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Posted at 5:30 PM ET, 01/ 8/2011

Open thread: Capitals vs. Panthers

By Washington Post Sports Editors

logologoThe Washington Capitals (23-12-6) play their second of four straight games against Southeast Division opponents, hosting the Florida Panthers (18-19-2) tonight at Verizon Center.

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

Update: 6:36 p.m.

Based on warm-up here's what the Capitals' lineup should look like against Florida:

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

Defense
Hannan-Green
Alzner-Carlson
Schultz-Poti

Goal
Varlamov
Neuvirth

Scratches: John Erskine and Tyler Sloan.

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | January 8, 2011; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  Florida Panthers, Lineups  
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Next: Caps get the goals they need, beat Panthers 3-2

Comments

After watching Steckel for years, he's not the kind of player to run somebody (ie Matt Cooke). Now I see Sidney is questioning Steckel's motives, saying he could have avoided the hit. It looked purely like an accidental collision to me. Crosby is really a piece of work.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 8, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Of course he thinks that. He thinks the job of every other player in the NHL is to get out of his way so he can do whatever he wants to do. Looking at the replays more and more it looks more and more like if anything Crosby should have been called for interference because he was the one who changed his path into the path of another player (unintentional of course since he wasn't looking). Maybe Crosby should watch where he is skating instead of just assuming people will all move out of his way.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Thank god Boyd Gordon isn't fighting for our freedom, he'd be no use...

Also, Ovie better either start lighting it up or coming to "optional" skates...

If he doesn't do either, I say send him to New Jersey so he can rot for the rest of his career...like Kovy...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 8, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

After watching Steckel for years, he's not the kind of player to run somebody (ie Matt Cooke). Now I see Sidney is questioning Steckel's motives, saying he could have avoided the hit. It looked purely like an accidental collision to me. Crosby is really a piece of work.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 8, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Of course he thinks that. He thinks the job of every other player in the NHL is to get out of his way so he can do whatever he wants to do. Looking at the replays more and more it looks more and more like if anything Crosby should have been called for interference because he was the one who changed his path into the path of another player (unintentional of course since he wasn't looking). Maybe Crosby should watch where he is skating instead of just assuming people will all move out of his way.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

So how did crysby get his head injury? Anyone know?

Posted by: Dizruption | January 8, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

@Soaring...you must be joking, OV didn't take the ice for a mornimng skate, not a practice, I am sure he was there for any team meeting or video work

Posted by: boomer44 | January 8, 2011 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Hannan-Green and Alzner-Carlson are good pairings, but Schultz-Poti has all the grit of a pair of silk pajamas and toughness of a Chris Ruth's filet. Unless Erskine is nursing an injury, he should be on the ice

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | January 8, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Icehammer - Agreed. It could have gone as an interference call, but it would have been a weak one. Steckel's attention was clearly up ice and in pursuit of the puck and Crosby simply had his head elsewhere. Steckel appeared to brace himself at the last second for the collision, but for Sid to even "imply" that there may have been intent to injure is crap.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 8, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3(from previous)

I dont care if MP is highly skilled, that doesnt make him a good player. A lot more goes into it. And yes I know about the Ottawa game...what did he do before that and what after that? A whole lot of nothing. I know you have a mancrush on him and we just view him differently. So its not worth us two talking about him for the 50th time.

I think hes not an every night NHLer on a team competing for a Cup and you think he is. The end.

Posted by: ThePat | January 8, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

So how did crysby get his head injury? Anyone know?

Posted by: Dizruption | January 8, 2011 6:07 PM
----------------------
They played Tampa this week and he got hammered into the glass by Hedman. The concussion could be a combination of that and the Steckel hit.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 8, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I would love to see Crysbaby take a Stevens hit, if Stevens was still playing. I'm waiting for Pronger to crush he lilly little a$$ and laugh

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | January 8, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

what happened to csn? why is it like wide screen now?? does anybody have this issue?

Posted by: rachel216 | January 8, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

So question for the group. What do you think of the idea of having Nicky on the point with Green on the PP. He might not have the hard shot of an Ovechkin but he passes so well and can set up the big shooters on the half wall.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

the PP looks actually worse, didn't think that was possible

Posted by: joek443 | January 8, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Ugh not a good rotation in our zone there.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin with hands of stone and poor defense early in this game and I'm not including that last play that was on Steckel.

8 has mishandled 2 easy passes, once and the PP and once in his own end. He also was a pylon in the d-zone on FLA's goal.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 7:26 PM | Report abuse

@tmac, he was not a pylon he went right by the Panther player, if he was a pylon he might have been in position to block the pass.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin just stands upright watching FLA chase down a puck in his own end. Green then had to go pick up the player. The puck later ends up on 8's stick and he flies up ice and makes a wild pass through the middle that FLA easily takes back before countering the other way. Very poor work ethic and IQ by 8.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, 8 just completely lost a battle in the o-zone while on the PP. He had clear inside positiong and it took all of a second for the FLA player to strip the puck and clear it. Horrible period for #8. I'm not sure if he made a single positive play and definitely made at least a few bad to awful ones. Somebody teach this bonehead how to play team hockey.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

That was one ugly period.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

the PP is actually getting worse... I say give the 3rd and 4th lines more minutes than the first and second lines.

they will at least play harder and crash the net.

Posted by: joek443 | January 8, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what his problem is right now and he's never been a very smart player or shown consistent defensive awareness but his entire game seems to be regressing. It's borderline pathetic. I don't even know if he could handle a 3rd or 4th line role because he seems incapable of even doing simple things or working hard in all 3 zones.

Maybe his ego is just too big for him to ever develop into a smarter and more complete hockey player. All he seems to want to do is make highlight reel plays, whether it's a big hit or trying to do too much with the puck. It's as if he just can't do the little things consistently because he sees no value in doing things that won't wow the audience.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

BOOOOO!

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 8, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

When he starts scoring again, everybody will ignore the other extreme weaknesses in his game. Sure, scoring at his normal rate ends up making him a net positive player but it still doesn't justify continuing to play such unintelligent hockey and not being fully committed to defense and the details of the game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

hey you know what? Ovi clearly isn't playing well right now but neither is anyone else on this team.

It's not a one-man problem, NOT just on Ovi, Backs, Semin, Green, etc... it's a friggin' team problem on offense.

Posted by: joek443 | January 8, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Caps look crashed. It does not matter what kind of permutations BB is trying to make they play worth then before his era. Looks like completely disillusioned team. No pass, no desire to play. Game over even if they win somehow.

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 8, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

four straight BORING periods of hockey without Erskine in the lineup. I turn on the Bruins game for a few and get to see McQuaid give it to Moen for poking in at Thomas. Who do the Caps have on the blueline to do that for us if needed tonight? Crank it up, Hordichuk

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 8, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty sad when your highest paid player is actually a liability and the team is largely winning despite him and not because of any of his contributions.

When a guy like Knuble isn't scoring, he still provides value in a number of ways and the same goes for several other wings on this team.

Sure, 8 attracts attention of opposing teams... I get that but it doesn't help much when he doesn't know how to consistently take advantage of that by making simple and smart plays and when he isn't consistently doing any of the little things that lesser talented players do on a pretty regular basis.

Ovechkin needs a less player-friendly coach that won't allow him to continue not developing how he thinks and approaches the total game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

That's not true at all. Several players have been playing well in recent weeks. If you're talking about just this game, there are still a few players that looked to be doing their jobs in that period. I thought Knuble did some real good things as did Carlson and several others. 8 just seems to make 2 or 3 bad plays (on and off the puck) for every 1 good play these days. It's agonizing to see on top of the lack of scoring.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

@ joek443

At least I don't want ever watch this stupid commercials again if you know what i mean.

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 8, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks seemed strong in the 1st as well.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

going over 80 minutes goal drought

Posted by: rachel216 | January 8, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Good hustle/pressure their by 8 produced the scoring chance. Maybe his first real good play in the game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Apparently nobody on this team can score except Fehr...

Posted by: joek443 | January 8, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Good for Fehr. He backchecked well to avoid giving up a 3-on-2 on FLA's rush before the puck came back the other way.

Green with some nice skill plays on offense.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

WTF!!!!

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

wtf, again?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 8, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

fehrsie!

Posted by: rachel216 | January 8, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Wtf

Posted by: Dizruption | January 8, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Hard to believe but the Caps organization has a player in Hershey, Andrew Gordon, leading the AHL in power play goals with 11 but run out there the absolute worst power play in the NHL game after game.

Posted by: dull | January 8, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Great shift by 85 that ended with that goal. Him and Green started that whole play and he had a great chance just before that as well.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Watch how often we give up possession in the o-zone because of 8 making an ill-advised decision or trying to do much.

Then go watch or elite wings like Sedin, Hossa, Zetterberg, Nash, Kane or countless others and see how they keep possession and make smarter plays.

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

*too much

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

No Erskine..not shocking. BB doesn't like guys who play with grit. Wouldn't be surprised if he starts benching Hendricks. BB still needs to go.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | January 8, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I've seen Nash carry the puck in backwards like Chimera just did several times and I don't even watch the Jackets play that often.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin loses the puck in a board battle per usual. He wins about 1 board battle for every 7 or 8 that he loses. Work harder, bro.

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

We have no excuse not to be the better skating, harder working team over these last 25 min or so.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I think the reason for no Erskine is easy. Green and Hannan have been playing very well together and so has the Alzner-Carlson pair and Shultz is our best shot blocker and great on the PK and a pairing of Shultz and Erskine would just be way too slow.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

FLA getting lots of pressure in the o-zone and a few good looks from in close.

Our 3rd and 4th liners did some good things as well on their last shift.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 8:26 PM | Report abuse

What's up with Ovechkin fanning so often? Pressing ...

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

BOOOOOOOOO!

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

I think whatever the shot was for that Ovie took earlier this week is not working. Ovechkin just looks like he is in pain everytime he touches the puck. If that is true they need to have him rest for a week or so and get healthy. I know we don't have the division coushin we normally do but having him hurting and not being himself is worse then not having him at all.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

A lot of the issues with Ovechkin's game are present when he is and isn't healthy. They're just masked or overlooked when he's more explosive and producing offensively at his normal rate.

Just wait til he gets a few years older and even when healthy, he no longer has the explosiveness to produce using athleticism alone. That's when he'll really fall behind the pack of other elite players that think the game better and have more complete games.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting a new drinking game:

You have to take a shot every time Ovi fans on a shot. I guarantee you'll be plenty drunk by the end of the game.

I think it's time to put Ovi on IR for a week and let him rest whatever ailment it is that's bothering him. I'm sure we'll do just fine without him for a week.

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

ov's stock continues to drop............

Posted by: wendel2 | January 8, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse

we lose to Tampa Bay and Pitts smokes them 8-1 next night. People here say they should've: we wore them out the night before and they were well rested.

Well we're well rested and the 12th place team in the conference played a tight game last night. Shouldn't we be thumping the Rats? What's our excuse?

Erskine inexplicably banished to the pressbox AGAIN (don't worry, you'll here more on that by me later) and we're seeing another listless effort at home

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

Fire BB! Players are no longer motivated by this pot bellied clown.
No more optional skates.
No more fricking Hadeed commercials.
Work OV, Backs, Semin until they puke at the next practice.

Posted by: capper3 | January 8, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to tell right now which team played last night and 3 in 4 or whatever it is...

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

We're getting badly outworked early in this period.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Why Poti gets played over JE is another enigma of BB Hadeed carpet bagger

Posted by: capper3 | January 8, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Embarrassing... we had no excuse to be getting this outworked at this stage of the game. We're lucky to be tied and even if we win, this was a poor effort.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin tries to do too much and loses the puck right over the blueline. Take it down the boards on your stick or chip and chase. That's not working, bro.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Well said, vermontcaps.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff by Alzner on the PK.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

More Fehr and more Green, who makes up for the bad cute pass earlier. 8 kind of won a rare battle along the boards early on that sequence.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Great passing between Green and Fehr again this time the other way around.

As for why TP over JE. Speed, TP has some and with JS as the other D on the pairing some speed is needed.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Fehr and Green....get a pass at next optional skate....great work ethic for thee two and the 4 th line.

Posted by: capper3 | January 8, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Still getting outworked this late into the game. Very lucky to be up 2-1.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Finally!

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

At least he scored a goal... still had a weak overall game.

I'm starting to wonder if our strength & conditioning staff is getting these guys where they need to be.

We're still getting outworked for the most part this late into the game after FLA played last night.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

OV hi lite reel...he gets a pass on optional skate too...maybe BB to take his place to loose some waist line blubber

Posted by: capper3 | January 8, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

This feels like a lot of the Caps games from earlier this season when we outworked teams and just couldn't finish and lost. Feels good to have it go the other way some here.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

That was bound to happen... late backcheck after we nearly gave up on oddman rush a minute earlier.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

well they always gotta make it interesting!

Posted by: rachel216 | January 8, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Looked to me like Laich had the guy and then let him go on the original shot and he buried it. Come on guys lets finish this game off well.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Actually, they don't gotta... I know what you mean though.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

ohhh boy. ohh crap.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 8, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

What a dive to get the late PP.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Everyone including myself busts on Ovie and Semin...but WTF is up with Backstrom...he looks terrible.!!!!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 8, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Lucky ...very lucky

Posted by: capper3 | January 8, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Glad the Caps won but not happy with the overall effort or the play by some players. Lucky win after getting outworked for extended stretches by a tired team.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Well good we got the win but TB has 2 third period goals and is now up on the Sens so us leading the division doesn't look like it will last long.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

We got a gift of a PP, too, but I actually missed the replay so I'm trusting Laughlin on that one.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Brain farts all round. BOOO! Crappy game played by the Capitals. Glad they won tho'.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 8, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

i don't really feel like we deserved that win, but i'll take it.

Posted by: natresgroup | January 8, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

OV hi lite reel...he gets a pass on optional skate too...maybe BB to take his place to loose some waist line blubber

Posted by: capper3 | January 8, 2011 9:17

^^ This is my point.

He was awful for the majority of this game, particularly for the first 25 min but he scores a goal and all is forgotten.

Not saying the goal wasn't good. I acknowledged that it was but in the big picture, he just doesn't seem to be developing any of his weaknesses.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes we didn't deserve to win that game but we have had so many this year we did deserve and control that we didn't win it is just evening out over the length of the season.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Former Cap Thodore just shut out the Pens 4-0. Pens PP was 0-4 with 1 shot. Take away Crosby and that team is average at best.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Ugly game, but it is about time we won one of those.

Great to see an "ovechkin" goal by Ovie.

@tmac

don't think Ovie played very poorly (well everyone played poorly in the first) He had some chances in the 2nd and didn't make any big defensive gaffs.

Posted by: capscoach | January 8, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Ugly game, but it is about time we won one of those.

Great to see an "ovechkin" goal by Ovie.

@tmac

don't think Ovie played very poorly (well everyone played poorly in the first) He had some chances in the 2nd and didn't make any big defensive gaffs.

@icehammer
exactly! we have had a ton of games we deserved to win and didn't...sometimes an undeserved win is still kinda deserved...GO CAPS! Please play better on Tuesday though!

Posted by: capscoach | January 8, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Alzner with 4 hits... he seems to have racked up more hits over the past month or so than Carlson but I don't know that for a fact without looking it up.

Knuble with 3 takeaways to lead all skaters.

Beyond the scoring, I thought that Fehr played real well off the puck, too. I saw some good backchecks and aggressive forechecking.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Anyone see that Eager sucker punch! That was horrible!

Also, Pitt aparently can't score without Crosby...kinda sad considering all the talent on that team.

Posted by: capscoach | January 8, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I thought Ovechkin was downright horrible for the majority of this game. I didn't even see a single positive play in the first 25 min and he made numerous bad plays over the course of the entire game as I mentioned throughout this thread but won't repeat.

I'd say that several other forwards had better games despite some recording less points or no points, including Knuble, Hendricks, Steckel, Beagle, Johansson, Perreault and Fehr.

As always, to each his own.

I'm glad they won but not at all happy with the overall performance. Lucky win.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Did I hear during the telecast that TB has a 12-game homestand coming up?

If so, that's a big opportunity for them to extend their division lead. You never know how things will pan out but it's certainly favorable for them going forward.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

This is getting pretty abstract and difficult to prove but I'd say that the Caps won as many games that they didn't deserve over the first 20 or so games of the season as they lost over the last 20 or so that they did deserve to win.

I think the games that they deserved but lost, i.e., @ DAL, are just fresher on people's minds than those wins we won earlier in the season after getting outplayed, i.e., vs NYI and STL (the score of the game against STL doesn't tell the story).

There were a bunch of examples in both directions but that is just my general impression without actually going over every single game to make a better judgment.

Either way, that was a pretty lousy performance tonight regardless of anything else.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

More specifically, I was saying that I think the luck had already at least balanced itself out before this game but you could be right.

I still wonder about our strength and conditioning and how it compares to that of other teams. It could be that it's not an issue but I do wonder if it may be.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

hey everyone on here knows I can be as critical of this team as anyone but when you see that they're 4th in PK and 8th in team defense, it's NOT all that bad.

Who knew before the season that the PK would actually be a main strength of this team half way in the season? I sure as heck didn't.

Yes the offense still looks bad but when you consistently give up less than two goals/game, you have a chance to win every game... is that what most of us "dark siders" bi*ched and moaned about for a long time??

Posted by: joek443 | January 8, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

As far as Backstrom, yea, he has underperformed for the majority of this season as well.

Again though, like Knuble and some other forwards, he contributes and provides value even when he's not scoring.

Even his defense is down from where it has been in the past but it's still among the best of all forwards on this team. He is at least serviceable on the PK and very simply is a high IQ player so even when he's down, he doesn't make nearly as many awful plays (on and away from the puck) as 8 does on a regular basis.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 8, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I mean two goals or less

Posted by: joek443 | January 8, 2011 10:07 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

am I dead? did u really just say something remotely positive about this team? I don't know what to do now. This is confusing.

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

speaking of players with low IQs in their respective sport, Mark Sanchez doesn't look too smart at the moment... how many times can he over-throw his receivers???

Posted by: joek443 | January 8, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

hey coach,

what do you mean? I say nice things all the time, like last night when I had to defend the honor of fine Swedes such as Backs and Gussy to that moron hunterforcoach...

Posted by: joek443 | January 8, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I like the game plan of the Jets which seems to be we're NOT gonna let our QB Sanchez beat us!!!

Posted by: joek443 | January 8, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I love watching the Caps playing this style of hockey. I know some get upset and frustrated because the offense isnt there but this is what it takes to win when it matters. The offense will come for guys like Ovi and Backstrom. I think the combination of them just slumping and adjusting to the new style has added to the struggles.

But everyone seems to have bought in now so those guys are going to get going here soon. Probably not to the last two years stats pace, but they dont need to do that playing this smart, defensive hockey.

The PK and D has been awesome. If we can just get that big 2C to keep the middle clogged against deep teams, we could actually make a legit run at the Cup this season. Its amazing that it could all hinge on one player that isn't currently here but that is what it looks like to me.

Posted by: ThePat | January 8, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Got to give Florida credit, they came with a game plan and pretty much executed it.
Maybe its true, perhaps Ovechkin and Semin have been playing injured.
As far as Backstrom, I have no idea.
Look I'm no genius coach like BB, but can he try to set some %#$% lines and stick with them? Even my kids, who play mites hockey, do better and are more comfortable when they play with consistent linemates.
Anyway, glad to see Caps win a game that probably would have gone the other way a few weeks ago!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 8, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

ThePat
I don't disagree with you about the 2C player. But I really don't have faith that GMGM is going to pull that deal off. He may get somebody, but probably not the key guy we need. I hope I'm wrong...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 8, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I like what Fehr said...if we can continue to keep teams to 1-2 goals, we are never out of a game.

The O will come...the D needs to stay.

Posted by: capscoach | January 8, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

@habssuck

There's no way you can fault Thomas on that 2nd goal, he had no chance. Besides, if Chara didn't ice it GAME OVER. McQuaid did his part, a fine showing against a tough customer in Moen. I was disappointed that Chara didn't just drop the mitts and start throwing, I think he should've done more as the captain.

And where has Paille and Seguin been? HELLO? I'm sorry, but Seguin should be sent down to Providence to get some seasoning to acclimate to the PROFESSIONAL GAME. If not for Peter C. and Claude Jellos' chosen ones, a guy like BRIAN McGRATTAN would get a well-deserved shot.

Anyway, habssuck, we've got the Pens coming up and goals are going to be even harder to come by. With the lineup they're going to throw at us, if Jello-man doesn't sit one of the slackers and call-up McGrattan then HE MUST GO!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 8, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

ooops, wrong newspaper blog....how'd the caps do, did we win? The game was so boring I got disinterested and watched the Bruins

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 8, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I get so many sample stuff for free its awesome. Actually it is not difficult to find them just search online for "123 Get Samples" It is the best way!

Posted by: nancyfenner | January 8, 2011 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh good, we won...yes!! I think I saw that Semin got hurt. I bet BB will play Sloan at forward against TB, or maybe they'll call-up what's his face from Hershey.

Get well quick, Semin, I don't know how the team will be able to replace the points you've been racking-up the last dozen games. (I thought the Hockey Gods were going to intervene once again and maim someone on the backline. I don't know what happened, maybe Seming got in the way or something.)

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 8, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond

It is indeed true that Ovi and Semin were playing with injuries throughout December. On Ovi, it's probably been since the Nashville game. Semin, probably since late November. And his "lower body injury" since the Rangers game.

I've now heard that Nicky's been spotted icing his ankle so maybe a sprained ankle could be what's been bothering him.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 8, 2011 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Semin was a knee-on-knee victim. Should have been called. But, as was pointed out, he's not contributing anyway.

My joke around the house is that Ovie's performance can only be explained by the "Russian Mafia."

I hope it's a joke...

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 8, 2011 11:28 PM | Report abuse

How realistic are the trades?

Semin for D.Brown (would be excellent on our 1st line)

Holtby + MP + 3rd for Zajac

would you do them?

Posted by: Walle | January 8, 2011 11:40 PM | Report abuse

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:
Semin: Hope he's ok. That was a cheap knee on knee hit and lucky it wasn't much worse. The guy makes me pull my hair out but I don't want to see him gettng hurt either.

Game: The sentiment is true - it wasn't pretty but it's a win either way.

VERMONTCAPS - I agree with you on Erskine - he should be in and I think Poti should be out. Poti is pushed around like a rag doll out there. Just not cutting it with his play lately. Also - I'm not sure what the deal was with the whole being bored and watching another game - if you don't like the way the Caps are playing or can't deal with a little defense - don't watch. Keep the B's/Habs talk elsewhere. I could give a crap about them right now. As for expecting the Caps to crush FL since they played last night - since TB got it handed to them in Pit after playin WAS - we don't always get the results. I've seen games where the Caps did lay in to teams playing the night before and other times it didn't happen. To each their own. Bottomline: They stayed with it and found a way to win. If that's not enough - don't know what to tell you. :)

An ugly/gritty win. On to the sunshine state. Thank goodness for competition in the division this year.

IT'S BEEN A TWO POINT NIGHT.

ICE BREAKERS GOAL SHAKERS

Posted by: Jonathan6 | January 8, 2011 11:40 PM | Report abuse

@koek
@justafan
@sgm3
@captkirk
@pokerface

I just read your posts from yesterday. By all means. You ride that Backstrom horse into the playoffs, and see how far it gets you. Eakin will EVENTUALLY take his job, as Cody appears to be a playoff guy. Nick's lipstick pretty passes haven't gotten us too far in the playoffs have they ? This guy has been a big factor in the playoff nonperformance of this team.

sgm3 - the Flyers had Boucher in goal 2 years ago. Are you nuts? That team stunk !

Nicky would not even be a top 3 Center on the Pens with a healthy Stall.

This guy is fun to watch against Florida on a Tuesday night in December. But, I'm gonna' rub it in folks faces when we exit in the second round, because he has zero playoff GRIT.

Capt - You've never played hockey. I can tell because "hockey folks" just would not tolerate these endless playoff disasters. American/Canadian hockey players are extremely emotional and competitive. The endless playoff disasters would piss them off. I'm pissed.

This guy has the talent to be a great player, but has decided not to go that "hard work" route. Big Wallet Backstrom

I not trying to yank anybodies chain. I've seen enough of Semin and Backy to realize that we are not going to Hoist that big, ugly cUp unless they change their styles. We need playoff guys on this roster.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 8, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I still think the reason why Erskine isn't playing is having him as Schultz is just too slow of a D-pair. I also find it very interesting that the same people who kept saying we needed to play a more "playoff style" are some of the same people who are calling that very same style boring and critizing our game. Did we get outplayed tonight? Yes, but not but as much as some of you are making it sound like. The shots were even by the end of the game as the chances were close too.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 8, 2011 11:56 PM | Report abuse

@jonathan6

Glad to see you're an Erskine supporter, but I think you missed the point about my earlier posts (hint: I'm in no way advocating for McGrattan's call-up and Julien's removal)

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 9, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

@vermont

Poti is a pansy. The Butch Cassidy hire and the Poti extension just blow my mind !!
Yea, Tom Poti is really gonna' come up huge in the playoff blood bath. Not a hockey town. GMGM is a disaster. I don't care about our JR players. This team should have already skated with the cUp, considering how awful that hockey was that we had to watch to snag those first round picks.

Get Erskine in there as much as possible, he forces guys to play "HOCKEY"

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 9, 2011 12:07 AM | Report abuse

@Walle

Since Semin is now hurt, LA would probably not make that deal today. Brown is having his best year this year but he looks like he's a streaky player. He was hot during the early part of December but is cold now.

Age wise, it's a virtual wash. Semin has generally been better over the course of his career.

Brown has a contract hit of 3.5 million until the end of the 2013-1014 season. Semin is UFA after this year.

Provided Semin were healthy, if I were LA's GM, I would probably seriously consider the trade (and would accept it, if there was a good chance of signing Semin to an extension since Semin probably has better overall productivity.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 9, 2011 12:20 AM | Report abuse

@natregroup

Funny, but true. Ovi has not performed in the playoffs either. When are folks really going to sit back and analyze why this team
can't play playoff hockey. This team should really be coasting now. I think the stuff we're gonna' find out about the Caps after this years playoff disaster is going to surprise. BB and GMGM will go, and the information damn will break.

The HBO series. Our coach is a goof. The Pens coach is a pro.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 9, 2011 12:24 AM | Report abuse

@joek

Don't get too excited. Come the playoffs, our great PK will evaporate, just like our great PP did against the Habs.

Half the guys on this team are pansies. I've seen Reston mite select teams with more spunk.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 9, 2011 12:35 AM | Report abuse

@ capsfan75
Brown might be streaky, but so is Semin. Brown still averages 22 g/season during his last 5, and is on pace for 34 this year. And his caphit is acctually "only" 3,175 per year.

I think his physical presence makes him a lot more valuable to us then Semin, while Knuble is declining every year. And it gives us the space to go after a true 2C (Zajac as i proposed in my previous comment).

Ovi-Backs-Brown
Fehr-Zajac-Laich
Would be more than ok by me!

Posted by: Walle | January 9, 2011 12:52 AM | Report abuse

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