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Posted at 1:34 PM ET, 03/ 3/2011

Capitals' Michal Neuvirth displays resilience in net

By Katie Carrera

Updated 10:29 p.m.


(Getty Images)


One of the biggest determining factors in which goaltender will start in net for the Capitals this season has been the health of any particular netminder at any given moment. The seemingly constant stream of injuries in goal has been well documented, and the latest setback came when Semyon Varlamov suffered a knee injury just before he was scheduled to start on Long Island this weekend.

That means, for the time being, Michal Neuvirth is once again the go-to in goal for the Capitals. Braden Holtby was recalled from Hershey now that he has recovered from his latest knee injury, and it's possible he will see time for the Capitals depending on how much time Varlamov will miss. But Coach Bruce Boudreau doesn't have any doubts that he can rely on Neuvirth to shoulder the bulk of the responsibilities.

"So far he's been great," Boudreau said. "He's done an admirable job. I don't know how else to say it, but he still hasn't been overworked, so we're still in good position with him."

Neuvirth was essentially the exclusive option in goal for the Capitals through the first two months of the season, when Varlamov missed time after suffering a groin injury. VarlamovNeuvirth appeared in 18 of the first 21 games of the year and won rookie of the month honors in October.

Since then, Neuvirth has experienced occasional injuries of his own, including hip and groin problems, and alternated with Varlamov once the latter returned to full strength. But with only 17 games left in the regular season and Varlamov sidelined, it's once again Neuvirth -- who broke the franchise record for wins by a rookie with his 21st on Thursday against St. Louis -- whom the Capitals turn to.

The 3-2 win against the Blues marked Neuvirth's 10th start in the past 12 games. He started seven of nine prior to the game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum that was originally planned for Varlamov.

Neuvirth's numbers -- 2.48 goals against average and .913 save percentage -- may not necessarily blow anyone away, but what's impressed the Capitals' coaching staff has been the way that he reacts when things go wrong -- whether a bad goal, game or anything in the middle.

"I think when he's good, he's smothering pucks and not letting rebounds go," Boudreau said. "The thing he's done best all year is bounce back. He doesn't let things bother him. Sometimes goalies let things bother them and let things fester for a couple days, but he still comes out, practices hard and does what he has to do."

By Katie Carrera  | March 3, 2011; 1:34 PM ET
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Line change: Have the Capitals turned a corner?
Next: Open thread: Capitals vs. Blues

Comments

From the previous thread:

If you look at the standings, its very possible that we will get Pittsburgh in the first round, and probably sweep them. Following that we will get one another mediocre Eastern conference team, and probably beat them too. Then, in the conference finals when we finally face a legitimately good team we will get swept.
Then, Management/ownership will gloat incessantly about how "we made progress", and no house cleaning or evolution/growth will occur.
It seems to me that we are at a cross roads where we either choose to be the Lindros era Flyers, or cut out all the familiar friendly faces and hangers on, get serious and become the Red Wings.

Posted by: LesGrossman | March 3, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Comments like Les Grossman's are the norm. The Capitals are always in a lose lose situation with some fans. He already found a way to complain if the Capitals advance to the Conference finals.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 3, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 3, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"He already found a way to complain if the Capitals advance to the Conference finals."

I don't disagree, but the complaint isn't exactly without merit.

Posted by: LesGrossman | March 3, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

From previous thread:

Regarding the discussion of whether Jacques Lemaire said Steckel was "out of shape" here's a quote from Tom Guilitt's Fire and Ice (Devils) blog, discussing Zach Parise's return to skating after surgery:

"Given that Lemaire says everyone is out of shape, it’s inevitable that he’ll say Parise is out of shape—because he actually will be.

But, maybe Lemaire will do the opposite and say Parise looks like he’s in great shape.

Posted by TG on 03/03 at 02:05 PM"

So I don't think there's anything to worry about Caps conditioning, in general.

Posted by: Thisistheyear | March 3, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Thisistheyear | March 3, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse


"He already found a way to complain if the Capitals advance to the Conference finals."

I don't disagree, but the complaint isn't exactly without merit.

Posted by: LesGrossman | March 3, 2011 1:45 PM |

-------------

only if you live in the past.

when i think about my past, i think about the good times, but some folks are negative no matter what.

Posted by: hessone | March 3, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

from last thread.

I don't get all of the coaching love here for Hunter. He has won 0 Cups, and playing in 1 Finals. As a coach he had never coached above juniors and has won 1 championship in 9 years. BB won 1 in 8+ years in the AHL and won 1 in 3 years in the ECHL. I am not saying that BB is the best coach for this team but what this team needs is a leader who knows what it takes to win in the NHL, which is why we got Arnott two days ago. Hunter also has been suspended 3 times as a coach and fined another time. As a player not arguing what he ment to this team but as a coach I just don't see why he gets all the love he does on this message board.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

surprised all the grammer police people haven't complained about this yet

Neuvirth was essentially the exclusive option in goal for the Capitals through the first two months of the season, when Varlamov missed time after suffering a groin injury. Varlamov appeared in 18 of the first 21 games of the year and won rookie of the month honors in October.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@ice

The Grass is always Greener...

Posted by: richmondphil2 | March 3, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Also guys, Hunter isn't a coach in the NHL right now for a reason. Maybe down the road.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | March 3, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't get all of the coaching love here for Hunter....As a player not arguing what he ment to this team but as a coach I just don't see why he gets all the love he does on this message board.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Because he represents all that is NHL hockey and he commands respect. BB represents all that is AHL hockey and his favoritism makes a mockery of his position, as evidenced by the NHLPA players poll.

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 3, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

icehammer,

If that post was pointed in my direction I was not advocating having Hunter as the Caps coach I was saying that just because a person gets a DUI does not make them a "drunk" as _828 put it.

Posted by: PhilR | March 3, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer

I dont think Hunter will be a good coach in the NHL so I am with you on that.


But someone(too lazy to click back and look) on the last thread said they wouldnt hire him bc he has a DUI in his past?? That makes no sense. Would that person not want Green or Ovi on the team if they got caught drunk driving one night? The only difference between what a number of players do around the league and Hunter did is Hunter got caught doing it. Plenty of NHL players go to bars, drink more than they should and drive home. They are HUMAN, they do stupid stuff.

Posted by: ThePat | March 3, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

@Phil

The reason Hunter isn't in the NHL is because he's got a great thing going in London, Ont. with his brother. He has had many "feelers" thrown his way by NHL teams, but which ones I don't know. Every man has a price and can be bought, and that's why the possibility of his return lives in hope on these threads. He would be A GREAT FIT IN DC.

Personally, I think the org. should make every attempt/effort to mend fences and entice Stevens back to the area....even if only to work with our young, budding dmen.

Yes, revisit the past and GET RID OF BB (two)

Bring it hard tonight, Rock Star, and take no prisoners....GO CAPS!

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 3, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so not only do you know about Hunter's ability to coach in the NHL in and out, but you also suggest to get Stevens away from his home team (no, we're not his real team) to help our organization out? Why would he do that?

These two things your suggesting not only have nothing to do with what is going on with our team, they also do absolutely nothing to help us this year. Lets focus on things that matter please.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | March 3, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps:

Yeah, yeah, whatever.

And Carthago Delenda Est to you, too.

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 3, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

If we are talking new coaches after this season if it is not a success I would go in the following order:

1. Bob Hartley

2. Larry Robinson

3. If the team continues to show a complete lack of motivation and laziness as it has at times this season maybe really go nuts and give Mike Keenan a try. I know he can be a lunatic but he would not put up with some of the crap that has gone on.....

And yes, I still think BB needs to go but have resigned myself to the reality that it will not happen till after the post season.

Posted by: PhilR | March 3, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97 - The item needs a fact check. Katie please correct it to "NEUVIRTH appeared in 18 of the first 21 games of the year and won rookie of the month honors in October."

I hope Michal and Semyon have a good relationship, because Neuvirth always seems to be running second to Varley, undeservedly.

Posted by: AFan5 | March 3, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone was wondering, it is Latin for "Carthage Must Be Destroyed".


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthago_delenda_est:

"Although no ancient source gives the phrase exactly as it is usually quoted in modern times (either Carthago delenda est or the fuller Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam), according to several ancient sources the Roman statesman Cato the Elder would always end his speeches with some variation of this expression even if he had not been discussing Carthage in the speech.[1].


Remind anybody of vermontcaps?

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 3, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

In 2006, Hunter was arrested and charged with DUI... last thing I want is a drunk coaching up the team. Not to mention his playoff record is not any better than Gabbys.

Posted by: _828 | March 3, 2011 1:00 PM


@_828: Good Point--we wouldn't want a repeat of "Butch" Cassidy, whom many here would agree was an epic FAIL as an NHL Coach for similar reasons. Hiring Cassidy after kicking Ron Wilson to the curb was, shall we say, probably not one of GMGM's best moves.

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 3, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@rhino....are you becoming this years version of Windjammer?

Posted by: RichC3 | March 3, 2011 12:53 PM

@Rich3:


Um, no. Anyone who actually reads my posts knows this. This is not...repeat, NOT the same as Windjammer's "21 Game Salute", where the same text was posted every damn day, again and again and again ad nauseam.

Granted, I may re-post the Rules occasionally for the amusement of other posters, but the Rooting Instructions themselves change from day to day as the season winds down to its conclusion--just as the standings could.

Also, some thought and research (not a lot, I confess, but some) goes into each day's post.

An unintended consequence is that sometimes I won't finish the composition "in time" to post it on the originally intended thread., so I confess that I may also re-post it on a more recent thread to ensure that it has the best chance of being read.

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 3, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh Delenda Est?

Posted by: Brute | March 3, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@Brute

"Tu quoque fili, brutus" ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | March 3, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh Delenda Est?

Posted by: Brute | March 3, 2011 2:42 PM


@Brute:

Absolutely G**D*** right!.

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 3, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I think the caps are out of shape. They are routinely beat to pucks and you see them reaching a lot. Classic signs of a team that is tired. You can drastically improve conditioning in a matter of a couple weeks. There is still time for BB to skate them.

Posted by: chatton | March 3, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

While we're on a Latin kick... here's to all the Caps fans who aren't negative Nancys and whiney Winnies about everything the Caps did, didn't do, do, have done, will do, will not do... ad nauseum:

Illegitimi non carborundum!

Posted by: irockthered | March 3, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@IRTR:

YESSSSSS!

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 3, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

This completely drives me nuts.

The first few comments are most always "from the previous thread." The previous thread never disappears - why don't you keep your comments there? Then, we don't have to search for people (hopefully) talking about the current topic at hand.

I'm just saying...

Posted by: NickG32 | March 3, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR, not directed at you. I had this thought weeks ago when there were many wanting to get rid of BB for Hunter just didn't have time for a post then and it poped back into my head from him being mentioned again.

@vermont, I don't think he would command respect as well as you think. I don't see a lot of guys respecting a guy who constantly loses his cool and focus (see all of his suspensions as both a player and a coach). He also has never coached an NHL game and how many rookie coaches you know that get respect right out of the box? Gretzy had the respect off all the players on his team, how did that work out? I am not saying we couldn't have a former tough guy as a coach. If we could get Craig Berube back I think that could be a good option. Only one year as a head coach but 3 years of experience in the NHL as an assistant with a team that is coming off of a Eastern Conference Championship.

I just don't see something in the coaching career of Dale Hunter that makes him look like he would be successful in the NHL and most people asking for him at just looking at the name. You don't have to agree it is just my thoughts.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

IRTR,

I'm pretty sure that another poster already beat you to the name calling in a different language thing....

Posted by: PhilR | March 3, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the Varly typo, everyone -- completely my fault. Katie wrote "he" and in my hurry to publish I accidentally changed it to Varlamov instead of Neuvirth. Kicking myself!

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | March 3, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

@NickG32, it is stuff that is started before the new thread was created but posted after so some miss it. It makes it easier to continue a conversation that got interupted instead of constantly having to go to different pages.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Have the Caps turned a corner? From the December nadir, yes. Towards a winning team, let's see what the next couple of weeks hold. Have the additions been beneficial? Let's see what the next couple of weeks holds.

@ PhilR, I am with you. BB is a walking dead man, most likely, but not until his team chokes again in the playoffs.

Now I would be happy as a lark to eat crow in the spring/summer if the Caps go far into the playoffs, so I am a hopeful skeptic.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | March 3, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@Lindsay Applebaum, no issue from me. I was mainly mocking those who seem to care more about typos then what the story is about.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil
@philr
@rhino


@richmond: I don't know about Hunter's "ability" to coach in the NHL, but I know he hasn't done anything to diminish his chances to lead an NHL team. As was written in "The Hockey News", expect to see Dale back in the NHL sometime in the near future.

I also know that I don't think BB is fit to coach in the NHL, and I'd prefer we improve our club by beating others to the punch and taking a flyer on Dale.

As for Stevens, didn't Stevie Y. leave his "home" team to lead another? If the compensation and price is right, why not Scott too?


@Philr: Agreed that BB is here for the duration of the season, and I realize it's a moot point to continually call for his ouster. Nevertheless, I'll stick to my guns and 3-times daily will call for his removal. (However, that will cease as soon as DJK gets in a game and is made to feel a part of the team)

@rhino: nothing's worse than a copycat, and invoking a dead language in your posts to me smacks of the poster who liked to disparage cstanton in foreign languages. Though honored, I'm unimpressed...

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 3, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

OK so I have now seen mention in 3 different articles one about morning skate and 2 about game last night that Jacques Lemaire discussed how out of shape and tired Dave Steckel is/was. Seems to me like we may have a conditioning problem here in CAPS land. But I guess Dale Hunter could fix it since that seems to be the topic of conversation today

Posted by: hart2014 | March 3, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Lindsay. We know what you meant. With the exception of some of the CI posters, the rest of us are human and do make mistakes from time to time. Thanks for the correction.

Posted by: AADCDERM | March 3, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree with NickG32 with enthusiasm.

People, please stay on topic and also realize that your comment, especially if you did no research to come up with it, isn’t nearly as valuable to others as it is to you.

Posted by: megatroll1 | March 3, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@vermont, only issue I see with Stevens is there is a chance he gets his shot with NJ. They are being run by a coach who (again) has said this is his last time. Stevie Y wanted to be a GM and Detroit had Holland so that was not happening any time soon. He went to a differnt team because he wasn't going to get the chance with his team. If NJ goes with someone else then the Stevens option opens up a little more.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

What the heck does Lemaire know about conditioning. He has "only" won 11 Stanley Cups and is a member of the HOF.

Tell him not to be so critical of Steckel. Dave's hour long flight from National to Newark was very exhausting. Also, breaking in new equipment takes a lot of of you.

Posted by: puckman | March 3, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

People, please stay on topic and also realize that your comment, especially if you did no research to come up with it, isn’t nearly as valuable to others as it is to you.

Posted by: megatroll1 | March 3, 2011 3:32 PM

And your opinion is more valuable because...?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 3, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@Lindsay - the "strike through" is being used in a lot of blogs as a kind of comment itself (usually humorous, as in "what I really think is" ...) So when I saw that I was wondering what the comment or joke was...

Peter Forsberg my choice for coach. Will command much more respect than Hunter...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 3, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

SAOTI: Please help!!!

Just recently CI had been completely overrun by dark siders! Based on their mantra to "rape, pillage and plunder," they had created havoc like a group of Oakland Raiders fans at a baby shower! Broken and empty bottles of goat's blood littered the landscape and the Sunshine Kids (save capscoach & cap'n kirk) hid trembling, as anyone who said anything positive about the Caps were attacked!

Now, due to the trades maybe, or maybe because the dark siders are recovering from the hangover, the Sunshine Kids are everywhere! People are drinking Kool Aid and singing happy songs those who dare say anything negative are being disparaged!

Is there no such thing, as SAOTI, as the happy medium?

BTW, ever heard of "tennis elbow?" I'm getting "fence butt."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 3, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

BROUGHT OVER FROM THE LAST THREAD AND THE ONE BEFORE THAT:

Nothing. I just wanted to rile up the person who gets riled up when someone does that!

signed, tom bad boy

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 3, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that sees the obvious? Cstanton1 needs to be our GM/Coach. Talk about hoisting for years to come.

__X__ Cstanton1

_____ Dale Hunter

_____ Scott Stevens

_____ Peter Forsberg

_____ John Erskine

_____ Tom Landry

_____ Sgm3

_____ Keep GMGM/BB

There, I casted my voted. Who's next?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | March 3, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@puckman and @hart2014. Once again completly miss any articles or parts of articles that talk about how Lemaire said Stecks didn't look 'out of shape' in his second on ice workout with the team. Just keep talking about the negative and ignore the positive. That is what rational people do.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal1

Happy medium = 1/2 goats blood & 1/2 kool aid.

Can't figure out if its too sweet or to bitter but if the sun shines on the team it must be sweet however if the golf course sees us early june the the light was just GMGM walking by the cave with his flash light and then its more goat lending all round.

Posted by: bqts | March 3, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

How much time and opportunity is really left for Varlamov to heal up and take a shot at being the #1 goalie?

Neuvirth is playing strong and consistent hockey, so is he not the primary goalie for the team? If not, why not?

Posted by: jepper | March 3, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Since my head has been replaced by a big smiley glass pitcher, I'm still with BB. But I do think Cstanton01 and SGM3 would be a fantastic combo.

But SEMIN as a player coach!! Could you imagine?? Would be a helluva lot of fun to watch. Players would jump out to take their shift but would have to reach back to the bench to hand the communal vodka bottle back...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 3, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Happy medium = a red Caps jersey with the name Erskultz or Bradfehr on the back.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | March 3, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@ SAOTI

Numbers

Erskultz = 45 or 54

Bradfehr = 11 or 61

Posted by: bqts | March 3, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer Perhaps that is because I haven't seen any articles where Lamaire said stecks didn't look out of shape.

Posted by: hart2014 | March 3, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Since my head has been replaced by a big smiley glass pitcher.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 3, 2011 4:01

IT'S PLASTIC!!!

http://www.tias.com/14016/PictPage/3923844025.html

There, I found you one in "rock the" red.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 3, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

IT'S PLASTIC!!!

http://www.tias.com/14016/PictPage/3923844025.html

There, I found you one in "rock the" red.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 3, 2011 4:10 PM |

Tom that is really cool. Think I will have to get myself one of those :)

Posted by: hart2014 | March 3, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Somebody get Pat Burns on the phone and gauge his interest in the head coaching job(yes I know)

Posted by: pebowers | March 3, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

From NHL.COM recap of last nights game:


Meanwhile, Steckel logged 13:33 of ice time, won 4 of 12 face-offs and dished three hits in his New Jersey debut.

"It's funny, I thought he did fine but I don't like the shape he's in," Lemaire said. "He will get better."

http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2010020953

Posted by: hart2014 | March 3, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I would like to nominate capcoach as:

CI POSTER OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY

I mean, she took more abuse than Dan Quayle when he spoke to kindergardners at our local school back in 88, but she HELD HER GROUND!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 3, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer

Why sweep his comments under the carpet or in this case, under the ice. Why would Lemaire mention this to the media at all. Obviously, his conditioning (lack of) is a concern to him. Jacques has been there, done that. He is very respected in the hockey world and his credentials back it up.

March 1, Lemaire is quoted, “Right now he didn’t look in good shape. That could be because he’s tired from traveling. Or maybe the drills. We’ll find that out.” (/i)

March 2 "It was fast-paced and, trying to break in new equipment, I was pretty nervous out there. Jittery," Steckel explained. "I hadn't skated in two days. I had a day off the day before and then I came off the ice early from practice a couple of days ago in Washington. And I'm sure the travel didn't help.

March 2 Lemaire said he looked better in the morning skate today.

"He's going to get better definitely," the coach said.

Everyone is going to read into this differently. I see it that his conditioning is not where it should be at this stage of the season. I like Steckel and I'm not trying to knock the guy but when LM comes out and states this, you can't take it with a grain of salt. At least I don't.

Since he was Capitals property prior, it should be noted to all of us.

Posted by: puckman | March 3, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@puckman He complained again after the morning skate...After last nights game he said he didn't like the shape Stecks is in .

Seems to me like with all the "groin" type injury's and the play that falls off terribly in the third period or not being able to get going at all in the first period that maybe the Caps might have a bit of a team conditioning problem

Posted by: hart2014 | March 3, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

@puckman - "He's going to get better"

THAT's the funny part! GMGM's laughing all the way to Kettler ice complex...

Still, maybe - maybe - the two days of not skating do make a difference. It's a little worrisome, isn't it?

@Tominsocal - excellent job on the research. Will have to find a tattoo parlor that can do a good fascimile...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 3, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@puckman:

After Lemaire's first comment I didn't think much of it. It could have been anything. But now with this latest comment I am indeed starting to wonder. So, yeah, you have a point.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 3, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the CURRENT discussion of Lemaire's comments on Steckel's 'shape', I am reposting (ok, you can yell at me if you want) something I posted on an earlier thread:

Regarding the discussion of whether Jacques Lemaire said Steckel was "out of shape" here's a quote from Tom Guilitt's Fire and Ice (Devils/Bergen Record) blog, discussing Zach Parise's return to skating after surgery:

"Given that Lemaire says everyone is out of shape, it’s inevitable that he’ll say Parise is out of shape—because he actually will be.

But, maybe Lemaire will do the opposite and say Parise looks like he’s in great shape.

Posted by TG on 03/03 at 02:05 PM"

So I don't think there's anything to worry about Caps conditioning, in general

Posted by: Thisistheyear | March 3, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Hunter for coach, huh? That might just work, I mean his results do nothing to suggest he will be successful, but he was GRITTY and TOUGH which we all now know is all that matters in the NHL. I know that Mike Millbury was a pretty gritty guy back in his day too, and I hear he's available. Let's make him the new GM when we sh*tcan the current regime...! It'll be great, we will totally own face and win the Stanley Cup with their bad-ass leadership.

/sarcasm

Posted by: ssweeney | March 3, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I think the problem is two fold. 1) he is replacing Arnott and 2) JL has never had Steckel and does not know what he is. I mean he was playing 3rd line center last night. With our weak centers he was still our 4th line center. We are talking about one player (a 4th line player who got hurt in his last practice) possibly being out of shape and all of the sudden that means that the whole team has a conditioning issue. Steckel may be out of shape, however I don't think that that means the whole team is or that there is a conditioning issue with the team. I think JL saying 1 or 2 things about a single player is being blown way out of line with what reality is.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

icehammer, you could be right about the conditioning of the team. Arnott and Wideman, as they are the newcomers, could tell the media what they truly see but that will never happen. No chance! Better that the Caps start winning on a consistent basis and make something happen in the playoffs to make most of the negative energy disappear.

Posted by: puckman | March 3, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Nothing. I just wanted to rile up the person who gets riled up when someone does that!

signed, tom bad boy

--------------tominsocall-----------------

And to think yesterday I complimented your post where you admitted to playing role of peace-maker here....kinda-sorta anyway.

And the day before the Isles game, I stated to a poster that Johnny Rock Star wasn't giving up scoring chances in pursuit of the big hit this year. So what happens? He gave up a good chance late in the game (which, tom, led to Backstrom's penalty; the first one in the 3rd I'll give you, but his last penalty was Erskine's fault......God it pains me to say that!)

My youngest son likes to play "opposite" day, but I think I'm in opposite week when it comes to Caps hockey. With that in mind:

EXTEND BB'S CONTRACT (three) and GO BLUES!!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 3, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Kelly Miller for coach !

Posted by: heathdog1119 | March 3, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I would like to nominate capcoach as:

CI POSTER OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY

I mean, she took more abuse than Dan Quayle when he spoke to kindergardners at our local school back in 88, but she HELD HER GROUND!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 3, 2011 4:21 PM

@tominsocal1:

I'll second that nomination, but I must point out some important differences:

1) capscoach is one smart cookie. Dan Quayle...not so much. In fact, I guess you could say he was the "ur-Dubya" or even a "proto-Sarah": photogenic, right-wing, and dumb as a bag of hammers.
2) capscoach (being an educator) would never mis-spell "potato".


My $0.02

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 3, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

SeminAllOverTheIce
i'm going to use a write in vote:
Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

i'd get the caps further from the cup rather than closer - but i'd sure have a bigger paycheck

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 3, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

What are Dead Heads smoking in Vermont?
"I also know that I don't think BB is fit to coach in the NHL"

His record as the Caps' coach is 175-76-38, a .672 winning percentage and one Jack Adams Trophy. I think he is a very good NHL coach. What is the reason behind saying he is not a good coach?

Posted by: boomer44 | March 3, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Interesting to hear those comments about Steckel. You can't make generalizations based on that one case but I have brought this up in the past as a possibility. Unlike with other topics where I go into know-it-all mode, i'm much more unsure about this one. Sometimes what apperars to be lack of conditioning could actually just be lack of athleticism, depending on the player. Injuries are always a possibility, too.

Still, I'm not convinced that conditioning, in general, is not an issue, either. You could argue, "but we were the high-flying run 'n gun Caps... conditioning can't be an issue" while someone else may argue that it takes a lot more energy to play defense first (where there is more backchecking as well as reacting as opposed to initiating) and both ends of the ice.

I'm not sure where the Caps are relative to the rest of the league when it comes to conditioning (and relative is what matters) but I think the possibility definitely exists that it is an issue.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 3, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Steckel is probably just homesick and doesn't want to be there

Posted by: RITdude | March 3, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Steckel is probably just homesick and doesn't want to be there

Posted by: RITdude | March 3, 2011 5:38 PM

That could be true but it doesn't rule out the possibility that we are a relatively poorly conditioned team.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 3, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Head Coach: Dale Hunter
Asst Coach: Scott Stevens
Asst Coach: Alan May

I think it's an upgrade.

Posted by: robostop10 | March 3, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Head Coach: Dale Hunter
Asst Coach: Scott Stevens
Asst Coach: Alan May

I think it's an upgrade.

Posted by: robostop10 | March 3, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry in advance to everyone for the double post. I hate it when it gets hung up.

Posted by: robostop10 | March 3, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

It's an upgrade if I wanted a team fill with another fell short players as coaches.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 3, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

SAOTI: Please help!!!

Just recently CI had been completely overrun by dark siders! Based on their mantra to "rape, pillage and plunder," they had created havoc like a group of Oakland Raiders fans at a baby shower! Broken and empty bottles of goat's blood littered the landscape and the Sunshine Kids (save capscoach & cap'n kirk) hid trembling, as anyone who said anything positive about the Caps were attacked!

Now, due to the trades maybe, or maybe because the dark siders are recovering from the hangover, the Sunshine Kids are everywhere! People are drinking Kool Aid and singing happy songs those who dare say anything negative are being disparaged!

Is there no such thing, as SAOTI, as the happy medium?

BTW, ever heard of "tennis elbow?" I'm getting "fence butt."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 3, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, Tom, the critics will come out in droves as they disect every rush and back-check. The 1st goal against that Arnott, Wideman, or Sturm on the ice for GMGM will get hammered. That's why I don't hang out on here during the games. I tried it last year but found it hard to truly follow and more importantly, enjoy the game.

I do have to say that as a kool-aid drinker I still say WTF throughout the game, so it's not like I have rose-colored glasses on while I am watching the game. I can however say the I have never hoped the Capitals lose a game so a coach or GM could get fired. Ultimately I just want the boys to win.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 3, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Alright............I know this is late, but it is to the point.
If, at the beginning of the season, I had to bet on who would be the #1 Goaltender by this March, I'd have put my money on Varlamov. And it would have been based on Varlamov's size and his athleticisim.
I really like Neuvirth's performance of late and I particularly like the fact that he showed that he was very hacked off at his team during a late, bungled PP in the last game against the Isles. I like a goalie with some edge, attitude, whatever you want to call it. Maybe it is a function of maturing and/or gaining confidence, but I am starting to see this in Neuvirth. Good for him. If you don't like how the team in front of you is playing, get in their shorts.

Posted by: prestoj | March 3, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

@boomer

nothing but the chronic up here ;)

My disdain for BB runs deep now, but I was actually a big fan of his when he came on board. The Theodore/Erskine situations last year sent me over the edge, and the damage is irreparable in my mind. In a nutshell, here are some reasons I don't think BB is fit to coach in the NHL:

-treating grown men like trash
-displaying favoritism and creating a caste system
-idle threats in the media about icetime and benchings
-his coaching performance last spring
-the constant looks of bewilderment and exasperation followed by comments to the press like "I don't know what the problem is"
-his performance on 24/7 that I didn't see but heard and read lots about
-the NHLPA poll identifying BB as the easiest coach to play for
-his stupid commercials
-suspect comments pertaining to players who played for BB

I'm sure there are some other reasons that escape me at the moment, boomer, but I'll be sure to let everyone know about them when I give it some thought....

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 3, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

@ Vermmont...here is my take on your reasons not to like BB...

-treating grown men like trash
BB treats the guys great, that is why the majority like playing for him, Erskine is a guy I like, but he is the 5th or 6th D man at best, if Theo had played better the coach would have had the confidence to play him in the playoffs
-displaying favoritism and creating a caste system
the caste system is a myth, a coach at that level is going to play the best lineu no favorites, his jonb is on the line, there is a lot of pressure on coaches at the pro level
-idle threats in the media about icetime and benchings
you and others read to much into this, he is trying to motivvate the team
-his coaching performance last spring
can't argue too much there, except I believe everyone expected the players to keep performing, not always the coach's fault
-the constant looks of bewilderment and exasperation followed by comments to the press like "I don't know what the problem is"
he is not going to tell the press everyhting so that other teams pick up on it, the same is with the GM's dealings- they are not going to tell the press and the fans all the details
-his performance on 24/7 that I didn't see but heard and read lots about
I saw and i agree, but he isn't the most educated and debonaire type of guy, he was playing pro hockey from high school to now, that is all he knows and the Caps were in the midst of an 8 game losing streak, not an ideal time
-the NHLPA poll identifying BB as the easiest coach to play for
this would contradict your two statements about treatment of the players
-his stupid commercials
I agree, I wish he would stop those ads
-suspect comments pertaining to players who played for BB
not sure what you are talking about with this one, but arecord 175-76-38 and three straight division titles are all indicitive of an above average NHL coach

Posted by: boomer44 | March 3, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Steckel IS out of shape, and maybe that was one of the reasons he was traded. One player's conditioning (especially one viewed as expendable) is hardly an indicator of the team. Could it be that GMGM pulled a fast one and is only half as bad as many of you think?

Posted by: CapsDK | March 4, 2011 3:37 AM | Report abuse

I'll say it again: Neuvirth is luckier than he is good. He gave up some really, REALLY juicy rebounds last night that somehow, by some miracle, never found their way into the net, and a couple of times he was so weirdly out of position that it was almost like playing with an empty net.

Varlamov is WAY more solid, a much more complete goalie if he can just keep the injuries away. We're lucky to have Neuvirth -- he's a decent backup, but that's all. Until he gets some clue about controlling rebounds he will (or at least he should) remain a backup, and the soft goals he gives up, like that first one last night, have got to stop. It seems sometimes that his attention wanders a bit.

And I'm not so sure that Holtby might not be breathing down his neck. Holtby has looked really solid except in one outing where he got scorched. But everyone gets scorched sometimes.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | March 4, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Steckel is not on our team and we have an upgrade.

BB is Coach and will be for a while.

GM is the GM and will be for a while.

C Stanton and company are idiots.

Let's GO CAPS!!

Posted by: ballgame21 | March 4, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

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