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Boudreau has high praise for Carlson

Rookie defenseman John Carlson became an unlikely hero on Saturday night when he tied the game at 5 with 1 minute 21 seconds to play in regulation to force overtime in a 6-5 victory that evened the series at one game apiece.

Coach Bruce Boudreau was asked if Carlson has been the Capitals' best defenseman over the first two games.

"I agree, except for the mistake he made on the first goal, which was a gamble, and I don't know how much of a mistake it was," Boudreau said. "There's just something about him. Glory follows him. Some guys get that. I've said it before. They come up in the ninth inning with the bases loaded, and they're the ones that do the damage. I think John Carlson's career is going to be like that."

By Gene Wang  |  April 18, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
 
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Comments

This game changed last night when we started going to the net. Until late in the second all our shots were long and no one was in from of Halak. As soon as we started crashing the net pucks started going in.

I know the Backie OTer this was not the case but seems like goals 2-5 were. Gotta keep going to the net.

Posted by: Searchingforstanley | April 18, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

*The Mike Green-Jeff Schultz D-pairing was on the ice for six goals tonight. Four were Canadiens' goals.

Green and Schultz were really bad. On three of those 4 Habs' goals, they were just looking at each other, waiting for the other one to do something, rather than play. What makes no sense is that over the last month of the season, both were very solid. So, they both, as BB sometimes says, had a stinker of a game.

Let's hope it was an aberration and not a trend.

I'll bet he goes back to Theo for game 3.

Montreal has to be terribly disappointed for letting that game slip away. They had us in a choke hold and loosened up. Letting the Caps come back was a worse sin than the Caps poor defensive play that put us in the hole to start. Reminded me of when the caps would always let Lemieux and company come back after the Pens would play loosey-goosey D and give us hope.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 18, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Theo deserves the start on monday.He's played well most of the year and Varly didn't exactly set the world on fire in relief.

Posted by: markfromparkville | April 18, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

It's great to be a fan of a team that is talented enough to make a comeback like that. Most teams would have been done at a 4-1 .

I would also go back to Theo on monday.

Lets take back home ice on monday night!!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 18, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm a huge Green fan but his effort on their 5th goal last night was simply PATHETIC. he looked like Paul Coffey last night but unfortunately it was on the wrong end of the ice. Time to take him off the PP and put the kid in.

it's simply too risky to go back to Theo on Monday... in case some of you might have forgotten the game is in MONTREAL. And including the last shot that ended Game 1, Theo has been scored on 3 consecutive shots.

Varly gave up 3 goals but you can't say he had a chance on any of them.. the first one, maybe but the last two... NO chance whatsover.

Posted by: joek443 | April 18, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I don't think BB can coach from the perspective of being Afraid. If he's going to be afraid of Theo's past, of Green repeating last season's playoff disappearing act, of Schultz getting clumsy again, of Semin not scoring, of this, of that, I don't think you can reach a cup finals with that attitude.

I'm still confused why Scott Walker hasn't gotten a start. Aren't the playoffs what we got him for? If he's not going to play at all, what was the point of that acquisition?

Posted by: blackjack65 | April 18, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't think there's any chance he goes back to Theo, not after what happened last year and not after the Caps came back and won that. Unfortunately, I think it's Varly's job to lose now. BB wanted Varly to win the job anyway. Theo can't be trusted in the Playoffs.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | April 18, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

John Carlson - Crushing the hopes and dreams of Canada since 2010.

Posted by: j3rockstar | April 18, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

No way Jose comes back in. His confidence is low. You cant have that and be effective in the playoffs when the pressure is so high.

Also Green has been terrible. Its become a pattern where he just can not play at all under the playoff pressure. I would prefer he never played, but I know that wont happen, so just cut his ice time.

Posted by: jrednoring | April 18, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"it's simply too risky to go back to Theo on Monday.."

Theo was out of position on both of those goals last night, he looked like the Theo of old and not the last couple of months. Plus the Habs aren't scared by him and that's bad.

Green looks bad right now, and as said above he was caught looking on that last goal. If he puts a body on that guy it doesn't go in. That's what happend with Semin right after the Fehr goal, he had a great look but the Habs D was on him like white on rice.

Semin....dude better snap out of it. He disappeared last year in the playoffs and I know it's only two games but he's been a non factor so far.

Chimera is lightning fast, I wish he had puck handling skills. :P

I am starting to wonder if Ovie is backing off from his game a little since that last suspension. He doesn't look the same, but he doesn't look like he's hurt or anything either. He just needs to "play" and not worry about if he's going to get a panalty or not, he will always have that target on his back no matter what he does.

Been saying it all year, Backstrom is a beast and is a big time player. He deserves all of the recognition he gets.

Saying all of this, I think the Caps finally wake up and put these clowns away. They had problems with the Rangers last year and people forget they were down 0-2 and won the series. I think they are figuring it out. I just don't want it to go 7 games.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | April 18, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Verizon was nuts last night. Rarely will one come across a game of those peaks and valleys. Stunning.

Now I'm awake and have coffee.

Jose - hard to say what would have happened had he stayed in. All five goals were on the defense, as far as I was concerned. I think he gets the start in Montreal tomorrow night. One of the worst 5-on-5 teams in hockey this year and all 5 goals were 5-on-5: the last three from a combined distance of about 10 feet. Defense.

Green - same, same. This is Mike Green's game and why he won't ever play for Team Canada if he doesn't change. He's a Cap, I love him, but he's lazy on the ice - every game. We can talk about how spectacular he is offensively, and that it makes up for his defense, but it doesn't and we all know that. How many points did 52 have last night? How much offensive did the Caps have last night? Case closed. We don't need offense on this team and we all know it. I don't want to trade him, bench him, or anything else, I want him to play hockey. My girlfriend, who comes to games 6-7 times per season with me asked me who #52 was last night. I told her, and she asked me if he was thinking about getting hamburgers or what because he clearly was paying attention to what was happening. She's pretty observant. Green needs to really step up. I'll go back and watch all 4 goals that 52/55 were on the ice for (I know one deflected off 55 and sat while 52 played slap ass with a Hab) but I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that 52 was nowhere near where he should have been. Oh, I know the last goal was weakly poked at by Green at the blueline.

Backstrom - fantastic, as always.

Posted by: saintex | April 18, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

John Carlson is everything I hoped Mike Green would be.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | April 18, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

everyone is slagging green yet our worst player was again semin who hasn't scored in 8 straight playoff games and is horrible defensively

Posted by: wendel2 | April 18, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

This game changed last night when we started going to the net. Until late in the second all our shots were long and no one was in from of Halak. As soon as we started crashing the net pucks started going in.

Posted by: Searchingforstanley

This is how I saw it too. In periods 1 & 2, the net crashers seemed to shy away from the net. Knuble was always behind the play and Laich wanted to be Semin. When the top line started waiting to set up the play, they scored. I don't know why it took them 2 periods to realize this.

Also, I would like to see BB commit to a second line. At the very least, have them practice together. The timing of that line was off and they seemed lost.

For those of you calling to trade Mike Green, he's not going anywhere. He is a 24 year old defensemen who is still developing his game. If anything, this only makes him cheaper to resign when his contract is up.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 18, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I'll probably get slammed for this, but I said a while back that I would have liked to have seen Green traded. He has a lot value on the market. I hope it changes, but at this point he seems to be setting a pattern of disappearing in the playoffs. He's always been bad defensively and probably always will be, but he usually scores enough to make up for it. That doesn't seem to be the case in the playoffs.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | April 18, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I think we might get to Price in net on Monday. I think we come back with Theo. Not much he could have done on that second goal, and the first was a complete fluke ( punk on end /results in a knuckball).
The "D" was more to fault than Theo.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 18, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Green and Schultz don't have much chemistry. I still want to see Green back with Mo.

And if the writers in this town had any guts they'd call out Boudreau for some clear boneheaded coaching moves. He puts Semin (who is having an awful series esp defensively) out on the PK when we're already down by 2 goals? What the ?!#

Semin is the laziest player on the ice. His ridiculous half=azzed skating to go get the puck behind the net almost ended up in a goal by Pouliot. Then he has no idea how to play the PK and does not pressure the point and they score goal #4 on us. Its stupid. Sorry to say but our coach does not reward or punish our players based on their on-ice performance. Semin should be on the damn bench until he decides to show up and play.

And Bruce's comments when asked about our defensive play was he just shrugged. Thats great Bruce, way to coach em up! This team has no idea how to play playoff hockey and they haven't learned one lesson from the past 2 playoff seasons. No 60 mins of hockey yet.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 18, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

everyone is slagging green yet our worst player was again semin who hasn't scored in 8 straight playoff games and is horrible defensively

Posted by: wendel2 | April 18, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I honestly hope we dump this useless piece of garbage on another team. You're lucky to get 20 mins of hockey out of him. He's the laziest headcase I've ever seen in a hockey jersey. You have no idea when he gets on the ice what type of effort you'll get from him. And Boudreau is equally to blame because he doesn't take him to task, he doesn't restrict his ice time, he doesn't send him a message. Au contraire, he puts him and Chimera on the ice in a critical PK situation. Two forwards who don't play defense. Wonderful coaching.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 18, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@ wendel2

The worst player(s) last night were Schultz and Green. While Semin did not score, he wasn't on for any goals against. These guys were on for four.

I like Semin but I will admit that he didn't have a good game. Of course, Semin is an elite winger who gets the scraps. He has a revolving door of two 3rd line centers and a winger who poses as a center. Who on this team can make that work on a consistent basis?

Posted by: ablake70 | April 18, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

And as much as you want to blame Green, how many times did that big lug Schultz get caught up ice? I mean here's a guy who should never ever be in the neutral zone. He has no ability to skate backwards. He's a stay-at-home dman who lately thinks he's good enough to try and play between the other team's blueline and the center line. And he has never shown an ability to keep pucks in, they always jump over his stick.

Last night Green looked like the stay at home guy and Schultz looked like the offensive guy the way they played positionally. You have to get Mo and Green back together. At least then we'll get one strong defensive pairing. Unfortunately then poor Carlson has to play with a shlub.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 18, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

While Semin did not score, he wasn't on for any goals against. These guys were on for four.
-----------------

have you ever seen anyone skate at half speed to go get a puck behind the net in a playoff game? that's a semin special. He's got his head up his butt with no sense of urgency except when he feels like it. He's completely unreliable on the ice.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 18, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Carlson is our best D Man. I think he has the potential to be as good as Green offensively and he's already better defensively. I'd like to see him on the PP more.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | April 18, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

this will be a 6 or 7 game series and the Caps if they struggle past this weak opponent will again have their hands full in the next round. For those wondering what kind of a playoff team this would turn out to be, even though its only 2 games in I see nothing that tells me this team is better than any of the past 2 playoff teams. They crash the net better esp when they're behind. That's about the only improvement I see. In some ways they're worse defensively.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 18, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

I know you don't like Semin because he does hit or speak English, but get real. He is one of this teams top two defensive forwards. He is stellar on the PK, is one of the best passers, and IS the second line. Remember when Semin played on the top line and the other lines couldn't score? The guy is a game breaker and BB knows it. So who do you think should take his place?

Posted by: ablake70 | April 18, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Carlson is our best D Man. I think he has the potential to be as good as Green offensively and he's already better defensively. I'd like to see him on the PP more.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | April 18, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

If Juice can come back at some point, he needs to get back in the lineup and push one of the bums out. Mo/Green/Carlson are serviceable. Schultz is still too timid for playoff hockey. When he's not getting caught up ice he's getting pushed back into his goalie. Poti is unreliable and Corvo adds nothing that makes us better. When he's on the ice you just hope he can hold his own against whoever he's playing against. We didn't get better one iota defensively with any moves McPhee made at the deadline. Unless Juice can come back healthy soon.

Hell I'd be even willing to give Sloan a chance the way he played at the end of the season. At least he's big and mobile.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 18, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Semin will do his thing before the series is over, he's the poor man's Mario Lemieux... he can look lazy and disinterested at times but he can also change all that in a game.

Posted by: joek443 | April 18, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

if BB leaves Varly in, I think they will win the next 3 and finish them off because Halak is no mystery to them anymore... if he goes back to Theo, it could take 6 or 7 games.

Posted by: joek443 | April 18, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Ablake, can you read? Obviously you can't. Nothing I stated in why I dislike Semin mentioned "hitting" (which by the way he is supposed to be able to do at this level esp in a playoff game). And about his ability or willingness to speak English? Who gives a crap about that? He can speak gibberish for all I care.

He's lazy. End of story. Lazy players should not be rewarded because they're liabilities. I'd rather get a grinder who can forecheck in the lineup if all Semin is going to do is skate at half speed and only give you one period of semi-productive hockey. What good does that do? He was useless on the PK and his stupid half-speed skating led to a terrible turnover that almost led to a backbreaking goal. Yeah you're right, we definitely need that type of player in the lineup

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 18, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Carlson will be the franchise D in the next year with a bit more experience. He's going to be expensive.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 18, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Theo is going to start Monday. Varly simply has not been a great goalie since his injury. Theo has, consistently. The change up last night was appropriate and understandable but it didn't reveal weaknesses in Theo's game or bust his confidence.

We, on the other hand, have spotted the weaknesses in Halak's game and exploited him at the top of the net over and over last night.

Posted by: Justafan | April 18, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Just glad Semin isn't on the top line. Knuble is a much better 1st line RW with Ovy and Backstrom than Semin can ever dream of being. Knuble was front and center on so many quality scoring chances last night with the way he parked himself in that crease. It gives his linemates so much room out there. And when Ovechkin decides to bring his A game (i.e. hitting) to the table, then that line is unstoppable because Backstrom is shaping up to be a great two way center.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 18, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

have you ever seen anyone skate at half speed to go get a puck behind the net in a playoff game? that's a semin special. He's got his head up his butt with no sense of urgency except when he feels like it. He's completely unreliable on the ice.

Posted by: cstanton1

Is this when Varly was playing the puck behind the net? It looked to me that he didn't want to crash into the goalie.

Better question. Have you ever seen a winger throw two or three big hits in the O zone, opponent retrieves the puck, and the hitters entire line gives a halfhearted attempt at backchecking which leads to goal in the playoffs? Honestly, we can review the entire game and find a few instances when every skater wasn't giving his all.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 18, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night and the third period was incredibly. We've definitely seen two different Caps teams out there: the one that is completely disorganized, is terrible handling the puck, doesn't go to the net, and is sloppy, and the offensive powerhouse that knows they can win no matter the score. I'm hoping that since they were the offensive powerhouse for so much of the season, the first five periods of the playoffs were just an an anomaly. It isn't like Montreal has been playing fantastic, playoff style shut-down defense, so we should be able to keep up the type of play we saw in period three.

When I got home last night I looked at some of the CI posts. I expected to see people who were upset during the first two periods, and I did. But I didn't expect to see so many Caps fans saying that as much as "they hated to admit it," Crosby was the better player. Based on one and two third playoff games for Ovi?! I was shocked to see so many Caps fans turning on him that quickly. Sad.

Posted by: Steph22 | April 18, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

and for the sake of argument, why can't Semin be expected to finish his checks? This is the playoffs. Even skill guys raise that part of their game.
In the Bost-Buffalo gm yesterday they had 100 hits between both teams. You don't get that unless even the skill guys are willing to start finishing checks and taking away some time and space. Semin's a prima donna. He's not subject to any of those requirements. You don't see Backstrom shying away from contact. He initiates it and absorbs hits, he gets involved. Semin's a perimeter player for the most part. And we've all seen when he's motivated he can finish checks and be effective in that regard.

Scott Gomez started a fight for cryin out loud. That tells me he's got his head in the game and he's emotionally invested. You'd never see Gomez do that in a reg season game. Everyone has to raise their level of intensity. Its not about just the grinders who need to play that way

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 18, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

whatever mojo Theo had, it's gone already... they had a good run with Theo for 3 months and you can't expect him to play like that forever.

he's not a good playoff goalie, never has been mainly because of his size... look around the league, there's very few goalies under 6 feet tall left playing right now

Posted by: joek443 | April 18, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

What Semin needs to get going is for his linemates to start playing. Laich should do what he was doing all season - crash the net, play like Knuble. Semin is playing very well, but he can't carry the 2nd line by himself. On the 2nd line, Laich is the one playing horribly - not Semin. And in response to some criticism, Semin was excellent on the PK last night - a nuber of times, he got to pucks and cleared them, something many of the Caps have problems with.

As for the goals last night, Theo was 100% at fault for the 1st, and mostly at fault for the 2nd. On 2 of the 3 goals scored on Varly, it was on the defense - the ricochet goal (I believe it was the 4th) was sheer, dumb luck. I don't know if I would start Theo on Monday for two reasons - first he was very shaky last night, but that can be recovered from. Second, he has not played well at Montreal since he left there.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 18, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The Caps walked right up to the edge of disaster last night. Only an heroic effort at the end saved them. We shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking it will be smooth sailing from here on in. Neither goalie is lighting it up, the top d-pairing is having problems, the PP is in a severe slump, the PK is as inconsistent as ever, the second line is not functioning, and the forwards are still not back-checking. Did I forget anything? There are a lot of problems to be addressed. And by the way, they are facing an opponent that, while less talented, is operating near peak efficiency.

As far as the goalie situation, Theo has earned and deserves the shot Monday in Montreal to redeem himself. You can make excuses for Varlamov, but he is clearly not the same goalie he was last year in the playoffs and this year before he got hurt.

Posted by: zmega | April 18, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

whatever mojo Theo had, it's gone already... they had a good run with Theo for 3 months and you can't expect him to play like that forever.

Posted by: joek443 | April 18, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Wha? Gimme a friggin break.

Posted by: Justafan | April 18, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

This is not my first time here. I've read your posts before. Aren't you the same guy who thinks that Steckel should always be in the lineup? Really, outside of faceoffs (which he hasn't been winning lately) what else does he provide?

Anyway, everyone has their own opinion and everyone watches the game through their own filters.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 18, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Some of you people going out of your way to trash the Caps en route to making yourself sound super smart can kiss my azz. I got my 33 year Caps fan playoff game face on, and I love this team! Can some play better of course....duh. But we are in the thick of it now, and thats the NHL playoffs...I mean how many times do 8s beat 1s...like almost every year...

So buck up loser mentality fans!

Rock the read, F crybaby Mofos! Green, Semin...you got time still lets step up! Cup Baby!

Posted by: chrislarry | April 18, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

Backstrom and Semin had the same number of hits last night: 1.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 18, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Semin is up and down and like everyone here, I wish he was good on a more consistent basis.

He did not play well or with much energy the first 2 periods like the rest of the Caps and they all deserve to be criticized for that.

But Semin was flying around the ice in the 3rd period. The announcers on Versus made a point to say that it was the hardest they've seen him skate in the series.

He didn't score but he drew and interference penalty on Hal Gill by dumping the puck around Gill and skating by him towards the wall. Then Gill checkerd Semin without the puck. While the Caps didn't score on the PP, making plays like that in the third period of a 1 goal game showed great effort by Semin.

The announcers on Versus were talking about Semin skating harder before he drew the penalty. Then once it was called they stated how his hard skating helped draw it.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 18, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Carlson's been the most consistent on defence for sure. I don't know what's up with Green and Schultz. They are just backing off and letting guys walk right in.

Wonder what they're going to do to the forward lines next game. The 2nd line isn't doing much of anything right now. Laich has been invisible this series and Semin hasn't done much, but I don't know if he's had a puck passed cleanly to him yet. My vote would be putting Belanger on that line. Morrison wasn't very good last game, but he hasn't played much lately either. Maybe he'd be better next game. Still waiting for Walker to get into the lineup somewhere.

Posted by: Stu_c | April 18, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

NHL on the Fly had pretty good things to say about the Caps last night. My favorite was when they cut to the post game press conference with Backstrom and Ovechkin--they referred to them as the "Batman and Robin" of the Caps...

Posted by: hockeydad | April 18, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I wonder whether Walker's "knee injury" concussion has prevented him from fulfilling the role he was brought in here for (grit/toughness). Maybe the Caps were sold damaged goods. It didn't seem like that big a punch that knocked Walker out.

Posted by: zmega | April 18, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Theo is 19-28 in his playoff career and 0-2 in 3 playoff starts with the Caps now... as Bill Parcells always says, you ARE what your record says you are.

Posted by: joek443 | April 18, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

what do you all think about calling up Alzner and Perault. this is a perfect series for Perault to help get our second line going and alzner can help on the backend.

Posted by: samb99 | April 18, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I would keep BMo on the 2nd line because I think Belanger is playing great in his role as 3rd line center. There is no pressure on Belanger to have his line score so he is in defensive position, winning faceoffs, and that line is taking advantage of a few of the scoring chances.

I think it may be time to put in Walker. But I don't know who to reomove. Steckel may be the guy to move because he hasn't been that productive on faceoffs and seems to be losing a lot of faceoffs in his own zone. Steckel's size hasn't really mattered much because the Habs skate around him when the Caps are on D and Steckel is rarely in front of the net on offense.

Would it be possible to move Flash to center on the 3rd line with Fehr as LW and Walker as RW. A Fehr/Flash/Walker line. Or just have Chimera/Flash/Fehr and then Walker/Belanger/Bradley.

I don't know. I'm just throwing out ideas. But I think getting Steckel out could be useful and I like the idea of gettin Walker in. As the series goes on, getting fresh guys on the ice like Walker can be useful because they will be less banged up.

Maybe just replace Steckel with Gordon with Gordon on line 4 and Belanger on the 3rd line.

The other option is to leave Steckel in and replace Bradley with Walker. That is an option too, but I would hate sitting Bradley.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 18, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Theo is 19-28 in his playoff career and 0-2 in 3 playoff starts with the Caps now... as Bill Parcells always says, you ARE what your record says you are.

Posted by: joek443 | April 18, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

That certainly says nothing to support your questionable conjecture that Theo's confidence is shot and his great run is over, which was what I was responding to before.

Theo played great Thursday night, the Caps did not. I have no idea what would have happened had varly played that game but if he played like he's been playing of late it might have been a blow out.

Posted by: Justafan | April 18, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I am now at the point that when I see Green on the ice, I kind of hold my breath and hope Montreal does not score. This is the same game he has played the majority of this year. What has made his defensive liabilities so apparent, is the change of intensity that is the playoffs. Green's intensity and commitment to defense has not changed, not increased or been stepped up to match the opponent and setting.

Carlson also makes Green's absence of defense that more apparent. Personally, I would rather see Alzner in Green's place. Let Green play for the Calder. Not that Alzner is a stallwort, but Green is TERRIBLE.

I think in the offseason, it would be fine to trade Green. We have such a deep farm, and why not get some picks or actual defensemen for him? Not to mention, we can make sure we have the cap space to keep the guys who actually show up in the playoffs.

Green was fat last year, that was the excuse. What is it this year? It looks like to me he is just one of those types that shrinks with intense pressure. Bye. Have a nice career.....somewhere else.

Posted by: jackstraaw | April 18, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@ Justafan

when a goalie allows 3 goals in 3 shots in the playoffs, it's pretty safe to assume that his hot streak is over.

also that streak was in the regular season, NOT in the playoffs... this is a brand new season.

this team can win with either goalie but right now it's Varly's turn. BB would be nuts to go back to Theo in Montreal and I seriously doubt that he'll take that risk.

Posted by: joek443 | April 18, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton - you are 100% right about Schultz - he is not a #2 NHL d-man at this stage in his career - MTL's top forwards, who granted are pretty quick - walk around the guy like he's a pylon. And while I'm not a huge Mike Green defender, that last goal was a two-on-one, granted he played it badly but elite forwards will make you pay in that situation. Who was caught up-ice - JS of course. And I hold my breath every time Corvo has the puck in our end. John Carlson is our best d-man, right now, and he needs to be out there more.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 18, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Those going after Mike Green for his performance in the last two games need to show the kind of lenancy given to Ovie after his game 1 performance. He is after all human and will have bad games. And for those who say Green can't hack in in the playoffs need to look back to the Philly series two years ago... (but I guess some of these posters didnt know what the term "blueliner" meant back then)

Stop going after a guy and saying he should be traded after only two games, especially for a guy who has contributed so much to the team over the course of three seasons. I mean its like our bandwagon has marble steps surrounding it the way people are jumping on and off...

Gotta stick with Varly for game 3. We won the game and played our best hockey so far in these playoffs with him in net, so don't change it. We cant afford to risk going down by a goal or two while Theo "warms up".

Posted by: rademaar | April 18, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

We cant afford to risk going down by a goal or two while Theo "warms up".

Posted by: rademaar
-------------------------------------

This made me laugh. Well done.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 18, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Theo's great streak means very little to me because it is just a rare statistic and not a true one. It measues "no having lost in regulation". Sometimes baseball pitchers give up 5 runs in the 1st inning but don't get the loss.

Theo got pulled in a game vs Calgary and Varly came in and ended up with the loss because the Caps scored 3 goals taking the loss off Theo's record.

Some of those games where he gave up 4 or 5 goals went into OT. If he played so great in regulation all those weeks those would have been wins not OT/shootout losses.

Varly did play just as well in March and April after he got some action - I think he is back to form since his injury, but maybe not as threatening as last playoffs when he played better than Henrik Lundqvist over 6 games.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 18, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton - while I completely agree about Schultz, I disagree about Semin, who's linemates get changed every other shift it seems. He needs to play more with Flash - with whom he has well-established magic but the writers hate for some reason - and Belanger. that line has done well when they're together.

If you want to cast stones at one of our forwards, you need to take a hard look at the franchise golden boy, Laich. GMGM loves him so BB has to play him, but the guy has no business being on the 2nd line, he is simply not a top-6 forward on an elite team. Watch his completed passes vs. giveaways ratio - it is downright awful for a 2nd-line forward. He's like Knuble, if they're not going to the net they're almost a liability, except Knuble actually goes to the net, every time. And bangs bodies, takes a hit to make a play, and makes the D pay a price for handling the puck. So far, GMGM's favorite has done precious little of any of that. But, Semin and Flash don't speak great English and the writers don't talk to them, so it's way easier to beat up on those guys.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 18, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

all i know is carlson has played 2 really good playoff games... that 2 more then green and schultz have ever played

Posted by: vjridgely | April 18, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

While I understand the concerns for Theo. Of the last 3 goals, only 2 were his fault.

The second goal last night was not Theo's fault, Kostitsyn was near the hash marks in the center of the ice when he shot it. The Backstrom OT goal was from further out than the Habs 2nd goal and both were hard shots to the top corner. If you blame Theo on that goal then you have to say Backstrom's goal was because of poor goaltending and not because of a good shot.

The same thing can be said for Plekanec's OT goal on Thursday. It was from about as far out as Backstrom's goal. The Kostitsyn goal was the closest of the three.

The first goal last night was Theo's fault. He has to have that, no questions asked.

The question is do you remove a goalie because of one really bad goal? I liked the move in game 2 because the Caps needed a momentum change. But that one goal does not necessarily mean Theo can't play well in the next game. It is not a large enough sample size.

The fact the game is in Montreal could go two ways. While it could make Theo feel more pressure and perform poorly, but it could also get him even more pumped up and concentrated and have him perform greatly.

I understand the argument for both, it is a tough decision. But I think I would go with Theo.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 18, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Laich has been playing great on the PK though so far. So while he hasn't been contributing on offense so far, he has been contribtuing.

Laich is a top 6 forward in the NHL. He would be a top 6 guy on the Pens, Devils, and other teams.

Also, I love Carlson and think he will be an All-Star for many, many years. But lets use the same lenses to look at him as we do the other defenders. Carlson is leading the Caps D in giveaways this playoffs. So if people are going to rip guys like Corvo or Poti for a turnover then you have to do the same for Carlson. Just be fair and use the same standard to judge everyone.

On that note, Carlson did come up huge with some big plays and does seem to play even better during high pressure, clutch situations. There is nothing to not like in Carlson's game.

The giveaways will decrease with experience. He is only 20 and has only played about 20 NHL games. He will improve greatly. But he will make some bad giveaways during this year's playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 18, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

That depends how we plan to play in front of either goalie.

If we plan to attack and get 5 goals and maybe let the odd breakaway chance then go with Theo.

If we plan to be holed up in our zone and doing blind passes through the neutral zone then go with Varly.

Personally I pick Varly because he does not have quite the number of ghosts in his head.

Tweedle Dee...Tweedle Dee (doesn't matter in 11 goal games)

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 18, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I bet the ice condition will be better in Montreal and help the Caps make better tape to tape passes. Also everyone should have less trouble with bouncing pucks.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 18, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau on goalies: I'm still going to use both goalies, whether Varly plays Monday or Theo plays Monday ...both [are] going to play again"
10 minutes ago via TweetDeck

I think that means Varly will get the start on Monday and go from there...

Posted by: joek443 | April 18, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rademaar | April 18, 2010 12:29 PM

"Stop going after a guy and saying he should be traded after only two games, especially for a guy who has contributed so much to the team over the course of three seasons. I mean its like our bandwagon has marble steps surrounding it the way people are jumping on and off..."

I wish I could fulfill this assertion and say I am a true bandwagon...but unfortunately for this argument, I am not. My point is regarding Green, is that we have much more than a two game history in the playoffs illustrating that the guy does not show up. Everything in the sports world with a salary cap has to be viewed as $ vs. production, even more so with regards to playoff production. Green is not needed to score in the playoffs. He is needed to play Defense, and over the past 16 playoff games, it has been crap. I think 16 games is enough rope. This is not a bandwagon opinion, it happens to be the same opinions shared by the Canadian Olympic brass, and the voters for the Norris. Last I checked, those folks aren't hacks and do understand what the term "blueliner" means.

Posted by: jackstraaw | April 18, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

so the leash isn't that long after all... quite a contrast from what he said a day before the playoffs began

Posted by: joek443 | April 18, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

But I didn't expect to see so many Caps fans saying that as much as "they hated to admit it," Crosby was the better player. Based on one and two third playoff games for Ovi?! I was shocked to see so many Caps fans turning on him that quickly. Sad.

Posted by: Steph22

Not shocking at all. people were panicked last night. They probably wouldn't say the same thing right now. I for one would take of Ovie every time over Crosby. Ovie brings so much more to the table.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | April 18, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the 2nd goal was not Theo's fault. Green and Schultz laid out a red carpet so Kostitsyn could skate in comfortably right down the slot and then the shot even came in off the inside of the post.

It was a perfect shot like an elite NHL player will make when there's no defense.

That said, I'm not ready to dump on Green. He's played really well over the last month - Schultz too. Hopefully BB gives them an earful and it gets them going. These are young Canadian guys and maybe the pressure is strong. This is what they've lived for since they were like 7 years old. Laich too. Yell at them. Get their attention. Don't give up on them.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 18, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse


so the leash isn't that long after all... quite a contrast from what he said a day before the playoffs began

Posted by: joek443 | April 18, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad Boudreau is not too stubborn to make a change and go back on his word for the good of the team. The media will probably rip him and mistrust everything he says from now on. BUT at the very least the attention might not be on the players and affect their game.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 18, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

@sgm - Laich is by no means a top-6 forward on a top team, Canadian hockey propaganda notwithstanding - which forward, exactly, would he replace on any of those teams you name on their top 2 lines? Sorry, Malkin he obviously ain't - Zach Parise? no freaking way. Not Elias, nor Zubrus. Kovalchuk - c'mon, now. Or let's take the Wings, for the sake of argument - who, exactly? Zetterberg or Datsyuk? Really? Franzen? Nope. Holmstrom - similar skill set, but Holmstrom doesn't just occasionally go to the net, he does it every single time. And he's much stronger in the corner, and doesn't cough the puck up.

Also, for the record - I have never put Poti in the same category as Corvo, and I never would. Poti usually makes good decisions, and makes decent passes. Corvo? Not so much.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 18, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

sgm3: In support of your point, Laich would surely be a top-2 line forward on any team in the NHL. I don't recall who above said otherwise, but I would disagree with them. Laich had about 60 pts this year. Show me another team with 6 forwards above sixty pts and then I grant you Laich might be third line for them.

But, as we know, most teams don't even have three players with 60+ pts, so truth is Laich would be a FIRST LINE LW with most teams in hockey.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 18, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Laich would easily make second line forward on Pitt or NJ. Probably Detroit too. He plays at least "adequate" defense for a forward. Again, show me a team with four wingers above 60 pts.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/statistics/player/_/stat/points/sort/points/seasontype/2

Pitt's list of higher-scoring forwards starts and ends with Crosby and Malkin. Laich might well be 1-line RW on Pitt. NJ has Langenbrunner, Parise, Zajac and Kovalchuk with more pts than Laich - two C and one each RW and LW. Laich woulkd play there too. Laich is 56th in scoring, an average of two players per team are better than him.

He is second line or better on any team.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 18, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I think we should stick with Varlamov. Again, both of our goalies are the archetype for a streaky goalie. It really doesn't matter who we put in, because we really don't know which Varly or Theo we're going to get that night.

They both can play lights out, and they both let in the softies.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 18, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

BB loves to keep the other side guessing. Don't think for a moment you know what's going to happen in goal based on between game comments.

Posted by: Justafan | April 18, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Laich is easily a top-6 forward on most teams.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 18, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@jackstraaw- Yet you said in your earlier post that Green "should be playing for the Calder" and that Karl Alzner should take his place. Let me ask you, if Mike Green is so terrible then why is he even being considered for the Norris? For the Canadian Olympic team?

If you want to take an economic perspective, then let’s look at it from an investment standpoint. You don’t just sell off your most valuable stock after a few bad days in the market. Investing is a long term project, just like building a championship contending team. Mike Green had a great performance in the '08 playoffs, then played hurt in '09. He's had two bad games so far in '10, and you already want to sell him off. (at the over the hill age of 24...) I hope this isn’t how you manage your real assets...

Have faith in the team people. Its one thing to criticize the players after a bad performance. Its another thing to throw them under the bus. If you really care about the team, you wouldn't want to throw your best players away...

Posted by: rademaar | April 18, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

have you ever seen anyone skate at half speed to go get a puck behind the net in a playoff game? that's a semin special. He's got his head up his butt with no sense of urgency except when he feels like it. He's completely unreliable on the ice.

Posted by: cstanton1

Green?

Semin's problem is the 234234234 turnovers he's caused by trying to create offense himself by carrying the puck over the blue line.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 18, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Here's what you do - take the top 360 forwards in the NHL. Put them in a random generator and place 12 per team for 30 teams. Do that a dozen times, a hundred times, a thousand times.

No matter how many times you randonly assign 12 NHL forwards to the 30 teams, Brooks Laich will be top-6 and whatever team he goes on.

And replacing Green with Alzner?

There's a better chance that Lincoln comes back to life, stands up in that huge chair of his, walks over to the Verizon Center and drops the puck for the opening faceoff next Friday night.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 18, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Laich is definitely a top 2 line forward. Since there are 30 teams that means there are 180 top 2 line forwards. As tominfl1 said, Laich probably falls in the 60-80 forward ranking range. That easily puts him as a top 6 forward on any team.

I would take Laich over Kunitz, Ponikarovsky, Guerin, and Dupuis (or whoever there other top 2 line winger is).

Why are people still ripping on Corvo? He has played pretty solid the past two games, he also has chipped in a goal and an assist. The assist being the primary assist on the goal that made it 4-2 last night.

No, Corvo has not been great, but he has been very solid and is up there with Carlson and ShaMo as best playing D the past 2 games.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 18, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow.. I was at the game last night and just caught up on the posts during the game. Everyone is bashing Semin again. His penalty was BS. The stick tapped the guys backside. He still is one of the only guys on the team getting shots, getting turnovers and controling the puck. He is by far having a better playoff series than most of the caps.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | April 18, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Malkin he obviously ain't - Zach Parise? no freaking way. Not Elias, nor Zubrus. Kovalchuk - c'mon, now. Or let's take the Wings, for the sake of argument - who, exactly? Zetterberg or Datsyuk? Really? Franzen? Nope. Holmstrom - similar skill set, but Holmstrom doesn't just occasionally go to the net, he does it every single time. And he's much stronger in the corner, and doesn't cough the puck up.

____________________________

govtimbo, you usually have comments I agree with, but in your analysis here, you didn't even name the top 6 forwards for those teams. Of course Laich isn't replacing one of their superstars, but Bertuzzi? Hell yeah. As for the Pens, Poni? Hell yeah. Dupuis? Hell yeah. As for the Devils, Zubrus? Rolston? Why not? He isn't replacing Kovy, Parise, Langz, Elias, or Zajac, but he would definitely be considered for that last 6th spot.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 18, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

richmond phil...I agree with your Goalie comments. Stick with Varly. We need to find if Varly or Theo can play back to back with some consistency.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | April 18, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil - I really wasn't trying to kill Laich, I like him - it's just that if people are going to hammer Semin, Flash, etc. for every single shift that could have been better, it is only fair that GMGM's golden boy might come in for a little scrutiny as well.

But just to continue on that line of reasoning, if we're talking top 6 on an elite team - not an average NHL team, one looking to go deep - I still don't see him replacing any of those mentioned above, except maybe Dupuis or Zubrus. But even there - Zubes - I don't know, he brings other things to the table, there's a reason Lamoriello shelled out cash, he's strong as an ox and skates well.

My larger point was people are killing Flash and Semin, so let's be a little fair here, Laich hasn't exactly lit the world on fire the first two games but nobody says jack, least of all TEB.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 18, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Correction - if Rolston really is top-6 these days - which looking at his shift time I doubt - of course BL could take his spot, as well.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 18, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

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