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Caps and 'Canes, Possible First-Round Opponents?

If this was indeed the preview of a first round playoff matchup, the Caps are going to be in for a tough series against a Hurricanes team that took it to them tonight in a 4-1 win at RBC Center.

Yes, goalie Cam Ward was big reason the 'Canes won before a deafening (at times) capacity crowd. But the game changed in a matter of seconds in the third period. The Caps failed to score with Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour in the penalty box, then 'Canes defenseman Joni Piktaken converted moments after the two minutes expired to put his team ahead 2-1.

The Caps were forced to press from that moment on and they never recovered.

Boudreau Rips Refs
Boudreau had a beef with veteran referees Dan Marouelli and Bill McCreary. And, in my opinion, this is one occasion where he probably was justified.

Two calls in particular irked Boudreau: the third-period diving call assessed to Tomas Fleischmann, whose pointless drought has reached 11 games, and the roughing penalty handed to Mike Green.

"I've looked at them five times in there and I can't see where these calls are," Boudreau said. "It's my humble opinion, but holy frig. Those are some, in my estimation, some really iffy calls."

"There's no chance [Fleischmann's penalty] was a dive," he added. "His leg got corkscrewed. Then on Green's, when they went to the double minor, they cross-checked him in the head and then Pitkanen went at [Green]. Pitkanen goes at him and Mike retaliates and there still was only two [minutes] given each."

Green Is Money
Green scored for the fifth time in his past four games in the second period. His 28 goals are the most in the NHL since Al McInnis had has many during the 1993-94 season. With two more, Green will be the first blueliner to notch 30 in a season in 16 years.

Ward Stonewalls Caps
Ward, as I mentioned earlier, was outstanding when the Caps tested him. He finished with 31 saves. But I still don't think the Caps made his job hard enough. Jose Theodore, who was also good, seemed to face a lot more traffic in front and yielded two goals on rebounds in tight.

Playoff Preview?
If the season ended today, the Caps would face the 'Canes in the first-round showdown between Southeast Division rivals. The Caps definitely hate the Penguins and Flyers, but they've got no love for Carolina, either. There were plenty of big hits, lots of shoving after the whistle and even more smack talk (most of which was between Ovechkin and 'Canes defenseman Joe Corvo.)

The Caps also only won three of the teams' six meetings.

'Canes Surging
The win was the Hurricanes' eighth in a row on home ice and improved their record to 7-1-2 in March. If they keep that up, they might catch the Penguins.

Rolling Deep
Who knew the Caps traveled so well? There were hundreds of Caps fans tailgating in the parking lot before the game and they sat about five rows deep behind the Washington goal during warmups. Even Horn Guy was there to get the "Let's Go Caps!" chant going. That was, by far, the biggest road showing I've seen for Caps fans.

That's all from me tonight. The Caps are off tomorrow and will return to the ice at 10:30 a.m. on Monday before heading to Toronto, which is the start of a two-games-in-10-days stretch.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 21, 2009; 11:22 PM ET
 
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Comments

Repost:

I thought some of the Capitals D-men stood around on the goals.

Erskine was a beast tonight ... hustling, stepping up in the offensive zone and showing why he deserves to be in the lineup.

The diving call on Flash was horrendous. The NHL needs to look at this "penalty + diving" fiasco.

The retaliation by Green should have also resulted in an additional two minutes for Pitkanen. More bad officiating.

I watched the replay several times of the Ovechkin boarding ... I didn't think Brind'Amour hit him that hard and Ovechkin fell kind of easy. That was a two minute penalty ... not five minutes.

Regardless of the poor officiating, the Capitals didn't show much enthusiasm for scoring.

Posted by: Cerealman | March 21, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Why don't the move Schultz and Jurcina to forward on the pp? Clearly they both have a knack for screening the goalie! No one else seems real interested in planting there...

Posted by: jfk10 | March 21, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

We don't have the grit the Canes do. We don't have the goaltending the Canes do.

4 games to 1

Posted by: diner99 | March 22, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

lets go caps.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Laich on 1st line RW.

Posted by: sargeantmofo | March 22, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Here's the cellar where the Canes all apparently talk smack amognst themselves: http://www.tsn.ca/other_sports/story/?id=272200

I left them a little note.

We have the talent, endurance, passion, and pride to defeat this team 4-2 in the playoffs.
I might point out that Semin threw a punch when they messed on him and they left him alone after that.

Posted by: SpeedSchtick | March 22, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

(I've been searching everywhere I can think of to see that hit by Brindamour on Ovi so I can show everyone that he used his arm to Drive Ovie's Head Into the Boards. BB even agrees about the cross check to Green's head so I'm not looking for that one. Best I can tell it'll be a couple of days before youtube game clips start showing up)

Posted by: SpeedSchtick | March 22, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone catch the Don Cherry comments on OV's 50th - Cherry actually admitted that OV is "the best player in game" His opinion wasn't as outrageous as Comcast made it out to be but lost in all is that Cherry actually thinks alot of OV. As for the game - the refs need glasses and to get a clue. Bad zebras tonight. Too many brain farts by the Caps. Cheer up boys, 1 more then you are back home. A win in Toronto would we would go 3-2 on the road trip. Not bad, Not great but not bad!

Posted by: psugolf | March 22, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

caps better hope they don't face the canes because the canes have absolutely no fear and no respect for the caps, there is almost an arrogance where they expect to beat us every time now. I thought tonight Erskine played a solid game and Green made a terribly stupid defensive play that led to one of the goals and Brian Pothier stood around and failed to cover his guy on another goal. Poor Erskine got screwed by getting paired with Pothier. Its stupid to even play the guy, he's not good enough to crack our top 6, sorry. And to take Juice out of the lineup when he's playing well, sorry, let Schultz sit out and be part of that "rotation"

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 22, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

The entire story in a nutshell is that THE CAPS, as I've said a zillion times, HAVE NO SPINE. All glitz & glitter, but no balls. Any time your best player gets abused, and that's precisely what Rod Brind ' Amour did to Ovechkin, HE ABUSED HIM, and every last Capital just floats around AND DOES NOTHING RETALIATORY, then you're a bunch of spineless, gutless wimps. AND, NOBODY IS GOING TO RESPECT YOU. NOBODY!!
George "The Genius" is the one responsible for this collection of sissies. You can thank him.

Posted by: Puckguru | March 22, 2009 3:21 AM | Report abuse

The caps have yet to develop that killer instinct. They still think they are rock stars and all glitz and glamour.

Until they realize they need to work hard for 60 min night in and night out, gritty hard working teams will always beat them. The caps talent will not take over until they work just as hard as the opponent.

This has been an issue all season long with the lackluster efforts and it will continue into the postseason. When you disrespect the game like the caps do, then the puck will not go in for you when you actually feel like trying.

The NJ devils are a favorite for a reason, they rarely take nights off (and when they do it is understandable i.e., emotional record breaking game for brodeur and a game @ desperate carolina the night after).

Until the caps learn to respect the game night in and night out, it will be early round exits.

They can be !00x more talented than the canes, panthers, rangers, etc. The result will be the same because those teams dig in and make you work for every inch on the ice and if you chose not to, they say thank you very much and move on while you go home before May comes around.

Posted by: O-V-P | March 22, 2009 4:06 AM | Report abuse

btw,

since when do the caps feel they can disrespect the canes? Just because they caught them last year (largely due to a canes choke job)?

They haven't done anything to warrant them taking the canes lightly. So if I were the caps I would get back to respecting the game and the opponents (no matter who it is).

Posted by: O-V-P | March 22, 2009 4:16 AM | Report abuse

This would be a fun series to watch. I like how the Canes play. Aggressive, fast hockey just like us. Ward is playing very well at the moment and Theo... well, everyone by now knows what I think about him.

I'm glad to see that the idiot brigade is out in full force after a loss, as usual. Is Puckguru, Don Cherry?

Now for our break from reality segment " "Cstanton1's world":

Green sucks. What a terrible d-man. If we were to make him available no other team in the NHL would want him. All the hockey pundits, coaches and GMs are wrong about him. He's not worth a rotten egg.

Back to reality:

Green extended his goal streak to 4 games and is now very close to a 30-goal season, a truly remarkable achievement for a d-man in today's NHL. He is also the leading point getter among d-men in the NHL and his +/- rocks. The last last game he missed with an injury we couldn't get the puck out of our zone and our transaction game almost completely disappeared showing that he's without any doubt perhaps our most important player with the only possible exception of Ovechkin.

Posted by: ranndino | March 22, 2009 4:54 AM | Report abuse

I hate the Canes. I hate Brind'Amour. I love Ovechkin.

But in watching the replay several times, I think Ovechkin let himself fall into the boards. Smart play to get the 2-min penalty. I was incensed when I saw the play live. True, Brind'Amour hit him next to the boards and got his arm up. But in slo-mo, the contact doesn't look that lethal ... and as tough as Ovechkin is, he could have fought off the hit.

But yes, I think the Capitals are a bunch of sissies at times -- get healthy, Brashear -- as they absolutely refuse to hit or shove anyone. At least Semin threw a punch. Of course, when someone does stand up for themselves -- i.e. Green -- the officials make a ridiculous retaliation call. But if you're going to get that call, then make sure your punches count.

I'd like to see Shultz, Poti, Pothier, Jurcina ... anyone, just be willing to deck a player when an opponent snow-showers Theodore.

Posted by: Cerealman | March 22, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

It has gotten to the point of being rediculous when it comes to more players chipping in. If the Alex's don't score, we usually don't win. If we don't get more contributors there is no way we can make a deep run into the playoffs. I am not complaining and there is NO WAY anyone here is a bigger Caps fan than me so I don't want someone to come back on me and pull the "doom and gloom" or "wheels are falling off the car" card. There are players on this team that are not putting the puck in the net and they need to start now.

I have been here cheering through all of the collapses. The 3-1 game lead on the Pens where Carey gets pulled Olie goes in, blows out his knee, Carey comes back in, the Caps lose that game 7-1 and the series 4-3. The series, against the Pens again, where, in OT, Gonchar tripped over his own feet and I think Straka stole the puck and buried it. GAME OVER. The series they blew against Tampa after being up 2-0, came back to MCI and changed lines around and lost the series 4-2. There are many others but I'm ready to brag. I'm ready to tell non-believers I told you so. I am ready to tell the Pens and Flyers fans when my sons go on travel game road trips to pack sand. I am now, and will always be a Caps fan, no doubt, but I'm ready for a good run. This team is good enough to make a run, I believe that, but the Alex's need help and they need it to come within the next couple of weeks and be there until June.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 22, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

The Caps acted liked the Canes do when the Canes lose, timid. Hits were clean, frequent, and well timed. Players win games, not the officials. Ovie spent too much time skating to the offensive end waiting to get the puck passed to him and far too much time slamming his stick down at the bench. Play defense, win games.

Posted by: Chippewa1 | March 22, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Who do you guys want to win today?

Pit/Philly

Boston/NJ

I think NJ will win it all this year. I know I am down right now after last night's game but we have way too many glaring defensive holes and I used to think that our offense could overcome that, but that's not the case anymore. And we will probably be seeing the same defensive breakdowns in the playoffs as well. Also, if it IS Carolina we face, you KNOW they would love nothing more than to get their payback from last year.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Carolina would literally drub us in a 7 game series. We are not made for playoff hockey. Our system doesn't work in the playoffs.

Posted by: Dougeb | March 22, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Carolina wasn't a threat as long as Brind'Amour was out. And I was hoping that he would settle into retirement. Didn't happen, and now he's back and making a difference. He's a poor man's Mark Messier. He's the kind of player we desperately need, and show no signs of getting.

Posted by: Kirg | March 22, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I think the honeymoon with Bruce is wearing off. I know Bruce looked frustrated on the bench a few times last night, but is he "losing" these players? They really do not seem to pay attention to what Bruce is saying: "Dont get fancy", "Go to the net", etc, etc. But every time, Semin tries to do it all himself, same with several player. Bruce can talk till his face is blue, but the players don't seem to be listenting. I just think he really needs to lower the hammer. Sit some people. Only couple weeks left in season to straighten it out. If not, its a short playoff run again.

Posted by: joeshred | March 22, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

My earlier post wasn't me giving up on the Caps this season as long as more players start contributing. To win games in the playoffs we need a goal or two from Flash, Fehr, Koz, Nyls, Steckel, Brads, Feds, Morrison, Poti, etc. If the Caps have to rely on the PP or the top line for every goal they won't be successful. The system is fine, the players just aren't performing right now.
I was kind of surprised that BB moved Semin back to work with OV. IMO Kozlov was doing well, and to be tied 1-1 at RBC, where Carolina hadn't lost in 7 games was right where we wanted to be.
This Caps team is capable of doing some damage and playing well into warm weather this year but it needs to be a total team effort.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 22, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Whomever is saying the Caps would lose to the Canes in a playoff series are not Caps fans. I call them trolls and wannabees. This is the same type of skill game the Caps played last year in regular season and then turned it up a notch in the playoffs to be more physical, a playoff team. Problem is, it was their first playoff series and they turned it on a few games too late.

They know how to play that style and I have no doubt they will play it again.

Remember Semin? He is a Russian skill player that became a monster last year.

Take your negativety and go back to someone else's blog.

Someone predicted 4 games to 1 in a series with the Canes. Yeah, we would beat them 4-1.

If they do not fear us, shame on them. That will be our own fuel.

I would not worry about a potential playoff matchup against any team that is not guaranteed a playoff spot. The Canes may not even make it. Yeah, they are playing well now, but they ain't going to win all their games and they are battling a lot of teams just to make it.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 22, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I am a Caps fan. The fact is we cannot win a Stanley Cup if we only have 3 guys putting the puck into the net. Goal scorers 4 and 5 can be a collection of the players I listed in my last post. I will be extremely bummed if the Caps don't do well this off season mostly because they are capable of much much more than they are showing us thus far in March. Maybe it is because they are waiting for the playoffs.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 22, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Where are you windjammer?

Terrible refs. Its become a joke. Phantom dives and obviously incorrect calls. Brutal.

The Caps CAN win a series against Carolina but not if Ovechkin and Semin and Green are the only ones who score. Flash doesn't look like he can make it through an 82 game season. He looks tired, soft and doesn't have the strength to let a shot go that might beat a goaltender. No hands on lines 3 and 4, Nylander is essentially worthless and just taking up space at this point, and no one camps out in front of the net, or goes there to get a rebound. I think greens goal was the first rebound I've seen in a while.

And while i think they can, I dont want them matching up against the Canes. Carolina has a grudge to settle from last year.

For the record, this team is a little soft for the playoffs. There I said it and now I hate myself.

Posted by: oo7 | March 22, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Flash & Fehr always have GOLDEN opportunities in every game, they just can never find the back of the net. It's frustrating watching those two. Flash was great early on, now he is invisible. A lot of times I think it's the shots we take that make goalies look invincible. Everything we shoot, the goalie has a clear view because there's no one in front screening him. We have to make it hard for him, stand in front and make him give up rebounds. We barely ever score on rebounds cause it's always one and done. I agree with joeshred, it seems to me that everything BB is saying is going in one ear, out the other. How many times after games has he said "quit being fancy," "drive to the net?" Yet, next game, nothing changes. Also, the trip & dive penalty has got to be the DUMBEST penalty in all of sports. What happens when you trip someone? You fall. How could Flash have stayed on his feet after that? Get rid of that penalty, that penalty is for soccer.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan: No, it's called being realistic. I think you are underestimating the Canes. Us beating them isn't a given.

"If they do not fear us, shame on them."

Am I missing something here? Why should the Canes fear us? They've beaten us 3 times and we've beaten them 3 times...

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Right now NONE of the teams in the East viying for a playoff spot fear the Caps. I think most of them would LOVE the Caps in the first round.
The Caps at a time when they should be peaking look uninterested and act as if when the playoffs come they will just go out and turn it up...Yeah right.
We have no heart, we let players abuse our stars, we REFUSE to go to the net and punch in dirty goals, I laugh everytime one of the Caps throws a puck to the front of the net like they actually think another Caps players is there.
I do think Bruce is losing some of his juice w/ the players. We don't want to face the Canes in the first round as well as the Flyers or Pens but we will be facing one of the three of them so buckle up and prepare for another long hard fought first round where the odds aren't in the Caps favor.
I am a Caps fan but I also have long ago put away my rose colored glasses that many Caps fans still seem to be wearing

Posted by: jotay131 | March 22, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

As much as I like Pothier, he is weak and did not clear out the canes in front of the net, which translated to a goal, send him back to Hersehy. Where is Alzner? we need Alzner, juce in the D - let Brash and Pothier stay home, these guys did not help this year and we need the guys that did, and waht BS calls were the 3 alst night, Flesh Dive, Green wiht a 2 min and the boarding call from Brend against O? he should get a game miss conduct. We won that game but when the officals are agasint u - I hope this gets reviewed.

Posted by: tpatton2 | March 22, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

This is the same team, basically on both sides, from last year. We overtook them to make the playoffs. I know we are the better team. They have shown us their best. I do not think we have shown them our best.

Maybe I should rephrase it to say if they don't respect us, then shame on them. I don't think any team really fears any other team.

BTW, isn't this a team that has more 60 point getters than any other team in the league, or at least at the top of that list? We have the scorers.

While the fans don't like it, this 2 games in 10 days break will do great things for this team, I believe. Get back to basics and get a little rest in between.

I do believe this team will get at least into the second round and depending on what happens (team matchups, injuries, etc.), deeper.

They have played the way they need to in order to win in the playoffs and I know they will again.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 22, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The Caps are the guys in high school who could do absolutely no work and get a B, so they never feel like doing a great deal of work to get an A.

The Capitals have shown time and time again that if they really want to win, there isn't a team in the league that can touch them. Remember games 5 and 6 against the Flyers? They win game 7 if not for that terrible no call when Huet got bowled over.

The trouble with the Capitals is that in a way, they need adversity to play above that B level. It's as if the players have the attitude "Why play hard when we are naturally more talented?"

I think that the team that shows up come playoff time will largely depend on the opponent and how the early games in the series go. Particularly whether they feel they can beat whoever is in goal.

The Caps need to either feel invincible or be scared into playing their system.

Posted by: benz9 | March 22, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the guys have tuned Bruce out. I just think they're looking too far ahead. Look at this quote from Alex in an interview in a Russian paper:

What are your personal goals now?
We have ten games left and, of course, would be nice to get 100 points. Although, in reality, all my thoughts are about the playoffs, the most important part of the season. It will be a very interesting and very difficult.

http://alexovetjkin.blogspot.com/2009/03/ovechkin-i-dedicated-my-50th-goal-to-my.html

Posted by: tess2201 | March 22, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

what a pathetic string of comments. trolls pretending to be caps fans mixed with caps fans overreacting. a sane person or 2 mixed in. ugh

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 22, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

For Dougeb, why don't you just go ahead and sell your season tickets on E-Bay or stub hub or something? If you're this disillusioned with the Caps, as you appear to be.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 22, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Come on, Flash and Fehr, we need you both to get hot again.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 22, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

While the refs didn't cost us the game, Bruce has every reason to question the calls. There is no way Mike Green, after getting cross checked in the face, and then taking some gloves to the face deserved a penalty for defending himself. It could have easily been a double minor on Pitkanen and zippy for Green.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | March 22, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Well Benz9, you have a point there. The Caps do have that quality (the student who gets B's without trying and has to be really motivated to get an A). That was my first born child, the one who Alex Semin reminds me of -- they're about the same age.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 22, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Lately I feel like the refs have ALWAYS been against us, I HATE REFS. I hate NHL refs, worst refs out of the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that after every Caps loss people on this blog blames the lack of intensity, the no respect crap, the D, player x or y or z, AND NEVER gives credit to the opposite team. Give me a break. Every team makes mistakes during games, to dwell on one or two mistakes is declaring you have not seen the entire game.
In last night's game we saw a very good Canes team, I am not saying they are better than the Caps or that they will eliminate the Caps if and when they meet on they play-offs, but last night they played a solid game and they won. There are some teams that know and have the style to beat the Caps, I am beginning to see that trend, it is up to BB to prepare the team to counter it.
I think the Caps chances of going all the way are as good as any other team. But if they don't, I hope I will see as good as a series as I saw last year against the Flyers.

Posted by: opita1 | March 22, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The Caps win when they work hard. They don't always -- most evident when the D's standing around and when there's not enough agression on the PK.

Second, where's the shooting accuracy. SOG's is definitely not the winning formula for the Cpas -- some of their worst losses this year have been on the greatest number of shots. Need some accuracy.

They had a lot of nice moments last eve -- great to see them pin the D in the zone and tire them out. Need to finish those with a goal.

They can certainly beat the Canes; they have and they will. Go Caps!

Posted by: Sonyask | March 22, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night with the CapsRoadCrew. The one thing I was most disappointed in was the Caps lack of effort. They were standing around way too much and just watching the play. Five+ buses and over 500 Caps fans in the lower level chanting and cheering and they showed no reaction. When the Caps were a non playoff team and fans showed up on the road they would play their hearts out because they knew these folks had traveled to see them. Now they just play like its another game and don't seem in the slightest bit encouraged by it. I don't get that.

Bottom line on this capitals team is there's a pretty easy formula to beating them, and Gabby's talked about it before. If you are playing the Caps, you have one guy aggressively forecheck in the zone. You have a second guy at the center red line and stack the other three guys across the blue line at the Caps offensive zone. As the Caps come up the icethe two forecheckers collapse into the neutral zone and form a trap. Take away the center of the ice and make the Caps play the puck along the boards. When this happens the Caps can't get the puck through the trap (at least not often, or they dump and retreat). More often the try to be cute and force something, the other team presses and forces the turnover. As the base of the trap is at the team's defensive blue line the trap is pressing forward when the Caps hit the neutral zone. that means when the turnover happens the other team has a jump forward. That turns the Caps defense around (instead of being able to skate backwards) and when that happens you see odd man rushes and poor defensive play. And when its not going right the Caps get discouraged, start playing like individuals rather than a team, stop hitting, stop going to the net and end up looking like a bad team.

Its a formula to beat the Caps that has been shown by L.A., Colorado, Edmonton, Florida (a couple of times), Carolina (a couple of times), Toronto, and more. Can the Caps beat the trap? Yes, but only if they listen to their coach and play how he is instructing them. If not, the Caps aren't going to win games where the opponent plays this kind of aggressive trap. I sure hope something happens to change this, otherwise the Caps are really going to be in trouble come playoff time against teams like Carolina and Philly.

Posted by: StikSav | March 22, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

opita1

I have to agree with you 100%

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 22, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Here's my basic concern, and why I agree the Canes would be a tough first round match-up (or, really, any of the teams battling for those last spots).

Over the last almost 15 games, we're just barely above being a .500 hockey team. We're losing our edge at the time we should be playing our best hockey. You just can't turn it on/off like a switch.

Posted by: sinbin | March 22, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Very well said opita1!

Posted by: HappyWeagle | March 22, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, sinbin.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

IMO, we need to stop with the low expectations. Another 1st round loss is really unacceptable. How can you ever win the Cup if you never make the necessary changes/adjustments to get out of the 1st round.

I mean I think it should be fair to expect more than no playoff series win in over a decade. Stop talking and go out and get it done.

The caps are starting to resemble the cute, we are "too cool" Ottawa senators of the past decade and that is kind of frightening.

Lack of effort, complacency feeling you are more talented, lack of secondary scoring all plagued the Ottawa Senators and the caps are starting to resemble those teams that always got knocked out early and eventually became the joke of the league. They are still trying to become respectable again.

Posted by: O-V-P | March 22, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

From ranndino: "I'm glad to see that the idiot brigade is out in full force after a loss, as usual."

I don't normally post on here, but I thought this summed up some of you people the best. I can't wait for the Caps to shut you up in the playoffs.

And for the person who said he "took off his rose colored glasses long ago"....for those of us who are running around like chicken little, we are being realistic. Not like those of you who think the worst about this team. Funny thing is, you guys act like you can do it better and know more than anyone else. But time and again you only are left to look like whiny babies with NO BACKBONE.

Posted by: Chase4 | March 22, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if you want to call out people for their comments, then name some names, otherwise stop harping on what non-trolls say. A discussion is one thing, but expecting people to not discuss a loss is getting annoying. Scroll down if you don't want to read it.

Bottom line is: Unless you're on a line with Ovechkin or Semin, you should be crashing the net. I dont want Ovie splitting my ear in half either, but this is the ONLY team I see without a net presence and that is not good. It aint there when they win, and it aint there when they lose. THe coaches say it, the fans say it, the players say it. But non one besides Laich is doing it. And he isnt doing it enough. Its going to hurt, Its not like they're going to start tomorrow is it?

Posted by: oo7 | March 22, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The entire story in a nutshell is that THE CAPS, as I've said a zillion times, HAVE NO SPINE. All glitz & glitter, but no balls. Any time your best player gets abused, and that's precisely what Rod Brind ' Amour did to Ovechkin, HE ABUSED HIM, and every last Capital just floats around AND DOES NOTHING RETALIATORY, then you're a bunch of spineless, gutless wimps. AND, NOBODY IS GOING TO RESPECT YOU. NOBODY!!
George "The Genius" is the one responsible for this collection of sissies. You can thank him.

Posted by: Puckguru | March 22, 2009 3:21 AM

right on puck"guru". down by two with less than five minutes to go they should have definitely retalited and negated any chance of winning. that's the type of heady play that will win you lots of games. of course, no mention of when laich came to greens defense when he got crosschecked in the face.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 22, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that after every Caps loss people on this blog blames the lack of intensity, the no respect crap, the D, player x or y or z, AND NEVER gives credit to the opposite team. Give me a break. Every team makes mistakes during games, to dwell on one or two mistakes is declaring you have not seen the entire game.
In last night's game we saw a very good Canes team, I am not saying they are better than the Caps or that they will eliminate the Caps if and when they meet on they play-offs, but last night they played a solid game and they won. There are some teams that know and have the style to beat the Caps, I am beginning to see that trend, it is up to BB to prepare the team to counter it.
I think the Caps chances of going all the way are as good as any other team. But if they don't, I hope I will see as good as a series as I saw last year against the Flyers.

Posted by: opita1 | March 22, 2009 11:02 AM

opita1, this isnt true on this blog.

the caps are the best team ever and only play down to their opponents. Opponents playing good against us is never questioned, we just "play down" to them.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

They can be !00x more talented than the canes, panthers, rangers, etc. The result will be the same because those teams dig in and make you work for every inch on the ice and if you chose not to, they say thank you very much and move on while you go home before May comes around.

Posted by: O-V-P | March 22, 2009 4:06 AM

i for one would like to see the caps show they can sustain an effort through a stretch of games and not just 2 in a row. If you can't play your butts off for at least 3 games in a row I don't see how this team can do any damage in the playoffs either. Its a skilled team that is uncomfortable playing gritty hockey for any prolonged stretch. I think having a Laing in the lineup helped the other night because his effort is contagious. Losing him sucks. Bourque doesn't add the same type of spark unfortunately. And taking Juice out for Pothier was a bad move also. Pothier adds nothing to this lineup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 22, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't normally post on here, but I thought this summed up some of you people the best. I can't wait for the Caps to shut you up in the playoffs.

And for the person who said he "took off his rose colored glasses long ago"....for those of us who are running around like chicken little, we are being realistic. Not like those of you who think the worst about this team. Funny thing is, you guys act like you can do it better and know more than anyone else. But time and again you only are left to look like whiny babies with NO BACKBONE.

Posted by: Chase4 | March 22, 2009 12:51 PM

actually time and time again its the fans who keep claiming this team will run over other teams in the playoffs with nothing to point to as evidence of that, those are the fans whose intelligence i really have to question. No one's hoping the caps lose early in the playoffs, we're just bummed that this team is incapable of mustering an effort on too many nights because that will lead to nothing but an early playoff exit. When do the Caps usually lose? When they are outworked. And the playoffs is less about skill and more about work ethic bro

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 22, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

What did Hartnell just say to Cooke??

"Pittsburgh traded for some first-line wingers, that's why you never play anymore!"

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

opita1, this isnt true on this blog.

the caps are the best team ever and only play down to their opponents. Opponents playing good against us is never questioned, we just "play down" to them.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 1:13 PM

there's a difference though phil between losing a game where you play your butts off and losing a game where you don't compete hard enough. Look at the players own comments where they said they blew it in the 2nd period and then got flustered and frustrated in the 3rd period. Or Bruce who called out his own defense for not protecting the front of the net on the Canes goals.

Its ok to lose when the opponent plays well AND you play well. Its not ok to keep having games where you can't give a 60 min effort against your arch division rival this close to the playoffs. And we haven't learned from the past, they cruised into DC and did the same thing to us recently.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 22, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm aware of that difference, thank you cstanton.

what does that have to do with the fact that people on this blog have never given credit to the other team? After every lose, its the same thing. Sometimes (most of the time), we do play like crap. But a lot of the times the other team is just straight beating us.

there's a difference between playing like crap and this idea of supposedly "playing down" to your opponent. Either way, most of the time the other team is locking us up anyway.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I agree that too many people are freaking out right now.

Yes, there are areas of concern, but that's the same with every team.

I am worried about our team's lack of physicality, and the lack of balls, backbone, guts, whatever you want to call it on our defense, but come on. This team knows they are going to be the third seed, and they've known that for a long time. It's hard to get up for these games when there's very little at stake. If they can use these last 8 games to get their heads straight, they will be fine heading into the playoffs.

We're 3-3 against Carolina, they haven't exactly dominated us this year. We've done fine against every team in the playoffs.

The only teams I'm worried about facing in the playoffs are the Devils and Flyers, they can both play D and easily push us around if we don't start pushing back.

This team is way too big to play as small as they do... it's the Jeff Schultz syndrome.

Posted by: DirtyDannyV | March 22, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Thre canes were at home, large crowd, battling for playoffs. The caps are playing for next to nothing right now and are bringing pothier up to speed to see if he can play in playoffs. Would of loved to win, but not shocked we didnt, and despite all siad, teams do turn it on in the playoffs. They play at a more intenses level, one I think we have demonstrated we are capable of handling.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 22, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse


Flyers and Devils are the two East teams that scare the hell out of me in the POs.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Malkin just got thrown down like a ragamuffin.


hahaha.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Dirty Danny is right. Cappies are too big to play as small as they do. But that has been the stamp of a McFool team for quite some time now so this should come as no surprise

And since most of you apparently don't get to watch other hockey teams play let me clue you in on something. If ovechkin played on the flyers or rangers or any of about a dozen other teams theres no fricking way that Pitkanen gets away with that kind of hit even if Ovech embellished it. Teams don't mind taking extra shots at Semin or Ovech or Green because unless Brashear is on the ice nothing gets done about it. This team is weak in the knees and should be wearing skirts. The team toughness factor is non existent

Posted by: maven1918 | March 22, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Philly up 2-0 over Pittsburgh. Pit leading in shots on goal 14-6.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

to bad it was brind-amour who boarded ovechkin.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Mike Milbury should never be allowed to comment on Ovie or the Caps. "Whaaa whaaa whaaa celebration whaaa whaaa whaaa disrespect to the game whaaa whaaa whaaa stop it Alex whaaaa whaaa whaaa Crapitals...."

For those who've never seen this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAMfEAjlRKQ , please observe Milbury (#26 for the Bruins) as he and his goon teammates climb over the glass and into the crowd in Madison Square Gardens to FIGHT THE CROWD!!! At about 35 seconds, Milbury rips off a fan's shoe and hits him with it before being wrapped up by a cop. Woulda been great if Pierre McGuire would've pulled out that clip to shut Milbury up. I hate that guy (actually, both of them)!!!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | March 22, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I love how Milbury completely absolves any of the other celebrations including Selanne's rifle shot. He claimed that Ovie does the celebration all the time when his lead in to his rant distinctly labeled it as something different and above and beyond.

This is the same idiot who a few seconds later is requesting there be less cameras to let guys get away with little slashes and whacks to the face a little more. Unreal how much of a hypocrite he is.

I finally saw Cherry's piece too...calling on the difficult season Tampa has had and looking for sympathy. Sympathy? This is hockey...I'm sure the checks their players are cashing are sympathy enough. If you don't want to get embarrassed, play better. Sounds just like the Knicks a couple years back when they were complaining a team was "running up the score" on them when they were already up 30 or 40 points. Are you kidding me? This is PROFESSIONAL sports.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 22, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Right now, I am not looking forward to the playoffs. I hope the team turns it around (and I expect they somehow will) but they are losing more than they should--for the level they have achieved--and in ways that are hard to understand. Could someone please give me their take on:

--why do the Caps routinely out-shoot oponents and yet they lose? Are they having a problem with the accuracy of the shots? Do they shoot straight at the goalies, where they can be seen, vs. getting re-bounds over and over again? How would you compara Carolina's shots vs. ours for example?

--Is it just me or other teams' goalies routinely outperform ours? (At least quite frequently)? And haven't we have quite a few goalies who absolutely beat our star players (yesterday being a case in point)?

@ stik sav

"When the Caps were a non playoff team and fans showed up on the road they would play their hearts out because they knew these folks had traveled to see them. Now they just play like its another game and don't seem in the slightest bit encouraged by it. I don't get that."

Interesting perspective. I don't get it either. You would think they would be building on the earlier momentum and would be on fire right now. Why did they suddenly lose their energy and connection to fans?


Posted by: caraveli | March 22, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Phil, those absolute statements you make are killing me. This is a bar, and everyone in the city whose interested in drinking here is leaning up against it, yapping. Its a place where everyone thinks out loud, and you dont need an ID to get in. Remember that there are a lot of under-21's and a lot of opinions based on video games and the last 2-3 seasons, nothing wrong with either, it all starts somewhere. And then there's puckguru, who almost makes sense at times until he turns a maniacal finger at McPhee and the whole rant goes south. Damn dude, stop with the all caps, your point is clear enough.

Moving on, yes, it has as much to do with how the other team plays. It always does. But these are hindsight posts, not live streams so some of that gets lost in the static. Bradley got leveled by a beautiful check last night by Gleason, and Corvo was in Ovechkins ear all night. They played inspired. Their goalie was solid, while our secondary offense was predictable, visible and though often frenetic, the frenzy only occured at the side of the goal. Ward had those sides covered and the D did the rest. It was methodical, efficient, relentless, and a very good game until the 3rd. The refs certainly helped. Pitkanin should have been gone because (watch, puckguru) IT WAS A HIT TO THE HEAD and thats what they 'supposedly' want to eliminate. Instead, they are eliminating the immediate pummeling that should occur when your star, league-leading defenseman gets bashed in the head and then beat on afterwards. Carolina got away with one, when green should have been the guy putting it in the net on the PP. The refing sucks, Carolina played well, Caps tank is low on gas, they struggle in meaningfully physical games (I can count the good hits on one hand). The Caps are thinking about the playoffs when they should be thinking about 1st place. They should beat every team behind them from last night on out, into the playoffs. I cant remember the last team to enter with no momentum and go far.

damn that was long. sorry.

Posted by: oo7 | March 22, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and there should have been massive retribution for sending Oevchkin into the boards, intentional or not. Brindamour aint cheap, but if you tap to the tune, you pay the piper.

Posted by: oo7 | March 22, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

This should summarize the Was. Capitals

They will never win the cup as long as they are a heartless ME group.
I am talking about Semin and Ovechkin.

Just so happens that a Russian would not have any deep desire to win the Stanley Cup.
Skill tops in the league... Desire NONE!

OV is all about ME,ME,ME....watch me folks look at me you people ...I am funny guy!

That's not a base for a Stanley Cup team. That's why when talk surrounds OV the team doesn't preform they end up losing the next game or go into a tail spin.. too many distractions...But funny guy Alex is having the time of his life at the teams expense

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 22, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Caraveli: I think it's a little bit of everything you said. We outshoot our opponent almost every game. The opposing team's players are willing to stand in front of our goalie yet the Caps players are not willing to do so. Almost everything the Caps shoot, the goalie has a clear view to it because there's no one screening him. When was the last time we scored off a rebound? Everything we shoot the goalie sees so he holds. One and done. Honestly, when was the last time a goalie gave up a juicy rebound against us like the one Theo gave up last night? (the second goal?) Or it could be that Theo isn't good at rebound control and the goalies we face are. :/ I don't know.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

SC1907: Ovie is the farthest thing from a selfish person. Get your facts straightened out, loser. That's why you should leave because you know nothing about this team. Ovie is all about the team and doesn't care for personal awards, all he cares about is winning the Stanley Cup. Stop talkin' about stuff you have absolutely no clue about. Stick with something you know, like the Kenora Thistles.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Stanleycup07, i dont normally feed trolls, but this isnt going to be so much feeding as lashing. You have no friends because of the kind of person you are. You're unattractive and depressed. Sure, a woman might make you feel better about yourself, but with those looks and that attitude, not to mention your hobbies, you're looking at a long bachelorhood. That time would be better spent playing world of warcraft, perhaps developing new armor or weapons to sell for real money? That sounds intriguing doesn't it? You take your fantasy life and have it actually pay a dividend in your real life, you know, the one you suck in. What I'm saying is, listen to your family, stay on the meds, brush up on your WOW, get your groove on. Be the little engine that could. Let loose. Take your headgear off.

Posted by: oo7 | March 22, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Rachael, love, stop feeding the trolls. identify the troll and then ignore the troll. Thats the etiquette. Thats what works best. Once ina blue moon, but otherwise, spare the folks that are here with you often and just let the trolls be. You yelling back just makes it go on. and on. and on. your hearts in the right place (your chest, stage left).

Posted by: oo7 | March 22, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

rachel talk about ppl not knowing the subject they chat about ...You better brush up on your Stanley Cup History!
The proof of what I just said was in Cherry`s comments and the Caps latest tail spin and that the 50 goal celebration followed by a loss...HELLO!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 22, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

OV has no desire?? He's all about himself?? Was this guy just thawed out from being frozen back in 1907? Did his worst enemy, who obviously is a Caps fan, put him in a frozen pond?

Posted by: visionof75 | March 22, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

StanCup07 = prostate exam w/ a broken bottle
Are you a fan of anything? Even a fan of hockey? Life?

Ovie rocks!

CAPS rule!

Let's win some games, get momentum, and bring on the playoffs!
I don't give a sh!t who we face.

Let's Go CAP-I-TALS!!!

Posted by: chucktownCAPSfan | March 22, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

prostate exam w/ a broken bottle
nice. heh.

Posted by: oo7 | March 22, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Picture this after the 50 goal celebration
and the Caps won ...but what did the press run in to the Caps dressing room to talk about ...Is that not a distraction ...How do you think the rest of the Caps felt.. ME,ME,ME, OV was all chatty !

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 22, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

SC1907 has no idea that everybody has the heart and wants to win. I assume his fav team is not going to PO, so he has plenty of time trolling around. Even Don Cherry changed his attitude towards Ovie but trolls stick to their "fantasy world of hockey", where somebody else is the reigning MVP.
SC1907 ==> ignore

Posted by: Hazz | March 22, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

i love watching pitt lose in their sissy blues.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 22, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Cherry did`t change his attitude toward OV!!!!!...Why do you only hear what you want to hear ...Watch it again..He said ppl are laughing at you OV not with you. No one is ever knocking OV skill .

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 22, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

i find it amusing reading all the comments about the team having no heart or backbone. didnt see any of them in nov/dec when the team was fighting through injury after injury yet racking up the points vs. the division and top conference teams. dont recall any of those posts this time last year when the team went on its run to the playoffs or came back from 3-1 down to philly to almots win the series.

seems that now that they are really not playing for much and are losing to teams w/ more on the line, its about the teams lack of heart. guess that goes for boston too who have lost 5 of their last 10. or philly and san jose who have lost 4 out of the last 10 in regulation like the caps. and calgary must be a bunch of jelly fish as they are only 4-6 in thier last 10.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 22, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

ADMINS, I'd like to renew my call for an 'ignore' feature. I've not been reading the comments as often as I used to, and it's mostly because it takes too much time to sift through the trolls. I'm not asking that we go out and ban everyone with opposing opinions, because that really would defeat the point of the site... but if there are certain individuals that have consistently shown a disregard for the community, I would appreciate the option to remove their comments from my view of the site. I realize that nobody is twisting my arm and forcing me to read the comments, but there are too many good people here for me to just up and leave because of a few bad apples.

Non-admins, don't bother replying, because I'm only reading email responses (if any) to this comment. I'm not looking to start a discussion; I'm asking for an ignore feature.

And to all non-trolls, have a great day and I'll see you all on Tuesday night for the Toronto game, I s'pose! :)

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | March 22, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Is that the same time when SEMIN was sucking up his hang nail injury and playing .. NOT!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 22, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Ya we can call it the Washington Capital LOVE IN board

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 22, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Admins :can you please print this on top of your Papers
``Only buy this paper if you agree with everything written``

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 22, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

SC: NO ONE cares about what you or Don Cherry has to say. WHO CARES if Cherry changed his mind or not about Ovie? Anyone who listens to that man is dumb. Ovie couldn't care any less about what that old man has to say. Also, does Cherry know that when people laugh at his suits, they aren't laughing with him, they're laughing AT him, because he looks like a clown.

SC, you two must be related, keep on worshipping Cherry.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Pothier should not be on this team.

Thank God Boudreau finally said something about the refs.

Brind'Amour had better not make it past the first period of the first game if we meet these guys in the playoffs.

Posted by: notfadeaway | March 22, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Sorry oo7, no more replying to SC1907.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

rachel you said that last time too :D you gonna do it THIS time? :p

Posted by: mauree | March 22, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Phil, those absolute statements you make are killing me. This is a bar, and everyone in the city whose interested in drinking here is leaning up against it, yapping. Its a place where everyone thinks out loud, and you dont need an ID to get in.
________________________________________

When my "absolute" statements are invalid, maybe ill stop typing them. Give your opinion all you want, but the fact still stands. People on this blog do not give credit to the other team most of the time. If you can refute it, go ahead, but everyone here blames the caps before they acknowledge the other team and most of the time that is because they are an "inferior" team. "doormat" team. whatever the hell you guys like to call it.

and frankly, if you dont like my opinion about people's opinions then you should take your own advice to heart.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

More ppl like and watch Grapes who is on 10 min a week than the Capitals get in a month! When Cherry first wore those ties and shirts with the high collar and didnt the next week there was a uproar he had to switch back and has wore that style ever since..

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 22, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Yes, mauree, THIS time. :)

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Why are you still here? Cherry grilled Malkin a lot more than Ovie last time. Why aren't you over at the pensblog giving them crap for his cheapshot?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I do !

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 22, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"People on this blog" should be SOME people, or MANY people, but not ALL people, which 'people' implies. "but everyone here," should read MANY here, SOME, or MOST, but not everyone. You lessen your argument when you lose absolutes. It comes off as cantankerous.

My point is, you're getting frustrated by what you're overhearing the patrons say at an all-ages bar. you're gonna give yourself a heart attack because teenagers are going to antagonize you until your ulcer bleeds.

Posted by: oo7 | March 22, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

He would grill me if I did a dumb thing too
With Grapes you know where he stands and what he stands for.

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 22, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least you are an unbiased troll.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

All he asks is Play the game, play it hard don't mock the game or try to change it. It has its own tradition and code of conduct...Like he says the ``Canadian Way``

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 22, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't aware this was a formal logic class. Are we to use existential and universal quantifiers in a fashion which follows the rules of formal logic? oh, okay.

I'm not mad at all, in fact it seems quite the contrary. I am wondering why you called me out on something I said that is basically true. With a few exceptions in dave, cstanton, wvphil, and some others, people seem to think if we lose to any team below us we are "playing down." Sure, our flaws they point out are valid, but they still refuse to acknowledge the other team played well. I've pointed it out before, and this time it was somewhat sarcastic.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

LOL I love the Chicago first goal highlight. Guy scores, leaps into the boards. Fans love it. Change is slow, but the tide is inevitable.

I can't wait for the playoffs. Be careful when you make blanket statements like Theodore will never win a series or the Caps will go out 1st round. The Pens went out quietly in 5 two years ago when they finally got back to the postseason.

It's all about progression.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 22, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Boston is just lighting Marty up.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

actually time and time again its the fans who keep claiming this team will run over other teams in the playoffs with nothing to point to as evidence of that, those are the fans whose intelligence i really have to question. No one's hoping the caps lose early in the playoffs, we're just bummed that this team is incapable of mustering an effort on too many nights because that will lead to nothing but an early playoff exit. When do the Caps usually lose? When they are outworked. And the playoffs is less about skill and more about work ethic bro

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 22, 2009 1:18 PM

Really? There is just as much proof they can beat ANY team in the playoffs if we use the same "logic" some here use. Facts and results have proven that when the Caps show the work ethic and skill that they obviously have, they can beat anyone. You don't think that they won't be able to muster an effort in the playoffs when each game is so important? Unlike a game against a lesser team who was 13 points behind you in the standings? Right. We have seen what a focused team can do. I have no doubt we'll see it in the playoffs.


Posted by: Chase4 | March 22, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

All he asks is Play the game, play it hard don't mock the game or try to change it. It has its own tradition and code of conduct...Like he says the ``Canadian Way``

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 22, 2009 4:41 PM

thats funny, cause i can't think of another player with such skill who also plays it hard like ovie. he scores and hits. no third-man-in-sack punching or jumping a guy on the faceoff like good canadian crosby. he didn't invent the enthusiastic goal celebration so why all of a sudden does don focus on him? hmm. i think we know the answer to that..

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 22, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Cherry had his fill of Ovie, he has moved on to a new Russian.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

And being bummed about their effort is one thing. But when some people constantly act like this team has no backbone, act like a weaker team like Carolina will kill them in the playoffs, it goes beyond being bummed. It's paranoia and idiocy. It is like the fools on the Caps' boards, saying that Florida would over take them for the division lead (when they had their 4 game losing streak recently), to the Caps weren't making the playoffs, to people hoping the Caps lose in the playoffs, etc. etc.

Posted by: Chase4 | March 22, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Interesting note on Semin -- went to the Chantilly Sports expo or whatever it was called today, and Semin was supposed to be there. He canceled due to "injury" - we asked the promoters what that meant, and apparently it's something with his face and that it was apparently pretty bad. Hopefully is cosmetically bad (not that I want his face busted), and not ... debilitating.

Ovie, Greenie, Nickie, and Brash all showed - Brash is still limping a bit, but when asked about his knee, said it was "getting better." Oh, and Greenie almost backed his Lambo into another car, but that's not too surprising.

Posted by: RtR52 | March 22, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

@phil

not to play devil's advocate but:
http://www.japersrink.com/2009/3/18/801292/good-news-only-playoff-tea

I don't think the inconsistency problem is necessarily "playing down to the opponent".

Now, let's forget about the missed trade opportunities. The recent (slight after all) decline in results is due (my opinion) to a combination of lack of motivations, higher expectations from the fans and certainly an attitude problem that lead to momentary lack of focus and determination.

Now the big question is: will all this count in the playoffs? Of that, I have no idea.

What I do worry about, emphasis on "worry", is that "flooring the accelerator" and "being focused and determined 60 minutes for 4-5 games in a row" is something that we should train and aim for before the playoffs... it's not granted that it will come natural... or is it? Will we be there 100% mentally/physically/technically, will we be ready for it, can we switch from games like yesterday to 100% focus/determination/forecheck? No idea :D

What I do know is that I (and all my fellow bloggers after all, even guru) will be cheering for the Caps come PO time.

Posted by: mauree | March 22, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I was one of those Caps fans and was very embarrassed by the number of morons yelling "O" during the National Anthem. How far away from the F-ing Baltimore Baseball team do you need to get to leave these idiots behind?

Posted by: majiksea | March 22, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

You guys are so concerned about Brind'amour's hit on your precious little OV. You ever seen your OV hit along the boards? He leaves his feet EVERY TIME, and he gets away with it. It was obvious last night Brind'amour did not hit him hard, yet he fell into the wall like a little baby. Seems his hot stick goes cold in Raleigh anyway. I hope we play you guys in the first round of the PO, cause we are gonna shut all 3 of your players down. Go C

Posted by: mykephit | March 22, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the inconsistency problem is necessarily "playing down to the opponent".

Well there you go.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

You guys are so concerned about Brind'amour's hit on your precious little OV. You ever seen your OV hit along the boards? He leaves his feet EVERY TIME, and he gets away with it. It was obvious last night Brind'amour did not hit him hard, yet he fell into the wall like a little baby. Seems his hot stick goes cold in Raleigh anyway. I hope we play you guys in the first round of the PO, cause we are gonna shut all 3 of your players down. Go C

Posted by: mykephit | March 22, 2009 5:44 PM

lol.

a carolina troll. that is new.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 22, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Bears at Manchester today.
In the 3rd period, tied 2-2
Neuvirth in goal
Alexandre Giroux just scored his 50th of the season. Fifth player in Bears history to hit 50. The franchise record is 53.

Posted by: tess2201 | March 22, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Ignore the trolls.

Posted by: Steve_R | March 22, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Although the Pens troll that was trying to convince us that getting an assist is harder than scoring a goal did make me laugh.

Posted by: Steve_R | March 22, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

You guys are so concerned about Brind'amour's hit on your precious little OV. You ever seen your OV hit along the boards? He leaves his feet EVERY TIME, and he gets away with it. It was obvious last night Brind'amour did not hit him hard, yet he fell into the wall like a little baby. Seems his hot stick goes cold in Raleigh anyway. I hope we play you guys in the first round of the PO, cause we are gonna shut all 3 of your players down. Go C

Posted by: mykephit | March 22, 2009 5:44 PM

Um, righhhhtttt... loser..

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the updates, Tess. :)

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Re: RtR52. I was at the Chantilly Sports Expo also. I asked someone about Semin and I heard he was ill (i.e. flu).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 22, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Us Caps fans have no l'amour for Brind'amour (and his teammates) after yesterday's affair.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 22, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

If those boys got Semin sick, I swear I'm going to ship 'em some biohazard suits or something.

However, as it is Semin, he could just be ditching and told Ovie to make up some excuse for him.

Posted by: RtR52 | March 22, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Bears tied 2-2 and headed to the shootout.
Shots on goal during regulation and OT:
Bears 39
Monarchs 49

Bears goals in the game by Mink and Giroux.

Posted by: tess2201 | March 22, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Never seen so much whining about calls.

Ya got beat.

Period.

See you in the playoffs. If you whine this much in the playoffs, get ready for a short run.

Oh, and Ovie totally sold the "boarding" call. It happened 25 feet in front of me. He got hit. hit the glass. looked around, and went soccer player.

Posted by: ABHFGTY | March 22, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

omg, Bears have got to score! I wish I could watch this!

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

WOW 9 round shootout, GOOOOO NEUUUVVVYYYYYYY!!!

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I was at the CSA show and except for Nick,who was pretty nice,the other guys were mostly very serious.Seemed pretty down. They can get some mojo back with 2 wins this week. We need to rock the house Friday night.

Posted by: ridgely1 | March 22, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Bears Win!
Final 3-2 in a shootout that went 9 rounds.
Neuvirth in goal and according to John Walton he was "spectacular" throughout the game. #1 Star. [Giroux got #3 star]

Posted by: tess2201 | March 22, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I love NEUVY. 47 saves is pretty dang good! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey majiksea,

Not sure how long you've been a Caps fan or lived in the DC area, but keep in mind that a lot of those so-called 'idiots' you refer to saying 'O' during the National Anthem likely grew up as (and remain) Orioles fans. There was no Major League Baseball team in Washington after 1971 (when the SECOND Washington Senators team left to become the Texas Rangers) until 2005 (when MLB finally gave up on Montreal). As there is no NHL team between Philadelphia and Carolina except for the Caps, and for over 30 years, there was no MLB team between Philly and Atlanta besides the O's, those idiots you refer to are likely your neighbors, and likely quite a few neighbors to our south, as the Orioles broadcast territory is very large.

As people have no problem Rocking the Red by wearing Redskins burgundy and the red of the U. of MD and Washington Nationals to Caps games, I fail to see why it makes a difference if some people say 'O' at the games, home or away.

And, for anyone who says it's disrespectful to do anything but sing the lyrics during the National Anthem, I refer you to the long history in Chicago of cheering during the ENTIRE anthem (one example of many: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sssDkJTUlnY&feature=related )

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | March 22, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

@Rachel
You could try to talk your folks into a weekend in Hershey. The Bears are at home March 28-29 and April 11-12 (although that's Easter weekend,so you might have other things going on).

Posted by: tess2201 | March 22, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

First, Pens fans, then StanleyCup1907, and now Carolina fans. So pathetic. Get a life. Nobody goes on opposing teams' blogs and type crap. But you guys only come when you guys win... and that's pretty funny. I really hope your team can back up what you are saying they will do cause if not then that will be bad...

But on a sweeter note, sooo proud of Neuvy! And, Tess, thanks for the suggestion, I'm dying to go to a game! But playoffs start the same time for Bears as Caps though, right? Yeah, I think so.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Well phil, I mention on this blog how other teams play, but people just say the Caps suck because they lost a game. I guess I don't talk about how 'well' they played, but how hot they have been. Sometimes, a team is hot, and they are hard to beat - its just the way it is (That's Sports!) - Look at Philly last year in the playoffs. Isn't that 8 in a row for the Canes at home? They are playing tough at home - that's it. Toronto is playing well right now as well... so who knows what will happen.
I think the Caps will be fine in the playoffs no matter who they play. They are hungry... like Carolina who is trying to make the playoffs. I am not saying the Caps are going to win it all - just saying they will be hungry. All I hope for is for them to gain experience in the playoffs for future cup runs. Currently, most of them only have 7 games of nhl playoff experience...
cstanton, I have seen them win more than 3 games in a row this season. Just recently they had a 3 game win streak going on... I believe they have won 5 of their last 7.

Posted by: _828 | March 22, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

If anyone is interested: Saturday (March 28th) at 2pm on ESPN2, Northeast Region Round 1: UND (2nd) vs UNH (3rd). Caps prospects Joe Finley & Phil DeSimone will both be playing. DeSimone is the third line center for UNH; Finley first pair D for UND.
IIRC, this Finley's last year. I'm not 100% on how it works, but I guess he could join Hershey in May. DeSimone has two more years.
They are the only two Caps prospects that are slated to play in the tournament. We have one guy at BU (Andrew Glass), but I don't think he gets a sweater on a regular basis.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 22, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Semin baby is sicky again? Guess he's over due its been after all 10 games!...When will your team ever learn with this guy! Check his history folks

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 22, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

StanleyCup1907

Why do you have to offend Rachel to make a point? "talk about ppl not knowing the subject they chat about ..." How do you know what she knows or doesn't know and why do you (and some others) have to insult someone because you disagree?


The trouble with the Capitals is that in a way, they need adversity to play above that B level. It's as if the players have the attitude "Why play hard when we are naturally more talented?"

cstanton1: I couldn't agree more about the Caps needing to sustain more than 2 wins at a time. This what has been disturbing lately.

It drives me crazy the way they seem to be deflated right when they need to be hot and consistent. The only good explanation I read was in Boswell's column a while ago. He said something to the effect that success came too fast and expectations are weighing heavy on them. It is still a new experience. He was sure that they will grow into it and feel comfortable in time.

Posted by: caraveli | March 22, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to comment on this quite by Benz; "The trouble with the Capitals is that in a way, they need adversity to play above that B level. It's as if the players have the attitude "Why play hard when we are naturally more talented?" I do agree that they underdog status fueled them to success under Boudreau. I don't think that it is arrogance that is de-motivating them though. They don't strike me as an arrogant team. It is fear of this new success, as Boswell said, or something I can't put my finger on.

And I still think goaltending makes a big difference, especially with an unsteady team. Just tell me why we have been mostly unable to do to other goal tenders what opponents seem to do to Theo?

And if some of you fault mainly our D, why couldn't we score against the Canes yesterday?

Posted by: caraveli | March 22, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

"I do agree that they underdog status fueled them to success under Boudreau."

This year, they are the hunted... unlike years before, they were the hunters. Teams are coming after the Caps now instead of it being a night off for their team. It's a different game now for the Caps - this is something the young guys will have to learn or get used to. Since Ovechkin has been here, this is the first year that they have been one of the top teams... It's a learning process... give it time.

Posted by: _828 | March 22, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Guys,

What do you think about the Caps moving to a 2-man forechecking, with 3-man playing back? This would help prevent odd man rushes, and give our D some help when they're getting forechecked and can't exit the zone.

I love the run-n-gun style, but I've seen how this movie ends in the NHL playoffs (eh hem, last season).

Here's why I think this will help -

Our main weaknesses are (when we're highly motivated, playing with energy, etc, unlike lately)

1. Poor skating and puck handling D-men. This leads to turn-overs from even average, small forwards forechecking (Phlyers).

2. Less than steller goal tending-
I didn't say average, because I think Theo is better than that, but I wouldn't call him steller. So because of our #1 weakness, it exposes us as not having a Brodeur type in net.

3. Fun-n-gun style, which is high risk, high reward. Peter Mcguire I think mentioned it, as Organized Chaos. For that to be effective, you need puck moving D that can skate as good as a forward. Otherwise, our team gets off balance. Our forwards are looking for strech passes ready to break out, but our D isn't talented enough to get it done on their own.

Notice how #2 and #3 is really a result of our #1 vulnerability.

So, how can we negate or at least hide this vulnerability? I think folks we need to change our system. Its worked for the Devils for a long time. Our skilled forwards will still get chances, and we should be able to significantly reduce the stupid goals from intercepted strech passes or bad clears, and odd man rushes against us when we have practically our whole team in on the forecheck.

Thoughts??????

Posted by: floms | March 22, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Any hopes that Simeone could develop into a stellar goaltender. So far, he's looked pretty good. But he's been injury prone this year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 22, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I can see Varly being really good. But it is what it is now.

To add to my commment-

I think it would be backy and Fed to play back if we were to use a center, or Laich and Kozlov as wings.

Posted by: floms | March 22, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Nice suggestions but the Cap's style isn't going to change.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

You guys are so concerned about Brind'amour's hit on your precious little OV. You ever seen your OV hit along the boards? He leaves his feet EVERY TIME, and he gets away with it. It was obvious last night Brind'amour did not hit him hard, yet he fell into the wall like a little baby. Seems his hot stick goes cold in Raleigh anyway. I hope we play you guys in the first round of the PO, cause we are gonna shut all 3 of your players down. Go C

Posted by: mykephit | March 22, 2009 5:44 PM

ovie has 40 pts in 30 career games vs. carolina. pretty cold indeed. too bad we couldn't play you guys in last years playoffs, what with you guys choking away the division and all. couldnt even get it done vs. FLA when it counted. nice leadership brind'amour. nice face too.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 22, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

For floms, so that's who you'd have play back in your new system, either Feds or Backstrom. Or Kozzie or Laich.

Would Boudreau adopt that system? Probably only if the Devils won the Stanley Cup.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 22, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

"For those who know him, we're not surprised by his success," Babcock said. "I like him because he's real. He is what he is, and he does what he does. We both like to play our game with our foot on the gas. We want to let our players play and have fun and we'll deal with the mistakes. We don't want to be cautious; we want to play the game. Bruce has come to the right team at the right time."

Posted by: _828 | March 22, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Next question, who will they call up from Hershey tomorrow? Yes, I'm expecting a call up since we're down to 11 forwards. Brash will definitely not play Tuesday. And I doubt if the Caps will want to take Semin on the trip if he's truly ill with the flu. (If it's a facial injury, it may be a different story. But we'll see.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 22, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1: LOL. That dude is pretty hideous. Just like Scott Hartnell.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 22, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Here's a discussion from the Caps message board from December '07 contrasting Boudreau's attacking style and Hanlon's lay back and wait style: http://boards.washingtoncaps.com/lofiversion/index.php/t62481.html . Interesting how, even early in Bruce's tenure, fans were already making mention of the sagging save % of the goalies even as the Caps had started to score more goals and win: "...Bruce goes for it, which means the goalies are more exposed (and could explain Olie's sinking save percentage in recent games). I prefer Bruce's style, its more fun to watch even if it means more goals against..."

So, you live by the sword and die by the sword. I'll take Boudreau's approach any day over the boring trap or left-wing lock style other teams have employed (even though some of those teams have had great success). Look at the Pens success since the coaching change, new coach opening things up, letting the guys play. Does anyone REALLY want to return to lay back and wait hockey? I sure don't!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | March 22, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Metalcap
Please inform my idiot neighbors that, news flash, we now have a baseball team. There is no longer any reason to continue to support Peter A and his crappy team. Angelos wrote the book on being a bad team owner. Anyone who continues to support him probably thinks it is the cleverest thing ever to yell "O" but it is brainless idiocy to yell "O" when the crappy baseball team is not playing. Again I find it an embarrassment!

Posted by: majiksea | March 22, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Really? There is just as much proof they can beat ANY team in the playoffs if we use the same "logic" some here use. Facts and results have proven that when the Caps show the work ethic and skill that they obviously have, they can beat anyone. You don't think that they won't be able to muster an effort in the playoffs when each game is so important? Unlike a game against a lesser team who was 13 points behind you in the standings? Right. We have seen what a focused team can do. I have no doubt we'll see it in the playoffs.


Posted by: Chase4 | March 22, 2009 4:56 PM


no doubt we'll see it in the playoffs? why do you have no doubt? what has shown you that this team will absolutely turn on a faucet and give you 60 minutes of focused hockey game after game? You're deluding yourselves. The regular season is a very good indicator as to trends. Meaning, if you show the same defensive issues or PK woes in the regular season you will also see the same holes spring up in the playoffs unless you address them at the trading deadline. I have no doubt in my mind that we'll see some of the same issues crop up in the playoffs that have plagued us all season. From inconsistent efforts to failure to clear the crease to problems on the PK. What we do well will also show up in the playoffs of course. So its not like teams will blow us out but don't delude yourself into thinking that the major issues that have reared up in the reg season will suddenly disappear in the next two weeks or so.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 22, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

"Facts and results have proven that when the Caps show the work ethic and skill that they obviously have, they can beat anyone. You don't think that they won't be able to muster an effort in the playoffs when each game is so important?"

They didn't do it last year Chase. They didn't give us 60 mins of effort in every game vs the Flyers did they? If they had they would have won the series. They let up after the first game, then turned it back on after being down in the series. This team can always crank up the effort but sometimes its just too late.

and everyone agrees that WHEN the Caps muster up their A effort they can beat anyone. The question simply is, WILL they? And to pretend that any trends they show in the reg season isn't an indicator of what they'll do in the playoffs is silly.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 22, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey majiksea,

While you're quite correct that there is now a baseball team in DC, the fact of the matter is that this is a 2 team market much as SF/Oakland (Chicago and NY also have two teams, but it's not quite the same). Major League Baseball had designated the Baltimore Orioles television territory to extend from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Charlotte, North Carolina dating back to at least the early 80s (games were broadcast on CSN forerunner Home Team Sports). As recently as 2008, the FCC demanded that Time Warner Cable in North Carolina be required to carry MASN (with both O's/Nats games) on their systems (info available here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Atlantic_Sports_Network ).

Though TWC hasn't complied with the ruling and added MASN as of yet, soon baseball fans all the way south to 'Canes country will continue to be able to follow the Orioles (or Nationals) if they so choose. So, be prepared for more 'O' at Caps home games (and away games in NC).

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | March 22, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

@SC1907:

Just roll your dang dice already and summon your geox vengeance demon so I can roll my die and move my 5th level Mage. *rolls eyes*

Ahh, SC1907. You really need to seek a professional for that potty mouth of yours. And being testy towards women. Honestly. My condolences to rachel216 to have to put up with your nonsense. The Caps will play as they see fit. Boudreau will coach as he sees fit. The fans, as much as they love us and as much as we love them, are either in for the ride of our lives each year with them, or we're not. Most Caps fans will say they're in for the ride. While others will choose to turn their back on them. And there are people like you, who prefer to blame the world for the non-life they live. Oh, and that man-crush on Semin, doesn't make you gay. He's a great player. I have a man-crush on him too. Chill out, buddy.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 23, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

The "O" is so lame...

Posted by: Sonyask | March 23, 2009 4:36 AM | Report abuse

hey does any one know the blond that was with bb at hatricks last thurs in tampa?

Posted by: caps67 | March 23, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

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