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Morning Reading List: Game 2 Aftermath


(Toni L. Sandys -- The Washington Post)


Who knew it was possible for this series to live up to the hype so soon? Not one but two hat tricks in one game, from the two players that the hockey world so often likes to pit against each other, no less? It all seems too good to be true, like a playoff hockey dream, except it happened. (Don't forget to check out the photo gallery, either.)

But to set the stage for Alex Ovechkin's hat trick, to even keep the Capitals in the game so that Ovechkin's goals would mean something, Simeon Varlamov put forth another strong performance in his fifth straight win of the postseason.

Here are yesterday's highlights.

This Alex Ovechkin vs Sidney Crosby matchup appears to be everything fans could have hoped for, and then some.

On Tyler Sloan's playoff debut and the power play trends of the series in the notebook.

Over at the D.C. Sports Bog, you'll find Sidney Crosby's complaint about the large number of hats thrown on the ice for Ovechkin's hat trick and ways that the Caps manage to keep Verizon Center only rocking the red.

From ESPN's Scott Burnside, last night's win proved why the Capitals are the best young team in the land.

More recaps and tidbits from The Globe and Mail, NHL.com, Puck Daddy, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun and CBC.

The View From Pittsburgh
The Penguins may be down, but they, especially captain Sidney Crosby, don't believe they are out.

It might be deja vu all over again for Evgeni Malkin, who seems to be fighting through a slump like the one he fell into during last year's playoffs as well.

More on the power plays, the "third period blues" and that Verizon Center fire alarm in the Post Gazette's notebook.

By Katie Carrera  |  May 5, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A Memorable Victory for the Caps
Next: Fehr, Erskine Not Skating

Comments

First!!!

Posted by: HemmedUp | May 5, 2009 5:57 AM | Report abuse

I was on a plane to Europe last night, before taking off called home and was told it's 2:2 after the second. Come to the hotel, open my laptop: MIRACLE ON ICE!!!!

Let's go CAPS!

Posted by: fnralch | May 5, 2009 5:59 AM | Report abuse

Absolute great game, but the defense just got abused without Erskine in the lineup. Green needs to step it up. He played terrible.

Posted by: rphilli721 | May 5, 2009 6:07 AM | Report abuse

Love the Leonsis geomapping plan. A good portion of my youth was spent with big nasty drunk pit or phi fans yelling at me and being jerks. I was happy to see the sea of red on the telecast.

Caps win a cup, this becomes a hockey town.

Posted by: trunkenmath | May 5, 2009 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, what does Sidney NOT complain about? He already complains about getting hit, not getting calls, stuff that relate to the actual hockey game, and now he is complaining about the hats being thrown on the ice! Wow!! Hahaha!! What a little baby!! I guess he likes the label of being a whiner cause he's doing more to let us keep calling him a whiner. Seriously Sid, you're gonna complain about hats? Has a hockey player EVER complained about that?? lolol....

Posted by: rachel216 | May 5, 2009 6:22 AM | Report abuse

keep should be stop.


---
I think we split in Pittsburgh and close it out at home!! =)

Posted by: rachel216 | May 5, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

SC87: You are an idiot, and YOU ARE a Pens fan, but I can understand why it may be hard to say so.

Crosby had a better game than Ovechkin? They both had 3 goals and Crosby's goals were from 5 feet out, off other player's shot, not that there's anything wrong with that because all goals are good, but Ovechkin's goals were much harder to score, and he had more hits than Crosby. Crosby actually had zero hits, what a suprise. But whatever, Crosby is the only player the Pens have right now so I guess you can thank him.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 5, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Theory: SC87 is actually Wise or Steinburg on here trolling to help get website hits.

I am also going to contend that a few other trolls have also been one of the two.

Why? I know internet trolls. SC87 and the Stanley cup guy were just too perfectly dense to be actual trolls.

Posted by: trunkenmath | May 5, 2009 6:57 AM | Report abuse

this may be out of left field but I've seen this a couple times now - on 2-on-2 rushes by the opponent, why do the Caps D-man always follow their guy doing the cross with his teammate? The most shining example is when Varlamov robbed Sid with just his stick in game 1. Watch the D on this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01Ow7Kxaqb4

Not the first time I've seen it this post-season. Is there some master plan Boudreau has his guys following? That's just not the norm...

Posted by: rh71 | May 5, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

I hope Burnside didn't jinx us. Hopefully we can put away the Pens quickly. The longer they survive, the longer Malkin has to get going. The remarkable thing about being up 2-0 in this series is that I still think we have yet to see the best from the Caps as a TEAM.

Posted by: 1stpick | May 5, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Photo gallery with advertisements...no thanks.

Green was responsible for 2 of Criesby's goals. He managed to kerang Letang right out of the game, but he couldn't box Crosby out of the crease? Come on Mike....for game three, if you read this, keep one thing in mind. This guy complained about the hat trick tradition. This is the same guy who complained about the temperature in Mellon, and the color of the crowd clothing. If there is a better target for some kerranging in the NHL, show him to me. Come on Mike...clown him for us. Hard.

Posted by: br0dely | May 5, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Cindy Crosby: "Well, I'd have to say the one about Ovechkin's celebrations. I guess that would be my favorite. Also, the time my brother got four Christmas presents and I only got three."

Rachel Ray: "No, I meant your favorite wine - you know, to drink."

Cindy: "Oh. I don't know, really. Mario keeps it locked up and won't let me taste."

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 5, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1: LOL!

This series is far from over. We know that, and I think the boys on both teams know it too.

I think Bettman would die of disappointment if this series ended in four games. I sure wouldn't.

Posted by: kittypawz | May 5, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I was over at the Pittsburgh site and I saw this in an article. If this is not bulletin board material I don't know what is:

The Carolina Hurricanes barely had finished off the New Jersey Devils by scoring two goals in the final 1:20 of Game 7 of their series to determine the second-round matchups when Crosby started texting teammates, "Good ... We get the Capitals."

Posted by: srobert1117 | May 5, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Given some of the bad calls against the Caps in the first period, I'm wondering if Bettman will put even more pressure on the refs in game 3 to make sure this series goes the full 7. I wouldn't put it past him.

Memo to BB -- Green sucked on Defense last night. OK, so he fed Ovie a nice soft pass for one of his goals. He was AWFUL of the net, where he (with help from the equally awful Tom Poti) could not handle Crosby.

Perhaps it's time to sit Green and give Alzner a chance.

Posted by: bucknelldad | May 5, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Ok, so I have some ideas for posters that I think would be awesome to bring to a game 5 (if there happens to be one). Unfortunately, I, myself could not make that game, since it is way beyond my budget, but still thought I would share (in case anyone is looking for ideas).

1. "Ovi (or Caps fans)- Thanks for the hats!--____ charity (whichever charity/hospital the Caps donate the hats too)

2. If someone could find, print out and blow up a copy of the ESPN poll results (from a NHL player's poll given in Feb or March, if I remember correctly), asking who the players thought was the biggest complainer in hockey (Sidney was way ahead of the pack there). Take the sign one step further, and on the back or underneath have the results from the same poll asking player's who they would trade lives with for a day (something like that, Ovi was way ahead of the pack there).

Okay, just my two ideas, thought I would pass them along in case any of you lucky people going to the games feels so inspired :)

I just hope Caps can steal one in Pittsburgh, how sweet that would be! We all know they can :)

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | May 5, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

@srobert1117: I'm not upset by that - in fact, I'm vaguely amused. I understand the sentiment; the other possibility was Boston, and I'll be the first to admit that the Capitals are better news for the Penguins than the Bruins are. The Bruins are bad news for just about anyone.

However, if he thought this series would be a cakewalk, he's kidding himself. The thing that gets me is that Crosby doesn't seem to show a lot of respect for his opponents in the way that just about every hockey player I've ever met does. Sure, he's a great player, but he's very impressed with himself and seems to expect special treatment. Add to that to the absolutely absurd whining about the hats and you've got a great player who looks to the media and the NHL like a puling little brat.

I'm not going to take anything from him - he was the best player in black and gold tonight, hands-down, and in the top five for either team. But he needs to grow up and get over himself.

Posted by: kittypawz | May 5, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Green and Gonchar both look hurt. Why do they play the latter so much when he has lost his powerful shot? Someone other than Green needs to handle Crosby.

Posted by: Bartolo1 | May 5, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I hope this doesn't jinx us, but I realized something last night after the game, The Pens have yet to beat us in Regulation, and overtime for that matter, this year! Their only win was a shootout win... To bad there are none of those in the play offs! Go CAPS!!!!

Posted by: hbcapsfan | May 5, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

@hbcapsfan: SHHHHHH! No jinx!

Posted by: kittypawz | May 5, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Great Game. How can anyone complaint about it? But since we are, let me be b!tch about the CSN post-game. I hate it when they go to the coach post-conference late and then interrupt it after one or two questions, so that we can hear the analysis of Al, Jill, and Locker. With all due respect to those three, I prefer to hear what the coach is saying.

This two teams are evenly match, and as Kittypawsz said, the series are far from over, so relax and enjoy great hockey.

Posted by: opita1 | May 5, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Did Semin get hurt during the last few minutes of the game? He seemed to have been hit hard and the announcer said something about he going to the bench and holding his wrist.

Posted by: opita1 | May 5, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Çrosby scored the luckiest goal there is in the hockey off the helmet, where he wasn't even going for the net and it was a pass. Well, who cares, the Caps won, Crosbys' luck is not enough!

Carolina and Caps really deserve to be in the East Finals. I'm putting my money on em. Sure it's not likely to happen, everyone keeps saying about Boston but same was said about NJ.
And in the West it's Detroit and Chicago.

P.S. First goal from Crosby was "special" as well, when Laich broke his stick and made it 3 on 5 instead of 4 on 5. Well, the better team won and Varlamov is looking better than Fleury as I expected. he is moving fatser and better on one timers and that was the differense last game.

Posted by: Hazz | May 5, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,
You should ask Alex what he said to Fluery, after he stopped him, I think in the 3rd. After Fluery stopped him Alex was right in his face and said something while he was smiling.

Posted by: melissa2809 | May 5, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that McPhee in spring, 2006 traded Brendan "Please get me out of town so I can play for a real team" Witt to Nashville for the 1st Rounder that turned out to be:

Var-LA-mov.

Think any GMs are kicking themselves?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_NHL_Entry_Draft#Selections_by_round

Backstrom AND Varly in the 1st Rd.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 5, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Kitty, It is out of my mind now... ;) I have been waiting since High School for this redemption of the Penguins!!! I had a Pens fan in my Pre-Calc class and all I heard about was Mario this and Mario that! Really annoying! Let's keep this train a rolling!!!


C-A-P-S, caps, caps, caps!!!!!!

Posted by: hbcapsfan | May 5, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I absolutely love how Sid the Infant keeps giving the Caps reasons to play better than him -- no humility and a weird sense of priviliage, like Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore: a guy you love to hate. When Erskine is back, no way Crysbaby gets that kind of time near the crease. You know Sid's teammates have to be sick of his whining and he's the captain. Their lockerroom must be a mess now, whereas the Caps bond in pressure, the Pens start pointing fingers. hahahahahaha

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 5, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, the Alex Ovechkin vs Sidney Crosby matchup is everything THE MEDIA could have hoped for. The fans just want to see their team win!

Posted by: AmyS1 | May 5, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

For all of the comments we've had about how we are a better team without Brash--without Erskine too--we have no truly physical presence on the ice. Green had a few great plays, but even more bad clears, turnovers or mistakes; he'll throw a mean hip check every so often but that doesn't help when Crosby is posted in front of our net all game.

Ovie at 100% is the epitome of physical play, but he is not at 100%. His checks in the last few games have been lacking power, and he's even pulled up from a few. Every so often he'll turn into a man possessed and knock down anything and everything in between him and the puck--but that hasn't been happening. His hat trick while playing at less than 100% shows what a phenomenal talent he really has.

We need to step up our physical game somehow; without Brash and Erskine, that will be tough to do.

Posted by: CheckingLine | May 5, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps it's time to sit Green and give Alzner a chance.
Posted by: bucknelldad | May 5, 2009 8:22 AM |

& this is why ppl think Caps fans are stupid.
Give me a break. The guy plays 25 minutes & does everything.
You know more than Bruce? NOT.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

@opita1: We did have some problems and a few invisible players; mostly WAY WAY WAY too many giveaways and too many undisciplined penalties. The refereeing was craptastic, but then it's Kelly Sutherland, what do you expect?

Here's hoping neither Semin nor Varlamov are seriously hurt.

@JIMALLCAPS: Exactly. Crosby's a great player, but he acts like a moron. No wonder people don't like him. I have a feeling he's going to catch a lot of hat jokes from the Caps fans the next few times he comes to the arena.

Posted by: kittypawz | May 5, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

And if you hadn't noticed out Norris trophy candidate put a beating on that pest Latang...possible 'upper body injury'.

If you are going to tell me Green doesn't hit
then tell me why the other 20 guys don't either on the team?

Esp. if when Crosby has got the puck.

Learn the game Green haterz.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I just want you all to be fully aware that when we beat the Pens, the trolls will not stop. They will simply change their tune to what Yankees fans say to Red Sox fans to feel better about losing: "well we've dominated you historically so when you've won as much as we have come back and talk".

Mike Green is a ghost right now. And not a good kind of ghost, like Casper. Does anyone have any inkling as to what is wrong with him? I'd say maybe he was sick, but sickness doesn't take away your hockey sense, which he seems to have lost completely. We can NOT be leaving Varly out to dry as much as Green has. First goal, if he takes Crosby out of the play instead of looking for the puck, no goal. Same thing with Poti on the last goal. Second goal, either clear it high or get it back around for a controlled breakout. Instead, it stays in and again he doesn't clear Crosby.

Ridiculous. Can't believe we've made this many mistakes and still come out on top.

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 5, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

@ kittypawz -- your wisdom is crystal clear as usual, cuz you're agreeing with me (lol)

yeah sidney is a great player, maybe even a sparkplug for his determined play, but a wise leader who knows how to get a lockerroom to gel? puhleeze. Think Hossa didn't leave to Detroit for a good reason? Notice how many quality FA's left the Pens last summer after going to the finals??? Bill Guerin may be a great lockerroom addition, if Crysbaby will let him lead and keep things loose. I can't imagine what stupid stuff Sid says to his teammates with the stupid stuff he says to the media and refs. Notice how relunctant his teammates are to celebrate with him when he scores -- that's not a good sign

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 5, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I feel a total lack of respect by Sucksburg towards us.

Their coach & players don't acknowledge the play & skill & talent of our guys.

Esp. after last night's game...it's still luck & their miss opportunities.

Geesh - did they forget that 6 posts stopped the first game from being 6-2 Caps?

Did they not know that the edge in play last night was ours & our goalie made their goalie look pedestrian?

Do they not know we can roll 4 lines?

Do they not know???

Oh well, I rather have luck than skill any day.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Also - I am in no way advocating benching Greener. Not one bit. But someone needs to put a bee in his bonnet or something, because one hit does not a game make. His mistakes are shining far more brightly than one big hit.

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 5, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

If this thing gets to game 5 and Im a Pens fans and I have tickets...Im sellin em...

You are not welcome in this phone booth...

One game at a time though...

Posted by: SA-Town | May 5, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

@Rocc00,

I couldn't agree with you more, the idea of sitting Green is just stupid. Mike Green is a Norris Trophy Finalist...has he played his best games as of late? No absolutely not but you don't sit Mike Green, that would be idiotic. I think great things of Karl Alzner and I like how Sloan has played for us this year but to start him over Green is the worst idea I've seen on these boards.

Also, there is no excuse for the NHL not to suspend Kunitz for his cross-check on Varly. People can say whatever they want...some say it wasn't that bad, or it happens, etc. However, Donald Brashear was suspended 6 games for his hit against the Rangers. It didn't surprise me Brashear got suspended but it did surprise me he got 6, I was thinking somewhere between 1-3 games. If Brashear's hit warrants a 6 game suspension certainly Kunitz warrants at least a game. Brashear's hit was about 3 seconds after Betts dumped in the puck (granted it was late). Let's compare that to Kunitz's cross check on Varly. The puck was not near Kunitz, Kunitz was not playing the puck, he wasn't pushed into Varly, and he didn't just run into Varly he actually cross checked Varly. To make it even worse, he went to cross check Varly underneath his mask in the throat/collar bone area. A lot of people are saying he should be suspended for a game? I think he should be suspended for a minimum of 2 games, close to 3-4. His cross check could have easily broken Varly's collar bone. Kunitz had bad intentions on that check and it appeared that he was trying to hurt Varly.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | May 5, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure I'm not the first to come up with a suggestion for this, but it seems to me a playoff tradition is ripe for the picking right now. Every person attending Game 6, if it even happens, should bring a baby pacifier to the game and throw it on the ice the first time Crosby even looks at the ref.
It's not an octopus, but I think it's quite apropos.

Posted by: ajtrue78 | May 5, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

You play the game fair & respect the opponent.
Cross checking the goalie in the face & then slashing his d-man after the whistle is not kewl - kunis.

Orpik is a p#ssy. For every 1 good lick he gets on 1 of our guys he misses 3 & slams his face into the boards. Then he gets hit & does a McSorely on Syomin. Mcloser.

Lil Matty Cooke - what can I say - you weren't good enough here & you certainly weren't good enuff on that last OV goal.

Crosby is a great player but if OV can get deck - so can sid. Hammer him & he will back off.

& if that putz from Sucksburg lil BigJohnny still say they have a goaltending advantage, well he should look @ all those down low scrums Varly is making crosby work for. Or maybe that high glove side goal by OV.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz: "puling"? At 9 a.m.? Frickin' awesome.

Mike Green deserved assists on two Pens goals last night. If this his "D-first" game, please bring back the buccaneer or (yeah, I said it) Schultz. Ridonkulous.
To heck with calling him "Varly": what's Russian for "sir"?
Every so often, I chastise myself for the amount of money I spend to sit in a hockey rink. Then Alex Ovechkin happens.

Posted by: redlineblue | May 5, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Cindy Crosby: "Well, I'd have to say the one about Ovechkin's celebrations. I guess that would be my favorite. Also, the time my brother got four Christmas presents and I only got three."

Rachel Ray: "No, I meant your favorite wine - you know, to drink."

Cindy: "Oh. I don't know, really. Mario keeps it locked up and won't let me taste."

Posted by: tominfl1

----------------------------------

funny!

Posted by: oo7 | May 5, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

was over at the Pittsburgh site and I saw this in an article. If this is not bulletin board material I don't know what is:

The Carolina Hurricanes barely had finished off the New Jersey Devils by scoring two goals in the final 1:20 of Game 7 of their series to determine the second-round matchups when Crosby started texting teammates, "Good ... We get the Capitals."

Posted by: srobert1117 | May 5, 2009 8:17 AM

-------------------------------------

Link to this article please!!
That should definitely be posted in the locker room.

Posted by: oo7 | May 5, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I mean Game 5 (forgot the NHL playoff format is not the same as MLB)

Posted by: ajtrue78 | May 5, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse


Also - I am in no way advocating benching Greener. Not one bit. But someone needs to put a bee in his bonnet or something, because one hit does not a game make. His mistakes are shining far more brightly than one big hit.
Posted by: snakegriffin | May 5, 2009 9:23 AM |

But if you single him out then single Pothier & Poti & Jurcina & all the forwards that let cindy skate around the rink like Michelle Kwan. How many times did I have to yell 'somebody hit somebody' last night over & over?!

If u have a world class goalie, you stand them up @ the blueline & make them pay the price for trying to go cross the blueline.
But yet even when you back off they some how waltz around you STILL??!!

Green is by far our best overall defenseman. But if you hold him to a Norris standard , then hold the rest of the team to average DEFENSIVE standards @ the very least.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

@Rocc00: I do too. There's a sense of entitlement there. A commenter on Puck Daddy said it best: "The Penguins think they deserve to win. The Caps think they can win. There's your difference."

Oh well, I'm not concerned about it, honestly. People talk, and talk is cheap. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak - the numbers on the scoreboard when the final horn sounds is all that really matters at the end of the day. Let 'em preen and expect the series to be handed them, I have no problem with that.

Posted by: kittypawz | May 5, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of lack of respect, there was a totally classless article by Mike Wise on Donald Brashear. Offensive in every way you can think of. Yellow journalism. Digs up old history which must be painful - not to mention embarassing and humiliating - to Brash. Dreadful timing. Brings back the old crap at a time when the team needs Brash needs to be at his strongest - because make no mistake, we'll still be in the running when the suspension is past. Wise also breaches the boundaries of ethical journalistic conduct by becoming a part of his story - he carries a message to Brash from his long-alienated mother.

People have said Wise has no business writing about the Caps. I concur. I wish someone with more influence than I would tell him to stop sliming our guys.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | May 5, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Great win, again.

We can't let Crosby stand in the crease. All three goals were him chopping wood after good work by Semyon. I'm going back to watch the highlights but I know Mike Green was standing next to Crosby on the first two goals, watching. Missing Erskine hurts but Green needs to make that play.

Aside from that, brilliant around.

Posted by: saintex | May 5, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

btw - I saw 1 - count them ONE - play where we cleared the guy out of the net area Jurcina on Crosby into the side of the net.

& we get a penalty. Cheap call but @ least he tried.

Wow - ONE - clear-out. Count'em boyz.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

@RedRocker1

Dude...Brash basically wrote that story through Wise...He wanted his story to be told, and is appreciative of all the support he has gotten since..

Posted by: SA-Town | May 5, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Just remember, though, this series is far from over. We came back to win a series from this exact position, and actually the Pens have it better, because now they have the home ice. We need to split the series in Pittsburgh and then win game 5 at home, and we do need to step it up. We are not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot, and I think the Rangers forgot that.

Posted by: kittypawz | May 5, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

@ Roc00;

I agree with holding the rest of our defense to a higher standard. I think Juice has been playing his best hockey to date--look how far he has come since last year, so has Morrisonn (sp?). Pothier doesn't play physically enough to be much of an impediment to strong skaters like Crosby or Malkin, neither does Poti. Last night showed the real value of Erskine's grit and physical play.

Benching Green is a stupid idea, but he is far from playing his best hockey. He really hasn't been the same since he got rocked in game two against the Rags. That might be unrelated, but that's when I started noticing the change in his play.

Posted by: CheckingLine | May 5, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

But if you single him out then single Pothier & Poti & Jurcina & all the forwards that let cindy skate around the rink like Michelle Kwan. How many times did I have to yell 'somebody hit somebody' last night over & over?!
Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 9:40 AM

I agree that Green *needs* to be our best overall defenseman. Up until last night, Juice had been a beast... he was last night too, until a couple of undisciplined penalties. Poti's mistake on Sid's last goal is pretty awful too... whacking at the puck instead of taking out the man is unquestionably terrible. Poti doesn't have the hand-eye coordination of Crosby, if he did, he'd be a superstar. Pothier seemed on his game last night, at least I didn't notice anything and Sloan moved the puck well. But Greener really needs to pick it up and lead by example.

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 5, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand how Mike Green can be a finalist for the Norris Trophy? Mike Green is what you call a "hybrid" (Defense/Offense) players. Yes, he can score and play both side of the ice, but Norris is for the best DEFENSIVE player! Mike Green can't even "box" out Cindy near the crease.

Posted by: 555Mass | May 5, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

@ Redrocker1

There were a lot of posts about Wise's ethics on this article and how embarrassing the information must be, but Katie and Tarik both defended Wise's article that he told Brash what he was doing and even that Brash is proud of how he has used his past as motivator and uses his past to help kids in Philly and DC.

Frankly, I like Wise's posts and articles. He has a great sense of humor and clearly loves this team. I love Tarik and Katie, too. I even like Wilbon, even if he biased towards his hometown Hawks. The only one who needs to shut his useless flytrap is Korny -- he's an opinionated tool

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 5, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Kunitz had bad intentions on that check and it appeared that he was trying to hurt Varly.
Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | May 5, 2009 9:31 AM |

That play totally irks me. I TiVo'd it like 20 times in slow mo. The puck is BEHIND him & he 2 fisted Varly in the throat with no1 pushing him.

Must have still be hurting from being a midget & getting hammered by OV earlier in the game.

This is why a guy like Brash is needed for all you NHL sanctioned figure skating advocates.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Any chance last night's win forces the national broadcast teams to stop slurping the Pens so much?

Posted by: thiazzi | May 5, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

@kitty

I agree it is not over, but we are so much different then the rangers in every way.

At the end of the first 2 games, everyone was in shock that the rangers were sliding in wins on the back of Lundqvist...Rangers were greatly outshot, outhit, out-chances and nothing was going right...the Caps had everything, but the team game was lacking, and they were getting shut down.

This series is much closer...Both teams have shown control at times, and Varlamov is playing great...You will not win playoff games without solid goaltending. (See Theodore)

We have so much more hope and confidence being up 2-0, then the Rangers did at 2-0.

That being said...1 game at a time, and REFUSE to let the Pens back in this series..

Posted by: SA-Town | May 5, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The Juice call after Orphik (funny rhymes with dik) got away with 4 cross checks on Semin was insanely biased. Semin took the hits and Crysbaby folds like a cheap directors chair -- give the little whiner and penalty to see if the Pens can tighten up the game. baloney sandwich

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 5, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

What's funny is some of the Pens blogs crying about Ovie diving. Here is a compilation of Crosby's tactics:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QN4J6U_CuA

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 5, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse


I don't understand how Mike Green can be a finalist for the Norris Trophy? Mike Green is what you call a "hybrid" (Defense/Offense) players. Yes, he can score and play both side of the ice, but Norris is for the best DEFENSIVE player! Mike Green can't even "box" out Cindy near the crease.
Posted by: 555Mass | May 5, 2009 9:51 AM |

And where were our forwards helping out down low? The shot from the point is the least of your worries in a 6 on 4 scrum with 30 secs left.

like I said, boxing out & checking is not a 1 man effort.
that's why BB keeps rolling out Greenie.
He @ least understands the concept of hit.

I luv Pothier but if another guy waltzes around him @ the blue line, I rather sit him than watch our no box out team on defense in our zone.

btw - that's the problem with u Noobie Ninnies. You don't understand how a Paul Coffey or Brian Leetch can win the Norris? It's called time of possession.
Learn it.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Great win but very disappointed in how Green let Crosby camp out next to the crease to score two goals. The second one showed Green not even putting a body on Crosby and actually hindering Varly...I thought this was the worse game Green has played in the playoffs. Also, Jurcina's penalty on Malkin in the 3rd could have been a momentum changer. Caps defense needs to start clearing out things in front of the net or eventually other Pens besides Crosby are going to start to score easy goals.

Kunitz's cross check on Varly's throat was a big missed call....don't seen how the refs could have missed it at the end. Even BB made a point of saying it needs to be reviewed by the league. Lucky Varly wasn't hurt and we were ahead by 2 at the end.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 5, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

The Rangers series was a bit different. They had a goaltender playing out of his mind. If the Rangers were not an awful team with the exception of the goaltender the Caps would never have come back in the series.

That being said the caps need to take 1 in Pittsburgh and end the series on Saturday night. Can't let them get back to 2-2 otherwise it will be a battle.

Posted by: srobert1117 | May 5, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Come on folks. You guys are all over Green but whether we want to admit it or not Crosby is one of most talented players in the league. Do other teams sit their top pair when Ovi scores on them. Heck no, you have to take the good with the bad. I saw Green through different eyes. I saw him absorb big hits to win battles and push the puck to open team mates. BB has said it many times, Green is out there during critical times, PK, PP, and to salt wins. I'm glad we have him.

What the heck did Poti do that was so wrong that some are complaining about him?

Poti had to play goaltender on the last goal by Crosby because not only did Kunitz crosscheck Varly, he skated THROUGH the crease when the puck wasn't there and drug Varly below the goal line. Went ahead and crosschecked him, further delaying Varly attempt to cover the far side of the net. Knowing Varly was caught Poti had to play goaltender while Varly got back rather than just run Crosby over because the net would have been then empty even if Crosby was cleaned out. Crosby's last goal was both lucky and great.

We're up 2-0 but this is going to be one heck of a series. I feel privaledged that I am witnessing two teams of this caliber. In person during the home games no less. I've been attending Caps games since I married a MD girl back in 1988 as a Chicago transplant and became a fan very quickly because tickets were so easy to get. The experience at Verizon the last couple of years is unlike any other time since I have been a fan. I have been a season ticket holder for a couple of years now because I saw the demand increase coming with the talent we have now. These boys have talent and the desire and leave everything on the ice. The cool thing is, this is just the start.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm just wondering if there is something physically wrong with Mike Green. He is playing or seems to be playing very tentative to me. Any one have a clue?

Posted by: ken_berlin | May 5, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Buccigross thinks he's constipated.

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 5, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Any word on Letang? Did the much maligned Green take him out with that clean hit along the Caps' boards? That was a clean, hard hit with two guys working hard for the puck along the boards. Green got the better of that one. Not hoping for an injury, but saying Green wasn't hitting is just wrong. He could have had a better game, but that slap pass to OV was a thing of beauty, too. If that's another defender, the goalie and defense is not frozen, they have to respect Green's shot.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 5, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@Rocc00

"like I said, boxing out & checking is not a 1 man effort."

You are telling me "boxing" out is NOT a one man effort? Really?

Boxing out is all about one man's effort! Grit, toughness, have you heard cleaning out the crease?

Like, basketball and lacrosse or any other contact sports, it's man's will.

Soft sticks checks that Mike Green throws over and over again in the crease vs. Crybaby, doesnt do anything.

Posted by: 555Mass | May 5, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

@snakegriffin: You are an eternal pessimist. Are you someone that bit**es about everything in life. On a summer day it's too hot, on a spring day it's too windy... For a fan you always seem to bring a complaint.

We are up 2-0 on one of the most talented teams in the league. Great teams and great players, make great teams and great players look bad at times, that's life. Did Varly make some great saves in the last 10 mins of he second to keep us in it, ABSOLUTELY. The same should be said for Fleury for the first 10 mins of the second period. He made a couple of unbelievable saves on Ovi in the first, the re-direct of the shot, and the shot that almost blew his glove off of his hand. What we have right now is a goaltender (except for 2 goals in 8 games) that makes the routine save, and the momentum changing save. That is what we were seriously lacking. I DO NOT feel this series is a lock by any means. I could see both games being played the same way in Pittsburgh with the Pens coming out with tight wins. The nice thing is the boys will play with less of an obligation to by flashy so hopefully that will reduce the offensive chances by the Pens. The 1st 10 minutes will be insane tomorrow. The Pens will go for the throat early.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse


CROSBY vs. OVIE saga

Is it just me or there is another big difference that is emerging between these two, as well as the mindset of their teams, and that is entitlement vs. humility; being a sore loser vs. graciousness.

The is what Crosby had to say about Ovie's hat trick: "I'm sure it’s entertaining for people to watch," said Crosby. "If I were to look at it from a fan's point of view, obviously that would be the case. As a player you don't like seeing a guy on the other team get a hat trick, it's usually not a good sign."

And Ovie's comments: "It's good for the fans to see great players play against each other and two great teams play against each other," Ovechkin said. And in another quote: "Sick game. Sick goals by me and him," Ovechkin said.

And this is Boudreau praising both players:

"It's why they are who they are." Coach Bruce Boudreau said of Ovechkin and Crosby. "Because not too many people could do what they did tonight."

It is true that it is easier to be gracious when you win. But I have heard Ovie and BB make similar comments even when they lose: "Sometimes they have luck and sometimes I have luck," Ovechkin said.

I hope the Pens continue to be arrogant and feel entitled because this will be a great contribution toward their defeat.

Posted by: caraveli | May 5, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if Letang is hurt bad? My brother was saying that it looked like his arm had popped out of its socket, which would be great because then no way Letang plays in Game 3...or maybe even for the rest of the series. Sympathies for Letang if he's hurt bad, but great news as a Caps fan.

Posted by: alee06 | May 5, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Horrible game by Green. Crosby was in great position for all his goals and did some nice stickwork to finish the plays but on the first two Green just left him untouched. The last was on a 6 on 4 so it's pretty tough to cover everyone but he had 3 or 4 whacks at it. After the first one someone needs to throw a check or even just tie up his stick. Too much looking at the puck rather than the player. Next game they need to be much better watching guys in front of the net and limiting reboud chances. If anyone other than Crosby actually wakes up and starts playing on the Pens it could be tough to contain them. Another great game by Ovechkin, Varlamov and Steckel.

Posted by: Stu_c | May 5, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Also what about Fehr? Is he ok?

Posted by: alee06 | May 5, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Only in sports Fandom can any team be ahead of the game, winning, do whats necessary to win and still be complained about. Its FANTASTIC!

Anyway.. I am glad they one. I was beginning to think I was one of the Bad luck charms for them. Had a great time, Saw a great game, Got my Pic taken with Brash and I can't wait to go again!

C-A-P-S Caps! Caps! CAPS!

Posted by: jdhoover | May 5, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

what i can't figure out is why the Caps are so slow to start. Varly, again, bailed the team out early on.

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

@saintex:
I agree: "We can't let Crosby stand in the crease. All three goals were him chopping wood after good work by Semyon." This was especially true in the last goal when they allowed Crosby at least 4 consecutive shots before he scored. Why did the Caps defense allow this repeatedly? Why don't you e-mail BB with this tip?

Posted by: caraveli | May 5, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Crosby crying about hats being thrown:

I guess I see his point; I would want my blankee too if I had to stand there for a whole 3 minutes and watch my dreams being scooped up off the ice by the verizon crew. I'm sure Mario had to change his diaper, tuck him in bed and rock him to sleep last night.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 5, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The Caps should have traded for a defenseman during the trade deadline. Also should have picked up the other Backstrom to be our goalie.

Posted by: _828 | May 5, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

It's too bad. Ovie got the hattie, but Steckel was the hero. Besides the goal, I counted three penalties he drew. One should get him an "assist" on that quick PP goal.

Posted by: BigMogilny | May 5, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Whoa whoa whoa...

I'm saying Green needs to pick it up, that's really about all I'm complaining about. I'm happily optimistic about this series, as I have been all along, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to call out poor effort when I see it. I'm referring to Buccigross' blog on ESPN, where he jokes about Green looking like he's had too much dairy product. So it's not overly critical fans who think he's got something wrong, it's everyone watching.

I'm also no Stan Fischler, calling out a sweep 2 games into the series. I see a couple of close games coming, and I'd like to see a good split come out of Pittsburgh so I can see a triumphant series win in game 5 on Saturday!

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 5, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I'll be mighty upset if Kunitz does not get at least a one game suspension for his hit on Varlamov. "Colon" Campbell's methods (or lack thereof) for metering out discipline is mind-boggling.

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

Posted by: letsgocaps52 | May 5, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Game 3 will be the difference between a basically even series and a foregone conclusion. I sure hope that the Caps can step up again on the road. Pens are going to throw everything they have at 'em.

Good thing about these close games -- the Caps are under no illusion that they are somehow a much better team. And from their own experience, they know all about 0-2 comebacks. So the focus should be there, and they are due for a good start one of these days.

Bottom line, odds are good for them to come home with at least a 3-1 lead!

Posted by: VladG | May 5, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

555Mass: OK, then explain to me why Chara is a Norris trophy candidate. He got ABUSED in game 2 by a guy 5 inches shorter than him. Cole rocked him several times and Chara had at least 5 passes right to Hurricanes players in the neutral zone. One thing everyone has to keep in mind is we are now down to the BEST 4 in the conference. The talent pool is deep.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@Caraveli, I'm not sure I get the "tell BB" comment.

Posted by: saintex | May 5, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

If you have time call into NHL Live today and make sure that Kunitz's bush league attempt to take out Varly gets some attention.

That was an egregious, unprovoked act of violence that attempted to have a major influence on the whole series aside from resulting in a late goal.

Varly is very lucky to not have been seriously injured. If the NHL does not suspend Kunitz for this it will set a precedent. It's open season on goalies.

Posted by: ranndino | May 5, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@s1117 and VladG: Agreed. Taking Game 3 would let us salt this one away early, which is not something this team is known for doing. I have to say, though, that we have played very well in Mellon Arena this year. I don't think us taking one in Pittsburgh is impossible at all. We do need to sharpen up, but then we tend to simplify our game on the road, which can only benefit us in this situation.

Posted by: kittypawz | May 5, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I really think the Caps will come out strong in game 3. They love pressure; they love to be the underdog; they love boos from the other team's fans as much as they love cheers from the rocking the red faithful. They know the Pens will play possessed, but probably also undisciplined. A good team, like the Caps, will take advantage of the Pens nerves at home. I'm not saying the game will be a cake-walk, but that the Caps will be pumped and smart.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 5, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

fromt he previous thread:

I was completely stunned that Sloan made it in instead of Alzner. Sure would like to know the thought process behind that. Not saying it was a bad decision but just want to know why. I mean after all Alzner is supposed to be our top D prospect.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | May 5, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

As has been noted, Sloan's a bit more willing to hit (rememebr the Calgary game?!). But also, Sloan is a bit older. Although he's a NHL rookie, he's been on multiple Calder Cup playoff teams with Hearshy, including the Cup winning team. He's got big game experince under his belt.

Give Alzner a couple of years :) He's still just a kid, his time will come. (hopefully with some Cup titles and a Norris or two!))

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 5, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I thought Sloan played pretty well last night. He made some hits and that physical presence certainly helped. I think there were only a couple of plays that he looked like he was scrambling back into position.

Clearly the Pens have decided to push at Syomin and Backstrom. Orpik, he who already contributed stitches to Syomin in Game 1, was just a punk last night. The situation that led to the penalties in the first period happen right in front of my seats and Orpik just started punking at Alex until he responded. Alex gave him good shove and Orpik responded with his stick. I don't think the refs saw it (I hope) because the penalty calls on that were junk. Orpik kept at it all game.

Second, Malkin took that slapper after the whistle that clocked Backstrom. Nicky was none too happy - it was way late - and that's one of the first times I've seen him get animated. Later in the game, someone went after him again and he started responding once again. I think the Pens have sorted that they will never get at AO - emotionally - and they've decided to try to get to the next two and throw them off their game.

Anyone have an opinion on that?

Posted by: saintex | May 5, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

And, is there an open spot on the bench at Mellon for AO to watch the Pens practice tomorrow morning? Hope so.

Posted by: saintex | May 5, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Do you honestly believe Mike Green is among top defenseman in the league?

Mike Green does not know how to "Defended"!

Chara, Lindstrom (sp?) they are @ home defenseman, they prevent others teams from scoring on his team.

Mike Green gives up possession so other team can score on him!

How many giveaways does Mike Green avg. a game? 3,4,5???? In order to make up for all of his mistakes, he needs to score 2 goals a gm for his team.

BB should just play Mike Green as a forward, and play Sloan and Alzner!

Posted by: 555Mass | May 5, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

man, I just watched the replay of the Kunitz crosscheck and didn't notice it was that bad during the game (I actually didn't even notice it).

What a POS...he has to get suspended or the NHL will be drifting further and further out to the sea of inconsistent enforcement of rules and player safety.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 5, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

555Mass, first, Mike Green's numbers dispell this whole "Green can't play D" myth. James Mirtle has a nice look at it on www.fromtherink.com. Second, just as forwards fill different roles, d-men do, too. Chara is very stay at home. Lidstrom does somewhat, but also scores. Green is the offense-first defenseman. He's speedy and slick and fun as heck to watch.

@saintex, I thought Sloan looked good enough out there. But then again, I'm a bit in love with him. I labelled him as the poor lost puppy dog earlier in the season, as in "look, Mom [Bruce], we found a puppy! Can we keep him, pleeeeeeeease?" I thought he generally did well during his call-up, and I'm happy to see him get a chance on the big big stage. There were only a couple of moments when I thought he screwed up, one being, imo, he didn't clear the puck when he had the chance. But other than that, he did good. An assist on Steckel's goal is just icing on the cake.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 5, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Do you honestly believe Mike Green is among top defenseman in the league?
Mike Green does not know how to "Defended"!
Chara, Lindstrom (sp?) they are @ home defenseman, they prevent others teams from scoring on his team.

Nice job of admitting you know nothing about hockey.


Mike Green gives up possession so other team can score on him!
How many giveaways does Mike Green avg. a game? 3,4,5????

U mean like OV did on 3 occasion last night?


BB should just play Mike Green as a forward, and play Sloan and Alzner!
Posted by: 555Mass | May 5, 2009 11:34 AM
thank Allah you are not BB!

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Later in the game, someone went after him again and he started responding once again. I think the Pens have sorted that they will never get at AO - emotionally - and they've decided to try to get to the next two and throw them off their game.
Anyone have an opinion on that?Posted by: saintex | May 5, 2009 11:29 AM |

Heck yea - that's was the M.O. going into last night's game to run Varly & be chippy down low. Their coach said so something to the effect that we have to put the younger players in spots they haven't been in before.

Now as u say OV will laugh it off & make them pay, Syomin & Backie may not be as 'tough'. This is why you have Brash around - he neutralizes any funny business like the kunis & orpik crap.


Did any1 see the slash on Syomin's hand??

We are very aware of this & BB is already doing the Phil Jackson ref mind tricks of calling the penz out. The question is do we keep making them pay on the PP or do we retaliate.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Thank you letsgocaps52 for finding this link!

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

I heard BB said something about it during the press conference, so hopefully this play goes up to the league office. He was basically cross checked in the neck as you can see his stick slide down Varly's mask.

I'm still fuming about that.

Posted by: AyresGoober | May 5, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Caps need to take note on how Crosby scored all his goals so far. We need someone parked in front just like that. Their goalie is giving up a ton of rebounds.

Posted by: jfwil | May 5, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

To: Rocc00

I see that you use your IQ at the end of your name.

You might try watching a game before you comment on it. Obviously, you weren't noticing which Caps players were closest to Crosby everytime he scored, or what they were trying to do (or not) around the net. Try it, you might learn something.

None of us knows half what BB has in his little finger about hockey. That's why he's the coach. Duh.

Posted by: bucknelldad | May 5, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

A little math for everyone.

There are 5 games left. The Caps must win 40% of the remaining games (2 obviously) to advance. Even if they lose Wednesday, they must play .500 hockey the rest of the series to advance.

The Pengiuns, on the other hand, must win 80% of their remaining games (4 of 5). Even if they win Wednesday, they must still win 75% of the remaining games (3 of 4).

Can they do it? Sure, see: Round one, Caps v. Rangers. But the odds are now against them, given how well the Caps are playing. The Caps are definitely NOT the Rangers.

Posted by: bucknelldad | May 5, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

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