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Posted at 7:25 PM ET, 11/19/2010

Open thread: Capitals at Thrashers

By Washington Post sports editors

Braden Holtby will make his third NHL start as the Washington Capitals (14-4-1) visit the sputtering Atlanta Thrashers (7-9-3) at Philips Arena. Chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter and see your tweets here by using #caps.

Faceoff: 7:30 p.m.; TV: NHLN, CSN; Radio: 820, 1500 AM.

Click here for a live game summary.


By Washington Post sports editors  | November 19, 2010; 7:25 PM ET
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers  
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Next: Capitals suffer first shutout loss in almost a year, 5-0 to Thrashers

Comments

drop twitter - bring back the wapo live chat!!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 19, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

that was on holtby - gotta control it if you go after it

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 19, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

how neuvy is rested - save % not so good right now

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 19, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

holtby

Posted by: richmondphil2 | November 19, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Big Bruce's juggling isn't working.. surprise!

What a bush league coach. Getting embarassed by the Thrashers.. contenders my ass.

Posted by: BigGameSid | November 19, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

@seminallovertheice

What? They took down the Mystic's attendance champs banner down. That's a bad omen. Any way we can get 'em back up there to make things right with the world.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | November 19, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Should put OV in goal. Or Backs. Take a few pucks to the noggin, should wake them up from exhibition mode.

Posted by: BigGameSid | November 19, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

@biggamecrybaby

I used used to respect Cindy until you started showing up.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | November 19, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

@Hunter

Who cares about Sid? Are you happy with OV-errated's average play to date? Are you happy with BB displaying his idiocy all over the place?

Posted by: BigGameSid | November 19, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

that was an ugly 20

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 19, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

BigGameSid:
shouldn't you be watching your boy tonight - he's got 2 helpers

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 19, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

@biggame

Can't watch your NBA franchise. So, you're watching the Caps. Why no NBA franchise in Pitt? No money or folks with educations in Pitt.

Spend your time reading the Baseball Digest. You gotta' find a way to break that recording setting loss streak you got going.

Caps win 5 cUps before Bucks have another winning season!!!! The Bucks could win the Series and people still won't go to the games.

City of Champs? No, city of empty pockets !
NBA figures that many years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | November 19, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

@BigLameCindy...

You're back. Missed you. shouldn't you be watching the pens game? pretty good game against the canes.

We love you Cindy. We always can count on you and your wonderful "insights" when we're losing.

Enjoy the rest of the game, sorry you have to watch a team you hate so much.

Posted by: natresgroup | November 19, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

theo blanking det. min 1-0 after 1

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 19, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Caps have come back from these deficits before.

Posted by: SirPelleas | November 19, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Here is my contribution to the Cap's comeback:
The Capitals suck!
Ovechkin is overrated!
Semin and Green are soft!
Backstrom is overpaid!
The Cap's defense looks like the Redskin's defense!
There is no way they will score, let alone come back and win! NO WAY!

Posted by: JohnWWW | November 19, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

just doesn't look like our night tonight. you can just feel that something's off. the bounces just aren't going our way.

i hope i'm wrong, but it seems like an off night tonight.

Posted by: natresgroup | November 19, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I guess we are saving ourselves for the big game against philthy tomm.

Posted by: ksaul79 | November 19, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I am hoping Ovie is nursing an injury. If not he needs to sit a game. He is making awful decisions with the puck and gliding around the neutral zone. Doesn't even look like he cares.

Someone needs to drop the gloves to get the boys going. Let's Go Caps.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | November 19, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

and boom goes the dynamite... game set and match.

Posted by: natresgroup | November 19, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh well, can't win em all. LOL. This game sucks to watch.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | November 19, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

well... do we play the 3rd and 4th line more to rest up the big guys? not that they've played hard enough to need a rest but, do you?

Posted by: natresgroup | November 19, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Terrible.

Posted by: SirPelleas | November 19, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

The Caps have missed their opportunities with either hitting the post or missing the net completely(i.e. Knuble, Semin, Bradyley). It happens sometimes. It just stinks when every happens to miss their chances in the same game.

Then when you combine that with horrific goaltending by Holtby it leads to this result.

The team does look like its sleepwalking too. I wonder if playing in front of an empty building on the road in the middle of the season can lead to sort of a sleepwalking game. The building sounds like it's empty. It feels like I'm watching a scrimmage.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 19, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

1) I figure we can probably write off this game -- unless another "miracle" is in the cards, which is unlikely since the odds are against it.

2) Wasn't Holtby's day, obviously

3) Better luck tomorrow, guys.


Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 19, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking the few hundred people in attendance probably aren't adding much excitement to their play. Still though, it's 2 points up for grabs against a mediocre division rival. Hope they have a better effort against Philthy tomorrow. Shout out to Section 400!

Posted by: LloydChristmas | November 19, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

since the game's pretty much over, would you put Holtby back in and rest neuvy?

Posted by: natresgroup | November 19, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

So Holtby is the future, right? I feel bad for the poor kid but maybe it will give a dose of reality to those who are ready to toss Varly because he has been injured for a few weeks.

I don't know how this team will fare against Philly tomorrow. Neuvy will have to play back to back and he doesn't have much success in these situations.

Posted by: caraveli | November 19, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

@natresgroup

Maybe "resting" Neuvy for the rest of this game might not be a bad idea.

For that matter, giving our lower line players more ice time would not hurt.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 19, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I have seen us come back from a 3-goal deficit but a 4-goal deficit? Have we ever come back from this?

Posted by: caraveli | November 19, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I think we came back against the Rangers once being down 4-0, but the comeback began earlier in the game than the last 17 minutes.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | November 19, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mlody67 | November 19, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The Thrashers havent even had a PP?

...and we can't buy a goal!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

LloydChristmas: You are right about the Ranger game. I remember 4 but I was starting to think it was 3. This was an exciting game but, you are right, when we come back we are of fire from the minute the period starts. Why are we having such a hard time to turn this one around? And why is my boy, Ovi, having such a hard time scoring? I hate it to see Stamkos and Crosby rank higher than him.

Posted by: caraveli | November 19, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

The boys don't even look interested in playing. Guess it's time to see what else is on. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | November 19, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli and @LloydChristmas

Lloyd is right. The Caps did come back from a 4-0 deficit in late Dec 2008 against the Rangers on Shaone Morrisonn's 26th birthday.

Except the passion does not seem to be there today.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 19, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Stamkos and Crysby are on fire. I hate to see it too but OV just seems a little off. Maybe he's dinged up, I dunno.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | November 19, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Stamkos is going after 50 goals in 50 games like Rocket Richard, Bossy, Gretzky, Lemieux and Brett Hull... Barring an injury, he might just do it.

Posted by: joek443 | November 19, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

if i ever need to fall asleep fast, i'll just watch this game.

Posted by: natresgroup | November 19, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

@LloydChristmas

Many people wonder if Ovi is either dinged up or that he hasn't been the same since the second suspension. If he's hurt, it may be time to see a doctor.

Stamkos is so hot that he's on a pace for 80 goals this year, a pace that hasn't been seen since the early 90's.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 19, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Sarge just got undressed by that rookie.

The good news is that Evgeny Kuznetsov, our guy, was rated slightly higher than Burmistrov by some experts.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 19, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

caps fall to another hot goalie - how many times can this happen!!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 19, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

The puck is not finding ovechkin. Right now he isn't playing like he should win any awards.

This team needs a veteran to kick them in the ass.

Haven't we had enough of the Tomas Fleischmann experiment?

McPhee needs to add D. And I can't see a way we can sign Semin for what he is gonna want. Teams like LA and TO are gonna through money at him.

Posted by: underpants2 | November 19, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

OV has been off ever since he realized he's not the best player in the world, that he chokes in the biggest hockey games on the planet, that his teams face humuliating defeats in tournaments, and that 'russian machine' does get broken down when he doesn't take better care of himself.

His game has been off for almost a year, make all the excuses you want for him, injury or not, he doesn't deserve to be at an elite level because he can't think or work hard at an elite level.

Posted by: BigGameSid | November 19, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

OV has been off ever since he realized he's not the best player in the world, that he chokes in the biggest hockey games on the planet, that his teams face humuliating defeats in tournaments, and that 'russian machine' does get broken down when he doesn't take better care of himself.

His game has been off for almost a year, make all the excuses you want for him, injury or not, he doesn't deserve to be at an elite level because he can't think or work hard at an elite level.

Posted by: BigGameSid |

Alanta in November. Biggest hockey game on the planet?

Posted by: underpants2 | November 19, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

So when do you loyal, long time suffering fans start to question the $ that the 'world's most dynamic hockey player' makes? Unless of course all you care about in a player is being dynamic (which he hasn't shown much of).

Leadership?
Heart and passion?
Overall improved game?
Better attitude?
Discipline?
Making players around him better?

Hmmm...

Posted by: BigGameSid | November 19, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

They need to stop switching lines up every game just to keep all these forwards playing. They have enough good players that could be called up from Hershey if there's an injury. Time to trade Fleichmann and keep a consistent lineup for more than one game in a row.

Posted by: Stu_c | November 19, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

BigGameSid:
do you really think anyone on here cares what you say about ovi. he's not the reason they lost tonight - the whole team played like crap.
you either don't know anything about hockey or your just trolling to try and p*ss people off - most likely both.
are you even capable of communicating an actual thought on hockey without attempting to rip ovi?
whats your honest opinion of tonights game?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 19, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Let's imagine for an instant if Katie put the same effort into her "gamer" as the Caps put into this game:

"The Washington Capitals lost tonight, 5-0, to the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena. The Caps host Philadelphia tomorrow night at the Verizon Center."

Type it up, but a stamp on the envelope and MAIL IT IN.

Hey, maybe they thought it was a Playoff game. Ba-da-bing.

What an awful performance. Sloan was on the ice for their first four. I have him personally responsible for goals 1 and 4 and Holtby solely to blame for #s 2 and 3. The fifth goal? Who cares, Caps didn't.

Did any Cap try tonight? Chimera did early and Neuvy did OK.

Ovechkin looks mediocre. Forget captain of all-star team and who he picks. At this point, does he make the team? And, if he does, will Stamkos pick him or Crosby?

Look, sorry, I know they are 14-5-1 and on a pace for 119 pts, but they look like cr@p in more games than not. The schedule has been easy. Sloan right now is ECHL material and Erskine wasn't much better tonight. Green still plays too many minutes and why in God's name does the first line get to play on the PP in the last two minutes? Did they EARN it?

The general manager needs to get off his behind and upgrade the team; the coach needs to learn to motivate the players; and some highly paid individuals need to put forth some effort.

Hey, I got it - it was a hot goalie.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 19, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Worst part of all is I posted all summer:

Go get Clutterbuck
Trade for Clutterbuck
See if Clutterbuck available

He has 7 goals and he's a very good defensive player and a big-time hitter. Cap hit $1.3M or thereabouts. Meanwhile also john Madden (he of the $1M contract) gets the winner for the Wild in OT.

Can you imagine if Caps had traded Flash, Perreault and a #1 pick for Clutterbuck and signed Madden?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 19, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

tom - put the goblet down and slooooowly back away - i don't think it has wine in it - i think it's goats blood.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 19, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I was a big proponent of signing Madden. But I do not think it is necessary to make any deals in the near future. There is a ton of time.

On Ovie, I think it may be possible that he took Knuble's advice from last year and is pacing himself. As a fan watching the regular season games, it stinks. But it will likely have him in much better shape before the playoffs start. I think he picks his spots to give the full effort and other times glides around. I'm not worried about him in the last.

On motivation. It was one game. It happens to every team. If anything, the fact that they got blown out might be good as it allows BB to hand it to them and start driving into them what happens when they play lackidasical. Sometimes getting blown out is the best way to get plays focused again.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 19, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I also think we need to take a step back and look at MJ.

He has played 10 games, probably split between 3rd line center and 2nd line center.

His stats are:
1G 0A 1Pts -5

That is brutal. Especially considering how well all the other Caps forwards play and some of the wingers he has played with. If that was Flash, BMo, Nylander, or any other center that has played here in the past few years people would be ripping him to shreds. He has just been brutal.

In addition, the Caps played their best stretch of hockey when MJ was out with an injury. Maybe it was a coincidence, but after looking at his numbers, maybe not.

This is not a rip on MJ as a prospect. I think he shows a lot of promise as a player. But he is nowhere near ready to be a 2nd line center. IMO, he should be getting either 4th line minutes, or more preferably, should be getting more time in the AHL. He is young, he needs to improve and work on his game(along with his strength, speed, etc.). I think he should follow the footsteps of most other Caps players and spend some more time in the AHL getting prepared.

If you judge all the Caps forwards for how they played this year, there is no way MJ deserves a sweater. He may only be surpassed by DJ King in poor play, and that is a close call.

I say send MJ down to Hershey for a while.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 19, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

our goatlender was a little off tonight

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

Capt Kirk: That was the worst game the Caps played since the last two or three under Hanlon. The worst two games I ever saw - one was in person, Jan 93 I think, last game under Terry Murray, they played like robots in losing 3-1 to Bruins and the other was Hanlon's last game, a 5-1 loss I think at home to Panthers Nov, 07, it was so quiet you could hear Caps players snoring on the bench between shifts.

Tyler Sloan was SO BAD TONIGHT that I can't see how any professional organization would let him suit up tomorrow night.

If George Patton were running the Caps, Sloan would have been traded to the Nazis for a pair of bolt-action rifles to be named later.

Not one member of the team showed up tonight. You'd think all of them had ten-year, guaranteed contracts.

OK, I take it back, Schultz was mostly good. I saw him lay out one really solid hit. Semin, though, you can nickname him "Casper" for tonight. Alzner and Carlson...come to think about it, at least they weren't bad. Bradley missed his one chance. Chimera skated. Steckel tried. Hendricks? Did he even suit up? Flash? Is he still with the Caps?

I see comments like from Bradley, "It isn't enough to win, it's how you win," and then I see the effort.

Right now Tampa goes further in the Playoffs than the Caps.

In case anyone wanted to make a move, Larry Robinson is available...at present. I'm just sayin.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 19, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I thought neuvy played pretty good. At least gordon didn't do any harm.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 19, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

sgm: All summer, all SUMMER, ALL SUMMER:

Posted by tominsocal1:

Neither MP nor MJ ready to be #2 or 3 center on a Cup contender; no way can we be one injury away from Sloan playing in the top 6; how can we go into the season without a NHL-calibre third (checking) line?

The 2008 Frei Brothers chardonnay that was paired with the shrimp scampi has remaining but one quaff in the glass. I rocked the white and even ate radishes that have been working so well. Us fans can only do so much. I wore my Backie road jersey and a Caps hat too while I watched. If only the players cared as much as I do! :)

OK, ok, so they had a "stinker" as BB calls it. That's fine. But those of us who are long-time fans of hockey (I started watching late 1964 FWIW - or, more accurately, started listening, since it was much more often falling asleep with radio as Gordie Howe scored for Wings) can recognize the difference between a bad game and a bad effort. Tonight was a bad effort and that just isn't acceptable. I don't care of they lose if they leave it all out there. This all started with the 7th game vs the Penguins. There was some funky stuff with that game and it hasn't changed and it must. Something needs to change.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 19, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

It's an 82 game preseason. Erskine kicked Boulton's rear in a fight Boulton started last time they played. Atlanta is playing well against us because we're the class of the division.

Ovi and Backi at this point know the season is too long. I know they're going to pick it up once they get a whiff of the playoffs. Or, they don't want to play for this coach anymore. But, I won't go there. Holtby blew this game, but he's just a "kid".

If they're champions, they'll regroup quickly. The Flyers take no prisioners.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | November 19, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I think when BGordon is centering the 3rd line it is a very good 3rd line checking line. Obviously this depends on BGordon being healthy, which is a risk. But the 3rd line has been very good when has been centering it.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 19, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

@tominNO-RAINcali

I have the same feeling about that game 7 loss to the Pens. The ship never got righted, even with all those wins last season.

The coach? Some of the players? or, both?

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | November 19, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

One final note, I'm not throwing in the towel. I have a rack of lamb lined up for tomorrow's game and I will pop open a $50 bottle of Raymond 2005 Rutherford Cab. This is the best bottle of red currently in the collection. My God but that rack of lamb will be so good that I will likely chew on the bones. Somehow I have to make it through breakfast (we have a spiral ham) and lunch (leftover shrimp scampi) until dinner which can be anytime after 4 pm PST.

If I were coach of the Caps, I'd sit Fehr and Flash tomorrow and dress DJ King and Boyd Gordon. I'd also sit Sloan and bring up anyone in Hershey who is deserving. Even Fahey.

Surely it isn't time for panic button but OTOH it's clear this team has issues.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 20, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I'd send MJ to Hershey and call up MP. MP hasn't yet proven he can be energetic over the long haul but he does seem to bring it the first few games he is called up.

I think it's time to give MP another shot and send MJ down until January. He needs more seasoning. Maybe he can play in Hershey, score some points and get some confidence.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 20, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

This team needs to bring in a veteran. Signing Guerin at this point may be a good idea. New blood is needed, someone with some leadership. He could play on our 3rd line every night. This would at least buy us time, and cost virtually nothing. Try waiving Steckel too, Boyd can play that spot.

One of Flash or Fehr needs to be moved. It's beyond absurd now. Yes, we have won a lot of games. But is anyone comfortable with what they have seen so far?

And let's be frank, OV has been a disappointment. What's up?

Posted by: underpants2 | November 20, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

We can't bench Flash and Fehr today, given that Knuble is now injured and will be out for a while. Ed Frankovich suspects it's a broken jaw.

Boyd Gordon should be in today, if he's at all healthy. While Boudreau said it was a healthy scratch, I do wonder. It might have been an healthy scratch but I do wonder if he's really 100% so he was getting rested.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 20, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

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