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Ovechkin: 'We Never Give Up'

Matt Bradley came into the night with no playoff goals in 21 career games. After tonight's 4-0 win over the Rangers, the checking-line winger now has as many as Alex Ovechkin in this playoff series.

Bradley scored not once, but twice in the opening 12:07 to help the Caps stave off elimination. Game 6 is Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Bradley's second goal, which came from a tight angle along the boards, did more than put the Caps ahead 2-0. It also put a chink in Henrik Lundqvist's armor. Lundqvist had been the Rangers' best player in New York's three wins, but he watched the third period from the bench after yielding all four goals on 14 shots.

Some other items of interest:

Avery Out
Sean Avery, as I'm sure you've read by now, did not play. Rangers Coach John Tortorella refused to elaborate on the reason for benching the agitator, but it's probably safe to assume that it had something to do with the two penalties he took in the third period of Game 4 as the Rangers clung to a one-goal lead.

"It was my decision, and that's what it was," he said.

All Wet
Speaking of Tortorella, he was involved in a heated exchange with fans behind the Rangers' bench. After reportedly being heckled by fans, Tortorella turned and hurled a water bottle into the stands, striking a season ticket holder on the head. Tortorella also appeared to take a stick and wave it angrily to the seats, which are separated from the bench by plexiglass.

Check out the video here:

It's unclear if Tortorella will face any disciplinary action for the incident. But you can be sure the league will be reviewing it. Check Barry Svrluga's story for more details.

Tortorella declined to discuss the matter.

Varlamov Shines
Although Varlamov only faced a handful of dangerous scoring chances from the offensively challenged Rangers, the rookie was good when he needed to be, stopping all 20 shots he faced to record his second shutout of the playoffs. He's now the second Caps goalie to record multiple shutouts in the season playoff season, joining Olie Kolzig (four in 1998).

Varlamov has stopped 95 of 98 shots.

And that puck he threw into the crowd at the end of the game? That was to his girlfriend.

"I'm just going to keep letting him go," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I don't want to get into his head. I don't want to talk to him."

Let's See That Again
Ovechkin's second-period goal was about as pretty as they come. First he beat Chris Drury, then he put the puck through Derek Morris's skates, then kicked the puck to his stick before beating Lundqvist.

The crowd responded with an ear-splitting chant of "MVP, MVP."

Quote of the Night
Asked if the Caps would be returning to the District for Game 7 on Tuesday, Ovechkin said: "That's our goal. We never give up. We fight. We know the situation, but we love it."

Quote of the Night, Part II
The first thing I thought of was the '60 Yankees against the Pirates. You go back through your history. The Yankees won three games by 10 runs and they lost the series because Pittsburgh won four games by one. It doesn't matter whether you lose by one or 10. They changed goaltenders and they're saving everything for Sunday.

Odds and Ends
The Rangers came in having blocked 79 shots (to the Caps' 43) in four games. Tonight, the Caps blocked 21 shots to the Rangers' 11. ...Bradley got the hard hat.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 25, 2009; 12:21 AM ET
 
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Next: NHL Reviewing Tortorella Incident

Comments

"Tortorella turned and hurled into the stands, striking a season ticket holder on the head."

lol. That sounds disgusting!

Posted by: Hobes | April 25, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Bandwagoner here. Just came back from my FIRST Caps game. I never stopped believing. WE WILL WIN.

Posted by: yrb1 | April 25, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Glad you never gave up, Ovi.

Now time for the Caps to beat NY in NY. Show them who's boss. Avenge the loss from Wednesday.

I'd like to see a Game 7 -- in OUR house.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Great effort tonight. what can you say about Ovi that hasn't been said before.

Our PP is still very worrisome. I'm thinking we will need to score on the PP to win in NY because they are going to come out like they did in game 4. We HAVE to score on the PP.

If we win in NY, then I feel very good about our chances.

Flash is still non-existent and Fedorov and Green are clearly playing hurt. Let's get this done people.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 25, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

wierd that they let the guy in the stands back in the game after throwing junk on the coach. i am surprised about that.

carrying over from the last posting, i thought this was a terrible game for pothier. he got spun around and avoided giving out hits in his own zone. i thought it was wierd b/c he had played well so far.

Posted by: am_jim | April 25, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

I love each and every one of you.

Even sc1907 and Cheef.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 25, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

I see they reorganized the lines for today. I saw they also reorganized the power play. The new lines seem to help. Bradley looks good with Gordon and Laich.

The new PP group seemed to have more energy but they still didn't score. (Maybe our "normal" unit was getting a bit burned out.)

I hope Green is better by Sunday. He still looked off even though he claims he's healthier.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Moose33: if the caps make it past the rangers I don't think you need to worry about the PP. It wasn't a fluke that the rangers had the best PK all year, they have a great pk, most teams arnt that good, so it will work better against other teams than against the rangers.

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 25, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Just keep theodore on the bench! please!

Posted by: loudva2 | April 25, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

anybody know of anybody who was in Section 101 tonight? I really want to know what that dude said to tortorella that made him blow a gasket like that.

Then we'd really know how to get in the coach's head, and we could plaster midtown manhattan with the phrase.

Posted by: large23220 | April 25, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Ya, I'd love to hear the rest of the story about the Torts altercation. Regardless, I can't believe he engaged a fan. That guy is such a hot head.

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 25, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

So after some celebration...some thoughts.

The rangersfan guy posting. The word "objectivity", please figure it out. I agree somewhat with the other guy that the refs have been consistent...ly inconsistent. But as long as they're calling bad penalties against both teams and missing legit calls at an even rate I don't care.

I think it's time we stop claiming the Rangers have had better goaltending now in this series. Theo, Game 1. That is the difference in this series right now. We put 3 behind Lundy in Game 1, 4 behind him in both Games 3 and 5. In the Rangers other 2 wins (besides Theo's stinker) they've been good (Lundy) and pretty lucky (posts, odd bounces off our D men). We are the better team in this series, that is clear as day to anyone actually watching.

That being said...unless we play as well as we can and take luck out of the equation for Games 6 and 7, it would still be 1 and done and no one to blame but ourselves. Just like tonight, have to take it one game at a time, can't win both of the games Sunday, just have to weather the early storm and have the goal in mind to bring the series back home for Game 7.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 25, 2009 2:27 AM | Report abuse

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/playoffs/2009/news?columnist=lebrun_pierre&id=4097766

This is why I like LeBrun...he sees what is actually going on.

About the highlight though...how about some Varly love? 95 out of 98 shots saved? 3 goals against in 4 games? The CAPITALS D only allowing 7 goals in 5 games? If these stats don't let it be known it's a total fluke we're the team down 3-2 in this series I don't know what will. Fact remains we need to come out and give it even more on Sunday. It's going to be a good weekend.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 25, 2009 2:40 AM | Report abuse

its not a fluke Dave. I've watched 100+ playoff series in my life and I can honestly say the Rangers have not "fluked" their way into a 3-2 series lead. My gut tells me, no matter what happened tonite, the Rangers will win game 6 and the series and lose in the next series. They really aren't a great team, they have a very anemic PP and offense that consists of basically giving their point men a chance to fire the puck at the net and their forwards create interference. That won't be good enough to advance into round 3, but it unfortunately will be good enough to beat the Caps in round 1.

I thought we played a good game tonight until about the last 15 mins of the game where we conceded everything. It wasnt a good way to close out the game and head into game 6. To me the bright spots besides the obvious (Brads, Varly) was Dave Steckel and Eric Fehr. That was the best both of them have played in about 2 months. Mo also played a really energetic solid game on D. This org will be making a big mistake when they cut him loose this offseason.

And cheers to the hershey bears for sweeping the Philly Phantoms. Hope to see John Carlson take the lineup vs the Baby Penguins in round 2

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2009 5:07 AM | Report abuse

anybody know of anybody who was in Section 101 tonight? I really want to know what that dude said to tortorella that made him blow a gasket like that.>>>

he said that Torts was lucky that the Lightning got him a Stanley Cup win under his belt and that Torts and Bob Hartley have 2 things in common- they are both mediocre coaches who lucked into a great team that won the cup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2009 5:10 AM | Report abuse

Tortarella is insane!! He looks like he wants to kill somebody!! He's a coach and he should not be acting like that! I'd be so embarrassed if our coach did that! Mad man!!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 25, 2009 5:50 AM | Report abuse

I am in Miami until monday... Was at a dinner party last night and insisted on watching the game on the tube. I hope the Caps realize that its just a 2 game series now, 2 games. The Rangers are not a great team. They need to put it together for 2 more games. This series should be 3-2 Was. I want game 7 here in DC.

The question is that I am horrible luck when it comes to watching the Caps at the VC. I have witnessed 11 losses in person, including games 1 and 2. Game 5, I'm in Miami we win... I'm STH now. WTF do I do?

Posted by: JSchon | April 25, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

I didn't see the water bottle from 105, but I did see the back & forth. Totorella was out of control, screaming at the fans and giving them the finger. The thing with the stick; I think ostensibly Totorella was trying to hold up the glass, as the fans had dislodged it.

Leonsis was directly behind in his box, jabbing his finger towards Totorella, screaming at the top of his lungs in response.

Seemed like the whole thing just kept going, like for 3 minutes or more. Totorella couldn't let go.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 25, 2009 7:15 AM | Report abuse

JSchon -- I'm afraid you have no choice. Obviously you'll have to stay in Miami.

Apparently those prior losses were your fault. And I thought Game 1 was on Theo

Posted by: Sonyask | April 25, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Tortorella cannot control himself or Avery. He should be fined and suspended for the playoffs if Bettman had any guts. HE WAS WAVING A STICK AT FANS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? WHEN IS THIS MANIAC BEHAVIOR FROM THE RANGERS GOING TO STOP?!?!? What a disgrace; the owner should take him off the bench because it is embarrassment to the Rangers and the game. What a loud mouth idiot.

Posted by: mjwies11 | April 25, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

cstanton1,

I agree with you, the Rangers are where they are because they have earned it. On the matter of the series outcome, I hope your gut instinct is incorrect.

Tortilla has to rise above the smack talk don't you think? What an example to set for Avery.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 25, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

How ironic that Torts held Avery out for, essentially, the same behavior that he himself exhibited last night.

The Capitals clearly are the superior team. Whether they win the series is in doubt, but nobody can convince me that the Rangers are a better squad.

Posted by: MyJobsMyCredit | April 25, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the Post picture on the jump page, and Sruvgula's article, I see how I thought Tortorella was trying to hold up the glass. But actually, he was trying to push the glass toward the crowd and the usher was holding it up against Tortorella's effort. I was mistaken -- Tortorella was obviously the aggressor.

I guess they put that glass there to protect the fans from the other team's coach.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 25, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

@ JSchon

I hope it is easy to find Caps games in Miami. I am heading down there Monday and will need to find a good spot to watch Tuesday night. I have a real bad feeling of deja vu. Last season I had to watch game 7 vs. the Flyers from a bar while also on biz travel.

Go Caps!

Posted by: crooks_c | April 25, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I liked Tom Renney better.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 25, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Erskine, Mo, Juice, Poti, and Pothier have played really well lately. They have been physical and pretty strong with outlet passes That's most of our D! No matter what happens this season, we should be in good shape next year with a healthy Green and Alzner. (I'd keep Mo over Schultz.) This is still mostly a young group, but they ARE gaining experience and seem to be coming along quite nicely.

If we win on Sunday at MSG, I think we could very well get rolling and advance to face the B's in the Eastern Conference finals!

Posted by: TJ91 | April 25, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

The team that played last night - the one with speed and intensity and a brilliant goalie - CAN go deep into the playoffs.

Keep it up, Caps. Keep those bodies flying all over the ice. NYR going to be down and dirty, I think, in game 6. lets bring it home.

Posted by: bluejeener1 | April 25, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

torts was right to get ballistic. he got a drink dumped on him. that's not a dc move, it's a Ny move. and since there was a guy just 3 down with a rags jersey, it's safe to assume (always, heh) it was an angry rags fan that spent a load of cash to sit behind the bench to see the rags win. I wouldn't suspend him for it; jeez, some over sensitive people around here, begging for suspensions all series long. what are we, pens fans?

Ny will come out hard Sunday. Don't weather the storm, boys. Make your own. Do what you did last night and you'll be back on Tuesday. there is no try, only do or do not. ( in the case of the last three star wars movies, do not would have been better. zing.)

Posted by: oo7 | April 25, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

The only difference between this so called putrid performance by the Rangers and how they played in the games they won was goaltending. For once Henrik didn't stand on his head and we see the result.

Rangers are the worst team to qualify for the playoffs in the East. They can't make 2 passes in a row. They pretty much suck as a team. Crappy team with a great goalie is all they are. A gift by Theo and 2 steals by Henrik account for their 3 wins.

Also, we all knew Tortorella was a pleasant fellow. The guy looks like a serial killer ready to strangle someone at any given moment. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when he was telling Avery that he won't play.

Posted by: ranndino | April 25, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Caps know just what to do. Laich's prediction that "bodies will be flying" came true. The Rags will be far better tomorrow. Send the bodies flying!

Posted by: Sonyask | April 25, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

It sounds like Tortorelli is out of control at the moment. The Post article said that HE was the aggressor in the bottle throwing incident. Let the Rangers take their cue from him and remain out of control. And let the Caps take the game in NY as a result.

I keep wanting to call him Tortellini.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I guess that constitutes a tort by Torts.

Posted by: uncatim | April 25, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Tarik I realize that you don't have much control over this but could you talk to whoever is responsible for this ridiculous "live game chat"? I know that the Post is trying to attract the Twitter freaks but it moves way to fast and is impossible to read and watch the game at the same time. The beauty of the posts on here is that you can read them during stoppage in play and actually learn something from people who see what I don't.

Posted by: MKadyman | April 25, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Very cheesy version of AO's goal last night. But I love it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dE-xW0SZ_g

VC was total insanity last night. Could not hear a thing in the intermission clips. This was the jumping up and down, hugging strangers, accidental beer dumping type of game. Awesome.

Posted by: dukster | April 25, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Just to give some love to Varly, it almost seems like the question now is not how do the Caps beat Lundstrom but how do the Rangers beat Varly. They scored a grand total of 3 goals on him.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 25, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

@ Tarik

I'm enjoying the expanded Post coverage, including the larger photos. That said, Bradley deserved the front (Sports) page photo today!

Posted by: TJ91 | April 25, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

What the Caps SHOULD be doing is screaming bloody murder to the league because Torts assaulted their fans. What Leonsis is LIKELY to do however, is blame the fans for heckling Torts.

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 25, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

uncatim:
Arh, arh!

CapsFan75:
I bet being called that is what has made him such an angry and bitter man. Having said that, I would love to be there when you said it to him, so if you ever get a chance, please give me a shout first!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 25, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@Boo,

No, I haven't met Tortorelli, personally. So, I couldn't call him Tortellini to his face ever.

But I used to know the fan who he threw stuff at.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Yes, we still have our backs to the wall and have to go back to NY.

If we manage to pull out this series, it will feel really sweet. Okay, the odds are against us but they're better than zero.

I've followed too many baseball teams who've had 3 game to 1 edges, only to blow them.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@uncatim

'.....tort by Torts...' That's pretty funny.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Pogues -- Leonsis was screaming at tortellini, and angrily pointing a finger at him. He's not apologizing for him

Posted by: Sonyask | April 25, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

I know what you mean about seeing the Caps lose at VC.

I had bought a bunch of tickets for the Caps this year and saw them win a bunch in Nov, Dec, and Jan. Then, I saw them lose to Columbus and then win vs Detroit. After that, it was all losses in games I was seeing, climaxing with the Buffalo game where the Buffalo fans at VC were totally obnoxious. I was starting to think I was a jinx to the team. (I had sold off my tickets to the Carolina game in mid-March and they won that one!)

I finally saw a win on Fan Appreciation Night so the jinx (i.e. bad streak) was broken. For the playoffs, I sold off my tickets to Game 1 (they lost). I attended Game 2 (they lost). I attended last night's game (they won). I hope you see a win in Game 7.

(Won't be watching Game 6 vs the Rangers on TV. Off watching the Balt Orioles, instead.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

The one thing I learned last night is that in this series we now have the better goalie. That's not any career judgement on Henrik or where Semyon will be in three or five years. For right now, over the last four games, and for the next two, the Caps have the better goalie. That not something most of use could have imagined happening at Verizon vs. the Rangers. This team is completely different with Varlamov behind them: the defense skates and passes differently, forwards back check, and the players have decided to let Semyon make the saves. There were plays where a defender, in the past, may have hooked the opposition but last night they let them go - at least avoiding the penalty - and let Semyon do his thing. It's a different team.

I don't think it's too late but it's going to be hot in NY tomorrow. I've cleared my schedule on Tuesday night. I've got a date with Game 7, I hope she doesn't stand me up.

Posted by: saintex | April 25, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
I figured you didn't know Torts, I would just love to see someone call him that to his face. He's such a hot head! What do you mean you used to know the guy he was throwing stuff at?

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 25, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: You'll be watching the Orioles instead of the Caps?! Are you kidding?? :(

Posted by: rachel216 | April 25, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The freakin' Orioles? Sunday means everything. With a win they will set the stage for what could be a monumental achievement for the franchise. Is there a place people go in Maryland to hang and watch the game?

Posted by: ridgely1 | April 25, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Ovie needs to stop saying those incredible goals are "lucky." There's no luck, it's all skill and he won't admit it!

CapsFan75: Shame on you for watching the O's instead of the CAPS!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 25, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, the Rags have to be thinking, "How do we put one past THIS guy?" as opposed to what the storyline was supposed to be, the other way around.

ALso, what's beautiful about this, is the Rags' power play is so bad, and our PK has been good enough, that basically we should just take a penalty on any good scoring chance (like we did twice last night), because they aren't going to score on the PP.

Posted by: jhamond1 | April 25, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"Ovie needs to stop saying those incredible goals are "lucky." There's no luck, it's all skill and he won't admit it! "

Posted by: rachel216

With skill, hard work and determination comes luck. I love that Ovi calls that sort of play luck, because we already know how much insane skill he has!!! And if what he did last night is just what he deems as luck, then watch out! That he call it luck just makes that play even better in my mind! Lets hope he has some more luck on Sunday!!!


GO CAPS!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | April 25, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton

I didn't mean to say the Rangers being in this series was a total fluke...I meant that everything that could have gone right for them while getting outplayed the entire series, has. Henrik has obviously stolen 2 games, but he's been lucky as well as very good in those wins. In one of them, they got 2 what I consider fluky goals to seal a 2-1 win.

Obviously anything can happen, but if we play our game, we will win Game 6 and bring the series back to Verizon Center. It's not Henrik that should be talked about right now. We've put 3, 4, and 4 goals behind him in 3 out of the 5 games of the series. There's no fear for us going up to MSG.

My big question is how are the Rangers going to win? They'll have to pull off a 1-0, 2-1 game, because they're getting nothing past Varly right now. Our PP is bound to wake up sooner or later, and if the Rags come out frustrated and juiced up and give us a few chances with the extra man early in Game 6...it could be 2-0 real fast with them trying to figure out how they can even get 2 goals out of their offense against our goalie.

We put ourselves behind the 8 ball digging a hole, but if the bounces run even, and we play our game we're going to win the series. I have no doubts in my mind.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 25, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

They need to match the intensity the Rangers will bring tomorrow at MSG. If they do and get the first goal, we will see a game 7

Posted by: diner99 | April 25, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Dave: I agree with you. This is why we will win this series. To be real, the last goal the Rangers scored in this series was game 2, the goal that Callahan scored, which was pretty much unstoppable. Game 4 was fluky and extremely lucky for the Rangers and unlucky for us. They got two goals where they didn't have to do anything and we hit about 3 posts. Realistically, I think we need two goals tomorrow, that's it.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 25, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The Rags look like they're hoping they can somehow get an opportunistic goal or two, then pray Lundy can win the game for them. That's how they've looked all series since Theo got benched.

The other thing that gives me confidence is we've been doing it mostly without our PP clicking at all. We also have horses in reserve here, that haven't shown up yet but are showing signs of life. Green had his best game by far last night, I agree with you CS that Fehr, Steckel, and even Feds in my opinion had solid games. Laich was going to the net with abandon, he's ready to get us a big goal on the road.

Hey we could go up to MSG and lay an egg or Henrik will play well enough to steal a game...but somehow I don't think we will be denied. If we get a lead, it's going to be over.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 25, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I think it's a bit premature to say that Semyon's the better goalie. Sure we roughed up Henrik for 6 last night (including the high stick and the interference goals), but Semyon has not faced the onslaught and quality of shots that Lundstrom (thanks Cherry) did in games 1, 2, and 4.

No question he's hot, though. Last night, when he came onto the ice to get his star and flip the puck to his girlfriend, he applauded the crowd and showed his appreciation in a way that said he's ready to take the Bears off the other side of his mask. He's here.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 25, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Barry's article suggests that Tortorella not only threw a water bottle into the crowd, striking a fan on the head, but also that he squirted water at fans through the cracks in the glass.

Barry also notes that the Verizon Center's camera picked this up.

Although Tortorella was seen trying to dry off his clothing, the security guard said that no fan had thrown or dumped a drink on the coach.

If any of this can be independently confirmed, Tortorella should absolutely be suspended. The league cannot allow that kind of behavior.

I think not having Tortorella on the bench in game 6 could actually energize both the Rangers players and fans, so I'm not saying this in an effort to improve Washington's chances. I'm saying it because the actions described in Barry's article are unacceptable.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 25, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I would agree Varly hasn't had to face the same volume of shots, although he did stop 33 in the 4-0 win in Game 3. He also shows the ability to make the BIG save when it's needed. He's not going to face 40 shots in this series, we dominate play that he won't ever have to see that many shots. Also the one area that our team HAS actually changed and are playing "playoff" hockey is on defense. Blocked shots for last night were 21-11...us. Even our forwards are making an effort to get in shooting lanes and just paying the price needed.

He may not have faced as many quality chances, but when you look at what it took to actually get a puck past him I'm pretty confident with him in there.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 25, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The Caps played a solid defensive game, but IMO that was the weakest performance of the playoffs for them. Like some have said, the difference, Lundqvist was off and not standing on his head. Varly made very good saves when he had to and that was a difference maker too. Nice to know the Caps can play a subpar game and still dominate the Rangers. Tomorrow is another day though and the Caps just need to crach through on Lundqvist early so we can be back at Verizon on Tuesday to become the latest trivia question. Q: When was the last time an NHL team came back from a 3-1 defecit to take a series. A: The 2008-09 Washington Capitals. LET'S GO CAPS.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 25, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Oh, something else. Do any of you remember the ESPN commercial where Mike Richter is making great saves and shooters can't score, then he skates from the net and a puck doesn't go in, and he goes back and gets the smudge off the plexiglass? Classic commercial, but we better check Lundqvist goals for plexiglass at MSG. Just kidding of course.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 25, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you on that, Dave. We can have faith in this kid. Doing better on D, just as the Rangers have more typically been much more disciplined on D, helps a great deal too.

Semyon's quick as lightning, though, isn't he?

Posted by: Sonyask | April 25, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Mo also played a really energetic solid game on D. This org will be making a big mistake when they cut him loose this offseason.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2009 5:07 AM | Report abuse

The new NHL economic brings tough choices with it. Consider how he's played all year. Was he worth the $2m he's making? Would he have been worth the $2.3-2.5 he asked for? Is he going to be worth the high $2m/low $3m ballpark he'll likely ask for next year? Take the high pick/prospect that would come from a 26 year old D and move on.

That said, GMGM will probably QO everyone in back and then whoever gets traded won't see it coming.

Posted by: Section117 | April 25, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

was at the game last night. Noticed one thing we should take care of. The Rags kept their right wing almost on our blue line, cherry picking all night. I think, seven or eight of the shots on Varly came from that man breaking toward the net. the winger almost got around our D three times.
Need to look at that in the films today

Posted by: billd2 | April 25, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

FYI:

"--The crowd was out of control last night. Right in front of me, a Rangers fan spilled an entire beer on two female fans who are season ticket holders. I had to help clean up the seats and call for security.

I saw the entire episode with the New York Rangers coach unfold before my eyes. I am sure the NHL will be looking into exactly what happened there as well. I won’t comment at all publicly because I trust the NHL will be doing its own research and will take any action if deemed appropriate."

I excerpted the above from Ted's blog (Ted's Take)

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 25, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

When Ovie said that the goal was lucky, he had a smirky smile on his face. You know he doesn't think it was luck, just trying to appear modest.

Posted by: rw-c | April 25, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

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