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In-game chat: Caps at Senators

Join Post reporter Gene Wang here on the Insider as the Caps seek to rebound from their loss to Montreal last night that ended a franchise-record 14-game winning streak.

Tonight's matchup:

 

Washington Capitals (41-12-7)
Ottawa Senators (34-22-4)
Scotiabank Place, 7 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet (find your channel)
Radio: 1500 AM

The chat will get underway just before faceoff. Join the conversation below:

By Gene Wang  |  February 11, 2010; 6:00 PM ET
 
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Next: Varlamov, defense struggle in 6-5 loss to Senators

Comments

caps will end their longest losing streak in a month tonight

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 11, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I believe you, Capt Kirk.

Posted by: uncatim | February 11, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Whats with the cheerful attitude! Go Caps!!!!!

Posted by: capscoach | February 11, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

i hope i don't get a headache (like last night) trying to follow both the game and the in-game chat

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 11, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I am not longer doing the in game chat. I was on until the 4th goal for the Pens in the game Sunday. Then last night I was on until the start of the third because I had to leave for hockey myself and we come back to tie it so no more in game chat for me.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 11, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

forwards not working on defense so we sit Laing for Bourque wtf? flash and semin burnt again ..they were on for 4 goals last night

Posted by: wendel2 | February 11, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

This is for the best. The caps are the best team in the nhl, but the have holes. McPhee had better fill them.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 11, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I love love love the Caps. The offense is unbelievable, and now that Bruce has organized the team into fixed lines, every line is producing. For the first time ever, the players actually seem to know where the other players will be and they PASS to them. Our goalies have been amazing too. But the Caps put WAY too much pressure on these goalies, and make them do the job of the entire defense. What is the one thing you see whenever you watch another team play that you don't see with the Caps? DEFENSE! Players who aren't the goalie blocking the shots! (Remember Gall and Markov last night?) It's great to have the top scoring defensive players in the league, but we need defense from our defensive players. This is the one (and only) think that needs to be accomplished before the trade deadline. Tarik -- do you agree?

Posted by: fmjk | February 11, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Need to play defense...
Is BMo just worn out? His game is flat.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 11, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I guess people can get off Semin's case again.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 11, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

that 5th goal was all Flash's fault. Failed to get the puck out when he had it on his stick with no one around him. Exactly what was pointed out last night and verified by BB today - the forwards bear a lot of blame for the sloppy defense.
Flash was horrid on that last shift, the entire team was pinned in based on his sloppy lax play along the boards

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 11, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Erskine had to bail Flash out twice on that shift but to no avail. The defense can only do so much. When a forward fails to do his part, thats when the puck gets held in and the team starts running around in their own end.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 11, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Why is Laing out of the lineup anyway? We need more of his defensive intensity to carry over to the rest of the team. A little less onedimensional skill in the lineup and some more defensive minded grit wouldn't be a bad tradeoff at this point. Giving up 5+ goals and 35+ shots a game isn't the mark of a great defensive team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 11, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

This SUCKS!!!

Posted by: capscoach | February 11, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin took that penalty but it was Green's 4th blatant turnover of the game that led to the play in our zone. Just another blind careless pass with no mustard on it.

I think overall Green's work ethic has improved this year but he still makes a few too many careless passes.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 11, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

BLAST!

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | February 11, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

disgusting game. i'd rather see us lose 3-2. i hate games like this. just too wide open. the defense and goaltending disgusts me tonight. i can't bear to watch when we give up SIX goals. SIX goals, are you kidding me?

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Rangers= 5 goals
PIT= 4 goals
Montreal= 6 goals
Ottawa= 6 goals

yeah... no need to say anything.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

rachel: you're gonna need therapy by June!

Posted by: TimDz | February 11, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Canada = Land of Doom

Posted by: SuzieInMD | February 11, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Capitals = The Phoenix Suns of the NBA

It'll be a fun ride but it won't end with a championship.

We need to sacrifice some offense for defense. I mean that both in terms of trades and our style of play.

Whether it's the forwards or the defensemen or both, the coaches need to instill the discipline and responsibility in the players. There is also the liklihood that some of the players just aren't good enough.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

-CRAP! Caps have been awful. Really hope GMGM is looking for someone to shore up the defensive game.
-Varlamov did not look good at all. Made some good saves a few times, but overall it was evident that he's been out for some time. Hope he gets the start on saturday, though.
-Call-up Chris Bourque didn't really have a good game. It didn't even seem like he was on the ice.
-On a positive note, Semin with the hatter. Third straight game where a Caps' player scored a hat trick.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216

I'll be joining you in therapy this year. Unless the Caps can get their act together on defense again.

This loss is NOT a good loss at all.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Now the break can't come soon enough. GMGM better make some kind of deal. This clearly shows we need defensive help. I'm going to put things into perspective and say that if that's the normal Varly before his injury, then there's no way they score 6 goals. The defensive breakdowns we've seen in the Rangers, Penguins, Canadiens, and Sens games are just unacceptable. We cannot be having this many breakdowns. It'll end up in our net every single time.

If you told me we scored 3 hat tricks in a row and only won once, I'd say you were kidding. It irritates me that we've scored three consecutive hat tricks and we are still constantly trying to come back from deficits. The scoring is not a problem. The defense is showing it's holes more and more every game. I said before that I think this team is capable of playing good defense sometimes but there are too many games where they have severe breakdowns and if that happens in the playoffs, then that's it, it's gonna be game over. I'm counting on GMGM to make the right moves.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Back in the late 80's the Caps played great defense, but the lacked consistent offensive firepower. Now it's 180 degrees opposite. As great as this Caps team is, I cannot see them winning the Cup with this sort of defense (and I'm not even talking just the defenseman).
Positive: Semin was incredible!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 11, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I wonder which team was the last to give up 21 goals over 4 games this late in the season and go on to win a championship. Even if it's happened, it's probably been a rarity.

If and when the Caps can't find the back of the net in the playoffs, our defensive shortcomings could kill us.

As of now, I'd say we are the most likely top seed to be upset in the first round.

Sorry if this kind of talk upsets some of you but that's just how I see it. Sure, we could win it all this year if everything comes together but I'm not sure that our play in the defensive zone will allow us to win 4 rounds of playoff hockey.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Tim, I need therapy right now! lol!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Bruce is steaming over Varly's performance tonight.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Bruce is steaming over the whole team in general.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao: No, it's not upsetting anyone. (BTW, you always offer great insight and you're very realistic. I love reading your posts.) I'm HAPPY that fans are not overlooking this and thinking we can outscore everyone in the playoffs like 7-5, 5-4 for example. We WON'T be able to do that. The defense HAS TO improve, no ifs, ands, or buts. Or this is gonna be a quick exit out of the playoffs.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Did you watch the postgame interview with Boudreau? He blamed the entire loss on Varly. Now Varly should have blocked more shots, but there is more to the defense than just the goalie. Bruce expects the goalie to do everything and places no defensive demands on anyone else. We need some defense before the puck gets to the goal!

Posted by: fmjk | February 11, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Remember, we barely eeked out that first series against the Rangers last season after going down 3-1.

Sure, we're a better team this season but the bottom line is that a defense (forwards and defensemen) that is this soft and mistake-prone could get eaten alive in the playoffs by even a bottom seed.

Real contenders can typically rely on their play at both ends of the ice at different points during the postseason. I'm not sure we'll be able to say that about the Caps short of some significant changes between now and the playoffs. When I say change, I'm talking about both change and discipline from the players on the current roster. The discipline needs to start from the top. Boudreau and his assistants have to drill better habits into these guys.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

@fmjk

I wouldn't say he blamed the ENTRIE loss on Varly. He did say the defense didn't help out. But, there was good deal of blaming Varly.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

The first 10 games in the winning streak, they allowed less than 3 goals per game. The last four games, they've given up more than 4. I think some of this issues can be addressed with them practice.

Posted by: miseaujeu | February 11, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

fmjk:
were you really listening. he said varly was bad but the defense was worse

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 11, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Another problem that gets overlooked is our failure to play hockey during the first period. Game after game, we fall behind by two and then wake up during the second period. It's exciting to watch, but imagine how many more games we'd win if we showed up from the start!

Posted by: fmjk | February 11, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least we'll get to see what kind of defenseman we can get for Flash come the trade deadline.

He's terrible in the dot, terrible on defense, soft, and there's no way we're paying him the $3million+ he will ask for. He's trade bait, so we might as well get something for him. Pick up a d-man and a veteran center.

Posted by: wahoo_Mike | February 11, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone really think Varly would be ready for this? I'm surprised Bruce is so upset about it. Not playing in the NHL for almost 3 months, you're bound to give up 2 or 3 soft goals your first game back.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 11, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

"I guess people can get off Semin's case again." - ccCapsfan

LOL. Not with this group, as soon as he falls or makes a mistake he will be crucified by the great hockey minds on this blog. Imagine if it had been Semin rather than OV who touched that stick for a penalty ... LOL.

Posted by: hock1 | February 11, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I know that Varly is rusty, he hasn't played since Dec. 7, but even if you are rusty, you can't possibly be THAT rusty where you can't even stop the easiest shots. 2 of the 6 goals should've been stopped... even if you haven't played in that long... maybe Varly needed more practice time. I (for once) and all of you guys probably believe had Theodore been in net, we win this at the least 5-4.

BB said “He’s been making that save since he was 7 year old.”

Good thing Varly doesn't understand english!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

@fmjk

I haven't seen the postgame yet but if Boudreau pinned this entirely on the goalie, he needs to go back and watch the tape and reassess things.

Sure, Varlamov let in 2 or 3 bad goals but...

29 blocked shots to 5.

Horrible and untimely giveaways.

Bad faceoffs in our own zone.

Poor defensive zone coverage by both the forwards and defensemen.

Varlamov was not good and shares responsibility for this loss but it's far from just on him.

Boudreau is just frustrated and I'm sure he'll change his tune once he sees tape. He's only human.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone really think Varly would be ready for this? I'm surprised Bruce is so upset about it. Not playing in the NHL for almost 3 months, you're bound to give up 2 or 3 soft goals your first game back.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 11, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse
---------
Exactly what I'm thinking.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin had a pretty lousy game, too. He was trying to force things too often, he wasn't making good decisions with the puck, he couldn't seem to control the puck well at times, etc...

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure who you go after trade wise. Niedermayer is not young and I'm not sure he is the answer. You also need more defensive strength and grit up front.

Varly looked bad, rusty, whatever.

I agree with some of you that this sort of play could easily result in an early exit from the playoffs. Not trying to say "the sky is falling", but you cannot win playoff series trying to outscore teams 7 to 6.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 11, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Varly understands enough English to know what Bruce is saying. Theo mentioned talking to Varly about goaltending in training camp, and in any event, Irbe speaks Russian.

Posted by: miseaujeu | February 11, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin had a pretty lousy game, too. He was trying to force things too often, he wasn't making good decisions with the puck, he couldn't seem to control the puck well at times, etc...

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 9:57 PM


Correct. He's awesome, but needs to be called on it when he is terrible - which he was tonight. Giveaways, terrible passes and a penalty that cost his team a point.

Posted by: wahoo_Mike | February 11, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

My wish list has Hamhuis at the top.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

My wish list has Hamhuis at the top. (:

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

My wish list has Hamhuis at the top.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

My wish list has Hamhuis at the top.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

My wish list has Hamhuis at the top.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

sorry for the multiple posts...

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I submit to you that the experiment with Flash centering a line needs to stop. I direct your attention to exhibit A.

Flash was 2 for 11 on faceoffs tonight (18%). In fact, the Sens second goal was scored off a draw in the defensive zone that Spezza won cleanly against Flash. He was a game high (low?) -3 tonight. That was despite potting a fluky even strength goal.

Exhibit B. Last night against Montreal, Flash was 3 for 14 on faceoffs (21%) and a -2 despite assisting on Brooks' first goal of the game.

I rest my case.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 11, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

elicea: try five times. lol!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling Washington Capitals and Phoenix Suns fans are going to be attending support group meetings together in a few years for fans of underachieving professional sports teams.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

elicea:
no problem, i just thought you had short term memory issues :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 11, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Flash has very good vision and passing skills but it's hard to argue with all the things he's not doing well.

Do you guys think his soft play is a phsychological or physical thing, or both?

He's a gifted offensive player but he doesn't seem to be improving enough in the peripheral parts of his game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

i think flash sneaks out at night to practice with his national team

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 11, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

BB said calling "Varly rusty is an excuse and it's his responsibility to be ready to play, he clearly wasn't ready."

Varly needs to play the game on Saturday.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

In fact, both of our current 2nd and 3rd line centers are extremely soft on the puck and tend to disappear for extended stretches.

I'm with the people that say we need both a better two-way center and a defensive upgrade.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys, I have a trade that you might like. Lets trade Craig Laughlin for Keith Jones. If any of you ever heard Jonesy do a game, he is pretty good. He knows the game and adds some humor when needed. I am not saying Laughlin is not humorous, but he talks way too much. I would be quite surprised if Joey B does not get annoyed with him. I am sick of the PP, PK, biscuit in the basket and all the other crap he says.

Posted by: TheSmurfs | February 11, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

BB can preach defense all day and night, but the Caps current personnel just cannot play this style. Three forward lines that play run-and-gun hockey will not suffice in the trapping, tight-checking flow of the playoffs. Thus, I contend that changes HAVE to be made.

The first move MUST be the third line center position. The Caps need a proven defensive "shut down" center, a good faceoff specialist with serious playoff experience and speed. A guy who can shadow and hound the top scorers in the east for a 7-game series. I don't care if he doesn't ever score a goal in a Caps uniform. A guy like John Madden comes to mind. The Blackhawks most likely would not want to move him; however, (and I mean this seriously), dangle Neuvirth in front of the Hawks and you might see some movement. I don't think Niemi is their long-term solution in goal. Throw Flash and a pick into the mix and perhaps pry Cam Barker off the Hawks as well (and get a stay at home type on defense). There is no way the Hawks will move Keith, Seabrook, or Campbell. I know that this sacrifices our future a little, but the Caps HAVE to address the third line center and defense (and we seem to be stocked with goalie prospects). You have to give something to get something in this league.

The Caps are missing playoff-proven players on this roster. Madden brings Cups and experience and leadership and he would fill a HUGE VOID on this team. And he might be able to pass on some advice as to how the Caps can penetrate the Devils suffocating trap in the playoffs.

My two cents ...

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | February 11, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Is it fair to say that Volchenkov owned Ovechkin tonight?

Was he is daddy? (joke)

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

And fans of the San Diego Chargers will be joining us all.

I've rooted for some pretty frustrating baseball teams in my lifetime as well. But most of my favorite baseball teams have been world champions at least once.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I want Nylander back on the first flight to DC.... I think we all can use the olympic break

Posted by: samb99 | February 11, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

@coveredwithhisdust

That was a terrific post. Even if it's not the players you suggest, we need to make those kinds of changes. We don't have the answers internally. McPhee really needs to make a couple of shrewd moves by March 3rd.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

@ccCapsfan & Hock1

Yes, the anti-Semin lobby can be quiet -- for one more night.

Actually, except for the occasional trolls that come over here, the folks here are less harsh on Semin than some of the posters are over at Japers.

Too bad his best game of the year is wasted.

I'll admit I called for his line to be broken up since they collectively were on the ice for too many opposition goals, as of late. So, it was broken up.

Laich, Semin, and Flash are all very good players and can certainly function on either the 1st or 2nd line. But all three of them should not be on the same line since they function better as wingers than as centers.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

can we see MP85 center our second line and drop laich as left wing to the third line.

Posted by: samb99 | February 11, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

BMo's game is flat? Umm he was a plus 4 tonight that doesn't happen by accident. He may not have gotten more then one point but he was out for every one of our even strength goals and none of theirs. That seems like a solid game to me.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 11, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Varly definitely faltered a little bit tonight. I can think of several goals he definitely should have stopped.

Nevertheless, the rest of the guys did not give him much help on the others.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | February 11, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

He was plus 4 cuz he was on the ice for Semin's hat trick. If anyone needs a break, it's Brendan Morrison.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

@samb99

Not ready to drop Laich down a line. He's been one of our more productive players, as of late.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Considering how he's been playing in past recent games, I thought BMo was decent, tonight.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

So what did you all think of Bourque. Personally, he didn't impress me like I hoped he would.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

Granted B Mo hasn't seen the score sheet as of late. And while the third line had some defensive gaffes in the Atlanta and Pittsburgh games, Morrison was usually on the ice when Fehr and Chimera would score. In other words, he's not a liability who prevents them from doing their thing.

Plus, B Mo on the line with Semin and Laich was helpful tonight. Something needed to be done about the 2nd line who kept getting trapped in their end and getting scored upon, which has been the case for the last two games. Since Flash hasn't been good at the faceoff, the switch was made.

The main problem with Morrison is that he takes penalties too often (and his time in the box was costly today.)

And for all those people who wish to dump Morrison. Okay, he's been off and needs a break. But he was a life saver for us early this year when Flash and Fehr were out (and later when Ovi and Semin were out). And he can win face offs

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75

drop flash to third line so perault can play center

Posted by: samb99 | February 11, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond

Yes, I've been through it all as a Caps fan. I remember all the years when they had great defense but not enough offense. And this group of Caps with great offense. And I remember the Caps of the mid 80's who had stars on both offense and defense but kept getting upset in the playoffs by hot goal tenders.

Please God, I'd like a Caps Stanley Cup before I die. (Yes, I do sound pessimistic tonight, I admit.)

Yet, I still have some hope.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@hock1

If that had been Semin in the box instead of Ovi for the Sens' last powere play, he would really be crucified big time.

All the anti-Semin trolls would come back.

Actually, they're harder on Semin on the Japers' blog than they are here.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Plus/minus can be extremely misleading and deceptive, especially on a game-to-game basis. I think it's an overrated and overused statistic for the most part.

Using plus/minus to evaluate an individual player often doesn't give you an accurate picture of that player's abilities. Some players benefit too greatly from the good play of their teammates while others suffer unfairly because of the poor play of their teammates.

Using the statisitc to rank players often leads to faulty conclusions. A player can be significantly better or worse than the statistic would seem to indicate on the surface.


On the other hand, team goal differential, over time, is usually an extremely meaningful statisitc in all sports and it fairly accurately describes the relative ability of a given team. Meanwhile, trying to apply the goals for and against to individual players in a team sport is a very sketch science.

The bottom line is that Morrison has not played well for weeks. I don't need to look at statistics to see that. It's blatantly obvious if you watch every Caps game like most of us here do.

He gets knocked off the puck extremely easily and hasn't been able to regain his once touted speed since a brief spurt early in the season. It's not just the fact that he's playing on a lower line now. Like I said, I'm not looking at statistics. I'm just using my eyes.

He did seem to be working a little harder out there tonight but he is simply too soft on the puck and isn't able to create much separation to make plays like he used to in his in prime.

He's a very smart player but he no longer seems to have the physical ability to execute what he wants to do effectively. I really like the guy, I just think his game has fallen off dramatically. For a third line center, I expect somebody that is much harder on the puck and more capable defensively.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Praying to God for results in sporting events makes me sick to my stomach.

Sorry, CapsFan75. It's just something that always bothers me, whether it's players doing it, or fans.

I'll pray to God for the people in Haiti or for others that are less fortunate... not for a hockey team to win a championship or anything else to that end.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

What is the purpose of bringing up Bourque and sitting Laing. You dont play him for 12 games then play him 1 game then bring up Bourque who played to a -2 looking like Flash gave him defensive hints.BB just lost some cred with me PS Gordon gets scored on every pk he is on .Lots of forwards have earned a seat in st louis

Posted by: wendel2 | February 11, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I'll admit I haven't agreed with some of the recent goal tending decisions.

1) Would have given Holtby the start against Atlanta. I'll admit we would have been putting our win streak in jeopardy. (This is so Neuvy could have remained at Hershey over the weekend so he could have gotten his time in. I assume he was only 2 games away from the time he needed)

2) Since Varly looked shaky on Sunday, I figured he needed another start in Hershey first before coming back up -- like on Friday there and then go to the Olympics from there.

3) I figure Neuvy would have joined us for yesterday's trip. Okay, that would not have helped us win yesterday. Would it have helped for today?

But that's, of course, my opinion. Is Varly better off (for both the Olympics and for the rest of the season) taking shots from the Caps in practice and starting with them or is better off staying down in Hershey and getting games in and his confidence back? That's the question for Bruce.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I forgot what it's like when we lose. Everybody becomes a GM!

Posted by: Sonyask | February 11, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Ottawa has now bumped Buffalo out of first place. Changing of the guard in the North East.

Another interesting note. Boston and Tampa Bay are dead even for 8th place. I bet no one would have predicted that one, given that Boston was the class of the conference and TB a bottom feeder.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

So tmac2yao the fact that he gets moved up to the second line and then they score three four goals is just luck then. He isn't a big hitter but he is a very smart player who is a big part of why this team is in first in the East. Listen to the TSN highlights on NHL and notice how many times they mention BMo making a good play.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 11, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

Agree that it was no coincidence that moving Morrison to the second line gave them a spark.

Until he was there, that line was not looking right on defense at all.

There's something to be said for a forward who allows his line mates to do good things whether or not it shows up on the score sheet.

For an example of one who didn't seem to help, look no farther than the 1 game experiment of Michael Nylander as right winger on the first line last year. MN did not fit our system, even as a center. But he was sadly miscast as a winger on the first line. (I was so glad to see Semin there the next game -- coming back from an injury.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Morrison is a very intelligent player. His hockey IQ is up there with the best of them.

Unfortunately, I also think he's lost the physical ability to consistently execute the things he wants and needs to do on the ice.

Even if he had a relatively good game tonight, I still see a small, soft player that has lost his speed and is therefore unable to deliver on a consistent basis.

You obviously have your opinion while I have mine. I hope you're right and I'm wrong, and that could very well be the case. Let's just leave it at that.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

People need to calm down about Flash. I'm sure BB expected him to hit some rough spots when he moved to center.

He is struggling mightily in the faceoff circle and overall, but I don't think anyone expected him to just be great immediately.

However, that is the risk of changing a guys position half way through the season. They only have about 20 games to look at Flash before deciding what to do at the deadline.

But trading Flash would not be a good move, the scoring depth of this team is what makes it great. I definitely think the Caps need to add a defenseman, but I don't think this game is all because of personnel.

This game was the perfect recipe for a let down game. They just came off of a historic streak, they are playing the 2nd of back to back games on the road, and with the Olympic break coming soon it wouldn't suprise me if some guys are sort of floating through the last few games with the idea that the "real" season starts when they return.

But I am still hoping GMGM makes a move for a defenseman (#1 need) and if the center becomes available for the right price I would be for that too. More depth is always good to have. But I wouldn't give up a roster forward for a center.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 11, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

@wendel2

Well the problem is --- we can't sit every forward in the press box.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

After the break, I hope the Caps have some practices and work out the kinks. Work on face offs and PK and Power Plays, not to mention clearing the puck.

We know Flash is a good player but he needs work in face offs. Not that the goals against us are all his fault in particular. But a lost faceoff can result in us being trapped in our d-zone for long periods of time. Sooner or later, the other team will score.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 12, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

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