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Devils Defeat Caps in Shootout, 6-5

The Capitals saw their five-game winning streak come to an end, but thanks to a last-second goal by Alex Ovechkin they were able to earn a point in their seventh-straight game. Washington only has one regulation loss in eight games this November and has claimed points in nine of its past 10 games.

"We had no business getting a point there but you take them and you look for positives," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "OK, like the character of never quitting, because there were an awful lot of chances to quit and die because we made a ton of mistakes out there."

*Ovechkin recorded two goals and an assist to extend his scoring streak to four games. He has 10 points (5G, 5A) during that stretch.

*Linemate Nicklas Backstrom recorded five points, one goal and four assists, against the Devils tonight including a helper on Ovechkin's goal that tied the score at 5-5 and send the game to overtime.

"I saw him by the goal post," Backstrom said of the Caps fifth goal. "So instead of shooting I made pass and found Alex this time."

Said Ovechkin: "It's an unbelievable feeling to score a goal [in the final second]. The game is probably over. Then you score and all your emotions come back."

* Backstrom now has 10 points in the past three games (2G, 8A) which leads Boudreau to believe that the second-year center is hitting his stride after a slow start.

"If you get 10 points in three games it's safe to say you're on your way," Boudreau said. "He was fabulous, that's what he can do. You could tell he had his legs tonight and that's why that line played every second shift in the last 10 minutes and overtime."

*Goaltender Jose Theodore, who made 28 saves, was credited by Boudreau as the main reason why the Capitals were able to keep the score close enough to eventually force overtime despite the Caps plethora of miscues in their own zone. There were errant passes, weak clearing attempts, missed defensive assignments and at times it looked like a lack of communication as one defender would look for puck support but find none.

"Obviously (the defense) was a problem," Boudreau said. "If it wasn't for Theo it would have been 6-3 going into the third. I can't fault him. I praised him quite frankly. The second period alone they had so many good chances...I kept saying: 'Geez we're still in this.' It didn't seem like we deserved to be in it."

*With the Devils out shooting them 33-30 tonight, the Capitals have now been out shot in five of their past six games.

*Patrik Elias's second period goal ended the Capitals streak of 21 consecutive periods, in which they had not allowed a more than one goal. Elias went on to record a second goal and an assist. He now has six points (3G, 3A) in three games against the Capitals this season.

*New Jersey's first goal was the fifth goal this season that the Capitals have allowed on the first shot of a game. Theodore has allowed three of the first-shot tallies while Brent Johnson has allowed two.

*Milan Jurcina's delay of game penalty in the first period was his second minor for clearing the puck over the glass in three games.

By Katie Carrera  |  November 15, 2008; 11:03 PM ET
 
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Next: Ovechkin's Late Heroics

Comments

Tarik, will Semin be able to play on Wednesday? Thanks.

Posted by: MReilly9 | November 15, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

VOTE FEDS INTO THE ALLSTAR GAME!!!

Posted by: vik191 | November 15, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, has anyone ever asked Coach Boudreau why this team can't win a shootout with all the talent? And why nothing has been fixed with how consistently terrible this team is in shootouts?

Posted by: badkarma723 | November 15, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone find any postgame interviews tonight? The Caps site does not have them as it's an away game. I can't seem to find any postgame interviews on the Devils site either. Help!

Yes, the SO in DC continue's to be a NHL mystery as to why the Caps can't score in them to secure the bonus point. Alex is all but an automatic miss sense starting out like a beast in 2005. Kozlov and Semin are solid but they have both missed a couple times alresdy this year. Gordon was an interesting selection for the three hole tonight.

Nyles and Clarkie are both hurting the team right now. It seems everytime Nyles is on the ice lately, it's a free for all in our defensive zone. I'm not sure waht's going on with Cris but I'm hard pressed to come up with a single positive about his contributions on the ice this year. No fight or hits to speak of. No offense either. he continues to look slow and unsure of himself. Lets hope both of them rediscover their games on the West Coast trip.

Posted by: Riddler1 | November 15, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

tariks poll has given us every scoring choice so far. next will be 1- 0. I would have gone with kozzie, backstrom, green and then Ov as the 4 tv. that was a wild game. Caps have a wicked offense and a porous defense. theo was mighty. backstrom has rejuvanated my fantasy team. for a team that's been practicing shooting 18" off the ice for only a little while, they got good fast. Semin was missed. kozzie was stronger than usual. I love home and homes!

Posted by: oo7 | November 15, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

And the reason for using Boyd Gordon in the shootout is ...? Seriously, why? Nylander scored a nice one earlier this year. Flash is playing well. Backstrom could probably poke one home. So there are three guys probably more suited to taking a shootout opportunity. But Gordon? I guess they just wanted to get of New Jersey.

Posted by: CDon | November 15, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I agree with badkarma - our ineptitude in the SO season after season is totally perplexing. We must lose 10 standing points a season because of it. Can BB devote an entire practice to it? We have too much firepower to continually botch the SO.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | November 16, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Despite the SO, Ovie last second score was sweet! Especially after NJ's fifth goal - that was extremely frustrating. It looked like we stood around for two minutes watching the Devils put on a passing clinic. The Caps were pathetic on that shift.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | November 16, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

The "Continue Reading This Post..." has got to go.

Otherwise, fantastic game by Backstrom, and Ovechkin looked pretty good on the offensive side of things..

Just about everyone had a bad game defensively, though.

Maybe Kozlov's point last night will be his breakout for the year. He had a decent game tonight.

As you can tell, the tired is affecting my thought processes, so, night everyone.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 16, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

With few exceptions, I cannot think of anyone else in this league that could have pulled that pass off like Backstrom did. Zetterberg and Sakic are the only ones that come to mind. Right on Ovie's tape.

I will give them all the credit for battling all night, but the Caps stole that point tonight. Unbelievable game.

Posted by: pch49 | November 16, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

So I was in Hershey tonight watching the Bears while getting text messages telling me what was going on with the Caps. I'll watch a tape of the Caps game later. But here's my observation from the Bears game...

Osala is a beast! This kid is the real thing. The line of Osala/Bouchard/Perreault is an absolute thrill to watch. The "Frenchies" just fly all over the ice and Oskar is there to bang in the shot. Oskar had three tonight and really could have had four or five.

The ref was whistle-happy tonight which killed the flow of the game, and alot of the calls were questionable at best, but the Bears just kept working hard and once they took the lead there was no looking back.

Quintin Laing got a goal, but he also blocked a couple of Philly shots. Gotta love the way he gives up the body.

Grant McNeil had a terrific fight with a guy named Matt Clackson. Never heard of Clackson before but he held his own against G-Mac who was really throwing some good punches.

Varlamov didn't have a stellar game, but he was ok. Seems to give up alot of rebounds. The penalty shot he gave up was basically a crap call by the ref.

Posted by: tess2201 | November 16, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I just finished watching the game - OH MY GOLLY!!! Now I have to get caught up on the posts!! ;-) But before I do that, is anyone else surprised that Gordo was in the shootout? Nyls seems to do well with that - I thought he would have been in there.

Posted by: Boo- | November 16, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

So I guess I am not alone RE: Gordo - the question is who should have gone in instead?!? BTW, Parise totally smoked Jose. Joe and Locker were making it sound like that shot could not be stopped - I am not sure that I agree.

Posted by: Boo- | November 16, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Quick thoughts..

- Eventually Jose is either going to win the Stanley Cup for this team, or cause it to miss the playoffs. Many goalies are "solid but unspectacular." There is nothing "solid but unspectacular" about Theodore. Some of the saves he made tonight were freaking unbelievable. Personally, I prefer this type of goalie than the solid, Kolzig-type.

- Backstrom is a beast. In the third period on Wednesday he was literally toying with Carolina. Tonight the pass to Sloan for the Caps' second goal was a 30-foot saucer through three people. The pass to Ovechkin for the last-second goal was even better.

- Early in Ovechkin's rookie year, he scored several shootout goals by kicking up his leg, which allowed him to go to either side without telegraphing it to the goalie. For some reason he stopped doing that, and his shootout performance has been pathetic ever since.

- Boyd Gordon? The game is on the line, and you send out a fourth-line center who couldn't crack the line-up to start the season? (Fifth-line center!) Nylander scored in the Caps' only shootout win so far this season. I realize he hasn't played well lately, but everybody knows the shootout is nothing but a skills competition. It has next-to-nothing to do with the actual game. I LOVE Boudreau, but something's going on here and Tarik should have asked him about it.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | November 16, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Someone asked what I was ranting about in trading people here wanting to trade away 50 and 80 point guys. Here it is...

"- Where would we be without Semin? GMGM, sign him to another extension immediately. 5 yrs @ 8M. Oh you need room? Trade Nylander and Kozlov. In 2010 Semins price tag will be 10M."

"Agree with all of that, with one addition...while you're trading Nylander and Kozy, can we get rid of Jurcina too?"


Posted by: Greg S. | November 16, 2008 1:24 AM | Report abuse

oneal:
I would not call Jose solid or unspectacular ... more like inconsistently brilliant (and often darn lucky).

Posted by: Boo- | November 16, 2008 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Greg S.

Not sure how I missed those posts...maybe I really was hungover...

Personally, I have no issue trying to get rid of Nyls...I never agreed with bringing him back. But to move him not only does GMGM need something besides pucks and a 3rd round choice in return, but Nyls has that pesky no trade clause..

Kozlov...meh...he's Russian...so he has that going for him. But isn't he in a contract year? Or does he have one more? Either way, somethingworthwhile has to come back in return and I'd be more prone to keeping him then Nyls...

Posted by: Yoshietree | November 16, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

awesome game tonight. ovie is the man with the magic hands, with a little help from backstrom lol. wow that last goal...

TEXT Capitals TO 81812 and it will automatically send a vote for Semin, Ovie and Green for the All-Star Game.

Posted by: capsfan387 | November 16, 2008 2:07 AM | Report abuse

I have the impression that the Caps don't train much on shootouts - if that's the case, practicing them a bit would help a lot. Mainly is the mental situation of "been there, done that" that will improve confidence.

In any case, what a game :D

Greg, if Semin keeps this up, you're totally right... furthermore, Backstrom and Semin will be RFA the same year too. Will that be a problem salary-wise? I'd really hate to see any of these two go...

Posted by: mauree | November 16, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

mauree:
why have you been so quiet this season?

Posted by: Boo- | November 16, 2008 2:19 AM | Report abuse

@ CapSkins... You called it.

thing i love about this team is they are never out of it. can score at any moment!

Posted by: CapsSkins | November 15, 2008 8:35 PM

Not too bad with 1 second left. 1 point, get out of Jersey and head West.

Posted by: SZALACH7 | November 16, 2008 2:26 AM | Report abuse

sorry it's Super by the way, I wish I could scrape up some time and figure out how to post w/ my reg. screen name some time. HELP!!!!

Super

Posted by: SZALACH7 | November 16, 2008 2:27 AM | Report abuse

@Boo

I am abroad with sporadic internet connection. I could just see the end of last game, that was about it :( I connected (in the airport) with 23 seconds to go at 5-4 and Ovie scored lol

What are you doin up so late ? :D

Posted by: mauree | November 16, 2008 2:29 AM | Report abuse

mauree:
well if you're gonna connect briefly, that's the time to do it! ;-) did you flip out and frighten those around you?!? i sure did! regarding why i am up, good question ... i'm goin' to bed! safe travels until we 'meet' again.

Posted by: Boo- | November 16, 2008 3:27 AM | Report abuse

super:
you have to ask them to delete your account so that you can re-do it. nighty-night!

Posted by: Boo- | November 16, 2008 3:28 AM | Report abuse

why the dislike for Nylander? He is a proven player who makes other players better when they play with him. He seems to be on BB's dog house for whatever reason and his short ice time is hurting his game. Remember Semin last year? Short ice time, tons of hateful remarks. This guy is a fantastic play maker.

Posted by: x1232 | November 16, 2008 3:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm still awake too! Just got home from poker night with the guys ... after watching the Capitals game, of course.

It's crazy: The Capitals worst defensive performance of the season (sigh, they could have given up 10 goals) was the most exciting game of the season!

Posted by: Cerealman | November 16, 2008 4:03 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin's last-second goal was a thing of beauty.

It was a very exciting game, and we got a point. Both are good things, IMO, AND Bäckström is starting to come into his own. Ovechkin's waking up, too. If we'd had Semin out there, the score probably would have been very different.

Injuries have been bad this season; I hope Semin's back next game - IF he's at 100%. If he isn't, he should sit again. I totally do not want to see this turn into something worse than it is!

Posted by: irockthered | November 16, 2008 4:51 AM | Report abuse

Although they played like crap for most of this game, this game made me LOVE this team even more, never quitting, and seeing how enthuiastic they were after each goal to tie the game, especially with Ovie's last goal, I LOVE THIS TEAM!! I LOVE EVERY PLAYER!! I LOVE EVERY COACH/ASSISTANT!! I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS TEAM!!!!!

Posted by: rachel216 | November 16, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

My SO lineup would have been Flash, Backstrom and Nylander. Ovie, for some reason, has lost that ability. I agree with the comment above about the way he used to kick his leg up. That seemed to confuse the goalie for a split second, enabling Ovie to put the puck home. Gordon should not have been anywhere near the top 10 in the SO, had it gone multiple times. Jose might have considered a poke check on the first shot, ala Johnson (from a couple of games back) or Clemensen on Gordo's attempt. The team played way too loose last night, especially after the stellar performance from Friday. And for God's sake -- would someone teach Schultz to hit somebody or clear opponents out when they're either next to the net or right behind it? What the heck -- is he afraid to chip a nail or something? Why aren't he and Jurcina leaving guys plastered against the boards, as big as they are? For BB -- have the team practice the SO!!!!!

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | November 16, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else think that Jose came out too far away from his net when Parise was shooting? I know he had to come out to challenge him but if he were a little closer to the net, he probably would’ve had a chance to stop it…all Parise had to do was get it behind Jose and it was basically a wide open net behind him…I think Jose just left to much space between himself and the net and gave Parise an easy goal…I don’t know…it’s just what I think, I just hate going into shootouts and just getting one point..

Posted by: rachel216 | November 16, 2008 7:33 AM | Report abuse

The Caps' problem with the shootout is that they are approaching the net too slowly, giving the goalie all the time he needs to react.

They should approach a shootout attempt as if it were a breakaway, speeding to avoid having an opponent catch up to them.

I'll bet that the Caps' breakaway success is much better than their shootout success.

Joe B

Posted by: rw-c | November 16, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

@ Boo- -- I'll take "darn lucky" over "solid but unspectacular" any day of the week. I've seen 30 years of unlucky, and no Cups.

@ rw-c -- Absolutely, absolutely correct.

Oneal


Posted by: TheRealOneal | November 16, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Interesting news from the Boston Globe via Kukla this morning re: a Nylander deal.

"Sources familiar with the negotiations say the Blackhawks turned down a deal last week that would have had ex-Bruin Michael Nylander, now with the Capitals, wearing the Indian Head by this weekend. Someone in that Hawks’ lineup would have to be going back to D.C. to even out some of the $8.5 million Nylander is due over the two seasons after this one. The likeliest candidates: Dustin Byfuglien (two more years at $3 million per) or Brent Sopel (two more years at $2.5 million per)."

Assuming this is true, I kinda would have been happy with either of those guys in the lineup.

Posted by: Section117 | November 16, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

That report from the Boston Globe is all good and well, but the Blackhawks can't make that deal as they don't have the cap space. The key to any Nylander deal to Chicago is Khabibulin being traded first.

Posted by: JBrooke4 | November 16, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I completely agree with rw-c about the shootout. I keep saying the same thing while i'm watching. They move in too slow and the goalie has time to settle. But thats why they say that shootouts are hard to practice; game situations are different. My response is of course they are; why practice at all then?

I think that the players on this team need to practice shootouts to work on their moves. They all use the same moves all the time. A point on the line is not a good time to 'practice' your shootout. For gods sake, it can only help our goalies get better at them too. They have to save against some sick, sick shooters. They'll be ready for the rest of the league. Thats my thinking. I'm no coach, but that just stands to reason, doesn't it? I remember Hanlon refusing to practice shootouts and thinking to myself "that seems like a dumb idea". 10 extra points at the end of the year could be the difference between 8th and 1st, these days.

Posted by: oo7 | November 16, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

@tess2201

I was at the Hershey game last night too, and man are they explosive! They were trailing 3-2 after 2 periods and won 7-3! All I can say to my fellow Caps fans is that Chris Bourque is the real deal - he kills penalties and runs the power play like crazy. He scored a great one timer on the PP, and looked great, as did Sami Lepisto, Oskar Osala (hat trick), and Keith Aucoin. A lot to look forward to down there... Alzner looked solid and the French Connection (Bouchard & Perrault) are all over the ice. Varlamov is just as they have said in the scouting: positionally needs a little work but is extremely athletic and quick; with some fundamental work, he looks like he could be scary good.

Posted by: Roose | November 16, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and we DO NOT want Sopel on our team. The guy is oft injured, and his best days are behind him. Thats why he's bouncing around. We need a more defensively responsible blueliner, as Green seems to suck 90% of the time he doesn't have the puck and the rest of our defense is porous. Nylander for Sopel is like Jennifer Aniston for Shannon Doherty.

Posted by: oo7 | November 16, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

It's all in the stick and the curve. OV was successful in the SO early on in his career because he could go either forehand or backhand. Since the rule change to a 3/4" curve-in his second year-OV maxed out his curve-making his wrister more lethal but sacrificing his backhand. Opposing goalies know this and play the odds he's not going backhand making it that much harder for him to score. He's too predictable in the shootout-unlike Parise who can go either way. And after watching his top shelf backhand in the earlier Devil SO win and last night's move I think it's fair to say he's got goalies guessing.

And speaking of sticks any coincidence OV's goal streak started with his stick change to Bauer. At least he can shoot without his twig snapping in half. I'm not sure how this works with OV's CCM endorsement though.

Posted by: meagle | November 16, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@oo7

Buddy... The sky is not falling. Our defense is collective +20. Detroits defense is a -10 collectively.

ITS NOT OUR DEFENSE. M.GREEN IS A +11!.

Your problem is with our system, the same system that requires our defense to join the attack. Its the same system that requires our offense to be defensively responsible.

When the system is working you have great games like VAN, CAR and NYR. When its not working then your results look like BUF, ATL, DAL and NJD.

Posted by: JSchon | November 16, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I didnt even add the +5 rating Fedorov wouldve added to the +20.

High risk, high reward.

So far we have been rewarded for it.
Wouldn't you oo7?

Or did you expect to win every game and have 34 standings points?

Posted by: JSchon | November 16, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

That was one of them games the builds a little character for the team, sorta like the game earlier in the seson against the Pens. There is alot lore to take out of this game then the point they "stole". Take the 1 point and run (learn).

Off to the West coast....best of luck out west CAPS!!!!!!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 16, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Or maybe you don't the system?

The same system that was 37-17-7 last season and is 10-4-3 this season... without Ovechkin scoring a goal in 12 of those games.

Maybe we should take a page out of NJD playbook and trap like hell and make M.Green into Paul Martin. That's exciting. The Devils were 6-4 with arguably the best goaltender in net.

I'll take our system, our defensemen, our way of playing hockey.

Posted by: JSchon | November 16, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

In regards to shootouts. While you can practice your own moves wha you can practice is going up against the tendencies of the opposition's goalies. In other words, since you play a different goalie each game, how can you consistently practice against it.

It seems that the way the players took their shots last night were based on scouting. Two of the three decided to take a shot rather then make a deke move. That seems like scouting of Clemmenson more than practice and/or a feel for how the goalie is being beaaee that particular night.

I do agree with everyone that having Gords as the #3 shooter was just plain wrong. Because of my point above, it comes down to all skill versus skill. Let your skilled players win/lose the game for you. Not the checking role players.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | November 16, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to Nicklas Backstrom for earning the #1 star last night on NHL.com. He and Alex are both back to last years form which is terrific news.

It looks like the team will be healty for the road trip. I'm looking forward to seeing how we measure up against a couple very good teams out west, particulary the Sharks.

Posted by: Riddler1 | November 16, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, second sentence should say what you can't practice is the goalie's tendencies.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | November 16, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh yea, and who was the "homer" that picked the three stars last night? Backs was the NHL performer of the night, but was third star for the game.Even if they wanted a Devils player for first star Elias would have been a better choice then Gionta.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 16, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Tarik- Love your reporting. It would be helpful if you identified which defensemen were responsible for the lapses in last night's game. Also, why do the Caps pair Jurcina and Erskine?

Posted by: jshai98 | November 16, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

@jshai98

Why do only defensemen have lapses in defense? Can't forwards have defensive lapses?

T.Poti and Sloan were both -1's.

However if you were to actually watch the game and look at the box scores, you'd find that the real culprits last night were the 2nd line forwards.

Flash/Nylander/Clark were a combined -6.


Posted by: JSchon | November 16, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

got to go to this one...we got entrenched in our zone way too much my god. theo made some nice stops and even though we didnt win, it was all worth it to see that last second goal we were going nuts in the cheap seats... for SO i wouldve put in flash over ovie

Posted by: miked3 | November 16, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

LOL....I agree with jschon completetly. The sky is not falling. We got to 10 wins in less games only one other time. You are not going to play stellar game (every aspect) every game of the year. For goodness sake Mike Green is a PLUS 11 at this point in the season, he must be doing something pretty good.

We are gonna have some dominating wins, some real clunkers, some tough losses, and some character builders. All in all most people should be pretty happy with the season to date....I for one am happy with where we are.......

Was wondering when the CAPS fly out west?
Do they stick around D.C. for a day or two,practice here, and then fly west? Do they leave early to shake off the jet lag? Do they take in the Skins game? Anyone know??

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 16, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Why trade Nylander and or Kozlov?

Why not?

Nylander hasn't done anything of note this season. In 11 out of 17 games he has had 0 points. He is more valuable now than he will be 1 year from now. Plus he makes $4.5 million. We are loaded at center. Backstrom/Fedorov/Steckel/Kozlov/Gordon/Laich can all play center.

Not to mention Aucoin in Hershey, who leads the Bears in points.

The thought process is simple. Semin is one of the top 5 forwards in hockey right now. Make sure we have enough cash to keep him and Backstrom long term. Trade Nylander to let a younger, cheaper C play his minutes.

Kozlov is a much easier sell. Last year in contract. I'd prefer to trade Nylander than Kozlov.

You can't keep everyone on the team.

Posted by: JSchon | November 16, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Open threaded question:

Who do you think is the CAPITALS biggest rival and why?

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 16, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree - last night's game was not a big loss. In fact, we have had bigger wins lately than that one was a loss. We needed a winning streak (and for the big boys to wake up) for the guys to get in a groove and build their confidence. They've done that, so last night was just a little bump in the road. I would have been more concerned if they were blown out - that would have been a bigger shot to their confidence. But they could have won last night, if they had just turned up the heat a little bit. So they'll learn from that one rather than spiral from it. Hey, you can't win 'em all, and I would say that that one was not a critical loss. At least we got a point (and it was not a SE four point game). Besides, that game was worth it just to see Ovie's goal - since I watched the game late, I am surprised that I did not wake up the neighbors when he scored!! ;-) So it's all good, my friends; it's all good ...

Posted by: Boo- | November 16, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

you are correct jschon. let me amend because I think faster than I type and I said some things wrong: I mean collective offense and collective defense. when they play the system, 2 ga. when they don't, 5 ga. so you are correct there, and I agree on that note. all 5 players stood around and watched nj at times. I can't defend nylander because his puck posession has dropped off. Clark looks slow after the injury. And I didn't mean to imply the sky was falling. it's not. as for green though, his +- has benneffited from semin backs and ovechkins tear. other than his offense, his play in his zone has been suspect. you really don't think so?

Posted by: oo7 | November 16, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Per Eklund-

"Alexandre Radulov is campaigning to return to the NHL and to be moved to the Capitals. As is Afingoenov."

yes, i know Eklund isn't all that reliable, and this rumor is most likely false, but wouldn't it be something.

Posted by: elicea | November 16, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

No oo7... I disagree with you. Green is not always on the ice with Semin/OV/Backstrom. The fact that you see Green and OV/Semin/Backstrom on the same scoring line is that they all play significant minutes and all play on the 1st and or 2nd PP unit.

Green has assisted...
Semin 5
Kozlov
Laich
Flash

Green has been assisted by...
Nylander
Flash
Backstrom
Laich
Ovechkin
Semin
Kozlov

Whats more impressive oo7, is that 6 of Green's points have come on the PP, that do not effect +/- statistics. Anytime you have a higher +/- than points you are a positive player on the ice, period.

Green may stand around, but so does everyone else at times.

Green has only been a negative player 3 times this year.

I'm not worried about M.Green at all.

Posted by: JSchon | November 16, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Since we do not play in the Patrick Division anymore.

If I'm a observing as a non-Capitals hockey fan.

1. Carolina
2. Tampa Bay
3. Pittsburgh
4. Philadelphia
5. Florida

As a fan...

1. Pittsburgh
2. Philadelphia
3. Carolina
4. NY Rangers
5. Boston

Posted by: JSchon | November 16, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

DO THE TRADE we need cap room and a defenseman more than we need nylander or clark or brash and their salaries

Posted by: wendel2 | November 16, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I guess some people are never happy. We have a very good team, with lots of talent, and now people are ready to dissamble it because of a bad play here and there. Can this team improve? absolutely. But trade for the sake of trade or to just open up cap space for future signings or to dump it all on one or two players is insane. You want to trade Nylander, Kozlov, or whoever? Fine, but do it for the right reasons and get something better in return. I agree with x1232 about Nyls and I do remember how some people were down on Semin last year.
I say, lets get the Cup and worry about the future later.

Posted by: opita | November 16, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Fair enough Jschon, I can't argue against Green's point totals. I'm not really trying to. The guy has a lot of firepower around him; and, he's got superb offensive skills. I think its reasonable that Semin's hot hand, for instance, has helped Green's numbers as there are 6 points from him alone. But I see your point, and like I said, I'm fine with the offensive play, the passing (in particular) and the pinching. I like the system being heavily offensive. I got bored with 2-1 games a long time ago. And if you have that many offensive weapons, why not charge ahead. Sure, high risk high reward, i've said that before. I like all that, and I like BB for implementing it. What I'm not fond of are the defensive miscues and lapses (by the whole team). On Green's part, I don't like seeing him getting beaten one on one often enough (If he weren't putting up points it would be more problematic, no?) but mostly i don't like seeing him standing around with his back to the guy that ends up scoring. He's young and its gonna happen, yadda yadda. I'm just thinking, mostly in my head and maybe a little frenetically, about what the plusses and minuses are 20 games in.

Posted by: oo7 | November 16, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

JSchon

Green is definitely a defensive liability...if you watch the games, you can't argue that point.

Mike Green has been on the ice for more even strength goals against than ANY OTHER washington defenseman.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20092WASDADAll&sort=teamGoalsAgainst&viewName=plusMinus

You can do the math, but by my count he's been out there for 13 even strength goals...

Granted, he is a +10, but that's directly related to the amount of time he spends out there with the Sashas...


Posted by: Yoshietree | November 16, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Mike Green also is out on the ice against the other teams best players. I don't think the coach views Mike Green as a defensive liability.

@wendel2

I would stick to fantasy hockey and stay away from being a armchair GM. You know nothing about team chemistry, slumps,player character.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 16, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@Yosh

Its easy to look at that and say what you said... However, look into deeper...

1. Green plays 6 more minutes per game than the next closest D.

2. Green is usually on the ice against the opponents best line and our 3rd or 2nd line.

3. When Green is on the ice, that's is when the full effect of our system is put into practice, not when Poti/Sloan or Juice/Erskine are on the ice.

Bottomline is Green is a +11, 2nd in the league for defensemen. When he is on the ice we score. Argue all you want that he is a liability. The only person who it really matters too is Boudreau and he certainly isnt taking back his minutes. Blame the system is you want to blame something. Green is only doing what BB has put in place, and he is doing a great job of it.

Posted by: JSchon | November 16, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

You're right Jschon, and again, i'm not arguing +-. Those are solid facts, yes. Yes, we do score when green, our #1 defenseman is on the ice, and that is vital to a successful team. But truth be told, he' still out there with Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin et al. Zubrus got a very good deal from NJ because he played with Ovie, Backstrom was huge last year, Kozlov was a +28. There's no denying that Ovechkin spreads the wealth in many ways. I'm only talking directly about what we were discussing before. Collectively the players in BB's system look pretty good. But not every night, and not consistently; 5 pretty solid games with penalties and gaffs and then one like last night. But we're talking about Green as an offensive contributer, not an all around defenseman. Gonchar was offensive and blew almost every playoff series he was a part of.
All i'm saying is, Green's on the ice the most, he needs to better in his zone as well. The offensive zone looks good.

Posted by: oo7 | November 16, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

@caps fans miss
Even in fantasy hockey we dump old guys who no longer do what the are paid to do
and are overpriced...do u know what the salary cap is and how it restricts bringing up players who are capable of replacing overpaid ones sweetie?

Posted by: wendel2 | November 16, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Caps Fans check out:
http://capsstop.blogspot.com

Posted by: bagasome | November 16, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@wendel2
So what "old overpriced players" would you suggest we get rid of? I think the GMGM is building the Caps for the long term not just for one season. Players do need time to develop, so we do not rush them and hinder their development.I do understand the salary cap, and that makes trades even more challenging as well. To dump Koz, or Clark , or Nyl, even if it were doable, does not sit well with the development of the team right now.
And please do not call me sweetie, I don't go that way.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 16, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin's last gasp goal on a brilliant assist by Backie made me almost jump out the window. I don't even mind losing the SO. This was a great game to watch and we still got a point.

People who keep getting on Greenie's back know absolutely nothing about hockey. JSchon already explained why multiple times. All I will say is that Mike is a brilliant defenseman. He does things out there every night that very few D-men in the league can do. Every GM in the NHL would give their right arm to get him if they could and every person who understands hockey salivates over him. He's an amazing talent. Please learn to appreciate him or shut the hell up, at least so that we're not subjected to your ignorant whining. Green is actually incredible defensively considering the way he plays. The whinos only notice when he makes a mistake. They somehow don't notice when he makes brilliant defensive plays. Yes, I said defensive plays. Because of his skating he gets back into plays that 99% of NHL d-men would have no chance to get back into. Also, in order to be as offensive as he is he has to take chances. Most of the time it works. Once in a while it doesn't. That's normal. Green is being compared by every pundit to either Paul Coffey or Scott Niedermayer and with good reason.

I would say something similar about Nylander. I think he's a very good player. He just needs to play with the same, good players for more than a game. It would be a shame to see him go, IMO.

Clark, on the other hand, is absolutely useless right now. I dropped out of following in the NHL for a few years so I didn't catch his great season when he scored 30+, but I see nothing of any value in him now and have no idea how a player who fumbles the puck every damn time he gets it could have scored 30+ in the NHL. Maybe it's the effects of the injury, but he's just taking up a valuable roster spot now and frustrating players that have to play on a line with him.

Posted by: ranndino | November 17, 2008 5:05 AM | Report abuse

Jschon is spot on. Green will be a norris trophy candidate if he keeps this pace.

Trade Nylander. He's clearly not happy in the system, and isn't producing.

Posted by: pch49 | November 17, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

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