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What Are The Chances?

I just took a look at the remaining schedules for the four teams (Washington, Carolina, Atlanta and Florida) fighting for the Southeast Division title. And you know what? It's difficult to say who has the hardest (or easiest) road the rest of the way.

The Caps have played the fewest number of games. But Florida has fewest number of back-to-backs. The 'Canes have the fewest road games, but are tied for the most back-to-backs.

Decide for yourself:

*The Caps have 27 contests remaining, of which 13 are on the road. They've got five sets of back-to-backs and, if the playoffs started today, would face 10 playoff-bound teams, including two division leaders.

*The 'Canes have 26 games left, including 11 on the road and six sets of back-to-backs. They've got 13 playoff-bound teams remaining on their schedule, including seven division leaders (that includes four games vs. the Caps).

*The Thrashers have 25 games remaining, with 14 on the road. They've got six sets of back-to-backs and face 11 playoff bound teams, including six division leaders (three vs. the Caps).

*The Panthers have 26 games left, 12 of which are on the road. They've got only three sets of back-to-backs and face 13 playoff bound teams, including seven vs. division leaders (three vs. the Caps.)

Each of the four teams close out their schedule with at least seven consecutive games against division foes. (I left out Tampa Bay, but the Lightning could join the conversation with a good week).

What does it all mean? (Besides underscoring the fact that I need to find better things to do over my morning Starbucks)? It likely means fans are in for an unpredictable and exciting final two months. Enjoy.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 8, 2008; 8:59 AM ET
 
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Next: Pre-Game Notes and Tonight's Lineup vs. Carolina

Comments

Basically the Caps are in the drivers seat. As long as they don't take their foot off the gas, which I don't think Coach BB will let them do, the Caps should make the playoffs. The Divisional games from here on out should all be treated like playoff games. Don't be surprised if the lower and upper bowls are sold out tonight even against a team like the Hurricanes!

Posted by: Don-Ald | February 8, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

PLAYOFFS?!?

Posted by: Jim Mora | February 8, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The P word has been officially unbanned!

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 8, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@Tarik, this is good stuff. Can you research the past few seasons in which teams made the playoffs and what they ate for breakfast during the games?

Just jokes... this is pretty cool information. It looke like we have the upper hand.

Either way - we seem to win 2, lose 1... if we keep that up... we should be arlight.

I say we just catch Ottawa.

Can you believe Detroit has 30 more points that the Caps?

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

How many points do we end up with if we keep refusing to lose two straight?

Posted by: Jordan | February 8, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Basically, the entire Eastern Conference is in playoff mode now. The standings are really packed, a bad stretch by anyone could have dire consequences.

Posted by: tallbear | February 8, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@828,

Didn't see your twin there. Lot of "trade Hossa before it's too late", "we suck, fire coach" and "atlanta is not a hockey town" drivel. There was a thumbs up given to Caps for firing Hanlon and hiring BB.

Posted by: Steve R | February 8, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Another point about the Caps schedule, they have some long stretches both at home and on the road. Starting March 9th, we have 4 in a row at home, 6 in a row on the road (where we play all four SE teams once), and finish the season with 3 at home (all SE teams).

That 6 game road trip could be very important, and a very difficult task...Thanks to the NCAA tournament at Verizon.

There's no point getting too excited or down about one game, assuming we don't go on an extended winning or losing streak between now and March, this season is going to come down to those last few weeks.

Posted by: JPC | February 8, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Jordan - if we keep refusing to lose 2 straight - that would be .500 - not counting OT loses... we would have... 83 points... +/- 2 points (odd number of games left). If we win 2 of 3... we would have... 93 AND that my friend is the magic number... the last few seasons - 92 has been the number that gets teams into the playoffs. We def need to win 2 of 3 for the remainder of the games.

Tarik, do you need an assistant?

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Steve R - let's start fresh from now. That Caps goal is to go 18-9 in these last 27 games. We are currently 0-0... lets see what we come up with.

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Am I going to be traded? Why don't they just let me have a chance on the PK. I am capable of scoring short handed goals and playing well on the PK. We need more secondary scoring, so might as well get some from me on the PK.

What do you guys think?

Posted by: Pettinger | February 8, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

going from 6-14-1 to 93 points should both earn the Caps a trip to the playoffs and BB strong consideration for coach of the year. imho.

Posted by: Steve R | February 8, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Steve R, I agree - I think if the Caps make the playoffs - BB will get Coach of the Year... couldn't see why he wouldn't - that would land Alex MVP as well. Possibly Schultz the Norris trophy - oh wait... that doesn't sound right.

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Petty on the PK..?

He doesn't block shots like Laing.
He doesn't win face offs like Stecks.
He doesn't find the back of the net.

Not so sure about that one

Posted by: Steve R | February 8, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

To use the worn cliche, the Caps control their own destiny. They need to win the majority of the divisional games, and win a few "they're not supposed to". If Any of the other SE teams get hot, it could spell trouble. If the SE really turns it up, it isn't impossible that 2 SE teams could make the playoffs. Right now, it looks unlikely, but nothing is impossible in the East right now.

Posted by: Mark T | February 8, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

How about Petty on the LAK?

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Chances are good. The Caps are a consistent .667 team under BB. It really depends who gets hot late in the SE Division and the bottom third of the East Conference. The Caps can play their way anywhere from 3rd to 6,7,8th seeds. It sounds like the lockerroom has the right sentiment --first is nice for today but worthless if we don't have it tomorrow. I love BB's quote about reaching .500 - Now we are offically medicore. The Caps really respond to him.

Posted by: JIM | February 8, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Mark T,

Often it seems winning the ones we're not supposed to is the easy part. It's winning the easy ones we've always struggled with.

At least we're having this conversation. And if we get Clark or Pothier back down the stretch, all the better. Good time to be a Caps fan!

Posted by: GJ | February 8, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Schultz got robbed in the Calder voting.

He plays well re: positioning and no PIM's, just needs to bulk up a bit and clear the crease. IMHO he's never going to play with a mean streak, but I think he'll be a dependable stay at home D-man.

Posted by: Steve R | February 8, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

828,

I just laughed at work.

Posted by: Jordan | February 8, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Ahhhhhhh ... this blog is SO much more enjoyable than it was last fall/winter ... heck, than it was a month ago ... a WEEK ago! :-D

Posted by: Boo! | February 8, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

828,

I'm slower than normal this morning. Does LAK = LA Kings?

Posted by: Steve R | February 8, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Steve R - yes, that was what I was shooting for - thought it fit nicely.

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

tarik,
You do a great job, but what is up with your editors. They stick your article on E4 on the day of the biggest game of the year? And they run a huge article on girl's high school basketball on the front page. Give me a break.

Posted by: b.orr4 | February 8, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@b.oor4

I know what you're saying. but off-day/ advance stories rarely get front page treatment. especially with 27 games to go.

The eds have been putting more Caps stuff out front in recent weeks, and I imagine that will continue so long as the team stays hot.

Posted by: Tarik | February 8, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

828,

Caps get a 2nd and a bag of pucks in return?

LAK playing for Stamkos draft this year?

Posted by: Steve R | February 8, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, the Kings are going to be good in the years to come.

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see how many people will show up tonight at the VC.

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Petty was only a decent PK'er when Clark was his partner on the PK. The two of them used to generate quite a few short-handed chances together.

The Express had a nice feature on Ovie today. Poorly edited, but with a great photo accompanying the story, as well as a small teaser photo on the front page.

Posted by: Jill | February 8, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@Pettinger

P U

Posted by: keef | February 8, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I know what you're saying. but off-day/ advance stories rarely get front page treatment. especially with 27 games to go.

Local newspaper doesn't put Caps up front, and ESPN.COM does?

P A T H E T I C !

Posted by: I was in coma | February 8, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I am the tallest (Am I?) Caps player and my half slap shot will bury Canes tonight.

The Stanley Cup will be ours!

Posted by: Gentle Giant Schultz | February 8, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@I was in a coma

let's be real here, man. that was the probably the first time ESPN.com put the Caps out front this decade.

The Post puts the Caps out front three, four, five times a week, depending on what's going on.

Posted by: Tarik | February 8, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

your question is easy to answer, the canes, thrashers, and panthers all have the harder schedule because they each have to play the caps at least 3 times!!!

ok that was kinda lame, but this is still nuts, a win tonight and one for my HOYAs tomorrow night and i will be the happiest boy in the world!!!

Posted by: hoyas | February 8, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

If you live within 50 miles of DC your butt had better be in a Verizon Center seat at 7pm tonight, no excuses. The boys have more than earned a packed house.

Posted by: HolyOlie | February 8, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

If we don't pack the house tonight, shame on Caps fans. I think we will though - it really is a great environment there when it is full. The players are doing their part and doing what we wanted (read: winning), so we need to do our part now... see you there! Go Caps- pop Brind A'mour right in the schnoz!

Posted by: Roose | February 8, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

It's college night too - so I think that will help get a the bigger crowd. My fav is when all the Carolina fans bring their red jerseys and realize the Caps are in red now...

Tarik - I agree that the post is covering more and more Caps... I think it's because I complained about them having this small article after Alex scored 4 agaisnt Ottawa.

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

what game was it a few weeks ago where all that guys and coach b were talking about the crowd and how for that game it was huge?

Posted by: hoyas | February 8, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Columbus, Philly, Win-Win

We welcome back to backs.


@Roose

If Brind A'mour takes one more in the schnoz I think it will fall off. It is hanging by a thread.

Posted by: SA_Town | February 8, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm doing my part. I haven't missed a home game this season and I always bring someone.

Posted by: Jill | February 8, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, oh to be paid to scan the Southeast standings and remaining schedules over coffee like you are! I could think of worse things.

Posted by: geauxcaps | February 8, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Jill, you gonna bring the Jill lover tonight?

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I'll be there. Already have seats in 431 but my girl and I are going to try and upgrade to lower bowl using student ID's, then get whatever we can for the upper seats

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 8, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I am just catching up. Thanks to those who pointed the articles on ESPN.com, I thought they were excellent and fair articles, I had no idea they had picked the Caps as the dark horse at start of the season. I think Scott Burnside's articles are fair. I enjoyed David Amber's interview with OV. Now why is it that the local newspapers can't do 1/10th of what these two guys did?

Tarik, just an observation, but in your analysis I think you should not include the intra-division games as they will be a wash in terms of comparison. Thus, to take an example of Caps vs Hurricanes, they will have 4 games against each other, 23/22 against opponents, but more importantly 10/9 against playoff teams. In those terms the Caps will have one more against a leading contender, as opposed to the Hurricanes having 3 more as on your analysis.

Posted by: Opita | February 8, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Who is a season ticket holder and who wants one of those Young Guns posters? You can't get one - they are only for those people that purchase the 4 game ticket plan.

http://cdn.nhl.com/capitals/images/upload/2008/02/youngguns_splash.jpg

How lame is that?

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@828

Just ask for the print and print your own. Im sure they are on a marketing budget.

Season ticket holders got 4 free tiks for a future game, and multiple other gifts. Sell the tickets and make 1,000 posters if you want.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 8, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@SA-town

but the poster is autographed by all 4 players. Thats a key point

Posted by: SOmbrero Guy | February 8, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I've an ever-ready ear for a rousing football cheer,
And I love to see a half-back tackle low.
It's a really gorgeous sight when the boys begin to fight
With a touchdown only half a yard to go.
But take all the most exciting parts of football, baseball, fighting,
And then mix them up to make a game sublime,
Serve it up with lots of ice, you don't have to ask me twice,
Give me hockey, I'll take hockey any time!

Yes, for speed and pep and action, there is only one attraction,
You'll see knockouts there a dozen for a dime,
When the bright steel blades are ringing and the shinny sticks are swinging,
Give me hockey, I'll take hockey any time!

Posted by: I still love Jill | February 8, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Season Ticket holders should get everything - we were the ones going to the games when the Caps were 6-14... not these other people... I just think they should give the Season Ticket holders the opportunity to get one - even purchase one...

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Pretty weak - you didn't put Jill's name into the poem... There goes your chance buddy.

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I have an answer.
For the rest of the season, the game the Caps need to focus on...

The next one.

Posted by: pmoravek | February 8, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

There is also this...

Atlanta: 21/18
Florida: 21/20
Tampa Bay: 21/21
Washington: 20/19
Carolina: 19/18

Those are the standings points earned/games played within the Southeast thus far. It's just as even -- two points separating top and bottom -- as is the full standings margin.

If any team can put together a run within the division, they'll win.

The Caps are 6-2-1 in their last nine division games (since Bruce Boudreau took over, including the shutout at the hands of Atlanta last Saturday.

Posted by: The Peerless | February 8, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I thought the same thing about the posters, since I'm a STH, but SA Town is right - we did get 4 free tickets to a future game so I'll take that instead. It is on my computer as my background though.
Prediction: Caps 4 Carolina 1
(The only reason I give them 1 is because a ref will probably tackle Johnny like that football Bud Light commercial and they'll score)
Go Caps!

Posted by: Roose | February 8, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@ 828 - let it go already. I'm just here to talk about the Caps.

Posted by: Jill | February 8, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Okay okay Jill - just trying to be a good samaritan.

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Season Ticket holders should get everything - we were the ones going to the games when the Caps were 6-14... not these other people... I just think they should give the Season Ticket holders the opportunity to get one - even purchase one...

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 11:26 AM
--------------
I gotta agree with 828; We suffered through the worst. We put up the $ to see bad hockey; did it without complaining. Now that we are --as BB put it--- hit mediocracy people are starting to believe in them again.

Well WE, STH, never gave up hope. We sat through the misery, just offering it makes a difference. If someone doesn't want it, thats another story.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | February 8, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

HEY HOYA --- I think, not sure though, but i think that game you were wondering was the canadians game, where the players said it was ROCKING.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | February 8, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Tonight is the biggest game of the season to date. The house will probably be packed tonight, the beer will be cold, and hopefully the hockey will be good!!! This game cannot be a letdown like last weeks Atlanta game!!!!

LETS GO CAPSS!!!!!!!!!!!
From Section 400 babyyyy

Posted by: Roger | February 8, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The peanut butter sandwich that was the Caps season at Thanksgiving fell and landed face up; it is finally possible for me to believe that fate is on our side and we are getting the good breaks that come from hard work.
I dont view the Caps as hanging on by a thread - barring an unlikely collapse, I think they will be seriously considered one of the better teams coming out of the Eastern conference come playoff time. A team that others will hate to draw especially in the first round.

Posted by: Shaggy | February 8, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

My predictions:

AO - 2G for his girlfriend

Panzer Schultz - 1A for AO

Bradley - another leg goal to make a pair

Laing - crushing the net between blocking shots

Fehr - first G after comeback

BB - 1 win

Achtung, Washington Capitals!

Posted by: Jeff 'Panzer' Schultz | February 8, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

http://bustedscoreboard.wordpress.com/eye-on-the-nhl/

There isn't as much Caps stuff as last time, but still some good NHL conversation.

As for the Caps schedule, they need to just keep playing their game. They really are the best team in the S.E. right now.

If Carolina wants in, let em take the 8th seed.

And for cryin out loud, we need our captain back!!

Posted by: Al Iafrate | February 8, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Nobody put a gun to the STH head's to make them buy a package.

you get enough...same seat every game, 4 free tickets, invites to events, opportunity to renew before others can buy, 1st crack at playoff tixs.

and we are going to complain about a poster? Get over it. You want the poster or another random gift, dont buy season tixs next year.

Posted by: Tommmy | February 8, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Im sure if you called the sales office they could get you one if you asked, all you have to do is ask.

Posted by: JamesD | February 8, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

In fact, that poster should be named Segway Riders and Semin should be replaced by Bradley.

P.S. There is no i in Semin. Just watch ESPN video with Melrose, the correct prononciation is sea-men according to Melrose

Posted by: I was in coma | February 8, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

How lame does it make me that I'm a STH and bought the ticket package anyway to get the poster and am planning on selling the tickets?

Posted by: Emmie | February 8, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Melrose does know everything

Posted by: Tommmy | February 8, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Emmie, you are on to something - that's the only way to do it.

And yes, I have asked for the poster - even asked to purchase it.

And Tommy - I can complain about whatever I want. I have been a season ticket holder during the "rebuild"... free tickets? Why do I need 4 free tickets, I already have 2... the 4 free tickets are for my friends or whoever??? In all honesty, those 4 free tickets was a marketing scheme trying to recruit people to get to the VC. Also, each person that used those 4 tickets probably bought some food and beverage - so they made some money that way. So yes, that was lame.

I just want a fricken poster... don't buy season tix next year - good one... that makes a lot of sense.

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@Roose, Funny you mention the Budweiser commercial. When McCreary tackled Mo, I think my exact words (that I could say in front of my daughter) were which one of the Blue Jackets offered a Bud to the person with the next hit?

Seriously, my family will be there with guest. Oh, and we will be loud!

We did the White Out for the Pens game this season. Think maybe we need to have a Red Rising game here real soon!

Posted by: Kim | February 8, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

looking at who's going to be this years Brian Bellows at the deadline, and it has to be Federov (1 mil left on his salary + UFA). Send them a late pick and Pettinger, who needs a change of scenery. Our 2nd line would be Semin/Federov/Kozlov. Amazing.

Posted by: Omar | February 8, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@ Tarik
Are you doing your Friday chat at 1:00?

Posted by: PC Caps | February 8, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

1) There is no reason that there shouldn't be 17-18K there tonight!
2) So what do you guys think GMGM will get back from Pettinger/Eminger later this month?
http://newfaux.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Fauxrumors | February 8, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik

Since you're doing the number crunching for fun toady, can you explain to me how four of the five SE division teams have a winning record against the division and the fifth is .500? I'm assuming that it has something to do with three-point games, but it still doesn't seem right.

Posted by: California Caps Fan | February 8, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

PC Caps,

The schedule says it's at 2.

Posted by: HolyOlie | February 8, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Nobody put a gun to the heads of STH but it seems wrong to exclude your most supportive base from a cool tie in like a poster autographed by the team's 4 best young players. This is coming from a non STH.

I'll probably eventually be a STH but for now its much easier for me to pick random games that I know I can make. If the Caps start selling out consistently i'll have to rethink this. When its all said and done, I still make it to about 12 games a year, but living 75 minutes from VC makes it tough to project months in advance which games I can and can not make.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 8, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@ HolieOlie
Thanks

Posted by: PC Caps | February 8, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

my chat is at 2. please join in.

Posted by: Tarik | February 8, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@828

Yeah, I was a little miffed about the poster. But then today, Caps Guest Services offered me two free tickets to the Barry Manilow show tomorrow night. That made it all better.

Umm...yeah.

Posted by: keef | February 8, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Haha keef,

I need to get on those... Barry Manilow - they serious?

I know they can't and won't please everyone - I don't even like posters - but this one seems like a must have.

Posted by: 828 | February 8, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Those ever intense SE division matchups are going to decide this. The Caps must win the games against their division. If they do that, the rest will take care of itself.

Posted by: jwh37 | February 8, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Gentle Giant Schultz

Maybe tied for first. Mathieu Biron who played for the Caps a few years ago(05?)was also 6'-6" but a little heavier.

Posted by: BearsWoooo | February 8, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Aaarg! Hurry up, 7:00.

I think this is just about the most fired up I've been for a Caps game since the home opener.

Posted by: ModestProposal | February 8, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

There is no reason why one cant be bought.

Maybe it has to do with the players not wanting to sign that many? Who knows what kind of promotional language is in the contracts.


Posted by: SA_Town | February 8, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I actually just called to see what they said about season ticket holders getting a poster

They said the best they could do was a dried up chicken tender basket, and a picture with "Capitals Cape Man" and "Helmet Light Guy" at the next game.

Posted by: SA_Town | February 8, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The Caps rebuilt properly after the Jagr fiasco and the belated veteran run in 2001-2003. Ovechkin has 47 goals, Backstrom a rookie has 35 assists and is on pace for 50, Green is near the top in defenseman tallies and the club has not as of yet seen the best out of Alexander Semin and Chris Clark, who have been injured for long stretches.

Beyond some additional maturity, this team needs another veteran defenseman in the top 4 and a RW that makes plays crashing to the net to become an elite team.

Posted by: Roy Hobbs | February 8, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

YOu know what, those other people are what you call Partial season ticket holders. Sorry that they actually can't AFFORD to put the money down on season tickets, it doesn't mean they aren't true caps fans and deserve something for purchasing some kind of plan. Why should the STH get the ONLY goodies. That seems a bit wrong. There are other plans and everyone should get SOMETHING!

Just seems a dumb reason to whine. It's a poster for crying out loud and they autographed ONE poster and they just reprinted all the rest. BFD! It's not like they actually signed YOUR poster. Many of the STH have gotten autographs from most of the team because you all get invited to certain functions that NONE Of the other plan holders get to attend. So why be so selfish and think only you (STH) are good enough to get prizes.

Posted by: IrresistibleForce | February 8, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

My dad and I are coming up from Richmond for the game. I haven't been in a couple years - would you suggest parking at the arena or parking somewhere else and taking the metro in?

Posted by: Score | February 8, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

They only autographed one poster? I was under the assumption they were personally autographed.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 8, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Score,

Take the Metro. Driving and parking in the city sucks - and I have a feeling this game is going to be well attended, so even more so than usual.

Posted by: HolyOlie | February 8, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Purchase 2 tickets to 4 pre-selected games this season and receive a limited edition Young Guns poster hand-signed by Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, and Mike Green.

Posted by: cbs | February 8, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I stumbled upon a video at Canadian cable channel website. It's all about Joe Juneau and what he's been up to:
http://www2.sportsnet.ca/video/latest/20080207_Joe_s_Amazing_Journey_Part_I
(Of course, they refer to him as a former Canadien - not the guy who put the Caps in the Cup finals.)

Posted by: Klay Key | February 8, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

@cbs

It's probably signed by the new sales guys. That how they earn their stripes. Autograph duty.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 8, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight...

The STHers, who are given all manner of freebies, private parties and autograph sessions, first pick of all the leftover equipment at the end of the season, and preferential treatment over all other ticket holders, are getting uppity because the Caps decided to offer a FREAKING POSTER to prospective new STHers and not them?

I'm not trying to minimize your pain or anything, but seriously, take a deep breath and move on with life.

Posted by: HolyOlie | February 8, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget about the chat with Tarik today!

Posted by: Larry The Goon | February 8, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@HolyOlie:

That's what I figured, as that's what we used to do. Any suggestions on where to park and hop on the metro (Close to 95)? I can't remember where we used to hop on...

Posted by: Score | February 8, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Score,

Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street are good bets (I think VDS has the closest parking to 95).

I don't know if Huntington or Eisenhower Avenue have parking, but if they do, it'll be more convenient for you as you won't have to change trains. That information should be on the Metro website.

http://www.wmata.com

Posted by: HolyOlie | February 8, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Upcoming Milestones for tonight:
Brashear:
3 points away from 200
1 PIM away from 2400

Johnnie:
1 Win away from 100!

Koz:
1 Assist from 300

Pett (if he can sneak into the lineup):
2 points away from 100

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 8, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Panzer Schultz - one inch away from 6'7"

Mental note: Need to take human growth hormone

Posted by: Panzer Schultz | February 8, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Re: Posters

This is my first year as a STH. I have been 100% elated with the treatment we have been given by the Caps cust. service this year. My family has had Skins tickets since RFK opened and they have never mentioned any treatment like this since the 70s.

I'm on the fence with the poster thing. Would I like one, hell yea, who wouldn't. But am I mad they only gave it to 4-gamers...not really.

What I wish they would do, though, is give 1 STH Gift to each seat, not account. Neighbor and I are splitting 1 account with 2 seats. Yet we only get 1 STH gift. So, next year, we will just go about splitting our account.

Let that be some advice to prospective STH'ers... If you and a buddy are going to get tix, get separate accounts.

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 8, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Eminger asked for a trade? Oh, boy... An he was the 1st round pick... At least, it's good for a resume...

Posted by: Panzer Schultz | February 8, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Here is a good article about goalies and how well they perform when they are getting a lot of shots against vs a few. It includes stats on Olie.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nhl/story/7738322/Goalies-vs.-Shots:-Who-comes-out-on-top?

Posted by: I Love Jill More | February 8, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@I was in a coma

You're correct on the pronunciation of Semin's name, if you ever played NHL'06 that's how it's pronounced, which can sound a bit odd on a breakaway "Out comes Sem(e)n!"

Posted by: Moondude8 | February 8, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I want a poster. I also really wanted a Mr. Potato Head Doll, and just because I'm not 6 years old does not mean I can't appreciate the awesomeness of an Ovechkin Mr. Potato Head!! It's silly that the Caps marketing team comes up with these sweet items then doesn't try to sell them as merchandise.

Posted by: laing4prez | February 8, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Since half of the team is going to get some trophies and BB -Coach of the Year, I suggest myself to the Lady Byng trophie:

The Lady Byng Trophy is awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies great and gentlemanly play.

That's Papa Schultze!

Posted by: Gentle Giant Schultz | February 8, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Guys have gotten beat up in the locker room for winning the Byng.

Posted by: @Schultz | February 8, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Can you feel the SE hockey...always intense!!!

Posted by: O-V-P | February 8, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin - Art Ross, Richard, Hart and Pearson

Backstrom - Calder? Can he edge Kane, or do people overlook his stats because he plays with OV

BB - Jack Adams

Laing - Norris/Vezina (i kid, i kid)

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 8, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Sombrero, it would be hilarious if they gave the Selke (best defensive forward) to Laing and proceeded to show a montage of Laing's blocked shots.

Posted by: tallbear | February 8, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm just happy that the Caps are in the playoff mix. This wasn't so in mid November. Many thought that the season was a lost and that we only had the nhl draft to look forward to. I am probably more happy at the development of out player this year than the chance of making the playoffs. Ovie has become one of the leagues best players. Green and Backstrom have had break out years and have shown that they will be stars of the NHL in time.

Posted by: boba fett | February 8, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: I Love Jill More | February 8, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I am a STH and not all of us feel as entitled as some do. I have no interest in posters, as I have not had a poster on my wall since college (which was a while ago). I'm also not very interested in autographs. I don't feel that I am entitled to any and all promotional items because I am a STH. There is a pretty decent sized contingent of "entitled" STH over on the Caps message boards and I would much rather see such complaints confined over there on the boards run by the organization, than cluttering up Tarik's blog here on the Post site.

I do, however, think that the promotional calendar should be better planned so that giveaways where there are only 5,000 should not be done at games when at least that many fans of the opposing team will be in attendance (for example, blankets at Sabres game, scarves at Flyers game). I have made this suggestion to the organization and voiced it on the Caps boards as well.

Posted by: Jill | February 8, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

tallbear
it would be hilarious if they gave the Selke (best defensive forward) to Laing and proceeded to show a montage of Laing's blocked shots.

Someone needs to make a montage like that and put it on youtube so those of us that are forced to "watch" the games on espn.com while listening over the nhl.com radio feed can actually see what everyone is talking about

Posted by: renstar | February 8, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

OFB: The Capitals are expecting some prominent media coverage of the team's winning ways next week. Alexander Ovechkin and the team will be the feature cover story for next week's Hockey News. Also likely next week, a Michael Farber feature on AO and the team in Sports Illustrated.

Darn paparazzies... :-)

Posted by: I was in coma | February 8, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Where are all the Olie complaints? Usually people are gryping about Olie.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

That was what all about; BB mentioned in his online q&a. "Alex is doing a photo shoot at his house right now, but I am not there. "

Posted by: I was in coma | February 8, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

laing4prez

The NHL store has the Mr. Potato Heads for Dallas, Nashville, Colarado, and Detroit. Lets hope that that is a sign that we will be able to purchase a Caps one eventually.

Posted by: mpbowler | February 8, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

There is also an excellent (and frightening) article in THN about post-concussion syndrome that validates the way Brian Pothier's injury has been handled:

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/13302-Screen-Shots-Dangers-of-concussions-go-beyond-immediate-symptoms.html

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik - You had some very interesting and enlightening things to say about Semin in your chat today, especially regarding his being distant from some of his teammates, and his refusal to conduct his end of an interview with you in English...none of which I found surprising.

Have you already used that interview for an article? I may have missed that.

Posted by: Jill | February 8, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Blake, meanwhile, might be a better fit in San Jose, where he could add a veteran presence to a young defence corps, but also provide the sort of playoff experience the Sharks are missing in a conference where they just can't seem to get their act together in the post-season. For their part, the Red Wings could use someone with Blake's physical presence. Moving him halfway across the country -- even for as little as three-to-four months -- adds a twist to the deal. Still, the one thing that the Red Wings remember is how they ran out of defencemen during last year's playoffs (losing both Nicklas Kronwall and Schneider along the trail, a development that forced Chris Chelios into playing huge minutes for a septuagenarian). Blake is currently sidelined with a hairline fracture of his ankle and has chronic hip problems that can flare up at anytime, but when healthy -- and he has been healthy for long stretches this season -- could provide a Raymond Bourque-like presence for a would-be contender. And the risk-to-reward ratio of adding somebody like him to a contender is going to be a hot topic of conversation in war rooms around North America over the next fortnight or so.

Posted by: Get Blake | February 8, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

From SI.com, wouldn't this be interesting. This is from a top 10 list of trades that the author thinks should happen. Thoughts?


Columbus sends Adam Foote to Washington for Chris Bourque, Josh Godfrey, 2008 second-rounder

What the Capitals really need is a solid No.1 goalie to replace Olaf Kolzig, the respected veteran whose play suggests he's well past his best-by date. But since there are no viable options to fill that role, an upgrade on defense would help minimize his exposure. Foote's a bit long in the tooth himself, but he's a great leader and remains solid if unspectacular in his own end. Neither Bourque nor Godfrey is a high-end prospect, but both could become contributing NHLers for Columbus given the proper tutelage. Bourque, a short, stocky center, has elite hockey sense and could mature into a useful checker. Godfrey has tremendous offensive upside, but has a lot of work to do to become a reliable option in his own end.

Posted by: CTCapsFan | February 8, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Time is dragging. It's taking forever for 7pm to get here.

Petty and Emmy scratches? Anyone hear anything on lineups?

Posted by: Steve R | February 8, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Foote is making 4.6 million and is an ufa at the end of the season plus he's getting "old". Why would the Caps make this move?

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