Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS
Posted at 3:38 PM ET, 12/20/2010

Despite relief of ending slump, Caps 'can't just relax right now'

By Paul Tenorio

After his team fell behind by two goals in the first period Sunday in Ottawa, Coach Bruce Boudreau entered the locker room and told the Capitals that the upcoming period was likely the most important they would face all season.

By Monday morning, after Washington had scored three goals in the second period and held on to escape with a 3-2 win, snapping an eight-game losing streak, that all-important period -- and win -- had become just as meaningless as it once was crucial.

For the Capitals, the relief of finally ending a slump that stretched back to Dec. 1 had less impact than the overarching thought of just one win in the past nine games. Thus the attitude at Monday's optional practice, which was attended by a majority of players, was that the focus must now turn to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, and of building a new streak -- one laid with a foundation of Ws.

"We have to build off of this; we can't just relax right now," Nicklas Backstrom said.

"Obviously it's nice to end that losing streak," Matt Bradley said, "but in the whole scheme of things, that's one game and we're right back where we started for tomorrow's game."

Added Mathieu Perreault, who scored twice against Ottawa: "We celebrated on the ice and in the dressing room a little bit, but then we realized it's just one game and if we lose the next one, that doesn't mean anything. We have to get on a roll here and try to get a couple wins in a row."

Boudreau said the team had a meeting Monday morning in which he emphasized the need for the Capitals to work harder and use the positive energy from Sunday's win.

And while there weren't many style points on any of the three goals scored against the Senators, players said the workmanlike defensive performance in the third period provided a solid picture of the effort the Capitals would need moving forward this season - especially as the offensive stars continue to work their way out of a funk.

"I think, when we were successful the last two games, in the periods we were successful, we played with urgency and that's the only way we can play right now," Bradley said.

"Last year we got away with playing basically on skill and winning games 5-2, 5-3. But when the offense isn't rolling like you'd like to, you have to play urgent, tight defensive hockey and that's the way we are going to have to play for a while - at least until we start scoring more goals."

By Paul Tenorio  | December 20, 2010; 3:38 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Eric Fehr will likely miss Tuesday's game; Alexander Semin doubtful
Next: Alex Ovechkin is memorable

Comments

"Last year we got away with playing basically on skill"


now isn't that odd? I heard somewhere that a team that finished where we did in the reg season last yr had to have been a more complete team than that. Go figure.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

btw, anyone hear that Atlanta's resident "goon" scored a hat trick in the last game? wowwee! Amazing what a little bit of confidence and extra ice time will do for a player.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

so far, last year > this year.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 20, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"Last year we got away with playing basically on skill and winning games 5-2, 5-3. But when the offense isn't rolling like you'd like to, you have to play urgent, tight defensive hockey and that's the way we are going to have to play for a while - at least until we start scoring more goals."

I don't like that. Bradley is saying we have to play "proper" hockey until the skill comes back and takes over and then we can quit playing the right way.

How bout this:

"We need to start playing hockey the way we were taught and then keep it up."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 20, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3, @LOTDS - to think I was thinking Fehr was a bust this year, but he's been terrific on the top line. Very happy with the effort. Kudos to the LOTDS for seeing his potential...

@VTDuffman (any mispelling is unintentional) - from my earlier posting: of course it's not b&w, etc. My own values - and I don't claim they're any more clever than yours or anyone else's - place more emphasis on what emerges from the games, on what gets created, rather than on results. At the most extreme, that way (my way) of thinking would see winning the cup as fool's gold if a team wins it with negative hockey. The history of sport is filled with teams that won by essentially preventing the essence of the game from presenting itself. For me, this is like winning a "battle of the bands" by cutting the power. I'd rather see that team we saw playing here last January, and in the playoffs against the Flyers and Pens, than anything that looks like NJ.

But that's just me, I don't expect others to share my sentiments, nor do I think they're "wrong" if they don't. I learn a lot on this post - esp from those that disagree with me - and this place is waay too entertaining...

This Caps team has a chance to be not merely a team that wins a Cup, but a team that is remembered for generations. (Hell, for that matter, the old Quebec Nordiques never won the Cup, but the Stasny brothers helped change the game...)


Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 20, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I woulda thought Bradley's comments would have garnered total praise, seeing as how they echo sentiments oft expressed here.

Otherwise, I'll take the blame for the streak. The last game I attended was the last home win (vs. Carolina) and I've given away my seats to colleagues and friends in the interim. Fortunately I'll be at both NJ and Pgh this week, so we're all set and back on track.

Apologies to all otherwise.

Posted by: Justafan | December 20, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I woulda thought Bradley's comments would have garnered total praise, seeing as how they echo sentiments oft expressed here.

-----------------------

no, just a giant I Told ya So,

lol

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

sounds like the Caps win a game, and some 'blind homer bandwagoners' decide to show up.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 11:05 AM


...I have always been here...

--Ambassador Kosh

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 20, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

rather see that team we saw playing here last January, and in the playoffs against the Flyers and Pens, than anything that looks like NJ.
------------

and i'd rather see a team that looks like the Flyers or the Pens. But that's just me :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

sounds like the Caps win a game, and some 'blind homer bandwagoners' decide to show up.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 11:05 AM


...I have always been here...

--Ambassador Kosh

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 20, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Rhino, your trueblueness has never been in question. Damn homer!

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Caps defense in ****55’s absence (6 games):

Alzner (6gp) 1g 1a 2pts even 10hits 6blks 11shots
Carlson (6gp) 0g 2a 2pts -1 2hits 5blks 7shots
Erskine (6gp) 0g 0a 0pts -2 21hits 8blks 8shots
Green (4gp) 0g 0a 0pts -3 15hits 12blks 5shots
Poti (6gp) 0g 0a 0pts -6 0hits 6blks 10shots
Hannan (6gp) 0g 0a 0pts -8 7hits 7blks 3shots
Fahey (2gp) 0g 0a 0pts even 1hit 1blk 2shots

As for fringe forwards (last 4 games they played in):

DJK: 23:03mins 0g 1a 1pt -2 1shot 7hits, 0blockshots, 0giveaways, 1takeaway, 2fights....team record 3-1-0

A.Gordon: 39:42mins 0g 0a 0pts -4 2shots 3hits 2blockshots 2giveaways 0takeaways 0fights...team record 1-3-0


Ice-time is all about merit as the coach said, right?

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 20, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

So are you saying the Alzner/Carlson pairing should be the Caps #1 D-pairing and get the most ice-time?

Posted by: sgm3 | December 20, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I think a balance needs to be struck--no one near disputes the need for responsible, confident defense as a key requirement for a successful hockey team. But--as I have often said: the last time I checked, you have to score more goals than the other guys to win the game.

That said, I think the point RedLitYogi was trying to make was this:

Of any major sports championship, the Stanley Cup is arguably the most difficult championship to win. We're all hockey fans here--even if we don't agree on how success is to be achieved. Given a choice (and given that this franchise eventually will--somehow--win a Cup), wouldn't we rather our Caps win the Cup by triumphing in an exciting, hard-fought battle vice boring everyone to death with negative hockey?

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 20, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, those people whom you label "trolls" have been right every single year regarding the playoffs.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 20, 2010 11:44 AM


@VTDuffman: Please note that I am NOT accusing you of being a troll. Indeed, I agree that your statement is (unfortunately) true.

However, please also keep in mind the disclaimer so often used by those who sell investments:

Past performance is no guarantee of a future return on your investment...


(which, of course, can be used to justify either argument). My point is this:

Just because something always has been so, does not necessarily mean it allways will be...

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 20, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Poti (6gp) 0g 0a 0pts -6 0hits 6blks 10shots
---------------------------------------

ahh...my favorite player. What does he do for us again? no offense, no defense, no grit? I know, LET'S EXTEND HIM!!! He must be one heckuva leader...

first we sign the bum as our big FA acquisition. Then we extend him. The idiocy knows no bounds. He was able to survive and look good v Montreal last yr. So our "brain trust" (and I use that term generously) about wet themselves trying to lock up this bum.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"The idiocy knows no bounds."

Posted by: cstanton1

We know, we get to read you all day.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 20, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Ice-time is all about merit as the coach said, right?


Posted by: vermontcaps

yeah rite. Bruce doesn't change a winning lineup unless its one of his pets coming off the IR. And Green has been a lot more physical without Sarge as his partner. Players do feed off each other. Green knows that he can get fiestier out there with a partner like Hannan or Erskine or even one of the kids and he'll get some support on the ice. If Greenie starts pushing and shoving in the crease with sarge as his partner, or he throws a big hit that will lead to some type of response, he's on his own. It can definitely affect his aggressiveness on the ice. And this is no slam on Sarge as a defensively-capable player. Just that a guy like Green can change his game with regards to physical play depending on who his partner is.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"The idiocy knows no bounds."

Posted by: cstanton1

We know, we get to read you all day.
--------------------
Poti just going through a dry spell sgm3?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 20, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

We know, we get to read you all day.

Posted by: sgm3

nice!

Are you perhaps in favor of Tom Poti as a valued member? Can I see your stats to prove this or do you need to run over to Japers and pull it from there.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

@TheDoubleAlex:

This may come as a surprise, but the Capitals are not the only team in the NHL that:

--Sometimes wins games that they "deserve" to lose,
--Sometimes wins without playing "a full 60 Minutes",
--Sometimes loses games they deserve to win,

If any NHL team did play "a full 60 minutes" in every game of the season (and if wins were rewarded solely on that basis), then some team would go 82-0-0 sooner rather than later. But it hasn't happened yet, and--given what we currently know about the limits of human endurance--it is unlikely to happen.

Lots of NHL teams win games they deserve to lose (and vice versa) every day of every season.

--The puck takes bizarre, irrational bounces which--if witnessed by Salvador Dali (he of the famous dripping-clock paintings)--would provoke a reaction of "WTF!?!?!";
--A random rut in the ice spoils a breakaway;
--A goalie makes a stop that should be anatomically impossible;
--The officials miss a good call/make a bad call at a critical time;
--A stick breaks when it shouldn't;
--Players you need in the lineup are injured or sick, etc., etc.

You fight your way through it and do the best you can. Sometimes it works...and sometimes it doesn't. $%#&@ happens, and sometimes it isn't the Coach's fault, or the GM's fault, or a specific player's fault.

It brings to mind a great movie quote:

"'Deserves' ain't go nothin' to do with it..."

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 20, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Poti just going through a dry spell sgm3?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan

maybe he hasn't peaked yet? Hasn't hit his prime...

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I'm not saying anything, I'm just putting it out for all to see. I have been impressed w/Alzner lately, Carlson not so much so. Statistically, they've played well the last 2 games. Conversely, Erskine's +/- has taken a dip since being reunited w/Poti (I thought Fahey looked pretty good his 2 games)

I just know that #4 will get screwed again, so I'm keeping the #'s visible so people don't forget.

And I hope people zero-in on how DJK is(n't) being utilized, but then they'll expect him to save our behinds when we play the Pens

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 20, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

It brings to mind a great movie quote:

"'Deserves' ain't go nothin' to do with it..."

Posted by: Rhino40 |

sure it does, in the playoffs. You can get away with games you don't deserve to win here and there. But that doesn't apply in playoff series. A team that wins a series usually if not always DESERVES to win that series. Can you really say that any team who has won the Cup has not deserved to win it? That they got outplayed by other teams and yet were able to somehow win 4 series?

And I think that's DoubleAlex's larger point. That if the Caps learn the wrong lessons from winning reg season games they don't play very hard in, that those lessons get carried over into the playoffs. To theirs and our detriment.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

And I hope people zero-in on how DJK is(n't) being utilized, but then they'll expect him to save our behinds when we play the Pens

Posted by: vermontcaps

what'll happen is they'll suddenly insert him into a game cold, and then any mistake or penalty he'll take will get magnified. And then folks like sgm will use that to justify that a guy like King doesn't deserve to play. Ignoring the FACT that many other teams utilize similar players much more effectively. And ignoring the fact that any tough guy fringe player who plays for a team like the Caps needs development the same way other players do. It comes with ice time and confidence from the coach. DJ just got screwed by getting traded HERE.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

I agree that Carlson hasn't been on top of his game lately. But there are always ebbs and flows to a season. He is young and he will be fine. I have no doubt, as long as they are healthy, that Carlson and Alzner will be the Caps best D pairing come playoff time.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 20, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I have no doubt, as long as they are healthy, that Carlson and Alzner will be the Caps best D pairing come playoff time.

Posted by: sgm3

like you had no doubt last season that the Caps would make a long playoff run and were infinitely better than teams like Philly.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Since someone will be banished when ****55 returns, it should be Hannan/Poti/Carlson/Alzner battling it out. Instead, it'll be #4 and he'll be treated just like he was 2nd half of last year (the way DJK is treated now)

My point w/the statistics was to illustrate that DJK gets 1 game every 2weeks and put up ok numbers for a 4th line guy. A.Gordon has played 4 straight games and his stats would suggest he be given a seat in the pressbox. Hmmmmmm...A.Gordon (a chosen one) or DJK? The stats warrant DJK be given a jersey but no such luck. Favoritism anyone?

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 20, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

like you had no doubt last season that the Caps would make a long playoff run and were infinitely better than teams like Philly.

Posted by: cstanton1

Never said that. I know percentages and the chances for upsets in the NHL playoffs. I believed that Caps had a good chance. But a good chances does not mean a guarantee. I thought the Caps had about a 75% chance of beating the Habs that series. That is a very high percentage, but you still lose 1 out of 4 times.

I know you are not very good at math but hopefully you are able to understand this.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 20, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

If Ovechkin's lack of scoring or lack of shots fired is just a way to inspire the rest of the team to try to win without him, it is certainly not working very well based on the winless streak. For this team to be complete, they need Ovechkin to strike fear to the opponents again, unless there is a reason that he can't or is not the same player that he once was.

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 20, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Caps had about a 75% chance of beating the Habs that series.
----------------------------------

Really?? How pray tell did you compute that? Did your little magic computer program (who also masquerades as your girlfriend) help you figure that out?

And how did that work out for ya? just a fluke that the Caps lost? Did your girlfriend just get it wrong? Maybe she was lying to you to save your feelings. I bet that's happened before.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

How about this - the team plays to its strength and stops buying into this RJ Umberger/media generated notion that the "way" the Caps played last year wasn't the "right way" to play. That's garbage. The team was amazing all year and lost out not because of poor defense, but because they hit a hot goalie. This year the team is emphasizing defense - something every single opponent hopes they Caps do game in and game out - and they look terrible. You coach to the strength of your team. You don't try to morph your team into something it isn't. The team is playing right into the hands of its opponents. Scrap the D. Go back to playing Caps hockey and watch the wins start rolling.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | December 20, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

And now that I'm in all Caps mode (house is quiet) I couldn't believe my eyes seeing Steckel in the lineup las night. As far as I'm concerned, and I was at the game, the loss in Boston lays at Steckel's feet.

To see BB praise him for his faceoff prowess and set him up as an important guy was nothing short of galling.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 20, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

I agree that the top 6 D playing the best should get the ice-time. But I disagree that Carlson or Alzner should be battling anything out if their overall play continues. Neither should be scratched or even considered to be scratched as long as their good play continues(if they start playing horrible then things change). That pair has been, by far, the Caps best D pairing and is only getting better with time.

Green will not be scratched. So that is three who will not.

Then it comes down to Schulz/Hannan/Poti/Erskine.

Poti will likely not be scratched because you want at least one defenseman on the 3rd pairing to be mobile.(Hannan, Schulz and Erskine are too slow to be paired together to be effective)

That leaves the decision to be between those three. They are three slower defensive defenseman and you can only pick two. Tough decision.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 20, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

and I may not understand YOUR screwy math, but you certainly don't understand hockey. That's obvious from the second you tried to use probabilities and statistics to gauge which team was going to beat another team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Poti will likely not be scratched because you want at least one defenseman on the 3rd pairing to be mobile.

-------------------

good one. So when you choose to use your little statistics to your advantage, you do. And then at times like this, you ignore statistics because it destroys your argument.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

And how did that work out for ya? just a fluke that the Caps lost? Did your girlfriend just get it wrong? Maybe she was lying to you to save your feelings. I bet that's happened before.

Posted by: cstanton1

Like I said, I know you are horrible at math and have trouble understanding probabilities, but a 75% chance of winning means they had a 25% chance of losing. That is 1 of 4.

I'll try to make it easy for you. Lets pretend there is a spinner, like in a board game, and there are four possible numbers it could land on. 1, 2, 3, or 4. Each number has one quarter of the area.

Lets say that the Caps playing the Habs in the playoffs is like spinning the spinner. If the spinner lands on 1, 2 or 3 the Caps win. If the spinner land on 4 the Habs win. No one in their right mind would say a person stating that there is a 75% chance the spinner will land on 1, 2 or 3 is guaranteeing it will land on those numbers. Everyone still understands there is a decent shot of the spinner landing on 4.

Again, this isn't difficult. This sort of math is learned in 4th or 5th grade or something. I know that might be a little over your head, but try your best. It isn't hard.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 20, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

@Hunter. I don't know if you actually look at things before just blindly saying something but look at the streaks all of the teams who have won Cups the last four years have have which are all similar to ours right now and you will find games that look a lot like our loss in New York.

Hawks in their streak lost 8-3 to the Blue Jackets. The Pens had a 6-1 loss to the Panthers and just before their bad run a 7-3 loss to the Leafs. The Wings had a 5-1 loss to the Blue Jackets. The Ducks had a 6-2 loss to St. Louis. While they may not be a 7-0 loss are were bad losses that happened during their streaks and only Pittsburgh changed coaches (after winning some games after their streak) and all four of those teams won the Cup. I am not saying that this team has no problems or are going to win the Cup but changing the coach is not the answer to a losing streak like this.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 20, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Caps had about a 75% chance of beating the Habs that series.
----------------------------------------

I think there's a 75% chance that someone will freeze to death during the MNF game tonight in Minnesota, you talk about must-see TV!!

Posted by: joek443 | December 20, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

I thought I read it will be about 20 so not ridiculously cold, but I think it is supposed to snow a lot.

Personally, I was hoping for 0 degree weather, but oh well.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 20, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

--Sometimes wins games that they "deserve" to lose,
--Sometimes wins without playing "a full 60 Minutes",
--Sometimes loses games they deserve to win,

Sure, this can be said about any team. Unfortunately for the Caps, it is MOST of the time not SOMETIMES. This is particularly true with the playing a full 60 minutes. I've said before how I thought BB was the right coach at the time of his hire for our young group of offensively talented young guys, but during his reign we have consistently not played a full 60 min. gm. I could probably count on two hands the number of full 60 min. efforts this team has had the last two years and that is not acceptable. NOT giving a full 60 min. effort should be the exception, not the norm and the blame has to fall on the coach when a team has this tendency. Other than game strategy, motivating the players is the main thing a coach is there for. And for anyone that thinks this has to do with the recent losing streak, please. Don't look at our winning record this season as in last, look at the individual gms. Just because you win 40 gms, doesn't mean you're playing good. Top end talent can mask deficiencies.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 20, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, I know you are horrible at math and have trouble understanding probabilities, but a 75% chance of winning means they had a 25% chance of losing. That is 1 of 4.

--sgm--------

oh trust me, I GET how percentages work.

I'm just wondering how YOU came up with your magic formula that the Caps had a 75% chance of winning. What variables did you factor in o wise one?

obviously the "hot goalie" variable was missing from your little software program. Next time maybe download a patch before you run it, huh? You obviously didn't have the latest version.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

@ vermontcaps agree!

Posted by: capper3 | December 20, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

obviously the "hot goalie" variable was missing from your little software program. Next time maybe download a patch before you run it, huh? You obviously didn't have the latest version.

Posted by: cstanton1

No it wasn't that was definitely factored in. The Habs goaltending capabilities, especially after seeing Halak perform in the Olympics where he was facing a barrage of shots like he faced against the Caps and Pens is what gave the Habs a 25% chance of beating the Caps. It was also the reason they had a chance against the Pens.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 20, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Neither should be scratched or even considered to be scratched as long as their good play continues(if they start playing horrible then things change).

Posted by: sgm3 | December 20, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Surely you jest. Alzner has struggled all year, and for the second-coming of Mike Green, Carlson has been unimpressive. (Is 2 hits in 6 games, both coming in the same game, going to cut-it come playoffs?)

In fact, the last 2 games they played were BY FAR their best recently. The first couple games in ****55 absence, either Alzner/Carlson were the worst dman on the ice. The next couple games, they were surpassed by Poti/Hannan. It's only the last 2 games that they looked close to good.

I don't know what team you've been watching to say that Carlson/Alzner have been "by far" the best pairing...I will give you that they've been the only pairing to play together all year (Let's see for Erskine: Sloan, Fahey, Poti).

And your logic, sgm3, about what you want on the backline is just as absurd as BB's insistence that he have a r/l handed shot on each pairing. You go w/whose performing, not with what you get on paper.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 20, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

this is great SGM! I wonder why I even wasted my time watching hockey. I could've just thrown you a coupla bucks and subscribed to your expert services.

btw, what did your magical percentage machine say about the Flyers making it to the Cup Finals? 3%? Too bad you didn't bet the house against it. Speaking of, do you bet money based on your theories? You sound like you have a ton of faith in this process, why don't you become a millionaire and bet money on these games? After all, any program worth its weight would always pay out if you played the percentages, right? Otherwise it would be...I dunno...useless? A worthless piece of junk? a blindfolded monkey throwin darts? just sayin.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Anyone watching today's Versus' HD Classic. It's Game 2 of the 2009 playoffs Pens v. Caps. Memories.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 20, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer
@Disgusted in arlington

Hammer,
I know what you're saying with the stats. My point is teams with a "Stanley cUp like roster" just would not tolerate losing via lack of hustle that many games in a row. Florida stinks !! (What is up with that 3rd period in B town ?)

@disgusted

What new defensive strategy have we employed? Please explain. I see a team not hustling, not hitting, getting out -raced to the puck, losing the corner wars, etc.

Ovi's fumbling and bumbling is due to this new "trap" we're running.

Maybe Backi could take some of the pressure off Ovi, by scoring some goals!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 20, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

I'm going with tominsocal's philosophy that you want an all-around team. Just like you do not want a bunch of forward lines of only tiny skilled guys who have no physical presence, you also do not want a D-pairing of two unskilled, slow big guys. That leads to trouble.

If you have a slower, lesser skilled big D-man(i.e. Schulz, Erskine, and maybe Hannan although he isn't as slow as the other two) then there is a need to off-set that with a more skilled, better skating D-man. If not, other teams will take advantage of it and just skate around the slower, lesser skilled D.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 20, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Even if the Caps beat New Jersey, the same flaws exist under a Boudreau-coached team. The Caps have never learned to play a full 60-minute game on a nightly basis. After seeing teams like the Flyers, Pens, and Bruins who play hard every night, I can see that something is missing from the Capitals and it isn't an experienced goalie or a 2nd line center. The team has reached a certain plateau on BB and isn't going to get to the next level until they hire a veteran coach who isn't too close to the players. Teams in the Eastern conference who the Caps would face in the playoffs are better coached, player tougher, and make adjustments to the other team. That won't happen with BB behind the bench.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 20, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Even if the Caps beat New Jersey, the same flaws exist under a Boudreau-coached team. The Caps have never learned to play a full 60-minute game on a nightly basis. After seeing teams like the Flyers, Pens, and Bruins who play hard every night, I can see that something is missing from the Capitals and it isn't an experienced goalie or a 2nd line center. The team has reached a certain plateau on BB and isn't going to get to the next level until they hire a veteran coach who isn't too close to the players. Teams in the Eastern conference who the Caps would face in the playoffs are better coached, player tougher, and make adjustments to the other team. That won't happen with BB behind the bench.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 20, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I think there's also a 75% chance Big Buff will win the Norris!!

who knew he would turn out to be a better offensive d-man than Mike Green???

Posted by: joek443 | December 20, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what team you've been watching to say that Carlson/Alzner have been "by far" the best pairing...
--------VCaps---

didn't you hear? He doesn't watch the team. He doesn't need to. R2D2 tells him all he needs to know.

"You go w/whose performing, not with what you get on paper."

and here's the irony. Wait..for..it!

On paper, Poti still sucks!

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

@sabre

You think we're complaining too much. In a "hockey town" this GM and coach would found knifed in the alley. 13 years of GMGM and we have 3 game 7 loses at home in a row, and the "softest" team in the league.

Maybe some of us have watched more playoff hockey than others. Just maybe ???
(This,of course, requires NOT watching the Caps !!)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 20, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

btw, what did your magical percentage machine say about the Flyers making it to the Cup Finals? 3%? Too bad you didn't bet the house against it. Speaking of, do you bet money based on your theories? You sound like you have a ton of faith in this process, why don't you become a millionaire and bet money on these games? After all, any program worth its weight would always pay out if you played the percentages, right? Otherwise it would be...I dunno...useless? A worthless piece of junk? a blindfolded monkey throwin darts? just sayin.

Posted by: cstanton1

No I generally do not bet because Vegas usually has correct odds but their payment system benefits them. So no, the percentages do not play in your favor if betting.

However, once in a while the odds are screwed. I actually did put a bet on game 7 of the Habs/Caps. For some reason Vegas had the Caps ridiculously favored that paid out 2.8:1 if you picked the Habs to win game 7. Knowing that the odds or winning one hockey game, just by the nature of the sport, is never that great, I put money on the Habs. Since the Habs won I received 2.8 times the amount I placed down.

I still thought, going into that game, the Caps would win, but it was more 55/45. So, based on the numbers available, thhe percentages said it was worth the gamble because if the Habs won, the amount paid out was considerably more than the amount bet.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 20, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

@wizfan89

The best summation of the problem with BB that I've read this year. AMEN !!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 20, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

you also do not want a D-pairing of two unskilled, slow big guys. That leads to trouble
-----sgm------

you probably also don't want to compound the issue of having a big slower dman like Erskine with an incompetent player like Poti. R2D2 told me this.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

What I want to know is - if John Carlson's been playing so bad, why the heck is he [way more often than not] out there against the other team's top forwards? And why does he still have the best +/- among d-men on the team?

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 20, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Because on the Monday before the 3rd Thursday of every month, Jupiter's gases create a vortex that affects the +/- #s of certain defensemen in the NHL. Duh!

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

I'm going with tominsocal's philosophy that you want an all-around team. Just like you do not want a bunch of forward lines of only tiny skilled guys who have no physical presence,

Posted by: sgm3 | December 20, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

sgm3, I'm glad to see you're on board the "Free DJK" bandwagon...may you preach his virtues loudly and often :)

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 20, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Because on the Monday before the 3rd Thursday of every month, Jupiter's gases create a vortex that affects the +/- #s of certain defensemen in the NHL. Duh!

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 6:47 PM

And I thought it was my gases! Pffffft!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 20, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

@Hunterforcoach
"You think we're complaining too much. In a "hockey town" this GM and coach would found knifed in the alley. 13 years of GMGM and we have 3 game 7 loses at home in a row, and the "softest" team in the league.

Maybe some of us have watched more playoff hockey than others. Just maybe ???
(This,of course, requires NOT watching the Caps !!)"

Is there a point to your rambling? The only thing I got out of it is that you watch hockey on TV and are an expert from doing so.

You should apply for a job with the NHL if you know best.

http://hockeyjobs.nhl.com/teamwork/jobs/default.cfm

Posted by: sabredc | December 20, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

@sabre
I'm not qualified to work in an NHL front office. However, I do recognize a "play off" group of warriors. And, that isn't us baby. The results speak for themselves. We lost to Hal Gill and a bunch of Smurfs. Time for changes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mr. Hunter please pick up the white courtesy phone.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 20, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes I agree with LloydChristmas in regard to last year being better than this year and I hope they win the next game. I leave you with this thought about a different game, I won a free seat at the Black Jack Tournament of Champions at www.gameon247.com and make new friends there.

Posted by: magicard222 | December 20, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

@Florida

So you don't like Cstanton's opinions. You prepared to ride into the playoffs as is ?Get real. This team gets munched by Philly or Pens early. We're as soft as the Pillsbury dough boy (BB's next gig ??. Make a better commercial than the carpet boys.)

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

@Florida

Bruins munch the Pillsbury dough boy early too !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 21, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

sounds like the Caps win a game, and some 'blind homer bandwagoners' decide to show up.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 20, 2010 11:05 AM


...I have always been here...

--Ambassador Kosh
Posted by: Rhino40 | December 20, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse


We are all Kosh.

Posted by: bigpapa_z | December 21, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Trya different spin on analyzing what is "lacking" in this team, and anyone with a background in psychologu will understand this immediately. Bascially, people are a product of their personality makeup in EVERYTHING they do in life, job, personal relationships, etc...how they/we go about life in all its facets derives from our basic foundation traits. These are traits which can be recognized but not changed. That being said, what is clearly evident with this Caps team is that it is populated by an abundance of type B (in lieu of a more technical and scientific term) personalities at the expense of type A personalities. Inherent in this is that the vast majority of the Caps, and almost all of their skill players, are mostly introverted individuals, soft spoken, reserved and restrained. Simply watch any interviews with players like Backstrom, Semin, Green, Fehr, Carlson, Alzner, Flash (when he was here, Steckle, Poti, Neuvy and Varly, Sarge, the list goes on and on. OV is not a type B, however his language barrier blunts his type A characteristics and makes him appear more reserved than he is, but his base personality is a strong Type A. All this being said, the fundamental traits of a type B are consistent with what we see on the ice from these players, lack of aggression, less willing to engage physically, dont deal as well with adversity, more willing to follow than lead, less likely to show a tirade during a losing streak, less willing to play ugly dirty hockey in front of the net, block shots, finish chekcs etc etc..Past Caps teams had an abundance of the Type A personality players, Hunter, Kono, Ciccarelli, Langway, Iafrate, Laughlin etc, players whose attitude sometimes outweighed their skill level, yet allowed them to succeed in spite of it. Conversely, we know have an abundance of players who have superior skill levels at the expense of the agressive, confident, and sometimes nasty attitude that is necessary to excel night in and night out in the NHL. The long and short of all of this is that changing coaches or systems wont change the fundamental make up of the players, and thus it is what it is, and we are what we are, which is why we see that trying to make this group tougher, more defense oriented is not working out quite so well.....just a thought...

Posted by: opticlguy | December 21, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

..."Last year we got away with playing basically on skill and winning games 5-2, 5-3. But when the offense isn't rolling like you'd like to, you have to play urgent, tight defensive hockey and that's the way we are going to have to play for a while - at least until we start scoring more goals.".... UUUhhhh, Earth to Caps - those heady days of blowing other teams doors off by 3 - 4 goals per night are largely over. Montreal laid a blueprint and teams are taking the center of the ice away ALL OVER THE RINK - so DC now will have to play an old fashioned along the boards/in the corners game, which until Ottowa, they were completely unwilling to do. But that's the only way they were EVER going to be in contention for a Stanley Cup anyhow so to me it's only a good thing. Ovie and especially Semin (or maybe espaecially Ovie as an example for Semin) will HAVE to become solid 2 way players and not "1 on 1 toe drag and dangle - oops I just turned it over to the other team who now have a breakaway" specialists that they had kind of become. As these kids mature and realize EXACTLY what kind of sacrifice is needed to win at the highest level (fancy goals, highlights, stats) they may become that team that goes all the way.

Posted by: aja3787 | December 21, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I think what a lot of people are forgetting is that hockey, like any sport or job for that matter is just as much about mentality as well as your skills to do what's asked. I played sports, especially hockey at some of the highest levels, under the professional level, and when things don't go well for a few games and you start to lose, it takes a mental toll. You start taking shots you wouldn't normally take, you start moving out of position to try to make a play, you get frustrated and take penalties. The Capitals hit a losing streak and lost some confidence and became frustrated. Not to say that one win turns it all around, but that change in demeanor and gain in confidence can jump start a winning streak too. This team is very good, one of the best in the league; and believe it or not the defense is much improved this season. They've just had the opposite problem for the last two weeks. But everyone has a bad stretch, it's about getting out of it, gaining back that confidence and reeling off 4-5 wins in a row to get back in a groove.

Posted by: smfoster3 | December 21, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Can I just ask one question? Why is Erskine still playing for us..

Posted by: CoachBruce4President | December 21, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company