Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Canucks 3, Caps 2

Take your pick for what went wrong tonight. Alex Ovechkin finishing without a point in a performance Coach Bruce Boudreau called "average". Tom Poti taking a questionable cross checking penalty late, then losing his cool. Or Alexander Semin whiffing on his penalty shot attempt with 5 minutes 45 seconds left.

Coach Bruce Boudreau and his players, however, blamed the loss on a power play that couldn't set up in the Canucks' zone, much less threaten. The league's top ranked unit mustered only one shot on goal in four opportunities.

"Our power play didn't do anything," Brendan Morrison said. "We had a four chances there when we were up 2-1 to make it 3-1 and couldn't get anything going. They killed them off and got the momentum."

Boudreau, who spent a significant amount of time working on the power play during Thursday's practice, was more succinct: "Our power play was horrible."

Check out my gamer here, then come on back for a few more thoughts:

*Both Boudreau and Poti thought the cross checking penalty on Alex Burrows was a cheap call. Poti called it a dive.

"I wasn't happy with it, either," Boudreau said. "He just pushed him. But it's happened to us a lot in the third period where we don't have a penalty or we have one penalty. Then he gives him a two minute penalty for shutting the door too hard. In a 2-2 game with six minutes to go, I don't know."

Poti definitely was demonstrative as he protested the call, but he said the referee told him that he got the unsportsmanlike penalty for slamming the penalty box door "too hard."

*There weren't any Russian reporters to interpret for Semin, but Boudreau said he thought Semin whiffed on the penalty shot rather than Roberto Luongo making a great save. Boudreau said he considered calling a timeout so Semin could catch his breath before taking the shot. But because it was a one goal game, he opted to hang onto the timeout in case he needed it late.

"It was Semin so I was playing shot the whole way," Luongo said. "Took as much net away as possible, and once he went for the shot, I went down right away and was able to get a pad on it."

*Ovechkin answered only a few questions and clearly was frustrated with his performance and his team's. He mustered only three shots - one was added to the scoresheet late - and went without a point for just the sixth time this season.

*Jeff Schultz, who inadvertently kicked in the Canucks' first goal, was limping pretty good after the game. He said he was struck by a shot on the heel in the first period, but thinks he'll be okay.

*Tomas Fleischmann claims he was picked while trying to get back on the Canucks' 2-on-1 that led to Mason Raymond's first goal. Boudreau agreed, but he also thought Fleischmann should have gotten there.

"Fleischmann didn't pick up his assignment, and they come down 2 on 1 and make a great play," Boudreau said.

*Karl Alzner, in his first NHL game in his hometown, only skated 15:17 but had a second solid effort, even if the scoresheet showed a lot of blanks. He was credited with one hit and no shots.

That's it from me. I'll check in from frigid Edmonton tomorrow.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 19, 2009; 2:45 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tonight's lineup: Caps at Canucks
Next: Neuvirth appears set to start in Edmonton

Comments

Is Ovi injured? He looked like he wasn't even out there except for that pass to Backstrom in the 1st. Exact same thing happened in Colorado...

Also, Ovi at the point on the power play is problematic against teams that play an aggressive PK. He's bad at keeping the puck in the zone and often gets out of position. Tonight certainly B.Mo on the point would have been a plus. I know we have the #1 unit in the league but it seems like some teams we just kill with the PP while others shut us down.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 19, 2009 3:28 AM | Report abuse

Semin definitely got a shot off, and he was aiming upstairs as Luongo was deep at that point but he got his leg out and blocked it.

It sure did look like a whiff because it was muffled. He was tired, can't get em all.

Posted by: austinsteve | December 19, 2009 4:21 AM | Report abuse

Is it me or does it seem like ovie has been off his game as of late.Not just because he hasnt gotten any goals in a while but just seems off his game.maybe he has an injury,i dont know but i hope it gets fixed soon.

Posted by: gratefuldid | December 19, 2009 4:38 AM | Report abuse

Possibly Ovies' spark has been dampened by the suspension. NHL sanctioned "blinders".

Posted by: carlton46 | December 19, 2009 4:48 AM | Report abuse

My patience with Poti and Green is wearing thin. The penalty Poti took was garbage but as soon as he gets out of the box, only a couple of minutes later, he makes a horrible pass that gets ripped off and taken down the ice and put on net. Fortunately Jose was on his game he just didn't have much help tonight. Green just looks slow and unwilling anymore. I don't see the same drive I saw two years ago. He waits for other defenders or wingers for that matter to pick up the slack. I just don't get it. I really think he is becoming a selfish player. Bring on the haterade because I know it's gonna happen....

Posted by: HemmedUp | December 19, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

would anybody kindly remind me of GMGM's email address?

thanks!

Posted by: Rambutan_ru | December 19, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Capitals rankings last night, soccer style...

Oveckin - 4.5 - was largely ineffective all night. I thought he love Canada?

Backstrom - 5.5 - Was good on the dots, missed a tap in goal.

Knuble - 4.0 - looked slow (is slow), didn't contribute much as all.

Line 1 - 4.5 - This line has to be better, had only a few chances, missed all of them.

Semin - 7.5 - Was everywhere. Goal, 7 shots, missed penalty shot. Bruce should've called TO for Semin who was gasping for air.

Morrison - 5.5 - Yeoman's job, nothing great, nothing bad.

Laich - 6.0 - Got on the scoresheet, typical grind it out night for Laich.

Line 2 - 6.5 - Only line that was visible last night and that was because of Semin.

Flash - 5.0 - Knocked off the puck a few times, was hampered by getting nothing from K.Wilson.

Wilson - 3 - Nights like these can not happen in the playoffs period, against any opponent.

Fehr - 6.0 - Should resiliency after getting constantly cross-checked in one shift. Fired bombs, one ended up being an assist.

Line - 4.5 - Collectively did nothing. Fehr's assist came during a line shift.

Clark - 6.0 - Good night for Clarkie. Avoided team cancer chants from the Canuck faithful with rebound goal.

Steckel - 5.0 - Typical Steckel output, he is the perfect 4th line C and PK/FO specialist.

Bradley - 4.5 - Nothing of note. Hey, he didn't bleed tonight?

Line 4 - As a unit, did very little.

Green - 4.5 - Didn't look altogether, was on the ice for 2 Canuck goals, needs to do better with his wide open shot in the slot.

Schultz - 5.0 - Some good, some bad. Has had much better nights.

Morrissonn - 5.0 - Not much to say, played the odd-man rush right, but nondescript otherwise.

Poti - 3.5 - Was lousy in the 3ed period. Horrible penalty to take and even worse getting unsportsmanlike to boot. A goatlike performance.

Alzner - 5.5 - What we need from him, solid and unspectacular defense.

Erskine - 6.0 - Actually played a decent game, diving poke check or block late saved a potential goal.

Theodore - 5 - Lets be fair, Schultz kicked the first goal in, 2nd goal was just a great move by a goal scorer on a fast break, 3rd goal was on a PK with lots of traffic. Maybe Varly stops one, maybe he doesn't.

Boudreau - 5 - Should've called TO to allow Semin a chance to compose himself and catch his breath before the penalty shot. Needs to find a 3rd line C somewhere.

Posted by: JSchon | December 19, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

My patience with Poti and Green is wearing thin. The penalty Poti took was garbage but as soon as he gets out of the box, only a couple of minutes later, he makes a horrible pass that gets ripped off and taken down the ice and put on net. Fortunately Jose was on his game he just didn't have much help tonight. Green just looks slow and unwilling anymore. I don't see the same drive I saw two years ago. He waits for other defenders or wingers for that matter to pick up the slack. I just don't get it. I really think he is becoming a selfish player. Bring on the haterade because I know it's gonna happen....

Posted by: HemmedUp | December 19, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

They lost because they went 0 for 4 on the PP... not only that they only got ONE shot on goal during those PPs.

It's absolutely a waste of time always to point out the mistakes that result in goals allowed. this team is NOT built to shut anyone down - it's built to outcore the opponents. When they only score two goals, they're gonna LOSE two thirds of those games.

And their PK remains to be absolutely PATHETIC. The unit is incapable of running up a streak such as 10 in a row or 19 outta 20. Just look at the Thrashers PK unit. They were near the dead last last year but this year they're near the very TOP. it's called COACHING!!!

Posted by: joek443 | December 19, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

BB takes Semin off the first PP line and the result is "horrible." Yeah, later on Semin is back but momentum is lost...bad decision

Posted by: fnralch | December 19, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Something really bugged me about the way CSN showed the Poti penalty. I know they may not control the cameras when they are on the road, but they cut to the ref showing cross checking and that looked to be the end of it. Then 4 went up. I thought it was a mistake. They also didn't bother to mention the extra 2 until they scored.

Did the announcers not mention the extra two at the arena? Did the ref not announce it publicly? What gives? I usually expect better from Joe and his crew.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 19, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

"Green just looks slow and unwilling anymore. I don't see the same drive I saw two years ago. He waits for other defenders or wingers for that matter to pick up the slack. I just don't get it. I really think he is becoming a selfish player. Bring on the haterade because I know it's gonna happen....

Posted by: HemmedUp "

@HemmedUp: I'm not going to serve you any "haterade", but I might ask if you'd like to join the "G" company of the Doofus Brigade. Did it occur to you that Green might have had a concussion (although they never disclosed whether or not he did) and definitely needed about 25 stitches to close the gash on his head after Koci's hit on him during the Avalanche game? I don't think he's selfish in the least. I'd like to see you go out on the ice, get hit into the boards like he did, and then play at 100% the next time you're out. Please, think about it!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 19, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

@ joek443
" And their PK remains to be absolutely PATHETIC. The unit is incapable of running up a streak such as 10 in a row or 19 outta 20"
totally agree but don't forget that 2 of our best PK /Gordon and Laing/ are not playing

Posted by: Tondi | December 19, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

@ Tondi

their PK unit wasn't exactly setting the world on fire even when those guys were healthy.

Posted by: joek443 | December 19, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

@ joek443
true but PK was better oh and Alzner wasn't playing either. I hope once we get the guys back we'll do better and be more aggressive.

By the way have you noticed that Sh*tsburg schedule is perfect - almost every night they play against a team that had played the night before - I wouldn't call that coincidence ...

Posted by: Tondi | December 19, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Wow, seriously refs? Screw us because we slammed a door? How many times does that happen and nothing is done? That's bush-league garbage.

Posted by: EricS2 | December 19, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I think CapsChick pointed that out about pissburgh last year. How alot of thier games were against a team playing it's 2nd in 2 nights.

Posted by: ludeman95 | December 19, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

BB should have called at least 10 sec. for Semin to catch his breath b4 taking the penalty shot. Semin is out of breath there, poor baby.
Seriously, I don't understand why it's 4 mins penalty until i've read here the reason.Wow and Y?

Posted by: newfanofcaps | December 19, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@EricS2

I can't believe that Poti got an extra 2 minutes for slamming the door to the penalty box. I have NEVER heard of that happening before. Is Poti really the angriest guy in the world when it comes to getting called for penalties? Somehow I doubt it.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

I don't know soccer style ratings, obviously. But I noticed the highest rating you gave anyone was 7.5. Is it on a scale of 8 or on a scale of 10? If on a scale of 10, our team had a bad night indeed. Even on a scale of 8, they didn't look so great.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@ hemmedUp

I completely agree with you about Green. He has looked slow and made terrible breakout passes all year-its almost like he doesn't care. For someone with such great skating ability its frustrating to watch him glide out from behind our net and give a half-ass breakout pass into someones skates..it has to stop

Sure, he's putting points but something has to be done.

I hope he makes team canada as the 7th or 8th dman and barely plays but gets a chance to watch the best show him how its done;maybe that will be a humbling/motivating experience

Posted by: capinsider | December 19, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Hey Tom, Kirk and Lefty! It's a blizzard here in Caps Nation! Enjoy your weather and picture us under a couple of feet of snow.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 19, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

CapFan75

its out of 10...

Posted by: JSchon | December 19, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Vancouver is a pretty good defensive team, like most in the West. So I wouldn't be surprised to see them limit the Caps offence. But I watched the game and it really was the powerplay that let them down. They got absolutely nothing going on it and it seemed to take away any momentum they had going and just stalled the team. To me it just looked like they couldn't decide how to enter the zone. Vancouver played a pretty good PK but Washington never actually got setup in a single one of their powerplays. It was pretty brutal. Ovechkin didn't play well and I think it's because there was too much distraction in the trip to Vancouver with the Olympic autograph signing events and there being so much hype because it's the Olympic stage. Think he was trying to put on too much of a show because of all of it and was making mistakes instead of smart plays. Great PR for the sport, but makes it tough to focus on the game sometimes. He'll be better in Edmonton tonight. That should be a good game.

Posted by: Stu_c | December 19, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

Please tell me you're kidding right... I'm pretty sure I never singled out last nights game as the example. I made what's called a "broad statement". Here's an example for you... "Green just looks slow and unwilling anymore. I don't see the same drive I saw two years ago." Go back and watch the last 10 games and you'll see the same performance from Green. Go back a couple of games when he won it in overtime. He didn't have a choice but to win it for us considering his play that entire game. If you'd like another example you can go watch this clip of Carolina's first goal. Was that a 2 on 1?? WOW who's that trying to go end to end and gets his clock cleaned across the blue line... I'll give you one guess and it's not Nylander..

http://capitals.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20092010,2,459&event=WSH11

Oh and by the way, on that invitation to join your brigade, no need you got it covered.

Posted by: HemmedUp | December 19, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

Got one more for ya pal... Same game

http://capitals.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20092010,2,459&event=WSH45

Listen to the commentator... "Green turns it over!!" In our own zone at that..

Wrap around and what do you know another goal for Carolina. Must have been that head injury.

Posted by: HemmedUp | December 19, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

oldtimehockey

I was watching the TSN feed and they mentioned the extra 2 before play resumed. I think they said "Wow! The ref is awefully sensitive tonight if that deserves an extra two".

Posted by: FLDave | December 19, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@HemmedUp: Okay, Green makes mistakes. He is not superman. I guess we are all going to see what we want to see. If I take any player and highlight all the mistakes and missteps he makes, I'll make the point that the guy's a loser. Let's find all of Ovie's turnovers and anyone else on the Caps. Just don't try to find any of Green's good plays or assists or goals, because that just might conflict with your version of him.

I understand that you are disappointed with Green. I just don't see it the same way you do.

Please excuse me for not reading your post more carefully and realize that you were not just talking about last night's game. You're making a broader statement about his play in general. And his play in general is why he is one of the top-rated defenseman in the league.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 19, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Something really bugged me about the way CSN showed the Poti penalty. I know they may not control the cameras when they are on the road, but they cut to the ref showing cross checking and that looked to be the end of it. Then 4 went up. I thought it was a mistake. They also didn't bother to mention the extra 2 until they scored.

Did the announcers not mention the extra two at the arena? Did the ref not announce it publicly? What gives? I usually expect better from Joe and his crew.

Posted by: oldtimehockey

Yeah, that was really annoying to me. Since CSN makes mistakes like that somewhat often, I assumed it was one, especially since Joe and Locker didn't say anything. I can't believe it took them until after the penalty shot to say something, and I still didn't know what the deal was until I just read this blog entry.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | December 19, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

If the power play had clicked at all it would have been a different game. As for Alex, it's certainly not up to me to judge him, but I think he felt alot of pressure to impress the crowd, but trying to be "superman" hurt his normal play.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 19, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

Is Green a terrible player? Absolutely not!!! I'm not bashing Green because he sucks I'm pointing out the fact that he is MUCH better than what he is producing right now. Just like you said look at OV's passes over the past few games... pretty awful in a lot of cases. Quite a few have sprung odd men breaks too. So it's not just Green. Please don't think I hate my team, I love my team. I've got the tattoos to prove it. I've watched the Caps for over 20 years and we have never had a team more skilled or well rounded than we do now. It just bothers me when I see these guys not giving 100%. I'm not asking for more just 100%. And if you're hurt sit out! You're not just hurting yourself you're hurting your team. I know it's easier said than done because I play hockey and I know what it's like to be hurt and still want to be out there.

Posted by: HemmedUp | December 19, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Wow, seriously refs? Screw us because we slammed a door? How many times does that happen and nothing is done? That's bush-league garbage.

Posted by: EricS2 | December 19, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

-----------

Forget it, it's Canada

(seen the old movie Chinatown?)

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 19, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

I was thinking out of 10 but had to check to make sure. Yes, truly pathetic on a 10 point scale that our best grade was 7.5. (I noticed you game Line 1 and Line 4 grades -- not good ones but no grade for Line 2 or Line 3.)

Will "Times be a changing" with the line combinations tonight? Would not surprise me?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Made an error. I saw a grade for Line 2 after all. (For Line 3, the "3" was left off the ledger; hence why I missed it).

Proposed combinations:

Ovi/Back/Semin
Flash/Morrison/Fehr
Laich/Steckel/Knuble
Bradley/Wilson/Clark

I'm assuming they want to give Boyd Gordon a conditioning stint at Hershey before putting him in a real NHL game. I'm not sure Laing is ready for a game yet.

I'm moving up Sasha. I put Flash and Fehr on a line with Morrison. Knuble is temporarily moved down. (He will be back up.) Sorry Brooksie.

Or alternatively, try:

Ovi/Morrison/Knuble
Laich/Backstrom/Semin
Flash/Steckel/Fehr
Bradley/Wilson/Clark

I'd say, Juice back in the lineup.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@butcherbaker & @EricS2

I never heard of a guy getting 2 additional minutes for slamming the penalty box door -- until now. Is Poti really our worst guy for controlling his temper? Somehow I doubt it.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Temper problems

1. Poti
2. Boudreau
3. Kolzig is angry somewhere...

Posted by: JSchon | December 19, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@HemmedUp: Sorry I jumped on you. I overreacted. Still thinking about last year when Green had mono and was injured and people were all hating him for that. You're right, we should be asking 100% of our guys, and if they're injured, they should sit out.

Let's go Caps!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 19, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75 -- I definitely would like to see Flash and Fehr up on the top 2 lines. They've both arguably played better than Laich and Knuble, Flash MUCH better. And Laich-Steckel-Knuble could be a real grinder of a line.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 19, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

OK, now that Pittsburgh has passed us in the Conference Standings we don't have to worry about the Best Team in Hockey mantle anymore. We have not learned how to handle that yet. It still belongs to the Pens. Sorry, but we have to be honest here.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | December 19, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon

And yet we know who always get "credit" for immature, ill-timed penalties of frustration, especially in the third period. (And, no, I am not talking about Tom Poti.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@hockeypuck1

The Devils are actually "technically" in first place for the conference since they have one "game in hand" compared to the Penguins.

If we count the OT losses as losses, we would be 4th in the conference, behind NJ, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo. We're just barely behind Buffalo.

Maybe that is a truer picture of where we really do stand. Pitt and NJ do look better than us. Granted, it's the matchups but NJ is truly better than us. And the Pens don't have the propensity to blow leads. If Buffalo is ahead after the second intermission, they always win.

(Maybe we'll be the hot team come playoff time when we finally get our act together.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

you can't play hockey without taking penalties once in a while and this team does NOT take many penalties... usually no more than 3 or 4 minors/game.

the problem is their incredibly inept PK unit, NOT the number of penalties they take.

Posted by: joek443 | December 19, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

Green's not the only person people were "hating" on. I do wonder if Green maybe should have sat out last night. I can't imaging the swelling near his eye did much for his vision. (And he did hit his head in the Carolina game.)

Fans were really hard on Schultz last year (and were saying he's only an AHL caliber player; etc.) Granted, Schultz essentially kicked a goal in for the other team today but he's generally been good for us.

And earlier this year, they were really hard on Semin who turned out to be playing with a bad wrist for over a week before he finally sat out. (Other guys have made mistakes but whenever Semin did anything wrong, there were calls to trade him, bench him, let him walk; etc.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Temper problems

1. Poti
2. Boudreau
3. Kolzig is angry somewhere...

Posted by: JSchon | December 19, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

if you think Kolzig has anger issues, you obviously have never seen Billy Smith or Ron Hextall... LOL

Posted by: joek443 | December 19, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Tarik! Will there be any Caps public appearances in Edmonton today? Look forward to seeing the game live tonight and hopefully catching some appearances. Thanks!

Posted by: edmontoncapsfan | December 19, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Did Hextall ever get an additional 2 minutes tacked on a penalty for slamming the door to the box?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75: Maybe part of the problem is that Caps are playing with injuries and not always disclosing those injuries/fuzzy head conditions. I guess the better a player's potential, the harder fans are going to be when they don't live up to it. I do understand that, but I don't think it's a huge problem right now. (Am I a "glass half-full person? Probably.)

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 19, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan75

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0XvVmBH0R0

oh I think Hextall did a LOT more than slamming the door to penalty boxes in his career...

Posted by: joek443 | December 19, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Hextall never slammed the door to penalty box doors did he? Goalies don't serve their penalties?

Posted by: JSchon | December 19, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

The clip announced that Hextall had over 100 penalty minutes -- as a goalie.

I bet Philthy wishes they had a goalie like him how.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon

When a goalie gets penalized, another player has to sit in the box instead of him (and they go a man down).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

The Caps certainly do play with injuries/undisclosed conditions. They certainly did during the playoffs.

Is the glass half empty or half full? Well, it depends on the trend.

A mathematician would want to know more data points. As in what function is being applied to the glass. If the function being applied on the glass is "drinking", it's a decreasing function so the glass would be half empty in that case. If the function is "pouring a drink", it's an increasing function and the glass would be half full.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

More Hextall insanity:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaLO1m-08SI

Really shows you how the league has changed, for the better in my opinion.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 19, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin needs to stop talking so much and taking photoshoots. He needs to start focusing on playing the game. All the media attention and "superstar" BS is getting to his head.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | December 19, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The PK is clearly, IMO, the biggest problem on the team on a consistent basis. However, the problems with the power play last night were stunning. The Canucks put tremendous pressure on the puck, while still seemingly being in every passing lane. Have to give them credit - either for great scouting of the Caps' PP or having a system that was well matched to disrupt the Caps.

Posted by: zmega | December 19, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@Tondi, yep the Pens play the Sabres tonight when the Sabres played yesterday. Then the Pens get to play the leafs when the leafs will have played the day before. Before that, they played Philly when Philly had played the night before. You've got to be kidding me. I wish someone would run how many times a team gets to play a team that had played the night before, and I'll bet the Pens come out with a bunch of them.

Posted by: dfe1 | December 19, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

DannyBoy1975:

Ovechkin is the last person in the world to let the media hype affect any aspect of his personality or playing. He is always authentic, down-to-earth, and trains his focus on the team and the joy of the game rather than on himself. He just had an average vs. great night, as BB said.

One thing I am really happy about is Clark. He is slowly but surely getting back to his old self. He has 14 points and is among the top 11 players on the roster with double-digit stats. I remember him when he was at his best 3 years ago. He was not a flashy player but solid, realiable and strong, steadily amassing points and making his contribution critical to the team. He always gives 100% and is gritty and aggressive. I cannot fathom why anyone would suggest that he should be traded.

Go Clarkie!!!

Any guesses as to who will be in goal tonight? Anyone thinks that Neuvy would get another chance. I know it will not be Theo starting, but I am not sure which of the other two will get the go-ahead.

Posted by: caraveli | December 19, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@joek, completely agree about the PK--why isn't it any better? Didn't know that about Atlanta's PK, but if they can do it, why can't we?

Posted by: dfe1 | December 19, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Right DannyBoy...

Ovechkin you lead the league in points per game played... 3rd in goals despite playing 5 fewer games than the top guy... 7 multi goal games...

But you need to do better... Because Gretzky never had a bad game... Howe never had a bad game... Fehr never had a bad game...

Posted by: JSchon | December 19, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

In goal, it will probably be the "New Kid on the Block" who, once again, needs to prove his worth or should I say "virth". Varly's not quite ready. He took a full practice but did feel some twinges.

Hence, Neuvirth. Let's hope he's much better than he was last week.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

@zmega

I've seen so many bad power plays by the Caps, not just last night but other nights as well.

They can't afford to have a PP this bad. Me thinks some changes to personnel are coming, or should come. Or at least rearranged.

Please, Bruce, no more two minute PP shifts for Ovi on the point. After a point, his effectiveness starts lessening.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Tarik: Nice video recap. One word: tripod. Steve in Jersey

Posted by: sjshanno | December 19, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Since Varly's still injured, I'd expect Neuvy in goal tonight. I think the idea was a few days of practice would help him get into the groove of facing NHL shooters. Hopefully last night's game will convince the skaters to remember to get in the groove of spending time in their offensive zone when they're on the PP.

And OBTW, maybe the broadcasters can give the details on the penalties. I ended up going to the full play by play stat sheet on the Caps website to figure out what was going on.

Posted by: miseaujeu | December 19, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@miseaujeu

Yes, it would be nice if our skaters could stay in the offensive zone when on a PP.

One thing that's true. In games Semin was out, the PP collectively had 2 goals and 2 shorties against. I also hear that Semin was sent down to the 2nd PP unit for last night. Correlation here anyone?

So this is what we have to look forward to in the Post-Semin era. A totally abysmal power play. Come on, guys, step it up. Come on, Sasha, sign on the dotted line.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

@dfe1

Yes, I saw your schedule notes. Does Bettman really love the Pens so much that he has the schedule jerry-rigged to favor them? Does he really think that the best thing for the league is a powerful Penguin team?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

One thing is for sure. You cannot blame this loss on the refs. They did give Poti 4 minutes which is on the bubble, but on the other hand look at the Caps PP's, a penalty shot and the refs overlooking many too many men on the ice scenarios.

The CAPS lost this game, the Nucks did not beat them.

Posted by: FLDave | December 19, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

After laughing my head off at the Hextall fight scenes (thanks, joek443 and butcherbaker), I can now address the glass half empty/ half full question. I guess I'm very optimistic about the Caps record and season so far. In spite of many injuries and Ovie's suspension, they're still doing great. They have a lot of talent, and with Nylander gone they have some breathing room on the salary cap issue come trading time. They also have a lot of talent in the farm team. That's the half full part.

OTOH, the half empty would be the PP and PK problems, lingering injuries and some inconsistent play.

In the long run, the half full/half empty question will depend on the trajectory of the team as the playoff time draws near.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 19, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"More Hextall insanity:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaLO1m-08SI

Really shows you how the league has changed, for the better in my opinion."

I miss those days. A LOT more emotion in every game and pride for the jersey you wore. Divisional games were expected to be battles and every shift counted, there was no tying it up late and winning in a shoot out.

Now it seems to be about the endorsement money and waiting for the best UFA deal. The more the NHL tries to put a product out for the masses, the more they push out the hard core fans.


Posted by: FLDave | December 19, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Oops! Forget everything I ever said about getting an enforcer for the team. This Yahoo news just made me worry about Ovechkin's style of play even more:

http://news.yahoo.com/video/health-15749655/17212820#video=17212174

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 19, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Tarik's twitter says that Neuvy is in goal tonight.

Posted by: rachel216 | December 19, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

JohnWWW

He was 73. SEVENTY THREE!!!

Not to make light of someone passing but..... Some of us will be lucky to live that long.

Everyone has to eventually die, I think the statistic show 90% of all males if they live long enough will develop prostate cancer. This is like my wife spending money on breast cancer awareness stuff to honor her grandmother who died of breast cancer at 98. Yes, NINETY EIGHT.

I hope I can make it to my 70's and then have enough brain damage from my hockey and MMA days to make me think I'm at Disney World every day prior to my death.

Posted by: FLDave | December 19, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

rachel216

Sweet! Theo had a strong game last night, but I don't think he is the answer for the Caps.

Posted by: FLDave | December 19, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

AS OF LATE, a few have been struggling, powerplay has gone flat, pk needs some work... but look where the boys are! Just a little over a week ago we were enjoying a 6 game winning streak. Give them a break when things don't click - it's how it goes! Ovi will rattle off a few multi-point games, the powerplay will come alive, etc.... and all will be well, once again, with the "Caps faithful".

Posted by: gonchpup | December 19, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

At the very end of the story about head injuries on the link that JohnWWW provided, the reporter said that about 120 athletes have agreed to donate their brains to science in order to help study this phenomemon. Did she mean 120 hockey players? I hope they wait till after the SC play offs.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 19, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Im really wondering if BB is planning on putting laing or gordon in the lineup since they took the trip, or if he just wanted them to be able to practice with the team while away? i personally would love to see laing in there asap, you cant buy that kind of heart.

Posted by: mrszilla | December 19, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Theo may or may not be the answer for the Caps but Neuvy is definitely not the answer for the Caps this year.

from what I've seen of Neuvy last year and this year, he seems to fit the description of what Eddie Belfour used to call a "pretty boy goalie"... looks good and has good techniques but not really effective in stoping the puck which is what it's all about as far as being a goalie.

this year, it's Varly or bust as far as the Caps' goalie situation in the playoffs so he had better stay healthy.

Posted by: joek443 | December 19, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Flyers just dropped another one, this time 2 -1 to the Rags. Not that I feel anything for NY, but I just love to know the Philly fans are just beside themselves right now!

Posted by: gonchpup | December 19, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

They can't afford to have a PP this bad. Me thinks some changes to personnel are coming, or should come. Or at least rearranged.

Please, Bruce, no more two minute PP shifts for Ovi on the point. After a point, his effectiveness starts lessening.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

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

I don't think it's fair to call the PP bad since they're at the top of the league. But I do think it's fair to call them inconsistent. As I mentioned earlier, I think having Ovi at the point is a big part of that problem. Yes he has a great shot but he isn't very effective at distributing the puck or keeping it in the zone. Morrison has looked great when he's been back there. Semin should also be on the #1 unit. He and Backstrom are our best passers and puckhandlers in tight situations.

So my ideal unit is Green and Morrison in the rear, Backstrom and Semin up front, and Ovi in the middle.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 19, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@butcherbaker

You're right in that the Caps Power Play is not necessarily bad but when it's bad, it's horrid, like it was last night.

Ovi for 2 minutes at the point is too long. While Ovi has great endurance and can take long shifts, enough is enough.

You make a good suggestion for your ideal first PP unit. So who would you put as your second unit? We still have Laich, Knuble, Flash, and Fehr not on a PP unit. And then there's room for one moer.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

I'm sure Flyers fans are beside themselves right now. (I'm no fan of the Rags either.)

If Flyers' fans are anything like Caps fans, they would be calling for Mike Richards to get traded. "Too many penalties"; "Either white hot or totally unproductive"; etc., etc. Richards is very comparable to Semin in statistics.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

I hope Neuvy isn't just a "pretty boy" goalie to use Eddie Balfour's old term. He's got to do better tonight than last week.

Come on, Michal, make Rachel happy tonight.

Varly is our best bet in goal. (I do pause to think about what happened to Buffalo last year. They started off well. Then Ryan Miller got injured and they fell out of the playoff picture.) I don't think we're in any immediate danger of that happening.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 19, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

What's up with Greenie? Plus 12 prior to that game. Looked out of position on both Vancover goals and has given up many bigtime goals against this season. Plus 12 is definitely deceiving. Need to keep shape on the D. or its outs in the playoffs.

Posted by: kermiepop | December 19, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

No worries! I was a little rough myself. My apologies.

Posted by: HemmedUp | December 19, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I have never seen a team's fans worry about another teams schedula as much as you losers. Please renounce your fandom if you actually think the Pens have a favorable schedule cause of playing teams on back-backs. Just quickly checking, the Pens play 2 more back to backs than we do. We play in the worst division in hockey, that easily makes up for anyscheduling conflicts you idiots perceive. If we don't win this division by 20 points, then we need to do some soul searching as a team.

Posted by: stop_it | December 19, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company