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Morning Reading List

The Capitals' 5-2 loss to Edmonton yesterday was, in a word, ugly, which was evident to the coaching staff, players and the fans who booed from their Verizon Center seats. Washington heads to Pittsburgh the losers of three straight games -- tying their longest losing streak of the season -- and hoping to stop being "too cute" when they face the Penguins at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

*Mike Wise talks about the NHL's flawed promotion of one player (Sidney Crosby) over another you may have heard of (Alex Ovechkin) along with the criticisms of this year's All Star balloting system.

*Here are the Oiler perspectives on the game from the Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun.

*ESPN's Scott Burnside notes that while there is a definite buzz surrounding today's Caps-Penguins game the hubbub is more about the two teams' entirely different courses this season.

*The Canadian Press examines the Ovechkin-Evgeni Malkin feud.

*Both the Calgary Herald and NHL.com share their picks entry for mid-season awards and, like many of these lists before them, give Ovechkin the Hart Trophy.

*Steve Kolbe's Take Five this week features Jose Theodore.

Penguins Cliff notes:
*The Penguins have lost seven of their past nine games, but managed to nab an "unexpected" 4-2 victory over the Flyers last night in Philadelphia that sends them into today's game against the Capitals on a relatively positive note.

*The Penguins say they're ready for another physical game against the Capitals.

*For the game against the Flyers, former Capital Matt Cooke was promoted to the top line with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Cooke scored a goal in the Pens' win, but it's hard to say if the combination will stick together.

*Pittsburgh has fallen quite a bit since its run to the Stanley Cup Final last season and is looking for just about any way to get itself back into the playoff picture. The Penguins currently sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 46 points.

*Personnel department: The Penguins expect to be without Pascal Dupuis (undisclosed injury) for a fourth straight game against the Capitals. Paul Bissonnette was recalled from Wilkes-Barre Scranton yesterday and played against the Flyers.

In the system:
*Jay Beagle may be close to returning to the Bears' lineup after being sidelined since Nov. 8 with a concussion. Beagle took full part in Hershey's practice yesterday, skating with Kyle Wilson and Quintin Laing. Check out the Bears full line combinations here.

*Also don't forget about Bear Tracks before Hershey hosts Albany tonight at 7 p.m.

*After posting a 28-11-0-1 record so far this season, the Bears are ready to get the second-half of this year's campaign underway. Here's a look back at some of the highs and lows from the first half.

By Katie Carrera  |  January 14, 2009; 7:50 AM ET
 
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Next: Helmer Recalled?

Comments

It's going to be a long night in Sittsburgh tonight....

Posted by: 555Mass | January 14, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Repost from last thread:

Haven't read all the posts but I am extremely happy to see that some of you are sick and tired of fans(?) booing the team. Some say that if you pay to go to a game you have the right to boo. Everyone is welcome to their own opinion, mine is, real fans don't boo their teams everytime they go to a game and their not winning. Sickens me. Now, I was at the game yesterday, and even left with 8 minutes left because the Caps really looked deflated. I didn't boo and quitely shuffled out at a whistle (I commute 70 miles each way as a STH so give me a break).

The Caps again terribly outshot a team only to have the opposing goaltender have his best game in weeks. Are we in a slump? I guess you could say we are. I would say we are more in a luck slump though. What I mean by that is when a puck can slide 6 inches either way it just seems the ice is tilted away from us right now. We've had what, almost 100 shots in the last 3 games? That's a ton of shots. Until Flash buried the goal in the 2nd we had actually witnessed 6 straight regulation periods, and 1 overtime period without a goal at Verizon Center. (Last 2 periods against Philly, shutout against Columbus, and no goals in the 1st yesterday). Although we are in a luck slump I am not ready to panic because the boys are showing up and outshooting the other teams, they just aren't getting the bounces right now.

Remember this too fellow Caps fans, when the Caps closed to within 5 points of the Bruins they suffered 2 straight home losses and have since spun out of it, we'll be OK. Actually cheered for the Pens because the Flyers are on our heels right now. We ended up having a little luck on our side Montreal, Philly, and Carolina all lost too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 14, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what's happening with Semin, but Kozlov needs to be back on the first line.

Posted by: BearsFan12 | January 14, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Everyone was so worried about Erskines return and he was the only one putting bodies into the boards. I'd like to think this streak is just from coming down from the high of beating Philly. Lets hope they are pumped up again for armPittsburgh tonight. Oh and don't forget Boston as well.

Posted by: cappies | January 14, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Hope many of you are now starting to see my point on the good news headed our way down the road. The losing streaks are necessary from a mental standpoint. Most zoo animals don't quite understand it but that is case going back to the caveman period.

Remember keep your glass full. (Consider yourself lucky you are not an engineer.) It appears the Coach is learning that in limited circumstances the Alex squared and Semin experiment works but not at this time. Koz was having a great run so lets get him back on the top line. He will go to the net (some). I still clamor that in order to get to the second round of the playoffs we need a veteran LEADER defenseman who can move the puck like wild boy Greeny but with brains.

Is anyone more excited than me about the beginning of the stretch run?

Looking Ahead: Really really Good News (update)

The last 21 games of the season the Caps schedule includes:

13 games against division foe
4 against Atlanta
3 against Tampa
3 against Florida
3 against carolina (2 at home)

2 games against the Maple Leafs

1 against the Bruins (A)
1 against the Penguins (H)
1 against the Flyers (A)
1 against the Predators (A)
1 against the Sabers (H)
1 against the Islanders (A)

Looking good for the stretch run...no rush to rush back Poti.

Posted by: windjammersouth | January 14, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Can we put Flash, Clark or Laich on the top line if the Pens are placing Cooke on the top line again tonight?

Posted by: caps28fan | January 14, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else kinda wish that Mike Wise's stir the pot article regarding Ovi being better than Sid was printed tomorrow vs. day before the big game? While I agree, just wish those sentiments were either stated earlier in the week or after a big victory tonight. Thanks for adding to the fire there Mike.

Hope that at the pre-game skate the top line is 8-19-25.

Posted by: Kim-3 | January 14, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Every team will have a slump in the season, it is only natural. I do not get too upset unless there is a totally lack of effort, and I havent seen that (except the 5-0 loss at Buffalo)

Things will get turned around, we still have a 10 point lead in our division.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 14, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

You are right it is going to be a long night if someone doesnt get in front of the net. Last night was the worst I have seen in a really long time.

I would agree with the booing in the booth... it is like we are sitting in Philly! Come on no one is happy about the way things have been going but why boo them...

Posted by: RedRocker | January 14, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Play Fehr, 56 shots in 26 games, nothing "too cute" about that. Did I mention he may have only received 6 minutes of ice time in some of those games???

Posted by: Freez | January 14, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Erskine comments.... anyone....he seemed to be the bright spot last night. Good for him!

Posted by: RedRocker | January 14, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

They're not saying "Booooo" they're saying "Shooooooot". LOL. I agree with the other posters, we are there to cheer our team not jeer them. Bad games happen and bad streaks happen.

If BB insists on playing 8 & 28 toghether put 91 between them, maybe they will play like they did in the World Championships.

Posted by: ds_kelly | January 14, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

On a positive note, Erskine was back in a big way. He looked good out there getting physical behind the net.

Great goal by Flash.

I thought we were very off as far as shooting. Shots in legs, and plenty of shots right in the belly of the goalie.

It's a small hiccup going into the break, but it would be really important to get some life and intensity back in the next two games.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 14, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

My observations from last night from 414.

1. Caps, for a while, were near the top in the league in 1st period scoring. Aside from MON, they haven't scored a first period goal in a while.

2. Steckel had a bad night. Giveaway led directly to a goal for their third goal. A poor back-to-d attempt him then a lack of ability for the guys on the ice to get to a man and win the puck. (Bad pinch by Juice, poor recovery by Stecks and Brash, neither kept their feet moving.) At the game, I felt like their 4th goal was also the result of a bad clear by Stecks that led to a long shift in our zone, but I see now that it was 14/92/10 on the ice for it, so maybe I was mistaken. Still, their 4th goal looked to be more a result of traffic than anything else, something 55 and 26 need to work on. 5-on-5...no excuse for long shifts that look like PPs. Find a man and stick him.

3. If it's 5 on 5, find a man and stick to him. I hate seeing our goalie get screened 5 on 5, and that's what that first goal was. Laich and Juice both blocking JT's view.

4. Why do I hate being able to yell "No lazy stick fouls, Semin!" and within 5 seconds that's precisely what he does. BB's got to start making guys accountable for their actions. 2 penalties last night, one took away a powerplay before it even started, and the other cost us a goal.

5. Tired of the lack of grinding on the PP. It's time for Clarkie to take his rightful place infront of the net with the man advantage. Even Laich seems unwilling to stand there.

6. Dare I say it, but I keep feeling like 55 AND 26 have regressed from last year. Each are easily our worst d men on the team right now.

7. 52/4 was a good pair last night. If 26/55 wasn't so bad, I'd like to see 52/4 more often. We really miss Poti.

8. Yes, there were some bright spots last night. Flash's goal was beautiful. But 45 seconds of 5 on 3 with no goal is inexcusable. Even worse, 45 seconds of 5 on 3 with barely any shots is down right laughable.

Lastly

9. Bruce has done a great job. We're near the top of the east. We have an exciting team. But we also have a team that is having trouble finding what works, and he keeps chasing that white rabbit looking for a line that will click and give us 20 goals a game. I would agree that the lines needed a major shakeup in the 3rd (he either demoted Ovie to 2nd line, or promoted Laich and Feds to top line), but I still want to see some consistency in the lines. Give something a few games to work out the kinks.

9b. I kinda feel like there's a book on this team right now. 4-back int he d zone at all times creates chances for other team's offense cause we don't have guys who can go get the puck after a dump in. On our PP, teams are being overly aggressive and we don't know how to handle it. Coach needs to adjust what he's doing (I'd say adjust the PP Personnel) to get teams back on their heels.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 14, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Freez

I'd like to see Fehr get a sweater again once Gordo is back. Sit Stecks a game or two. One thing I noticed is in some of our "comebacks," it has been Fehr who has ignited the spark. Maybe not with a goal, but with hustle and grit.

Move Brads back to 4th line, give Clark more time shielding goalies for Flash, Laich or Semin.

And, again. 17 on the top PP unit, PLEASE.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 14, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

damn, so much to discuss from last night.

I swear, this is it.

I know many people have differing tastes with regards to art and music. But I feel like, as someone said earlier, boo?, that the night got off to a really bad start with the anthems.

I can't figure out what was worse, the Canadian Anthem or our SSB. I don't hate a cappella in general, but both renditions last night got on my nerves. The horrible beat-boxing over the singers was completely unnecessary and ended up ruining both songs for me.

Only bright spot I saw was the style of SSB they did messed up the "O" folk, which is a major peeve of mine. I don't know, maybe I'm looking for too much (or in this case, too little) but these felt more like some wackjob HS drama teacher's version of a broadway classic than the actual anthems.

Never thought I'd wish for the return of Bitsy Watson. From this point on, Kaleb Green or Bob MacDonald.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 14, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

that was probably the worst effort game from the caps i have seen this season

on a good note, the sexy lumberjack played one of his best games last night

Posted by: _stevo | January 14, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Its time for Ovechkin and Green to stop getting a a free pass from Boudreau. Ovechkin stays out for 3+ minutes when hes dog tired. There is no reason to leave him out on the PP for the entire time, when hes standing around waiting for the puck to come out to the point.

Someone on the coaching staff should explain to mike Green that if you are a D man and you successfully skate the puck into the O zone you should make a pass. Time to see how good a coach BB is

Green and Ovechkin were horrible, Backstrom was ok, semin missed on his chances. Ovechkin wont come of the ice and he wont make a pass. He seems to do this when things are going bad for the team, he doesn't trust anyone else to make a play. Boudreau needs to punish/coach both these guys they are developing bad habits. Whats gonna make Crosby a better player than Ovechkin is that Crosby likes to practice as its a game, Ovechkin likes to skip practice and its ok.

Stop partying all night and get ready for practice.

Posted by: ohaque23 | January 14, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Agree with a lot of the comments. 4 was probably the best Dman on the ice last night. (Hope I didn't just jinx that.)

55-26 is ... no. Did NOT work.

Guys, I think Ovi's got a problem. This all started after the All-Star teams were announced, and his slump started after that. Is he okay? :(

It looked to me like a lot of the problems we had last night were missed passes, missed shots, and general inaccurate aim. I still think some of those shots could easily have gone in if they were aimed correctly.

Steckel had a horrid night. Poor guy.

One bright spot, I noticed, and I've got to give the team kudos for this. One of the PK's we did late in the second or early in the third was AWESOME. They got aggressive, they kept the puck in their zone, and they had EDM chasing all over the ice. Whatever you did, guys, on that particular PK, KEEP DOING IT.

I want more #16, too. He contributes more than I think people realize.

Someone last night shouted "WE WANT HERSHEY". I laughed, because it's true. What did we ddo when Hershey was here? Whatever it was, do it again because it WORKED.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 14, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Just reminding everyone about tonight.

Mister Days in Clarendon will be host a get together for Caps fans. A bunch of us will be arriving at 6 or 6:30 for happy hour and to hang out. They are giving us the plasma room so we can have noise and it is $2 beers and apps til 8 or 9.

Hit me up if you need any more details.

We are looking to get 20 to 25 people tonight so come out and support.

94

Posted by: numero94 | January 14, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Also, my posting will probably become more minimal during the day - work just exploded and I just had a tight deadline dropped on me. I'll see the Mist Days crew tonight.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 14, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Section117 | January 14, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Tonight is rebound night... let's look for a good game with some scrapping.

Maybe Sid and Sasha will get into a fight... if so, I hope Sasha has his cup in place. ;-)

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | January 14, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Hey Kittypawz et al.,

Still want to make fun of me for predicting a loss against the Oilers??

This team has no heart. For a guy making $5 mil/yr (Mike Green) to say that they weren't ready to play last night just about sums it up. How long would you last in your job, if you show up and tell your boss that you are not ready to work today?

Here's another prediction: THEY WILL LOSE AGAIN TONIGHT. Mark my words.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | January 14, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

FFSEnough:
Regarding the anthems, AMEN ... on all accounts!! :-)

Posted by: Boo- | January 14, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I miss the Hershey Boyz.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 14, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

FFSEnough: I agree with your assessment. The only thing is, if I remember correctly, the 4th goal was the result of a lost face-off in our zone. There was a late change that brought Feds on to replace (?), which could be blamed on BB. Because Feds was late he was kicked out of the face-off circle and Bradley took the face-off, he lost it, and the puck never got out of the zone.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 14, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock: +1. Booing your home team is lamer than a Sindy fight video. Week 15 in the Lions' stadium? Put a bag over your head---and root FOR your team with all your might! But booing the 18-3-1 (at home) Caps for their first really flat game in weeks says more about you than about the team. And it's a compliment to neither.
Really: Do you want to say the same thing to the Caps that you say to that slimy punk Briere? Didn't think so. Use your power to pick *your* team UP when you can!

Posted by: redlineblue | January 14, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Dannyboy is right. I said they would win against Oilers and lose to Pens. Pens are looking better and will beat Caps tonight. no heart is the Caps motto for last 3 games. Caps in a 10-12 game slump------you watch. Sat. against Boston Caps better be careful

Posted by: phrdlick | January 14, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Bring back the Ovie/Backstrom/Kozlov line! In the past 4 games with the Ovie/Backstrom/Semin line, Ovie has 1 assist and we're not scoring much.

Make it:
Ovie/Backstrom/Kozlov
Flash/Federov/Semin
Laich/Nylander/Clark
Brash/Steckel/Bradley

Get back to the pairings we had when we were winning!

Posted by: sargeantmofo | January 14, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

DannyBoy1975: You know, just like the fans(?) that boo I get sick and tired of eyore (not sure if I am spelling that right, looking for the name of the bummed donkey on winnie the pooh that bitc#$s about everything) fans. If the Caps would have won and your prediction would have been wrong you wouldn't have come on here today and said that you stand corrected. Now that you have predicted they WILL LOSE tonight I expect to see you post something stating you picked against the Caps and you were wrong. Most likely you won't though.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 14, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Uh oh ... DannyBoy is marking his words again ...

Posted by: Boo- | January 14, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

regarding that Canadian Free Press article on the Ovechkin/Malkin "feud"....

"Ovechkin has defended his play by saying that he hits hard against every opponent, although he does not have a reputation among his fellow NHL players for regularly throwing his body around."

Right. The guy who has been among the league leaders in hits since he entered the league doesn't have a reputation for regularly throwing his body around....

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 14, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

@phrdlick

What makes you say the Pens are looking better? They are 2-7 in their last night. That was a nice win last night, but to say that the Pens are back on track isnt really a statement that most Pens fans will agree with.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 14, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The last three losses have largely been the result of sloppy play and lack of power play production (they're having difficulty gaining the zone and setting it up). I think this may be the result of reinserting a handful of injured players into the line-up. I am not suggesting that it would be better to have the Hershey call-ups over Semin, Fedorov, Schultz, Erskine, Flash, etc., but while those guys were out, there was a certain chemistry and consistency developed by the guys who were playing together for more than a game or two at a time. Hopefully, the chemistry will start to return tonight, but I think we'll get our groove back once all the regulars are used to playing with each other again.

Posted by: crazycarl16 | January 14, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I swear they are the absolute WORST team in NHL history with the 2-man advantage. They have never done jack, and they still don't do jack. It's terrible.

As far as booing, I have zero problem with it. What, you've never had to discipline your child or send them to their room? This is no different, except we're not paying $75 to see our kid not clean up their play room or not play nice on the playground. Yeah, teams go thru slumps and a stretch like this is to be expected, but don't half-ass it out there. Fundamentally, they were crap. That should be booed. As a STH, I take it in stride...I've seen a lot of good and can afford to take in some bad at this point. I just feel bad for the people who make it out to 1 or 2 games a year, and those who maybe came out because of Boswell's pimping. They got served up a nice pile of steaming crap.

The notion that fans should never boo their own team is entirely too passive. I liken it to this cadre of Nats fans that say they don't care how bad the Nats are, they waited 30+ years and bad baseball is better than no baseball. Well, good for you. Be content with a loser. Not me. I'm fine with The Plan and I'm a huge fan of The Plan, but show us something tangible.

The rules for the Caps have changed. Expect more. Demand more. We'll give you nights like last night...we can't do much else at this point. But don't forget what got you here. Get it out of your system and get back to trying to be great. The team even has it on t-shirts: good is not good enough.

Posted by: Zornado | January 14, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

The pens are 2-7 in there last 9 games, and have been outscored 35-20 in those 9 games. They are not playing "better".

Posted by: cj658 | January 14, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

wow - work exploded -- what can be more important then communicating on this thread? Don't let your boss know.

Now Danny Boy you may be all about negativity but see what's coming in March:

Is anyone more excited than me about the beginning of the stretch run?

Looking Ahead: Really really Good News (update)

The last 21 games of the season the Caps schedule includes:

13 games against division foe
4 against Atlanta
3 against Tampa
3 against Florida
3 against carolina (2 at home)

2 games against the Maple Leafs

1 against the Bruins (A)
1 against the Penguins (H)
1 against the Flyers (A)
1 against the Predators (A)
1 against the Sabers (H)
1 against the Islanders (A)

Looking good for the stretch run...no rush to rush back Poti.

Posted by: windjammersouth | January 14, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Anyone listen to the BB post game press conference?

He made a comment about some PP stats he has, but didnt share. Suggested that PP was doing great 2 weeks ago, but crap now, I would say he was hinting certain players being in and out of the lineup.

Would you say with Sem and maybe Green in the lineup, there is more showboating or "cute" passing? To a point that we just dont work hard enough and grind it, everyone wants to finish.

Posted by: jerry2178 | January 14, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Zornado:
Ya ... I don't have kids but if I did, I would never boo them. I am a STH and have been for awhile. I don't care how much I pay for my tickets, I will never boo my team (trust me, they know when then are playing badly - they don't need me to remind them). I could be wrong, but I am guessing that they are a little bit more frustrated and disappointed than I am when they don't bring it. SO if I ever feel that strongly about, then I won't renew my tickets (and seeing as I was a STH when they had a losing record, that probably won't ever drive me to stop buying tickets). I go for the love of the game just as much as for my Caps. I've said it before and I'll say it again - NEVER BOO YOUR OWN TEAM.

Posted by: Boo- | January 14, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Gotta say it - Ovechkin looked *horrible* last night, and has for the last few games. His shots are from the outside and either soft and predictable or miss wide by 10 feet, his passes are either to members of the opposing team or little dribblers that totally interrupt the flow, and he's decided he doesn't need to backcheck at all. He was never much of a backchecker, but now he seems to just float while the puck's in the D zone. If he had a "92" instead of an "8" on the back of his jersey, fans would be demanding he be traded or waived immediately.

Look, OV is one of the finest players ever to play the game, and this little slump is certainly just a hiccup, but he's either injured now or he's got some work ethic problems. Either way, it needs to be addressed.

Also, the booing was just fans' frustration with the Caps ridiculous power play. No problem with that - they deserved it. We've come to have high expectations of this team, if they're going to look like tools out there, they can expect a response.

Posted by: katzistan | January 14, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@FFSEnough - Totally agreed on the "O" crap in the National Anthem. THIS IS HOCKEY, BOYS AND GIRLS, NOT BASEBALL, AND NOT BALTIMORE!!! JEEZ!!!

Ahem.

I did like the arrangement of Oh Canada, but the Star Spangled Banner had several chords that failed to settle, and made me cringe.

Re: Last Night's Debacle

We put shots on goal, but as fanohock1 said, the ice seems to be tilting away from us right now. We'll fix it.

As for Ovechkin's slump... yeah. He's had streaks where he doesn't score in the past, but this whole All-Star thing seems to have gotten the whole team down. We have a BUNCH of guys who deserved to be in there, and because WE took the high road and didn't cheat, they now probably think we hate them. And the booing last night did not help.

We totally need to NOT boo our own team. That just is NOT cool at all!

Did anyone else see a "holding the stick" penalty that wasn't called on Edmonton last night? It was near the end of the last third, and it was absolutely blatant. And that wasn't the only missed call I saw, but it was the worst.

At least they got called for boarding us when they did THAT.

Now, we probably got away with a thing or two last night, too, but the one that sticks out to me was against Edmonton, because it teed me off very badly.

Re: DannyBoy1975 -- PLEASE: Don't Feed the Trolls!

@fanohock1 - It's Eeyore, but don't insult the donkey, please? I kinda like his blue-purple self... :)

Posted by: irockthered | January 14, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

as much as i hate to say it, this team has missed Gordon the last three games.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | January 14, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Pretty simple...man-up and play like hockey players instead of cutesy ice capades. Hit people, shoot the puck, and go to the net hard.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 14, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

So the Caps lost 3 games in a row. One was the result of outstanding goaltending (Mason), and one was a 1 goal loss in the final seconds to a very good Habs team on their home ice. Last night was the only game of those 3 which was pretty ugly (Think they may have been looking past the Oilers?).

It will happen every once in a while. Every great team in pro-sports goes through slumps. (See Boston in the NBA right now, & the Rays went on a monumental losing streak before the All-Star break last year in the MLB). I don’t understand why people are booing and hitting the “panic” button. It is nonsense. The team has a almost a cupcake schedule for the “stretch run”, and a bottom line is, the SE is pretty weak. The Caps basically have the 2 or 3 seed locked up. To say this team has “no heart” is nonsense. Dannyboy sounds like he had cheese and wine this morning for breakfast. I doubt Celtics fans were saying the Celts have no heart after their recent 3 game slide. All good teams go through rough patches, period. Obviously DannyBoy has not been watching pro-sports for to long.

Posted by: cj658 | January 14, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

as an O's fan, i am all for the OOOO during the national anthem. Yes this isn't Baltimore, but being from Maryland and growing up without the Nats, i consider the O's my hometown team as many others do. As for Boo-ing your own team, well...they kinda deserved it and may give them some more motivation. They're big boys they can handle it. Once again THIS IS NOT PEE-WEE hockey

Posted by: _stevo | January 14, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I actually didn't see a lot of what I'd term "cutesy" hockey last night. We weren't hitting as much, but we weren't doing Ice Capades stuff either.

I agree with crazycarl16: the chemistry problem is probably what happens when you insert new players into the lineup. Look at our last three game losing streak. What happened then?

The game immediately previous was the Ducks game where Mike Green got gronched.

Then we lost in Los Angeles to the Kings, in San Jose to the Sharks, and in Minnesota to the Wild.

That was a period in which we were getting a TON of Hershey Bears onto the team, at the rate of... yeah. Two to three at a time, due to injury.

Now said injured players are coming back, and the same thing appears to be happening.

@sargeantmofo - I agree: Ovechkin/Backstrom/Kozlov worked; Ovechkin/Backstrom/Semin did not. I suspect they put Semin on a line with Ovechkin so that Ovi could watch his back, but that no longer appears necessary, so...

Posted by: irockthered | January 14, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Can't believe there are so many postings about booing. Wt@? Get over it. That team deserved to be booed last night. If I've been saving for 6 months to take my family to a professional game for $250.00 then add parking, food, concessions etc...I've damn well earned the right to boo a team that laid that egg!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 14, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Sargeantmofo

Get back to what works...put Semin on the Second line...that first line experiment is too much flash and not enough bash.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 14, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Fans boo the team, just like the coach yells at them when they are in a slump.

It's no big deal, and I dont think anyone on the Caps bench thinks we suck as fans, and arent loyal when they are playing bad.

We expect solid play, cheer them when they do good, and let them know when we dont like what we see.

Now booing Donovan McNabb on draft day...thats a different story.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 14, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

To the Booers:
How about if we all come to your offices and boo you when you're off your game?!? :-P

Posted by: Boo- | January 14, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@DannyBoy1975: making fun of you? No, dude, that was calling you out. Show up sometime when we're winning and let's see what you say.

Like a lot of people have said - all teams go through this. I think it has a lot to do with reinserting injured players into the lineup, and the chaos that that is currently causing. There certainly seems to be a lack of chemistry and communication, and a lot of being cute. Again, product of a lot of reinserted players. I think Semin's the center of that, myself.

Also, Ovi is in a bad patch. Seriously. He plays on emotion, and I think the All-Star nonsense hit him harder than he lets on.

To say this team has no heart is a whole pile of crap, and whoever said that didn't watch the end of last year and is probably just saying that to raise ire.

Yeah, Danny. I'll mark your words. Using yellow snow.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 14, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@boo

come on, i dont have 19,000+ people pay to watch me work finances and excel spreadsheets all day

Posted by: _stevo | January 14, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I remember a few years back rushing home from work to catch the Caps on my Center Ice package up here in NJ knowing quite well i would probably be a loss. Here we are now biting our tongues over 3 losses, 14 total. Lets take a minute and just say Wow, we came a long way. haha

Posted by: cappies | January 14, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Boooooooo!

;)

Posted by: Goat_74 | January 14, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

If I miss a deadline or forget the cover sheet to my TPS report and my boss expresses disappointment to me about that, he is "booing" me. If I deserve it, I have no problem with it.

I would never boo my kids either, but that's not what I said. It's perfectly fine to express disappointment with those you care about and love. It doesn't mean you don't love them or care about them any less. In fact, if you didn't ever do this, I'd even argue that something's wrong.

Posted by: Zornado | January 14, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure the team will sort out its issues. If the issue happens to be the All Star snubs...get over it. I'm pretty sure that if someone ignores you the best thing to do is keep winning and looking back over your shoulder as everyone else fades away. I can't honestly believe that's the problem. I don't know what it is but someone needs a fire lit. I didn't make the game last night but I watching online and it was an embarassing performance. I think the players know that.

Do I look like a b&^(ch?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKOBqH8pQaQ

Let's get up for the Pens.

Posted by: saintex | January 14, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I thought before the season the Caps would win SE easily with 110 pts. That still holds. Would like them to turn it around tonight though. The Pens are reeling and it's always good to kick the dog when it's down.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 14, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"Gotta say it - Ovechkin looked *horrible* last night, and has for the last few games. His shots are from the outside and either soft and predictable or miss wide by 10 feet, his passes are either to members of the opposing team or little dribblers that totally interrupt the flow, and he's decided he doesn't need to backcheck at all. He was never much of a backchecker, but now he seems to just float while the puck's in the D zone. If he had a "92" instead of an "8" on the back of his jersey, fans would be demanding he be traded or waived immediately."

Agree 100%.


Posted by: ohaque23 | January 14, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Shot, I'm off my game everyday. If you show up and boo or yell at me all day because I suck, I'll either get better or get over it. I'm not much for booing but it's not something that's completely off limits. They're pros, they stunk last night, and they (and us) expect more.

Pick up your room!

Posted by: saintex | January 14, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Well, the difference between 92 and 8 is that 8 is the MVP, has 55 points this season, and is probably the best player in hockey. 92 has two goals this season. I think the comparison is completely off base.

I do agree that 8 is struggling and let's call that for what it is.

Posted by: saintex | January 14, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I get booed every day at work, and that is reinforced and made clear every two weeks when I get my paycheck.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 14, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

kittypaws, I think you're on to something there re: Ovi. He does play on emotion. And I agree that this All Star nonsense is getting to him. He looks distracted out there, as if he's thinking of something else. He seems to be reacting, rather than creating scoring opportunities. I remember his comment about the All Star snub: "I don't want to talk about it." and "Maybe they don't like me ... because I'm Russian." Sounds like he's taking it personally.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | January 14, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Goat you dont boo! I think we were a little quiet last night. We need to get loud again

Posted by: RedRocker | January 14, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Ovechkin made a single pass in the game last night, except from point to point to Green on the PP. That is not right.

Posted by: ohaque23 | January 14, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I am sure I will get banned from this blog for this but...
since many comments have been made about the pregame anthem, I have one question (and yes I live in VA so I apologize in advance and truly I am not trying to offend any MD fans)....
I am not certain of the origin, but presume that when the crowd cheers "O" during the SSB that it is a trickle down from the Baltimore Orioles games. If memory serves it started back in the 90's.

In years past I have not minded this, however this year it is really annoying me. This is DC and we should have our own chant if this in fact has come down from the Orioles.

The "Red" chant has been limping its way through the crowd during the SSB given the new marketing campaign over the past seasons. Where I sit I have even heard a few "OV" substituted for the "O" chant.

Can we get a unique chant for the Caps games, thoughts?

Posted by: caps28fan | January 14, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Ovechkin made a single pass in the game last night, except from point to point to Green on the PP. That is not right.

Posted by: ohaque23 | January 14, 2009 11:16 AM
-------------------------------------------
Clearly he needs to sit in the press box for a game.

Posted by: Section117 | January 14, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Awh come on, Goat, you're not a booer!!

Hey, if Boo! does not boo, then should ANYONE really?!? ;-)

JSchon:
How much do I owe for referring to myself in the third person, again?!?

- Boo!

Posted by: Boo- | January 14, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Laich-Fedorov-Semin
Fleischmann-Nylander-Fehr
Brashear-Steckel-Bradley

All of the above lines have worked in the past. BB make it so.

Posted by: chuckatcws | January 14, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Since when is the national anthem a time to start shouting out random things?

Why dont we yell "O" every time they say it in O Canada?

If I wanted to keep Baltimore traditions I would cut my cost of living in half and move 45 miles up the road.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 14, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

BTW, I don't think booing works for children - at least, I've never tried it because I don't want to model immaturity.

I've spent a lot of my life arguing with people who believe - strongly - that the best way to change human behaviour is through punishment. The "spare the rod and spoil the child mentality". I don't think there is anything I or anyone else can say - no facts I can draw upon - that can convince such people that what they believe is false and counterproductive.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | January 14, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"Clearly he needs to sit in the press box for a game."

Honestly it wouldn't hurt. He played 26 minutes last night, is in a goal drought, they are playing Malkin and the Pens, he better keep his emotions in check.

Posted by: ohaque23 | January 14, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Baltimore Orioles = 2009 world series champions

Posted by: _stevo | January 14, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I'd hardly characterize 4 goals as a drought, especially since he didn't score in the 9 games after the opener.

That said, some time management is in order.

Posted by: Section117 | January 14, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@_stevo: "Baltimore Orioles = 2009 world series champions" It's cold outside be HE(double hockey sticks) hasn't frozen over.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 14, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

*home opener, that is.

Posted by: Section117 | January 14, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Wow - 3 losses certainly does change the prospects for the team with the 5th best record in the league. ;)
Sure, we're all repulsed by the lack of heart last night but this team feels it, I'm sure.
As for me, I will be rocking the red in the Arena tonight!!! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Malkin's a dead man! Crosby - dead! Who's with me? (Runs out of blog...)

Posted by: basrfg | January 14, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The ZOO is loose.

Posted by: windjammersouth | January 14, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

basrfg....now that is a speech !

Posted by: RedRocker | January 14, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

God I hate Pittsburg!

I hope cindy and shrek get run over tonight.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 14, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

i left after the empty net goal last night, and i didnt hear anyone booing? Regardless, I'm fired up for tonight. Would love to see ov get out of this mini slump and maybe even lay the hammer on malkin and crosby. I hate the pens and im proud to say, i hate them more than any other team in the league.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 14, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: CodePoetry | January 14, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

On the booing: I don't think its such a bad thing. They played like crap. It looks like they knew it (based on the interviews) and the booing lets them know we noticed it too. Its not like the pre-strike years where they lost badly all the time but due to lack of talent, not lack of effort.

Even good teams get into a funk. BB needs to either give some sort of Hoosier speech or scramble the lines. Clark back to line 1 anyone? I'm not saying this is the answer, just a dramatic action. I'm actually not entirely sure what the answer is.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 14, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

did anyone read about the rivalry with malkin-ovie on espn today? Crosby's comments are a joke. He is a clown. The donald is going to pummel goddard and i have to say that i hope bradley doesn't try to fight bissonnette again

Posted by: _stevo | January 14, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Why dont we yell "O" every time they say it in O Canada?

Posted by: SA-Town | January 14, 2009 11:23 AM

Because we are in America and we dislike our smug anti-ovechkin neighbors to the north.

Posted by: CapManJ | January 14, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Every time this team reads their own press clippings they become overconfident and start displaying bad habits. After big wins against the Rangers and Flyers the local media declared them cup contenders.

Hold on a second! You have got to put out a consistent effort every night if you want to get to the cup. The Caps need some to consume some humble pie and know that on any given day they can be beaten by any of the NHL teams. They need to play that way. It's ok to praise the team but it's also important to understand where you are and that is only half the the season is over. Time for a reality check boys. Lose tonight and we've got some significant issues on our hands.

Last year Detroit lost 7 games in a row or something like that and ended up winning the Cup. The only problem is, we are not Detroit.

Big Wake Up Call Tonight. Show us the Hunger again. The team that shut down the Rags and the Fly guys

Posted by: diner99 | January 14, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Y'know - I wish people would just sing the bleeping National Anthem and not shout out ANYTHING.

1) It's rude to the performer.
2) It's disrespectful of the Anthem.
3) It's annoying.

Yes, the "O!" shout comes from the Baltimore Orioles. We are not in Baltimore. We are not at a baseball game. We need to can that. But we are also not all the fans in the Phone Booth. I don't shout out "O!" or "RED!" for the reasons listed above.

@chuckatcws - Agreed on those lines.

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Laich-Fedorov-Semin
Fleischmann-Nylander-Fehr
Brashear-Steckel-Bradley

We need to go with what works, and Ovechkin-Semin do not work well together. I don't know why.

As for Ovechkin - yes, I believe he was hurt by the All Star sham voting.

Tarik and Katie - Has anybody told Ovechkin that the All Star voting was a crock and we voted for him, but we did it WITHOUT using a script to send 1,000 votes a day by text? Could someone please tell him that we don't hate him, we love him, but we didn't think winning by cheating would be a good thing, and the whole system sucks?

Posted by: irockthered | January 14, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Ovie and Semim play together on the PP. That is enough for me.

Posted by: cappies | January 14, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I really don't think Ovie cares about the All-Star voting. He just wants to win.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 14, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The Caps had shots in this game but they didn't have that many quality scoring chances in front.

A lot of the saves by the Edmonton goaltender were saves NHL netminders should and do make on a regular basis.

The creativity we saw from Backstrom and the increased traffic/pressure in front of the net produced by Laich, Kozlov was missing in this game.

The other factor in the 3 game slid has been defense.

The Caps have made a number of costly errors in their own zone, including attempting crossing passes in front of their own net and leaving players unmarked in the slot on opposing power plays while going out to challenge the point men.

If a goalie is not screened and doesn't have a stick down on the ice right in front to re-direct the puck, a shot from the point is low percentage.

Posted by: leopard09 | January 14, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

http://cdn.nhl.com/images/upload/2008/06/frozen_inside061208awards.jpg

Do this again and add a cup to the photo and OV will shove all that All-Star BS up the league and NBC a@@es!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 14, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Are you guys kidding about the all-star snub affecting the team??? That is completely absurd. If it were the case, they all need to be playing intramural softball instead of professional hockey, but seriously??? Does anyone really think anyone on the team gave a second thought to the fact that some computer program elected a bunch of Habs to the team? This team is just playing like crap now - not because of some silly voting process everyone knows is silly, but because they are just playing like crap.

Posted by: katzistan | January 14, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

CodePoetry, You are correct. That is indeed not Clark. Laich's face is longer and thinner, Clark's is broader across the forehead. Good catch and thanks for the link!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 14, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin knows he can change a game single-handedly. He knows this even on the nights when he can't.
I don't care how long you saved for your ticket: -grumble- away. You're booing an off night for a once-in-a-generation hockey player? You paid all that money and you're missing the game.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 14, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

numero94

I'll be there, but in civies.

All

I don't really care whether we win or lose - OK I really do but - I want to see effort and team play. I think it's safe to assume from the past 3 games that no ONE player can beat all 6 from another team and win the game. Individual efforts like Flash's last night will occur and be rewarded. It takes a team effort to win.

Green's goal will be the norm. Traffic in front creating a screen. Pounding bodies into the boards, forechecking, take-aways. Sitting on the outside taking pot shots won't work. We have 100 shots on net to prove that. We score with bodies in front mucking it up.

I don't think that the fans were booing the team so much as booing the lack of effort. Personally, I don't blame them for that. For as much as they get paid to play a game, they should be very "up" for every game.

Will they win them all? Nah. If they're plain out played by a superior team but they put in the effort, I'd applaud them. Mailing in the game like they did last night against a team like that they should be told publicly about it.

Just MHO.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 14, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin's grandfather died less than two weeks ago. Maybe even more important to him than the flippin ASG?

Posted by: redlineblue | January 14, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

New post. Helmer's in Pittsburgh.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 14, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I can accept a team not winning

But I can not accept a team not trying.

That is a reason to boo. Its like a dog..you dont give it positive reinforcement when it does something wrong/bad.

As much as people pay to go to games and see a quality product, when the team just gives up..you're damn right they should be booed off the ice. Let them know that their lack of interest is duly noted.


Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 14, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand how they know they need more traffic in front, yet nobody is willing to do it. Not a good looking game from Semin - talent is there, attitude and effort could use some improvement. Not sure who to change out, but I've always liked the effort that Fehr brings - and it usually looks like his line catches the energy when he's flying around. Also I recall Fehr as doing a pretty good job of creating traffic, crossing in front of the goal (much like Cole does). I know its only a few bad games, but I wonder if we've got the old Ottawa lineup here - too much skill and not enough grit? I still love my Caps, and I only boo the refs.

Posted by: theshawn | January 14, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

>

If your team isn't playing hard/well, you have the right to boo. To simply boo just because your team loses a game is extremely lame. But at the least every fan is entitled to expect to see a great effort from their team, win or lose.

Regarding traffic in the crease, why did the caps wait till the last 4 minutes before they decided to do that? seems this happens a lot. Snooze their way and then try and come back late

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@redlineblue - I believe that it's all of the above, personally.

The All Star game (affects the whole team).

Ovechkin's grandfather's passing.

Ovechkin injuring his friend Heward in a game.

Injured players coming back and throwing chemistry off.

Probably 3 or 4 other factors, too...

@katzistan - I would buy that about the ASG -IF- I hadn't read Ovechkin's comments on the matter. It doesn't matter what you think; it appeared to me that he was feeling shunned by the fans, and that, coming on top of the death of his beloved grandfather -and- him having hurt a friend in a game (and if you don't think THAT affected him, re-read the interviews; he was sitting outside their locker room in a TOWEL waiting for news!) -and- the ASG all at once would muck anybody's feelings up! ESPECIALLY someone who runs on emotions like Ovechkin does.

Posted by: irockthered | January 14, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Danny. I'll mark your words. Using yellow snow.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 14, 2009 10:56 AM

@kittypawz: I couldn't have said it better: enough of this defeatist nonsense!

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 14, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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