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Canadiens 5, Caps 4

Bruce Boudreau won't be coming back here later this month, after all.

Milan Jurcina lost the puck in his skates with 21.2 seconds remaining tonight, and Sergei Kostitsyn sent the Caps to one of their toughest losses of the season, 5-4, at Bell Centre. Not only was the loss their second in as many nights, it also prevented Boudreau from earning a spot behind the Eastern Conference all-star team's bench.

Jurcina was despondent after the game, sitting for several minutes in the visitors' dressing room, holding his head in his hands.

"I saw it go off [Karl] Alzner's glove and I don't know what happened after that," Jurcina said. "I just tried to spin, I think. And the puck just stayed between my legs. There's 21 seconds left, it can't happen, something like that."

Boudreau was pretty upset about Jurcina's indecision once he lost track of the puck.

"He couldn't find it, and didn't do anything to find it," Boudreau said. "He could have cross checked [Kostitsyn]. Anything. If you can't find the puck, don't just stand there. Cross check him so he can't get the puck. Don't look in your feet."

Earlier in the game, Jurcina was sent to the penalty box for closing his hand on the puck. He actually caught the puck and accidentally threw it into the stands.

He outdid himself later, though.

Some other notes and quotes from tonight:

*Canadiens Coach Guy Carbonneau will join Boston's Claude Julien -- the guy he replaced in Montreal -- on the Eastern Conference bench. The coaches come from the top two teams in the each conference based on standing points percentage. Last night was the cut off.

*Alexander Semin scored twice and now has 16 goals on the season. He has five multi-goal games.

*The Caps have now lost two in a row for the first time since dropping back-to-back decisions to Columbus and Florida way back on Nov. 29 and Dec. 2.

*Michael Nylander scored his first goal since Dec. 12 and just his fourth all year - off his skate. Considering how things are going for him this season, I'm sure he'll take them however they come.

*There was a lot of skill on the ice between the two teams. But I thought one of the nicest plays was made by grinder Matt Bradley, who made a pretty pass to set up Tomas Fleischmann in the third period.

*Canadiens defenseman Mike Komisarek was credited with an assist on Tomas Plekanec's shorthanded goal in the first period. But Komisarek's biggest contribution was the job he did on Alex Ovechkin. In my opinion, Komisarek is among the defensemen who give Ovechkin the most trouble (along with Boston's Zdeno Chara and Philly's Kimmo Timonen).

*After holding opponents to a total of five goals in four straight starts last month, Johnson has yielded a total of 16 in his last four starts.

The Caps are off tomorrow and so am I. Look for an update Monday morning from KCI.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 10, 2009; 11:54 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tonight's Lineup
Next: Collins, Sloan Sent Down

Comments

Johnson still has to stop that 5th goal. That was really soft and so was the 1st goal by Plekanec for that matter.

Posted by: O-V-P | January 11, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

i dont care what people say, much of this loss goes on johnson, second to jurcina....johnson played great for a couple games now lets have him become our backup like he's supposed to be and let theo take the reigns

Posted by: _stevo | January 11, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

jurcina should feel bad but not as bad as is seems because an nhl goalie should have stopped that shot

Posted by: _stevo | January 11, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

if i was bruce i would just have the D, johnson, and eric fehr (backcheck) practice tomorrow....and i dont think anyone on the blogs said tarik could take a day off, i need my caps info

Posted by: _stevo | January 11, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Coach Bruce B., get some rest over the All Star Break and "Unleash" your fury against the other teams for disrespecting the Capitals!!!!! We still need some solid defensemen and goalie! If Columbus can rely on a 20 year old, why can't we rely on our own 20 year old Russian goalie?

Posted by: JohnWWW | January 11, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau's so full of it. He doesn't do anything to emphasize defensive hockey, in fact he almost makes fun of it by employing Semin on the PK and then claiming a few days ago that he doesn't care about the goals against as long as his team scores more. Now because his team lets in 4 in the 3rd he's going to get on his high horse about Jurcina's misplay or the fact they gave up 4 in the 3rd? Get a clue Bruce. Your freewheeling high-risk high reward style is more suited for the minors than it is the NHL. Until you pay more than lip service to defense your team will continue to have to score 5 or 6 every game against good teams. I've seen Mike Green make more boneheaded defensive plays in one game than Jurcina has made in the last month yet Bruce will never publicly call him out because Greenie scores goals and that makes him the coach's pet. Alzner had just as much to do with that last goal if not more. He tried to glove the puck down and it went behind him. Can't put that whole thing on Jurcina but of course since Juice doesn't put up many points he's going to get raked over the coals. BB's disregard for a strong defensive hockey style will cause his team much pain when the playoffs start.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 11, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

>

tell that to Alzner or Green the next time they pull that same move. Because they do.

The only defenseman playing any type of real defense on this team is Morrisonn. We need Poti back and we need our coach to emphasize defense instead of mocking it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 11, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Cstanton-

Are you kidding me? Coach b ALWAYS talks about two way hockey and he has called out green before. I remember he tore into him after that buffalo loss.

Our offensive style is obviously suited for the NHL since we are the 4th best team in the league- that's not a fluke.

Offensive system or not- how does coach B not call out jurchina after that play? It was awful.

How about you become a wild fan? Enjoy those 1-0 games. I'll take my exciting caps over that ANYDAY.

Oh and by the way- he's the coach of the year in case you forgot.


Posted by: mshwedick | January 11, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Anyone notice that collins and fehr didn't play much in the third?

I'll also go on record... I still can't see Sloan's hook that cost us two goals. Compared to the way the rest of the game was called, that one stood out. Still, the defense completely let BJ down, and just as we lit into JT earlier, BJ has to stop what he sees. 1 and 5 were painful.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 11, 2009 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know if they posted Lisa Hillary's Pothier interview from last night's game on the CSN website? I only caught the very end of it.

Posted by: dcsportsfan13 | January 11, 2009 2:08 AM | Report abuse

Oh one last tidbit. Lang's goal off 27 drove me up the wall. His only job there is to stop the back door, instead Lang tried to bank it off him cause he saw it open. Before the shot I was screaming my head off for Karl to get out of BJ's kitchen and concentrate on the guy across the crease. 23/27 had a really bad night.

PP looks bad. Passes not connecting and nobody causing trouble. Stick 17 on the pp, please.

Still, long season. With philly hopefully taking their division, we just need to take care of ours. Really need 4 pts in our next 2. Back on the train boys.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 11, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

tivo'd the game - just finished watching.
alzner, juice and johnson all failed there at the end. alzner should have knocked the puck down 'outside' of the blueline instead of at his feet - from there it just got worse.
as young team (mostly) i see concentration as the issue they most need to work on. two times the habs scored right after the caps. much like not dwelling on a bad play or game - they need to 'let go' of the good plays/goals/games and move on to the next task.
the caps will still be contending for the presidents trophy come april.
forget about montreal - the oilers should be foremost in their minds now

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2009 4:03 AM | Report abuse

(From the last page): "Anyone think we'll drill the Oilers?"

This is a very good point. BB is going to tear into the team Monday after two losses: one of which was a shutout, one of which we gave up 5.

Then we play a bottom of their division team with the Caps angry and hungry. I'd really hate to be in their shoes right now.

Posted by: Raber | January 11, 2009 4:35 AM | Report abuse

I heard Brent J. will have surgery after this game to get his thumb out of his rear. A couch goalies view, but was he thinking about where he was going to go for dinner after the game?

Posted by: coastallp74 | January 11, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

I don't think all the blame should be put on Jurcina. It was just an unfortunate bounce and not a lot he could do. If it hadn't happened at such a critical moment in the game nobody would be giving him grieve over it. Dumping Kostitsyn would have led to a penalty and in that case we might be sitting here lamenting the fact that he took a penalty in the last twenty seconds of a game. Plus Johnson still should have made that save. He's back to his old self, managing to give up at least three per game.
Too me the worst thing about the game was the call on Sloan that made it a 5 on 3 for Montreal. That was NEVER a hook, not even in the new NHL. That shinzy call changed the game completely.

Posted by: binnenreim | January 11, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I disagree binnereim. I think a lot of last nights blame is squarely on the shoulders of Jurcina. He makes at least 3 boneheaded plays every game. Last night it cost us. He needs to go!

Posted by: washcapsfan | January 11, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

I agree concentration lapses are what are killing the Caps. I'm never more nervous than right after they score. Which is why I can't wait to get Federov back out there. He's like a coach on the ice for the young Russians and imparts alot of discipline on the team.

Posted by: nfb987 | January 11, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Morning, guys. Man, that's depressing, but I gotta concur with a lot of the commenters here. I don't see the loss as being entirely Jurcina's fault. That is what the #1 goalie does. He makes that final key stop in the waning seconds of regulation. He stuffs Plekanec on that breakaway in the first. He bails out a bad D play. I pin both those but especially the last one on Johnson - he should have had that. If Johnson wants to be the #1, he doesn't lose those.

Guess we know who our #1 goalie is.

Our D was horrid last night. Too many breakaways, too many odd-man rushes. Even Alzner kept getting himself out of position - it's like the Mike Green disease or something. :)

Posted by: kittypawz | January 11, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Also, agree that a couple of the penalties we took last night were crap. Tyler Sloan's hook, and the diving call on Ovi were both phantom nonsense calls.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 11, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

While I have not watched the game yet (got it on the DVR) I want to say one thing, after reading this - Juice has been playing great the last few months. He has contributed every single night. He makes ONE mistake like this and vilified by both the coach and fans? Along with this comment form Tarik "Earlier in the game, Jurcina was sent to the penalty box for closing his hand on the puck. He actually caught the puck and accidentally threw it into the stands. He outdid himself later, though."

FFS - get off of Juice. He made a mistake. Stuff happens. But to act like he is a first year AHLer is unfair. He is not a frickn robot! We ALL make mental mistakes every once in a while.

The Caps are playing some of the best hockey I have ever seen from this team. Are we going to win every game? NO. Are we going to lose a game every once in a while because of a mistake? Yes. But let's no go overboard in our criticism.

Posted by: Snowdog | January 11, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Kittypawz: "Guess we know who our #1 goalie is."

We do! He's in Hershey! :D

Tongue-in-cheek ... just stirring the pot.

Posted by: Cerealman | January 11, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm blaming Collins (or whoever the second D was) during the 4th goal. This isn't peewee hockey. You don't send 4 guys to the boards and let the forward (Fehr as it turned out) man the other 3/4 of the defensive zone. Collins needs to go.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 11, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

hope everyone is starting to see my point. We need to hang in there until the end of February!

Is anyone more excited than me about the beginning of the stretch run?

Looking Ahead: Really really Good News (update)-- no worries when you check out this schedule.

The last 21 games of the season the Caps schedule includes:

13 games against division foe
4 against Atlanta
3 against Tampa
3 against Florida
3 against carolina (2 at home)

2 games against the Maple Leafs

1 against the Bruins (A)
1 against the Penguins (H)
1 against the Flyers (A)
1 against the Predators (A)
1 against the Sabers (H)
1 against the Islanders (A)

Looking good for the stretch run...no rush to rush back Poti and Feds.

Posted by: windjammersouth | January 11, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

As predicted here yesterday I said the Caps would lose and I was correct. This team is NOT an elite tems such as Detroit, Boston, S.J., Calgary. Goal tending is shaky. Last goal was bad

Posted by: phrdlick | January 11, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Please. The Caps have beaten most of the teams that you consider to be elite, including the Habs. Last night's game could have gone either way - they were not out of their league. This isn't football, sir; hockey seasons are long ... there are just too many games to win 'em all. If they lose the next few then let's talk. Otherwise, chalk the last two up to the fact that they were simply due.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 11, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Agree completely with Boo: that game could have easily gone the other way. We have beaten most of the "elite" teams (San Jose being the most significant exception). The only way the two losses become important is if we let them affect us mentally. The trick is to learn from them (and that's BB's job) and keep thinking Cup.

BTW, last night game was the most enjoyable one I've seen in a while - although a complete nail biter. We really do seem to ramp it up against the better teams.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | January 11, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"He couldn't find it, and didn't do anything to find it," Boudreau said. "He could have cross checked [Kostitsyn]. Anything. If you can't find the puck, don't just stand there. Cross-check him so he can't get the puck. Don't look in your feet."

What a disingenuous statement. In the last two games this coach has done his best not to put the best line combinations on the ice. You know BB you got what you wanted, not having to participate on the ASG. Second guessing someone's split second action after the fact? nice coaching. The only thing that kept the score close was Johnson, and it is a good thing he lost otherwise I can see him on BB's doghouse for the remainder of the season.
BB is too good of a coach to play with the lines the way he did in the last two games.

Posted by: opita | January 11, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

RedRocker1:
Yup - I think Ovie and the boys really like playing in Montreal ... they bring it! It must have been a good night to be a Habs fan. We've had games like that at home and they are SO much fun. So let 'em have that one - we'll take it when they come to our house.

BTW, per the Caps website there are only 1000 seats left for Tue, and 1/17 and 1/31 are sold out - should be a fun rest of the month in the VC!!! :-D

LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!!

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 11, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

We really need Johnson to get hurt. So we can bring up Varly.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | January 11, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

We really need DannyBoy1975 to get hurt. So we can bring up a better poster.

Nah! It does not seem right.

Posted by: opita | January 11, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@DannyBoy1975 - We don't need that sort of attitude on this board. So shut up.

@windjammersouth - Will you PLEASE type something real and contribute to the board, or just go away? I think I have the last 21 games memorized by now. AND we've been bitten by some of those teams before, so we can't assume every "easy" team we face is actually going to BE easy, or we'll get in trouble.

We should have gotten at least one point out of last night. A couple of the calls were bullshtick - especially the "hooking" one on Sloan, and "diving" on Ovechkin. Diving? PLEASE! If I'm falling on the ice, I might flail a little on the way down, too, trying to prevent myself from falling.

Stupid.

Anyway, we lost two; no big deal. We'll start winning again. We were due a couple, and now we've had them. Let's quit Monday Morning Quarterbacking this mess and look ahead to the next game.

Posted by: irockthered | January 11, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Here's to hoping Johnson pull something the next time he plays!

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | January 11, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Yep, bring up Varlamov.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | January 11, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

We're DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!!!!
Fire everybody!
Sue everybody!
Cut everybody!

How about that Komisarek kid?

Posted by: JSchon | January 11, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Im sure once Varly has a bad game everyone will bash him too. Just like Collins and Alzer they were gods the other day when it was a question to what will happen to him once Feds came back. Now everyone wants him to be sent back to Hershey. Its sad so many give up on plays because of a bad game. The Caps can not win them all, its 2 games. Look at the Pens they only won 1 game in how many? Now that is frustrating for the fans when they fill the arena and have all those guys on their team and can't win. So when the Caps have lost 12 in a row then everyone can complain and say its time for a change.

Posted by: HBFan | January 11, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton

We are 20-7-3 with Green in the lineup and 7-6 without him.

Please STHU.

Posted by: JSchon | January 11, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I really don't understand why OV and Semin are on the same line--especially with the way OV/Backstrom/Koz have played together. You have to think it disrupts the Alexs shoot-first mentality. Why risk that distraction? The second line should be Flash/Feds or Nylander/Semin.

Posted by: rebecca17 | January 11, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

JSchon,
Agreed!
Caps suck,
players suck,
coaches suck,
refs suck,
fans suck,
ice sucks...

Posted by: _828 | January 11, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@windjammer

Seriously your post arent even read... Its the same thing you've been posting for 2 weeks. I know the sentence format... skip...
skip... just like everyone else in here.

Posted by: JSchon | January 11, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

HBFan - EXACTLY...

Posted by: _828 | January 11, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@828

I guess being on pace for 112 points isnt good enough...

Posted by: JSchon | January 11, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

That and this is the best start in franchise history. Everyone is trying to make this team a Stanley Cup team over night. And when they are winning, they are the best team in the world. When they lose, they start comparing us with Detroit and San Jose and Boston... and Flames? The worlds is ending because they are not an elite team and yet they are still 4th in the NHL. Apparently, they think that the Caps are playing college hockey teams instead of professional hockey teams. Losses are going to happen. Those are the breaks... s happens, get over it and move on. BB will get them right and that is all the "fans" can hope for.

Posted by: _828 | January 11, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I hope all the complainers are replaced at their jobs if they have a bad day, immediately.

Thats what I hope for.

Posted by: JSchon | January 11, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

According to some people with players in slumps or not playing a good game. Ovechkin would have been traded at the beginning of the season.

Posted by: _828 | January 11, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

What makes this board so much fun is reading the trial-by-internet hand-wringing after a tough loss. So far, everyone on the team not named "alex" has been cut, traded, fired, etc. Wow folks, long season here. You may want to pace yourselves a bit.

Games like last night are instructive in identifying weaknesses and what the Caps need to address as they prep for the playoffs. To be sure, some players reactions under pressure does not bode well for them, but there's a lot of hockey left between now and April, so give yourself a day or two, maybe read a book or something, and we'll try again next game.

K? thks.

Posted by: ElGordo9 | January 11, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Finally, there are some rational people posting.

Posted by: _828 | January 11, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

No matter how you slice it, it comes back to Goaltending. You have to have the stops early and you have to have the stops late and as many in between. Our goaltending situation may cost us not only a higher position going into the playoffs but also the opportunity to advance deep into the playoffs. After seeing Varlamov I would try to get him up to the mental & physical level for spot duty by the end of the year for a playoff run. Your not going anywhere with Theo and Johnny. Look at Theo's playoff performances and look at Johnny's. Just my opinion of course.

Posted by: diner99 | January 11, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Kitty: "Even Alzner kept getting himself out of position - it's like the Mike Green disease or something. :) "

No, it's the Mike Green Out Of Position Syndrome, OOPS :-)

Posted by: rw-c | January 11, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

828/JSchon:
Your forgot Ted and GMGM ... throw Abe in for good measure.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 11, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Last night was disappointing, but I do think we will bounce back. Personally I was relieved that we did hang in there the whole game after Friday. It would have been easy for the team to get down and remember how tired they were when we fell behind.

Jurcina and Johnson have had better nights, and I am sure they will have better nights in the future.

I am puzzled by the 8-19-28 line. However, I wonder if it was done to get Semin going. I noticed that ever since his infamous drum solo that #28 had seemed tentative. When he slammed the glass after his second goal last night (one he got because he played agressively) I smiled.

I would also like to see #21 on the first PP unit. Given our PP production of late, I have to believe that will be a focus of tomorrow's practice.

I still do not understand how you can dive when you are tripped. Also thought that refs typically only call blatant penalties when the team is already on a PP.

Posted by: Kim-3 | January 11, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Trade Juice, Caps lost both games because of him.

Posted by: CodePoetry | January 11, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

so....season is over then? come on guys....what's their record over the last 20?

Posted by: bryaningrocery | January 11, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

they obviously have some team chemistry issues to sort out with all the guys coming back and trying get back in the swing of things...nice to see #fleischmann get one last night

Posted by: bryaningrocery | January 11, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Anyone notice the difference Nylander makes with his "skating in circles"? I think I like the caps better with him than without....

Posted by: bryaningrocery | January 11, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

last night was just a disheartening loss. its hard to lose the game with 20 seconds left on a real soft shot. we played a good game, just a few sloppy/lazy defensive plays. all i wanted was that 1 point, once again, losing in the last minute sucks.

on to hemsky and the oilers!

Posted by: richmondphil | January 11, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Note to the Barcalounger All-stars: The Washington Capitals have lost three games since December 10. That was not Halley's frickin comet you saw on Friday, nor a unicorn: it was a "Caps home loss". Now, I know you're a brilliant GM, a fiery and insightful bench boss, and a 75 pt, no PIM, hardnosed D-man who's been tragically miscast by reality. And that is sad.
But the Washington Capitals have lost three of their last fifteen. NObody wants to play them next--who's the last Washington team you could say that about, the Gingrich Republicans? Please pull your head down from its dank storage and cram today's paper, NHL standings first, into the tiny resulting vacancy. Thank you.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 11, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

redlineblue.....did you think after seeing 92 as a scratch, that (OMG) we missed him?

Posted by: bryaningrocery | January 11, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@snowdog

jurcina gave up the GWG on a really bad defensive play. of course everyone is going to get on him, if he cant take it, then go play a different sport. criticism is usually key in following a mistake...

Posted by: richmondphil | January 11, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

A study of the human zoo -- actually my post matters and will become more meaningful to some as the time draws near. There are new Cappy fans born everyday and they too should have the opportunity to see the picture as it unfolds brought to you by the Jammer, instead of the negative dibble that comes from the boiled amygdala.

Now it is ridiculous to get into to it with emotional sidekicks (although they make us laugh and provide a chuckle or two for us balanced creatures) it is important to point out that my posting of very important schedule information is balanced as opposed to some of the emotionally charged idiotic comments that come from the Animal farm, especially when we lose.

As our owner says it is quite disturbing to see (when we lose) the mean-spirited comments that are sent to him. With sympathy I feel for those angered so easily but hey I'm glad I'm not in their skin. Anyway I digress. So in essence the point I'm trying to make is everyone has a voice some accentuate the postive like Jammer and some just go through life boiled in the kettle. Sad but true. Hey speaking of happy click our heels -- we should be happy because:

The final 1/4 of the season will be in our favor. So stay we ME as I carry us through any negative periods of distress. I think therefore I am.

Now excuse me need to go top off my glass wouldn't want it to get half empty.


Have a great day.

Posted by: windjammersouth | January 11, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Windjammer....way to keep it positive. I too was disheartened by the loss, but the overall picture is great. I hope that we have Varly for that strech run you keep posting. It is going to all come together :)

Posted by: bryaningrocery | January 11, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

i figured i would AVOID the pretentious, condescending, hockey attitudes on this blog. worse than most message boards....

Posted by: richmondphil | January 11, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

wind, I'm an engineer, My Glass is twice as big as it has to be.

Posted by: billd2 | January 11, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Yeah - big loss in terms of coach not getting in but we are still fine going into the break.

Jurcina is still very underated, seriously who else can we roll out there.

Johnson is going through a mini slump but he is like Olie, when things are @ straight angles & he is squared up, he can stop it. BUT if it's scatter scramble, he is not as athletic as Jose.

Still heads up Caps fan for the 2nd half.

Posted by: Rocc00 | January 11, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Had all kinds of issues with this game. Was out last night so DVRed it off NHL CI only to come home and see a black screen when I tried to play it. Tried restarting the box. No go. No idea what happened... Maybe it was blacked out here since it was a HNIC game although not sure why it would be since NHL Network picked the Rangers - Ottawa HNIC game to show in my area. Anyone else out of DC area had the same issue?

In any case, thank god there are excellent torrent site. Saved my ass and I was able to download and watch it this morning.

Jurcina's play killed me, but Johnny didn't do a great job on that either. Sloan's penalty was ridiculous. I don't usually get on the officials, but to put a team 2 men down on a call like that is insane.

CStanton1 proves once again the lack of functioning brain in his head. Not that any further proof was necessary.

No one wants to watch defensive hockey. We suffered enough through that crap all across the league prior to the lockout. Like someone said, go watch the Wild if you enjoy boring hockey. I'll take our high flying, exciting team any day.

As far as Boudreau being clueless and his style being suited for the minors... Yeah, that's why he was named Coach of the Year last season after posting an incredible record with a team that was dead last when he took over. And that's why we're one of the top teams in the NHL this year despite a ton of injuries. Do you possess any common sense or logic? Don't bother answering. It's a rhetorical question.

The reality is that Boudreau is one of the best coaches in the NHL, our team is a Stanley Cup contender and you're a brainless schmuck who posts retarded comments on this blog. I doubt that you're even a Caps fan, just like Chief. It's possible that maybe you're even the same person because your commentary is so similar. I'd tell you to shut your mouth, but you're obviously using your ass for talking.

Posted by: ranndino | January 11, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@ranndino....*lol*

Posted by: bryaningrocery | January 11, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse


What an absolute joke of a comment by Ranndino. Do you really think that having a strong defensive team is actually a detriment or are you stupid enough to think that the caps will simply blow through the playoffs scoring 6 goals every game to their opponents' 5? When did you start watching hockey, yesterday? Name me another successful team who pays this little disgregard to defensive hockey? You can't because there are none. The Caps may do rack up their points in the regular season with this kind of high risk sloppiness but like any other team before them who try this approach they'll fall flat on their faces and dummies like you will be left scratching their heads as to why.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 11, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Quickly scanned the rest of the comments. Aside from a few from rational people I'm not even gonna bother reading the rest. The river of idiocy that gets spilled on this blog after every loss is mind boggling and I don't have the patience for morons. How old are you people? You show the emotional development and reasoning skills of a 2-year old every time the Caps lose a game. I'm actually quite surprised that many of you have figured out how to turn your computers on.

Posted by: ranndino | January 11, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

And having a strong defensive corps does not mean you're 'boring'. There's a big difference between the kind of defensive hockey that Minnesota employs and other strong defensive teams who still play an uptempo style. You can do both.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 11, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

The river of idiocy that gets spilled on this blog after every loss is mind boggling and I don't have the patience for morons. How old are you people? You show the emotional development and reasoning skills of a 2-year old every time the Caps lose a game. I'm actually quite surprised that many of you have figured out how to turn your computers on.

Posted by: ranndino | January 11, 2009 1:33 PM


Sorry, should we bow down to the Ranndino god of hockey who thinks that taking chances on every shift is how you win hockey games? The only river of idiocy that flows through this discussion starts and ends with you. Now make yourslf useful and make me some pancakes you big dummy!

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 11, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Two years ago we would killed to be this bad.

Posted by: sporttraveler | January 11, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you, sporttraveler. Heck, we would have killed to have been this bad at this point last year.
Just think how lucky we are that we have enough NHL quality forwards that we have to worry about chemistry when some come back from injury. Think how lucky we are that we've got a high-quality D prospect that is getting NHL experience in his first year "pro". Experience he can look back on in future seasons and think, yeah, that didn't work, I'll try something else. We could have worse goalie problems. Chicago has more cash tied up in goal than we do, much more. Nobody in the organization seems to want "out". We've no dressing room ulcers. And we're not in the cellar anymore! The possibilities are endless!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 11, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@ phrdlick

We're not an elite team like Calgary, eh? Hahahaha! Thanks for that gem of hockey knowledge. I needed a laugh.

Posted by: ranndino | January 11, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know if they posted Lisa Hillary's Pothier interview from the Columbus game on the CSN website? I only caught the very end of it.

Posted by: dcsportsfan13 | January 11, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan13, not sure, but they seemed to show the first segment a couple of times. They may re-air it on before or during the Oilers game.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 11, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Wait-- in defense of cstanton1 (no pun intended *chuckle*), we really can't afford to give up as many goals as we have been recently. It's not practical and I'm hoping Boudreau realizes that. I'm also looking forward to Poti returning towards that end.

@ranndino

I'm sorry, but do you realize how pretentious you sound?
"Quickly scanned the rest of the comments. Aside from a few from rational people I'm not even gonna bother reading the rest."

YOUR comment wasn't exactly "rational". It's stupid to generalize that "no one wants to watch defensive hockey". Really tight 1-1, 2-2 battles can be just as/ even more nail-biting and exciting than a mindless 6-4 see-saw affair.

@Windjammer:

That was, by far, the cheesiest, most embarrassing thing I've ever read. I could just picture the smug, wistful smile on your face as you wrote that. OMG. haha. Wow. Really? There are new cappy fans born every day?

I had no problem with you breaking down the last 21 games of the schedule, though. I'm glad we'll be playing our division a lot.

Posted by: happycap | January 11, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

@windjammer

Weren't you the retard that kept saying Green's shoulder injury was a torn labrum or rotator cuff?

You're a buffoon... Take your garbage elsewhere, maybe the Flyers board.

@cstanton

You're a dingbat too...
20-7-3 with Green
7-6 without Green

Why would M.Green play 25 minutes per game if he was such a detriment to the team?

Maybe because he asked to do why so few can do from the blueline... Lead the attack. Who asks him to do that? BB does. If you have an issue the issue is with the system, the system that tells Green to push forward anytime he can and sometimes it seems he can't.

Do us a favor, why don't you and Windjammer take eachother out to a nice seafood dinner and never post in here again.

Posted by: JSchon | January 11, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

I've watched hockey for about 20 years. We have been playing good two way hockey. Check the results, idiot. Up until the last 2 losses we were barely allowing other teams a sniff. That's despite our goaltending still being a problem.

It's pretty obvious to everyone with a brain here where the river of idiocy starts. It doesn't end with you though. There are plenty of others. You're in good company.

Let's review. According to you and some other amoeba sized brains on here Boudreau is clueless idiot of a coach, Green is the worst D in the NHL and should be traded, we should trade Semin for a physical winger, fire our stupid GM and be more like an elite NHL team like Calgary. Did I forget anything? I probably did. It's tough to keep up with every moronic idea that gets posted on here after losses.

You've been put back on my ignore list for once again proving to be a completely worthless, attention seeking, brainless d-bag, not worthy of any attention from the rational crowd. Why don't you go and do something useful like stop posting your asinine comments on here. I hear your mommy yelling at you to get off the computer and go clean your room.

Posted by: ranndino | January 11, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

with a change in expectations comes a change in perspective.
just after the lockout the caps stunk - everyone could find some 'good' in the caps play on any given night.
now that the caps are winning consistantly - people tend to see the poor play. it's human nature - as you have little to no expectation that their play would be poor.
either way - they will never win all 82 games and almost every player on the ice in every game will miss an assignment, be out of position, make a turnover, etc. as a fan i get very disappointed with the last goal.

ranndino/cstanton1:
styles of play are based on the players the GM picks - BB will work with what he is given. and done a very good job of it so far. i'd rather see their current style of play. it is true that defense will get you deeper into the playoffs - but i can hope for the edm oilers of the 80's - 5 cups in 7 years says it can be done.
i'm looking for to the second half of the season. chasing down the B's, contending for the presidents trophy, beating philly and/or pens and playing for the cup.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

That's the first mistake from Boudreau. You don't throw Jurcina under the bus like that. That's BS. As good as this team has been playing you just don't throw players under the bus. Montreal is a good team. Give your guys a break in the press. If you want to work them at practice then fine do that. But don't make them look like crap in the press. Jurcina knows how bad he feels. He doesn't need the coach pointing it out. What an a-hole comment to say. Is the coach of the year going to his head? Ease up Bruce. Maybe show some support for one of your lone healthy defenseman who hasn't missed anytime this year, and oh by the way he's playing with a rookie.

Posted by: blanknerc | January 11, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"Two years ago we would killed to be this bad." Posted by: sporttraveler | January 11, 2009 1:37 PM

Classic! :-)

Yes, this is a most amusing place to come after a loss ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 11, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

God this is exciting. I hope the Caps lose again, it brings the best on people, starting with the coach, I am witnessing the start of world war three.
CHAAAAARGGGE!!!!

Posted by: opita | January 11, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

@ happycap

I'm sorry, but do you realize how pretentious you sound?
"Quickly scanned the rest of the comments. Aside from a few from rational people I'm not even gonna bother reading the rest.">

Yes, I do realize it. However, I wouldn't say it if it weren't true. I would love for this blog to contain more intelligent commentary even after losses. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

So yeah, you can think whatever you want. I don't really care. My comments are always rational and nice until the blog gets filled with total stupidity. It's easy to see who has a brain and some knowledge on here even just from this thread. Everyone who you think is being pretentious for getting annoyed with idiotic comments (JSchon, 828 and I, etc).

Morons always call smarter people pretentious, btw.

As far as how many goals we've allowed lately... by lately you mean the last game against of the NHL's most high powered offensive teams? Since you're the rational here you surely wouldn't claim that we got run over by Columbus, what with our 45 to 23 shots advantage, would you? We've allowed 2 or less goals in the previous 6 games with one exception (vs Tampa when we let in 4, but scored 7).

Posted by: ranndino | January 11, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Bruce was fine in making those comments. This isn't pee-wee hockey, they are professionals.

Posted by: _stevo | January 11, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"Bruce was fine in making those comments. This isn't pee-wee hockey, they are professionals"

True. But does that mean that the coach should act irrationally?

Posted by: opita | January 11, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

bruce is a smart coach, he knows what he is doing

Posted by: _stevo | January 11, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

@ Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Exactly. The whole saying that the D wins championships also happens to be a pretty silly cliche.

Guess what else wins championships. Scoring goals.

Coaches in every sport just like to use this cliche because they have to force players to be more diligent on D. They don't have to force players to try and score because that's the fun part of playing any team sport. Playing D requires hard work and concentration, so naturally coaches always harp on that.

All the people on here who come and whine about our style of play after every loss seem to completely ignore the fact that when we win, and often even when we lose (the 7-1 loss to Philly and the recent 0-3 loss to Columbus being good examples) we completely hem the opposition in their zone for almost the entire game.

Not only that produces lots of scoring chances and goals for us, but it also makes it a little bit difficult to score for them.

Coaches like to say that good defense = good offense and that's 100% true (takeaways lead to quick counters), but it's also just as true that good offense = good defense. It's kinda hard to score from your own zone when you're being peppered with shots.

Posted by: ranndino | January 11, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh good grief. Enough of the name calling and personal attacks. Seriously, is that really necessary? We're all supposed to be here to talk about hockey and to support the Caps - not to attack each other. And, as much as I love my Caps and to get my hockey on, I am the first to admit that it's just a game. So play nice already. Now, who's up for a great big virtual group hug?

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 11, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

That was a great game. Montreal came out firing on all cylinders, and the Caps did well to hang in there with them. Alzner had another tough game, but that's always to be expected with Rookie defensmen. We can't expect the kid to be perfect. Jurcina had an even rougher night. I have no idea why he caught that puck, and rather than dropping it in front of himself, tried to bounce it off the boards and out. I was scratching my head at that one. BB was right, if you lose track of the puck on that part of the ice, just take the man. Massive brain cramp, poor fella. We'll see how he rebounds after that.

The refs stunk. The call on Ovechkin for diving was stupid, the call on Sloan for hooking even more stupid, and all in all they looked like a bunch of homer refs. The Flash goal was so obviously in that the review of it was a sham in progress. It looked like they were trying not to let the Caps get any advantage, and helped Montreal by cooling the Caps off and robbing the momentum. A number of holding calls and interference calls against the Habs were never made, in comparison to the Caps minor transgressions. Even the refs wanted Carbonneau at the all star game.

On the minus side, once again the Caps are not crashing the net enough. Sure, one of the guys goes to the net, but there are never 3 caps down low wacking at rebounds. THey play back up goalies a bit too lite for my taste.


Posted by: oo7 | January 11, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the diving call, it was likely because while the original hook was there, OV's fall appeared to me that he was able to embellish it. His fall was far worse than that hook/trip should have caused. I didn't see Sloan's penalty so can't comment.


As far as the additional call during a power play, the new [third year] enforcement standard ostensibly eliminated that judgment element. The stripes may need to see a little bit more of an impact as the result of a foul than during even strength situations, but the stripes are directed to call the penalties the same throughout the game. That's one reason we see plenty of OT penalties now.

Posted by: Stripedguy | January 11, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh, sigh. More fratching back and forth. And people wonder why I post sparingly after a loss. Hopefully we can get back in the saddle vs. Edmonton on Tuesday. That to me is the most important thing right now. We did it (and how) after the last time we lost two back-to-back games.

One thing I did observe, perhaps unrelated - we didn't have the same losing edge and missed passes and weird stuff that we see on our own ice, and we played the same way. Montreal has some of the best ice in the league - I guess the ice affects it more than I would have thought.

That said, look out for the Wings game - January 24th and 25th is some sort of monster truck show and demolition derby at the Verizon Center. Look out for rotten ice :(

Posted by: kittypawz | January 11, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Boo: I'm up for a big hug!
Oh, never mind, I just saw the "group" portion of your offer.

Re Ovie's "embellishment" -- If I were tripped (and I have been) I would go straight down. But with Ovie's speed and side-to-side motions, when he's tripped he's more likely to do a one-and-a-half gainer with a 360 twist.

Posted by: rw-c | January 11, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz:
whats fratching? bickering? i've never heard that before - and i've heard plenty over the years

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I guess you really see who the true CAPS fans are when they loose back to back...the team hasn't changed..they just had a few bad games..geez...

In any case..glad to Semin is back and at 'em!!

Posted by: -19- | January 11, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

re-c-- I agree -- me too! But it appeared to me, in the time you get to decide that call, that the reaction on that one play was far greater than that particular hook could have caused. OV's motion wasn't right for that hook. It's like the player who gets hooked from behind through the arm calling for a penalty when his upper body goes forward and the legs come out as if he's been tripped. And OV didn't argue it much nor, as I recall, did it appear the captain came over asking for an explanation. It's called "drawing a penalty" when I would get away with it as a player.

Paws...every time I've skated at VC, I've watched youth and adult teams get pucks bouncing more than at the local rinks. It's not the worst apparently, but it's not rating high up there.

Posted by: Stripedguy | January 11, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

If you follow the rules, Ovie deserved the penalty. He is so strong on his feet, no way this little hook will mae him fall.

As for BB, I think he is an outstanding motivator but not a great tactician. In anyways, two seasons do not make a career. If the Caps still perform at this level in 2- years, he will deserve my admiration.

Most of you do not give enough credit to the Habs, lots of speed, finesse, plus, they drive the net. They werethe better team last night and they won.

As I sais earlier in the week, BB needs a second offensive line. I would say Flash-Nylander and Semin. If Semin pouts because he is not playing with Ovie like he did last week and put two passes in Nyls skates, I would make him a healthy scratch. Then, leave this line together for 6-8 games.

Posted by: atybat | January 11, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@atybat - I don't think so, re: Ovechkin and diving. You aren't him, right? So how do you know for sure what would and would not have made him fall down? How about something he wasn't expecting? ANYBODY can fall down when sliding around on ice skates. And it doesn't always take something big to make it happen.

I have seen something I'd call "diving," but that wasn't it.

However, the Habs did play a hard game. Did they outplay us? I don't think so. We dominated on puck control and on shots on goal. But once again, their goaltender stopped more than ours did. It was a close game, and losing in the final 20 seconds hurts. But I'm not going to go tossing blame out like it's candy.

We have another game Tuesday. This loss, even at two in a row, is not the end of the world.

Posted by: irockthered | January 11, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Ranndino is right, whether you like his tone, attitude, grammar or anything else. Caps played "defensive" hockey under Hanlon, remember? Did you forget how often this team looked tentative and was dominated by opponents? Wasn't it BB's empowering them to believe in themselves, take the offensive and take risks that changed their mindset from weaklings to winners?

It is beyond me how anyone in their right mind could cast any doubt on Boudreau--the guy who took the team from last place in the division to the top in just a few months. And the same guy who raised the team's rankings from the bottom of the League to number #4 midway through the season, and number #2 in the Eastern conference. Caps are not an elite team? Give me a break. Right now we are at the very top tier of the division, conference and league. Seriously, can someone tell me what other coaches have achieved such a quick turn around? There cannot be many.

It kills me to hear criticism of BB's judgement of line combinations when we lose. I don't know whether to laugh or be furious. When we win his combinations are thought to be brilliant (like putting the 3 Russians together and, later, the Ovie-Backstrom pairing. Losing suddenly brings out all these great experts who know exactly what lineup would have given us a win.

Posted by: caraveli | January 11, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

It's completely moot right now, but I don't agree that the better team won. When the outcome of the game is decided with 19 seconds left to go, you couldn't argue that one team outplayed the other. It was pretty even, as far as I could see. And the Habs did get some breaks, penalty wise.

It's time to move on, but I think BB owes Jurcina an apology for reaming him out in public. It serves no good purpose. He's usually pretty good at not saying anything he shouldn't, so I'm guessing he really got worked up for this one.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | January 11, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1,
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! It's rare for anyone to speak the unmitigated truth on this blog. I commend you for your candid analysis. You're spot on. Congrats.....

Posted by: Puckguru | January 11, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Todays comments have brought me more laughs ( and occasionally hysterical laughter ) than ANY POST I can recall. Some of you are in truly rare form today. Thanks for the humor ----------- although I understand fully that most of you were dead serious. I suppose THAT'S what caused me so much amusement. Hahahahaha.....

Posted by: Puckguru | January 11, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey Caps fans you are starting to sound like Habs fans after one loss. I am a huge Caps fan believe me and I resent comments about Johnny in particular, the game would have been over after two periods as he kept the Caps in it. Some of these posters crucify their heroes after one bad game. You are going to ruin Alzner if you keep this up, everyone makes mistakes. There is only one players who needs to go and that is Nylander as Cap fans have destroyed any confidence he ever had in himself. He is another Huselius, great talent with no heart. Jurcina should also be put on the block, catching a puck and tossing it out is absurd for an nhl player. Package up them both and one of our goalies for Khabibulin and we would have a cup!

Posted by: jgreif | January 12, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

In the past history of the CAPS all their coaches have been defensive coaches Hanlon, the (YUCK) Murry's, Wilson etc. Coach B. comes in changes the style to suite the Personal and we got us a TEAM. Coach becomes COACH OF THE YEAR and to many of you shumks want to return to Defensive Hockey???????? The team is exciting, selling out the arena.Has everyone noticed we had a great first half?? I can only hope we have as good a second half, if we do we'll go deep into the playoff's. And next year when Varlamov becomes the next great Goaltender we'll get us one of them Stanley Cups we've heard so much about.Eh!

Posted by: duckyjimpond | January 12, 2009 6:40 AM | Report abuse

If you want to complain about a local so called sports team. Just listen to the usual year end Woulda, shoulda, coulda, of the WASH. DEADSKINS. The Awful uncaring owner (expect) about money and squeezing as much out of the fans as he possilly can is about we have a good core for next year (bullship). Old offensive line. Old Defensive line. Dumb reciever's,a running back who is only good for half a season etc. etc. etc. Its a small wonder anyone wants to coach for this JERK owner.

The day Snyder bought "the Skins" was the worst day of every Redskins fans life. Maybe Vinny(yes Man) can get Tom Cruise to play Qb. or RB. for that Ego maniac Snyder.

Snyder has a habit of picking up over the hill football stars as well as ACTORS,pays them well to just so he can be around them.
I do believe the Jerks star struck.

Caps fans thank your lucky stars we have a good owner who had a plan. stuck to it and is now beggining to see the fruits of his MGMTs good efforts

ThanK you Mr. "L"

Posted by: duckyjimpond | January 12, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

I think I'm not alone in saying that we need to get through this part of the season and let our defense get healthy. Right now the Caps still have 2/3 of a solid NHL defensive corps on the shelf: Poti (a #2 D-man), Pothier (#3), Schultz (#5) and Erskine (#6 or 7). Once two of these guys get healthy the Caps should send Collins back to the AHL (they should send him back now and bring Helmer back up), and also look to do something with Jurcina. He started playing better with Alzner, but took a couple of big steps back this weekend (Alzner has not played as well recently due to his status of Hershey vs. DC, they should let him know he's going to be a Cap for the remainder of the year and his play will get back to its consistent usual level.)

Right now, in terms of ranking the defensemen

1) Green
2) Poti (when healthy)
3) Morrisonn
4) Alzner
5) Pothier (when healthy)
6) Schultz (when healthy)
7) Erskine (when healthy)
8) Sloan
9) Jurcina
10) Helmer
11) Lepisto
12) Collins

The Caps should tell Alzner he's here long term and tell Jurcina he's about one more bad game to being waived...

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | January 12, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@jgrief

To say that Nylander has talent but no heart shows that you really don't know the guy.
You would be more credible by saying that Nylander plays a game that doesn't gel with the Caps style and/or that he has been in BB's doghouse since the beginning of the season...

How can a guy like Nyls justify his talent when he plays with someone like Clark...be serious please.

Posted by: atybat | January 12, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

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