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Update On Semin and Clark

Just received an update on the status of Semin and Clark, both of whom failed to finish last night's 2-1 shootout loss to the Panthers.

Semin tweaked his right ankle in overtime and is listed as day-to-day. I'll get more on his condition at practice tomorrow, which is set for 11 a.m. at KCI. Semin has already come back three times only to return to the sidelines.

Clark left with an undisclosed injury in the third period, but is said to be feeling better. I didn't see what happened to him from my seat in the press box and I also didn't run into him afterward. A team spokesman did, however, just tell the media that the captain is expected to practice this morning.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 28, 2007; 11:51 PM ET
 
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Next: Thursday Injury Update

Comments

Thanks for the late report.
Now we know why Semin wasn't in the shoot-out.
Good honest article on the game also.

Posted by: Old fan | November 29, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse

This team is a disgrace. Ted and GMGM's second 5 year plan is even worse than their first. Does anybody really think that changing the lines is the problem? (or the solution?) Clearly, it doesn't matter whose system they try to work in if the players themselves are without NHL type talent: Leach,Pettinger,Bradley,Morrison,Pothier,Gordon,Eminger, Clymer, Sutherby. These guys are liabilities on the ice. And for years now, Capital management has tried to sell them as part of a new, young and exciting team. Well, now NOBODY'S buying. Maybe you didn't win the cup with Jagr and co.,(Cassidy was the REAL problem there)but at least people came to the games and talked about the sport in DC. Where are you now?

Posted by: Morgan | November 29, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

hopefully, semin will take a month off and give it extra time to heal. why keep bothering it for a lost season?

Posted by: jim* | November 29, 2007 1:16 AM | Report abuse

uh... Morgan? I'm not sure you've got a grasp on the situation. We lost in an 11 round shootout, outplayed the Panthers for the majority of the game, and of the players you listed, only two are a problem. *Laich*, Petty, Bradley, Morissonn, Pothier, and Gordon all played fine tonight.

Sutherby is playing well for Anaheim. Clymer isn't NHL talent, which is why he's in the AHL. Eminger is currently on the bench. Jagr was as much the problem as Cassidy - that guy was a complete disgrace of a hockey player on our team. We have a new coach who doesn't know the team well - only the players he's coached, so he's still figuring out lines (why they're being changed).

The only call I question in the entire game is putting Poti out in the shootout (round 10 of the shootout, when BB literally had Bradley, Brashear, Morissonn, Poti, Pothier, and Jurcina as choices (Semin & Clark were injured). I would've picked Jurcina and watched him crank a shot from between the circles (there's some Jurcina love for Jurcina Junkie).

But your ranting didn't seem to make sense. Which team should you be ranting about?

Posted by: Raber | November 29, 2007 1:21 AM | Report abuse

*claps at GregS*

Posted by: mauree | November 29, 2007 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Morgan, you're right. This team most certainly IS a disgrace ------ from top to bottom. Management, scouting, players, and trainers. Speaking of which, I see where Semin has "Tweaked" his ankle again. THIS IS UTTER AND COMPLETE BULL S--t!!! It's totally incomprehensible, why on earth they refuse to let the guy's ankle heal properly. This is beyond being merely "Disgraceful." IT'S CRIMINAL!! Are they out of their minds, FOR REAL? What kind of so - called "Medical staff" are we dealing with here? Isn't ANYONE associated with the Caps competent? ANYONE? SOMEONE? It sure as he-l doesn't look like it. DON'T THEY REALIZE THEY'RE RUINING HIS ANKLE BY INSISTING ON PLAYING HIM BEFORE THE THING HAS COMPLETELY HEALED? Jesus Christ! This is unconscionable. It's being totally irresponsible. Not to mention just down - right STUPID. Unbelievable!! I'm truly flabbergasted.

Posted by: Puckguru | November 29, 2007 1:28 AM | Report abuse

@Puckguru: Guru, you've clearly lost your touch - you are a complete idiot if you think management has anything to do with Semin's ankle being tweaked in this game.

Semin's ankle was tweaked because HE thinks it's healed. Semin was not forced to play tonight - he did (his decision), and he SUCKED. Go ahead and make fun of my mom now or something.

Posted by: Raber | November 29, 2007 1:41 AM | Report abuse

uh, Raber? I'm mystified by what game you must have been watching. It sure as ---- wasn't Cap/ Panthers. To say that the Caps, "Outplayed the Panthers for the majority of the game," is simply ludicrous. If it weren't for the Fla. Dman making that one truly horrendous pass up the middle, the Caps wouldn't have scored a single goal. They played like a bunch of guys, totally unfamiliar with each other. Which, basically they are, thanks to Gabby's never - ending line and D. changing. I'll take it even further than that. Their performance tonight was the most uninspiring, disjointed, disoriented excuse for professional hockey I've seen in years!! And, that's saying a lot. Because, I watch an average of five - six NHL games per week.
It's one thing to be a Caps' fan, my friend. It's quite another to be in total denial, and seemingly delusional as you present yourself.
Sincerely yours,
Puckguru

Posted by: Puckguru | November 29, 2007 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Let's just hope this alerts somebody to keep Semin off the ice for a while.

And I have to say, the Caps did NOT play very well, Florida was just not very good, either, which is why you couldn't tell. The D was worse tonight than I've seen in a while, but Olie had a pretty good game, and the other Olie was pretty much a non-factor, which in turn rendered the rest of the team practically useless.

I'm sick of seeing Ovie shoot in the shoot-out. They recognize his shot, now. It's time to learn the Laich move.

Backstrom's move, on the other hand, was gorgeous.

This really wasn't a good game, Florida was just terrible.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 29, 2007 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Hey I got good news the bears attendance was higher than the caps tonight!!!

Posted by: Dan L | November 29, 2007 1:49 AM | Report abuse

More level headed than your last post. This one even made sense! Yeah, I agree that was a bit of an overstatement. I just didn't want the lurker who clearly knew nothing about our team trying to make a point on the boards. I mean he called Jagr a good thing.

That being said, I'd still like to think that you're selling this team a bit short after 2 BB practices and 4 games in 6 days.

I'll stay off the weed if you stay off the hooch and we'll call it even then?

Posted by: Raber | November 29, 2007 1:50 AM | Report abuse

@ Raber,
Who's the, "Idiot?" Methinks you need to take a real hard, long look in the mirror. If you even have one, that is.
And, as far as me saying anything about your mother is concerned, wow, you've really shocked me now. I never dreamed anyone of your obviously inferior ilk, could possibly HAVE a mother. That's amazing. Simply amazing.... Are you sure about that?

Posted by: Puckguru | November 29, 2007 1:53 AM | Report abuse

@PG: Wow, he managed to make fun of both me and my mother? Classy! I'm going to bed - I promise I'll read your next defamatory post in the morning Guru ;-)

Let's all hope for 2 points and a healthy Clark on Friday...

Posted by: Raber | November 29, 2007 2:01 AM | Report abuse

Anyone feeling like a Detroit Lions fan right now? Get used to it...I have. Our ownership is as dedicated as Bud Adams, and our GM is as inept as the guy who drafted Vince Young to be a franchise quarterback. Is Leonsis really serious that a hockey team can build exclusively through the draft???

Posted by: rightwing1776 | November 29, 2007 2:17 AM | Report abuse

I was only able to watch the end of the second and begining of the third. Helping a spunky little girlfriend get a Christmas tree apparently takes precedence.

Anyway, I don't necessarily see things puckguru's way all the time. But I do recall clearly thinking the exact word "disjointed" when watching the Caps play for the time I did see. Hope BB can work on this.

... and I hope that ending was exciting to watch!

Posted by: austinsteve | November 29, 2007 2:18 AM | Report abuse

Now I get why he's nice sometimes, then he's... not. It's the pharmacy running low on prozac.

Arg...

Anyway, I'm going to give credit to BB until he actually gets to COACH the team for a month.

Posted by: mauree | November 29, 2007 2:24 AM | Report abuse

@austinsteve

I know how you feel man. I'll be in the same situation friday: shopping with GF or watching the carolina game? Problem is, if she aint happy, nobody is happy. *sigh*.

I'll try to bribe her with new shoes.

Posted by: mauree | November 29, 2007 2:27 AM | Report abuse

austinsteve! come on man! i told my gf that we could get a tree on the 6th, bc i would be done with exams and the caps are not playing that night! don't let the gf control ur caps watching...the reasons is that she will complain about watching a last place team and how it doesn't matter! pretend u care about her time, but protect the caps time!!!!!

Posted by: rightwing1776 | November 29, 2007 2:31 AM | Report abuse

I think if the Caps had won I would feel more like a tool, maybe next year I will follow your words of wisdom
:)

Posted by: austinsteve | November 29, 2007 2:46 AM | Report abuse

as demonstrated by sutherby and eminger, management decides who plays and who rides the pine. tell semin to take a break long enough 4 rest & recovery.

fla sucks. olie rocks. laich proves his worth again. no ovie on the shoot out should have been policy last year.

Posted by: jim* | November 29, 2007 3:24 AM | Report abuse

One thing I really didn't like about the SO is that, while Olie was great, Vokoun didn't need to be. Most of the shots he just had to stand near the net.

Our guys really needs to work on coming at the net HARD, shoot HARD and if possible fake ONE move on SO.

Posted by: mauree | November 29, 2007 3:40 AM | Report abuse

I think that it is time to recognize the fact that there are too many minor league players on this team. They will have a few good shifts & then many crummy ones. It is very simple to understand----forwards are supposed to score & play a little defesce. Defensemen are supposed to play DEFENSE & occasionally score-----that doesn't mean 1 goal every other year.

If some of these players shift to other teams, they will look a little better as the other players on their new team will be a LOT better then Caps. i e. a pass intended for them will actually reach them---a shot on goal by D-man will actually reach the goal & might then cause a rebound so that they can then get a shot of their own. I could go on for ever pointing out the pitiful play by the Caps, but you all know them by now.

My opinion of the Cap players is as follows.

STAR PLAYERS
1---Alex O

POTENTIAL STAR PLAYERS

1---Alex S
2---Mike Green
3---N Backstrom

GOOD NHL PLAYERS

1---Nylander
2---Kolzig
3---Clark

POTIENTIAL GOOD NHL PLAYERS

1---Schultz
2---Flischman
3---Steckle

3rd LINE FORWARD

1---Kozloz

4th LINE FORWARD

1---Pettinger
2---Bradley
3---Gordon
4---Liach

PRESS BOX 99% OF THE TIME

1---Brashear

3-4 DEFESCE

1---Poti
2---Pothier

5-6 DEFENSE

1---Mo

7-8 DEFENSE

1---Jurcina
2---Erskin
3---Emminger

MASCOT

1---Johnson

I am not necessarily an expert, but have been listening to & watching hockey for 57 years. It doesn't take much to tell the difference between average & good.
I agree with some who have said---"rest Semin for a month" I also agree with the bloggers that say that Alex O is trying to do too much on ofense & therefore his linemates end up standing around because they have no idea as to what Alex is going to do--ergo, what they should doing. Of course the same could be said for Nylander---maybe that is just because he has no idea what they are going to do.

After saying all that, I do think that the Caps should have been fighting for a playoff spot this year as there are a lot of other teams just as mediocre. Of course it is too late for this year----pure simple math says that----but I do think that there are potentially some good player in Juniors & college that may help & maybe in the AHL also, although I am not too sure about that.

I could give my personal break down for all I have stated, player by player,but I don't like to type that much. Instead, think about each individual player & come up with your own conclusions.

Several final thoughts:
1---When badmouthing GMGFM, look at the performace of the other GM's in the league. There are some that stand out, but most are in GMGM's category. ie, John Ferguson Jr, & the clowns that ran the Rangers, Isles, Blue Jackets & Black Hawks for a few years.
2---This is in the catagory of GROW UP & STOP ACTING LIKE 14 YEAR OLD BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!! This only applies to a few. This is supposed to be a hockey blog not a 14yo PI**ING contest.

Posted by: sidehillman | November 29, 2007 4:58 AM | Report abuse

new coach, same puck

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2007 5:48 AM | Report abuse

I agree that OV is trying to do too much. Sure, he is one of the best in the world, but it must be a team effort. The few games the Caps have actually won this year were games in which shots were coming from players besides OV. When he is on point on a PP, everyone on the ice knows where the shot is coming from. Everyone gets the puck and immediately looks for OV, even when they have a clear lane to go to the net. They need to stop relying on one player and start shooting the puck.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | November 29, 2007 7:25 AM | Report abuse

at some point, things will have gotten so bad that the continued existence of this franchise is put in jeopardy.

i am afraid that we are not very far from that point.

Posted by: jamebow | November 29, 2007 7:36 AM | Report abuse

where were the fans ?!?!?!
can the 2 or 3 people up high not move down to a least give the impression that there are fans there ?
have read all of the "Free Ovechin" stories from NYC and Detroit and you know they might be right !!
they should add Olie and Green's name to the stories.
just the franchise down and move it way from DC

Posted by: hockey fan | November 29, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

the fans don't want to shell out their hard earned money to watch the worst team in the league.

you put a winning team on the ice and the fans will turn out.

don't blame us. screw that.

Posted by: jamebow | November 29, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

If you were Ovie, would you stay? Those stories have merit, and what really bothers me is the team has not made one personnel move to improve. Ex - They have four NHL caliber D-men in my opinion (Green, Poti, Pothier, Mo). Vanannen, Markov etc were all available in the offseason, and they're an upgrade for sure over what we're running out there right now.

No one goes because this has become a 3rd rate product. The team stinks, the ice is a joke (I've never seen so many guys lose their edge as on this rink), and management continues to seek excuses, not solutions.

Thanks, but I'll put my hard earned $ elsewhere. I've been a fan since I was a kid (long time ago), but this is testing my fandom like it never has.

I sincerely hope I can take my son to an NHL game a few years from now in DC. Not sure that's going to be possible.

Posted by: bscol | November 29, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

There is only one issue: Accountability. No one demands or has demanded accountability from Management. It is high time for the press to come on line and demand that Mr. McPhee be relieved of his duties. The man is and has been a disaster. He must be held accountable, don't you think?

Posted by: EGIRM | November 29, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

If you listen to GMGM and his interviews, he sounds like he has no worries about his job.

Posted by: Finn | November 29, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Green looked good, unlucky hitting the post.

Posted by: Steve R | November 29, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin won't leave - they will NEVER let him. They know if they don't match what any other team offers, fans will go with him, and they cannot afford that ...

Posted by: Boo! | November 29, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

There were less than five thousand people at the game last night. The announced attendance of 10k is BS. It was an empty building and Ted looked lost in his box. I keep saying this but this team plays soft and doesn't hit. Schultzie is so soft - it's pathetic to even watch. BB doesn't mess around. He planked Jurcina real quick.

Posted by: gawferstud | November 29, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Why is Schultz still here? He should be in Hershey

Posted by: Finn | November 29, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

BB has got to get Backstrom off the 4th line and up to one of the first two lines. If it means moving him or Kozlov to the wing then so be it. Having him toil away back there with Bradley and Brash is a waste of talent. (why use a 1st round draft pick on your 4th line?) Pettinger isn't 1st or 2nd line talent and isn't going to become a scoring threat anytime soon. Unfortunately, I don't think Flash is going to get there either.

The best way for Backstrom to improve his game is by playing with quality players, not grinders. Once Backstrom is moved to one of the top 2 lines I'd like to see BB hold the lines constant for a few games to allow some chemistry to develop.

Maybe top two lines of

OV-Kozlov-Clark
Backstrom-Nylander-(insert lacky here)

One other note, Green looks great out there. Finally someone other than OV whose not afraid to shoot the puck! I can't stand watching these powerplays where the Caps are waiting for the goaltender to step aside to get a drink of water before shooting. SHOOT THE PUCK!


Posted by: zuufreak | November 29, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Sung to the tune of the westminster chimes: "Same Old Cap-i-tals.... Al-ways losiiiiing."

Again, its like rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic. Yes, I like BB better, but BB has the same team to work with that Hugs had. It just blows my mind they they call what they did in the offseason FA market as a real "upgrade", espeically when you have great teams like Ottawa, who are STILL looking to "upgrade". About the only real upgrade that was made here, was Nylander. Backstrom is definately an upgrade as well, but hes a rookie.

On Semin:
SOMEONE needs to step up and BENCH SEMIN. IM sorry, but you cant keep allowing a player to say "oh im fine now" and putting him back on the ice. Its now become a very clear cut patter, that he plays a game or two, and reinjures himself. Semin is a PLAYER, not a coach, not the GM. The "BOSSES" need to step in and act like bosses, and make some gutsy decisions.

Furthermore, I have never been that big of a fan of Semin, for lots of reasons. Over the time hes been here, he reminds me more and more of Jagr. He skates around mostly aimlessly, floating around doing largely nothing, and refuses to play any defence. That is unacceptable to me. Sure, hes got great skills, and the tools to be right up there with AO, but, It just seems to me like he is more interested in collecting a paycheck than he is in developing team chemistry or really trying too hard on the ice. Ive heard others say that it seems to them he keeps reinjuring himself just so he doesnt have to actually play much. I dont think thats necessarily the truth, but I also dont think its really that much of a stretch either. He just seems like he just doesnt want to be here for anything other than the paycheck.


Of course there was no one there. Who wants to go out to VC, to watch an awful hockey club play, let alone aginst SE division teams that no one cares about? Ever since the Caps were taken away from thier true natural rivals (islanders, rangers, flyers, penguins) this has been a problem, and its an even larger problem now because we see these same SE division teams, repeatedly over the season. Its terrible scheduling. Im one of the (now former) season ticket holders who cancelled after last season. Its just far far too expensive for what they are putting on the ice. Drop the prices to the level of the hershey bears, then we'll talk. Its no shock to me that VC is a moseleum. Once again, I feel 110% justifide in FINALLY cancelling my overpriced season tickets.

Posted by: DCUCAPS | November 29, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The only thing positive about last night was Backstrom's incredible shootout attempt. He made Vokoun look like one of those youth players that play during intermission.
Had Semin and Clark not left the game early, I think we would have done better in the OT and the shootout...
Was it me, or did Kolzig look like he just gave up on that last shootout attempt.

Posted by: 828 | November 29, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

RE: DanL
"Hey I got good news the bears attendance was higher than the caps tonight!!!"

The Bears game was a sell-out (10,500+) ONLY because they were giving everyone in attendance a free one-day ticket to Hersheypark for next summer.

Posted by: Tess | November 29, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

First of all since Puckguru know so much about hockey I think we should all email Ted and have him hired :)
Secondly I think BB needs to be given a chance. The season is already down the tubes b/c they took too long to fire Hanlon and BB hasn't had a real practice with the guys yet. I say we wait until next week and see what systems etc he puts in place. I watched the game on TV last night and they said the coaching staff in Hershey was putting together tapes of BB's systems for him to show the Caps.
Thirdly, We definately need to upgrade our D. I like Green a lot as young as he is, Emmie is a maybe, Poti I'm not really sure was such a good "buy", Juice is ok I guess but the rest I could do without. So basically a lot of blah on defense.

Posted by: K | November 29, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

We need D and a better goalie. I am tired of Olie allowing these easy goals. Also, why can't the D play the man, not the puck? A good example - Eric Cole strolling through 2 defensemen to score a goal... last night, almost the same thing. The guy on the right play the man, the guy on the left, play the puck! Sounds simple enough.
I don't think they season is over... look at Pitt last season. They were at the bottom of the barrel and then turned and had the best record during the 2nd half of the season. So, there is still a chance. With BB, we have 5 points in 4 games - not too bad.
Where is Alzner - give him a go...

Posted by: 828 | November 29, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

As goes Semin, so goes the Caps. The team is thin, and I suspect this may be the end of Semin this year. The guy can't play 2 games in a row without getting hurt. (Not blaming the guy, just pointing out that he's not near healthy.)

We may be nearing "pack in in" and "next year is our year" time.

Posted by: old time hockey | November 29, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

While I've been hesitant to offically join the throngs calling for GMGM's dismissal, I've reached that point. After years of buying into what he and Ted were selling, I offer the following:
I agreed with the dismantling of the collectively apathetic Jagr-led team.
I still agree with the philosophy employed by management in how to rebuild the team (draft and shrewd trading)
My problem comes in GMGM's selection of personnel to flesh out that philosophy. It is apparent that aside from the very high, no-brain picks (AO/Backstrom)(by most accounts Alzner???), he has not done a good job of picking anything other than 3rd or 4th line skill set hockey players. This is not an indictment of the effort most of our guys give each night as I think players like Petty, Gordo, Laich, and Bradley give their all. I just think they are what they are and are playing to their potential. We've seen Petty score and I think he can score 20-30 when placed in the right spot. I love Gordo and his effort. I disagree with those that say he has limited value to the CAPS as I am happy whenever he is on the ice (face-offs/PK/Shutdown center).
It is clear that GMGM is alot less savvy when it comes to picking outside the top 5.
He may have a theory of swinging for the fences with mid 1st to 2nd round picks, but he has laregly missed thus far with top-level NHL talent while more shrewd GM's get better talent later (Gionta, Getzlaf etc.).
He has also faile to bring in veteran talent that has helped in any significant way (Friesen, Cassels etc.)
It is time to realize we need new blood and talent evaluators. I feel I've given GMGM the benefit of the doubt but now it's time to go.
Also, if they let OV go for 5 1st's (I know it's another stupid Eklund rumour, but...) I'm gone too.

Posted by: Shipdriver | November 29, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

There is a lot of gnashing of teeth and wailing going on here. Time for a time-out, boys and girls.

First off, there have been, what, 2 or 3 practices for Gabby? Could you learn the lines and the abilities of the skaters and build perfect lines if you've never seen them play before?

There is a break coming up in the schedule. There's a game on 12/1 and then nothing for a week. I would expect Coach B to get the players used to their lines during that week. I would expect a marked improvement in the play on 12/7.

I'm getting the impression that GMGM is pushing Semin to come out on the ice way too early. We've discussed ad nauseum ankle injuries, and I won't regurgitate that now. He's simply not ready. If he says he is, sit him another 2 weeks.

The bench boss tries to do the best he can with the talent he's got available to him. In this case, we have a few individual talents. Emphasis on individual. They are not playing together. Passes are going to non-existant teammates. The passes are late - constantly. A lot of this is unfamiliarity with the lines and how the skaters will behave given a specific situation. That takes time to develop. The week in early December will not be enough, but it should be a start.

The record is currently 2-1-1 under Coach B. The sky is not yet falling, just the leaves. Be cool.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 29, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Stop picking on Olie already - he played a great game last night. And I don't think he gave up on the last shootout goal - he was probably exhausted! I can't imagine the pressure and fatigue at that point in a game ...

Posted by: Boo! | November 29, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

all I have to say is that BB has gotten the Caps 5 out of a possible 8 points. everybody chill and give him time. next week the Caps have a long break. He can finally implement his system.

Semin needs to sit out 3 or so weeks so his ankle can fully heal. he looks horrible out there.

Posted by: Blushfilms | November 29, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

AND,
Why is BB bringing in tapes of Hershey for the Caps to watch... shouldn't they be watching tapes of Anaheim, Ottawa, etc.?

Posted by: 828 | November 29, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@ Blushfilms - AMEN on both accounts! All hope is not lost for BB - he JUST started (what is today - his second practice?!?). And Semin should sit out until 2008 - whether he is really hurt or not - he will either heal or get the message!!

Posted by: Boo! | November 29, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

828
Regarding Backstrom, your statement that "The only thing positive about last night was Backstrom's incredible shootout attempt" will continue to hold true as long as he languishes on the 4th line with grinders. There is only so much that can be accomplished with those type of linemates. Bradley and Brash aren't put on the ice to score. There is no point putting Backstrom back there with them, it is a waste of scoring/playmaking talent that we really need on the top two lines.

You're right though, sure was great move in the shootout. Made it look easy.

Posted by: zuufreak | November 29, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

A few things:

(1) Some of you need to find girlfriends who like hockey! ;-)

(2) Gabby, please insist on resting Semin so that fat contract doesn't come back to haunt us.

(3) I can't believe I am saying this, but last night Schultz did not look as horrible as he usually does. Still, he belongs in Chocolatetown.

(4) That was about the smallest crowd I've ever seen at the VC.

(5) GMGM please sign Ovie to a contract extension NOW.

(6) POTHIER SUCKS!!!

Posted by: Jill | November 29, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Did not say Olie had a bad night last night. That goal he allowed was not a bad one. I think he did play a great game. But, then again, he should have a great game against Florida. And yes, he looked exhausted and that is why I think he gave up on that last attempt. This is professional hockey - if you can't go for the full 60+ min, then you should not be playing. We need a work horse in goal... not a "good guy".

Posted by: 828 | November 29, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

i to used to be a season ticket holder and cancelled about 4 years ago. i have been dying to re-up but not until the team gets better. i had high hopes this year but glad i waited. i refuse to waste my time and money to watch the team lose. ( still watch every game on TV though ). anyone who thought the caps outplayed florida last night needs to say no to crack. dump and chase dump and chase. i hate that more than anything. noone skated the puck in the zone or out of our zone. drive it in lose possesion. drive it out - icing. how can you win like that. hopefully this changes soon because i fear we will lose this team and not have hockey in DC if noone goes to the games. but can you blame us, its not our fault. we want what all fans want-we are no different. sorry to rant but i want to go soooo bad.

Posted by: david | November 29, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Anyone see what Juice did to warrant getting benched? I can't recall any botches.

Posted by: Steve R | November 29, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Juice = Jurcina???
If that is the case, he prolly got benched because he looked like a lil kid who couldn't find his parents in a shopping mall during Christmas time. He did not know who to guard - he just looked lost. I like'em, but he looked lost... I am assuming that is why he was benched.

Posted by: 828 | November 29, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

828,
He's showing them those tapes because he wants them to see what HIS system looks like. It's dramatically different from Hanlon's and he needs them to be able to see it being executed properly.

He's in the process of extracting everything from this team that Glen left behind and instituting his way of doing things. It's going to take more than one crash session practice to accomplish that.

Posted by: HolyOlie | November 29, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@David,

I can recall at least twice that Green skated the puck end to end. It wasn't all dump and chase.

Posted by: Steve R | November 29, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

I know this is somewhat off-topic, but is there anyone you could talk to about the slowness of the site? It sometimes takes me 3 full minutes to refresh.

It's the ads on the site holding things back. It always hangs on 2mdn.net, which is a server run by DoubleClick Inc, the people who do the banner and side panel advertising for WaPo.com.

Posted by: HolyOlie | November 29, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Dear Ted,

While I am a young buck (24 yrs. old) I've been watching the Caps and the NHL since my first game at the ol cap centre in 1992. It was a 5-2 (i think) win over the blackhawks. Even to this day I still shovel snow in the free red/white wool hat I got at that game. No, my point is not more wool hat giveaways but I am getting at something here.

My point is people remember their first experiences with something they are now passionate about. I go to as many games as i can now on a college budget and I gotta tell you, the product on the ice is truly awful. Sure the caps play hard (occasionally), sure they might have outplayed a normal cellar dweller in the Panthers, but they lose. They continue to lose and they've done it in front of 5k fans at home on most weekday nights for the last 5-6 years.

Maybe, Ted, if you gave the young and new hockey fans alike something to remember their first few visits out, more would come back. Maybe if "the rebuild is over" promise didn't blow up in your face, maybe if the new HD screen wasnt the only nice thing about the arena (food sucks, beer is way overpriced, parking is 15-20 bucks), and maybe if you fired the miserable GMGM your season ticket holders would renew and stop complaining about what a waste their purchase was. Your losing us buddy. Your season ticket holders, your causual fans, your young passionate fans like me who are too poor at the moment to purchase YOUR season tickets.

Sorry for the rant but I know if someone who loves the Caps as much as me is telling my GF not to get me any hockey tickets for Xmas there has to be something wrong. Ted, stop treating us like your little AOL plebes, our defense is terrible and needs an upgrade, our front office is miserable and cannot draft for sh**, and please for the love of GOD find some people who can play with OV.

whew, i feel better. screw you TED!

Posted by: PJ | November 29, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@Jill

"A few things:

(1) Some of you need to find girlfriends who like hockey! ;-)"

Does this mean you're available? :)

Posted by: Greg S. | November 29, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

From Japan, I can see none of the games so I rely on Tarik and this blog for a real sense of how the team is doing. It seems like last summer's upgrade in talent has fallen way short. Time to improve the roster with some smart trades. I hear Columbus is ready to unload Federov and Foote - that could be a nice addition, especially on D.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to post my name on the previous post (hey, it's 1:00 am here...)

Posted by: tokyo fan | November 29, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Is it possible to move the Bears to DC and give them the C(r)apitals?

Posted by: Bryan | November 29, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Gabby 2-1-1 = 5 points in 4 games
Hanlon 6-14-1 = 13 points in 21 games

This is just me, but I give a coach 10 games(although Hanlon should have been gone sooner). A coach needs time to find out who is who and what players goes best with his system. After 10 games, if they don't have as many points as games, then I think the trial is over.

@PJ
Good point, I think the product they are trying to push on us is crap. Maybe its because we are oler and not born to the digital age but somethings got to change.

I haven't watched a game in another arena in quite sometime but the constant songs, sign alongs, give aways (mostly to 100 sections), so on and so forth. I think that life around here is stressful enough and the game for that matter, not to have to pay money to go to a game and have kids through 2 day old pizza and crappy Verizon shirts at you. LET THE GAME BE...CAN WE NOT GO THROUGH A GAME WITHOUT ALL THIS CRAP...IT DOESNT APPEAR TO BE WORKING ANYWAYS...Alls its doing is pushing me further away.

Spend the money on the players on the ice, not the things in the arena.

I have a great idea, half price beer night.......Then I might come watch this team..

Posted by: Roger | November 29, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Line changes-

If the Caps won their first two games under BB, the second one convincingly with one set of lines that apparently worked, why does BB keep changing them?

Even if he is a new coach, this is not training camp. We don't have the luxury (need to win 60% of remaining games if playoffs is a possibility) of trying out all combinations to find the perfect one.

Posted by: 121 K | November 29, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The Bears are already in DC! Bears-1 and Bears-2. They even share the same coach and a bunch of players!

Posted by: Finn | November 29, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Great article, first period was horrible. I'd grade 4 games with Boudreau as 6, 9, 9, 6 out of 10, we are back where we are. I guess BB recognizes that. Next game is crucial or interim coach will be interim.

On Semin -- it's not his wonky ankle, it's him, he comes back when it is not completely healed or he doesn't tape it like he should, this guy is immature and unprofessional, he is not like Kovalev, he is worse than Kovalev.

On Ovechkin -- man, as soon as NHL allowed more curve on a stick, Alex "sucks" on stick handling. My advice :-) -- at least in shootouts go to less curved stick. And it doesn't help on backhand shot, like we saw it in the game, if he had a flatter stick he could've solve Vokoun even with his right-hand glove.

On Nylander -- I was really hoping he would score in shootouts, he is so good in stickhandling, but Vokoun robbed him.

Good news, Backstrom started showing his potential.

Gloom and Doom is coming :-), remember what boyscouts say.

Go Caps! Viva Ovechkin!

Posted by: alexovetjkin | November 29, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm a season ticket holder, but I still retain my tickets not because of the Capital, but rather I love watching hockey and the other teams! I wish more of the western teams would come to town!

Posted by: Fishman | November 29, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

alexovetjkin, do you know Semin?

Posted by: Finn | November 29, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@Finn-
Its funny because its true! And whats sad is the bears can outdraw the caps and the Giant center maxes out at 10,500.

@Roger-
Doesnt matter if you're in the digital age or the ice age (hockey pun) but anyone with a brain can see this team, and the experience it provides, sucks.

If I ran the Caps, not in any order:
-sign better defensemen (2)
-would've signed Bryzgolov(sp?)
-FIRE GMGM, get a new person in here to start righting the ship in time for the '08 draft
-tone down all the in-arena nonsense, if u must do something use more kiss-cam, trivia, and organ music. ole-ole is for soccer...give us the ol horn and siren back, w/Roger here: more 1/2 price beer nights which would seriously work, and push games to 7:15-7:20, that little bit helps so much when fighting with rush hour/metro.
-the scroll giveaways are stupid. more useful things like t-shirts, winter hats, and pom poms (cuz they look cool on tv).
-make the club level seating available at a lower price, if no ones sitting there at least sell for cheap to make some profit
-offer more incentives to season ticket holders

Posted by: PJ | November 29, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Here are some marketing ideas to get the Caps some more attendance. Being in DC you've got to cater to tourist and tourism. Im not sure if they have anything like this or not but provide a package...For example, by 4 tickets and get a "jump the line pass" for certain museams and monuments in the area. Anyone who has waited in line at the Washington monument knows how valuable that might be. Even say, buy two tickets to select games and get 20% off your hotel stay. Of course this requires coordination amongst various institutions throughout the city.

Also, some cool promos like skate with the players after the game. Buy the tickets and for a few extra bucks bring your skates and maybe 5-10 players will be available for autographs and pics on the ice.

And do a 'double header.' Bring the Bears down for a game against say the Norfolk Admirals to play a Saturday or Sunday game at 1p and have the Caps game at 5-6p. One ticket gets you admissions to both games and give coupons or vouchers for food and entertainment between games.

Its little things that need to be taken care of. Running and organization is a lot more than just putting a good product on the ice. You can have the worst team ever to step foot on a playing surface but as long as you make it worth people's while to show up, the rest can be fun.

Posted by: Jonny | November 29, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I'm a season ticket holder and so is the guy who sits next to me and he suggested that they allow season ticket holders from the 400 level to come down to the 100 level for free to fill up seats on nights when the arena is really empty. He said they should randomly pick those people and call them or email them the day before or that day and give them an oppurtunity to be moved if they so chose so that way its a win win situation. They would never make the money anyway and at least when you televise the games we dont look as pathetic and the season ticket holders get to move closer ..like an appreciation of there service. I think its a good idea. I sit in section 106 and I love it but it does get a bit lonely down there sometimes! I know the seats next to me are almost always empty.

Posted by: K | November 29, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@PJ,

Man, you're a curmudgeon. The ole ole thing is trying to draw new fans. Hockey is somewhat similar to soccer. Not a lot of goals (usually), constant action, etc. Let them try the ole thing. Its not like they have to use it that much anyway...

The Caps might actually benefit from a balanced schedule in the league. How many times must I endure Florida and Atlanta. I don't want to see them over and over again. I want to see Detroit, Anahiem, Chicago, LA (well, maybe not LA).

I'm a season ticket holder and I will not be renewing. This team will not get better next year. Why: goaltending. We all love Olie. Olie is still a great goaltender most of the time, and is even worthy of HHOF consideration. But, Olie is not a spring chicken, and he's in the last couple years of his career. We've all seen goals where young Olie would have made the stop and this year's Olie doesn't. He maybe has another year left. If they trade him at the deadline (and I don't think they will), he'll be retiring at the end of the year.

Johnny is a nice guy, and he's perfect as the emergency/back-up/mop-up goaltender, but he's no starter. With the possible exception of McEsseny (spelling's wrong, I know), I haven't seem squat in the pipeline.

Posted by: old time hockey | November 29, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Enough with the tired arsed EXCUSES!! It makes absolutely no sense for bb to be changing personnel this often. HAVE YOU ALL FORGOTTEN THAT THEY RETAINED BOTH ASSISTANT COACHES?
Well, HAVE YOU? Why do you think that was done? I'd say, it was to help familiarize Bruce with the players he didn't know about. Duhhh. The answer is so obvious, it shouldn't even have to be stated.
What's wrong with you people? It seems that many have ( By osmosis ) been struck with management's UNACCOUNTABILITY.
There's no time for game, after game line - up reshuffling. Maybe you've forgotten THIS IS THE REGULAR SEASON, sports fans. THESE GAMES COUNT!
The fact of the matter is, as I've said adnauseam, that the majority of the roster is comprised of borderline NHL calibre players AT BEST. Which is all the more reason the lines shouldn't be changed all of the time. Oh, well. I'm laying 3/5 they DON'T total as many points this year, as last. Now, there's a sickening thought.

Posted by: Puckguru | November 29, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@ Roger
I agree that Verizon center is just too damn loud & busy with everything but hockey. It is getting as bad as DEADSKINS games. I was a season ticket holder for Skins games for 36 years until I got tired of all the noise & distractions that had nothing to do with football.

I gues that Ted is trying to make it a whole entertainment package, but just give a hokey game & cut the CRAP>

Posted by: sidehillman | November 29, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Actually I meant hockey, but I guess it was a true Fruedian slip & not a typo.

Posted by: sidehillman | November 29, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@ Greg S. - all I'm saying is that when I read a few of the above comments I could've sworn I heard the sound of a whip cracking...

Gabby said he would be holding individual player meetings next week since he didn't have the chance to do that yet. That should help with his coaching strategies tremendously. I'd like to see him roll the same lines consistently for a few games.

@ Jonny, K, etc. no amount of promos will increase attendance significantly until the team wins a playoff series or two. Playing SE teams 8 times apiece doesn't help. I am sick to death of the Panthers and we play them again on Saturday. I really didn't want to go last night but I didn't want to miss the last home game for 10 days. And my tickets are paid for.

P.S. The shootout sucks.

Posted by: Jill | November 29, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I've posted the story from HFBoards about "thank you from Sabres fan"

http://alexovetjkin.blogspot.com/2007/11/amazing-guy-alex-ovechkin-or-thank-you.html

Here is the reaction on HFBoards:

ladypredsfan: Someone posted your story on the Predators boards. Needless to say we were in tears. We will pray for your daughter and your family to help you make it through your ordeal.
AO is amazing!!!

basketcase78: Ovechkin, not Crosby, should become the face of this league. That is a truly heartwarming story. Best of luck to your daughter. I wish her a speedy and complete recovery.

That's another reason why Ovechkin should get more than Crosby!

Go Caps! Viva Ovechkin!

Posted by: alexovetjkin | November 29, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@PG

Would you trust the Assistants? I would listen to them, and then watch the guys play and formulate my own opinions.

I've already written this season off. The rebuild is decidedly NOT over, Ted, but the coach, be it Coach B or Coach X, Y or Z, can do little about the talent given to them.

I would want to see what Coach B can do with the team between 12/2 and 12/7. We should see improvement, and firmed lines. Will they win? I would guess they'll make .500 from then forward.

GMGM should be polishing up his resume. The talent available is less than good. These guys have to learn to play together and work together. To anticipate eachother. There are team building exercises that can help with this. These guys really need that!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 29, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

OV accounted for a third of the team's shots last night, that's unbelievable. With the exception of OV, Olie, Backstrom, Green, Clark & maybe Nylander(if he had better linemates), our roster is minor league. GMGM has not gotten it done, imo. It's painful comparing our roster to the roster's of our SEdivision oponent's.

And we play the SE division too often, I'd prefer seeing a variety of NHL teams, being an NHL fan.

Posted by: Hattrick23 | November 29, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@ Jill

Right, no amount of promos are going to increase attendance that much. But trust me, I work for a rather large marketing firm that handles marketing duties for various athletic teams.

What you are going for is repeat business. If someone brings their family to DC a few times a year because they enjoy the city and the atmosphere, chances are they never thought of going to a Caps game, a Skins game, or even a Nationals game. Every tourist city has the slow times, typically during winter months in this area.
You want to draw people and make them want to come during different times to do things that they can not do in May or June.

To us, the schedule sucks, but to those who have never seen a hockey game live, they dont care.

Season tixs are paid for..yes you get extra perks and such, but the organization does not have to fight for you to buy your ticket anymore..in essence, they dont care if you show up or not. You really want people to walk through the door, have a good time, go home, tell their friends and then bring them back with them the next time.

See what happens with teams is they become too complacent with their attendance and feel that people will just show up so the effort is there. A little bit of elbow grease will increase your attendance over time. 10K for an NHL game is pathetic, look at how horrible the Flyers were last year, they still packed the arena most nights. The Caps need to get their PR machine out there and generate new business.

When the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was coming out, I helped one organization I was working with do a 'golden ticket' promo. We were able to work with a local brewery to insert a special ticket inside a few 12 packs of beer at local stores. There were only 3 of them. If you found one, you and a friend won season tickets for the next year. What happened? Those who found the ticket ended up coming to games for the rest of the season, buying tickets for themselves and their friends to see if they even wanted to take advantage of their winnings. Well for the price of 2 season tixs, we ended up generating the sale of 17 new packages from the friends of those who won because of that one promo..

give a little to get a little.

Posted by: Jonny | November 29, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

@Jonny - agree with everything you said and I do understand Marketing 101 principles. The Caps have actually been doing a lot more this season to market tickets to casual fans. Unfortunately a visit to the Caps message boards reveals that they have alienated a portion of their STH base by implementing certain promotions which included slashed prices for tickets for many of the remaining games.

So in trying new marketing gimmicks and promotions for next season and beyond, hopefully they will take more care not to risk losing those who are already spending the most money on tickets. After all, your easiest customer is the one you already have - all you have to do is keep him happy.

Posted by: Jill | November 29, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Capital's hockey - the Cool alternative. Haha, Marketing?

Last year, they did the college discount tix - I have not seen that this year. That seemed to bring people in.

This team CAN win, they just need to be consistant. No more stupid penalties (Too many men on the Ice)... cost us a goal last night. Hooking, Holding... the only penalty they really can't prevent is tripping - subjective to the ref. That seems to happen a lot. We may not have the best players, but we do have some good players. As long as #8 is on the ice, we ALWAYS have a chance. We can talk about the Caps again after the allstar break. Maybe then, we can all make our own judgements - there is still a lot of season left.
I'm a season tix holder as well... I don't mind the extra stuff - that's what sells to the kids. I would just rather see more fans against the opponents than the caps. The Sabres' game was pretty much an away game for the Caps - that shouldn't happen.

Posted by: 828 | November 29, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@old time hockey,
I am not bad-tempered or difficult as you suggest in calling me a curmdgeon. I'm quite pleasant actually :). Just like many others however I am starting to see through all the noise Ted and his bunch have been shoving our way and I'm frustrated. I want to win damnit! And the ole thing to draw new fans? Take your word for it but getting soccer people into hockey has nothing to do with ole ole after goals.

This team needs to win to draw fans plain and simple. Aside from OV there really is no talent (using the word loosely) worth embracing like the hunters and bondras of old in a hockey-3rd town.

I love the caps but it is so hard to find positives when they stink!

Posted by: PJ | November 29, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@828 - there is a Student Rush night for every Friday and Saturday home game.

Posted by: Jill | November 29, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

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