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'Team A' takes charge in Duchesne Cup race

Here are some notes and quotes from Day 4 of training camp and Monday's scrimmage:

-- Team A (1-0) defeated Team C (1-1) 6-3 on Monday and can clinch the Duchesne Cup Tuesday with a win over Team B (0-1). It was a much faster-paced contest than the first scrimmage in this rather friendly competition, a change that pleased Coach Bruce Boudreau.

"The tempo, I thought, was a lot better than [Sunday's] tempo," he said. "I expect [Tuesday's] game to be better because I had a good little talk with the team that lost 5-0. I expect them to be better."

-- Mike Knuble (Team A) got things started quickly with two goals from -- where else -- on top of the crease and Jason Chimera (Team B) added his second goal of the Duchesne Cup tournament when Eric Fehr found him mid-stride in the slot for a pretty goal that beat Semyon Varlamov.

Other goal scorers for Team A were: Brett Flemming, Dylan Yeo, D.J. King and Alex Ovechkin. For Team B: David de Kastrozza and Andrew Gordon. Among the goaltenders, who each played 30 minutes, Semyon Varlamov and Braden Holtby each allowed two, Dany Sabourin gave up four and Philipp Grubauer just one.

When asked if he liked or disliked this much scoring in the scrimmages, Boudreau responded simply: "It's us."

"Obviously there were some defensive mistakes and you're going to have it happen," he said. "It's the second game in two days for the one team and the first time the other team has played together, we anticipate defensive mistakes but there was also some pretty good offensive players out there, so you expect them to score."

-- Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this scrimmage though, were the oddities rarely seen in the regular season. Like Ovechkin playing a few shifts at center and Yeo opting to not pass the puck to the captain and shoot the puck himself from the half-board wall.

-- Team A played with only 11 forwards because Andrew Joudrey, who practiced with the morning group, had an afternoon doctor's appointment. The rotation gave Ovechkin some playing time alongside his fellow countrymen Nakita Kashirsky and Stanislav Galiev.

"They're great players, they both have great futures and they just have to work harder when they play against us or with us," said Ovechkin, who also mentioned which teammates had caught his eye. "It's just first scrimmage some players maybe was a little bit nervous. [Mathieu] Perreault was good. Chimmer was flying two days in a row, like he always flies. It's nice to see a guy play good and be in good shape."

-- In addition to not being happy with Team B's pace in its first scrimmage, Boudreau also discussed the showing of the Brooks Laich-Tomas Fleischmann-Alexander Semin line in that same contest.

"I certainly don't like the way that those guys in one game were passing it back and forth like it was shinny," Boudreau said. "But we've had a talk about that."

By Katie Carrera  | September 20, 2010; 7:13 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Statistical analysis: The future is now for Carlzner
Next: Get reacquainted with Matt Hendricks


I've been waiting all day to read the details about the scrimmage...

Posted by: madflava | September 20, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Okay, here's the solution to our 2nd line center problem.

1) Ovi moves to 1st line center

2) Backstrom moves to 2nd line center

3) Flash or Semin (whoever Bruce feels would be the best combination with Ovi and Knuble) moves to 1LW.

All right! All right! I'm kidding about this proposal, of course. But with Ovi playing center today, couldn't resist. (And the real reason Ovi played center was because Joudrey was off to the doctor's.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 20, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I didn't even make it all the way through the earlier thread where cstanton1 wouldn't give the sgm3 issue a rest. The fact is, I think you are both full of crap.

It is humanly impossible to watch as much hockey as either of you claim. I watch so much hockey that I am physically and mentally worn out throughout the hockey season. I am blessed to be able to afford Caps season tickets so my sons and I make it to at least 30 of the regular season games a year. The rest of the Caps games are watched live at home. Now, when I watch the Caps at home, or I am at home between Oct and April on Caps off days I am watching as many games as I can on NHL Center Ice. Often I make sure I watch the teams I love to hate which are Pitts and Philly in the east and then I DVR the best match-up in the West and watch it the next day when I get home. Yes, I have an unbelievable wife!! She comes to some Caps games but supports my hockey addiction. So what I saying is, after all of that NHL I have absolutely no time for Bears hockey. That's why I chuckled when I get accused of being unfamiliar with other teams because I only watch Caps hockey because I watch TOO much hockey. Yes, Caps first, and everyone else second.

Now, not this year because I was forced to go to Hawaii after the Caps were eliminated, my arm still hurts, but, my family, including my wife traveled up to Hershey and stayed two nights to catch games 3 and 4 of the 2009 Calder Cup Finals. It was a great time, but it was more for one last hockey fix, and besides a few of the players that were called up, Collins, Alzner, Helmer, Laing, Neuvert, those two games were too small of a sample for me to form an opinion. I did catch a few games during the regular season, and then the series against the Stars CSN showed that let me form a favorable opinion on Eakin and Pinner. Again though, with all the NHL hockey at my fingertips, AHL hockey is an afterthought. My point again is, anyone who isn't a true Bears fan and catching games at Giant Center, is BSing everyone if they say they get to catch 20 or more games a year.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 20, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

sgm3 talks about stats so much has to know what confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, time-series data, t-distributions, expected value, sample means, confounding variables and a whole lot of other things are.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | September 20, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse


There's a reason I went elsewhere for my hockey blog fix for most of this season. I believe I will do so again.

Posted by: irockthered | September 20, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: nimrodrsp | September 20, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse


Some actual concepts used by real statisticians and researchers and, I can assure you, taught at universities.
Technical stuff, a google search may provide some less technical explanations.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | September 20, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse


There's a reason I went elsewhere for my hockey blog fix for most of this season. I believe I will do so again.

Posted by: irockthered | September 20, 2010 8:30 PM

Wait where did you go? I'm in the market as it were. Hopefully you haven't left yet (btw, I am dead serious).

Posted by: Raber | September 20, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse


You are now officially my favorite person on this blog. Well said. You couldn't be more rght.

Of course they don't watch that much hockey. cstanton1 clearly blogs in one window and googles in the other. He think this makes him look like he knows hockey because he sites obscure stats for a caps team in 1982. It's old. Also notice how every time you question something he says, the first thing he'll do is attack you for not knowing hockey. This is clearly someone who is insecure and is looking for respect. What a joke.

Posted by: will111 | September 20, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

@Raber: I prefer if you like a group of fun folks who enjoy hockey and don't have "hockier-than-thou" tendancies. Andrew Gordon also blogs for them on occasion, and he's a really darned good writer as well as being a superb hockey player and all-around good guy by all counts. I like everyone over at RMNB a whole lot, and they have a good blend of stats and non-stat-based analysis.

Also, is very good for analysis, one of the top blogs out there, but they are a bit on the - how to put this politely? - picky side on a lot of counts, so I don't tend to comment there very frequently, though that may pick up once hockey starts up again.

Posted by: irockthered | September 20, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

When asked if he liked or disliked this much scoring in the scrimmages, Boudreau responded simply: "It's us."


I'm sure there is plenty to comment on with Boudreau's statement on the lack of defense.

On another subject, I feel the Laich-Flash-Semin line is wasting the talents of two good players.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 20, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Duchesne Cup? is that named after Gaetan??

Posted by: joek443 | September 20, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Semin will be playing in Russia in 3 years... maybe sooner.

Posted by: will111 | September 20, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I tried reading that stats thing on the previous thread, all I do is stats for a living, and I gave up on it.

I think the best stat for a player is plus/minus per 60 mins of even strength ice time as a relationship to the rest of his teammates. That still gives credit to a player like Schultz at +60 or whatever but knocks it down a little since the average Caps was like +25. It also further exposes a guy like Flash whose plus/minus I think was down near zero (he also happened to be the player on the Caps with the worst ratio of penalties caused on other team as a percent of penalties assessed by him).

The problem when you make stats too complicated is people turn them off. Believe me I know, go to an upper management review, they don't want a 20-minute explanation for how something is calculated. You want a chart with three bullets max explaining and one bullet conclusion. More than that eyes glaze over, or worse, you run the risk of them trying to peel back the onion because they think they "know better."

One thing you have to hand to baseball is simplicity in stats. Batting average. ERA. Fielding percentage. Pretty simple. I used a stat for APBA re-play league back into mid-80s AVG+OBP+SLG added together. I still like that for total offensive plate effectiveness.

Hockey would generate more common man interest if steelworkers like in Baltimore who drink in bars and argue who's the better shortstop could also argue thusly about hockey.

A stat similar to ERA would be "goals for per 60 min 5-on-5" and then subtract "goals against per 60 min 5-on-5." Last year someone put those stats and Green was superior to the likes of Lidstrom and Chara. Or you can divide the former by the latter for a ratio. Simple to do and easy to understand without a doctorate in statistics.

One more point, interesting: In baseball, HR champ is guy with most homeruns (makes sense); in hockey, Richard trophy to guy with most goals (sensible also); in basketball, the scoring champ is the player with the highest average of points in GAMES PLAYED. The player with most absolute pts gets nothing.

If NHL did it that way, Ovechkin was goal scoring and total scoring champ last year.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 20, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Duchesne Cup? is that named after Gaetan??

Posted by: joek443 | September 20, 2010 10:19 PM

No, Steve.


Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 20, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse


Yes, it's named for Gaetan Duchesne. He was a late round draft pick who had made the team as a teenager and played for several years. He unfortunately died of a heart attack a few years ago. The cup was named in his honor.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 20, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and one more thing, this from the "To Each His Own" dept, I'm 100% with fanohock1 on this one:

I have a wife, three (ok, adult) children, a mortgage, a job, a house to help take care of, a love of the outdoors, etc., and I can't just watch every game in the NHL and then DVR games for later. I'm sorry, but a John Wayne movie even on tenth viewing ("Now look here, mister...") is sometimes preferable to the Moose Neck Spleenbusters taking on the Chickasaw ChickletEaters.

Even if the ChickletEaters have someone on the roster who the Caps drafted in that memorable year of 2005. Sorry.

I will try and watch all Caps games. I have Grand Canyon trip mid-Oct so hopefully watch via DVR when I get home. If not, rooms were booked till then, no choice, but hiking down/back to Colorado - river not team - in same day is a big deal too. I will also try and watch the Kings as they will be on 7:00 most times.

But, if the Versus game has some lousy team like Florida, I will go checking the Western Channel for the Duke or Clint or maybe I'll just go outside and pick weeds.

Thank you fanohock1 for standing up for the "non-obsessive" hockey fan. To you, sir, a cold beverage of your choice!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 20, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: Thanks for giving joek a real answer.

If everyone in the world were a smarta$$ like me the world would be unbearable, I know.

That said, I still want to see what happens to joek when he drinks the Caps Kool-Aid made from Caps Holy Water which is made from Rod Langway's sweat.

I'm still betting he melts like the Wicked Witch.

Tonight I'm drinking 2005 Agua Dulce Winery Rose which is a winery just about ten miles away. And the wine is good. Cool, huh? Pretty soon though and it will be back to the rigor - red for home games and rock the white wine for road tilts.

To my compadres on this blog I ask: My wine coolers are filled and ready for 2010-2011 hockey action...are yours?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 20, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

A buddy of mine just threw the Post's article about GMGM at me. What a "cheese cake" piece. Pure Dung!

Don't really care about Chimera's showcase speed. I want him to showcase his ability to deflect pucks off his body and into the net during the playoffs. Hartnall isn't fast, but he created alot of problems in the playoffs. Chimera created no problems for the Habs. I don't care that they're different types of players. Chimera's style doesn't work in the playoffs.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | September 20, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse


Sometimes in life you throw yourself on the mercy of the court (been there, done that) because you really don't have an excuse; other times, you ask your wife to overlook certain things because, hey, you're a guy (BTDT too); and then there are those times you appeal to the masses out of an abject desire to get beyond a disagreeable situation.

"What we have a failure to communicate (like civilized adults)."

And what I'm referring to, as I'm sure you can imagine, and what has likely chased many fine posters away from this blog, is two people who just won't, in the vernacular, "let it go."

The funny part is I like both of them. One has a really dark wit that is as humorous almost as moi; the other a deep anal quality with stats that I can relate to as someone who can be deeply anal about stats myself (let me point out here that what I just typed didn't sound very good and I want to assure you that I'm not really deeply anal - you can ask my wife or since I admitted above certain transgressions you can ask other ladies too).

Anyway, I've gotten sidetracked, as always, but I believe the time has come for these two individuals to select their weapons and march off ten paces and volley.

I fully realize, in suggesting this, that one of the two may die. But I ask: Is it better to quibble forever or is it better to bury one so that peace may reign over the valley?

I vote for long as the one to be buried is not moi.

Anyone seconding this motion, please indicate by seconding the motion. That should be simple enough.

May I ask in closing that each person conduct themselves with honor unlike Chuck Connors in "The Big Country." What a dog he was. Remeember that line he asked Burl Ives (his father), "Pa, you wanted to see me?"

"I did before you was born."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Anyone seconding this motion, please indicate by seconding the motion. That should be simple enough.

Being logically coherent is more important than some faux peace that really isn't there. Truth is more important than emotions. So stop crying.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | September 21, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse


I'm all for peace. I will not respond to any more of cstanton1's post as long as he does not respond to any of mine. So it is conditional. If he follows the same conditions I do then we will not respond to each other again and peace will spread throughout the Caps land.

Also, I was joking about the 73 AHL games. The absurdly high, yet exact, number should've indicated that. But the cstanton1 got all riled up and I wanted to prove a point.

It was an attempt to show how a screen name can just state they saw a lot of games and therefore they are correct in saying player X is good or not good, even though they saw none or few. Hence the need for stats or articles to back up opinions because in a medium such as a blog no one knows anything about ANYONE else. No one knows if a screen name is credible or honest.

I saw one period of a playoff game last year on TV. I've also never ordered any "tapes" of hockey players or hockey teams. Again just trying to prove a point of how absurd an argument it is when a poster makes it because there is no way to know if it was honest.

I do watch most Caps games though and I find them especially entertaining to watch the past few seasons and can't wait to see them start things up this year. I love watching their style of play and find them the most entertaining team in the league. I hope they can win the SC and perform better in the playoffs but I never want to see them resort to boring neutral zone trap, dump n' chase hockey because I don't find that style entertaining. Hockey is entertainment for me. If it isn't entertaining me then I will do something else.

I'm excited to see the young kids play and will be very interested to see how the young centers(MP, MJ, or others) do in the NHL this season.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 21, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

sgm3: I shall henceforth refer to you as "Alexander Hamilton."

As for cstanton1, I shall dub him, "Aaron Burr."

And for slurpeesarecool, his statement can be construed as possibly meaningful in an absolute context, "Being logically coherent is more important than some faux peace that really isn't there. Truth is more important than emotions. So stop crying."

Yes, slurpees, you are right! The proof of your words? Pick up a newspaper and read about Afghanisthan! A faux peace means as much as jack!

But, slurpees, "Truth is more important than emotions?" Slurpees? Really?

Maybe on the planet Vulcan, dude.

"Being logically coherent is more important than some faux peace that really isn't there. Truth is more important than emotions."

Let's pick apart your statement, there, slurpees, second sentence first.

"Truth is more important than emotions."

In what world, slurpees? I'll tell you, what you have written here, is so fraught with human fraility, that I could write a 1000-page thesis on political philosophy on what is incorrect with what you said.

In a word, slurpees, truth means $h!+. No one cares because it can't be proved. OTOH, emotions govern the direction of the world. People react before they think.

Logically coherent? A fine thing if anyone cares. Faux peace? I would argue that even a false peace, temporarily, is better than none.

You have confused, slurpees, absolute terms like "truth" with human terms like "emotion." I don't mean to rip your argument apart and leave you drawn and quartered like Wm Wallace but there is no other way around it. What is "truth" and who decides? The answer is "truth" is cultural and the arbitor is someone designated as potentially lowly as an NFL referree.

Yours, always,

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

we know three truths

1) smg3 believes in stats and expert analysis as validation of an opinion
2) cstanton1 can't wait for gmgm to quit, retire or get fired
3) 90% of CI posters would be happy if we never had to read about items 1 or 2 again
* 3a) drop the d*mn puck already

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 21, 2010 2:39 AM | Report abuse

TSN has an article about Halak's playoff performance. Here's a quote taken from Gionta, the Habs newly appointed Captain, regarding Halak's performance.

"Huge saves. Big, big-time saves," said winger Brian Gionta. "We got two early goals, we wanted to get the lead, and then he shut the door. It was him from that point on. And it wasn't just the amount of shots, he faced a lot of quality shots. He's unbelievable."

Hardly sounds like the type of game described here by folks that don't want to give Halak his due. The final shots that game were in favor of the Capitals 54-22. Nothing in that article, nor my memory, says anything about the shots being taken from the perimeter and routine. Quite the contrary. Of course if you want the Capitals to lose so the smear campaign can continue you will see and characterize the game to support your cause.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 21, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

BTW for those that want to check out some preseason hockey the NHL Network is showing the Flyers game tonight at 7. There is at least one game on every day between now and Sunday. Unfortunately there are not going to be any Caps games on the tube. For the most part you can catch the games on the regional sports networks, CSN Chicago, CSN Philly, NESN, and MSG. NHL Network is showing a few of the games being broadcast in Canada. NHL Center Ice blackouts won't start until the regular season. As a matter of fact the 1st week of the season might be available at no cost. For new hockey watchers, have no fear, your Capitals will be on CSN, no additional charge beyond your cable bill.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 21, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse


Halak played a role for sure in the Caps early exit last year but BB not adjusting and getting the Knuble's, Laich's and Fehr's of the team to crash the net more and harass the heck out of Halak ie bumping/screening/etc also played a major role. Halak played a heck of a series BUT I think BB is at least 50 percent to blame for not adjusting the way they attacked him.

Posted by: PhilR | September 21, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

tominsocal + wine = long and entertaining rants coupled with Cool Hand Luke references.

Shaking the bush boss, shaking the bush.

What time is the next scrimmage today?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 21, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I've said it before, 5 reasons Caps lost:

GMGM failed to create a balanced team; Caps players failed to play as well as they could have re: PP; BB got outcoached; Habs players stuck to their system; Halak was superb.

Change any one of those 5 and Caps likely would have moved on. Or, had the Knuble goal been allowed to stand, they might have moved on regardless.

Still shakin' it.

One of my favorite scenes in that movie is when the girl is washing the car.

"Well, her name just gotta be Lucille! Any woman look like that just gotta be named Lucille!"

A classic. You can't say enough for the 60s.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

japersrink is for homers!

Posted by: doughless | September 21, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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