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Boudreau: 'I was a little too hot-headed last night'

Just finished my story for tomorrow's Post and wanted to give a few updates before I leave KCI for the day.

First off, practice today was very optional. Seven players -- Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Mike Knuble, Brooks Laich, Mike Green, Tom Poti and Brendan Morrison -- did not skate. None of them were available to the media, as far as I could tell, either.

So, of course, that also means that the team didn't work on its slumping power play, which is 1 for 24 in this series after leading the NHL in effectiveness in the regular season. But I have to imagine that will be a priority tomorrow morning before the team boards a charter for Montreal.

The only positive thing I can say about the unit is that it's not ranked last. Buffalo and Nashville have not scored once (as of this second, that is).

"It's obviously not working," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's new to this group because for two years it's always worked. We're watching it and watching video and looking for mistakes and looking for changes. And sometimes you change too much instead of saying, 'Go out there and do what you normally do.' We'll figure something out. ... [Montreal] is doing some great stuff and we're not doing very good stuff."

Most of the talk today was about possible lineup changes for Monday's Game 6. I'm thinking there's a chance that Tomas Fleischmann and/or Morrison could be coming out. Fleischmann, of couse, was benched for the final 13 minutes of Friday's game after misfiring on a power-play scoring chance. It was only his sixth shot on goal in five games. Morrison, meantime, has a single assist in four games and only five shots.

"I got frustrated when he missed that chance," Boudreau said of Fleischmann. "He's a goal scorer."

Asked whether he'll play, Boudreau said: "I talked to him a little bit this morning. We'll see. No decisions have been made on the lineup. I have a whole bunch of things in my head. ... I don't think we have to blow everything up to change the world."

If Boudreau decides to make a change, the two candidates to play are Scott Walker and David Steckel. Walker only has one career playoff goal, but it was a big one (overtime of Game 7 for Carolina in the semis last spring in Boston).

"Obviously he has those intangibles and is a guy you're looking at," Boudreau said of the 36-year-old.

Steckel, on the other hand, tallied three times in the Pens' series last spring. He's sitting right now for the same reason John Erskine is: He's big and plodding and that isn't a great matchup for the Habs' small, fast forwards. Boudreau, however, said he could be swayed by Steckel's "big-game" reputation.

(And before anyone asks, no, I don't think Alexander Semin will be sitting for the simple reason that he could show up at any moment and score three goals).

The blue line could also see a change. Shaone Morrisonn, sidelined the past two games with a suspected arm injury, told me he's ready to go. If he can, indeed, suit up Monday, that means Tyler Sloan will be back out.

"I'm pretty sure he'll play Monday," Boudreau said. "Taking nothing away from Tyler, just look at how well Mo has been playing for us. He's been an impact player. Him and Joe Corvo were playing well with each other."

Some other notes and quotes from today:

*Boudreau on Friday's loss: "The first 10 minutes, Montreal wanted it way worse than we did. Or we didn't believe that they would play as hard as they actually did. If that was their thoughts, they were highly misguided."

*Boudreau conceded that he might have overreacted with his "five or six passengers" comment.

"That was the coach's frustration," he said. "My assistants were coming up to me and saying, 'Relax'. I was a little too hot-headed last night."

*Marc-Andre Bergeron's high stick wasn't all the refs missed. According to this screen shot, Dennis LaRue and Chris Rooney also missed an egregious six men on the ice penalty against the Canadiens.

*If the Habs are going to force this series back to Washington for a Game 7, they'll have to end a six-game playoff losing streak at Bell Centre.

That's it for now. I'll check in quickly from tomorrow's practice before scrambling to the airport for a flight to Montreal.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 24, 2010; 4:38 PM ET
 
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Comments

I'm #1!!

Posted by: coolcraig | April 24, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't relax one bit! I don't think he was too hot headed last night. You have to stay in these guys heads all the time. It is like they are little children sometimes. There is no excuse for not being ready to play. Those 10 minutes may have been the turning point of the series. If Montreal comes back and wins the series, those ten minutes will be looked at as the momentum changer. You can never never take shifts off- that is a cardinal sin in the playoffs. I mean Montreal showed that to us in games 3 and 4! The Caps are the better team. Period. They better start playing that way or we are all in for one big dissapointment!

Posted by: rockinthered1 | April 24, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

*Boudreau conceded that he might have overreacted with his "five or six passengers" comment.


figures. He finally gets something right and now he's backtracking and letting his team off the hook. criminy!

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Refs throughout the playoffs are up to their usual degree of sucktitude.

Its a real shame the NHL can't officiate their games any better than they do.

Cordially,
RBlatch

Posted by: rblatch45 | April 24, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

carryin this over

sgm:I really don't know why the Caps PP is playing so bad. I think Dean Evanson mentioned it has been poor spacing and the guys are too close too each other. Especially Green and Ovie on the points. That needs to be fixed.
--------------------------

AS good as the PP #s were in the reg season, they were also accused of being "overly cute" in many cases. In the playoffs, you need to adjust the PP if thats the style we're used to playing. There is just less room in the playoffs to play an overly finesse style on the PP

in a roundabout way i'm trying to say that stylistically our PP scheme and tendencies may not be a great formula for playoff PP success. I agree with the spacing part, sometimes there's too many cooks in the kitchen. But our skill wingers have to do a better job of maintaining puck possession under pressure along the boards and providing some support to the pointmen.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Get the puck to Backstrom on the PP, all the time. He is a magician. Ovie and Semin will do their thing. But Backs is the man. Knubes... keep going to the net. The pp will work itself out. As soon as Backs starts running things, that will open it up at the point for Green. And it would be nice to see a little patience on the PP. Stop pushing boys, move the puck and the lanes will open.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 24, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

can the real brooks laich show up in game 6. brooks got to the next. Can we please call up with mathew Perault and take moorison out.

Posted by: samb99 | April 24, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I also think a major problem has been Ovie's and Green's inability to keep pucks in at the point, especially Ovie. It almost seems like Ovie gets over excited to make a play and fumbles the puck. Patience is not really a part of Ovie's game and that can be useful on the PP, especially on the point.

I really think they should try BMo at the point with Green. BMo is a very good stickhandler and his lack of size or foot speed doesn't really matter at the point for a PP. Then have Ovie at one half wall, with Backstrom at the other and have Laich or Knuble in front of the net.

Also, Laich has to start playing better on the PP. He isn't getting to any rebounds and seems to lose every battle for the puck behind the net.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 24, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

meant to say brooks go to the net

Posted by: samb99 | April 24, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Move Ovie off the point on the PP. Put him back in his spot near the left circle ready for that Semin saucer pass.

Posted by: Rainier1 | April 24, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

in general i don't like forwards on the point, but thats just me. I think BMo would be a good option as a puckhandler on the point but he's undersized and he can't pinch the boards effectively and i can see him getting knocked off the puck easily as well if a forward gets the jump on him and puts pressure on the point. He also has no reach, which is necessary for a point man to cut off a clearing pass.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Nashville leading 4 - 3 with only 13 shots on goal. I'm not watching the game but again Chicago's goaltending is suspect.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 24, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I agree with all of that. Those are definitely the negaitves with using BMo on the point.

But when Ovie was out I did like how he performed on the point and made passes all around the ice. He seemed to have that calming influence on the PP where he would hold the puck and get everyone settled. Him being a left handed guy would also help him keep pucks in that are sent along the walls (this is where Ovie has to improve on in the offseason).

In addition, I think having a veteren like BMo on the ice is good because he won't just focus on passing to Ovie, he will pass to whoever is open. I think the PP struggles when they overpass to Ovie for the shot.

I also think Backstrom needs to strat shooting more on the PP. He has a very good shot and I would like to see him use it. Also, when he starts shooting then defenders have to cover him closer which opens up more ice for the others.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 24, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"Egregious" is a good word for the officiating last night. Montreal had 6 skaters out for at least 30 seconds. I thought my section was going to riot.

Definitely a disappointing game. I wish BB hadn't backed down from that comment because he was right on

Posted by: js722 | April 24, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

right on sgm

overall, i think they need to outwork the PK unit because right now, their 4 guys are outworking our 5 guys and thats unacceptable.

sometimes it seems like our PP unit is afraid to go hard into the corners, its like they're afraid of taking a penalty or something. If they had the mentality that they would treat a PP like a 5-on-5 situation, we'd be better off for it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

@csstanton,

WTF are you talking about? Stylistically, our PP was the best in the regular season and still should be the best in the playoffs. It's just in a slump. Time and space on the PP is no different than the regular season. Now, 5 on 5 may be a different story in the playoffs, but not the power play. It's still the same advantage as the regular season, we are just not clicking at the moment.

My take on the series is that Montreal is a bad match up for us. They are small, quick, and disciplined with a lot of left-handed defensemen that are giving us fits (or is it right-handed lol). The Caps are obviously more skilled and bigger, but often play a finesse game so they are not grinding on the Habs like they should and wearing them down. The best game plan would be to crash the net often and finish every check hard for at least the first period. Guarantee they would be less quick the remainder of the game, but, alas, don't know if we are capable of executing such a game plan so we have to hope to out skill them one more game. I think Walker and Erskine would help immensely to execute such a plan, but it seems that is being taking off the table by BB. Erskine can't play worse position defense than we've seen so far no matter how quick Montreal is and he would add some physicality I think we need.

And, Halak played well, but not that well. Most of our shots hit him. Just bad shots with a goalie playing solid positionally. Semin has not been hitting his spots all series and just started hitting the net finally last game. Varly made more difficult saves in game 4 than Halak did in game 5. Don't get where all this Hasek bs is coming from. The best scoring chance to tie the game was, perhaps, Semin's open wrist shot between the circles that hit Halak in the right shoulder. Is that a great save or a poorly executed shot? I say the later. If he snagged one headed for the top corner, which he probably would not have, then it's a great save.

Caps win 4-2 in game 6 with Semin scoring a goal or two.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 24, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Chicago with a short handed goal with 13 seconds left to tie the game and force OT. Sorta reminds me of the Caps, but not last night.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 24, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Anybody watching the CHI/NASH game? Hossa just boarded Hamius in a very, very, similar manner as Ovie boarded Campbell. Hossa did get a 5 minute major, but didn't appear to even be thrown out. I sure hope he gets suspened or it will futher prove the bias the commish has against Ovie.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | April 24, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

anyone see the end of the 3rd pd in the Chi game? Apparently Hossa takes a boarding major with one minute left in the game with Chi down by a goal.

that should have sealed their fate

but no! Kane scores shorthanded to tie it up with 14 seconds left!! going into OT now

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be nice if #1 said something constructive instead of just saying they're the first to post, but with nothing to say.

Posted by: Dungarees | April 24, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"Time and space on the PP is no different than the regular season."

wt f r u talkin about? No different? please, the sense of urgency is heightened tremendously. You have less margin to flub a puck before getting run down. The D are more aggressing boxing out the crease. Time and space is definitely affected.

the rest of your post I agree with. And actually said virtually the same thing with regards to us not using our size advantage in any real way.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

The play by the Nashville guy with about 30 seconds left just reminds you that a lot of pro athletes aren't very sharp.

Nashville is winning with 30 seconds remaining, why would you pass it blindly into the slot. Yes, it gave Nashville a scoring opportunity but you give the Blackhawks a chance to get the puck and get their goalie out. The guy should hae skated out a bit and just threw it to the point guy. With Kane skating at the red line it was basically a 5 on 3.

That had to be one of the dumbest plays I've seen in a while. It was just a case of a player not knowing to adjust their play based on time and score. Stupid.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 24, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

And Hossa gets the GW. Wow, i'm pissed if i;m nashville. he should have been out of the game

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | April 24, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

if I were ever gonna trade Semin, it wouldn't be for a mucker type player... I would only trade him for a premiere young d-man like Bogosian.

heck, I would trade Green for Bogosian if he continued to be a non-factor in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Guys like Knuble and Simmonds are absolutely necessary to have on a team for the role they play. However, they are great in their role when they have a play making center and/or a sniper on the other wing because it is those guys who often have the shots that lead to rebounds and it is those guys who open up the ice for the power forwards.

If you have an entire line of Knubles it wouldn't be very effective except as a 3rd or 4th line. Simmonds is a perfect player to play with an Ovechkin, Backstrom or Semin. But I don't think he would be nearly as effective on a line with say Laich and BMo.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 24, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Dammit was hoping Nashville would win. First: I hate Chicago (the city, not the team)and everything it represents and Second: just wish Nashville could do something. I guess Dave Poile is forever meant to be a good GM in a small market with no resources

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

"wt f r u talkin about? No different? please, the sense of urgency is heightened tremendously. You have less margin to flub a puck before getting run down. The D are more aggressing boxing out the crease. Time and space is definitely affected.

the rest of your post I agree with. And actually said virtually the same thing with regards to us not using our size advantage in any real way."

lol....well, hell, there is more urgency to not let a team score period and we've seemed to have scored a lot of goals this series minus the last game. It's a hollow point you make. A "man-advantage" is still a man-advantage in the playoffs. If they want to be "more aggressive" as you say, then that is the perfect opportunity to make them pay for it. We just aren't bc we are not clicking as I said. The biggest difference in time and space in the playoffs is on 5 on 5 situations. That's pretty much common knowledge and it has to do with more finished checks and blocked shots than anything else. Those physical sacrifices aren't made as often in the regular season for good reason. A relatively slower team in the regular season is not going to all of a sudden be faster in the playoffs and take away more time and space, but they can do what I just mentioned and virtually all teams do.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 24, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

If you have an entire line of Knubles it wouldn't be very effective except as a 3rd or 4th line. Simmonds is a perfect player to play with an Ovechkin, Backstrom or Semin. But I don't think he would be nearly as effective on a line with say Laich and BMo.

Posted by: sgm3

Agreed, but Knuble ain't gonna be around forever. In fact GMGM has an interesting decision to make after next season if he wants to keep Knubs around for another year. Knuble is probably the youngest 38 year old in the league, but it doesn't hurt to start grooming his replacement now

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

The Habs will fold like a house of cards on Monday. No worries.

Posted by: saintex | April 24, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

yes Tarik, we got the subtle Semin smack.. almost everyone sees he is making his mark and just not getting on the board.. but you had to slide in the crack.. he was a bit off the first game.. but you just wait.. I wish he would play like he still needs that 40th goal

Posted by: kmr2r | April 24, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Ottawa scored. They are very capable of getting that series back to PIT and I'm really scared MTL is going to do the same thing...

Hope you're right saintex.. but I think it's going to be a pretty tight game.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 24, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I wish Semin would play like he did in the Olympics. After seeing that, and now his pitiful playoff effort, I'm not sure why any team would keep him. Sure he's great in the regular season, but you can't win a SC in the regular season.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 24, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Hossa should get suspended for that boarding hit.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 24, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

LloydChristmas, that's why I'm pretty pissed he got the winner.. he shouldn't of even been there. It should've been a game misconduct.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 24, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me why Walker hasnt been playing...did he play that poorly when he was in the lineup? I recall his memorable first game but didnt really follow him after that. I do recall watching the Bruins/Canes series last year and Maurice rotated him with skilled guys like Cullen and Whitney to add grit and was very effective. Not only did he get a huge goal and add some helpers...he was a pain in the ass to play against(ask Aaron Ward). Even though hes a right shot,hes versatile so throw him in for Flash. Bmo sitting would be a wonderful sight,guy skates like hes got sandbags taped to his ankles.

Posted by: Todgak | April 24, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Besides the PP, the big problem for the Caps has been scoring first. They've only done that once in five games so far (Game 3).

I know this team can always come back but they have to start dictating the tempo of the game by scoring the first goal. You can't come back from behind every game especially in the playoffs.

And I don't wanna hear BB say before Game 6 on Monday, "we just wanna survive the first 10 minute or the first period". That's BS. If you have a team built on offense and whose best defense is its offense, this is no time to change that philosophy and suddenly start to sit back and try to weather the storm at the beginnig of the game.

if they score a couple quick goals in the first on monday night, the series will be over at that point.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Something else to consider when looking at the playoffs. If a team were to simply win 4 of 7 games throughout the year - even against the weak sisters - that team would win 47 games. Only 7 teams won 47 this year and that's with those cheap games that people babble on about.

Winning 4 of 7 ain't no easy task when you are playing the top half of the league, and the same team, every night.

They'll get there.

Posted by: saintex | April 24, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

@rachel and Lloyd

Totally agree with you on Hossa.

-Joel Quenville and all Chicago fans are the biggest hypocrates. Wonder what one Brian Campbell (he played today) had to say.

- Funny how none of the crack NBC announcers (and that includes Eddie O who happens to be CHI's color analyst) weren't asking about the non-game misconduct?

- Eddie O actually said this hit was MORE dangerous!

- At least the guys on Versus tonight brought it up and both thought he shoulda been thrown outta the game and one thought suspension worthy.

- Coli lapdog Campbell up in NHL operations said that the serverity of Ovi's hit was why he was thrown out. Guess Hamhuis having to leave the game didnt count with this crack officiating crew. BS.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | April 24, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Bruce is clueless as to what to do to get this team ready.

Posted by: caps1974 | April 24, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

On that list at the top, if I was a few of those guys I think I would have shown up to skate today...(Morrison, Green, Semin, maybe Laich). Also I don't really like Boudreau backtracking on his statement from last night. What are you saying now, 7 guys weren't passengers and everyone played great? Your team lost 2 of 3 at home to the 8th seed (and were moments from losing Game 2). Last night looked like games 1 and 2 again, with the Caps seemingly unable to figure a way through the Habs defense. If the Canadiens force a Game 7, I'm going to need to make a run to the ABC store.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 24, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

If someone finds a video of the hit on Hamhuis, I'd love to see it.

Posted by: Raber | April 24, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: natresgroup | April 24, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

why does ovi get a game misconduct and suspension and this doesn't... i don't get it.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 24, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

In other news:

Sens just scored early in the second period to give themselves a 2-0 lead on the Pens.

Hershey is down 1-2 to Albany halfway through the second period of their playoff game. Neuvy is in goal, and Gordon has Hershey's one goal.

Posted by: wocoliz | April 24, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh I understand the Referee's reasoning perfectly:

1. It's the playoffs
2. Chicago is down a goal with a minute to go - a 5 minute major should be plenty for Nashville the win.
3. Hamhuis skated away from it. Campbell laid on the ice for 5 minutes, and after putting Ovie in the box, the refs decided to throw him out (watch the replays and you'll see that).

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think any of those are reasons why the play should have been treated any differently from Ovechkin's hit, but that's exactly what the refs were thinking.

Posted by: Raber | April 24, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

eh I don't even know if I want Ottawa to win. It's freaking me out. :X

If Ottawa can get to game 7 after being down 3-1, Montreal sure as heck can. I'm very scared. Why couldn't we finish them off? I have a bad feeling we're going to regret last night.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 24, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I think Ottawa is a much better team than Montreal and if they had better goaltending in the first 4 games of this series, they could well be leading the series right now.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

@raber

For the record, Hamhuis did not come back to play, same as Campbell.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | April 24, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Gordon has just picked up a goal late in the second period to tie Hershey 2-2 with Albany.

Posted by: wocoliz | April 24, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

although hossa shoved him directly from behind (unlike ovi) i don't expect a suspension because hamhuis was stronger than campbell and probably didn't break any bones.
forward lines for next game:
8-19-22
21-18-28
25-9-16
39/24-15-10
i like reuniting that third line which seemed pretty productive. 18 and 28 need to develop chemistry. thoughts?

Posted by: Pakkattack | April 24, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

@raber

For the record, Hamhuis did not come back to play, same as Campbell.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | April 24, 2010 8:38 PM

He got up and was sitting on the bench according to the video I just watched. Doesn't matter if he played - just whether he writhed on the ice 5 minutes like Campbell.

Posted by: Raber | April 24, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

What I found pretty funny was that Quennville, who thought Ovi should be suspended for life, was lobbying the refs that Hossa's wasn't a penalty.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | April 24, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

The fact that nothing will happen to Hossa because he wasn't injured is funny. NHL shows again why it has serious credibility issues.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Hershey and Albany are headed to OT tied at 3.

Posted by: wocoliz | April 24, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

And, Halak played well, but not that well. Most of our shots hit him. Just bad shots with a goalie playing solid positionally.

_____________________

This made me laugh....

He's not playing that well, he's just having solid positioning!

lol...

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

@raber

I don't disagree with your assessment. I heard that Hamhuis, although he did skate off, did not play after that. I also took a look at the TOI report which shows he did. This also from the Tenessan newspaper.

http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20092010/TV030165.HTM

Posted by: ralCapsFan | April 24, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry left the word 'not' out of above post..."showing he did not play"

@richmondphil - agree, add this to the pile of cases that makes the NHL a joke I think compared to other leagues officiating & consistency.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | April 24, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

If you redid that draft today then Carlson would go probably 5th or 6th. He's certainly eclipsed Sbisa, Karlsson, del Zotto. I think Toronto would want him or Myers before Schenn, who has no offensive game. Columbus would want both of them before Filatov. But alas! No do-overs are allowed. I still don't wonder if the BPA strategy is baloney and teams aren't picking based on needs. Hockey's Future disagrees with you on Pietrangelo. They've called him the best prospect in the world

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 5:20 PM |

Karlsson is a very, very good young, defenseman. So is Sbisa.

Del Zotto has a lot to work on, I think.

As for Pietrangelo, he hasn't been given NHL minutes for reasons outside his ability. Mostly cap issues, roster issues, contract issues, etc. He's supposed to be traded or brought up full time by the Blues next year, but either way, he should be getting some NHL games.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Now now people - We can't go vilifying Colin Campbell until AFTER he passes down a ruling of no suspension for the Hossa hit! THEN we can be angry ;-)

Posted by: Raber | April 24, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh my god, the Sens are worthless. They squandered a two goal lead, and it's now going to OT.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 24, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

The Sens have also had two goals that were called goals on the ice and then overturned by Toronto on review.

Posted by: wocoliz | April 24, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

After watching the Pens/Sens game so far I'm glad the Caps didn't get Andy Sutton. He is a turnover machine. Every time he has the puck I get nervous he is going to lose it, and he does lose it often.

He is big and physical, but turnovers by the defenseman are the cause of a lot of goals in the NHL. Especially in the playoffs.

@joek443

I do not think the Sens, without Kovalev and Michalek, are better than the Habs. The Habs have many more playmakers and much stronger goaltending.

The Sens have better size and defensemen. But the Habs defensemen are not that bad either. Markov, Spacek (when healthy), Gill, and Gorges are 4 pretty solid defenseman and is sort of like the top 4 for Ottawa.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 24, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

@Raber

Agreed. My current angst is the inconsistency in applying the rules on the ice. The dude was obviously hurt and writhing on the ice (which typically means something since this is not soccer).

To paraphrase an Al Koken phrase from the late 80s: the refs had no ba##s.

I will be livid if nothing comes outta Lassie, opps, I am Collie's office on this.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | April 24, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Wilson scored the deciding goal that gave Hershey the OT win over Albany 4-3.

Posted by: wocoliz | April 24, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

'mean' Collie's office (typing not my forte tonight sorry)

Posted by: ralCapsFan | April 24, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

@wocoliz

Woo-hoo on the win! Thanks for the updates on the Bears!

Posted by: ralCapsFan | April 24, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

penns won

Posted by: billd2 | April 24, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

ralCapsFan, you're welcome. (Just wish the Sens had won too.)

Posted by: wocoliz | April 24, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

The Senators suck. That's what you get when a team basically has no one to generate offense except Alferdsson and Spezza. You can't win now in the NHL depending on grinders hopefully scoring while playing in your zone for about 75% of the game.

Unfortunately this series was almost exactly the same as the Pens/Flyers series last year. Pens lost game 5 at home after being up 3-1, then overcome a 3-0 defecit in the second period to come back and win. Get ready to hear a lot of comparisons.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 24, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

that was a typical playoff OT goal... just goes to show that you gotta shoot the puck if you get a chance that close even if it's from a bad angle.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Damn Penquins...anybody surprised?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 24, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Gabby is being out coached by J.Martin. 1 for 24 on Power-play, no adjustment whatever! Give this Caps roster to J.Martin, he would have won the series by now. Gabby is Norv Turner of NHL, BOTH are choke masters in the Playoffs.

Posted by: 555Mass | April 24, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: 555Mass | April 24, 2010 10:25 PM

Hello again! The only times I've seen you post are after Caps losses and, surprise surprise, they're always negative comments! Go cheer for your own team.

Posted by: Raber | April 24, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I hate PENS more than any other pro. sports franchise, but you have give it to them, they have HEART. For Caps its same excuse every yr. "we are still a young team", "we ran into a HOT goaltending".

Posted by: 555Mass | April 24, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

What a game and what a series... since this is the only series other than the Caps I've seen b/c Versus doesn't show anything else. I thought the Sens were so gonna win with the 3-0 lead. It's crazy how many goals or non-goals they've had to review the past two games. The turning point was the "goal" that everyone thought Fisher scored but the net was off its moorings. After that, Pens knew they had a chance and it was pretty much all Pens after that. They tilted the ice in the third period. And I hate Matt Cooke, a lot.

For our own sake, I really hope we beat them in regulation on Monday. Why can't we play tomorrow? UGH.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 24, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

@555 Mass

Hey, I think I know you...you are the negative dude that sits next to me and who yips at Schultz (although a +50 has quieted you) and Green (2nd time Norris trophy finalist). Suggestion - either take Rabers advice or look into medicine, they are doing some amazing things.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | April 24, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Gabby is being out coached by J.Martin. 1 for 24 on Power-play, no adjustment whatever! Give this Caps roster to J.Martin, he would have won the series by now. Gabby is Norv Turner of NHL, BOTH are choke masters in the Playoffs.

Posted by: 555Mass | April 24, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

LOL Norv was a complete failure as a headcoach, playoffs or regular season... all he ever was a great OC.

I think the biggest problem with BB is trusting his players too much and thinking they can win in the playoffs the same way they win during regular season.

you can be a "players' coach" during the season but you gotta tighten up and take out a whip if necessary during the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Holy crap! Did the Caps lose the series?

Give it a break.

Posted by: saintex | April 24, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Chargers won their Division for last 3 season, I wont call that a failure.

Posted by: 555Mass | April 24, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

the Chargers fired Marty Schottenheimer after they went 14-2 in 2006 and hired Norv. He inherited a great team and hasn't done much better than Marty.

His career record is 90-98, BB is a much better coach than Norv.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Most will probably blast me for saying this but I'd love to see Scott Walker dress up for a game.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | April 24, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

actually i think bruce may just be suited to be an offensive assistant. He's creative, he brings that. But as a head coach, if you can't motivate your team and you are unwilling to stop playing favorites, you really aren't doing your job. And yes, great reg season record blah blah. I'd rather they have been a lower seed and have a more balanced approach and a more consistent work ethic.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I think the biggest problem with BB is trusting his players too much and thinking they can win in the playoffs the same way they win during regular season.

you can be a "players' coach" during the season but you gotta tighten up and take out a whip if necessary during the playoffs.
----------

that's basic 101 stuff. If BB doesn't understand that then god help us. I always why he gets some advance warning that his team is taking things lightly and yet he can't seem to use that time to get them ready to play. Their either don't fear him in any way or he doesn't crack the whip at all.

in other news, Hershey won their first gm of round 2 and my boy Andrew Gordon scores 2 more goals. I'd love to see him in our lineup like right now. Speed, can shoot the puck, is always around the net, and he's as tenacious as they come and strong on his skates. He'd be an upgrade over about half our forwards.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Most will probably blast me for saying this but I'd love to see Scott Walker dress up for a game.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | April 24, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

there's no bigger Walker fan then me but after watching him play in that last game, he looks like a shell of his former self. I don't know if all the injuries have finally caught up with him but he's a step slower (which for him is really bad) and he's not as strong on his skates. He got pushed around pretty easy in that last game. I'll take Quintin over Walker. Younger, bigger, stronger, faster. Walker may have more experience around the net but currently we already have Fehr, Laich, Knuble, Bradley and a few others taking care of business around the net. Walker in that respect may be overkill.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

BB hasn't been an NHL headcoach for a decade, this is only his 3rd season. It took almost a decade for a great coach like Al Arbour to win his first Cup, took 5 years for Glen Sather.

NOT every coach can win like Scotty Bowman. BB is a great coach who still needs to improve as a coach in the playoffs but he's not going anywhere for at least a couple more years.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

speaking of, i'd like to have seen improvement over the past 3 playoff seasons. I think we saw the Caps play their best hockey when they were down in a series the past two yrs. They're not an initiative-taking team. They react to the situation. If they're up in a game, you can count on a lapse. If they're down, you see a different team, furious comeback attempt etc. Where's the growth, where's the progress? In playoff year 3, i would have expected to see some more maturity and focus from this group. And I don't see it. Granted, until the playoff season is done we can't judge it fully. But based on early returns, this team has not made strides in their weak areas. They're still largely a fickle bunch who can go for stretches without putting it on the line. All this talk of this year being different, this year being the year they finally understand the importance of having a short series..its just lip service.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

knowing what to do and actually doing it ain't the same thing... I'm sure most competent coaches know what their players need to do but actually getting them to do what needs to done is always much easier said than done.

I do believe he needs to get tougher with his players in the playoffs but then again what do I know? For all we know he is tougher with his players but they're just not doing what's asked of them.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

and I'll tell you something else. The Pens played a strong strong road game today. They faced adversity, and they overcame a Sens team that really is a much stronger opponent than are the Habs (sorry to burst anyone's bubble)

The Pens have a playoff seasoned toughness about them. Mentally they're driven to succeed. And physically they exact a toll on the opposition. They're always in the mid to upper 40s in hit totals. They lead the league in hits every year. That stuff matters. When they're conditioned to play at that level all season, its an easy transition to the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I do believe he needs to get tougher with his players in the playoffs but then again what do I know? For all we know he is tougher with his players but they're just not doing what's asked of them.
--------------------------

this is obviously speculation on my part but my gut feeling (just based on his comments over the years) is that Bruce's biggest flaw is he glosses over bad habits and mistakes as long as we're winning games. Then when those bad habits translate to a loss, he goes ballistic. Its an inconsistent message that he sends.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

and poor Steck, getting tagged as "big and plodding"

makes him sound like he's Derek Boogaard. Steckel should never be on the bench. He adds too many intangibles.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Belanger has basically taken away Steckel's biggest asset... Steckel is a guy who is built like Joel Otto but he's nowhere near the player Otto was as a defensive center.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

yeah joel otto was a frigging mack truck. That entire Calgary team must have outweighed every other team by an average of 20 lbs. Otto's wingers were Ronnie Stern and Ranheim. Not a fun like to play against. Scott Walker used to have some running battles with Otto and Stern when he played 4th line center for Vancouver

I'm not a big Belanger fan, never was before the trade and less of one now. I don't know how he got tagged as a gritty defensive center. Makes him sound like Blair Betts. Belanger is a perimeter center. He's like Nylander without the playmaking ability. He's fast and a good faceoff guy, thats the extent of it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

(And before anyone asks, no, I don't think Alexander Semin will be sitting for the simple reason that he could show up at any moment and score three goals). - Tarik

He could show up? Who is putting all those shots on goals? a phantom? Just because the puck is not going in does not mean he is playing a bad game.

No wonder there are so many morons complaining about Semin. They revere what this idiot has to say, he gets paid to watch and report the game and he obviously knows very little about it. I wonder if Cstanton and tarik are one and the same.

Posted by: hock1 | April 25, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

I think it okay for BB to be fired up. Should sometimes keep it in the locker room. He should add a curfew, eliminate the drinking and bad personal habits off the ice during the playoffs. BB does not believe in curfews but I know many coaches in the NHL still do during the playoffs. Also maybe these guys should be staying in hotels (Playoffs) together with a curfew even at home.

Posted by: pkme | April 25, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

BB never takes any accountability. Ready to shift blame always. Wow he must be a great boss to play for. The Caps were great the first 60 games but have gone down hill since then even when they win.

Posted by: pkme | April 25, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

BB never takes any accountability. Ready to shift blame always. Wow he must be a great boss to play for. The Caps were great the first 60 games but have gone down hill since then even when they win.

Posted by: pkme | April 25, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

congrats Sharks. They've redeemed themselves from last year's playoff series.

Come on Caps! "This is our time! Their time (Habs) is done!"

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | April 25, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

hey hock1, you think we should revere what you have to say? what DO you say anyway? its like mindless jibberjabbering

--teb

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

lastly, who the h is gene wang? Wang? good grief. I should be the Wang of this board. I'm way more thought-provoking. Gene Wang is a poser. As the Habs would say, a real Hoser.

I'd rather read a RichPhil blog then have to subject myself to an alleged enlightenment session sourced to a japanese "member"

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:00 AM | Report abuse

you can only recover from so many slow starts

-confucious

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:23 AM | Report abuse


gm who invites too many euros to party find himself bagging groceries

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse


It's a sure bet that after a loss, @cstanton1, you're bound to get glued to the computer and tell us all how bad the team is in many respects, particularly leadership.

Now you're slamming someone for his national origin and baiting with racist claptrap.

Get off the friggin computer with this hateful crap.


Posted by: Justafan | April 24, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Sec423 | April 25, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

No PP practice and a very optional practice? I don't think this team gets that it's 2 more sloppy games and the playffs are over. Semin taking the day off -- why? If Semin had half of Belanger's heart, he would be a monster, not a playoff creampuff. BB gets mad as he should and then backs off -- not a good strategy in my mind.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | April 25, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Pens have advanced, SHARKS have advanced, and here the Caps are, again, f-ing around in an early round, not showing up to start the game, not being able to close it out. Bruce's team has fallen behind in 3 of the 5 games. 60%. He's in over his head and his team isn't even out of round one, against a team that finished dozens of points behind. Nice job, Bruce.

Posted by: caps1974 | April 25, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

"Playoffs are a process"

You can call it a sprint, marathon or whatever but that comment above was made by Sidney Crosby after they beat Ottawa last night.

They played like crap in the early games of that series and got away with it like the Caps.

Their attitude is that they adjust and work better/harder - not expend to much emotional energy fretting things in the first round.

Teams will try to stop us, goalies will get hot, refs will miss calls..and sometimes the Caps will forget to show up for a period (or 4)....

The fact today is that the Caps are ahead in a series 3-2 and have built that despite bad play and no power play. They have done a decent penalty killing job though.

Intensity will come and those other parts will begin to click. Some nights this team will be lethal - at some point all the cylinders will roll.

A little "hate factor" in the next few games/rounds will certainly help. There is no way to play Philly or Pittsburgh without some of that developing.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 25, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Pens have advanced, SHARKS have advanced, and here the Caps are, again, f-ing around in an early round, not showing up to start the game, not being able to close it out. Bruce's team has fallen behind in 3 of the 5 games. 60%. He's in over his head and his team isn't even out of round one, against a team that finished dozens of points behind. Nice job, Bruce.

Posted by: caps1974 | April 25, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

don't you know how to count or keep track?? it took both of those teams that you mentioned 6 games to close out their series and the game on monday night will be Game 6 for the Caps.

Posted by: joek443 | April 25, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Pens have advanced, SHARKS have advanced, and here the Caps are, again, f-ing around in an early round, not showing up to start the game, not being able to close it out. Bruce's team has fallen behind in 3 of the 5 games. 60%. He's in over his head and his team isn't even out of round one, against a team that finished dozens of points behind. Nice job, Bruce.

Posted by: caps1974 | April 25, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

don't you know how to count or keep track?? it took both of those teams that you mentioned 6 games to close out their series and the game on monday night will be Game 6 for the Caps.

Posted by: joek443 | April 25, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Actually I would have been shocked if the Caps had finished off the series in 5 - that winning four games in a row would have been the most domination by any team so far this postseason....they missed by a goal? The first round is always a wildcard...and every team except Philly has had a scare so far -

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 25, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I seriously doubt the Caps will lay down for game 6. If they do, then they definitely deserve to lose the series but I don't see it happening. Aside from Semin, this team has a lot of heart and definitely got a 2nd wake up call on game 5. As long as the defense holds up and the PK continues to do great, I'm pretty confident they'll win. Only approx 20 teams have come back to win after being down 3-1 and the Canadiens aren't going to be one of them, and if they are, shame on the Caps.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 25, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the Sharks finally closed their series in 6 games but that particular series was a scare, to say the least.

In all games, the Sharks had significantly more shots on goal but Anderson had stolen away two games. Numerous people figured the Sharks were "choking" in the first round once again.

In many ways, that series reminds me of the series the Caps are currently involved in. #1 seed with many troubles in playoffs past meets #8 seed who struggled at the end of the year. Sharks make costly mistakes during course of the series.

Okay Caps, if the Sharks can win their series, so can you.

Go Caps.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Oh and on the season plus playoffs the Caps have only 16 regulation losses now.

That means about 1 in 5 games is a reg loss. Which is what they have done all along.

Hope game 6 ends in regulation.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 25, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

@yesisaiditfirst

Who would have thought the Flyers would have been the team to have the easiest time in the first round?

But the Devils seem to have trouble with the Flyers for some reason.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

@yesisaiditfirst

Who would have thought the Flyers would have been the team to have the easiest time in the first round?

But the Devils seem to have trouble with the Flyers for some reason.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse


NJ didn't even show up.....what ever happened to what happened in reg season doesn't matter this time of year.

Actually this is what I feared most when I knew we would get Montreal....they backed into the best possible match up for them...remember Montreal is one of the only teams to be willing to play with Washington at our game - and still they have tightened it up....

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 25, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Getting back into town and reading that Belanger had his teeth broken - it's a real shame that he hit that poor Canadien's stick with his face.
Hope the NHL looks at that.

As for the rest of the series, I believe the Caps thought that all they needed to do Friday was step on the ice, and the series was theirs. I'm sure that attitude has been put away now. But I still don't get "optional" practice when practice is clearly needed. One more whiffed pass or shot by Green et al and my head will explode.

Posted by: bluejeener1 | April 25, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Even the "always choking" Sharks advanced last night.. we better finish them off tomorrow. This thing better not go 7.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 25, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

hey hock1, you think we should revere what you have to say? what DO you say anyway? its like mindless jibberjabbering

--teb

Posted by: cstanton1

Still drinking that ripple wine?

Put the bottle down and look in the mirror and you will see where the mindless jibber-jabbering as you put it. I have read your daily constant inane garbage. You must wake-up from your stupor every so often and repost your garbage forgetting that you already have done it. We get it you think Semin sucks, Green sucks, BB sucks, GMGM sucks the whole team could be better, and you know more than everyone (in your imaginary world). Your generalizations without substance are laughable.
Go back and read my post about the problem with the second line, you will see that I posted what my thoughts are on the problems on the second line, why they are happening and what could be done. You on the other hand spews nothing more than general comments without substance, and it is always the same comments on a daily basis.

That Ripple wine is really messing with you.

Posted by: hock1 | April 25, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

How do you wash the jerseys? I have a red and a white that need washing. They are both the Reebok non-authentic.

Thx

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 25, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Damn....if we don't sweep a team there is sooo much negativity. "The coach is being out-coached"......gimmie a break. Even the ole mighty PENS struggled against a much weaker opponent. San Jose had a good fight from the AVS. Hawks not by any means are dominating the Preds. Every series is tight except the Devils/Flyers series.They flyers dominated the Devils all season.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 25, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

This is my biggest gripe with BB. He goes to the post game press conferences ranting about individual players being passengers, then has optional practice. Every year he makes a scapegoat out of two or three players and we fans spend all our energy blaming those guys for loses. Meanwhile, the PP has 1 goal in 25 chances, the PK has surrendered goals in 4 of the five games, BB hasn't settled on line 2-4, the passing is atrocious, and some players don't believe defense is for everyone. So while we fans moan about the lack of production from Green, Semin and Flash, here is another interesting stat: Of the 10 even strength goals scored by the Habs, the top line has been on ice for five. I might be just a stupid fan, but I think ALL these guys need to practice.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 25, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl,

Delicate detergent, hand wash in a sink with warm water. Rinse well, squeeze dry as best you can, hang over shower curtain rod to dry. This is serious hockey talk.

Come on people. The series is 3-2 and progressing just like the Pens series, in fact, exactly. 1-3-1 for wins. If anyone is throwing the Pens out as an example of how to 'finish' a series then we are in the exact same boat. The Caps will win this in 6 and everyone can relax for a few days. Same as before we started - if we knew we'd win a series 4-2, we'd take it...any series.

This is a long, long road and the more games we play the more I worry about the fans who teeter on the edge of destruction, not the team.

Shhhh. Take a long Sunday nap, put in a day of work tomorrow and fire up the TV for the closer tomorrow night.

Posted by: saintex | April 25, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

OMG! According to Corey M. twitter, BB moved Flash back to 2nd line center.

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble,
Laich-Fleischmann-Semin-Laing, Chimera-Belanger/B-Mo-Fehr,
Bradley-Steckel/Gordon-Bradley.

Well, at least they are practicing!

Posted by: ablake70 | April 25, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@saintex

And the Pens are not the only team that closed out their opening series in 6 games. So did the Sharks, the much maligned Sharks, who are "famous" for choking in Round 1.

I'd be happy if the Caps closed out in 6. (Of course, I'm also a bit paranoid.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Bar near Dulles

Any suggestions on a bar VERY close to Dulles that I can catch the game at tomorrow? Have flight at 9:53 to Europe and just called Tidewater bar there and they don't have CSN or VS? Argh! Any suggestions greatly appreaciated.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | April 25, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I was reading the Senators blog last night. They all would like to keep Cullen, if possible. They also know that the Salary Cap will prevent them from keeping everyone. They figure that Volchenkov will be gone as a free agent. (Richmond Phil, I thought of you when I read that. Maybe the Caps can pursue your boy.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I know most of you hate Don Cherry, but this made me laugh last night. Varlamokov lol. It's in the middle of the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qODPS6X76w

I have to hand him credit though, he's done nothing but praise Ovie and Varlamov throughout the playoffs.


Posted by: hockeynightincanada | April 25, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@hockeynightincanada

Looks like Don Cherry is taking lessons from Harry Caray in the mangling of names department.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with the guys taking practice off - the NHL season is a grind with NO Olympic break, never mind the playoffs. The legs need a break, even for these guys, they are human after all.

Pleased to see Flash between Semin and Laich - that line played very well together, and you need two scoring lines to do anything in the playoffs [ie Forsberg Sakic, Federov Yzermnan, Z-Datysuk, etc.]. That line was when we went on the record tear, IIRC. For all the abuse he's taken from TEB, here and from other writers Flash has made some terrific passes and gotten open for great chances; soon enough we're going to score in bunches again, I think.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 25, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton - all due respect and you certainly called it Corvo - but WTF are you talking about, too many Euros? Who are you, Don Cherry? he was basically a one-year wonder in the NHL, and never did jack after that - or in the playoffs, for that matter.

Question: Who was the best playoff performer of last generation?
Peter Forsberg - and where was he from?

Which team has had the most consistent playoff success over the last 10-15 years? Detroit. Case closed.

And note to those advocating sitting Semin and puting Scott Walker - Scott Walker - on the 2nd line? Good God, some people never cease to amaze.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 25, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with the guys taking practice off - the NHL season is a grind with NO Olympic break, never mind the playoffs. The legs need a break, even for these guys, they are human after all.

--------

Exactly, the guys know what they need to do....rest, nutrition,work with weights, they play every 2 or 3 days - I didn't go in to work today or yesterday ...even to practice....

I remember OV taking a red eye flight overnight after participating in the Olympic closing ceremony on the west coast so he would be at 9AM practice. He said he did it because he was not on the ice for 5 days - they just know and the heavy minute guys have to practice smart too.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 25, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, @yesisaid - and never mind the mental break, the guys especially who played in the Olympics, where not winning gold was tantamount to a "national catastrophe" in countries like Russia and the Czech Republic [not to mention Sweden]. The season is ridiculously long as it is, these guys need a break after that grind. And anybody who says there is a single soft guy playing the NHL - I'd like to see him on the ice, is all I'll say. That would be a pleasure.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 25, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

When is Green going to stop getting the pass because he is obviously Boudreau's golden boy?

On the first Canadiens' goal in game 5, I haven't heard anyone call out Green for the way he played Markov so poorly. He poke checked the puck from Markov when Markov came over the blue line. Then, instead of staying on Markov and stopping him from being the guy to recover the puck which just dribbled to the side boards still in our zone, Green backs off of Markov completely, gets in no man's land covering nobody, let's Markov go and get the puck he just poke checked away uncontested and flip it over to Cammalierri for the goal.

We lost the Pittsburgh series last year after dominating them in the regular season because two players in particular didn't show up - Semin and Green. I think I'm hearing that tune again ... sadly.

Posted by: cwiseman | April 25, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Caps fans must be outraged over lack of suspension over Hossa's boarding call. Was EXACTLY like OV hit - Blackhawks may now face Caps in the final because NHL puts on blinders in the playoffs. Officiating is again - on and off ice - a mess.

Posted by: pensfan57 | April 26, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

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