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Morning Reading List: Toronto Recap

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Chris Young--The Associated Press

Unfortunately for the Capitals, Curtis Joseph became the star of last night's overtime game with its outcome on the line as he entered with less than a minute remaining in regulation. Joseph stopped a flurry of Washington shots in overtime and then thwarted Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Alex Ovechkin in the shootout to seal the 3-2 win.

Check out other points of view with the Washington Times recap along with the Maple Leafs perspectives from the Toronto Star and the National Post.

Here are the highlights from last night's game.


For those who missed it last night, Tarik reported that Ovechkin donned some Hockey Night in Canada attire for the players' pregame soccer kickaround (now updated with photos).

Steve Kolbe's Take 5 this week features Tomas Fleischmann.

Given all the recent comparisons between Ovechkin's celebration and the ones Tiger Williams used to do, Damien Cox asked the former Maple Leaf what he thought.

The Hockey News continues the discussion of the "Boudreau effect."

In the System
Alex Giroux is three goals away from tying the Hershey record for goals in a single season, 53, set by Tony Cassolato in 1982-83.

Don't forget Bear Tracks to help get ready for the Bears game against the Toronto Marlies tonight.

Getting claimed off waivers may have surprised Staffan Kronwall, but his presence on the Hershey blue line may help the Bears more than they originally expected.

By Katie Carrera  |  March 25, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
 
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Next: Three Sent Down to Hershey, Varlamov Back With Caps

Comments

TSN feed last night had Ovechkin on during intermission and he was obviously very reluctant to continue talking about the celebrations anymore when they said his 51st goal celebration was pretty muted (jokingly brought up). He basically said let's talk about anything else... talk about the actual game. They switched subjects quick.

Posted by: rh71 | March 25, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Really? Are we blaming the loss on the flu, as the story headline implies? They've been playing like this since February. I'm sure guys are sick, but that's not why they're losing. Their problems are mental, not physical.

Posted by: FedsFan | March 25, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Actually a flu (plus second round flu) can last that long. Not that I believe that is the problem (I surely hope not).

I blame windj. All those empty promises and now he's gone...

Seriously, our boys need to gear up for the playoffs, mentally, physically (for a series war) and technically too (they seem not very organized as a team lately). Enough chit chat saying "we need to play better". Just. Do. It.

Posted by: mauree | March 25, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Actually Mauree I'm thinking SC1907 is WJS. I havent frequented the blog very long but I've never seen them here at the same time, hmmmm....

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 25, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

I ageee with the above posts. The flu is definitely not what is wrong with how this team is playing.

Also, Has BB not figured out after a season and a half that Ovechkin and Semin aren't exactly your best players to have in a shoot out? I mean I dont know what Semins record is but Ovechkin is 11 for 38. At 29% I think you might at this point in the season when we are going for position try putting a little Kozlov, Federov, maybe Laich, Steckel. Try a new set up for the shoot out cause the one we have now certainly doesn't have any goltenders guessing

Posted by: CapsFan44 | March 25, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Okay, may have already been asked, but why was Kozlov not one of the first three shooters in the shootout? I thought that was his specialty? I have not beef with Nick, but would have liked to see Kozlov, Backstrom, Semin. That way less pressure on Semin if he was really still under the weather.

Please also tell me that the Flash on the second line experiment is over for a while. I know that if we put Laich up there we will essentially only have two scoring lines - but Laich has earned it.

Posted by: Kim-3 | March 25, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Last night's point means we can be confirmed in the Playoffs before we even play again.

Currently the 9th placed team is Florida with 81 points and 35 wins and they play twice before we play on Friday (tonight - Sabres away, tomorrow - Flyers away. Even if they picked up a point in each via two OT/SO losses we are in. This is because even if Florida lost both these games in OT/SO and then won ever other game, they could only get to 97 points and 42 wins - we currently have the same points and more wins.

Even if Florida wins both their next two games, a win on home ice on Friday would get us in. Florida winning out from here only gets them to 99 points and 44 wins. A win for us against Tampa gets us to 99 points and 46 wins.

Not suggesting we can afford to lose all our games and wait for Florida to slip up, just pointing out how quickly we can wrap up a PO spot.

For the Division, if Carolina win out they can get to 101 points and 47 wins so we need 5 more points to clinch.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 25, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

In Toronto during breaks some woman on the PA system seems to be running her mouth annoyingly. What is she on about?

Posted by: Bartolo1 | March 25, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Motivation for Friday's game (other than finally getting a win again) should be that a big win will hopefully end all of the constant discussion of the 50th goal celebration.

Of course if we lose that game, expect to hear about the celebration until the end of the season.

I hope the Caps players are as tired of it as most of us are, and will play with that hunger and determination we saw this time last year.

Posted by: Kim-3 | March 25, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

If Giroux has 53 goals for Hershey. Why do we not make room for him on the roster and bring him up in to maybe set a spark. Send Flash down for a couple games and maybe it will give him a wake up call. Giroux plays very hard and is tougher than Flash anyway. Instead we have bourque. Nothing against the guy. Works hard but he's not able to do much up here.

Also, Our shoot out line up is miserable

Posted by: CapsFan44 | March 25, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Agree on shootout lineup. I don't think it's Ovie's strong suit - would say my usual three are Semin, Flash, and either Green or Feds.

Last night, given Semin's flu (although he didn't miss by much), would have said Flash, Green, and Feds, maybe Brooks.

Posted by: guiliano89 | March 25, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Looks like they're the 'ol Washington Chokers. Another disappointing first-round exit is a mere 30 days away. And right through the trade deadline too...so, GMGM, you still like the bunch of guys we have? I don't.

Posted by: soloman5000 | March 25, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Okay, so some of the guys don't feel well. I can understand how that would affect their game, but some players seem to be floating in a comfort zone and show little drive like they did last season when they pushed for SE division title. Are they afraid of getting hurt before the playoffs start or what? Maybe coach needs to make a "5 more points" shirt or sign to remind these guys that the conference title is within reach. Just because they're already in the playoffs is no reason to hold back. They need some momentum going in. Go Caps!

Posted by: luvdcaps | March 25, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I would think it is only the last few games (maybe the last week) of the season that really set the stage for how you start the playoffs. And then it's a seven game series - so it's still not do or die from game 1. Not that I don't want winds or better efforts, but I think the pessimism is a little overdone.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 25, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

such concern about not playing at the top of their game at this point in the season. rewind to last year when the team was desperate and left it all out there on their way to the playoffs...and then lost in the first round.

it would be great if they rolled through every team scoring 5 goals per game. thats tought to do at the end of a long season with really nothing much to play for. they will pick it up for the playoffs, no doubt. i look for a strong effort down the stretch during this homestand...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 25, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

and when the momentum doesn't pick up there will be a whole different tone in here. I hope they do. But I guess we will see

Posted by: CapsFan44 | March 25, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Line up for the shoot out was not the problem. The real problem continues to be the goal tending and who was behind the net. Jose gave up some really soft goals as well as the first shoot out goal. Unfortunately, I do agree with the comfort zone theory being posted. I noticed that Bourque actually played with a lot of passion and enthusiasm in the limited time that he was on the ice (5 min?). The same goes for the Toronto players or any other lesser teams who seem to rise up to play against the Capitals. They know the standings of the Capitals in previous years before their incredible run last year. They also know how young and inexperienced the Capitals are. To most of the Capital's opponents, they do not fear or respect the Capitals. Nor should they be given due to the fact that the Capitals have not earned a thing yet. So, if the Capitals continue to play the "Take it easy" or "We will turn it on when it matters" approach, then they will be facing a harsh reality in the first round again.

Posted by: JohnWWW | March 25, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Gerber has it in for the Caps doesn't he?
This is what happens when you become the litmus test for other teams. They show up for the challenge, so if you dont come in at 100%, you're leaving with your head hanging. Its not like these guys are trying to NOT win. Its that they aren't winning the battles that lead to rewards.

One big positive is that they found themselves in the crease a lot more. it paid off when it shouldn't have. Gerber was right to be angry. Great job Laich. Keep it up.

Posted by: oo7 | March 25, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I think they are an emotionally driven team that is having a hard time feeling like the games are super important when in the back of their minds they know they aren't. Look at other teams (and even in other sports) -- it takes exceptional drive (and perhaps maturity) to maintain a very high level of play throughout a long season. It is very commendable if you can, but not the norm.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 25, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

One big positive is that they found themselves in the crease a lot more. it paid off when it shouldn't have. Gerber was right to be angry. Great job Laich. Keep it up.

----

I actually noticed this a bit last night. They seemed to try and set up some plays throughout the night where players (one or two) would head straight to the crease as soon as they got in the zone...(I am not just thinking of the Laich goal at the end there). Maybe not as often, but still more than in most games. Hopefully this is something they are working on, and that effort will continue. Its funny, because I feel like when I did see that set up, the third forward (or other defensemen) had trouble getting the puck to the net....Anyone else notice this?

Also, too bad that he stopped us from picking up the second point, but it was pretty cool to see Cujo back in there. It was kind of fun to see that big smile on his face before overtime.

Caps will pick it up, I have faith! Perhaps not going into PO with an empty tank will be a good thing? :)

Go Caps! (Flu bug, be gone!)

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | March 25, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Im my opinion I dont mind the team being on auto-pilot the rest of the way. We only need a few more points, and have 3rd wrapped up..New banner...home ice...wooptie doo!

Mike Green said it about the half-way that they felt good about not having to press like last year to get in the playoffs.

Remember that we were the hottest team going into the playoffs last year, and basically came out flat down 3-1 after 4 games.

All that matters is that we are ready, healthy and pumped for the playoffs, which we WILL BE.

Your skill and game plan and toughness comes to the fore-front come playoff time, and we will be ready. Lets not get concerned about what happens down the stretch.

Im not saying we should play like crap, and we should play to win, but the ship is right..and we will be ready..

Rock the Red...

Posted by: SA-Town | March 25, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

No problem with the shootout lineup, but I was surprised to not see Kozlov listed.

Giroux committed two penalties in one period in the last game he played for the Capitals ... 50-plus goals aside, I don't think two trips to the sin bin helped his cause for promotion.

Posted by: Cerealman | March 25, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Last night's energy level didn't surprise me at all. Nobody on here would be able to function properly at a desk job if they had the flu, even on DayQuil. Now, imagine playing a sport that players lose 5-10 pounds of body weight every game. BB said it, 5-6 people should not have even played last night.

Take a team that has trouble getting up for some teams and combine it with the flu. Not surprising at all. But if you are a Caps fan, they are still our team. Stay with the team fans.

Should they have won? Yes. Are we lucky to get a point? Yes. Will they pick it up over the last 7 games? Yes.

I predict they win 5 out of the 7 and end with 107 points.

This is good timing for a flu bug.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 25, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

My observation from last night's game was that once they got behind (twice in the game) their energy level came up, they put on sustained pressure and were able to equalize. I think the offense was coasting, hoping for a close win. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way.

I am optimistic they will do better in the playoffs.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 25, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

What a bunch of whiners. No wonder I don't read these blogs much anymore. Just a bunch of blow-hards who think they know more about hockey than they really do. Blah, blah, blah. Look at the Caps record...their best all-time at this point?
Consider who they have pretty much owned this year (Boston, Pittsburgh, etc...). So, they complete a road trip up in Toronto with a tie and everyone wants to second guess Bruce's and McPhee's decisions. Maybe you all should talk to Ted about interviewing for a job, eh?

Posted by: gonchpup | March 25, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Cerealman, I agree. Plus, who was that Hershey Bear to scor 53 goals in 82-83? DId he ever make the NHL? If he did, I don't remember him staying long. Just because you can score in the AHL, does not mean you can score in the NHL.

But I will say this, I think he deserves as much of a long term stint as Flash is getting.

As for the lineup, I was good with it, even wothout Kozlov. Koz has not done well with it the last few times so I could see BB saving him for #4. Isn't Feds pretty good with these things too?

You need to have your best scorers shoot in the SO. Caps did that. They just did not put the puck in the net.

Someone asked about Semin's percentage. Before last night he was at 35% with a high number of chances. That is actually pretty good.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 25, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I suppose we can make whatever excuse imaginable as to why the Caps lost, but the fact is they simply weren't the better team last night.

Things that I saw which in my opinion contributed to the loss:
1) Toronto followed what others teams are doing to the Caps, that is trapping and wedging the caps to the boards. The Caps don't seem to have an answer to that.
2) The forwards are playing solo (lack of the "cute" game?), not looking for their linemates; perhaps, it is the result of point #1. Seems like linemates go to stand still mode instead of supporting whoever has the puck. e.g. On the much critizided blind pass from Semin from behind Toronto's net, his pass was spot on to a wide open area where at least one open linemate should have been since he had drawn two or three Toronto players to him. The result a great pass sails all the way for a counter attack and a goal. I blamed that goal more on the forwards.
3) The Caps began to put up a fight when the "cute-play" makers got together, they seem to know how to play with each other.
I think the shoot-and-lets-hope play is only good for those who love to see the stats of shots on goal. It is the quality not the quantity that counts. BB seems to prefer the quantity.

Maybe BB is preparing the players to be able to play with anyone at anytime, that is a noble and very good idea but it will take time that I don't think he has this year.

Posted by: opita1 | March 25, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Just as an aside, we didn't lose last night - we tied. The shootout is a joke (and yes, I feel that way after a SO "win" also).

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 25, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

i think BB should start fining players who make blind drop passes just inside the offensive blue line (semin, i'm talking to you). they sure do look pretty when they work, but are ugly when they fail, which seems to be more often than not.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 25, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

The Caps did not play horribly, just not as inspired as we have now come accustomed to. They outshot the Leafs 40-27 and were monsters in the OT session. Cujo was giving up juicy, fat rebounds to the crease, no glove saves, no kick-outs to the corners. That being said, where are the muckers, the secondary scorers for those juicy rebounds for garbage goals? I think the Caps Achilles Heal is the lack of production from someone not named OV, Semin (yes, off night with the flu, but someone needs to pick up the slack), Green, or Laich. Kozlov is on an off-year (look at his career points -- up one year, down the next). Fehr and Flash are ghosts right now. Nyles is a huge liability. Feds can bring it now and then, but a shadow of his former self. No one on the blueline is a threat to score besides Green. Teams are just smothering the stars and the back-up cast is not doing enough to win games.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 25, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Opita- on pt 2, yes, the center was the intended receiver and there was no center there. Brashear does that all the time; right to the slot and yet no one is there. kills me.

Giroux got two penalties in his first couple shifts during his last call up, but i can't really balme him. They were marginal calls at best and given the way refs have been calling them, I'm not holding him accountable. I'd still like to see him get some time on the top two lines. Let Flash or Fehr rest a bit; cant hurt, right?


Posted by: oo7 | March 25, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

After CuJo made nine saves in the final minute of the 3rd and OT, I knew it wasn't going to happen in the SO. I only caught the third period and it seemed pretty benign game - as expected, really. Regardless of stripe, CuJo was amazing last night and all I could do was smile when he won the game...stunning.

Get home, get healthy.

See you Friday at Verizon.

Posted by: saintex | March 25, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Opita -- you bring up good points. No one besides Laich is willing live in the crease for the passes from behind the net. Fehr needs to do this, but he just doesn't seem willing to man-up. He should take a vacation in Hershey and let someone else come up, like Osala. It's just too late in the year, I fear. Plus Fehr would not make it through waivers most likely. Flash can trade places with Giroux while I'm playing armchair GM (he's suffering from the flu anyways). I wish the Caps could send down Nyles, but I'm pretty sure his contract is one-way.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 25, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Caps could use an offensive D-man who can skate well instead of Schultz or Erskine and I think S. Kronwall should get another chance.

Posted by: Hazz | March 25, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Here's a poll question: how long will Gerber get suspended for?


Posted by: oo7 | March 25, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

1 game suspension. 2 tops.

Posted by: FLDave | March 25, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

That was funny when Gerber shot the puck at refs and got sent off. Should be around 5 games max suspension.

Posted by: Hazz | March 25, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

BTW -- Laich should be named interrim Captain with Clark out so long

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 25, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

question on gerber's penalty. why no 2 minute plus the gamer? seems like that would have been appropriate.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 25, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about precedent, but I think Gerber is out for five, maybe for the remainder of the season. He push two officials and then shot the puck at them. It won't be pretty.

P.S. Hey, Erskine, no need to hook at the offensive blueline when you have one guy back and another coming. Just saying.

Posted by: saintex | March 25, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

They said on the radio that Gerber got suspended for 3 games for firing the puck at the refs.

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 25, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

From the National Post "After receiving a pass on the wing from Backstrom, the speedy Russian wheeled around the Toronto defence before beating Gerber with a backhand deke on the power play. The meaning of his immediate celebration move - holding his index finger to his mouth as if to quiet the crowd - will likely command several connotations."

Seriously dude? This guy needs to get a life.

Posted by: Moose33 | March 25, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Ah dressing up in Coachs Corner Clothing !
So pre-occupied by what they are saying about you OV!!! ME! ME! ME! Than getting mad cause the guy asked you about the celebration between the 2nd and 3rd period!
What is it OV Dress up and keep the talk going Or Shut up and play hockey ? Your Choice! Nice Loss last night maybe you should stick to hockey and leave the entertaining to the mascot

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I agree, oo7 ... Giroux's penalties were marginal at best. The officials didn't give the kid a break.

Erskine had a pretty good game, I thought ... unlucky on the goal that deflected off him -- at least he was defending a Toronto player in front. Also, I didn't see a good replay of the hooking call late in the game ... looked like a very weak call, especially in a tie game with two minutes left.

I thought the 10-min misconduct penalty on Gerber was the right call ... no need to call an additional 2-min minor in the last minute. Let the players decide the game.

Posted by: Cerealman | March 25, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Ah dressing up in Coachs Corner Clothing !
So pre-occupied by what they are saying about you OV!!! ME! ME! ME! Than getting mad cause the guy asked you about the celebration between the 2nd and 3rd period!
What is it OV Dress up and keep the talk going Or Shut up and play hockey ? Your Choice! Nice Loss last night maybe you should stick to hockey and leave the entertaining to the mascot

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

right on! ovie should stick to hockey cause at this preoccupied pace, he might not score 60 goals.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 25, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

LEAFS' GERBER TO BE HANDED THREE-GAME SUSPENSION on TSN.

Physically pushing refs + shooting them with the puck, so I guess pushing went unnoticed.

Posted by: Hazz | March 25, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

You might be waking up to what you thought was a bad hangover ..Nope, the playoff skid continues for the NO CUP CAPS. You lost to the Leafs last night! after the cold backup went in! Are the Caps in trouble?? Well 73 % think you are.. I have been only telling you that for 2 years! WAKE UP WAS!
GOOD MORNING AMERICA!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

DC he can score 80 for all I care ...what this TEAM game is about is winning the CUP!
So as long as he continues to FLOAT looking for the stretch pass and no backchecking this team will remain just that The No CUP CAPS (with a league leading scorer)

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

wow, saying Giroux is only an AHL scorer. I guess I missed Fehr's 50 goal season. He has now been riding his 43 goals in Hershey for years. He needs to be replaced by Giroux, Flash just needs to go. Get a bag of pucks for him and send him on his way. Will be a major, major, liability in the playoffs. He was last year, and this year has been even weaker and easier to knock off the puck. BB has to try someone else for a couple of games at least. Anyone can do nothing and thats what Fehr and Flash bring to a game.

Posted by: bestpilotonearth | March 25, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

From the National Post "After receiving a pass on the wing from Backstrom, the speedy Russian wheeled around the Toronto defence before beating Gerber with a backhand deke on the power play. The meaning of his immediate celebration move - holding his index finger to his mouth as if to quiet the crowd - will likely command several connotations."

Seriously dude? This guy needs to get a life.

Posted by: Moose33 | March 25, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse


Did they really say that? Ovie does that pointing to the sky to remember his brother that passed away

Posted by: _stevo | March 25, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

The National Post writer is an idiot. Even Joe B and Locker commented on what the index finger to the lips and pointing up was for; Ovechkin's been doing it his entire career. It's for his late brother Mikhail, who was killed in a car accident when he Ovi was a boy.

I'm glad Ovechkin told reporters to move on. And I hope we get back to our regularly-scheduled Ovechkin celebrations starting Friday.

Posted by: irockthered | March 25, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Watching the highlights on NHL Network. After Semin missed on the breakaway against CUJO, Ov plants himself in front of the net waiting for a pass. Stajan comes in from behind and kicks his skate out from underneath him, knocking him down, nice call refs.

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 25, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I thought the 10-min misconduct penalty on Gerber was the right call ... no need to call an additional 2-min minor in the last minute. Let the players decide the game.

Posted by: Cerealman | March 25, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Letting "players decide the game" is the biggest bunch of nonsense ever coined. So we should ignore the rules of the sport in the last minute of all the games? Why even have rules in the first place, let's just throw a bunch of players on the ice and let them "decide" it on their own. It's this type of attitude that players take advantage of and it ends up deciding the outcome of important games.

I don't know the specifics of last nights call but if it's in the rule book that there should be a PP awarded for what Gerber did, then absolutely there should have been a minor penalty called.

There was a NCAA game last Wednesday (I can't remember who was playing) and the team inbounding the ball was down by 2 or 3 with 15 seconds left. The kid inbounding stepped on the line before passing the ball and it was called, effectively ending the game. Did it suck that it ended this way, yes, but the rules were followed and the outcome was fair.

Posted by: Moose33 | March 25, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

bestpilotonearth...Serious question Do you know what the J.E.T.S program is?

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

ludeman that is a play the NHL will have to address because players can get a penalty just before they go to a shot out and not be penalized I think a penalty in the last 30 sec of the overtime should have one overtime shot taken away

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"DC he can score 80 for all I care ...what this TEAM game is about is winning the CUP!
So as long as he continues to FLOAT looking for the stretch pass and no backchecking this team will remain just that The No CUP CAPS (with a league leading scorer)"

Not that it would make a difference, but do you even watch the games? Ovechkin has improved his two way play tremendously often leveling opponents in his own end.

Posted by: FLDave | March 25, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

FYI FLdave they highlighted OV's back checking ability on the Canadian channels last night ..IT was truly FUNNY

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

dcsportsfans1, physical abuse of officials (Rule 41) actually doesn't have a minor penalty associated, it's immediate game misconduct. Rule 40 (abuse of officials) does have a minor penalty part, but is more about profanity, stick banging, etc.

Posted by: koalatek | March 25, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@Moose33 - The actual call was a game misconduct; they didn't specify anything further than that on the game summary. But it would fall under "abuse of officials"...

40.5 Game Misconduct Penalty -(iii) Any player or goalkeeper who deliberately applies physical force in
any manner against an official, in any manner attempts to injure an
official, physically demeans, or deliberately applies physical force to
an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official
during or immediately following an altercation shall receive a game
misconduct penalty and the guidelines set out in Rule 41 – Physical
Abuse of Officials are to be applied.

They can assess:

40.2 - Minor penalty
40.3 - Bench minor penalty
40.4 - Misconduct penalty
40.5 - Game misconduct penalty

It's an either/or, not an "and," unfortunately. But I'll ask the Officials Association about a power play if a game misconduct is awarded... seems to me it should be one.

As for the suspension, in rule 41, it states:

41.4 Automatic Suspension – Category III - Any player or goalkeeper
who, by his actions, physically demeans an official or physically
threatens an official by (but not limited to) throwing a stick or any other
piece of equipment or object at or in the general direction of an official,
shooting the puck at or in the general direction of an official, spitting at
or in the general direction of an official, or who deliberately applies
physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of
such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall be
suspended for not less than three (3) games.

Posted by: irockthered | March 25, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I have seen the Bears play a few times this year and unless it is an exception, they don't play a stand in the crease kind of game either.

Could some of the people who see the Bears every game comment on that?

I just don't believe bringing up someone else from Hershey is going to change the style if they don't play it either.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 25, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

FOLKS FOLKS FOLKS They BLEW the call by not calling goaltender interference do you think for one min they are going to give him another 2 min Geez you ppl have no clue! how this game works

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

WASH POST EDITORS:

the report abuse link generates an email that, once sent is returned with the message "Delivery to the following recipients failed". Can you get that sorted out please? As soon as you do, this blog can return to relative peace.

Posted by: oo7 | March 25, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

DC he can score 80 for all I care ...what this TEAM game is about is winning the CUP!
So as long as he continues to FLOAT looking for the stretch pass and no backchecking this team will remain just that The No CUP CAPS (with a league leading scorer)

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

another great analysis. ovie is the very definition of a floating player. just flitting along avoiding contact and cherry picking at the red line. that was someone else wearing number 8 the other game (carolina maybe) chasing down a breakaway and poking the puck away without drawing a penalty. perhaps dmitri kristich suited up for old time sake. what we need is ovie to play more selke like...i wonder how that play worked out for glen hanlon.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 25, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@ StanleyCup1907
It was same interference like Toronto made on Theodore in Washington when they scored a 2nd goal and Theodore kept his cool unlike Toronto's netminder. And they did WATCH the replay of that and decided - no interference, but nobody watched a replay on Theodore interference. Toronto was lucky to get 4 points with Caps

Posted by: Hazz | March 25, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

We ENCOURAGE users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features

I guess the post should stop selling papers to readers who dont aggree with what they write! oo6

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

FOLKS FOLKS FOLKS They BLEW the call by not calling goaltender interference do you think for one min they are going to give him another 2 min Geez you ppl have no clue! how this game works

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

goalie interference for going after a puck in the crease? got it. sounds right.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 25, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Hazz penalty or no penalty im not going to argue that because they go both ways What I just said was they are not going to double it up!!!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

my point on gerber's penalty is that it should be more punitive to the offending team. what if some scrubbini pushed the ref and gets a gamer. big deal. doesnt put the team at a disadvantage. seems like a 2 plus a game might deter players from doing such things. isnt it the very definition of unsportsmanlike conduct?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 25, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Like the off ice officials in Toronto would not protect the Toronto goalie.

Posted by: FLDave | March 25, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan

I think the teeth of the rule is the minimum 3 game suspension (which I am sure would grow much longer if a player starts regularly shoving refs). The player/team deserves the punishment, but does the other team really deserve further benefit? The infraction, after all, wasn't aimed at the other team.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 25, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

yes DC watch it again when the caps player spears Gerber

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

When the puck is basically under the goalie, and the only way you can score is to push the goalie into the net with the puck, I don't think you should be talking about how the goalie should have received a minor for losing his cool.

Posted by: robc3 | March 25, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Yeah going for the puck while it's under the goalie before the whistle is interference now. That must be a new rule.

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 25, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

CT Caps phan
You are correct about the Bears playing much the same offensive style. Mink is the only one who will regularly park at the crease (and has 31 goals to show for it!) Woods talks about creating traffic in front but it is not done nearly enough by the other lines.

Posted by: ekays | March 25, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Hey here's an idea, let's bring up the whole Hershey team and get rid of all the current Caps, except maybe OV.

Posted by: boomer44 | March 25, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice that Toronto's fans where about as lame duck as you can get last night?

At the start of every period it was rows of empty's. If that is a hockeytown, they sure have lost the fire at this point of the season.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 25, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

When the puck is basically under the goalie, and the only way you can score is to push the goalie into the net with the puck, I don't think you should be talking about how the goalie should have received a minor for losing his cool.

Posted by: robc3 | March 25, 2009 11:05 AM

laich had his full wood on the puck. go read the rules again.

nice try though.

and i dont think gerber should have gotten a minor for that. he did nothing to warrant a penalty kill really. he did everything to warrant a suspension.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 25, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town

I guess when your team is 31-30-13, you don't have much to cheer about. They did'nt get loud until CUJO came in with less than 6 mins to play.

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 25, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

ov-backs-laich
semin-feds-koz
flash-nyls-fehr


i would like to see.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 25, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

It's funny people rag on us for not having good fans when the team was down, but Toronto cant talk either after that showing.

Last night was a dud...even if the seats are sold, it's probably more of a corporate thing where they want to hold onto the seat for fear of losing it.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 25, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

If CuJo had come in and given up a weak goal in overtime (instead of making several nice saves), the game misconduct penalty would have definitely been seen as punitive to the Leafs.

CuJo saved Gerber's backside. Not to mention the Leafs D.

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

Yeah so next year if their doing good people in the lower bowl can say "I've had these seats for years" haha

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 25, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan

I think the teeth of the rule is the minimum 3 game suspension (which I am sure would grow much longer if a player starts regularly shoving refs). The player/team deserves the punishment, but does the other team really deserve further benefit? The infraction, after all, wasn't aimed at the other team.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 25, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

mike, if a guys loses his cool and slams the penalty box door or mouths off at the ref, he gets two minutes for unsportsmanlike. that benefits the other team even though his issue was with the ref and not the other team.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 25, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

yes DC watch it again when the caps player spears Gerber

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

wait, was it interference or spearing? you're confusing me. and who exactly would that be? laich. seems to me his stick was on the ice poking at the puck. if that's considered spearing, then there should be 5 spearing calls per game. btw, spearing is when you poke a guy with the point of the stick blade. but of course you knew that cause you are the all knowing.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 25, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

OMG your talking about how the Toronto fans are !The leafs have sold out every game since 1946 What about the Caps or any US team for that matter?

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Selling all the tickets and showing up to the game are two totally different things.

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 25, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@Rachel, oo7, or others that think Reporting abuse will affect trolls:

There is nothing abusive about Trolls. They are simply obnoxious. The only way to get them off a message board is to ignore their posts and not feed them with responses. It would be good for these little kids to start going to the classes that they blow off to antagonize their betters. (I assume trolls to be kids because I cannot fathom an adult to have not worked through the "obnoxious phase" and still be able to hold a job.) Trolls stand for nothing and simply try to tear down what others build.

Posted by: crooks_c | March 25, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

DC find a video and watch it he spears Gerber into the net with the "POINT of his stick thats why Gerber went from the goal line to the back of the net HELLO!!! or are you saying the "PUCK" pushed him in?

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy

malkin getting Ovie's sloppy seconds?

Posted by: _stevo | March 25, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

ludeman you are right the fans do not get to their seat fast enough at a start of a period but thats T.O. Quinn never liked that and called them out one year

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

SC1907: You don't know how the game works. Once the puck is in the blue paint the Caps could have had all 6 guys in the paint. Gerber wasn't complaining about goaltender interference, he felt he was pushed into the net and the puck was brought in with him. Did mommy rock you to sleep last night after she picked you up from the yard? Did she tell you those mean Capitals fans just don't know how special you are?

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 25, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

SC1907: Before you try to correct my on the 6 Caps in the paint, Theo was pulled, so we had 6 skaters. I know the goaltender is not allowed to cross center ice without penalty, except during the 2nd when a delayed penalty call has him go to the bench for an extra skater.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 25, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

DC you think the ref's missed a 2 min call...The Caps MISSED the whole game and the last month of this season . Your team is in serious trouble ...But this is not news to me

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

ADMINS: I have yet to receive any communication from you. Please either fix the 'Report abuse' link or contact me via my registered email address at your earliest convenience. Or just look for the abuse yourself; it's pretty easy to see.

To anyone that's concerned that I'm talking about them: I don't have a problem with dissent; in fact, that's largely the point of this blog. As one individual continually points out, it even says that on the bottom of the page. But there's a certain level of civility that we expect here (or at least should expect here), and certain individuals are not demonstrating that maturity. There's a line between dissent and disease, and that line has been crossed.

It is getting harder to justify reading the comments section, which is a shame because we have such a good community here except for one or two bad apples. It's unfair to allow the bad apples to contaminate the whole place. Admins, editors, Tarik, Katie, Lindsay: I implore you... do something before more regulars leave for greener pastures.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | March 25, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Once the puck is in the blue paint the Caps could have had all 6 guys in the paint. Posted by: fanohock1

LOL These are the comments I have to deal with!
Fannotofhockey1...try that play next game!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The above embedded highlights - time 3:25.

Gerber is backed into his net before Laich ever gets his stick near him. The puck is on the ice, between the Gerber's legs, and playable as the ref could see it. Laich pokes the puck in as Gerber is falling back from his momentum. There's nothing about it that indicates spearing or anything else. It was a great call by the ref.

Now, if Gerber's point was that he fell and pulled the puck across the line with him, that's a goal anyway, right? (I'm asking the rules folks). If his issue was that he was pushed into the net then he loses.

Posted by: saintex | March 25, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

And trolling is the only game in town
And every post that takes him
Takes him down
And by himself its easy to pretend
He'll never love again
...
And keeping to this board
He trolls all day
Without our love
It always ends the same
While life goes on around him everywhere
He's trolling solitaire

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 25, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@_stevo:

Nice clip. Ovie is definitely the man. Wonder who has a better resume (with the ladies) between him and Fedorov. Kournakova was definitely a highlight.

Poor Malkin cannot buy a break, finishing behind his on-again/off-again buddy, Ovechkin. Second to the girl; second best cook (am sure Ovie can get around the kitchen better than Gina Malkin); second in the Hart race this year.

Posted by: crooks_c | March 25, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Like I said earlier, Laich had full wood (no homo) on the puck. No interference.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 25, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

mike your a poet and you dont even know it!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

SC1907: Are you saying I am wrong Husky the Muskie? If so, you have no idea what you are talking about. If you watch the replay the referee was pointing to the puck before the Ottawa/Toronto has been slid over the goal line anyway. The point is moot. The fact is the Caps now only need 5 points to clinch the divison, and a FLA loss tonight clinches no worse than 8th.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 25, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

It's also amazing to me that the Leafs are such good fans of a team that hasnt won the cup since 67.

I mean you can wine and dine the girl at the finest establishments for so long...eventually, you got to dump the stingy thing.

I know the Caps havent won the cup, but if we were 100% sold out every game, I think we would of found a way to get it done.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 25, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

No worse than 8th when the Caps win on Friday and a loss by FLA tonight. If someone takes a run at OV in retaliation Tocchett should be fined.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 25, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Why do you post here Sc1907?

Please don't copy and paste your answer.

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 25, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

That photo caption on the Caps main page is wrong. OV didn't attempt to hush the crowd. He is in the middle of doing his kiss and point for his older brother.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | March 25, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

SombreroGuy! Where have you been? Things here have been rough with the non-Caps fans that come in here when things aren't going particularly well. Of course we're lucky enough to have a team playing .500 hockey and is considered to be in a slump/funk.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 25, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey controversy sells Sombrero.

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 25, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

NP guys

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 25, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

SC1907: You need to read the full rules also.

"You certify that you are at least 13 years of age. If you are under the age of 13, please do not submit any content to us."

Posted by: _newt_ | March 25, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Maple Leafs = 40 years with no cup yet they consider themselves an "elite" franchise.

Remind me to kill myself when the Caps become "hockeytown" for 40 years straight and we have no cup.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 25, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1,
A Florida lost tonight in regulation is all we need. Even, if they went on to win their other remaining 8 games (16 points) they could only get level with our current point total but as they would still have less wins we would be still front of them.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 25, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

How is OV's Fire Dance Foot Did he burn it when he did his celebration dance
How about Sitout Semin was it the flu that made him whiff on the winner?
Guess he will be out for the rest of the season

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 25, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

SC posts here because he's a wanna be know it all sitting behind a keyboard. Everyone that says stuff to him just makes his ego bigger. He's obviously the smartest hockey house player that has ever played the game. Even pylons can have their glory at something.

Posted by: CapsFan44 | March 25, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

SC1907: Looked pretty good when he buried his league leading 51st goal, and his 44th assist, to go back into second place in the point race ahead of Sidney Crosby. Of course without Malkin, Sidney wouldn't even be in a playoff spot.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 25, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

sc1907,

Yup, you're dead on per usual. Don't know where we'd be without you.

Posted by: Steve_R | March 25, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Anyone notice the commercials regarding the Pitts game where they mention "Malkin and the resurgent Penguins..." No mention of SC1907's object of affection Crosby.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 25, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey, StanleyCup1907 - Give it a rest. We can all see through your disdain. Must be sad to be you...or is it because you are in middle school?

Posted by: gonchpup | March 25, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

must be related to Crosby. They must cry together

Posted by: CapsFan44 | March 25, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I kinda' wish this was Survivor, so we could vote people out. Anyone care to venture who'd get my vote?

Tampa Bay will most likely want revenge on Friday, huh? In our home court, I'm hoping for a slaughter by our men. Let's GOO Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 25, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Please do not respond to SC. He adds nothing new or interesting to the discussion and clearly is bored with his own team, if he even has the guts to have one. It is easy to predict that any team will not win the Stanley Cup and to point out weaknesses and flaws. It is much harder to be a fan through good times and bad. The Caps are our team and this space is for Caps fans. We do not care what SC has to say so why respond at all?

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | March 25, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Typically, I would politely ask someone who wasn't invited to a party to please leave. Sadly, we don't have that option available to us. I agree though, I'm a Capitals fan, win or lose.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 25, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah the Caps are only losing because they're facing great goaltenders like Martin Gerber. LOL. The Caps are playing terribly.

Posted by: alanb1 | March 25, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

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