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Morning Reading List

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Nick Wass--The Associated Press

*The Capitals dropped their third straight game at home last night marking the first time such a streak has occurred under Bruce Boudreau, but the story sounded eerily similar. Despite many scoring opportunities (the third straight game with at least 34 shots) Washington couldn't finish and eventually made mistakes that allowed the Maple Leafs to jump on the scoreboard.

*Here is the Washington Times recap along with some Maple Leafs perspectives from the Toronto Star and National Post.

*In case you missed it, Alex Ovechkin missed yesterday's game with a bruised heel. Read what Ovechkin told reporters in between periods of the 2-1 loss here.

*If you missed the game here are the highlights.

*If you haven't read it yet, head over to Ted's Take where Caps Owner Ted Leonsis shares his very candid take on this year's trade deadline ranging from the effects of the CBA and economic times on deals, whether they made the right decision to continue with the current lineup and more.

*Sports Illustrated's S.L. Price examines Washington's sports environment, adding that "Ovechkin makes Washington feel like a real sports town."

*Lately the Capitals have received their fair share of boos from the Verizon Center crowds. Dan Steinberg asks if you should or shouldn't boo the most exciting team in town for their recent dry spell.

In the system:
*The big news out of Hershey is that Simeon Varlamov, who hasn't played since Jan. 14 because of a knee injury, will start Saturday when the Bears take on the Toronto Marlies.

*Tim Leone talks to Brian Pothier about the implications his time in Hershey will inevitably have on the rest of his career. Pothier is expected to play Saturday against Toronto.

By Katie Carrera  |  March 6, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
 
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Next: Updates on Ovechkin and Poti

Comments

Can we just get to the playoffs, already?

Posted by: CBT2 | March 6, 2009 5:44 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to know from the pros on this blog when the last time a goal was on our goalie. It seems every goal everyone says it has been on the defense the last 3 games, is that possible?

Posted by: rachel216 | March 6, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: hsk8er6 | March 6, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

@ CBT2

Not when we're losing like this

Posted by: griz0615 | March 6, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

TEB: Please point out in your articles who was responsible for goals against, as well as goals for. Erskine and Schultz were TERRIBLE last night. Looked like Keystone Cops on the two goals. Erskine is a waste of human flesh. Schultz is worse than that.

Posted by: crooks_c | March 6, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Where is windjammersouth?

He must be really enjoying this 21-game stretch he raved about for 3 straight months?

I guess he's so "excited" he can't even type.


Posted by: tmac2yao | March 6, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Saw on the Caps website that Mike Green will be guest tending bar tonight at the Front Page. Honestly, as much as I would love to have young Green pour me a beer, I would rather he skip that endeavor in favor of a good night's sleep before Saturday's practice.

Also, note to coaching staff, players, fans, etc. I believe Daylight Savings Time starts Sunday. Would hate for anyone to show up late for such a big game. (But you do not have to tell anyone favoring black, gold, or light blue attire).

Posted by: Kim-3 | March 6, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

@ rachel216- The FLA game when Jose was in goal for one period, one of the 4 goals was a soft one. Neuvirth got dealt a crappy hand in the Canes game, with what like 2 PP and 2 SHG...I felt for him! Jose did good last night for the first 40 minutes, but we need a good 60 from him. But, he didn't exactly have much help in front of him!

WHAT IS GOING ON CAPS?????
I need to renew my season tickets, but I want to at least do it on a high note...like after a big win or a win at all...not 3 big "stinkers"! Ted, GMGM, and BB... you guys need to address this problem...it isn't going to help tickets sales if the Caps fall of the face of the Earth at the season's end! You know where to light that fire!!!

So, I guess we can assume the theory that the guys were so terrible of late due to the trade deadline...can't we?!?

As far as the booing issue...if you deserve it, you deserve it.

(from booing blog and just my opinion)...

I am a bit worried about the Pens game this weekend, that is the one team I can't bare to watch beat us on home ice! I refuse to watch that happen and I will be heavily drinking at that game if it looks like it is going sour (I apologize to my hubby in advance...Sorry Mark). But, I am hoping for my team and it's fans that they pull it together and get a much needed W this Sunday! Oh and I can't forget I also hope someone lays into Crosby, you know so per usual he goes day-to-day right after a game against the Caps. LET"S GO CAPS!

Posted by: NatyBG | March 6, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Game recap:

http://capitals.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20082009,2,958&fr=false

Theo made some good saves. To be honest, I kind of expected that we would be up 3-4 goals by the time they even get near our net. He couldn't do much on the first goal, and the second he should have been up faster, but I'm not sure he ever saw the shot. On both goals, our D got schooled.

The Leafs have only a fraction of the Caps talent. But I have the impression that they compensated with heart. They were fighting for every puck, together as a team. It seems they were faster to reach the puck, like they had fire on their butt. I forgot the last time the Caps played with that same fire, end of last season, very beginning of this season?

Recent losses aside, we still have two issues to solve:

1) clear the crease. Watch the voided Leafs goal as perfect example. This problem has been masked all year by OVI and the Caps talent. Will it be masked in the playoffs too?
2) be in THEIR crease. Run to the net. Stop making their goalie look like supergoalie.

Would have been nice to have solved this with some trades. But we didn't, so we have to improve on team effort, sacrifice, focus, determination and heart.

Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

@rachel216

Yup its very possible. I know from where i sit I have clearly seen Schultz screening the netminder so many times this year, not just in the recent slide but quite often.

I am sure that (as some have poitned out here) this is a positioning mistake a lot of young defensemen make and hiopefully in the future you will see him make better positional choices.

That being said...

I think he needs to sit for a couple games I really do. I know he is young and I know BB loves the guy but you cannot screen your own netminder on both goals scored against in one game. BB has sat down other guys for next to nothing, Im not saying Schultz needs to go, but he at least needs to sit.

I know Alzy is going to get the call up at some point but I also hope we bring up a couple other blueliners from Hershey when the playoffs start. Namely Sloan, Collins and maybe Helmer. We need some help on the back end and I think these guys could help us as they did earlier in the year.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | March 6, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

@Kim-3

I second that.

I also hope Katie or Tarik or somebody else will keep asking the question: "why was Poti in the lineup?" until it is properly answered and someone takes responsibility for that boneheaded move.

Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

For all of the whining about the D, the offense is just as big of a problem right now. Nobody other than Semin or Ovechkin seem to be able to finish. And last night the Caps couldn't sustain any offensive pressure at all. Too much one shot and done.

Posted by: koalatek | March 6, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

@koalatek

Totally agree with you, we couldn't finish on a lot of shots and I counted at least 3 or 4 open net shots that they missed the pass on or shot wide of the net.

I am pretty sure BB got it right when he stated that they are really holding there sticks tight right now. You could see it plain as day last night. All offensive minded players go through this, its just that the your whole team is going through it at the same time. I am just hoping that they are getting it all out of there system and will break out soon.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | March 6, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

bonehead move by GMGM sending down Kronwell we all knew Poti was only 50/50 after Tuesday's game so why run the risk?

Do you think we played better last night than Tuesday or are the leafs just bad finishes?

Posted by: CalleJo | March 6, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

NatyBG - if you don't feel good about renewing your tickets for a first place team just because they have hit a slump then just let them go for someone who really cares.

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 6, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I think the pressure and expectations of being the "Only" winning team in this area are starting to weigh in on these "young" Capitals. Unfortunately, the veteran leadership they have on this team, other than Fedorov, have limited or bad playoff experiences and must not be offering too much leadership skills at the moment. I am just enjoying this season for what it is; just another step in the right direction for this young club on its way to a decade of good to great winning seasons. To expect this team to take on the burden of all the other bad local teams (Professional or Collegiate) is unrealistic. A losing streak is just another lesson that must be learned and dealt with for a young club that is used to winning. It is how the players respond during the season and how management respond after the season that will determine the true progress of this team. Stop "Booing" and just enjoy a great product. I wish I had the time and resources to be a season ticket holder, but if it was afforded to me it would be a "no brainer" to sign up (As long as Ted Leonsis is running this team, that is!).

Posted by: JohnWWW | March 6, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I read Ted's Take this morning.
meh.
They keep harping on this Pronger for three prospects and a draft pick thing.
The majority of trades were NOT for 3 first round prospects and a draft pick.
I understand the financial issues, the space issues, etc. But competing for a championship year after year requires making the necessary upgrades that enable that to happen. The claims that Ted and GMGM are making are skewed. There's nothing wrong with giving Pothier a chance, or Clark, or Alzner. But the loyalty mumbo jumbo is just that. Kolzig, anyone? Bondra? Guerin or Andropov or Morris or any other upgrade would have disturbed chemistry? Come on. I dont buy that. You dont have to give away the farm to get some better seed. If you say you want to compete every year then you need to explain whats meant by 'compete'. Get into the playoffs every year to make the extra money? Because if you want to compete every year, you have to have a team that can do so. Minus Fedorov, Nylander, and a few others like potentially Pothier, what happens next year? Hershey talent? deciding they aren't ready yet at the end of the year and not making any trades again? Waiting another year only to be side swept by injuries and the loss of some veteran talent? Does competing every year mean getting to the first round and then hoping for the best?
Just wondering. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Posted by: oo7 | March 6, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Every team slumps at this point, and this is a good time to do it. Detroit went through a winless skid last year at this time, too. The team has largely done their work for the regular season, and it's understandable that they would lose focus at this point. Ovy hasn't had a break all year. Maybe he should take an extra game or two off right now. And I think we're seeing about 80% of what Feds can give. He's letting the young guys carry the team through the regular season, and will be a different player in the playoffs. It's all good.

Now, who keeps making the decision to play Poti before he's fully healed . . . .

Posted by: Kirg | March 6, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Do you really think Detroit fans are upset right now that they're GM didn't do anything? And beleive me, Detroit fans find many problems with their team this year. If trades didn't go down, they didn't go down for a reason, and actually the Caps situation is pretty easy to guess. max 50 roster + no team wanting nylander = pretty impossible to do anything. We just cant move prospects and expect to afford a seasoned NHLer, there is something called a salary cap now. What about Nashville fans? Vancouver? Minnesota?

drop the deadline, because you cant change the past.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 6, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I think there's way too much freakout going on. Yes it's vexing, but it's also a learning experience at a point in the season we can afford it (to a very limited extent). I'm glad the next game is against the Pens, because if anything can break the funk it's that game. Breaking the funk is what we'll need too, because Nashville on the road and Philly will be tough if recent experience is any measure.

We can get cranking, in synch, with interchangeable pieces again from the call-ups when needed. Semin's a monster these days and will be amazing come playoffs, and Ovi is Ovi. Get the 3rd and 4th lines to get some goals in net, and some consistency in our own, and we're starting to cook.

Starts Sunday.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 6, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I hate how BB says the team is in this funk because of lack of practice time then he cancels practice on Monday and then again today. WTF?

Posted by: Osfan092589 | March 6, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

In the system:
*The big news out of Hershey is that Simeon Varlamov, who hasn't played since Jan. 14 because of a knee injury, will start Saturday when the Bears take on the Toronto Marlies.


yeahhhh

Posted by: richmondphil | March 6, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

@ ds_kelly:

As stated...

"I need to renew my season tickets, but I want to at least do it on a high note...like after a big win or a win at all...not 3 big "stinkers"!"

...as in I am definitely going to renew my tickets today, but I wished it was the day after a great win and not after a 3 game losing streak. You read way too much into that. I would never give up my tickets, they are right behind the Cap's bench!

Posted by: NatyBG | March 6, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Ok we get the point. We should have made some moves at the trade deadline, we're not a top team, we won't make it past the first round... So throw in the towel for the year and put your tix on stub hub. End of story. We don't need to hear the same old arguments day in and out... It's a dry spell it happens.

Posted by: cappies | March 6, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I hate how BB says the team is in this funk because of lack of practice time then he cancels practice on Monday and then again today. WTF?

Posted by: Osfan092589 | March 6, 2009 8:57 AM

BB always says contradicting things. It's weird sometimes.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 6, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

The guys will bounce back and this upset and drama will be a thing of the past. We will have to come up from this slump sooner or later...I am hoping it is Sunday! What will have to happen for us to get Alzner back down in DC? I am hoping if Poti is still out, then Alzner can hop down to help us out! Ovie feel better, we will need you Sunday, I mean aren't you now part of the big rivalry between Caps and Pens!

Posted by: NatyBG | March 6, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

RE: Why Poti played -- if you watch BB interview after the game he alludes to needing to play him one shift for a particular reason, maybe there is a rule about how someone can't be placed on LTIR or whatever unless they play after they suit up. I don't know -- but in the interview he clearly alludes to some "need" that once Poti was suited up, he needed to play one shift.

Posted by: jhamond1 | March 6, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Is this the line for the anti-Shultz bandwagon? Much as I hate to say it, I think I might be ready to get on that bus. From where I sat, e looked slow and weak and both goals appeared to be more his fault than anyone else's.

Also, the Caps are now 5-4 on home ice with Baildog in the line-up; 1-4 in the last 5 games I've been to. I think I may need to be a healthy scratch the rest fo the year, as I am obviously not contributing.

Posted by: Baildog | March 6, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse


1) clear the crease. Watch the voided Leafs goal as perfect example. This problem has been masked all year by OVI and the Caps talent. Will it be masked in the playoffs too?
2) be in THEIR crease. Run to the net. Stop making their goalie look like supergoalie.

Would have been nice to have solved this with some trades. But we didn't, so we have to improve on team effort, sacrifice, focus, determination and heart.

Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2009 7:57 AM

Exactly the points I was going to make. Our defense stands flatfooted and watches Theo get screened, mauled, flattened, and pummeled. Someone needs to step up, and clear them out. All of our defensemen are 6’ 2” or bigger and yet they let the other teams pitch a tent, build a fire and camp in the slot.

We get NO traffic in their crease. All our shots come form the perimeter and nobody is there for the rebound. No one crashes the net; nobody is setting a screen, no one is anywhere near the slot, or causing a distraction out front.

Also, enough with the cute, no-look passes. They look pretty when they work, but most times you are just turning the puck over!

These guys need to simplify their game and make the smart plays, put traffic out front, and shoot the puck! You know, old time hockey…just like Eddie shore!

Posted by: BearsWoooo | March 6, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

@007

Actually Morris went for 3 players. Out of those 3 you mentioned the only one I would have attempted to pick up is Guerin since he went for what a 4th or 5th round draft pick?

But there is more at play here that Ted pointed out. Its not just giving up players. We have the maximum contracts we can allow on our payroll and we couldn't dump Nyls. This is the main sticking point and the reason we couldn't make any moves.

Im actually happy they didn't make any rash decisions. I think we have more depth in our farm system then any other team in the NHL right now. I just wish we would use them more often.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | March 6, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Schultz, Schultz, Schultz, that is the one I keep hearing complain about on the blue line. ERSKINE is the one that needs to go. I don't care that he makes big hits, he flat out gave the puck away on the 2nd goal, which ended up being the game winner. He is always the worst player on the ice.

Player GP G A P +/- PIM
John Erskine 38 0 2 2 3 41
Jeff Schultz 49 1 10 11 14 14

Those stats speak for themself. I know Schlutz looks a clumsy at times but he is not a flashy player. He usually goes totally unnoticed, which as a defensive/defenseman, is just fine. Erskine on the other hand sticks out like a sore thumb.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 6, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

We have not had a captain on this team in months. You can call Federov a leader all you want, but we needed a gritty captain type guy who could draw on his experiences and get this "YOUNG TEAM" out of the funk they are in. This is something that was needed at the trade deadline more than a defenseman.

Posted by: diner99 | March 6, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The majority of trades were NOT for 3 first round prospects and a draft pick.

The majority of trades were NOT for a former Hart/Norris winner. Take a look at what the Rangers gave up to get 2 guys; 3 roster players and 2 picks. Moreover, the players they got will probably go elsewhere unless the Rangers move other players. And their farm system isn't the most healthy in the world.

I understand the financial issues, the space issues, etc. But competing for a championship year after year requires making the necessary upgrades that enable that to happen.

Considering the cap will likely be around the same next year, and then drop the following, everyone's trying to free up cap space in anticipation of that. If making the upgrade includes working with teams that are trying to do what you've already got in place financially, then it's probably better not to make the upgrade.

Guerin or Andropov or Morris or any other upgrade would have disturbed chemistry? Come on. I dont buy that. You dont have to give away the farm to get some better seed.

Others overpaid, so why should the Caps have had to pony up something similar?

Minus Fedorov, Nylander, and a few others like potentially Pothier, what happens next year? Hershey talent? deciding they aren't ready yet at the end of the year and not making any trades again? Waiting another year only to be side swept by injuries and the loss of some veteran talent? Does competing every year mean getting to the first round and then hoping for the best?

If I was to guess, they'll let ShaMo walk and tender offers to the RFAs, resign Kozlov as the only UFA, and give long looks to Bourque, Osala, Beagle and Gordon. Barring any package deals of course. And boom, the team gets more cap room, has a year more playoff experience under their belt, and gets a little younger by not resigning the 39 year old Fedorov and the 36 year old Brashear.

Look, much as it pains others for the fact that the team wasn't "Snydered", the fact of the matter is the cap is a lot less forgiving in the NHL than in other leagues. The Caps have the 9th best group of prospects, and two of them (Alzner and Varlamov) will more than likely be up here next year. Talented guys who will year from the 25 year olds with 2 years of playoff experience. It'll come.

In the meanwhile, resume the panic...

Posted by: Section117 | March 6, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

BB always says contradicting things. It's weird sometimes.

I have another word than weird that comes to mind....

Posted by: atybat | March 6, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@mauree,

I still am puzzled by the Poti situation last night, and think the last minute shuffling of lines did have an impact.

Does the fact that he technically played last night affect dates if he goes on LTIR? (Sometimes teams make dates retroactive). I was actually worried that "playing" would preclude any LTIR being retroactive in his case.

Also, I wonder if in hindsight BB wishes he had double shifted the D at first and kept Fedorov at Center to get a few goals before moving him straight to D.

Posted by: Kim-3 | March 6, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

jeff schultz makes george laraque look like a good skater

Posted by: _stevo | March 6, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Nope.. I dont agree with that assessment. the plus minus in this particular instance is such a misleading stat because he is playing with Green, Ovie, and Backs. Of course he is out there for more scoring opportunities then Erskine who plays with the 3rd and 4th lines most of the time.

The points are another misleading stat, your going to get points when you are playing with arguably the greatest scorer in the league. I do agree that he doesnt take a lot of penalties and thats good.

I think the kid can play but he needs to get schooled on positioning and how NOT TO SCREEN YOUR OWN NETMINDER... which he does time and time again. Its really getting old. These last 3 games he has also failed to pick his defensive responsibility up or not cleared the puck which has resulted in a goal.

I know these things will come with maturity and experience but at this point when we are slumping he is not helping matters and therefor should sit for a couple games till we can gets some W's under our belt.


Posted by: Dizzy1205 | March 6, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

i agree with Mauree:

1) clear our crease
2) traffic in front of the opposing teams net.

this is the essence of the playoff hockey to come. toughen up Caps, your potential playoff opponents certainly have.

Posted by: doughless | March 6, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Dizzy regarding Schultz's positioning problems and screening the goalie. I think a lot of Schultz's issues stem from the fact that he's just too slow. The problem is, can you really teach speed? At this point in his career, how much faster can he really get? I know management saw potential in this kid, but he's been up for a couple of seasons and he simply hasn't grown into the player they were hoping he could be. How long can we really afford to wait on him?

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 6, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

This game is NOT the difficult.......

GO TO THE NET, PARK your ARSE there and SHOOT the PUCK!!

We need to learn how to win "UGLY". Get garage goals...they still count!

Nobody last night fought for space in front of Weber. The Caps total offensive effort was around the perimeter.

Posted by: jarresm | March 6, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

nylander once again did really nothing with almost 15 minutes in icetime. i had thought being scratched for 4 games would have made him come out flying, but i guess not

Posted by: _stevo | March 6, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

For anyone that cares, last night I was sitting 5 rows from the bench, and every time Schultz came off the ice I made sure that he knew my opinion of his shift. Not that it helped or hurt his playing, but it made me feel better every time I screamed "I want you traded". My highlight would be when he looked up at me in the 3rd like "please just let me do my circles and go home"

Posted by: abuddy2004 | March 6, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Go ahead, heckel your own team, I'm sure that will make them play better.

Posted by: stormblue | March 6, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

A different team went through this same down turn just a couple weeks earlier at the same point last season. What did THEY do at the trade deadline last year? Picked up Brad Stuart who only played 7 games down the stretch and had nothing to do with their turn around at the end of the season. He did play well for them in the playoffs. This season? He's only played 50 games thus far and has a terrible season. What did the Red Wings give up? Second round pick in 2009 draft, and 4th round pick in 2010 draft.

So why am I sending this? Because the Red Wings went through a similar slump, pulled out of it, didn't do much at all at the trade deadline, and oh yeah, won the Stanley Cup with Osgood. (Hasek was pulled in the 1st round and never saw the net again). Here's how last year's Stanley Cup Champions did from 7 Feb- 29 Feb (1-8-2).

February 7 Los Angeles 5 – 3 Detroit February 9 Detroit 2 – 3 Toronto OT February 10 Anaheim 3 – 2 Detroit February 12 Detroit 2 – 4 Nashville
February 15 Columbus 5 – 1 Detroit
February 17 Detroit 0 – 1 Dallas
February 18 Detroit 4 – 0 Colorado
February 22 Detroit 0 – 1 Calgary
February 23 Detroit 1 – 4 Vancouver February 26 Detroit 3 – 4 Edmonton SO February 29 San Jose 3 – 2 Detroit

The Caps haven't been winning this season with smoke and mirrors. They are not one of the top 6 teams in the entire league by accident. They will spin out of this, and even if they don't win the Stanley Cup, they will right the ship and have a nice playoff run. By the way, the Detroit Red Wings did not do business on Tuesday either, even though they experienced a 4 game losing streak last month.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 6, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@capsfan26

I think Schultz can be good. But not playing the amount of min. he is currently playing. I think this is also a problem that gets overlooked.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | March 6, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Philly lost last night to THANK GAWD!

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | March 6, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

@117 et al:
it's not about panic, it's about assessment. No center on the 3rd or 4th line that can pass , set up two decent wingers in the making, one who is still trying to find his game, the other undersized and not too strong on his legs. No forward with crease presence, no defensemen that are accountable night in and out, shaky goaltending.
I suffer from no illusions that tell me a trade deadline can fix all these things. But 2 guys that might have helped went for nothing more than draft picks.
i've heard the same thing from this group for years and if everyone that defends them sticks around, they'll hear it all a few more times too.

after all the complaining about schultz and erskine and poti and Mo and jurcina, no traffic in the crease and little scoring after the alexes and green, do people really buy the "we couldn't get betterfor the playoffs" speech? because well soon see if the other teams got better.

Posted by: oo7 | March 6, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Dizzy1205: Just because Schultz is listed with Green on the 1st line D, the 1st line D does not run in sync with 1st line O. D shifts are much longer than O so they are always off-set. Lines are set up in 3 player squads for forwards, and 2 for D, not 5 man squads. OV and Green are on the ice together a lot, but more so on the PP than any other time. When Erskine got hurt and Alzner was paired with Jurcina many noticed that Jurcina played better. That's because he didn't have the goofy lumberjack flanking him.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 6, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock

yeah and jurcina looked "REAL" good when he had schultz playing with him

Posted by: _stevo | March 6, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@117

Agree on the prospects, Alzner and Varly will help improve the team next year (or even in the playoffs)

But... hehe, of course you expected a "but" huh? :)

But, our current prospects won't completely resolve some problems that might haunt us in the long term. Forget about recent losses, all year long we are not crashing the net and clearing the crease consistently. These problems are often masked by our huge talent.

The way I see it, we need to address that outside our farm with some proven veteran stud. And I'm not talking this or next year, I'm talking long term. We need 3-4 players with that spread that kind of mentality in our blood - an adrenaline shot we need, that's just my opinion, in every post-season.

Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

While our record of late is definitely cause for concern, I'm hearing from other analysts that most of the top teams go through a lull this time of year. You're seeing it now with Boston and San Jose too. Boston has lost 3 straight, the Flyers have lost 3 out of 4,
and San Jose has lost 4 out of their last 5. So while I'm concerned, I'm not pushing the panic button yet.

But I have had my fill of garbage play. I think Boudreau was a little easy on the guys in the post game news conference when he said he was pleased with the effort. It didn't matter that we didn't have Ovie or Poti.. Hershey could've beaten that the Leafs (no offense to Hershey cause they rules and would probably beat half the NHL teams). Watching this team consistently miss opporunities on wide open nets make me sick. You just felt the entire game shift when the Caps were domininating (but not scoring), and then the Leafs come down the ice and shoot one of Theo and into the net.. that was horrible. The second goal should've been interference because Blake definitely ran into Theo.

Regardless, GMGM, the time has come to bench (for the long term) either Shultz or Erskine, and bring in Alzner. He may be a rookie, but he's so much more stable than those chuckleheads. Erskine's attempts to clear the puck are more comical than Dane Cook. They need to take this little two day break, get recharged and remember what got them here. I better not turn on NHL Network again and have to listen to the analysts say "it looks like the Caps think they're too cool for school and are just daydreaming through games".

Great to see Boudreau reeming them out on the bench yesterday.. They deserved it for yet another poor performance.

Btw, did anyone else think Semin never even touched Kubina with that high stick? I could swear on the replay it looked like he didn't touch him.. Regardless I think he's been our best player the last few games..

Posted by: ovys8 | March 6, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

For anyone that cares, last night I was sitting 5 rows from the bench, and every time Schultz came off the ice I made sure that he knew my opinion of his shift. Not that it helped or hurt his playing, but it made me feel better every time I screamed "I want you traded". My highlight would be when he looked up at me in the 3rd like "please just let me do my circles and go home"

Posted by: abuddy2004 | March 6, 2009 9:43 AM

Clearly sir, you're an idiot.

Posted by: Section117 | March 6, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

I know they are offset some, but he is usually out there with that crew. or at the very least shortly after the 1st or 2nd line starts their shift.

All i am saying is, he gets way to much ice time for a player of his skill and the plus minus defense is such a misleading stat for him being that he is paired up with green and usually on the ice with the top two lines.

Im not such a fan of Erskine either believe me. But I think Erskine has sat this season. Schultz has not. He needs to ride the bench for a couple of games or at the very least get his ice time shaved back.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | March 6, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Haven't done much reading today, but I cannot stand the people that boo the team ... there were people booing them last night for not shooting, FFS! Is this town really that spoiled by all of its recent sports success? Those people are almost as imbecilic as the ones who shout during the Anthem.

As for Schultz, he needs a conditioning stint in Hershey followed by a hard summer working on strength and speed.

Posted by: Baildog | March 6, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

_stevo: I know you are a huge Erskine fan but it's time to buy another jersey or rip Erksine off the back and put Stevens on there. He used to bring even more to the game but he can't drop the mits anymore because of the concussions. He is tough, I wouldn't want to tick him off, but he's become a liability.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 6, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

abuddy2004,

Next time yell what you really want to say at him.

"I wish I was you! I wish I could be where you are!"

Posted by: _jordan | March 6, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"I don't want to hear your chit.
'I lost Cush and Avery...'

Anybody else would have left you
by now, but I'm sticking with you.

I'm gonna ride your ass like Zorro
till you show me the money.

We're together on this.
You hear me? We're gonna be one."

Posted by: _828 | March 6, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

The Caps are fine, believe it or not, but this is also the same team that won 40 games in the first 60 games or so. Sometimes I feel like people don't recognize how freaking hard it must be for them to play as hard as we've become accustomed to them playing, and let's not forget that teams come into games against us ready to play their absolute best, because we are an ELITE team (or at least in the realm of very good). Say what you will about them but they're as intimidating and scary as ever, and I think they played pretty damn hard last night.

Posted by: alee06 | March 6, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock

that will never happen and stevens isnt coming back. you call erskine clumsy, but maybe you missed it when schultz fell on his own at their blueline to give the leafs a clear breakaway (which fedorov got back on and what should have been a hooking call)

@ovys8

dane cook is not funny or comical

Posted by: _stevo | March 6, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

fanohock1 wrote
By the way, the Detroit Red Wings did not do business on Tuesday either, even though they experienced a 4 game losing streak last month.

Detroit won 5-0 Tuesday. And 3-2 Wednesday.
And the 4 game losing streak last month? They're 10-3-1 in February. Is that a 4 game losing streak?

With all due respect folks... let's stop comparing our slump to Detroit's.

Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I don't even want to bother reading what this blog has to say today because a gaggle of people will come on today and become THE best unpaid General Manager/Center/Winger/Coach the Washington Capitals has yet to discover and I'm left feeling that that's what a fan is supposed to become after a number of years. I've only been a fan since October (it's a line that's getting old, I know) and I guess I come from a background where yeah, expect your team to lose occasionally but it's never to the point where every loss you discredit the organizaton thinking you could do better.

I agree that the team should not have folded just because two members of their team weren't playing. Ovi, as much as I love him, isn't the only guy on the team that could win a game for us. Ovi and Poti should be able to sit out a game or two and the rest of the team should be fine. Fill in the holes and win the game. It didn't happen last night or the past 2 games but let's cut them a bit of slack for it. If memory serves me correctly, we have this tendency to kick a$$ after these sort of games. Here's to Sundays' game. I wanna' see Cindy whine and cry again. Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 6, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

@Baildog

I think the booing was more for the fact that the team still looked lazy on the backcheck on tried to play too cute on the PP and on a lot of 2 on 1's

In this case I think Booing your team when they are screwing up is entirely valid, and goes to show you that we do indeed live in a hockey town, and people are starting to learn the game. Which is great for DC Hockey.

Growing up in Maine and moving down here in my teens I cant tell you how horrible it was to move to a city where Hockey was not a religion. I am pretty happy with what has happened in the last two years especially with the way youth hockey has just really grown around here.

All in all the boos were entirely valid the last couple of games. You play like crap you should expect your fans to let you know it.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | March 6, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

jordan i'm glad you said it and not me

Posted by: honed | March 6, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

mauree - with all due respect, lets stop comparing our trade moves to everyone elses. What's done is done. We have our team right now and that's going to be it until next year.

Posted by: _828 | March 6, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

hockey.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 6, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

After reading many of the post on here, it seems like some of the fans are only fans if the team wins. A couple months ago many of you were calling for the team's head because they were losing most of their road games.

It's like this team is Damned if they win and Damned if they don't.

I for one appreciate this team and what they have done so far. Yes they have one and also lost, so has the best teams in the league.

No team or person can constantly please everyone, but for now this is the team we have in DC that is doing something good and other teams have noticed and are copying (Pens, Rags, etc). We may or may not get the cup this year (anything can happen) but this team is a vast improvement from what we've had here in a while. IMO.

Posted by: bajgirl | March 6, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Based solely on blog comments the last three weeks, I think Schultz has been on the ice and is responsible for the last 225 goals. He sucks.

Listen, I'm not a scout, a coach, or a hockey player, but I don't see Schultz make nearly as many mistakes as everyone else. I was in the front row of the club last night and watch him quite closely - funny enough, the biggest mistake he made was when he fell down at the blue line and the Leafs got a breakaway that Feds and JT60 stopped. No complaints there? Is it only on goals that we complain? Right. The first goal was from the goal line and off JT's right skate - no screens, no players, nothing. The second was due to Backstrom not stopping a pass from behind the net to an open shooter to JT's left. Schultz? You're kidding. This is embarrassing.

The coach and GM know way better than every person here. Objective numbers (behindthenet.com) will tell you that Schulz's actual numbers (not newspaper boxscores) are way better than you'd imagine by reading entries here. You may not like him - and that's fine - but get over it. The folks that run numbers may have the formulas wrong in your opinion but those errors would affect all players, yet they all rate Schultz in the top 30 in the NHL for Dmen and #2 on the Caps.

I'm sure someone will fire back that BB, the GM, coaches, and scouts are wrong. Or that the numbers are skewed to favor Schultz because the arbitors of the sites are Schultz lovers. Have at it.

Posted by: saintex | March 6, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Exactly haha

Posted by: alee06 | March 6, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

bajgirl - that's too logical for people to understand. Dumb it down a bit.

Posted by: _828 | March 6, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

828

? When did I compare our moves? Besides, what's to compare?

Did you confuse me with someone else?

Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"but this team is a vast improvement from what we've had here in a while. IMO." -Bajgirl


AMEN

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | March 6, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

mauree - that really wasn't towards you - just an open statement to all the ones comparing our non moves with everyone elses.

Posted by: _828 | March 6, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

This is killing me. 2 days of no Caps hockey. 2 days to not have a chance to redeem ourselves. I can't believe I'm saying this but I wish it's already sunday afternoon.

Posted by: Andoy | March 6, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@mauree,

Detroit lost the last five games in January. Give it a break. The point of the entry was no doubt that sometime in the last month of so, the Wings had a four-game losing streak. If your response is "did not" because it's a week off, no need to type your entry, it's pointless.

That being said, we aren't the Red Wings, we know that. But, every team at the top of both conferences has stuggled this season - now, it's our turn.

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

So did Poti have to take a shift to make them eligible for an emergency call-up or something? I am (like some of the others here) completely confused about why he was out there one second and then gone the next.

Posted by: FedorovCrunch | March 6, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

we have veteran studs, i dont know what you are talking about.

you want a vet d man? oh, well maybe next year. maybe if you complain more we will be sucked into a time warp and GMGM will make 82 trades.

also there is something called a salary cap. not everyone can just be a 90s Avalanche team.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 6, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

everything will be fine once we beat the pens, i will even go and give schultz a hug

no way in hell OVIE misses that game

Posted by: _stevo | March 6, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

My goodness, what a bunch of Chicken Littles we're turning into! A few lousy games and people are already freaking out. Don't you remember all those seasons when losing was par for the course? We have a great team and a coach who knows how to get us back on track. There's definitely no need to panic here. Everyone take a deep breath and have a little faith. :)

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 6, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

capsfan26,

me not understand. Caps not bad? Caps have best player?
me hungry. me must eat.

Posted by: _828 | March 6, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@NatyBG - so were you the one with the blue & white wig and face paint last night? LOL

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 6, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Quote's from the 5MAR09 "So Is It Really Time to Boo the Caps?" story.....


"They know what we're capable of, and they want to see us perform," Brashear said. "People are starting to catch up on hockey; they know what's going on. Before, nobody would be interested in the team, or in hockey. Now that they're interested, they want to see players perform, because they're paying to come and see us."

Boudreau, who has repeatedly praised the fans this year and last, said much the same.

"They pay a lot of money, and I think if we took the passion away from the fans it wouldn't be right," he said. "If it was our first loss at home, that'd be a little bit different. But we have passionate fans and we love them. If they boo, maybe it'll make us better. That's what we're hoping. Listen, they're people who are passionate, and passionate people want success all the time."

Posted by: NatyBG | March 6, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Like I stated before, 4 of the top 5 teams in the league right now are going through slumps. So not time for the panic button. Losing at home is concerning, but we need to regain and maintain 2nd in the east.

The problems of goaltending and defense aren't new, they're year long problems so I think it's fair for people to air some grievances on here. Bring up Varly and Alzner to shore up those areas for the playoffs, and get Feds back up front.

Posted by: ovys8 | March 6, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

lol @ _828

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 6, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Gary Roberts anyone?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 6, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@ds_kelly:

How did you guess? My dad even painted my face for the game...it was awesome! HA! That kid was cute though, I really love how much spirit kids have!

Posted by: NatyBG | March 6, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

richmondphil
we have veteran studs, i dont know what you are talking about.

We have maybe the most talented forwards in the NHL... but I don't see studs that plants themself in front of their goalies. I don't see crashing the net. I don't see scaring anybody that gets near Theo. Hey, but what do I know. My opinion only :)

Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

well you didnt say that.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 6, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I think Feds is our smartedst defenseman when he plays back there. They guy is amazing.

Posted by: saintex | March 6, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Randino - If you were a man you would say sorry.

I was right about OVECHKIN sitting last night.

You wanted to be a smart ass and i wasn't trying to start rumors!

I had a valid source...before TARIK EVEN KNEW

Posted by: DCSPORTS | March 6, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@Mauree: Oops, Detroits losing streak was the last 5 games of January 0-4-1 the last loss of the streak was against the Caps. They also fell into a hole against the Blues the next game and came back to win in a Shootout, and since then they have played well.
The 1-8-2 slump for the Red Wings was last Feb (hence the 29th, last year was a leap year). Again, Detroit's slump is used as an example of a team that probably had a bunch of fans on a website demanding their GM make some trades or the season was over. The GM made 1 decent trade and Detroit went on to win the Cup. The trade again was for Brad Stuart, who is injured after signing a 4yr $15 million contract, and having a mediocre season when healthy this season. The Red Wings gave up a 2008 2nd rounder and 2009 4th rounder, was it worth it? They won the Cup. Was he a major reason? I don't know.
I'm not willing to say Uncle on the season yet.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 6, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

It's always good to misspell "smartest".

Posted by: saintex | March 6, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I would bet my house if we face detriot in finals they would sweep us again. they are one finly oiled machine

Posted by: phrdlick | March 6, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@saintex

I agree! And I find it amazing that he can flip from being a Forward to going to D instantly. I felt safer with him on D than any of the other D back there.

Posted by: CapsKH | March 6, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@DCSPORTS

i dont think anyone was being a smartass about ovechkin playing or not, but the rumor that was tagged along with it was a bit absurd.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 6, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@DCSPORTS,

I called out out yesterday on that rumor...it seemed crazy. So, I was wrong. But, could you stop typing Ovechkin in all caps.

Posted by: saintex | March 6, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Sad when your best defensemen is a 38 year old forward...that pretty much sums it up for me.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 6, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Lylewimbledon,

Caps are at the max of 50 player contracts. They can not pick up Roberts or any other players.

The team they have is the team they have.

Posted by: stormblue | March 6, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Where is windjammersouth?

He must be really enjoying this 21-game stretch he raved about for 3 straight months?

I guess he's so "excited" he can't even type.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 6, 2009 7:28 AM

Actually, I think they finally got him on his meds again...

Posted by: BigRed8 | March 6, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Haha, yea I guess I dont need to put Ovechkin in Caps. I type like that sometimes.

I didn't say the reason he was out. All I knew was that BB told someone in the organization at noon that he was going to be out. I came on here to see if anyone knew if that was bogus.

Randino then went off on me that I was full of sh*t

Posted by: DCSPORTS | March 6, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

phrdlick - I'll take that bet.

Posted by: _828 | March 6, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

@ mauree and everyone else wonding about the Poti thing...

coach said after the game that Poti tweaked it in warmups. in order to qualify for the emergency call up, Poti had to PLAY in the game, which is why he took one seven second shift.

they were fully expecting him to play. but when he got through warmups it was evident that he couldn't get it stretched out enough to do so, resulting in the truncated shift and playing down a D.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | March 6, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I agree with mauree's 2 statements towards the beginning of the posts. Matter of fact, so do the Caps.

How many times have we heard from Laich, Bradley, or another player, even the coach, talking about getting someone in front of the goalie and getting those "dirty goals"? A ton of times is the answer. Yet, the Caps always set up a guy in the high slot rather than down low. So when there is a short rebound, no Cap forward/center can get to it and leaves the whole front of the oppositions goal controlled by their defenseman.

Every once and a while someone will park themselves down low in front of the goalie, but it is not near the amount of time they should be.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | March 6, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

If there's any consolation from the 2 losses to Carolina and Florida, it's that it prevented the Penguins from gaining ground on the playoff race. Now, they really have to play sunday's game like it's game 7 of the SC. If the Pens beat us, then that will do wonders on their confidence. They'll probably clinch a 6th or 7th spot. And guess who they'll be playing first round...

Posted by: Andoy | March 6, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@lyle,

I just think Feds has way more experience than out guys. What's the oldest? 27 or 28. I think that his team goes as far as Feds experience takes us. I think BB said earlier this week - maybe after the Carolina loss - that there's little he should have to say to these guys to get them ready. We know Feds knows what it takes to win a championship and I hope he gets that into their heads through the rest of the season. He also seems like the kind of player who knew what everyone else was doing on the ice and that's why he can move to D and be successful; it's not a matter of it being someone else's job.

Posted by: saintex | March 6, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@saintex
The puck on the second goal was in our end because Erskine made an off target pass behind our net to Shultz who didn't skate fast enought to get it before it went to a Leaf and bam. Bad clearing was the cause of that goal nothing else

Posted by: billd2 | March 6, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@phrdlick: Before I occupy your house I want all the walls painted Caps Red. That would be sweet if the Finals were against the Red Wings and I have a ticket to every home game!

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 6, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm still not convinced this defense and goalie can take us anywhere...hate being the sourpuss on here but I hate being let down in April

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 6, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

lylewimbledon,
Then just enjoy the remaining games and get excited for next year. I am still excited for this year because anything can happen. I'm not writing this year off because of our D... they have a month to get things in line. A lot can change in a month.

Posted by: _828 | March 6, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

@DCSPORTS,

As we all pointed out yesterday, whether we were full of it or not, it seemed like a strange rumor since we'd all heard different all day long. No one, apparently aside from you and your mole, knew anything about it all day. I'm pretty sure the Caps didn't want any of that info to slip out to anyone - we know how secretive they are about injuries - so I'd be a bit careful coming to a blog with actual organization information - there must have only been two or three that knew that so it would be easy to track down the source. That's just me...

Of course, someone should sign you as an investigative reporter.

Posted by: saintex | March 6, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

sorry I should have known you were talking January that before "attacking" you :D

In any case, I stand by the sentiment of what I wrote. I watched some of those losses (5-6 against SJS who were pretty much invincible then, DAL played an incredible game, @Caps w/o Zett and Holmstrom), and can tell you that it was more of a slump in final score, not a team bad period.

If we want to compare slumps, maybe BOS is more appropriate.

Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

This should make people feel better - Philly cut several depth guys to make room for Briere and he's injured again just that quick. (h/t Japers)

http://www.the700level.com/2009/03/danny-briere-out-with-undisclosed-lower-body-injury.html

Posted by: stormblue | March 6, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@billd2,

There is certainly a line of fault if we want to trace it back far enough, and that certainly seems like a reasonable line. But, you also have to admit that the puck bouncing in off Theo's skate was just a damning as that lead-up. If it doesn't hit his skate it probably would have cleared the crease to the other side. I not one to isolate one portion of the entire event and say it was specifically one guy's fault, aside from very obvious situations. Any goal can be traced to a stream of events and everyone will pick out the "greatest" error as they choose.

Posted by: saintex | March 6, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@DC SPORTS

I want to go on record for not jumping on your rumor. I just said that if you had that info, let us know the source to back it up...Which you did in your second post...Good call on your part

Posted by: SA-Town | March 6, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Goaltending. Goaltending. Goaltending.

Yes, our D has a few issues now and then. But the problem remains, that even with his better #s, Jose lets in too many bad goals. Every time Schultz makes a mistake, the chance it will mean a goal against increases.

We just don't have that guy who will bail his team out.

Last night is a great example. Look at the numbers. Only 2 GAA. Good for Jose, even brings down his season GAA. But what about the shot from the goal line that when off his sakte because he was way out of position?

Just one bad goal loses a playoff game. And then a series.

It's a different game come playoffs. Period. You rarely win 6-3. That's why it was so important to upgrade on D -- to decrease the dependency on our mediocre goalie. And that's why we should have brought in a back-up who has some NHL experience.

You didn't need to raid the farm to upgrade this team. NJ, BOS, PITT, even the crappy NYR all got better.

Posted by: sinbin | March 6, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Call me crazy but I don't think this is so much a personnel problem as a brief commitment/focus/will problem. All these guys we're bagging, how many time have we praised them in the past for "turning the corner?" There's a team-wide funk right now, they know what they need to do there's just a lag before we see it on the ice

Posted by: honed | March 6, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

typo:

sorry I should have known you were talking about January before "attacking" you :D

Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

playoffs....already..why so we can go four games and out....ovi couldnt even save us last night...we have too many players that dont have stick skills and its gonna cost us...Way to go GMGM...bye the way varlamov may not be the answer...thanks for the good games but we need a veteren back up...he will fold under pressure...bye the way playoffs have started cause were losing to teams that need to win...so id rather finish the season first

Posted by: Jpl15215 | March 6, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

hockey.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 6, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Caps are going to be fine, just a bump in the road...

(and now for my but..)

I was surprised with some of the line combos BB put out. I know he was trying to shake things up and he was without Ovie and Poti, but it seems to me, that keeping the forward lines more stable may have been beneficial without your best player in the lineup. As for the D it why just tell them "there are only 5 of you so you have to step up and raise your games, the pressure is on you." Maybe that would help them snap out of their funk.

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 6, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The caps suck. They are not going to go far into the playoffs. The aren't even going to win the division or make the playoffs. This year was such a waste for all of the young players. Their goaltending needs so much work. If only we would have picked up a veteran goaltender, that would have saved the season. If only we would have picked up a veteran defender, that would have saved the season. The Caps are a bunch of failures. I remember when I used to bash Semin a few years ago when he was 23... now, he has matured and has become a real asset. There is no chance Schultz(23) can get better. He should be working at an old person's home to help get things in high places. I can't believe I am a fan of this team. I can't believe I am writing all of this... who knows, maybe Ted will read this and do something. GMGM may send me an email and ask what I would do. That would be awesome! I am going to wait for that phone call and hit refresh on my yahoo until he contacts me. Cause when that happens, the team will win the Cup.

Posted by: _828 | March 6, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@ds_kelly - ordinarily I'd agree with you, but the line combos couldn't be stable last night because Feds had to switch to D after Poti came out, so they were down a forward.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 6, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@ saintex

You are right. The information I had was probably not suppose to get out. But I heard it and I know everyone on this blog is a big fan so I thought they would appreciate the info. At the time I wasn't sure if I was one of the few who found out or it was just a lie!

I appreciate inside info because It def makes a difference if ovie plays (as we saw last night!!)

But if I want to continue to get info I gotta keep a low profile or else someone might get in trouble...

Posted by: DCSPORTS | March 6, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I am actually not to concerned about them right now. Look how they fare in big games against strong teams. We have done pretty damn well in the last month.

We beat rangers, bruins, pens...right now they are in a little funk against mediocre teams..

The good thing in the playoffs is
1) EVERY GAME IS BIG
2) WE WONT FACE MEDIOCRE TEAMS

Posted by: DCSPORTS | March 6, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

sorry to be repetitive about this, but I still think questions should be asked about Poti.

A groin injury, especially when playing at VC, should be healed completely before trying to play. I'm no doctor, but if he aggravated it during the warm-up, it seems to me that it wasn't 100% healed.

So I ask again: why was he in the line-up?

Posted by: mauree | March 6, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@_828:

LOL: "too logical".
What's done is done. This is our team, a vast improvement from what we've had here in a while.

Just support them win or lose.

Posted by: bajgirl | March 6, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

it doesnt make a difference if ovi plays the way the whole team is playing now....we were blown out the last two times he played...the whole team needs to show up and besides semin thats not happening

Posted by: Jpl15215 | March 6, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The way we have been playing, how can you not pratice today?????

Posted by: rarcr | March 6, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

bajgirl - people lack patience... that's the problem.

Posted by: _828 | March 6, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@ _828 and bajgirl - I could be wrong, but I'm guessing the people who lack patience are the ones who jumped on the Caps bandwagon pretty recently and aren't used to the team losing. Those of us who are long-suffering fans are so happy to finally have a great team and a city that cares, we're not going to go crazy about a bad stretch.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 6, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

fan   [fan] noun, verb, fanned, fan-ning.

–noun 1. any device for producing a current of air by the movement of a broad surface or a number of such surfaces.

So that is what a fan of the Caps does... Here I was rooting for whatever my team offers and support them no matter what. I had no idea it was to push around a bunch of BS in the air.

Posted by: _828 | March 6, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

capsfan26,
Nope, people are just never satisfied... Even if the Caps win the cup, they would be complaining that we got lucky or that we should have swept the Finals. It will never end - that is the conclussion that I have come up with. It's sad really.

Posted by: _828 | March 6, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing the people who lack patience are the ones who jumped on the Caps bandwagon pretty recently and aren't used to the team losing. Those of us who are long-suffering fans are so happy to finally have a great team and a city that cares, we're not going to go crazy about a bad stretch.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 6, 2009 11:15 AM


You're not wrong.

Posted by: Section117 | March 6, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling it will be a tough practice on Saturday

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 6, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Long times caps fan here...and heres the problem...sure we have beat the best teams in the east but the problem is the isnt a slump...this is a sign of how young we are and were we need to improve...we would love the cup and indeed were in for an eastern coference run...but if you watched the last couple of games againts teams that need to win...this is where are team shows its true colors...we should have made some moves at the deadline...we need defense

Posted by: Jpl15215 | March 6, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

@ _828 - such a pessimist! If the Caps win the Cup, I'll be able to die happy. :)

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 6, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

@_828:

Exactly. "Damned if they win and damned if they don't".

Posted by: bajgirl | March 6, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I think the practice issue BB was speaking about had to to with playing games every two days and not really have any time off for a hard day's work. Since the beginning of this 9 of 10 games at homestand thing, they've played every other day and once back-to-back. I'm guessing that it's pretty tough to work the boys hard on a day between games since there's no rest. So, today's off day is the first that allows for some rest - now he can work them long and hard tomorrow to try to get things back in shape.

Posted by: saintex | March 6, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Shoot, the 9 of 10 homestand has been tough on me! and I'm not playing. Just getting to the Verizon Center every other evening and drinking some beers is hard work....I'm tired.

Posted by: saintex | March 6, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Doom and gloomers are out in force. I read down to about the 4th or 5th one and said bag it.

My 2 cents.

At least they played last night. There were a lot of chances for us, but they just didn't go in. We were unlucky

For those who blame all this (3 losses in a row) on GMGM's not trading I have a question for you.

When the Caps lose at most 2 in a row, should GMGM trade someone?

Posted by: Greg S. | March 6, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

You can't forget us newbies that do have patience!
Although I've got a long history of supporting sucky teams. My high school football team was 0-10 my senior year. I'm a Blue Jays fan. And a Bills fan. So I guess I've had practice.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 6, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

And Tarik put up a new post about a half hour ago.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 6, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

@capsfan26

I would go one step further and say most of them aren't even Hockey fans. How can you sit there and be upset over a supposed "investment" when you have seen 20 some odd wins this year at home? I just don't get that. Teams like Ottawa and Toronto or heck even Montreal would kill to have most of our players right now. But I guess when someone refers to holding season tickets as an investment then that should say a lot about how they approach being a "fan".

Its cool to have a discussion on the team and what you would upgrade or whatever but when you start saying things like "the caps will never have a chance to win anything" I think that's over stepping.

Just sit back people and enjoy the ride.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | March 6, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

@capsfan26:

You're not wrong. I have only been a fan since 2002. I moved to MD in 2001, and the team at that time was bad, BUT it takes time to "BUILD" a team.
This team win or lose has my support all the way.

Posted by: bajgirl | March 6, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Craps will be lucky to get in the playoffs

Posted by: gtydings | March 6, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl:
do you pick all of your teams based on their underdog status? i'm guessing you decided to be a caps fan ... around ... uh ... maybe ... starting in 03/04 - their first of three 5th place finishes?
did they finally get out of the basement last year because of you - or in spite of you? hahahahaha

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 6, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

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