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Caps 2, Isles 1 (OT)

For the second time in the span of about a month, the Caps came into Nassau Coliseum thinking they were going to be handed the two points. And for the second time, they squeaked past the NHL's worst team on a goal by Alex Ovechkin in overtime, this time by the score of 2-1.

No one was complaining in the visitors' dressing room afterward. But I definitely got the impression that the players realized they had played down to the Islanders' level and came very close to suffering an embarrassing letdown just two days after beating the NHL's best team.

"I don't think we had our best game," Jose Theodore said. "They caught us a little off guard. But we didn't panic. We showed character and we got away with the point in overtime, which is huge."

Some other interesting notes, quotes and factoids from today's matinee meeting:

*Jose Theodore made 27 saves to pick up win No. 200. It was also his ninth win in the past 11 starts.

*Ovechkin moved into sole possession of the NHL lead in goals for the first time all season with Nos. 30 and 31 today, passing Philly's Jeff Carter. Ovechkin, though, downplayed the significance, joking, "I give a little bit of chance to different guys."

*Ovechkin also became the just the third Cap to record four straight 30 goal seasons, joining Peter Bondra and Mike Gartner. (Bondra had five and Gartner had nine in Washington and a NHL record 15.)

*Ovechkin called missing a wide open net in the third period "stupid". As for Semin's pass on the winner in OT, Ovechkin said, "It was a sick pass. I thought he would have given it to me a little bit [earlier]. But it's Semin."

*With the win, the Caps also became the fastest team in franchise history to 30 wins. Until today, the record had belonged to the 1984-85 edition, which got there in their 49th game, also on Long Island.

*Mike Green notched assist No. 21 today (and point No. 33), setting up Ovechkin's one-timer in the first period. You're telling me Green is not an all-star?

*Speaking of defensemen, Brendan Witt had another tough night against his former club. He was a minus-5 in the teams' previous meeting, a 5-4 Caps' win in OT, and was in the box for both goals tonight.

For the record, he respectfully disagreed with the slashing call that had him in the box in extra time. Ovechkin, though, said the slash broke his stick.

"It was one-handed," Witt said. "It wasn't much of a slash. I was just trying to [deter] him from carrying the puck in."

*The Caps won 57-percent of their faceoffs, led by Nick Backstrom (9 of 13) and Sergei Fedorov (6 of 9) and Boyd Gordon (8 of 13). Not too shabby.

The Caps left L.I. immediately after the game for Ottawa, where they'll face the Senators tomorrow night. I find it a bit ironic that the Caps will have been in Canada's capital for the U.S. election and the inauguration. Anyway, I'll check in from Scotiabank Place tomorrow morning (weather permitting).

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 19, 2009; 7:01 PM ET
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Go Caps - Beat the Sens!

Posted by: MReilly9 | January 19, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Did you get a chance to catch up with Mr Witt to ask him to reflect on his decision to leave DC a few years ago to avoid a rebuild and sign with the Islanders instead?

Posted by: Riddler1 | January 19, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Riddler1, That was so mean, it was funny.

Looking forward to watching the game tomorrow sometime around 3am. Wooo inauguration galas!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 19, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

"I would gladly strap on goalie equipment and face down Ovie, Greener and Juice the day they put that on their schedule."
Heck, I would do that even if they didn't put that on their schedule!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 19, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

As a Canadian who is a massive Caps fan I just thank God that they play Ottawa tomorrow night so we can finally see a Caps game up here. The way TSN covers the league by focusing on Canadian teams to excess and basically ignoring all but the most basic highlights of Ovi, Crosby, Richards, Carter, Kane, etc... is RIDICULOUS. And don't even get me started on the fact that TSN2 (which does show the odd Caps game) is NOT available on my cable system (only the largest in the country btw) due to two corporate entities playing a game of who can hold their breathe longer with the fans the real losers.

If I had my way every single moment of excessive Leafs coverage (really, what is there to cover???...and I am a Leafs fan) would be immediately turned to the Caps.

You Washingtonians don't realize how lucky you are to be able to watch this sort of collection of talent night after night, for the ridiculously low prices you get. 1 terrible Leafs ticket costs 5 times what 5 amazing Caps games go for.

Enjoy this ride. Trust me, it doesn't always go like this, in fact sometimes it doesn't go like this for 40 odd years.

Posted by: DaleDUI | January 19, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I've never liked afternoon games and it seems the Caps agree.
@Riddler +1 and A-frickin'-men.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 19, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

ovie was a beast. glad we won. period

Posted by: capsfan387 | January 19, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse


I was thinking the same thing as I saw Witter in the PIM box

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 19, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Was that the Nassau Mausoleum or the Verizon???

for the game, just a few quick comments

1) I guess Semin didn't hear BB's press conference after the Boston win. #28 still shows a frustrating reluctance to shoot in favor of the puck drag or extra stick-handle. Shoot, Alex! Shoot!

2) Defense was overall solid but Schultz was pretty awful today. At least a few times Isle forwards were going around him like a pylon. Had me thinking about Tyler Sloan and the other Hershey boys that were sent down recently.

3) Theo had a strong game but he still has that tendency to be left out of position. He moves laterally too much and leaves gaping nets far too frequently. On the plus side, he doesn't leave big rebounds. But if opposing teams are watching tape, they would know that the way to beat Theo is to move the puck laterally and get him moving. It's a guarantee he'll leave the net open.

Posted by: donknutts | January 19, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad they got the win, but majority of the players played terrible. They played very sloppy and looked like they couldn't care. The Caps need to play 100% against every team. The caps can't just assume just because the islanders are in last place in the nhl, they are going to beat them.

Posted by: ILikeLaich | January 19, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

moments of brilliance, but generally terrible. PK in the first pretty good. PP in the first also good. A few moments of even strength - also in the first - very good. But, otherwise, miserable. two points are two points. An extra point to the Isle will be irrelevant in the long run. An extra point to a contender would be unforgivable.

Busy day tomorrow. Downtown and then back for the game.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 19, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the post dude...just forwarded to two friends who I am trying to reup for season tix next year. I know...don't ask me...for me, there is no decision to be made!!!

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 19, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

LOL - welcome aboard! :-) Trust me, we know that we've got it good (although my wallet does not agree that it is a bargain :-/). I've been a fan and a STH long enough to know that it's not always like this; I am glad that we're finnally getting ours!! RE: Caps coverage versus Leafs coverage ... wow!! It is nice to hear a Canadian making so much sense ... would you mind having that conversation with Cherry for us? ;-) (FYI - JMU is our resident Canadian and she ALWAYS makes sense! :-)) Speaking of making sense, I would be curious to hear your assessment of the Ovechkin/Crosby debate ... thoughts?

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 19, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse


Thank you for point #3...the lateral positioning and watching the play before getting back in position has been noticeable. Don't get me wrong, Theo has been playing great...just an area for Prior to work on.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 19, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse


Enjoy the game and thanks very much for your post..

After watching the Caps lose in the playoffs so many times over the years, it feels great to have a team that SEEMS to be prepared for a long run.

Hopefully our old friend Ron Wilson will be able to help out with the Leafs as well..


Posted by: TheRealOneal | January 19, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

ralCapsFan: In the last few games, it's been noticeable—Satan's goal in the Pitt game and Savard's in the Boston game were essentially identical. Theo also allowed a similar goal in the 4-0 Rangers comeback game and a few others I can't remember off the top of my head. It's all well and good when we're winning but come playoff time I can already anticipate some serious agita if he gets caught out of position. Every opposing power play is like a heart attack, the way Theo over-commits to the shooter.

Posted by: donknutts | January 19, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I've been a Caps fan since '77. It has almost been 40 years, and don't think for a minute we don't recognize that this team is the best the Caps have ever had on the ice. Let's Go Caps! And Toronto fan, it's nice to have you in the fold. Thanks!

Posted by: coastallp74 | January 19, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't that OT winner by Ovie make him the franchise's all-time leader in OT goals with 7? I thought he was previously tied at 6 with Bondra and someone else...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | January 19, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

DaleDUI, A second on the "Welcome!" I definitely know how lucky I am. If I was still up there, I'd be lucky to make a game a season with ticket costs in Montreal & the cost of tuition at McGill (my 1st choice Canadian school). Down here, I get to at least a few games a season, even with a 2.5 hour drive to DC.
Donknutts, Caps Road Crew & fan Club were both in attendance on the Island.
Boo, I make sense? Really? Thank you!!! XD
Current injury situation north of the border:

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 19, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Well, for a Canadian ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 19, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Nice post man... you think a big devastating Caps win tomorrow could change things a bit?

Totally agree on 2) and 3). Although I think Theo's main problem is not that he over commits, but that he's slow to move back into position... could it be no grip/equipment or ice related?

Posted by: mauree | January 19, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Boo, Of course. =D

Another link from up Ottawa way:

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 19, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I hope the people that were saying we should get Witt back were watching this game. Brendan Witt, still ruining any chance of a comeback after all these years.

Posted by: oo7 | January 19, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

FYI - good one starting on VS. CHI-MIN

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 19, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Good teams find a way to win when they do not play there "A" game.

The Caps have given up 2 goals or less in 24 out of 47 played.

Not sure about the next few games, but I heard somewhere the last 21 games are very favorable.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 19, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Glad we won against those mutts, sneaking out a 2-1 victory counts just as much as a 10-1 blowout in the standings.

As they say on a golf course, scorecards don't have pictures

Posted by: gtydings | January 19, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Darn - wish Huet was in goal so that we could mock him ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 19, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Catching up on my DVR stuff, watching "Classic Series" Caps vs Sabres 1998. Very cool to see a part of Caps history that I missed. VC (excuse me, MCI Center) was rocking.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 19, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad they got the win, but majority of the players played terrible. They played very sloppy and looked like they couldn't care. The Caps need to play 100% against every team. The caps can't just assume just because the islanders are in last place in the nhl, they are going to beat them.

Posted by: ILikeLaich | January 19, 2009 7:26 PM

again, NOT the sign of a true contender. If this team has such a hard time motivating itself to play well every night its that type of mentality that will lead to another early playoff exit. Look around the league - you simply don't see the top teams have such frequent lapses in their play. This is probably the 30th time in the past year and a half I've heard fans say this about the Caps. They play down to their opponents level, sometimes they get lucky and pull out a win and other times they don't. No discounting the talent level but there is a significant motivational/desire issue with this team and I don't know of any other NHL team who won a cup with similar issues. Makes me question the "leadership" on this team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

From previous thread:


Not sure if you were referring to me...if so, let me know what you wanted to touch base on.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 19, 2009 6:55 PM

I was referring to cstanton and his "Pin it on Boudreau" when the Isles tied it up, and the fact that he has been conspicuously absent since the boys pulled out the win. Some people seem absolutely giddy when the clouds gather, but duck for cover when the sun shines. I find it odd.

Posted by: kevbnyc | January 19, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the post...with my propensity of using the dude word :) just wanted to be sure.

I agree with you post. Do hope they can be a little better tomorrow. Hope we can go into the break with a nice 4 gamer heh!

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 19, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

From previous thread:

pin this one on Boudreau. He insists on having non-PK types on the PK like Semin and Ovechkin. They're going to do things like shoot the puck over the glass ocassionaly

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2009 4:15 PM

Actually I agree with the fact that OVI and Semin shouldn't be on the PK. I'd prefer two solid Dmen and Bradley and Gordon for example. Just my opinion :D

Posted by: mauree | January 19, 2009 4:57 PM

mauree-when you say it you sound like a reasonable person, not like someone angling for a job he, in all likelihood has ZERO qualification to do. Plus when the Caps win, dude is nowhere to be found. Tool. Him not you.

Posted by: kevbnyc | January 19, 2009 5:03 PM

I guess we should be glad; we seem to be as deep at coach as we are at Forward

Posted by: kevbnyc | January 19, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Oop, speak of the devil. ;)

Posted by: kevbnyc | January 19, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

point#3 - I agree
point#2 - I agree but I don't share your view of Schultz, I saw some good plays he made as well as the bad ones. Same for other defensemen.
point#1 - I Don't know how anyone, including BB, can complaint about Semin.
Shooting for the sake of shooting is stupid. e.g. If semin shoots OV does not score his last goal.

Posted by: opita | January 19, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

technically under 2.80 gaa
.897 save %
he's getting there

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 19, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

That was indeed Ovechkin's seventh OT winner, extending his franchise record. Forgot to put that in the notes.

So, I just talked to a friend of mine who arrived in Ottawa this morning. He said that there is transit strike in town, which is wreaking havoc on traffic and just about everything else. (Apparently, rental car Co's are having a tough time filling reservations because no one is returning cars.)

So I'm bracing for the worst.


Posted by: el_bashir | January 19, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse


Thanks again dude for all your work...we appreciate!

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 19, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Question: At what point did teams stop touching the Conference trophy? I don't ever remember teams touching them, but the Caps touched it in '98.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 19, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to start a debate, but really, I'm curious, and probably hockey experts here can enlighten me on why Ovi and Semin are on the PK.

Here's how I see it:


  • opponent team on PP is more cautious.
  • occasionally SH goal


  • PK more vulnerable
  • danger of those two getting injured
  • those two getting tired/being less explosive on 5-5 and PP

    It's natural not to complain too much because honestly this season is wonderful so far... but I still don't see clear benefits... I'd rather have Bradley/Gordon there, who can be very dangerous shorthanded... what do you think?

    Posted by: mauree | January 19, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse


    I will probably regret this but...

    I am in agreement that the BCA (Benefit Cost Analysis) is just not worth slap shot to Ovie or Semin...ouch...literally.

    Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 19, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

    Thanks, Tarik... Good luck navigating the transit strike!

    Posted by: FedorovCrunch | January 19, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse


    Posted by: kevbnyc | January 19, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

    @ Tarik

    Sorry about the transit strike. Probably be pretty bad trying to get around town tomorrow. Too bad you won't be here, eh?

    And, I second the thanks for your work. Keep it up, and Lets go Caps!

    Posted by: bluejeener1 | January 19, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

    I'm not sure who I should be rooting for in this game. On one hand, Minnesota is already winning, is the employer of Big Bouch, not the employer of an overpaid goalie tandem and defensively sound. On the other, Chicago is young and entertaining, O6, could conceivably be rootable as a WC team and doesn't get carried away with their defensive scheming.

    Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 19, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

    Minnesota gets my "root" for the night. I forgot about Clutterbuck being on their roster!

    Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 19, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

    I like them both. If Huet was in the net, I'd root for Wild to win 5-0 though. Lost all respect for the guy.

    Posted by: mauree | January 19, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

    The sad thing is, no more than five seconds after I hit submit, Chicago scored.

    Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 19, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

    Caps ALWAYS play down or up to their competition. Sens are last in their division with 37 pts......It'll be another close game tomorrow night.

    Posted by: 555Mass | January 19, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

    Heylook! It's cstanton, Ass-istant permatroll in cheef. Now he's reduced to getting all Sidney when -they don't win easy enough-!
    's awesome.
    GMGM could start collecting Nick Backstroms. Jmu is right, tonight's game's a pick'em until you say "Clutterbuck". Go Wild!

    Posted by: redlineblue | January 19, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

    Whoa, transit strike? Good to know, I'm headed up that way tomorrow. Thanks, Tarik. I'll make sure to come early.

    A couple of thoughts on the game from the perspective about 8 rows behind the Isles' goal.

    - Nassau Coliseum is a dump. o.o They're not kidding when they say the building needs to be knocked down and redone.
    - Agree that the Caps can do way better than that on a lot of levels. But for those saying we're not a contender because we didn't give this game 100% - you've never played hockey at a high level. Remember that good teams win even when they're not at their best, and they're in the first night of a back-to-back. It doesn't make sense to go all out against the bottom-dweller and have nothing left for Ottawa. If eking out a dirty OT win vs. the Islanders means we have enough in the tank to take two points from Ottawa too, then I'll take it and be happy.
    - Flash had a tough game - I gave up counting his bad passes and giveaways when I had to switch hands by the middle of the second.
    - Islanders fans did not impress me. What's up with the "you suck" yelled at the other goalie when your team scores? Especially when your only score comes in the third in a 5-on-3? Someone sucks, and it isn't the opposing goalie. Stay classy, folks.

    Also, if you're going to try to taunt Theodore, pronounce his name right. It works better.
    - The Caps fans there were entertaining :) And we were legion, and it was fun :)
    - JT60 was awesome out there.
    - Bet Brendan Witt loves his decision to go to the Isles to avoid the rebuild, huh? Hint to Witt: OT penalties are EXPENSIVE.
    - Boston loses in a shootout. Booya. Eight points back and counting.

    Posted by: kittypawz | January 19, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

    jmu_capsgirl: Well there you go, ruining it for everyone! ;)

    Beer of the evening is an over 3 year aged bottle of Dogfish Head World Wide Stout. Mmmm, mmmm!

    FWIW, chiropractors are magic doctors. My back doesn't hurt at all! (And no, it's not the beer that's doing that...)

    And is it sad that I'm bummed that there's no Caps hockey to watch until 7:30PM tomorrow? haha

    Posted by: GregAnnapolis | January 19, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

    I know exactly how you feel! As a Torontonian, I think it is ridiculous how TSN made the rule to only televise games that have one Canadian team playing. Don't even get me started on the TSN2 stuff with Rogers! As I sit here watching the Leafs lose on TV, I am also very excited to finally be able to see the most exciting team, the Capitals, on national TV tomorrow.

    I suggest buying the Rogers super sports pack. Although it does seem rather expensive, I watch it every day. You get every single caps game, and believe me, ITS WORTH IT!

    Great performance by Ovechkin today.

    Posted by: carolinebk | January 19, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

    I admit that I have said I would like to see Clutterbuck on the Caps for his name alone, but man that guy can hit! Wouldn't that be a nice addition to the Caps?!? :-)

    I think that is why they are on the PK, but I don't think it is worth it - we just can't afford for them to get hurt. Ovie especially is so passionate that I could see him diving in front of a puck ... and Semin just seems to be a bit injury prone. Nope, not worth it (I hope BB does not learn that the hard way :-/).

    Posted by: --Boo-- | January 19, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

    Boo, Do we need a right-wing? Clutterbuck. His name is just too much fun to say. He's pretty cheap, too. RFA til 2010-2011 @ 571,000 a year. If Gaborik ever gets back, he's their 4th line RW.
    GregAnnapolis, Sorry!!! I didn't even say the S-word!

    Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 19, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

    Thanks for the confirmation Tarik! And a transit strike?! OMG! Good luck to you!

    Posted by: sargeantmofo | January 19, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

    We don't "need" ANY forwards but if we ever free up the money, he is a bargain! Besides, I bet he would have a Laing effect - when Laing dropped to block shots, others dropped (more); when Clutterbuck would hit, I bet others would hit (more).

    BTW, notice how the commentators always refer to him as CAL Clutterbuck? Is that clarification really necessary?

    Posted by: --Boo-- | January 19, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

    47 games in, 63 points. I said before the season that this team, in this division, is easily a 100 point team. Looking pretty good on that call right now. Still a bunch of games left against TB and ATL. Boston's got us by 8 points, but with how good the Northeast is, that may not be enough to hold us off.

    Posted by: cao091402 | January 19, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

    @Boo, jmu

    Actually I wouldn't mind a Holmstrom :D

    murphy test, 1.2.3. murphy test:

    CHI will never tie it if they continue to shoot like that: Backstrom can see everything - nobody's around the net and he's looking good.

    Posted by: mauree | January 19, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse


    Whew, you could write a column on your commuter adventures! One night, you're stuck behind the gate in the VC garage; another night, you're looking for transportation in the Canadian capital.

    By the way, how are you feeling after last week?

    Posted by: Terptwin | January 19, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

    Tarik, you are the best sports writer for the Post Sports section in terms of coverage and commitment.

    If the Caps get far, you will get your due come May, and hopefully June.

    I hope we get far for the Boys, yet also for you, cause we get so much inside information here.

    Posted by: gtydings | January 19, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

    The funniest part of cstanton's post is that he says that top teams don't have games like this on the SAME DAY that the Bruins' lose to St. home...when they were up 2 with less than two minutes to go. You need to work on your timing there, bud.

    Posted by: kenjabi | January 19, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

    @jmu "Chillin' with Cal Clutterbuck"|NHL|home

    Posted by: tess2201 | January 19, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

    Boo!, I just had an awful thought of him and Ovie having a hitting competition. Maybe we don't need him! No clarification necessary! He's "the one, the only"!
    mauree, he's second on my "forward shopping list"! Even if he's just a rental to teach our guys how to park their rumps in front of the net.

    Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 19, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

    You could hear the "MVP" chant after the game pretty loud like the game was being played at Verizon Center.

    Posted by: Andoy | January 19, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

    Tess, thank you for that!

    Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 19, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

    Clatterbuck is the last name of a guy I work with, I call him Clutterbuck all the time and he's like, where do you get that from? haha

    Posted by: ludeman95 | January 19, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

    Posted by: CodePoetry | January 19, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

    I decided to watch the game through the Isles feed because I could get that one in HD. Many people here complain about Joe and Locker, but my gosh are the Isles announcers of Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe awful. They were so far behind the play in calling it that I thought it was a tape delay. At one point, they were talking so much about things other than the game, they even made a commit like "and now for our next caller" as if they were on talk radio.

    Best line was about 5 minutes after the Isles scored they said, "and the crowd continues to be loud as they have been all game, well, since the Isles goal".

    I think there were more fans of the Caps than the Isles.

    One thought, good teams win the games they do not play well in. The Bruins barely beat the Isles 2-1 right before we beat the Bruins. Isles just play that boring style that nobody gets up for.

    Posted by: CTCapsPhan | January 19, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

    I really, really like Joe B and Locker... Joe's one of the best play-by-play guys in the league IMO, and locker... Well, you can never really predict (and sometimes understanding can be iffy...) what he's going to say, but he's a pretty funny guy.

    I think Buffalo has the worst play-by-play guy... When he shouts "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAL", it really just sounds like an animal dying.

    Posted by: Murshawursha | January 20, 2009 3:45 AM | Report abuse

    I see someone mentioned Boston losing in a shootout. Did anyone check out the highlights for that game? The score was 2-1 STL with 5 minutes to go, when suddenly all hell broke loose. The last goal was scored with less than a second left and went to review!

    Apparently Blake Wheeler on the Bruins missed an empty net from the blue line with about 20 seconds to go. Reminds me of Patrik Stefan's blooper last year against Edmonton last year where Hemsky scored with seconds to go. Unlike Dallas though, Boston only got 1 point for the game.

    Gaining slowly!

    Posted by: Raber | January 20, 2009 3:53 AM | Report abuse

    @CTCapsPhan: Not sure I'd say there were more fans of the Caps than the Isles there. It was definitely majority Isles, but they were pretty quiet, and the one time the Caps fans decided to get involved in a shouting match with them, we had the better of them briefly. Had we continued with it and gotten every Caps fan in the place involved, we probably could have shouted them down, but I had the impression that a number of fans weren't up for that.

    Posted by: kittypawz | January 20, 2009 4:23 AM | Report abuse

    I'd still take him.

    I'd take him, too! ;-)

    Do you really know a Clutterbuck? How funny is that?!? You should start calling him, "CalClutterbuck" ... that'd really confuse him!! ;-)

    Posted by: --Boo-- | January 20, 2009 6:22 AM | Report abuse

    how come Wilbon doesn't write about the Caps?

    Posted by: hessone | January 20, 2009 6:48 AM | Report abuse

    Thanks for the concern, folks. I am feeling better. Still not 100-percent yet -- I passed up a night on the town in Manhattan last night -- but I'm at least pretty sure I won't need to see a doctor.

    Posted by: el_bashir | January 20, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

    wow pawz didn't know you went to the game, that's nice, maybe you contributed to the victory :) .

    I didn't dislike the Isle fans... matter of fact I thought they were pretty cool to still care about the team even if they're dead last in the league. I also think some were pretty excited to see OVI/Caps hockey in NY.

    Posted by: mauree | January 20, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

    Feeling better AND made it to your hotel despite a transit strike?!? Sounds like that Canadian air favors you!! ;-) Let's just hope it does the same for the Caps!!

    Posted by: --Boo-- | January 20, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

    WOW ... NHL on the Fly gave Ovie player of the night. Really? There was no one with a bigger game last night? I also thought it was interesting how much they defended and down-played the Bruins loss because of injuries. I don't recall the Caps getting that much grace when they were in that situation ...

    Posted by: --Boo-- | January 20, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

    @mauree: That's true - they certainly were better people than the Philly fans (I know, that's not saying much). The "you suck" thing kind of got me, though.

    You were there? Crap. Next time we should meet up.

    @Boo: I'd've given "player of the night" to Theodore, bluntly. Semin was the real star of that second goal - anyone could have been in Ovi's spot and gotten that OT goal. That was a really slick pass. But Theodore bailed that team out and made some seriously dynamite stops.

    @Tarik: We passed up Manhattan, too - it was snowing pretty good by the time we got off the Island, and traffic wasn't exactly fun.

    Posted by: kittypawz | January 20, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

    I think it is interesting, I listened to the first period of the game on XM, to the Isles' radio guys, they had nothing but praise for Schultz, "... and another fine poke check to dislodge the puck from x Islander ..." and they commented on him being this good so young.

    Different perspective, liked what I heard. OF course the Isles have little going for them except for the Tavares sweeps.

    Posted by: chuckatcws | January 20, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

    @Boo and all...

    No, there wasn't a better performance last night. OV,, 2 goals, GW in OT.

    It still amazes me that we do not realize that there are at least 26 or 27 teams that would love to have our problems. Every team has a Jurcina. Every team has a Schultz. Some teams have multiple Jurcina's and Schultz's.

    C'mon people, do you expect perfection every game? Its an 82 game season. Are you as excited to watch the Islanders as you are the Penguins? No, you're not. Every team gets up for the better teams. We also get everyones best shot since we are a team with a target on our backs.

    When all the dust settles after all 82 are played and we have 110 points, what will we talk about? How the loss to LA was one we let get away from us? (That was one of funniest post of the year). Good lord people, this team is the tits people, the TITS.

    Posted by: JSchon | January 20, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

    Negativity is such a drain on life. We have a pretty darn good team that is spectacular to watch on most nights. We are pretty lucky in that respect. An off game here and there that still produces points is something that we did not have going our way a couple years ago.


    Posted by: _Mark | January 20, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

    Kudos to Fleischmann who had the number 1 goal on Versus top 10 plays of the week.

    Posted by: cappies | January 20, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

    Well nobody is crying "oh my god what a disaster"... but when you have a Formula 1 car, you will notice when it's going 30 miles an hour when it can go w/o troubles at 200 mph. No?

    Caps are having a wonderful season, a real treat to all us fans. We're much better off than most teams - 27 of them matter of fact. But, Detroit and SJS always bring their "A" game, why can't the Caps? Yesterday was too close... even Joe B had a pretty big statement about it - and he's right: you can't have elite ambitious and playing like yesterday's.

    I don't understand why people, when noticing this simple fact, are being labelled as whiners and doom-inators right away... maybe my choice of words is wrong, but I love the Caps, and I'm so happy about this season. Still, yesterday was too close given what this team can do.

    Posted by: mauree | January 20, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

    How is it you know that SJ and DET bring their "A" game every night?

    You don't.

    Did DET bring their "A" game when the lost to DAL 5-4 in OT? DAL is 19-25.
    What about when they lost to COL 4-3? COL is 23-23.

    Good grief... DET's lineup is riddled with 10+ year veterans that have won multiple Stanley Cups. We are led by 23 and 24 year olds who haven't won a playoff series. Cut us some slack, we aren't there yet. We have long way to go.

    Posted by: JSchon | January 20, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

    If anyone's going to be at the Omni Shoreham party tonight, come say hi! (I'm one of the kids in penguin suits) =D

    Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 20, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

    just wondering, did anyone enjoy the musical sticks at the net as much as i did? i watched the clip of jose picking up his stick a few times. i had a running commentary in my head, "wow, i really need that stick. hmmm, do I have enough time to get it now? ok, quick behind the net. drag, drag with this little twig i'm holding. ok, no action down here. ditch the twig and get mine back. ok, into the net & life is good again!"

    also entertaining - the alzner handoff to jose & then the laich handoff to alzner. does anyone know the rule for laich's diving deflection? tho he didn't have a stick, would it have been an illegal handpass if it had gone to a cap?

    Posted by: taricee | January 20, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

    Taricee, hand pass in the defensive zone is OK.

    Posted by: _Tim | January 20, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse


    I think you're misunderstanding the "noticing" with "whining" and "complaining" :)

    I'm with you on everything you said, including the experience part. But when the team doesn't play like it could, I notice it... now, if we should cut some slack, that's another issues... My opinion: I'd like a great game every time.

    I don't watch just the Caps, maybe every other game I watch is a coincidence but I can tell you there are teams out there that bring it on every game: DET, ANA, SJS, MIN. They might lose, but they bring it on. Teams in other categories are the Caps, PIT, NYR, even BOS.

    So, I'm officially complaining about your complaining that I seem to complain (but I'm really not) :D

    Posted by: mauree | January 20, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse


    My comments aren't really directed towards any one person... Its a general statement to all that we have something special here.

    We are not perfect, we are young, we will make mistakes... But we are f-ing talented and exciting and IMHO (that's funny) ahead of schedule.

    At the beginning of the season, if you were given these circumstances, what would you say our record would be?

    Semin out for 18 games
    Green out for 13
    Fedorov out for 23
    Poti out for 15
    Schultz out for 10
    Erskine out for 10
    Flash out for 8
    34 players used
    OV not scoring for 9 games
    Clark with 4 points all year
    Theodore .897 sv%



    Posted by: JSchon | January 20, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

    I'm a Caps fan who lives in Los Angeles. Watched my first game last October with their game against the Canucks and from that point on, good or bad, I'm with the Caps. True, they may not have played their best game last night but I could understand the logic about not overexerting yourself for the last place team, to save up for tonight's game against Ottawa. We can call them out on it but it does just come off as complaining, even if you guys do have valid points. But let's give it up for the Caps tonight. I'm sure it makes you Virginia/Maryland/DC fans proud to have them. Makes me wish I lived in DC. =P Rocking the Red in LA....

    Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | January 20, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

    Thanks for the concern, folks. I am feeling better. Still not 100-percent yet -- I passed up a night on the town in Manhattan last night -- but I'm at least pretty sure I won't need to see a doctor.

    Posted by: el_bashir | January 20, 2009 6:59 AM


    Good to know. Try Echinacea/Goldenseal tea (unless you're allergic), 1000 mg of vitamin C/day and 50 to 100 MG of zinc. I've found this works very well to beat down illnesses.

    Posted by: Rhino40 | January 20, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

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