Nylander News

Caps coach Bruce Boudreau announced this morning that center Michael Nylander would be out of the lineup for a significant amount of time. We’re waiting for more official and detailed word from Caps management at the moment, and I’ll update when I’ve got more.

Brent Johnson will start in goal for Washington tonight. Chris Clark will not play after re-straining his groin in Sunday’s loss to the Flyers.

Here are how the forward lines will shake out for tonight:
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Fleischmann-Gordon-Semin
Laing-Steckel-Bradley
Brashear-Laich-Pettinger

More as it becomes available.

UPDATE: Nylander will undergo rotator cuff surgery tomorrow and will be lost for 3-6 months. 

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15 Comments on “Nylander News”

  1. Chris Says:

    Well, that takes a -19 out of the lineup. I’ll be curious to see the impact it has.

  2. TJ Says:

    Mike, Any word on when he got injured? Or was it a lingering problem they knew about when they signed him.

  3. Ajax Says:

    “Well, that takes a -19 out of the lineup.”

    It doesn’t get more simplistic than that…

  4. Andy Says:

    Any way you dice it, this hurts. Does the team make a move to get a temporary plug for the second line? Gordon is far more effective on his third line duties. If anything, I’d put Laich up there if we’re using players on our current lineup. Then again, I’m not a coach, and for good reason.

    Here’s hoping we can overcome all these obstacles. “When life hands you lemons….”

  5. sidehillman Says:

    Hmmmmm, maybe a torn rotator cuff caused the -19.

  6. Mike L Says:

    Losing Nylander…yikes. He’s such a great talent both on and off the ice… 3-6 months. Maybe we’ll get him back in the playoffs.

    Please no Jim Mora jokes… this team is going to make the playoffs.

  7. Tom in FL Says:

    I think you explore trading Semin for a center, although I’d rather trade him for a bruising D-man. Gordon and Steckel seem suited to 3rd and 4th line duty. The Caps biggest stengths throughout the organization (incl those playing for the Caps now) are in goal and on the wing. Top 5 prospects are perhaps Alzner, Fehr, Varlamov, Bouchard and Neuvirth, at least according to one website. I’m losing patience with Semin, especially with the giveaways. I believe packaging maybe Semin and Jurcina for a young center (similar in talent potential to Semin) and maybe an older, experienced blueliner (someone like Bob Rouse or Joe Reekie) would help in the playoff push. Then if the defender is only for one year, due to free agency, you have Alzner ready to step in. Teams usually win in the playoffs due to a hot goaltender and steady, reliable D. Too many forwards who try to stickhandle all the way up the ice don’t do it. Just because Ovechkin does it doesn’t mean others can too, as the puck more often than not comes back the other way.

  8. Tom in FL Says:

    Here’s a deal I might propose:

    Semin and Jurcina to the LA Kings for Anze Kopitar and Brad Stuart. You might ask the Kings to toss a #2 pick back while the Caps toss back a #3,

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/anze_kopitar

  9. Mike Says:

    No way do the kings give Kopitar away for that. And no way they throw in stuart AND a pick.

    Kopitar is a franchise caliber center. Semin is probably a productive wing. The caps would have to give up semin, jurcina, first round pick, third round pick and maybe a prospect like teddy ruth to even be in the ballpark.

  10. Kiltman8 Says:

    Mike, how far away are we from seeing Fehr? Seems to me we could use him up the middle to help now that Nylander is out. Backstrom, centres Clark and Ovie, Kozlov centring the second line and then see what shakes out with the rest?

  11. Tom in FL Says:

    I’m surprised first off that people wouldn’t think the Caps are giving up way too much. Kopitar has the potential to be a franchise caliber player. Just so we can agree on terminology, Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic were and are franchise-caliber centers. Kopitar has a long way to go. Semin on the other hand scored 38 goals last year and was near Top 10 for NHL in points. Stuart is signed to a one-year, $3.5M deal and the Kings are going nowhere, so trading him would be salary dump. His deal would need to be extended or else he’d be lost to free agency, but he’s always been a fine player since being taken in the top 5 some ten years ago. Semin for Kopitar straight up isn’t far off the mark, close enough that maybe neither team would make that trade. Kopitar for instance isn’t quite a “Backstrom” and to use your words, I wouldn’t begin to yet label Niklas Backstrom a franchise player. Ovechkin, yes; Backstrom, no. Semin BTW has been projected as having 50-goal potential. What he needs to do is learn a line from Clint Eastwood, to paraphrase: A hockey player needs to learn his limitations. Let your teammates do a little of the work too.

  12. Tom in FL Says:

    Kozlov has been much more effective as RW with Ovechkin and Backstrom as C. Boudreau put that line together soon after taking over and it is working. I doubt he changes it. After spending the first half of the season moving like he were skating through quicksand, Kozlov is making very nice plays with regularity.

  13. Scai Says:

    The kings won’t trade Kopitar because they’re not stupid. The only guy the Caps could give them that would fetch Kopitar is Ovy. So just leave it be. Plus Semin is a very good player, a large part of this franchise’s future and he isn’t going anywhere. If a move for a center is made look for McPhee to wait how things shake out, how good the team is without it’s second best scorer and then, if the Caps were to continue to climb up the ladder, look for a trade for a rental veteran center with the Caps giving up prospects (like Fleischmann, Godfrey, Lepisto) and/or draft picks. There won’t be any major deals, McPhee likes the team as it is right now.

  14. Mike Says:

    Tom –

    It’s not that I don’t think semin is a good player. I think he is missing a few of the things that would make him an elite player. He doesn’t have the intangibles, or at least he hasn’t shown them yet. Yes, he’ll score 30+ goals for you. But he’ll also cause some other issues whether it is poor work effort on defense or selfish penalties (think of the puck throwing incident last year).

    Kopitar on the other hand is the full package. Skill, heart, desire, etc. He and semin aren’t equal in value to an organization.

    Great eastwood quote, btw! Maybe semin comes around a bit mentally, but I won’t hold my breath.

    —-

    A team like the caps should not empty the cupboard of prospects just to get to the playoffs. Look at what atlanta did last year. They traded a huge number of assets to get to the playoffs. I think waddell was trying to save his job. But whatever the reason, they got swept in the opening round and now have a much less talented organization that they would have had this year.

    You don’t make those types of moves just to make the playoffs. You make those moves when you think you have a shot at the cup. Lets see how it plays out.

  15. Tom in FL Says:

    Mike: Obviously I don’t want the Caps to trade youth for a one-shot infusion. Great example is Nashville, they traded a #1 to “rent” Brendan Witt from us, and that pick turned into Varlamov, who could be an NHL starting goalie for years. I think the Caps have two “good” options: trade a guy like Semin for a young center, someone like Kopitar (that was an example I picked). Also, for the playoff push, I would hope to get a blueliner in that deal. Second option, and they might do it, is promote Chris Bourque. Right now you have a rookie (admittedly a very good one – Backstrom) and three checkers as your centers. No disrespect to Gordon, Steckel and Laich, but they’ll end the year with their combined points for the three of them less than most every other team’s #2 center. When Gordon was drafted, #17 overall in 2002, the immediate write-up on him was “grinder.” He has done nothing to dispel that and might one day be the Caps’ current version of Kelly Miller. Nothing wrong with that, but you aren’t going to compete for the Cup with grinders on your second line. Kozzie could be moved to center, but that breaks up a very good combo they have with Alex and Backstrom. It was nice last night. Ottawa is buzzing all around the net gets two goals quick and I start to think about a game in Buffalo when Johnny let in like 4 goals in five minutes. Then Semin steals the puck and does a little curl and BOOM! (John Madden there) the water bottle pops up behind Emery board and the Caps are on the rebound. I turned on Edm-LA after that to “scout” Kopitar but was too tired to watch. Next game tomorrow and then Sat night is broadcast in HD on HDNet. Can’t wait until they are all HD, it’s way clearer.


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