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Morning Reading List: Caps Live to Play Another Day


(Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post)


David Steckel
scored his third goal of these playoffs as Washington faced sudden-death not only in overtime of yesterday's Game 6 but the sudden end of their season to ensure that the Capitals would return home to play in yet another Game 7.

This series has already lived up to the hype that preceded it. But what better way to put some extra icing on the cake -- or send some fans into cardiac arrest -- than another Game 7?

Here are the highlights from Game 6.

FSN Pittsburgh drew a whopping 21.38 rating, the highest rating for an NHL game on any regional FSN network for Game 5. More on how happy the players guess the league promoters must be, the last of the Mike Green Easton Stealths and Donald Brashear in today's notebook.

Much attention will be paid, and rightfully so, to Steckel's overtime game winner. But if not for Viktor Kozlov finding his timely scoring touch in Game 6 who knows where the Caps might be now.

Head over to the D.C. Sports Bog to read up on:

Simeon Varlamov has made a lasting impression on legendary Russian goaltender Vladislav Tretiak. (NHL.com)

Alex Ovechkin should be viewed as a winner regardless how the series ends. (The National Post)

Ovechkin didn't score a goal in the Capitals' 5-4 overtime win yesterday, but getting by with help from his friends doesn't bother the reigning MVP one bit. (NHL.com)

The headline says it best: "Hockey gods bless us with 7th game of this Caps/Pens madness" (Puck Daddy)

The View from Pittsburgh
Although the Pittsburgh faithful and Penguins certainly didn't want an extra game, there is no more fitting an ending to this series that has featured just about everything you can imagine, than a Game 7.

The defensive pairing of Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi has risen to the occasion in the post season.

The Penguins must now contemplate their own missed opportunities. (NHL.com)

In the System
The Bears and Baby Penguins gear up for their Game 7 tonight after three grueling games in three straight days.

Much like their elder siblings, this winner-take-all contest will bring one of the game's premier rivalries to new heights.

By Katie Carrera  |  May 12, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Mike Wise: Unleash the Fury
Next: Video: How the Caps Celebrated

Comments

Yeah Caps!!!

Posted by: cbs75 | May 12, 2009 5:34 AM | Report abuse

I hardly slept,so pumped watching that classic. Go Caps! Verizon will be a madhouse on Wedensday.

Posted by: ridgely1 | May 12, 2009 5:58 AM | Report abuse

Has the Caps medical staff yet scheduled Jurcina's lobotomy? Was that not the dumbest play ever by a player with a history of dumb plays? Where's Langway? Does he need his brain? Can we take his brain and put it in Jurcina's skull?

I suppose everyone will take extra hats Wed just IN CASE Ovie gets a hat trick.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 12, 2009 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Hot damn. Welcome home boys, welcome home!

Posted by: saintex | May 12, 2009 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Good golly!!! What a game. As much as I don't care how the Caps win as long as they win tomorrow, for the sake of my heart I hope they blow the Pens out in regulation!! Anyone who ever gives up on this Caps team is nuts ... bring it, boys!!

BTW, Katie, I hate to admit how long it took me to figure out that MRL = morning reading list!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 12, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

What a game! Not how I wanted it to end, but why stop this series in 6. Can't wait for game 7.

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | May 12, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

I have to echo Brooksy's sentiments - what a game!!! I hope they take this win and run with it into Game 7. I was so glad to see Semin score (especially on a penalty on Orpik!) and Stecks got his OT goal back. I was especially glad to see Kozlov have the game he had - just shows you what happens when he shoots the puck! Two wicked goals...

Anyone know who got the hard hat last night?

Posted by: capsfantess | May 12, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

People forget Kozlov because he plays across from Ovie, but he really is a decent sniper and a good player. Glad to see him get those goals.

Posted by: trunkenmath | May 12, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Caps had NO chance with NO practices. I still would like to see them practice their schemes, but boy this is the best tasting crow I've ever eaten. Oh to savor the flavor of a Cap's win living in PA! (Closer to Flyer land than Pens land, but oh so nice). Win or lose, very proud of this team, now go practice!

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 12, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

:)

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Our best games of the playoffs have all come with 20 some shots. I'm not sure last night was one of our best, but it certainly was one of the most rewarding. Great job bringing it home Caps!

Posted by: Sonyask | May 12, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Steckel got the hard hat. In fact, he was wearing it after the game when he was interviewed by Versus. Nice.

Posted by: Cerealman | May 12, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Has the Caps medical staff yet scheduled Jurcina's lobotomy? Was that not the dumbest play ever by a player with a history of dumb plays? Where's Langway? Does he need his brain? Can we take his brain and put it in Jurcina's skull?

We just won. Save the degenerate comments at least until this afternoon.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Last night during the game I was amazed to hear that the Caps had been called for twice as many penalties as the Pens. I was sure that this was not the case during the regular season, but just to be sure I looked it up. Regular season: Caps 414 minor penalties, Pens 397 minor penalties, Caps 29 major penalties, Pens 40 majors, Caps 447 total penalties, Pens 447 total penalties, Caps 1021 minutes, Pens 1106 minutes. No matter how you add up these numbers they don’t add up to 32 penalties called on the Caps to 18 called on the Pens during the playoffs. In the first 7 game series the Caps were called for 31 minor penalties, in the Pens first 6 game series the Pens were called for 32 minor penalties. There are two explanations for this: #1 the refs have been doing a terrible job calling the games or #2 this is the way the NHL wants our series called. These are not small inconsistencies, these are glaring inconsistencies.

Posted by: majiksea | May 12, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't sleep either. I also woke up early. Go CAPS!

Posted by: ejohnsto | May 12, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Jurcina's stop on the puck seemed like a good play at first but I have no idea why he would hand pass it behind him without being able to properly look first. He should have just collapsed on it! Oh well, I think he's been playing alright this post-season...

Glad Stecks got the hard hat... how great was Bruce's reaction on the bench to his goal? Loved it...

Posted by: capsfantess | May 12, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm not trying to take anything away from the Caps win- amazing. BUT, did anyone have a chance to listen to the radio broadcast of the VAN/CHI game last night? (satellite radio) I was driving home from my game, and it was 4-3 Canucks- 3rd period. By the time I got home (About 30 mins later) the Hawks had won the game 7-5. I was literally laughing at/with the radio guys doing the game- goal after goal they were in complete hysterics. They were as excited/giddy as any fans I've ever been around. Was awesome.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 12, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Doo be doo be don't. :->

Posted by: JohnHarrison | May 12, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I am so glad the Caps got the W in spite of the obviously biased officiating. How could the two trips on Semin not get called? The refs were just a few feet away both times, and the Pens never touched the puck either time.

Posted by: 28isthe1_4_me | May 12, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm not trying to take anything away from the Caps win- amazing. BUT, did anyone have a chance to listen to the radio broadcast of the VAN/CHI game last night? (satellite radio) I was driving home from my game, and it was 4-3 Canucks- 3rd period. By the time I got home (About 30 mins later) the Hawks had won the game 7-5. I was literally laughing at/with the radio guys doing the game- goal after goal they were in complete hysterics. They were as excited/giddy as any fans I've ever been around. Was awesome.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 12, 2009 8:11 AM |

I was watching here at home. Young CHI team stepped up big time, beating two favorites. Wonder where the Sedins are going to go or if they are going to get resigned. Luongo post game interview was like last year's. A lot of tearing up and cut off the interviews short.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 12, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

"Glad Stecks got the hard hat... how great was Bruce's reaction on the bench to his goal? Loved it... "

BB's reaction was priceless....just as good as Steckel's reactions, face raised to the roof, jumping up and down, with his team gathered round. I just could not get enough of watching that reaction :)

Great character by Caps. They may not have played the series the way we know they can (perhaps due to the tons of PK minutes?), but it shows great character that they are able to bring this to a game 7...especially winning game 6 in a building that has never been too kind to them.

And no matter what happens in game seven, the fact that Caps have played and excelled in so many elimination games thus far in their relatively young playoff careers is just overall great character building and really bodes well for the future!

Soo proud of our Caps!!!!

GO CAPS!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | May 12, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of Wenesday's outcome, denying the Pens the pleasure of clinching at the Gloo is oh so sweet. A small but important step forward for this bunch.

Posted by: JohnHarrison | May 12, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else notice every time the whistle blows, Crosby skates right over to the ref with his palms turned upward - as if to say, "Where's the call on that one?"

Brooks Laich touches him and he goes into a turtle. Then his helmet flies off because the chin strap isn't fastened, and he wants the call. Other than Crosby, the rest of the team is quite respectable. They've surprised me with their tenacity.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 12, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Gotta love a game 7, just hope the refs let the guys play and only interfere when they have to, not just because they get lonely and want to have a chat with Crosby.
I guess when he was off whining to the refs last night it was about too many hats being thrown on the ice in Chicago.

Posted by: ds_kelly | May 12, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Now, that the series is tied, what would NHL do to make sure Cindy and her friends wins the series? One thing is for sure PP will favor Cindy's team....It will not be a fair game.....

Posted by: 555Mass | May 12, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

A whole bunch of =D going on!! I'm already nervous for tomorrow!

Posted by: CapsKH | May 12, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

28_is_the_1,

There was a call on the Semin mini-breakaway but Semin got back up, continued the play, got the puck on net, and Flash put it in on the delayed penalty. I suspect it was a tripping minor and not a penalty shot. Either way, that one was called.

25,14,21,25,39 - that is a scoring line, with three AO assists, that I can live with. There's no moral victory in the is series. The Caps are played hard but I will not stand in Verizon and watch anything by a Caps series win. Nothing else.

BB gets the last change at home and you know Stecks (who's also been getting in faces) will continue his double date with Crosby. What is Stecks in faceoffs vs. him? 65-70%?

One more. We can sleep when we're dead.

Posted by: saintex | May 12, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

"I'm not a Pens fan

Posted by: SC87"

I don't think it's possible to be a bigger tool, should this person's statement be true. What kind of lame, undignified 'fan' takes the namesake and jersey number of a guy from another team as his handle? You should be embarrassed CC69.

Then again, this is the type of person that gets made fun of and doesn't realize it. Embarrassment isn't an option for them.

Posted by: psps23 | May 12, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

CSN is showing the game again this morning @ 11:39 :)

Posted by: PGM17 | May 12, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

oops, I meant @ 11:30

Posted by: PGM17 | May 12, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Still grinning!

Posted by: oo7 | May 12, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Will G.Bettman be officating tomorrow night's game to make sure Cindy advances to ECF?

Posted by: 555Mass | May 12, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Hey why don't we have Clark skate out and sucker punch Crosby in the face, and have Beagle sucker punch Malkin in the face, and injure both of them in the first few minutes. We'll lose those two tomorrow, but they will take Crosby and Malkin out, they will only get fined $2500 a piece, and we'll have them back for the next series. At least that's how it works in the rest of the NHL.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 12, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Just kidding of course. I think I hit my head on the ceiling when I jumped out of my recliner last night. I know the Pens jumped on them in the 1st, but our boys played chance for chance in the 2nd and 3rd. They need to make sure they do not change the way they play when they get a lead. They play best when a D-man or center carries the puck out of the zone.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 12, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

it took me 2 hours to figure out what MRL stood for. i need more coffee.

Posted by: jamebow | May 12, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse


Watching this series I noticed a fundamental difference between the defense. The Caps like to play the puck while the Pens play the player, the Pens tend to pin our guys as well very effectively.Why do we let crybaby(87) dance behind the net lets pin him to the boards like they do to our guys. We tighten our defense, we Win this.
Go CAPS!!

Posted by: probking | May 12, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

hey fanofhockey1 -- what there's some discrepency in the officiating in the playoffs? I haven't noticied any? Seems all above board and fair.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 12, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Atleast the CAPS fans can figure it out. PENS fans will be lost all day long.

We have played different with the lead then with the game tied or when we are losing. We were definetly on our heels trying not to mess up instead of trying to get a two goal lead.

Hope the Pens fans have fun at the concert!!

Malkin is one ugly dude......and it looks like the apple doesnt fall far from the tree.....yikes!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | May 12, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

That 10-39-21 third line is something else, huh? Maybe Stecks will get some consideration for the Selke in the future.

To the WaPo editors who read this blog: Nice picture of the boys on A1, and I thought the photos in the Sports section on Sunday (despite the loss) were especially good. Keep it up.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | May 12, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

A big reason we have trouble with Crosby on the boards is he's great. I've been very impressed with his skill and hard work in this series.

Other than that he's a whiner.

Posted by: Sonyask | May 12, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Pin Crysbaby to the boards = 2 min's for interference or boarding or just plain ole not letting 87 win

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 12, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The Cardiac Caps are back!

Posted by: Greg S. | May 12, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

We should have them do that anyway even if they get suspended, neither of them do anything and im more than happy to have clark sidelined again.

Posted by: SovietSnipes | May 12, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

So tired of hearing about the refs. Can we give it a rest? Yes, the penalty disparity is pretty bad. But we're still winning games in spite of it. But give the conspiracy theories a rest, they're becoming sooooo played.

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 12, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I was just being a smart@$$. I would not want our Caps to do what Walker did. That would make us no better than the Flyers. Although I hate the Hurricanes, that isn't their style either. I still cannot believe he walked away with a $2500 fine. That would be like me getting a $20 fine for assault, and my neighbor going to jail for a week (neighbor is code for Brash) for the same offense.

The disgusting thing about it is the instigator penalty suspension that is usually served was waived. So a penalty meeting the "automatic" criteria for a suspension doesn't even have to be served, again pathetic.

Not that Brash would have played in this series, it's pretty fast out there and not the type of series where Brash is effective at all, but as I said the other day, after Walker got off, I would get a lawyer if I was Brash and get at least a portion if not all of his money he surrendered by getting leveyed a bogus suspension.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 12, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"I'm not a Pens fan

Posted by: SC87"

I don't think it's possible to be a bigger tool, should this person's statement be true. What kind of lame, undignified 'fan' takes the namesake and jersey number of a guy from another team as his handle? You should be embarrassed CC69.

Then again, this is the type of person that gets made fun of and doesn't realize it. Embarrassment isn't an option for them.

Posted by: psps23 | May 12, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse


He's a Senators/Crosby fanboy who claims to have money riding on the series. Since the Sens are playing golf, we get the pleasure of his company. It's pretty easy to get under his skin - he goes away if you annoy him enough.

Posted by: ModestProposal | May 12, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

fanohock1

I disagree. One of the most effective lines is the crash and grind line. That's Brash's line. He'd fit in nicely. I just don't see Coach B messing with the lineup now.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 12, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Coach B was asked on Versus last night about his celebration behind the bench.

Bruce said something like, 'yeah, I got a whole 6 inches of vertical jump!"

Posted by: Greg S. | May 12, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Here's the stat to focus on: Fleury's save pct last night was .792. He's been pretty awful against the Caps all year. I loved that on CSN last night just as Laughlin was saying "in OT you just need to get pucks on net" Laich threw one at the net and somehow it went in. Caps need to keep it simple tomorrow and get a lot a rubber on leaky Fleury.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | May 12, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

we will not lose game 7 at home. not in our barn.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 12, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

It's pretty easy to get under his skin - he goes away if you annoy him enough.

Posted by: ModestProposal | May 12, 2009 10:15 AM


Wrong: He only hangs around when people respond to him. Every time he gets mentioned, his pants get warm and tingly.

He is a troll. That's what they do. Please ignore, so we can talk about hockey instead about what a tool some troll is.

Posted by: Sonyask | May 12, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

@greg s..... 6 inches?

Thats Olympic Gold, way to go BB!!

Posted by: bhound69 | May 12, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

@Greg S: Hey bud, I didn't suggest any line-changes. Might have seen someone else's post. I did mention that even if Brash wasn't suspended that this is the kind of series that he wouldn't be effective in due to the speed.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 12, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Wrong: He only hangs around when people respond to him. Every time he gets mentioned, his pants get warm and tingly.

He is a troll. That's what they do. Please ignore, so we can talk about hockey instead about what a tool some troll is.

Posted by: Sonyask | May 12, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse


Nope, there were a couple of Rags fans who were like that, but if you don't let SC87 get under your skin and don't react in an offended manner to what he posts, he runs off to cry himself to sleep.

Posted by: ModestProposal | May 12, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

ccCapsfan -- good observation. That is how they beat us in Game 5, when unfortunately Varly was weak. We need to throw pucks at MAF

Posted by: Sonyask | May 12, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh, sorry Greg_S, you thought he might be effective but BB would probably not mess with things. I should have read it better.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 12, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Bears/WBS isn't on TV that anyone knows of, is it?

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 12, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

If you want to watch the Bears game on your computer tonight it appears you can get it for $8 per game. The link I found is: http://ahl.neulion.com/team/console.jsp. If you "Game Pass" and click on "BUY NOW" tonight's Bears/WBS is on the top. I've never used this sight. Can anyone give a thumb's up or down for this site?

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 12, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Dang, was hoping I could DVR it. I have class tonight so can't watch live. I'll just have to sneak peeks at gamecast during lecture

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 12, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town,

I like your optimism. But, its not like we haven't watched other teams dance on our ice before.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | May 12, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Or you can listen to the Bears game through sportsjuice.com

Posted by: _Mark | May 12, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Steinberg reports today in the Post that Green's problems are partly the result of his breaking his last stick from a line of equipment that has been discontinued and that he has had trouble getting used to the new sticks. Can someone explain to me why in this day and age he can't get them to manufacture the stick he wants?

Posted by: ccCapsfan | May 12, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I can't bear conspiracy theories but there are numbers that are questionable. I wouldn't be surprised in a Caps v. Bruins, or Caps v. Wild series to see a big discrepancy in minor penalties. Both of those teams had 100+ fewer minors over the course of the season than the Caps. Even with that, it's only a discrepancy of about .75 per game. The Caps and Pens, as pointed out before, had essentially equal numbers of minors this season yet the Caps have been called for 35 minors in the series to the Pens 21. That is a huge statistical differnce, and sort of defies probabilyt. They play a similar style of game and I grant that the Pens have had a very good puck possession number. A big delta over an individual game happens, even over a few, but over six games it becomes and issue. In fact, the Caps have had four games with more than the Pens (+3, +5, +5, +1 on number of minors) and two that were equal. That begins to look of a pattern.

I don't believe Bettman is smart enough for conspiracy. I do think the refs have bias and issues and I'll just write it up to that.

Posted by: saintex | May 12, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

standing near Crysbaby in the crease is not a stick problem. Green is either injured or playing too many mins -- too tired to work the crease properly

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 12, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I've gotta imagine it ain't too cost effective to make a stick just for one person. They wouldn't do it unless they could market it and make a profit. It's all about the benjamins

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 12, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@saintex

somewhere along the line I think the Caps got a reputation as a more physical, penalty prone team and it gets called like that. I won't call shenanigans but it's hard to overcome a rep. Explain Brash getting 6 games, yet Walker gets $2,500 fine. I don't have a problem with Walker not getting suspended per se, but there's not consistency cause Brash has his rep. Maybe it goes back to the earlier days when the Pens had 66/68 and the Caps didn't have the flash like they do now. I don't know...

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 12, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Correction -- game 4 was Varly's tough one.

Posted by: Sonyask | May 12, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Still can't believe we pulled that one out. When the OT started I mentally prepared myself for the end of the season, just so that I wouldn't be crushed. Went completely ballistic when Stecks scored.

Objectively speaking we really don't deserve to win this series based on how the games have gone. We've gotten outplayed in every game except for game 5 and even in that one we were about even with the Pens. Yet, here we are going to game 7 in large part due to our young goalie Varlamov who despite having one bad game has been brilliant overall under a constant barrage of shots (over 40 per game in the last few).

Some people are tough on the kid because they expect him to save everything now, but all you have to do is look at last night's crazy game 6 between Vancouver and the Hawks in which 2 star netminders got lit up for 12. Luongo, arguably the best goalie in the world at the moment let in 7 in a game his team had to win to stay alive. Varly has battled through all kinds of traffic and never gives up on any shot. If not for him we'd be out by now.

Speaking of that other series I'm happy that the Hawks advanced. They're a ton of fun to watch. Their kids Kane and Toews had a monster game last night combining for 5 goals. Now I just hope Detroit finishes off the Ducks so that we can all enjoy a dream series between Chicago and Detroit in the conference finals.

Posted by: ranndino | May 12, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Repost from last night's game thread:

uhh, maybe i just don't care enough to find your stupid replies.

3rd line, 3rd line... yeah, they're great, but if not for our star players whom you trash all the time we wouldn't even be in the playoffs. you pretend like you know hockey because you appreciate what our grinders do. i do too, but since you don't appreciate what our stars do (that would be like 80 to 90% of the scoring) you really don't have a clue.

if you only enjoy watching grinders play dump and chase hockey and ugly goals why don't you stick to watching the ECHL?

---

uhh maybe i just don't care enough to spell your "handle" correctly. yes, thats it!

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 11, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ranndino | May 12, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe there is any fix in the officiating. The Penguins have generated more shots and more offensive pressure; therefore, more penalties in their favor are to be expected.

However, the officials have missed / ignored several crucial penalties or no-calls in this series.

The two bad calls that are most obvious in my mind are ... the trip on Semin at the end of the second period that wasn't called; that ridiculous delay of game penalty against Jurcina earlier in the series.

Posted by: Cerealman | May 12, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

ranndino, I so agree with you on the Hawks. That 3rd period last night was unreal. That goal by Kane was, dare I say, Alex-esque. Jaw-dropping. Definitely pulling for them to take the Cup if not us. I posted a couple weeks ago that I'd put money on the Caps-Hawks playing 1 or 2 Cup Finals over the next decade. Nothing's changed my opinion on that.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 12, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The discrepancies in the penalties is due in large part to the fact the Pens have had the puck for a much longer period of time than the Caps. It would be interesting to map the penalties taken just like they track shots. You would have to take out delay of game and too many men penalties out of the equation to really get a feel for what penalties are being called and where on the ice.

I don't think this can be done unless someone goes through each game and tracks it.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 12, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Byfuglien's good too. He's Brash with skills added. I think I just posted that cause I wanted to see if I could spell it right without looking at their roster.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 12, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I think there have been two too many men on the Pens and one delay.

I agree with BB's comments: I haven't had any issue with the calls on the Caps although I didn't see a replay of the Laich slash at the end of regulation. (And on that point, a slash at center ice with two minutes to go in a tie game? Laich better have drawn blood or you let them play.) I think BB's issue was calls that weren't being made.

You play it as it lies.

Posted by: saintex | May 12, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@saintex: I agree that they have no choice but to play it as it lies; but it is infuriating when the marshals are constantly kicking your ball into the rough and stepping on it.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | May 12, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The overlooked calls have a direct effect on the game as well. Semin being dumped when crashing the net in the 3rd wasn't called either. I was fine with that because it was so late in the game and I figured they were just going to let the players settle it. Then came the bogus slash call on Laich. I think it was Kunitz and he was extended with one arm on his stick and the slash was so weak the stick didn't break. A two-minute minor with 2:02 left in an elimination game on a weak call, terrible.

The ebbs and flows of the games are changed by penalty calls all the time. The Caps had nice pressure in the O-zone and then Backstrom was called for another very questionable hooking call. What happens, the Pens go on the PP. While on the PP Laich is called for the crosscheck, which I agreed with unfortunately, but that puts the Caps on a 5 on 3. If the original weak call is not made, Laich isn't put into a PK position that results in him taking a bad crosscheck penalty.

Not sure why it is so hard for everyone to figure it out. The disparity in penalty calls every game give an unbelievable advantage to the Pens. Again, Ovi doesn't kill anymore so he's not on the ice, our shut-down guys, and best defensemen, and Varly get fatigued. If the overlooked penalties on the Pens are called it evens out. Now you have there top D-men and shutdown line getting fatigued. Penalties don't only effect the 2 minutes that a team is short handed. I get tired of hearing the Pens create their own chances. Yup, they do, because our boys eventually get tired from killing the extra penalties and they are skating in cement later in the game.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 12, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

LOL, can we skip the golf analogies till after the playoffs please? :)

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 12, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Watching this series I noticed a fundamental difference between the defense. The Caps like to play the puck while the Pens play the player, the Pens tend to pin our guys as well very effectively.Why do we let crybaby(87) dance behind the net lets pin him to the boards like they do to our guys. We tighten our defense, we Win this.
Go CAPS!!
Posted by: probking | May 12, 2009 9:43 AM |

Great point probking - that's playoff hockey.
We are a finesse team & save for the Stecks Line, we really don't play the body.

On defense - really only Erskine & Morrison play the body on a regular basis.

So in the post season, the tighter stuff gets let go by the refs. Therefore, while we are supremely skilled @ every position, we also tend to make the 'skilled' plays instead of the safe plays. Thus the penz 3/4 lines have had an advantage down low & on the forecheck playing dump & chase.

They also have a grinder on each of their 1st 2 lines whereas, we have skaters on our 1st 2 lines.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 12, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

We don't deserve to win this series, GREAT teams win that game 3 and don't look back no matter what. We didn't, we let those sorry little gnats back in this thing and try to put us away so we have to sit here for another GD year trying to figure out why we are cursed, why does history repeat?

Posted by: bhound69 | May 12, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Ohhhhh, and the BS addition of 1.4 seconds on the clock at the end. If Gordo doesn't win the face-off the Pens actually have time to win the face-off and put a slapshot into the back of the net. Yes Varly may have held onto the puck, but the clock was absolutely stopped when the whistle was blown. Between the 3rd and OT period I replayed it several times on the DVR, turned away from the TV and pushed pause when I heard the whistle, all 3 times the clock was at .1 . I have no idea how someone in Toronto decided 1.4 seconds should go back up.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 12, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Objectively speaking we really don't deserve to win this series based on how the games have gone.

Posted by: ranndino

Can't agree here. There's a difference between a single game and a series. And if the Caps can pull this one after NOT ALLOWING the Pens to get the W on their rink, then all the credit in the world would go to the Caps. And all other games in this series do not matter. Objectively speaking, the stronger team wins a series although a weaker team can win a game.

Posted by: fnralch | May 12, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Way to keep the faith. The Rags didn't "deserve" to win that series but that darn near did. We didn't "deserve" to win that game 7. Should we have given it back?

We've been outplayed at times and outplayed them at times. How many swings were there last night? It's all about one game, and we can do it. Nothing that happened in the past matters. One Game.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 12, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Objectively speaking we really don't deserve to win this series based on how the games have gone.

Posted by: ranndino

Seems subjective (and wrong) to me

Posted by: mikebrady1 | May 12, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

bhound69: Is Pittsburgh a great team? If so, they didn't put the Caps away on home ice. You can say it was Varly, you can say it was luck, doesn't matter it's coming back to Verizon. One could sit back and say, damn, if Steckel could have scored in the 1st minute of OT on Saturday when he had a chance this series would be over. He could have been the hero 2 days in a row. We're not though.

GREAT teams also go on the road in an elimination game, have their goaltender keep them in through a barrage of shots, a 5 on 3, and a kill a bogus penalty during the final 2 minutes of the game, and then push the series to a Game 7 with an OT win. We're not GREAT just yet, but we're pretty darn good.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 12, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

yah even the commentators last night said that Semin's take down should of been called. He had 3 breakawys and was taken down all 3 times only one was called. if that's 71 or 87 their all called. Plain and simple.

Posted by: probking | May 12, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

My post seemed like a total dark cloud, I agree with JS and FNRALCH. I just wish for once we didn't have blue collar everything.

Posted by: bhound69 | May 12, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

This ain't figure skating. We don't have to worry about the Russian judge docking us for not having enough elegance. You win or you lose. We won 3 games, warts and all. It's so pointless to talk about who deserves to win.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 12, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1
Maybe they decided to apply that famous "intent to whistle" excuse from the DET-ANA series?

Posted by: mlody67 | May 12, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

New thread.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 12, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Thank you, awesome spin. I can't tell how badly I want to send them packing!!

Posted by: bhound69 | May 12, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse


We don't deserve to win this series, GREAT teams win that game 3 and don't look back no matter what. We didn't, we let those sorry little gnats back in this thing and try to put us away so we have to sit here for another GD year trying to figure out why we are cursed, why does history repeat?
Posted by: bhound69 | May 12, 2009 11:35 AM |

No1 deserves anything.
Except stupid fans who entered the series thinking that it would be easy.
Some ppl thrive on pressure.
Lets make sure we don't ask a peeing peter like you to take the draw on that faceoff last night.

We don't need nervous nellies like u in Chantilly.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 12, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Okay, let's pull back from the intensity of the series from the Cap and Penguin fan perspective. This series is a gift; it's a gem. Two of the youngest teams in the league with four of five of the sports' biggest stars all performing at their best. A "from nowhere" star in Varlamov, two coaches who were riding busses in the minor leagues three years ago. Intense, passionate fan bases. East vs. West (Crosby v. Ovechkin, Pittsburgh v. DC) It has everything. *If* the officials don't interject themselves in Game 7 (can't believe they will), I for one will stand and cheer the handshakes no matter who is moving on. If I throw anything it will be a pom pom, towel, or hat and it will be thrown with the same celebratory ferver that one throws a hat during a hat trick, flowers to the matadour, or seat cushion to hogs flopping in the mud at RFK.

Posted by: Matt23185 | May 12, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I thought that I heard last night when Loughlin was talking about the Blackhawks that he said that Joe Benenati was moving next year to cover the Blackhawks next season. Did anyone else hear this? I would have imagined we would have heard if he was moving franchises, but did Locker spill the beans on something that wasnt supposed to be said?

Posted by: WheresRickySanders | May 12, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe in fixes, but how could the refs let a blatant hold go uncalled when Semin was taking the puck to the net and then turn around a little over a minute later and call a penalty on Laich for a slash on a player holding his stick with one hand? One play involved a skater who clearly had a scoring chance; the other did not. I have no problem with the refs swallowing the whistle in the 3rd period as long as its consistent.

I felt that the Caps had to beat not only the Pens on their home ice, but also overcome a number of bad calls or missed ones by the refs. Let's hope the refs do a better job in Game 7 and don't make a stupid call in the 3rd people to ruin the end of a great series. A friend at work who is big Pens fans even commented on how bad it would have been for the game to have ended on a power play in the last 2 minutes.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 12, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The Red ain't dead yet!

Posted by: Chase4 | May 12, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

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