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Tonight's Lineup: Caps at Thrashers

Simeon Varlamov will start in net tonight for the Caps and is expected to oppose Ondrej Pavelec. As I mentioned earlier, defenseman Tom Poti (precautionary, groin) and will sit this one out, as will left wing Donald Brashear (sprained left knee).

Coach Bruce Boudreau, meantime, has also stirred up his forward lines -- again -- as he continues his search for the best combos.

(The World Championship line has been reunited)


Check back later for some postgame notes and quotes.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 7, 2009; 5:09 PM ET
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Looks good -- totally psyched!

Posted by: nicko | April 7, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Those lines look pretty solid. Will be interesting to see how they work. Hoping that LNF line picks up where they left off on Sunday!

(from previous)
_stevo, I don't think he ever came to DC. He's currently on a 2 year contract playing with Anton Gustafsson for Frolunda.
That's actually one of the most complimentary HF profiles I've seen, so I wonder what happened.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 7, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

top line -- as long as it's tic-tac-toe and not cute-whoops-cute, It's fine. But look for a mid-game correction if not.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 7, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Fedorov is such a champ, he's still playing hurt from the Buffalo game.

I think he'll be good to go first round, but right now I doubt he's 100% healthy.

Posted by: greener1 | April 7, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I love Semin without a doubt but reading that he's on the front line again with Ovi made me cringe a bit. I kinda' liked him on the second line. *crosses fingers* Here's hoping it works and like someone said earlier, isn't too cute. Just SCORE!

Let's GOO Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 7, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I agree LCCF; Semin on line 2 gives us far more balance. and with emergent secondary scoring, it goes much farther across all lines.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 7, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

hmm..this is a good chance for someone to play well and kick poti out of the lineup

-- the key to the 1st line is Semin, if he covers his lanes and doesn't overhandle the puck that line will be good

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 7, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

It's good that Poti sits. Unfortunately, the message he's getting is it's his turn in the rotation, not that he's been playing like dirt for the past month and a half.

I'm good with Alzner staying in Hershey, too. Liked having him up, but he needs more seasoning.

Let's go CAPS! (and toronto, florida and rangers).

Posted by: Greg S. | April 7, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

haha great comment on poti

and ftr, glad Alzner isn't around, he doesn't even look that great at the AHL level this year. Next year he hopefully looks stronger on the puck and the boards. He's got a case of Schultzitis.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 7, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

It takes time for D-men to season. Baste Alzner up and let him cook for a while.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 7, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

All this talk about seasoning is making wonder if we're talking hockey or cooking. Either way, you guys are making me hungry...for some roasted Thrashers!!!


Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 7, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's my impromptu poll (impol) question- just copy and paste your vote.

Yay- impol

Nay- impol

Q: Does anyone care what John Buccigross thinks?

I think he's nothing more than a master of the obvious. He takes the safe bets to look right. His music taste truly sucks. I think he's irrelevant.

Posted by: oo7 | April 7, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I personally consider goals per game the most important stat for forwards, and consider Ovechkin to be the MVP of this season even if he does nothing for the final three games largely based on the fact that no one who has played in a reasonable number of games this season is even close to Ovechkin's 0.72 goals per game.

But, I do want to point out that, the top six players in the NHL in PROD (which is just the inverse of points per minute, i.e. it's the average number of minutes of ice time that elapses per point), of those players who have played in at least 12 games this season are:

#1 Alexander Semin - 15:12
#2 Pavel Datsyuk - 15:36
#3 Zach Parise - 15:51
#4 Sidney Crosby - 16:29
#5 Alex Ovechkin - 16:30
#6 Evgeni Malkin - 16:35

The rankings in points per game of those players that have played in at least 12 games is:

#1 Alex Ovechkin - 1.39
#2 Evgeni Malkin - 1.37
#3 Sidney Crosby - 1.34
#4 Alexander Semin - 1.27
#5 Pavel Datsyuk - 1.23
#6 Ilya Kovalchuk - 1.18

Semin is almost definitely going to win the PROD title (minimum 12 games played).

I haven't figure out the math exactly, but I think Malkin is probably going to have to outpoint Ovechkin by about 3 over the last three games of each of their seasons in order to get past Ovechkin in points per game.

I just thought I should point that out.

Semin. Ovechkin. On the same line? That's ridiculous!

Posted by: youaresquishy | April 7, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

@ youresquishy

That's the kind of posts I like. Excellent.

Repost from a previous thread since I just posted there:

Personally I was hoping to see Alzner back up for the playoffs. Schultz, whom I defended before, is starting to cause me an ulcer. Erskine is tough as nails, but as mobile as a comatose turtle. Also, while I appreciate the great comeback story of Pothier he hasn't impressed me yet.

Lastly, poor Lepisto. He had views on being in Washington this year. Had a couple of relatively poor games while he was up which resulted in him being written completely out of the picture and now suffers a lacerated spleen down in Hershey to put a capper on this season. I still like him a lot.

Speaking of guys who won't see the time of day up in Washington now... Collins. The kid came up and played fantastic IMO only to be sent back when the injuries subsided. Now he's like defensive call-up # 6.

Posted by: ranndino | April 7, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

is caps radio not working for anyone else?

Posted by: am_jim | April 7, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

does it worry anyone else that BB is looking for the right line combos with 3 games left in the regular season?


Posted by: virkulous | April 7, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know where I can watch the game for free online? I'm out of town right now and I'd like to watch the game on my laptop rather than listen to the radio feed...

Posted by: frazinator | April 7, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

frazinator try this link:

the password is: myp2p

Posted by: virkulous | April 7, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

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