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Maple Leafs 3, Capitals 2, SO

Leafs backup goalie Curtis Joseph put on a brilliant performance after stepping in for Martin Gerber, lifting Toronto to a 3-2 shootout victory at Air Canada Centre and sending the Caps home with a single point in the finale of their five-game road trip.

Washington forward Brooks Laich stuffed the puck into the net with less than a minute to go in regulation, tying the game at 2-2 and forcing overtime. Gerber lost his temper after the ruling, made contact with the linesman and was ejected from the game.

There's much more from this thriller to talk about and Tarik will be back in a bit with postgame notes and quotes. In the meantime, tell us what you think:


By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 24, 2009; 9:54 PM ET
 
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Next: Laich: 'Our Energy Level Has to Come Up'

Comments

very boring game till the 3rd
would have liked the 2nd point, but we'll take what we can get

Posted by: capsfan8 | March 24, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

While not the result I wanted, there was something cool/nostalgic about hearing TO giving the Cuuuuuuuuuu again. How 90s. Gerber needs Avery therapy if he's going to go bat guano every time there is a call he doesn't like.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | March 24, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

the clips that Koken just showed really freaks me out. We're gonna see that stuff in the playoffs against more talented teams than Toronto. We are gonna be the third seed. We just aren't consistent enough to be second. NJ lost to Boston and Philly and we can't make up any ground.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 24, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Thank God there is no shootouts in the playoffs. Shootouts are exciting but so stupid, it can go either way.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 24, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

for the love of God can we PPLLLLEEEAAASSSEE not have to go on the penalty kill in the third period again with the game on the line?
having said that--
LET'S GO CAP'S!!!!!!!

Posted by: sonikitty1 | March 24, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

The shootout is like seeing who can make the most freethrows in basketball, this is a team sport, right?

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 24, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line is that we should have had no problem beating Toronto, it shouldn't have come down to a shootout. We should of taken care of them earlier in the game. But I really hope that once playoffs start we can turn it on like a light switch. 7 games left, we got to get back on track. Can't be limping into the playoffs. Carolina is charging into the playoffs.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 24, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

What the heck has happened to the forecheck? That's what got us to this point. Why have they given it up?

Posted by: Greg S. | March 24, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

The boys will be okay. They need to get over the flu, get at least 5 more points...and then get some rest!

Posted by: Terptwin | March 24, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

You should have seen the 2nd period interview with OV ...clearly a troubled player

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 24, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

All they have to do is listen to their great,wise coach as they did for the first two thirds of the year and they will win again as they did then.

Posted by: sonikitty1 | March 24, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

ludeman95: Yes... it is individual vs. individual... that's why I hate the shootout, it's not a way to determine a winner. Hockey is a team sport, you win it as a team. Thank god there is no shootout in playoffs. Listening to radio right now... scary stat.. we are averaging 1 whole goal less in the month of March then before we entered March. So we've averaged about 3.3 goals per game and in March only 2.3.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 24, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Yeah they mentioned that stat at the start of the game

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 24, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

well night folks off to the next city

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 24, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

How was Gerber's ejection not a penalty. I feel like any time a player is ejected in other sports - it's some sort of penalty... how did Gerber not get a penalty? Wierd.

The only thing I can think of is that the Caps are playing conservative right now. Not wanting to lose... maybe that is why they lost tonight. All they need is a Florida loss or a Caps win to make the playoffs... 5 points for a division win... They are 5-3-2 in their last 10. It's not bad, but considering who they are playing, it's not that great either.

Posted by: _828 | March 24, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

yeah, SC07, he looked really troubled when he went around the TO defense like a bunch of pylons with broken legs and scored without much trouble

Posted by: oldtimehockey | March 24, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, I'm not suggesting that the Caps should roll over during the remainder of the season. They can't do that and win the division. They still need five points to clinch.

I am suggesting that Boudreau roll all four lines to keep everyone sharp without wearing them out before the playoffs. I know he already has plans to do this once the flu/cold runs its course with this team.

Posted by: Terptwin | March 24, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh, SC07, enjoy the golf season. Coming soon.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | March 24, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

No no no, he's leaving, let him go

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 24, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

We need to get better 5-on-5, bottom line. We cannot sit back and wait for a Power Play in order to score. It seems like 90% of our goals lately have been on the PP.

Remember early in the year, where were lights-out on 5-on-5, but couldn't score a PP goal to save our lives? We need to get that 5-on-5 effort back.

Posted by: sargeantmofo | March 24, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

night StanleyCup1907

Posted by: _828 | March 24, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

_828: Yes, there SHOULD of been a penalty going over into OT. Refs are stupid. Ejected and no penalty? In basketball if you get ejected there are free throws... I don't think I'm getting anywhere with this.. but I think you get my point..

Posted by: rachel216 | March 24, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Two words: NOT READY!

Posted by: blanknerc | March 24, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

@Rachel and 828,

You can get a misconduct without an unsportsmanlike. I forget how under the rules, but involves things like referee abuse. (Normally verbal.)

Posted by: oldtimehockey | March 24, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

rachel - in football, you get a 15 yarder, in soccer you get a red card and are down a man. The only sport that doesn't cause any foul of some sort is baseball... and we aint playing baseball. It just didn't make any sense to me.
I have been noticing in the past few games that we are not getting many calls our way. The refs have been putting away their whistles - I wonder why.

Posted by: _828 | March 24, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I'm concerned about the Caps play as of late. But maybe if some of these people can get over the flu they'll be in better shape.

Semin should look better on Friday. At least the fellow was trying even if he didn't look 100% by any stretch of the imagination.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 24, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Is there a sign in the Locker Room that says

Must Pass Puck when Alone in Slot

Posted by: bulldog23 | March 24, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

oldtimehockey - yeah, I knew that... Semin got one because he didn't buckle his fighting strap... but, an issue with the ref is just ridiculous - I could see him getting some sort of suspension for that though.

blanknerc - what does NOT READY! mean? Playoffs? Stanley Cup? Are you going to judge the past few weeks when players have had the flu?

Posted by: _828 | March 24, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

To me it seemed that Laich pushed Gerber into the net, not the puck. Am I wrong? If that's the case, shouldn't that be interference and goal disallowed?
I guess that's why Gerber was so upset.

Posted by: mauree | March 24, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

oldtimehockey - shoving a ref I can see falling under unsportsmanlike... if Feds can get a penalty for flipping a puck over the boards, then Gerber can get a penalty for shoving the ref. Oh well, what's done is done.

Posted by: _828 | March 24, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Somebody remind me here. In the beginning of the season through about the end of December, weren't the Caps winning? Didn't we have a boatload of players injured?

Flu my butt. They're not trying for some reason.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 24, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

mauree, how many times have you seen the Flyers do that to us? I agree, but need to call it consistently across the board, but then again, isn't that every rule that is called or not called?

Posted by: _828 | March 24, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

mauree

You're right. It looked like Laich pushed Gerber into the goal. It wasn't a great angle to see, so it could have been that the ref saw the puck was loose.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 24, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

half the team was from hershey

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 24, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

When do they finally scratch Fleischman...He's been totally invisible for weeks now, if he's not putting up points he's worthless.

Posted by: topshelf | March 24, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

@828, I think the puck flipping is in the rules. Its an extension of delay of game. Where's Sombrero? He had a better memory of the official rule book. I'm working off a faded recollection.

@mauree, that is a ref judgment thing. If he's pushing puck with the goalie, its a goal; vice-versa, no sale.

@bulldog, I noticed that too. There's selfless and then there's stupid. Negative points to Semin for that blind pass/turnover in the third as well.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | March 24, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Greg S - the flu aint exactly mojo for some consistent energy... but, I feel the same way - they 'should' be dominating these teams. But, Toronto is fighting for a playoff spot, same with Carolina, Atlanta is fighting for jobs.... guess the list of excuses gets longer and longer.

Posted by: _828 | March 24, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Don't you think it's weird too that the Caps have only scored 9 goals against Toronto in 4 games and they have given up the most goals in the NHL? Maybe they play us tough?

Posted by: _828 | March 24, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

It's time to start asking whether this team is as good as we've been thinking it is. Right now, I just don't see it. We appear to have about 5 or 6 guys who can really play. We're nowhere close to Philly, NJ, or Pitt. Our defense is weak, we have no toughness or grit, and the guys who were supposed to step up and carry some of the scoring load aren't. I can't see us beating a good team in the playoffs.

Posted by: Kirg | March 24, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

_828

And I'm tired of disappointments. They should be rolling over these teams

Posted by: Greg S. | March 24, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

As for 2nd Caps goal than I think it was in (same like refs decided). Gerber didnt freeze the puck and there was no real interference unlike in previous game where Toronto scored a 2nd goal with a goalie interference

Posted by: Hazz | March 24, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Greg S., I'm not there just yet... they have a lot to learn. Hopefully all of these losses aren't a complete waste. They are 5-3-2 in the last 10 games... that's 7 games with points. That's not all bad.

Check out the top 6 teams in the league - http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?type=CON&navid=NAV|STN|Main They are not exactly doing awesome. It's the teams that are fighting for an extra season who are doing well. To be honest, I just expect them to beat the Islanders, Tampa once, and Atlanta once... that's 6 points that clinch the division. I want them to destroy Buffalo and tank the last game of the season (Florida)... prevent MTL or Pitt from making the playoffs... that's if Pitt starts to fail. But,t hat is what I expect.

Posted by: _828 | March 24, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

The 2nd goal was garbage - isn't that what we are wanting from them... to get more garbage goals that 'pretty' goals?

Posted by: _828 | March 24, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

No one wants to say it but Lou Lamorello did it twice. With 10 games left he sacked Robbie Ftorek and brought in Larry Robinson and the Dev's won the Cup. Oh I forgot they had Scott Stevens and Marty Brodeur. No such luck here. There should have been a deal at the deadline. The best deal thus far for any team was Cole to the Canes. BTW, They are not listening to BB anymore. He's especially lost Semin

Posted by: diner99 | March 24, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

How about Jokinen to the Flames? I would say that is the best deal thus far.

diner99 - man, you love the Devils!

Posted by: _828 | March 24, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we need more garbage goals from secondary scorers. I know that the top teams have pretty much taken March off so far. And it is exactly that that ticks me off. We could have been on top of the conference. We were in 2nd, but are now 3rd (tied, I know, but still 3rd because of games in hand).

I did see a few bright spots. Erskine is really playing well except for the brain cramp in the 3rd. Nylander saved us a goal in the 2nd. If he hadn't been there, this wouldn't have gone to SO, or even OT. JT played really well tonight.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 24, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

For sargeantmofo, you've noticed the Caps have mostly scored on Power plays. But the sad thing is, the refs have not hardly called any penalties on the other team lately. So, with very few opportunities on PP, of course, we don't score.

What happened to our offense? Flash had admitted that he hasn't been able to regain his conditioning after his bout with pneumonia. Pneumonia sounds nasty.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 24, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Alex Semin is a tremendous talent but he knows nothing about the game of hockey. He is a liability between the blue lines, often getting called for a penalty while playing defense, and don't pass him the puck from the Caps defensive zone, more than likely he will touch pass it back in. He gets semi breakaways and trys blind drop passes. He needs to be like Mike Bossy, skate down your wing and take a slap shot. I fear the Caps will lose there patience with him and trade him.

Posted by: wgoodm01 | March 24, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

How about Jokinen to the Flames? I would say that is the best deal thus far.

diner99 - man, you love the Devils!

Posted by: _828 | March 24, 2009 11:03 PM

I like the Devils only because how they are built. Drafting is their strongpoint. Look at their draft picks over the past 16 years. Nothing short of brilliant. I just think they are a model team just as the Red Wings are in the West.

With our team, you let the chips fall this year where they may. I know you need to add more grit in the offseason. Firstly, Eric Cole is an unrestricted free agent and would look nice next to Ovechkin and Backstrom. Package Semin with a draft pick to Anaheim for Pronger and now you have a contender.

Posted by: diner99 | March 24, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Semin's so stupid about hockey...

Sheesh!

Posted by: Greg S. | March 24, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps are 'one n done' in the playoffs this year, there will be some major lineup changes for next year and it won't be free agents, but rather via trades and more Hershey youngsters.
I'm not ready to call sell out the Caps because I think they can win a round in the playoffs this year.

Posted by: Dougeb | March 24, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

DONT PANIC!
I miss Douglas Adams.
Cujo came over those boards like he knew a suspension was coming.
Here comes one last hurrah.
May wears an A? Theres a sign.
I would like to smack the refs around with theos jock strap. humiliate them and admonish them for being so bad. all, not just tonights, though Gerber was right.
828 was right too, where was the penalty?
can't beat the lowly. that's the song I'm writing. It's a bluesy/dark thing.

Posted by: oo7 | March 24, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Yet another disgusting performance from what has become an underachieving team. I wouldn't be so frustrated and concerned if they were losing AND giving good effort. But I see little intensity from these guys. There should be legitimate worry that this team is not built to succeed in the playoffs. I was at the Canes game on Saturday, and all the guys just sort of skated around with no purpose. I saw that again tonight. This has become a team that regularly gets hemmed in its defensive zone, can't get any secondary scoring, can't maintain possessions in its offensive zone and leaves its goalie out to dry far too often. Most teams peak at about this time of year, but the Caps are plateauing at best and plummeting at worst. It's inexcusable to flop in a game to a division opponent late in the season (the 4-1 listless loss to the Canes) and to throw up a stinker to a team far behind in the standings when you're trying to clinch a division and a playoff berth (tonight's loss). These guys don't have the mental edge they need. If they did, they would've long accrued 100 points and locked up the SE. It's been a sad six or seven weeks.

Posted by: CDon | March 24, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

If Giroux has 53 goals for Hershey. Why do we not make room for him on the roster and bring him up in to maybe set a spark. Send Flash down for a couple games and maybe it will give him a wake up call. Giroux plays very hard and is tougher than Flash anyway. Instead we have bourque. Nothing against the guy. Works hard but he's not able to do much up here.

Also, Our shoot out line up is miserable

Posted by: CapsFan44 | March 25, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

@oo7

I know where *my* towel is...

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | March 25, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I like analysis without the insults. I like hearing people's assessments of the game without having to hear their hopes for our team dying, after each line in their soapbox rant. I like the Capitals a lot, even when they lose. I don't like when people insult my favorite players and wish that they be sent to the unemployment line. I don't like it when other posters remind us about the good ol' days while I've only been into Capitals hockey since October of last year. As far as I'm concerned, they're still having a great year, barring the losses we've been experiencing. Overall picture, it appears we're pretty high up in the league. I could be supporting one of my local teams, the Kings or the Ducks, but Capitals hockey was my first experience and so, I've bonded to them instead. Bottom line is that the Capitals could be doing a lot worse. For any of us to be throwing in the towel or disrespecting any or all of the players despite our standings and the wins we do have under our belt, is a disservice to them and those of us who choose to look at the glass as half full instead of half empty.

If it (the Cup thingy) happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. I'd still love the Capitals.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 25, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

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