Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Erskine as a Forward, Fedorov on the Top Line

John Erskine was indeed skating with the forwards this morning at KCI and Coach Bruce Boudreau did shake up the lines, which you can see below. As for how permanent having Erskine with the forwards is, well Boudreau's not sure, but it would help bring a physical presence up front while Donald Brashear still unable to play.

"I don't know if [Erskine's] going to play [at forward] tomorrow night but we like what we saw," Boudreau said. "I was thinking. . . last night, if we had seven 'D,' he might be a good guy to be up there. He's big, strong, he can handle the puck and he'd like to score. He's one of the guys that could score."

Here's what those lines looked like:

Ovechkin-Fedorov-Fehr

Laich-Backstrom-Semin

Fleischmann-Nylander-Kozlov

Erskine-Steckel-Bradley

Alexander Semin is still sick and Brashear, who isn't expected to play against the Lightning, skated in warmups after the rest of the team finished practicing.

Boudreau added that switching Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Backstrom is a move that he hopes will prompt more balance on the score sheet.

"In the last 11 games, we've been relying mainly on a couple players to do the scoring," Boudreau said. "We've got to get more balanced scoring."

By Katie Carrera  |  March 26, 2009; 12:29 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: No Brashear, Semin
Next: Boudreau: 'You Wanna Go There?' (Updated)

Comments

Holy smokes! Erskine as a winger?

Who saw that one coming???

Posted by: Greg S. | March 26, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 26, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Is Bruce bored? What is he doing???? Stop juggling lines so much!!!!

Posted by: Saballs | March 26, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Crazy lines. They could stick Erksine out on the 2nd PP unit to play havoc in front of the net.

Posted by: usiel3 | March 26, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

rdy4all2000,
What do those stats mean? Win or go home - apparently, the Caps are not feeling that pressure as much as the other teams are.

Posted by: _828 | March 26, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Erskine as a forward is almost as trippy as that incessant filet o' fish commercial.

Posted by: CapsChick | March 26, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

didn't they say Erskine showed some good offensive flair during their outdoor game a few months back?

Posted by: rh71 | March 26, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I anticipate hearing this call tomorrow night, "and the slick-skating Erskine plays the puck off the boards, drags to center, and snaps off a wrister through the five hole."

Posted by: saintex | March 26, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Erskine can't play defense....so maybe he found his calling....

Posted by: John134 | March 26, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@Capschick

The one with the fish on the wall? I love it! Give me back my fillet o' fish...haha

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 26, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Backs and Feds switching lines, I do like that. Not sure about the Fehr experiment again on the first line. Didn't work the first time but maybe with Feds centering it will be a different story. Size on every line too...Fehr, Laich, and Koz to dig in the corners. And Big John Erskine, I love it! Just park his butt in the crease and let him have at it!

Posted by: PhilR | March 26, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

God, I can't wait to see this game, Rock on Erskine!

Posted by: SZALACH7 | March 26, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Erskine would be great on the 4th, maybe GMGM was thinking that when they resigned him to the 2 year deal, possibly Brash does not come back.....

Posted by: sasha8 | March 26, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 26, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Erskine can't play defense? Man, I hope they got room for Greeny up on offense too then.

Posted by: cappies | March 26, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The stats mean that over the last few weeks the caps havent played very well at all. From top to bottom. Flashes of greatness every now and then but no consistency.

Now is not the time for a goalie to be giving up soft goals or to be saying afterwards.."he should've had 2 of them."
Now is the time to be saying, "Wow, I dont believe he made that save." And now is the time to be saying, "great team defense, everyone chipped in all over the ice." Its not the time to be questioning a team's ability to get dirty and play in the trenches.

In the playoffs you cant give up bad goals, have D lapses and play lazy, ever. Its been a theme the last few weeks and nobody has an answer as to why there is "no energy." These are all things that need to be take care of in January and February..not the end of March.

A team can't go into the playoffs with question marks. If the recent problems dont get solved, it doesnt matter who plays who in the 1st round. Chances are, its an exit whether its in 4, 5, 6, or 7 games.

Heck, even Boston right now. The inconsistent showings they have had need to stop or their dominant regular season will be for nothing.

The Caps should start feeling the pressure.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | March 26, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

give me back my filet o' fish....

Posted by: NJNJ | March 26, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Stats lie.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 26, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

dammit, ludeman. I thought that link was going to be of some video of erskine playing forward or something.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 26, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

If BB keeps juggling the lines during games, the Caps would not win four games during the playoffs.

Posted by: opita1 | March 26, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Stats dont tell the whole story..but the results do

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | March 26, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

big john upfront? maybe BB is sending a message to guys like fehr that if they aren't willing to use their size to their advantage, he'll find someone who will.

the benefit of not having to win out to make the playoffs is that they can try this stuff. i think the should roll five man units. ovie, feds, erskine up front w/ green and mo/schultz in back. when green rushes into the offensive zone, erskine drops back to d. so instead of a foward covering green on d, you've got a real dman.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 26, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"give me back my filet o' fish...."

You need find Charlotte, I think she took it.

Posted by: opita1 | March 26, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Stats dont tell the whole story..but the results do

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | March 26, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

fortunately, we'll all know the results in a couple of weeks so no need to get all doomsday right now.

the other side of the coin is that we will likely play a team in the first round who has been go all out to secure a spot in the playoffs. while they might be playing at the top of their game now, they might not have anything left in the tank come playoff time (sound familiar?).

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 26, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Doom and gloomers out in force as usual....then we win tomorrow evening and everyone will be saying how great the team is.....the cycle of this blog I guess.

Posted by: PhilR | March 26, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

no message to fehr if fehr is on the first line.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 26, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I think the Caps should put Erskine in the power play and let other teams try to move him out. He could create havoc in front of the other team's net.

Posted by: RichC3 | March 26, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Laich does that. Just not all the time.

Put Laich on the first line with Ovie and let Laich screen/get the Ovie rebounds.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 26, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Im not all doomsday, im just not complacent with the team's standing. Big deal, they beat tampa the other night..who hasnt beaten them this year?

If it were just the last 2 or 3 games we were talking about the way the team hasnt played well, I would succumb to the fact they are in a small rut but in the beginning of February people were throwing up stats about how Detroit last year hit the skids in February. Well its now the 26th of March and we are STILL wondering what team is going to show up day to day.

Sure they might play a team that had to win a ton to make it into the playoffs..what about beyond that, are you happy only getting past the 1st round against an opponent you SHOULD beat?

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | March 26, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Phil,lol, I had that jingle stuck in my head all day Saturday while I was fishing, haha

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 26, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Sure they might play a team that had to win a ton to make it into the playoffs..what about beyond that, are you happy only getting past the 1st round against an opponent you SHOULD beat?

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | March 26, 2009 1:03 PM

Philly SHOULD have beat us last year, so you better not complain once about last year's series.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 26, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

rdy4all2000,

What do you want to hear?

I personally am not a fan of stats because they can tell you whatever you want to hear. Why is it that teams play better when they need to make the playoffs or they play golf early. So, is it a question of teams skills or teams survival methods. Why are most of the top teams not doing so well and the teams that are trying to make the playoffs doing well? Why is that?

Posted by: _828 | March 26, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The only time we "should" beat in a playoff series are...well, not in the playoffs.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 26, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Zone, I like it

Posted by: SZALACH7 | March 26, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

time should be teams...

Posted by: richmondphil | March 26, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

rdy4all2000,
Who is saying they are going to be happy if they make it past the first round? Who doesn't want the team to do well? Yes, it would be a shame if they did not win the first round - but what can you do about it? I just hope they guys learn something so that next year, they won't be giving the fans heart issues this time of year. Do I want them to go all the way, sure... but I think they will, doubtful, but you never know... that's the beauty about being a fan - you don't know... anyone can win on any given night.

Posted by: _828 | March 26, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

sexy lumberjack on offense...i like it

Posted by: _stevo | March 26, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

It would be interesting to see how Erskine is playing the wing. Is he just a 3rd guy, or are they running drills with him crashing the net?
My boys and I, they're 16 and 19 and play(ed) AA youth hockey so they're pretty good, talked about our concern, which is most of your's as we enter the playoffs. It is of course secondary scoring. The thing we all realized at the same time was that Brooks Laich went into a little of scoring drought about a month ago. It was because he was trying to do the curl and drags and all the things that OV, Semin, and Backstrom do, and can get away with for the most part. When Laich decided to go back to playing more of a muck it up style, his style, crashing the net, creating screens, he started scoring some pretty important goals. I wish Steckel, Fehr, Bradley, Brash, would pick up on that. Flash needs to score too but he is a little too small to truly muck it up. He can certainly score more if he is lurking around in the high slot area, but to stand for position and take a beating, probably not, he's just not that type of player, or strong enough IMO.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 26, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

A melding of Goat and Smiley in the filet-o-fish commercial?

Posted by: UngaBunga | March 26, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Look, Im a realist. Something is wrong with the team right now, its obvious. They have no energy and play very inconsistent.

I was asking an honest question of how does every actually feel about going to the playoffs with the current team?
I, for one, do not feel like the team really has what it takes to be successful..RIGHT NOW.
They lack confidence. It starts behind the bench. Sure BB is a Jack Adams award winner, he is a great coach but I think the way teams play are a reflection of who is guiding them. BB will say he doesnt know what the problem is and why things are the way they are.
Maybe he needs to look in the mirror. Instead of shuffling lines, make an adjustment in his own preparation.

Im am not saying he is a bad coach or needs to go or anything like that. I think the team is super fortunate to have him. But just as players have to, sometimes coaches need to change the way they "play" so to speak. He has been very consistent with the way he handles the team...from what we can see anyway, but maybe it is time to start handling things differently.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | March 26, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I love Erskine on the wing!
Maybe it so they don't have to shuffle anybody back from Hershey.
And just a thought: When I played hockey, i was told if I fed a puck to the d - I was to go to the net. Simple hard nosed hockey. We need to stop, circling and create some traffic in front. Get some ugly goals from point shots like other teams get on us! With the talent we have, it will be amazing how many go in! Lets Go Caps!

Posted by: psugolf | March 26, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I am confuzzled.

Posted by: Caps1Fan | March 26, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Erskine is their because Varlamov got recalled. Don't read anything else into this. Varlamov makes as much as the other two who got sent down. Erskine played their until Brashear comes back. Georgie McPhee didn't do anything at the deadline to shore up the "D" and that's gonna haunt him. Pronger was there for the taking and he whimped out....

Posted by: irish15 | March 26, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh ho ho ho! Oh, this should be interesting. Laich-Backstrom-Semin was what he used later in the series against the Flyers, so I'll buy the center switch. Someone on every line with the size and guts to crash the crease, a playmaker, and a finisher. Plus sometimes the guys need a change to give them a little jump.

Man, I was going to sell my ticket for Friday, and I'm kind of committed now. Erskine as a forward I have GOT to see, though. If he can pull it off, my props to him. I wanna see him score.

For all of you doom and glooming, let's see what Friday night holds. Maybe tonight I'll go back and read Tarik's posts and the comments from this time last year. Might be interesting.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 26, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Thank god Erskine is finally out of the defensive rotation! He has been psychologically playing offense by "assisting" in the other team's goals the past few months. I think if there is a stat like that, Erskine should have at least 10 more points added to his career numbers. Hopefully now he can camp out in the other goalie's crease and use his body for the good of the team.

Posted by: JohnWWW | March 26, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Erskine as a forward is almost as trippy as that incessant filet o' fish commercial.

Posted by: CapsChick | March 26, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Great, thanks a lot. now I have this image of the Sexy Lumberjack singing "Give me back that filet o'fish! Give me that fish!" in my head.

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 26, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Phil,lol, I had that jingle stuck in my head all day Saturday while I was fishing, haha

Posted by: ludeman95

You going to the game tomorrow? What section are you sitting in? I'm gonna bopp you on the head for this! Grrrr!! Now I'VE got the !@#$%^&*())(*&^%$# jingle in my mind! :D

Posted by: Greg S. | March 26, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Before we begin the post-mortems about the playoffs, let's look at the other top teams in the East. Look at the Devils - one of the hottest teams in the past 2 months, they get Marty back, he goes 9-1, 3 shutouts, sets the wins record and then they lose 2 back to back games against Boston and Philly, with MB giving up 4 goals in each. The Devils are a very solidly constructed team and with Marty back should be virtually unbeatable, but they are all human. Coach Sutter admitted as much when he gave them 2 days off - he said they were "mentally tired."

Boston has also not been playing recently up to the level that they did for most of this season. Look at Chicago, Detroit, San Jose. It happens over an 82-game season.

Maybe the Caps are both mentally tired and physically ill with flu-like symptoms. None of us know, and all we can do is speculate. What we have to count on is that these guys are professional, and most of all they want to win - they have some veteran leadership in the room and an extremely talented coach. Let's all just relax, enjoy the end of the season and look forward to a (hopefully) deep playoff run with the guys that brought us here, rather than lamenting over what might/could/should have happened at the trade deadline.

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | March 26, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S.

Nah, lol, I'll be at the game on the 5th though. Sec. 104. I'll be there if you want to come by and say "Hi", haha

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 26, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Nobody likes the team when they lose - they are playing inconsistent hockey right now, but the playoffs aren't starting tomorrow. There is still 3 weeks left - that's a lot of time. If they can't get out of it, then they play golf early... if they can get out of it and play the way we know they can play, then they could last a bit longer. Either way, I have no control over it. It's pretty simple - continue to play like this, lose... play better in the next few weeks, maybe you can win some series. Who knows? I was just pointing out that those teams that you had stats on are a lot more 'hungrier' than the Caps... it's just the way it is.

Posted by: _828 | March 26, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh no...the Pronger debate. Pronger was NOT there for the taking. There is no way I would have made a trade for Pronger that involved two or three young players and the taking on of that contract. No way. This team is going to make noise in the playoffs and if you think that one player - Pronger - would the difference in a long playoff run, you're crazy.

Posted by: saintex | March 26, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

828
Stop using logic. Instead, repeat:

- We should have gotten Pronger
- Schultz stinks
- You can't just turn it on in the playoffs

Just keep repeating these until you are thoroughly depressed, and THEN come back and post.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 26, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey Everybody, the team will be fine. They have been taking a "Mental Break" before the playoffs. Other top contenders are doing so as well in preparation for a long grueling playoff run. They will need to play at the top of their games every night in the playoffs so lets cut them a break. Last year they had to start playing "playoff hockey" in March just to make the playoffs and may have run out of steam in the first round. Plus they didnt figure out what it takes to win in the playoffs until around Game 3. They know what to expect this year and realize that in order to have a long sustained playoff run, they will need to be ready every game. IF they start this too soon, they may fizzle, so I say, trust the team. They will be ready come April

Posted by: bigschu8 | March 26, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Something tells me that even if we win the last 7 games, many folks on here will still be wondering how this team will play in the playoffs.

I also wonder if SC will show up on this blog WHEN we win the Cup. Will he/she have the guts to come here and admit fault? I bet not.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 26, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

rdy4all2000,

I’m a realist as well. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the Caps are not going to win the Cup this year. The team is young, full of promise, but to expect them to play like a seasoned/veteran team is just unrealistic.

Posted by: FLDave | March 26, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The root of breaking up Backstrom and OV is because Nyles SUCKS as a 2nd line center. Feds is servicable, but his best days are clearly well behind him. I hope that Feds working with OV in the playoff race will act as a fountain of youth, but due to Nyles' suckiness, the Caps don't have a bonafide 2nd line center.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 26, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Win out 7 games -- they're a top contender

play like cr@p the last 7 games everyone gets their deposits back for rounds 2-4.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | March 26, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

In an unrelated post, I was wondering if anyone knows who or where I can get a copy of those images of Ovi and Green, where it appears they're skating under a camera, so the shot is all ice and dead center is a snapshot of Ovi and Green's back and their hockey sticks jutting out. I recall seeing the one of Green on ebay for sale and recently saw a wallpaper a fan made of the shot of Ovi. Would love to get my hand on a copy of those pics. Would be nice to see if there's one of Semin or any other player. Thanks for the assist folks. Oh, links to any cool wallpapers of Semin would be cool too. Thanks. =)

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 26, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

What is BB smoking? Fedorov first line center is OK. Put Kozlov on the first line and Fehr on the third.Then again Nylander needs all the help he can get and will not get it from Fehr - Kozlov with Nylander is a waste.

Posted by: johnbear1 | March 26, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

jeff schultz still sucks. just throwin that out there. i like the idea of erskine up front, i love the guy. he's one of very few players that hits game in/game out which is exactly what we need. we're one of the biggest teams in the game, we need to start playing like it.

Posted by: nwilson2 | March 26, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Which will happen first?:

Nyls will skate into the offensive zone with a full head of steam and fire a puck on net instead of doing a circle for both teams to catch up to him, or

There will be a commercial on TV with a singing fish?

Oh, darn, the fish already won.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 26, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

But what if we win 7 games in a fashion that experts on here do not think is playoff hockey? Are we doomed because we aren't in a playoff form or in great shape because we are on a roll?

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 26, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I cant wait until Erskine starts doing the "Hot-Stick," once he snipes a a few top shelf'ers up on the front line.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 26, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Win out 7 games -- they're a top contender

play like cr@p the last 7 games everyone gets their deposits back for rounds 2-4.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | March 26, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

if i may provide my analysis:

win out 7 games - who knows what happens in the playoffs

play like cr@p the last 7 games - who knows what happens in the playoffs

ahem, last year i think they won out their last 10 games or so and i dont recall paying for rounds 2-4.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 26, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Erskine is their because Varlamov got recalled. Don't read anything else into this. Varlamov makes as much as the other two who got sent down. Erskine played their until Brashear comes back. Georgie McPhee didn't do anything at the deadline to shore up the "D" and that's gonna haunt him. Pronger was there for the taking and he whimped out....

Posted by: irish15 | March 26, 2009 1:20 PM

@irish15: My apologies if you are in fact 15 and had homework to do but the whole "Pronger was there and the Capitals whimped out in trying to get him" is old news, dude. In case you hadn't heard, the trade deadline came and went. Pronger was taken off the table so he was never really available. Any other opportunities for trades would have cost us valuable guys in Hershey and would have been complicated by the return of Pothier and some other stuff that the more seasoned posters could rattle back to you. Since none of us really have any input on who stays and goes on the team, let's buck up and support the team we do have. Unless of course, the Capitals had a "Vote who your team should be for the playoffs", at which point, then have at it. Until then, let's go Capitals!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 26, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

My point is, as someone mentioned in an earlier post, we are playing at a similar winning percenatge the last 10 games as the so called favored teams like NJ and Boston, but we are not playing playoff hockey like they are.

I have been watching this team for 30 years and I believe they will know how to play when they need to play that way.

Maybe I am optimistic...

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 26, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

me thinks erskine is a forward since brash is out in case tampa decides to get stupid and try anything with ovie. this way if erskine gets ejected from the game, they will still have 6 d-men.

erskine needs to be in the line-up if brash is not. just my first thought.

Posted by: passerby | March 26, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Get on a roll and you have confidence, if you have confidence you believe, if you believe then you find ways to win, find ways to win then your opponent starts to question their ability.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | March 26, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@ passerby

Didn't look at it that way, makes sense.

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 26, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan,

30 year Caps fan with optimism when it comes to the playoffs??? That's about as rare as hens teeth.

Posted by: FLDave | March 26, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Any STH who wants to sell his or her round 2 playoff game strip to me right now - at face plus 10% - I'm buying, I can always use extra seats. If the Caps don't get to the second round, you have the cash for nothing, and I'm out some money.

Based on a number of posters who hang around here, I should have some takers. Let me know.

Posted by: saintex | March 26, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I know, but that comes from being a 35 year fan of the Redskins. I have no hope or optimism there.

rdy4all200,

See how much being on a roll last year did for our confidence level going into the playoffs. Sometimes, it just doesn't matter.

I hope they do win out. It is more fun that way, but I don't think we can look at these games as a true indicator as to what is going to happen in the future. Again, the optimist.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 26, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

If you haven't checked out the Caps website today, you should. Bruce's interview with the media today was GREAT! He ripped the reporters on the OV 50th goal celebration!!

Posted by: jenk21 | March 26, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

passerby,
and you're suggesting the semin or flash couldnt play that role???

rdy,
i'm not in the locker room, but i get the feeling that these guys are not lacking in confidence. i think they know they can compete with the big boys when it counts. however, i would also say that it may help to not be overconfident going into the playoffs either. like me, i think they are bored w/ the regular season already.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 26, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Saintex!

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 26, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan

I am optimistic as well and the team has given me every reason to be. its not like they've played 500 hockey all season and then went on a tear to end the season. Sounds like last season. This year they are a legit contender and have just a good of chance as winning the cup as anyone. I think everyone has to remember that only one team will win the cup though so most of the top contenders will not.

Posted by: bigschu8 | March 26, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

rdy4all2000,

The Caps were brimming with confidence last post season. They had an incredible run of victories, believed in themselves, etc. It did not translate in the post season. Would I like to see the Caps dominating opponents at this point in the season? Absolutely. However the fact that they are not does not spell disaster in the post season.

Posted by: FLDave | March 26, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I think the Caps were confident in last years playoffs but didnt figure out what it takes to win until half way through. Once they did, they dominated the flyers the last 4 games and almost pulled off the comeback.

Posted by: bigschu8 | March 26, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it did translate in the post season. Took game 1 by coming back. Played a tight defensive game in game 2 but lost. Got whooped in game 3, then OT in game 4 loss

They came back from being down 3-1 in the series and forced a game 7 which they did not lose until the 2nd OT period by a PP goal.
Aside from not winning the series, they had a very successful postseason. Many teams would have rolled over and died. The Caps did not.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | March 26, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

rdy4all2000, kinda like Philly started questioning their ability last year against them? Come on man, when the playoffs come these guys will be ready, man, I'm so tired of all this doom and gloom......Oh no, we are third in the conference with 97 points and seven games to play....we are doomed!!! Gotta win these last seven games or we will be out in the first round! Gimme a break.

Posted by: PhilR | March 26, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan-
i know how silly of me. and i have no idea why they sent our biggest enforcer bourque back down. :)

Posted by: passerby | March 26, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

You know what? I think I'm going to buy stock in the makers of Pepto-Bismol and Zantac, because the lot of you are going to give yourself ulcers.

Think carefully for a minute. Those lines are a damn sure sign that Bruce is looking at a gear-up for the playoffs. Why do I say that? Compare those lines to what we used in the latter half of the Philly series. Look familiar? They SHOULD. Here's the differences:

- We don't have Matt Cooke, so Fehr gets his spot instead of Flash's
- Brash is still out, so Erskine takes his spot and Pothier gets Erskine's spot
- Fehr and Kozlov switch places.
- We have Nyls this year.

Compensating for missing / traded / restored players, they're freakishly similar. This is a visible mode switch, to me, and frankly, I LIKE it.

You know what I'm after at this point? (1) the division clincher (5 points) (2) a winning record so as to have some momentum into the playoffs (at least 4 outright wins in the next 7 games) and (3) the franchise points record (currently set at 107 - we need to go no worse than 5-1-1 to beat it). If we can take the second seed in the process, so much the better. As Tarik said this morning, who we get in the playoffs is ANYTHING but a lock. There won't be any pushover teams in the playoffs, and we'd better be ready to come out and kick @$$ and chew bubblegum and leave the bubblegum in the locker room.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 26, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

While visiting my college friends in Savannah, I introduced them to this blog.

Here are some of the comments made:

Jethro: "Call the far department. Them blogrs is afar! "

MaryJoSue: "Everthang's all messed up, wat jew thank hock1?."

BillJoeT: "He just signed a big contrack with the Pittsburg Pingueens. Where do we go fummeer?"

Hock1: "Ah hate this party, and Ah'm not stain much longer"

Posted by: hock1 | March 26, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I wish Game 1 was tonight! I am soooo pumped for the playoffs. I am going to paint my face red and leave it on for the entire post season. This will look a little silly since I live in Winnipeg.
Go Caps

Posted by: bigschu8 | March 26, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Holy smokes! Erskine as a winger?

Who saw that one coming???

Ken Klee called...he said he heard something about previous Caps Defensemen being used as forwards...

Posted by: NHLObserver | March 26, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Never said they have to win the last 7 or they are doomed..win out and they will be considered a top contender.not by me or you but by everyone in the hockey world. play badly and its probably an early exit.
yeah, philly did start questioning..did you get a chance to read any of the philly media? Did you listen to the interviews from the Philly players? they nearly gave away the series..heck if OV would've shot the puck or Feds kept his stick on the ice, they'd have won...if you watched game 7, you know what i am referring to.

Im not being doom and gloom..I merely asked a QUESTION initially.stemming from the 'who would you rather play question'..sorry if it broke your red colored glasses but man, opinions are opinions..why is the culture here that if someone doesnt conform to the Jim Jonesesque mentality they get jumped on?


The facts are that the team has played inconsistently since February. They have had flashes of being the best in the league but then look like they cant beat the Isles. JT has looked soft at times and leaves people questioning the goaltending, only 3 people are scoring regularly...these are facts..these are all things that everyone speaks of everyday.
Sorry if I dont want to spout 'unleash the fury' just because I am a Caps fan and should support them through thick and thin..I do support them and have the the right to question whether the team I grew up watching has what it takes to make a dent in the post season.

sorry if I tried to actually start a hockey related discussion about who is playing better, who you would want to face, and our playoff chances against the teams mentioned in the previous posts.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | March 26, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S.

Nah, lol, I'll be at the game on the 5th though. Sec. 104. I'll be there if you want to come by and say "Hi", haha

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 26, 2009 1:32 PM

if all goes as plans, i will be at this ATL game as well.

just had to scrap my car and got nothing for it. :\

Posted by: richmondphil | March 26, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

JT has been questioned since the day he signed.

you can ad hoc your way out of your earlier claims all you want, but the bottom line is is that a sweeping generalization is a sweeping generalization. Does that mean your points are invalid? No, it means that what you are saying now is not really what you were saying an hour ago.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 26, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

And all I was saying is winning out doesn't mean squat. They should be considered a serious contender with the core players they have no matter what. They have been starting to play a more defensive minded game the last few and as kitty posted earlier it looks as if BB is now implementing what was last years playoff line-up. JT has let in a couple softies but other than that horrible Atlanta game when he got no support from the D he hasn't let in more than three. O and Carolina who has our number currently. Would I like to see shut-outs and him standing on his head every night? Sure, but would I rather him save some and be healthy for the playoffs? Absolutely.

As for the match ups in the post season I am worried about a first round Carolina match-up as they play us tougher than any other team lately. And since the Pens have always done horrible things to us in the playoffs (especially the 80's when I was a season ticket holder) they make me a bit nervous too, but I think we would take that series. Any others really do not worry me.

And sorry, really wasn't a personal attack I just get all worked up from all the negativity on here!

Posted by: PhilR | March 26, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

We need a captain and some leadership. I would even be in favor of giving it to Laich until CC returns.

Posted by: dino111 | March 26, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Erskine as a winger is a long overdue experiment. He can easily function as a 4th line winger if he keeps it simple. This league is littered with the history of rugged defensemen who play as 4th line wingers - Chris McAllister, Klee, Brent Severyn, Montador et al

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 26, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

It's BRILLIANT! He's proved he's able to screen the goalie. He can set up in front and get those garbage goals we've been lacking. He's a beast, lets use his size!

Posted by: jfk10 | March 26, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Erskine might actually be great on the 4th line. He's a big guy, and could create traffic in front of the net. This actually fascinates me!

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | March 26, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Erskine is not very fast. What happens when after pressing in the offensive zone, the other team begins a breakout and we need Erskine to back-check? Will we not be exposed to a lot of odd-man rushes?

BB is a smart man. I hope he knows what he is going with this calculated risk.

Posted by: TrackCollector | March 26, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else get the sense that Brash isn't going to be re-signed? Should they re-sign him?

Posted by: capsfan01 | March 26, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Eskine as forward -- sure, why not give it a try? How many times were we screaming earlier in the season that he'd screened his own goalie?

How do I feel about going to the playoffs with the current team? I'm willing to sit back and enjoy the ride. I don't think BB tells guys to go home and rest just for fun -- so I'm glad they're sorting out their colds, flu and allergies now. Who knows, it might make them harder to scout and let their opponents underestimate them. Best case scenario -- we go very deep into the playoffs. (No, I don't want to jinx anything). Worst case scenario -- we don't go as deep as the guys would like, and they come back hungry and experienced next year.

Posted by: miseaujeu | March 26, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company