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Tonight's Lineup vs. Vancouver

Defenseman Tom Poti will not play tonight. He is day-to-day with a strained groin muscle. His status for tomorrow's game in St. Louis won't be determined until after the morning skate.

Here's the rest of the Cap's lineup against Roberto Luongo and the Canucks:


Fleischmann and Sutherby are out. Erskine will replace Poti.

But here's the big change. With Poti out, Hanlon has decided to go with five forwards: Clark in front, Nylander on the half-wall, Kozlov on the goal line, and Ovechkin and Semin on the points. Look for a lot of rotation. And pray for no turnovers.

The Caps' power play is currently ranked 28th in the league. It's 4 for 39 (10.3 percent.)

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 26, 2007; 5:14 PM ET
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Next: Clark (Non) Update


AO with a double tonight!

Posted by: Finn | October 26, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik, is morning skate at the normal 1030? It's "TBD" on the website, just don't want to be late!


Posted by: Kk | October 26, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

This is off subject, but does anyone know where Bill Cement, I mead Bill Clement is? I know a lot of people don't care for him, but I thought he did a good job on Versus, and should be working with some NHL team. Maybe after they fire McPhee and Hanlon, they can replace Locker with Clement. Just a thought.

Posted by: Pete Peeters | October 26, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I like Celement. Much better than the joker VS has now.

Posted by: Finn | October 26, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Predicting another shorthanded against us tonight...

Posted by: Shorty | October 26, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Still no Eminger; this is getting weird. He can skate around Erskine. Yes, yes, for those in the Erskine nation, he is very scary, but only if he can catch up to one of these speedy Canucks without clutching and grabbing, when he gets to carry on a lovely conversation with the penalty box dude. What is really scary is no defenders on the PP -- opps there goes another shorty. I hope I'm really wrong because I love to see the Caps win, but some, errr, interesting coaching.

Posted by: Jim | October 26, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Put Poti, when in the lineup and Green on the points with Semin, Ovechkin and Backstrom while rotating in Kozlov and Nylander.

Posted by: The K-man | October 26, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

the power play was 4 for 50 in preseason. it's the coaching. not the players.

Posted by: dan dc | October 26, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik - what are the Caps going to do about their jersey "systems?"

The Bruins have already returned their's to Reebok; so apparently they'll be wearing uniforms with the old material.

But the Caps have an entirely new design. They'll need old material with the new design on it, and soon - it doesn't seem fair to have some teams have to suffer with the failed experiment longer than others.


Posted by: Oneal | October 26, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh god I hope Clark's OK...

Posted by: Raber | October 26, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that was most definatly not pretty... The would be a major blow if he's out.

The realist is me thinks he probably broke a bone or two in his face... I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: Murshawursha | October 26, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see it, I heard it on the radio. It was pretty awful seeing "Player Injury" in the real time update and then hearing the play wondering who it was who was going to get injured.

Who plays RW now?

Posted by: Raber | October 26, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

You can clearly see the heart of all players, the skill of many, the excellence of some. And you can clearly see mistakes the team makes, starting with simple players positioning. Go away Hanlon.

ps: I hope Clark is ok

Posted by: enough with Hanlon | October 26, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Chris Borque is listed as a left wing, any chance he could come up and play on the right side? If not, maybe Clymer...

As long as it's not Motzko.

Posted by: Murshawursha | October 26, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Clarkie got his ear clipped. That is extremely painful! He should be good to go for tomorrow's game, I would think. Psychologically, I'm not sure. I don't know if he'll be too willing to stand in front of the net after that.

Vancouver is a tough team to beat. I thought the guys played pretty good overall. There is one thing I'm really peeved about. Amazingly, I don't think Hanlon has anything to do with this (though he may).

How many times did you see Semin hauled down and wacked and pounded tonight? There were quite a few. And only once did the zebras blow a whistle on the Canucks. Now my point. How many Caps stood up for him?

When one of the game's premier players is on your team and they're being roughed up like that, you don't stand around and watch it happen. Those guys shouldn't have to stand up for themselves. Bieksas pounded on Semin a few times during the game. Why wasn't he immediately flattened on his butt?

Posted by: Greg S. | October 26, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Who do I have to pay to get Schultz sidelined for the season?

The timid bunny needs to play basketball or something. Get off the ice.

Fingers are crossed that Clark is more shaken up than injured.

It was a good game against a premiere goalie. I thought for sure Clark had that puck in the goal late in the 3rd. Shucks. Another loss...but it was good to see the power play work.

Posted by: keef | October 26, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg,
They probably don't want to wind up short handed again. They take too many stupid penalties as it is.

This was a disappointing game as neither team really played well. Hopefully we can get the PP moving in St Louis.

Posted by: pmoravek | October 26, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

"Hopefully we can get the PP moving in St Louis."

Correction...we want to get the PK moving.
Allowing 2 for 4 is no bueno.

Posted by: pmoravek | October 26, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I think Pothier played his best game ( By far ) since becoming a Cap. He played so well, I found myself continually checking his uni # to make sure it was really him. Hopefully, he'll keep it up. Very encouraging.

Posted by: Puckguru | October 26, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clement is working in Philly for the Flyers in the broadcast booth. Frankly, I like Bill in the broadcast booth.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 26, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Why do the Caps pass so softly, and/or into each other's skates? I havent played competitive hockey in a really long time, but I was taught passing to your teammates' STICK was preferable.
That didnt look like the team that outworked and outscored Tampa Bay 2 days ago.
(and Kerry Fraser still sucks)

Posted by: redlineblue | October 26, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Pothier had 27 minutes(most on the team) he had an even +/- and he seemed like his first pass was a good one tonite (no glaring turnovers I remember)
I'd be willing to agree that he had a good game. Still want to see Poti back as quick as possible though.

Posted by: pmoravek | October 26, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Greg S.,

"Vancouver is a tough team to beat, I thought the team played pretty good tonight."

How patient are you and a lot of others going to be?
Just for the record the Canucks came in at 4-6 with 8 points in 4th in their division and 12th in the conference. Sound familiar? Yeah, the Caps had 8 points too, although they have played fewer games and were playing a team over 3K miles from home!

Hanlon and Co. have demonstrated they don't have a clue on how to make this team better and they need to go. They take ill timed penalties, start flat and don't follow wins with any momentum. The only fans left are the ones like Greg who are happy with effort, flashy new uniforms and a new jumbo HD screen to show all the lowlights.

Sick and tired of the LOSING!!!!

Posted by: capfan1 | October 26, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse


I don't think that would be a "dumb" penalty. That's protecting your key players. It makes the other team think twice about taking runs at Semin, Backstrom, AO, etc. Will I get hammered if they do take a run at Nylander? It may also wake up the refs to call the penalties.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 26, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that Vancouver has a good defense and great goaltending. The Caps have a very poor defense and good goaltending. The Cap's defense is going to continue to be the problem until Mcphee realizes that defensive defenseman are very important. He hasn't signed or traded for a high quality defenseman in his ten years here. I wonder how much longer it will take?

Posted by: capsfan3 | October 26, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Is Chris ok?

Posted by: Melon | October 26, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg S.

Hanlon doesn't have guy's standing up for the Semin and the other team members for that matter. He's got Brash (on the bench) and Sutherby (in the press box) and doesn't use them or anyone else. This new gimmick PP will bite him soon; it's a matter of time. The good thing is the players seem to be playing for each other, not necessarily the coach. Before you start ripping me for waffling, there's a big difference between playing for your teammate and standing up for your teammate. The coach has a huge say in when guys stand up for one another. And what makes anyone think GMGM is going to wake up? It's been ten years and what has he done, time to remove his feeding tube.
At least the team honored Dave Fay, God bless you Dave.

Posted by: someone else who knows | October 26, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Tarik---status on Clark? PLEASE.

Posted by: SLM | October 26, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

hey someone else who knows,

Couldn't agree more. GMGM should be gone too. Although the more immediate need in my mind is Hanlon. Hanlon was fine when there wasn't much pressure to win, but now we need someone with more experience at just that--winning. Unfortunately, all Hanlon knows how to do and has ever done is lose.

I think GMGM and his staff are good at finding young talent, and it doesn't hurt when you have high draft picks every year, but not so good at recognizing which veterans to bring in. Poti and Kozlov are already in my mind busts, and Nylander is a rerun, but a decent player.

Posted by: capfan1 | October 26, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg
"I don't think that would be a "dumb" penalty."

I don't disagree...problem is that some of the other minors are "dumb"
But it is a numbers game, if the boys give up 10 or 12 penalties a game, Boyd and the killers will spend too much time on the ice and we will give up goals against.

I think we do need to protect Semin and Nylander, but we need to quit putting the other team on the power play less than 2 minutes into the game every time.

See what I am getting at?

Posted by: pmoravek | October 26, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I just want to know how long its going to take before we actually use our centermen/playmakers in their usual positions. I like Clark on the first line but Kozlov has to go. Ovie is not getting enough oppurtunities to score and on the second line the only person who seems to take shots is Semin. That is ridiculous and I'm tired of watching it (and even more upset that I bought season tickets to watch it!). When everyone in the stands is yelling at you to shoot the puck there is a problem!! I'm trying to be patient but seriously the Caps need someone who will light a fire under their butts and will put people in their proper positions so that our strongest players (the Russians) can score. This shouldn't be this complicated!!!!

Posted by: K | October 26, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Tonite I thought I saw OV and Semin on the ice together in the third when we were trying to get back in the game.
I seem to recall we had them under some pressure at that point too.

I understand why Hanlon would want to have two legitimate scoring lines, but I would think you gotta have at least one before you can have

Posted by: pmoravek | October 26, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

i don't remember who said it, but yeah, Brashear should have jumped the bench and beat the crap out of Bieksas, or whatever his name is. I remember that one shift where Semin got thrown around without a call and without anyone coming to help out (I think we need a grinder out with Nylander/Semin. Judging from today's game, I think they need that kind of presence the way Ovie has Clark).

One more thing, has anyone else noticed how freaking far they're collapsing in the defensive zone? My god, Ovie was at the goalline. For him to be his most effective, he's got to be primed to break-out of the zone, battling with the point for the puck, but he's all the way at Olie, so when they do get control, he has an entire rink to skate instead of a little more than half of one. I don't like how far away from the puck they are. the point has so much time to sit and think with the puck.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | October 26, 2007 11:48 PM | Report abuse

OK. For all of you who think I'm a wacko (I am)...

@pmoravek - I don't think you'd have 10-12 penalties as a result of standing up for your teammates. What would happen over a brief period of time, say a few weeks, is we'd get a rep. You rough up our key guy, you'll pay dearly for it. Incidence will go down, and Semin will be more effective than he is now.

In the beginning, it will be rough sailing. There could be a ton of penalties, but in last night's game, the refs were apparently blind.


Yeah. You're probably right. Hanlon probably did put the word out not to take any penalties. But the guys on the bench have to see their mates getting hammered and say something to coach (that'd be Clark or one of the assistant captains). We're going to end up with an injured key player.


If you've read anything I've written, I am no fan of Hanlon. He should have been axed already. GMGM along with him. Hanlon's misplay of Clark in favor of an AHL'er is unconscionable. His "power play" system is horrible. Putting 5 forwards is asking for a breakaway, and sooner rather than later. Hanlon is a good teacher. Put him in the AHL where he can teach all day long.

As for GMGM. What's to say? A 5 year plan and we'll be in the playoffs? Look at Philly. In the cellar last year. Where are they now? How'd they get there? Their GM made trades. Our GMGM waits until the cows come home. Meanwhile, the other GM's are working the wires.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 27, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

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