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Collapse, with a Capital 'C'


(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)


The most depressing set of morning Caps links the world has ever seen:

*Montreal 2, Washington 1: The Capitals are the NHL's first No. 1 seed to blow a 3-1 lead to a No. 8 seed after their stunning loss to the Canadiens in Game 7. | Game story »

*Hockey's ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup, was possible just a week ago, but grand expectations were ground into dust with a Game 7 loss that will not soon be forgotten. | Story by Barry Svrluga »

*Tracee Hamilton: Alex Ovechkin may be the world's greatest player, but he failed to drag his team out of the first round, against the worst of 16 teams to make the postseason.

*Mike Wise: In the end, they proved to be a tease. The Caps defied all the grand expectations for Stanley Cup glory and inexplicably were eliminated in the first round.

*Photo gallery | Fans react | Notebook: Alzner's debut

*D.C. Sports Bog: D.C. fans suffer again | Hey, it's Joe Biden! | Hey, it's Donald Brashear!

*Chats today: Tracee Hamilton, 9:30 a.m. | Thomas Boswell, 11 a.m.

*Recaps and reaction from the DC Examiner, FanHouse, CSN Washington, Peerless, CapsBlog, Ed Frankovic, OFB, Hockey Chronicles, NHL.com, Rock the Red, Puck Daddy, RMNB, Japers' Rink.

*Habs fans chant, "We want Crosby" and flood streets after win. (Montreal Gazette)

*More on the no-goal from Puck Daddy, FanHouse

*A collapse of historic proportions. (ESPN)

*Greatest playoff upset of all time? (Globe and Mail)

*Do you praise the Habs or pick apart the Caps? (Toronto Star)

More to come later from Tarik, who will talk to some puck experts and break down where, exactly, the Caps failed this postseason.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 29, 2010; 6:52 AM ET
 
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Next: Varlamov: Caps had too many 'almost' moments

Comments

I told everyone this would happen early in the season and no one believed me. BB and MCPHEE have to go

Posted by: CapsFan44 | April 29, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

No more Mike Wise or Tracee Hamilton, please!

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | April 29, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

What's red, white, and blue, and plays golf in April?

Posted by: stwasm | April 29, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

they had a nice three-year run winning meaningless regular season games with this system but now they gotta realize that it does NOT work in the playoffs.

Either they get back to playing more traditional style of hockey or GMGM and BB need to go.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Goodbye Capitals...you have ALOT to think about before next September. As good of a regular season as we had they need to make some changes, we need a good playoff team period. Very disappointing.

Posted by: NatyBG | April 29, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Three new plans:

Plan A -- Fire BB and GMGM and find a GM who will find players better suited to playoff hockey than Corvo and Morrison. Find a coach who will install a system that will work in the playoffs and instill a sense of discipline and team first play. Maybe such a coach can save Green, Flash, and Semin from themselves (although I doubt it).

Plan B -- Trade Green, Flash (who may be a rfa/ufa, I forget), and Semin for a proven center and blueliner to a market that is desperate to get into the playoffs (Tampa, Florida, Atlanta, Carolina, Edmonton, Calgary, etc...). My dream trade is all of them for Lacavalier whose garunteed long-term salary is too much for the new Tampa ownership. And hold BB accountable for a better system and more team discipline.

Plan C -- The nucleur option, get rid of Semin, Flash, and Green, along with BB and GMGM. Find a good playoff coach like Martin and some good playoff veterans, like Gomez and Guerin.

All plans, do not resign Morrison the center, he is toast, career over for the most part. Do not resign Theo, too streaky, too much a head case, and too expensive. Do not resign Flash, but resign Fehr. Resign Belanger, that guy is legit. Do not resign Corvo, he is not legit. All plans MUST include a second line center and 1-2 serious blueliners (Alzner may be the serious blueliner from within, who never got a chane with BB's offense first system).

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | April 29, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

All year I bashed Mike Green and Jeff Schultz.

All year I bashed the goaltending.

All year I didn't care about the regular season.

After the deadline I told you Walker, Corvo, Belanger were NOT what we needed.

I am very upset and angry I was right.

Now maybe some of you will stop throwing numbers at me and start looking at the whole puzzle.

We NEEDED leadership. Chris Chelios would have been great. Ovechkin, Green, Backstrom are still kids. And Kids cannot lead kids properly...

And those of you who say, we had a great season...shame on you. The playoffs are the season. The regular season only is there so you have the opportunity to get to the post season.

Horrible season, it was a failure. Who's shaking now Ovie...?

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Very disappointing. The Caps didn't play badly, they played hard, they did the right things like win most of the puck battles and got traffic in front of the net. They just didn't win. Their firepower wasn't there when they needed it most. Now they have to go back and assess what went wrong and fix it. I suspect it will come down to either making changes to their system or getting a new system (i.e. a new coach). I suspect Boudreau will keep his job, but he's on a short leash.

Later... Next year...

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | April 29, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Man, I can't believe this ride is over :(

Posted by: ksaul79 | April 29, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I never thought of the Caps' organization as arrogant, but some of the commentators here have noted that point, and now I think that may be part of the problem.

I like Ted whenever I hear him speak on TV, but in the preseason event for season ticket holders, he went on and on about how there was only one goal left for this team, and that was, of course, the Cup.

And then you have the cult-esque video clips of the players in personal moments in-between periods. I found the recent clip (was in during Game 5?) of Ovie and his multiple high-end sports cars both here and in Russia to be odd, over-the-top, and weird-to-highlight-during-a-playoff-game. Do they do that kind of stuff in other cities?

Ted is a marketing genius, and clearly they dripped that all over the team.

I guess it all just leaves a sour taste now.

I'd rather see humility, no videos about the number of suits that Green owns, a decent regular season, and then a deep playoff run.

Posted by: CapsLust | April 29, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Angry, just angry.

Need a true leader. One who is confident, not a brash cocky kid...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Bad luck started when Ted bought then wizards. Now the caps are losers like the rest of DC teams.

Posted by: rockbroker | April 29, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

It was fun while it lasted. Knuble and Chimera were great trades. Walker and Belanger not so much. I don't even want to discuss Corvo. Please season Varly and Neuvy next year so they are ready (maybe Neuvy over Varly). The blue line needs some serious modification, if not, there will be no hope for next year and it will be just another year of watching OV score goals and maybe a game 7.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 29, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Should this be a surprise? Did this series remind you of the first 4 games of the Rangers series from last year. It was a shot blockathon. The Caps need to find a way to deal with teams that are simply trying to win a 1-0, 2-1 type of game. The blocked shots are only one problem. why is it that the Caps waited until the 3rd to shoot through a screen on the overruled Ovechkin goal. Yeah that was a tough call, but think about goals vs Halak this series. There should have been several goals disallowed for interference as that should have been the focus once the figured they would continue to shoot high & wide (semin, chimera..ugh) all game long. It worked in games 2 & 3. Why stop?

Anybody concerned Ovie keeps skipping optional practices. He is the Captain, and he needs to be there the day before game 7. IN the regular season, OK, rest up. Not now. Definately a maturity issue.

Anybody remember the penalty killing unit during the season. Yes, they were bad, but they were even worse over the final months of the season. That unit needs to be overhauled big time.

This team will be better next season, but boy do they still have a lot of growing up to do.

Posted by: jimc93 | April 29, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Maybe you should hire RJ Umberger as a cunsultant. Didn't he predict this after your win in Columbus at the end of the season?

Posted by: BRUBAKER789 | April 29, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I look at George McPhail. He put together this team, and has been at the helm for 12+ years. Other than a fluke cup run in 1998, the Caps have done nothing in the playoffs.

They've either not qualified, lost in the first round (the only exception being the Rangers victory in game 7 after being down 3-1).

All the experts heralded the deadline trades and how McPHail didn't have to give up much to get the players he wanted.

Well, now that we saw Morisson wasn't who Boudreau wanted as a second line center, why didn't they address that ??????

Pothier for Corvo ended up being a wash.

Walker was never utilised (oh yeah - he was going to play in the Flyers series - just like Erskine...oh yeah)

End of the day - OV needed to lead this team and he didn't. Semin is a baby and instead of treating him with kid gloves, send him packing and get someone in here less talented, but wants to play hard every night and will talk to the media and give it every night.

Goaltending - another area for discussion. Varly played good enough, but all the talk about "Theo will be fine" ... I could go on...

Posted by: Jaymagz | April 29, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I love hockey but it has its soccer elements that lead to bigger upsets in the playoffs than any other sport. Basically it rewards going into the skating version of the four corners offense or the offside trap. I've always wondered why some team didn't dress five 300-pound behemoths and, once they get a lead, sit them in front of their net. The obvious extension of how Montreal won the series.

Posted by: truke | April 29, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

@BRUBAKER789

Umberger said the Caps would give up a lot of odd-man rushes. I don't think that was our problem this time around.

Posted by: BigMogilny | April 29, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

As BB would say, "there just aren't the words." Except for maybe http://www.nooooooooooooooo.com/

As an Orioles, Ravens and Caps fan, I am growing extremely tired of following losers. Maybe this team is made up of a bunch of great guys that we all love, but together they are consistent losers when it counts.

At least the World Cup is this summer...

Posted by: kkd76 | April 29, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Should this be a surprise? Did this series remind you of the first 4 games of the Rangers series from last year. It was a shot blockathon. The Caps need to find a way to deal with teams that are simply trying to win a 1-0, 2-1 type of game. The blocked shots are only one problem. why is it that the Caps waited until the 3rd to shoot through a screen on the overruled Ovechkin goal.

Posted by: jimc93 | April 29, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

*****

This speaks to the arrogance of the Caps style of play. Rather than adjust anything that was not working they thought they could power shots directly through 5 guys and a goalie.

What would other teams do?

Shoot wide on purpose and catch the goalie out of position on a wide bounce.

Shoot into a corner and make the D-man chase it there and by the third period of repeated races back for the puck fatigue would create scoring chances - sooner if their Defenseman played like Mike Green.

All they had to do was get a one goal lead and it would force the opposition to not sit back as much.

The Caps actually thought they could force their will on Montreal - that mindset was the biggest killer of this team's playoff hopes.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 29, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Normally Im upset in times like this but this time around im just flat out angry. Love the Caps thru thick and thin and I guess I care too much, they defintily have ruined my day/week/month....forseeable future.

People can criticize this team for months as they should but at the end of the day the most astonishing weakness was how they were 1-33 on the Powerplay. I dont care how good Halak was or whatever but going 1-33 on the powerplay is something out of a bad nightmare.

Whats funny...yet sad now is the Pens will demolish the Habs in 5 games max.

Posted by: Redskins2Win | April 29, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Now I don't have to feel sorry for Chris Clark missing out on the Stanley Cup.

In the 80's I used to get really upset about these Caps debacles. All day yesterday however, I expected them to blow this. So last night wasn't as soul crushing, when it actually did happen. I felt worse for my kids, who have become Caps fans because of me, and haven't realized what they're in for. I feel like I've shackled them with a ball and chain of hockey heartbreak and misery stamped Washington Capitals.

Yes, many players have to shoulder the blame, but I reserve most of it for Boudreau. He never figured out or changed strategy to combat Montreal's trapping defense. I woke up last night to nightmares of the Caps coming down the boards, cutting across to the middle, and firing a long distance shot which was then blocked by one of the 5 pefectly positioned Montreal defenders. The Canadiens deserved to win.

The Caps have blown their best real chance at a Stanley Cup. They drove their sleek, beautiful, fast, red sports car (which they spent the winter fine tuning, polishing and waxing) out of the garage, down the street, and off the bridge and totalled it. Now us fans are stuck driving a rental gunmetal gray Ford Fiesta for the long hot Virginia summer, while the Caps jet off with their money to Moscow and other parts of the world. See you in the fall.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 29, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

The blame for losing this series falls right in BB's lap. This team had the best record in the NHL, and he decides to start screwing around with the lineups. And to make matters worse, some of the guys didn't find out if they we're playing until a few hours before game time. BB was more concerned with playing mind games than he was with winning hockey games. Losing this series was an outright embarassment, and BB should go.

Posted by: former_mr_mom | April 29, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

How can Ted be satisfied with McPhee and Boudreau? They have had SE and league success during the regular season, and they have some of the most talented forwards in the league, but they cannot get the job done during the POs. Ted must not be complacent. He must not be satisfied. He must FIRE GM and BB and get rid of of the fancy and weak players GREEN and FLEISCHMANN

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

whenever GMGM and BB talk to the media, either today or tommorrow, the first sentence that comes outta their mouths had better be, "we need to make some changes to our system to better suit playoff style hockey" It had better NOT be, "we're gonna stay the course."

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Fire McPhee!

Posted by: Mike4169 | April 29, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

whenever GMGM and BB talk to the media, either today or tommorrow, the first sentence that comes outta their mouths had better be, "we need to make some changes to our system to better suit playoff style hockey" It had better NOT be, "we're gonna stay the course."

Posted by: joek443

And they need to acknowledge their own fault in yet another playoff disgrace.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Hope Ted isn't so consumed / distracted by his purchase of the phone booth that he doesn't take a good hard look at the Caps organization. He seems to be the kind of guy who can juggle multiple balls at one time. But I wouldn't be surprised if he thought the Caps were at a point where he could put more of his attention on Wizards et al and sadly that may not be the case.

Posted by: RedRedRed | April 29, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"What's so special about Sidney Crosby?", Semin asked in '08. Well, I dunno Alex, but he doesn't have to put 0 goals in 14 playoff games across 2 seasons on his resume.

After 40 goals in 82 games, coming up empty in 7, 14 going back to last year, is poor, poor clutch performance.

Maybe he should focus on his game when something is on the line.

Posted by: spynnal | April 29, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

There are a lot of things that could be criticized with how Washington played, but if you have nearly 100% of puck possession and are outshooting a team as badly as the Capitals did the past two games, I'm not surprised they didn't try to go with a different strategy. There should have been some adjustments made but not a major strategy change. More traffic, more shots from the point, and shoot wide if they are blocking shots. Carlson was doing that but the rest of the team wasn't.

Posted by: Stu_c | April 29, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Check out the modified logo on RMNB
Good for a chuckle

Posted by: RedRedRed | April 29, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

All plans, do not resign Morrison the center, he is toast, career over for the most part. Do not resign Theo, too streaky, too much a head case, and too expensive. Do not resign Flash, but resign Fehr. Resign Belanger, that guy is legit. Do not resign Corvo, he is not legit. All plans MUST include a second line center and 1-2 serious blueliners (Alzner may be the serious blueliner from within, who never got a chane with BB's offense first system).

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1

Completely agree with all of the above. Also think we need to look into trading Green, Semin, and Poti. Get a good blueliner and a couple picks, or maybe a another good center.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | April 29, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I never thought OV should have been made Captain. But for anyone saying this is his fault has lost their minds. 13g and 11a in the last 14 playoff games is not choking. Choking is Semin and Green combining for 0 goals in the last 14 games. Until GMGM is fired or pulls his head out of his butt and picks up some guys that will lay it all out in the playoffs they won't win.

Posted by: jdove80 | April 29, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

All right... Sop, being a Caps fan for 30 years and I am only 37! I wasnt truly angry until I got to Shady Grove, then it hit me, Damn you Capitals. Making me spend thousands of $$ per year and the time away from my family, for yet, another heartache?! How dare you!

That said, let's move on. Green, Bye Bye. Semin, straight up trade for Iginla. Almost Identical salaries. Flash, no thanks. Those, in my opinion are the big moves. Green was absolutely, completely a liability out there. Not just game 1, how about games 1-7. Good times! My official break from the Caps.. STARTS NOW.

Posted by: todderdj | April 29, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

You can call for all the trades you what but the biggest problem this team has wears no 8.Yea he's the best player in the world But you need more team players. If you look at those games he missed this season 7-2 record And a better team effort all the way around. Maybe three players 3 million each or two 4.5 million each are better than one 9 million superstar.With ovie and nyls money 13 million plus you could add a whole line top players.

Posted by: sporttraveler | April 29, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I am disappointed that the Capitals lost last night. However, I am more disappointeed with the Capitals fans today. The Ovechkin bashing is beyond absurd and an embarassment to the Capital fan base. There is not a team in the league that wouldn't take Ovechkin to include the Penguins. Just because Crosby has won at this point and Ovechkin hasn't does not mean Ovechkin is a loser. Crosby winning at such a young age is the exception not the rule. Ovechkin is only 24 years old and has only been in the league for five seasons. At the same point in their careers neither Gretzky (won Stanley in his sixth season) or Lemieux (won Stanley in his seventh season) had won a Stanley Cup. Further, Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, and John Elway all had not won a championship at this point in their career. Were they losers? Should their fans have thrown in the towel on them? Of course not, and the same is true for Alex. He is way too young for the kind of vitriol being thrown his way.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 29, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I have defended Semin all year to my fellow STHs in the nosebleed seats at the Phone Booth but after last night and indeed this series, I think I give up. The occasional flash of brilliance is not enough. And I don't care if he's Ovi's BF. The Caps need to make several changes over the summer but sadly, arranging Semin's departure should be job #1. Who knows, the shock of a trade might wake the kid up.

Oh well. The Pens fan who bought my ticket to the final Caps-Pens matchup in the regular season pretty much paid for my playoff tickets. And now I have time for Nats games. Thought I would not be attending any until June.

Posted by: pirate1 | April 29, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

The level of support on here is pretty pathetic for DC fans. If you're a real fan, you're feeling the heartbreak, but that doesn't mean it's time to jump on the bash-wagon. Anybody who says we need to get rid of Ovi needs a cat scan. Green and Schultz made some bonehead plays last night that ended up hurting us, but you don't get rid of the top plus/minus defensive tandem because of one playoff game. (For those of you who don't know, when your plus/minus rating is very high on the positive side, that means that you don't let in too many goals, which, uh, means you're GOOD AT DEFENSE.) They are still young and need to shore up but they are worth keeping.

Semin, on the other hand...he hustles when he wants to, when he thinks HE can score or do something great. That's not the kind of player we want. Trade him while his value is high, coming off his 40 goal season and get a proven, veteran blue-liner or a hard hitting, stand-up forward (or both if you can swing it). Fleischmann just didn't produce enough for his potential this year, so maybe include him in that deal. Corvo is being outdone by Alzner and Carlson, so he can go, which was probably the plan all along because this was the last year on his contract.

Players to keep are Knuble, Chimera (people will hate on him for missing that shot last night, but come on, he's not a shooter, that's not his job), Belanger, Fehr. Hopefully Knuble will want to play another season or two, I believe he's 37 now.

The Caps will get their act together. There is still a 3-4 year prime window for our core, star players (Ovi, Backstrom, Green, Alzner, Carlson). We can still win, so don't go giving up hope just yet.

Posted by: mak6f8 | April 29, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Backstrom is in a Contract year...so unless he gets resigned we might lose a key piece of the team....should have let semin go and used that money to keep backstrom

Posted by: CapsFan44 | April 29, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Wonder if Ovie is bending over his stick warming his hands now. Or blowing on his red hot trophy case.
Lets face it...the Caps need leadership and character (Not hot dogs and clowns)
Maybe next year....well, maybe not.

Posted by: ALLPENS | April 29, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

OK. After suffering through last night, I finally found a silver lining. It should now officially be ***much*** cheaper to resign Semin (which is the risk he took by signing only a one-year extension). If we want him any more, that is. And disgusted as I am, I'm inclined to say yes, 'cause he still has that incredible talent that can't be taught, even if he still has to learn to use it better. And at least he didn't cost us with any dumb penalties last night--that was Green's department... OK, back to real life after the last seven months or so...

Posted by: jhershb | April 29, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

@truke - about soccer/hockey - very correct.

AC Milan and Barca both out of Champions League. That's even more of a disappointment for their fans than this is for the Caps, but if another team wants to play prevent defense it can get tense and unpredictable.

@(several others) - yes, the Caps have some growing up to do. Semin was not the problem. Green - hmm, well first goal definitely. 2nd goal was always going to be tough - we were down to last 3 minutes and pressing like hell. It would've taken a great play. As it was our D made several great plays keeping it close.

I like chitownskinsfan's post on previous thread - it took Edmonton 4 playoffs to break through, 3 to reach the final. The nucleus is good and now there's another superb player in it: Carlson.

As for who might go:

likely BMo, Corvo

Belanger - meh. He didn't sync well with our forwards but he has potential

Chimera - keep, despite his hands of stone


Posted by: RedLitYogi | April 29, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Tough to watch but some credit does have to go to the Canadiens. The amount of shot blocking that went on was unreal. They really did put on a clinic. They also kept a lot of shots to the outside.

I think the Capitals, and everyone else (me included) took the Habs lightly. After game 6, Mike Green even said "game 7 will only help us in the second round". Seriously Mike? You just got stoned two games in a row and you want to give the opposing team ammunition?

The Caps took the Habs lightly and when they finally realized they were actually in a series fight, it was too late... Halak found his game.

On another note, check out forumice.com, the site could use knowledgeable and passionate Caps fans like you.

Posted by: ForumIce | April 29, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh and rumor is one of Halak or Price are out of Montreal this summer. McPhee would be smart to look into that.

Posted by: ForumIce | April 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Maybe, just maybe if your team would play like a team instead of a bunch of individuals all trying to be the hero they might advance in the playoffs. But that would only get them to the Penguins who would kick their playoff butts again.

Posted by: JakeCrusher | April 29, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

That's what we get for stealing the Expos

Posted by: HerrGrumpus | April 29, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Just so that I don't have to write multiple times here's my post on Puck Daddy which is relevant to all the criticism everywhere & also addresses Mike Wise's article:

This type of retarded analysis by pundits & fans today (all over the place, not just here) was fully expected. It's all based on the result and not on what actually transpired during these games. Observational evidence is just someone biased perception of reality. Stats are objective reality. Also, even observational evidence tells you that Bruce is 100% right on. There was nothing wrong with our style of play in this series. We dominated every facet of the game as much as any team can.

Montreal was in full survival mode for the past 3 games barely getting out of their zone. It was all Halak. The guy played completely out of his mind stopping 131 of 134 shots in the last 3 games including 53 in game 6 (most ever in a game that didn't go to OT since 1968!). If he can keep it up this level of play (which I don't think is humanly possible) no team will beat Montreal this season & they'll win the Cup even though they're not very good, as a team. Montreal did the best they could against us. They got timely goals and played their hearts out, but it would not have been enough if not for absolutely mind boggling goaltending of Jaroslav Halak. We did everything that any team can do to score and win games, but he stopped everything. Point blank shots, rebounds, tips... even when he didn't see shots they would hit him. It was simply incredible to watch.

Lastly, Mike Wise writes about hockey about 3 times a year and even then can't help himself, but make references to the NBA. Perhaps he should stick to writing about something he knows about. As you have rightly pointed out he's completely off on his analogy because we were in no way "clamped down by a tougher, more physical team". If anything we clamped Montreal down. The difference between basketball and hockey is that in hockey there's a player called a goaltender and in this case he nullified everything we did. In basketball goaltending is illegal so it's understandable that Mike Wise doesn't get how that aspect of the game works.

Posted by: ranndino | April 29, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Would everyone stop saying Halak played out of his mind, you couldn't be more wrong. He played well. He faced a lot of shots but the quality of the shots weren't great. Most NHL goalies if they can see it they can stop it, if they can come to the top of the crease and cut down the angles they can stop it. Geez the players blocked 41 shots last night that has to be some kind of a record and would make a goalie look damn good. If the Caps had blocked 41 shots we would all be saying how great Varly was.
Heres to proof Halak ain't that great when he runs into a team that plays D and has some decent defensemen ie the Pens. He will once again look average. The Caps seem to make regular goalies in "hot" goalies.

Posted by: jotay131 | April 29, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

RJ Umberger was right...the Caps play the wrong way...well every team in the NHL knows that. That's why no one was afraid to face them. Especially defensive minded teams.

Posted by: Ovie-Choke | April 30, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

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