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Caps Collapse Late, lose 2-1 in Phoenix.

With a 6 a.m. flight to Dallas in my immediate future, I've got to be brief tonight.

*The Caps wasted Jose Theodore's best performance of the young season, in my opinion. He was downright dominant for about 40 minutes. Then, well, bad things started happening all over the ice for Washington, which dropped its third straight (0-2-1) and has mustered just two goals in the past two games -- an unacceptable total for a team with this much talent.

"We're not getting production from a lot of guys," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That's really hurting us."

Boudreau didn't name names. But he didn't have to. Just look at the stats.

Alex Ovechkin took seven shots, but wasn't able to get one past Mikael Tellqvist, who was almost as good as Theodore in the Coyotes' net. Ovechkin had the puck on his stick and only Tellqvist to beat with about 1:30 remaining. Tellqvist made the stop, Ovechkin remained stuck on two goals (both came in the same game) and the Coyotes' won for the first time in four outtings.

-Chris Clark has one assist in seven games.

-Nicklas Backstrom got a secondary assist. But he still has two points.

-Tomas Fleischmann didn't record a point for the third straight game. Ditto for Michael Nylander.

*Winger Matt Bradley was annoyed by the team's third period effort, saying: "We played well the first two periods, but we came out flat in the third period and got out-worked. There's no excuse for that. We have to do some soul searching. It's not what the other teams are doing. It's what we're not doing. We have the skill, but we're just not working. If you don't work, you don't win."

*Getting out-worked in the third was part of the problem. But two bad defensive miscues hurt just as much.

Tyler Sloan, the feel-good story of the season so far, made a very poor decision that led to the Coyotes' first goal. Skating in just his second NHL game, Sloan attempted to clear the puck, but it wound being picked off by Olli Jokinen. A few seconds later, Mikkel Boedker had put it in the back of the net to tie the game 1-1.

"He had options," Boudreau said. "He could have put the puck off the glass. He's got to make that play."

Another mistake led directly to Phoenix's second goal. Defenseman Shaone Morrisonn somehow lost track of Peter Mueller, who got behind him and fired a crossing feed from Martin Hanzal past Theodore. Just like that, the Coyotes had taken the lead.

"He only had one guy to cover," Boudreau said. "Two major mistakes, two point-blank shots and now you're fighting from behind."

*Boudreau rarely, if ever, uses injuries as an excuse. But I'm starting to think this team is missing Viktor Kozlov (knee) and Tom Poti (groin) more than some people are willing to admit. Those are two big minute vets who do a lot of little things that go unnoticed.

*After an 0 for 5 performance on the power play against Calgary on Tuesday, the unit got one tonight on a pretty give-and-go between Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin. The power play still seemed to me to lack energy and urgency at times, and wound up 1 for 4.

*On a positive note, the penalty kill was solid, turning back all four Phoenix advantages. (A lot of that was Theodore, who was hands down the Caps' best penalty killer.)

*A game after almost getting a nine minute power play, something even more weird happened tonight: a shot by Shane Doan broke the puck in half. In all my time playing, watching and covering hockey, I have never seen a puck break.

*In case you're a Viktor Tikhonov fan, he suffered a shoulder injury in the first period and did not return.

That's all for now. I'll check in from Dallas tomorrow, where I'm hearing practice might get shortened to just a team meeting.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 24, 2008; 1:41 AM ET
 
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Comments

I disagree, Coyotes goalie EARNED the win. Jozy did NOT play better, hence first star.

Too funny, huge payroll and little results.

This team should be scoring 3 goals per game minimum

Posted by: Cheef | October 24, 2008 2:38 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, guess I'm now my alter-ego, EricS2.


We're definitly missing Kozlov. His ability to position himself and move the puck is sorely lacking. Ditto for Poti. Heck, we even missing the grunge work that Johnny does in the defensive end.

But especially Kozlov.

Posted by: EricS2 | October 24, 2008 2:40 AM | Report abuse

A team meeting seemed to work in Calgary for the flames.

Posted by: uncatim | October 24, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Watching this game last night actually made me angry. It's been a long time since the last time that a Caps game actually made me angry while watching. I guess it has to do with expectations and such, but still.

They should have beaten the holy hell out of Phoenix (and Calgary, for that matter), and it's just disheartening to see them lose that way.

Ovechkin's snakebit, pure and simple. He played a decent game himself, overall, but he kept missing hits, and obviously was so desperate to just get a goal there in the end that he just shot the puck as quickly as possible, instead of making a single move in front of Tellqvist that might have given him an easy backhand. I don't fault him for taking the shot, just that he's clearly frustrated -- he was trying to beat one past Tellqvist, rather than slide one in.

Way to go, Jose, is all I'll say.

I hope that game made all of them 30 times more infuriated than it made me. I want to see some real effort on Saturday night.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | October 24, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Alright, where is gogogreenie????!!! That post stating Ovie is gonna break out tonight kept me up waiting for it and now I'm practically asleep at my desk this morning!!! These boys gotta get their act together....too cute on the offensive side and too lax on the d....if it weren't for JT last night it would have been 4 or 5 to 1.....

Posted by: PhilR | October 24, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I hope that Brooks Laich and Matt Bradley lead the team meeting (or at least do the lion's share of the talking). I know Clarkie is the Captain, but right now his hind quarters need as much chewing as anyone's.

I know it is early in the season, and I am not panicking or ready to jump. However, how many more flat games are going to be played before we can pass out the hard hat again instead of talking about how we need to stop getting out worked?

Just the thought of having to go against another "struggling" team makes me nervous. Oh, and the insertion of having to deal with Sean Avery just makes it all the better. My guess is that he is just salivating over the long list of players he can torment.

Here's hoping that things go better in big D. I so want Alex to get un-snakebitten. However, would actually prefer Flash pass on the hard hat to a defender after a win on Saturday. Do you hear me Mo, Green, and Schultz???

Posted by: Kim-3 | October 24, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

2 straight games the opposing goalie has been the number 1 star. I think they win that game if a few bounces went their way and if the D didn't make those key mistakes.

Posted by: _Tim | October 24, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else see this team simply playing to the skill level of their opponent instead of just coming out hard and fast every night??? This is not the same team that played Pitt at Melon last week. I know there are gonna be ups and downs all year but come on!!! Calgary.......Phoenix??!!

Posted by: PhilR | October 24, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I think these guys are reading thier own press clippings... Enough of this Rock Star type aura... Get back to playing hockey and good things will come.. Yes we can blame sloan for the bad turnover but last night all of them could not get the puck out of thier own end.. and that is unacceptable.. !!

Get back to playing hockey, and the wins will come.. stop thinking your great cause your not and they will see better results

Posted by: darrylrbaker | October 24, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Over these past 2 games it literally looked like both Calgary and Phoenix have had about 8 guys out there going to the puck. The Caps have not hustled, and really only went for the puck when it seemed most convenient. We're getting outplayed- plain and simple. And for a goaltender who has been suspect, and is now (at least recently) shaking that funk- we need to get our act together. I would like to blame it on playing teams from a different conference, but both Buffalo and Dallas won in different times zones last, so....

Posted by: Fro_ | October 24, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

PhilR

Yeah, it seems like they are not taking these "weaker" team seriously enough. They need to come out banging and skating hard EVERY shift of EVERY night!

"You think you can win talent alone? Gentlemen, You don't have enough talent to win on talent alone!" -Herb Brooks

Posted by: BearsWoooo | October 24, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Deja vu all over again. First hint: Jersey game. Second distinct whiff: Calgary game. Third undeniable "righteous wind behind us:" last night. All three opponents looked like better teams of better players than the Caps. Except the Flames . . . but they were at least less bad than we were.

The Caps appear to have mastered the art of keeping the puck in their own end and making crisp, blade-to-blade passes to the the other team.

Theodore was fabulous, keeping the score 2-1 rather than 6-1. Rah, rah, go Caps and all that but it's still depressing, when your team looks like it doesn't even belong in the NHL.

Posted by: tw46 | October 24, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Sloan made a bad play, no doubt about it. I personally wold like to call out Fedorov for a terrible game. Way too many penalties and ones that were of the lazy/beaten variety then the "stuff happens" variety. I cut him some slack because he's not a natural D-man, but still.

The Dallas game should be interesting: The battle of the under-performers.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 24, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I agree with a lot of the posts here, last night's game was so painful to watch, I went to bed after the 2nd Phoenix goal. Although I laid there stewing about it. You don't want to call out names, because pretty much everyone was flat.

PhilR: I agree with you - they played to the skill level of the opposing teams.

Kim: You typed what I was thinking... Avery... 'nuf said.

I'm scared to even watch Saturday's game. But, like a train wreck, I can't look away.

Posted by: BlondeCapsFan | October 24, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Okay, defensemen making lousy clearing attempts, that's been going on for three years now, nothing new there. But the past two games, the Caps' forecheck is pretty lame. No offensive zone control. They get one quick shot and its out. Sometimes they don't even get a shot off because they can't even get the passes to connect.

Posted by: koalatek | October 24, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I must say if it wasn't for Theodore in net, the game would have been a blow out. The caps seemed a bit lazy to me at times which ended up costing them the game. (1st goal-turnover by sloan, 2nd goal-morrisonn lack of D-awareness)

Backstrom to me looks lost out there so far on the young season. Too many undisciplined passes to guys who aren't open. He just needs to relax and play the game like he did the last half of last year.

With this being said, I do believe a team meeting is necessary and I hope to see our Capitals bounce back strong against Dallas with high work-ethic. Just need to get back to playing Caps hockey.

Posted by: TowsonCapsFan | October 24, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I kinda thought going into the third that it was starting to look like one of those good old Caps games where everything looks great at the start of the final period, but the team forgets they only have a one goal lead. Two quick ones and you're dead. Sigh.

At least Jose was strong. Hopefully the boys can victimize Turco tomorrow.

Posted by: _jordan | October 24, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: _Tim | October 24, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I don't know that I necessarily think the team is believe in all the hype and have an ego that is suddenly affecting their play. I think it has all been circumstantial - Jose not getting off to a good start, losing Poti & Kozy, Ovy frustrated and pushing, Backstrom's slump (whether he's hurt, out of shape or whatever...). I think they'll get back on track and a team meeting is a good idea.

I also agree that we're sorely missing Kozlov & Poti. I hope they come back soon and was really looking forward to Kozy coming back this road trip - however from the updates so far it doesn't look promising. Obviously these guys returning isn't the sole solution - but like Tarik said, they do a lot of little things that get the job done. I feel bad for Kozlov because I don't think he ever gets credit for this. I personally would like to see him back next year.

Posted by: capsfantess | October 24, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I sure hope this so-so start doesn't continue and then we all go "well, if we just had kozlov and poti.." and make excuses like last year's "well, if we just had clark and semin and nylander and pothier.."

This team is better, dammit!

Posted by: _jordan | October 24, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Fantastic new registration thing. I love it. No more Anonymous!

Took me a while to remember what e-mail address I set up for wash-post so long ago.

Can't win when you score 1 goal. Great goalies have less than 10 Shutouts a year. Timing those performances with 1 goal outputs from your offense is even more difficult. I will say, JT played well enough for a shutout tonight. Just lost two goals to poor D.

I'm still trying to figure out the Erskine extension. I know we have very few D men under contract next season, but I honestly thought we were going to be letting the guy go on the market. Can't say I agree with it, but the team is a lot closer to the day to day, ins and outs of this club and clearly see something in Erskine that we don't. I have always felt us as armchair coaches/GMs don't always see the things that the real GMs/Coaches see. Guess this is just another example of that.

Powerplay looked good last night. 1/4, 0/1 in critical PP moments is still not great, but they were moving the puck, taking shots and getting rebounds. Just no bounces.

One early-season thing that was frustrating me, that I know they will clear up. When entering the zone, there were quite a few wide-of-the-net shots that would carom off the boards (the reactiveness of boards really needs to be standardized) and exit the zone with a rushing wing missing the carom. This is the type of stuff that happens when guys are unfamiliar with eachother. BB's pressing the lines, changing things here and there to try to get something that works, rather than get guys who didn't play together used to playing together. It's early. 7 Games in. no time to panic.

Thanksgiving is the time to panic.

Posted by: FFSEnough | October 24, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

After the Nashville game we have a stretch of Eastern teams and our first home games against Southeast teams. Would like to see us get some momentum going in the Eastern Conference leading up to our next pre-Thanksgiving jaunt out west.

Posted by: Kim-3 | October 24, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone's making excuses by saying Kozlov & Poti are out and I don't think anyone will. Their return, I would think, will help though like I said before, won't be the sole solution. I think it's going to take a lot of little things from everyone to get going again... they just don't seem to have that jump like they usually do.

Posted by: capsfantess | October 24, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Ughhh....Please win tomorrow. I said I would be happy with 3 pts on this trip. We need a W in Big D.

I cant wait to see Erskine in his new Ferrari. His contract makes me want to ask for a raise.

Posted by: SA-Town | October 24, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I also want to give props to J.Theodore for a solid two outings. Now if we can get offense and good goal tending at the same time good things will happen...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 24, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Tough losing streak here. We're definitely in a funk, and hopefully we can break out of it soon. I wonder if Ovie's frustration with not scoring is spilling over to the rest of the team...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | October 24, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I think that was WAY too much money for Erskine. I wonder how that sum's going to derail plans for next year... I mean, really, that's probably a solid million more than we should've paid, which could have gone to a FA defenseman this summer. Oh well.

And yeah, Fedorov had a rare awful game. Bad outlet passing, poor decisions, penalties, etc.

All in all, I am pissed off, but I'm not that bad. We're 7 games in -- according to my calculations, that leaves 75 games left to play. I do hope they get it together sooner rather than later, though.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | October 24, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@ PhilR. I am sorry I have to disagree with you. They played WAYYYYYYYYY below their opponents skill level. It is called no effort.

Posted by: sidehillman | October 24, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather have them be in a funk now while there's still plenty of time to fix things and turn it around. A funk like this late in the season would be a death knell.

Glad to JT had a good game. Semin continues to shine. Some of the other forwards are invisible.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 24, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I was in Boston for a week, so this was probably discussed. Anyone have to change their UserID from something more recognizable from the past?

If it's changed, who=who now?

Posted by: FFSEnough | October 24, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I didn't see all of the game. I'm so damned ugly I need all the beauty sleep I can get. So I cut out midway through the 3rd - around midnight.

JT was very solid in net. Whatever little talk he had with himself, he needs to share with the team, because his game has risen markedly.

Powerplay showed signs of life. We actually got traffic in front of the net, we got more shots on net (8) and snuck one in. It seemed to me as though they were passing around and someone though, "oh, yeah! We're supposed to shot." Synapses are working - a little slow on the uptake, but getting there.

The D needs serious work which makes yesterday's signing all the more curious. With the tallent log jamed in Hershey, why would you sign Erskine? I just don't understand it.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 24, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

A few of us had to go with underscores because our names were already taken. Some others completely changed their handles.

Posted by: _jordan | October 24, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

pure and simple, GMGM made lots of deals in the offseason keeping the team together. i am still of the mind that he didn't make the deal that needed to be made: beef up the blueline. it is way to early in the season to be riffing and i know that this drought will pass, but in my gut i don't think we have the blueline to go all the way. guys are still developing, but in a situation where the offense is not producing defense is all the difference in a W or a L.

Posted by: doughless | October 24, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@ Greg S

Totally agree with you. Erskine is not the answer to our D problems or lack of effort especially with Hershey's young D-men who will be ready soon.

I also agree with you on the power play. At times last night the power play realized they have to shoot to score, although there were instances where the Caps just wanted to pass the puck around to see how many passes they could complete.

The Caps need to realize that they can also score goals in a not so fancy way, rather than looking for the highlight real pass or play.

@ Tess2201

Your right. The Caps need to get the slump over with before heading back east to play numerous games in our division. And I still cant figure out why it seems the Caps love coming out with a slow start at the beginning of each season.

Lets hope our boys can put together a string of wins and get back to scoring more than 2 goals in 2 games.

Lets Go Caps!

Posted by: TowsonCapsFan | October 24, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Somebody took Oneal so now I'm TheRealOneal.

And that was ugly last night. I'm not sure Tyler Sloan is the feel good story of the season. I think he's up because he's cheaper than Alzner. Anyone on this board think Alzner would have screwed up that clearing attempt? Didn't think so.

McPhee is putting cap concerns ahead of winning hockey games. If the team is too close to the cap, then make a trade. But don't bring up guys who should not be here when the games count.

As for the lack of scoring, I agree Backstrom appears to be out of shape. But he's 20 years old.. so I think he'll be improving rapidly.. he had a nice back-check last night. Chris Clark on the other hand, is not 20 years old. He looks 50 out there. Time to see what one of the kids can do for more than 9 minutes.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | October 24, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I thought we were going to squeak out a win. Jose played well and looked sharp.

I'm still stunned by the amount of money GMGM gave Erskine. I was prepared for two years 800K per year or so.

Posted by: blwiseass | October 24, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

doughless

Erskine has 6 years in the NHL and was earning $533K per. I can't see how he's that valuable now. They had all year to do the deal. They have 3 other deals to do for d-men. This was premature and fiscally unsound in this economy.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 24, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

If Erskine is making that huge a number, imagine what Mo is going to want. I think bye-bye Mo after this season..

And it irks me when anybody other than Bears fans from Hershey talk about how Alzner is better than other guys. Chances are, you haven't seen him play too much if you don't live in chocolate town.

Posted by: _jordan | October 24, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Is the Erskine contract 1- or 2-way? If it's 2-way, I think they're going to drop him in Hershey and bring up some of our studs. Also, at that price, it's unlikely that anyone else in the league would take a stab at picking him up either on the way down or on the way back through waivers. If that's the case, that makes a lot more sense.

But I don't think it is 2-way.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | October 24, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Like Erskine or not, he's an NHL defender, who does his job. He isolated on Crosby very well when we played the Pens, and he makes hits, I've seen it happen. All of you guys want the perfect defenseman. When will we find him? We won't. Because there's no such thing as a mix of Coffey and Stevens and Bourque. Sorry. It won't happen.

Do I think 2.5 mil is too much? Yes. Completely.

Do I think we missed his presence last night? Yes. I don't think he makes that turnover to Jokinen. Yes. I am throwing Sloan under the bus.

Posted by: Whitermage | October 24, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I think Erskine, Sloan, AND Juice make that turnover to Jokinen. Sloan has the excuse of being in his second ever NHL game. J&E, not so much.

Posted by: _jordan | October 24, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Oneal, considering we've seen Green, Juice, Poti, Pothier, etc make just as terrible clearing attempts, I have no doubt that Alzner could've screwed up as well. The Caps just don't exit the defensive zone very well.

Posted by: koalatek | October 24, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I think Alzner does, too, to be quite honest. Hell, I think Fedorov makes that turn over last night. That's just the type of game they were playing last night: lackadaisical and not especially well thought-out.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | October 24, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

If erskine's contract is indeed 2-way I don't feel as bad, although he's still not worth that much money for 4 or 5 years. I mean half the time he cant even make a tape to tape outlet pass to streaking forwards. Then again neither could the D last night either.

I hope his contract is 2-way, although no one in the league would want him at that cost.

Alzner is a rookie and throwing him into the fire with expectations so high would be a mistake. He was a solid player in the preseason but I still believe he's in Hershey for experience, not for financial issues.

Posted by: TowsonCapsFan | October 24, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

hey BernieWOLFIE
Chicago hasn't made the playoffs in how many seasons?

Why don't you look up the word "panicked" in the dictionary first before trying to tell me to look up "precarious". Like I said, we have 82 games total, and we've only played what, seven games?

@Mauree
I agree with you but I'm not screaming the sky is falling like the rest of these babies.

Posted by: mnmnt_snow | October 24, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Gogogreenie, it would be best if you did not walk in front of my truck today! I am tired and cranky and there was no "breakout"! This will pass, this will pass!!!

Posted by: majiksea | October 24, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I meant he's not worth that kind of money for EVEN 4 to 5 years above. Sorry bout the typo.

Posted by: TowsonCapsFan | October 24, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

@TheRealOneal:
"Anyone on this board think Alzner would have screwed up that clearing attempt?"
YES! I have seen him screw up clearing attempts in Hershey. He is NOT ready for the Caps yet.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 24, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

TheRealOneal

GMGM has no option but to put the cap on top of the call-up list. That's why Alzner, and several others, is in Hershey.

I'm not going to diss Sloan for the bad clearing pass. Plenty of others have made bad clearing passes. It happens, and you just have to build a bridge and get over it. Just make sure it doesn't happen again.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 24, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@tess2201

If you don't mind answering, how does Alzner, Bourque, and Lepisto look in Hershey so far this year?

Posted by: TowsonCapsFan | October 24, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't mind the registration except that my moniker of "OldTimeHockey" doesn't make much sense on the other boards like weather gang that I go to. But, I see someone registered Chief so that Chief is now Cheef. I guess swiss cheese is gone....

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 24, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

And for all those who keep referring to the "young studs" in Hershey, guess what---Sloan IS one of the young studs. Maybe a little older than Lepisto and Alzner, but nevertheless one of our most steady and reliable d-men the last two years. GM and BB didn't call him up just so he could play in front of his family. They trust him to do the job. And one screw-up last night is no reason to villify him. Don't forget it was MO who missed his defensive assignment on the second goal.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 24, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Swiss Cheese, truth be told, someone who knows, Chief Cheef are all the same person. All he does is dwell on one topic, mentions GMG. He doesn't even play hockey but yet has all this "insider" info.

With the registration, I highly doubt we'll see the other aliases since it's one person. cheers ken.

Posted by: mnmnt_snow | October 24, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Yea overall our defense last night was terrible in the third period. Just because Sloan was victim to the tying goal doesn't mean he's a terrible defender. I thought after watching him the last 2 games he's done fairly well.

Now do I think he can improve as he adapts to the NHL style? Yes. He's a quick skater and should get better over the season only if he's given the chance to.

Morrisonn was the real reason why we lost the game though. Totally unaware of his surroundings as Mueller skated right by him. That cant happen while playing on the teams first defensive pairing with greenie.

Its still really early in the season and there's plenty of hockey left to play this year! No time to panic, even over Ovechkin's and Backstrom's lack of production.

Posted by: TowsonCapsFan | October 24, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@TowsonCapsFan:
Bourque has been great. A bundle of energy. Small stature doesn't seem to matter. Quarterbacks the power play from the blue line. He really has nothing else to prove in the AHL. He's ready to move up.

Lepisto reminds me alot of Mike Green when he was in Hershey. Definitely likes to move the puck and jump into the play. Some nights he's impressive and other nights you just want to scream at him. Mikey learned when to go and when not, and I think Sami will too.

Alzner gets better with each game. At first he looked overwhelmed. He was easily muscled off the puck. He was out of position. And yes, he made bad passes. He seems to have settled down a bit and I honestly think by mid-season he'll be the great d-man that we all want him to be.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 24, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"What in the wild, wild world of sports is going on here!"

Maybe by putting Erskine's salary up, it means we can ask for more in any potential trade? "Hey, this guy's on $2.5million over two years, he must be ok" Am I miles off with this??

Also, I realise we are trying to build up cap space in order to maybe go after a rental or two come Trade Deadline. However, its no good having plenty of cap space if you are out of contention at the Deadline and you can't attract the calibre of player necessary. Not that I think we are now "out of contention" but if we continue to drop points to teams we should be beating there comes a point when winning now becomes more important than saving for the future.

I agree Theo looked the business last night. His double save in the first was pretty sexy.

Did anyone think after the Vancouver game that if Jose only gave up 4 goals in the Flames/Coyotes games combined we still wouldn't even get a single point?

No......me neither.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | October 24, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

In response to previous comments:
Leeguru - It would have been a 3am start here not 5am. I declined the opportunity to get up at 3am. Looks a pretty good decision now.

Greg S - Excellent Python references. "Spanish Inquisition" is one of the funniest sketches of all time. I didn't realise Top Gear is shown in the States. Have you seen the "Alabama Challenge" episode? Classic.

LadyBoo - There it's offical. I posted last night after getting in from work. I don't live in the pub you know!!

Finally on the subject of worst ever stadium/arena names. I present the ultimate. Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for the former home of Shrewbury Town Football Club........


Gay Meadow.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | October 24, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Tess2201

Thanks for the update. Just looking at their stats and reading post game analysis' of each, leads me to believe they will be solid NHLers in the years to come.

I've always liked Bourque and I'm rooting for him to finally get a chance on the big squad for a long stretch in time. Who knows, with the way things are going now, he might get his chance to prove himself sooner rather than later.

Good to also hear Lepisto is being compared to Greenie. If that trend continues, the Caps are lucky for having him.

Posted by: TowsonCapsFan | October 24, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Tess,
I agree. Sloan made a mistake but it was only 1-1 then. We really should have too much for Phoenix for a rookie mistake like that to cost us.

I watched the YouTube clip of the Sloanster's hit in Calgary on JP. It's the TSN coverage and their commentators referred to Sloany as a "youngster". He's 27! If the Sloan Ranger is a youngster I still have hope at 35!

(Hey just coz he's only played 2 games doesn't mean he can't have a nickname!)

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | October 24, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

That was an ugly game. It looked like guys were doing whatever came into their heads instead of following any kind of tactics. For me, there is only one place to look when the whole team looks this bad, the coach. Not sure why BB is getting a free pass on this, it's his job to get their heads out of their ***es. Oh, and I'm sick of Morrison and his penalties. If you're not fighting, it's unacceptable to be racking up that many PMs. It seems like half the time the Caps go short handed, Morrison is the one sitting in the box. Jose looked good at least, but gah, what an awful game...

Isaac

Posted by: isaacc7 | October 24, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I know this sounds strange but BB needs to sit a couple of the "stars" one of these games real quick.....maybe if Ovie and Semin sat out a game it would get everyones attention that this is a TEAM sport, not individual.......Not that I think it will ever happen but he needs to slap some sense into them somehow!!

Posted by: PhilR | October 24, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

New post, folks...

Posted by: Greg S. | October 24, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

And just so it doesn't happen November 10th as that will be my first game attended in eight years and my kids first....They gotta see Ovie live!!

Posted by: PhilR | October 24, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

We're all so damn pessimistic and we should be. When we start to get a hope for the future, a glimpse of what could be an end to all our woes, reality sets in. It's the Washington Capitals, lackluster play and disappointment is par for the course...

Turn it around soon or lose momentum in the standings and in the fickle DC marketplace.

Posted by: cupcrzy | October 24, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

In my not very humble opinion, this is what the Caps should do:

1.) when the puck is in their end, do whatever is necessary to get it out. By this I mean, so to speak, pick up the puck and throw it toward the other end. That's it - do it over and over until you can do it without thinking.

2.) if the puck makes it to their end in the vicinity of a Cap, somehow manage to keep possession until another Cap plants himself right in front of their goalie. Then, so to speak, pick up the puck and throw it at the goalie. That's it - do it over and over until you can do it without thinking.

Once the Caps master this strategy, they can proceed to the outlet pass, the cross-ice pass and so forth.

Posted by: tw46 | October 24, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Caps fans visit the Caps newest blot at: http://capsstop.blogspot.com

Help the site grow!

Posted by: bagasome | October 24, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey Caps fans visit the Caps newest blog at: http://capsstop.blogspot.com

Help the site grow!
sorry for the typo before

Posted by: bagasome | October 24, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Do they still play 82 regular season games in hockey? Wake me up when they are on game number 70, then I will start panicking if they are still playing this way! Overall, I am more mad at myself for watching this game with too much expectations at this point of the season instead of catching some good night sleep!

Posted by: JohnWWW | October 24, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

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