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Backstrom: 'We Have to Try Something New'

It was the gutsiest decision of Coach Bruce Boudreau's tenure behind the Caps' bench, and it paid off. But even Simeon Varlamov's 23-save gem wasn't enough on an afternoon when Henrik Lundqvist was perfect and the Caps' skilled forwards rarely ventured into high-traffic areas.

The lack of traffic in front of the opposing goalie has been a common refrain throughout the season and it's threatening to cut the Caps' postseason run short. Really short.

"A lot of shots were coming from the outside, but rebounds were coming into spots where we needed to be," defenseman Mike Green said. "But we weren't there."

Nicklas Backstrom added: "We have to try something new. Maybe we have to go even more to the net. I mean more traffic, get rebounds and those kinds of things."

The funny thing is that even Lundqvist recognized it, saying: "There's no secrets in the playoffs. Everybody knows how you have to score. You have to pay a price for it."

But are the Caps willing to pay that price?

On to some other notes:

Tough Road
The last team to come back from going down 2-0 at home was the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes, who, of course, went on to win the Stanley Cup. It's happened four times since 2000.

Another sobering statistic if you're a fan of the Caps: Only 12.7 percent of the teams that have fallen behind 2-0 in a best-of-seven series have rallied to win, and 0.0 percent of Caps teams have done it, going 0-for-4.

"You have to tell the guys to keep the faith," Boudreau said. "A break here and break there. I don't mean a lot of breaks. One break in either game, and we could be up 2-0."

Block Party
The Rangers blocked 29 shots today, eight more than they blocked on Wednesday. That's a staggering figure.

"John [Tortorella's] teams when Tampa won the Cup blocked the most shots in the league," Boudreau said. "Nothing got through. It's nothing new. It's the commitment to playoff hockey, when everyone is paying that price and they're doing anything."

Varlamov Shines
In his first NHL playoff game, Simeon Varlamov (23 saves) did what goalies are asked to do this time of year: He gave the Caps a chance to win.

On the Rangers' only goal, he didn't have much a chance. It was a 2-on-1 that began with a turnover by Ovechkin in the New York zone. Markus Naslund had to make a perfect pass through Tom Poti and he did, sending the puck right to Ryan Callahan.

"The guy who shot the puck played it very well," Varlamov said through an interpreter. "I didn't really have a lot of chance to get it. It was right in the upper corner."

Nice pass. Nice shot. But someone other than Poti has got to get back on that. (For the record, Boudreau said Ovechkin was interfered with when he attempted to backcheck.)

A buzz rippled through Verizon Center when Varlamov came out onto the ice first. The place just about exploded when he was announced as a starter.

"Of course I wanted to play," added Varlamov. "It was my dream since childhood. It's not a secret."

Who Starts Monday?
I'm done prognosticating the Caps' starting goaltender after today's surprise.
But it would make sense to stick with Varlamov, given his performance this afternoon.

Boudreau would only say that he'll pick a Game 3 starter tomorrow.

"We talk about it tonight and talk to the coaches tomorrow and make the decision tomorrow," Boudreau said.

Penalty Prone
The Capitals took five penalties, two by Alexander Semin and two back-to-back infractions just seconds apart by Viktor Kozlov. Semin's second penalty, a roughing call midway through the third period, couldn't have come at a worse time. In the offensive zone, he cross-checked Callahan in the face right in front of the Rangers' bench.

Odds and Ends
The Caps have lost a lot of playoff games in a lot of different ways. But they had never lost 1-0 until today. ...Rangers out-hit the Caps, 16-6, in first period. ...The Caps have been shut out 10 times in the playoffs. ...The Caps had 24 giveaways to the Rangers' 7. Five were committed by Ovechkin and seven by Mike Green.

Be sure to check out all of our coverage in tomorrow's paper. I wrote the gamer, Katie did some notes, Barry handled the goalie situation and Boz weighs in, too. Practice tomorrow is at 11, but I'm not expecting many players to hit the ice.

If you haven't weighed in on the video debate yet, check that out here.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 18, 2009; 7:45 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Postgame Video Debate: Can the Caps Come Back?
Next: Theodore: 'I Didn't See That Coming'

Comments

1st

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Rachel do you ever watch a game ? where do you sit and why?

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

3rd

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

4th

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

5th

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow when you guys loose you sure stick you heads in the sand!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I have just quit my job with the Air Force.

I have decided to be a hockey ref, that way I only have to be right have the time and get a good view of the ice.

Posted by: CheyenneWY | April 18, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

7th

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

SC: I watch every Caps game. Also, you are a moron for doing that 1st, 2nd thing. You ask the most idiotic questions ever, but that's what you are, an idiot, so I don't expect anything else. I do love to listen to you try to talk about the Caps though.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

now the blame is on the refs? HELLO did you even watch the first game????

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Are the Caps going to change their lineup (and insert Brash and Clark)? And, if so, who are they going to make as healthy scratches?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

If we lose the series I will agree with whoever said that we peaked too early. Then the late Feb. and March slump would not have been an anomaly but the indication of the team's state- of- their -game at this point in their history--unable to sustain a high level of intensity throughout. Could be that an earlier goalie change would have made a difference. I don't know.

I still expect them to turn it around dramatically though.

Posted by: caraveli | April 18, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

when you go to a game where do you sit? what part of the arena and why?

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Next time I want some lip, Ill be sure to jiggle my zipper.

I was suprised to see Valralmov today. He did well though. Didnt get tested a whole lot (Neither did Lundquist)

Posted by: CheyenneWY | April 18, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Its too bad Boudreau didn't pull his goalie last year, when it was poor goalie play -- we would have won that series. It isn't the goalies, it's the lack of defense. The goal scored today was exactly like the ones scored in Game 1.

Posted by: raymitten | April 18, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

peaked too early????? Your guys sat out for half the year than at the end you let them rest ...OMG YOU HAVE THE NERVE TO TALK ABOUT PEAKING!!!! OMG I can't take this any more LOL

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I know it was only 1-0 but it felt so far away.

Posted by: CheyenneWY | April 18, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

SC: Why should I answer your question when I've asked you a bunch and you've never answered? Too bad, loser.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Brutal

Posted by: CheyenneWY | April 18, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

thanks rachel you answered my question ....just as i thought you would!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

They should all be on the ice tomorrow.

Posted by: CDon | April 18, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

This StanleyCup person is probably one of the most uninventive and useless trolls I've seen on a message board/blog. I mean, if you're going to be a troll, at least be a clever one.

Posted by: CDon | April 18, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, and everytime I asked you a question, you answered like I thought you would!! Everytime I asked you "who's your team?" "why do you waste your life going on a team's blog that you don't even like?"

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I was not suprised you didn't answer!!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

CDon: Exactly. I would rather have a troll that's intelligent and knows a thing or two about hockey.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I was stranded in Colorado during the first game. I hope Game 3 can get a spark going for them. Ovie was all over the place today

Posted by: CheyenneWY | April 18, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

SC: Can you give me a review of what you saw in the game today? Since you know a bunch, I want to know what you thought of the game today. Please make it insightful.

I will be SHOCKED if you answered back and gave me a full assessment on what you saw in the game.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

1. Coach BB talking about breaks and we could be up 2-0. Well the breaks didn't come, so the reality is DOWN 2-0.
2. I guess this team would have only come to play against a higher seed (Bruins, maybe)? This Caps team is of course too good for the lower seeds (unfortunately #7 is about to eliminate us).
3. No one except for 21 Brooks Laich is willing to crash the net. Same story all season, and now it will be the reason for the early exit. The rest of the offense firing away from the circles. Can we suit up Dale Hunter for a few games, just so someone will rush, crash, hit, and generally be a pest around the crease?!
4. Tortorella has taken a so-so team and is coaching the heck out of them on how to win against a "higher" seed. Rangers came to play while the Caps are waiting for their "breaks".
5. Why do we endure this each spring? I was at the Cap Centre in the wee hours of the morning when the Islanders eliminated us in Game 7 years ago, and I feel just as sick in my stomach now...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 18, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Did it seem like they were keeping too many guys back behind the offensive zone? I dont kno if it was just me, but it seemed like the D werent pinching up at all...could it be the new goalie

Posted by: CheyenneWY | April 18, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I wish we traded for Billy Guerin. I would've given up Alzner, personally.

Posted by: donknutts | April 18, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Suprise, suprise... SC ran away! Haha. Come on SC, get your head out of the sand.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

On another note, those screaming for (a likely non-100%) Chris Clark: get serious. We've seen Clark this year and he has made zero impact in any game he's appeared in, a shell of his former self. If people really think he can shake off months of rust and come back like some Willis Reed superhero, they are being delusional.

Posted by: donknutts | April 18, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Guerin cant have a whole lot of years left...I think he is too old to even be called "Billy" at this point.

He is now William Guerin IV

Posted by: CheyenneWY | April 18, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

i thought katie had a good article & i liked the Lundqvist quote tarik got. 24-7 turnovers is brutal.

i thought varly was good as needed to be. if he had been in game one or the offense had realized this was the playoffs, varly wins the game.

Posted by: am_jim | April 18, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Practice tomorrow is at 11, but I'm not expecting many players to hit the ice???


Ummmmmmmm I'm sorry, every one of them should be on the ice tomorrow.

Posted by: rarcr | April 18, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Bears and Phantoms tied 2-2 at the 2nd intermission. Bears goals by Helmer and Kronwall. Game is starting to get very nasty...lots of stuff going on after every whistle.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 18, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

This is like a basketball team that shoots nothing but 20 foot jump shots and then wonder why they lose.

Posted by: MKadyman | April 18, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Billy, Bill, William, whatever you call it. He's exactly the type of hard-nosed, crease-clogging scorer the Caps are lacking. He would be making a difference, I bet.

Alzner, for as much as we all love him, has shown himself to be an adequate 2nd-tier defenseman—solid, reliable, smart. He has room to grow but I feel like you shake a tree in Moose Jaw and 10 Alzners would fall out.

Posted by: donknutts | April 18, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

1) The Caps need a new coach--one who understands a fundamental concept of hockey called "forechecking"--sending one or two of your forwards into the offensive zone to make it difficult for the opposing defenseman to set up the offensive breakout. New York did it well today. The CAPS did not engage until the neutral zone--where the Ranger forwards were in full stride.
2) Ovechkin is a very talented, clever puck handler.But most of his play today was floating around the ice waiting for a loose puck. Defense wins games--not spectacular bursts of stick handling.

Posted by: CouchCoach | April 18, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I worry. This team doesn't seem to have the passion it needs. I'm not convinced they can ge off the mat. There's too much individual play and little creativity. OV is trying the same things over and over. He's waiting for the puck to come to him too much. People are passing when they should shoot and shooting when they should pass or skate.

Today's two best players: Laich and Pothier. The defense was adequate defensively. Varlamov didn't get tested. Theo wouldn't have done any worse. The offense is...I don't know. The trap is preventing it from sustaining much flow.

Green, while not in the class of Schultz, made some indecisive Schultz-like plays. Some, sloppy lax ones, too. He must do better.

The game again didn't feel like it had playoff intensity on the ice. They need to get some desperation. Game 3 is a must win.

The good news is that the Rangers just aren't that good. Torts is playing them to their strengths. They're playing bend, but don't break take advantage of mistakes hockey. Clutch, grab, keep it to the outside. If the Caps play with confidence , creativity, discipline, dictate play, and win a couple more faceoffs, they can do it.

Posted by: SuperG5 | April 18, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

It's too late in the Playoff series to figure out you have to crash the net and screen the goalie to score, bunch of pretty boy hockey player in this team. Designer suit and fancy cars.....

Posted by: 555Mass | April 18, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Varly > Theo, bad refs/linesmen, not enough bodies in front of the net, and a struggle if possible to stay in this series. Sad.

Posted by: NatyBG | April 18, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

MKadyman: Great reference. You wanna score in basketball or hockey? Drive to the net. Wanna get fouled or draw a penalty? Drive to the net. It causes problems for the other team when you drive to the net, but they want to shoot from way out and make Lundqvist's life easy. Two out of the 3 goals scored in game 1 was right in front of Lundqvist. We've got to do that in game 3.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Poither, though better than #55, was decidedly average today. Didn't do anything of note, mostly invisible. The one time I did notice him is when he muffed a chance at an open shot on net from the point.

Posted by: donknutts | April 18, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond,

I know how you feel. Why does everything always go wrong for us in the playoffs? Maybe it would have better if we had squeaked in as the #8 seed.

Why does Murphy's Law seem to dog the Caps every year (and, of course, Murphy became a hall of famer after leaving the Caps). Or should we refer to it as Muraviov's Law in honor of the Russians. (Russians are known for their fatalism.)

But, even with Murphy's Law, things even turned around for the Boston Red Sox who made losing 7 game World Series into an art form and kept being on the losing end of division titles that involved the NY Yankees. So, finally, the Red Sox were down 3 games to zip in a league championship series against guess who -- the hated Yankees, and they came back and won it, and that was the first time any team had come back from such a deficit. Yes, the perennially choking Red Sox, finally came back against the hated Yankees who were always supposed to be the epitome of clutch championship teams. The Red Sox always seemed to be dogged by Murphy's Law. Well, they do have a lot of Irish fans.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's too late to turn things around, but they clearly need to play a lot more in front of the net. Sorry Ovie, you're the best in the game and all, but your constant carry-in-the-puck-and-take-a-short-side-shot clearly does not work on Lundqvist, and it just isn't going to cut it in the postseason regardless. Gotta grind, gotta get in front of the net. Since no one else is gonna do it, let's get Clarkie back in there.

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 18, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, they've been waiting to go down 0-2 in a series before turning it on. That switch is about to be flipped. Just wait. You'll see.

Posted by: CletusVanDamme | April 18, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

For starters, I love the caps, but here are some thoughts. I think BB was gutsy to go with Varly -- a good call but it seems to me that he is otherwise being totally outsmarted by the rangers coach. The caps seem to be doing what they do best, but it won't work against the rangers. I think they need to slow things down dramatically, giving time for all their players to set up and create lots of traffic in front of the rangers net. Shooting direct shots on goal without traffic is a waste of time. Not sure what they can do about the giveaways....the caps have always been mediocre passers and have always seemed to struggle with smaller, faster teams. The rangers seem to be far more disciplined and well schooled on the basics, namely crisp passing. Back to the goalie issue: we will never go far this year or next year with Theodore. He is a solid but erratic goalie who is not up to the job of carrying ANY team deep into the playoffs. My bigger concern is the character and style of the caps. Ovie pretty much froze during the playoffs last year as well and he seems frozen now. His patented frenetic rush to the goal works well against many teams but not an agile team like the rangers who are quick enough. He has very little finesse in a non run and gun game, unlike, say, crosby, who is a finesse player who seems way more versatile than ovie. Ovie gets a free pass because he is brilliant but i have seen him play poorly in roughly 25% of his games....usually, it was because he is unable to alter his game to address a quick defense that can stymie his rush to the net. Don't get me wrong...he is brilliant 75% of the time, and that is enough to carry the caps into the playoffs year in and year out with decent teammates. Finally, what struck me the most is that the rangers seems to play like a team that has played together and has more of a sixth sense regarding what their teammates are doing at any given time on the ice....the caps seem like a lot of talent thrown together with little cohesion -- but the sum is not greater than the parts. the rangers have less talent but the sum is greater than the parts

Posted by: gocaps2009 | April 18, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree SuperG5 -- something seemed off today, and the Rags are not that good. But you know what? Maybe we're not all that good either. I mean, I love the Caps, but I think our biggest problem is that we play Western Conference hockey in the Eastern Conference. Just watch some of the Western games on Versus -- it's so much more fast and open than the Eastern game. The Caps would thrive out West, but that's not where they are.

I agree with all the comments about crashing the net, but part of the problem here is with our skill guys. They race up the ice fast, especially OV, and the crowd oohs and aahs, but then he has three guys around him and either tried to beat them one-on-one, does a drop pass and goes to the boards or face-off circle, or shoots to force a face-off. It would be great if we had Guerin or other net-crashers, but the problem is we shoot the puck way too quickly a lot of the time and no one has the time to get in front. Of course, it's not like Kozlov or Backstrom are going to park their butts in front.

And the Rags did a great job blocking shots to today, you have to hand it to them.

Posted by: jhamond1 | April 18, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see the Caps make things interesting this series and not go down in 4. (Teams have been down 2 games to none versus the Caps and came back to beat them. Time to put the shoe on the other foot.)

And keep Varlamov in there. I believe he's an improvement over Theodore.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I think they're trying, but I'm not sure they understand how to play playoff hockey. I'm not sure BB knows how to either, or at least how to relate it to the players.

I'm glad we paid $4 million for Feds - who has done nothing.

The bottom line is that to win in the playoffs, your best players have to play like you best players. I wore my Ovie sweater today, but him and Mike Green were absolutely terrible. It was the same thing, over and over. Green carries the puck in and loses it; Ovie finds it and tries a wild one-timer from a sharp angle on the same side of the ice ... squeeze against the post and its stopped ... which is what's happening.

I think everyone at the game was thinking the same thing -- if we cant get the lead, we're going to lose.

I will say that the Rangers better sweep the Caps, because if we get a game, I think the Rangers will crumble.

Posted by: wahoo_Mike | April 18, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan

Totally agreed. I've been a Sox fan my entire life and a comeback isn't out of the question. But King Henrik is pretty sharp right now so the game plan HAS to change.

This isn't an "oh geez, we just aren't getting the bounces". Get Brash and Clark in front of the net, the goals will come.

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 18, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

555Mass. You hit the nail right on the head. Designer suits and fancy cars... These guys cannot hold a candle in comparison with Scott Stevens, Dino Ciccarelli, Rod Langway, Bobby Gould, David Christian, Dale Hunter or Gussie. I said it before and I will say it again, the team is improperly built.

Semin to the Ducks for Pronger and a draft pick and or sign Bowmeister. Let Kozlov go and sign some gritty 10-20 goal scorer that has a history of annoying other players. Oh we had Cooke and we let him sign with the Pens. I forgot... The team is not built to win in the playoffs. It's built to sell tickets with flash and show. They are not ready for the hard grind of the NHL Playoffs.

Posted by: diner99 | April 18, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

@snakegriffin,

Who do you propose to sit out in favor of Clark and Brash?

Is Clark really 100% ready to go? After not having played for some time. And then I wonder if Brash's days are numbered. He's been injured each time he's been in a fight, as of late.

I personally like Clark. Just wonder about his effectiveness since his health's been less than optimal. (Of course Clark being back will mean sitting one of my personal favorites.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

The fact that the Caps were below .500 against the West makes me think they wouldn't do so hot out there either.

Posted by: donknutts | April 18, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"Of course I wanted to play" said Varlamov. What I want to know is who just asked the stupidest question in the world.

Posted by: KlayKey | April 18, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

@diner99,

Then we didn't win the Stanley Cup with Stevens, Ciccarelli, and company either. (They made it to the Stanley Cup, lost in 4 games, and then the limousine incident happened and Stevens was let go as a free agent.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

@snakegriffin,

I'm trying to put as positive a spin on things as I can for the Caps. I don't feel good at the moment. BTW, the Red Sox are not my favorite team but I really hate the Yankees. (My daughter was a student at Boston U at the time of that Red Sox win and told me of the crowd's reaction. She's sort of a Red Sox fan, after the Orioles and Nats.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping that Poti would have slid to block that pass to Callahan for the goal, instead of his weak attempt at putting the stick flat on the ice. It looked as though Poti had managed to take away the shooting angle and forced the pass, but if I'm not mistaken, that pass successfully made it under his stick.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | April 18, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

@diner99

Given the ages of Pronger (30 plus) and Semin (25), I would not advocate making that trade.

As for Cooke, we had him last year and we still got bounced in the first round.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

hockeyweasel: Don't know about you but the very moment I saw that 2-on-1 developing, I automatically conceded the goal. I think I can count on one hand the number of times we've successfully defended a 2-on-1 this season.

Posted by: donknutts | April 18, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

@donknutts: the Caps were below .500 against the West in part because of the Great Western Road Trip That Resulted In Half The Team Going On IR.

@CapsFan74: the Stevens and Ciccarelli team didn't go to the Cup finals. They weren't on the 1998 club.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 18, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

UGH, how MUCH I wanted to play the Canadiens. If the Canadiens were the 7th seed, we'd be up 2-0, no doubt about it.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I do seem to remember some rather toothless home efforts against the Kings, the Oilers, and the Blue Jackets though...

Posted by: donknutts | April 18, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I said part. Read.

I also saw the Caps fight tooth and nail against the Red Wings and grind out that win.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 18, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Go Bears! They're up 5-2 with a minute remaining. Giroux, Perreault, Pinner with goals.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 18, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Go Bears! At least one of the orgs clubs can win today...........

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 18, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

hey Rachel u sure we would be up on the Habs?

Posted by: wendel2 | April 18, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I suppose my overall comment is that I disagree the idea that the Caps "would thrive out West." I've been watching the Vancouver-St. Louis and Calgary-Chicago series and they are just as hard-nosed and tight as our series is. You think the Canucks would just let us fly around and make fancy passes around the ice? It's not about East v. West, it's about regular season vs. playoffs, and we haven't found that extra gear yet. Hopefully it's not too late.

Posted by: donknutts | April 18, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

@redbirdie:
I think the limo incident happened in 1989.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 18, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Bears win 6-2. Bouchard with the final goal.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 18, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Final: Bears win 6-2
Goals by Helmer, Kronwall, Giroux, Perreault, Pinizotto, Bouchard

Posted by: tess2201 | April 18, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

wendel2: Absolutely. The Rangers are just not a good matchup for us. We match up a lot better with Montreal, we'd be able to beat Carey Price, he's very shaky in this game. 4-1 Bruins.

Hurray Bears!! GO NEUVY!! Neuvy is so awesome!!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Prospect Playoff Report: Bears are now up 2-0 in their round 1 series against the Phantoms. Stingrays are up 3-2 in their first round series with the Charlotte Checkers. The London Knights are in their conference finals vs the Windsor Spitfires, tied at 1 game apiece. All are best of 7 series.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 18, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I bet Price does not come back in the 3rd.

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 18, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I blame this loss on McPhee for not getting anything for us at the deadline.

Green is about as useful as a ham sandwich out there.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | April 18, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

price is still better than theo....won the Calder for hamilton single handedly

Posted by: wendel2 | April 18, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Some funny comments blaming defense for today's loss. We lost 1-0, Lunq played out of his mind...we missed some chances. We could have gotten another call or two but the PP's were pretty even so no complaints.

We've lost two 1 goal games. The sky isn't falling. Obviously we need to get some dirty goals when Lunq is playing this well. We also missed some chances. We're not getting outplayed. See you on here Monday night, wish I could travel and get tix in NY ;)

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 18, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Lundqvist played out of his mind. We made his life easy and even Lundqvist knows that to score you have to get in front of the net. Everything we shot was easily stoppable. He didn't make many tough saves.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

His rebound control for the most part was very good and he did make some tough stops, big one on Semin in the first and a nice glove save on Fehr in the 2nd (about the only thing I saw Fehr do all game). I'd really like to see Aucoin (which we won't) and Clark get put into the lineup for Game 3.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 18, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Caps are done

One word comes to mind with the 08/09 Caps and Mr. My-Stick-Is-On-Fire

OVIE-RRATED!

Posted by: puckheaded1 | April 18, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Boo, How much did you win?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 18, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I hate sports. Why do my favorite teams torture me so? I need a new hobby. Anyone try that upside down tomato tree thing?

Posted by: EGTuna | April 18, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

JMU:
I would think at least a bag of pucks ... what do you think? Lunch or a movie with Shea?

My DH just said he is so frustrated after the last two games that if the Caps make it to game 5 he does not want to go. Wow ... he IS frustrated. (How much you wanna bet that changes around 9:30 Monday night if the Caps win?!?)

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 18, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

"What a big human he is." HA!

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 18, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Boo, I guess I could be okay with lunch. Just make sure he eats his veggies. And don't tell him anything embarrassing about me.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 18, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

JMU:
Your secrets are safe with me (well, except that one about the thing at that place ... how could I not tell him about that?!?)

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 18, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

It's too late in the Playoff series to figure out you have to crash the net and screen the goalie to score, bunch of pretty boy hockey player in this team. Designer suit and fancy cars.....

Posted by: 555Mass | April 18, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

yeah, i'm pretty sure gomez shops at tj maxx and drives a civic. has nothing to do with winning in the playoffs. has everything to do with want to. they need to read lunquist quote about what it take to win in the playoffs and do it. brooks, fehr, clark...park yourself in the blue paint and stay there.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 18, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey you guys I sat 4 rows from the boards- section 109 and watched time after time how they stopped Ovie from even trying to shoot. He almost always cuts into the center of the zone and tries to shoot thru a screen. It's NOT working. What troubles me most is his shot selection. He shoots a ton and nothing seems to be on the mark :o( Henrik is great, yeah. But no goals today? It's easy to say you get someone in front of the net and knock in the rebounds. Why haven't they done it yet?

Seems to me the Caps haven't taken the Rags seriously. This is their problem. You can't win on talent alone. Obviously. And with the crowd going crazy with the refs...I didn't see one call against the Caps that wasn't warranted. It sucks. I know. But still.

Anyone think they should put Semin with Backs and Ovie? Oh btw, Darren Pang is one small guy...

Posted by: 1800DrWong | April 18, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

New Caps cheer:

G-O-L-F! GOLF! GOLF! GOLF!

Posted by: acesdc | April 18, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Boo, Noo!!!! Not that thing! At that place! With those people!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 18, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Dude, the Caps have been counted out and bounced back too many times before for me to believe this is over. I'm not happy about the past two, but they're just that - past. I'm looking forward ... if anyone can recover from this they can. Bring it, boys.

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 18, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

wahoo Mike-------------
I'm glad we paid 4 mil for theo and 4-5 mil for nylander, what have they done? alot freaking less then Feds, so lets not talk about feds, its the whole team that couldnt put the puck on net. Bruce this bruce that hes so great, hes chocking its his fault quite frankly. This is like a chest game that he is loosing, he needs to counter and he dosent know what to do.he waited untill god damn what half way through the 3rd game 2 to switch the lines up? retarded!

Posted by: madboost35 | April 18, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

@acesdc

I'll admit I laughed but that's wrong! :oP I still think the Caps can make a series out of it. Ovie likes Broadway doesn't he? :o)

Posted by: 1800DrWong | April 18, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

DCsportsfan====
hahah yeah actually gomez drives a pinto and shops at KMart. 555 is an old school fan, good luck with that. Players that you mentioned should crash the net and not the ones that are driving exotic cars those guys shoot the puck on net, cuz they know how to.

Posted by: madboost35 | April 18, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I would say I'm impressed that SC 07 had so many early posts, but since he doesn't have any Leafs games to watch, I guess he had nothing better to do until October.

Something different would be good. Scoring a goal would also be good. Hot goalie in the playoffs? Tough draw. Let's hope Monday is better.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | April 18, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

JMU:
Come on ... seriously?!? How could I not? If you feel that strongly about it then you should have thought about that before you sauntered in there and said that stuff to that guy! I still can't believe it ... it's almost like I imagined it or something. (BTW, the look on his face was priceless.)

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 18, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

The Caps can do this. It aint over.
To win the next 2 in NY they have to go to the fing net. every shift, to the net. Play like they want to bleed, every shift. Play like they want it more than anything they've ever wanted in their entire lives. Essentially, play like the other playoff teams are playing. Because today was a bad joke.

Posted by: oo7 | April 18, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Boo, lmao!

oo7, Agreed on all counts.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 18, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't really matter if you're losing games by one goal. These are playoff games, lose a few and before you know it the series is done. Things are not working, the powerful offense scored NO goals today. Try something different: put in Brashear, call up Aucoin or Giroux, dress out Craig Laughlin, find John Druce, do something to change the dynamic! Look how well the Rangers are playing with their trade deadline guys. This was a team that barely made the playoffs, now they're making the Caps look like the team that squeaked in. Avery is a dirtbag, but he's a heck of a player/agitator. How the heck did he get Elisha Cuthbert anyway?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 18, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

A very simple fix to this dreadful playoffs, "have someone near the goal before you shoot!". If, no one near the crease, wait a sec. before you shoot! How hard is that??????? These morons are just "trigger" happy!!!!!!! Put a High School goalie in there, I bet he/she will have above .900 save percentage!!!

Posted by: 555Mass | April 18, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

OBSERVATIONS FROM ANOTHER DISAPPOINTING PLAYOFF GAME

ENOUGH WITH THE SAME OLD TUNE: How many times this year especially late in the year have we heard about crashing the net. This team is preaching it over and over yet it's not happening!!! This team has learned nothing from last year's playoff loss. Until they realize it's going to take paying the price - taking a pounding and getting into scrums - they will not win. Talent alone and trying to be pretty will not win you games.

LOTS OF SHOTS BUT BETTER SELECTION: Yea so they fired 30 plus shots but how many came from the perimeter. I recal seeing Fleischman waiting until he was on the goal line with no angle take a shot. Mike Green being given plenty of cushion to shoot and yet tries to pass it to a foward who would've had no angle if the pass got through. Stupid decisions. Once again the experience from last year hasn't gone through to this team. They still try to be pretty.

LINEUP CHANGES? - I'm not sure what more you can do. If Brashear is able to get in - then put him in for toughness. And please stop suggesting Chris Clark. Yes he's the captain but he is not a major upgrade to help this team and he hasn't played in forever. I know some will disagree but with a smaller shiftier team - I'd like to see Aucoin back in there.

GETTING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE - It will make all the difference if some of the guys out there will start throwing their weight around more. They were outhit by the Rangers.

VARLAMOV - Gutsy move and one hell of an effort by the netminder today. He's in net on Mmonday - no questions asked. The offensive giant needs to wake up and make this a series again.

NAYSAYERS - For all the yahoos that want to write this team off and blah blah blah - shut up. Pull your lip over your head and swallow. You'll be doing all of us a favor. Otherwise go find something more important to do with your life then waste it coming on here looking like an ignorant ass. :) Ice Breakers Goal Shakers.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | April 18, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I've watched this game twice now.
I'm going to throw this out there: When Staal drew the penalty in the Pens game by holding onto the guys stick and essentially cheating, I thought someone was going to do that today. Well, Semins first penalty against Gomez, Gomez is holding Semins stick under his arms. I hate that. I remember Hunter saying "if you're not cheating, you're not trying" but I've never agreed. I'm just gonna stop here. I'm in a bad mood until Monday.

Posted by: oo7 | April 18, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Like I said before, that game in December could be foreshadowing for this series... we will see on Monday.

The Caps have lost 3 games in a row 4 times this year (once 4 games in a row)... after those games, they have won 2 in a row three times and 3 times once. We have lost 3 in a row including the Florida game... so, we shall see.

The only thing I am pissed at is that one guy is beating the Caps - Henrik... the Rangers suck... let's be honest... They only have one guy and they have no chance at winning the cup.

The Caps are right were they feel comfortable - backs against the wall... Cardiac kids are back - Let's go boys!

Posted by: _828 | April 18, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

@007

I can't believe you actually watched the game twice. I thought once was bad enough.

Gee, with Gomez holding Semin's stick under his arms for penalty #1. I recall that penalty #2 was a roughing call. (Someone got physical but I assume it was in retaliation.)

Of course, now everyone is ready to trade Semin for a bag of pucks at this point.

Join the club for being in a bad mood until Monday.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

"Like I said before, that game in December could be foreshadowing for this series... we will see on Monday."

Unfortunately, that Rangers team was coached by toothless Tom Renney and didn't have Avery, Antroponov, D. Morris, etc. Had they been together all season, this Rangers team would've been a top-four seed for sure.

Posted by: donknutts | April 18, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Bears can win the Calder Cup this year and then some of their guys can join our team and show them how to win playoff series. One can only hope.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Have the Caps been going to the net all season? How do they rank in most goals scored this season?

Maybe it takes luck, who knows - just put the biscuit in the basket... don't try and change who you are... be the team who got you here in the first place.

Posted by: _828 | April 18, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

The sad part is we did better with the Hershey guys than our "normal" guys. Maybe that's who we should be playing.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

donknutts,
I don't care it the team changed - the December game happened... don't care who was on it... the Caps weren't exactly healthy... f the rangers - they are a joke.

Posted by: _828 | April 18, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Now Ovi seems to be taking all these extremely long shots. Okay, that's been true for a while.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it takes luck, who knows - just put the biscuit in the basket... don't try and change who you are... be the team who got you here in the first place.

Posted by: _828

The team that got them there was drawing penalty after penalty by forechecking relentlessly and making strong moves to the slot just above the hash marks and letting loose.

Posted by: oo7 | April 18, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Now I remember. We had the Hershey guys playing in the December game where we made the great comeback.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

007, didn't say they were doing it, just saying - people want them to be better on D or go to the net or whatever... just do what they do and we will be alright. Cant force a square peg into a round hole, right?

Posted by: _828 | April 19, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

23 saves is a "gem", Tarik? Um, OK.

Posted by: ariznem | April 19, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

For the great comeback against the Rags, Hershey guys present were: Alzner, Giroux, Sloan, Helmer, A. Gordon, Sean Collins. And Alzner and Helmer led in ice time for the D.

Green, Semin, Poti, and Fedorov were out.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

I still want Semin and Green on my team, anyhow even though the Caps played better with the Hershey guys.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

828- I want them to turn it up. Way, way up.

---------------------

For the great comeback against the Rags, Hershey guys present were: Alzner, Giroux, Sloan, Helmer, A. Gordon, Sean Collins. And Alzner and Helmer led in ice time for the D.

Green, Semin, Poti, and Fedorov were out.

Posted by: CapsFan75

man, we're a long way from december.

; )

Posted by: oo7 | April 19, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

And the Rangers are still a long way from winning the series. Don't jump ship yet...if ever.

Surprised there isn't more talk about whether there is even a discussion about who is starting in goal Monday night. Not that I think there should be a debate, the kid's earned another start. I just think he handled his first playoff start pretty well considering the circumstances.

On other odd note about the game, obviously there were less penalties overall but both PP's were looking pretty anemic against the PK of each team. Get more traffic in front and maybe do a little more faking of big shots...get them to go down for the block and take the space provided for a better look.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 19, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Well call me an eternal optimist but I dont' think this series is over by far. I think we're on to something with Varly. Let's face it, if you only give up 1 goal you should win, PERIOD. Next Schultz is out, enuf said. Then BB is gonna put Semin up with OV and either Back or Feds at Center probably Backs and then the Feds, Flash, Fehr line is back. I think we're fine. On the bad side, it STILL bothers me that we did absolutely NOTHING at the trade deadline but can't cry over spilt milk. Hopefully that'll be a lesson for next yr. If some of you want to say it's over fine, but I sure hope the players don't feel that way. How many times have we gone in and won the 1st 2 games away then lost the next 4 in a row? I'll tell ya, 3. Twice to Pitt and once to Tampa. And lets not count the 3-0 leads lost so I don't think for a second this is over and I still think we're the better team. It'll take more than 1 goal to beat us Monday I can promise you that.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 19, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

@pokerface1208

I hope your optimism is well founded and the Caps turn this series around. It should be time for the Caps to be on the right end of a playoff comeback for a change. If it happened to the Red Sox, it should happen to us, if there's any justice in the world.

As for no trades, the GM felt the other team's asking price for the guys we sought was too high. Sure, the Caps wanted to acquire help but couldn't acquire it at a reasonable price.

I think the Caps are (and should be) a better team.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

@Davethecapsfan

I agree with you. Keep the kid in goal.

Very few penalties. The Caps skated all theirs off, for once. I can't believe the Rangers hardly ever got penalized. How'd they become so disciplined all of a sudden? As for the Caps, the main Caps board now has a discussion thread about the fact that the #1 power play unit is on the ice for nearly all of the PP minutes and probably are too tired to do anything at even strength.

Maybe they're right on that score. Ovi (and Semin) missing shots.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

@oo7

On your "long way from December" comment,

tell me about it.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Must admit I'm not looking forward to this summer's sports. The Nats are already buried. The O's are off to an okay start but can they sustain it.

What's left, is my daughter's summer swim league. The outlook for her team is probably 2nd place. The first place team hasn't lost since 2004 and are essentially what the Pittsburgh Penguins would be like if they were far and away better than the rest of the NHL. Their resident superstar combines the worst qualities of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (and was born exactly 5 years after Malkin). The team is utterly obnoxious.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

I miss having Aucoin in the lineup. He definitely was an upgrade over the folks we had.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

I called Pothier and Varly 2 days ago. I am now calling Brash for Nylander - to say he's lackadasical against his former team? Well he wasn't alone today but we have Gordon and Bradley back - we need that physical presense on the 4th. Brash does way more than fight and 'patrol'. That line was pretty sweet before the injury bug. Keep Poth and Varly or hand your Jack Adams back in, I love ya though! But please... as an obsessively observant fan. Please... Thanks!

Posted by: hannah8 | April 19, 2009 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Isn't Aucoin short? I love him too but Rangers aren't small. A bit OT but friends who work near the Garden are relocating 2nd half of game days... madhouse. Oh I would be there rocking the red if I could. NYC couldn't be further from Buffalo and still be in the same state.

Posted by: hannah8 | April 19, 2009 2:38 AM | Report abuse

This team is soft. Saw this debacle coming from a mile away. Cuteness wins awards, but not the cup.

GMGM is to blame for this mess.

Posted by: FancyDan | April 19, 2009 3:20 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and bench Nylander and Kozlov and put anyone else in. Can't wait till these bums are gone. Feds can go to. He's old and slow.

Posted by: FancyDan | April 19, 2009 3:32 AM | Report abuse

We need Bradley or Brash(if he plays) to start a fight, preferably with Avery, to get this team going. We needed that in game 1 and 2. The lack of physical play is frustrating, especially since the players keep saying they learned their lesson last year. The CAPS have to be the most frustrating team to follow in all of professional sports.

Posted by: wienerdog4410 | April 19, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Also, I have to agree with Rachel. The whole 1st, 2nd, 3rd thing is sooo stupid and a bit old. Nobody cares that you posted 1st or 80th. Just have something meaningful to say.

Posted by: wienerdog4410 | April 19, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I have said it before and I'll say it again...to many Europeans! Flash and Nylander must sit! It is time to put in Brash and maybe Clark or make a call up! Most European players are not like Ovie or even Backstrom! Nobody can say one bad thing about Backstrom he very rarely gets knocked off the puck he is outstanding! Give BB credit for sitting that bumb Theo and Schultz(he's not injured). The great Mike Green needs to forget about the sound system and paintings in his crib and play with some emotion and not down to his opponents! The mohawk is not going to do it alone!

Posted by: ReedRothchild | April 19, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

And one more thing...how is it possible that the reffing is getting worse with 2 refs on the ice? They still miss a lot of shtuff.

Posted by: wienerdog4410 | April 19, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I agree with bringin Aucoin back for the rest of the series, even if it costs Hershey. Aucoin is not the solution, but he is a spark. Next year, Giroux, Aucoin, Osala, Alzner should all be up here, and maybe with a healthier Clark, this is a grittier team. But for now, keep Varmalov, call up Aucoin, but Semin and OV on the first line for one game, and unite the 3-Fs line.

Posted by: jhamond1 | April 19, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Are you guys seriously going there with the "too many Europeans" thing?

Posted by: rachel216 | April 19, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

This all falls on GMGM. Every hockey-writer in North America said the Caps lacked defense and goaltending. At the deadline, GMGM did nothing. And the franchise is paying for it.
This team will never win a Cup as long as George Mcphee is GM.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | April 19, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

fire gmgm --it's all his fault the Rangers made moves at the deadline and we sat still and did not make statement---if you want to be an elite team you need to make some kind of statement at the deadline to show you mean business-- and now we'll never be able to sign a veteran goaltender --- Kolzig, Huet and I am sure Theo is ticked -- good thing we have 3 good young goalies

Posted by: capsgary | April 19, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I think we need to bench Nylander. Put Clark in as he has some grit that we desperately need and will get in front of the net for some of those juicy rebounds that were just sitting there yesterday.

So put Federov centering Fehr and Flash and then move Laich to center with Clark and Semin on the wings.

Posted by: Hammertime44 | April 19, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

The problem with cutting the mohawk or dyeing your hair, is that when you lose 2 games to a so-so team you kind of look foolish. To continue on the hair thread, the playoff beards will barely be stubble when they can be shaved off.
I hate to be negative, but this team will have to win 4 out of 5 games.... At least the Flyers (who are down 2-0) get to go home to regroup. The Caps have to go into NYC.
My wife just asked me why I'm in a bad mood, it's my annual Caps Playoff Virus I get every spring. Things were actually easier after the "fire sale" a few years ago, I didn't get the virus because they didn't make the playoffs! I think I was healthier then...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 19, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I was in NYC yesterday, heard the game on the radio. Their announcers thought that Ovie looked tired. And that the crowd was "electric".
Fat lot of good that did.

I agree with getting Aucoin back- he's small but sneaky at the net and adds a spark that this team needs.

Posted by: bluejeener1 | April 19, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Yes, we should fire GMGM because he didn't make any moves. Crazy. If he gave up Alzner or Varly would you guys still be happy? I trust GMGM, he said the deal just wasn't there, he tried to make a deal but he didn't want to give up our young, prized prospects. He said they were asking for VARLAMOV. Would you be okay in letting Varly go? I sure as heck would not give anything up for Varly.

Come on guys, Do you want them to be like the Redskins?

Posted by: rachel216 | April 19, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

An inrodinate amount of shut outs in the frist two games already, huh?

Here comes Osgood, mister post season net minder.

Posted by: oo7 | April 19, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

An inrodinate amount of shut outs in the frist two games already, huh?

Here comes Osgood, mister post season net minder.

Posted by: oo7 | April 19, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you, Rachel.

There's no point in making a deal just to make a deal, not if it involves giving away too much. It sounds like the other teams were asking for Varlamov and/or Alzner.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond,

It was certainly psychologically easier to go down in the first round when we squeaked in by the skin of our teeth and expectations were low. Or even just being a bad team due to the fire sale.

Maybe the Caps will come back. Tampa Bay (and Pitt) came back against the Caps when down 2 games to zip. I keep telling myself that some day we'll get the good luck although I'm still waiting.

Then again, if I were following a team like San Jose and they went down in Round 1 this year, I would feel even more sick than I do now. They seem like they have the right ingredients. Offense, Defense, A good goal tender, etc. I'll admit the Caps have weaknesses, more than San Jose.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

On the hair thread, my advice to the guys is "no more special playoff hairdos". Concentrate on trying to win Round 1. Maybe that's a distraction they don't need.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

With all this talk about why McPhee did not make a trade at the deadline, I for one am happy he did not trade our future away for any of the players that were moved. The asking price at the deadlines are way higher than normal for one thing. Tweaking moves happen at the deadline, quality moves happen in the offseason (IMO).

I think patience is needed. Right now the caps are a young team, the core players are young. Many of the older players (Feds, Brashear, Nylander, Kozlov) are not really players kept around for their style/affectiveness of playing, but more so as mentors for our young players who are still seasoning. They are place fillers, and their places will soon enough be taken over by many of the Bears in waiting.

There is a plan out there, I am sure of it. Last year and this year even, the Caps have been a bit ahead of schedule in that plan (which is in my books, a good thing).

I think a lot of the Caps overall issues stem from age and maturity. Like I said, the bulk of our core players are still pretty young. None of those players are at their peaking points. We are just lucky to have a lot of players that are this talented and playing this well already. The trend is that defensemen do not really peak until they are in their mid twenties, well, that is the direction most of our D is heading (Green included). Maybe that is the trend of the d-play of our offensemen? Backstrom is already there in my opinion, Semin is heading there, but I think once our offense starts playing a better defensive game, or are more accountable for their actions, this team will be all that unstoppable. (Defense relies more on technical skills that are teachable...so, have the offense work on their defense as in backchecking and neutral zone play...I'm not saying the offense first style of play will have to stop, but look at a team like the Bruins, they are great offensively, and yet all their forwards play a better two way game)

A lot of people question where Ovechkin can go from here, how he can get better and improve his game. He is already at the top of the league talent wise...many people seem to think that when OV hits 70-80 goals in a season, that would be his next level...I think that once OV steps up his D game, gains a better level of backchecking..basically becomes a sort of two way player...that is how he will step it up a level.

Whether Caps come back in this series or not, our future is bright!

(sorry for the length but) GO CAPS!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | April 19, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin wasn't interfered with on the goal. Take a look at the replay, you'll see him just gliding back down the middle when he should have been skating back as hard as possible. As much as it pains me to say, that is what guys like Crosby or Malkin, whose team is winning in the playoffs, are doing.
With this team it all starts and ends with No. 8 and the Caps will not be successfull until Ovy realizes that a goal prevented is equally as important as a goal scored.

Posted by: binnenreim | April 19, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

All,

StanleyCaps nailed it...this team is being built for the long haul. Alzner, Carlson, Gustafson, Varmalov, Osala, Bouchard, Perrault...and on and on. The eye for talent here from the scouts is infinitely better than it was 10 years ago.

For some reason, I don't think this is over yet. Its not as if we're getting completely outclassed. Now is when the coaching comes in...what adjustments do you make to circumvent what the Rangers are doing?

Posted by: rnscaps | April 19, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Agree that the Caps are still a young team and one that while perhaps ahead of schedule is looking to the future. But that and making your team better at the deadline are not always mutually exclusive. And when a team puts up 108 pts, you go for it. Period. You just never know what you're team will do from year to year, even with the same guys.

We didn't add any new elements to the team and their play since the deadline has declined while others improved.

Those are facts.

And I also agree that BB is being out-coached in a bad way. He's too preoccupied with being coy about his goaltender, blaming the refs, and worrying about what Torts says. Instead, he should be making sure his guys are held accountable (and not just JT). Green just being awful. Nobody crashing the net. Semin taking a dumb penalty at a really bad time. Even Ovie, as hard as he's usually working, not backchecking on the goal.

It's not rocket sicence. It's playoff hockey.

Posted by: sinbin | April 19, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I don't agree with the thought that the only way to do something at the trade deadline was to "compromise our future". It's since last year that it was clear that we need veteran help on both creases, and we could have done something w/o giving up any of our future stars.

But look, deadline is gone, let's not talk trades until the season is over. Chances are slim but the Caps can still win this :D, one win in NY and we're back into it.


Posted by: mauree | April 19, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

There's no question, everyone knew we needed to upgrade our defense - period. Not just for the play-offs, but for the season as well. You can argue we finished second in the East and whatever, but the reality is we all knew our defense was weak.

Goaltending - I'm not sure what could have been done. Huet has done nothing this season, so that was money saved. Theo is exactly who we expected, so there's no surprises, but who else could have been acquired.

The funny thing is that Khabibulin was avaialble and on waivers, but his contract is/was too big.

The Caps are an exciting team, a great offense and exciting to watch. I haven't given up on them, but they need a spark.

Posted by: Jaymagz | April 19, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to add one last thing --

I love that people are calling for BB to put Brash in the lineup. Our saviour. Man, things aren't as bad as I thought. They're worse.

The problem isn't that the Rangers are more physical or out-hitting us. It's that every time we take a run at one of their guys, we forget about our own positioning. Go look at every time Green has tried to level someone... or when any of the guys go chase after Avery. The Rags getting a scoring chance, or a breakout, or a power play.

What do you tell the kids? A check is separating a player from the puck... not knocking his head off.

We don't need a guy who can't skate like Brash... we need some brains. Play smarter. Get to the net. Etc. If Lundqvist sees it, he'll save it. Kozlov is big but he plays like a pussy cat. Brash just can't keep up at a playoff pace, but Bradley skate a couple shifts with Ovie.

Posted by: sinbin | April 19, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Tarik & co.-Please have the WP IT staff test/correct the Report abuse link. Thanks.

Posted by: Terptwin | April 19, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Mauree. They didnt have to trade away their future. That was a crock. You dont have to give away your best prospect to get a decent player. The barn is full of hot young studs. When the buy points at your hottest stud, you laugh, politely say no, and direct him to side of the barn with the fine young cannibals you're willing to part with. They didnt have to give up Varlamov or Carlson or Alzner. Come on. Thats BS; McPhee does a good job of talking out both sides of his mouth. Thats why we're in this boat. The defense should have been shored up 2-3 years ago. The acquisitions that were ruled 'a suckers game' have made very good contributions to their teams already. Caps were deemed 'good enough'.

My take? McPhee looked at his goalie, looked at his defense, looked at the marginal and couple of under-producing forwards and assessed that this team wasn't capable of a cup run without adding major elements that were unavailable at that point of the season. Rather than make deals he decided this wasn't the year and opted to see what the boys could do on their own. He has one more year on his GM-lifeline. He knows he's out next year if the Caps dont do some damage in the post season. BUT, if the Caps get swept by NY, hot goalie or not, McPhee should go. The roster deficiencies are his.
just my humble opinion.

Posted by: oo7 | April 19, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Hey everyone, its not over yet. The Caps will however need to win game 3 and hopefully BB can keep them focused on game 3 and game 3 only.

As for trading, I am glad that GMGM didnt trade away the future as it is bright. I still wonder why he didnt go after someone like Gary Roberts who was on waivers and would have been the type of player the Caps are missing. Any thoughts?

If the Caps can just focus on Game 3, they will be alright but if they look at being down 2 -0 and having to win 4 out of 5, they're toast.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 19, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

bigschu8, Roberts didnt get picked up off waivers because he's done. Statistically, he was at the bottom of every good list and top of every bad one. He's out of gas. He should have hung them up years ago.

Again, you dont have to trade your entire future away. Thats ridiculous. Just because some kid MIGHT be good 5 years from now is no reason to forgo winning today. 5 years from now you might not have Green, NBackstrom, Semin; guys might get injured; there's a list of variables.

The people who are saying 'its ok that we dont win this year or next because we might win later' are completely missing the point.

Posted by: oo7 | April 19, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

@The_Stanley_Caps

Agree on most of your points. Most of our guys are kids. (I especially feel like they're kids since my first born is nearly a near younger than Semin and a few months older than Ovi).

Semin is much better than last year. He was positive in the Plus/Minus category for the first time ever and led the team. He improved in goals and assists in spite of missing a lot of games with injury. (I'm sure the injury slowed him down.) I'm sure if he had been healthy all year, he'd have been second in goals in the league.

Green is much better. More goals.

Backstrom also much better. A budding star. Improved in all statistical categories.

Many of our veterans are basically around to be mentors. Fedorov, Kozlov, Nylander (acquired for that purpose), and even Brash.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

007

I agree that Roberts wouldn't have made a statistical impact. I just wondered about his gritty style of play and experience in the playoffs.

The Rangers really are not doing anything spectacular and I haven't seem Lundquist standing on his head. They are just playing patient defensive hockey and waiting for opportunities. If the Caps can play game 3 smarter, wait for their opportunities too, they will win as they are much more skilled.

Every Cap has to commit to not allowing a goal on their shift. The goals will come if they don't panic and take chances. I am optimistic after losing 1 - 0 as this shows me that they have made that committment. If they play this way consistently, the goals will come and they will turn the series around. If they panic, and play game 3 like they're down 2 - 0, they will beat themselves.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 19, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Everyone keeps talking about the future. It was last spring during the Flyer series that this team had "learned" about the playoffs. This season was to be the "future". Now we find out next season is going to be the future...
I don't think it's even the young guys who aren't pulling their load. It's Koslov, Nylander, Federov, Theodore. These are the veterans who should lead the way. Look at the positives the Penguins are getting from Guerin.
Also, maybe Brashear isn't the saviour, but he may be a spark. And when he's "flying" around, most guys get out of his way. The Caps team on the ice for home games 1 & 2 didn't get it done. If there is any hope in saving this series then we need some lift, some change, some thing. Call up somebody, scratch a "star", do something. Don't talk about the refs or catching a break, shake things up! I swear, maybe I'm wrong, but some of these Caps act like they're ready for summer vacation...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 19, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

kcbrichmond - i agree.

Posted by: oo7 | April 19, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

That's what scares me, that the Caps and alot of fans are thinking about summer vacation. They can't look at being down 2-0. They can't over-focus on how to beat Lundquist. Remember, the Rangers have to win 4 games. The Caps just need to play game 3 and not look back or ahead. This is where experience will step in. Game 3 should be the Caps best game of the season, if it is, they win, if it isn't then 3-0 will be tough to come back from.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 19, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I haven't seen Green do much good this series so far. He's been giving the puck away a lot in their own zone or circling back rather than moving up the ice, then getting caught and giving it up. I think he needs to adjust to the pressure the Rangers are putting on the Caps defense. Ovechkin didn't have a great last game either. Not as good as game one. He gave the puck away quite a bit and is being too predictable when he goes in to shoot. Rangers are blocking too much and Lundqvist is playing too well to be able to score shots from that far out before there are any caps in front to create traffic or get rebounds.

Posted by: Stu_c | April 19, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Any NHL calibre goalie will stop shots from as far out as the Caps have been shooting. Someone needs to force the puck into the middle in the scoring zone. Pay the price and create chances and get the Rangers to take penalties. Look Toew's game winner in the Chi - Cal series. An innocent shot to net and he busted hard and scored on the rebound. It wasn't fancy, he just worked hard to beat the Defensemen to the net.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 19, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The current CAPS are an illusion that have fooled us all. They are a team built to succeed in the regular season, but fail consistently in the early rounds of the playoffs. The Rangers are following the standard template to defeating the CAPS. Play strong defense, and when we get flustrated and take too many risks, make us pay. Double and triple team Ovie and our offense is as good as shut down. No one else on the offense has displayed the skill, grit, and determination to be a force in the playoffs.

Like most CAPS fans, I am angry and depressed. I'll continue to root in games 3 and 4, but I suspect this team has no more fight in them. At least Varly played an excellent game and gives us something good to look forward to in our goaltending.

Posted by: TrackCollector | April 19, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Add: Brashear, Aucoin, Clark

Why: Brash might not skate fast, but he hits and brings a physical presence that the Caps absolutely lack at this juncture. Aucoin needs to center in Nylander's absence. Clark can replace Gordon; they need their captain back on the ice with them; he commands respect from both teams and he's ready to go; dress him as an extra forward if need be in case he gets hurt. Wont matter, he'll play anyway.

Drop: Nylander, Gordon and TBD

Why: Nylander hasn't made a case for staying in the lineup all season. If Theo gets pulled for his play, Nylander should be pulled as well. Aucoin will bring the energy and desire that Nylander has not. Gordon, because someone has to make room for Clark/Brash and Steckel/Bradley have been solid.

Make someone on Brash's line stand in the slot because thats where Brash passes to every single time. Its not rocket science.

Posted by: oo7 | April 19, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The current CAPS are an illusion that have fooled us all. They are a team built to succeed in the regular season, but fail consistently in the early rounds of the playoffs. The Rangers are following the standard template to defeating the CAPS. Play strong defense, and when we get flustrated and take too many risks, make us pay. Double and triple team Ovie and our offense is as good as shut down. No one else on the offense has displayed the skill, grit, and determination to be a force in the playoffs.

Like most CAPS fans, I am angry and depressed. I'll continue to root in games 3 and 4, but I suspect this team has no more fight in them. At least Varly played an excellent game and gives us something good to look forward to in our goaltending.

Posted by: TrackCollector | April 19, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

ftr-this illusion didn't fool us ALL btw, just most Caps fans. A few us could plainly see this is a team not built for the playoff season. Its soft like butter with no intestinal fortitude to do the little things that teams need to win series.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 19, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

In order to win, the Caps, especially their offensive "super-stars" need to stop forcing it and turing the puck over. They need to slow down on the offensive side and let the scoring come to them. Slowing down the offense will also help limit fast breaks when the puck is turned over. Also, it will give more opportunities for rebound attempts.

Posted by: laxpro95 | April 19, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Teams need solid, and often spectacular, goaltending to win consistently in the playoffs. Is any team in the playoffs winning its series right now without stand-out goalie play? This Caps team has shown in the past that it has heart, can play through injuries and adversity, etc. But when four NYR scoring chances lead to four goals in game one, the result is the demoralized team that showed up yesterday afternoon. All the Caps who were here last year came out of the gates flying Wednesday night, knowing that they can't win in the playoffs with a mediocre effort. But they lose anyway despite playing a generally solid game, because their goalie, who wasn't on the team last year, barely even showed up for the game. As to yesterday: the playoffs are hard enough without having to worry about a largely untested 20-year-old rookie in goal. The Caps beat teams by outscoring them, not by shutting down the opposition's offense. But it's gotta be difficult, especially in the playoffs, to play aggressively on offense when you're constantly insecure about the 20-year-old in net.

Posted by: bbposter09 | April 19, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@donknutts:

I agree with you that the goal was as good as scored when that 2-on-1 developed; inaccuracy is the only thing that seems to save us when those happen. Still, I hated to see such a half-ass effort to prevent it on Poti's part, especially since 1 goal can (and did) make all the difference in the playoffs. To Poti: it's better to be bruised for the start of the second round of the playoffs, than be 100% for your tee time in early May. Laich was a hero when he blocked 3 shots on one shift during the regular season, and the playoffs are all about heroes.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | April 19, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The Caps GM is a loser, he's mush.

Leonsis has managed to win by losing in a non hockey market, in the end it's all about one thing to Ted. Profit.

Ted & GM will never tell everyone that they're very happy with a first round exit, the season (regular) was a great success, financially.

Posted by: Cheef | April 19, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Philthy is leading Pitt 503. Go Philthy!!!!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I mean Philthy is leading 5-3. Typo in last post.

Oops, now Philthy leads 6-3. Yeah, the Pens will NOT sweep!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Time to retool to some degree in the off season. How did the Pens get themselves built up so fast to go deep in the playoffs?

Or are we just so dogged with bad luck that we could trade our entire team to the NJ Devils for their entire team and the new look NJ Devils (with Ovi and Semin) would go further in the playoffs than the new look Caps (with Brodeur and Parisi)?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Philthy dumped the Pens. Great job!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

@oo7

Who else are you proposing to dump besides Nyls and Gordon to make room for Clark, Brash, and Aucoin?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 19, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Its simple. The Rangers are playing Playoff Hockey. The Caps are not. Hot Goalie, Team Defense, Sacrifice the body, Play as a team. Ovechkin got them there but they must play as a team. to many players are playing as individuals. They need to do what they haven't done all year CRASH THE DAMN NET. Look for the dirty Goals. That's how the stanley Cup is won.

Posted by: duckyjimpond | April 19, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: StanleyCup19O7 | April 20, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

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