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Thursday Morning Update

Brent Johnson was the first goaltender off the ice this morning and will start tonight against the Lightning. This will be Johnson's first start since Dec. 20 against Philadelphia, when he was pulled after allowing three goals on 13 shots in the Flyers' 7-1 win. Prior to that game Johnson won five straight starts.

"As good as Theo has played Brent has also played well and deserves a start," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Looking around the league this year you need both goaltenders....Very few teams have been able to run with one at all times so we have to keep our guys sharp."

*Karl Alzner told me he's good to go and Tyler Sloan will be sent down to Hershey. He walked out of Kettler this morning as the rest of the Caps settled in for their morning meeting.

*It's definitely a good sign that Alexander Semin (back) skated for the second-straight day, but he wasn't skating all out when he did participate in a few shooting drills, but spent most of his on-ice time stretching along the boards. Boudreau said he wants to see how Semin feels after the next full practice but estimated that he could be ready to play in the next week.

*John Erskine (concussion) was one of the last players off the ice after skating for awhile with with Brian Pothier and assistant coach Jay Leach.

*Donald Brashear (leg bruise) skated today but is still questionable for tonight as Chris Bourque and Alexandre Giroux are still here. Tom Poti (groin) skated very briefly today at the end of practice, and still no sign of Sergei Fedorov (ankle).

*If you wondered whether the Caps kept tabs on the World Junior Championships the answer is absolutely. Brooks Laich won his bet and dinner on Tom Poti thanks to last night's Canada-USA game. Karl Alzner brought Milan Jurcina a Team Canada hat. And Boudreau found himself outnumbered by family while cheering for the Canadians.

"I was torn (on who to root for)" Boudreau said. "I've lived in the US since 1990 and Canada's your birthplace so it gets difficult. I just hope the two teams meet in the finals. My son's American so he was cheering for the U.S. My wife's American so she was cheering for the U.S. so I was all alone last night."

By Katie Carrera  |  January 1, 2009; 11:39 AM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup

Comments

Happy New Year!

2009 prediction: Caps in the finals. Go Caps!

Posted by: CAP-lanta | January 1, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Is there any news on Fedorov?

It seems like he's dropped from the face of the team, kinda like Pothier did last year after getting hurt...


Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 1, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year to all the Caps and their fans. May 2009 be even better than 2008!

Rest Semin, Feds, and the rest until they are truly healthy.

Posted by: Section303 | January 1, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Reposted from previous! (Refresh Dave, always refresh...)

Happy New Year all! All the best for 2009.

Anyone with any links for the Winter Classic? I had hoped Mauree would be on the case but reading recent threads he seems to be away. Can anyone fill his big shoes?

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 1, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

aw johnny gets to start off the new year, sweet deal. altho theo has been doing solid lately. nice to see alzie back, altho when i was in the elevator with him yesterday he did indeed confirm he'd be playing today, good to hear another confirmation. can't wait for tonight's game woohoo!!

Posted by: capsfan387 | January 1, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I am not going to be able to use my tickets tonight if anyone wants to go. I have Section 117, Row W, Seats 3 & 4. I posted them on ticket exchange just a couple of minutes ago.

Posted by: caps28fan | January 1, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan

I've been to almost all of the states (missed Montana somehow and Alaska), Canada, England, Holland and Germany (Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru I don't really recall - too young).

My votes for wackiest drivers?

1. Puerto Rico - mostly because most of their roads are under destruction, unlined, and they share cigarettes between cars as they're careening down the street dodging pedestrians jay walking with street signs that are obscured by overhanging trees.

2. Atlanta, GA - They all think they're NASCAR drivers. Otherwise nice southern belles get behind the wheel and they instantly transform into deamons hell bent for leather with their foot down on the gas pedal and hand on the horn.

3. Philly - There's a reason the Schuylkill Expressway is nicknamed the "Sure Kill Expressway."

4. Connecticut and Massachussets - Sorry, but they're both pretty wacky drivers, too. Like most places, the further away from urban areas the better the drivers - or at least the less crazy they drive.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 31, 2008 11:28 PM


Greg S.

I am not offended as I am not from CT, I am from VA. The worst part about CT drivers are the limos. They hang in the left lane like it is their birthright. I have a feeling though that is a problem throughout the US.

Happy New Year!

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | January 1, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Happy New Year to all!

Dave: I checked the site Mauree usually recommends and it looks like they'll be streaming the Classic today:

http://atdhe.net/ice2.php?i=554

Posted by: tess2201 | January 1, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tess and thanks for the Bears updates yesterday too.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 1, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

OMG ...The first thing i read in this new year is posted by Section 303 suggesting they "Rest" Semin !!!! Rest Semin The man has BED SORES ...I suggest you send him down to the minors I win tell you one thing is is now listed as a band aid boy on http://www.dobberhockey.com/content/view/142/51/

as a trainie but he will be moved up in that rank!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | January 1, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I feel bad for Steve Stamkos. It's not his fault that Tampa Bay threw him straight into the fire, ready or not. Not every kid can handle that, whether they're a first overall pick or not. Send him down to the minors, let him season some, and he'll be just fine if they don't ruin his confidence pushing him to something he's not ready for.

Theo looked a little rough in the morning skate today, I hope he doesn't lose his momentum. Ovi was skating in shorts, gloves and a jersey. *snicker* He looked like he'd just crawled out of bed.

Looking forward to the game tonight. I hope the boys don't count Tampa out - I guarantee you Tampa is looking to pull off the same thing we did last year, and is just crazy enough to think they can do it. They've been playing pretty good lately. We need to take this game seriously and not be caught napping or blow them off. If anybody should realize that Tampa should not be taken lightly just because they're near the bottom of the league, it's us.

Come on boys, a good effort tonight, or they could catch us napping and kick our tails.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 1, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

That said - let's start the New Year off right by kicking a division opponent's butt. :) Happy New Year!

Posted by: kittypawz | January 1, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

DrinkinPartner, I am wondering the same thing.

Is Fedorov going to be out for a long, long time, Pothier style?

He needs to sit out until he is at least 90-95%, but an update here or there would be nice.

Posted by: DrAdamson | January 1, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I wonder who had the idea to have a football player and baseball players at centre ice for the winter classic. They looked as excited as the "hockey" fans were to see them there !....

By the way....Great World Junior Championship game yesterday very sporty for the Canadains to spot them 3 goals

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | January 1, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

So I'm watching this winter classic (AWESOME); who are the 2 players we keep hearing about we would receive if we traded Nylander to Chitown?

If its Seabrook, I'm excited. Cause that dude had a nasty hit on Cleary.

Posted by: goskinsgo | January 1, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I read some inconsistency in BB's reason for starting BJ in net tonight. Several times this season he said his decision to start one versus the other was based on "running with which ever goalie is hot." Now JT if finally hot and he starts BJ. What's JT to think now? I think he should start JT until either he has a bad game or the team's next back-to-back. I'm not trying to stir up anything but it strikes me that either BB is changing his tune or perhaps there is some other reason that he went with BJ tonight e.g., JT injury.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | January 1, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

AleksanderOMunchkin: I tend to agree with you but who knows! BB may have a plan & insights that we don't. He has proved to be a great coach so far. I am eager to see Theo in goal again and again to be reassured of his consistency.

Posted by: caraveli | January 1, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else watching the Winter Classic? Good game so far, 3-1 Hawks after 1.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | January 1, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

AleksanderOMunchkin:

JT is hot, absolutely, but I don't object to having Johnson start tonight's game. You have to keep Johnson in the flow of game speed while also maintaining JT's health and making sure he remains fresh for future starts and for the second-half of the season.

Posted by: dcox50 | January 1, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I went to practice this morning. I left at about 10:45 and Federov was walking in with a cigaratte in one hand and skates in the other. He didn't seem to be limping.

This was my first practice but I will tell you that Erskine, Brashear, and some of the other injured guys appear to be skating just fine to me compared to the other guys.

Posted by: capsfan5 | January 1, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

the 2 guys who were part of those rumors were dustin byfulguin(sp?) and brett sopel.

i like dustin a lot.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 1, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Who is not wearing the logo? Spot it yet?

Posted by: majiksea | January 1, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Who is not wearing the logo? Spot it yet?

Posted by: majiksea | January 1, 2009 2:52 PM
-------------------------------------------
Yep.

Posted by: Section117 | January 1, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Fedorov with a cigarette in one hand and his skates in the other? Man, that's a bad deal. Tell me he's the only guy we got who smokes (yuck).
I'm not impressed with the smoking part.

Posted by: Dougeb | January 1, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Dougeb: According to that recent magazine article about Ovi, he uses chewing tobacco. In my opinion that's even more disgusting than cigs. I was very surprised when I read that about Ovi.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 1, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I thought I spotted the missing logo a couple of times, but then I get another look and its there. As my dad said, "How in the heck are you supposed to spot a missing logo when you can barely read the nameplates from the camera angles they're using?" However, I'm nearly positive now its a Blackhawk.
tess2201, both disgusting habits, but the chew is worse in the blech kind of way. But if Feds thinks he can breathe enough to skate while smoking cigarettes... *shrugs*

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 1, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

its better for an athlete because its not affecting his lungs at least. cigarettes are worse.

but he can do whatever he wants.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 1, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sure it is Hawk 33, but you are right even in HD you con't read the names.

Posted by: majiksea | January 1, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I agree that smoking , chewing and Ovi's Skoal are all bad . However the disgust level goes up from Smoking to, "a pinch between cheek and gum", using Skoal like Ovi, and a big wad of Beechnut pushing out your cheek. LOL

Posted by: billd2 | January 1, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

For anyone interested... Huet just got yanked after giving up 6 in 2+. Is it wrong for that to make so happy?

Posted by: RicketyCricket | January 1, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz

Tampa has a bit of a history starting kids early. They started LeC when he was 12, I think. Like him or not, that's one thing that Melrose tried to do was limit his exposure on the ice. There are very few skaters capable of going from Juniors to NHL. Stamkos and LeC were not.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 1, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Panger announcing that Conklin just went potty.

Good grief!

Posted by: Greg S. | January 1, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I like both teams' retro sweaters, but I think the numbers are very hard to read. I don't have HD; maybe that would make a difference?

Posted by: tess2201 | January 1, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Tess2201

I like them both, too. Like them better than the ones last year. You're right, though. The numbers are difficult to read. Not that I'd know who the players would be anyway...

Posted by: Greg S. | January 1, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

> and Federov was walking in with a cigaratte in one hand

Are you sure? Fedorov doesn't smoke, unless his ankle made him. Man, this is the first time in his career he is on LTIR. He has a record of missing a couple of games at most.

Semin was playing well in playoffs. It's a bit unfortunate that he got a pinched nerve, this is more serious than even a knee injury.

People, you need to understand that Semin will be invaluable in playoffs, as well as Fedorov. We need to think playoffs, the team is doing well right now, Bears are winning.

With Semin or Fedorov going injured in playoffs it'll be very easy to opposite team to gang up on Ovechkin.

Let both Semin and Feds heal, stop whining about them not playing now.

I'd rather let them sit on LTIR till April than to go in playoffs without them.

Posted by: CodePoetry | January 1, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Hello all!

To be honest, I think about a third of the Caps as well and maybe a quarter of the NHL uses chewing tabacco. Sasha dips regularly doing his sticks before games and most of the French Canadian players do smoke on occasions.

I used to work for the Orlando Solar Bears of the old IHL and we had "Designated Players Smoking Area"(crazy) so they could light up in peace. It is just a culture thing so I would not worry about it. If it affected their play, believe me they would not do it.

Lets Go Cap-I-Tals!!!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 1, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I'll admit I think chewing tobacco is disgusting, and cigarettes stink. Cigars are worse. At least they don't chew while they're on the ice. P'tooie. Yeah.

...and there goes Crosby, into the corner - looks like he slid on Ovi's chaw!

Yecch!

Posted by: irockthered | January 1, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

RicketyCricket:
It made me happy, too ... :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 1, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I dont know if this has been posted or not, but Ovechkin's grandfather passed away last weekend. RIP

Posted by: richmondphil | January 1, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

irockthered, XD! I just got the mental image of Crosby standing up wiping it off his face. So gross, yet so entertaining. Having grown up around "good ole boys" in an area that worships all things baseball, I should be used to dip, but after you kiss a guy not realizing he has it in his mouth, "yecch" indeed.
I was sort of pulling for the Hawks, since it was their "home ice" and they hadn't won against Detroit yet, but seeing Huet struggle in the later periods did warm my heart just a little. After that Datsyuk goal, I kinda figured it was over for the Hawks. I know Datsyuk is slick, but it was almost like the D weren't even trying to stop him. A good game, and I didn't even vomit during Bettman's post-game comments.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 1, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

At the Winter Classic, I liked the brick wallpaper they used on the outside of the boards, mirroring all the brickwork at Wrigley Field.

Posted by: rw-c | January 1, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Hearing players chewing/dipping in the NHL does not surprise me one bit. I had a lot of teammates in college (lacrosse players) that chewed. A lot of players from other teams chewed as well. They said they did it because it relaxes them but they also save their lungs because they're not smoking. Even though I grew up with the "Good ol' boys" as well and having a father who does it, it's still gross to me and will never do it. You would think professional athletes would want take better care of their bodies...

Posted by: dcox50 | January 1, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Who's gonna hook me up with a feed for tonight's game? :-)

Joe:
How 'bout them crowds, eh?

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 1, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Boo:
Nice crowd, but I wouldn't watch a hockey game held in a baseball stadium.

They've gotta keep them in football stadiums, but in the U.S. they can't know in advance which city's stadium will be out of the playoffs (except Detroit).

Posted by: rw-c | January 1, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Edit: I wouldn't GO TO a hockey game held in a baseball stadium. Of course I'd watch on TV.

Boo:
Just saying "Mauree!!!" takes fewer letters. :-)

Posted by: rw-c | January 1, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Joe:
So you're telling me that you would not go to the WC if someone gave you tickets? Don't get me wrong - I don't think it is the best venue (sight lines for hockey are better at a football stadium), but it's the WC, for Pete's sake!! BTW, good point about mauree ... what would we do without him? :-) I saw Tess's post from earlier - that might work ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 1, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

@rw...my wife and I were saying the same thing. why would you go to watch a hockey game when the rink is a mile away from the closest seats? it seemed you would need binoculars in most of the sections just to see which players were doing what. if they do this in the future, they need to do it in a place that brings the stands closer to the rink. it is a great idea for outside hockey though. lets go CAPS!!! all i want for new years is the stanley cup!!!

Posted by: CapsSkins | January 1, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Boo:
Well, if someone GAVE me tickets, but I'd really rather be able to SEE the game.

Was it Pat Kane, originally from Buffalo, who said this was his first outdoor game? I'm from Buffalo and never played an outdoor game unless we're counting 2 on 2 games when the creek froze.

New thread.

Posted by: rw-c | January 1, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

ohh boy...locker is still drunk!!! hehe

Posted by: CapsSkins | January 1, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

boo: you can try this
http://atdhe.net/

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 1, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

nice D - even theo would've shut them down

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 1, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Well that was a lazy effort for the Caps -- better come out with some fire in the 3rd if they want to win

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | January 1, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

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