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Tonight's Lineup vs. Florida

Here's the lineup that will face the suddenly streaking Cats, who've won four of five to move within a point of eighth-place New Jersey.

(When are the Caps going to go on such a run, you ask? I don't know. But it had better be soon.)





Kolzig will start.

Scratches: Erskine, Eminger and Fleischmann.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 28, 2007; 10:46 AM ET
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Lines look good to me.
I hope they scrath Flash.
The BBB line has been ok.

Tarik have they has the morning scate yet??
How did they look?

Posted by: Brad | November 28, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Tarik - very interested in how the Poti-Jurcina pairing will perform tonight.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 28, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

petty notches 2 tonight... one shorthanded one even strength... mark these words

Posted by: capthis! | November 28, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Here's hoping Nylander gets back on his game tonight.

Posted by: HolyOlie | November 28, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Detroit News and report that Ovechkin will get max offer of 10.3 mil...

Posted by: alexovetjkin | November 28, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

To me, the game tonight could come down to the 2nd line. Semin looked extremely rusty (and/or out of shape, which is to be expected after a long layoff) on Monday. Pettinger is of course coming off his 1 game benching.

If those two guys come out tonight ready to go, that could be an exciting line to watch with Pettinger working the boards, Kozlov (hopefully) using his size well, and Semin with his great shot and speed. In some ways it's a very similar line to OV's line.

And I personally would like either Brash or Bradley to get a game off and put Flash on the 4th line with Backstrom. Brash and Bradley have played well with Backstrom, and Flash didn't really play well this last game, but I'd still like to see a bit more skill along side of Backstrom, even if Flash's finishing skills at the NHL level aren't fully developed.

Posted by: Jeff | November 28, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Ugggghhhhh. That second D pairing of Pothier and Schultz makes me cringe. More Schultz, but the 2 together...

Lets go CAPS!

Posted by: Mark Tucker | November 28, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I've tried hard to stay away, to not pay anymore attention to the caps except at a distance... I can't do it. I'm hooked. Its like a car crash and I have to see the bodies, the bloody mangled bodies. sigh. go caps.

Posted by: 007 | November 28, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Pothier and Schultz have played together a bunch this season...

We know Schultz doesn't hit, and neither are extremely good at getting the puck out of the zone, but somehow those 2 are the only 2 + defensemen on the team. I know that stats can lie, but ultimately they've been on the ice for more Caps even strength goals than they've allowed, and that's significant for this team.

Posted by: Jeff | November 28, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Well, patty cakes is back in on Defense...


I fear a long night...

Posted by: Greg S. | November 28, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update Tarik!

Yeah the cats are streaking but to lose two of three on this homestand would be miserable. Some would say its too early in the season still, some would say let BB get some more practice in, but this is a MUST WIN game. The Caps need to come out and win this one handedly tonight. Otherwise you know any confidence gained from downing the flyers/bolts will be gone.

My keys to the game:
-seems every goalie caps run into lately is "hot". they need to shoot early and often to get some 1st period goals against TV.
-no bonehead turnovers from inside the blueline (nylander, schultz, pothier, and poti)
-for God's sake hit someone and hit them hard. knock florida around and control the tempo of the game
-per tariks article, petti needs to finish. he's on a scoring line and will get some chances

Posted by: PJ | November 28, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I would love to see one or two of the Capitals lay out some of the Panthers tonight like Dion Phaneuff did to Juri Hudler last night. God lord he almost knocked him into the upper deck of Joe Louis Arena.

Posted by: Mitch | November 28, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The reuniting of Pothier & Schultz makes me cringe as well, +/- notwithstanding. They are both incredibly soft and tentative, and Pothier probably leads the team in turnovers. I hope the O can get it done tonight, since the D is sure to be Swiss cheese. I predict at least one goal for the Killer B's.

Posted by: Jill | November 28, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@ Mitch,

Loved the hit by Phaneuf on Hudler, but it didn't help the Flames much. The hit may have been more effective had it taken place in the first period. The bottom lines is that I would prefer to see wins that crunching hits. If crunching hits will help produce wins then great. Otherwise they are great to look at, but overrated.

Posted by: red dragon | November 28, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse


yesterday you mentioned that you would have a quote from Poti about the ice at the phonebooth-- I guess that since you wrote about Petti, you must be saving the quote?

I know that both teams are playing on the same ice, I just think that the quality of play is improved if the ice is decent. You know, it respects the game. I am sorry; forget the query. I just remembered how much respect Washington Sports has for their hockey tennants!

Posted by: Clarendon | November 28, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Pothier is a joke. The guy at the 'Canes game who yelled for him to "hit somebody with his purse" was spot-on.

Posted by: Fire Hanlon | November 28, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

alexovetjkin - boy all you got is rumors on your blog, almost like a russian eklund :)

Posted by: TJ | November 28, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know how the D pairings are usually matched up against opposing lines and with our offensive lines? The +/- is only telling if the D-pairings are rotated evenly between the opponents' best lines and our best lines (which I'm sure is not the case). It could be the Pothier/Schultz are out their with Ovechkin against the other team's "shut-down" (read: non-scoring) line whereas Poti/Juice/Morrison are out there agains the other teams top line (and with our never-scoring shut-down line). Anyone been paying close enough attention? Tarik?

Posted by: TripDonkeys | November 28, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Interesting stats: The caps have 5 defencemen in the top 60 in giveaways. This is a terrible stat considering that there are 180 regular defencemen in the NHL.

Posted by: red dragon | November 28, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@ Fred,
Please excuse the tardiness. It was Locker that described Semin's injury as a, "High ankle sprain" during Saturday's Flyer's game.

Posted by: Puckguru | November 28, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Tarik- I enjoyed today's article on Pettinger.

I hope BB can help our Defensemen shore up their defensive skills, that they learned in peewee hockey. I've seen a void of basic Defensmen coverage this year, on rushes.

Posted by: Hattrick23 | November 28, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Eklund doesn't say it's a rumor and doesn't give a source -- I do.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | November 28, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

My Russian is a little rusty... I'm also not sure of's journalism practices. I think I'll wait for the official word from Uncle Ted.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 28, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse


Thanks, I was travelling and didn't see the Caps broadcast.

Posted by: Fred | November 28, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Benching Flash is lame. Same goes for Eminger. Bradley, Brashear, Shultz provide nothing out there.

And to those that say the BBB line looks good, honestly, any line with backstrom is going to be able to do ok. Backstrom is awesome and needs to immidiately be put on a line with Semin and OV. Hopefully before long we'll see this lineup:

OV - Backstrom - Semin
Flash - Nylander - Kozlov
Pettinger - Laich - Clark
who cares - Gordon - who cares

Posted by: Rob | November 28, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

If Caps can play well in the second period for once, they'll win

Posted by: Monkey | November 28, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow - Pettinger is really getting a carrot with second line appearance. I personally think he should be our third line center and that's where he contributes best, but maybe Boudreau figures he needs some people to play with.

Anyone else agree that Kozlov is a bust at what they originally brought him here for - ie. second line center or line w/ Ovechkin??

Mike Green has talent, but needs work on his defensive skills. Anyone think he could be moved to winger and be more effective there?? The problem becomes - who takes his spot??

Well - like someone else said - part of the joy of watching the Caps is never really knowing how it's going to go - good/bad or just plain ugly.

Posted by: Jaymagz | November 28, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Pillowhead Shultz is back in his red douvey cover. Kind of reminds me of a limp wristed slap fighter.

Let's see how the team reacts after losing and getting a real (i think maybe?) practice with Bruce

Posted by: Lee | November 28, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Rob, you're not the sharpest tool in the shed are you.

Posted by: kenwood | November 28, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@red dragon: That is quite interesting (but not surprising). With Eminger being a bench warmer most of the season, that means we have 5 of our 7 defensemen on that list. My money is on Schultz and Morissonn being the lone two out of the top 60.

Not sure whether or not I'm disappointed to see Flash out of the lineup. Personally, I like that BB is actually mixing up the lines for a bit. It also means that Hanlon's "favorites" thing won't happen, as you'll notice a bunch of people he's scratching are players he had in Hershey.

And I'll reiterate that Pettinger getting second line work is good news. Tarik hit it dead on with his article - all he's had this year is extraordinary bad luck. I see a scoring streak for him in the near future. Let's hope it starts tonight.

Posted by: Raber | November 28, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Kenwood, what would you possibly think could be a better line combo than that?

Oh, and blame Flash for all of Nylanders turnovers, real brilliant of you.

Eminger has had 2 games....give him a chance. He is 1000% better than Morrisonn, Shultz, Jurcina, Erskine. Wow, they're all 6'6, they must be good hockey players.

Posted by: Rob | November 28, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse


1. I don't think Backstrom is ready for first line duty.

2. Did you see Kovalchuk undress Eminger in the first game he played?

3. Saying Eminger is 1000% better than Morrison, et al shows you don't know hockey.

4. Flash is fine. He is learning. But I like how he played with Kozlov and Semin. Maybe he and Nylander will get on the same page, but they sure aren't yet.

5. Bottom line is BB is holding auditions right now. I'm fine with that...for now.

Posted by: kenwood | November 28, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse


Where did you get that I blame Flash for Nylander's turnovers?

Posted by: kenwood | November 28, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Would all of you who keep saying Mike Green should play wing please stop. Green is what he is. He's Sandis Ozolinsh. Awesome offensive instincts, not so much defensive. With time, and a nice D-minded pair (in the Langaway model) he could devlop into Brian Leech, a great o-guy that has a few tricks (like a great hip check) to become tolerable in his own end.

The guy I want to see in a suit is Laich. Steckel and Gordo have better defensive instincts.

Posted by: old time hockey | November 28, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Jaymagz - I think all the fans expected a Ovie-Nylander-Kozlov line (along with a Semin-Backstrom-Clark). Have we even tried this other than the power play?

Switching between D and forward is a injury-depletion type move. It just doesn't seem to work for more than a few games. I imagine that by the time you make the NHL you are what you are, if Green had great forward instincts, he'll have been put there in juniors.

Posted by: tallbear | November 28, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

SovSport sucks, but keeps my blog going :-)

Go Caps! Viva Ovechkin!

Posted by: alexovetjkin | November 28, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S: All the SovSport article says in substance is that Alexander Ovechkin, who will be a restricted free agent next year, will receive a contract worth $10.3 million, in comparison with Sidney Crosby who, according to a radio station named "Sport" has an annual contract for $9 million. No sources, no new information, just more useless speculation about the obvious presented as fact.

Posted by: Fred | November 28, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Stop using BB. His nick name is "Gabby"!!!!
Let's start using it people.

Posted by: Brad | November 28, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@Fred: You forgot to mention honorary Ted Kulfan from Detroit News. I wonder how he got in the mix. At least SovSport mentions some fictitious radio station named "Sport". Maybe it is broadcasting from Detroit or NY. :-)

Posted by: alexovetjkin | November 28, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

That should be it for Eminger.

Posted by: gawferstud | November 28, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Morrisonn was a team worst -10 earlier this year, and is now second to nylander at -7. I think Mo is terrible and theres a reason why Boston let him go.

Yea, Eminger got burned in his first game back by player ever gets burned by Kovalchuk (sarcastic, he is leading the league in scoring).

And if you don't think Backstrom is ready, you're obviously the one that clearly hasn't been watching. He makes Bradley and Brashear look like average NHLers, imagine what he would do with two of the premier scorers in the league. There is no reason for him to be on the 4th line.

Posted by: Rob | November 28, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Might as well stop worrying about which blueliners are playing and which are sitting. BB has made it abundantly clear that he intends to use all 8 on a rotating basis. Same goes for the forwards.

Love it or hate it, everyone's going to be seeing ice time.

Posted by: HolyOlie | November 28, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

And also, we all hated when Hanlon switched lines every game, and now BB is doing the same thing. There were plenty of "pulling names out of a hat" jokes around here, and to give BB a break on it because he won two games is hypocritical.

Posted by: Rob | November 28, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@ tallbear

Actually - there's more than a few players who have been switched from d to forward and vice versa over the years - yes they are rare, but they do happen.

Wendel Clark was a defenseman turned winger, Lindy Ruff, I'm sure there are others. (Ken Klee in the 3-D system) LOL!

All I'm saying is we need some goals, and Green can score - that's proven...he needs some more opportunity - and maybe winger is the right spot for him.

The PRO game is a lot different than junior/college - it's not a far out theory.

Posted by: Jaymagz | November 28, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse


The reason Gabby is getting "a pass" on his line changing is because he's had 2 (?) practices with these guys, and apparently has the brains not to trust his assistants suggestions who helped Hanlon lead these guys to a 6-14-1 record.

Unfortunately, by changing coaches in the middle of the season, he has to figure out which guys work together in his "system". This would have been done in the preseason if he were the coach, but now he needs to see all his guys play to figure out where they belong.

Also, while there are certain players who aren't going to be benched no matter what they do in a specific game, the cusp players can play themselves out of the lineup with a poor performance. I have no problem with that, and because guys are going in and out frequently lines will change as mentioned in a previous post.

Posted by: Jeff | November 28, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

How does Green get his goals? From the area of a RW or as a D? His goals by my recollection have been back door on the power play, 3rd man unmarked by a forward, & end-to-end rush. Just because he can score as a D-man doesn't inherently make him a candidate for a scoring forward.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 28, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I think they should do the lines by the players country...

OV - Kozlov - Semin (CCCP)
Flash - Backstrom - Nylander (Swedes)
Pettinger - Gordon - Laich (Nades)
Steckle - Clark - ??? (mixed) But, use Clark on PP and PK...

What's up with these articles telling OV to leave Washington... that can't happen! If he goes, I go...

Posted by: 828 | November 28, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

For all the people yelling "O" during the national anthem. That was in place because of the Orioles... they were called the O's... So, Washington DC has a new baseball team... stop doing it. Also, If you are gonna do it, put an A infront of that O... or an veckin after that O... either way, the O's aint playing hockey.

Posted by: 828 | November 28, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@ 828

They do that everywhere, not just here. My girlfriend is from Arizona and they do it at Diamonbacks games and everything. Relax.

And I agree about Mike Green. Most of his goals come from being a very smart defenseman receiving great passes. I don't think we should rush him to a forward line.

Posted by: Jordan | November 28, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse


Thank you. Nothing says classy like immitating Baltimore.

Posted by: Schultz for Calder | November 28, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

As a vet, it is kind of disrespectful to yell 'O' during the national anthem. Also, please remember to remove your hat.

That's all for that. back to the normal line up

Posted by: Lee | November 28, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse


Flash is from the Czech Republic...not Sweden.

Posted by: Mitch | November 28, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Green is a MacInnis-type D-man. Strong shot (though not MacInnis strong) from the point and a sneaky little bugger pinching in from the blue line.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 28, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse


I've been reading your blogs and have one question for you:

Have you been kabonged in the head recently?

Posted by: Mitch | November 28, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, just saw Flash is from Cze... there goes that plan.

No mitch, my head is fine. All my blogs??? What is there 2?

Posted by: 828 | November 28, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I think that Pettinger sucks and shouldn't play with Semin and Kozlov. We should trade Eminger to Montreal for Ryder and put Ryder with Kozlov and Semin

Posted by: Bad Person | November 28, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

@Shultz for Calder,

Baltimore will learn charm right around the time your boy Shultz learns to hit his way out of a paper bag

Posted by: Steve R | November 28, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Great idea Bad Person.
Now can we get Montreal to agree to that?
Do they have cap room? I'm not so sure they want Eminger. You would also need to ask if they done with Ryder? Also, that would put us one man lighter in the lineup for d-men, does this make room for us to play Shultz every night?

I guess it's not that easy.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 28, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I am not worried about BB. Give him some time and he will have the Caps rolling. I hope there is enough time left in the season. All I can say is we got a chance.

As far as Ovechkin goes, Ted had better sign him, some way some how. He has become the face of the franchise. I am not sure the Caps can stand for another rebuild within the next 10 years. Lose Ovechkin and seriously jeopardize the franchise.

As far as the D goes... GMGM has over reacted I am afraid. The "new" nhl still requires some toughness on D. Every team needs a Garnett Exelby type. The closest we have to that type is John Erskine, in terms of toughness, but thats as far as it goes. John lacks in other areas.

Our D intimidates no one. Name a playoff team that had a defense that doesn't hit. Maybe, Ottawa. How long did they last? (Where did Pothier come from?) How about Vancouver? Not much better. I think some of guys like Pothier can do alright provided they have a partner with a mean streak to complement them.

Sure, goaltending has something to do with it, but the team's with the best goaltenders almost always have the best defenses.

Posted by: Muddapucker | November 28, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

PAtrice Brisebois sucks and everyone in Montreal knows that the need another def.

Josh Georgous is really really bad so they need Eminger

Latendresse play on the first line so Ryder is playing on the third line. Ryder will leave Montreal really soon so why not

It's better than everyone except Ovy and Semin

Posted by: pmoravek | November 28, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

For those that want to see Brashear take a seat..think about this the last few games those guys have played against the top lines and kept them in check most of the time. You need that one line that can be a thorne in Jokinen's side tonight. Brashear, if he stays out of the box, is that guy. He will create space, make the Panthers afraid to touch the puck and create skating room for Backstrom.

Brashear has some skill, he just has to keep his cool and save the fights and big hits for the right moment.

Posted by: Jonny | November 28, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse


Brash has had 3 good games in a row. No need at all for him to sit in the press box.

Posted by: Steve R | November 28, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse


I agree. I was on the "brashear go away" bandwagon for the first 18 games or so (he was terrible). Probably it's BB... I don't know... but during the last 3 games I changed my mind.
I was shocked and thinking "is this the same Brashear?" His line rocks.

I don't agree with the guy saying that BB is changing/picking lines as Hanlon did. He's not. He's rotating some guys in and out but the lines don't change much. Everyone got a chance to play.

I really hope Semin is going to show up today. If its Monday's Semin ghost we're screwed.

Posted by: mauree | November 28, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Is #44 taken in South Carolina???????

Posted by: GoRedSoxGo | November 28, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

what channel are they on tonight?! Pretty sure no dice here in Charlottesville. This fan is pissed.

Posted by: S.S. | November 28, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

For those that it helps...

Caps are on 659 on DirecTV

Posted by: Muddapucker | November 28, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

for centralizing things, nhl online coverage has been screwy. add to list: + for fla but no - for caps.

Posted by: jim* | November 28, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

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