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Home Sweet Home

The Caps close out a four-game homestand tonight against the Sabres with a chance to do something rare -- for the Caps, that is.

They can win four in a row for the first time this season. They can also sweep a homestand of at least four games for the first time since March 11-19, 2000. At one point, the Caps were parked at the bottom of the NHL with a dreadful 2-7-0 record on home ice.

Can they do it? Who knows? But the difference between the Caps of today and the Caps of three weeks ago, is they're scoring goals and they believe it's possible. And that's half the battle.

Under Bruce Boudreau (can someone please remove the "interim" from this guy's title?), they're 6-3-1 and tonight veteran Michael Nylander (25 points) is expected back from a shoulder injury. Yesterday, Nylander centered a line with Alexander Semin and Matt Pettinger in practice.

Ryan Miller and the Sabres, meantime, have been dominant against Washington, winning five straight. But they'll be looking to win consecutive games for the first time this month. Yesterday, they got an unexpected emotional lift when Teppo Numminen returned to practice after undergoing open-heart sugery in September, according to this article in The Buffalo News.

If the Caps win tonight, they'll still be dead last in the Eastern Conference. But, as crazy as it sounds, they'll also be in that jam of teams fighting to remain in the hunt for eighth. It also might force me to reconsider my ban on the 'P' word.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 14, 2007; 10:07 AM ET
 
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Comments

Lets GO CAPS !!!!!!

Posted by: cap fan 69 | December 14, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Well, you already broke your ban on the "P" word by mentioning "the P word." Stop jinxing them!

Posted by: Bret | December 14, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I agree.... no jinxing us!!!

LET'S GO CAPS!!!! Woo Hoo

Posted by: Tracy | December 14, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Well, they're only 9 points behind Carolina for the division lead with a game in hand...

Posted by: aybee | December 14, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Kill the Buffaslug! GO CAPS!!!!!

I hope brash gets a goal and Greener get a hat trick!

Posted by: Bears Woooo | December 14, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

That's a nice story on Numminem. I hope he gets better, but not until we're done playing Buffalo. Considering how clogged up the East is, I think it's way too early for anyone to be is definately in or out.

Posted by: EricS | December 14, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Win, lose, or draw, I'd love to see Motzko beat Miller with another toe drag.

Posted by: pch49 | December 14, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

i don't think the p word should be considered until after the all star break. I'm interested to see what happens to the chemistry when the other guys are healthy again. I mean, Laing seems to be earning his spot, right? The caps have improved since he got here. Motzko had a good couple of games. Lets see what they bring tonight.

Posted by: kerplunk | December 14, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

That is FANTASTIC news about Teppo!!! I'm hugely impressed!

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

It seems like in the last 3 wins Pettinger has completely energized the Backstrom/Ovechkin line. Why would Coach Interim take him off that line and replace him with Mr. Anti-energy? Pettinger digging in the corners allowed OV and Backstrom to flow more through the slot.

Also, do you think the Richards signing lit a fire under GMGM in terms of dealing with his RFAs? Most notablly, OV and Green

Posted by: sean | December 14, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The Capitals were playing like a Blended Scotch..Now things seem to be moving toward a fine Single Malt. Another Glenlivitt will do just fine!

Posted by: Ron Burgandy | December 14, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

So, I'm not really sure where to put this post, but I guess I'll do it here.

Mike Richards is a very good player, no question. He also is now going to be making (on average) 5.75 million for TWELVE seasons. Richards is clearly on pace to have a career year. That said, he has a career total of 35 goals and 66 assists for 101 points in 167 games.

At the time that Semin signed his contract he had essentially played no games this season. So when he signed his 9 mil/2 year deal he had 48 career goals and 47 career assists for 95 points in 129 games.

These are obviously 2 different players, and comparing them is tough. But it seems to me that just because a player is showing improvement in his first 3 seasons signing him to a TWELVE year contract is silly. What's the rush? Give him another 3 year contract, at which point he'd still be a RFA, and then give him a 7 or 8 year deal.

There's no real way to know how this will turn out over the long haul, but it seems odd to me. Right now, looking at the Flyers salary cap #'s, they will have about 47 million tied up in 15 NHL players next season. This doesn't include Jason Smith, RJ Umberger, Jeff Carter, Coburn, Randy Jones, and others. Sure, they can cut a few guys, like Derien Hatcher I suppose, but they still won't get all that cap space back.

Sure, people are excited about the great changes the Flyers made this past season by bringing in a lot of FA's, and big names via trade. I am just curious what happens next year, or the year after, when they have 6.5 mil going to Briere, 6.3 mil going to Timonen, 5.75 going to Richards, 5.25 to Gagne, and 4.2 mil to Hartnell. 28 mil going to 5 guys! And they are stuck with those guys for 3 more seasons. They'd better hope those guys ALL produce, and they have done some great drafting to fill in the rest of the 18 man roster.

Sorry for the long post, and it really has no point, but I guess I am just saying that maybe spending all the way up to the salary cap (even if you have the resources) isn't the best way to build a team long term.

Posted by: Jeff | December 14, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Ron Burgandy, where are you drinking at? I think I'm going to come join you?

Posted by: Mitch | December 14, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I liked the 8-19-18 line, too. Pettinger's speed and grit in the corners made the difference. but what are you going to do? let Nylander sit out? He's the second leading scorer.

As for the RFA situation, the Caps, like most teams that have plenty of room under the cap, aren't in much of a hurry. They aren't even talking to Green yet.

Posted by: Tarik | December 14, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Got my tickets. Can't wait to see that puck drop.

Posted by: HolyOlie | December 14, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Buffalo has such great speed -- how did they get all of those fast players? I hope the Caps win, but I'n not sure that we can match Buffalo's offense.

Posted by: Tom | December 14, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Jeff,

I don't think it's just the Flyers as documented below...DiPietro earlier this year is another good example as is

Rick DiPietro (4.5 per through 2016)

Dustin Penner 134 games 41 goals 30 assists(4.25 per through 2012)

and

Thomas Vanek 192 games 77 goals 74 assists(6.4+ per through 2014)

I'm not sure if it means much, but it seems teams are becoming more and more willing to lock up young players to long term deals at a price they consider to be a bargain based on their potential.

/wow, talk about run-on-sentences...

yosh

Posted by: Yosh | December 14, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, Boudreau has only been here 10 games, give him the rest of the season before starting to worry about figuring out if he is going to be the coach going forward. If the team continues to play this well under him the rest of the season, by all means take away the interim tag.

Otherwise, it is too early to do so, just as you and Vogel and others were fussing about the fans wanting Hanlon gone after 10 games this season, telling fans to come in off the ledge, don't go overboard just yet on proclaming Bruce as the second coming of Bowman. That interim title will keep just fine the rest of the season, or at least til the trade deadline.

Posted by: TAL | December 14, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I do not think we will win tonight. The slugs are just to fast and take so many shots. We never beat them. Please caps, turn this table!!! Dont bring be back to earth.

Posted by: Brad | December 14, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@Ron Burgundy, I have had as much fun with blended Scotch as with any other expensive scotch. I also found out that Ripple Wine will do on those rare occasions where all my "good" Scotch is unavailable. Kind of remind me of the Caps. It is all in the spirits.

Posted by: Joe | December 14, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Everyone's playing "poker" with these contracts. When do you want to bid? Will it be raised or called? There's no real rush to lock these guys in right now. It also makes it easier to deal them to other teams - not that we'd deal AO or Green, but it could happen with others. Signing a contract now could make it more difficult to deal to another team as they would then be stuck with the contract. Let them make their own deals.

On AO's deal there's no real rush. No one will swipe him from us because he's a Cat 2. His numbers may go down later putting him in a weaker bargaining position. He should know that the team has been built around him, so he knows that a deal WILL be struck with him, and it will be sweet. It's just the details that are unknown.

Every day, Green's showing what he's capable of and his value to the organization is going up. It's in HIS interest NOT to talk right now. I also think that the organization also feels the same way. It's a gamble on whether this is a flash in the pan and he'll come back down, or he'll continue his ascendency.

It's all gaming.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

We will win by 3+ goals... I feel it!!!

Posted by: 828 | December 14, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Yosh -- I realize it's become the norm to sign "unproven" players to deals that are "sub market value" and hope it turns out that way. But look at those guys you mentioned.

Penner? Having an average year...I think he's on pace for about 40 points. He was good for 1/2 a point per game last season. Not really seeing much of an improvement.

Vanek? WAY off his production pace from last year.

DiPeitro? I haven't checked his numbers, but last year he was very solid, and the Islanders are still competative so far, so a little over a year into his contract it looks OK.

I guess my point is, how many times can a team roll the dice on an "unproven" player, giving them BIG money for LONG contracts before it messes up their roster flexibility?

To me, OV is worth a long contract. Green? He's earning himself a raise -- but does he deserve a 6 year deal worth 4-5 mil at this point? Eh, I dunno. And Semin, thanks to his injury, without a major rebound, would likely have had a hard time getting 4.5 mil a season as a RFA. I still think he's going to have a good 2nd half and show he's worth that type of money.

But lets say Richards goes out and breaks his leg next week, and when he gets healthy again he doesn't have the speed aspect of his game. He'd still be a good player, and healthy enough to play, so the Flyers are still stuck with his contract for twelve years. I just think offering deals of THAT length are excessive.

Either way, OV needs to be locked up.

Posted by: Jeff | December 14, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

3+ goals...I sure hope you're right.

Posted by: Bears Woooo | December 14, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm not saying sign Boudreau to a 5-year extension. I'm just saying that it's time to announce that he's going to be the coach for the rest of the season.

Posted by: Tarik | December 14, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, I agree. Let's at least take THAT pressure of the guy and the team.

Posted by: Bears Woooo | December 14, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The progress that the Caps are making is absolutely, mullet-wearing fantastic, but the "P" word needs to stay in the closet for a bit longer.

Coach Boudreau appears to have provided the flint (or cattle prod?), the boys from Hershey are sparking (and sparkling!). The fire the team has needed looks to be lit. Time will tell if it is deep in the belly of the beast and can unleash the fury that is needed for the "P" word!

One falter however and a large portion of the fans around here will be calling for the players and coaches to be thrown into the growing flames.

That being said, I will be in Detroit Monday night regardless!

GOOOOOO CAPS!

Posted by: home and away | December 14, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@Tarik,
"If the Caps win tonight, they'll still be dead last in the Eastern Conference. But, as crazy as it sounds, they'll also be in that jam of teams fighting to remain in the hunt for eighth. It also might force me to reconsider my ban on the 'P' word. " - Tarik.

I see where most of the bloggers get the negativity. Give me a break, the season is barely over 1/3 of the schedule and you guys have been burying the team way before that. Granted they have problems, but it is way to early to give up. The Hurricanes are in first place, but have only won 4 more games than the Caps and they have played one more game too. Are you kidding? We have 50 or more games to play.

@Jeff
You seem to like the management side of the game more than the game itself. Nothing wrong with that, your post is good but, personally, I only care about the game. Don't take it the wrong way, it is just an observation.

Posted by: Joe | December 14, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Good article in The Hockey News on these LT contract deals with kids. We can thank the Oilers for this.

http://thehockeynews.com/articles/11891-Rand-Simons-Blog-Locking-up-youth-a-priority.html

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Joe -- just a way to pass the time until the puck drops tonight. Normally my posts are less management/strategy driven.

And I guess after watching the Caps rebuild for the last few years, and (in theory) build up all these assets I hope to have them around for a long time.

Buffalo is still a good team, but by not planning ahead they lost Briere and Drury, and are stuck paying a ton of money for Vanek (who is still a good player...but, still).

Posted by: Jeff | December 14, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, I agree about naming Bruce as coach for the remainder of the season. I think it would take something catastrophic happening for them to send him back to Hershey this season. To put the team through two coaching changes in the same season would be insane.

Posted by: Tess | December 14, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Playoffs!!!! You're talking about playoffs??!!!

Sorry, that seemed appropriate.

Green has become a real player in one summer. Last season, I thought he was on the one way trip to Emminger-flame-out Land. Let's hope he continues this and earns a hefty 2M+/yr contract.

I still think that all our RFAs, including OV are at risk because of the Penner effect. Its going to be ugly next summer.

Posted by: old time hockey | December 14, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I think one of the reasons we're seeing such a drastic improvement in Green this year over last, is that he is very mature for his age. He went to the coaching staff and asked for help in identifying the things he needed to work on. Then he went out and worked on those issues. There are few people that I'd lock into multi-year contracts. He is one of them, and mostly due to his work ethic. If he continues doing that, he'll be a McInnes type D-man, and be worth the contract and on his way to the Hall.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Tarik--
Just curious about something: with all the talk today about baseball and steroids, does the NHL have a similar kind of drug testing program? Do the guys have to submit to random p*ss tests or something along those lines?

Posted by: Tess | December 14, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Tables turning now
Slugs time to cry

Go Caps, Viva ovechkin!

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 14, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Guys,

OV is not going anywhere. Caps own the rights to him till he turn 27, but can other teams still offer him a contract during this RFA period?

Posted by: RIT | December 14, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@Old time & Greg S

You guys are dead on with Green. He is responding great to addl ice time and responsibilities. The Caps need to make sure he stays in DC for the long term.

Edmonton has screwed up the RFA market with that Penner contract. We'll see if their RFA's get offer sheets thrown their way...

Posted by: Steve R | December 14, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@RIT,

After this season, OV is a RFA. Other teams can send offer sheets his way. If the Caps match the offer he stays in DC with a new contract, if not he departs to a new city (like Penner going from Ducks to Edmonton). We have the cap space I think to match up to the max offer OV can get.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 14, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Great post today Tarik!

Gabby is great. It's time to remove the interim label and to find out what labels wears (just so I know what to avoid!) The guy is a character and he looks like he knows what he is doing.

It is way to early to use the "P" word: the Caps still have to get through flu season. Remember what happen last year.

And Tarik,

How does the ice look today? Is it up for the game? It played a hell of a one against the blue shirts ;-).

Posted by: Clarendon | December 14, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | December 14, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Yep. Alzner's going to be one to salivate over when he moves up here. He's tearing up the WHL. Friends of mine in Lethbridge, AB are crying because of him. They can't wait for him to get out of the league.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin's not going anywhere. Ted's not that stupid and will match any max offer to him. Green is more likely to get Lowe-esque insane offer sheets, though. So we should probably worry more about teams trying to snatch Green.

Posted by: tallbear | December 14, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Which is why he'll be locked away before AO.

Would love to see Alzner take Powder Puff's position - and Poti's and Pothier's. I think he may make the jump from WHL directly to NHL. Unusual for a D-man, but in his case plausible.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Greg S,

Alzner is that good this soon? I honestly don't know much about the kid.

Posted by: Steve R | December 14, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The media was saying that he was the most NHL ready of the draft I believe.

Posted by: K | December 14, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Tarik; I agree with you and others here that it's time for the "interim" to go. Boudreau HAD a great record in the minors, and has distinguished himself as a motivating/ no-nonsense kind of guy. That he had established good working relationships with a few of the players adds to his credibility, and my guess is that the others (old guard) were asking the junior players what kind of a coach he'd be to "work" for.

Keep Boudreau, dump the Interim and GO CAPS!

Posted by: dogdaze | December 14, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

If Alzner is ready next season, who do we trade for "a third rounder and a bag of pucks" (to steal a line from keef or finn, can't remember which one)? Emmy? Pillowhead? Both?

Posted by: Steve R | December 14, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Just to be clear, I don't think OV is actually going anywhere. But, I also think saying the Caps "own" him is a bit misleading. They essentially have a right of refusal on him. "Owning him" implies that he either signs with us or goes back to Russia which isn't really the case.

Agree with others that Green is more likely to be a problem if this keeps up. They don't have Green's mug plastered all around town like OV. If he doesn't get resigned its less likely to start a riot, except among all of us.

Posted by: old time hockey | December 14, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes. He's a Wunderkind.

He's been announced as the Captain of Team Canada in the World Juniors. This is his second trip to the Worlds. Last time he came home with gold. He was also part of the Canadian team that beat the Russians in the Canada/Russian series 7-0-1.

His +/- for the last 3 years is +8, +14 and +16. He's at +10 now. Last year in 63 games he had 47 points and only 32 PIMs.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

old time hockey,

Green might not have the publicity, but I see him becoming a fan favorite sooner rather than later (he already has an impressive following... I'm part of it). I doubt that even GMGM is dumb enough to not realize that this kid has a rare talent and is going to be a critical cog in the machine. The uproar would be loud, large, and angry. Smarter to lock him up now, before he has a reasonable argument for a $5mil+ salary and GMGM starts waffling on the numbers.

As for "owning" AO, he can't play anywhere else in the NHL without the Caps' say so. I understand your beef, but I think it's a valid enough statement.

Posted by: HolyOlie | December 14, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

As much as I hope you're right, I wouldn't be opposed to him at least starting a season in Hershey. Granted, everything we've heard is great news, and he looked amazing in camp, but right now he's still playing against boys. After watching how our young D have developed over the last few years...Hershey might seem prudent.

Posted by: Yosh | December 14, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey pmoravek, where's my movie?

Posted by: Mr. Hanson | December 14, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@HolyOlie

I'm one of Green's fans, too. Unlike GMGM, I continue to believe that even post-lockout, teams that compete for the cup have very strong defense. You start at the goal and work out. GMGM did it in reverse. Now in his defense, there wasn't a lot to choose from, and you'd be nuts to pass on AO or AS or NB. But he could have done MUCH better on the UFA market and in trades.

I think a good 3-5 year deal for around 1.7 to 2.5 would be a good starting point with the amount going up with the number of years signed. That doubles what he's making now at the low end.

On the 12 year deal...have you heard how he'll get paid? It's pretty wild! The deal will pay Richards $5.4 million in 2008-09, and he'll earn a raise each season until 2012-13, when he'll make $8.4 million. Richards' salary will then decrease each subsequent season, down to just $3 million in the final year of the deal.

Pretty unusual.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

And oh how those of us here in Chocolatetown would LOVE to see him play a year in Hershey!

Posted by: Bears Woooo | December 14, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and those +/- numbers on Alzner are from 3, 2, and 1 year ago. So his +/- is getting stronger each year.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Think I have asked this question before but it was at the end of a post - Anyone know how the match offer affects OV's contract length?
For example,
if OV gets an offer from another team and the caps match, once OV's contract is up he is then able to move on? Say if Toronto offers OV 10 million for 1 year and the Caps match - Is OV then free to go after the year. I know if Toronto offers him 10 million for 10 years we can match that too.

I guess I am more worried about the length of the contract match rather than the actual $$ amount. That could be becuase I am not 100% sure off all the details in negotiating.

Posted by: cs | December 14, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Third game in four nights for Buffalo. Just sayin'.

Posted by: b.orr4 | December 14, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@b.orr4
At least now we seem to have a fighting chance b/c our boys have actually been winning and want to win. They now know its not ok to lose...

Posted by: K | December 14, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Great Scott, man! You'd need the combined legal wisdom of the justices of the Supreme Court to answer that question! You're talking the CBA! Even the hockey "experts" at Hockey News and TSN can't understand it. They were besides themselves when Niedermayer decided to play. How would that affect their salary cap. They still can't figure it out. Some said it would be several million long and that trading Beauchemin wouldn't be enough, to they only need $800,000 so he would be, to they don't need to trade at all.

Damned lawyers!

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I will be wearing my mullet backwards tonight. Party up front...neat and clean in the back.(like my scotch)

Posted by: Ron Burgandy | December 14, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Corey Masisak: I asked Nylander about Larry Brooks' assertion in today's New York Post that it is a rotator cuff injury, and he shook his head and said, "He thinks he knows everything, but sometimes he doesn't know anything."

Posted by: 4CM | December 14, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The Buffalo paper lists it as a wrist...

*Center Michael Nylander (12/14, wrist) is questionable for Friday's game against Buffalo.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

old time, if we were able to sign green for only 2 mil per, i would rejoice in the streets. Tarik had it right in his article this morning, you may not have read, hes looking at 3-4 at least, I mean just watch the guy play. I mean, semin got 4.5 on sheer talent alone.

Posted by: sheesh | December 14, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

one too many i means, namean?

Posted by: sheesh | December 14, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

oh yea one more thing, is it just me or has green grown a couple inches over the last year or two? I dont remember him being 6'2", he still doesnt look it. just throwin it out there.

Posted by: sheesh | December 14, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Nah. He's just standing taller.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

{cut to mike green video montage}

Posted by: Anonymous | December 14, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

cs, I think you need to be 27 for a player in Ovie's draft class to be a UFA.

Posted by: tallbear | December 14, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't know where Maestro Tarik got his 3-4 Million range, but I'd sign it if it's a longer term deal.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@tallbear -

Thanks! that makes me feel much better - I was worried because I could see some teams trying to get him out of Washington sooner by offering him a short-term deal knowing the caps would match.

Posted by: cs | December 14, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

What's up with the online chat transcript from today? I keep getting sent to a discussion on roids.

Posted by: Yosh | December 14, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Oops. It actually says something like 7 NHL seasons or 27 years old (it's Article 10 of the CBA). So, that means we have the right to match for at least 4 more seasons, in which Ovechkin'll be... 26?

Posted by: tallbear | December 14, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Who is in net tonight??

Posted by: Brad | December 14, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Kolzie

Posted by: Anonymous | December 14, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

well, a victory tonite is surely jinxed!

Posted by: how dare you! | December 14, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Any word on the line up?

Posted by: Steve R | December 14, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Its Olie, Zilla, or Godzilla. Who is Kolzie? Don't make me lolzie. And sign your posts.

Posted by: kevbpgc | December 14, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Who is Kolzie? Don't make me lolzie."

If they lose tonight, I'm blaming it on that rhyme.

Posted by: HolyOlie | December 14, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Kolzie must be a Kolzov-Kolzig hybrid

Posted by: Fill | December 14, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, if I wrote Kolzie, I don't know if I'd sign my name either.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm feeling good about tonight. I'm thinking that AO, AS, NB and MG score. Final is 4-3 in regulation.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Fo Sholzie

Posted by: Kolzie to the Golzie | December 14, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

And Shultz is going to get his butt kicked on the boards twice, but have 3 hits.

4-3 sounds good

Posted by: Steve R | December 14, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Whoever keeps the official stats for hits must really like Schultz, because they've listed him with 22. Maybe since his days in Pee Wee... or they're counting the hits ON him instead of BY him just to make him feel good.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I've called him Kolie before. But not on purpose.

I'm really hoping that a Boudreau-coached Nylander is going to make me eat crow tonight.

Posted by: MikeZ | December 14, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

GO CAPS GO CAPS GO CAPS GO CAPS Go CaPs G O C A P S g O c A p S go caps G O C A P S go go go caps caps caps ggggggoooo ccccccaaaaaappppsssss GGoo CCaaPPss GO CAPS GO CAPS GO CAPS GO CAPS Go CaPs G O C A P S g O c A p S

*breathes*

go caps G O C A P S go go go caps caps caps gGgGgGoOoOoO cCcCcCaAaAaApPpPpPsSsSsS GGoo CCaaPPss GO CAPS GO CAPS GO CAPS GO CAPS Go CaPs G O C A P S g O c A p S go caps G O C A P S go go go caps caps caps GG OO CC AA PP SS GGoo CCaaPPss


GO CAPS

Posted by: mauree | December 14, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to hear Coach B rail Poti, Kozlov and Nylander on the lack of scoring. They're the ones making the big bucks on this team. They should be producing a lot more.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Mauree... done yet?

If not, then *honk honk honk*

Posted by: Kurt | December 14, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

nylander has 25 points greg s. if you want to talk about kozlovs production fine, but thats not nylanders problem, +/-, maybe.

Posted by: sheesh | December 14, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

That was a awesome powerplay by the Caps. Olie needs to be scolded hard for that goal.

Posted by: mauree | December 14, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'm the only one not able to make it to the game tonight. :(

Did Olie have a stick malfunction?

Posted by: keef | December 14, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, hi Mauree!!! :)

Posted by: keef | December 14, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

@Mauree,
Johnson needs to start tomorrow. Not anything about that lousy, soft, (blame the ice) goal but BB needs to evaluate Johnny. Olie is getting worked to death regardless. Maybe this is why BB is still interim.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 14, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

* high five Keef *

Olie had a brain malfunction. Seriously, what was he thinking?

Anyway the Caps were doing very good, need to move past this mistake and keep bringing it.

Posted by: mauree | December 14, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Definitely time to give Olie a rest.

Posted by: kevbpgc | December 14, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Definitely time to give Olie a rest.

Posted by: kevbpgc | December 14, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Definitely time to give Olie a rest.

Posted by: kevbpgc | December 14, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

$#!T. Easy stuff Bowman would never let happen. Go Caps!!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 14, 2007 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Well Baby Back helped them move through it. Wondering why we keep wanting six guys on though. :)

I have a feeling Olie's gonna make up for that mistake throughout the night.

Posted by: keef | December 14, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

@My Teammates

I'm sorry I sat at middle ice holding the puck, looking around as if I was suddenly stricken with Alzheimer's. I'm sorry that the puck was taken off my stick and I was knocked down to the ground by one of the Slugs exhaling.

Posted by: Semin | December 14, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom rules!

We may be in for some great times to come if Backstrom and Ovechkin keep clicking like this.

Nice to see Kozlov deliver the puck cleanly to Backstrom for the goal. That assist gives him a 4 game point streak, maybe he's turning the corner. I've been as frustrated as anyone with his performance to date. I drafted both Kozlov and Poti in my fantasy league with high hopes.

Also love to see the team shooting. So many games under Hanlon, I would find myself yelling at the television "Shoot! Shoot!"

What's with Semin standing out there with puck only to knocked down like a feather in a breeze?

Posted by: zuufreak | December 14, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Whoa. Sorry bout that. :0}

Posted by: kevbpgc | December 14, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Hahahahaha! I LOVE JUICE!!

He's so easy to rile.

Posted by: keef | December 14, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Man, how much is our PK rocking right now. Awesome stuff.

Steckel does not get enough praise!

Posted by: keef | December 14, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Just pimpin' my ride listening to the Caps, they had the Boudreau interview from earlier in full during 2nd intermission.

They were asking him about Brashear, how he's playing, and his minutes.

I don't know if it was a reporter or Bruce who said he's getting minutes because he's too afraid to tell Brash he's not playing
:)

Posted by: XM Sport | December 14, 2007 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Just getting up to speed here, looks like a weak night for Kolzig. I never expect him to win the game for us singlehandedly anymore, but not a strong game from the highlights and the latest

Posted by: austinsteve | December 14, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

NICE! VC ice strikes again! (and kinda cancels out Olie's earlier faux paux).

Posted by: keef | December 14, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Ha!
Is this an NHL game I'm watching?
I've just watched these first few minutes of this period.
Loving that last goal though!

Posted by: austinsteve | December 14, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

@austinsteve: I wouldn't say it's been a weak night for him, he's been moving pretty fluidly and has come up with a couple of good saves. He just made a bad play...

Posted by: keef | December 14, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I've only seen one set of highlights so I may be wrong, I thought two goals looked weak but I'm stll catching up running around.

Posted by: austinsteve | December 14, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I've been watching the Caps for years and all of the Buffalo fans always annoy me. If you love them so much, why did you move??

Posted by: SpoonyG | December 14, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Spoony,

Because nobody wants to live in Buffalo. I've been there. Take my word for it.

And holy baby jesus, if BB doesn't bench Schultz and Kolzig for the next game, he's got no cojones.

Posted by: Kip | December 14, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

@SpoonyG
Have you been in Buffalo?

Omg turnover by Nylander... again....

Posted by: mauree | December 14, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The Nylander haters are gonna come out of the woodwork :)

I'll grudgingly give him the rusty return pass this one game.

Posted by: austinsteve | December 14, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

the Sabres played well, however:

* Kolzig mistake... that changed everything
* Kolzig was responsible also of the turnaround goal.
* Semin - what a disaster. What's wrong with this kid?
* Nylander played ok. However he might have costed us the game.

Posted by: mauree | December 14, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I think i heard or read that Johnny was gonna start v. Tampa anyway. But yeah Not Olie's best effort.

Posted by: kevbpgc | December 14, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

TRADE NYLANDER AND KOLZIG PLEASE,,,,,,,

Posted by: erick | December 14, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

@ Tarik

Was Olie traded before the game? It kinda looked like he was playing for his new team Buffalo out there.........

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Poti, Nylander and Kozlov helpful out there on the ice? Well, from Buffalo's perspective at least.

Nice pics, GMGM...

Posted by: Greg S. | December 14, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

For god sakes, BB needs to stick to his plan and give Johnny a real look and stop beating Olie to death. Olie is pushing forty and BB's interim coach status looks more valid when he cares more about keeping his job rather than doing his job. Wake up Gabby.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 14, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Watching pillow soft Schultz and Poti fruitlessly attempt to get Connolly away from the crease was frustrating. That is not the D-pairing we want to see on the ice.

a couple soft goals tonight, perhaps Olie needed a bit of a rest.

Posted by: zuufreak | December 14, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

erick,
That's a wonderful thought. Unfortunately, it takes two to tango. And, I can't think of a single GM ( Except George, unfortunately ) foolish enough to make a move like that.
To whomever it was that stated Nylander's spin - o - rama was due to his being, "Rusty." THE GUY MISSED 3 FRIGGIN GAMES. NOT 30!! It wasn't a matter of "Rust." It was a matter of "Attitude" or lack thereof. I think that one play just about sums up Nyl's season thusfar. Quite frankly, I think he needs an attitude adjustment. But, who's gonna give it to him? Olie Kolzig? Hahaha! That's REALLY a funny thought.
What we had tonight was 19 guys playing their hearts out. And, the two TOP PAID PLAYERS ON THE TEAM playing with a nonchalant demeanor which sabbotaged all the hard work of everone else. THAT'S INEXCUSABLE!!
The whole thing is so ironic, it's almost funny. Two nights ago, Olie goes ballistic because Backstrom fails to clear the puck, and The Rangers subsequently scored. Tonight, however Kolzig SINGLEHANDEDLY THROWS THE GAME AWAY. But, who's going to publicly show HIM up? I guess that's what irks me about Kolzig more than anything else. He's always more than happy to throw one of his team mates under the bus. Yet, he NEVER RUNS OUT OF EXCUSES for his generally horrid ( At least the last 3 seasons ) play. He seems to want to have it BOTH WAYS. Sort of "Wanting his cake, and eating it too." Know what I mean? I don't respect that about him one bit. No! Not even half of a bit.

Posted by: Puckguru | December 14, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

McPhee "refused to comment on injury"

WHAT A DIGRACE.
Like the Caps (DEAD LAST) are protecting their player or themselves from all NHL teams chasing LAST PLACE, or attempting to gain leverage against "Spin-o-rama"

3-0 and they want to insert him into the lineup.
BB, Welcome to the GM show, politics are just as important here as wins.
Not only must you produce wins, but do it the way GM says or else.
It must suck getting something fixed only to have the boss break it, AGAIN.

Posted by: Chief | December 14, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

man we lost a good chance here. We had the advantages, we had the bounces. I think we actually played well the first 2 periods. The powerplay was very good.

I wouldn't call them "soft goals". I would call them "free gifts merry Christmas" goals.

Posted by: mauree | December 14, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Blowing 2 leads at home, shows a lack of confidence that will keep them at the bottom for some time.

The loss is no big deal, the fact that GM walks around employed is a DISGRACE.
This impacts all players, the fact that they are playing under a loser GM

Posted by: Chief | December 14, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

You gotta luv this guy, Laing don't you? For my $$$ he's been their "Unsung Hero" each & every night since they brought him up. He's a real throwback. All blood & guts. Total "Heart." In MY book, he's a "Keeper." HE'S A WINNER. He's got a fierceness about him, a determination ( If you will ) that can't be taught. HE'S HUNGRY! Give me 19 Laings, and I'll beat your brains out night, after night.
Sadly though, George McPhee is the General Manager. 2 will get you 5 that the moron will send Laing packing just as soon as Gordon is able to play. Not if I were calling the shots! I can think of a handful of guys I'd let go before I'd make THAT move. I'd quickly show Bradley the door. Or Flash. Petty too. MOST DEFINITELY! Of course, Eminger, although he's not a forward. But, I think I've made my point. You can NEVER have enough Laings on your team. NEVER! Not if you want to win, that is.

Posted by: Puckguru | December 14, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

This team could easily be riding the crest of a six game win streak if they could get anything from Olie. He has been less than good in his last ten starts with a save percentage of .888 and a miserable .858 over his last six. It's not like he has been under seige either; his shot average over those last six games has been a very controllable 23.5 per game. Those kind of numbers get rookies sent to the minors. The team is playing well and hustling. They made mistakes tonight, but these are the kind of games where a big time goalie steps up and wins it for the team.

I hope he is just going through a rough stretch, but I don't know. Olie has shown a penchant for the ill-timed soft goal over the last few years. A crappy team can live with that. It's poison for an improving team.

Posted by: Old Bob | December 14, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

puckguru every time the Caps lost you put on your favorite CD ("the guy to condemn - for sure it's GM"). Problem is, it's your only CD man.

I prefer to talk about what happened to the game. How do you address, for example, the pathetic performance of your favorite player? I'd consider sitting him next game.

Posted by: mauree | December 14, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, whoa, whoa, people naysaying Nylander? I call him out weeks ago, and everyone freakin' burns me for it...

Nyls may have been good once, but he's over the hill, he sucks, he doesn't care about this team, and he completely dragged down the PP. Seriously, the 8-19-28-52-92 unit looked like the power play from Hanlon's era; lackluster, no pressure, no movement, no shooting. And, what was it that changed? That's right, the addition of Nylander. And it was noticable that the play was getting dragged down in his area, and his blind passes didn't help either. Scratch him, and bring back Flash until Clark and Gordo get back.

And put Brent between the pipes for awhile. Kolzig looked fairly shell-shocked out there, and his lack of ability in controlling rebounds cost us at least one point in the standings...

Posted by: MikeZ | December 14, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

The power play would have been more effective without Semin (0 shots on goal) in the high slot; go back to Semin or Poti at the point and let Ovie play the half-wall, back door and high slot - he needs to play closer to the net; oh, and please shoot the puck. Peace out.

Posted by: Just Guessing | December 14, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Ovie - Great as always

Backstrom - Look out, here he comes!

Laing - Has a defenseman ever won the Calder only playing 2/3 of the season (if GMGM doesn't send him back)? Is he technically still a rookie in the bigs?

Olie - OH $#iT - Stay in the friggin' crease!

Posted by: OleMiss | December 14, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Well I respect Olie for his interview. He took full responsibility and spoke like a leader.

BB said it right: the Sabres played with more urgency than us. Shoot, I'll miss tomorrow's game. Hopefully we'll put this behind and give 100% tomorrow.

ps: I'm watching the Wild destroying the Ducks... man they're playing good.

Posted by: mauree | December 14, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Didn't anyone notice the improvement of the power play unit with nylander in it?
He makes one bad pass and he loses the game? OV makes tons of bad passes, EVERYONE has made a bad pass.
About the only player that I would complaint is Kolzig. That guy is no more than a backup goalie. Give Johnson a chance until we get someone worth naming a number one goalie. If the caps had had a goalie those four or five games the Hurricanes has over the Caps would have been history.
Sure there is enough room for improvement on this team forwards and defensemen, but some of you are blaming the wrong players - I suppose it is because the intricacies of the game is not well understood by some, and others might just have a touch of xenophobia.

Posted by: Joe | December 14, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

CONGRATS to GM !!!

For being the SMARTEST GM & signing Semin.
That was a thing of beauty....

Posted by: Chief | December 15, 2007 12:17 AM | Report abuse

BLARRR! We lost one game, fire everybody on the roster except whoever scored and gut the management team! Rarrr! ANGRY CAPS FANS SERIOUS BUSINESS.

C'mon guys, chill out. I'm as disappointed as anybody, but these nights are going to happen once in a while even with coach Gabby. Yes, players should be called out and/or benched, but lets not trade everybody and fire the coach and move the team to Kansas over it, okay?

Instead, let's focus our energy and rooting the Caps through their next challenge in Tampa. Go Caps!

Posted by: Jordan | December 15, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

mauree,
Are you and gmgm going steady? You sound like you're his B'OTCH!

Posted by: Puckguru | December 15, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Had to listen to the game on the radio, how bad did Olie play? Sounded like he was giving a lot of rebounds.

Posted by: Steve R | December 15, 2007 12:32 AM | Report abuse

kevbpgc - I just thought that you were trying to make a point!! ;-)

I was at the game tonight - I hate it when I feel like I am in another team's arena. What's up with that?!? Hrmph.

RE: Kolzig's flub, his intentions were good, he just didn't get enough of the puck. It was SUCH a bummer ... SO depressing. I am glad to hear that Johnny is playing tomorrow night - Kolzig needs to rest.

What was up with Semin?!? He was flattened TWICE, while standing still in the middle of the ice. He was knocked over like an old woman being tackled by linebacker. Scratch that ... like an old woman being pushed over by my little finger. What gives?!? I hope Gabby gave him a tongue lashing.

And Kozlov?!? Did he add any benefit tonight? Time to ride the pine, Vik ...

I'm all about cutting the guys slack - I rarely speak out against them, but they are capable of so much more. Tonight was truly frustrating. They should and could have won. Bahhumbug.

Posted by: Boo! | December 15, 2007 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Boo!,

Did you miss the Backstrom goal on which Kozlov had the primary and lone assist? It was a great play.

Posted by: Jordan | December 15, 2007 1:16 AM | Report abuse

The shift that put Buffalo ahead in the third period was really pretty terrifying to watch. Not really thrilled with BB's line selection at that juncture in the game. I saw Poti and Schultz trying to hug eachother rather than tie up Connolly; I saw Ovechkin trying his darndest but being too timid; and I saw Donald Brashear being Donald Brashear in his own end. On shifts like that, you really notice the absences of Gordon and Clark (or at least the depth provided by their presences).

Posted by: Metro Desk | December 15, 2007 1:59 AM | Report abuse

I've always thought Nylander wasn't hurt at all.

Early on Boudreau said one of the most important stats to him was +/-. Nylander's is abysmal particularly given the number of games.

I think the Caps were trying to trade him but it didn't work out. But we won't ever know if that's true and it probably isn't.

Unless it's an inflamed bursa sac or something a rotator cuff problem is generally chronic and he wouldn't be out practicing with the team.

Neither here nor there as far as the team's loss. Not one of their better performances though.

Posted by: austinsteve | December 15, 2007 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Another glaring example of how clueless GM is. Many of the older fans will recall GM's consistent pattern of drafting and trading for Western Canadian players, yet Nylander, Kozlov & Semin have been the latest signings.
It's because No Serious Minded FA will sign while GM is here, only the money motivated players, which happen to be the above referenced.

The list of former players advising guys to Stay Away must be very long.
How is Ted supposed to sell seats when he can't sell a FA to sign ??

Posted by: Chief | December 15, 2007 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Keep the "P" word ban for the remainder of season, it's mush.
One post made sense over Nylander sitting out while the trading season starts, would not be the first time GM lied to you, don't feel bad.

BB "had" things going just fine, yet GM's influence obviously pressured him into inserting "his signed" players into lineup, gotta feel real bad for BB.
Poor guy probably hates having to play politics at this level, wins are not even good enough for GM & Ted.
Too bad.

Posted by: Chief | December 15, 2007 2:41 AM | Report abuse

There is no place in the NHL for the play that Olie made on the first Sabers goal. What is wrong with putting two hands on the stick and making a good pass to our player along the boards? A one hand pass like that may work behind the net, but not in the high slot. Even though it happened in the first peirod, I say that play was the reason the caps lost the game. All it did was give the sabers hope going into the second and was downhill from there. As good and loyal as Olie has been to the Caps, I think there needs to be a message sent that his job is not any more safe than anyone else on the team. He has shown that he can't take us deep in the play-offs anymore since he can't string together more than 2 good games in a row, so why is he our only option at this point? The goal every year is to win the cup, not just make the play-offs and be happy with that. Let's hope some of our young goalie prospects mature sooner rather than later

Posted by: Mike | December 15, 2007 4:44 AM | Report abuse

Jordan - oh yes, the rest of Kozlov's performance was so - not - that I forgot about that. He had a lot of missed opportunities and, in general, seemed to be slow and sluggish. I had high hopes for him, but I don't think that he has panned out.

Posted by: Boo! | December 15, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

puckguru,

I too don't like GM. I saw Brian Burke during the Ducks game yesterday... man I wish we'd have him. Then it would be BBBB lol.

But, I don't understand why every time the Caps lost you (and Chief and a few others) play that song. We all know what GM did, but he wasn't in the ice yesterday. The Caps lost on some bad plays by Olie, on a bad performance by some player, and on a poor effort in the third period.

This is the same team that won 3 in a row and that we admired. This team could have won (and was actually leading twice) yesterday.

Besides, GM made what you called "no brainer" in signing Semin like that. Now I ask you again: would you sit him after yesterday? Or you think he's still "rusty" and needs to play?

Posted by: mauree | December 15, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

boo
yeah kolzig need to rest,,,, but for the rest of the season....and mike ill be loyal to anybody who pays me almost 6 million a year please is time for olie to seat on the bench,,,,,and nylander what a joke ,,,,,

Posted by: erick | December 15, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

regarding too many men on the ice, so we had two of those calls against us last night and should have had three, right? not that there is any excuse for that, but wouldn't that be less likely to happen if BB stopped mixing up the lines so much? if the lines settled down, things would probably get more fluid, plus the guys would have more of an opportunity to gel. not to pick on BB - in general i really like him and like what he is doing - but i have been saying for weeks (even when GH was here) that the lines need to stabilize, once and for all ...

Posted by: Boo! | December 15, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Sit Semin?!! That's a joke, right? Hell no, I'd play him until his tongue fell out. Sasha's "Problem" is that they ( GMGM ) refuse to provide him with anyone to play with. PERIOD!
Only a moron would sit his 2nd best offensive player. And, that IS what Semin is. Sadly, however since his return from Russia, he's been mixed and matched with first one bum, then another. All superstars are not the same. You could put a Budweiser horse out there with Ovey, and he'd still excell. Sasha is a completely different breed. He isn't built that way ( Few are ). HE NEEDS STABILITY.
As many NHL games as you claim to watch, I'm shocked you haven't figured that out by now. But, as I like to remind people, MANY WATCH, BUT FEW COMPREHEND.
Since you're so anxious to bench someone, lets start with Pettinger. That'd certainly be appropriate. But, oh, I forgot. You are one of those enamored by his unproductive hustle. Or, Bradley. Why not bench him, since you're so hot in the pants to sit someone. Or Kozlov? THAT, quite frankly is the no brainer of the day. Or Poti?! his contributions have been far from luminous.
The fact of the matter is that Sasha Semin is one of the few players that BB simply CAN'T sit. He's too valuable. Having said that, let me hasten to add that Sasha's skill set IN NO WAY DICTATES THAT HE SHOULD BE IN THE SLOT ON THE POWER PLAY. That's ludicrous! As I recall, Semin scored many, many power play goals last year. NOT ONE WAS SCORDED BY SITTING HIM IN THE SLOT AREA. He's a puck handler supreme. He should be floating on the peremiter as he did last year. I encourage BB to watch some tape from last year.
I appreciate your responding, mauree. Let's not be antagonists. And, Let's GO CAPS....

Posted by: Puckguru | December 15, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

erick - i dont think he needs to sit for the rest of the season - he had a really bad night and made some rookie mistakes; i don't think he will be doing that again any time soon! but it is good that he was scheduled off tonight and, frankly, even if he was not, i am guessing that BB would have benched him after last night's performance.

RE: nylander, i really can't comment. while i was at the game, i saw nothing fabulous or terrible from him last night (but we had guests with us, so i was distracted a lot more than usual). having said that, i was wondering if he really was injured (if so, he could have been a bit tentative last night - not a good injury for body checks!). he HAS had some great play this season, but i must admit that i was expecting more.

Posted by: Boo! | December 15, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

puckguru - you can't honestly believe that:

"Sasha's "Problem" is that they ( GMGM ) refuse to provide him with anyone to play with. PERIOD!"

You really think that that is his ONLY problem?!? He is making too many mistakes ALL BY HIMSELF for that to be true. Don't get me wrong - I think he is an amazing player with limitless potential, when he WANTS to be. I have said before that he is my favorite forward, but he has really let me down lately.

I think his immaturity is getting the best of him. That is the only thing that I think can explain his inconsistency. For example, last night you could blow him over like a feather - he was not playing hard, tough and smart. He has also taken so many dives this season that he may as well join the swim team. He has rolled around in "agony" after a love tap and walked around after like nothing happened, returning to play the next night. Last season he THREW the puck in frustration more than once (and giggled like a school girl the one time he got away with it). Shall I continue?!?

In my book, this is all inexcusable, ESPECIALLY from such a talented guy. When he is not playing with the mentality of a four year old he is UNBELIEVABLE. So how do you get him to snap out of it and play up to his abilities all of the time?!? I don't know if benching is the answer (I might take him over my knee?!?), but I hope that BB figures out what the magic bullet is ... my guess is that he will.

Posted by: Boo! | December 15, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the lines are the problem. I don't envy the coach here. The biggest paid players just aren't producing. Kolzig looked horrible yesterday. Semin looked ok sometimes but really weak others. I saw him take a couple shots. They weren't really great but to me he looked like he was a little wary...like timid about people coming up and hitting him. Is that b/c he's not totally healed or b/c he got hurt before. I don't know but he did look a little scared. Did I mention Olie was horrible??!?!? Nylander, Poti...waste of money. Kozlov too touch and go and usually he doesn't produce. I don't see any chemistry with him and Ovechkin.
If I were GM and Ted I would spend money on getting a really good D in some sort of trade (I don't know for what but I would try to be doing something). Spend the money on OV and Green and I'd play Johnson more to see if maybe he could produce and then pick up a goalie this summer (unless someone really good and consistent came up during the year). Fact is that unless you spend the money you aren't going to have a winning team and if you don't have a winning team you aren't going to get butts in the seats. Our D is horrible!!!!

Posted by: K | December 15, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

@Old Bob: I agree. I generally have felt people have been too hard on Olie given the defense playing in front of him, but he could have stolen that game last night but for a huge mistake and at least one soft goal. The odd thing about Olie is that he can have a flurry with incredible save after save (he had a couple last night), then turn around and give up a softie. That having been said, the numbers you posted are frightening.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Ollie: He has always given up big rebounds, but i must say he is finally looking old. slow after the first shot, body isn't doing what his mind wants it to, etc. We always used to rely on his size to help, but he's now nothing more than and average goalie. And Johnnie is not the future, so we need someone else backing him up.

The caps win 3, and Nyls comes back and we lose. I'm not saying anything, but....

No team is afraid to crash our net. The only players we have that will hit anyone are on offense. Except Green, but then, he's on offense....

Kozlov was a waste. Every now and then he sets up a nice goal, but more often than not he is just taking up space on the ice. And Semin has great skill, but has Nuke Lalush's minds.

Puckguru, you do seem to be calming down some. Chief, you still have so much hate....

Posted by: Lee | December 15, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

C'mon puckguru, you can't blame last night Semin performance on his teammates. I clearly remember a couple of times he was hit while almost standing still with the puck, felt, and they stole the puck like candies from a baby. And another couple of times he skated with god-like skills with the puck around the ice... just to give the puck away lol... then I remember two shots from him. That's all. If he's the kind of player that will perform well only in a superstar team... who would want him?

But I think he can do much better than that. Something must shake him. Maybe BB can yell at him or something to wake him up.

Of course, I'm not blaming Semin alone for last night loss. Lee is right, not team is afraid to crash our net when we play like in the 3rd. However I must say, with the Rangers our D played better, they were often crashing and sitting anybody approaching Olie. They really need to do that systematically and all the times.

I think we should also give credits to Buffalo. When they "click" like they did in the 3rd yesterday, they're one of the hottest team in the NHL.

I too enjoy discussing puckguru, but sometimes you're over the lines with insults :D

GO CAPS

Posted by: mauree | December 15, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Wow.....It's hilarious when all the haters come out of hiding when the Caps lose

Posted by: Jleftwing97 | December 15, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

@ Boo,
But, I really DO believe that. Which part don't you understand? Let's get real here. For starters, the guy got hurt. Bum ankle. Then, instead of them allowing his ankle to heal THOROUGHLY, what did they do? THEY RUSHED HIM BACK THREE TIMES. 3 TIMES!! That's being way beyond stupid. That's criminal!!
So, many are now harping about how "Timid" he seems to be playing. About, how easily he's being knocked off his skates. HELLO! WHAT DO YOU MORONS EXPECT?!! Must Puckguru spell EVERYTHING out for you? ALL OF THE TIME?!! 2 + 2 = 4 in MY universe. What universe are YOU residing in? Geeeezz!
So, your typical brain - farts, which clutter up this site, conclude that "All he wants is the money. And, he's so immature ( Always bringing up past indiscretions to support their inane thesis ). PLEASE!! WON'T SOMEBODY GET A CLUE?!!
Mine has been an exhausting, unrewarding mission. Since last July, I've done my best to bring your hockey IQ up to par, but with woefully little success. Give me a break! You people are exhausting Puckguru. Really.
I've been railing for them to shut Sasha down for a minimum 6 weeks STRAIGHT, ever since he 1st got hurt. But, management had a better idea. So, it's plain to see they're NOT going to do as they should. Therefore, it is, what it is. However, AT LEAST TAKE THE POOR GUY OUT OF THE HIGH SLOT ON THE PP. That's by far the dumbest thing Gabby has tried thusfar. The skill set for that position is that of a bruiser. Because, obviously everyone is going to collapse toward the middle. I mean, jesus christ, can anything be more OBVIOUS than that? I don't think so. One needn't be a "Coach" for 25 years to figure THAT out. Does one? Apparently, yes! So sad...

Posted by: Puckguru | December 15, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Tarik you jinxed the team with the "P" letter/word and we were/are still in last place. I think you've learned your lesson.

As for last night, one or two giant steps back.

Kolzig: How many impossible angle / stuffs is he going to let in. Seems there's been one in each on the last 4-5 games. I still visualize Holik's goals from the bottom of the circle. Why can't he keep his pads tightly together on the impossible angles. I think we need to call him Pete Peters. Look at the replays and you'll see one leg against the post and the other on the goal line with 8" of separation. The "flub" on the 1st goal is inexcusable, especially for a veteran net minder. BB should give Johnny a fair numbers of games now for his shot. I think he's has stand on his head better in games than Olie.

Kozlov: In the first period on a shift, OV goes behind the net and slams a Sabre Dman. Kozlov comes skating around the net and has his chance to slam the other and he abruptly circles away. This 6'5" 230lbs has a chance to send a message and he abandons ship. If I were OV, I'd jack him up a time or two. The guy has so much talent and size . You'll only see it a time or two during the game but most of the time he is so aloft. When Clark comes back, BB has to make him sit a couple.

Poti: Time for his time out in the pressbox. What the hell was he doing on the breakaway. He was at center ice skating well out of position. Then on the fourth goal, I think he was trying to tie up his skate laces instead of Connnelly.

Eminger: The only reason I can think of him not getting a chance to play is that he's been riding the pine for so long that he has too many splitters in his ass and can't skate. Give the guy a valid chance to compete on the team and if GMGM & BB can't do that - trade him or send him down. He's not any worse than the other Caps D that keep making basic mistakes.

Nylander / Semin: These guys can get it going. I think Semin is still trying to get his legs and timing back. I'm waiting for that breakout game. I believe one of the problems with these two guys is that they need to have a stable line. Rotating the lines screw these guys up. Ex. Blind passes to someone they think should be there but are some where else. Look back at the old time hockey, when lines use to have names. Guys would skate to certain lanes and slots when the puck handlers went skating to a certain location. Unfortunately, the injuries to Semin and Nylander has messed this up. You take away their instincts and their play suffers.

BB: Just keep doing that got you to turn the team around. SIT guys who deserve it. Sit Poti and Kolzig for at least two games. I've seen some improvement in Pothier play.

Go Caps!

Posted by: Comcast Sux | December 15, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Like I told you each and everyday

Semin is overrated and he sucks

He is a waste of money.....

5 points this season WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWOW

Posted by: John | December 15, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The positioning of a sniper like Semin or AO in the high slot on the PP is done to shrink the box and create space around the perimeter. The defenders in the box have to pay attention to the sniper. Think of the sniper as bait luring the defenders out of position. If the defenders bite this allows more attacks on the flanks with Backstom and Nylander or a backdoor AO or Green and more room at the top of the box for the AO and Green to throw bombs at the net. If the defenders don't bite they risk leaving Semin wide open in the slot. Whether Semin or AO is better as the sniper is debatable and perhaps in the future when they understand the system better can interchange on the fly. The other tweak would be explaining to Nylander that when he bangs his freakin' stick on the ice demanding the puck that everybody in the rink knows where he is. I would hope at this level his World Class teammates would be able to find him. Besides Flash or Kozlov would be better on the PP and at least will take it to the net instead of the loop-d-loop.

Posted by: DarrylHockey | December 15, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

S'lot of posts here but:

1.Semin does not belong on the high slot on the PP. He's a hands guy and he Falls Down(?)

2. The Sabre's have shown the NHL how to use Brashear to their advantage. They were able to stay in our zone for extended periods in the 3rd greatly because they could dance all around him at the high slot, replay that last part of the game. (That part where it looked like they had a power play forever). I don't know how many minutes Brash played but that may have been part of it.

Posted by: Icebat | December 15, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

And where's the snarky no-name poster talking about GMGM's great decisions after This game?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

One comment on the big Sabres goal. Brash had chased the puck into there zone while we had a line change and then got stuck out there for what seemed like 3 or more minutes before they scored. Considering his skating skills and the time on ice he missed clearing the puck twice on there time in our zone.

Posted by: billd | December 15, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@puckguru.

Regarding Semin.

I feel for you. You are arguing with two people (and there are more like them) who seem to have skewed view of a player's talent.


Posted by: Joe | December 15, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@John.
"Like I told you each and everyday

Semin is overrated and he sucks

He is a waste of money.....

5 points this season WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWOW"

Is that your signature message? I have seen that so many times, you no longer have to identify yourself.

And I agree with you.

I think we should have Brashear, Bradley, Motzko in the first line. AO alone in the second line, and bench everyone else, better yet waive them all so that we can give all the money to AO next year and Kolzig because without him we would have lost a lot more games.

Posted by: Joe | December 15, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

One word: Bryzgalov

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 15, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@Joe
I like your lines. But what about the coach?

For xmas I would like an explanation of the label "Immature", given by some bloggers to Semin.

Happy Holidays to all. Lets not give up on the team and lets bring a new year with a better attitude.

Posted by: Opita | December 15, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I imagine, and look fondly towards, the day when 90% of the people on this chat have their fingers amputated by keyboard revolts. At one point, I expect your keyboards to resent and become disalusioned with the same message being banged out over and over; they'll realize that only bloody revolution will end the it. THe F and U keys will lead the charge.

Posted by: 007 | December 15, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

007, if the same problems didn't keep cropping up over and over, we probably wouldn't be typing the same crap day in and day out. But, in last night's game, it was nearly all of the usual suspects that dragged down the team (although, our PK was really good, which I find a refreshing change from the nadir of the Hanlon Era). But the Three Amigos of NY, Brash (who I was prepared to give the benefit of the doubt after Wednesday), and Olie's lack of ability to control his rebounds were all major factors in last night's loss.

I still think we're going to win tonight, as long as our boys play like they mean it. The 'ning have been having a rough time, and now Ouellet is out...

Posted by: MikeZ | December 15, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

okay james bond thats not very nice. people are upset because they care, its that simple. The obvious:
1)major money spent on major busts. I mean seriously unless Semin turns it around what a waste of 9mil, but you know if he went to another team he would torch us. Also for the amount of money we spent on Nylander, Koz, and Poti we could have gotten a top D-man or someone to play with AO or Semin (plus signed Bryzgalov!!!!). I like the line up w/0 nyls anyway bc the guys that replace him seem to skate much harder. Its that young speed and aggressive forecheck thats going to win us games, not circles and a -3.
2)6-4-1 with what BB has had to work with regarding injuries and line changes is awesome! Great, but lucky, move by GMGM to bring him in. Gabby needs to stay.
3)Wasn't at the game last night but saw slightly over 17,000 in attendance which is good...how many were upstate new yorkers though?
4)Whoever said it earlier about the players being the ones that have to make the plays on the ice is right. How did GMGM know Koz after a 25 goal season was going to be lazy and a bust? How did GMGM know that Nylander would be less than stellar after playing so great with someone in Jagr who isnt as good as AO? The Poti thing I hated from day one. He sucks, could've done better there. IN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM do I think GMGM is should be employed with the Caps right now but at least for a couple decisions its safe to say its not his fault.
6)Playing tampa, carolina, and Fla every week is just plain awful. Its been said before but if this team played that many games against its old division mates attendance would be much higher as would the caps national exposure. Which, in hindsight, would bring in more into light the blunders of management probably causing swifter changes.
Let's go Caps!!!

Posted by: PJ | December 15, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Puckguru on the Semin issue (I hope my other post didn't sound like I thought Semin was bad)...how can you blame a guy for being a little timid (especially if there is still a lingering injry-which we'll never know). I know a lot of people are resentful against him for what he did in the past but seriously get over it. He's a good player but does seem to be off a bit now. Hopefully line changes will discontinue once everyone is healthy.

Posted by: K | December 15, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, its the same comments over and over. Brash did this, Olie did that. GMGM sucks. Look, Olie is over the hill and we all know it. He's up and down. If he didn't let in the softies and 5 holes, the team would have won on any given night, when they aren't being lazy. Kozlov has always been lazy and soft. Nylander puts up a point a game. Thats 82 points a season. Stop complaining about him. In short, stop complaining. Find somehting else to do with your time rather than bore others. Here's a thought: find out were puckguru lives and staple his fingers together so that he can't type. Its not caring that propels people to type the same thing over and over, its the absence of a clue and of a meaningful life. Go back to work, find some friends, join a buddhist monastary. Anything. Just stop whining every day about something that is generally unimportant. Its no fun to read, no fun to write and no fun to be a part of.
Stop saying its because people care.

Posted by: 007 | December 15, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@ K:

the only reason puckguru says anything is to reinforce his own agenda that the caps mngt is full of idiots while he is so smart. You can tell by the volume/nature of his posts that he accomplishes little in life. Agreeing with him just feeds the flames. great job. now we get 10 more posts in which he rants and raves and talks in all caps.

Posted by: 007 | December 15, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

007, if you don't like the comments... well, why are you reading them?

Posted by: MikeZ | December 15, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@Chief ...Nylander was/is in fact hurt. I've seen him getting treatment for the injury.

Posted by: Tarik | December 15, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Look, MikeZ, thats the point. I'm scanning, finding worthwhile posts bookended by morons, and i'm straight to the bottom once again; the same blathering soapbox statues are screaming about the same things, day in day out, turning this blog into a megaphone for their own dissatisfaction. Freedom of speech should also imply a freedom to kick someone's ass if they speak too much. The general rules of behavior become suspended on the internet by people like puckguru who just blather on and on relentlessly, shouting down everyone who implies calming down. I swear to god I think its the same guy agreeing with himself. typing in caps about caps. sigh.

this team mirrors its fanbase.

Posted by: 007 | December 15, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@ 007,
Poor fella. Talk about, "The pot calling the kettle black." Freud would have a field - day with you. Yours, is a classic example of what's known in the profession as "Projection." I feel for you. I really do. Maybe, you should take the advice someone offered, and simply STOP READING THE POSTS!! Or, are you actually addicted in some sort of sick, perverted way? In either case, Puckguru prescribes taking a deep breath, two ( 2 ) aspirins, and then get back to us when you feel better. Hopefully, A LOT FREAKIN' BETTER.(smile)

Posted by: Puckguru | December 15, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

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