Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS
Posted at 1:28 PM ET, 01/ 5/2011

Capitals defensemen John Carlson, Karl Alzner earning more responsibility

By Katie Carrera

Over the past three games, the defensive pairing of John Carlson and Karl Alzner has skated against the three different opponents' top lines -- combinations that have included Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and Michael Cammalleri. In those three contests, Washington's young defense tandem hasn't been on the ice for a goal against.

Bruce Boudreau has acknowledged multiple times that young players, particularly defensemen, will have ups and downs. But at the midway point of the 2010-11 campaign, the Capitals coach doesn't hesitate to send Carlson, 20, or Alzner, 22, over the boards against some of the league's top scorers.

"They gave me the confidence that they could do it," Boudreau said. "Individually, they play within themselves and they do the right things. What I mean by doing the right things is they don't do a lot of ad-libbing. They know what their jobs are and they're getting better at them. John's got a little more offense in him, where if he gets the opportunity he goes and Karl has just been outstanding one-on-one. He's got a good stick one-on-one and has really done well."

Against Montreal's top combo of Michael Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn, only one player (Kostitsyn) managed to get off more than a single shot. In the Winter Classic, the duo helped hold Crosby pointless while leading the Capitals in ice time -- Carlson played 26:28 and Alzner 24:25.

On Tuesday, they shadowed Tampa Bay's top line of Ryan Malone, Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, the latter two of whom are two of the top three scorers in the NHL. In regulation, when that group remained intact for the Lightning, Carlson and Alzner both stepped up to shut down their high-powered foes.

One moment in particular was early in the third period, when Stamkos picked up a turnover in the Capitals' zone and began to build up steam as he headed toward the Washington net. It would have been a prime scoring chance, but Alzner knocked the puck off Stamkos's stick.

Even in a contest like the goaltenders' duel that the Capitals and Lightning played to Tuesday, where mistakes are likely to be magnified, both Alzner and Carlson said they relish the opportunity to play with added responsibility in their first full NHL season.

"It makes me really, really come to play," Alzner said. "It doesn't give me the opportunity to be lazy or careless out there, and that's awesome, because sometimes that's the little added push that you need. I was happy I got to play against Stamkos again. He's good, really tough to stop, but it definitely makes it easier to stay in the game."

Said Carlson: "I want myself to play against those lines. I want to be that person that can do that and succeed at it. I've just got to keep working hard."

By Katie Carrera  | January 5, 2011; 1:28 PM ET
Categories:  John Carlson, Karl Alzner  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Capitals' scoring slump has Coach Bruce Boudreau looking for answers
Next: Video: HBO Sports president on '24/7' series

Comments

KATIE!

Thank you for removing that hideous Pens logo! You are the best!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

That was simply an awful pass by Schultz.

Posted by: Timbo_1

________(From an earlier post)_________

Yeah, but Schultz was only pressured into making a play like that because of Poti's poor decision to pass him the puck while being pressured.

Also, yeah..Hannan's first-passes aren't so great. That's part of the reason why Poti is still somewhat valuable...he can pass the puck and is a bit more mobile than 55 or 4. I think the bottom-pair should be 55-4, with everyone healthy, though. Erskine may not defend as well in some situations, maybe a bit out of position, but he provides extreme sandpaper to our bottom pairing, which is value in itself.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 5, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Hmm I may have missed it in earlier threads, but was it just me or did Varly have another outstanding game. He made same amazing saves. If he can keep that groin in check, he is going to make one he11 of a goalie.

Lots of Semin hate...again...as always. Granted when he is scoring most lay off him. He'll come around. And those talking about his "laziness", anyone else notice when Ovie flubbed the pass and sent TB the other way, Semin chased him down, prevented the TB from shooting, stripped the puck a second time and got the puck out. A guy in my section was yelling to "get that bum Semin off the ice" all night, including right after he saved Ovie's arse on that play. Take the blinders off people.

Finally, has everyone seen the new commercial with Ovie and Varly. LOVE IT. Omg, I had tears rolling. Semin apparently had a filmed part where he drove the get-away golf cart, but they apparently cut that scene.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 5, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Semin has chosen not to do interviews in English because he doesn't want the english speaking media to twist his words. He did an interview after a practice at the Winter Classic. The young woman asked all the questions in English, and was not speaking slowly. He responded in Russian and she translated.

Posted by: fanohock1


Wasn't that Igor Larionov's daughter??

Posted by: PhilR | January 5, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Someone in the previous thread questioned whether Ovi and the Caps use video. The answer is yes. There is a scene in 24/7 where BB is using video to the team to discuss game strategy and Alan May on his recent appearance on Japers Rink Radio available in iTunes said that BB preferred to teach the players by video rather than diagram on a board when not on the ice. He also said IIRC that it is standard practice for the Caps on game day mornings--I am comfortable with taking A. May's word since he has actually witnessed the team's routines.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 5, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@ PhilR

Sure was ........... now there is a player that was a pleasure to watch

Posted by: bqts | January 5, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Daughter wasn't bad either to watch.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 5, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bqts | January 5, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

With it being January now we will soon being getting a better idea of who may be available at the trade deadline.

One guy who did not appear to likely be available at the deadline but may very well be is Chris Phillips. I was a huge proponent of Phillips beforehand and have always thought he would be an ideal defenseman for the Caps to acquire. However, the Caps are unlikely to acquire another D-man unless there is an injury. But I would've liked to have gotten Phillips.

Of the teams who look to be out, Toronto, NJD, NYI, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and possibly Buffalo, there are not too many options at #2C. The Devils seem to be the only team that may look to get rid of a center who could be a #2C. That would likely be Arnott, but I am having my doubts about how much he has left. If he could be had without giving up too much that would be okay, but he may not be the answer.

I would like Zajac but he may not be available. Zubrus would be a possibility if he was in the last year of his contract, but he has too many years left.

The one guy who may be the best option that is truly available, is Tim Connoly from the Sabres. He is a talented center and a pending UFA who may not re-sign in Buffalo. This would be dependant on Buffalo staying out of the playoff race, but he may be the best center of the teams who are likely to be out of the playoff race come trade deadline time. Other teams may join, we will see.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 5, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah tominsocal she is pleasant on the eyes for sure.

bqts,

That man was a beast on the ice, loved watching the Wings play back then.

Posted by: PhilR | January 5, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

My buddy passed me a link. Commercial is at the end. The russian doll part...talk about insane.

Sorry if this was posted in earlier threads, I chose to not go back and look.

Ovie & Varly ESPN commercial

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 5, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Semin apparently had a filmed part where he drove the get-away golf cart, but they apparently cut that scene.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce

Ah, they should've kept it, but only because it would expose Semin more to the NA media, and maybe help crack that (hockey buzzword coming) "enigma" shell.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 5, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

Not that I have watched a lot of Oiler or Islander games this year but what about Doug Weight or Shawn Horcoff? They are both Captains of their respective teams and both have been in the league for quite some time. Like I said, haven't seen a lot of them but they may work if their contracts are acceptable.

Posted by: PhilR | January 5, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach from before

That sucks about the lack of teaching jobs. I just started this year and subbed for 2 months before they offered me full time. It's pretty sweet. I even live/teach about 10 minutes from where Crosby grew up (and not to far from where AGord lived as well).

How old are you if you're subbing?

Posted by: Aldred15 | January 5, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

Horcoff has 4 more year at $5.5M/yr so he is not an option and probably isn't even looking to be dealt.

Weight's in his last year and has a small contract, so contractually he makes sense. The question is whether he is a 2nd line quality center anymore. I'm not so sure he is. However, I haven't watched too many Islander games to have any idea. But Weight is cheap so he may be a guy worth taking a chance on if there aren't other options(veteran guy who could maybe be used on the 4th line with Fehr and Chimera).

Also, I think the Hendricks/Steckel/Beagle line should be listed as the 3rd line from now on as they are the true checking line on the Caps. The Chimera/(MP or MJ)/Fehr line really is more of the 4th line. It is sort of a hybrid between an energy line and a 2nd line. Especially since the 2nd line hasn't been very good.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 5, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I like Dougie Weight,but he's bottom-6 at this point, especially on this team. He wouldn't be able to keep up. However, he can still hit like a truck.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 5, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Rumor is that Kyle Wellwood is being released by his KHL team as well. I know the guy didn't put up huge numbers with the Canucks but he does have playoff experience. Whether he could be a 2C I am unsure of, just throwing out other names that I see available.

Posted by: PhilR | January 5, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

If I had to guess, I think BB puts Semin back up with Ovie and Backstrom on Saturday. Then having MP(or possibly MJ) center Knuble and Laich(MP does better when he plays with bigger forwards).

Posted by: sgm3 | January 5, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"It makes me really, really come to play," Alzner said. "It doesn't give me the opportunity to be lazy or careless out there, and that's awesome."

Spoken like someone who didn't always come to play because he knew he could be lazy and/or careless. That's the kind of play BB's favoritism and caste system breeds...glad to see Alzner is ready to play now that coach has deemed him #1 pairing...what a great attitude coming from a rookie!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 5, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Whether he could be a 2C I am unsure of, just throwing out other names that I see available.

Posted by: PhilR

My guess would be no as not many teams wanted him in the offseason.

I think the best option, as of now, of guys who are likely to be available may be Tim Connolly or Jason Arnott. Arnott has more size and experience, but Connolly is younger and has more speed. I also worry about Arnott's ability as it seems to have decreased some with his advancing age.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 5, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Wonder what it would take to get Stephen Weiss from the Panthers? He has averaged 60 pts a season the last two years on a pretty bad offensive team.

Posted by: PhilR | January 5, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

Alzner is speaking in reference to the added pressure of playing against offensive dynamos, like Stamkos and St. Louis. Meaning, you can't be lazy or careless against these guys because they will make you pay.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 5, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Finally, has everyone seen the new commercial with Ovie and Varly. LOVE IT. Omg, I had tears rolling. Semin apparently had a filmed part where he drove the get-away golf cart, but they apparently cut that scene.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce

that commercial was hysterical...would have been amazing if they kept the Semin part!


@Aldred

I am 24

Posted by: capscoach | January 5, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

It makes me really, really come to play," Alzner said. "It doesn't give me the opportunity to be lazy or careless out there, and that's awesome."

Spoken like someone who didn't always come to play because he knew he could be lazy and/or careless. That's the kind of play BB's favoritism and caste system breeds...glad to see Alzner is ready to play now that coach has deemed him #1 pairing...what a great attitude coming from a rookie!!

Posted by: vermontcaps

seriously man...u go out of your way to find something negative!

Could it be that as BB is putting more faith in him he is more motivated to not let him or the team down? It doesn't mean he didn't care before! All he is really saying is that BB is pushing him to be all he can be...nothing wrong with that.

And I am sorry...but in case you didn't know...Alzner and Carlson are better than Erskine...the way you talk it is only Erskine who should ever be on the ice.

Posted by: capscoach | January 5, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Spoken like someone who didn't always come to play because he knew he could be lazy and/or careless. That's the kind of play BB's favoritism and caste system breeds...glad to see Alzner is ready to play now that coach has deemed him #1 pairing...what a great attitude coming from a rookie!!

Posted by: vermontcaps

Spoken by someone who needs to read this great Teddy Roosevelt quote:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Posted by: sgm3 | January 5, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Vermontcaps has a pavlovian response to the blog posts on Capitals Insider: new post goes up, vermontcaps must undermine or reduce his credibility as a poster.

I'd want it to stop, but I'm excited to see how ridiculous his rock bottom opinion would be. That Alzner analysis is pretty close.

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 5, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Wonder what it would take to get Stephen Weiss from the Panthers? He has averaged 60 pts a season the last two years on a pretty bad offensive team.

Posted by: PhilR

I think Weiss would be an awesome acquisition.

However, I highly doubt Florida will get rid of him as he is signed for 2 more years at $3.1M/yr.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 5, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3: You. Rock.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | January 5, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Semin as Getaway driver Per Twitter(Dmitry Chesnokov) -
Valramov: "That was too close."
Ovechkin: "They almost exposed us."
What Semin said in the getaway golf cart is not known.
http://twitpic.com/3n08pi

I think this was a joke, didn't see semin on the private jet. Not sure, but this could be a pic from vancouver when semin stole a golf cart. Would have been funny if they did film it though.

Posted by: malujoker | January 5, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah it probably was a joke. Not sure if he was on the jet and this was filmed back a while ago. I think this was the commercial that caused Ovie and Varly to miss the Caps Season Ticket Holder Party at 6 Flags, and if memory serves me, Semin was present at the event.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 5, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"Eakin's not ready. In fact I am willing to bet we see two Caps prospects playing tonight who are well ahead of Eakin at this stage in their development"
Posted by: Timbo_1 | January 5, 2011 12:15 PM

For the 40th time you guys, Cody Eakin (or any other juniors player) is not eligible to be called up to the NHL until their junior team's season has ended, and that includes the playoffs. So, until that happens, please stop suggesting that any juniors player should be called up sooner.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | January 5, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

Yeah, I remember that only Ovie and Varly went to Bristol for the commercial. Buccigross did a short article on meeting them when they went up there to film the commercial.

However, Semin driving a getaway golf cart would've been funny.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 5, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I suggest we call up Eakin, Orlov, and Kuznetsov.

=)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 5, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

the Semin driving the cart was a complete joke. Just Varly and Ovi went up to ESPN. The cart thing is referencing Semin at the Olympics in Vancouver.

Posted by: ThePat | January 5, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The russian doll shooting drill thing though, was just impressive.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 5, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

WHAT, capscoach must go! Somebody is better than the great #4? According to our buddy from VT Erskine is the greatest ever. I have an idea, we should clone Erskine and put him on both points and in front of the net for the PP. Then Caps would rule (of course I'm not sure how a clone counts against the salary cap).
Stephen Weiss is 27 and signed for 2 more years. The Caps would have to give up a few good young players to get him. I don't see this trade happening. Connolly shoud be available. Is he a big upgrade as 2C? This one would be possible.

Posted by: chriscaps | January 5, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The russian doll shooting drill thing though, was just impressive.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 5, 2011 4:06 PM


Wouldn't it be nice if Ovi pretends that the opposing goalies are Russian dolls. Maybe it will help him though his scoring slump.

Posted by: instinct227 | January 5, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

This is a weird little series of postings by Katie. They are like mini columns/articles. Not so much as blog posts. Maybe I'm wrong. Tarik would have made a few articles about these topics. Really odd.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 5, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

So there is no “young guns” anymore. Last time Caps as a 1st team lost in the first round to the 19th team in the league. Do they care about regular season anymore? They WANT SC. So they are thinking if this team can do it.

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 5, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to think that everything will come to a head during the month of April. The team may not get individual or team awards but they will definitely go for broke during the run for the Stanley Cup. I'm okay with that. I'd rather they lose by one goal and play great defense during the game than trade goals with the other team until they're tired. Just a slight tweak and I'll bet the goals will come. Here's hoping we get primary scoring goin'! Great job, secondary scorers! Go Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | January 5, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that there's no "I told you so" column from Feinstein yet, must be busy writing another golf book.

Posted by: joek443 | January 5, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Connolly has only played over 70 games once in the last 4 seasons although he's healthy this year. He would appear to be an upgrade over our current 2nd line center options. I don't see the Caps going into the playoffs with both MP and MoJo as his 2nd and 3rd line centers.

Arnott looks like a option although I don't know if he has years left on his contract. He has great size, good in front of the net, and looked like he still could move pretty well in the Caps-Devils game a couple of weeks ago. He would give us a good two-way forward who could play down low on the PP.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 5, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

All they have to do is stay the course and do something about their pathetic PP which shouldn't take anything away from their top ten team D and the top 5 PK.

Who thought those improvements were possible before the season?? I sure didn't.

Posted by: joek443 | January 5, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Does everyone agree that Semin has to go at the deadline? The guy is invisible. No way we are given this guy an 8 - 10 year deal. Are we? That seems to be the going rate.

I think we should find a contender in the West and unload him. Then we'll figure of who we want, and go get them. We have a lot of assets, especially if we get something substantial for Semin.

Is this our defense in April? Could anything change? I have said this since the second it was announced, the Poti extension is just awful.

Posted by: underpants2 | January 5, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

No we can't agree Semin has to go.

Yes we can probably agree the Poti extension was not optimal.

Posted by: Justafan | January 5, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Arnott would be good. He has won cups as well, UFA after this year too. This is the kind of guy we need on this team come April. Connolly, no.

Also, if we are not planning on upgrading at defense, I would like to see us upgrade line 1 RW.

Penguins will upgrade their wings come deadline.

Posted by: underpants2 | January 5, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@underpants

your problem as many of you is to trade someone for someone else as soon as possible. Semin has more goals then Ovie. Let's trade Ovie first.

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 5, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

No we can't agree Semin has to go.

Yes we can probably agree the Poti extension was not optimal.

Posted by: Justafan | January 5, 2011 6:32 PM

Semin is good value at/around $6M (Cammalleri, DSedin contract figures). Not at $7M+++.

I can think of better definition of Poti extension than "not optimal."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 5, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I have better idea. Let's trade Ovie for Crosby. And get a lot of free lipstick.

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 5, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

If Semin gets an 8 to 10 year deal, we'll never see him score a goal again. Look how much Backstrom has dropped off from last year when he was actually productive. This is a re-signing year for Semin and he has been invisible. But hey, you guys what him, you'll probably get him. The Caps management has a big hard 0n for him. I just hope we're all still around when we can say "I told you so."

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 5, 2011 7:07 PM | Report abuse

It's just scary how someone as talented as Semin can be so frail and heartless yet easily frustrated. This guy should be making no more than 5 MIL based on production. He doesn't hit, he doesn't play D, he draws stupid penalties, and scores in patches, doesn't show up in playoffs. You need to pay him on past performance, now on hopes and dreams.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 5, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

...not on hopes and dreams. blah, this Dora The Explorer episode needs to end...

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 5, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

but maybe I'm wrong.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 5, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Look how much Backstrom has dropped off from last year when he was actually productive
----------------------------------------

Is that right? Did you expect him to score 100 points every year? I sure didn't

He can still end up with 80 points this season easily. I heard BB compare Backs to Ron Francis last week and I thought that was spot on.

I can live with the next Ron Francis, can you???

Posted by: joek443 | January 5, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

If Semin gets an 8 to 10 year deal, we'll never see him score a goal again. ...

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 5, 2011 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Just looking at Semin's sky-high and now-low performance this season should dispel the myth that he's just performing for the contract.

Posted by: Justafan | January 5, 2011 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else watching this quick shellacking Pit is putting on TB?

I understand that TB played last night but do you see the way Pit forwards are finishing checks and how quickly they execute everything they do in all zones.

In either of the two times we faced Pit this season, we have not seen them playing their best hockey by any stretch of the imagination.

Maybe we haven't played our best either but when Pit is on top of their game, they are at a different level than us in a lot of ways.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Geez, why couldn't we get Roloson tonight? Gave up 3 goals on 7 shots in 7 minutes. 4-0 Pens in the first.

I hate to see the Pens win, but there's a silver lining here.

Posted by: Justafan | January 5, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Just wait til Staal gets back to form.

PIT has 3 elite centers who could all be 1st liners on any other team in the league. They also have a goalie with elite talent even if he's been inconsistent so far in his young career.

Throw in a GM who knows how to add the right role players and build a balanced roster and it's no surprise that they've accomplished much more than us.

They were fortunate to get top 2 picks in like 4 consecutive years or whatever it was but it is what it is, right?

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao

Pitt is also upset that they lost in front of 65K a home game on a national broadcast. they came out strong cause they did not deliver... It was expected

Posted by: samb99 | January 5, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Pass on Connolly too injury prone. Wellwood is not an upgrade to what we have now. I'd love Zajac too, but probably too pricey for us in compensation.

Posted by: topshelf | January 5, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Score of Tampa Bay avs Penguins game in first period is f-0 Pens. After this game, Tempa Bay will be even with the Caps in games played. This is one game I am rooting for the Pens to win big.

Posted by: JMinVA | January 5, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

That is true pal but if you watch the way Pitt plays when they are on top of their game, it's simply at a different level than the Caps at their best.

Believe what you want. It's just my opinion based on what I've seen from watching enough of both teams play.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

If interested you can watch at this web site: http://atdhe.net/ select the second entry in the list.

Sorry but the score is 4 to 0, Pens in first period. Can't type tonight.

Posted by: JMinVA | January 5, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Off to watch the WJC... I'd be shocked if Russia doesn't get beat by at least 2 or 3 goals.

Anything can happen though and I'm mostly just interested in seeing the Caps prospects.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao,
I have been reading CI for a few years and i always enjoy your posts.

Good bad or other wise they always speak the truth, but some people can't handle the truth............

:)

Posted by: akus2 | January 5, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

4-0 PIT over TB and Roloson... yup Roloson is REALLY good isn't he??... so sick of average goalies playing amazing against us. But really it's just us making them look amazing. I just really hope we don't hear any "hot goalie" stories during the playoffs.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 5, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Kuznetsov and Eakin look good early.

Russia came out pretty strong but Canada is probably just way too much for them even if they play their best.

Anything can happen in 1 game though...

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

End of second period Pens-5, Tampa Bay-0
Pens start 2nd period still on a power play.

Posted by: JMinVA | January 5, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

USA took the Bronze medal game against Sweden, 4 to 2.

Posted by: JMinVA | January 5, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure the reason the Pens don't look as good against the Caps is because of the Caps and not just bad luck by the Pens playing bad games. The Caps are 8-0-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Pens. I think the Caps ability and play has more to do with that record than the Pens just happening to not play good against one of their hated rivals(according to Pens players)

Posted by: sgm3 | January 5, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Based on what I've seen of Russia in this tournament, they can't play much better than they did in the 1st and they're down 2-0. This could end up getting embarrasing for them.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

To each his own...

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Like that US player alluded to after they got thoroughly dominated by the Canada, it's like men against boys out there. On top of executing better in almost every facet of the game, the Canadians are just physically dominant whether it's crushing hits or winning battles along the boards.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

After one period Eakin, Orlov,and Kuznetsov are all clearly showing why they are NHL locks. Tonight it's all about them with speed and quickness with the puck. All of them are quicker than most of the Caps right now. They could step on the NHL ice right now and no one would notice that they are just teenagers.

Posted by: dull | January 5, 2011 8:27 PM | Report abuse

What do you have to do to get a PP against Canada??

Posted by: joek443 | January 5, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, this game is over it wasn't before it even started...

Eakin has looked really good as has Kuznetsov.

Orlov's had some good moments but I've seen him struggle in his own end quite a bit in this tournament... getting beaten out wide and stuff.

Kuznetsov is younger than his teammates but he just looks like he has a long way to go in terms of physical. I do like his compete level. He seems to hate losing. The skill is obviously there.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

After one period Eakin, Orlov,and Kuznetsov are all clearly showing why they are NHL locks. Tonight it's all about them with speed and quickness with the puck. All of them are quicker than most of the Caps right now. They could step on the NHL ice right now and no one would notice that they are just teenagers.

Posted by: dull | January 5, 2011 8:27 PM

First, if anything, this is all about Canada. Kuznetsov and Orlov stand out on Russia but so does Tarasenko and a couple of others.

As far as that last statement, that couldn't be further from the truth. All 3 of them, particularly Kuznetsov and Orlov would look severely overmatched in the NHL right now. Orlov is physically ahead of Kuznetsov but he still has a long way to go. He can barely contain junior players at times. Even Eakin would struggle but maybe not quite as much as the others. They all have a long way to go.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

They could step on the NHL ice right now and no one would notice that they are just teenagers.

Posted by: dull |

Are you serious?


I knew I shouldn't have started Roloson.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 5, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

LOL since when someone has to play the puck in order to be called for too many men??

If Russia didn't start the wrong goalie and the refs called it more evenly, it would be a close game.

NOW they call a too many men penalty...

Posted by: joek443 | January 5, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say it but when Malkin has it going, there may not be a more entertaining player to watch handling the puck.

If I were an impartial observer, I'd really enjoy watching him play.

Backstrom is really great to watch in that respect, too.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

What are the odds that Canada makes it 4-1 in the next few minutes?

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that was a shocker. We have a game for the moment.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Eakin has generated a ton of scoring chances for himself and his teammates with his play.

He has played as good as just about any Canadian player in this game from what I've seen but I may be biased...

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

lol... has Kuznetsov been off the ice this period?

Seriously though, he's been out there a lot and making things happen.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Unreal... Kuznetsov on fire... again!

He's taken over 2 games now. Unbelievable...

He may not be ready physically but he has something special going on.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

how tall is Kuznetsov? he looks to be about the tallest player on the ice... looks like Malkin out there

Posted by: joek443 | January 5, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

How did you like that assist by Kuznetsov (his second I think)? Pretty schweeet!!

I wish CStanton was here to tell us how, even with the play of Kuznetsov, Orlov, and Eakin, GMGM still can't draft.

Posted by: zmega | January 5, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Sick pass by Kuznetsov. Real bummer we won't have him next season.

Posted by: jakopz | January 5, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't think he's unusually tall but he certainly looks omnipresent out there right now.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Kuznetsov and the Russians are just taking over this game... 3-3, 12:30 left in 3rd... wow!

Posted by: FrankM73 | January 5, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I saw him up close in the development camp. He looks to be about 6 ft. and 170#. You wouldn't pick him out of a group of average high school kids based on his physical presence.

Posted by: zmega | January 5, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute. Kuzzy (or whateva his nickname is) may find a small spot in my heart.

Posted by: nicety251 | January 5, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

ok, i officially love eakin, kuznetsov and orlov... all three look great... skill and speed for all...

Posted by: FrankM73 | January 5, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

This is just incredible... amazing turnaround.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

wow 4-3 ruskies

Posted by: ebolean1 | January 5, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Ooohh, baby. We got us a game now.

Posted by: zmega | January 5, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

the way canada was physically beating up on the russians early, i never would have dreamed this could happen

Posted by: ebolean1 | January 5, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Kuznetsov and a tap in for the 2 goal lead. It was a pretty hard pass though.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

canada has kicked it up a notch or two, but...

Posted by: ebolean1 | January 5, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

The Russkies have some heart. They are giving up 10-15 pounds a man, even considering Eakin.

Posted by: zmega | January 5, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Insanity... Russia's gonna win the gold. Canada was doing a lot of what they did to the USA early in this game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

...but, Russia just scored, 4-3 Russia, 4:40 left

Posted by: FrankM73 | January 5, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I believe Kuznetsov made a good strong play in the d-zone that kickstarted that last goal.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse

What's that choking sound I hear?

Come on Wendel, defend your boys.

Posted by: zmega | January 5, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

The Canadian-centric announcers talking more about a collapse than giving the Russians their due credit.

That was absolutely amazing...

You could hear Kuznetsov screaming in celebration clear as day a moment ago.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

wow, 5-3 russia FINAL... wow!

Posted by: FrankM73 | January 5, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Is it fair to say that Kuznetsov is a passionate player? Heh...

He really seems to have that big game/moment ability.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think I was being biased when I said Eakin looked as good as anybody out there.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad I watched this game! On to 24/7.

Posted by: nicety251 | January 5, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Russians have cigarettes and Vodka waiting for them in the locker room.

Posted by: jakopz | January 5, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Eakin looks more like a steal... quick, gritty with talent...
Kuznetsov with speed, talent attacking and controlling the offensive zone... Orlov controlled the D pace and gave good passes...

5 goals against canada in the 3rd period...
amazing game!

Posted by: FrankM73 | January 5, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Kuznetov getting his props too.

He was nearly as awesome tonight as he was against Finland. Beyond the 2 assists, he was on the ice for at least half that period it seemed and he made a lot of other good plays.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad I watched this game! On to 24/7.

Posted by: nicety251
----
couldn't be said better!

Posted by: FrankM73 | January 5, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Make that 3 assists... I thought he was the one to kickstart that last goal.

Wow... that was some great stuff.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

just hear the canadian analyst say Orlov was like Sergei Zubov but with a harder shot...

um, I'll take that...

Posted by: FrankM73 | January 5, 2011 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Not only did I think Russia would get crushed in this game but when it was 3-0 heading to the 3rd, I would've bet a finger that the game was over.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

lol... Russian scream = old man screaming in pain sound

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

So the youngest Russian player led his team in scoring and finished 2nd overall in the tournament behind Schenn. That's pretty impressive.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Kuznetsov and Orlov were named to the WJC All-Star team(3F, 2D, 1G overall). That is pretty good.

Eakin was named Canadian player of the game in the championship game. He looked very good and will likely be suited for either a 2nd or 3rd line player. He looks like he has a very good all-around game.

Kuznetsov single handidly won the quaterfinal game and was on the ice for what looked like almost the entire 3rd period. Orlov looked like an excellent puck handler and has decent size also. He didn't seem afraid to play physical.

Kuznetsov showed about as much heart and clutch play as a player could in a tournament like this. If he was Canadian there would be an uproar about how great he will be. Kuznetsov looks like 1st line center material.

It will be curious to see if Kuznetsov can make the Caps next year. A lot of things will help in determining that but I think it may be possible. I forgot where I read it, but some writer asked a Caps scout if Kuznetsov could make the Caps next year and I guess the scout just gave him a wry smile. It probably means nothing, but it is something.

This tournament helps show how stocked the Caps system is, and it doesn't even include Galiev, who has some pretty nice talent also.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 5, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I think the issue with Kuznetsov is that he looks like he has a long way to go physically. I don't think he'll be even close to where Johansson is in terms of physical development at this point next year.

My bet would be that Kuznetsov is at least 2 to 3 years away from playing in the NHL, assuming he stays healthy and continues to progress.

I very much agree with your points about heart and clutch play though. The skill, vision and passion are all there for sure.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh and I fully agree that if a Canadian had done what he did between this game and against the Finns, they wouldn't have been able to stop talking about it.

As is, they did give a lot of props to Kuznetsov and I really didn't think they were too bad in their commentating. You knew there would be some bias but, overall, they were about as objective as I would have realistically expected. The bias wasn't too bad like we've seen in other cases.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 5, 2011 10:27 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

I laughed at your Russian scream comment. Russian scream makes me think of the old Star Trek episodes where Chekov would get injured somehow and end up screaming.

(I will admit Chekov is the reason I became fascinated with Russians and Russia even before Ovi and Semin.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 5, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

I liked who Pierre McGuire compared Kuznetsov with. He said Kuzentsov reminds him of Pavel Datsyuk. Kuznetsov did spend a lot of time on the PK and he did seem to force Canada into a lot of turnovers and get the puck. He looked very sound defensively and was far back in the zone playing D on many plays.

McGurire then said that Orlov reminds him of Sergei Zubov, but with a harder shot.

Kuznetsov needs to gain some strength and grow into his body. He is only 18 so it will be interesting to see where he is at by next year. He may gain a lot of muscle and he may not. It's a little hard to predict at that age.

My long term view of the Caps center position, is that 2 years from now Backstrom will be the #1 center, Kuznetsov the #2, and MJ the #3. MJ will spear the checking/defensive line.

This is looking far ahead and there is a lot of time between now and then, but it does look promising.

Next year will be tough. My guess is that Kuznetsov will be good enough to play in the NHL but not consistent enough to be a #2 center. I guess it could be possible that he comes in and plays on the 4th line(not the checking line the energy line) at center and maybe getting some time during the season on the 2nd line.

But like I said, a lot can happen(trades, injuries, SC won by the Caps, free agents coming or leaving, etc.) but I will be interested to see how it plays out.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 5, 2011 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Kuznetsov is signed with Traktor in KHL until 2012/13 and has strongly expressed he will honor the contract. A few NHL teams passed on him because he is reluctant to committ to playing outside of Russia.

Posted by: jakopz | January 5, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

@jakopz

But I think there is an out clause after this year. So Kuznetsov employing that out clause would still be honoring the contract.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 6, 2011 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company