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Tonight's Lineup: Caps vs. Sabres

Here's the lineup that's on the ice now at KCI, the same one that will presumably be on the ice later at Verizon Center for the preseason home opener against Buffalo.

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Giroux-Aucoin-Semin
Bourque-Beagle-Bradley
Joudrey-Steckel-A. Gordon

Defense
Schultz, Erskine, Alzner, Carlson, Green, Collins

Goalies
Theodore, Bacashihua

As I mentioned yesterday, Theodore is expected to get the start and play all three periods. Also, Michael Nylander does not play tonight, that means he will have missed the first three exhibitions.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 21, 2009; 10:06 AM ET
 
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Next: Boudreau on Hopefuls: 'I'll Know When I See It'

Comments

At some point they have to give Nlys a chance or there is a lot more going on they and have differences that can not be over come.

Posted by: RichC3 | September 21, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Wow I'm interested to see how that second line does, that looks like it could be a pretty potent offense. I wish this game was on TV or at least an Internet feed. It's funny, you can stream professional Surfing events on remote locations around the world, but preseason NHL is not available, whatsoever. Lame.

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 21, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Baca who?

Posted by: Greg S. | September 21, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Nylander is guaranteed a spot, that's all. However, those Alexes had better put out a good effort, or they might be skating in Chocolatetown this season!

Posted by: matucker | September 21, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

anyone know if sugden is still with the caps or if he is going to play in any preseason games?

Posted by: _stevo | September 21, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Oh man am I pumped for tonight. I get to see the top line and see Alzner and Carlson play. The Caps are back, HELL YEAH!!!!

Posted by: pkendrick | September 21, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes, what's the "rest of the story" on Nylander not playing?

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 21, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Nylander has great seats for all the games and free snacks. The guy has it made.

Posted by: majiksea | September 21, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Nyl's story is pretty straight up. He will have to come for practice every day so he can earn his keep and will not see any ice time. He will be expected to keep very quiet and not cause any disturbance around the team. In other words, "we will humiliate you and you will take it. That is the price to pay for refusing to wave your NMC last year when Pheonix was willing to take you; and for that incident in NY at the end of the season last year. We don't care that Phoenix has no good youth hockey system where your family can thrive; that is your problem, not ours. We have shown what we are made of, in the past, when we spurned Bondra".

Posted by: atybat | September 21, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The rest of the story is, Nylander can continue to use his right to not be traded and the coach can continue his right to sit him out every night. We cannot play him just because he makes a bunch on money, we can sit him in the press box if he is not the best player. Michael, sit, stay, good boy!

Posted by: majiksea | September 21, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

You compare Nylander to Bondra??? That is a stretch!

Posted by: majiksea | September 21, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Four hardworking lines there. If we play as hard as we did the other two games this should be a cleaner win in regulation.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 21, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Yes, what's the "rest of the story" on Nylander not playing?

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 21, 2009 10:41 AM

That is a good question Tom. I hope GMGM has something up his sleeves. I think we all agree that we would like to see a couple of last year's Hershey guys up with the Caps and having another opening by moving Nyls would be helpful.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 21, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

We have shown what we are made of, in the past, when we spurned Bondra".

Posted by: atybat | September 21, 2009 10:52 AM |

Um...maybe I'm missing something, but what did Bondra getting swapped to Ottawa have to do with this situation?

Posted by: richmondphil | September 21, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if there is something to A. Gordon getting a sweater in all of our games so far. He has definitely played well.

Also, I would like to see Bourque get a chance to play with the top guys tonight. I don't know if he has stood out so far and I would really like him on the Caps this season.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 21, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@pkendrick

I have a lot of hope for the young guys in the system too. However, when it comes to what is going to happen with Nylander's cap space when he's gone, I REALLY hope GMGM would do the obvious thing, and sure up our blueline. Alzner and Carlson are some of the best defense prospects in the NHL. But if they aren't even good enough, at this moment, to take even SCHULTZ' job away, it is not wise to hang your hopes on them for this season. Luring away the absolute best, most veteran, most physical defensive defenseman we find, so we can pair him with Green, and give Alzner and Carlson somebody competent to learn under. Poti is really only in the middle of the pack. There are better mentors and role players we could have.

Posted by: large23220 | September 21, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Luring away the absolute best, most veteran, most physical defensive defenseman we find, so we can pair him with Green, and give Alzner and Carlson somebody competent to learn under. Poti is really only in the middle of the pack. There are better mentors and role players we could have.

Posted by: large23220 | September 21, 2009 11:22 AM |

Don't know if he qualifies as the best, but Anton Volchenkov will probably be available at the deadline. Depending on how good/bad the Sens do. Extremely physical d man, and one of the best shot blockers in the league.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 21, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@ atybat: "That is the price to pay for refusing to wave your NMC last year when Pheonix was willing to take you; and for that incident in NY at the end of the season last year."

What incident in New York at end of season?

Posted by: CapsRockTheRed | September 21, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@large23220

I wasn't even talking about the salary cap. I was saying that moving him would open another forward spot on the roster.

Right now there are 2 open roster spots for forwards due to Flash & Fehr being injured. If we move Nyls then that makes a 3rd opening.

As I have said on here many times, I am a Bourque fan and want him on the team. But I also like to see Aucoin and Laing with the Caps. Not only would we get to hard working guys but them coming up would give some of the guys in Hershey (Perreault, Beagle, Osala) a chance to play top 6 minutes and progress more.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 21, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@ Tarik,

Has Brendan Morrison been out skating since the hit he took in Buffalo?

Is he out there today?

Posted by: caps28fan | September 21, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

It was my understanding we traded away Bondra, Oates, Gonchar, ect to get younger prospects and to get them on decent teams who have a shot at playoffs at the ends of their careers.

Posted by: breaklance | September 21, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Paraphrasing Ovi it's bad to be Nyls now. What happened? The guy was awesome, GMGM got kudos around the league for signing him, and now this...

Posted by: CodePoetry | September 21, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

It was my understanding we traded away Bondra, Oates, Gonchar, ect to get younger prospects and to get them on decent teams who have a shot at playoffs at the ends of their careers.

Posted by: breaklance | September 21, 2009 11:49 AM |

That's what we did with Bondra. Oates and Gonchar were just out of here because of the fire-sale. Ironically...Gonchar and Oates both won a Cup, while Bondra did not....:(

Posted by: richmondphil | September 21, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

sugden is practicing with the bears today

Posted by: capsgary | September 21, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Baca who?

Posted by: Greg S. | September 21, 2009 10:22 AM

Cash Money

Posted by: whiteltng | September 21, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

First, nowhere in my post am I comparing Bondra and Nylander's game.
Second, there is a lot more about the Bondra situation than what is known. It does not stem so much about the trade to Ottawa than about his desire to come back after his year in Atlanta, and what happened thereafter. Let's just say that he and GMGM will not be seen having dinner anytime soon. Petr is too much of a gentlemen to ever air this out in the open.
Third, although I can not describe the incident in NY on this blog, my understanding is that it is what lead him to be put in the stands for the reminder of the play-offs; not his game on the ice (although, that would have been a reasonable assumption anyhow). Unless GMGM has a big change of heart, I would be very surprised to see Nyls see any ice time whatsoever.
Again, I am willing to say that until Nyls showed up on the first day of camp, the Caps management wasn't even sure he would be here; I believe it was communicated to him, in no uncertain terms that they didn't care one way or another; which would explain the conflicting messages about ongoing efforts to have him play in Europe.
Like I said before, I am GMGM's hairstylist...

Posted by: atybat | September 21, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: capsgary | September 21, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand what "rest of the story" people want to hear regarding Nylander. Team management has said they are trying to trade him. If he got injured in a pre-season game, the Caps would be totally screwed cap-wise.

Posted by: zmega | September 21, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

So many conspiracy theories on Nylander....jeez. What's the mystery? The Caps are trying to trade him and have been for a long time. He's not playing, primarily, because they've got to keep him healthy. They're probably just hoping that a team on Nylander's acceptable list loses a center iceman to LTIR during the next couple of weeks. When that happens, the Caps will hope to sell Nylander to that team for a bag of pucks and be done with it. But if he gets hurt, they're probably stuck with him and his contract into next season when they REALLY need that space.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | September 21, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Well first...no one said you were comparing the two's game.

Second...if you cannot describe an incident, why would you even mention it?

Posted by: richmondphil | September 21, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@ disgusted - great minds think alike?

Posted by: zmega | September 21, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

First, nowhere in my post am I comparing Bondra and Nylander's game.
Second, there is a lot more about the Bondra situation than what is known. It does not stem so much about the trade to Ottawa than about his desire to come back after his year in Atlanta, and what happened thereafter. Let's just say that he and GMGM will not be seen having dinner anytime soon. Petr is too much of a gentlemen to ever air this out in the open.
Third, although I can not describe the incident in NY on this blog, my understanding is that it is what lead him to be put in the stands for the reminder of the play-offs; not his game on the ice (although, that would have been a reasonable assumption anyhow). Unless GMGM has a big change of heart, I would be very surprised to see Nyls see any ice time whatsoever.
Again, I am willing to say that until Nyls showed up on the first day of camp, the Caps management wasn't even sure he would be here; I believe it was communicated to him, in no uncertain terms that they didn't care one way or another; which would explain the conflicting messages about ongoing efforts to have him play in Europe.
Like I said before, I am GMGM's hairstylist...


Posted by: atybat | September 21, 2009 12:05 PM

If you can't put out more info how do we know this is true.
what an invasion of privacy you d##ch.

Posted by: whiteltng | September 21, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | September 21, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

IF...he was injured, could they reach an "injury settlement" and part ways as they do in the NFL???

Posted by: carsonspence | September 21, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I miss the Bonzai.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 21, 2009 12:26 PM

Nice Guy. Wife & I met him last year at a caps blood drive.

Posted by: whiteltng | September 21, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

IF...he was injured, could they reach an "injury settlement" and part ways as they do in the NFL???

Posted by: carsonspence

As far as I know they cannot. The best they can do is put him in LTIR so that at least we get the cap space and roster spot.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 21, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

we should be running nylander like crazy in practice and in games until the old guy gives out...

success!!!

Posted by: carsonspence | September 21, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

IF...he was injured, could they reach an "injury settlement" and part ways as they do in the NFL???

Posted by: carsonspence | September 21, 2009 12:30 PM |

Nope. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I am almost positive the CBA does not allow anything like this. However, if the injury is serious enough, you can put them on LTIR. They will still get their money, but at least it won't take a cap hit.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 21, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

For the record.

Oates didn't win a Cup, he went to the Finals the year the Ducks Lost in 7 to the Devils (Where Kariya got leveled and came back to score the awesome winner in game 6).

But I don't like the way they treat veteran players at the ends of their careers, like Bondra, Oates, Gonchar, Johansson, and Olie. I mean come on. They are part of the Caps history. I'd hate to see that happen to Ovi.

Posted by: iastdon | September 21, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The Caps have about 9 days before Nyles becomes a distraction........

Posted by: LIVINIT1 | September 21, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

However, if it is a game-ending injury, I'm not so sure what happens. Like if the guy breaks his back and becomes a paraplegic...not sure what happens then.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 21, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

IIRC the only way to "void" a SPC is the buyout (which the Caps aren't going to do, need every penny for the 19 & 28 extensions).

Posted by: koalatek | September 21, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Third, although I can not describe the incident in NY on this blog,...
Like I said before, I am GMGM's hairstylist...
Posted by: atybat | September 21, 2009 12:05 PM

I've heard about trees falling in the woods.

Posted by: Rocc00 | September 21, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@iastdon

Right. For some reason I thought he remained with the team during their Cup run.

They were all traded because we were initiating a rebuild. Any team would have had a fire-sale. Oates wanted to go. Gonchar was asked to stay, but he did not want too. Olie's time was done. If these guys were not traded, then we would have just lost most of them for nothing.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 21, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I'd look to our using any freed up cap space from the eventual departures of Nyls and Jose to go toward shoring up longer term commitments from our stars and some of the new guys rather than looking for established defensive talent. Not saying it couldn't happen, but I think the club is counting on some real maturation this year from our current roster -- I'm thinking Sarge and Greene, and to some extent Juice -- as well as developing contributions from our future players, Carlson/Alzner. I don't know if ShaMo's got it in him, but if he can coalesce his play or we can trade him we'll be better off.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 21, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Nylander is right now persona non grata with the Caps, he is in limbo like Keyshawn Johnson was in Tampa under Gruden.

His contract and his unwillingess to restructure it or indeed be traded at all means that even if the Caps are willing to pick up most of the salary there is little chance Nylander won't be here.

Every team no matter how well managed has the 1 or 2 contracts they wished they hadn't signed.

This is the one for Washington.

The main problem is it was too long.

At age 34, you don't give a player a 4 year contract.

Not unless the player is a superstar or has lead you team to the Stanley Cup.

Nylander doesn't fit into Boudreau's system but was here already when Bruce took over.

So, in that respect it is no one's fault.

But, if the team had kept the deal to 1-2 years, he could have departed as a free agent after last season and found a new home.

4 years?

We are on the hook to pay him this year and next.

It's a lesson George has to learn from and indeed has.

Fedorov got consecutive one year deals as did Brendan Morrison.

Knuble got a two year deal.

These are manageable contracts.

Posted by: leopard09 | September 21, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"Like I said before, I am GMGM's hairstylist..." You better hope you still are.

Posted by: futbolclif | September 21, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Gonchar demanded a trade. That's why longtime Caps fans like me dislike him so much. He was going to be the anchor of the defense, he didn't want to be.

Olie wasn't treated that badly. As a matter of fact Johnson was playing better than Olie when Huet showed up. Olie was able to keep dressing and Johnson was the healthy scratch. We definitely made the right move in regards to Olie, he didn't play much last season due to injury and was traded to Toronto at the end. Now, if Olie comes asking for a job and the Caps don't offer him something like a scouting job, at that point I would feel he was slighted. He was a great goalie for a number of years but HE is the one that didn't recognize he was done.

I too would have loved to see Bondra skate his last NHL game in a Caps jersey. He signed for the league minimum, or close to it his last season. It would have been nice to see him off after his last home game at Verizon. The Bondra trade worked out for us, thanks for Brooksie Ottawa!

Oates, he wasn't treated poorly, he was traded to a good team.

CalleJo, I don't remember the circumstances behind him hanging them up. He was a good solid D for us for a long time.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 21, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I really hope Woody brings our D along because could definitely use Nyls and Theo's cap space to sign Nicky and Sasha long term. Not to mention Stecks is UFA after this year and (if he plays like he did at the end of last year) he will be due for a raise.

The nice thing is I can see them using Theo's contract alone to re-sign Nicky and Sasha if we can get them both at around a 6M cap hit. Give 1M to Sasha to get him to 6M and the other 3.5M from Theo added to Nicky's 2.4M (I am including the bonuses) gets him just under 6.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 21, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I promised my buddy I would post this and see who was interested. He works for the Thrashers and they have a deal on tickets for the 10/22 game against the Caps down there.

http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0E0042FCD7C299BA?did=blitz

Seems like a decent deal for those of you who wish to travel.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 21, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@ leopard09

Under the current CBA contracts cannot be restructured during the term of the contract and teams cannot hold and pay ANY of the salary of a player they have traded.

Posted by: Varly | September 21, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@ leopard09

Under the current CBA contracts cannot be restructured during the term of the contract and teams cannot hold and pay ANY of the salary of a player they have traded.

Posted by: Varly

WOW!!!! Not only is he battling for the #1 job but he has time to post on here AND he is up to date on all the CBA rules. Varly, you are the man.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 21, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@ atybat

I don't care who you are, but for the record I doubt you have ever met GMGM.

You are very good at cloaking yourself with a "cloud of mystery" as if you are some kind of "deep throat" or something.

Actually, it reminds me of a conversation I heard between two teenage girls about somebody "liking" one of them. You know the silly game where one "can't tell" and the other says, "please tell, please tell".

You claim to know so much and then cannot tell what you claim to know. That's beautiful! We all think that you are "in the know".

The irony of it is that at this point no one would believe you even if you did post about the so called "NY incident". You are full of choo choo beans.

I think the Caps know what they are doing. My money is on GMGM, not you.

Posted by: muddapucker | September 21, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree with fanohock1 regarding all of those players, especially regarding Olie being in denial.
With regards to Calle Johansson, NHL.com says that after the 2002-2003 season, he "officially" retired in August, but then played 8 regular season and 4 playoff games with Toronto in 2004, starting mid-March.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | September 21, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Okay so Nylander isn't playing because they don't want him hurt while the big trade is in the works. Seems we heard this last spring...
However, I do appreciate GMGM's hairstylist at least providing some inside scoop. Does he talk while you are applying the cream condtioner?
The Caps need to handle this better. I've never heard of Nylander being a malcontent, but they appear to be constantly pushing him in that direction. C'mon Caps if you can't trade him, then find a way to utilize him!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | September 21, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Since I ran my mouth about atybat, I think its only fair to put my two cents in and let him take a shot at me...

Nylander, I think has three major faults when it comes to his recent play. First, he is not defensively responsible and second, he seems to like to play behind the net or below the half boards. No play in front of the net. Thirdly, he avoids all physical contact.

True, he can be an effective passer, but I don't believe Nylander's game matches up to Boudreau's expectations. His plus/minus sucked and I think a corner stone of Boudreau's game is offense coupled with defensive responsibility. That, in my opinion, is a major part of the problem. It just goes downhill from there.

Why play him? The Caps know what they have. I suppose the will get rid of him within the next week or so, salary cap being a factor. At this point, I suspect its gamesmanship between GMGM and interested teams. Each is working for the best deal.

I suspect the Caps will to anything they can at this point to let him go. Even if they have to pay a portion of the contract.

Nyls isn't a bad hockey player if he can find the right team to complement him. Its just not the Caps.

Posted by: muddapucker | September 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

@muddapucker and others

I was going to answer you but, I don't think it is necessary. I understand your frustration... You can keep attacking the messenger; this way, you can cloak yourself with a cloud of "got nothing to sayness".

Posted by: atybat | September 21, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

All right muddapucker, let me do take a shot at you...
First, my apologies; you did have something to say and you said it well.
What you said I actually agree with and you are right on the money. Except, that is the official speculation. On top of that, and what is the real factor here is what I stated previously and because of that, there will not likely be any chances for reconciliation.

Posted by: atybat | September 21, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

atybat,

I am not attacking the messenger... Quite frankly, I didn't consider you the messenger. If you were, I missed the message.

I just think that if one is going to allude to an incident then one should be prepared to explain what they are talking about. A reference to something that you are unwilling to talk about, really isn't a reference at all...

Anything I have said is based solely on intuition and common sense. I may be way off base, and I acknowledge that. Its just my opinion, based upon my perception of the facts.

Peace...


Posted by: muddapucker | September 21, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I've been taking time off from hockey during the summer and have been completely out of it. We have a chihuahua backing up Theo tonight?

Posted by: ranndino | September 21, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Atybat: I agree with others with the question: why would you mention an "incident" and not say what it was?

That is not fair to Nyls' reputation. You infer there was an an issue that occurred that was so bad it caused him to never see ice again. That is a pretty strong accusation.

I think you should either tell the story or admit that there is no story. Not fair to him.

Posted by: CapsRockTheRed | September 21, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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