Thursday, September 27, 2007

Previews, previews, and more previews

JP and the Hockey News both have the Caps finishing first in the Southeast, while Suck Burnside hedges with a kinda-sorta playoff pick, and EJ Hradek flushes the Caps all the way down to the bottom of the Southeast standings.

What does all this say about the Caps chances this season in the Southeast? That nobody has a clue about this team (or most of the teams in the Southeast, for that matter).

More on Green

Tarik has a full article up on Mike Green's trials during his first season as well as his improved strength and conditioning this year. It's a good read, but it omits one possible reason for Green's uneven play in his rookie year: the ankle injury he suffered at midseason which seemed to limit his mobility and effectiveness. It's hard to skate (and even harder to initiate contact) on a bum wheel.

Also, Matt Bradley's nickname may be changed to "smooches" after last night's preseason tilt against the Flyers. For an explanation, check this link to Tarik's blog (5th paragraph).

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Luongo on bigger nets

Apparently, Roberto Luongo is so opposed to bigger nets that he claims he'll retire if they're implemented, according to this article.

I bet 4 GMs in the Northwest division just felt their opinions slide a bit more towards enlarging the nets, if for nothing else but to get the league's best goaltender out of their way.

He's baaa-aack

This little nugget from Tarik's article on Steve Eminger put a smile on our faces:

"The acquisitions of Poti and Boumedienne, and the emergence of Green, in particular, has put the squeeze on Eminger."

It's the emergence of Mike Green, not the squeeze put on Eminger that most interests us.

With his impressive offensive performance so far this preseason (2g, 4a), it looks like Mike Green is finally ready to make the leap from talented enigmatic youngster to stalwart NHL offensive defenseman. After two years of ups and downs (and an injury setback), it looks like Green has finally found his game.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Can't we all just get along?

Apparently former cap Lawrence Nycholat and "Granite Chin" Brian Sutherby had it out last night in Ottawa's 5-4 preseason win over the Caps. C'mon, boys, how about a little fellowship among former Caps prospects? Then again, with Nycho fighting for a roster spot and Sudsy being, well, Sudsy, I guess this kind of thing is to be expected.

If you're looking for positive signs coming out of yesterday's game, look no further than the scoresheet, where you'll see Tom Poti twice (goal and assist, 3rd star), Flash Fleischmann twice (goal and assist), Mike Green twice (one assist at even strength, one on the PP) and, of course, Alex Ovechkin bagging his first goal of the preseason.

If you're looking for the bad, all 5 goals were scored against Olie Kolzig (who was scheduled to watch Michael Neuverith, who went down with an injury before gametime), while Ottawa spread theirs between Martin Gerber and Brian Elliot.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Unbalanced no more

Per the hockey news, it looks like the NHL has finally come to its senses and will scrap the unbalanced schedule after this year.

Seeing as the Caps are in the Southeast and play a ridiculous number of games against Atlanta, Carolina, Tampa, and Florida, this can't happen fast enough. Despite having won 2 of the last 4 cups, it's plain to see that these teams don't attract the same number of fans to the arena, nor do they inspire the same passions in local fans as games against teams from the old Patrick Division (that's the Islanders, Penguins, Rangers, Flyers, Devils and Caps, for those of you coming late to the game).

It was fun seeing the Caps beat up on the worst teams in hockey for a couple years after realignment, but we'll be much happier for the chance to measure the team against some of the stronger Western Conference teams more than once a year.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Caps kids sent down for seasoning

Per Tarik, the Caps have sent first round draft pick Karl Alzner back to his junior team. Despite his potential, Alzner still needs time to mature physically before he's ready for the rigors of an NHL schedule.

Francois Bouchard and Josh Godfrey were also sent back to their respective junior teams.

An auspicious beginning

In his first NHL preseason game, Nicklas Backstrom tallied a goal as the Caps fell to the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-3. And while the loss will soon be forgotten (given that the Caps rested many regulars and used 19 year old prospect Michael Neuvirth in net for the last 2 frames), the start of the Backstrom era in DC looks bright.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Alex is hungry

no, not this kind of hungry:

THIS kind of hungry.

Aren't we all, Alex...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rookie camp redux

OK, I know we said to check the links at right, but the Kevin Hatcher fanclub's posts on rookie camp are too good to miss. Check them out here.

Also, some kid named Alzner wants to stay in DC.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rookie camp rolls on

Unfortunately, so do our day jobs. For coverage of rookies doing Herbies (sprint goal line to blue line, then back, red line, back, far blue line, back) as well as a plethora of drills, check the links to a few of the other fine Caps blogs on the right.

We'll try to sneak in some full training camp coverage next week.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Interesting poll on slam sports

If you look to the bottom right of this story on Jarome Iginla on, you'll find a poll asking who will take this year's Rocket Richard trophy as the league's top goal scorer. The Russian Machine is listed as an option. You know what to do.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Another Hitman in DC? profiles Caps prospect and current Calgary Hitmen defenseman Kieth Seabrook. Not a ton of info, but hey, it's something.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Just because

Mmmmmm... Alex Ovechkin highlights....

And some Semin highlights as well -