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Posted at 3:29 PM ET, 12/16/2010

Capitals acclimating to HBO presence

By Katie Carrera

Even though Capitals have gone through more than 10 days with the constant presence of HBO cameras and boom microphones documenting their every move and comment, the reviews are mixed as to how accustomed they are to having them there.

For some players, the cameras have faded into the background as they continue business as usual, and others still can't quite ignore that (almost) everything they do is being recorded. After seeing the first show, though, Mike Knuble said he's less concerned about every moment being included in "24/7," because HBO estimates it will record more than 500 hours of footage that must be condensed into four 60-minute shows.

"When they were in the first couple meetings, Bruce is talking strategy and what we're trying to do and what they're going to do -- you just felt exposed," he said. "You felt kind of naked. You're in there, and you go: 'Oh my god, they're seeing all that.' Now I think we're all kind of used to it.

"And seeing the show, they're using a little bit of ours, a little bit of [the Penguins], but they aren't showing everything, not all the Xs and Os. They film so many hours and only use certain snippets....The show's not running 24-7."

For example, Knuble added, the cameras followed him home and observed the veteran right wing with his family and was told that some of it will likely make the second episode. They were there for several hours, but he doesn't expect too much to make it to air.

Some other players said they miss the privacy provided by the locker room before the cameras got to Kettler Capitals Iceplex, even though they admit it's getting easier to ignore the lens nearby with each day and game that passes.

"Personally, I don't really like having cameras around all the time," Eric Fehr said. "You always have to be looking out for them where they are and what they're doing. We're slowly getting more used to it, and by the end we won't notice them and we'll be winning and everything will be great....But every time you think you got away from them, they seem to be around the corner taping something. So you've got to be careful."

It's hard to know exactly how the Capitals would feel about the show if it didn't coincide with their worst losing streak under Coach Bruce Boudreau, but regardless of the specifics, this is something they'll be able to look back on -- not just this year, but later on in their careers and lives.

"It's definitely hard to forget that they're there, and it's a little bit of an annoyance right now," Tom Poti said. "But I think in the long run, it will be pretty cool to watch it 10 years from now and to reflect on some of what's going on right now."

By Katie Carrera  | December 16, 2010; 3:29 PM ET
Categories:  HBO 24/7  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Bruce Boudreau's mom not happy with his cursing on HBO's '24/7'
Next: George McPhee's take on the first episode of HBO's '24/7'

Comments

Maybe we should get Coach Jules Winnfield in for a little motivational speech between periods:

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."

Posted by: jeets | December 16, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

What's up with all the posts today. Can't keep up.
Go CAPS! Please win a game soon...and Geno...please bring back live chat.

Posted by: instinct227 | December 16, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"It's definitely hard to forget that they're there, and it's a little bit of an annoyance right now," Tom Poti said. "But I think in the long run, it will be pretty cool to watch it 10 years from now and to reflect on some of what's going on right now."


That's true Tom. You can look back at your last yr in the NHL with great fondness.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

@ Cstanton1

Based on the way he played last night I have no idea how he has lasted this long. I want double nickles back NOW

Posted by: bqts | December 16, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

We need some Flash

Posted by: sgm3 | December 16, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.
--------------

more like, I will strike down upon thee with some hesitation and timid indignation. If this doesn't work, I will plead with thee to voluntarily lay down.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Check out my Caps blog!

Capitals News

Thanks for the support!

Posted by: Sports4eva | December 16, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

You poor souls could use a Max Pacioretty or two, but such a player is eschewed by your insecure GM. We all know McPhee has an inferiority complex. Ovechkin is just his surrogate son he wants to spoil.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | December 16, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we should get Coach Jules Winnfield in for a little motivational speech between periods:

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."

Posted by: jeets | December 16, 2010 3:44 PM

Amen, brother!! Great character. Great actor. Great movie!!

I loved that skit he did with Chris Chelios. If I remember correctly it was for the ESPYs.

Posted by: dcox50 | December 16, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I want double nickles back NOW

Posted by: bqts


I...cannot..sign off on that request. You're gonna have to go over my head on that one.

We either get a coach in here who demands that 55 play with more intensity on the ice, or you trade him for a dman whose style is more suited for playoff hockey. When the playoffs hit, 55 doesn't adjust his sense of urgency. He's still playing at a reg season pace.

And if this team is going to do a rebuild of sorts, 55 and 28 are two prime trade candidates to change the personality of this team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

ftr, i would take Sarge over Poti.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

on another note, did you know the Caps had 95 fights in the 1989 season? Man that was a fun yr to watch hockey in the nation's capital.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

There have recently been a few articles ranking Niklad Lidstrom's game compared to the all-time great defesenemen. Many people have Lidstrom at #2 all-time behind Orr. I love the description of Nicklas Lidstrom's game:

"Flashy play has not been his trademark, but no one has ever been more technically sound, efficient in his ability to cut down attackers with uncanny positioning, intelligent in his breakout passing and power play quarterbacking, and precise with his shot."

Luckily he never played for the Caps or he would have been chastised by many posters on here for not having the qualities they consider to be necessary to be a quality defenseman.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 16, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I mean, I highly doubt that. The Caps also don't have a single defenseman who currently is anywhere close to the caliber of Lidstrom.

Posted by: c_majors | December 16, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

dcox50

Espys is correct

Posted by: jeets | December 16, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Obviously one of us has to look at a written description of his game in order to quantify him in any meaningful way.

Maybe one of us should have watched some game tape of Lidstrom over the years. Right after one of us watched tape of DJKing and proclaimed him to be a solid skating enforcer type.

btw, how did one of us forget that Hendricks had been in TWO fights in a game just 2 games ago?

oh right, its not one of us's specialties.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I mean, I highly doubt that. The Caps also don't have a single defenseman who currently is anywhere close to the caliber of Lidstrom.

Posted by: c_majors |

oh what you didn't pick up on is that certain Cap fans equate non-physical defensemen with automatically being Lidstrom. Conveniently forgetting all the other nuances of Lidstrom's game. Or the fact that he's actually underrated in his willingness to use his body or protect his goalie. I guess that stuff doesn't show up easily on written bios.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton Team personality is one reason I'm starting to have serious doubts about McPhee. Trading for Hannan wasn't a bad move, but by most accounts he's a laid back, fun guy...which is not really what this team needs more of.

Posted by: c_majors | December 16, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Concerning “24/7,” I didn’t see it and don’t have HBO so I doubt I ever will. I am happy for the exposure it provides our team, yet I wish it could’ve come at a different time. From what I’ve read of the comments in these threads, it sounds like many are seeing BB in a true, unfiltered way and causing them to view him in a different light. Perhaps some of the things myself and others have been critical of him about, makes some semblance of sense now.

As a hockey “lifer,” as I’ve seen BB promote himself to be, I’m amazed at how quickly he seems to have lost any sense of humility. Compounding matters, his self-serving ways apparently have devoured any compassion and decency that I’m sure he once possessed. Did he sell his soul to get to the NHL? Is anyone really proud of his mistreatment of:

Kolzig: came up through the system, took us to the finals, was the bedrock of the rebuilding, it was obvious he wasn’t coming back….he deserved a game against Philly, end of story.

Nylander: a productive player throughout his career, including his first stint with us; I still don’t know what happened to cause the team to essentially blackball him from the league (we couldn’t eat a little salary and move him?), but I do know BB never gave him a chance and now the man’s career is over

Theodore: the indignation of his first playoffs, overcoming serious personal matters, his stellar win streak and overall regular season play, BB’s reneging on his promise to extend the leash come playoffs….he deserved game #5 against Montreal

Erskine: played his way into a legitimate top-6 dman, doctor-shopped to get clearance to finish the season, was best dman on team in playoffs while playing w/broken foot, gave as he always did until Corvo/Carlson came on board, suddenly became too slow and plodding (never saw it), and then the cycle began again this year

DJK: wtf? Unless he’s got some serious physical/emotional/psychological problems that aren’t welcome in the dressing room, it’s just illogical how BB is(n’t) utilizing him; deserved a jersey the day after showing some heart and courage sticking up for our captain, but coach said no and proceeded to say ice-time would be based on merit?? He’s nothing but chopped liver to throw to other team’s wolves

As a lifer, BB should’ve shown them all a little respect. He’s shown time and again that he’s not behind all of his players, only the chosen ones he deems to be his meal-ticket and get him more exposure. The favoritism and caste system he employs has been on display for all to see, and I hope it surfaces on “24/7.” (I doubt it will, and rightfully so.)

As a lifer, BB should recognize how wrong it all has been. Maybe if for once he DID THE RIGHT THING on a more personal level, the Hockey Gods would shine a little light our way. Instead, nothing but clouds for all the times BB sold-out players and treated them like trash.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 16, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Maybe when we watch next week's HBO episode we can find out what's wrong with Semin.

BTW, I was watching Ducks feed yesterday and they talked about Green coming back from injury and said he's had "a wonky shoulder for several years now" (courtesy of Pronger). Then we watch the HBO and we find out it's the knee.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 16, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

methinks the luster has worn off. Back to the minors BB!


and boy is this ever the truth.

Erskine: played his way into a legitimate top-6 dman, doctor-shopped to get clearance to finish the season, was best dman on team in playoffs while playing w/broken foot, gave as he always did until Corvo/Carlson came on board, suddenly became too slow and plodding (never saw it), and then the cycle began again this year

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

btw, how did one of us forget that Hendricks had been in TWO fights in a game just 2 games ago?

oh right, its not one of us's specialties.

Posted by: cstanton1

Yes, I was out of the country enjoying a vacation and did not watch or follow hockey for about a week. So if that qualifies as me not being a "specialist" in whatever heck you are talking about, then fine by me.

Maybe to you that would not be having my priorities straight, but to me, my priorities are aligned perfectly. With watching sports way down the list of importance. I enjoy it when I'm home, but my sports watching and internet talking revolves around my schedule. I do not revolve my schedule around watching or talking sports.

Also, you stated you hate the style of play that describes Lidstrom. So if you would like to have a defenseman like Lidstrom on the Caps, then you are changing your tune and are now saying that you do not dislike the Caps style but just their effectiveness in playing that style. If they had 6 Lidstrom's I'm assuming you would be happy.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 16, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Green did hurt (or re-hurt) his shoulder in the 1st pd of game 1 in the Ranger series 2 yrs ago. He slammed into a forward and then immediately winced. It looked to this doctor like a grade 2 subluxation!

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I was out of the country enjoying a vacation and did not watch or follow hockey for about a week
--------------------

I don't think you can afford to take vacations. You need to watch as much hockey as you can get your eyes on. Seriously. Next time, clear this with me please.


"With watching sports way down the list of importance. I enjoy it when I'm home, but my sports watching and internet talking revolves around my schedule. I do not revolve my schedule around watching or talking sports."

This is unacceptable.

"Also, you stated you hate the style of play that describes Lidstrom. So if you would like to have a defenseman like Lidstrom on the Caps, then you are changing your tune and are now saying that you do not dislike the Caps style but just their effectiveness in playing that style. If they had 6 Lidstrom's I'm assuming you would be happy"

You obviously don't, and will never, understand balance. Please refer to my comment about vacations. You need to study this sport more than you do. At least if you're going to pass yourself off as a knowledgable hockey fan.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

BB had them play a road game last night and still lost, he's close to being finished.

Too bad people can't or won't accept the reason why the Caps are doomed....

McPhee is the Worst GM in the NHL.

Posted by: Cheef | December 16, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

My reactions from the show in no particular order.

1. OV's "maybe he has sensitive skin" crack about Semin's ejection was the funniest thing I had heard in awhile.

2. Close second was the crack about Cooke's kid playing dirty like his dad.

3. Pascal Dupuis's kid's "Daddy" jersey was really cute.

4. Something's wrong LT with Green's knee. I wouldn't be suprised if he's playing through pain a lot and evenually his ACL gives out on him and he's out for the year.

5. BB says a word that begins with F, a lot. Really a lot. I use it a fair bit myself, but he doesn't go more than three words without using it, and that's on the long side. Usaully its every other word. But, only three times did he use the word twice in a row.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 16, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: He said he was "out of the country on vacation."

In Canada, catching MJ games?

In Sweden, watching the SEL?

KHL in St. Petersburg?

I let my passport expire so no chance for me to be "out of the country."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 16, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

@hardwick
@wil111

Yea, the playoffs are all that matters. But, when one makes that statement you assume that the boys will play "NHL level hockey" during the regular season.

Most of this season has been embarassing. We stunk talent- wise in the 70's and after the "McPhee firesale" so unwatchable games were understandable.
This is a mess.

We have 4 guys on this team with "Hall of Fame level talent": Ovi, Backi, Green, and Carlson. As salary paying fans we should not have to watch NHLers, half @ssing it.

So, we're loaded with talent. SI picked us to win the cUp. We have media attention that many of us are blown away by. And you know what? We stink. We can't beat the two teams from our old division that always concentrate on SKILL AND GRIT. We have no grit.

Why this is the most frustrating time for me is that I thought that with Ovi, Green, Backi, Varly, that we would eventually get by the Pens and Flyers and win a cUp one of these years. It will not happen until Ted really gets an "NHL level GM" who can bring in a coach and players who understand what it takes to win a cUp.

We have guys that just "mail it in". The Flyers and Pens don't permit those type of personalities in their locker room because they're all about the cUp. (Please don't tell me the Flyers don't win cUps, because they're constantly in the finals and they lost to #99 one year.)

The Pens have a backbone of steel. They will be in the finals. We need a real NHL coach, and some major personel changes that GMGM doesn't have the foresight to pull off.

Yes, watching the Pens reload, watching a Peter Laviolette go to Philly, watching Stevey Y. go to Tampa has made these the most frustrating days as a Caps fan.(Both of those guys belong here.) Why do I just know, in my gut, that both of these guys will win a cUp AGAIN before we get there.

I think it's because they're winners. We've never really had winners here. The only true winner we really had on our roster we let go as a kid. Because Abe thought that was "too much money to pay a guy who doesn't score goals" (Poile quote)
Let's hope Ovi turns into a winner, and tells the owner "we are going the wrong direction"

We're the Cubs !!

Please Ted, change that. We love hockey.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 16, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton,...I thought you liked the new Green, more hitting, better defense & less offense?

Posted by: boomer44

absolutely. Never said otherwise. Thru no fault of the Caps coach or GM, Green has rededicated himself to being better in his own end. Warms my heart. Now all he needs is a coach and GM who appreciates that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

well at least he timed his out of the country vacation with the Caps' losing streak.

i buy it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

You need to study this sport more than you do. At least if you're going to pass yourself off as a knowledgable hockey fan.

Posted by: cstanton1 |

If my goal is to come off as a knowledgeable hockey fan then I will make sure to do the opposite of whatever you recommend.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 16, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

@vermont

What a post. !!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 16, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

i have to admit i didn't see that one coming.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

sgm: Is that any way to talk to your father?

Capscoach: Your little feller is acting up!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 16, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

its our fault. He hasn't been weaned off the T yet.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

also, she spoils him. Lets him stay up too late. Then he gets all wired and tired. Has a tantrum and stages a mock fight between his Sarge and Semin dolls. Looks like when Laverne and Shirley used to square off. Bedwetting is a whole other battle.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Now sgm3....you need to respect your father.


now dearest cstanton:

you must let the kids fly away eventually and develope their own identities, even if they go in a different direction than u. We can respect different philosophies and ideals.

Now sgm3...don't make me spank you

Darling cstanton...behave or I WON'T spank you!

Posted by: capscoach | December 16, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

and this is why i carry 2-ply kleenex with me everywhere I go.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

@Cstanton

You probably pointed to the two guys that we could get a great return on in a trade that would change the personality of this team.

I like to watch Semin and Schultz play, but I just don't think they can win a cup.
We could be pulling the "Larry Murphy thing" with Schultz, but when I look at the type of D-men that make it to the finals, I don't think of Schultz.

Semin is too fragile to make it through 16 wins.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 16, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I like to watch Semin and Schultz play, but I just don't think they can win a cup.
------------------------------------------

i think they can both win a Cup. Just not with this team in the current situation it finds itself in.

Any player on any team can be part of a Cup team. Well, maybe not Poti. But 99% of the NHL can be part of a Cup team. The point is, we need to dramatically improve our core. We have a lot of the core talent, but in order to get better character/compete level/grit on our top lines and top 4 D, you can use guys like Semin and Schultz as trade bait.

I wouldn't use them to get players to fill out our bottom 2 lines. Unless we do some package deal. I'd use Semin/Sarge to get some combo of top 4 D and/or top 6 forwards who combine grit and skill.

Its a lot easier to fill in the remaining holes and tweak your lineup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 16, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

capscoach: Have you mailed out Xmas cards yet with the family portrait?

Somehow I envision sgm looking like Sweet Pea from the old Popeye comics.

And I'm sure you keep the frying pan close at hand for when "hubby" acts up.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 16, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Semin for Phaneuf?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 16, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:

FYI,

I know that you are in posession of many facts as well as the intelligence to make a thoughtful analysis and form supportable opinions. I respect those opinions, even if/when I can't agree with them. But cruelty is not toughness, and snark is not knowledge.

I respectfully ask that you consider the following Scenarios:

1) Let's assume that somehow, the Caps magically (that is, ignoring current real-life contract commitiments) built a roster & staff made solely of players, coaches, and a General Manager of whom you personally approve. But what if somehow it doesn't work out as you predict? What if there is still limited or no playoff success?
BB is gone, GMGM is gone, the players you said were unworthy are gone...and still no Cup. What Then? Whom do you fire?? Whom do you trade/send back to the minors???

2) Alternatively, let's say that some other adjustments are made (adjustments which might or might not include the departure of GMGM and/or BB, or drastic roster changes). Let's further imagine that the Capitals turn things around and actually win the Stanley Cup (I know, I know...but just suspend disbelief for a moment and and think about what your reaction would be if what I hope and pray for above all else (a Cup) should come to pass...

Would you bask in the joy like most of us or would you vent bile over some fault (real or imagined) that--in your opinion--'tainted' the victory?


For my part, If an All-Cstanton1 Caps organization were assembled, I would miss the departed players & staff, but I would still root for the team and celebrate any Caps victory all the same, and if we won the Cup as a result I would admit right here that I was wrong about everything. OTOH, if it didnt work out, I would mope for a couple of weeks about yet another playoff disappointment, but look forward to the next season with hope and anticipation. No Schadenfreude, I promise.


If we won the Cup in Scenario 2, I would be happy beyond words--too happy to let any buzzkill ruin the moment. OTOH, If we collapse again in Scenario 2...well, that would suck, and I would mope and rant for a few weeks, then get over it and look forward to the next season.


Please consider these Scenarios and please provide something other than your stock responses.

I want you to really think about the questions I asked, consider both Scenarios as though they could actually happen, and answer intelligently, the way I know you can.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 16, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Man...the pens have 4 days off between games! That is so not fair!

Posted by: capscoach | December 16, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

For my part, If an All-Cstanton1 Caps organization were assembled, I would miss the departed players & staff, but I would still root for the team and celebrate any Caps victory all the same, and if we won the Cup as a result I would admit right here that I was wrong about everything. OTOH, if it didnt work out, I would mope for a couple of weeks about yet another playoff disappointment, but look forward to the next season with hope and anticipation. No Schadenfreude, I promise.

-Rhino

Thank you for assembling that post so much better than I ever could (I have no patience on this site) this is exactly how I feel!

Posted by: capscoach | December 16, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino
@capscoach
@Cstanton

Have you ever sat back, taken your Caps hat off after our guys start golfing, and watched the playoffs the past 25 years.

Rhino, I don't think so. Your just alot of talk. You sound like you teach at Georgetown. There are definate trends that are super obvious to any one who watches beyond our early exits that cUp winners possess.

The Flyers have been in the Finals SIX times since they won their two cUps. Maybe they know how to get near that cUp. Eventually they'll get in the door. The Pens. That's obvious. They are constantly attempting to build a cUp winner the RIGHT way. These folks are right in our faces. How can we not copy them. It's like Dan Schneider failing to copy the Pat's model. Maddness !

These wimpy guys who came out in Game 5 AT HOME, SURPRISED that the Habs were putting up a fight will NEVER win the cUp. The Habs boys are from a town that would not permit them to go quietly. Just like the Flyers and Pens fans demand a team's maximum effort. We actually listen and believe Ted's take for why our lazy team lost to Hal Gill and the Smurfs.

Boy, it didn't take long for Mike Richards and Mr. Longcurls to deflate Halak. That was depressing to watch for the FEW Caps fans who watched beyond our always early exit. The Flyers cooked Halak for dinner that's why he's in St. Louis.

So, if Cstanton is suggesting personal changes on a team that refuses to play like Pens and Flyers in order to make our team play more like the Pens and Flyers in the playoffs, He's smart. You're the one that is crazy.

Flyers: cUp finals 76, 80, 85, 87, 97, 2009 (Think about that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I won't go into the Pens. It is too depressing

Go ahead, attack me now for being a serious hockey who studies the game and plays it. (Good Luck with your next lesson plan at G-town !)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 16, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

here's why i think this losing streak is a good thing right now...

1) timing, at least it's not in the playoffs

2) it's going to finally force us to address problems we've had since last year. (you can fill in whatever problems you think they are)

3) Our hype is finally going way. I always felt that we believed our own hype that we were this cup worthy team because of our "amazing offense" when we did have a few glaring problems (again fill in you own problems here). I felt like as a team we won because we were this offensive juggernaut not because we could play well at both ends of the rink.

now the expectations are really off of them. the focus is now on the pens and the flyers in the east with montreal or boston not far behind. We've become the underdog and you have to fight and work hard when you're the underdog.

we now have the time to fix the problems, hopefully. some hard decisions need to be made. some adjustments need to be made and i truly believe they will be made.

Posted by: natresgroup | December 16, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Rhino: The problem most people have in life is they look at things in absolutes.

Some come on here and declare, "The Caps will win as assembled!"

Others say, "No chance w/o major changes!"

I don't deal with absolutes, hardly ever (we will all die one day and the sun WILL come up tomorrow). Everything other than those two is a percentage that it will or won't happen.

The funny thing is when I pinned people down before the season, even the ardent "Kool-Aiders" when confronted with logic admitted the Caps even if best in the league had maybe a 10-15% chance to win Cup. And even the Darkest of Dark Siders had to admit at worst Caps had a 1 in 30 (3%) chance. There are three factors in the equation - talent, drive and luck. You can't deny the Caps have the talent; they don't seem to put in the requisite hard work; and you can never say in advance about luck.

I put the Caps = with Pens, Flyers, Bruins, Sharks, Canucks, Wings & Hawks at about 10% each I think it was, and that was with the presumption the Caps upgraded the D (they have, some) and got a real #2C.

I also put if the Caps made some super deals it would still be impossible (due to the skill of other teams and the wonkiness of luck) to make them more than 15-18% chance.

So if I may answer you the caps can win as is with a 5-10% shot based on talent and luck (the 98 team got to Finals mostly hard work and lots o' luck). The Caps could also make the greatest trades on Earth to get a 20% shot and lose due to luck.

But, that doesn't mean you don't do everything you can to improve your odds just on the chance that Lady Luck also happens to smile your way. McPhee actually made some top notch moves at the deadline in 98 (Tikkanen, Bellows, Jeff Brown) that played key roles in our success that year. We already have a Jeff Brown (Green) and supposedly Knuble should be your Bellows. But God in Heaven knows we could use some Tik. And also one of our goalies would have to match Olie's performance vs Sabres. And, if you remember that series, Hunter and Berube were crashing checks all game long. Somebody would have to do that too. Who?

As I have putting since last March 1st, we have too many snipers and not enough tanks and artillery. Also as I have been putting since that time, before the quick exit orchestrated by jacques Martin, we don't have a checking line. Also as I have been putting we don't have near enough toughness, especially on D. Too many stick-checkers as cstanton put it and not enough bangers.

Sure, the Caps CAN win the Cup with the team they have, but they have to get all the luck in the world. If instead we traded some more skill for some pestiness and grit, we'd add the hard work maybe to the equation and we'd still need some luck but not near as much.

Remember, no absolutes, all percentages.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 16, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Here, I will give another example everyone can understand. Let's say you want to win the barbecue contest on July 4th. First off you would seek to buy the best steak. Can a lesser steak win? Sure, but all other things equal - best steak going in comes out on top. So you go to a butcher who raised cows organically and buy the best steak. Now, you could use second rate ingredients, get a second rate cook and/or use a fry pan rather than grill. But you know better, don't you? Once you have the best steak, and you know it, it's time to move in for the kill with ingredients, cook, etc.

The Caps have as good a quality of steak as any team. But the cook (McPhee) isn't looking too good. And the ingredients (role players) don't either. Nor does the grill (BB).

The best steak contest you are way ahead and then you use a fry pan and you very likely lose!

Right now the team that seems to have the best of everything is the Pens. The Caps "steak" looks really great sitting in the unwrapped butcher paper but then you cook it and it smells funny and somehow got all tough and dry and it can't stop saying F.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 16, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Just finished watching the 24/7 episode 1.

1) I'm surprised how harsh/verbally abusive the coaches are with the players when losing. And it's not just the profanity. I know they are professional athletes but I'm not so certain I would take well to that at, let's say, Knuble's age of 37. I guess that is why he plays professional hockey and makes 2+ million a year and I work in an office 10 hours a day for a mere fraction of that and take a different kind of crap from some of my clients. Not disagreeing with what the coaches say, it is just not what I thought happened between periods!

2)About this whole losing streak/inconsistent play/Ovie not scoring 2 goals a game issue. We all complained about the "run and gun" one dimensional play of the Capitals and our early exit from the playoffs. All of us clamored for change and how we will never win the Cup with that style. Well, I guess we got what we asked for. It is a very bitter pill to swallow and it has been painful to sit through these last 7+ games. But, if you want change, it's not going to happen overnight and we can't have it both ways. All of us can complain and demand firings of coaches, GM's, Zamboni drivers, etc. but in the end, win or lose, at least something different is being tried. I am in no position to judge the process or outcome but after all of this gut wrenching misery I've witnessed and as miserable as I feel about the process I have faith that in the end we will be better off. Otherwise, I might as well throw away the rest of my season tickets, give up on hockey and take all the time I spend on CI, Japer's, games, etc. and work 10 more hours a week at my job. Call me a Kool aid drinker but I follow the team and go to the games to get away from some of the unavoidable unpleasant crap in my life and to have fun. It is an escape and a passion and it gets tiring dissecting and criticizing every aspect of the team.

There is my rant. I'll go back to pouting now.

Posted by: AADCDERM | December 16, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1:

Well said, as always: I look to you to be the rational center in these arguments, and you don't disappoint. I am pleased that you came here today, padrino, to help make the peace between the Five Families...

FTR, I may come off as a KoolAid® drinker (and maybe I am one), but I particularly agree with you about absolutism in this forum: As I said in an earlier post, few things p*** me off more than someone making absolutist statements like "will never win the cup"...

...and I demand that anyone with such infallible foreknowledge provide me with next week's winning PowerBall numbers...at once! XD

@capscoach:

Thank you for the Kudos, and for understanding where I'm coming from.

@Hunterforcoach:

No, I don't teach at Georgetown--or anywhere else, for that matter--but I'll take that as a complement. I, however, do read a lot, and I apologize if I get "lecture-y" from time to time.

With that said: you have your viewpoints, I have mine, and we'll just have to agree to disagree on some of them.

In answer to your question, I do continue to watch games each year until the Cup is won--maybe not all of them, but a lot. In particular, it was difficult for me to watch Chicago running roughshod through the Western Conference playoffs knowing that the Caps had beaten up on them in the regular season. Also, Calgary is my second favorite team after the Caps, and I am disappointed that they don't seem to be doing well either. FTR: in a WAS vs CGY game I'll still root for the Caps.

On another matter: It seems futile to expect you to ever stop referring to the Stanley Cup as the "cUp" (sic.). But could you please explain to the rest of us why you insist on doing that?

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 16, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Yo, AADCDERM, did you catch my message in which responded to your laughable assumption that I'm Canadian. I'm a lifetime Marylander who gives most of sport focus to the Redskins.

So find a better retort than pooling me with some drunk idiots of the Montreal fanbase.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | December 16, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

@slurpeesarecool

If you give most of your sports focus to the Redskins than you have to be either a drunken idiot or just an idiot whether you are from Canada or not.

BTW, are the slurpees cool because you drink them or because you sell them during your day job?

Posted by: AADCDERM | December 16, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

The current Caps are in line with some of the gimmicky offenses/systems in other sports.

June Jones' "run & shoot" offense in football, Paul Westhead run and gun fast-break offense and Mike D'Antoni's seven seconds or less offense in basketball.

What do they all have in common?? They're all exciting and entertaining to watch but not built for winning championships.

The worst part is good teams in the NHL seem to have figured out how to beat them already so they're not even exciting to watch anymore.

Posted by: joek443 | December 16, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Paul Westhead won a championship

Posted by: sgm3 | December 16, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Paul Westhead won a championship
--------------------------------

Yes he did, with Magic and Kareem... and Majic had him fired the next season.

You and I could have coached that team.

Posted by: joek443 | December 16, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Remember, no absolutes, all percentages.

Posted by: tominsocal1

I have always looked at it this way. I was the one who always gave the chances of winning a SC at about 12.5% to maybe 17.5% for whoever the best team in hockey that year, at the start of the season. At the start of the playoffs, that may rise to about 20% for the favorite at the start. And that is only true of the favorite is a clear favorite.

The nature of the sport dictates a lot of upsets because there is luck involved.

Just think of how many big goals were scored in the NHL playoffs from medium shots from the point that deflect off of two or three bodies into the net. Not intentional deflections off of sticks, but just random ones off of bodies. Since the shooter never intends for the specific deflection that occurs, how the puck deflects and where it deflects is pure chance and luck.

And luck can twist things more in a small sample size such as a 7 game series.

Luck is random. Sometimes it will go in your favor sometimes it won't.

Also, just because luck is a significant factor does NOT mean it is the only factor or the most important factor. The fact is the better teams create more opportunities for plays like said deflections which gives them more opportunities for fortunate bounces.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 16, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps. I agree with you on a lot of what you said in your post but the one thing I think you missed a little bit in on Olie. I grew up with him as THE GOALIE for most of it. However, he clearly was a shell of his former self his last year here and with Huet we went on the best playoff push in NHL history. Then in the playoffs it is hard to say that they should have played Olie in a playoff game. You don't switch to the sentimental pick with the season on the line you go with the goal who without him you would be playing golf. Kolzig also had a save percentage under 90% that season. If BB had played Olie and they lost everyone would have talked about how he blew the playoff by playing a goalie because of the past instead of the future. Unless you are talking about something small like letting him get in the net after the empty net goal in game 3 then there is no way Kolzig should have played in the playoffs that year.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 16, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

@fella in Providence

Hey, saw your post and sorry I was unable to respond. Anyway, it pretty much was a rhetorical question.....my boys have been looking forward to the game for weeks, dying to see JOHNNY E!! How can I possibly deny them that? Thanks anyway, my apologies if you don't see this post...


@hunterforcoach

thanks, that one was for you!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 16, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Rhino: I kinda like the cUp thing. Nobody has explained it, but the astute observer (that would be moi) will notice that the shape of the Cup itself is shaped like the "U" in "cUp."

That said, I try and follow the Chicago Manual of Style or whatever the F they call it (you can ask Katie, she's a professional) and just like they capitalize "Chair" when referring to the person who is chairperson (a vivid personification) you capitalize "Cup" as it isn't just a plastic child's cup as a Kool-Aid drinker would use for quaffing but is symbolic of not just a silver chalice as it were but in fact emblematic of the champion of the sport.

"The Caps won the Cup" is proper style. Typing the word "cUp" is a gimmick. I don't mind it; it isn't my way; but in colloquial use of the language you can do it.

Anyone who doesn't like this fkn explanation should quit feeling fkn sorry for himself and get out his fkn dictionary and work a little fkn harder and maybe he can win the fkn spelling bee.

That said, I agree with joek443 on this one, the caps have a gimmick offense, like Marino in the early 80s, a one-trick pony as I and others have described it. The Hawks on March 14th last did not see the one-trick pony coming and were beaten before they could figure out how to stop it. Give a fair coach like Martin though seven straight games and he was obviously more than capable of writing "Jacques Martin's Manual on How to Beat the caps in 7 easy Steps."

The Hawks mistake was becoming overconfident and allowing the Caps to take charge. Maybe they learned a lesson there that helped them later on. OTOH, maybe they just got lucky vs nashville and that's why they won too.

See above: skill + hard work + luck.

The Flyers and Hawks, what did they have in common last year?

Skill, hard work and luck.

As it is written, so it shall be.

(You know the line.)

Yours truly, nostrathomas

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 16, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer

fair enough, Huet was on fire. My point I guess w/Kolzig was that everyone knew his time was up. What's the proper way to send-off a true hero to a generation of Caps fans? The way it played out? I think he deserved better

We eeked into the playoffs on the last day of the season, the season was a success just getting into the playoffs, Kolzig carried the workload throughout the year, we were down 3-1 and sputtering....no one would've complained seeing Olie get one more chance to come through for us, and it would have a classy move on BB's part.

Giving guys like Kolzig an opportunity in that situation is how heroes are made, legends cemented, and memories forged. I, for one, wouldn't begrude Kolzig that chance.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 16, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

**wouldn't have begrudged Kolzig that chance

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 16, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

"the caps have a gimmick offense, like Marino in the early 80s"

Maybe. But the Marino led offense went to a Super Bowl. Another "gimmick" type offense, the St. Louis Rams, won a Super Bowl and went to another.

"Showtime" was all about offense also.

The Oilers in the '80s were all about offense.

So there are instances of teams heavy on offense(light on defense) winning. I'm not saying that is the best way to go, but it has succeeded in the past.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 16, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I'll give BB credit on this one, if Kolzig had played one minute of hockey after his last game, the 5-0 loss in Chicago March 2008, the caps would not have made the playoffs.

Kolzig was more washed up than that tourist who got thrown off the cruise ship by terrorists and landed ashore.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 16, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

tominsocal1:
i drink my kool-aid from a sippy CuP

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 16, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

sgm: No, NO, NO!!!!!! The 80s Oilers were not "all about offense." I won't explain that one to you, it's already been explained.

Neither was "Showtime." They had Kareem, Worthy and Magic to name three, all top flight defenders.

And let's put the Kolzig thing to rest. Kolzig deserved another shot in net about as much as George Bush deserved another term as President.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 16, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer

I would have preferred, and it would have OOZED class and respect, for BB to have called Kolzig into his office and said, "Olie, we all know the score. You're the old-faithful dog who did the family proud. We've got a new puppy, and he's doing us proud, too. But we're down 3-1, and we need something. I know the fans wan't to see you one last time. We need you one more time, old buddy. I believe in you! If we pull this one out, I BELIEVE IN ALL MY HEART we'll rally, win the series, and send you off with the Cup you so dearly deserve. It all starts with you, and it starts tomorrow. Prepare yourself, be ready, and lets kick some ass!!"

If we lost, you know Olie would've accepted the responsibility, praised BB for one last chance and shared how the decision to play him went down....Stanley Cup or not, I don't think the organization loses in that situation.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 16, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

The following conversation took place early this morning on the Verizon airwaves:

"Hello."
"Bruce? Is that you?"
Dull monotone; "Yeah...it's me."
"Just what the fk were you thinking?"
Pause. "I don't know, Ma."
"Didn't you see the fkn cameras? Didn't you know they were fkn filming? Why would you talk like a fkn gutter-mouth?"
"Ma...I don't know. I just don't know."
"Well."
"Sorry, ma."
"Well. I was just talking with Mrs. Evason, you know, Dean's mother."
"How's her car running?"
"Fk her car, Bruce, do you know what she said?"
"No, Ma."
"She said all of you boys need to grab your sacks and play."
Pause. "Oh."
"Well, grab your sacks and play, Bruce, cuz this sh!+'s getting old."
"Yes, Ma."
Click.
"Ma? Ma?"

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 16, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

The point Vermont is trying to make is that
Kolzig was treated badly. Everyone but Olie knew he was done. (Boy, I would love to have a handful of guys that competitive on this roster.)

GMGM needed to talk to Olie. He just ignored him. He needed to offer him a front office position. This is all public knowledge.

#37 will not be in the rafters until GMGM is gone. Olie is that ticked off !

I miss his spirit. That "sippy CuP" run was the most fun I've ever had as a Caps fan. Boy, I really thought we would be closer to the CuP by now after we seemed to break through in '98.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 17, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

The point Vermont is trying to make is that
Kolzig was treated badly. Everyone but Olie knew he was done. (Boy, I would love to have a handful of guys that competitive on this roster.)

GMGM needed to talk to Olie. He just ignored him. He needed to offer him a front office position. This is all public knowledge.

#37 will not be in the rafters until GMGM is gone. Olie is that ticked off !

I miss his spirit. That "sippy CuP" run was the most fun I've ever had as a Caps fan. Boy, I really thought we would be closer to the CuP by now after we seemed to break through in '98.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 17, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

@AADCDERM

Look we want to go nuts about the direction of the team. We can't.
We watch too much hockey. We know too much. I'm sorry about all of the negativity.

I guess we could become Flyers or Pens fans. They just seem to reload. Their fans are probably in a great mood about the future.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 17, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

@Rhino

Buddy, that's not good enough of an explanation. You didn't address the fact that there is a right way to build a "sippy CuP" winner. Like I said before, These people are in our faces daily. Six Flyers visits to "the dance" for our one.
The Pens are out of contention for very short periods. They made offseason moves.
The Flyers hired a real NHL CuP winning coach. We experiment with guys like Butch and BB. What a joke !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I disagree with socal, The Pens have reloaded to the point where they're 1 to 3 odds to win the "sippy CuP". Not %10 !!!
I just pray that Ted starts to focus on how these 2 organizations run. (And then sends GMGM to go off to work for his buddy LL)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 17, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

All it will take is for the Caps to win a few games and you bleepers will be in a good mood too.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 17, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

@icehammer
@tominsocal

To be clear, with Kolzig's situation and the way Huet was playing, that's the weakest example I gave of BB selling-out players. It's hard to argue sitting Kolzig, and I do recognize that. I would have preferred seeing Kolzig early and not in an elimination game. But since it came to an elimination game...

And it never sat well with me, and something in my gut tells me BB missed an opportunity to let everyone know he and the organization valued selflessness, commitment, and perseverence and would stick behind such character players. A tone of class and respect would've been established BB's first year, and somehow I think things would be different today.

goodnight


Posted by: vermontcaps | December 17, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

BTW, from now on when I write BB it means Bleeping Boudreau.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 17, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

No, Huntsy, Kolzig was not "treated badly." The Caps gave him every chance in 2007-08. Every time the puck would come toward him he would just fall forward and try and cover it. We called him the "Glacier" that year due to his size, speed (sic) and effectiveness.

He reminded me of Mike Cuellar, a former Cy Young winner, who started out 1-8 for the Orioles in like 1975. When Earl Weaver took him out of the rotation, Cuellar complained that Earl wouldn't give him "another chance." Weaver responded that he had given Cuellar "more chances than I gave my first wife."

Had Kolzig been at least somewhat honest with himself at least, he would have accepted what was happening and he could have gone to McPhee and said, "George, I realize what's happening, how can we work out a win-win for the future?"

C'mon, the guy was ending a 5 yr/$30M contract or something so it's not like his family was hurting for food.

At some point in life you just need to look in the mirror.

Tell you what, if my company (or any!) offers me $30M for the next five years to clean the toilets, my first question is, "Where's the scrub brush?"

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 17, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

@hunter

what's up!! just saying hey, going to boston saturday ....

I'm feeling like it could be armegeddon...CapRuins...can't wait to see who'll be in lineup

I'll see you around....peace

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 17, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

@hunter

what's up!! just saying hey, going to boston saturday ....

I'm feeling like it could be armegeddon...CapRuins...can't wait to see who'll be in lineup

I'll see you around....peace

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 17, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

vermontcaps: One thing I will say about you is you have a giant heart and another thing is that your heart is in the right place.

Yes it would have been wonderful if something could have been done for Olie. But what if Bruce had put him in for game 7 vs Flyers and what if Olie had looked like Varly did in Game 7 vs pens. Forever more hockey fans would be saying how caps might have advanced one, two three rounds in 2008 but for Boudreau's sappy decision to let Kolzig play.

If this were a Hollyweird movie vermontcaps with maybe Tom Hanks as Kolzig and Kim Kardasian as Mrs Kolzig (just so I can look at her) then Olie would have played and won and they would have carried him into the sunset while Kim and I were being naughty in the back of my Nissan Altima.

Now that's a story I can deal with.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 17, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

I have to tell you all about this Kim Kardashian person, she like really does it for me, except that in her expression she looks a little like my 30-year-old daughter.

There's nothing worse in life than being in your 50s but still feeling as frisky as an 18 year-old. Let's say you are at the beach and you start making time with some young gal and between her reminding you of your daughter and then mrstominsocal1 comes over and punches you in the arm the whole thing (in the second person) gets ruined.

That said I haven't totally ruled out future adoptions.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 17, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

"the caps have a gimmick offense, like Marino in the early 80s"

Maybe. But the Marino led offense went to a Super Bowl. Another "gimmick" type offense, the St. Louis Rams, won a Super Bowl and went to another.
---------------------------

In the SB, Marino ran into a brick called the 49ers which showed how to beat Marino which was to play nickle/dime defense from 1st down.

The Rams had a HOF RB in Marshall Faulk so you couldn't play 5 or 6 DBs in 1st and 2nd downs against them.

See the difference???

Posted by: joek443 | December 17, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

The point is good coaching will always figure out how to beat one-dimensional teams. It may take a season or two but sooner or later, they will always get exposed.

Posted by: joek443 | December 17, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

In the SB, Marino ran into a brick called the 49ers which showed how to beat Marino which was to play nickle/dime defense from 1st down.

The Rams had a HOF RB in Marshall Faulk so you couldn't play 5 or 6 DBs in 1st and 2nd downs against them.

See the difference???

Posted by: joek443

I agree Faulk was a great RB. Absolutely. But the Rams ran a very similar type of offense. So the style was the same except that the Rams team had better players because they had a better RB.

So you are saying that it isn't the style that matters but just the substance behind it? I agree completely as that holds true for every style of play run by any team in any sport.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 17, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

To say the Oilers did not run an offense first system is ludicrous.

The fact that some of their players could play defense is inconsequential to determine what system they ran.

In the mid-80's the Oilers averaged a score of about 6-4. That was their average. Could they have played better defense? Sure, but their MO was run and gun and it worked.

On Showtime, like the Oilers they had some talented players who could play defense. Sure. But their style was a run-n-gun game with the main focus on creating offense.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 17, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

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