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Morning Reading List: Game 3 Aftermath


(Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post)


Although the Capitals forced overtime, it only seemed to delay the inevitable for Washington as the Penguins snagged a crucial victory for their first win of the series. Simeon Varlamov put on another dazzling display as he turned away 39 shots, but in the end, the Penguins simply had too many chances.

Mike Wise explains the game rather easily: "Pittsburgh deserved to win Game 3 at least 19 times more than the Capitals."

Here are yesterday's highlights.

Among the things working against the Capitals in Game 3 was the extensive time on the penalty kill, as Pittsburgh held a man-advantage for more than 13 minutes in the contest.

More on the game time decision for Pittsburgh to play Kris Letang and discussion about those illegal picks in the notebook.

Over at the D.C. Sports Bog you'll find:

Check out assorted other recaps and tidbits from last nights game over at The Washington Times, NHL.com, The Globe and Mail and The Hockey News.

The View from Pittsburgh
After outplaying, outshooting, outhitting and throwing everything including the kitchen sink at Washington, the Penguins still couldn't find a way to win in regulation. The feeling in Mellon Arena was that someone needed to be a hero, and, well, the Penguins got one.

Key for the Penguins was finding a way to shut down the Capitals' rush while also containing Ovechkin.

Through the first two games of this series, everyone wondered where Evgeni Malkin was. Well, in Game 3, the answer was simple: everywhere.

In the System
Overtime wasn't kind to the Bears either, who dropped their first game of their series against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last night in the extra session.

The formula for the Baby Pens' victory? "Two odd deflections, a late missed scoring chance and a big save."

By Katie Carrera  |  May 7, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
 
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Next: Video: Wise Says the Penguins Have Momentum

Comments

Sigh...was a tough loss.

GO CAPS.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 7, 2009 5:51 AM | Report abuse

If some of the rest of the team played as hard as Varly,quit turning the puck over,etc, it would be 3-0. They can come out inspired on Friday and come home in good shape. If they lose both with that quick turnaround, which is just wrong,but it's there,everything shifts towards Pittsburgh. Especially with the refs seemingly on the Pens side.

Posted by: ridgely1 | May 7, 2009 6:04 AM | Report abuse

haha, the playoffs bring such silly posts. of course ovie is a better athlete than lebron. if you look at the minutes basketball players can play in a game and the complete lack of defense, it is no challenge compared to hockey. ovie shines in the more difficult of the two sports. it's a silly post that's not worth making.

Posted by: am_jim | May 7, 2009 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Watching the way Pittsburgh played minus the first 10 minutes is the reason why I think we head back tied. We couldn't match their energy and it looks like Malkin has gotten himself going. How many times did Crosby or Malkin go around our defensemen and create a scoring opportunity or draw a penalty? And I do hate complaining but the refs were a complete joke last night. I guess complaining and whining about everything does get you what you want. Let's complain a bunch about the refs and they'll automatically make up calls in game 4 for us. Yes, the Pens played well, they had 9 power plays. Mainly that is the reason why we got worse as the game went on, we kept having to kill penalties. It's like the refs just kept handing opportunities untill they scored. The Varly slashing was the worse of all, because Malkin should've gotten an interference in the first place. I would not be suprised if the PPs in game 4 are about the same. But, THANK GOD for no more stupid VS and Emrick. Back to comcast sportsnet. =)

Posted by: rachel216 | May 7, 2009 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, only 7 PPs, not 9. It seemed like a lot more.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 7, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Varlamov was crazy great last night. I thought the Caps in general came out strong and played well in the first period. But the penalties killed them. Whether it's bad refs or stupid moves by the Caps, the net result was confidence for the Penguins and a win in OT. Crosby still can't bring himself to praise Varlamov (he "made some great saves"---no, he made the game possible!) Let's go, CAPS, on Friday night.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 7, 2009 6:35 AM | Report abuse

"The Penguins have been outplaying the Caps for pretty much the whole series."
Posted by: SC87

Not really. Both teams have played parts of each game well. The Pens have not been perfect for 60 minutes either. If they had been outplaying us the whole series, they'd be up 3-0. But enjoy this win... I think you guys deserve it. (kind of.) Just hate that it was off a deflection. As terrible as we played and as many opportunities they had it's pretty amazing that we made it to OT. Varly is really great.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 7, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

@ rachel316

That's just the way things always seem to go in OT's isn't it? Golden opportunties missed and then a silly deflection. The way Varly was playing it had to be that way. Actually I felt pretty good during the overtime. Oftentimes, one team will seem to get all the offensive zone time and scoring chances, and them something fluky will happen for the other team. I really thought the Caps were gonna get it.

I completely agree with you though. The Caps and Pens both do offense better than they do defense, and that's the way the whole series has played out so far. Both are turning over the puck WAAAY too much and last night it cost us instead of them. I'm still cautiously optimistic about the series as a whole so long as we get at least one of the back-to-backs

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 7, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

biased officiating
biased league
lucky bounce

those are the reasons why the pens won last night. on nhl live yesterday, everyone kept repeating "but wouldn't it be great if this could go to six or seven?" over and over again, several different people. then last night during the play by play on versus, different people, but the same line kept sprining up about how great it would be if this matchup could go to six or seven. it was like listening to the republicans making sure they hit the same words from their white house memos about "wmd" and "yellow-cake" it couldn't have been more scripted!

you can't hold this against the caps when it's obvious that the league wants to keep sid and the pens in the playoffs because they think it is good for the game.

what's good for the game is to call it fairly and not tip the scales because the face of the nhl (and canada's big hero) might get bounced out on his butt.

Posted by: spinner-33 | May 7, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Amazing this game went to overtime. Bettman was on the grassy nole calling in penalties to make sure his stars keep playing. Serious though the penalties were penalties, but call them both ways or not at all.

Posted by: flee001 | May 7, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Believe in the split...Believe in 3-1 coming home..

Playoffs are tough...We lost games we should of won vs. NY..We had a chance to win a game we were supposed to lose last night...

We're up 2-1..The series doesnt start until you win a road game...It needs to start tomorrow..

Posted by: SA-Town | May 7, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice the dissparity in the commentators comments on VS. It was horriably biased towards the pens. Not one replay of a big hit by the caps, or even a good shot (which were few and far between)

Posted by: kgassert | May 7, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

A game of inches. I thought they started off well. Had Backstrom snuck that wrap-around in - it could have been a whole different story. Play more disciplined on Friday - and we have a great chance to come home 3-1. Anyway, it will be much better to close it out at Verizon... Anyone else going to the game on Friday?

Posted by: kkd76 | May 7, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Caps vs. (Pens + NHL + Canada)

Posted by: 555Mass | May 7, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Two handed cross-check to goalie's neck (Kunitz game 2) is ok but a goalie can not use his stick to hit someone???? Call it both ways. NHL needs to be little more discrete about their love for Cindy and his friends.

Posted by: 555Mass | May 7, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

It wasn't going to be a sweep anyway. Had to lose at least one. Some of the Caps penalties were well deserved. When you get outplayed, you usually have more penalties. Let's hope the whole team turns it around. I'm losing some faith in Jurcina and wondering if Alzner gets the call Friday. Also, for next season, I would favor keeping Sloan over Jurcina, who has a knack for the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 7, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

If the refs don't stop being bias (which I am sure is a ploy of the NHL to drum up publicity with this series going longer) and the Caps play another lack luster defensive and offensive game...we can kiss this series goodbye!

Posted by: NatyBG | May 7, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

flee001:
"Bettman was on the grassy nole calling in penalties to make sure his stars keep playing."
HA!! Good one! :-)

As disappointing as that was I never expected the Caps to sweep. I thought we would split in Pitt and would be happy with a split. It would have been nice to start the trip with that win, but they can still get it tomorrow. Penalties or not the Caps needed more SOG. I mean 42 to 23?!? Geez. Just a couple more shots could have been the difference maker. So they'll regroup, get more shots and contain the awakened beast that is Malkin. They were not blown out and are still in the driver's seat - they can come back from this. And hopefully now this means that we will get the benefit of seeing the series wrapped up at home. It's all good. LET'S GO CAPS!!

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 7, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

@555Mass
We were watching a replay of one of Varly's amazing saves last night and saw one of their players (sorry don't recall who) take their stick and pummel Varly across the back while he was face down. (Not to mention Kunitz pushing Juice into the net and on and on).

The Officiating was shameful.

Posted by: Caps16Fan | May 7, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

NHL mission since 2008:

"CUP to Cindy".

Posted by: 555Mass | May 7, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Oh come on you guys! We have them exactly where we want them! We all know the Pens had to come out loaded for bear on the first game at the igloo, and they did. Tomorrow they'll come out thinking they can take us, a bit more confident and not as desperate, and we will take that game. Didn't we take every game on their ice in regular season? This just sets us us for a series win on our ice Saturday. Perfect.

The only thing we needed going into the playoffs was a consistent goalie, and we now have that. This *is* the year, the time is ours, and it will be us and Detroit in 3 weeks. And it won't be a repeat series.

Let's Go Caps!!!!

Posted by: bubblegirl1 | May 7, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Pens fan here. Some of you whining Caps fans are really sad. Do you actually think that the only reason your team could possibly lose a game is because the refs or NHL is biased? Please give it a rest. I guess you have no gripes about the blatant interference by the Caps not being called in game 2, giving OV his wide open looks.

Your team is very good. The Pens have their hands full, especially with the young goalie on fire. The Caps had more penalties last night because the more desparate Pens were outworking them, which always leads to penalties. And delay of game for over the glass and blatantly knocking the net off can hardly be called biased officiating.

I still see the Caps with an advantage in this series based on their performance of their power play and the goalie. Right now the Pens can't seem to gain the zone effectively or get organized very well with the extra man, while the Caps set up pretty well like on that late PP last night. If that doesn't change the Caps will win.

Posted by: hondo21 | May 7, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

All I know is that all Pens fans had better just be praying that Varly was playing out of his mind last night and not just playing his normal game. Otherwise, this one win is going to be one of the few they ever have for the next 10 years.

Posted by: savingfool | May 7, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

to all pens fans. you outplayed us, out shot us, out hit us. you had 5 more powerplays than us. you were playing at home, desperate and in a must win game. your top player was a beast all night. and it took a deflection by our dman in overtime to beat us. congratulations.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 7, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

@hondo21

Let them play....Put away the whistle or call everything (both ways)
All or nothing sounds fair to me.

Posted by: 555Mass | May 7, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Let's suppose the butt ending of Federov was actually (those Pen's biased commentators could see what they wanted to see and kept calling it every other "upper body" injury they could think of) Back at Hockey Central, they called it for what it was....but if we had had a five minute major at that point in the game, one could envision a different outcome. I hope the League reviews that event.
Hard to believe the Pens did not commit the same penalties the Caps were called on....yet the Pens got off scott free.

Posted by: go2ashlea | May 7, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

All three games could have gone either way. Don't let the Refs be the X-factor.

Posted by: 555Mass | May 7, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

The Caps lost because they were out played. It is that simple. If it weren't for Varly they would have been blown out. Love my Caps but that's the way I see it.

Posted by: capfanforsure | May 7, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

All I want is consistency in the officiating. Sadly, the Caps deserved to lose that game as they played horrid for the majority of the game and the Pens played hard. However, when the refs choose to "ignore" about 6 straight calls that would have put the Caps on the PP, something needs to be done. But it won't. Cuz apparently EVERYONE has to love the Guins...as is obvious since Vs is pro-them and it's sickening.

Posted by: CapsKH | May 7, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Was listening to the Bears game (they held a 2-0 series lead over the Baby Pens) and watching the Caps game at the same time. Both went to OT tied at 2 - the Bears lost and I thought - "it's inevitable - the Caps will also lose" - and they did. Oh well, it's only one game - BB will get the guys ready for Friday night just as Woodsie will get the Bears ready. I still firmly believe the Caps are a better team just as the Bears are better than the WB Pens - both 'should' advance beyond these series - but both both teams 'need' to play up to their potential - as good as they are capable of playing. We did not see that last night. Yeah, we can complain about the officiating last night with the Caps - but to be honest - the Pens played a better game and deserved the win.

GO CAPS (& BEARS)!!!

Posted by: hersheybearfan | May 7, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

What are the odds of seeing Theo in game 5 since games 4 and 5 are back to back?

I don't want to run Varly into the ground with the number of shots he is seeing, but at the same time he is the hot-hand (to put it lightly) and you don't want to mess with that.

Posted by: AMHV2772 | May 7, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

@ hondo21

The net was not blatantly knocked off Juice was checked into it so get your facts straight. I know it must be hard because god forbid Versus wouldn't give a second look at it. Kinda like when Feds got hurt and they kept saying "oh my it must be his wrist!" when it was quite obvious that he took the butt of a stick to his rib cage. The Versus crew is weak, can't wait to get our CSN boys back on for the Friday game.

And for the Juice bashers....granted his puck handling is a bit weak, but a lot of that had to do with the ice conditions last night, it was apparent everywhere. He is a monster out there right now destroying Pens players at every opportunity. Did anyone else notice him level Cindy at the blue line? It was priceless.

Posted by: CapManJ | May 7, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

BB's comments were right on the money. We deserved most of the calls we got on us--but they deserved way more than they got. 7-2 looks intentional, 7-4 looks legit.

That kind of disparity changes a game because it runs our defense ragged so they make mistakes late in game--even officiating ensures that both teams are as tired as the other.

Yeah, I expect the Caps to take a few more because the Pens were firing on all cylinders and we were chasing them; but last night was a bit ridiculous. Kudos to Varlamov and our "Tenacious D" for keeping us in the game when we shouldn't have been. DCSportsFan is right--if that's the best they've got, we'll take the series.

Posted by: CheckingLine | May 7, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Believe. Pens had a good game. Lets beat them Friday.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | May 7, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely, the Caps have nothing to blame but themselves. Pens outplayed them.

Had the Caps been tight and been able to convert after the Pens were thrown by Ovi's early goal, it might have been a totally different result. But they took control.

We can complain about the reffing, but it certainly did not make the game -- the Pens and Caps play did. They played a great game when they absolutely had to. A few different bounces and we mighta won, but we would have been very lucky to have done so.

Posted by: Sonyask | May 7, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

@hondo21: You don't view Talbot crashing the net and clipping Varlamov, along with Malkin (who played like a beast I might add) landing on top of him, all while the puck was not in the crease as goaltender interference? The other blatantly missed call was the Orpik check on Morrison right next to our goal in the 2nd (VS even used it as a parting shot for a commercial) when Morrison was going for a loose puck and Orpik's check (interference) allowed another Pen to maintain control in the zone and lead to two shots? I'm not going to say that some of the Caps penalties weren't earned, but the series now stands at 17 PPs for your boys and 9 for ours.

BTW, Cooke's rant is unwarranted. If you watch the replay he went shoulder to shoulder with Semin to the middle of the face-off circle just in case there was a loose puck. He realized the puck went back to Green and tried to get back to where he should have gone in the first place and tried to go through Semin to get there. Cooke read the play wrong and when he couldn't get there, because he's a weak skater, he resorted to whining.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 7, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

AMHV[etc] -- not a chance

Posted by: Sonyask | May 7, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Man, I don't want to see Theo. I like the guy, but I'm nervous with him in net. Varly is our first goalie in a LONG time that I feel calm and confident with. Hrm, I just described him like a deodorant! :-o

Posted by: CapsKH | May 7, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

They were quicker than us last night and we took at least 4 silly penalties (2 retaliation and 2 delay of game). In spite of the lopsided play we still nearly won it.

I smell fear from Pittsburgh.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 7, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I agree with everyone, we got outplayed, out hustled, and we played incredibly sloppy tonight. However, you know I got to be honest with you that most people are letting the refs get away with such a blatantly bias game. In this series penalty's have been missed on both teams but lets face it in games 1 and 2 pitt got more calls than washington did. Game 3 was a joke just like Ovie stated. 7 Penalty's to 2? 6 Straight Penalty's on the Caps? Seriously, come on! Both slashing calls on us were a joke in fact the slash that was called to give Pitt the PP and led to Malkin's goal was humorous at best. Malkin tackled Varly and they call a slash away from the puck?

I don't think of ever been so frustrated by the refs as I ever was last night. I counted at least 4 penalty's missed on Pitt last night. My point is this. If it's a penalty on us, it's a penalty on them. Last night I saw the biggest double standard. Things we did were penalty's and when pitt did the same exact thing it wasn't a penalty. If your going to let them play, let them play, if your going to "knit-pick" than do it for both teams not just 1. Lastly, Pitt cried about how the caps have been setting illegal screens all series to get people open after game 2. Did you see how quickly in the 1st period the refs called an interference on Nylander for his "illegal screen." Did anyone watch it? First off that wasn't a penalty and how many "illegal" screens last night did you watch Pitt set? BB post game comments summed up exactly how I felt and he did it in a way they really can't fine him. Smart move BB, but frankly I would have liked to hear you say exactly how you felt and started a collection to pay off the fine for you. What a joke the refs are! (My rant is over).

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | May 7, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

The Pens expended a load of energy last night and they outplayed the Caps for 80% of the game. We now see what Malkin is capable of doing but they still have to come back on Friday and do it again. I don't think they Caps played poorly as much as the Pens leaving it all on the ice. And, it still went to OT.

I like our chances on Friday a lot more than I did going into last night.

Posted by: saintex | May 7, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

@DCSportsFan28

I totally agree with everything you said, exactly what I thought as well.

The players are going to start getting hurt if the refs don't call the game fairly. Caps has sticks all over them, and someone's going to take it too far again and injure a player. If they keep "missing" those calls, it's going to get bad out there. And what kind of standard is that to set in the NHL?

Posted by: CapsKH | May 7, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

The silver lining: The pens played their best game of the series, the officiating was - shall we say - generous, and it still took them overtime to beat us.

Friday is a new day and the Caps can still come home 3 - 1.

Posted by: ds_kelly | May 7, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

i am not a mike green hater at all, but again i think he is playing like one of his shoulders are injured. he is passing on shot opportunities and not fighting for the puck in the corners if it appears someone is going to hit him.

that slashing call on him was a joke

Posted by: _stevo | May 7, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Unbridled Optimism will still be my MO.
Pens had one good game because the Caps had one bad one. Varlamov was awesome, we have 3 injured blueliners, the boys weren't interested in being too physical last night, and they lost the battles, didn't generate traffic and didn't drive the net. Same old story, huh? They made Malkin look great. How, you ask? By poking at the puck while he had his head down. You hit him when he has his head down, he'll cough up the puck. If you just poke at it, he's going to skate around you, or 4 of you, as we saw. He skates with his head down so remove it from his shoulders.

You can't blame one guy for that loss, thats for sure, but Nylander's inclusion to the lineup depleted the caps rather than fortifying them. fact.

Flash is ineffective. You need someone strong enough to win battles. He got pinched against the boards all night. Again, the tallest team, not the biggest. Certainly not the strongest.

Juice: Had to make up for three injured blueliners. Great hit on Crosby.

Varlamov: You're our hero.

Posted by: oo7 | May 7, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Everything works together folks. The Caps completely controlled the game for the first 15 minutes or so, VS crew claimed 10. They are completely wrong because I remember looking at the game clock with just over 5 minutes left and wondering if the Pens had packed it in. Then, after more pressure, Malkin took off on a break and was stopped. Then the penalty calls started. Penalties overlapped the 1st into the 2nd and the 2nd into the 3rd. I believe the total PK time in the 2nd was 4:37. You have to keep in mind though, being on the PK for 1/4 of a period does not only affect the time you're short. BB has PK forwards and those pairs are not the same as their regular lines so it takes time to settle back with rested players. When you have penalty calls spaced out say every 4 minutes, you never get a chance to get your regular lines rolling.

The 3rd was a little more even because the OV/Semin/Backs line had pressure every time they were out there. Not sure why Nylander is being bashed, he didn't play much, and when he did, he did his job and got the puck out of the zone. Flash, our boy Flash, proved again to be the weak link. He lost EVERY battle along the boards. His lost battle directly lead to the 2 on 1 that the Pens buried for the 1st goal. Still not sure what BB sees in Flash.

Did the Caps play great...NO. Did they play kind of handcuffed due to weak penalty calls...IMO, absolutely. They need to re-group and take tomorrow's game. I don't care about all the 1992 and 1996 blah blah blah. That's a different era, and these are different teams.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 7, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

_stevo, I've been saying green's injured for 3 weeks. Trust me, its his right side, arm, shoulder, wrist, whichever. He's injured.

Posted by: oo7 | May 7, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I think Green is hurting, too. I wish he would just admit it so we can get Alzner in and get the D better. Green isn't doing any good by playing right now...quite the opposite. I love the guy, but help out the team!

Posted by: CapsKH | May 7, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I must say that Mellon on TV hurts my eyes..

Do they even turn down the lights during play like we do?

The crowd was glowing...it was awful to watch.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 7, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

DCSportsFan28, dont forget crosschecking Jurcina in the back into the goal then calling Jurcina for delay of game when the goal came off. He's 240 pounds and 6'4". The goal is going to move. Why not call the shot from behind?

And the crosscheck on Ovie when Backstrom scored. more bs. The refs did give Pitt every chance possible, but the Caps didn't do enough to draw their own.

Posted by: oo7 | May 7, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Malkins mother is about as attractive as Bruce Boudreau...

Posted by: SA-Town | May 7, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

AWww, come on...I think BB is adorable!! He looks just like my dad! :)

Say what you want about Malkin's mom...cuz well...yeah...but don't insult BB! :P

Posted by: CapsKH | May 7, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

"If you are going to be physical you have to expect to get physical back." Kobe Bryant

We weren't responding last night to getting hammered.
Looks like we were pacing ourselves.

Better respond Friday.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 7, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Man, it took the Pens 30 minutes to score. Half a game. Both first goals were flukes - Ovi pouncing on the misplay and Ruslan getting the puck right back on his stick during a well defended two-on-one break. If the Pens dominated and it took them 30 minutes for the first goal and 55 minutes for first actual goal - the Caps taking 58 minutes to score - I'll take that every game on the road. We'll get ours.

Posted by: saintex | May 7, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

To all the ref bashers, I hear you, but the fact is you had to know going into that game the Caps weren't getting away with anything. I bet if we were down 0-2, we would've gotten all the calls. That's just the way it is. It ain't right, but facts are facts. The bottom line is, we had to really earn this win in order to get and just didn't do it.

Still though, we're in ok shape as long as we get at least a split in the back-to-back. I still think we're the better team. When we're right, nobody stops us

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 7, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

BTW, this is the first team in ages that's made me want to say "we" instead of "they". I know, that's an old argument that won't ever be settled, but still, that's what makes being a fan so much fun I guess

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 7, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

One more complaint on a missed penalty call. Immediately after Backstrom scored the tying goal Orpik gave Ovi a vicious two handed cross check on the shoulder blades, it forced Ovi's chin into Gill and Gill grabbed him by the neck and spun him around. Of course Ovi didn't complain, VS said nothing, and the officials let it go. Orpik hits players after the whistle whether we score or not just about every time he's on the ice. Penalties are penalties even after the play if blown dead.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 7, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

fanohock1 |- thats the one i was talking about

Posted by: oo7 | May 7, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Malkins mom.....well, now I understand why he's so fug.

Anyways....brutally one side ref'ing, one sided commentators (except for the man crush they have on Steckel.) And you just know, that depsite winning on a lucky deflection, despite the refs lookign the other way all freaking night, despite everything, that they'll be crying about something else in Pittsburgh today. Because those big mean Capitals are just so nasty. Please, uncle Gary, please do something about them!

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 7, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock

agreed. flash doesn't win any battles along the boards. I know nicky pinhced in which led to the 2-1 for the first goal. BUT flash could have and should have had the puck by winning the battle right before nick pinched in.

AND why in the hell is he on the first PP unit

Posted by: _stevo | May 7, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

It seems throughout the entire playoffs, and even the last month of regular season, the Caps haven't "been playing our game". Whenever they talk about losses it is about playing our game and we can win, but it seems that they just don't anymore. Since Greener got his record he has been a different player. He doesn't rush as he did, doesn't sneak down on the back side as he did, hell he doesn't even shoot anymore on the power play. That may even be a coaches decision since especially the first Ranger game when he pinched in the first period and Kozlov didn't cover and the break away was scored against us and we never recovered. It seems that the whole play has become conservative, defense, save the game and keep-it-close mentality rather than agreesive forecheck and breakout fast and rush the hell up ice. The idea of shooting from the perimeter replaced moving the puck and working down low and going to the net for rebounds or passes; it seems one on four and one on three has replaced the fall and early winter when we played with so many call-ups and still played fast, agressive hockey with everyone rushing and supporting the puck.These are the same d-men we had then and they were enough then even when we didn't have a shut down goalie like Varly has shown he is. NO OFFENSE from the offensive juggernaut that was the team that scared the hell out of the league. Greene led all d-men and since he got his records has been relegated to medicority for whatever reason be it health or coaching. Semin couldn't be more inconsistent and only the third and fourth lines AS A LINE can say they have played well. The first two lines have been sporadic except for Ovie and he just can't carry the team to a cup, maybe to get into the playoffs but not TO THE CUP ITSELF.If the team doesn't recover the attitude and the character it had back in November, December and January, even into February, they will not be playing at the end of May and certainly not into June.

Posted by: CapCenter105 | May 7, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Remember now everyone, for the last 3 1/2 weeks the only teams left earned at least 90 points this year. No matter who anyone plays for here on out, if a mistake is made, it probably means a puck in the net. We don't have any confidence games against .500 teams anymore.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 7, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Too busy today to be active, so I'll be short. We sucked. We deserved to lose. That said, I would rather us play like crap and lose then play well and lose. Take the day off, recover adn be ready Friday.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | May 7, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Overall I like the way Juice is playing. He's definitely stepped up his game from the regular season. I didn't see the cross-check that made him move the goal off of its mooring. It looked to me like he could have avoided that, maybe that was why it was called.

I think this team has resilience and grit but I am getting concerned about injuries.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 7, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and let's leave Mrs. Malkin alone. She was a proud mama when he scored. One thing I think we can agree on is that Malkin is a hard working player. When he was in his "slump" he was not complaining about anything. Yesterday, he showed why he is a Hart and Pearson candidate. Crosby on the other hand constantly talks to the officials when he's on the ice. I knows he's the Captain but does he really have to lodge a complaint every time he's on the ice? Hey did everyone enjoy watching Crosby lower his head and drive the net hard as Ovi was called for the cross check. Crosby made sure he made it look like a train wreck to draw the penalty. By the way Crosby that license number of the truck that hit you was 23.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 7, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Time to bring up Giroux or Aucion for the next game. Nylander needs to sit. Roll the four lines and keep everyone fresh. Use the assets in the Minors when you have them.

Posted by: samb99 | May 7, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

peeps, let it rest with all the chatter about bad calls. sounds like putzburgh fans. end of the day: Pens played like it was game 7, Caps didn't.

Posted by: doughless | May 7, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

haha, the playoffs bring such silly posts. of course ovie is a better athlete than lebron. if you look at the minutes basketball players can play in a game and the complete lack of defense, it is no challenge compared to hockey. ovie shines in the more difficult of the two sports. it's a silly post that's not worth making.

Posted by: am_jim | May 7, 2009 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Two observations: 1. If you think that there is a "complete lack of defense" in the NBA, it's obvious that you don't watch much hoop, especially at this time of year. 2. Hockey is more physically taxing than BBall, but that doesn't automatically make Ovie the better athlete. The speed, leaping ability and agility that LeBron exhibits, at his size (approx. 6-9 and 260 lbs.) is staggering. Plus, the guy is strong as an ox. I don't know who the better athlete is, but I wouldn't just assume that it's Ovechkin. And this from a die-hard Caps fan who loves Ovie and dislikes "King James!"

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

I thought they just looked disorganized most of the time. Like they were confused about how to move the puck out of their zone. Plus they wasted too many chances to just get the puck out of the zone when the Pens were pressuring and instead either made bad passes or tried to carry it and gave it up. Good game by the Penguins, amazing game by Varlamov (didn't really have a chance on any of the goals - two lucky bounces and a great screen on the 2nd), and just an all-around poor game by Washington. I'd rather see Aucoin in there than Nylander.

Posted by: Stu_c | May 7, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

It's disappointing to watch a game when the Caps don't play to their potential but it's even harder when the broadcasters on VS make it worse.

Mike Emrick and his color guy were terrible. Couldn't get the players name correct. On occasion, he called Fleishman Bradley, called Poti Jurcina. Said Nylander hadn't been on the ice and he noticed he was moved up to the 1st line in the 3rd Period when in fact he was on the 4th Line. Was insistent that Federov hurt his wrist when it was clear he caught the butt end of Orpik's stick in the ribs. "Numerous" other mistakes were made as well. He's well past his prime. It reminded me on listening to the Rangers broadcast when I was a kid and hearing Bill "The Big Whistle" Chadwick mumbling and bumbling near the end of his career.

VS would do good by giving Mike the heave ho and sign someone like Gary Thorne to take his place.

Maybe Joe B. wasn't giving the call since he's our guy. With it being a national broadcast, I know he would not have been a homer for us. He's very professional.

Posted by: puckman | May 7, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

fanohock1,

Not only is Malkin hard working, he is skilled. We need to go through the puck and onto him to stop/slow him down. To do this without taking penalties we need to go towards him not skate backwards from him (or stand still). At times last night I was reminded of the Monty Python sketch of the soccer match between the Watford surgeons and the Long John Silver impersonators.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 7, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know why the Ticket Exchange isn't active yet for Game 5?

Posted by: rebecca17 | May 7, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I agree. Nuff said about the bad calls. Also, a great observation that it's better to play bad and lose than to lose after playing good. We played bad. They played good. We lost, but just barely and it coulda gone the other way.

Posted by: Sonyask | May 7, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

It's really funny to read post from Capitals fans..Even you fans who admit the Pens outplayed them, STILL throw in that the NHL, the refs, and Canada want the Pens to win the series..Did you watch the game last night? Your goalie kept you in a game that you were throughly outplayed in from 10 minutes into the first period and on. Maybe they didn't show "big hits" by the Caps, because there really were only 1 or 2 the whole game. Also, Ken Hitchcock called Crosby a whiner and diver 4 years ago! Somehow this has stuck and now the popular thing to do is call him a cry baby...Meanwhile AO runs around the ice like an idiot..leaves his feet to hit (illegal). Hit Hal Gill in the in the chest with an elbow after he took 4 strides (illegal) to try and put a massive hit on him (he failed). Then after the game he calls the refs a joke, because they only called 2 penalties on the Pens..The Pens controlled the whole game and had the puck for 75% of the game...Pretty hard to call a penalty for your team when you don't have the puck..But, don't worry..you got a VERY lucky call with 3 minutes left didn't you? The Pens complained about the Caps setting picks. The two penalties called on the Pens were for interference..So, it looks like the "complaining" actually backfired on the Pens and helped the Caps last night. If you think AO's 2nd goal in game 2 was legit watch the tape. Matt Cooke is interfered with so bad and obvious RIGHT in front of the ref, which is why AO was WIDE OPEN! I'm not going to sit here and say the Caps suck, because they don't at all, but don't sit there and say the Pens don't deserve to win etc and that they cry and the only reason they won is because the NHL wanted them to win. Ridiculous...You were outplayed. You lost. Crosby, AO, and Malkin are the 3 best players in the game..I don't know in what order and who cares. On any given night any one of them could be the best player in the world. If you like flashiness and excellent goal scoring then it's AO. If you like a guy whose more quiet, but plays the game 110% EVERY shift and is constantly making plays, then it's Crosby..If you like a little of both, then it's Malkin...The difference is Malkin disappears at times. AO and Crosby don't.

Posted by: Guirk | May 7, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Im not going to worry about the calls either...maybe a call or two would of helped us get some tilt back out way but....Many have mentioned that our passing, calmness with the puck just wasnt there.

I would like to see more dump and chase though when we look a bit timid with the puck...I think teams like to chase on us and forecheck, and we need to return the favor a little more...

Posted by: SA-Town | May 7, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@Guirk

No one can hear you...We have a game 1 win plugging one ear, and a game 2 win plugging the other.

I think everyone thinks the Pens played better...We can prove points at reason why the refs made it harder for us...

You worried about a total domination by the Pens going to OT? I would be.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 7, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

VS would do good by giving Mike the heave ho and sign someone like Gary Thorne to take his place.

Maybe Joe B. wasn't giving the call since he's our guy. With it being a national broadcast, I know he would not have been a homer for us. He's very professional.

I believe Gary Thorne is under contract with MASN, with the occassional loan-out to ESPN for Frozen Four. I do know that Thorne was calling the Os game last night. I can't imagine MASN would want Thorne doing a game that was competing against the Os for ratings.

My guess is Vs. didn't want Joe B calling it for fear that he's be a Caps homer, but anyone with half a brain knows that Joe B. (despite his sublime ability to occassionally carry on with Locker on things that have nothing to do with hockey) is one of the best play-by-play guys that Vs. has and doesn't pick sides.

Or maybe Vs. contract with the NHL stipulates that only Penguins homers can call Penguins games?

A friend of mine heard Joe B on the radio yesterday and when asked why he wasn't calling the game, he sounded a little bitter. I didn't hear the interview, but just thought I'd pass that observation along.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 7, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Guirk:

I find your post both ironic (given your opening few lines) and irritating. You confirm Caps/NHL fans opinion of Putzburgh.

thanx for playing!

Posted by: doughless | May 7, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Guirk: The crosscheck to the back of Ovechkin after the tying goal by your borderline good Orpik and Talbot and Malkin crashing the net when the puck wasn't in the crease are just two examples of missed calls. Whenever there is a regulation game with a 6-2 disparity in penalties the team with 6 PPs is going to have a distinct advantage even outside of the PK minutes. Until the penalty calls started the Pens were spectators.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 7, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@Guirk

I'm one who admits we got outplayed last night but not one who whines about calls, NHL conspiracies, racism etc. Some of those people are out in left field IMHO. I'm sure there are people like that on the Pens blog too. It's a free country, they can voice their opinions.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 7, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Caps played poorly yet it still took OT for the PENS to win, hopefully this is a wake up call so when they play well they will win. I am not concerned yet (will be if they lose Friday). PENS played very well and Geno seemed to get out of his slump. Officiating was suspect, but in the end the CAPS did not play there A game and lost. CAn someoen write a piece on how Semin and Green have disappeared just like they wre when Malkin was missing? Maybe that will spark them....

GO Caps.

Posted by: CelticFCbhoys | May 7, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Also Guirk: Since when is Crosby a "quiet" player. He talks to the officials the entire time he is on the ice. That is why he has been labled a whiner, not because Hitchcock called him one 4 years ago. As a non-Pens fan I look at your team and know that Malkin is your best player, not sure why your fans and the league don't realize that. That's works out good for Ovechkin though because the NHL would not dare award Malkin with the league MVP because that would mean Crosby's not even the MVP for his team let alone the NHL.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 7, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

NO...please don't take Giroux or Aucoin now - we still need them. You already have Sloan and Alzner (and Alzner's not even playing). BTW - Bears 2 goals last night - Giroux scored one and assisted on the other. Seriously, when are the Caps going to give this guy a legitimate chance? He scored 60 in the regular season and now has four in seven playoff games. If he's not in a Caps uniform next year - he'll be scoring goals against us for someone else.

Posted by: hersheybearfan | May 7, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Emrick got the call because he's been around a long time and obviously wanted the caps series, so he got what he wanted. It can't be about homerism, just look at Eddie O and Jones. Joe B was odd man out. That said, I can't stand Doc. He gets on my nerves with that whiny voice and shrill over embellishment. He makes locker sound like Pavarrotti.

Posted by: oo7 | May 7, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm still miffed about the Caps D on the PK. Why can't they get the puck PAST the blue line? The penalties were called, right or wrong I don't care. The PK has GOT to get the puck out of the zone.

I saw very sloppy play by the Caps. The Caps lost this game. Not the refs, and the Pens didn't win it, either.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 7, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Caps PK did alright last night by killing five of six. The Pens are a dang good offensive team and if we kill 5 of 6, I'll take it.

Posted by: saintex | May 7, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I can't stand Doc. He gets on my nerves with that whiny voice and shrill over embellishment. He makes locker sound like Pavarrotti.

awesome, and thenk you for providing a smile on an otherwise dreary day!

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 7, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

They killed 6 of 7. Pothier had a delay of game penalty called in OT. They killed that one too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 7, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@GregS: I thought our PK was pretty good last night (as I think it's been all series...). We only let in 1 goal on 7 penalties on how many PP shots? The fact that they were 1/7 and we were 1/2 should tell you where our special teams were last night.

Posted by: CheckingLine | May 7, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

How do you change your userID?

Posted by: AMHV2772 | May 7, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Nobody on here is complaining just like Sidney wasnt complaining to the refs about the hat throwing. Complaining, as we know it, ceased to exist after game 2.

Posted by: makplan20002 | May 7, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The Pen's PP is absolutely awful, doubly so when you consider that they have Crosby, Malkin, and Gonchar out there. Stecks and the rest of the PKers are good, and have gotten progressively better through the season, but jesus, the Penguins are baaaaaaaaaaaaaad. If the Caps get 7 power plays, they're going to net 2, if not 3, goals. The Penguins are getting the game handed to them on a silver platter and they can only muster 1 goal? and a minimal number of shots? That's just ridiculously bad with the offensive talent they have.

That, or David Steckel really is a PK god.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 7, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I dont know if someone brought this up already but was it just me or did Pitt have there sticks all over our players last night, and then we pick up 2 ticky tack slashing penalties?

I hate to play the cliche conspiracy theorist but lets all be honest the league makes out on this if it goes as long as possible. I cant help but think the refs had there marching orders last night.

Yes we were outplayed but 2 pp's? Its like they dont want to give us those PP's because they know how lethal we are on them.

The calls last night were in short a joke.

and please no more versus coverage... I really dont like getting Pro Pittsburgh coverage being shoved down my throat for 60 min. of play.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | May 7, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Our D was mostly reacting last night. They helped Varly out on a couple of occasions. I agree that the PK was good and that the extended time on PK was detrimental to overall performance.

In the words of the old cliche: the best defense is a good offense. Flash has to get better at winning the board battles. Semin needs to step it up too, I've seen him be Malkin-like in the regular season. We need that next game.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 7, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Its a great thing I live in Pittsburgh. Because the refs love my city. We always get the calls. In the NHL, in the NFL, if we ever start winning in MBL it will most likely be because of the refs also. I can't believe how many crybabies there are out there that think everything is a conspiracy. Your team lost, they got outplayed, if it wasn't for you goalie, yo uwould have got smoked. I'm sure you can mention situation were maybe there should have been a penalty on the penguins, I can do the same for the caps. But I won't and I don't. Because I come from the steel city, home of the champions, thats right home of the champs. It was once named that and we never lost that feeling. We don't cry in Pittsburgh. But it seems as though every other city is filled whining little girls. Maybe, just maybe one day you all will wake up and be men. Until then, get ready to cry some more because your caps will not win this series. Yeh,..and I know it will be all because of the refs. Thats why I love to live in pittsburgh, the refs and league want us to win.
Champ Martinez

Posted by: mmtinez007 | May 7, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@mmtinez007

Crybabies? your kidding right? Hello Pot/kettle... Your star player is Mr. crybaby himself and you accuse us?

move along...

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | May 7, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Hey Champ! I love Pittsburgh too. I don't think it's a city of whiners in the least, but ya gotta hand it to your Captain Sidney ("but ref, there are too many hats! Tell em to stop!") Crosby. They guy's a classic.

You have to agree that the boards in both cities (if not all) are always full of missed/weak calls commentary by a significant minority of hometown fans. That's what folks do. Show me a page of Pensblog where you don't find anything like that, eh?

Posted by: Sonyask | May 7, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@Chump

1)Go to PensBlog.
2)Look at the comments after Game 2.
3)Locate box of tissues
4)Offer fellow chumps something to wipe tears with, only after ensuring you've wiped your own.
5)Brace for impact, Game 4 will be embarrassing for you.

Posted by: CheckingLine | May 7, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

And, Champ, your team played great last night. Looking forward to the next one.

Posted by: Sonyask | May 7, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Refs will be refs. Move on, win the next one. Seeing what I have so far, I can't say either team "deserves" to win this series. One of these teams needs to step it up, and game 4 will be crucial for momentum. I'll take home ice at the Phonebooth any day so winning one on the road would just be a bonus.

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 7, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Steckel has been huge in the postseason. The guy kills penalties, he's been scoring, he's lighing up the face-off circle.

Posted by: saintex | May 7, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Steckel is signed for next season, but man, do I want GMGM to sign this guy to a nice long contract! He might be the very best face off guy in the whole NHL, and he's a beautiful skater to boot.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 7, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

anyone, by chance, have extra Game 5 tickets they'd like to sell to a caps fan? :)

Posted by: honed | May 7, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know when ticket exchange starts for game 5? My son has convinced me to drive up for the game.

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | May 7, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Malkin just seriously needs to get leveled (legally of course) at the blue-line a few times tomorrow night.

Last night's game didn't have the vicious rivalry sense that the first two games had. Hope to see more agressiveness and fore-cheking on Friday night. Can't afford to fall flat Friday, otherwise it will be a tall order to get it back for the next night.

Posted by: alutz08 | May 7, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Yeh, I say the same thing to cry baby pens fans, but I don't think I see it as much on our sites, maybe I'm wrong. Look, its been a great series so far and I'm looking forward to the games to come. I really think either team can win this. Just hope and think my Pens will get the job done. By the way Sidney has not cried about much of anything in four years, I really have no idea what fans are talking about when the say that. Or some say he dives, I never seen that happen once, maybe once. I Just saw Ovechkin dive the other nite when he acted like he got hit in the face and fell to the ice. No one touched him in the face. Good luck next year, this year is just not yours.

Champ Martinez

Posted by: mmtinez007 | May 7, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

CheckingLine

I disagree. Positionally, they were...OK. Varly is not a human. He's the reason the Pens only got 1 goal.

The Caps D were incapable of getting the puck across the blue line to releave the pressure and get line changes.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 7, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Hey mmtinez007,
Go back to Northern West Virginia!

Posted by: 555Mass | May 7, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Varly was the only reason this game was close at all. Was there a discrepancy with the number of penalties called? Sure, but part of that was because Pittsburgh was outplaying the Caps. The fact is, after the first 10-12 mins of the game, the Caps were on their heels for the rest of the night. Really, I think the caps went for a 40 minute stretch without generating any sustained offense or quality scoring chances. I thought the PK was pretty good last night. However, during even strength play, the Pens were outhustling the Caps and winning the battles. Repeatedly, the Caps were unable to clear the defensive zone, be it because they were being beat to the puck, or making sloppy passes or weak clearing attempts. The sloppy passing killed them in the neutral zone as well. How many giveaways did the Caps have last night? With all the bad passing, the Caps weren't able to establish the odd-man rushes we are used to seeing, or really able to establish the forecheck in the offensive zone. My last observation is the Caps missed an opportunity early. After that fluky goal, Fleury was rattled and not playing well. If Backstrom gets that wrap-arround attempt in the net, the floodgates may have opened. The Caps didn't do much with their first power play chance, and Pittsburgh was able to play their way through the early jitters.

Posted by: cainoo7x | May 7, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

chump, the players overwhelmingly voted him to be the biggest shiner in the league. But you wouldn't know that because you just started watching last year when they went to the cup. You don't know why everyone says that, huh? All of Canada and the US does. aguess you're out of the loop.

By the way, your team is down 2-1.

Posted by: oo7 | May 7, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Just wondering -- did Sidney Crosby think it was okay for Penguins fans to cheer when the Pens got a goal, or did he ask the referees to make an announcement asking them to stop?

Posted by: raymitten | May 7, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

need a Fedorov update. He looked to be in serious pain after that hit, but then skated fairly well in the 3rd. Makes you wonder what sort of shot he got in the locker room....

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 7, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

GregS,

I'm not saying our D has been great, and that we execute perfectly every time, but the ultimate measure of the PK's effectiveness is PP goals against--and we've been pretty good the last 3 games on that. Unfortunately, we've been in the box a LOT, and it costs us at the end of the game when we're at full strength.

Posted by: CheckingLine | May 7, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

anyone have the stats handy? I'd love to knwo what the caps PK % is in the playoffs :) and where they rank against the other teams.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 7, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Wow! The public schools in Pittsburgh must be as bad as the ones in Philly. Come on Gov. Rendell get these people educated!

Crosby never whines??? Now THAT is funny!! I used to give him the benefit of the doubt but after he actually complained to the ref about people throwing hat on the ice, I lost all respect for the "man". He needs to shut up, play hockey and stop trying to turn the NHL into a soap opera. “Have Cindy’s feelings been hurt by falling hats? Will Cindy and Geno ever tie the knot? Is Cindy having Gary’s baby? These questions and more will be answered next time on As the stomach turns…”

Posted by: BearsWoooo | May 7, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Redbirdie- The Caps PK% is 85.4 in the playoffs, putting us a 6th of 16. I'm not sure if that number includes last night's game or not. The stat I'd like to see is for this series alone. We've taken a lot of penalties, and haven't let in a lot of goals because of it.

Posted by: CheckingLine | May 7, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

hondo21 is exactly right, and even generous at that. We absolutely deserved to lose and Pens deserved to win. Our leaders--Boudreau and Ovechkin--said exactly that. I will go even further to say that if we had won, in spite of our undisciplined, lazy and individualistic play, we would have gotten even more complacent. If our team has what it takes, yesterday's game will serve as a correction and the Caps will rise to the level they should be playing at.

It is ridiculous to focus on the refs. Even given that, say, half the penalties were unfair we still played defensively and passively with tons of turnovers and breakdowns. We did not capitalize on the first goal and many other opportunities to establish dominance. We, alone, gave over the control to the Pens. Anyone who whines should never call them whiny. Thankfully the players took full responsibility for their loss. Will they deliver tomorrow? I guess we'll have to wait and see. I an disappointed.

Posted by: caraveli | May 7, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

BearsWoooo
"As the Stomach turns." Thank you! I needed a good laugh.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 7, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Caps playoff PK is 85.4% which is fourth amongst teams still playing. Here are the leaders (still playing):

Boston 92.3 (1 PP goal against)
Carolina 91.7 (3)
Vancouver 90 (3)
Capitals 85.4 (6)
Pittsburgh 82 (6)
Chicago 80.6 (6)
Anaheim 79 (8)
Detroit 70.8 (6)

Posted by: saintex | May 7, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

For this series:

Washington PK 84.2% (3 goals allowed over 19 penalties)

Pittsburgh PK 72.7% (3 goals allowed over 11 penalties)

Posted by: saintex | May 7, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

So, the Pens appeared to have out-worked us a bit in their own building...fans kept them pumped, refs handed them a few opportunities (a few were good calls), they were desperate, and have some talent. Still, it took them to OT to come away with a win. Fluky bounces played a part in this game, but we can't keep relying on Varly to keep us in it. Still, we can't feel too bad for our Caps. 2-1 advantage and with a win tomorrow they'll be coming home in good shape. Have faith! Coach B will figure a way to ramp things up.

Posted by: gonchpup | May 7, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

What did we know coming into the year. 1) Goal would be an issue and 2) the D was still green. Varly has helped solve the tending situation (he's no Jim Carey) but the D is still suspect. Good players, but the youth like Alzner is needed. Also the third and fourth lines have been messy. Yes Stecks line has been good, but really not great.

Anything that happens this year is gravy, but personally I always thought one more year away thanks to D and Goal.

Posted by: flee001 | May 7, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Guys leave Chump alone the crap hole city of Pittsburg helps make steel for buildings in cities that actually matter. In terms of crying, I laugh at Pittsburg fans because they cry the most and their "star" is the captain of whining. In regards to Pittsburg fans I went to game 1 of this series and every "fruit" in their powder blue Crosby jersey looked like they were about to cry. In fact, I remember 1 kid in a powder blue crosby jersey in particular act like he was going to fight a caps fan. The Crosby jersey kid (probably about 21 years old) was about 5'6" 140 pounds and he made me laugh. The funniest thing about it was the one kid he picked out to act like he was going to fight looked about 17 and was about 5'4" 120 pounds. That behavior sums up Pittsburg folks the best. Oh, and btw the best part of this blog is Pens fans feel the need to come on to Capitals blogs to say stuff. They really have nothing better to do, go to your Pen's blogs my man because the Caps will WIN this series. When they do your whole town will be devistated. WHAAAA!

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | May 7, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Crosby talks to the refs after plays just like alot of other captains on every other team. Thats what the captains are suppose to do, talk to the refs,see what the call is, make sure his players are in line with how the refs are calling the games. Everytime I watch a hockey game penguins or any other team I see players talking to the refs, yapping at them, whatever you want to call it. Is he crying??? How do you know what he is saying. I know why they call him cry baby. Its because he's a beast and there jealous and mad that the league named him the face of the league. Actually, I started watching hockey when Lemieux came to Pittsburgh in what 84-85. And I played ice hockey for seven years. My team in highschool went to the state championship game in Philadelphia, (yeh we lost 5-4). Point is, you are probably the newcomer that probably just started watching hockey. I just have an open mind, I don't follow what everyone else says, and take it as truth. I don't beotch about other teams and players because my teams not winning, I criticize my own team. So..guess again. Have fun losing.

Champ Martinez

Posted by: mmtinez007 | May 7, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The Caps could've used a kick in the pants (was Morrison asleep?) when it comes to turnovers and defensive-zone puck possession, but the story has GOT to be the penalty calls.

There are the no-brainers, like Pothier's DoG, but Jurcina getting called for knocking the net off intentionally? When does that ever get called? And in a playoff game? Varly for slashing after he's been crosschecked (game 2) and run over (30 seconds before his "slash")?

I'm sorry, but while the Caps are a penalty-prone team, there is NEVER a 6 to 1 disparity in penalty calls in a playoff game. It just seemed like the game was handed to the Pens on a penalty-gilded platter...and they still needed OT to take it.

Posted by: miden6 | May 7, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

If Crosby whines its just as much as Ovechkin, if not less. Just like after the game last night. Ovechkin was whining about the refs although he said he didn't wan't to talk about them. You will never hear crosby talking about refs (key words) after the game, never, making excuses. On the ice you don't know what he's saying. Ovechkin was whining last night and he (talks) I will call it, to the refs all the time. Thats not whining. But if you want to call it that, OE does the same thing on the ice. So its whatever. I'm not goin talk about your city because its in my country, and I like my country, icluding D.C. and the surrounding area. I just don't think you guys have what it takes. Don't the Penguins have a history of beating the Capitols in the playoffs, and coming back from being down 0-2. I thought so. Its nice to be from the burg.

Champ Martinez

Posted by: mmtinez007 | May 7, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@guirk: I think Ovi is usually first and Malkin second and Crosby a distant third or fourth. Still makes Crosby a puss-filled hemmorhoid that needs tending and you an one-sided ignoramus. Caps in 5, tool.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 7, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@Chump: Did you see the video of Crosby doing that reach under with that one player and grabbed the guy's nuts? I mean, "punched" the guy's nuts? Yeah, that video! Oh, and that one video of Crosby in a face off where the pulled the guy's sweater over his head and flailed his arms on the guy like a girl at a purse sale at Bloomingdales? Yeah, that one. Oh, and the first two games of this series? Did you see those games? The two at the Verizon Center? Yeah! Those! The ones we won?!!! Yeah, I thought so. Shut your pie hole then. Tool.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 7, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@Chump: The recess bell rang already. Go back to your 4th period gym class. You seriously can't tell me the majority of the NHL is wrong when they voted Crosby the player who whines the most? But I guess they must be, according to you. Crosby is a tool and for you to defend him is ridiculous.

Btw, how does asking that officials make an announcement for the home team's fans to stop throwing hats on the ice in celebration of a hat trick, in the interest of his team?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 7, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I want a repeat performance of the hit (legal) that Jurcina put on Crosby. I just want to see the look of shock and disbelief on Sidney's face again. And again. And again.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 7, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The Caps better play a solid road game on Friday and not allow Varmy to have to make 25+ saves. They should be ashamed of how they played in front of him in game 3. We know we have the goaltending, this is on the team in front of him now. Where is Semin? Step it up in game 4 or it is going to be a tough road.

Posted by: diner99 | May 7, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't care who whines the most really. That talk is for chumps, haters, wannabees, and losers. I care who wins the most. And that surely is not your Washington Capitols. The Pens are going to send you guys home with your tails between your legs just like we have in every other series we played the Caps in the past. I love the name calling over the blogs, classic. Im a tool right??? lol. The tool you can only dream to be like. The tool that you looked up to your whole life for guidance and answers. The tool you said uncle to. The tool that was the Captain of your team and the superstar of your dream. You can't be me or see me, you can't even come close to me, don't study me, it comes naturally. I'm like the ray of light, the twinkle in your eye, the hope the glory I'm on a natural high. Quit it, get off me, you can't bring me down, I'm in another world there is no ground. Cya Capitol Crybabies.

Your Hero
Champ Martinez

Posted by: mmtinez007 | May 7, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

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