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Posted at 3:33 PM ET, 01/ 3/2011

As Winter Classic rush wears off, Capitals turn focus to reclaiming Southeast Division

By Lindsay Applebaum

Party's over. The Winter Classic was an uplifting game for the Capitals, but now we're getting into "the guts of the season," as winger Mike Knuble put it Monday at practice. Forty down, 42 to go.

Washington must now focus on its game Tuesday against the Southeast Division's Tampa Bay Lightning, who are tied with the Capitals with 51 points. The Lightning are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games.

"I like the fact that we're in a race," Knuble said. "I think it's gonna be good for us -- makes you play harder every night. The Tampa game gets your attention...because it matters in the standings. So I think overall, it's gonna be good for us going down the line."

Here's more from the Capitals on the importance of a win Tuesday night at Verizon Center:

By Lindsay Applebaum  | January 3, 2011; 3:33 PM ET
Categories:  Tampa Bay Lightning  
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Next: Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau on John Carlson for Calder Trophy, HBO and the Winter Classic

Comments

Tampa is actually minus in goal differential but is still one of the top teams, hard to figure that out.

It will be interesting to see how much difference Roloson makes.

Posted by: joek443 | January 3, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

joek, great offense, below average d and bad goaltending is how i read it. we'll see if roloson helps. he's got very little playoff experience and he's old.

high octane offense, questions on d and goaltending...sounds like a receipe for playoff success, amiright?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 3, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Knock on wood, but we have played pretty well against TB so far this season. I bet BB puts the alzner/carlson pairing against the Stamkos line since they did so well aganst Crosby.

It is good experience for those guys to play against the leagues toughest oponents and it will make the playoffs less of an adjustment for them.

Posted by: capscoach | January 3, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Semin loves to play the Lightning, it will be interesting to see if he finally gets back on the scoreboard.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 3, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I think carlson/alzner did an exceptional job on crosby. I was at the game and I was shocked when I saw that he had played nearly 25 minutes. I barely noticed his presence, and he didn't pose much of a threat at any point.

Posted by: spkdc | January 3, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I think Carlson and Alzner are our best defensive pairing. Greenie was toggled around back there.

As I've said before, Hannan looks much more comfortable and is providing what we thought he would - Solid, steady, and pesky D service.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | January 3, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Alzner and Carlson were great.

I remember one shift when Crosby had the puck behind the boards and Alzner was just giving it to Crosby, repeatedly shoving him into the boards not allowing Crosby to move. Crosby sent the puck along and then got it back in the same position when Alzner started giving it to Crosby again. Then Crosby turned the puck over and looked exhausted and all he accmomplished was standing in one place and not being able to move.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 3, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

@all:

sorry to be late with these but I had to catch up reading...


I liked the overall level of intensity that the Caps displayed last night; soccer-style kicks, elbows, checking, fighting. The Pens must have thought they were dealing with bougainvellia.

I also thought the Caps were the speedier of the two teams. Speed kills.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 2, 2011 11:41 AM

******************

@FloridaCapsFan:

Though the spelling was off (s/b "Bougainvillea"), I definitely appreciated your metphor. When I lived with my folks in San Diego in the mid 80's, they had a Bougainvillea hedge out back that we then decided had to be removed.

For those who don't know, bougainvillea has very colorful, pretty blossoms, but is also one of the most vicious vines anywhere on the planet; woody, difficult to cut, irritating toxic sap, and iron-hard, needle-sharp 1"- to 2½"-long thorns that go through jeans, gloves, boot soles, and almost everything else. Makes a great security barrier.

Kind of reminds me of some of the females I encountered in my single days: Very nice to look at but don't touch! ;)

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 3, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Oops...that's "metaphor"...

Stupid fingers!

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 3, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I like MP and he's a nice addition, but more as a third line center or change of pace guy instead of on the second line. He plays hard but in the playoffs we'll definitely need a more physical and defensive presence as the second line center to compete against the more physical teams like Philly, Pittsburgh, and Boston in the playoffs. We've seen what happened the last two season and the Caps need a stronger second line center.

I'm waiting for GMGM to pull the trigger in the next few weeks on a trade as have a lot of depth at goalie and forward. As much as I would hate to see one of the young goalies or one of veteran forwards traded, the need for a second line center is needed to go far in the playoffs.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 3, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Responding to some things from the last thread.

Having the Winter Classic in a area not near one of the teams in it is a bad idea. The great thing about this is the number of people watching but the further away you put in the less people will travel to see the game. You don't want to be like many of the college football bowl games where the place is half empty.

As for the question about practice jerseys it is one color for each line and then a color for all of the D.

As for what to do when everyone is healthy I think B. Gordon gets very little if any playing time. Bradley I think will get in some games when we need a more physical players probably switching with Beagle or a player who is slumping or hurting. It never hurts to have 13 quality forwards in their roles. I also suspect that at least one of the young forward could end up going in a trade for a #2C if we get one.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 3, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

On the last thread, you wondered what'll happen to the lines once Brads and B.Gordon are healthy (what, no DJK?). You acknowledged many have been calling for Steckel's benching, and then you recognized Steck's faceoff prowess.

I've been one of those posters calling for Steck's benching, but barring a trade I have changed my mind and now think he deserves every chance to stay in the lineup.

Just like Alzner, Steckel has really picked up his play the last two weeks. He's finishing checks (only trailing Ovi and Brads for forward hits per game), he's been generating some nice scoring chances for himself and his linemates, and he's still steady on the faceoff.

I've never cared for Steckel (ever), but he is seemingly trying to be the physical centerman we need. (His new-found approach to the game even landed him in his first fight since getting destroyed by Konopka last year...granted, his fight was another embarassment but at least it demonstrated that he's playing with some uumph). Steckel is clearly playing outside his comfort zone, and I'm beginning to appreciate him because of that.

We all know how BB manages the backline (c'mon Johnny, couldn't you have hit Poti a little harder?), so my guess is that BB will butcher the offense, too, once everyone is healthy.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 3, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Semin is a real good fit into a defense first, grind, mucking system (i.e. winning playoff hockey). The Caps want the other team to get frustrated and do something stupid. This sysstem may have the "gets frustrated and do something stupid" effect on Semin.

The movie quote I plagiarized (actually, I just gave credit so, I think I'm okay): "It's the way he flies, ice cold, no mistakes. He wears you down, you get bored--frustrated--do something stupid and he's got ya."
Not a hard triva question but, who and what movie?

Posted by: chriscaps | January 3, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Rhino: Gads! We have planted three of those bouganvillias in the new yard! And they sound nastier than Chris Pronger when he's mad! How big do they get?

Any word on Neuvy?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 3, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I like our 4th line, rotating in Bradley. Gordon and DJK are out barring injury.

Same with Poti. To me, he is 7th at this point. Another reason his contract is so bad. Poti doesn't get in until injury.

I like our centers. I think we need to auction Semin to the higest bidder. Take the proceeds from that, plus a top prospect, and go get the missing pieces.

Posted by: underpants2 | January 3, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

My thoughts on Saturday's game:

--Great Win Caps!
--Ovechkin's all-but-placing Fleury back in his own crease (without entering it himself) and the subsequent goal were two rapidly sequential--but nonetheless distinctly separate--plays. Ovie's goal should have counted. Dot. Period. End of Story.
--Great can of whoop-@$$ opened by Erskine on Rupp.
--Sid-The-Id still a cheap-shot whiner.
--Penguins still have no class.
--Why no call on various Crosby transgressions?
--Why no call when MiniMe (Perreault) got mugged by multiple Penguins away from the play?
--The "OVECHTЯICK" commercial was funny. Silly, but funny. I hope one day it happens for real, though...
--"NBC" stands for Nothing But Crosby, don'tcha know?

IMO, Milbury et al. are--both individually and collectively--a bunch of All-Galaxy D0u¢#€ B@9$: committing the Pens roster to treasured memory, while often using pronouns or wrong names when discussing Caps players. What's the matter guys, can't bring yourself to say "Ovechkin"? except to diss him? He really isn't Satan (who actually wears #81 and isn't currently playing in the NHL anyway). Those who complain about Joe B. & Locker's commentaries are well advised to consider the (horrifying) alternative.
--Gutsy call by the ref to wash out the Pens' goal due to Rupp's crease invasion--especially so, given that Walkom is from Pittsburgh (dammit Bettman, what were you thinking?)
--Way to come up huge, Fehrsie!
--Brooksy: Way to deny #87 on the PP chance!
--"BB can't adjust"...? excuse me, but the outcome of the game says different!
--As time ran down and the Penguins became increasingly desperate, even NBC's DB announcers had to admit that the Caps were giving them nothing but "a white picket fence at the blue-line that the Penguins just can't penetrate..." BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
--Stecks: Way to blow up Sid-the-Id at the end of the 2nd. Whether you meant to do it or not, please know that we enjoyed it...thoroughly. You have my undying gratitude.
--Can't wait for the 24/7 finale on Wednesday, heh-heh...
--I am undecided about the aerial shots--it was somewhat interesting to see parts of the game from an unaccustomed angle. That said, I did kind of wish they had instead done the "mechanical-bunny-cam" like Versus did for the All-Star game a few years ago.

Ain't it funny how--just a couple of weeks ago--some were saying the sky was falling and the Caps might not make the playoffs because they weren't as "great" as the Penguins? Hmm...

Last time I checked, only Tampa's game in-hand separates us from the SE Division lead, and Caps are only 2 points out of first in the whole Eastern Conference.


Ever-forward, Caps: Short-Circuit the Lightning on Tuesday!!!

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 3, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else still in La-La Land from the Winter Classic?

Posted by: underpants2 | January 3, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take off that Pens logo from our Capitals blog page. It is disgusting to look at!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 3, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@chriscaps:

That would be Goose (Anmthony Edwards) to Maverick (Tom Cruise in his pre-sofa-jumping days). The movie was Top Gun

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 3, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1:

Not really sure as we only lived in the San Diego house for about a year or two. I'm guessing that--like anything else--they'll get bigger over time--how much bigger depends on weather conditions...

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 3, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

So once BGordon and Bradley become healthy, who would your 12 forwards be? I've been thinking about this and I'm not really sure.

And for this question lets not consider DJK as a possibility because he will not be used as an option during the playoffs, barring injury.

I want two answers from you, what lines you want to happen, and what lines you think will happen.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 3, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"Caps have no cups" = the rallying cry of the frustrated Pens fan. If you deem us so inferior, it really must suck to have to lose to us. Especially on national, prime time television. And also, when we get to the promised land, are you going to leave that chant alone, or are you going to rub it in that you've got three and we've got only one? The excuses and retreads get old - each year is a new year and a new opportunity, and your time is up. LET'S GO CAPS!!

Posted by: EddieP1 | January 3, 2011 8:14 AM


@EddieP1:

Well Said!! And let's not forget that--had the outcome been reversed--they would also have been crowing about how it "proved the Pens' superiority to the Caps in every facet of the game..."

Stupid mullet-wearers think they can have it both ways...

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 3, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"Tampa is actually minus in goal differential but is still one of the top teams, hard to figure that out."
Posted by: joek443 | January 3, 2011 3:41 PM

Not really hard to figure out. Just win by a little and lose by a lot. Sounds like a team that quits when they get behind.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | January 3, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I want guys that are willing to use any and all means necessary to get pucks past that fruity Ranger's goalie. Let's win this damn thing, or die trying.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 2, 2011 9:27 PM


@Hunterforcoach:

Granted we may not see eye to eye on what is needed for the Caps to Hoist, but that was a decent post.

Amusing. Now, by "fruity Ranger's goalie", do you mean Lundqvist, or do you mean Fleury (which would then make Crosby himself the "Fruity Ranger")?

LMAO

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 3, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Well Said!! And let's not forget that--had the outcome been reversed--they would also have been crowing about how it "proved the Pens' superiority to the Caps in every facet of the game..."

Stupid mullet-wearers think they can have it both ways...


Posted by: Rhino40

I agree. If the Pens had won the writers would have used this as a great example of how the Pens are superior.

In addition, if the Pens had won almost every writer would have used this game as an example of why Crosby is better than Ovie and saying that Crobsy beats Ovie in all big games(I find pointing to the 2005 WJC ridiculous as Crosby was only a role player on that Canadian team).

However, those same writers will refuse to point to Ovie's team win over Crosby in the WC as an instance when Ovie beat Crosby(just as they NEVER point to Ovie's game winning goal over Canada in the quaterfinals of the 2006 Olympics. The EXACT same things were at stake when the two teams faced each other in 2010. However, the writers simply just forget that Ovie had the GWG in Russia's win in 2006).

Seems the writers have a ridiculous double standard.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 3, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Katie,
on the default page of CapitalsInsider - have one of the tech people fix the logo for the "Winter Classic 2011" section.
it really is easy
have them search for: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/logos/nhl_penguins.png
and replace it with:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/logos/nhl_capitals.png
(there is only one occurrence of it)
basically it is just rude to have the pens logo displayed - even if they were the host team.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 3, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

got pulled, and am being pulled, from the computer.....not ignoring ya, i just need a few

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 3, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I will say that I thought Olcyzk was pretty good in his analysis Saturday night and I like Emrick. Panger was Panger, but he was balanced.

The only idiots of the broadcast were Pierre McGuire and the always idiotic Milbury. Milbury's comments after the 1st intermission were ridiculous and I was really hoping they were going to let him speak after the game so I could see him eat crow. Unfortunately they never gave Milbury the chance.

But I did think Olcyzk was pretty good and he seems to be much improved over where he was 2 years ago. His analysis during the game seemed fair and balanced to me.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 3, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

No problem. Whenever you get the chance.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 3, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Once all forwards are healthy, I'd carry 14 and wouldn't sit any of them more than consecutive games. Everyone would be counted on to contribute in their roles; sub-par performance and/or injuries would allow for A/B Gordons, Aucoin, or anyone else deserving a shot to be recalled from Hershey. Obviously, the combinations would change given the opponent so here's who I'd go with tomorrow (and let's assume DJK wasn't "injured" and was available to play)

Backstrom-Ovi-Knuble
Fehr-MP-Laich
Chimera-Majo-Beagle
DJK-Steckel-Hendricks

**Bradley inj, Semin scratched to send a message

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 3, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

Who would yougo with for the remainder of the season, not just sitting Semin for one game to send a message(which I would be okay with). But what would your lineup be if the playoffs started tomorrow. Also, please do NOT put DJK in the lineup for this exercise.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 3, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Lines for second half of season:

OV Backer Knub
Semin MattyP Laich
Fehr Johson Chimmichonga
B Gord/Brads Steckel Hendricks/Beagle

Kinger: Sorry don't need him
A Gordon: Call up
Acoin: Call up

*Personally I'd like to Semin dealt, but since I don't see it happening he remains in lineup.

*To the MattyP haters. If Marty St Louis can do it, why can't MattyP? He's continued to prove himself this year and deserves an extended stay to adjust his game to the NHL. Now's the time for that chance before the roster needs to solidify for the post season. If he falters we give Johansson his shot, then think about a move if needed for a 2C.

Posted by: congero | January 3, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

If you sit Semin the other team can just focus on Ovie-Backs even more - sorry but the line of

Fehr-MP-Laich

Can be shutdown by nearly every team's 2nd pairing in the league - and probably a lot of 3rds. As Boston teams of previous eras proved year after year, it is very tough to win with just one line.

Harry Sinden: Dmitri Kristich didn't get it done in the playoffs.

Kristich: Harry Sinden hasn't gotten it done in the playoffs in 30 years.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | January 3, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Poor Swedes.
U-S-A! U-S-A!

Posted by: nicety251 | January 3, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Russia beats Sweden a shoot-out. It looked to me like the Russians were exhausted in the overtime and decided to play it conservatively - and take their chances in the shoot-out with their skill guys. Golubev was the only one to score in the S/O.

Posted by: zmega | January 3, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to see Russia make the finals considering that it is widely accepted that 2 of their top four or five players are Kuznetsov and Orlov.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 3, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what day and time the NHL network will be broadcasting the CBC tape of the Winter Classic? Sure would like to see their announcers view of the game....

Posted by: Thisistheyear | January 3, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@sgm

Feel free to plug in anyone you want for DJK, but as long as he's w/the team I'll never disregard him as insignificant. Assuming we keep the 14 I'd want to go w/the remainder of the season and the playoffs started tomorrow, I'd go with:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich*-MP-Semin
Chimera-Majo-Fehr*
Beagle-Steckel-Hendricks (sorry Brads)
*could be swapped*

DJK/Bradley would sit the first game or two, but definitely see action by the 3rd game of the series against ANYONE.

I would not be opposed to addressing the following before the playoffs: Knuble, Laich, Fehr, Chimera are basically the same; I'd look to replace one of them with someone who has presence and plays with authority (Or maybe even A. Gordon? I don't follow the Bears, but seems like folks here like him because of his abrasive, power-forward style....I didn't see it while he was up, but that doesn't mean it isn't there)

Down the middle, I'd look to add a 2-way centerman who had size, experience, and played w/an edge (Arnott?).

On defense, I'm ok w/Green-Hannan, Carlzner, and Erskine-Shultz...I won't talk about upgrading over Shultz; so long as he's #4's partner, I'm going to try to think positive about him. I would look to add another experienced, depth dman if possible.


Posted by: vermontcaps | January 3, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

We will never know if this a fact or not. someone close to the islanders that tweets claims this fell apart this afternoon. wang chang did not want to pay for semin tavares etc... the next few years.

Islanders owner squashed proposed deal Semin & 4th Rd Pick for Comeau & Nielsen & Our 2nd+4th

Posted by: samb99 | January 3, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

We will never know if this a fact or not. someone close to the islanders that tweets claims this fell apart this afternoon. wang chang did not want to pay for semin tavares etc... the next few years.

Islanders owner squashed proposed deal Semin & 4th Rd Pick for Comeau & Nielsen & Our 2nd+4th

Posted by: samb99 | January 3, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

@Vermontcaps
I'd swap Knuble and Chimera for a few shifts to see how Ovi, Backs and Chimera work out with Chimera's speed and grit. Also, with Knuble on the same line as Fehr and MaJo it would be a good test also.

Posted by: JMinVA | January 3, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

@Vermontcaps
I would site Semin for a game or two and also try swapping him between the 2nd and 3rd lines to try and get him going. He is a soft touch and doesn't like the physicality at all.
D I would keep the same as you listed it and use Poti for injury fill in.

Posted by: JMinVA | January 3, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

@ vermont- A buddy of mine changed his Facebook profile pic to a great pic of Erskine punching Eric Boulton, but my f*@$ed up pc won't let me post the link. If you search Todd Fowble on FB you'll see it. They're now saying that Rupp's "no mas" the other night was due to a contact lens. I still say that was weak on his part. I wear contacts and have had to squint with one eye on multiple occasions due to one being dislodged, and still can't imagine ever asking an opponent to stop because of that (off the ice you don't have the luxury of calling no mas).

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | January 3, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

@sgm- I would agree that Olcyzk is the least offensive of the NBC crew but they, as a whole, epitomize everything that is wrong with the current leadership of the NHL. It's embarrassing (not to mention extremely annoying)as a hockey fan to watch NBC coverage of games. If the NHL renews it's contract with NBC, fans should riot in the streets. The increase in ratings since the lockout give the NHL considerable leverage for their next TV/Cable contracts. If they sign on with NBC again after the 'Cable Access Channel' quality of broadcasting they've received the last few years, I will be,and everyone that likes to watch this sport should be,pissed off! It's pathetic.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | January 3, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Assuming that the D of Tampa is at least as good as that of NYI, Roloson should be able to make an immediate impact.

Neither Smith nor Ellis had a save percentage better than .890 and Roloson's is .916.

Posted by: joek443 | January 3, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

The increase in ratings since the lockout give the NHL considerable leverage for their next TV/Cable contracts. If they sign on with NBC again after the 'Cable Access Channel' quality of broadcasting they've received the last few years, I will be,and everyone that likes to watch this sport should be,pissed off! It's pathetic.
---------------------------------------

NOT that much leverage.

"By contrast, college football's Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, running opposite the Winter Classic on ESPN, drew 10.8 million viewers (with a 6.2 rating). The Rose Bowl, which ended about the time the hockey game began, drew an 11.3 rating and 20.6 million viewers."

NBC/Comcast will probably be able to offer the most money because they need hockey more than espn or fox. So the NHL will probably stay with the peacock network.

Posted by: joek443 | January 3, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Vermont

You actually said something nice about Schultz. Well sort of. Let me remind you he had the best plus minus in the whole NHL. That means very few defensive mistake happen when he is on the ice. Also what was the last two games on goals against. Who was missing during that rotten losing streak. I have a enough of a body of work to determine that Schultz is among the top 30 Dman in the NHL and I am sticking to that point. he is not fancy but his judgement and hockey IQ make him better than most of the NHL. BTW, I agree we need to keep Erskine in there all year.. Yes I now you will say offense lost those games during that streak but defense always really wins a game when the goals do not go in. And with Schultz in the lineup the Caps would have been even more stingy and would have won a whole bunch and the losing streak would not have existed.

Posted by: pkme | January 3, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

@joek- I don't doubt for a second that the NHL will continue it's partnership with NBC unless they get rid of Bettman (which I don't see happening in the foreseeable future,SIGH!). I still say they could do better.With as poor quality of coverage as NBC as provided, they should at least consider ABC,CBS, or even TV Guide Network, but I know it won't happen with that tool at the helm. Can y'all tell I don't like Bettman?lol

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | January 3, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Let's trade Semin to Red Wings. And we can forget about SC for 10 years.

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 3, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Knuble said. I don't give a dime what he said.
On the other hand Ovie is not a great C.

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 3, 2011 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I still say they could do better.With as poor quality of coverage as NBC as provided, they should at least consider ABC,CBS, or even TV Guide Network, but I know it won't happen with that tool at the helm. Can y'all tell I don't like Bettman?lol
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quite frankly I've never paid attention to "quality" of coverage in any sport in all my years of watching various sports. I watch if it's something I wanna watch, have never cared which network or announcers calling the game.

Also if you think the NBC hockey coverage is so terrible, you should listen to what some NASCAR fans say about the coverage on ESPN.

Posted by: joek443 | January 3, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal

Thanks for explaining "paw to jaw." I'll be on the lookout.

Posted by: nicety251 | January 3, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I actually am anxious to see how the Schultz/Erskine pairing develops. I think it could end up be a perfect combo for both players. The biggest criticism of 55 is his lack of balls and physicality. I, like I think everyone, wish he had the toughness to match his size but as I've stated many times before, I learned a long time ago that a player like him can still be effective. Erskine is almost the polar opposite of Schultz, mean, physical and occasionally gets himself out of position in his quest to be mean and physical. Their individual styles could be the ideal compliment for each other and we might even get a little more of an edge from 55 if he's playing with the lumberjack.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | January 3, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

BB is a excellent coach for minors. Problem is he has no idea how to handle top players. He can whiggle the carrot in front of call ups. What about stars? All they whant is SC so they are waiting for a team to actually win it. Don't pay too much attention to Ovie game. 300K last year was an expression of how much he can do. Nothing to do with Olympics. Apparently he is half of what he was 2 years ago. So enjoy the ride.

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 3, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Quite frankly I've never paid attention to "quality" of coverage in any sport in all my years of watching various sports. I watch if it's something I wanna watch, have never cared which network or announcers calling the game.

True, you can always turn down the volume (which is what I've resorted to when watching gms on NBC), but we shouldn't have to. For a long time, me and one of my buddy's use to joke about how annoying Joe B was, neither of us could stand him. Over time however, I came to realize how much better he was than so many other PBP guys. When you watch enough other people call gms and consistently get players names wrong, you realize how good he really is at his job. BTW, my buddy still hates Joe B but while I still find him annoying and pretentious, I truly appreciate the effort he puts into his job, learning players names, nos.,ect. You would think this would be a given for all broadcasters but it's shocking how inept the majority of them are, in hockey anyway.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | January 3, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

@ FunkyGloveFacewash

Now we have excellent D and 0 O.

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 3, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see Fehr replace Knuble on the top line. They had good chemistry for the couple of games he was up there.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | January 3, 2011 9:07 PM | Report abuse

@Randolph- I'd say we have 'pretty good' D and OK O, but I'm not too worried about our O with the talent we have. The adjustment to playing better team D was naturally going to cause a drop in our O, but it'll come around. Plus I'm almost certain we'll make a move for a vet C by the deadline (if it's the right C, we'll have to wait and see).

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | January 3, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

@ CTCapsPhan

I agree with you. At least Knuble should be removed from the top line. This team actually does not have top line. When Ovie is double teamed he has no one to pass to, but BB has no idea what the PASS mean. Crashing the net probably is a good idea. But this is kind of a random game. What I want to see is a smart game. Sometimes I like how other teams score against us. I like to see combinatios so we can have empty net that is impossible to miss. It's where defens is pulled apart.

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 3, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

hmmm not as much chat about the world juniors as last year.....It is in the USA Buffalo to be exact and tonight Canada vs Usa 70% of the crowd was Canadian...the final score wasnt even close ...neither were shots or play...the 4 Canadians that could have played for the US made the right decision....go Canada go

Posted by: wendel2 | January 3, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

@ FunkyGloveFacewash

This is not about talent we have. It's about OBSG are not playing up to their talent. OK local rinks are smaller. But it seems like the game is too casual. We have a wery good players but for some reasons BB cannot use them to full extent of their ability. I wonder why? Probably the hokkey is a team game and he does not know how to play team game. Just whatch other teams playing against us. Sometimes when they score it looks more exciting, unfortunatly.

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 3, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

@randolph2

Semin will not make it to the finals. His body will give out. Not really a knock. It's kinda' fact.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 3, 2011 11:38 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino

That huge post was classic. I'm thinking the Pens have no class either. Which is amazing.

Rupp stopped that fight. Way to go John.
That was a serious can of "butt kick" he opened.

I'm glad everyone feels we're rivals now, because that was a major turn the Titanic just took. The Pens fans have never taken us seriously. I like this !!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 3, 2011 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Nice job on the coverage of the Classic Lindsay, Gene and Tarik with the On Hockey column.

Posted by: cmsully55 | January 3, 2011 11:49 PM | Report abuse

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