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In-game chat: Caps vs. Senators

Join Post reporter Gene Wang here on the Insider as the Capitals play Ottawa at Verizon Center in the second of a three-game homestand. The chat will begin around 7 p.m.

Join the conversation below:

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 30, 2010; 1:41 PM ET
 
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Comments

Gologaski is the future QB of the Pens PP not Letang. He has 7 more points and 4 more goals. He's also played the right point, which is Gonchar's spot, on the PP while Gonchar has been out.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 30, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Dude, go caps!

Posted by: LloydChristmas | March 30, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

From earlier thread;

Orpik plays with Letang actually. Letang isn't much of a Gonchar..he's actually more like Orpik with more offensive upside.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 30, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Should the Caps "throw" the two remaining regular season games against the Thrash to help their playoff chances so we can stomp on them in the first round?

Posted by: AMHV2772 | March 30, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Should the Caps "throw" the two remaining regular season games against the Thrash to help their playoff chances so we can stomp on them in the first round?

Posted by: AMHV2772

Absolutely not! First of all, you never know what will happen in the playoffs and think how humiliating it would be to lose to ATL. Second, you might give them the confidence to play the Caps tough if you did so. Third, hockey karma.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 30, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

By all means, let Gologiski replace Gonchar then, I'm all for it. There's a long line of geniuses itching to show the hockey world just how smart they are by replacing Gonchar on the PP - most recently the Russian Coach [Bykov, I think] with his KHL fill-in (yuh, that worked out awesomely!), to Harry Sinden's B's, to of course, our own Butch Cassidy, hockey savant that he is [where our PP went from top-5 to bottom-5, like overnight. Cassidy is just like Bruce Boudreau - only in reverse).

Look, not trying to dump on Gologoski, good player, and proud product of USA Hockey [I think, right?] - I like him. But he ain't Sergei Gonchar. So I say, go for it, Pens!

Posted by: govtimbo | March 30, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the pens throw the final game of last season (It might have been against the Flyers) to get a more desireable first round playoff matchup?

Posted by: griz0615 | March 30, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad Volchenkov is out - hopefully, that will give Ovie the edge he needs to get his scoring going again. And is Sutton is going against Ovie as much as possible, maybe it will open things up for Flash and Semin.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 30, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@ griz

No that was two seasons ago when the Pens threw their last game against the Flyers. So we wound up playing the Flyers in the first round instead of them.

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 30, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I hope they throw Sutton out against Ovie - #8 looks almost everybody look slow, it could be lights out tonight for Andy.

And you're definitely right about opening things up for Flash and Semin - if Semin just plays basic give-and-go hockey he can be almost unstoppable sometimes.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 30, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

We want Atlanta! We want Atlanta!

Posted by: NateinthePDX1 | March 30, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

So the pens set us up to play the Flyers and we lost... I hate the pens even more.

I'll take ATL in the first round, or Boston. Break out the brooms.

Posted by: griz0615 | March 30, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

CAPS CAPS CAPS!!!

Posted by: dc33 | March 30, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Caps need to go into the playoffs with an "I don't give a crap who we play, 'cause we're gonna stomp them" mentality.
In regards to two years ago, Pittsburgh wanted us to have a physical first round game against Philly, because they didn't want that for themselves. The "strategy" paid off obviously, but the NHL playoffs should be about intensity and not manipulating things to get a "favorable" opponent.
In the past, I believe that Washington has looked past who the believed to be "lesser" opponents. Look back in the 80's where the Caps lost to such "lesser" opponents. It just goes to show that, in the NHL playoffs, regular season records mean zippy.

Posted by: TimDz | March 30, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

well, here we go again.

Posted by: thickman22 | March 30, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

this pattern of being outshot, outscored and outplayed in the beginning of every game is coming at the worst time of the year. I don't care that these games don't mean that much, they better pick it up now or we will see the same results as last year, out in the second round.

Posted by: DCFanatic | March 30, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Another crap performance. I don't think they should be given a break. Boo the slackers until they get it right.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 30, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

3-1 afer one period? That's atrocious! (well I suppose it's better than 4-0). Hello Capitals it's playoff time! ps I've been rocking the red - Robert Mondave Pinot Noir 2008 - very nice.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 30, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

someone should tell our offensive forwards that it is ok to skate hard BOTH ways and try to take the puck away from the opposition

Posted by: wendel2 | March 30, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I hope the fans at the game give full voice to their feelings and to hell with what BB thinks.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 30, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Another crap performance. I don't think they should be given a break. Boo the slackers until they get it right.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 30, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

didn't you get FANOCK's memo? you're not a real fan if you complain about your team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Gologaski is the future QB of the Pens PP not Letang. He has 7 more points and 4 more goals. He's also played the right point, which is Gonchar's spot, on the PP while Gonchar has been out.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 30, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

you're nothing but a stathound.

uh duhh if one player has slightly more points than another player then uhh that player is obviously a better offensive player uhh duhh

lol

btw I like Letang. An offensive dman who plays with a nice edge to his game.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Another crap performance. I don't think they should be given a break. Boo the slackers until they get it right.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 30, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

weren't the shots in the 1st pd identical against the Pens, Flames and now the Senators? 13-4 against us. That's a weird anomaly. And at home no less.

Guess Boudreau really has the ability to light a fire under his troops *cough

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

good news is Chimera for the first time in about 15 games is finally using his big body to his advantage instead of being a one-dimensional speed skater playing a finesse game. Inconsistency like that drives me nuts. You don't know what style of game a player is going to choose to play heading into a critical matchup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't care that these games don't mean that much, they better pick it up now or we will see the same results as last year, out in the second round.

Posted by: DCFanatic | March 30, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

you give them too much credit. They may be out in the 1st round depending on who they play. And how WE play.

the good news is, there will be more focus on EFFORT now. Instead of them getting by on their skill.

If you could take the 2nd half of that game we played against the Pens and bottled that effort, this team would be unbeatable. That 2nd half was probably the best I've ever seen this team play outside of a playoff game.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin with 5 takeaways through 2 periods.

I've never seen Backstrom make so many bad passes in one game but he's playing very good defensively both at even strength and on the PK, other than maybe one early play where he got stripped behind the net.

The defensive breakdowns are becoming a worrisome trend.

Theodore has been bombarded but he's also looked lethargic when it comes to his movement. He seems unfocused, in general, early in games but so has the entire team. He made a few huge saves but we're lucky Ottawa didn't put up 5+ goals. Even in the 2nd period, there were a couple of huge defensive breakdowns.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

My concern is that the Caps simply don't look like a team that knows how to play conservatively and win close games.

They are just totally hardwired to go, go go...

When a game calls for tightening up, it seems like it's a totally foreign concept to a large portion of this team.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Perreault is skilled up and has great vision.

The question is can he get away with being tiny and do all the little things.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom has turned into such a strong two way player. He just took that puck back on the PP with a very strong play along the boards. Usually our forwards on the PP are pretty timid along the boards, like they're afraid to get a penalty or something. Backstrom is strong and smooth out there and his two way game has been solid esp the last month

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

joe corvo on the PK? nice one Bruce. Way to cover for McPhee.

4-4 now.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Only Nashville has a worse PK among playoff teams.

Fleischmann is playing like a scared kitty cat. It's time for him to man up.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting a little tired of Ovie just firing shots into the shinpads of the opposing player and praying for it to get through. Make an effort, for crying out loud.


Edit: This is shameful. Who could the Caps beat in a seven-game series right now? Boston, and maybe Philly? Horrible.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | March 30, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Perreault is skilled up and has great vision.

The question is can he get away with being tiny and do all the little things.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

well look at the play that just occurred. Green with a strong defensive play and then Perrault comes in to help out and just bounces off the Ottawa player. His strength is a big problem.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Edit: This is shameful. Who could the Caps beat in a seven-game series right now? Boston, and maybe Philly? Horrible.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | March 30, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse


Atlanta is the only sure thing right now. Every other team , no guarantees. Although I think we match up well with the Devils.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

omg Corvo with a blatant turnover behind the net, jesus.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

That was the 2nd horrible pass through the center near our blue line that Steckel has made this game.

The first one led to Bradley taking our first penalty.

Steckel is so slow to read the game and react to situations.

If he wasn't great at faceoffs, I wouldn't even think about putting him out there on the PK.

As is, I'm not sure that his weaknesses don't outweigh his strength.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey everybody - been watching while enjoying dinner and RED wine, so just getting to computer now.

Um, where is the D tonight?

Here's hopin' that Semin gets the hat.

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Only Nashville has a worse PK among playoff teams.

Fleischmann is playing like a scared kitty cat. It's time for him to man up.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

yeah i noticed that about Flash. Playing a total wuss out there. His linemates the time before had a good shift but Flash was operating in a whole lower gear.

and our PK does suck. Lets face it, this team is all about offense. Their coach and GM don't really believe that you have to be a good defensive team to win the Cup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Our defense and PK are simply subpar for a playoff team, regardless of our offensive abilities.

I'm just hoping that they play to their full ability, which is nothing to write home about, and that we get exceptional goaltending and plenty of luck.

We can't rely solely on offense, esp. if we get to the later rounds.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Arg - ANOTHER icing!

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I can't stand how OV is giving up the puck. The TOE DRAG AT THE BLUE LINE DOES NOT WORK!!!! When is BB going to tell him that!

Posted by: floms | March 30, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

We can't rely solely on offense, esp. if we get to the later rounds.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse


bullsht!

signed: Caps mgmt

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Ovie's game has completely fallen off a cliff since the Olympics. He's not even pretending to try anymore.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | March 30, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

This team REALLY misses BM and Brooksy

Esp brooksy. That's very apparent now.

Posted by: floms | March 30, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

did Sutton almost decapitate Ovy, my transmission blurred out

Chimera must be ticked off at being demoted to the 4th line. He's actually finishing checks tonight.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Ottawa should be up 5-4 or 6-4. Those last few chances were unbelievable.

Posted by: floms | March 30, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

There's Ted! I would not begrudge the owner to hang out in jeans and a sweater - why do owners feel compelled that they have to "suit up"? It's okay, fella, to loosen the tie...

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Chris Neil a terror on the forecheck tonight. He looks quicker than anyone we have skating for us.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Garden Salad time!

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

When was the last time the guys won in regulation?

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

rofl Corvo gets cleaned out by Neil at the blueline. Please please take him out for us.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

ARG how do they miss that?!?

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I think we'll have to score 5 goals per game in the playoffs to win. Lotta pressure on our PP to kick in its share.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

irony is the Caps have turned into the Senators from several yrs ago. Talented and soft as a baby's bottom.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Are we going OT, AGAIN?

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

We need to change our style for playoffs. We have plenty of skill to still get our chances if we change our forecheck system. It seems like right now we send everybody in and pinch the D

Posted by: floms | March 30, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Belanger - so close!

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I thought Ovechkin was very good in the first two periods, if not great.

Risky play is nothing new to him, even when he's at the top of the game.

A lack of consistent backchecking is nothing new to him, even when he's on top of his game.

I blame that on coaching more than anything.

You give any extremely gifted offensive player free reign to play however he sees fit and that's what you're going to get.

He needs to be taught to play a more complete game. He's more than capable of doing it if he works at it.

So those aren't how I evaluate when he's playing his game or not.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

no team can just change its style a coupla weeks before the playoffs..

we are who we are.

a mediocre to bad defensive team with a bad PK relying heavily on its skill and goaltending to pull out games.

And depending on who Bruce chooses to dress, we'll be better or worse.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Ok, here we go...

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Bullhockey!

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 30, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

It can always be worse. NJ just lost in OT to Boston 1-0. With 30 seconds to go Kovy tries to go 1 on 1 and ends up taking out Elias to create a 3 on 2. He hustles back on D and then knocks the stick out of Paul Martin's hand. Martin's guy then scores the goal.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 30, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Corvo makes his first solid defensive play there. I guess even blind squirrels find nuts here and there.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

hahahaha!

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

i heard atlanta and the rangers won. Nice push for the last playoff spot. Caps better hope Atlanta takes that spot or they could be in trouble.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

GREEN!!! so close! Great pass and shot...

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

GREAT SAVE! no thanks to Jeff...

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: fdsauiofdajkl | March 30, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

best stat of the night - Jason Chimera racks up 5 official hits in a game for probably the first time in his 10 yr career.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Tripping!?!!??

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh, for the love of Pete.

These guys have got to get their act together.

Good night everyone-

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | March 30, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

They deserve that loss. Note to Boudreau - get this team focused before it's too late.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 30, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

ahh the vaunted PK unit strikes again.

At least they're sucking now, with time before the playoffs to address the lineup and maybe Bruce can learn how to coach his team to play some defense. And maybe he can figure out how to motivate his team to come out hard in the 1st pd.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The one thing that Steckel is clearly good at was needed in that situation.

Theodore can't let that puck get behind him.

We're a sloppy offensive juggernaut with a soft, inconsistent defense.

We're going to live and die with that in the playoffs.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

This is a real bad time for them to be playing this bad.

Someone needs to tell these guys that spotting the opponent 3 and 4 goals before you decide to start playing is a really bad strategy.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 30, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

irony is the Caps have turned into the Senators from several yrs ago. Talented and soft as a baby's bottom.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:24 PM |

Caps have to make the Finals before you can say this.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 30, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

POSTGAME THOUGHTS: Without seeing the game - still it's a concern - two games off to a slow start and giving up too many goals. Wow this team has reverted back to the beginning of the season. What a difference two games giving up a ton of goals makes. This team better get back on track and fast.

Hope Carlson isn't hurt too bad.

It's been a one point night - blah.

Ice Breakers Goal Shakers

Posted by: Jonathan6 | March 30, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

If Steckel doesn't win the faceoff, he becomes an instant liability on the PK.

I don't care about his length and reach. It's more than outweighed by the fact that he's slow, has horrible reaction and recovery time, rarely wins battles along the boards, isn't good at pressuring the points and getting in passing lanes despite his reach and struggles to clear pucks because of his slow reaction time and hands of stone.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and guys - stay out of the bars!

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 30, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Another slopping game, to say the least. Don't know how much to take from this game. Need to come out better from the start. PK and defense still a problem. 10 goals in two games. I would say Theo had an okay game. No more "give these guys a break," BB. They need to get it together.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 30, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

In all the hoopla, I didn't even notice that something happened to Carlson. I stepped away between periods.

What is the word on him? Did they show a play or speculate about it?

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

on a positive note, Mike Green this year looks more like a defenseman and less like a forward. His effort in his own end is more than acceptable on most nights.

Flash and Belanger played extremely soft games tonight. Perrault was trying hard but he's limited in what he can do with his size sometimes. But at least the kid has some spunk.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Many of you will not agree with me, but we need to break apart backstrom and ovi.

I feel backstrom now being with ovi is holding backs back.

I think somehow if we can split up backs, ovi, and semin, we'd have a more complete team.

Posted by: floms | March 30, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Atlanta, Boston, and the Rags all won tonight.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 30, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what happened to Carlson but I noticed he was playing a little less aggressively all game long. Maybe he was ill or hurt to start the game.

funniest moment of the night may have been Neil laying out Corvo and then Corvo trying to "have words" with Neil and Neil laughing at him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Slow start ...poor defense..the boys better wake up!

Posted by: JCB9 | March 30, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

GMGM needs to force BB to hire a serious defensive expert like Larry Robinson as coach. Bob Woods may have done a great job with Hershey last year but it is clear that the defense hasn't improve under his watch.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 30, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Many of you will not agree with me, but we need to break apart backstrom and ovi.

I feel backstrom now being with ovi is holding backs back.

I think somehow if we can split up backs, ovi, and semin, we'd have a more complete team.

Posted by: floms | March 30, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse


i think temporarily its always a good idea to shake up the lines. Do it in the shortterm but I think longterm the Ovy-Backs-Knuble line is our most balanced line and needs to be together.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that you are what you are at this point.

You can play with more energy and focus but you can't suddenly turn on a switch and learn how to be a good defensive team and good on the penalty kill.

Those are things that are drilled into you from day one and you develop could habits defensively both individually and as a team.

There is a reason why certain teams play defensive minded hockey and it's not always just because teams don't have offensive talent.

Buffalo is an example of a team than could run and gun and score 30+ more goals per season but their coach teaches them to play from their end on out and not take risks.

We obviously have talent but a lot of teams could score a lot more if they played our systems.

Put Boudreau behind the bench of any team in the league and their offense improves significantly. They also probably lose a lot of their defensive discipline. It's hard to know what the net gain is but there is a reason that they say "defense wins championships" in every major sport. You need offense but you can rarely win without good defense.

Most championship teams in all sports are better than average both offensively and defensively and usually elite in one of the two areas. The Caps are elite offensively but subpar defensively, esp. when you factor in the PK. We're a high risk/high reward hockey team and that's a very Phoenix Suns way to approach winning when it matters.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

GMGM needs to force BB to hire a serious defensive expert like Larry Robinson as coach. Bob Woods may have done a great job with Hershey last year but it is clear that the defense hasn't improve under his watch.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 30, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse


you do understand that would never work right? Larry Robinson never played or coached for teams that emphasized high risk offense the way we do. His style would interfere with how our players have gotten used to playing and how Boudreau likes to coach. Even when we're scoring 5 goals in a game you still see our dmen trying to jump up in the play. Totally insane.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 30, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Green has been a bright spot recently. He was the MVP of the team tonight along with Semin.

Backstrom was strong defensively despite a couple of mistakes but had one of his worst offensive games of the season. I can't remember the last time I saw him make so many bad passes and turnovers.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I highly doubt Ruff and the Buffalo team they have right now could score more goals if they want to. A better example would have been New Jersey.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 30, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are totally out of sync. Maybe its the injuries.

Belanger needs to bury that puck from point blank range. He has not shown me much. Neither has Corvo for that matter. Anyone think he is an upgrade from Pothier? I don't.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | March 30, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Nick is off right now... don't know what it is. Flash has been playing soft for a while now and he's fanning on a ton of shots. Belanger is creating great opportunities for himself but just cannot finish. Ovie isn't himself either. Anyone else think he has changed his game since the two game suspension? He doesn't hit like he used to.

With the way they are playing, they're not ready for the playoffs right now. These last few games they need to come out strong and really tighten up the defense. Can't go limping into the playoffs.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 30, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Capitals not able to close a game out once more. This loss is in no way on Theo but Varly should have started. We have the #1 seed locked up. Varly played poorly against the Sens last time out. Would have been nice to see what he had for an encore to get a sense of his whereabouts..Defense will be the demise of this team if we dont tighten up quickly....

Posted by: 850-850 | March 30, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

We've almost caught up with the Pens now in GAs. They've been having defensive problems all year as well, but they are already used to do "righting the ship" for the playoffs.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 30, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

That was exactly what I was getting at earlier.

It's as if this team doesn't even know how to tighten it up and stop taking risks.

They are so heavily wired to go, go, go, run-and-gun that it's a total foreign concept to some of these guys to make simple plays and be in position and prepared to backcheck when we lose possession.

A coach can't just say, "OK, guys, plays smart and conservatively now" after drilling into them a certain style of play for 3 years.

If we improve defensively, aside from personnel changes which will only go so far no matter who the players are, you need to teach them how to play good individual and team defense over time. so they develop those innate habits.

We are a high risk team for the remainder of this season at a minimum. We may get some stellar goaltending, strong effort and good fortune but we will have more defensive lapses than most every other team in the playoffs. That's a virtual guarantee. The quesiton is whether our offense, goaltending and good luck can make up for it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

The Caps problems are primarily mental at this point. They've shown that they're more than capable of playing sound defensive hockey when they want to, it's just that they'd rather not. They don't want to put in the work that it takes to win at this time of the year and, worse, that seems to be okay with them.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | March 30, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Theo should have had at least 1 of those goals (Campoli's) and probably should have had 2 of them. But when our defense was as bad as they were, I can hardly fault Theo. Still...he's got to make that save on Campoli's goal in the playoffs.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 30, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Ovie is def off. He's been too fancy for his own good for many games now. Trying to do way too much. It's becoming very very frustrating to watch....

Posted by: 850-850 | March 30, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I actually heard an analyst talking about that exact point when it comes to Buffalo. The players and coaches themselves openly acknowledge that they sacrifice offense for defense.

I strongly believe that if Boudreau took that exact same personnel and pushed them over time to take risks that they could easily score another 30 goals per season.

We have talented offensive players but we also have a coach that lets them take more risks than any other coach in the league. We aren't 50 to 60 goals more talented offensively than the rest of the league. If anything, it's probably 10-20 goals at most with the majority of it being Boudreau's systems and philosophy.

That's just my opinion.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1: Yes, I understand what you are saying. Here's what I'm saying. They need a big name defensive expert who can convince BB that he can create a hybrid system that is still dynamic offensively while being responsible defensively. It can be done. Sootty Bowman is one of his heroes and Bowman definitely had that kind of a system.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 30, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Ovie is def off. He's been too fancy for his own good for many games now. Trying to do way too much. It's becoming very very frustrating to watch....

Posted by: 850-850 | March 30, 2010 9:56 PM

Where have you been for the last 4 years?

That's always been Ovechkin.

Until he has a coach that encourages him to play a more responsible and complete game, we'll just have to live with having the most energetic and dominant power forward in hockey despite the weaknesses in his game.

I hesitantly quote Big Teddy's favorite word in this case....

Ovechkin needs to have a "reckoning" when it comes to what it takes to win championships in the NHL.

I also think he needs a coach that helps him make that internal realization. He's a super gifted offensive player that needs his Yzerman moment. That takes time and the right kind of encouragement.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Ovie is def off. He's been too fancy for his own good for many games now. Trying to do way too much. It's becoming very very frustrating to watch....

Posted by: 850-850 | March 30, 2010 9:56 PM

Where have you been for the last 4 years?

That's always been Ovechkin.

Until he has a coach that encourages him to play a more responsible and complete game, we'll just have to live with having the most energetic and dominant power forward in hockey despite the weaknesses in his game.

I hesitantly quote Big Teddy's favorite word in this case....

Ovechkin needs to have a "reckoning" when it comes to what it takes to win championships in the NHL.

I also think he needs a coach that helps him make that internal realization. He's a young and super gifted offensive player that needs his Yzerman moment. That takes time and the right kind of encouragement.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

If Buffalo could score this many more goals, why are they having so many offensive problems as it is?

If it's their system, then I would have to say that Ruff is doing something wrong then. I'm sorry, but having a system that has problems offensively at the expense of defense when your team is having problems scoring goals is just...bad. Sure, I'll buy that Ruff employs a defensive-first system, but I still highly doubt that that team is capable of scoring 30-40 more goals. Sounds like a copout for the players to me...

Posted by: richmondphil | March 30, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I dont disagree one bit tmac. Lately, however, it seems to have gotten much worse....

Posted by: 850-850 | March 30, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I just disagree that it's the system. Go look at some of the other playoff teams who have let in as many goals/game or more as the Caps, yet people look to them as "defensive" examples. Our defense is pretty bad, but I would think it's personnel more than the system.

The Caps and BB are perfectly capable of playing a sound defensive game when they choose to.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 30, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

NEED Varly to play well with those last couple of games he's given. As well as Theo's played and the stretch that he's on... I still have doubts about him. Varly is getting better each game and last game he played really well against Carolina. I still have more confidence in Varly than Theo, don't know why.. but with our PK I don't think it matters who's goalie..

Posted by: rachel216 | March 30, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

However, the point about BB giving free reign to his players..that I agree with.

Lemaire will cut your minutes in an instant for lazy defensive play, he doesn't care how much you get paid. I wish BB shared this approach.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 30, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

holly crap, mike richards drafted in the same draft as Fehr, and after fehr?

Posted by: floms | March 30, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Kesler and Getzlaf went after Fehr as well. You got a point?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 30, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Nice CSN focus on wtf.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 30, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Yea, you may be right, richmondphil. That's just a point I heard an analyst making a couple of weeks ago about them and it struck a chord with me. I'm no expert on the Buffalo Sabres and I'm certainly not suggesting that they have as much offensively talented players as the Caps.

Let's use your NJ example instead because I'm just trying to make that point that certain teams avoid a lot of the risky plays the Caps make on a shift to shift basis because of the way they are taught to play the game, not necessarily because they don't have the talent to play run-and-gun hockey.

Those teams I'm referring to sacrifice some scoring opportunities but when all is said and done, they are better at keeping the puck out of their net and look to score in "safer" ways. They strive to be better at not breaking down defensively than their opponents and the best of those defensive-minded teams have the offense to capitalize on their opportunites at the other end.

Like you said, NJ is a scary team when you think about it because they're generally lock-down defensively and have some really good offensive weapons to take advantage of the scoring opportunites they do get. They are built for the playoffs from the coaching to the goaltending and on out.

It seems that teams across all sports who focus on defense first are typically more successful than those who are largely focused on offense. There are always exceptions but I bet if you looked at the championship teams from all 4 major sports over the last 25 years, you would see that most of those teams had both good offenses and good defenses, with the defenses of those teams more often being better than the offenses.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh no wtf, floms is hatin' on Fehr.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 30, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Mixing up the defensemen every night is not good for this team - its like they are learning the position every game back there. They are all professionals and all the D have played on good teams on their way to this level...so they know how.

I am really not enamoured with Joe Corvo's decision making. He pinches when nobody else is back and he also fumbles the puck more than even Mike Green.

Lets pick 6 guys on D and go with them the rest of the way to get some chemistry. At times this season they have played well for stretches and soon we will need one of those stretches.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 30, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

is ov starting to do a fairly good Jagr imitation?

Posted by: wendel2 | March 30, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Fehr is turning into an awesome player. My biggest concern is whether he can stay healthy. He's had a lot of injuries to various parts of his body. One off type of stuff or not, it's my biggest concern.

I wasn't even sure if he was an NHL-caliber player a year or so ago. Now, I wonder just how good he can be as he continues to make huge strides in his overall game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 30, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

@Rach

floms just didn't know.

I'm sure he wasn't hatin'?

:/

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 30, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

did fehr play in the 3ed?

Posted by: wendel2 | March 30, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Alright guys, you make valid points about about the caps system being flawed.

But what can we do in the next six games to turn it around?

Comparing us to NJD is apples to oranges. They're built differently then us. We will not become them and they will not become us.

So, what can we do?

- Change up forecheck schemes, leaving more support back with our D?

- Tell our D never to pinch

- Pray for luck and superior goal tending?

- Pray we don't run into Pitt or NJ?

- All of the above?

Posted by: floms | March 30, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

We have to try to find some way to get back to playing more complete hockey like we have at various times this year.

What was the difference in those games? Was it something we were doing different, or was it that our opposition wasn't playing 'playoff' style hockey, and thus didn't exploit our weaknesses?

Posted by: floms | March 30, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

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