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Tonight's Lineup vs. Edmonton

Olie Kolzig is scheduled to start in goal and oppose Dwayne Roloson. Defenseman Steve Eminger, meantime, will replace Milan Jurcina, who is a healthy scratch.

Forwards:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Fleischmann-Gordon-Semin
Laing-Steckel-Bradley
Brashear-Laich-Pettinger

Defense:

Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Schultz
Erskine-Eminger

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 17, 2008; 5:54 PM ET
 
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Next: Johnson to Get Start (s) and Schultz to Sit

Comments

I'm thinking I like the Eminger for Jurcina bit for now. Get a fire under Juice so he stops playing carelessly in the defensive zone.

As long as Eminger doesn't try to do too much, I think he'll do fine.

Posted by: Raber | January 17, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Eminger suks! Too bad we can't put him on the other team.

Posted by: Bob | January 17, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm psyched to see Eminger again. I have no idea whether he'll be any good because I've seen him play _4_ games all season (which is just ridiculous!). But I've always liked the upside and would like to see him get a little consistent playing time. Just seems like it's a no brainer given it's not like Schultz and Jurcina are playing lights out.

Posted by: TripDonkeys | January 17, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

@Bob: I didn't think he looked bad against the Avs game I went to last week. It's really the times when he tries to push up in the play when he has no business doing so or when he tries to think about what he's doing before he receives a pass that he's an issue.

Posted by: Raber | January 17, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

RE: Schultz

Keep in mind that I in no way have a hard on for Schultz, but I've come to expect that he's not a heavy hitting defenseman and just relies on good positioning to get the job done. For the most part, I think he's a lot better than people (myself included) initially gave him credit for.

Juice, on the other hand, sometimes looks like he's playing for the other team with tape to tape centering passes at the end of periods in our defensive end.

Posted by: Raber | January 17, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

WOW

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

honk honk honk

GO CAPS GO


Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

by the way, Roloson is their backup goalie. There is some controversy - apparently Garon wasn't great vs Atlanta. And apparently "Roli" isn't that good, but since they'll play back-to-back games on the road, and Garon need to rest anyway... well there you go. They purposely chose the Caps to play Roli, figuring we're the weakest team. Man I hope we score 6 tonight :D

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Kolzig has an opportunity to prove me wrong... to prove to me that Johnson isn't way quicker, sharper, etc, these days. I worry he won't.

Either way, lets hope the caps score 5 and ensure that win.

2 more for Semin!

Posted by: S.L.S. | January 17, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

They still suck

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 17, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

@caps suck-I'm not one to "call out" other users because everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but this is just too much. You are hands down the most pathetic person i've ever met in my life. your form of entertainment is to go on a blog that is actually pretty hard to find, and mindlessly insult a team that swept Ottawa Senators. please either get a life or find a different blog to post your idiotic and pointless rants.

Tarik-thanks as always man this blog really is great.

Posted by: DC FURY | January 17, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

You'd think with the two-ref system the NHL is using these days, there's be less phantom calls and more calls on seemingly obvious penalties. Apparently not, though.

Posted by: Kip | January 17, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

GET SCHULTZ OUT OF THERE. He falls down on the first power play which leads to a goal, and then flings a perfect one-timer to Edmonton. How is he still getting jerseys? This is so frustrating.

Posted by: nautikal | January 17, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!

Tie game!!!!

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 17, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Come on boys let's win this baby

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

C-A-P-S
CAPS CAPS CAPS

Its actually fun watching this team again -- except for the the purse swinging Schultz =(

Posted by: Unitedfan | January 17, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Just got home since my last post.
I didn't see Backstroms goal. Synposis please?

Caps Suck went to finish his shift at McDonalds, gone.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 17, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh, just saw it, shaweeeeet!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 17, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Sasha, "feel shame".

Backstrom, like Joe B said, is he breathing?

Register ringing UP for Greener!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 17, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

YES!!! *high fives BernieWolfeFan*

GO S E M I N

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Ok I'm a little tired of the comments from Joe and Craig. They seem more enthusiastic when the Oilers score.

COME ON BOYS!!!!

GO CAPS

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Mauree, fist back at ya!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 17, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Mauree, good point. I was at the last game so I did not hear Smokin' Kokin do play by play. I keep hearing good things about it, really. Any of Yoos?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 17, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Neutral. Which is ok.
What I don't like is to hear twice "what a beauty!!!" on both Oilers goals, and "what a ugly goal" for last Semin goal. wth?

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Mauree,
Joe B did not do play by play last game and Koken filled in. Just wondering if anyone heard Koken because I keep hearing "refreshing" types of reviews from the masses. Just thought some of you might have watched/heard it.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 17, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah that was my answer BernieWolfeFan. Koken did good... but I honestly like Joe B loquacity more... wish he was more enthusiastic of the Caps though.

Well at the end it doesn't matter much... I wish we shouldn't have to score 5-6 goals a game to win

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Ok

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

No shootout
No shootout
No shootout

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

...This could be bad...

Posted by: Raber | January 17, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Arg shootout

Oh well... one point.

Olie looked really good at the end.

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this is where we turn the corner on the SOs.

Lets Go Cap-I-Tals!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 17, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I gotta say I think Olie has looked good tonight. I was on the edge of my seat the whole OT. Win this shootout guys!

Posted by: Tess | January 17, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I hate shootouts.

I hate the backhand X3 on Olie.

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Semin? Stopped? uhoh...

Posted by: Raber | January 17, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

We need practice for our shooters in these situations. LOTS of practice, regardless of how this ends.

Posted by: Raber | January 17, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Raber +1

Seriously.

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

You know, I really think I would've rather seen Eminger than Brashear

Posted by: Raber | January 17, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

JOHN ERSKINE???? What happened to Steckel?

Posted by: Raber | January 17, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Raber: I think that's what the pink helmet drill is all about...practicing shootouts.

Posted by: Tess | January 17, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

YES!!!


Olieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

We might really have turned the corner.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 17, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Something tells me that we're not going to see Oneal talking about Olie tonight :-P

Posted by: Raber | January 17, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

OLIE!!!!

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Now we can all breathe again!

Posted by: Tess | January 17, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Matt Pettinger

MIP MIP MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP

brouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Posted by: PAt | January 17, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Atlanta and Carolina lost :D

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Has the worm turned?

2 points tonight gained on Carolina, 1 on Atl.

Root for Oilers their next game

Posted by: Steve R | January 17, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow. We survived the Oilers in the shootout. I can't believe it took 12 rounds for just one SO goal, by Bradley.

Flash needs some sort of super pink helmet. 3 breakaways, no goals?

Posted by: tallbear | January 17, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I almost died several times during that shootout. Kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and the Oilers to score. How did Olie make it through 12 rounds without letting one up. No one pulled a Marek Malik on him?? Lets hope Olie builds on this and improves down the stretch.

Posted by: Stuffedinvader | January 17, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Great win...great shootout performance by Olie! Maybe the goalies should just alternate games to keep 'em both fresh.

Go Caps! And go Oilers (for the next 4 games against the rest of the South East).

Posted by: Jeff | January 17, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Figures...
12 rounds of shootout and I never got to see it because CSN went out on me in the third period. >:-(

It's still out.

Posted by: Michal Handsauce | January 17, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Well that settles that, Olie needs to be given more time off. If one day on the bench gets him roaring back like this let's do it. The first two goals were on Oilers' power plays and the calls to begin with were inexcusable. Kolzig played AMAZINGLY in the shoot-out and all around. I don't think the Oilers managed to score one goal that wasn't off a rebound or when the Caps were short-handed. If Kolzig makes the first stop every time every night we'll be doing just fine. My only question is why it took BB so long to get Green in the shoot-out line up. His signature move is going end to end perfect for the shoot-out. And Brashear before Petty????? Either way LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!

Posted by: DC FURY | January 17, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

all the olie haters can take the night off i suppose. given that, i dont recall more lame attempts at a shootout. so many in the pads or on the ice...easy pickens by both goalies. the last shoot out against the caps i think the team all went up top and were 3 for 3 i think...good job caps. nice comeback and nice s-bomb by morrison during the 2nd intermission....

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | January 17, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

First, what an awesome game (after the first 2 goals). Great win tonight.

Re: Al Koken's broadcast the other night... as a fan living in New York with NHL Center Ice (hearing broadcasts from different teams around the league), I can honestly say that Joe B and Locker are the second best team in the league. Koken did a good enough job last night but he was eerily loud at just OK plays ("WOW, WHAT A SAVE!!!", referring to a rather routine stop). Joe B does VS. too because he's great.

For reference, the other booth team that's awesome is the Devils. The guys are really respectful of the game and of good hockey (while still rooting for the home team). The worst team is the Rangers guys who are ridiculously prejudiced and brutal to listen to as an opposing fan. So there you go... my 2 cents.

Posted by: TripDonkeys | January 17, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Wow

....at least you can't say that game was boring.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 17, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Cap Fan 1 -- I'm glad you commented on the s-bomb during the 2nd intermission. I was pretty sure that's what he said, but wasn't sure.

And while Olie played fantastic in the shootout, his problem continues to be rebounds. Yes, the D needs to clear the crease and get the puck out, but it seems like most goals against him as of late are when he kicks the puck back out or can't freeze the shot.

Now, no need to yell at me -- he played well tonight and the Caps won which is really what matters. But if he can get back to controlling the rebounds these games will cause a few less heart attacks.

Just 4 points back from Atlanta with 2 games in hand. Next to catch: Carolina...3 points back, 3 games in hand. Big game on Saturday, too!

Posted by: Jeff | January 17, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

@DC FURY
I'm glad someone else thinks that the two Caps penalty were inexcusable.

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I switched my Center Ice over to the Edmonton feed for a bit during the third period ... they were talking about how Olie wasn't controlling rebounds and just allowing pucks to sit around the net and the Oilers should be able to take advantage. Quite a contrast to what Locher had said a few minutes previously, about how Olie had good control and was playing well tonight. As usual, the truth was somewhere in between.

Two cents worth on other announcers around the league ... I enjoy the TV commentators for Vancouver, NY Islanders and Phoenix (some love for "holy jumpin" Panger). I don't like Boston or Pittsburgh.

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | January 17, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

@Jeff
Forgive my ignorance pls... what is the s-bomb? Sorry...

Olie played so and so the first two periods. Their last goal could be avoided... but in the end he kept us in the game with a few beautiful saves, especially in OT. Olie had to earn most of the saves in the SO... I'm sad to say Roloson didn't have to do much. Caps need SO practice. Bad.

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

mauree -- s-bomb = sh_it. :-)

Posted by: Jeff | January 17, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Jeff, you can't possibly blame the second goal on Olie. His rebound was perfect - right to the D. The only problem was the D man was Schultz and he made a brilliant pass to Nilsson.

Posted by: nautikal | January 17, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

thanks Jeff :D

I missed that arg... what was the sentence?

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

@mauree

Koken asked him about the 1st period and he said "We ran into some S**t"

Posted by: nautikal | January 17, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

@nautikal

lol :)) priceless

I bet our fellow bloggers had a super time at the Booth.

Behold, the new standings :D , Caps above Bruins and Panthers.

http://stats.thehockeynews.com/nhl/league.asp?type=conf_stand

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Shoane did drop the s-bomb. Maybe he doesn't know it is a bad word in this country????? "Call Detroit...tell them bull $#!+, yeah something" Now hang up!

I could hardly watch the shoot out, I had to walk out of the room everytime the oilers shot.

Someone commented about Koken calling the last game. He seemed to have trouble with the Caps names and numbers. He kept caling everyone by the wrong name.

Sometimes Locker's expressions have me scratching my head wondering what he is trying to say.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 17, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

nautikal -- I need to see a replay on the 2nd goal. The one time I saw it I thought that the Oiler passed it over to Nilsson, but in the box-score it was unassisted, so I guess maybe it was in fact Schultz who made that "pass".

I guess I just see what (apparently) the Oilers commentators see: way too many loose pucks after the first shot. The rebounds may not be put in every night, but they result in additional attack time for the opposition. The Caps are a pretty good face-off team...so to me Kolzig should freeze as many pucks as he can rather than kick the puck back into the crease, or even putting puck into the corners.

Like I said, Kolzig played pretty well tonight, and he earned the Caps a point in the standings.

Posted by: Jeff | January 17, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I dont know how I will make it through Sat..I need a night off...4 games in 7 days...

Posted by: SA-Town | January 17, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town

I know what you mean, that one was a nail biter.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 17, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

The snow has turned to freezing rain here in PA and 5:30 will be here waaaaaay too soon. Time for bed.

GO CAPS WOOOOOOOOO!

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 17, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

BearsWoooo

I hate to admit it... I missed some Olier shot as well.

Have a good sleep :D GO CAPS

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

@mauree

I've agreed with you on a lot of things, but not on the last Oilers goal. Opon seeing the replay, it was obvious Olie couldn't see anything with Penner sitting in his lap. No sight plus a shot to the top corner usually means a goal, even against the best goalies.

Posted by: Stephen | January 17, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Now THAT was a game!! Just got home - what a riot!! But I don't know if my nerves can take another one of those Sat night ... LOL!! :-D It was funny - there were not a lot of people there, but the crowd was REALLY into it. Speaking of, for those of you who were critical of Kolzig's game tonight (I know you are out there!), the crowd was REALLY behind him. And when they won, he had a HUGE smile on his face. It was nice to see him happy. Hopefully that shootout win will give him the confidence boost that he needs to get his game back ... permanently! BTW, I heard on the radio tonight that the article about Kolzig was taken out of context, and that he in BB are copesetic, so all is well in the world!! LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!!

Posted by: Boo! | January 17, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

@ TripDonkeys,

Agree with you on Doc and Chico (who is such an interesting guy in person, loves to talk) but Rosen and Micheletti do a stellar job IMO. Micheletti especially is someone who I enjoy listening to and has a good TV presence. The only drawback of those two are that they are broadcasting the games of a team which I despise.

Posted by: Tom | January 17, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this right about the time when all the Olie haters are supposed to come in and tell us that all 12 of the Oilers' attempts were softies?

I keed, I keed.

Wild game. I'm so glad I slogged through the muck to go :)

G'nite all.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 17, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

@Stephen
I might have confused the 3rd with 4th maybe? I'll watch the recap I may be wrong.

I want to comment that this was a tough, tough game to win. The Oilers are not an easy win. No NHL team is easy to beat if they are determined, and this is especially true with the Oilers, and tonight they wanted the victory bad - they want back in the playoffs race. I thought they played good tonight.

And I also wanted to say that, even though in the past I had quite a few doubts/remarks about Olie (not that this victory wipes them all out), it sure was nice, and emotional, to see that big smile on him at the end of the game. Go Olie! :)

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
that'a'boy!!! ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | January 17, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey Boo!

welcome home... it was such emotional at home, I can only imagine how was it at the game... GO CAPS!!

Right after the game they interviewed Olie (did they show that on the big screen?). See my comment above: it was nice and emotional to see that smile :)

Posted by: mauree | January 17, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Olie didn't see that last goal at all. He was totally screened. I thought he played a very good game. Pass the sauce, please...

Pretty darned physical in the first period, eh? Thought we'd see like 5 or 6 fights tonight. Surprized we didn't see any!

That was an exciting game to watch.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 17, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Boo! | January 17, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

mauree/greg:
yes, VERY physical and VERY emotional ... SO much fun to watch live with the crazy little crowd!! :-) I really do think Olie "needed" that ... hopefully that will help him pull it together for the rest of the season. now if we can just beat FLA ... :-/

Posted by: Boo! | January 17, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

How did Emminger look? Any boneheaded turnovers that he's pulled off in the past?

Out in Colorado and didnt get to watch the game.

Thx.

Posted by: pch49 | January 17, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

pch49:
eh ... eminger was ok ...

Posted by: Boo! | January 17, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait to see practice tomorrow.

I've had more than my share of Olie doubts lately, but VERY impressed with his determination.

Great Job, Boys!

LET'S GO CAPS!

Posted by: OleMiss | January 17, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Just getting back from the Booth. Granted that game NEVER should have gone into OT (and luckily it wasn't against a team that could have used the point against us) but OH MY GOD what a fun game.

Posted by: keef | January 17, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Great win by the CAPS tonight!

Not that it matters that much, but did anyone else notice that NHL gave the "-" minus to Ovy-Backs-Koz line on the 4th Edmonton goal, even though it was clearly scored against Brashear, Gordon, Erskine, etc. http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20072008/GS020691.HTM

Posted by: AOthegr8 | January 17, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

12 round SO? We won!? Who are these guys? GO GO GODZILLA!!!

Posted by: kevbpgc | January 17, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

@pch49

Re: Eminger

If Juice isn't in on Saturday, I'm gonna be pissed.

44 played the puck well at times but had a giveaway which I believe led to a goal. But maybe Schultz is the one that needs to sit in the corner so 23 can get back in.

Posted by: keef | January 18, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Great game for the Caps. I don't want to downplay how big losing Nylander is, but Boyd Gordon has an opportunity to really step up and fill a role here.

Also, I just started blogging about Caps games as I watch them. If anyone wants to read tonight's entry, check it out here: http://whateversauce.blogspot.com/search?label=caps

Posted by: Eric | January 18, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Great game for the Caps. I don't want to downplay how big losing Nylander is, but Boyd Gordon has an opportunity to really step up and fill a role here.

Also, I just started blogging about Caps games as I watch them. If anyone wants to read tonight's entry, check it out here: http://whateversauce.blogspot.com/search?label=caps

Posted by: Eric | January 18, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Y'know...looking over the standings, the points column is making me smile but what's making me happy is our record over the last 10 games: 7-2-1

Posted by: keef | January 18, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

just got back from the game and clydes...i love this team. and that's after seeing the worst first period i can remember! note that our entire future core scored in the second:
Backstrom, Ovechkin, Green, Semin

Posted by: MTB | January 18, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

BB post-game interview is up go check it out.
He talks about Bradley SO hehe :)

I'm glad they'll stay concentrate for FLA. How about those Penguins on Monday... they're the hottest team in the NHL right now.

Posted by: mauree | January 18, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

From the TSN game article http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=227580&hubname=nhl :

"...As Boudreau was trying to decide who to put on the ice for the 12th round of a shootout when no one had scored, Bradley made the decision for him.

''He just said, 'I'm going to score, put me out there,' and he jumped over the board and he went in,'' Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. ''He told me, he didn't ask.''..."

That is indoor sporting event sweet! Good job Matt!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | January 18, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

BB said he was so happy for Olie ... that's pretty cool! He talked about how much he has been practicing and how that's what pros do. That Gabby ... he's a class act!

Did you know that Edmonton has the best shootout record in the league (11-2)?!? Boy, our guys ROCK!!

Posted by: Boo! | January 18, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

I just noticed Fla plays in Jersey tonight.

This home stretch has been nice with us getting some teams on the 2nd night of a back to back.

Lets hope Clark and Pothier may suit up..not betting on it though.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 18, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Awesome win!!

Gotta give props to Kolzig -- was was rock-solid: no softies, 2-3 very big saves. That's exactly what a #1 goalie does.

At this rate, nobody on the Caps will want to have the All-Star break, we're just getting started here!

Posted by: Vlad | January 18, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

I watched the recap... I was wrong (and I apologize), nothing Olie can do on any goal... and he made some pretty amazing saves too.

Did you hear Green? Re: Bradley, smiling: "we're not gonna hear the end of it... he already says he's opening a shoot-out clinic tomorrow before practice..." ahaha :)

Posted by: mauree | January 18, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

@keef:

I know the Eminger play you're talking about, and thought the same thing. Fair or not, he hasn't played enough at this point to be decisive with the puck, and it cost us a goal last night.

Great crowd last night; let's stay loud Saturday.

Last night may be the best thing to happen for Olie in a long time. I thought he looked composed and confident in the net during the SO (ok, one hit the pipe, but out of 12 NHL caliber shooters, what do you expect?). A hot streak from our goalies right now would be huge.

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

By the way, from now on the quartet of Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin-Green shall be referred to as "the Prophecy". Every time they all get points in a game, it is a Sign. Every time they all score in a game, it is a Miracle. (it will also be a miracle when they are all signed to long-term deals, ahem).

Feel free to say Amen in a religion/language/system-of-beliefs of your choice.

Go Caps!!!

Posted by: Vlad | January 18, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

@Vlad

I don't like calling it a Miracle when they all score... sounds too rare and wrong "it's a miracle they scored!" ... how about
"The Advent", or "The Coming".

GO CAPS!!

Posted by: mauree | January 18, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I have to admit, Olie looked like a #1 goaltender last night. He really made some great saves. When it went to shootout, I thought it was all over for us, but Olie was rock solid. Hopefully this will be a big momentum builder for hm.

It was awesome to see all the young stars score. How great was it to see Bradly get the the game winner in round 12? As much as I like to see the star players score, it's really great to see a grinder who doesn't put up big numbers get a huge goal like that. Well done boys!!

If our defense would use the body a little more to clear the slot, mabye that game wouldn't have gone to overtime. Just a thought...

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 18, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

That was such a fun game to go to! I thought for sure we'd lose in the SO considering our record compared to the Oilers. The one thing that irritated me about the game was the way we never had guys up in front of the net when the puck was in the Oilers end and the Oilers always had someone screening Olie...and our D was never able to get him away! Now why isn't anyone screening their goalie? We do that all the time!
I thought Emminger looked ok. I mean he wasn't spectacular but he didn't totally screw up. I don't think we can only comment on his turnover though b/c there were a lot of them last night by everybody. Our D needed to be more aggressive...maybe Ovie needs to teach them a thing or two!
Hopefully this will light a fire under Olie's butt and he'll continue to play well. This SO win was HUGE for him!

Posted by: K | January 18, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Kolzig? He still gave up 4 goals. He made 29 saves on 33 shots. That's SV% of .879. That's actually a little below his average as that 42nd ranked (SV%) goaltender in the NHL.
As for the SO, yeah, he made some saves, didn't drop on his knees too early.

Posted by: Finn | January 18, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

According to stats shown during last night's broadcast, BB now has the best record of any Caps coach in their first 25 games as head coach. 14 wins out of 25 games.

Way to go, boys! Keep it up...

Posted by: Jordana | January 18, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

@Finn

3 power play goals against Olie. I think he played a good game...Cant fault the goalie as much against the Power Play.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 18, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town,

Most Caps fans don't blame Kolzig for anything. So why argue? He can give up 6, 7, 8 goals and people will still worship him. Denial is another problem. He is 42nd in SV% in the league. He gave up 4 in his last start, 4 last night.

Did he make some saves last night? Sure. No arguing about that. But his overall game was, well, just like any other. Well below .890 SV%. The numbers don't lie. Unfortunately for those, who adore Kolzig.

Posted by: Finn | January 18, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town,

BTW, there were 2 PPGs against the Sacred Cow.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

RE: Joe B and Locker. I don't post here very often, but I will add a thought on the broadcast team. I watch most of the games with a DVR after kids are asleep. With most games/teams I fast-forward through any dead time and just watch live action. So I even fast-forward between all face-offs. This way I can watch the whole game in about 60 minutes.

But with Joe B and Locker I find them so entertaining that I tend to just leave the game running and listen to their commentary. I think they have a great chemistry which makes it fun to listen. They are well prepared to talk about opposing teams (especially last night where we were up against a team we don't see much), and they seem to just have a good time watching the Caps. I agree with the earlier post and think they are one of the better broadcast teams in hockey.

Posted by: drew | January 18, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

fleischman has to go. same with that #44 fellow. package them together for center or something. times up tomas.

Posted by: pete | January 18, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I think 44 has potential but Flash really hasn't been doing much...and he's gotten the oppurtunities unlike 44. What about Kozlov..he was great the other night but not so much last night. And on top of that I thought one of his strengths was the SO. Haven't seen that at all...

Posted by: K | January 18, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Can't believe the win last night. After trailing by 2, I thought it was going to be a long night. The only think I have to say about Kolzig is that he needs to work on deflecting the rebounds into the corner. In the 3rd period, he started to do that and did much better. But, the first two periods, he allowed the rebounds to trickle right in front of the net.

We are AHEAD of the SABRES!!!!

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Bradley is so funny:

"He just said, 'I'm going to score, put me out there,' and he jumped over the board and he went in," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He told me, he didn't ask."


"I told him, 'I'll score, let me go,"' Bradley said. "I don't think either of us actually believed what I was saying."


"I was hoping I got to go before (backup goalie) Brent Johnson went," Bradley said. "I figured if I can go before him, I'll be doing OK."

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Yes! I hate the Sabres!!!!
Can't wait for tomorrow...I know we can win that game!

Go Caps!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Sabres.... 0-5-5 in their last 10. How does that make you feel?

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I hate the Sabres! I hate the Pens! If only we could ever beat the two!

Posted by: Finn | January 18, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

More from Bradley:

On whether he was smiling or smirking after he scored:
"I was just happy. I blacked out there for a second. I didn't know what happened.

On what move he used:
"I don't have any moves. I lost the puck and tried to grab it again."

After the game, Bradley entered the room and told his teammates he'd be putting on a clinic for them at practice tomorrow.

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Huge win last night -- great to see all the young guns getting on the board.

I thought Kolzig had his normal, mediocre night. He did play well in the shoot-out, but as one of the bloggers pointed out it's interesting that none of the Edmonton shooters tried the side-to-side move that the Red Wings torched him with.

Bruce has a ton of class -- he could have called out Olie for whining, when he's the one ranked 42nd in the league in GAA. But BB took the high road in what has to be considered the first challenge to his authority.

He also seems to have no problem sitting any defenseman on any given day. After Schultz's giveaways last night I think it might be time for him to take a break on Saturday.

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | January 18, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

@Finn:

29/33 isn't great but I honestly don't think there was much Olie or anyone else could do about any of the pucks the Oilers put in the net. The Caps did not play a great defensive game, particularly on the PK. The one even strength goal he gave up was screened by Penner, I doubt he saw it until it was too late. Were I to be critical of his game last night, I'd say his rebound control didn't impress me nearly as much as it seems to have Lougher and Joe B based on what's posted above. That having been said, he did what he had to do to give us a chance to win. He made some big stops when the Caps needed him to do so in the 3rd and OT, and was a wall in the SO. It's obvious to everyone that, at 37, Olie isn't the goaltender of the future, but he's what we've got now and imho he ought to get credit when it's due. If he and/or Johnny get hot, they can make a difference in this division. I would guess that the Caps believe the long term solution to the position is playing in Russia this season; hopefully he'll be here next year and in the meantime we'll find a way to get by.

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

We saw more Splash than Flash last night - yeesh. He MUST start converting those chances.
Olie's technique during the SO has abviously changed - he skates toward the shooter and settles in now, vs waiting on it. Much, much improved, Olie.
I have to say, I had a bad feeling when we went to the SO -we were lucky to beat the Oil; they have some very good skilled players.

Posted by: Shaggy | January 18, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Re. Locker: I loved it when he talked about Semin punching the guy right in the "coconutta"! I thought of Mauree looking for a fun new word.

@K, do the Caps seem allergic to the front of the other teams' net? I don't think it was just last night's game. Or is it just a lack of team toughness that they can't occupy the opposition's crease, or clear their own?

That is why I think that if the Caps were going to "rent-a-player" they should go after a big, tough defenseman. Someone who can clear the crease of the opposition and Olie's loose rebounds. It could be worth a goal against a game. Also, a blue liner will less likely affect "team chemistry" then trying to plug in a forward or goalie.

What a great, fun game to watch last night!

Posted by: Clarendon | January 18, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

PS, beating the Pens would be sweet.

@Pete, I was also of the "trade Flash" persuasion until a couple of weeks ago, but I'm not so sure now. He seems to me to be making some steps to elevate his game, and I have the sense (nothing more) that if he could just finish one or two of these opportunities, he would come to life. If we don't see that by the end of the season, I'll be back with you. Kozlov made maybe the best play he's made all season on the headman to Flash, but when oh when is Kozlov going to start producing?

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Starting Saturday - we have 4 games in 6 nights. That's going to be rough stretch for them... good news though, 2 of them are against the Leafs.

Also, if we do end up pushing for the PO, we have 7 straight games at the end of the season against the SE div. You would think that is a good think... lets hope it is.

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

LOL!!! I knew that people were going to rag on Olie ... so predictable ... at least the crowd was behind him last night!

Posted by: Boo! | January 18, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I enjoy Comcast's coverage of the games ... but I wish they would give the lines of the opposing team.

And ... give the lines before the game starts so I'm not distracted from the game. Of course, I usually know the Caps lines prior (thanks Tarik).

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | January 18, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

@Clarendon
I think its both...we were totally getting pushed around in front of our own net last night..there wasn't anything Olie could do about it and our D-men just weren't strong enough or whatever to move the guys (especially Penner!) and then when we were at the other end everyone was circled around the outside of the net with not one person in front of the goal thereby eliminating any chances of getting a rebound in...where's Clark? When's he going to come back? He's not afraid of standing in front of the net (although out of all the guys on our team he has reason to be nervous up there!)
Our D needs to start a weight lifting routine!!!! Get stronger and meaner!

Posted by: K | January 18, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Clarendon, I think Brash and Clark are really the only guys who can take the pounding in front of the net. Kozlov, Semin and Flash sort of move in and out of the slot.

Or it could be that no one wants to get hit by an Ovie slapper. When the Oiler went down, I pictured Clark saying "come on, you still have your ear, get up".

Posted by: tallbear | January 18, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@tallbear- I was thinking the same thing! I could just picture Clarkie saying oh c'mon you wimp! Man up! hahaha

Posted by: haha | January 18, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@K I agree.

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

First, Olie's save percentage last night was .911. You have to factor the 12 shots awarded on the shootout. If you want to get picky about it, he was really .909 because one shot during shootout did clank off the post. Now, that said, how many other goalies in the NHL have prevented a goal on 12 consecutive shootout attempts...twice. It's been a while, but didn't Olie allow one goal to the Rangers in a 13-round shootout a couple years back?

Second, the fans at the game last were the true Caps fans, so if you went, you saw the die-hards. I'm not criticizing those who wanted to be there but couldn't because of work, car plowed in, etc., what I'm saying is the people who were there last night were the Caps fan base, now we must build on that. Grab your friends, co-workers, whatever and bring them out to the games. Anyone who's sat throught the last two seasons is starting to reap the benefits of what the Caps of sown, now it's time to build more fans.

Third, congratulations to former Capital Mark Tinordi and his kids. I talked to someone at the game last night who congratulated Tinordi because he and his sons, Mark and Jared were all selected to their junior league all-star team. I also learned about the junior team too, the Nationals.

Great win guys, keep the buzz going and we'll bring in the fans!

Posted by: Realistic Fan | January 18, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Will someone sharpen Semin's skates. or put a lifter between the shoe and the blade.
When he makes those unbelievable cuts the edge of his boot hits the ice and he loses his edge. He wiped out at least three times last night.

Joe B is too condescending for me , don't need to hear that a Dman made a boo boo.

Posted by: billd | January 18, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I just wanted to share with everyone one of my pet peeves when at the game:
I can't stand when you have someone doing a running commentary sitting near you at one of the games. I swear some of these people will talk through the whole game and never SHUT UP!!! It's so annoying! I know what is going on b/c I'm sitting there watching it and don't need someone talking through the whole darn thing!! And it's especially bad when the people don't even know what they are talking about or you can tell they haven't been following the Caps all year b/c they make stupid silly comments!!! There doesn't need to be an unending stream of commentary at a live game!!!!!

Posted by: Annoyed | January 18, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Great moment for Bradley, who really seems to have cemented a position on the checking line. Laing/Steckel/Bradley had some great shifts last night, and they're starting to remind me of some of the shut down moments we saw with Kono/Halpern/Dahlen, only this line is grittier, younger, and cheaper.

Bradley's SO goal was great. He didn't waste time with any head fakes or dekes. He went forehand to backhand and smoothly put it by Roloson. I'll take that over a Bouchard spin-o-rama or Gagne triple deke any day of the week.

Counting the SO, Fleischman had three breakaway chances, and he stunk on every one of them.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 18, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

@Finn,

Glass half empty, eh?

Posted by: Steve R | January 18, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

steve:
half?!? don't be so generous ...

Posted by: Boo! | January 18, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Steve R,

What are you talking about?

Posted by: Finn | January 18, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@Finn

I think many of us had or still have some reservations on Olie but... hang on, let me wear this... *wears a political discussion hat*... but I think it's wrong to blame Olie for the 4 goals yesterday to pursue a political agenda against him (the opposite is also wrong).

Let's just cheer for yesterday's game, he was nothing short of spectacular. Go Olie! Keep it up please we need it :)

Posted by: mauree | January 18, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

You said that you had your reservations about Kolzig. You don't have them anymore based on one performance?

Posted by: Finn | January 18, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I said: "the opposite is also wrong".
I still have reservations.

But yesterday he was the man.

Posted by: mauree | January 18, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Next game could be huge milestone for the year -- we're one win away from 500. People had hopes when he came aboard, but I don't think anyone seriously thought we'd get this far this fast. Here's to a great 2nd half (and Ottowa in the playoffs).

Posted by: Hook | January 18, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Shultz 2 assists and +1 for the night. One bonehead pass. I can't see sitting him for Jurcina (I can't belive I just said that). 55 isn't great, isn't horrible, just seems ..consistant..

tonight:
fla vs nj
oilers vs car
atl vs buff (I hate rooting for Buff)

Posted by: Steve R | January 18, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@Finn -
Olie isn't what he used to be, no doubt.
And when that earlier poster said that Olie allowed three PP goals, and you pointed out he only allowed two, I think both of you forgot that one of the goals (maybe the first or second, can't remember) came just two seconds after a penalty expired. Like it or not, in that situation, if the puck's in your zone, you are still shorthanded.
I would argue that the officials were worse than Olie was in regulation last night.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | January 18, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Officiating was horrible last night...ticked me off to no end!

Posted by: K | January 18, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Annoyed,

At least you didn't have to deal with the people sitting behind me... I swear they talked about everything under the sun except hockey - loudly. Even through that crazy OT period when it was all end to end they were having a deep conversation about Catholicism.

I mean I'm glad they showed up and all, but for the love of God, I don't need to hear about your stagnant love life while I'm trying to enjoy a game.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 18, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin and Green have started to provide consistent scoring, plus we can now expect some offense from the role guys.

Its proving to be enough offense in itself to move up the standings. If Kozlov, Flash and the PP start clicking just a bit, this is one hell of an offensive team.

Kozlov is just snakebit, he's a career 9% shooter, right now at 3% something. He'll snap out of it eventually.

Flash is still a question mark, you can tell he has great hockey sense, just hard to figure out if he lacks the confidence or the hands of a true NHL scorer. But he's still essentially a rookie being shuffled all over the place, so gotta stay patient. Close to this point last year, Green was playing like crap, and look where he's at! Green is 22, Flash is 23.

Posted by: Vlad | January 18, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Great win last night. The Caps have a lot of confidence now. If we get down, we have the ability to come right back. 4 goals in the 2nd! The Special Teams need to improve. You would think we were playing Detroit. And a rare shootout win against one of the best shootout teams right now. Hats off to Olie for staying solid in the shootout. Another two points and one step closer in our division. Look forward to Sat. LET'S GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: the highlander | January 18, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The entire crew had the puck velcroed to their hands on just about every faceoff.

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@Finn,

Half full = the Caps get 2 points "but Olie sucks"

I've been as tough on Olie as anyone here(except maybe you or oneal), I just don't see that he deserves any abuse for his performance last night.

Reality is he won the Caps a second point in the shootout.

It's also reality that he might stink up the joint his next start, who knows. It's ok to enjoy the win and not beat the Olie sucks drum until it deserves to be drummed.

Posted by: Steve R | January 18, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

4 goals in his last two starts, that's still too much IMHO.

Nothing bad can be said about the win last night. Let's get to .500 tomorrow!

Posted by: Finn | January 18, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Olie was great all night long, especially in the shootout. I think the PP goals were mostly blown coverage and lack of physical play by the defensemen more than Olie.

And crappy penalty calls. Dumb refs.

Posted by: Jordan | January 18, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

BB is preaching a free style offense, because we can all agree, thats what we have on paper. We will beat team 6-4, 5-4, etc...Should Olie demand a stay-home strategy of winning games 3-2, and 2-1 just so he looks good?

Posted by: SA-Town | January 18, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Enough of blaming our D on all the goals that go in. A great goalie would steal a game or two (or five).

Our D has improved a lot. A lot! Our O is great too. Both Sashas are great.

P.S. The refs last night were horrible.

Posted by: Finn | January 18, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town,

Kolzig shouldn't demand anything. Last time I checked he was an overpaid psycho, and not a coach.

Posted by: Finn | January 18, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

OK, since Olie didn't suck last night, does he get the start vs Fla, or give him a rest?

Posted by: Steve R | January 18, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I'd let Johnny start against FLA because he did such a great job last time against them.

Posted by: Jordan | January 18, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@Finn,

But the Caps don't have a great goalie. Doubt that we'll see a trade to get one either.

Chalk up one of Olie's goals to Schultz.

I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Steve R | January 18, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I don't exactly think I'd call Olie psycho...that may be a bit harsh

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

@Finn

You must be some nasty chick that got dogged out by him back when he was single.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 18, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Schultz? :) Who's that?

Posted by: Finn | January 18, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

While I think Olie found some of his confidence last night, my guess is that Johnny will start tomorrow ...

Posted by: Boo! | January 18, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

We need to score 6 goals in order to win... that is the bottom line. I don't think anyone should count on our goalies. "The best defense is a good offense" - and that is what we have.

Olie stopped 12 shootout attempts, but he wasn't "really" challenged. I mean, Souray shot his from the blueline - what's up with that.

However, just like people complaining about Semin the other day... we all need to deal with what we got. Nobody is leaving and nobody is coming. We are doing well with what we got. So, everyone, enjoy our good play and hope for a lot of goals!!! We are almost .500 - we should all be happy about that. Can't go to the playoffs unless you are .500.

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I've been as Hard on Kolzig as anyone, but I thought he played well last night. No Goalie is going to stop screened shots. The D-men MUST do a better job of 'sweeping the porch" and not let teams set up camp in the slot. Penner had tent set up and was singing Cum Ba Ya by the campfire! He was camped out longer than Survivor Man. You don't have to cross check a guy or take him down to clear the crease.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 18, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@Finn,

LOL. You know, 8 feet tall and looks like the cartoon buzzard on Bugs Bunny, needs anger management classes (to get angry), leads the league in shot % for D...

@828,

My comfort level would increase if it were 8 goals a game scored.

Posted by: Steve R | January 18, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@828,

"Can't go to the playoffs unless you are .500"

Unless you win the SE

Posted by: Steve R | January 18, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Steve R, 828,

Agreed. Ovechkin and Semin have been slacking off scoring only 2-3 goals per game. Ovechkin with his new contract needs to score at least 5 every night. No "buts".

Heck, if we score 8 goals every game, maybe we don't need a goalie?

Posted by: Finn | January 18, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Steve R,

Yeah, was going to add that SE comment, but thought that was a given!

Finn,

Yeah, I will let Alex slide if he scores 4...

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Well done in the shoot-out Olie. I am one of your big fans but also one of your biggest critics.
Olie is old, his days of carrying the team are over, but he is still a good goalie when rested. It is time we give Johnson his shot, it is time for Johnson to start playing the majority of the remaining games, or at the very least half of them.

Posted by: Opita | January 18, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

General thoughts:

1) Let Johnny start in goal tomorrow
2) Flash has been superb this home stand. Hasn't shown up in goals but his forecheck is creating a ton of chances and at least two Semin goals. I am extending my leash a bit with each great game from Flash
3) If I could pick ONE weakness of Ovie's it's that when he carries the puck in on the powerplay he often doesn't carry it deep enough (like at least to the circle). this results in clogged passing at the blueline that usually gets kicked out of the zone. Ovie carried it deep really well once last night and it led directly to his cross ice pass to Green and Green's goal.
4) watching Backstrom play hockey is a thing of beauty
5) Semin needs to be careful before he develops a league-wide reputation for being a whiner and a diver (if he hasn't already). Still love him though.
6) BB is getting it done. Plain and simple.
7) Never thought I'd say this but we should be even better when Pothier gets back in the lineup. He was starting to score and we need another potent slapper from the blueline. He's also been playing a nice simple game in our own end. Again, never thought I'd say...
8) Kozlov may not score goals but he sure is a presence. He is so tough to knock off the puck and his screen last night led to Backstrom's goal.

Posted by: MTB | January 18, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, we scored 4 in one period - why not aim for 12 goals a game? Wait, would go into OT... so we need to aim for 13 - one for OT.

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@828,

Hate to give the other team a point by going to OT though. Plus Olie's save % and GAA are bad enough now, let alone 12 goals a game.

@Finn,

The Caps PP numbers aren't great, going with the sixth skater all the time might not be the best of ideas..

Posted by: Steve R | January 18, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Steve R,

If we keep Laing back there as the Rover... we should be alright...

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=350293

NHL.com continues to shower love and affection on the Caps. Good article on Backstrom.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 18, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

We're having a good run right now. Olie has made some key saves, but he's also let some softies in, too. Like he said, his GAA and Save % is not great, but the wins are good. GAA and Save % doesn't count on the rankings. Wins do.

Am I thrilled? Hell, no! Would I like a guy with a .999? Duh! But we don't have that. We have what we have.

So while he has a .8xx or .9xx in last night's game, whichever you want to count, he got the win.

That works for me.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 18, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Do you think they are going to do a movie about Laing in the future?

Kinda like Vince Papale of the Eagles in Invincible...

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@MTM
I agree with most of everything you posted, but I do have a question on your point #5. Why do you think that Semin is a whiner? I have never seen him approach the officials or complaint about the rough play he receives, although, I must admit, I only get to watch him on TV. Also, this guy goes down a lot, but that is mostly from blind hits he is getting from the opposition - I believe that is due to his reputation as a great player, they are trying to intimidate him. I thought it was funny last night when he stood his ground and sucker punched that goon with that last shot before the official intervened. By the way, I didn't see him whine when he got hit on the face with a stick while he was down, unbelievable, Koslov was penalized while this guy is bleeding on the ice.

Posted by: opita | January 18, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm with opita on this one. Semin didn't whine last night and I didn't see him whine to the officials either but I do see him get pushed around a lot...shouldn't Brasher be stepping in and doing something about that? I mean that is what we are paying him for...

Posted by: K | January 18, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@828,

Who in Hollywood would be willing to lose the front teeth though?

Posted by: Steve R | January 18, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Brasher should have stepped in when Backstom got crosschecked in the back and almost hit his face on the goal. That was messed up... Semin can take care of himself. I wouldn't say he whines - I think he just talks smack in Russian to the officials and the other players... I think it's funny.
For those of you that do not see - Semin does back up his team mates. I remember a game a few months ago when someone pushed "Litle Nicky". Semin went over and gave him a shove and a push. So, I think Semin can take care of himself.

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, I know Jim Carey has a chipped tooth?

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The firemarshall on skates?! I'd pay to see that.

Posted by: Steve R | January 18, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I know right... need to copyright that before someone takes the idea and runs with it!

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Looking forward to going to the phone booth tomorrow night. Need my wings.

Posted by: Steve R | January 18, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes - wings would be good... especially for the two NHL games on Sunday. Perfect time for it!

Steve R - guess we are starting our own talk show. Think we are the only ones here.

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"What's the deal with politics, I don't get it?"

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"Am I right, people?"

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Biggest single personnel piece Caps need is a tough, stay at home defenseman who can clear the slot. Alzner is supposed to be that type of player. Does anyone know if Caps have the option of bringing him up after his junior season ends?

Posted by: Paul | January 18, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm following the discussion - can't contribute much, have a presentation due in 1 hour :D

Posted by: mauree | January 18, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Since the "instigator" rule went into effect a few years ago, the role of enforcer has been hampered. All Brash can really do without getting suspended is to "encourage" someone into fighting him. You have to be real careful out there when someone goes taking runs at players. Like the run on Johnson the other day, or Backstrom as you mentioned. I personally think that without the instigator rule, these rough dirty hits would go down.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 18, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

btw new post by Tarik - see you there. seems like Brent's starting tomorrow?

Posted by: mauree | January 18, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

new blog

Posted by: 828 | January 18, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Greg s,

it is a sad day in hockey when you can't protect your goalie:(

Posted by: BearsWoooo | January 18, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@Finn

Numbers are good, but sometimes they don't tell the whole story. The team gave up 4 goals last night, not just Olie. Olie was rock solid last night. One of his best starts of the season, despite the 4 goals. When the team is playing great hockey in front of goalies, they can be pretty good. Johnny had a great start against the Sens, and Olie looked about the same last night. The team just cleared out Ottawa's rebounds better. On that first goal... try not to give up a rebound when you took a 100 mph Souray slapper off your legs. It's not that easy, even for the pros.

Posted by: Stephen | January 18, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

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