Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Around the internets

Word on the street (well, the WaPo) is that Chris Clark, Alex Semin, and Tom Poti are all practicing in NYC, but no word yet on if any of them will play. Clark's ear required 60 stitches after it was hit by Ovie's slapshot.

And, the the NHLPA has finished another stage of its re-haul:

NHL players ratified a new constitution that significantly alters the way the union is governed, completing a lengthy review process that started with the dispute over the hiring of former executive director Ted Saskin.

The constitution, approved through a secret ballot and announced Tuesday, eliminates the National Hockey League Players' Association's executive committee, which was comprised of a president and six vice presidents.

In its place, the 30 club-player representatives will serve as equal voting members of an executive board.

UPDATE: Tarik says Clark, Semin and Poti are out. And, Clark also chipped a tooth in the game against the Canucks when Kevin Bikesa high sticked him. Ouch.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dude, shut up

Canuck's D-man, Willie Mitchell, is upset with Coach Alain Vigneault for criticizing him to the media.


When a team is struggling (like the Canucks), certain types of Coaches (Like Alain Vigneault) criticize them in the media to motivate them (in fact, this is so common and obvious, I feel dumb even writing this sentence. Apparently Willie Mitchell has no similar feelings). It happens all the time - just ask John Tortorella or Mike Keenan. Its part of every single professional sport. So why oh why, is Willie Mitchell talking to the press about it? Players never win that battle, and even if the Coach is eventually fired, you look like another whiny athlete who cant take the heat, but can take millions in payroll.

But the best part is, Mitchell acknowledges that this is just Vingault's way of pushing his players.

"If people are unhappy with things, (as a) player you'd like to have that addressed," he said. "You don't like to hear about it through the media most of the time. That's his way of motivating I guess.
So if you know this is just a device your Coach is using to motivate you, why the hell are you picking a fight with him in the press? Can that really help the atmosphere in your locker room, when your team is already struggling and the press is beating on you?

Willie Mitchell, Cap Addiction staff has one thing to say to you: Dude, shut up.

On the Flyers

Scott Burnside has a pretty good piece on the Flyers, and their...enthusiasm...for hitting people in the head.

The NHL season is not yet a month old, and three times the Flyers have had to answer for how one of their own has gone AWOL and committed an indefensible act against another team's player.


Rest assured: If a Flyer, let's say, Daniel Briere, had been on the other end of any one of these three assaults, the team would be screaming blue murder.
Good point Scotty. Can you imagine the shrieks that would be coming from Paul Holmgren's office if Briere had been hit like that?

The bigger issue for me is one of respect -- as Marc Savard astutely points out. Every time the Flyers lay a reckless hit on another NHL'er, a hit that was bad enough to cause a Stage 3 concussion, a hit that causes people to lose their memory, or pass out for nearly a minute, they are disrespecting the game, and their comrades who play it with them. While Jones' hit might not have been as bad as Boulerice or Downie, it came from a team with a history of this type of behavior, and a GM who turns a blind eye. And thats just disrespectful.

around the internets

Tarik wraps up last night's win, while Corey and ESPN offers their take on it. Tarik's take on the injured Caps is not good:

Sutherby found himself in the lineup because of the Capitals' dire injury situation. They were again without three of their most important players, with Chris Clark, Alexander Semin and Tom Poti all suffering from various ailments.

Clark missed his second consecutive game after being struck on the left ear with an Ovechkin slap shot in the final minute of Friday's loss to Vancouver. Semin re-injured his left ankle in the first period of Saturday's loss in St. Louis and Poti has been slow to recover from a strained groin muscle that's sidelined him the past three games.

And some news on Ovie contract extension talks?

"I want to be here a long time," he said. "I don't like change of place. But you never know. You can sign contract right now and the next day you are traded. It's the NHL."

He added: "I want to be here. I like the organization. I like the fans."

Asked whether he expects to sign an extension soon, Ovechkin smiled and said: "Ask George." So I did. McPhee politely declined comment, as he always does on contract negotations.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bondra retires

I have been on the road for work stuff so I missed some good news (Semin's contract extension!). I am playing catch up today, but I wanted to post this Peter Bondra news:

NHL veteran and Slovakian star Peter Bondra retired from professional hockey Monday to become general manager of his country's national team.

"I kept it a secret for a long time. They will know overseas only after this press conference," Bondra said, according to the Slovak national hockey association. "I hope I can help Slovakia win another medal at the world championship."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

around the internets

Tarik has a really terrific wrap up of last night's game, and Corey does the same, with some interesting stats at the end of his article. Per Corey, last night was Mike Green's 100th game in the NHL. He looks like he has been playing a lot longer then that, no?

And, some other great news: DC Sports Chick has returned to blogging! I am very excited to continue reading her great writing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Around the internets

Tarik has a piece on Semin's return while Corey takes a look at the Caps pre-game rituals. Here's Glen Hanlon's response to Corey's question about the possibility of a player hurting himself during the Caps' pregame soccer bouts:

When I broke in [to the league], they use to smoke. So what do you think is better to get ready for a game?"


The apocalypse is upon us:

CHICAGO (AP) -- Rick Nash played his game. No wonder that was more than enough for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Nash had two goals -- one on a goal-mouth setup by Michael Peca and another on a mid-air deflection -- and added an assist and Jiri Novotny scored twice to lift the Blue Jackets to a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

Jiri Novotny can play hockey? And Michael Peca didnt fall to the ice whining? Nevertheless, this is a happy day for Bethany.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jagr begins to ruin another hockey team

Perhaps an unfair title? Oops, I dont care.

The Rangers are 2-4-1 and the Blueshirts are growing restless because neither Scott Gomez nor Chris Drury has clicked as a center for RW Jaromir Jagr.

The New York Post said Gomez and Drury "looked lost" playing with Jagr, who likes to carry the puck and slow down the tempo.

Coach Tom Renney can't endlessly juggle lines because the players need some continuity and stability.

The Post said the next option might be to try the more physical C Dave Scatchard, who is on a tryout with AHL affiliate Hartford, beside Jagr.

The link might not work if you dont have ESPN Insider, but not to worry, since I cut and pasted the whole thing for you "outsiders".

Forsberg would only go to Sens or Avs

At least, according to two"anonymous " NHL officials. What I dont understand is, why would either of them want him? Forsberg is still a dominant player -- when he is healthy. Which is about .01% of the time. And these teams would have to spend all their time crossing their fingers and warding off evil with garlic to get him healthy .01% of the time.

If Peter Forsberg decides to play again in the NHL, it will only be for a Stanley Cup contender. Which means the Ottawa Senators might be in line for another Swedish scorer.

A pair of NHL sources told the Toronto Sun that Ottawa and Colorado Avalanche are the only two teams on Forsberg's list. A decision from the star is expected by the middle of November.

Forsberg has a history in Colorado, winning Cups as a member of the Avalanche in both 1995/96 and 2000/01.

ESPN is saying that the Stars sent Brett Hull to Sweden to "woo" Forsberg. Probably not their best idea. If Brett Hull tried to "woo" me for anything, I'd probably start crying. Or run in the opposite direction.

I think Forsberg wants to go out on a high note -- preferably with a Cup, or damn close to a Cup, or with an organization he has good history with that has a shot at the Cup (ahem, Colorado). And that would be a great story...but does he really have it in him? Based on the disaster of last season, I dont think so.

Around the internets

This morning Tarik has word on Hanlon mixing up the lines to try to spark the Cap's offense. Clark is back to the first line with Ovie and Kozlov, and Dave Steckel takes his spot on the third line. So who steps into Steckel's spot? Career AHL'er Joe Motzko, who probably had one of the best nights of his NHL career on Saturday, playing on Ovie's line. Here is the always humble Clark on his promotion:

"I can't play any different because that will just get me in trouble," Clark said. "If I change anything, be more fancy, it's not going to work. Ovechkin and Kozlov have more than enough skill to bring me along."
And, looks like Semin might be back...
"If we were winning, and things were going perfectly, we wouldn't rush him back if he was a little out of shape," Hanlon said of Semin. "With saying that, if he gets clearance from our trainers, he'll be in our lineup, even if it's just to play the power play for a couple of shifts"
The Washington Times has a piece on the Caps blogosphere, and talks to the writers at some of my favorites, including a View from the Cheap Seats and On Frozen Blog.

Corey also follows the Cap's lack of offensive production.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Should I stay or should I go?

Burnside has a look at which NHL Coaches he thinks will make it through the season, and who is on the chopping block already:

Given the higher expectations in Washington this season, it will be interesting to see how GM George McPhee and owner Ted Leonsis react if the Caps can't stay in the playoff hunt. Coach Glen Hanlon has done a good job with little to work with in the past, but after starting the season 3-0, the Caps have lost four straight and have been outscored 17-7. Still, the Caps are thinking long haul, so Hanlon should be able to stick around
I couldnt believe it when I saw the blurb for this article that Burnside seemed to be saying Gretzky might be fired. Apparently, Scotty didnt really believe it either:
The Coyotes are dreadful (2-5), but that's to be expected. And who is going to fire Wayne Gretzky in the middle of the season? No one.

Donald Brashear, blogger?

Again....vacation cannot live up to this:

At which point Brashear gave out his e-mail address over the radio. I'll withhold that address for now, although it's obviously not that hard to find. And what happened next? Aside from a Junkie saying "silly"?

"Five minutes later I'm getting [bleepin'] emails coming in, coming out," Brashear said. "I'm thinking, 'A lot of people want to talk to the players, so why not just start a blog and see where it goes?' "

And thus, a new local sports superstar blogger may have been born. Brashear is currently trying to find a home for his blogging services on the Interwebs, and hopes to settle on a destination soon, but he already knows the sort of things he'll write about.

The things you miss while on vacation...

Tom Poti on Jeff Schultz:

"He moves the puck well for a big guy, and he gets around the rink really well for a big guy," Pothier said of Schultz. "If he does those things, and adds a physical dimension to his game, he's going to be a player. He doesn't have to kill guys, rip heads off and start fighting everybody. But he needs to be more assertive."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

a quick update

I am still on vacation this week, with so-so internet access....but this came through today:

Waddell said he has no timetable for a hiring and indicated he may look for a coach who is less intense than Hartley.

"Maybe we've got to back off a little bit and let the players have some fun in the game," Waddell said.

"Certainly Bob has been here a long time. ... We weren't getting the most, particularly out of our veteran players, and that was a concern," he said.

Ouch. On the other hand, I cant wait to see Waddell behind the bench. I love seeing any GM try to put the coaching hat on, it always produces some pretty comical moments.

I'm back this weekend -- just in time for the Pens game -- so I'll have more then.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

around the internets

Tarik's take on the Islanders game, and apparently Jeff Schultz is headed to Hershey since he isnt getting any time up here. Remember, since Schultz is in the last year of his entry level deal, he can go back and forth to Hershey without having to pass through waivers. Creates some nice options for the Caps. Now, lets just hope that Jeff eats some chocolate while he is down there...or eats anything, in fact. He really needs to add some girth.

Also, a win with 12 shots last night? Hot damn.

Corey on the game last night, and is it me, or is Laichusfston really coming into his own? Along with John Erskine? Couldnt be better timing all around for the Caps.

Opening night

Almost had the intensity of a play off game. Before the game started, the Arena was dim, and all you could see was the red lights across the VC, shaking in motion, from the noise makers the Caps gave out. The team was incredibly tight, and its amazing how much improved they were. Confidence can do a lot for a team.

The Islanders game had the same feeling for me -- an incredibly tight team, and a really different team. I'd have more, but I gotta run.


I wanted to post something up here in case I am stangely silent the next couple weeks -- I am in the process of switching jobs, plus hopefully going taking some vacation time after that. Its all a bit hectic, and I havent got as much time as I would like to read, watch and blog about the Caps. So coverage might be sporadic this week and next, but I promise to be back in full swing after that!

Thank you!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Scott Burnside, Caps Stalker

Apparently, Scott Burnside is going to "chronicle" the Caps this season. I know a lot of people hate Scottie, and he does say some stupid stuff, but I think he is okay. And any coverage of the Caps is welcome.

Which team will be this season's surprise story? is picking the Washington Capitals and Scott Burnside will chronicle the team's travels throughout the season. In Part I, we begin with the team's newfound vision at training camp.
Here is Part I.

I'd take the Horn Guy over anyone of them

THAT Jimmy Fallon, Julia Styles, Petra Nemcova and Tim Robbins will be among the celebs at Madison Square Garden tonight for the Rangers' opening game . . .

around the internets

Tarik on the ever improving penalty kill.

Corey on Kozlov centering a line of youngsters.

And then it looks like the Washington Times vomited hockey this morning. They have all sorts of new features, including the "Keys" to the Caps this year and an article on Olie (kind of. Its sort of on Olie, women, Hanlon, and Dave Fay) from Thom Loverro.

Again, definitely not complaining about actually having hockey coverage. Just a little surprised.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Eminger on the "IR"

The Caps got to their 23 player roster limit yesterday by demoting Ben Clymer to the Bears (along with Boumedienne and others) and putting Steve Eminger on the IR.

Funny though, Hair Gel seems to be practicing at K-Plex:

Update:Steve Eminger, who is on injured reserve with a sprained ankle, is practicing. Looks okay to me.
Must be some injury.

If I was Eminger, I would be doing everything possible to impress during practice to make up for a decent (if not memorable) training camp, plus the last three seasons. Decent isnt going to cut it anymore when there are a bunch of other guys straining for your spot on the roster.

Ice Cream!

So, I snuck out of work today to grab a bite in Chinatown during lunch and I ran into a Capitals marketing marathon. Every street corner had people in Caps red t-shirts, handing out game schedules and free t-shirts. The best was the ice cream truck parked in front of Urban Outfitters, with Capitals representatives handing out free ice cream. This is almost as good as getting a call from Jurcina.

around the papers

Tarik has an excellent article about the NHL salary cap and revenue sharing, plus he gives us a 2007 NHL Preview. One of my faves, Dan Steinberg, hits up Caps Media Day. Thats a damn lot of hockey for the WaPo, not that I am complaining.

Corey thinks that Milan Jurcian and Mike Green might be the other pieces rounding out the PP with Tom Poti and Brian Pothier.

Also per Corey, looks like Semin is probably fine. Bad news for Matt Bradley, who has been skating with Nylander and Backstrom.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Blithering Idiocy, part deux

Paul Holmgren needs to be fired.

That blithering idiot, who defended Steve Downie after this hit, after Downie was clearly letting his temper get the better of him again, after Downie was "avenging" a legal hit by Christoph Schubert, after Downie's half assed apology to McAmmond, is still tacitly absolving that little shit of any blame in the matter.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren told reporters Friday that the team plans to have Downie serve the NHL suspension in blocks, calling him up from time to time to serve the 20 games. Downie has not played an NHL game with the Flyers and was expected to start the season in the minor leagues. But injuries this week to forwards Scottie Upshall, R.J. Umberger and Joffrey Lupul boosted the chances that the 20-year-old prospect could have started the year with the big club.

"He can go the American League and play," Holmgren was quoted as saying in the Philadelphia Daily News. "Our plan is to make this suspension go away as quickly as possible. And because of our cap situation, we're probably going to have to get creative."

Holmgren added that the 20-year-old forward would be recalled to the big club on days the AHL team is not playing.

"I've talked to the league about this," Holmgren told local reporters. "When we carry him on our roster, we're pushing the limit of the cap, so there is punishment to the Flyers, as well."

In the words of some very eloquent Hershey Bears fans, BULLSHIT!

NOTE: The AHL has suspended the little shit for the first month of the season. Oh how painful pitiful.

Clymer sent to Hershey

From Tarik:

The Washington Capitals signed prospect Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract and sent veteran Ben Clymer to the minor leagues yesterday.
Ouch. More on this later.

Monday, October 1, 2007

more weekend stuff

So Jeff Schultz made the team, per Tarik. Cool, I like Schultz, though he has that "I'm scared of girls" look. Here's Corey's take on Schultz.

From Tarik's piece on Dave Steckel:

"I pretty much just come to the rink, and if they don't tell me to go home, awesome," he said before scoring his second and third goals of the preseason in last night's 7-5 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Verizon Center.


One of those things has been adding mass to his lanky 6-foot-5 frame, something he's struggled to do since turning pro. He came into camp this month weighing 218 pounds, which is considered his ideal playing weight. To maintain that, though, he must consume as many as 6,000 calories per day.

"I'm not psychotic about it," he said. "I just know I have to eat a lot and eat well."

While we wait for Karl Alzner to come up, I think Stecks is gonna give us plenty of good material.

Final 23-man roster is due to the NHL by tomorrow at 3pm....

George Solomon
on Olie....

Weekend stuff

A mixed bag this weekend. The Caps won against the Flyers on Friday with a dramatic come from behind rally in the third period. Five goals in the third (though one was a throwaway). Mike Green looked great. I am more and more impressed with him every day, and I dont even think he still has the fauxhawk. Alex Semin went down hard and had to be helped off the ice. He returned for a shift, then disappeared for good. Tarik says the ankle is sprained but should be ready for opening night. Other then that, Semin was Semin. Which means he occasionally caused the audience to "oooh and aaah" and he occasionally caused us to wince. Ovie made Daniel Briere look like my 4 year old cousin on skates.

The Caps dropped Sunday's game to the Senators, who werent exactly playing their A-squad. Still, Sens propect Nick Foligno looked good (and scored on Olie). The Caps took an early 1-0 lead, and a minute later the Sens came back to tie it, eventually making it 2-1. The Caps had about double the shots on goal as the Sens, but just couldnt connect.

Nicklas Backstrom and Jeff Schultz seemed to be absorbing a lot of hits on both nights. And they didnt seem to be giving a lot back. Perhaps they can be gym buddies?