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Boudreau: 'Maybe We Got Complacent'

As I mentioned earlier, Bruce Boudreau didn't go on the ice for an off-day practice for the first time in his tenure as Caps coach.

The reason, he said, was that he wanted time to thoroughly dissect the tape from last night's 4-3 loss before going through it, in painstaking detail, with the players in a team meeting.

"I wanted to make sure I got it all for the video session we were going to show," Boudreau said. "I wanted to get it right because I wanted to nip this in the bud. As much as I wanted to be on the ice, I thought this was the best time for me to make sure I got it right."

After practice -- which was run by assistants Bob Woods and Dean Evason -- the team gathered in the theater at KCI for a video session that ran about twice as long as typical ones.

"We had a lot to show," Boudreau said.

Two things bothered Boudreau most in the loss to the Rangers -- some players' decisions to ignore the game plan and freelance and a lack of work ethic, particularly in the third period when they were attempting to protect a lead on home ice.

"We really watch the tapes to put pre-scouting things together on how to put things together and how to beat other teams," he said. "Then when we go out there and don't do it on set plays, it really bothers us."

He called getting outworked by the Rangers a "coach's biggest nightmare" before adding that "sometimes you have to show it on the video in front of everybody for certain people to get the message."

Boudreau didn't go into specifics, but could have been talking about the Alexes' performance on the power play in the second period. First, the two-time MVP made a risky decision at the point that resulted in breakaway, then Alexander Semin, a few moments later, made a careless pass that resulted in a second breakaway for Ryan Callahan.

Asked whether some of that nonchalance could be coming from all of the preseason hype that's been heaped on the Caps, Boudreau shrugged and said: "That's always a possibility. Because people have been really quick to judge and anoint this team as one of the elite. But that only comes with hard work and effort. There's a reason Jerry Rice was the best. It's 'cause he worked the hardest. When you work the hardest, you usually become the best if you've got the talent. Maybe we got complacent."

The bad news for the Caps is that a lot of this sounds familiar. The good news for Boudreau is that he's got 78 games left to sort it out, beginning with tomorrow's game in Detroit.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 9, 2009; 2:09 PM ET
 
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Next: Theodore to Start Against Red Wings

Comments

Man now I'm already psyched. BRING IT THE F' ON!

Posted by: superpaqman | October 9, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one here who thinks Chris Clark is just DONE? He's done nothing even though he's apparently healthy. What the heck was he doing on the ice at the end of the game last night? Isn't that what Knuble was brought here to do?

Isn't it time to sit Boyd Gordon if he's going to take late penalties? Steckel so far thus year looks more like a fourh-line center than a third. All of this leads to:

ovechkin-backstrom-knuble
semin-nylander-fehr
fleischmann-morrison-laich
laing-steckel-bradley

And bring back Neuvirth!

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | October 9, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The hype was part of the problem last year, too. I say get rid of the MTV cameras, excess personal appearances, etc and focus on playing the game.

Posted by: CapsChick | October 9, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Nice post as always, Tarik. Thanks!

I agree with BB's sentiments. NOW is the time to get over themselves and start putting together 60 minutes of solid hockey per game. That's the main reason I was so upset by last night's loss--I HATE to see people look like they're not trying.

As far as lineups go, I'd like to switch Semin and Knuble, bring Pothier back in, and let Poti sit a game or two.

Posted by: wocoliz | October 9, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

did i not say 8-19-28 line got complacent? some donkey insisted i was wrong. the youngsters dont think they smell.

the Caps management needs to strip all reference to the star power of this team and work their young gun butts off. some experience and discipline is called for. I hope Bouds and team veterans are going to step it up.

Posted by: doughless | October 9, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, I'm glad Fehr's back. We sure need him.

Posted by: wocoliz | October 9, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like today's practice "should" light a fire under the players' arses! Time to take down the Wings of Red!! (in ehhh...28+ hrs)

Posted by: CapsKH | October 9, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau's point is perfect. I'm a Rangers fan and I try to give objective insights into your Caps. The Rangers simply wanted it more last night. I don't dispute the Caps have more talent, but the Rangers did those little things, particularly on the PK. Callahan is a 24 year old wearing the A because of his work ethic. His shorthanded goal after a minute long PK shift and on a second break away in 30 seconds is a good indication of what I'm saying. Not saying your team doesn't work hard, but sometimes to be a winner, you have to learn how to win (and i'm certainly not saying the Rangers are winners in that sense either). I think the Caps are incomplete as currently constituted.

That number 1 line must be broken up. I'd put Semin and Backstrom on a line together and Ovie and Knuble on a line together. I also think your experiment to see what D man can be trusted on tough defensive assignments is over and its clear whatever help is coming will be from outside the organization. In order to be an elite d-man, Green is going to have to begin to care about his 2 way game or else his presence on the point will always be a liability defensively. I also think Theodore has taken a lot of crap on these boards but he made a lot of good saves last night. the bigger question is why Gaborik was in your slot twice without being touched.

Posted by: JK111 | October 9, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh P.S. You guys (writers) need to change the link to the Bog. Lord knows we don't need Steinberg unleashing the fury here...

Posted by: superpaqman | October 9, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Gaborik used Poti as a screen on goal 4. don't think he saw the puck. JK111's point about why Gaborik was in the slot is a good one. as Bouds pointed out, the forwards are not playing their role on D. Finally, the penalty call on Brash in the 3rd was completely ridiculous. He was nowhere near Green.

Posted by: doughless | October 9, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, JK111.

I do appreciate your viewpoints, especially because you do it with respect and intelligence.

Posted by: CapsKH | October 9, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

doughless, I actually disagree with your point on Brashear, it was a trip. I had more of a problem on the Voros penalty, which was more ticky tack. The refs have been too inconsistent this season.

I think to add to what I said earlier, the problems plaguing your team won't prevent them from having a great regular season as they will beat up on so many lower tier teams. The issues are the kind that will prevent them from going deep in the playoffs and I think thats what your coach is saying.

Posted by: JK111 | October 9, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Shutlz got undressed early in the 2nd. The guy on the Rangers (not sure who) turned him inside out and went around him like he wasn't even there.

Posted by: griz0615 | October 9, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Whether it was our D men giving too much room, or our forwards not back checking, we cannot allow guys (especially with hands like Gaborik) to walk in like that.

Posted by: griz0615 | October 9, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

from section 421 it looked like Green lost his edge. didnt look close.

Posted by: doughless | October 9, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

ignoring serious problems like we have done with nyls and cap numbers might make sense to u but not me...

Posted by: wendel2 | October 9, 2009 1:45 PM

Haha maybe you'd rather be a fan of the Calgary Flames then? I'll take McPhee's cap management over Sutter's any day. To wit (from last April):

http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/psh/comments/calgarys_salary_cap_management/

"...One story that has not been adequately reported is the fact that the Calgary Flames, a team in a tight race for the Northwest Division, has been playing games with less than a full roster. The problem is that they have so little salary cap room that they have not been able to afford to dress a full lineup. Three defencemen, Robyn Regehr, Adrian Aucoin and Cory Sarich all suffered injuries, but none are serious enough to go on the long-term disabled list (especially given the fact this would keep them out of the beginning games of the Stanley Cup playoffs). The Calgary Flames have played their last three games with less than a full roster. They played last Friday’s game against Minnesota with only 16 skaters (instead of 18) and predictably lost 4-0. They played Monday and Tuesday’s games, against Los Angeles and Vancouver respectively, with 17 skaters..."

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 9, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

From sec111 it looked like he was tripped

Posted by: griz0615 | October 9, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks CapsKH, I really enjoy your boards. Its great to see the NHL doing so well in DC.

Posted by: JK111 | October 9, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

8 on the PP point is a mistake. The Caps have D that can play the point.

Putting four fowards (8, 28, 19, 9) out on the 4-3 was just stupid. I'm all for attacking, but that line-up resulted in a goal against.

Posted by: brihobbs | October 9, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The defense problems can be solved by more aggressive back checking by the forwards. Check the seperation between forwards and defense while defending a rush by the capitals and against the capitals.

The oppenents D can step up and challenge the rush because the forwards are backchecking and closing the gap between between the d-men and forwards. Even if the d-man is beat the backchecking forward is in position to help, assuming the d-mean can slow the rushing forward for a second.

The caps forwards(8-19-28) do not back check or get back quick enough to close the gap with the d, so the d are hesiitant to step up since no help is coming.
Also, the first pass last night by the d was ussually a blind give away near the blueline.

Theo played great except for a 2 point blank shots and 2 shots from an unmolested sniper in the slot. My point, I would have scored with those oppurtunities.(Before you laugh did play and was invited to nhl camp in the past)

Poti needs to sit and watch some tape, Schultz needs to stop over-committing to the outside move on the rush( I posted before, he needs to let the player have the outside and ride him into the corner or end-boards), green needs to lift weights and the first line needs to back check on the clear.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | October 9, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@cadlecreek: 19 is a fabulous backchecker who goes unnoticed because 8 and 28 are lackadaisical. Anyone who doesn't notice that has not been watching him at all.

Posted by: snakegriffin | October 9, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey JK111,

Thanks for the insight. I agree on all points. But the statement has been made in a few places that we have 78 games to get it situated. I disagree with that. We don't have to get it together now, but the longer we wait the farther down the ladder we will fall and this isn't the eastern conference of the past decade. It is loaded and won't be easy to climb back and steal a playoff spot a la us 2 years ago and the ugh Pens barf last year.
I'm not saying we are in danger of missing out on the playoffs, not at all, if this team doesn't improve they are still top 4 in the East. Philly had a huge PP advantage at home and needed a fluke goal and then overtime to win. and last night we played uninspired and the Rags came out like gang busters the whole game, and they needed a PP and a crappy defensive play by us to tie it up and win it in the 3rd. We are still a great team but we won't win 4 playoff series playing like this.

Posted by: GreenerLife | October 9, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The stanley cup is not an individual award.
I was referring to the whole line, although you are correct the Alex's are most to blame and Backstrom is ussually pretty good at getting back. Watch the tape on a couple of giveaways in the neutral zone from last night and you will see Backstrom hesitate getting back with the look of 'really, I have to turn and back check again'

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | October 9, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Cadle creek,
I agree with everything other than what was already said. Backstrom (19) is a very responsible defensive forward and i would argue that if he was on the wings he would be mentioned with Datsy and Zetterberg in the same breath as a two way forward. But he doesn't have Lidstrom and Rafalski and Kronwall(well could have him) and the defensive forwards they play with on the Wings to make his numbers better.

Posted by: GreenerLife | October 9, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

GreenerLife, here's where my Rangers perspective differs a bit from your Capitals perspective. You're right that there was a crappy defensive play in the 3rd that led to a goal, but you also can't discount the gift goal by Backstrom in the 3rd. In other words, if you can disavow goals, you have to recognize that on both sides in order to be fair. Also, the first goal by Semin was off a huge defensive breakdown by the Rangers. Semin slid in on the far side of the ice with no coverage while all 5 Rangers on the ice were either on the near side or in the slot. That was blown coverage.

The idea being you can't write off goals. A goal is a goal. Yes the Rangers needed a PP goal and a crappy defensive play to tie it up and win it, but the Caps needed a fluke goal to tie it and a PP to take the lead in the 3rd.

Posted by: JK111 | October 9, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

JK111,

I wouldn't break up 8-19 but your point is well taken on the line as a whole. I think Knuble on line 1 with Semin on 2 is a little better match. That way we have two scorers, two workers/net guys, and two good passing centers spread out. I think 8-19 will be together forever and they should be.

The PP has confused me, even last year. Point play has always been an issue because both AO and Green like to sneak down and score and way too many pucks are cleared along the boards - easy pucks, pucks that don't get out against other teams. I just don't think that's the natural place for two guys who like to score. I'd like to see 8-19-21 or 22 down low with 2 and 23 at the points. The second unit could be 28-9-21 or 22 not used above with 3 and 4 at the point. I know that leaves Green off the PP - and he scored a ton from there last year, but I think the D can run the points and let the scorers work in down low. I think if we kept more pucks in the zone and had some guys QB'ing at the line, the PP would be even better than it was last year.

of course, I'm just flapping my lips - nothing against any of the guys...

Posted by: saintex | October 9, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

What do the wings have the caps don't. hint it is shiny, really cool,holds 18 beers and has the entire teams name on it.

Most goals are scored on mistakes, the problem is the caps and certain caps keep making the same mistakes.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | October 9, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

hey mentalcapsfan........ flames are 4 and 0 what is your point?

Posted by: wendel2 | October 9, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

It's early and I am still withholding final judgment, but so far it is new year same problems. Can look like they did against the Bruins, but more often than not fail to play a 60 minute game.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 9, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The Flames story was from last season, but used for the purpose of illustrating that ALL teams that spend close to the cap are playing with fire, not just the Capitals. It's a leaguewide issue at this point, and only teams with owners that implement their own self-imposed salary cap (at some level below the NHL mandated number) will steer clear of these issues. Does anyone here really want the Caps to spend $40 million or $45 million or $50 million? Even if Nylander were to be moved, the dollars that were freed up would be spent on other assets. For more perspective, go to http://nhlnumbers.com/ or http://www.capgeek.com/ or http://www.hockeybuzz.com/cap-central/ and see how many other teams are also in cap jeopardy.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 9, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are nowhere near "elite", especially as a team.

Elite players ? Yes, 2 or 3.
Elite Team ? Ha

Boudreau is running out of time, his act is getting old.

Posted by: LarryDavid | October 9, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

From Steven Hindle/Hockeybuzz...

"A Note on Theo and Is It Time For McPhee to Consider Trading Draft Picks?"

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Steven-Hindle/A-Note-on-Theo-and-Is-It-Time-For-McPhee-to-Consider-Trading-Draft-Picks/98/23554

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 9, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

JK111, thanks for your perspective and your reasoned presentation. Posts like that are what keep me coming back to this board day after day--I'm still learning the nuances of the game and enjoy reading a wide variety of viewpoints.

saintex, I'm with you on the PP. Hope they work on that before the Wings game!

Posted by: wocoliz | October 9, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

JK111,
Great point. I am not too stubborn to admit when i'm being a homer. Too many times I don't look at it from the other perspective. But you can't deny that you guys came out hungrier and played smarter and tougher hockey, and it was still anybody's game until the buzzer sounded so I am taking the positives from that.

Posted by: GreenerLife | October 9, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

If BB keeps winning division titles he's out of here. I'm okay with getting one game from the conference finals last year. One more step this season.

The team is offensive not defensive. That won't change.

I love watching them, it hurts at times, but is well worth every minute.

Posted by: saintex | October 9, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I am not overly concerned about last night, if we can get through this crazy stretch of scheduling against good teams around .500, we should be ok...even though, we should beat the rangers, but they wanted it more...

@ therealoneal
i disagree with like 90% of what you say...and as for you trying to get nylander on this roster, bad idea...also, stecks is great, you need to learn to love him, cause he is very, very important for the success of this team with his defensive work and draws against other top centers...also, clark looks legitimately fast again (not that he was ever fast, per se', but for him) and his hands will come back soon enough, so def. keep him on the roster
with fehr, the lines should be...
ovech/backs/semin
laich/BMO/knuble
fehr/stecks/clark
bradley/gordon/laing
which, is, i think, EXACTLY what boudreau is doing, the 1st and 2nd lines are playing great, so dont try and fix what aint broke...
the defense is a problem, but i am just going to blame everything on poti being sub-par and erskine, pothier has earned an every-night roster spot, so the rotators should be erskine/shultz and maybe jurcina, but jurcina is much better than both of those guys, so he should rarely be left out...

Posted by: cotelloer | October 9, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

So much panic 4 games into the season...for a team that's 2-1-1 no less. Ovechkin definitely had an off night, and not just the giveaways. Although I would to have loved to have seen what would have happened with 5 more seconds at the end of the 1st...

That top line was bound to have a game when they got too cute with the puck eventually, and it killed us on our PP. That 2nd period last night was just horrible. We also missed some very open chances to build a bigger lead in the game early on. I wish Ovechkin would have just shot on that one play in the 1st even though he set up Clark for a tap in.

I didn't think Theo did well on the goals he allowed, but especially early on he actually was very solid. His timing on those softies was just horrible.

It struck me on the way home from the game last night how lackluster our energy lines were and have been. A big key to this is the fact we don't have those secondary scoring threats in Fehr and Flash right now. Steckel is a guy who I think has the potential to score 15-20 goals in a season, but he hasn't been as effective as he was in the playoffs so far this season.

Honestly defensively I don't think Green has been too bad. ShaMo has probably been our most consistent D man up to this point. I really felt Erskine should sit a game and not Juice, but I think he was left in the lineup with Brash coming back to town.

The PP going 1 for 9 isn't going to happen every night, and it was a huge part of the loss last night, especially considering it essentially gave up a shortie even though technically it was a 4 on 4 goal. D and goaltending haven't been great the last few games, but we're only 4 games into the season. Until those 2 goals in the 3rd last night I thought Theodore had been solid so far. I think Varly should get another shot in Detroit.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | October 9, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

What am I missing here? People calling for changes on the top two lines? WTF? Is it my imagination or are those two lines NOT the problem. What else can you ask of those guys? Score a million points so we can hide the problems in defense? or the lack of discipline on the other lines?

And what is with the so called Journalist on this blog?
"Boudreau didn't go into specifics, but could have been talking about the Alexes' performance on the power play in the second period."
BB didn't mentioned but I would insinuate that the problem is the Alexes? Give me a break. This guys have made their share of errors, but they are not even close to being the problem.
Geez!! Give me a break. It is only the 4th game of an 82-game season and the maniacs and its leader are out in force.

Posted by: hock1 | October 9, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

LarryDavid,
Are you kidding? That's a joke right? Bou has turned this team around. Do you remember all the years post lockout? Do you remember the season he came in right around Thanksgiving, because it wasn't too long ago that Bou was the coach of the year and took this team from last place to third. And we were second in the east last year and then we ran into a great goaltender in the first round and the eventual champions in the second and got knocked out of the playoffs. What about every other coach who hasn't coached their teams to a Stanley Cup by their second year, and not even second full year at that. Give him some time

Posted by: GreenerLife | October 9, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

@GreenerLife: You're new here, aren't you? LD is a well-known troll.

Posted by: snakegriffin | October 9, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin goes down, so do the Caps.

This team is thin.


Posted by: LarryDavid | October 9, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Trade Clark now, before it's too late (again).

Call Semin into the office to make a deal (now), otherwise he's not coming back.

Sign Backstrom yesterday.

Finally pull the trigger on the D-man that's been 10 years overdue.

Posted by: LarryDavid | October 9, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Franzen out 4 months with torn ACL. The climb just got steeper for Detroit.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | October 9, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Snake griffin,
Thanks for the heads up because i was about to write a novel telling him why he needs to fall down a well hole.

Posted by: GreenerLife | October 9, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Greenerlife, no doubt you guys were in this thing from beginning to end. When the Rangers play teams like the Caps and Pens, its a scary proposition. Its almost as if the Rangers have to play the perfect game to win. sometimes I also get the sense that to a certain extent, Lundqvist gets into the Cap's heads a bit and they try to be a bit too fine in their shots on goal, such as Ovie's couple of passes on the PP last night. That was something that it took 5 or 6 games in the playoffs last year to really work through for the Caps before they solved Lundqvist.


LarryDavid, Semin and Backstrom are restricted free agents next year, they're not going anywhere. The Caps just have to make a qualifying offer to retain them and have the right to match any other teams' offer. Interestingly though, the Caps have only 3 D men signed for next year. Pothier, Morrisonn, Jurcina and Schultz are FAs

Posted by: JK111 | October 9, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Man, Theo Fleury is now saying he was abused by a junior hockey coach. No wonder he took to drinking and cut a great career short. He was always one of my favorite players.

Posted by: snakegriffin | October 9, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually pleased they are all FA's...because this is their year to prove they deserve to be considered anything resembling a top 6 D man. Also we have Alzner and Carlson in the pipeline.

Calm down the panic...we still have issues in the back and in goal but we knew that. Last night's game we were tepid from the start. That wasn't anyone's best effort or anything close.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | October 9, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

all this yak doesn't matter....its a long season filled with ups and downs...just gotta make the playoffs and be in a situation in which they are playing well...playing well now doesn't mean jack..

the defensemen are soft on opposing forwards (i.e. Higgins last night), get outhustled, and are getting diddly from the 3rd - 4th line or the defensemen as far as scoring chances....both goalies are letting in some soft stuff and can only be considered average to this point...its gonna take more than this to go far in the playoffs...thankfully BB is here and as the saying goes "In BB, we trust".

Posted by: outrbnksm | October 9, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

UNACCEPTABLE POST FROM LAST THREAD:

@fanohock1

Here you go again with accusing ppl of not being true fans!! Who do you think your are to judge who is a fan and who isn't??? Be grateful that enough ppl come on here and show compassion for the team they love. Just because not everyone sucks Green's d*ck like you, doesn't mean they aren't true fans.

Once again, get off your eye horse.

Posted by: JD09 | October 9, 2009 2:18 PM


Are you kidding me JD09. Amazing how bold the www has made people. What I mean by true fans are ones that will accept that there are going to be good days and bad days. Your response is immature as heck.

Tell you what, you are as qualified to rag on the Caps and their performance as I am to rag on your performance at work. Because you tune them in or check on their standings in the Post, or visit Verizon 10 times a year doesn't give you the right to vent. Amazing that you have think you have that right, these are people, heck for the most part these are kids, and you treat them like friggin' animals.

I'll tell you what I will be as immature as you. You $uck at your job, you need to be fired and we need to bring in a recent college graduate to do your job because you are worthless. I don't care if you had a productive year last year, or even last week, you sucked yesterday and you should be fired.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Our 3rd and 4th lines aren't scorers but they're not shut down defenders either. Those lines, lack of a top 4 D-men and inconsistent goal tending will keep this team from being truly elite game-in, game-out. But flaws are what us DC fans have come to point out ad nauseum.

Posted by: visionof75 | October 9, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

LarryDavid:
maybe true - but not as old as yours

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 9, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I do think they should move Semin to the second line and Knuble to the first to pick up Ovie's rebounds. You can't break up Ov and Backs. The second line has no sniper right now and desperately needs Semin. The D and goal tending are large areas of concern. Theo just isn't built enough to be an elite netminder in the NHL, even though he makes some great saves, he's just not big enough. Varly is too inexperienced to be #1. The D is dreadful. They'd be better playing guys from Hershey.

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | October 9, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Both the first and second lines are producing sick numbers. I just dont think the SOB line is the correct line for playoff hockey... not enough grit.

The Rangers are a good team, they outworked the Caps in our own buidling after a heartbreaking loss to the Flyers. That is disturbing.

The Caps are a team fueled heavily on emotion. Lundqvist said after the game how the Caps are like night and day after they score a goal, that you need to be on them to take them out of their game. Lundqvist was right.

Posted by: cirrus_nine | October 9, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I can't help but laugh.

Perception is reality.

Posted by: LarryDavid | October 9, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I dont know about you guys but Mike Green is just playing bad hockey dating back to end of last year. I am having flashbacks of another jim carey

Posted by: capcrazy | October 9, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Franzen out with ACL tear, imagine that being Ovechkin.

Caps GM is a complete joke, zero substance.

Posted by: LarryDavid | October 9, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Semin sure had a lot of turnovers last night.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 9, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

@adhardwick (from Previous Thread),

I grieve with thee. I'm also a Cardinals fan as well as a Caps fan. (I'm also a Nats and Orioles fan in baseball.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

LarryDavid:
also could be true
but a warped perception can only be a warped reality not actual reality

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 9, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Keep it simple.
Agressive but not angry.
Don´t allow anything close to the goalie.
The game last until the end.

Rangers was better!

Posted by: Hookey | October 9, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Caps do better tomorrow. And that Bouds read them the riot act.

My thoughts: The performance of our top two lines in even strength situations is the least of our worries at the moment. The OBS line has scored in all games, multiple times. The KLM line had scored in the first three games but not vs the Rangers.

I do feel we need to tweak the PP because it's been downright pathetic. The guys seem to get cuter in Power play situations than in even strength. What's up with that? We squandered a 2 man advantage when Green got a penalty. And squandered another PP with a penalty.

What would I do? First off, Green playing all 2 minutes of PP is probably too much. Same is true of Ovi. Occasionally we can do it but not all the time. We reach diminishing returns in productivity after a point for anyone's shift on ice. Put Knuble on the first PP unit so he can do the rebound thing. I know we'll use most of the same cast of characters but they may need to be rearranged.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

why was bb so angry in his interview? Was it because the 3 and 4 lines arent scoring and gave up a goal? Or was it that his young guns still do what they want to and ignore the system in selfish brain cramps?
This team still hasnt bought into the team first idea of defense and i think bb knows this......i think he is not really happy about it either. ps having nyls hanging around making millions for skating circles in practise probably irks him a bit as well

Posted by: wendel2 | October 9, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

IJK111

Congratulations on your team's win last night. Thoughtful comments as always. When you say that "the Caps are incomplete as currently constituted," are you referring to a specific type of player with specific skill sets that the current roster is missing, or the chemistry, work ethic etc. of the current team?. I keep changing my mind about what the missing piece is.

Do most people agree that the current pool of D men here and in Hershey just does not have the talent we need to have a great defense? Is this a case when developing home-grown talent is not enough and we need to go outside?

I love it when BB does not get caught up in others' enthusiasm over a new star or recent success and points out that a lot of work is needed to really be great. He did this when Varly became an overnight sensation and he is doing it when people prematurely annoint the Caps with elite status. Good for him.

That number 1 line must be broken up. I'd put Semin and Backstrom on a line together and Ovie and Knuble on a line together. I also think your experiment to see what D man can be trusted on tough defensive assignments is over and its clear whatever help is coming will be from outside the organization. In order to be an elite d-man, Green is going to have to begin to care about his 2 way game or else his presence on the point will always be a liability defensively. I also think Theodore has taken a lot of crap on these boards but he made a lot of good saves last night. the bigger question is why Gaborik was in your slot twice without being touched.

Posted by:

Posted by: caraveli | October 9, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@Davethecapsfan

Read your post. Agree with many of the points.

Yes, the absence of Flash and Fehr is having a more profound effect than people anticipated. Our bottom two lines are a disaster at the moment. Their absence has pretty much messed up our flexibility for line assignments. We've had zero goals from any one who's not one of our top 6 forwards. No goals from the 3rd and 4th lines. No goals from any defensemen. We've had 4th line forwards (Laing) playing the 3rd line. And AHL's playing the 4th line.

Yes, we Caps fans do tend to get too pessimistic at times since we've been through too much heartbreak.

While the OBS gang certainly have had their share of mistakes last night, they're the only ones who produced anything. This year -- they've been fine on even strength but not go great on the PP. (They're not the only culprits on the PP. Our PP, as a whole, needs work.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I just dont think the SOB line is the correct line for playoff hockey...

Posted by: cirrus_nine | October 9, 2009 4:51 PM

Umm, playoffs start in April, not October. But, to address the issue of moving Knuble to the top line, maybe Semin being there simply comes down to speed (or the lack thereof). In an inty at the beginning of camp, Knuble was asked what it was like being out there with Ovie/Backstrom for the first time. He replied that it was much faster than it seemed when watching/playing against them as a member of the opposition and implied that it was hard to keep up. The dude is 37 yrs old and is not a speedster. He may yet see time there due to injury/coach's decision, but it seems a little premature to shut down Ovie/Backs/Semin when they are top 3 in the league in the important offensive categories - http://www.nhl.com/ice/statshome.htm#?navid=nav-sts-league

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 9, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes. I fully support the breakage of the two top lines, it will complete a total dysfunctional group, and this team would have been 4-0 and still on hunt for a play-off spot. LOL. Whatever water you guys are drinking, stop now!!! It is killing some brain cells.

Posted by: opita1 | October 9, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

JK111---very classy and astute post.

Tarik, thanks for the article on what BB is thinking and doing. I feel so confident that he is a terrific coach. He doesn't get giddy when things are going well, and he doesn't panic when things need to be fixed. I'll try to take a page from his book.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 9, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Franzen out with ACL tear, imagine that being Ovechkin.

Caps GM is a complete joke, zero substance.

Posted by: LarryDavid | October 9, 2009 5:04 PM


*offers food to the troll* haha in a salary cap world where you can't out spend the opposition to try to win (see late 2000s Rangers w/ Glen Sather as GM) it SHOULD go without saying that any team that loses one of it's top players is in a heap of trouble (except maybe the Flightless Birds since they have 2 of the top 3 players in the League). *takes food away*

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 9, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"That number 1 line must be broken up. I'd put Semin and Backstrom on a line together and Ovie and Knuble on a line together. "

And that will improve the defense? goalies? or maybe goals a game?

Posted by: opita1 | October 9, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Make that early 2000s pre-salary cap era Rangers under Sather. Whatever, LarryDavid makes me chuckle, though his TV show is much better.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 9, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

defense wins championships, it's as simple as that. even the edmonton oilers of the 1980's, the most prolific offensive team in the history of all team sports won all those cups with their defense more than with their offense in the playoffs.

BB can talk defense all he wants but till he actually holds everyone, I mean EVERYONE accountable for all their mistakes on defense, nobody is gonna pay attention to what he's saying. that means next time OV gives away the puck like he did last night which led directly to the first Ranger goal, he SHOULD sit on the bench for a while.

Posted by: joek443 | October 9, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"That number 1 line must be broken up. I'd put Semin and Backstrom on a line together and Ovie and Knuble on a line together. "

And that will improve the defense? goalies? or maybe goals a game?

Posted by: opita1

Apparently it will improve this team immensely. We will have the best defense and goalies on the league, and it takes from the cellar on goals a game.

"Tarik, thanks for the article on what BB is thinking" - dccitizen1

I agree, I envy people who can tell what others are thinking.

Posted by: hock1 | October 9, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Nylander collected his game check yesterday for $67,073.17 (gross). To date, he's collected $124,146.34. If he's working for me, I put him to work and collect at least something on my investment. 2nd, 3rd or 4th line - I put him to work. He's better than half the O out there. Continue to sit him does not make any sense!

Posted by: puckman | October 9, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

@hock1

You made some good points. Yes, we're having too much panic but, as they say, pessimism, thy name is Caps fan.

Agree that the productivity of our top two lines (at even strength) is the least of our worries. Since the KLM line had scored in the first 3 games and the OBS line has scored in all, that's not our problem.

The D and goaltending have been problems. The 3rd and 4th line have done nada. The only people who have scored this year have been our top two lines.

The power play has been poor. The units need some reorganizing. Why do the guys play less disciplined on the PP than at even strength"

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Correction, to date his collected $268,292.68, is healthy and hasn't even been able to wear a game jersey & sit on the bench!

Posted by: puckman | October 9, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

For historical reference, the Nylander situation is somewhat similar to the Bobby Carpenter situation back in 1986. I'll repost the link to the story:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1065620/1/index.htm

In a nutshell, it explains how the relationship deteriorated between Carpenter and then Coach Bryan Murray and then GM David Poile which resulted in Carpenter being sent home for several weeks and subsequently being traded to the Rangers for Mike Ridley and Kelly Miller (a great trade by the way).

While it's not an exact fit to the current discourse between Nylander and the team, it does go to show that these situations come up from time to time and eventually work themselves out. Nylander will never get a game sweater with the Caps again due to the chance he could be injured in a game, which would erase any chance of him being moved. Once he gets tired of sitting, he will waive his NMC and allow the Caps to pass him through waivers for the purpose of having another team pick him up and take half his salary. 'Til then, if you want to see him skate, better take a hike down to Kettler.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 9, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Poll: Who should start tomorrow against Detroit--Theo or Varly?

Posted by: caraveli | October 9, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I have little time to contribute to this board on a regular basis due to family matters. However, I believe quite a few of you on this board are absolutely correct in your assessments. The troubling aspect of this equation is that the same players continue to make the SAME mistakes. As Coach B stated today, these guys are not rookies. They have been in the system for a while but continue to fall back on bad habits. Someone said a trade will have to occur to improve several aspects of the team. I agree, the chemistry is lacking on this team. Several pieces of the proverbial puzzle are still missing. Trading several of the players on the current roster would be painful for some but is probably a necessity if this team wants to build on last year's accomplishments.

I figured Knuble with his ability to crash the net, was acquired to skate on the top line with OV. Instead Coach B has placed all their eggs in one basket by placing Semin on the top line. The Capitals need to have two solid scoring lines not one. Lines 3 and 4 are too inconsistent.

Coach B also needs to send a message to 8 and 28 that back checking is a priority and must become a part of their respective games. If the message is tuned out then sit them. Obviously, that move would be quite controversial but Coach B might need to make a point. Sometimes you have to wonder if the players tune him and his assistants out. At times, the player's individual efforts on the ice speaks volumes.

Posted by: jnjensor | October 9, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Nylander will not get tired on sitting. If a potential trade comes to fruition and it's a team Michael wants to play for, he will waive the NMC.

As I have said before, with his salary hit of $5.5 mil (now $5.23 mil), not many (or any at all) can fit him under the cap.

If he moves at all, it will be after the Olympics. At that time, his cap hit will be in the neighborhood of $1.34 mil. Similar to the situation Federov was in when we traded for him. The big difference there was that Sergei was skating everyday.

Posted by: puckman | October 9, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

See the funny thing is all of the bad stuff we saw out of the SOB line last night they HAD been doing for the most part in the previous games. BB even stated that he told them what they had to do to play together and "so far so good" but that it was early.

Every team has bad games, Ovechkin isn't going to post 3 points a game every game, no one could. Semin had a nice goal and some other nice play but also quite a bit of careless passes in high danger areas. Sometimes they need to realize the other D will try to take away the seam passes and not throw them into their shin pads knowing the position they are in trying a pass like that could generate an odd man rush the other way.

Timely goaltending and good D go hand in hand. If you have breakdowns in both at the same time a couple of times a game stuff will look real bad.

It'll be nice to have our full compliment of NHL players and the right guys sitting out among our D men until they pick up their play. 2-1-1 is terrible I know.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | October 9, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

jnjensor

I couldn't agree more: "The troubling aspect of this equation is that the same players continue to make the SAME mistakes." This is why I find it so disheartening to feel like we are right back to the obstacles we faced last year.

I am waiting to hear: WHO DO YOU THINK SHOULD START TOMORROW?

Posted by: caraveli | October 9, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

As soon as neuvy is ready,BRING EM ON! And as far as you people the say'o dont worry,is still the beginning of the season,plenty of time'.well thats all fine and all but when the coach of the team seems to be in panic mode and is worried about the team,well i think that validates me for being worried.caps need to fix the issue and fix it fast!I'll always be diehard caps fan and nomatter how they play i support them but i just know this is a better team then what theyve showed.GET IT TOGETHER.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | October 9, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

MetalCapsFan, you broke my heart linking to that article...you fleeced the Rangers with that one!! That was when Phil Esposito was the GM and traded anything not nailed down. Later, the Rangers turned around and dealt Carpenter out west to the Kings for Marcel Dionne (at the end of his storied career)

Caraveli: i meant that the team needs to shake up the lines and you guys desperately need some more grit, especially along the blue line. I don't think that your goalie situation is that bad and will improve over time with 2 top flight kids in the system. If I were McPhee (former Ranger by the way...had to point it out, as was Glen Hanlon), I'd have made the Pronger deal and I think it would have paid dividends. Pronger is a saavy vet who has been through the playoffs a few times, can slow the game down, punish people in the corner, add in some offense and give you a little grit. If I'm not mistaken, he's been voted the guy that the most NHL don't want to play against. The draft picks are not a huge deal since they'd be end of the first round anyway and I'd have given a kid or 2 from the system. In the new NHL, you have a 3-4 year window to win with the way your team is constituted because of the salary cap. If you're constantly waiting for kids to come through the pipeline, its always going to be about next year. I'd pull the trigger to win now. I'm sure there are many who would disagree with me though

Posted by: JK111 | October 9, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli


How about ....... Stretch in goal.

(Okay, I'm kidding!)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Bears at Wilkes-Barre tonight...middle of the 2nd...Bears leading 1-0 on a goal by Darren Reid. Holtby in goal.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 9, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Bears at Wilkes-Barre tonight...middle of the 2nd...Bears leading 1-0 on a goal by Darren Reid. Holtby in goal.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 9, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Oops! Double post...sorry.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 9, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he's not "the answer", but put Nylander in the lineup for a few games. Shake things up. Although line one is dynamic, I'd move Knuble up to that line and move Semin to the 2nd line. The 4th line should be hitting and checking with reckless abandon, they aren't. The goaltending is an issue. So far both have played brilliant for the first 2 periods and awful for third. Defense is iffy. While sitting at last night's game I kept having a recurring scary thought: suppose Green's super year was a fluke. I hope I'm wrong because his threat from the blue line has to be real to free up other offensive options.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | October 9, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

3rd period, Bears lead 2-0, goal by Boyd Kane.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 9, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

JK111, I enjoy your posts and appreciate your outside perspective. I think the reason GMGM did not get Pronger was because the price was just to high. My understanding was that acquiring Pronger would have cost the Caps Alzner, Varly, and Neuvy in a trade. Now let's be honest, as good as he likely is, he is simply not good enough to give up those three in a trade.

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | October 9, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Final score: Bears 3 -- WBS 0
Holtby gets the shutout.
Goals by Darren Reid, Boyd Kane, Keith Aucoin.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 9, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

tess2201, thanks so much for the Hershey results!

Posted by: wocoliz | October 9, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks UnleashtheCaps. I wouldn't do that deal either. From what I've read about Alzner, he's a very responsible d man in his own zone and obviously the 2 goalies are bit much. So no, i wouldn't do that deal.

I'd also like to point out the Red Wings signed Brad May a few days back. As far as I'm concerned, the Red Wings are the best run franchise in the NHL and speaks volumes about the role of a tough guy in hockey. The Red Wings don't make mistakes. I said that the Caps need a tough guy in the lineup a few days ago on your boards, and I continue to say it. There are tough guys that aren't defensive liabilities out there. You guys need more "sandpaper" in your lineup

Posted by: JK111 | October 9, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

@tess2201

Agree with you. Thanks for the Hershey update.

In the long term, will we have a dark horse candidate for the goalie of the future; i.e. Holtby. For some reason, I like that kid.

(I also like Varlamov, even though he's struggling. In many ways, Varly reminds me of my younger child, even though he's 3 years older.) Although he's not the only Cap with similarities to her. She shared a nickname with Milan Jurcina. (Yes, "Juicy" was her nickname in first grade.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

@JK111

In the enforer department, I hear that Brandon "Sugar" Sugdin injured his knee.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

@UnleashTheCaps

Agree with you that sending Varly, Neuwirth and Alzner in exchange for Pronger would have been too much. Well, the Ducks were certainly being greedy enough.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

@JK111

You have some interesting perspectives, as a Ranger fan. I assume you've lived much of your life in NY. I consider NY a fun place to visit but have not been there in years.

I don't hate New Yorkers. Just disagree with New Yorkers on sports rooting interests.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

@unleash,

I thought GMGM said it was Varly OR Nuewirth, but who knows. One might be ok, but two is a deal killer. Realistically, GMGM is holding out hope that one will be a Vezina-worthy goalie. Is it Varly, is it Nuewirth, is it both? Who knows. We will see. I could see GMGM saying no deal to trading either. Remember that the Flyers new goalie is a psycho.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 9, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond

Yes, our defense and goaltending are issue-matic at the moment. Why does the goaltending fall apart in Period 3? Our third and fourth lines have done nada this year.

The first and second lines are the least of our worries at the moment. The second line had produced well for the first three games (which is why they were left intact.) Yes, I wondered how the skill sets of Laich and Knuble would fit together on the same line but the line had worked well in Games 1-3.

I hope your nightmare of Green's monster season being a fluke is not true. We need other offensive options.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond

If I remember correctly, Nylander's not a disaster when matched up with Flash and Fehr. When Fehr was on his goal scoring streak, he was on a line with Flash and Pick a Center (i.e. Backstrom, Fedorov, Steckel, Nylander).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Capsfan75, I am from NY and have lived here all my life. For a hockey fan, the best thing about living in this market is that there are 3 local teams playing on TV all the time. The bad part is that the other 2 teams have won a combined 7 Stanley Cups over the past 30 years, whereas my team has won one. To me, thats what makes us Rangers fans pretty loyal, since we could have jumped ship and rooted for 2 other local franchises who have had more success. Or maybe we enjoy being tortured.

I think us NYers are a little different than a lot of other sports cities since we have at least 2 teams in every sport, so often, our biggest rivals aren't in another city. NY is definitely a baseball city first but the fact that 3 hockey franchises can exist within about 40 miles of one another tells you how popular hockey is around here, even if the Isles are in danger of moving. So much of that has to do with the Rangers, who have been around since the 20s. I mean, literally my father and grandfather rooted for the Rangers as kids and its that kind of tradition that keeps a franchise strong.

Posted by: JK111 | October 9, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Lets just go with the original plan for 09

Ovie-Backstrom-Knuble (isn't this why he's here?)

Semin-Morrison-Laich (in a Knublesque role)

Flash- Clark/Nylander (at this point I think I'd prefer Nyls over Clark) -Fehr//the converted D man name escapes me (similar role as Laich)

Bradley-Steckle-Gordon

Posted by: congero | October 9, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

This post has come full circle.

I made my line recommendations at the beginning, some dude who's been a Caps fan for five minutes said I was stupid..

Now at the end of the list comes a line-up that's pretty similar to the one I proposed.

This team is capable of rolling out three lines that can score, especially once Fleischmann and Fehr come back (and in the Caps' defense, it is possible that that is what they're waiting for). But Nylander would have to be a part of that mix as well.

And the defense of Chris Clark on this board is shocking. He was fine in bad days post lockout.. but he just looks awful out there. Maybe I'm not seeing what some people are seeing -- I'll keep looking. But I think once Fehr and Fleischmann are back there's no place in that top 12 for Clark.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | October 10, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

@caraveli: okay, put Varly in goal next, although I would like to take a look at Neuwirth if that would be possible. No matter what, as has been made abundantly clear in the past couple of games, our offensive and defensive players need to step up the defensive play so that the goalie isn't the linchpin.

Hock1 posted: ""Tarik, thanks for the article on what BB is thinking" - dccitizen1----I agree, I envy people who can tell what others are thinking." Hock1, Tarik wrote plenty of quotes from BB. I didn't get the impression T was guessing. Not sure I get your point.

@gratefuldid: I don't perceive BB to be in "panic mode". Concerned? Yes, rightly so. Taking steps to correct team play? Yes. Panic? Not so sure.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 10, 2009 3:33 AM | Report abuse

JK111: I'm not positive because we can never get the truth from McPhee, but the deal for Pronger, the Ducks wanted Varly, Alzner and Carlson, or two of the three maybe and a #1.

That wasn't the only problem. There wasn't room for the $6.5M cap hit Pronger brought this year. Had the Ducks taken Nylander, ShaMo, Alzner and a #1, maybe that would have been doable from a players and salary cap standpoint. However, looking what they got from Philly, they wanted younger players.

I would love to have Pronger, but he stunk the other night. He's not young. And we had sandpaper, Matt Cooke, two years back. McPhee let him go, and Cooke got a Cup with the Pens.

No criticism, just fact - signing Nylander and extending Chris Clark has severely hampered this team's maneuverability.

I stayed home from the beach today (still mid 90s in Orlando) so I could spend the day "preparing" for the Wings game. I'm buying a prime rib the wife will make us for dinner and I'll pop open some nice wine.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 10, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl: i'm also a diehard caps fan in fl.i'm over here in spring hill.next to brooksville.me and my wife are grillin for the game also.so lets smoke out fl withsome caps fan pride!ENJOY! GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | October 10, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Had the pleasure of Watching the Bears spank the Penguins last night 3-0. They played D last night like we wish the Caps would. Carlson and Wilson were standouts. And good grief, Holtby was just spectacular in net--at least a half a dozen, if not more, highlight reel saves. By the end of the game, even some Wilkes Barre fans were applauding. Which is amazing since Wachovia Arena feels like the AHL for Flyers fans ...

Posted by: hockeydad | October 10, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

With all the suggestiong to rearrange our top 2 lines, their performance been the least of our worries.

3rd & 4th lines have not produced. Hopefully, the return of Flash and Fehr will correct that situation.

The power play has not produced either. I'd say, put Knuble in the first PP unit, for starters. That group needs to be jump started somehow.

And then there's the D and the goaltending which are issue-matic at the moment.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 10, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

@ tominfl1

I like your style, dude.

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | October 10, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

@ Oldtime

You're right. I think I had my facts mixed up. However, even if it was Carlson, Neuvy, and Alzner, or any combination of the Hershey stars, it was three guys that I knew would be stupid to lose over one defensemen who, we can all agree upon, is late in his prime and costs too much. After seeing him in action the other night, it just solidified how horrible a deal it actually was.

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | October 10, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the forwards are playing defense in the first period with a decline in each of the subsequent periods. There is quite a bit of energy in the first and clearing of loose pucks that seems to be lacking later in the game. Maybe understandable in a 6-1 game but not a close game. This is a leadership or maturity issue that needs to be resolved now. I think they will be up for the game tonight. Hope so anyway.

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | October 10, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Pretty disheartening loss. Our defense lets Gaborik skate in and take shots that Theo should have saved. Oh well...Wings tonight.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 10, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau should be talking about his own mistakes as much as the teams'. Leading 1-0 he sends for forwards for a 4 on 3, gets burned for two breakaways and a goal against, then later, when already trailing 2-1 he uses 2 defensemen for a 5 on 4. Offense when leading, defense when trailing, Coach's got it figured out all right.

Posted by: binnenreim | October 10, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Enjoy your prime rib dinner with your wife, as well as the game afterwards.

I hope the boys will be up for it.

BTW, I'm coming down to Florida for the Caps games this January. I purchased our tickets already. So we can enjoy warm weather in January.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 10, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

PS; Franzen is out for 4 months. If he's on your fantasy team, trade him. And it makes tonight that much better.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 10, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

FYI, Pronger is known for being somewhat of a floater during the regualar season. Pronger is still very much one of the top 5 d-men in the league. He will turn it up come playoffs. Hopefully that does not involve stomping on people's legs.

And Kimmo was the one who was usually matched up with ovie, though Pronger was matched up some time with him.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 10, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: What airport are you going into. Let me know the games and we can meet up. Tampa - likely; Sunrise - if weekend. OK, I checked, Caps at Tampa on 12th is doable.

Grateful: You too on the 12th of Jan.

Unleash: Thanks.

Actually prime rib now for lunch (I wish she'd put it in the oven - hungry) because they also had boneless pork roasts on sale and that is in the crock now for dinner. Ahhh. Oven is being "pre-heated." Yum. High on the cow and high on the hog in the same day. Red wine w/lunch; white w/dinner. And a Red Wing for dessert!!!

Signed,
The Carnivorous Caps Fan in FL

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 10, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

dccitizen1

I agree. Varly should be in goal. He still has the potential for becoming a great goalie, which Theodore does not in my opinion. Theodore had over a year to prove that weaknesses were exceptions and emerge as a consistently good goalie. He has not made his case. He is not a disaster but is a vulnerability for our team. Varly has shown long stretches of brilliance and consistency. It could be that being "officially" on an NHL team is putting pressure on him to prove himself and he has still to find his pace and role. It is likely that as his confidence increases he will settle into consistency.

I also agree that BB is NEVER panicked. Angry yes, but far from panicked. He calls it as he sees it. Doesn't walk on tip toes trying not to offend or give the wrong impression to the media.

Posted by: caraveli | October 10, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Haven't yet made my flight reservations. We'll (hubby and me) still have to figure out what else we plan to do that week.

We definitely have to meet up. (My husband is also a big sports fan. Guess that's why we're a good match.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 10, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: Well, the one thing you do know is you are staying in/around Tampa the night of the 12th and driving to Sunrise on the 13th. I would just suggest that day to drive south along the Gulf coast and then east on Alligator Alley, which crosses the Everglades. I have never been on that road but want to go.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 10, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Listening to XM Home Ice right now and they are airing a replay of "Leafs Lunch" from 640AM in Toronto. Leafs GM Brian Burke was the guest for the first hour. He took e-mail and live call-in questions from fans regarding every aspect of the Leafs. Considering how rabid the Leafs fan base is, you'd figure that whoever is GM of that team would shy away from that kind of public interaction for fear of the nastiness that could ensue. But, Burke is very candid and doesn't pull punches. He has no problem laying out the team's philosophy regarding why this guy is playing, or that guy was sent back to juniors or the "A", and on and on and on. It's a shame that there's a seeming Cone of Silence around McPhee. I can't imagine him ever putting himself on the firing line with the fans.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 10, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Routes to Hershey - From last post.

It all depends on where you're coming from. If you live in Northern VA, then taking 270 to 15 probably makes sense; if you live in Maryland, 95 to 695 to 83 makes sense too.

Personally, since I live closer to Baltimore, I take 95 to 695 to 83 and up that way. But from Silver Spring, I generally went up 270 to 15.

It all depends on your point of view and where you live. There's more than one valid way to get there. Just ask my GPS!

Posted by: irockthered | October 10, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

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