Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Maple Leafs 6, Caps 3

Be honest, who here thought the Caps were going to crush the Leafs after Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom tallied in the opening 5:15?

I know I did.

The Caps were buzzing around the Toronto net, Vesa Toskala looked shaky and the Toronto crowd was mocking their own goalie after easy saves.

But the visitors failed to finish off the Leafs when they had the chance. Instead, they allowed Toskala to regain his confidence and let the Leafs off the hook. Once again, the Caps showed a complete lack of killer instinct, which Coach Bruce Boudreau referred to tonight as being "way too casual" on scoring chances after taking the 2-0 lead.

Boudreau also wasn't happy with the goaltending--and rightfully so. Rookie Michal Neuvirth had an admittedly "tough night." He yielded a bad rebound on the Leafs' first goal, then let Phil Kessel pull the Leafs even with an ordinary-looking wrist shot on a Toronto two-man advantage.

Boudreau wasn't pleased with the defensive coverage, either. He agreed when asked if tonight was the season's worst collective showing by his blueliners. Tough for me to disagree with that assessment. Other than Shaone Morrisonn and Tom Poti, whom Boudreau singled out for a little love, all the other D-men struggled. Boudreau didn't name names, but I can't imagine he was too happy with the way John Erskine and Milan Jurcina played the Niklas Hagman goal that tied the game 3-3 late in the second period.

Check out my game story here, then come on back for a few notes and quotes that didn't make the paper.

*No one wanted to use the charter plane issue as a excuse. But Boudreau said the delay in getting to Toronto "didn't help". And Neuvirth said not having a morning skate wasn't ideal.

Boudreau thought the lack of energy after the first 30 minutes, though, was a more a function of playing five games over the past eight nights. The games will be a little more spaced out next week, but there's a decent amount of travel involved and another set of back-to-back games on the weekend. So, in other words, it's not going to get any easier.

*The Caps yielded 17 shots in the second period. That shouldn't happen when the NHL's best team is facing the league's second worst club.

Even Ron Wilson weighed in on the Caps' subpar defensive effort.

"I don't think they're worried about, at any point in the game, about defending," Wilson told reporters. "They're thinking about the next goal."

*As I mentioned earlier, it was a rough night for Erskine, who was credited with four giveaways. He also took a holding penalty in the third period.

*For the second straight game, the Caps were whistled for too many men. That's sloppy and unacceptable -- and it kind of underscored their overall effort tonight.

That's it from me tonight. The Caps won't be on the ice again until Monday in Denver.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 12, 2009; 11:58 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tonight's lineup: Caps at Maple Leafs (Updated)
Next: Caps working on deal to move Nylander (Updated)

Comments

They need these days to rest and get it in order. Get ready for the road trip ahead.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 13, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

It sometimes seems that the Caps are the worst first place team ever.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how many time we'll hear about the lack of killer instinct but I'm already SICK of that.Very poor def but what do we expect from players like Shultz, Erskine, Juice, S.MO and Poti? It's really stupid that the best defender in our organization plays with Hershey. If we don't make some changes in our D /unload couple of them/ we can forget about the cup.

Posted by: Tondi | December 13, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Really, Tarik? You rarely see these Caps score early and then keep piling on, or even hold the lead.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | December 13, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse


【FREE】【Live streaming video online】
http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml
【totally free of charge 】
remember, it's http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: bgfgf402 | December 13, 2009 2:29 AM | Report abuse

On a night when the Capitals got out-scored by 3 goals, the following statistic tells all"

+/-
Ovechkin = 0
Backstrom = 0
Semin = +1

The rest of the team = -11

What happened to the rest of the team?

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 12, 2009 10:13 PM

That tells it all? I mean those 3 were on the ice for 2 even strength goals right? Which means that they were each on the ice for goals against as well. Yeah they were the only ones scoring, but they weren't playing well in the other end either.

Posted by: Raber | December 13, 2009 4:58 AM | Report abuse

I really don't like this Olympics schedule.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 13, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Varlamov was not playing well at the start of the season. There's no way to defend it except to point to "W"s.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 12, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

what's the sole objective of playing the games? it's to WIN... it's not to look good or play well and still end up losing.

I don't care about the save percentage or the GAA, I'll just take Varly's winning percentage any day. Every goalie has a meltdown once in a while - Patrick Roy's last game with the Canadiens was as ugly as it gets.

whoever playing goalie for this team will NOT likely be among the league leaders in GAA or save percentage because of their style. Grant Fuhr was NEVER among the leaders in either of those categories when he played for the Oilers. All he did was win and that's all that matters.

Posted by: joek443 | December 13, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

How badly does this team miss Brian Pothier right now? Juice and Erskine should never be paired together. Once again, I'm calling GMGM and saying that if Pothier is expected to be out a few weeks, put him on the LTIR so that you can call up Alzner.

Posted by: cainoo7x | December 13, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

This teAm reminds me of the team who limped into the playoffs last year. Fortunately it's only December and not April. I look for this team to rev it up after the Olympic break. No more distractions, especially for green. I personally hope 52 dies not make the Canadian roster. Would give him achance to rest up and might reinforce the need to mind his defense.

Btw on pothier. You can't just "put" someone on ltir. Needs to be signed off by a dr. To avoid playing games with the roster and salary cap.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 13, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

This teAm reminds me of the team who limped into the playoffs last year. Fortunately it's only December and not April. I look for this team to rev it up after the Olympic break. No more distractions, especially for green. I personally hope 52 dies not make the Canadian roster. Would give him achance to rest up and might reinforce the need to mind his defense.

Btw on pothier. You can't just "put" someone on ltir. Needs to be signed off by a dr. To avoid playing games with the roster and salary cap.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 13, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Why can't some of you see that Schultz is a solid defenseman. He played well again last night, very well as a matter of fact. I have no idea what some of you are watching. As far a Jurcina and Erskine, they are a joke together. I can't remember which goal it was, but CSN had a replay from behind the goal. Jurcina and Erskine were so lost they ran, into each other at least 3 times trying to push Leafs away from the front of the net. Jurcina actually knock Erskine down twice. Once he hit him so hard that both Jurcina and Erskine were completely out of the play in a heap to the left of Neuvy and the puck was up at the opposite point. I was embarrased for them. Hopefully BB splits them up. Again, Schultz played very good and the Schultz haters need to take the blinders off and enjoy the progress this young guy has made. I believe Schultz will be here for as long as he wants as the stay at home defenseman in a pairing with an offensively minded partner. If he continues progressing at this rate he will be due a substantial raise, and the Caps will pay it because he will be worth it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 13, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1

I know how LTIR works. In hockey and esp. with the Caps, it's hard to get the real story on any particular injury. In the original insider post about his injury, BB says he could be out anywhere from 1-6 weeks.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalsinsider/boudreau-pothier-out-with-a-ri.html

I imagine that in the next few days they should have an idea on whether he'll be able to return soon or if he's got a ways to go, and if it's the latter, they shouldn't have a problem getting him signed off to be placed on LTIR.

Posted by: cainoo7x | December 13, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

@ fanohock1
You are kidding about Shultz right
He is always out of position, bad with the puck, never clears the zone, never hits people, always screening our goaly, everyone beats him one on one
I don't know where did you see that he is a good def? You must be his mother or a very close relative

Posted by: Tondi | December 13, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Tondi: Absolutely not. He is #4 in the entire league in +/-. I have the game on my DVR. Please point out where he was out of position yesterday where it resulted in a goal. I will go back to it. I noted 3 occasions where Kessel came down into the zone on Schultz's side and got absolutely no where. Schultz is our best stay at home defenseman.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 13, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

@ fanohock1
"He is #4 in the entire league in +/-"
Than stat doesn't mean anything

"Schultz is our best stay at home defenseman"
that's why we have one of the worse defense in the league

I forgot to say that he is the slowest, worse skater in hockey

Take another look of the first Toronto goal!

Posted by: Tondi | December 13, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I really don't like this Olympics schedule.

Posted by: dccitizen1

I'm getting tired of hearing this. The schedule isn't that compressed. We have off a total of 16 days for the Olympics. We also started the season 9 days earlier than we did last year, and we end on the same day, 4/11.

So, we only lose a week. That means working in 2-3 games over the course of 24 weeks. That's not a very compressed schedule. There are always weeks where we play 4 games. Between last March 1 and March 21, we played 11 games.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. It's just that the Olympics have nothing to do with this.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | December 13, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Tondi: Really, the first Toronto goal? Just watched it on the DVR. Kessel was kept to the outside, put a routine shot on net (Laughlin said it was a routine shot during the replay, and said that Neuvy HAS to have those) the juicy rebound went to the opposite side of the net and banged home. Schultz did everything right. He kept a fast man in Kessel away from the middle of the ice, let him take a shot at the net without screening his goaltender from a low % scoring area. He played that perfectly. He was on the ice for the goal, but I asked that you provide an example of his poor play that resulted in a goal. Sorry, you got an "F" with that example.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 13, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@ fanohock1
dude now I'm sure you're Shultz's mother

Posted by: Tondi | December 13, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The +/- stat is one of 4 major stats that the NHL puts on its stat page for skaters. Those that say it is a worthless stat are way off base. The NHL obviously considers that an important stat. In the MVP and Norris trophy award tallies, +/- ratio is always a stat included.

Schultz gets, what 700K/800K this season? His contract is up I believe, and he will get 1.5mil at the very least and will be worth every penny.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 13, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Tondi: Now i know you realize you have no good examples because you have resorted to personal balogna. Where are all of hockey fans that over the last few weeks have come to the realization that Schultz is developing into a good defenseman. I can't remember who said it just this week, and it wasn't me, that Green and Shultz would be a pairing here in DC for a long time. Tondi is stuck in October hockey fans.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 13, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The Caps team defense is 16th in the league as far as GA, at 2.79. That's not bad considering between save percentages 89.9 for Theo, and 84.5 have played in 18 of our games. Need better save percentage than that from you goaltenders before you can start blaming the defense. Varly on the other hand has raised his save percentage to 92.4, very solid, but not lights out, but good enough to go 12-1-2 when he's between the pipes. The lesson here. If you goaltender can put up numbers that are expected your team will win. Neuvy didn't do anyone any favors last night, least of all himself.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 13, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I think Schultz has been fine. Even last season when everyone was blasting the bid g kid. He plays a very simple/good game. Coach B has ALWAYS liked him, he is young and will even continue to get more complete.

I think we would have won with Theo in net last

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 13, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Agree with you on Schultz. He is one of our better defensemen.

Ot at least he's one of the least of our worries in that department.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Neuvy certainly didn't do the team any favors. Is he suffering from a case of "noives"? Or are we truly up the proverbial creek on this roadtrip since Varly is expected to be out until Dec 23.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

People that don't think +/- is a relevant statistic need to stop considering themselves experts and get back to the Nintendo.

55 is an excellent hockey player.

Posted by: goalpost | December 13, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@Capsfannmiss

On the goalies. I don't know if it would have helped but I would have started Neuvy on Friday against Carolina. I figure -- give Theo an extra day off. (I noticed that Buffalo had given Ryan Miller Friday off.) I was figuring the kid (Neuvirth) would have a better chance with the home crowd.

And then I think Theo might have been "fresher" on Saturday. His recent work seems to be giving up three goals. (Then again, maybe things would have worked out worse.)

I hope that Neuvirth can do better next time. Otherwise, I really fear for the team on this road trip. They face Colorado who has a hot goaltender -- Anderson. Then they face Vancouver who had Luongo on their roster. (No, the Caps aren't the team that they'll rest their #1.) Their last game is against Edmonton and it's a back to back.

At this point, I'll be happy with 1 win on the road trip.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I think Sarge has played well lately. The weak members on the defense are Jurcina and Erskine. They should not be paired together.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | December 13, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I saw the poll on how fans thought the Caps would do on the current road trip. People actually thought they'd get 6-7 points. That now seems overly optimistic, given the state of our goal tending.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

This shows how much we all miss Varly.

Posted by: goalpost | December 13, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@nimrodrsp

Agreed. Schultz is the least of our worries for defense. (Yet, he's the guy everyone criticized so badly last year.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@goalpost

I'll be happy if we win ONE game on this road trip. I even thought 6-7 points on the road trip was overly optimistic even if we still had Varly. We are terrible on long west coast road trips and, with him, I would have expected 2-3 wins. Now, just hope for one win and that Atlanta does not get hot this week. (The Thrashers have 4 games, one against a good team.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

From Japer's - "the power play is now 18.6% successful in the games AO has played and 40.6% in the eight games he's missed."

That is just incredible. You can't leave the best offensive player in the game off the PP, but doesn't the huge discrepancy in this stat speak for itself. Is there an explanation that I'm missing? Maybe it means moving Ovi off the point and letting B-Mo run it.

Posted by: hook99 | December 13, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

People that don't think +/- is a relevant statistic need to stop considering themselves experts and get back to the Nintendo.

55 is an excellent hockey player.

Posted by: goalpost

i've read before that +/- can be a useful stat when comparing players on the same team. the overall +/- from team to team doesn't work very well.
the examples would be:
calgary is +20 - a minus for a player would not be very good
carolina is -31 - a plus on this team would be great

the caps are +18 - ovi is 1st at +16 and sarge is 2nd at +14. i'd say that would indicate he is playing very good.
other d men that have played at least 20 games: juice=-1, shamo=-4
steckel=-4 and clark is last at -6
all other players with at least 20 games are +'s

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 13, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if someone has said it yet, but it's being reported that Nylander has been loaned to Grand Rapids for the rest of the year, and supposedly this takes his cap hit off the salary.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 13, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

FYI, I haven't been able to officially confirm ^, but I am still googling!

Posted by: richmondphil | December 13, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"I really don't like this Olympics schedule.

Posted by: dccitizen1

I'm getting tired of hearing this. The schedule isn't that compressed. We have off a total of 16 days for the Olympics. We also started the season 9 days earlier than we did last year, and we end on the same day, 4/11.

So, we only lose a week. That means working in 2-3 games over the course of 24 weeks. That's not a very compressed schedule. There are always weeks where we play 4 games. Between last March 1 and March 21, we played 11 games.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. It's just that the Olympics have nothing to do with this. Posted by: TheDoubleAlex"

Thank you for clarifying that for me, TheDoubleAlex. I guess I must have been succumbing to the media hype about how compressed the schedule has been.

I do agree with dcsportsfan1, and I've said it before on the CI, I really hope that Green doesn't make the Olympics. I think the Olympics is a huge distraction and gives rise to the possibility of injuries, and to me , the SC is more important. Maybe the players consider Olympic gold for their country more important.

Anyway, it would be fine with me if the Olympics was truly an amateur event, but I'm sure that's asking too much, especially when kids start turning pro at 18.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 13, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I saw the poll on how fans thought the Caps would do on the current road trip. People actually thought they'd get 6-7 points. That now seems overly optimistic, given the state of our goal tending.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 12:14 PM |

You guys are blowing this goaltending thing way out of the water.

Theo will be fine and Neuvy had a bad game. Really...it's not the end of the world with Varly out. Now, if this were the playoffs....

Posted by: richmondphil | December 13, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

im not saying that erskine played well or schultz played bad, but if you want to say schultz is so awesome because of his +/- and erskine sucks....well they were both even last night. just saying

Posted by: _stevo | December 13, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

dccitizen1:
or the winter olympics could be played in the southern most part of south america or australia during their winter which would be the nhl's off season

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 13, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil - Completely agreed. Hyper-sensitive Caps fans...

Posted by: gonchpup | December 13, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

what's the sole objective of playing the games? it's to WIN... it's not to look good or play well and still end up losing.

I don't care about the save percentage or the GAA, I'll just take Varly's winning percentage any day. Every goalie has a meltdown once in a while - Patrick Roy's last game with the Canadiens was as ugly as it gets.

whoever playing goalie for this team will NOT likely be among the league leaders in GAA or save percentage because of their style. Grant Fuhr was NEVER among the leaders in either of those categories when he played for the Oilers. All he did was win and that's all that matters.

Posted by: joek443 | December 13, 2009 8:12 AM |

I love how you conveniently left off the second sentence in that post.

So if a goalie lets in 6 soft goals, it's okay because the team can score 10 goals to make up for it? That is beyond ridiculous.

Wins is certainly the only stat that really matters, but when we are judging the play of a goalie, you are telling me that if he wins, period, he is world-class? Do you know how backwards that logic sounds?

Posted by: richmondphil | December 13, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Also, ^ that's why Grant Fuhr will never be considered into the tier that Brodeur, Roy, and Hasek reside in.

He may have the hardware + to match them, but it's plainly obvious (looking at an "adjusted" save percentage; adjusted like the Corsi is) that Fuhr never had the objective, raw ability that the 3 had.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 13, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

_stevo: I know you are an Erskine fan but even you had to be embarrassed for him and Jurcina during the replay that showed Jurcina and Erskine falling on each other and not touching a leaf. Erskine plays pretty good with Pothier but Jurcina and Erskine to not compliment each other at all.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 13, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Hockeybuzz is reporting Nylander being loaned to grand Rapids for the rest of the year. Then again, it is Hockeybuzz, so I'm assuming it's false. Can Tarik confirm either way??

Posted by: Hatfield223 | December 13, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@Hatfield

I have been googling it non-stop since I read that, but no dice.

BTW, it's not really hockeybuzz reporting it (meaning retards like Ek), it was Steve Hindle. He is usually solid with his news, but tsn, dregger, mckenzie, etc...none of them have info and I'd trust them more.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 13, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock

fair enough. erskine and jurcina don't play well at all together

Posted by: _stevo | December 13, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

christmas came early nylander is gone!

Posted by: caps512 | December 13, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Don't get too excited. It's not confirmed anywhere.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 13, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked that no one is stating the obvious - Neuvy, as athletic as he is, has a lot to learn. He was out of position on at least 3 of those goals. BMo missed a gaping net, Ovie and Semin both got robbed by Toskala, which would have probably put the game out of reach at that point. Sometimes, you put up a stinker. It's outrageous how people here start crying that the sky is falling after one bad loss.

One of the main problems (if there are any) is that we have been battling injuries for the last 2 months so as soon as a line starts clicking, a regular comes back and everything gets shuffled around. I'm sure BB has a lot of adjustments to make to get things rolling smoothly now that the injuries are starting to let up. But this is no reason to get all worked up about a rough game.

Posted by: snakegriffin | December 13, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Neuvy, as athletic as he is, has a lot to learn. He was out of position on at least 3 of those goals.

_____________

I thought he was supposed to be our technically sound goalie though? /sarcasm

Posted by: richmondphil | December 13, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The obvious stated.
Varlamov > Theodore > Neuvirth. Not worried though. The Caps still make the playoffs. The regular season doesn't mean jack. Figure the format gives 16/30 a shot for glory. 53%. We got this one.

Posted by: lornemyoung | December 13, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I think Neuvirth was suffering from some jitters and the Caps defense last night didn't do much to help him out. I think his next outing will be more successful. We really need to get Alzner up here, and quickly.

Posted by: reesem37 | December 13, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"or the winter olympics could be played in the southern most part of south america or australia during their winter which would be the nhl's off season

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ "

Now that's a great idea! But I guess it would be kind of hard to convince the Olympic committee to do that since it would be during the northern hemisphere's summer season.

I suppose that most NHL teams have to deal with the whole "Olympics" thing, so the Caps are not unique in that aspect.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 13, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I have heard that they've been talking about having the hockey Olympic games in the summer after the season is over. However, it seems remote, but who knows. I heard mention somewhere along the way that another sport (soccer???) has their Olympic games at a separate time from the regular. It seems, though, that something would sure be lost from the experience -- the whole Olympic experience. So many considerations . . .

Posted by: Steakum | December 13, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil
I tuned in Grand Rapids pre-game show. I'll let you know if they say anything...

http://griffinshockey.com/home/

Posted by: tess2201 | December 13, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

This from Steve Hindle 10 min. ago:

"Expect the team to break the news by tomorrow morning.

If I get anything more concrete than what I am reporting at the moment, I promise I will pass it along as quick as possible.

I am unsure if any of the other outlets have posted anything about it yet, so once they start doing it, you will know I wasn't messing around.

On that note, for those of you who read me, please understand that I do not try to post information I have no knowledge of. I would not have posted this without being confident about where it's coming from."

Posted by: Steakum | December 13, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

I agree with you on Green and the Olympics. I actually would rather see him rest. Plus I'm not overly fond of Canada's cast of characters anyhow. We've got Crosby, along with the main stars of the Flyers (Richards and Carter, not to mention Pronger).

Yes, I'm like the parent who doesn't want my kid to make the football team (or cheerleading squad) since I don't like the other kids that are on it.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Yes, I know I'm overly concerned about the state of our goaltending, especially when facing a long, brutal roadtrip just after a single home game (after another long road trip).

I will feel much better as soon as we get a good game under our belt. (And I will stop yearning for Ryan Miller. Yes, I've been in a "trade my first born child" for Ryan Miller sort of mood, or the Caps' equivalent of it.)

I still think the Caps will win the division and be up there in the Conference for points (either 1st or 2nd). We won't be the 3rd place who'd be an 8th seed otherwise. And we won't be a squeak into 8th place sort of team. Mood: optimistic for the long term for the season. Pessimistic for the immediate road trip.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Wins is certainly the only stat that really matters, but when we are judging the play of a goalie, you are telling me that if he wins, period, he is world-class? Do you know how backwards that logic sounds?

Posted by: richmondphil | December 13, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

the last time I checked hockey is still a team sport. This is what's wrong with sports today, frigging fantasy leagues. Too many people paying way too much attentions to too many worthless stats.

if you want beauty points, watch figure skating.

Posted by: joek443 | December 13, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"On that note, for those of you who read me, please understand that I do not try to post information I have no knowledge of. I would not have posted this without being confident about where it's coming from"

Prepare to hear nothing more about this.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | December 13, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

This is from Steve Hindle

Nylander to GR for Rest of the Year


This is what I have been told.

Expect an announcement or for the word to start spreading soon.


I will be back in a bit with more details.

From what I can understand, the purported deals to teams in Europe never met the criteria that Michael and his agent had established. This is an interesting maneuver as it will officially free up Michael's cap space from the Capitals payroll.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 13, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

This is from TEB's twitter

Caps confirm they are working to send Michael Nylander to AHL Grand Rapids on a standard loan.
14 minutes ago from UberTwitter

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 13, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

There's only one problem with playing the Olympics for hockey in the Southern Hemisphere -- nobody there cares about hockey. It's purely a Northern hemisphere thing.

My own feeling is play it after the Stanley Cup. At least we have the Winter Olympics and the Summer Olympics in different years. I would still start the NHL season earlier (as we are doing now) but have it end earlier as well. Start the main Olympic camp during the same time from as the SC (and let the stragglers from the SC teams catch up when its over). And do the Olympics in mid-late June.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: Your post about not wanting Green on the same team as some of the other Canadian "kids" made me chuckle! I never looked at it that way, but it's a funny point. I just want Mike to stay healthy. (I also want a #52 jersey from Santa.)

I still don't think you'll ever get a hockey Olympics event in June. But, then again, I've been wrong before and will be many more times in this life.

So, if Nylander goes to the AHL in Grand Rapids, what happens to the salary cap?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 13, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

@reesem37

I hope Neuvirth (our New kid on the block) gets over his case of the "noives" and proves his "virth" in his next game. (Couldn't resist the bad puns.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

I'm glad I made you laugh. If Green is not on the Canadian team, I'll have no problem rooting against Canada in the Olympics, especially when either the US or Russia plays them. Canada is the big bad team this year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Standard loan means 92 off the cap just like if he was sent to khl.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 13, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow--what depressive talk today. Nothing like a bad loss to bring out the insecurities that reside in the psyche of a Caps fan. First of all the players to complain about last night it shouldn't be Schultz. He is an excellent stay at home d-man who neutralizes plays quietly. Flashy and hard hitting no, but fulfills his role on the team admirably. Having said that our defense was definitely lacking last night. Aside from Neuvy being a rookie and having no game time until last night, no chance to get on the ice on game day, and getting loads of shots without much defensive help it I thought Neuvy was in a tough position last night. And once he got rattled that was it. He's inexperienced and it showed. Last Jurcina has much better chemistry with Alzner so I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will be seeing Alzner soon.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 13, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Remember when Varly first played last season the players were more careful and more disciplined around him at first. They gave him time to get into a groove. Not so last night. We just need to get Neuvy more NHL experience and play better in front and get Irbe and Theo to work with him. One bad game does not make him a liability. He will learn from this and get better.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 13, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns

Alzner played well with Juice this year (as well as last year).

For Neuvy's first NHL start, the Caps played well for him and he got the win. One of his later starts was the game where he let in the penalty shot. I agree, the "new kid" needs some more experience and some more work with Irbe. If I remember correctly, BB mentioned that Caps haven't had much practice, due to all the games in such a short period of time. (And the flight delays haven't helped any.)

So then the "new kid" can prove his "virth" and get over the "noives". It's too soon to give up on Neuvy.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 13, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

For those saying above, Schultz is one of our better d-men - that may well be true - but what does that say about our overall D?

GMGM doesn't like to admit when he's wrong, but failing to address the D situation in the offseason [once again] will come back to bite us in the playoffs [once again].

Posted by: govtimbo | December 14, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company