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David Steckel records first penalty-shot tally for finishing touch on Caps' 7-2 win over Flames

With a long game (seven goals by the visitors will do that) and an early start to a long day of flights back to Washington, I'm going to be brief. But if you haven't done so already, check out the full recap of the Capitals' 7-2 win over the Flames.

Of that offensive barrage there was one goal that may not have been something folks would have expected: the penalty-shot tally by David Steckel. It was his first-ever penalty-shot attempt and Steckel, who was 0-for-1 in shootouts during his career, made no mistake. He roofed the puck into the net, sending the water bottle flying behind Calgary goaltender Henrik Karlsson for the final Capitals tally.

While shorthanded late in the second period, Steckel pressured Calgary's Mark Giordano at the blueline, gained control of the puck and took off toward the Flames' net.

"Honestly, I was just trying to get up the ice quick," Steckel said. "I knew that he was trying to get me and I was pretty sure they were going to call offsides so I was going by him regardless, but I got the puck in my feet kicked it up. Then he had two to three good hooks on my waist and I thought he was going to catch up, and I felt a couple more [hooks] on my neck right before going down.

"I was like, if I don't get a penalty shot, that was a long skate for nothing," Steckel said with a laugh. "I was relieved when I turned around over my shoulder and saw the ref at center ice."

At that point, Coach Bruce Boudreau told Steckel to shoot low on Karlsson. Obviously, he didn't listen.

"I told him to go low, and he went up top," Boudreau said laughing. "Go figure. Just do the opposite of what the coach says. The guy flopped, went right down and Stecks held on to it long enough -- I told him I wanted him to pull it because... the goalie has to make the move one way or the other."

By Katie Carrera  | October 31, 2010; 2:38 AM ET
Categories:  Calgary Flames, David Steckel  
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Next: After some 'soul searching,' Caps get it together

Comments

Just got finished watching the game on DVR (I wasn't hiding... was watching basketball/baseball that overlapped the start of the Caps game).

The offensive creativity was great and I think you need to seriously consider keeping 8-19-28 together permanently. I understand the issues they've had in the past (getting cute, lack of D) and that using Semin on the 2nd line creates more scoring balance but I still think it's something to consider.

On the negative side, Carlson has had some really, really rough stretches early this season despite the positives and praise. Maybe he hasn't been healthy but while his good is solid, his bad stretches do make you wonder if he's ready. If we were a rebuilding team, it would be one thing but we're not. It takes years for most defensemen to figure it out, if they ever do. Green and Schultz still have a lot to learn and are kids themselves. Alzner's had his struggles as well so the same applies there. We have a very young D which just doesn't seem like a good idea for this team. I still think we need a big defensive upgrade this season - probably 2.

We got dominated in the first period for the most part and Neuvirth bailed us out a few times or it could've been worse heading into the 2nd. The Flames were just ripping shots through clear lanes and outworking the Caps in every respect for the first 15 minutes or so.

Still, even a whiner like me enjoyed the 2nd period for obvious reasons.

The 3rd period was pond hockey and nothing to evaluate there.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 31, 2010 3:00 AM | Report abuse

Also, that Bradley goal was pretty hilarious. It looked like he was trying to block a shot with his stick in front of his own net.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 31, 2010 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and there were actually two Capitals vs. Flames games tonight. I found this while googling: http://www.sportsaustralia.com/articles/news.php?id=8332

"The Canberra Capitals have beaten the Sydney Uni. Flames for the second time this season in a classic overtime contest 87-83 in Sydney on Saturday night."

What are the odds of that?

And the Flames were the home team in both contests.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 31, 2010 3:11 AM | Report abuse

I really liked seeing the Ovie/Semin/Backs line together again. Someone else said they didn't think it would last long, which is probably right.

Another person on the previous thread questioned why Knuble was in and not Fehr. It was Knuble's 900th game---maybe that had something to do with it?

Anyway, last night was fun, really fun, but I'll join in the chorus that sings about needing some shut-down defensemen and a true 2C.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 31, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

keep the S.O.B. line!

Posted by: 33spinner | October 31, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I really liked seeing the Ovie/Semin/Backs line together again. Someone else said they didn't think it would last long, which is probably right.
---------------------------

It's usually not a good idea to have your best scorers all in one line. Coaches do it when they get desperate but it's not a long term solution.

During the SC finals last year the best coaching move made was when Quenneville
broke up his top line in the last two games of that series. They won both games and won the Cup mainly because of that move.

Posted by: joek443 | October 31, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Fehr=Passenger

Good to see Green play great Defense and get involved in the scoring.

Ovie's a given. Backstrom needed that game to "come out"...

I'm liking our D, just put Poti in for Fahey and we do have a young, but strong D.

More HOLTBY....

Posted by: SoaringCaps | October 31, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

For what is worth I thought Fahey looked decent. he looked better than Carlson and Alzner. I also think Erskin is playing his best hockey of his career. Carlson and Alzner are so young and have much time to develop. Having Poti back will make a difference. I think they need to split up Carlson and Alzner and assign each with a veteran. I know they apparently have this chemsitry but they have both looked pretty bad the last two games. I know with some of the injuries they do not have a lot of flexibility. Lets all be honest the Caps issues this year has not been team defense or the dman or goalie but offense. We should still try to make a play with Souray regardless.

Posted by: pkme | October 31, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Question: In reference to the SOB line, is it better to have a great line that can score four to five goals a game or two “balanced lines” that can score half that many goals in total? I think the balanced lines are a myth, at least on this team.
The constant shuffle on the second line avoids the development of chemistry among those players and handicaps the play of a great player like Semin.

Posted by: hock1 | October 31, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/36054-THNcom-Blog-Capitals-taking-advice-they-didnt-know-they-got.html


I do not necessarily agree with all of this but it is interesting. Front page article about the Caps on thehockeynews.com by Ken Campbell coming soon. He is wrong about one thing. The defense is playing well. Olczyk never seems to have anything nice to say about the Caps regardless. He does rip BB a bit and Mcphee which of course is somehwat accurate.

Posted by: pkme | October 31, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I'm liking our D, just put Poti in for Fahey and we do have a young, but strong D.

More HOLTBY....
--------------------------------------

Seriously how many of you have actually seen Holtby play for more than a few games??

Has it ever occured to anyone that the reason he hasn't seen any playing time in the NHL is because the coaches don't think that highly of him or that he's NHL ready?

They didn't have any problem putting in Varly or Neuvy when they were brough up, did they?

Posted by: joek443 | October 31, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@justafan (from previous thread)

I must admit you were more optimistic about the Caps chances of winning from the opening faceoff. I'll admit I was not terribly optimistic prior to the game (which wasn't helped by the fact that the Penguins, Flyers, and both the Caps farm teams lost).

When Calgary scored upon them with less than one minute into the game, I thought "Uh oh, here we go again." And got less optimistic after they loused up a power play and nearly giving up shorties. And that 2nd Calgary goal.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Yes, Carlson is injured. I recall him missing an "optional" morning skate last week before the road trip. And recall reports of injuries. Except our defense corps is so thin and injury riddled, it's ridiculous.

The main 4 guys for our defense are 25 and under. (Guess I think them as kids since the eldest of that group, Green, is a few months younger than my first born.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The Caps played well for about 28 minutes. No im not being anal, they got dominated the first 12 minutes and then started to regain form. Obviously they dominated the second period and the 3rd period was just pond hockey since the game was a blowout so I dont really count that as part of the game.

Finally the PP clicked. And like I said the other day the team goes as Ovi goes. If hes going to play well, most everyone does.

Carlson was pretty bad. My guess is he isnt recovered from his injury which he never took a game off of from to heal. You can tell, most of his mistakes come when he has to push off to make a quick decision and his one leg is still messed up from blocking the shot so he cant do it quick enough. Hopefully Poti comes back Wed night and they can rest Carlson for a game.

It looks like MP is heading back to Hershey. While I dont think Laich was spectacular in the faceoff circle, the decision to put him and Knuble on a line with Flash helps cover for Flash as a defensive liability. Which is a smart move. I just hope that line will be able to score if these lines stay together.

All in all it was a good game for them last night after the first 12 minutes or so.

Posted by: ThePat | October 31, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Another point about last night's game - having Laich at 2C. I "laich" the move (sorry). With Steckel or Gordon at 3C, that gives the Caps some solid, veteran play there. Laich and Steckel can play relatively physical hockey and are decent on defense and face-offs, as is Gordon. Let Johansson learn NHL hockey at wing, and I think Flash is better off as the third line wing/sniper.

Carlson and Alzner should be the third defensive pair. The Caps are at least one and probably two solid veterans short of a respectably defensive corps.

Posted by: zmega | October 31, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@pkme

Yes, even though the kids (Alzner and Carlson) are having their share of issues and obvious growing pains, I'd probably leave them together. Beats the alternatives, especially when Poti's out.

Alzner/Erskine just does not work.
Alzner/Sloan and Erskine/Carlson is an improvement over Alzner/Erskine and Sloan/Carlson.

And, are we sure we want either of the kids with Fahey?


Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Really enjoyed that THN article. Almost read as if the writer took all our comments here since the playoff debacle and summed them up nicely and neatly.

I'm not worried about the goaltending. Neuvirth for one has done nothing so far except show why he's won the Calder Cup twice. Also, the goals allowed has improved (though we haven't been playing high scoring teams either).

Bottom line, though, something we've harped on, the team must be able to adapt and play multiple styles. I've pointed that out repeatedly since Caps lost to Montreal and then Hershey adapted to beat Texas.

If the minor league can do it, why can't the big club?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 31, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

ThePat: You know, Johansson comes back, if you put him to center Laich and Knuble you have a fairly responsible defensive line that should also be good at cycling and grinding. It could actually be the checking line that I have been asking for.

That begs the question of what to do with Flash. Surely some team out there needs a sniper and we can deal from our strength (forwards) to their strength (defense).

Gotta wonder what's up with Perreault. The team is giving him every chance and he just won't catch on.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 31, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

id have no problem with MaJo centering those two guys. It gives him two solid vets around him to help him out.

In regards to MP, he is a talented kid. There is a lot of behind the scenes stuff that I have heard about that probably is a reason why he comes and goes and never stays.

Posted by: ThePat | October 31, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I hope Perreault can get it together. He had 1 great game followed by 2 bad games or, more accurately, 2 games where he & the whole second line seemed out of sync.

Sounds like a good suggestion. Having Johansson centering Laich and Knuble. While Laich and Knuble can perform well in checking roles, they at least are very good scorers for checking liners. (I recall that the KLM line of Knuble, Laich, and Morrison had gotten off to a good start only to tail off.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

And in regards to Flash I think if he's going to be dealt it will be within the next 10 games or right at the deadline. Teams are beginning to realize that they need scoring depth. Toronto needs it desparately but I dont think he is Burke material. I wouldnt be surprised if Fehr plays Wed night and Flash does not. A bench each of them and see which gets it going faster type of move.

Posted by: ThePat | October 31, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

pleasure to watch this one on the dvr this morning...

I saw the BB quote yesterday that "they've got to learn that you can't win with those long diagonal passes in this league".. (Except that is when you CAN win BECAUSE of those long diagonal passes...)

Green was brilliant, showed why he would actually merit Norris considerations. If could pull that genie out of the bottle even 3 nights out of 4 I doubt there's another defenseman could touch him.

Semin - again, superb on ice vision, no one thinks the game better. The way he drew those defenders to him to release Green on the first goal. Or the quick one touch pass to send Green in for his goal. Or the pass to set up Ovie's 2nd. It's what he does, that's what he brings to the game. You could feel the joy those four have playing with each other out there.

And hats off to Ovie - there I was, wondering if hadn't loss some of his skill. He brought the whole package, quarterbacking the power play, great hands, skating, vision, passing, and shooting. And a few hits, also. He wants that line to stay together.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 31, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

wondering if Caps are figuring on having one unbeatable line followed by three adequate lines?
8 19 28
14 21 22
25 90 16 (I think Fehr will get a sweater again)
26 10 15 (39 and 17 rotate in and out)

Quite possibly they've decided Flash and Semin will not find the little bit of magic they had last January...


Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 31, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Only problem with SOB line...who goes to the net?

Also...those who bashed the Caps for the two Boston games...Thomas now has 3 shutouts and a 0.5GAA and .984SV% Maybe we weren't quite as atrocious in those games as we thought.

GREAT 2nd and 3rd oeriods last night! glad the PP finally had some (a lot) of success...also against a team with a good PK! I hesitate though to say the lines should stay like that...Give Laich a few more games at center to see how he does, and I think MaJo and Laich might switch. Obviously Fehr will be back (was he a healthy scrtch?) Lets see what happens over the next few games before we make any major predictions.

Also...those who say BB can't adjust...what would you call last night then?

Posted by: capscoach | October 31, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach - agreed on Boston. The players didn't seem to think they were outplayed...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 31, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

It was fun to see Brent Sutter blow a gasket in the 2nd period last night with a long string of profanities. I thought that his head would explode when the Caps erupted for 6 goals!

Posted by: MReilly9 | October 31, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

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