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Caps 3, Red Wings 2

This time last month, Jose Theodore was sitting on the bench pondering his future. Tonight, he was standing tall between the pipes, putting together one of the finest goaltending performances this building has seen all season.

Yep, Theo was that good tonight in a stirring, come-from-behind victory over the Red Wings. Read about Theodore's performance here, check out Mike Wise's column here, then come on back for some notes and quotes that didn't make the cut:

*The Caps' slow start marked the fifth time in the past six games that they were were out-shot in the first period. For the second time in that span, the margin was 11 shots or more (15-3 tonight, 18-7 in Atlanta).

"Today it was like men versus boys," Coach Bruce Boudreau said of the first period. "I don't think we touched the puck. They came out with a vengeance, and I'm sitting there thinking, 'This is what Stanley Cup champions do when they are desperate.' It's a bar we have to get to. We were just fortunate that our goalie was great in the first period."

David Steckel added: "I don't know. We all knew what to expect from Detroit. It's something we have to address. We can't allow another first period like that, especially not Thursday in Pittsburgh."

*The Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski led Wings' defense did a good job of bottling up Alex Ovechkin. So good, in fact, the two-time MVP did not record a shot on goal for the first time since a 2-1 loss on The Island, Oct. 8, 2007.

*The Caps' special teams were mighty efficient tonight. The penalty kill extinguished five Wings' power plays. Washington's power play, well, it scored on its only shot ... on four man advantages.

*The Caps' 23-shot deficit - the final tally was 46-23 - marked the biggest disparity of the season. The second biggest? Thirteen, in the Caps' 3-2 loss in Detroit back in October.

*Mike Green matched his career high for points in consecutive games with his ninth (an assist on Matt Bradley's goal.)

*The line of the night belonged to Nicklas Backstrom, who tallied his ninth third period goal of the season, which pulls him even with Ovechkin for the team lead in that category. Asked about his slick inside-out move on Brad Stuart, he joked: "I've never seen Ovie do one like that."

*Todd Bertuzzi on tripping Green, which gave the Caps the power play that Backstrom converted: "I can't give them that power play there. Stupid, stupid penalty by me. Just careless with my stick at the wrong time, then they come back and score right away. It was pretty deflating."

*Lidstrom on Theodore: "I thought he saw a lot of the shots, but he made some great saves down there. He got two points for them tonight."

That's about right.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 19, 2010; 11:56 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Postgame video: Leonsis hugs Theodore
Next: Semyon Varlamov on 'nagging injury that won't heal'

Comments

Why is Mike "I dont like hockey" even mentioned here...go root for the bullets dude

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 20, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

On Varly, Lisa Hillary reports that he won't be playing in the Olympics. But then again, she's the same reporter who earlier this year talked about the Caps' "loss" to Montreal when, in reality, the Caps had beaten Montreal in a shootout.

Jan 1. I hope BB doesn't mean Jan 1, 2011. Probably not.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 20, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

opps...I forgot his surname...Tool..opps Wise

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 20, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Enough of Mike Wise. Please keep him off this page.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | January 20, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

@ralCapsFan

Or would you prefer to dub that writer with the name "Foolish"?

(Okay, that's mean.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 20, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

I just dont't see why the guy has any say in a sport that he clearly does not 1. like or 2. understand and 3. understand why fans love the sport. Call me silly. Go Post...Not.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 20, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Overall,

1) Great game by Theodore, with a save percentage of over 95%, with 40 saves.

2) Great PK. Caps took 6 minor penalties and skated them all off.

3) Great game by Steckel. He should have been one of the stars of the game. Had the game winner and on the ice for the first goal and much faceoff duty during PK.


Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 20, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

the sport of hockey...sorry...long but great night

Posted by: ralCapsFan | January 20, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

@ralCapsFan

If Wise doesn't like the game, he should not be covering it.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 20, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Tarik - I know it's kinda your job to try to pretend that Mike Wise knows something about hockey, but if you ever post another video with him in it, I'm never coming back here again.

Posted by: PonMan | January 20, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

I've been watching this team for 26 years... I'm sorry but I don't get excited over a regular season win unless there's a playoff feel to it

and this game had a playoff feel to it.. I know they won but they got badly outplayed

I'll take any kinda win during the playoffs but you have to look at the bigger picture during the regular season... this wasn't a good game and you better hope this was a hiccup

it was like watching last year's playoffs all over again

Posted by: joek443 | January 19, 2010 10:27 PM |

Do you know what irony is?

This is coming from the guy who always says that stats dont matter, its all about getting the W.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 20, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm afraid to read the post during the game.

How many bridge jumpers were there?

How many people wanted to choke Semin?

How many people gave up on the team?

Posted by: JSchon | January 20, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

It's pretty funny this time actually JSchon. It's like they actually think we don't know the Caps played like crap for 2/3rds of the game.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 20, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

And he always has a hard on for Mario. He likes to compare "all time greats" of PKers even though they were all centers and OV is a LW. If it were up to Joek OV wouldn't be allowed off the ice.

Oh wait a second that's right. He wanted BB to bench him earlier in the year for messing up a pass. Sorry Joe, I forgot.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | January 20, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I think we have to start considering the real possibility of going into the playoffs with Theodore/Neuvirth.

I'm guessing Varlamov will be back in a few weeks but you have to wonder if he's not only going to have enough time to regain form but also whether he'll reaggravate his injury(ies).

The truth is that despite the general optimism with respect to Varlamov's game, he's still inexperienced and a relatively unknown commodity. Basically, we don't know what we have in him.

The reality is that he's only played in 22 regular season games and 13 more in the playoffs. That's a very small sample size on which to pass judgment of an NHL goalie.

I think it was crucial for him to get a lot of starts under his belt heading into this postseason. That's starting to look unlikely. If they're already ruling him out of the Olympics, who knows when he'll be back.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 20, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

For the record - I don't really have any problems with Wise. At least he admits he doesn't know much. But I have to agree, if he's going to cover it he should follow it regularly. But come on, the guy grew up in Hawaii. You can't expect him to know hockey. At least he covers it every now and then. He just needs to watch every game for a month and cover personalities - not x's and o's, probabilities, predictions, or anything game related. He has access to guys who know what they're talking about - watch a month of hockey with them, jump on the bandwagon, and you'll have Cap fans carry your career in DC for the next 15 years.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | January 20, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

It's tough to win sometimes, apparently.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 20, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Caps gain ground on Buffalo who lost to the Anaheim Ducks tonight.

Next on their plate: San Jose and LA, the two teams that we can't beat in their territories to save our lives.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 20, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: bgfgf402 | January 20, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Alzner/Shamo looked good. Poti/Sloan made me nervous, and not because of Poti...

Posted by: BACKS | January 20, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau's own words:

"I don't think we touched the puck [in the first period]. They came out with a vengeance, and I'm sitting there thinking, 'This is what Stanley Cup champions do when they are desperate.' It's a bar we have to get to."

When he says "it'a bar we have to get to," he's very clearly implying that we're not there yet.

It's not just about getting the win when you're trying to build good habits and a more consistent level of execution.

It's not just about the win when you're a team thinking about doing more than just making the playoffs.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 20, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Yes the Red Wings outplayed the Caps for the majority of the game. However, I am not sold on Detroit being better than Washington. Washington just seemed to be skating slower than usual tonight. Detroit's blueliners are not faster than Washington's forwards yet most of the game they seemed like it. Who on Detroit is more physical than Ovi? Yet Ovi did not seem to be his normal physical self tonight. That was most likely more a function of Washington being a bit off tonight rather than a function of Detroit superiority. Yes Detroit's forwards are faster than Washington's blueliners though. But I did notice that Washington did do a good job most of the time of:

a) allowing Jose to see the shots and

b) clearing the crease and limiting followup shots.

As far as the Washington PP, I have not seen anything on blocked shots, but I do know that there were several that were blocked and also that several shots just were missing the net so didn't count as a shot.

Overall I will say that Detroit did outplay Washington tonight. However, the most important thing is that Theodore outplayed Osgood and thus Washington gained 2 points and Detroit gained ZERO!!!!!!!!

Losers talk about how their team outplayed the other team everywhere but one, the SCOREBOARD and that is the only place that really matters.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | January 20, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Eh the other team needs to have at least a 4 goal lead before I consider it over. My biggest disappointment was having to leave after the 2nd for work. I arrive in the office to a bunch of sms from family back home going nuts.

Posted by: trunkenmath | January 20, 2010 2:53 AM | Report abuse

I must say i think last nights game was sloan's worste game ever.He was just terrible,he got beat to the puck about everytime and didnt show any determination to do so.Dont be surprised to see him as a healthy scratch soon.
And now on to Mike Wise;I know all you other posters hate the guy and want his head on a plate but i like the dude.I think he's funny,has way more character than T.E.B and tells it like it is.Whether he likes hockey or the caps,whatever,he has a job to do and i thought he did allright in last years playoffs.Added some spunk.I LIKE YA MIKE! but i also love hockey and the caps!GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | January 20, 2010 5:47 AM | Report abuse

Seems like people will always have something to complain about, but you can't say this night was emblematic for the Caps. Perfect in 5 PK's and incredible goaltending, while otherwise utterly flat at home, is not typical Caps play, but we can build on incredible goaltending and good PK.

Detroit was absolutely inspired and put together one of their very best performances of the season. There are plenty of motivations for them to point to. Every team in the league is going to find themselves on the wrong end of this kind of matchup, where one team puts on their absolute best and the other is mediocre. Head to head, though, if they played 8 or 10, the Caps are going to beat the Wings most of the time this year.

The Caps, for all the rotten play, hung in to keep it tied after 1, and tied again after 2. They put together the plays that mattered at the end and stole the game.

They won because of incredible goaltending, good penalty killing, and opportunistic scoring. I didn't like watching the weak parts of the game tonight either, but I'll take it.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 20, 2010 6:10 AM | Report abuse

You gotta like the Caps goal production on very few chances, too. Gordon to Bradley to net was textbook; Backstrom muscling in to take apart the defender then Osgood was a singular effort; and Steckel's backwards between the legs deflection was a heads up ("nifty" as Locher might say) play.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 20, 2010 6:26 AM | Report abuse

If they can make some moves like Pittsburgh did,shore up with some toughness,they could go all the way.They need a little more grit at that time of the year. I would think most of us who've seen what happened last would agree. You can't let Crosby or whoever just camp out and fire away. WHat it takes to get that is what worries me. But,for now they are thrilling to watch.

Posted by: ridgely1 | January 20, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

ok...all the Red Wings fans from last night can put their Wings Jersey away and go back to being Caps season ticket holders...

jokers...

Posted by: SA-Town | January 20, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Any feel for how many times BMo lost the battle against the boards? I hope he is not too small.

Posted by: Bartolo1 | January 20, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me why Sloan is in a Caps uniform and Carlson is in a Bears uniform? Sloan looked lost last night.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 20, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Sloan is here because to move him down would me to lose him on waivers with no return.

I think one of the marks of a good team is to be able to play badly and still find a way to win. If you look at he Detroits of the past (and to be fair the Pens of last year) you would look up a the scoreboard and see them down by a couple in the last period. Then the score would update and they would have a win. Finding ways to win without your A game is nice to see with this squad. For years we talked about them finding a way to LOSE...

I'll Take it.

Posted by: jdhoover | January 20, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Thats "would Mean".. Darn fingers ...

Posted by: jdhoover | January 20, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

As a well documented Boyd Gordon non-fan, I am also man enough to say when he has a good game and I thought he was very good tonight...The pass to Bradley was excellent and I thought he played well on the PK also. Good Game Gordo, let's have another one Thursday.

Posted by: opus1m | January 20, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Good point, @jdhoover -- "found a way to win" is good shorthand for this game. We're not always going to be ahead late in the game, and I don't mind establishing that we can overcome the odds when we have to.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 20, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

ok...all the Red Wings fans from last night can put their Wings Jersey away and go back to being Caps season ticket holders...

jokers...

Posted by: SA-Town | January 20, 2010 6:57 AM |


X2 on that one. A friend of mine is a sabres fan (converted Caps fan) Used to take her to Caps game every now and then. Sabres are good this year and she decides to go uber-sabre fan on me. Haven't taken her to a game since.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 20, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

...
How many bridge jumpers were there? 17

How many people wanted to choke Semin? 6,034

How many people gave up on the team? 999

Posted by: JSchon

Those are my counts. Actual results may vary. :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | January 20, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

you know the key to Theo playing good?

I don't know how many breakdowns we had before where no one was watching the back door, or there were three to four guys screening the goalie. It's not the goalie's fault.

Bottom line, clear the frickin crease for our goalies and they'll play great. they don't have x-ray vision.

Posted by: MNMNT | January 20, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

@Fro

Dare I say there were people last night in Caps jerseys that will pull for the Pens tomorrow? I can bet you there are.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 20, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

ok...all the Red Wings fans from last night can put their Wings Jersey away and go back to being Caps season ticket holders...

Posted by: SA-Town | January 20, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

I said that's right. 9.9

Posted by: kittypawz | January 20, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I was overcome with emotion when the crowd cheered during Lisa Hillary interview w/ Theo. Very deserving.
Also I've gotta say that Backys goal was just sick.

Posted by: guer_j | January 20, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

BTW the Red Wings outshot the Blackhawks 38-29 in their OT SO loss to the Hawks before they lost to the Caps. The shot disparity was 28-16 from the 2nd period on. The Caps did get outshot badly and Theo did play a nice game which kept the Caps in it and the Caps found a way to win, just like the Hawks. It is nice to be on the right side of a team stealing a win. We lost a few last year being on the other side with a poor goaltending performance.

The Red Wings, with all of their injuries, looked a lot like the Caps last year when they had call-ups filling holes while the NHLers were on the mend. A lot of fans implied we should have kept the AHLers because they brought more energy. I doubt Red Wings fans will be saying the same when Franzen and Kronwall are ready to return. Energy is nice, experience and skill, is awesome.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 20, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town

I'd agree there will be. Although there's probably alot less of them. I think Pens fans (the one's I've had the displeasure of knowing) have a true hatred of the Caps these days.

Funny, since they refuse to call it a rivalry. But I don't wanna start that discussion again.

Also, I know Japers advertised a month or so ago, about a viewing party at Baileys in Ballston for the game tomorrow. Anyone know if that's still going to happen?

Posted by: Fro_ | January 20, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

yes they won the game but they looked like a bunch of pond hockey players compared to the Red Wings

and some of you can't see that and think this team can win anything playing this way in the playoffs, you just don't know much about hockey

Posted by: joek443 | January 20, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

@ pockerface

dude I think you have inhaled too much of the mountain to think straight... you think any hockey people outside washington think Ovie is a better player than Lemieux was??

LMAO

Posted by: joek443 | January 20, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

One last thing. I would hate to be the #1-4 seed that ends up playing the Red Wings in the 1st round. They are going to be healthy and dangerous. Goaltending will be their only issue. Of course the Red Wings always seem to have a goal tending issue but then Osgood has another level he goes to in the post season and all is forgotten.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 20, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

@joek

Some of us aren't eternal pessimists, especially when it concerns a team that's 31-12-6 and going for the Presidents trophy. Even if we won the Cup this year, I'm pretty sure you'll have something to complain about..."It must have been luck"

The Caps win a game, "they are getting bounced in the first round" they lose a game, "I told you so". It's a broken record.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 20, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

@ jsnyd1

why don't you ask the Sharks what winning the Prez trophy has done for them in the playoffs??

Posted by: joek443 | January 20, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@Joke443 - so they didnt play a great game. Good teams find a way to win when they dont play too well. I can remember being on the other end of those way too many times to get upset over a win. Enjoy the ride for a while. Remember how it felt to be a fan only a few years ago?

Still waiting for someone to tell me why Sloan is playing right now over Carlson. He was AWFUL last night.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 20, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

The Presidents trophy is a great goal for the team, as is the #1 seed. As long as it doesnt come at the expense of not giving rest to people when they need it down the stretch.

Thats my take on it...

Posted by: SA-Town | January 20, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

and some of you can't see that and think this team can win anything playing this way in the playoffs, you just don't know much about hockey

Posted by: joek443 | January 20, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Who says the Caps are going to play this way in the playoffs? Who says the Caps are going to win in the playoffs playing this way?

Caps don't play this way most all the regular season.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 20, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather the Caps play like they did last night and win, than play like they did last night and lose.

I think it's time to start looking ahead to tomorrow night...

Posted by: Fro_ | January 20, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I know the Prez means nothing in the playoffs, all I'm saying is, you'll never be happy. As I said, if the Caps hoist the Cup this season, you'll still find something wrong.

Going into the playoffs playing your best hockey is of the uppermost importance. San Jose went 5-5 in their last 10 games. That had more to do with how they got bounced than anything. They were playing their worst hockey of the season going into the first round. The Ducks were 7-3 in that same time frame.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 20, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Not to mention, the Pens were playing their best hockey at the end of last season too. They went from being out of the playoffs by the end of January to a 4 seed once the season was over. It's really no surprise that they went on to win the cup.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 20, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes when the Caps are outplayed by another team for a period of time, it's not because the Caps necessarily played poorly. Sometimes, the other team deserves some credit. I don't think that the Caps were sleep-walking during the first part of last night's game, but the Wings were really flying (no pun). That, along with the Caps stubbornly trying to push the puck out of their zone along the boards and the Wings being ready to prevent that led to the Wings controlling the puck for the early part of the game. The Caps adjusted, moved the puck off the boards out onto open ice, and the results were better.

Posted by: zmega | January 20, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes when the Caps are outplayed by another team for a period of time, it's not because the Caps necessarily played poorly. Sometimes, the other team deserves some credit. ...
Posted by: zmega | January 20, 2010 10:34 AM

Well said zmega. I agree.

I would have enjoyed the game as much as I did even if the Caps had lost, why? Because I watched some of the best hockey this town has ever had.

Posted by: hock1 | January 20, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Todd Bertuzzi said Stupid,stupid penalty by me.What's new for this guy that shouldn't be even be playing hockey.What he did make all others look like childs play!!!!(Steve Moore)

Posted by: sporttraveler | January 20, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I just think it's funny that two Thanksgivings ago, this team was literally the worst in the entire NHL.

Now, we have people saying things like "If we don't do X, we might not win the cup this year."

Think about that for a second. Now breathe, it's OK just to relax and enjoy the moment every once in a while. This is supposed to be fun.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 20, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

" ... But come on, the guy grew up in Hawaii. You can't expect him to know hockey."
Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | January 20, 2010 12:46 AM

I grew up in Pittsburgh, and I was able to figure out a few things. Hockey is great -- Penguins suck. What else do you need to know?

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | January 20, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't say the Caps PP was dismal, there were what could of been chances it was just the Wings blocked a whole hell of a lot of shots.

And being 1 for 4 is still 25% the caps average. Its interesting to see what we hold this team to now. Earlier on Japersrink people were talking about Malkin had 4 penalties in a game and how the fans berate Semin or Knoobs for 2 in a game by comparison.

Posted by: breaklance | January 20, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Wise- the Caps are still building a fan base so any positive publicity is good publicity. He actually did a little research.

I believe all the columnists of the Post ( except racing columnist)have a responsibility to 1) understand hockey and 2) to cover it periodically whether they themselves like hockey or not. If they are going to write for the WASHINGTON Post, then cover the WASHINGTION Capitals, the hottest ticket in town.

Posted by: pdanziger | January 20, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The big village of New York has been missing its idiot ever since Wise joined the Post.

Posted by: brihobbs | January 20, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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