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Posted at 10:02 AM ET, 11/19/2010

Live Caps Q&A today at 1 p.m.

By Washington Post sports editors

Update: The morning skate is a little bit later today, so join in at 1 p.m. for a slightly-delayed chat.

Join beat writer Katie Carrera live from Atlanta, where she'll answer questions about tonight's game against the Thrashers and anything else Caps-related.

Click here to submit questions, and save that same link for when the chat begins at 12:30 p.m. 1 p.m.

By Washington Post sports editors  | November 19, 2010; 10:02 AM ET
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers  
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Next: Braden Holtby to start against Thrashers


Hunter: Good post by the way.

"As for the frown stuff. I'm a Caps fan, which has been tough being this close to the Pitt fans. But, I'm a hockey fan first. ALL THIS TEAM SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON NOW IS HOW TO GET BETTER FOR THE PLAYOFFS. A better PK is a starter. Net crashing goals (Which Semin is finally doing) are a must develop habit for the playoffs. Fehr has got to start playing his size in the slot."

The part you put in CAPITAL LETTERS. I believe they are focusing on getting better for the playoffs, all the way up to GMGM.

I was a teenager in the 70s too, so like I said to you earlier, I feel your pain. As far as the loss to the Torts coached Lightning, Cassidy changed that Gosh darn lines after being up 2 games to 0 heading home. What heck was that all about?

This is what I don't get, bear with me Hunter and others that don't buy that BB could be the guy. The Rangers were up 3-1 right? Not only did the Caps win games 5 and 6 of that series, they blew the Rangers away. Game 7 was tight, and a key save by Varly on Antropov in the first couple of minutes set the tone for a tight defensive game from that point forward. Now, when the Caps lose a 3-1 games lead, regardless of seeding, they were outcoached or lacked killer instinct. When they came back from 3-1 down, they were lucky to defeat an inferior opponent and the players and BB aren't given any kudos? Seems a little bogus to me.

BTW Halak is in St. Louis because he had his performance to demand a higher salary than the Habs were capable of paying (they are up against the cap) and they took the chance that Price could still deliver what they thought he could for less money. I don't think the Blues are complaining. I've watched a lot of Blues games this year on Center Ice to see if Halak was going to be a bust for them and he has played well. Looks like the Habs are happy too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 19, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Stamkos is on pace for 82 goals and 151 pts through 19 games.

I would just like to say that that's RIDICULOUS!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse


Whatever...only 19 games in. That leaves 63 more games for Erskine to catch him. Keep the faith bro.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 19, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Stamkos will get 50 in 50. Now that will be Ridiculous!

Posted by: instinct227 | November 19, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal @sgm3

I side with Tom on this. Last year I was torn between which we needed and they went for the puck mover. And well it was obvious Corvo didn't work out. We have 2 puck movers now in Green and Carlson. Its time for the physical D man to get here. However one guy that fits the bill of both could be moved later. Jovocop could be traded if Phoenix slides, and hes in the last year of his contract out there.


I wasnt saying that as terms of people on here. Im saying that in terms of how that situation would be preceived no matter what team is involved across all of pro sports. When you come back and you are supposed to win the teams never get credit. When you blow leads you are supposed to hold onto teams get blasted. That is all I was saying. I gave them credit for coming back against the Rangers. However personally I think that BB did get outcoached last year and the team(not just him) should be blasted for that. But all of it is in the past, hopefully they have all learned from it and actually apply what they have learned, rather than just say theyve learned.

Posted by: ThePat | November 19, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Stamkos is without a doubt the real deal. His release is sick, and he is especially lethal when he gets to set up in his favorite spot on the PP. I'm not implying he can only score on the PP, not at all, he's proven that already. That Tampa vs Philly game last night was a nightmare for the goaltenders. Nobody wanted to play defense last night. It was crazy during the 1st and 2nd. I literally could not leave the living room without at least 1 goal being scored, on two occasions, two were scored when I stepped out. When the Caps are on I pause games when I leave the room.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 19, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse


Whatever...only 19 games in. That leaves 63 more games for Erskine to catch him. Keep the faith bro.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 19, 2010 11:08 AM

Erskine has already met his career high in goals. Now he can focus on just hurting people and getting in their way.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse


Yes, Corvo was a puck mover, but he wasn't a good puck mover. In addition, he had no size whatsoever.

Most guys are a blend. I would go with a guy who is more proficient in puck moving ability but has enough size to be reasonably physical. Like I said, ideally you get a guy who can do both great. But I still think puck moving is the most important part of a defenseman's game today.

I just remember watching Andy Sutton getting abused by the Pens because they kept on beating him to the puck on the forecheck. While AV and Phillips did great because they almost always got to the pucks first. All three guys are pretty physical, but AV and Phillips are also talented puck movers. Sutton, not so much.

Jovocop may be a decent option. I haven't seen him play too much the past few years so I don't know if he has slowed, and if so, how much.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 19, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Stamkos is playing insane right now...but I think what happened to Ovie will happen to him. Eventually as he gain more and more (very deserved) recognition, teams will start double teaming him like they do ovie. I think he could ddefinitely surpass Crosby and Ovechkin soon...but he also might fizzle a bit as teams figure him took teams 3-4 yrs to figure out Ovie!

Posted by: capscoach | November 19, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Eventually as he gain more and more (very deserved) recognition, teams will start double teaming him like they do ovie.

Posted by: capscoach | November 19, 2010 11:35 AM

i thought this too. i don't think other teams will take 3-4 yrs to figure him out. i believe they will take the attitude of: beat us with anybody you've got but don't let it be stamkos

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 19, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I seem to recall the last time I saw Jovocop that he had slowed significantly.....I know fanohock was just at a Phoenix game not long ago so:

fanohock, What did you think of Jovocop? Does he still have it?

Bieksa would be ideal as he can move the puck as sgm says and I have seen him just destroy someone going to his crease, hopefully that rumor from the offseason will come to fruition. Clearing the crease is still an issue that the Caps need to solve for sure as the only one willing to do it right now is Erskine and I have see Carlson try on occassion.

Posted by: PhilR | November 19, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR and @sgm3

Yes he has slowed a bit, but he is still physical and can get the puck out of the zone. He'd improve our D greatly in my opinion.

Posted by: ThePat | November 19, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I have a pet peeve that has been bugging me all season.


...seems to ALWAYS lead to a scoring chance by the opposition.

Drives me nuts!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"I think the key with us is how we win, and not winning only," Matt Bradley said to the Capitals' website.

They are getting it people, THEY'RE GETTING IT!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

the rest...

"We have to play more playoff-style games, as far as good defensive play and getting the puck deep, because you can get away with playing other ways during the regular season but you can't do that in the playoffs. It's something we have to work on all year and it's going to take time."

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why people think Ovi has been figured out. This season he is in the top 5 again even though he is a little off. I say a little off because he has fanned on more shots this season than I can remember any other season.

However, to base the decision on Ovi being figured out on last season's totals because he only scored 50 goals is a little misleading. First of all he averaged more points per game last season. He only played 72 and was kicked out of 2 games in the first period. He only average like .2 percent less goals per game last season than he did the previous year. Ovi has evolved too because his assist totals have gone up steadily. Don't worry, Ovi will have a stretch where the net starts to look huge again and his points will pile up. At the same time, be prepared for Semin to have a little slump, it's only natural. The only player to ever break 200 points in a season (3 times) was Gretzky. If you think Stamkos scores a lot, and you are not lucky enough to have been old enough to witness Gretzky I honestly feel sorry for you. Think about this, it seems like Stamkos scores at will, and in relative terms he does. If he keeps this pace he will blow everyone away and will end up with 82g, 65a, and 147pts. That would rank as Gretzky's 11th best point season.

I realize it was easier to score then, but even when compared to his peers, former HHOF's from his era, there was no equal.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 19, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse


I like Bieksa also and think he would be a very good addition to the Caps. He is the sort of defender(good at moving the puck and a physical presence) the Caps can use.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 19, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse


This is nice:

The formula used for this list is the following: +/- differential + blocked shots + takeaways – giveaways.

Name Team Plus/minus BS TK GV Total 2010-11 Salary
1. D. Girardi NYR +7 59 10 9 67 $3,100,000
2. R. Klesla CBS +14 40 7 1 60 $2,975,000
3. K. Timonen PHI +4 46 8 8 50 $7,000,000
4. T. Lydman ANA +11 46 1 9 49 $3,000,000
5. C. Pronger PHI +4 41 9 7 47 $7,600,000
5. D. Seidenberg BOS +5 47 3 8 47 $3,000,000
7. S. Montador BUF +12 41 7 14 46 $1,550,000
8. J.-M. Liles COL +11 37 6 9 45 $4,425,000
9. B. Stuart DET +9 38 4 10 41 $3,750,000
10. J. Carlson WAS +8 44 11 23 40 $875,000
10 M. Carle PHI +4 40 11 15 40 $3,500,000

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The big thing about Stamkos is his PP goals. A very high percentage of Stamkos' goals are PP goals. He gets more PP goals than Ovie because of his position on the ice. Ovie, being at the point, will score less PP goals, but his position opens up the PP for other guys(Semin and Backstrom) to score. So it gives the Caps a more well rounded PP.

(John Buccigross wrote an evaluation about this in a recent article).

Posted by: sgm3 | November 19, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@ hock1

Semin's first penalty -- a slash -- came in the offensive zone. Those types of penalties are inexcusable." Holy cow, Tarik! Can you stop aping others? Even the Detroit announcers said that penalty was not a slash, and on the replay it showed that it was an accidental high stick.

BB is using too many excuses for his loses, it seems to never be his coaching approach. Singling out one player - one of the best players this team has - for penalty which led to one goal and then calling him out on the press (especially with semi-qualified reporters) does absolutely nothing.

Penalties are bad, but they are not the sole reason why this team loses. Every team commits penalties, it is part of the game. Some examples of teams that committed more penalties than their opposition and still won:
New Jersey

The Caps are in the middle of the pack in PIM/G with 12.8 while Pitts is last with almost double that amount, and they are 4-1.

Give me a break.

Posted by: hock1 | October 11, 2009 9:39 AM

Nyls is a great playmaker, why is anyone surprised that he is doing well in the AHL is beyond me. Nyls could play for the caps if not for BB phobia of European play. Oh, well, it is what it is. I hope he gets picked up by a NHL team and that he does well.

Posted by: hock1 | October 26, 2009 1:31 AM

Are you kidding me? They let 5 goals in and the best BB and this reporter can find is that Semin made a bad pass and it cost the team big time? That pair is laughable. Is BB setting Semin for a Nyls ticket? or was he just answering another stupid question from a dumb reporter who can take one mistake and make a big deal out of it. Tarik maybe you should watch the game instead of looking for a particular player mistake. BTW Flash had a give-away and was minus 4 while Backs was a minus 3. The point is this team was outplayed by NJ and there were enough mistakes by a lot of players, so why single out Semin - once again.

Posted by: hock1 | November 15, 2009 4:04 AM

Did anyone notice all those "cute" passes the sharks made which led to score opportunities? - Yes the same "cute" passes that some coaches and some fans want the OV/Backs/Semin line to quit making. First time I saw the Sharks play, and they were awesome. I think we have the personnel to match them, I am not sure we have the style.

Posted by: hock1 | December 31, 2009 2:50 PM

By looking at those line combinations it seems to me that BB does not think much of Carolina, not that he will say that aloud. I see the Capitals losing this game unless he re-arrenges his lines as soon as he sees they are not working.
mmm. LOL in my thoughts - Watch those combinations work tonight and give him a sense of false security.

Posted by: hock1 | March 10, 2010 1:23 PM

How dare this idiot criticize our coach? Has he ever coached a NHL team? If not, he needs to shut the f up.

And calling fellow Caps fans idiots and morons proves that I am Mr. Sunshine.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 19, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I just read where a fan called Flash...

"Buttery Soft"


Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Where are the updates from the morning skate? Line combinations anyone?

Posted by: PhilR | November 19, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

looks like D.J. King and Boyd Gordon will be the scratches tonight.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse


Really, BGordon. I wonder if they resting him some to protect him from injury.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 19, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Holtby gets the start.

I'm not shocked about Gordon. It looked like his leg/knee was still bothering him last game.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 19, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I think they just want to get Flash back in their and going.

I can't see any other reason, besides health, to sit Gordon.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse there?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

What do people think of Marc-Andre Bergeron? I don't mean as a player to be used in the regular six D-man, but as a possible replacement for Sloan.

The benefit would be his play on the PP. Imagine him and Green working the points and having Ovie move down to a Stamkos position.

I'm guessing he would come pretty cheap but he may not be a bad addition for a pure depth D-man. Then if the PP started struggling in the playoffs they could possibly do what Montreal did and dress 7 D-men and have Bergeron play on the PP with a few other shifts thrown in.

The Caps would still clearly need to get Bieksa or the like, so it wouldn't stop that. I'm not saying the Caps should do this, I'm just throwing out the idea.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 19, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

LOL. @Ablake.
I didn't know I had such a fan, thank you. How long you being stalking me?
You must be one lonely person. Now tell me, where in all those out-of-context comments did I call BB an idiot or I asked for him to be fired?

Yes, I have said it, until the last game, that the SOB line should be together and that I disagree with BB they way he was handling Semin never providing a steady set of linemates and then finding little mistakes and making a scapegoat (last year). Is that calling him an idiot? or calling for his resignation? Maybe your twilight zone but not on mine.
yes. I think BB had a problem with Nyls and that was the reason that Nyls got the shaft. Is that calling BB an idiot? or asking for him to be fire? I hear Rod Serling talking about ablake crossing the zone.
Did you miss some of the sarcasm on some of my post? Obviously, there were a lot of it on most of them answering some previous posting - but hey, don't let that bother you from your little imagination.

Now I am going to enjoy the Caps being the best team on the league last year and now, while you and your body hunter can commiserate over the failure of no winning one tournament. In other words I am going to enjoy the 82 game "pre-season" (wink, wink).

Posted by: hock1 | November 19, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

new thread

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Can't lie:

what ablake did there appears on first blush to be borderline psychotic . . .

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | November 19, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@ hock1

I just don't like to be accused of making false accusations. The quotes were not hard to find, it's called the archives. I'm sure if I looked hard enough, I could find more, but I think I've made my point.

I remembered you because your anger management issues rivaled cstanton1. You would have a coronary anytime someone mentioned Semin didn't play well. But the difference between you and cstanton1 is that he loved hockey and you only love Semin. I guess since Semin is doing well, all is right in Capsland.

FTR, calling fans idiots and morons for saying the same things you once said does not make you a good fan. It makes you a hypocrite. You're like a born again Christian who blasts all the sinners you used to lead.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 19, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@ stevie_in_gp

Just responding to his claim that I made false accusations against him. Less than 10 minutes searching the archives. Easy to find if you remember the periods Semin didn't play well (which I do because I'm a Semin fan/apologist myself).

Posted by: ablake70 | November 19, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

It's cool, ablake. I remember you saying you've started feeling comfortable with the archives.

Just so long as you don't have a separate word doc with all the quotes of people who've disagreed with you.

(All in good fun, my friend.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | November 19, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

You have not made any point, you made my point of false accusations.
If you dont like to be accused of making false accusations then you shouldn't do it.
"Aren't you the same poster who regularly called BB an idiot.." Ablake falsely accusing me of something I never said.

As for me loving Semin. Well, then you really need to go back to your archives, then somewhere you will find that I have said: "... fall in love with the game and not the players, you will enjoy hockey ..."
or something to that effect. I don't love any player, but I did defend Semin last year quite a lot because of the bashing he was receiving - primarily by those who think they know the game and yet know very little like Cstanton. In my opinion, Semin is a world class hockey player, it is just a recognition and I will say the same for Crosby and others who are being bashed by fanatics of any particular team.
I enjoy the game, I cheer for a good play whether is a made by a capital or an opponent. I feel for those who think only the SC matters. Why? Because those people will never be happy or enjoy the game unless their team is the SC champs. How often are they going to be happy? Do you see any team winning this thing year after year? Not even the great Detroit team. My suggestion to you and the likes, is enjoy the game today.

Posted by: hock1 | November 19, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse


My point is that you used to criticize and question BB. Now you come on these boards and proclaim that anyone who dare criticize GMGM, BB, or the players are morons and idiots and are miserable people. What? The purpose of a blog is discussion. Most people enjoy the wins, but point out the areas needing an upgrade. It's great watching the team win, but half the teams we played won't make the playoffs. And if you think anyone in this organization isn't thinking about the playoffs because they beat Philly in November, you are fooling yourself.

Look, I agree with you on some things. I think Semin is a great player and I like the SOB line. I like watching other hockey games. I think Crosby is the best center in the game. I'd consider it a successful year if the Caps made the ECF. Some disagree, but I don't think they are miserable f'n people who drown puppies because they think Semin should be traded.

With the exception of the trolls, everyone on this board love the Caps. No need to start out every post with how we are all idiots and morons if we disagree with hock1 the great. Reading your posts, I wonder if the insults are just your own projections.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 19, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

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