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Theodore to start vs. Colorado

Travel isn't so bad some days. Other days it's a nightmare. Today it was certainly the latter.

I did, however, manage to catch the end of the Caps' morning skate at Pepsi Center. So here's the Cliff Notes version:

*Jose Theodore will start in goal for the Caps in his return to Denver. It's not as a big deal as his return to Montreal, obviously, but players always want to shine against their former teams. (He played two-plus seasons for the Avs).

*Karl Alzner, who has yet to skate in a loss with Washington this season (5-0-0), will be in the lineup and will be paired with John Erskine. Meantime, rookie center Kyle Wilson will make his NHL debut, likely on a line Tomas Fleischmann and Eric Fehr. It's Wilson's 25th birthday.

*Based on the skate, the healthy scratches on 'D' will be Milan Jurcina and Tyler Sloan. Boyd Gordon (back) and Quintin Laing (broken jaw) also got in some extra work.

*Semyon Varlamov (groin muscle strain) skated lightly on his own and did not face any shots. He did, however, tell me that he's not feeling any pain. That said, he also didn't leave me with the impression that he'll be playing on this road trip.

*Speaking of rookie goalies, Coach Bruce Boudreau said he wants Michal Neuvirth to get a few practices under his belt before getting his next start. Sounds like he might get one this weekend.

"We thought he [thought] he was facing American league shooters on Saturday," Boudreau said. "He was a little behind the eight ball. So we want to get him used to [NHL] shooters."

*Boudreau spoke to his players before the skate about keeping shifts short tonight in an effort to limit the effect of playing a mile above sea level.

"It's definitely noticeable," Matt Bradley said. "There's less oxygen in the air. The only way to defeat that is taking short shifts. That can make it a non-factor."

*During the team's morning skates, two panes of glass were shattered. I do not know who is responsible, but it reminded me of when Alex Ovechkin checked Karlis Skrastins through the glass here three years ago.

*Craig Anderson (2.57 goals against average, .920 save percentage) will be in net for the overachieving Avalanche, who have won four of their last five games and currently sit second in the Western Conference behind San Jose. They're also just two points behind the NHL-leading Caps.

I'll check in later with a lineup.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 15, 2009; 3:04 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's lineup: Caps at Avalanche

Comments

JT60 starting....nothing shocking there

Posted by: doughless | December 15, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Tarik!

Posted by: glb8p | December 15, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyounguns

Lindsay said that he did not get an MRI.

I did state in a previous thread that I hope she is wrong because that would make more sense to me than him not getting a precautionary MRI.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 15, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update Tarik!! This years Avs are no joke. You have to play a full 60 minutes against them. Here is hoping for an early lead followed by a bigger lead, ending with strong D and more shots on Anderson. Go Caps!!!!

Posted by: j3rockstar | December 15, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

It's sad because Tarik is lazy.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | December 15, 2009 3:09 PM

DannyBag1975

looks like Tarik posted his update 5 minutes before you called him lazy. seems that the wapo ci site might take a few extra minutes to get it to you

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 15, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Goalie Quetion:

Does anybody think Varly and Nuevy can handle things on their own...Idefinitely don't want to re-sign Theo, but maybe we could get Johnson back as a solidbackup...esp. since it seems Varly may be injury prone

Posted by: capscoach | December 15, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I went to the Avs v Red Wings game here in Denver a couple of months back. Anderson had something like 50 saves in a 3-1 win. One of the best goalie performances I've seen in person. Hopefully the Caps have better luck.

Posted by: glb8p | December 15, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach - The jury is still out on Neuvirth, as both he and Varlamov seem to be somewhat injury-prone. I certainly believe Neuvirth has the superior technique - FOR NOW - but I have seen Varlamov make definite strides since being coached by Irbe.

Can they handle the load between them as a 1/1A goalie tandem, with Varlamov being 1 and Neuvirth 1A? Maybe.

It's early in the year to tell for sure; a lot will depend on how Neuvirth does in his next few starts, and how Varlamov does post-injury.

Johnson will be a UFA again after his year with the Penguins is up, so he's definitely a possibility as a backup netminder next season...

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk: Interesting that Danny Boy's initials are the same as the initials for his new outfit.

Tarik needs to know that we have his back and anyone who criticizes him unjustly gets issued a rifle and marching boots.

Hope Danny Boy doesn't get too many blisters on his feet.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

capscoach:
during training camp - neuvy was looking ok and i thought would be putting up a good fight for varly's spot. he didn't look good last game - but i'd like to see him get 5-6 more games this year - preferably close together. if he does not get a fair amount of games this year - then i think you'll see the caps try to acquire a steady vet backup - much like johnson. i wouldn't mind having johnson back - especially @ $500k

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 15, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

1st Batallion:

Sugar Company (Semin/Schultz bashers)
George Company (Green bashers)
Oscar Company (Ovechkin bashers, led by Lt. Jim Kelley)

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 3:30 PM

Sugar was/is Brandon Sugden's nickname... might I suggest another name? Also on George Company, due to McPhee? ;-)

I like Troll Company. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Any body "IN" at ESPN? They have a supposed Eastern Conference Finals Prediction Caps vs. Pens Preview that I would like to read.

If anybody pays the money to be "IN", post the article.

94

Posted by: numero94 | December 15, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm bummed out that the next three games will be on late and I'm such a wuss that I can't stay up to watch.

Thanks, Tarik, for posting, even after a (sounds like) horrible travel day. Your faithful readers REALLY appreciate the work you do (and Lindsay too.)

Hey tominfl1, I really enjoyed the discussion about Rommel, even though the talk veered wildly off the subject of hockey. Sometimes, that's okay!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 15, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I believe that Neuvirth will mature into his game. When he has been on the Caps he seems to site back in the net to far. He did the same thing against, I think the Rangers last year. Three top shelf shots in OT all beat his glove. Neuvy never flinched. His tendancy is to go down to early also which puts him out of position. I think he will get much better, but Varlamov is way ahead at this point.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | December 15, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Jose Three or more!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 15, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm bummed out that the next three games will be on late and I'm such a wuss that I can't stay up to watch.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 15, 2009 3:49 PM

me too - now i don't have a good excuse to leave work around 4:30

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 15, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tarik! Sorry for your troubles but I'm glad to read the implication that the travel woes were yours and not the Caps this time.

You've got a couple of typos to clean up -- "latter" instead of "later"; "shifts" instead of "sifts"

Theo in goal -- expected.

It's a big game tonight, playing on the road against a hot team. Stike early and keep going!

Posted by: Sonyask | December 15, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

and I need to clean up my own typos -- "strike"

Posted by: Sonyask | December 15, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

i wonder if the higher frequency of plexiglass breaking at pepsi center is because of the thin air somehow...i seem to see more clips of that happening there than anyone else. maybe just a coincidence

Posted by: hockeypunk | December 15, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update Tarik. Always look forward to any new news during the work day. I did miss the morning update. I got to work, had my coffee ready, but no morning update? Not a great way to start my Tuesday........

Posted by: capsfansince74 | December 15, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

94 I tried to post the article bu it was so long it is being held til it can be approved

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 15, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Tarik -- it seems like it's been a week of terrible travels. Hope the next one is better and thank you always for the updates -- being our eyes and ears!

GO CAPS!

Posted by: Steakum | December 15, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

If we lose, we can blame the altitude...

Posted by: SA-Town | December 15, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

If we lose we can blame it not having a good stay at home center anymore


GO CAPS!

Posted by: malujoker | December 15, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

@ icehammer: Not sure you can actually re-post an article like that in its entirety, but you could summarize or quote it.

Posted by: snakegriffin | December 15, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Hammer

Can you send it to Puck294@msn.com?

Posted by: numero94 | December 15, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@hockeypunk
One of the main reasons that the glass breaks more often there is that they have the seamless glass. This glass is stiffer and thicker so it breaks more often.

Posted by: estuart0 | December 15, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach,

I think Varly is ok on his own - when he's not hurt, which unfortunately is more often than it should be. His suspect glove has improved a fair amount, so I'm ok with him as the number 1 and probably anyone as number 2. Theo is a nice thing to have now, but he is so maddeningly inconsistent that I really don't like seeing him in. Yeah, he can be uncrackable some games with stand-on-his-head saves. But, other games the mites at intermission score on him.

Nuevy is a work in progress. His rebound countol in the games I've seen, his rebound control has been horrid. You won't last long in the league if you can't control/reduce/steer rebounds. First shot rarely goes in. Second one often goes in. Third always goes in. I think Nuevy could be a star, but he's not ready yet. I would hope he starts 10-11 in Hershey to continue to improve and bring him up when Varly gets hurt. Get some cheap back-up for Varly the rest of the time.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 15, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Ok reader's digest version:

The guy compares the Offense, D, PP, and goalies of both teams. Then "I assumed that the current rosters would be the ones that would be present in the playoffs, and that each team would be free from injury, with all its key players present. Given the strength of both rosters and the salary cap considerations that would come into play (Editor's note: This did not factor in Michael Nylander's recent transfer to Grand Rapids, which could affect Washington roster moves.), the teams we see now are likely to be the same teams we will see in April. I then simulated the matchup 5,000 times to see which team came out on top. The Penguins won 2,743 times, or close to 55 percent."

He also did a real quick thing about what if each played NJ and both of them came out on top in that matchup. With the Pens winning 57% of the time and the Caps winning 52%

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 15, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97

ESPN also talks about a rumor that the caps will make a trade for a top prospect. Is this filatov discussion again. I wonder if their is any truth to this. Can you post it for us.

Posted by: samb99 | December 15, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

o yea...forgot about the seamless glass. that stuff has gotta hurt

Posted by: hockeypunk | December 15, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

From ESPN INSIDER!

Caps might add top prospect
10:20
AM ETWashington Capitals Top Email The Washington Capitals were right up against the salary cap, so they couldn't add top prospect Karl Alzner to their team.

But with Michael Nylander on loan to the AHL for the season, the Capitals have some newfound cap space to bring up Alzner.

The Washington Times writes that Alzner can make $1.675 million this season with incentives. But GM Bruce Boudreau might resist and keep the extra money for a rainy day.

"It is not like, 'Oh, OK I've got some money for Christmas, so I'm going to go out and buy everything.' That's not the case. We're very happy with the team we have," he told the Times.

Posted by: Skins28 | December 15, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Keys to a Pens-Caps Eastern finalDespite all the stars, it may come down to Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Semyon VarlamovComment Email Print Share By Tom Awad
Puck Prospectus
Archive

Gregory Shamus/NHLI/Getty Images
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the Pens provide slightly more offense than the Caps.

Last spring, hockey fans were treated to one of their dream matchups in the playoffs: the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the Washington Capitals. Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin. The matchup lived up to the hype for the first six games before a 6-2 blowout sent the Penguins to the next round and, eventually, to the Stanley Cup. This year, the Capitals and Penguins are once again near the top of the Eastern Conference, and it says here that they are the most likely teams to progress to the Eastern Conference finals.

As I did for the Western Conference Finals, I assumed that the current rosters would be the ones that would be present in the playoffs, and that each team would be free from injury, with all its key players present. Given the strength of both rosters and the salary cap considerations that would come into play (Editor's note: This did not factor in Michael Nylander's recent transfer to Grand Rapids, which could affect Washington roster moves.), the teams we see now are likely to be the same teams we will see in April. I then simulated the matchup 5,000 times to see which team came out on top. The Penguins won 2,743 times, or close to 55 percent.

The keys to the matchup:

Posted by: Skins28 | December 15, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Penguins at full strength: The Penguins have one of the most fearsome offenses in the NHL, but it revolves critically around its three cogs: Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar. These three together are greater than the sum of their parts: When all three are in the lineup, the Penguins are unbeatable, but when one or more is injured, they become mortal. Over the last two seasons, the Penguins are 33-8-5 with Gonchar in the lineup, and 34-30-5 without him. In that same timespan, Malkin has only missed seven games, all this season, but the Penguins were just 2-5-0 without him; with him this season, they are 20-5-1. The simulation assumes that all three will be healthy, and with them Pittsburgh should score an average of 3.4 goals per game against the Capitals -- slightly more than the 3.25 the Capitals should achieve.

The power play: The power plays for these two teams are feast or famine. The Capitals were No. 2 on the power play last year and are again No. 2 this year, boasting a lot of weapons. Even Brooks Laich has six power-play goals this year, the same number as Ovechkin. Meanwhile, the Penguins have had one of the worst power plays in the NHL, currently sitting at 29th. Part of this was explained by Gonchar's absence, but even with Gonchar on the ice, the Penguins' power play only outscores its opponents by 5.6 goals per 60 minutes; by contrast, the league average is 5.8.

As for the Capitals, Mike Green is key -- with him on the ice, they have outscored their adversaries by 8.5 goals per 60 minutes. Washington's power play is projected to score at a 23-percent success rate versus 18-percent for the Penguins. If the series is close, this could make the difference.

Posted by: Skins28 | December 15, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Defense: Much is made of Green's defensive lapses, but the fact is the Capitals are usually in great shape when he's on the ice because his mere presence threatens a counterattack at any point: There's a good reason why he's plus-34 over the last two years. The Capitals' defense gets more worrisome down the depth chart, with players like Shaone Morrisonn, a decent NHL blueliner but who will have difficulty standing up to a second line centered by Malkin. Morrisonn, Milan Jurcina and John Erskine tend to take too many penalties: The three combined have taken 89 non-offsetting penalties (and drawn only 27) over the Capitals' last 100 games, putting the team down by an average of 0.1 goals per game.


Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Semyon Varlamov may have to stop the Penguin's stars for the Caps to have a chance.Goaltending: Marc-Andre Fleury has blossomed into one of the league's better goaltenders, and in the last two years he has accumulated eight rounds of postseason experience and a Stanley Cup ring. His save percentage projects to .914, even against the high-octane Capitals offense. At the other end, the Capitals have discovered a gem in Semyon Varlamov, but his NHL career is only 35 games old and he has yet to be strongly tested, although he performed well under pressure in last year's playoffs. Varlamov is predicted to stop 90.8 percent of shots he'll see against the Penguins, which probably won't be enough. Should he falter, Jose Theodore is ready to step in.

Both the Penguins and Capitals are known for their superstar-driven offenses, puck-moving defensemen and entertaining style. The Penguins are better at even-strength while the Capitals are better with the man advantage. The big difference will be in nets, where Fleury should be able to edge out Varlamov as he did last spring. If these two teams meet again in May, hockey fans will be the real winners.

Posted by: Skins28 | December 15, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

samb99 the ESPN article is posted above by Skins28. I have seen the Filatov rumor come back up but it was just by Eck at Hockeybuzz so no real good source yet.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 15, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

It's sad because Tarik is lazy.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | December 15, 2009 3:09 PM

I am assuming this was a tongue in cheek comment. Having been a Caps fan since 83 I cannot tell you how exciting it is to have someone covering the team and reporting on a daily basis at minimum. Back in the day you were lucky to get some post game comments and a box score.

Tarik ROCKS!

Posted by: FLDave | December 15, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Skins28

Stats are sometimes misleading. While Erskine does take penalties he cleans out the front of the net better than anyone on the team. Not to mention should the game get rough Erskine is not afraid to throw punches with any goon in the league.

Posted by: FLDave | December 15, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@samb99

re: top prospect. I'd be hugely surprised if it was Filatov: everything Nikita might be, Semin already is, and bigger. But I wouldn't be surprised if it was a top young D man, or Cory Hodgson out of the Vancouver system.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 15, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

RedLitYogi

espn was just reporting old news about alzner being brought up.

Posted by: samb99 | December 15, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

there is no point in sizing up a possible playoff match up between the pens and the caps 4 months before the playoffs. we don't even know who will be still on the teams come playoff time.

hockey is NOT like basketball... "match-up" is not a huge issue. if you are bad on defense, it really doesn't matter whom you face in the playoffs. the PK unit on the Caps have problems with some of the worst PP units in the NHL.

if they don't straighten out that problem, they will be lucky to make it outta the second round of the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | December 15, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

if they don't straighten out that problem, they will be lucky to make it outta the second round of the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | December 15, 2009 6:09 PM

i think gordon and laing will help the PK.
gordon for his faceoffs and laing because he ... is well .. laing

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 15, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

It's funny that ESPN has the playoffs figured out so far in advance. Last year the difference maker was Guerin. Had the Pens not picked him up, the Caps would have taken either game 3, 4 or 5 and likely won. Even with Varly. Now, the Caps are better and the Pens might be the same. And, this year, we'll be able to add an asset come March 1st. We'll see.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

ESPN is the Tom Poti of sports, that doens't make any sense, but you know what I mean.

Posted by: JSchon | December 15, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

irock: When I came up with company names for Doofus Brigade, I used the same set of names the army uses.

Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox, George....Sugar....

By using the army names from WWII, I don't have to remember what I name them.

The troll battalion would have the three company names that come from animals - dog, fox and zebra.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1

What part of FL are you located? Jacksonville here, we lost our SPHL Barracudas a couple of years ago so live hockey is not an option unless I fly to Tampa or S. FL....

Posted by: FLDave | December 15, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

looks like the pens are about to blow the flyers outta the igloo..

Posted by: joek443 | December 15, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz (from previous threads)

I'll admit I don't think Alzner is necessarily a savior. But I figure he's already no worse than many of our veteran D-men on the roster. He has a good chance of developing into something good. He has a great attitude and is very disciplined.

If a kid is no worse than the vets, it's time to go with the kid. (At least from an asset management point of view.)

Bringing him up will at least create competition for jobs on the blue line and "keep them honest". Sooner or later, we will have to "prune" blue-liners.


Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 15, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Will you still be in Florida this January? I've finally made my flight reservations for Florida so I can see the Caps for their two games in Florida in January. Take in the sun and the Caps. (I haven't yet decided what else we'll do in Florida but we'll come up with something.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 15, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Pork Kiev, CapsFan75

Posted by: JSchon | December 15, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I am really glad the Caps didn't go after Pronger lst year and this off season. One we would have had to given up something big for him and two watching him this year he just keeps getting beat. Tonight he has already turned the puck over at least two or three times and was the casuse of the SH goal by Stall. He went in to pinch got beat clean and didn't even get close to getting the man or the puck and in ended in a two on one and a goal. I think what the Caps need most is someone who has won a Cup before (and not like Knuble who won one with Detroit wherehe was not a key player) to make sure the team knows what it takes to win the Cup. Federov was tha guy last year but we don't have that guy this year. I think a guy the Caps might want to look at is Scott Niedermayer. I know he isn't a shut down guy but he does shut down guys and is used to playing against guys like Zetterberg and Datsyuk in Detroit so I think he can stop guys like Sid and Malkin. Also the Ducks are last in the West so they might be looking for people to trade so they can resign Bobby Ryan.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 15, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

I would have liked to create a Company G in the Doofus Brigade to include all the goons who have given the Caps trouble this year. In Company G, we would have Carcillo, Duco, Steve Downie, Chimera, Jason Boll.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 15, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Ø where is that lazy Tarik with tonight's lineup Ø

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 15, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Oh, is that the meal you're having tonight?

TomInFlorida is the one who's wife prepares the meals, depending on whether the Caps are at home or away (while Tom gets the win.)

On Kiev, everyone always considered Kiev a Russian city but after the Soviet Union broke up, it turns out to be a Ukrainian city. (The Ukraine itself had been under Russian control even before the Soviet Union started.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 15, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

The lineups are being deferred until later due to the fact the game's in Mountain Standard time.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 15, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Also is anyone interested in going to the Caps game in Pittsburgh on Thursday Jan 21? I have two tickets that I just realized I cannot use, figures the only Thursday game my college team plays all year is that day. I was thinking of selling them on Ticket exchange but decided if I could get a Caps fan to replace me instead of a Pens fan it would be better. I am selling them at face value. They are $77 each and are in section D10. If you are interested please email me at icehammer97@aol.com.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 15, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

May the OviFehr sticks work well for our boys tonight and bring us lots of goals. (and, BTW, we'd like goals from other Caps as well).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 15, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
i know - i even tried to use sarcasm Ø
this just seems so wrong - caps hockey at 7:30??

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 15, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

maybe kyle wilson should use ovi's sticks tonight

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 15, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

7:30 to those on Mountain Standard time. But 9:30 to us East Coasters.

Can Kyle Wilson handle the extreme curvature of the OviFehr stick?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 15, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I am in Orlando, to answer FLDave. The wife can make pork kiev, to answer JSchon. I don't have my interview yet scheduled, to answer CapsFan75, so I will be here when they play Tampa (unless, GADS, they schedule the interview then, but I will try and avoid that).

George Company is the Green bashers. All the players we really hate, incl Crosby, Carcillo, Pronger, Briere, etc, were lumped into the Doofy Dozen, a special task force attached to brigade HQ and under the command of Major Colin Campbell. So, if you hate a player, you can put him there. Avery is there too. And Orpik.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

I did see your little sarcasm icon. (Ø)

Of course, I smiled at your sarcastic comment.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 15, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: Which city are you flying into?

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

I'm glad you have a place in the Doofus Brigade for the guys we all hate. Briere, Crosby, Avery, Orpik; et. all.

Here are some more hated guys for Caps fan: David Backes (anyone who saw the Caps/Blues game on Dec 18 last year will understand why), Gleason, Kaleta. (And should we just dump the goons there, too?)

And, speaking of bad guys, I saw on the Blue Jackets reports that Jared Boll got very little playing time last time out. Serves him right!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 15, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 |

Orlando. We'll be staying at a place through my mother-in-law's time share.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 15, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Pronger just let Stall walk right into the slot for a rebound agian. He really looks lost out there. Really glad the Caps didn't get him.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 15, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

CF75: So you will be doing lots of driving. R/T one day to Tampa and then R/T the next day to Sunrise. BTW, much quicker Orlando to Sunrise via FL Turnpike, although it's $20 each way. The trip to Tampa is like 75-90 miles from Orlando (the lower number if you are near Disney) but I-4 can sometimes have lots of traffic.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

Me too. Pronger would've been a huge financial mistake, HUGE. A slow shadow of his former self, who has turned into a really dirty player who doesn't hit. Green registers more hits than Pronger.

Posted by: JSchon | December 15, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Jose Three or more!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 15, 2009 3:58 PM |

yawn.....

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I am in Orlando, to answer FLDave. The wife can make pork kiev, to answer JSchon. I don't have my interview yet scheduled, to answer CapsFan75, so I will be here when they play Tampa (unless, GADS, they schedule the interview then, but I will try and avoid that).

Posted by: tominfl1

But wait--what is your wine selection for tonight? The dinner recitation is not yet complete.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 15, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

We are using our dvr tonight--too late for us. I know me though--if they win I will watch it avidly. But if they lose.......don't know if I will be able to. I hope that they are indeed take very short shifts and are not slowed down by the thin air.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 15, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Pronger hasn't been known for his hitting for years. It's all about his passing and first-pass out.

Pronger is one of those players who just drafts during the regular season and picks it up considerable come playoff time. (that is, if the Flyers even make it this year)

He would've been a great rental, but I certainly don't want him long-term.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Pronger doesn't even start the new contract, the 7-yr deal with the two back end years at $500K, until next season. He'll be like 36 then. An old 36 (whereas I am a very young 52, thank you very much). Filthy will rue the day they signed him. He'll soon be out there skating around with a walker. Talk about a pylon. And he's still dirty. About a week ago, I watched Filthy-Islanders and he elbowed Taveras in the back, a hit that plastered Taveras' face against the glass.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

tominfl...

What do you think is our biggest need come the deadline?

Posted by: JSchon | December 15, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

The big, funny rumor going around is that Jeff Carter slept with Hartnell's wife and it has split the locker room.

If it's true or not, L-O-L.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Capsyoungguns: We had crab cakes and turkey. I know, I know, an eclectic way to do surf and turf. But they were the leftovers from Sunday and Monday.

I must confess - very risky - I avoided wine with dinner (I didn't want to get sleepy). I just mixed up a batch of Svedka, OJ and cranberry juice that's kind of pink. Rock the pink? In honor of Semin's undershirt? OK, maybe that works, and I'm using the first oranges off the tree out back.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer

When my fiance gets home, I'm going to talk to her about those tickets. Might as well make a road trip out of the weekend, that is if she can take off work.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

That's comedy gold.

Posted by: JSchon | December 15, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Svedka? I figured the incumbent wine connoisseur here on CI would not be drinking Svedka!

I figured you would be sipping only the finest Russian Standard or Zubrowka.

Svedka isn't bad, just not the best. An ode to Backstrom maybe?

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Pronger is such a perfect fit last name. When I envision him, I can just hear the sound of a hockey hit "prong".

I have created a new verb in honor of him.

prong:(v) -- in hockey, to make hard hit.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 15, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Scott Hartnell is quite the baby, glad we don't have him on the Caps.

Posted by: MReilly9 | December 15, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I guess the Swedes have to compete with the Russians at their own game. (Manufacturing Vodka)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 15, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

JSchon: I posted last night, amid my extensive ramblings on Erwin Rommel, that we needed a Kelly Miller forward more than anything (now). I would like to trade for a Selke-candidate type forward and get him acclimated now. We have lots of C+ and B rated defensive forwards, but no one in the class of Gould, Miller, Dahlen or Kono. Then, at the deadline, I'd like to rent a crease clearing d-man. Somewhere in all that you move a few current defensemen (those destined for UFA) and maybe one of the lesser forwards to make space.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Tom, and this probably will mean more to CapsFan75, the mile markers on I-4 are to the I-275 junction where I-4 ends. The Times Forum is about a mile or less down I-275 from there. Might even be better to take the downtown exit instead of I-275, am not sure I don't come from that side as I am in St Pete. I will try to take a look when I come back from Orlando on Sunday. I am going to be in Kissimmee all weekend.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | December 15, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

New thread, gang!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 15, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Is it bad I kinda like some of the players on Colorado?

I mean i have zero desire for them to win or even play well tonight...

But they got some skaters...

Posted by: JSchon | December 15, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1 while I would love to get a Selke type player they just aren't many around anymore. Look at who were the final three last year. Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards and Pavel Datsyuk. There is no way that the Caps could get one of those three. I think once we get Letang and Gordon back it will help but also we have skill guys who can play D well too. Backstrom in 8th in blocked shots for forwards. Morrison and Backstrom are in the top 20 in forward takeways and Ovechkin would be there if he hadn't missed so many games. I think the experice the Caps had last year will help the Caps just like the Pens had when they lost to the Wings and then came back. The key is can Varly stay healthy and can Alzner play as well as he has at times for the entire season and playoffs. It think that and not having D playing with broken feet we can win it all.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 15, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

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