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Morning Reading List

aa61ee79-7cf8-4af1-ac58-046ad684e123.jpg
Nick Wass-The Associated Press

*As if last night's ugly game wasn't enough for the Capitals, afterward they received some more bad news. Back up goaltender Brent Johnson will have surgery on the hip that has bothered him all season and miss six to eight weeks. All of a the Caps go from what was a relatively stable situation in net to uncertainty without a proven back up for Jose Theodore.

*For more on Johnson's injury and the Capitals options in goal, check out the blog post from late last night.

*The loss was just the fifth loss and only the fourth time this season the Caps have failed to record a point at Verizon Center. Here are those games:

Oct. 18 New Jersey Devils 4-3 SO
Dec. 2 Florida Panthers 5-3 L
Jan. 9 Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 L
Jan. 13 Edmonton Oilers 5-2 L
Feb. 5 Los Angeles Kings 5-4 L

*In case you missed last night's game, here are the highlights.

Florida Cliff notes:
*To get you started early on tomorrow's game against the Panthers, a friendly reminder that although they may be 12 points behind the Capitals, Florida is battling for that eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference (where they're sitting at the moment with 58 points). They've also won three of their past four games.

*Defenseman David Booth and goaltender Thomas Vokoun both returned after missing a few games with the flu, to face the Islanders last night in what became a 3-2 Panthers' win.

*These are a more confident version of the Panthers everyone's used to -- ones that know how to finish a game when carrying a lead into the third period, unlike previous seasons. (You'll want to scroll down in this week's Southeast Division notes.)

*If you haven't noticed that young right winger, Michael Frolik is doing exceedingly well in Florida as the season continues, well, there's no time like the present.

In the system:
*The Bears face the Phantoms tonight in the Spectrum, as the Philadelphia franchise wonders not just what the future might hold, but where it might take place too.

*One more video for your consumption. Earlier this week Donald Brashear joined Willie O'Ree and the Kings' Wayne Simmonds at Fort Dupont Ice Arena.

By Katie Carrera  |  February 6, 2009; 8:22 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Johnson: Surgery 'Has To Be Done'
Next: Alzner Recalled (Updated)

Comments

Better to lose to LA than a team in the SE, does not hurt near as much and might be a good reminder

Posted by: majiksea | February 6, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Quick was superb during the closing minute of the game or the Capitals probably would have picked up a point they did not deserve. The defense remains too inconsistent. They are too slow and get beat too much. This team is in desperate need of a legitimate D-man. Without Ovie's talent, this team would be in the middle of the pack in points if that high. Ovie, Semin, and Green are scoring with consistency. Where is everybody else?

Posted by: jnjensor | February 6, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Well, without Ovie, any team is significantly worse -- but I don't think it's true that this is a bad team without him.

Nobody, excepting Jose, played a good game last night. There were flashes of brilliance, but no consistent excellence.

The lines need to be reworked. Boudreau should realize that Ovie can play with anyone because he essentially plays with himself (

I also admit that having Kozlov for that game last night likely wouldn't have prevented any of the breakaways, but he might have supplied a tying goal, or assist.

Get well soon, Johnny!

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | February 6, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Gotta come back strong against Florida. Solid D that's the only thing I'd be preaching after last night.

Posted by: cappies | February 6, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Is there any website that tracks Ovie’s progress against the Caps all-time scoring records?

Even if you have a list of all time Caps scorers as at the end of last season that would be great as I can bring it up to date myself.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 6, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Repost from previous blog:

Some observations from 414, and I need some help from those watching on the tube at home.

In 414, we were livid about a few things and I want to know if those at home saw what we did. Or, if you really did have a very good view at the arena, please help me out.

1) Kings should have been whistled for 3-4 goalie interference penalties in the 1st period alone. They were running JT like the flyers were last year in the playoffs.

2) Steck's "Trip" in the offensive zone. Trip or no? It didn't look like anything penalty worthy from 414.

3) I've backed it up and played it over and over and over on NHL.com. How the hell is a player, receiving a pass with his back to the net inside the blueline NOT offsides? Linesmen screwed the pooch on O'Sullivan's goal. We could see it in 414, and I can see it on the replay. Someone calm me down and tell me he was on-side...

4) I hate to keep griping about this stuff, but it's just what we saw in 414. End-of-game flurry, just before their 5th goal, there was a cross-ice pass in the offensive zone from Feds that he put the puck where Ovie should have been. And, it would have been a good scoring chance, but Dougherty had "fallen" all around 8 and he was nowhere near the puck. The puck comes down our side cause some players are too busy arguing with orange-band's instead of backchecking and winning the puck. From 414 it looked like interference. Not sure if it looked that way on TV or from other areas of the ice.

5) My right arm for Viktor.

6) Fehr on top line: Nevermore. Bruce put 14/92/16 together and they looked just as good as they did earlier in the year.

Anyway, I'm off-and-on all day. Hoping for a speedy recovery for BJ, and I hope we stay the course and go with Varly or Cheezer for the rest of the way. We'll be riding JT60 through the playoffs anyway.

This loss just made Saturday's game Gigantic!

Posted by: FFSEnough | February 6, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Not a great game. When the team is "on" it is not hard to overcome silly penalties and turnover. As we saw last night when the team is not "on" it kills them. Hopefully they can get it corrected.

Question for anyone. When the Caps win they talk about playing their "system". When they lose they say they did not play their "system". I have a little hockey background, but i do not know what their "system" is. Can anyone help me out?

Posted by: overhead | February 6, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure most of it has been covered from last night but I'll give my two cents.

First, that was the worst team defense I think I've seen at Verizon all year. It happens. I missed the opening Kings goal in the second period but there were three that JT60 was not responsible for: the 5-on-3, the SHG, the breakaway. I think he might have told his mates to hang around the locker room in the second period - he might as well have been out there alone.

Second, the last ten minutes was damn exciting. I hate to lose but at least there was some furious play at the end.

Lastly, I realized on the way home that if I had my druthers, I'd rather see us beat the best teams in the East - we do, consistently, than lose to them and rack up wins vs. non-playoff teams. Right now the battle is for the second seed in the playoffs. I know we can compete with the big boys and that's who we'll see in the playoffs.

Hopefully, they boys will round into shape and come back strong on Saturday night.

Posted by: saintex | February 6, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Only one word can describe last nights performance.......PITIFUL.....and they still only lost by one goal!!

Posted by: PhilR | February 6, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

" Ovie, Semin, and Green are scoring with consistency" "Where is everybody else?"

Where’s everybody else you ask? Let me ask you this, how many teams in the NHL have that type of scoring from 3 players? I believe it’s something like 71 goals between the three of them. Most NHL teams do not have more than 3 guys scoring at a that type of rate. If other players were scoring at a consistent rate like those 3, then this team would be averaging 5 or 6 goals a game, not happening. The Caps are near the top of the league in goals scored, scoring is not the problem. Turnovers, sloppy play, silly penalties, are problems, all of which can be easily corrected. Albeit, they are not “major problems. This team is sitting pretty right now, not too much to complain about. Goal scoring is the last thing people should be worrying about.

Posted by: cj658 | February 6, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

From previous thread, @JSchon

I think we're on the same page. I think that putting players in front of a "yelling squad" is ok though when games like yesterday's happen.

Posted by: mauree | February 6, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

saintex

You are right. We have to remember last night's game was against a Western foe. It really doesn't matter. Heck, most games VS the west don't matter and unfortunately, I think the guys realize that. We've sucked vs. the west this year, but in the standings, it hasn't really hurt us.

We have to take care of our own. While we've seen this team play down to their competition, my STH partner is very quick to point out that our schedule gets "easier" with a lot of games left vs. the SE. But they are all near the playoffs, and only one/two may be playoff caliber. So we're going to go into the playoffs having played a plethora of teams that are weaker than what we'll face. THAT will be the real test of this team. The next few weeks, they have to play strong and dominate the teams they should dominate in order to be properly prepared for whoever they draw in round 1.

Posted by: FFSEnough | February 6, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Brought over from previous thread: Some asked if the goals were defensive mistakes or JT. IMO JT played a great game. He should have kept control of the initial shot on goal 3 that trickled through and then slammed in, but besides that I though he played great. A couple of goals were so well placed they hits posts before going in, sniper shots. The last one was pure f'in luck, one King passed to another and JT went where he should have and the darn thing bounced back to the passer who slammed it home. JT stopped about 3 breakaways. I was hard on JT from Oct-Dec, IMO he's been very solid since the New Year.

Our D got burned. JB and CL talked about how it looked like the Kings studied game film. I don't know, maybe they did. I just think the Caps played lazily in the 1st 2 periods. Too little too late, but the 3rd period looked like men against boys. If not for Quick the Caps would have probably scored 7 or 8. I know Varlamov is hurt right now, but I am not sure why our team is so apprehensive to have him play a vital role this season since it seems he's up to the task. Many other teams are using their young goaltenders now. (Quick, Mason, Price, Hallack(sp, other mont goalie). If the kid can play at the NHL they should let them go for it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 6, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Ovi, Semin, Green, Backstrom, Laich, Flash, Kozlov all have over 10 goals. Its not scoring from other players as the problem.

Last night the sleptskate for 2 periods. It was sloppy and lethargic.

@mauree

I can be honest about the play of the time or any individual. I've been critical about many of players, the difference is I'm not ready to put these players in front of a firing squad, or blow up the team, or lambaste, browbeat, chastise, flog, bullywhip, drub, pummel, hammer, belabor, clobber, dress down, assail or castigate the players afterwards.

Posted by: JSchon | February 6, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

The defensive lapses were appalling but the end of the third period sure was fun.

Posted by: mjwies11 | February 6, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Back to what really matters, the Kings game is over.

Get well Johnson.
Get ready for the Panthers.

I'm not ready to blow up the lines again. The teams performance didn't showcase them. However, if Koz is back Saturday then he should be back on the top line with Ovi.

Posted by: JSchon | February 6, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

The other topic, regarding regular season and playoff points being tallied separately. Who knows why the NHL chose to do so but now that they have I kind of like it. It lets you clearly see who is a playoff player and who's a regular season player. Sometimes very skilled players don't perform in the critical games. Luckily all of our young guys passed that test last year. They all did well in the scoring department. It also showed that BB could make personnel moves in the middle of a series and be semi-successful. That game 7 loss still hurts. I just remember sitting back in my seat when Lupul put it in the net. I sat in shock as boneheads through stuff on the ice. Sorry, daydreamed for a second there. These playoffs should be great. No one will feel lucky to be there this year, the know they belong and plan to go deep into the playoffs. I think they believe they can win the Cup this season. I'm starting to believe it too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 6, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Defense is supposed to be played by ALL players.

The forwards weren't holding up their end of the bargain either, lets be honest.

In our system, puck control and getting into the corners is how we play, there was very little of that for most of the game.

Posted by: JSchon | February 6, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

fanhock,
I agree and I think when Varly is healthy he comes up to back up JT. I just don't see the point in waste Cap space on Gerber (or someone similar) when that could be spent on a S@H D-man. I would still love Neuvy to get a game if he is gonna be here for 2/3 weeks.

Mason = 20
Price = 21

If you are good enough you are old enough.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 6, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm going back to bed. My change that I left the game early for went about as well as the game did, and I didn't get home until almost 1:30 this morning, then couldn't sleep.

All I'm gonna say is this: EVERY TEAM has an "off" game. As long as it doesn't turn into a repeating pattern, we're OK.

They did look to be sleep-skating last night, from what I saw... Sortof like they were dragging themselves through the motions or something.

And we STILL only lost by one!

Posted by: irockthered | February 6, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Cool Brashear video. Thanks.

Posted by: uncatim | February 6, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

There is at least SOME good news in Tarik's print story... it's about Clark's wrist surgery. He says it was successful, so yay for that, even though it sidelines our Captain for the rest of the season.

Posted by: irockthered | February 6, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Kopitar makes 47.6 million over 7 years...he is highly compensated for his skill.

Posted by: reesem37 | February 6, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

@DaveUK

Michael Owen was young right?
David Beckham was young right?
Wayne Rooney was young right?
When they all made their English Senior Team debuts?

I hate all this seasoning crap. If you can play you can play. If you can help the team it doesnt matter how old you are or how many games you've played in the NHL.

Varlamov and Alzner are good enough to be here.

Now since it was a matter of no roster space for the 2, thats fine. But they can play and seasoning has nothing to do with it.

Posted by: JSchon | February 6, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

One thing I did see last night - last post, then more sleep - is that everyone seemed obsessed with getting Ovi his 200th goal, more than with winning the game. They would pass to him ALL THE TIME in the part I watched, even when they should shoot. Once that milestone was knocked out? Yeah, they started to kick butt and take names.

@DaveUKCapsFan - Washington's career goal leaders, per your earlier question:

1. Peter Bondra - 472
2. Mike Gartner - 397
3. Mike Ridley - 218
4. Alex Ovechkin - 200
5. Bengt Gustafsson - 196

Career Points:

14. Bob Carpenter - 395
15. Alex Ovechkin - 377

Career Power-Play Goals:

1. Peter Bondra - 137
2. Mike Gartner - 98
3. Dale Hunter - 72
4. Alex Ovechkin - 71

Career Game-Winning Goals:

1. Peter Bondra - 73
2. Mike Gartner - 54
3. Bengt Gustafsson - 33
4. Mike Ridley - 32
5. Alex Ovechkin - 31

Posted by: irockthered | February 6, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Stu_c:
Gerber? Really?

Dave:
I was gonna say the same thing - they only count regular season goals because that is only fair. I hear what you are saying, but if I have been on a team that never makes the post-season ,then I would hate to be penalized when compared with players who do. I suppose that they could count both ... but they don't.

Posted by: Boo- | February 6, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Just of note. David Booth is not a defenseman. I love Clark but we needed the LTIR cap room.

Posted by: e-money | February 6, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

A Swiss goalie?

There has been a lot of talk recently here about bringing in guys in the twilight of their careers.

Posted by: JSchon | February 6, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I hope Kozlov can play on Saturday. Personally, I think he was missed out there last night.

I hope Laich can play on Saturday. He is a baby blue eyed warrior. Plain and simple.

Love Richard Zednick, but his highlight reel goal scoring streak must end on Saturday.

For the love of God, can someone please show Jeff Schultz how to use his size? Jeff, you are big. Use your body and not just your stick end to keep the puck in at the blue line! Jeff, you are big. Get the heck out of JT's way so he can see!

For those of you that are LA fans and may have seen more of their games, do they always play that cherry-picking breakaway style or was that something special they served up for us?

Posted by: Kim-3 | February 6, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

on a good note, congrats to Ovi on number 200 and congrats to matty brads for winning his first fight of the year

Posted by: _stevo | February 6, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Last night was a classic example of why we need to strengthen our D before the trade deadline. I'll go with the forwards we have but I would love to be able to sit Erskine/Jurcina/Shultz. Alzner good but let him finish at Hershey and get some experienced dman in here.

I too think that JT didn't have a chance last night. If that were Olie back there (last year's version) it would have been 8 or 9 goals.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 6, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The lumberjack look slow and flat footed guess he is back to his old self.

Posted by: CalleJo | February 6, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Lots to respond to:

IRTR,
Thanks, where did you get the list from. For points you have places 14 and 15. Is there somewhere I can find the rest?

JSchon,
Yeah they were all young, Rooney was only 16 when he made his debut for Everton. Scored a last minute game winner in that game too.

Boo,
I see that you are saying but I disagree slightly. You're saying if you never made the playoffs you'd get less chances to score than someone who plays in the postseason every year.

But no one would look at Gretzky's goal career total of 1,016 and say "ah well he did play in a lot of playoff games" as if that's the only reason for so many goals.

I guess my point is Ovie scored his 200th REGULAR SEASON goal last night not his 200th CAREER goal. It needs to be called what it is. Watching the highlights above the commentator calls it his 200th CAREER goal but that's not true. He has 4 other goals in his career that just happen to have come in the playoffs.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 6, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

If that's the real CalleJo maybe the Caps can work a deal with you for playoffs since we need some solid D-men. I'm not a goober, I know it's not CalleJo. He was a great one though. My son, who's now 19, wore number 6 his entire youth hockey career because he played defense and Calle Johanson was his favorite player. As he has progressed through his own career he takes whatever number is available.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 6, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Sure Semin is consistent is scoring, however he is also consistent with getting dumb penalties. When is that going to stop??

Posted by: aoroxmysox | February 6, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

nice experiment, but i think the 8-91-16 line was a flop.

Posted by: doughless | February 6, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Dave:
I gotcha - you're right (as usual).

Posted by: Boo- | February 6, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Any ideas on the ice? It looked like a swimming pool after every single Olympia run. Of course, both teams are playing on the same sheet but it looked like junk. Seemed like they were mopping it all evening.

By the way, the crowd was pretty good last night considering the two periods of poor play we witnessed. That's a good sign.

Posted by: saintex | February 6, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

In the last few games two players have been particularly woeful -- Dave Steckel and Sean Morrison. Stecks will get his head out of this funk soon, I wager. But Morrison has really plummeted from his play last year. I count two goals he scored on his own goalie, including that nightmare against Boston in OT. His delay of game last night was inexcusable. It seems to me that the Caps can ship 2 out of 3 defenders for a veteran blueliner: Morrison, Schultz, and Erksine. Schultz is just goofy some nights looking like a puppy with oversized paws in skates, nad Erksine is just not NHL calibre. Call up Alzner already!

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | February 6, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

so with johnny out and the need for an experienced back up in goal (no offense to the two rookies), but experience counts going into the playoffs, and with marty due back in jersey in the next week or so, we oughta be able to pick up Weeks pretty cheap. He's capable and he shouldn't cost us much of anything.

And don't fret over last night. The boys do this every couple of weeks. Bruce will skate it out of them, and they'll be ready for the panthers on saturday. Its funny that we've become so spoiled by this team that we expect them to be great every single night.

Posted by: madmax521 | February 6, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

One thing I really liked last night (the fact that the Caps can legitimately do this that is) is how the last few minutes they were able to throw Fedorov on the defense line in hopes to generate more offense. That is such great depth to have. I know I have seen that on Powerplays and such, but to be able to do that in non powerplay situations is nice. I am horrible at noticing things like that (on my own) and am just wondering if the Caps have generally resorted to putting Fedorov in a D spot in the past when down in a game or not. (this was before we had 6 players out there with goalie pulled--I at first thought perhaps we are short a D man on the bench, which scared me too!) I love Feds, I thought he had a heck of a last five or so minutes!

Anyway, here's to beating the Panthers tomorrow!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 6, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Well, Stecks has been in the box for both the last 5-on-3 goals...and both on calls in the offensive end. I love Steckel and he's trying to make something happen, but he needs to focus a smidge more.

Posted by: saintex | February 6, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

How anyone could say that 8-91-16 was a flop is beyond me, the whole team didnt show up besides JT.

12 shifts and that's all you need to see? Doesn't that seem a tad bit irresponsible?

Posted by: JSchon | February 6, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

One game doesn't make a season but their are some concerning signs that some things need to be fixed/changed.

Last night, BB got outcoached, plain and simple. The Kings staff deserve a lot of compliments for getting the players prepared and for them to execute the game plan. They sliced through our Defense like butter through knife and constantly penetrated our crease. I didn't see BB make any adjustments at all other than his habitual constant change of line combo, permissive no-good attitude of Schultz and Morrison (and Green to a certain degree) and his determination to spurn Nylander.
Good thing we have a few guys who will not give up and will keep us in the game no matter what.
Keep motivating the guys BB with the good cop (you sometimes), bad cop you sometimes) routine but heaven forbid that we should prepare the team for each opponent; let's just play our game and let the opponents make the adjustments.

Just waiting for the BB-can-do-no-wrong-bashers...

Posted by: atybat | February 6, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

nice experiment, but i think the 8-91-16 line was a flop.

Posted by: doughless | February 6, 2009 10:04 AM


Not just a flop, but an epic flop. I think we all need to wrap our minds around the fact that Fehr is at best a 3rd liner. I know he's still young, but he hasnt shown the requisite technical skills to be considered anything more than that. He to me is a slighty more gifted, less physical version of Chris Clark.

20 goals and consistent forecheck pressure is what I expect from him in his best years.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 6, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Fedorov, like Nylander, is another player that needs to shoot the puck more when the team is at even strength. I realize he played the point on the power play, but he can't continue to pass up scoring chances so others can take the shot.

Semin also made that mistake last night in trying to thread the needle on a pass rigth in front of the crease in the scrum in the third period instead of shooting in what appeared to be a partially open net.

Posted by: leopard09 | February 6, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

on a good note, congrats to Ovi on number 200 and congrats to matty brads for winning his first fight of the year

Posted by: _stevo | February 6, 2009 9:46 AM

I love Bradley's toughness, but the Caps need a new middleweight. I literally fear for his safety when he engages another teams tough guy.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 6, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

fanhock,
I agree and I think when Varly is healthy he comes up to back up JT. I just don't see the point in waste Cap space on Gerber (or someone similar) when that could be spent on a S@H D-man. I would still love Neuvy to get a game if he is gonna be here for 2/3 weeks.

Mason = 20
Price = 21

If you are good enough you are old enough.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 6, 2009 9:16 AM

If Neuvy is up 2 or 3 weeks, he'll get a start, possibly two. If I was a betting man Id put my money on him starting against the Lightning and possibly Avalanche games.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 6, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Comical.

Posted by: JSchon | February 6, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Anyone help me out? Did anyone see, replay or otherwise) that O'Sullivan was on-sides on King's 4th goal?

Posted by: FFSEnough | February 6, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@ JIMALLCAPS

I think you might be on to something here. Trade any two of Morrison, Jurcina, Erskine and Schultz plus more (prospects, picks)for a top four dman. That would give us Green, Poti, the two remaining from above and the new guy. Between Clark's $$ and the two we trade, we should be able to get someone in here AND bring up Alzner. I would also bring up someone else from Hershey to give us some insurance in the press box.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 6, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

@atybat

I don't think it was coaching last night. I think it was more a matter of the team just not playing well last night. Do you really think that the Kings coaching staff (sorry, I don't know names) is better at scouting teams than the Flyers, Rangers, Habs, Bruins, and Devils? If far more likely that the coaching and gameplan was there and the players just didn't execute.

Having said that, coaches need to get the players to focus and for that BB gets a demerit.

Posted by: saintex | February 6, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@DaveUKCapsFan - It comes from the season ticket holder game summary; I can probably get the rest from Capitals Guest Services for you. Let me see what I can do. E-mail me privately at irockthered {at} gmail {dot} com, and I'll forward the whole thing to you. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | February 6, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Drifting back into Cap fandom, the refs weren't the problem last night. The refs don't cause shorties. Yes, they weren't the leagues finest refs, but honestly it wasn't so lopsided as to say it cost them the game.

The Kings were aggressive on the forecheck, but I wouldn't say they had a bunch of Goaltender Interference calls. And, again that's not what caused the loss.

What caused the loss: 1) horrendous, awful defensive coverage. Theo played reasonably well, but if you have enough unobstructed chances at the goalie, you're going to score. I'm calling out Erskine in particular; 2) Quick. Maybe these young stud goalies (Mason, Quick) are just really good, but somehow, the Caps can't beat them; 3) Better than expected Defense. With Gautheir suspended, the Kings have been using Drewiske. Every time OV took a a bead on him, I definately had to fight the urge to look away. OV got his shots, but he didn't undress him, so I call that a win.

I'm sure all of you will join me in wishing the Kings success while the continue thier victory parade in New Jersey.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 6, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

As fast as people here want to trade players when they have one bad game, after last night I think the consensus is a bag of pucks and an 8th rounder for the lot of them. Add a bundle of sticks for Backstrom.

The problem I see is that this team just doesn't show up for the games that should be easy wins. They did it against Atlanta, the NYI, TB, early FL, LA 2x, Edm... I know we're not going to win all of them, but to be this flat at home was embarassing. We're going into a stretch of games against non-playoff teams. I hope they bring their game to them.

Speaking of which...

overhead asked what is "the system" the players and coaches are talking about. Good question.

It's really a style of play. NJ Devils are known for their so-called Trapping style of play. They clog up the middle of the ice and try to prevent anyone from getting through to their goal. The games are usually deadly dull 1-0, 3-2 affairs.

The Caps system is a fast paced forechecking one. We try to get the puck deep into the offensive zone and keep it there. There are heavy body hits to knock the other team off the puck. It's usually a high scoring affair because the premium is on offense, and hoping that the goalie can stop everything else. Not quite that, but close enough for the purpose of explanation.

Hope that helps.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 6, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@saintex - Nothing for the ice. Pollin won't make the investment in the right equipment to get it improved. It was VERY cold in there last night, though, noticeably so. More national media attention MIGHT get something done about it, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

The ice at the Phone Booth will improve when we stop putting basketball games and the fans that show up for the Wizards stinking up the court on top of it.

Did anybody else notice that the puck was ROLLING last night, a LOT? I hadn't noticed it doing that so much before... it seemed unusual to me. I'm used to weird hops because it hit a bad patch in the ice, but not rolling like a doughnut...

Posted by: irockthered | February 6, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

oldtimehockey:
Were you at the game last night sportin' a Doughty sweater?

Posted by: Boo- | February 6, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

There is not denying that BB is a top coach, his record demonstrates it; however, he is not infallible. I attribute last night lost to BB's line combinations - I don't "blame" BB for the lost, he has his reasons for trying the different lines, but it was obvious that the players were not playing a smart game until the third period when the lines were restored to a more cohesive units. This is a team game and three mediocre players that can play together will beat three great players that don't.

Then again, we can always blame the lost on Semin.

Posted by: opita1 | February 6, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

One game doesn't make a season but their are some concerning signs that some things need to be fixed/changed.

Last night, BB got outcoached, plain and simple. The Kings staff deserve a lot of compliments for getting the players prepared and for them to execute the game plan. They sliced through our Defense like butter through knife and constantly penetrated our crease. I didn't see BB make any adjustments at all other than his habitual constant change of line combo, permissive no-good attitude of Schultz and Morrison (and Green to a certain degree) and his determination to spurn Nylander.
Good thing we have a few guys who will not give up and will keep us in the game no matter what.
Keep motivating the guys BB with the good cop (you sometimes), bad cop you sometimes) routine but heaven forbid that we should prepare the team for each opponent; let's just play our game and let the opponents make the adjustments.

Just waiting for the BB-can-do-no-wrong-bashers...

Posted by: atybat | February 6, 2009 10:18 AM

Im certainly no pollyanna, but I will say that every scheme has vulnerabilities.

Bruce said is his postgame presser that the plan was to get the puck deep and forecheck. If the Caps would have faithfully executed that strategy, there wouldnt have been nearly as many breakouts. The breakouts were a result two things. The first was the Capitals insistence on carrying the puck through the neutral zone agaist a trapping team and subsequently losing possession while a King leaked out, and secondly, the Caps didnt move their feet. I know that sounds like platitude, but if you dont skate and you dont adhere to the stucture the coaches lay out for you, you can be made to look bad. Nothing more than that IMO

Posted by: thegr8one | February 6, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

the caps just got their regular lineup back from injury, won 3 very big games and started seeing stars in their eyes. this game will serve as a reminder that until they win the cup, they're nobody. Green and Ovie were correct and honest.
10 years of good picks is paying off for LA. they're up and coming. they match up well against the caps, and are well coached. I hope that they don't see the caps in the finals!

ohlund D
backstrom G
what would you give up jschon?

Posted by: oo7 | February 6, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I think the Kings just had another break away.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 6, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

You can sum up last night in one word ... lazy. Lazy defense, and lazy penalties. They seem to feel as if they can sleepwalk past lesser teams. I don't think I have never seen a team cherry-pick so much and so successfully.

That last 10 minutes was some furious hockey, and from my seats right behind Quick, was incredibly entertaining, but ultimately futile, and maddening. You can't play 10 minutes of hockey and expect to win a game.

Over time, as they mature, hopefully they will develop a more even-keel approach to the hockey season. You can't survive on emotion over an 82-game season, plus a long playoff run. You have to come prepared to work every night, no matter who the opponent. This team still "gets up" for big games and "lets up" for lesser games.

Posted by: Baildog | February 6, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

A player with control of the puck may preceed the puck into the zone and not be offside.

This means, a player who has control of the puck may skate backwards into the zone and not be offside.

Now, if you have the puck in the zone and pull it out, yeah you're offside. The puck and the player must begin the play in the neutral zone.

Posted by: dj1123 | February 6, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

It was one of these super-sloppy games from the Caps. I think the problem is, with our current personnel on D, positioning skills are really not great, so unless the whole team is "on" and taking it to the other team, we're getting exposed. I mean, usually, even if you have turnovers, you don't see so many breakaways.. our d-men just were not anticipating well.

Our only solid d-men are really Poti and Alzner. Green gets caught often (though its probably worth it), and others are inconsistent. We could really use another smart and consistent top-4 guy.. or we'll have to wait for one of the current guys to emerge.. Mo was supposed to be the guy, maybe Schultz, but nobody knows if they can get there.

Without underlying consistency, it sure is going to be a crazy playoff run. We can beat anybody, but can also lose to any well-organized, opportunistic team. Getting beyond the 1st round will be a good result for this year, barring a big trade.

Posted by: VladG | February 6, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

If the team showed up yesterday, we would have won 6-0 and everybody would have praised the top line.

It wasn't a flop of that line, it was a flop by everybody (except JT).

I too would bring up Alzner. I've been saying over and over that he should play instead of Schultz - who was particularly bad yesterday. Mo was bad as well, but at least we know he can play well.

Posted by: mauree | February 6, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@capsfansince74

That's hilarious.

Posted by: saintex | February 6, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

IRTR,
Its fine honestly, no need to trouble yourself. I just wondered if there was a website where the info was readily available. I'd have thought it really should be on the Caps own website.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 6, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Brash video is definitely cool. great guy

Posted by: doughless | February 6, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone head how severe of a injury Varlamov has suffered? I check in with the Bears from time to time but not until I heard Neuvirth was on the bench on Tuesday did I know that Varly was injured.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 6, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

DaveUK
re: "I guess my point is Ovie scored his 200th REGULAR SEASON goal last night not his 200th CAREER goal"

LOL.

This is a country where an event is called a "World" series/championship/best/etc even though there is no other country participating. English only rule is that there are not rules, it can not be taken literally. LOL. It is a great resource for comedians.

Posted by: opita1 | February 6, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

caps do have trouble with teams that trap in the neutral zone. we get too cute with trying to bring the puck in the zone instead of dumping and chasing, which is what you need to do against a trapping team. when we get too cute and turn it over it leads to quick breakaways/2-1's and that was pretty clear with the 97 breakawyas the kings had last night

Posted by: _stevo | February 6, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@Greg S., thank you.

I think understand the trap system and can find resources that will explain each players responsibility and/or expectations. What I would love is to understand each players responsibilities in the BB "system". As a guy that plays I understand the general responsibility of a wing or center or the D . I do not get to see the Caps in person very often, though I did see the Bears twice this year. On TV it is very difficult to figure out exactly what they are trying to do, other than be generally aggressive with the puck. I am a "geek" about this sort of stuff. Thanks again for the reply.

Posted by: overhead | February 6, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@DaveUKCapsFan - It's no trouble, as I want the information myself. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | February 6, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@DaveUKCapsFan, irockthered,

Try:
http://www.nhl.com/ice/careerstats.htm?fetchKey=00002ALLAAHAll&sort=points&viewName=careerLeadersForTeam

and then in the "Career for Team" section of the form, select the team, Regular, and All Skaters, and click Search. On the results page, you can then click the various column headers to see the leaders in the categories listed.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | February 6, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who thinks we played our best hockey with the Hershey Bears defensive corps in place of our current one?

I mean I will take green and Poti and maybe even juice but I could really do without the rest of them. Bring up Collins Helmer Sloan or Alzy at this point I would take any of them

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | February 6, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Greetings Everyone..
DaveUKCapsfan..I too am in England.
Give me a email and we can chat Caps
johnnydrummond@hotmail.co.uk

Posted by: johnnydrum | February 6, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

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