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Caps not quite clicking on offense yet

Washington Capitals(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Capitals' 2010-11 season is just six games young, but Washington's struggle to generate the prolific offense it's capable of has been apparent. No, the Caps aren't in panic mode just yet, but after today's practice, players cited a desire to work at fixing the problem areas.

"I think for us to be more effective offensively, we have to work harder," forward Brooks Laich said. "People always talk about our skill, how much skill [we] have. But if you sit there and watch the video, and dissect the video, you see every time we score a goal, it's because we beat somebody in a race. We beat them with our legs, we beat them in a stick battle on the boards, we win a battle somewhere where the puck comes out and then we have an opportunity and the skill takes over."

Click here to read the full story.

In unrelated news, Vancouver's Rick Rypien, who happens to be a cousin of former Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien, was suspended indefinitely by the NHL for grabbing a fan on his way into the locker room during a game against Minnesota.

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 20, 2010; 5:15 PM ET
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Next: Boudreau: 'Ovi's got to create space for Ovi'


The guy Rypien grabbed was thrown out of some nice seats for no reason. I hope the Wild make it up to him.

Posted by: AndrewKB | October 20, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

From previous post...

You never went to work with the flu?


Posted by: Fro_2 | October 20, 2010 12:58 PM

This (name calling)is why I briefly stop reading CI.

Posted by: instinct227 | October 20, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse


the fact people cant take jokes is another reason. He's clearly trying to be sarcastic and funny with the comment. Like ive said going on a week on here, open up your minds, do not take everything written here so literally. And if people think "Wuss" is name calling on a message board, god help this world.

Posted by: ThePat | October 20, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

much like flash and semin - ted should sell the caps while they still have some value - its clear from the top on down, this team has no chance to win it all

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 20, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

What is so frustrating about this team is that this is supposed to be the year. Cup or Bust. Instead it looks like another rebuild. Instead of acquiring NHL ready players, we have to wait for the Carlson, Alzner, and MaJo to adjust to the big time, 26 year old Tomas Fleischmann to learn to play C, Eakin to come from the ECHL, Kunetsov and Gailiev to come over from Russia, the savior to be drafted next season, etc. What happened to the five year plan?

GMGM has done a good job of collecting a bunch of talented individuals, but it is well past the time to put the pieces together.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 20, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

McPhee's lack of spending this summer backed us into a corner. It is gonna be a long time before teams start moving players. The 3 point game keeps everyone in the playoff race, for a while at least.

Richards is a long shot at best. It will be a bidding war, if it happens at all. Dallas plays well, he stays. He may resign. I have heard the NHL may take over that franchise as well, until they are sold. Word is they have told Joe N. that he can negotiate an extension.

His summer was awful, but now it has affected the team on the ice. Too many rookies. We needed some vets to help push this team, and push OV, he looks lazy. Now, to get help, it's gonna take assets. One of Varlamov or Neuvirth is gonna have to be dealt.

Does this look like a Championship team to anyone? We are 4 and 2, but a very lucky 4 and 2.

Posted by: underpants2 | October 20, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse


Weren't you the one just busten' tmac2yoa's chops about exactly that. Individuals come togeather to play team defense and learn how to grind through the playoffs as a dedicated, gutsy group. This group is loaded with talent. Enough to win the cUp. But, they refuse to play the type of hockey you need to win in the playoffs.
If John Carlson wants to "pay the price" he has enough talent to become Duncan Keith. Alexander Semin has enough talent to play like Datsuk, but won't do the work.
Brooks Laich is strong enough to play like Dustin B-----galen in the playoffs. BB doesn't insist on it.

Let's all remeber that Bowman dragged Federov kicking and screaming into playing defense. Then Fed's found that winning cUps was cool. Wish we had a coach like that. Tons of cUp level talent on this team !!!! Tmac2yao is right. You're missing his point. Other players in the NHL
know the Caps have the talent to win the cUp, but will they become a playoff team?

And if you want an example of a former player who feels this way, (because I'm sure you're gonna' attack me.) J.R. thinks the Caps can win easily with a drastic mindset change.(Green Turtle, last December, Jill Sorenson in attendance.)

Lastly, if you don't like tmac2yoa's imput head on over to Japer's with all the rest of the hockey ignorant homers.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 20, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Going to be another let down year for the Caps. Teams are getting better at shutting down OV-errated and his sidekick Backs. Too bad he ain't no Forsberg eh, not even close. And yet they keep trying to do the same things with their Euro style offense. BB still can't get out of his AHL style, bingo coaching techniques too busy making commercials and scratching that big bald head of his wondering why the team keeps failing the same way.

Maybe he should try screaming at OV for once, as the captain he's playing like a fairy on ice this season, low shots low hits, and the team's following his lead.

Posted by: BigGameSid | October 20, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Pretty piss-poor game to watch last game, though Boston is shaping up to be one of the better defensive teams in the league this year, along with the Kings. Shall be interesting to see what adjustment BB makes for tomorrow night; a reflection on if he has learned anything from last year's round 1 exit.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 20, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Let's all remeber that Bowman dragged Federov kicking and screaming into playing defense.


Um, definitely not. Not to mention the fact that he won both his Selkes way before winning any of his Cups, Fedorov was considered to be one of the better two-way forwards on his entry into the league. Having Bowman and being in the powerhouse Detroit system at that time certainly benefited him, but lets not just flat out lie here. You sure you didn't mean Yzerman or someone?

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 20, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Lastly, if you don't like tmac2yoa's imput head on over to Japer's with all the rest of the hockey ignorant homers.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 20, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse
Right! Because we all know that "here" is where all the knowledgable fans go right?

Seems to me that there is a lot more hockey talk going on over there vs. somebody who got their feelings hurt.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | October 20, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

That was definitely Stevie Y - and not Fedorov - whom Bowman had to "grab kicking and screaming into playing defense," good catch richmondphil2. Dude was stapled to the bench once Scotty B came to town - not the first guy Bowman did it to, to be sure - until he committed to two-way hockey. While Fedorov was winning scoring titles AND in the running for the Selke, unheard of for elite scoring forwards prior to that [Gretzky certainly never came close].

Similar to Sakic in Quebec prior to Peter the Great's arrival, it was only when quality ice time got shortened due to the arrival of another superstar center, that really got Stevie Y's attention, and both franchises pointed in the right direction.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 20, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse


What are you talking about "feelings hurt". Hell, we're talkin' man. What feelings? (You from Montgomery County?)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 20, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse


That's a little much with the "lie" comment. I can tell you that Federov said in an interview not long after he came here that Bowman told him he would win alot of personal awards, but not the cUp. Bowman told him that we had to play a defense first with a counterpunch style to win the cUp. I don't remeber the source. But, I remember being Jazzed about the comment, because I thought it would rub off on Ovi and Semin.
In that same interview someone mentioned that he probably would have won more MVP's had he gone for the pure goal scorer route. Again, can't remeber sources, but "a lie", no.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 20, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse


Missed a word. We're talkin' HOCKEY. What feelings ? (You're from Montgomery)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 20, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse


Missed a word. What feelings ? We're talkin' HOCKEY. You're from Montgomery!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 20, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

@ Hunterforcoach

Sometimes I agree with tmac's account of cstanton's arguments. I just like the original better than the watered down version.

Also, Alan May wrote a really good article about the Caps offensive woes. He makes some good points. I hope BB reads it.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 20, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I just watched the Rick Rypien video. Man, I love the NHL and hockey in general. That kid said something and almost paid the price. Good stuff.

To all the DJK haters. I love DJK !!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 20, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Rick Rypien hardly looks provoked in that video. The fan was not leaning over he was standing there clapping like all the Wild fans. Rypien just exploded. I hear people saying Rypien will get 4 or 5 games for that but I ask what did Ron Artest get in that Indiana-Detroit basketball fight with fans? 73 games - this is serious stuff and if other fans had started a brawl or something wouldn't 50+ games or a season be appropriate discipline. The message has to be consistent this is (on video) pretty much unprovoked rage against a fan.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | October 20, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was a pretty entertaining game last night. Guess I'm on the wrong board.

Posted by: Justafan | October 20, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

So whatever happened to Q.Laing? Is he back in Hershey? We could really use him while Green is out.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 20, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Obviously the game feed in Massachusetts was completely different than what many of you were watching. I saw a good, entertaining game that was pretty even throughout, the Bruins had a couple of plays go to their advantage, but neither team dominated the other. There was good pace, good hitting. Actually, there were probably more sloppy plays in the Defensive end by the Bruins than there were in the Caps defensive end, it just happened that in this game the Bruins were able to score on their chances and the Caps were not able to score on theirs. How often do you see Chara cough up the puck right next to the net and a 20+ goal scorer has clear shot and does not score?

The Bruins kept the Caps from getting odd man rushes, but the Caps forecheck did produce several scoring chances.

Oh, and it is just one game, only the 2nd loss of the season and it was actually a good effort by the whole team.

I am not saying there were no mistakes, certainly there were, Alzner pinched when he probably shouldn't have, Neuvirth overcomitted on the second goal. Mistakes happen, but there were significantly fewer mistakes than there were in most of the playoff losses last season.

Posted by: piratusus | October 20, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

It's a monkey see, monkey do world... everyone in hockey watched how the Habs played them last April.

Also it doesn't really matter how many goals they score this season, all those goals they scored during the season didn't do a thing for them in Games 5-7 of the playoffs last year.

There's only two things that we should keep our eye on during the season, the two that really matter in preparation for the post-season - work ethic and the commitment to defense. Everything else is just for those who rock the red.

Posted by: joek443 | October 20, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse


Check out the old Terry O'Rielly video at Madison Square Garden when he goes into the crowd. A fan gets beaten with a shoe by a Bruin. This is classic NHL stuff. You get in a guy like Rypien's face you should get knocked out. This is hockey, and we like it that way. I'm sure that kid said something. That's the way it goes.

On that note. Most of us NHL fans are smart enough to say zippo to a guy like Rypien on his way to the showers. Rypien is pound for pound the toughest guy in the league. I'm sure that kid in the expensive seats got his jollies watching the Boogeyman beat on everyone except DJK the past several years. Too bad Boogaard isn't there to help him. Love to see how many times this kid (or his family members)mouthed off to Boogaard victims over the past several seasons.

Like a true old time fan, I'm waiting for the first time Boogs and DJK square off, since DJ broke Boog's nose and sliced his head open. Don't change the NHL. We love it!!!!!!!!

Also, go watch Ron Artest if you don't like our league. He's a first class loser.
In fact, the entire NBA is full of losers.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 20, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

36 shots by the Capitals to 21 by the Bruins, with 10 SOG by Semin alone is not domination by the Bruins. Like Piratusus stated, the game was not a total one sided affair by the Bruins. Besides, with the apparent parity in the league, I would prefer that the Capitals finish 4th or 5th in the Conference standings and continue to work on their defense than trying to win every game. As last season clearly displayed, being the number 1 seed buys you nothing in hockey. The offense will eventually surface, but for now I really like the emphasis on being more defensively conscious. It has been a while since I have seen such a low GAA (2.29) by a Capitals team so early in the season. Hope it continues to get better.

Posted by: JohnWWW | October 21, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse


Great post by Alan May. I may change my name to Mayforcoach. Man, I wish we had some more toughness like May in our lineup.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 21, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

It has been 6 games people. Crazy things happen at the start of the season. If it is still like this by mid-November then you can start to worry and if it is still an issue by Winter Classic then there should be big concern but right now it is just too small of a sample size. Does anyone really think the Leafs are the best team in the East? Or that the Panthers are going to continue to only give up 1.25 goals a game? Strange things happen early in the season. Did anyone expect our PK to be our best part of the team? It would be great if the Caps could keep up the PK and some of the defensive play they have had and just add in the scoring when it comes then we will be back to being a top contender again.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 21, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Last post ! What happened to Cstanton? Did he say he was sorry ? Is he at a Dude ranch in Nevada ? Is he now a scout ? What gives ? I loved the guy !!!!!!! Best GMGM hater in town. I feel a hole in my heart with him gone.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 21, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse


Laing is not with Hershey this year. I may have heard that he's with some semi-pro team in Saskatchewan but I'm not sure.

Don't think he'd be the proper replacement for Green since they don't even play the same position.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 21, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 21, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse


Sorry, didn't mean to come off as a jerk, but I only said that because it seemed like you just grabbed a guy to make a point. I don't doubt the quote exists, but Feds did win his Selkes before his Cups.

On the positive side, Backstrom is generally great on the back check and in our own zone, I wish it would rub off on the others. (That first Boston goal last night, not sure if blame should go on Alzner for stepping up there or for Backstrom for not covering the man properly, but at least Backs was back there.)

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 21, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

I've been saying this for a while, everyone knows the way to crack BB's run and gun:

But Washington met the defensively dedicated Bruins squad that hung back, clogged up the center of the ice, rarely gave up second- and third-shot chances and simply bided its time waiting for the Capitals to make a mistake.

Besides NJD, what team playing the Caps has not used this strategy. The Caps have to change their offense first system and pick up 1-2 quality, gritty blueliners or they will get another early exit from the playoffs. Yeah they are 4-2, but much more on talent than system.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 21, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

My guess is cstanton was reported and kicked off (cross my heart it wasn't me!) As rude as he was, it is good to have people who challenge your beliefs.

Posted by: capscoach | October 21, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse


I believe that is why there have been many saying that it may take a coaching change before this team can make the promised land. BB just seems so arrogant about his system, yes there has been a change in PK mentality this year but other than that it is the same ol' Caps. I know we are only six games in here but it just seems that BB will not change, hopefully I am wrong.

Posted by: PhilR | October 21, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, the bonehead Bruin beating a fan with a shoe is none other than Mike Milbury who calls Ovechkin reckless. I guess it's OK to be reckless with a fan but not on the ice with fellow players. Talk about trash.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 21, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse


Yeah, Milbury is a piece of work, no doubt about that! And Rypien should be gone for the year, sorry but that stuff can not be tolerated. The kid should get free seats from the owner of the Wild as well, there is no way he should have been kicked out of that game.

Posted by: PhilR | October 21, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse


I get what u r saying, but BB has DRASTICALLY changed the PK...which was really our weakest link last season. Don't you think it is possible that since he changed one aspect of the game then given (more than 6 games) he may change more. You can't completely revamp a team in the pre-season and first week. The D looks better to me as well...mind you they still make a fair few mistakes, but when they are on their game they look better than last season...and remember we have a lot of rookies who are learning and growing as well as a core of players who are adjusting. In a month or two you may very well have something to complain about, but as of now I can't complain yet. And last thing, but maybe it is good that we are not rolling full steam the first week in...we can grow throughout the season and fingers crossed peak at the playoffs.

Posted by: capscoach | October 21, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse


It's OK to be reckless with a Ranger fan. Did not realize that was Milbury. Now, I actually like the guy. Now that I know "The Ripper" is related to Mark, I want to trade for the guy. Can he play 2C ?


Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 21, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Another bit of trivia, Rick Rypien, is Mark Rypien's cousin.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 21, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse


Don't take the emotion out of the NHL and/or hockey. Suspend the Ripper for 10 games. This kid and the family{or law firm or whoever) they share those seats with are probably on multiple game tapes bad mouthing Boogaard's victims over the past 5 years. Boog's is gone. Time for them to shut up. It's hockey, not the NBA (Thank God!!)

Those Wild fans made that bed, now sleep in it. They're very unhappy that the Boggeyman is in NY. I'm glad Boog's is in the East. It forces guys like GMGM to stop fielding wimpy teams that can't play play off hockey, because it hurts too much to ride the slot. Almost looking forward to A Ranger/Philly seven game series in the playoffs. Good stuff !!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 21, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Hunterforcoach: Unless there are injuries the Boogie man and DJ King will be spectators during the playoffs. The playoff teams have been taking that route for the last few years. The only tough guys that get a jersey in the post season now are the ones that can actually play the game too. Even though Carcillo is a punk the guy is a little quick and isn't a major liability compared to your Boogiemen of the league.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 21, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR et al, Yes a schematic change to play more responsible defense as a team and cycle the puck low on offense are two aspects that can make the Caps more playoff ready. But an aspect of playing this way is 1-2 personnel changes, both on defense. The Caps really need to trade Flash for a blue-chip blueliner or maybe a legit 2 way 2nd center. I am less concerned about a center because I think MJ/MP/Eakin and others in the system will replace Flash and improve the 2nd line. But the Caps cupboard is bare for a blueliner replacement, hence Sloan and Erskine getting playing time.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 21, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

I miss reading the morning round up with my coffee.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | October 21, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse


I have no issue with what these guys do on the ice, quite frankly I find it entertaining as heck. But the fans have got to be left out of it. Who cares if the kid was talking trash, he paid good money for those seats and has the right to antagonize a player without fear of personal attack. Keep that stuff on the ice and I have no problem with it, take it into the seats with the fans and you deserve to be suspended for the season.

That is not taking the emotion out of the NHL, just keeping that emotion on the ice surface where it belongs!

Posted by: PhilR | October 21, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I think a 10-15 page suspension will send a message. Is this guy known for his temper? Just curious as to whether people who know this player were surprised by his reaction.

Posted by: capscoach | October 21, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

...Instead of acquiring NHL ready players, we have to wait for the Carlson, Alzner, and MaJo to adjust to the big time, 26 year old Tomas Fleischmann to learn to play C, Eakin to come from the ECHL...

Posted by: ablake70

Eakin doesn't play in the ECHL. He plays for the Swift Current Broncos which is a junior team in the Western Hockey League. I suspect he'll go from juniors to the AHL or the NHL meaning my guess is that he won't play in the ECHL. A lot of people make that mistake so don't feel bad and I didn't mean to pick on you.

That said I do agree with you that the Caps should have addressed their needs, especially for a shutdown defenseman, in the offseason.


Wow! Obviously the game feed in Massachusetts was completely different than what many of you were watching. I saw a good, entertaining game that was pretty even throughout, the Bruins had a couple of plays go to their advantage, but neither team dominated the other. There was good pace, good hitting...

Posted by: piratusus

Luckily, I got the same feed you did down here in western Maryland. :) In other words I agree with your assesment of the game.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | October 21, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Early reports are 5 - 10 for Rypien. At least 5 because he has an in person hearing tomorrow and more because before the fan incident he had thrown a sucker punch after refs had stepped into a melee and had some contact with a ref. So adding all 3 incidents together will probablly get him closer to 10 games than 5. Also, the fan yelled something about not being a professional. I'm sure more of this will come out after the hearing. From some quotes I've heard from the fan my first impression (and I know I may be way off) is he is a bit of an a***ole and is going to enjoy his 15 mins.

Posted by: ds_kelly | October 21, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

The guy Rypien grabbed was thrown out of some nice seats for no reason. I hope the Wild make it up to him.

Posted by: AndrewKB
They were moved to front row elsewhere... ie: upgraded in hopes to quell the situation by the arena.

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 21, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I've certainly quarrelled with cstanton1 in the past but that is totally bogus if he got booted. Questioning GMGM and being a Caps fan are not mutually exclusive, much as some may beg to differ!!

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 21, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Maybe cstanton1 took a few days off! It looks like we get to see MaJo as 2C tonight. I'm looking forward to it. As for the game Tues, I don't have any problem with the way the Capitals played. Thomas blocked Poti's shot with the handle of his stick. Sometimes you just don't get the pucks to go in the net. If we play like that every night, we will be just fine.

Posted by: chriscaps | October 21, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

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