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Bruce Boudreau 'pretty disappointed' with Friday's effort

Coach Bruce Boudreau was in foul mood after the Caps self-destructed Friday in Atlanta. He was even grumpier this morning after reviewing video of his team's sloppy 4-2 defeat at Philips Arena.

"I'm still pretty disappointed in the way we played last night," he said. "But then I have to sit back and say, it's one game. You've got to blend the two. We can't play like that, but at the same time, we've got a game tonight, so we can't dwell on it."

Boudreau planned a post-skate video session with the full team to dissect the specific defensive zone miscues.

"They had 15 scoring chances, nine in the second period," he said. "That's way too many."

Boudreau conceded that it was difficult to watch Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec collapse and get carted off 2:25 into the contest. But he also maintained that it was no excuse for the Caps' lack of focus.

"Our guys, at the time, were shaken," Boudreau said. "It was a scary thing. We thought he was dead. It's something that was eerie and we all felt awful about it. But at the same time, once they deemed that everything was fine, we can't let that bother us."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Chris Vivlamore tweeted this morning that Pavelec is still in the hospital for tests and has a concussion.

Tonight, it appears that Michal Neuvirth will make his second straight start as the Caps look to win their ninth straight home opener when the Devils visit Verizon Center. Ilya Kovalchuk and the revamped Devils, meantime, are coming off a 4-3 loss to the Stars at home last night.

Boudreau also hinted that there could be some minor lineup changes. Based on the morning skate, it appears that Boyd Gordon will replace David Steckel as the fourth line center. Enforcer D.J. King also stayed out for extra work, so that likely means he'll be the other odd man out up front. Steckel was a minus-1 with two shots on goals and won seven of his 13 draws last night. He also received more shorthanded ice time than anyone else (3:15).

"There might be," Boudreau said when asked about the possibility of changes. "There's not a big difference with a lot of them [fourth line forwards]. We've got 14 forwards and there are going to be certain games where we're going to need D.J. King and certain games where Boyd Gordon [will] play. [Gordon is] a solid pro and there isn't much difference between him and other guys. It's early in the season, we want to get everyone involved."

On the blue line, Tyler Sloan came off the ice around the same time as he other regulars but wouldn't say whether he was going to play or not. Sloan, however, would have stayed out with Steckel and King if there wasn't at least a chance that he would play.

As for lines, we won't know those for sure until warm-ups. This morning's session was extremely optional with, by my count, nine forwards and four defensemen on the ice.

Some other notes and quotes from KCI:

*Boudreau on Marcus Johansson's debut: "I though his first period was good. He got circling a little bit. But he didn't look out of place."

Johansson did not record a shot on goal and lost all but one of his eight faceoffs. But as we saw with Nicklas Backstrom, there's a huge learning curve when it comes to taking draws in the NHL vs. Sweden. There's also a big difference between the upper body strength of grown men vs. 20-year-olds who are still filling out.

"We didn't play as good as we know we can," Johansson said. "Far from that. It felt different than the preseason games. It was a little bit faster and a safer game. Atlanta always had five guys home, so it was tough to get scoring chances."

*Injured goalie Semyon Varlamov (groin) said he feels much better than he did yesterday and hopes to return to the lineup "next week." He joined his teammates on the ice this morning and looked cautious but not limited.

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 9, 2010; 12:06 PM ET
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers, Bruce Boudreau, Marcus Johansson, New Jersey Devils  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Michal Neuvirth appears set to start tonight
Next: Tonight's lineup: Devils at Caps

Comments

Stay Angry!

Hah...

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Five guys back, wait for the Caps to overcommit, counterstrike...

How many odd-man rushes did they get last night?

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

And Steckel getting that much PK time is a problem.

After the face-off, he's a liability.

Watch how long it takes him to recover positioning when teams work the puck around the perimeter. It will only get worse as the season progresses and teams get sharper on the PP.

He also has trouble winning puck battles and clearing the puck.

If anything, make him part of the second PK unit. I'd put several other forwards out there before him. He really doesn't need to see much time on the PK. He didn't last season either though.

Poti is another liability on the PK. It seems like he should be an asset with his long stick and decent hands but he often gets caught out of position or with his stick in the wrong place or lets a guy camp out in the slot.

Not sure who to use among the defenseman. Schultz suffers from a lack of mobility and some of the same issues as Poti - letting guys camp out in the slot, getting caught out of position, lack of grit to win battles, etc...

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

It's MASS HYSTERIA!

Stay the course. We have assets, we have 11 first round draft picks playing for us in the line-up. The next closest is maybe 7. We have a capologist and room to move. We have more assets in Hershey. We feel crisp and fresh and tonight will be different.

Stay angry...believe in yourselves.

Posted by: Jaymagz | October 9, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

The sad thing is that Carlson and Alzner may end up being our best PKers among defensemen by the end of the season. It's sad that the vets will probably have to learn from them as the season progresses.

I understand that we killed off all the PKs we faced last night but it's just a matter of time before the personnel deficiencies show through, regardless of strategic adjustments, i.e., more aggressive on the points or whatever.

Carlson and Alzner both still have issues and a lot to learn but I feel that they will both prove to be better defensively than most, if not all, of our vets by the end of the season. That would be fine if we were a rebuilding team but not for a team that is expected to do more.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Caps got "outworked" huh? never saw that coming...its just one game though. Plenty more games left in the season to get outworked. Bruce only had what, a whole offseason to get this team ready to come out hard? go back to the ahl bruce. Those players are easier to motivate because they're actually fighting for a paycheck and have something to prove.

Posted by: cstanton1

I agree with most of what you wrote. I don't think the Caps were outworked though, I think they played the "system" and it failed. The "system" being "This team has a lot a talented players, so we should be a lock to win the Cup".
The most disturbing quote I've heard came from Mike Green. He said that BB really doesn't coach the PP he just lets them use their skill to get the job done.

I'm tired of the "grumpy" BB coming out after every loss blaming the players. He is the leader of the team and he needs to be held accountable. Playing Green for 27 minutes and Ovi for 23 is HIS fault. Playing Mike Knuble, who looked tired and slow, 19 minutes is HIS fault. Not having a plan when stretch passes don't work or the team can't "outskill" their opponents on the PP is HIS fault. What is the point of paying him if he expects the players to figure everything out on their own?

Posted by: ablake70 | October 9, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Those forwards hanging out way up high at the opposing blue line makes our defensemen look bad often.

I remember one play where Carlson won a puck and looked up ice with nowhere to go. There was a bunch of empty space at center ice with Thrashers just waiting to pick off the pass. He did well to flip it up to at least give the team a chance to recover.

It's still run 'n gun and one-way play with inconsistent backchecking.

And I do think we got thoroughly outworked last night. It was systems plus a relative lack of effort.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Two players looked good for the caps. Neuvy and Laich. Everyone else was pretty much garbage.

Posted by: Dizruption | October 9, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Ugly game but not as ugly as the opener two years ago down in Atlanta that was 7-4 and the worst Caps loss in GA that season.

Somewhat expect it with the other teams home opener and statement game for the Thrash with all the new guys.

Caps were just not prepared - easier to be ready for a team like NJ or Philly...but I don't like that excuse.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | October 9, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I thought Erskine played a pretty good game but he may have been caught out of position a couple of times. At the very least, he brought full effort, which can't be said about a lot of other players.

Backstrom was average but he isn't 100%.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

@Jaymagz

Mass hysteria!

That's the understatement of the year about the fans' reaction to the Caps loss of last night. If they get off to a bad start overall, the hysteria will get worse.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

If more players on this team had the work ethic and character of Brooks Laich, we'd be an instantly better hockey team.

He's far from elite in terms of skill but he has the perfect attitude to play at this level.

He might've been the best choice for C and I don't say that to knock Ovechkin. Laich is just the epitome of the kind of player you want to go to war with from a character standpoint.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Bring TEB back!!!!!

Posted by: CF11555 | October 9, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

so not only does mike green not know how to play defense but he also doesnt know the rules of the game. how do people think hes good?

Posted by: SovietSnipes | October 9, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

If more players on this team had the work ethic and character of Brooks Laich, we'd be an instantly better hockey team.

He's far from elite in terms of skill but he has the perfect attitude to play at this level.

He might've been the best choice for C and I don't say that to knock Ovechkin. Laich is just the epitome of the kind of player you want to go to war with from a character standpoint.

Posted by: tmac2yao

this is probably the most thoughtful post ive ever read on this board. Ovechkin was the WRONG choice for the C and Liach or Knuble would be much better.

Posted by: SovietSnipes | October 9, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@yesisaiditfirst

Correct statement about last night's game vis a vis the one against Atlanta two years ago.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1 wrote:

"let me predict what will happen tonight. We'll be embarassed about our effort yesterday and come out hard tonight and then everyone will forget about how the Caps can't maintain a work ethic longer than a 2 game stretch.

We always play our hardest after a loss or two. That's one thing that hasn't changed. But after a win or two...old habits will creep in."

That's was the kind of response I requested there not be, or course I didn't expect everyone to hold off because I'm nobody. There is a built in reason for the Caps to fail tonight. Even if they play a great game tonight, in cstanton1's eyes, it is still a bad thing. Can't put together a stretch of more than two games. Didn't the Capitals go like 26 games in a row without a regulation loss last year? Yes, they were lucky, and played poorly at times during that stretch, but they did win.

How about some good feedback like how Erskine and Chimera jumped Peverley for hacking Neuvirth. I realize Peverley didn't do anything wrong but the message was sent, don't hack Neuvy. That alone is a different mindset because the entire team went into the corner.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

As odd as this sounds I htought Flash played a pretty good game minus the opening gaffe. I also stated last night that the ice was horrible with the puck bouncing all over the place. Corey tweeted this morning that bad ice caused Flash to fumble that puck.

I'm not blaming bad ice for the loss but it was a factor. The effort sure didn't seem to be there. I think we all thought the Caps would come out angry and dominate the game and we didn't. It just seemed to me like a lot of rust and players getting to know each other etc. I would expect to see a different team tonight.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 9, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

he was concussed?? how?

Posted by: rachel216 | October 9, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

“We left him out to dry,” Fehr said. “We didn’t get pucks out of our zone and we weren’t pressuring the way we wanted to. It all comes down to our work ethic. We’re a good team but we’re not good when we’re not working.”

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Then Flash got boarded and all Bogosian or whoever it was got was a stare from Ovechkin.

Erksine and Chimera will typically get involved like that, particularly to start off a season when the lack of grit has been on the forefront.

On a team level, we're still too soft, physically and mentally.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

100% if say Peverley gets boarded like Flash did, there would have been a huge scrum initiated by the Thrashers.

Soft, mentally and physically, overall as a team.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The most impressive player last night was Evander Kane imo. Even if you take away the penalty shot I noticed that guy every time he was on the ice. I knew he was a good player but he REALLY looked good yesterday.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Bogosian is the man..that boarding was funny. Flash crumpled like a little boy..and Bogosian is the one who is 20!

Although we lost, at least E. Kane netted two of them. Great late round fantasy pick-up..he should be good for at least 30 this year.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

An example I like to use is Steckel's fight last season right around the trade deadline last season.

Sure, it's an understandable that things like that will trigger an increased motivation to prove yourself.

But the basic point is that this team gets too comfortable playing for a coach that doesn't hold them accountable for certain things on a nightly basis.

It's also just the soft character of too many (not all) the players. That's on McPhee for failing to address that time and again. He did nada this offseason and that was a total failure. He won't be able to do enough at one deadline to address enough weaknesses. He absolutely should've been active this summer like any other GM would've been in his position.

I bet Yzerman proves to be a better GM within 2 years in terms of building balanced hockey teams that are built for postseason success.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

So if Boudreau is "pretty disappointed" does that mean he's only going to give them one day off instead of two?

Posted by: spacecadetkid | October 9, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Yup, Kane is very impressive, not at all just from a scoring standpoint.

We could use more players like him.

Yea, I know he was a high pick but I'm talking about his mix of grit and skill. You can find lesser versions of that out there if your GM is looking for it.

We're too soft.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Administrators in a statement, "We reached out to those affected by this incident and we will continue to support them."

Strassman noted that athletes nominated are furious. And Karen Owen, a former 22-year-old duke, perhaps some interesting questions for future interviews.
Atlanta Thrashers Goalie http://usspost.com/atlanta-thrashers-goalie-19083/

Posted by: susan166 | October 9, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I said it during pre-season, but now I think it's safe to say it again; Bruins will be a null-void factor this year if they can't sustain any offensive pressure.

4-zip yotes.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

If you step back and look, ATL has some top end talent up front and on defense to go with a nice blend of role players.

They got some nice pieces in the Kovalchuk trade and may end up being better off in the long run.

You could make an argument that they are as deep or deeper than us.

It wsa sad to see how many Caps fans here and over at Japers were talking like winning the division was going to be another relative cakewalk, even if not quite as easy.

I don't think it's at all out of the realm of possibility that we finish 2nd or 3rd in the division and have to fight harder than we think for a playoff spot.

No, I'm not saying that'll happen but the talk from Knuble, to Uncle Ted on down has been kind of pathetic.

Got to get there first, which we probably will. But it may not be as easy as people think.

The EC has changed a lot while we've stayed the same.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Yea, every team could use an Evander Kane. Not like he was over-looked though he was taken like 4th or 5th in the 2009 entry draft by Atlanta. He's performing as expected.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

outworked, yet we're angry and believe in ourselves. Are you kidding me ?

kinda looked like the playoffs from last year - a lot of guys contributing nothing. the power play was awful and the first line wasn't worth much.

i would hate to have to go through this kind of show to March and then hope it would change when the playoffs start.

They were terrible last night and looked like a team that had not played a game in a week.

Posted by: outrbnksm | October 9, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Re-read my point... twice if necessary. I very much addressed that.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Yea, I know he was a high pick but I'm talking about his mix of grit and skill. You can find lesser versions of that out there if your GM is looking for it.

Made it easy for you.

The point is that we have a clear-cut deficiency in certain areas and McPhee swung and missed this offseason. It's unlikely that he is able to do enough at one deadline to address those things, esp. given how he handled the prev. deadline.

He had two periods of time to use to address needs which would've increased his, or even a more capable GM's, odds of getting it right.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

E. Kane was 4th overall, but given the circumstances..considering he made the roster out of camp last year as an 18 year old (as did Bogosian a year before), I'd say he is performing well above and beyond expectations.
No knock on Schenn or MPS or anyone like that, but the Thrashers seemed to have made a solid pick in he #4 spot.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

1 single playoff series in 12 years and it was by the slimmest of margins.

He has to be running out of time.

If not, Uncle Ted is clueless, too.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

That 2009 draft was deep as hell though...well, we'll see. But on paper, it's a deep draft.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Well I knew we wouldn't go 82-0 and really there are no cookies for getting 121 points either. I think the extra motivation when the team gets behind in games will not be there because of the lack of urgency to win these reg season games.

Last night the Caps looked slow to me - and the ice looked small....

The Caps have to keep their skates moving - I know the ice was crap but effort usually equals results.

I did notice that Atlanta was forced into quicker decisions on the PP and that was because the Caps tried to challenge them on the PK...only they tired out with long shifts because they could not freeze or clear the puck..

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | October 9, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

richphil,

How do you feel about the offseason moves, or basically the lack thereof?

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I expected more, to say the least. I was calling for Anton at the start of the season last year..haha. I'm not going to dwell on things which aren't going to change right now though. The fact of the matter is, whether you like it or not, GM is our GM, BB is our coach, and Flash, Schultz, Semin, etc (pick whoever you want..for me, it's Poti) are still on the team.

The defensive gaffes last night could be residual from last year...or it could be an aberration. Our first line was almost completely invisible, and I'm sure that played into last night. Alzner caught my eye a few times, both positively and negatively. Carlson was pinching on one of the goals against. (Hey, if people can call out Green, who I feel is a much better player than most people like to give credit for, I can call out Carlson.) I much appreciated Green and Carlson's physicality.

Speaking of physical d-men, I've seen Sami Lepisto throw two big hits so far in this game vs. the B's. Chara has looked worse defensively than Green does on a bad day.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Notice I focus on very pragmatic, real issues here. I'm sort of sick of reading about the GMGM and BB rants, negative assessments and apologists both, to be honest. None of that matters right now. What does matter is how our team, and players, play on every single shift.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Backstrom is 100% so that may have contributed to the weak performance by the top line. Maybe it's just an excuse.

Which goal was it that Carlson got caught pinching on? He definitely seems to get caught doing that occasionally.

The first goal was on Flash's giveaway. The 2nd was the deflection and I believe Green and Schultz were out there. The third was the penalty shot. The 4th was where Hendricks left Modin open in the slot and Alzner poked it right to him trying to get it away from Antropov.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it cost them a goal, but it led to one of the many odd-man breaks ATL had in the first half of the game. Carlson played a good game overall, but he needs to think about when to jump in on the rush a bit more before doing it.

B's just scored two..4-2. Horton.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Flash was terrible last night. We were terrible against the boards. There were so many stick handling turnovers in the offensive zone. The only person that showed up to play was Neuvy, unfortunately he couldn't score any goals while he was busy playing netminder and d-man all night. He should get two paychecks for playing two roles out there.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 9, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

where is chickenlittle when you need him?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 9, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

If you step back and look, ATL has some top end talent up front and on defense to go with a nice blend of role players.

They got some nice pieces in the Kovalchuk trade and may end up being better off in the long run.

You could make an argument that they are as deep or deeper than us.
-------------------------------------------
This is a load of crap! They are built of nothing BUT role players! Where's their 50 goal scorer? Where's their 40 goal scorer? They don't have anybody on their roster who even scored 30 goals last yr!

So don't post this junk of they have a nice mix and may be as deep as we are. There is NO MIX, they have all role players.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 9, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

OH NO, 0-82 here we come! OH NO, the team lost it's first game in Atlanta. That hasn't happened in...oh...two years!! OH NO, that year we went on to win 50 games and win the division and get to the second round of the playoffs. OH NO, nobody came to the aid of Flash when he got boarded even though doing so would have negated a critical power play when the team was down by 2 in the third period at the time. OH NO, Mike Green doesn't know the rules even though the call against him was wrong. OH NO the team is soft although you wouldn't say that to DJ King or John Erskin. OH NO!!!!!!!

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 9, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

E. Kane will score 30 this year, me thinks. Possibly upwards of a 40/40 season...maybe.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"OH NO!!!!!!!"

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 9, 2010 2:47 PM

all is well now - the balance of the universe is right again

thanks CLCF!!!

next time i'll try "where is a win when you need one"

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 9, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

their motto should be "stay lazy" - look for them to be zero and two after tonight. this team - and its management, just don't get it. they send hungry players, like perrault, to the minors...keep players with something to prove, like king, on the bench...and come out like a bunch of lazy prima donnas. that is our team this year. get used to it.

Posted by: dingram3 | October 9, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

LMAO chickenlittle! The sky is falling the sky is falling!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 9, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@ChickenLittle

That was excellent.

@Many of the other posters

C'mon. It's a single game. There are 81 more to go. My goodness. This blog is going to be a miserable place to visit if it becomes overrun with reactionaries who think the Stanley Cup was being contested last night. If nothing, this has been a resilient team in the past. I suspect they come out with renewed vigor tonight. Let last night go. They looked like crap. OK. But guess what? They get to play again this evening.

Posted by: CDon | October 9, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

OH NO, the team is "lazy". OH NO, sent hungry Perrault to the minors to keep that stiff MJ. OH NO, didn't dress King...yeah he would have provided them the offense they needed. OH NO, bunch of lazy primma donnas like Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble. OH NO, love all the new GM's here. OH NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 9, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back, Chicken Little!

Posted by: wocoliz | October 9, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

You don't need to pick up a penalty to stick up for your teammates. Even if you do, that's not always a bad thing.

Bogosian and Kane are both great players, or on the verge of becoming so. Atlanta is more than just role players. I'm not saying they are an elite team. They aren't.

We have advantage in top end talent by a little but you could make a strong argument that they are better balanced and about as deep. Unless of course you want to overrate our role players based on putting up stats in a stat-inflating run 'n gun offense.

A lot of teams would see stat-inflation with Boudreau running the ship but they wouldn't be playing sound two-way hockey and their players would fall into bad habits after not being held accountable for certain parts of the game over the course of a season. If they had a better GM, maybe he could diminish those issues by constructing more balanced rosters.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

OH NO!!!!!!!

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan

LOL - welcome back CLCF! Let the season begin! All is right with the world...

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 9, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I just love the arrogance of some fans thinking that this is gonna be another cakewalk season through the SE and that McPhee was brilliant to do nothing this offseason to address blatantly obvious weaknesses.

Flash = not a 2C

Johansson will have his hands full at 3C.

We are not good enough, defensively.

We are not tough enough, mentally or physically, overall as a team. This group can not play at the level of intensity that you saw from teams that made deep runs last season.

McPhee will either swing and miss at the trade deadline or fail to do enough to address weaknesses after sitting on his hands this offseason. He needed at least 2 cracks at it to maybe get it right. He has 1 chance now and it's hard to be encouraged after the Corvo failure.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

12 years... 1 playoff win by the slimmest of margins that maybe goes the other way if Fedorov doesn't fit a puck into a keyhole.

McPhee is doing great!

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

After watching BB's commercial last night I thought he deserved an Emmy, he was very good with the bird calls and sounds! But as far as coaching our team...well he's terrible, how you can lose with this talent is beyond me! GMGM has really put the pieces of the puzzle out there for him to put together, but he can't do it. It's really time to send this clown with his pockets full of cheeseburgers back to the minors or acting school, he's killing us and it's time to bring in a real coach, who will actually act like a professional and win! Ask yourself this...would Scotty Bowman lose with this team or act like a goof acting in low budget commercials? No, he wouldn't and as for the line-up...are you kidding me! It was time to flush "Flash" last year, bring in MP and sit Gordon & Steckel(even though I love this guy)and move MJ to 2nd line center, MP third line center and have Hendricks center the crash line with Bradley and King. Then we will see a difference, trust me anybody who has had a pair of hockey skates on would understand! I'm already upset, fell a sleep in the second period and the season has just begun, the potential is their but with no leadership behind the bench it won't happen. Let's keep our fingers crossed! Go Caps!

Posted by: PhilHelmuth | October 9, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

April.

Posted by: DCFanatic | October 9, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

So tmac, what would u have done differently this off season. And don't say sign volchenkov and Martin and lombadi, etc cause u know they wouldn't fit under the cap.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 9, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

GMGM has really put the pieces of the puzzle out there for him to put together, but he can't do it.

Posted by: PhilHelmuth | October 9, 2010 3:35 PM

Huh?

would Scotty Bowman lose with this team?

Posted by: PhilHelmuth | October 9, 2010 3:35 PM

Lots of players wouldn't even be playing or on the team at this point of Bowman was coaching it.

move MJ to 2nd line center, MP third line center and have Hendricks center the crash line with Bradley and King

Posted by: PhilHelmuth | October 9, 2010 3:35 PM

Huh?

Johansson will likely have more than enough challenge holding down 3C. I'm looking forward to his development but it's too early to be annointing him the 2C. He has a long way to go. The truth is, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he struggles to stay up this season. There is a long way to go. Early signs aren't bad.

Not sure King is a 3rd liner, either. We do need to see him out there though.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

So tmac, what would u have done differently this off season. And don't say sign volchenkov and Martin and lombadi, etc cause u know they wouldn't fit under the cap.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 9, 2010 3:45 PM

Easy. Fire George McPhee and go from there.

I don't have the answers but it's painfully obvious that McPhee doesn't, either.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Don't hit the panic switch yet boys--looking for a big turnaround tonight. Ovi scores 2!

Going on Monday can't wait...

Posted by: thebone | October 9, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

It's absolutely hilarious to read someone trying to discredit BB's ability to coach, chalking our recent (regular season) success to the "skill" and "talent" on this team. Do you know what place we were in before BB and post-BB? I do.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

If we lose tonight I'm sure there will be some entertaining reading tomorrow. Not only that but I'm sure I'll hear all the "snaps" of people breaking their legs jumping off the bandwagon way out here in Colorado.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 9, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Our core players were also extremely young and would've improved greatly under any coach. They were very early in the rebuild at that point.

I absolutely think that Boudreau deserves credit for changing the direction of this team - they improved drastically and quickly so it was more than just the players' growth - but I'm not confident that he can take them to the next level, esp. with McPhee failing in his role.

There is also something to be said about change, in itself, sometimes sparking a team. You see it all the time in every sport. It could've had as much to do with the previous coach being bad as the new coach being good. There is no telling what this team would've done over the last 3 years if they went from Hanlon to another coach. Or from Hanlon to another coach and another GM. Maybe they go further in the playoffs for a mutltitude of reasons.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I can't speak for others but my issues would be the same regardless of last night's result. I was saying the same things when we were 5-0 or whatever in the preseason.

McPhee failed by sitting on his hands this offseason. I have no doubt that he is a problem.

I'm not as negative on Boudreau but I do think there is justification to questioning him.

He was blatantly and severaly outcoached in just about every playoff series. Most recently, Montreal. 2 years ago, Pitt completed tilted the ice as the series progressed.

It's one thing when you face the Caps' unusual style of play on a one-off basis in the regular season.

It's starting to look clear thought that when you face his team in a series, it becomes increasingly easy to exploit his style of play and the deficiencies on this roster (McPhee).

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

*severely

And adding that Boudreau seems to lack the ability to counter-adjust. Once his teams get figured it out, keep doing the same thing even if it's failing.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

where is chickenlittle when you need him?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Capt, I was going to ask this same question yesterday but didn't have the time, I was busy trying to outrun the sky.

ChickenLittle- Always love reading your posts, keep 'em coming.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | October 9, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

@tmac

You do not win the President's Trophy/best record in the regular season in any sport by being a bad coach. Can he coach playoff hockey? Who knows, but to imply such things like he doesn't know what he's doing, can't ever win at this level, etc is just ridiculous.

Look at Backstrom, pre and post-BB. It has ALOT more to it than simply having the players 'Mature" by themselves. You really think the dramatic shift in the team's direction, the dramatic shift in Backstrom's production, etc, etc is only chalked up to "change" and the players maturing themselves? Completely absurd. Yeah, BB has a lot of problems, including player accountability, etc, etc, but the proof is in the pudding; the guy can coack hockey.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I mis-read, you do feel that BB had a hand in the team's success. I just want to make sure it's blindingly obvious..because it is.

Will we ever win with BB? Will BB ever learn the ability to counter-adjust in the playoffs? Who knows, those are separate questions.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Bruce has a long history of not having his team ready. See "consistently taking too many nights off" (2008-2009 season, culminating is Game 7 disaster vs. Pittsburgh), "consistently falling behind by 2 goals (2009-2010 season, culminating in Opening Round disaster vs. Montreal). *Bruce* is disappointed? Hahaha. Talk to the mirror Big Man.

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | October 9, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil2

Good posts. Thanks for your specificity and rational thought. Too much global doom going on around here.

Like you I get tired of the meme that the regular season is meaningless. Aside from the fact that I love watching the games, teams need these 82 games to rework their systems, develop their line chemistry, and develop good habits and better discipline.

They sure came out flat which I didn't like but no team in this league plays on fire every night. I agree that talking about firing the manager and/or coach at this juncture is pointless. Around Thanksgiving is when I expect the team to have jelled or change ups to happen.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | October 9, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao--"There is no telling what this team would've done over the last 3 years if they went from Hanlon to another coach. Or from Hanlon to another coach and another GM. Maybe they go further in the playoffs for a mutltitude of reasons."

The wonderful nature of hypotheticals is that they can be argued to make any point. Maybe with a different coach or GM they don't even make it to the playoffs. But I appreciate your use of the word "maybe."

Bottom line is one doesn't fire a coach or GM after the best regular season this franchise has ever had. But this year is IMO a decisive one for both of them. I don't buy that this team won't make the playoffs. If they are struggling that badly then Boudreau will be gone. If Boudreau can't get the team and himself over the playoff hump then yeah he may well be gone next summer. And Boudreau goes then McPhee will have to reexamine how this team is built. But I think his window is wider than Boudreau's.

However, I am willing to wait and see how this season unfolds. I have some major concerns on age, depth, and holes with the team, but one game does not a season make.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | October 9, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

ROFLMFAO JOE B! Here's Joe B calling a play. "And here comes Semin and.... (Semin trips on an ice snake) that will not make the highlights!!!!!!!!!!
(LAUGH LAUGH) That looked more like the Locker snapshot of old"

ROFLMFAO!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 9, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

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