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Boudreau: 'A couple weeks later, it still hurts'


Morning roundup

*Above, Coach Bruce Boudreau chats with Washington Post Live's Ivan Carter about the abrupt end to the Caps' season.

*Boudreau's Q&A transcript is here, in case you missed it.

*Ovie and Semin have no problem scoring at worlds.

*Respect for Montreal and other thoughts. (Ted's Take)

*Alex Ovechkin, speaking the truth: "We won. How? No one cares." (RMNB)

*Boudreau provides some insight. (On Frozen Blog)

*Can Crosby pick up where Ovechkin failed? (Loose Pucks)

*Rate Joe Corvo's performance. (Japers' Rink)

*Rod Langway Trophy. (Rock the Red)

*Talking Caps with CSN's Russ Thaler. (Storming the Crease)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 12, 2010; 9:42 AM ET
 
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Next: Ovechkin scores again as Russia stays perfect

Comments

The RMNB quote is out of context. Ovi was saying that they could have played better, but they won, so they don't care how they won, just that they did win.

Posted by: Steakum | May 12, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it still hurts for us fans also. And it is another kick in the gut to have some of the players "move on" to the next competition. It probably shouldn't be, but it is (at least to me.)

Posted by: mikebrady1 | May 12, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh had the opportunity to watch the Caps series with Montreal and they still have not found a great solution. I think that says volumes about how well Montreal is playing right now. It does still hurt that we do not have hockey but next year is another beginning. Year 36 for me so it would be dumb to quit on them now.

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | May 12, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I hate Pittsburgh, but I don't like the fact that Montreal is giving them a tough series. The Caps are obviously using that to console themselves. There should be no consolation. It was a miserable choke job.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 12, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

The one thing I really liked about BB's comments was that it sounds like MP will be the 3rd line center next year at the start of the year.

In addition, it sounds as though Andrew Gordon, Pinzotto or Beagle will have a spot as a 4th line winger or 13th forward on the team.

Not only will it be good to get some of the good young players from Hershey up with the Caps it will also create more cap space to sign other players (maybe Volchenkov, Paul Martin or Plekanec?) since those Hershey guys will have small contracts.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 12, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@mikebrady1

I certainly understand your feeling about it. I am conflicted. I doubt they have truly forgotten any of it, but I would rather them go and have some success on the heels of defeat to keep confidence up. Professionals or not, and especially for Semin who had never gone that long without scoring, to spend the whole summer wondering without an opportunity to test his skills again and succeed, might be detrimental. Certainly he would have preferred it happen here. It is everything to him right now because it's the only thing left until next season.

Posted by: Steakum | May 12, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@steakum Ok, I'll let Semin stay. Send everyone else back! :)

Posted by: mikebrady1 | May 12, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"Really? Hmm - what do Peter Forsberg, Slava Fetisov, Mario Lemieux, Larionov, Evgeni Malkin, Messier, Gretzky, Fedorov, Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Gonchar and Bobby Orr, all have in common? I'm pretty sure almost not a single one of them ever played a game in the minors."

All of these players played in leagues that are just like the minors.

Forsberg- 5 years in the Swedish Elite League

Fetisov- 12 years Russian Super League

Lemiuex- 3 years in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Larionov- 11 years Russian Super League

Malkin- 3 years Russian Super League

Messier- 3 years in juniors, 2 years in the WHA, 1 year in the CHL

Gretzky- 2 years in juniors, 2 years in the WHA

Fedorov- 4 years in Russian Super League

Lidstrom- 3 years Swedish Elite League

Datsyuk- 5 years Russian Super League

Gonchar- 3 years Russian Super League, very little time in the minors

Orr- 3 years juniors

Although the WHA was supposed to rival the NHL it's league was made up of young talent and aging veterans with big names (Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull).

The Russian Super League (now KHL) and the Swedish Elite League are similar to our minor leagues, but with more finesse. That's why some of the Swedes and Russians have to acclimate to the North American Style in the minors now. Length of regular season schedule is also less demanding in those leagues.

The OHL (OHA years back, WHL, and QMJHL have long since been considered elite leagues that prepare players for the NHL. Most of the young North American stars have done well in those Junior leagues and have come right into the NHL. Others choose to use those leagues as a springboard for college scholarships. The average age for US College hockey freshman is just under 20 years old because a lot of talented North Americans will play in the juniors in hopes of landing a scholarship.

So, in response to the list of players that did not spend time in the minors the SEL, RSL, OHL, QMJHL, and now the WHL are considered stiff enough competition and thus minor leagues. Another example, Backstrom never played in the minor leagues here in North America but chose to stay in the SEL to refine his game to be ready for the NHL.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 12, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Caps prospect news:

both Eric Mestery and Della Rovere's WHL and OHL teams respectively got swept in 4 in their junior league championship series. On a positive note, Joel Broda's team (Calgary) was the one who swept Mestery's team. I guess Mestery was pretty awful in the series. Ended the year on a -16 note. Another 6ft5 beanpole defensive dman prospect who doesn't like to play it tough.

Della Rovere's the closest thing we got to a pest in our system w/possible exception of Pinner down in Hershey.

Here he is talking smack and getting jumped. Anyone say Sean Avery?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxxTGHB18F0

and here's some history between the two. They get together in this scrum previously and you can see SDR dole out a bit of a sneaky spear.
This was after Flyers prospect Zac Rinaldo (younger tougher version of Carcillo) blew up Sabres prospect Marcus Foligno on what is a clean hit but the powers that be thought otherwise. He hit the kid under his shoulder while the puck was in his skates. How the heck is that illegal? Since when did blindside hits become illegal? esp when it doesn't involve the head? Anyway, it got him 12 games. I guess no matter how clean a hit is, if the player gets hurt then they call it now. Unreal what hockey is turning into.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av_BOLF3skc&feature=related

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 12, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The one thing I really liked about BB's comments was that it sounds like MP will be the 3rd line center next year at the start of the year.
-----------------

have to see how MP fares over the course of a full season at this level. See if he holds up. He's shifty enough unlike Bourque where he can maybe avoid a lot of direct contact. We just have to get bigger at the center position at some point. I really don't want to see Belanger and MP as our 2nd and 3rd line centers.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 12, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I agree. I just want MP to be given a good chance as the 3rd line center and then you reassess after 20 games, 40 games, and so on.

Belanger cannot be a 2nd line center. I like him as a possible 3rd or 4th line center but if MP plays I don't think there will be a position for him on the Caps unless Belanger plays 4th line center and Steckel moves to 4th line wing and B. Gordon leaves. (unlikely and it won't leave open a forward spot for a Hershey guy either)

The Caps need to acquire a 2nd line center from outside the organization. I think Plekanec would be a perfect fit but he may be too expensive.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 12, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised if the Caps don't sign Belanger as he would be an expensive option for a 3rd line center. He's not talented enough offensively to be a 2nd line center. I'd like to see the Caps acquire a true 2nd line center to compliment Semin and Laich. It's pretty obvious that neither Belanger or Morrisson were the answer this season.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 12, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

IT STILL STINGS!

There might be a brief moment joy tonight though, I will be tuning in to game 7.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 12, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I know I need to get a life, but I still think of game 5, 6, and 7 everyday. If they win one of those games and advance, they roll past the flyers in the conference finals. It makes me sick to see the Bruins and Flyers still playing. How do the Flyers get in the playoffs on the last day in a shoot out no less, and wind up advancing past the first round and quite possibly advancing to the third round. I hate the Flyers more than I do the Penguins, so I guess that is why I am so pissed.

Posted by: TheSmurfs | May 12, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

fanochock, I have to disagree with your characterization of the old Russian Super League as similar to our minor league. Back when Fetisov, Larionov and even Federov were playing in the Russian Super League, it was the only option for Russian players. They weren't playing in the US/Canada. So I would characterize it as on par with the NHL at the time.

Posted by: Steph22 | May 12, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Check out HBO documentary on the Broad Street Bullies. Early in the Flyers franchise they made the playoffs but got beat up twice by the much tougher Blues team.

Flyers owner then decided the team needed to get tougher. Enter the Broad Street Bullies who won the cup twice back to back. The last and only times flyers won the cup.

Caps team need to trade some of their skilled players for grit. Trade Fehr, Fleischman and Semin etc for said grit.

Not sure Boudreau will be the man to lead them to the cup. There's a reason he was coaching in the minors so long.

Make these changes otherwise it will be the same result as 09-10 season. Good regular season bad playoffs.

Posted by: rockbroker | May 12, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised if the Caps don't sign Belanger as he would be an expensive option for a 3rd line center. He's not talented enough offensively to be a 2nd line center. I'd like to see the Caps acquire a true 2nd line center to compliment Semin and Laich. It's pretty obvious that neither Belanger or Morrisson were the answer this season.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 12, 2010 12:22 PM |

I don't really want him back, but he said his agent was already in discussion with Caps management, and made it seem like the Caps wanted him back.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The Caps need to acquire a 2nd line center from outside the organization. I think Plekanec would be a perfect fit but he may be too expensive.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 12, 2010 12:17 PM |

"May" is being nice. No way we can afford him, unless some trades of significant salary get moved.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I think as in many areas of life it's easy to lose sight of just how much of everything is determined by randomness, and when you're talking about seven games, anything can happen. As humans, we've evolved to look for and to see patterns and explanations, and that gives us a survival advantage for sure, but it sometimes makes it difficult to see how much randomness there is everywhere all the time.

I think maybe people talk about the necessity of having some grit in the playoffs because it might make a hockey team more predictable or something. But I don't think grit is something that could really increase the chances of winning a Cup in the long run unless it happens to be something the particular team needs to do better to improve in the regular season as well. I think there's more than one way to win a Cup. I saw Gretzky's Oilers win lots of Cups largely behind the strength of an overpowering offense. The Caps had a pretty good record this year against even the best teams.

I think what the Caps need to do is to just keep doing whatever it takes to win hockey games frequently, even against other good teams, and I think that + a randomly good playoffs = Stanley Cup. I don't see the playoffs and playing against good teams during the regular season as two different animals, for the most part.

But there's definitely something to be said, when you're talking about a series of seven games against the same opponent, about the ability of a coach and to some extent the players to make adjustments for later games in the series based on earlier games. But I don't know enough about the intricacies of hockey to know whether Coach Boudreau or any of the players did a good job in that area.

Also, I think it's unwise to actually motivate the opponent early in the series by publicly criticizing the opponent (like Green did) or the opponent's goaltender (like Ovechkin did). You might just end up helping your opponent take their game to a slightly higher level than they would've otherwise taken it to. Talking to reporters, I think, is an area in which the Capitals could use some improvement.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 12, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

No point stating something definitive unless you have to.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 12, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Talking to reporters, I think, is an area in which the Capitals could use some improvement.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 12, 2010 2:25 PM |

I'd rather they work on puck battles in corners. :)

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

However, it is tempting to conclude that the inability to get more than one power play goal during the series, given how good the team was during the season at the power play, could well be a function of a failure to adequately adjust. But, it might be more of one of those random things, and I don't really know.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 12, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Steph22: That's a matter of opinion for sure. As of right now there are a grand total of 32 Russians in the NHL, 4 of them are goaltenders. I honestly cannot remember how many teams were in the old league in the 80's, but let's for arguments sake say there were 10. If you spread out the current NHL players evenly you only add about 3 current NHL caliber players to each team. The talent pool was better for sure because if there were less teams you keep the talent pool shallow. However, there are some very weak Russian born players in the KHL that are very highly thought of. I say that because the KHLers at the Olmpics looked terribly outmatched.

Additionally, the stars in the KHL right now are mostly former NHLers that have been drawn to the KHL because they can still get offers they got over here 5 years ago when they were closer to their prime, Russian or not.

The Russian teams that travelled over here were hand picked all-star teams that played together all the time. If a team made up of Canadien players would have been formed and played together for a decade they would have dominated Russian all-star teams that would have been scrambled together because the Canadians were visiting. That's why the NHL all-star teams had trouble. It was just that the Russians were talented, it was because they were a permanent all-star team and the NHL all-stars lacked chemistry. Heck the broad street bullies made them quit at one point. They came back to the ice but probably wished they hadn't because they were physically dominated by a team rather than playing an all-star team.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 12, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Did people see that Lehtonen signed a 3 yeard deal for $3.65M/yr?

If he got that much I would have to assume Halak will be getting at least $5M/yr and possibly $6M/yr. That is going to mess with the Habs salary cap situation (Gomez contract, Cammaleri, Plekanec becoming a free agent).

Posted by: sgm3 | May 12, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm enjoying the Montreal - Pittsburgh series very much. Especially, when so many moronic fans & pundits came out with proclamations that unlike the Caps the Pens "solved Halak & Montreal" after game 1. What say you now?

Also, the same people were all over Ovie who had 5 goals & 5 assists in 7 games vs. Montreal & should've had 6 (in which case we'd probably still be playing now) & immediately proclaimed that once again there was proof that Crosby was better. Well, after 6 games vs. Montreal Crosby has exactly 1 goal. Same is true for Malkin. And that's despite Montreal having to play without their best D-man, Markov, for almost the entire series.

Go, Habs!

Posted by: ranndino | May 12, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Kari did sign for that much.

I don't think it has as much as an impact on the signing of Halak as you may think though. Kari played well for the Stars, and after all, he is still a former #2 overall pick. He's always has put up a decent save %, and I would say he is a legit #1. His main problem is injuries.

If Halak got anywhere near 6 mil/yr, from the Habs or another team...that would make for an interesting summer topic.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@rockbroker

Whole different era. Shhulz among others would be suspended for large part of seasons in this NHL. As for BB, he won minor legaue cuprs wherever he went. Yeah, let's bring back Hanlon!

Posted by: adhardwick | May 12, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Same is true for Malkin. And that's despite Montreal having to play without their best D-man, Markov, for almost the entire series.

Posted by: ranndino | May 12, 2010 3:07 PM |

Best d-man, hell, Markov is their best player. Gill also missed a few.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I'm comparing the two because they both were entering their RFA year. Kari definitely has had great promise but Halak has played extremely well this year. I have no idea what Halak will pull down but you would have to think after how Halak played over the last 30 games of the regular season and the playoffs he will get signifcantly more.

If the Habs and Halak beat Pittsburgh and continue to advance largely based on the play of Halak then his contract could be huge. (not saying that would be the right thing to do but it usually is how things go).

Posted by: sgm3 | May 12, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

This Caps playoff derailment was a nightmare that just happens -- one of those times that some Whim of the Gods reaches down and turns things upside down.

Remember 1984?

The Redskins are defending Super Bowl champions ... set a season scoring record that lasted 15 years ... went 14-2, and those two losses were by a point each ... roar through the playoffs ... heavily favored to beat the wildcard Raiders ... and lose 38-9! IIt happens.

And in this case, the Caps outplayed the Canadiens in six of seven games. The prime example is Game 6. 52 shots on goal, versus 22 by Montreal. And they lose 4-1. Makes no sense. But it happened.

Now, everybody take a breath, and realize that the Caps truly are a great team that plays hard, and just plain ran into The Twilight Zone of NHL playoffs.

I hope no one in the Caps organization gets nervous and makes a lot of structural changes. This is an excellent hockey squad. It should be messed with only as it comes to factors such as aging ... new players ready for Prime Time ... a few tweaks in Lines.

Next year they will absolutely contend. And maybe take home one of the ugliest trophies in all of sports, rivaled only by the Indy 500's.

Posted by: JPMcC | May 12, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@sgm

I'm not denying that there could be a team, Habs or otherwise, offering him upwards of 6 mil/yr. However, should a team try to poach Halak away, it would have to be at that price. Forcing either the team to give up a ton of compensation or the Habs to match the offer and further perpetuate their salary cap situation. Boy...wouldn't that make for a media frenzy this summer, wouldn't it?

Halak is really, really good, no denying that. I'd take him over Kari 10/10 times. But 6 mil/yr, even pushing near 5 mil/yr cap hit..that's right where the price that the "elite" goalies get. Luongo, Miller, Marty, Kipper, etc...

I think Kipper tops at 7 mil/yr, cap hit. Halak could very well be worthy of a contract like this now, but I think he'll get a few smaller ones first. Who really knows in today's NHL though.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I agree that is is risky to give a goalie that much money, especially only based on half a season and a postseason. But I can't see the Habs letting him go after he has reached cult hero status up there. That would be suicide for the GM up there.

But teams have given goalies big contracts before. Cristobal Huet is an example and Theo got a good amount. (they were both UFAs though).

Bascially you hit the nail on the head. It will make for a media frenzy up in Montreal and will be interesting how they proceed. (I think Price is an RFA too which makes things even more interesting)

Posted by: sgm3 | May 12, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

It's pouring down here right now.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

what does happen with BMo. We got him for another yr right?

I'm assuming we let Walker, Belanger, Laing (too bad), ShaMo (too bad), and Corvo all walk this offseason. Who else walks? Gordo possibly?

we have to make room for at least AGordon and Pinizotto to crack the roster next season. MP maybe depending on our center needs. And they need to reconsider bringing back the tough guy role. It doesn't even have to be a Boogaard type. Just a young kid who can fight and skate well enough to get some decent minutes. Like a Prust. Cheap and very effective.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 12, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

'A couple weeks later, it still hurts'
---------------------------------------

That's what SHE said!

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 12, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

btw, Dustin Stevenson joined the Bears today after his season ended. Polar opposite of Mestery and Sarge. 6ft5 and racks up the PIMs, plays defense, named player of the year in both the reg season and the playoffs....albeit in the SJHL. Not a bad program, its a good combo of hockey and education. I think Konowalchuk came up thru the SJHL ranks.

Stevenson was a FA signee several weeks ago.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 12, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/sports/Diamond+rough/2997130/story.html

i think after the Joe Finley experiment went wrong, this may be a slight attempt to salvage things.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 12, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Best d-man, hell, Markov is their best player. Gill also missed a few.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

maybe that's true during the regular season but their best d-man by far in the playoffs is Josh Gorges. I don't think they can win without him in the lineup right now.

Needless to say Halak has been their best player, then Cammalleri and Gorges.

Posted by: joek443 | May 12, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

The playoff loss still smarts, as far as I'm concerned.

I hope Montreal can finish off the Pens tonight. For one thing, it will silence some of the fawning that the media does over Pittsburgh. Along with knocking then out of the playoffs, of course. The team is already insufferable and a third consecutive Stanley Cup appearance would make them more so.

It is even more annoying, given that Pittsburgh doesn't even win their division yet they advance further than the Caps, not to mention the NJ Devils who generally win that division, not to mention whoever wins the NE Division in any given year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 12, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I hope Montreal can finish off the Pens tonight.
------------------------------

better hope the Habs lose. The better they do, the less impetus it will be for the Caps front office to make changes. They'll cling to the "we lost to a great team" excuse.


---------------------
It is even more annoying, given that Pittsburgh doesn't even win their division yet they advance further than the Caps
---------------------

we play in a bad division. There's no real glory in winning the SE. Who wouldn't kill to be in the SE division? Some of those Western teams I bet would give their left nut to be in our division. That way they can make the playoffs simply by winning the div instead of having a solid season and yet getting inched out out.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 12, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

ACapsFan75 and Ranndino:

True, true. I'm with you 100%

I think this pretty much says it all:

Aujourd'hui, nous sommes tous les Québécois

TRANSLATION:

"Today, we are ALL K-Beckers"

GO HABS!

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 12, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Ummm...you should want the Habs to win so you can say that you lost to the Stanley Cup Champions. No shame in falling to a winner.

Only in the u.s. do hockey fans compare hockey to football or any other sport. So clear hockey takes 5th or 6th place in the hearts of u.s. sports fans.

Everything in Canada is measured by hockey - all other sports are measured against hockey. No one there would compare hockey to any other sport but past hockey games/series.

"It is even more annoying, given that Pittsburgh doesn't even win their division yet they advance further than the Caps" Why do you have to be such a cry baby - this is the game! You might want to learn it. There is the first season - to establish the pairings for the real and only true season - the playoffs.

Go Habs!

Posted by: KPaige1 | May 12, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1, you make some good points, but...

GO HABS!

Posted by: wocoliz | May 12, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Hershey's already up 1-0 in their game and on the PP to boot. Neuvy's in goal.

Posted by: wocoliz | May 12, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

WOOHOO HABS! Way to start! A goal AND a PP less than a minute in!

Posted by: wocoliz | May 12, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Ohhhh - the Canadians off to a great start! Cindy starts and within 10 seconds is sent off for 10 minutes.

Oh - and Montreal scored on the PP to boot :)

Posted by: RedRedRed | May 12, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Oops - should have been 2 minutes not 10 ;(

Posted by: RedRedRed | May 12, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

No shame in rooting for Cinderella right now.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 12, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Hershey just scored (again on the PP) to make it 2-0 with just under 10 minutes to play.

GO BEARS!

Posted by: wocoliz | May 12, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

uh ooooohhh

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 12, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Hershey up 2-0 after one period. Not much evidence of rust. Goals from Gordon and Collins.

Posted by: wocoliz | May 12, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Canadians are keeping pace with the Bears.
2-0 and Orpik set it up by punching a Canadian behind the net instead of putting a body in front of the net

Posted by: RedRedRed | May 12, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Looks like pinz are 'choking' right 90's Caps fans?

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 12, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Ouch, Pens are in trouble. WE're about to see Crybaby Crosby come out in full force. Hitting sticks against the goal, etc.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | May 12, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I know the Caps threw everyting at Halak in Game 6, but in no way do I think it was the best game the Caps played all season (BB's comments).

Just because Montreal is doing well against Pittsburgh, do not console yourselves Caps fans. The Caps blew that series and should not forget it.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | May 12, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Looks like cindy is 'choking' right gritty style aficionados?

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 12, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Seeing the Habs winning just irritates me more as a caps fan! Had we closed out the series we just might be playing in the eastern conference championship!!!

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | May 12, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

The Caps couldn't score in games 6 and 7 but they showed up and played a couple of their best games but were beat by a hot goalie despite the effort.

Pittsburgh could be down 3-0 now...but are down only 2-0 after 1 period ...but they are not playing their best - they look tired and look nervous and look like they are not sure they can do it.

I take solace in the fact that the Caps in the same situation worked a whole lot harder.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 12, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

he Caps couldn't score in games 6 and 7 but they showed up and played a couple of their best games but were beat by a hot goalie despite the effort.

Pittsburgh could be down 3-0 now...but are down only 2-0 after 1 period ...but they are not playing their best - they look tired and look nervous and look like they are not sure they can do it.

I take solace in the fact that the Caps in the same situation worked a whole lot harder.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 12, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Same here! I know we could take them if we were playing!!!

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | May 12, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

maybe that's true during the regular season but their best d-man by far in the playoffs is Josh Gorges. I don't think they can win without him in the lineup right now.

Needless to say Halak has been their best player, then Cammalleri and Gorges.

Posted by: joek443 | May 12, 2010 6:29 PM |

Markov is the Habs best player. He has been their best player for a number of years now.

He obviously hasn't been the best in the playoffs for them since..you know..he hasn't played.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

he Caps couldn't score in games 6 and 7 but they showed up and played a couple of their best games but were beat by a hot goalie despite the effort.

Pittsburgh could be down 3-0 now...but are down only 2-0 after 1 period ...but they are not playing their best - they look tired and look nervous and look like they are not sure they can do it.

I take solace in the fact that the Caps in the same situation worked a whole lot harder.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 12, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Same here! I know we could take them if we were playing!!!

Posted by: kyle_woodruff |

I agree. We could've taken the Pens. Oh well, next year. It's gonna be the Sharks or Habs that win it all.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | May 12, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

2-0 and Orpik set it up by punching a Canadian behind the net instead of putting a body in front of the net

Posted by: RedRedRed | May 12, 2010 7:40 PM |

Haha..Maxim...that was funny.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

It's gonna be the Sharks or Habs that win it all.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | May 12, 2010 8:00 PM |

I don't understand why it can't be the Hawks?

Bruins and Flyers, I can agree with.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

holy cow

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 12, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I take solace in the fact that the Caps in the same situation worked a whole lot harder.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 12, 2010 7:54 PM |

Same situation though. Giving this neutral zone trapping, d-men collapsing, boring Habs team an early advantage.

It all rests on the Pens push back.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

And as I typed that, Cammaleri(sp?) threw another dagger. That one maybe for the kill...

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

one more and MAF is outta dere!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 12, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Did the Pens not watch any of the Canadians in Round 1?

Posted by: RedRedRed | May 12, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

And the parallel continues. Pinizzotto (sp?) just scored to give Hershey a 3-0 lead.

Gotta go grab another Molson!

Posted by: wocoliz | May 12, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

TOAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 12, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I think it might be over. Even if the Habs D let up, Halak won't. I wanted the Habs to get destroyed to show that Halak was a fraud but that guy is the real deal. Now that it's game 7, I gotta go with the Habs. If the Caps takes solace, oh well, it's their fault, they'll just have another early playoff exit.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | May 12, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

JOHNNY TIME!

Posted by: wocoliz | May 12, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

one more and MAF is outta dere!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 12, 2010 8:09 PM |

Ask and Moen shall deliver!

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

SO when will Crosby start crying?? next goal??

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | May 12, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

STUNNEDDDDD and loving every moment of it. I want to hear the Pens fans that made noise and felt they were going to get a cake walk. Keep it up Montreal. Keep it up.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | May 12, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I hope there is someone available at the game to administer the Heimlich maneuver to Fleury.

Posted by: zmega | May 12, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Markov is the Habs best player. He has been their best player for a number of years now.

He obviously hasn't been the best in the playoffs for them since..you know..he hasn't played.


Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

just goes to show you don't need a 7-mil/year d-man to win in the playoffs... Gorges and Gill, especially Gorges has been the anchor of their D throughout the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | May 12, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I think Green got traded to Pittsburgh and wears 55 now....thats whta it has looked like on a couple of those turnovers...

This Montreal jump over Pittsburgh might finally put to rest the talk about the Caps 6-2 home loss in game 7 last year to Pittsburgh.

Who is playing hurt on the Pens anyway? Is it just Staal...last year the Caps had a few hurtin members in that game 7....still no excuse in a big game.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 12, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh and eventually the Habs will get one on Brent Johnson too.

Last game at the Igloo...

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 12, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

It's not over till it's over, but count me on the side of wanting Pittsburgh to lose tonight.

I think that it's hogwash when people say the Caps won't learn anything if the Habs beat the Penguins, utter nonsense. NONE of the Caps or coaches or management people want a repeat performance of this year's Round 1. They will make adjustments as best they can. They will have a loooong time to review, analyse and think about it.

I'm not only impressed with Halak, but I'm impressed with how MTL is able to move the puck down the ice. They all just seem hungrier for the puck. Please, Hockey Gods, let MTL win tonight!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 12, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Did the Pens not watch any of the Canadians in Round 1?

Posted by: RedRedRed | May 12, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse
********************

Maybe the Pens did watch the Canadiens first round series - the Habs kinda played like this in game 2 against the Caps...up 4-1 half way through the 2nd...

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 12, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

just goes to show you don't need a 7-mil/year d-man to win in the playoffs... Gorges and Gill, especially Gorges has been the anchor of their D throughout the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | May 12, 2010 8:22 PM |

I agree with you. Them, combined with the spectacular effort given by Halak.

I'm just saying though, Markov is their best player. And as you say, it's really a testament to the Habs and how they were able to put it together despite missing him and other key defenders at times, like Gill and Spacek.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Hershey leads 3-0 after two periods.

Posted by: wocoliz | May 12, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I think Green got traded to Pittsburgh and wears 55 now....thats whta it has looked like on a couple of those turnovers...

_________________________

Wait, what? You were around when Gonch was here, right? He caused me more heartaches than Green has, no contest. (Though, Green is certainly catching up with him...)

I've mentioned this before, and people tell me how he's come around in his own zone since signing with the Pens. That maybe true, but Gonchar hasn't looked very good at all in these two series.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Pens did watch the Canadiens first round series - the Habs kinda played like this in game 2 against the Caps...up 4-1 half way through the 2nd...

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 12, 2010 8:27 PM


Really really wish you wouldn't have brought that up now that it's 4-2

Posted by: RedRedRed | May 12, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Pens certainly have pushed back. Talk about your "tilted ice".

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 12, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm impressed with Subban too.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 12, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Isnt that 3 straight PP's for the Pens?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 12, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

all I'm gonna take away from this series is the fact that the Habs' PK is NOT that good as the Pens have proved.

so there's really no good explanation as to why the Caps' PP sucked so bad in their series other than poor coaching/preparation and execution.

Posted by: joek443 | May 12, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

"so there's really no good explanation as to why the Caps' PP sucked so bad in their series other than poor coaching/preparation and execution."

Overconfidence, Ovie said as much.

But yeah, you gotta be prepared. You're like 25% on the season and stoned in the playoffs.

I think you have to look at Semin and Green also as much as I hate to say it. Green is the QB of the Caps PP and dude all but disappeared.

In defense of Green, they need more defensemen. If Alzner and Carlson don't stay up the whole season next year, and they don't get someone this offseason it's going to suck next year in the playoffs.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 12, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Alzner just scored to make the score 4-1 in favor of Hershey with just over 5 minutes to play.

Posted by: wocoliz | May 12, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

The Habs keep playing with fire by taking these penalties. They really need to stay out of the box.

Posted by: rbpalmer | May 12, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I dont think the Habs have had a PP since early in the 1st.

Thats got to be 4 straight PP's for the Pens.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 12, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

are the refs from the caps/pens series on the ice tonight?
hope they even up the calls

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 12, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

The Pens don't deserve to win this game.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | May 12, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

dagger

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 12, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Nail in the coffin.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | May 12, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Dagger
You'd think 5-2 would hold up, wouldn't you?

Posted by: RedRedRed | May 12, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

sweet - now show us some of that D

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 12, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Say Goodnight Gracie, it is Over....

Posted by: MReilly9 | May 12, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Hershey wins 4-2.

Now I can focus on the big game. God, I'm nervous...but that fifth goal helps. GO HABS!

Posted by: wocoliz | May 12, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Go Bears!!!

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | May 12, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Game-set-match...Brian Gionta just scored his 7th of the playoffs. Montreal 5 - Pittsburgh 2. How sweet it is!

Posted by: Terptwin | May 12, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

clear the zone and dump from the blue line
pretty much how they beat the caps

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 12, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Guess the "two-headed monster" wasn't enough to "solve Halak."

Posted by: LloydChristmas | May 12, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

"dump from the blue line"
make that:
dump from the red line

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 12, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

PENS Fans---Begin to exit!!

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | May 12, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

wow. the refs will not go down without a fight.

Posted by: zyvo23 | May 12, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Stupid refs. So annoying.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | May 12, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Bettman has to be pleased.

No Ovie.
No Cindy.

...and the exciting brand of Hockey played by the Habs vs. B's/Flyers.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 12, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

the igloo has melted

Posted by: gocaps01 | May 12, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Stupid Pens have pulled their goalie - like they will score 3 goals to tie.

Posted by: MReilly9 | May 12, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Bettman has to be pleased.

No Ovie.
No Cindy.

...and the exciting brand of Hockey played by the Habs vs. B's/Flyers.
--------------

Would be kinda nice though to see a Montreal-Boston final. Good old days of hockey and all that

Posted by: RedRedRed | May 12, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

So they beat the team that won the President's Trophy and now they beat the defending Cup champs. David is truly Goliath.

Posted by: visionof75 | May 12, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

GO PENS!

...no, really, go home.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 12, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to telling Steinberg he was wrong.

Posted by: wocoliz | May 12, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

For all the CROSBY pushers on these boards...

wow yes!! It certainly is fortuates that pittsburgh has a captain -- nay! -- a LEADER to LEAD his losers into Mario's basement to cry about the elimination, yep 1 goal 3 assits and -1, certainly better than OV @ 5g 5a +5

get lost crispy crosby

though he is right about one thing, i did enjoy watching him fail.

Posted by: OVIwankanOVI | May 12, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Heh heh! Penguins sweep in four - where are you now pundits?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 12, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

shave that pubic hair cindy.. you call it a playoff beard....

Posted by: samb99 | May 12, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

This is an amazing run by the Canadiens.

I guess it goes to show you that defense, goaltending, hard work and dedication to a good system can trump superior talent.

Posted by: tmac2yao | May 12, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Crosby got nasty at the end of game 6..then 10 seconds into game 7 got a boarding penalty - nothing like getting it out of the way early....of course 20 seconds later Montreal scored the first goal and never looked back.

I hope that makes the 2010 highlight reel right after his Olympic goal.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 12, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I take away from the series. A team where all the players play defense can shut down the most offense-minded team. Add a hot goalie, and anything can happen.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 12, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Well Halak is the MVP of the playoffs so far....barr no others

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 12, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Alleluia!!!!!After the Caps defeat NOTHING would have made me happier than the defeat of the Pens. Had the Pens swept the Habs, everyone would be holding them up as an example of what we should be like. This whole nonsense about how the Caps fooled everyone to believe they were great and how they should become a different team to win in the playoffs!.....What about the Pens? Are they also a team that is not "built for the playoffs" though they won the cup? Montreal simply was on fire, had a hot goalie and kept building up their confidence.

Cindy only had one goal in the series. How many did Ovie have? I am sure he had more. What a satisfying game!

Posted by: caraveli | May 12, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

well, I for one feel a lot better! Not excusing the Caps, but now no one can say the Caps choked against a horrible team. They can't be that bad if they are going to the Eastern Conf. Finals.

Also...nice to see crosby taking some of the criticism for a change!

Posted by: capscoach | May 12, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

ranndino

I couldn't agree more. "I'm enjoying the Montreal - Pittsburgh series very much. Especially, when so many moronic fans & pundits came out with proclamations that unlike the Caps the Pens "solved Halak & Montreal" after game 1. What say you now?

Also, the same people were all over Ovie who had 5 goals & 5 assists in 7 games vs. Montreal..."

I wish you would post more often since I aggree with just about everything you say.

Posted by: caraveli | May 12, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

And where are all those "fans" who said the Caps were just lazy, outcoached, and defesively challenged! Huh Huh!!! Maybe we shouldn't talk in anger! Maybe we should count to ten before we speak!

Posted by: capscoach | May 12, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

WOW Habs/Pens thoughts:

Fleury - leaky - FAIL
Crosby and Malkin - combined 2 goals - FAIL
Halak stonewalling everyone - SUCCESS
HABS play their game - SUCCESS

Habs win in 7 - unreal but a job well done.

Parity in the NHL Playoffs - indeed.

Any other sport's postseason compare to the excitement of the NHL - NOT A SNOWBALL'S CHANCE IN HELL.

Nuff said.

Ice Breakers Goal Shakers

Posted by: Jonathan6 | May 12, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Habs! I salute you! This is such a great example of a "TEAM" persevering over "Skilled" players! I will take a Gomez, a Gill, a Cammalleri and a Halak any day! Take notes Caps and study that system well! I could not believe the "sacrifices" these players were giving to block shots and play incredible defense in front of Halak! That is "Playoff Hockey"!!! Anyway, this will also be the last playoff game that I will watch for the rest of the year. My curse is now complete since the Pens and Crosby are now out of the Playoffs too! Bah ha ha ha!!! There is no difference between losing in the first round and losing in the Finals...you are still consider a losers for the year!

Posted by: JohnWWW | May 12, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

capscoach-
One of "those" fans here, and I still think the Caps have no excuses for blowing a 3-1 series lead.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | May 12, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

capscoach

You are so right. "Maybe we shouldn't talk in anger! Maybe we should count to ten before we speak!" We all come out with these doomsday predictions and ridiculous statements when we lose big, and we look stupid afterwards--but not as much as the media pundits who decided that the team was fooling everybody during the regular season etc.

I felt a whole lot better since game two in the Pens-Habs series. They were having the exact same difficulties we had. Tonight I feel completely reassured.

Posted by: caraveli | May 12, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm assuming the end of MTL-PIT series officially shuts up the Caps fans who said we need to trade many of our stars (Green and Semin), eliminate our coach and implode our system. (Oh, and get a "shutdown defenseman," which is irrelevant to the Montreal series anyway.) Not because this excuses the Caps loss, but these fans were the same ones who were saying that the Penguins have demonstrated they are built for the playoffs and that they "play defense." I think this series should those fans that good (or great, according to them) teams make careless mistakes and can struggle mentally and physically. I guess that's why we're not hearing from these fans much right now.

Posted by: BigMogilny | May 12, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Cue the Crosby and Fleury were hanging out in bars with Rothelisberger the night before game 7 stories.

Seriously, this was a fitting end for the Pens. As the media and fans saw fit to blast Ovi's commitment and leadership, the greatest player/captain in the world comes up with a big goose egg on the score sheet as his team was blown out on home ice. I wonder if he will get the lion share of the blame like Ovi?

Posted by: ablake70 | May 12, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Anybody notice that the stars in the sky now have more of a twinkle. I bet the sun is shining brighter tomorrow as well. I will sleep so much better tonight.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 12, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

And where are all those "fans" who said the Caps were just lazy, outcoached, and defesively challenged! Huh Huh!!! Maybe we shouldn't talk in anger! Maybe we should count to ten before we speak!

Posted by: capscoach | May 12, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

*********

lazy - no
sometimes challenged defensively
definitely outcoached

Chalk it up to a learning experience. The Caps outworked Montreal and lost because they could not ignite the PP. That was it. One more goal a game and we would have swept them.

A little disconcerning that it took 7 games to find out we had gone from 5 goals per game before the Olympics to just 1 goal a game against the Habs in the last 3 games.

Next year will be better..

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 12, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

And where are all those "fans" who said the Caps were just lazy, outcoached, and defesively challenged! Huh Huh!!! Maybe we shouldn't talk in anger! Maybe we should count to ten before we speak!

Posted by: capscoach | May 12, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

the Caps' defeat will always remain in the playoff history books as the first one seed to lose to a eight seed after having a three games to one lead... nothing is gonna change that.

the only thing that could make people forget about that dubious record is to win the Cup next year and/or to do what the Flyers will try to do on Friday night and come back from a 3 games to none deficit.

the EC finals will have a 8 seed playing against a 6 or 7 seed. this is nothing but a WASTED opportunity to win the Cup... nothing to get excited about here.

Posted by: joek443 | May 12, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

A little disconcerning that it took 7 games to find out we had gone from 5 goals per game before the Olympics to just 1 goal a game against the Habs in the last 3 games.

Next year will be better..

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst

________________________

Disconcerting? It took the Pens 7 games to realize that it wasn't a fluke and that other than in game #1 they were outplayed by the Habs. I thought we played much better than them. My point is that maybe our loss was not an indication that something is seriously wrong with us but that there was a team that got inspired, had an incredible goalie--somehow a number of elements converged-- and they became unstoppable.

Posted by: caraveli | May 12, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

PENS LOSE!

PENS LOSE!

PENS LOSE!

A bittersweet postseason has just become a little less bitter!

The Bruins/Flyers have no chance against the Habs. Habs will be in the final. They have way too much momentum and two quality series wins.

Crosby, the "best" player in the world, finishes with an "impressive" stat sheet against the Habs:
1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points, and -1.

Let me reemphasize Ovie's stat sheet against the Habs:
5 goals, 5 assists, 10 points, and +5.

What happened? I thought all these talking heads said the "best" player in the world would take control and win it.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | May 12, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

The Habs have excellent coaching, a hot goalie, and a roster built for the playoffs. The Caps were good enough to beat them but got out-coached. The Penguins this year were only marginally better than the Habs (who could have easily been the #5 seed if a few pucks bounced right), and the Habs outplayed them. If the Habs can keep up the solid play, they should make it to the Stanley Cup finals and give the Hawks or Sharks a hard time.

Posted by: butcherbaker | May 12, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

The Bruins/Flyers have no chance against the Habs. Habs will be in the final. They have way too much momentum and two quality series wins.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | May 12, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

that's what just about everyone said about the Habs before they played the Caps and the Pens.

how would seeing the flyers or the bruins in the SC make those of you excited about the Habs beating the Pens feel? would that make you feel more bitter or less??

Posted by: joek443 | May 12, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't count the Flyers or Boston out in a series against the Habs. Montreal ran into 2 teams that can't (won't) learn to play against the trap. I'm not sure about Boston, but you probably should ask the Devils if the Flyers can beat the trap.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 12, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing, many in the media are already blaming the Pens loss on being tired from playing too many games.

First, games from the 2008 playoffs are irrelevant unless they caused long lasting permanent injuries. 2 years is plenty of time for the body to heal.

Second, while the Pens played until early June last year it still gave them 2 1/2 months to rest. Again, unless bothered by a serious injury, 2 1/2 months is more than enough time for a body to heal and rest. 2 weeks is generally enough time to rest a body that is sore from physical exertion.

Third, writers are also playing the Olympics card for the Pens. I thought the Pens had 5 Olympians. I think the Habs had at least 3 (Halak, Plekanec, Markov) and maybe more, the Caps had 5 too. Another pointless argument.

Nonetheless, it pretty much deflects any of the blame from Crosby. Now I'm not saying Crosby should be blamed for the loss. However, if writers are going to blame Ovechkin for the Caps loss because of his performance then they have to blame Crosby for the Pens loss. Especially considering his performance was considerably worse than Ovechkin's.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 12, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I am pleased to see the Penguins ousted; however, to suggest that because the Pens also underachieved in the playoffs that the Caps don't need to do anything in the off-season to address their myriad deficiencies is a loser's position. This type of sentiment reminds me of Red Sox fans during the Sox 86-year title drought who excused Red Sox foibles if the Yankees happened to get beat in the post-season.

The Red Sox organization, much like the Caps if they ever plan to enjoy success in the post-season, eventually realized that one can not measure success against a single adversary. Unless the NHL becomes a two-team league, Pittsburgh's failures do not reflect anything on the Capitals organization. On the contray, both teams being eliminated by the 16th best team in the playoffs should highlight the fact that both teams are flawed. In the case of the Caps, acknowledging the playoff incompetence of Green, Semin, and BB is not only appropriate, but it is necessary if the organization is to advance beyond a nice regular season in a remarkably soft division.

Posted by: nomarjax01 | May 12, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the Pitt-MTL series is proof of the fact that the Caps played a great series against Montreal but fell short. But as a Caps fan, that's not good enough. Just once, I want the Caps to be the team that exceeds expectations the way the Canadiens are now. It's not okay that Montreal was just lucky--I want to be lucky too, damn it! I will never forget the disappointment from that Game 7 against Montreal--and if this team is finally going to win something of consequence, neither should they.

Posted by: squirrelly07 | May 12, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh, but I will officially take back my concession two weeks ago about Crosby being the better player. I instead vote that the debate is really really stupid. But I will offer one last parting shot--OV produced but the Caps still lost, while the Pens lost because Crosby didn't produce. Who's the choker now?

Posted by: squirrelly07 | May 13, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Pens fans sure had fun dancing on our grave. Cue the music!

They figured out Halak all right. Crosby & Malkin combined for exactly 2 goals in 7 games.

Posted by: ranndino | May 13, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

First, THANK YOU HABS!!!! It was so sweet to see the Pens get blown out tonight, and especially to see Crosby choke yet again. That just made my day.

Second, the Caps do need to fix some problems in the offseason, but I hope this will show some of the dommsayers that the situation isn't nearly as grave as they were trying to make it out to be. The Habs are a very good team who were knocked down to the 8th seed by constant injuries during the season - more than any other team. We don't need to get rid of Green or Semin, we don't need to blow up the defense - there are just some tweaks to be made. Especially, get a legit #2 center and a solid, stay-at-home dman who will clear the crease.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 13, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

My point is that maybe our loss was not an indication that something is seriously wrong with us but that there was a team that got inspired, had an incredible goalie--somehow a number of elements converged-- and they became unstoppable.

Posted by: caraveli | May 12, 2010 11:07 PM |


Second, the Caps do need to fix some problems in the offseason, but I hope this will show some of the dommsayers that the situation isn't nearly as grave as they were trying to make it out to be.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 13, 2010 12:19 AM |

Thank you both for putting things into perspective.
We lost a 7 game series to a good team but had a +2 goal differential.
They had the hot goalie & score opportunistically.
Tweak not mass panic is the way to improve.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 13, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Montreal for dumping Pittsburgh, the "Evil Empire of the East". It's consoling to notice that the Pens fared no better than the Caps against Montreal. The "built for the playoffs" and "winning in the clutch" Pittsburgh team lost.

Granted, the Caps will still need to make a few tweaks to improve their odds for next year. Disagree with the folks who want to throw Green and Semin under the bus. (Note: who two of the Sharks' playoff heroes have been, thus far. None other than Thornton and Marleau, who Sharks fans were ready to dump last year.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 13, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

where are all the pittsburgh trolls now? they couldn't wait to get over on this board and take a dump on our team and our players when we lost. i hope somebody from here took the time to take a dump on them.

it was so great to watch them lose! thank you habs!

Posted by: natresgroup | May 13, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

On the Habs PK:

Earlier in the thread someone said the Pens showed the Habs PK wasn't as good as the Caps made them look. They looked great tonight going 6 for 6 on the kill with a short handed goal. Even with some D not 100% they still shut down the Pens for a vast majority of the series and game one was the only real exception.

Posted by: icehammer97 | May 13, 2010 5:41 AM | Report abuse

Remember Pens have been out of first round 3 straight years, they have went to the cup 2 straight years, they went to the second round as a 4th seed this year. Caps have a long way to go before throwing stones. lets see number 1 seed, highest scoring team, 3-1 series lead bounced first round. Pens struggled all season, not highest scoring team, yet on to the second round and did not give up a 3-1 series lead. I believe Caps finished higher then the Pens the last 3 years, however bounced in first round twice and second round once, I am still thinking Pens still are laughing. I am sure people will not like this post, but sometimes the truth hurts.

Posted by: cocorules | May 13, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

'A couple weeks later, it still hurts'
---------------------------------------

That's what SHE said!

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 12, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Why in the heck do we not get along in here? That is great phrase used by Michael Scott (I know it has been around for a long time but his character brought it back to mainstream) which means we at least have THE OFFICE in common. Perhaps we are just both pig-headed.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 13, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Talk systems all you want, talk about the Caps being outcoached all you want. The only coach that outcoached us on the Montreal staff might be the goaltending coach. Montreal's "system" completely fails this post-season if Halak does not perform the way he has. Games wouldn't be tied, or within striking distance, allowing his team to be in a defensive shell if Halak doesn't perform. The Habs will probably pay him rediculous money based on his performance, even if they do poorly in the next round. They might strap themselves with a one-season wonder (Steve Mason anyone?) goaltender.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 13, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Why won't the Post let us comment on the article about the Montreal-Pen's game? You can comment on the fact that BWI drew more travelers than last year but not the Pen's loss? I still think kids run the Post.

And so .. where's our man Wilbon now? Hiding in Arizona? I don't know what was worse about Mike's cowardly calling out of Alex after the Montreal series .. his suggesting Alex should play more like Quittin' LeBron or Crosby the Invisible. Pathetic. Alex definitely showed up for 7. Anyone who followed the team knew Semin should have been the subject of Wilbon's article.

Oh, and did you read ESPN's write up of the Pen's game .. that Crosby's boarding penalty was the result of 'over exuberance?' Really? Alex does it and he's a thug bud Crosby, he's just trying too hard. Well, bless his little soul.

Posted by: tslats | May 13, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

That was awesome. Doesn't make me feel any better about the Caps' playoff swoon, but it was great to all those round, sad faces in the Igloo!

Was it just me or did the Bruins look like cr@p last night? Virtually no net presence, little offensive pressure even in the 3rd, no urgency in general. The Flyers were barely any better. I think the Habs will run over either of these teams - especially with a few days rest.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | May 13, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why some of you people are obssessed over the Pens... what do they have to do with the Caps' failure unless they play each other?

yes, they got upset by the Habs but they've won 8 outta 10 playoff series in the last 3 years including one Cup.

Now everything is okay because the pens lost? forget the fact that this team can't even get outta the first round and I can't even remember the last time they got outta the 2nd round.

again what do the pens have to do with the utter playoff failure of this team unless they play each other??

Posted by: joek443 | May 13, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

It's called a "rivalry." By the way, "obsessed" has only 3 S's.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | May 13, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

a few comments:

1) Make up your mind, homers: hot goalie, average goalie?? Given Halak's play during the regular season, no shocker the way he played. He is a legit Top 10 NHL goalie.

2) Jacques Martin got his TEAM to subscribe to and play HIS system for 60 minutes. Something the Caps youngsters wouldn't do or something Boudreau would not get them to commit to.

3) The Habs are a much better TEAM than they were given credit for and may have more heart than any team in the 2010 playoffs (certainly more than the Caps).

4) The Habs victory should not be looked at as some sort of redemption for the Caps as it relates to Caps fans obsession with Pens comparisons. The Caps lost based at least partly on their own deficiencies. While I love the fact that the Habs dispatched the Pens, it by no means minimizes the list of shortcomings that the Caps have to deal with over the summer.

Posted by: doughless | May 13, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I agree, Caps have nothing on the Penguins. Nothing. But it did help a little bit last night, not to mitigate Washington's playoff fizzle, but to see that this run the Habs are on can also take down the Cup champions.

Posted by: scrappledog | May 13, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why some of you people are obssessed over the Pens... what do they have to do with the Caps' failure unless they play each other?

Posted by: joek443 | May 13, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm not obsessed with the Pens, but their losing to the Habs does make the Caps' elimination by Montreal sting just a little bit less for me. It tends to show that Montreal is a much better team than their number 8 seeding would have indicated, and that maybe the Caps' loss was not as big of a choke job as it seemed at the time.

Posted by: rbpalmer | May 13, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Montreal beating Pittsburgh too shouldn't alter what the Caps need to do. This year's Penguins were not nearly as solid on defense as last year's Penguins after losing their top two defensemen in the offseason, and this year's Penguins, as defending Cup champs, also had less to prove than last year's Penguins. The Caps also consistently showed during the regular season that they were a better team than the Penguins. Matching the Penguins' playoff exit strategy by losing in 7 to Montreal is not a sign of progress. If it's a sign of anything, it's that in the playoffs it really helps to have one or more legit shutdown defensive pairs to neuralize the other team's best players, or at least slow them down. Neither the Caps nor the Pens had such a pair this year, so Montreal was able to score enough to win despite having limited scoring depth and playing a generally conservative style.

Posted by: bbposter09 | May 13, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

From Puckdaddy:


"It's a fable, but this ain't Cinderella.

This is a collection of veterans, augmented by a few terrific young players, whose efficient execution of a system and unflappable play has propelled them to unexpected heights. It's the 1995 New Jersey Devils all over again: Opportunistic scoring; a goalie who stops everything he needs to and sometimes more; and a system (orchestrated by a guy named Jacques, no less) that chokes the life out of "better" opponents."

Posted by: doughless | May 13, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Salary wise, the pens are now in trouble. They have:

Crsoby - 9mm
Malkin - 9mm
Stahl - 5mm
Fleury - 5mm
Letang - 5mm

33mm for five players. I would not be surprised to see them move Malkin.

That is too much sunk into 5 players. It showed in these playoffs. The Caps need to look at this closely, and deal Semin appropriately. You figure, once backs is resigned at 7mm, the Caps will be paying he, OV, and Green 21mm. You cannot waste 6mm on Semin too.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 13, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"...a system (orchestrated by a guy named Jacques, no less) that chokes the life out of "better" opponents."

Funny how if a couple of pucks had bounced differently in the regular season, the Habs would have missed the playoffs, Montreal fans would have been ready to choke the life out of Jacques, and he'd probably have been fired.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | May 13, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Something we seem to forget about the Habs that explains that them finishing 8th is misleading... Gionta, Camalleri, Bergeron, Kostistsyn, Gill and Markov all missed over 20 games during the regular season. Subban was not there. The team was almost entirely overhauled, thus, it takes a while to execute a new system and mesh all these new players.
That they have a hot goalie is undeniable but I would suggest that this is a much better team than their 8th seed shows. If I remember correctly, they got the best record in the league for the 10 games following the Olympics. Then, Camalleri got injured...
I don't think that the Caps need too much tweaking. Obviously a solid second center and a shut down defensemen would help. I assume that we have the cap space and the russian connection to make an offer to Volchenkov... I would wager a few $$ that he will be in a Caps uniform next year. As for Plekanec, forget it; he likes it in Montreal. Let's get a good second line center through a trade; we have enough trade baits....

Posted by: atybat | May 13, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Trap hockey should be banned from the league. It's killing the sport.

Posted by: MarylanDChris | May 13, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to Montreal for closing mellon arena in style... the igloo has melted! Funny how the ultimate captain was hiding in Mario's basement the whole series...

Agreed that it is a shame that Crosby will not get much of the blame for this, even though he deserves a lot of it. He disappears for a series or commits dumb penalties and its "he is still young", or "he played in the Olympics", or "he was over-exuberant", whereas for Ovie its "he is a horrible leader, he cares only about himself", and "he ate three babies before he cheap-shotted the entire opposing team" and so forth. Maybe I'm wrong about how much criticism Crosby will receive in the coming days, but one goal from him in a seven game series should at least get the Ovie and Caps haters to check themselves first.

@Joek443- If you are not extremely happy that Pittsburgh lost then you are not a fan of the Washington Capitals.

Posted by: rademaar | May 13, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to the HABS. they are on a magical run. They are winning with special teams and goaltending. The Pens scored 4 PP the first game and then 4 the last 6 games.

I still don't get all the talk about the caps being outcoached. The coach can only set things up, the players have to perform.
The only reason we lost against the HABS is the power play went dry....THE BEST POWER PLAY for the last TWO SEASONS.If our PP connects at a 15-20 % we win that series going away. The ice /shots were tilted in almost every game.

We need to tweak a couple things and we will be there. I think we need a number 1 ,good hitting body checking shot blocking D-man, A good solid second line center.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | May 13, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm mildly amused that Pittsburgh got eliminated. Now, I'll look forward to being pleased when the Canadiens are eliminated. Thank you, Hockey Gods.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 13, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@underpants - no way the Pens even contemplate moving Malkin, unless they're a much more poorly-run organization than I think. You're right that's a lot of $ tied up in a handful of players, but two in particular jump out at you [Letang and Fleury, at $5m/per] - that seems pretty crazy.

You need two scoring lines to do anything in the playoffs. Look at the B's, winless in the playoffs and possibly about to get bounced since Krecji got injured. Or look at Forsberg-Sakic, Fedorov-Yzerman, Gretzky-Messier, etc. You really do need two.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 13, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

------------------------------------------
Agitating winger Steve Pinizzotto set a physical tone and did a Guy Lafleur impersonation when he flew down the right wing and threaded a top-right-corner shot that gave Hershey its three-goal edge at 7:25 of the second.

French said he talked to Pinizzotto, who’d been relatively quiet during the Albany series.

“You’ve got to be the type of player after five minutes into a series, they’re running around trying to chase and trying to kill him,” French said. “That’s how he was last year, and it was a huge aspect of why we won the Calder Cup. I thought he got back to that.”

Though Pinizzotto took a charge for a check on Andrew Campbell in the first, it was a message hit on one of Manchester’s leading defensive scorers in the playoffs. He also fought Kyle Clifford late in the first and garnered a Hershey power play when slashed by Justin Azevedo in the third.

“That [charge] was kind of a suspect call,” Pinizzotto said. “That’s how I play. I’m a hard-nosed guy and I just like to finish my checks. I may have been a half a second too late and he made the call, but we made a great kill.”
-----------------------------------

I don't think Pinner would fit in real well on our team. I can't imagine Boudreau taking aside any of our players and telling them to play an agitating style of hockey. Even Matt Bradley was a different type of player in Hanlon's system. He actually got into scrums and really ticked off other teams with his relentless checking.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 13, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

If Philly Wins aganst the Bruins in game seven , they will have home ice advantage in the East against the HABS , with a match up of the # 8 and the #7 seeded teams. How bizarre......

This just shows how much parity there is in the league.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | May 13, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@Capsfannmiss

I agree completely. People forget that the Caps thoroughly dominated the Habs 5-on-5 throughout the series and the goal differential at even strength shows that. The Pens actually were beat handily at even strength and were only in a game 7 because of their PP, and when that failed in game 7 they lost, and lost badly.

The Caps lost because of their horrible PP and a bad PK.

The PP has had too good of a track record to change too much. And I'm not just talkling about the regular season, the Caps PP was very good in the playoffs the last two years too, which is why this year was so unexpected. A few minor tweaks on it, hopefully setting up a good plan B when they are guarded like Montreal did. But the failure basically came down to Semin, Knuble, Backstrom, etc. just missing open shots from the slot they normally bury. It is too small of a sample size to require major change.

Maybe acquiring a left handed defenseman who can play the point on the PP would be an option. However, it would not be worth getting if that precludes the Caps from getting a solid defensive defenseman or a 2nd line center.

The PK on the other hand, needs a complete overhaul. They need to change the style and personnel. The Caps long struggles on the PK show this.

Hopefully the acquisition of a good 2nd line center (who can play the PK, Plekanec maybe) and a very good defenseman who can play the PK (volchenkov). Yes, I know it is highly unlikely Plekanec is going to Washington (not enough cap space) but it is possible he may leave with the increased cost of Halak in Montreal.

What are people's thoughts on Paul Martin? Could he be an option.

Also, although he may have absolutely no desire to leave California, could the Caps try to convince Scott Niedermeyer to come over for a year.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 13, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i81L9eKDnqQ&feature=player_embedded

full highlights of the Bears game 1 win over Manchester in round 3

Nice goals by AGordon and Pinner. Even Alzner who got caught up ice a little too much yesterday shows off some offensive skills.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 13, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

One sidenote - as pleased as I am by MTL bouncing Pitt [never thought I'd be rooting for MTL, btw], no way I think they now let Plekanec become available. Everybody talks about how Crosby did very little this series, but Plekanec was invariably out against him, winning tons of loose pucks and frustrating the beejaysus out of poor Sidney. He was out there on seemingly every key faceoff, and the #1 center on MTL's outstanding PK unit [even w/o Markov].

He also seems to get relatively little primo PP time [for some reason Martin seems to favor Gomez on the #1 PP unit, with his (very-questionable at times) decision-making]. So it seems Plekanec has put up those impressive point and especially assist #'s, both playoff and reg season on a low-scoring team, while seemingly getting the ass-end of quality PP time. He's a hell of a player.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 13, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@sgm - I'd love to see any of those guys you mentioned wearing a Caps uni, the A-train and Plekanec in particular [he's great on the PK, btw], but no way MTL lets Plekanec go after the way he's played these playoffs, IMO. Conversely, does Markov become available? He's not a huge banger, but he is a terrific all-around d-man - which makes MTL's success w/o him all the more impressive.

Completely agree the PK needs an overhaul. I've noticed guys Bergeron, Krecji and Plekanec get significant PK time, inevitably putting the PP on their heels a little - conversely, much as I admire their effort, guys like Bradley, Steckel, Gordon, etc. don't exactly strike fear in the heart of opposing d-men, I imagine.

Was Paul Martin the Minn kid who made Team USA but broke his arm - if so, yes I like him a lot. Give me mobility over height [especially if that height is of the non-physical variety] any day.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 13, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Montreal's crushing victory simply validates that the Caps loss against them wasn't a fluke and credit should be given to their goalie and defense. The Pens were absolutely embarrassed at home and were never in the 7th game. The 'Greatest Player in the World' took a stupid penalty 10 seconds into the game which set the tone and let to an early PP goal. I knew the Pens were done as soon as the second goal was scored. It actually made me feel good to see Crosy's line of 1 goal, 2 assists, and -2 for the series.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 13, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I too don't really get the outcoached comments. I wish posters would be specific about what they mean when they say that.

Most people here agree that the Caps bad PP was the reason they lost. But, why was it bad? Was it that they got lazy/over confident or was the Habs PK scheme good and they didn't adapt? The Habs coaching was good in this area but their players still had to execute.

My gut feel is that the Caps coaching was adequate and the real reason they lost the series was the "low hockey IQ" of key players (they were not opportunistic enough). Plus, of course, the terrific Habs defense and goaltending of Halak. Raising the hockey IQ of the Caps might be best accomplished via trades.

I offer as an example of an opportunistic approach the way the Habs scored their 5th. goal last night.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 13, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Where are all the people who said the Caps were not built for the playoffs and BB and GM GM needed to be fired? I guess we now have to say Pitt is not built for the playoffs as well.

Posted by: phrankbama | May 13, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The Pens losing to the Habs in no way changes my feelings about the Caps loss. The pitiful PP, lack of net presence, individual play, and the season long failure of the PK, does not change because Pittsburgh lost too. And for those of you saying that GMGM needs to get the Caps "more grit", notice how the two grittiest players on the team were stapled to the press box.

I am happy that the Crosby myth can be put to rest for a few months. The guy is a phenomenal player, but it is irritating that the media sold him as a one man band. Crosby won the Cup and the gold himself. No credit to the Pens and the Canadian Olympic team, just Crosby. The last few days the Crosby hype machine was in full on mode, proclaiming that Crosby would carry the team on his back to victory. Well, he didn't. In fact he was just as bad as Mike Green with his dumb penalty. Maybe now they will learn that hockey is a TEAM sport.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 13, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Watching Team Russia on www.atdhe.net right now.

Looks like Varlamov is in net, and is pitching a shutout through two periods against Belarus.

Ovechkin got a goal. Semin looks good. It's hard to tell what's going on exactly because it's not exactly high-def, plus the broadcasters are Russian and no one in the U.S. really pronounces most Russian names correctly. Sounds like Semin is really pronounced more like see-YUM-in or something like that, and Ovechkin is more like oh-vee-YECH-kin or so. Fedorov's name is easier to hear.

You can get sweater numbers at the www.iihf.com website if you click on TEAMS--that makes it a little easier to follow.

Right now it's intermission, and whoever is controlling this television is flipping through Russian channels. It's pretty interesting. Wish I knew Russian.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 13, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@Timbo_1

Yeah, that is Paul Martin. He was the Devils best defenseman the past few years and is an UFA. The Devils want to re-sign him but you never know.

I think what happens in Montreal this offseason will be very interesting. They already have huge money tied up in Gomez (signifcantly overpaid), Gionta, and Cammaleri (looking very much worth it). Halak and Price are both RFAs this offseasons (I think). Halak will now likely get near $6M/yr and maybe higher if he wins them a Stanley Cup. Price will get around $3.5M/yr. I have a hard time seeing Price getting much less than Kari Lehtonen (signed for $3.65/yr a few days ago).

Clearly Montreal wants to keep Pleaknec and probably will, but it is going to take a very big contract now. The Caps probably don't have the cap room to get him, but it is possible another team will grab him.

I guess Montreal could get rid of Markov to make room for Plekanec. However, Markov makes $5.75M/yr. That may be too much to fit under the Capitals salary cap. It would be a great option though. However, I also highly doubt the Habs get rid of him.

But they will have to get rid of somebody to keep all of these people at their prices.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 13, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Just saw the shots on goal. About 3 minutes into the 3rd, Belarus had only 10, still with no goals.

Looks like Belarus has only 2 NHLers at the moment. Ruslan Salei and Mikhail Grabovski.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 13, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@Timbo_1

Another possibility for D is Ian White. I guess he is predicted to get about $3.5M/yr and Calgary can't afford to pay him that much. What are people's thoughts on him? People say he played very well in Calgary and was their best defenseman when he was there.

Maybe the Caps could work out some deal where they get White and Nystrom for Flash and something else. (That might not fix Calgary's cap problem though).

Posted by: sgm3 | May 13, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Ah, well, Varlamov just allowed a goal on a point-blank shot on a rebound. Not much he could've done probably.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 13, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh, man. Varlamov just made a great save.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 13, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Anybody have a link to the Crosby early boarding penalty last night? My Pens fan friend said it was a bad call. I am betting it was legit.

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | May 13, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Man, you guys were right. I wish we had Crosby. If I was starting a team, I'd definitely take him 10 out of 10 times. He is so much better than Ovie, it's not funny. I mean, anyone who can lead their team to the ECF has got to be better than a loser who loses in the first round...wait, what? You mean, he lost to the same team Ovie did, and he only had 5 points, where Ovie had 10, and he took a stupid boarding penalty 10 seconds into game 7 that set the tone for the rest of the game? But, that's what a good leader does, isn't it?

I don't want to hear another word about how Crosby is better or he's clutch or any of that BS.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | May 13, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait until next season. Four and a half long months.

I haven't had much to say about the personnel decisions the fans here have been suggesting, but I'll go ahead and cast my votes for not bringing back Belanger, not bringing back Morrison, not bringing back Corvo, hoping Fleischmann is traded or stolen as a restricted free agent (and getting compensatory picks back), getting one great defensive defenseman somehow or other even if it means trading Green, and keeping Semin and trying to re-sign him soon to a million-year contract because he is, easily, one of the ten best offensive hockey players in the world even though many of y'all seem to be having a knee-jerk response to him happening to get 0 goals in this latest playoff series, which is crazy considering his past playoff history, that he led the league last year in points-per-minute (minimum 30 games), and that he was fifth in goals-per-minute this year and sixth in points-per-minute (minimums 20 goals and 50 points respectively).

Yes all of that past performance makes you expect goals in every playoff series, and yes the Capitals might well have won had they gotten one from him, and it really, really sucks that he didn't get one, but the hell with you if you think he wasn't trying. He looked like his usual incredibly excellent self most of the time, to me. I think you are spoiled, bonkers, and completely out of touch with reality if you think the Capitals would be better off without him. There are a couple of players the Capitals have almost no chance of getting that I'd rather have, like Datsyuk or Parise or Malkin, but short of that kind of crazy scenario, the Capitals will be a worse team without Semin. He isn't perfect. But he's far better at what he does than almost every other hockey player in the world.

Unfortunately, you Semin haters may get your wish just because of free agency and the salary cap and all that. I'm going to enjoy this next year, which could well be the final year for Semin in a Capitals uniform, or part of a year if he's traded.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 13, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait until next season. Four and a half long months.

I haven't had much to say about the personnel decisions the fans here have been suggesting, but I'll go ahead and cast my votes for not bringing back Belanger, not bringing back Morrison, not bringing back Corvo, hoping Fleischmann is traded or stolen as a restricted free agent (and getting compensatory picks back), getting one great defensive defenseman somehow or other even if it means trading Green, and keeping Semin and trying to re-sign him soon to a million-year contract because he is, easily, one of the ten best offensive hockey players in the world even though many of y'all seem to be having a knee-jerk response to him happening to get 0 goals in this latest playoff series, which is crazy considering his past playoff history, that he led the league last year in points-per-minute (minimum 30 games), and that he was fifth in goals-per-minute this year and sixth in points-per-minute (minimums 20 goals and 50 points respectively).

Yes all of that past performance makes you expect goals in every playoff series, and yes the Capitals might well have won had they gotten one from him, and it really, really sucks that he didn't get one, but the hell with you if you think he wasn't trying. He looked like his usual incredibly excellent self most of the time, to me. I think you are spoiled, bonkers, and completely out of touch with reality if you think the Capitals would be better off without him. There are a couple of players the Capitals have almost no chance of getting that I'd rather have, like Datsyuk or Parise or Malkin, but short of that kind of crazy scenario, the Capitals will be a worse team without Semin. He isn't perfect. But he's far better at what he does than almost every other hockey player in the world.

Unfortunately, you Semin haters may get your wish just because of free agency and the salary cap and all that. I'm going to enjoy this next year, which could well be the final year for Semin in a Capitals uniform, or part of a year if he's traded.

Posted by: youaresquishy

I hate to be harsh, but you have no idea what you are talking about. Semin also didn't score in the series against the Penguins last year. Points-per-minute is nonsense, who cares. He is not a big game player, period. And he has much more value to this team on the trade market then he does on the ice.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 13, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The penalty on Crosby was legit. Crosby pushed (light cross check) him from behind into the boards. It was not egregious (no post whistle stuff) just stupid, the play has already gone by.

Posted by: adhardwick | May 13, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

hate to be harsh, but you have no idea what you are talking about. Semin also didn't score in the series against the Penguins last year. Points-per-minute is nonsense, who cares. He is not a big game player, period. And he has much more value to this team on the trade market then he does on the ice.

Posted by: underpants2

I hate to be harsh, but you have no idea what you are talking about. Did you watch the Rangers and Flyers series when Semin was our best forward? Using a series when he was injured or the one when the team scored 1 goal in the last 3 games is just as bad someone claiming that Crosby is not elite because of his 1 goal 3 assist performance against the Wings, or his 1 goal, 4 assist performance against a depleted Habs squad. Not saying that Semin wouldn't be more valuable to another team (though I prefer him here), I am amazed at how so many use selective stats to prove their biased opinion.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 13, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

hate to be harsh, but you have no idea what you are talking about. Did you watch the Rangers and Flyers series when Semin was our best forward? Using a series when he was injured or the one when the team scored 1 goal in the last 3 games is just as bad someone claiming that Crosby is not elite because of his 1 goal 3 assist performance against the Wings, or his 1 goal, 4 assist performance against a depleted Habs squad. Not saying that Semin wouldn't be more valuable to another team (though I prefer him here), I am amazed at how so many use selective stats to prove their biased opinion.

Posted by: ablake70

You mean like you just did. No goals in the last 14 playoff games, I am not sure how that is selective, seems pretty clear to me.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 13, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Semin has 8 goals and 16 assists for 24 points in 28 playoff games. I'm pretty sure that 28 playoff games is a pretty small sample size, that 24 points in 28 games is not that bad, and that the conclusion that Semin is "not a big game player" is completely unwarranted at this point.

I do not believe you, underpants2, when you say you "hate to be harsh." I think you are intentionally trying to be inflammatory. I do have an idea of what I am talking about.

Semin is an incredibly excellent player, in games big and small, but like every player there are big and small games in which he doesn't produce points. He does seem to be a bit streakier than your average incredibly excellent superstar, to me, in games big and small, although I'm not prepared to statistically verify this.

Semin had six assists in last year's series against Pittsburgh, but in my opinion that was probably his worst playoff series performance of the four he's been involved in, all things considered. If Semin has ever let the Caps down in a playoff series, that was the one in which it happened--not this year's.

Points-per-minute is not nonsense.

And, I can't say for sure GMGM can't trade Semin for a combination of considerations that has more value overall, but that depends a lot on what offers are actually on the table.

It will make me very sad to see Semin go, because we will be losing one of the ten best forwards in the world today. Caps are fortunate to have three of them on the same team, and it makes for very exciting viewing. There might be only one more part of a year of this, though. Sad.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 13, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Semin has had two good playoff series', one bad one (Pens series), and one in which he produced a lot of opportunities but provided no production (that is up to each person how he wants to weight that one).

With that production over only 4 playoffs series', I don't think there is enough evidence to say he is good or bad in the playoffs.

The only conclusion I can reach is he is inconsistent in the playoffs. Meaning he could kick *ss in one playoff series and do nothing in the next. But for the series' he is on, he is deadly.

Because of the inconsistencies, he is not a player you want to rely on, but he has performed well enough that he is a player I would like to have on my team in the playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 13, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

You mean like you just did. No goals in the last 14 playoff games, I am not sure how that is selective, seems pretty clear to me.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 13, 2010 1:16 PM

I'm not being selective. I covered the entire playoff record of this Caps team. You said that Semin is not a big game performer, I gave you two series where Semin was dominate. In fact, in the one series this Caps team managed to win, Semin and Fedorov were the only two to score goals in the crucial game 7.

I'm not saying that a 14 games without a playoff goal isn't bad, just that it doesn't tell the whole story.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 13, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

To be perfectly clear, you may well be correct, underpants2, in saying that the optimal thing to do is to trade Semin. And it's not just about objective value to some average hypothetical team--it's about value to this team. Definitely I can see the argument that having Backstrom and Ovechkin is enough in the incredibly excellent superstar forward department and that keeping Semin in the mix provides diminishing returns.

But even if I knew for sure that trading Semin soon would make the Capitals a better team overall, I would still be sad to see him go, because I love watching Semin play, I mainly watch the Capitals, and it's likely going to be a while before we see another forward of that caliber in a Capitals uniform not named Backstrom or Ovechkin. I will scream in agony the day I learn Semin is no longer a Capital, and that is a fact.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 13, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

So, in your opinion, who is player that can be depended on in the playoffs?

Posted by: ablake70 | May 13, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy

8 goals in 28 playoff games is ahrdly what I would consider a big game player. None in th last 14. He is getting worse, not better. This year was he was a COMPLETE FAILURE. To call him one of the ten best forwards in the world is also laughable. Would you take him over: OV, Backs, Crosby, Malkin, Stamkos, E. Stahl, Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, Kane, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Kovalchuk, etc... But if others believe he is, no problem in getting value for him.

If this team moves forward with the same team that collapses year after year, that is insanity. Semin is the easiest piece to move. We need to ignore regular season stats, they are meaningless. But if you are so hung up on points-per-minute, how many ppm did he have against the Canadiens in a seven game series, 4 of which are home.

Too many people are apologizing for this team.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 13, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

Ovechkin and Backstrom.

I didn't mean my statement to be negative on Semin. I closed saying he is a player I want on my team.

I just meant you do not want to go into a series thinking "if Semin doesn't produce we will lose" because his production is inconsistent.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 13, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Semin is 26 years old already, so there's that to consider, too. Not that that's crazy old, but it's also not crazy to think that if he hasn't peaked already, his peak isn't more than a couple of years away. I dunno.

I'm kind of mad at Green I guess, and still a huge fan of Semin. I don't know what to think about Green right now, other than to tell him that next time he wants to publicly insult the entire team the Capitals are playing against in the playoffs, in the middle of a series against that team, he should probably make sure he plays reasonably well. Grrrr.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 13, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I would not take Semin over Ovie, Backstrom, Crosby, Malkin, Stamkos, Datsyuk, or Parise. I would take him right after that though.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 13, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy

I do apologize for saying you have no idea what you are talking about, you clearly do. But I think it is important that this team takes the necessary steps to win a cup. The disappointment of this year was almost crippling. I keep going back to what Boston got for Kessel. Or if you think back a few years, the Flyers traded Fedotenko to the Lightning for the 4th overall pick (J. Pitkannen). This team does not need to rebuild, but refine.

I have a feeling this summer, you will see an "Arms Race" so to speak. Pittsburgh has to consider moving Malkin, what good is having 3 centers and no wings. Crosby needs someone to pass the puck to. Kovalchuk will sign. Semin will be traded. It will be crazy, but fun.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 13, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@ underpants2

The Pens went to two Cup finals and won 1 with "3 centers and no wings".

Posted by: ablake70 | May 13, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

@ underpants2

The Pens went to two Cup finals and won 1 with "3 centers and no wings".

Posted by: ablake70

The year they lost in the finals they had Hossa and Malone, pretty good wings. Last year they did win with the same wings they had this year, but much better defense.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 13, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"Montreal ran into 2 teams that can't (won't) learn to play against the trap.

Posted by: ablake70"


EXACTLY. A commitment to suffocating defense can help a team with inferior talent win.

Posted by: butcherbaker | May 13, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Hossa is a terrific player, make no mistake - Don Cherry's nonsense notwithstanding.

Never understood why he walked away from that lineup, although I heard through the grapevine he couldn't stand the Pens' previous coach [Therrien, IIRC?].

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 13, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see the pro-Semin posters finally outnumbering the haters. He's a great player and unjustly maligned by Caps fans looking for a scapegoat. The question of whether you'd take him over some of those other players is nonsense. At this level, it's comparing apples and oranges, and it totally depends on what you're looking for. Let's not forget that Semin had 40 goals, killed against the Flyers and Rangers in the playoffs (injured against Pitt and wasn't alone in struggling against MTL) and is a phenomenal passer, too.

I feel the same way about Green -- if you lose him for a "defensive" defenseman, his way of generating tremendous offense from his own zone would be sorely missed -- especially in a Caps system that we just learned last night doesn't really need to be adjusted. You can get mad at him for careless plays, but he has time to grow — and we would have had many fewer opportunities against Montreal had he been benched.

Posted by: BigMogilny | May 13, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

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