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Boudreau: 'Nobody Wants to Go On Vacation'

Before I head to the stands to watch the morning skate, I wanted to pass along a few quick notes and quotes from Bruce Boudreau's session with the media moments ago:

As you might imagine, many of the questions were about the type of mentality it takes to succeed in an elimination game. Under Boudreau, the Caps are 5-1 when their season's been on the line.

"They care a lot," he said. "When people care a lot, they don't want to go home. They want to stay together. There's definitely a finality to it if you don't play your best."

Boudreau added later: "You recreate [the energy] by knowing that by 10 o'clock if we don't succeed, we're on vacation. Nobody wants to go on vacation. That's the desperation of a club that's on the brink."

Gonchar's Status
There's been no official update on Sergei Gonchar's status for tonight's game, but the thought around here is that the Pens' star defenseman -- injured when he went knee-to-knee with Alex Ovechkin in Game 4 -- will be out again.

Boudreau on Semin's Slump
After the first round, Alexander Semin sat atop the league in goals and was second in points. But the immensely skilled winger hasn't been nearly as productive in the second round. In five games against the Pens, he's got four assists and has a plus/minus rating of minus 5.

"I have no idea what's behind it," Boudreau said. "We've tried a lot of different things. Hopefully, whatever we try today will make him play his best. If you can bottle up why players don't play good that are supposed to be playing better ... please come and tell me, and I'll market that thing."

Semin is not taking the morning skate again, which bolsters the speculation that he's nursing an injury.

Boudreau on Leadership
When Boudreau was asked whether Alex Ovechkin is the type of leader who will stand up and deliver a speech tonight, he said: "I haven't seen it. Coaches aren't in the room a lot, where he would stand up and say something profound, other than cheering, 'Come on guys, let's go, we have to bear down.' I haven't seen him walk around and say, 'Come on guys, this is what we have to do,' unless he's echoing my statements."

Boudreau was asked the same question about Sergei Fedorov.

"I haven't seen it," he said. "He's a great leader. But he's not going to get up and do a speech in the middle of the room that I've seen."

Boudreau on Steckel
"He competes really hard and when you compete really hard, good things happen to you," he said of David Steckel, who has two goals but missed a glorious scoring chance early in overtime of Game 5. "Early on in the series, he had some good opportunities that he put in. He had a really good opportunity last game that he wishes he had back. It was a very difficult play. You can win with guys like that."

Boudreau on Green
Boudreau acknowledged that defenseman "Mike Green isn't looking as pretty as he did in the regular season" but the coach said he believes the criticism of his star defenseman is unfair. Green, the league leader in goals and points among defensemen in the regular season, has an assist in each of the past four games, but he's also had a tough time with turnovers.

"He's got nine points in 12 games for a defenseman, which is tied for the No. 1 in the league," Boudreau said. "Our expectations for him must be so high that it's unreachable."

Alzner Injured
Defenseman Karl Alzner has missed the Bears' past two games with an unspecified injury. I'm hearing it could be a concussion.

I'll have more after the morning skate.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 11, 2009; 11:25 AM ET
 
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Next: Feinstein: Caps Show Class and Promise

Comments

Lets see leadership through victory!

Posted by: uncatim | May 11, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Victory!!!!

Posted by: Sonyask | May 11, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

HEY - We are the same city that voted a for a crackhead - we can do anything!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 11, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

To those who throw stuff on the ice after a loss:
We don’t want you at Verizon Center.
Go find another D.C. team to support, Losers!

Posted by: LIVINIT1 | May 11, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

From previous thread:

@Sonyask: Some had me convinced that maybe the interference on Gordo should have been overlooked because it is the playoffs, and it was OT. However, I was watching the Hawks game on Saturday and with just over 4 mins left in regulation, and the Hawks up 3-2 (they had just scored a PP goal) Kesler from the Canucks was called on a interference call that would have been borderline in the regular season. So the calls are being made in other games. It may not have been OT, but a 1 goal game with about 4 mins left is as close as you can get to OT. Especially since Gordo's call would have been the 2nd call in OT.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 11, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

fanohock, I hear you. Coulda gone either way. It's history.

Posted by: Sonyask | May 11, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Funny...my expectations of Green are not to allow goals...he is listed as a defenseman right?

I can count at least 5 goals that are his fault for stupid turnovers or not clearing the crease.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 11, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

poor Karl! A concussion seems supremely unfair.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

All the D-men so far have been guilty of keeping the puck in our own end. I've noticed a few times where they could've sent the puck around the boards or up the wall, but they see an opponent coming towards them and they just pin the puck against the wall. Which of course leads to a turnover and sustained pressure. We just need to be smarter when moving the puck. We'll be fine tonight. Prediction - Caps 5, Pens 2

Posted by: ovys8 | May 11, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

All the D-men so far have been guilty of keeping the puck in our own end. I've noticed a few times where they could've sent the puck around the boards or up the wall, but they see an opponent coming towards them and they just pin the puck against the wall. Which of course leads to a turnover and sustained pressure. We just need to be smarter when moving the puck. We'll be fine tonight. Prediction - Caps 5, Pens 2

Posted by: ovys8 | May 11, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

fanohock - agree with your logic and the refs don't want to be seen as deciding a game in OT. The call on Malkin was not one they could let go. I'd like to think we would have gotten the same call in a similar situation. It was the best officiated game of the series and the penalties were equal so the Caps can't worry about it.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 11, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why "leadership" is defined as giving speeches in the room. If any of those guys need a speech to get up for games, then their own internal motivation is seriously out of whack.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Yikes, another concussed defenseman...

Posted by: superpaqman | May 11, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Following game 5. Can't believe some of the things Syd the Kyd does...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFb0OiS2F0o

Lets Go CAPS!

Posted by: therinkrat | May 11, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I still think we are 2 years away...or 2 quality defensemen which ever comes first.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 11, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Here's the thing about Semin -- not only is he not scoring, but he's not getting his shots on goal. He's aiming for the corners, but is missing wide/high, which is taking away any opportunity for a rebound. Playoff goals are usually dirty goals, but without rebounds we lose that opportunity.

Posted by: hook99 | May 11, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

hook99: Agree, just put the puck on net boys. Fleury's not playing well at all. In game 5 when Varly had a rough one, Fleury wasn't much better. We had 3 goals on 22 shots, that's only 86.4. Of course the French Canadien wasn't called out for having a bad game. We have the ability to light him up, we have all season. Semin has great numbers against these guys too. Time to get muddy tonight boys.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 11, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I think the key - and I'm not a coach - is the Caps play below our own goal line. The Pens have been very strong on the forecheck and we are spending way too much time trying to dig the puck out and then trying to clear it along the boards. It hasn't worked well, at all. But, if we continue clearing up the boards then the wingers need to skate to the puck and not wait for it to get to them. Seems like there have been hundreds of attempted clears that the Pens have stepped in front of the Cap to take the puck right back to the net. Clear from below the goal line and start the breakout.

That's all for my coaching.

Posted by: saintex | May 11, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@hook99, I think his inability to get shots on net is directly tied to the injury. He can't snap off a wrist shot with accuracy because his wrist is all sorts of messed up.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Alzner with possible concussion... well, so much for one of the much needed added pieces for the Caps if it turns out he does. We just can't seem to catch a break... how did the possible concussion occur? Was it the result of a play on the ice caused by an opposing player, and did that player even get a penalty or suspension if so? ... doubtful! Semin injured... who isn't at this point?

Posted by: UngaBunga | May 11, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

agree with ovys8 about not clearing the puck. i have also noticed that the caps hardly ever cycle behind the net and pass from behind the net out into the crease. definitely need to get back to some net crashing.

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

hmm. i thought the alzner injury was to be ready for a call up.

Posted by: am_jim | May 11, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

anyone know if/when the NHL will spin its Wheel O' Justice after Walker's hit on Ward last night?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the updates T-Pain! I asked, you delivered.

Posted by: CF11555 | May 11, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this was posted by Katie (although she does an outstanding job each morning!) Its from the Nation Post, about fedorov and his revolutionary impact he had on both the NHL and Russian hockey.
http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=1580294

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I'd be a lot more accepting of these 3 losses if they all didn't involve a combination of horribly unlucky bounces (1st goal in game 3, GW in game 3, GW in game 5) and Dairy Queen soft serves (3 from Varly in game 4). The universe owes us huge tonight.

Posted by: cao091402 | May 11, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I think if I see OV skate with the puck down the side, stop inside the blue line, and throw it in the middle of the ice again I am going to pass out. OV should be taking the puck deep into the zone, either in the corner, behind the net, or crashing the net. He needs to stop the cross ice passing, it only leads to turnovers.

Posted by: Kevin9149 | May 11, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse


To those who throw stuff on the ice after a loss:
We don’t want you at Verizon Center.
Go find another D.C. team to support, Losers!

Posted by: LIVINIT1 | May 11, 2009 11:44 AM |

U know the game is in Suckburgh tonite right?

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 11, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@ saintex:

Wholeheartedly agree there. I've noticed a lot of the forwards standing at the boards waiting for a puck to come to them for a clear, only to have a hard forechecking forward come and cause problems.

I realize a lot of this can be due to the ice conditions, but you HAVE to be more aggressive when *receiving* the puck or an aggressive forecheck eats you alive. I'd say OV is guilty of this, but I rarely see him taking anything off the boards. His backcheck has been nonexistent but when he does backcheck, good things happen. Need to step it up tonight.

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 11, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@ Red Birdie and Semin's shots -- I agree, but my point is if he's going to be inaccurate - it's better to hit the goalie then to miss the net - especially in the playoffs. He's had a lot of chances, and on quite a few there were Caps in place for a rebound, but the puck ended up behind the net.

Posted by: hook99 | May 11, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

but hook99, that's my point, I don't think Semin can hit the net right now, because he's just whacking the puck with his stick and praying. I don't for a moment believe that his thinking is "Hmmm, putting it oevr the goalie seems like a great idea!" His a bit of a space cadet, but not that stupid.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Our forecheck was very strong in game 5, which was a nice change and something we need to continue tonight. The Pens do an admirable job themselves on their forecheck, so we need to work as hard and harder to get the puck out of the zone. Saturday night was good. Tonight, gooder.

I agree that presence in font of the net could be a difference maker tonight

Posted by: Sonyask | May 11, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse


I think the key - and I'm not a coach - is the Caps play below our own goal line. The Pens have been very strong on the forecheck and we are spending way too much time trying to dig the puck out and then trying to clear it along the boards. It hasn't worked well, at all. But, if we continue clearing up the boards then the wingers need to skate to the puck and not wait for it to get to them. Seems like there have been hundreds of attempted clears that the Pens have stepped in front of the Cap to take the puck right back to the net. Clear from below the goal line and start the breakout.
That's all for my coaching.
Posted by: saintex | May 11, 2009 12:06 PM |

Nice analysis. We have had this issue @ 1 time or another this season. Breakout passing is not our strength & with teams knowing they can pressure us on the forecheck because we don't breakout cleanly, they can afford to come harder & stronger - wasting valuable energy as game 3 showed.
Their 3rd/4th line are also very fast (like the Rangers) So they close in on our dee very quickly.

To negate this we need our forwards to come back & cause some misdirection & create options for breakouts.

That said - puck possession is also key as their Dee is also slow too so we can turn the tables on them also.
However, our 3rd/4th lines are not as quick as their's plus we don't have a knat like lil Matty Cooke this year to close time & space on the opposing dee.

Like it or not - we're a finesse team & when we get into a cycle game down low, we are disadvantaged. So, breakout passing or for that matter any kind of passing to create spacing is critical to our success.

We have the talent, the question is do we have the will to withstand the pounding.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 11, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse


I think the key - and I'm not a coach - is the Caps play below our own goal line. The Pens have been very strong on the forecheck and we are spending way too much time trying to dig the puck out and then trying to clear it along the boards. It hasn't worked well, at all. But, if we continue clearing up the boards then the wingers need to skate to the puck and not wait for it to get to them. Seems like there have been hundreds of attempted clears that the Pens have stepped in front of the Cap to take the puck right back to the net. Clear from below the goal line and start the breakout.
That's all for my coaching.
Posted by: saintex | May 11, 2009 12:06 PM |

Nice analysis. We have had this issue @ 1 time or another this season. Breakout passing is not our strength & with teams knowing they can pressure us on the forecheck because we don't breakout cleanly, they can afford to come harder & stronger - wasting valuable energy as game 3 showed.
Their 3rd/4th line are also very fast (like the Rangers) So they close in on our dee very quickly.

To negate this we need our forwards to come back & cause some misdirection & create options for breakouts.

That said - puck possession is also key as their Dee is also slow too so we can turn the tables on them also.
However, our 3rd/4th lines are not as quick as their's plus we don't have a knat like lil Matty Cooke this year to close time & space on the opposing dee.

Like it or not - we're a finesse team & when we get into a cycle game down low, we are disadvantaged. So, breakout passing or for that matter any kind of passing to create spacing is critical to our success.

We have the talent, the question is do we have the will to withstand the pounding.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 11, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Semin can hit the net right now, because he's just whacking the puck with his stick and praying. I don't for a moment believe that his thinking is "Hmmm, putting it oevr the goalie seems like a great idea!" His a bit of a space cadet, but not that stupid.
Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 12:28 PM |

Redbirdie - do u think he's hearing footsteps from being hit too much (legal or otherwise)?
I just think we are getting pounded physically (playoff hockey) & the figure skating crowd is seeing the results of this in our 2-3 deficit.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 11, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@ saintex, I completely agree with you. The caps are definitely in a bind in those situations (which happen quite often) because Pittsburgh covers the point with their defenders and protects the open ice with forwards, leaving the caps little choice but to fluster into a bad decision. A pro team NEEDS to adapt to this, though. The same mistakes are made EVERY game this series and there is little proof of adjustment by the defenders. Jurcina's and Green's habits are especially frustrating because we all know they're smarter than that.

Crosby said that Pittsburgh has been the better team, and he's absolutely right. The forecheck and trap that Pitt has implemented requires discipline and a strong team mentality. This approach sucks the life out of the Caps, who can play strong in a system of creativity and offensive rush, but cannot strengthen defensively or on the penalty kill when the other side smothers them.

The difference MUST BE a team commitment. To break the Pens' system, the Caps MUST ATTACK through it and play disciplined, boring, dump-and-chase-and-pressure hockey. That is what playoff hockey is because it keeps games tight and sides even. The Caps, although they've pulled off some great stuff this series, are still too wide-open and too indvidualistic for this type of play. If in the 48-hour period since Game 5 the Caps have adopted this mentality, then we're in for a great Game 6.

SO anyway, whats up with Pittsburgh scheduling mishap in favor of a Yanni concert? Is this not the SECOND time this has happened in a Caps series where the other team suffers for scheduling conflicts at Civic/Mellon arena? Infuriating.

Posted by: fronesis1016 | May 11, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I tend to think Semin's issue with his shot is more confidence right now. He's in a slump. During warm-ups he's nailing the corners with velocity so he just has to get confident. Hopefully an early goal by him, even if luck, will go a long way.

Flash on the other hand, that guy has been bad since returning from pneumonia. It was reported that he lost weight, which of course mean muscle. He even looks small and weak out there.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 11, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

If BB does not see that Mike Green has been the worst player in the defensive zone this series he should not be coach. Assists? he is supposed to be able to provide defense first. Why not call him a forward? He was awesome the season mixing D and O but now he is looking to be the star and making HUGE mistakes. At least cut him from the PP.

Posted by: chadnpigs | May 11, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Our breakout problems are a direct result of our Dmen making bad decisions with the puck. Instead of throwing it to the winger at the hash come hell or high water, our Center needs to make himself available to take that pass and take the covered/pressured winger out of the equation. Our D pairs have been great at passing to each other, but its only a matter of time before the opposing Center break that play up and with the Wings covered at the hashes, we cough it up.

Bring our Center a little lower, modify our break out, and make them pay by having 3 guys low and engaged on their FC.

Posted by: CheckingLine | May 11, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

That would be rough if Alzner had a concussion this early in his career.

I'm convinced Semin has some kind of injury. Last season against the Flyers he played great playoff hockey so it's not like he's a player who can't handle the physical game or intensity. But he's looked brutal this series and was bad against the Rangers as well. If you compare how he was battling for the puck and going into corners and taking hits to make plays in the final few playoff games last season compared to this year it's not even close. It's like he's a completely different player so just wants to stick-handle at the line, cut to the inside, and take a quick shot but won't flip the puck past the D and go hard to the boards to retrieve it, or even go to the outside to try and draw a penalty. He's playing with the pace and effort of Nylander. I think either his back problem is flaring up, or he has an ankle problem from a shot taken earlier in the playoffs.

Posted by: Stu_c | May 11, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I think Orpik mavy have taken something out of Semin - he was all over him in Games 1 and 2. Some have said Semin may have taken a slash on the hand in one of those games and that's unduly affecting him. I'd love to see a Semin goal to lighten the load on Ovi.

I have a feeling that's there no close game in the cards tonight. My gut tells me that one team wins it 4-1 or 5-1; feels like whoever gets up, if they get up by 2, will put the foot to the neck and crush the other team.

I know where my allegiance is...

Posted by: saintex | May 11, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@Rocc00, maybe. I'd sure as heck would be playing a bit more conservatively, less aggressive, and a wee bit worried about getting hit if my wrist was broken. And when Orpik has been getting away with illegal hits each and every night, that just compounds the situation.

I like Semin, but I don't think he's the most mentally tough guy on the team. Against Chicago, home opener (I think, but maybe it was another early season game), a penalty shot was awarded and at first it was awarded to Semin, but they went to review it just to make sure. You could see him starting to flip out on the ice, get real nervous and jumpy and generally not in a good place mentally to take that shot, and it took them forever to clear up who was going to take the shot, and Semin just got more and more nervous. As it turned out, the shot ended up getting awarded to Nylander (who managed to stick it in the net), which I was thankful for, because Semin was such a basketcase out there he was going to shank that puck right over the glass.

In short, yeah, I think he's hearing footsteps, some of it legit, and some of it because he's a bit delicate in the head.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I remember when the Caps beat the Wings back in January. If you exclude the excessive penalties (which the Caps imrpoved in last game compared to 3 and 4) they should beat the Pens. I remember Kozlov and Green both scored against Conklin by crashing in front of the net. Ovechkin's goals were just incredible!

Posted by: hockeytownUSA | May 11, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@ checkingline

That is what I have been telling all my buddies since game 2. Their d stay at the point and pinch down on clears and they have all 3 F's below. The center is wide open to get the puck and carry it out cleanly and create oddman rushes the other way.

Posted by: ThePat | May 11, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

re: the defense. anyone else notice the way the caps d covers their end on dump ins? i noticed in the game saturday, if a guy chipped or dumped the puck in the corner, the dman who might have been closest to him will retreat back to the slot and wait for the wing or other dman to dig in the corner. this must be a coaching strategy. i get that they want to avoid interference calls and cover the most logical scoring area, but the also give up the option to pound the forward and create turnovers. they also allow the team to begin cycling the puck and set up some offense. i dont see our guys getting much room in the corners. check it out tonight and see if i'm just seeing things or if this is actually their strategy.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 11, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

That Detroit game is one of the few where the Caps actually played 60 minutes of hockey!

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

If BB does not see that Mike Green has been the worst player in the defensive zone this series he should not be coach. Assists? he is supposed to be able to provide defense first. Why not call him a forward? He was awesome the season mixing D and O but now he is looking to be the star and making HUGE mistakes. At least cut him from the PP.

Posted by: chadnpigs | May 11, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse


THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. If this doesn't prove how much LIP SERVICE Bruce Boudreau pays to DEFENSE, I don't know what other proof anyone needs. Bruce cares about one thing - offense. He doesn't even get that his 'star' defenseman has been shaky defensively all playoffs. He's talking about Green's points instead of his turnovers. That's where the criticism of Green stems from, its not his lack of goals that everyone is or should be concerned about. Its his turnovers and lax defensive play.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 11, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Being physical is another way to defeat Pittsburgh. I remember the Caps were roughing up the Rangers in the first couple of games in round 1 physically. The Pens aren't physically as strong as the Rangers. That's how the Wings beat the Pens in the finals. They played tougher, more aggressive and played a smarter defensive system. I really hope the Caps win this!

Posted by: hockeytownUSA | May 11, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I think Orpik mavy have taken something out of Semin - he was all over him in Games 1 and 2. Some have said Semin may have taken a slash on the hand in one of those games and that's unduly affecting him. I'd love to see a Semin goal to lighten the load on Ovi.

I have a feeling that's there no close game in the cards tonight. My gut tells me that one team wins it 4-1 or 5-1; feels like whoever gets up, if they get up by 2, will put the foot to the neck and crush the other team.

I know where my allegiance is...

Posted by: saintex | May 11, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Orpik's done his job well. Semin has caved in. He now tries to dish off the puck before he gets hit, he stays away from the front of the net, he's more worried about getting hit than he is making plays.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 11, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The bounce karma has to be cycling back our way right??

And as for creating that luck ourselves, we have to stop letting them push us to the sides, the Pens are doing a great job of keeping the area right in front of the goal clear we need to a) do the same for Varly, no more Cindy hanging out to play baseball with the puck and b)get at the goal and get those rebounds! We can't get all of our goals from pretty slapshots from afar. As beautiful as they might be we need some dirty goals to top it off.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 11, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie: Red birdie, good call on Walker. There was also a Bruin, Thorton I think, that the VS "color guy", who's normally the NESN guy, stated that Thorton knows his role and sends messages. With that statement being made there is no way the Bruin cannot be suspended. Walker's was crazy though, even though Ward is crazy bastard, Walker punched him in the fact with his glove on by jumping at Ward while Ward was talking trash with another Carolina player, and then he dropped his gloves and hit Ward with a right. The score was at least 3-0 at that time, and OVER.

If Walker doesn't get a lengthy suspension I would go to the league with a lawyer if I was Brashear and at least get the money back for the suspended games. I believe they forfeit money for any suspended games.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 11, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I heard from someone who watched warm-ups on Saturday that Semin removed one of his gloves and his wrist/hand were very swollen.

Posted by: CapsChick | May 11, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

hockeytown, you're giving the Pens too much credit. The Wings won because they were by far the best team in all of hockey last year. Heck, the series only went 6 games because of that flukey goal in game 5 (and questionable officiating.....)! Maybe not quite a good as the 2002 team, but a freakishly good hockey team nonetheless.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1, Barry Melrose hinted last night that he'll be calling BS if Walker isn't suspended 5 games. I mean, that is the penalty the NHL has set forth for a broken orbital bone, right?

(That I agree with The Mullet either means the world is about to end, or all the stars have aligned and the Caps will win tonight)

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Still in the long run I think the Caps will be the better team than the Pens.

I would be more afraid to face the Caps than the Penguins.

Posted by: hockeytownUSA | May 11, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

yeah,w ell, the Caps did beat the Wings this year :)

my husband is a life-long Detroit fan, but we both have great respect for each other's teams, because both organizations handle themselves with class and they're such dymanic, interesting teams to watch every night. My husband is quite convinced that if any team could challenge the Wings for dynasty status in the near future, its the caps.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I heard from someone who watched warm-ups on Saturday that Semin removed one of his gloves and his wrist/hand were very swollen.

Posted by: CapsChick | May 11, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse


If he has a legit issue with his hand, why is he overhandling the puck instead of keeping it simple and dumping it in when he has the chance ? And why is Bruce overutilizing him on the PP if semin can't grip or shoot correctly?

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 11, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Defense isn't what's getting us beat.
The best defense is a good offense.
If the other team doesn't have the puck what can they do?

Look @ how the time of possession has favored the penz this series.
* The puck has been mostly in our zone the entire series.
* We don't limit their breakouts like they do ours.
* Our 3rd & 4th lines don't forecheck & cycle like they do.
* Our movement forward out of our zone has been rebutted time & again.

You play keep away & you tire the other team out.
Guess which team has look like they are gassed?!

Why do ppl keep holding on to old ideas & use 1 part of the game in isolation as an example?
The entire point is to outscore the other team. Look @ how the 80's Oilers did it.
How the 90's penz did it.

The penz have pressed the issue, we haven't. They've taken the puck. We haven't.

I rather play the BB's in season system than a defensive/prevent system that some are advocating.
Be the hunter not the hunted.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 11, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Semin plays because he has more offensive skill injured than any other option that we have.
Apparently every1 is clamoring for Flash, Nylander, Fehr or Aucoin on the powerplay.
Or maybe stick Laich or Steckel or Bradley out there so they can be more fatigued to go on the forecheck or help on the breakouts.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 11, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

This crap about DC ends tonight. We live in one of the world's greatest treasures -- Rome, Paris, Moscow, London, Athens, Washington. All from outside can call our home names, but all from outside turn to our home and, ultimately, turn to us. In times of war, we are the ones who lead; in times of peace, we are the ones who keep it. We lead the nation through example for the nation turns to us, the nation needs us. It is not the buildings that make our home great, it is the people, it is us. Over the past week, *we* have been challenged. We have been called childish names and goaded into childishness. Such is unbecoming of Washingtonians. We shall not respond to this out of haste, out of anger or emotion. Instead, we shall respond to the behavior of the Penguin fans at a time and a place of OUR choosing. We shall remember their treatment of us -- their behavior, their attitude, their way of carrying -- and we shall respond in kind. That response begins tonight. Each and every one of us on this blog *is* better than the trolls who are nothing more than cowards; big men who only speak up when the team they support are winning, in public, only able to confront girls with their fandom. In public, none of those cowardly Pen fans who taunt us has the courage to do anything with their lives; to say to our faces that which they spew on here. Look pitiably upon them for their bluster, their pasting their identities on the performance of a hockey team simply masks the misery of their non-notable lives. We Washingtonians are better than them. Our home *is* the beacon of freedom that the entire world turns to and it is that way because of *us*. Tonight and on Wednesday, we are to remind not only Pittsburgh, not only hockey viewers of this, but we need to remind the band of brothers known as the Capitals that when they skate, they skate for us and when we cheer, we cheer for them. There is no place any of us would rather be than cheering together, tonight and cheering because we ARE proud of our home and there is nothing and I mean, NOTHING, anyone can do to us to take that pride away.

Posted by: Matt23185 | May 11, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

come on boys, get one tonight and bring it back home!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 11, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I want to go on Vacation, I just do not want the Caps to......so send me instead.

Posted by: RichC3 | May 11, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

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