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Video: Defensive Reinforcements

Here's Tarik's latest Caps video update, on today's call-ups from Hershey:

Also, we'll be publishing our favorite mobile photos from the game again on the blog (you can see all of them by going to from your phone), so if you get any cool shots from Game 2 tonight, send 'em over to

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 4, 2009; 2:57 PM ET
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Erskine please be in.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 4, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Let's go Caps!

This blog rocks.

It's not that I can't play the video it's just easier and quicker to read.


Posted by: sroessle | May 4, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse


Can you also provide a text version for those of us at work? Thank you in advance for your hard work trying to transcribe Tarik's words.

Posted by: Leeguru | May 4, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Sonyask sez:

"I think Juice will get a goal tonight. He's due, and he's got a hell of a shot."

Greg replies:

I like your thinking and yes, he has a hell of a shot. Broke the plexi one day, then hit the stanchion between and broke both panes the next. I think it was Olie who said that he's got the hardest shot he's ever faced.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 4, 2009 2:54 PM

Posted by: Greg S. | May 4, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey, yes -- I will do it when I get to Verizon Center a bit later this afternoon.

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | May 4, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

there you go, rubbing it in again...


Posted by: Leeguru | May 4, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Cheers, Greg.

3 hrs and sumpin to go. Let's Go Caps!!

Posted by: Sonyask | May 4, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Dangit, bit by the new post.

I'm looking at Alzner vs. Erskine in a slightly different light.

Alzner: 2 PIMs in 30 games played at the NHL level, and the penalty was for putting the puck over the glass... (742nd in the League). Low TOI for the regular season was 13:32, and high was 24:45.

Erskine: 63 PIMs in 52 games played this season... (161st in the League). He's 28th in the League in the playoffs, with 12 PIMs in 8 games played. Low TOI for the regular season was 12:14, and high was

Hmm. Now, if we put in the average TOI statistic... and this is a very loose average... Alzner's average is somewhere around 19.125 minutes, and Erskine's is around 16.65 minutes or so. VERY loosely calculated. (Low + High / 2).

Alzner's percentage of time spent in the box vs. time on ice is 0.3%. ish.

Erskine's percentage of time spent in the box vs. time on ice is 7.2%. ish.

We NEED to keep players out of the box in this series. Badly. If we are in the box, we aren't on the offense. And while short-handed goals can happen, I wouldn't count on them.

Now, my math is BS if it ends up being Sloan who comes in instead of Alzner, for Erskine. But it's a thought.

Put another way, Erskine averaged 1.2 PIMs per game. Alzner averaged 0.06 PIMs per game.

IF - and this is a HUGE IF - the goal is to keep the d-men out of the box, then Alzner is a perfect choice.

If we were looking for someone to step into Erskine's very big shoes as an extra enforcer... not so much. At all.

Posted by: irockthered | May 4, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Video Summary

Karl Alzner and Tyler Sloan were recalled in case a couple of banged up defensemen can't go. John Erskine took a shot off his leg and is questionable. Tom Poti is nursing a sore groin, but he said he will play. Tarik thinks that John Erskine won't be able to go and looks for Alzner to make his NHL playoff debut.

Boudreau discussed that even if Erksine wasn't hurt, there was a pretty good chance both of them would have come up anyway, since Schultz is hurt. One of Tarik's sources in Hershey alerted him yesterday about both Alzner and Sloan being sick, but they weren't sick, they were actually en-route to Washington.

Also, Boudreau when asked why he called up Sloan and Alzner responded that he asked Coach Woods who he should call up, who was playing well,etc. Woods responded with Sloan and Alzner since they had the best playoff beards.

Still up in the air if either of the call-ups will play, and that's it.

Posted by: Joran | May 4, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

It's my job! Trust me, it's cool, but not as MUCH fun when you're working there all night. Just take my word for it.

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | May 4, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I hope that the Penguins don't decide to run Varlamov tonight. It's not *really* their style of play to do so, but they do have one or two players that I wouldn't put it past them for trying. Especially if both Brashear and Erskine are out of the lineup.

Marc Joanette and Kelly Sutherland are the referees tonight, and Thor Nelson and Jean Morin are the linesmen...

We have Bradley and Clark in, though, and

Posted by: irockthered | May 4, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: richmondphil | May 4, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Could someone please advise me on how I can watch the game tonight when my cable provider RCN, does not provide Versus to the "non-premier" tier of cable channels? Is there an online webcast I can pay for?

Posted by: Dellis2 | May 4, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: sroessle | May 4, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: rachel216 | May 4, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Dellis2 are you in the DC/MD/VA area?

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | May 4, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Dellis2 | May 4, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Probably not than, typically when you pay for any kind of sports PPV if you live within the area theres a local blackout. My best advice would be to go to a friends house, restaurant, or bar to watch the game. I'd be willing to bet any online site playing the game is going to have a local blackout on it. Sorry!

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | May 4, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

It will be on CSN, not Vs. for people in the DC/MD/VA area.

No worries.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 4, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

This game is not on CSN for reasons I do not understand.

Posted by: Dellis2 | May 4, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Ah, okay.

I dont know then. I know that is how it worked in the first round, but I guess VS. must get more rights in the 2nd round.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 4, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Well count me in as one that has no problem at all with the referees tonight Joanette and Southerland are both excellent referees and tend to keep very good control of games. Should be pretty even steven if you ask me. But since you didn't I told you!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | May 4, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Games 2 and 3 are Versus exclusive games (the rest are not). No local broadcast. I suggest finding a friend with Versus or going to a sports bar if you don't get it.

Posted by: koalatek | May 4, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

One thing I'll say I don't want tonight or especially Friday night (unless we're clinching it in Game 4) is a long overtime like Det/Ana yesterday. I was thinking this yesterday during that game that so many of our "elite" players that play so many minutes would truly be hurt if we had to play an overtime like that. I think the worst thing that could happen to "us" and OV and Green etc is a long overtime game. Gotta stay fresh. Granted these guys are young but so are the Pens. Lets just get the game over in regulation. Bury the Pens and unleash the Fury!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | May 4, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Dellis2,,, and all will probably have feeds. is a pay service, but since the feeds are legal, they're probably better quality.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 4, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

And my 2 cents if Erskine can't go, Alzner is a more than capable replacement and in this series I'm much less worried about it then I would be if we were still playing the Rangers. The Pens don't have a bunch of scrums like the Rangers do and that's where we need Erskine. Alzner isn't the physical presence that Erskine is but Alzner is a better and faster skater than Erskine and is also positionally better. We don't necessarily need that physical presence right now IMO.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | May 4, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Your local TV expert to the rescue... My apologies for the wall of words.

To everyone panicking about the TV schedule... Round 2 games are still shown on the Regional Sports Network (RSN), which for us is Comcast Sportsnet (CSN). And there's a lot of words in this post of mine, but please read it and read it carefully......

Versus does have two games of *exclusive* coverage per series, so you WILL need Versus in order to watch those two games only. As for which two, that will be announced later. All the other games (except the NBC Game 1) will be on both CSN and Versus, with Versus blacked out in the CSN market. The nonexclusive nights, the Versus feed is solely for the benefit of out of town viewers. You will have those games on Comcast Sportsnet, much like Round 1.

However, if we go on to Round 3 or 4, full national exclusivity kicks in, and the RSNs no longer show any games at all. So you might want to be updating your TV plan anyway.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | April 29, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse


I mentioned in my previous post that I didn't know what the exclusive games were yet. They got announced: Game 2 (Mon 5/4 home) and Game 3 (Wed 5/6 away). Of course, Game 1 is on NBC. That means that Game 4 (and 5-7 if necessary) *WILL* be on CSN for those in the CSN area, and Versus for everyone outside the area.

Summary for US viewers:
Game 1, NBC only
Games 2-3, Versus only
Games 4-7, CSN in-market, Versus out of market

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | April 29, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

...Several people asked if I know specifics on RCN or Dish Network like how to buy a one-day pass. I do not know; I am a Verizon FiOS customer (with several years of Comcast experience in my past).

But tonight and Wednesday are on Versus *ONLY*, and if the hockey gods grant us a presence in the Conference Finals, then *ALL* games will be split between NBC and Versus. No more Comcast Sportsnet coverage after the 2nd round.

I hope this is useful to someone, but I apologize if it was not.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | May 4, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree, I think that in tears of defending the Pens skill players and staying out of the box, Alzner can do a better job than Erskine, positionally he is amazing

Posted by: doncosmic | May 4, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse


If you cant get the game, Deal or No Deal is on NBC at 8!

Posted by: SA-Town | May 4, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm pretty peturbed with the NHL's lack of disciplinary action against Brown for his hit in Game 1 Det-Ana.

Comparing Brown's and Brashear's hits, I see only two differences (which I'll get to in a minute). Both hits were late. Neither "victim" was facing the aggressor. Both players were injured.

Both hit"... an unsuspecting player. It is also my opinion that the hit was delivered late and targeted the head of his opponent, causing significant injury." -- Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell issues a 5 game suspension to Donald, and ZERO games to brown.

How can this be fair? What is the Caps' management's response?

Tarik - I really want to know what the heck is going on here!

Posted by: Greg S. | May 4, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, and if you squint really hard, Briefcase Girl #15 looks like Crosby.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 4, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Come on clock - move faster!

We need to have a much better start to the game tonight.


Posted by: Redwolf1 | May 4, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

YESSS i've been waiting to see alzner in the playoffs. i'm so excited.

Posted by: relientfoot94 | May 4, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Greg, you are a TV expert. =)

Posted by: rachel216 | May 4, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey SA-Town what time is "This is Howie Do It" on, I need to set my ti-vo accordingly.

Posted by: reesem37 | May 4, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 4, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

new post. Wilbon opened his mouth.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 4, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

LOL, reesem37, that show is absolutely hilarious!! I love it! =D

Posted by: rachel216 | May 4, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

We better get some power plays tonight. Or draw some penalties..

Posted by: rachel216 | May 4, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

from previous thread.
what snake said.
if you prefer:
40 > 29

are those pim's in 1/10ths, 1/100ths or 1/1000ths - i'll hold my judgement on who should play until i have all the facts

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 4, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

irockthered, erskine has been really good this playoffs season. i think it's arguable (and right) that he has been the best overall defenseman for the caps so far. towards the end of his time up, alzner looked over his head. however, he has had more practice w/ the bears (including some playoff games) personally, i hope erskine is ok and plays.

Posted by: am_jim | May 4, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey Caps Fans,

Is it just me or is the picture quality on Versus totally not HD compared to Comcast/ESPN/Etc. I have DirecTV and the Versus feed is extremely bright, the whites over power the color (only channel with the problem, so I know it's not the TV).

Not that there is anything anyone can do about it other than sympathize.

Posted by: OldCapsFan | May 4, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I hope we see Alzner tonight for Erskine.
Erskine is tough as nails and gives 100% but he gets exposed against fleet forwards who move the puck -- and the Pens certainly have those. The guy hustles his butt off but he got caught after way over-committing a few times on Sat., and that is a very dangerous trend.

Posted by: govtimbo | May 4, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

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