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Southeast: Gleason gives Marines signed USA flag

by Mike G. Morreale
Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason brought more than a silver medal back home following Team USA's performance at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

The Clawson, Mich., native also hand-delivered an American flag signed by all 23 members of the U.S. Olympic Team to United States Marines from Camp Lejeune. Gleason, who has been sidelined the last week with a foot injury, presented the gift to Lt. Col. John McDonough of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines Regiment in a suite at the RBC Center during Carolina's game with the Washington Capitals on March 18.

McDonough was one of 10 Marines on hand to accept Gleason's gift.

"To know that with everything these folks have going on while training for professional hockey and being a part of the Olympic Team, that they would take time to do something like that has got to mean a lot to them," McDonough said. "I think Tim is actually a natural born Marine that's got some skating talents. That's why he's out here right now."

McDonough will take the flag with him when he returns to Afghanistan and it will be flown at one of the forward operating bases where Camp Lejeune Marines with the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Regiment, are stationed. Gleason has made a habit of hosting Wounded Warriors at Hurricanes' home games throughout the season.

"What the soldiers are doing over there is so important for us as a country and for myself," Gleason said.

Gleason said his American teammates were happy to help him out by signing the flag.

"I just laid out the flag and 23 guys signed it, no problem," he said. "I told them what it was for and before you knew it, it was signed."

Booth hospitalized -- The feel-good comeback of Florida Panthers forward David Booth from a concussion suffered in October has again been put on hold.

Booth, who had notched 6 goals and 11 points in 11 games since the Olympic break, suffered another jarring hit to the head Thursday when Montreal defenseman Jaroslav Spacek hit him head-on in the Canadiens zone along the boards 1:09 into the second period.

Booth was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation and released Friday morning. He returned to Florida for further evaluation.

"What he's been through, we're all concerned, thinking about him and crossing our fingers," Panthers coach Pete DeBoer told The Miami Herald. "When he got hit, I just hoped it was the wind knocked out of him. When he stayed on his stomach, you get pretty concerned."

The 6-foot, 210-pound Spacek, regarded more as an exceptional shot blocker than big hitter, was not penalized and stood a few feet away from Booth (6-0, 212) while he received medical attention. Unlike the hit he sustained on Oct. 24 by Philadelphia's Mike Richards that concussed and sidelined him 45 games, Booth didn't fall face-first and did not require a stretcher following this hit. Instead a trainer and a few teammates assisted him off the ice.

Booth was skating the puck along the boards near the Montreal blue line when Spacek collided with him. DeBoer said he felt the hit was clean. Spacek has just 51 hits in 70 games this season.

"We just hope he's OK and wish him nothing but the best," backup goalie Scott Clemmensen said. "It's tough to see, I don't care who it is, but you don't like seeing a friend of yours lying on the ice. And for him, especially, after what he's already been through."

No way, Jose! -- There's something about the Pittsburgh Penguins that has brought out the best in Washington Capitals goalie Jose Theodore.

Perhaps Theodore is out to prove he deserves another shot at leading this team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was only last season that Theodore allowed four goals on 21 shots in a 4-3 Game 1 loss to the Rangers in the quarterfinal round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The setback forced coach Bruce Boudreau to turn to rookie Semyon Varlamov the remainder of the postseason, including a dramatic seven-game series against the eventual Stanley Cup-champion Penguins.

But Theodore improved to 7-0-1 in his last nine appearances against the Penguins Wednesday after making 39 saves through 65 minutes and two more in a shootout to stake the Capitals to a 4-3 triumph at Verizon Center. In fact, Theodore has played 25 career regular-season games against the Penguins and has won 18 of those matchups -- he last suffered a loss to Pittsburgh on Jan. 3, 2006 as a member of the Montreal Canadiens.

"The team is playing well and I am feeling really good out there so I am trying to do the same thing game in and game out," Theodore said. "Guys are scoring big goals and everything is gelling together right now, which is good."

Theodore is also three wins shy of his fourth 30-win season and first in back-to-back campaigns. Since Jan. 13, he's 17-0-2 with a 2.42 goals-against average and .927 save percentage. During his current 7-0-0 run, his GAA is 1.95 and save percentage an impressive .937.

"I had some stretches where I was feeling pretty good, but it's just a fun time right now toward the end of the season," Theodore said. "I'm getting the wins, and I feel I'm playing the way I should play every game."

Bogosian answers fans --
During the season, Atlanta Thrashers Web site coordinator, Ben Wright, has offered fans an opportunity to submit questions to a player that are then answered in an "Ask a Thrasher" feature published on the team's Web site.

This past week, Wright fielded hundreds of inquiries for sophomore defenseman Zach Bogosian. The Massena, N.Y., native, who has 10 goals and 22 points in 73 games this season, answered 22 questions.

One intriguing response was offered to the question, "If you could pick a starting lineup with any three forwards and another defenseman without any of them being Thrashers, what would your lineup look like?"

Bogosian responded, "(Alex) Ovechkin, (Sidney) Crosby and (Marian) Gaborik up front. Mike Green as the other defenseman, and (Martin) Brodeur in net."

That's quite a lineup, huh?

Another interesting response was given when asked how often he's recognized around Atlanta.

"More than I thought I would," he said. "Maybe not as much as in some of the other NHL cities, but I've been recognized a bunch of times. It makes you feel good to know people are following the Thrashers. It might not be the biggest hockey market but the fans are good. I've had some people come up to me and they've all been really nice to me. It's not annoying at all. It's fun."

For the full Q&A with Bogosian, head on over to the Thrashers Web site.
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