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Posted at 6:59 PM ET, 01/21/2011

Bruce Boudreau discusses Capitals' lack of offense, defends David Steckel

By Katie Carrera

For half of Thursday's game against the Islanders, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom looked like their old selves, creating chances off the rush and picking opponents' pockets to gain control of the puck in the neutral zone.

While it's definitely a good thing to see both of the Capitals stars record two points in that 2-1 victory, Washington has seen the signs of a potential breakout before over the past month and a half as the team has struggled to score and yet, they couldn't get over the hump. To some extent though, Coach Bruce Boudreau doesn't expect anyone to start rattling off bushel baskets of goals a night like they used to right now.

"They're not going to get five goals and five points," Boudreau said after the win. "Our team isn't made up right now like that. If you look at the line siutattion, the combinations aren't going to score that many goals."

Revisiting the topic during a conference call with reporters Friday, Boudreau said although he'd like to see all of the Capitals players who are used to scoring score at their regular paces again if winning comes in the form of 2-1 instead of 6-4 he'll take it.

"You'd like everybody to score and do well, but the winning is the No. 1 thing," Boudreau said. "I think everybody that watches us, winning is secondary unless we lose. Everybody wants to see Alex [Ovechkin] and Nick [Backstrom] and Mike [Green] and where are the six or seven goals they're used to us scoring. We're not there right now."

--Boudreau said Semyon Varlamov will be "able to play for sure" Saturday, assuming of course that he is picked to play against the Maple Leafs.

--Hits to the head have been a hot topic for a few seasons now and the discussion has picked up again with Sidney Crosby suffering from a concussion. The much talked about collision between the Capitals' David Steckel and Crosby at the Winter Classic is believed to have contributed to the injury and Boudreau stood up for Steckel.

"If it was reversed and Sidney happened to hit David Steckel and he didn't see him, nobody would be saying a word," said Boudreau, pointing to the Washington center's low number of penalty minutes throughout his career. "It's because it's Sidney Crosby, quite frankly.....It was an accident. Steckel is 6-5, and Crosby is 5-11 and your shoulder's going to meet the head with that difference in size."

By Katie Carrera  | January 21, 2011; 6:59 PM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Friday afternoon Capitals roundup
Next: Mike Green named alternate captain for the All Star weekend

Comments

Yup.

Posted by: large23220 | January 21, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

A- the Steckel hit on Cindy was accidental, like most of Steckel's crushing body checks.

B- Cindy wasn't looking in the direction he was skating.

Posted by: SidSux1 | January 21, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

If GMGM could get his hands "The Riper", I would kiss sgm3 on the lips. Besides, his family has "good history" here.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach

How did I get brought into this? I guess I am unquestionably against picking up Rick Rypein, just for my own sake.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 21, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

well said Bruce

Posted by: casser | January 21, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Eklund says he has three sources saying SJ will put in a claim on Nabby. If true remember who called them going after him yesterday.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 21, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

This whole "Crosby hit" issue is one of the most ridiculous accusations I've ever heard in my 40 plus years as a sports nut.

David Steckel is a weenie. That hit was accidental. Steckel couldn't hurt Crosby if he tried. What a bunch of nuts. Have these people seen Stecks play ????

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 21, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Some insight on the Collision. http://tinyurl.com/steckelcrosby

Posted by: rbluesw | January 21, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3
@vermont

Don't worry sgm3. "The Riper" has too much "hockey grit" for GMGM to be interested in him.

Rip is "pound for pound" the toughest guy in the league.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 21, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Hi guys and ladies! Long time since posting! I could no longer resist. I fear the powers that be may start taking some of the madness I've been reading on this blog to heart. One or 2 things I can agree with, but some of it is utter nonsense! A lot of the people on here have no appreciation of what you guys have for a team in Washington. You got it all and some people are demanding big changes!! WTF? Question the Owner? Fire the coach?? Fire the GM?? Trade Semin?? Change the system?? Good god! Leave well enough alone and enjoy what you have. A Stanley Cup Contender, and for a while at that!! You people should be idolizing your Owner, GM, Coach and Team! Enjoy the ride! Go Caps!

Posted by: edmontoncapsfan | January 21, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

The internet must've been down in Edmonton, and I don't think they can get satellite tv there...

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 21, 2011 11:32 PM | Report abuse

@Edmonton

Did you sit through all those "games from hell" when we fielded teams that were not NHL caliper just to obtain draft picks. That went on for years. The phone booth was vacant, except for die hards like us.
We lived it. We kept the team alive with our ticket purchases when the team was unwatchable.

Now we have some of the best hockey players in the world, and the team doesn't hustle in the playoffs. It's mind numbing.
This GM has had 13 years to get us to the Conference Championship or something of significance, and all he can point to is the success of the team that David Poile built.

With all those picks and the luck of landing Ovi, we should have already won the Cup !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peter Bondra was a warrior for us. We had to watch him get shipped off in tears, and for what ?????????????????

So, don't pretend that we have not thought through our complaints. All of us loved BB at first. We're hockey fans, and we know the game just as well as the Oiler fans.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 21, 2011 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I remember when Bruce defended Ovie after he broke Campbell's collarbone..."Ovie's push didn't break his bone, the wall did." Now Steckel didn't hit Crosby, "Crosby slammed his own head into Steckel ..." Do the Caps just try to invent their own reality? or are they really this seriously deluded?

The most offensive thing Bruce said was that "the team KIDDED STECKEL ABOUT THE HIT." Laughing about inflicting a serious injury on another player is as low as a human being can get. Doesn't matter who it is.

Posted by: Onetimer101 | January 22, 2011 12:08 AM | Report abuse

@onetimer

You're clueless. Stecks is known as the softest "big guy" in the league. Many of us can't stand him for that reason. I'm sure the kidding was prior to the Tampa game hit where it became apparent that Crosby was seriously hurt.

Stecks doesn't have it in his heart to try an hurt another player. The guy is a gentle giant. Man are you full of "Matt Cooke Dung". There's a guy trying to hurt people. Steck's, no way !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 22, 2011 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Peter Bondra was a warrior for us. We had to watch him get shipped off in tears, and for what ?????????????????

________________________

Brooks Laich and a 2nd, I think.

That was actually a very fruitful salary dump. Related though, it's even hard for me to read that Bondra article still.
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=1737956

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 22, 2011 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Now Steckel didn't hit Crosby, "Crosby slammed his own head into Steckel ..."

______________________________

That's not even what he said.

Also, there are tons of guys Steckel's size who exert about the same physicality as Steckel himself.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 22, 2011 12:59 AM | Report abuse

I hate seeing guys hit, but Crosby was an utter idiot for causing that collision with Steckel.

And then to whine about it when he was skating across ice while looking over his shoulder up ice is just shameful.

Posted by: Justafan | January 22, 2011 5:19 AM | Report abuse

"hate seeing guys HURT..."

Posted by: Justafan | January 22, 2011 5:22 AM | Report abuse

"siutattion"

Dat ain't a wurd, I czeched.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 22, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Ottawa will explode starting today. If there was ever a chance to get Fisher, now is the time. McPhee has the assets.

@Onetimer101

I remember standing up in Heinz Field right after period two ended. The jumbotron showed Crosby bent over, skating to the bench, in obvious pain.

Just another reason why that was one of the best nights ever!

Posted by: underpants2 | January 22, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

All of Crosby's complaining just proves what a whining crybaby he is. It was an accident, Cindy..............Jeez

Posted by: poguesmahone | January 22, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

Could Nabby return to San Jose? Given the state of their goaltending corps, with Nittimaki on the shelf, it would not surprise me. A fan posted on Japers that his wife is actually from San Jose. (I knew she was American but didn't know her place of birth.) And the kids were born here.

The prodigal goalie returns home -- or at least to his family's home.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 22, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, Crosby pulled a Gus Ferotte vs. the wall and Stekel, just like the wall, won. Get over it Pens lurkers.

Posted by: LortonVA | January 22, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Do the Caps really want Fisher? He has 2 yrs left @ 4.2 m. 90 is progressing nicely & should fit the 2C next year. The Senators will want a goalie (of course what GM doesn't ask for 1 of the Caps 3 young goalies?). We don't have the cap space for Fisher & the Caps would have to move somebody else to make this work.

Posted by: chriscaps | January 22, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm so tired of hearing Sidney whining about the "hit" that wasn't a hit! The NHL ruled it "incidental contact," simply two guys trying to occupy the same space. Not a dirty hit, not a clean hit, but NO hit at all! And Gabby is right; if it was anybody but Sidney nobody would even know about it.

Posted by: farmgirl19C | January 22, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Cindy Crosby is a great talent, but he's a whiner. Cindy, next time, look where you're going. The NHL office reviewed the collision and didn't see the need to impose any discipline on Stecks, who's a marshmallow anyway.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | January 22, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Why Rule 48 doesn’t go far enough….
The David Steckel hit on Crosby is a classic example: As noted by reporter David Molinari, “Those who believe the hit was inadvertent can look at a replay and come away convinced they are correct. Those who have no doubt that Steckel knew exactly what he was doing can watch the same footage, then point to it as evidence that they are right.” What all can agree on is that Crosby’s head was the sole point of contact and that he has missed the month of the past 8 games and counting with a concussion. (http://tiny.cc/gu45r)
Within the comment section on this blogsite, there are assurances from Cap’s fans that “Steckel tried to avoid Crosby…dipped shoulder etc” exposed as delusions by Steckel’s own account when he said he “never saw Crosby, and didn’t realize anyone was there.” When Bruce Boudreau was quoted in The Star saying that "the team KIDDED STECKEL ABOUT THE HIT." (Laughing about inflicting a serious injury on another player is as low as a human being can get. Doesn't matter who it is.) The comment’s post said “I’m sure this was before the team realized that Crosby was injured” again exposed as delusion by Boudreau’s further comments.
Clearly leaving “INTENT” as part of the criteria for judging headshots and penalties for them is setting the League up for perceived failures, controversies and complaints as everyone’s mind reader abilities seem to rest on rooting interests for their team and players. (A suspension for dirty play during the signature Winter Classic with HBO camera coverage would not have been good press for the League after all).
Intent is impossible to guess, and we never actually know, and as long as it is criteria for headshot calls, fines, suspensions and penalties will be impossible to get right. The idea gaining strength is the concept that the NHL adopted years ago regarding high sticks. “Players have to be responsible for their sticks. If they hit someone, regardless of reason, it is a 2-minute penalty. If they draw blood, it is 4.” This is as clear-cut a rule as can be found in hockey and means no one needs to be a mind reader. Head hits need to be eliminated from the game. This rule change would move us a step closer to letting the players have a role in making that happen.

Posted by: Onetimer101 | January 23, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

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