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Game 4: Rangers 2, Capitals 1

The Rangers seized control and now have a 3-1 advantage over the Capitals in this Eastern Conference quarterfinal. The Capitals took 39 shots but they were plagued by missed opportunities. Alex Ovechkin, who scored his first goal of the series, hit the post. Sergei Fedorov also hit the post. But perhaps most damaging was that Washington went 0 for 6 on the power play, including an opportunity with 3:06 remaining in regulation.

The Capitals face elimination Friday night when the teams return to Verizon Center for Game 5.


We'll have much more coverage of this Game 4 loss coming up, so be sure to stay tuned.

By Katie Carrera  |  April 22, 2009; 9:44 PM ET
 
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Next: Backstrom: 'Absolutely We're Not Done'

Comments

@saintex

Real classy. Your ignorance by making comments like that is overwhelming. No need for namecalling. Act like an adult. But regardless, did you watch the first period? I didn't see the intensity or the desire. I saw it after the Rangers got their second goal. I saw it all through the third. But I didn't see it for half the game. They did NOT match the energy of the Rangers.

Posted by: CDon | April 22, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

great defense > great offense
great PK > great PP
Posted by: rachel216

saintex: come on now. i said they aren't good enough, maybe in a year or so. Is that wrong? we're down 3-1, why?

Posted by: rachel216 | April 22, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

SO FRUSTRATING. Power play was a big difference, where is Mike Green?????????? People might say, the caps rallied last year against the flyers, but they weren't going against Henrick. Really pissed they didn't make them pay after the Avery high stick. If they lose on Friday, someone please hurt Avery.

Posted by: TheSmurfs | April 22, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I thought we dominated the last 40 minutes at least CDon. A lucky bounce and a mistake by Varlamov was all it took tonight. We had enough chances on the PP tonight though that this one is on us. Lunq was great again tonight and yes, he was fortunate with his best friends helping him out twice.

I still believe though. Besides the mistake on the Rangers 2nd goal Varlamov was great again. Nothing he can do on their 1st goal whatsoever. Tough loss to take but all we can do is try to get it back to NY with a chance to bring it back home for Game 7. We've been here before.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 22, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

The caps are the San Jose Sharks of the east... congratulations!

Posted by: tony325 | April 22, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

you know at times i'm proud to be a caps fan but at times like these i'm embarassed. it amazes me how dumb and "over the edge" some people get. it's almost like brazil or whoever shooting their goalie for winning. unless you've been here since 1974 you haven't been through nearly as much as most of us. this is a building process and while i think we're a much much better team than the rangers and i more pissed than i've been in a long time, i'm not giving up on this team and the direction they're heading. if abe stil owned the team then maybe but Ted is dying to get a Cup and I believe we'll get one. This year may not be the year but we'll get one sooner than later. We'll win one before the Pens do.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your input Tony, BE GONE!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Any suggestions on what we need to acquire to do better next year? Yes, time to start thinking about next year. Or should we wait until after Friday's game to plan?

Or is this team under a black cloud?


Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 22, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse
OK i will tell you one more time Trade semin or send him to minors Get OV under control your a star Not a mascot OV...too many distractions ..Get a goaltender!,,,and while your at it BB should be replaced too.

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 22, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 22, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't watch the entire game but caught the 3rd period, one thing I don't understand at all is why they deviated from what won them the game on monday, I mean all 4 of our goals came as a result of traffic in front, and during that 3rd period I did not see any of our players even try to screen Lundqvist, otherwise im sure the game would have gone to OT.

plus, we got really unlucky with all the shots ringing off the posts.

I still think it's too early to declare that we've lost this series, no doubt I'll be disappointed if we do on Friday.

but I wouldn't count the boys out just yet, remember we came back from being down in our series against Philly last season. so anything is possible.

Posted by: jogabonito | April 22, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Coach made a mistake--should have pulled goale during Avery's penalty, creating a 6 on 4 advantage.

Posted by: iguanadon1 | April 22, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface

I, too, am behind this team's plan to build for long-term success. I think they've done a solid job of that. This series, in particular, is just frustrating because, by all accounts, the Caps really should win it. But all you can hope, I guess, is that they learn from their mistakes and continue to build on them in the future. Learn from the loss to the Flyers last season, learn from the probable loss to the Rangers this season and see if can finally get over that hump sometime soon.

Posted by: CDon | April 22, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha choking dogs! Go Pens! Alex Imchokin!

Posted by: observer23 | April 22, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

They did what they had to do in game 3. It worked and then they got away from it in this game. Again, in this game they shot from the blueline, no one in front of Lundqvist. Everytime there was a rebound, a Ranger was there.

Can someone answer this? Did we have ANY whacks at the puck right in front of Lundqvist?

Posted by: rachel216 | April 22, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

SC07 eat a Richard! I'd love to see you in person one day.

This series can NOT be blamed on Varly at all. All he's done is give up 3 goals in 3 games.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

pokerface1208: that was colombia btw, I forgot what the goalie's name was, it was truly sad.

Posted by: jogabonito | April 22, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau should've called time out before that power play with 3 min left.

That is all.

Posted by: Raber | April 22, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

CDon I have been trying to tell them that for 2 years ...NO CUP CAPS have no disire..I am ready to give up on you guys

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 22, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

One game at a time.We need to bring it Friday. Feds has been awefull, Green is missing in action.Our face-offs were bad tonight. We have the talent lets win the next one and put the pressure on the Rangers.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 22, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

@StanleyCup

I don't agree with you. I think they will win a Cup, and I think they will continue to get better. They won't win it this year. But they will soon. I have faith in that.

Posted by: CDon | April 22, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Alex Imchokin!

Posted by: observer23 | April 22, 2009 9:53
LOL why didnt i think of that ! LOL

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 22, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

The Caps can win Game 5, but it won't be hell or beans if they lose Game 6 or 7! I'm just very frustrated right now. Can't believe we're down 3 games to 1! *shakes head*

Posted by: TheSkyIsntFalling | April 22, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I said this 3 days before the playoffs even started. Rangers in 6 games or less.

It should be no surprise that the capitals couldn't duplicate their effort from game 3. This team simply has a hard time staying motivated for any stretch of games. You're lucky to get a "playoff=type" effort for one game, you'll never get it for 3 games in a row let alone an entire series. This series they've played exactly one playoff=type effort out of 4 games now. They'll have an early tee time while a less talented Rangers team will advance none the worse for wear.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 22, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about the rest of the people here... but I watched like 70 games this year & I know for a fact we are better then this weak offensive team... We have a goalie that has kept them to 1, 0, & 2 goals but yet we're losing 3-1... Maybe your a bunch of ENABLERS when they don't play well, but I'm sick of our Washington teams being a bunch of PRETENDERS! NO MORE EXCUSES... JUST WIN!

Posted by: tony325 | April 22, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

We play our best with our backs to the wall. See last years run to qualify for the playoffs. Time for another 11-0 run!!!

Oh, who am I kidding? We're screwed.

Posted by: griz0615 | April 22, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

how was avery's penalty on jurcina not a double minor? he drew blood.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 22, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

where's that idiot richphil who thought anyone claiming the Rangers would win knew nothing about hockey. Some fans need to separate blind homerism from cold reality. tsk tsk

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 22, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

@rachel

It was roughing, not a high stick.

Posted by: CDon | April 22, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh look, SC07 is back. I guess his mom's bail got revoked and he can leave the basement again to use the computer.

Sean Avery must die. He's too short to have that many high sticks.

I think we'll win Friday. The day game Sunday, however....


Posted by: oldtimehockey | April 22, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

he didnt even hit him in the face

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 22, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Last time I checked you need to win 4 games to win a play-off series.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 22, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Real tough loss.

We have tremendously outplayed the Rangers during this series. They are getting really lucky that Lundy is playing this well.

Lundy was absolutely brilliant today. Lundy beat the Caps by himself today, not the Rangers as a team.

And I remember all you guys saying you wanted the Rangers instead of the Habs in the polls because Habs-Bruins would be fun to watch. Anyone want to take that back now?

Posted by: digster1013 | April 22, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

things just haven't gone our way this series. almost all the breaks have gone the ranger's way.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 22, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

@StanelyCup

Jurcina was hit in the face. He had a cut on his face. Not hard to miss that.

Posted by: CDon | April 22, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

ouch

Posted by: arcassells | April 22, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I was @&%@# OV didnt do his "Hot STICK DANCE" Is OV going to dress in the Rangers room to throw them off again!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 22, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, CDon I'm with ya I would just think they learned from last year against the Flyers. Doesn't seem as if anything has been learned. I can not believe we are 1 game away from losing this series. There's no way in Hell this should be happening. I really thought the 1 thing that would do us in was the PK and that's not it at all. Unreal. Gee GMGM, are you glad now that you made no moves at the deadline? Schneider sure cost a lot didn't he? Guerin cost a lot didn't he? Thanks for building the same thing Poile did! A consistent playoff disappointing team. Yes I'm drunk but I'm a pissed off drunk!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

sc is such a little nerd. come when caps lose and hide when caps win. yeah, you're real cool. LOSER! at least be a man. you're probably a little boy. lol. go cheer for your canadiens...oh, or your maple leafs..o never mind. haha.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 22, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I get the sense that the Caps felt coming into this series that they simply deserved to move on. That they'd be able to move past the Rangers fairly easily. When it didn't happen in the first two games, they were left scrambling. They need to get that mental edge so they don't make that kind of mistake again in the future.

Posted by: CDon | April 22, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Damn he is blind also. Thought he was just deaf and dumb.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 22, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

And StanleyCup continues to show he has no knowledge whatsoever about the game of hockey.

Go watch soccer you prick.

Posted by: digster1013 | April 22, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Don ....that was his lipstick that smeared not a cut

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 22, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

i just hope we get better. Must say, I am over the top about the nasty frogs getting swept on the 100th anni!! Almost makes up for tonight's loss. See ya Friday at the booth!

Posted by: majiksea | April 22, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Damn he is blind too. I thought he was just deaf and dumb.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 22, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Good old Washington area pro sports! Never let you down!

Posted by: SadieV | April 22, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface

Yeah, I thought they had learned from last year, too. But I wonder if this team really, truly pays attention and learns from mistakes. They say all the right things, but it rarely translates to the ice. And the way the team is playing now is how it played down the stretch of the regular season. The Caps had a tremendous January, then the rest of the season was just sort of up and down, no real prolonged winning streaks. They always seem to be looking forward, so they lose focus on what's right in front of them. I'm sure they looked past the Rangers and the second round to the Bruins in the ECF, for example. They seem to lack that focus and mental edge you need to be successful. Maybe that can be learned in time. I'm hopeful.

Posted by: CDon | April 22, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Who's lipstick? Sidney Crosby?

Posted by: digster1013 | April 22, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Face it, GMGM is not capable of building a playoff winning team. His first year (97-98, eleven years ago!) he rode a David Poile built team to the Finals. Since then he's never been past the first round.
Bottom line, the Caps will never win a Cup (and maybe never win a series) as long as George Mcphee is running this team.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | April 22, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Let's package Nylander and Schultz for Lundqvist. Maybe we'll need to throw Brash in, too.

Posted by: sinbin | April 22, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are chocking again. How many series has this team lost that they should win?

For the record, the Caps lost the Philly series last year. Who gives a you know what if they took it 7 games.

Yeah, power play huge tonight or lack thereof, but they played sloppy all night. Just weren't crisp with breakouts etc....

And, once again, luck is more a factor in hockey than any other sport, which to some makes it more exciting or to me makes it much more frustrating. The first goal by the Rangers was garbage and the Caps hit two posts. If this were the NBA, the series would be Caps 4-0 bc you can't win NBA games on luck. Oh well, there is always next season!

PS Semin takes the dumbest penalties I've ever seen. What a rock!

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 22, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Something is seriously wrong with Mike Green. He's missing. He hasn't done ANYTHING, a complete non-factor.

Doesn't matter how good we were in the regular season, we're about to be out in the FIRST FREAKIN' ROUND. I, like many Caps fans, would NEVER have predicted a first round exit. I said, whoever it is, they'll beat them. It's always harder than it seems. Can't believe it, it just doesn't seem right. We were too good of a team in the regular season to be out in the first round.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 22, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Gee SC07, you're mom was finally able to pay the internet bill. How convenient for you.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

SC07 - Caps have no "disire" and you haven't reached 6th grade yet either.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

ok night folks Sleep well.....I am off to the Chi/Calgary Series

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 22, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

George Mcphee was hired by Abe Pollin... enough said. It's time for Ted Leonsis to hire his own guy. GMGM has proven he cannot build a playoff team. He's got to go!

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | April 22, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, second dumbest to Sean Avery!

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 22, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Once the Rangers move on, they'll get swept by whoever it is. It puzzles me why we can't beat a team who's leading scorer had 59 points.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 22, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

SC07 off to the CGY series because TO has no series.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | April 22, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

argh. these losses are painful. brings up so many memories. damn it this is why i faded away in the first place.

gotta keep reminding myself that this is a new caps team and we're still two years away.

caps fans know that a 3-1 lead is not insurmountable. here's to some karmic retribution.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | April 22, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Caps GM Sucks.

GM can't build a paper airplane.

Varly BLEW it on that second goal, he's not that good

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

sc: your bedtime was 3 hours ago, loser

Posted by: rachel216 | April 22, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Seriously...Where the hell has Green been ALL SERIES????

He looks like CR@P...


Posted by: dglelite | April 22, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if this has been mentioned but the Hershey Bears won to take a 3-0 lead in their series with Philadelphia. They seem to rolling right now.

Posted by: MReilly9 | April 22, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Flash has been worthless the entire series. BB seriously needs to think about replacing him with Aucoin. It might be a little too late at this point though.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 22, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

In the words of the great Dan Akyroyd "Cheef, you ignorant sl@t"

Posted by: Moose33 | April 22, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

No, Varly is THAT good. It's a mistake and unfortunately it cost us. He's learning but he is very good. If anything good comes out of this series it's that we are good in net with Varly.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 22, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

cstanton - you're so frickin brilliant. you went against most professionals that know the game and you show up when we're down 3-1. how brilliant of you. let me guess you also had Tampa Bay Rays winning the East last year. What a tool you are. People like you never cease to amaze me. Funny think is I would never even think of doing what you do. Gee maybe next football season I'll go on the Kansas City Chiefs website and say "hey guys I knew you'd be playing in the Super Bowl 5 years ago, Go Chiefs!". Take your menure somewhere else dummy!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Poile's contract was up at the same time Ted bought the team, while "technically" Abe hired McFee, it was Ted who wanted him.

Make no mistake, Leonsis hired this idiot NOT Abe.

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

biker, your a fool. McPhee has put together one of the youngest and most talented teams in the whole league (I believe the farm team is stocked as well). This team will be contenders for the next decade. However, they are going through some pretty bad growing pains right now.
So, how about we get rid of you!!! lol

Laich said in an interview between first and second period that they were just feeling out the Rangers in the first. Really? Can't waste periods in the playoffs especially when your down!!! Comment may have been correct, but what a dumb way to start the most important game of the season thus far!

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 22, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Keep on believin
Rock the REd

Is the rebuild a success ?

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Contender is the team up 3-1, not losing 3-1

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm the fool? You must work for GMGM. Only a fool would defend Mcphee's record.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | April 22, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but the caps just do not display the heart, will, and discipline to win in the post-season. This is NOT the regular season. There is no "next game". Every game matters. For this team, they so quickly abandon what works: playing solid D, crashing the net, dump and forecheck. Arrggh. Frustrating.

Posted by: joeshred | April 22, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Leonsis will keep GMGM around to start another "5 Year Plan". 3rd time's the charm right?

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | April 22, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Why does George McPhee gotta take the blame?? Last time I checked, they finished with more points than any Caps team in history... At some point this young team gotta grow some & suck it up!

Posted by: tony325 | April 22, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

BB is dreaming of coaching a majority Canadian team, it's obvious.

This team is a post season JOKE

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Like your coverage, Tarik. Thanks, and keep up the great work.

Another tough loss tonight, but Varly is playing tough (averaging a goal against per game... one goal tonight was a fluke). Kind of had the same problem tonight that we had in game 2 (and maybe in game 1 too)--didn't own the real estate in front of the NYR net. Laich is the only player who'll stick his nose in their on a regular basis AND is a threat to score. Win or lose this series, we could stand to acquire another guy like Laich in the off-season (a guy like Tkachuk in his prime would be fantastic). Add to that acquisition a, hopefully, healthy Clark, and you should have a real Stanley Cup contender. McPhee is a bright guy; I'm sure he knows this is all we need with Varly's emergence.

Posted by: Fletch_F_Fletch | April 22, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Cheef - R U serious? R U really that "special"? You could blame this series more on the fan in section 110 row H seat 4 more than you can Varly so don't give me this manure about Varly's 2nd goal dummy! We have enough offense that we should be able to score at least 3 frickin goals a game.

The extreme intellect that come out of people when down 3-1 is truly overwhelming. No wonder Caps fans take such heat. We have idiots like this blaming the series on one of the best players in the series. Too bad, what a shame.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh look. Cheef's back. Great. Guess St. Elizabeth's has a furlough program.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | April 22, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

LOL Cheef your an idiot.

If you dont think the rebuild is a success, well then I dont know what to tell you.

And man the series isnt even over yet. Lundy is completely taking this series anyways. If they win the cup, Lundy should just take it himself.

Cheef, what a prick.

Posted by: digster1013 | April 22, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

McFee has built a team by being a LOSER, he gets 100% blame because his record SUCKS since his arrival.

You actually think the Caps have a defense worthy of competing for the Stanley Cup ?

Try watching soccer

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Is Varly that good? He might be. But it's always the case in the playoffs -- let in a softie and you lose. Maybe it was 2-1, like tonight. Maybe it's 4-3, like Game 1. You let in a bad one and you lose.

That has nothing to do with one team being lucky. And if the Caps think the other team is just getting lucky, there is no way they'll come back.

They have to want it like they did on Monday night, not think they deserve it. Because the fact is it doesn't matter if you're out-playing a team. The only thing that matters is: are you playing well enough to win.

That's the measure. Not who's lucky. Not who had more points. Not who had higher scorers in the regular season.

Posted by: sinbin | April 22, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Bruins would face the Rangers in the second round, and I think they would take the Rangers pretty easily because the B's have some guys who will get gritty and knock in rebounds. Makes the Bruins march to the Stanley Cup Finals a little easier, that's for sure. I wanted the Caps to go deep because it would've kept my mind off the circus and idiocy of the Washington Redskins.

Posted by: CDon | April 22, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the loss idiots are back. just goes to show.

The caps weren't there in the 1st period and that was enough to give the Rangers momentum. I dont believe in weahtering the storm. I believe in creating ones own storm, and letting the fronts collide.

They did nothing for the first half the game that made them successful in game 3. They didnt crash the net, the didnt establish a crease presence, and they didnt set up screens. They went back to shooting form the perimeter, taking long shots that the goalie could see all the way and didnt match the Rangers intensity. They learned nothing. 91% of teams up 3-1 go on to win the series. Will the Caps be the 9% that pull it off? The Monday Caps could, but the Wednesday Caps might as well start making vacation plans. This team is too bi-polar.

They say a team is made in the image of their GM.

Posted by: oo7 | April 22, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216

I couldn't believe they'd go out in the first round, either.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 22, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Team defense and Team tougness goes to the Rangers.

When Avery BEGS you to score for his stupidity and you CAN'T, then you deserve to lose.

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Boston will run into a "Hot Goalie" problem, should the Rangers win the series and continue to round 2. I have a feeling they won't have any difficulty "solving" Lundqvist. I really don't buy the "hot goalie" argument. I hate excuses.

Posted by: ejohnsto | April 22, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Team is showing their playoff softness again. Please get rid of Flash, Fehr, Koz, etc. and get some gritty players.

Break out the golf clubs, boys.

Posted by: FancyDan | April 22, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

The worst bit is that all those crap shots are going to lead the media to claim that Henrik was unbelievable.

Posted by: oo7 | April 22, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

What are you talking about Cheef. You continue to show you have no knowledge of the game of hockey.

The Caps defense gave up 20 shots. What did the Rangers give up? Yea that would be 38. The Caps had puck possession the whole game.

The Rangers give up shots, it just doesnt matter because Lundy stops every freaking shot.

Posted by: digster1013 | April 22, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

The Bruins are absolutely going to destroy the Rangers if they do happen to advance, you can take that to the bank.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 22, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

As much as I dont want to say it oo7, Lundy was unbelievable.

If you dont think Lundy is playing out of his mind then your just plain ignorant.

Posted by: digster1013 | April 22, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

so who blew this game? Avery tried...
OV burnt himself out AVERAGING 1:14 min per shift and played desperately on half a tank late in 3rd one man team syndrome?...our pp was predictable and bad...where is green? another optional skate tommorrow or get some work on offense? Anyone seen my nine iron?

Posted by: wendel2 | April 22, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

As good as the Caps looked on Monday, things didn't look right from the start tonight. Who would have thought this dynamic offensive team couldn't beat the Rangers in a best of 7 series? It's a shame, but I'm over the heartbreak now and resigned to the outcome. I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't think this Caps team can put 3 wins together now... Look how the Bruins and the Red Wings have brought their "A" games to the playoffs, it's a shame this Caps team wasn't ready after last years first round exit.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 22, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

If Hershey goes further in their playoff series, we can replace some of our veterans next year with some guys from Hershey.

Go ahead and let Brash go. He's getting up there in years. He gets injured every time he gets in a fight now so how much enforcement are we getting. (He was good for the team, from a PR standpoint.)

I know Fed is probably near the end of the line. How long can we keep Kozzie?

I know Morrisonn is about to be a free agent.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 22, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

"FancyDan" knows grit, huh.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | April 22, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

IMHO the criticism of McPhee in these posts is unfair. The guy has built a solid team the right way--through the draft and via smart FA acquisitions. The only questionable acquisition that comes to mind (for me) is Theo, and, in that case, I think he got the best goalie he could (without over paying for Huet) to bridge the gap to the youth movement (Varly and Neuvirth).

Again, IMHO, the Caps have a solid foundation and are building something truly great here. The worst possible thing right now would be to pull a "Redskins" and disrupt the continuity and scrap the plan that McPhee is following. Dynasties are not built overnight, but in steps. And the steps so far by McPhee look to me like they're leading to a year-in-year-out Cup contender.

Posted by: Fletch_F_Fletch | April 22, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

McPhee has a plan?

Posted by: FancyDan | April 22, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Having been a fan for 20+ years, I can say that this is a new style of losing in the playoffs for us. This time we're the more talented team with less heart that loses instead of the usually undermanned squad that runs out of gas and doesn't have a great goaltender to bail them out. Some significant changes have to be made or else we're just a carbon copy of the Senators from earlier this decade.

Posted by: gmufan2000 | April 22, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I have to say that this is frustrating and maddening beyond words. To be down 3-1 to the RANGERS! We are season ticket holders and have enjoyed the team all year. I was not expecting to make it to the Stanley Cup finals this year, for sure, but we was expecting to get somewhere into the second or third round, depending on who we played. I do not understand what they were thinking tonight. I thought they knew that the great victory in Game 3 meant absolutely NOTHING if they lost tonight. They absolutely HAD to win both games, after dropping the first two at home. They played with such intensity in game 3, for 60 MINUTES. I could not believe the first period--no intensity again. Didn't they learn their lesson last year--and in games 1 and 2 this year? They lost to the Flyers not in game 7, but in game 2 last year, when they were totally flat. In the playoffs, you have to play all out and FIGHT every game, every period, every minute, and with EVERY PLAYER on the team. They needed to fight for that first goal tonight, and they didn't get going until they were down 2-0. How many times do they have to repeat the same mistakes? Sure, they had some bad luck on hitting posts tonight, but those kinds of excuses are for losers.

The "power play" was a particular mystery tonight. Repeatedly, they were coasting and not skating, and taking their time--especially Green. How many times do they have to learn that they only do well when they have some intensity and speed on the PP?

The other thing that is very upsetting is to see some players who are not giving 100%--who have basically disappeared in the playoffs. I think the defense, by and large, has played 100%. Eskine has really stepped up, for example. And I think Ovi, Semin, and Backstrom have played well and hard. But what has happened to Fedorov, and Koslov, and Green? What has Flash contributed? Anything from Fehr? Steckle? Do these guys really feel they left absolutely everything they had out on the ice in games 1 and 2, and tonight?

What the Caps really need, that they seem to be lacking, is the gritty, clutch wingers who win the battles in the corners and in front of the net, who do the screening and the deflecting, and who get the dirty rebounds. And who DON'T MISS when a goal is there to be had. That's how you win playoff games. Ovi needs to have someone to play with on the other side who can score. He makes lots of great passes, but no one else can score. He did his part tonight, but he can't do it alone.

I hate to give up on the team, but I have to confess that, right now, I'm feeling that I'm going to have trouble getting up for the game on Friday, because I just feel like I've seen this movie before, and I really don't want to see it again.

Posted by: hockeybob | April 22, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand posters like SC1907 who only come around when we lose and essentially gloat about it and say "I told you so."

Most of the posters here will show some positive and some negative, depending on the situation. Some are generally critical, but we can see they're really Caps fans.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 22, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

The Caps have built a great-looking, regular season team.


*crickets*

Posted by: FancyDan | April 22, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Come on guys, dont give up.

There is a reason this a seven game series, anything can happen.

The odds are against them, but hey they were last year to.

We can do this. We are at home on Friday and if we can steal one at their place we are back home again.

I think we should wait until its actually over before we claim its over.

Any Caps fan who cant get up for the game Friday is not a true fan.

Posted by: digster1013 | April 22, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

this team is the hardest team to be a fan of.ive been a fan since early 80's and they always seem to find a way to let you down come playoff time.its always been that way.i am just sooo frustrated right now.cause i never give up on the caps is why there gonna give me a heart attack one day!and still i believe we still got a chance.but its that let down that pisses me off.GO CAPS!

Posted by: gratefuldid | April 22, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Bob, tell us how you really feel..j/k

Posted by: Moose33 | April 22, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of reading "we have hit a hot goalie" or any other excuse that comes up. The Caps are a good team and the Rangers average at best, but it is the GREAT teams that find a way no matter what they face. My only hope now is that the stupid Pens get eliminated before the finals.

Posted by: PWA_FCVA | April 22, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the laugh, digster!

Posted by: FancyDan | April 22, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

@hockeybob,

Where is the rest of the team? I confess I wasn't able to watch the game but, from the stats, I could see the following.

Ovi and Semin played a ridiculous amount of minutes, especially the former. Someone said that half the problem with our PP is the fact that our guys take such long shifts. Are they just getting burned out? I know Semin tends to take more penalties when tired, or that's what it seems to me.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 22, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

digster, Lundquist is playing well. But he isn't the ones keeping the Rangers in it, the Caps are. Laich said it best last year: "you want money, go to the bank; you want bread, go to the bakery; you want goals, go to the net." The Caps didn't do the things they did on Monday. They didnt go to the net until it was too late. They shot from far away, without setting up screens, and Lundquist saw most of what was thrown at him. Once again, the Caps face a 'hot goalie'? BS.

Posted by: oo7 | April 22, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

if this team loses in the 1st round again gmgm has 2 take the fall his inability 2 give this team any secondary scoring he and the rest of this team needs 2 decide do they want to win the stanley cup or the calder cup because the fowards in hershey are not nhl talents hell the ones we have on our team now flash,fehr,gordon,are 3rd line at best.plus the fact that the coaches didnt have the stones 2 put varlamov in game 1 after we all saw the way theo played down the stretch very well could cost this team who is already mentally weak.whoever said it is right why is mike green been invisible in this series.this team needs a makeover and will b drastically different next year i think federov,nylander,theodore,kozlov,morisson,all should and will be gone so how much money does that leave 2 get a second line center, and maybe a wing or 2 or hope ccc isnt a bum like the rest of them im just left shaking my head after all the progress they have made 4 it to end like this is very dissapointing.

Posted by: vjridgely | April 22, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I see what your saying oo7.

The Caps players continue to say they need to crash the net to score goals. Yet, we just arent seeing it and there not executing.

The fancy goals might work in the regular season, but you need to really work for them in the playoffs.

Posted by: digster1013 | April 22, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Sure am glad Alzner and Aucoin were down in Hershey making sure they had a good playoff run. Go Bears! At what point does Ted get mad and say "this season was a disappointment" vs. "we have a plan" and we're building? The build is over Ted. Expectations exist and getting burned in the 1st round by a Rangers team SHOULD be unacceptable and SOMEBODY's @ss should be on the line.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I miss Dino!

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | April 22, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@vjridgely

Among the guys you named who should be gone next year. We're stuck with Nylander next year (and the year after) since he has a no movement clause. We're stuck with Theodore as an expensive backup goalie. Will anyone else want him now?

Yes, I'm mad but I know rebuilding is a gradual thing. The Caps missed the playoffs two years ago. They squeaked into the playoffs last year (but got 3rd seed for winning the division). This year, they got in the playoffs. Now, how to go farther?

I hope we're not going to be like the Senators.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 22, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface1208

I hope Alzner and Aucoin learn from the (hopefully deep) playoff run with Hershey and show our boys how to win next year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 22, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

exactly, digster. Unless the Alexes are playing well, the team doesnt win. No slight on Backstrom. You can say 'we need to go to the net,' all day long, but come game time, if you keep shooting from the top half of the circles a stride from the boards, you're just blowing smoke. No net crashers, no crease demons, means no 2nd round. It looked like the finally made a commitment on Monday, but apparently it was more of a one night stand.

Posted by: oo7 | April 22, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

@PWA_FCVA

Agree with you. I want the Pens eliminated before finals also. I am jealous of that da** team. Their cast of characters remind me of my daughter's middle school rivals. (She's in HS now.) Her main rival shared a birthday (and some other characteristics) with Malkin. I swear, she even looks like Malkin. She was a superstar student and was a superstar in EVERY activity she ever tried and still found time to spread nasty rumors about my daughter to her long time friends.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 22, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Choking Dogs!!!
Bad luck too: two shots of the post or crossbar. Nevertheless - luck evens out: previous game: Rangers tie it but it went of the post and on the other end Caps score to make it 2:0.
Green is hurt - mentally or physically.

Posted by: johnbear1 | April 22, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

It was almost like Monday was a dream. Here they were again shooting from the outside at a goaltender who has proven he must be beaten from close range or with rebounds. Nobody but Laich and Ovechkin got into the crease area to cause havoc. I never liked Tortorella much, but he deserves credit for taking over an underachieving team and coaching them on how to beat the #2 seed. They'll take their 2-1 and 1-0 wins and move on to the next round...we'll wait for October and start all of this over again.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 22, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan75

u can buy them out no movement clauses dont matter

Posted by: vjridgely | April 22, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I was amazed at how long Ovechkin and Co. were out on the ice the last 5 minutes, so they probably were out of gas at that point. But we got to that point because no one else could score.

I hate to second-guess BB, but I also thought they should have pulled the goalie during the PP at the end, because it seemed obvious that they weren't going to score on the 5 on 4 power play tonight, and if they couldn't score on the PP, then they weren't going to score with just the extra man in the last minute. I know it's risky, but I would have taken that chance with 2-3 minutes left. No criticism of BB, because I think he's great, but I just thought that might have been a gutsy chance worth taking at that point.

Posted by: hockeybob | April 22, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

We got absolutely no offensive productivity (no goals, no assists) from anyone not named Alex (or Sasha, if we want to call them by their Russian nickname.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 22, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Fletch, you think Theo was the only questionable signing by McFee ? How about Nylander with a NTC ?

People think I don't know the game ? Funny.

I'll take a #8 seed Ducks team over the Caps anyday.

Carlyle could have been the Coach in DC, GM is too stupid and picked Hanlon, same GM that picked Cassidy and you people wonder why the GM is a disgrace ?

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

This team needs guys with heart and grit. Here are some examples.
Brindamour
Cole
Whitney

Kunitz
Guerin
Dupois

Shanahan
Parise
Madden

Recchi
Ryder
Chara

Drury
Callahan
Dubinsky

Who are our grit guys?


Posted by: diner99 | April 22, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

I can understand a fan being disappointed in the Caps this year, particularly if that person's expectations were too high. But here are the facts, as I see them--we were lucky to make the playoffs last year (so expectations of going deeper this year were premature), and this team is a gritty forward or two away from being a real Cup contender. And that's aside from the biggest hole this team has had all year--a number one goalie (though Varly's play seems to confirm that McPhee got everything he thought he was drafting).

Frankly, I'm glad McPhee didn't pull a Danny at the deadline and mortgage the team's future to bring in some craptastic, second-rate goalie being castoff from a non-playoff team. Or some old veteran forward who is going to shoot from the outside and not do the dirty work in front of the crease (we have plenty of guys with that skill set/game).

For gawds sake, WE WERE IN LAST PLACE 18 MONTHS AGO. People, give it some time. I know we're an instant gratification country, but you all make Dan Snyder look patient.

Posted by: Fletch_F_Fletch | April 22, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

They could not beat Flyers with Old Man Smith and 1 leg Hatcher last year, not surprising the Rangers are up 3-1

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Guerin & Kunitz are guys the Caps only dream of having, truth be told, both of them prefer playing with Crosby.

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Our grit guys are in Hershey winning the Calder Cup. That seems to be more important than something called the Stanley Cup.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Cheef- and I'm sure you know they'd prefer playing with Crosby. I mean after how much jizz of Cindy's you've swallowed you should know.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I really don't buy the "hot goalie" excuse at all. First of all, we scored 3 goals on him in game 1, and that SHOULD have been enough to win that game if we had even decent goaltending on our side. And with a total 100% playoff effort in game 3, we beat him 4 times. The low goal totals in games 2 and 4 were a result of both great saves by Lundquist, but also failure to execute the things everyone has talked about--getting in front of the net and playing with intensity. Granted, our guy made one costly mistake tonight, and Lundquist has made no mistakes in the entire series, but, with a better overall team on our side, we still should have been able to win this series with the right kind of playoff effort. Yes, Lundquist is a great goalie and has made many great saves. But that's NOT the reason we're down 3-1. Again, I hate to give up on the team, but it's going to be awfully hard to pull off three straight wins against this guy. However, with the right kind of effort in every game, we should have been able to beat him 4 out of 6.

Posted by: hockeybob | April 22, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

pokherface, keep crying, It's funny.

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

@Fletch_F_Fletch

Great post! You have the right perspective. They were lucky to make the playoffs last year and had to win like crazy.

This year, they did well in the regular season.

I don't think standing pat at the trading deadline was really the Caps problem this year. No point mortgaging the future for a 2nd rate or elderly goalie, gritty forward, or defenseman.

I will admit that I wanted to see them advance past the first round and that they should have been better than the Rangers but... there was progress.

Varlamov at least looks like the answer to our weakness at goalie.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 22, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

@vjridgely

Of course, Nyls will be easy to trade.... $5 Million a year for 2 years, playing 8 minutes a game for the first two games of the play off and healthy scratch for the next two...we should have at least.....0 teams interested.
At this point, play him and scratch Fedorov. Fedorov has no contract next year and is useless. His welcome in DC has expired. It's painful to watch him play.

Posted by: atybat | April 22, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Yeah and your timing on this board is just as funny. Let me guess, if we were up 3-1 your computer would be broke.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Progress is not ANOTHER first round exit.

Excuse du jour: Hot goalie or don't mortgage the future ??

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Great investment on Feds, just enough to pay his back taxes so he can move to Super League until he's 50. Comical

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Damn shame, can't get anything going our way. 39 shots on limited them to 20 and we rang the post so many times and so hard I'm surprised the puck didn't explode. These last two playoffs tell me alot about the makeup of the team. More of an Ottawa Senators (ala early 2000's). Built for regular season not the post. But to be honest, I don't know how much we can do. I think in the playoffs when you run into a hot goaltender he's gonna make our superstars look normal. And really the only way to get over that hurdle is to have secondary scoring. Other than Laich, not much in that piggy bank.

I said it in the last month of the season to friends. This team was NOT ready for the playoffs. Not because we were not winning at times but because of our intensity. The end of the season brings opponents that are either a. playing for a playoff spot, b. playing to get into the playoffs or c. playing to spoil a playoff team. If you can't match the opponent's intensity at that point in the season, you won't in the playoffs. But damn. This just sucks.

Posted by: blanknerc | April 22, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Can't believe we're down 3 to 1. I think we'll win game 5 but lose in 6. How disappointing....

Posted by: timb67 | April 22, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Gee- that's probably the most intelligent thing you've said your whole life Cheef. ANOTHER 1st round exit isn't progress. Of course you'll have TED say that we improved on our points and we had more wins than any other Caps team and all these great regular season accomplishments. Oh don't let me forget the best website in the NHL award. That ones impressive too. So basically it's looking at the glass 1/2 full if you look at all the regular season accomplishments. When is it ever gonna be a disappointment to NOT win the Stanley Cup. While I think Snyder is an idiot at least he judges every season by whether or not he wins a Superbowl. Granted he goes about it the completely wrong way but at least he's using the correct measuring stick.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Cheef--I was talking player acquisitions... and I'll give you the Nylander signing wasn't the best (but certainly not awful to acquire depth up the middle... though he's a guy we won't be able to unload either).

Others -- But to call for McPhee's head (and I don't know that Cheef's posts actually do that... others do though) is very premature. Particularly if one thinks, like I do, that this team and coach are just a couple of pieces away from being a perennial contender.

Posted by: Fletch_F_Fletch | April 22, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

YOU THINK SEASON IS OVER - OVIE

cmon CAPS FANS -

WE WILL WIN IN 7

Posted by: DCSPORTS | April 22, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Caps are the CUBS of NHL. Choke, choke,choke....

Posted by: 555Mass | April 22, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

What do others think about the Wash media and Caps marketing getting into the heads of the players a bit, to the point that maybe these guys start feelking like they really are in a rock band and have to perform a show?

I mean, I was shocked that Greenie had a mohawk, and OVi had red dyed hair to start game 1. I thought last year's playoffs taught them to prepare for war.

The fact that they did that, shows that there's really no veteran leadership in the locker room. Why wasn't Chris Clark in there at least to stop that 5hit?

Mohawk and red dye = war paint? False

Its like this loosey goosey attitude, 'Rock the Red' is a great marketing ploy for the regular season, but the team can't be a rock team in the playoffs.

Posted by: floms | April 22, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Instead of thinking about red dye, mohawks, where to go after the game, etc, they need to channel that energy into game preperation and focus.

My previous post talked about not having the proper veteran leadership, but I also have to put this on BB.

BB come playoff time needs to coach differently. Loosey goosey attitude, rock band style, even before game 1's puck is dropped! That's crap!! Mike Green was nearly invisible this series, and DC 101 had him on the radio doing the mohawk promotion.

What message does that send to other players in the locker room? Its ok to have fun, but the playoffs is not a joke and need to be taken more seriously.

82 FREAKEN games each player has waited for this.

The give aways and odd man rushes against starting in Game 1 was just completely inexcusable, and shows that we either didn't listen to our coach, or coach didn't get the right message through.

There is really no excuses for where we are in this series.

Its a young team that didn't take this opporutnity seriously, didn't prepare like they were about to go to war, and you see the result.

So in addition to revamping the team in the offseason, the ATTITUDE of the team needs to be revamped as well. And that starts at the top.

Posted by: floms | April 22, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

on the bright side, if there is one, if there is one series where the team down 1-3 has a chance to advance it's this series. I don't think I've ever seen a team control the puck more and dominate almost every aspect of the game and still be losing the series. It's incredible.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 22, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Fletch, I agree with you about needing that one or two gritty forwards. And I agree with you about not faulting GM for passing on bad deals at the trade deadline, especially another goalie.

I also appreciate that we are a young team, and we shouldn't expect too much too soon. But compare the Caps' playoff experience with the Pens. Yes, last year was a learning experience for the Caps, and, though it was very disappointing, I really had no complaint about the team. But this is different. They should have learned the intensity lesson last year and been in a position to go to the next level (rounds 2 or 3) this year. And that's what the Pens did last year, and here they are, with all their problems this year, about to beat the Flyers again.

So I have to say that last year was a success for the Caps. The standard for success this year was to get to the next level--to be a deep-playoff team, not a first-round team. So, if they go on to lose this series, I think you have to say that the season was unsuccessful--despite all the regular season records.

Posted by: hockeybob | April 22, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Maybe guys are not giving their best effort because they don't get paid in the playoffs?????maybe.....

Posted by: 555Mass | April 22, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure Elvis Costello was referring to trolls when he sang "I used to be disgusted; now I try to be amused."

Posted by: uncatim | April 22, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

@hockeybob

Well said....Deep playoff run or BUST!

Posted by: 555Mass | April 22, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

At the cap and unable to perform a basic GM duty will cost this organization AGAIN.

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

come on people. You need only watch tonight's game to realize that this team needs another dimension besides free skating perimeter shooters. It needs a consistant presence in front of the net. There will be available players at the Draft table through trades and some UFA's. I would go the trade route. UFA's never seem to work out. Look at our big signings in the past three years. We have assets to give up without damaging the core of this team. When are they going to realize that you cannot create a culture of loosing in the playoffs or you will loose the fan base but more importantly you will shake the confidence of the young players you have. Make the moves that are necessary to bring in a Cup. Boston did not waste time in acquiring Recchi, Montodore and Stephane Yelle. Not amazing players at this point in their careers but players that make the difference during emotional playoff games.

Posted by: diner99 | April 22, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

I am already looking ahead to free agency and what do we need DEFENSE! sadly there are no great defensive defensmen out there. the best I seee is boynton in fla and komisark (sp). I also think we need another grinder who can score... cole? Of our FA I think we should bring back Jurchina, fehr, gordon, borque, and giroux. everyone else can walk.

Posted by: caps512 | April 22, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Looking ahead to free agency ?

Funniest post of the night. Keep looking

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I think I'm more frustrated at the fact that at the tail end of the regular season the team admitted it was hard to get motivated because it wasn't the playoffs, and now that they've arrived we're down 3-1.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | April 22, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

caps512. I thought Cole would be a good signing too. He is the type of guy who would be perfect for Ovie and he is toiugh as nails. But when he went to the Oilers his play went down. Also, would he want to come to a rival team when it is plain to see he likes playing for the Canes. The Culture needs to change. When you have a captain like Brindamour or Langenbrunner you have to answer to them in the locker room. There is not half hearted periods in the playoffs.

Posted by: diner99 | April 22, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

caps512. I thought Cole would be a good signing too. He is the type of guy who would be perfect for Ovie and he is toiugh as nails. But when he went to the Oilers his play went down. Also, would he want to come to a rival team when it is plain to see he likes playing for the Canes. The Culture needs to change. When you have a captain like Brindamour or Langenbrunner you have to answer to them in the locker room. There is not half hearted periods in the playoffs.

Posted by: diner99 | April 22, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I also agree that we need a constant net presence, kind of cringe when I see Guerin scoring tip ins for the Pens, also found it ironic that NHL Network was replaying TB vs CAL in Game 7, Andrychuk was always a constant net presence.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | April 22, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Forget the "last place 18 months ago thing". The Caps went into last season with good expectations, but Coach Hanlon drove it into the ditch. BB came in, towed them out and turned them loose. the result was a great second half and a hard fought loss in the 1st round to the Flyers. This year started with high expectations. A great season punctuated by weird mood swings where the team didn't look like they wanted to play. Now in the playoffs down 3 - 1, the "bipolar" team has returned. This team has too much talent and should have gone further.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 22, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

When did our goals in Game 3 suddenly come from having someone in front of Lunq? Both of Semin's and Poti's were just great passes for one-timed snapshots. They weren't off a rebound, they weren't through a screen. Laich's goal was a result of Semin taking the puck TO the goal, but not from having someone in front per se. The Rangers did a better job covering down low to prevent these kind of passes tonight, and the guys who were open for them were the usual bunch of forwards who haven't really been scoring much of late. The Fehr's, the Flash's, etc.

We knew it was going to be a closer game than Monday night...they got 2 good bounces (1 more of a bad misplay by Varly) and we hit 2 posts clean. When you're PP goes 0 for 6 with that many chances you are leaving the game's fate to those kind of bounces. Lunq was also outstanding tonight, robbed Ovie and Semin off the top of my head.

You have to hope the bounces even out at some point but we've also dug ourselves a hole. I know Varly's mistake on the 2nd goal was costly but the kid has still stopped 75 of 78 shots he's faced. All we can do is come take Game 5 and home and send it back to NY.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 22, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are an average team at best.

An exceptional group of skilled individuals, team? not so much.

GM has no clue how to parlay what he has into a bonafied Cup contender, it's that simple.

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

One tactic we might want to try on Friday is bulldozering Lundqvist, knock him off his game a little maybe and if there was any effects of that hit he took in practice we might injure him a little or at least enough to get a goalie change. Just a thought while hanging on to a thread.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | April 22, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Look for Avery to wipe out going to the net, surprised it hasn't happened yet.

Posted by: Cheef | April 22, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Another 5-year plan for McPhee? Getting ready to surround AO with more soft players? Glad you sold all those season tickets for next year?

Posted by: FancyDan | April 22, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I know its been mentioned but it needs to be echoed, where has Green been this series? Last year vs. Philly, he was money on PP.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | April 22, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

The Blackhawks, a young team but effectively sprinkled with stanley cup winners and grit is all over calgary. In the playoffs it's all about heart. Right now the caps have had it for 60 of a possible 240.

Posted by: diner99 | April 22, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Osfan092589, and dinner99 -


I agree. The Culture Needs to Change.

Its like we're a loosey goosey bunch of kids, who don't take this seriously enough.

I'm really pissed off at where we're at.

Thinking back to all those 'Rock the Red' videos at Verizon center that help bring in new fans....its all crap.

Yes we need to add some components to our team. Hopefully that will change the culture.

Our slogan - 'Rock the Red'

Philly's slogan - 'Hungry for More' and 'Vengence Now'.

Which is more applicable to playoff hockey?

What pisses me off the most right now, is not the lack of components needed. But becaue the proper culture and attitude was not instilled in these players minds. If it was, we would have seen better performances in games 1 and 2.

Posted by: floms | April 22, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

What's Red, White, and Blue and plays golf in May?

The Washington Capitals

Posted by: hoyasaxa3 | April 22, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Back from MSG and of course I notice the trolls are back after a loss. I won't waste my time reading that garbage.

Observations from being there live.

After the Rangers came out like fire in the first 7 minutes and we held tight, I thought we would be able to pull it off. Even being down 1-0 at intermission didn't bother me. We survived their best and all they had was one deflection goal (deflected off one of our players too).

It stinks that the deciding goal was on a silly miscue by Varly.

Biggest frustration is that every game we have played, the Caps dominated play. They didn't play their best except in Game #3, but they have played better than the Rangers. And they have a 1-3 hole to show for it.

Rangers fans are just as afraid of Ovie as the Rangers. Every one around me, especially after his goal, was saying how he was a monster and they were sitting on their edges afraid of the tieing goal. When he hit the post, the reaction was amazing.

As I told everyone around me, Rangers and Caps fans (yes, there were about 10 Caps fans just in my section), we will be back at MSG on Sunday.

Celebrity interaction to note. Tim Robbins was sitting right behind me and he was in total awe of Ovie. We had a nice dialogue about him as well. Nice guy.

Yes, the Caps will win Friday Night and the game on Sunday will go into OT. I won't predict that one, but it will be interesting to watch.

That's it for me for tonight. After last year, I do not give up on this team. Let's go Caps!

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | April 22, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Where is Geen? I know people are saying that he has lost his confidence. If that is so then maybe he should be back in Hershey. He hasn't done a thing in the playoffs this year.There are guys in Hershey who would some how find their "confidence" in the NHL. All I am saying is that he needs to find his big boy pants and put those things back on.

Posted by: CapsFan21 | April 22, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

What about putting Nylander and Aucoin in for game 5?

Feds doesn't have the legs anymore. At least Nylander can skate in circles. Mabye sitting him will make him change that a little.

And Aucoin is a gritty little spark plug and make 5hit happen. I don't see any beastly Ranger players that he couldn't handle on the back check or forecheck, exept for maybe Antropov.

Aucoin could be plugged into the 3rd line. Make it Aucoin, Fehr, and Bradley.

Posted by: floms | April 22, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

We have 0 goals from anyone on the 3 and 4 line.

Our 'grit' lines do nothing but kill time and give lines 1 and 2 rest.

We need to inject some Hershey vaccine to fix this ailing gritlessness virus!!!!

Posted by: floms | April 22, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Back from MSG and of course I notice the trolls are back after a loss. I won't waste my time reading that garbage.

Observations from being there live.

After the Rangers came out like fire in the first 7 minutes and we held tight, I thought we would be able to pull it off. Even being down 1-0 at intermission didn't bother me. We survived their best and all they had was one deflection goal (deflected off one of our players too).

It stinks that the deciding goal was on a silly miscue by Varly.

Biggest frustration is that every game we have played, the Caps dominated play. They didn't play their best except in Game #3, but they have played better than the Rangers. And they have a 1-3 hole to show for it.

Rangers fans are just as afraid of Ovie as the Rangers. Every one around me, especially after his goal, was saying how he was a monster and they were sitting on their edges afraid of the tieing goal. When he hit the post, the reaction was amazing.

As I told everyone around me, Rangers and Caps fans (yes, there were about 10 Caps fans just in my section), we will be back at MSG on Sunday.

Celebrity interaction to note. Tim Robbins was sitting right behind me and he was in total awe of Ovie. We had a nice dialogue about him as well. Nice guy.

Yes, the Caps will win Friday Night and the game on Sunday will go into OT. I won't predict that one, but it will be interesting to watch.

That's it for me for tonight. After last year, I do not give up on this team. Let's go Caps!

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | April 22, 2009 11:43 PM

How long have you been watching Hockey. Your watching through rose colored glasses. You have to create a culture of winning. If you are not committed to it and build your team around immature young guys you will get those types of early exit results. If you sprinkle in wiley vets who have been down the sc road and that the youngsters have to look up to then you can build a potential winner. No one is denying that Ovie, Semin, Backstrom and Green have talent but after them what do you have? This is a team game and too many times the Caps become a one on one shinny team. If you have to go back to the locker room and answer to a Captains and veterans like Brindamour, Pronger, Langenbrunner or Yzerman or any other Hall of Famer or soon to be Hall of famer after a half hearted effort then you are less likely to do it.

Posted by: diner99 | April 22, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

The Rangers are a joke... the team is the WORST. They are luckiest team in NHL history. It's luck. That's all it is. You people are morons if you don't understand that. The Caps can't do anything more... the hockey Gods are just on the Ranger's side. We are clearly the better and more deserving team. It's such a joke. The Rangers are a horrible joke of a team.

Posted by: TheButter | April 23, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Great job, McPhail. You constructed a team to sell tickets and not win playoffs. Ted must be proud. 9 million dollars on the bench for the last two games because Theo and Nyles stink.

McPhee is the reason this team can't win when it matters.

Posted by: FancyDan | April 23, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I have been watching since before you were a twinkle in your dad's eye. Since 1974 I have been a fan. If you read this blog more than just after losses, you would know that as I post here a lot. I did not say they were going to win the SC this year, I said they are a better team than the Rangers and they have played better. They just have been missing one thing each game to keep them from winning the game.

Oops, I am sorry, I did not know I was speaking to a hockey expert. You should be in the NHL ranks.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | April 23, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Besides having a good draw in 1998, one of the main reasons for our success in the Eastern Conference was because we had a gritty presence. The late acquistions of Brian Bellows and Esa Tikkanen helped give us the edge you needed to compliment Bondra. Also, you can't forget about DH32 as the ultimate grit guy. If we had Ovie and Backstrom then instead of Bondra and Oates we would have seriously competed against the Wings. But we made it to the finals because we had the right amount of grit and veteran presence.

Posted by: diner99 | April 23, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

sinbin is making some good points: "Is Varly that good? He might be. But it's always the case in the playoffs -- let in a softie and you lose." This was the case in game #1 (except it was one soft goal after another); and this was the case tonight.

Varlamov is immensely talented and already better than Theo. However, we saw tonight, he is still too inexperienced to be of Lundquist's caliber--which is what is needed in a situation where one soft goal counts so much.

And I go back to blaming the Caps' goalie strategy that-- with Kolzig overstaying his usefuleness, Huet leaving, Theodore coming, Varly not brought here earlier, no elite goalie being courted at trade deadline etc. etc.--left us weak in this critical position.

He also makes another good point: "That has nothing to do with one team being lucky... They have to want it like they did on Monday night, not think they deserve it. Because the fact is it doesn't matter if you're out-playing a team. The only thing that matters is: are you playing well enough to win."

And this is what worried me about the Caps during the last month or so. Can they consistently adjust their game in each different situation to win? Boston and Detroit are, to me, examples of consistency and mastery. They did bring their A game to the playoffs.

With Theo it was clear what the goalie deficiencies were, but what about our offense? The mantra of "they have to crash the net and shoot dirty goals" is not enough for me. The players make the same point themselves. So why don't they do it if it is so simple? Obviously it is not a deliberate decision NOT to do the things they say they should be doing. Is it a matter of gaps in the talent pool, the system of playing, the team's mindset, the coaching philosophy, the character of the players....... etc.? Are the reasons more complicated that one solution?

Personally, I am sick of us losing to weaker teams so often. Everyone favored the Caps to win this series. I just wonder how the team can improve for next year?

Posted by: caraveli | April 23, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Hi Caps fans. This is my first post but I have been reading this board all year. Have to admit I'm disappointed in the Caps, but still hoping for a miracle. The biggest problem I see is that the "stars" on this team play too many minutes. It's ridiculous that AO plays 29 minutes, Semin and Backstrom are at 25 and 39 year old Fedorov is playing 20 minutes a game even though he has been dragging for at least 6 weeks! No other team works there forwards this hard. What are the other guys for?

Posted by: madden09 | April 23, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

CT:
Feeding the trolls?

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 23, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan, I'm not insulting your hockey sense. In 1974 I was in my hometown of Cherry Hill NJ watching the Flyers win the Stanley Cup at the Spectrum. I moved down here in 84 and watched many good games. I have long been converted to a Caps fan. In regards to today's Caps, It does not matter if the Caps are the better team on paper, they are down 3-1 for the second time in two years. The Rangers are putting together the intangibles that are winning the series. Now look into your crystal ball and tell me what you would do to turn the tide in this series?

Posted by: diner99 | April 23, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Bears Update

I didn't bother to read the gazillion comments so forgive me if someone already posted this...

Bears beat Philly tonight 3-2 to go ahead in the series 3-0. Game 4 is Friday. Neuvirth was in goal tonight. Bears goals from Perreault, Kronwall and Giroux. Philly almost tied the game in the final minutes but the goal was disallowed because of a holding call.
Kronwall injured...on the one Philly goal the Phantoms player raised his stick to celebrate and hit Kronwall in the eye. No penalty called. Kronwall was taken to Hershey Medical Center. No update was available yet as we were leaving the arena.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 23, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Boo, I was trying to capture the live experience and I get hit.

I should know better.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | April 23, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Eric Nystrom just scored. The apple does not fall far from the tree.

Posted by: diner99 | April 23, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

madden09:
Welcome! You picked an interesting time to join the festivities! ;-) I'm too depressed to pick their game apart ... I'm just hoping for a miracle. I will be there on Friday yelling myself hoarse and doin' my part to cheer the boys on the victory. Come on Caps ... you can do it (you've certainly conquered worse).

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 23, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

One thing it is too late for is to wish that Varly was in goal for Game 1. If that had been the case this series would be 2-2 with Lunq stealing both Ranger wins. You can't blame the D or Varly at all in this series. Even with Theo's Game 1 we've given up 7 goals in 4 games. If I had told you that before the series that we would give up as many goals in the first 4 games as we did in just the final game of the regular season you would take it, hands down.

You can't ask for Ovie to step it up any more than he already has. I know he only has 1 goal but he has 5 points in 4 games and has been a force all over the ice. Diner99 is right in that the secondary guys we have in the lineup right now are not pulling their weight. Guys like Kozlov/Fehr/Flash etc have done nothing from Game 2 on.

Another thing that is becoming clear is that we are weak down the middle. Circles has been worthless, Feds has looked slow, and Steckel/Gordon are 4th liners at best. Laich can play the pivot but he's been our 3rd best winger for the last 2 months. I'm not writing off some of these other guys stepping up, but we're going to need something from them to have even a glimmer of hope.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 23, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Silly CT ... when will you ever learn?

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 23, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

I haven't heard any post game comments or anything but I HATE using the excuse that the breaks didn't go our way, I know we had two shots off the post and they had a deflection off our defender, but I just absolutely hate the excuse of losing by dumb luck.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | April 23, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

What the Caps need to do is to stop being cute with the puck and go full throttle the whole game. As soon as they turned up the heat, especially the 3rd Period, the Rangers were on their heels. We need to do that right from the beginning and get on top. We took their best shots early tonight and survived pretty well.

I am not bringing anything new to the table as to what works, but what I am saying is that the Caps are capable of doing it. They did it down 3-1 last year to the Flyers and they showed it on Monday. Let's see what they do knowing they have no tomorrows left.

I think they will do it on Friday to get to Sunday. Notice I did not say anything about after that.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | April 23, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

The point Osfan...is that yeah, we were unlucky tonight. Going 0 for 6 on the PP though with the chances we had trumps that argument though, in that we had opportunities to not have to roll the dice with who got the lucky bounces or posts. Also while I'd call both Ranger goals fluky the eventual game winner was a misplay by Varlamov. I'm sure it's a tough one for him to deal with, but I can't jump on the kids back too much, 3 GA and stopping 75 of 78 shots in 3 games it's just unfortunate to be 1-2 with those kind of stats over 3 games.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 23, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Hasn't the reality of playing "too cute" sunk in to their heads already? I read OV saying "We were playing too cute". I mean if it doesn't work then don't do it.

Posted by: CapsFan21 | April 23, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

What the Caps need to do is to stop being cute with the puck and go full throttle the whole game. As soon as they turned up the heat, especially the 3rd Period, the Rangers were on their heels. We need to do that right from the beginning and get on top. We took their best shots early tonight and survived pretty well.

I am not bringing anything new to the table as to what works, but what I am saying is that the Caps are capable of doing it. They did it down 3-1 last year to the Flyers and they showed it on Monday. Let's see what they do knowing they have no tomorrows left.

I think they will do it on Friday to get to Sunday. Notice I did not say anything about after that.

Ok CTCapsPhan that is an astute observation. What I have a problem with is why does it take them to get their backs to the wall in order for them to perform? Doesn't that tell you something about the make-up of the team and how they have a lack of motivation. They are not that talented that they can treat situations like that. I am not a Pens fan but they are equally talented and it seems as they are pouring everything into their game. The difference to me is that the Pens have the right "other players" to go along with Malkin and Crosby. Guerin, Kunitz Duspois and Sykora are a better supporting cast than what we have. They also have a #1 draft pick goal that has come into his own. My only point is the Caps management need to address the holes that exist in this team come playoff time. Mcphee went out and brought in Bellows and Tikkanen when we entered the 98 playoffs and it took us pretty far.


Posted by: diner99 | April 23, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

We have a #1 goalie as well. He is just 3 years later in the draft.

Your point about having their backs to the wall is a matter of maturity. These are still very young guys. I would have hoped Feds would have been a better influence in this area.

I think part of the supporting cast we need is hurt and that is Clark. He is the same type of player that Guerin and Kunitz is. Having him and Laich playing the same roles would be a big difference.

I do think they will address things in the off season. This year they could not do much because of the cap, but they lose some of that in the off season.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | April 23, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

For the faithful fans out there, we can't give up on them now. All season long and into last season this team thrived on being counted out, so come Friday we need to act like we're winning this series and not go into VC sitting on our hands. I'm not a big fan of this but, UNLEASH THE FURY!

Posted by: Osfan092589 | April 23, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

I agree with your maturity assessment. We shall see if the right players are added to give the talent a chance to reach the next level. Nonetheless, I know Washington DC follows winners only unless you are the Redskins. You get a permanent pass if you are the burgundy and gold. It won't take long for this area to loose their focus on the team just like the team looses it's focus in huge playoff games.

Posted by: diner99 | April 23, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

We out shot Rangers by 50 through 4 games

Outscored them 8-7 through 4 games.


Go to any Rangers board and see what their own fans are saying about their own team. Everyone is comparing us to Quebec Nordiques of 1992 who had a team of Sundin, Sakic, Nolan, Foote, Ricci. All were 23 and under. Dominated regular season but ended up losing to MONTREAL and to a goalie named PATRICK ROY! Sounds familiar. Well wouldn't you know Quebec/Colorado would go on and win 2 CUPS.


Posted by: lightshow | April 23, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

WHERE IS MIKE GREEN?

Posted by: lightshow | April 23, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

@lightshow

Maybe there's hope for us in the long term if they're comparing us to the Nordiques who went on to win to win 2 Cups.

Then again, a lot of people are comparing us to the Senators who've screwed up.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 23, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Hi guys, Ranger fan here.
I do have to say, besides admiring your regular season performance, that this Post season team truly is showing coaching and players flaws.
I do not blame Varlamov at all, and neither should anyone. He's been outstanding so far, besides the gaffe in the game today. Like mentioned numerous times here, BB managing ice time from your top 3 is the first big problem, which is directly related to the teams second big problem, which is backchecking and laziness. How many times do you see Rangers breaking out of their own zone, while your top line is on, and OV along with Semin or Backstrom are coasting back to their own zone? What needs to be addressed is is whether it's due to the amount of ice time the top line is getting, or the players just being lazy. It was the direct result in Game Two's Callahan goal, which turns out to be the only goal in the game.
In tonight's performance, unlike game 3, the powerplay slots were addressed (or possibly just used) wrong, and once again the Caps were held to the perimeter and had no traffic in front of Lundqvist. While game three's goal weren't a direct result of that, it's just a typical known fact; The more traffic, the more chances on something "fluke-ish" happening.
I do want to say that I wouldn't completely blame BB for overplaying the top line, especially on the PP. Your number two ranked powerplay gases out the Rangers plenty of times, and the type of team you have is more than capable of carrying the play WELL over the actually time that the powerplay expires. Obviously it's just a thought, but could always work either way.
Here's to an enjoyable game on Friday.

Posted by: ScottBlack | April 23, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

agree w/ sinbin "Because the fact is it doesn't matter if you're out-playing a team. The only thing that matters is: are you playing well enough to win."

people were disagreeing w/ me that they need to be in close to score. they were figuring since some lasers came in from the perimeter during the season or since there is a lot of natural talent on the team, they could score from wherever. however, they forgot two things. first, the team was low on secondary scoring (minus laich). second, playoff hockey is different from the regular season.

Posted by: am_jim | April 23, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse

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