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Avs 4, Caps 1

Bruce Boudreau warned his players that Colorado was going to muck it up make it tough to carry the puck through the neutral zone. So what did they do? They tried to carry the puck through the neutral zone anyway.

As you probably know by now, it didn't work very well. The Caps lost 4-1, snapping a three-game winning streak and preventing them from gaining any ground on idle Boston.

"Bruce said before the game that's what they were going to do: block the middle," Jose Theodore said. "That we would have to dump the puck and go get it ourselves. It seems that we didn't do it. We didn't listen to the game plan. They were blocking the middle so well that we couldn't get our speed, we couldn't get into the zone."

The Caps' last three regulation losses, by the way, have come against teams that wouldn't be in the playoffs if the season ended tonight (Ottawa, Los Angeles and Colorado).

"We had nothing; we were horrible out there," Boudreau snapped. "Everybody had their bad game at the same time. You win a lot of games in a row, you're going to have a stinker. Today was it."

"They played their game to a 'T'," he added. "I don't know if they made us look bad or we were just real bad."

It was bit of both, if you ask me.

On to some other notes and quotes of interest:

*The loss was twice as hard to swallow for Theodore, who spent two seasons in Colorado before signing here last summer.

"I don't think we really gave ourselves a chance to win," Theodore said. "Obviously it was my former team and I came ready play. But we didn't have the result we wanted. You have to get ready for every team. We have already lost to some teams that are behind us in the standings. "

*The Capitals were held to 29 shots, their lowest output in seven games. It also marked just the third time in the past 22 games that they recorded fewer than 30 shots on net.

*Colorado is now an NHL-best 18-0-0 when leading after two periods. Anyone who watched the third period knows exactly why.

"We knew they were going to be strong defensively and they were going to clog the middle and not forecheck and play off our turnovers," Boudreau said. "We kept trying to force the puck down the middle. When you do that, you get frustrated, then you try doing individual stuff."

*Boudreau had lots to be mad about. One thing that really annoyed him, though, was the Avalanche's first goal, which was scored by Ryan Smyth after the power forward was allowed to bang away at Theodore's pad/skate FOUR times.

"Somebody should have went in and gave him a shot instead of letting him have four whacks at it," Boudreau said.

Smyth was Staffan Kronwall's guy.

*Boudreau shook up his lines in the third period in an effort to jump start his team. That didn't work, either.

*Second year center Nicklas Backstrom netted his 15th goal of the season in the first period. He had 14 all of last season.

*Eric Fehr has 10 points in his past 10 games (he picked up a secondary assist on Backstrom's goal).

*Tony Granato picked up career win No. 100. He's the 10th American born coach to record 100 NHL wins and it came in Colorado's first win in the District since 2000.

That's all I got tonight. I'll check in from KCI tomorrow morning.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 20, 2009; 11:37 PM ET
 
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Next: Caps skating ... hard

Comments

ugly, ugly, ugly

Posted by: uncatim | February 20, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Got back from the game and have read the other posts and only IMO:

-Agree with BB - we had a stinker and they are bound to happen...this one was collective.

-In particular I thought Green had a really rough game.

-Nyls looks lost. Could it be he is hurt...I honestly believe he is not as bad as his play has shown...maybe I am in Egypt looking at a river? :)

-Bounces did not go our way for sure

-Ice did seem fast as rockthered noted earlier.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 20, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

At some point, McPhee will need to be held accountable for poor decisions.

Nylander is one of many examples.

Posted by: LarryDavid | February 21, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

WTF WAS THAT? I WAS HOPING 2 HAVE A GOOD FRIDAY NIGHT.. BUT IT SUCKED. I'M UPSET.

Posted by: yrb1 | February 21, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

They were passive around both goalies and showed sluggish, incohesive play all over the ice. Maybe the worst overall of the 23 I've been to this season.
OTOH, I knew Caps weren't going to win both games this weekend. I'd rather they brought both barrels for Sunday if choose I must.
The Krasnoyarsk Kid is due for a big game.

Posted by: redlineblue | February 21, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

I said before that I don't think Nylander was worse than anyone else, and better than most. He had a few hits and take aways. More than many. But still, no one was good out there.

And it's one freakin' game.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 21, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

@LarryDavid

that's ridiculous. You come here as first time poster with that? What about credits for building the team that is arguably one of the most exciting in the NHL? Bleh.


@jmu
yeah I wish there was a *disgusted* sign

Posted by: mauree | February 21, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Win Sunday and all is forgiven

Posted by: mikebrady1 | February 21, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Anyone remember the puck that hit Ovi's foot in the Montreal game? Remember reports of how swollen it was and how he missed practice yesterday? Do you think that foot was better tonight? I'm surprised he was able to lace up his skate.

If I were Boudreau, I would have ordered him to sit this one out.

Some observations:

The Avs defense was like a solid wall across the neutral zone. Anytime one of our guys tried to get through there were 5,not 2, but 5 Avs blocking.

Our defense, in contrast, was like a sieve. Worst infraction: a D rushes the net, loses the puck, and is left miles behind as the Avs rush our net through the gap he left behind.

Glad Ovi and Green(?) stood up for Theo. Glad Ovi stood up for Backstrom. But as someone else said earlier: why is he almost the only one who's taking action?

Bottom line: we couldn't penentrate their defense and we couldn't put up an effective defense of our own. I could watch Ovi all night long, and defense is boring, but unless we get better defense, we're not going far in the Finals.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | February 21, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

@ Greg S.

LOL, Nylander was better than most? Are you serious? At least Bruce saw how terrible he was and basically benched him in the 3rd period. He only played 8 minutes but still managed a -2. That might have been his worst game of the year and he's had a lot of bad games.

The Caps better find out how to beat the trap because we have yet beat a team this year who applied it against us. Come playoff time you know the Caps opponent is going to use it against us.

Posted by: VegasCapsFan | February 21, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

we've beaten the pens. they use a trap.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 21, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

For the people that keep saying that "It's just one game.."

You're wrong. The Capitals have been consistently bad against teams like this. How many times have the Caps been beaten by inferior teams. Sure, you'll always lose some, but I don't think it's a coincidence that they look their worst against teams like this. I wonder if having an actual captain would help, maybe one that would be willing to call out the team when they are stinking it up. OV is certainly a leader on the ice, but maybe he doesn't have the personality needed to get in people's faces once in a while. BB sees the problems, I'm sure he tells them what the problems are, but the players don't seem to take it to heart. ARRRRGH, this team is so frustrating. They could be so much better if they only had some consistency night to night...

Posted by: isaacc7 | February 21, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

what exactly is a team like this?

calm down. its one regular season game.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 21, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

yeah, never losing more than 2 games in a row this season is some real horrible consistency.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 21, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

i seriously dont even want to imagine half of you a few years ago. this is the best caps regular season quite possibly since their existence.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 21, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

You can say it's just one game all you like, but this team has a disturbing tendency to overlook teams that they feel they should beat. They're undisciplined, and that doesn't get you very far in April.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | February 21, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

the is hope - none of these bottom feeders will make the playoffs. i'm guessing they'll 'play up' to the level of teams that do make the playoffs

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 21, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

No one cares about the regular season.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | February 21, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Well that was not the most fun that I have had at a Caps game this season. I even brought some newbies with me - not a good first impression. Our boys looked terrible and, maybe it was because I was not in my usual seats but, they looked like they were playing in slo-mo. Oh well, they're still in good shape and these (senseless) losses usually get their attention. I could be wrong but I would be willing to bet that they will come out swingin' Sunday. All is not lost ... bring it on, Pens.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 21, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

I am calm, but frustrated. My point, which you seem to have missed, is that the capitals should not look this bad against teams that are that bad. They are remarkably consistent in playing down to their opponents level. Let's see, it looks like 11 of the 17 losses were to teams that do not look like they are going to make the playoffs. Something is wrong when a majority of the Caps losses come against teams that everyone else, on average, beats regularly. That is my point.

Clearly this team is good. After all, they are able to beat the likes of Boston, NJ, etc. So why do they consistently have problems against teams like columbus, atlanta, Edmonton, etc. There is a problem somewhere. It may or may not come back to haunt them, but one thing is clear, if they could play columbus or Edmonton like they played NJ or Boston, they would be in a much better position for the playoffs. There is nothing wrong with this team's talent, but there is something not right with their consistency. You're right, it's a regular season game, but shouldn't we be worried about them not being consistent in the playoffs? Can they just that on for the playoffs? Why don't they turn it on now?

Posted by: isaacc7 | February 21, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse

I think the Caps will be fine for the playoffs. It is quite evident what this team needs to get over the top. They need a little more grit specifically on the blue line and i am more than confident that GMGM is working on solidifying this need.

I am from Winnipeg and i remember 1995, when the Jets acquired Tie Domi and Chris King to add some much needed grit. The Jets all played a foot taller and the team went undefeated for the next 13 games. They didnt do much in the playoffs but they were no where near as talented as the Caps are now.

Posted by: bigschu8 | February 21, 2009 1:54 AM | Report abuse

CST drunken stat of the month: (probable incorrect math courtesy of Jack Daniels and a good kiss)

W - L - T average of teams we have beat:
28.21 22.86 7.36

W - L - T average of teams that beat us (no OTL)
28.71 22.93 6.28

Conclusion? (Burp), excuse me.

Posted by: austinsteve | February 21, 2009 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Bruce always feeds us the same garbage. I've heard him say exactly this anytime we underachieve.

FIX IT instead of repeating yourself!


p.s. have to add Nyles to the list of el stinkos tonight. I don't think Backstrom or Kronwall played a bad game tonight, the rest of our team wasn't very good. The muckers were terrible except for Laich and our skill guys were skating like ballerinas afraid to get hit. Lousy effort and good that the crowd let them know it. This team thinks it can beat every team without paying a price on the ice.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 21, 2009 2:57 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmmm....can't get thru the neutral zone?
Won't change approach?
Don't stand up for each other?
Play down to teams below them?
This won't make for a very long playoff run. Especially against teams "below" them in final rankings.
Or against physical muck-it-up teams that can trap and clog the neutral zone.
The game plan is out there to beat these guys.
Can they overcome? Change their habits? Play to a weakness? Or a strength?
We'll see....

Posted by: googlio | February 21, 2009 3:03 AM | Report abuse

If Caps are the 4th/5th best team in the league, points-wise, would you rather a lot of their losses come from teams like detroit & boston or teams like colorado (btw, the best "last place" team in years) or the Islanders, etc.? Frankly, I'd rather have a team that focuses and beats the best teams but has the occasional slip-up against a hard-working, but inferior team.

It seems that the only time that losing focus and not beating the teams you *should* beat is REALLY a problem is when that keeps you from even making the playoffs. As far as "playing down to their" competition....once the playoffs start, we don't have to worry about that because we'll be playing all quality teams. If we come out w/ the same effort Sunday, I'll be irritated, but otherwise, I'm going to chalk this one up as just a crappy game.

I was (still am) a Red Wings fan for years, and eventually, I had to stop caring about the regular season because I saw that President Trophies meant nothing when combined with an early playoff exit. For the first half of this Caps season, I thought the regular season games were terribly important because we had a team that needed to validate last season and establish itself. WEll, I think we've established ourselves and the most important thing is to now figure out how to finish strongly and be prepared for the playoffs. I'm not excusing poor play in the least bit...I'd just rather beat Pittsburgh & Philly and lose to Colorado than beat Colorado and lose to one of those better teams....

Posted by: pachanga74 | February 21, 2009 4:05 AM | Report abuse

Ladies of the blog, late notice, but I'd be up for drinks and hockey-talk tonight if anyone is of the mind. Shoot me an email at jmu.capsgirl at gmail, or find me at Hockey n Heels!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 21, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

YUCK! What a bad game and a poor performance by many of the Caps players. The player that really stuck out to me, in a bad way, was Mike Green! He looked confused every time he hit the ice! Anytime he thought a penalty should have been awarded he would stop and throw his hands up...when he should have just continued playing. The refs were extra horrible last night, but really Mike...really?!? I hope we get it together before Sunday, it would be sad if we lost in the same fashion to another struggling team and the so-called "face of the NHL".

Posted by: NatyBG | February 21, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

I am from Winnipeg and i remember 1995, when the Jets acquired Tie Domi and Chris King to add some much needed grit.

Posted by: bigschu8 | February 21, 2009 1:54 AM

I haven't heard Kris King's name in awhile, in between that, Bob Essensa and Stephane Beauregard, thanks for the nostalgia trip.

Posted by: Section117 | February 21, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Enjoyed hearing Joe B explain on the telecast that he came up with the idea of calling the Fedorov, Fleishman, Fehr line F Troop. Too bad it did not *occur* to him to call them F-bomb, cause they all stunk last night.

I hope no one is surprised that we lost to the WORST team in the West. Bah!

FYI: Ovechkin continues to impress me with his leadership. He constantly comes to the defense of his teammates. After Backstrom nailed some guy in the head with his elbow at the end of the game, drawing a penalty, the guy went up to mug Backstrom. Loved the way that Ovie grabbed the guy and let him know there would be none of that tomfoolery. Never saw the Great One do that. Certainly never saw Cindy Crosby or Maria Lemieux stand up like that. Ovie is like a faster Messier. Lots of skill, toughness, and leadership. We are blessed.

Posted by: crooks_c | February 21, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Still can't get over this stupid loss last night, it makes me so angry! We better KILL the Penguins.

@isaacc7: you're exactly right.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 21, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I think that the Caps will bring their A game for Pitt, they're usually good about getting up for big games. It just seems like there's something about those subpar Western Conference teams that have our number. I'm definitely disappointed in the loss, but it's pointless to dwell on when we have the best Caps team perhaps in their history this year.

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | February 21, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

@pachanga74

I see what you're saying but I like them to beat everyone, I also like to see them play their A game against the best teams and against the bad teams. I'm okay with them giving energy, effort, playing a solid game and losing to a crappy team, I'm not okay with them not giving any effort and losing to bad non-playoff teams. Of course I love that they beat Detroit, Boston, NJ. When you give effort and you play hard every game but occasionally have a “slip up”, no one is ever going to fault you because you played hard but lost, but no one can forgive you when you play with zero engery and no effort at all, like they’ve played against the Oilers, Kings, Jackets, and Avalanche. Okay, I'm done, hurry up Sunday so we can play the Penguins! Go Caps! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | February 21, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

So the boys had a crappy night. No need to read much into it. Many are criticizing them for not being able to get themselves pumped for these "lowly" teams. Two things about this: First of all, that's a classic problem facing teams across all sports... nothing new. In many cases, players prefer the underdog role. Think how fired up all these teams are that come here to face the Caps. Hungry! As for point #2, and on lighter note, the Caps have played well against the B's, Devils, Wings, etc.. poorly against the basement dwellers -who do you think they will most likely be facing come playoffs? Relax... they can hang with the big dogs because they are big dogs!!!

Posted by: gonchpup | February 21, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"but it's pointless to dwell on when we have the best Caps team perhaps in their history this year."
-TheVampireCorndog

That's the reason why we expect them to always play hard and win every game. Like Locker said at the end of the game, we've been spoiled by this team, we see them win so many times that we don't accept them losing.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 21, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"-Nyls looks lost.
...I honestly believe he is not as bad as his play has shown"

I agree in both counts. But how can he be otherwise? The way BB is jerking him around, a more severe way that what BB did to Semin last year, it is a miracle that guy would even show to play.

Nyls is a great player, he has proven it everywhere he is ever been, even the Caps went after him for a second time. Either BB and Nyls have a personality problem or, most likely, they are just simply not a good match - too bad, one is a good coach and the other is a good player.

Nyls game last night was not different than the others, besides the fact that he barely played. The goals were not his fault, at least not from what I could see from the TV point of view.

Posted by: opita1 | February 21, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

A horrible game last night. I was in "Rat Brain" after that game. It is very disappointing to see the Caps play down to their opponent. I see both sides of what other posters are saying about that observation. Its one game. Its the regular season. The Caps play up to their opponent and do well. But it also seems to be a pattern this year that teams (we as fans and I would assume the Caps as well), should beat based on wins and losses and the Caps players get cocky, don't play the system, freelance, and get outworked. End result a loss. We have seen some great accomplishments with this team this year and there is more hockey to be played.

Last night the entire team played horrible. The F Street line did penetrate the offensive zone better than the SOB line for good part of the game but none of our forwards tried to muck it up enough to screen Raycroft. The 3rd and 4th lines were none existent. As for defense, they all had a bad game. Poor puck movement, not playing physical, and it looked as if the Caps were skating in slow motion while Colorado was flying to the puck.

I hope these lessons that BB is trying to teach this team will sink in and the Caps will be able to change their game and still play within the system and not just freelance because everyone wants to make a play. Give Colorado credit. They are 5 points from a playoff spot and they are hungary. They played their system and totally disrupted the Caps game. As BB says, there are no bad teams in the NHL. We may have a home stand, but we have some very good opponents still to play. I know the Caps will be ready to play because of the animosity between the Caps and the state of PA. Just don't let up against Atlanta. UNLEASH THE FURY AND GREATNESS WILL BE ACHIEVED! LETS GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: thehighlander0539 | February 21, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

One other comment on the game.
I think the Avs played a very sound game and it made the Caps look bad. In particular I think Raycroft was the quiet hero for the Avs, he made some outstanding saves on Semin, Feds and Flash.
I love the Caps, but sometimes you have to give credit to the other team.

Posted by: opita1 | February 21, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I will concede that "it's just one game", but you have to admit that the attitude problem is there. Will it come back to haunt us? Not flooring the accelerator is risky, a kind of mentality that "there is always tomorrow to make amend"... but in the playoffs, "tomorrow" might be next season.

The argument: "you're bound to have a stinker every once in a while" is also valid. Every team has those. But certain teams, like SJS, DET, CHI (weird, all team in the west) seem to hustle on every puck for 60 minutes on every game. Frankly I like that mentality.

There are things we must be thankful for: to have the best player in the world and arguably the most exciting team in the NHL. But I can't help to be frustrated not at the losses but at the way we lose, and be worried that this will come bite us later on. Aren't you worried too?

Posted by: mauree | February 21, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

They should have the Atlanta Thrashers circled on their calendar. I know it's not a Western Conference team, but it's a bad team and a non playoff team. We'll see then how they play. NO MORE STINKERS THIS YEAR!! At least in the playoffs there's only GOOD teams, and we only have to play a Western Conference team once in the playoffs, IF we make it THERE.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 21, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, mauree, it worries me a lot too. Like I said before, you can't get away with playing like they have against LA, Avs, but no one will EVER fault you if you give 100% and lose once in a while, but the way they play against bad teams is unacceptable. It's okay to play well and lose, but they're playing bad and losing. They need to change their mentality.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 21, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

im surprised nobody is pointing out that jose three-or-four is the reason you guys lost last night. he tries to be patrick roy so much, even with his mouthy, arrogance. but he just doesnt have the talent to back his words up. yeah he sure looks great being carried by a great team like the caps, but he has the same stats almost as our goalies in colorado...relative to games played, that is.

now, im no stranger to the washington area, lived there from 86-88, lived in springfield virginia. im not trying to be a sniper, coming in here and throwing mud. but we had something to prove after jose made the remarks he did. we still have pride, even though we are where we are in the standings. we havent had a fair shake all season because of sakic and stastny being out almost the whole time.

but jose three-or-four wasnt kept for a reason. he needs to be carried by good teams, he doesnt have the talent or the wherewithal to stand on his head and give his team a chance. he plays well if everyone around him does. if they dont, he is the first one to call them on it, as evidenced by his quote last night. he took no responsibility for weak play. i dont think there was a single goal that he couldnt have stopped last night had he been an elite goalie like he says he is.

i wish you guys the best in the east, but for jose three-or-four....nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.

Posted by: neo3333 | February 21, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night. I was so disappointed that the Caps did not play with as much heart & hustle as the Avs. But I was still hoping for a win until the Wolski goal.

Something weird happened at 7:55 left in the third period. There was a faceoff near the bench. An Av came flying over to the bench after the puck was dropped. The refs conferred and then went on. There was a collective groan in the crowd. I think we were all hoping for a too many men penalty. Wolski scored about 30 seconds later.

I watched the same thing on CSN this morning and the whole scene was blocked by a western standings graphic. Then all Joe B. said was there was some confusion on the Avs bench.

Anyone at the game with some insight on this?

Posted by: taricee | February 21, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Criticizing the Capitals on consistency is ridonkulous. Under BB they've WON two-thirds of their games. That's four (ahem) of every six (or seven, see), which is what Halls of Fame in every sport call 'respectable'.


Posted by: redlineblue | February 21, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

the caps need to get a physical d-men.It`s great to be the beast of the east,but only if you get beat the best of the west.Go Caps!!!

Posted by: 23right | February 21, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

This doom and gloom is pretty epic. Please go switch to Penguins fans and go populate Pensblog if you're going to freak out over 1 game. Sure we've lost to some of the weaker teams in the league, most of which have been Western Conference teams. No one goes 82-0-0, because teams are going to have bad games. I'd rather they have them against teams that don't mean anything on the schedule, in fact that's usually when teams DO have their bad games.

When you're rolling it's hard to change up what you're doing to adjust what a team like Colorado will do knowing they have no other way to play you. Spewing crap like "this team has no consistency night to night" is pretty ridiculous. We're 7-2-1 over our last 10 games. A good portion of our 10 game splits look something similar. What was our record last season under BB? 37-17-7. What is our record this season? 37-17-5. Don't give me inconsistent.

We make it sound like their trap completely stifled us save for Backie's goal at the end of the 1st but it's not exactly the case when we missed 2 or 3 wide open nets, Semin got stopped on a breakaway (I know, he puts those in so much I was shocked but it happens), and for the game we only had 2 power play chances one of which was only a partial after TWO of our guys came out of the box.

The ship will be righted, if you think we'll come out Sunday and not play better than don't watch.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 21, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

So they moved all the people watching practice to a separate section away from the hockey n heels people and now I feel mean. Like I'm ruining peoples day.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 21, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Davethecapsfan

I don't understand why you (and some others) have to react like that to different opinions and criticisms. Nobody is panicking, nobody is freaking out. It's you that is freaking out over some comments. I refuse to come here and only celebrate the Caps after a shameful game like yesterday's.

Posted by: mauree | February 21, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

jmu:
I know you're not wearing a pink jersey, short skirt or hooker boots ... but are you wearing heels to hockey n heels?

Posted by: rw-c | February 21, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I just talked to a close friend from Pittsburgh. He said, "The Avs beat you guys!? Oh no! You'll kill us tomorrow!"

I sure hope he is right.

Posted by: uncatim | February 21, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I agree with mauree, yeah, nobody is "panicking." Some people REALLY just can't take other people's negativity or criticism about the Caps well.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 21, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

@neo3333
Jose didn't lose that game last night, his teammates did.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 21, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

great to be the beast of the east,but only if you can beat the best of the west.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: 23right | February 21, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@mauree and rachel

I've seen plenty of comments declaring games like this as proof we won't go anywhere come playoffs, etc. I'm just stating MY opinion that last night's game was not a big deal. I'll just throw in some stats and factoids to back up my position. If you state I am reacting poorly to other people's opinions and criticisms, you're basically doing the same thing reacting to my opinion.

Some criticism is fair after last night's game, most of the stuff I've read hasn't been. Some is at Theodore, and frankly I don't think any of the goals last night were on him save for the last one, but in truth I think the game could have been far worse had he not saved us on so many odd man rushes before. We gave up a lot of rushes because of a lot of instances where our D was getting anxious trying to pinch down in the O zone, but that's going to happen when you're pressing trying to get offense going down 2-1 and 3-1.

We only gave up 4 PP chances for them last night so that's an improvement over the last couple games when we've taken a large share of the penalties.

I have nothing against criticism but I'll speak my thoughts if I think it's overreacting or unwarranted. Every team is going to have letdowns, even Boston and SJ had rough stretches of late. I can't complain if we win 3 or 4 in a row then have a letdown game. It happens.

Every team has letdown games. Every team can get better and patch a few holes. You'll find them on any team if you look hard enough. Come crunch time, this team will win the East.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 21, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@tess2201, Jose AND his teamates lost that game together. Yeah, the defense sucked, but he could've stopped all 4 goals. Yeah, he didn't lose the game, his teamates put him in some bad situations but you can't tell me he couldn't stop those goals. It was Jose and his teamates that lost the game, he wasn't exactly sharp.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 21, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

there is no issue of consistency here. we have not lost more than 2 games in a row this year.

dave and other grunded people can easily see this.

and theo couldn't have stopped all 4 goals. what the hell do you expect, for him to be roy?

Posted by: richmondphil | February 21, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The argument: "you're bound to have a stinker every once in a while" is also valid. Every team has those. But certain teams, like SJS, DET, CHI (weird, all team in the west) seem to hustle on every puck for 60 minutes on every game. Frankly I like that mentality.

Posted by: mauree | February 21, 2009 9:43 AM

WRONG. All those teams have lost more games in a row than us. All those teams have lost to bottomfeeders.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 21, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Been watching alot of hockey lately (on ATDHE.NET)and the Avs played a typical western conf. style game. It seems that all those teams play at 100mph every game, every shift. And...they are physical and gritty.
I know it must sound like a broken record, but I really think that we could be more successful in the playoffs if we were to acquire a big, tough defenseman as well as a hard-nosed, tough, physical forward. I know, where are you going to find 'em? What's it going to cost us? I don't have an answer, but GMGM has the experience, the contacts, the responsibility to solve personnel problems, and is being paid handsomely to find those answers.
That "big, tough defenseman"? you know, the type that would never, EVER allow someone to take 4 wacks at our goalie (like Smyth's goal last night) without a hand laid on him. The "hard-nosed, tough, physical forward"? That's the kind of guy that's willing to go to the net, stand in the crease and screen the goalie, while taking some punishment. We don't seem to have either of these guys.
Our defensemen, while good, are probably the least physical in the NHL. And our forwards? Well...other than Brashear and Laich, who else would qualify?

Posted by: al852 | February 21, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"we have not lost more than 2 games in a row this year."

Um, November road trip? Early January?

Posted by: Section117 | February 21, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

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