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Posted at 1:16 PM ET, 12/14/2010

Bruce Boudreau on goaltending: 'We're not going after anybody else'

By Gene Wang

There may be a variety of reasons for the Washington Capitals' six-game losing streak, but goaltending is not chief among them, at least not according to Coach Bruce Boudreau, who vigorously defended Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov today after practice when questioned about local and national media reports suggesting an upgrade at the position was necessary.

"I'll tell them the same thing: We've got two great young goaltenders," he said during a heavily attended media session at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. "Not good, but great young goaltenders. We're not going after anybody else."

In Washington's 7-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, Varlamov faced just 20 shots in the Capitals' most lopsided and embarrassing defeat of the season. Varlamov remained in the game because Neuvirth became ill before faceoff.

The Capitals have been outscored 23-8 since the slide began Dec. 2 with a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, and while goaltending isn't solely to blame, it has been spotty in stretches this month. For the season, Neuvirth is 12-5-2 with a 2.68 goals against average, and Varlamov is 4-4 with a 2.62 GAA.

"Like young guys every now and again, they have a hiccup, but our guys are going to be there when it's all done," Boudreau said. "They've beaten the best, and they will beat the best again, and we have all the belief and faith in the world in both of them."

By Gene Wang  | December 14, 2010; 1:16 PM ET
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Next: Capitals' tenor during practice is all business

Comments

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- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 14, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Not good, but great young goaltenders. We're not going after anybody else."


Yup...there goes BB throwing his players under the bus again!

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Katie:

Could u please give us some infor about practice today? How did they look? What did they work on? Did they have a video session? What was the atmosphere on the ice...positive, stressful, serious?

Tarik always had some details about practice.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

@caps coach...

I am so happy Katie reads every posting on here. She asked BB about teams figuring out his "system". He really didn't answer her question. It starts 4:16 into the video.

http://video.capitals.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=32&id=87414

Posted by: robostop10 | December 14, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

(partially in response to Feinstein's column)

had anyone heard of Halak before last year's playoffs? did Chicago have a hot goalie? they didn't have a #1 at this point last year

would our young keepers benefit form working with a veteran like Brodeur? most likely. can we afford Brodeur? no. and Varly and Neuvy can improve by staying healthy and playing more games. consistency comes with experience

Posted by: mcintire_will | December 14, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

@mcintire_will

Arturs Irbe is a pretty good goalie coach, I don't think adding a veteran even if we could afford it would help that much.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Our goaltending is fine. Elite? No.

Our defense is not fine. Our "role" players are not fine.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | December 14, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Our centers aren't fine either, and neither is our checking line. Oops, we don't have a checking line.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 14, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Goaltenders??? Thought they were Goatlenders. Talk about inconsistency in reporting.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 14, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Anyone at practice today and can give some details?

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

We have big problems. Fact is, we don't have the talent we used to have. No second or third line center who is experienced and with Laich and Knuble unreliable, no goal scorers other than Ovie, Backstrom and Semin up front. Compare that to the team that had about 10 20 goal scorers last year. We've managed to make our strength a weakness through bad roster decisions. We don't need Morrison or Belanger? And fleischmann is tearing it up playing with skill players on Colorado. Add to that that the league has caught up with the Caps offensive system and they don't know how to adjust, and Ovie has become very one dimensional. Problems all.

Posted by: Bjoad1 | December 14, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

had anyone heard of Halak before last year's playoffs? did Chicago have a hot goalie? they didn't have a #1 at this point last year

--------

Yes, in fact Halak had always played well against the Caps as a backup to Price. I thought the Caps would be able to get Halak fairly cheap, but they got Theodore. When Price began to slip, Halak took over.

It's a pity the Caps don't make a run at Nabakov. He'd really help SV's development.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 14, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Can we put Feinstein and Eklund in the same room and let DK practice his fighting skills on them since BB doesn't give him any playing time?

I agree, the goalie situation is not the root of the teams' problem, it's BB himself.

Posted by: puckman | December 14, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

And fleischmann is tearing it up playing with skill players on Colorado.
Bjoad1

wouldn't say he is tearing it up, but def. playing well...I really had no doubt about that. He needed a fresh start, more ice time, and a chance to play at his true position day in and day out....despite what posters here think...he is a good winger.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau is right the Caps shouldn't be going after goalies. They have two excellent young goalies. That's not the problem even though they haven't been playing well during the losing streak.

Unfortunately, Boudreau needs to go. Sorry, I like the guy. But, the team underacheived in the playoffs and they're not going in the right direction. Does this team look like a team that is executing a well designed system? Or do they look lost?

Regarding Semin and the crosschecking play... It looked to me like he got whacked (slashed) just above the glove. And, anyone who's played hockey can tell you that when they get you on the bone right above the cuff of the glove that it can flat out sting even when they don't slash all that hard. I am not condoning his subsequent cross check. I'm just saying that I can understand his frustration.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | December 14, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Our defense is not fine. Our "role" players are not fine.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts

Agreed. Brian Engblom was just on NHL live, and I heard him say, which others have said, is that our defense makes it too easy for opposing players in and around our crease.

The 'role' player situation is not one that's going to be easy for GM to address, should he choose to do so. I'm willing to trade away Fehr, Chimera, Steckle and Boyd Gordon if it means we'll have a 3rd and 4th that's tough to play against.

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 14, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Dear George McPhee,
It may be time for you to think about a coaching change. I think Bruce Boudrea is an excellent coach, but I think he has taken this team as far as he can. A couple examples: Michel Therrien was fired as coach of the Penguins after leading the Penguins through the playoffs, Dan Bylsma came in a nd ...took the team to the next level. On the other side of things, Craig McTavish coached the Oilers to the Stanley cup finals, with the team they had at the time just about anyone could have coached them into the finals. This is the case with the Capitals currnet team, they have enough fire power to win with anyone at the helm. They need to learn that offense usually starts at the other end of the ice, that good defense starts good offense. They have an excellent defense core, but they are not utilized correctly. This is a team that ...should be thought of as a constant threat, not remembered as a playoff threat.

Thank you,

Washington Capitals Fans

Posted by: matthewkoroluk | December 14, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Meant 10 double figure scorers

Posted by: Bjoad1 | December 14, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps:

While I agree with some of your postings (and disagree with others), I have to say that using all-caps to get your point across could have a negative impact on your credibility.

There are ways to provide the emphasis you are looking for without "screaming".

Perhaps you may want to try using HTML "tags" to create boldface, italics or bold italics instead.

If you don't know how, follow this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Html_tags

Then use the "find" function of your browser [ctrl+F] to search for the text: "Sets font to boldface".

That will scroll you past all the arcane techie stuff to show you how to tag text for boldface or italics (which, along with bold italics, are the only ones that work here at CI).

Just remember that the "start tag"(s) need to be at the beginning of the text you want to bold/italicize/both, and the "end tag"...well, you get the picture.


Play with it and test your results using the "Preview" button on CI...I think you'll like it.


Respectfully,
Das Rhino

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 14, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

@robostop10

do you know what the question was when BB said he wouldn't answer such a dumb question? I couldn't hear it.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

anyone hear of the concept of a player trying harder to impress his new team? That being said, lets see how Flush does over a whole season instead of declaring the trade some kind of mistake. He used to also play well upon his recall from the minors and then fade away. The guy has proven to be both inconsistent AND a nonplayoff performer.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

mcphee loves guys like gordo and chimmy. No way he dumps them. Also haven't given up on fehr just yet. His size and potential net presence is still an attractive and rare commodity in this org.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

IMO We need defense, not goaltending

Posted by: Wagnerchristopher | December 14, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

You arent going to win many games scoring 0 goals. The Caps forwards are the main problem now, specifically the 1 and 2 line forwards. They simply need to score.

Alot of the games lately, the defense has looked worse than the beginning of the year because the Caps have fallen behind and they needed to press.

Score early and more often is what they need to do.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | December 14, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

bjoad touched on Fleischmann but I just thought this Yahoo Sports fantasy update in my pool was worth sharing:

"LW Tomas Fleischmann, playing his first home game since his Nov. 30 acquisition from Washington, tied the game 5-5 with a long screen shot that eluded Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford with 2:24 remaining. He stole the puck from defenseman Brent Seabrook behind the net and passed to Matt Duchene for a 6-5 lead with 1:24 to play and picked up an assist on Ryan O'Reilly's empty-net goal with 23 seconds to go. "Big chances went in and we were just waiting for a big chance," Fleischmann said. "We got one or two (chances) and they went in." Fleischmann has two goals and five assists in six games since Colorado acquired him from Washington on Nov. 30 in exchange for defenseman Scott Hannan. Fleischmann is playing on a line with center Matt Duchene and right wing David Jones." - Yahoo Sports

A lot of CI people were happy to see 'Flush' go. I am not by any means suggesting that the Caps' 6straight losses after trading Flash are in any way due to trading him, but the description of how he tied the game then setup the GWG sounds fairly impressive.

Posted by: PSD1 | December 14, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

What if it had been Fehr that was traded away instead of Flash? Would we still be in this same slump?

Posted by: 1hockeymom | December 14, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

hockey is a team sport. So isolating the scoring issue down to your top 6 fwds imo is some narrow thinking. Better role players can help soften up the other team and make things easier for your top 6. A defense which steps up more effectively in the neutral zone can help the transition game, etc.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

the flush trade was a good move. More due to addition via subtraction than necessarily getting a rental like hannan. I wouldve preferred ryanoreilly

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@robostop10

do you know what the question was when BB said he wouldn't answer such a dumb question? I couldn't hear it.

I don't remember the exact question but he basically asked if thinks his job is on the line.

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah71 | December 14, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

hockey is a team sport. So isolating the scoring issue down to your top 6 fwds imo is some narrow thinking. Better role players can help soften up the other team and make things easier for your top 6.
------------------

All true. The problem is that our "bottom-6" to use Brian Burke's terminology are, with a few exceptions, not well-suited for their defined roles [E Fehr].

As far as Flash goes - and leaving Hannan out of it, but I do believe at least one poster here [yours truly] questioned if he'd lost a step - the fact is he's been playing very well in CO. And it's not like CO is overloaded with abundance of offensive talent up front [esp with Duke out of the lineup]. For whatever reason, he's been playing very well since he got there.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 14, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Caps will get swept in the first round, that is if they make the playoffs, if they don't trade one of these goalies. It's not my opinion, it's 100% fact.

Posted by: pssummers70 | December 14, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, goaltending isn't the problem. It hasn't been great, but it's far from our biggest concern. Plus, what really annoys me is how Boudreau handles the situation. How do you expect one of them to get in a grouve when they sit out every other game? Give one of them 5-8 games to get something going, and then do the same for the other. If you constantly switch back and forth, no wonder they don't look comfortable.

It's just like his line-changing. Leave them be for a while. Even if we're not doing well, changing the lines isn't necessarily the answer.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | December 14, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

What if it had been Fehr that was traded away instead of Flash? Would we still be in this same slump?
-----------

Perhaps not. You need two scoring lines in today's game - as is becoming painfully clear. The pressure on the 1st just becomes too heavy otherwise; Harry Sinden's B's had lots o' experience on that front [on the other hand, teams countering with strong 1-2 punches, especially down the middle have tended to fare very well; i.e., Mess-Gretz, Forsberg-Sakic, Feds-Stevie Y; Zetta-Datsyuk. And - and this is making me sick to write this - Pitt's present combo, which looks strong 1-2-3. Ugh.]

Guys like Fehr may be able to pad stats against lesser competition and going against another team's 6-7 d-men, but unfortunately struggle going against top d-men.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 14, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

imo we have 2 acceptable bottom6 fwds, at the most 3. And no belanger wouldn't cut it unless you gave him 2 excellent checking wingers. But belanger doesn't equate on an individual basis to the best checking centers in hockey

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

imo we have 2 acceptable bottom6 fwds, at the most 3.
----------

Couldn't agree more.

Btw, re: Ryan O'Reilly - I would have loved it if GMGM had gotten him but they seem to adore him in CO. A buddy played briefly with his older brother [Cal] and raves about him as a teammate, says he's just an awesome guy. Would imagine his brother is too.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 14, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Brads and Hendricks, that is it as far as I'm concerned as acceptable bottom 6 forwards. The rest need to go and would not be missed in the least and please don't tell me about Steckle's faceoff percentage because the rest of his game has sucked.

Posted by: PhilR | December 14, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Caps will get swept in the first round, that is if they make the playoffs, if they don't trade one of these goalies. It's not my opinion, it's 100% fact.

Posted by: pssummers70 | December 14, 2010 2:50 PM

you're good - can you tell me what the powerball numbers will be tomorrow?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 14, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Let's view the situation from a different perspective.

1) Do we really even have a problem with the team or are we overreacting to the slump?
-I think most of us who have watched the Caps this year believe we have a problem, Anybody beg to differ?

2) Don't be in denial of a problem if it exists and don't rationalize why it is there-accept it and find a solution, not an excuse.
-let us hope that is happening, if players and management believe in point 1)

3) Repeating a failed experiment and expecting a different outcome is the definition of stupidity.
-duh!, see number 2)

Posted by: AADCDERM | December 14, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@caps coach.

She asked him did he think teams have figured out how to defend the caps and their system.

Posted by: robostop10 | December 14, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Hannan makes John Erskine look fast. I am not impressed. Anyone watch how fast the Avalanche D was. They got rid of him because they knew he was slowing down. It sounded good on paper but most top hockey pundits thought the AVs won on that trade. So far they are correct. As it is The Caps can not put the puck in the net let alone actually stop another team from scoring. On another not let me correct folks on our defense. the reason The Caps at time stink on D is because the forwards for the Caps do not hustle back and help their Defensive team mates. Or they do not forecheck through the nuetral zone and do not hit. So now everything gets blamed on our defensive corps. Give me a break. Watch mosts goals and it always starts with a brainfart by one The Caps brilliant forwards or lack of work ethic.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@AADCERM...

IMO...I think there is a bigger problem than "their squeezing their sticks too tight." If you play a system and a team finds a way to prevent you from scoring, making plays, winning etc it is time to make adjustments. What I am seeing is the team is frustrated and seems to not have an answer or counterpunch. That comes from the head coach and coaching staff. If you can't make proper adjustments to counter the opposition, you might as well drive head on into a wall over and over again. I don't think BB has an alternate plan bec it has never been stopped, until now. He is a prideful coach. I don't fault him for that, but the bigger goal of a Stanley Cup is the prize. He must come up with an alternate tweak(s) to his system. I believe a new coach may be the only answer if nothing improves. Winter Classic or not.

Posted by: robostop10 | December 14, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"you're good - can you tell me what the powerball numbers will be tomorrow?"

---

To be fair, he's not really going out on a limb with that prediction, just playing the percentages.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Repeating a failed experiment and expecting a different outcome is the definition of stupidity.
-duh!, see number 2)

Posted by: AADCDERM

actually it is the def. of insanity :)

@robostop

I was asking about a different question some guy asked...BB said he knew he would be the one to ask that and he wouldn't answer such a dumb question...but I couldn't hear the question

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I was trying to think of a witty comment. However, I've got nothing. GMGM and BB aren't going to change unless it's made to happen. Ted isn't ready to pull that trigger yet.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 14, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

name a player on The Capitals who could possibly come even close to winning a Selke. The answer is not even one Capital forward. Good job McPhee. The closest might be Backstrom.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

the reason The Caps at time stink on D is because the forwards for the Caps do not hustle back and help their Defensive team mates. Or they do not forecheck through the nuetral zone and do not hit. So now everything gets blamed on our defensive corps. Give me a break. Watch mosts goals and it always starts with a brainfart by one The Caps brilliant forwards or lack of work ethic.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 3:24 PM

i haven't yet climbed on board the 'BB must go' train - but the team D is woeful.
even sloan could be effective with the right support from the forwards.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 14, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach...

Ok. Some of the questions were inaudible, but I'll see if I can figure it out and post it.

Posted by: robostop10 | December 14, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Brads and Hendricks, that is it as far as I'm concerned as acceptable bottom 6 forwards. The rest need to go and would not be missed in the least and please don't tell me about Steckle's faceoff percentage because the rest of his game has sucked.

Posted by: PhilR

Agreed. I think Chimera bothers me the most because there are more few examples around the league of what he could be if had any desire to play a physical game. Guys like Powe, Kunitz, Clarkson, Ott and Eager.

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 14, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@ Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Say it aint so ??? You didn't just defend Esskay did you ???? Oh my good the sky is falling the sky is falling :)

Posted by: bqts | December 14, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

The biggest decisions on hockey operations are made by Dick Patrick, Ted holds the rubber stamp. It's called the Jagr rule.

Posted by: puckman | December 14, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"The Caps at time stink on D is because the forwards for the Caps do not hustle back and help their Defensive team mates. Or they do not forecheck through the nuetral zone and do not hit."

---

I thought this was by design of the vaunted BB "System." He doesn't want his Forwards mixing it up in the defensive zone or backchecking. Maybe the Center, but certainly not the wingers.

BB's system has the Wings occupying essentially the same space that the Defensemen do in the offensive zone - high at the top of the circles. I assume it's so they are positioned to breakaway.

You can't break the other way if all your forwards are busy doing silly things like trying to prevent the other team from scoring.

This, IMHO, is the biggest flaw of "The System" simply put, he doesn't want his forwards playing defense. As a result, any time an opponent is in our zone, it's almost a de facto power play for them.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@ Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Ditto bqts. Really man? Really? Thats like asking someone if they got a case of the Mondays.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 14, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach...

The question was about did BB in the back of his mind think about his job security.

Posted by: robostop10 | December 14, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Repeating a failed experiment and expecting a different outcome is the definition of stupidity.
-duh!, see number 2)

Posted by: AADCDERM

actually it is the def. of insanity capscoach

@ capscoach

Because I have teenage sons, I have modified the phrase from the definition of "insanity" (its original phrase) to "stupidity" :-) :-)

Posted by: AADCDERM | December 14, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

This, IMHO, is the biggest flaw of "The System" simply put, he doesn't want his forwards playing defense. As a result, any time an opponent is in our zone, it's almost a de facto power play for them.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 3:37 PM

then they better find 6 Dmen that can execute a perfect stretch pass every time.

@bqts
yeah - i guess i did :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 14, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Here's the problem: we have a bunch of fair weather fans who believe BB's "system" isn't working or that teams have figured it out.

Of course, these same fans can't identify what the "system" is or what what it is the other teams have figured out. Nevermind the fact the there are only 3 NHL teams with better records than the Caps; the whole NHL has figured out BB's "system."

And the Caps can't score--despite the fact there are only 4 teams who have scored more. Again, BB's unidentified "system" has failed so badly that only 28 other teams have scored less.

Thank goodness we have fans who know what the solution is: fire BB and replace him with ??? Trade for "grit"--though, once again, these fans can't define "grit" or even identify players who are on the trading block with this magical ingredient.

Honestly, this forum is like a NY Yankee forum where you have Yankee fans demanding management fire Cashman if he can't trade Eduardo Nunez to the Phillies for Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and a top prospect.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 14, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

thanks, BB. i have belief in you and the boys. stick with each other. win or loose i'm with you. it's not the coaches, not the system. it's the mind set of the players. c'mon, just play hockey. BELIEVE IN YOURSELVES. we the fans are behind you no matter what.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: capsfan2007 | December 14, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@ Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Thanks, I laughed today , YEAH :)

LMAO !!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: bqts | December 14, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Here's the problem: we have a bunch of fair weather fans who believe BB's "system" isn't working or that teams have figured it out.

Of course, these same fans can't identify what the "system" is or what what it is the other teams have figured out. Nevermind the fact the there are only 3 NHL teams with better records than the Caps; the whole NHL has figured out BB's "system."

And the Caps can't score--despite the fact there are only 4 teams who have scored more. Again, BB's unidentified "system" has failed so badly that only 28 other teams have scored less.

Thank goodness we have fans who know what the solution is: fire BB and replace him with ??? Trade for "grit"--though, once again, these fans can't define "grit" or even identify players who are on the trading block with this magical ingredient.

Honestly, this forum is like a NY Yankee forum where you have Yankee fans demanding management fire Cashman if he can't trade Eduardo Nunez to the Phillies for Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and a top prospect.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 14, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

right. No one understands what systems are or what grit is. Now jiggle on outta here Teddy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I've felt since before the season began that they need to make a trade for a goalie going into the playoff. Both guys presently in net are:

1. Too inexperienced
and
2. Too fragile, physically & mentally

to lead a Cup run this year. Maybe in a couple of years. And Irbe's not the problem; these guys just aren't seasoned enough to stay healthy in body & in mind right now.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | December 14, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Hillarious !!

George McPhee is the SOLE reason the Caps will never, EVER, win a championship.

I'm sure somewhere, Eric Belanger is laughing.

George "the defense is complete" McPhee !
Classic....

Posted by: Cheef | December 14, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, these same fans can't identify what the "system" is or what what it is the other teams have figured out."

---

I admit that I haven't been on here a lot since the off-season, so I'm not familiar with all the posters here...

But is this like, your shtick or something? You come on here and pretend that no one knows what they're talking about and that no one can answer these questions you pose that everyone actually knows the answer to?

Yesterday it was "grit." You pretended that no one could define "grit," identify any "gritty" players, or knew how to instill "grit" in a team. When these questions were answered in an accurate and succinct manner for you repeatedly, you simply disappeared. It looks like you are actually repeating this nonsense again.

However, it looks like today you are pretending like no one can explain what the BB System is, what teams have figured out or how they are stopping it. We all know the answers to these questions. We talk about them a lot. I don't understand what you're accomplishing here save for demonstrating how little you know about hockey (again).

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Caps will get swept in the first round, that is if they make the playoffs, if they don't trade one of these goalies. It's not my opinion, it's 100% fact.

Posted by: pssummers70 | December 14, 2010 2:50 PM
-----------------------------
Neuvy won eight straight rounds in the Calder Cup playoffs in 2009 and 2010. Yea, yea, I know it ONLY the AHL. But the kid has nevers of steel. There were tight games, overtimes, ugly losses, laughable blowouts....the kid did not waver. I have absolute faith that he could do the same for the Caps if given plenty of ice time during the season to learn the NHL shooters and systems.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 14, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"nevers of steel" = nerves of steel

Posted by: tess2201 | December 14, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

will someone please fire Gene Wang

Posted by: SA-Town | December 14, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I think, legitimately, there are some fans who can't identify the system because...

well, there isn't a system.

There isn't a system other than relying on the great talent to score more than than other guys.

Now, to be fair, we often make sports more complicated than they really are. Scoring more than the other team is a fine system.

Except when you don't.

Then it's time to try somethign new. It's time to ask your players to do more, or to play differently. it's time to make adjustments and make your team harder to play against.

As far as I can tell, BB doesn't and/or can't do that. Nor does he hold his guys accountable when ther eis a lack of effort or execution.

I don't think he's "lost" the team. We're not in the locker room -- how would we know that?

He's just not a great coach. He's done pretty well wiht what he has (which, by the way, is maybe the most talented team in the league).

But plain and simple -- again, he's not a great coach. Mediocre, if you ask me. And we need more if we're going to win the cup.

Posted by: sinbin | December 14, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

VTD: I don't have to pretend--it's evident in your posts. You're frustrated the Caps have lost 6 in a row, we all are. But then you suggest BB should be canned and that we start making wholesale changes.

Who are we going to get? Crickets chirping--apparently your answer is it doesn't matter as long as BB is gone. Yep, that's a plan.

I just laugh about "grit"--you can't identify it, don't know how to instll it--but you demand we need it. You want to get rid of all sorts of Caps players but again, you can't identify who you can get in return. Guess what? You aren't gonna get Kopitar for Fehr no matter how much you clap for Tinkerbell.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 14, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@jiggly

Pick-up the link at the 0:28 mark - LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asOmo8a4hrE

Posted by: puckman | December 14, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

BB is definitely the problem. He panics with making abrupt line changes all the time. He also hasn't settled on a starting goaltender since he has been head coach (Kolzig doesn't count). The team has not looked comfortable since he started making line changes every game. BB needs to make a decision on a starting netminder and settle his lines for at least a 8-10 game stretch.

Posted by: kickass10101 | December 14, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I just laugh about "grit"--you can't identify it, don't know how to instll it--but you demand we need it. You want to get rid of all sorts of Caps players but again, you can't identify who you can get in return. Guess what? You aren't gonna get Kopitar for Fehr no matter how much you clap for Tinkerbell.
-------------------------

A team with GRIT would NOT let their best player fight his own battle. If he did, they would be embarrassed and turn things around immediately like the Pens have done this year.

If you see any sign of that on this team, please let me know!!!

Posted by: joek443 | December 14, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

any chance jiggly equals sgm? They both argue fairly obtusely and they both abhor the mention of gritting up this team or any criticism of bruce. One exits, one enters...

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

right. No one understands what systems are or what grit is. Now jiggle on outta here Teddy.

Posted by: cstanton1

I thought it was Bruce.

It is odd the number of new posters who show up to defend the team when they're not playing well. Hmmmmm?

Posted by: ablake70 | December 14, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

getjiggly

Not one person on here was expecting The Caps to go to The Stanley Cup until GMGM, BB and The Ted started a whole marketing and PR strategy filling our heads with this nonesense for the last three years. Must have screwed up the Players also. Now we have The angry marketing strategy. Do The Caps seem angry. The way they have been playing all year they should have the Islanders record. They have gotten lucky so stop saying how great they look. On another note how about Hartley, Dineen, Hitchcok, and Keenan for coaches.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

any chance jiggly equals sgm? They both argue fairly obtusely and they both abhor the mention of gritting up this team or any criticism of bruce. One exits, one enters...
-------------------

LMAO now it all makes sense!!!!

BTW anyone know WTF Tom Poti was doing when Ovi was dancing with Dubinsky??

Posted by: joek443 | December 14, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

@getjiggly1 - how about ken hitchcock? how about a promotion for our AHL coach that has a calder cup under his belt? there is lots of potential coaches out there.

Posted by: matthewkoroluk | December 14, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

new thread.....................

Posted by: puckman | December 14, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"I just laugh about "grit"--you can't identify it, don't know how to instll it--but you demand we need it."

---

What the hell are you talking about?

The last time you tried posting your nonsense on here, I both identified AND told you how it's instilled. At this point you're simply lying.

You offer nothing at value. If at any point you want to actually engage in a discussion, let us know. In the meantime, go away while the adults are conversing.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

LOL the idea that BB is irreplaceable is truly laughable... since when a coach who last LOST 3 outta 4 playoff series is suddenly a Scotty F-ing Bowman??

Posted by: joek443 | December 14, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: getjiggly1

Lol.

Sure, we're 4th in the league, but we have some serious issues.

Our goal differential is horrible. 98GF, 92GA. Goal differential of +6. The three teams ahead of us have GD of +30, +29 and +18.

Our road record ranks 22nd in the league. Pitt and Philly are 1st and 3rd. The Caps have no chance against either of those two teams in a 7 games series.

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 14, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The Caps have looked out of sorts since The Olympic break. Even last year when their record was great they did not play disciplined hockey. BB is the boss. The buck starts and stops with him. People want to balme the players. I do not buy that. They will buy into a system if it makes sense and they believe in the boss. Having the players during home games staying at their respective homes is always a mistake which is what BB did during the playoffs. Keep the team together during the playoffs with curfews and such. OVI saying BB is a friend is not a good thing. The coach should not be a friend to his players. He should be a boss, mentor and inspirational force.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Again, all I can say is "wow." Not even through December yet and all these proclamations. getjiggly1 seems to be the only sane one here. Give me a break people. All of you who, last December, had the Flyers making it to the finals raise your hands... Jeesh.

Posted by: truke | December 14, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

It is not about December. The Caps have been on a slide since last Spring.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Fletch good post about the differential. I saw that today when I was looking at the Ducks goals against. I think I would trade Semin for Getzlaf. Would the Ducks do that trade anyone?

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Hi. Let's get something straight. If the only two people saying something re: hockey are Scott Burnside and John Feinstein - you need more sourcing.

Thus, don't act surprised when it turns out that there is no truth to what they say.

MB

Posted by: CF11555 | December 14, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

@pkme - no, Ducks don't make that trade.

@cstanton01 - I was with you on Fehr in the past, but he seems to have done very little this year (although he tried hard). Perhaps the wrong forward was traded?

Hard to judge Hannon fairly - he hasn't had time to learn the intricacies of BB's genius defensive system - but it's clear he didn't figure much in Colorado's plans.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 14, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I have to say hats off to BB for sticking up for, and praising, his young goaltenders. Let's hope it pays off.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 14, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure I'll get laughed at for this, but it is 100% legit.

I was at the game in Chicago last year when Ovi nailed Campbell.

YES....an adult wearing a capitals jersey.

Inbetween 2nd and 3rd periods, I was in line at the urinal next to Knuble's father-in-law. He mentioned then how confusing and how out of sync the guys thought BB's line-up shuffling was...always jugging the scratches.

That was at a time when they were cruising, leading the NHL. Nobody outside of the small number of people realized how even within the team..."something didnt feel right".

Now we've had the playoff collapse...and nothing from BB to win the players confidence or to suggest he's leading them to a "better" place as a hockey team.

The players are UTTERLY DONE with BB. They were rolling their eyes at him last March, as the top points team in all of hockey.

Posted by: capitalsfan47802 | December 14, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

@capitalsfan47802

interesting story. i seem to remember mike knuble saying something in the paper after bruce just kept the lines together for a few games in a row and they started clicking. he said that it was hard to continually change linemates and it is, it's very hard.

that's been one of my pet peeves with BB. it's like he wants love at first site and that the marriage should last forever. sometimes you need to allow a relationship to grow before it becomes a great relationship.

ok, i don't know why i chose that analogy but you get my point.

making in game adjustments doesn't mean change line combos but still run the same system that isn't working to begin with.

Posted by: natresgroup | December 15, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

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