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The New Lines

With Jeff Schultz, Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Semin, Mike Green, Boyd Gordon, John Erskine and Chris Clark all out, Coach Bruce Boudreau obviously has been forced to do some major lineup shuffling.

Here are the forward combos as of right now:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Fleischmann-Nylander-Fehr
Bourque-Laich-Bradley
Brashear-Steckel-Mink

The 'D' pairings:

Sloan-Poti
Alzner-Jurcina
Lepisto-Morrisonn

Semin (upper back strain) is not skating, while Green (bruised shoulder) is out there but not participating fully. Both are on IR and eligible to come off on Friday.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 26, 2008; 10:05 AM ET
 
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Comments

Well tonight should be interesting.

Posted by: Section117 | November 26, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Tyler Sloan--from AHL workhorse to top pairing NHL defenseman in less than a month. Who says America isn't the land of opportunity!

Posted by: RightWinger9 | November 26, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The Bears could have a tough weekend.

Posted by: _Mark | November 26, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Wow. JSchon's list needs an update, I think.

I will miss tonight's game, but it should be interesting indeed. I look forward to updates!

Posted by: kittypawz | November 26, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Unleash the Hershey!"

Posted by: SA-Town | November 26, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

am excited about this game as much as opening night, Flash and Fehr deserve 2nd line, i smell a goal by bourque, playing with brooksie
D shud be solid

Posted by: sasha8 | November 26, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Hmm.. can't really complain about the lines. Do we know if Sami and Bourque are still wearing 42 and 56?

Posted by: _jordan | November 26, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Post of the week:

_____________________

"Unleash the Hershey!"

Posted by: SA-Town | November 26, 2008 10:25 AM

Posted by: Scott_in_Shaw | November 26, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

So what are these boards going to look like tomorrow if Alzner looks like a boy amongst men out there tonight? All the people who have been begging to see Alzner, be careful what you wish for. Don't get me wrong, I hope he goes out there and dominates, but who knows if he can do that yet.

Posted by: WVPhil | November 26, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

This thing with Semin is gonna drag on and on, I feel.

Posted by: Zornado | November 26, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

dont expect to see alzner for too long. i believe if he plays more than 10 games this season then that counts as one year of service against his rookie contract (as always, i could be wrong) my guess is you'll see sami here for the duration of schultz injury and karl's here to spell erskine/green.

as for the cap, since both clark and schultz are on LTIR, then can replace them with players of equal or less salary. something tells me clarks stress fracture occured in gmgm's office when the undertaker "stressed" that perhaps clark was hurt so they could replace his salary. get well soon cap'n.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 26, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and I'm guessing they didn't call up Laing because he would have to clear waivers to go back to Hershey?

Posted by: WVPhil | November 26, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Boy the injury bug is in full force right now but wow, I am so excited to see the lineup tonight! Alzner and Borque I can't wait to watch play. Glad they are getting the opportunity.

Posted by: dsphvywght | November 26, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Half of our D corps is chocolate.

Posted by: _jordan | November 26, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Alzner with Jurcina????? NOOOOO. Put him with Poti, please!!

Posted by: ThisGuy | November 26, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

So, if alzner plays less than 10 games, he can still get Rookie of the Year, next year?

Posted by: _828 | November 26, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Tyler Sloan on the first pairing. And we still lead an NHL division. Our offense is really something else.

I'm optimistic about him because of Gabby's clear confidence, but that kid was playing some unsound hockey on the road swing. Here's hoping he figures it out fast.

btw, are semin and gordo out with the same injury? what's with back injuries here lately?

and another thing: that almost-comeback vs the wild was fueled primarily by Eric Fehr. Brads was there to finish on the first goal, but Fehr's effort made it happen. That guy is critical for energy. When all the fat and sassy millionaires on the team yawn through their shifts, Fehr is the firestarter. Once somebody starts the fire, Ovie is good for a pile-on goal or two, but he can't be relied on to turn the tide in a losing game. We need Fehr bad and I'm really glad he's on the 2nd line now.

Posted by: large23220 | November 26, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I laughed for at least for 13 seconds when I read "Unleash the Hershey".

Posted by: JSchon | November 26, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

ThisGuy: I think they don't want to break up the Poti/Sloan combo, and I have to agree with that. Keep as much together as you can, and those two have already shown chemistry.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 26, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

To be eligible for the award, a player cannot have played more than 25 games in any single preceding season nor in six or more games in each of any two preceding seasons in any major professional league. The player must not be older than 26 years before September 15 of the season in which he is eligible.

Posted by: Section117 | November 26, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

So, if alzner plays less than 10 games, he can still get Rookie of the Year, next year?

Posted by: _828 | November 26, 2008 10:34 AM

not sure how rookie status works for ROY purposes. but worse than that, he has to be on the hook for the rookie dinner...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 26, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Oh no. Alzner is doomed to fail by having to play with Jurcina. "ThisGuy" is dead on. Well, we're going to see just how deep we are. The guys that have been called up are pretty much floating to the top in the AHL let's see how they do in the bigs. If this squad can simply maintain a .500 record until the NHLers get back we'll be fine.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 26, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

That's what I was hoping for. Hoping we would not call him up until next year so he could win ROY. Oh well, I hope he just kicks some arse this year.

Posted by: _828 | November 26, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Last year didnt we call up LainG after Clark got hurt? Why not again instead of Mink? He is far better on 4th line with Steckel than Mink will be.The waiver excuse is a poor one. If he cant make the big club why not let some other team claim him. He is 29 so if he isnt in the Caps plans at least give him a chance to catch on some where else. He certainly earned some consideration by his effoert last year. THIS SUCKS

Posted by: wendel2 | November 26, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

so these guys come up from hershey, who replaces them with guys from south carolina...who then suits up for the stingrays? guys from the local beer league?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 26, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Mink is a surprise - didn't they sign Aucoin for center depth? I assume Mink is being rewarded for play in Hershey.

Should make tonight very entertaining - an excited youth infusion facing a team on night 2 of a back to back.

Posted by: stormblue | November 26, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Everybody needs to stop crying about the lines. Let Bruce figure it out. It could be as simple as left or right shooting. I didn't do the research.

Posted by: JSchon | November 26, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

A new era for the defense begins tonight. Semi-surprising Morrison is on 3rd line d (he has played pretty poorly this year and Green has done fine without him). I also see this as a chance to showcase these guys as throw-ins for a trade (Mink, Mo, Juice). I dont think they want to yo-yo Alzner so I wouldnt be surprised to see if something gets done before the 10 games are up - unless Clark is going to be there for awhile. Unfortunately its due to imjuries, but im glad the d was shaken up 'cause they were a very very weak spot onthe roster.

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | November 26, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow.

@SA-Town, The "Unleash the Hershey" comment made me spit coffee all over my monitor. My IT guys thank you.

Jose should expect a lot of rubber tonight with that defensive corp.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | November 26, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Go Bears! Oops, I mean Caps!

Posted by: Trixie1 | November 26, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@ this guy
I think Alzer was paired w/ MJ23 because he's so singularly defensive minded that he's the best guy on the team to wipe MJ's butt when he inevitably blows it and leaves an acre of open real estate in front of JT.

Posted by: large23220 | November 26, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Poor Sammy, stuck on a line where he is the only D'man, hope Mo does not make him look like a total loser.

Posted by: majiksea | November 26, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Dude, Wendle, get off it already.

Posted by: superpaqman | November 26, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Can't wait to see our power play tonight, too.

Posted by: _jordan | November 26, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Mink has turned it on in Hershey this year, so lets wait to see how it translates. Hershey may still look very good, they have surprising depth.

Posted by: majiksea | November 26, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Here's the thing on Alzner - if he plays less than half this year's games, he becomes ineligible for some of his bonuses I believe and his cap hit then changes to a proration of $850K or whatever vs the $1.65M. With the cap so tight, he can only stay if someone moves (or more LTIR). I think that and winning are more important to the club then worrying about the 10 games counting for one of his first seven seasons.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Are they going to give someone else the C? or will we just have a bunch of assistant captains?

Posted by: _stevo | November 26, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

From Urban Dictionary

A Wendle is - A member of an internet forum who continually harangues and harasses others. Someone with nothing worthwhile to add to a certain conversation, but rather continually threadjacks or changes the subject, as well as thinks every member of the forum is talking about them and only them. Trolls often go by multiple names to circumvent getting banned.

Posted by: majiksea | November 26, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

large23220, too bad our MJ23 isn't nearly as good as a certain other MJ23 (although I see a connection between their time in the District...)

Posted by: superpaqman | November 26, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

On Laing: If the Caps recall him and he gets claimed by another team, it might be that the Caps: a) lose him; b) have to pay half the cap hit; c) then have to recall someone else. It might be the same with Aucoin. Anyway, I'm very excited to see the new players in action. Hopefully it's very short term with Green and Semin. Better now than April.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I say give OV the "C" and give Brooks an "A".

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 26, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

While I'd love to see Alzner with Poti (which might happen in the coming weeks), Alzner making his debut with Jurcina is probably the right thing. No sense trying to get 25 minutes from him in his first game. He'll get 15-18 solid minutes and get some time on the PK. Amazing how we had a bunch of defensemen go down all at once, and it is a good thing the Caps organization is so deep on the back line. Alzner would be a regular defenseman on about 25 teams in he league right now, and Lepisto probably would be on about 15-20 of them.

Sloan came out of nowhere, but the guy can play too. And pairing up each Hershey D-man with an NHL D-man is a good idea. I gather Poti will get most of the PP minutes on D, with Ovie or Laich getting the others in a 4 forward set.

Up front, I'm thinking this is Chris Bourque's time to shine. If he can make some hay in the next few weeks, it may be hard for the Caps to send him back to Hershey. I think he may do just that.

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | November 26, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

One more thing: I think it's easier for the new guys to assimilate since they are recalling four at once. Wouldn't you feel more comfortable if four people from your work area got reassigned together to the new work locale, rather than you going all by yourself?

And finally - I wonder how close it was to bringing up Osala, Perreault or Bouchard.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

nah, Bradley for C! (and while we're at it, give Brashear his A back!)

Posted by: RedBirdie | November 26, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I agree, should be interesting to watch tonight. But REALLY miss watching Feds and Semin out there with Ov. And Green of course, whether you like his D or not, no one else back there has a shot like his. It was nice to see Juice try though. Hope Sloan has a better game tonight.

Posted by: valkova | November 26, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Sweet a minor league defense for a while - should be fun! At least we get to see what Alzner is made of!

Clark being out sucks, but does that really hurt us that much since he sucks?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 26, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

fanohock1 - I completely agree.

Posted by: _828 | November 26, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"So, if alzner plays less than 10 games, he can still get Rookie of the Year, next year?"

Aren't you selling the eggs before you buy the chicken?

Posted by: opita | November 26, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Last year Ovie, Brash and Poti had the A, they didn't name a secondary C. I'm guessing the Caps will do the same.

Posted by: koalatek | November 26, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I agree, should be interesting to watch tonight. But REALLY miss watching Feds and Semin out there with Ov. And Green of course, whether you like his D or not, no one else back there has a shot like his. It was nice to see MJ try though. Hope Sloan has a better game tonight.

Posted by: valkova | November 26, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

RedBirdie, I think Brash has had his A since Fedorov went out.

Posted by: koalatek | November 26, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't think for a minute that each and every one of those guys doesn't know damn well that this is their shot, and I'll bet that if you ask any one of them whether they're going to play their hearts out tonight, you'll get an "are you kidding me?" look.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 26, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

stupid work, I am so far behind on the caps news....i would give bradley the C with Ovie and the Donald with the A's

Posted by: _stevo | November 26, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

This should be interesting on defense. I'm glad it's Atlanta we're playing and not SJ or Detroit, or... At least it gets their feet wet in the NHL.

Unleash the Hershey! And Rock the Brown?

Posted by: Greg S. | November 26, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

You can get a good look at a butcher if you stick your head...wait no it has to be your bull...

Posted by: superpaqman | November 26, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

You can get a good look at a butcher if you stick your head...wait no it has to be your bull...

Posted by: superpaqman | November 26, 2008 11:09 AM
-------------------------------------------
Dude, you win the interwebs.

Posted by: Section117 | November 26, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Yssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Posted by: superpaqman | November 26, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Wow! I have tickets for the Bears tonight. Looks like I'll be watching the Stingrays and you guys will be watching the Bears.

Posted by: tess2201 | November 26, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"Semin (upper back strain) is not skating, while Green (bruised shoulder) is out there but not participating fully. Both are on IR and eligible to come off on Friday."

Ok, can someone please explain to me what Tarik mean by the last sentence?? He totally lost me.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | November 26, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

50+ posts and not one question about who's in goal!? Do we no longer care?

If there is ever a time for our 'minders to step it up, it is upon us.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | November 26, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Is Clark really hurt or is this a smokescreen to get rid of him?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 26, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

lylewimbledon, my guess would be he's actually hurt, and not because I have any physical evidence, but because of karma for doing that commercial last year about playing injured that they kept playing while he was out, sort of like the SI curse or now the EA cover curse.

Posted by: superpaqman | November 26, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

That's funny, Tess!!

re: Wendel -- While he is abrasive, I think Wendel has genuine (if personal) concern for Laing.

Posted by: uncatim | November 26, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I arrived long after the flurry of posts and activity, but poor Clark.

I wonder if that's what they thought was his wrist a few weeks ago...

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 26, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@DannyBoy
I think there's a difference between IR and LongTerm IR. Only LTIR affects the salary cap calculations.

Posted by: tess2201 | November 26, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

@superpaqman Get off what? That is my opinion...are opinions allowed here?
@majiksea I have 1 name so learn how to spell it WENDEL and if I you feel harassed see your shrink. I am talking about the Caps Not you so get your parinoia under control

Posted by: wendel2 | November 26, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I thought Green and Semin were day-to-day. How can they be on IR?

Posted by: meagle | November 26, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town:

how about "Unleash the Chocolate" ?

Posted by: NJNJ | November 26, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

think he means retroactive IR

Posted by: honed | November 26, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

@Tess,

It's the word "eligible" confuses me. If IR you can come back any time, then why did Tarik use the word "eligible"?

Anyways, does that mean (reading between the lines) Semin and Green are likely to come back on Friday?

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | November 26, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

IR (injured reserve) is where you put players so you can call up short-term injury replacements and have your active squad over 23. LTIR is where you put players who will miss minimum 10 games and 24 days so you can get cap relief.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Hmm.. can't really complain about the lines. Do we know if Sami and Bourque are still wearing 42 and 56?

Posted by: _jordan | November 26, 2008 10:27 AM
_____________________

Not sure this has been answered, but my game notes, including roster, just arrived, and yes, Sami is 42 and Chris is 56. Mink will wear 38 and Alzner 47.

Posted by: RedBirdie | November 26, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

When was Semin and Green put on the IR. Did I miss something? Tarik you got me confused. Both have been listed day to day for a week now. But now you are saying they were on IR.

I wonder if Alzner will be wearing 47. Pretty sure that was his number in preseason, I'll be screaming COOOOOOOLEY!

I cant wait to go the game and finally not have to talk about Erskine. Thanksgiving came a day early.

Posted by: lightshow | November 26, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I like "Unleash the Hershey". Somebody's got to put that up on the ticker tonight.

As for goal? I don't think it really matters. Both our goalies had a bad road trip, and they're both coming off about the same. Half our D is Hershey, so I don't think it matters who trusts who as much. As long as the guys stop trying to be individual heroes and play the system, I think we'll be okay.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 26, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Also on the roster, Ovie and Feds are still listed as "A" with no "C" indicated, as Clark is not on there. But I recall that even when Clark missed most of last season, no "C" replacement was named.

Posted by: RedBirdie | November 26, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I think Wendel made a legitimate point, though I can see why everyone would have their troll sensors turned up extra high after cheef's presence here yesterday

Posted by: doncosmic | November 26, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

There are 2 types of IR; LT and ST. Short Term is at a minimum of 7 days from the onset of the injury or illness. They can attend meetings, participate in practice etc., but not pre-game warm-ups or wear unis.

Once on IR, the club can replace the player with another and will not count against the roster limit but will be subject to the salary cap limits.

So, by putting Semin and Green on IR, they free up roster space, not cap space, to bring up 4 guys.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 26, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Wendel, we know you want to see Laing, but fact of the matter is the team is doing what is in their best interest. I'd like to see Laing out there myself, but right now I don't see him or anyone from Hershy saving this team.

Posted by: superpaqman | November 26, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Good opportunity for the Hershey boys -- there should be lots of energy on the ice tonight!
Sloan has been solid on D, whether he's on with Poti or not. He was the only defenseman (not counting Schultz because he was out after 3 min.) who didn't take a penalty last game & had more hits than Poti. Six penalties against a team like the Wild are going to cost you. He drew a penalty where Wash. scored. Also, Sloan had 6 out of the 12 hits in the King's game
& saved a sure goal by San Jose in an empty net. He's a strong skater, tough along the boards, isn't afraid to hit or even pinch when there's a good opportunity. If you want to focus on a player's mistakes ... remember they all make them. Ovie has coughed up the puck more than any player & has taken some pretty dumb penalties ... but no one focuses on those errors because he's scores a goal once in awhile.... and if you're responsible for more goals scored against than the number of pucks you put in the net .. the team loses. No player is going to have a perfect game & being that it's a team sport ... if your teammate screws up when you're on the ice, you take the criticism too. This should be an interesting game. Hope all the injured players heal quickly.

Posted by: gogetem | November 26, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@wendel2

@majiksea I have 1 name so learn how to spell it WENDEL and if I you feel harassed see your shrink. I am talking about the Caps Not you so get your parinoia under control...

LoL Parinoia...Spell check is a good thing

Posted by: opus1m | November 26, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Just kidding Wendel

Laing played great last year, was a team player and a real spark. I just don't think his skill set is what the Caps need right now, I could see him more as a end of the season, playoff time type of injury replacement when things tighten up in the defensive zones or if the PK doesn't continue to improve.

Posted by: opus1m | November 26, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@ Tess
Bears had only recalled 2 from SC so we should be ok tonight.

@ Wendell
My opinion from watching every Hershey game is Mink is a better all around player then Laing. Don't get me wrong Laing is good but man has Mink shined.

Posted by: cocorules | November 26, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

We need Semin, Feds, and Greener back soon, but what a great day for Capitals fans!!

Our defense should be greatly improved.

Posted by: notfadeaway | November 26, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

@opus1m ok guess we will see but I think defense wins more games that offense

@cocorules mink is doing very well on the #1 line but not sure if he will handle being able to give up the offensive role and lots of ice time and be the 4th line grinder type. Either player however will be more effective than Clark so its win win

Posted by: wendel2 | November 26, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@ all thelaing lovers
He has a HUGH heart and gives 110% all the time, but he is not a NHL quality. He has already cleared waivers once (when the Caps sent him down) and nobody claimed him. Could someone take a chance on him if they needed a warm body.......yes.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 26, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Nobody will wear a "C"...there will be three "A"'s...

Posted by: R617 | November 26, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

y is there no captain??????

Posted by: meikesports | November 26, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

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