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Washington's PP vs. Philly's PK

Washington's power play leads the Eastern Conference with a 24.1 percent success rate after going 13 of 36 (36.1-percent) in the past 11 games.

But tonight that unit is going to face a pretty stout test in the Flyers, who have the eighth best penalty killing unit in the league and are tops in shorthanded goals with 16 (six more anyone else). Interestingly, the Flyers are the only the only team in the league that has not surrendered a shorty.

"The great thing they do is they put power plays on the defensive before they start," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I'm sure every team that plays Philadelphia talks about their penalty killing and how they go for goals, so you're thinking in a defensive mode before you get out there. It's something we've discussed, and hopefully they are aware of it."

Flyers' captain Mike Richards has scored a shorthanded goal in three straight games and leads the NHL with seven. His teammates Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne make the top 10 with four apiece, and Gagne also has a league-leading four shorthanded assists.

Caps defenseman Mike Green has 15 power play goals. But he doesn't need a reminder of what not to do tonight. He was stripped of the puck at the point in Washington's 7-1 loss to the Flyers on Dec. 20 and Carter converted the breakaway at the other end.

The biggest thing the Caps must avoid, Green said, is making long cross-ice passes, especially risky ones. The Flyers have too much skill on the penalty kill and they'll snag those misguided passes and then make a stretch pass to a teammate that's already halfway down the ice.

"They do such a good job of anticipating passes, as soon as you don't have control of the puck, they're sending a guy and someone is shooting a pass down the ice," Green said. "They're pretty skilled, so they'll make those passes. But we can't worry too much about it. Because if you worry about it, then it happens."

Also, Boudreau said that Viktor Kozlov (groin) is indeed getting closer to returning. But he won't play tonight.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 24, 2009; 11:26 AM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup

Comments

1st

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

The Capitals were magnificent sending the Penguin fans packing, now let's finish the task and let the Philly fans they are NOT welcome in DC!

Posted by: bill_in_damascus | February 24, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm worried there might be a sea of orange in the building tonight...mid week game brings out those bozos.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 24, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

team is up for it. West Penn followed by East Penn. Name a bigger back-to-back rivalry?

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Easy to fix the problem no matter HOW many fans from the other team.

Win and win big.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I think the Flyers fans who are masochists are quite welcome because they are gonna watch their Flyers get whupped behind the Caps' shed.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | February 24, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Philly's PP: 23.3% is 2nd in the East

Caps PK: 79.8% is 20th in the League

Just in case...

Posted by: Section117 | February 24, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

notice how many names are listed as team VIP's vs the Caps? Kinda wierd, like a union thing?

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

again, we take MORE penalties, therefore our PERCENTAGE will be lower.

Watching every game this season, I believe that our kill gets it done when the big kills need to be done.

Lies, damn lies and statistics.....

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Lies, damn lies and statistics.....

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 11:45 AM


So maybe staying out of the box would be nice for a change?

Posted by: Section117 | February 24, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

we need to better at not taking penalties, much more so than we need to be better at PK.

do a lot of penalties this game and we will be up against it and in need of a multi-goal comeback...

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

perzactly my point.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

people diss our PK, but we are at least above average on the big, game deciding kills.

Just need more personal disciplne.

I'm glad that this high number of bad penalties hasn't made the guys (at least as far as we are hearing) disrespect each other. Team is still working together, even with tons of bad penalties.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The Flyers PP might be second in the East but they are only successful 14.7% on the road.

Posted by: meagle | February 24, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

mauree, I'm a college student, what am I not doing up at 3am? Actually, since I've got class on Monday night, I was catching up on my once a week reality TV, then watching "Miracle."

DaveUK, Yeah, I know. It'll stop soon, right? Like, say late June? :-D

I hate the Flyers.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 24, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

and how good has OUR pk been at home?

Lies, damn lies.....

as long as we stay under 3-4 penalties, we should be good

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

THIS is a game where we could use a player like JovoCop...

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 24, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"and how good has OUR pk been at home?"

A whole 1% better and 19th in the league, since you asked.

Posted by: Section117 | February 24, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo, thanks for the game notes. I saw there were only two A's listed for the Caps (Ovi and Feds) does anyone know who if anyone gets the 3rd?

Posted by: superpaqman | February 24, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

JMU,
Lets hope so eh? And maybe in the next 5 years we can be saying to Pens fans "how many have you got"?

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 24, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

If we use the Bruins as a PK comparison (for minors) it comes to this: they have taken 250 minors and have an overall PK% of 83. The Caps have taken 305 minors with an overall PK% of 80 (rounded). An increase in our PK% to 83 would have saved the Caps about 8 goals this year; a decrease in minors to 250 would have saved 9 goals. No much in those numbers. But, I suspect (I'm not a player or coach) that cutting out the extra 55 minors this season (and there have been a lot of lazy offensive zone minors...) would be easier than making a significant increase in PK%. The team, or late, does seem to be killing penalities at important moments but they can't keep doing it when they always have someone in the box.

The Caps are tied with the Leafs for third most PPGs allowed in the league this season. That's says something, and it's not a good something.

Posted by: saintex | February 24, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@superpaqman

I don't know if there's been a third "A" out lately. I ordered an Ovechkin practice jersey and I had them put a "C" on it. Planning ahead.

Posted by: saintex | February 24, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

very good points, all.

Best fix is to stop getting calls.

I say let's do something to/about the refs.

Might be the easiest fix.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we should go to japers and see what the real bloggers have to say. Us unicorns have no idea.

Posted by: Leeguru | February 24, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Dude, I thought you WERE a real blogger.

All this time, was I wrong?

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I still sticking with the kills we MAKE as being way more important than the ones we DON'T.

Sounds dumb, even to me, but I'm sticking with the theory.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Nope, I am a UNICORN and dream in lavender and live in Carealot!

Right Boo?

Posted by: Leeguru | February 24, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

cant wait to see the garbage from philly cry again tonight. Last game against them was good, but didnt make up for the pain i went through in philly at the 7-1 loss

Posted by: _stevo | February 24, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Nope, not a unicorn, but rather a sensable, important counter-point on this blog.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@WhyGo:

Philly takes the most penalty minutes per game in the nhl, has the second most minor penalties in the nhl, and the second most major penalties in the nhl. The Caps are 24th, 6th, and 29th, respectively. Yet the Flyers PP kill is 8th and ours is 20th. Saying that we should have a lower percentage because we take more penalties is just unfounded and completely wrong.

Posted by: capsrule828 | February 24, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

So there PK is way better than ours. Everybody knows that already. The PK is better for them because nobody is thinking about scoring so much as they are thinking about not giving up a SHG. Butts are all puckered up and the PP gets skewed. Good on Philly for that, it is a powerful weapon.

They are much better at PK than us, but I STILL hold that PK is not as bad as it looks on paper.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Our PK is streaky. 13 games in a row with a goal against is not too good. But I also agree that if the team reduced the number of penalties agains, the team PK would improve slightly. 80% of 5 penalties against is 1 goal a game, 80% of 9 is almost 2 goals a game. Big difference. But to be an elite team I think the team needs to do better than 85% on the PK

Posted by: Leeguru | February 24, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

wrong again. we need to go the path of least resistance. No refs, no calls. Just have somebody slap a couple of pucks into some soft spots and then watch our PK % go way up.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

But to be an elite team I think the team needs to do better than 85% on the PK

Posted by: Leeguru | February 24, 2009 12:39 PM

Boston's turnaround in that from last year to this hasn't hurt them, that's for sure.

Posted by: Section117 | February 24, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

PG is so right. Can you imagine if we were one of the least penalized teams and kept our 5 on 5 game going all game long?

We WOULD be the best team in the league.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I could care less about the 7-1 loss; I'm more concerned with winning the season series and a playoff series if the teams meet

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | February 24, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

yikes! blew that.

So sorry Leeguru.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

saintex - well played

WhyGo - Important is a strong word....

Posted by: superpaqman | February 24, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if the PK is streaky or that the Caps just have to kill too many pp's -- if you play with matches, you more likely to get burned the more often you do

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | February 24, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else groan at having Devorski again tonight?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 24, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

yes

Posted by: superpaqman | February 24, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Devorski -- nuts and bolts, we're screwed

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | February 24, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Grrreeaat... Paul Devorski the ref tonight :-/

That sucks

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | February 24, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

during a recent spelling bee, I was asked to use the word in a sentence. I chose:

"mentally impaired persons are an important part of our society."

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Why Whygo, why?

Posted by: Leeguru | February 24, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

tellin ya, just use the slapshot to reduce the number of calls, it will work...

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Even improving the PP kill to 82.5% puts you in the top 10 in the league. I agree taking less "dumb" penalties definitely helps, but it doesn't solve killing penalties. I couldn't care less if our penalty kill is in the top ten at the end of the year, but going around 82-83% from here on out would definitely put us in a good spot come playoff time.

Posted by: capsrule828 | February 24, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

just being dorky, while trying to be funny, as usual.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@828:

That is the way to the cup. Finish with a high number in as many categories as possible. What happened in the past in not the most important thing, the finish is what counts.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Devorski? Could be worse--we could have well-known Cap-hater McBleary making the calls...

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 24, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I know this is off topic but I just read on the rumors section of TSN that the Caps could be interested in Chris Pronger especially if they wait until right up to the deadline. At that point he'd only cost the Caps 1.45m and they currently have 1.5m space (at least according to TSN). Any word on this ?? I know the Caps are definitely trying to pick up a top 4 D.

Posted by: ovys8 | February 24, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40, You are correct. But what if we had Koharski, Devorski, *and* McBleary? Now that would be awful!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 24, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

From Game Notes:

Young guns firing – The Capitals and Detroit are the only teams in the NHL with four 50-point scorers: Alex Ovechkin
(77 points), Nicklas Backstrom (64), Alexander Semin (53) and Mike Green (52). Washington's top four scorers are all
averaging more than a point per game; no other team has more than its top two scorers above a point per game.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

And don't forget what it took to get thru the injury problems:

Starting something – Michal Neuvirth recently became the eighth Capital to make his NHL debut this season, joining
Karl Alzner, Jay Beagle, Sean Collins, Andrew Gordon, Oskar Osala, Tyler Sloan and Simeon Varlamov. By comparison,
Washington only had three players make their NHL debuts last season (Nicklast Backstrom, Chris Bourque and Sami
Lepisto).

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Devorski? Ew. Lucky Flyers.

@WhyGo: Exactly.

Concur that if we take fewer lazy minors and PK keeps on as it has been, we'll be okay.

@Leeguru: You do and you are? So much is now explained ... :)

Posted by: kittypawz | February 24, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Extra news from TSN:

There're three Caps among top 6 players in TSN rankings. Guess the names...

http://www.tsn.ca/fantasy_news/feature/?ID=10467

Posted by: fnralch | February 24, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

And lest we forget our tribulations:

D for depth – The Capitals have used 13 defensemen this season (counting Sergei Fedorov, who has played four games
on defense, but not including Brian Pothier, who has been sidelined all season). Five defensemen have appeared in a
game for Washington after starting the season in Hershey: Karl Alzner, Sean Collins, Bryan Helmer, Sami Lepisto and
Tyler Sloan. Those defensemen have contributed 87 games played on the year. Last year Washington leaned on Hershey
defensemen for just seven games played, all by Sami Lepisto.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The PK% and penalty numbers can be wishy washy and you can make then bend to your will, if desired. The number of PPGs allowed seems to be the clearest option, and it's not good in relation to the rest of the league. I was batting around some ideas with a sabermath dude I work with (I can't actually spell the real word) and something struck me about penalities and the Caps: since our offensive ability is one part of our defensive strength (confusing, I know), penalties hurt even more. Not only do our killers have to step-up but the fear of our offense disappears and that's an additional burden. I don't really know what teams play what systems but anecdotally I think an offensivly-driven team is hurt more by penalties than a defensive-style/trapping team. Maybe I'll go look at the stats for Columbus.

Posted by: saintex | February 24, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Cindy is not only the NOT the best player in the league (by a mile) but he is NOT the best player on his own team (by a mile).

In case there is anybody out there that doesn't already know this.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@ovys8: Yes, that talk has been going around, and there's a lot of people thinking that way. The only problem with that is that he's got another year left on his contract at 6.25 mil per. We'd have to move two or three guys to accommodate that kind of cap hit. We wouldn't for example be able to bring Fedorov back. And what do we do if Pothier comes back next season - or even this season? It's a tough squeeze next year, although I expect that if we take Pronger, we do not resign Mo or Fedorov and Johnny and Juice go to free agency - and then you run into the issue of Alzner.

It'd be really, really nice, but it'll make next year tough.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 24, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

saintex:

math can formulate a reason for everything. some things are more obvious than others. lies, damn lies and stats (math)

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Good luck tonight, boys. I think this will be oneof the best games of the season. I'll be watching from my perch in Los Angeles.

Posted by: RetireScottStevensNumber | February 24, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Unless you score shorties the way the Flyers do, every moment spent on the PK, is time that your offense is not in a position to score. So, even if you have a great PK, it stands to reason you are still diminishing your chances of winning the more penalties you take.

It is also hard work killing penalties, which wears out your penalty killers, while (typically) cutting into the ice time of your top offensive players.

Posted by: Baildog | February 24, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I want to see the math for PP goals allowed at pivital points. Sticking up for your team and killing the important penalties is a sign of a contender. Any way to quantify that?

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@jmu-capsgirl: if only I were single and 20 years younger...:)

Koharski, Devorski, McBleary, and Bettman: the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 24, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"RetireScottStevensNumber"

Awesome ID aside, that's one for New Jersey to do.

Posted by: Section117 | February 24, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Gotta keep the calls against us to a bare minimum. Alex Semin, we're looking at you (with a periodic glance in Jurcina's direction).

And if you haven't seen it go to http://www.lolcaps.net - kinda funny esp. for Caps fans!

Posted by: jaakiekko | February 24, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Caps playing well -- Backstrom is 4th overall in assists and Semin is 5th overall in +/- and only +2 from #1 overall at +29. He has a +2 tonight, and Semin has the lead. If Florida and the Caps win, the Caps are only 5 points out of first in the East and 4 ahead of NJD. Who imagined this last year before the coaching change. Way to go BB!

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | February 24, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@ Whygo -- give credit where credit is due : that's a Samuel Clemons quotation

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | February 24, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: moondue8 | February 24, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Forget Pronger, but the Ducks do have the player we need, and his name is Scott Neidermayer. He doesn't have a contract beyond this year, and I can only imagine how his smarts, calming presence and smooth skating would benefit this team. I think about this every time Erskine, Jurcina or Schultz try to retrieve and clear the puck.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 24, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Forget Pronger, but the Ducks do have the player we need, and his name is Scott Neidermayer. He doesn't have a contract beyond this year, and I can only imagine how his smarts, calming presence and smooth skating would benefit this team. I think about this every time Erskine, Jurcina or Schultz try to retrieve and clear the puck.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 24, 2009 1:43 PM

@cainoo7x:

...and don't forget that Niedermayer doesn't get suspended early in the playoffs...I Like the ides. Trouble is we probably won't get either of those guys barring a total Ducks collapse...and even then they'd probably want in return more than GMGM is willing to give...

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 24, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Awwww, poor Sidney. I know just what the doctor ordered for that. A few tears if it makes you feel better, lots of well-wishers, maybe a few "get well" cards, some flowers (MAF not included) and, since he's so precious to the team, maybe he should move in with Mario & his family for a bit, just until he's back on his feet. I'm sure there are kids there who can fetch him a juice box or some Teddy Grahams every once in a while, maybe a box of tissues when he feels a tantrum coming on.

I'm sorry, I'm thinking about giving up Crobsy-bashing for Lent and I've got to get it out of my system before midnight.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 24, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40,

I think the Caps have plenty of assets to trade to a team like Anaheim for a rental on a guy who probably won't play again after this season, but, as you said, the Ducks would really need to tank it for the next week and a half. They are in 10th right now, but only 3 points from being in 6th. Realistically though, they have no chance of advancing in the playoffs if they do make it. They don't score enough and their goaltending is erratic at best.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 24, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Corey's reporting that Timonen's out tonight with the flu.

That should give Ovie a bit more freedom than he's had recently against Philthy.

Posted by: keeef | February 24, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

See me trolling Pen blog?

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

PENS GOT $3RV3D!!

pwnz0r3d!

'nuff said!

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 24, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Lets not bash Crosby for injuring his groin, as the Verizon Center's ice may seek retribution.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 24, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl: Brave girl, giving up Crosby-bashing for Lent :)

I think the Ducks might just let Pronger go anyway. That's a hefty contract they need to offload, and they're pretty thin up front. Of the two, Niedermayer is more valuable. They'll probably be looking for young scoring - think they'd be interested in Bourque or Lepisto? Maybe offload Mo and Bourque or Lepisto for Pronger?

Only thing is that Pronger tends to get himself suspended before the playoffs.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 24, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Not sure which prospect is worse:

Pronger in WAS sweater (giving us a MAJOR cap hit and probably getting suspended)

***OR***

Pronger in a PHI sweater (no further explanation is needed)

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 24, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

IMHO, Proger (based on his recent trends) would be poison; only Avery would be a worse cancer on the team.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 24, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Nittymaki -and- Devorski? The Washington Capitals are being tested, people. Bring ALL your noise tonight!

Posted by: redlineblue | February 24, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo:
See what happens when I leave Leeguru unsupervised?

Lee:
You and your bold ... you're like a kid with a new toy.

Posted by: Boo- | February 24, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

TSN reporting that Crosby left practice with a sore groin. I posted this in the message boards but it will never get past the mods:
"I'm surprised his vagina hurt so much."

Ahh, felt good to say. Wrong, but good.

I would take Pronger any day of the week. Especially into the playoffs. But it aint gonna happen.

One thing to note, McPhee knows that its not just about adding to your team at the deadline, but manuevering along with your opponents. If Philly stocks up, and one or two more teams did so as well, those are now the teams you have to worry about getting past. The last thing we need is Philly bolstering their blueline while the Caps' stays the same. No bones about it, Philly is a legit contender.

I can't wait for tonight.

Posted by: oo7 | February 24, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

117:
Jersey already did that.

Posted by: Boo- | February 24, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Pronger is the big, sexy name, but if GMGM is true to history, we have no idea who he'll get (if anyone). Did anyone realistically see Feds, Cooke, or Huet coming here last year? In the last few years, GMGM has been smart about who he picks up. None of those trades cost the Caps a key player or prospect. All three were contributors down the stretch, esp. Huet. None carried a cap hit into the next year. GMGM resigned Feds, but let Huet go for his ludicrous salary demands. JT and Huet are playing at comparable levels, so vindicated, I say. Cooke wasn't worth displacing Flash or Fehr, much less Laich. Again, vindicated. So who knows whom GMGM will pull this year? Not even the Shadow knows!

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | February 24, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

ask him tonight, he is the host of the STH's pre-game bull-sesion today at 6pm.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I am PUMPED for tonight's game! Hurry up 7pm. :)

Posted by: rachel216 | February 24, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz, "think" being the key word there.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 24, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I think it's funny that Mike Richards comes out and says "I'm gonna hit Ovechkin." Yeah, let's see what happens when you make Ovie mad, he will score a hat trick on you. If he's trying to hit Ovie to throw him off his game, it ain't gonna happen, Ovie doesn't get bothered by people trying to hit him, he just hits back, and I bet he could destroy Richards, wasn't it game 1 of last year's playoffs that Ovie straightened up Richards? I think so, if my memory serves me right. I hope Brash gets into a fight with that dude tonight.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 24, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to lean towards wanting the Caps to land a top D like Pronger.

At this point, not only do the Caps need someone who pushes everyone else down on the D depth chart, kills penalties, and clears the crease...but it also keeps him from going to Boston, which the Caps must consider.

Even if it takes giving up someone like Carlson - in a salary cap era, the window of opportunity is small to be a legit cup contender.

Posted by: stormblue | February 24, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Could someone tell me why is Kronwall scratched most of the time? Was he that bad?

Also, of all teams we played this (Philly) is the one that seems to inspire more awe in the various pre-game reviews (like Tarik's). And it's true that somehow Philly has the kind of bullies among their players and fans that Caps have not learned how to respond to. They seem to be thrown off their game. Do you think the players are going into tonight's game with a defensive mind-set. I hope not. Does anyone know how Philly press views the Caps?

If we take control tonight, the way we did with the Pens, it will be a good benchmark for assessing this team's progress in the last two months or so.

Posted by: caraveli | February 24, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Philly Press summary:

how YOU doin?

fine, how YOU doin?

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Yo, Adriaaaaaaaaaan!

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 24, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget Brotherly Love...

Not that there's anything wrong with that..

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@ JIMALLCAPS - I couldn't agree with you more. GMGM is unpredicatable. He could deal big, he could deal small. Or he could deal not at all.

@Ovys8 - Thanks for the Pronger stuff. I have been pushing that idea and have been saying we can do this under the cap this year. Many have disagreed here. Thanks for a similar point of view.

@Kitty - You keep pushing the cap angle on things as you did with my Pronger argument yesterday. There must be a couple of dozen ways to fit him under the cap, now and going forward:

1. Not that we need the help this year, but if someone like Mo went back that way, we would have even more cushion.

2. For next year, no Clark and no Nyls would make room for Pronger AND Pothier.

3. Fedorov comes back at less money or does not come back. This could save another mil or two.

Just a few examples of what that sanely crazy GMGM could do. Earlier i considered GMGM reckless (Cassidy, Jagr). But he really learned from his mistakes and I feel deserves the most credit for where we are. I think he is very shrewd and unpredictable and I trust him completely.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 24, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@ stormblue - I agreed with you until you mentioned trading Carlson.

You can trade Lepisto, you can trade Godfrey, you can trade Mo, Juice and Sarge, but do not, under any circumstances, trade Carlson.

@ Rachel - You might see Bradley take on Richards, but not Brashear. Gotta stay in your weight class or be considered classless.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 24, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: fanzak1231 | February 24, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I will bet that Ovie will have more goals than the Islanders will have points at the end of the regular season.

Anyone going on record against that bet? (For fun and imaginary prizes worth thousands of imaginary dollars)

Posted by: austinsteve | February 24, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Saw Whygo trolling on the Pens blog. You're a brave man and I bow to your greatness. Groiny McGroinerson. Love it. Comparison of the greatness of Ovi's and Syd's groins was just hilarious. (insert confused and awkward interest in it)

Since I live in LA, I'd rather that the Caps stay just the way they are (barring everyone's interest to get a solid D-man). If any of the Caps come to Anaheim, I'll be forced to watch how they perform with the Ducks, out of curiosity.

Rock the Red tonight, fellow Caps fans! I'm gonna' enjoy your postings later. All greatness on their performance and how they rip the Flyers a new one. Make it happen, Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 24, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@waitingsince75

Obviously, no one would want to trade Carlson. But if you are talking about getting the top available D at the deadline, the bidding is certainly going to escallate beyond what fans WANT to trade.

Afterall, Eminger was worth a first round pick. That same pick with an year of junior experience? Not that crazy that Anahiem would ask for that and potentially more.

Posted by: stormblue | February 24, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

@austinsteve - Have you been listening to the NHL on XM?

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 24, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Trade the whole organization for all i care, including some young stars off of our current roster. Anyone but these 12:

OV
Backs
Semin (for now)
Flash (for now)
Green
Alzner
Carlson
Bourque
Bouchard
Perrault
Varlamov
Neuvirth

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 24, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and the only reason we got a #1 for Eminger is b/c the Flyers are idiots!

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 24, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@waiting

I always listen while driving around during lunch. I thought it was a fair bet either way. I'd mentioned here previously I think they will want to rest #8 a couple of times before the playoffs if they earn the breathing room. (They said the same thing on the radio today so I had to listen :)

Most importantly it sounds to me like a good tangible fun challenge for Ovie. (And a certain Mr. Witt)

Posted by: austinsteve | February 24, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

wow! I'm famous! They hate me over at the PensBlog.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

OV will be over 60 goals and NYI will not get to 60 points.

My vote is OV, and yes, I listened to that today as well.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 24, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

waitingsince75, there's no way you'll find a taker for Clark. And it's highly unlikely you could move Nyls for equal value and GMGM likes value. Really, with Pronger you're looking at a blueline with Green (5.25), Poti (3.5), Pothier (2.5) and Erskine (1.25) also already signed. That's close to 19 million in cap space. Add Ovie (9.5), Semin (4.6) and Theo (4.5). You're rapidly running out of cap room here (assuming it stays near the 56 million ceiling for this year) and we haven't even talked about our RFAs (or Backstrom and Alzner even).

Posted by: koalatek | February 24, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik - How about a poll on whether the Isles can get more points this season than OV can get goals?

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 24, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

koalatek - I wasn't referring to right now on Clark or Nyls. I was referring to an offseason salary dump. We can always find dance partners in the offseason.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 24, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@ caraveli

"Could someone tell me why is Kronwall scratched most of the time? Was he that bad?"

He was claimed off waivers. From toronto. That's how bad he sucks. The fact that he got any ice time in DC at all is just an indication of our desperation to find blueliners that fit under the cap.

It was a cry for help, not a bona fide personnel decision.

I would be REALLY surprised if we did NOT make the anticipated deadline move for a top 20 anchor blueliner.

I just can't take people seriously who say "we wont make a blockbuster trade for a defenseman at the trade deadline." Get real.

We're going to have to win 4 games against AT LEAST one of the following: Bruins, Devils, Flyers. We are doing well in the regular season. We need more to take it to the next level. Even the Sharks are going to do SOMETHING to their roster.

We have consistency problems at the point, and our opponents are going to ride that disability for just as far as they can go. We need to have smart, steady leadership to moderate and focus Erskine, and give MJ23 the confidence he needs to play his game (in the right context, MJ can be an outstanding element).

Posted by: large23220 | February 24, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Haha Check out Pensblog! Their fans are still sore from Sunday's loss.

They had to switch to the Redskins just to bash Ovechkin and the Caps. Talk about sticking to a topic of hockey. I'm not a Redskins fan at all but this is just too funny.

As for tonight's game, they need to come out with the same kind of energy they did on Sunday.

Posted by: washcapsfanandorioles | February 24, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

koala - You are assuming we would keep all of our assets if we took Pronger. I am proposing that some assets would go back in the trade or be handled in the offseason. The cap does not matter to me. If GMGM wants Pronger for this year and next, he would find a way to get it done. It is after this 2 year window that the problems really kick in. In 10-11 we would lose JT and Pronger and Poti ($15m?) So I think GMGM is even thinking about the long term.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 24, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl:
you should look for something else to give up. if it were me - there would be too much temptation and i would fail. i think i could only stick with giving up *work*

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 24, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I doubt we will be getting a solid D-man at the deadline but I think we will get one this summer. I don't expect many moves at the deadline.

Getting Huet, Feds, and Cooke was a huge treat last season, and Sergei Berezin in 2003.

Posted by: washcapsfanandorioles | February 24, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Right on large23220.

Something will happen.

Top four dman=SC run
No top 4 dman=still waiting since 75

I'm out. Time to leave for the game.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 24, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Whygo, which one? (pens blog)

Posted by: Leeguru | February 24, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Just don't get Kubina or Kaberle you will regret it!

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | February 24, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo:

"I so have them going ape over there."

good stuff - i didn't know you were an instigator too

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 24, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

gotta read the last and final post. lights out by OV.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

not usually, it's my first time.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

rachel216:

"I am PUMPED for tonight's game! Hurry up 7pm. :)"

wouldn't it be easier if everyone just used AZ time - this is confusing. and why do these posts become a ghost town around 3:00p every weekday?
new rule: from now on everyone works until 4:30p (az) on gamedays so i don't get bored at work!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 24, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Just because no one has brought it up. Tonight is a very big night for the East.

With Montreal, Florida, Buffalo and Carolina all playing tonight, there could be a total change in the bottom 4 of the East. Along with that, this week should really shake out the East.

Hopefully what it looks like come Sunday.

1.Boston 88 pts goes 1-2 = 63 GP 90 pts
2.Wash 81 pts goes 3-1 = 64 GP 87 pts
3.NJ 79 pts goes 2-2 = 64 GP 83 pts
4.Philly 71 pts goes 3-1 = 61 GP 77 pts
5.Florida 68 pts goes 2-2 = 63 GP 72 pts
6.Carolina67 pts goes 2-1 = 64 GP 71 pts
7.NY Ran 69 pts goes 1-2 = 64 GP 71 pts
8.Buffalo 68 pts goes 1-2 = 63 GP 70 pts
9.Montreal69 pts goes 0-3 = 63 GP 69 pts

Just me doing nothing at work but I really do believe that we will be in striking distance of Boston by Sunday. Boston is 1-6 in their last 7 and they have three back to backs in March. They were 2-4 in back to back games in Feb.
Again just me being bored but I really think they are looking over their shoulder.

Posted by: numero94 | February 24, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@ washcapsfanandorioles

OK, you have done an commendable job of stating a conclusory opinion. Now, please substantiate it with some kind of reasoning. WHY do you not think that we will trade for a D-man?

You think GMGM's incompetent?
You don't see a problem with our "defense" corp?
You think the cap problems can't be solved/we can't get nylander out of town?
You think we should trade to get huet/kolzig back instead?

Please, help me to understand.

Posted by: large23220 | February 24, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

We can't get Nylander out of town.

Posted by: austinsteve | February 24, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

PS: last post before puck drops

LET'S GO CAPS!!

SMASH THE flyers!!!

I WANT BLOOD!

Posted by: large23220 | February 24, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

back away from the red bull.....

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_in_AZ, That's just a start to my list of stuff I'm giving up. And surprisingly, it doesn't even crack the top three most difficult.

94, nice work. I'm hoping you're on point with your predictions. That would be really exciting!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 24, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Whygo: "I feel so in tune with Capatain Amazing, I must now get off the train and repent."

Pure gold...

Posted by: superpaqman | February 24, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it's easy to talk smack from the safety of your office. Last time I was at a Pens home game, I kept my little thoughts to myself, better believe that.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Well I don't think we can blame you on that one.

Posted by: superpaqman | February 24, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

By my count in this post, we have 3 caps fans in LA - myself included.

Posted by: LA_caps_fan | February 24, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I meant thread.

Posted by: LA_caps_fan | February 24, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo is stirring up trouble again ... always finds some mess to get get into!! ;-)

Off to cheer the boys to victory - GO CAPS GO!!

Posted by: Boo- | February 24, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

ByByBoo

(stirs the pot, while cackling)

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

pacman:

had I spoken the smack in person, here is the lead from the local news at 11:

Caps fan torn to pieces for running off at the mouth. And in a related story, up next, new recipies for road kill, that's right, how to roast road kill from our chef de pitt himself.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

large23220:

This is the best take I've read about where we are at right now "We're going to have to win 4 games against AT LEAST one of the following: Bruins, Devils, Flyers. We are doing well in the regular season. We need more to take it to the next level."

And the issue of consistency which many dispute and I can't pinpoint with certaity where it lies:

"We have consistency problems at the point, and our opponents are going to ride that disability for just as far as they can go...."

Do you see consistency as the major stumbling block to the next level and where do you think it is?

Posted by: caraveli | February 24, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo:

news 11: chef - how do you keep your roast road kill so moist and juicy?
chef de pitt: it takes many, many tears from an overhyped whining sissy. fortunatley, pittsburgh is the only place on earth these are produced and available

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 24, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

LOL! so much...

Posted by: WhyGo | February 24, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The PK is getting more consistent, but the worst part of all the penalties is it keeps our O of the ice. BTW, Detroit has a worse PK % than we do.

Posted by: ds_kelly | February 24, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if someone already posted it, but how can you not absolutely love Ovie?

Here he almost kills himself and Greenie. Who let him drive the cart anyway? Just like that we could have lost our 2 most prized assets. Hahaha!

http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?catid=2&id=34597

Posted by: ranndino | February 24, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

ranndino, that video literally gave me a heart attack, the part where they ducked their heads, they better not do that again, it's not funny at all.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 24, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

ranndino, LOL! Oh man, "who let him drive" indeed! That looks like part of the NHL network's "Day in the Life". Anybody know when Greener's episode airs?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 24, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Found the answer to my question! "Day in the Life" featuring Mike Green airs Thursday at 7pm on The NHL Network.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 24, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

OV gets key to city - declares no speed limit. take away the key - take away all of his keys.
now - if he could just drive around some of the 'inflated' salary cap guys ....

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 24, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

its real easy to look back on jagr and say it was "reckless", but the fact of the matter is is that you were foaming from the mouth as much as any of us when we signed him.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 24, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this the second time this year that Crosby is out with a sore groin after playing the Caps??? Hmmmmm....

Anyway, here's to the Caps playing a good 60 minutes tonight!

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 24, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Here here. Got the Jersey on already

Posted by: ejohnsto | February 24, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Crosby's hurt groin after Caps losses: Nobody wondering if it's not his groin but rather soreness to something Close to his groin?

Okay, that's it from me on Putzburg for a while. Full speed ahead Cap'n!

Posted by: austinsteve | February 24, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

lineup is posted

Posted by: ludeman95 | February 24, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey all
Anyone know a website where I can get a cap like the one Greener wears for those 'between periods interviews'? Red ballcap w/ weagle logo. I think it's made by Reebok. NHL and Caps official sites are no go. Ditto lids.com.

Posted by: kevbnyc | February 24, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"...they are gonna watch their Flyers get whupped behind the Caps' shed."

So much for that, eh? Predatory lending must have gotten to the shed business as well.

Posted by: isotla | February 24, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

"...Devorski -- nuts and bolts, we're screwed."

Actually, even the whiners could see it was that 3 or 4 minute vacation the Caps took in the 3rd that doomed them this time.

Posted by: isotla | February 24, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

LA_caps_fan, I hope you're counting me in that total of 3 LA Caps Fans. We should rejoin our brethren to help unleash the fury. We missed out on helping the Caps tonight. =/

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 24, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

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