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Caps 2, Bruins 1

There was a playoff-like feeling in the third period -- with the score tied and the teams playing what seemed like a game of chicken -- that it would just be one nice play, or one costly mistake, that could decide the outcome. And the Caps got that nice play.

It started when Milan Jurcina dove to poke check the puck away from Boston's Martin St. Pierre, who turned the puck over as he retrieved it then tried to pass it off the boards. Alexander Semin stole the puck from along the boards and skirted two Bruins players before ripping a shot over Tim Thomas' glove for what proved to be the game-winner.

"I wish he'd shoot more," Coach Bruce Boudreau said of Semin. "He's got that kind of shot....Tim Thomas, as good as he was, I don't know if he expected a shot to come out that quick. When you're going down the wing and it's just a normal shot you don't expect it to go in against (Thomas) quite frankly."

Boudreau was right. Thomas didn't expect the shot to come that fast.

"I didn't know that Semin was just going to come down and shoot it," Thomas said. "I was also keeping an eye on their guy (Tomas Fleischmann) who was coming late, in case he pulled up and gave it to him. It was Guy LaFleurish. There's not many times when a guy has that much time to wind up for a slap shot like that."

On to the rest of tonight's notes and quotes.

*The Caps now have 61 points on the season. For some perspective, consider that Washington didn't eclipse the 60-point mark until Feb. 13 last season and this is the fastest they've hit the plateau since 1985-86 when they reached it one game sooner (45).

*Both of the Bruins' past two road losses have come at Verizon Center and the Capitals have caused half of Boston's last four defeats. While it remains to be seen if these two teams will meet in the spring, their match-ups sure make for some good hockey and bring a playoff-esque air to the building.

"It was a playoff game, I think -- that mentality," Jose Theodore said. "It was a real tight game. Obviously you didn't want to make a mistake."

*Semin's game winner was his first-career goal against the Bruins. Buffalo is the only other team in the Eastern Conference that Semin hasn't scored against. He's faced the Sabres eight times and tonight was his eighth meeting against Boston.

*Mike Green's second-period goal was his 12th point (5g, 7a) in the last nine games. All but two of Green's tallies have come with the man advantage and he leads all NHL defensemen with his team-high 10 power play goals.

"He gets a little excited sometimes and starts to play rover more than defense," Boudreau said, "but he certainly knows how to get to the net and put the puck in the net when he gets the opportunity. That's why I think he's one of the best, if not the best, offensive defensemen in the game today."

*John Erskine had quite the noticeable game as the defenseman threw his weight around with three hits and earned the game's second star. Erskine's only hiccup came late in regulation when he was whistled for elbowing, which gave the Bruins a power play for the last 1:41 of regulation.

"I wasn't feeling too great after that (call)," Erskine said, "but those PK guys went out there and did a good job. They saved me there."

*Boston's lone goal by Marc Savard on the power play marked the sixth straight game that the Capitals have allowed at least one power play goal. The last time Washington held an opponent scoreless with the man advantage was on Jan. 3 against the Rangers.

*David Steckel got the hardhat tonight.

*The Caps still hold the best home record in the Eastern Conference at 19-3-1 at Verizon Center and have won back-to-back games in which their opponent has scored first. They're 11-4-3 in one-goal games.

By Katie Carrera  |  January 17, 2009; 10:52 PM ET
 
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Comments

first?

Posted by: kevbnyc | January 17, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Go Caps!

Posted by: MReilly9 | January 17, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Did I hear correctly that Steckel got the hard hat? Boy can win some face offs.

Never did hear who got it in the Pens game.

Posted by: Kim-3 | January 17, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Also, awesome play by Alzner at the end of the game. Pretty impressive that a rookie was on the ice for a 6 on 4 in the last minute of a game, against the top team in the East, with a one goal lead. Says loads about BB's confidence in the young man.

Please mom, can we keep him?

Posted by: Kim-3 | January 17, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I thought Erskine definitely deserved a star. Who were the others? I'm guessing Semin for the GWG. Maybe Nyls? I really thought that was a spectacular, disciplined effort. It's nice to watch the offense pot 4,5,6 goals, but that ain't gonna happen in the playoffs. There were a few dfeensive lapses but overall, I thought it was a defensive gem from a VERY young group of Dmen.

Posted by: kevbnyc | January 17, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Interesting trade happened. Not sure what it does for either team. Between the Oilers and Pens. Oilers have 3 goalies, so they did this trade?

"The Edmonton Oilers traded goaltender Mathieu Garon to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday for goaltender Dany Sabourin, centre Ryan Stone, and a fourth-round pick in 2011."

The Edmonton GM said he's not sure what he'll do with Sabourin, either trade him or send him to the AHL. Best thing for the Oilers is the 4th rounder taken from Pitts. Stone's warmed seats most of this year.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 17, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

YEAH! THAT was a very good game. I cannot complain about anything. I didn't have a good view of any of the penalties we took, so I can't say if they were good calls or weak... I kinda wish they'd replay them on the big screen for us all to see, but then if they did, we'd all know if the referee was right or not... and the rendition of REF, YOU SUCK! that came on the heels of Ovechkin's kneeing penalty may well have been deserved; I don't know for sure. Have to watch the replay, if it's on anywhere.

Anybody have a decent view of that?

Anyway, GOOD game, SOLID win, and let's go take the momentum to the Islanders in their house!

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

Tim Thomas got the third star tonight for the Bruins.

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

kev, the three stars announced in house were:

1. Semin (WSH)
2. Erskine (WSH)
3. Thomas (BOS)

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | January 17, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Also of note is that tonight's game was NHL Game 666 of the season. ;)

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | January 17, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

1st star - Alexander Semin
2nd star - John Erskine
3rd star - Tim Thomas

@Greg S. - That *is* a weird trade! Garon is a .895 SV%, 3.17 GAA goalie this year, and Sabourin is a .898 SV%, 2.85 GAA goalie, so Sabourin is the better of the two, but the Pens have Marc-Andre Fleury, who is playing *VERY* well this season...

It makes me wonder, though, why Sabourin went with Ryan Stone and a 4th round pick... why trade away two players and a draft choice for a lesser goalie? Especially since Sabourin is likely to be offloaded...

VERY weird trade. I would love to know the whys on that one...

Posted by: irockthered | January 17, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

@GregAnnapolis - *snicker* - That game number should have gone to the Devils... or the Penguins, since they won't trade Satan to his proper team, LOL! ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | January 17, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S. - It's GOTTA be a salary cap thing for the Pens...

Posted by: irockthered | January 17, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

"This is Tom Brrrrooookaw, of NBC News. Today we're talking with Cl-Cl-Clint Eastwood, of Hollywood fame. Tell me, Clint, are you ready to call Alexander Semin a star?"
Eastwood: "What?"
Brokaw: "In your recent picture, Gran Torino, you portrayed someone who refused to adapt to society. Can you compare this to Alexander Semin's transfer from the Russian Super League to the NHL?"
Eastwood: "No."
Brokaw: "What? Er - how about Semin's role as a sniper in Washington? Can you put that in a historical perspective?"
Eastwood: "Not really."
Brokaw: "Well, um, supposedly there was a sniper on the grassy knoll."
Eastwood: "Maybe it was Peter Bondra."
Brokaw: "Maybe."

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 17, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=404616

Fortunately, they are limiting it to ONE vote per mobile phone this time, so there won't be the debacle like over the ASG starting lineup!!!

Posted by: irockthered | January 17, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

WWWOOOOOOOO HHHHHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! :-D

How much fun was THAT?!? Great game and Semin's goal was UNbelievable. Oh I love those Cappies, and for some reason I love them all the more when the beat Boston!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 17, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Alzner played that calm, tidy game of his, again.
If someone hit Ovechkin the same way Ovechkin hit Wideman, I'd want and expect it to be called.
Thomas calling Semin's rocket "Guy Lafleurish" warms my hockey heart.
Great lines, great lineup, solid Theo, satisfying W.


Posted by: redlineblue | January 17, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

...what she said. :)

Yes I had a great time Boo, glad to see you did too! Let's go Caps!

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | January 17, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure the Pittsburgh trade was to free up cap space for another move. That next move will likely be the "splash".

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 17, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

@rockthered

oilers had a 3 goalie situation prior to the trade. by acquiring sabourin, they will be able to waive him down, and not have to have 3 goalies taking up roster spots.
Garon is a proven starter who is having a bad year. Sabourin is a backup who is having a good year.
Garon is a UFA next year, and the Oilers saw far enough to get something for him why they could (stone and 4th pick).
Oilers dumped .5 mil in salary

On pens side...
by acquiring Garon, its going to push MAF to work his butt off. and contrary to what you said, MAF hasnt really had a great season so far this year. they are readying themselves for the playoffs, if they even make it this year.


id say the favor goes towards the pens, but slightly, and only if they get into the playoffs.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 17, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Here's another shocker. Ben Clymer an All Star? In the KHL he is. Here's the link if you want to read.

http://thehockeynews.com/articles/22425-Ben-Clymers-Blog-Playing-in-the-KHL-AllStar-Game.html

Posted by: Greg S. | January 17, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I guess Pittsburgh only cut $750K in the deal if the salaries at nhlnumbers.com are accurate. It also shows Pittsburgh as having negative cap space, even after the trade.

So what richmondphil sounds accurate. Pittsburgh must have just wanted a better backup goalie.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 17, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Stone, IIRC, was the Baby Pen that got busted last season for streaking or being a drunken idiot or something along those lines.
Puck Daddy with a little bit of perspective on the trade: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Goalies-on-the-move-Gone-Garon-and-rollin-Dubi?urn=nhl,135068#remaining-content

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 17, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

I kinda wish they'd replay them on the big screen for us all to see, but then if they did, we'd all know if the referee was right or not... and the rendition of REF, YOU SUCK! that came on the heels of Ovechkin's kneeing penalty may well have been deserved; I don't know for sure. Have to watch the replay, if it's on anywhere.

Anybody have a decent view of that?

Yeah he deserved it, at least from my POV his leg was out there a little too long.

On the road against the Isle then again versus Ottawa, and Boston hosts St. Louis before going on the road at Toronto, before the rematch 1/27 at the enema center.

Some ground could be gained, yeah?

Posted by: Section117 | January 17, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

That was a humdinger of a game. Very well fought on both sides. Power play was a little shaky but the PK really became a handful when they stopped being passive and started taking it to them.

Snippets and observations:

- Semin in alone = goalie's worst nightmare. If he shoots instead of toe-dragging.
- I thought the penalty on Ovi was weak, myself.
- Playoff atmosphere in the third, indeed. Does Alzner have a headache?
- Alzner looked a lot better and more settled tonight to me.
- Good, fast ice tonight. Given the temp outside, if it hadn't been I'd've found Abe Pollin's office and given him a wedgie.
- While watching warmups I got a good look at the team's stick rack. Nicky uses some really short sticks.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 17, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

regarding Ovechkin's hit on Wideman:

I watched it a number of times on the tivo after I got home from the game. Watching it live (our seats are pretty close and it happened almost right in front of me), all I could say was that OV came in very fast and then the two of them went down in a heap. After further review, I feel it was a legal hit, but very close to illegal and I don't really blame the ref for calling him on it. Ovechkin took a run at Wideman from a long way off and Wideman saw him coming and veered at the last second. Ovechkin clearly tried to compensate by sticking his leg out, which is a bad thing to do, and dangerous and illegal. But he also turned his body sideways at the last moment, and it looked to me like he hit Wideman with his hip/butt before his knee. So the hit was legal, but the referee reacted to the leg sticking out by calling kneeing, and I can't really fault him for it.

I love OV, but I actually wish he'd stick to hitting d-men into the boards and stop trying to go for these big open-ice hits he's been trying recently. The risk just doesn't justify the reward -- and by risk I mean both penalties and possible injuries. Referees and league officials are looking to penalize people on those types of hits, because they're so high-profile. You have to execute it perfectly to avoid getting penalized/suspended or hurting yourself, to say nothing of the opponent. Can you imagine the repercussions if he had actually connected with Malkin when he tried to hit him on that 2-on-2, and it wasn't a squeaky-clean play? I'd rather he steer clear of those situations entirely, and concentrate on hitting d into the boards so they cough up the puck.

Posted by: christiansonm | January 18, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I may have deafened some bruins fans. I apologize. I said " I APOLOGIZE!"

Posted by: uncatim | January 18, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

see: Cam Neely.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

GregAnnapolis:
Glad you had a good time!! :-) I take it you were at the VC? That was the second low scoring game as of late that was A LOT of fun. The whole thing was tight and intense ... I dug it! And everyone in the lower bowl (at least where I was) stood for the last 90 seconds; I love it when the happens. Do we really have to wait two weeks to go to another one?!? :-(

UKDave:
Dave, Dave, Dave ... you let me down with you "C" comments! (Well, at least some of them.) Do you really think it matters when Ovie get's the C? RE: Sexy Lumberjack, Mr. Boo will be happy to hear your thoughts there - he has always liked him. Not because he is the most skilled/finesse player (because he is not :-)), but because he is a bulldog. Too often he is the only one trying to clear the crease or to snarl at someone who is crowding or getting chippy ... that is why Mr. Boo likes him so much. Anyway, he had a great game tonight - glad he got a star!

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 18, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Yeah - that play by Alzner at the end of the game was a gem. He does so many things like that.

Jurcina really made up for a bad pass with that diving poke check. He had some nice hits as well.

Erskine played a hell of a game - it's nice to have that physical aspect back. And that penalty at the end of the game was bound to happen - the refs wanted to give the Bruins one more pp.

As for Theodore - he wasn't really challenged that much tonight. The goal he did give up was very weak - he never got back into position. If Boston could have put some more pressure on him, it might have been a different game. When will we see BJ again?

Posted by: Z-Money | January 18, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the Bruins' record, there seems to be only two teams in the East that the Bruins really struggle with - the Caps and the Sabres.

One thing I noted tonight, though, that we should be on the lookout for. Florida has overtaken Carolina - I have a feeling that sloppy home loss to Florida is going to come back to haunt us. That's all rearview mirror stuff, though, and as long as Bruce and the gang keep the pedal to the floor and look out for overtaking Boston, we should be okay. But we can't falter or slack off or decide that well enough is well enough, because it's not.

Next up: Monday at New York Islanders. Stay out of the penalty box, and don't be afraid to step on their necks and keep trying to put the pucks in instead of simply pinning down a lead. Those two things plus continuing to crash the net in the magnificent way they did tonight and against Pittsburgh, and we should be okay.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

In real time, the Ovie penalty looked like a bad call. On replay, he looks to have moved his leg wider trying to clip him. I think it was a good call. Ovie needs to be careful of those shots. One could come back to bite him instead.

On an unrelated note, Atlanta beats Toronto in OT 4-3. Atlanta scored 4 unanswered goals. Way to come back!

Posted by: Greg S. | January 18, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Kitty:
I think the Caps are in the Bruins' heads. I suppose a 10-2 pounding can play with you psyche!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 18, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

@ irockthered:

The vid/replay is now up at http://www.ovechkinfans.com ... I agree with christiansonm's assessment for the most part. It was hip on thigh at the point of contact... OV was really lucky it ended up that way because if it were a fraction of a second later it could've been injury for one or both. He was arguing against the call because he felt he had position (his hip was in his crotch area) and the hit came out legal. Full speed it is really hard to tell that though.

Posted by: rh71 | January 18, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

In real time it looked like a bad call...


If anyone's interested, DET@SJS is really a great game:

http://atdhe.net/live-tv-2.php?i=672

Posted by: mauree | January 18, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

ha! the commentators of the game just talked about Semin's rocket to win the game. They also praised the Caps season so far.

Posted by: mauree | January 18, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

mauree:
That was such a pretty goal, wasn't it?!? Man, I love that guy ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 18, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

That was a sweet goal by Semin. Everyone only sees his wrister. Where'd that cannon come from? Glad for us he has it!

Posted by: Greg S. | January 18, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

hell yeah the whole thing was spectacular, from puck possession to incredible, fast release.

Posted by: mauree | January 18, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

mauree:
Exactly. He worked to get it, passed it to himself past the defender and then a cannon, indeed. The entire sequence was a thing of beauty.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 18, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Wow what a game DET @ SJS... incredible intensity. 6-5 Sharks, they're now the best team in the NHL (thanks to the Caps that defeated the Bruins).

Posted by: mauree | January 18, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

mauree:
I just watched the end of that game on NHLN and heard them say SJ was #1 ... I figured that was because the Caps won (hee hee hee!).

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 18, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Ovie's antics definitely keep our eyes glued to him from the stands, and probably opposing players on the ice too, I just worry about something unfortunate happening. Not too much though :)

All the ref needed to see in real-time was Ovie's extended leg to raise his arm regardless of where the actual contact occurred I believe.

Now, if the ref had thought Ovie did it on purpose:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Hockey_League_rules#Penalties
(see "There also exist...")

Posted by: austinsteve | January 18, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

That was one of best games the Caps have played this year from the perspective that they severely limited odd-man breaks. The defense was good because all the forwards back checked. And There is only one word that describes Semin's slapshot: VICIOUS!!!
Alzner was a stud in the final minute and Juice made one heck of a play after he coughed up the puck! Way to go Caps!

Posted by: psugolf | January 18, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

no time for a long post, but great game and i thought the call on OV was a good call. It was bang bang, but when you lift your leg at a player that otherwise was going to avoid you, then you show intent and they will call it almost every time. i agree with a post above, slam all the defensemen into the corner you want. Throw that big body around, but back off some of the line-em-up open ice ESPN hits he tries too much. They really are injuries waiting to happen. The last thing we need is a gimpy MVP come playoff time.

Posted by: dbrine1261 | January 18, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Schultz yet again was a liability!!! if someone has to get sent down it outta be him

Posted by: ERHDC1 | January 18, 2009 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Hello All!

Just got back from the game and of course, celebrating a great win. The Bs were missing key players to injury (of which as a fan, I wanted to see play) like Sturm and Kessel to name a few, but we did too recently as well and we stepped up and kept winning (no excuses Boston fans). Anyway, the atmosphere at VC was great and I'm confident the boys can take them again in 10 days. We looked good, real good!

We all know Sasha has a world-class wrist shot but it was great to see him show his fast ball. And yes, Erskine WAY deserved his 2nd star props.

Great win again boys!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 18, 2009 2:38 AM | Report abuse

Wow!! Easily the game of the season from start to finish. Man Erskine was throwing his weight around. I thought his clearing out the crease in the first set the tone for the Caps letting the Bruins know they weren't going to be like every other team in the East that has allowed the Bruins to have three guys crashing the net for garbage goals. Their top lines didn't look to be clicking like usual either thanks to Erskine's physicality, Alzner's typical solid play, and an awesome forecheck!

I watched the replay on NESN on DirecTV and was blown away at how impartial and complimentary Jack Edwards was to the Caps and Caps players. If fact he showed the most enthusiam of the night on Ovie's massive hit on Wideman. In real that looked so explosive I had no idea it was indeed Ovechkin. So having had to watch all the replays of the past few games on the opponents networks thanks to be in 75 degree California, there has been a TON of talk about Ovechkin making sketchy, irresponsible runs at the opposing teams top players. It no wonder he was called for that penalty considering Ovie recent "wrap."

Btw...kind of a funny note but the NESN announcer in real time ( that can be heard on the NHL on the Fly highlights) thought Brooks Laich was Semin stealing the puck and driving for that GWG.

Posted by: CaliforniaCapsFan | January 18, 2009 2:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah and NBC is STILL calling Crosby "the leagues biggest star" to pump their Sunday Game of the Week....what a joke!

Posted by: CaliforniaCapsFan | January 18, 2009 3:03 AM | Report abuse

CaCapsFan,

NBC, Crosby, or the game?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 18, 2009 3:34 AM | Report abuse

GregS, IRock,
Agreed, the Pit-Edm trade is "weird" but perhaps there is a 3rd or even 4th team involved which just has not been overtly mentioned yet. In due time this 3rd or 4th team will be the beneficiaries of the excess position/s and we'll all be arguing about who got the better deal etc, etc. Just my duex cents from past "weird" trades and such.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 18, 2009 5:02 AM | Report abuse

CaliforniaCapsFan

Yea that irritated me too. It's like "Even though that other fella is on the team that's actually got a chance at the playoffs, we're still going to market Crosby as the biggest star in the universe."
I'm convinced that no matter what Ovechkin does, they will still say Crosby is the best thing since sliced bread.
Ovechkin could win 6 straight Cups in a row, and in that timespan, Crosby could become a cross-dresser who instigates by beating people with his purse, and NBC would STILL give him all their focus.

Posted by: TheSkyIsntFalling | January 18, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh and how is Pittsburgh/New York the game of the week?
Let's take a gander at other games played this week: Caps/Boston; San Jose/Detroit

Nuff said.

Posted by: TheSkyIsntFalling | January 18, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

@ TheSkyIsntFalling

It is the game of the week, becasue it is the game the the Network is airing. Much like the game of the week for HNIC was Mont/OTT last night.

Caps better be focused tomorrow afternoon against the Isles, we have always struggled in Long Island, Islanders are winless in Jan. and this is a classical "let down game" situation......better be focused from the start.

The "B's" have already circled the calander for the rematch/revenge game in ten days.In so many words they were playing the "we didn't have all our key players playing.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 18, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

How about semins and nyls for what is his name?

Posted by: x1232 | January 18, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

GO CAPS!!
It might be just me, but I sure wish the people covering the Caps, be it in print or the radio or TV, would stop with the consantly running stat of "when the Caps score first they are ---- and when the Caps give up the first goal they are ---. Obvioulsy this stat will ebb and flow along with the team, but it is NOT gospel!! LOL Seems to me hockey players are superstitious enough without having people be enablers for their superstitions! I say this because while almost all athlete's claim they don't read or listen to the press, we all know they do! The players need to focus on the game and not things like who scores first, the whole Penguin's playoff history thing etc. POSTIVE THINKING!! Of course there should be solid critical reporting, but stick to the game!! Okay rant over-- LOL Having said that, I REALLY appreciate Mr. El-Bashir's work and to ALL of the fans who comment here and fill the Verizon center. What a great team, great coach, great fans, and most importantly GREAT owner in Mr. Leonsis.

LET'S CO CAPS!!!

peace
marc

Posted by: sonikitty1 | January 18, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

In so many words they were playing the "we didn't have all our key players playing.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 18, 2009 8:34 AM


They're kind of right .NESN mentioned on their ticker this morning that Ference and (I think) Bergeron were real close to coming back. Add those with Lucic and it'll be tough.

Posted by: Section117 | January 18, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Awesome game, even from the nosebleed seats. Caps looked fast and sharp (certainly vs the last game I saw vs. Columbus) and it seemed to me that there was more energy on Semin's line than on OV's. I like spreading their talent across 2 lines, hope BB continues with that.

Posted by: bluejeener1 | January 18, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

@ Section117

The "B's" were without 4 of their top 6 forwards and 2 of their "D-men". So it is true.......Hope they are more healthy next time we play. They are a great team no doubt about that.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 18, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

To trade Semin would be a bad move. We need his scoring ability.

Posted by: ridgely1 | January 18, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

In so many words they were playing the "we didn't have all our key players playing.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 18, 2009 8:34 AM

and who doesn't play that tune?

JOE B and Locker should study the Bos-Was highlights video at NHL.com

Posted by: x1232 | January 18, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

kim-3

I believe the hard hat is only awarded at home games; hence, none for the Pens game.

Posted by: CindyJennings | January 18, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

This has to be one of the best games the Caps have played in a long time. From the TV viewing seat, I saw a team that was constantly moving and passing with authority, they had boston chasing the puck like a minor league team, not that the Bruins didn't play well, it was that the Caps were awesome.

Plays that I liked:
OV coming from behind and stealing the puck from Charra was a work of art.
Jurcina recovering from a mistake and diving to knock off the puck from St. Pierre.
Nyls incredible patience and beautiful setup for Greens score.( If only BB would see that he needs to establish a set of linemates for this guy to be effective.)
Semin's play - this guy is the best.

great team work.

Posted by: x1232 | January 18, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I know it has more to do with the lines and matchups more than anything, but why did Shultz get 22+ min. and Alzner get 12 min. Sure it as because Schultz was paired with Green (who had 29 min, waaaay too much) and Alzner was paired with Helmer, but why did BB break up the Juice and Alzner line? What about Erskine on the first line with Green (as he's done since he came back from his concussion)? I would think Shultz is the 6th d-man we got on the roster right now. Curious to see the shake-up when Poti and/or Morrison comes back...

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | January 18, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I hear what you guys are saying about being worried Ovie is going to get injured from one of those hits. I, too, used to worry about that. I've since come to the conclusion that Alexander Ovechkin is invincible.

@CaliforniaCapsFan re: Crosby.

Recently the gossip mill in Toronto has been buzzing about Crosby's affair with Gary Bettman, who is married. Recently police responded to a domestic call at an apartment Bettman owns, and found Crosby sobbing at the door.

"What happened?" they asked.

"I asked Gerr Bear if I looked fat, and he said _not really_!" a distraught Crosby replied.

Posted by: ralph4100 | January 18, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Not only was that the best game the Caps have played at Verizon this season, it was the first game that truly gave me the feeling that this team will go deep in the playoffs. It's the kind of game that showed just how physical and confident they can play with the puck and defend their own goal. There was very few of the mistakes we've seen in the past - may two? - where skaters seemed out of position. Considering this was the NHL's top team going into last night, this was a win that signifies quite a bit.

Posted by: saintex | January 18, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Caps were pretty banged up when they beat the Bruins last month so things even out but we're 2-0 on them.

austinsteve and dbrine-- good call. In real time, from my bad angle, I thought it was a good hit. On replay through the links, thanks to ovechkinfan, when I saw the leg go out like it did, I'll call kneeing just about every time unless the guy avoids it and they make shoulder to shoulder contact. It the contact occurs in the lower body the penalty is being called and if a leg injury occurs from the knee to knee contact, a match penalty is coming. Let league authorities handle the discussion on intent to injure. One doesn't stick the leg out to initiate the body check as many above infer. Look up the Bobby Orr videos to see results of a leg check.

Posted by: Stripedguy | January 18, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@TheSkyIsFalling: Ovechkin could win 6 straight Cups in a row, and in that timespan, Crosby could become a cross-dresser who instigates by beating people with his purse, and NBC would STILL give him all their focus.

You win one (1) Internet for that mental image, sir. XD

In so many words they were playing the "we didn't have all our key players playing.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 18, 2009 8:34 AM

I call shenanigans on that. If you go back to the recap of the first game we played against them at home on December 10th, we were missing eight players the last time we faced them and had JUST gotten back Semin and Poti the first time, but lost Flash. Green was still out at that time and so was Fedorov.

No excuses, Boston. We had a third of our regular roster out in our first game against you and half our D was callups from Hershey. We still won, and by a larger margin than we did this time.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

ralph, california,

Yeah, it's just a matter of time before someone gets shot in the face, lol...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 18, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@Capsfaninmiss: Agreed on the Isles game. No losing focus, no getting cocky. I want to see the team I saw last night playing on Monday against the Islanders. They were awesome last night, and they need to take that to New York and Ottawa - remember, we're still looking to catch Boston, and we need to forget the rearview mirror and keep approaching game-by-game, taking two points every time, if we're going to catch Boston. The bear hunt has only begun, and we need to keep the gun loaded.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

@thatguy2
If they keep on playing like they played last night, I am not complaining one bit about a thing, obviously, it worked well.
Don't you think?

Posted by: x1232 | January 18, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Erskine is making it hard for me to dislike the sexy lumberjack. Dammit.

We're DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED, Erskine is good hockey.

Posted by: JSchon | January 18, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

x1232: +1 on that. Go with what works. Juice/Schultz was actually pretty good last night - I only saw Schultz make one mistake, and it got fixed quickly.

Now, as much fun and awesome as this game was, it's just one game, and it's now in the books. The boys probably have the day off, and a well-deserved one it is. But, tomorrow it's back to work, and it's another game. When you're bear hunting, always keep the gun loaded.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Actually the winning play started with a Jurcina giveaway. Then came his heroic dive for the puck that eventually ended up on Semin's stick. So Jurcina came close to being responsible for a Bruin go-ahead goal; two seconds later saving that goal; which indirectly led to the Semin's streak up the wing. That's why hockey is such a cool sport. One play-- two opposite possible outcomes -- and the right outcome winning out (for Caps fans).

Posted by: JoeTink | January 18, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

M.Green...

We are now 22-8-3 when he is playing and 7-6 without him.
In 33 games, he has 32 points, by far the best point to game ratio by any defensemen.

16 of his points are on the PP.
#1 in PPG.
Tied #5 in total point.
Tied #7 +/- with +16.
#10 in ATOI
#13 in SPCT

A bargain @ $5.25M per year.

Posted by: JSchon | January 18, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz
"You win one (1) Internet for that mental image, sir. XD"

Thank you. I shall cherish it well.

Posted by: TheSkyIsntFalling | January 18, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I am starting to think the contract extention to the sexy lumberjack is a bargain. First he signs flash to an extension (alot of people question it), then he signs Greenie to a bargain extension (I am with you JSchon), then he extends the Erskine deal.....maybe the guy does know something about hockey.....huh cheef.....

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 18, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

JSchon, you stat tramp. Next you'll deploy euclidean geometry to contend that Alzner and Schultz were -exactly- the right guys to face the game-ending 6 on 4. Schultz hands + Alzner head = no fancy plays, no dumb plays (respectively), and disappearing seams for the Bs to exploit.
Hey! Aren't we missing a few key "contributors" here? I, for one, am shocked...

Posted by: redlineblue | January 18, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

How amazing is it that King Karl has only two minor penalties in his brief Pro playing time? Both for delay of game. Its pretty amazing for a guy that young to be sooooo disaplined.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 18, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Anyone still think GMGM would trade Semin?

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 18, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

There is a Fibonacci sequence somewhere proving that Alzner should've been on the big team from the beginning.

60% of the time, stats work every time.

Posted by: JSchon | January 18, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Heh, JSchon. I will be sorry, sorry, sorry to send down Alzner, but when Poti comes back, it's going to be a very real but sad possibility. Look at it this way, though - we can still have him back for the playoffs and possibly a couple of games before. Besides, who knows what wizardry GMGM will come up with. I've gotta place my trust in him at this point, he's done a lot of things that leave us scratching our heads but that end up working out in our favor.

Anyone else think that Alzner could take the Lady Byng from Datsyuk?

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Anybody out there think that Kozlov had a good game too?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 18, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Alzner needs to become an elite player first. He isn't that, not even close, but he is such a smart young kid with talent. If early returns mean anything, KA is going to be one of the best in the game in a few years.

Posted by: JSchon | January 18, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

if im not mistaken, only 2 defenseman have won the lady byng in the past.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

kozlov did have a great game. That's 3 good games since coming off the injury for erskine. Bruce may have stumbled on a good D pairing

Posted by: _stevo | January 18, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The entire team played well. It was a great team effort.

Posted by: JSchon | January 18, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

why are people so sentimental about Alzner?

Posted by: ralph4100 | January 18, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

It's easy to get sentimental when you have a defenceman who is a rock! Jurcina's giveaway made me jump off the couch yelling.... Who knew he would recover and help lead to the game winner. I still think it's hilarious that NESN's Jack Edwards made the call on the play by play that it was Brooks Laich....coincidentally Edwards was raving about Leich's strength in front of the net just as Green scored.

Posted by: CaliforniaCapsFan | January 18, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan387
It is against NHL rules for a goaltender to wear the C. That is why Olie never got it.
Bondra was offered the C more than once and he turned it down every time. You can't force a guy to be a leader if he doesn't want it.


Posted by: Wiley_One1 | January 17, 2009 1:53 PM

@Wiley_One1:

No, actually it isn't against the RULES for the Goalie to wear the C...it DOES happen...just not often (e.g., Luongo in Vancouver)

@GregAnnapolis - *snicker* - That game number should have gone to the Devils... or the Penguins, since they won't trade Satan to his proper team, LOL! ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | January 17, 2009 11:25 PM


@irockthered: LOL. I have been saying this for years--just think of the alliterative possibilities it would give to sportswriters for their headlines:

"Satan, Devils Burn Rangers Again"

"Satan Steals Thrashers' Souls In Overtime Win"

...and if he ever became the owner/GM in NJ:

"Satan, Devils Ink #6 Draft Pick To 6-yr., $6M Pact"

XD


Enjoy.

CaliforniaCapsFan

Yea that irritated me too. It's like "Even though that other fella is on the team that's actually got a chance at the playoffs, we're still going to market Crosby as the biggest star in the universe."
I'm convinced that no matter what Ovechkin does, they will still say Crosby is the best thing since sliced bread.
Ovechkin could win 6 straight Cups in a row, and in that timespan, Crosby could become a cross-dresser who instigates by beating people with his purse, and NBC would STILL give him all their focus.

Posted by: TheSkyIsntFalling | January 18, 2009 6:55 AM


@TheSkyIsntFalling: It isn't just NBC...it's Bettman and that whole gang of Unprincipled Slinking Dogs at NHL HQ in NYC. Here's proof:

During the offseason I took my son to participate in a trading card tournament ("Magic, The Gathering" or somesuch). In that store there were 9 different sets of hockey trading cards offered for sale. One was NHL Legends (Ace Bailey, Bobby Orr, etc.); one was college players, and another was either obscure minorleaguers or Europeans.

Of the 6 other sets offered for sale, ALL had either Sidney Crosby or Evegeny Malkin on the wrapper.

I was incensed, and said to all who would listen: "WTF is this?!"

WHO won the Hart Trophy last season? NOT Sidney Crosby!
WHO won the Rocket Richard? NOT Evgeny Malkin!
WHO won the Lester B. Pearson Award? NOT Crosby!
WHO Won the Art Ross Trophy? NOT Malkin!

What do we have to do to get some respect?!?!


Great win against BOS...no one in the East can stop us now...BWAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 19, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

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