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Tonight's Lineup

Because of the injuries to Nylander, Clark and Gordon, here are Boudreau's all new forward lines:

Ovechkin-Kozlov-Semin (how about that?)

The 'D' parings (same as before):


Kolzig is expected to start in goal.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 7, 2007; 5:54 PM ET
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Next: Saturday A.M. Update; Recchi To ATL


Really interesting with the Russian-line, can´t wait!!

Posted by: Magnus | December 7, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

alright the russian line finally unleashed let's see how this works out.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't Brash guard Backstrom?

If Motzko falters there could be a swap there

Posted by: austinsteve | December 7, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I know it is early, but I've told some of you that BB knows what he is doing. Not bad for and AHL coach.

Posted by: Pete Peeters | December 7, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

scratch that, I don't talk lines.
I'll see how it plays out with everybody else.

Posted by: austinsteve | December 7, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, SOK it to 'em Ruskies!
Probably see Laich move up to RW on the 2nd line later in the game.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I cant wait to watch the game!

Oh wait, it is on CSN-DC+......again.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Ehh.....I found it. it took a bottle of wine and searching the Comcast website line up....

Posted by: nadir | December 7, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Cool, I like the looks of the rock, and always nice to see Stevens getting props.
I hope BJ is slated to start tomorrow. Hey, the RSL should be proud!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 7, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Well that period just sucked.

Posted by: Steve R | December 7, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Nice assist Pothier, how about passing to YOUR OWN team next period!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Bears Woooo | December 7, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are playing flat and soft...meaning not physical. This game is over and this lineup shows that the Caps really don't have depth in their organization.

Posted by: Mitch | December 7, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Mitch, you still interested in lacing them up and standing in front?

Posted by: Steve R | December 7, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Hell Yeah!

Posted by: Mitch | December 7, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

This is getting depressing. Deja vu kicked in, I thought I saw Brash on the PP.

Posted by: Steve R | December 7, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Worked overtime: Caps internet radio said Ovie missed an open net shot(?)

XM on the way home asked "how many Ovie's are there? He never leaves the ice!" They joked that with his visor they could be swapping in other Cap players with a #8 jersey.

Center Ice had a Devils player 2nd intermission interview when I just got home: The Devils can feel the determination in the Caps play and expect play to stay tense between the teams in the 3rd and possibly lead to higher aggression between players

Posted by: I apparently have no life | December 7, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Aaahh crap.

Posted by: kevbpgc | December 7, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

cough. wheeze. cough.

one point.


Posted by: keef | December 7, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

well this wasn't the game to put our hopes in lol. The Devils hits hard and play well, nevertheless their goals are ugly, ours are earned and pretty (yeah yeah kill me now lol). Our boys almost pulled it off.

The two calls at the end of the second and at the end of the third against Green are totally BS. The guy holds the stick and Green gets the penalty. I understand they call that to everybody, but it's unsportsmanlike and should be punished instead of rewarded.

Posted by: mauree | December 7, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse

When Clarkie and Gordon get back, can we keep Laing and finally rid ourselves of Brash and Nyls?

Posted by: MikeZ | December 7, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

My questions tend to go unanswered, but that hasn't stopped me yet...I watched bits and pieces of the game, but didnt manage to catch when the all Russian line was playing. How'd they do?

Posted by: SLM | December 7, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

too many last minute efforts.

Posted by: jim* | December 7, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

How come New Jersey is good every year. How can they lose good players every year, Stevens retires, Daneyko retires, Scott Niedermeyer leaves, Scott Gomez leaves, Brian Rafalski leaves, and somehow they still kick the hell out of the Caps. I don't want to hear about injuries, the Caps gm is a joke. The Devils just plug in different pieces every damn year, and still they kick the hell out of the Caps. This organization is NEVER going to get better with that disgrace of a front office. PS Green takes a lot of dumb penalties at the worst possible times, and Kolzig seems to be out of position most of the time, but what the hell do I know. As soon as they get healthy, they will be an elite team I'm sure.

Posted by: Pa Caps Fan | December 7, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse


I'll give you my (biased) opinion. The boys didn't do bad, but I had the impression the Devils were in control most of the time, even w/o puck possession. The first Devil goal was on a Cap bad turnover and they got some momentum there.
I didn't like Motzko. I also didn't like Semin until he scored, then he played better. Kozlov is kind of slow.

The whole third period was on the Devils zone basically, but the Caps were never extremely dangerous and tended to shoot the puck too much from the point. They scored one goal and the Devils responded 47 seconds later on a lucky rebound and then the game looked over until the last minute, when Laich scored. Then a bad call on Green put the Caps 4 on 5 and the game was over.

Posted by: mauree | December 7, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

My 2 cents... possibly adjusted for inflation.

NJ has a great team year after year because of their GM. He gets the right players for their team and system. The coaches change, but the system stays the same - mostly.

The Caps have one player. Nice of the rest to stand up for him when he got boarded by Zubs. Oh, wait a minute, they didn't.

I'm sick of these players. Time for another fire sale. Only this time, start at the GM, go through the scouting ranks, clean out the assistant coaches and for cripes sake sit patty cakes! That big sissy is worthless. So is Poti, Jur, and the rest of the team. The only ones I'd keep are AO and Green. They seem to be the only ones trying out there.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 7, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

@ GregS

I was surprised too about them not standing up for AO. You think it has something to do with him not practicing with the team?

Against a great team today, I did have the impression that some of the Caps are kids trying to play "adult" in the NHL. Watching the Devils bench, all of them looked tough and "real" hockey players.

If they don't win at least 3 of the next 4 games at home... hmm I don't know but it'd be bad.

Posted by: mauree | December 7, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

That's what I mean, mauree. They're kiddies playing against men. They're not NHL'ers out there. The Caps are in a weak division, and are the weakest in that division. That's the GM.

Like Pa Caps Fan said above. How can the Devils lose such key players and come back the next season and barely miss a beat? They have a really great GM there. How can Detroit go through the same thing? They're quality teams with quality back office guys running things.

I think Kozlov had the puck 2 times all night. Poti gave it up in our zone - again - with an up the middle pass - again - to an AHL'er who jumped out of the way of it. Nylander has an IGPC (In Grown Personality Conflict). They're a mess.

One of the cheapest teams in the league and it shows.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 7, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Dallas is trying to get St. Louis from TB. Possibly for a goalie. We don't do squat.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 7, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Look at the goals the Caps gave up tonight. First, bonehead play by Pouthier. He blindly passes the puck into the slot. How many times do you here coaches at the kids level in hockey and soccer, "Clear to the sides, NOT in the middle!" Second goal, PPG, why does the D play so far from the net? 2 Devils standing behind the D next to Kolzig. Puck gets through and Poti is too far to tie up Zubby and he scores. Third goal, Poti next to Zajac but can't tie up his stick. Three poorly defensive plays, 3 goals.

Sit Pouthier and Poti tomorrow night and put in 44 & 4. Rotate the D we have, the ones that continue to make mistakes or play soft (Schultz) can sit in the press box and watch. They say BB is a tough guy. Well he needs to get tough on the D and they D needs to start playing like NHLers.

Posted by: Comcast Sux | December 7, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

"If they don't win at least 3 of the next 4 games at home... hmm I don't know but it'd be bad."

It's already bad. It's bad beyond bad. No coach can save this season, not with bunch of weak soft untalented slow stupid dumbasses on the team. 5 days rest and this is how they play in the 1st period? That's unforgivable!

I'm sorry but until Bruce gets the Craps to a mini winning streak soon, I'd still say he is no better than Hanlon. Systems, pratice, preperations, passion, all that stuff don't mean ANYTHING if they don't win more!!! He is 3-3-1 and the Craps blogosphere is heralding him like a freaking Saviour.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

If that stupid idiot douchebag quif Pothier plays tomorrow, then I say Bruce is a dumbass as well. I don't care if we'd only have 5 defensmen out there, that piece-of-doodoo Potty-ier needs to sit on the bench for at least 2 games.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was Poti that passed it up the middle. My bust. Still, Poti hasn't done anything that he was brought here to do. Neither has Koz or Nylander.

That will leave Patty Cakes all on his own. Maybe it'll be clear how much of an MJHL'er he is. I swear that Schultz had a marvelous opportunity to set the tone of the game for the Caps in the first possession of NJ in our zone. He could have ridden a Devil into the boards. He didn't even touch him. Damned wuss!

Posted by: Greg S. | December 7, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

On Zubie's score. You noticed that he was on one side of the net, and another Devil was on the other post. That's two (2) in front of our net.

We rarely had one.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 7, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Well the reason I was talking about the next 4 games is that, let's be honest, at this point the Devils are another league. Maybe without injuries and with lots of practice, but today... physically there was no contest.

Actually looking at the schedule... arg. Atlanta, Devils again, Rangers, Sabres. Arg lol.

Posted by: mauree | December 7, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

This team should keep BB, fire GMGM, give up on Pettinger, make Laing a permanent Capital, bench Poti and Kozlov, trade Kolzig, stop talking about building through the draft, play Erskine, play Steckel more, and HIT more, FIGHT more, and BE THE OLD SCHOOL CAPITALS....oh yeah, and move the team back to Maryland!

Posted by: rightwing1776 | December 7, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I said it before and I'll say it again. The caps barley have one true NHL line. The rest are kids playing way over their head, and it's just a rotating bunch year after year.

Ovie would be wise not to sign here.

Posted by: Capfan1 | December 7, 2007 11:59 PM | Report abuse

let's stop worrying and getting angry about this season. This season is over.

Let's get on with our lives. Move on. Read a book. Call your mother. Take the girlfriend to a nice vacation. Do something with your life rather than get stressed out over this.

Next season wil be a lot better. I magine a team without McPhee, w/o Brashear, Eminger, Pettinger, Erskine, etc...Plus we will definetekly get the first pick!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 8, 2007 12:18 AM | Report abuse

the caps should prove they are alive. ted should move on with his front office. gmgm (no more capitals for you!) should go read a book. don't talk about my mother. i'll go on vacation, but i need to borrow someone's girlfriend (let me know on takers), who is stressed? if we suck again next year we can get the next one.

i'm missing out on bondra playing for this crew and talk about bringing in the wrecking ball?

Posted by: jim* | December 8, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

The more I hear from Gabby, the more convinced I become that my first impression of him was right on the mark. THE GUY'S A WINNER. He's a stand - up guy with little tolerance for excuses. Reading his comments after tonight's game, was like a breath of fresh air to me. Sad Sack ( Hanlon ) would NEVER have been so brutally honest. I respect honesty.
I was particularly impressed by his comments regarding Olie's play. Again, he shot straight from the hip. No sugar coating. No BS.
The sad truth, however is that NO COACH can win consistently with this collection of wusps George McFail has collected. Individually, as well as collectively, they seem to lack THE WILL TO WIN. And, their coach ( Bruce Boudreaux ) had the balls to verbalize that fact. My hat's off to the man. "THREE CHEERS FOR GABBY!"
Now, if only Ted would finally pull the plug on the architect of this disaster, The Incomparable George McPhee, and replace him with a competent general manager, I have no doubt the Caps would, AT LAST truly be headed in the right direction. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Posted by: Puckguru | December 8, 2007 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Two things I notice:

1) We don't have centers willing to play in front of the crease. They are all playmaker passers, we lack a guy willing to pay the price to get those garbage goals.

2) No physical play from the D. Shultz, Poti, Pothier don't hit at all. Morrisson and Jurcina are hitting way less this year. Green is the only one who hits and he is our best offensive defenseman! This defense doesn't intimidate anyone.

Ovechkin, Green, Backstrom, Clark and Steckel are the only players who are consitently playing well this year.

Posted by: Stormblue | December 8, 2007 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I'm a season ticket holder, and a die-hard Caps fan. At the beginning of the season I never thought I'd say this.... the Caps should be playing the same game they've been playing the last few years. I think they looked at themselves and said, "We've injected some skill into this team, we can go someplace". And in that, it seems like they felt they could stop playing that gritty game. They should be playing the same hard nosed game they were playing before, and they'd go places.

Posted by: Stephen | December 8, 2007 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau said. "That was a horrible giveaway for the first goal, and Olie should have had the save. He's too good a goalie to let those things go in."

I would repeat it again, Kolzig is not longer a starter type goalie on this league; defensemen will make mistakes, but those mistakes should not necessarily turn into goals, a goalie is part of the defense group and should be accountable. Kolzig is at best a backup goalie. Enough of blaming the lose solely in one bad pass from a defenseman.

For crying out loud, at the very least, give Johnson some more starts, and begin looking for a goalie that can stop pucks.

Posted by: joe | December 8, 2007 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Another quick thought:

I hate speculating who's up for trade, and being an armchair GM, but does anyone other than me think a deal could be made for the Rangers Petr Prucha? He's a talent thats getting less and less ice time as the Rangers have fallen in love with the likes of Brandon Dubinsky and have some strong prospects in Hartford. I think Prucha would be the kind of player that could turn some things around here.

1. He's well liked in the locker room
2. He's a right wing, which we're a little short on
3. Even though he's a small guy, he plays big. He's not afraid to get gritty, and isn't afraid to go strong/park himself next to the net for those dirty goals the Caps don't manufacture

He's only 25, and makes $1.6 m a year

Posted by: Stephen | December 8, 2007 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Gabby, for saying that this the NHL and winning counts, instead of treating this like you would a mite scrimmage and focusing on effort and improvement. The first and third goals resulted from bad (or worse) fundamental execution by our two most highly paid defensemen. Even if Zubie held up a little, Ovie's teammates should have stood up for him. Lack of depth is obvious, and that's the front office and the owner's responsibility. We play at home on the worst ice in the NHL -- even in comparison to places like MSG? Enough excuses. Play to win and stop acting like a bunch of bushers from top to bottom.

Posted by: Fred | December 8, 2007 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Pothier has no place passing up the middle. He does it quite often with various results. Defenceman are told if you pass up the middle you better be 150% positive the puck will get out of the zone. And Pothier was probably working on about 25% confidence with that pass (but I'm sure it never crossed his mind). However, with that said, Motzko, who still sucks, didn't help Pothier out instead lifting his foot over the puck like we was dummying the pass. C'mon minor leaguer get the puck out of the zone. Small things are the difference between winning and losing. And thank you BB for calling these guys out for not performing.

Posted by: Darryl Hockey | December 8, 2007 7:49 AM | Report abuse

rightwing & puckguru:

I'm with you. Kolzig was tight with Hanlon (former goalie) and got away with blaming the team for his underperformance. No surprise he got away with his locker room rants. While the team could always have done more, so could olie. His days are numbered imho. Johnson is no better and collects a handsome check for playing 10 games a year - $100K per game for 60 minutes?

And it's high time we stop giving away our scoring forwards for another unproven draft pick. Zubrus, Zednick, Jagr have all gone to other teams and done well elsewhere. What's the point of giving up our known talent?

And yes Poti, Pothier and Kozlov have been disappointment. Let's not even start on Schultz . . . .

Posted by: dogdaze | December 8, 2007 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Two thoughts:

1) Is this an appropriate time to remind everyone that we could have had Bryzgalov? And Tarik, I love your work but don't think I haven't noticed that you never asked McPhee why he passed on him.

2) Pothier should be scratched tonight. And if he is, I'm swearing my loyalty to Boudreau.


Posted by: Oneal | December 8, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

After watching last night, I have finally come to the determination that we do not have an NHL team. We have OV, and then a bunch of career AHLers or former NHLers past their prime. SInce the old rebuild is over, at the trade deadline, we are going to start again. And I really see the end of hockey in Washington. You can only rebuild so long, and the fans will not wait another 3 years to have an NHL team. OV will leave in the offseason, especially if GMGM isn't gone. I haven't done so before, but it truly is time for GMGM to go. We looked so outclassed last night it was sad.

Posted by: Lee | December 8, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Cinderalla Man was on last night and I had never seen it. Pretty good flick.

Posted by: Clarendon | December 8, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Everyone is right on about that Zubie hit from behind. How can he hit the Star Player, even if he let up, and NOT ONE Player skates up to him and even pushes him. You have got to protect Ovie, hell even if it was a totally legitimate hit, Zubie should have gotten punched. I'll say it again, What the hell is Brashear and Bradley on this team for. THEY ARE USELESS!!

Posted by: Pa Caps Fan | December 8, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I also believe Boudreau will be a good coach if he has players. It was refreshing to hear his comments after the game. He sounds like the kind of guy needed around here, holding people accountable. At the beginning of the season, I thought people were wrong complaining about Kolzig, but I must admit, he has lost it. He seems to fight every shot anymore. He just doesn't give you the feeling that he can win games alone anymore.

Posted by: Pa Caps Fan | December 8, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Frankly, I am surprised they played as well as they did, being so depleted. If they had not made a few stupid mistakes, they could have actually won. I never expected that. Going in I thought that they would be slaughtered ...

Glad BB is keeping it real - I am sure they got / are getting an ear full. Hopefully it will make a difference tonight!

Posted by: Boo! | December 8, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I second that, letting Bryzgalov go was a huge mistake. Olie sounds like a grumpy old man, you can be grumpy if you are not letting those soft goals.

Sometimes you don't need English or broken English to lead, that's why it is called to lead by example. Ollie is too old for that.

This was the perfect time to inject Bryzgalov...

Oh well...

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 8, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

To Joe, I am with you 100%.

To those who are constantly saying that we could have had Bryzgalov, or this or that player, I say forget it, we didn't, it is over, lets focus on who we can have now.

Posted by: opita | December 8, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse


I agree. I'm sure there are some more prospects, minor leaguers or draft picks out there somewhere!

Posted by: Lee | December 8, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Oneal - Right on! We COULD have had Bryzgalov!!! GMGM screwed that one up ... I swear there is more to the story than anyone is telling us!!!

TARIK - Hunt down the truth!!!! The Fans want to know.

I love Olie as much as the next person and appreciate all he's done for the team/community, however his time has passed. Gabby was right on.... He SHOULD have had the goal last night! If we had Bryzagalov, it would give Olie a run for his $$$ and make him WORK to be #1 vs his decision if he was going to be in goal or not. Love Johnny, but he's no threat to Olie. And if Olie rants in the locker room, etc... who cares... he's an UFA next year. I fear the loyalty fans/players show him are actually hurting the team. And, that's not the only problem we need to fix...., but you have to start somewhere. Time to shake things up so we can build for next year. This season is well... over... At this rate, bet Ovie will sign a 3-yr contract... long enough so he's a UFA when his contract is up then he'll move on to greenier pastures.

I'm cheering for individuals now... At Laich's pace - he's going to have a career high this year!!! Woo Hoo! Good for him. Sweet goal last night. He's a player we can count on! And here's to Clarkie getting more than 30 goals this year.

Posted by: Tracy | December 8, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

There's no time for prospects if you want to keep some semblance of competitiveness, and keep AO in DC.

It's time for Fire Sale II, but ONLY after getting rid of GMGM, his scouts and the assistants.

I like what I'm hearing from Coach B. I like him calling out the players and telling them publicly that their lack of effort is noticed. Maybe that'll light a fire under their collective butts. If they have a shred of self respect, it will.

Is he a good coach? I don't know. I can't go to the practices and rarely get to games, so I can't watch him. But when they show him on TV, I see his frustration and his animated talking to the bench. I like that.

Now, if he only had a team that gave a damn, maybe it'd work out.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 8, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I'd also say the President of the Caps (can't remember his name, but it's tough to fire a guy who's also a part owner.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 8, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Lee, et al...

If you think we were outclassed last night, take a look at the score. If we were outclassed and lost by only a point, that's a miraculous feat.

I'm just sayin'

Posted by: keef | December 8, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse


you are right, and they've lost a lot of games by only a goal, but the devils only took 22 shots. and if you looked at the pace, the defesnive effort, it could have been much worse. also, although the devils are a good team, they are not big goal scorers.

Posted by: Lee | December 8, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Agreed Pothier needs to sit. No excuse for passing that puck through the middle and giving the Devs the lead.

Posted by: Dez | December 8, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I hear ya, but my point being is that we are RARELY outta the race for the game.

Maybe outclassed in this league is not being able to close the deal, but I think it's more attributable to heart and hunger (and a lack thereof when using this team as an example).

Posted by: keef | December 8, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

i am concerned about last minute efforts this season making the game seem closer than it is.

that said, i continue to be glad laich insisted on a one way deal. he has been versatile, responsible, and (relative to this team but not all others) contributed some goals. wasn't this zubie's 6th & laich's 5th?

anyway, laich is another sign that gmgm (no more capitals for you!) doesn't know what he's doing. laich shouldn't have had to fight (through negotiations) for the one way deal when there are other, questionable players.

Posted by: jim* | December 8, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

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