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The Capitals missed out on a chance to take a commanding lead of the Southeast Division with yesterday's 3-1 loss to the Hurricanes, who Washington now leads by just four points. This week won't get any easier for the injury ravaged Caps as they have to play three games in four nights against the Eastern Conference leading Bruins, Senators and Canadiens.

*Here's the Hurricanes' take on the victory. It was Paul Maurice's first win since his return, the end of a three game losing streak and also a strong showing by Michael Leighton, all of which could help Carolina find momentum to challenge the Caps for that top spot in the division.

*In addition to his two-point night over the Leafs on Saturday, Karl Alzner received some attention from the Canadian Press in his first game in Toronto.

*CBC had a breakdown of Alex Ovechkin's season thus far and also discussed the 'rivalry' with Sidney Crosby to lead into the Caps appearance on Hockey Night in Canada this past weekend.

*The NHL's board of governors meet in West Palm Beach, Fla. today and tomorrow and is expected to discuss the struggling economy's possible effects on the league. Something to note is that the head of the NHLPA, Paul Kelly, wasn't invited to the meeting as has been the case in years past. You can read Pierre LeBrun's preview of the meeting here.

In the system:
*Despite the seemingly never-ending Southern migration of players to D.C. Hershey keeps right on winning, first with a 4-2 win over Hartford on Friday to tie the franchise record of 10 straight wins and then a 3-0 shutout of Norfolk to break the record and make it 11 straight last night.

*It's not a small accomplishment either. The Bears franchise is now in its 71st season and this year's team was still able to rewrite history despite the injuries, call ups and everything in between.

*TSN does a review of the Caps' top prospects and recent draft history.

*The Saskatoon Blades continued their winning ways with a 4-3 victory over the Chilliwack Bruins Friday. If you scroll down a bit, you'll find that Braden Holtby had an odd equipment emergency before the game when WHL officials told him he couldn't use his traditional Sherwood sticks. Also here's the latest installment of the StarPhoenix's on the road journal.

By Katie Carrera  |  December 8, 2008; 8:38 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: 'Canes 3, Caps 1
Next: Lepisto Sent Down

Comments

So the ad to the right of this post is for Johnny Walker Blue. Sounds like a good breakfast, so if you'll excuse me...

Posted by: Section117 | December 8, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Firstly, congrats to the Bears for the 11 game streak - great stuff.

I thought we played strong last night, controlling the puck for large portions at a time and often it looked like we were on the PP when it was 5 on 5. We did get lots of shots on Leighton but not quality shots. I don’t remember too many stellar saves from him, except for one really quality one on Aucoin on the doorstep.

Some may have seen that I opened my big mouth last night about how good a point would have been ..... about 30 seconds before Staal scored the game winner. Nice Dave, real nice.

However, after sleeping on it I feel I’m only partial to blame as there was no way Jose should get beaten on the post like that. Now I've been a defender of Jose on these boards before but its pretty hard to defend him based on his performance last night. Come on JT, I’m trying my hardest here but you gotta give me something to work with.

That said, whilst I can’t defend him last night, I simply cannot fathom the mentality of others who deride him so much, especially referring to him with petty nicknames. Hey, I’m all for silly nicknames for opposition players (Cindy for Crosby, Shrek for Malkin, Spearing Midget for Briere) but to do it to someone who is playing on our team is wrong in my opinion. By all means say he stunk, say he let the team down but to resort to name calling disrespects yourself as much as it disrespects him.

One other point. It was my understanding that penalty shots could be taken by any player on the ice at the time of the penalty and not solely by the player fouled (to borrow a football term). Now I realise we were shorthanded when the penalty shot came so wouldn’t have had masses of offensive talent on the ice (I can’t remember exactly who else was out there with Ovie) but given Ovie record wouldn’t it have been an idea to give the penalty shot to someone else? Does anyone know what options BB had?

Ovie used to skate directly in, hard and fast and use that leg kick/lift to fake the goalie. He seems to have completely given up on that approach. What gives Ovie?

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | December 8, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Question for the hardcore fans out there...I will be in the Southwest for the Bruins game and really wanted to see it. I will be in some big hotel and will have my computer. Thoughts on my chances of being able to see it live?

Posted by: vkova10 | December 8, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

rh71,
Boo is right, I have kind of perfected a method of bringing up the video highlights on NHL.com without seeing the score. It involves minimising browsers and much covering up of certain parts of the screen with hands, paper etc! :) Why I don’t just ask Mrs DaveUKCapsFan to get it started for me is beyond me!

However, your request was for something other than that and it seems you’re getting flamed for it. I understand you liking the way RSS updates you for Tarik’s posts 90% of the time but I suggest you just bite the bullet and unsubscribe to RSS. By bookmarking the blog and not being automatically updated of new posts you get to:

a)Spend hours constantly refreshing/ pressing F5 in the hope there is a new update

b)Mistakenly talk to yourself on an old thread whilst everyone else has moved to the new thread

I wouldn’t miss those joys for the world!

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | December 8, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

You continue to win the Googles sir.

Posted by: Section117 | December 8, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Section 117: That is disgusting! This is America -- we drink bourbon for breakfast.

Posted by: uncatim | December 8, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I'm only just telling you what I see on the ads (which now shows off getting Sirius at Radio Shack, they still are in business?)

Posted by: Section117 | December 8, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

DaveUK
Head over to NHL, watch the replay of the Staal goal.

1. Puck is behind net. JT's looking from his right shoulder, sees the puck go to his left turns his head.
2. Puck is passed back to Staal for the easy put in. It was a simple case of, JT had to guess, and he guessed wrong.

But watch closer. Helmer is on the left post covering like he should. 25 however, is just standing there with his thumb up his ass. If 25 pinches in to support his clearly outmanned teammate, that goal's not scored.

8/19/25 had a horrible game last night. Worse than 42/43.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

JT is horrible it is that simple man.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 8, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

JT is horrible it is that simple man.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 8, 2008 10:51 AM
-------------------------------------------
Shouldn't you be posting about how horrible the injury situation is?

Posted by: Section117 | December 8, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else notice Ovie trying to battle in the corner in the offensive zone last night. May have been late 2nd or early 3rd period. He took a shot on the boards and let out this primal scream?

He was then favoring his arm for most of the rest of shift. Didn't take any time off, but we can only hope he doesn't have a Chris Clark Fore-arm problem.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Ovie has a bruised arm and is day-to-day.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 8, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Sami did not have a good weekend defensively.

Can we keep Alzner over any scrub that might be coming back off the injury list?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 8, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

seriously, alzner's been a FORCE, this has been a damned good week for him. i'm sure bruce and gmgm are smart enough to keep him up here for good :)

Posted by: jess4caps | December 8, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Can we keep Alzner over any scrub that might be coming back off the injury list?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 8, 2008 11:29 AM
-------------------------------------------
You're an idiot.

Posted by: Section117 | December 8, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@FFSEnough,

I heard that scream, too. Watched it again last night and saw that was the play that Whitney (I think, somebody for the Canes anyway) got high-sticked and was screaming out.

Posted by: chucktownCAPSfan | December 8, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

jess/lyle

They might not have a choice. When the regulars come off LTIR, Alzner is back in Hershey.

If players keep getting hurt, Alzner has a chance to hang around up here. But this early injury bug has cost us some late-season Alzner.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

chuck

I know the one you are talking about. It was the one where Bradley pinched in the corner and the Canes player dislocated his elbow. This one was most definately Ovie. He was skating around, shaking his arm and favoring it a bit. Took a couple slashes later in the same shift on it, but stayed out and played the rest of the game.

Have to wonder if that's his lingering injury and if it might be the reason for his slower production.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

What's the deal with the injury to Semin? Is he getting closer to playing?

Posted by: mazamaniac | December 8, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

@mazamaniac

Semin has officially retired.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 8, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

At least Helmer or Collins didn't get hurt. Bad enough that our regulars are hurt. Now the replacements are hurt. I can't imagine this going any worse right now, except for a key injury to a certain player with a single digit jersey number...

What did Tarik call it, the "Department of You Can't Be Serious". We're there.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 8, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Hey folks! Don't forget voting for the AHL All-Star game starts at noon!!! My guess is it will be here: http://www.theahl.com/allstar/2009allstar/ but theahl.com should have a link somewhere if not. Once it comes up, I'll post the link.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 8, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

We outplayed the canes for 97% of the game. I agree the JT is an overpaid mistake. Your team plays that well in front of you on less than 24 hours rest and on the road. You don't see a shot in the third for the first ten minutes of the period.and you don't hug the post. C'mon! The Caps have given consistent effort the past 2 games and were unfortunate last night. It just puts you in a bad mood because we did play so well. We will be a different team when the One-Man breakout "Greenie" is healthy.

Posted by: psugolf | December 8, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

JT's rebound control is CRAp. He isn't expected to kick a shot that he saves on his left pad over to the right as FFSEnough implied we expect in a previous thread. No, he needs to guide it to the boards to the left not right back into the high slot. The fact is the man is paid 4.5 million dollars to do a job, not average, but top-notch for that salary. Being in a 1-1 game on the road with 5 minutes left is a well played road game. The Caps controlled the game for the most part and had Carolina hoping for overtime.

All of you getting on OV, give me a darn break. The guy is doing all he can on a team that has lost talented forwards as well as defensemen. I know that most of you appreciate OV as much as I do but the rest of you need to jump off of this bandwagon please. The real Caps fans have realized what everyone else around the league has...that's that OV brings his game every night, and he wants to win. His missed penalty shot in the 2nd was because he was dog tired. Not sure why BB didn't call the TO to let OV catch his breath. That penalty shot was just as important as resting guys for a critical PP opportunity.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 8, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

psugolf

he hugs the right post, it's a wrap-around on the left side. CAR played that rush perfectly and the goal happened because of Kozzie's lack of support. Go watch it again of you still don't believe me.

And by Overpaid mistake, what other option did the Caps have this offseason?

..done till next blog.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 8, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The Caps dont even need a Marty Brodeur type goalie. They just need a consistent one. both goalies have shown inconsistencies.

Then again, the guys in front of him havent shown a whole lot of heart either.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 8, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Can we keep Alzner over any scrub that might be coming back off the injury list?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 8, 2008 11:29 AM
-------------------------------------------
You're an idiot.

Posted by: Section117 | December 8, 2008 11:35 AM


Another brilliant and completely useless remark by the biggest blowhard on this board - Section117

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

We will be a different team when the One-Man breakout "Greenie" is healthy.

Posted by: psugolf | December 8, 2008 11:55 AM

Perhaps better on the transition game but worse defensively with the turnovers and sloppy play. "Greenie" is by no means a savior since he only plays one end of the ice

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The only reason Theo is still getting chances to be the #1 with the way he's played is his salary. If he weren't making over $4 mil his butt would be stuck to the bench most of the time by now.

Whoever defended Theo please don't. Yes, we had a lot of chances, but once against Theo got completely outplayed by the opposing goalie. One who makes a fraction of his salary for that matter. This has been going on all season. I can't remember 1 game in which he outplayed the opposing goalie. Even in games in which he didn't allow many goals. He basically had nothing to do.

When we dominate the game like we did last night a #1 high priced goalie is EXPECTED to stop the occasional shot. That's his god damn job and he didn't do it.

He can be blamed on all 3 goals in my opinion.

1. Crappy rebound & slow to get up.

2. Foot off the post.

3. Fishing for change on the ice way before the shot is taken.

#3 is the most concerning because he does that all the time. Sometimes he gets lucky and the puck hits him. But when it doesn't he's in no position to react to the shot. His fundamentals are all wrong right now. He's playing like I did as a goalie in floor hockey games. But what works well against random bums who can't get their shot up doesn't work in the NHL. The top of our net is constantly unprotected when Theo is in goal and players around the NHL have caught on.

Last thing. Collins impressed the heck out of me again. Very quick skater, makes great decisions, knows when to step up.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1 -

I'll repeat it for the 22nd time since you seem to either ignore my posts or can't get it through your thick skull. WE ARE A MUCH BETTER TEAM DEFENSIVELY with Green because we spend MUCH MORE TIME in the OTHER TEAM'S ZONE! I'm really not sure what you don't get about this. This fact alone makes us a much better team both offensively and defensively. There are many others, but I won't bother typing what I've written before.

Also, your opinion differs with anyone who knows anything about hockey, so what does that say?

There are 29 teams in the NHL that would fall all over themselves to take Greenie off our hands right now. They must all be stupid. Same with every pundit on TV that considers him one of the top young D in the league.

Any offensive D-man is gonna give up chances sometimes, but his positive contributions far outweigh his defensive liabilities. He's the most important guy that we have out right now. It's like Anaheim playing without Scott Nidermayer.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1,

"Greenie" is by no means a savior since he only plays one end of the ice

Posted by: cstanton1

How would you explain Green being +10 if he sucks so much in the D-zone?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

fanohock

This complaint about rebound control is going to be a running problem on this board forever I see. No matter who is between our pipes.

I find it a little humorous, as it is this precise topic that got me posting on the boards in the first place. There's a misconception amongst some fans that goalies can and should have complete control over the rebounds they give up. Do they practice rebound control, sure. Every goalie does. And when you have full view of a shot coming your way, you should have complete control over your rebound.

As a shooter, you are taught to shoot low and wide to produce rebounds. Why low? Leg pads are extremely difficult to control the rebounds on. They are not a flat surface like a paddle or blocker, and can produce soft or hard rebounds based on where the shot hits the pads. Why wide? To get the goalie moving a piece of his equipment he already has very little control over.

Combine the elements of a good shot from the point, with two white-jersey screeners infront of JT and no defensive support *42 and 43 on the same side of the ice) after the initial shot and you've got a recipe for disaster. The goal doesn't happen if 1) JT sees the shot the whole way
or
2) Our defenders are not bunched on the wrong side of the ice.

As a goalie, you have to trust that your D won't leave you hung out to dry. 1st and 3rd goals last night were just that. 2nd was Kozzie hanging his d out to dry.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Section 117 - Why am i an idiot? and thank you for the insult

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 8, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Someone above said that we played bad last night. Not sure what game you were watching. We played very well actually, especially on so little rest and with so many regulars out. That is why I'm so frustrated with Theo. He lost the game last night, not the team. And it's not the first time.

I've said it many times before, but it's completely obvious that while the players are being politically correct in post game interviews they have zero confidence in Theo. The team plays a whole heck of a lot better in front of Johnny. When Theo is in goal I see them trying to constantly compensate for the fact that they're terrified of giving up any shots.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks jmu_capsgirl,
I apreciate the heads up. Voted for some very deserving Bear/Caps. Will do so again.

Posted by: _Mark | December 8, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I would love to be a fly on the wall in Bruce's office when the topic of goaltending comes up. We may all be wrong, and he may be completely happy with the goaltending situation. Maybe we can send windjammer undercover to find out what BB thinks about his goalies since windjammer has so much insight to the injury situation. Re: "Ovie has a bruised arm and is day-to-day." Is windjammer actually Smitty living a double life?

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 8, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

ranndino

His fundamentals are off right now? I'll have to ask you, what were you taught to do when the puck is nearby but you don't know where it is because one of your D-men tries to fall on it?

Just asking.

I'll defend him all I can when he deserves it. Early in the season the guy was horrible. Back when he was giving up goals on first shots of the game. I didn't really like the 3rd goal last night. That was one he had the best chance to cover of all 3. But again, being hung out to dry by your D doesn't lend for much of a chance on that or any play.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey, where is the injury update?? I kind of look forward to see a "new" injury update with the same old "day-to-day" news?

Seriously though can we get an update on fedorov, green, semin?? Did any of they skate yesterday or today?

IS ANYONE TRYING TO COME BACK WED OR FRI??

Posted by: DCSPORTS | December 8, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

fanohock

..As would I. I'd love to be proven wrong and find out that JT60's only getting chances cause of his $. I'd love to find out that BJ01 is on the bench cause of a nagging injury.

If I were coaching from 414/armchair though, I'd probably be doing just what BB's doing. Maybe I'd have gone with BJ01 earlier in the year when JT was struggling. Maybe I'd instruct my team to let a few more shots go early in a period to keep JT60's head in the game. I think that's my only knock on him right now is his inability to stay "fresh" when facing a low number of shots. Our D is very good at that, but it's the little breakdowns right now that the Bears need to get a handle on.

It was mentioned before, if 42's skate was really broken, he should have gone in for repairs. Better to play with 5 than 5 + 1 broken skate.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Lepisto back to hershey

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | December 8, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | December 8, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Greenie is back

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | December 8, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

you think helmer/collins was better than lepisto??

Posted by: DCSPORTS | December 8, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

DCSPORTS

Tarik mentioned there was no practice today, so I doubt we get anything but morning reading today. They skate at KCI tomorrow so hopefully early on we'll get a "____ is on the ice and hasn't limped off yet..."

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

No, but with the other call-up/down logic, he was a puck moving defensemen

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | December 8, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

FFSE - Thanks...I guess they could all use the day off...

Posted by: DCSPORTS | December 8, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

If Lepisto is on his way back to Hershey that must mean Green's back. Lepisto is the only defenseman on the squad that plays Green's style right now. Thanks for a job well done in a time of need Sami!

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 8, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

DCSPORTS-"you think helmer/collins was better than lepisto??"

Japer said it best last week. "The next time Lepisto impresses me will be the first time."

I think the real problem is he's being asked to do too much at this moment. Just like JT shares some blame but not all, 42 shares some but not all. Hopefully this is a sign that one of our defenders is ready to come back.

I love the rotation of Bears though. Give every guy a taste. Get them hungry, cause we have some big holes to fill next year.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Breaking News!

windjammersouth has carpal tunnel and undergoes surgery. He's done for the season. Capitals Insider puts him on LTIR.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 8, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Since windjammersouth types with it's toes, I don't think we're free yet. More like day to day, on when the Caps lose, off when good things are happening.

Posted by: _Mark | December 8, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Dave:
So you're not a fan of the Three-or-More name, huh?!? Come on, you have to admit, it is pretty funny ... :-) Besides, we've played, what, about a third of the season? How much time does he need to settle in?!? "IF" Johnny is the hot hand, then play him until he is not. Seems logical to me, but what do I know?!?
-Boo!

Posted by: HeyBooBoo | December 8, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

FFSE - All I know is I like Sami's stlye better than collins. Offensively he helps the most.

If we have greene back, then I understand why he was assigned to hershey

Posted by: DCSPORTS | December 8, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Midget reports that "we'd rather hear from Cheef".

Posted by: Greg S. | December 8, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

On Theodore: Agreed, better rebound control..heck, better everything...is a must. However, on several occasions I have seen our skaters turn a potentially disastrous big rebound into a solid scoring chance. Also like him or not, let's save the derisive nicknames for opposing players...and hope that someone can neutralize Lurch (Chara) when we play Boston.

On Nylander: Agreed he needs to shoot the puck more. That said, given his stickhandling and skating abilities, I'm glad he skates for us and not someone else.

On Ovechkin: He is the best in the game, but nonetheless a human being...which means not everything will be perfect. I have never before seen a player who can come that hard to the body game-in and game-out, while still scoring electrifying goals.

Every Superman has his Kryptonite. One would think that--unopposed on open ice--he would be 100% unstoppable. Strange as it may seem, though, OV's Kryptonite may well be the Penalty shots/shootouts. Frankly, if that's the only weak spot in Ovechkin's game, I'll accept it gladly. I can think of worse weaknesses for a player to have.

Praying hourly that we get some regulars back healthy soon. In the meantime, whatever happened to Quentin Sacrifice-the-Body Laing?

On Green: Agreed he may give up some breakaways now and then, but his D skills can't be that bad at +10. Besides, if the other team doesn't have the puck, they generally can't score...well, except for that guy in MTL who shot on his own empty net...LOL

As for getting a Veteran D back into the mix...is Brendan Witt available?

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 8, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Boo,
Johnny seemed to tweak something Saturday night. He seemed to "walk it off" to finish the game, but I wonder if it is lingering. I have always liked Johnny and hope that he continues to play that steady, solid, calm way. Jose scares me sometimes with the way he thrashes around, but I haven't given up on him.

Posted by: _Mark | December 8, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

FFSEnough,

Yes, his fundamentals are completely off. I explained in detail why. I personally have a soft spot for goalies and would also defend him if he deserved it. The fact is that he does not. You can make excuses on particular plays all you want, but his stats and the fact that he gets outplayed by anyone in the opposing team's net speak for itself. How many times was Leighton left to hung out to dry last night? Way more often than Theo yet he came up with big save after big save. I'm not sure if you follow the rest of the NHL or only watch the Caps, but I do. Theo has been one of the worst goalies in the league this season, without any doubt. And yes, a goalie is EXPECTED to save even tough shots when his teammates screw up. That's what he is there for. Otherwise we'd play with an empty net. As I've jokingly suggested before that might actually give us a better chance to win.

Brent is no all star, but he's been consistently much better than Theo this season and deserves to be the clear #1 by now, regardless of salaries.

Around the league goalies that suck get benched. Anyone who knows anything about goaltending can point out to you why Theo's fundamentals are way off. The 3rd goal was the best example of that. He was in no position to react to the shot and he does it all the damn time. Just crouches down on the ice and hopes for the best.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

ranndino

"I've said it many times before, but it's completely obvious that while the players are being politically correct in post game interviews they have zero confidence in Theo."

Ok, I"ll bite. How is it obvious? Where is the proof they have zero confidence in Theo?

I guess I'm on the other side of hte fence when it comes to Theo...most of the goals he gives up...and yes I know it's his job to be the last line of defense...are on the skaters shoulders. How many times do you see an opposing forward sitting on or right next to the crease alone? How many times do you see lazy forwards not backchecking or in proper position?

How many goals are the result of a bad break out? How many times are they a result of a Lepisto falling down behind the net or a Green standing around doing nothing in the defensive zone?

Just out of curiosity what are your qualifications to make blanket statements like you did here or this one...

"Also, your opinion differs with anyone who knows anything about hockey, so what does that say? There are 29 teams in the NHL that would fall all over themselves to take Greenie off our hands right now."

There's no question that Green is a huge talent. But there is also no question that he's a defensive liabilty.

Posted by: Yoshietree | December 8, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40,
Laing would be exposed to waivers coming back, I believe. I don't think the team wants to risk losing him. Also, right now they have a large pool of offensive talent to bring up and let have a taste of the bigs. God love him for all of the heart that he brings, but I think Laing will stay in Hershey this year.

Posted by: _Mark | December 8, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

ranndino

I'm not too sure that Leight WAS left out to dry. Most of the Cap's shots came from the perimeter. Quality shots were, I believe, equal.

I have to give props to Carolina. They played a good 2 periods (1st and 2nd) and got lucky in the 3rd. Leight was phenominal last night.

I'm with FFSE on this. I didn't see too many faults with JT's performance. The D is understandibly green and prone to newbie mistakes. When AHL'ers are up against Staal and Whitney, bad things can happen.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 8, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

i was disappointed when Huet bolted. look at what Huet is doing this year. JT was bad early, but hasn't played bad over several games. seems like there are a lot of haters out there. too bad it has to be that way. not sure the guy can do anything to change the haters minds. for the rest of us, just have to stay tuned to see how it all plays out. i gotta think it only gets better.

Posted by: doughless | December 8, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

How many games has Theo stolen for us this year?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

From the TV perspective:
1st.goal.
Backstrum loses puck to Hurricane
Lepisto recovers it and tries to get it out of the zone.
Hurricane player intercepts at blue line
and shoots
JT make the stop, falls and gets himself out of position, leaves wide open net.
Whitney and another carolina player rush to the net. Whitney scores.
Jurcina, OV, Backstrum are all step behind Carolina players.

First lets give credit to the great hustle by Carolina players.
Second. JT has no one to blame
Third. Jurcina, OV, Backstrum could have played it better
Fourth. Lepisto had no blame on this one.

And here is all you hear from the blubber mouth of our sportscasters:
"...where is the ducks, where is the wings, where is the tampa bay, blah, blah, blah, ... Stops, rebound, whitney".
Great play-by-play team.

Posted by: opita | December 8, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

One more thing I've said before a few times. It's clear that the team has much more confidence in Brent with the way they play in front of him.

Almost all of us, Caps fans, go "Oh, crap" when we find out that Jose is starting. I guarantee you that the players do as well by this point. They're just being PC in interviews. They can't just come out and say that their supposed #1 goalie sucks.

I'm also willing to bet that Boudreau is not at all happy with Jose's play. He's been trying to shield him from criticism as much as he can because goaltending is a special position and is even more than any other reliant on confidence, but at some point he has to make a decision. The problem is that his options are pretty limited. As soon as Brent gets on a roll he seems to get injured so BB is left with no choice, but to go back to Theo.

Perhaps when our injury situation clears up a bit we might get a look at what Varlamov can do. The problem again is that even if he does well we can't really keep 3 goalies up like Edmonton is doing. Aside from that not being a good situation we don't have the cap room. Trading Theo is not an option either because his market value is zero right now. He makes too much money and has, at best, been barely adequate.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

doughless,

We are not haters. We simply assess his performance realistically while you JT lovers keep making excuse after excuse for his terrible play. Yes, he can do something to change our minds. He can start to play like a #1 goalie who makes a crapload. I can't speak for the others, but that would surely change my mind. I have nothing personal against JT. In fact, I wish he would play well. The problem is that he hasn't. I'll be as happy as anyone if he gets his crap together.

Making constant excuse based on our D also doesn't work. How do you then explain Brent's numbers being MUCH better? He plays behind the same D.

This is a results oriented business. If you're the boss and give your employee something important to do and he screws it up 80% of the time it won't be long till you find a replacement for the bum. Unforunately, in the world of guaranteed contracts it's not so easy.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

new thread

Posted by: cbs75 | December 8, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Huh? I see a team playing about the same no matter who's in net, Johnny, Theo, Olie or Huet. They make the same pathetic clearing attempts, failures to clear the goal area, give up 2-1s, etc. If anything, it sort of appears that Johnny does better in the shootout/2-1 situations.

Posted by: koalatek | December 8, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

optia

Not quite sure why you are tossing Juice's name in there. 42 was paired with Helmer (43) all night. And there were only 3 goals scored by CAR last night.

2nd goal, JT ABSOLUTELY has Kozzie to blame. Again, those who don't believe me, go back and take a look.

ranndino

You haven't really explained WHY his fundamentals are off. You've mentioned top shelf is open, but, surprise, it's open on any goalie. It's the hardest part of the net to cover, luckily it's the hardest for an opposing shooter to hit. You mention something about floor hockey, getting out played by the goalie at the other end of the ice (how this matters in goalie comparison I'll never know). Your other support is the stats against them. I'm going to assume mean GAA/SV% Again, how this matters in comparing goalies on different teams, I'll never know.

And please, answer my question: What do you do when the puck's nearby but you don't know where it is...? I'm curious what you were taught. To speak of goalie "fundamentals" speaks to having been taught at some point in your life.

As for how much hockey I watch. Whatever Cox gives me. Do I pay for Center Ice? no. But VS Game of the week, whatever's on NHLN, I watch pleanty. Other than that, I'm not going to get into an unverifiable discussion on my "hockey resume." The only things I will do is form easy to understand arguments about what I'm seeing when I watch a game from 414/Couch and go back and re-watch opposing goals against us to know what happened and who's to blame. NHL.com is the best sports tool in ALL major sports.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Yoshietree,

On my number 1 quote it's obvious from the way the team plays in front of Brent as opposed to Theo. I've explained it many times before. Perhaps you don't see it, but I do.

Also, the proof is in the pudding. Check the stats. Like I just said both play behind the same D, so these excuses are a bunch of malarkey.

On my #2 quote. It's not a blanket statement. It's a fact. Like I said I follow the whole league, not just the Caps, so I see what other coaches and managers think of Green. I also didn't say that he's not a defensive liability sometimes. You should read what I write more carefully. I said that any D who's as offensive minded as Green is a defensive liability sometimes. It comes with the territory. When you constantly jump into plays you're bound to screw up sometimes or even just be a victim of a bad bounce. Regardless, we're a MUCH better team both offensively and defensively with Green than without. That's just a fact. When the opposing team is hemmed in their own zone they can't score, can they?

I'm not gonna go into what my qualifications are. I'll leave the constant, self aggrandizing boasting to Puckguru. I just know that I have a very good knowledge of hockey and leave it at that. All I can say that I recognize talent when I see it and the other way around. Since I've closely followed hockey for about 20 years now I've proven that I know what I'm talking about to myself (because of how players' careers have played out). You obviously don't know me, so there is no way for me to prove it to you. Asking me to do so is quite silly.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"Greenie" is by no means a savior since he only plays one end of the ice

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2008 12:08 PM
-------------------------------------------
Look at the team's record without Green (and Green's +/-).

You're just made of fail, aren't you?

Posted by: Section117 | December 8, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

FFSEnough,

I did explain how his fundamentals are off. Yes, the top part of the net is the hardest place to cover, but of the goalies I constantly get to see (I do pay for NHL CI) Theo goes down way before the shot is taken most often. The difference between him and a good NHL goalie is extremely noticeable when it comes to that. He also seems to lose sight of the puck much more often and just sit there, frozen, while it's shot into a completely unprotected area of the net around him.

If it's beyond you how the fact that he gets constantly outplayed by the opposing goalies is beyond you I'm not gonna be able to explain. Same with judging goalies from different teams based on their stats. It's kinda the way the whole world does it. There's a reason why some goalies are considered better than others, get played more, get paid more, etc. But hey, according to you there's no way to tell that, for example Tim Thomas has been better than Jose this year. Oh well.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Why am i an idiot?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 8, 2008 12:26 PM
-------------------------------------------
Well, which "scrub"(s) would you rather see a rookie with 7 games in take the place of?

Posted by: Section117 | December 8, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

for a few responses, over to new blog, ranndino.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 8, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

FFSEnough,

I do agree with you on one thing. The new NHL website is brilliant. Perhaps you can use it to watch other team's highlights and seeing how their goalies are much better than Theo and save tough shots night in and night out.

BTW, if you wanna look at fundamentals watch Luongo or Brodeur play a few times. Or even Manny Fernandez of Boston. As solid as they come.

I can't cite Tim Thomas for fundamentals. He does it all wrong, but by being an incredible athlete and defending his net with the ferocity of a female lion defending her cubs he gets the job done.

All right. I need to get some stuff done so off the blog for a while. Thanks for the discussion and don't take it personally. I love talking hockey and hey, sometimes we'll disagree. It's all good. As long as people don't say stupid crap like questioning Green's or Semin's injuries and calling them derogatory names I'm cool.

Posted by: ranndino | December 8, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

1st.goal.
Backstrum loses puck to Hurricane
Lepisto recovers it and tries to get it out of the zone.
Hurricane player intercepts at blue line
and shoots
JT make the stop, falls and gets himself out of position, leaves wide open net.
Whitney and another carolina player rush to the net. Whitney scores.
Jurcina, OV, Backstrum are all step behind Carolina players.

First lets give credit to the great hustle by Carolina players.
Second. JT has no one to blame
Third. Jurcina, OV, Backstrum could have played it better
Fourth. Lepisto had no blame on this one.>>

Finally an honest perspective. The turnover was by Backis. Which gets glossed over because he scored the only goal. If one of our 3rd liners had the puck on his stick instead of Backis that goal never gets scored because the puck gets moved AHEAD instead of Backis flubbing it with no one close to him. It almost looks like he tried to pass it behind him for pete's sakes!

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Randinno "Also, your opinion differs with anyone who knows anything about hockey, so what does that say? There are 29 teams in the NHL that would fall all over themselves to take Greenie off our hands right now."

>

Both statements are true. The issue here is that other teams are more sound defensively so Greenie's mistakes don't get compounded quite so much. On the Capitals we cannot afford to have a primary defenseman make so many glaring mistakes. And since Green's on the ice usually with our top line, that leads to even more chances against since neither Koz, Backis or Ovy pay attention to their own zone as a unit. So without our forwards helping cover his mistakes, it all falls on Mo's shoulders.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Greenie" is by no means a savior since he only plays one end of the ice

Posted by: cstanton1

How would you explain Green being +10 if he sucks so much in the D-zone?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2008 12:19 PM

Being a + player doesn't equate to him not making more than his share of mistakes defensively. Gonch was a + player for part of his career and then tumbled into the minuses and then went back up in the pluses. There's more to judging a player then his individual +/- numbers. Other defensemen on this team get to play with the 3rd and 4th lines primarily so they don't get the benefit of Ovechkin or Semin's individual plays.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@DaveUKCapsfan

The player who is fouled on a breakaway (like Ovechkin's) takes the penalty shot.

If the penalty shot was the result of
A) an opponent intentionally knocking the goal off its moorings
B) someone other than the goalie covering the puck in the crease with their hands
or another "team foul" not against a specific player, then the coach has the choice of who takes the penalty shot from his players who were on the ice at the time of the foul.

Posted by: gebster | December 8, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

And, after looking at the game report----the other 3 people on the ice with Ovechkin were Laich, Morrisson, and Helmer.

Posted by: gebster | December 8, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I feel for Lepisto. He gets nervous w/ the puck on the point - even-strength or on PP. He sometimes handles the biscuit like it's a grenade. You gotta be relaxed and focused out there or you'll never make it.

If you could put Helmer or Collins' brain in Juice's skull he'd be an All-Star. I hope Jurcina is fired up about playing his old team on Wed. night.

I'm sorry but Alzner is not impressing me much. His goal in TO was a soft wrist shot that the goalie was screened on. I've yet to see him check a guy hard. Maybe I put too much emphasis being physical. Morrison has been taking the body lately and that is encouraging, but we don't have enough thumpers on the blue line. We need a punisher like Tinordi was b4 injuries and concussions ended his career.

Posted by: hockeygood | December 8, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

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