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Boudreau: 'The Graph Is Going Up'

Although the Caps have lost four in a row, Coach Bruce Boudreau attempted to put a positive spin on the current state of his team after Tuesday's practice, saying, "The graph is going up, it isn't going down."

He was referring to the team's most recent setback, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Devils on Monday that, he said, came down to one bad shift in the third period.

"I'm, looking at the tape this morning," Boudreau said. "We did so many good things except get a win. But I think because of our expectations and what we made the people feel, that it's [going to be] an 82-0 season or it's not going to be successful. ... The schedule has been really grueling and we've competed and had leads in every game. Again, as Mike Knuble said yesterday, these are fixable problems and it will straighten itself out."

First the injury news of the day: John Erskine remains day-to-day with an upper body injury while Tom Poti, Boudreau said, was just getting a maintenance day after skating almost 30 minutes against the Devils. Boyd Gordon, meantime, also got the day of to rest his sometimes balky back.

Back to the "problems" Boudreau was referring to. One of the issues Boudreau sought to fix during today's practice was finding balance on his top two lines. He had Brendan Morrison centering Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble and Nicklas Backstrom centering Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin on the second line.

"You're looking for chemistry," Boudreau said. "We would like to get all four lines scoring, but definitely more than one. I tinkered with it today, and I might change again tomorrow. This is the way I wanted to go to see ... the reaction and body language of everyone concerned. Sometimes you change the lines, guys go from happy to sad in heartbeat. But I think everybody accepted it pretty well."

Morrison said: "It's an attempt to get some balance. Our line [Laich, Morrison and Semin] wasn't very good last night. We generated a couple of chances, but on the second goal we were running around a little bit. We're looking for a little bit of spark up front, maybe some chemistry between other guys."

Boudreau also took the blame for the power play's 0-for-5 performance against the Devils, saying he out-thought himself by shuffling the personnel on his units. It marked the first time all year the power play went without a goal.

"I'll take the blame," Boudreau said. "I started too much tinkering with the two units, trying to equal out goal production. It broke my internal rule of, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' We'll work on this tomorrow and get it right."

Boudreau wouldn't tip his hand when asked about the starting goaltender Thursday against the Sharks. But it would seem to me Jose Theodore would get the start considering how well he has played. In fact, Theodore said this is the best he's played since before the lockout.

"The first part of the summer, my mind wasn't really on hockey," Theodore said. "I didn't really focus on hockey. I started pretty much focusing in August, which is almost kind of late. But when I was coming here in August, I was obviously working twice as hard to make up for [lost] time and training with a lot of frustration, I guess, doing extra training on the ice, just letting everything out. When you work hard, it pays off."

Finally, if you think Brian Pothier didn't play much in the third period, well, he didn't. Pothier has been pretty solid so far this season, but he struggled against the Devils, particularly on the play that led to the tying goal.

"He wasn't playing very well," Boudreau said. "Brian will be the first to tell you that yesterday, he wasn't very good. Every now and again people struggle."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 13, 2009; 2:26 PM ET
 
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Next: Erskine Still Out

Comments

Attention Capitals fans!!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!! In an informal poll on XM Home Ice's "The Warroom" show, Caps fans were voted as "Whiniest in the NHL". Fans of other teams complained about the constant sniping of Caps fans on message boards such as this, the internecine battles our fans wage against each other in their comments, and our seeming inability to recognize the embarrassment of riches the Caps have in terms of talent on the ice. Granted, talent and performance are two different things, so by using our collective microscopes to negatively dissect every aspect of every moment of every game, we have proven that we have what it takes to rank among the best ever when it comes to fanbases who need to keep boxes of Kleenex right by the TV remote control or in the cup holders at the arena!

So, please, I urge you, continue the irrational nitpicking, infighting, and contradictory game-to-game statements in the many public forums at our disposal as I'd hate to see our fanbase lose the great honor that has been bestowed upon us! We have TRULY become a Hockeytown!!!

Haha they even made an audio clip of the show hosts talking to a Caps fan and telling him that we are, indeed, the WHINIEST FANS! We have been recognized by the masses! Awesome!

LETS GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I can't find the logic behind separating Ovie and Backstrom. Almost makes me sad...is that weird?

Glad BB thought the PP was a mistake. You can't change up that line, so it's nice to hear that the pp will be back to normal the next game.

Posted by: JD09 | October 13, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

We're Number 1 !!!!!!

We're Number 1 !!!!!!

Woohoo!!!!!!!!

P.S. Don't play Gordon, also the refs hate us!!!

Posted by: opus1m | October 13, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Is Boudreau gonna let Boyd Gordon ride roller coasters?

Posted by: SA-Town | October 13, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this crap you work out during training camp and preseason?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 13, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Cap fans are pretty whiney. I can agree with that.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 13, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

this defense is going to be in flux for most of the year. No one is really stepping up between Schultz, Pothier, Sloan to get a firm grasp on the 3rd pairing.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

lyle:

obviously you don't know or understand that modern, cutting edge NHL teams have constant line changes. allowing lines to play together in order to build cohesion and chemistry is so 20th century.

Posted by: doughless | October 13, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

And Crosby was voted the whiniest player in the league and they have a Cup. I think we're on the right path.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 13, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

i thought the PP made a concerted effort to get to the net last night. which is good. unfortunatly, i can remember several plays where the player was in front of the net, but not in front of the goalie. look at the goal the wings scored, you couldnt even see theo from the shooters perspective.

as for whining fans. first, message boards are not really a good barometer of who a teams fans really are. and caps message board folks are not that different from other teams. you should have seen the pens boards during the playoffs last year. whining about everything and the pens were basically having their way with us.

its just jealousy. they are saying to themselves, "wow, if i had ovie on my team i wouldnt complain about anything." well, we're just showing were not satisfied with having the best player on earth, we want more. its a good thing...for the most part.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 13, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Nobody listens to XM anymore.

Posted by: Unleash_The_Caps | October 13, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Really, the graph is going "up". Here's an actual graph. And its going down:
http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Eastern/Southeast/Capitals.html

Seriously, I don't think its time to panic or anything, but what a silly, silly comment by BB.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 13, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Who pays for radio? Who has money to pay for radio?

@Doughless- cohesion and chemistry is over rated- my bad.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 13, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

FREE NYLANDER!!!!!

Posted by: CapsandRavens | October 13, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

This team still has no identity. It's not the "hardest working team in hockey" or the "most talented team in hockey". What is it?

We're still juggling line combo's, have Nylander out, carrying 8 defenseman, played Sloan on wing to give him some ice, lost Bourque due to poor cap management (even w/ a capologist), no defenseman had scored until Green last night..

I put some of this on Boudreau. It's his job to get this team prepared and focused. Too often its' seems he's whining about not executing something - well do something about it Bruce!

Posted by: Jaymagz | October 13, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I get what you're saying but I do think this team has an identity. Its a team whose talent isn't always matched with an equivalent work ethic. Thats why you constantly get the "we were too cute with the puck, we overpassed the puck, we didn't go to the net enough" quotes.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Congrats, to the Warroom, for managing to conduct their poll with their 5 listeners. That shows the strength and dedication they have to providing the most accurate information out there.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 13, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

Way to prove them wrong buddy.

This is exactly what they are talking about.

I'm a huge Caps fan but will admit that we have some pretty annoying fans out there. In particular, the followers on Japers Rink. Those guys can't handle any criticism of a Caps player. At least on this site, we can dissect the team constructively (at least some of the time). The "elite" commenters on Japers Rink just like to hear themselves speak.

FYI - War Room is an awesome show. I listen everyday and recommend it.

Posted by: JD09 | October 13, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Better the fans to be whiney than have the whiniest player in the league. As for comments about the team's work ethic, unless you're on that ice or somehow have access to their inner thoughts, I'd hardly call you an expert on anything other than being a prime example of what the Warroom was giving us grief about.

How do you challenge anybody's work ethic other than basing it on "I woulda' done this or they coulda' done that" crap? All you do is dish a heaping pile. Don't say it. Prove it on the ice. If you can't, then your words and opinions are irrelevant.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 13, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

irrelevant like the War Room(WTF) opinions?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 13, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 13, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The fact of the matter is you have those kinds of fans for every team. What factors did they take into account in awarding this to the average Capitals' fan? Did they take into account the Pens trolls who came on the Capitals' message boards to gloat about their playoff games? Did they factor in that Capitals' fans had other things to "whine" about like the inconsistencies in referee calls, other than its' players? As a Capitals' fan, shouldn't we be offended and rather than go, "Yes, sir, may I have some more of your insults?" shouldn't we be the slightest bit p*ssed off?

Rather than act like they're talking about everybody else but yourself, shouldn't you feel a little self-conscious that maybe they're also talking about you?

I don't whine about our players. No one tells me how to do my job and I certainly would give the Capitals the respect to not be commenting on how they perform simply because I'm a fan and I paid for a friggin game where they win, not lose.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 13, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

How do you challenge anybody's work ethic other than basing it on "I woulda' done this or they coulda' done that" crap? All you do is dish a heaping pile. Don't say it. Prove it on the ice. If you can't, then your words and opinions are irrelevant.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 13, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Apparently you're not capable of using your eyes to gauge "work ethic". Got it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Nobody listens to XM anymore.

Posted by: Unleash_The_Caps | October 13, 2009 3:02 PM

Who pays for radio? Who has money to pay for radio?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 13, 2009 3:08 PM

Well, not sure how many people listen to XM in general anymore, but there sure are a lot of people who call in/send e-mails to XM Home Ice on a daily basis. A subscription costs about the same per month as a coupla beers at Verizon, and I challenge anyone to show me any radio show in the DC area that devotes as much to time to the Capitals, let alone hockey in general, as the various shows on Home Ice.

Since I'm in a band that tours very frequently, I can listen to Caps games (and every other hockey team's games) anywhere in N. America when we're on the road (or anywhere else in the world via XM online). And at home, I don't have to wait for those 2 minutes a day that the Caps MIGHT get mentioned on terrestrial sports radio. Have fun with the local sports stations boys and girls!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

haha you're whining about the whining.

Posted by: MNMNT | October 13, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Haha sarcasm doesn't translate very well via text at times. I'm not bothered by the "award" as I see many of those statements as being true, and I am also guilty of being passionate about the team to the point of obsession. But, as some have pointed out, every fanbase has some who are more demonstrative than others in expressing their displeasure over a variety of issues. So, Caps fans certainly are not alone.

The poll wasn't scientific, but was meant to be good natured and an attempt to drum up some conversation and play upon the obvious dislike that many fans have for the rival teams' fans. There were also several anti-Flyers/Rangers/Penguins/Leafs/Habs/etc e-mails/calls. There was even a Tampa fan complaining about Thrashers fans (who knew there was any juice there?). It would be nice, however, if some of the venom in the wars that take place here could be directed at fans of other teams on their boards rather than Caps fans tearing each other apart just to make a point. It's fun to be a troll on another teams boards. Everyone should try it sometime.

LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"I'll take the blame," Boudreau said. "I started too much tinkering with the two units, trying to equal out goal production. It broke my internal rule of, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' We'll work on this tomorrow and get it right."


One of the issues Boudreau sought to fix during today's practice was finding balance on his top two lines. He had Brendan Morrison centering Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble and Nicklas Backstrom centering Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin on the second line.

Ummm...Backstrom and Ovechkin together was a problem? Hey BB take your own advice, don't fix what ain't broke. But he has changed the defensive pairing for every game, because everyone needs ice time. What is this little league?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 13, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

i wasn't mentioning you metalcapsfan

Posted by: MNMNT | October 13, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau, playing with line combinations? Really? This is not news. He DOES this. We should be USED to him doing this.

Think of it this way:

Backstrom should be considered in his own right, as opposed to "This is Ovi, and this is Ovi's pivot." Period. Ovechkin can play with ANYONE at pivot and make them look good. Let Backstrom shift lines to see where HE can do the most good.

Jeez, people, get a GRIP!

Posted by: irockthered | October 13, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

During the Comcast pre-game show yesterday, Chris Clark was featured with the 'Sound Bite of the Day." He spoke about the advantages of having a stable roster for three years, with only Knuble and Morrison joining the group this year. Said it really allowed the Caps to jump-start their year while other team were seeking to gel and find chemistry. What irony!

Posted by: beeman | October 13, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Repost:

Chill, folks. Yes, it's been diappointing so far, but it is far to early to give up hope and call for blowing up the team. Consider the positives (and believe it or not, there are many):

--OV is **still** on pace to get 70+ goals this season.
--If Semin stay shealthy, he could **still** get 50,
--Bäckis could easily get 100+ points.
--The team defense IS getting better, believe it or not: for most of the DET game, we were out-trapping one of the trap-iest teams in the NHL, to the point where they (the Wings) were almost constantly getting called off-sides.
--Like him or not, Theodore has been more and more the goalie we need him to be.
--The FA acquisitions have been paying off; not only in goals-for but also in net presence; Knuble is--to a certain extent--causing opponenents to rethink their defensive schemes, b/c it's not just OV or Green blasting 'em in from the point anymore. Menawhile, BMo is bringing sneaky speed and sees the ice well.
--The PK is getting better--perhaps not so much in the shorthanded-threat department, but definitely in terms of pressuring the point & half-walls, and clearing the zone.
--Bradley continues to be one of the hardest-working guys on the team.
--Though we aren't winning much, we also aren't getting blown out.


Anyhoo, regardless of how much hockey knowledge, NHL Lore and Coaching/GM'ing expertise one brings to this table, the fact remains that NO team in the modern era has gone undefeated for an entire season.


cstanton1, consult your scrolls and tell me (because I confess that I honestly, sincerely do not know for sure):

What was the most points amassed by a team in a single NHL season in the modern era (from the 1960's on); which team was it, and when?


Whichever team that was, I will bet you real money that they lost some games that season.

I'll start really worrying if we get to mid-November and still stink.

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 13, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Who pays for radio? Duh... I do! Actually pay for a few of them. Stern, NHL, NFL, great music. WTF. GO CAPS

Posted by: racer63 | October 13, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

@MNMNT

"haha you're whining about the whining."

hahaha, exactly.

@LeftCoastCapsFan
People like you make us look bad, but keep it up. You sound like an idiot. Go over to Japers, you'll fit right in.

Posted by: JD09 | October 13, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Which graph is BB looking at...certainly not the win column?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 13, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Second place in the South East, baby! Go Caps! Are the Caps the worst team in the NHL 5 on 3? Where can one find that stat?

Posted by: festus75 | October 13, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

from alexovetjkin:

"Alex Ovechkin is in and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell is out, or so says GQ's newest edition of "The 50 Most Powerful People in D.C.""

Oops, what Ted would say? But thinking about it, Ovechkin is definitely a driving force for this franchise. We are very lucky, and Ted is a lucky guy, to have Ovechkin in DC.

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 13, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

@ JD09 and cstanton1: By all means, you both take yourselves way too seriously. It's sad.

For the record, cstanton1, I can gauge people's work ethic. I do it professionally. While I'm an expert in it in my line of work, gauging one's work ethic when it comes to ice hockey makes the assumption that I'm a professional in gauging work ethic in a line of work I have no first hand knowledge of. I'm sure there's a lot more that goes into playing hockey than what your eyes seem to tell you. Sadly, I'm not one of those dolts that are easily swayed by your inane comments and need to win every p*ssing match you get yourself into.

JD09: In the big scheme of things, you're irrelevant. Keep bellowing. Someone is bound to care about what you say. Unfortunately, it won't be me.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 13, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Best NHL regular season records...

Most wins in a season:

95-96 Red Wings: 62W-13L-7T - 131 points (Lost in Conference Final to eventual Cup winner Avalanche)

Most points in a season:

76-77 Canadiens: 60W-8L-12T - 132 points (beat Bruins for 2nd of four straight Cups)

Best winning percentage in a season:

29-30 Bruins: 38W-5L-1T - .875 (old - lost in Finals to Canadiens)
76-77 Canadiens: 60W-8L-12T - .825 (modern - won Cup against Bruins)

Numbers for other great seasons available here: http://www.hhof.com/html/r&rFR.shtml

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The Most Annoying Fan Base in the NHL belongs to the DETROIT RED WINGS.

2. Toronto Maple Leafs
3. Washington Capitals
4. New York Rangers
5. Pittsburgh Penguins

from NHLHomeIce.com

just FYI ;)

GO CAPS!

Posted by: sk8ersublime | October 13, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Whichever team that was, I will bet you real money that they lost some games that season.

I'll start really worrying if we get to mid-November and still stink.

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 13, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

losing games at this point in the season is absolutely not a concern for me. But "trends" that have gone back a couple of years, is a concern. Those trends include an inability by our special teams (esp the PK) to produce in critical situations (i.e. when the other team steps up the pace and intensity, we have been unable to match it). Those trends include an inability by our team as a whole to protect leads. And then you have individual trends by certain players that have not been addressed due to their stature on the team. Etc Etc. Those things concern me, not our current record this early in the season.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

LeftcoastCapsfn--I don't whine about our players

-------------------------------------

no, you do the opposite. You whine when someone makes any type of criticism about the Caps. You must not understand the concept behind a message board.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan
People like you make us look bad, but keep it up. You sound like an idiot. Go over to Japers, you'll fit right in.

Posted by: JD09 | October 13, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse


I second this.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

LeftcoastCaps--For the record, cstanton1, I can gauge people's work ethic. I do it professionally. While I'm an expert in it in my line of work, gauging one's work ethic when it comes to ice hockey makes the assumption that I'm a professional in gauging work ethic in a line of work I have no first hand knowledge of.

-----------------------------------------

I told you, I get it. You're unable to use your own eyes to figure out when a team or certain players are playing hard, and when they're not playing hard. Luckily, a lot of the rest of us don't view "work ethic" as some sort of cryptic secret invisible ambiguous notion that can only be discerned by other professional hockey players, coaches or GMs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan


hahahaha..."expert." you must be from Japers.

wow you suck.

Posted by: JD09 | October 13, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

For perspective on how good we Caps fans have it now, here's the worst season in NHL history...


1974-75 Washington Capitals (8-67-5)

The expansion Caps first coach, Jim Anderson, remembered the existential pain of goalie Ron Low: "I'd see him with tears in his eyes after games." Anderson lasted only 54 games as coach, before being replaced by Red Sullivan, who had the honor of leading the Caps through a 17-game losing streak before he surrendered the coaching reins. "He suffered from stomach ulcers, and the losing got to him, and he really couldn't take it anymore," remembered former Cap Jack Lynch.

While the team set all kinds of records for futility, they also set some awful individual ones. Goalie Michel Belhumeur, for example, went 0-24-3 on the season, and combined with Low to surrender an NHL record 446 goals.

The Caps lost 37 straight games on the road, finally defeating the California Golden Seals in Oakland near the end of the season.


(The above was taken from an ESPN article listing the top 10 worst sports teams all time: http://espn.go.com/page2/s/list/worstproteam.html . Guess it was written before the Lions went 0-16 last season)

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

According to LeftCoast, the following topics are off-limits by you nonprofessional hockey watchers!

--goaltending
--defense
--scoring goals
--drafting
--trades

Anything else, like perhaps the quality of popcorn at Verizon Ctr are now open for discussion! Although..I'm just a popcorn eater, not a popcorn vendor so perhaps I'm not qualified to discuss that either.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

haha. exactly

Posted by: JD09 | October 13, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

Agree that we have to find the best combination of lines for the team as a whole, not just for Nick B. Things we know:

1) OBS can work for several games but needs to be broken up every so often.

2) KLM -- similar comment as #1

3) Backstrom functions well on a line with either Ovi or Semin. (He also functions well on a line with Flash and Fehr.)

4) The Caps weren't able to see as much of Morrison this pre-season (with or without Semin) since he was out, thanks to a dirty hit during pre-season. Hence, Semin never really got much of a chance with Morrison. Semin was usually on a line with Aucoin and Giroux.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

To further illustrate, check out these individual stats:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/WSH/1975.html

Greg Joly must have been pretty happy that his -68 (not a typo) wasn't the worst on the team haha. The +/- numbers are so bad all you can do is laugh when you look at them haha. That and the GAA. Truly pathetic. The only team that came close since then (as far as I remember) was the inaugural season of the Ottawa Senators when they went 10-70-4 (stats here: http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/OTT/1993.html )

More on the comparisons of both those horrible teams here:

http://national-hockey-league-nhl.suite101.com/article.cfm/fewest_nhl_road_wins

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Rhino----OV is **still** on pace to get 70+ goals this season.
--If Semin stay shealthy, he could **still** get 50,
--Bäckis could easily get 100+ points.
--The team defense IS getting better, believe it or not: for most of the DET game, we were out-trapping one of the trap-iest teams in the NHL, to the point where they (the Wings) were almost constantly getting called off-sides.
--Like him or not, Theodore has been more and more the goalie we need him to be.
--The FA acquisitions have been paying off; not only in goals-for but also in net presence; Knuble is--to a certain extent--causing opponenents to rethink their defensive schemes, b/c it's not just OV or Green blasting 'em in from the point anymore. Menawhile, BMo is bringing sneaky speed and sees the ice well.
--The PK is getting better--perhaps not so much in the shorthanded-threat department, but definitely in terms of pressuring the point & half-walls, and clearing the zone.
--Bradley continues to be one of the hardest-working guys on the team.
--Though we aren't winning much, we also aren't getting blown out.

---------------------------------------

See Lefty, a large part of Rhino's defense of the Caps is grounded in what he/she SEES with his/her eyes. You should try it sometime instead of being a gullible uncompromising apologist. The next time you get all teary-eyed when someone critiques the Caps, try and frame your rebuttal the way Rhino did. With some actual details. Its much more enjoyable and less annoying to read.

FTR, I agree on Brads. If you can take his *work-ethic* and put it in some of our top line players and our go-to guys on defense, we'd be unstoppable.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

Agree with you on the assessing work ethic comment. Yes, it's hard to assess a guy's work ethic when we don't have access to their thoughts on the ice; etc.

I've seen plenty of games where a guy has made plenty of good plays but misses coverage or makes a turnover or someone makes a mistake that turns out to be fatal -- in the same game. That includes a certain person who everyone in town, including many bloggers, are ready to ride out of town on a rail at the moment.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

The Caps weren't able to see as much of Morrison this pre-season (with or without Semin) since he was out, thanks to a dirty hit during pre-season. Hence, Semin never really got much of a chance with Morrison. Semin was usually on a line with Aucoin and Giroux.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Semin doesn't really fit in on any line very well, not for any real length of time. He's an individual. Frankly what he needs is a guy to get him the puck initially, and then two linemates to go get him the puck once he loses it or shoots it wide. And then go screen the goalie. And get ready to backcheck when he loses the puck in the neutral zone. I've never seen a player use his linemates less unless he's on an oddman rush.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

The Most Annoying Fan Base in the NHL belongs to the DETROIT RED WINGS.

2. Toronto Maple Leafs
3. Washington Capitals
4. New York Rangers
5. Pittsburgh Penguins

from NHLHomeIce.com

just FYI ;)

GO CAPS!

Posted by: sk8ersublime | October 13, 2009 5:15 PM


Hey, thanks for finding that updated blog. The crew must have gone through the many e-mails after the show was over and re-tabulated the votes. Still, they made the funny commercial for the show using Caps fans as the focus (the sample of the baby crying is hilarious haha). Judging by the list, we are in very good company.

C-A-P-S CAPS! CAPS! CAPS!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

---I've seen plenty of games where a guy has made plenty of good plays but misses coverage or makes a turnover or someone makes a mistake that turns out to be fatal -- in the same game---

There's a difference between being lazy or soft play vs making a mental error (i.e. taking the wrong guy on a 2 on 1 or missing the trailer). There's also a point when 2 and a half yrs later, the same players are still taking lazy selfish penalties....I don't have to get into their heads to call them out for it. Apparently, neither does Bruce.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

More on best records...

2008-09 San Jose Sharks - 52 points through 30 games (25-3-2) was the best start in NHL history (lost in 1st round to Ducks)

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1

Please give it a rest...

Posted by: Greg S. | October 13, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Maybe BB meant that the graph is going up in the sense that the team is improving. Remember, they were tied after the OT with the Devils and lost in the shoot out. Could have gone either way. If the Caps had won, I think people would have viewed the overall performance differently....

At least the Caps aren't the Redskins! Good grief, I'd really be ready to throw in the towel if they were. (Sorry, I hope I haven't offended people or started another food fight with that comment!)

Anyone know much about San Jose? Can you give me an idea of what to expect from them? thanks in advance.

Oh, I asked on another post why people were so down on Poti because I thought he had a very good night against the Devils. His stats don't look bad, but seriously, I am learning all the time and welcome comments on those who have a different perspective. thanks again

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 13, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I meant "comments from those" who have a different perspective.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 13, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock (from a previous thread),

I'm sorry some of the fans near you spoiled your game watching experience yesterday.

Hope you enjoyed meeting tominfla.

Your sons are close to my younger daughter in age -- she's 18. (The rookies at camp are now the age of our kids. LOL)

And about Semin, the guy that everyone's so upset with at the moment. He is, tied for 2nd in the NHL in goals, and he is only ONE goal and only ONE point off last year's pace. Yes, the last two games haven't been great for him. But nobody can be on 100% of the time. The guy seems to have no margin for error.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

This just in: Caps lose four straight games by one goal - Chaos ensues.

Following four straight one goal losses, General Manager George McPhee has elected to trade away all of the Caps roster following fan outrage. "Clearly things weren't going well - four losses is a lot and it's not something we can recover from. The rebuild was over but apparently it didn't pan out, so we'll be rebuilding the team again over the next few years."

One of the Caps most interesting trades is the one of forwards Eric Fehr, Tomas Fleischmann, and Boyd Gordon to the Penguins in exchange for prospect Chris Bourque, who was picked up when the Capitals waived him after he made the team out of training camp. "It's what the fans wanted," reported McPhee. "He's a good hockey player and we believe he can more than make up for the loss of those three forwards."

McPhee also elected to fire Bruce Boudreau - citing the losing streak as the driving factor in the decision. "Obviously Bruce has lost control of his players and that means he's no longer right for the job."

The only player to remain with the team will be Michael Nylander, though he won't be on the ice. "Unfortunately, we weren't able to come to a conclusion about Michael. Half the fans want to play him rather than have him sit on the bench and half want to trade him. We elected to attempt the best of both worlds and put Michael behind the bench of our new team."

With Nylander as the new coach of the Washington Capitals, will the Caps rise above mediocrity and win the Stanley Cup down the road? Only time will tell, but at least the fans got what they want.

Posted by: Raber | October 13, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

-The guy seems to have no margin for error. -

How so? He can do whatever he wants whenever he wants and he never loses andy significant ice time or gets benched. He may have no margin of error from some FANS, but he has had complete carte blanche from the organization so far. And in the grand scheme of things, thats all that matters.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

Last year, the Caps were killed by San Jose (in San Jose). That was with Green and Semin BOTH out with injuries. (Not to mention Fedorov.)

(Must confess, San Jose is the team I most fear. Playing them is like my daughter's HS swim team going up against the Good Counsel Falcons. Note: the Good Counsel Girls swim team loses about once every decade.) Sorry for the pessimism in this post. I know it's because of the matchup.

I think the Caps could beat almost anyone else. Yes, it's frustrating to lose so many close ones in a row. I certainly feel the pain. But it's not as if everyone else is exactly outclassing the Caps.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Disagree. He's had ice time reduced at times.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Leftcoast, cstanton, fanohock,

Regular season rolls around and I'm not the only one you can spit your venom at in your leolem ways.

I don't doubt this team will turn this early slump around and make the playoffs, but this defense can't sustain a Stanley Cup playoff run. And if the bone headed plays by our supposed gritty players like Clark and Gordon continue that is only going to hurt the team even more.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 13, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know much about San Jose? Can you give me an idea of what to expect from them? thanks in advance.

Oh, I asked on another post why people were so down on Poti because I thought he had a very good night against the Devils. His stats don't look bad, but seriously, I am learning all the time and welcome comments on those who have a different perspective. thanks again

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 13, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

fwiw I think San Jose is a pretty fun team to watch. They're pretty uptempo, they forecheck hard and they have a big mobile team. They'll probably adjust their lineup slightly when they play us because they wont' need to dress certain players like Staubitz, Shelley, and Frazer McLaren who they currently dress against some of their more physical opponents. But hopefully they play their A Game b/c they provide a very competitive matchup.

Re: Poti - he hasn't played well overall since he came back to the lineup last season after his groin injury. And he was fairly putrid against the Penguins in the playoffs. I'm guessing thats why some fans aren't too thrilled w/him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

@Raber

Very funny post! Got a kick out of it. (I'm almost surprised you didn't mention a couple of other fellows by name.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know much about San Jose? Can you give me an idea of what to expect from them? thanks in advance.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 13, 2009 6:00 PM

Ryan Garner/Sharks blogger on Hockeybuzz...

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Ryan-Garner/Is-the-Sharks-Roster-Half-Full-or-Half-Empty/59/23636

This guy is pretty good with the facts and will lay out reasoned criticism of the team/front office when it's called for. Be sure to go to the bottom of the page to see links to his 5 latest posts. Will likely have a game preview tomorrow.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Disagree. He's had ice time reduced at times.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

In any significant manner? The truth is, he holds this team over a barrel because he offers up a 2nd scoring option to take some heat off Ovy. And because of that, this team feels emboldened to protect him and make excuses for him at all costs. Frankly, this almost takes me back to the Jagr days where one or two players get a different set of standards than everyone else. Tis a slippery slope.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

semin is a diva, plain and simple. like pedro martinez or chad ochocinco. a diva. he's also probably a bit immature. he's also 25.

i watched him play last night. he made some good plays and fumbled the puck a few times. he also looked a bit tentative, like he really really didnt want to make that critical mistake or take that 3rd period penalty.

the guys is also a supreme talent. i believe he's at his best when hes not thinking and just doing. gonna result in some mistakes and penalties, but also going to give you a premier offensive talent. gotta live with that...or not. i dont see trading him for anyone outside of a dion phaneuf caliber dman. and that aint happening.

as for taking away his ice time. some guys respond to that and some guys dont. personally, i think he'll probably respond best by being separated from ovie.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 13, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the f/b on the Sharks and on Poti. I have a meeting on Thursday night and will have to miss most of the game. Maybe that will bring the Caps luck!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 13, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

i dont see trading him for anyone outside of a dion phaneuf caliber dman. and that aint happening

--------------------------------

you'll never get a trade like that.

But you could get a strong young two way center (I don't think Anton Gustafsson will play in the NHL at a high level for quite a while). Or you could get a rugged forward who can score -- ryane clowe, david backes-- and maybe a 2nd tier defenseman (not a Phaneuf). The key really is to get some add'l scoring out of the 3rd line. That would alleviate the goals you would lose coming just from Semin.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

BB is trying a new angle. Instead of losing his cool and ranting, he's trying the positive apporach: "the graph is going up...". I don't know. Yes, it's October and yes all teams have slumps, but there seems to be something missing with this squad. You can't have a 5 on 3 with this kind of talent and not score. Positive: Theo was great! Also, let Nylander play!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | October 13, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, in the world that cstanton1 lives in, he's in a position to criticize players to no end and he hides behind it because somehow he's entitled to his "opinion". If there was ever anyone who acts like they're entitled to anything, it's you. "Critique" the players all you want. Despite what you think, your opinion doesn't matter to anyone but yourself. Go sleep on that.

And again, JD09, irrelevant. Move on with your man-crush on cstanton1. It's cute.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 13, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Getting better...sounds like Zorn.

Posted by: ridgely1 | October 13, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Anton Gustafsson will play in the NHL at a high level for quite a while

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 13, 2009 6:51 PM

From Corey/WaTimes...

Caps working on Swedish deal for Gustafsson

http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/in-the-room/2009/oct/12/caps-working-on-swedish-deal-for-gustafsson/

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 13, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

And again, cstanton1, we went at it previously. You're welcome to make observations and criticisms, just try not sounding like such a big tool. I know it's hard for you but I've seen a number of posters do it and I actually learn something from them. You start typing and it's like the wonking of an adult in a Peanuts holiday special. I can't see you being proud of being the bane of anyone's existence. It would s*ck to be you, if that's what you strive for. Your words would come off better if you weren't a jerk about it.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 13, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

Join the club. We're both being criticized by CStanton, along with fanohock. BTW, the "Storming the Crease" blog is starting to sound like CStanton.

May our "wayward son" have a good game vs San Jose.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Raber

Very clever and amusing. You forgot to include a couple of paragraphs, however:

"...McPhee further cited the hiring of a new defensive consultant, Glen Hanlon, to provide "a fresh set of eyes" on the situation. According to McPhee, neither the hiring of the consultant nor the firing of Boudreau indicate any lack of confidence in the Caps Coach. 'We had to lure Hanlon out of retirement and convince him to give up a promising Bingo calling career,' McPhee explained. 'We didn't want him to feel antagonized by the presence of Boudreau and this is why we let him go. It is not because of lack of confidence in him."

In addition to the fresh set of eyes, it is reported that McPhee is seriously considering a fresh set of legs in the netminder position, and has been making overtures to Olaf Kolzig. Tune in later for updates."

Posted by: caraveli | October 13, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

there's nothing wrong with trying new things with the PP or anything else this early in the season. One change I'd like to see is putting someone else on the point in place on OV.

Putting your best sniper/power forward back there has never made much sense to me. it's like asking Karl Malone to handle the basketball and shoot from the outside.

Posted by: joek443 | October 13, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

@MetalCapsFan

Now if they could also arrange a Swedish deal for Nylander while they're at it. So the matter can stop distracting us (and give us some cap space).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

MetalCapsFan, you've been pretty money with the linkage today, good work.

Posted by: superpaqman | October 13, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton Wow, did Semin steal your lunch money? Geez, he's not the worst guy on the team, so give it a rest. I know some people don't like him because he didn't come over to play after the lockout FOUR YEARS AGO, that he doesn't speak English` but so what? He not a selfish player in the least. I remember clearly a 3 on 1 in a game last year where he passed the puck to Flash so that he could get his 20th goal. Flash couldn't make the shot, but that is another story. And for the record, he is constantly being called out and is the first one punished by BB for making mistakes that others like Boyd Gordon have gotten a pass. So give me a break. If Brooks Laich played like Semin you'd demand they put him in the Hall of Fame.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 13, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Hello boys and girls! I'm pleased to see that not much has changed around here! lol!!

So, anyone care to take stab at what will happen with Nyls and when? Perhaps more importantly, what will happen to the team as a result? I'm giddy with anticipation!

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 13, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

Amen to your last comment. (The lockout was four years ago. And, at the time, Semin signed up with a Russian team, who knew when the lockout was going to end, anyhow?)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

the 8 19 28 line should be called the S.O.B line. Yea yea, all you whiners ;-) I know S.O.B is out of order, but its cooler than OBS line.

Posted by: griz0615 | October 13, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

@Boo

Welcome back to this board. What will happen with Nyls? It seems like it would be an unhealthy situation if Nyls remains with the team as a healthy scratch all year long.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

@griz0615

Picky, Picky, Picky! Okay, I'm the main booster around here for the OBS moniker, even though a lot of posters call them the SOB line. (That line is temporarily defunct, but only temporarily.)

I wonder when we'll see the "Red Haired, Rocking Red Army Line", the line that I initially figured would be this year's second line -- at least until Flash went out. (That line would be Semin -- B. Morrison -- Flieschmann). Note: the color of all of their hair -- red.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
Thanks! :-) I would have to agree ... something's gotta give, eh?

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 13, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

"I'll take the blame," Boudreau said. "I started too much tinkering with the two units, trying to equal out goal production. It broke my internal rule of, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' We'll work on this tomorrow and get it right."

That is the most encouraging sign I have heard yet. Put back together the line that should be a force for years and years to come - you know which one I mean BB.

Posted by: hock1 | October 13, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Boo:
welcome back - you've been missed!!
i hope GMGM gets his head out of his *ss (imo - gmgm is the lone wolf behind all of this) and lets nlys play. if he performs well is raises his value, if not then it really isn't much different than having him in the pressbox. i'm not really sure exactly how the cap hit would work - but i think they can find a taker nearer the deadline as next years cap hit for nlys is only 3M. i don't have much hope that he will end up in another league.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 13, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Kirk! :-)

If he has not played yet, I don't see him suiting up. I also would be surprised if made it to 2010 ... we'll see! I'll just be curious to see what they do with the coin if he goes.

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 13, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

@--Boo--

I would be sad, if Nylander is still here as a healthy scratch, and Semin is gone.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
Do you think Semin is going?

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 13, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

if he goes - i would hope they save the contract and $$ for a rent-a-d-man at the trade deadline as well as any other needs they may have due to injury. clearly picking up needed pieces work as witnessed by what the pens did and when the caps stole the division with huet, fedorov and cooke.
out of the top 6 forwards last year only backstrom, ovi, flash and nlys played at least 70 games. having some cap room at the deadline will be as much a factor in how deep the caps can go in the playoffs as how well they are playing at the time.
i believe theo and varly are adequate enough to get them to the SC finals, provided they do not lose any firepoower. what can push them over the top is a steady, gritty dman or two - even if only rented

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 13, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

IS BB DRUNK! is he looking at that gragh upside down,or with a 'crooked' eye.once he relizes things are a little worse than HE sees,he might get the team back on track.though i will follow him and his team too the end.i just hope things get better and get better FAST. GO CAPS!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | October 13, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

@--Boo--

So many people think we'll have trouble keeping both Semin and Backstrom. And nearly everyone would vote for Backstrom over Semin. (So many people are ready to ride Semin out of town on a rail at this point.)

I think the Caps will keep them both, unless we really have a catastrophic finish.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 13, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Yay, Boo is back. Some sanity returns to the blog? ;)

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | October 13, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Hi all, a newbie on this journal. Usually you'll find me on Nationals Journal but I digress.

They should do a comparison across sports. I think 'Skins fans are the whineiest fans. That's all I hear on network radio (rolling eyes). I get sick of it, so I'm slowly but surely putting hockey as my second favorite sport (from Football).

I caught on to CAPS hockey when my cousin got me interested last year and gave me tickets to a few games. I mean, I always followed them in the standings and such, but I rarely went to games until last year.

All I can say is GO CAPS!!! C A P S - CAPS CAPS CAPS!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | October 14, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

@CALSGR8 - Hey! Welcome! Don't mind the trolls. We have a few on here. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask; most of us will provide an honest answer to the best of our ability. You should recognize the trolls pretty quickly; don't worry - they usually go back in their troll holes when the Caps win a game or two. ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | October 14, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

I passed on the season ticket holder event last night and gave my tickets to my sons and they went with a player from the mite hockey team my older son coaches and the mite's Dad drove them (he's a State Trooper). The Capitals took care of the little mite, all the way to BB. My older son said that poor Varly made a rookie mistake because he couldn't resist stopping to autograph the little mite's jersey before the scheduled time. My son said Caps fans were like piranha and Varly had to be pulled from the crowd that gathered.

Once the lines formed my son said the players would make small talk with all the little guys. The mite ended up getting 11 autographs last night. He doesn't know who his favorite player now because "they are all so awesome." They all said Knuble was great, and my son apologized to Green for everyone riding him so much. He said Green chuckled and said, thanks dude.

I'm sure there were some disappointed fans there because there are a lot of season ticket holders right now, which is great, but much more crowded. What was cool to hear is that the Caps still take the time where it really matters, with the little ones. No matter what era, NHL players in Washington have always been very humble, and I assume that is league wide. We used to wait to get autographs when they came off at Piney Orchard, and I understand there is a staging area at Kettler. I'll be sending a thank you letter through my season ticket holder represenative but I just thought I'd let you all know how things went in our little world last night.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 14, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

What's wrong with criticizing players? especially when they're not performing? So should we come on this message board and suck each others d*ick? I prefer constructive criticism and analyzing team play after games.

Or, should we listen to your "expert" advice on work ethic?

You're just annoying.

Way to prove the poll right by whine about whining, and then whining some more.

I love you.

Posted by: JD09 | October 14, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

JD09: You don't get it. The folks at NHL Home Ice are saying we don't understand we have here and continue to complain about talented players. You see, YOU are whining, YOU are one of the fans they are talking about. Quit using the "suck" reference too. It's rediculous and makes you look immature.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 14, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

O man, the trolls came out of their holes early this morning. Gonna be a long day on the blog!

Posted by: PhilR | October 14, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Leave LeftCoast Alone!!!!
The poor little guy is out there in his Caps Underoos and his "I Love the Great 8" tee shirt, and any critiquing of his fabled team sends him into fits of sobbing.
This guy has never been coached hockey and I would bet never been played hockey in any capacity.
Work ethic does not matter when the mental errors are as plain as day. Not clearing the crease is NOT work ethic, it is lazy (physically and mentally).
And isn't the whole sports talk, ESPN, newspaper article, NFL and NHL radio (Sirius rocks by the way, I pay for it), Tarik article genre revolving around criticizing, critiquing, and sometimes whining?

Posted by: IamThehockeyGod | October 14, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Why do you always pop up?

If you listened to the War Room you would understand. They were referring to people who think they deserve something. I don't think we deserve anything when playing like this. So, you're wrong.

And you know what's immature? You people who refer to others as "trolls" and think your some kind of "elite" true fan. You're no better than anyone else on this message board.

Again, go to Japers and you'll fit right in.

Posted by: JD09 | October 14, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

@IamThehockeyGod

Hell yes, I love XM. NHL Home Ice gets me through these long work days. Love the War Room and the Point.

Posted by: JD09 | October 14, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Nope, Tarik's articles are fine. He doesn't suggest we trade some of our top players because we are off to a 2-2-2 start. He doesn't have an alias like "IamThehockeyGod" implying he is, well, a hockey God. Lastly, he doesn't come out and post things in here like a know it all. Some Caps fans like the players we have and just want to discuss some issues, others want to send Green to the minors, or bench him, and others want to trade Semin. When we don't agree we are accused of sucking things, and being idiots. Well, I'm rubber and you're glue...

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 14, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Aw, Fanohock1, thank you so much for the recap of the Caps event! It was great that your son apologized to Green for the fans riding him so hard, and I liked his reaction too. Tell your son he spoke for many fans last night!

The Capitals are showing a lot of class in the way they treat the little hockey players/fans. That goes a long way toward building and continuing a fan base.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 14, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Just calling things like I see them when I call someone a troll. If you can not criticize or critique without berating another blogger or making just outlandish claims of hockey knowledge (godlike) you are a troll, plain and simple.

Posted by: PhilR | October 14, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

I do listen to the war room XM 204. You see I don't use the term "troll" because besides commenting here and TSN, I don't post anywhere else. I don't have a facebook account and spend hours in multiple areas on the internet every day. I am a Capitals fan, that's it. I have just as much right to disagree with you, richmondphil, and cstanton1 and your desire to rip the team after every loss. I should be able to do that without being accused of "sucking" something.

I'm not going to get into comparing hockey knowledge because the fact is, no matter how much you think you know, or how much I think I know. Neither of us have ever possessed the talent these guys that are torn into have. I think a lot of fans understand that which why we have a hard time critiquing every aspect of their game. I played, and now coach, but no where near the level these guys perform at.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 14, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I mean...this comment section used to be a fun cool place, then the caps started doing well and everybody had to start playing who is the most legit fan by posturing on a message board.

This is why we can't have nice things.

Posted by: trunkenmath | October 14, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

The event last night reminds me of how close these players are and brings me back to these line changes. These guy are like brothers, especially Backs and Ovie. I think separating them is a horrible idea and hopefully it was just an experiment. Yes, Ovie is great, but know one sets him up like backs. He could skate blind folded and still hit Ovie. If Backs were on any other team, he would be a superstar.

Hopefully we see them together tomorrow.

@PhilR - Seriously? The "troll" thing is lame and a way to criticize someone without actually thinking. I'm going to stop wasting my time with people like you.

Posted by: JD09 | October 14, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
I don't think he is going anywhere. Fish has even said that they have been planning (financially) to keep both. I'm not too concerned.

Greg:
Thanks but if you are looking to me for sanity, you're in a sad state, my friend! ;-)

trunkenmath:
Gruess Gott! Oh and "this is why we can't have nice things"?!? Amen! lol!! My oh my how things have changed around here ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 14, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

PhilR: That was not at all directed at you.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 14, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

fanohock1: Tarik's articles are fine. I am saying that the sports talk style in general lends itself to critisizing and whining. If Mike and Mike can critique my team after watching highlights of the game, then I can post my opinions after buying season tickets, jerseys, travel to playoff games, etc...

My name is Andrew. I have played four years of high school hockey and three years of college.
My screen name is a poke at the bloggers on this post. Nice to meet you.

Posted by: IamThehockeyGod | October 14, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

OH NO, can we all just get along!!!

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 14, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

IamThehockeyGod: My name is Bob. I played hockey from the time I was 6 until I was 18. I have coached as high as the U18AA travel level, and now coach a High School hockey team. When I was in college we didn't have club teams. It was true D1-D3, or mens league. I blew out my knee when I was 19 and knee surgery recovery back then was not nearly as effective as it is now. You probably know that mandatory hockey training by USA hockey is required to coach.

That still doesn't make me an expert coach. Having coached teenagers I realize EVERY player is different. One player picks up their game by being yelled at, another will fix it by being left alone, and another needs to be encouraged because they beat themselves up (usually the sniper in a slump, and my goaltenders have fallen into this category). My point is BB calls certain players out and not others because he has figured out what makes these guys tick. If doesn't call a certain player out it might be because that is not what motivates a particular player.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 14, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Agree totally! Then you have to agree that lazy is fixable (ice time, time off). Errant passes and allowing players to stand in the crease are fundamental mistakes and will haunt this team until it is changed.
Kudos to you for taking the time to coach. Hockey needs growth, and the best way is to properly instruct the youth. I know at times I needed a fire under my a$$ to get going, but that was when I was 15! These guys are world-class talent, and they know better, and if they don't, time to move on.

Posted by: IamThehockeyGod | October 14, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

IamThehockeyGod:
People are human no matter how old they may be, and different people are motivated by different things. I look at managing people in the business world as a coach would - you need to find out what makes people tick and leverage that, and it is not the same for every person on the team. Even with seasoned professionals (I am speaking in my world) - they still benefit from motivation. I can't imagine that that is any different for professional athletes. Sure, they need to be proactive and self-motivating, but a coach can amplify that if he/she plays his/her cards right. Wouldn't you agree?

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 14, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I would say the effort has been much better since the rags game. The last 2 games Semin was trying to play in the defencive zone, but he probably never had to really play defence until he got to the NHL. He just doesn't know how to read, react, slide, cover and play one-on-one-d.

My frustration is why do the caps make the same mistakes over and over. Hooking, tripping and holding are mostly caused by getting beat or out of position. These penalties are never good in the offencive zone, except under rare circumstance. I always played center against the other teams top lines.

I don't want Semin gone, but I think most people are looking at Salary restrictions and going through scenarios that are the least sucky for the team. Reality is a b..ch!!! The boys have played better the last 2 games and will go on a ltille run very soon.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | October 14, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Well, I guess if you're going to have to tinker with the power play, early is when you do it.

For those of you asking "isn't that what training camp and pre-season are for?" Yes, but it's impossible to completely finish the job, because you don't face that many teams in pre-season, and you don't always have your full lineup settled yet. What works with some players may not work with others. When you don't have enough time for full testing and validation of a software product, there will be some bugs when you roll it into production, and the same is true of hockey (and any other sport you care to name).

Regarding the poll: It's true, folks. Caps fans do tend to have something of a martyr complex and an inferiority complex. Maybe it comes from DC sports being lousy in general, maybe it comes from just some bad breaks. Who knows. But it's there.

There's also a "sky is falling" tendency, and it's showing itself loud and clear right now. I'll worry when it's mid-November and the kinks still aren't ironed out.

Regarding other blogs: You know, the Caps blogosphere makes my brain hurt. What is up with every blog sniping at every other blog? Good Christ, it's like a lot of children fratching. CI calls Japers' whiny, but Japers' thinks that CI commenters are stupid and clueless. Both sides pick on OFB for being homer-rific. Why can't we all just get along? Sheesh. :P

In other news, the party last night was amusing. I did find out what happened to Erskine - took a puck in his right hand, right across the first two knuckles. He didn't look too happy to be holding a pen, and I'll be surprised if he isn't a scratch on Thursday. Too many people, tho.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 14, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Well played Kitty, Boo and IamThehockeyGod

Posted by: superpaqman | October 14, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

How did the puck hit his knuckles? Did he drop his glove?

Wouldn't be upset to see him watching from the rafters tomorrow. He can't handle the offensive power of San Jose, let alone any other team.

Posted by: JD09 | October 14, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Is the sky falling?

Posted by: JSchon | October 14, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Where oh where is the mighty Sombrero? I'd follow that dude to any board.

Posted by: Fro_ | October 14, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Is the sky falling?

Posted by: JSchon | October 14, 2009 9:54 AM
-------------------------------------------JSchon - no the sky is not falling, it crash landed right after the SO loss

Posted by: Redwolf1 | October 14, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Sombrero Guy now posts on Japers, as do many other ex-CI posters.

Posted by: 1hockeymom | October 14, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Glad that the arguing stopped. It makes my head weary and I start to scan through posters rather than read them. Also, I don't understand the criticism of other blogs. It's just another source of news. I like Japers because they use a lot of stats, have great links, and the posters usually kept it light tho' informative. The tone stays respectful even when in fierce disagreement. I wish more posters on this board would stay more respectful and stop flaming others--including me--when we comment. I like lively discussion--not fake curse word, calling people homers, etc. And the negativity--oh the negativity. It's tiring. Really why can't we all get along--we are all Caps fans after all.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 14, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

(I also post on both Japers' and CI, though under different names.)

@JD09: Blocked a shot. Those gloves are good, but not puck-traveling-at-90+-miles-an-hour good.

I'd like to see Sloan put in for San Jose - San Jose is a fast-skating team and I'm looking for a mobile defense that can break out consistently and quickly. Sloan is an insanely good skater who generally plays a simple game and can lay out the body if it's called for. I don't dislike Schultz, but he's not a real fast skater.

Tarik - any insight yet on what the top two lines look like?

Posted by: kittypawz | October 14, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Funny story from last night...A 6 year old girl and Boyd Gordon were going for a bag of cotton candy when they collided...Gordon fell down and could not get to his feet as the 6 year old walked away with the Cotton Candy....

Posted by: opus1m | October 14, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

When I went to watch the Caps practice on Monday, I noticed an older player who stayed on the ice for a long time, working hard with other players. As I was leaving, he was doing laps around the rink with a puck, as were a couple of other players. My son remarked how fast the guy seemed, and I agreed. His number was 92. Nyls. Was it our imagination that he was fast, or was it because no one was doing the same thing when we were watching? Seriously, I don't know enough about Nyls except that he was acquired at a high price, injured, recovered and then benched and that some people say he can't play BB's system and just skates in circles.

In keeping with the respectful tone that has been appreciated of late on this blog, could someone address my question about Nyls? I know that people want to get rid of him, that he has a no movement contract, etc. etc. etc. That's not what I'm after. I am pleading ignorance of his skills and hockey style and would just like a tutorial. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 14, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: fanohock1 "Having coached teenagers I realize EVERY player is different. One player picks up their game by being yelled at, another will fix it by being left alone, and another needs to be encouraged because they beat themselves up (usually the sniper in a slump, and my goaltenders have fallen into this category). My point is BB calls certain players out and not others because he has figured out what makes these guys tick. If doesn't call a certain player out it might be because that is not what motivates a particular player."

I agree but only to a point. Teenagers who are growing & learning the game are quite different than professional ADULT hockey players, most of them making a Million $ or more, who have been playing @ the NHL level for more than 2-3 years! They should NOT be "molly-coddled". Personal accountability should apply to everyone. I don't agree with harsh criticism of a player in public or in front of team mates, screaming & yelling ...because that really erodes confidence, but I do believe pointing out what they need to do & sitting them out for a couple of games if they don't improve their performance. That is definitely a better strategy than allowing a few to continue with their shabby play while penalizing others. Playing favorites never works in a team sport. There are a few players who have played 4 bad games in a row. Time to sit them & let them stew a bit. Time to initiate them into the "real" world. Being allowed to miss practice if you're not injured is another mistake. On another note, I like what Andrew Tomlinson said in a recent article: "In reality one of the most exciting things about the NHL, and hockey in general, is that the top players aren't always most important. While a club's All-Stars are important, the role players are what make or break a team." You don't see BB molly-coddling the role players.

Posted by: gogetem | October 14, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

oic, thanks. For some reason, I thought you were saying he was cut. I actually never saw it and didn't even notice he was out until after the game, so I had no idea.

Posted by: JD09 | October 14, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"I like Japers because they use a lot of stats, have great links, and the posters usually kept it light tho' informative. The tone stays respectful even when in fierce disagreement."

I agree. Their articles are very good and stats are nice. However, I can't stand any of there commenters. They cant handle a hint of criticism. JP even gets offended and lashes out at people, which I think is very unprofessional. So, I stopped going there, which is sad because I like the info the articles provide.

Posted by: JD09 | October 14, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

gogetem: You have no idea what BB does for the role players. People on here have said that Gordon needs to sit for his late penalties but BB hasn't. He probably has a different way of dealing with Gordon.

These guys are still kids, any psychology course will tell you that regarding 20 somethings. Kids don't mentally turn into men and women just because they turned 18. They go from Junior hockey, where they are boarded by host families who look out for them, and then some go to college if not directly to the pros. When they sign their first contract they usually live like college students in apartments with no furniture and truly on their own for the first time in their lives, for Europeans, for the first time outside of their country on most occasions. Then if they excell and sign a big contract by the time they are 23 they don't become responsible adults over night either. They don't know how to manage their money and are just kids trying to stay focused. The only thing they do know is the rink, the weight room, and the stadium.

That is why I like to give these guys the benefit of doubt. They are only a few years removed from being teenagers no matter how much money they make. Some days when they don't perform well they may have a friggin' cold, or the flu, or a pulled muscle, and play through it. They don't call in sick and log onto the Capitals Insider to pass the day.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 14, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

On Caps fans being voted most whiney on that pole...

There are few clubs with the amount of heart ache and disappointment as the Caps. The Caps have had some of the worst historic meltdowns in hockey. Now this new group of Caps and Owner have experience less but still the loss to the Flyers and Penguins and the way they lost it does give plenty of reason to "whine".

Caps win a little more and get better breaks on calls, then you will see alot less "whining".

Posted by: cirrus_nine | October 14, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

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