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Morning Reading List

96a6675a-9356-47e8-874b-d9abc3f55b0f.jpg
Kathy Willens-The Associated Press

*The Capitals failed to sweep the season series against the Rangers with last night's 5-4 shootout loss in Madison Square Garden, but on the positive side Mike Green tied the NHL record for consecutive games with a goal at seven straight.

*Here are some New York perspectives on last night's game from the Daily News, the New York Post and Newsday.

*Nicklas Backstrom makes The Hockey News' top-10 list of Swedish players in the NHL.

*Dan Steinberg shares some more notes on rookie goaltender Michal Neuvirth and the news that the Nationals' giant Presidents, who were skating at KCI earlier this week, will take the ice during the intermission of the Islanders-Penguins contest on President's Day.

*Concern about Verizon Center's ice extends to the NCAA's men's hockey committee as it prepares for this year's Frozen Four in Washington.

*If you missed the game last night here are the higlights.


*Alex Ovechkin greeted some New York City fans at Last Licks ice cream shop and you can check out the video of his visit.

In the system:
*Hershey fell 4-2 to an injury-riddled Hamilton Bulldogs squad last night, but more concerning for the Bears is that they've fired 77 shots for just four goals in two-straight losses.

By Katie Carrera  |  February 12, 2009; 7:46 AM ET
 
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Next: Kronwall Activated (Updated)

Comments

Well at least it should be busier this morning, albeit with the usual nonsense.

Posted by: Section117 | February 12, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - From last post.

You're right... that should have been "too many men on the ice". The penalties were B.S. last night, a lot of the time. And the ice was weird as heck. A lot of hops - including that one off Theo - went the Rangers' way. I didn't know the rule either, so I'm not gonna blame Theo on that one. BET it won't happen again.

Posted by: irockthered | February 12, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I agree that this team can do well in the playoffs IF they play at full potential.

We lack the mental sharpness sometimes... can it be present at all times in the playoffs, that is the question - omni present doubt brought up by poor performances.

Yesterday:

1) Alzner not taking the pass: goal
2) Poti not covering the pass: goal
3) Stecks (was it him?) blind pass: goal
4) Poti dive... wth?
5) Mo double minor... terrible

So, I don't know if we should be worried that BB isn't much worried about yesterday. In the end, we did get a point against a desperate team, so the result was good.

Posted by: mauree | February 12, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Mauree you are right on, Alzner, Poti and Stecks all missed an assignment that resulted in a goal and the penalties were just pathetic. Normally an offense can support the d, but last night 3 of those goals were bad decisions, or lack of effort by singled out players. The good news is that we have BB who will straighten those things out. We can be a cup contender if we play smarter. I know Poti is better than that, Alzner I hope is better. Shultz worries me.

Posted by: tomdchancar | February 12, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I hate shoot outs. Terrible way to end the game.

Joe B was looking great last night. I just feel sorry for the pimp that Joe and Locker rolled to get that sweet outfit.

Posted by: crooks_c | February 12, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Gotta tell you guys that the refs were equally horrible last night. That dive call on Poti was terrible and I spotted a few stick penalties against the Rangers and it seemed the refs would just look away. That being said the team didn't help matters with their undisciplined play. Dropped to third in the east as Jersey has one more win.....need 4 points this weekend!!

Posted by: PhilR | February 12, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm late to this game, but how refreshing is it hearing Michal Neuvirth speak English? It makes me think he might actually want to play in America *Cough* Semin *cough*

Posted by: Ovechwin | February 12, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Any time there is a 6-2 disparity in penalties you have to complain, there is no way we committed that many more fouls than they did.

Posted by: Ovechwin | February 12, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

The "diving" penalty on Poti was absolute crap. He was checked from behind; why wasn't their guy in the box as well?

One thing I've noticed about lousy ice - and the ice at MSG has the same problem ours has. You cannot predict what the puck is going to do. It bounces wildly, goes off in weird directions. On good ice, Beagle's 11 foot shot in the first frame is in. On good ice, Fehr's wrister at the close of the third frame is in. Both men had to settle the puck before they shot it, and that gave Lundquist time to set up. People say that we're "used to" bad ice, so it shouldn't create a disadvantage to us, but that simply isn't the case because of the unpredictability. Thoughts?

Posted by: irockthered | February 12, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Mike Green = Paul Coffey???

yes, I'm serious.

Posted by: LIVINIT1 | February 12, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Bad ice affects both teams, so sure it may have been sloppy, but the Rangers also had a bunch of "missed" opportunities because of it. 1 point is great considering it was in NY against an angry, desparate team, and the fact that the Caps played the style that the Rangers wanted them to, physical and in the corners.

Posted by: gtydings | February 12, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Green has a long way to go on the defensive side of the ice before he can be compared to Coffey.

Posted by: PhilR | February 12, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

OVIE is sooooo good for the NHL.
He is what NASCAR is to NASCAR nation.
MJ in his early days.

Posted by: Rocc00 | February 12, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

A long way to go for Green?

I don't think so... The game is way different now... Few people in 80's could skate like Coffey, players weren't as fast or as big as they are now. The game was wide open.

Coffey was ahead of his time IMO. Green is doing similar things now against bigger, faster and more skilled opponents in a more defensive era of hockey.

Posted by: JSchon | February 12, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I thought the officials were horrible last night. How many times did Nylander get popped? I never even saw a replay on the Green delay of game, but I hate that rule anyway.

I will give credit to the Rangers for playing up-tempo and tough, which is something they have been lacking.

We need Kozlov on the top line. The ice was garbage, and it was obvious Ovie couldnt get his handle on the puck at all.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 12, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I respectfully disagree Mr JSchon. Green still makes way too many errors in his own zone that you did not see Coffey commit. You may say that is due to the size and speed of todays players but I say it is the youth of Green. In another three years he will be better than Coffey but he is still on the learning curve IMO.

Posted by: PhilR | February 12, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Neuvirth's English is superb, as is Kronwall's. You can tell Kronwall learned to speak English in Canada, though... he's got a Canadian accent. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | February 12, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I only disagree with you that he is closer to being a good defensemen than he is getting credit for by most people in here.

Ways to go? No. Not in my opinion.
But I agree he is young and by the time he is 26/27 he will be as good as any in the league, if not the best.

Posted by: JSchon | February 12, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Canadians always say "For sure".

It kills me, for sure.

Posted by: JSchon | February 12, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it's true that the ice affects both teams; it just seemed to affect the Rangers in a good way more than it did us. They had a couple of VERY lucky bounces.

And that rule on the shootout... who knew? I sure didn't. No way I'm blaming Theo for that one... not this time, anyway. And he knows now, so I'm not concerned that he might do it again.

Mike Green is an absolute BEAST!

@SA-Town - You're right about needing Kozlov back. He's a HUGE contributor in a lot of ways.

I thought Beagle did very well for himself in his debut, though... reduced ice time because his buddies were in the sin bin for fighting, but they sure had him on the right line, and he damn near got a couple. :-) I was very pleased by Beagley-Beagley's performance!

Posted by: irockthered | February 12, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I've gotta wonder what Schultz brings to the table. He doesn't clear out people in front of the crease, he's kind of slow, and he seems to have difficulty getting the puck out of his end.

Posted by: hiya | February 12, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Yes JSchon, Green has a long way to go. On his thrid year in the league, Coffey scored 29 and added 67 assists. The following year, he scored 40 with 86 assists.
MG has never scored as many goals as this year in his last 9 seasons including all his Junior Seasons.
That he has been hot is undeniable. That he is playing the best offensive hockey of his career is also obvious but he has a long way to go.
His scoring momentum comes with a price which is poor to fair defense play.
My guess is that he will not be able to sustain anything close to this scoring rythm (0.5 goals per game this season) for very long. His track record is there to prove it.
Plus, Coffey couold play both sides of the ice.

Posted by: atybat | February 12, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Schultz brings the anticipation, the hope, the dream, that somewhere in that big frame of his, there is a NHL player ready to come out.

Posted by: gtydings | February 12, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I just see that his positioning is off more than I would like to see. His speed saves him most of the time but there are those instances when I find myself wanting to throw something through the television while watching him. Three more years and it will be second nature to him. he will have the positioning down to an art and not have to use that speed to save himself so much. Now do I think he is a horrible defenseman....NO....but is he Coffey right now....also NO...

Posted by: PhilR | February 12, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Can some one explain to me why we gave Erskine a contract extension? Was it so he could eat up valuable cap space? Or so he could suck for us and not someone else? Or was it so we could overpay him to eat popcorn from the luxury suites?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 12, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

If Theodore knew the rule, do you think he would of jumped out of the crease or something?

I cant see him knowing the rule making any difference. Crossbar then off the back into the net happens to goalies...oh well...Shootout is crap, and thank god the Caps havent let the shootout be a factor in our season record very often. There is something to be said for winning in regulation.

How can you see teams standings in regulation games?

Posted by: SA-Town | February 12, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Mike Green brings a lot of energy to the Caps. He plays like a madman. And the other team cannot shut both him and Ovechkin down if they're on the ice at the same time.

Mike Green is on the rise. And he will sustain it. I have full confidence in him and his abilities. He will improve with every season he plays.

Posted by: irockthered | February 12, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

It's easier for me to see what Schultz brings than to see what Morrisonn brings. Schultz is a big, young guy who is still too weak. But he has good upside. Morrisonn has plateaued or even fallen off. He's not especially physical, not an especially good puck mover, he makes lots of giveaways, and he commits terrible penalties at inopportune times. And he's not cheap. He's the one I'd like to see moved.

Posted by: Kirg | February 12, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Green is getting better...in the last few games he didn't commit all the errors some here are claiming he did. And I think he was affected by playing too many minutes when Poti was out.

We should focus on whining about the rest of the D instead of him, and actually thank the hockey gods we have Green. And this come from a person that was very critical about his contract this summer (man was I wrong lol)

Posted by: mauree | February 12, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

After the last two games Morrison should be scratched and traded. What has he given up - 85 pim in 2 games?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 12, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town - I don't know about jumping out of the crease, but he might have paid more attention to where the puck was. He could have sat on it before it went in, if he'd known where it was, but he thought the play was dead. I'm not going to blame him for it; Boudreau didn't know the rule either. Now they both know, so if it happens again, it's all on Theo, but that is a very obscure rule...

Posted by: irockthered | February 12, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I think you are getting me wrong here. I was addressing the Green-Coffey comparison and nothing more. I like Green a ton and compared to the rest of the D on this team he is heads and tails above the rest.

Posted by: PhilR | February 12, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Green delay of game - they showed a replay on MSG. The puck was in mid-air. Both Green and a Ranger player swung at it, maybe the Ranger player chopped down. Green connected with the puck on his tape and it flew over the glass like a popup in baseball. Technically, I guess that's a penalty. I've seen goalies swat the puck out of the air and over the glass and also get called. If the puck had to be struck from the ice, if that were the rule, then no penalty. I think the rule though is any player in his end of the ice striking the puck in any manner to but it directly (no deflections) over the glass.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 12, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

FWIW, my take on the D:
Green - Maybe not the greatest defender (yet), but no doubt he is our most valuable defenseman
Poti - Looked like crap last night, but has been solid
Alzner - Like Poti, not a great game last night, but generally solid
Juice - Seems to be the definition of average
Mo - Another guy who seems pretty average, but needs to sit out a few to get his head straight
Schultz - May have potential (don't necessarily see it), but looks like he is skating in mud
Erskine - A more physical, less clumsy version of Schultz
Kronwall - Needs an opportunity

For the next game or 2 I would like to see Mo and Schultz sit for Erskine and Kronwall

Posted by: JayHoo89 | February 12, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - Here's the section:

A minor penalty for delay of game shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who deliberately shoots or bats the puck outside the playing area during the play or after a stoppage of play.

When any player or goalkeeper, while in his defending zone, shoots the puck directly (non-deflected) out of the playing surface, except where there is no glass, a penalty shall be assessed for delaying the game. When the puck is shot into the players’ bench, the penalty will not apply. When the puck is shot over the glass ‘behind’ the players’ bench, the penalty will be assessed.

So yeah, if Green hit the puck and it went over the glass... delay of game. If the Ranger hit it and it went over the glass, no delay of game, because he's in the attacking zone... So the "iffy" part of the call would be, "did Green hit the puck over the glass, or did the Ranger?" And that is subject to interpretation and the point-of-view of the referee, if it isn't clear-cut.

Posted by: irockthered | February 12, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

irock: On the MSG replay, it was very clearly Green who swatted/batted the puck.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 12, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

oops didn't notice the new post:

Quick observations:

Rangers goal #1) Backstrom's fault...take a penalty there if you have to (Backy actually did take one on Chara on a similar type of play in that OT loss to Boston), but don't let the dude skate to the front of the net unimpeded. The whole arena could see the way that play would unfold. Overall, it was one of Backstrom's worst games I can remember, and that's saying something, because he's one of our most consistent players.

Rangers goal #2) Steckel's fault. What's with the one-handed clear attempt? I like Steckel too, but he's been a bit anonymous.

Other comments:

* Fehr's time is now. I love the guy and I'm thrilled that he's making the most of his ice time.

* Kozlov: Get better soon. Nylander is not a winger, period. I'm not a Circles-basher but you need a little physicality and stick-tuitiveness on the wings, and Nyls does not give you that.

* Theo played OK but I can't help but think how good we'd be if we had Henrik instead. Notice how Henrik is always in the middle of his net, always in position, never strays out of his crease. I know Theo's style (and size) is different, but I just can't stand the way he drops to the ice and moves around so much. It's the main reason I think our true playoff run won't be until next year, with Varly (hopefully) between the pipes.

* If Kronwall gets a game soon, I think it's time to scratch ShaMo... two straight games with big, needless (if not malicious) penalties at crucial moments. Not smart hockey.

Posted by: donknutts | February 12, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Absurd. Somewhere along the way the Caps got a rep for being penalty prone in the 3rd period, and now the refs have made it a self-fulfilling prophecy by manufacturing calls to keep the rep alive. Absolutely absurd.

And now Ovie is watched carefully anytime he barely grazes someone.

It's a real concern that the NHL is getting much worse in the momentum "bending", that tiny control the refs use to manipulate the outcome...oh how much more like the NBA does it have to get? Absurd.

Posted by: soloman5000 | February 12, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

First

Posted by: Bruticus02 | February 12, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@ Phil

Did you see Coffey in his first couple of years? I did and it wasn't that great.

Greener is doing quite well. Does his game need to round out? Sure it does. But he is clearly on pace to become one of the best ever if he puts in the work to improve.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 12, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

ha ha that shoot out goal was the luckiest thing ive seen in a while... so does that mean that put backs count to? I thought the puck had to keep moving forward... anyway im still learning

Posted by: Bruticus02 | February 12, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Way too many penalties!

Will never survive April-May with that many penalties.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 12, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Soloman5000: Other than the Poti "dive," the other Caps penalties in the 3rd—Ovie's retaliation check, Green's DOG, ShaMo's high-stick—were about as straight-forward as you can get. Blame the Caps, not the refs, for the dumb penalties.

Also, we got away with one when Greenie cross-checked a Ranger right in front of the net.

Posted by: donknutts | February 12, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - Then I have no quarrel with the penalty. I didn't see a replay.

@Bruticus02 - That was about the luckiest shot I've ever seen. I'm not sure what you mean by "put backs", but the rule on that particular was clear, if a bit obscure.

25.2 - No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind (an exception being the puck off the goal post or crossbar, then the goalkeeper and then directly into the goal), and any time the puck crosses the goal line or comes to a complete stop, the shot shall be considered complete.

The question is, did the puck ever stop moving before it went off Theodore into the net; I don't know if it did, but I doubt it. Still - it was a sucky way to lose the game. :-(

Posted by: irockthered | February 12, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

As far as the shootout rule and what JT60 might do in the future: sit down. Obviously, once he's attempted to save the shot and the puck is past him, or he hears the clank off the pipe, sit down. If the puck is going to go off your back, sitting won't hurt. If it's on the ice, you freeze it. Good to know the rule.

Posted by: saintex | February 12, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

waitingsince75,
And that is why I said in an earlier post that he will be better than Coffey in about three years. I know the guy has game but to put him in the same class as Coffey at his peak right now?? Just don't see it.

Posted by: PhilR | February 12, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@saintex - Yup! That's what I'd have him do. Sit on the puck. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | February 12, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Update: Is everyone prepared for the 21-game salute?

Guess by now everyone that is not a newbie is starting to see this picture. Picasso couldn't have painted a more beautiful scenario. Is anyone more excited than me about the beginning of the stretch run?

Looking Ahead:

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! All we need is a veteran puck moving defensman.

cool

Posted by: windjammersouth | February 12, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

you scare me

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 12, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Oh goody, here come the cockroaches.

*shrug* The Rangers had a lot of lucky bounces last night. We played at their pace, not ours, and probably had to. That overtime goal would have been Fehr's if he hadn't had to settle the puck before shooting - that's ALL on the ice.

The diving call on Poti was absolute crap, and the fact that the other guy didn't get a call for checking from behind made it pretty clear what the story was.

Does Mo sit on Saturday? That's twice in two games he's taken a horrid penalty while PKing.

Mauree: Normally I agree with you about mental sharpness. Look at any other team and you will see their D makes the same mistakes that ours made last night. I don't think it's fair to accuse them of slacking there. Sometimes you can, but not last night. True that the D was wide open on the far side of the net for that first goal, though. But ... that wasn't lazy play. I've seen them play lazy. That was not it.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 12, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Here's what the Caps need to do: Package up some combo of Schultz, Morrisson, and/or Erskine and try and get a Boowmeester-type Dman.

Posted by: hiya | February 12, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I agree the the learning cuve has been steeper for Green. But if he continues to improve.....

Posted by: LIVINIT1 | February 12, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Bad officiating during last night game.

25.9 to 25.4 seconds left on 1st period. On one of the corners Drury (#23) takes a hard swing at the back of Nyls head. The chatter box are talking about their trip to Florida and the referees don't see it.

In the middle of the first period close to the benches, a Ranger, I couldn't tell who it was, takes an obvious swing at OV. The refs don't see it.

It seems that the Rangers were prepared to harass and they did. Mara was all over OV and I think it affected his game.

I agree with Mauree's assesment of the D and I also think the Caps best line, or only effective line, last night was the 3Fs - Fleish, Feds, Fehr.

But give credit to NY. They came hungry and they won.

Posted by: opita1 | February 12, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Hiya -- I 110% agree with you. That is one of the most intelligent and well thought out posts in a long time.

I can't say much for the others.

Posted by: windjammersouth | February 12, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

If Semin doesn't want to speak English to the press that's fine by me. I'm glad he's one of ours and have no doubt he "actually want[s] to play in America." I mean c'mon.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 12, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"Here's what the Caps need to do: Package up some combo of Schultz, Morrisson, and/or Erskine and try and get a Boowmeester-type Dman."

I'm not sure a lot of teams will trade a stud D-man for three mediocre ones. Face it, to get an all-star level defenseman, you're gonna have to give up more than scraps.

Posted by: donknutts | February 12, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

For those that were questioning the officiating... I (like most of you) feel that a 6-2 disparity in penalities is obviously cause for concern from the Caps about the job the refs did.

The OV cross-check call... BOGUS! the two were jawing and those exact same things happen at pretty much every stoppage.

BUT... Poti's was definitely a dive!! he took a shot to the right shoulder and flopped like he took a full cross check to the small of the back.

I think the Alzner play where the rangers scored, you could see in the replay that he pointed and shouted to Backstrom to cover the late guy so he could pressure the puck carrier and cover the middle man. I agree that it's partly his fault as a D-man to cover those backdoor plays, but Backstrom basically stopped skating once he hit the blue-line and Alzner was expecting him to contine to backcheck... I think more blame goes on NB than KA.

Posted by: Scofield | February 12, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

pawz

I didn't mean lazy - I meant "focused" and "determined" - and also some lack of effort... If that was our best effort, we're doomed in the playoffs, wouldn't you agree?

Of course, it might not be fair to ask for the best effort all the times - that's material for another discussion :D

"if 100% play 110% all the times we're good... if only 50% play 100% 50% of the times..." ... I miss that commercial :D

Posted by: mauree | February 12, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

An observation from my seat in front of the TV. It seemed to me that during the OT play OV was trying too hard to do it all by himself, ignoring his linemate. He was easily stopped. It was hard to tell, did BB put 3 Ds with OV? Where was Backstrom?

Posted by: opita1 | February 12, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I've said it a million times here:

If we keep getting dump penalties and give up 4-5 goals a game...we will be eliminated in the first round.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 12, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Incidently, the penalty shot rule is the same in football.

In a penalty shoot out, the shooter can't score off a rebound but if the ball comes back out off a post or the crossbar and hits the goalie and goes it, it counts.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 12, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Donknutts: Obviously, 3 mediocre Dmen for a first line Dman isn't going to fly. I'd envision a trade deal for a Boowmeester-type would include a Schultz, a draft pick, and a prospect in Hershey or some sort of combo like that.

Posted by: hiya | February 12, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

the first goal was alzner's fault, as a D man let the backcheckers pick up the trailers. The D man cannot drop off the guy driving the net to cover a trailer or pressure the puck

Posted by: _stevo | February 12, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

At 6'6" and 215lbs, does anyone notice Jeff Schultz out there at all? He should be a defensive presence - he just seems slow and dumb to me.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 12, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

i second that lyle

Posted by: _stevo | February 12, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying that we should let alzner off the hook for that goal, i just think it's a product of a few things, not just a missed assignment.

backstrom is a little too lazy for my liking some games. semin is that way too. when it's going from D-to-O .. those guys fly. backchecking is a different story, it's only when they want to.

Posted by: Scofield | February 12, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

hey you think steve-o's glass is half empty?

Posted by: windjammersouth | February 12, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh no we tie the desperate Rangers and the sky is falling.

The Zoo is always good for a laugh.

Run Forest Run

Posted by: windjammersouth | February 12, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

At 6'6" and 215lbs, does anyone notice Jeff Schultz out there at all? He should be a defensive presence - he just seems slow and dumb to me.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 12, 2009 12:12 PM

Yeah, if only he could commit a dumbarsed penalty for the second game in a row, or post a -2, then people would like him!

Posted by: Section117 | February 12, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@Section 117

Ha - true!

I just wish he had an ounce of grit.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 12, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I just wish he had an ounce of grit.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 12, 2009 12:27 PM

I've said it before, many times, the kid's the youngest and least experienced blueliner not named Alzner right now. A lot of these guys take time to fully develop, not everybody's a star on day one like 8 or 19. Even similar big guys on the backline were slow starters and required a couple years to fully develop.

If he hits like people want him to in the next couple of years, added bonus. As it stands now, I'm happy with a 6-6 22 year old d-men who's got a higher +/- than PIMs and who's might still have some room to improve.

Returning you to your regular Schultz-bashing...

Posted by: Section117 | February 12, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

i do my fair amount of schultz bashing, but I will have to say last night he was not too bad and he was not our worst defenseman last night

Posted by: _stevo | February 12, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

why was diving not called on the great Henrik in the 3rd when he dug deep to find his inner Fosbury about 3 minutes after Poti's penalty?

call on Ovie was utter b.s. too- his "crosscheck" was barely a love tap, not to mention Mara could have been whistled about thrice right before Ovie retaliated

perhaps (read: definitely) i'm biased, but i have a problem with Naslund's goal...do we really want players to be purposely sliding at full speed into the net/goalies? seems to me they could probably still call goalie interference even after the puck crossed the line- Naslund's move just seemed reckless

Posted by: mtracy94 | February 12, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The 5 consecutive penalties called in the third were crap. It screams of a conspiracy theory! Lundquist dives and the ref looks the other way. Poti was tripped! Greenie's delay of game wasn't. The NHL still wants to promote 10th place Pittsburgh and Cindy. Why, I don't know. I don't see the Caps complaining anymore than any other team yet they never seem to get the benefit of doubt. Yes we made some mistakes that led to goals but in the third, the refs tried to hand it to the Rangers. Good thing thier power play sucks eggs! They should make the referees hand OV and the Caps the cup when they win it despite the refs!

Posted by: psugolf | February 12, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Years ago when I subscribed to the Hockey News, there was always an ad for a power skating course (by Laura Stamm, I think).

The Caps need to send Schultz to a power skating course.

A Sports Illustrated swimsuit model from Montreal (page 42) selected Jose Theodore as the world's hottest athlete.

Posted by: rw-c | February 12, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@psu

Green's delay of game clearly was a delay of game penalty upon replay.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | February 12, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

They should make the referees hand OV and the Caps the cup when they win it despite the refs!

Posted by: psugolf | February 12, 2009 12:59 PM

@psugolf: I LIIIIKE IT!

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 12, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Weighing in on Green v Coffey. I'm not sure how they can be compared since so many factors have to be weighed. Points and goals don't signify: Green also would score 10 more goals (at least) if he played on a team that was a much better than the rest of the league as Edmonton was then. Green seems a bit bigger, has as much skill, and, if he isn't quite as fast as Coffey he seems more elusive and still faster than most on the ice. He certainly has all of the puck skills and vision Coffey had.

Posted by: WritingLight | February 12, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why so many of you constantly want to get Bowmeester. WE DON'T NEED HIM. We have two puck moving defensemen (Green and Poti). The three things we need are: 1. Figure out within the next 3 weeks if Theo/young guy combo is going to get us a Stanley Cup (I BELIEVE WE'RE READY!). 2. Big playoff proven stay at home defenseman. (Niclas Havelid) 3. Big playoff proven net crashing forward (Tkachuk, less than 1 mil, UFA at the end of the year).

Caps played down to the Rangers level last night and it ended up biting them.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 12, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing how many so called experts continually blame our Dmen. Of course they make errors that lead to goals. They get beaten by forwards. That happens all over the league nightly. our forwards beat other team's d men for our gaols. The team system simply tries to limit the errors U cant expect to eliminate them all. How can u stop ov going full speed ahead when u r skating backwards

Posted by: wendel2 | February 12, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong--our defense isn't that bad considering the type of system Boudreau employs. His system places a lot of pressure and responsibility on our Dmen.

What troubles me is that I'm seeing average-sized forwards park themselves in front of our net and most of our Dmen can't or won't move 'em.

Posted by: hiya | February 12, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1:

I could to some extent agree with you on not "needing" Bouwmeester. I guess the only real arguments for having him are:

1) Because he is a significant scoring threat with all-around skills, that's one more person for the opposition to worry about; Green--for example--has definitely benefited from opposing teams' tendency to double-team 8 & 28--if they started coming after 52, they'd have 8 on the loose again...

2) In the playoffs I'd probably rather have Bouwmeester wearing a Caps sweater than an opponents'.

I agree we'll probably be fine in net.

As for D, I agree with some earlier posters that maybe 26 should sit this weekend so that we can evaluate Kronwall against a non-critical (but still dangerous) opponent like TB.

I've always wanted to see Keith Tkachuck in a Caps sweater. He plays the old fashioned smash-mouth hockey the Caps were once famous for. Again, he might seem redundant given how OV loves to hit pople. Still, having KT do that for us would be nice.

Tkachuk (kə-CHŬK'): 1. (n.): Veteran NHL forward known for above-average skills and physical style of play. 2. (n.-slang): The sound made by vigorously checking an opposing hockey player into the dasher boards. 3) (v.-slang); the act of violently checking an opponent, so as to deter further transgressions by same: e.g.: "The other guy had been slashing at my ankles all night long. Once he put his head down, I just had to Tkachuk him"

I, too felt that we were somewhat listless during much of last night's game (52's milestone and PK improvement notwithstanding). That said, I also agree with the assessment of the NHL On The Fly analyst: In the waning minutes of the OT, it was obvious that NYR was not playing to win, but were instead playing not to lose; they WANTED the shootout--makes sense when you're 11-2 in the SO and have King Henrik in net. The guy from NHL Network says that's OK in the reg. season, but won't work in the playoffs: no SO; no 4-on-4, just keep skating 5 on 5 until someone scores.....too true.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 12, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

We can't go through a single game without someone mocking Semin. I don't see how his capacity to speak English determines your impression about whether he wants to play in the United States. Your insinuation is an insult to those of us not born here in the U.S., most especially to those who have a difficult time learning the language. Semin's still a great hockey player whether he speaks a split of English or not. Let's talk about his English classes after we get through the playoffs and the Stanley Cup. Until then, keep skating, Semin. Get well soon, buddy.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 12, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

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