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Caps heading back to Canada

It had been a while since Bruce Boudreau ripped his players in a postgame press conference.

But the coach couldn't help himself after watching tonight's wretched 2-1 loss on home ice to the Habs, who staved off elimination and forced the series back to Montreal for a Game 6 on Monday.

"We're not getting 20 guys playing," he said. "We're getting 13 and 14 guys every night, rather than everybody coming to play. Tonight we had five or six passengers again."

Here's my gamer. When you're done with that, come back for a few notes and quotes:

*Boudreau wouldn't name the "passengers." But all you've to do is look at the score sheet to see who was along for the ride. The one that really jumps out is Tomas Fleischmann, who played only 7:26 after starting the game on the second line.

Fleischmann now has six shots on goal in the series and one assist. He also missed a prime scoring chance on the power play in the third period -- just after Alexander Semin missed one.

"We have chances," Alex Ovechkin said. "We just didn't score the goal. I think, in the third period, we tried to stay in their zone. But we have to score on power play. We have more chances -- [Semin] tried to score, another chance for [Fleischmann.] Our top guys have to score goals."

Boudreau added: "We missed some really good looks, and when you have players that are supposed to be scorers and they miss really good looks, it's like a checker not doing his job in my mind. You got to score those goals."

*The only player Boudreau called out by name was Semin -- and that was only after he was asked specifically about the winger.

"He did put in a better effort I thought than he's put in the three or four previous games," Boudreau said. "But if we don't get him scoring, then it's too easy to check certain guys. He's just got to come through."

Despite taking a game-high nine shots on goal tonight, Semin hasn't scored a playoff goal since Game 7 of the NYR series last spring, a stretch of 12 games. Semin also missed/had blocked eight other shot attempts.

*Something else to think about: The Flyers watched tonight's game from the comfort of their own homes. They'll do that again Monday.

*Jaroslav Halak was outstanding, stopping 37 shots, including 12 in a pivotal third period as the Habs hung onto a 2-1 lead. The goalie also delivered a pretty good quote in response to Ovechkin's comment after Game 2 about his hand shaking while taking a drink of water.

"You know what?" said Halak, who returned to the net after getting pulled in Game 3 and sitting on the bench in Game 4. "He can say what he wants. If you squeeze the bottle, your hand's going to shake. That's what I think. I don't think I was nervous. It was the same thing tonight and I was squeezing the bottle the same way."

*And what about that dismal first start? No excuse for it, the captain said, not in a close game on home ice.

The Caps out-shot the Habs 15-9 in the first period but were behind 2-0 after 7:01.

"I think it was worst start," Ovechkin said. "We can't start the game like this. Our line, I think, in the first period was brutal."

*You know what else was A.W.O.L. Tonight? The Caps' discipline. They took six minor penalties, including a too-many-men infraction for the second straight game. This time it was Eric Fehr and Semyon Varlamov getting crossed up with 1:07 remaining.

With the Caps up 3-2, there's still no reason to panic. But Boudreau's got some tough decisions ahead of him when it comes to Monday's lineup. He's got Scott Walker, David Steckel, Quintin Laing, John Erskine and possibly Shaone Morrisonn (when he's ready to return) from which to choose.

"I'll think very deeply about it for the next two days," Boudreau said.

We should get some clues at tomorrow's practice, which is set to start at 11.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 24, 2010; 12:24 AM ET
 
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Comments

the biggest passenger of them all has been Green... if he doesn't contribute on offense especially on the PP, he's almost worthless out there.

that's like Paul Coffey with no offense... his offense is his defense, guys like them have to average close to a point/game for any coach to overlook their shortcomings on defense.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Dear Coach Boudreau,

I miss the Gordon - Steckel - Bradley line.

Sincerely,

Ron

Posted by: rs12 | April 24, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

@rs12

I think Steckel will be playing in Monday's game.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 24, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Halak isn't that good. Our sorry shot selection and lack of desire to play tough in the slot make him look good.

These days, EVERY NHL goalie should be counted on to make all the shots he can see.

Our problem is that we let Halak see everything we put on net.

Posted by: large23220 | April 24, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

The biggest passenger of all is Bruce. Is it possible for a Bruce Boudreau coached team to NOT go two goals down, to NOT play 7 game series? Bruce is Glen Hanlon Helpless when it comes to making changes on the fly (hint: ditch flash already; he hasn't been getting it done ALL series). This team has failed to show up at the start of games all season. IT HASN'T BEEN READY TO PLAY AND THAT'S THE COACH'S JOB! And again, tonight, too many men. That's coaching. Bruce, get off your duff and get it done quit blaming others.

Posted by: caps1974 | April 24, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Bench Semin - whats the worse that can happen? No goals?

Posted by: Shiba-fussa | April 24, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

I think this long rest will actually hurt the flyers against the Caps as long as they can finish off the Habs on monday night.

they will have been off for almost a full week and for a team that was on such a high and depends more on their emotions than their skill, the long rest will most likely cool them off and they will come down to earth in the next series

Posted by: joek443 | April 23, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Dem are some Big Blinders!!! Where can I get a pair?

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

bruce goes thru this every year, starts his pet players like Flash and then has to grudgingly bench them

in the meantime, the damage is already done.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Bruce is a tool. He's in WAY over his head.

Posted by: caps1974 | April 24, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

The biggest passenger of all is Bruce. Is it possible for a Bruce Boudreau coached team to NOT go two goals down, to NOT play 7 game series?

--

an unpopular but accurate view

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Semin had plenty of shots but only one good one (in the slot on the powerplay). Mostly he was taking wristshots with no traffit from close to the point. He doesn't look like he's skating hard most of the game and when he gets the puck he just circles but doesn't seem to have any plan. Fleichmann has been brutal all series and I still don't know why he hasn't been taken out and Walker put in to play on the 3rd line. Green hasn't done a thing yet. He's not carrying the puck, not taking shots when he has the chance, can't seem to make a pass, and is only playing average defence. You can't have your best offensive defenceman doing absolutely nothing offensively. Carlson's the only guy back there making anything happen in the offensive zone. Halak did play amazing tonight, but Washington has so many good chances they should have been able to put something away. Next game I'm expecting Fleichmann to be benched and Walker in the lineup.

Posted by: Stu_c | April 24, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

My opinion is the only guys who came to play this series are Ovechkin, Backstrom, Belanger, Knuble, Chimera, Gordon, Carlson, Poti, Steckel when he was in the lineup, and Bradley has been alright. Corvo and Morrisonn haven't been stellar but okay. Only a couple of those guys are among the top players on the team. If the rest of the team doesn't start stepping up soon, Washington isn't going to go very far in the post-season. I expect they'll win one of the next two games against Montreal, and likely beat Phily, but it'll be another loss to the Pens if they don't get their 2nd line going.

Posted by: Stu_c | April 24, 2010 2:46 AM | Report abuse

- Sit Fleischman for the rest of this series, put Walker or Steckel in.
- Lock down the 2nd and 3rd lines. Semin needs to be with solid linemates, not two other playmakers who do too many soft touches and giveaways.
- Take Green off the Power Play. Go with Corvo or preferably Carlson (assuming we don't have 6 PKs so he hasn't been out there for half the period already)
- Stop doing the hard around dump-in, either bounce it off the corner and chase or put it on net and force an offensive zone draw.

Posted by: dimagus | April 24, 2010 3:10 AM | Report abuse

TheCaps kinda play like pusses. I mean thats about as deeply intellectual as you need to get to eval this team. They're kinda fem. And fem teams usually don't go very far.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:28 AM | Report abuse

My opinion is the only guys who came to play this series are Ovechkin, Backstrom, Belanger, Knuble, Chimera, Gordon, Carlson, Poti, Steckel when he was in the lineup, and Bradley has been alright.

==

Belanger? Getthe fu outahere. That guy is Jeff Toms but smaller.

And Poti should thank his stars he's got Carlson as a partner. Its the best domestic partner he's had in a while

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:35 AM | Report abuse

Come on!!! I'm giving up sex for this game!!!

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | April 23, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

now kyle, does JoeK really deserve to get punished this way?

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:43 AM | Report abuse

Varly makes me nervous. I have this awful feeling that he will blow the final game of this series like he did last year in the playoffs. He is a risk. Theo is solid and he earned the spot, so put him back in. If Boudreau does not play Theo, then he might be ready when we need him.

Please sit Flash. Why do the Caps need him? If he does not play with grit and determination then he is a liability, particularly so during the playoffs.

Posted by: evtoi | April 24, 2010 4:46 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

Your "point" suggestions for the PP sound good to me.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 23, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

i don't wanna read btwixt the lines but I think he likes ya! There's some flirty goin on and he's wavin you into port. So pull it in nose-first and grab a little gusto if you know what I mean. Its sweet seeing young love blossom.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:49 AM | Report abuse

Please sit Flash. Why do the Caps need him? If he does not play with grit and determination then he is a liability, particularly so during the playoffs.

Posted by: evtoi | April 24, 2010 4:46 AM | Report abuse

lemme take a shot at this..

Bruce vouched for Flash. McPhee signed him. Flash validated Bruce with a strong regular season (points-wise). However, Flash is a prototypical stereotypical soft Euro (see Semin)

Bruce is betrothed to Flash and feels obligated to play him. Its a cutoff his nose to spite his face kinda deal. Bruce will grudgingly bench Flash and insert someone like Laing or Walker in the next game.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:53 AM | Report abuse

lastly, who the h is gene wang? Wang? good grief. I should be the Wang of this board. I'm way more thought-provoking. Gene Wang is a poser. As the Habs would say, a real Hoser.

I'm getting tired of "hockey writers" who spend 3 weeks a year following the sport and then having the privilege to spout their opinions. I'd rather read a RichPhil blog then have to subject myself to an alleged enlightenment session sourced to a japanese "member"

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:00 AM | Report abuse

Varly makes me nervous. I have this awful feeling that he will blow the final game of this series like he did last year in the playoffs. He is a risk. Theo is solid and he earned the spot, so put him back in. If Boudreau does not play Theo, then he might be ready when we need him.

Posted by: evtoi

Varly has been nothing but solid in every single game including this last one. Only 2 goals against both coming from defensive break-downs, then stonewalling Montreal for the rest of the night. I will take only 2 goals let in every single playoff game all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Caps offense has to muster more than 1 put in the back of the net. 36 minutes to tie that game up (at the minimum) and they couldn't do it. Montreal got all 3 stars of the game with Halak at #1. All the Caps have to do is win it 3-2 and it goes completely opposite: Whoever scored the game winner is #1, Ovie #2, Varly #3 with a 0.929 save percentage.

Posted by: dimagus | April 24, 2010 5:12 AM | Report abuse

you can only recover from so many slow starts

-confucious

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:23 AM | Report abuse

cstanton1,

Man who cook beans and peas in same pot very unhygenic.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 24, 2010 5:45 AM | Report abuse

gm who invites too many euros to party find himself bagging groceries

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse

Man, you been up all night?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 24, 2010 5:53 AM | Report abuse

"I'll think very deeply about it for the next two days," Boudreau said.

--
its about time man. While I wish you had started thinking deeply about a week before the playoffs started, I greatly appreciate your current effort aimed at avoiding an upset at the hands of a team that barely qualified for the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:57 AM | Report abuse

how do you get porn off your computer? Just a general query. This stuff lingers.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:58 AM | Report abuse

Man, you been up all night?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 24, 2010 5:53 AM | Report abuse

no way, just haven't finished the day yet

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:59 AM | Report abuse

We are what we are, not much can be done about it now. The situation could be worse, we could be 3-2 down. It's up to the players really. Do they want it bad enough?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 24, 2010 6:10 AM | Report abuse

how do you get porn off your computer? Just a general query. This stuff lingers.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:58 AM

Reformat the hard drive. BTW, how did it get there in the first place?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 24, 2010 6:12 AM | Report abuse

i don't think so . I think we kinda want it. and thats good enuff to get us into a competitive 1st round series. But the bar has been set so low we're trippin over it.

The blame starts with the GM and continues with the coach. They're both aligned in their vision of what it takes to field a Cup roster. And humbly I disagree.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Reformat the hard drive. BTW, how did it get there in the first place?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 24, 2010 6:12 AM | Report abuse

osmosis

no seriously, remember that play in the 2nd pd where Corvo was on the ice and then suddenly got caught deep? well he jetted over to my house and surfed the dirty. Thats how it got on there. All roads lead to Corvo.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

2 best series so far have been Buf-Bost and Vanc-LA. Honorable mention to the PensSens

Caps series has been a real snorer. Thats why I wished we'd drawn the Flyers or Raggers. It would have challenged us to play harder I think.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

lastly, who the h is gene wang? Wang? good grief. I should be the Wang of this board. I'm way more thought-provoking. Gene Wang is a poser. As the Habs would say, a real Hoser.

I'd rather read a RichPhil blog then have to subject myself to an alleged enlightenment session sourced to a japanese "member"

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:00 AM | Report abuse

you can only recover from so many slow starts

-confucious

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:23 AM | Report abuse


gm who invites too many euros to party find himself bagging groceries

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse


It's a sure bet that after a loss, @cstanton1, you're bound to get glued to the computer and tell us all how bad the team is in many respects, particularly leadership.

Now you're slamming someone for his national origin and baiting with racist claptrap.

Get off the friggin computer with this hateful crap.


Posted by: Justafan | April 24, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the Caps match up very well with the Canadiens. The regular season results showed that. If I remember correctly the Canadiens had the best record against the Capitals out of the whole league. If the Capitals keep their noses to the grindstone right from the get-go this next game they should prevail.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 24, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Ahhh, that accounts for the slow starts - players surfing for porn. I thought that only happened in the SEC.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 24, 2010 6:35 AM | Report abuse

How in the heck did the Canadiens not get a 4-minute minor for that high stick on Belanger? You know, the one where he lost a tooth.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 24, 2010 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Unless they start producing this year in the playoffs...the following need to go over the off season:

1) Green
2) Semin
3) "Flash" (in the pan)

Say what you want about Green, but he was awful again tonight. 1 point in 5 games? He did the same crap last year. What is it now Mike? Shoulder, your stick pattern isn't available? Come on Mike, tell us the excuse this year?

Crap on me if you want. But I WANT Mike Green to start playing like the guy who racks up points in the regular season. WE NEED THIS GUY TO GET GOING IN THE PLAYOFFS!

Semin, he's hot or cold. I am tired of dealing with his inconsistencies. I hope he tears it up the rest of the playoffs so his trade value goes up over the off season.

Flash, this guy has been a perimeter player his whole career.


Sit Flash.
Start Varly. (your chance to start theo was game 5)
Add Steckel.

Win the GAME!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 24, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

What do they say, No guts - no glory? Come on BB exercise some genius that wins the series for the Capitals.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 24, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Since we're all genius' here's my suggestions for fixing the PP. Swap Knuble into the top unit and Semin into the second unit. Replace Fleischman with Brendan Morrison on the second unit and also give Carlson a chance with the second unit.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 24, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Green is going nowhere.
Semin is actually playing ok but not finishing. It'll come.
Flash never returned from the Olympics.
CStanton is drunk.

Posted by: psujohn | April 24, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

"How in the heck did the Canadiens not get a 4-minute minor for that high stick on Belanger? You know, the one where he lost a tooth.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 24"

I couldn't believe that either. Officiating mistakes aside, though, the Caps had way too many penalties. And the snafu at the end when Varley decided to stay on the ice when BB had already sent out Fehr was just plain "deer in the headlights" stupid. It wasn't the only reason the Caps lost, but it was a bad mistake.

Maybe the guys need a sports psychologist. They are capable of blowing away Montreal (think about game 3 and how easy they made it look).

I'm tired of reading cstanton1's tirades against the Caps, the sports writers (the racist jabs against Gene Wang are especially offensive), BB, other posters, his internet porn problem and whatnot. A personal request to you, cstanton: please make your points about the Caps if you must, but tone it down and keep your personal vendettas off the blog.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | April 24, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Agree with what gratefuldid said in the previous post. It's pretty depressing but the way this series has gone has gotten me to believe we don't have what it takes to go all the way. There is a reason why they were eighth and we were first. Of course its the playoffs and things are different and we never matched up well against them in the regular season, but I can't see how they just cannot put a full 60 minute effort together. Is that too much to ask? If this team puts together a full effort (from START to finish) the other team has gotta be flawless with their play to beat the Caps. I think they lack mental toughness, these early lapses in the game are just unacceptable and that's what cost them the game. The first 7 minutes cost them the game because were sleepwalking out there. I don't know if I'll be satisfied even if we win the series because we've been thoroughly outplayed in 4 of the 5 games. MTL probably can't believe they aren't up in the series but they deserve to be. I still think the Caps are taking them lightly and relying solely on talent. They gotta do more of the little things because even if they survive the series it isn't going to cut it in the Flyers series. Oh and fix the PP. Unbelievable how crappy it is. It's getting to the point where I'm more nervous about the PP than our PK.

No more excuses about slow starts. They've had how many slow starts at home lately dating back to the regular season?

Posted by: rachel216 | April 24, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't believe that either. Officiating mistakes aside, though, the Caps had way too many penalties. And the snafu at the end when Varley decided to stay on the ice when BB had already sent out Fehr was just plain "deer in the headlights" stupid. It wasn't the only reason the Caps lost, but it was a bad mistake.

Posted by: dccitizen1

That is reason enough to sit Varly. Theo would not have made that mistake.

Posted by: evtoi | April 24, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

The high stick on Belanger was arguably a follow-through on a shot, which in the rulebook is not a penalty (regardless of the damage it did).

Posted by: Justafan | April 24, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Green was terrible last night, and the fact that he's nominated for the Norris trophy and Pronger was left out is simply wrong.

Posted by: FH59312 | April 24, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Green was terrible last night, and the fact that he's nominated for the Norris trophy and Pronger was left out is simply wrong.

Posted by: FH59312

Green's been horrible this whole series. Hasn't done a single thing. Heck, he's never done anything in the playoffs. I guess he's just not a playoff guy.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 24, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

cstanton1, I bet you have a wet dream about the flyers every night... so who's your favorite?

I bet you really love greasy hairy guys like Carcillo, don't you?

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Green's been horrible this whole series. Hasn't done a single thing. Heck, he's never done anything in the playoffs. I guess he's just not a playoff guy.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 24, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I don't think he can handle the pressure. The best thing BB can do for him and the team right now is put pressure off him and let him be the 3rd d-man behind Poti and Carlson.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

"*The only player Boudreau called out by name was Semin -- and that was only after he was asked specifically about the winger."
I wonder who specifically asked that question, eh Tarik?

LOL. BB calling out Semin. It reminds me of the old commercial "Let Mickey try it", except this time is "Blame it on Semin". What an idiotic remark by the coach. He has handicapped one of the best players in the league all year by never letting it play with steady line mates, criticizing his passes as "cute" when he should be shooting, criticizing his shooting for not assisting, blah, blah. BB should take a deep breath and look in the mirror and analyze his coaching. The second line problems lies on him for not building one and sticking with it, his PP stinks - yes it was good at the early part of the year but teams caught to it and he never adjusted it - it is more stale than a year-old piece of bread, there is no movement and even a blind man knows where the puck is going and who is going to shoot it.
LOL. Yes BB "Let Semin take the blame"

----
"how do you get porn off your computer? Just a general query. This stuff lingers." Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:58 AM

Simple. Logoff, stop drinking so much, get a life. It will also help with your xenophobia.


Posted by: nimes1 | April 24, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

This adversity will be considered a turning point in the Caps playoffs...mark my words.

Now we know this team will not be starting the next series all puffed up and high on themselves. They will still have something to prove now that this will end in 6 or 7.

They will be forced to start using Walker in games and probably Erskine on D - who provides some physical toughness. Losing Erskine for playoff games last year was huge.

I can sum up the Caps losses and getting behind in 2 words...."too cautious!"

On the road they worked harder - eventually they will be confident enough to give it more push at home.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 24, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Nimes1, I really like BB for the most part, but I totally agree with your assessment of how he has undermined Semin and let him take the fall for it.

Also, did Locklin make too big a deal about Varley playing outside the trapezoid at one point and that he should have been assessed a penalty? I didn't know the rule, and it was interesting, but did it warrant so much attention?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | April 24, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Someone needs to put out an A.P.B. on Green...at both ends of the ice. He's gone missing.

Posted by: Mteer | April 24, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Wow. A lot of angst here. So here is my two cents. Belanger is basically worthless save for his ability to win faceoffs. Semin is in a rut. The entire 2nd line can't score. Shake it up. Move belanger and semin to the first line. Drop backstrom and knuble to the second line with Flash. Ovi and Semin work great together and you can get Flash going by giving him a premier play maker and a net crasher. B-Mo is a passenger. Steckel doesn't match up well with MTLs small fast guys but at least he has an impact. Still not worried, but I fo wish Bruce would throw Semin out there with Ovi. It is going to open up ice for one of them.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | April 24, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Mike Green is clearly NOT a playoff competitor. He should sit, he's almost totally worthless...at least he created an obstacle to get run over a few times, that's about it.

Posted by: soloman5000 | April 24, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

@ soloman5000

I agree but BB's not gonna take him outta the lineup unless he's injured.

the best we can hope for is BB cuts back on his minutes and take him off the PP unit.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I believe the Caps had more success on the PP when Knuble was on the PP with 8,28,19,and 52. Am I wrong???? Why did they take him off the top PP unit?

Posted by: pcovitz65 | April 24, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

BB won't call out Green by name, but he's been a passenger the entire series. His style of play is not suited for playoff hockey and if he can't contribute on the power play, he's worthless. He and Schultz have been on the ice for most of the Canadiens goals. I'd like to see BB give our best defensive pairing Poti and Carlson some more ice time.

It's also about time that BB considered playing Erskine and sitting Schultz so we have a more physical presence around the net. A lot of what is missing is playoff intensity and some of the forwards (Fleischmann in particular) should have been sat by now.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 24, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1, I bet you have a wet dream about the flyers every night... so who's your favorite?

I bet you really love greasy hairy guys like Carcillo, don't you?

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

what I want to know is this. Didn't you boldly proclaim right before the playoffs started that NO team could keep up with our offense? And that it didn't matter if our defense was good, as long as they were about average the Caps would simply steamroll other teams with our offense.

Still feel that way o wise one? lol

and then just 2 days ago you dismissed the Flyers as a team who won't be able to even compete with the Caps. Lets hope we can get past the lowly Habs so we can put your new theory to the test. For someone who claims to be a longtime hockey fan, you're pretty dense.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow. A lot of angst here. So here is my two cents. Belanger is basically worthless save for his ability to win faceoffs. Semin is in a rut. The entire 2nd line can't score. Shake it up. Move belanger and semin to the first line. Drop backstrom and knuble to the second line with Flash. Ovi and Semin work great together and you can get Flash going by giving him a premier play maker and a net crasher. B-Mo is a passenger. Steckel doesn't match up well with MTLs small fast guys but at least he has an impact. Still not worried, but I fo wish Bruce would throw Semin out there with Ovi. It is going to open up ice for one of them.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | April 24, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Belanger's been useless since he's arrived except for showcasing his speed. The "gritty defensive" forward label is a myth. He may be gritty if you compare him to a Nylander. But he does fit McPhee's vision of what it takes to win. Unfortunately for us, that is.

And while the blame eventually starts with the GM, there's quite a few tweaks Bruce can make with this lineup that he has chosen not to make. In the reg season you can get away with carrying some deadweight for a few games and let them snap out of their doldrums. In the playoffs you can't just sit around and wait for your entire 2nd line to wake up. He should've made changes by game 3 to address the play of Flash and Semin. I can understand not wanting to simply bench Semin since he can turn it on at will. But you can't have both Semin and Flash in the lineup if you want to go anywhere. By game 3 Flash should've been considered as a healthy scratch.

Its hard to win when your 2nd line looks so feeble.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

No more excuses about slow starts. They've had how many slow starts at home lately dating back to the regular season?

Posted by: rachel216 | April 24, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

That's all on the coach. If a coach repeatedly fails to motivate his team with this frequency, then there's something wrong there. And the way this roster has been constructed, we're not talking about 18 players who walk around with a hard-hat mentality. You definitely need a coach who can light a fire under this team because its not self-motivated except for a few guys like Bradley and Knuble.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

BB doesn't have the balls to call out Green. For some reason Mike Green can do no wrong in front of him. Semin, Knuble, and some others showed up for game 5, so don't just call out Semin. And you know who else really hasn't shown up? B. Laich, but as Cstanton said the whole 2nd line has not shown up, and that line needs to put some points on the board. On defense, I would rather see Erskine paired with Corvo instead of Sloan. Since Corvo doesn't like to play in the defensive zone, at least have a steady d-man to try to clean up his messes

Posted by: TheSmurfs | April 24, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

First I have to say that I have been a HUGE Green fan over the years. He filled a role I thought would be nearly impossible to fill after Gonchar's departure.

That being said I would bench Green for Game 6. Post conference babble is just talk, send a F*&#ing message Bruce! Heck benching him might give him a chance at the Norris. God knows at this point with his post season play he doesn't have a prayer.

Green has looked like a wooden indian on D. Not taking the man/stick, getting caught up ice, not being able to hit the net from the point and passing like a 3rd grader are not acceptable. The missed slapshot that led to a break away last night was beyond Bush League.

Time to put Erskine in and pair him with an offensive D man. At least he will take the man/stick, clear the crease, not get caught up ice and show some heart. If the Caps can win the series, wipe the slate and give Green another chance.

Posted by: FLDave | April 24, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

FLDave: Havent all the votes been cast for the Norris? I thought that all happens before the playoffs, and they just announce the top three vote getters at this point.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | April 24, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

dccitizen1

I don't know if the votes have been cast. I would think the field would be narrow down and then voted on? I am not sure though.

Posted by: FLDave | April 24, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Corvo has been absolutely brutal - he's been on the ice for a lot of GA, and the only reason he's at zero PM and not even worse is because he's usually out there with our top line and/or MTL's weakest offensive line.

Green has not been making good decisions, but esp. on the PP, particularly when to shoot / not to shoot.

Carlson has been a revelation, and right now he and Poti are clearly our strongest defensive pairing, this is the best I've ever seen Poti play.

It is easy to bash Semin, but the guy is trying. A checker can just go out and hit somebody - and btw, last night was the best I've seen Laich do that all series [sac the body to make a play] and we need more of that from guys like him. But if they're not going in the net for a scorer AND you're getting called out publicly, that'll just make you grip the stick even tighter. Perhaps if Semin had a legit #2 center and/or his linemates didn't change every 3rd shift, that might help.

We've known for at min. 3 straight off-seasons what the weaknesses are - so far at least, GMGM hasn't exactly lived up to his own billing.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 24, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes votes have already been cast for all the awards. Green's play now won't affect the Norris voting.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 24, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

govtimbo

That's a good thing! At this rate they would take him off the finalists list.

Posted by: FLDave | April 24, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, FLDave. I don't know what the answer is, I think he's trying and he's been better than I expected defensively, but the decision-making has not been the greatest, to this point. Granted those quick MTL buggers are taking away time and space, to be fair.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 24, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

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