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Live: Chat about the Caps' Game 1 loss

Post reporter Gene Wang is chatting NOW about the Caps' playoff-opening overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens at Verizon Center. Go here to join the conversation.

Also, here are some photos from the game. Check back soon for more.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 15, 2010; 10:13 PM ET
 
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Next: Jose Theodore on Montreal's winning goal

Comments

ov was horrible.....weak change leads to winner

Posted by: wendel2 | April 15, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

ov was horrible.....weak change leads to winner

Posted by: wendel2 | April 15, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

that's what i was afraid of. ovi doing his joe thorton impersonation and a hot goalie. what do we do? bad change at the end, lazy change. corvo should have stepped up but there was another winger going in on the play as well. tough situation.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 15, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I know most of the talk will be about Ovechkin (I think something is wrong he had no top gear and was taking a real long time to get up when he went down) but I want to talk about Halak. I know he made a lot of saves but there really wern't any that were highlight reel saves. No 2-1 one timer saves. No diving saves. He was solid but not really spectacular in any of his saves. The Caps need to screen him more and get after their rebounds.

Posted by: icehammer97 | April 15, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

It's going to be ok. The Habs played Ovi well. Halak isn't going to stop 45 shots all series long. They need to clean up some of the passing especially coming out of the zone and everything will be fine.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 15, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

26 Minutes without a shot by Ovechkin

Posted by: Cheef | April 15, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Was Ovechkin one of the players on that weak line change?

If so, that and the play where he along with Backstrom let Gomez skate right by them for the Canadiens' 2nd goal were his most notable plays of the game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 15, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

We have to fight for our playoff lives now to win Game 2.

Lose that one and you have to win 4 out 5 with 3 games on the road.

The Canadiens seem to be a better physicially conditioned hockey team. That, or the Caps used up all their gas in the early part of the game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 15, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

That play the Caps made in the defensive zone in the deciding goal is indicative of the Caps often trying TOO hard to put pressure on other teams. They circled and circled like a bunch of Nylanders, then tried a stretch pass that failed, which led to a great opportunity for Montreal. If someone just lifts the puck into the neutral zone or carefully plays it up the board, the game continues.

It's not about changing their style of play, but it IS about being smart and knowing when to take chances.

Posted by: CDon | April 15, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

As a long time DC sports fan, let's face it - we are marked with the curse of the squire!

Posted by: zigszag | April 15, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97: Agreed. Our offense was all over the place, all sloppy and never clicked. We never got any second or third chances. Flash missed some, Chimera, Fehr, Semin, Ovie... list goes on. Halak was great but the offense was discombobulated even though we had over 45 shots.

I bet Plekanec is laughing right now and I think I'm going to be sick. UGH. Of everyone, it had to be him.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 15, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Yep, that was Ovi on the line change and the Gomez goal. Just sloppy sloppy game.

@Moose,

Last I checked the sloppy play from the defense to the offense in the playoffs is a story we've seen/heard for three straight seasons - no? I think if we get the early exit again this year perhaps the team will FINALLY pick up the top line defensemen this team has needed for quite some time. This year we pick up depth for one of the deepest teams in the NHL at the trade dead line and completely ignore the iffy defensive core once again. It's going to haunt us. Poti and Corvo were both terrible and Green was average. Already beginning his playoff swoon.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 15, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Seeing Plekanec back up his trash talk with the game-winner adds to the pain.

Jason Chimera looked like a better hockey player than Alexander Ovechkin in this game.

Maybe they should right 500 articles about him before the next game.

Ovechkin looked like an AHLer tonight.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 15, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Is this the year? No. Same Caps as always. Way to show up Ovi. Check please I've seen this show about a million times before.

It never changes.

Posted by: bndra12 | April 15, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Caps will come back and win game 2 - Keep the faith. This Caps team is too good to lose to the Habs.

Posted by: pensfan57 | April 15, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Ovie played like Crosby today, it was such a weak effort by him. It seems like Montreal was skating on ice while the Caps were skating on molasses. Weak, weak, weak! 3 more games like this and it is one and done! Better wake up fast, Caps!

Posted by: JohnWWW | April 15, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

As a long time DC sports fan, let's face it - we are marked with the curse of the squire!

Posted by: zigszag

It's one game but I agree. Welcome, to Washington D.C., the city of disappointment. We played the first period better than Montreal but it was all Montreal the rest of the way. They outworked us, outhustled us, and just looked like they wanted it more. Too bad for Theo, I know he's feeling horrible over giving up an OT goal to a guy who slighted him but the defense is to blame on that OT goal.

It's just scary to think of all the things we were worried about in the regular season but blew it off and now it's come back and cost us. I hope we can pull it together but we're gonna need Ovechkin to be Ovechkin. He can't go shotless in a game where we have 47 SOGS.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 15, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I know you probably weren't serious but there are no such things as curses, destiny, etc...

You are either good enough or not. That determines about 95% of things.

The remaining 5% is random luck... bounces, injuries, etc...

If the Caps are as good as their regular season would indicate, they will find a way to make a deep run in these playoffs.

If they aren't built right from personnel to systems to toughness and character and don't make a deep run, changes need to be made this offseason.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 15, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

That was a horrible game by the Caps. Enjoy the President's Trophy.

Posted by: FancyDan | April 15, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:
Before I get to it - yea it's only one game. Blah blah blah.

If Bob Woods is coaching his d-men to back up and not stand up at the blue line like that - they're going out in round 1. There is NO EXCUSE for why they were giving a cushion like that ALL DAMN NIGHT. Woods needs to be fired if they don't step up.

This team had no urgency at all. They glided up the ice in OT thinking we're the Caps and the best team in the league - the puck will just go in. NEWSFLASH - you're down 1-0 in the series. Montreal deserved this game FAR MORE than the Caps. I dont' care what the shot counter read at the end of the game. The play was inexcusable. You start and finish strong. They started but fizzled away.

BREAKING NEWS: An APB has been put out for Alexander Ovechkin - CAPTAIN of the Washington Capitals. Kudos to MTL for keeping him in check but really - when you did get shots tonight - they were 10 feet high. PUT THE PUCK ON NET. You're the damn captain - you lead by example on the ice and you BACKCHECK. I want the Ovie back that hits. He has thrown hits that change the course of the game and there was none of that tonight - NONE. Ovie - screw the NHL and Bettman. You get back to crushing players.

Backstrom - WOW - a beauty of a goal but what the **** were you thinking on that 3 on 1 in OT????? Did that "illness" creep up and create a braincramp????

Unbelievable. For any of you that think I'm hitting the panic button - I'm not. But the fact that this team failed to showed up for the opening game of the playoffs is disturbing. It's disgusting. It's uncalled for. I'm shocked anyone was thinking the Caps would sweep or win in 5. This team NEVER does it easy but only in the regular season. Mark my words this team will find a way to allow this series to go seven games again however it may end sooner with them going golfing if they don't WAKE UP.

Oh yea while I'm on my rant - just a horrible disgusting display of getting the puck out of their own zone tonight. Absolutely sick and it's as if they don't know how to adjust to what MTL was doing to pressure them.

I'm surprised the Caps had as many shots as they did. Oh well. This will get real interesting now to see how this team responds. But the sad reality tonight was another passionate fan base heading home because our beloved team fell asleep at the beginning of the playoffs.

Here's to Game 2 and Saturday getting here fast. DROP THE PUCK ALREADY. *Exhales*

Ice Breakers Goal Shakers :)

Posted by: Jonathan6 | April 15, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

The Canadiens are obviosuly putting Spacek and Hamrlik on the ice to stop OV....Why doesn't Boudreau just keep OV on the bench for some long periods because it will force Montreal to tire out 4 defensemen taking every shift against all our other skilled players.

The advantage of having a Superstar player is knowing he takes attaention off everyone else.

The 4th line did OK for the Caps except Belanger was beaten up in size matchups and also turned the puck over on bad clearing plays.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 15, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I am disgusted by this loss.

I suggest that we all just stay reserved with our comments.

It is not over, by any means!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 15, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@ rphilli

I think it's a bit early to call the swoon. I didn't think they played that bad. The Habs cashed in on the two glaring mistakes (noone was stopping the first goal). Like I said, Halak is not going to stop 40+ shots every game and they are not going to keep Ovi shotless.

Is the defense still the weakness of the team, yes but I think they have the ability to play better which they have shown, granted in spurts rather than consistently.

The good news is that Theo played well and we dominated faceoffs. They'll get their goals and we'll still take this series.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 15, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan6: Exactly. I was surprised by the way we played in overtime. There was no sense of urgency while Montreal was buzzing around our net trying to score. We were skating so lackadaisical.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 15, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

They need to clean up some of the passing especially coming out of the zone and everything will be fine.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 15, 2010

This was the main problem in the Pens series last year. Too many passes were intercepted by or passed to a Canadien. We fans bash individual players as the problem, but why continue to see the same problems when those players are replaced with new ones?

Posted by: ablake70 | April 15, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

If they're going to play Ovechkin that tight, I'd really like to see him turn up the hitting. I don't think he laid a single real hit on anyone the whole game.

Posted by: butcherbaker | April 15, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

The body language by the Caps after the first period said it all. They realized they had to play a playoff hockey game without a lead after they dominated for one period. The loosey goosey puck possession game works great in the regular season and looks real good for spurts in the playoffs, but the other team is too focused on eliminating time and space in the playoffs for it to remain effective. That and there is some mental aspects of this team that seems to me to be not ready to win the Cup or maybe that's just bad defensive players coming to mind.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 15, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@rachel

That was due to one of 3 things in mind.

1. Montreal is a better conditioned hockey team.

2. The Caps used up an enormous amount of energy through the first 20-30 minutes in an effort to put this game away early.

3. Some of our players lack the character and killer instinct to finish close games.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 15, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

WE NEED KARL ALZNER!!!

Posted by: Tondi | April 15, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

The Caps by letting their foot off the gas after the first have now made this a series. I think the Caps will prevail, but it's now 6-7 games to get to the next round. I just don't get their lack of urgency after the first. Way too much cutesy passing and too much looking for the long bomb pass. MTL played a smart system after the first to prefection.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | April 15, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Johnwww:

Played like Crosby today? By playing like Crosby do you mean winning a Cup last year and scoring the overtime winning goal for the gold medal this year?

Lets be serious. I have had season tickets for 21 years. Im tired of this team and this franchise. One playoff series win since 1998. ONE.

Woooohooo this is the year! Yea right. We are done. And say I don't know hockey, say that I am a pessimist. Let me ask you this. Have you been watching the Caps for the past 12 years?

Posted by: kjua2 | April 15, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao - 1. no. 2. maybe. 3. no

The problem is that the Caps don't play well against the trap. Montreal and New Jersey gave them a lot of trouble this year. Boudreau and the players will need to make some adjustments, mainly in the passing game.

Posted by: butcherbaker | April 15, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

We also got lucky that they didn't call a tripping penalty on Green after he and Schultz got worked over by whoever that was.

Then, we had a 3-on-1 the other way and Backstrom looked as indecisive as I've ever seen him or was trying to made too fancy of a play. Either way, he held on to the puck for too long and made it easy on Montreal.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 15, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Is that really it? Both teams are tired but for God's sake, it's the playoffs. I would think you could get into another gear. They just looked like they were skating around waiting for something to happen, like Jonathan said... for the puck to just end up in the net. Tell the truth, didn't you guys just get a sense that Montreal would score, not the Caps? The urgency level for each team in the OT was two different levels.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 15, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

again, we believed our own hype. ovi has been off his game for long time now and it's continuing. semin needs to either shoot or make the pass, stop holding on to it forever there's not enough time to wait in the playoffs.

overall, the passing was not good. we need to crash the net and create chances. shoot the puck and work for rebounds.

hey caps, it's ok to actually be the best team in the league and win this series right away. you don't always have to take a series to 7 games on our account. we don't mind waiting an extra week to see you play again. just get to work so it's not and extra 6 months before we see you play again.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 15, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

@ rphilli

I think it's a bit early to call the swoon. I didn't think they played that bad. The Habs cashed in on the two glaring mistakes (noone was stopping the first goal). Like I said, Halak is not going to stop 40+ shots every game and they are not going to keep Ovi shotless.

Is the defense still the weakness of the team, yes but I think they have the ability to play better which they have shown, granted in spurts rather than consistently.

The good news is that Theo played well and we dominated faceoffs. They'll get their goals and we'll still take this series.

Posted by: Moose33

Well, if your point is we can beat the Canadians still, well, ok. I thought our goal was to win the Cup. Ain't happening. You want to win the Cup, you have to sweep the Habs or have short series. Overtime games and first round series going to 6 and 7 games doesn't cut it. That, and I'm not so sure that Ovi is not nursing some sort of injury. He seems to be missing a gear. Overall, could not have been a worse start for this Cup quest and this franchise has no history from which you could say - don't panic!

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 15, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

"We also got lucky that they didn't call a tripping penalty on Green

Posted by: tmac2yao"

I was actually surprised it wasn't a penalty shot. There were some non-calls on both sides tonight. If there's anyone the Canadian refs dislike more than Russians, it's the Quebecois :D.

Posted by: butcherbaker | April 15, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

@wtf_e_fehr: I totally agree, everyone should relax.

Halak played a good game and we were pressing the entire game. We need get in his face and throw him off his game a bit. Muck it up around the crease with more shots from the point.

This is similar to last year when Lundqvist stole a few games and Theo was weak. Except Theo was pretty good tonight. We can still easily win this series if Theo plays like he did tonight for the next four games.

Stop panicking, we will be alright.

Posted by: eorr | April 15, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

kjua2...wow. It's a best of 7 dude, relax.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 15, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

The D actually played pretty well tonight with the exception of Poti, who looked bad. The Canadiens did not have that many good scoring chances throughout the game.

On the last goal, there was a turnover, ShaMo then got beat, then Corvo was guarding the pass on the 2 on 1 and Plekanec took advantage of the space.

But if the Caps are only going to score 2 goals through 73 minutes of playing time, then the defense is bound to give up a few opportunities.

As every has already stated, Ovie was bad tonight. I also thought Semin was invisible as well as Flash.

I think BB needs to insert BMo as 2nd line center (which most of us wanted initially) and put Flash back as 3rd line LW. Flash has not been playing like a 2nd line forward the past few months. That enables Chimera to go back to the 4th line. Chimera played well, so this is definitely not a punsihment demotion.

I actually think Gordon played well too, but suprisingly I think BB needs to have better scoring depth than the lines he put forth tonight, and moving Flash to the 3rd and Chimera to the 4th will improve the scoring of both of those lines.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 15, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

4 glaring defensive mistakes = 3 goals and a penalty shot that should have been called by the refs, but inexplicably wasn't.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 15, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

We did have a ton of scoring chances even if there weren't a lot of rebounds and second chances.

We had plenty of shots from close range and a number of essentially 1-on-1 situations with the goalie. Fleischmann, Laich, Semin and Fehr among others all had their chances.

Sometimes it just comes down to finishing your chances.

For the Caps, that is especially true since we're obviously an offensive-oriented team. If we don't finish on our chances, we aren't anything special compared to other teams. We aren't going to win by outdefending and outgoaltending teams. Our identity is to outscore teams and being better at capitalizing on opportunites, whether or not that is best suited for playoff hockey. For the most part, we are going to live and die with our offense.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 15, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Is that really it? Both teams are tired but for God's sake, it's the playoffs. I would think you could get into another gear. They just looked like they were skating around waiting for something to happen, like Jonathan said... for the puck to just end up in the net. Tell the truth, didn't you guys just get a sense that Montreal would score, not the Caps? The urgency level for each team in the OT was two different levels.

Posted by: rachel216

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

Well with 54 wins in the season the Caps dont really have another level to ratchet up to. Other teams do unfortunately...They have to play smart...or smarter..

Plus the ice will not be choppy going forward because no more Wizards games and WNBA is a few weeks away.

On the bright side - after a close loss like that the Caps always seem to respond with 5 or 6 wins in a row...

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 15, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

You want to win the Cup, you have to sweep the Habs or have short series. Overtime games and first round series going to 6 and 7 games doesn't cut it.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 15, 2010 10:57 PM

Really, because the pens played 6 and 7 games respectively in the first two rounds last year. They swept the Canes and then played another 7 in the final.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 15, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Moose33:

I know. I probably am overreacting. But when are we as fans allowed to say enough is enough? When can we finally say 'you know what, I am tired of empty promises, of big teams losing big games'". We lost game seven at home two years ago, we lost game seven at home against the penguins last year. Yea I know we beat the Rangers (I was at all three games), but do we really feel confident?

I was born in Sweden in 1955. IFK Goteborg was my favorite team and they were the first seed when I was young and they didnt predict ANYTHING and just came out and won.

When will the Caps come out in a big game and just say "you know what? F this and lets kill em" and win 5-1.

Anyone see game 6 or game 7 against Detroit last year in the finals? Thats called determination. Im jealous. I wish that could finally be us.

Posted by: kjua2 | April 15, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Tmac...writes, "We have to fight for our playoff lives now to win Game 2."

Oh. MY. Goodness. So clear some of you have just started watching hockey and the playoffs. I've watched hockey for 45 years and there are so many times the winner of a series loses the first game. Have you never seen a playoff series before?!? Stop your whining and your panicing and your extreme ridiculous predictions.

I'm a Habs fan but even I know a first game win in a series means NOTHING! Get a grip Caps fans. Learn some hockey. Go back and look at past playoff series. Geez!

Posted by: KPaige1 | April 15, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I watched the chat, and someone asked Gene why he thinks the #1 seeds have so much trouble in the NHL playoffs.

I just want to point out that #1 seeds, since the expansion in the 1967-68 year, have won the Cup 18 times. That's THREE TIMES as many as the #2 seed, and the #2 seeds have won more than all of the other seeds.

I double-checked the numbers and blogged about it even. http://washingtoncapitalsblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/best-regular-season-teams-are-by-far.html

Considering how many playoff teams there are, and how many there have been each year since 1967-68, relatively speaking #1 seeds tend to completely and utterly dominate in the playoffs. #1 seeds have won more than 43% of the Cups since then. If you expect the #1 seed to win every series every year, you're just crazy. That's like expecting the team with the most ping pong balls in the draft lottery to win the top draft pick every year. Yes they are more likely than the other teams to win it each individual year, but they aren't going to win it every year.

Caps are going to still be favored to win this series by every sportsbook, and the reason for that is that the Caps are much better than the Canadiens and are still probably going to win this series. Do not panic.

Posted by: youaresquishy | April 15, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

"The D actually played pretty well tonight with the exception of Poti, who looked bad. The Canadiens did not have that many good scoring chances throughout the game."

What? The D played terrible. Forget the fact they gave up 3 goals to a offensively challenged team on 3 defensive breakdowns, they couldn't initiate any clean break outs, which lead to our offense bogging down. The surest defender as I stated before was Carlson and he is a damn rookie. Any team that pretends Poti is a top 4 defensemen is not winning the SC.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 15, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

OH MY GOD.......ITS OVER....WE'RE DOOMED....

er....wait...

It's a best of SEVEN?????

Anyone who expected the Caps to breeze in a 4-0 sweep is either an eternal optimist or doesn't know Hockey.

It's gonna be a long series folks...NHL playoff hockey is just that. NO way the Habs were gonna lay down and die for us.

Posted by: TimDz | April 15, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin often resembled a 4th line grinder in this game.

He was getting stuffed and wasn't doing anything creative or skilled to create chances for himself or his teammates.

Obviously, he gets more attention and faces top defensemen but he still looked like a very ordinary player.

At least 4th liners usually have some defensive awareness.

Ovechkin's two most notable plays in this game were watching Gomez skate by him in the neutral zone en route to scoring the Canadiens's second goal and apparently making a lazy line change in overtime.

So, it may be fair to say that Ovechkin was worse than a 4th liner in this game.

Let's send Ovechkin down to the Bears and bring up Giroux!

Okay, I'm kidding but he sucked tonight...

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 15, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Few observations from the game:

1. Our line matchups were atrocious. Thats on BB. He has got to get that down or he needs to go.

2. Asides from taking time-space away from the top forwards, Montreal employed a very effective quick transition to catch the Caps on lazy line changes...if that had clicked on the few they almost got - this game does not go to OT. Caps are going to have play up and not back to that kind of return pressure on their blue line. Morrison and Poti dropped back way too much to let them get set-up.

3. John Carlson is for real. I thought at times, maybe it was Scott Stevens back there...he will only get better. For a rookie, he was one of our defensive highlights.

4. Semin played like a drunken sailor. I am convinced he was drunk or on drugs. Absolute total liability out there. The second line suffered all in all -- that was a key gap for us. Time to get Morrison in there and drop 14 back with Belanger and Fehr.

5. Theo was outstanding. Halak's numbers look great, but the shot quality was not that great at all. Atleast 10 of the 45 were dribblers.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | April 15, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

@rphilli721

Yes 3 goals in over 73 minutes of play. One was on the PP, so that was not a defensive breakdown.
The second was because of poor defensive play by Ovie and Backstrom to not slow down Gomez through the neutral zone, not a defensive breakdown by the defense.
The third goal was a defensive breakdown by the defense.

But if you asked most people if they would take it if the Caps would give up 2 goals in regulation I think they would say yes. The offense deserves most of the blame for this game.

As Alan May said, it was the forwards fault for not coming back to help in clearing the zone. The forwards were too far up in the 3rd period and OT and not assisting.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 15, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

they only allowed 2 goals in the regulation, they did NOT lose this game because of their defense...

put the blame where it lies - the PP and the offense in general, they had a 3 on 1 in the OT with Backs leading the rush after they got a gift just a couple minutes earlier on the non-call when a Canadien player had a semi-breakaway and Green took him down.

this team will give up at least two goals just about every game no matter what.. also slowly but surely the Habs outplayed them as the game went on and to me that's coaching.

Posted by: joek443 | April 15, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin looks hurt in the lower body somewhere. I wouldn't mind him sitting for a game.

I'd like to see Scott Walker in the lineup, especially against this team.

Posted by: youaresquishy | April 15, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

@KPaige,

Good for you you arrogant prick. You might also be a Caps playoff historian too or might know the history of the top scoring team in the regular season and how that has not always been a good sign, or, perhaps, the history of number 1 seeds frequently losing in the playoffs in the NHL. It's not nearly as clear cut as say the NBA.

@ Moose,

You talk about the Pens Cup run last year and then state they beat the Canes in 5, hmmm. Well, that's my point. We don't need to start with a long series against a completely inferior opponent. Assuming we play the Pens in round 2, you think that is going to be a short series? We are setting ourselves up to make this as hard as possible, which is par for the course with this team. We say all the right things and then fail to execute with the necessary urgency.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 15, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

@Political_Strategist

I agree on all 5 of those points. Especially BB not doing line matchups. I never understood that last year. If your at home you have to use the last change as an advantage and not just stick to rolling out the lines. I wish he did more line matching.

I think one of the reasons the D was dropping back was because there was little back checking by the forwards after the 1st period. This makes stepping up incredibly dangerous because there is no help coming from the back side. I think the D men are suppose to generally back up if there is no back checking support.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 15, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

@Political_Strategist

I agree on all 5 of those points. Especially BB not doing line matchups. I never understood that last year. If your at home you have to use the last change as an advantage and not just stick to rolling out the lines. I wish he did more line matching.

I think one of the reasons the D was dropping back was because there was little back checking by the forwards after the 1st period. This makes stepping up incredibly dangerous because there is no help coming from the back side. I think the D men are suppose to generally back up if there is no back checking support.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 15, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Not using this as an excuse but was the ice bad tonight?
We fanned on a bunch of shots & so did the Habs.
Also, many players lost their edge.

Puck seems like it was bouncing weird tonite for both side.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 15, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

"Ovechkin looks hurt in the lower body somewhere. I wouldn't mind him sitting for a game.
--Posted by: youaresquishy

If Ovie is hurt, someone's head needs to roll for playing him so much in the last few meaningless games of the season.

Posted by: kingbonehead | April 15, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Even after that terrible play by Ovechkin and Backstrom in the neutral zone, we still had numbers and shouldn't have allowed Gomez to his stick on that puck. Green should've shut him down.

And the forwards not coming back has been a characteristic of this team for years now. That isn't going to suddenly change in any signficant way at this point.

You develop habits over time and can't make any concrete changes to the habits in Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs.

Sure, they can make some adjustments but these players are largely wired to play a certain way and that includes inconsistent backchecking by a lot of the forwards.

We won't suddently see our forwards backchecking consistently and effectively like some of the better defensive teams.

Those kinds of habits need to be taught from day one in the season and it sometimes takes multiple seasons to really get good at it.

The Caps are what they are so to speak. They will live and die with their offense. We may steal a game or two with good defense along the way, assuming we make a deep run, but those will probably be exceptions.

For the Caps, it's score a lot of goals or go home.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 15, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

@ tmac2yao

That overtime goal was not on Ovi. Backstrom dumped the puck into the zone before Ovi went for the change. Then Backstrom made a half hearted attempt to retrieve the puck, leading to the overtime goal. I don't know if there was some confusion at the bench area because Ovi was slow to get off and I didn't see anyone ready to jump over the boards. Either way, had Backstrom made more of an effort chasing the puck, the goal wouldn't have happened.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 15, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

The Bears barely got by Bridgeport last night...but even knowing what I know after tonight - we lost an O.T. game - I still would take a bet that the Caps will win this series.

Game one is always a little feeling out and playing cautious. Bruce is right about there always being way too high expectation on home teams in the first game. Almost a disadvantage.

Game two is always important, especially if you want a short series.

I bet that OV is covering an injury - he has that Russian personal trainer back for the playoffs...and it would explain alot about his slowness and lack of hitting.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 15, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game today and it was horribly depressing, but the comments here are even more depressing. We didn't look good tonight. We couldn't control the puck and gave Montreal far too many opportunities, particularly in the second period and the OT. But this is far from over. What was so frustrating about the game is that the team didn't look like the Caps we have been watching all season.

There was no question in my mind at any point that if we were playing the way we typically do, we would have won the game. It sucks that they didn't show up for game 1, but that doesn't mean they won't show up for the next four, five, or six games in this series. A lot of people were predicting that Caps would win in five. Guess what? That's still possible.

And if we had a lucky bounce and the puck had gone past Halak in OT, but we had played exactly the same way, would everyone be yelling that the sky was falling? I'm sure many would point out the flaws in the game, but I have no doubt the conversation and hope for the rest of the series would be very different.

Posted by: Steph22 | April 15, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

I was not saying that the forwards needs to back check more because as you said their game is offense. I'm fine with that. But when forwards don't back check the D is not supposed to step up at the blue line. That leads to too many 2 on 1s and is very risky to do if you don't have back checkers coming.

The game was lost because the offense was poor. 2 goals in over 73 minutes is bad. And the Caps did not create that many scoring chances after the first 30 minutes either.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 15, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

"Yes 3 goals in over 73 minutes of play. One was on the PP, so that was not a defensive breakdown.
The second was because of poor defensive play by Ovie and Backstrom to not slow down Gomez through the neutral zone, not a defensive breakdown by the defense.
The third goal was a defensive breakdown by the defense.

But if you asked most people if they would take it if the Caps would give up 2 goals in regulation I think they would say yes. The offense deserves most of the blame for this game.

As Alan May said, it was the forwards fault for not coming back to help in clearing the zone. The forwards were too far up in the 3rd period and OT and not assisting."

What? You could say only 3 goals against the Pens, Blackhawks, San Jose, etc... Only 3 goals allowed against Montreal is not a sentence that should be used when trying to justify if the D was bad or not. By the way, the first goal was a bad defensive play. The puck could have been easily cleared by Poti, but for some unknown reason he decided to try and puck control it out of the zone on a PP = bad defensive play by a defensemen. The Gomez goal was perhaps a team breakdown, but, again, I don't blame forwards for tap ins on the Goalie. Where was the defender in front of the net either blocking the pass or taking out Gomez? There wasn't bc the defender was out of position. With the way this team is built, I agree you could say our offense is more to blame for this one. But, perhaps, that is the problem with this team and it's playoff results thus far. We don't have to change our style per se, but, if this were baseball, we have a bunch of #3 defensemen - zero #1 guys.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 15, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

The Canadiens can now play loose and confident in Game 2.

If there was a lot of pressure on the Caps before this game, it's only going to be magnified before the next one.

Basically, the pressure has gone up for us and down for them. I wouldn't be surprised if the Canadiens get off to a much better start in the next game. They were awful in the first period tonight.

Game 2 will tell us a lot about the character and heart of this team.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 15, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

@sgm

I see what you're saying and agree entirely with you.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 15, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

@rphilli721

But the Caps only gave up TWO goals in regulation. That is fine.

I agree that the play by Poti on the first goal was terrible and I actually think Poti was bad the entire night (he was the only defenseman who played poor tonight).

Yes, Green could have been in a little better position on that pass too that made the second goal, but the the terrible defense in the neutral zone should be blamed more significantly for that. If Gomez was just slowed for a second Green would have been in position.

Either way, every defense in the league is not going to make perfect plays on every rush down the ice. The Caps limited the Canadiens to a few good opportunities in regulation and only two goals in regulation.

That is considered good. That means Theo's GAA after regulation was 2.00. That is very good.

I will take that in every game in the playoffs. If the Caps can't win doing that, then oh well.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 15, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Backstrom was getting a lot of love from the announcers on how well he played, but he was a key component in all 3 Montreal goals. He lost 3-1.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 15, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

@sgm,

Well, perhaps that is the problem. If we have to score 4/5 goals every game to win a playoff game, we are not winning the Cup, period. I think that's been a primary criticism of this team in it's championship infancy and a correct one.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 15, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

All we needed to score to win today was 3 goals. That is not asking too much.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 15, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Dude!!! The caps suck!!! Ov sucks, semin sucks, green sucks, laich, fleishmann, fehr, backstrom... They all suck!!! Trade them all and fire bb. The best player and only player to show up tonight was carlson. If he's the best player we have, this team is out in four. Great season total playoff flop... AGAIN! Fire bb. At least the nationals will still be playing in may and they aren't even in last place... Yet. What a terrible performance from the so-called best team in the NHL. They all suck.

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 16, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

We'll all be told we're making too much of this loss but that's nonsense. This team has learned nothing from its last two playoff failures or the defensive lapses of the regular season. Same tentative play. Same inability to handle the forecheck by the defense and get out of the zone. Same poor marking (scott gomez draws THREE caps on his give-go goal). Do the caps even practice playing in their own end?

And if I hear one more person say this is a wake-up call, as if such a thing should've been necessary and not a cause for alarm, I'm going to puke. After last season against the rangers and two years ago against the flyers, the LAST thing this team shoud have needed was a reminder that once the playoffs start, you better bring it from game 1 of the first round or you will get bounced.

This was a pathetic performance from a team that still, clearly, just doesn't get it. I have no reason to believe that will ever change at this point.

And last, OV always talks about loving the spotlight. I guess he doesn't think the spotlight shines on big games because he sure doesn't show up for them when April rolls around.

I don't know why I ever expected anything different this year. Sickening.

Posted by: fanzee71 | April 16, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Caps fans, do not worry it will be us and you in the end. The 1st game is usualy a wake up call for the good teams. The real games will be in the east finals when the Pens and Caps do battle again. Good luck, and tell Ovie to change faster, cleaner, better!!! Go Pens!!

Posted by: jpocasangre1978 | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

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