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Bruins 4, Caps 1 as Washington can't solve the Tim Thomas puzzle

So much of the first period at TD Garden Thursday seemed similar to what happened at Verizon Center Tuesday. The Capitals had several scoring chances against the Boston Bruins and acrobatic Tim Thomas, but somehow none of those shots ever found the back of the net and broke the ice.

Instead, it was the Bruins who struck first and in a rather small period of time blew the game open. You can read more about how Boston took control after a few crucial moments between the end of the first and start of the second period to defeat the Capitals 4-1 for Washington's second straight loss in my story for Friday's hard-copy edition.

Once again, Thomas, who everyone thought wasn't starting until he led the Bruins on to the ice for warm-ups, proved to be an unorthodox, unsolvable puzzle for the Capitals. He calmly turned away prime chances by the Brooks Laich-Marcus Johansson-Alexander Semin trio, several more by the top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Knuble, who had a few odd bounces on the doorstep that never found their way past Thomas, and countless other opportunities.

"You know, It's always tough to play against a good goalie," rookie Marcus Johansson said. "He had a great day. Obviously he was amazing and I think we did a lot of stuff right to get goals but he was always there to stop them. That's the way it is sometimes, he had a great day."

Thomas's only gaffe was when he opted to play the puck with Jason Chimera streaking into the zone. His clearing attempt went straight to Chimera who fired the puck into a wide open net.

In all, Thomas stopped all but one of the 39 shots he faced Thursday, bringing his two-game totals against the Capitals to 73 saves on 75 shots. That the Capitals have been creating so many chances yet struggling to finish makes an interesting predicament for Coach Bruce Boudreau. He likes to tinker and tweak lines to search for the most effective combinations like most coaches, but with all the offensive opportunities: Will he leave the lines intact or continue to move players around?

"It is something I will have to think about," Boudreau said. "Guys [are] not producing that should be producing and we want them to produce. Is it because they are not playing well? Is it because they are snake-bit? I think they can all play better, but it's a combination of both."

Other notes and quotes from tonight's loss to the Bruins:
-- Boudreau said Johansson "was probably our best forward." The rookie centerman played 13:36 and, in addition to having an important presence on the back check on a few occasions, Johansson meshed well with new linemates Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin. He created scoring chances with both, including a particularly savvy set up for Semin in the second period.

-- The Capitals' penalty killing streak ended at 25 for 25 as the Bruins tallied three power-play goals on four opportunities Thursday.

--Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the power play continues to struggle. After finishing 0 for 4 in the second game against the Bruins the Capitals are 4 for 30, or 13.3 percent, with the man-advantage so far this season.

--The Capitals are back on the ice at KCI for practice tomorrow at 11 a.m.

By Katie Carrera  | October 21, 2010; 11:02 PM ET
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Bruce Boudreau  | Tags:  Marcus Johansson, goalkeeping  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Open thread: Capitals at Bruins
Next: Capitals are missing Mike Green


Penalty kill today -- Ugghhh!

Yes, I knew that they weren't going to stay perfect forever but they basically regressed to last year's performance -- at its worse. Just like the game against Tampa Bay this past January in Tampa.

If (situation = PK) then

(In other words, PK time means automatic incrementing of the other teams' goal totals.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 22, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

@ablake70 (from previous thread)

Could we acquire Bieksa for a song -- or would we have to give up more?

In any case, if possible, the Caps need to find a team who's so loaded with defensemen that their 5th best defenseman is someone who would be on the 2nd pairing for most other NHL teams and then trade for that person. (We're talking about trying to upgrade our D, with relatively low acquisition cost.)

Given that we were thin in defense prior to Green's absence and now it's really looking bad with him out....

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 22, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Sorry guys, missed the new thread. Here's a copy/paste on my take from what I saw tonight at the game:

Just got home from Boston. I can't believe how poorly they played. This was my girlfriend's first NHL game and during the third period she goes "Are they always this bad? It looks like they aren't even trying, like it's a practice or something."

In my opinion MaJo and Fehr were the best guys out there. Both were putting in a great effort, skating hard on both ends of the ice and at times looked like the only guys who cared. I'd really like to see Fehr get bumped up a line. That interference call on him was total bull BTW.

Laich and Knuble were ok. Nicky looked good in short bursts. Flush was the last guy back into the defensive zone every damn time, as usual. Now I understand why you guys bag on him so much. On TV you don't see him when he doesn't have the puck, but in person you can witness just how lackadaisical he is.

Ovechkin flat out sucked. Like totally mailed it in. He just skated into the offensive zone and fired off a shot as soon as he got there all night long. There was no real organization on the PP and we had a weak presence in front of the net. Just a total lack of teamwork when he was on the ice.

Passing was awful. D was awful. What a lazy, half-assed performance.

Posted by: ssweeney | October 22, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse


Wake me when the playoffs start.

Meanwhile, let all these cute little meaningless teams like Boston celebrate their regular season victories.

Posted by: noslok | October 22, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Dear Coaching Staff,

The power play is pitiful, especially for a team with so much "talent."

Please fix it, and fast.


Posted by: dml1077 | October 22, 2010 2:06 AM | Report abuse

I think one thing this shows is the value of Mike Green to this team. You may not always notice his plays in the D zone but in the three games he was gone we look horrible compaired to the first games he was in. I also think that some of this little slump is nothing more then that. Every team has some times that are bad and if it is at the start of the season it looks much worse. Last year Philly was horrible to start, Pittsburgh the same the year before, three years ago Detroit went 1-8-2 for a streach in Feburary. Like I said a few threads ago if we are still having scoring issues in December and the effort isn't there every night then it would start to be an issue but now it is just a small slump.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 22, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Pardon me? I'm pretty sure the Bruins made it farther in the playoffs than the Capitals last year. Awfully cocky for a fan of a team that has never won anything. Insignificant indeed.

Posted by: drabb1 | October 22, 2010 2:30 AM | Report abuse

What else is new.

The dumb and dumbers keep getting dumberer. Maybe OV-errated and his pansy crew will get better by attending more parties and working on his DJing and dancing skills.

Backs can go back to watching tapes of Forsberg and coming to the conclusion that he will never become anywhere close to his ilk.

And Big BB can keep scratching that big head of his wondering how to make line adjustments and motivate a bunch of spoiled, heartless, unintelligent brats.

Meanwhile the beat goes on for the ultimate Champ, the Anti-Capital, with a monster game of 2g 1a vs. a tough defensive team. You all know who, you're used to it by now.

What else is new.

Posted by: BigGameSid | October 22, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Gee I guess it's the old tale of "another hot goalie " Be funny to see how the B's next 3 temas fair against the
"hot goalie "
The team was winning until coach BB told them to stop winning on talent and to work hard for 60 mins...Gee how's that working out?
If your winning then it aint broke so leave it alone.

Posted by: jotay131 | October 22, 2010 5:58 AM | Report abuse

To BigGameSid and all the rest of the Pens fans who troll the Caps blog...
I understand Pittsburgh is a crappy town and there ain't much happening there but unemployment, but really if your team is so wonderful why in the heck do you troll the Caps board.
Just confirms the fact of what losers you all are.

Posted by: jotay131 | October 22, 2010 6:02 AM | Report abuse

drabb1 writes:

Pardon me? I'm pretty sure the Bruins made it farther in the playoffs than the Capitals last year. Awfully cocky for a fan of a team that has never won anything. Insignificant indeed."


Hey, I'll give you last year's playoff debacle. As for the Caps never having won anything. The Caps have existed since 1974. Since then, the Cup-count reads Washington 0, Boston 0.

But I'm sure if you ask your grandfather, he'll tell you all about 1971 and 1969... and ... 1941??? Are you kidding me???

From 1942 through 1966 there were only 6 friggin' teams in the whole league. No Cups in a quarter century? When you only had to beat-out 5 other teams???

So, yea, Boston is a cute, meaningless little team.

Posted by: noslok | October 22, 2010 6:21 AM | Report abuse

@BigGame -CINDY

We keep hearing about the Steelers and Pens from you unemployed iron workers. I would scream about them too if I lived in Pitt. My guess is that you live here, because Pitt is a dump with no jobs.

By the way, why is that none of the Pitt fans I talk to (who are forced to work down here) ever realize that your baseball team has set a record for losing seasons. How many more years before that streak ends ? Bet the Caps win 5 cUps before your baseball team has another winning season. Just think, you could go 30 years with out a winning season. That's an unbreakable record! (City of Champions??)Baseball has been around a long time. Longer than hockey has been in our southern city.

Also, why won't the NBA put a team in your town if you're such great sports fans (and a city of Champions ??)

Just saying !!


Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 22, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse


I recall a playoff series we should have won (again) where both Brash and Riley Cote dressed, played, and Brash scored (While wearing the "A"). It depends on the
team you're playing. Boogs' dresses against the Flyers to contain Hartnall. No doubt in my mind.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 22, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, some of us "kool-aid" drinkers are simply tired of reading the "I told you so" people every time the Capitals lose. Riddle me this, if our goaltender plays so well, that the ONLY reason we win a game is because Neuvy bailed us out, but if Tim Thomas stands on his head, it's no excuse? So we can win only because of our goaltender, but we can't lose just because of someone else's?

The Caps did get pinned in their zone on 3 obvious occasions, one resulting in the goal early in the 2nd. The Caps also had what Joe B characterized as an "onslaught" on a few occasions and old @$$ Thomas came up with some slick saves at critical junctures.

One last comment. Now we have people saying the Capitals are impatient on the PP and not waiting for better chances, but when they try to make the nice plays and exercise patience they are being too cute.

For all of you trying to discuss the roadmap created by Montreal last year is being used now, and I tried to explain that what we are seeing is the trap, did you hear what Laughlin said not more than 5 minutes into the game? If you can't remember, he said the Caps will have to get through the neutral zone trap better than they did on Tuesday.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 22, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, some of us "kool-aid" drinkers are simply tired of reading the "I told you so" people every time the Capitals lose. Riddle me this, if our goaltender plays so well, that the ONLY reason we win a game is because Neuvy bailed us out, but if Tim Thomas stands on his head, it's no excuse? So we can win only because of our goaltender, but we can't lose just because of someone else's?

The Caps did get pinned in their zone on 3 obvious occasions, one resulting in the goal early in the 2nd. The Caps also had what Joe B characterized as an "onslaught" on a few occasions and old @$$ Thomas came up with some slick saves at critical junctures.

One last comment. Now we have people saying the Capitals are impatient on the PP and not waiting for better chances, but when they try to make the nice plays and exercise patience they are being too cute.

For all of you trying to discuss the roadmap created by Montreal last year is being used now, and I tried to explain that what we are seeing is the trap, did you hear what Laughlin said not more than 5 minutes into the game? If you can't remember, he said the Caps will have to get through the neutral zone trap better than they did on Tuesday.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 22, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse


Beating the "Jersey" trap requires you to dump and chase. Can you see Semin, Flush, or Chimey fighting for pucks in the corner with Chara or Lucic? I can't !! Another wimpy GMGM lineup

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 22, 2010 6:42 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: arbeja666 | October 22, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

It seems that the BB riddle of run-and-gun has been solved. Just about every team has been clogging up the middle and forechecking like mad to pin the Caps back. Teams know the Caps are impatient on offense, looking for scretch passes and pretty tic-tac-toe passing plays. It's either time for BB to change or be shown the door.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 22, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

I am a "koolaid" drinker, and while I can appreciate how well Thomas played (he stood on his head), we did not have the net prescence necessary to beat him. I am no BB hater, but he HAS to light a fire under that first lines tail...esp. Backstrom. Ovie played ok, but it is hard to tell when Backie is not helping him out. MaJo looked really good, and I hope he will continue to gain confidence. We had one really bad PK, the other was not good but was simply the result of the PP team having an advantage. Our D looks good UNTIL that inevitable 2-4 times a game when we have a complete breakdown! That can be worked on.

Last season even when we weren't in the middle of a breakdown, the D looked lease now we are starting to have good chunks of time looking solid. I think Bruce should work the H-E double hockey sticks out of that top line today. Send a clear message that they need to figure it out sooner rather than later. The rest of practice should focus on the PP and maybe a little on the PK. If the top line isn't going to score 2-3 goals a game, they can't be directly responsible for the other teams goals.

Of course that is just my lowly opinion.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Well, the Caps will get a nice run of winning and then the detractors will be saying the Caps can win during the regular season but not in the playoffs. The only way to get fickle fans, and BigGameSidney to be quiet is to get to the playoffs and win. The Caps fans are no different than any other city's fans. Every team in the NHL that suffered a loss last time out undoubtedly has fans on blogs suggesting trades, changes in systems, and firing of management, that's life.

The problem I have is, even when the Caps are winning, it isn't enough. The Caps are either winning by luck, or winning only because it's the regular season, or any other reason given by a fan that just has to make sure everyone knows they are right. Again, the only way to silence the critics is to win in the playoffs.

For fans I assume they are oldtimers based on their screen names like Hunterforcoach, has to remember the days when WE were that team that tried to shut down the talented teams. The Caps would hang around with our David Poile teams and try to steal one at the end. The Caps were physical and finesse teams hated to play the Caps. In the end, how many playoff successes did that lead to? Exactly zero. When the Caps did reach the final, let's be honest, Kolzig was standing on his head. Not to mention all the top seeds lost in the first round just like this past season.

I suffered through a couple of decades of hoping my team could win by playing "Caps Hockey" and it didn't work. I'm not ready to go back to that.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 22, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad this discusion is happening now and not after another early playoff loss to an average team ( with a "hot" goalie they then traded.)

Which team puts 2 guys in the slot to block Tim Thomas's view? (The first team with a decent coach.) Thomas is also on his way to the Hall of Fame with Halak.

This is a very beatable goalie. Just get in his face. Block his view. Cramp his style. Give him the Hasek in '98 treatment. Oh, I forgot GMGM said Wilson was not an "effective coach."

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 22, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

And for those who think Thomas wasn't that great...hasn't he only given up 2 goals in four games?

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Sorry...3 goals in 4 games...sure there were problems with that game, but Thomas has been virtually unstoppable lately! If he stays healthy, I give him a good shot at the Vezina! I really can't believe the guy had hip surgery last year...other teams should keep that surgeon on speed dial, he fixed Tim Tom up nice!

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

From hockeybuzz: Coach Ron Wilson shook up his lines combinations for the third period because most of the Leaf forwards “didn’t want to get their nose dirty, by going into the hard areas coming across to support the puck.” Wilson benched center Tyler Bozak, moving Nikolai Kulemin up to the top line and Kris Versteeg to the middle, as well as moving Colby Armstrong up to the second line to play with Mikhail Grabovski and Clarke MacArthur

I LIKE BB, but I kinda wish he had benched Backstrom. the kid looked a little better today, but needs to start bringing in the points. He rewarded MaJo which I think he was waiting for an opportunity to do that. I know that top line will get it together, but maybe it will happen faster if they have some more incentive. On another note...Erskine had another decent game.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

@ssweeney: thanks for the perspective from the actual game---that squares with what I noticed on TV as well as giving some information that couldn't be seen.

No doubt that this team is missing Mike Green out there. I hope his shoulder heals completely before he comes back, though.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 22, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

capscoach: Well, it didn't work. They are now on a two game losing streak as well. They've only scored two goals in their last two games too. BB switched centers on the 2nd and 3rd line and has put Ovi on the point for the last 5 minutes of the last two games. BB has also moved Semin around, and switched defensive pairings. Someone mentioned the 4th line doing what they can with their limited times on the ice. Well, Hendricks was in the box for taking a penalty in the offensive zone when the Bs scored the 1st goal of the game. Can't have the 4th line taking a penalty for what is considered a ticky tack penalty. If they take one for being too aggressive, that's fine, because it helps set the tone.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 22, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse


We had a cheap owner who didn't care about he cUp. Who lets possibly the most feared blueliner to ever play the game go over a "Dino limo" incident? Those old Caps 80's teams could have won the cUp with with some free agent help. Hell, we had Stevens and Langway on our team. It's unbelievable when you look back.

Also, this whole "Olie standing on his nonsense" is nonsense. We beat the BEST GOALIE TO EVER PLAY THE GAME with grit and Kolzig's help. If we could have put two decent goal scorers on that '98 team, we could have won. This whole "David Poile wasn't that great" dung is dung. We had an owner who had no business owning a club. Poile's hands were tied.

Point is: Play the 80's type defensive hockey, but score some goals (The WINGS !!). Then you'll win a cUp. Don't down play the EFFORT guys like Hunter and Tinordi put into the '98 run. You'll NEVER see that kind of effort out of Fehr, Flush, Chimy, Semin, Green, Poti, and (may be) Laich. That's half the team. Those guys are here for the money. (In particular, Flush) I think Backy has given up on this coach. I don't blame him. Tim Thomas is a midlevel goalie, just like Halak.

You know, 12 years of buiding TWO teams, and we can't get out of the first round. (Rangers don't count. Montgomery select mite team outscores Rangers.) This guy keeps his job. Weird !

LL in jersey must be friends with Ted. He's convinced Ted that GMGM knows what he's doing.

"98 team half the talent - twice the results

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 22, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

@fanhock...wait what didn't work.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

The Caps should issue a formal complaint to the league. It ain't fair that they constantly have to play against HOT goalies.

Posted by: festus75 | October 22, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Unless they intended to lose did anyone see single decent pass?

Posted by: Randolph2 | October 22, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

from ssweeney's comments it appears Flush was his same ol' self playing on the 3rd line! The 2nd line with 90 at center to me last night appeared to be pretty good but Laich needs to be bumped down to line 3 and Fehr brought up, Fehr pots that open net opportunity because he is able to elevate the puck quickly.

If this type of performance goes on for the next 10-15 games then in my eyes BB has lost the team and a change is needed. Not quite ready to throw him completely under the bus yet but this team seems completely disinterested at this point......that simply can not continue.

Posted by: PhilR | October 22, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 22, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse


the passing needs work, but there were a few very nice ones in that game...we had some beautiful chances to score that would not have been possible without some decent passing.

I also think the Caps did a little better in that game on the forward rush. They still had to slow down or stop a few times, but not as much as they had been. The game was epsecially frustrating because if they had just tweaked 1 or 2 things in that game I think we would have been set. They also seemed less physical which was a problem.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

capscoach: Toronto still lost 2-1 to the Rangers who finally won their 2nd game.

Hunterforcoach: Well, now you just gave me a whole list of excuses for not winning back when Hunter was here. I know I will get flamed for this but how about pointing to some of the ill-timed undisciplined penaties old Huntsy took back then? Some old timers like Hunter, well, I didn't, he was a glorified goon. You like to call him gritty, I found him to be dirty, his PIMs don't help your argument, and he took selfish tantrum penalties at the exact wrong time.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 22, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse


what is wrong with you? the past few days people on this site have been able to disagree without flipping out on each other...and I am sure Backie thinks we have no hope of winning...thats why he signed a 10 year contract for less than he is worth.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse


sometimes the message is more important than the outcome. Esp. this early in the season.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse


I don't want to see a bore like the old Devils teams. I DO want to see a team built like the Wings. Play team defense, play with some grit (in front of "hot" goalies), counter punch with good goal scorers, and WIN THE CUP(finally).

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 22, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse


What i'm trying to say that if you play aganst "hot" goaly you should be playing smarter then they did.

Posted by: Randolph2 | October 22, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse


Yup, Caps suck, Sid is great, Pittsburg is the city of champions... Heard it all before, how about something new. What else you got? You haven't convinced me yet to sell my season tickets.

Why don't you ask your pals at the Pensblog for something that we haven't heard 10,000 times already from your ilk?

Posted by: Steve_R | October 22, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

The thing that is just completely frustrating to the point I felt like banging my head against the wall last night is the inconsistancy of this team. How they can go out and play a first twenty minutes of good, sound hockey and then just look horrible for the remaining forty is beyond me. You can put some of that on the players but I'm sorry there is a coaching problem when that sort of thing happens. The same happened throughout the year last year where they would "turn it on" when they had to to win the game. I have even heard BB use the term "turn it on", that term should not be in a hockey coaches vocabulary IMO, he should be demanding that type of effort for the full 60 minutes.

Posted by: PhilR | October 22, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

@ Noslok:

Thanks for the history lesson. I never said the Bruins have been bathing themselves in glory for the last quarter century. I just find it amusing to hear that kind of talk coming from a fan of the Washington friggin' Capitals. A Caps fan is really in no position to be calling ANY other franchise insignificant.

Posted by: drabb1 | October 22, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse


Did you ever think that maybe Dale could see his old team (some Q writers said Dale really did not want to leave, even years later.)now the Av's winning cUps. Now he's stuck in an Abe run franchise that won't spend the money to make it over the hump. This would drive me nuts. That my excuse for Dale's behavior (and I'm sticken' to it.)

Yea, people have been civil here 'til now. This is a Boston playoff team that has game planned BB. At some point guys like Ovi AND Backy realize that this coach is not NHL material. I thought Ovi and Backi really left their best efforts on the ice last year in the playoffs. The rest of the team did not(talk to Alan May).How do you as an elite player force a GM and or coach change. Do you go into Ted's office. No, Ted has no problem with 12 years of half-ass efforts.("The cUps will come in due time". Not my lifetime !)

Yes, I do think Ovi played his heart out last year.

Yes, Hunter would be a great cUp winning coach.

Yes, I think Backy is sand bagging this coach.

Yes, I do think Ovi eventually asks ,in private, for a GM change or a trade. I said eventually !!!!

Hunter or May for coach.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 22, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse


I think there is old saying "Team wins but coach loses"

Posted by: Randolph2 | October 22, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

drabb1: Why are you even here? I can promise you that I wouldn't be on a Bruins blog ragging on them if the Caps would have won. I just don't get that mentality.

PhilR: I agree the the first 20 minutes was the most solid, but you really didn't think the Caps had some golden opportunities in the 2nd where Thomas shut the door. How about when Johannson was cross-checked from behind after deflecting the shot, and from his stomach passed the puck to Semin by swiping his stick behind the net. You gotta give it to the Bruins on that 2nd goal, they had the Caps stuck in their zone for 2 minutes, and managed to get a line change and then scored on a nice shot. The Caps did have their chances too and even though I haven't been impressed with all of the Caps efforts this season, IMO, they worked pretty hard yesterday.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 22, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse


I just showed your posts to a coworker who is a nonposting Caps fan. "He said, McPhee doesn't construct play off type teams, and those were two play off type efforts from the Bruins."

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 22, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

It's not the end of the world people. So we lost two games in a row. Last i check Boston is a pretty good defensive team, they're playing a season opener at home. I mean do we really expect the Caps to win EVERY game this season? I certainly don't. While i do see problems with the team, it's a young season. Things will pick back up, we've been going through with some injuries, we do miss Mike Green don't we? definitely could have use him on our awful powerplay. I can most certainly say that if this team does not make it to at least the eastern conf finals this year. BB will not be here next year.

Posted by: ttn703 | October 22, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I just showed your posts to a coworker that knows everything about hockey. He said: "What is they guy talking about? This guy clearly doesn't know what he is talking about. Backstrom is sand bagging the coach?"

Posted by: _828 | October 22, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

The Capitals have been figured out, only the Capitals haven't figured that out yet.

Posted by: tw46 | October 22, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

The caps have been figured out...but lucky for us we have the entire season to correct that whereas last season teams figured us out at the end of the season and we didn't have time to adjust.


I am sorry, but saying that Backie is sandbagging BB just made me LMAO.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

How to make hot goaly: Make 50 low quality SOGs. Goaly becomes more and more confident offence becomes less and less confident. And you have early play off exit.

Posted by: Randolph2 | October 22, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

What is a goaly?

Posted by: _828 | October 22, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

@tw46. You're dead on.

Each time we loose games like this, we hear the "hot goalie" excuse when we in fact get out coached. It was the same story against Montreal. Yes, Halak was playing out of his mind but that wasn't why we lost. Opposing coaches realizes (and capitalizes) that BB has a hard time adjusting if his original game plan isn't working out.

Posted by: jakopz | October 22, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse


I agree the Caps, the past 10 games(last 3 playoff games) have been getting plenty of very good scoring chances. That means the system is okay. The problem has been the low quality shots the players are taking. They are either missing the goal or shooting it directly into the goalie. A couple of Thomas' nice kick saves would have been goals if Laich and Knuble were able to lift the puck which they are supposed to do.

This has been the same for a while now. Laich does not have a scoring line shot. He is unable to consistently get good shots off in prime scoring opportunities.

And Semin's accuray has been horrible. The guy either misses the net completely or shoots it into the goalie's stomach. He creates plenty of opportunities but his finishing ability hs been very questionable. His erratic shot is the reason why he is so hot and cold as a player.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 22, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Tim Tom has a GAA of .75

to be fair we are not the only team having trouble against him.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I think everybody should calm down a bit. It's very early in the season and we aren't playing our best hockey. We'll come around. We won the President's Cup last year and where did it get us...? Would have been nice to have Green, but we still would have lost. The offense will be fine. They are getting chances and they'll start going in the net soon enough. I'm more concerned about the D.

All you Pens fans trolling this board can go watch the 4 games from last year. See you in December!

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | October 22, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or does this year's Caps team look like a strange President's Cup/rebuliding team hybrid? A team generally does not EXPECT to "win now" with a defense rotation featuring one rookie, one pseudo-rookie (Alzner), one career AHLer (Sloan), and one defenseman they used to scratch all the time (Erskine), a 20-year old non-phenom (MJ looks like he should become a solid NHLer, but he's not Nick Backstrom) and a converted winger (Flash) playing 2nd and 3rd line center, and a rookie and an oft-injured 2nd-year goalie splitting netminding duties. Combine that with (1) the fact that this team clearly just ASSUMES they will make the playoffs this year, and thus will tend to be less motivated to win regular season games than most of their opponents, and (2) the general improvement of at least three of their four SE division rivals, and this has the makings of a rocky regular season. Last year, if I remember correctly, the Caps had a lead at some point in basically every game they played, even the ones they lost. The way this season has started, can you imagine this team being anywhere near as dominant?

Posted by: bbposter09 | October 22, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse


I don't make that accusation about Backy lightly or in an off-handed way.I watched this at the end of the Hanlon era. Like Bruce, Glen was a good man, but he was not an NHL level coach. The guys stopped playing "all out" for him. You did not see this ? I'm not "talking trash" here. The 3,000 or so die hard fans could see it, and we started to chant for his firing during the games.

Hanlon could not get away with those kind of results when he have Ovi on his team. So,why should GMGM and BB continue to field a team that folds in the playoffs so early. Yes, we should have beaten the Pens 2 years ago too. Our effort in Pitt was poor. We needed to win one game, come home, and slam the door on Syd. When a playoff team like Boston beats you in a home-home the first game, you nail them in game two. Instead, the "hot goalie" stuff comes out again. Come on !

Bruce will be fired. But, it's really GMGM who has placed heartless guys on our team. Backy knows what it takes to win in the playoffs. This coach,GM,and many of the players are not up to the task.(and Ovi and Backy know it!!) Ovi is the Captain, so you'll see less of a fall off.

Veterans throttle down. It's too easy to get hurt. This is what I'm seeing in Backy. I don't care, call me crazy. I've watched a ton of hockey. This is typical. The Atlanta effort was piss poor. This is the beginning of the end for BB.(Unfortunately, I actually like guy, and want him to succeed. I've seen enough though.)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 22, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse


You make very good points. I do hope you're wrong because, like you, I like BB. I think the team likes him. But a coach - even a good coach (not saying BB is or isn't) - can lose a team regardless. Even good coaches have a limited shelf life and after it's reached the team just can't - even if they think they want to - play for them anymore.

As for Backs, he may still be nursing an injury. Or, his problem may be with Ovie, rather than with BB.

Still, there were good reasons for the Caps to struggle: all NHL teams now are vulnerable to what happens when a key piece is lost. This year, we're thin on D and losing Green killed our powerplay. Our problems on D were underscored by BB's using Ovie as an attacking defenseman at the end of these last two games, but clearly not what he would want. (I think a great move, btw.)

It's the cap: clearly, someone like Souray - even with his absurd salary - would be up playing for us if that wasn't an issue. But we can't - really can't - get stuck with years of that bad contract.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 22, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@Hunter...stop comparing this team to the '98 Cup team, the NHL has changed since then, Tinordi wouldn't be able to be as an effective Dman in today's game, there is so much more speed that the old stay at home D-man from the 80"s and early 90's is more like the Geico caveman

Posted by: boomer44 | October 22, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Because I read the Washington Post. And I'm not ragging on the Caps: good team... nice to see DC become a hockey town. I'm just responding to a specific post left by one commenter that concerned the Bruins. Hardly trolling.

Posted by: drabb1 | October 22, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Hunter a glorified goon. Whoever said that does not understand his stats. so here are the coaching and playing day stats, Over 1000 pointa in hia NHL careers. seems to have a nice coacking record also.

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1977–78 Kitchener Rangers OMJHL 68 22 42 64 115 9 1 0 1 32
1978–79 Sudbury Wolves OMJHL 59 42 68 110 188 10 4 12 16 47
1979–80 Sudbury Wolves OMJHL 61 34 51 85 189 9 6 9 15 45
1980–81 Quebec Nordiques NHL 80 19 44 63 226 5 4 2 6 34
1981–82 Quebec Nordiques NHL 80 22 50 72 272 16 3 7 10 52
1982–83 Quebec Nordiques NHL 80 17 46 63 206 4 2 1 3 24
1983–84 Quebec Nordiques NHL 77 24 55 79 232 9 2 3 5 41
1984–85 Quebec Nordiques NHL 80 20 52 72 209 17 4 6 10 97
1985–86 Quebec Nordiques NHL 80 28 42 70 265 3 0 0 0 15
1986–87 Quebec Nordiques NHL 46 10 29 39 135 13 1 7 8 56
1987–88 Washington Capitals NHL 79 22 37 59 240 14 7 5 12 98
1988–89 Washington Capitals NHL 80 20 37 57 219 6 0 4 4 29
1989–90 Washington Capitals NHL 80 23 39 62 233 15 4 8 12 61
1990–91 Washington Capitals NHL 76 16 30 46 234 11 1 9 10 41
1991–92 Washington Capitals NHL 80 28 50 78 205 7 1 4 5 16
1992–93 Washington Capitals NHL 84 20 59 79 48 6 7 1 8 35
1993–94 Washington Capitals NHL 52 9 29 38 131 7 0 3 3 14
1994–95 Washington Capitals NHL 45 8 15 23 101 7 4 4 8 24
1995–96 Washington Capitals NHL 82 13 24 37 112 6 1 5 6 24
1996–97 Washington Capitals NHL 82 14 32 46 125 — — — — —
1997–98 Washington Capitals NHL 82 8 18 26 103 21 0 4 4 30
1998–99 Washington Capitals NHL 50 0 5 5 102 — — — — —
1998–99 Colorado Avalanche NHL 12 2 4 6 17 19 1 3 4 38
OHA totals 188 98 161 259 492 28 11 21 32 124
NHL totals 1407 323 697 1020 3565 186 42 76 118 729

[edit] Coaching record
Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T OTL Pts Finish Result
LDN 2001–02 68 24 27 10 7 65 5th in West Lost in second round
LDN 2002–03 68 31 27 7 3 72 2nd in Midwest Lost in second round
LDN 2003–04 68 53 11 2 2 110 1st in Midwest Lost in third round
LDN 2004–05 68 59 7 2 0 120 1st in Midwest Won Memorial Cup
LDN 2005–06 68 49 15 - 4 102 1st in Midwest Lost in OHL Finals
LDN 2006–07 68 50 14 - 4 104 1st in Midwest Lost in third round
LDN 2007–08 68 38 24 - 6 82 2nd in Midwest Lost in first round
LDN 2008–09 68 49 16 - 3 101 1st in Midwest Lost in third round
LDN 2009–10 68 49 16 - 3 101 1st in Midwest Lost in second round

Posted by: pkme | October 22, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

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