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Crosby: 'I Feel Like We've Out-Chanced Them'

The consensus in the Pens' dressing room after this morning's practice is that they have been the better team, despite being down two games to one in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The players pointed to the shot disparity as well as last night's 3-2 overtime victory in Game 3, a contest they feel was only close because of another great performance from Simeon Varlamov.

The Penguins have outshot the Capitals 114-82 in the series, and, on Wednesday, seemed to have the puck for three quarters of the game.

"I think even though we lost those first two games, we feel like we had a chance to win them," Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury

Pens captain Sidney Crosby said: "I feel like we've out-chanced them over the three games. It doesn't matter, because we're down 2-1. But the belief in what we need to do is there and we're seeing some good results. We're confident that if we play this way, we're going to give ourselves a good chance."

Matt Cooke said the difference has been a few mistakes in the first two games and Varlamov: "Minus a few mistakes in Game 1 and 2, we could be in a different position but we're not. I give [Varlmov] a lot of credit. He's been arguably been one of the best players on the ice, and that's hard when you have Ovechkin, Crosby and Malkin."

Fleury on His Gaffe That Led to an Ovechkin Goal
Mike Green "dumped the puck in and the stick slipped out of my hand," Fleury said with a grin. "I don't know what happened. I just slipped out. Just to see [the puck] get loose right in the slot, I was like oh [shoot]."

Gill on Fedorov Injury
Sergei Fedorov missed most of the second period after tangling with Hal Gill behind the net. Fedorov returned, but seemed to be in some distress and had a wrap around his ribs after the game. Gill said he thinks the butt-end of his stick raked Fedorov across the ribs.

Cooke on Malkin
Evgeni Malkin slipped past reporters this morning, much like he slipped past the Caps' defenders last night. As you might expect, there was no shortage of praise for Malkin from his teammates after his nine-shot, one-goal performance in Game 3.

"Geno is a special player," Cooke said. "He does a lot of good things for our hockey club, even when he doesn't score. Last night he was at a different level, and we're a better team when he's at that level."

Sergei Gonchar added: "he didn't play that well in the first couple of games. But a player like this, you know that if he doesn't do well for a couple of games that he's going to come out and do well. And that was the case yesterday."

I'll have more from the Caps' media availability in a bit.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 7, 2009; 1:11 PM ET
 
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Next: Recall En Route?

Comments

Of course you have out chanced the Caps Sidney, 7 Powerplays to 2 last night. That's 5 more chances.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 7, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I hate the parallels between this series and our series against the Rangers...

Anyone know how the shot totals looked in the regular season against Cindy and company? Do they usually out-shoot the Caps? Does the shot discrepancy really reflect a difference in the levels of play?

I hope that this is a case of the Caps taking the Pens' best shot and holding for a 2-1, then rebounding for some convincing victories.

Posted by: crooks_c | May 7, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Moved over from previous thread:

Oh poor Mike Wise. He is in Pittsburgh and has appears to have jumped off of our beloved bandwagon because he has fallen victim to the Siren Sidney. Like the NHL, and Officials league wide he could not help but succumb to Sidney's Siren song (The term "siren song" refers to an appeal that is hard to resist but that, if heeded, will lead to a bad result.)

It has to be the only logical explanation because Mike seemed to love our Capitals as much as we did just 36 hours ago. Sidney is in fact a Penguin (bird) and Sirens were three dangerous bird-women, portrayed as seductresses. Hopefully Tarik can save Mike.

It also looks like Mike has shaven his playoff head of hair too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 7, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov has been great, but he didnt steal game 1 and 2.

Fluery needs to change his diaper, or it's gonna be more of the same the rest of the series. He has done nothing to make me think we cant light him up.

Pens were a wounded dog last night...What did you expect? Lets see them do it 3 out of the next 4 games...

When you out-chance a team, but are outscored that means 1 thing...YOUR NOT GETTING IT DONE!

Posted by: SA-Town | May 7, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The Penguins have had a 17-9 overall power play advantage in this series. So even with them whining to the refs like they are famous for, we are still up 2-1. It is going to be hard for us if the Pens keep crying their way for more penalties though!

Posted by: CL2307 | May 7, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

@crooks_c

Totally in agreement here. Can't compare this to the Rags series at all. Rags had nowhere near the offensive capacity of the Pens. We played underwhelmingly for almost that entire series and still came away with the W, which is a testament to 1. how bad the Rags offense was, 2. how well our defense played. Still need to step it up to our potential, that's for sure.

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 7, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Let's step back and evaluate.

We have a 2-1 lead.
We still have home ice advantage.
Even if we lose game 4, we still have home ice advantage.

We are still in the driver's seat in the series. I see no panic.

Penalties even themselves out eventually. We will get ours if we play hard.

We shall feel victory on Friday after we score at least 2 power play goals, of course on only 2 power play chances. :)

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | May 7, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Power plays don't explain the shot discrepancy in full (especially last night's game, in which the Pens seemed to be on a PP even when they weren't). But the numbers for the series are:

Pens have had 17 PP opportunities
Caps have had nine PP opportunities.

A difference of eight there is pretty wide. But kudos to the Caps PK, which has allowed only three goals on the 17 Pens PP chances. In contrast, the Caps have scored three on their nine opportunities.

Posted by: CDon | May 7, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The Caps also haven't brought their best game yet. My worries are how banged up the Caps might be, that Malkin and Crosby will click at the same time, and Fleury might find his game . . . but if the Caps can sort it out, it wont matter.

Posted by: honed | May 7, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

caps are still 5-1-1 this season vs. the pens with them beating us in OT both times....that momentum

Posted by: _stevo | May 7, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The pens played their best game of the series last night. we played our worst. because of two lucky bounces they won in overtime. Varly was amazing and of it. We win tomorrow and close it out in five. HAVE FAITH!!

Posted by: tdogjuwan | May 7, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Yyyyaaaaaawwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnn.............

Tell me something new and that matters!

Posted by: puckman | May 7, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

You mean 5-0-2

Posted by: _828 | May 7, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Watching the replay on TV, it looked like Feds got speared on the butt end of Gill's stick when the blade got jammed into the base of the boards and Sergei skated into it. Looked painful, but I don't think it was by any means Gill's fault.

Posted by: jburksva | May 7, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I desperately do not want to be the Penguins when the Caps bring their "A" game to the ice.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 7, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

How is Erskine and Fehr doing? Is Brash hitting the punching bag or skating with the team during practices. His services will be needed.

Posted by: _828 | May 7, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

You don't get a lot of PPs when you skate like the Caps did last night. I think we need to focus on the "we're playing poorly" part and not the "but we're up 2-1" and "but we took them to OT" parts. The underlying trends aren't good, despite the results.

Game 6 @ NYR was the last good/solid/full game they've played. If that's not concerning, I don't know what is.

Posted by: Zornado | May 7, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The Caps brought their a game in the first, but let the game slip away. Their passings was terrible, just dumping out of the zone and mishandling the puck when it was tape-to-tape. Semin needs to come alive in the next game. And the Refs have to call some of Orphik's cross-checks. I think no practice is a bad, bad idea. These guys need to go over their systems again and bond -- take it to the Pens as a team, not a group of loosely associated individuals. When the Caps are on their game, they play like a team. When they Caps play like individuals, trying to play like the whole game is on one player's shoulders, they look pretty bad. When one guy has three on him, he needs to pass, not curl-n-drag or stick-handle through them. Someone is open. Also the gap between defenders and forwards was horrible last night.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 7, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

He's an idiot! Too many hats on the ice, more "chances"...whatever...what's the series at right now again? Oh yeah...2-1 Caps!

Posted by: usee360 | May 7, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

2-1 does not matter as much as 2-2 or 3-1 come Saturday morning. The boys got to tighten up. They have a better team and should play like it.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 7, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Lack of Erskine is killing us. Geurin posted up a tent and grill in front of Varlamov last night.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 7, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I know the Pens took over near the end of the first, which coincidentally, is exactly when the penalty calls started piling up. If the calls are going both ways and we spend the time on the PP that we should have the game doesn't swing so badly in the Pens direction. C'mon Caps fans, you guys can't see that? When we played 5 on 5 before the penalties started we were in control. Once the penalties started being called the 5 on 5 play swung to the Pens, common sense. The D-men were getting tired. Our checking line of Steckel, Bradley, and Laich we getting tired because they were killing too many penalties. The hook on Semin, good call, the call on Jurcina pushing the net off, good call, the two calls for delay of game, again good calls. The call on Green and the call on Varly BS. The missed call on Orpik, the missed call on Cooke knocking Poti down when the puck wasn't around (the picture in the WaPo), the cross-check to Ovi's back by Orpik after we scored, and the last but not least the missed call when Talbot bum rushed the net and Malkin fell on Varly that should have been interference, another missed call. You do the math. Take away the bogus calls on Green and Varly they go down to 5. The officials call the obviuos 4 they missed, we are up to 6. What does that equate to? A different game.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 7, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I agree that the shot disparity does not tell the tale. We were outshot by the Rags (sorry for the comparison) in games 5 & 6 (20 some shots in each) and they were, by far, our best playoff games this year.

Posted by: Sonyask | May 7, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

How is Erskine and Fehr doing? Is Brash hitting the punching bag or skating with the team during practices. His services will be needed.

Posted by: _828 | May 7, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Brash is in DC, because the team felt he could get better workouts in.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 7, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Phil's actually right here. We need John's mean streak right now.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | May 7, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

By the way Orpik's first missed call was when he absolutely interfered with a Caps defenseman, Morrison I think, by flat out throwing a check when Morrison didn't have the puck. A Pens forward then gathered the loose puck and it generated two more scoring chances. The interference I am eluding to is the "check" VS used as a breakaway to a commercial.

Unlike the Pens themselves, I am not saying that any missed penalty calls on the Pens resulted in a goal on that shift (the pens claim two Ovi goals were scored because of interference on the play), I am simply saying that if the calls were made both way the game plays out totally different.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 7, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock: Lots of hockey blogs lack appropriate references to The Odyssey (even though people decry announcers as "Homer)...
Thanks.

Posted by: redlineblue | May 7, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I'll just feel more comfortable when the Caps play a full game as a team. As someone said previously, that hasn't happened since Game 6 of the NYR series.

Posted by: CDon | May 7, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

So, I'm beginning to think we should be moaning about the missed calls more. Not sure this is the right forum though. Is it within the rules for the Caps to send in tapes showing them to some officiating body? If so, have they done it?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 7, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Put Theo back in goal!!!!

hahahahaha

Posted by: gtydings | May 7, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

TARIK

I am dying to hear a report on the Caps today and tomorrow: how they are looking, how they are planning to get back on track, what the morale is like etc.

Someone said (and I agree) that the Caps--win or lose--keep saying that they are not playing up to their potential yet for a full 60 minutes. This was true in the Rangers series as well. I have not watched another team as closely as the Caps and I am not sure how to gauge this. Why can't they play like an energized, coordinated team for 60 minutes? If they are not motivated by the playoffs, when else would they be motivated?

It will be interesting to see how they come back. Personally, I would not be surprised if we had another bad game. I feel fairly confident, however, that at the last minute we will figure out what we need to do to win and do it. I hope it is sooner than this or I will have a heart attack.

Posted by: caraveli | May 7, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

holy sh!#, is are defense gonna show up and give varly a hand! if it wasnt 4 him we would have gotten crushed, the boys looked like they had concrete in their skates! this isnt rocket science,everybody new the pens were gonna come out wfo,and we didnt respond. guess what they r gonna do it again on fri. we need to also, and get on the board first and keep pouring it on 4 60min. C'mon now LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!

Posted by: TracyMD1 | May 7, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please remind the city of Pittsburgh those first two games weren't practice, and that they are not up 1-0 in the series.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 7, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please remind the city of Pittsburgh those first two games weren't practice, and that they are not up 1-0 in the series.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 7, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

hey now, you're going to hurt poor Sid's feeling with talk like that and then he's going to cry to Uncle Mario and Uncle Gary and ask them to shut CI down because of all the mean things posted here.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 7, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

short but funny ovie clip... brightened my day slighting...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss96xQpRSkM

Posted by: mrszilla | May 7, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that the Pens are practicing but the Caps aren't. BB already said that they come unglued when they miss practices. Well, maybe its time to start practicing, even if they're a little tired. He doesn't have to kill them, but the Pens have practiced after every game so far, right? Seems to be working for them.

Posted by: oo7 | May 7, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

oo7,
Caps did not practice for Game 6 and Game 7 in the last series.

Posted by: _828 | May 7, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Crosby: 'I Feel Like We've Out-whined Them'

Posted by: LIVINIT1 | May 7, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

007 -- u r right, get these guys together, remind them of their schemes, and get them skating lightly. for the most part they are young or fitness freaks. being on their own is part of the problem -- they are not playing like a team, they are not playing BB's system. The defense is way too far back from the forwards so they can't hold the zone and the passing is atrocious. when the Caps play their system, they kill the Pens

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 7, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

the Penguins are practicing because they've gotten schooled every game in the face off dots and on the PP. They're positively below grade level on both counts.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 7, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Props to whoever put this in Carolyn's chat ^_^ (and to carolyn)
DC: Caps fan married to a Pens fan, and seven months pregnant. Seriously wondering what I have gotten myself into. Not sure I can bring a child into such a divided household.
Carolyn Hax: You have the home ice--you have momentum. I mean with the child-influencing. I don't dare predict series outcomes. Good luck.

Posted by: honed | May 7, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

_828 in game 7 the lack of practice showed. they were outplayed and won on talent, not on scheme. Game 6 was the Caps last really good game, imho. They won 1&2 more on talent than system.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 7, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

When the Caps have an optional practice -- which they've done a number of times in the playoffs so I'm not worried -- do they still gather as a team, off ice, to meet to go over strategy, film, chalboard, etc?

Posted by: Sonyask | May 7, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

@007
I have had the same question and am surprised that not more has been made of it. When you see their energy in the third period (games 1 & 2) you see the benefit of the trade off, which I believe is energy late vs. sloppiness early/often. Bruce is a genius and obviously knows best. While taking time off might make sense most of the time (i.e. they win games 6 and 7), there's got to be a point where the accumulation of no practices has to manifest itself - Game 3.

Posted by: puff1 | May 7, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Okay, first of all, (and this is not an excuse for our poor play last night) but they had 7 PPs, so they obviously would have more shots and all that time killing penalties takes time off for us to try to score.

"The Penguins have outshot the Capitals 114-82 in the series."

The Penguins can keep on talking about stats and how they think they're the better team but at the end of the day it's whoever gets 4 wins first. They can talk about them outshooting us but only one thing matters: The final score after the game. It's just like what Bruce said about the 1960s World Series between the Pirates and Yankees. The Yankees won three games by 10 runs and lost the series because Pittsburgh won four games by one. It doesn't matter if they've outchanced us or if Fleury thinks they should've won the first two games. I think it's so funny when Crosby talks, he never says anything intelligent. I bet he's feeling great about last night's win, but honestly I wouldn't feel that great if I were a Pens fan. We played terribly and they had to beat us in OT, on a deflection. It's amazing considering how the game went that we had a chance to win. That's what great teams do.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 7, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"828 in game 7 the lack of practice showed. "

Game 6 was there best game because it was a desperation game for them. I felt that they did not need to practice because if they did not know what they needed to do, then they should have lost anyways. They won Game 7 because the rotated all 4 lines while the Rangers only used 3. The Rangers were tired in the 3rd and the Caps took advantage of that with fresh legs.

Again, if the Caps don't know what they need to do by now, then maybe they should just call it quits. The Pens played desperate and the Caps were not willing to do the same. The Caps gave them hope last night... so, in Game 4, they can try and take it a way or force themselves to start playing desperate... it's up to them.

Posted by: _828 | May 7, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

A lot of rationalizing going on in P-burgh.

Posted by: ouvan59 | May 7, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Actually, do agree: Gill's butt end not intentional (he was born with it, nyuk nyuk nyuk).

Man, I think we've seen Malkin step and bring his best game. Now, we need Semin to do the same. He's a key player and he can do great damage. He's still one of the leading scorers in the playoffs but he still seems to be laying back. We need him to act like an MVP for a game or two.

Posted by: WritingLight | May 7, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

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