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Posted at 2:07 PM ET, 12/10/2010

Alex Ovechkin: Caps' scoring drought 'starts with me'

By Katie Carrera

There was no avoiding the fact Friday after practice that the Capitals need to rediscover their consistent scoring touch. Washington is 4-7 in its past 11 games, which feature two losing streaks bookending four consecutive wins, and when the Capitals have struggled it's coincided with a lack of goals on the scoreboard.

During the last seven losses, Washington has been outscored 10-28, shut out three times and been held to one goal twice.

After the 3-0 loss to Florida on Thursday, Coach Bruce Boudreau cited the inability of Washington's main offensive threats to get on the board recently, but it's also a teamwide scoring drought and all the players are feeling culpable for the lack of goals.

"It's not all Ovi, Semin, Brooks and those guys who are counted to score goals; [secondary scorers have] got to score goals, too, and we're not doing the job either," said Jason Chimera, who hasn't recorded a point in nine games. "For whatever reason, we're squeezing our sticks a little tighter. [It] seems like when they don't score goals, we squeeze our sticks but it should be the opposite. We should score goals for them and help them out, we're not doing our job either."

Alex Ovechkin said the team's top players have a responsibility to make more of an impact.

"Especially on power play," Ovechkin said. "We have this opportunity to play on power play almost whole two minutes and we didn't use it [against Florida]. It starts with me, Backie, Greenie, Brooksie, Knubs, Sasha; it's everybody. It's not about one guy; everybody have to play better, especially on the power play."

The reasons offered for the drought came in many forms: a lack of secondary chances, a lack of energy, not enough driving to the net in search of ugly goals, and so on. It's hard to argue that the Capitals couldn't benefit from more offensive possessions, like the one that yielded the Panthers' first goal last night -- with three players crashing the net, drawing more chaos with opposing defenders brought into the mix as well and firing rebounds until one reached the intended target.

"There's only one way to score more goals, and that's work harder," Boudreau said. "Go to the dirty areas, get in front of the net and when you find you've scored goals is when you're bruised and after a game; you've got ice packs on because you've done those things. After a game [when] you just undress and just go home and you've got no bumps and bruises, then you know you haven't really been involved in the game. That's been my history of whether it's coaching or playing."

I'll have more on the Caps' goal-scoring troubles for tomorrow's paper.

By Katie Carrera  | December 10, 2010; 2:07 PM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Jason Chimera  
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Next: Winter Classic countdown: Former Caps continue the outdoor hockey festivities

Comments

If ever there was a game where those who bought tickets deserved a refund, this was it.

Posted by: LesGrossman | December 10, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

too bad they traded away Flash ..could really use him now

Posted by: heathdog1119 | December 10, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"There's only one way to score more goals, and that's work harder," Boudreau said. "Go to the dirty areas, get in front of the net and when you find you've scored goals is when you're bruised and after a game; you've got ice packs on because you've done those things. After a game [when] you just undress and just go home and you've got no bumps and bruises, then you know you haven't really been involved in the game. That's been my history of whether it's coaching or playing."
---------------------------

He's been saying this for years, fans and observers have been saying this for years and this team still doesn't get it, and won't do it. It's all because prima donna OV refuse to buy in and lacks the hockey IQ of truly great hockey players.

Posted by: BigGameSid | December 10, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

It's time for Boudreau to go. Bring in Hartley or Chelios.

Posted by: laugh_riot | December 10, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The worst part, in my opinion, is that this four game streak is being documented by HBO, while the Penguins go on a 11 game win streak. Just more fuel for the Crosby-over-Ovechkin fans. In my pessimistic mind this play will continue through a loss at the Winter Classic, and then we'll start coming back once the press leaves.

Posted by: touchpointfarm | December 10, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

This team is growing stagnant. A change needs to happen...

I don't know if BB needs to go or some trades need to occur, but I think this team is trending down. I know most of this has been echoed on here but three years and no improvement is cause for major concern...

Posted by: OVIHtrick8 | December 10, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we can make I miss Flash T-Shirts...

Posted by: OVIHtrick8 | December 10, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@OVI

The Caps just made a trade didn't they? Flash for Hannan... Not what you call a blockbuster but it's not insignificant either.

Posted by: BigGameSid | December 10, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The worst part, in my opinion, is that this four game streak is being documented by HBO, while the Penguins go on a 11 game win streak. Just more fuel for the Crosby-over-Ovechkin fans. In my pessimistic mind this play will continue through a loss at the Winter Classic, and then we'll start coming back once the press leaves.

Posted by: touchpointfarm | December 10, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Its a shame it has come to this, but its true. Crosby is leaps and bounds ahead of OV. Its not even so much that he leads in goals and points...the individual awards mean nothing(OV has been there and done that), its the hardware and constant improvement that make him ahead of OV. Great time for that to be on display too...I hate the Pens!

Posted by: OVIHtrick8 | December 10, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@BiggameSid

I think the team needs more..lets just put it that way.

Posted by: OVIHtrick8 | December 10, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

It's all because prima donna OV refuse to buy in and lacks the hockey IQ of truly great hockey players.

Posted by: BigGameSid | December 10, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse
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Right! OV's a prima donna. This coming from somebody with a screen name of BigGameSid. There's 1 thing OV isn't and that's prima donna. Regardless of who you think is a better player OV plays the game the way it's supposed to be played unlike your boyfriend. You don't see OV cryin about anything.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBvFa1A6e4k

Just think, you're a fan of THAT guy. Do you have a pink Crysby jersey?

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 10, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Only 4 losses before a longing for Flash. Good grief.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 10, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

2 problems with this:

1) said Jason Chimera, who hasn't recorded a point in nine games. "For whatever reason, we're squeezing our sticks a little tighter."

this is the most overused and inaccurate reason provided for lack of scoring.

2) Bruce's rant about hard work should fall on deaf ears. Once again, he only focuses on this during a loss or losing streak. No mention of it when it actually occurs in a win. Because trust me, this lack of hard work doesn't only rear its head during a losing streak. I'd say it happens in almost half of all the Caps game that I've witnessed over the past 3 yrs. The fact they've been able to win a large # of those games is a testament to reg season hockey, where a skilled team can turn it up in one period and sometimes salvage a game.

And its also not just our top 6 guys either. There are some guys on the bottom lines that could also be doing a better job of working harder and working smarter. There's 2 guys on our bottom lines with plenty of speed who don't always utilize that speed to its truest advantage.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 10, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

@lilchumpsid - lack the hockey IQ of truly great hockey players? It's idiotic statements like that that make all you Pennsyltucky fans the same. I may state that Cindy is a baby (which he is, & have many vids on utube to prove it) but I certainly wouldn't make idiotic statements like he sucks etc. I don't like Cindy b/c he's a lil b!tch and doesn't play the game the way I was taught to play the game and the type of game I like to see being played. Don't complain, just get mad and go harder no matter what. If you don't get a call, immediately get up and go do something about it. Your boyfriend likes to cry and complain and beg for calls. He was taught well by Mario. Imagine what "he" (I'm using that word lightly) could do if he played the game as hard and as passionate as OV. Do you not remember the lil hissy fit he threw when Pitt was in a losing streak right before this winning streak? It's becoming an annual thing for him and so predictable. You don't see OV doing that do you?

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 10, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Haha.. we need more consistency and effort and we miss Flash? good one...

Posted by: alagarts | December 10, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Bruce's rant about hard work should fall on deaf ears *cstanton*
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I think people don't realize that OV just saved BB's job the other day. The beginning of the end for a coach is when he cracks the whip and the team doesn't respond. OV is a class guy & will blame himself before anybody else. If BB cracks the whip and OV doesn't respond then the team doesn't and the coach's days are numbered. The thing here is, the team responded for 1 game so now what?

I've been a BB supporter but I gotta be honest, what I saw last night was NOT inspired hockey. It looked to me like a team that has turned off the coach. I don't like that every shift you see different pairings and I think the players are getting tired of it as well. At least that's the way it looked to me. I really think it's hurting the development of MJ. I'm all for switching up lines as it's a necessary thing to do but every single game? Practically every shift? It makes no sense. I'm really starting to think that BB's message may be getting tired and he may need to go in order for this team to take the next step. It's a shame because I think he's a good coach and he really turned this team around but there have been many good coaches fired and many more will be. If Ron Wilson could take our 98 team to the Finals, I wonder what he could do with this one. Since he's not available maybe Dale Hunter would be interested in leaving his London Knights and givin it a go. Guaranteed you would see a Dale Hunter coached team play like the one we saw last night.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 10, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Guaranteed you "would" see a Dale Hunter coached team play like the one we saw last night.

Meant to say would NOT!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 10, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The worst part, in my opinion, is that this four game streak is being documented by HBO, while the Penguins go on a 11 game win streak.

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and in the midst of that streak they're still getting into fights, scrums etc. They don't lose their edge like some other teams do just because they win a few games. They don't let complacency set in quite as easy as we do. Good example was the Pens gm v the Leafs. The Leafs were down 4 zip, tried to goon it up a bit, the Pens responded very aggressively to those tactics even though they could easily have skated away to a 4-zip win. Can you imagine the Caps trying to stand upto players like Colton Orr and Jay Rosehill?

The Pens can easily stand upto those guys. When Colton Orr ran Crosby, Chris Kunitz immediately submarined over Luke Schenn. When Rosehill hit a Penguin player after the whistle, no less than 3 Pens players came rushing to get a piece of Rosehill. They play for each other on that team and it shows in how they protect each other on the ice. And when they enter a game they know will be a physical affair, they're ready to play that style from the drop of the puck, there are no surprises. They do it v the Flyers, the Rangers, and now the Leafs who like to play that style as well. The Pens don't get caught with their pants down in a physical game. Its been their most underrated aspect over the past few seasons.

the Caps would never respond in that manner, certainly not in the midst of a long win streak and in a game they were comfortably ahead in. The Pens know how to close out a game and they don't accept another team taking liberties, no matter what the score is. Their grit level is at a stratosphere the Caps could only hope to aspire to. They just try harder in everything they do.

btw, in that game, exHershey Bear Deryk Engelland won another fight over Colton Orr. His 2nd time this yr. Too bad Bruce and the Caps didn't see fit to sign Engelland.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 10, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Pokerface: You make the rest of us Cap fans retarded. Please just sit in the corner and suck your thumb for the time being. Yeah, it sucks, but Crosby is blowing up, working hard, and leading a pretty average team (no Malkin, no Stall) to a pretty impressive win streak. There is no way you play hockey and then bash a guy who goes to the net, battle, and score and think they are soft. I got my orbital broken and lost two teeth (college granted) doing just that. You know how not to get hurt... play soft and wing wristers at the net from 30', Ovi anyone?

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | December 10, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau just sealed his fate today, when a coach says they need to "work harder", it means he's lost the team and has no plan. BB and another BB (Bill Barber) can start playing golf early this year.

Talking about paying a price is one thing, which the guys know. I accepted BB as the coach from day 1, however he's finished.

This is only a minuscule issue compared to the entire organization, McPhee is the WORST GM in the league. Get ready for another rebuild Unless that excuse for a manger is fired.

Posted by: LarryDavid | December 10, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

If Ron Wilson could take our 98 team to the Finals, I wonder what he could do with this one
--

Ron will be fired soon anyway, lets hope McPhee doesn't go down that path again tho.
Dale, yes. in fact, hell yes.

The only negative I can say about Dale is he got us to waste a 3rd rounder on Ryan VanBurkirk. It was his recommendation that got us to pick him up. At the time, it actually did look like a good selection since RVB's game kinda resembled John Carlson's. But for whatever reason he never panned out. Not that McPhee could've made a better 3rd round selection on his own, mind you.

Ron Wilson though, no thanks. He should never get another coaching job in the NHL.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 10, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

?? seriously, i hate crosby and i like to make fun of him all the time but come on... this guy is one of the most hard- working players in the NHL. he lives, breathes, sleeps hockey. he's never afraid to get dirty and he makes his teammates a lot better. right now, there really is no question who the better player is. also, i haven't seen any pics of crosby partying his a** off like ovechkin.

i'm tired of this team talking and talking... actions speak louder than words. i've heard these same quotes time and time again, when are they actually gonna DO IT?

and it does bother me when BB says guys need to "work harder." that's a sign to me that his players are not really responding to him or not taking him seriously because they know nothing will happen. this team is lazy at times, not willing to put in the hard work it takes to win. and LesGrossman, i agree... what a piss-poor effort. sorry to the folks who went to the game to witness that.

Posted by: rachel216 | December 10, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

This team can't live/die off the power play. OV - try showing some leadership out there and hit/extra effort, stir the pot - whatever - good things will happen.

I agree w/ the person who wrote about the Pens team toughness. It was on full display vs. the Leafs. On that note - I never see Chimera fight - why?? He's a big dude. Kudos to Hendricks - at least he will go.

Posted by: Jaymagz | December 10, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't really care about the Penguins and I don't care what Crosby is doing. It's not relevant!! What matters is what the Caps are or are not doing and why. The only time the comparison matters is when we PLAY them. All this griping is just so off topic--who cares if they're on a streak--good for them. The Penguins loosing will not equal the Caps playing better.

Posted by: vafan3 | December 10, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

I'm glad you are back.

Ron wilson may not be a great coach, but his players never quit. BB's guys play when they feel like it.

I thought Wilson got a great effort out of the Olympic squad.

Torts said Wilson is one of the best coaches in the league. Is that just a polite way of not rocking the boat before the Olympics? I thought Torts did a great job the cUp year in Tampa. So, don't slame Torts. He's a good coach.

Wilson got a great effort out of our guys in '98. San jose was full of "head case" guys.

Really, the bigger question is when is Ted gonna' wake up ???

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 10, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

I'm glad you are back.

Ron wilson may not be a great coach, but his players never quit. BB's guys play when they feel like it.

I thought Wilson got a great effort out of the Olympic squad.

Torts said Wilson is one of the best coaches in the league. Is that just a polite way of not rocking the boat before the Olympics? I thought Torts did a great job the cUp year in Tampa. So, don't slame Torts. He's a good coach.

Wilson got a great effort out of our guys in '98. San jose was full of "head case" guys.

Really, the bigger question is when is Ted gonna' wake up ???

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 10, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Crosby is a highly-skilled hockey player who gets his nose dirty. Does he do that partly because he has a very tough team around him that allows him to play abrasively? sure. If you even look at Crosby the wrong way you'll get a slew of Pens giving you a hard time.

But I'll take him over a Semin any day of the week. Any top 6 forward who scores a lot and plays a chippy game is my kind of player. The fact that Sid has proven he can maintain his intensity level throughout multiple deep playoff runs is a bigger bonus.

I wouldn't take him over Ovechkin though. For one he's one of the few players on this team I'm fond of. And two, even with Ovy's recent lethargic ways he is still one helluva player who can take over a game. But grudgingly I will admit that Crosby's overall game is better. He's more responsible with the puck and is less of a freelancer.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 10, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree with "pokerface". The constant line changes mess with any kind of potential chemistry. I'm not any kind of hockey expert but I don't know of any other coach or team that does this AND goes deep in the playoffs. You can't work your way out of a slump or go deep in the playoffs if your team lacks consistency and continuity.

I also can't stand Crosby's whining but I do respect his skill and dedication to the game. He's proving to be a great leader and a much better player than Ovi (I can't believe I just said that!).

How many other teams have multiple players that are more focused on their fame and living like rock stars (by doing TV commercials and magazine shoots) vs winning a Cup? This all starts at the top. Look at BB. He seems to spend more time doing silly TV commercials vs coaching and then he tries cover it up by tinkering with the lines. He needs to set a better example by spending less time on TV and more time instilling a winning culture and making his players accountable for their lack of discipline. (It also would help if he spent some more time at the salad bar)

Posted by: dtc1 | December 10, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

There is no way you play hockey and then bash a guy who goes to the net, battle, and score and think they are soft. I got my orbital broken and lost two teeth (college granted) doing just that. You know how not to get hurt... play soft and wing wristers at the net from 30', Ovi anyone?

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | December 10, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse
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Once again I have said NOTHING as to his skill. My problem is with the crying & complaining. Youtube is plastered with him being a big baby. Have you ever heard ANY other NHL player call OV a baby? There are plenty who have said it about your boy.

Dude I'm not gonna get into war stories with you as I'm sure you think you have more hockey knowledge/experience than me and you know nothing about me. I'd be more than happy to compare resumes in a private forum though as I'm not here to "prove" anything. Like I said, I wasn't taught to play the game complaining and crying all the time, I don't play the game that way and I don't like to see other players do it. Hockey is the purest sport out there and the only sport where the sport is still bigger than the players. Don't disrespect the game.

Oh, and your screen name by the way speaks to your ignorance.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 10, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin appears to have been neutered.

Ron Wilson sucks, smart technical coach but an overall tool.

Congrats to top level elite players like Crosby and bottom feeders like Halpern.

Posted by: LarryDavid | December 10, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I am growing tired of the guys need to learn to work harder rhetoric. This team needs to grow up now, not tomorrow. The window is open for a Cup run and their lackadaisical attitude could very well ruin it. I am growing of the opinion that they need a swift hard kick where the sun doesn’t shine. The future is now! Go Caps!

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | December 10, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1, regarding post from previous thread:

why don't other's see the "cancer" that both you and I know ****55 to be? And to think sooo many are holding their breath, waiting for his return. I'm embarassed to be associated w/those fans, even if only through our love of the team. NICE GAME UPON RETURN FROM EXILE, JOHNNY E!!

And since no one else will keep count, i will.

game #1: Ersk 7 hits, 3 blocked shots, 15 mins, only even (+/-) dman.......rest of backline combined? 8 hits, 8 blocked shots, -5 and Carlson/Alzner by far the worst.

Let the watch begin SO I DON'T HAVE TO KEEP JUSTIFYING #4'S WORTH TO THE TEAM when ****55 is healthy

c'mon, SGM3, say it with me: #4 WAS THE BEST CAPS DMAN ON THE ICE LAST NIGHT, AND HE'LL BRING IT LIKE THAT EVERY NIGHT!!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I'd be interested - really - to know what's going right in Pittsburgh. There's only two bona fide scorers on that team right now and maybe that's what's working.

Crosby doesn't jam the net. He may score goals there but that's because he's smart enough to dart in at the right moment. He doesn't plant himself ala Ciccarelli (my spell checker keeps wanting to correct this name to "limo-boy"). Must be something the other guys are doing. Our "other guys" are not doing right now.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 10, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

laughing_riot, did you feel that way when the Caps had a 14-game win streak last season? Hell, I remember a bunch of people here praising the Caps when the shut out the TBL 6-0 two weeks ago.

I also hate the "4-7" statistic. 11 games is arbitrary. Why not say they are 6-7 in their last 13? Because 4-7 looks worse and incites panic. And they aren't 4-7 in their past 11 games, they are 4-5-2. 4-7 makes it look like we came away with 8 points whereas we actually came away with 10 points. Not much better but 4-7 is still misleading.

At this point last year, after 30 games, we were 19-7-4. Right now, we are 18-9-3. The only difference between the scoring is that we scored 15 fewer goals (gave up exactly 82 at this point last year and right now). Remember, last year when our PP exploded it was because we had one 7 minute PP where we were able to score two PPGs and the following game we had one 9 minute PP where we scored 3 PPGs. Our PP percent inflated unrealistically because of that.

We've played better defense this year. Our goaltending is more consistent. It's not THAT bad.

Posted by: sabredc | December 10, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Wanna know what's going on in Pitt ?

Ted is no Mario

Gabby is no Bylsma

Most important: McJoke is no Shero

Posted by: LarryDavid | December 10, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

It is worse this year.
Last year the only blown leads were by the opposition, not the Caps, the goaltending is not really much better, the defense is younger and will go through a hefty learning curve. Knuble was primed for last year, not so much these days.

The writing is on the wall, how it plays out will be interesting.

Posted by: LarryDavid | December 10, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Not only is Pittsburgh kicking serious butt up here- has anyone noticed what Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is doing down on the farm? This does not bode well.

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | December 10, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Hockey is the purest sport out there and the only sport where the sport is still bigger than the players. Don't disrespect the game.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 10, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Those lines HAVE to go in the WaPo Caps blogging Hall of Fame. You've hit the nail on the head. That's why BB's BLATANT FAVORITISM is grounds for termination. I'm sure SGM3 can verify Umberger's comments about the Caps not "playing the right way," However, I'm not sure if you realized you were speaking of the Caps in your criticism of the jackwagon in Pitts.

That BB had to publicly declare that ice-time would be based on merit only proves that IT WASN'T before. The coach essentially ADMITTED TO HIS FAVORITISM, and then proceeded to not dress THE ONE MAN ON THE TEAM DESERVING A JERSEY THAT GAME FOR STICKING UP FOR THE TEAM CAPTAIN AGAINST ONE OF THE TOUGHEST FIGHTERS IN THE LEAGUE.

BB MUST GO!! The Hockey Gods have already intervened to right the egregious wrong that was Erskine's banishment, leaving ****55 the unfortunate victim. I WANT TO WIN THE CUP AND NOT PISS-OFF THE HOCKEY GODS!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

game #1: Ersk 7 hits, 3 blocked shots, 15 mins, only even (+/-) dman.......rest of backline combined? 8 hits, 8 blocked shots, -5 and Carlson/Alzner by far the worst.


green 7 hits, 3 blocked shots, 29 min, -1
rest of d combined 8 hits, 7 bs, -4

this makes green look ok and the rest of the d (erskine included) look bad.
try comparing players one for one instead of lumping the poor ones with everyone else. you can always find #'s that will prove/disprove you point - but you didn't need to in this case.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 10, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

McPhee is the WORST GM in the league.
Posted by: LarryDavid | December 10, 2010 3:12 PM |

Citation needed.

DERP.

Posted by: Bmorecaps | December 10, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

pokerface1208,

Yes, Crosby complained a lot when he first came into the league. At 18 years old he was named the face of the league. A lot of players took great offense to that and targeted him. Not just in a hockey defensive way, but in a physically hurt way (specifically Hatcher and the Flyers). He's well past the immature 18 year old he was when he came into the league and developed into a real leader. So get over it. Also, find an original way to mock him other than calling him cindy crysbaby. It's flyers thing to do, at least think of something new.

If you think Ovi plays hockey that way it's supposed to be played then you're a lot like the new caps fans who only see goals and hits. He doesn't play defense, he doesn't see the ice, and he doesn't lead his team.

He has the best shot in the NHL and is an aggressive player who hits hard. He's about as one dimensional of an offensive player there is.

Again, you display your lack of knowledge by saying that the Caps and Pens are a rivalry. I guess you can argue it's a moderate rivlary, maybe 5th on the list of teams that pens fans want to beat the most behind Flyers, Devils, Rangers, Islanders (Still hate them from the 1993 cup they stole from the pens and hope the islanders lose for the next 40 years for stopping the pens winning back to back to back cups). Then the caps might slide in around there.

Posted by: rderr27 | December 10, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

What are the options for management to address the problems over which we have all been agonizing (except BigGameSid who continues to gloat over them like the Keystone State pinhead we know he represents)?

1) Closed door meeting with all involved (Ted, GMGM, coaches, players) that will not involve the media

2) Closed door meeting with players only led by the Captain who has something to say

3) Keep trading the dead wood until we clean out the shed, so to speak. I could care less if they are Bruce's boys from Hershey and really could care less if they helped win a Caulder Cup.

4)Fire the coach and keep all the players.

5) Bury our head in the sand and hope this is all just a bad dream/normal slump/hot goalie/not moving legs fast enough/not going to net/holding stick too tight moment that will just fix itself with time.

I don't have answers or opinions but certainly have the questions!

Posted by: AADCDERM | December 10, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

If Caps finances is not broken!, then they may be should check new 11k$-stick!?! that Crosby tested one month ago and now using. It looks non coincidence that he start scoring after that ton of goals. It has a lot of characteristics that helps to score. May be for hockey it is like fiberglass revolution in pole vault and nightmare for goalies. Imagine, all players will have Semin's wrist shot.

Posted by: yuvk03 | December 10, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Here's what one of the players said to me last night.

"I wish his office was somewhere else"

Referring to McPhee at Kettler.

It's almost sad how glaringly obvious the problem is.

Posted by: LarryDavid | December 10, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I could research this, but it's more fun asking you guys and girls. I'm running everyone involved with the Capitals (ownership, front office, coaches, players) through my head, and the only one I can think of, in the ENTIRE organization, who is associated, in any capacity, with winning the Stanley Cup, is Mike Knuble in his rookie year with Detroit. Am I right about this, and is there any significance to it?

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | December 10, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Again, you display your lack of knowledge by saying that the Caps and Pens are a rivalry **rdrr**
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Who's playing Jan 1 in the Winter Classic? Why is HBO doing it's 1st ever "hockey" series when it's the Pens/Caps? Did they do it last yr? The yr before? Not a rivalry? That's why they made the Pens play "Planes, trains & automobiles" last yr through a blizzard for a nationally televised game because it's not a rivalry right? And I'm the one showing "lack of knowledge"?

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 10, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

rderr27, you're basically telling us Caps fans to eat cake. Well, I'll admit, it's good to be Queen, but arrogance can exact a terrible price.

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | December 10, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

He's well past the immature 18 year old he was when he came into the league and developed into a real leader.
-------------------------------------------
So what about the temper tantrum he threw on the ice a few weeks ago right before the winning streak? That was just an isolated incident right?

Furthermore, who frickin cares? If we do what we're supposed to do then I don't care what he or the Pens do. We are a better team than they are and we will have our winning streaks this yr too. If we worry more about what we do and correct that there aren't many teams that will beat us in a 7 game series.

I really really don't like what I saw last night. This team as currently assembled very well could win the Cup. The problem is I'm beginning (I could actually be there) to believe that we need a new leader in order to reach our ultimate goal. Who knows maybe we come out really strong and have a good effort against Colorado? That would be nice but if the effort & execution remain the same I'm afraid BB will have to go.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 10, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

@captkirk

I thought Green played ok, but not to his potential. How in the world can you say Erskine looked bad? My point is that Erskine is more than deserving of a spot in the lineup, AND MERITS STAYING THERE WHEN ****55 RETURNS

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

On that note - I never see Chimera fight - why?? He's a big dude.
-----------------------

he's only about half as tough as he should be given his size. He can't take a punch. He can't fight. And all that is ok. But he should be laying out 5 or 6 hits in almost every game. He should be saving his toughness for road hockey which he doesn't do. He's just not really a tough player. He was pegged as a scorer coming into the nhl and had to redefine his role to stay up here. He's just not going to ever be like an Asham type of player.

But he is a step up from James Black :)

Look at it this way. When you talk about real playoff contenders, they like to compare their role players with other team's role players and see how they stack up. Guys like Darrol Powe, Carcillo, Lappy, Prust, CAdams, Rupp, Asham, BBoyle, maybe Betts, etc.

Does Chimera operate at this level? no. He's not strong enough or mean enough to measure up. He is faster than all those guys except maybe Powe. But strictly as a role player, he doesn't bring the type of intangibles those guys do. Bradley and Hendricks come a little closer.

Then compare the heavies like Shelley, Boogaard, Godard to DJK. We're off the pace there as well. Partly because we underutilize King, partly because King himself hasn't really shown much.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 10, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

On that note - I never see Chimera fight - why?? He's a big dude.
-----------------------

he's only about half as tough as he should be given his size. He can't take a punch. He can't fight. And all that is ok. But he should be laying out 5 or 6 hits in almost every game. He should be saving his toughness for road hockey which he doesn't do. He's just not really a tough player. He was pegged as a scorer coming into the nhl and had to redefine his role to stay up here. He's just not going to ever be like an Asham type of player.

But he is a step up from James Black :)

Look at it this way. When you talk about real playoff contenders, they like to compare their role players with other team's role players and see how they stack up. Guys like Darrol Powe, Carcillo, Lappy, Prust, CAdams, Rupp, Asham, BBoyle, maybe Betts, etc.

Does Chimera operate at this level? no. He's not strong enough or mean enough to measure up. He is faster than all those guys except maybe Powe. But strictly as a role player, he doesn't bring the type of intangibles those guys do. Bradley and Hendricks come a little closer.

Then compare the heavies like Shelley, Boogaard, Godard to DJK. We're off the pace there as well. Partly because we underutilize King, partly because King himself hasn't really shown much.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 10, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

@captkirk

we're both right....isn't it sad that 4 dmen (carlson/alzner/hannan/poti) COMBINED FOR 1 HIT AND 3 BLOCKED SHOTS THE ENTIRE GAME? Against the Panters, at that??

No doubt, Caps fans, THE TEAM IS IN TROUBLE and it's the DIRECT RESULT of everything BB has sown.

BB MUST GO!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

sorry, that was 1 hit and 5 blocked shots for the entire game by CARLSON/ALZNER/POTI/HANNAN combined

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

whats up with the double posts?

----------------
@cstanton1, regarding post from previous thread:

why don't other's see the "cancer" that both you and I know ****55 to be?
-----------------

Because judging from some of your recent comments, I can tell that much like myself, you have watched hockey a looong time and we've focused in on a certain aspect of hockey that perhaps some other fans don't care too much about.

I don't see Schultz being able to amp up his game when its necessary. He's still going to operate at 20% intensity in the 3rd pd of a game 7 when 2 forwards are jamming away at the puck in the crease. He's still going to be the guy who walks away from any conflict on the ice even though his teammates are stepping things up. When you get into playoff hockey, even the nonphysical players in this league seem capable of ratcheting up the intensity, urgency, and physical play. Sarge seems unwilling to do that. And those little things, like walking away from a scrum or not helping out his teammates, you know the other Caps notice that. That's why guys like Brooks Laich are so happy when we add a Hendricks to the mix. He does all those little things that bring a team together.

Is there another defenseman in the nhl who operates at a lower level of teamsmanship? I can't think of any. He's certainly among the bottom 2 or 3 if not the worst at it. Even Alex Goligoski who isn't big nor physical will hold himself accountable on the ice in scrums or less noticeable ways like throwing a hit on a player who just hit one of his guys. That shows some awareness on his part.

Not having to watch Flash anymore makes me happy. Now if Poti, Schultz, Gordo, and Semin can be removed, I'll be even happier.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 10, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"How in the world can you say Erskine looked bad?"

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 5:02 PM

i didn't say he looked bad, just like you didn't say green looked bad. the way you isolated erskine implied everyone else was bad. i just did the same by isolating green - which would imply that erskine was bad.
my point was anyone can make the 'numbers' support their claim.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 10, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

in fairness to DJK, you recognized that he hasn't played but consider who he's fought:

gillies is no slouch, beating up my fav. in shawn thornton last night

and losing 2 fights to Orr, while getting a poke or two in and not getting knocked-out as Orr can do...well, there's no shame in that (both fights were essentially over once they started; the master was able to render (suprisingly easily) DJK's right)

DJK hasn't looked good yet, but that's ok....if given a chance, i'm confident he'll do us proud. By the way, I always liked Peat and I haven't seen his name anywhere...i'm sure he retired, anyone know the scoop?

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

@captkirk


this makes green look ok and the rest of the d (erskine included) look bad.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 10, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

You did say Erskine looked bad, I never mentioned Green

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I would agree, as much as most Caps fans don't want to hear it, that the Penguins-Caps rivalry is mostly a rivalry from our side, not theirs. I understand the media hype and all that stuff. But that originates from the Ovechkin-Crosby debate, not from a team v team perspective.

The best rivalries in the East imo are Pens v Flyers, Flyers v Rags, and Pens v Rags. The tension on the ice is palpable. The crowd is electric. There's constant hitting. Fights and scrums that arise from the heat of the moment, etc. You can absolutely feel the hatred. The current makeup of our team doesn't lend itself to that degree of hatred and tension on the ice.

Factor in some less than impressive playoff performances and its not hard to see why we're not at the top of the Penguins' list of rivals.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 10, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

gillies is no slouch, beating up my fav. in shawn thornton last night

----------

that's what he gets for fighting a lefty without tying up his left hand :)

DJK looks awkward in fights, like he has a balance issue all of a sudden. Look, Im happy that we're at least carrying someone like him. But my enthusiasm is tempered for the same reason it was after the deal went down. This org doesn't understand toughness. Despite McPhee being the GM. Go figure.

I wasn't that excited when we got Scott Walker because I knew he'd barely get ice time. I was only guardedly optimistic when we got a prolific hitter/agitator like Matt Cooke because I knew we wouldn't resign him. And I felt that King's contributions this year would be minimal at best.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 10, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Truth is, if is was confident Erskine would be treated FAIRLY I probably wouldn't feel compelled to come to these pages. Now, of course, I'm addicted and I'd like to think I've contributed to the mounting criticism of BB. I've sang this tune ALL YEAR, glad people are getting on board.

I'm constantly surrounded by diehard Bruins, Flyers, and Rangers fans socially and at work. I don't KNOW ANYONE who doesn't appreciate the style of hockey absent from the Caps, and everyone here (sans cstanton, hunter, fldave, phil and a few others whose names escape me) seems blindly in love w/lame-a@@ players.

I'll say it now, the final nail in the coffin will come Jan. 1

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

what i said was:
"this makes green look ok and the rest of the d (erskine included) look bad."

the key word was "makes"
your #'s implied erskine was the only d that played well.
my #'s implied only green played well

again - my point is you can make the #'s support your opinion.
you don't need to use this method to support erskine - it really kind of cheapens his accomplishments


Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 10, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I always liked Peat and I haven't seen his name anywhere...i'm sure he retired, anyone know the scoop?
---vcaps--

he did retire. I had high hopes for him because it looked like he could be here a long time and fill that role. He could skate well and get in on the forecheck. His first game in NJ he laid heavy hits on both Daneyko and Stevens on I think his first shift.

But he was misused by Ron Wilson. And by the time Hanlon came around and gave him some real ice time, Peat didn't want to do that role anymore. He had some hand issues, he hurt his shoulder as well. But there was a well-documented incident where Hanlon pleaded with Peat to go out there and take on a tough guy who was making life miserable for the Caps and he refused to do it. Eventually, it was little Darcy Verot who took up the challenge. And got killed.

You wouldn't think a player who took a knife for another player (the way Peat did for Kris Beech in the juniors) would lose his stomach for the game of hockey.

the other problem with Peat was, he was kinda a nice guy on the ice. He never jumped anyone, he never stirred the pot the way Brashear would. He'd never hit the smaller skilled players. He turned into a one-note tough guy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 10, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Pokerface are you new to this Caps Bandwagon? As someone stated earlier the Caps are about the fifth or sixth team that my Pens friends have on their hit list (Philly... far and away number 1, Devils, Rangers, Red Wings, Islanders). Just because WE push the rivalry or the players push a show about it doesn't make a rivalry. Watch a Pens/Flyers game and compare that to one of ours with the Pens. If you want your kids to play hockey like #8 then you better hope they are elite shooters.
And if you have played some type of organized hockey, you know that captains are the ones to talk to the refs... this will ALWAYS be "whining", "crying", etc to opposing fans... ALWAYS. Maybe our leader should chirp up a little more and take the captaincy seriously.
The name calling from this fan base is gut-wrenching!

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | December 10, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Pens-Flyers I give you. I said that myself, that is the top rivalry in the East with the Flyers-Rangers and Pens-Rangers close behind. But the Devils and Islanders? Really?

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 10, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

@captkirk

haven't you figured out I'm only here to SUPPORT AND BRING ATTENTION to Erskine, the only dman who plays the game the way I like it? Enough people here praise Green, he doesn't need my support. As for the numbers, they demonstrate that from an organizational standpoint, WE GOT MORE RETURN ON OUR DOLLAR W/ERSKINE. Green could be Paul Coffey if he committed himself, he's part of our problems but he is safe and there's bigger, more ineffective fish to fry

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

CStanton: I dont understand their hatred of the Islanders, but the Devils are their playoff bugaboo like the Pens are ours. I guess also just being in the same division adds to it. Hopefully Atlanta and TB and even Florida continue to get better so we can have some interdivision rivalries as well.

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | December 10, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

damn, that's too bad...i never knew the insubordination story, that taints my memory of him but also releases me from the longings, too.

I always liked Darcy Verot, and I see a lot of him in Konopka. Kevin Kaminski was another one, similar to Tootoo......if we just had someone similar, and i'm not talking Dale Hunter, I think that would provide the cure this team desperatly needs.

As for DJK's balance, well, I agreed he hasn't looked good. But in the NHL, it's all about showing-up and he won't back down in that regard. I think he'll do us proud against Godard (who as everyone remembers fed Erskine too many fists and nearly ended his career) but it will be a shame that it'll be his first game since Toronto.

BTW, I LOVED SEEING CARKNER TAKE IT TO BOOGAARD....ATTA BOY, MATTY!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1

The problem with Peat is his legendary bout was a draw with a guy he outweighed by at least 30 pounds. Your enforcer should be able to hospitalize a guy the size of PJ Stock. I say that taking nothing away from Stock who had the heart of lion.

With all the whinning about Kings 'fight losing ways' (based of 7 freakin' games) it's clear very few people here were fans when Peat wore a jersey. As much as I love tough guys Peat was a complete washout. Peat's only 'convincing' win was against Tim Hunter who was never a certified enforcer and at the end of his career.

When it comes to enforcers I know what I'm talking about. Mark my words... King is the real deal and has not been given a fair shake by the organization. Give King a chance and his 'marginal' fights will quickly be erased from the fans memories.

Posted by: FLDave | December 10, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

@FLDave "As much as I love tough guys Peat was a complete washout."

granted, center ice didn't exist then and that's when i became a bruins fan (only able to keep up w/the team then was on espn2, when they played the bruins, or if the boxscores were in my podunk town's newspaperor) so i didn't see a lot of him. But what I did see, I thought he was a whole lot better than Alan May (not trying to get ya started, cstanton, just giving some love to Peat......though now not sure he deserves it seeing how he set-up Verot)

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Can we please stoo talking Crosby and The Pens. It is geting old and quick. This is a Capitals blog. When we play the Pens by all means talk about Crosby. And another thing I will never listen or read any post BGS as he is intellectually dishonest about OVI. Give me a break. His assertions are driven by his love for Crosby and his hate for OVI. At least every Cap fan can admit that Crosby is a rare talent despite them not liking him very much. Lets all make a pact on here not to respond to his dishonest views. If he can actually contribute an honest opinion based on fact then he should be welcomed.

Posted by: pkme | December 10, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

@pkma

Welcome to being a Caps fan!! It's painful because bgs KNOWS WHAT A DESTRUCTIVE TEAM the Pens have assembled...it's not only the winning streak, their captain surging, 60-minute efforts, THEY'RE BEATING TEAMS UP IN THE PROCESS. Like my best hockey friend of youth (though he the Flyers), he's more of a closeted Caps fan than a Pens fan and that's ok.

The Caps better assimilate DJK into the lineup, play him regularly and HELP HIM find his groove...if not, IT WOULD BE UNPROFESSIONAL AND BORDERLINE CRIMINAL to ask him to do his job against Pitt. (when, ah-hem, we'll desperately need his presence)

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

@pkme

and ultimately (and how it's always been since the islanders dropped pace) it's about beating the Pens and Flyers. If we don't talk about them now (thus the constant post topics) we won't be able to beat them then.....that'll bother me immensely

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Crosby gets noticeably better every year. While he improves in one area, the other areas don't seem to suffer.

Right now you're not gonna find many people outside this area who think Ovi is the better of the two in any aspect of the game.

Posted by: joek443 | December 10, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

What can improve sports in this town?
1. free prozac for our illustrious analysts
2. realizing that learning the game and enjoying it is much better than following a specific player or team.
3. Accepting the reality that other teams do have great players too and that no one team will dominate the league.
Oh, geez! I just realized that my beloved Caps are not going to win every game and that the world collapses every time they lose one. How depressing, where is my damn prozac.

Posted by: hock1 | December 10, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

all of you did see that 6 players were playing w/ the flu last night? !!!!! and i would rather the caps go thru this losing streak now instead of late march early april and deep into june LET'S GO CAPS CAPS CAPS CAPS

Posted by: rclow | December 10, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Everybody on this post needs to chill out. The caps peaked too early last year and it cost them in the playoffs, they got tired and ran into a ridiculously hot goalie (nobody should argue that fact i.e. game 6 last year). Yeah they're struggling right now but it's not for the lack of trying, BB is getting them to play but they're just not getting the bounces (outplayed thrashers and stars). It's only December folks I'm just glad that this is happening now and not in March like last year. Everybody that says BB isn't a good coach? give me a friggin break. He pulled this team out of the cellar two years ago. Don't excpect GMGM to be firing BB anytime soon Also, do you think a more defensive minded coach would do better with this team, I don't think so folks; we've gotta play to our strengths and that's scoring goals, yeah it's not happening now but I can't remember the last time the caps lost 4 in a row. Give this team some time to redeem themselves. RELAX!!!!!

Posted by: umdfan44 | December 11, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

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