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Today's Lineup: Rangers at Caps

There's a lot on the line for a few players in today's preseason finale, but Coach Bruce Boudreau warned not to make too much of who's in and who's out.




Some other items of interest from Boudreau's pregame media session:

*He called this Bourque's biggest game to date. Bourque missed the past two games with a mild concussion and is in a tight battle with Quintin Laing and Alexandre Giroux for a spot on the wing.

"I know Chris really well," Boudreau said. "He knows this is an important game for him as there's been. Let's see how he reacts to it."

*On the thinking that went into today's lineup, Boudreau said: "Giroux has played four games. I wanted to get a chance to look at Bourque. I've seen Clark for four games. I know he's ready. I thought his in New York was his best game, so I wanted to leave it there -- on a positive. Aucoin had by far his best game, but we haven't had Morrison in the lineup since Game 1, so I wanted to see him."

"On defense, it's difficult," he added. "We know what Morrisonn can do, seen him long enough. And Juice played Wednesday, Thursday. We wanted to give Schultz another look, and Sloan another look. Karl we saw Thursday, too. It's still a process with nine NHL potential defensemen."

*Boudreau said he and GM George McPhee have not decided when the final cuts will be made. Could happen tonight, but more likely will happen Monday or Tuesday, he said.

"I know preseason doesn't mean a lot, but this game might mean a lot to some players," Boudreau said. "It might go down to the wire. It's that close on the decision to be made."

The Caps also might wait until the last possible moment to cut players who must clear waivers, which might help the players "sneak through" as other teams figure out what to do with their own bubble guys.

*Boudreau still wouldn't comment on Michal Neuvirth's injury, but anyone who saw the young goaltender at the Caps Convention yesterday could see he was having a tough time walking.

"I just know it was sore," Boudreau said. "It's unfortunate for him because this would have been a great showcase for him had he played."

So, for now, the goaltending competition is on hold. Looks like the season will begin with Jose Theodore and Semyon Varlamov in the nets.

I'll have more after the game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 27, 2009; 10:32 AM ET
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Next: Caps 4, Rangers 3


It appears Nyls is the elephant in the room no one will talk about...

Posted by: RichC3 | September 27, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Nice lineup. I'd predict that Borque, Sugden (he's here for this game), and Sloan will be cut, though. Alzner has not earned himself a slot either. Otherwise this is not too far from the opening night lineup, adding in Juice, ShaMo, and Clark, and I think Aucoin.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 27, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

No Nylander yet again

Posted by: arcassells | September 27, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

That still leaves three roster slots, one of them taken by Nyls. Maybe Borque and Sugden have a shot. Sloan might instead of Sugden if they want to carry 8 D.

Any mathematicians want to chime in with what the cap looks like?

Posted by: Sonyask | September 27, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

this Nylander thing just keeps getting weirder

Posted by: dcfury | September 27, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm thinking Gabby sort of likes Sugden. We may be seeing him a couple of times in the regular season. :)

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 27, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

If anybody has a link to an online stream and could post it that would be great. I'm out of area so I can't watch the stream on the Caps site.

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 27, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Maybe that helps a bit:

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | September 27, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

during the last game they talked about how the Caps have given Nyls permission to negoitiate with the KHL. but regardless. i think its disgusiting how he is being treated., not a single preseason game...? bruce really needs to get over himself and accept Nyls might not be the best fit but he can def contribute given the chance.

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 27, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Lets not forget the caps play brian burkes maple leafs to open up as well as the Rags in the first two weeks of the season. I think sugs gets a spot.

Posted by: caps512 | September 27, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

1 : 0 Caps - Laich

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | September 27, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Good gritty effort by Laich. 1-0 Caps.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 27, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

tarik you still have concerns with ovie's extra weight slowing him down...? haha i dont see any problems lol, he just muscled the rags off the puck and got away twice

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 27, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

2 : 0 CAPS

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | September 27, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Semin's got such an amazing shot.

Good first period.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 27, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

bruce really needs to get over himself and accept Nyls might not be the best fit but he can def contribute given the chance.

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 27, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't put the Nyls thing on Coach. I think it's got GMGM's fingerprints all over it. He's the guy trying to force Nyls into taking a deal somewhere else.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 27, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"bruce really needs to get over himself and accept Nyls might not be the best fit but he can def contribute given the chance."

Where? He was bad in the top six last year, I don't see who you bump for him this year, and his style of play is radically different from what the team's going with for their bottom six.

Bottom line is that the team is trying to figure out what gives them the best chance to win and Nylander's not part of that equation.

Posted by: capsbluelinedotcom | September 27, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

BMo looks good. If he stays healthy, he'll squeeze NickB for the most assists.

Does anyone have any updates on the Comcast/DirectTV battle over Versus?

Posted by: IceNutz | September 27, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Comcast/Direct TV both aren't going anything so far. I think that if it is n't resolved by the start of the season they will have enough people calling they may finally do something. Right now it seems like not many hockey fans are talking about it right now.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 27, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

4 : 0 CAPS - Knuble

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | September 27, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Knuble's got an "A." Interesting...

Posted by: wis193 | September 27, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I thought the game started at one so I missed up until just before the third goal but the small part I have been watching the Caps are looking real good.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 27, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Not sure how many of the people he play video games but I noticed in NHL 10 they have Laich with the A along with Ovechkin and Clark with the C. Not saying it means anything just found it interesting.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 27, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Knuble's AWESOME! =)

Posted by: rachel216 | September 27, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks ice97 for the Versus info. Do you or anybody else have a work around for watching the Caps next week? I like DirectTV but if they're not carrying Versus I gotta think about changing. Does FIOS or DishNetwork have the same issues with Comcast. Cox is my local cable provider, are there issues with them as well? My fear is I go to turn on the game next Thursday and I have a blank screen on DirectTV.

Posted by: IceNutz | September 27, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Agree Knuble looks great as does BMo. Bourque is making it hard for BB--I love him out there. Varly's looking sharp. Love the backward skating still controlling the and still managed to shoot it. If it had made it that would have been the shot of the game for me. I think they all look great. Haven't seen any major errors so far and that includes Schultz for you naysayers. He has made several good checks that I've seen. Green has also looked good--he is clearly trying to hang back and protect. This has been a great hockey game so far. LET'S GO CAPS! Really I am not that effusive normally!!!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 27, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

IceNutz I do not know anyone personally who has this problem. Right now it is just DirectTV that has the problem. I have Comcast (In pittsburgh) and my parents have Cox (In Burke). I know Dish Network still has versus (and when this first happened were running a discount if you switched at least according to my Indy Racing League friends (who have the same problem).

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 27, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

what happened to Freedocast? I'm not seeing the game.

Posted by: large23220 | September 27, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Game over, Caps win 4-3. Too many penalties leads to power play goals.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 27, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I think we have the worst team in the NFL now... LOL

Posted by: joek443 | September 27, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Brashear scored? That's cute.

Posted by: Raber | September 27, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Agree Sonysk--too many penalties and not as good penalty killers inthe 3rd. Brash must be happy he scored. Really liked Pothier today.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 27, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from the game, here's what I noticed:

There are very few things that can take away from a win more than a third period in which you take a fist full of dumb penalties, allow 20 shots, and three goals.

Tyler Sloan is absolutely NHL caliber there's no doubt about that. Both myself and the organization are high on Jeff Schultz, I've got a lot of hope for him, but facts are facts Sloan is a better skater who makes smarter passes, and is more physical.

It is going to be awesome having Mike Knuble around. He is as big as a house, and as strong as an ox. He knows exactly what we need him for and exactly what he's good at.

Bourque is awesome. He got a goal, never slowed down, threw his body around, and I kid you not went after Brashear when he got too close to Varlamov. Although in fairness Erskin was already having a few words with Brash by the time Bourque got there.

Varly was great he had about five awesome glove saves in a row in the third period, but 20 shots in one period is too much to ask, especially when many of them were while the team was short handed.

Pothier is awesome. He's skating great, and moving the puck like he never missed a single game.

Overall great game through two periods, but the third was awful defense needs to be tighter, and the idiotic penalties need to stop. Refs were actually pretty decent as far as refs go, so they can't be blamed. It'll be interesting to see what the line-up is when the regular season starts because Sloan, Aucoin, Laing, and Bourque have absolutely proved they belong here, and from what I've heard of Alzner he's been pretty solid too. Going to be a tough choice for Boudreau I guess

Posted by: dcfury | September 27, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Sloan was the one Cap with two penalties, holding the stick and tripping.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 27, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

For those who keep ranting that "What the organization is doing to Nylander is disgusting":

Stop trying to be the edgy "in the know" fan and shut the heck up without knowing more. If there are still serious talks of sending him to SEL, KHL, or any other European league, then it makes sense for him to practice hard but be benched. Too much of a liability to have him playing when he could be somebody else's property in a few weeks. It happens in Soccer quite often when a transfer is pending.

He also could be sitting because they know he auto makes team(without any choice) so they are testing out prospects and such.

Even if the caps are just benching him, I would not work too hard to defend him. You know considering he will farm 5 mil USD to sit in a press box.

Posted by: trunkenmath | September 27, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Bourque sure played like a guy who wants to stay. Good effort by Chris and the whole third line with the cycle that set up Pothier's goal. Nice stuff.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | September 27, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I am still disgusted and frustrated about Nylander.

"He was bad in the top six last year"

He was barely played and never given a chance. Still he had 33 points and scored some significant goals.

"Bottom line is that the team is trying to figure out what gives them the best chance to win and Nylander's not part of that equation."

If this is the determination, then they should send him back to Sweden or buy out his contract or whatever solution exists for not rostering him on this team--whatever the financial loss. What I find unacceptable is to invest in a skilled player, change the system and then be unable to either fit him into the new system or get rid of him. Letting him languish in the sidelines for two years and destroying his reputation is not a solution.

TARIK and gang, why don't you do an investigative story on Nylander? What's going on with him (what are the "difficulties" BB is referring to?) and what might be the Caps' plan? Also, why can't a good coach like BB fins a way to fit him in?

Posted by: caraveli | September 27, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I see in Mike Vogel's game recap that BB gave some clarity regarding his plans for the team. He said that he would be able to tell us about Nylander's role by Tuesday, and he clarified his plan for the goaltenders. Good!

I didn't see the game today but, excited as I am about the team this year, I find it a little disturbing that they lost such huge advantage in the third period. This has the ring of past sloppiness that dogged us. Why did we lose our edge?

Posted by: caraveli | September 27, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree. This is a newspaper. Give us some reporting: What's the real inside story on the Nylander situation?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | September 27, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I have a theory on the Nylander situation. Although I've received ridicule by some, I stick to what I've said in the past, that players want to play. Trading him hasn't worked so far, so my guess is Caps management is banking on the players want to play thing and hope Nylander will choose to play in another league somewhere rather than being a healthy scratch all year.

On another note Dishnet has Versus, but you have to subscribe to a separate package to get it. You get it and several other channels for ~$10 a month.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | September 28, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

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