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Caps end slide at two despite early barrage

Saturday night's game against the Thrashers might not have started off pretty for the Capitals, but a combined 76 shots, 44 hits and a 4-3 overtime win later it may have just been the game they needed coming off consecutive losses earlier this week. You can read more about Alexander Semin's hat trick and Washington's victory in my story for Sunday's hard-copy edition.

Part of Washington's slow start can be attributed to Atlanta's momentum coming off two straight losses of its own entering the game. But as the Thrashers outshot the Capitals, 13-4, in the first period and at one point in the second held a 21-6 edge in shots on goal, Michal Neuvirth did what he has become accustomed to doing. He kept the game close enough for the Capitals to fight back.

"He was keeping us in the game, and good goalies keep you in the game," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's unfortunate they scored that goal at the end. I would have liked to see him come out with only two goals against, but we managed to battle through it and get the win, which is obviously the important thing."

For Neuvirth, who stopped 29 of the 32 Thrashers' shots, this was his first start since exiting Tuesday's game with flu symptoms.

"I was kind of thinking about that last game when I didn't feel really good. I was just trying to get through the first period and after that it got better," Neuvirth said. "I might have let a couple of big rebounds, but it wasn't an easy game for me at first. It was a big win for us, I'm glad."

Neuvirth said as the Capitals faced a barrage of early shots and as they killed off eight of nine Thrashers' power plays it boosted his confidence to see his teammates winning so many faceoffs. The Capitals won 64 percent of the draws Saturday night (41 of 64), with faceoff specialist David Steckel leading the way by winning 13 of the 16 he took. Brooks Laich won all five of his draws, Mathieu Perreault won 9 of 14 and Nicklas Backstrom 10 of 19.

The success on faceoffs was a particularly big help considering that for most of the contest Washington played with only five defensemen. Mike Green, who dressed for the first time after missing the past three games with an upper-body injury, played only on the power play and finished the contest with 5:39 of ice time and a goal waved off.

"It was good [to have Green back on the power play]," Boudreau said. "I would have liked to have had him more, but even though we didn't score any goals I thought we had constant pressure and the power play was more like we're capable of playing it. I wasn't nervous about him at all. We made the decision before the game that we would see how Mike is; if he is comfortable we will play him more, but the intent was to play him on the power play and go with five [defensemen]."

Here are some other notes and quotes:
--Mathieu Perreault couldn't have asked for a better debut in his first NHL game of the 2010-11 campaign. With two assists, a plus-3 rating and 64 percent success rate on faceoffs he provided a boost in a game the Capitals needed to win. It also doesn't hurt to have chemistry with Semin.

"He's such a good player," Perreault said of Semin. "He makes the job easier for me on the ice and hopefully we can get some more games like that."

Said Boudreau: "He played pretty good. He was the catalyst in the third period. Semin had two goals this year, Perreault comes in and he gets three."

--In case you couldn't tell on TV or in Verizon Center, Neuvirth wasn't exactly expecting Dustin Byfuglien to bowl him over in the second period, but he said there wasn't any damage.

"I didn't see that coming," Neuvirth said. "He took a shot and was trying to go short side. I was following the puck, and I took the big hit. I think if the net wasn't there I would have wound up in the corner."

Here is Boudreau's take: "You could see that Byfuglien almost wanted to make it look like he wasn't trying to hit him, but he did try to hit him. You could see he leaned his leg in a little and with his shoulder. When a man that size comes in at 20 miles an hour it's going to knock you for a loop."

--The Capitals are undefeated in overtime games this season and 4-1-0 at Verizon Center.

--The team is off Sunday and returns to the ice for a 10:30 a.m. practice Monday.

By Katie Carrera  | October 23, 2010; 11:04 PM ET
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tonight's lineup: Thrashers at Caps
Next: Braden Holtby recalled from Hershey


Yeah, that jerk Buff-ugly definitely meant to do what he did. I'm just glad Neuvy could walk away from it.

Posted by: AmyS1 | October 24, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Yes, BB said just what I said on the other thread, Buff had the option on what to do and gave a little "lean" towards Neuvy's head.

My compliments to the refs who got it right. I call em how I see em and had a Caps player done that to another goalie, I'd say the same thing. Buff leaned in just enough to make it try and look accidental (kinda like Ovi-Gonchar May 2009).

Does this mean I wouldn't trade Flash and a #1 for Buff?

No, I'd do that trade in an instant.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 24, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

@Hunterforcoach, Lloydchristmas, and playoffs are all that matter types everywhere.

First of all, I don't believe in the BS the major American leagues try to feed everyone nowadays about the playoffs being the only thing that matters. I guess that line of thinking makes the single elimination tournament at the end of the season a little more exciting, but if you really buy into that, there isn't much point in watching the regular season, at least not when you're talking about a team like the Capitals that is definitely going to make it. Maybe you should just stop watching since this doesn't matter and come back next summer.

I happen to think it does matter. I celebrate the champion of the regular season in the NHL. I think most other people think it matters, to varying degrees, and not just because it determines seeding in the playoffs, and that is why they bother to watch even teams they know will get in.

And I'm glad you brought up Scotty Bowman. Bowman had a .632 playoff win percentage throughout his 30-year coaching career. That is really good. There is a large sample size to look at (353 games), so it's no fluke.

The criticism is that Bruce Boudreau has done poorly in the playoffs in his first three seasons, yes?

Let's look at how Scotty Bowman did during his first five seasons. His winning percentage during his first five regular seasons was .612 (ignoring ties). Yet Bowman went 28-30 in the playoffs during those same five seasons. That's only a .483 winning percentage.

That isn't much better than Bruce Boudreau's .463 percentage and 13-15 record over his first three seasons. But maybe give him a couple more before we finish doing the comparison.

Posted by: youaresquishy | October 24, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Bowman went on to win his first Stanley Cup in 1973, during his second season with the Montreal Canadiens--a team which I remember as a team that was far more dominant and talented in relation to the rest of the NHL at the time than the Capitals are now. Of course some part of that was Bowman's coaching, but the players on that team were incredible for their time and many are in the Hall of Fame now. They had not only an incredible offense, but the best defense/goalie combination in the NHL. I'm sure Boudreau would really appreciate some extra talent on the defensive side.

Posted by: youaresquishy | October 24, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Wow MP was +3 tonight. Go figure. Guess Cody Eakin is going to have to wait a little longer. He was only +1 tonight in Swift Current with a goal and an assist.

Posted by: dull | October 24, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Read below. Maybe it is not fair to bring up Scotty Bowman's name when mentioning BB. Bowman is the greatest hockey coach of all time. I am sure that if Bowman was the Caps coach they would perform better though in the playoffs.

William Scott "Scotty" Bowman (born September 18, 1933) is a retired National Hockey League head coach. He holds the record for most wins in league history, with 1,244 wins in the regular season and 223 in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He coached the St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Detroit Red Wings. He is currently the Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations for the Chicago Blackhawks.

As head coach, Bowman has won a record nine Stanley Cups with the Canadiens (1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979), Penguins (1992) and Red Wings (1997, 1998, and 2002). He has also won three Stanley Cups as a member of an organization's front office. He was director of player development for the 1991 Penguins, Consultant with the 2008 Detroit Red Wings, and Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations for the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks. Bowman won the Jack Adams Award in 1977 and 1996. In the 1976–77 season he won a record 60 games and broke his own record with 62 wins in 1995–96. Bowman is the only head coach in the history of the NHL, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, or the National Basketball Association who has won championships with three different teams.

Posted by: pkme | October 24, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

I don't remember who it was who was talking up 85 during the game and I talked about the turnover he had made. You were right he did make up for it, BIG TIME. I also was never sure he would be the answer after but after tonight, and I know it was just one game, I think he might be a very good answer if the the answer.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 24, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Gee what a suprise (sarcasm) MP does well. Give the guy a jersey BB! Get over the whole he is too short thing.

Posted by: cirrus_nine | October 24, 2010 5:02 AM | Report abuse

Way to go, Caps! Although it still seems like the team is shakey and not a well oiled machine (yet), they played pretty well last night. Nice to see Semin score a hat trick, especially after people bashed him last year for only scoring in games when the Caps were going to win anyway. Sometimes it's nice to just get a win and enjoy it, folks!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 24, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

@squishy, you celebrate the regular season champion in the NHL? How exactly do you celebrate, and do you celebrate other teams?

I'm not trying to pick on your post, but i'm wondering what exactly you meant.

Posted by: Fletch22 | October 24, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

The playoffs are all that matters because winning the Cup is all that matters.

Posted by: poguesmahone | October 24, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I think I used the wrong word? I celebrated when the Capitals won the Presidents' Trophy. I recognize other teams when they win it.

The notion that the Stanley Cup is all that matters is, like I said, completely undermined by the fact that any of you are bothering to watch these games the Capitals are playing even though you already know the Capitals are going to make the playoffs. How are you going to put up with an 82-game seven-month long preseason? You're not. The Cup is clearly not all that matters.

The playoffs are an extremely interesting single elimination tournament at the end of the regular season. And this BS that floats around re the Cup being the only thing that matters definitely makes them more interesting than they otherwise would be. But there's no point in investing all of our interest in that tournament when we have a perfectly good roundrobinesque tournament to enjoy right now, which of course would be less interesting if we weren't interested in who wins it.

Posted by: youaresquishy | October 24, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

MP really seemed to make a difference in Semin last night. As they said in the broadcast last night, the key for him staying up is consistency. With that said, after watching the first 8 games, this is a lineup I think they should go with:


Chimera has not shown me much this year and is deserving of only 4th line minutes.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | October 24, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse


You're saying it's not fair to bring up Scotty Bowman's name when speaking of Bruce Boudreau, so you are definitely missing my point completely.

I was responding to folks that want Bruce Boudreau to be fired. I mentioned that I believe he has the best regular season record since he was hired. I explained that such a move would be risky, because there isn't much room for improvement, and the chances of actually finding one of the handful of coaches that could do better with this group of players are not all that great.

The issue of Boudreau's 13-15 playoff record was then raised. Someone suggested the idea of hiring Bowman as a consultant. I thought of the idea of looking to see just how well Bowman, who everyone already knows has enjoyed a lot of playoff success throughout his 30-year career, did in his first few years.

In his first five years, his playoff record is similar to Boudreau's so far. The point is that not only is the sample size very small, but even someone like the universally-recognized playoff success story Scotty Bowman didn't have that great a playoff record at first. It took him a while to generate the success we all know about now.

Boudreau could be a bad coach for all I know--I don't know enough about hockey to really understand when he's making a bad move most of the time and this sort of thing. But I know, or at least I'm pretty sure, he still has the best regular season record since he started coaching the Capitals, and I'm certain that he's been involved in too few playoff games for that to be a good gauge, all by itself, of the quality of his coaching, and Bowman's early relative lack of success (relative to later in his career) is cited as an example of the perils of using sample sizes that are too small.

Posted by: youaresquishy | October 24, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

To reiterate, the great nine-time Stanley Cup-winning coach Scotty Bowman, had a playoffs record of only 28-30 over his first five years as a coach.

Boudreau's playoffs record over his first three years as a coach stands at 13-15.

The similarity that I'm referring to is in the sizes of the samples. In other words, I believe, in an alternate universe, if Bruce Boudreau were actually Scotty Bowman, and Bowman started with an insanely great regular season record but went only 13-15 in the playoffs for his first three years, the people calling for Boudreau's head in this universe now would be calling for Bowman's in that one, which we all know would be an absurd thing to do.

Boudreau may or may not be destined to win nine Stanley Cups--probably not since there are so many teams in the league nowadays. But it's unreasonable to call for the head of a coach who has the best regular season record of all of his peers just because of a barely sub-.500 record in 28 playoff games.

Now, if there is something specific he did wrong in the playoffs--that's another issue entirely. I'll leave that discussion up to those of you who know about such things. I'm just saying that his playoffs record alone isn't even close to a sufficient reason to fire him.

Posted by: youaresquishy | October 24, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I agree with moving Chimera to 4th line. Let Hendricks center he and Bradley.

Steckel cannot be in the line up anymore. After Byfuglien decked Neuvirth, Steckel skated right up to him and did nothing. Kudos to Erskine for jumping in.

Normally, I am a dark sider. But I have to give Semin props for last night, he was awesome. Playing for a big fat contract is always great motivation.

Nice win considering Green was a specialist. It was a gamble that didn't payoff, but I liked the gamble.

Posted by: underpants2 | October 24, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

The Caps are still winning a lot more on talent than system. Tonight it was Semin's turn to be the hero. The Caps give up way too many odd man rushes and do not sustain as much offensive pressure as last year. Besides Boston, the Caps have not played very good teams so far and seem to win by snatching a victory out of the jaws of defeat (exception NJD). Other teams have solved BB' system with neutral zone trap and dropping back all five. It's time for BB to adapt or go, frankly.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 24, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

And the Caps obvisoulsy need to pick up 1-2 effective blueliners. If I have to watch Sloan get beat or watch a guy (e.g. Kane) take multiple whacks just standing there, I will be short a tv.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 24, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of demoting folks, I'm not sure about this, but does something seem a little off about Knuble's game so far? It doesn't seem quite as, I dunno, intense as last year's.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if Fehr were up there on the front line every now and then.

Posted by: youaresquishy | October 24, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Backstrom also doesn't seem to be quite as good as he seemed most of last year. I dunno.

And the point about defense was another point I was trying to make. Boudreau would definitely benefit from having Ken Dryden in net and a defense like the one the 70's Canadiens had.

I will stay out of the discussion about Boudreau's system because I don't know enough about it. I enjoy watching it, but that's about all I should say.

Posted by: youaresquishy | October 24, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The effort was much better in that game...the fist line while not great looked CLOSER to clicking, we were playing with 5 D, Green's goal should not have been overuled as his skate did not leave the ice, and we won. It was a small step in the right direction.

For those who say the playoffs are all that matters...BS! First of all the Caps are a business, second if a cup is all that matters to you then be prepared for dissapointment most of your life as only ONE team wins a year!

Varly is gonna ruin this team! If we are forced to go get another goalie instead of a D or C!

Posted by: capscoach | October 24, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

re: Knuble

If I recall correctly, he started out slow last year as well and then went on that run in the middle of the season. I get the feeling he is a slow starter.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | October 24, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse


The whole first line is off, though I thought they were better last night. The one exception is Backstrom's surprising lack of backcheck on Kane's tying goal. He's definitely more than a stride off, not sure if its contract pressure or something else.

I think MP needs a good body of work (10-15 games) to prove or disprove his value. To me, he needs to stay.

This team is still woefully thin on D. That said, I thought Erskine may have played his best game as a Cap last night.

Posted by: rnscaps | October 24, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I agree about Knuble - he seems to be invisible (on the score sheet, at least). Backs is a slow starter, too - so that makes 2/3 of our top line "slow" for the first month of the season. Not good.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | October 24, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

just glad we had a win, but still disappointed with the ovi-backstrom-knuble line. hard to see the other team scoring in front of the net while 3 or 4 caps players in the play. hope they practice more. specially ovi, please stop going to the clubs for the meantime. i just wonder why you always fall even nobody is tripping you? it does not look good since you are considered strong. be smart ovi, grow up. you're getting old now & you should be better growing old because a lot of young players like stamkos will embarrased you. look at datsuk, how he conducts himself on & off the ice. and most of all, he's playing good hockey right now.

Posted by: capsfan2007 | October 24, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"He's such a good player," Perreault said of Semin. "He makes the job easier for me on the ice and …”

Perreault has a lot to learn about hockey. Geez! Calling Semin a good player …

Posted by: hock1 | October 24, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Just a dirty play by Buff. He had every chance to avoid Neuvy. But he intentionally stuck his elbow out and clipped Neuvy. There was no reason for the elbow to come out.. 100% intentional, probably tried to throw him off his game and get away with it. Good thing Erskine put him in his place.

The makeup call on Ovie "running" into Mason was awful. They need to make the rule black and white. Too much grey area still.

Posted by: rachel216 | October 24, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Semin is a great skill and offensive player. He has no heart, no guts. And probably doesn't know his own goalie's name.

Fehr= Hershey. Terrible. Big guy, with nothing to offer. Same with Chimera.

Keep Johannson up and keep Perrault up.

Send beagle to the pound. We have enough skate around do nothing forth liners.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | October 24, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Re Knuble: Besides being a slow starter, after MTL and the playoffs last year teams are playing the caps different, now conceding the perimeter to the caps while clogging up the middle, thus making it harder for Knuble to get in front of net.

Mike's a savvy veteran and he knows it's a long season and he needs to save the juice for when it really matters.

Posted by: rademaar | October 24, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Can someone tell me why Mathieu Perreault is in Hershey and not up here. I mean some of the no gamers coach BB chooses to keep up here in place of a talented spark plug like Perreault is a real head scratcher.
Coach BB stop with keeping your favs up in place of players that actually produce.

Posted by: jotay131 | October 24, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

It makes a big difference if your 2nd line is winning faceoffs. I like Johansson but he isn't winning enough draws yet to be centering.

Posted by: Stu_c | October 24, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

youareshishy: I don't think your Bowman comparison is valid. I believe he was coach of the fledgling St. Louis Blues his first few years, starting in 67. From memory, could be wrong, Bowman coached the Blues to the Finals in all of his first three years, only to then get hammered in the Finals.


Becuase at the time, when NHL went from 6 to 12, if I recall, the Original 6 were left as one conf and the New 6 were the other conf. Therefore winning both rounds those first three seasons and capturing New 6 title was a major accomplishment (got him to promoted to coach Habs, too, didn't it). The New 6 though because they were all way weaker than the Original 6 had no chance in the Finals and, in fact, got swept all three years.

So, if you just looked at Bowman's first three years, and discounted the Finals, his playoff record was 24-10.

I would say a better measure of his coaching, perhaps as good as anything he accomplished, was winning the Western Conf over 5 equal opponents for the first three years.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 24, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

If the Caps continue their playoff troubles NO MATTER how well they do during the season and refuse to make changes with the GM and the coach, that's gonna be a proof that winning the Cup isn't their number one priority like it is with teams like Chicago, Philly, Pittsburgh or Detroit... All they care about is "rocking the red" and filling up the seats during the season meaning $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Posted by: joek443 | October 24, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

BB is no Bowman nor will he ever be... he's too much of a "player's coach" to be Bowman and which is why he stinks in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | October 24, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Knuble has been first rate on the PP.

Perreault did this last year. Don't get too excited until it continues more than 6-8 games.

squishy: The BB problem with system re:Playoffs is, in all three years, the other teams have dominated play in front of the net at both ends of the ice. This is specifically why we lost to Flyers, Pens and then Habs.

Oh, I forgot, it was a hot goalie.

My bad.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 24, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

you can win a lot of games on talent alone during the season but you need more than just talent to win SC playoff hockey.

if you want to see talent winning it all all the time, you should stick to watching NBA basketball. in hockey all those other intangibles such as grit and determination are just as important as talent which makes SC playoffs very unique.

has anyone ever seen those curl & drag moves that Ovi and Semin are so fond of actually work in the playoffs?? I didn't think so...

Posted by: joek443 | October 24, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Joke, your rap on Semin is so last year as the kids used to say. He's playing with heart and guts, he's stealing pucks, fighting on the forecheck, killing penalties, and checking hard. He was awesome last night, but he's been solid this year leading up to last night.

I don't know what's up with Knuble and why he's missing the passes and missing the net. He's shined at times along the boards, but for all our better play on the forecheck this year we're lacking strength up the middle and he's a guy we need to count on there.

Posted by: Justafan | October 24, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@soaring caps, I couldn't agree more on Fehr. Said basically what you did a bunch of posts before this one. He's brutal, he floats in all three zones, turns away from hitting opposing players, and he will never engage in corner battles. Add to that he's terrible in the D zone. He is the definition of soft.

It's bad enough we got a 6 foot plus player on D who plays soft, but to have two on the same team is brutal.

Maybe if we had a coach who actually put some time and effort into developing his players, Fehr could develop into something more, but with BB in charge. This is as good as he'll get, which isn't very good at all.

Posted by: Fletch22 | October 24, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse


Your post about Semin is confusing. Did you actually watch the game last night?

The first goal was a beautiful slapshot with a lovely ping sound one could hear clearly all the way up into the 400s.

And the second and third he was right at the crease, as was MP and Laich. Isn't that what they need to do--crash the net more. Between MP's quick opportunistic passes and Semin's ability to control the puck, those two goals were just beautiful in their dirtiness.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | October 24, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Tominsocal: are you trying to make up for cstanton's absence? I'm detecting some biting sarcasm rather than your usual light hearted type of comments. just wondering....

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 24, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know the Caps record when Caleb Green sings the national anthem?

Posted by: griz0615 | October 24, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@Fletch - couldn't agree more on Fehr, he's brutal against good defenders [granted he can eat up #6,7 d-men but you rarely face those guys in the playoffs]. Not very physical especially for a guy his size. And brutally slow.

Laich's greatest value is as a 3L, he's not a true top-6 but he'd be ideal on a good playoff team's 3rd line. Flash on the left side with Semin with a true center in between [either MJ, or perhaps MP, we'll see if he keeps it up] is a very dangerous line - which in turn would also free up the first line from the other team's top defenders.

Speaking of the 1L, right now Knuble should easily have 7-8 goals so far, top-6 wingers should not miss those. We wouldn't be talking about Backy's tough start [which is typical for him, and he may be pressing a little bit after his new contract, which is natural] if Knuble had buried even half the golden chances he's been getting. If he's not banging bodies and crashing the net, he has limited value on the top line.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 24, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Find a way to move Steckel or Gordon:


Posted by: tmac2yao | October 23, 2010 9:26 PM

I would like to see these combos - and for the life of me I can't understand BB's undying faith in Steckel. Yes he's good on faceoffs - the single most overrated stat in hockey. Most faceoffs do not matter, with a few rare exceptions. So.effing.what. Why didn't he go after Buff after that cheap shot on Neuvy? 6 foot plus and soft is terrible for a team's morale, even for a top-6 forward - which he certainly isn't. Well at least the lumberjack [#4] rode to the rescue and went after Buff, you simply can't let that slide.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 24, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

3 games without a point Mr. OV-errated doesn't even get a mention. And what is up with the lack of post game comments from this guy? He's the captain for crying out loud. Or has he become so robotic and hard to understand in his comments that no one bothers to post what he says anymore?

The Caps have gotten old in this league. Their top line is being smothered and no one on the Caps have an answer for it. Just proof again that they're nothing but a bunch of overrated chokers.. can't even get it done in the regular season now. Same results will show in the playoffs.

Posted by: BigGameSid | October 24, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

So what's OV's excuse this time? Can't even score vs a team like Atlanta... disgraceful. What a sham this guy is. Where's the accountability?

Never going to happen but if Big Bouds had big balls, he should pull Devil and healthy scratch OVerrated for a few games since he's done nothing vs good and lousy opponents. And he's supposedly the best player in the world? What a disgrace.

Posted by: BigGameSid | October 24, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

dccitizen1: As a middle-of-the-roader, I sometimes float to the Dark Side and sometimes even take a tiny sip of red Kool-Aid.

I think BB is a decent regular season coach and good motivator of young players. So far in the Playoffs he's been below average. Whereas Mark French adapted Hershey's stype from pretty to ugly in order to win last year, BB kept up the shooting gallery and lost.

Then he blamed it on a hot goalie.

The other two years, the caps lost because they lost the battle in the trenches to Philly and Pens. Last year we lost because there was no battle in the trenches, which there should have been.

BTW, cstanton is right more than he's wrong. I'd say he's about 75% right.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 24, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Biggamesid, while I don't agree with the tone of your post, you raise some valid points about OV. I don't know how others feel about it, but unless OV gets someone, or a bunch of folks in the organization, to demand that OV put as much work in as it would seem Crosby puts in, then we're in for 10 more years of his curl and drag move.

There comes a point when if you keep failing in the playoffs, the captain needs to lead by example and maybe spend less time partying all summer, and more time working on his deficiencies.

I disagree about sitting OV, at least for now, there are plenty of other candidates to be benched and my list starts with Eric F'n Fehr.

Posted by: Fletch22 | October 24, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

@biggame -Cindy

Keep talking up those Pens and Steelers, because our NBA frachise will win 1,000 titles before the NBA puts a team in a withering steel town who's population all seems to be moving to D.C.

Also, our Caps will win 5 cUps before the Pirates have another winning season. How many consecutive losing seasons now ? 18, 19, 25. Major league record !! City of Champions !! (And perv Q-backs: C. Stewart and Big Ben [and little his ben])

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 24, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Don't feed trolls.

Posted by: Justafan | October 24, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse


I have to admit after 35 years of bad hockey, I've gone to the darkside. The guts of the '98 team, Stevens, Langway, Ovi, Kolzig, Bondra, Hunter, Backy, Dino (maybe Erskine) have kept me hanging in there like a Cubs fan.

It's a tough life for us in our 50's. We've been cheering for a long, long, long, time.

Little patience for BB's act anymore. GMGM is a smoke blower. I think Ted may be smart enough to see a dead end game plan before our talent gets old and hurt.

Geez, does mike Green need a real NHL coach to mentor him. This kid could be Bobby O., with the proper discipline. A shame to see.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 24, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse


Cstanton are you alive out there.

Somebody just said you were right %75 of the time

Send Stecks, Fehr, Knuble, Chimera and BB to Hershey

MP will fade out like last year. I like him. i hope he can keep the fire this time

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 24, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@Fletch I'm glad at least one Cap fan has some common sense.

OV needs to pull his head out of his ass, put in the actual work ethic and dedication like a Crosby, Datsyuk, and even a Stamkos, and smarten up otherwise he'll never get over the hump of just being a great, flashy regular season, OFFENSIVE player.

All he does is the same things that he's good at, relies on his talent and natural physical ability, well great if you can keep doing that and the opposition can't stop you. But it has been shown so many times now that a defense CAN stop him, and he fails to adapt, fails to learn, and fails to improve.

When are you going to hear that he comes to camp in the best shape of his career, instead of all the stories of partying that he does in the offseason? When are you going to hear stories of him working his ass off on the ice, in the video room, being a student of the game and finding ways to improve his weaknesses? Emotion, raw skill can only take you so far.. again look at examples of guys like Crosby, Datsyuk, and Stamkos. What they do on and off the ice, and not just focus all on getting points and physical abilities. There's a mental side of the game that OV clearly is lacking.

Posted by: BigGameSid | October 24, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I would have expected more from Fehr so far as well.

Posted by: Justafan | October 24, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

hey Justafan, wow one great regular season game against a non-playoff team by Semin and now he's the next Peter Forsberg??

LOL what a typical Caps' fan response.

Posted by: joek443 | October 24, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse


My point was that he's been strong thus far this season. Did you see him drop Lucic with a check into the boards? Have you seen his steals, his effective PK work, his consistency? Neuvirth aside, I'd say Semin's arguably our top player so far this year. LOL?

Posted by: Justafan | October 24, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm not usually a Semin fan but, his play has been excellent this year. He is playing well on the PK, finishing checks (finally) and getting involved near the net. Maybe it's the contract year. I'm happy with a 5-3 record with basically 5 rookies (including 2 goalies) and a good number of injuries on defense. Varly and his injures are really starting to worry me.
I don't think you all should live and die on each game. This is an 82 game season with ups and downs. I would love to see MP85 play well and stick. That would solve alot of problems. MJ90 is a good defensive player and would be a great 3C.
By the way, we are 2nd in the Southeast and 4th in the East.

Posted by: chriscaps | October 24, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

what's more useless, first quarter NBA scores or NHL standings in October??

Posted by: joek443 | October 24, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if Kovy plays today..

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 24, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse


Two goals called back in recent games - 1) Ovechkin bats it in directly with his glove. No goal. 2) Green uses a distinct kicking motion by turning his skate AND pushing forward to direct the puck in. No goal.

NOW, the Green goal also deflected in off an Atlanta player after the Green kick. Apparently, this dosen't matter. Apparently, if the "shot" is a kick, per Locker, it doesn't matter if it ping-pongs off several players, the shot that ultimately became a goal was a kick - so it doesn't count.

SO, what if the Ovechkin glove bat had bounced off an Atlanta player? Is it the same as with the kick, doesn't count? What if the Ovechkin glove bat of the puck had defelected of an Atlanta stick? Still no goal? And if Ovechkin glove bat was followed by Atlanta player trying to play the puck but misplays off stick and it goes own goal?

Bottom line, puck can't go in off a glove and it can't go in if kicked. But, what can transpire if anything after glove swipe or kick that would then allow it to count? What I do understand is you can kick to a teammate who can then use that as a pass and shoot, but you can't pass with glove and then have a shot, although a player can glove it down to himself and then shoot.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 24, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, please come back.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 24, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I guess since the Caps have an off day, it makes sence that Katie also with an off day :-)

Posted by: instinct227 | October 24, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse


Last season, Crosby had a severe scoring slump that lasted through SEVEN games, from 10/30 against CBJ through 11/12 against NJD. Now being the great player he is he pulled through it and had a great scoring season. But I remember lots of hand wringing at that time from Pens' fans worried about their golden boy.

Great players have slumps, especially as they are the targets by every other player on every other team. Great players figure out how to succeed despite this.

Now I worry about a lot of things about our Caps and how they will do this season.

But Ovi. No.

I'm not worried about him. He'll get over this slump and improve his game in the process. That's what great players do--especially both Crosby and Ovi.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | October 24, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Tominsocal: I'm not saying that cstanton's hockey analysis is not right most of the time, it's just that you slipped into a snarkier mode than I'm used to reading from you.

So Bruce Boudreau blamed the loss to Montreal in the first round on a hot goalie and not on other factors that he should have been able to correct mid-course. I'll buy that. But I also think some of these players could use a sports psychologist because what seemed to me to be missing last playoff season was mental toughness.

I watched the Caps practice on Friday, and they were working on the pk and pp, but at the end they were playing a goofy kind of game of what looked like "hockey horse" to be (standing in a semi circle and shooting lifted pucks into the goal.) Ovie seemed to catch some good natured grief from his teammates on his performance. In spite of the ribbing he got, it was easy to see that they genuinely enjoy him and respect him---at least that was my impression.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 24, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse


The game the guys were playing was likely "Juice Boy" which originated with Boudreau back in Hershey. It became a ritual during most Caps practices. Apparently, the loser has to serve everyone else juice, hence the name.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 24, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1. I believe that it has to go off a player on the offensive team to negate the kick, hand smack, ect. So if Green had kicked the puck and it went off a Cap player legally I think then it would have counted. The Ovechkin play would have had to gone off a Boston player first then a Cap player because if it just went off a Cap player it would have been a hand pass. I looked at the rulebook about goals and cannot find a clear answer but I remember something similar to the the above Green senerio happening in a Detroit game last year and it counted because it was a Wing skate it hit one the way in. I could be wrong but that is what I remember from last year.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 24, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Watch those wars that were going on in the playoffs last year after we grabbed the golf bags. We are not battle ready. Never have been. LaViolette had the Flyers thinking they were good enough to win the cUp. And, he demanded maximum effort every shift (So says Mike Richards.)Look how they came back against the B's.

We don't have the personel with the mindset or work ethic to pull that off. I HATE the Flyers, but damn I respect them after last season.

BB and GMGM, we should get the same effort out of the Caps that Philly got out of their Flyers. These guys make too much $$$
to play like "ice princesses"

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 24, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

icehammer: Thx. I will be watching this in future since it seems to be "ad hoc."

dccitizen1: You are an old pal here, so let me suggest that you missed my in-depth analysis last spring where I reviewed Caps loss to Montreal and, if I can remember, perhaps my fans will correct me where I am wrong in exact percentages, but where I laid blame on that loss to specific causes. What I recall from those posts:

Caps lost to Montreal for five reasons:
1) Hot goalie 20%
2) BB outcoached (slot clogging) by Martin 20%
3) GM failed to acquire the right pieces 20%
4) Habs players outplayed Caps including Caps PP 1 for 33 - 30%
5) Bad bounces incl Caps tired from fogged in flight and questionable ref call on called off goal early 3rd Game 7 10%.

I've been around the block enough times to know that, whenever a pivotal moment occurs, whether in history or in sports, the reasons are usually more than one and are usually not 100% random.

NOW, as a sports afficionado (sp?), I can say that the St Louis Cardinals won the 67 World Series mostly because of a hot goaltender (oops, I mean a hot starting pitcher). That person, that pitcher, would be Bob Gibson. Also, Koufax did it in 65 and Lolich did it in 68. That was a dying era though in pitching supremacy as they soon thereafter lowered the mound and shrunk the strike zone. The fact is that in baseball a pitcher has more individual effect on the game than any one player in any major sport, including goalie in hockey. The pitcher in baseball can simply OUT THROW the opponent while in hockey any goalie faced with continuous odd-man breaks will lose.

So Boudreau blamed the loss of this series on a "hot goalie" over the last three games. Meanwhile an in-depth and honest evaluation would suggest that the Caps, who lost game 1, at home, also had no business winning game 2, 6-5, in OT, if not for exceptionally poor goaltending and overall D by the Habs.

The Caps vs Montreal was one of the largest regular season point differentials in NHL Playoff history. Caps had em by like 35 pts, unheard of in annuals of Playoffs. And yet Caps sleepwalked through game 1 and were outhustled in Game 2 but for Price stinking up the joint and Backie ringing one off the pipe in OT to win.

Got beat by a hot goalie, huh?

How bout this:

Maybe if we had TRIED we would have won.

Does this make me "snarky?"

Or does this mean I call em how I see em and only sometimes it agrees with you?

Your Pal in Socal,
tominsocal1 :)

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 25, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

It seems like a bunch Caps fans are still in their dream world that Ovechkin will guarantee them a championship. Sadly, they don't realize that he's going to be a Dan Marino with this current staff.

But hey, I've moved on from this team and now am cheering with fans who demand excellence and a team with a real championship history. Montreal>Craps.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | October 25, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse


You're right about the playoffs last year. How they came out sleep walking in game 5 I'll never understand. I saw it with my own eyes from 30 feet away. They got outhustled. Most clubs with that much talent "can" the coach and then the GM after that effort.

Let's remember Halak got pulled early in the series.

Ovi could turn out to be a Dan Marino, if
we don't get some real talented AND GUTSY guys on this team. Man, am I just sick of watching Steckle, Flush, and Chimera. Fehr is migrating down into "I'm just collecting a paycheck" territory. I hope he ups his game soon.

My house cleaner "Rosa" could kick Steck's rear end. (He would win the face off though)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 25, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse


Been watching the Caps and many other hockey teams for 40 plus years. I've seen everything on the ice. I'm dog tired of GMGM. Let's win a cUp.
Stop all the wimpy stuff. Pay attention to how other cUp winners were built. Build a similar team. (No, the NHL has not changed that much, that everything is different.)Stop the whinning and excuse parade. Compete in the playoffs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 25, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Man, I just rewatched the Byfuglien run of our goalie. Steck's gives the guy a love tap and then falls down. Get this guy a "spine" transplant before the playoffs. Dump him. BB likes this guy, but doesn't like MP. huh??????????????

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 25, 2010 2:03 AM | Report abuse

slurpeesarecool: Well, you are a bonehead. If you were jumping from the Cap's bandwagon to another you should have picked a better one than the Habs. The Habs should have latched their bandwagon to Halak, who just shut out the Pens in an OT game. The team's bandwagon you jumped on because they went to the Conference Finals was a one-hit wonder because of the piss poor decision to let Halak go. Enjoy the bleu blanc et rouge's struggle to make the playoffs.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 25, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

imasquishy's comparison of Scotty Bowman's first three playoff runs as a coach with that of Bruce Broudeau is misleading at best and shows a complete lack of context. He won SIX playoff series his first three series, and if you take out the results against Montreal & Boston (in 1970) in those finals (after all Montreal & Boston wera much better team than the expansion Blues), his record was something like 24-10 in those three years, which is a far cry from having a seeded team that advance out of the first round only once in three years. And his record without those three finals losses would be 28-18. So that says enough for the lame comparison.

Posted by: rbluesw | October 25, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

On my post, the 28-18 is the record for five years without the three finals losses by the Blues.

Posted by: rbluesw | October 25, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

@dccitizen, while I agree there's an aspect of mental toughnes they are missing, the bigger issue for me is the physical toughness. There's too many 'not my job' players on this team. It's not my job to forecheck, not my job to back check or initiate contact. I think a lot of these guys play for themselves and not each other.

When Buff ran Neuvy the ore night, the first guy on scene should have been, at minimum, had their sticks up, or gloves off. But since it was Steckle, I guess that would fall into 'not my job' territory.

Posted by: Fletch22 | October 25, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

In reading Tominsocal's posts about the MTL series last year, I see parallels to this year. BB's system overrelies on offensive breaks to win, so the Caps gamble with stretch passes and fowards running up the ice before the defense has clean possession. This leads to too many defensive zone turnovers with the forwards up ice and the defense out of position. In the offensive zone, the Caps rely on pinching blueliners a lot more than they should. The Caps give up way too many odd man rushes expecting the goalie to bail them out. Just watch teams against the Caps now: they clog the slot, they play neutral zone trap, they committ to team defense and forecheck, knowing the Caps will allow odd man rushes and defensive zone give aways. This has become particularly apparent now that the Caps are missing their two best skaters, puck moving blueliners (Green and Poti). Yes, Carlson will improve past Poti sooner as opposed to later, but he is still learning when to push up ice that Poti as a veteran understands better. My conclusion: change the system or chnge the coach if he will not change the system (or get his players to buy into a change).

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 25, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse


Sorry, the Caps team I cheered growing up before taking a hiatus was in the early 2000s when I was a runt. Sadly, you're hopeless like the rest of the Marino 2.0 worshippers who like little starved dogs are so emotionally desperate for a winning sports team that that all flaws need to be brushed under the rug.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | October 25, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Also, maybe the rest of you Kool-aid "light siders" should get a clue on what real coaches demand out of their team. While Boudreau is turning out to be the soft-hearted coordinator who isn't a head coach (aka Norv and Wade Phillips), Mike Shanahan acutally demands accountability, effort, and discipline out of all of his players.

One last thing fanohock, I can safely say that Josh Georges can give me the peace of mind Mike Green never will. We're actually 4-deep in defense and have a real agitator in Lapierre.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | October 25, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

slurpee: Your last post made absolutely no sense. I'm a fan of the Caps, 'Skins, and Bullets, I mean Wizards. I live here, so, these are my teams. I didn't jump to the Ravens just because they won a Superbowl because I'm a 'skins fan. I don't need to jump to a different team in hopes of having some kind of braggin rights the next day at the office. This season, better the Caps and the 'skins, if I have ANY hair left, it will be gray.

Now, jumping to the Habs is a bad move on your part if you are looking for bragging rights because the Habs are not going to win anything in the foreseeable future. The key to being a good bandwagon fan is identifying who will win a championship now. Since you were a runt in the early 2000s, you are still young, so you will learn and eventually be able to pick the next season's champion. The way the NFL season has gone I think there are a lot of new smelling Saints jerseys being pushed to the back of the closet.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 25, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

WTF, I come back on here after the weekend, expecting some sort of post from sgm3 about how Semin should have had 6 goals if he could shoot worth a damn...being such an inaccurate shooting type that he is. Psssssh.

I was at the game, followed by the pathetic showing of Lesnar in his title fight. Bleh.

For the record, it was all types of fun to be able to give my specialized cheer for Semin 3 times Sat night. It helped keep my group entertained, almost as much as making fun of the guy behind us that never stopped talking, didnt know squat about hockey, yelled shoot every time we touched the puck, etc etc. It got to the point where we were yelling shoot during stoppages in play to see if he got the hint...he didnt. :(

Sloan looked, has looked, and will always look terrible. I feel like Washington fans are on one huge elaborate taping of MTV's "Punk'd", and Im waiting for Ashton to pop out on me in the Dewar's Club after I go on one of my rants about him to my friends down there. Damn that Ashton, he's getting us good.

Erskine is playing the physical game awesome for us right now, and his rushing to defend the Caps has been standing ovation worthy every time. His speed is still really suspect, watched him get burned a couple times and the thing that made me cringe probably the most was when he was chasing a potential icing call, decided that he wouldnt be able to beat the foward (who was still far behind), and went to center ice to cover that man in hopes (I think it was Shultz) would try to touch up the puck. Nope...Atlanta got it, and nearly scored on that possession.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 25, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

slurpee: Oh, I would classify myself as hopeful, rather than hopeless.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 25, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

rbluesw: Go back to yesterday about noon and I said the EXACT same thing with regards to Bowman. What he did his first three years was actually exceptional. This is when league expanded 6 to 12 and he won all three years the new Western Conf. Naturally Blues lost all three Finals as all the new teams were far inferior to the Original 6.

JIMALLCAPS: Ovechkin was really floating the other night near the blueline on defense. Other team would brerak in and he'd just let the forward go. He certainly has the ability to backcheck I guess the coach just tells him not to.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 25, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Does anybody here remember hearing either Job B or Craig L say after Period 1 (Saturday night) that the Caps locked the doors to their changeroom? I remember seeing that CSN was planning to talk to 'A Caps Player' during first intermission and it didn't happen, then the announcers said something about the players locking the door.

I know this happens sometimes but I got the impression the players might have even locked out the coaches. probably an incorrect assumption on my part.

Regardless, i don't live in DC so I am far removed from the scoop, so I'm wondering if anyone on here heard anything of importance about that.

Posted by: PSD1 | October 25, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

anyone else see this about Nylander?


Posted by: FrankM73 | October 25, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Tom, I have seen Semin, OV, and Backis floating, waiting for the stretch. I think it is part of the system because I have also watched all 3, esp OV race back on defense. The system gives these players a bad rap. Look at how BB said that MJ needed to learn to press more on offense and play less defense -- WHAT? He is a center on top of the forward triangle and the most defensive responsible of the 3 forwards -- hence Flash at center, who cares that he does not play effective defense??? I think BB needs to go and a veteran coach brought in who can mold a very talented team into a real contender -- oh and 1-2 veteran blueliners would help a lot, too. If GMGM won't make the trade happen, there are other unemployed GM's out there who will. Time for the rebuild to be over and a legitimate cup chase to start.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 25, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Sabouring sent to Hershey, Holtby recalled. Boyd on the ice skating before the team.

Posted by: ThePat | October 25, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

And yes Frank I saw that...horrible news. Hopefully the surgery goes well. No need to try to play again at his age and coming off such a serious injury. A speedy recovery for Nyles.

Posted by: ThePat | October 25, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse


Would you be interested in this person as next head coach?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 25, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Big Bird, heck yes.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 25, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Tominsocal: Your analyses are right, and I do remember your breakdown of the percentages of each factor contributing to the Caps' meltdown last year. Sorry for calling you out on the "snark" business----I just tend to defend whomever is getting criticized at the moment, and probably Gabby doesn't need me to defend him. He does need to make the changes to the system and to the players' attitudes and behaviors that have been suggested by posters who know much more than I do about the "system".

The only way we Caps fan are gonna move past last year's horrible meltdown is by seeing improvements and changes instead of the same old same old. It's a long season, and I'm still hopeful that Ovie is going to get to wear that trick hand buzzer when the Caps blow the Penguins out of the playoffs and he can buzz Sid. Then, when they win the cup, it'll be great to see each Cap player hoist it over their heads.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 25, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

dccitizen1: I don't mind snark comment at all. Sometimes we all get too big for our britches, me leading the way, and it's certainly a good thing to be brought back down to earth.

That sasid, the comments here are pretty uniform. Most of the Kool-Aid drinkers are grumbling quietly somewhere while the Dark Siders are doing the "told you so" routine. Most here are actually questioning BB ability to bring home the Cup. If Katie were to put up a poll, I feel BB would still come out "to stay" since I think there's a large and quiet group of Kool-Aiders who vote but don't post.

BTW, just so we're clear to everyone, using the term "Kool-Aid" IS NOT an insult, just as "Dark Sider" is not. Nobody has a monopoly on "right" (not even cstanton1) and no one can truly predict the future (not even nostrathomas. Yes! I said it!).

So we are all just putting opinions. Even though I'm beginning to question BB ability, I still have Caps as 10% chance for Cup this year, but naturally that includes expectation of a trade or two. If they don't change system or personnel at all, I'd make that a 5% chance and put at least two teams per conf (including Bruins and Pens) ahead of them.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 25, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

thanks tom

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 25, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

hey sid your pancakes are ready come on upstairs
Your Daddy,

Posted by: boomer44 | October 25, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

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