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Caps 3, Predators 2 (SO)

It wasn't pretty by any means, but the Caps found a way to pull out a 3-2 shootout win over the struggling Predators tonight thanks to a standout performance from Alex Ovechkin and the resilience of young goalie Seymon Varlamov.

After checking out my game story here, come back for some notes that didn't make the cut:

*Ovechkin's two-goal performance was his fourth multi-goal game of the season. With nine goals in eight games, 70-plus isn't looking so untouchable right now.

By the way, he didn't record his fourth multi-goal game last season until Dec. 12th, the Caps' 30th game.

*Although Ovechkin's shootout goal didn't actually give him a hat trick, some fans in the crowd decided to toss their hats onto the ice anyway. I have to admit, it's one of the funniest/weirdest things I've witnessed at a hockey game.

"I don't think it's ever been done in the history of hockey," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's a Washington original."

*Semyon Varlamov started the night off with two big shorthanded saves. Then he gave up a goal to J.P. Dumont from a tight angle that he should have stopped. Then he turned back Martin Erat with a brilliant pad save in the shootout.

In other words, his effort was much like the Capitals'. But it was certainly a step in the right direction.

*David Steckel was awarded the hard hat for his effort on the fourth line. Steckel also anchored a penalty kill held the Preds without a power play goal (0 for 3).

*Boudreau on Ovechkin's ridiculous shootout goal, which was only his 12th in 38 career attempts: "I have no idea what he does. He doesn't usually deke, or deke to his forehand. I think when you score two goals and when your name is Alex Ovechkin, then the goalie is thinking too much."

*Boudreau praised the effort of his defense, naming Tom Poti, Mike Green and Tyler Sloan as having turned in solid performances. And with the exception of Jeff Schultz's miscue on the Predators' second goal, I would have to agree.

*Eric Fehr drew a pair of first period penalties and had an all around solid performance, despite playing only 5:09 as Boudreau opted to roll three lines.

*Braden Holtby was sent back to South Carolina after the game, which likely means the team is expecting Jose Theodore to be back for Monday's practice.

*The team is off Sunday.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 17, 2009; 11:50 PM ET
 
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Next: Theodore, Gordon Return to Practice (Update)

Comments

Love seeing OV carrying this team right now. Hope he gets more support soon like he was in the seasons first two games.

Posted by: T-ROB | October 18, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

*Ovechkin's two-goal performance was his fourth multi-goal game of the season. With nine goals in eight games, 70-plus isn't looking so untouchable right now.

By Tarik El-Bashir | October 17, 2009; 11:50 PM ET

First things first... he needs to score 41 goals in the next 31 games to tie Gretzky (50 goals in 39 games)

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

I was wondering. Why did Boudreau have the third line sit out the last part of the game?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 18, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

1 deke,2 deke,3 deke,score! all hail ovi,for we adore!! great job caps.a win is a win.and great rebound by varly.he needed that. GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | October 18, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Oh...Oh...VECHKIN!!! what a movie to silence the ovie shootout haters. awesome, i liked seeing backie back on the top line with knuble and ovie in the 3rd, let's see more of that. BMo is great with 22 and 8 but semin needs help and i think BMo can help him

Posted by: capsfan387 | October 18, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

2nd goal was more on Schultz than Varlamov. Varly looked asleep -- and he definitely should have stopped that -- but in fairness, no goalie ever expects a d-man to pass the puck directly to an opposing player from behind the goal line, right after gaining possession, and without any guys on him.

Schultz REALLY needs to grow some testes and stop treating the puck like a live grenade.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | October 18, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

I learned on this very blog last year that Varly's first name is sem-YON not Simeon, but Tarik and Joe B are both still calling him by the 3 syllable version. What's up with that?

Posted by: pivo20 | October 18, 2009 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Hatfield223:
i disagree. schultz was trying to move the puck out from behind the net (i've seen the caps do this before and just push it to the corner) - varly should always be aware of the puck when it is that deep in the zone.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 2:41 AM | Report abuse

OK, I wiiiiide awake ... anyone else on the blog? :-) Gotta say I was not happy to see Ovi in the SO but was THRILLED to see him find the twine! I hope he has gotten that monkey off his back ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 3:23 AM | Report abuse

guess i am not awake enough to use correct grammar ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 3:34 AM | Report abuse

One positive note on Schultz. He had a nice hit, I believe in the 2nd period, that drew a nice round of applause from the crowd. I want to see more of that!

Posted by: thomas20 | October 18, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

schultz also had another nice hit...on varlamov.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 18, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

someone needs to hit you on the head

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Schultz is a poor excuse for an NHL Player. How many games is it going to take before we realize that he is costing us goals. AND A ROSTER SPOT. Pass the puck to the other team, and take your own goalie out of a play on defense. I think I could do that for his salary.

Posted by: capsfan55 | October 18, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_in_AZ :
"i disagree. schultz was trying to move the puck out from behind the net (i've seen the caps do this before and just push it to the corner) - varly should always be aware of the puck when it is that deep in the zone."

100% agree. I would take it a step further and blame Morrison and Poti more than Schultz on that play. Both were out of position and provided zero help on the play. I think Schultz has played two very good games in a row. And as much as everyone is quick to criticize him for not hitting he at least will take a hit when necessary which is something you can't say about Green and Pothier right now.

Posted by: ouvan59 | October 18, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Sloan looked good last night.

I wish that someone besides Ovechkin could score.

Backstrom needs to energize that second line.

Posted by: crooks_c | October 18, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I just luv hearing from all the hockey experts on here disecting one lousy play in a early regular season game... you all should save some of those mind-boggling analyses for the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Those hats on the OT shows: 1) that Washington is in the infancy stage as a hockey town, and 2) the love they have for OV and hopefully for all the Caps as well. Lets hope the euphoria stays through the bad times as well.

As for improving scoring, I think that BB needs to keep OV/Backs/Semin together, and find a sniper to replace Laich in the Knuble, Morrison line.

I am a fan of Varli, but is it my imagination or does he has a tendency to play low?

Posted by: opita1 | October 18, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Is it Slackstrom or Backstrom? He didn't even try to backcheck on that first goal.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | October 18, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

from espn hockey board

"Boudreau said to find an instance where fans threw hats on the ice for something that wasn't a hat trick, also calling it "a Washington original". Sorry to disappoint him and Washington fans, but back in 2004 or 2005, at a game I attended in Pittsburgh against the Philadelphia Flyers, Eric Christensen scored twice in regulation, then scored on the first penalty shot of the shootout. Fans littered the ice with hats then, myself included, even though it didn't count as an official hat trick. Once again, Pittsburgh proves to be just a step ahead of Washington haha. "


So apparently THEY were the first to start this nonsense... LMAO

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

am a fan of Varli, but is it my imagination or does he has a tendency to play low?

Posted by: opita1 | October 18, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

ever heard of the butterfly style?? it's only been around since the late 80's with Patrick Roy??

he can still cover up a lot of the net because of his size... I don't like small goalies like Theo playing that style

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

OH NO Joek doesn't like some of the comments here! OH No he adds such value to the conversation like saying someone should be hit in the head! OH No joek doesn't get jokes...

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 18, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

your name really suits you

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

taking knuble off the line with voie is abig mistake. make the lines

Ovie-Backie-Knuble
Semin-Laich-BMo

I think that'll help a lot with semin

Posted by: capsfan387 | October 18, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I thought it only showed how new some of our fans are when they threw the hats on the ice. Clearly not a hat trick, but maybe some of our fans didnt realize it? Either way.....the shoot out goal was a thing of beauty.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | October 18, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Joek gets it!!! I was so worried.

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 18, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I really don't care whether it was a hat trick or not. The hats go to charity. It was three goals, and the game-winner, and we all love Ovechkin. That's what I saw going on.

@crooks_c - Last game (the one before this one), we had scoring from Semin and Bradley.

Ovechkin-Morrison-Knuble works because Morrison and Knuble know each other well, and Ovechkin can pick just about anyone as a pivot and do well.

Laich-Backstrom-Semin works because Backstrom is a BEAST and can work with just about anyone on his wings.

As for who wasn't playing, it was Keith Aucoin and Eric Fehr, each of whom had only 8 shifts. Neither is on a PP or PK line, but in the 3rd frame, that didn't matter. My *guess* on the Fehr-Aucoin-Clark line (Clark skated only 11 shifts, and was on a PP unit for a shift or two) is taking no chances with Fehr or Clark being reinjured. But that is only a guess.

Posted by: irockthered | October 18, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

if they can't roll all 4 lines and 3 defensive pairs equally on 5 on 5 against a team like the preds, that should be a concern.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, the best team on the ice wearing a CAPS uniform last night were the Prince William Mites. The CAPs better be concerned that no one is scoring but Ovechkin. It's Still early in the season, but the CAPS don't seem to be showing any real desire, probably thinking they'll turn it on later in the season. Let's hope it won't be too late. Thursday in Atlanta could be a real wake-up call.

Posted by: festus75 | October 18, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

OH NO the Caps only have 2 players inthe top 5 in goals and 3 players in the top 10 in pts...more than any other team. OH NO. Need more balance or were doomed....

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 18, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

irock, actually hats dont go to charity. i thought so too. i think steinberg may have had an article on this last year. they go into a big bin at vc for people to claim them. i thought they were also going to do some sort of display at kettler too.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 18, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

festus75,

that's not a problem a unique to the Caps... nobody has secondary scoring, every team is top-heavy in the salary cap era.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Yep, AO, Semin in backstrom = top line in NHL. The others? Assist = pass the puck to AO. With decent, but not great goaltending, and a porous defense it could be a long year's all I'm saying.

Posted by: festus75 | October 18, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I hope the grownups show up here soon. Caps had a lackluster period. Period. Sorry to see Varly give up the quick second goal -- all his fault and a concerning pattern -- but we got a win and learn from our experiences. We've got 73 reg season games to go.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 18, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Wow, one game where only OV scores and now we are all in trouble because noone else can score or do anything??? you all do give me a good laugh in the morning. First off the lines should stay as they are. OV-Morrison-Knubs is a great line and we don't miss a step with Laich-Backs-Semin. As I recall the game before, the 1st line got 2 points each and the 2nd line got 1 point. OV,Backs and Semin should only be on the ice together as a power play. When Fleishman comes back, he replaces laich and laich goes to the 3rd line center. Steckle has to stay on the 4th line because that line is probably the best 4th line in the league. Just remember teams are going to have their off nights and to get a win on one of those nights is a victory in and of itself. as bruce said, preds are a playoff team and one of these days they will break out of their slump. they showed some life last night, but we squeaked away with the win...be happy! Our goal production is not bad this year and is spread out OV-9, Semin-6, laich-3,morrison-3, backs, bradley, knuble-2, green-1. i am happy as hell with the production of morrison and knuble. they already show they are a lot more benefit to the team over feds and koz.

GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

@festus75 -- "long year"? What are you thinking, the Caps will garner about 80 points and miss the playoffs?

Personally, I'm thinking about 110 or so, with a deeper playoff run. This is a "long season" I'm looking to savor.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 18, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

ChickenLittleCapsFan:
OH NO - i can only visualize 'mr. bill' every time i read this - funny stuff. your timing is good too

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I just took this from another guy's post on a different website. I think it is very enlightening. Gretzky vs. OV:

when Gretzky scored 92-goals, the league average was 4.01 goals-per-game, with the average team scoring 321-goals that season (1981/82, 80-game schedule). When Ovechkin scored 65-goals, the league average was 2.78 goals-per-game, with the average team scoring 228-goals (2007/08, 82-game schedule).

The funny coincidence about all this is that Gretzky’s 92-goals (in 1981/82) translate into 65.3 goals in the 2007/08 NHL. Conversely, Ovechkin’s 65-goals (in 2007/08) translate into 91.5 goals in the 1981-82 NHL.

In a nutshell, to score 92-goals in a season in today’s NHL would be equal to netting a whopping 130-goals during the 1981-82 season. So is it realistic to have the expectation of someone scoring 92 in today’s game?

Yeah, about as likely as Gretzky scoring 130 (38 more than he did) in his record 92-goal season!

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

OH NO 10 Pts in 8 games means only on pace for 105 pts!!! OH NO 7 of the 8 games played against playoff teams...OH NO no losses by more than 1 goal.... Ahhhhh we're toast!!!

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 18, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

CapsSkins:
also if i remember correctly, in the late 70's/early 80's coincidental minors resulted in 4 on 4 play which contributed to the extra goals per game. that rule was changed because edm loved when that happened. the only 4 on 4 now comes from overlapping minors or OT

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

CapsSkins,

that's rather a pointless analysis... nobody else was scoring like the Great One in those years... Ovie is a great scorer but he's NOT dominating the league like Gretz did in his prime.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

@capt - that is correct. if i am not mistaken the goalies were also trained to stay on the feet and not go down to the ice and goalie pads are a lot larger and the goalies are more athletic today. people can argue that the 2-line pass has been removed and players can't get touched. this is why i liked the post I found since it compared actually league numbers for both generations. i think it is important for people to really understand what we are witnessing. OV is already "theoretically" matching Gretzy's greatest year for goals, and he is just getting warmed up. we are truly lucky to witness greatness in DC! if you haven't been to a game you really need to get out there! GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

CapsSkins:
also if i remember correctly, in the late 70's/early 80's coincidental minors resulted in 4 on 4 play which contributed to the extra goals per game. that rule was changed because edm loved when that happened. the only 4 on 4 now comes from overlapping minors or OT

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse


yeah, that's why they got rid of 4 on 4... imagine how many goals Gretz would have scored if they never got rid of 4 on 4

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@ joe - first off OV is dominent in a league that is a lot faster, more skilled and physical than 2 decades ago. to say that the arguement I posted is a pointless analysis as opposed to your opinion is the true pointless statement. it takes into account how the game was played then compared to now. OV would have been more dominent than Gretzky 20 years ago because of the way he hits...but then the arguement would be made the training was completely different so he wouldn't be able to attain the physical prowess he has now.
For your coincidental minors, 85-86 is when the substitution rule was implemented so Gretzky did benefit from the 4 on 4 coincidentals during his 92 goal year in 81-82.

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

1982/83 NHL season

Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers 80 71 125 196 59
Peter Stastny Quebec Nordiques 75 47 77 124 78
Denis Savard Chicago Black Hawks 78 35 86

1983/84 NHL season


Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers 74 87 118 205 39
Paul Coffey Edmonton Oilers 80 40 86 126 104
Michel Goulet Quebec Nordiques 75 56 65 121 76

1984/85 NHL season

Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers 80 73 135 208 52
Jari Kurri Edmonton Oilers 73 71 64 135 30
Dale Hawerchuk Winnipeg Jets 80 53 77 130

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

CapsSkins,

till OV starts winning the scoring title by the kinda margin that the Great One did, he doesn't belong in the same conversation with Gretzky.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

...one game in which Ovechkin scores all the goals and suddenly someone else needs to score. Because we pay Ovechkin $9+M a year to drive a zamboni through the middle of Manhattan.

(Amazing that anyone except NASCAR would pay Ovechkin anything to drive. Suddenly I have an image of Alex Ovechkin and Danica Patrick, but I digress.)

I don't worry about Ovi being the only one to score on this particular night. It happens sometimes - he's the franchise star for a reason. Some nights he has to be the difference-maker, and on this night, he was. I'd like to get the bottom two lines scoring, but at the end of the day, it's not how, it's how many. :) Just remember that. It all comes down to who got more goals, not how they got them.

I'd like to see Fehr get more ice-time. Two shifts, two penalties drawn - and he gets just five minutes and change of ice time? WTF, Gabby?

Also, Chris Rooney, I don't know what game you were watching, but I wasn't watching the one you called last night. How many trips went on on both sides without a call? And calling Backstrom on a really weak hook after being interfered with by Shea Weber? B. S.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 18, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

OV may go down as an once in a generation player.. Gretzky is an once in a lifetime player. there's a difference.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

OH NO ovie isn't as good as Gretzky.... Oh no he can't even be mentioned in the same breath unless he matches the greatest player ever. OH NO number 8 is a fraud...guess that
means Lemieux, Howe, Richard, Esposito were merely ok. OH NO such a critical arguement

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 18, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

also if you wanna talk about rule changes, they didn't call penalties like they do now and a two line pass was illegal.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I am sure they said the same thing about Wilt Chamberlain until Jordan came along. No reason you can say OV won't go down as a once in a lifetime player...unless you can predict the future! only time will tell. All I know is comparing the two time periods, OV has already caught up with Gretzky's best year in goals in just his 4th year based on averages. If OV gets 70-80 goals in the NHL in this age, to me, there is no question.

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

LOL what a moron.. you must be really bored

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I am sure they said the same thing about Wilt Chamberlain until Jordan came along. No reason you can say OV won't go down as a once in a lifetime player...unless you can predict the future! only time will tell. All I know is comparing the two time periods, OV has already caught up with Gretzky's best year in goals in just his 4th year based on averages. If OV gets 70-80 goals in the NHL in this age, to me, there is no question.

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

LOL when you score 92 goals in a season, you will get double and triple teamed every time you touch the puck... wait till OV gets at least 100 assts in a season... Gretzky got 163 one year.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I already covered those rule changes in my arguement...just like I covered the goalie pads are a lot larger and all the nhl players are a lot more skilled so the league is a lot tougher. They implemented these rules to try and get back to where the scoring was back in the 80's. Still hasn't made that much of an impact based on the averages. If I recall, during Gretzky's era the butterfly for a goalie didn't even exist. A goalie not going to the ice is going to give up a lot more goals then they do now. Goalies back then stood around hoping the puck would hit them where now they skate out of the crease to attack a shot and are very mobile anticipating where the puck will be. A lot harder to score now.

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

if you don't wanna compare the sheer numbers then fine.. just compare the sheer dominance of the era they played in.

again till OV scores at least 30 percent more than the next guy, he doesn't belong in the same conversation as Gretzky. and there's no shame in that. 99.99999999 percent of the players that have played in the NHL don't beling in the same conversation either.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

ha..i am a moron..you must be getting frustrated with no debate skills apparent. the childish name calling ensues! you are comparing stats from a slow-paced wait around style 80's hockey as opposed to the fast paced challanging game it is now. all you have to do is watch a game back then to see it isn't close to the game it is now. whenever you decide to throw in a debate instead of an opinion..feel free. the only point you brought up is how much gretzky was above his competition, and that just helps my arguement that players are a lot better on average now then they were then!

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

LOL LOL LOL I can't stop LOL'ing

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 18, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Or is that L'ingOL? OH NO I'm not sure!

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 18, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

wow..if you read the original post, i compared the numbers. i actually took into account research that compared both eras, not just the pure numbers since that would be a joke. almost 2 completely different games so you have to take into account the league averages to truly see what was happening each of the years.

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

sorry, I wasn't calling you a moron.. it was the chicken guy

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

happy to entertain chickenlittle ; )

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan55: If Shultz is costing us goals as you say, why is it not showing up in his plus minus? He not only has the best +- on the team, he has the best +- in the SE Div since starting play in the NHL. I thought the job of a d'man is to prevent goals, if so, Shultz does it better than anyone else on our team.

Posted by: majiksea | October 18, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

ahhh...well my apologies for jumping on you then.

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't care about the league average... I care about the MARGIN with which they won the scoring title.

Also scoring is just one part of the game. Yes OV is a more physical player but Gretzky is the smartest player ever to play the game. He also was a complete player who's also number one in career short handed goals scored. last time I checked OV is not even on the PK.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The greatest player ever debate is silly. You can't compare eras. But to claim that Ovechkin shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as Gretzky is equally silly. Gretzky racked up points in a run and gun era and even in his best year he only scored 10 or so more goals then mike bossy. If I am not mistaken, 8 scored 10 more than the runner up last year and it was pretty close to 10 the year before, too. Also, watch some old Gretzky highlites.....those goalies were terrible!

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | October 18, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

joek:
you're sooooooooo right - ovi should just quit now - theres no way in h*ll ever amount to anything other than a mediocre cherrypicking hack on the ice

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_ why don't you grow up?

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

OH NO calling me a moron is a personal attack and a violation of the rules. OH NO joek could be baned and won't be LOL'ing anymore...

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 18, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I think a group hug is in order.

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

DisgustedinArlington,

you ARE mistaken. don't know how your math is but 92 minus 64 is 28 in my book.

1981/82 NHL season

Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers 80 92 120 212
Mike Bossy New York Islanders 80 64 83

I

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

joek:
really? surely you can handle that other people think you're being silly.
clearly ovi has not had the career that gretzky had - but i think when all is said and done - there very well could be a debate on who the greatest player of all time was.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

also if you haven't noticed all offensive numbers in just about all sports get more and more INFLATED. and you mean to tell me that hockey somehow is an exception??

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk,

if OV wins 7 more Hart trophies, he may well have a case.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

OH No better not question Joek or he'll call you names! OH NO Gretzky also played with four hall of famers along side him! OH NO I doubt that helped!!! OH NO stupid argument making my brain hurt!!

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 18, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@majik: But...but..55 plays with 52 sometimes, so of course he'll have great +/-. Playing with 52 is the ultimate luxury for a defenseman! And +/- is a dubious stat! And plus, Schultz doesn't act like Brendan 'Half' Witt, taking PIM and going out of position in search of a Big Hit. something something something Chara! Hershey!
Just saving tunnel-visioned posters a few keystrokes...

Posted by: redlineblue | October 18, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

yes, hockey is an exception. rule changes and skilled enhancements at key positions have fostered this. in the 80's, the goalies waited and hoped the puck hit them. they didn't attack the shooter, they didn't use the butterfly to go to the ice. now goalies are more athletic and skilled, their pads are double in size and they attack on every play and position themselves for where the puck might end up. they don't wait to read and react. the average goals per game were 4.01 in 81/82 where last year they were 2.78 (with the 2 line pass and contact rules changed). That shows just how much easier it was to score back then...unless you just think all the players were better in the past on average.

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

joek:
think about this for a minute.
take gretzky and place him on the caps for the last four years.
now take ovi and put him on edm/la/ny

in your opinion - is there any chance that ovi would better stats than gretzky?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

not everything gets better with as the years go by... the quality of d-men in the NHL right now is LOUSY. The caps had 3 future hall of fame d-men most of the 80's... Langway, Stevens and Murphy and the last 2 never won the Norris trophy.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

better with age

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, earlier this year THN compared the the average goals per game for the past four seasons to averages of the first four seasons that Gretzky, Hull and Bossy played. They then used those numbers to weight the total number goals for each of them during their first four seasons to put them on equal footing (since the game is so much different now than it was then). They used Gretzky's first four seasons as the baseline. The result?

Ovi 273 (original # 219)
Gretzky 269 (269)
Bossy 256 (241)
Hull 240 (231)

"So there you have it. Ovechkin is carving a path as the greatest goal scorer in NHL history."

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

so there you go and i will concede that joe...gretzky is the best assist man of all-time and ov is the best goal scorer! ; )

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_

people who weren't around Gretzky in his prime and only have watched OV are more likely to think OV is somehow better. Again all you have to look at is the sheer dominance of Gretzky compared to his peers.

If OV scored 150 points and 20 goals more than the next guy every year then you might have an argument.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

its hard to compare players (in any sport) from different eras. there are a few here that disagree with you dismisal of "he doesn't belong in the same conversation with Gretzky"
we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

joek443:
I think it is apples and oranges. I heard a great comparison of Gretzky and Ovi once - Gretzky was velvet and Ovi is electricity. Amen to that.

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

--Boo--

I think that's a fair comparison. the people who have only looked at highlights of the Great One don't really understand the depth of his game. he was always a play of two ahead of everyone else on the ice.

if you wanna look at the pure physical ability on the ice, the better comparison would be between OV and Mario. OV is great but super mario is still the most physically gifted player I've ever seen.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

CapsSkins,

till OV starts winning the scoring title by the kinda margin that the Great One did, he doesn't belong in the same conversation with Gretzky.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

joek you like your stats but you don't put it in any historical context. Gretz was a great player no doubt, he had great vision. He also played on incredibly talented teams and he played with Messier and Kurri. Aside from those benefits he also played with an incredible amount of freedom. No one touched him, not because he was so shifty but because he was protected in that Edm lineup. No one was allowed to touch him. He probably took 3 or 4 sturdy hits in the entire 80s. If he had played for a different team than Edm, his stats would have been much much lower. All the planets aligned perfectly for Gretz to put up those gaudy #s.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 18, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The point is that they are all great. You really can't say which is better. They are different but all still great (i.e. it is not a matter of who is in who's league). It's like trying to compare Ovi and Crosby - why? They bring totally different things to the game. I'm just glad that we have Ovi now and will for a long time to come.

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

LMAO @ nobody was allowed to touch Gretz

you implying some sort of league consipiracy or were they too afraid of Marty McSorley or Dave Semenko??

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

also Gretzky never had a great scoring left wing.. Esa Tikkanen was about the best he had.

first two years of Kurri with the Oilers were nothing spectacular because that's when Gretz was still mostly a goal scorer. after teams started to double and triple team him every time he touched the puck, he became more of an assist man and Kurri's goal totals went up. So who benifitted whom?

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

And if I remember correctly it was five or six years before Gretzky got his first stanley cup.

I hate comparisons like this. We've got a young "once-in-a-generation" talent like Ovie who is just entering into his prime and compare him to a past "once-in-a-generation" talent like Gretzky who has an entire career for us to admire.

Wait until Ovie gets farther along in his career before we decide whether Gretzky is it in the entire history of hockey. The fact that I know so much about Gretzky when I only started watching hockey two years ago tells me how legendary of a player he is.

But I am GRATEFUL that I am watching a player now who may well be as legendary--for his own skill set. Watching the game last night, I thanked the heavens that Ovie was a Cap.

And personally I do think he is the best player in the NHL today--not to say that there aren't other great players (even on the flightless fowl's team--I'm being ironic here). Just this year I can see how he is enlarging his skill set--he's passing more, improving the defensive side of his game, going to the net more, and not just relying on his big bomb of a shot. And he still has more goals than any other player.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 18, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

no caps hockey until thursday.
it's going to get ugly in here somewhere around mid-day tuesday.

i think varly will start against atl and possibly the isles. BB might want to give neuvy a few starts before putting theo back in. i'm not sure they want holtby as the backup again.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Kirk:
It's going to get ugly?!? :-X

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

--Boo--
absolutely. this is like a sloppy pre-season game. the screaming, crying, taunting, anger, etc. - is going to be great.

here is the stat of the day.
jurcina has as many points as the following forwards combined - clark, gordon, aucoin, fehr, steckel, kane and laing.
even more impressive for the offensive juggernaut we call juice is - his total ice time 124:22 compared to the combined ice time of 428:53 for the others
the next time i whine about playing nyls, and if sloan can line up on the wing - remind me that juice should move up front because the numbers don't lie

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

the 4th line got more ice time because they are better defensively and outplayed the 3rd line offensively in the first have of the game

Posted by: wendel2 | October 18, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Kirk:
Interesting stats ... hard to argue with that. But no matter - while I think it is silly to get fired up so early in the season I also think it does not make a lot of sense to go at it with the people who do. I just don't have the energy for that! ;-) So let 'em have at it - just leave me out of it! lol! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

--Boo--:
with five days between games - i'll take any entertainment i can get!! even if i have to incite that entertainment myself.
i'll offer my apologies now if i restart the nyls fiasco debates

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Nice, Kirk ... :-P

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm going to agree with joek...FWIW.

Gretzky dominated hockey int he 80s like no athlete since maybe Babe Ruth. Correction: one year Wilt Chamberlain averaged 50 pts/game.

joek often posts good, solid arguments for his points. Sometimes it seems he's being negative when he really isn't. I say this because Capt Kirk in AZ puts really solid posts but came down on joek. So, obviously there was misinterpretation.

Ovie is the best goal scorer in hockey. Gretz was the best goal scorer and assist guy at the same time. Of course, Gretz didn't hit. But, if you are comparing dominance in a generation, Gretz wins...for now. Honestly, you can't compare them - yet. Wait a few years.

On the Preds 2nd goal - I don't blame Varly or Sarge. The puck deflected off the leg of a Caps player between when Dumont shot it and when it arrived on goal. Another deflection.

You can never say Ovie > Gretzky until Ovie is at least A#1 of this generation. And, for now, Ovie, Malkin and Crosby are still a toss up. I put Ovie #1 of the three but it isn't the most obvious thing in the world like it was with Gretzky in the early 80s.

I loved it when Locker went on about attending the AC/DC concert and them being his favorite band. Angus!!!!!!!!

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 18, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1:
You can never say Ovie > Gretzky
i wasn't thinking ovi was greater than gretzky - just that it is ok to mention them in the same sentence.
i didn't think i came down that hard on joek - then i went back and reread my "you're sooooooooo right" post. my attempt at sarcasm and humor doesn't seem so clear now. so joek: i'm sorry

i'd still like to hear anyones opinion what they think if ovi and gretzky swapped teams and eras.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk: What's the weather like there in Phoenix? It's like a meat locker here in Orlando - high of only upper 60s today. Am I a human or a hamburger in the refrigerator? It's so cold out ("How cold is it, Johnny?") that I had a wear a SWEATSHIRT today! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

So I wear my 30-yr old Towson St University sweatshirt (the only two I've bought since then are Muir Woods and Joshua Tree Nat'l Park) to Lowe's when I was buying some plants (we plant things here in Oct - I put in a tomato plant, a pepper and some begonias) and this guy asks me if I'm from Maryland. Caught me off guard until I realized.

I need to go on NHL.com and buy a Caps sweatshirt. I have a gift card from LAST Christmas. At least it will be mid 80s later in the week. I can go back to normal outfit of no shirt, no shoes, just shorts. I do wear a shirt to work and I wear my jersey during the games.

It's kinda nice though being cold out. The AC is off for the first time in 5 months and the windows are open. Feels like hockey.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 18, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Tom:
I honestly don't care who thinks what and have no intention of picking sides, I just think that people can disagree without freaking out, calling people names and attacking others. More than one person is guilty of that ... I prefer not to get sucked in.

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

The whole OVie/Gretzky is way to difficult to judge. Different types of players in different eras, and different positions. I think the only comparsion to be in question at this point would be goal scoring, not point scoring.
I think that OV would have scored as many goals as the Great one if he played in that era, many due to the size and the lesser talets of the goaltenders back then. That being said, I do not think the Great one would be that prolific in scoring in todays game.
Boy he was fun to watch back then!!
Boy OVie is fun to watch in todays game!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | October 18, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1:
mid 90's. really nice out today - fall weather for the desert. gotta keep my eye on the pool to make sure no algae is growing.
got my mustang out of the garage this weekend - time to get it ready for the really nice days ahead.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk (again): OK, let's try.

1) Ovie on the Oilers in the 80s. Ovie gets more pts than he gets now. He bumps Jari Kurri to #2 RW. Messier moves up to #1 C. The Oil isn't quite as good in my opinion.

2) Gretz on the Caps NOW. Obviously Backie becomes #2 center. Gretz centers Semin and WHO? as LW? The Caps are suddenly short at LW. Are the Caps better? I don't know. Gretz doesn't have Ovie's enthusiasm that is a driving factor on today's Caps.

I'm not sure the Caps are better with Gretzky than theya re with Ovie, but I'm pretty sure the Oilers are a little less potent without Gretzky as the primary pivot. The reason is that Ovechkin is more of a complimentary skill to Messier and Gretz is more a complimentary skill to Backstrom. And Kurri is complimentary to Semin and Coffey complimentary to Green. The Oilers were incredibly balanced and the Caps would be also for one thing - we don't have a Kevin Lowe (we might have a Grant Fuhr in Varly - too soon to tell).

Of course, if I recall, Edm won 1st Cup in 85. That was Gretzky's 5th or 6th year. The first few years he put up those gaudy numbers - the Islanders still won.

Gretzky did prove when he went to LA that you can't win by yourself. Ovie might have more individual, pure talent, but no question in my mind that Gretzky was the best team player in hockey history and maybe the most EFFECTIVE player in the history of North American team sports. More than Jordan, who again, like Ovie, was maybe better individually.

Can anyone offer a solid rejoinder to that one?

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 18, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

After posting and reading just needed to clarify. I think OVie could have scored as many GOALS as Gretz did in the 80's (if he was playing in that era) and I do not believe Gretz would dominate and score at will in todays game if he were playing now.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | October 18, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

--Boo--:
calling people names and attacking others

i understand every has an opinion and just because mine is right and theirs is wrong - doesn't mean they are not entitled to it.
** here is where i spell out that i'm just kidding **

other than watching the caps win, CI is currently my second biggest source of entertainment. anyone that wants to tell me what a sad life i must have - go for it - i'm a big boy now and can take it :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1:
just to be clear - gretzky IS the greatest hockey player ever right now. but it is ok to compare them. i happen to think that by the time ovi is done - he might have a case for being considered the best to ever lace them up.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Kirk:
Such a pill! :-P I was not directing that at you although, who knows ... maybe you were guilty too ... I know how you like to push buttons!! ;-) I just think this debating who's better thing is silly. They're all great! In different ways, at different times, and some are not even done yet so it is premature at best. Everyone should just enjoy it for what it is rather than stressing out over who is the best in this circumstance or that. For pitty's sake, let's just be happy for what we've got!

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

-boo-: Amen.
Kirk: I used to have a 2000 Mustang GT conv. Used to.

Here's one - for different sports, who are most dominant individual and team players over the last 50 years?

BB - Individual - Micheal Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain; Team - Bill Russell, Magic Johnson.

Football - Individual - Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson; Team - Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana.

Baseball - Individual - Roger Clemens, Steve Carlton; Team - Rickey Henderson, Barry Bonds.

Hockey - Individual - Martin Brodeur, Mike Bossy; Team - Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux.

It's hard to omit guys like Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson, Abdul Jabbar, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Frank Robinson, George Brett, Tony Gwynn, Randy Johnson, Patrick Roy, Bobby Hull and Mark Messier from that list (I considered Gordie Howe and Jean Beliveau except they played significant time prior to "last 50 years," as did Mickey Mantle and others).

Make your own list and see how hard it is to do.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 18, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1:
67 conv - no a/c - it doesn't get many miles between may and sept out here

your "last 50 years" qualifier omits cy young and ty cobb - and before you ask - no i never saw either of them play :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Okay--I agree with Boo--let's enjoy what we have now in Ovie and debate who is best, Gretzky or Ovie, at the end of Ovie's career--will he be traded as Gretzky was (just being a pill here)!

On the other hand, I agree with Capt_Kirk, CI is my second best entertainment (my husband doesn't understand why I keep checking my computer).

Last, thank you all--especially tominfl1 (who wins the award for the best stories) for keeping the tone civil. I really do enjoy reading differing opinions--no need for blind homer fandom here. I'm always open to differing viewpoints. But I do hate the "you're wrong, I'm right, and you are an idiot to boot" tone many posters adopt.

PS I still don't like the Ovie/Gretzky comparison--any more than I like the Ovie/Criesby (oops Crosby) comparison.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 18, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

pps. I thought of you Joe443 the other day when I read that Ovie's 2nd favorite sport was Nascar. Maybe that makes Ovie a little closer to Gretzky in your estimation!!!! And despite his hole-in-one Ovie ranks golf at the bottom of preferred sports.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 18, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Kirk: Ha! Cy Young - reminds of records that really won't ever be broken:

Cy Young career 751 complete games!

Glenn Hall - goalie (Blackhawks in 50s) - 502 straight games started and finished w/o missing a minute! (except when pulled at end for team to go a man up)

Babe Ruth 1920 had 54 home runs. Next highest in Al was George Sisler with 19! A 35 HR difference! (NL leader only had like 15 that year).

751 complete games! It's amazing today if a pitcher can reach 751 innnings for a career!

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 18, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

newbiecapsfan07:
That tone used to be much less prevalent here (i.e. there just used to be a few token pills). Funny that as the team got better the board got more venomous. The price of success ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

ever heard of the butterfly style?? it's only been around since the late 80's with Patrick Roy?? -- Joe443

LOL. You tried to make someone looked like an arse and it only showed what a dumb arse you are. You need an English comprehension class as well as a hockey history class.
1. I believe Opita was not referring to any particular style as much as a tendency by Varly, and besides he was asking if anyone notice that tendecy - No need to reply with a stupid answer like yours.
2. The Butterfly was not invented, as you insinuate, on the 80's by Patrick Roy. There was a guy by the name of Hall in the 1930 who is credited to be the first NHL goalie to use that style. The Russians have been using it way before the '70s. Esposito in the NHL used way before, etc. etc.
I have agreed with some of your post before, but I think at times you should think before posting.

Posted by: hock1 | October 18, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

@opita
I did notice that Varly seem to go down quite early leaving a big portion of the upper goal exposed. I thought the Predators would have tried to shoot high during the shoot-out, but they didn't. I haven't seen enough of Varly to know if that is his style of the butterfly, but I have noticed that he is not as quick getting up. I guess what I am saying is that the jury is still out. I still like him a lot.

Posted by: hock1 | October 18, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

aaaaaand the fun continues.

hock1 - are you british?

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1:
just to be clear - gretzky IS the greatest hockey player ever right now. but it is ok to compare them. i happen to think that by the time ovi is done - he might have a case for being considered the best to ever lace them up.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

it really is too EARLY to compare OV to the Great One.. after OV wins at least his 5th Hart Trophy then maybe (Gretz won 9).

I agree that it's hard, almost impossible to compare players from different eras. However you can still judge the dominance of a player by comparing him to the players of his own era. During his prime, NOBODY could challenge Gretzky for the scoring title. it really was never a serious contest. As good as OV is, he didn't lead the league in scoring last year.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

joek443:
what did you think of the THN comparison?

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

hock1,

I don't really care who invented the butterfly style.. after Patrick Roy, just about every goalie on the planet became a butterfly goalie.

were Ken Dryden or Billy Smith butterfly goalies?? I don't think so

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Just saw a little of your discussions of Ovie versus Gretzky. 2 major differences, the first is Gretzky's 4 cups and the second is Gretzky's longevity..he played at high level until nearly 40. Ovie is great, but there's only one Gretzky. He has the single season goals record and ALSO has the single season assists record (163). AND in 4 of his first 8 years, he had over 200 points. In 1981-1982, Gretzky had his highest career point total, which was 212. Ovechkin's highest point total thus far is 112. So Gretzky's single season high is 100 points higher, even in a higher scoring era, thats still significant. Gretz was the greatest player I've ever seen. He dominated more than Michael Jordan did in basketball. When the Great One retired, he shared or owned 61 individual records, including goals, assists and points. He was the MVP 9 times, including 8 consecutive years. He had 4 seasons in a row with over 60 goals and 8 seasons in a row of over 50 goals. He had 11 seasons in a row of over 100 assists. In 1984-1985, he had a +/- of +98!

His greatest quote: "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been. "

Posted by: JK111 | October 18, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

hock1:
i thought the first nashville shot in the shootout when off of the high part of varlys left leg pad. you would think every team would shoot high on him until he proves he can stop them consistently.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

--Boo--:
aaaaaand the fun continues.

it's not tuesday yet - it's not me :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

--Boo--

that's an interesting comparison but I still go back to comparing them to their peers. If OV is to be as dominating as Wayne, he will have to average at least 150 points/year while the next guy is about 100.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

kirk:
oh i'm waiting for that! :-)

joek443:
but he is young and it is early in his career - the best is yet to come! :-) personally i think that comp is VERY compelling. don't forget about things like injuries, suspensions and bereavement ... ovi has missed some games that if he had played would have left his stats in a different place.

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

ha...and all this started because i was trying to make a point that we are witnessing some serious history here so if you haven't been out to a live game yet...get out there before it is too late!!! btw...gretzky's greatest quote is: "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take" : )

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

CapsSkins:
I can't agree with that more! And RE: that quotation, Ovi certainly took that one to heart, eh?

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

when can we start the discussions comparing varly with sawchuck and brodeur?

is it tuesday yet?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

kirk, kirk, kirk ... :-P

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 18, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

no...now the arguement goes to we have the best first line in history with OV-backs-semin over the oilers : )...that should ruffle some feathers!

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line, OV needs to win at least one cup. If he doesn't, like GMGM said, he'll be just another Charles Barkley.

Posted by: Unleash_The_Caps | October 18, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

CapsSkins:
or out 3rd pair d against theirs

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

i think i would use marino in that statement instead of barkley since marino was a lot more like OV to his sport!

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Actually Ovie restated that very quote when asked why he took so many shots--can't make a goal if you don't shoot!. AGAIN I'm with Boo on this--let's let Ovie have a full career before we say he can or can't measure up to Gretzky.

Also, I disagree that one's greatness depends on how far he surpasses his opponents. Even though I am not a fan of Crosby, I do think he is another "once-in-a-generation" talent. The NHL is lucky to have such amazing talents in the same era. And to have them in the same conference is just gold from a hockey-wide viewpoint--how better to sell the game of hockey to the uninitiated. But does the fact that there are two incredible players take away from their individual talents--no it doesn't. And I keep in mind that they have very different skill sets that make them dangerous opponents on the ice.

For me the jury is still out on Malkin. He is much more inconsistent. I see him more in the vein of Semin--absolute top-notch skill but when they are off, they are very off. If Semin can stay healthy and on his game I think he can break 100 points. I agree that Malkin put together a great season last year. Let's see him continue to for several seasons then I might move him into that pinnacle in my estimation.

As for comparing Ovie's production: remember last year he didn't get a multi-goal game until December and didn't get any goals until November if I remember correctly. How the season will play out this year, who knows. But Ovie is off to an amazing season. I certainly believe he intends to keep playing at this pace.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 18, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I would have thought that OV would have been a f1 fan than a NASCAR fan but then again he probably doesn't like to brake when he drives... LOL

he'd probably enjoy flipping over too

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9FsYDEIZWk

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

Your not the only one who wondered about Fehr's lack of ice time after a certain point. It seemed that the entire 3rd line was benched -- for some reason. Boudreau decided to go to only 3 lines for some reason (and the 4th line's been looking better than the 3rd.)

From what I could see, the 3rd line was not on the ice for the Preds' goals, unless you count the fact that Clark was on there for one of their goals with our second line.

I guess if any of our top 6 forwards ever get moved down to the 3rd line, they're really in "le maison des chiens" with Boudreau. (But, then again, they might send Laich to the 3rd line at some point in an attempt to get that line ignited.) I recall that last year, the 3rd line right wing was in the healthy scratch rotation.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 18, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I think you're right. He would enjoy flipping over. Who knows he may also be an f1 fan. He does like fast cars.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 18, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Generally, there is a lot of entertainment value in reading the posts to this blog.

Yes, we have a few trolls and sometimes the debates can get a little crazy. But, overall, this blog has the most interesting comments. We can actually find out about the "people" behind the comments.

It could never really happen at Japers'. The folks running Japers provide some very good statistical analyses. I enjoy reading many of them. But they (or some poster -- I forget which) has referred to CIed as being Capitals Insider'ed. Oddly enough, they have one poster who's become somewhat of a troll by being really obsessed about posters' avatars.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 18, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

laich will be back on the 3rd line right when fleischmann returns. then it should be ov-morrison-knuble, fleischmann-backs-semin, fehr-laich-clark, laing-steckel-bradley. i don't see gordon beating our top 4 centers in my opinion so he goes back down unless they try him as a winger. i like the grind of laing though and would like him to stay up.

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

@newbiecapsfan07

I can personally attest to that. After one practice, I saw him get in his car and drive very fast in the parking lot. (Okay, I can say the same about Semin and Green, as well.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 18, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I really have to get out to the practices. It's been a rough start to the school year this year--I keep intending on going. I'd love to see them zoom out of the lot. Probably a lot of hockey elites are like that--feed that adrenaline rush. Oh and apparently Backstrom also has a fast car--but maybe he drives more slowly out of Kettler.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 18, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

i think the top two line changes will hurt backs stats the most. semin can score but he doesn't have the 'killer' instinct of ovi. i hope the 2nd line will click soon because i like what i see with ovi/morrison/knuble - even though i didn't think either could keep up with ovi.
i also think if BB sees some 'tired' legs from morrison/knuble - he'll go back to ovi/backs/semin

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

i think it is the best combo of what we have to get 2 solid lines. morrison and knuble played together way back when and OV can play with anyone. backs gives the 2nd line the center semin needs to be productive. semin seems to disappear without backs feeding him and he seems to be too much like backs when ov is on his line. i think the 2nd line will be pretty sick when fleischmann is healthy and we have him with semin and backs. i love laich, but he is more of a grinder and needs to be on the 3rd line.

Posted by: CapsSkins | October 18, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree I like the first two lines--tho' I thought Backs and Semin were not quite on their game the other night. But that Ovie, Morrison, Knuble line is pretty amazing. I was wondering why the 3rd line seemed to disappear in the third period in the last game.

A couple of weeks ago posters were talking about what they hated most at games--leaners, standers etc. Well I have a new one--screamers. I was sitting Saturday night next to someone who literally burst my eardrums. And she kept telling the person in front of her to stop leaning forward. And she kept yelling for the Caps to shoot the puck. I had such a headache when the game was over.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 18, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Gretzky would not be as dominant in this era either. He would still be a stud, but there is a greater pool of talent now. If you look at his numbers, his biggest years were around 85, with inverse relationship of points to number of european players in the league.

Profi sports were not as much of a business back then. I mean Locker has scored multiple half ice goals that modern goalies would laugh off, so the goaltending of the era had no chance against a player like Gretzky.

It is a note though, ovie needs more than 100 assists to be compared in that regard. Back then only the primary assist was credited, so the Gretzky numbers are amazing.

Posted by: trunkenmath | October 18, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

question,

I've heard some talk on here about goalie equipments as one of the reasons why the scoring has gone down so here's a stupid question?

why does the NHL allow them? I mean doesn't everyone wanna see more scoring??

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

trunkenmath,

forget about comparing different eras. Just compare each player to the players of his era.

I don't see OV dominating his own era as Gretzky did his own and Grezky had to play against much better group of d-men than OV does. Guys like Scott Stevens and Larry Murphy, both ex-Caps and hall of famers never got a sniff of the Norris Trophy because there were so many great d-men in the NHL during that era.

Posted by: joek443 | October 18, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

@joek443 re: why does the NHL allow blocker pads?

The blocker pads this season and last are actually smaller than ones allowed in prior years. But, if you think about it, the blocker pads are the best - only - protection a goalie has against (for example) a 105+ MPH slapshot from Zdeno Chara. I personally wouldn't want to stand in front of that unless I looked like the Michelin Man!

Today's NHL is not just about high-scoring games. If you look at the history of equipment, and not just who the greatest goal-scorer of all time is/was/whatever (and in the long run, who CARES? We have a great goal scorer right now. I'm not watching Gretzky every other night any more!) then you wouldn't have to ask that question, even if it was rhetorical.

Posted by: irockthered | October 18, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

trunkenmath:
i reasonably certain that both primary and secondary assists were credited for all scoring back then. although i think they were a little stingier with crediting the secondary assist

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 18, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

@newbiecapsfan07

I just haven't observed Backstrom's driving out of Kettler ever. (I've never managed to catch Backstrom leaving practice.)

Green and Laich -- several times. Semin -- once. Ovi -- twice. (There's a limit to the number of practices I watch since I have to work.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 18, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

The size of the leg pads,catching gloves,blockers, and the arm/chest protectors are much much larger ther back in the mid eighties. You got to see a whole lot more net then you do in the games today.And the size of the goaltenders them selves as well.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | October 18, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

That work stuff does get in the way, doesn't it. Maybe Backs left his car in Europe.

As for comparisons, eh so what. Different eras, different game. Styles change, regulations change, and technology advances. There are more teams today and more players competing at a higher level of fitness. Indeed, the whole notion of physical fitness has turned into a science. And I'm sure the ability to make goals and shoot hard has changed due to technological changes to the stick design. I am amazed at how recently helmets became mandatory. And the helmet design is currently undergoing changes to protect better against concussions. And I don't even wanted to get started on d-men discussions--it's an argument that feeds on itself.

Bottom line the game has changed--whether for the better or worse depends on the fan. Personally I'm enjoying the game now and love the speed and skill and scoring and the great saves. Gretsky is of a different era--and he's a legend. Every sport has its legendary player(s) in differing eras. But I'm interested in this era-- Ovie may well be its legendary player. Let's wait and see!

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 18, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Any time you watch an old game on NHL Net, you can see the goalie equipment was much smaller. Patrick Roy started the trend of wearing like size 72 jerseys so even the loose fabric could help stop the puck. They've cracked down on that, and restricted size of the goalie pads, but the league could still do more to reduce (slightly) the goalie pads (leg pads, not the blocker on the arm) to help the scoring.

And, I agree, there were secondary assists recorded at least as far back as the 60s - same as today, last two players to touch the puck before the goal-scorer. I believe it is in the Russian and Swedish leagues maybe where there's only one assist.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 19, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1: just now catching up with some earlier posts on this page. You might want to use "complementary" instead of "complimentary", although I do imagine that the players compliment each other quite often! (Sorry to nitpick---after a miserable, miserable weekend of extreme cold and hard rain, reading yours and Capt Kirk's descriptions of warmer climes made me crazy!)

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 19, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Boo, I am not British but I am a foreigner who has lived in many different countries, the UK was one of my hosts. I am not sure what I am, I tried to live my life from the lessons of the many different cultures I have experienced. I am one of those people who never grew up ... a restless non-conformist some say.

Posted by: hock1 | October 19, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

According to Corey, Semin is not at practice so Nylander is working on the 2nd line this morning.

Posted by: 1hockeymom | October 19, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

joek443:

The butterfly did not start in "the late 80's with Patrick Roy." Tony Esposito was one of the first butterfly goalies in 1970.

Posted by: rw-c | October 19, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The rule for the size of the pads did not change until Bettman decreed that hockey shall become basketball on ice. The "growing" pads were just players and manufactures reading the rule book. I remember college and junior goalies getting rules named after them for liberal use of fishnet...

As to why the shooters see less goal now: Back in the day goalies stayed in the crease and close to the goalline. Nowdays you will not find a goalie who hasn't been taught to cut down the angle.

FWIW Butterfly has never been my favorite style. Too injury prone. The best goaltending style I have ever seen is Domink Hasek's slinky spine style. The man was incredible, too bad he spent his prime in Buffalo (A drinking town with a Hockey problem...).

Posted by: rovingbandit | October 19, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The Hat thing just shows how many new fans we have in Washington. Too bad most of them don't know the rules. Just like when one of our payers gets pushed over when he has the puck. Clearly not a penalty, but everyone thinks so and starts booing and calling the ref names.

I guess its all the old Orioles fans now attending that insist on yelling "O" during the national anthem. THIS ISN'T BALTIMORE, you idiots! You are insulting both the Caps AND the Nationals when you yell that. Stick to "RED" during the anthem.

JUST SAY "NO" to "O"!

Posted by: ssm91470 | October 19, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Why does Ovie have to dominate the next guy on the list as much as Gretzky to be as great? It's a different era so compare his performance relative to his era.

When Gretzky scored 92, scoring was MUCH higher league wide. Average goals for were 100 goals higher across the whole league. The fewest goals for were 241...that's almost what you expect from the Redwings nowadays.

When you compare what % of all goals Ovie had when he hit 65 and the percent Gretzky had when he hit 92, they're about equal...28.5% and 28.6%.

You could also look at the relative teams they were on...no comparison there.

Posted by: nglovrmike | October 20, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

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