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Boudreau on Theodore: 'Focused on What He Has to Do'

Coach Bruce Boudreau said this morning that he's been impressed with Jose Theodore's focus through the first two weeks of the season. And by giving Theodore a third consecutive start tonight as the Caps try to end a three-game losing streak, it seems Boudreau plans to stick with the veteran as his No. 1 goalie for now.

"You saw what happened last year," Boudreau said. "Guys who have been around a long time, there's a reason they've been around a long time: They don't want anyone coming up and taking their jobs, and that's why they last. He was more committed in the summer and focused on what he has to do. There's no surprise that he's played the way he's played. I just wish we were a little bit better in front of him the last couple of games."

In Theodore's three starts this season, he's got a .930 save percentage, which was helped by an impressive 34-stop performance in Saturday's 3-2 loss in Detroit.

As for the rest of the lineup, it appears the forward lines will remain unchanged, while John Erskine will get back into the rotation on the backend (see my previous post for pairings).

Boudreau also said he pulled aside the players who've become repeat offenders in the minor-penalty department.

"I talked to them individually, the ones I think it's a problem with," Boudreau said. "And I just hope it doesn't happen again."

Boudreau didn't divulge which players he spoke to this morning, but he dropped a hint when asked about Saturday's game.

"If you look, you have a second to make a thought and the intentions are good," Boudreau said. "With Mike [Green] and Sasha [Semin], Sasha took a really bad penalty on the second one. But the one on [Detroit's Nicklas] Lidstrom, Lidstrom sold it. [Semin] didn't really do anything. But when you've been around as long as Lidstrom has been around and you lift your head, they sometimes buy it.

"Mike Green got caught on the wrong side of the guy," Boudreau continued, referring to the power play that led to the goal. "It was a very iffy thing. I looked at the video again, [Detroit] should have had more penalties than we did. But we just caught with them. We have to stop, and we hate it, but it's becoming a focal point."

The other day, one player told me that it's harder for teams to kill off penalties that are of the lazy/selfish variety.

"All the time, every game, on any team," Boudreau said. "If you get a penalty of effort, teams rally around them. You get a lazy penalty or a cheap penalty that you shouldn't get, the shoulders [on the bench] slump and the team gets more relaxed. They're not like: 'Let's win one for the Gipper'. It's: 'Oh, here we go again, we have to kill this.' There's a different mindset."

Boudreau also said the first thing he does when he gets to the rink is check the names of the referees and linesmen for that night's game.

"Some are better than others," Boudreau said. "Same in every sport."

Boudreau's post-morning skate media session ended with a reporter asking him with a laugh, "What are you happy with?"

"Today, nothing," he said. "I'm not happy unless we're winning on a consistent basis."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 12, 2009; 12:02 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup: Devils at Caps (Updated)

Comments

first!

Posted by: oriolesfan23 | October 12, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

It's difficult to know what is the right thing to do about Sasha and his penalties. He's talented (and he knows it) enough to score/assist at any moment he's on the ice so he knows he probably won't be scratched. BB is between a rock and a hard place with him. Maybe OV can help?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | October 12, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

It's too bad Sloan is a scratch tonight. I thought he played well enough Saturday to stay in the lineup.

Posted by: KAS2 | October 12, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Boudreau's commentary on referees. Some are better than others, and some (*cough*Bill McCreary*cough*) the team might as well stay home and forfeit, because that git will call anything.

Tonight's gemstones in that regard will be Chris Lee and Dan O'Rourke; we have to put up with Scott Cherrey and Greg Devorski as linesmen.

Part of the issue, I feel, is that the referees are briefed before the game on what to expect from the team, penalty-wise. I feel this is a bad practice, because it gives the referees preconceived notions. They should go into the game and referee what they see, not what they've been told they should watch out for.

@Tarik - Have you asked Boudreau if the team has a file of what referees are prone to call what sorts of penalties? We know the referees have a file on the players, so IMO, it's only fair to swing this both ways.

Posted by: irockthered | October 12, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's interesting. Players can't get up for a PK as much if the penalty was a lazy one? Seriously??

That may be part of the problem right there.

Posted by: CapsChick | October 12, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Crazy NHL news story of the day...

"NEW BOOK SAYS OILERS-LEAFS ALMOST SWAPPED CITIES"

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=294546

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 12, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@CapsChick - Sure - that's basic human nature.

Don't you ever grumble about having to pick up after someone who just dumped the dishes in the sink because they didn't want to do them right then?

Isn't that different from someone dumping the dishes in the sink and running out the door to rescue a kitten from a tree?

Sure, it's an exaggeration, but it illustrates my point. People doing stupid things tend to bring out bad reactions in everyone. People doing heroic things - saving a goal, etc. - do not.

That's the way it is.

Can professionals overcome this? They should. But it is basic human nature.

Posted by: irockthered | October 12, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

BB needs to break up the first line. Besides improving the scoring potential on other lines, a shuffling of Semin to the second line and Knuble to the first will settle these kids down. They often (I can't say "always") make one too many passes trying for the highlight reel rather than getting a shot off. It's almost like since Semin and Ovie both want to pass and both want to shoot, the other never knows what to expect. Break them up, let them be fancy, but just not on the same line.

Posted by: Rainier1 | October 12, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's interesting. Players can't get up for a PK as much if the penalty was a lazy one? Seriously??

That may be part of the problem right there.

Posted by: CapsChick | October 12, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

It's a problem, but not entirely unexpected. When someone puts you in a bad spot by his own poor effort, it's that much harder to get motivated to cover his ass. If you kill the penalty, he basically gets a free pass on his poor effort. Both the bad penalty and the bad kill are team problems that ultimately cannot be solved by the coaching staff.

The Caps have been lacking real leadership for time and this is just another symptom of the problem. They need more examples of selfless play that leads to results and need to find a way to stop feeding the egos. Green in particular does not seem to be able to deal with rockstar status and now seems to be trying too hard to live up to the expectations created by his performance last season.

Posted by: swags | October 12, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered: NHL reffing may be horribly inconsistent, but the Caps need to deal the hand they're dealt. Boudreau's comments only serve to give the team an excuse. Unfortunately the Caps have developed a reputation for taking bad penalties and will therefore be more closely scrutinized. There are two options: (1) play more disciplined than everyone else and slowly chip away at the reputation, and (2) get really good at penalty killing and even develop a shorthanded threat.

The team will need to work on both to win the Cup, but take a look at Philly as example of how to do one well. The Flyers haven't seriously tried to defuse their reputation as a bunch of thugs because that's what their fans want. They have excelled at playing shorthanded though and have even learned to take advantage of it. That didn't happen by complaining to the press.

Posted by: swags | October 12, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Part of the issue, I feel, is that the referees are briefed before the game on what to expect from the team, penalty-wise. I feel this is a bad practice, because it gives the referees preconceived notions. They should go into the game and referee what they see, not what they've been told they should watch out for."

Posted by: irockthered | October 12, 2009 12:27 PM

irockthered--I agree with you. Moreover at the convention I went to the panel on referring and the representative for the Referees, Grigson or something like that, stated that part of their game prep is to go over which player has a tendency to commit which fouls or take dives or you name it. In other words the reputation of a player and I'm sure a team precedes them. So yes I think that's why Semin gets called on his first penalty despite it not really being a high stick because it was sold that way by Lidstrom and Semin has a reputation for stick penalties. I don't know any way around this other than we have be squeaky clean for a long period of time and change our reputation.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 12, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil: you seem to be confusing the concepts of "best player" and "highest-paid" player. If someone takes an undisciplined, lazy penalty near the end of a game that is still in doubt, after specifically being intructed to not do that, he is not your "best player." Best players get results.

On a team that doesn't have an excess of players who are wanting playing time, you could just say, "ok, I'll reduce your playing time." On this team, where you have 8 guys vying for 6 positions, it behooves you to play the guys who are going to perform within your system.

Mike Green hasn't put in a quality performance since before the playoffs. He needs to understand that he is not above reproach for his actions. You can't just say, "ok, if Jeff Schultz makes a mistake, I'll bench him, but if Mike Green makes one, I won't." That creates a culture where certain players feel that they do not need to follow through on what's been decided by the coaching staff. That's not acceptible. And it's interesting that that seems to be exactly how it's played out thus far.

Posted by: aybee27 | October 12, 2009 12:38 PM |

I will re-emphasize.

You do not sit out your better players in the sport of hockey. This is not football.

Playing favorites...not disciplining certain players...yeah, that's a problem. But for those who seem to not be able to get it, YOU DO NOT BENCH YOUR BETTER ( I use better here, since aybee loves to nitpick semantics) PLAYERS. period.
Carry on.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"NHL names Terry Gregson Senior VP and Dir. of Officiating"

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=497896

Gregson on officiating now as opposed to when he was a ref:

"What we have now is more black and white," said Gregson, who officiated in eight Stanley Cup Final series. "When I refereed, we used to judge the degree of an action, whether the slash or the hold really affected play or changed control of the puck. We used to say 'Ah, that wasn't that bad.' "Now, a player will be penalized. Now, we're not in the business of judging degrees. There is less gray than there used to be."

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 12, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Swags--not sure BB was trying to excuse the penalty excesses but I do agree with you about our reputation. I don't think our team identity is thuggery a la Flyers. So we have to improve on our PKs, which I think is already pretty good and play more disciplined and clean hockey. We can change our reputation.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 12, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Our PK has been outstanding, up until that DET game.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if it was Terry Gregson who was the speaker at the panel on referring but the article correlates to what the speaker said. The speaker also emphasized that the refs after a game are also held accountable (not sure how) for their bad calls. It was an interesting topic but I sat there and thought to myself--it's our reputation that is killing us on the penalties. Make one bad or lazy penalty then three more are thrown at us that are far more dubious.

Richmondphil--I agree with you--PK has been outstanding until the Wings. Or another way at looking at it the Wings were better at pressuring our PK unit.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 12, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Mike Green hasn't put in a quality performance since before the playoffs. He needs to understand that he is not above reproach for his actions. You can't just say, "ok, if Jeff Schultz makes a mistake, I'll bench him, but if Mike Green makes one, I won't." That creates a culture where certain players feel that they do not need to follow through on what's been decided by the coaching staff. That's not acceptible. And it's interesting that that seems to be exactly how it's played out thus far.

Posted by: aybee27 | October 12, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

ding ding! we have a winner, finally someone who gets it. Too bad you're not the coach or GM.

Playing favorites as blatantly as the Caps accomodate Green and Semin is just detrimental to the team. Why would those two ever change the way they play if there's no repercussions? Those 2 have been babied since day 1, esp Semin

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 12, 2009 1:19 PM |

The ultimate irony in all of this is that neither of you would ever think about benching Ovie or Crosby, if he was on your team.

You do not "sit out" your better players for having a bad game. Period. End of Story. Especially two players that can single-handedly change a game.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

If you don't like Green fine, but shut the HE double hockey stick up already. It is the same people saying the same thing over and over and over. The NHL disagrees with you and your assessment that he is not a good player.

I am enjoying the Bruin vs Avalanche game here in front of the fireplace on a holiday and just watched the Avalanche score. Chara and Morris (a lot of you said to get him at last year's trade deadline before the Rangers got him) were on the ice. The goal was scored in the slot and not one Avalanche player was knocked on their a$$. I thought Chara was a beast. The Bruins need to trade, sit, or send Chara down to Providence. Same with Morris. Those two players wouldn't be a 1 or 2 defenseman on any team except the Bruins.

Of course I am being sarcastic and I sound like an idiot too. Just like many of you.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 12, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Ooops. Now it is 2-0 Avalanche. Who was on the ice. Some lazy no good backcheckers like Lucic and Savard. Lucic was gliding into the zone while the Scott Hannan bagged a rebound shot on a 3 on 2. Pack your bags Savard and Lucic, you guys $uck and should be headed to Providence. Those guys are a waste of space and wouldn't be top 6 forwards on any team but Boston.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 12, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I think you can sit out your better players if the offenses continue. A better way to handle it is just drop Semin to the 2nd or 3rd line to take away his overall minutes. That would do a few things...balance out our scoring and give him less time on the ice to take stupid penalties. And I mean, we did sign Knuble to play on Ovi's line yet it hasn't happened yet.

Posted by: ThePat | October 12, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Sarcasm aside, I don't think Morris would be a #2 defense man on any team....

:)

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I think you can sit out your better players if the offenses continue. A better way to handle it is just drop Semin to the 2nd or 3rd line to take away his overall minutes. That would do a few things...balance out our scoring and give him less time on the ice to take stupid penalties. And I mean, we did sign Knuble to play on Ovi's line yet it hasn't happened yet.

Posted by: ThePat | October 12, 2009 1:45 PM |

Well...that would not be sitting out your players then, would it? That would be reducing their minutes..which is what I had suggested.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I have only one question to put to those "bench them" posters: Who are you going to substitute for Semin or Green? You put your best players on the ice. It makes no sense to bench key players. Moreover, Semin has played brilliantly in the previous games and Green has made some excellent plays.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 12, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I sthe game on Comcast tonight or is it blacked out because of VS?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 12, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Today is Monday, so it's on CSN I beleive.

VS only shows games on Tuesday.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I said you can sit them but the better alternative is to reduce the time. If the offenses continue with reduced ice time then you should definitely bench the player.

I coached basketball for a number of years if my best player who would normally play all the game is making stupid mistakes or turning the ball over I would take him out of the game. If he does it for 2 or 3 straight games, I'd have no problem not playing him for a game to get the point across. Same thing applies here...better players or not it is a TEAM. Easiest way to get a point across to a player is to show you can win without them.

Posted by: ThePat | October 12, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

BB needs to break up the first line. Besides improving the scoring potential on other lines, a shuffling of Semin to the second line and Knuble to the first will settle these kids down. They often (I can't say "always") make one too many passes trying for the highlight reel rather than getting a shot off. It's almost like since Semin and Ovie both want to pass and both want to shoot, the other never knows what to expect. Break them up, let them be fancy, but just not on the same line.

Posted by: Rainier1 | October 12, 2009 12:48 PM

I recall seeing a shift or two with Knuble on first line in the second period. it didn't go well - we were generating more chances with the SOB line.

Posted by: Raber | October 12, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why we can't get back to whatever we were doing for the first five periods of the season. The work ethic was so good for those first couple of games, until it started to fall apart in the last period of the Toronto game. What happened??

Posted by: hillg | October 12, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The same thing really does not apply. Coaching kids and professional athletes are two entirely different domains, not to mention the differences between basketball and hockey. Just because they are both team sports doesn't mean this analogy holds. I even brought up football for a specific reason. Some sports accommodate better to sitting your stars.


Again, if you guys are open to benching Semin or Green, why is Ovie an exception? All it's doing is pushing the double standard back.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Versus has exclusive rights to the Calgary vs Chicago game tonight. That game is only available on VS or PPV. Luckily the Caps game is not subjected to VS tonight and will be on CSN-DC.

Richmondphil: I believe the Bruins have 3.3 million reasons why they believe Morris belongs in their top pairing.

The day that Shannahan was released NHL Home Ice announced that the Devils and Shannahan had an agreement just like Calgary had with Fleury. That agreement was is if they don't crack the top 6 that they would be released to get younger players in their respective systems a chance to play in the NHL rather than catering an aging veteran.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 12, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Next game Ovie turns up a negative with no points and has a bunch of turnovers or takes a dumb penalty ( they happen a lot more than you may think), I'll remind you guys about this.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau's post-morning skate media session ended with a reporter asking him with a laugh, "What are you happy with?"

"Today, nothing," he said. "I'm not happy unless we're winning on a consistent basis."


Couldn't have said it any better!

Posted by: jwash4472 | October 12, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@newbiecapsfan07: I didn't mean to imply that the Caps have a thuggish reputation like the Flyers, merely that they similarly have a reputation as a team that takes a lot of penalties. Such a reputation takes time to shrug off, so the Caps need to do what they can to deal with it.

@richmondphil: I agree that the PK has been great this season and hope the Caps keep it up. I still think an offensive threat on the PK is important though to keep the opposition honest. I want other fans to be asking, "Wait, aren't we supposed to be on the PP right now?"

Posted by: swags | October 12, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

By that logic, It should be Poti/Green always.

Morris is a horrible defender, and it's funnier because he was probably one of the big reasons, if not the only one, why Kessel was not re-signed.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

There is much I'm still learning about the defense. BUT it has appeared to me that Green is trying to focus on the defensive side of his game. He's staying back more and taking fewer shots on goal --and his overall effectiveness so far is uneven. But I don't think he is playing badly. He's made some really good plays too. There is just a lot of Green bashing on this board and I don't get it.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 12, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@swags

I agree on that.

I can remember a bunch of different times Bonzai streaked down the middle for a shortie.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Yes, our reputation is a lot of the problem with all the penalties.

Some of it is well-deserved. I saw Semin reach out with his stick and trip a guy who'd checked him during pre-season, and it cost us the game. Before that moment, I was not of the opinion that Semin's penalties were selfish, but that one in particular came under that heading.

That said, well-deserved reputation or not, it is unfair for the referees to be given a preconceived notion of what to look for. It gives them a tendency - a normal, human tendency - to see things that aren't there. That's how Boudreau got called for "abusing the officials" in that game where Semin got cross-checked (a penalty that was not called, which should have been a major penalty) because the officials said Semin was diving, and Boudreau took offense.

Posted by: irockthered | October 12, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

are there folks on this board suggesting benching green and semin? really? that's going to make this team better? really? wow. its october folks...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 12, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping Flash's return will give Bruce an excuse to reshuffle the lines (if he doesn't do it before then). Something like:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Semin-Morrison-Flash
Laich-Gordon-Fehr
Laing/Clark-Steckel-Bradley

Or swap Flash and Laich if you want a little more defensive balance. Don't really like Gordon centering the 3rd, but unless they're going to use Laich as a center again or play Nylander, there's not a lot of choices.

Posted by: butcherbaker | October 12, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

are there folks on this board suggesting benching green and semin? really? that's going to make this team better? really? wow. its october folks...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 12, 2009 2:17 PM |

What'd you really expect though?

Like I said, criticism against them is perfectly valid and they should have their ice time reduced. But bench them? Come on now...

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@newbiecapsfan07: remember when Green got sick last year with mono and also had a hurt shoulder? All of a sudden he couldn't play the same game, and fans on this board excoriated him. I watched him at practice this morning, and he was working HARD. He looked really determined imho. Here's hoping tonight is a great one for him.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 12, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Is Flash on for tonight?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 12, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Boston has Morris in their top pairing so whether you want to believe it or not, he is a top pairing defenseman. My point was Boston signed him for 3.3 million and promptly paired him with Chara.

Green came up through the system and earned his current contract, and Poti was signed for 3.5 as a free agent. So no, the logic I used for the Bruins wouldn't automatically mean Poti and Green would play together because they are our highest paid defensemen. Chara and Morris were both brought in from outside the system to fill a perceived hole. I will assume you would also know that Poti and Green wouldn't play together because they are both puck moving defensemen.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 12, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't think so. I think he just meant when Flash returns.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

It is ok NOT to respond to a post every 5 minutes every day. You do not need to see your ID name to boost your ego. The world will not end.

Posted by: ThePat | October 12, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

From what I've seen, and I've watch all the games (and I'm not pro player), all the refs have been calling loads of penalties across the league. Caps games have been no different and even though the ref teams/pairs seem to be inconsistent when measured against each other, they appear to be consistent in the games. If they blow on tick-tacks penalties then they are blowing them on both teams. With that premise in my head I can eliminate anything to do with this team or that - every team is dealing with the same B.S. to start to year. All things then being equal, the Caps aren't playing smart - it's not the ref, it's the team.

Play smart, play hard, understand what the refs are calling. Seems simple.

Got get 'em tonight.

Posted by: saintex | October 12, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Only fanohock1 will turn a lighthearted comment about a player into some "who knows more" argument.

Yawn..

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@CapsChick - Sure - that's basic human nature.

Don't you ever grumble about having to pick up after someone who just dumped the dishes in the sink because they didn't want to do them right then?

Isn't that different from someone dumping the dishes in the sink and running out the door to rescue a kitten from a tree?

Sure, it's an exaggeration, but it illustrates my point. People doing stupid things tend to bring out bad reactions in everyone. People doing heroic things - saving a goal, etc. - do not.

That's the way it is.

Can professionals overcome this? They should. But it is basic human nature.

Posted by: irockthered | October 12, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree it is human nature - but for professional athletes with plenty of zeros in their paychecks, it's unacceptable.

Posted by: CapsChick | October 12, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"Is Flash on for tonight?"

No, but should be sometime this month. Having him and Fehr healthy should really help balance out the lines, especially if Bruce moves Semin to the second line.

Posted by: butcherbaker | October 12, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

It is ok NOT to respond to a post every 5 minutes every day. You do not need to see your ID name to boost your ego. The world will not end.

Posted by: ThePat | October 12, 2009 2:26 PM |

Personal attacks? Did not really expect it from you.
Anyways, here is my post for this 5 minutes.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Not a personal attack, just some light hearted humor with the frequency you post. Don't take everything so seriously man.

Posted by: ThePat | October 12, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Morris is a horrible defender, and it's funnier because he was probably one of the big reasons, if not the only one, why Kessel was not re-signed.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 2:09 PM

It seems Chiarelli already knew he wasn't gonna bring Kessel back when Morris was signed, but the deal below put an exclamation point on it:

"Lucic signs three-year extension;trade of Kessel helped free up cap space"

http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/columns/bruins/blog?post=4537369&name=bruins

Lucic the Beast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBs_LuY0UUk

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 12, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, Flash has not yet been cleared, unfortunately. But I definitely don't blame the Caps for taking it VERY carefully with this, since a blood clot is a potentially fatal problem, if it's on the wrong side and moves. Poor guy! I hope he comes out like gangbusters and knocks everyone's socks off when he's healthy!

@CapsChick - So you're saying professional athletes can't be human? Or somehow have to be superhuman? They can TRY to overcome basic human nature, but it's not as easy as it looks. "Woohoo, so-and-so effed up again, and we have to go a man down for two - again. I just got OFF the PK, dammit!" Right.

Posted by: irockthered | October 12, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope that BB is right about Theo and he is not in denial. He seems to be extremely supportive of him and give him chance after chance. I hope his improvement is the real thing and he sustains it.

Really hope we win tonight. Between weak D and too many penalties we have really struggled.

Posted by: caraveli | October 12, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Good point. You'd figure Chia would be a bit smarter than that. Tough comparison to make, since they are both such different players; Kessel or Lucic.

Personally, I would take Lucic 10 times out of 10, despite my past words.

@ThePat

All good. I am sitting here at work, with nothing to do. This makes the time go faster...at least I like to think so.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see the defense play tonight. If they have a good game and win then we need to start focusing on BB. This is the same group of D that played in the first two games and the Caps won and then BB inexplicably started juggling the line-ups and lost three straight.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 12, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Really richmondphil? You get in spats on a regular basis and then come back and pull the personal attack scam. I didn't claim to know I know more about Morris' ability than you, rather that the Bruins organization knows more about Morris' ability than you. Now your little brain is trying to make your fingers respond. I don't think all that much of Morris and didn't even hear about him until he was on the trading block last year at the deadline. Just because I don't think much of him doesn't mean I know, or claim to know more about what Morris brings to the Bruins than they do.

I do get in disagreements on this board, but I can ALWAYS count on you to take the counterpoint of anything I inject. I am far from the only one you get into with on here either.

You make broad generalizations like you are an expert on everything like "VS only shows games on Tuesday." Don't provide feedback by pulling information outta your booty. It displays lack of credibility.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 12, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock

Enjoying your comments on the Bruins games (and how they're sounding just like how Caps fans criticize our players here and on other boards).

Anyway, hope to see you tonight. And enjoy meeting tominfla.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 12, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I've been reading the posts. Yes, I know that the Pens' Young Guns are younger than our guys. But I've also observed one other thing about them. Their young guns (Crosby and Malkin) are hotheads also. And both of them have spent plenty of time in the box, both this year and last. I must point out that Malkin has spent as much time in the box as Green and Semin combined this year, 16 minutes. Crosby himself has spent 8 minutes in the box. Somehow, Pittsburgh has won anyway. I don't know if all those penalties were "good" penalties.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 12, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

You're right, VS did extend their rights to Mondays to go with Tuesdays. My bad.

I have tried, multiple times recently, to make a lighthearted comment to you. Every time, you respond with some highly defensive paragraph on how I always attack you and make counterpoints to what you have to say. Considering we both have been posting here for over a year and we only started to butt heads a few weeks ago, I don't really see where that's coming from.

"I didn't claim to know I know more about Morris' ability than you, rather that the Bruins organization knows more about Morris' ability than you. Now your little brain is trying to make your fingers respond. "

LOL. Morris was like -3 and had like 1 assist and looked like trash. I'm not watching their game today, so I have no comment.

Besides you, I have only butted heads with cstanton1 and joek44 . I have no idea why you always feel like I single you out.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

If we had Crosby or Malkin, by some fluky chance, and either of them had a bad game where they scored no points AND took a bad penalty or two, would we be calling for them to be benched or trying to ride them out on a rail as we are doing with certain of our own people?

Yes, both Crosby and Malkin seem to get penalized a fair amount and somehow I doubt if all their penalties are "good" penalties. I haven't done all the research, but Crosby seems to get called for tripping and slashing. Malkin seems to get called for interference, high sticking, hooking, roughing; etc.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 12, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

You make broad generalizations like you are an expert on everything like "VS only shows games on Tuesday." Don't provide feedback by pulling information outta your booty. It displays lack of credibility.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 12, 2009 2:58 PM |

Everyone makes mistakes.

Just like a few posts back you said that Nylander's cap hit was 3 million dollars next year. I corrected you in a nice fashion, and you never even responded or acknowledged it. How about you throw whatever preconceived notions you have of me out the window and try to start over.

This all started because I said something about Varlamov and you decided to give me a 15 paragraph rant on how this is "your" team and how I was just , essentially, a bandwagon fan. Who exactly is the one so quick to make personal attacks? "Now your fingers try to move because your brain hurts."

Posted by: richmondphil | October 12, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

I was at practice today also and saw that Green & Pothier had both stayed on the ice longer to get some extra work in. (They were out with the healthy scratches.)

Other things I saw. Today's Juice Boy game. Seems that some of the guys were messing around with each other. (I think they like to tease one another and that there's an undercurrent of affection.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 12, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Lucky you to make the practice. They sure do have some fun with the Juice Boy game. It is great to see.

Posted by: _Mark | October 12, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I agree there does seem to be affection among the players. It's part of why I like this team so much--the support and friendship and playfulness they exhibit. I'm old enough that I feel very maternal towards them. And yes the Pens have also exhibited immaturity and stupid penalties. So I've never used Crosby, Malkin, et al as a yardstick for our boys. And last season I remember reading lots of trashing of Malkin on Pens message boards (only read them). So yeah many of their fans are just as negative.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | October 12, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Heck, a month in to last season, the posters on the pens board were trashing Crosby and saying that they should get something for him while they could. It was utter idiocy over there. There will always be those fringe people.

Posted by: _Mark | October 12, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey Caps fans. I've started a new Caps-centric blog and am seeking readers. I'd love it if some of you would check it out. It's new, I hope to make it even better over the coming weeks. Thanks for taking a look.
http://theviewfrom419.blogspot.com/
Go Caps!

Posted by: jodigwen | October 12, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I have a good feeling about tonight - very different from the last two games. The Caps will score early in the first and look great the rest of the game. 4-1 Caps, two on the PP, Ovie goes 1g + 2a = 3p tonight.

GO CAPS!

Posted by: Raber | October 12, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns

I feel maternal to the Caps guys also. In fact, there are 5 Caps that are within 1 year of my first child in age. (Three born her actual year and two more born the year before but later birthdays in the year.) And a 6th cap a little over a year younger.

I'm the one that says that Alexander Semin reminds me of my first child.

I get so annoyed by the Pens as they seem to do so well when they don't impress me as a model team.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 12, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@Raber

I hope your good feeling on tonight's game is correct.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 12, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil: Sorry I was getting ready to to head to DC. Ready to go now. I will be sure to send a simple one liner to you whenever you start another argument. It won't only be with me, cstanton1, or joek either, your opponents go way beyond us three. Me and joek get into it and it usually stems from his comparison of any form of racing compared to hockey. I've decided to let that one go. cstanton1 and I got into once when he threw in the towel against the Rangers last year. I guess I wouldn't even say we got into it. I put a bet out there that the Caps would come back. He didn't take the bet though because he is too big of a Caps fan to bet against them. Then after they came back he still offered to buy me a pizza even though he didn't take the bet. Now we have a mutual respect for other, I think.

The only other time I get into it with fans is when they want to start suggesting dumping players when the Caps are on a losing streak. I usually take the bait when it comes to Cheef, LarryDavid, and StanleyCup1907 too. I am surprised Cheef and SC1907 haven't been here.

Anyhow, enjoy the game everyone. I'm headed to Verizon. Hopefully Brodeur will give up 4 goals on 4 shots like he did to start the Philly game. Let's go Caps!!

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 12, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey Caps fans. I've started a new Caps-centric blog and am seeking readers. I'd love it if some of you would check it out. It's new, I hope to make it even better over the coming weeks. Thanks for taking a look.
http://theviewfrom419.blogspot.com/
Go Caps!

Posted by: jodigwen | October 12, 2009 3:55 PM

Hopefully this won't come off as too offensive, but consider finding a friend who's a graphic designer to help with color selection/layout. Though your material might be interesting, I can't read it because it physically hurts my eyes to read...

Try bordering the text in the center with a slightly different shade (darker where there is white text), and same with the sidebar to give the page a little bit of separation. Also, having both white and black on red in the same place might not be the best idea. I'm not an artist though, so take all of this with a grain of salt.

Posted by: Raber | October 12, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

settle down folks....

I do agree with Richmondphil, though, that you don't bench your top players.

It'll be good to get back to the booth tonight. I'm looking forward to seeing E. Fehr again -- I thought he did a creditable job Saturday night and brought plenty of energy. Go Caps.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 12, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

wondering if pierre lebraun at SI has any hockey creditbility. his post over the weekend mentioned the caps have been close twice to loaning nyls to KHL. says jagr has been pushing for it. wouldn't it be ironic if jagr saves our bacon? it's the least he could do after giving up on ted. i gotta believe playing anywhere is better for nyls than sitting here rotting. he knows he's going to be released next year and if he hopes to get another deal, he needs to get some play on tape. hell, if emery can come back, so can nyls. and i think that is the reason why he's not playing...

looking forward to a good game tonight...didnt realize scott stevens was coach for the devils. and folks, if they lose, remember its only october. the real season doesnt start until april. and keep in mind, this team has lost their three games by a total of 3 goals...all to playoff teams from last year and one in OT....

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 12, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

""and folks, if they lose, remember its only october. the real season doesnt start until april. and keep in mind, this team has lost their three games by a total of 3 goals...all to playoff teams from last year and one in OT....""

That's the spirit, justify and marginalize away, what a winner.

Posted by: LarryDavid | October 12, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

""and folks, if they lose, remember its only october. the real season doesnt start until april. and keep in mind, this team has lost their three games by a total of 3 goals...all to playoff teams from last year and one in OT....""

That's the spirit, justify and marginalize away, what a winner.

Posted by: LarryDavid | October 12, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

larry, you are a fine example of what a winner is. but you should work on your reading comprehension. did i try and justify anything or did i merely point out the facts of their recent losses...that they were by the slimmest of margins to good teams, two of which were on the road. feel free to freak out about three early season losses...i suppose that's what winners do.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 12, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

You know that the Caps are headed for a few strings of wins and more this year. One of the nicer benefits -- in addition to the enjoyment -- is having the trolls crawl back in their holes, idiots.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 12, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I was really lucky to be at the Caps practice today. Best deal in town---only $1.00 for parking (so glad that Dan Snyder doesn't own the Caps---he'd probably charge 10 bucks a head to watch the practices!), plus I could buy gas cheaper there than in DC! But that's not taking into account my son's side trip to the pro shop where I couldn't resist buying him a Caps knit cap.

So, all you REALLY lucky ones headed to the Phonebooth---ROCK THE RED!!!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 12, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

So much for my good feeling. Wish we could put it away on that 5 on 3 PP...

Posted by: Raber | October 12, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I like how cstanton1 wants to make assumptions about how Semin and Green were "babied" to believe that they were above reproach when they make mistakes. Looks like we have an "inside the locker room type" with cstanton1 - not necessarily in the locker room to really tell how exactly they were "babied" but because it's his lips uttering it, it makes it true.

richmondphil said it best, cstanton1 - you wouldn't bench your better players. Not Semin. Not Green. And yeah, not Ovi. They serve the cause better on the ice. Good job, though, in playing armchair coach. It's cute. Useless, but cute.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 13, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

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