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Interim Tag Dropped From Boudreau's title

Bruce Boudreau waited more than a decade to land a full-time gig behind an NHL bench - and now, at long last, he's got one. After a month-long evaluation period, the Caps dropped the interim from his title. Now, he's just Coach Bruce Boudreau.

He's guided the Caps to a 7-5-3 record entering tonight's game against the Lightning, and although the team remains a long shot to make the playoffs, he has quickly gained the respect of the dressing room and appears to have the team heading in the right direction. The 14th coach in franchise history, he replaced Glen Hanlon on Nov. 22.

Boudreau is expected to address the media at 5 p.m. and will be followed by General Manager George McPhee. So I'll have more later.

Update: Here's a few quotes.

From Boudreau: "I'm obviously pleased; that's the goal when you take the job, is to be here a long time. I'm very appreciative...but by no means does this mean that there's any comfortability in my situation. My job is to win and we'll re-evaluate everything at the end of the year."

From McPhee: "We just wanted an opportunity to watch him at this level and see how would do, watch him action. Some people change when they get to this level. He hasn't. We really like the way he took control and he's got our team playing well."

Both Boudreau and McPhee declined to discuss the length of the contract. But it's believed the Caps will re-evaluate the situation at season's end.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 26, 2007; 3:11 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup vs. Pitt

Comments

CONGRATS GABBY!!!

Posted by: Sabah | December 26, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Seems like the right thing to do...
Hopefully the boys can give him a win.

Posted by: pmoravek | December 26, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"Very Nice" - Borat

Posted by: Don-Ald | December 26, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

'Bout time they gave Gabby the full title.

Posted by: EricS | December 26, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Awesome, he deserves it.

Posted by: Jordan | December 26, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean the search for a coach is over, or just over for this season?

Posted by: zamboni | December 26, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Not that I don't think BB has done a good job, I do. I am just wondering if management ever really looked at anyone else and to what extent?

capsfan

Posted by: Capsfan | December 26, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

congrats to BB. sounds like the guy has the right attitude and i appreciate the way he talks frankly and honestly about the teams, and individuals, performance.

so kids, lets fast forward to april and theorize what happens if the team doesn't make the playoffs and guys like kozlov, poti and nylander don't step it up. gmgm has got to go, right? so a new gm comes in and then what about the coach? does ted say BB stays no matter what? would a gm take the job knowing he has no control over who coaches the team? hmmmm...

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | December 26, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Great news! Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Congrats to Bruce and GO CAPS!

Posted by: Tess | December 26, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I like what BB has done, but isn't it kind of soon? It seems like it wouldn't have hurt to keep him as "interim" until the end of the season and then see what's out there. Is this just for the year or is he now in for the long haul.

Posted by: cglaus | December 26, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

What about his contract?

Posted by: Icarus | December 26, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

YES!

Posted by: MTB | December 26, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Nice move.
Yes, they could've waited but he's clearly changed the team for the better.
This gives the team and Gabby some stability knowing they are accountable for their play.
Not like in school when you could slack off on the substitute teacher.
Now sign Ovie!

Posted by: slappy | December 26, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I like it. I like his attitude and I like his aggressiveness. I think this move will pay off over the next few years.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | December 26, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Good, we've found a good coach for our team now can we move on to find a better GM? If anyone is going to bring this organization down in the coming years, it's going to be GMGM not BB, the players (except Kolzig) or Ted.

Posted by: Mitch | December 26, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what removing the interim tag really means. Did he get a new contract?

Posted by: Okay | December 26, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

With this ownership, isn't everything and everybody "interim"?

Posted by: caphcky | December 26, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Have to agree with Capsfan. Although I have NOTHING against Boudreau or his performance so far, it doesn't seem like McPhee really looked very far to try to find the best fit for the team.

Posted by: jak | December 26, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Not surprising. for a while now he's been just like Green was coming out of the pre-season; done literally EVERYTHING he could possibly do to prove himself all that was left was the final word. Both were given the chance they deserved, Green has definitely delivered and I'm sure BB will do the same.

Posted by: DC FURY | December 26, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

This has let down game written all over it.

Posted by: Ian | December 26, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Crystal Boudreau: "...you are hired to be fired, promoted means move, demoted means move, that's just part of a business..."


http://alexovetjkin.blogspot.com/2007/12/hockey-night-in-canada-presents-bruce.html

Posted by: Anonymous | December 26, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

For a guy that once starred in Slapshot, this is pretty awesome. Way to go Caps! Smart move. Now, lets get after the Lightning tonight.

Posted by: leeh1128 | December 26, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"Interim removed" means no better replacement has been found. Does it protect the Coach from being fired? Nope.

Hopefully he'll make it. As someone said, it's hard not to root for him.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 26, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Good for him. I guess this means he can change his business cards now. Keeping with the holiday theme, I wonder what's going to happen New Years day. Perhaps OV gets signed. GMGM gets canned? let's start a poll!

Posted by: Lee | December 26, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Props to Gabby. he deserves it.

NOW GO OUT THERE AN GIVE EM HELL.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | December 26, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Way to go GABBY.

Even though we haven't won as many games under his tenure, as many of us would like, we look like a much more competitive team, and have a solid foundation from which to work with. If only they had made this move in the off-season maybe just maybe we would be in contention for a play off spot.

GMGM HAS GOT TO GO-WAY TO RUIN A FRANCHISE THERE BUDDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: pstylee | December 26, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

..watching GMGM's press conf on the interim tag removal. Can this guy look any less guilty during these press conferences? His delivery is so morose and he looks like he just peed on the kitchen rug when he should have held it for outside.

Posted by: keef | December 26, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

keef,
You're absolutely right. He has the demeanor of a petty, sneak thief. His, is one whose character ( Or, should I say, "Lack thereof" ) is easily discernable. Not overflowing with positives, to say the least. A REAL LOSER!

Posted by: Puckguru | December 26, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I'd still love to hear an "official" answer from gmgm as to why the Caps passed on Bryzgalov when he was avail for next to nothing. There was no downside to picking him up.

Congrats indeed to Gabby. I wonder how this season would have looked with him at the helm from the start?

Posted by: Steve R | December 26, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

it would be easier to light a fire under the players' if gmgm was gone. there might be a greater sense of urgency if drafting meant the caps had the depth to bench/ send down players who got on the wrong side of gabby.

Posted by: jim* | December 26, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

also, what's up with no penalties being listed in the game summary? is this the same team?

Posted by: jim* | December 26, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

STECKEL, THE BEAST!
1. Could the dominance of Steckel's line ( Bradley & Lainge ) have had anything to do with Boyd Gordon's anticipated return? Hmmmm.. I just hope Gabby is wise enough to not break them up. If I were calling the shots, Pettinger would sit. That's a no brainer.
2. Karri Ramos exhibited the quickness Olie is lacking. Godzilla certainly ( IMHO )should have stopped that 1st. Lightning goal.
3. When your star player ( Ovey ) gets CRUSHED along the boards and NOBODY COMES TO HIS DEFENSE, there's something extremely wrong. Where's the team unity?

Posted by: Puckguru | December 26, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

home sweet home Virginia :D
I just got home in time to see the last 10 minutes of the third. The Caps looked good. I also liked the fact that the players went to Olie at the end. United.

Posted by: mauree | December 26, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

@ Puckguru
"If I were calling the shots, Pettinger would sit. That's a no brainer."

That's ridiculous. Pettinger is one of our better forecheckers (yes, I understand that the only player with a worse +/- is Nylander, but when your team loses day in, day out, and your line can't find the back of the net, it's hard not to be on the minus side of that column).

Brashear, on the other hand... what, exactly, is his purpose? I saw him get skated around and avoided a lot tonight... is that a skill that's in particularly high demand on this team?

I agree that the Laing-Steck-Brads line shouldn't be broken up. It was easily our best line out there tonight. I think Boudreau is smart enough to recognize that when 2/3 of the goals scored in a win are from a particular line (and all goals had at least part of the line out on ice), that line should be kept together.

Posted by: MikeZ | December 26, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

With this ownership, isn't everything and everybody "interim"?
Posted by: caphcky | December 26, 2007 04:25 PM

C'mon caphcky, as a troll we expect a little more from you than that. You don't really think EVERYONE getting paid by a pro sports team is any more than interim.
Just because the Bruins have lost 6 of the last 10 games doesn't mean you can't give it a little more effort in the bitterness.

Posted by: slappy | December 26, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

If Gordon is back tomorrow my guess is Pettinger will be the one taking a load off. this is unfortunate, but Pettinger's 0 points and -6 over the past five games (including tonight) has done little to impress. On top of that who else is there? We can't sit Bradley or Laing after how they played tonight. No way do we sit Brash against the Pens and Laraque. So whose left? Flash? he's got a goal and two assists in the last five games (including tonight), and not much more can be asked of a player that averages 10-15 minutes a night. So really who do you sit if not Pettinger?

Posted by: DC FURY | December 26, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Olie let one slip through his legs..again. But it was a good game. Very exciting. Do you think we can replace Kozlov with Gordon? I mean yeah Petty isn't producing but Kozlov is a huge disappointment...unfortunately we all know that won't happen but a girl can dream can't she?!?! Now if only we would sign Green and AO I would be happy!!!!

Posted by: K | December 26, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

seriously, what is the big deal with Bryz. Give it up and quit whining about it. he was never even on the radar and honestly..where in the heck would we put him. Do you HONESTLY think that Olie would be changed from the workhorse? NO. And well we just signed Johnny, so it's not to replace him. We don't have room on the team for it. And Olie isn't going anywhere..we need to work on building up his replacement from Hershey..albeit it should be soon...but Bryz wasn't the answer here...And I don't know why everyone is whining about us not even looking at him. He's not a savior

Posted by: IrresistibleForce | December 26, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

@ Mike Z,
You know, if you weren't so obviously disturbed ( By me ) it'd be a whole lot easier for me to simply write you off as some brainless jerk with a Hockey IQ of minus 10. But, since you make your resentment of my excellent insites so obvious, you give me no choice but to laugh like hell at your pathetic attempts to disturb me. YOU'RE SO OBVIOUS.
Anyway, because I'm in a festive Holiday sort of mood ( A Caps' win even enhances it )I'll break you off a small morsel of understanding.
It's really quite elementary, my dear fellow. Pettinger stinks! In spite of all your pitiful rationalizations, in your fruitless effort to justify his being in the lineup, the fact remains that the guy HAS NOT PRODUCED MUCH OF ANYTHING. What's he got? TWO goals? In HALF A SEASON? Ha! That speaks for itself. If you'd open your eyes, you'd realize that he's one of the main culprits YOU DESCRIBE as being unable "To find the back of the net."
But, that's far from being his worst fault. And,lord knows he's got plenty.Hisworst fault is how weak he is along the boards.That ranks above his inability 2 find the net. Gabby ( In desperation to jump start Petty ) even went so far as to team him on a line with THE GREAT # 8. Heck, I bet even YOU could have scored more points than your boy Petty did while playing with Ovey.
Petty is your classic NON ACHIEVER. He runs around aimlessly, while accomplishing very little, except, as you admit, having a lousy plus/ minus.
But don't fear, my friend. Puckguru won't have to watch much more of his worthless, non - productive efforts. Jst as soon as Boyd Gordon gets back in the line - up, it's my guess that Mr. Pettinger will be where he belongs --- IN STREET CLOTHES. And, I'm pretty sure that day will be TOMORROW ( If Gordon returns.) I doubt very seriously that Gabby will bench "The Donald." He serves a distinct purpose. Which certainly can't be said for Mr. Zero.
So,get a clue, Mikey. Find someone other than Puckguru to jab at. You're in way over your head.


Posted by: Puckguru | December 26, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

welcome back, mauree - we missed you! :-) i, too, am back in va, although i only traveled from the VC, not europe!! ;-)

what a fun game tonight!! a few observations:

1) steckel had a great game, although he had a couple of big missed opportunities; regardless, we would not have secured the 2 points without him.

2) flash could not seem to get it together; too bad - he, too, had big opportunities.

3) schultz was ... ugh.

4) when gordo comes back, can we keep laing and get rid of brash?!?

5) we had some amazing plays, but just could not execute ... with a few more "inches", that could have been a 6-8 goal game for the caps.

6) i hate to say it, but i really enjoyed watching ramo!! he is quite a young keeper - huge potential! he was very intense and ... i don't the word ... springy, spunky, sprite?!? regardless, i dug 'em.

anyway, hopefully this has the team pumped for the pens - i know i am! LET'S GO CAPS!!

Posted by: Boo! | December 26, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

This is the first time I think I've agreed with Puckguru(maybe the second? He might know more than I).

Pettinger should sit. If you're asking me, Schultz should sit too. Gordon and Erskine should get sweaters, especially tomorrow.

One of the things I heard a lot at the game tonight (Which was a GREAT game to be at) was that we didn't have enough hitting. Erskine fixes that. Gordon hits more then Pettinger.

Besides, Bradley Steck Laing, Brash Gordo Laich looks darn nice right now with those top two lines as they are (And I hope they don't get shuffled. Chemistry is just now beginning to form). I can't wait for Clark to get back, Fleischmann could use a few games in Hershey (Or sitting with Ted).

Ovechkin, Nylander, Koz with a second-line of Semin, Backstrom, Clark and those third and fourth lines made already? Looks sweet to me. Looks like a competitive team :x

Posted by: Whiter Mage | December 27, 2007 1:05 AM | Report abuse

If Mikey Green yes i said Mikey Green doesnt make it as a coaches selection to be a D Man for the East All-Star team the All-Star game is crap...!


Ovechkin/Green Wsh Caps All-Star Reps
Backstrom Wsh Caps Young Star Rep

Posted by: ZackAttack | December 27, 2007 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Puckguru, it is not acceptable for you to continue to insult people.

MikeZ was able to disagree with you without insulting you. Most people are able to do that here. Make a distinction between questioning the value of a person's idea and calling them a moron.

Also, the word is insight. Insite is not a word. Perhaps you were thinking that your insults would incite the group. However, as stated above, it would be better if you left those kinds of remarks off this site.


Posted by: jim* | December 27, 2007 2:41 AM | Report abuse

i agree w/ Whiter Mage. laich does do well; he fits in in a lot of positions/ lines. weird how the fa reinforcements played out.

the fehr assignment to hershey should also be interesting.

Posted by: jim* | December 27, 2007 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Fehr has been in Hershey all season, i imagine he will back sooner than later, when the bears auctioned off christmas jerseys the other night they did auction off a Fehr jersey. They usually dont even make jerseys for players who dont have any chance of playing in the game that night.

Posted by: Dan L | December 27, 2007 4:48 AM | Report abuse

thanks Boo!

I watched the game recaps... wow that Ramo can play... *stares at Olie* ... and in the interview he even took responsibility... *stares at Olie*...

Looked like a good game.

Can't wait to finally watch my Caps tonight against the Penguins ...

On a side note, I like the siren and the horn after the goal, but why don't they play Rock and Roll part 2 "Hey" song? Some other team does and it's awsome.

Posted by: mauree | December 27, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

They used to play Rock n Roll Part 2 but Gary Glitter is now sort of a persona non grata thanks to his legal troubles. The NFL banned the song from all of their stadiums. Not sure if the Caps followed or not.

Posted by: tallbear | December 27, 2007 8:16 AM | Report abuse

thanks tallbear,
I didn't know. I looked him up... child pornography & abuse... yeah that'd do it.

Posted by: mauree | December 27, 2007 8:22 AM | Report abuse

looks like puckguru and his dog max are back from taking all the toys from the boys and girls in whoville.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | December 27, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Cap Fan 1 has officially won this thread....

looks like puckguru and his dog max are back from taking all the toys from the boys and girls in whoville.

Time for an update Tarik :)


Posted by: Yosh | December 27, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Cap Fan 1 - Poor Max; that's no life for a dog ... ;-)

mauree - yes, Ramo can play. He made some great saves. He is SO young, but he is playing like a seasoned keeper. The one thing that made him look like a rookie was how eager he was - he was very sharp and intense, even sometimes doing little warm-up type drills when the puck was at the other end of the ice (did anyone else notice that?). While that made him look 'young' it was very cool - I wish all keepers were that into it!!

Wow, I didn't get flamed for anything that I wrote last night ... it must be the spirit of Christmas!! Merry Christmas to all, and to all (Caps) a good night (in Pittsburgh)!!! ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | December 27, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Is this a typo?

"Steckel finished with a goal and two assists, and Bradley and Laing chipped in with an assist each."

If you read this statement alone, sounds like Bradley had never scored.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 27, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

This team HAS to find a way to keep Laing on the roster after Clark and Gordo return to the lineup.

Posted by: Jordana | December 27, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Great win. Bounces going against them, Ollie letting in two non-threatening goals, and the boys hung in there and won. I remember in the days of yore, when the caps made the playoffs, it was the 3rd/checking lines that was the spark that ignited wins.

Self-Proclaimed Puckguru (does that mean you have knowledge of pucks?) I agree with those that say you can make your points without the personal attacks. YOu do have some good insIGHTs on hockey, but your arrogance and petty attacks make them worthless. We would welcome your inSIGHT if you can keep to the topics at hand.

Now, let's focus all of our energy on beating Syd the lady crybaby tonight!

Posted by: Lee | December 27, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Hey dumbpuck, what are insites?

Posted by: learn how to spell | December 27, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

As for the Gary Glitter song, i thought it was banned in the NHL but at the islanders game on sat. they played it. And of course all the fans stole the line right from the terps of yelling "you suck" after they "heys".

Posted by: Eric | December 27, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I have a theory about the "interim" tag on Coach B.

Cassidy was an AHL coach that didn't pan out. Hanlon was an AHL coach that they just fired. Here comes Gabby, because we need someone to be bench boss. Yet another AHL coach.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Now for the third one, what are you going to do?

His history indicates that he's a winner. That's a good thing. He's prepared some of the guys on the team now, and they know him. That's also a good thing. Guys coming up talk about him in positives.

So, let's give him a try, but leave us an out in case things don't go right.

Did GMGM look? I doubt it. Should he have? Absolutely. Yet he comes out smelling of roses and jasimine once again.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 27, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to win tonight.

I want to overwin. Shut them out. Make 'em pay. Make them cry in pain.
I want the Caps to check the hell out of Pittsburg. I want them to come and destroy and conquer all. 8-0, 50 shots to 10, with AO and Semin hat tricks.
I want a repeat of Brashear KO on two Penguins. I want a victory so huge it makes the front page of all papers. I want AO to ScottStenvens-check Crosby into 2009, then Boudreau to check Therrien. Buahahaha.

hmmm maybe that was too much coffee this morning.


Posted by: mauree | December 27, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

On the game; it looked like they played well. Even Olie did pretty good. He can't help it if both AO AND Kozlov skate past the puck he rebounded out to them. That was a nice puck placement on his part. I felt like Olie had control of the rebounds.

The energy line was energetic for sure. That line will produce.

The D needs to get physical and like from TONIGHT ON! They look like a bunch of pansies out there. They need to crash and bang more. This applies to Green, too, though he's becoming more of an Offensive defenseman than a "stay at home" type guy. I wonder what our hired gun Poti thinks about not being QB on the PP?

A blind man can tell that QL has a spot on this roster. His work ethic is huge. I just love work pail guys! That of course means someone has to go. Time to trade Eminger or Erskine for picks, or package two for a goalie or worthwhile D-man.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 27, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Brashear is not mentioned because he hit a crossbar yesterday and is playing not too bad :-)

National Post: "The Wild carry Boogaard because, well, we're not sure why . Or why the Sabres carry Andrew Peters, or the Senators Brian McGrattan or the Flames Eric Godard or the Blue Jackets Jody Shelley."

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 27, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@mauree

Ain't gonna happen, but I like your post :-)

Let's go, Caps! Viva Ovechkin!

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 27, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

And apparently too much of Italy, GT Mauree! (GT for Globe Trotter, and it also trips off the tongue nicely with mauree)

It would be nice to see another open ice check by AO on pretty boy.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 27, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: forgot the link | December 27, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Olie didn't do THAT well - he did not have that many shots against him. He really wasn't challenged and yet he let up 2 goals. Vinny 2nd goal was good, but he still should have stopped it.

What's up with Nylander? In the last month, he has 1 goal, 6 assist, and a -2.

I hope we can beat Crosby tonight... we have problems beating the Pens and the Sabres for some reason - both, are not THAT good.

Posted by: 828 | December 27, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Congrats BB! You've won everywhere you've coached so your promotion was hardly a surprise. Let's give 'em heck down the stretch!

Posted by: Terptwin | December 27, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

There was no way anyone would have stopped Vinny's goal (#2).

Posted by: Greg S. | December 27, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

How do you say lazy in Swedish?

(Nylander)

Posted by: PIM | December 27, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Hey alexovetjkin

I don't mean to speak for Tarik, but I think those three players were mentioned as a unit because they play on the same line.
Brads did have a great game, though.
Pothier was not mentioned either and I felt he had one of his better games too.

One thing kept bothering me. Once TB got down into our zone, we seemed to have a rough time getting the puck clear. You can't spend 60 to 90 seconds chasing the puck around in your own end or you WILL get scored on. (or take a penalty)

Your take?

Posted by: pmoravek | December 27, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Here are the Caps goals to the playoffs:

1) Get out of the basement of the NHL - Check
2) Get out of the basement of the Eastern Conference - a win tonight will do that!
3) Get to .500 - 4 more wins and no loses after a win tonight.
4) Get to 4 games above .500
5) Enjoy the All Star break and get some rest.
6) Have a .750 winning percentage against SE Div foes the rest of the season.
7) Beat the Sabres!

That will get the Caps into the playoffs!

Posted by: 828 | December 27, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"How do you say lazy in Swedish?"

LMAO!

Posted by: pmoravek | December 27, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

By the way...

Pothier coming back early from a busted thumb to play the way he did last night was pretty impressive.
I'm not saying he has the heart of Ovie or Lainger...but he did climb a notch or two on MY respect-o-meter.

Posted by: pmoravek | December 27, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

He did play a more inspired game. Maybe we should break his thumb every month or so to keep him focused. Mauree! Any "associates" in Italy that can help us out on this?

Posted by: Greg S. | December 27, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Is BJ in goal tonight?

Posted by: dave | December 27, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

pmoravek, the Caps have had problems clearing the zone since the lockout. They seem unable to get a clearing pass past the point men and are generally really passive about attacking the puck.

Posted by: tallbear | December 27, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Was at the game last night and have to comment that Steckel had a MONSTER of a game. The spotlight seems to be on Green a lot this season, with good reason, but let's not forget Steckel, too. Doesn't seem to take many penalties, either. It looked like he was always out there last night, how many minutes did he log? Oh, and Bradley played his heart out. Nice to see.

Posted by: on ice | December 27, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

lol Greg yeah I can think of friend-of-a-friend that can do that - many strings attached :D

@pmoravek: Once TB got down into our zone, we seemed to have a rough time getting the puck clear
I noticed that too. Our D needs better checking (just sit people behind the net) and better position (opponents at the blue line are always free to do whatever they want, even 5 on 5). You can summarize it like this: our D doesn't scare anybody.

Posted by: mauree | December 27, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

On ice,

Steckel always has a good game against TB. The only time he has scored a goal this season has been against TB. So, it's probably a mental thing. Not taking away from Steckel - I think he is going to be really good in the future... but, I would like to see him play that way against other teams as well - not just TB.

Posted by: 828 | December 27, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I understand the whole enforcer thing... but TB took several cheap shots last night and our "enforcer" didn't appear to do squat. I was at the game and didn't see much in the way of retribution beyond an elbow or two that might have merited 2 minutes in a more tightly called game. I say keep Gordo on the sideline for one more game and give Brashear a sweater tonight but beyond that I'm not sure he doens't join the press box rotation.

Posted by: Dave in DC | December 27, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Dave in DC, on the telecast Locker made it sound like Gabby wasn't looking forward to seeing the TB power play. I wonder if a "take no penalties" gag was on.

Posted by: tallbear | December 27, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

If we're going to have an enforcer on the team then he should at least be standing up for our guys like AO, Semin and Backstrom...but he's not so whats the point? He's not that good of a hockey player.

Posted by: K | December 27, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

mauree & tallbear

If I am hearing you both correctly I am thinking we need a more physical presence in the back. ala Stevens, or to a lesser extent Witt?

I don't disagree, but I think something needs to change about the way the forwards play in our zone too.

Posted by: pmoravek | December 27, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"lol Greg yeah I can think of friend-of-a-friend that can do that - many strings attached :D"

also...you think you can give Guido a call aobut the thumbs of a guy named "Poti"?
:-O

Posted by: pmoravek | December 27, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

pmoravek - "I don't disagree, but I think something needs to change about the way the forwards play in our zone too."

I'll drink to that...

Kolzig needs the fountain of youth

Posted by: 828 | December 27, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

...either that or we should all chip in and take Koslov to the zoo,
TO SEE THE TIGER EXHIBIT.

Posted by: pmoravek | December 27, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm not going to keep arguing the Brashear points over and over again. We need him out there, and he does his job consistently and with aplomb. He's not taking dumb penalties. There weren't any cheap hits out there last night. Taking runs at guys who touch AO or Semin will just cause the team problems, not fix them. AO and AS know they'll be hit, and some may be unwarranted, late or a little on the excessive side. That's part of the game. What you don't want is what happened in Philly against AO in an uncalled boarding. That's where Brash comes into use - only he wasn't out to send the message.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 27, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

On a serious note:

I can't put my finger on what may need to change. The forwards used to stay on on the points a few years back. Now it seems like most teams have the forwards collapsing down toward the goal more.

That's a general NHL thing, not just the Caps. But somehow when we do it, the puck just seems to stay in our zone for an agonizingly long period of time.
How do you fix it?

Posted by: pmoravek | December 27, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"I don't disagree, but I think something needs to change about the way the forwards play in our zone too."

I don't know if it's left over from Hanlon or what, but our forwards collapse into that box really easily and don't really come out of it. And a lot of times, what I observe is that our guys assume someone else will get the puck and they start heading up ice and bam, a turnover happens because the guy expected to get the puck whiffs.

Posted by: tallbear | December 27, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@828, thanks for the input, appreciate it.

Anyone at the game see Semin defend himself pretty nicely behind the net? Took a big swat at the TB player. nnniiicceeee.

Posted by: on ice | December 27, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

tallbear

Kinda like Vinnie's first goal last night...eh?

AO: I got it
Kos: No, you take it
AO: You got it
Kos Yeah, you got it
AO: Did you get it

Kolzig: I didn't get it either...

Posted by: pmoravek | December 27, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

on ice

Semin has shaken most of the rust off.
He looks dangerous with the puck again.

That being said....he needs to spend some time in the weight room. LOL
Kubina didn't look too frightened.

Posted by: pmoravek | December 27, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

It seems that post lockout defense strategy has been to collapse on the goal. That does make it more difficult to get a good clearing out. I think what happens more is that the puck is dumped to center ice where the opposite side winger or center goes after it. I've seen the Caps play more of a neutral zone defensive, and offensive back checking game lately. That seems to be pretty standard in the NHL now. NJ Devils haven't had to change a bit, have they? It's their normal game.

It's a good point to watch out for. I'll have to pay attention to how the other teams deal with it. Hard to tell on the TV, though.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 27, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

on ice-
I did see that...it was pretty cool. It was also really cool that Ovie stepped right in there too when he saw his friend get pushed around.

Posted by: K | December 27, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"There weren't any cheap hits out there last night." Greg S.

Were we watching the same game? Ovie got boarded after being slashed (both by Kuba -- got one penalty, earned two). Laich got vigoroulsy cross-checked (third period?) right in front of the ref -- no call. Those are the only two I specifically recall but there were others.

Roger no dumb penalties... but if Brash isn't going to enforce he really should ride the pine. Needs to be scratched judiciously based on opponent.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 27, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@no name

I didn't see a board. I saw a called slash and a check into the boards. No retaliation necessary.

Laing's crosscheck should have been called, but wasn't. He was in prime real estate and should have been cleared out. Missed a call, but that happens. Still no retaliation necessary.

He's playing good. He won't be a Gretzky or a Semin or a Nylander with loads of assists and points. He's a role player. Just like Laing is.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 27, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

jim,
I suggest you take some more reading classes. NOWHERE in that piece did I use the word, "Moron," Maybe you should read it again. Shame on you. Maybe YOU'RE the real moron. Huh?

Posted by: Puckguru | December 27, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

there was supposed to be a post up here earlier where i said i agreed with tallbear about attacking the puck. i also said in that post that while puckguru may earn some ribbing for his insults, he should not be insulted either. i wonder if the screen didn't load when i hit submit.

anyway, puckguru, you are being to literal with the word moron. it wasn't in quotes. it was a summary description of words you did use (e.g. "obviously disturbed," "brainless jerk," "Hockey IQ of minus 10," and "pathetic"). the point others have made is that it interferes with your ability to convey a message. you tend to sound as if you are rambling rather then deliberate as you insult people. more importantly, this line is unacceptable. it is unkind and unwarranted. get over it.

my earlier post on fehr at hershey was in reaction to tarik's article where he said fehr might be back in play in a month or so.

Posted by: jim* | December 27, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

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