Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS
Posted at 8:32 AM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Overtime continues to plague Capitals

By Gene Wang

That the Washington Capitals stumbled against Montreal, 3-2, last night was disheartening enough. Then consider it was their eighth straight loss in overtime, and the anguish is compounded that much more.

The maddening part for players and Coach Bruce Boudreau was that Washington had victory in hand, or at least was on the verge of putting it away with a robust first period. A nifty goal by Mathieu Perreault that rocketed underneath Montreal goalie Carey Price, followed by Mike Knuble's power-play strike, had the Capitals up 2-0 and playing like a fully engaged, well-rested bunch after the all-star break.

But Canadiens right wing Brian Gionta soon demoralized the Capitals with a pair of goals that developed because of Capitals mistakes, and when the proceedings reached overtime, Washington wasn't able to regroup before backsliding into its second straight three-game skid over its past 10 games.

"I have no idea," Coach Bruce Boudreau said when asked the reasons behind his team's troubles in extra time. "We didn't get the puck in the spots where we wanted them to get. I don't know if that's confidence or it's Carey Price being that good. I think it's probably you want to do it, and I know I say it a lot, you want to get the goal so badly, and you get that opportunity, and when things are going good for you, they all go in. When things aren't going good scoring-wise, they don't go in."

Washington, which has just three goals over its past three games, has lost its past two extra-time games in the shootout, which players often refer to as "50-50," meaning there's no rhyme or reason -- "penalty shootout is like a lottery," Alex Ovechkin said -- to that regular-season format. But that doesn't explain the Capitals' five consecutive losses in standard overtime this season after they began 4-0 in such games.

Washington has not won in an extra-session game since Nov. 28, when it beat Carolina, 3-2, in a shootout. The Capitals' last win in standard overtime was Nov. 7 over the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2.

"I think it's puck possession," defenseman Mike Green said. "I think a lot of the time, maybe we throw the puck away when we should try to make a play, and then it seemed like [Montreal] had the puck the majority of the overtime, and we were just defending. Anytime you're defending like that, it gets a lot more tiring than having the puck, so we have to adjust and make sure we make plays."

By Gene Wang  | February 2, 2011; 8:32 AM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Bruce Boudreau, Mike Green, Mike Knuble  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Canadiens come back, beat Capitals 3-2 in shootout
Next: Alex Ovechkin, Semyon Varlamov absent from practice

Comments

The Caps are a hug disapointment this year. They cannot score, perhaps due to their new style of play. Either way, this team has lost its way. Even if they make the playoffs they just aren't very good. We thought we were on the verge of something great and look where we are. What a joke.

Posted by: capfanforsure | February 2, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

The Caps are a huge disapointment this year. They cannot score, perhaps due to their new style of play. Either way, this team has lost its way. Even if they make the playoffs they just aren't very good. We thought we were on the verge of something great and look where we are. What a joke.

Posted by: capfanforsure | February 2, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Please tell me I just didn't read that BB quote "...Carey Price being that good...". Geez, we're back to the hot goaltender excuse again. I used to be a BB fan, but now I don't think the guy knows what to do. The credit once again has to be given to the Montreal coaching staff, for tightening up their defense and moving the puck quickly to the forwards in the 2nd and 3rd periods. BB outcoached again.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 2, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Yes, BB has to go but GMGM is the real problem.

I just compared the last 11 seasons of the Caps and the Nashville Predators who have only been in existence for 11 years. The Caps have averaged 87.7 points/season and the Preds have averaged 85.6 points/season.

Meaning David Poile with an expansion team with a low payroll has had just about the same success with his team as GMGM has done with his.

Posted by: joek443 | February 2, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

"I have no idea," Coach Bruce Boudreau said when asked the reasons behind his team's troubles in extra time. No Bruce, clearly you don't.

Posted by: 08WashCaps19 | February 2, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Big Baby = I don't know and Carey Price is hot; coach speak for the tank is empty

Mike Green = They controlled the puck and we watched back on our heals; player speak for we are demoralized

Time for a Big Baby change, bring up a coach for Hershey as an interrim or get a coach who can kick a little underachieveing a$$, motivate, and bench plyers who just plain suck (cf. Steckel -- did you see how slow he was???)

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | February 2, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Something needs to be done.

Sitting on idle is not going to make fans want to come spend money in the Verizon Center....

If this is truly what the fans have to look forward to...then please, just miss the playoffs and save us the pain of watching a 1 and done playoff.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 2, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse


"I was really disappointed in our group. The lack of drive and passion to come out and play was the last thing I expected. We need to find a way to start bringing it. And if we don't, we'll be digging our own grave."

This is quoted from Sharks coach Todd McClellan after they came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Coyotes 5-3. When was the last,or better yet,first time you heard BB say this at all?

Not even after disheartning losses like the last two games.

Posted by: jwash4472 | February 2, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

For craps sake! I'm so tired of the lame armchair coaches/GMs whining like three year olds trying to decipher what every postgame comment says about coaching style, player effort, or the overall decline of the Caps.
No one likes to lose. Everyone gets frustrated when they fail and can't figure out why. All you had to do was look at Brooks Laich's face when he took that third penalty last night.
You don't know what is going on in the locker room. Period.
I used to enjoy coming here to read focused analysis of this team and how the coaches might be looking to improve.
Now it is just lame whining, crying for a coaching change (again - no way of knowing if or when this could happen), or really disgusting personal attacks on people based on nationality, age, or weight.
Some of the people here need to figuratively check their sack (sorry ladies in the house - is there a check your ovaries line to be had here somewhere?)to get their own fan mojo back.
Either the crew on the ice are your Washington Capitals or they aren't.
Do us all a favor - get classy or step away from the TV and the computer and go find some tai chi to lower your blood pressure.
I remain a fan of the team on the ice and ALL the staff trying to help them be better.
Let's go Caps!

Posted by: chucktownCAPSfan | February 2, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

We're just not that good PERIOD. Please tell me if anyone seen Backstorm lately??

Posted by: ttn703 | February 2, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

"No one likes to lose. Everyone gets frustrated when they fail and can't figure out why."

---

I can figure out why. A lot of us can, and have.

Can you really not figure out why this team is not winning?

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 2, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Write off this season but good news for next season keeps rolling in. By next year the Caps will have a second line center. Last night way out in British Columbia Cody Eakin picked up a goal and two assists on the PP and potted a goal shorthanded in a 5 point night. Too bad he can't help out a little in this now wasting away season.

Posted by: dull | February 2, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@VTDuff
Talking about that "in the moment" when it happens on the ice can't figure it out, not the analysis the day after.

Posted by: chucktownCAPSfan | February 2, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I know people want massive turnover of everything, but that isn't going to do anything this season. Also, huge trades that involve current NHL players from both teams rarely happen at the deadline. Those deals are almost always involve pending UFAs from teams out of the playoff picture looking to get something back so they don't lose the player for nothing.

If there is going to be massive changes, it will happen in the offseason. That is the time to do it and the rules give a team the best ability to make major changes with the best return during the offseason, not during the season.

There are three realistic options of changes to make over the next month.

1) Make a trade for a #2 center with a seller. This would entail giving up prospects and/or draft picks(possibly a young NHL player).

2) Replace BB. But then the question becomes, who do you replace him with? I do not think Hitchcock would be a good fit for this team. Personally, I would like the Caps to go after Lindy Ruff after the season is over

3) Do both of these.

Other massive changes are not realistic scenarios unless the Caps are complete sellers. However, the Caps do not have many pending UFAs so it would be more prudent to wait in the offseason to do so(it also gives them the CHANCE to turn it around and make a run).

Massive changes to the organization are the type of changes will be made in the offseason.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 2, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Lol...fitting this happens on Groundhog Day, as they could remake the movie starring the 2010-2011 Caps and it would make just as much sense...What ails this team is plain and simple psychological, and the sad thing is there isnt anything BB or GMGM can do about it, as a leopard doesnt lose its spots. Look people, stop focusing on Xs and Os, it has NOTHING to do with that. The talent is there, we know that from the offensive numbers the last two years, and no seemingly the defensive #s this year with the goals against and PK. What is NOT there, and never will be with the majority of this team, is the mental edge. Look at the "leaders" and "core players" on this team...OV, Backs, Semin, Green, Varly, Nevy, Carlson, Alzner, MOJO, Fehr, Steckel, Laich, Schultz....with the exception of OV what do they all have in common?..They are introverted, type B, reserved, soft spoken idividuals. They are ALL followers, not a leader among them. Im not even sure if Semin or Backs have the power of speech as Ive never heard them talk! I mean what successful sports franchise has there ever been with a core group of soft spoken, tip toe nice guys?..This team relies, unfortunately, on a group of guys who deal with adversity by retreating into the shadows rather than lighting a fire and breaking chairs. The fire and grit guys on this team (Bradley, Hendricks, King, Gordon)unfortunately have the least skills and get the least amount of ice time. When the pucks were flying in the net last two years, the type B guys were fine, no adversity to show up their lack of mental toughness and inability to light a fire under themselves or their teamates, but now this year, with the team in crisis mode for 2 mos now, we see that they are more prone to retreat than storm the castle...not sure even a firebrand coach can change the mental/emotional makeup of his players, so dumping BB is probably not gonna make a difference. If you doubt my thoughts, watch the players and not the game next time you sit down in front of the TV with the Caps.

Posted by: opticlguy | February 2, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

"Talking about that "in the moment" when it happens on the ice can't figure it out, not the analysis the day after."

---

No, I could figure it out as it was happening on the ice last night. It was obvious. I actually was able to identify what was going to happen based on what I was seeing on the ice.

Nothing *new* happened last night. This isn't a new and novel thing. Its more of the same. It's not really that hard to notice the pattern at this point.

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 2, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I was really excited during the 1st period last night as I thought they played great, only to see them revert to their 8 game December streak form..

A couple of thoughts...let me know if you all agree

1 - MP played ok last night, but he is an injury fill-in at best and not a full time NHL player

2 - We have 2 checking lines that have no chance of scoring which makes us easy to defend

3 - The league has clearly figured out BB's system and he has not adapted which makes me question him as a coach

4 - We have just a few untouchables (not including any minor league players) and everyone else should be used as trade bait....Untouchables are Ovie, Backstrom (tough season, but I would never trade him), Carlson, Alzner, Varly, and MJ90. I still think Green is almost untouchable, but for the right deal I would move him.

Posted by: MattBradley10 | February 2, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Watched the game last night.
1. OV is not skating hard (or as hard) in previous years.
2. Backstrom - same thing. complacent. Big contracts can do that.
3. Hannan - I have no idea how that guy continually gets away with putting his left hand in the face of opposition when they're coming down on him or when battling against the boards. It's amazing to me. He cheats constantly vs. playing the position.
4. Coaching - Boudreau is now officially a broken record. Nice guy, I'm sure his heart is in the right place, but he's lost the team.
5. Power Play / team - Perraults goal was a fluke, the other was nice passing. We have Green/Knuble/OV/Backstrom/Carlson and others...and we have a lousy power play?? See #4.

This team is going nowhere in the play-offs with that kind of effort. Can you imagine if we draw Philly in round 1?? OMG!

Posted by: Jaymagz | February 2, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of when they occur, personnel changes need to happen - front-office and player personnel.

Since the lockout - and the draft of 2004, three team that "rebuilt" at the same time as we did have made it to the finals (Pit, Chi & Phi), two of them winning the cup. Now, the argueent can be made that the Flyers simply reloaded after being so bad in 2006 that they had the worst record - and lost the draft lottery to Chi. But still, does anyone see a trend here?

Was our 110 point season and last years president's trophy the result of our "rebuild?" With a cap, teams only have windows to make a run, and ours is all but closed.

Watch NJ get the first overall pick next year and then return to the ECF like Phi did in 2008.

Posted by: Dave28 | February 2, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of when they occur, personnel changes need to happen - front-office and player personnel.

Since the lockout - and the draft of 2004, three team that "rebuilt" at the same time as we did have made it to the finals (Pit, Chi & Phi), two of them winning the cup. Now, the argueent can be made that the Flyers simply reloaded after being so bad in 2006 that they had the worst record - and lost the draft lottery to Chi. But still, does anyone see a trend here?

Was our 110 point season and last years president's trophy the result of our "rebuild?" With a cap, teams only have windows to make a run, and ours is all but closed.

Watch NJ get the first overall pick next year and then return to the ECF like Phi did in 2008.

Posted by: Dave28 | February 2, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The biggest single problem this year is that Ovi's play is way off from his norm. You want to blame the coach for that - fine. Let's fire BB, and move forward in the makeover of the Caps into a team like Minnesota, Columbus, or Nashville. Small market teams, can't score, try really hard, gritty, play pretty good defense - basically mediocre. Why not bring Hanlon back? That's where we seem to be heading.

Posted by: zmega | February 2, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

It’s puzzling how none of our usual scorers are effective . Is it possible they are all slumping at the same time? Semin definitely wasn’t slumping at the beginning of the season and the rest were. I don’t think is the new defensive style of playing because the PP is also unproductive.
to my uneducated hockey eye... seems to me the young guns are missing shots that last season were going in. I guess they weren’t being modest last season when asked about their scoring proficiencies and answering with a “we just got lucky on that pass or shot”.

Posted by: guer_j | February 2, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@mattbradley10

I agree with your points. Except I dont think Varly is untouchable. I'd be willing to move any of the 3 goalies.(management probably thinks he is untouchable though).

Posted by: ThePat | February 2, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"The biggest single problem this year is that Ovi's play is way off from his norm. You want to blame the coach for that - fine. Let's fire BB, and move forward in the makeover of the Caps into a team like Minnesota, Columbus, or Nashville. Small market teams, can't score, try really hard, gritty, play pretty good defense - basically mediocre. Why not bring Hanlon back? That's where we seem to be heading."

---

False choice.

Why do our options have to be Defense at the expense of Offense or Offense at the expense of Defense? Why don't we make ourselves in the mold of the teams that are actually successful in our alleged goal (winning the cup), and focus on team balance, with a strong, gritty defense, and an effective, puck-cycling, opportunistic offense?

Just because BB can't coached a balanced team, doesn't mean it's impossible to have a balanced team, I can name you a bunch of very successful clubs that are exactly that.

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 2, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

1 - MP played ok last night, but he is an injury fill-in at best and not a full time NHL player

2 - We have 2 checking lines that have no chance of scoring which makes us easy to defend

3 - The league has clearly figured out BB's system and he has not adapted which makes me question him as a coach

4 - We have just a few untouchables (not including any minor league players) and everyone else should be used as trade bait....Untouchables are Ovie, Backstrom (tough season, but I would never trade him), Carlson, Alzner, Varly, and MJ90. I still think Green is almost untouchable, but for the right deal I would move him.

Posted by: MattBradley10

1) I agree. However, if the Caps play a team from Canada in the playoffs they need to play MP. He seems to do great against teams from Canada (Habs, Sens) but does nothing against anyone else. He is a very good fill in for a game here and there as he can provide a spark when he is fresh(the week off helped him), but he is not a full-time center.

2) I agree, and last night the Caps basically had 2 checking lines and a hodegpodge "energy" line with little threat to score(the Laich/MP/Chimera line isn't going to light it up)

3) Agree in part. Systems in the NHL are not that complicated or hard to figure out. Other teams are defending the Caps better, but I think the biggest part of that is that the other teams have more talent and better overall(especially with Semin and Fehr missing).

4) Agree. I think Green is basically untouchable too. MJ looks like he is going to be a very good center in the NHL. But he isn't there yet. He makes some great play but doesn't play great consistently. This is to be expected of almost any player his age and experience. I have been very pleased with the play of MJ so far, but I think it would be stupid to expect him to play as a 2nd line center in the playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 2, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@mattbradley10

I agree with your points. Except I dont think Varly is untouchable. I'd be willing to move any of the 3 goalies.(management probably thinks he is untouchable though).

Posted by: ThePat | February 2, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

You are probably right as keeping any 2 of the 3 goalies is probably ok, but I just think when on and not injured Varly is far better than the other 2 and a clear shut down goalie....but for the right price, I agree with you, I would listen to trade offers.

Posted by: MattBradley10 | February 2, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"I think it's puck possession," defenseman Mike Green said. "I think a lot of the time, maybe we throw the puck away when we should try to make a play, and then it seemed like [Montreal] had the puck the majority of the overtime, and we were just defending. Anytime you're defending like that, it gets a lot more tiring than having the puck, so we have to adjust and make sure we make plays."

Mike Green is spot on. All this dump and chase. The Caps are dumping the puck in the offensive zone alot when they should be holding on to it to develop a play.

PS This Trap System sucks. Instead of winning games 5 - 2, now we are losing games 3 - 2.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | February 2, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

On a positive note- I have been greatly impressed with the play of Varly this year.

He looks to be in so much better control of himself and has rarely let in a bad goal(he had that one horrible game against the Rangers). He seems to be in much better position on shots and rarely seems out of position. Also, he seems to be much more aware of where the puck is.

Clearly he has injury problems, but I wouldn't trade Varly unless the return was large. So not untradeable, but basically untradeable because of what the return would have to be.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 2, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

the first goal last night was a bad goal in my opinion. Hannan had the pass covered and it looked like Varly was still considering playing the possibility of a pass.

As a whole though you are right he has been very good this year. But Id say the other two have also exceeded my expectations. I do not think we have any issue in net, no matter what 2 goalies end up staying with us.

Posted by: ThePat | February 2, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"2 - We have 2 checking lines that have no chance of scoring which makes us easy to defend"

The Caps now have 4 checking lines as they are asking their skill lines to dump the puck and cycle along the boards.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | February 2, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Ted should run a promo inviting fans to do the shootouts - "Section 315, Row D, Seat 5, come on down!"

They couldn't do any worse than Ovie & Backie.

Posted by: StikeDC1 | February 2, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Ted should run a promo inviting fans to do the shootouts - "Section 315, Row D, Seat 5, come on down!"

They couldn't do any worse than Ovie & Backie.

Posted by: StikeDC1 | February 2, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if there is anything that can be read into about it, but has anybody else noticed that Ted's blog (Ted's Take) has focused on the Wizards much more than the Capitals lately. I'm not sure if it is a sign where his focus is but it certainly doesn't look good.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | February 2, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

As a whole though you are right he has been very good this year. But Id say the other two have also exceeded my expectations. I do not think we have any issue in net, no matter what 2 goalies end up staying with us.

Posted by: ThePat

I agree that all the goalies have performed well and have exceeded their expectations so far.

If all of them would be generally healthy over the next 3 years(I know, I know, unlikely) I would go with Varly. To me he seems to be a step above the other two in terms of talent and it looks like the technical part of his game is catching up to his skill level. (This is just my opinion of the goalies, I'm not stating this as a fact. Just my personal opinion)

I think getting Irbe as the Caps goalie coach was a huge addition. If the Caps make wholesale changes at the coaching position, I hope they keep Irbe on board.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 2, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"PS This Trap System sucks. Instead of winning games 5 - 2, now we are losing games 3 - 2."

---

For the millionth time. We don't play a "trap system." We don't play anything even resembling the trap. Last night, we didn't even play a defensively focused system at all, we went back to BB's old terrible pond hockey system.

Not every system that focuses on defense is a trap, in fact most aren't. Just because the Devils are the classic example of a "defense first" team and they play the trap doesn't make all defense trapping.

It would be like saying that every football team that focuses on the running game is a triple-option team. The trap is a very specific style of play, we don't run one and never have.

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 2, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman, the problem with your argument is that this team is not constructed like a Philly or Boston. The Caps are not deep in gritty, tough, defense-minded guys, particularly at the higher pay levels. To make the Caps like the Flyers or Bruins you would essentially have to blow the whole thing up (GM and coach too) and start over. I think the result of that is much more likely to be a team like Minnesota, Columbus, or Nashville than a team like the Bruins or Flyers. If it were so easy to do, everyone would do it.

Let's not kid ourselves into thinking that the Caps are just a few small personnel moves away from being a team in the image of the Flyers or Bruins. Personally, I would rather watch last year's Caps than this year's Bruins or Flyers, notwithstanding how the playoffs ended. I don't think it is written in stone that last year's Caps couldn't have had better playoff success with an improved PK and better net presence in the offensive end.

Posted by: zmega | February 2, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I still think the Caps horrible 2nd line is the root of all their problems(yes, other problems clearly existm but the poor 2nd line is the main culprit).

Compare Tampa's 2nd line to the 2nd line the Caps put on the ice last night:

Tampa: Gagne/Lecavlier/Malone
Caps: Laich/MP/Chimera

How much more talent does Tampa's 2nd line have over the Caps? Twice as good, 5 times better, a million times better? It isn't even close.

If the Caps had that as their 2nd line(with no other changes), even with BB as coach and his system, the Caps would be a significantly better team.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 2, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Edmonton Oilers won five Stanley Cups. Just saying.......

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | February 2, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Better title than "Overtime Continues to Plague Caps" would be "Hockey Games Continue to Plague Caps."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 2, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

As a Habs fan, I will say Price has been good. HOWEVER, even I'm man enough to admit to if Ovechpussy put forth a little more effort yesterday, my Habs would have been the losers and the Caps winners.

Admit it Caps fans, your coach is a bad leader and your captain can't motivate himself to play consistently.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | February 2, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

sgm3,

In last night's press conference BB was essentially saying the offensive talent on this years team was lacking so he is on your side but the real question is if GMGM and Ted are. GMGM doesn't like to trade picks or young players as it conflicts with the organizational philosophy that Ted consistently endorses.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | February 2, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

This is about the 6th time in a month that we hear BB say "I don't have an answer" or "I don't know" after consistently failing to correct his team's performance. How many managers, leaders etc would still be employed in a non GMGM world with that pattern?
As for Backstrom, he is slowly but surely turning into a Swedish meatball...lost is his skating, stick handling, vision...

Posted by: jakopz | February 2, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Breaking news....

are you ready for it....

Ovi is not skating at practice again today. I have no problem with his taking the morning optionals. But today he should be out there with two days in between games.

Posted by: ThePat | February 2, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

sgm, you have to add Semin and maybe Fehr to make the second line comparison valid. Even so, everyone who has watched this team has noted that the lack of an adequate 2c creates a gaping hole. And the first line hasn't been exactly tearing it up this year. The role players have generally been pretty good. But what does it tell you about the coach's level of offensive desperation that he runs Hendricks out there for shoot-outs?

Posted by: zmega | February 2, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

SGM3 is right.

I hope I don't sound like a broken record, but after our "top" our talent falls off dramatically. We're an easy defensive assignment for 90% of the league.

And our defense is not complete. We're soft back there. Hannan is a 4th D-Man at best. Schultz is a very very poor version of Hal Gil. Poti is up there with B. Gordon with being softest on the team.

This is our team this year. Perhaps we'll rent a Corvo or Walker or Belanger but that's a finger in the dam. Think Vancouver will do such a thing?

Nope - because they already have the pieces. They're not scrambling to find them last minute.

GMGM is a good scout. He's not a good GM.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | February 2, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they can sign Viktor Kozlov. Boy could he do the shootouts.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 2, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

It's in games like this that I hear the Price is Right loser tuba/horn music in my head and wish they would play it over the speakers...I would chuckle.

Boo boo boo boo boo....waaaaaaaaaa

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 2, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

@SAOTI -I hear the chant OVERRATED!!!!!!

Posted by: jwash4472 | February 2, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman: I dont know what game you were watching but the Caps were stacking the defensive zone, dumping the puck, then cycling along the boards while keeping the D back.

All 4 lines are now checking lines. The Caps did not flood the offensive zone with a fast transitional play that has been the trademark of this team the last few years. They only attempted a few stretch passes. It's lunch pale hockey without the line up requiring grit.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | February 2, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I think what is becoming apparent is the Caps finally realized after 20 games this season that the way they had been playing hockey the past 2-3 years was entertaining and successful in the regular season but would not translate to the playoffs.

The new systems, no doubt installed with the help of Bob Woods whose specialty is defense, have been embraced by the players but it has caused them to think on the ice and not trust their natural reactions to skate and advance the puck towards the offensive zone.

As a result the aggressiveness and confidence you used to see in the better players here in re scoring goals is no longer there.

It's really pitiful when a team like Montreal that is challenged to score ANY goals at all is able to come in and dominate a 4 on 4 session and then emerge with 2 points on the road.

4 on 4 skating for a team like the Capitals that is loaded with European players and fast skating North Americans like Chimera and Green should be a time to make hay.

Instead it is where the team has lost points this season.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | February 2, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

It's sad to see Brett Leonhardt (the jack-of-the trades) move on, he will be missed.

Jaymagz states: "Hannan - I have no idea how that guy continually gets away with putting his left hand in the face of opposition when they're coming down on him or when battling against the boards. It's amazing to me. He cheats constantly vs. playing the position."
Hannan has 20 PIM in 49 games. If it's not called, it's not a penalty.
Dale Hunter states: "If you aren't cheating, you aren't trying."
This team need more players like Hunter/Hannan/Hendricks/Erskine. This team needs more grinding hockey attitude & less fat coaches (that one is for chucktownCAPSfan).
My 1st hockey coach was from Canada. The first hockey quote I remember (add Canadian accent): "If you want to stop a fast euro-f*g type skater, bash the living SH*T out of them." That is the hockey I learned & love.

Posted by: chriscaps | February 2, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

MP ice time last five games:

1-13:53 (2 pts)
2-11:41
3-12:42
4-9:59
5-9:44

The kid need ice time...

Posted by: Presbyter | February 2, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

@presbyter

No he doesn't. The kid needs to not be in the NHL. Yes he played well last night but 1 time every 12 games doesnt cut it. Theres a reason his ice time was down, its because he was playing awful.

Posted by: ThePat | February 2, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"I dont know what game you were watching but the Caps were stacking the defensive zone, dumping the puck, then cycling along the boards while keeping the D back."

---

Really? Interesting.

Because I swear that the game-tying goal for MTL was made when John Carlson carried the puck into the offensive zone, and attempting to drop-pass to the two forwards who were behind him, only to turn it over and lead to a breakaway because he was so horribly out of position. The first goal was under similar circumstances.

Shoot, we had times during this game when *John Erskine* was carrying the puck over the offensive blue line.

So, I have to shoot your question right back at you - what game were *you* watching?

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 2, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I still think the Caps horrible 2nd line is the root of all their problems(yes, other problems clearly existm but the poor 2nd line is the main culprit).

Compare Tampa's 2nd line to the 2nd line the Caps put on the ice last night:

Tampa: Gagne/Lecavlier/Malone
Caps: Laich/MP/Chimera

How much more talent does Tampa's 2nd line have over the Caps? Twice as good, 5 times better, a million times better? It isn't even close.

If the Caps had that as their 2nd line(with no other changes), even with BB as coach and his system, the Caps would be a significantly better team.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 2, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

VTDuffman: The game where we had 17 shots on goal coming into the third period? The game where time of possession by the Habs was dominant in the third and second periods?

And here is the funny rub, the Caps still make mistakes with this trap style system. Now if a mistake is made, that mistake is magnifide because the Caps can not correct it as easily by a make up goal.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | February 2, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

VTDuffman: The game where we had 17 shots on goal coming into the third period? The game where time of possession by the Habs was dominant in the third and second periods?

And here is the funny rub, the Caps still make mistakes with this trap style system. Now if a mistake is made, that mistake is magnifide because the Caps can not correct it as easily by a make up goal.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | February 2, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

VTDuffman: The game where we had 17 shots on goal coming into the third period? The game where time of possession by the Habs was dominant in the third and second periods?

And here is the funny rub, the Caps still make mistakes with this trap style system. Now if a mistake is made, that mistake is magnifide because the Caps can not correct it as easily by a make up goal.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | February 2, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"The game where we had 17 shots on goal coming into the third period? The game where time of possession by the Habs was dominant in the third and second periods?

And here is the funny rub, the Caps still make mistakes with this trap style system. Now if a mistake is made, that mistake is magnifide because the Caps can not correct it as easily by a make up goal."

---

Yeah, that game. They didn't have many shots on goal because they turned the puck over a bunch, and had a to of blocked shots or misses (you have to actually hit the goal area for it to count as a SOG).

Also, it can't be stressed enough that you have absolutely NO IDEA what the Trap is. Just no clue at all. We do not play a trap system, never have.

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 2, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

This team has NO KILLER INSTINCT. It will kill us in those overtime games in the playoffs, when it really matters!

Fire Boudreau and get a hard-nosed disciplinarian behind the bench to get these boys into playoff shape.

Posted by: jmarks09 | February 2, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Mike Green said it, "I think it's puck possession...we should try to make a play". EXACTLY! starting with the Montreal series the Caps have looked a bit like the chicken with its head cut off. Lots of frenetic running around with too little structure or organization.

I think this has to placed at BB's feet. Finally a player is speaking up about the lack of structure. No one knows what the other player is thinking on the ice. Carlson's drop pass to no one is only the latest glaring example. It comes off as bad chemistry but I think it's really a coaching failure.

Posted by: congero | February 2, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I like Boudreau as a coach; I believe when he came he was just what the Capitals needed. However over the last two months this team has looked, disheartened, unmotivated, and seems to the lack passion to win. Oveckin is not the same player he was before his last suspension. He was a predator, who was always looking to make that big hit that energized his team and put fear into the opposition. Now a days it seems he simply circles his blue line hoping the puck will bounce his way, if he knock someone down its because they took a run at him, and so the rest of this team seems to follow. Mike Green’s comment –“it seemed like [Montreal] had the puck the majority of the overtime, and we were just defending”. Well it seemed to me to be that way when the second period started. I bet the Capital alumni, who were there for Dino night, were really impressed. I have been a Caps fan for at least 25 years; I did not finish watching the game last night; turned it off at the end of regulation, the outcome inevitable, Montreal simply wanted to win more than the Washington Capitals. If no one has the answers it time for a change in leadership… coach and captain.

Posted by: rotoole32 | February 2, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

VTDuffman: it's clearly evident, that you internet raging here a bit. I am not sure how you have determined how I do not know what a trap system is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_zone_trap

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | February 2, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company