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Caps-Panthers postgame open thread

You can't spell postgame wrap-up without Tarik (okay, you can, but give us a break), so only for tonight, we're skipping the notes and quotes and calling it a day. I know, the timing is impeccable.

Here's Amy Shipley's gamer from the Caps' 5-4 shootout win over the Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.

Check back tomorrow for some updates from practice.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 13, 2010; 11:29 PM ET
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Next: Capitals get the day off


A few of you seem pretty confident that the Knuble tip-in went in.

Maybe I was wrong but watching the replay frame by frame it looked like it clearly hit the post and I didn't see anything black in the back of the net.

I wish I recorded the game now to watch it a few more times. Maybe somebody else can get a good HQ quality vid up or something.

I certainly thought it went in when watching it in real time.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 13, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

i got a good couple HD looks at it. entire puck does not look like it crossed the crease line. close, but thankfully the boys won anyway...

cardiac caps...up, down, up, down...let's go back to solid play and crushing the drama for the playoffs.

Posted by: netminder71 | January 13, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Don't look now, but Jeff Schultz is +11 in his last 5 games. That being said, was anyone else completely freaking out when they saw 55 and 52 take a shift together in OT? Green's aggressiveness + Schultz's lack of speed basically led to a breakaway...

Posted by: Raber | January 14, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me why Theo is being given every opportunity to fail while the rookie every chance to succeeded? Last I remember Theo actually was playing pretty well till he had some personal business happening which took him out of his game and finally he had to take a leave. The Caps need a veteran goalie come playoff time.

Posted by: cirrus_nine | January 14, 2010 2:24 AM | Report abuse

I stand corrected.

I recorded NHL On The Fly and they showed Knuble's deflection.

I'm now 99.9% sure (if not 100%) that it did, in fact, go in.

The puck went through Vokoun's pads, hit the bottom white bar in the back bottom of the net then bounced out quickly.

It should have been 5-4, Caps, late in the 3rd. Blown call on the ice and another blown call by not going to review.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 14, 2010 5:19 AM | Report abuse

@cirrus_nine, I too have been disappointed in the way Theo's been treated. He's earned more starts. Let's hope he's in net Friday night. Yes, we need to develop our young goalies, but we need to shepherd the confidence and great play of each of them. Theo kept the Caps in the game last night, was solid in the SO, and one bettered Vokoun there when it counted.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 14, 2010 5:34 AM | Report abuse

I commented twice yesterday to the effect that Chimera's been serviceable but has not distinguished himself at all. He really did so last night. Great move to open the net for the score, toughness on the fight, used his speed to create offensive opportunities, and threw his weight around.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 14, 2010 5:37 AM | Report abuse

It's really strange to say, but after watching for the last two nights, i'd say green and backstrom had two of the worst nights of their careers, even though green ahd two last night, and backstrom had the game-tying goal tonight...Backstrom used to pride himself on his defensive acumen coming into the league but his blown defensive assignments (laziness in his own end) cost us tonight...but, he got it back, which was sort of nice...

that chimera trade is looking better and better all the time, nice goal and some hard work in the corner tonight, looks like he is finally starting to get boudreau's systems and acclimate to his new teamats, that 3rd line of Bmo, fehr and chimera is starting to come into focus, yknow, until boudreau changes it for the weekend...

Posted by: cotelloer | January 14, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Last night's game:

That was one crazy game! Let's not make it a habit of getting down 3 and having to come back every game though. But it's awesome they've done that twice in as many games. Just goes to show that no deficit is too large for them to overcome.

Neuvy- yikes. The only goal I don't fault him for was the first one by Frolik, that was an awesome sequence of passing- nothing you can do there. The next two he needed to have, especially the third one. The fourth goal was a little iffy as well. Really hope he hasn't lost confidence and can hope back strong, (although I don't know when he'll play again.) Seems to me Theo will handle the Maple Leafs and the Flyers and by then Varly may be ready.

Theo- give him a lot of credit. This game shows we DO need a veteran goalie. He was really great last night in relief.

Love Ovie but can we stop putting him out there for shootouts?

Posted by: rachel216 | January 14, 2010 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Also, semin has been our best player for the past 5-6 games, i really like that guy, trading him for kovalchuk is a stupid, stupid idea and all this talk is making SOOOO happy dan snyder doesnt own the Caps, cause if he did...

the growing souray speculation, though...i mean, i think of how that fourth line cycles and kicks it out to the d-men so well, and then i think of him unleashing a 100 mph shot and those guys crashing and i think that would just cause some havok for other teams, also isnt he pretty big...

Posted by: cotelloer | January 14, 2010 6:42 AM | Report abuse

i dont know what they expected from neuvy starting him again tonight, i think they just wanted to test his mettle some...and he didnt do that well, but he is like 20, and it's a great experience for him...i still think backstrom can do a better job with is defensive responsibilites and give the kid some help...

Posted by: cotelloer | January 14, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

i dont know what they expected from neuvy starting him again tonight, i think they just wanted to test his mettle some...and he didnt do that well, but he is like 20, and it's a great experience for him...i still think backstrom can do a better job with is defensive responsibilites and give the kid some help...

Posted by: cotelloer | January 14, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

i agree that backstrom needs to be better on D but so does well most of our team... anyone else love the Morrison soccer style break away?

Posted by: nickiefan83 | January 14, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Exciting game--a little too exciting in my book. Two players who vindicated themselves last night: Chimera with his Gordie Howe Hat Trick and Theo who came up with game saver stops especially in overtime. Good for them both.

But likewise good for the whole team who kept on pushing and played stronger and with more confidence in the belief that they could pull out a win. IMO it was Neuvi who let the team down in the first period because I thought the Caps came out energetic with some good shot opportunities. But he's young and will learn from this--much like Varly has. This is why IMO the Caps don't want to rush either of them and vet experience is needed. I'm delighted that Theo showed that he can be relied upon.

18 out of 27 road games (or close thereof)--glad they are coming back to DC. Can't wait for Friday's game. GO CAPS.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 14, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Time for start Theo against Toronto this Friday. If he had given up 4 early goals two straight nights, I can't imagine starting him.

Posted by: rjma1 | January 14, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Chimera vindicated himself last night, from what? I think the guy has done a great job since coming over, he always skates hard and if tough in the corners and wins battles......can't expect a guy to come into a new system and gel with it right away, it takes I don't see that Chimera needed to vindicate himself from anything, he has done everything a third line winger is supposed to do in my book.

Posted by: PhilR | January 14, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

I've played and been around hockey for a long time and i can definitly say I'v never seen a breakaway from a player with no stick.That was first for me.though i found it pretty exciting even knowing that there could be no good outcome from it.Still pretty cool!Bmo showed his skills on that one.And just when i was knocking chimera for lack of grit and scoring,he finally came through last night.We need more of that from him.That line has potential to be a big threat when there all playing there game.All of our lines are beast,when they all come to play.they just need to work on playing full 60 min games every night in and out.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | January 14, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

@Phil...Chimera has been terrible since coming over. Great, he skates hard. That is just wonderful. He makes over a MILLION dollars a year...he better do more than that...

HOWEVER, I will say this...he FINALLY did what he was supposed to do (which is what Clark did when he was here) physical and mix it up...

The goal was a bonus.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 14, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

@ All Caps Fans...

Neuvous is NOT READY for the show...and we are in trouble if Three-o is our man.

Yes Theo stole that game for us...however, he is extremely unathletic on rebound shots and any shot where he has to move east-west. He is MONEY when he can square up on the shot.

I think we might need a trade for a better vet goalie who might be a free agent after the year is over...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 14, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse


You expect the guy to come over here mid season, learn a new system that is the opposite of what he was playing in Columbus, get used to his teammates and find a place on the team in the short time he's been here? You talk like he should have double figure points and a +5 by now. Give the guy 15-20 games and THEN talk.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 14, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse


No, I don't expect him to be +anything, or have any goals.

But I DO expect him to contribute..meaning he is a tough and tumble let's see some hits and some fights...

Don't come to Washington thinking you are now a goal scorer or a play maker. Be who you are....

And hockey is a simple game. It all starts with 1) Get the puck out of your end and 2) don't turn the puck over in the nzone. (IE get to the red line and dump it if you don't have a play).

All I am saying, remember, they traded the Captain...and according to most players, Clark was the heart of the team. And trust me, I was not a big supporter of Clark. But if you trade the Captain and the heart of the better come in ready to sacrifice anything for your new teammates. Up until yesterday, Chimera hasn't...

I hope Chimera builds on this...(and I don't mean by scoring goals and racking up points)...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 14, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse


Well I agree with you about Chimera vindicating himself--I guess I meant against posters here (of whom he is completely unaware) who were somehow expecting him to have no adjustment period or learning curve with BB's system.

I have really liked Chimera from the moment he joined the team--I like his interviews and I like how hard he's worked on the ice and I like how happy he is to be playing on this team.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 14, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I was happy to see Schultz out there. I think he leads defensemen in +/- this season and if you look at adjusted numbers across the league for all defensemen at, Schultz is the fifth-ranked defenseman in the league (for players with more than 30 games).

Who did you want on the ice? Stay at home and speedy Morrisonn who was on the ice for 7 goals the previous night? Now it's Schultz's speed that's an issue even though he's been far and away our best dman this season?

Do you watch games?

Get of it. It's so boring.

Posted by: saintex | January 14, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse


Chimera has looked bad?

In 7 games now he has 2G and 3A, +1 in 12ATOI.

In a 82 game season it translates to 23G + 35A +12, all while playing 3rd line minutes and no PP.

Clark and Juice?

Clark was on pace for 9G 24A -9 in a 82 game season.

Add Jurcina's pace? 9G + 36A -9.

How are you a minus on this team? The BEST 5 on 5 team in the entire league?

Oh, btw, Clark and Juice make about $2.125M more than Chimera.

Why do people complain so much? Give the guy a chance to get acclimated with a new city, new system, new linemates before we start to judge.

Your criticism should actually be on Morrison, who has looked incredibly bad for about a month now. Chimera is carrying the 3rd line. Fehr, my boy, needs a competent pivot to excel, he doesn't have one right now.

Posted by: JSchon | January 14, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse


I honestly don't think he's played badly and hasn't made any costly mistakes. He's arguably played better than Morrison, Fehr and Laich since he's been here. I think you're asking a bit much from a guy who just got here.

As long as he forechecks and backchecks, I'm happy.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 14, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse


Vindication against negative posters such as SoaringCaps. Sometimes I wonder where some people's attitudes come from.

@Soaring Caps

I stay off the Capitals NHL message board site because a number of posters there are unbelievably negative and rude and love to rant--SoaringCaps I think you would fit better on that board. This poster finds your observations to be not particularly enlightening or useful. Next you will be saying its time to get rid of BB. Hey why not just throw the bums out and rebuild the team--AGAIN. Maybe that's where your negativity comes from--you still haven't recovered from the first rebuild.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 14, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse


Finally Theo was pretty athletic last night with some big time saves. He moved well from side-to-side and anticipated the puck brilliantly. Give it a rest. He showed why he is a vet last night.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 14, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse


Chimera has 24 fights in his career, 7 in his last 3 regular seasons.

Chris Clark has 6 total fights in the same amount of time.
Juice, one.

Posted by: JSchon | January 14, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse


Yeah..Trade Semin, Poti and Green. Shultz sucks. BB is a terrible coach, I want Hanlon back.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 14, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

@ Caps young guns

I tell it how it is...sorry. I will try to put on my DIEHARD Caps glasses.

Please, just please tell me the following (with a straight face) and I will not post anymore:

1) Mike Green is a COMPLETE Defenseman and should be the Norris Trophy Winner.

2) Neuvirth is a #1 Goalie RIGHT NOW.

3) Our Defense is the BEST in the league (not stat wise, but in your mind), and we should NOT try to improve it.

4) Ovechkin (as GREAT OF PLAYER he is..side note, I do think he is the MVP of the league), always backchecks and works just as hard in the defensive zone as he does in the offensive zone.

Those are just 4 simple things I do harp on a lot.

This is probably the closest team (on paper) the Caps have ever had that can seriously challenge for the Cup.

I have been around since ' I want this Cup pretty bad.

I'm tired of the Bullets getting all the love (BTW, the Caps should never be on a non-HD channel in favor of the Bullets).

I'm tired of the Redskins getting all the love...what have they done?!

This IS OUR YEAR...and unless we fine tune some will not be. my view...I apologize if you can't handle the truth...

BTW...scoring the 6,7,or 8th goals in a blowout...isn't considered important. For OVIE maybe because we all do want him to win the Art Ross and the Richard trophies...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 14, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse


I don't think anyone is saying those 4 things you listed. If you're so butthurt about it, go to Kettler and tell Green he needs to work on his D, tell Neuvy he isn't the #1, and Ovechkin that he needs to backcheck and play D. All this whining and moaning on the CI board isn't going to change anything.

You're probably one of those jerkoffs who email Leonsis after every game detailing all that's wrong with the team instead of what's right.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 14, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

@Soaring -- no one "can't handle the truth" and I think most around here can spot weaknesses in our players' games, but

You are just insulting (assigning insulting names to professional hockey players who play in the pinnacle league in the world) and most of the time seem to push a troll's mentality to want to "mix it up" and aggravate others.

Don't expect people to welcome this crap.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 14, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

But I DO expect him to contribute..meaning he is a tough and tumble let's see some hits and some fights...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 14, 2010 8:20 AM

Meh- he's still new to the team. Not worried- he'll get by the time he needs to get it. Don't get your thong in a bunch.

Do you have anything of substance? You still want to trade Mike Green? You still don't realize the salary we freed up in moving Clark/Juice?

Lady, if you're gonna troll around, at least make valid points. Yours are all laughable- literally. Like yesterday, when you said: "I never said trade Green (in this post anyway)". I was rolling.

Sweetheart- you had to qualify it with "in this post anyway". Give it some time and you will find that tact is the best way to win people over.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 14, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

1) Mike Green is a COMPLETE Defenseman and should be the Norris Trophy Winner.
- He never will be a top-end defensive defensemen under Boudreau, never, get use to it. He has too much responsibility offensively. He will the Norris, maybe 2 or 3.

2) Neuvirth is a #1 Goalie RIGHT NOW.
- So. Injuries happen. Boudreau is putting him through his paces, although I don't agree with it. He should be alternating him and Theo.

3) Our Defense is the BEST in the league (not stat wise, but in your mind), and we should NOT try to improve it.
- It isn't the best and it never will be under Boudreau, get use to it. Did PIT have the best defense last season? No. Actually 5 on 5, we are pretty good. We do need to get better on the PK.

4) Ovechkin (as GREAT OF PLAYER he is..side note, I do think he is the MVP of the league), always backchecks and works just as hard in the defensive zone as he does in the offensive zone.
- Seriously? Does Ovi take chances, yes, but he is W, not a C. And he is Ovi. If he is such a liability and causes so many scoring opportunities for the opposition then why is he leading the league in +/-? Miller is my vote for the MVP right now.

Posted by: JSchon | January 14, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

W/O Miller, Buffalo would be battling it out for a 7/8 seed right now.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 14, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

W/O Miller, Buffalo would be battling it out for a 7/8 seed right now.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 14, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

That entire team, aside from Meyers and Miller, are underachieving.

I think they'd be out of the playoff picture without Miller.

Posted by: JSchon | January 14, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Ok - I take back that it's the beginning of the end for Theo here in DC.

The kid goalies aren't ready to answer the bell every night.


Posted by: Rocc00 | January 14, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Ok - I take back that it's the beginning of the end for Theo here in DC.

The kid goalies aren't ready to answer the bell every night.


Posted by: Rocc00 | January 14, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Theo is gone after this season for sure, but I seriously doubt he is traded this season, A. because we need a vet and B. no one wants our vet.

Posted by: JSchon | January 14, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

To all...points well taken.

No more insulting names.

And I agree with Miller...he is a beast.

I have spoken to Green about his defensive play. We had lunch the other day, he knows...but says his contract bonus' kick in for goals and points, not +/- .

And no, I don't email Ted. I think he's done a phenominal job in building hockey in this area!

Other than the Nylander signing...George has done a great job too. I do think we need to start taking a chance and unload some of the Hershey talent for some of our needs...I don't want Calder Cups, I want Stanley Cups.

And no..high priced superstars is not what we need (look at the Rangers...ha ha!)...

I think we need a goalie (rental), 2nd line center, and possibly a shutdown experienced defense (doesn't have to be a Perennial All-Star...).

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 14, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Actually I would say Nylander at the time under Hanolan (sp) made sense..again at the time due to the style of play and coaching style.

Anyway, Theo was solid and hope that sticks. Chimera needs about 20 games before anyone can say anything but what I saw last night is what I hope to see more of. I am sure they gave him the hard hat for his Gordie Howe Hat Trick, though several others maybe just the team could get it too.
I am hoping Morrison & Laich can build on those shoot out goals, that may just have been the trick they needed.
Also on the Knuble goal, at first I was yelling and screaming, then went back and watched it in slow mo on the DVR...I am 99% sure it went of Volkum's skate and hit the outside post not the inside post as I had originally thought. From the tv angle it's a bit of an illusion and based on Knuble's non reaction after the fact tells me enough. I know when I have scored and when I haven't and he knew he didn't score.

Posted by: Iceman10 | January 14, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

TDL wish in a very particular order.

2nd line C.
- We are weak down the middle, I hate to say it. Backstrom is amazing, but there is a huge drop off after him. I'd rather not have Flash learn the position during the playoffs going against Crosby, Malkin, Richards, Carter, Fisher, Zajac and Connelly. B.Mo needs to find his Mojo.

3/4 defensemen
- Someone big, ugly, mean, missing teeth, tattoos of skulls and reapers, very little grasp of any language and maybe a missing gene or two.

Posted by: JSchon | January 14, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Finding an experienced defensemand is, by far, the #1 need for the team. However, while everyone is asking for a shutdown defenseman, I think we need to find one who is great at clearing the zone. If he is a great big defensive defenseman too, then great. It is also important that he is good on the PK because the Caps desperately need to improve there.

I thought our biggest problem in the Pittsburgh series was our D's inability to clear the zone when forechecked hard. This sort of showed in the Tampa game too.

Another center, preferably a 2nd line but maybe a 3rd line center who is known as being defensively responsible and I would like for him to be a good penalty killer also.

While I would rather have a different veteran goalie than Theo it is highly unlikely that will happen unless Theo gets traded. But I would put that last on the list of needs.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 14, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Now see, that's a constructive post with a sprinkling of humor. :)

I don't blame GMGM for the Nylander signing, just the NMC that he agreed to..which I don't think he'll do again. He fit Hanlon's system and was playing pretty damn well before he was signed here.

Agreed on the no-superstars...We already have our fill and don't have room for more.

I don't see us getting a rental goalie or a shutdown defender before the trade deadline. No one's gonna take Theo unless there's a season ending injury to a team's #1 and I just don't think there's a Dman out there that a team's willing to give up without us giving an arm and a leg for. Maybe we pull one in free agency in the off season, but I'd be willing to wait at that point for Carlson or Alzner to step up and try and fill that role.

2nd line center is possible, but again, who's available that's better than what we currently have? I say roll with this Flash experiment a while longer and see what happens, I like the results so far...I think Semin does too.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 14, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The CAPS have plenty of fire power, but they better resolve their goaltending issue ASAP, or they will never see a Stanley Cup.

Posted by: ribblettb | January 14, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Chimmer had a Gordie Howe hat trick last night. If he got it at VC and I threw my hat on the ice to celebrate, do you think the VC event staff would be cool about it or would throw me out for tossing objects on the ice? There's NO WAY that the usher in my section knows what a Gordie Howe hat trick is.

Posted by: griz0615 | January 14, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm not willing to roll the dice on Flash and an unknown in Morrison heading into the playoffs.

As for who will be a available? In 2009 these C's were moved.

Sami Pahlsson
erik christensen
eric o'dell
nik antropov
olli jokinen
matthew lombardi
petteri nokelainen

Posted by: JSchon | January 14, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Why does Brooks Laich escape the wrath of Caps fans??

He seems to have morphed into a Chris Clark clone, lot of hustle, no results. And CC got run out of town.

(My theory: women adore him, and male Cap fans all have man crushes on him.)

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | January 14, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to say that we were lucky and unlucky last night. We were unlucky because of the Knuble non-goal goal which after looking at it again this morning on the DVR, I'm still convinced it went in. Someone please ask Knuble if he thought it went in. I'm highly curious what he thinks.

We were lucky though because of the horrible defensive play in OT. I'm all for pressure 4 on 4, but there were what 2 or 3 1 on 0 or 2 on 0 breakaways that Theo stuffed? Not acceptable.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 14, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@ Soaring Caps

Dude...Beware what you say on here. You may think you know hockey and are smarter than everyone on here, but you are finding out, much the way I did a few months ago, that there are very knowledgeable and educated hockey fans on this site. You are entitled to your opinion, but keep in mind, if your opinion is not based on cold hard facts, these people will eat you alive. Look up the meaning of opinion. Opinions must be based in fact or they are not opinions. They are drivel. No offense, but it is true.

With that said, you need to calm down. No one here said Neuvirth is the #1 right now. I believe, based on what we've seen, that the team is taking a long hard look at Neuvy to see what they got there. He' talented, young with incredible upside. He needs seasoning. It's probable that with the division lead so big and Varly being on the shelf that this the perfect situation to test Neuvy's mettle and see how he responds to positive and negative situations.

I take serious issue with your statement that the team should start trading prospects from Hershey to win now, instead of winning Calder Cups.

Well, in the age of the salary cap, you need low cost, young replacements to fill in for your higher priced veterans that you have to let leave via free agency because they are due big raises. It's gonna happen to this team in the future. If the Caps develop their prospects (ala Detroit) then the future is much more stable and our window to win stays open longer.

Not to mention that players who win it all in the AHL have a better understanding of what is in store for them in the Stanley Cup playoffs, which is invaluable.

You need to take your emotion out of your analysis and look at the facts, there bud. I don't question your passion for the team. I just question how you are coming to your conclusions.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 14, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I have no man crush on Laich.

He was simply overachieving earlier in the season and is coming back to earth.

He does need to snap out of his funk.

Posted by: JSchon | January 14, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I agree Laich has struggled...and honestly, for a guy who has done well for us in the past, I think he will snap out of it...

I think that Knuble has pushed him out a little...

I don't (unbelievably so) have a comment on it...

I am more concerned about our Goaltending and defensive "specialist"...

BTW...if we had Rod Langway on this team, we would have our name already on the cup...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 14, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

BTW...if we had Rod Langway on this team, we would have our name already on the cup...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 14, 2010 10:06 AM

And if we had Wayne Gretzky and Messier we would have won cups in the 80's.

...and if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon.


Posted by: jmurray019 | January 14, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

@ Murray


And I didn't say trade ALL our Hershey parts...but we have a ton down there...take a chance on someone...

With Holtby, Neuvirth, and Varly...maybe one of them should be packaged.

Sorry, I love when Hershey wins the cup, but not at the possible expense of the Caps. And by continuing to roll up wins at the AHL level...we should be able to trade 3 of them for something we need at the NHL level...

Struggling teams can be had for some young talent...I was just suggesting we start looking at that...(Edmonton, Dallas)..

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 14, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse


But at what price and of those that we could afford, who'd be better than what we currently have?

On that list (pretending those are available this season), I see Antropov and Jokinen as the only true upgrades...and GMGM wouldn't give up what he would have had to to grab them.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 14, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

but murray...we never had Gretzky and Messier on the Caps...

(was just stating the fact we need a shutdown defenseman)

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 14, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse


I don't think keeping talent in Hershey rather than trading them away is hurting the Caps, I think it's the opposite. Develop the youngsters and call up the vets to plug in holes due to injury. It was nice earlier in the season to be able to call up guys to fill in and not miss a beat.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 14, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

But trading assets from Hershey weakens the organization and prevents long term stability. I agree that we have assets to package for what we need (a stud nasty d-man) but i think that can be had without gutting the farm. That's all I mean. I'll take Calders all day long. I think they could translate into some grizzled and mentally tough hockey players to play here in the coming years.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 14, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe the debate on the Knuble deflection. If you watch the replay, twice Knuble said "No goal" while he was skating to the face off circle. He was there along with the ref, I believe him over video replay.

Posted by: FLDave | January 14, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, the Knuble thing needs to be put to rest. It was called a no goal. We won the game in the Shootout. End of story.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 14, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse


Ok, I didn't see him say that. I'll look again. Obviously, we weren't on the ice (as I noted before), so we only see what is broadcast. But, there is still something in the net, or appears to be, on the CSN HD feed. I'll let it drop, but I know what my brain sees on the replays.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 14, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse


Langway would not be able to play at the AHL level with his skill set. Langway made a living out of clutching, grabbing and holding players.

The Caps could definately use a Scott Stevens type D man, but Stevens was one in a million.

Posted by: FLDave | January 14, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse


There will be guys available. Who, I don't know, it depends on the who is selling in FEB.

Anaheim might be, Saku Koivu would be nice.

There won't be alot available.

Posted by: JSchon | January 14, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I think deciding which young players need to stay in the minors to develop and which ones can be traded is a delicate balancing act. That is why GMGM gets paid the big bucks.

While I agree that we should not sell the farm to get a rental player or too, I do think we should be willing to trade some prospects or draft picks to pick up a rental who could help us this year.

I think we would all agree the trade for Fedorov a few years ago was a good move. There we moved a prospect (one that did'nt turn into much) for a rental player. Sergei did re-sign but that wasn't known or expected at the time. They also did the same for Huet, moving a draft pick instead.

With how close this team is I think it is fien to trade some prospects to increase their chances of winning the cup.

In order to get a top end rental player the Caps will need to give up some quality. Holtby could be an option, maybe Bouchard or others. Not saying to do it, and they should not give up many top prospects, but it must be considered.

I think only Carlson and Alzner are untradeable.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 14, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

but Stevens was one in a million.

Posted by: FLDave | January 14, 2010 10:21 AM

Fact. And he helped me win multiple Stanley Cups in NHL2000 for playstation. I am forever in his debt.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 14, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse


Nicely put. I was avoiding SoaringCap's rants on Green the last few days but found myself incredibly annoyed this morning before my coffee was ready. And couldn't help myself. And responded.

The pieces are here--upgrades may still happen--defense is still weaker than offense--and a lot of youth in the net--mental toughness and grit to finish is what I'm looking for. Team came out stronger and despite shakey play by Neuvi stayed strong and played harder the next two periods. Theo came up with several game savers at keyoments which he didn't do the night before. The players know what they have to do: get their defensive play cooking again and stop getting into deficits in the first period. I can be critical but I also look for improvements and have the capacity to be pleased too. The win last night was not pretty or easy but they got the win. They hung in their and improved over the 60 minutes. They didn't give up.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 14, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Saku would be really nice on the 2nd or 3rd line. If GMGM can pull that off without giving up too much, I'd be smiling from ear to ear.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 14, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Anbody see Selanne take that puck to the face? Dude's probably out for the Olympics. That. Sucks.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 14, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The Caps do not need more skill up front. If they are going to compete for the Cup I believe they need serious help on the blue line and an enforcer. That is assuming Varly or someone else steps up in net. Giving up 4-5 goals is a kiss of death in the post season.

Posted by: FLDave | January 14, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

How is Saku defensively? Can he play the pk? If he can then that would be great.

I personally have be holding out hope for S. Niedermeyer. Hopefully Anaheim will start losing again and make him expendable.

I really hope the Ducks don't send Selanne to the Pens. His injury may prevent that, but he would be a scary addition to that team.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 14, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse


True! No more bad deficits please. Team discipline and consistency has improved but it needs to be better. We still have the rest of the season to prep for the playoffs. Thankfully.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 14, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse


5-10 years ago Seleanne would be a scary addition. Now, not so sure.

Posted by: FLDave | January 14, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse


Unfortuantely I don't think the Caps have a defensive corp cabable of 'shutting down' opponents.

Jurcina being traded has shown how porous the blue line is. GMGM justified letting Jurcina go by saying "We have 9 defensemen". Unfortuantely only four or five of them are NHL caliber IMHO.

The team is in desperate need of an enforcer. They are playing a timid style compared to last year when Brashear was on the bench.

Posted by: FLDave | January 14, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse


Agree. But with his shot and ability to score, I think he would prove to add even more than Guerin did for them last year.

Their lack of skilled wings is their biggest weakness and Selanne would be a large upgrade over who they have now.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 14, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

But we have our enforcer--Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Love the heart in the guy. Seriously I don't want an enforcer. I like the whole team stepping up. Chimera did pretty well last night. Took the guy down. And Brads making a beeline over to battle Downie was the only highpoint for me in the Tampa game. But I digress--I don't mean to start an enforcer thread--just really like it when they step up for each other.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 14, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

What about Mikko Koivu, what would we have to give up to get him and would he be the piece we need?

Posted by: PhilR | January 14, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

soaringcaps = irritating and obnoxious.

Posted by: doughless | January 14, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Apparently Neuvirth is too old to be a goaltender, according to scarlet caps he is 40.

Posted by: malujoker | January 14, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse


The need a winger for sure, I just don't see Selanne as a huge impact, could be worng.


I like the stepping up, standing up for each other as well. However an enforcer changes the whole complexion of a team. Had Brashear been in the line up against Tampa I believe the game would have looked a lot different. He would have given the team a spark.

I'd love to see the Boogie Man in a Caps jersey. His skating has improved, he punishes player against the boards and is a top 5 fighter to boot.

Posted by: FLDave | January 14, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

A defensive vet--someone highly skilled. That addition I think would help the team. Not an enforcer with few minutes. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if an addition is made before the trade deadline as long as GMGM can find a partner--who knows what's in the pipelines especially in the West. Possible trade talks seem to be an ongoing affair with GMs.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 14, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Help me--whose's the Boogie man? Which particular player?

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 14, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I think enforcers are good to have in the regular season but are useless in the playoffs. If they pick up a guy for a very low draft pick with the intention of playing him in some games during the regular season and benching him in the playoffs then I'm okay with that.

I just think having a guy on the bench in the playoffs who only plays 3 minutes is a waste. Especially in OT and such when having fresher players who can play is key.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 14, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Well as far as people not thinking much of Chimera...I disagree! I enjoyed his Gordy Howe hat trick and he is a super fast skater. But, that is just my opinion.

But the defense in the past few games on the other hand...I didn't enjoy watching! I really hope we can get a good solid win Friday to boost us for the Philly game!

Posted by: NatyBG | January 14, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Late last night someone (tmac?) asked what happened with the Bears game. Here's the abbreviated story:

By TIM LEONE, The Patriot-News
January 13, 2010, 9:40PM
NORFOLK, Va. -- Going for 13 wins in a row was unlucky for the Hershey Bears Wednesday night at Scope.

Norfolk Admirals winger Mark Parrish, taking advantage of a John Carlson turnover, scored unassisted with seven seconds left in regulation to deliver a 4-3 victory that ended Hershey’s club-record 12-game winning streak.

Hershey, trailing 3-1 after former Bear Ryan Craig scored at 3:22 of the third period, rallied to tie it 3-3 on goals by Patrick McNeill (4:21) and Alex Giroux (power play at 7:33).

Norfolk, 0-5-0-0 this season against the Bears entering the game, recorded its first win over Hershey since April 1, 2009.

Despite the loss, the Bears hit the midpoint of the season with 29 victories, the most in club history at the 40-game mark.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 14, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Cheers to Theo. I'm happy for you, man.

Semin has been on roll lately. The puck hasn't always been going in the net, but his overall play has been solid, along with his usual assortment of "did you see that?" moves.

Chimera, welcome to the Caps.

Did anyone remember to leave a wake-up call for Ovi?

Come on Lindsay, tell us what you really think of Mike Wise.

Posted by: zmega | January 14, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | January 14, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 14, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I think SoaringCaps was less annoying when he was calling himself SinkingCaps and getting excited outta his mind when Green went down earlier this season.

Posted by: joek443 | January 14, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I asked Soaring Caps a few threads ago if he was really the poster formally known as Sinking Caps. No response. Sinking Caps had promised to "fess up" to his old name once he changed to a new name. Doesn't look like he/she lived up to that promise.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | January 14, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

If our team needs anything it is a better "defensive" defensemen who has some swagger and doesn't mind mixing it up if need be. Goaltending is not a big issue. Varly is #1, look at his stats. Granted it was his first time, but he showed great promise he can handle the playoffs last year. The only Goalie concern is who will be a BACKUP. It gets a lot of focus now since our #1 is out, but when he gets back and stays healthy, this won't be a big talking point. Our team's defensive blunders from the failure of our d-men clearing the puck or lack of a defensive focus from our forwards cause us what seems to be 50%-75% of our goals. Other than the last few games, most of the goals we've allowed seem not to be "bad goals" by the goalies but either deflections which happen at times, goals on our awful PK, or just poor defense, giving our goalies little chance. Granted our system is an offensive minded one, but a better balance needs to be maintained. I think we could still win the Cup with our team today, but while a minor trade would be nice, no team has everything (you think Buf and NJ fans don't whine about needing more scorers..)

Posted by: cpkali | January 14, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I wanted to weigh in on the "no goal" last night. If you taped the game, go back and look at 3:20 - 3:16 left in the third period. The puck clearly hit bottom center in the BACK of the net, then slides straight out where it is covered up by Vocuun. The light goes on, but it is waived off and Knuble looks puzzled. The only replay that that is shown is from the other camera angle from which you can't see anything. I'm still miffed that a potential game winning goal can go undetected by most everyone. Is this a conspiracy to make me think I'm crazy? OK - I'll leave it alone now.

Posted by: fanofovie | January 14, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

As for the Knuble "goal," we all started whooping when it went in. Then it was WTF, why no goal, and we assuned ref waved it off for being kicked in. I was sure it went in at the time.

I agree with sgm3 I think who said enforcer of little value in playoffs. Now a guy like Matt Cooke, or Downie, you have value there. As I've posted before, a guy like Esa Tikkanen, but a center, someone who can lead the PK and shadow Crosby, plus be as pesty as can be, is #1 on my wish list, followed by the best resemblance to Mark Tinordi we can get.

As for enforcer in Playoffs, just look what Brash did last year. Nobody fights then. You need sandpaper, not fists.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 14, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I thought, and incorrectly so, that such a goal or non-goal would be subject to review. From the TV angle, I couldn't tell for sue although it appeared to have hit the back of the net and came out. We could have lost a game on this missed call although we won in a shootout.

This team still lacks a nasty, stay at home defenseman who also can make smart plays in his own end and move the puck. If the Caps want to make a run at the cup, a trade for a top defenseman is needed as I still don't see much improvement over last year.

Neuvirth isn't ready for prime time and it's time that BB stopped that experiment to see if Theo can be the No. 2 goaltender At least 2 of the 4 goals should have been stopped by Neuvirth and he appears to have lost confidence. Theo made two saves on breakaways in OT after defensive breakdowns and was solid the entire time he played. He deserved the start on Friday.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 14, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the defense has been that bad this year. It seems to have more to do with the amount of times that Ovie and company get cute in the top slot which leads to the fast break the other way. How many times have we been burned by poor passing in the offensive zone. On the other hand look how many goals we are getting by full offensive pressure. It's kind of hard to have it both ways. I think this gets better with time as switching around the lines hopefully will stop soon and the players will gel.
As for goaltending, I think you need to let Theo take the #1 slot and let the rookies fill in for back to backs and so forth. Theo is for the most part a solid goaltender that plays best with a lot of hours, not this every third game stuff. Let him prove his worth and get the young guys a little experience without shouldering a full load. It's not like we can only score a couple a goals a game. The team has shown they can bail him out if he has a bad start.

Posted by: fanofovie | January 14, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Just want to add this about Brash -- and please don't think I'm saying he was invaluable, or we need him back, or even another enforcer. I just want to see Brash get some credit for his contribution in Round 1.
Consider this: before he took out Betts (NYR best pk'er), Caps' PP was horrid. Then, in Game 4, after Betts was 'eliminated', it sparked. And the series turned around with that game (assisted by genius Tortorella over-reacting by benching Avery and the (related?) Rangers fog in Game 5). No, that wasn't the only factor, and I'm not saying that was the 'plan.'
But just asking... And I DO agree we're playing a little timid with only Brad as our tough guy. I love Matt, but ...

Posted by: wotansdad | January 14, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

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