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Waiting For Official Word On Semin

Alexander Semin is supposed to come off injured reserve at some point today, then play for the first time since Oct. 6 tonight against the Lightning. He was on the ice this morning for the pre-game skate and looked good, I'm told.

When I get official word on his status, I'll do my best to pass it along. In the meantime, I've got about two days worth of errands to get done before heading over to Verizon Center, so I'll be in and out until this afternoon.

Update:No goalie controversy here. Kolzig, I'm told, will be in net tonight.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 24, 2007; 11:17 AM ET
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Next: Tonight's Lineup vs. Tampa Bay


Have there been any talks of the Caps trading for a RW?
Fourth Period has rumors of Calgary, LA, and Montreal all talking of trading wingers.

Posted by: Stormblue | October 24, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I tend to agree with a bunch of others on the board that we don't need another RW until we have a reliable coach behind the bench. Hanlon still has a chance in my mind if he gets his head out of his *** and starts playing people in their positions.

Another RW won't help this team if Hanlon tries to put him in goal.

Posted by: Raber | October 24, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Whats up with all the trade talk lately? You guys act like the Caps have said something about it!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 24, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

We definitely need another RW, but I still say Clark needs to play up with Ovechkin. Part of Hanlon's job is to get the most out of his guys, and the only way Clark even comes close to hitting the same numbers as last year is by skating with No. 8. Much easier to plug someone in to the third line (Steckel) than put someone on the first line who can actually score (Sorry Flash).

Posted by: Metro Desk | October 24, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

We have a legitimate RW
His name is Koslov

Posted by: pmoravek | October 24, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The smack talk doesn't work if you don't spell the name right :).

It's Kozlov

Posted by: Anonymous | October 24, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BRAD | October 24, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: TJ | October 24, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm concerned that Semin isn't 100%. The last thing we need is for him to skate too soon and be out for another 3 weeks!

Posted by: Mike13 | October 24, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

from reading lighting blogs it looks like Denis will be in goal tonight

Posted by: MJ | October 24, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Desperation is now on in Caps Land.

Hanlon is trying every line combination under the sun, and offering that "even if Semin can only skate two shifts on the power play...he'll be in the line-up?"

OK Glenn.

The beautiful thing is that Leonsis was sold on bringing in Nylander/Poti/Kozlov by GMGM/Hanlon and coughed up the cash to make it happen. Now everyone is here, the reality is that only Nylander is a serious upgrade at center, while Poti & Kozlov are average performers (ie - Kozlov is another Zubrus - only he doesn't dig as much as Zubrus) while Poti is nothing special on defense, and even PP. It reminds me of when I bought season tickets because I was sold on the "Four Year Plan".

Pre-season, Ted was talking all this smack about "rolling four lines", "fast team creating forecheck, pining the other team in their zone", "improved power play", "improved shoot-out", blah, blah, blah.

Now, it just goes to show how nobody has a clue in the Caps ownership/management. We aren't rolling four lines, we're no faster than any other team, we're not creating issues with our forecheck, and there's been little to no improvement on the power play.

PS - Semin is another euro who will only play when "he's ready" - not when the team needs him.

Posted by: Seminator | October 24, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Tarik!

I don't care what your boss says, You're OK by us!

Posted by: Greg S. | October 24, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

That's right Seminator. The lights are turning on, and the count down has started. It's just a matter of time.

Posted by: someone else who knows | October 24, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Why are you picking on Semin? He hasn't even played yet!
Ted did spend the money as promised. It's GMGM and most importantly Hanlon who are responsible for the players they have/brought in. Hanlon must be given a deadline to turn things around.
Please, someone, tell him that "the rebuilt is over". He must stop making the "2 AHL players in the lineup" excuses.

Posted by: Finn | October 24, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I just read that Forsburg might be ready mid-November to start playing/talking to teams......any chance we can start speculation that with Backstrom/Nylander on the team, Forsburg might want to consider DC to be alongside a couple countrymen?

OV - Kozlov - Semin
Backstrom - Nylander - Forsburg

Posted by: Rob | October 24, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm willing to part with one of our multiple second rounders for Frolov, I dunno about the rest of you all...

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | October 24, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

i'd rather Semin wait and be sure than rush it and worsen the injury. we've seen how the team does without him. it's a smart play for him and in the best interests of the team to recover. he's coming to caps games, traveling to see others in playoffs, etc. the man is more dedicated than he gets credit for.

Posted by: jim | October 24, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Or was that a 2nd rounder for Bryzgalov, who we could then trade to the Kings for Frolov?

I don't even remember.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | October 24, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

We're seven, 7, siete, games into the season. And how can you criticize the team's shootout performance when, unless I'm missing something, the Caps haven't had a shootout yet. Kozlov is about the same as Zubrus; Nylander is our best centerman; Poti is better than an defenseman we had around last season. I'm not trying to carry the team's water or drink the Leonsis Kool-Aid, but I'm still not hitting the panic button. It's just too, too early. Remember how people were making Stanley Cup predictions on here when the team shut-out Carolina to improve to a gaudy 2-0 on the year? That's just as crazy as people flipping out now because we've hit the skids. Don't get too high/low this early in the season. And it could be worse: Nashville's dropped six straight; and the NY Rangers and their capped-out payroll haven't scored a single goal in two games. Breathe, people.

Posted by: Metro Desk | October 24, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Kings won't part ways with frolov after the year he had last year and the potential in him. Even then a frolov for a second rounder would be a steal.....and you never know what the kings management will do (note: picking hickey 4th last year when he was rated in the high second round area).

Posted by: Jim | October 24, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I know im late on this but why hasn't OV signed an extension. I hope he is not pulling off a Tomas Vanek.

Posted by: MKI | October 24, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

COme on people, we have so upgraded over what we had last season. The only thing not upgraded was coach and GM. And if things don't improve, one (If not both) will be gone

Posted by: Lee | October 24, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with anything...but can anyone guess how many points and goals Jiri Novotny has in 8 games this season? Well, he'd be second on the Caps with 3 goals, and would be tied for second on the Caps in points with 5.

Obviously it's early in the season, but maybe GMGM DID get decent value for Zubrus...Novotny just didn't show it in his limited ice time last season.

Posted by: Jeff | October 24, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what Denis Maruk is doing. He could certainly score!

Posted by: Lee | October 24, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Is erskine playing tonight? i would much rather see him then jeff shultz

Posted by: capsfan87 | October 24, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

WOw - Motzko went from hero to zero in less than 60 seconds. I remember Hanlon touting him as "doing some nice things on the power play" in ONE FREAKING GAME...and decided it was worth the experiement to try him with Ovechkin for three games??? Now, he's packing his bags.


Anyone watch the power play on Sat. night?? The whole pass back/forth from defenseman to forward at the top of the circle is "Power-play 101". I used to run that on my pee-wee team I coached b/c one of our players had a hard shot. LOL!

How Hanlon cannot concoct some decent power play out of Ovechkin/Nylander/Poti and whomever else is beyond me. Nylander is quarterback down low, while Poti is quarterback if you want to work it from the point.

Ovechkin should be circling like a shark waiting to blast a shot or drive the net and whomever else is out there just shovels the puck to Nylander / Poti to begin it again.

The Caps power play - non-existent. My only criticism of Nylander is while he's extremely gifted with the puck, he sometimes waits a little too long with it, and windows of opportunity are missed b/c he's putting on the stickhandling clinic.

Posted by: GH | October 24, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree, GH. I saw highlights of the Thrashers last night, and their PP basically gives Kovalchuk plenty of room to run around with the puck in the offensive zone. Last night, he crashed the lane on TO and blasted one bast Toskala from right in between the faceoff circles. Ovechkin has become a better passer (did you see his no-look to Nylander against NYI??) than Kovalchuk; if he moved around on the PP more instead of staying on the half-boards, he might be able to do some dishing to guys who are left open b/c of OV's increased range.

Posted by: Metro Desk | October 24, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

This all goes hand in hand with the Caps not moving around enough while on the PP, but it seems to me we haven't had as gifted a skater on the blue line since Gonchar left that the Caps now do in Green. Gonchar was good for 5-10 1-timer PP goals a year just from the back door play. Now that Green is on the top PP line I wouldn't be opposed to seeing him crash the back door every now and again too.

Posted by: Jeff | October 24, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Let's all repeat: It's ONLY been seven games.

I'm looking forward to seeing Clark play alongside Ovechkin tonight. I think the captain breaks his scoreless streak tonight, especially if Denis is in goal.

Posted by: DSCF | October 24, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

On the PP, the team at least seems interested in carrying the puck into the zone rather than dumping it (as in the last two years), but seems unable to do anything once it gets there. It's not that complex: the name of the game is MOVEMENT (of players, not just the puck around the periphery), to shake up the defense and create space, which leads to quality shots. More and more, the evidence points to the need for a competent PP coach--the excuse of not enough skill doesn't cut it any more, if it ever did.

Posted by: Jim | October 24, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Metro Desk and DSCF-I'm right there with you. 7 games people.

Posted by: dave | October 24, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I am not one of the ones screaming for Hanlon's head (yet), and I understand that it's only 7 games. The problem is that on a nightly basis there are clear problems with the "system" in place that have yet to be corrected. I think why people are upset (or concerned, angry, whatever word you want to use) is that they feel the problems are fairly obvious yet they are not improving from game to game.

Like I said before, it's possible the return of Semin will fix the anemic offense and powerplay. The defense, while perhaps a tad undermanned, is doing a great job by limiting teams to well under 3 goals a game. The penalty kill needs to kick it back up a notch now that Gordon is back in the lineup.

All things being equal, being 3-4 after 7 games isn't terrible...but we all want to see the "problems" improve. And if games continue to pass without improvement, then something DOES need to change. But 7 games this season is not, to me, enough of a sample size to drop Hanlon.

Posted by: Jeff | October 24, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

For those posters running for the hills - after 7 games?? Get a grip. Problem is we were taken by winning the first three and now have to get back to working on the game, pairings and strategy. 7 down and 75 to go . . . a long way to the post season. But there is a sense of urgency to improve to the level we all know these players are capable of. It's just getting the chemistry right and getting on with it.


Posted by: dogdaze | October 24, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

while im truly disgusted with the caps of late(3-4 isnt terrible, but the way they got to that point certainly is)its worth noting that the penguins had a worse record than the caps through the middle of DECEMBER(the game in which that changed is truly unspeakable)and we all know how they did in the regular season last year when all was said and done. lets hope the caps have similar fortune this year

p.s. tonight is a must win

Posted by: must win | October 24, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Lee, if we bring back Maruk, can we bring back my former teamate, Mike Ridley. Ridley was totally underated. That is my opinion.

Posted by: Pete Peeters | October 24, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree must win. I have been disgusted too. I started to bail out of Hanlon at the end of last year. I don't mean to keep ragging on him, I just don't think he is head coach material.

Posted by: Pete Peeters | October 24, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

PETE! we could bring you back too! and Rids was great! ANd Mike Gartner. Bring back the old caps.!

Posted by: Lee | October 24, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I hear Denis is in goal.

Posted by: Tarik | October 24, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

We already have the red uniforms....

Posted by: Lee | October 24, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Anyone read Ted's BLOG ( defending Cassidy's tenure with the Caps?? I almost fell off my chair!

Instead of defending him, he should apologize to the fans for ever hiring him.

Posted by: Teddy KGB | October 24, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it wasn't smart

Posted by: Finn | October 24, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Pete Peeters and MUST WIN-
What happens if we don't win tonight? Hmm?

Posted by: dave | October 24, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Read Ted's Take, and all he said was that Bruce made the playoffs in his first season. He certainly wasn't defending him. Barry Switzer won a superbowl. Does anyone think he was a good coach?

Posted by: Lee | October 24, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

It's panic time! The Caps are better than which team in the East? Florida? Atlanta?. Carolina looks like they're revin' up to win the SE so that leaves the Caps battling for one of other five seeds. Yikes!

Posted by: DarrylHockey | October 24, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"I know im late on this but why hasn't OV signed an extension. I hope he is not pulling off a Tomas Vanek."

Last time I looked, Vanek was still playing for Buffalo. I don't see the problem. (And if the Caps end up paying more than they intended, I'm OK with that.)

Posted by: norske | October 24, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I'd be a lot more inclined to let Hanlon slide after seven games if it were his first season behind the bench, but it's not. It's been three years of the same broken system, three years of the same "better safe than sorry" line combos, three years of the same broken power play, three years of not seeing any of the Caps' young players improve.

I understand that he hasn't had much to work with before this season and that there are new players who need to learn the system, but for the last four games the Caps have looked awful and I don't think it can be pinned on losing Semin and Gordon. I expected a lot more coming out of camp and I don't think those expectations were unreasonable.

Posted by: zamboni | October 24, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

they lose five stright games dave, and they officially become miserable

Posted by: must win | October 24, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

@Metro Desk, DSCF and Dave

Yes, it's only 7 games. Just remember this. EVERY game that we should have won of these past 4 games MUST be made up later in the season. The further along you go, the harder it is to make up games. As teams play together they get more difficult to beat unless injuries occur. But then, those are the games you should win, too. You would have to steal games from teams that are stronger than the Caps.

I don't want to piddle on the parade, but I said pre-season, getting into the playoffs this year will be a long shot. And damn, but I hope I'm wrong, too.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 24, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@Rob: I may be way late on this joke, but that's EXACTLY what Hanlon would do with Forsberg. He'd make a 3 Center line rather than playing a Center with the top line. And he'd put Semin and Ovechkin on the same line even though they play the same style.

Posted by: Raber | October 24, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Clark scores! (I called it!)

Posted by: DSCF | October 24, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Why is Hanlon switching goalies like that? Just stick to one for cyring out loud.

Posted by: just pick one | October 24, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

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