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Lineup for Game 6 remains a mystery

Two days after ripping into his team for its effort in Game 5, a kinder, gentler Coach Bruce Boudreau reiterated his philosophy on motivating his players this morning.

Immediately after Friday's 2-1 Game 5 defeat was the time to give them heck. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, he said, was the time for positive reinforcement. So the majority of the video clips and conversations Boudreau has had with his players in recent days have focused on what's going right in the series against the Habs, which continues tonight at Centre Bell with the Caps holding a three games to two edge.

"Sometimes," he said, "you have to give them a pat on the back and say, 'Go out there, you're doing good, you're trying hard, don't worry about it.'"

Everyone was on the ice for the morning skate today with one notable exception -- struggling winger Alexander Semin, who is second in the league in shots on goal (29) but has only a single assist in this series and no goals in his past 12 playoff games.

During a regular season in which he scored 40 goals for the first time he often skipped morning skates, which are always optional.

"Here's a guy who got no goals but is a plus [1]," Boudreau said. "So he's not doing everything wrong. He's just not scoring. Hopefully it's tonight but it's just a matter of time until he starts scoring. Sometimes you go in slumps at the wrong time. But we're going to put him out there in the first 20 minutes tonight and hopefully he's going to get one or two."

Semin is healthy, reporters were told by a team spokesman. He was just "mixing it up." I saw Semin briefly and he appeared to be fine as he walked briskly to the team bus.

What's remains unclear, through, is which forwards will flank him.

"We've all been told to be ready," Scott Walker said after coming off the ice.

Boudreau guarded the details of his lineup by having all of his players leave the ice around the same time. There were no revealing line rushes, no scratches getting extra work, and thus, no clues.

But the speculation around here is there's going to be at least one change up front -- David Steckel appears to be back in -- and that there could be some changes to the forward combos, specifically a switch at center, aimed at getting Semin going.

It also looks like Shaone Morrisonn will be back in the lineup after missing two games with an arm injury, which figures to give the blue line a much-needed boost.

Some other notes and quotes from this morning's skate:

*Top Habs prospect P.K. Subban has been recalled from AHL Hamilton. Officially, he's a game-time decision to play. But because he's Montreal's final recall, he figures to be in the lineup. The high-scoring defenseman recorded a pair of assists in his only two NHL games this season.

Boudreau said he and his coaching staff will do some homework on Subban this afternoon just in case he plays.

*Speculation around here is that Jaroslav Spacek (ill) will miss a third game.

*In goal, the matchup figures to be Semyon Varlamov vs. Jaroslav Halak again.

*Jose Theodore doesn't talk on game days, and today was no exception. So we'll let Boudreau speak for the goalie being named a finalist for the Masterton Trophy.

"I don't think anybody should have to go through what he had to deal with," Boudreau said. "Not only this summer but through the course of the year dealing with the grief and coming out and going on a streak from January on and basically being undefeated is pretty remarkable.

"Not only that, he doesn't look like he's sullen," he added. "Keeping up the good show when he's around all the guys. I'm sure he and his wife have difficult times dealing with it. But he's been a fabulous teammate."

*Boudreau was asked another question about Mike Green this morning. And, for the second straight day, the coach offered up another testy response.

"I really don't want to answer any Mike Green questions," he snapped. "I'm tired of it, because it's unwarranted. ...Why are we focusing on Mike Green? He's not scoring but he's playing well. He's playing 26 minutes a game, and it's unwarranted that you guys want to keep talking about him and put him down and [saying] that he's the reason this series is 3-2. It's not right."

It's always the media's fault, isn't it?

*Boudreau on the road team winning four of five games in the series: "I can't explain it. It's just like that in the playoffs. I don't know what it is. I just hope it continues."

I'll check in with a lineup before the game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 26, 2010; 1:57 PM ET
 
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Next: Caps trail Canadiens after one period, 2-0

Comments

Just Win.

Posted by: apa67 | April 26, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau's so spoiled he doesn't know how good he has it. Any other big city and he'd get grilled a heckuva lot more. This is a pretty easy media town unless you're the Redskins.

glad TEB threw this in there"

"It's always the media's fault, isn't it?"

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

By the grace of GMGM and the leadership of Gabby, we shall prevail tonight!

Posted by: Leeguru | April 26, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

When there's muckraking going on, yes, it is the media's fault.

Posted by: TheOriginalEgon | April 26, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Let's get it done tonight boys!! Green haters are idiots, he opens the ice up for other players, other teams D have to worry about him when he is on the ice.. He may not great at defense but his offensive skill makes up for it..Semin is proving to me he is not a big game player. Guy has lots of talent. I hope he gets his game together tonight...

Posted by: CapsBaby | April 26, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I figure this one to be the dirtiest game in the series, expect lots of net crashing, interference penalties, the Habs have nothing to lose and are gonna play like it. Caps have a lot to prove to themselves, forget the media. No pretty wristers from the blue line, no odd-man rushes or breakaways, this one's going to be played close and the bloody goal will decide if the series goes on.

Posted by: sandyflee | April 26, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Subban is a pretty good young defender.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I know this is off topic but we have some time before the game and have been talking about the same thing for two days now so I will bring up something new.

On ESPN insider they have a quote from a writer for the Edmonton Journal who said. "The more I watch the Caps, the more I think they should offer Tomas Fleischmann or Eric Fehr and a draft pick to the Calgary Flames for Robyn Regehr."

I have not watched much of the Flames so I don't know much about Regehr so I am looking for some oppinions of him. Regehr's cap hit is just over $4 million a year and goes until the end of the 12-13 season so keep that in mind and we do still need to sign Backstrom.

Posted by: icehammer97 | April 26, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

why do all our series go 7 rounds? Flyers 2 years ago, rangers and pens last year. Can we win a series in 6 games just once? Is it 7:00 yet?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | April 26, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

yep, i think you're right Sandy. The stars are aligned for a good game. The Caps have pressure on them from the coach, fans and media. And the Habs can taste the upset with momentum on their side.

should be the best game of the series. I say 4-3, not sure who.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer

Regehr is one of my personal old favorites from the 90s/early 2000s. I would absolutely love him on this team.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Which Caps team shows up tonight? The one that can blow MTL out of the water or the one that gets outworked by the midget (sorry, little person) army.

Posted by: jdove80 | April 26, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I have not watched much of the Flames so I don't know much about Regehr so I am looking for some oppinions of him. Regehr's cap hit is just over $4 million a year and goes until the end of the 12-13 season so keep that in mind and we do still need to sign Backstrom.

Posted by: icehammer97 | April 26, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Regehr was the Avs top prospect at one time. The Avs traded for Fleury and gave the Flames the choice of any player they wanted off their roster, the Flames chose Regehr because of his rep as a tough hardosed defensive dman. He broke both his legs in a bad car accident and came back sooner than anyone thought he would. Ended up being the main reason the offense-starved Calgary Flame almost won the Cup a few yrs ago.

His play has dropped off a bit the last 2 yrs mainly due to his body being banged up via his style of play

I'd do that trade though. He's still got good yrs left in him and he'd be a good piece to this puzzle

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Half my comment erased? Anyways, I was saying, I hardly watch any Flames hockey now, but Regehr is a big guy who loves to hit.

I heard he's lost a step from back during the Flames run and everything, but I'm sure he has a lot in the tank left. He's only 30.

If you like Volchenkov, you'll like Regehr.
Though, he has no offensive upside basically. But that's okay, neither does Anton.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I believe BB had the same type of excuses for Mike Green in last year's playoffs & his performance didn't change. Since he didn't sit him last year, it might be a good idea to do so this year to help him get over his "slump". The way he's been playing, it certainly wouldn't hurt.
Congrats to Theo. I admire him.

Posted by: gogetem | April 26, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"Ended up being the main reason the offense-starved Calgary Flame almost won the Cup a few yrs ago."

well that and MK

I always forget about goaltending. Regehr on D, Iginla at fwd, and MK in goal.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

why do all our series go 7 rounds? Flyers 2 years ago, rangers and pens last year. Can we win a series in 6 games just once? Is it 7:00 yet?

Posted by: capsfansince74

Two of the higher seeds (PIT and VAN) that were leading 3-2 going into the opponents' building wrapped it up the last two nights. They both were losing earlier but the better team pulled it out. I sure hope we do that. We need to finish them off tonight because coming home to the Verizon Center doesn't give me much confidence we'd win with the way the last game 7 went there and just the way we've played through 3 games there. Someone tell this team it's okay for them to win a series in less than 7!! GET IT DONE CAPS!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

why do all our series go 7 rounds? Flyers 2 years ago, rangers and pens last year. Can we win a series in 6 games just once? Is it 7:00 yet?


Posted by: capsfansince74

I think the problem is our playoff record should be much better at home. Our home record for the past three years is - if my memory is correct - 7 wins, 8 losses. Very poor numbers for a team that is so good at home in the regular season. Its got to be nerves.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | April 26, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I do not think sitting Green is the answer to anything. Who are you replacing him with? A pylon like Erskine that the Habs will skate around.

Having Green on the ice makes the other team have to account for him. Nobody is accounting for Sloan or Erskine when on the ice. Green opens the ice for everyone else. It is up to the others to do something with their opportunities.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | April 26, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

>>>I have not watched much of the Flames so I don't know much about Regehr so I am looking for some opinions of him.

Ice, SB Nation is a good place to find a summary of their hopefully informed thoughts on players:
http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/players/54670/Robyn_Regehr

Just remember GMGM isn't into giving free agents inflated, long term contracts. And the team may need a decent size, consistent 2nd line center more than it wants a shut down/crease-clearing D (no matter what 5,000 blog commenters want otherwise :-)

Posted by: blackjack65 | April 26, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

poor Kings...

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

i think the home record thing is...kinda irrelevant in the playoffs. At one point in the past it did seem to offer teams advantages. But now, bigger arenas, different calibre of hockey fans the home ice adv is watered down. Another big part of home ice adv was that teams would really try to intimidate opponents at home. Now, the fighting and scrumming isn't as prevalent so there isn't much intimidation going on.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

meant home ice adv (not home record) is fairly irrelevant

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think Mike Green is a playoff bust. And I harp on that because of the amount of money his salary counts against the cap year in and year out. He made the team wait until the opening of free agency in 2008 to get his 4+ million a year contract. So to the coach, whom I never have any issues with, I say the attention is well warrented! This is the second straight year where we have seen Green fumble point passes on the power play and turn the puck over in his own zone when it counts the most- The Playoffs! Keep bringing the heat because he needs to be held accountable.

Posted by: rockinthered1 | April 26, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

If my memory serves me, I believe we are 7 - 8 at home going back to 2008 in the playoffs. That is not very good for a team that dominates at home in the regualar season. Its got to be nerves (right Alex S., Mike, Thomas??)

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | April 26, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

ShaMo certainly will steady up the third defense pairing with Corvo, but both Green and Schultz have to play stronger and better in their own end if they're going to log 20+ minutes a night. I think BB knows Green's confidence is shaky which is why he won't say anything negative about his play. I'd like to see a little more of Poti and Corvo on the point on the power plays as the Canadians are forcing the Caps to pass down the boards and then take shots from either the circles or the slot. The Canadians know the Caps try to generate their offense by using the permiter shots from Ovechkin and Green to generate goals and changes.

It bothers me that BB hasn't switched things up to better utlize his good passing forwards like Backstrom and Semin to set up shots from the half boards. A good coach switches up his tactics to counter what the other team is doing which is why Montreal has made this a series. They provide constant pressure on our point men to force TO's and to generate chances. BB hasn't adjusted to that the entire series.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 26, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Let's get it done tonight boys!! Green haters are idiots, he opens the ice up for other players, other teams D have to worry about him when he is on the ice.. He may not great at defense but his offensive skill makes up for it..Semin is proving to me he is not a big game player. Guy has lots of talent. I hope he gets his game together tonight...

Posted by: CapsBaby

How can you defend Green in one sentence and bash Semin in the following. Semin is not proving to be a big game player, but Green is....? Not following your reasoning. There are Green haters and there's people like you and BB who constantly defend him even when he is playing poorly.

He may not be great at defense.....well last time I checked that was the position he plays.

Put them away tonight!

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | April 26, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

the media bloodsuckers out chumming for a story and when they can't get what they want, its either speculation or complain about not being able to get the information...parasites.

Posted by: outrbnksm | April 26, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

@ rockinthered1

If you are going to make statements about Green, how about Semin and Flash? Same can be said about both of them...Green opens the ice for everyone else on the ice, and the leads to more chances for other players....

Posted by: CapsBaby | April 26, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone hear the Versus post-game commentary after game 2 (I think game 2) when one of the guys said, "Mike Green comes up small in big games." That has certainly been the case. Time to get the jitters under control Greener and prove the commentator wrong. We all know you've got it in you.

Posted by: DDheartsCaps | April 26, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone hear the Versus post-game commentary after game 2 (I think game 2) when one of the guys said, "Mike Green comes up small in big games." That has certainly been the case. Time to get the jitters under control Greener and prove the commentator wrong. We all know you've got it in you. Caps WILL win tonight with Green and Semin leading the way. 5-2.

Posted by: DDheartsCaps | April 26, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

nerves, probably not. This is playoff year 3 and they're playing their weakest opponent to date.

I think its a lack of mental tenacity. They don't play with a sense of purpose. You can attribute that to the coach, and the type of roster we have. Not enough guys on this team who are leaders. You have players with some impressive stats (Green's offensive #s, Schultz's +/-, Semin and Flash's goal totals etc). But you need more leader types. When you look at the acquisitions this team has made over the past few yrs, the only real current leader is Scott Walker. And its hard to lead a team from the bench, and a team you're new to. The only other leader-type was Fedorov.

All the other guys - the Nylanders, Corvos, Belangers, Chimeras are not heart-n-soul leader types. When you compare that to the Pens -- they bring in guys who are more fiery hardnosed players, guys who can do the dirty work, set a tone. Cooke, Rupp, McKee. Ponirovsky was a good addition too because he gave them a power forward. Those are the types who are better able to persevere thru long drawn-out series and keep the team in check.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Caps have a good chance tonight, i think they play better on the road then at home, the playoffs. Home ice in the playoffs means nothing, just ask Detroit about Phx yesterday. We have been mirroring the Pens, they lost game 5 at home, then beat Ottawa on their Ice. I think we'll do the same thing. We need to stop looking back at the regular season, the playoffs are a new season, and decisions should be based on performance, not 'history'.

Posted by: gs12 | April 26, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@ CAPSHOCKEY2

Never bashed Semin once, I said he is proving he is not a big game player... I also said he has lot of talent, to me saying a player is not bashing.

I never said Green was a big game player, but people keep blaming him for everything that goes wrong. Could Green be playing better yes he could and I will be first to say that. The Kid is still a great offensive minded player. It seem he is thinking to much and trying to not make mistakes. He needs to play his game, and he will be fine... I'll never bad mouth any Caps player, I will get frustrated like other fans but never point blame at one player..

Posted by: CapsBaby | April 26, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

So Knuble is not a leader type cstanton1??

Posted by: PhilR | April 26, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

although i missed the score on last game...i have a good feeling we will see a solid 5-1 win tonight

Posted by: _stevo | April 26, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

or Ovechkin? or Laich? or Bradley?

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Caps have a good chance tonight, i think they play better on the road then at home, the playoffs.

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

true in many ways. They played their best games v Philly on the road. The 2nd half of game 3, the entire game 4, and the entire game 6. They carried the momentum of their strong road play into game 5 at home.

Last yr v the Rags, same deal. They played 2 strong road games in gm3 and 4 and then carried the momentum back home.

The Caps really play best when they're on the road and DOWN. It'll be interesting to see how they play when they're actually up.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping the Woods-Boudreau-Evason line comes out of retirement, like the movie Space Cowboys...

Posted by: blackjack65 | April 26, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

and how can the Ponikarovsky addition be looked upon any differently than either the Belanger addition or the Chimera addition? All met a need of the acquiring team.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The home ice thing is puzzling but it's obviously not just the Caps. The storied Redwings went home yesterday up 3-2 with a chance to close out and got blown out of their own building by a Phoenix team that will not likely go down in history as an all time great.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | April 26, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

did i say the Caps had NO leaders? Do you really think I don't believe that Laich, Brads and Knuble are leader types ? My bad that I left Knuble off the recent acquisition leader list, but my point is that we don't have enough leaders on the team. And especially on defense where you really need it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@CapsBaby

I think Semin is a streaky player and he has slumps like this. Unfortunately, this one is in the playoffs. Hopefully he breaks out tonight. If he does, I bet he goes on quite a tear.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | April 26, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

ok, got ya.....I was reeally hoping for a Niedermayer trade line acquisition....that would have just been heaven!

Posted by: PhilR | April 26, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Mike Green playing well...huh? I've counted at least 5 goals that were mostly his fault. Give Carlson Green's minutes.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 26, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

and how can the Ponikarovsky addition be looked upon any differently than either the Belanger addition or the Chimera addition? All met a need of the acquiring team.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey I'm still waiting for your response about how you said that replacing Orpik with Lidstrom somehow proves that rugged defensive players are irrelevant :)

but to answer your question, Belanger doesn't add any playoff grit. We needed a gritty speedy defensive center who significantly improved our PK. Belanger wins faceoffs and he has speed, but he doesn't do anything significant on the PK, he doesn't provide gritty play along the boards (yes centers can do that also). Chimera is hit or miss. Since he got demoted to the 4th line it awoke him and he's playing better. But he's not a true power forward. He's always had a rap on him for being inconsistent and not playing upto his potential. I like the deal for him more than the Belanger trade. But I'd take Poni over each of them. Throw him on that 2nd line and now you've Laich and Semin forming a dynamite 2nd line. Flash and Semin are not good complements to each other's games. And Semin can play RW. Poni offers the Pens yet another big aggressive horse upfront. Yet another type of player our D will have a hard time handling.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

So Knuble is not a leader type cstanton1??

@cstanton1

or Ovechkin? or Laich? or Bradley?
------------------------------------

i don't have a problem with the way those 4 players have performed so far. Maybe Ovi needs to be a tad more consistent but overall, you just named 4 players who for the most part have pulled their weight.

get a few more of those types in here and we'll be better for it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

This is a must win for the Caps tonite. They lose this game, they will lose Wed also. Because they are Washington Capitals, they ALWAYS CHOKE!

Posted by: DCFanatic | April 26, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

agreed Mike - I love Niedermayer's game. He's tough in his own end too besides just the offense he brings

AGordon (4/26/2010)
“At the end of the day, it’s a playoff series. You’ve got to hit when you get an opportunity to hit to make sure you remind those guys we’re going to be battling and doing whatever it takes to win. Eventually that’s going to wear on them.”

baziing!

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

"Belanger doesn't add any playoff grit"

Man, you are on fire today...umm last game he performed his own root canal on the bench (8 teeth) and didn't miss a shift...not gritty at all.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 26, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I replied to that a while ago in the other thread. You must have missed that.

And since when did Poni have grit? If he was on the Caps you would be complaining how he doesn't play with heart or show any true grit. Please just be consistent.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

This is a must win for the Caps tonite. They lose this game, they will lose Wed also. Because they are Washington Capitals, they ALWAYS CHOKE!

Posted by: DCFanatic | April 26, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

kornheiser!

actually you're right. They better win tonight. And I hope we get a good lineup out of Bruce. The Habs will be firing on all cylinders and the Caps should be motivated to give them a good battle. I still want to see Flash and EB out upfront with Laing and Steckel in. I haven't been upset with Sloan but Mo is a better player on D.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Here it is

@cstanton1

You missed the point again. I replaced the ONLY rugged defenseman with a non-rugged but extrememly talented defenseman in Lidstrom. After that one replacement, and an upgrade, I then stated, and you agreed, that the Pens would have likely won the Cup.

I was doing this to show that the Pens didn't NEED a rugged defenseman to win. Since it only took one hypothetical change to remove all of the Pens rugged defensemen, it was easy to do.

The point of the argument is that just because a type of player is on a Cup winning team does not necessarily mean that type of plyaer is necessary for a winning team.

Presence does not necessarily show causation. The hypothetical of Lidstrom was shown to give an example that Orpik's presence does not necessarily mean that type of player was the cause of the Cup.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

consistent? Ovie has scored 16 goals in his last 16 playoffs games, including each of the last 4. What are your expectations?

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Man, you are on fire today...umm last game he performed his own root canal on the bench (8 teeth) and didn't miss a shift...not gritty at all.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 26, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

how does that mean he has an on-ice grit? If you look at it logically, him doing his own root canal has absolutely ZERO impact on what he does when he's on the ice. We are talking about on-ice grit right? I don't question his pain tolerance. I question what he does when he takes a shift. Chris Clark had his palette crushed. Guess what, his on-ice play however was lacking in grit at the time. He wasn't finishing checks, he wasn't battling in the crease like he used to.
Lets not confuse the two.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1,

So, what would your lines be for tonight? I want to compare them to what BB puts out there.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 26, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

consistent? Ovie has scored 16 goals in his last 16 playoffs games, including each of the last 4. What are your expectations?

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

so you pick the one player out of 4 i mentioned who i have no real problem with and you nitpick what i said. I like Ovechkin, have you ever heard me slam Ovi? no, i can see things he can do better and there are times he is very careless but his overall game doesn't warrant hard criticism.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Belanger is a good player whose speed, defensive position, and faceoff talents have all been valuable to the team.

Taking out Belanger would be stupid. Unless of course you want Gomez and Plekanec to skate around the Caps centers.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I replied to that a while ago in the other thread. You must have missed that.

And since when did Poni have grit? If he was on the Caps you would be complaining how he doesn't play with heart or show any true grit. Please just be consistent.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

so now you're in my head and you can tell me what i think about certain players before i even can say it ?

I've been a Poni fan for a few yrs. I used to watch Don Cherry slam him and I never got why. When the Leafs were languishing, Poni was one of the few players who rose to the occasion and played very hard. Have you watched him in the playoffs? He's finishing checks. He's 5th or 6th on the Pens in total hits in the playoffs. You don't consider that gritty? He has 17 hits compared to 3 for Semin. How am I being inconsistent?

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

LET'S GO CAPS! FINISH THEM!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 26, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I'm fine with small criticisms like how Ovie needs to improve his positioning on back checking and at keeping the puck in.

I'm also fine with similar criticisms being directed towards any others. But you somehow go from a criticism to overbroad conclusions like "[Caps player name] sucks!, we should insert Colton Orr for him" Followed by, "GMGM sucks, you can NEVER win without a rugged defenseman"

If you would have said that "the Caps could use a rugged defenseman because a team's chances to win is much BETTER than without one." That would be fine. But using overbroad words like NEVER and CAN'T is wrong because there is not a 0% chance of the Caps winning or another team without a rugged defenseman of winning.

Also, I consider ShaMo a rugged defenseman so the Caps do have a rugged defenseman in my book.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Taking out Belanger would be stupid. Unless of course you want Gomez and Plekanec to skate around the Caps centers.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

well, lets make Flash a center too while we're at it. He skates very well. However, there's other elements besides that. Belanger when he's healthy still looks kinda weak on the ice and he's just yet another player we have who doesn't like to get involved in puck battles etc. Now that he's hurt and physically weakened, he's only going to be less effective.

to answer the other poster, I'm sure Bruce's lines will look nothing like this but

Ovi-Backs-Knuble
Semin-Laich-Fehr
Chimera-BMo-BG
Laing-Steck-Bradley

or swap the 3rd and 4th lines depending on the flow of the game.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

A lot of the times it is the media's fault. I know we're talking hockey, but look at the situation in the world today. Its hard not to put the blame directly on the media. And, unfortunately, you're part of that Tarik.

On the upside I found a bar in the Cayman Islands that is showing the game tonight! Lets go Caps!

Posted by: touchpointfarm | April 26, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

well, considering any criticism i ever made of Ovy was very small, you shouldn't find any fault there. This was the first time I've even mentioned anything remotely negative about Ovi and you jump all over it.
--------------------------------------

If you would have said that "the Caps could use a rugged defenseman because a team's chances to win is much BETTER than without one." That would be fine. But using overbroad words like NEVER and CAN'T is wrong because there is not a 0% chance of the Caps winning or another team without a rugged defenseman of winning.
-------------------------------------------


fair enuff. Here it is..

Teams who choose not to employ rugged defensive dmen types are greatly decreasing their chances of winning a Cup.
Since I can't think of any teams who ever won a Cup without 1, 2, or in some cases upto 4.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Poni has been known for disappearing for long stretches.

I know you are saying that you have liked Poni for a long time. While I clearly do not know your true feelings I have strong reservations that those statements are true. You have consistently shown an inkling to extraordinarily embellish facts to try to prove a point instead of just relying on the facts of your argument.

Guess what, there are more than one way to win in sporting events. It is fine to have the argument that you think your way is the best, but to say all the other ways have no chance of working is ridiculous. You hurt your argument when you make those overbroad conclusions to somehow try to prove the opposing viewpoint wrong because it hurts your credibility.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Belanger- 60% on faceoffs - speed up the middle to keep pesty habs off the puck and done a great job on the PK. A lot better than whatever Clark ever did.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 26, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Steckel in the lineup could be a good thing. I'd still like to see Walker in there and Fleichmann out, but if Steckel plays with Fleichmann and Fehr on the 3rd, and BMo comes out, that would also be a pretty solid lineup. Can't help but think that putting Walker with Chimera would wear the Canadiens down in their own end. Those guys are fast and too big for Montreal's defence to push around. Chimera has been great so far and I think Walker out there with him would be pretty solid.

But even putting Chimera on the 2ne line with Belanger and Semin could be interesting. With Belanger's faceoffs, Chimera's ability to just blow by the Canadiens defence and retrive the puck in the corners and drive the net, that could really give Semin more solid chances instead of just taking a lot of long wrist shots from outside. Think it's about time they really made use of their size on all lines. So far Semin's had guys like Fleichmann and Laich with him who have been trying to play too fancy and look mentally out of the game. Someone like Chimera who doesn't take shifts off and will just play hard all game could be exactly what Semin needs to start making something happen.

Posted by: Stu_c | April 26, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1

Belanger is very good positionally as a center and a good penalty killer. I would much rather have Belanger as center than Flash.

I also prefer to have Laich on the wing. His skill set is better suited for wing than center. In addition, Laich needs to start playing better. Talk about guys not winning battles along the boards. It has seems like Laich is losing almost every one. He has been especially weak on the PP.

For all the talk of Semin and Green (and deservedly so), Laich should also be mentioned in that group of underachievers right now.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I know you are saying that you have liked Poni for a long time. While I clearly do not know your true feelings I have strong reservations that those statements are true. You have consistently shown an inkling to extraordinarily embellish facts
---------------------

haha, come on sgm. How am I embellishing facts here ? You asked me to be consistent because you felt I was being inconsistent when I called guys like Semin and Flash non-gritty in the same breath that I called Poni gritty.

So i gave you facts. Poni with 17 hits so far in the playoffs, Semin with 3. I don't see how that is embellishing anything. And if you go further back over a longer stretch of games, Poni has 146 hits this year to Semin's 30.


pretty damn clear cut to me.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm not calling Semin gritty. He clearly isn't. But I wouldn't call Poni gritty either. He seems weak when he gets pushed around in big situations and gets pushed off the puck a lot. He makes the initial check but then loses it in the battle on the boards because he gets pushed off. So he is weak on the puck.

I would consider Knuble gritty, Laich gritty (but not so much lately). Not Poni.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Belanger- 60% on faceoffs - speed up the middle to keep pesty habs off the puck and done a great job on the PK. A lot better than whatever Clark ever did.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 26, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

considering Clark scored 30 goals one year for us, provided leadership, and was a member of the Flames team that took Tampa to the limit a few yrs ago, I wouldn't dismiss him so quickly for what he accomplished. Point is, you can't equate an injury to a player as evidence that he's supplying his team with on-ice grit. If he's not involved for puck battles, if he's constantly skating away from checks instead of finishing them etc etc, he's not being gritty. Belanger is no grittier than Nylander.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Capsbaby,

By your own admission Green "may not be good at defense....." then you go on about Green-bashers! Hello? I wont blame last years game 7 loss to Pens because of Green but can certainly see why someone would.
The Caps have what, SEVEN (7) 20+ goal scoreres what they NEED is someone who can keep the other team from scoring- like, a D-man who, once again, is playing like he could care less about his own end, and makes rookie mistakes. I read Boudreaus book, he didnt hold Green responsible for anything last year, and no surprise, gets pissity and mean when asked about it THIS year. BB says, "He's not scoring but he's playing well." Uh, no that description fits Semin, it does NOT fit Green.

Posted by: peabody2 | April 26, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

would you call Gordo gritty?

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

We are in trouble

Posted by: kickass10101 | April 26, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Boring and ignoring. There is a freakin playoff game tonight! Go Caps!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 26, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

if they wanted to bench Green to send a msg, then game 3 or 4 would've been a better option than game 6. I'm happy that Green is at least paying attn to his own end of the ice. He battles harder than he has in the recent past. Things like the puck skipping over his stick, and once in a while he lets a forward have an extra shot at a rebound is not enough to take him out of the lineup. Not at this stage in the series.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

imho Belanger "is what he is." He's a great face-off and PK specialist (Boudreau putting him in on 3 against 5s speaks volumes), and a positionally sound defensive center. He's not going to ram people through the boards, or be an aggressive defensive pest like an Essa Tikkanen. Scott Walker brings "grit," I don't see it as Belanger's thing, though the teeth tragedy certainly shows "toughness." :)

Playing EB as a 2nd line center though seems a mistake borne out of disappointment in B. Mo and Flash as #2 centers.

Posted by: blackjack65 | April 26, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Not really. He battles hard but he isn't the best player along the boards.

But I was more so just focusing on the top two lines.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Here's my lineup for tonight:

Ovi-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-BMo-Semin
Chimera-Belanger-Fehr
Walker-Steckel-Bradley

I would not be surprised to see Laing on the fourth line or Belanger/BMo reversed, but I'm hopeful those are the only changes.

Posted by: Justafan | April 26, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The Caps have what, SEVEN (7) 20+ goal scoreres what they NEED is someone who can keep the other team from scoring- like, a D-man who, once again, is playing like he could care less about his own end, and makes rookie mistakes.
--------------------


then i guess they shoulda gotten one at the deadline. Or at any point in the last 3 offseasons and everything inbetween.

we didn't need any more puck movers or skill players unless those guys can also provide other elements. I could think of a couple other teams who could've used a Corvo or Belanger type more than we did. Esp Corvo.
We needed an Orpik type. Bruiser who can skate a reg shift and has some playoff experience.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Here's my lineup for tonight:

Ovi-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-BMo-Semin
Chimera-Belanger-Fehr
Walker-Steckel-Bradley

I would not be surprised to see Laing on the fourth line or Belanger/BMo reversed, but I'm hopeful those are the only changes.

Posted by: Justafan | April 26, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

i could live with that. But I'd be surprised to see Gordo out.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1,

Taking Belanger out might give up some faceoff advantage. Although the faceoff stats for the last game were pretty even if I recall. We'll see what BB does, it'll be interesting. You retired BTW?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 26, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Whether we get blown out like a 6-2 (with Varly getting the hook) or lets say that we have a tough loss tonight...like an OT winner on a broken play that leads to a 2 on 1 break and slips between Varly's pads.

Either way: I think the series is over. I don't think we can win Game 7. This team has a penchant now for playing tight at home -- esp. Game 7s.

Conclusion: Tonight is the real do-or-die game.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | April 26, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

last question/point, then i'll go. Good discussion today though. For the most part pretty civil!

Why do you guys think Belanger is a great PK specialist? Besides the faceoff stuff. I don't see it. He doesn't put pressure on the point men effectively. He doesn't disrupt passing lanes. He can't jam the puck thru along the boards. When the D are occupied I rarely see him go to the front of our net to cover a guy. So where does all this defensive specialist stuff come from? I don't think he's bad defensively b/c his speed alone provides an advantage. But I don't see him restricting another team's PP when they set up in our end.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I eagerly await that sigh of relief look on Semin's face when he pots his first one this post season. I remember that look from the end of one of his cold streaks either last year in the playoffs or during this past regular season. I also remember that the skies opened up after that one goal. Can't find a video of the goal though.

Posted by: Raber | April 26, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

You retired BTW?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 26, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

fk no

I have 3 projects I'm working on in parallel. 2 Win2008 domain upgrades and a Scriptlogic/Quest Auditing solution for a 3rd client. I know..i post a lot sometimes. But my clients get their $$s worth. I put in 2 15 hr shifts last week and only charge them for 8.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I like Belanger's speed and quickness on the PK. He gets to a lot of pucks that say Steckel wouldn't.

I also think he has done a good job of stepping up and disrupting the Habs as they try to enter the zone.

He isn't Ryan Callahan or anything, but he is one of the Caps best PKers.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

why couldn't he be ryan callahan though? its just a matter of desire, right?


btw, Della Rovere's team is in the OHL finals now. Joel Broda made it to the WHL finals. And Eric Mestery's team needs to win one more to meet Broda's team. So 3 Caps prospects playing for keeps.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, BB needs to be careful not to disrupt the PK which has been better of late.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 26, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I disagree. It is not win or die tonight. It is preferred we win for obvious reasons, but you still have to play a Game #7 and I think they would find a way to win that one.

Come in off the ledge.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | April 26, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse


Here's my lineup for tonight:

Ovi-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-BMo-Semin
Chimera-Belanger-Fehr
Walker-Steckel-Bradley

I would not be surprised to see Laing on the fourth line or Belanger/BMo reversed, but I'm hopeful those are the only changes.

Posted by: Justafan | April 26, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

i could live with that. But I'd be surprised to see Gordo out.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I'd be fine with Gordo in based on what I've seen from him, and not just in games 3 and 4. My lineup was based on TEB's observation that it looked like Steckel was in tonight. Stecks does a great job on faceoffs and has some excellent pursuit on the PK, but Gordo's been playing a bit tighter and has been able to find the back of the net (along with one awesome assist).

Posted by: Justafan | April 26, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I've never been a head coach of a professional sports team, but is it wise to tell the media your motivational ideas? Such as "sometimes you have to pat them on the back..."). If I was a player and read this, I'd think twice next time the coach has a tantrum, then goes into the nice guy routine. I thought BB was on target with his original "6 passengers comment". Basically this game boils down to solving Montreal's defense and guys like Semin, Green, and Laich burying some goals...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 26, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

It seems that Callahan is great at reading the play and where a player is going with the puck. So no, it isn't just desire.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan,

Agreed, it would be nice to win it tonight but, if not, then we have another chance to win it at home. The pressure is on the Canadiens, they have no margin for error.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 26, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"i think the home [ice advantage] thing is...kinda irrelevant in the playoffs. At one point in the past it did seem to offer teams advantages..."

Posted by: cstanton1

I'm not disagreeing with you and certainly recent tendicies have shown that home ice doesn't help in the playoffs. However, it doesn't seem logical. Home ice gives you the last line change and the visitor has to put their stick on the ice first on face-offs. Those are tangibles that should help the home team. It must be the intangibles. :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | April 26, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

One factor is that Varly just plays better in Montreal.

Posted by: Justafan | April 26, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Cstanton I could not agree more with you.

Even if not a Poti type I think someone similar to Kronwall would be so useful for this team. McPhee obviously does not agree with us though since he does not add those types of players often.

I think this team is a big, skilled, second line center and a Kronwall type D-man away from a cup.

Posted by: Mike4169 | April 26, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

To be honest with you, I am expecting us to lose tonight and to win in Game #7, but I hope I am wrong and we win tonight. That is my reverse psychology play.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | April 26, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I meant an Orpik type not a Poti type. Sorry about that

Posted by: Mike4169 | April 26, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

the caps just need to finish it tonight. no more of this BS, just get out there and win anyway possible. i don't care who is in the lineup, just play 60 minutes of team hockey and win the damn game so we can move forward.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 26, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

i really want to see Walker tonight. predict a big goal from him if he does.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | April 26, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse


These guys don't have it. They will win this series and the next, but there's no way they're getting past Pittsburgh in the third round playing like this.

Posted by: LesGrossman | April 26, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

These guys will eat up the Pens. But let's take it one game at a time.

Posted by: Justafan | April 26, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

They better come out playing like men possessed. I want to see them score early and often.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 26, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

It seems that Callahan is great at reading the play and where a player is going with the puck. So no, it isn't just desire.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

that wasn't the part of RC's game I was referring to. He takes a beeline to the man and goes thru him. Certainly anticipation is a part of being able to do that. But Belanger has no desire to initiate any type of body contact. So even if he could read the play as well as RC does, he wouldn't take advantage of it. Its not part of his mental makeup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Following pre-game warmups it looks like the Habs flag-bearer in front of the Caps bench is going to be a little girl.

Posted by: McBride33 | April 26, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I think this team is a big, skilled, second line center and a Kronwall type D-man away from a cup.

Posted by: Mike4169 | April 26, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

i think so too. One of the reasons i was disappointed when we signed BMo was I felt that was another roster spot taken away from what they really needed which was a big 2way 2nd line center. I didnt have anything against BMo per se, but he didn't fit the bill as to what we really needed. And when you eat up roster spots then the team has less room and inclination to make that move.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Judge has granted BB's request for a continuance. Needs more time to figure out the lineup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

@CStanton

You really don't think Chimera is a heart & soul guy?

I'll give you the rest, and agree 100% with your post.. I'll even add Poti, Pothier, Morrison, an old Fedorov (ducks for cover), Kozlov...basically every single FA brought in not named Knuble could be classified as soft and not sure they are players you win with in the post-season.

Trust me, I dislike GMGM almost as much as anyone possibly could.. but Chimera trade was a steal and the exact type of player you need in Playoffs.

Posted by: CapsandRavens | April 26, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1...

I also agree the team needs a big 2-way center, but obviously BMo was the next best choice, especially on a 1 yr contract at 1.5M. his signing didn't keep the Caps from adding another center, just availability of one.

Posted by: boomer44 | April 26, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

obviously, the Caps lineup tonight is a matter of national security. ridiculous

Posted by: doughless | April 26, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I think he has his moments. But just skating up and down the wing as hard as you can and occasionally finishing a check doesn't make you a heart and soul guy. He skates away from a lot of potential checks when he could easily finish them. A guy with his speed and size skating on the 4th line should have 5-6 min hits/game esp in the playoffs. I also want to see him play against a stouter defense and see how often he's willing to get into the crease.

I like that he's getting under the skin of some players and he's drawing penalties. But I think his overall grit level is suspect comparatively speaking. He can play more physically if he wanted to, he has the tools.

I like parts of his game for sure, and I like the trade with Columbus. I'm not slamming McPhee for that trade. Always nice to get a big fast forward on your team. I just think that if you look at someone like Walker who is smaller but yet is known to play every shift like its his last, Chimera isn't at that level. He's a work in progress. In Edm, he was clearly known as a soft player who didn't work hard. He got better under Hitchcock and he got bigger too. So he's come a long way. But to call him a heart and soul player would be unfair to the guys who really are that way.

sgm brought up Callahan. He's a guy I'd consider a h-n-s player. As is Dubinsky. As is Richards, or Simmonds, or Chris Stewart, Doughless mentioned Darren Helm, McLeod, DBrown etc. Those guys play at a different level of character.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

@ doughless

Why is it ridiculous, what sport announces the starting lineup before gametime?

Posted by: boomer44 | April 26, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

My sense is that bruce is trying to get semin going so i could see a semin laich and fehr line. the line creates time and space for semin.

Posted by: samb99 | April 26, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

it is silly. Boudreau is all about drama. kinda irritating

Posted by: doughless | April 26, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"I really don't want to answer any Mike Green questions," he snapped. "I'm tired of it, because it's unwarranted. ...Why are we focusing on Mike Green? He's not scoring but he's playing well. He's playing 26 minutes a game, and it's unwarranted that you guys want to keep talking about him and put him down and [saying] that he's the reason this series is 3-2. It's not right."

And yet they are some idiots with very little understanding of the game who persist on asking and then blaming Green for whatever the team does wrong.

"It's always the media's fault, isn't it?" - Tarik

I don't think BB is saying it is the media's fault for the series record, you moron. I think he is trying to tell you that you sound like barking dog every time he sees a mailman. You keep asking the same questions and the coach is tired of answering and telling you that your inferences are wrong. And you get paid for this?

Posted by: nimes1 | April 26, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS! meaning,The Caps.For they are soldiers.Wearing the Red,White,and Blue.We need to rally around these guys and not bash anyone for fighting for the right of The Stanley Cup.Its a hostile environment out there and there fighting the best they can against a werthy apponent.We dont bash our U.S soldierswe support them,good or bad,so lets rally around this team and give them the support they need for they will win and conquer!GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | April 26, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

@doughless

you are joking right?

Posted by: boomer44 | April 26, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

obviously, the Caps lineup tonight is a matter of national security. ridiculous

Posted by: doughless | April 26, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, don't mind a bit. If Bruce wants to keep the other side guessing, which is part of his M.O., that's sensible and perfectly reasonable and perhaps advantageous. Those of us hanging on every personnel change can wait a couple of hours.

Why the heck not do it that way? Go Caps!

Posted by: Justafan | April 26, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

gratefuldid,

That's brought a tear to my eye.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 26, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

My starting lineup would be as follows:
ovi-back-knuble
laich-belanger-semin
chimera-steckel-fehr
walker-gordon-bradley
G0 Caps

Posted by: ebarnes25 | April 26, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

The point of the argument is that just because a type of player is on a Cup winning team does not necessarily mean that type of plyaer is necessary for a winning team.

Presence does not necessarily show causation. The hypothetical of Lidstrom was shown to give an example that Orpik's presence does not necessarily mean that type of player was the cause of the Cup.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

for one, I'm not all that willing to concede that you can plug and play Lidstrom for Orpik and everything else would just fall into place. Teams have chemistry and Orpik fulfills an important role on the Pens. I don't know if Lidstrom's other elements make up for that because he doesn't obviously bring Orpik's tool set. Maybe Lidstrom doesn't fit in with Gonchar. Something about the 'sum of the parts not being as great as the whole' analogy comes to mind here.

Look at Brad Stuart. He was brought in as a complement to Lidstrom. He's a similar type of player that Orpik is. He worked well with Lidstrom. Quite possibly WITHOUT Stuart the Wings don't win the Cup. He filled an important hole.

So no, I don't find you've proven your point that rugged defensive dmen are unnecessary. I like Lidstrom and I think he is one of those rare defensive dmen who can play well defensively without being that physical (although he is underrated in that capacity by almost anyone who uses him to make their case that physicality is unnecessary to be good defensively).

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

looking at everyone's lineups at least we can all agree on one thing

Flash hasn't earned the right to stay in the lineup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Scott Niedermeyer would be another.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully this is Fleischmann's last season in a Caps uniform. They should have called up Giroux and sat Fleischmann. They keep waiting for Fleischmann to work hard and he never does. Enough already.
Semin will probably come around. But overall he just seems like a headcase.
As for Green, he's fine. You can't expect him to be all things. It's not his fault GMGM failed to add any real help at D.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | April 26, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

This team seems tense and off their game, which, weirdly, sometimes leads them to play their best hockey. Winning 3 games on the road in one series is a massive order, but here's hoping they can pull it out tonight. God help us if this all comes down to a one-off at Verizon, game 7. Game 7s are always a crapshoot.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | April 26, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bruce, I could play 31 minutes and suck just as bad as Mike Green has.

Posted by: soloman5000 | April 26, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bruce, I could play 31 minutes and play just as bad as Mike Green has.

Posted by: soloman5000 | April 26, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Not good if this goes 7. I don't have any confidence we'd win a game 7.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Scott Niedermeyer would be another.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I think Nieds plays with a pretty nasty disposition. Here was a guy who went after Tie Domi and Peter Worrell. Not exactly something you'd get from Schultzie. Nieds doesn't concede an inch to anyone. I think his development and character were helped playing alongside guys like Stevens and Daneyko. Something our young D has never had a chance to benefit from. Even a kid like Colin White had the opportunity to learn his craft from Stevens. That's invaluable and something that our GM doesn't seem to understand. Young players need a strong veteran to learn from.

Yzerman used to talk about how he learned from older players like Gerard Gallant and Lee Norwood and how he in turn tried to mold young players to play with a certain gritty work ethic.

There's no pipeline here in DC thats comparable. I think McPhee has done a miserable job of offering mentors for our young D. Instead of being able to learn, they've had to be the leaders themselves.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

As for Green, he's fine. You can't expect him to be all things. It's not his fault GMGM failed to add any real help at D.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker

But you can expect him to be just a little better right? I don't think you can use that as an excuse.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

From TAB's Twitter feed:

Looks like Brendan Morrison, Quintin Laing and Scott Walker are out tonight.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | April 26, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

so flash is still in? hope he has a good game. Or they'll be some hell to pay.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

this could be a good move in that it kept Flash on the bubble till the very end and now he'll play like his life depends on it

or he'll continue to s_ck

Either way, he shouldn't have to be motivated like this. Speaks volumes about his character.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Overtime sure would bother ME ALAN MAY!!!

LETS KICK SOME BUTT!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 26, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

from twitter:

Lines for warmups: 8-19-22; 21-18-28;25-14-16; and 39-15-10. D-tandems were 55-52; 3-74; 26-77.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 26, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

From Tarik's Twitter:

"Lines for warmups: 8-19-22; 21-18-28;25-14-16; and 39-15-10. D-tandems were 55-52; 3-74; 26-77."

Posted by: wocoliz | April 26, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

gratefuldid,

That's brought a tear to my eye.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan

hey Floridacapsfan, Its good to see someone else cares! Were in fl are you? I live in Fl. now as well,spring hill,near tampa.NO MATTER where I'm at though I will always love and support our caps!Plus i get to see them kick the crap outta tampa so its all good for now.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | April 26, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

whoooo

nice work, we have a crack staff of reporters

:)

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 26, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

BB sure loves his guys, chief among them I think are Flash and Green.


ITS RIDE OR DIE!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 26, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

gratefuldid,

I was being sarcastic. It's entertainment -not to be compared with war. However, I do support the Caps.

Allons-y Capitals, ce soir, bonne chance!

I am opposite you on the East coast.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 26, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

@ebarnes25

You almost called it, with your lines. The top 2 lines were perfect. Flash is there instead of Walker (with Flash on the third line to center Fehr and Chimmer).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 26, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Take it this way, if we lose tonight we will all bash the team and all will turn to madness.

If we win, we won't have to complain until round 2 lol!

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | April 26, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

@hockeynightincanada

Of course, it would be easier on our collective nerves if we won tonight.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 26, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: wocoliz | April 26, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

hopefully it works, from what i've seen in the past, Flash at center is usually a disaster.

Steckel on the wing should be interesting.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Thats the question isn't it?

Can you dispose of the Habs in 3 games?

1 chance wasted, 2 to go!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 26, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

i can't take this... i'm so freaking nervous. i need a valium, and this is just the first round.

yes... i know, i have problems.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 26, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Geno's doing another postgame Q&A tonight.

Posted by: wocoliz | April 26, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

its a gamble tho..to take 2 players in a game 6 and make them play positions they're not comfortable in. Steck has never really played the wing and Flash is a fish out of water at center. I just remember one game where he looked really bad. Lost the faceoff, then got pushed down, then took his time getting up and was late on the backcheck as a goal got scored. Hope he finds his manhood and battles his cute little tail off.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

@woco

If someone would have said that we would not have....

ONE IN-GAME CHAT!

...in the first round I would have called them nuts!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 26, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I can't bear to watch...but I can't bear not to, either. Please let the guys come out strong!

Posted by: wocoliz | April 26, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Its actually kind of hard to believe that the "Flash at C" experiment has extended this far into the playoffs.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 26, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Finish them!

Posted by: visionof75 | April 26, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

The latest from Tarik's Twitter:

"Starting lineup has 25-15-10. Some gamesmanship in warmups?"

Posted by: wocoliz | April 26, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Scratches
# Pos Name
4 D JOHN ERSKINE
9 C BRENDAN MORRISON
23 D MILAN JURCINA
24 R SCOTT WALKER
53 L QUINTIN LAING
89 D TYLER SLOAN
# Pos Name
6 D JAROSLAV SPACEK
17 R GEORGES LARAQUE
52 L MATHIEU DARCHE
61 C BEN MAXWELL
74 L SERGEI KOSTITSYN

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 26, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

i can't take this... i'm so freaking nervous. i need a valium, and this is just the first round.

yes... i know, i have problems.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 26, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

whuts the worst that can happen. They lose game 6, they lose game 7, they don't take the right lessons from another playoff loss and come back next season for another go.

the best that can happen is they win this one, get motivated (somehow) to face the Flyers, win a battle-hardening series, and then hit round 3 with a renewed toughness. I'll be content with a round 3 appearance.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

new thread

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 26, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

The first 10 minutes should show us how things will go.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 26, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

not surprised that Bruce is starting that line. Wants to see some checking right off the bat and a forecheck. Chimera needs to be a beast tonight and do for us what Moen did for them last game.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Its actually kind of hard to believe that the "Flash at C" experiment has extended this far into the playoffs.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 26, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

u sure you don't wanna go root for another team? i mean, you don't agree with what your coach is doing.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 26, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

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