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Posted at 5:30 PM ET, 01/11/2011

Open thread: Capitals at Panthers

By Washington Post Sports Editors

logologoThe Washington Capitals face the Panthers tonight at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., for the first of back-to-back road games against fellow Southeast Division teams. They play the Lightning tomorrow night in Tampa Bay.

Michal Neuvirth is set to start in goal against the Panthers after backing up Semyon Varlamov for the last five games. "He wants to get in," Boudreau said this morning. "He's perfectly healthy; he had a good practice [Monday]. He started this whole thing for us with the win in Ottawa, so he's going to get a chance. We need him to play well."

Faceoff: 7:30 p.m.; TV: CSN+; Radio: 1500 AM

Update: 7:06 p.m.
Based on warm-up here's what the Capitals' lineup should look like against the Panthers:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Chimera-Perreault-Fehr
Laich-Johansson-Willsie
Hendricks-Steckel-Beagle

Defense
Hannan-Green
Alzner-Carlson
Erskine-Schultz

Goal
Neuvirth
Varlamov

Scratches: Tom Poti, Tyler Sloan and Alexander Semin.

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | January 11, 2011; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  Florida Panthers, Lineups  
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Next: Capitals fall to Panthers 4-3 in overtime

Comments

Washington Post Sports Editors:
thanks for not using twitter - again

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

plus 1

Washington Post Sports Editors:
thanks for not using twitter - again

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ebolean1 | January 11, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm interested to see what we look like without J1zz in the lineup. Maybe more continuity in the system?

I'm not a Semin-hater at all, but he stands out as one who has not completely bought into the system yet.

Seeing Willsie out there will bring back some memories.

And whenever Erskine is a scratch in favor of Poti, always just know that P3 will be injured soon. I don't like to see that, but it's just how it seems to happen. Have no fear vermont - your boy is IN tonight and well-rested!

GO CAPS!

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

it this game not available through Fios then? I can't find it listed anywhere.

Posted by: bbird216 | January 11, 2011 7:21 PM | Report abuse

FIOS channel 501 my brother (or sister).

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I have Verizon Fios in Northern VA and the game is on Channel 1.

Posted by: nicety251 | January 11, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

501 for HD

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone know about how serious Poti's allergies are? No wonder the man can't stay healthy.
http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slug=ap-capitals-potisallergies

Posted by: nicety251 | January 11, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

yeah OK it is on the flex 'Ch. 1' after all.. it didn't seem they showed the pre-game show though when I flipped to it earlier.

thanks!

Posted by: bbird216 | January 11, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

@bbird216

Usually when the game is on CSN+, there is no pregame show.

Posted by: nicety251 | January 11, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

2ND LINE MINUTES?!?

GO WTF!!!

GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 11, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I didn't realize things were like that for P3. Gotta give him a lot of credit for persevering. He can be an example for all those who go through every day adversity that most of us take for granted. Thanks for sharing the link nicety251.

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

comcast in moco - is channel 8 our only option?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 11, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know an internet stream for the game? I cant get ADHT to come up

Posted by: RogerNoVa | January 11, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Comcast 856 in DC for HD, may work for MD

Posted by: malujoker | January 11, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

thanks! got it

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 11, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Verizon. If 501 is indeed an HD feed, I will kiss your @ss.

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

there's the paw on the jaw - alzner I think

Posted by: ebolean1 | January 11, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm... Came out of the gates looking good, but on the wrong side of the coin now. The boarding call was questionable IMO. Neuvy looks as good as he could at this stage.

Remember, it's early Caps fans!

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Are the Caps playing the all-stars from the rest of the league? Or has a peewee hockey team subbed in for the Caps against the Panthers?

Maybe the boys just don't like Neuvy.

Posted by: Aldred15 | January 11, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

hahaha Neuvy with 4 highlight reel saves. This game could easily be 4-0. Wake up any time fellas.

Posted by: Aldred15 | January 11, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

GLOVE save! We need to regroup and start playing smarter in front of Neuvy...

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Backstrom the Boneheader Boarder - puts the Caps down two early. Way to go Backy!

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

17-4 shots!!! What the hell is going on? I'm not even mad it's so mind blowing.

Posted by: Aldred15 | January 11, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

The Panthers do like to start strong. If things hold true to form, they'll slow down by the third. Let's just hope this is our worst period tonight.

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. If I got CSNP in HD, I might continue watching this, but the combination of Hockey in Standard Definition, and them playing this bad is really going to make my remote start to wander...

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 11, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Be nice if the PP showed up tonight!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 11, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Locker's sinus congestion isn't helping matters either.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 11, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

This team is basically a .500 team on the road, they're not the same team when they are wearing the white jersey.

Pitt is actually better on the road and Philly is about the same home and away.

You can't win anything in any sport unless you learn to dominate teams like this on the road.

Posted by: joek443 | January 11, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

@FloridaCapsFan

That was a very soft boarding call. I can't blame Backstrom for that. He was just playing hard. It's all in the way the guy falls. It was a good hit from what I saw, but WTF do I know?

2nd period = new game... Neuvy is our first star of the 1st period.

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

This team just isn't what it used to be. It's not the coaching either!

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Stop whining. This team is the best defensive team in the NHL for the last 10 games. WTF do you want??? Can't have it both ways unless the other team doesn't even come to the rink for games.

Like I said, it's EARLY. I don't hear any fat chicks singing...

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

If I remember rightly Backstrom boarded somebody in the last minute and a half of a 3-2 game just the last game. It was against this very team I believe. Is he doing it on purpose?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

It's never too early to play smart.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

That was a really ugly period. I can't figure out why the Caps tend to start so slow, especially after a bunch of days off.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | January 11, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Outside of Neuvirth, I thought Beagle had a real good period.

There was some decent forechecking early that led to our 1st PP.

Let's see how they respond in the 2nd period.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

If anybody scores for Florida, it should be Frolik. He's on my fantasy team.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 11, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@FLCaps

You are correct that Backs had a penalty call on Sat against FL. I think it was cross checking. He's adjusting his game like everyone else. I have always thought of Backs as a very smart player. I doubt he is doing these things on purpose.

Calm down sca, we are all here with you. Except VT he (or she) is missing HD.

Posted by: nicety251 | January 11, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the 5'10" Swedish playmaker is boarding people just to piss you off... Come on man... He needs to keep playing hard and smart. Like I said, the first boarding call was borderline at best.

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Green getting too cute and lax in his own end on a couple of plays. He made some good plays as well but top-line defensemen need to be consistent and play with a constant sense of urgency in their own end.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

@ nicety251

Oh I'm calm. Beers help with that. Haha! No problem with VT missing things. Maybe he's on a head med binge and he's not feeling like bringing the anger right now. I know he (she) is just happy that E4 is in the lineup.

We should be okay in this game. But I do agree that we need to play a bit smarter, esp in our own zone.

The ebb and flow of the game of hockey will rear its head in the next 40 minutes. I hope.

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

If I were to say puck the g damn Wizards...can I get an amen?

Really, they are horrible, F comcast for always showing them over the Caps. You cannot tell me there is a bigger viewing audience for the Wizards than there is for the Caps.

Only able to listen, as adhte isnt working for some reason. But sounds like the boys are struggling.

Hey WTF, tell your boy he needs to step it up in my boys absence. Lets go boys...come out blasting in the 2nd.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 11, 2011 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and 8 with another subpar period.

He made some positive plays for sure... the drop pass to Knuble and crashed the net a couple of times.

But he also turned the puck over behind our net, made a couple of wild passes and I think got caught out of position in a bad area.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 8:31 PM | Report abuse

That was ugly. I wish someone would've done something to try to stop Florida from imposing their will on us. It would be nice to have a forward in the lineup, ahem DJK, who'd go hard at Allen and McCabe, take one of them off for five, and spark the team...C'MON CAPS, lots of hockey left

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 11, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

i'm not trying to make excuses. but it's always tough to play a team twice in a row, having beaten them the first time, and playing in their building the second time.

florida has pride....and they are exhibiting that pride tonight.

add that to the fact that we play tampa tomorrow night....and i think this is somewhat predictable.

again...not trying to make excuses but an 80 game season is a grind and the players are human.

Posted by: capitalsfan47802 | January 11, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, the team is and isn't what it used to be. Since last season, the Caps have changed their strategic approach; lost several players to free agency (Belanger, Morrison and Morrisson); and endured some key injuries (Green, Knuble, Poti, Gordon, Varlamov, etc.). If we could just get healthy - and pick up a true 2nd center - I think we could be a dominating force again.

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

damn hot goalies

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

MUCH better PP that time - albeit without the positive end result. They were moving the puck and shooting. Hopefully signs of things to come... Carlson looked great out there.

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Three point shooting isn't going to get it done against Vokoun. To the net, boys. To the net!

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Jeepers, another 5-on-3!

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Anybody on here going to tell me this team is playing well?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Blow this F'n team up

Posted by: jp14710 | January 11, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

@Terptwin

Except now we need a 3 pointer to tie it up.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 11, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

P I T I F U L!!!!

Posted by: JohnWWW | January 11, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

No FloridaCapsFan, I promise I will not tell you they are playing well... Maybe they had TOO much rest?

I still think we can turn this game around. BB keeps saying our best players need to be our best players. We're waiting!

MaJo SCOOOOORES!!!!

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

So many negative nancys...some of you really need to relax a bit. Bad games happen. Meh

There...3-1. I smell a come back (in the Seinfeld Steinbrenner voice).

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 11, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Caps and Panthers should be fined for not showing the game in HD.

1) The wiz should never be on over the Caps.

2) Hockey should not be allowed to be televised in non-HD.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 11, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

MoJo!!

Posted by: nicety251 | January 11, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

The comeback begins...

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Never quit on this team....(yes, I said it)

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 11, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Wow, horrible play by 8. Whiffs again then passes it right to a Panther in the middle of the ice.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

It's not enough just to pretend to crash the net. You have to actually know what you're doing. Every time there's a scrum in front of the net we look like a 5 year old soccer team where everyone just swarms the ball and kicks and nothing happens.

I'm serious when I say that BB needs to bring someone from outside in to teach these guys how to play in front of the net, I don't think he has that ability. If that's the route they want to take (and it should be) he needs to take that next step and actually get them to execute it well. No one knows what they're doign up there.

Nice goal by Mojo on the rush, tho.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 11, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, Hendricks has to do better there.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Is it Ovie's hands or his vision? I wonder when was the last time he had an eye screening? Seriously.

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

awesome pass by ovi

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Naysayers say what?????

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 11, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

and continues...

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Nice pass OV! Knuble with the BURY! Like SoaringCaps said before, never count this team out. Still early...

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Never quit on this team....(yes, I said it)

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 11, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

From my lips to G-d's ears...

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Wiz never makes the playoffs and ted sells them to another city.

we don't need bad luck like that in our building...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 11, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was a pretty simple cross-ice pass and a perfect shot. At least he didn't try to force it where there was no room as he does too often.

Who was it that jumped up on D moments earlier leaving Erskine to fend off a 3-on-1?

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Now let's stay in it and in the words of BB "Let's take two points from these p@#*%s!"

Posted by: nicety251 | January 11, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Good call Soaring Caps.

Sorry Ovie. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

PP omg omg omg omg........

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 11, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

"I thought it was a pretty simple cross-ice pass and a perfect shot. At least he didn't try to force it where there was no room as he does too often."

---

Come on dude, I like you and think you're a good poster on here, but your Anti-OV schtick is getting kind of old. You need to give credit where credit is due.

Had Crosby made literally that exact same play, you would be falling all over yourself with praise saying "That's what we need 8 to be doing for us."

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 11, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Didn't generate anything on that PP despite the better entries.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Now reality is starting to show up. Jeeezus Chimera is fast! Some of our Hershey guys look pretty damn good! Crashing the net baby!

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

tmac, why the constant Ovie hate? Criticizing when deserved, fine...but you seem a little overly critical of the guy and rarely praise his good plays. Not to mention, you aways choose him even if others are making mistakes. Are you BigGameSid in disguise?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 11, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I honestly didn't see that pass as anything special. It didn't need to be because of the lane that opened up for Knuble. That's not 8's fault. It was the right play to make even if it was fairly simple.

I'd have said the exact same thing if any player made it. It was about as simple of a pass as you can make it that situation. I thought the pass Laich had to make back to 90 earlier was much more difficult because of the pressure from the defender.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:10 PM | Report abuse

It's because he is the highest-paid player on this team and he has so many holes in his game. That's the biggest reason I single him out. He also has some of the biggest flaws. That is bad combination for your "franchise player."

Despite the assist, I think he's had another lousy overall game. He's made several bad to awful plays on and off the puck.

Just calling it like I see it. I'd love for him to show higher hockey IQ and put more consistent energy and focus in things not related to shooting and hitting.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

much better play in the second by the caps - they need to pick up their hitting just a bit, win a few more battles along the boards, pitch a shutout for 20 minutes and bury at least 2 in the third

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

You're honestly looking for anything you can find to diminish OV's performance at this point. You've decided he's a bad player, and you're cherry picking things that fit your pre-conceived notions, then you're dismissing or rationalizing away things that disagree with that notion. It's called a selection bias.

I like you, I think you're a good poster on here, and I agree with you a lot, but your Anti-OV thing is weird and kind of obsessive-seeming.

Great block by OV at the end of the period.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 11, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Green has had a pretty rough game in his own end. Looking like the old overly casual Mike Green in that respect. He's made some good plays offensively but defense comes first.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

That was a nicer period. I am starting to loose patience with Backstrom - so far he hasn't much hurt the team but with that penalty he sure did.

I like the Hershey callups too. They play better than our stars. The stars better get it in gear soon, they won't be able to turn it on like a swich.

I think Ovi is taking his eyes off the puck to see what's open when he wiffs like that. Maybe he should know before he gets the puck.

I sure hope they play better on Friday, I'm paying big bucks to go to the game.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'm not a cheerleader. I don't mind picking apart our own players when I see issues. I also think that 8 playing a more complete game and improving upon his weaknesses is critical to the team's success.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

laich had about a much pressure on him for his pass as ovi had

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

In general, I'm frustrated with his lack of improvement and the abundance of low IQ play on and off the puck. I still wonder whether Boudreau is the guy to take him to the next level. I don't know that he holds him accountable for certain parts of the game or knows how to demand and bring those details out of him.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

"I guess I'm not a cheerleader."

---

It's not an either/or proposition. You don't have to "be a cheerleader" or diminish all positive things he does while exaggerating negative things he does. You can do both and judge with the even hand you at least claim to be using. Right now, you're just flat not doing that.

You shouldn't be a cheerleader, that's not helpful. But being a jeerleader is just as not helpful.

I know you don't think you're being overly critical, but I'm just calling it like I'm seeing it here.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 11, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I also think that 8 playing a more complete game and improving upon his weaknesses is critical to the team's success.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:19 PM

i think about 95% would agree with this to some degree - it just seems like ovi nitpicking after 10-20 posts

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

IIRC, Laich had the guy right on him and had to pass it quicly almost through the guy (or right by him) to get it back to 90.

It wasn't that special either but I thought it was more difficult that 8's pass which was basically a simple pass through open space where he was looking.

Regardless, I didn't consider that as much of anything special.

The drop pass he left for Knuble in the 1st period was much more creative and impressive.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

tmac...from afar, i am going to choose to say that there is NO WAY that BB can take Ovechkin to the next level.

I firmly believe they don't hold him accountable, and that they don't demand that he improve certain areas.

When people gush over the areas that Crosby has improved....he's still 23 years old. You can't tell me that the people within the Pittsburgh organization didn't communicate to him what he has to do to be a better player.

I just don't think that type of communication exists between organization and Ovie.

And then the fans and the organization begin to blame Ovi, when really the fault lies with the Franchise.

Posted by: capitalsfan47802 | January 11, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Now that was a very good pass by 8. Through traffic and showed vision.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

@tmac

Im not trying to come off as attacking you and saying you must cheer for the team no matter what. I was just wondering why you seem to dislike Ovie so much. As someone mentioned, you tend to dismiss anything positive for some reason or another. It kind of seems like he will never be successful in your eyes.

But like others have mentioned, you offer good perspectives and I like reading the posts.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 11, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

"In general, I'm frustrated with his lack of improvement and the abundance of low IQ play on and off the puck."

---

The problem is that "low IQ play on and off the puck" is a specious concept.

You need to provide a set of specific criteria of things he could do that you would consider "high IQ." Right now you're just sitting here and randomly pointing out when he does something you consider "Low IQ."

To me, it's kind of silly, I don't mean to be rude with that, but it just seems like you have created a situation where there's nothing he could do to satisfy you. The point is that you're looking for him to screw up and ignoring everything else, and when that happens you're going to prove yourself right every time.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 11, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

i thought ovi pass was thru more traffic - laich only had one guy between he and MJ

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

"i thought ovi pass was thru more traffic - laich only had one guy between he and MJ"

---

There were 4 guys between 8 and 22 on that pass, and the puck cleared FL63's skate by about an inch.

I can't help but feel that 1 inch shorter, and that that "routine play" becomes "yet another ill-advised cross-ice pass by 8" to tmac.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 11, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Why would I want David Steckel to call me? They are really reaching. Sorry back to the game.

Posted by: nicety251 | January 11, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

BOOOOOOOOOO YAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 11, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

90 has definitely been one of the better forwards over the last 2 or 3 weeks... offensively and defensively.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Mojo's having himself a little night, isn't he?

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 11, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I've gone into extended detail about the issues I see with his game and I'll do it again. Stick around.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

no doubt

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't need a list of specific detail about your issues with his game. I've read those, they're generally good posts.

What I'm asking for is a list of specific, actionable, and quantifiable things he could do that would satisfy you. Terms like "hockey IQ" or "focus" don't do anyone much good because they're completely subjective.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 11, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

time to get the PP to click!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I think Beagle has showed a lot of grit along the boards in this game. He's been one of the best in that area tonight.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Would you believe I missed that third goal so I could watch the end of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with the kids?

Whew, the Panthers sure are being called for alot of penalties tonight. Go get 'em guys!

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

The PP looking pretty impotent. Credit to FLA but we aren't working hard enough to win pucks and set things up.

Beagle having a strong game but that's a bad penalty. At least he's working hard.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Essential PK here.

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Solid PK. Good work by 39 and 74.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

1 point so far isn't bad based on the way things started. GO CAPS!

Posted by: ebolean1 | January 11, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

One point down; one point to go.

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

i feel like they've more 'stole a point' than earned a point tonight.
end it in OT and take 2 pts

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

One point down; one point to go.

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Green's sketchy play in the d-zone continues into OT. Just haven't liked his play in our end tonight.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

1 point so far isn't bad based on the way things started. GO CAPS!

Posted by: ebolean1 | January 11, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Greenie HAD to take that penalty.

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

who's gonna score the OT shortie to win it?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

C'Mon....Wizards on HD...Ted needs to step up and put the CAPS on HD. WHO Cares about the Wizards.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | January 11, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Whew, a 4-on-3 is tough to kill in OT.

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

arrrgh...green!!!

Posted by: thickman22 | January 11, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

agree sca

Posted by: ebolean1 | January 11, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Goodness, that was quite the sell by Stillman. Was he a theatre major in college?

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 11, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

hendricks tried to chip that puck of the boards to himself and didn't clear - i think that was the 'bad' play there

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Dumb jackasses.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Man, Hendricks needed to get that out. Not a surprising result once they kept it in with our forwards headed the other way.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Disgraceful. Giving up over 40 shots to an AHL-level team.

Posted by: zmega | January 11, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

"hendricks tried to chip that puck of the boards to himself and didn't clear - i think that was the 'bad' play there"

---

Scott Hannan choosing to effectively "double-team" 10 in front of the net with Hendricks didn't make a ton of sense to me, with two open panthers to his left.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 11, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I miss our PP so much. Oh well, on to the next one. We need our A+ game against Tampa and Vancouver. Complete 60 minutes games.

I hope that we are up to the challenge.

BTW..I still miss Semin.

Posted by: nicety251 | January 11, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks needed to get that out.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 10:07 PM

exactly. seemed to me that he saw 'open ice' ahead and was thinking breakaway

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Greenie HAD to take that penalty.

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 10:03 PM

Yea, but he didn't have to make that blind backhand pass from behind our net that became a turnover.

He had a rough game in his own end. Casual play and trying to be too cute.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, they're going to have to get over this result in a hurry. The Lightning are rested and ready.

Posted by: Terptwin | January 11, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

that is on hendrix's shoulders....tried to make a cute play instead of getting it out of the zone. He knew it to by the look on his face after the game

Posted by: _stevo | January 11, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Good penalty by Greenie. He had no choice. At least we got a point. I'm disappointed but it could have been worse...

Posted by: sca187 | January 11, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

What happened to MP85? I didn't see him at all since the second period.

Posted by: hframe1 | January 11, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

agree with all that Hendricks gets credit for the goal. too bad - otherwise I thought he played well

Posted by: ebolean1 | January 11, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

can't go down a man in OT. this one's on green for his silly, blind-pass turnover.

Posted by: thickman22 | January 11, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

ebolean1:
he was the only one hitting tonight - he had 8 of the teams 21

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

our PP is costing us games. it's embarrassing when the 30th ranked PP destroys us.

Get it together PP.

Posted by: natresgroup | January 11, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Some bad bounces and hardly winning any puck battles on the boards. They deserved the loss. I think thats one of the primary problems with the PP is that they aren't winning ANY battles for the puck. If they want to dump and chase fine, but win some battles on the boards. I think they are making Vokoun "look" a lot better than he actually is by their shoddy play. Oh well, it was a one point night, luckily...

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 11, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks looked slow to me all night. I thought Green made an ok play really, it's just that the man he passed it to wasn't ready for it. You can argue low percentage but they weren't on the PK at the time.

Why was Brooks Laich was out there to start OT? The first thing he did was turn it over between the blue lines and in they came. I don't think we got it out after that.

They gave up 40 shots! They deserved to lose. I feel bad for Neuvy, he almost got the win but his teammates let him down.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

That was a horrible play by Hendricks. He was more concerned with making the rush up the ice than getting the puck out of the zone. That falls on him(although the horrible backhanded pass by Green leading to the penalty was atrocious as well).

One guy that doesn't get criticized much on here, but I think should is Laich.

I know tominsocal1 has him penciled in at $3.75M for next year, but I think that would be a horrible mistake. Laich is a good 3rd line player, nothing more.

I know people like his leadership and the media eats up his whole nice guy, good Canadian boy routine, but his play on the PP this year has been atrocious.

The Caps aren't getting pretty PP goals, so they are starting to take shots from the point. Knuble has created some net presence(he can do better also), but Laich has done nothing in front of the net. That's his job. Laich has added nothing offensively either at even strength.

Again, I think Laich is a good 3rd line player who play solid D and forecheck and chip in a goal occasionally, but he sucks offensively. Last year was an aberration. The only goals he gets on the PP are wide open tap ins.

I know people talk about trading Semin because of his lack of production, but why hasn't Laich's name also been raised then? What has he produced?

Posted by: sgm3 | January 11, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I know people talk about trading Semin because of his lack of production, but why hasn't Laich's name also been raised then? What has he produced?

Posted by: sgm3 | January 11, 2011 10:23 PM

because laich isn't an enigma?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Semin is a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

because laich isn't an enigma?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_Az

True, while we are never sure what we will get from Semin, we are sure we will get crappy offense and crappy PP time from Laich.

I'm fine keeping him for a 3rd line player, but if he gets paid over $3M/yr, that will be a huge waste of money IMO.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 11, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Interesting comparison regarding the chatter about trading Semin over Laich. While I agree Laich hasn't been too effective as of late (he has still scored more goals than Semin in the last 14 games), he does does show up in the playoffs and he doesn't cost 7+ mil per year. just my two cents.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 11, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what SAOTI will do if Semin is ever traded.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Semin is a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 10:28 PM

he's the 'shining light' from a black hole

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe their PP was still 19% and ranked 12th in the league coming into this game.

This game was lost in the first period. If they're gonna be a better road/playoff team, they will have to get rid of the attitude of "we have to weather the storm in the first 10 minutes on the road".

F that, be the aggressor from the start.

Posted by: joek443 | January 11, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

This game was lost in the first period.
-------------------
Strictly speaking it was lost in OT. However, throughout the game the Capitals were taking careful aim and continually shooting themselves in the foot.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

VT,

I've explicitly and implicitly done just that. You must have missed those points or didn't infer what he could do to "satisfy me" when I wasn't as explicit.

Just one simple example of an issue and the obvious solution: In the d-zone, he too often gets tunnel vision and just stares from afar at the puck, losing his mark or awareness of his positioning and/or the positioning of other players.

How to satisfy me? Heh...: Don't just stare at the puck. Be aware of your positioning and what's behind you. Be aware of your defensive responisibility, your mark. Turn your head occasionally to see what's going on instead of puck watching while standing upright in a position where it's hard to react.

Another simple example: In the o-zone and the neutral zone, he often lunges at opposing players with the puck or misreads whether he can get to the puck first and takes himself out of position.

Solution: Read the play better and be prepared to backpedal or disrupt the opposing player instead of lunging wildly and taking yourself out of the play.

Example: Instead of using the same move over and over again when carrying the puck into the o-zone and becoming predictable and killing our puck possession, take the puck to the outside more often or even chip and chase once in a while and follow it up with hard work along the boards.

These are just a few examples. In general, I feel like he has to pay more attention to detail, whether it's his positioning on the ice or his decision-making with the puck or how he battles along the boards. For all the talk about him being so tough, he is awfully soft along the boards and loses the majority of puck battles. I don't know if that is just a lack of effort or a lack of caring about doing that but he's miles behind Knuble and Backstrom in that area. I think it has more to do with just the curved stick. I just don't think he works hard enough in that area.

To each his own but I don't think he pays enough attention to or puts enough effort into the details of the game and doesn't think the game at a high level: positional awareness, his decision-making with and without the puck, his work ethic along the boards, etc...

And executing those details requires a commitment to doing things that aren't flashy and fun and don't make highlight reels like shooting and hitting people. And when you don't do those things consistently, you don't develop good habits. You can't just turn a switch on and be committed to the total game. You have to practice those things for them to become habits. He's not alone but some of his issues are more extreme and I think he gets away with them becomes of his stature and the coach not doing his part to get him to make those commitments. Of course, I don't know that for sure but when nothing changes for years, it makes you wonder.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

A few other complaints.

On the 2nd goal, what the he11 was Erskine doing? He was not covering anyone than when he get to his man in front of the net he just stands there and does nothing. Horrible play by Erskine, and if that was any other Caps D-man they would've been crucified on here.

I also think BB should implement a new system. It being that whenever the Caps have momentum or the momentum is even and the Caps get a PP, they should immediately have one of their own players get a minor unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to keep it at even strength.

It is amazing how many times their horrible PP has killed the momentum they gained at even strength. Since you can't decline a penalty, just take a coincidental minor and go 4-on-4 for two minutes. It would be better than having a PP.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 11, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

whoever is saying that was a bad penalty by green in OT is....well i disagree

on a good note willsie played really well, but i think beagle's time may be coming to an end

Posted by: _stevo | January 11, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Since you can't decline a penalty, just take a coincidental minor and go 4-on-4 for two minutes.
---------------------
I would agree with this but they're not above average 4 on 4 either.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Some bad bounces and hardly winning any puck battles on the boards. They deserved the loss. I think thats one of the primary problems with the PP is that they aren't winning ANY battles for the puck. If they want to dump and chase fine, but win some battles on the boards. I think they are making Vokoun "look" a lot better than he actually is by their shoddy play. Oh well, it was a one point night, luckily...

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 11, 2011 10:21 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with every word of this post.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Interesting comparison regarding the chatter about trading Semin over Laich. While I agree Laich hasn't been too effective as of late (he has still scored more goals than Semin in the last 14 games), he does does show up in the playoffs and he doesn't cost 7+ mil per year. just my two cents.

Posted by: LloydChristmas

I agree that Laich should not be expected to produce as much offense as Semin, but this is more for in the future. As it was predicted that it will take $3.75M/yr to sign Laich and Semin makes $6M/yr.

Semin has issues and his play over the past month has been beyond horrendous and deserving of a salary comprable to DJKs. However, I think signing Laich for anything over $3M/yr would be a waste of money.

But they are both pending UFAs and both have been underperforming, but at least Semin was huge in November and shows the ability to blow up. I'm not saying there shouldn't be trade grumblings involving Semin, his play deserves it. But Laich's play and contract situation and the potential size of his future contract should also be receiving the same criticism.

In addition, Laich is much more replaceable than Semin as there are many more NHL players who can play solid D, forecheck, and create a net presence, han there are with the skills of Semin.. He11, Langenbrunner makes less than $3M, he would have been much better.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 11, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

guys....

i dont think it's fair to compare every game to a playoff game.

again....we just beat this team last time out.

the panthers play hard, with pride, and they were chomping at the bit to avenge a loss 3 days ago.

with a tough game at tampa tomorrow... this is a common scenario over the course of an 80 game season that produces a loss for the visiting team.

not trying to make excuses....sometimes the scenario doesn't bode well for one team.

we'll take our point and run!!

Posted by: capitalsfan47802 | January 11, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:
A great display of resiliency to comeback and at least get a point on a game that should've been over in the first period - but thanks to Neuvirth he gave them a chance.

NEUVIRTH: Solid in net and hung tough when he had too. Not much he could do on the goals.

GREEN: 1 step forward - 2 steps back. Green regressed at least for tonight. Stupid blind passing has to stop and up the middle of the ice. What was he thinking and of course he then had to take that stupid penalty. They got what they deserved on some of these calls tonight.

REFS: I tell you even if it did disrupt flow in the game tonight at least these refs were consistent with calling everything that was there and obvious tonight. Good game by the officials.

HENDRICKS: By far his worst game in a Caps uniform. How can you not get it past a defenseman on a 3-on-1 and then not get the puck over a man already sliding at your feet in OT. Just horrible. Gotta regroup.

POWERPLAY: Still MIA. It was nice to see later on in the game when he finally took Ovie off the point. This team has got to better against aggressive PK by their opponent because right now they're getting beat bad.

PENALTY KILLING: Tonight is a mulligan. Two 5-on-3's - doesn't happen often but it caught up to them.

@TMAC2YAO - you my friend get a standing ovation for your post at 10:38 p.m. about the Caps and their defensive awareness or lack there of in the defensive zone. For years this team seems to get sucked into everyone watching the puck instead of looking around their shoulders for their man and seeing whose doing what so you don't get caught napping. Tunnel vision is spot on indeed. They've got to clean that up.

Oh well. I'd say everyone was still at the beach, but Neuvy, in the first period. At least they still get a point.

It's on to Tampa to reclaim first in the division.

ICE BREAKERS GOAL SHAKERS.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | January 11, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I am extremely upset with the Caps totally inept power play this year as well. If I were Bruce, I'd seriously consider using our grinders as the forwards in our PP units. I'd still use Green and Carlson (and other defensemen) at the points but give the grinders a chance. They can't do any worse.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 11, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

It's precisely because they are playing Tampa tomorrow that they should have won tonight.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 10:52 PM | Report abuse

we'll take our point and run!!
------------------------------------------------

I hate the whole concept of giving a point to a loser... half a point, maybe but not one full point.

Posted by: joek443 | January 11, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75, Maybe we'll see that tomorrow - hope springs eternal.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

HENDRICKS: By far his worst game in a Caps uniform. How can you not get it past a defenseman on a 3-on-1 and then not get the puck over a man already sliding at your feet in OT. Just horrible.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

I disagree, as long as the NHL has the insane policy of giving a point to a OT loser, you might as well take chances to score.

To me that was a risk worth taking.

Posted by: joek443 | January 11, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

It's precisely because they are playing Tampa tomorrow that they should have won tonight.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 11, 2011 10:52 PM

Totally agree with this point as well. I don't buy that thought from the earlier poster at all.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

@joek443 - I'm not saying the risk wasn't worth taking - if you do it then at least shovel or lift the puck over the guy. He was already sliding. It was a bad attempt and they got burned. Of course if he gets it over him - maybe we're talking about a win instead.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | January 11, 2011 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Aside from that play in OT and the bad pass on the 3-on-1, I didn't think Hendricks play all that well. He just looked a little off as did a handful of players, including Green. I've done enough 8-bashing so I won't repeat my thoughts on how he played in this one.

Beagle and 90 were two of our better players in this game but overall, several players looked uninspired and were getting outworked by the opposition. As others have noted, including Laughlin during the game, we weren't moving our legs enough and winning enough board battles. At least a couple of the penalties we took were the result of those things.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 11, 2011 11:10 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Yes, bad as Semin's been as of late, I think he still deserves more salary than DJ King. At least he's done PK and was not a total disaster for Plus/Minus.

Semin, unfortunately, spent most of last month playing through injuries (undisclosed prior to the Blues game), flu, lower body injury game during the Rangers game, and now the current injury that's keeping him out. I seriously wonder if Semin had ever fully recovered from the injury he got in mid December.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 11, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

The Caps power play is awful. How long do you give this thing to work itself out? It's like the Montreal series last spring, BB kept waiting and waiting and the PP never worked itself out. I don't have the answers, other than maybe completely change the PP lineup for a couple games. You have to do something to shake it up.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 11, 2011 11:23 PM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond

That's my thought exactly on the PP. New personnel are needed for ot. That's why I've spent all year proposing putting the grinders there since the Caps PP, as currently constituted, is not effective at all.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 11, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

What happened to MP, did he get benched or was he hurt? I didn't really see him hit the ice in the 3rd period.

He wasn't performing great out there or anything, but he wasn't any worse than most other guys, and I actually thought he displayed more energy than a most of the Caps players.

I do want to compliment Fehr on his play. While he didn't get many results on offense, he was often back in the D zone trying to block and blocking many shots, including that one possession when he got two in a row. He seems to be playing both ends more consistently and is taking to heart his role with the team.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 11, 2011 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Tmac, I appreciate the effort you put into your post, but there's still a lot of speciousness of "he needs to play better" involved there. Lots of "positioning" and "Reading the play" and other things that simply aren't actionable or quantifiable.

The problem is that with a lot of your issues with 8, when he doesn't do those things it's obvious because something happens, when he *does* do those things it's not obvious because usually nothing happens.

You've created a situation where the player can only ever fail or meet expectations, never exceed expectations. This is the whole point. "Superior Positioning is just something that isn't highlight-able. I find it difficult to believe that the entire time 8 was on the ice, he was never properly positioned.

I also watched him take the puck into the offensive zone, and he brought it down wide many times, more than he didn't I would argue. I also saw him chip and chase a few times.

There was a sequence toward the end of the 2nd where OV blocked a shot from the man he was covering, got to his feet, drove the puck in deep, won a battle on the boards, and cycled the puck out to Backstrom...

These are all the things you claim to want him to do, and claim he never does, but when he did it, you didn't even acknowledge it. Yet, any time he turned the puck over, you're posting on here about it.

This is the point I'm making. You've created an unwinnable situation here. 8 can only ever meet expectations or fail, when he meets expectations you are silent, and when he fails, you point it out. IMHO, it's a poor way to evaluate play.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 12, 2011 12:23 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

It wasn't just MP who got "benched". Willsie wasn't used after a point either. And Chimmer played a small number of minutes in Period 3. Essentially, Fehr took Willsie's place (which, once upon a time, used to be Semin's place) on the 2nd line and the 3rd line was benched.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 12, 2011 12:52 AM | Report abuse

just looked at the game winner in OT and it made a slight deflection off of Hannan's stick in close... nothing Neuvy could do on that...

good game!

Posted by: FrankM73 | January 12, 2011 1:33 AM | Report abuse

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