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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 03/10/2011

Boudreau says Marcus Johansson played his game, worked well with Alex Ovechkin

By Katie Carrera

To say no one knew when Alex Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson would stop passing when an Oiler turnover gave them a 2-on-0 in the Edmonton zone might be an understatement. Everyone from Ovechkin to Johansson to Coach Bruce Boudreau joked about it, but after four passes the Capitals' star left wing wrapped up the display with a goal early in the third period.

Over the course of the season when Johansson has had the opportunity to skate alongside Ovechkin, he has occasionally looked nervous and tried to force plays that weren't open. It's something that happens to any number of players with varying degrees of experience Boudreau has said previously, but against the Oilers the Capitals' rookie center relaxed.

"Usually young guys get with Alex and they feel obligated every time they toch the puck to give it to him," Boudreau said. "Marcus just played the way he plays and Alex played off Marcus and I thought that made it work a lot better.

"His game is not forcing passes," Boudreau said when asked to expand. "If he's got an opportunity to pass it to Alex and he's open, give it to him...Guys that play with [Ovechkin] have a tendency, if youre not used to him, as soon as you get the puck whether he's covered or not covered you're looking for him because he's such a dominant personality on the ice. I thought Marcus just played the way he plays."

The comfort level Johansson showed against the Oilers may simply be a sign as to how far the 20-year-old Swede has come over the course of 68 NHL games. He's stood out with his speed and creativity lately, which is part of the reason he was given the chance to play with Ovechkin in Nicklas Backstrom's absence.

"I think both of us kind of knew what we were gonna do," Johansson said of Ovechkin's goal. "It was very fun to play [Wednesday]. Alex and Mike [Knuble] and everybody had a good game, so it was very simple to play today. We got the puck deep and did what we need to do. That's when you can make those better plays later on."

By Katie Carrera  | March 10, 2011; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Marcus Johansson  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Eric Fehr makes a memorable return to the lineup
Next: Backstrom participates in drills

Comments

on another note...If we hold the SE division I will be happy....but...there is only one team in the top 8 that I am truly worried about facing a best of 7 series against...the Rangers.

I really think we can take anyone else pretty well. We have not had good luck against this team and I simply do not want to face them...s0 4th or top 3...whichever doesn't put us against NY!

Posted by: capscoach | March 10, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

If they make it all the way back, I would be a little bit nervous about running into a hot Devils team, especially if Brodeur continues to heat up.

Posted by: hook99 | March 10, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

To win the Cup your team has to be confident and able to beat some tough amigos on the way. Actually the most dominant teams have had their hardest struggles in round one against a fiesty opponent which amped them up for success in rounds 2 and beyond.

We have to start showing confidence in this team - if we don't think they can beat anybody then they are not the best team.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 10, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

icehammer97: Again, if Chara would not have extended his arms it would not have happened. Pacioretty was fine until the moment Chara extended his damn arms. Pacioretty did read that because Chara shouldn't have done it. Pacioretty was not in ANY danger at all until that moment in time. Although Chara wasn't at home, he had plenty of time to see what was coming and took full advantage of train wrecking him when he saw the chance. I guess we will never know. Chara will stick to his story, and heck it might be true, if it is, we have all been giving Chara too much credit for his hockey IQ because I don't care how you try to sell it to me, players know where they are.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 10, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Great game last night, but they should have pounded that minor league team esp since they played Philly the night before...6 game winning streak feels good, though. Starting to gel. Looks like Arnott is not allowing Semin to take any shifts off...great signs for the team. Anyone see Tampa steal a point off Chicago and St Louis obvious stop on the shootout? The Shootout needs to go away...play 10 minute 4 on 4 OT then call it a tie.

http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Yet-another-shootout-goal-to-whine-about-from-Ma?urn=nhl-wp24

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 10, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Going to post this on both threads.

Come on icehammer. Do you think if a 6'9" 260 pound guy was carrying you in a certain direction that you could do anything to quickly change things? The impact point was not the stanchion - Chara carried him into the stanchion.

Posted by: zmega | March 10, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I am not saying he could have spun and avoid the hit altogehter or anything like that but you are telling me that Chara hitting you makes you incapable of moving your arms and having them hit first to brace you? Yes, it probably would have bronken his arm but if it was just his arm there would not be the uproar for a suspension.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

lyle: I have wanted 5 mins 4-on-4 and then 5 mins 3-on-3. I think that's more indicative of who "won" than a shootout.

Fact is, nothing worse than when Olympic Gold was decided by shootout. It's like if the World Series got decided by a home run derby. Or if they did punt, pass & kick for the Lombardi Trophy.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 10, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@icehammer

Completely disagree with you on the Chara hit. While I think Chara is mostly a clean player, every NHL player has a dirty side. His hit was dirty. He was riding him and clearly leaned in at the end. He knew exactly what he was doing. He should have been suspended for 4 games regardless of if the guy got hurt or not.

Posted by: ThePat | March 10, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Come on icehammer. Do you think if a 6'9" 260 pound guy was carrying you in a certain direction that you could do anything to quickly change things? The impact point was not the stanchion - Chara carried him into the stanchion.

Posted by: zmega | March 10, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I am not saying he could have spun and avoid the hit altogehter or anything like that but you are telling me that Chara hitting you makes you incapable of moving your arms and having them hit first to brace you? Yes, it probably would have bronken his arm but if it was just his arm there would not be the uproar for a suspension.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Both players were competing for the puck, Chara was the one who pushed Pacioretty into the stantion at a point when Pacioretty had no opportunity to defend himself. And I'll still assert that an athlete as talented as Chara knows what his body is doing and where he is at every moment.

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | March 10, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

seth: Actually to make things worse. They weren't competing for the puck. Chara ditched the puck that Pacioretty was trying to get to, it was already in the Bruins zone when Chara extended his arms in the neutral zone to make sure Paciotretty paid for his indiscretions from early in the season.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 10, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

chara should have been suspended no question about it. Complete BS saying there was no intent to injure there. He knew exactly what he was doing

Posted by: _stevo | March 10, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

All I am saying is 6 inches further up the wall and he would have just gone into the bench and there is no injury at all. You are telling me that without looking at the speed of the NHL game Chara was able to know within 6 inches that the turnbuckel was coming up then and he wasn't just going to but the guy over the wall. And let's say he did get suspended, almost everyone I saw, outside of Habs land who think Chara should be jailed because they feel that their players are not allowed to be touched, said if he got suspended it should be a game or two. So we are having this giant argment over an incident that there were some, non-Boston, media who thought there shouldn't be any suspension at all because he didn't get a game or two.

Also if guys are supposed to know where everything is on the ice and control everything why not suspend Orpik for hitting Green in the head. He clearly knew Green was there at shot for the head. End scarcasm.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach

I agree with not wanting to face the Rangers. I felt that last year once I found out Montreal was the Caps first round opponent. During the regular season last year the Caps had difficulty with the Canadians. Although splitting the season series, it appeared they had the Caps system figured out. Very similiar to the struggles (1-3) we've had with NY this year.

I'd like a shot at Montreal again this year. With Price as their goaltender it should be a different outcome this year. The Caps have a tendency to get under Price's skin. Refer to his performance in last year's series. Even though he's improved this year, still think Price is walking on a mental tightrope.

Posted by: ttenner | March 10, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Chara extended his arms...he knew what he was doing...

Its called Professional courtesy....no, you don't let him get around you, but you don't DRIVE HIM INTO THE stantion...

I hate when the legal system gets involved in rink play, but I hope they throw the book at Chara.

All the NHL had to do was step in and at least FINE him, they didn't, so now someone will.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 10, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Everyone is reacting to the result not the hit. Want proof, same night one of the Pens got him into a stantion between benchs by a Sabres player. Head hit the stantion and had to be helped off the ice. He came back later and no one even talks about that hit because the guy isn't hurt. No crys for a suspension or arguments over the fact if I remember right there wasn't even a 2 minute call. However this incident got the media attention because of the teams involved and there was an injury otherwise it would be just like the Pens game that most don't even know actually had something similar in.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I strongly dislike Pronger too (because of what he did to Edmonton, but if Pronger would have hit that guy instead of Chara, he would have been suspended for 10 games..

Disappointing.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 10, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

@ttenner

agree...Last season when I found out we would be facing Montreal, I was nervous. Of all the teams we could have been matched against, they were the ones that seemed to give us the most trouble.

Posted by: capscoach | March 10, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

What annoys me is that one of the arguments for not suspending him is because he isn't a dirty player. The proof given is that he's never been suspended, thus he isn't a dirty player. Well, guess what, he still hasn't been suspended and now he could potentially get off next time, and there will be a next time because he's had dirty plays forgiven in the past, simply because he hasn't been suspended yet. If I were the Habs I would pull a NYI retaliation. It might be able to be done this season because call-ups are limited, but I would find the tallest, toughest player buried somewhere in my farm system or in some bush league and get him signed and on my team next season and have him promptly skate over to Chara and beat his ass next season. That monster of a man runs around when he gets pissed off and because he is so big nobody can do anything about it. Time to find a bully. Boston siced Thorton on Cooke, Montreal needs to sic a beast on Chara. Pacioretty's career is over because Chara was pissed because they were losing a regular season hockey game 4-0. I know Chara is saying he didn't mean to do it. What does everyone expect him to say?

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 10, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

i am reluctant to weigh in on the Chara conversation because, frankly, i want it to go away. so i will do it obliquely:

could the end stanchions be designed at an angle (glass extends farther @base) so the force of an impact is reduced through deflection? in other words, a player colliding with it would glance upward slightly and probably back into play, rather than his spine or brain absorbing all of the impact

...just a thought

Posted by: mcintire_will | March 10, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps

I'm with you: amazed that there was no suspension. You can see Chara's hand guiding the head right into the turnbuckle. Even if it wasn't "intentional" players have got to be responsible for what happens.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 10, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"I agree with not wanting to face the Rangers."

I think the Caps would win that series, but it would be another 7 gamer and I REALLY don't want to see that Caps do that again. It's been very draining the last couple of years on them and has affected them in he next round.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | March 10, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

overall fun game: some random thoughts -

I - a pro-Semin voice - thought he might've still be been basking in the glow of his brilliant goal the other night. I think it's easy for someone who's so into the aesthetics of the sport - and who of us who play whatever sport hasn't occasionally relieved that perfect goal we've scored (in whatever sport) or that great golf shot? I had a sense a little of that was going on with him. Still, his goal was brilliant.

That first goal was great on many levels: two great passes 1) Semin to Arnott (Semin's great on-ice vision again; he made another pass like that later that didn't lead to a goal but was, imho, the best pass anyone made all night) and then 2) Arnott's brilliant pass to Ovechkin, and then the goal itself. Great stuff.

Fehr's does have pretty good hands and reflexes and even if he isn't the quickest and most agile skater (I think he's slightly above average there) it took quick thinking and good hands to get those two goals in. Where in hell do we put him?? Good problem to have.

I think very premature to say Backstrom should center the fourth line; I think we owe him a good, long look as our 3C....

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 10, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

To try and change the subject I am surprised at this http://twitpic.com/4851yt the standing if we had 3 point games all the time instead of sometimes 3 and sometimes 2. I would have thought that it would change it more then it did.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@rmcazz, @ttenner

re: Rangers. All the teams that get in this year will be pretty good. Who'd want to play NJ if they sneak in? They've got their new secret weapon: Steckel. Part of it is luck and injuries and whatnot. We'll see when we see: all this team can do is perform the way it can perform and roll through the bad times as well as the good: both will happen. (kind of a lot of colons there)

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 10, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I hope anyone implying Backstrom is other than our 1st line center is a joke. He's been a stud for us since 2 months into his rookie season. His game had picked up in the last couple of weeks and scored a big goal in Florida, fractured thumb and all. Backstrom is a superstar, and Johannson is coming along nicely. Hopefully MaJo doesn't develop into a Backstrom type player because face it, in the salary Cap era, we probably wouldn't be able to retain both of them if he is due a 6+mil payday down the road. I'd be happy with him becoming a steady, reliable, 2nd line center that can be had for about 4mil a year.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 10, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe people are complaining about the league not suspending/fining Chara for his hit on Pacioretty...funny, if not embarassing. Face it folks, the injury, and not the act or play, is what's driving the conversation.

I guess when someone trips another who falls awkwardly into the boards and sustains serious injury, people here will complain about that to. I'm surprised we haven't already seen mandatory changes to blades following the Malarchuk and Zednik mishaps.

Chara handled the situation with dignity and class, and he's THE MAN! Those complaining about him or the league would probably find more enjoyment in the college ranks or the leagues in Sweden.

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 10, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Fehr's does have pretty good hands and reflexes and even if he isn't the quickest and most agile skater (I think he's slightly above average there) it took quick thinking and good hands to get those two goals in. Where in hell do we put him?? Good problem to have.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 10, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

You put his upper body on Chimmys legs and combine the two into a great player and throw away the player with Chimmy's hands and Fehr's speed.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock - yes, in my case, at least, it is a joke. Still, nice to see them switch it up a little. I was excited to go to the game because anxious to see what Majo could do - and he's such a much better player now than he was even a month ago, not to mention the start of the season - with Ovie. Yes Nicky's our number 1, no doubt.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 10, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I agree with icehammer. It is unfortunate that Pacioretty suffered severe injuries, but I think the response is an overreaction. What Chara did is no different than what we see, and cheer, every game. Had Pacioretty walked away unscathed, fans would have praised Chara for his monster hit.

Posted by: ablake70 | March 10, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Last season when I found out we would be facing Montreal, I was nervous. Of all the teams we could have been matched against, they were the ones that seemed to give us the most trouble.

Posted by: capscoach | March 10, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

How did you feel after game 4 when the Caps were up 3 games to 1?

Montreal did play win game 1 and blew a lead in game 2 - so maybe with a break or two it would never have gone to 7 games.

Sometimes the score misrepresents that the Caps were not ready for that team for the whole series.

If they were ready for Montreal it might have been a different story.

So none of the 7 teams that make the playoffs who the Caps might play should be underestimated.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 10, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Last season when I found out we would be facing Montreal, I was nervous. Of all the teams we could have been matched against, they were the ones that seemed to give us the most trouble.

Posted by: capscoach | March 10, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

How did you feel after game 4 when the Caps were up 3 games to 1?

Montreal did play win game 1 and blew a lead in game 2 - so maybe with a break or two it would never have gone to 7 games.

Sometimes the score misrepresents that the Caps were not ready for that team for the whole series.

If they were ready for Montreal it might have been a different story.

So none of the 7 teams that make the playoffs who the Caps might play should be underestimated.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 10, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@icehammer - interesting on the points thing. The old NASL used to have a points system like that...The EPL does a straight 3 pts for a win, 1 pt for a draw. I wouldn't mind if they just went back to ties. Will have to look for what that would do, somewhere...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 10, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@icehammer

>>You put his upper body on Chimmys legs and combine the two into a great player and throw away the player with Chimmy's hands and Fehr's speed.

talk about salary cap problems...I'm guessing it's a little easier to learn to skate better than it is to think and feel the hands better so maybe Fehr's got the bigger upside.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 10, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Chara handled the situation with dignity and class, and he's THE MAN! Those complaining about him or the league would probably find more enjoyment in the college ranks or the leagues in Sweden.

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 10, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

His actions were actually indifferent. he showed no emotion. He wasn't surprised when Habs players came around him even though he promptly skated into his zone without looking back full well knowing Pacioretty ended up going into the glass. A player that does something like this accidently usually starts pleading their case and some remorse because they are genuinely upset that they injured a player. I'm not reacting to the injury, my reaction adverse reaction starts as soon as I see Chara's arms extend when there is absolutely no reason for him to do so except to have Pacioretty hit the glass. I'm beating a dead horse and won't response to anymore Chara topics because no one, no matter what they say, even Chara without being hooked up to a lie detector machine, can convince me he didn't have the result he wanted. I'm not saying he is happy Pacioretty is severly injured, however, I, beyond a shadow of doubt, believe he did exactly what he wanted to do when he saw the stancion.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 10, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@Red, I like the idea of promoting teams try to win in regulation but I am against any point system were depending on how long the game goes the amount of points available changes.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Chara did it on purpose - NHL is so inconsistant with disciplinary actions - life is unfair - let's move on.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 10, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"Montreal
Detroit
New Jersey
Philly
Ottawa
Montreal
Any predictions on this road trip record?"
Posted by: ttenner

Judging by the trend, I'd say 8 of 12 is a perfectly reasonable expectation.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | March 10, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I think there are two teams the Caps wouldn't want to face: Boston and NY. Both are strong defensively, skate well, and have top-notch goaltending. Those are also the two teams we've had the least success against this year. The Caps new style should work against a team like Montreal or Pittburgh.

MoJo definitely is maturing and having him play on the first line for a few games while Backstrom heals should boost his confidence. We'll need a third line center who can create scoring chances and MoJo fits the bill.

Posted by: wizfan89 | March 10, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I believe Chara purposely tried to cut Pacioretty off from the puck.

I am watching this video at full speed - it was pretty hard to predict the outcome would be hitting that stantion and breaking 4 vertebrae. The severity of the injury makes it worse.

At best it should have been 2 minutes interference. Especially since the puck was nearby and both guys were after it.

If its on the other side of the ice we dont even notice that play.

By the way Pacioretty is one of Montreal's biggest toughest guys. If he were glaring down at you in a race to the puck what would you do? He aint no Daniel Briere or Martin St. Louis.

(If the NHL wanted to appease people with its discipline rather than get it "right" they would have given Chara a 5 game suspension - so that the Canadian-Quebec media would give the league a good grade. Remember some wanted Steckel charged! The NHL is being consistent here. Just because we don't like Chara doesn't make it any more wrong. BTW - Chris Pronger is a way dirtier player than Chara and if Pronger did this then maybe we could assume intent - a whole different kettle of fish.)

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 10, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@wiley_one1 - they will finish that trip above 500. They are winning 70% on road since December 20. Very good road efforts.

Probably lose 2 of the 3 NorthEast games...they will be one goal games and goalies that can stone them.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 10, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Chara should stand up and admit it was a bad hit that didn't need to be made (maybe he did?). Hockey is based off hits but a professional should know where is is on the ice and his power. Understand things happen quickly but his size alone could warrant some caution. Like it or not players have to take responsibility too.

Posted by: BKBK | March 10, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

A) I think people around here are mad because we all know if it was Ovi (or any Caps player)who did the hit, they would have been suspended.
B) The only thing Chara is guilt of is being a genetic freak. He should be forced to sign the Mutant Registration Act. :)

Posted by: lasthe | March 10, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock

Chara's the man....I wish he was on the Caps

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 10, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

If Pronger did it, he would have pitchforked him into the wall like he did with Green. Pronger does a dirty play every shift.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 10, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Why the hell does my comment kept being held for approval? There's not even a bad word in it, it's Colin Campbell's quote on Ovi after his hit on Brian Campbell. Something about recklessness, responsibility for injuries, etc, etc. Don't know why it didn't set a precedent here.

Chara should have been suspended, based upon the precedent set last year by the league. It was an obvious interference, and it led to an injury. Of course, this just makes the NHL's credibility look even more like a joke.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | March 10, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

but a professional should know where is is on the ice and his power. Understand things happen quickly but his size alone could warrant some caution. Like it or not players have to take responsibility too.

Posted by: BKBK | March 10, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Great point, and I bet next time Pacioretty (or any Canadien for that matter) tries to get past Chara along the boards, he'll cut to the inside and not risk getting crunched along the boards.

Personally, I don't try to pass 18-wheelers on the shoulder...I give myself lots of space to account for the potential mishap

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 10, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"If you cause a player to be injured, then you have to be responsible for the play...if there is any carelessness or recklessness involved."
-Colin Campbell on Ovi after the Brian Campbell hit.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | March 10, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Turning to some actual Caps News

bmcnally14
Timetable remains the same for Nicklas Backstrom (fractured left thumb) - 1 to 2 games. He did skate at practice today w no-contact jersey.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Great point, and I bet next time Pacioretty (or any Canadien for that matter) tries to get past Chara along the boards, he'll cut to the inside and not risk getting crunched along the boards.

________________________

Oh, so it's Max's fault that Chara decided to interfere with him after he was about to get burned?

Posted by: richmondphil2 | March 10, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Point taken but if your massive and your willing to give a massive hit get ready to hear about injury you inflicted. I don't think any player will avoid another in hockey because then the sport would lack but big hits can come with big repercussions especially when there is a solid argument it was unnecessary

Posted by: BKBK | March 10, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Point taken but if youre massive and youre willing to give a massive hit get ready to hear about injury you inflicted. I don't think any player will avoid another in hockey because then the sport would lack but big hits can come with big repercussions especially when there is a solid argument it was unnecessary

Posted by: BKBK | March 10, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil2: I had one held for approval over the weekend. It had five paragraphs. I isolated the problem (by posting para by para) to the 3rd paragraph. There was absolutely nothing in there that the filter should have stopped. There's a bug in the system. Send the post to Katie on her email and she can get the IT people to check it.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 10, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"You put his upper body on Chimmys legs and combine the two into a great player and throw away the player with Chimmy's hands and Fehr's speed."
Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 11:49 AM

And if he had Elton John's voice he could headline at Caesar's Palace.
And if frog had wings....

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | March 10, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Why worry and waste time with who the Caps end up playing. Play our game and take it to any team. Hard to think you can win the Cup being concernd with matchups. They have a few more games to jell and make sure they are ready for any team. Winner, Winner - Chicken Dinner on trades so far. If we fall short they will be picked apart.
The entire season has been a precurser to the real season. Got to love the results to date. Long season with Winter Classic distraction with one team, Eight Game losing streak.

Fire BB, Fire GMGM talk and we are two points out. Lets Go Caps!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: ballgame21 | March 10, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I'll bite! 4W-1L-1SOL, for 9 Pts out of 12

Montreal - 3-1 Win
Detroit - 3-2 L, (SO)
New Jersey - 3-2 W, (SO)
Philly - 2-0 Win
Ottawa - 4-2 Win
Montreal - 2-1 Loss

Any predictions on this road trip record?"
Posted by: ttenner

Posted by: FrankM73 | March 10, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Big guys like Chara and Ovi shouldn't be forced to hold back because they are bigger and stronger than most. It's an advantage they have that has helped them get to the NHL. Telling them to hold back is like telling a fast skater to slow down so Schultz can catch him.

The league needs to me consistent with discipline. If a hit is dangerous, it should be penalized whether it's Ovi, Chara or MSL delivering it.

Posted by: ablake70 | March 10, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Did NHL.com misrepresent stats from last night or do I misunderstand +/-? OV had 3 points, meaning he was on the ice for 3 goals, and obviously was not on for any goals against. HOWEVER, he is listed as +1 for the night?

What gives?

Posted by: mcintire_will | March 10, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Its not so much hold back as be aware and realize if that play really needed to be made that way. But I can't argue about discipline. Should be consistent.

Posted by: BKBK | March 10, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@mcintire_will

2 points were on the PP. Players don't get a + for PP points.

Posted by: ablake70 | March 10, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

mcintire_will,

A goal and an assist were on the power play where +/- is not used.

Posted by: PhilR | March 10, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm never surprised and doubt I'll ever have any faith in the NHL's front office organization. Campbell shouldn't even hold office while his son plays for the Bruins. Like you can't see nepotism casting a dismal shadow on anything involving his son or the Bruins organization. Chara, regardless of his past history as not being "that type" of player, should have been suspended. If I were laying in bed, with a broken vertebrae and a concussion, if it was possible, I'd sue Chara directly.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 10, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing it's a little easier to learn to skate better than it is to think and feel the hands better so maybe Fehr's got the bigger upside.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 10, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

It is not as easy as you would think, I have struggled with that my entire career. I only played about 2/3rds of my senior season of college because of my speed. I made up for it with my positioning and was only out for two goals against the entire season and one was a PP goal. Tried everything to get faster but just couldn't. I don't think you can teach going faster anymore then you can teach being taller at least not once you get past the level of learning to skate.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

mcintire_will: +/- doesn't count power play goals, just even strength and shorthanded. (so being on for the PP is actually a disadvantage for +/-, since you have the possibility of a minus but not a plus - vice versa for the PK)

Posted by: 202character | March 10, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan, 1) Campbell doesn't rule on games involving his son others in the NHL front office do. 2) If Campbell's son and his team got better treatment then others then there would have been a suspension for the hit on Booth while they were teammates.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Chara did it on purpose - NHL is so inconsistant with disciplinary actions - life is unfair - let's move on.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 10, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, we live in a dangerous world and hockey remains a violent sport where punishment is distributed unevenly. Next topic.

More Kool Aid please. http://www.flickr.com/photos/paxtonholley/2333110669/

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | March 10, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"they will finish that trip above 500. They are winning 70% on road since December 20. Very good road efforts."
Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 10, 2011 12:19 PM

Sounds like what I said. 70% of 12 possible points would be 8, right?

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | March 10, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@Red, to stop joking around about Fehr I would like to see him on the top line. He looked good there before he got hurt and Knuble just isn't finishing this year (except for against the Pens) including another one or two last night he probably should have scored on. To be honest it is Knuble that I am having a hard time deciding what to do with. I don't think he should be in the press box but he just doesn't fit in anywhere right now.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer You can certainly improve speed but there are limits to how much you can improve. Building power in your legs through interval training and/or weight lifting will add some gains. Other gains may be achieved through honing skating technique. If you are slow to begin with, you can probably work to become a moderate (as opposed to fast) skater. Moderate skaters might become fast skaters. I do agree that pure natural speed is akin to height - i.e. it cannot be taught; however, there is always room for at least some improvement if one were to train properly and train dillegently on the right areas.

Posted by: phknlwyr | March 10, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@phknlwyr, I am done now other then adult leagues so for me it doesn't matter but when I was trying I lost 15 lbs, was in the weight room every day and was working with our NCAA teams skating coach. Still didn't help. Maybe it was just me and others can do it and I was just giving my thoughts from experince but I have found it very hard to just get faster. Now if there was something funky in his stride that would be somthing differnt but I haven't seen that in his stride.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer I do a few ultra endurance mountain biking events in Colorado each year (50-100 miles). If I have learned one thing, it's that when I have to push less weight up the mountain trail, I am faster. Power to weight ratio is very important to biking and I imagine it would have some impact on skating. If your legs produce the same wattage but have to push less weight, physics dictates that you will go faster. I'm not sure that I was faster after I trained for and completed my 100 mile race in August, but I know that I was never tired on the ice for beer leagues all of August and September. Maybe I just felt faster. Delusions of grandeur.

Posted by: phknlwyr | March 10, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit the Caps have been playing much better since the trade deadline.

Jason Arnott appears to be the defacto Captain and that is a good thing. One question though, where was Knuble and Hannan before Arnott showed up?

I never agreed with Ovechkin being named Captain. I suspect that had something to do with Crosby being named the captain in Pittsburgh.

Wideman and Sturm have been good acquisitions also. I have never been a GMGM fan but I believe he threw down the gauntlet on BB when he came out in the papers and said" I have done my part, now it is up to you". GMGM has created distance between his decisions and BB in the event the Caps don't go deep in the playoffs.

On it's face it appears to be a fair statement but let's not forget GMGM has built this team and hired BB. If the team struggles for the remainder of the season or during the playoffs, they both should get walking papers after the season.

The bottom line to me is simple. As a Head Coach in the NHL with this kind of talent, you have to manage personalities properly. Based on how BB shows obvious favoritism to certain players, it is clear he doesn't get that.

Posted by: SOMDHockeyCoach | March 10, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I suppose we all have faith that Campbell doesn't make his opinion known in the NHL offices. SURE! Like a suspension on Chara would not have affected the Bruins in any shape or form. Like it would have served as a lightning rod to energize the Bruins instead of making them more cautious of their play. Uh-huh. Don't believe it. Campbell and the fact that his son is in the league while he's the top disciplinarian for the league can and probably does have an indirect impact on what decision is made. Like crime lords can't get things done in prison? Naive, much?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 10, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer - you should read Jack Blatherwick sometime - he was Herb Brooks' legendary strength & conditioning coach for those terrific U of MINN teams and then for the 1980 US Olympic team [I believe he still consults for the Caps]. Brooks was criticized by higher-ups in USA Hockey because he focused on "hockey quickness" in picking the squad. Other variables, such as college scoring stats, height, geography, even end-to-end speed [Chimera] etc. paled in comparison to Brooks - he knew that to have even a chance to beat the Russians [or the Swedes, Finns and Czechoslovaks, loaded in those days] he couldn't have a team that got skated out of the rink [as previous North American teams had had done to them in Olympic play].

Anyway, Blatherwick focuses on drills and techniques to improve explosive starts, power turns, and "overspeed training" or dynamic speed in very tight spaces. [Squats, plyometrics, explosive dryland starts, etc.] Whereas interval sprint training will improve endurance; unfortunately, endurance training does nothing to improve quickness [and may even hurt it, as slow-twitch muscle fibers replace fast-twitch ones]. Accordingly, many of the drills we were taught as youngsters, actually train "slowness" - not ideal, to say the least.

Anyway, the guy's a hockey genius, which Brooks was smart enough to recognize - you should check out his website sometime, it's got great stuff.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 10, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Hockey coach.

Sidney Crosby was captain of Pittsburgh 1 1/2 2 years before ovechkin was named Captain in Washington.

Posted by: duckyjimpond | March 10, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Chara is driving his Escalade and spots an annoying Prius driver. Guns it, hitting the Prius in the rear bumper, knocking it off a cliff.

His defense? Says he didn't see the guardrail ended where the car went over, he didn't aim at the door, and his driving record is clean. Oh, and don't judge him by the other driver's injuries - accidents happen.

Case dismissed.

Posted by: OccasionalCritic | March 11, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Good analogy, Occasional. I agree.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 11, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

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