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Live: Chat about the Caps' Game 6 loss

Post reporter Gene Wang is chatting now about the Caps' 4-1 loss at Bell Centre, which shifts the first-round series back to Washington for yet another decisive Game 7. If you're keeping track, that's four straight seven-game series for Washington.

Join the conversation here.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 26, 2010; 9:37 PM ET
 
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Next: Halak steals Game 6 from Caps

Comments

Caps just want to win the series in front of the home fans.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 26, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

sigh....

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Want to hear the worst part of this?? #2 and #3 seeds already lost and if we do as well, Pitt would have home ice thru eastern conf.

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 26, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

54 shots on Halak....

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Kepp thinking that. This team should have knocked this team out Friday night.
This series is over. I wonder what the spin will be this year from the powers that be.

Posted by: jotay131 | April 26, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

The series aren't over. Caps lost the game but not the series.

The problem as I see it:
2nd line - blame BB not the players
PP - blame BB not the players
It has been the way BB has handled those two things that are causing problems now. The 2nd line lacks cohesiveness and it is too late to fix that now. The power play is stale, they need to move, rotate, they are predictable and that is why Montreal has had no problem defending them.

You may disagree but that is what I see.

Posted by: hock1 | April 26, 2010 9:43 PM

Posted by: hock1 | April 26, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Blow up the team. Caps lose in 7. Halak w/35+ saves.

Posted by: kingbonehead | April 26, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

CHOKE!
fyi....for you "newbie/bandwagon" Caps fans, Caps are notorious for blowing 3 to 1 series leads....
At least it's better than losing to Pens.

Posted by: 555Mass | April 26, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I dont want a post game chat.
I dont want an in-game chat.
I dont care what you think.
I dont care what I think.
I just want to win.
I dont want to talk until then.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 26, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

POSTGAME THOUGHTS: Well the bounces went MTL's way tonight. What can you say? Plain and simple Halak won this one tonight. Good for him.

Someone posted it's not Caps hockey if we aren't playing Game 7 - LOL - Love it.

This is the thrill of hockey. However, the team has to get more shots up on Halak. Sure tonight he snatched whatever he could. But saw a ton more shots hit him low then high. What can you do?

The team gets another chance on Wednesday night. Do or die. One game. Oh the joys of playoff hockey. Someone get me some heart medicine. Yikes.

Ice Breakers Goal Shakers

Posted by: Jonathan6 | April 26, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

We haven't lost the series yet. Stay strong, have faith, and cheer hard on Wednesday night. (Yeah, I know I sound like Pollyanna, but I still believe we can get by the Habs.)

Posted by: wocoliz | April 26, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Urgh

Posted by: NoDak2Caps | April 26, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Ole, Ole, Ole....

It looks like men versus boys out there. One team obviously wants to win the other team is the Caps. Someone should ask Semin, Fleischmann, Green, OV, and BB if Halak's hand was shaking tonight. This team has NO killer instinct and NO heart. I hope the champagne tastes good out of the President's trophy!!!! Bums....

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 26, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Urgh. Definition: the sound made while choking.

Posted by: NoDak2Caps | April 26, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

"We haven't lost the series yet. Stay strong, have faith, and cheer hard on Wednesday night. (Yeah, I know I sound like Pollyanna, but I still believe we can get by the Habs.)
"

Not unless the Caps can score a PP goal. WTF? Who would have thought the pk would be OK but the PP be completely crap?

Posted by: kingbonehead | April 26, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Caps just want to win the series in front of the home fans.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 26, 2010 9:41 PM

They had that chance and blew it.

Montreal is a smarter, more disciplined hockey team.

It's more than just Halak.

They are better with their sticks. They make cleaner breakouts. They make better passes. They work harder along the boards. They have a better forecheck.

Halak made some great saves but he's also seeing a lot of our shots and their defense is doing a good job of taking bodies and sticks in front of the net.

They are totally owning us on the PK. Boudreau can't fix the PP because our guys aren't used to having to play gritty on the PP, which is what Montreal is forcing us to do by constantly using their speed to take away time and space. We have to win puck battles and get second chances but we aren't working hard enough to accomplish those things.

Even if we are missing on golden scoring chances, the fact is that you have to expect that to happen in the playoffs. Players hold their sticks tighter and goalies stand on their heads.

You need to be able to win low-scoring games. This team has not been taught the habits to win those kinds of games. Maybe we also don't have the personnel but coaching has to be part of it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Caps just want to win the series in front of the home fans.

Posted by: LloydChristmas

No they don't. They had that chance on Friday and played like they didn't give a crap.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

FIRE BRUCE BOUDREAU!!!!

PUT THEO BACK IN NET

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 26, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

The only hope I have is that (someone mentioned earlier) I just can't see MTL taking THREE out of 4 home games from us. THREE OUT OF FOUR. THEY CAN'T DO THAT. IF THAT HAPPENS THEN...

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

"The team I root for beat the team you root for!"

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Caps just want to win the series in front of the home fans.

Posted by: LloydChristmas

No they don't. They had that chance on Friday and played like they didn't give a crap.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse


Amen... The Caps don't want to win. They are satisfied with the Presidents Trophy.

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 26, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The Caps arent playing there best and no where near there playoff potential. Bruce Bouedreau needs to make a statement that shows the entire team he is serious a big change. I suggest bringing Michal Neuvirth up from minors and benching both Varlemov and Theodore.

Posted by: geai | April 26, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

haha, even the experts look nervous

no one should say anything until game 7

too much talk already

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 26, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

"The Caps arent playing there best and no where near there playoff potential. Bruce Bouedreau needs to make a statement that shows the entire team he is serious a big change. I suggest bringing Michal Neuvirth up from minors and benching both Varlemov and Theodore.
"

Will Neuvirth score more than 1 goal or help the power play?

Posted by: kingbonehead | April 26, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

haha stupid presidents trophy. tell me if anyone gives a crap about that stupid trophy.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

JOOSSEEE, JOOSSEE, JOSE, JOSE

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 26, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I have to believe that Wednesday night will be BB's last behind the Caps bench if the Caps don't find a way to win it. Oh yeah, and R.J. Umberger just called from the golf course and said, "I told you so."

Posted by: nomarjax01 | April 26, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Calgary Flames 1989 - went 7 games with Vancouver...mismatch with hot goalie and then they romped everyone else to win cup

Edmonton Oilers 1990 - went 7 games with Winnipeg...same sloppy play like Caps then surprise woke up and won cup.

Pittsburgh Penguins 1992 - went 7 games with Caps (came back from 3-1 down) and then only lost 2 more games on way to Cup.

New York Islanders 1982 and 1984 went full 5 games (Best of 5) in 1st round against Pittsburgh and Rangers then made finals (won in 1982)

I pick these examples because players on these teams all think that the adversity of round 1 taught them how hard they had to work to win and then they were better prepared than all the teams that waltzed through first round.

It could be a blessing in disguise.

Honestly, the Caps did not play bad tonight - the 3rd goal was weak but they were really pressing on Halak -

They still have a shot to win (glad Halak stood on his head tonight and not Wednesday)

As we know so often - what you did yesterday does not really matter when the puck drops the next game. Lets hope the ice is good quality at Verizon Center on Wednesday.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 26, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

The problem with the PP is far more than what they are doing when they actually get set up.

For the majority of this series, Montreal has stood us up at the blue line and dared us to race for pucks and try to win board battles. The smaller Canadiens have owned us along the boards in addition to have the speed advantage. That is a sad realization. We aren't even using our physical advantage, which is size to negate their speed. That is true defensively, as well.

Even when we do get set up on the PP, the Canadiens are putting relentless pressure on the puck carrier and using their sticks very effectively. They are anticipating everything and we aren't reacting well, mentally. It's not just a lack of movement.

When their is a loose 50/50 puck, the Canadiens are playing with more grit and desperation and winning battles and clearing the zone.

We are getting outworked, outskated, outsmarted and outcoached in this series. There is no reason to think that we will suddenly make effective adjustments in Game 7.

Montreal will probably continue to dictate play while we continue to shoot in volume with little in the way of second chances.

We need luck at this point, both in terms of having our one-and-done thrusts result in goals as well as keeping pucks out of our own net.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

haha stupid presidents trophy. tell me if anyone gives a crap about that stupid trophy.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

bruce does. i saw it in the big cup holder in the trunk of his minivan

Posted by: johncaps | April 26, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Great goaltending trumps great offense in playoff hockey. Varly has been good, but Halak has been great. He's held the Caps to a total of 4 goals in the Habs 3 wins....the question is can he do that again in D.C. in Game 7? He's a young goaltender in his first playoffs similar to Varly last year.

This was definitely the best game the Caps played all series, but the Canadians got all of the bounces. The 2nd goal was a shot that deflected off Boyd Gordon's stick and past Varly. Huge difference between a 1-0 and a 2-0 game. The Caps had to take a lot of chances in the 2nd and 3rd periods to try to get back in the game and dominated play.

For those questioning the Caps heart or intensity, I don't know what game you were watching. The Caps threw everythign they could at Halak and he held up. No question that he was the differenc.e

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 26, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

BB agrees with me

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 26, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

we are the phoenix suns of the nhl, its plain and simple

Posted by: beachhotel | April 26, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Is Nylander available?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 26, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I wish CSN would show the complete interview with the coach. It is frustrating coming in the middle of it and leaving it after two or three questions.

Posted by: hock1 | April 26, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

When will the caps put together a full 60 minutes of hockey. We were the best team during the season, we got the best player in the game, we got the so-call best d-man in the league yet we are going to a 7th game. I don't get it, what am I missing.

Posted by: instinct227 | April 26, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

never give up

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 26, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

What was with all the calls for diving (unsportsmanlike) against Montreal...don't think I have ever seen 3 of those in one game.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 26, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

"The business of happiness..."

"A generationally great team..."

Well, I'm really happy that our generationally great team has barely won exactly one playoff series in the Ovechkin era and will need to go to yet another Game 7 and hope to squeak out another series win.

At least Ted got a lot of pub this season in promoting his book while his Phoenix Suns of the NHL continue to, as Umberger put it, play the wrong way.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

FYI, Halak's performance is being compared to and considered greater than Dryden in 71 and/or Roy in 86.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I get it -Green, Semin, and Valry are playing terribly and deserve to lose their jobs after this BUT we outshot them 53-18. How could you possibly say that was a lousy performance?!? Halak stole this one from us once again and I am not entirely convinced this guy isn't a f--king ninja.

Posted by: ebz40 | April 26, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

For those questioning the Caps heart or intensity, I don't know what game you were watching. The Caps threw everythign they could at Halak and he held up. No question that he was the differenc.e

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 26, 2010 10:05 PM

I agree.

Posted by: hock1 | April 26, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

never give up

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 26, 2010 10:07 PM

You love to call people out when they do though.

Maybe some people saw issues early in this series and felt that we were headed down this path.

We're all Caps fans but we don't all have to be eternal cheerleaders and not call it like we see it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

phoenix suns.. kill teams in the regular season when it doesn't matter, playoffs come and the game tightens up, and we disappear... horrible

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

Another 3-1 choke, it's golf time boys.

Posted by: aim19541 | April 26, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

@ firepelosi

I 100% agree with you! This is two games in a row now that Varly has given up two goals in the first ten minutes. Where's his leash?

Posted by: ludeman95 | April 26, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

For all of you that want to give up you should just leave now. We didn't need you in the middle of the season and we don't need you know. Jump off the Bandwagon before it runs you over.

Posted by: HemmedUp | April 26, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I feel better after this loss - because we tried all game.....

I felt worse after game 5 -

and I don't ever like to lose.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 26, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know when the season ticket holder pre-sale will happen for game 7??

Posted by: RickyBobby | April 26, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I never did like this match-up for the Capitals. If the Canadiens win it they truly deserve it and good luck to them for the rest of the playoffs.

If the Caps win it they'll be the luckiest dogs on the face of the Earth.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 26, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Alan May on the PP "They need to move they are stationary ..."

Seems like I heard that before, oh wait, that was me ... LOL

Posted by: hock1 | April 26, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

@hemmedup there is a different between giving up and calling it like it is, get off the kool aid that bb gave you at the beginning of the season.

Posted by: beachhotel | April 26, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

1. Gene Wang sounds like Ted's PR man the way he is fielding questions on "the chat".
2. Remember how upset we all got when Mike Milbury, Don Cherry, etc.. wouldn't respect the Caps and Ovi earlier in the season? We said winning the Cup would prove them wrong, well we may have a problem.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 26, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

even if we win this series i'm still gonna talk trash about this underachieving team. i've been on this bandwagon since 1974 and it's the same thing over and over. we dropped the ball in this series like we've done the past 3 years and in the past.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 26, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

the caps need to learn to play 60 minutes. if they had played the first period the way they did the last two, we'd be celebrating a 1-0 victory. You'd think they'd have that part figured out by now.

Posted by: fanzee71 | April 26, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I want to pull up that post when we learned that we were playing the Canadiens. Many here including myself were worried and some posters here said we were panicking... yeah..

Yeah Halak was the difference but still gotta find a way to win the game. So he stole tonight's game. Don't let it happen again on Wed.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Remember Game 2?

We were down 4-1. We pulled off a small miracle to win that game.

Sure, Montreal barely won Game 1 but who is the #1 seed here?

They aren't supposed to win this series let alone have us on our heels early in almost every single game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

@fanzee71 -

totally agree but to take it further, if we played a 60 minute game in any of these games in the playoffs the series would have been over with us walking away with the sweep.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 26, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

For all of you that want to give up you should just leave now. We didn't need you in the middle of the season and we don't need you know. Jump off the Bandwagon before it runs you over.

Posted by: HemmedUp | April 26, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

******

agree - I don't care for fairweather fans...

tired of being accused of being a bandwagon fan -

real fans stay and support through thick and thin.

how can we criticize Montreal fans for leaving early from game 3 and 4 when we have fans like this?

If you think this is a bad thing and we haven't even played game 6 yet....well you never watched the Bruce Cassidy coached Caps lose....you never saw the 4 overtime loss in 1996 to Petr Nedved...you werent there for 2-1 losses to the great islander teams.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 26, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

We probably will not have Poti for Wed. It looked like the puck hit him in the eye.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 26, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

To all of the doom and gloom naysayers -
I know you are frustrated and angry that the Caps didn't breeze by the Habs, but this is hockey and this is the playoffs. It isn't a curse on the Caps, it isn't a lack of effort or heart, and it certainly isn't cause to even think about bringing in Neuvirth or firing Bruce (these remarks cannot be taken seriously. do you have any idea how many franchise records the Caps have set with him? that the Caps are relevant in DC or the hockey world today is due to Bruce. do you remember Thanksgiving of 07??) I think the Caps played their best game of the playoffs by far tonight. The series isn't over. Stop this negativity and believe. Don't you think the Caps are frustrated enough without fans turning away? I hope you can find it in you to cheer for the Caps on Wednesday, rock the red in the phone booth, and be proud of being a Caps fan. I know I am.

Posted by: washcaps | April 26, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Halak wasn't the only difference.

They did score 3 goals on us.

You can't expect to score 4 goals per playoff game.

Almost every other team in the playoffs has won one or more low-scoring affairs.

But not the Caps... we're all about the offense, baby!

Who needs discipline in all 3 zones. Let's run-n-gun our way to the cup!

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

For all of you that want to give up you should just leave now. We didn't need you in the middle of the season and we don't need you know. Jump off the Bandwagon before it runs you over.

Posted by: HemmedUp | April 26, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

its just facing reality. if it takes us 7 games to beat montreal. how do we expect to take on philly, then pittsburgh? this is not a playoff team. hope you get off the bandwagon before it crashes and burns

Posted by: johncaps | April 26, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

@natresgroup

exactly, everyone assumes if you critize then you must be on the bandwagon, we are calling it like it is we have seen this story, they can't close, they can't win in the playoffs, being a fan that is incapable of judging a situation without bias is the same thing as a retard who just got on the "bandwagon"

Posted by: beachhotel | April 26, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

The Caps need something that will shock the big stars and its up too Boudreau to figure it out. This is the best team we ever had in washington. We need to find a way to schock there system

Posted by: geai | April 26, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

OUR POWER PLAY HAS ONE MORE GOAL THAN SEMIN IN THIS ROUND.......ENOUGH SAID

Posted by: wendel2 | April 26, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

We don't need to outwork the 8th seed.

We don't need to defend well against the worst even-strength team in the league.

We'll just coast on skill and perimeter shots all the way through this easy first round.

We don't need to work hard along the boards or in the neutral zone to slow down those speedy and feisty Canadiens.

We don't need to worry about them sending one little guy in on the forecheck and winning the puck.

We can just let them set up behind our net over and over again and react slowly.

We don't need to work hard to clear the front of our net.

We'll just outscore 'em in the end!

Right??

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

GAME 7 BABY!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 26, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

correct! we let varly stand on his head for 2 periods while the habs tire themselves out and we capitalize in the 3rd!

Posted by: johncaps | April 26, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

its just facing reality. if it takes us 7 games to beat montreal. how do we expect to take on philly, then pittsburgh? this is not a playoff team. hope you get off the bandwagon before it crashes and burns

Posted by: johncaps | April 26, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

*****

Then get off now - and don't try to get back on later. If your willing to bet the farm now against it..take your money and go away....I think the Nats have a game coming up

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

FYI, Halak's performance is being compared to and considered greater than Dryden in 71 and/or Roy in 86.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 10:08 PM |

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

what do we do about our PP? honestly, what can we do? is it more movement? is it the players on the ice? what do you guys think is missing now that we had in the regular season?

this really is the difference in the series, when we have more SH goals than PP goals something ain't right.

I wonder what can we do?

next question:
Who's in net for us?

Posted by: natresgroup | April 26, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Look, I won't argue that Halak wasn't good particularly in the 3rd period. That being said, going back to last game, the Caps are getting more quantity than quality. If he wasn't on, could we have scored 3/4 goals? Sure. However, he was. But, we continue to shoot wide, shoot it in his chest on our best chances, or shoot low into his pads. I see no chances on one timers, shots between the circles, odd man rushes, the shooters hitting the goal scoring spots which is usually high on him, or getting the rebounds. I think we are making it easier on him to get in the zone and, perhaps, the smart disciplined defense by the Habs has something to do with that as well. He is not standing on his head as I've seen the greats do consistently bc he is not that good. We have to be better or we lose.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 26, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

GMGM has not built a playoff style hockey team, from his coaching selections to the personnel.

The game absolutely changes in the playoffs on a lot of levels and you need to be able to play the right way in all 3 zones.

The playoffs are about being fundamentally sound and gritty and make good decisions.

The playoffs are about avoiding risks not rolling the dice and thinking about offense first while only giving a half-hearted effort in the other 2 zones.

We don't even have good habits, offensively. In the playoffs, it becomes even more critical to forecheck and keep possession of the puck instead of trying to score off the rush.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

He is not standing on his head as I've seen the greats do consistently bc he is not that good.
Posted by: rphilli721 | April 26, 2010 10:29 PM |

lol.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

GAME 7 BABY!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 26, 2010 10:25 PM

That's how we DO!

Remember the Red Wings game that Theo stole for us back in January? In a way this game kind of reminded me of that one except we weren't the lucky beneficiaries.

Posted by: letsgocaps3 | April 26, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

i still think that Mr Perault could add that spark to the second line to get it started. Hope that happens. Just a hunch...

Posted by: samb99 | April 26, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

So if the Habs win they will face the Pens (now I HATE the Pens) and watch the Pens cruise right thru them and their "hot" goalie.
Caps still have a ways to go to be a cup winner. Damn it this is the best Caps team ever. What the hell happen Lucy ?

Posted by: jotay131 | April 26, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Then get off now - and don't try to get back on later. If your willing to bet the farm now against it..take your money and go away....I think the Nats have a game coming up

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

alright you stay on this wagon. this is not the caps' year sorry just trying to save you all this stress. once they get some real defense and grit. then we'll talk about being contenders. until then we're just pretenders

Posted by: johncaps | April 26, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Remember in 2007-08 when the Caps won all those games to win the division...

Craig Anderson was goalie for Florida and did the same thing against Carolina on the final game for the Canes.

Anderson stole a playoff/division from the Canes and the Caps made the playoffs because of it.

Brilliant goaltending is a part of hockey. It usually happens from time to time, but rarely for consecutive or even back to back to back games.

The Caps usually get 4 goals every game.

They have just 2 in 2 games

Something is due to give.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 26, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

There is a distinct difference between being a fan of a team and being an "athletic supporter". The former includes calling out members of your favored organization when they display subpar effort and/or preparation or a lack of respect for the game or their opponent. The latter includes such actions as blindly following your team and chastizing other fans for having the temerity to critique. I love the Caps, but I am not willing to be a mere "athletic supporter" for the team.

Posted by: nomarjax01 | April 26, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm not worried about the lack of offense as much as the horrible defense.

Watch our defender back up and let the Hab forward shoot. Watch theirs right in front of our forwards, blocking the shot with their stick.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin has put up numbers but how many times has he just killed offensive rushes by skating or shooting right into a Canadien stick.

He keeps doing it despite having zero success with that approach. Every single one of his goals came in situations where he received a pass in open space or put in a rebound.

Even his first goal a couple of games back came off of a pass before he snapped it between the defenseman's skate and stick.

You're not stupid if you mistake a mistake.

You're stupid when you make the same mistake over and over and over and over again.

I'm not saying that Ovechkin should never try those one-on-one moves or long distance shots through a player that is right up on him. We know that he's scored a number of goals that way.

All I'm saying is that those types of plays should be the exception, not the norm. It loses it's effectiveness when it's what you do 90% of the time.

Semin is also taking a ton of bad shots and trying to force it.

Our two snipers aren't making a lot of good decisions.

Backstrom can't be the only consistently good decision maker out of our top 2 lines. Even he hasn't looked like himself at times but he's still by far playing smarter than anybody else on the top 2 lines not named Knuble.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm not worried about the lack of offense as much as the horrible defense.

Watch our defender back up and let the Hab forward shoot. Watch theirs right in front of our forwards, blocking the shot with their stick.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

******

Montreal has to play that way to slow down speedy forwards and force them to stay outside to shoot...

They have other problems which cause them to lose games. Normally their play tonight would have lost them the game.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 26, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom has made about 10 stupid passes the past 2 games.

And I never call Nicky out..I wuv him.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

What most American's fail to realize about play-off hockey, that most Canadians understand from an early age is this. The regular season means NOTHING. It's 40 home dates to pay the salaries.

What do they say in football. The Offence wins games, the defense wins championships.

There is a reason why Green was left off Team Canada, he's a nervous Nelly when something is on the line. Washington can't play defense.

Montreal can. It's rather simple folks.

Posted by: GrooveMctwang | April 26, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I had a bad feeling about tonight.

I have a real bad feeling about Wednesday. This team is emotionally spent. Done! We have nothing. Just see Ovechkin in the post-game chat on Caps360. Our Captain is done: no smile, no swagger, no killer instinct, no nothing.

I am a season ticketholder and I am NOT going to the Phone Booth on Wednesday. I cannot take it! 30 years of the same crap.

Does not really matter if we win or lose Game 7. This team is going nowhere. Gotta blow this up a bit and get some grit and toughness in the line-up.

Here's to Eric Fehr, Gordon, Carlson for a fabulous series -- time for more North Americans in this lineup.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | April 26, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Ha Ha this string amuses me...which is good because I am depressed after that horrible game.... anything can happen in the playoffs... Halak stole the game... yes it is the Caps fault for putting themselves into the situation (i.e. not closing the game out in game 6) but when we win on Wednesday this series will be a hard lesson...NEVER underestimate your opponent. People (and the Caps)seem to think that we are supposed to win this series... bu the playoffs are an entirely new season. Every team has an equal chance. The Canadiens are playing great hockey right now. Sure they had 32 points less than us in the reg season but that only translates to 16 more wins. The Habs have just as much right to win as us. We just need to take it from them. The Caps need to stop expecting to win and just win baby!!!! As fans our job is to support the team...through thick and thin... I see you all on Wednesday Rockin' the Red!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: allCAPS | April 26, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

They have other problems which cause them to lose games. Normally their play tonight would have lost them the game.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 26, 2010 10:41 PM |

Playing good defense on the rush isn't one of those problems.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm not worried about the lack of offense as much as the horrible defense.

Watch our defender back up and let the Hab forward shoot. Watch theirs right in front of our forwards, blocking the shot with their stick.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

yes this is true, but i think its also due to our playing style, d/fw always pinching. we give up way too many odd man rushes for the two guys in the back end to step up leaving another man open..

Posted by: johncaps | April 26, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Political_Stratgst

I'll buy your tickets...you obviously don't appreciate them...

Posted by: allCAPS | April 26, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

What most American's fail to realize about play-off hockey, that most Canadians understand from an early age is this. The regular season means NOTHING. It's 40 home dates to pay the salaries.
______________________________________
Clearly it's a nationality issue.

lol..

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

There is a reason why Green was left off Team Canada, he's a nervous Nelly when something is on the line. Washington can't play defense.

Montreal can. It's rather simple folks.

Posted by: GrooveMctwang | April 26, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

****

Montreal's team defense was not much better than Washington's this season - if barely. Pittsburgh was worse.

I think a better defensive awareness may be the difference....forwards coming back and not getting caught out of position.

Not taking as many chances in the playoffs will kill some teams and help others - depends on the people....same as in football really.

Everyone looks bad when they have to play against Manning or Brees - so offense still dictates teh game with the right people.

(Didn't the Redskins lose a game at Dallas 7-3 this year? Hmmm - defense against Romo)

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 26, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

maybe this is all a big conspiracy for Ted to make more money to pay for the team.

You figure, more home games means more tickets sold, more concessions purchased and more ways to generate ancillary income.

Cruel plan Ted, make your fans suffer for your financial gain!

Posted by: natresgroup | April 26, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

yes this is true, but i think its also due to our playing style, d/fw always pinching. we give up way too many odd man rushes for the two guys in the back end to step up leaving another man open..

Posted by: johncaps | April 26, 2010 10:45 PM |

The system is fine if they play at least decent defense. It's ridiculous to see have our shots get blocked and all three of their shots coming in cleanly. (bounces off our own guys, aside)

Seriously, there is no excuse for the 2nd and 3rd goal to go in. Lazy defense, mediocre goaltending.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

What most American's fail to realize about play-off hockey, that most Canadians understand from an early age is this. The regular season means NOTHING. It's 40 home dates to pay the salaries.
______________________________________
Clearly it's a nationality issue.

lol..

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

******

well I'm from Canada and a Caps fan and Ovechkin lover/ Crosby disliker so I guess I can verify that being a caps fan is normal......:)

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 26, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Our guys did all they could to win this game. Can't blame them. They played their butts off and absolutely dominated Montreal, but ran into a LEGENDARY performance by the Canadiens goalie Halak. We outshot them 54-22!!! In over 20 years of watching hockey this was one of the best games by a goalie I've ever seen. Jaroslav was just phenomenal! Like a brick wall. 53 saves in a regulation game is absolutely insane!

Sometimes you just have to take your hat off to an opponent instead of finding blame with your team. No team in the world could beat Montreal tonight with the way Halak was playing.

My main concern is that he's now in our players' heads. Like I said they did everything they could tonight and absolutely peppered him and all we have to show for it is 1 goal (I really didn't think we'd score at all). Our guys are used to making scoring look easy, but Halak is making them think they can't score. Very dangerous.

Here's the good news. Chances are he can't do this in back to back games, so if we play the same way on Wed we should score a boatloat of goals. We should have had at least 7 tonight.

Posted by: ranndino | April 26, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

GMGM has not built a playoff style hockey team, from his coaching selections to the personnel.

The game absolutely changes in the playoffs on a lot of levels and you need to be able to play the right way in all 3 zones.

The playoffs are about being fundamentally sound and gritty and make good decisions.

The playoffs are about avoiding risks not rolling the dice and thinking about offense first while only giving a half-hearted effort in the other 2 zones.

We don't even have good habits, offensively. In the playoffs, it becomes even more critical to forecheck and keep possession of the puck instead of trying to score off the rush.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------

Precisely.

I just don't know how to fix it with out changing major components of the team.

I've seen this team's flaws for years, thinking "they're young, they'll figure it out", then in the regular season, the bad habits were masked by extreme offense.

I thought "BB will have them lock it down come playoffs", and the team will perform like the few times this year where they played a complete game and didn't just rely on their skill.

Well, it didn't happen. And I don't know (realistically) how it can be fixed.

Fire BB? Aint gonna happen.

OVi, is here for life.

Green, Semin? Fan favorites, top performers in the regular season, so realistically, are they trade bait?

Posted by: floms | April 26, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I hope Nashville can pull it out tonight so Caps/Habs aren't the only teams playing Wednesday.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

we might be in Halaks head....he is going to rubber in his sleep -

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 26, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Here's the good news. Chances are he can't do this in back to back games, so if we play the same way on Wed we should score a boatloat of goals. We should have had at least 7 tonight.

Posted by: ranndino | April 26, 2010 10:54 PM

He's already done it in back-to-back games.

Maybe you want to change that to back-to-back-to-back games.

Sure, this game was on another level but he has still shut us down for 2 games in a row. Remember some of those saves he made on Semin, Fleischmann and Ovechkin, among others, 2 games ago?

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

It has nothing to do with the system.

Just watch how our defenders play guys on the rush most of the time. Watch how they lose puck battles at the boards most of the time. I don't get it. I don't know why we choose to not eliminate space.

As for the offense, they need to get their shots off better. I have said this all season...shots from the outside ain't going to cut it, especially when the Habs defenders are playing so well. Dump and work.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

The system is fine if they play at least decent defense. It's ridiculous to see have our shots get blocked and all three of their shots coming in cleanly. (bounces off our own guys, aside)

Seriously, there is no excuse for the 2nd and 3rd goal to go in. Lazy defense, mediocre goaltending.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

yea i hear you, im just saying its very difficult to play the perfect game defensively when our team is so offensively minded. we end up relying too much on our scoring..which doesn't seem to work in the playoffs

Posted by: johncaps | April 26, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

it's not about Halak or even PP. Create the traffic, storm the crease and finish the checks from the first second.
Don't they have any energy left to do it?

Posted by: Michael01a | April 26, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I love teams that are skilled, but still dump-n-chase. They ususally go pretty far..

We're skilled, and don't dump-n-chase even if our season depended on it...

Posted by: floms | April 26, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

we end up relying too much on our scoring..which doesn't seem to work in the playoffs

Posted by: johncaps | April 26, 2010 11:01 PM |

Ah, okay. I see your point now.

But honestly, when your down 2-0 off the bat, I would want the team to push and push.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Belanger is great for face-offs, has amazing speed but he has NO FREAKING IDEA what to do with the puck when he closes up to the goalie. I have never seen anyone so talented with such a crapola of a game. He should sit for Game 7.

Sits: Belanger, Flash, Varlamov
Starts: Morrison, Walker, Theodore

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | April 26, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

san jose must love us... we've taken all the heat off of them. we make them look like Stanley cup winners.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 26, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

@Jonathan6

Great spirit! Glad to see some optimism around here, even if I don't feel particular optimistic at the moment.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 26, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

It has nothing to do with the system.

Just watch how our defenders play guys on the rush most of the time. Watch how they lose puck battles at the boards most of the time. I don't get it. I don't know why we choose to not eliminate space.

As for the offense, they need to get their shots off better. I have said this all season...shots from the outside ain't going to cut it, especially when the Habs defenders are playing so well. Dump and work.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

yea its not primarily the system..i think its Mainly because our d is just plain bad.

you can see this because young carlson is holding his own very well 1 on 1..but other dmen i wont name names (because everyone gets angry when you point fingers) seem to let players walk in for a scoring chance

Posted by: johncaps | April 26, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps put in the same effort for game 7 they will advance to the next round. There's no way Halak pulls off that miracle again.

GO CAPS!!!

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

It's not about a hot goalie in one game. Stop kidding yourselves. It's game 6 and it's tied 3-3. What the excuse for the other two loses?

Ovie wouldn't score 20 goals if he had to play in the North East. The South East is the worst division in hockey and the caps get to play 6 games against each of it's crap teams.

And Washington lost the series when BB torn into players after game 5.

What a big baby.

Posted by: GrooveMctwang | April 26, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Ah, okay. I see your point now.

But honestly, when your down 2-0 off the bat, I would want the team to push and push.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 26, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

yea, for sure today was our game to win..but halak did stand on his head all game. but we've been down early way too many times this series. it's just really hard to believe we can continue coming back 4-1 versus better teams like pittsburgh..who i hate. so yea i duno, i hope we can make it to the cf at least..then maybe next year we'll win the cup if the trend continues lol

Posted by: johncaps | April 26, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Part of it also our poor neutral zone play.

Whether it's at even-strenth or on the PP, Montreal is meeting little to no resistnace when carrying the puck into our end.

Our forwards are putting up little resistance when they aren't caught out of position, entirely.

To me, part of it is that these guys aren't pushed enough to play smart team defense. Players can get away with soft defensive play and therefore don't feel the urgency to get it right.

Whatever part of it is on individual players just not being able to get it done falls on the GM. He's had years to look to improve the indvidiuals on defense.

To me, it is a combination of coaching and GMing that has caused these poor defensive habits.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

"Ovechkin has put up numbers but how many times has he just killed offensive rushes by skating or shooting right into a Canadian stick."

You expect Ovie to live in open ice. He's the least of our worries. At least his moves and attempts don't usually put the team in a bad spots going the other way. Semin on the other hand is an odd man rush trigger waiting to happen. And, Green. Well, he has made few great decisions and is so skittish with the puck. The team's confidence has definitely been shaken. When the goals aren't flowing as they aren't now, this team as currently constructed will always be in trouble.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 26, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps put in the same effort for game 7 they will advance to the next round. There's no way Halak pulls off that miracle again.

GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: bigpapa_z

There was no "MIRACLE". If I shoot the puck in your pads, in your chest, slow knucklers you can snag with the glove, etc...just cause they count the shots on goal means nothing. While we played carom off Halak, the Habs sent real high quality shots (2 deflected in goal) on Varly.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | April 26, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

No one's making excuses for the other two losses.

Posted by: letsgocaps3 | April 26, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

You guys are hilarious. While I'm cheering my team on the way to victory Wednesday night you "real fans who call it like it is" can sit in front of your televisions and swing your Carey Price signed goalie sticks at your friends when something doesn't go your way. Of course, you would have to have friends in order to do that. Guess I'll get back on my Bandwagon and drink my Kool-Aid from 1987.... Mmm needs sugar.

Posted by: HemmedUp | April 26, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

@rphilli

Ovechkin is notorious for making risky, telegraphed passes that lead to rushes the other way. I don't recall that being as much of an issue in this series but it's been a problem of his for years.

And there have been a number of transition plays in this series that started with Ovechkin getting stuffed right after crossing the blue line.

I think that Montreal also plays a little more conservatively while Ovechkin is out there because they know that he likes to float around and cherry pick. They have probably been coached to pass up on several opportunites to go the other way after stuffing Ovechkin. Unlike the Caps, the Canadiens seem to recognize game situations. It's not just go-go-go no matter what. The Caps will still take way too risks when they are tied or leading on the road in the playoffs.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

One of the many problems right now is that the rest of the team is not doing enough to draw attention away from Ovie. From what I see, only Poti, Carlson, Ovie, Backstrom, Fehr, Gordon, and Knuble have showed up this series. And, the remainder of the team is not even doing the little things to contribute to the success of the team like forechecking and playing physical.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 26, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Notice that we scored when we finally put 2 guys in front of the net. When a goalie is on, you have to take away his eyes.

Is BB really making any significant adjustments? I've seen minor adjustments. 6 games and 1 power play goal; and it was a 5 on 3.

Can Bettman add in the "We decline the penalty rule" by Wednesday? :P

Posted by: puckman | April 26, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Semin... is an odd man rush trigger waiting to happen. And, Green. Well, he has made few great decisions and is so skittish with the puck. The team's confidence has definitely been shaken. When the goals aren't flowing as they aren't now, this team as currently constructed will always be in trouble.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 26, 2010 11:16 PM

I do agree with this part of your post.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 26, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

@Political_Strategist

Laich and Knuble had some glorious chances on rebounds in front of the net and each them did not deliver. Just as it has been the entire series. They are paid to cash in on those types of chances.

I keep on hearing that the Caps need more grit. While that might be true what the Caps need even more is for their top line grit players to start producing. Laich has been almost invisible all series.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 26, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

the caps & the ref VS Halak...for a moment I thought I was watching WWF

Posted by: capsfan88 | April 26, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

@rphilli

Ovechkin is notorious for making risky, telegraphed passes that lead to rushes the other way. I don't recall that being as much of an issue in this series but it's been a problem of his for years.

And there have been a number of transition plays in this series that started with Ovechkin getting stuffed right after crossing the blue line.

I think that Montreal also plays a little more conservatively while Ovechkin is out there because they know that he likes to float around and cherry pick. They have probably been coached to pass up on several opportunites to go the other way after stuffing Ovechkin. Unlike the Caps, the Canadiens seem to recognize game situations. It's not just go-go-go no matter what. The Caps will still take way too risks when they are tied or leading on the road in the playoffs.


The whole team plays a high risk high reward style. The difference with Ovie is one he causes so much concern the other team rarely is able to generate a counterattack. Second, he makes smarter plays usually than almost all the other players on the team with the exception of Backstrom. I don't care about his past. This series Montreal has managed to stop a lot of his rushes, but I don't recall them scoring bc of it. I don't even recall a quality chance counterattack bc of it. His are not easy turnovers.

Actually, the team as a whole has been much improved in turnovers the last 2 games, but ironically their shot making has gone to hell. It's now quantity over quality.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 26, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm sick and tired of the blown 3-1 series leads. I'm disgusted with this franchise and its pathetic playoff history. I'm tired of the underachieving and the no-shows and all the excuses. 33 years (from season 3), I've been a diehard fan and I'm sick of the frustration and the humiliation as we watch year after year the teams we hate win Cups while we choke every time. We have the best player in the world and we still suck. Enough already.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | April 26, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Please let Theo get the start in Game 7. He is the one that got us here and if we are going out in the first round then let it be on his shoulders. Varly has let in some softies and lets remember what happened in Game 7 last year. It doesn't really even matter anyway. This team has absolutely NO HEART.

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 26, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

From the Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL – The Canadiens are one win away from making history.

Since the current playoff format was adopted in 1994, a No. 8 seed has never come back from a 3-1 deficit to beat a No. 1 seed.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Habs+refuse+force+Game/2953196/story.html#ixzz0mGqBkMxU


Well they will probably make history on Wednesday since they are OBVIOUSLY better then the So Called "Best" team in Hockey.

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 27, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

CAP-lanta:

I could not agree more. And Im being serious. I am so tired of this. There is a simply answer to why this franchise never goes anywhere: we are tied to mediocrity, and are happy with meaningless success.

I cannot tell you how many times on this blog, on the postgame chat, on TSN, etc. Ive seen Caps fans saying "we have 54 shots!!!".

I played hockey in Boston 32 years ago, and I had a coach that always said "if you have over 45 shots, and dont score more than 1 goal, your letting him make those saves". We let Halak make those saves today. If you put a rocket under the bar (hmmmm, like Lapierre did) you score. That simple. We didnt, and thus we lost.

And one more thing. Whats with all this "dont worry, we have home ice advantage!". Ok, well what advantage are we talking about exactly? The one where we lost game 7 against the flyers two years ago? The one where the Rangers took Game 1 and 2, and then where we luckily beat them in Game 7? Or the one where we got ABSOLUTELY BLOWN OUT 6-2 by the Pens last year?

We need a leader that can get this team ready when it counts, and get us to win when it counts.

Posted by: kjua2 | April 27, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Ok I guess it is time to stop reading this board...at first it was funny...now it is just annoying...Semin sucks...Green is a choke artist...the team has no heart...blah...blah...blah...

The Caps totally dominated the Habs tonight...if you are sick of watching the Caps lose go then go be a Wings or a Pens fan... If we play half as good as we did tonight we will crush the Habs on Wednesday...
Nothing is wrong with going 7 games with a good team... and right now Montreal (especially Halak)is playing very good. Why is no one giving them credit? Go Caps!

Posted by: allCAPS | April 27, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

The team overall played pretty well this game but for the amount of puck control and shots they had I can't believe how little traffic there was in front of Halak. If they would have taken 20 fewer shots and instead passed back to the point and sent everyone to crash the net, the result could have been very different. If you're playing against a goalie who's stopping everything, you need to not give him any chance to stop the puck. The only way to do that is either not let him see the puck by screening, or not give him time to react because the puck changes direction off of someone in front. Either way you need guys in front of shots. They have a lot of big players that the Canadiens defence can't move out of the slot so start planting them there and shooting from the point. Not even slapshots, just float some in there. If the goalie can't see it, he can't stop it. That's hockey 101. if you take 54 shots in a game and the goalie can see 50 of them, you're taking too many poor shots and guys are being selfish. Now, Halak played amazing tonight, but when you have as much puck control as Washington had tonight, you can get around any quality goalie by not giving them a good look at the puck. Drive to the net, crash the crease and don't let him see it. That's what worked earlier in the series, why the passive play from the outside tonight? They don't need to change anything drastic in their game, just play smart hockey. And when the puck goes back to the point, don't hesitate to shoot. With how many faceoffs the Capitals win I couldn't believe how many times they had a good screen after a faceoff win and the defenceman just dumped it around the boards. That's not a selfish shot, that's a smart high percentage shot if your forwards are driving to the net.

The only thing that really needs to chance is taking Fleichmann off draws. He's been okay in the regular season, but at this stage anytime you have a faceoff in the offensive zone and have players like Belanger, Steckel, Gordon, win the draw to the point, send the centre to the net, and take a shot. At this point Flash isn't quite good enough on the draw to take advantage of that situation like other guys on the team can. When you need to win, you use who's best suited for the situation. If that means putting guys out there just to win a faceoff and keep pressure on the other team, do it. That's how you win in the playoffs. Backstrom wasn't great in faceoffs tonight either, but on average he's better than Flash and has been playing solid all series so there's no reason to take him off centre.

Posted by: Stu_c | April 27, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

A lot of people are saying that it's a matchup issue - that Montreal is a bad matchup for us.

I call that an excuse.

Who was a good matchup for us?

Last season, the 7th seed presented us with problems. We won that series by the slimmest of margines after getting down 3-1. Another matchup problem?

We outplayed Pittsburgh during the last regular season then they beat us in the playoffs. What was the excuse in that case?

We struggled with Ottawa this regular season and outplayed Pittsburgh again but Pittsburgh handled Ottawa.

We outplayed Philly while getting outplayed by NJ but Philly crushed NJ.

Maybe it's not a matchup problem. Maybe it's a playoff problem.

No more excuses. It shouldn't matter who we play in the 1st round.

Montreal is the 8th seed and have us on our heels. They've been jumping on us early in almost every game, even when they didn't score the first goal.

Whether it's coaching, or general managing or the players, there is something missing on this team.

We're 5+ years into the rebuilding process and have had plenty of regular season success but it still doesn't seem to be translating into good playoff hockey.

I don't think the sample size is too small, either. We haven't looked like a contender for more than a few small stretches in this entire series.

Win or lose Game 7, we've shown our true colors. We've had over 360 minutes now to prove our worth and we're heading back to D.C. with the 8th seeded road team carrying all the momentum in the world. That is a problem.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 27, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I thought - particularly in periods 2 and 3 - we battled hard, won almost all the board battles (you can't get 54 shots, many of them from within the circles, btw) if you don't win the battles.

What I did notice is Halak has adjusted to the high shot glove side and we haven't figured that out yet. It was "smell the glove" all night. The other thing: against a hot goalie don't take shots if they are good opportunities, you just let them get warmed up. A goalie that hasn't seen any rubber at all and then suddenly has to deal with 3, 4 high quality chances has a much tougher job than the guy who's seeing a lot of easy shots, the 3, 4 high quality chances...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | April 27, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

From the Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL – The Canadiens are one win away from making history.

Since the current playoff format was adopted in 1994, a No. 8 seed has never come back from a 3-1 deficit to beat a No. 1 seed.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Habs+refuse+force+Game/2953196/story.html#ixzz0mGqBkMxU


Well they will probably make history on Wednesday since they are OBVIOUSLY better then the So Called "Best" team in Hockey.

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 27, 2010 12:14 AM


Wonderful... as if they didn't have enough confidence and momentum.

Just one more reason for Montreal to bring it in Game 7.

These kinds of things do play on the minds of the players.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 27, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

First, I sincerely believe the Caps will win Wednesday night.

Second, The Caps must establish a presence in front of Halak Wednesday night. There simply wasn't any traffic in front of Halak tonight. Virtually every shot he faced was accompanied with an unobstructed view. That is not playoff hockey and if the Caps do not alter this then I may be wrong about my prediction.

Third, trade Mike Green in the offseason while he has value. The criticism of Mike is entirely justified and I am sick and tired of the apologists. There are simply too many opponent goals where the video shows he is the primary culprit.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 27, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

first off I'm a habs fan... don't worry I'm not here to stir s*** and I'm not blinded by my allegiance.

Home ice advantage, forget it, doesn't exist anymore in the "new NHL" or how could we explain that we each won 2 out of 3 games on the road.

Unlike you I haven't seen the Caps all season long, but I can remember the games that we played against each others and basically the problem is, the Caps can't adapt their play style to the playoffs. When we say it's a new season and that the regular season doesn't mean a thing, it's true.

In regular season you will sometimes play back to back games against the same opponent, in the playoffs you can play them up to 7 times and this is what I see, the Caps are still playing the same all out offence hockey that I saw them play all season long and are hoping it will work 4 games out of 7, the habs are doing a good job on Ovi, and they forgot Backstrom in the first games, after that they adapt their style, it sure ain't pretty but it is somewhat effective

Your PP is playing like crap, has it played like it did for the regular season, the habs would be on a Florida beach by now. Our PP is giving us pretty much what it did during the season (we did have the 2nd best PP after you) but I have to admit that I haven't seen the Habs play like that during regular season. Gill and Gorges are doing miracles on the PK, Halak got us some very strong performance (he was 9-0-1 when facing more than 45 shots this season)

In all, we have a very exciting serie, as much as I am a die hard Habs fan, I never thought this would have to go to a 7th game. Am I confident for game 7? about the same as some of you are, when you are giving huge amounts of shots, at some point, more are bound to go in... and will they be able to keep a low scoring game? every time Ovi gets in our zone with the puck, my heart skips a beat ;)

best of luck on wednesday!

PS: put any english grammar mistakes on the fact that I'm french ;)

Posted by: potirons1 | April 27, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Since the current playoff format was adopted in 1994, a No. 8 seed has never come back from a 3-1 deficit to beat a No. 1 seed.

Wonderful... as if they didn't have enough confidence and momentum.

Just one more reason for Montreal to bring it in Game 7.

These kinds of things do play on the minds of the players.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 27, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

I don't buy this psycho babble for a second. If the Caps establish a presence in front of Halak while knocking the Canadiens on their backsides when in front of Varlamov then they will be fine. The Canadiens have established traffic and the Capitals have not. It's that simple. Further, this is not politically correct but if I'm a Capital and one of the Canadiens slides on the ice in front of me to block a shot then I make sure he remembers doing it because the pain from it is unbearable and he in turn NEVER wants to do it again. Psycho babble is for losers.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 27, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

They don't fear us anymore. they can take all the penalties they want, nothing will happen. they out work our d-men in our zone. they know their goalie is better than ours right now. they have nothing to lose and we have everything to lose.

i'm sick of saying, "wait 'til next year."

everything that was a positive about our team in the regular season is now a negative.

trust me, i want to win more than anyone but we seem to always make history for the OTHER team.

I think theo plays on wednesday. it's possible the boys have lost confidence in varly. those goals were stoppable.

we need lots of traffic in front but we can't have two or three guys standing on top of each other. too many rebounds bounced right passed any player we had in front of the net.

maybe it is time for walker to get in, he certainly can't play worse than flash and you know he's not afraid to get dirty.

what do i know, i'm just an arm-chair coach who is so disappointed that the team he loves can't get it done when it really matters.

let's get them on wednesday boys!

Posted by: natresgroup | April 27, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

My sons coach and I have come to the same conclusion about this team. We have over 20 years of pro,mostly minor, experience and 70 years of hockey experience.

The very talented kids in the 1990's and later did not get good youth coaching and don't do many little things correct. There aren't many guys on this team that are not bonus babies and had to struggle and fight to make teams by doing everything hockey smart.
It is not heart, effort, bb or gmgm. These guys have more hockey talent in there dirty socks then I ever had but I could hang one-on-one and in games because I learned to do the little things right to make teams. A couple examples of what I mean:
1) never shot high and far side on the power play, a miss is a clear and the advantage is outnumbering the d-men on rebounds and battles for position for deflections. shoot low for tips, bounces and rebounds.
2) keep the gap between d and forwards tighter to avoid oddman rushes on giveaways and allow shorter outlets for the d(I think this is a bb system thing but I bet the caps give up more odd man rushes then any other team in the league)
3) you can't give away the puck at the attacking blueline. this is an automatic oddman rush.
4) defence is about agression and intensity!!!
5)ugly goals count the same as pretty goals.
6) theres more then one guy on a team for a reason
7) If you are up against a hot goalie, blast a couple at his head. It will slow down his reactions after getting earholed a couple of times.
8) drive the farside post and look for the tip-in
The old caps teams were short on talent and big on grit, this team is big on talent and short on grit.
Varly is still puck shy on high slappers near his head, although the lapierre shot was deflected he does not stand tall in his butterfly and let those shots hit his shoulders(I wouldn't either but he chose goalie)

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | April 27, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

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