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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 01/27/2011

All-Star break may come at a good time for Capitals

By Katie Carrera

After a 1-0 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday night that left few answers as to why the Capitals continue to struggle to score, Coach Bruce Boudreau was asked if he thought the team might need the four-day break for the NHL's All-Star Weekend mentally more than physically.

"Maybe at this stage," Boudreau replied.

The Capitals will have 30 games remaining in the regular season when they resume after the midseason break and intensity will ratchet up for all teams as they pursue playoff berths and better postseason seeds.

As it stands now, Tampa Bay leads the Southeast Division with 67 points, followed by Washington (63) and Atlanta (57). The Capitals are fifth in the Eastern Conference, where 15 points separate first place from ninth. There can be no lack of urgency for Washington, either, as every team around it, particularly in the improved Southeast, is finding ways to win and improve its shot at the playoffs.

Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Carolina all won their final contest before the break, while the Capitals will have their latest shutout to ponder until after the festivities in Raleigh, N.C., conclude.

"It's a good time to have four days off," Boudreau said. "Mentally because this is a tough loss and [we can] get rejuvenated and come back Monday and practice hard."

By Katie Carrera  | January 27, 2011; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  All-Star Game  
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Next: NHL All Star break roundup; Ovechkin fine after being hit by stick

Comments

With the way OV and Backy have played all year, how could we have not brought in someone to play with them?

This is a joke. Management failed in the offseason, now I am not sure they can fix this.

Posted by: underpants2 | January 27, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

they have been off all season...what will 4 more days do?

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 27, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Maybe summer break will come at a good time for the Caps also...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 27, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Or in the case of the Caps, dead fish still smells like dead fish.

Posted by: Almazar80 | January 27, 2011 8:27 AM | Report abuse

The problem is NOT BB, GMGM, the new system...

The players just DON'T give a crap anymore.

Posted by: 555Mass | January 27, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I'm sitting tight and being patient until one of these two occur, if we don't make the playoffs or lose in the 1st round again.

if the above happens - A/I's for offseason
1) fire bruce budreau
2) trade mike green for def dman (FA '12)
3) trade for a vet goalie

Posted by: Nats1924 | January 27, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Knuble probably plays a role in the locker room that can't be measured by watching games on tv, but he looks terrible right now.
Caps should look for a guy w/ some attitude, who can actually play. Seems that no one on the team is sticking up for one another.

Posted by: saltine182 | January 27, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Time to get a 2nd line centre in there. There's no rule saying they need to wait for the trade deadline to make a trade. But they need to start getting things going fairly quick. Only three and a half games above the 9th place team (and Carolina has a game in hand). That gap's been shrinking for the past couple of months. With 30 games to go if the team can't turn things around you could actually see this team that was supposed to cruise to another division title missing the playoffs.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 27, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

The problem is NOT BB, GMGM, the new system...

The players just DON'T give a crap anymore.

Posted by: 555Mass | January 27, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Most nights that is my take - the kids like Carlson play their guts out but for many of the key guys they play too many shifts without any urgency. They feel too safe and have no motivation to fire them up except for the games with Pittsburgh the fire is missing...there are too many players coasting out there.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | January 27, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

The problem is NOT BB, GMGM, the new system...

The players just DON'T give a crap anymore.

Posted by: 555Mass | January 27, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Most nights that is my take - the kids like Carlson play their guts out but for many of the key guys they play too many shifts without any urgency. They feel too safe and have no motivation to fire them up except for the games with Pittsburgh the fire is missing...there are too many players coasting out there.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | January 27, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

its def not the gm at fault, he was the guy that put this team together

what this young team needs is a coach who flashes his Stanley Cup ring in their faces when times are bad to remind them why they are playing the game

...just like the Red Wings when they were young back in the mid 90's. Mgt hired Scotty Bowman to get them over the hump.

Posted by: Nats1924 | January 27, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I just see a team that is poorly coached. Yes, BigBaby has installed a defense first system that'll help come the playoffs, but is he a good defense-minded coach: no. There is so little balance on this team. I imagine GMGM came to BB and said, change to defense first or I change coaches. Clearly BigBaby does not like this system and it shows in how the team does not exectute. The AS break is a good time to get a new coach before the Caps drop out of playoff contention, and believe me, making Atl look like a great defensive team with an outstanding goalie, means it's time for a change. I am sick of the "hot goalie" excuse to a guy that just gave up 7 goals to TBL the previous game.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | January 27, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The Caps can't score and look disinterested....That is the problem. But you have to give The Thrashers their credit. Craig Ramsay came from Boston and brought their defense first system along.

Posted by: j3rockstar | January 27, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The Caps can't score and look disinterested....That is the problem. But you have to give The Thrashers their credit. Craig Ramsay came from Boston and brought their defense first system along.

Posted by: j3rockstar | January 27, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Green was frustrating to watch in that game. Seemed like whenever he had the puck in the offensive zone he just held it until a defender was right on him, then made soft risky passes. Even if there was good puck movement, when it got to Green everything stopped and he waited for the defence to get back in position. Or if he was carrying the puck in with a bit of speed he'd slow down and drift over towards the boards and make a soft pass to the middle.

Posted by: Stu_c

agreed, i thought Green had a weak game. and frankly I don't think he and Schultz have a lot of chemistry on the backline.

But I bet Erskine's happy he gets to play with Hannan.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 27, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

The problem is NOT BB, GMGM, the new system...

The players just DON'T give a crap anymore.

Posted by: 555Mass

even if that was true as preposterous as that sounds, who do you think assembled and coached a team of players who don't give a crap anymore?

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 27, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Last year, this was a dynamic and fun to watch team, with a little better goal keeping and a defense man or two, they could have possibly won the cup. So... instead of a few personnel changes, BB panics and tries to make them into a defense oriented team, Their first line isn't buying it, and neither am I.

BB needs to get his walking papers...

Posted by: guruvinny | January 27, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Maybe these guys can grow up over the AS break. They clearly don't put out the effort on a nightly basis. They obviously heard all of us whining "nice President's Trophy. BFD. How'd that work out for us?" and no longer care about the regular season, that it doesn't matter. I've heard a number of them say exactly that. I'm sure they're quite convinced that they can just turn it on in April. We'll see.

Posted by: McLobo | January 27, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Not only could you see the frustration mounting from shift to shift to shift Wednesday evening, but i can see the frustration in these completely stupid posts.
This is a very young team that is still learning to win. Their scoring woes are not because they are not trying, 34 or 35 shots on goal, and a lot of those point break melees in front of the crease. They will figure it out and in hockey everything seems to balance out in the end. I would rather them be hot in the playoffs then in January.
Also, they get the best that every team has to offer every game, because they are the Presidents Cup holder, so, I would rather suffer these tough loses at this time of year while playing playoff type hockey games in Nov., Dec., & Jan.then in the first round of the playoffs.
1 more thing, for those who actually follow team sports, Defense takes longer to learn then Offense, and the "new" system is more playoff friendly then the run and gun style of old.
At least I hope so!!!!!! GO CAPS!!!!!!

Posted by: rukind920 | January 27, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Not only could you see the frustration mounting from shift to shift to shift Wednesday evening, but i can see the frustration in these completely stupid posts.
This is a very young team that is still learning to win. Their scoring woes are not because they are not trying, 34 or 35 shots on goal, and a lot of those point break melees in front of the crease. They will figure it out and in hockey everything seems to balance out in the end. I would rather them be hot in the playoffs then in January.
Also, they get the best that every team has to offer every game, because they are the Presidents Cup holder, so, I would rather suffer these tough loses at this time of year while playing playoff type hockey games in Nov., Dec., & Jan.then in the first round of the playoffs.
1 more thing, for those who actually follow team sports, Defense takes longer to learn then Offense, and the "new" system is more playoff friendly then the run and gun style of old.
At least I hope so!!!!!! GO CAPS!!!!!!

Posted by: rukind920 | January 27, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Living in Philly, it's instructive to compare Philly, who tops the league in points right now, to the Caps. Caps are clearly more talented, but the Flyers have greater discipline, a strong, no nonsense coach, and are mentally very tough. They are focused like laser beam every night and show up like professionals to play consistently almost every game. The Caps lack that mental toughness and a coach who can instill and enforce the discipline they sorely lack. I'm sick and tired of the same excuses from Ovie and BB every night about being "too cute," etc., but they rarely change their tune on the ice. I also find their lack of discipline shows up in the little battles they seem to lose in the corners and especially in the O zone crease.

I just have to wonder . . . what's been BB's typical tenure or cycle as a head coach for his past teams?

Posted by: Exile_in_Philly | January 27, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm sitting tight and being patient until one of these two occur, if we don't make the playoffs or lose in the 1st round again.

if the above happens - A/I's for offseason
1) fire bruce budreau
2) trade mike green for def dman (FA '12)
3) trade for a vet goalie

Posted by: Nats1924 | January 27, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Nats1924 are you smokeing crack again!!!!!

Posted by: damifino101 | January 27, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

THIS BS ABOUT PLAYING PLAYOFF HOCKEY IS BECOMING TIRESOME. NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOUR DEFENSE IS AND OURS AIN'T THE BEST YOU STILL HAVE TO SCORE GOALS TO WIN THE FREEKING GAME. CAPS GIVE UP ONE GOAL AND THE GAMES OVER.THEY CAN'T SCORE. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THE TEAM FROM LAST YEAR? WHEN BRUCE CAME HERE HE "TURNED LOOSE THE HORSES" NOW WE'VE GONE BACK TO A DEFENSIVE STYLE OF HOCKEY GIVEN US BY ALL THE PREVIOUS COACHES THE CAPS HAVE EVER HAD WITH LITTLE SUCSESS. GIVE US OFFENCE AND I'LL TAKE MY CHANCES IN THE PLAYOFFS. AT LEAST THEY WILL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS IF WE START SCORING "GOALS" WITH THIS NEW SYSTEM WE MIGHT NOT EVEN MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. ANYBODY NOTICE CAPS HAVE BEEN SHUT OUT 7 TIMES AND HAVE LOST 11 IN A ROW IN OVERTIME AND SHOOTOUTS??? THIS IS PLAYOFF HOCKEY????

Posted by: duckyjimpond | January 28, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

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