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Islanders 4, Caps 3 (OT)

The Isles beat the Caps tonight thanks, in large part, to the Caps.

Too many mistakes (think Mike Green's giveaway). Too much cuteness (think Nicklas Backstrom and the Alexes over-passing rather than taking aim). And an uncharacteristically uneven performance from Jose Theodore, who made some outstanding saves but also allowed a goal (maybe two) he'd like to have back.

Add it all up, and you've got a 4-3 overtime loss to one of the lowest budget teams in the league. If you've been watching the Caps for the past two weeks, you can't say you didn't see this coming.

Check out my gamer here for the gory details, then come on back for some notes and quotes that didn't make the print edition:

*With his 14th goal, Alex Ovechkin has matched the best goal-scoring month
of his career. He was good, again, but as Coach Bruce Boudreau pointed out,
his line simply tied too hard to make the highlight reels.

*The Caps fired a season-high 40 shots on goal. But Dwayne Roloson was outstanding in turning back 17 of them in the third period.

*Keith Aucoin continues to produce like a big-leaguer. With an assist on Ovechkin's goal, he now has a career-high four-game point streak going.

*The Islanders might not be any good right now. But Kyle Okposo and John Tavares are worth the price of admission. Okposo, of course, scored the Isles' first goal and Tavares (assist) was all over the place but just couldn't finish.

*So how does a team like the Islanders hang with a team like the Caps? Simple. They work hard.

"They work and they're a good team," Boudreau said. "They have lost one game in their last six regulation [decisions]."

*Michael Nylander scored a goal in his final game with the Grand Rapids Griffins tonight. That gives him six points in six games. But unless a deal comes together in the coming days, his two-week conditioning stint is set to end Tuesday.

*Practice tomorrow is at 11:30 a.m.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 30, 2009; 11:39 PM ET
 
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Next: Backstrom ailing, Green limping

Comments

A young woman with a Langway jersey made me grin briefly, other than that I sulked the whole way home.

Posted by: uncatim | October 30, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

You may have noticed me after the game. I was the one on the Metro platform muttering "mediocrity".

Posted by: uncatim | October 30, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

@uncatim

I wasn't a happy camper either. At least they have one point but losing to the Isles is just about the ultimate humiliation.

They remind of this swim team that had once beaten our team by a small margin one day so we didn't care for them at all. So, they became downtrodden for years and years and last year, they still lost most of the time but by small margins, like the Isles seem to be doing this year -- for the most part.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Yup,We sure did see that coming.I still dont understand why when ovi has the perfect chance to shot and score,he doesnt.but he'll take 30 foot slap shoots and miss the net all day.he had the perfect chance to score a couple times but didnt take the shot but his next shot would be a far away shot that doesnt really have a chance or good of chance of going in.And semin just plain out needs to shot the puck more and stop try'n to be a fancy nancy.though i love the way they play they still have some work to do if they want to stay on the same line.Best thing tonight was flash.I've been say'n hes a key part to secondary scoring and damn if he isnt.I was so happy to see him score.go flash.get it togehther caps.GO CAPS!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | October 31, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Will they move Flash up to the top line now? (Okay, that never happened last year but......)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I love how that puckheaded guy (or girl) bashes Ovi and then will say "oh, he's an amazing player but he can't play any defense." Quite frankly, I'm getting sick of listening to these people who say Ovi can't play any defense. Could his defense use improvement? Yes. I for one think he's been doing a much better job this year, but of course he isn't going to be perfect.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 31, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

@dfe1

I've heard all sorts of negative comments on Ovi's defense, including from my office mate who also thinks Ovi's a selfish player. (I disagree with him on that point.)

I've also heard an awful lot of negativity about Semin from posters and bloggers. While the "Storming the Crease" blog is a good and analytical blog in many ways, the writer really hates Semin big time. Now that Nylander's "out of the picture", Semin is probably the most hated Cap at the moment. (Unless it's Schultz)

Yes, I know Semin isn't perfect but the criticism has gotten crazy. I know that if my management at work had that opinion of me, I'd be looking pretty hard to get the h**l out.


Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

OV has to keep improving his defense... there's no reason why he can't be great on both ends. yes he's getting better and I'm sure he'll get there but it's still work in progress.

Michael Jordan wasn't a great defensive player early in his career but he willed himself to be one. Like they always say offense is fun but defense is hard work.

Posted by: joek443 | October 31, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

I will be the first to admit that I was pretty down on Schultz last year - but man has he picked it up. I'm not really talking about the offensive game he had - just in general. He looks like a solid d-man this year. It's very surprising to me how he's managed to turn it around so quickly. Every time I hear his name it's positive - he's been one of our most solid D this year.

Posted by: patrone | October 31, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

joek, I agree that Ovi needs to keep improving his defense. Like I said, I've seen a definite improvement this year, but like tonight on the OT goal, he had a lapse--he was hoping for the game winner. But I'll bet he apologized to Theo for not covering his man--he's never been one to try to cover up his mistakes. Maybe this mistake tonight will make him even more aware.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 31, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

@patrone

I wasn't one of the Schultz bashers last year. I did think he was being castigated way out of proportion to his deeds, frankly. (In an odd way, Schultz reminds me of a kid from our neighborhood. Got about as much respect as this kid.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

The caps win 3-0 if we have our two best defensemen on the roster. Unfortunately, they are in Hershey because Nylander and Poti contracts keep them there. What a disaster that free agent class has become. Everyone needs to settle down. How awful were the Pens from November through Jamuary last year? The team needs to step up but they have another 60+ games to get things rolling.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | October 31, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75, I like Semin, too, and want this team to sign him. I read somewhere that Bruce singled him out tonight which I don't quite understand unless he singled out other players, too. I guess Bruce gives Ovi some leeway since he seems to give 110% every night whereas sometimes Semin doesn't seem to care (not that he's the only one on the team).

Posted by: dfe1 | October 31, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

@DisgustedinArlington

Yes, I do recall how awful the Pens were up until January. For us, at least we're 2nd in the conference, despite some not so good play at times. We're better that we were last year at this time of the year.

Yes, we need to work on stuff.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

@Disgusted, it would be awesome if we could get rid of Nylander and bring up either Alzner or Carlson, but I don't see it happening. Someone said that there were no KHL scouts at any of these Grand Rapids games, so I have a feeling Nyls is coming back to us. I feel bad for Nyls if nobody wants him, but I feel worse for us.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 31, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

@dfe1

I'd like the team to sign Semin. Yes, he has his moments. But it sometimes seems the negativity on him is so bad that I've resigned myself to the fact that he'll be a goner come the trade deadline. Yes, I'm the resident wierdo who likes Semin (and has a kid, now grown, like him).

I'm afraid the new come March 3rd will be "Happy 26th. Do Svidagna."

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

I just think this team would be making a huge mistake to let Semin go.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 31, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, I like your video reports-- great summations! Thanks! And to think that Sombrero Guy and a bunch of us were trying to buy you a camera last year!

Posted by: plinkwired | October 31, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

dfe1-According to another blog, BB did call Semin out for a "dumb" pass tonight. He reportedly also said that Nicky did not play well tonight. It's funny, but if you read a lot of the blogs, bloggers, posters, and others blame all the Caps troubles on one man....Alexander Semin! I'm wondering if this guy is a major jerk, because by the print he's getting, he is always the worst player on the ice!

Posted by: ablake70 | October 31, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Semin's good but he has his drawbacks. The team is too afraid to discipline him. They let him kind of go when he went awal to the KHL prior to Ovetchkin and now he takes terrible penalties and goes unscathed other than what BB possibly says. The guy puts up great numbers when he plays, but at some point someone does need to say something.

Posted by: breaklance | October 31, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

ablake, agree, Semin seems to be the scapegoat many nights. I do think it's time to split that line up again. And maybe Ovi is the one who needs to talk to Semin.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 31, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

@breaklance When was the last time Semin took a penalty? How about Mike Knuble? They even call taking a dumb penalty on the PP being "Knubled". So what's the difference?

Posted by: ablake70 | October 31, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

dfe1- Ovi makes just as many mistakes on that top line as Semin, but Semin always gets the blame. And I'm not buying that the team can't discipline him stuff, because he has had his minutes cut when they thought he wasn't playing well. But it's not just what is said after bad games, it's what's not said after good ones. After the Flyers game Tues, everyone heaped praise on Ovy, Nicky, Theo and Aucoin. It was like he didn't even play. That's why I wonder if the guy is a jerk, because if that had been Clark or Flash, people would still be gushing over them.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 31, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

what a bunch of idiots on this blog, aping what a poor-excuse for a reporter (tarik) says. what the f tarik has to b!tch about semin? does this guy really know anything about hockey? I can't believe the idiocy of blaming semin for everything. OV tries to pass the puck to semin and semin gets the blame? semin makes one mistake and he gets called out? didn't anyone see OV giving up the puck? does anyone realize that semin is leading this team in take aways? does anyone realize that since semin got back, ov has had more success? do you wonder why? what the heck. give that guy a break, before he packs up and goes away.

Posted by: hock1 | October 31, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

I think Semin is an amazingly talented player. He has an incredible shot, silky smooth hands, and is a great skater. I also think that he doesn't play to his potential.

In comparing Ovi to Semin, I see Semin as sort of a spoiled kid - he has everything he needs to be fantastic, but doesn't always put in the hard work to make it happen. He seems to get upset when things don't go his way, and only seems to put in the effort and move his feet when he sees a chance to make something convert.

I think Ovi gets less crap than him, because he's more of a blue-collar player - every time he touches the puck, he takes off. He puts in the work harder than anyone. It doesn't always pay off, it sometimes leads to giveaways, but he's always giving it all. I will admit that his backchecking leaves something to be desired, however.

Now, I don't hate on Semin for this. I think it's something that can be remedied with some tough coaching, and I hope that he's re-signed and that he continues to develop discipline.

I also agree that Schultz has been much better this year, and I also like what the Juice has been doing. They've both been much more aggressive. It might not be working all the time, but I love to see the fire.


In general, I don't expect these guys to always make the right play. That's not within their power. Mistakes happen. All I personally want to see from these guys is the effort. They can always work hard. They could be in last place for all I care, as long as they are out there, battling in the corners, and giving their all.

Posted by: LA_caps_fan | October 31, 2009 2:17 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75, LA_caps_fan, hock1(except for excessively mean comments about Tarik), ablake70, dfe1: AMEN to you on the comments about Semin.

Flash looked GREAT! Nice goals and shots.

Watching the game on CSN+ last night was disappointing for a couple reasons (other than the obvious Caps mistakes and sloppy play that led to an OT loss): It wasn't in HD, and I'm so spoiled now to watch it in HD. Joe and Craig got just plain silly, and inappropriately so, IMO. I mean, I love listening to Joe, and Craig is someone I enjoy for the most part too, but they were annoying. (Just thought I'd give people someone ELSE besides Semin to pick on!!!)

On to Sunday's game vs Columbus! C'mon, Caps, tighten up. Give it your best! I wouldn't mind seeing the lines switched up a bit too. I think other teams plan pretty hard for the OBS line, and it might be good to keep 'em guessing.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 31, 2009 2:58 AM | Report abuse

1) Flash SUCKS get rid of that guy!

2) Green is the BEST Defenseman in the Eastern Conference and anybody who says otherwise is an IDIOT!

3) I'm so happy seeing BOTH of my FAVORITE stars on ONE LINE! Semin and Ovie TOGETHER! Their styles TOTALLY complement each other! Because they're SO DIFFERENT!

Posted by: large23220 | October 31, 2009 5:24 AM | Report abuse

@ arge23220 -- Mike Green may become the best D man in the E conference, but as i listen to the games on caps radio last few games, i hear him contributing directly to the other teams getting a goal or two. Same thing happened last year....he needs to sit down a game or two...does not matter how good he is!!!!

Posted by: hunter32 | October 31, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

okay one ??? for you guys and gals....what has Nylander done to not even get any playing time...he has something left in the tank.....please help me understand what he did to BB???

Second, so glad to see Aucoin get a chance to stick, every time he came up last year he did something good!! Let's hope he gets rewarded....

Lastly, how many times is BB going to threaten to break up the top line only to reunite....give someone else a chance and give them few games to mesh.....NO?

Posted by: hunter32 | October 31, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

@ arge23220 okay just flew from STL to ATL to Franfurt to Vienna to Dubrovnik, too tired to see your sarcasam in the comments. Sorry

Any body know which team(s) worth seeing in Stockholm, or Helsinki? I will over a friday night in each of the above mentioned cities next two weeks...would love to catch a game or two?

Posted by: hunter32 | October 31, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

trade mike green

Posted by: gocaps01 | October 31, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

No prob huntsy. I am a subtle artist.

Here's what I heard about nyls: when he was out with the injury and missed basically 3/4 of the 2007/08 season, he never came around the team. He just did his thing and Gabby thought that was a low-integrity move. Add that to the fact that the new system that congealed when nyls was out sick does not have a place for him. Combine that with him using his no-movement-clause as a weapon against the club at times when we've been toes-over the salary cap. This all creates the impression that he cares not a lick for the organization and is in it entirely for himself. They don't like him anymore.

I don't either. I wish he'd hurry up and get his sada$$ over to the KHL where washed up stars belong.

Posted by: large23220 | October 31, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Was it just me, or did Theodore look sluggish out there? Last night the whole team struck me as looking tired, and while I can understand the skaters being a little out of it in their 3rd game in 4 nights, Jose has had off since the Tuesday Flyers game, so it's not an unusual interval for him.

Posted by: dcunitedfan3 | October 31, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

I believe there is no sense in bashing Semin or calling for a trade. What are the options for GMGM? He is bound for resigning both Backstrom and Semin. No way OBS will break their relationship. So they all will be willing to resign. The question is not IF. The question is how much is discount and how many years they will play.

Tell me the reasons for Backstrom not to resign here? Any reasons for Semin?

Now we are having a tough year because of Olympics. I can see some Dallas-like team with the cup. So our main goal seems to be too much of a wish this year. What does it mean? Semin and Backstrom aren't achieving their goals.. And need to resign just with the team of their buddy Ovechkin.

The price is the question. We need to address our risks and caphit also.

So! Offering 3-5 years for Semin with NO any NMC. We can honestly add the word about not trading him away. ~5M. Backstrom could be done more in style 9-10 years for 5M-5M-..-6M-..-6M.

There is no way any fan here can change this sequence and force any trade with Semin. Or Green =) Get used to this controversy. Enjoy it for the next several years! Be happy! Rock the red!!!


So keep using your "Free Nylander" things. It means smth at least =)

Posted by: Rambutan_ru | October 31, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

@LACapsfan,
"I see Semin as sort of a spoiled kid...He seems to get upset when things don't go his way..."

Watch this clip of Ovi and Semin warming up before the first Boston game this year. They're speaking to each other in Russian, but apparently with the game they're playing Ovi said he deserved a penalty kick because Semin touches the ball 3 times. Well, Semin just gets mad and goes on to sulk and kick the ball away 'cause he's upset. Ovi's getting upset, too, but Semin is definitely sulking. So I thought of this little clip when you said spoiled child. But I still like the guy and want to resign him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEegrwd7lzQ

Posted by: dfe1 | October 31, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

OH NO we only earned 3 out of 4 points on back to back games!!! OH NO still mired in second place in the conference! OH NO tomorrow is November....no time to catch up! OH NO mike green sucks trade him now!!! OH NO Bruce doesn't know how to coach these guys and Semin will leave us! OH NO my cousins neighbors mailman said no KHL scouts watching live...OH NO in don't think they have video tape! OH NO we'll be stuck with him like old luggage.OH NO no treats tonight only tricks...

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 31, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

ovie needs to play better D, he was just standing around at times. Not so much on the back check, but when the Isles had possession on the Caps zone. But he's still the best player in the world.

Mike Green should be Captain of this team... The Washington Casuals.

Posted by: griz0615 | October 31, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

No matter how much every Washington fan wants the Capitals to be on par or better than the Penguins, they are just not there, yet! The Penguins won their game on the road last night without Gonchar and Malkin against a tough Blue Jackets team. That pretty much tells you the completeness and the state of the Penguin team right now. Imagine if Backstrom and Green goes down due to injuries, would the rest of the Capitals still have the talent or the desire to win, let alone, come back from a 2 goal deficit against a strong opponent? I am putting the Blue Jackets as a strong opponent against the Capitals only because they SHUT OUT the Capitals twice last year! Again, the Capitals are doing just enough to get through the regular season into a good 2nd or 3rd seeded position, but until they start to push beyond their talents or desires, they will never be able to pass the Penguins to get into the Stanley Cup. Right now, Sidney's desire and heart is carrying the Penguins to the number 1 seed in spite of all their injuries to key players. So far, Sidney's performance is also warrant an MVP award, despite my hatred of the Penguins. Prove me wrong, Ovi, please!

Posted by: JohnWWW | October 31, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I was sitting down low last night and by the third period this team simply looked gassed. Three games in four days, with back-to-back travel for the first two, and there's not much in the tank right now. When the puck dropped for OT - with the four high-minute guys on the ice - I didn't hold much hope. Let them sleep if off for 36 hours and get back for Sunday.

The 8-2-3 record is for crap. Oh, sorry, I got carried away.

Posted by: saintex | October 31, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Chicken little rocks!

Posted by: Unleash_The_Caps | October 31, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

While Semin may have his "spoiled kid" moments, he does not seem like a bad guy.

Guess who the first person to congratulate Flash for his 2nd goal? It was Semin.

If nothing else, Semin seems to make great friends. When he was drafted, he posed with his family and his best friend (pre Ovi days) from Russia. And he and Ovi get along go well.

(I see a bit of myself in Alex Semin. I guess me, the parent of own grown child and one nearly grown child, never did grow up.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

For those complaining about the complaining: it's nice when things are good, but you see room for improvement. We would like to see a well-oiled machine that is intimidating for the dominating, complete game that they play. It'd be nice if they were just a juggernaut steamrolling teams all the way up to and through the playoffs. We'd like it to be like those years when going down a goal to the NJ Devils was trouble and two goals meant you were pretty well screwed, because the Devils were so defensively sound. It's a different type of complaining than what you have with a train wreck like the Redskins, where there's no hope.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | October 31, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

the time to peak is in april, may and june... NOT now.

as long as they stay in top 4 of the EC while workining to improve the team D, there is really no big problem with this team.

The only two stats besides the W that I'm keeping an eye on is where the team ranks in GA and PK. They need to be in top ten in both categories.

Posted by: joek443 | October 31, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@hockeyweasel

It's funny you mention the NJ Devils. Gee, weren't they the guys who blew a late lead in the waning minute of Game 7 in Round 1 against Carolina and lost -- in regulation.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

One of the things that is happening to the Caps is that other teams now get up for them and sneak up and win a few games against the Caps that on talent they should not. Whereas 2 or 3 ago it was the Caps that maybe out worked a better team and stole a point or two. The Caps are not the hunted instead of the hunter.

Posted by: RichC3 | October 31, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I blame everything on Slapshot! Let's get rid of that bum, he is bringing the Caps down.

Who should replace him? Easy! ChickenLittleCapsFan!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 31, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

JohnWWW, I too am interested to see how they do against CBJ, especially in light of last year. IMO, they need to play an entirely different game than they usually do to get a win.

But sorry, as of right now, Ovi is ahead of Crosby for MVP, not that that might not change if Crosby keeps putting up numbers with Malkin/Gonchar out. But a lot of the Pens wins weren't because of Crosby but because of their third line. They are a complete a team.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 31, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Backs' agent is sitting down with GMGM Nov 11-12 to finalize Back's new contract which obviously will be over many years. They are comparing his forthcoming deal to Kopitar's extension over seven years at about $48m. Backs will come in a little lower than that.

Posted by: jakopz | October 31, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@JohnWWW: The flightless birds won on the road, yes---a shoot out. With a less grueling travel schedule than the Caps. Yes, they have a great beginning to the season, and they will be formidable opponents. So what? Penguins didn't start really performing last year till mid-season. Not that I wish that on the Caps, but it goes to show that the end of the season is more important. Sure, look for ways to improve and things to work on---I just think people ought to settle down and not call for the heads of some of our best players, even if they are making mistakes now.

I am more concerned with the issue of the Olympics, which Rambutan_ru brought up. I wish the Olympics were not this year, that's for sure.

And Columbus will be a tough team to beat tomorrow, They will be very hungry having come so close to beating Sindey's team.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 31, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I for one don't really give a rats ass who wins the MVP or the rest of these individual awards... I'll worry about all that once the season is over with.

before then the only thing they should be focusing on is winning the Cup.

Posted by: joek443 | October 31, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Backs' agent is sitting down with GMGM Nov 11-12 to finalize Back's new contract which obviously will be over many years. They are comparing his forthcoming deal to Kopitar's extension over seven years at about $48m. Backs will come in a little lower than that.

Posted by: jakopz | October 31, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Source?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 31, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Source is Back's agent Gunnar Svensson in an interview with expressen, one of the two main newssources in Sweden. Very reliable.

Posted by: jakopz | October 31, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

OH NO me as mascot! OH NO hang around with the girl who does intermission games? OH NO she makes chickenlittle's ears bleed!! OH NO like me some red rockers though...

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 31, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

ChickenLittleCapsFan:
hahahahahahahahaha

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 31, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

ChickenLittleCapsFan: just stuff some of those Chipotle burritos in your ears---you'll be fine!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 31, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The caps win 3-0 if we have our two best defensemen on the roster. Unfortunately, they are in Hershey because Nylander and Poti contracts keep them there...

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | October 31, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse


I'm sorry man, but there's no way our 2 best D are in Hershey -- our two best PROSPECTS are there. Alzner has not in any way earned himself a spot on this team through his play -- there's no way he's better than any of our 7 now, and Carlson's in development. He's not there yet.

You can be disgusted, but don't blame Nyls and Poti for it. Alzner and Carlson aren't good enough yet. I'd expect they'll get to be pretty good.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 31, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

They really need to trade Green now while he still has some value...he is a turn over machine and still has no idea how to clear the crease....I'm sure he whiffed on that pass because he was drunk/hungover.

Posted by: Capsfan1322 | October 31, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

It may have something to do with the Washington culture, but there are times I think the problem with Washington sports teams is that they end up reading their own press clippings (see Redskins) and end up deciding that all they have to do is show up against "lesser" teams to get wins. The fact of the matter is that you don't show up and play and work for the entire game you are going to lose against teams that do even the "lowly" Islanders. Even when they were on their winning streak they consistently lost the one-on-one battles, particularly in their own end. They have not been playing smart and they have not been playing hard and they certainly cannot expect to have their goalies to stop 40+ shots as well as a penalty shot a night (even against the "lowly" Thrashers without their best player) and win consistently.
BTW I don't know this for a fact but it seems to me that over the last 40 games or so (the end of last year, the playoffs, and the beginning of this year) the Caps' defencemen have put more goals into their own net (via deflections) than they have in the opponent's net.

Posted by: hcpat | October 31, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75:
Not talking recently. Talking back in the day when they didn't have a 30-goal scorer and it didn't matter. I'm not sure who the current monster team is that seemingly tilts the ice. Anyhow, the complaints are easy to ignore now, but if the same ones keep popping up for 59 more games, then you know the Caps have not fixed the little things and probably can't in time for when it counts the most.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | October 31, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I think the media has it in for semin bc he doesn't want to speak to them in English.. Brooks L could stab someone in the eye and then smile that megawatt cheekie grin and give a sound byte and the media would forgive him.Maybe sem has his off days but there were a games last and this yr where he seems to be bustin it. Sometimes he's the only one. He is trying to learn English, but he's not comfortable talking in public yet.. For the first time ever he is tossing pucks to folks .. He's doing interviews in Russian. He's trying to be more open but he is just not comfortable with the panemonium of the media. I personally give him credit for that..talking to media in in a second language isn't for me either . He seems intelligent and fair when you read his interviews. He also gives ov confidence when they play.. He usually is joking with other players at warmups and they laugh with him. I hope he's signed.. I admit he has to things to learn but who doesn't.. Also in the video above ovi seems to me to be the sulky one.. The guys are buddies they were goofing around.. Taking things out of context isn't fair.. After all ovi is the one punching agents in bars.. I love ovi but thought Id throw it out there just to make a pt since its all judgy

Posted by: kmr2r | October 31, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

They really need to trade Green now while he still has some value...he is a turn over machine and still has no idea how to clear the crease....I'm sure he whiffed on that pass because he was drunk/hungover.

Posted by: Capsfan1322 | October 31, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

you sound like you're on something

Posted by: joek443 | October 31, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

the time to peak is in april, may and june... NOT now.

as long as they stay in top 4 of the EC while workining to improve the team D, there is really no big problem with this team.

The only two stats besides the W that I'm keeping an eye on is where the team ranks in GA and PK. They need to be in top ten in both categories.

Posted by: joek443


---THIS GUY IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. Clearly this blog serves to relieve boredom. GET SERIOUS PEOPLE!

Posted by: broud0 | November 1, 2009 3:12 AM | Report abuse

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