Saturday, December 29, 2007

Strangely nervous...

for tonights game. Well, not so strangely since the Caps dropped the Sens 4-1 back in November, which makes the Senators a team with something to prove during this game (did I mention that the Caps snapped an 8 game win streak for the Sens in November?). And AO is questionable for tonight's game. Definitely a little nervous.

There is nothing like a little rival bashing to take my mind off being nervous, so here is a bit of controversy from the Pens-Caps game:

Ovechkin went almost immediately to the visitors' locker room at Mellon Arena for medical treatment after suffering the cut. But he said he had to wait for the Penguins' medical staff to finish tending to a Pittsburgh player, and therefore ended up missing the rest of the game.

Coach Bruce Boudreau was not pleased by the delay.

"You make your assumptions on that," Boudreau said. "I don't know why. I'm just told that it took upwards of a half-hour."

Ovechkin added: "If he comes earlier, maybe I play. I don't know. It's over now."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Santa WAS listening!

Bruce Boudreau knocks off the "interim" tag, the Caps win over the Bolts, Brian Pothier is back on the ice, and Eric Fehr is skating (scroll to the bottom of the article). Plus, all you ever wanted to know about what it feels like to block a slap shot via Quintin Laing.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I wanted to throw up an open thread type post, as I am heading out for the holidays and I dont expect to be doing much blogging through next week. So eat, drink, be merry (and eat some more). Happy Holidays and thank you for reading Capital Addiction!

Disclaimer: There might be some sort of eggnog induced rant up here if the Caps lose on Sat. night versus the Islanders.

This makes me like him more

The video below of Cindy Crosby makes me like him more (hate him less?). Maybe because he looks less like a cleverly made robot, and more like a human.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wow, that game sucked

Now something to cheer you up...the video of Ovie on a Segway.

Around the internets

Tarik gives us the word on Backstrom, and a brief update on Gordon:

Backstrom's offensive upturn has put him third among rookies with five goals and 21 points, behind Chicago's Patrick Kane (32 points) and Jonathan Toews (26). It also has resulted in more ice time under interim coach Bruce Boudreau, who has played the 20-year-old Swede a minimum of 19 minutes since putting him on the top line on Dec. 8, including a career-high 23 minutes 10 seconds against the NHL-leading Detroit Red Wings on Monday.
Anyone who has counted Backstrom out of the Calder race had better think again.

Corey looks at Bruce Boudreau, and how long the "interim" is going to be in front of his name (he also has perhaps the jolliest picture of BB, ever. If you gave him a beard, he could pass for Santa):
"Everyone says, 'Oh, he's an interim coach.' We're all interim coaches. Everyone in the National Hockey League is on an interim basis, and we all know it." - Jay Leach
Dan Steinberg's got Ovie, Backstrom, Green and Bradley on a Segway tour of DC. Good stuff (and apparently video is on the way).

In other hockey news:

Game day preview of Caps vs Habs, courtesy of USA Today.

The Cane's Craig Adams is suspended two games for hitting Alex Steen with his stick.

Kyle Okposo,
a 2006 first round pick by the Islanders, joins the growing number of college players abandoning ship for the NHL (be sure to check out the quote from his coach).

Mike Keenan
has re-discovered his joy for coaching. Ick.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

goodbye, dear friend (yes, we mean the mohawk)

The Canadien Press has a feature on our very own Mike Green. They some kinda dumb stuff, like Green was "unheralded" (really? Weird, since he was a first round pick, was selected for the Young Stars game in his rookie year and has consistently been listed as a top prospect).

But the part that really bothered me (and this is a good measure of our values system here at Cap Addiction) is this:

Maybe it's that UFC vibe in him, but Green wore a Mohawk in the AHL. Not anymore.

"That was my two years in the minors when we went to the playoffs and I grew one for the playoffs," laughed Green. "But I guess you got to be a little more professional in this league."

Mike Green's mohawk is 99% of the reason I liked him last season, when he was playing bad- average hockey. The hawk made me like him, despite the poor defensive play and lack of initiative. It was a great do, among a team of men with Mom hair.

PS: All this should serve as a hint-hint to Jeff Schultz, who is still on my sh-t list, despite the goals.

Around the Internets

Tarik takes a look at Jeff Schultz's "new weapon" (insert dirty joke):

Schultz's scoring surge has come as a surprise, even to him. He never has been considered an offensive dynamo. In fact, his half slap shot isn't very hard -- but it's accurate, and he gets it off in a hurry. Schultz's five goals have come on just 13 shots. His .385 shooting percentage is tied for fifth in the league.

"It's been effective for me," Schultz said. "The last four goals I've scored have all been half slap shots."

Corey's got his weekly NHL Report, and the Q&A this week is with Tom Poti:
Q: Biggest phobia?
A: Probably getting old - I don't want to get old
Fair enough, dude.

In other NHL news:

More on Crawford allegedly ordering Todd Bertuzzi's hit on Steve Moore.

Chris Simon will be suspended 30 games for stomping on the back of Jarkko Ruutu's leg. According to TSN, Simon will appeal but since this is his eighth NHL suspension, I'm not exactly sure what kind of case he thinks he has (he has been suspended for using racial slurs, kneeing, cross checking across the throat, and of course stick swinging, among others).

Ben Eager gets traded to the Hawks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the Capitals and I

I am having a couple crazy days at work, so please forgive the empty space at Cap Addiction for the past few days. My paperwork has already followed me home, I think the next step is that it will probably just strangle me.

That said, I am a darn happy lady today. Could we have won that game last night (Yes!) but we got a point out of it, didnt give up the other point to an Eastern Conference foe, and we came very close to doing what has only been done to the Red Wings six times this season - defeating them. I can only hope we carry this energy into Thursday's game against the Habs. Consistency, let thy name be Washington Capitals.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Around the internets

As we have mentioned, we enjoy Mike Green/Mike Green's hair. So we are really happy that he is having such a terrific season, and is becoming the star that everyone had anticipated.

On that thought, a LOT of the Caps are breaking out. Joe Motzko with two goals against King Henrik....Donald Brashear with two assists (and occasionally, some pretty skating)....Jeff Schultz with a goal in three consecutive games. The list goes on, but it seems that all those bounces that were not going our way in October and November are making up for it now. And thats exactly what the Caps need, because to be a true contender, you cant just have some guy with the name Ovechkin scoring all the goals.

Tarik give Mike Green props:

Green and teammate Brooks Laich raced into the Rangers' zone on a two-on-one rush. Laich dished the puck to Green, who snapped his shot behind Henrik Lundqvist with 1 minute 19 seconds in overtime left to deliver a thrilling 5-4 victory -- and put a punctuation mark on his breakout season.
Corey give Green some love as well:
"It took me all of last year to really get an understanding of what it takes to be a pro hockey player," Green said. "Also, [coach] Bruce [Boudreau] has been really good. I know what is expected out of me with him, and he makes that very clear."
A few other thoughts from last night:
- Alex Semin checked someone. It wasnt a very good check, and he did it a little half heartedly, but my jaw still dropped. When I see Alex Ovechkin checking people and scoring goals, and the see the aggressive forecheck/backcheck making such a big difference, it hammers home that everyone has to buy into the system. Alex Semin doesnt need to throw five hits a night, but he needs to look in sync with the team.
-Brooks Laich has been playing smart hockey this year
-Donald Brashear has found a role more satisfying then hired muscle, and he is making the most of it by building a case to play more then 3 minutes a night
- Olie Kolzig needs to get UP if he doesnt know where the puck is and a whistle has not been blown

In other hockey news:

Ray Emery is injured again, but with a great back up like Martin Gerber, I dont think the Sens are sweating.

There is some tough luck floating around the league for goalies, as Marc-Andre Fleury might be out two months, and Fernandez will likely miss the rest of the Bruins season.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Around the internets

Tarik, you tease (I'm sure Washington Post sports writers are regularly referred to as teases). With a teaser title like "Clark's Agony on Rise", I dont think many Caps fans going to not read Tarik's article in today's WaPo. So be sure to read it.

From Capitals Insider:

*If you read my notebook in today's Post, then you already know that Chris Clark (strained groin muscle) has been downgraded to week-to-week and that Michael Nylander (undisclosed) is aiming to return this weekend. Defenseman Brian Pothier, after being scratched the past two games, also figures to get back into the lineup.
Corey takes a look at Nicklas Backstrom:
"I felt pretty good the first games, but I did not score or get many assists," the 20-year-old said. "The stats are counting now, and so are the victories, so absolutely I feel better."
Thats right, my little Swedish meatball, the stats are really, really counting now. So dont slump, or we'll deport you. Just kidding (mostly).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

By the numbers

11: The number of points between SE Division leading Canes (who have 35 points) and the Caps.

: The number of points between the Thrashers/Ning and the Caps. The Thrasher and Ning hold the number two and three spots in the SE division.

: Points for the league leading Detroit Red Wings.

The number of points between the Caps and Philly/Pittsburgh/Montreal, who respectively hold slots 6-8 in the Eastern Conference.

The points the Islanders needed to slip into the final Eastern conference playoff slot last season.

The number of points the Caps will have if they win 2/3 of their remaining games.

The number of games the Caps have left this season.

NOTE: A pertinent comment from one of Tarik's chats:

National Cathedral:
So what is the magic number for the Caps to get into the 8th spot this year 42? Also are there any mile stones they need to hit along 13 of the next 22 and stats wise they are in (this is just an example of what I am looking for, that stat doesn't make sense I understand)...


Tarik El-Bashir: I would think they would need 40 or more wins and 92 or more points. The key for the Caps this year is to go as close to .500 on the road as possible.

A heck of a story

You would have had to have a heart of steel - or no heart at all - to not be overjoyed for Quintin Laing. The Hershey Bears Captain scored his first NHL goal last night against the Devils. That is, his first goal in seven seasons playing pro hockey in the all sorts of leagues not called the NHL. Laing's only call up to the NHL was during the 03-04 season, when he played in just three games for the Hawks. With former Hershey Coach Bruce Boudreau behind the bench in Washington, Laing got his second shot at the Big Show just this year, and has earned the respect of his teamates with his grit.

From Tarik's article on Laing in last week's WaPo:

Laing got the call when checking-line center Boyd Gordon suffered an undisclosed injury. Laing said his wife screamed as he did his best to remain composed.
And more:
Laing scored a career-high 15 goals for the Bears last season, although he pointed out that five of them were empty-netters. He was just as honest when asked why he hasn't gotten more chances to prove himself against NHL competition.

"I'm not the fastest skater and I don't have the greatest hands," said Laing, who was drafted in the fourth round by Detroit in 1997 and has played 432 American Hockey League games since. "But I think I make up for it with my instincts and hockey sense."

You have gotta be rooting for a guy who points out to a Washington Post reporter that his season total of goals is inflated. I am definitely rooting for him, and I hope the Caps can find a spot to keep him on the roster when Boyd Gordon returns.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Around the internets

Phew. I was getting pretty tired of watching (and paying) the Caps drop game after game, sometimes with good reason (injuries) and a lot of times with no good reason (effort). The Caps are home tonight, Wed. and Friday, and during that time I am fervently hoping they continue their winning ways. In fact, they have to if they have any shot at all left at the playoffs.

Tarik profiles Bruce Boudreau:

Center Brooks Laich, another former Bear, added: "He's not above yelling at anybody. Doesn't matter if you're a veteran or a rookie. He's the exact same as he was in Hershey, down to the awful ties and the bad suits."
Tarik follows that up with a piece on his blog that has all the good stuff that didnt make it to the article. Check it out.

And, Corey profiles Boudreau as well:

"His ties were the worst," said Caps defenseman Mike Green, one of nine current players whom Boudreau coached with the Bears. "He might have the worst tie-shirt combinations I have ever seen, but whatever works for him."

Added Steckel: "If you look at Bruce, you know he's not the fittest guy in the league. Everybody has their own way of being professional. Him having his tie untucked or a little mustard stain on his shirt — that is standard for him."

In other hockey news:

The Devils's winning streak has finally been snapped, coming into tonight's game against the Caps.

The Preds are officially sold.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Around the internets

I am back from my travels to find Michael Nylander joining Chris Clark and Boyd Gordon on the list of injured Caps. And another 1-goal loss last night, this time to the NJ Devils. I am hoping for better tonight against the Thrashers.

Tarik on last night's game:

NEWARK, Dec. 7 -- Bruce Boudreau has been behind the Washington Capitals' bench for only seven games. But the interim coach has apparently had enough.
Enough of the inconsistent efforts. Enough of the egregious turnovers. Enough of the excuses.


"We didn't play good enough to win, or we would have won," Boudreau said. "That was a horrible giveaway for the first goal, and Olie should have had the save. He's too good a goalie to let those things go in."
Corey's headline says it all - "Bottom line: Capitals lose again". He has this from Boudreau:
"I don't want to be the guy who has to come in [to the dressing room] and blast them every time they don't play well because they should be professional and they should come to play every night.

"In the first period, we didn't come to play and that is unforgivable."

I am finding it harder and harder to keep a positive attitude about the Caps. As a fan and STH, its terrible to watch the team simply not perform for portions of the game, and then show up when they feel like it. As Bruce Boudreau said, they are professionals. What in the world is it going to take to get them to start acting like it on the ice? Their long time coach has been fired, they are getting lashed in the media by their new coach, the roster is being shaken up....whats left? I guess we will find out tonight.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Dale Hunter on his way in?

ESPN speculates:

Former Capitals captain Dale Hunter, presently coaching junior club London in the Ontario Hockey League, might eventually get the Washington coaching job if GM George McPhee can keep his job, according to the Ottawa Sun.

Many observers expect McPhee to follow recently fired coach Glen Hanlon out the door in Washington by season's end and the Sun mentioned Doug Armstrong, recently fired by the Stars, as a possible replacement.

The Sun previously reported that Caps owner Ted Leonsis had already initiated the search for a new GM.

A strong candidate, according to the Sun, should be Brian Lawton, who was a prominent agent but stepped down from Octagon Hockey earlier this year to pursue a management position somewhere.

The Sun listed TSN analyst Pierre McGuire and former Islanders GM Mike Milbury as other candidates.

As we have mentioned before, the Dale Hunter rumors have been going around for a bit now. I have to say though, I would rather take Satan as a GM then Mike Milbury.