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Morning Reading List: Big Stars, Weak Beards


"The only reason a Sidney Crosby interview is remotely interesting these days is because you can place bets on what year his mutton chops will connect to his Abe Lincoln fuzz." -- Justin Bourne (AP Photo)


They might have trouble growing playoff beards, but the NHL's youngest stars have boosted a league that could use some love. Check out this hilarious, if not accurate, new blog post from Justin Bourne over at The Hockey News:

"Aside from the well-discussed egg laid by the Capitals in Game 7 against the Pens, this season has done nothing but increase fan interest and hope - from sporting a young cast of characters who are successfully leading their teams deep into the playoffs, to the type of head-to-head battles the NHL would punch their own mothers to make happen."

In The Sporting News, Craig Custance explains why NHL Player of the Year Alex Ovechkin and NBA Player of the Year LeBron James are better than anyone else at what they do.


A Few More Caps Links

Yes, the Caps will surely need to make some personnel moves this summer, but how about internally as well? Could switching Ovechkin from the from the power play point to the left wall make a difference? (Falls Church News-Press)

I mentioned that Ovechkin was on Sports Illustrated's list of the NHL's most rugged players. Well, Greg Wyshynski thinks SI defines the term "rugged" a bit too loosely: "Alexander Ovechkin is a lot of things, but 'rugged' might not be top of the list for a guy that sometimes exhibits an Arena Football-level of defensive attentiveness. Dion Phaneuf? Chris Pronger? Fantastic players, no doubt; rugged though?" Check out an amended list here. (Puck Daddy)

Forgot to post this yesterday: CSN Philly's Tim Panaccio takes an in-depth look at the Flyers' goalie situation in a three-part series. In Part II, Panaccio discusses the 2006 draft, in which Philadelphia passed up Simeon Varlamov with the No. 22 pick -- the Caps were No. 23 -- and instead chose Claude Giroux.

"It appears to have been a win-win for both teams," Panaccio writes, "Even though the Flyers' more pressing need is goaltending. 'We really like Varlamov,' [Flyers GM Paul] Holmgren said. 'Do I second guess? Our experience with drafting Russian players is not very good.'"

It's an interesting read if you've got some time. (CSNPhilly.com)


In the System

Jay Beagle and Tyler Sloan, now in the midst of a playoff run at Hershey, talk about their experiences as postseason call-ups with the Caps. (Patriot-News)


Pens vs. 'Canes

Here's Scott Burnside's preview of Game 2 (ESPN.com):

Carolina is being diplomatic -- at least publicly -- about Matt Cooke's knee-on-knee hit on Erik Cole. (News & Observer)

NHL.com managing editor Shawn P. Roarke says Sidney Crosby's not perfect, but he's getting there. Overkill? I'd do a poll, but what's the point? (NHL.com)


Wings vs. 'Hawks

Drew Sharp says Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood is a salary-cap MVP -- "the reliable veteran goalie at the bargain price." And really, what more can you ask for? (Detroit Free Press)

The Chicago Blackhawks' defense is going through some growing pains. (The Hockey News)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 21, 2009; 8:15 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McPhee: 'Ideally, You Want to Avoid Free Agents'
Next: Varlamov Interview on CSN Tonight

Comments

Ew, was not expecting to see those two this morning. How unpleasant. =(

Posted by: rachel216 | May 21, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

It has only been a week since we sat in shock at Verizon, and the same team we thought or hoped would be playing this week many of you would like to see blown up. I don't understand the logic. These guys are so close to having this figured out.

It has been said many times that we need a couple of forwards that are willing to pay the price in front of the net. Yes, Dustin B. would have definitely been one answer, but there are others out there. How Gaborik has even crept into any discussions is beyond me. We have enough world class and high priced, and soon to be high priced (Backstrom) talent up front. A cheaper addition with speed would probably be Afineganov. We could probably get him for the same price as Kozlov because he's been in the dog house in Buffalo for 2 years so he and his agent would be hard pressed to even match his last contract. Nevertheless, if all we did was land a couple of gritty 15-20 dirty goal guys our forwards would be set.

It has also been said that we need 1, perhaps 2, crease clearing D-men, with experience. For those calling for Komisarek, he's not the answer. Yes he does hit hard but gets nailed for a lot of 2 minute minors just like our guys. He's exceeded 100 PIMs a season for a few years now and he's not a fighter. That means he gets the ones that put your team shorthanded. He's far from the answer because he doesn't bring the experience or ability to mentor we are looking for. Bowmeester is not the answer either. With Green, Poti, and Pothier (mark may words on Pothier) we have enough defensemen with offensive ability. Would a change from Jay Leach be what the team as whole needs for a better defensive philosophy, I don't know. I do believe we need a d-man or two that has be to the Conf finals/Stanley Cup finals on a couple of occasions. Nerves seem to be brought up every time they hit a Game 7, which is understandable, but a peer can be much more calming than a coach before a big game.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 21, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Continued:

Now everyone need not panic when McPhee says he's rather get bargains when it comes to free agency. There are bargains to be had, Scurderi comes to mind.

Also, our top pair D-men against the Pens (Green/Morrison) may have gotten lit up but so did the Pens top pair, evidence, Ovi had 14 points. The boys also fought a major disparity in PPs. I know, I know, stop whining, but the facts are the facts. I am not saying the Caps did not commit penalties, they did, but the violations were there for the Pens to be called and they simply were not put in the box. I don't know why, conspiracy, I doubt it. In the biggest "clunker" of the season the Caps experienced the first game of the season where they did not get at least one PP, coincidence, I don't think so. There were calls that could have been made against the Pens, heck the Morrison call that changed the 1st period, the game, and the series, should not have been called.

Anyhow, to make a short story long, GMGM will probably have to wrap some young talent in a trade. Is that mortgaging the farm? Not if it results in an even deeper run or Cup victory, and the acquisitions stay around for a few years. Let's go Caps!!!

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 21, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I agree, Rachel. The only thing more stomach-turning than the photo is Roarke's story.

Posted by: uncatim | May 21, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Cindy is asking Geno out on a date

Posted by: Redwolf1 | May 21, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I may be showing my age, but I remember when the guy asked the girl out...

Posted by: uncatim | May 21, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

LOL at Flyers and Varly. "If we had Ovechkin..."

Posted by: koalatek | May 21, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

so the canes take the high road on cooke's hit, like most hockey players would. yet cooke couldnt stop whining about ovie's hit on gonch. love how things come around. no more hypocritical bunch than the pens and pens fans. havent checked the pens blog web site, but i'm sure they are blaming cole for the hit and whining that ovie's hit was worse...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 21, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Sporting News was announcing the NHL Player of the Year today. I certainly hope it's Ovi, but it hasn't been announced yet.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 21, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Holmgren makes a great point.

We do have a huge advantage because of Ovie and Semin in drafting Russian Players and signing them. Ovie is a God in Russia right now.

Same as Detroit had that advantage with Russian Players. Datsyuk would never make it to them if it wouldn't have been for Larionov, Federov, Slava Kozlov.

The trend that is starting to happen though some of these kids come and play in Juniors in Canada a year before they get drafted to gain more visibility.

Kulikov who is playing in Quebec league right now bolstered his projection from 17 to 11 by domination Quebec league and constantly playing in front of scouts.

Posted by: lightshow | May 21, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

The Sporting News was just given a 5 min major, 10 min misconduct, and a game misconduct for not naming Crosby to the all-star team, or player of the year. Suspension to follow. Cooke is mad.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 21, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Seems to me that we have a surplus of offensive defenseman (ie: Green, Pothier, Alzner, Carleson) Question is, which team out there has a surplus of defensive defenseman who we could possible make a trade with?

Posted by: SkinsFanInNYC | May 21, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Lindsay, I'm dissapointed. Please, never ever put those clowns on the page again, unless they lay crumpled on the ice.

Fanohok- I understand your sentiment. and that's the correct assesment on Komisarek, though he may still work out. he takes more pims than I like for someone who doesn't drop gloves; makes me think of Witt, but I'd take him over Mo. Ideally, I'd like Ohlund. He's smart and stays out of the box. We'll see.

the issue is McPhee's idea of "bargain". Look back over the past ten years. His idea of bargain is not mine, yours, or any other successful gm's. Our blueline, aside from Green, is made up of bargains. that's why we're still talking about the blueline. If we came up with mcphee's bargain list of the last decade, there would be more shuddering, me thinks.

Posted by: oo7 | May 21, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

i am still trying to figure out why some people here insist that nothing needs to be changed with the current Caps roster. add a couple of "low cost" net-crashing forwards; crease clearing d-men; etc etc.
explain how that is gonna "come cheap???"

yeah we have plenty of high-priced star talent. my feeling is that we have TOO much of a SIMILAR type of high-priced star talent. i hate to say one-demensional, but that approaches a description of the current team.

i don't see anyone here that posts fairly regularly saying blow up the team. what i think some are advocating is a more balance team and system of play.

Posted by: doughless | May 21, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

lol (again) at fanohock1

Just as sure as the sun will rise in the east, Fanohock will complain about officiating. Actually, I think he might be more reliable than the sun. ;o)

Posted by: PensFan98 | May 21, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

You realize I'm making fun of their playoff beards, right?

Posted by: Lindsay_Applebaum | May 21, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"You realize I'm making fun of their playoff beards, right?"


Yes. To be balanced, however .... perhaps you could add a few pics today of the Caps playoff beards? Oh, wait ... that's right ... they're not in the playoffs. lol

Posted by: PensFan98 | May 21, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

You realize I'm making fun of their playoff beards, right?

Posted by: Lindsay_Applebaum | May 21, 2009 10:34 AM

But if it was done by video update, then people would be real upset.

Posted by: Section117 | May 21, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Good one. Did a team of monkeys help you with that? You should really take your act on the road, you have some real talent.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 21, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

A great article in today's Wall Street Journal about the Stanley Cup:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124286389284341325.html#mod=article-outset-box

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | May 21, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

You realize I'm making fun of their playoff beards, right?

Posted by: Lindsay_Applebaum | May 21, 2009 10:34 AM

: ) Yes, of course. Perhaps a close up of hair on elephant hide instead, or some fuzz on the a$$ of a monkey? Anything but their faces. I've had about all I can take of those faces. ( :

Posted by: oo7 | May 21, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Pensfan98 - why are you here? My guess - and I've stated it countless times on here - you probably live in the suburbs of DC because you cant find a decent job in that dump of a town they call Pittsburgh - the new capital of West Virginia. I will ask you as well - does anyone move from DC to Pittsburgh? No - but thousands and thousands of Pittsburgh morons continue to migrate to the greatest city in the world - Washington DC.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | May 21, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@PensFan98: It warms my heart to see Pittsburgh so open-minded about Crosby and Lemieux. It shows progress in our society. Also, kudos to you for figuring out how to use a computer. You guys in Pittsburgh are sure making strides in your development into homo sapiens. Congrats!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 21, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Btw, totally lost my appetite to eat breakfast much less anything else with that image of Crosby and Malkin. I agree a picture of a 95 year old man's colonoscopy session, child birth, and a diarrhetic donkey would have been better images that those two from Pitts.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 21, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

PensFan98 is here because over on the Pens' blog, they're too busy braiding each other's hair and writing "I Heart Crosby" on their biceps with a Sharpie. I guess we can't blame him then.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 21, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a troll. Really.

I like watching the Caps, and pretty much do anytime the Pens aren't on (I get both FSN-P and CSN). I like the team, and have said so several times here.

I just find incessant whining kind of funny, and for whatever reason, there seems to be more of it among Caps fans than anyplace else. Watching games on tv, it seems the crowd goes into the "referees suck" chant at the drop of a hat. And on this web-board and others, fans seem to think that Bettman, Campbell, every referee, the union, the media (outside DC) and zamboni drivers everywhere are all in collusion against the Caps. As I say ... it's comical.

Anyway ... as I've said before, this team is one of the best in the league, and in need of maybe just a piece or two (goal crashing forward, top-4 defenseman). I'll continue to watch, because the Caps are an exciting team, and should be a contender for years. But oh, those fans. ;o)

Posted by: PensFan98 | May 21, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I think if the shoe was on the other foot, the Pitts would have a message board of people lamenting their teams' loss. Overlook the number of penalties that should have been called on your team, PensFan98, I think it's stupid that you'd come on here and expect us to be anything but sullen that the referees screwed us over on top of our occasional lapse in play. I guess you didn't see the picture that clearly shows your moron player with Semin's boot skate in his hands and how "surprisingly" to the Capitals fans, that no penalty was called.

Continue to watch the Capitals. No one is stopping you but the minute you go off trying to look down your nose at the fans, then you've outstayed your welcome. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 21, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

We have a surplus of Offensive D-Man?

Seriously?

Our only Offensive D-Man is Green that's it, and possibly Poti.

Carlson just got to Hershey and we have no clue how he will turn out. The chances of him being a good O D-Man in the league are good but we have no idea how he will adjust. Alzner is not an O D-Man, he never was in Juniors. He is a great Man to Man D-Man who skates very well and will be great for this teams transition game.

Pothier is like Tim Gleason maybe Seidenberg type of D-man but certainly not an Offensive D-Man.

Our problem is we have too many guys playing there that are slow footed and cannot move the puck quick.

Jurcina, Erskine, Shultz, Morrison to some degree. In the playoffs we got exposed as Green and Poti couldn't move the puck as well due to injuries. So we had no transition game and it was really easy to forecheck us.

Any person can see that all you have to do is pressure our D-man when they have the puch and turnovers will happen. If we go over all the goals scored on us in the playoffs how many will be as a result of a turnover in our own zone by our D-Man? This team for as skilled as we are, has a good amount of players that are not very good stick handling players and that gets exposed in the playoffs when you can't clear the puck when you can't control the puck and make a quick pass to get the rush going or even clear the puck when Penalty Killing.

Posted by: lightshow | May 21, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Just wanted to relate a tantalizing rumor:

KHL's Avangard might be interested in taking Nylander off Caps' hands:

http://deniksport.blesk.cz/clanek/hokej/73932/nylander-a-kaberle-k-jagrovi.html

Posted by: VladG | May 21, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

PensFan98: The penalty call stats in the series speak for themself. Even Don Cherry, I kid you not, Don Cherry said the call on Morrison was not a penalty and effected the outcome. Look, everyone is saying the Caps laid an egg but just look at how Game 7 played out. Back and forth game with Ovi having the best scoring chance and Fleury making his best save of the series.

Then the penalty call comes the one that shouldn't have been called. A shot from the point bounces off of two guys, hits Crosby's skate and onto his stick and the net is yawning because Varly was challenging the shot from the point. Then 7 seconds later a softy is scored. Then the first 2 shots (neither of which were anything but routine) of the 2nd period end up in the net. GAME OVER! The point in which the game changed was the penalty call, PERIOD.

Ironic that Pens fans will call us whiners. The story for the 1st 5 days of the series was the Pens complaining about penalty calls, which by the way they still held the advantage with 3 more minors called on the Caps. Then you have Cooke whining about Ovi's knee on knee and then he goes a blatant one the next round and no one really talks about it. Put the darn Caps on 30 something PPs and the Pens on 19 and the Caps win the series. Now go to a NC website and inject your input.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 21, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Just wanted to relate a tantalizing rumor:

KHL's Avangard might be interested in taking Nylander off Caps' hands:

http://deniksport.blesk.cz/clanek/hokej/73932/nylander-a-kaberle-k-jagrovi.html

Posted by: VladG | May 21, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Please God

Posted by: Moose33 | May 21, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

VladG- is there an english version of the article?

Posted by: mrszilla | May 21, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

oh please, if you're really up there, Superman, please take Nylander off our hands.

Posted by: Andoy | May 21, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Also

- Lindsay I'm sorry, I'm not usually one to complain about this blog you all are great, but posting that picture, especially as the first picture, was not a good idea. At least add a disclaimer or something like "what you are about to see will make you a lethal combinantion of depressed, horrifed and suicidally angry".

Our psyches are fragile, be gentle with us.

-PensFan: You, a Penguins fan, saying that our whinning is annoying you is just about the funniest thing I've heard all month. Well that and the Flyers passing up Varly. But your's is probably #1. Thanks. If you think we're bad I don't know how you put up with your own team/fans.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 21, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

PensFan98

Can you explain to me where the Pens heart was the first 75% of the regular season? Im starting to think they are a team that only plays when it matters...

Posted by: SA-Town | May 21, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

PensFan98 has a point about some of the Caps fans jumping all over the refs, but the real whining in Pitt comes from the players. Those guys whine about everything, hits, offsides, icing, hand passes, high sticks, etc.

Posted by: phrankbama | May 21, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Saw Cooke's cheap shot hit on Cole and was thinking about all of the Pens whining about the hit on Gonchar. The fact that nothing was called on Cooke shows me that the officiating is biased at best (and crooked at worst) in the playoffs. Cole is one of the Canes best players and now may be out or hindered much of the series.

I seriously wonder how much Bettman wants to ensure the Pens face the Red Wings in the finals. It seems that the Pens got a way with at least 2 cheap shots that put out players on the Canes. Give Carolina credit for not complaining too much, but I could see one of their tough guys going after Crosby or Malkin in Game 2.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 21, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

NHL: In a poll of 292 players, Alex Ovechkin became SN's first back-to-back winner since Pittsburgh's Jaromir Jagr (1999-2000). The top three:
1. Alex Ovechkin, Capitals 147
2. Evgeni Malkin, Penguins 65
3. Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings 23

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

Hmmm? who's missing?

Posted by: Redwolf1 | May 21, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Nah, I don't think there's an English version.. obviously, it's a bit hard to put much faith in a Czech rumor about a Russian club that might be interested in a Swedish player playing in Washington.. but hey, it's one of those things, something to hope for. Stranger things have happened!

Posted by: VladG | May 21, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. This is the "Capitals Insider" is it not? I come here looking for Caps news and I am greeted by these two. Guess I'll try again tomorrow. Maybe there will be a picture of an actual Capital for welcoming then.

Posted by: YBCaps | May 21, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Nah, I don't think there's an English version.. obviously, it's a bit hard to put much faith in a Czech rumor about a Russian club that might be interested in a Swedish player playing in Washington.. but hey, it's one of those things, something to hope for. Stranger things have happened!

Posted by: VladG | May 21, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

hahaha true true. I feel bad cheering on something like this, I think he is a good player but just doesn't have a good niche in our team. Think even for his sake a different team would be a better fit.

Soon we will all be speaking czech, russian and swedish just to keep track of the news on our boys. Have you guys also noticed there have been signs at VC that are all in Russian? Like zero english translation, thought that was funny.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 21, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Posting about our slow defensemen and lack of skilled puckhandlers on D is very accurate. Jurcina, Erskine, Schultz, and Morrisson all have problems in that area to one degree or another. Alzner will likely be in top 4 defensemen next year and looked good during his recall this year, but that doesn't give us a tough, stay at home defenseman who can move guys out of the crease and clear the puck. GMGM's idea of going bargain shopping is why we don't have much talent on D besides Green, Poti, and Pothier (if healthy).

One of the keys to the Pens transition game is that all of their defenseman could execute a good break out pass or at least clear the puck out of their zone without turning it over most of the time.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 21, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Who else enjoys the fact that NBC analyst Pierre McGuire is one of the candidates for the Wild GM?

Hopefully, he'll get hired so we won't have to listen to him when the Caps play games on NBC.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | May 21, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

NBC will just go out and get another ex-pens coach to take his place.

Posted by: phrankbama | May 21, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Alzner will be our #2 eventually, unlike richmondphil, I think Alzner is by far more skilled for getting pucks out of our zone than the meatheads we have manning the blueline right now.

Posted by: JSchon | May 20, 2009 11:18 PM |

Please copy and paste to me where I said Alzner cannot clear the puck better than our current d men. Eventually huh? Does that mean he should be playing it next year even if he is not ready?

Relying on young guys to fill our huge void in defense does not sound like the greatest idea to me, I'm sorry. If Alzner makes the cut, then sure put him on the 2nd or 3rd pairing, but to think that he is the missing piece that will make everything click next year sounds like a bad joke.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 21, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1 & others:

Stop talking about penalties and injuries. They were not the reason we lost. Pitts had two penalties in the last game and the Canes 4. No one else has the number of penalties we do. Do you mean to tell me that all NHL refs are conspiring against the Caps?

I noticed, by the way, that the Penns (at least in playoffs) take very few penalties. This may say something about their discipline, focus or whatever else is making them win.

I don't like McPhee's concept of "bargain." It is an unfortunate term to use whether he means it or not. He should be focused on getting the players that best fit the team and help execute their strategy rather than go after "bargains."

Posted by: caraveli | May 21, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Caraveli: The Pens aren't doing anything spectacular and not taking penalties. Not violating the rules and not being called for violating the rules are two different things. The Pens ARE NOT being called for the same penalties their opponents are that is my point. I am not saying the Caps didn't commit the penalties, they did, but the Pens were not called Monday, or during our series for the same exact violations. Hooking, slashing, tripping, interference etc. Watching the Cooke hit real speed it looked like a cheap penalty yet nothing was called. I know you're a Caps fan so I will ask you. In game 6, with 2:02 left, was the slash on Laich a slash? Kunitz was reaching for a puck with one hand on his stick, the stick did not break yet a penalty was called in a tied game with 2:02 remaining. The officiating was a joke the entire series.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 21, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Fanohock1---your posts are great!
And Lindsay, the picture of Sidney Crosby just serves to remind me how young he is and how much he reminds me so much of those obnoxious kids on my son's hockey team over the years who would park in front of the net and pound their stick annoyingly for the puck. But please, no more pictures of him, okay?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 21, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Crosby has amazing hands to just "park in front of the net and pound their stick annoyingly for the puck."

Again, if doing what he does for goals is so easy, then why the hell does no one on our team doit? Because it's not so easy. They don't want to pay the price Crosby pays consistently.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 21, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

You guys are killing me. Crosby doesn't pay the same price others do. If he is hampered from finishing in any way, it doesn't matter who the Pens are playing, a penalty is called. He's riding lady luck right now too, he's getting the benefit of some lucky bounces. He has scored at a rate that would result in him scoring about 70 goals a season and we have a large enough sampling of his play now to know that he will never come close to that. Once his luck has run out he will come back to earth. He did get an assist but was pretty much invisible in game 1.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 21, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1

"In game 6, with 2:02 left, was the slash on Laich a slash?" Of course the officiating was a joke and there were many unfair and stupid calls that made me furious. I was more furious about penalties NOT called against the other team, like hitting Varly. I am just assuming that our opposing teams have equal anger about the officiating from their perspective. It defies logic to think that the refs are singling out the Caps both home and away. If so, why do you think this is?

But suppose the Caps have a bad reputation and refs are looking for an opportunity to punish them. Don't we have similar situations in our professional lives, where we cannot change the system and make adjustments? Sure, let's try to influence changes in officiating. But at the same time shouldn't the Caps take the responsibility of changing perceptions and their own behavior?

Are you saying that the excessive penalties they take are mainly the result of unfair officiating or that the unfairness compounds the problem? I am curious how you see the penalty problem.

Posted by: caraveli | May 21, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Looking for an oppotunity to punish them? On a bogus call that could have potentially ended the season? If that is is supposed to be an explanation that is acceptable then I echo my earlier statement...the officiating was a joke the entire series.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 21, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

there was no price to pay, phil, that's why Crosby kept doing it. put him ok his a$$ painfully a few times and he would have shown reluctance. And I agree with you, thinking Alzner is going to fix things is a total joke. The only one to have done that off the bat is Phanuef, and Alzner is no Phanuef. Not saying he won't be good one day, but I don't excpect him to come in next year like a messiah.

I saw a list of things that pens players whine about; you forgot "hats", they whine about hats, too.

The Pens are NOT being penalized like their opponents, Caravelli. The whole NHL fan base is seeing it, aside from Pitt fans. they dump players, slash, trip and hold and get away with it, not to mention two significant injuries in the same game. Even Engblom said both should have been penalties (but they don't go farther than that; hmmm...). The fact of the matter is the pens are getting away with murder, no matter who the refs are. fact.

Posted by: oo7 | May 21, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, Semin has been given (or earned) the reputation as a diver, so that means players like Orpik can whale on him away from the play, or after the whistle because he's been deemed a diver and officials don't care for him? That's not acceptable. As someone who watches many games on Center Ice I have deemed Orpik a dirty player that spears, cross-checks, a trips players away from the play and after whistles more than he does during play. Since that is my perception should I assume he gets called for a penalty anytime he's near the play because I have now labled him. Heck no, a penalty is a penalty, and if there's not a penalty you don't call it. All season I watched the Caps take penalties for hooks and slashes. I watch games on Center Ice, even in the West, so the outcome doesn't matter to me and I see the same hooks and slashes (slashes you can hear on the game audio) go uncalled. I guess I do feel our team has formed a reputation that does not give them the benefit of the doubt. It goes back to what McPhee stated on clean out day...the officials don't have to manage a game, just officiate. If the actually manage a game they then decided the outcome.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 21, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

VladG- is there an english version of the article?

Posted by: mrszilla

-----------------------------
@mrszilla

Copy the link and post it in the Google language tool that translates webpages.
http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en

It isn't perfect, but it's enough.

Posted by: pstenigma | May 21, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

from what i saw in the caps/pens seriers, crosby didnt so much stand in front of the net as much as he stood to the side of the net. like gretzky, he has an ability to be where the puck is going to be and the hands/feet to bury the puck when he gets it. not to say he wont take a hit around the net, but he's no holmstrom. it would be great if the caps had someone to do the same, but that is easier said than done. i think backs could be that guy.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 21, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Funny how pens fans complain about Caps fans whining on our own board, I would think fans have license to do so if it makes them feel better. One thing I notice is that on other boards (hockey news, sporting news, etc) the pens fans are the ones who are ALWAYS whining. I think the government should step in and take both of the computers in pburg away and deem the experiment to bring them into the 21st century a failure.

Posted by: ds_kelly | May 21, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Lack of calls against the Pens vs. the Canes, especially two that resulted in injuries, makes me think that thre is preferential treatment. I was a little surprised that Cooke didn't at least get a suspension after the NHL had a chance to review the cheap shot on Cole, but the same happened on Kunitz's two-hander to Varly's neck. Pittsburgh just seems to get away with a lot more than other teams....would this have changed the ultimate outcome vs. the Caps? I don't think so but it would have made for some more evenly played games.

It bothers me to think that the NHL has become more like the NBA with stars like Kobe receiving phantom foul calls like he did a couple nights ago in a close game. It hurts the overall product when the casual fan can see that the officiating is biased towards a team the league would like to see advance. It's pretty obvious that the NHL's dream series is Detroit vs. Pittsburgh.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 21, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

from what i saw in the caps/pens seriers, crosby didnt so much stand in front of the net as much as he stood to the side of the net. like gretzky, he has an ability to be where the puck is going to be and the hands/feet to bury the puck when he gets it. not to say he wont take a hit around the net, but he's no holmstrom. it would be great if the caps had someone to do the same, but that is easier said than done. i think backs could be that guy.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 21, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I would agree but Backs is much more important with the puck, creating time and space to find the open man. Doesn't seem like Laich has a problem doing it. Just need a couple more guys like that.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 21, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

people: we can't call other teams/fans whiners if we continually raise officiating as a reason for our lack of success.

Posted by: doughless | May 21, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this has already been discussed (I haven't read all the previous posts) but how is it the Caps had to play back-to-back in their series with the Pens and now it seems like the Canes/Pens have had a week off between their games 1 and 2? What, did the Pens get three days off to participate in Yanni fan club events? Why are we constantly shafted when it comes to scheduling vs. the Pens in the playoffs? (yes, I'm also referring to 1999, remember that?)

Posted by: CAP-lanta | May 21, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

moose, i'm with you on backs. i was thinking more about when were on the pplay or in a set offence. lot of crosby's goals came when the pens had set up in our zone and were pounding the puck from the points...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 21, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"people: we can't call other teams/fans whiners if we continually raise officiating as a reason for our lack of success."

It's certainly not the only reason, but to deny that it was a reason at all is as silly as saying it was the only reason.

Penalty calling in the Caps/Pens series wasn't consistent. It's just a fact.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 21, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

fan1, I can see that on the PP. I think I've seen him a couple times parked to the side of the net (not as close as Crosby gets probably). That would be a good position for him. He would have a bunch of options to pass or shoot.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 21, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the image that keeps coming to mind is the scales of Justice, with a Pens' logo on one platter and the Caps' on the other...from outside of the frame come two sleeved arms--one in a dress shirt with NHL cufflinks (cough--Bettman--cough), the other in a referee's stripes...The thumbs of both disembodied arms push down firmly on the platter bearing the Pens' logo.

The POV pans to the face of Justice, who uses her free hand to remove the blindfold from her eyes.

Justice beholds the scales and weeps...

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 21, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Can you explain to me where the Pens heart was the first 75% of the regular season? Im starting to think they are a team that only plays when it matters...
Posted by: SA-Town

---
The first 75% of the regular season doesn't matter as long as you play well enough to get to the playoffs.

What good is a second seed after regular season if you can't make it out of the second round of the playoffs?

Posted by: Dalliquippa | May 21, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

@moose33 - hope springs eternal!

to avangard, khl:

Great choice on Nylander. Of course we Caps fans will be desolate in his absence but at least we'll be happy to think that the fans in Avangard can see the unsung man who is clearly the best player in the NHL,

Posted by: WritingLight | May 23, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

So where was Crosby whining about how long it took for them to take the hats off the ice when Malkin scored his hat trick.

What a whining hypocrite, I hope the Wings smoke them in the finals.

Posted by: digster1013 | May 25, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

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