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'Canes 5, Caps 2

It's not often that the Caps post back-to-back stinkers. At least not since Bruce Boudreau took over. But that's exactly what's happened.

Two days after a 6-2 loss to Florida that Boudreau described as "concerning" the Caps were flat in a 5-2 loss to Carolina that sent fans scurrying to exits early - again - after showering the home team with some well-deserved boos.

Brooks Laich summed up the effort (or lack thereof) best.

"They just outworked us," he said. "I don't care what you say about talent and everything, this game is about heart. The team that works the hardest is usually the team that's going to win. Tonight, they wanted it more and that's not easy to sit here and say."

As usual, Laich nailed it.

Some other notes and quotes on the eve of the trade deadline from Verizon Center:

*Speaking of the trade deadline, Boudreau wondered if the rumors might be weighing on some of the players' minds.

Maybe when the deadline passes "it will put some ease to some of the guys who been hearing [Islanders captain Bill Guerin] rumors and whatever rumors they've been hearing," Boudreau said.

Well if the players read my blog they would have known on Sunday that Guerin was not coming to Washington. Duh.

Milan Jurcina dismissed the suggestion as an excuse.

"It's hard to say," he said. "Everyone wants to know what's going on like who is going to be moved. But we had some meetings before [the game] and they said we're not going to make any big changes. So I don't think anyone should be [distracted]"

*Boudreau singled out Alexander Semin for a solid performance his 25th birthday. He had a highlight reel goal from his knees and set up the other. But Boudreau was less complimentary about the team's other "best players". He didn't name names, but it was clear he was talking about Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green. The trio was a combined minus-7 and had eight giveaways.

*Backstrom's point streak ended at 10 games.

*Semin's goal was the 100th of his career.

*Tom Poti was a late scratch because of a groin muscle injury, the team announced in the second period. That didn't stop the trade rumors from persisting after the game.

*Jose Theodore was a late scratch because of the flu. Rookie Michal Neuvirth didn't find out he was starting until he arrived at the arena. His lack of preparedness was obvious.

"I know poor Michal didn't know he was playing until tonight," Boudreau said. "I don't know if that had any bearing on his ineffectiveness."

Neuvirth yielded five goals on 19 shots. He very well could turn out to be a stud between the pipes. But I think what we saw tonight underscored the Caps' need for a proven goalie to backup Theodore, just in case the No. 1 gets hurt or struggles.

*The Caps' streak of 11 straight sellouts came to an end.

*So did their streak of games with a goal in the first period. It's done at 16.

*The nine shorties the Caps have surrendered are one more than all of last year.

*The Caps took 41 shots on Cam Ward (though the majority came from the outside and there was little traffic in front. Stop me if you've heard this before). It's the eighth time they've recorded 40 or more shots this season. They are 4-5-0 in those games.

That's it for me. Make sure to check back early and often tomorrow. Could be a crazy day.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 3, 2009; 11:47 PM ET
 
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Comments

ughh...

Posted by: capsfan8 | March 4, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

clearly the sky fell tonight. i can't see this team ending up ahead of the NYI

the home record of 25-8-1 is in the crapper now

GMGM has lost his mind - he should have started the cloning of langway years ago

i think most of the D has been trying to force GMGM's hand - to get more help on D

anything less than 58 wins this year should be considered an utter failure

GMGM: "Bruce - what do we need!"
BB: "A defensive lobotomy"
GMGM: "How can that help?"
BB: "If they can't remember how they've played this year - they can only get better"
GMGM: "Good point - I'll go get the scalpel - you go scrub up"

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

@opita

From your previous comment...are you not atleast a tad bit worried about the recent goings on? Dude...I am not saying the sky is falling and have admittedly(sp) said that a little adversity is a good thing...but to ignore the problem is like saying we are not in a recession dude.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | March 4, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Another poor performance by our beloved Caps. They are one of the most talented, young teams in the league. Majority of our players are between 20 and 26. Yeah we have a few over 30. Besides a fan's frustration with Clark's performance on the ice this season, I think we forget why he is the captain of this team and when he is not there, the team lacks leadership. The last 15-20 games many fans have noticed that their was something wrong with this team. Our PK has not performed consistently. Our D has struggled consistently. The energy of this team is fading. There are individual efforts, but the team as a whole is disappearing. The wave of excitement of the Caps last season poured into this season and set lofty expectations that could still be realized. Yes, teams go through rough patches and we are definitely seeing that right now. Are they too tired? Were the players nervous about the trade deadline? Are they so cocky and arrogant about what they have achieved that they can rest up until the playoffs? I hope they rediscover that hunger they had towards the end of last season. Anything to get them to that point of consistently outworking every opponent. The other thing I notice with this team is that they don't really intimidate anyone anymore. Teams are figuring the Caps out. They know when to expect Green sliding in the back door. Are passing is inconsistent. The Caps have been told again and again and again to stop being cute and shoot the puck. Our players don't muck it up in front of the net to nail rebounds and if they try, they are wiped away by the opposing D yet our own D can't do that with any consistency. Hopefully Thursday the Caps will be prepared to play and to win against Toronto because getting shalacked 11-4 in two consecutive home games against hungry division opponents is not the direction you want to go towards with only 17 games left.

Posted by: thehighlander0539 | March 4, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

can the caps put something in Jurcina's contract for him to shoot more.

Posted by: MNMNT | March 4, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, nothing about the embarrassing celebration after Fedorov's goal?

Posted by: VegasCapsFan | March 4, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

What?
Is it over? Did we win?

I fell asleep out of boredom and general irritation after Semin's goal.

Did someone not point out as much time as he spends off his feet on the ice eventually he'd just start playing from there permanently? It's an evolutionary thing.

Didn't see Feds post-goal I should go look for a replay. If he did do something goofy he probably wanted to show his Russian soccer passion. Bad timing I agree though

Posted by: austinsteve | March 4, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

yeah that celebration was a bit much after being down, what 4-5 goals? with not much time on the clock.. blah.

Posted by: MNMNT | March 4, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

@VCF:

Boudreau discussed it. He said something to the effect of he would understand if Carolina thought the Caps were a bunch of idiots.

Boudreau said he turned to an assistant after the goal and said, "What the ____ are they doing?"

That disgusted me almost as much as the overall performance.

Posted by: writered21 | March 4, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

How can GMGM remain "quiet" on the eve of the deadline, after this game? This performance showed we need D, leadership, some grit and a solid backup goalie. I don't want us to give away our future prospects but something more is needed NOW.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | March 4, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

@VCF and writered -

From the AP:
After Fedorov’s goal, he raised his arms in the air, and two teammates came over to hug him. The trio wound up on the ice, a result that replays appeared to show was a result of Fedorov losing his balance. Boudreau, however, was upset at what he thought was an over-the-top celebration for a team en route to a loss.


i think bruce should have talked to his boys about this before he blew his stack. b/c to me and a few others it looked like they fell and then laughed at it afterwards. now if you want to debate whether they should have been laughing that is a different story. but i think bruce just made it a lot worse without seeing a replay or talking to his players first.

Posted by: passerby | March 4, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Pathetic power play giving up tons of shorthanded chances and 2 shorthanded goals in a matter of minutes. We saw this weakness back in November and NOTHING has changed. They very easily could have given up 20 shorthanded goals by now. Another breakaway another penalty shot. What is going on? None of the bad habits get corrected. Do these players drink coffee in the morning what heck. The guys can overcome this rough patch we've seen em do it. They need to get up and be motivated each and every game from here on out.

Posted by: pdo3 | March 4, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem with the "celebration" after Fed's goal, Feds got a pretty feed from Semin for a one-timer and he buried it, he had his arms up and when the other players came over, Feds lost his balance and they all fell to the ice. They didn't plan on going down to the ice like that I think. Caps need to start burying their chances and put the pucks in the net, not shoot wide or over the top.....

Posted by: Brian6961 | March 4, 2009 1:43 AM | Report abuse

WOW, i drove 2 hours for that! sucks to be me, but i did buy season tickets for next year tonight

Posted by: bearsfan26 | March 4, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

I mention the ridiculous goal celebration -- and BB's reaction to it -- in my game story.

--Tarik

Posted by: el_bashir | March 4, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

TEB - go to bed - how do you expect to have a trade deadline update for this crowd by 6a if you don't get some sleep?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, passerby.

While 99% of people were saying they were celebrating, I made the logical assumption that Fedorov fell down. The replays showed just that.

I can't believe how many fans would think Fedorov, of all people, would be that foolish. He's one of the classiest guys in the league.

The Caps didn't even pile on anybody on the ice after their OT win in Boston. The only time I can recall something like that happening was after the OT win against the Rangers earlier in the year when after we came back from the dead.

This team doesn't have a single bad seed on it from what I've seen. For that reason, people shouldn't assume the worst. Players were falling on the ice all night and that is exactly what happened after our last goal. Fedorov had a little grin on his face because of the accident and that smile quickly faded once he got back on his feet.

C'mon, Caps fans... we're better than that.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2009 2:08 AM | Report abuse

the caps weren't really playing hockey in the 1rst and 2nd periods, although the shots were even, they showed strong lack of passion. The third period was a joke, but thank god for semin and federov who were actually playing tonight.
Ovie was half playing in my opinion; I heard his mother was sitting outside sad after the first. I wonder if something happened to the family or such...
As far as Semin's goal celebrations, cut him some slack, it's his birthday and he scored an INSANE goal. It's his party and he'll cry if he wants too haha...he also set up Feds pretty one timer..the caps will bounce back...No Problem...Where's the faith people...every team has a few slides:)
I hope that we can get Mr. Shoulder Crunching Pronger tomorrow and maybe a goalie like Fernandez and possibly Nik Antropov...maybe it's a bit too much too ask?? too perfect??

Posted by: masterx09 | March 4, 2009 2:12 AM | Report abuse

And Tarik...

We need to clear up that confusion in some kind of article, especially considering the recent comments by Cherry regarding Ovechkin. I'm not overreacting but this really should be addressed to minimize the impact, at the very least among Caps fans. Too many people still aren't aware of the facts.

FEDOROV, SEMIN AND WHOEVER ELSE WERE NOT CELEBRATING EXCESSIVELY.

FEDOROV SIMPLY GOT KNOCKED DOWN AND GRINNED FOR A MOMENT ABOUT THE ACCIDENT AS HE GOT BACK UP... END OF STORY.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2009 2:12 AM | Report abuse

no problem tmac! what i want to know is, did tarik see the replays or ask the players involved about it b/c he is still calling it ridiculous? if not, i think it is pretty presumptious and creating unwarranted drama. i guess we will find out in his story.

Posted by: passerby | March 4, 2009 2:18 AM | Report abuse

ahhh, you already beat me to it. if tarik actually talks to the players and they confirm what we (and the associated press) saw, then i think bruce needs to come out and apoligize. he talked a lot of smack without giving the benefit of doubt to his players. as a player i would feel disrespected and be pissed that bruce would think that. hopefully it doesn't cause a rift considering it included the HOF Fedorov and Semin and by de facto Ovie.

Posted by: passerby | March 4, 2009 2:29 AM | Report abuse

I looked at the replay and from the arms raised to the hugs I'd say I'm one of the 99% morons who thinks they were celebrating goal #2 with a 5-1 deficit with less than 2 minutes left.

What does it mean?

I don't care, I was concerned from the descriptions that Fedorov dove across the ice surface or something and I didn't see that happening.

They need to try something new. Visualizations(?) I remember in college they talked about a study of basketball players.

Group 1 was told not to think about basketball for a week

Group 2 to shoot free throws for 1 hour every day

Group 3 was to picture making free throws for an hour every day - but not touch a basketball

Group 4 shot free throws for half an hour and visualized for the other half hour

Group 4 won the free throw contest at the end.

I just can't see punishing them physically with the game spacing. They need mental focus though. Fast.

Posted by: austinsteve | March 4, 2009 2:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm not saying they weren't celebrating. It just wasn't over the top like it appeared to be.

Put it this way: If Fedorov doesn't lose his balance and fall to the ice, nobody would have said a word. It looked like a mini version of a pile on after a series winning goal simply because they fell to the ice.

IT WAS NOT INTENTIONAL. IT WASN'T ONE OF THOSE TYPES OF CELEBRATIONS WHERE THE FIRST PLAYER COMING IN INTENDS TO KNOCK THE PLAYER DOWN BEFORE THE PILE ON ENSUES. FEDOROV SIMPLY SLIPPED AND FELL WITH TWO GUYS MAKING CONTACT WITH HIM AT THE SAME TIME. HE GRINNED SLIGHTLY ON HIS WAY UP BECAUSE OF LOOKING FOOLISH.

I TRULY HOPE TARIK GOES TO FEDOROV TO GET THIS SITUATION CLEARED UP. I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT AS TO WHAT HAPPENED. THESE GUYS JUST AREN'T LIKE THAT. I DON'T THINK ANY PLAYERS IN THE LEAGUE WOULD SO SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

ALL THAT WAS INTENDED WAS A BRIEF CONGRATULATIONS BETWEEN 3 PLAYERS BUT IT ENDED UP LOOKING LIKE MORE BECAUSE FEDOROV LOST HIS BALANCE AND THEY ALL FELL DOWN.

GET THE FACTS AND WRITE A LITTLE PIECE ABOUT THIS PLEASE, TARIK.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2009 2:45 AM | Report abuse

as i said earlier...who cares; i don't think semin's bday should be ruined cause if the team's poor performance..he scored a SIC goal and allowed for another...everyone's a little sore..we need to cool down...stop being downers

Posted by: masterx09 | March 4, 2009 4:06 AM | Report abuse

Well BB, don't rest them today. Work them hard. It's clear that they have in their head that they're better than everybody else and don't need to work as hard.

Posted by: mauree | March 4, 2009 5:34 AM | Report abuse

Calmness.

BB will regret it if he overreacts. Use leadership, not bellowing.

TEB will regret it if he overreacts. Use the facts not the template that has been set out by others.

Philly lost ten-in-a-row last season.

Redwings just lost 8-0 to Nashville.

Calmness.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 4, 2009 7:08 AM | Report abuse

tmac2yao
how the f are you gonna celebrate like that when you are down 5-1? From my seats it looked like an excessive celebration as if they scored a game winner. i don't know which game you were watching. and ease up on the caps lock, buddy.

Posted by: MNMNT | March 4, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

What an awful game and a total team breakdown! Do they figure if they all play horrible then GMGM won't know who to trade at the deadline?!? That awtwashe second game in a row that I left midway through the 3rd period because I was absolutely mortified with our lack of effort. I just sat there in the stands watching a team fall apart and thinking...they are SO much better than this. I was thinking that Sunday was just a fluke, but I am just crossing my fingers that it is not going to become a new trend! GET IT TOGETHER CAPS!

Posted by: NatyBG | March 4, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

What is going on guys. Have we gotten so use to them winning at home that a couple of losses are getting us all riled up. Just a few months ago we were crucifying the team about their play on the road. It seem as though we can never be satisfied with what this team is accomplishing. Other teams see what BB and the Caps did last year and they are follow that same pattern. Be proud of the guys win or lose, this is a team that is still rebuilding.

If GMGM makes any moves and there is no team chemistry with whoever comes in, the team isn't going to go far.
Despite what Juice says I believe that some of the guys are thinking about the trade, after all they are HUMAN.

I know this team has high expectations and so do we, but is doesn't help when we keep calling for some of their heads. I know this team will be great but it takes time people. Let us not forget a team not only consists of the players, but the coaches as well. I respect what BB has done with the team, but PLEASE give the team some time to grow.

Posted by: bajgirl | March 4, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Here is my take on the games, EVERY team slumps at some point in a season, we have a young team that has played very well and they are playing teams that are fighting for there playoffs right now. We have a team that has some injuries, a flu bug going around, and a trade deadline that they are dealing with.

We just need a little tweaking, get our mojo back, get our groove going again.
Maybe sitting our veteran center is not the best thing to do?? As I said before the 21 game salute has sucks so far.....but we have time to re-group!

I wouldn't want to be Toronto on Thursday.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 4, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Capsfannmiss:

Couldn't agree with you more. As much as I like Ovi, I like Semin and Nicky more. If BB is so upset at his other stars why not sit them for a game. Personally I wouldn't like it,but he has parked others before, so why not Ovi or Nicky or both. Not gonna happen, but I had to try.

Posted by: bajgirl | March 4, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@MNMNT:

You must have had some pretty bad seats. I trust the Caps are smarter than to celebrate a 2nd goal that did not win them the game. I trust the perceptions of the people who said that Federov slipped and was grinning 'cause he not only slipped but took down two other players with him. I'd be laughing too.

Chill out, dude. Your attitude only registers with us. Those of us who are taking this loss and the previous loss in stride are the only ones who have to hear your drivel. The people that might benefit from hearing you spout like you're the Coach of the Year and a Hall of Famer, and I'm stretching it making it sound like your opinions would even matter to them, are the players, Boudreau, and GMGM.

Kinda' makes you feel dumb, don't it?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 4, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Stategery! Helping the Canes knock the Pens out of the 8th playoff spot.

Posted by: moet5 | March 4, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

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