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Boudreau: 'It's a One-Game Series Now'

Today's practice was optional and sparsely attended, with many of the big-minute players opting to rest and recover. Everyone came to the rink for a team meeting, though most didn't stick around too long.

I would describe the mood at KCI as stunned, perhaps a little somber. I think it's safe to say that the Caps had a healthy respect for the Rangers entering the series, but none of them envisioned a scenario in which they would be coming home facing an elimination game, even if Henrik Lundqvist played well.

"We just have to take it one game at a time," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "If we look at it as [being down] 3-1, it's a daunting task. To have to win three games against this goalie, that will make it tough. But if we look at it [like this]: We just have to win Friday. And then we'll worry about Sunday when Sunday comes. To me it's a one-game series right now."

It's a cliché, but it's probably the right approach.

Here are some other items of interest:

Jurcina on Avery: 'It's Dangerous'
I caught up with defenseman Milan Jurcina, who was sporting a black eye and a cut on his nose after Sean Avery punched him in the face, striking Jurcina with the butt end of his stick. Jurcina said he'll be fine. But he's pretty angry about the incident.

"At first I thought it was an elbow, but when I saw the replay, I saw it was the butt end of his stick," Jurcina said. "It's dangerous. In the last few minutes of the game, he slashed [Brian Pothier] in the face. It's no joke what he did. It's not part of hockey."

Let's recap: In four games, Avery has punched John Erskine in the face. He has punched Simeon Varlamov in the face. He has punched Jurcina in the face. And he's whacked Pothier in the face with his stick.

Boudreau on Green's Norris Bid
"He never gets enough credit, but [everyone] focuses on the offense," Boudreau said when asked if Green is better on 'D' than some of the perception out there. "But if you look at our team and who's on [the ice] in the last minute, you look at who's on penalty killing, and you look at ice time when we need a goal and who's on, it's Mike Green. No disrespect to the two unbelievably good defensemen that he's up against. But the award is based upon the year that you've had. And Mike has had a tremendous year."

Schultz Update
Defenseman Jeff Schultz, who has been sidelined since Game 1, skated a bit today but still did not look right to me. Neither the player nor the team will say what's wrong or when he might be ready to return.

Barry is writing the main story for tomorrow's Post and I'll have a piece on Green. I'll check in again from the morning skate.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 23, 2009; 4:09 PM ET
 
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Next: Morning Reading List: Game 5, Do or Die

Comments

"Let's recap: In four games, Avery has punched John Erskine in the face. He has punched Simeon Varlamov in the face. He has punched Jurcina in the face. And he's whacked Pothier in the face with his stick."

How is this idiot not suspended?

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 23, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I've said this before, but I think we need avery to play. He'll continue to take dumb penalties and give us the power play. Now if we could only score on some of those. How hard is it to just park someone in front of the net and set a screen????

Posted by: capsfansince74 | April 23, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

So Jurcina's nose isn't broken? I thought that after the hit it looked more crooked than it had 5 minutes before.

Posted by: Caps1Fan | April 23, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Avery also speared Erskine in the face at the start of game 3.

You can see it on the replay when Brash grans him in a scrum. Erskine was on the ground.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 23, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I've been checking TSN after the last 2 games awaiting an Avery suspension, but nothing. It's absolutely ridiculous that Bettman's crew is ignoring this. Get rid of Bettman and let's get a Roger Goodell type.

Posted by: thomas20 | April 23, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

That first paragraph really says a lot about this team.

Posted by: superpaqman | April 23, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Avery will kill someone one day, accidently. He is such a punk. He does all these things and acts like he did nothing wrong and thinks nobody saw it! He cares more about getting under people's skin than actually playing hockey.

It's inexplicable. He shouldn't be playing in the NHL.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@superpaqman

I did see the Rangers all practiced today. That interesting to me...I guess we'll see who has the better legs tomorrow.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 23, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I meant to say the first 2 paragraphs

Posted by: superpaqman | April 23, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Given how ground down they are I'm not surprised most of them took the day to sleep and let the bruises heal a little.

Avery shouldn't be playing tomorrow. 5 different deliberate strikes to the face is too much. Suspend him Bettman, before he really hurts someone.

Posted by: EricS2 | April 23, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Schultz never looks right to me...

Posted by: CapsChick | April 23, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

i guess the league really is serious about head injuries, huh? perhaps one of the caps needs to test out drury's wrist the way avery seems to want to test the caps heads.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 23, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Did any of you notice this?

Avery comes to Ovechkin who is down on ice and puts his stick blade right on Ovie's throat.

http://alexovetjkin.blogspot.com/2009/04/avery-puts-stick-on-ovechkins-throat.html

Posted by: CodePoetry | April 23, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

CodePoetry, I just put that on twitter a couple minutes ago. I hadn't seen that at all last night, must have been the camera angle. Totally disgusting.

Posted by: Caps1Fan | April 23, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

CodePoetry, no, I hadn't seen that. I'm at work, so no audio, but its clear as day to me that Avery deliberately stuck the blade of his stick to ovie's neck to send a message.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 23, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

This is bloody rediculous. I mean, come on now. When Avery punches Varly in the face, the ref was standing right there, nothing.

However, if Erskin retaliates, we go on the PK. It does not make sense to me. Avery needs to be suspended, should be suspended, but won't be suspended.

Why should they suspend the pest of the league? Why let a young team leave the series, win or lose, without significant injuries.

Posted by: dogboy | April 23, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I honestly feel sorry for Sean Avery. I bet he has no friends, even his teammates hate him. It must suck to be him. He needs physiological help. NHL should suspend him before he goes and kills someone.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Where's nutless????

Read this nutless & tell me how I can't be incensed as a fan? duh:


"Let's recap: In four games, Avery has punched John Erskine in the face. He has punched Simeon Varlamov in the face. He has punched Jurcina in the face. And he's whacked Pothier in the face with his stick."

If we lose 4 send the Brash out there.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 23, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

yeah, rare is the person who has good things to say about Avery. In fact, the only one I know of is Brett Hull

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 23, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

psychological help

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I believe nutless was defending him in a prior thread.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 23, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

classy with a K, Rocc00. start saving your beerbottles and warming up your throwing arm.

Posted by: doughless | April 23, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

let's send GMGM out there to teach Avery a lesson! Moments I'll never forget as a Caps fan.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 23, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Avery is a massive ass. No two ways about it.

In Tarik's article earlier he mentioned the Rangers finally winning the faceoff battle. I've always thought this was going to be a key for the caps in the playoffs. But this seems to counteract that.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nhl/insider/news/story?id=4092736

Posted by: GoodThingHeSigned | April 23, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

by the way, never defended Avery. he is a scourge, but good at what he does. why do you think he waits for the ref to be around when he pulls his stunts?? he knows that retaliation could put the opposing team at a disadvantage, depending on what the ref sees.

some here can at least be honest and vent about shortcomings, others see the world through rose-colored glasses then throw beer bottles to vent anger.

Posted by: doughless | April 23, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

speaking of faceoffs, after Tort's little whinefest about the Caps in game one, I've noticed that, surprise surprise, the rangers appear to be jumping a hair early on every faceoff in order to try and win.

So, when the Caps win faceoffs, it must be because they're cheating, right, if only in Tort's imagination? But, to my eyes, something clearly seems "off" with the Rangers. I think they're pushing the limit on how early they can jump (if they haven't passed the line right into illegal terriroty)

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 23, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

League won't suspend Avery unless he slept with Ovechkin's girlfriend.

Let's face everyone. Ever since Dale Hunter put Lafontaine out, this team will never get the advantage of another opposing player getting suspended.

Bobblehead Bettman better hope it doesn't happen to one of his coveted stars. Cause then his league goes right down the toilet one more time as it's replayed over and over on ESPN that hockey is a caveman sport.

Either way, I hope Jurcina absolutely breaks Avery tomorrow. In every way.

Posted by: blanknerc | April 23, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

> In fact, the only one I know of is Brett Hull

Here's what Brett Hull said:

"There’s probably deeper issues that need to be dealt with as a person, forget being a hockey player. I think there might be some sort of medical help that he can get to help him out."

Hull added treatment has not been discussed with Avery in the past, but that now it is "on the front burner."

"I think the biggest problem is he doesn’t really understand what he does until it’s over," said Hull.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2008/12/03/avery_treatment/

Posted by: CodePoetry | April 23, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I know last night was a tough game. But the fact that I'm reading that this was ANOTHER OPTIONAL PRACTICE is complete BS. I love Boudreau but this is a mistake. It doesn't have to be a rigorous practice but that team should be on the ice today. No questions about it. Sure they had a team meeting.

It's not like they've played like crap but they should've been out there working on the PP dealing with pressure against them. Anything to keep this team focused. These optional practices are getting old. Try having them when you're finished with a series - not when you're down 3-1.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | April 23, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

nutless - We rather live in our utopia than your sad little world where you defend Avery.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 23, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I get two things out of the begining of this article, 1, I'd like to at least see the guys out there working systems or something to keep mentally active and 2, even though they said the caps had a respect for the rags, by the sounds of their collective disposition they were expecting to win last night.

Posted by: superpaqman | April 23, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

@dogboy

You mentioned how if Erskine retaliates for what Avery does, we go on PK.

Well, no kidding! Not to mention, if Semin retaliates for what Avery does, we also go on PK.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 23, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it. This is a young team with a new coach that probably overachieved this year. I'm still hoping they will make it to the next round, but if they don't, they have time to grow. As long as they keep their core together (OV, Backstrom, Semin, and Varly) and add the right secondary players, they will be a real threat in the next few years.

Posted by: madden09 | April 23, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

One of my co-workers remarked today that if the Caps are eliminated, they should be made to watch all games of the next round of the playoffs involving the Rangers so they know what to do against that team in the future; i.e. next year. In other words, watch how Boston is able to beat them.

(Only problem, will the Rangers and Caps have the exact same cast of characters?)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 23, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe how dirty a player Avery is. The last thread I advocated non-violence, but after seeing his stick to the throat of Ovechkin shtick why the heck should the caps not kill that rat.

I'm so pissed.

Posted by: Ovechwin | April 23, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about Avery? He is the Rangers' problem, obviously.

Only one game at a time?

The Caps should be thinking about the first 20 minutes on Friday, and playing them as if it's their last.

They can win the game if they A) score first and B) leave the first period with an advantage ON THE SCOREBOARD!

Posted by: dml1077 | April 23, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

@Jonathan6

You're not the only person who's noticed that the Caps had an optional practice again. Come to think of it, all the practices during this playoff series have been optional. (My coworkers think that is part of the problem with the Caps. One of them couldn't understand why we had an optional practice when we're on the road.)

Maybe they needed to practice more. Not a super hard practice but practice nonetheless.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 23, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

@madden09,

The Caps probably did overachieve this year. They were terrible two years ago, barely made the playoffs last year, and this year did well -- during the regular season.

Semin is much better than last year. Too bad he missed so much time due to injury. I can see the growth in him as a player. Backstrom improved a lot. Flash had done well before gettin pneumonia. Let's face it -- pneumonia is a serious disease.

In spite of Varlamov's mistake last night, he is clearly an improvement over Theodore.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 23, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Avery is obviously playing to injure.

Posted by: Ovechwin | April 23, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Avery can do what he wants on the ice to the Caps. bettman has NEVER gotten over the Dale Hunter "check" a few years back. He's NY through and through. If/when this series is decided to NY, someone needs to step up and beat the living s--t out of Avery. Turning the other cheek DOESN'T WORK in the NHL. It just proves you're a wimp. SOMEONE had BETTER come out tomorrow night and SERVE NOTICE to Avery or any other maggot in a NY uniform that it's OVER.

Posted by: bundy44 | April 23, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Wow! It's sobering to see how concerned and stunned the Caps are. None of the cockiness, like Ovie sitting at the other team's practice, that told me there was a fighting spirit there.

I was going to write that I was confident the Caps would tie the score, like they did last year, and there was a good chance that they would have better luck with the final game. But hearing that they look stunned and don't feel like celebrating worries me.

It is no consolation at all to hear that, if they win, the Rangers will be eliminated soon. It's even worst. Why weren't we able to do it if it was so easy for another team?

Nothing to do but wait. But the scenario of being beaten by one guy is not only humbling but very boring to watch.

Posted by: caraveli | April 23, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

If no one on our side is going to make Avery pay for his trangressions, why the hell would he would he stop? I certianly wouldn't. It's time to toughen up, or quit complaining about him.

Posted by: Fro_ | April 23, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"Alex Ovechkin not only realizes how helpless the Washington Capitals fans are feeling today, he is taking it upon himself to research exactly what they're saying.

"Nobody's going to believe it, but, you know, I like to go to our fan club message boards," Ovechkin said after the Capitals' practice Thursday afternoon at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va. "They say, 'OK, like, what's next?' 'What do we have to do?' 'Trade him.' 'Build new team.' It's kind of an interesting situation."

While most athletes try to shield themselves from that kind of talk, especially when they're in a major hole like the Caps are now -- down 3-1 to the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal with Game 5 Friday night at Verizon Center -- Ovechkin instead wants to know what his fans are thinking and how they're feeling.

Needless to say, the feeling is mutual.

"I just want to see how our fans react," he said. "Of course, they're not happy, but we're not happy either. But it is what it is. We lost three games. I think we played good enough in the games, but one guy beats our team."

WE KNOW YOU ARE READING THIS OVIE.

WIN THE NEXT 3 PLEASE!

Posted by: richmondphil | April 23, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

will look for you and your beerbottles, Rocc00.

Posted by: doughless | April 23, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

Maybe the cockiness is the reason why they are down 3-1. I thought it interesting that Boudreau said Green's problem might be the pressure to live up to all the attention he's getting. I think OV's suffering from the same thing, especially since Malkin and Crosby team is doing so well again this year. Both of them are trying to do it all themselves instead of trusting their teammates. Maybe if they stop worrying about their individual stats and the critics, they can win this series.

Posted by: madden09 | April 23, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Uggh, what a horrible day.
Agree that they have a chance, and that it's 1 more game at a time. Smart to say it's 20 minutes at a time, and I also agree with the question of practice. There were some things that they could do better, and you'd think that BB would have somthing to work on. I know you can't coach attitude and intensity, but something clicked 'on' Monday that needs to come back.

I know they're a young team with a great future, but setting up an expectation of 1 and done every year in the playoffs can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Let's not throw stuff tomorrow, and Let's GO Caps!

Posted by: bluejeener1 | April 23, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Fro: Because would retaliating do us any good? It's not about toughening up. What he is doing is dangerous, not part of the game, he should be banned, he doesn't even play hockey, all he is doing is going around "cheap-shotting" everyone. There are more subtle ways to get under a player's skin than to put their stick on someone's throat, or punch someone in the face, or whack somebody in the face with his stick. Avery is very dangerous.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Green, but man he has not been himself the last few games. Are we hiding an injury?

Posted by: Bartolo1 | April 23, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

"Alex Ovechkin not only realizes how helpless the Washington Capitals fans are feeling today, he is taking it upon himself to research exactly what they're saying.

"Nobody's going to believe it, but, you know, I like to go to our fan club message boards," Ovechkin said after the Capitals' practice Thursday afternoon at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va. "They say, 'OK, like, what's next?' 'What do we have to do?' 'Trade him.' 'Build new team.' It's kind of an interesting situation."

While most athletes try to shield themselves from that kind of talk, especially when they're in a major hole like the Caps are now -- down 3-1 to the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal with Game 5 Friday night at Verizon Center -- Ovechkin instead wants to know what his fans are thinking and how they're feeling.

Needless to say, the feeling is mutual.

"I just want to see how our fans react," he said. "Of course, they're not happy, but we're not happy either. But it is what it is. We lost three games. I think we played good enough in the games, but one guy beats our team."

WE KNOW YOU ARE READING THIS OVIE.

WIN THE NEXT 3 PLEASE!

Posted by: richmondphil | April 23, 2009 5:45 PM |

Posted by: richmondphil | April 23, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

If the worst comes to pass for the Caps, I will root VERY hard for the NEXT team that play the Rangers; i.e. Boston. I will take pleasure at them getting dumped. By the way, I do NOT like any NY team in ANY sport. Hate the Yankees and Mets in baseball. Don't like the Giants in football -- the only team I hate worse than them is the Cowboys.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 23, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out why we're down 3-1 in the series and still haven't killed Avery. I mean you either retaliate with vengeance OR you win the game, right? We shouldn't lose on BOTH fronts. To constantly turn the other cheek and still lose on the scoreboard is very very painful.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 23, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - Avery didn't punch Jurcina in the face, he butt-ended him - one of the most egregious penalties you can commit.

Not to nitpick, but having played since I was 5, it really is one of the worst things you can do, which is why Juice was upset after he saw the tape - and very justifiably so!

Avery's not just a pest and a jerk, he's really dangerous.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 23, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Forget all the Avery stuff - what comes around goes around. I agree with a previous poster who implied, I think, that we have to get ahead of these guys in the first twenty minutes. If we can do that it forces them to play a different game, one that is more suited to us.

Tortilla is a good coach and I think he is outcoaching BB at this point. For example, all of a sudden they start winning the face-off battle. How does that happen overnight? My guess is he saw something in the tapes and advised his face-off men on how to counteract what the Caps were doing. Why could we not adjust to that during the game? Or better yet, find something in their play that we could exploit.

On a personal note, it really sticks in my craw to see him behind the bench stroking his goatee while trying to hide a smile at how well his strategies are working (i.e., how his team is buying into them and thwarting the Caps).

It is a one game series now so let's go and get it, one game at a time and wipe the smile off of Tortilla's face.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 23, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

another thing, on more than a few occasions this team has had an opportunity to run Avery thru the boards. Why hasn't that happened? You can't use the PK excuse there.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 23, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing new about Avery. He's been a piece of sh@t his entire career and will continue to be.

The biggest mistake would be to get emotional about it during the game and take needless runs at him. Now if we're down by 3 goals with 2 minutes left, I wouldn't be opposed to someone putting him through the glass.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 23, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ovie, tell Fleishman and Fehr not to show up to the game tomorrow night. Also someone please tell Fehr that he needs to remove the piece of tape that is on his skate blades before he takes the ice, it might help him stay on his feet. Thanks.....Your Loving Fans

Posted by: EsMyDee | April 23, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, those two Avery penalties in game 4 that you mentioned looked like deliberate intent to injure. Avery's going to put someone's eye out if the league doesn't control him.

Any noise about McPhee or Boudreau making a formal complaint?

Posted by: rw-c | April 23, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Avery's more than a piece of..he's actually a good player. And frankly, even though he's taken dumb penalties, he's done his job to a certain degree because the media, the fans, and the Caps have been discussing him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 23, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out why we're down 3-1 in the series and still haven't killed Avery. I mean you either retaliate with vengeance OR you win the game, right? We shouldn't lose on BOTH fronts. To constantly turn the other cheek and still lose on the scoreboard is very very painful.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 23, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

It's because besides the game the Caps won, it's all been tight 1 goal games. Avery has done his absolute best in trying to give the game to the Caps but we're apparently not interested in scoring on the PP. The way to really get even is to score on those PPs not retaliate and nullify a PP.

Hats off to the Caps for not retaliating. If it was me, I would have already boarded him the second I got a chance and watch him be carted off (that sounds pretty drastic but seeing he has absolutely no remorse for the things he's done and continues to do, I wouldn't really care)

Either way, let's take it on Friday and we'll worry about that midget later.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 23, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

well he's kind of crazy for reading peoples posts, esp considering how much bs is written (not just here, but online in general). but he's our crazy guy so if he has to read something, might as well address it directly...

OV the great-

a) love you!!

b) despite any the negativity in here, we are all behind you, we really are. over the past 2 years this team has come so far, and we are with you till the end. i know that you all can win this next game, you did it monday. its absolutely possible you just gotta work it.

c) lundy is amazingly talented, but you can score on him. he is absolutely NOT unstoppable and you all have proved that. but the rangers' d, especially last night, did a really good job of keeping you all on the outside for shots you gotta fight them and get in close, thats the key to beating lundy. and watch the wide shots, altho breaking the glass with your slapshot last night was pretty impressive.

d) everyone above is right, play 20 mins to 20 mins, like every end of the period is the end of the game. you all need to bring out that passion we all know you have.

e) monday you guys looked great, but you also looked like you were actually having fun. last night looked like you were being forced to play (my opinion only). you are all playing a game you love, so love it, enjoy it! (please tell greenie that.. he looks so miserable)

f) ignore the posts on here to retaliate vs avery. you all have kept your cool amazingly well and guess what, by not responding to him you are all highlighting what a talentless ass (by his choice) he is. let him take the penalty and then get it in the net.

Posted by: mrszilla | April 23, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

mrszilla,
I agree with your points a,b,c,d,f but as far as e goes - maybe the players were told to hold back initially (to weather an anticipated storm) and that's why they looked a bit off in the first period.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 23, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

That's kinda cool that OV reads fan's messages. It's especially hard on here, cause the more we lose, the easier it is for opposing team's fans to come on here and talk trash. It's getting harder to fight off when we can't say anything cause we're down 3-1.

Come on Caps, let's try hard to win game 5, if we're not winning the series at least don't get eliminated in front of the home fans. At least one more game at MSG and maybe we'll have a chance.

Altough if we were to win game 5 and go to MSG, I think I'd be soooooooo nervous, but it beats not even having a chance. I don't know how I could survive without Caps hockey for a while. :/ It's gonna suck.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

the playoffs are a dirty business and this is not to give Avery an "out" because he's taken some ill-timed penalties. But the Caps are too squeaky-clean for the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 23, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Now if we could only score on some of those. How hard is it to just park someone in front of the net and set a screen????

Posted by: capsfansince74 | April 23, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse


its not easy, you have to be willing to take some abuse. And the Caps are obviously content to shoot from the outside.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 23, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm in awe of how people will go to great lengths to give Avery the compliment of being a great player. His skills are overshadowed by his ability to be the biggest turd the NHL has ever seen. Why help him crawl out of that heaping pile he smothered himself in? We pay money to see professionals play hockey not take liberty with the health and lives of others with their stick.

Here's hoping that we get our point across early on in Game 4. Lights out, Avery.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 23, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

LeftCoastCapsFan: I really wish we could redo game 4 over again. :/

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm in awe of how people will go to great lengths to give Avery the compliment of being a great player. His skills are overshadowed by his ability to be the biggest turd the NHL has ever seen. Why help him crawl out of that heaping pile he smothered himself in? We pay money to see professionals play hockey not take liberty with the health and lives of others with their stick.

Here's hoping that we get our point across early on in Game 4. Lights out, Avery.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 23, 2009 6:36 PM

you obviously didn't watch hockey prior to 1995. Avery if he played in the 70s and 80s would be a very very ordinary player with regards to his antics.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 23, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

FloridaCapsFan, I included "e" because whenever they get anxious the passes are all over the place and they end up scrambling and missing chances...i want to see an energetic but confident caps, solid passing, checks and tons of shots right up close to the goal... we'll see...hopefully we make the rangers play our game and not vise versa

Posted by: mrszilla | April 23, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

has anyone watched any of the other series ?

If I had to rank the series top to bottom from the bits and pieces I've seen, I'd say Calgary-Chicago has been the best to watch. Breakneck intensity from start to finish. Ana-SJ has been very good, Vanc-St Louis also very good. In the east, Bos-Mon has been a war on the ice esp between Lucic and Komisarek. Pit-Phi hate each other as well. The Caps-Rangers, Canes-Devils and Det-Columbus has been pretty tame comparatively.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 23, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The difference between the Caps and the Rangers and maybe why the Rangers "play there game" is that they had a full practice today...everyone...still working on things to get better.

Lose Friday and they will have plenty of time to rest.

Posted by: jotay131 | April 23, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Lyle - where did all those 'scrappy' Caps team get us in the 80's & 90's? Heartache city that's where.The current Rangers are no different & less talented than THOSE caps team.>>>>


I remember a scrappy Caps team in the 80s that went to the Conf Finals. I'd settle for that type of forward progress. The only reason that team didn't keep getting better was the rape incident and the subsequent dumping of 3/4ths of our top line and our top defenseman. Doesnt anyone remember! :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 23, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I think Canes-Devils has been a fun series. Haven't gotten to watch any of the CHI/CAL or SJ/ANA since it's on at like 10:30. I just fear we will have to watch these other teams sooner or later... I'd much rather watch my Caps..

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

When Avery hit Jurcina, there was blood on Jurcina's face and Avery got 2 min penalty. Ok, why wasn't that a 4 min penalty by the rules book? So I'm kinda confused by officiating sometimes

Posted by: Hazz | April 23, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

madden09: Yes I agree that smugness and arrogance pave the way to a downfall. But what I see in Ovie (are you reading this Ovie?)is grit and sheer love of challenges. When he sat in the Rags' practice, I saw this as someone who didn't feel defeated; who relished competition rather than be intimidated by it. I think this empopwering attitude spread to the team Monday.

I don't want this team to buy into the growing saga of the super-human Lundquist and see their defeat in his hands as imminent. I think that one of the things that this focus on Lundy's "greatness" has done is to get them to adopt the mindset of a timid or frustrated underdog-- putting too much power in the opponent's hands.

I do believe, however, that had we not put Theo in goal for that first game, we would have won and the entire momentum might have been reversed.

I don't envy BB (and this is why I will have to decline an offer of his job if he ever gets fired). How do you reverse a momentum--much of which is mental?

I still think that the Caps will win the next two and it will be up to the third game. Any predictions? What do you think Philly will do tonight?

Posted by: caraveli | April 23, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happens in Game 5, or in Game 7 for that matter, please go home and throw sh t around before you toss stuff on the ice. Deal?

On the other hand, let's just win...

Posted by: Sonyask | April 23, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Hazz -- blood gets you extra time on a high stick, but not on roughing.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 23, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Hazz: I was also confused about that last night. Someone said it's because it was an elbowing call, not a high stick. With the elbowing call, there is no option for a double minor. For a high stick, there is. I think that's right, but I'm not completely sure, as you can tell.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Ah hah! Dan Rosen confirms my fears about making Lundy such a central focus

"After four mostly magnificent performances, it's fair to wonder if Lundqvist is now in the Caps' heads."

Why is BB treating him as unbeatable in his various comments?

Posted by: caraveli | April 23, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

On a high stick, it's not an automatic double minor if you draw blood. If a player draws blood on a high stick, it could be only a minor, not a double minor. It's up to the ref to decide.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Rachel that's true, but it's almost automatic. That's why you see guys trying to squeeze blood out of their scrapes after a high stick.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 23, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Caraveli: Agreed. If Varly started game 1, this series might be different. We seemed to get off the wrong foot.

SOOOO nervous tomorrow, it would break my heart if they lost at verizon.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I dont remember Claude Lemiuex getting suspended every teime he hit someone in the face. I dont remember Dale Hunter gettign suspended for beating the snot out of people (well, maybe sometimes; Turgeon was over the top). I've been reading a lot of whining about Avery. Yet, his team is on top. I dont see the Ducks taking that abuse, or the Sharks, or Calgary. For some reason, the Caps allow it to continue. If Brashear is only going to play 2 and a half minutes a game, why not make it a misconduct and finish Avery off once and for all?

Posted by: oo7 | April 23, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Win tomorrow night, Caps. We'll move on from there.

Posted by: saintex | April 23, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Rachel: I really don't think I can watch this game until I know it is going our way. I am so nervous. Hope the players don't share these emotions.

Posted by: caraveli | April 23, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Caraveli: Yup, it'd be nice if we went up 5-0 and just cruised through the game, so we don't have heart attacks. But I don't think it's gonna happen. :/ You think the Rangers will be a little laid back, knowing that the pressure is on us and they've got game 6 at MSG?

saintex: You're right. Caps have got to take it one game at a time. The minute they start thinking about the mountain they have to climb and start looking ahead, they'll be in trouble. Play game 5 hard, give everything you got, lay it on the line, and hopefully we live to fight another day. They usually win with their backs against the walls.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I remember the limousine incident after the playoff run.

I'm sure it led to the Caps not matching the offer for Scott Stevens when he was eligible for free agency.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 23, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Everyone remembers because we've talked about it multiple times before here.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 23, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

just saw the don cherry video w/ avery putting his stick at ovie's throat. what does it take to get suspended in this league? his hit on jurcina was intention (he tried twice) and dont think he doesnt know about pothier's concussions issues when he hits him in the head. sure hope the nhl wises up and suspends this guy at some point. i'm sure torterella would not be sad if that happened.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 23, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

how bout those bears

Posted by: wendel2 | April 23, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I think it was cstanton who made the point that Avery would have been considered somewhat average in the 70's and 80's. His type stands out now, but there used to be a time where every team tried to have one "enforcer and/or goon" (designated fighter) and one "instigator" (like Avery). I still puzzle over what a beautiful woman like Elisha Cuthbert saw in this jerk?
Anyway, can the Caps come back? The cards are stacked against them but anything is possible! I'm curious, does anyone remember the teams mood after going down 3 - 1 last year to the Flyers? The mood today at Kettler that Tarik describes eerily sounds like they may have given up. If that's the case the deal is done. I hope not. Go Caps!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 23, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

um, everything avery does is intentional, although he acts as if he's done nothing wrong.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I've been reading a lot of whining about Avery. Yet, his team is on top. I dont see the Ducks taking that abuse, or the Sharks, or Calgary. For some reason, the Caps allow it to continue. If Brashear is only going to play 2 and a half minutes a game, why not make it a misconduct and finish Avery off once and for all?

Posted by: oo7 | April 23, 2009 7:16 PM

right on. no xcuse to keep lettn avery skate on this. he would get killed on the ice by the ducks or flames

Posted by: maven1918 | April 23, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

agree bout the devls and canes, thats one intense series!

Posted by: maven1918 | April 23, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Yea Avery is a pest, and he shouldn't be in the league, but we needed to make him pay for those two dumb penalties late in the game. I wonder if Brash has ever challenged him?

Posted by: Osfan092589 | April 23, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

brash=useless

he hasnt been a factor

we need someone like clarkson

Posted by: maven1918 | April 23, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

It's looking like Flyers will get back to Wachovia with series at 3-2. Anything can happen.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

ummm how can Brash be a factor when he spends so little time on the ice?

Posted by: ebolean | April 23, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

boudreau does not trust brash to be on the ice the same way tortorella does not trust Orr

Posted by: maven1918 | April 23, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

philly forces game 6.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

The Flyers just showed their meddle and heart in getting their series to a game 6 on Saturday. Do we have the same fortitude to get our series to 6. We don't have guys like Knuble and Hartnell but we need A games from Fehr, Laich, Semin, Flash and Green

Posted by: diner99 | April 23, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, too bad for the Jackets. I was hoping for them to get at least one win in the series. Did not get a chance to see it, but what a fight from a low scoring team :)

Caps need to put up a good fight tomorrow night!

GO CAPS!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | April 23, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Yay! I just got back and checked the Phily score and they are beating the Pens badly. Somehow this makes me optimistic about our chances tomorrow. I don't know why but it does.

Fleury was their Lundquist at their last game. He stopped 45 out of 46 shots. And Phily outshot and outplayed them and yet lost 3-1--worst than us. So no goalie is invincible.

Yep, I know we will win tomorrow. Are you listening Ovie?

Ovie, by the way, must be a very confident and centered guy not to be afraid to read what folks say in blogs--which is often so nasty, even about him. As long as poor Theo, Nyls and Schultz don't read them....

Posted by: caraveli | April 23, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Does Ovechkin prefer Ovie or Ovi?

Posted by: _828 | April 23, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

carolina is playin hard but down by one with 4 min left in the 3rd

Posted by: ebolean | April 23, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

NJ/CAR- best series out of all the series. Very intense.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 23, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

we don't have guys like Hartnell and Knuble. That would/should be equivalent to the roles played by Laich and Fehr. And those 2 don't measure up quite as well. Laich of course is way better, Fehr is pretty ineffective most nights.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 23, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

i would like to see nylander and clark in for a final push. Keep Bradley in and take the other 2 from the fourth line out. brash adds no value. we need more scoring chances. add maybe a giroux from hersey to the mix.

Posted by: samb99 | April 23, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

bradley in over steckel or gordon?

no thanks.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 23, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm inclined to grab Giroux from Hershey too. That said, when you start mining your farm team to stay afloat and win an NHL playoff game you're pretty much dead in the water.

Posted by: oo7 | April 23, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

out gordon and brasher. frankly even bradley have a line of Nylander clark and giroux. giroux has shown the ability to generate scoring chances. We need more chances close in near the net. one could say that our current goalie varlamov has also been minned from the farm club. that seems to be working well.

Posted by: samb99 | April 23, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

yes, samba, things are working splendidly.
We've got em right where want em.

Posted by: oo7 | April 23, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

This might have already been posted, but: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4093153&name=09cupplayoffsblog
Apparently Greener has been ill.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 23, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

RE AVERY: the problem is that the refs are letting get him away with 2 minutes instead of 4 minutes penalties.
No need to suspend him - he will give the Caps a lot of help - if only the ref's would do their job!

Posted by: johnbear1 | April 23, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Caps are one transaction away from the Stanley Cup.

Posted by: Cheef | April 23, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

and that transaction better be a new GM

Posted by: maven1918 | April 23, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

nothing the caps can do now can stop this ball from rolling them over. I'd like to see Osala up here and Brash on the bench

at least OO can get in on the foooreeechck

Posted by: maven1918 | April 23, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I can say I don't always like what avery does. But in the bloodied nose thing, the refs didn't react untill they saw an injury than decided aftercthe fact itvwas a penalty, meaning, if there was no injury, there wasn't going to be a penalty. Also, I don't think he slashed that guy in the neck, he more like pushed his stick, he was trying to get it up, but I don't think he ment to get it that high on that one. Anyway, like I said, I don't always like it, but he rarely is out of control, even if he looks it, he is very calculated, he knows how to make players mad at him. The caps are all saying the right things but you know very well at least a few are looking to nail him, and if they get out of position to do so or take a penalty, he wins. And let's not pretend that avery is the only guy during a scrum to spear another player, both teams do it, and I see it every game, even from "good guys" like drury and gomez, it's just easier to get angry at avery for it.

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 24, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Johnbear1: I mentioned that the other day, as a rangerfan I expected avery would have to get 4 min for that, what did they call it, roughing, when he got that guy along the end boards. Now I don't think avery was trying to hit his face only, or trying to use the buttend of his stick, and I think that's why he isn't suspended. But he should have had a double minor due to the injury, or a major, it was odd to me, but so was the no call untill they saw blood.

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 24, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

rangerfan44:
i think i'll have to disagree a little. when he was called for goalie interference in gamee 2 or 3, i thought he pick up his foot and let the blade go into varly. his 'clip' of varly when he had his head turned the other way was on purpose. the butt end of the stick to juice's face did not appear to be an accident either. as he spun he lifted his arm/hand high and seemed to make sure it went high even though he could not be sure where it would end up. his last high sticking penalty also appeared that he could have kept control of his stick. i have no idea if he really intends on injuring or if he is trying to be on the edge all the time - but his play is a danger to other players on the ice. i don't believe he gets any breaks because this is an established pattern with him. if there were a 'three strikes' rule in the nhl - he days would be numbered. my fear is that someone that is tired of his antics will sucker punch him (or bertruzzi (sp?) him) and he'll end up with some major injury - which i wouldn't wish one anyone. he should try to keep himself in check - because at this point is it only a matter of time before someone snaps and goes bongos (ala semin) on him

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 24, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Cap, I didn't mean to say he was t meaning to go high when he spun around, I do think he was either trying to piss him off by slaking the boards in front of his face or by catching him high, but it's highly unlikly be was aiming for his nose, I mean, he only hit his nose, that would be a great shot, now it still needs to be penalized, but I don't think he was thinking " hit him in the face". On the goaltender int. I don't even think he tried to bump varlimov, he honestly looked off balance, when avery bumps a goali you know it. Also, never in averts career has he ever tried to hurt a player like that, even his worst intentanal high sticks were not to hurt badly, just sting and piss a player off. To suggest that suddeelny he would try to seriously hurt a palyer is off base, that's why he has so few suspensions in his career, he mY break the rules, he may get guys high or bump goalies, but rarely do you even see a bloody nose or more than some snow on a guys backside once he is done, there are many many more worse players in the NHL who injure guys, former ranger Ryan hollweg for one and his inability to hold up and not hit guys in the numbers for one.

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 24, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

The key to tomorrow is realizing we can't win 3 games all at once. The goal now is just to push the series back to NY and see if we can produce an effort needed to secure the win tomorrow. Get it back to NY, maybe it gets in their heads about coming back to Verizon for a Game 7. All you can do is take it one game at a time now. They did it last year I don't think it's impossible to pull it off again.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 24, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

rangerfan44:
i didn't mean to imply he is intentionally out to hurt someone - but the way he plays on the edge trying to agitate - specifically the play where he caught juice in the nose - could have just as easily been to his temple. my point was that he could not have been aware exactly where his arm/elbow/hand/stick would end up - but he was out to let juice know he was there. his play is at times borderline dangerous to other players on the ice. again, at some point someone will tire of his antics and i don't think the results of a retaliation probably won't be pretty.
for the most part his play is effective but i'm not to keen on his personality - it would seem that he is much the same off the ice as he is one it.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 24, 2009 2:33 AM | Report abuse

Ok I miss understood. My bad. I can say one thing about avery swinging around. I see alot of players do that, and half the time their arms make contact, or their stick, I always thought it was a cheap play, but rarely is their a penalty. It's the same thing as a guy crashing hard on a jumping hit into the boards behind a player who had ok g let the puck go, it's ment to get the them looking over their shoulder the next time they are in that position, someday a player will not miss and accidently nail a guy and probably hurt him, but the refs can't call a penalty for intent, so it goes on

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 24, 2009 2:52 AM | Report abuse

"It's a one game series now"

Is it really?

Not quite as bad as "Shoot it where they a'int", but still up there on the pantheon of dumb coach speak. Maybe one of these days we'll have an actual coach instead of a "joke" one.

Of course, considering that GMGM is still GM, fatonsis will stick it out a few more first-round exits before he stops eating and does something positive for this team.

And I wonder what all those newly purchased season ticket holders think of this current debacle...most likely the new coach and GM won't have to worry about such big crowds.

Posted by: soloman5000 | April 24, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Ovi is how it's spelled on his Web site.

http://www.alexovechkin8.com/

Posted by: saintex | April 24, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived and Solaman5000 must be the dumbest...unless that was just sarcasm

Posted by: boomer44 | April 24, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Should've called up some folks from Hershey. The current roster of Caps just isn't getting it done.

Posted by: FancyDan | April 24, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

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