and continue status-quo with the rest of the stuff."

By Katie Carrera  |  January 18, 2009; 12:55 PM ET
 
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Comments

Yes! "The Boyd" is back!

Posted by: boyd_gordon_shootout_specialist | January 18, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Good overall performance by everyone last night. I thought before the game it would turn into a game like the Sharks/Wings game and be an end to end rush, but glad to see a good tight defensive hockey game also. Get some rest and have fun on the road trip and come back with a couple of wins boys!

Posted by: caps28fan | January 18, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

boyd_gordon_shootout_specialist:
Glad that YOU got the first post - that was timely for this thread! :-)

I was reading the comments on ESPN's power rankings - I thought the ONLY comment for the Habs was interesting:

"Mark it down: Feb. 18. That's the next time the Canadiens face off against the Caps."

Bring it on!

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 18, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

looks like some of the guys may have done some partying last night

Posted by: _stevo | January 18, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

the rangers look awful right now. i love having sunday hockey back on nbc (shocker the first game was the penguins)

Posted by: _stevo | January 18, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

WIll we see the Semin-Feds-Flash line tomorrow against NYI? Sweet heaven I hope so.

Posted by: DrAdamson | January 18, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@Boo: Bring it on, indeed. :)

Does anyone else find it interesting that the top two teams in the East and the top two teams in the West faced off against one another last night, and the two games were absolutely night and day different from one another? One was a tight defensive deadlock, and the other was a Wild West shootout? This has some interesting implications, at least to me. It's proof that all four teams can play defense and all four teams can play offense.

Re: Alzner and Lady Byng from previous thread - acknowledged that Alzner has to become an elite player first, but I think that'll happen in a couple of years. I wasn't thinking it'd be this year, but possibly a couple of years down the line.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Gordo should help out on the PK too.
That's an area we really need to improve it we want to go deep in the playoffs.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 18, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Rangers/Penguins games and the comments on fighting. "Code" and "you don't go after skill players". I think Crosby sacrificed that sacred no-touch status when he sucker-punched McLean off the faceoff? When you initiate a fight as a skill player, you become fair game for the enforcers. I don't think Orr was out of line code-wise for going after Crosby.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Great game. The goal against was odd though, it seemed like the Bruins couldn't believe Jose was so far out of the way.

Now to crush Ottowa and NYI and keep getting ground on the Bruins.

Posted by: trunkenmath | January 18, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone notice that the Caps have a tendecy of getting a penalty at the end of a period? Not every period, but in every game lately I began noticing that quirk. But as someone else said it, we are winning and i aint complaning.

Posted by: opita | January 18, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's to a 2 point pick up on the Island.
Go Caps!

Posted by: ridgely1 | January 18, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Chara was a painful reminder of how dominate a large , physical defenseman can be. Even Ochekin was trying to snipe from the opposite side of the net.

If we could please find a physical defenseman before the deadline, heck why can't we just keep Witt when he comes down here tomorrow?

Posted by: gtydings | January 18, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Optia:
YES!! We have lost games to last minute penalties ... :-/

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 18, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Like everyone else, I'm looking for two points on the Island on Monday. As I said in the last thread, for the rest of the hockey season, it is bear-hunting season in DC. When you're hunting bear, you've got to keep the gun loaded.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Keep Witt?!? Dude, he's a total pylon.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 18, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Bear hunting season? I thought it was Wabbitt season!

Posted by: boyd_gordon_shootout_specialist | January 18, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Duck season!...

Posted by: fullright | January 18, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

DUCK SEASON!

No, as long as we're chasing the Bruins for the #1 seed, it's going to be bear-hunting season in DC. Also, remember we've got the Flyers and the Habs breathing down our necks.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Wabbitt season!

Posted by: boyd_gordon_shootout_specialist | January 18, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

After bear season ends, can we go shark fishing, please?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Witt is better than Jurcina, Collins, Pothier, Poti, and Morrison

Posted by: gtydings | January 18, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

or red-wing...tire...deflating. or dallas star...shooting, or something. Or edmonton oiler...soaking up. and, disposing of properly at your local...automotive recycling facility.


i gotta go. gotta see a guy about a thing.

Posted by: boyd_gordon_shootout_specialist | January 18, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Witt does not count. He wanted to leave the Caps, let him stay gone.

Posted by: uncatim | January 18, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

DUCK SEASON!

Will Witt want to come back to Washington, though? Remember he left Washington because he didn't want to sit through a rebuild, and now he's stuck on an atrocious team. Kind of sad, really.

That said - guys, like it or lump it, we are close enough to the salary cap that any changes at this point aren't exactly likely. Physical defenseman? What do you call Erskine? Our defense was just fine last night. We can kick butt and take names with the defense we've got, and last night proved that. We don't need Witt, we don't need Chara, and we don't need Komisarek or whoever else you guys want. We're good with what we've got.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

i see a few changes happening with the caps before march 4th. chara and komisarek wont be traded anyway. witt, maybe. but theres cheaper D men who will be on the block that do the same thing.

whoever said habs and philly are breathing down our neck, you are wrong. habs, philly, rags, and devils are all breathing down our neck... this will be one of the few times i actually wanted to see Pitts win.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil, that's not very fair of you. Saying that I'm wrong about the Habs and Philly is wrong and then saying that they are kind of breaks your own statement. It's true that the Devils are as well - the Rangers worry me less.

I dunno about changes, seriously. We'll see. I have been wrong before and will be again, but the one thing I expect is that GMGM is going to do something that none of us expect.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

are you being serious or what? did you not pick up on the sarcastic nuances? breaks my own statement? yeah, that was sort of the point...

i want a veteran, stay at home d man, and a better #1 goalie, and i would be happy with a legit run for the cup. like it or not, our GA is too high, and it can be said that is because of BB's aggressive offense. our GF need to be a little higher for me to beleive that our high GA is because of solely our system.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

the rangers look awful right now. i love having sunday hockey back on nbc (shocker the first game was the penguins)

Posted by: _stevo | January 18, 2009 1:39 PM

---------

And the best part? The next NBC Game of the Week is Feb 8 between Detroit and, guess who? YES! The Pens! Aren't we getting all warm and fuzzies?

It really is NBC - Nobody But Crysby.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 18, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil: Okay, I missed the sarcasm there. You just sounded like a self-important jerk looking to punk me out for no reason, and I didn't appreciate it.

No, things aren't perfect. Yes, I'd like better goaltending. No, Theodore isn't a Mason or a Backstrom. Yes, the D could be more consistent. It's a work in progress. Too many people are too ready to throw everyone out too fast the minute one thing goes wrong. Look at Erskine. Look at Flash. Look at Fehr. Good thing we're not in charge of the Caps.

I for one am content to leave things in the capable hands of GMGM and BB.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S.: I know, right? Those announcers were just absolutely kissing his butt. It was disgusting.

That said, Det/Pit kind of makes sense as a game of the week, it is the Stanley Cup Final rematch, after all.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know DirecTV's policy on local stations? For some reason, I'm not getting NBC.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

they are going to be cheap D men available. our depth at the blue line isn't all that good. i want to see us pick up 1 or 2 D men before the deadline. and it would be nice to pick up a #1 goalie, though i have no problems with theo. hes a really good goalie, just far to inconsistent. ive defended theo since we've had him, but that doesnt mean if given the chance to pick up a better goalie i wouldnt be inclined to say no. im not trying to throw anyone under the bus, but if anyone had to go it would be ones who takes a big hit on the cap, minus semin, green, and ovie. a lot of good, playoff capable guys are going to be on the block (see; all of phoenix), and i wouldnt mind us picking up some nice short term deals for a run.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

If our Johnson is "under the weather" where is Varlamov? Have we hired a new web guy we want to try out?

Posted by: austinsteve | January 18, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve, I think its a new ticket guy actually. I heard he played peewee.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@pawz: Amen.We've GOT better goaltending: Theodore's been better since NYR, and here comes Varlamov. We've GOT better D: Caps are winning with a frickin' Children's Brigade/MedCenter on the blue line.
GMGM and BB seem to be getting very lucky with their cap mgmt/trades/draft picks/systems/line-ups/call-ups. I'm starting to think they know even more about hockey and hockey players than WE do!!
Certain perma-trolls, whose keyboards happen to be broken just now, are of course exempt from my troubling hypothesis.


Posted by: redlineblue | January 18, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

:)

Posted by: austinsteve | January 18, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

if you dont see us making any trades before the deadline, then i dont know what to tell you.

objectively, our blue line is weak. if you cant see this, i am sorry. goalie situation, i am fine with. i was defending theo when all of you guys were flipping back and forth on whether to like him or hate him. that doesnt change the fact that there are better goaltenders available come march 4th. i would focus on our blue line first.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I think the score today in NBC's game of the day is a good justification of the goalie trade between the Oil & the Pens. Nothing like trying to protect your job to bring out the best in a goalie.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The only somewhat weak link on our D is Jurcina. How many bad plays or stupid penalities that he has taken have lead to goals? Almost 2 last night. I would take Witt over Jurcina any day of the week

Posted by: CapsFan21 | January 18, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan24, You're okay with Witt's 3 points, 38 PIMS and -27 +/- over Juice's 10 pts, 42 PIMs and -2??

Southeast Mid-Season Report: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=404536

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if they're just sending a message to Varlamov that he needs to be more consistent in the minors so they can trust him. Didn't he give up 6 the other night?

Even if Johnson is fine, they're still trying to set Theo up as the #1 guy and he's won lately so he'd start no matter what. But if Brent's "sick" and they don't bring anybody up it prob makes em wonder.

Posted by: austinsteve | January 18, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

jurcina is the only somewhat link weak on our blue line?
wut?

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The Caps good use another strong stay-at-home defenseman that is good at clearing out the crease - especially on the pk. This will become more and more important as the season goes on and playoff positioning becomes very important. Erskine has been been playing well since his return, that is until the end of last night's game, but if he gets hurt again the Caps could be in some real trouble, especially if he were to get hurt during the playoffs.

Posted by: MReilly9 | January 18, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve, the IC may have given up 6, but Hershey in general (with the exception of Giroux and maybe the Kid Line) has struggled, probably in part to regain the chemistry they had before the injury bug bit. If Johnson isn't feeling well, could it be he feels he could possibly come in if needed, but would prefer not to get the start?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I saw the mid-season report and it doesn't say one thing about Juice. Witt is on a bad team. If you switch the two of them and what do you think the stats would be then?

Posted by: CapsFan21 | January 18, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

All I'm saying is we need another good stay at home physical D man

Posted by: CapsFan21 | January 18, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan21, I didn't link to the report as proof, I was providing it as reading material.
You do pose a valid question though. Juice would probably have awful stats on the Isles, too. Ovie would have probably have crappy stats on the Isles. They suck. But Witt's +/- is almost twice that of his next teammate. Meyer is the only Islander dman who's even close, at -19 and he's getting almost 2 minutes more playing time per game. Juice may have the worst +/- of any Caps regular dmen, but its not that degree of bad. You can "what if" the situation to death, but I wouldn't take Witt with his $3 million over Juice's sub-million contract.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

witt costs 2.8 mil.

no thanks. there are cheaper D men who do the same exact thing he does.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Maybe BB and company knew what they were doing by not rushing to bring Varlamov here permanently. He had a great 6-8 weeks starting at the end of November, but he has had 2 bad games (81% and 73% save percentage) and his rank fell from 2 to 8. Not that the total picture is bad, but not the miracle worker some of us thought he was. I do wonder if they'll try to get another goalie at the trade offs or if BB feels confident of Theo's consistency now.

Posted by: caraveli | January 18, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Re: Varlamov
He is supposedly hurt, although no one is saying what the injury is. Machesney was in goal last night which the Bears lost to Philly in a shootout. Tonight Neuvirth is in goal and currently the Bears are losing to Worcester 2-0.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 18, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Bears update: Little over halfway through the first period, Bears down 2-0. Neuvirth is in net, looking to regain some of confidence. Bears are going to the PP.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Oops! "regain some confidence"*

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree with the comments for wishes for a steady rugged Dman. Question 1)do you think GMGM and BB would break up the chemistry that this team seems to have? and 2) you think some prospects may be moved in such a deal?

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 18, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Witt? For 3mil?? NHL minutes for the current crop of Caps D-men you're lamenting is worth -way- more than Witt. What's more, the guy asked to be excused: No dessert for him!
If the defenseman GMGM wants is slightly available this year, Caps will have him. But it's not Brendan Witt.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 18, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

End of the first, Bears down 2-0.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Despite all the comments on the blog about Alzner being at risk when the veterans come back, I don't see how the team can send Alzner down to Hershey and show the kind of improvement on defense Boudreau is looking for in the second half. The potential improvement that Alzner can bring to me is THE hope here given his age and talent.

I think time and history have shown that you can't count on Tom Poti, he is too fragile and spends too much time on IR.

While an accommodation needs to be made to alleviate the cap situation when the deck is full I still see the solution being a forward and possibly a defenseman involved in a trade.

Posted by: leopard09 | January 18, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Let's be honest Alzner belongs on the Caps blue line period! With Boston, Philly, Montreal, and even the Pens having explosive offenses, the key to going deep in the playoffs is shutting it down. The Caps have zero problems putting pucks in the net, so they need grinding defenceman and a top checking line ala Ducks in 2007.

Posted by: CaliforniaCapsFan | January 18, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I would be shocked if GMGM changed the goaltending setup this year. Theo is his guy and he's happy with Johnson as the backup. I agree with CalCapsFan: Alzner is probably not going back down. I'm not sure how the salary cap situation gets solved, but I'm guessing it will.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 18, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

2nd intermission...Bears still losing 2-0. Need to step it up in the third because (a) Hershey needs the win and (b) Alex Giroux needs a goal to break the record for consecutive games with a goal scored.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 18, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

like i said, theo is a very, very good goaltender. he is just extremely inconsistent. remember, he was a past vezina winner. and in fact, last season was probably his best since the vezina year. all im saying is if a favorable offer was brought to the caps to get a better #1, i dont see them turning it down. I can see Bryzgalov over in phoenix being on the block, as well as a few other key goalies...
like i said though, im not really worried with our goalie situation. i like theo. i would be more concerned in strengthening our blue line as much as we can, without upsetting our balance.

as good as our defense has carried us so far this season, they are a very young blue line. a veteran defense man would help them, especially for the playoffs.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Lepisto scores. Bears down 2-1.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Like everyone thinks we could use a Steady rough and tuble stay at home D man, but saying that, they don't grow on trees or come cheap. If we went to war with this group, I would be o.k.

When they play a good team "D" game, they have shown they can play with anyone.
3-0 Montreal
2-1 Philly
2-1 N.Y.R.
3-1 Bruins
2-1 Bruins

Not getting ahead (looking ahead) of our games tomorrow and tuesday, but I am looking forward to the games @Boston and against Detroit as a measuring stick.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 18, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Goal by Giroux.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 18, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Yay! Go Giroux!!!!!!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Let's go Bears! Game tied at 2. 3 minutes left.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Bears game in OT.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Game going to the shootout.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

here is how sports works guys. if you have a chance to make your team better, then you do it. give GMGM the right offer, and he will take it. he knows, as well as any competent and level-headed hockey fan, that our blue line is young and comparatively "weak". we could go undefeated this whole regular season, and if we gave up a similar GF:GA ratio i would say the exact same thing. i am not saying we have to make trades, but i would rather see some moves being made before the 4th than none at all. if you want to ride into the playoffs with your blue line how it is now, more power to you. but, as a caps fan, i would hope that you would want to see it get better.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

The cup is within our Grasp. I want to see the cup at the verizon center. It has been a long time coming. This team should have the poise, passion, and skill to do it.

Posted by: ejohnsto | January 18, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Neuvirth stones all five shooters and Wilson scores for the Bears. Bears win in the shootout.

Giroux now holds the AHL record for goals in consecutive games.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Bears win the Shootout.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 18, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Third Star: Sami Lepisto
Second Star: Thomas Greiss (Sharks goalie)
First Star: Alex Giroux

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I dont't think our "D" is as weak as some people make it to be. We have shown the ability to play a good team "D" on several ocassions against some of the more lethal offensive teams in the league.

We had a hand full of games we gave up bunches opening night,Philly,San jose, without those few games our GAA is alot more respectable. We are young,growing learning.

Us making any moves will be next to impossible, without something major happening(becasue of salary cap numbers), and I dont' see GMGM rocking the boat that much at this point in time.

Time will tell, we shall see .

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 18, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

In 23 out of 46 games we have given 2 goals or less in a game. 50% of the time. In 30 out of 46 games we have given up 3 or less goals.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 18, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

YAY! Good for Giroux! :-)

@Capsfannmiss - Good point. A very good point!

Well, I'm offline until tomorrow night. Got to get some sleep before my road trip!

LET'S GO, CAPS!!!

Posted by: irockthered | January 18, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Awesome for Giroux - if we (fingers crossed we don't) need to recall him then he can hopefully take that AHL dominance and use it to find his nitch in the big game. He's a good player but never had the confidence at this level! Considering Alzner (who belongs here night out) was playing a bit off because he was thinking too much about Poti's return, imagine what a Giroux, Bourque & any HBer must feel when they come up?? Gotta handle that pressure, boys!

Posted by: CapsSighting | January 18, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

The Flyers are shopping Briere ... HA!

"The word is Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is shopping Daniel Briere and his huge contract. While Briere has extended his rehab assignment from a groin injury with AHL's Phantoms through tonight, Holmgren has been trying to find room for his $6.5-million US cap hit. Since finding somebody to take Briere, who has missed 29 of the club's past 30 games, is going to be nearly impossible because he has five years left on his deal, the club likely will have to move defenseman Randy Jones and winger Joffrey Lupul to make room for Briere."
- SI.com

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 18, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

SI.com also has Pierre McGuire as Therrien's possible replacement should he get the boot.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

If McGuire got the coaching job he could move into Marios house and share a room with Cindy. That would be special!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 18, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

amazing. the caps just beat the best team in the league, better yet, it limited that team to one goal, and people want to change it? yes. the caps don't have the best player at every position (no team will ever have that) but this game is a team sport, so why would you want to change something that is working? in your desire to improve the skill of a position you might destroy the chemistry of the team.

Posted by: x1232 | January 18, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

"Not drop the gloves with Colton Orr, that was the smartest thing Crosby did all day." NHL On the Fly

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 18, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I understand the changes and not to change ideas, but I'll maintain that if something needs to be improved, it's defense. Shaone Morrisonn is struggling, and may bounce back, but Jurcina is routinely making bonehead mistakes. How do you "Accidentally" grab and throw a puck over the boards?
Aside from the whole "he's routinely out of position and needs someone else better than him to account for his mistakes while he goes and checks people" problem, he just doesn't seem to grasp simple ideas.

That said, it's working. But, before moving for a goaltender, I'd prefer a defenseman. And, while I would be content to stand put, being honest (Jurcina could be a scratch with a healthy d-corps), I wouldn't be shocked to see a trade made. Who was expecting to land Fedorov, Huet, and Cooke last year for Ted "Still at Notre Dame" Ruth, Brian "What happened to me?" Sutherby, and Matt "Hey, I know how to...uhhhhhhhhh....Never mind" Pettinger?

I wouldn't be surprised to see anything.

Posted by: Whitermage | January 19, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Tess &/or jmu_capsgirl: Were you able to get a sense of how Beagle is doing now that he is playing again?

Posted by: uncatim | January 19, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

uncatim, I was only listening to the game, but I know he did get a penalty and attempted a few times to get a shot on goal. Tess was probably there and could tell you a bit more from actually seeing him play. He didn't stand out to me, but then again, I was just listening, and honestly, this game was all about "the third Alex" and his shot at history with Neuvirth trying to recover from his last game as a Bear as a minor story line.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 19, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

RE: DIRECT TV

I was watching the football games yesterday at a bar where they had direct tv. The local stations were out so we had to use an alternate channel. I guess they have alternates for all the locals. Then the alternates went out and the regular locals one were fixed. I hate direct tv because of stuff like that.

You prob experienced the same prob we did.

Great game on Sat too. LET'S GO CAPS

Posted by: C-A-P-Scapscapscaps | January 19, 2009 3:45 AM | Report abuse

I think that sometimes people forget that playing defense is also the responsibility of the center & wingers. At times, the O-men leave the D-men totally on their own. If a d-man is trying to make an outlet pass under pressure, it is the responsibility of the O-men to make themselves available.

A lot of this coordinated defense play comes with experience. Also, our offense is so intent on going the other way, that at times they forget that the puck is still in their O-zone.

While watching other teams, I see their D-men make mistakes as our D-men.

Finally, when Witt was here, he made as many mistakes as Juice or Mo. The only difference was he hit much harder. His hitting many times put him out of position. He is also very slow.

I am loving this season as much as anyone as I have been a hockey fan for nearly 60 years, but I think that the long drought has made us a little too impatient. The plan is not 100% complete, but it is way ahead of schedule.

Posted by: sidehillman | January 19, 2009 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Pardon the grammar. I need to proof read more carefully.

Posted by: sidehillman | January 19, 2009 6:28 AM | Report abuse

@sidehillman
Ain't nothin' to pardon. You is just as good as anyone folk out here, well, xcept for them uppity ones.

Posted by: opita | January 19, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

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