Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Roundup/Gamenight: Canucks @ Caps

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Rumor has it that Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis will be in town tonight to take in the Caps game (jp5). In all likelihood, this is because Gillis - Michael Nylander's former agent - is trying to acquire the Swedish pivot from Washington via trade. Or it's because the Canucks are playing the Caps. One or the other.

Tonight - the first meeting between the teams since Alex Ovechkin nearly van Goghed Chris Clark last season - should be Matt Pettinger's triumphant return to D.C., but he's busy (finally) reporting to the AHL after clearing waivers last week (I bet a million bucks goes a long way in Manitoba). The Canucks will also be without rugged blueliner Kevin Bieksa, who's back in Western Canada getting an MRI on his knee (but hey, they've still got Willie Mitchell, who you'd hope would be better prepared for Donald Brashear's left than he was for Jarome Iginla's, should the two tussle).

The Caps are 0-4-1 against the 'Nucks since Valentine's Day, 2001, and Roberto Luongo has a career record of 15-9-3 with a 2.14 GAA and .933 save percentage against the Caps, so, um, the hometown boys are due. One person who shouldn't be intimidated by Bobby Lou, however, is one of the two guys who doesn't have to worry about scoring on him, namely tonight's backup goaltender, Jose Theodore, who has a career 17-7-1-2 record in head-to-head matchups against his fellow Quebecer, including three shutouts.

As we noted yesterday, 1-1 is a hell of a lot better than 0-2 with Luongo ahead. By the same measure, 2-1 is a hell of a lot better than 1-2 with a trip to Pittsburgh and a visit from Martin Brodeur later in the week. Two big points are out there - go get 'em.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Craig Custance takes a look at how AO will try to top his MVP season.... James Duthie weighs in on Ovi the rock star (who, incidentally, doesn't want to be a movie star).... Some SED love at The Hockey News predicts another Calder Cup for Hershey (thanks to MVP-to-be Keith Aucoin)... In case you're wondering which of the Caps' AHL goalies will be loaned out, it looks like it'll be Michal Neuvirth (and a couple more Bears will be heading to South Carolina).... Finally, FYI, Braden Holtby is 5-3-0/2.39/.916 for Saskatoon of the WHL.


HotDog88GT said...

Looking forward to seeing Le Lapin in Game 3. Has yet to fall down rabbit-style, but his shot is just killer.

Steve in Jersey said...

Why on God's green earth would the Caps ever trade Nylander? Until he got hurt last year he was our second best in points, and in fact, was for still second best for some time after he went out. The Caps don't need to change a thing - if we need players we have plenty in Hershey, both for D and O.

Kim said...

I think the Nylander trade thing was sarcasim (I hope).

Looking forward to tonight. Agree the Caps are due one against Luongo.


1) Sarcasm or not Nylander isn't going anywhere. The combo of his age/recent injury issue/contract size AND most importantly his NO MOVEMENT CLAUSE would make a deal very unlikely.

MacVechkin, fka JR said...

lol @ (jp5)

b.orr4 said...

For everyone popping an aneurism over Theodore, keep in mind that he was a slow starter last year in Colorado. In his first five games for the Avalanche his stats were:
Game 1- 4 goals on 23 shots
Game 2- 0 goals on 17 shots (came in for Third Period after starter pulled)
Game 3- 5 goals on 27 shots
Game 4- 2 goals on 41 shots
Game 5- 2 goals on 28 shots

As we all know, he went on to have a nice season with a 2:44 GAA and a.910 save %. Give the guy some time to adjust and let's see where he is after a few more games. On another note, it looks like Nylander won't be traded tonight since Feds apparently will play D against Vancouver (per Tarik).

this space for rent said...

Hmmm. Looks like (per Tarik) they're putting Feds on the blueline with Juice and sitting Erskine (Poti and Schultz are paired again), then moving Nyls up into Feds' slot and bringing in Gordon to center Clark and Flash, scratching Fehr again.

Can someone explain to me why the team's captain skates third line? That's been baffling me.

Tyler said...

I don't think it's a surprise that Holtby's numbers are good. I thought that during the camps he was far more impressive than he had any right to be.

Sombrero Guy said...

Brooks Laich has scored on 100% of his shots on the ice so far this season.

Anyone want to take the follow up joke here?

Tyler said...


Ogre said...

Tyler, when Konowalchuk was our captain, he was a 3rd liner. Same with Halpern, and really for the most part, Hunter (Behind Pivonka and Oates). Traditionally, our Captains have been gritty character guys as opposed to other teams, who often opt for scorers.

So, no. I have ZERO problem with our captain skating on the third line. Your captain doesn't have to be one of your top 6 scoring forwards. He's a role player. No matter what you say about Clark, and how he can score (Which, he can), he's a grinding forward who has a scoring touch, much like Brooks Laich.

MacVechkin, fka JR said...

Better question is who will be captain if Clark has to start being scratched for not producing anything.

Or course he gets a free pass for now for playing with Flash.

usually frustrated caps fan said...

Okay I'm gonna be a contraian here -
1) Yes Nyls has a NMC but, Vancouver is a very nice city to live and play in and the team is full of Scandavians. If he were ever going to waive the NMC it could just be for Vancouver. - Why move him - he has been playing well but his style isn't the perfect fit it was under Hanlon.
2) Why is Clark playing on the third line - because the Caps are stacked up front and that's where he now sits, rightly on the depth chart. He's still Captain, again rightly, because he is still the team's leader, heart and soul. I know it's been a while since the rebuild started but now it's over, "ain't it great the Caps have three lines that can score?"
3) LETS GO CAPS!!!!!

this space for rent said...

See, I don't know this stuff. That's why I ask. :) So you think it's because of Flash that he isn't producing?

JJ said...

Luongo always had our number back when he was with the panthers... but then again it's not like too many teams solve him on a regular basis.