Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Caps have plenty left to accomplish

The Caps went through a quick practice this morning at KCI, but there's still plenty to talk about.

First, some injury news. Tyler Sloan, as we suspected, did suffer an injury last night. Coach Bruce Boudreau would only say that the defenseman, who did not practice, has an upper-body ailment.

"He should be ready by Thursday if we need him," Boudreau said.

Milan Jurcina skated for about 10 minutes yesterday and did a lot of off ice work today. Slowly but surely he's inching toward a return to the lineup. The big defenseman told me he's aiming to be ready for the start of the second round, but I'm hearing it could be longer.

Some other items of interest:

*Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin had a big night Friday. But Boudreau said don't expect to see the trio together Sunday. Mike Knuble, the coach hinted, will be back on the top line with Ovechkin and Backstrom against the Bruins.

"The only reason they were together as because Knuble was [resting]," Boudreau said.

*Ovechkin, I'm told, has brought his personal trainer Dmitry Kapitonov over from Russia to help him get fine tuned for the playoffs. Kapitonov has been here for about a week, and in the past, has helped Ovechkin get back on track.

"If he does something different off the ice, for the most part I don't want to know about it," Boudreau said. "All I care about is Alex being happy and the results on the ice. If it works, it works. We have a great strength and conditioning coach [Mark Nemish] that everyone works with, and Alex does, too. If his guy is over here, it's more of a support system than anything else."

*Boudreau on the Caps becoming the fourth franchise ever to reach 120 points while racking up the most points since Detroit's 124 in 2005-06: "It is a pretty big deal. That's a lot of points. In 66 games we've picked up points. The consistency of our team is really good. We've lost four games in regulation in the second half. I don't know how many games out of the 15 [regulation defeats] we've lost by more than one goal."

The answer is seven.

"I don't want to make it sound like we're the be all and end all," he added. "But it's a great accomplishment."

*Boudreau wouldn't confirm which goaltender will be in net tomorrow. But I'm told that the plan, as of this morning, is for Varlamov to get the nod against Boston in a game that could mean a ton for the Bruins, who are playing right now in Carolina.

*We've talked a lot about Theodore's improvement year over last. But what about Jeff Schultz? After the way last season ended -- the Brandon Dubinsky goal, the broken rib that kept him out of the remainder of the playoffs -- no player has made as big a leap as Schultz.

In case you've missed it, he's a plus-48 and plus nine in the past two games.

Schultz said he's blown away when he sees "his mug" on the NHL leader's page on NHL.com.

"It's puts a smile on my face," he said. "It might be the only time you can beat Ovie in any category so that makes It extra special. It feels good. It shows all the doubters that I'm capable of playing at a high level."

Boudreau also had some strong opinions of Schultz's breakout year (which has no doubt earned him a huge raise in the offseason, too.)

*The quote of the morning belong to - who else? - Boudreau. Asked about all the personal milestones that could be attained tomorrow, he cracked, "I know what they need. I'm cognizant behind the bench of who's getting what ice time for their needs. The big goal has already been gotten: Brads got his 10th."

Some of the other individual milestones (not counting Ovechkin's quest for the Art Ross and Rocket Richard trophies):

  • Green needs one more goal to reach 20. If he gets it, he'll be the first defenseman in 17 years to post back-to-back 20 or more goals in consecutive seasons.
  • Semin needs a goal to reach 40 for the first time and needs one point to reach 300 for his career
  • Knuble needs two goals to reach the 30-goal plateau for the third time.
  • Jason Chimera could play in his 500th career game.

There are a couple more team milestones within reach, too.


  • With three more goals, the Caps would have 313 (not including shootout clinchers), which would make them the highest scoring team since Pittsburgh in 1995-96. The Pens had 362 goals that season.

  • With a win, the Caps would sweep the Bruins. They've already swept Atlanta, Florida and Pittsburgh.

*Brooks Laich has ditched his metal cage and is hearing a Dany-Heatley like visor. "They've been calling me 'Heater' all morning," Laich said in mock disgust.

*For the racing fans out there, I picked up this little tidbit while chatting with Brendan Morrison: the Caps' center was in the same high school class at Pitt Meadows Secondary as Greg Moore, the Indycar star who was killed in a racing accident in October 1999.

That's it from me today. Gene Wang will breakdown the playoff possibilities for tomorrow's Post. I'll be back Sunday morning.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 10, 2010; 1:40 PM ET
 | Tags: Alexander Semin, Brandon Dubinsky, Brendan Morrison, Greg Moore, Jason Chimera, Mike Knuble, National Hockey League, Nicklas Bäckström  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Backstrom on 100th point
Next: In-game chat: Caps vs. Bruins

Comments

Yes, I was at practice and saw Laich skating with his new visor. (He looks better with that than with the cage.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 10, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The Bruins just scored 3 SHGs in 1 minute and 4 seconds.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Have folks seen the NY Times Magazine article on OV just out today?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/magazine/11Ovechkin-t.html?ref=sports

Posted by: DKSW | April 10, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"The big goal has already been gotten: Brads got his 10th."

---Truth.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"They've been calling me 'Heater' all morning,"
---------------------------------------

If it is Heatley circa 2007 (sans 'tude, of course), I'll take it - 22 points in 20 playoff games that year!

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 10, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The NYT piece on Ovi is amazing--well balanced, thoughtful, and perceptive. The author Charles McGrath captures Ovi's genius and complexity both on and off the ice. Plus the photo of a pensive, driven Ovi is perhaps the best I've ever seen.

The article ends with:

"Can a bone-crushing, limelight-loving, ridiculously talented import named Alexander Ovechkin become American hockey’s first true crossover star?"

I would answer yes.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | April 10, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

will NBC try to send their crew up the road to philly and do the NYR/philly game instead?

heck I'd rather watch that game than the Caps game tomorrow since Boston has just clinched a playoff birth and will finish higher than 8th...

Posted by: joek443 | April 10, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

With Boston clinching a playoff spot my guess is that they will be resting people tomorrow. We know we will not be playing Boston. It's now down to Motreal/Philly/NYR.

I have to admit, I was hoping for Boston with all of their injuries.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 10, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I was hoping for Boston too. With our luck Pitt will draw them in the first round and sweep them.

With Montreal playing Toronto tonight at home, I think it probably comes down to the Rangers-Flyers game tomorrow. I'll be pulling for the Rangers.

Posted by: RickyBobby | April 10, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the NYT piece on Ovi was great. However, I would like the author to view the video of Crosby punching Valibik in the nuts. In fact, I might just send it to him and see if he still wants to be so complimentary to Crosby in the personality department.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | April 10, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I was at that cindy nut-shot game in the ATL. That's the game where malkin got a hat trick but was tossed around the ice like a rag doll - I almost felt sorry for him. Those pukes will play the Thrashers tonight. I will go again and hope for one thing: no points for the crybaby.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | April 10, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Wait, Crosby has a personality?

Posted by: JillC | April 10, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Why do you want the Bruins? They have little offense, but play good defense and have a good goalie in Rask. Look at their goals against. I see a series against the Bruins as a defensive struggle. I say the Flyers, the Flyers are a mess right now. They are not the Flyers of two years ago. I live near Philly and watch a lot of their games. Their goaltending is definetly suspect, their offense sputters at time, and their defense, except for Pronger is weak. Even the people in Philly say if they make the playoffs they would get blown out by the Caps. Would you rather face a goalie like Rask or Boucher. Boucher could not win four games against the Caps. I don't think the Bruins would win the series, but if there was a potential upset, I could see the Bruins, not the Flyers beating the Caps.

Posted by: TheSmurfs | April 10, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The Bruins because they can't score and they're defense/Rask isn't good enough to match our goal output.

The Bruins are not all that physical of a team like people think. They are a shell of last year's team.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

My hope for our first round opponent is, in order:

1. Philly
2. NY
3. Montreal

Philly's goaltending will get ripped to shreds by us. NY, besides Gaborik, has little offense, and once we get a few past Lundy they won't put up much of a fight. Montreal has an absurdly good power play, and all kinds of offensive threats. They also have a goalie who may not be top flight, but he stole some games for the Slovaks in the Olympics this year.

I'm really hoping that Buffalo draws Montreal, takes them to a 6-7 game series, and then loses. We wouldn't have to deal with NJ or Pitt til the conference finals (assuming we handle the first round and Montreal) and Pitt/NJ would probably run each other into the ground.

But all this is just hoping really.

Posted by: Raber | April 10, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I'm sure most people already read this, but Kovalev's out for the season with an ACL tear. That makes the 4th seed's first round basically a foregone conclusion...

Posted by: Raber | April 10, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

The Bruins just scored 3 SHGs in 1 minute and 4 seconds.

Posted by: richmondphil

WOW. Since the Bruins will not be in the eighth spot, I'd love to see the FLyers. Raber is correct, Philly's goaltenders (no matter who it is) will not be able to contain our offense...

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

The Rangers have been hot lately. I know that a lot of it has been against weaker teams, but they are playing well. They have great goal-tending and always seem to play us tough. I would just as soon not play them.

Posted by: zmega | April 10, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

So if Montreal wins tonight, they clinch the 7th spot. Whoever wins the Philly/NYR game gets the 8th spot, correct?

Help here... what happens if Monreal loses tonight?? Not really good with this stuff.

Also, I wonder if there's any chance Boston sits Rask tomorrow?? Facing Thomas would def. be easier than Rask. I hope Ovie gets a few more goals and Sasha to get his 40th. I also pray to the Hockey gods for Sidney not to score tonight and Sedin to be held to just one point.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

...Philly's goaltenders...

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 6:06 PM

I am not sure Philly and goaltender*S* really belong in one sentence right now - Bush and Caron combined may qualify for about 0.5 of an NHL goalie... how about they get a waiver from the league and we send them Stretch for the next year 2nd round pick? ;-)

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 10, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

rachel:

If Montreal win tonight and Boston lose tomorrow, Montreal would be 6th, as they would have more wins. If Boston get even a point tomorrow, or Montreal get anything less than 2 points tonight, then Boston is in 6th.

If the Rangers beat the Flyers in OT tomorrow, and the Canadiens lose tonight, Montreal fall out of the playoffs, Flyers would be 7th and Rangers would be 8th.

If Montreal lose tonight and Flyers or Rangers win in regulation tomorrow, Montreal fall to 8th and the Flyers/Rangers would be 7th.

I think that covers all the scenarios. There is still a lot left to be determined. I guess the B's win means the Caps will face one of three teams, instead of 4. If Montreal win tonight, Caps get the winner of tomorrow's game.

Posted by: Aldred15 | April 10, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

@ Aldred15

NYR and philly both have 86 points right now so if the blue shirts beat them tomorrow, regulation or OT, they will have more points than philly.

so regardless of what happens elsewhere if NYR beat philly tomorrow, they will make the playoffs right?

Posted by: joek443 | April 10, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Yeah. My bad, I should have read it over first.

If NYR beat Philly in OT and Montreal lose tonight, Montreal are 9th, Philly are 8th, and NYR are 7th. If Philly win in OT and Montreal lose, Philly are 7th, Montreal are 8th, and NYR are 9th (Montreal and NYR would be tied, with the Canadiens having more wins)

Posted by: Aldred15 | April 10, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

joek443

whichever team wins the philthy/rags game tomorrow is in the playoffs.

Posted by: fromthebeginning | April 10, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

So it's way more complicated than I thought. Thanks Aldred15, that was very helpful.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Correct, joek. And that is the only way they can make the playoffs. Boston's win made it impossible for the Rangers to pass them.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

@ Aldred15

I'm sure you're not the only one confused because I've heard on TV a couple times this week that NYR must beat philly both times in regulation to make the playoffs...

Posted by: joek443 | April 10, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Who will be "resting" people? Boston?

On Boston, they got 3 short-handed goals on the same PK. That's amazing productivity and I'm sure tops the Caps' total for the year.

(Gee, that's more offense than the Bruins showed all year. Snark. Snark.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 10, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the Caps have 4 SH goals. Which is still pretty pathetic.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

that NYR must beat philly both times in regulation to make the playoffs...

Posted by: joek443

I think they do need to beat them both times.. NYR controls their own destiny. If they lost one game against the Flyers they wouldn't make it.. I think.

----
No score between ATL and PIT so that's good.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Oddly enough, last night's SH goal production matched what Boston had gotten in the 80 previous games.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

rachel, what joek was saying is that if the Rangers win one in OT, they still take the playoff spot. But yes, they do have to win the next game to make it.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

Yes, Boston. I would be shocked if Boston is not resting people tomorrow like Chara because they will either be seeded in the 6th or 7th position, which doesn't really matter too much. Especially considering the 2, 3, and 4 seeds may not be figured out until tomorrow anyways.

Boston has been battling to get into the playoffs, Chara has been playing huge minutes like it has been the playoffs (which it basically was for them). So I fully expect to see a lot of Boston regulars sitting out tomorrow. I also expect to see Thomas in goal.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 10, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Matt Cooke just KO'd by a strong right from Evander Kane and taken off on a stretcher.

Posted by: washcaps | April 10, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

I didn't know the exact total of shorties for the Caps but knew it was VERY low. (I'm sure the Caps have given up more shorties than they've gotten.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 10, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

@washcaps

OMG!!

(If that's true, here's my comment -- what goes around comes around.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 10, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

@washcaps

I checked out the box score and noticed that Cooke and Kane both got 5 minutes for fighting.

Evander Kane is the perfect name for a fighter. Well, he was named for Evander Holyfield, the fighter.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 10, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Capsfan, I'd bet they've given up at least twice as many as they've gotten. Only 3 teams have gotten less SH goals than the Caps - Toronto, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay. And I just looked - NHL.com has Washington as giving up 8 SH goals so far this season - the same as Pittsburgh, and less than San Jose.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

(If that's true, here's my comment -- what goes around comes around.)

Posted by: CapsFan75

Exactly! As harsh as that sounds... it serves him right. Kane also pushed Crosby into the goal post and pushing and shoving ensued. Crosby was pretty pissed off. So far, so good, as Pittsburgh has not yet scored a goal!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I hope Cooke is out for a while - he is one of the few players who deserves it, with all the cheap hits he threw this season.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

This is interesting...I just ran into a former Cap player at my hotel in Hawaii...Geoff Courtnall..not sure if anyone remembers him but he played for the caps for like 2 years in the late 80's...anyway, I was talking to him about hockey and the caps...he thinks they are super exciting to watch...he likes ovi and thinks backstrom is underrated and should get more attenion...but in his opinion...like many others...he doesn't think it is our year to win the cup....he thinks a team in the west will...says we still dont have the goaltending and that a team like the sharks would kill us....he thinks maybe if our defense was better it would make up for the goaltending...then said green needs to stop trying to score and play more d..i dont know if i agree with him really..but it was interested to hear his perspective...i also asked about about sid vs ovi..he seemed to like ovi more...said he is sick of always hearing about sid in canada!

Posted by: KRI819 | April 10, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I remember Courtnall, but I think when I was watching he was on a different team. I want to say the Canucks. Of course, I started watching early/mid-90's.

I would have to disagree with him though - the Caps have shown they can take on anyone.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

Wasn't Cooke the guy who ended Marc Savard's season? Believe so.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 10, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes, he was. And I believe he threw a few cheap hits against Caps players.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes, he was. And I believe he threw a few cheap hits against Caps players.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

Cooke is an equal opportunity cheap shot hitter. He makes cheap shots against all teams.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 10, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Stamkos has 50

Posted by: gonchpup | April 10, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Cooke got suspended last year in the playoffs for a hit to the head on Scott Walker. Hard to get suspended during the playoffs.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

If Ovie doesn't get the Richard, Stamkos is one player I wouldn't mind him losing it to. What an incredibly skilled young man he is - between him and Ovie, the Southeast has the potential to be great for years.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree, and Sedin would also be deserving of the scoring title. Still hard to imagine Ovie not pulling it off in the end.

Posted by: gonchpup | April 10, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

If I'm not mistaken, if the Devils win tonight and the Pens lose in regulation, the Devils clinch the Atlantic. That would be awesome.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Stamkos has 50

Posted by: gonchpup

NOOOOOOOOO. Well I'm okay with Ovie sharing the Trophy with Stamkos... as long as it's not Crosby b/c there can be multiple winners of the Rocket Richard. Pit still hasn't scored yet through two periods. Man.. this Stamkos kid is so good.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Even finishing tied, the Richard would go to Ovie based on his GPG.

Posted by: gonchpup | April 10, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

Guess that means Ovi can't take tomorrow off. Not if he wants to win the Richard outright. Unless he's willing to settle for a tie and not fight for more.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 10, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

gonchpup: there aren't any tiebreakers for the Rocket Richard... so Ovie's gotta score a couple if he doesn't want to share it.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I think this is all playing out to be a "classic" Alex Ovechkin show tomorrow. Wouldn't it be just as great to see Nick put up enough points to catch Sid? What does he need... 5?

Posted by: gonchpup | April 10, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Info I'm seeing is that there is no tiebreakers - it's goals only. In 2003-4, there were 3 winners of the Richard - Kovalchuk and Iginla had 41 goals in 81 games, Nash had 41 in 80.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Which is really weird since the Art Ross has tiebreaker procedures... there should be tiebreaker procedures for the Rocket Richard but there isn't. It only makes sense that if three players are tied for the most goals that it goes to the player that has played the least amount of games.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Backstron only needs 3 points to catch Crosby. But Crosby also has another game left, after the Caps play. It would be great if Backs caught Crosby though.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Not sure where I heard it. I'm thinking it was this week on the NHL Network, but the point was brought up and they said it would go to Ovie based on the goals per game. They continued talking about him missing 10 and why the award is even more deserved. Could be wrong...

Posted by: gonchpup | April 10, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

From what I'm seeing, goals is the first tiebreaker in the Ross - which gives Ovie a definite edge. And then fewer games played - another plus for Ovechkin.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if Ovie can share a puck with Backstrom, he will probably be fine with sharing the Richard with Stamkos (if that's the case).

Posted by: gonchpup | April 10, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I think the Greg Moore part may only be interesting for me. He was always a fan favorite and it was a sad day when he died.

Posted by: icehammer97 | April 10, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Yep, just checked. It's the Ross they must have been talking about. The Richard doesn't have a tie-breaker clause. PLEASE don't let it be Sid, though.

Posted by: gonchpup | April 10, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I never realized the Ross had tiebreakers until I looked a few minutes ago. It is odd that it does, but the Richard doesn't - but it's not like the NHL is big on consistency.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Penguins SHUTOUT!! Good job Thrashers!! =)

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Atlanta shutout the Pens 1-0. I guess Boudreau owes his buddy Anderson a cold one!

Posted by: gonchpup | April 10, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Pens will play the Senators in the first round.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The Thrashers just shut out the Penguins. Score a few more tomorrow Alex and the Rocket Richard might be yours!

Posted by: Terptwin | April 10, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

lol... Pens are out of the division race. And poor little Sid didn't even get a point. I think the Pens will stomp the Sens though, especially with Kovalev out.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Crosby's out of the Art Ross race.. I don't think he'll score 5 points in the last game but then again the Pens are playing the Islanders who gave up 7 goals tonight. Vancouver plays their last game tonight and if Henrik Sedin scores only 1 point, then Ovechkin will win the Art Ross Trophy.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

COOKE GOT KNOCKED OUT BY A 18 YEAR OLD ROOKIE!

Hahahahahahaha.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Montreal about to get their point, and clinched playoff seed.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I also think they'll stomp the Sens, probably in 5 games, which is why I'm not so excited.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I think Pittsburgh is going to finish where they *want* to finish in the standings.

Posted by: Terptwin | April 10, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Let's go Habs! Also - just saw the Pittsburgh score. I'm giddy!

Posted by: Raber | April 10, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Did Cooke take it like a man and actually took his helmet off this time?

If Montreal loses in OT... then who would we face if there's a tie between Montreal/Philthy or Montreal/Rags?

Posted by: visionof75 | April 10, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Evander only threw one punch. Cooke was out on his feet before he hit the ice. You should've heard Dan Kamal crow about it...until he saw Cooke lie motionless for a few minutes. I wonder how much time he'll miss with a concussion?

Posted by: Terptwin | April 10, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

So we're playing the Habs now I guess right?

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | April 10, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

So Caps will either play Montreal or the Rangers, correct? Montreal if Philly wins, the Rangers if they win.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I think we face Montreal - either Rags or Flyers will have 88 points which will put them in 7th. The Habs have 87 points which should be 8th. Not sure if I like that...

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | April 10, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Ok so the Montreal just lost. Guess we're not playing Philthy due to them having more wins. But if the Rags win they and Montreal would have the exact same record.. is head to head the first tie-breaker?

Posted by: visionof75 | April 10, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

darn. Leafs win in OT. Am I reading this right? We're either facing the Habs or the Rangers now?

If the Rangers win, they lose the head to head tiebreak (and we face them). If the Flyers win, they win the least OTL tiebreak (and we face Montreal). Doesn't matter if the game goes into OT.

Posted by: Raber | April 10, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

then who would we face if there's a tie between Montreal/Philthy or Montreal/Rags?

Posted by: visionof75 | April 10, 2010 9:47 PM |

There is no tie. MTL and BOS have the 6th/7th seed, and the Rags/Flyers will fight it out for the 8th seed tomorrow. Whoever wins, grabs the 8th spot.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Oops - sorry - Montreal's one point gives them 88. So I don't know who we play...math was never my strong suit.

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | April 10, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I think we face Montreal - either Rags or Flyers will have 88 points which will put them in 7th. The Habs have 87 points which should be 8th. Not sure if I like that...

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | April 10, 2010 9:50 PM

They'll have 88 once they get their point for tonight's OTL.

Posted by: Raber | April 10, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Philly would take Montreal in a tiebreaker, but Montreal and New York would come down to who won the season series. Montreal took 3 of those, so they would take the tiebreaker if the Rangers win. I'd prefer to face the Rangers over Montreal.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

richmond you sure? If philly wins they'll be tied w/ Montreal in points but would have 2 more wins....

Posted by: visionof75 | April 10, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

No wait..you guys are right.
I think the Flyers lose to either team in a tie breaker (most losses).

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

"Pens will play the Senators in the first round."
======================================
Awesome! That is a series with no real favorites! They are 2-2 against each other this season. Hope they beat each other up to a pulp!

Posted by: JohnWWW | April 10, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Tiebreakers are: wins, head-to-head, goal differential.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

There is no tie. MTL and BOS have the 6th/7th seed, and the Rags/Flyers will fight it out for the 8th seed tomorrow. Whoever wins, grabs the 8th spot.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 9:51 PM

Actually, the Rags and Montreal can tie for 88 with the same number of wins. The Rags lose the tiebreak though.

The Flyers also tie with a win, but they have less OTL, so they win the first tiebreak, moving them to 7.

Montreal if the Flyers win and the Rangers if the Rangers win (I'm feeling more confident about this assessment now). In summary, LET'S GO RANGERS!

Posted by: Raber | April 10, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

richmond you sure? If philly wins they'll be tied w/ Montreal in points but would have 2 more wins....

Posted by: visionof75 | April 10, 2010 9:54 PM |

Haha..no, I'm not sure about anything right now. NHL.com non-updated conferences didn't help either...

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Yea I'm liking the Rags/Habs match-up a lot better than the Flyers.

Posted by: visionof75 | April 10, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

JohnWWW, that would hae been true until earlier, when Kovalev tore his ACL. Now, Pens have a definite edge.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

What are the standings tiebreakers, in order? I thought they were:

1. Wins
2. Goals for
3. Head-to-head

If that's correct, then we play Montreal, because either Philly or NY would beat Montreal on a tiebreaker.

Posted by: garbageout | April 10, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Kovalev isn't that vital to the Sens offense. He takes weeks off at a time sometimes.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

timmyv38 has it right, according to ESPN: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?page=nhl/tiebreakers

1. wins
2. head-to-head
3. goal differential

Posted by: garbageout | April 10, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

garbageout, head-to-head is second, then goal differential. Montreal takes Rangers in a tie, but Philly takes Montreal in a tie.

So pretty much, it is as was said earlier. If Philly wins, we play Montreal. If the Rangers win, we play the Rangers.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

What are the standings tiebreakers, in order? I thought they were:

1. Wins
2. Goals for
3. Head-to-head

If that's correct, then we play Montreal, because either Philly or NY would beat Montreal on a tiebreaker.

Posted by: garbageout | April 10, 2010 9:57 PM

1. Most Wins (or least OTL) - this would decide in favor of Philly if they win tomorrow (so we play Montreal)
2. Head to Head - this would decide in favor of Montreal if the Rangers win (so we play NY)
3. Goal differential (won't matter)

Posted by: Raber | April 10, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

All these different scenarios are confusing me! I just want to know who we're playing! Guess we'll know once the NYR/PHI game is over.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Kovalev is the Sens 5th leading goal scorer, 4th leading point man, and 3rd leading assist man. Taking someone like that out against a team like the Pens is going to be a major blow.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

That's going to be an intense game tomorrow.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

rachel, only 2 scenarios now. If Philly wins, we play Montreal. If the Rangers win, we play them. But yeah, we won't know until after their game.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

According to NHL.com, The TB/FL game just went into a shootout. Stamkos has one more game left, tied with Ovie at 50.

Posted by: Raber | April 10, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I just want to know who we're playing! Guess we'll know once the NYR/PHI game is over.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 10:06 PM |

MTL if Philly wins, NYR if Rags win.

In Raber, we trust.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

So... all three players have one game left to play

Ovie: 50 goals
Stamkos: 50 goals
Sidney: 49 goals

TB plays Florida and Pittsburgh plays (ugh) the Islanders who gave up 7 tonight.

I need someone to assure me because I'm not sure but if Henrik Sedin only registers ONE point tonight, Ovie wins the Art Ross Trophy, correct?

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Is the Canucks/Flames game on TV? Or if not, is there someplace I can watch it?

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

The Sens rely on a good team balance of scoring to get the job done. That's what happens when your highest scorer only has 71 points. Kovalev is their 2nd line winger, and scores goals. Of course him missing is going to hurt. He isn't all that important to their offense though.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

rachel, only 2 scenarios now. If Philly wins, we play Montreal. If the Rangers win, we play them. But yeah, we won't know until after their game.

Posted by: timmyv38

Okay thank you timmy. That's in simplified form, I can understand that! So there's absolutely no way we get the Flyers? (Sorry for all my confusion and questions) In that case, I want the Canadiens... No Rags please.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

rachel, mostly correct. Ovie would beat Sedin. Crosby still could beat Ovie, but he would have to get 5 more points tomorrow than Ovie, and 2 more goals.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Is the Canucks/Flames game on TV? Or if not, is there someplace I can watch it?

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:11 PM |

nhl.com says CBC, so it's on center ice/game center if you have it. It's not nationally televised though.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Stamkos got another goal!

Well..a shootout goal. :)

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

No, we can't face the Flyers - they either get 7th or 9th. I'd rather face the Rags than the Habs, the Habs are a much more balanced team and have given us more trouble.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

the Sens will miss Kovalev... guys like him could still turn it on in the playoffs

the goal he scored against the Caps in OT a couple weeks ago was sick.

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

Stamkos got another goal!

Well..a shootout goal. :)

Posted by: richmondphil

HAHA thank god they don't count!! Well only in Washington do shootout goals count! (Well not really)

thanks timmyv. I automatically eliminated Crosby because I don't think he'll get 5 points although they are playing the Islanders. Meanwhile Vancouver has scored, but Sedin didn't factor in it, so we're still good.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

The Rangers/Flyers game the only game left that will affect playoff standings, correct?

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Timmy - for the Caps, yes. For the East, there's NJD vs. Buffalo, which will determine the 2 and 3 seeds.

Posted by: KurtNYC | April 10, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Sedin has an assist already.

Posted by: gonchpup | April 10, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Vancouver scored again, and Sedin got an assist. I don't think Crosby has a shot at the Ross, but had to mention that.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Actually, rachel he just got an assist. I blame you.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh geez.. it's not going to be a good night I can already tell. 2-0 Canucks and H Sedin has an assist. POOP.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

We can still play any of these three. Philly,Habs or Rags

If Rags win in REGULATION we play them.
If Rags win in OT or SO we play Flyers.
If Flyers Win in Regulation or OT or SO we play the Habs.

Rags get 2 points we get them.
Flyers Get 2 points we get Habs
Flyers Get 1 point we get Flyers.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 10, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Forgot Buffalo could still take 2nd. I suppose the standings in the West could still change too - just 1st/2nd, and 5th-7th I think.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Yep. 2 assists for Sedin now. Not that Ovie isn't capable of overtaking him tomorrow, but it really wouldn't bother me if he comes up short on this one.

Posted by: gonchpup | April 10, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

We can still play any of these three. Philly,Habs or Rags

If Rags win in REGULATION we play them.
If Rags win in OT or SO we play Flyers.
If Flyers Win in Regulation or OT or SO we play the Habs.

Rags get 2 points we get them.
Flyers Get 2 points we get Habs
Flyers Get 1 point we get Flyers.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 10, 2010 10:27 PM

We can't face the Flyers. If they only get 1 point, they are in 9th. Montreal has 88, Rangers and Flyers both have 86.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

OMG I HATE CALGARY AND KIPRUSOFF

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

@ Capsfannmiss

you're wrong about the Rangers... if they win in regulation or OT, philly will be OUT so the Caps won't play the flyers

Posted by: joek443 | April 10, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I think.....lol

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 10, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

My goodness... play with some pride Calgary... this is so pathetic. They'll score 10 goals by the end if they keep this up.

Seriously, NO MORE points for H Sedin.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

rachel216 - No big deal. He's only got Ovie by 1 for now... nothing he can't overcome.

Posted by: gonchpup | April 10, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

The Sedins are feasting on the dejected Flames.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 10, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

If H. Sedin ends with only 2 points tonight, Ovie only needs 1 to pass him for the Ross. I wouldn't feel too bad about that.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Two points for Hank.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Rest Ovechkin. Let Sedin and somebody else win the individual awards.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 10, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Capsfansnmiss, we've fully dissected the playoff opponent possibilities for the Caps. If you look above a bit, you'll see many posts on it - we were working on figuring it out for a while.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Yeah you guys are right but there's still two periods to go in that game. If Sedin ends up with only 2 points, I'm sure Ovie will get at least 1 point tomorrow. I hope the Canucks don't score anymore.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I think if they let Ovie play, it will help him keep his momentum going into the playoffs. If he wants to sit, let him; if he wants to play, let him.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I bet the Sedins both get at least 2 more points a piece.

They are an incredible duo, arguably the best in the game when it comes to puck possession, creativity and chemistry.

Yea, even better than our top duo.

Imagine how good Backstrom will be in his late 20s if he maintains good health.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 10, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Your absolutly right.....these three point games can tax your mind.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 10, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Rest Ovechkin. Let Sedin and somebody else win the individual awards.

Posted by: tmac2yao

I know what you're saying but he's that close.. well unless Sedin gets like 5 points by the end of tonight.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree about the Sedins - it's like each always knows right where the other is. It's crazy watching them. Thing is, I don't think either has the raw talent of Ovie or Backstrom - but their on-ice chemistry is unbelievable.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom is probably on about the same level as the Sedins when it comes to puck possession, creativity and passing skills.

For all of Ovechkin's great qualities, he's a power forward who doesn't have nearly the same vision and hockey IQ as players like the Sedins and Backstrom. He's a special player but a very different kind of player.

A lot of his possessions end in bad passes or with him losing the puck trying to make something out of nothing. The Sedins put on puck possession clinics in the offensive zone. It's like having 2 Backstroms on the ice at the same time.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 10, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

That's absurd to say that the Sedins don't have the raw talent of Backstom and Ovechkin.

Ovechkin can't touch either of the Sedins when it comes to decision-making and hockey IQ. He probably never will, either.

Ovechkin is skilled but he's largely a great athlete with a good shot. His puck skills and vision aren't close to that of the Sedins.

Backstrom is probably on their level in terms of raw skill.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 10, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

My Canuck friend aptly describes them as "wizards" on ice.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

True. Ovie's main skills lie in shooting, hitting, and his explosive speed. He's not the technical type of player that the Sedins and Backstrom are. But he's a lot more fun to watch.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin is more similar to Iginla and Kovalchuk if you want to draw comparisons, particularly Kovalchuk. Neither Kovalchuk or Ovechkin play much defense or have very well-rounded games. They are both big, fast scorers that try to make things happen one-on-one. It'll be interesting to see how Kovalchuk develops his ovrall game playing in NJ. I don't see Ovechkin changing much in this system.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 10, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

tmac, decision-making and hockey IQ have little to do with raw talent. Those can and usually are taught. But shooting and skating the way Ovie does are 90% talent. His natural gifts are much higher, but the Sedins have much better technique.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Habs or Rangers for us next week, I dont think it matters who we face in the first round... We got this!

Posted by: CapsManning | April 10, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Then again tmac, there's tons of goals from Ovi which require deft hands which Backstrom, or either Sedin couldn't pull off.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Ovie plays much better defense than he is given credit for. His job on defense is to guard the defensemen, which is why he sits back fairly often. When he is needed to play defense, he does so quite well - and much better than Kovalchuk.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Evening kiddies...

Looks like if Rags win we play them in Round 1. If Philly wins we get the Canadiens. I would prefer the Rags, but all it takes is 16 to the Cup. Just win baby. Let's lace 'em up and go!!!

Posted by: robostop10 | April 10, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Kovalchuk is actually fairly decent at back-checking and playing some defense. His biggest knock is usually that he's a bit of a puck-hog. Then again, when you're used to being the only guy to create any offense for so many years, it probably gets a little ingrained in his game.

I think Lemaire would do wonders for him though...if he re-signs.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

@timmy

I just as much like watching players like Backstrom, the Sedins and Datsyuk but Ovechkin is definitely fun to watch, as well.

Don't get me wrong, Ovechkin is a special player and probably a lot more unique than a lot of more skilled players because of his blend of skill, physicality, athleticism and passion.

Having said that, I'd really like to see him improve in certain areas. I don't get the feeling that he works as hard as some other top players.

And, what was it that Fedorov said about Ovechkin? Something along of the lines of him needing to add more deception to his game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 10, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Pasha, he has over 120+ takeaways this season, way ahead of Kesler or anyone else.

Another Selke for him? Him or Kesler should get it.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I know you're a big fan of Kovalchuk, richmondphil, but the guy is as much of a cherry-picker as Ovechkin and I've never seen anything special about him beyond some of the same things that make Ovechkin a special player.

Perhaps, he has all the ability in the world to backcheck but like Ovechkin, being able to do it and doing it consistently are two different things.

I don't think Kovalchuk or Ovechkin touch a player like Semin when it comes to overall ability.

The problem with Semin is discipline and trying not to do too much at times but I think that Semin has the ability to be one of the best two-way forwards in the game if he was encouraged to do it by his coach and the system.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 10, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

tmac, I do agree. Ovie needs to improve in some areas, for sure. I just don't think he's given enough credit for certain things though. I doubt he'll ever be much of a technical player, but if he could develop better puck control, his explosiveness could get truly terrifying.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Evander Kane -- the heavyweight champion of the NHL. Now there's a child who grew up and lived up to his name. (His parents were big fans of Evander Holyfield, the boxer.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 10, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Look at a forward like Hossa. You can use him in every situation. He has such a diverse set of skills and tremendous hockey IQ.

I don't see guys like Ovechkin and Kovalchuk on the same level but maybe that will change in the future, particularly for Kovalchuk if he stays in a place like NJ.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 10, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I ever said or implied Kovalchuk to be a better player than Ovechkin. Both of them get the same knocks against them, when they both are perfectly capable of back-checking.

If you don't think someone who scores 40+ goals the past 5 seasons isn't special, well...I can't say anything to change your mind.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

tmac, very good point about Semin. He has great technical skills, is an incredible skater, and has a fantastic shot. His problems now are mainly mental things, which can be coached.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Hossa is one of the better two-way forwards in the league though.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

If anyone is curious how we fared in the regular season versus each Eastern Conference team, I have those stats tabulated at http://kurly.net/CapsStats.txt

Of course, "the playoffs change everything" so don't read *TOO* much into these. But I hope someone finds them useful; enjoy.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | April 10, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Greg. It's not the be-all-end-all, but it's useful. I know I could assemble that given time, but so much more convenient that way.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38 & tmacyao

I think the mental part of Semin's game is improving. He's much better defensively than he was 2 years ago.

His main problem has been staying healthy for a full season. The wrist problem he had earlier this year cost him quite a few games. And he was also sick this year too. This year was definitely better on the health front at least.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 10, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

That's like saying you can teach a point guard in basketball to have the vision and creativity and basketball IQ of a Chris Paul or Steve Nash.

I believe that those are much more innate skills than shooting and dribbling.

If anything, you develop hockey sense and IQ at a young age in early development.

Any improvement once a player becomes a pro is marginal compared to other more tangible skills.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 10, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

One good thing about Montreal match up may be the series schedule - against the Rag$ we are pretty much guaranteed the "marquee" status and two afternoon games at home (#2 and #5)... We all know how much Ovi hates those early home games. If we get the Habs, NBC is less likely to want us; they'll probably chase NJ/Buf vs Bos/Phi.

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 10, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

I meant that outside of his Ovechkin-like strengths, I don't see anything special to his game. Do I sound like Semin?

I think that players like Hossa, Datsyuk and even Semin have much more diverse and well-rounded skill sets.

Kovalchuk is a tremendous goal scorer with a lethal and accurate shot. He's also fast and strong but after that, I don't see anything elite in his game.

He doesn't have the puck skills, vision or hockey sense of a lot of the other top-tier forwards. You can find a few individual special plays that fall under those categories but he can't/doesn't do it on a regular basis.

Then again, that's only based on watching a fairly limited sample size of his games. I just see him as a very similar player to Ovechkin in that they both have very limited skill sets (or have only demonstrated limited skill sets) compared to a lot of other elite forwards. They are just so good at a couple of things and are such great athletes that they can get away with it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 10, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

tmac, those skills can be taught - usually at a young age, like you said, but they can be taught. That's why so many Swedes are excellent technical players - because they are trained to play that way. But the shooting ability of Ovechkin or Kovalchuk or Gaborik, or the explosiveness of Ovechkin, can't be taught - it is largely natural talent. But, any skill is largely dependent on natural talent - just some more so than others. The Sedins do have a natural advantage of somehow knowing where the other is on the ice, which when added to their massive technical skills, leads to incredible results.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 10, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

If I had to pick a favorite non-Caps player, it would have to be Datsyuk.

I'm tempted to also pick Malkin but the fact that he is a Penguin makes that an impossibility. Let's just say I really appreciate Malkin's skills.

I'd love to have Datsyuk centering one of our top 2 lines.

I know that's not happening for a lot of reasons but imagine Ovechkin/Backstrom on one line and Datsyuk/Semin on another.

Or Ovechkin/Datsyuk and Backstrom/Semin.

I think that playing with a guy like Datsyuk would do wonders for a player like Semin. I believe that Semin has the innate skills to become a similar player.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 10, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I'm just watching that Kane KO of Cooke. I didn't get a chance to watch much sports tonight.

Kane should win the Calder for that punch.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 10, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I was impressed with Kane's athleticism after watching him a few times early in the season.

What's even more amazing about that KO is that he's just a kid.

Cooke got absolutely owned by a kid.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

The Sedins make it look soooo easy...

Another point for each of them.

I predicted they'd each get 2 more against this dejected Flames team in the last game of their season.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Unbelievable, another point for at least one of the Sedins just moments later...

That's insane.

Morrison between the legs stuff.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Yup, 4 point nights now for both Sedins.

They are brilliant...

I'd vote H. Sedin for the Hart.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Cooke was owned by a kid, a kid who's the same age as my last born child.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 11, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin ain't gettin' the Ross.

The Richard is up for grabs.

I say rest him. He and the team have earned it. Let's go for the big team goal.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

I'm with you on Datsyuk. He's my favorite non-Cap.

Datsyuk has a great opinion on Semin's long term potential.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 11, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Individually, both Sedins are borderline geniuses.

Together, they're from another world.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

4 assists for Hendrik...ugh

Posted by: CapsManning | April 11, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Uh oh, the Sedins about to go on the PP looking for their 5th points.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

OV still has a chance for the Ross...especially if it stays at a 3 point lead. Hopefully Thomas starts tomorrow which is swiss cheese waiting to happen and OV wins with 3 if it stays this way since tie goes to the goal leader.

Posted by: CapsSkins | April 11, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

In addition to their tremendous puck skills and vision, both Sedins have that Backstrom-like ability to shield players from the puck. They are deceptively strong, physically.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

As much as I want to see Ovechkin snag both awards, how devastating would it be if he got injured in a meaningless game?

Remember what happened to the Patriots' Welker in the meaningless game against the Texans at the end of last season?

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

I just think that the risks outweigh the rewards of playing any of Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin and Green.

Semin took an elbow to the chest last game and Green nearly got sent head-first into the boards.

We've earned our right to avoid these risks.

The Cavaliers are resting LeBron, Jamison and Williams down the stretch because they are in a similar position as the Capitals.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

The big difference is that in the NBA it is judged by points per game and not overall points. The NHL on the otherhand is overall goals and points.

In addition, the Art Ross and Rocket Richard are more prestigious trophies in hockey than winning the scoring title in basketball. Such as winning the homerun or batting average title in baseball carries more weight than a qb leading the league in passing yards.

Not saying it is right, but it is more important to the players.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 11, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

I'd vote H. Sedin for the Hart.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 12:03 AM |

Bryzgalov is the only right answer.


RE; Kane/Cooke

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs428.ash1/23670_117333514948291_100000149286655_312430_3123976_n.jpg


RE; Sedins

Yeah, they're good, but yeesh..calm down now.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 11, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

I'm tempted to also pick Malkin but the fact that he is a Penguin makes that an impossibility. Let's just say I really appreciate Malkin's skills.

____________________

You know..Malkin doesn't play that much defense. He plays like Kovy to be honest..but a center. He certainly doesn't emulate Datsyuk's game at all.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 11, 2010 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Yea, Bryzgalov would be a great choice and it would cap off a great season for the Coyotes, regardelss of what they do in the playoffs. I just wonder how much of his numbers are the result of the guys in front of him packing it in every night.

I have trouble voting for a goalies, especially when they play on strong defensive teams. It's just too hard to tell how much is the goalie and how much is the system, especially since nobody is able to watch every goalie every night.

I'm not sure that Bryzgalov has been any better than guys like Halak, Rask and Miller.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

I was in no way trying to compare Malkin and Datsyuk. I just saying that I like both players.

Yea, I got a little carried away in my praise for the Sedins. I'm probably just jealous that they might be better than our top duo and also disappointed that Ovechkin may fall short in the Ross race. I thought it would be amazing to see him finish at the top despite missing all those games.

And I want to make clear, I think that Kovalchuck is an awesome player and I didn't think you were trying to say that he was better than Ovechkin. He may be but I don't think that was either of our points.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

By the way, thanks for the link, richmonphil.

That was a devastating blow by the kid.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 2:06 AM | Report abuse

It's a shame that Backstrom isn't talked about more as an MVP candidate.

He's the best two-way player on the best regular season team in the league.

He's second on the team in points and stepped up his game and had a lot to do with the Caps' success in Ovechkin's absence.

Backstrom for MVP?

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Skimmed over a lot, but there's a ton of incorrect info on here:

The team with the most wins out of 82 games wins a tiebreaker. I got called on it earlier by two people, but I am right. Tiebreakers go: Most wins first, head to head second.

So, again, Rangers win tomorrow in OT or regulation then they are in the playoffs (see above if this seems like common sense to you when reading this post).

Posted by: Aldred15 | April 11, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

I know this comment will likely not be read by anyone, but I just watched highlights of Modano's last two games. First, on Thursday, he scores the game tying goal (really funny actually, because I think it probably wasn't a goal). Then scores in the shootout to help the Stars win their final home game with him on the ice.

He also played tonight against the Wild (probably his last game), where after the game he was given a Northstars jersey and skated a victory lap after the Stars won in the shootout. I'm a big sap - I totally welled up...

Posted by: Raber | April 11, 2010 5:19 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm so I wake up and see that H Sedin had 4 points. Crap. I knew it wouldn't be good b/c they were playing the Flames who stink.

The good thing is Ovie just needs three points this afternoon, totally doable.

Boston isn't in a must-win situation and they know they won't face us in the first round. So maybe they won't play as hard? ;)

1 goal and two assists please, Ovie!! =)

Posted by: rachel216 | April 11, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if they can come out with the incredible spark they had Friday night, but hopefully they'll try. Heck, it's fan appreciation day -- I'm looking forward to going.

If you haven't read today's New York Times Magazine story "The Mad Russian," I'd recommend it.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/magazine/11Ovechkin-t.html?ref=sports

Also, the on-line version has a "multi-media" tab on the left collecting some of Ovi's best plays and others. One I'm glad they included was Ovi against the Habs, plowing into Hal Gill and the puck going in. Disallowing that goal was a travesty. That was another amazing Ovi moment but one that doesn't get as much play because it was disallowed.

Posted by: Justafan | April 11, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Boston isn't in a must-win situation and they know they won't face us in the first round. So maybe they won't play as hard? ;)

1 goal and two assists please, Ovie!! =)

Posted by: rachel216 | April 11, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Boston may not play hard today but they have a score to settle with Semin who broke Chara's nose on monday...

I know it was an accident but you know how these guys are sometimes... if he wasn't going for this 40th goal today, I'd think about scratching him.

Posted by: joek443 | April 11, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

With the Sedin scores, I have to think the crew are focused on getting Semin his 40th. That was the singular focus of the top line after Ovi got his 50th and it will carry over.

Interesting observation @joek443 about Chara's broken nose. That was a heckuva high stick Semin nailed him with, it went uncalled, and there were no make up calls by the refs in the game. They will be gunning for him.

So it's Sasha day today. I tell ya, the guy has played incredibly of late. This will be an interesting test.

Posted by: Justafan | April 11, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Then again, it's Ovi day today too. Got a few goals to score.

Posted by: Justafan | April 11, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

get puck score

Posted by: unclebully4 | April 11, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Bruins had a tough game less then 24 hours ago, and Chara played almost 32 minutes - with a bird cage on his face - which makes him look even scarier btw... They have nothing to play for, as they are in 6th spot no matter what. I doubt they'll be chasing Sasha over that highstick. They are already short on players, the game is on national TV, why would they risk suspensions?

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 11, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

TEB Twitter says it's Varly this afternoon.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 11, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I think the Caps need to play their normal roster today, to give them one last game before the playoffs to be on the ice together. Play Ovie, Semin, Green, Backstrom... play them all.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 11, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I agree with igor_k17.

I don't think Boston cares, the high stick was not considered a cheap shot or dirty. Just an accidental high stick that hit Chara in a bad spot.

Personally, if I were the Bruins I would be resting Chara today. The 6th seed is locked down and with the minutes Chara has been playing lately a rest for Chara would make sense.

I'm not sure who I would rather play, the Rangers or Canadiens. The Rangers can't score very well while the Canadiens are a small team that isn't very good 5-on-5. But the Canadiens PP is very good. Both teams have very good goalies, but Lundqvist scares me more than Halak.

The Canadiens have been slumping of late and haven't looked very good the past few weeks. If the Rangers win they would be 8-1-1 in their last ten games and would come in pretty hot.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 11, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3:

... that means: The Canadians would be the "preferred candidate" ...

I could be wrong, however, but if my memory serves me right, the hot teams are going deep into the PO ...
... therefore: no Rags

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | April 11, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

@FCKoeln1

Yeah, I guess I am leaning towards facing the Candadiens too.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 11, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Whomever. Let's just play.

Posted by: Justafan | April 11, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, the Canadians should be 8th ...

... so i have to root for the Flyers :-( (?) ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | April 11, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Here's the sequence of Boston's 3 shorties yesterday on one power play. Incredible:

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=35&id=65668

I kinda doubt lightening strikes twice. No miracles for the B's today. Go Caps!

Posted by: Justafan | April 11, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Well Sedin will win MVP without a doubt. Even if Ovechkin manages to get 3 points today, Sedin missed 18 games with a broken foot...

Posted by: Thundershock | April 11, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

@Thundershock: That was Daniel Sedin, Henrik has played all 82 games.

Posted by: eorr | April 11, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@ Thundershock

that's Daniel Sedin... Henrik hasn't missed a game this year and he's the MVP candidate, not his twin brother

Posted by: joek443 | April 11, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if this has been brought up yet, but did anyone see Matt Cooke get his just deserve from Evander Kane last night?

Clip from the Boston Globe website: http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/bruins/extras/bruins_blog/?p1=SportsNav_Bruins_BruinsBlog

I bet Bruins fans were happy about that.

Posted by: eorr | April 11, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Theo facing the Canadiens could be a big story too. I'm sure it would get lots of press up in Montreal.

Just another possible added storyline.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 11, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

the B's were heavily criticized for not sticking up for Savard immediately when he went down so I think they will try to do something against Semin this afternoon.

And this is the perfect time for them to do something because this game means less to them than to the Caps because none of their players are chasing after any individual awards.

I'm not a big Erskine fan but I see he won't be playing today... they might need him this afternoon.

Posted by: joek443 | April 11, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

why does this game start at noon anyway? NBC has nothing going on this afternoon, nothing but infomercials on both WRC and WBAL after hockey.

Posted by: joek443 | April 11, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

Teams go after Semin every game. He(hopefully) won't fight and with Boston headed to the playoffs, they are not going do anything to get suspended.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 11, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company