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Morning Roundup: Caps Come Up Short

One of Jose Theodore's two straight highlight-reel saves in OT. (Toni L. Sandys - The Post)

Morning Roundup

Summing up last night's 3-2 shootout loss to the Devils in short, caveman-style sentences: Goalies good. Capitals okay. Devils better.

"Even though we have a fairly veteran team, it's learning how to win again," Coach Bruce Boudreau said after the defeat. "When you've got it, instead of thinking, 'Uh-oh, what's going to happen, what's going to go wrong?' You're thinking, 'No problem, we're going to win it.' That's the mindset a little bit right now. So it would be good to eventually win a game again."

The full recap can be found here.

Here's Tarik's wrap-up video, with fancy, panning-across-the-ice intro: (Can you tell I wasn't filming this time?)

More on the loss and some other stuff:

* Theo's awesomeness:

* The Other Guys (WashTimes):

Despite all of the preseason hype and expectations, the Washington Capitals are not a great team ... right now. The Caps are a good team and maybe a very good team. But it is time to shelve the "great team" or "elite team" status for a while.

* Examiner:

The Caps failed to convert on three power plays in the third period and never extended a 2-1 lead. It's hard to complain too much about the power play, of course. This group will carry the Caps for much of the season. But still - the chances were there and they didn't convert and the Devils were resourceful enough to pull even and then grab the extra point.

* NJ Star-Ledger:

A sellout crowd at the Verizon Center showed up, primarily, to watch the Washington Capitals dynamo known as Alex Ovechkin and his talented supporting cast.
For one period Monday night, so did the Devils -- until coach Jacques Lemaire demanded that his players stop being awed spectators.

(Speaking of a sellout crowd, The Times' Corey Masisak says it wasn't quite so.)

* NY Post:

"We're learning as we go along," said Jamie Langenbrunner, whose shootout decider gave the Devils a comeback 3-2 victory over the powerful Caps here last night. "When you have a new team, it takes some time to feel confident, some time for guys to get their role.


In three of its last four games, Washington has held a third-period lead. In the other game, it rallied to tie the game early in the third. But the Caps went 0-2-2 in those four games. The Caps have allowed 10 goals in the third period and overtime thus far this season.

* On Frozen Blog:

Every hockey team every offseason makes additions and subtractions with its roster, and in the middle portion of the new season's first month we may be learning just how much the Capitals already miss Sergei Fedorov.

* LA Times via Kukla's Korner:

Ted Leonsis: We have a plan and a strategy. We have young players. And now we want them maturing and against Detroit it was two of our best players, who are two of the best players in the league, who took the penalties. That's what I meant by like spoiled teenagers. They're fantastic players and they're beloved by the coach, by their teammates, by me, by the community, and they were trained and told not to take those kinds of penalties and they did.

* Shots from last night, by Washington Post photog Toni Sandys:

Chris Clark and David Clarkson get into it in the first period. (Toni L. Sandys - The Washington Post)

New Jersey's Rob Niedermayer holds Milan Jurcina. (Toni L. Sandys - The Washington Post)

Marty Brodeur stops Alex Ovechkin in the shootout to clinch the win. (Toni L. Sandys - The Washington Post)

Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin celebrate Green's first-period goal. (Toni L. Sandys - The Washington Post)

* Practice is at 11 a.m. More to come from KCI.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  October 13, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Devils 3, Caps 2 (SO)
Next: Erskine, Poti and Gordon Missing From Practice


I know I was complaining about OV's D presence, now it looks like he has gone the other way. There were several reversals b the Devil's D that OV normally would come like a guided missle done the boards,out of position, and crush the D. It looks like they are all thinking too much and not just playing hockey.

You have good games and slide away from the team system and take it too far. You go back and work to get everyone on the same page and it swings the other way.

6 games in they will figure it out before the end of the season. Remember Semin played the 2nd line with either Nyls or FEds at center. Both European puck posession type of centers. Morrison is more of the North American dish to the wing and drive the backside post type of center. It may be a greater learning curve then last year for Sasha switching up the first 2 lines.

As for the team with Lang, Jags,etc., they did not want to play for Cassidy. Jags would not go back into a game because Cassidy took him off the power play in the 2nd period. Certain long time caps hated Jags and were stunned by the trade. That team was completely disfunctional. This group of caps is not disfunctional but still most of the talent is under 25. They need to learn how to win together and finish out games.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | October 13, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

These low production value videos add nothing, I prefer to read Tarik's updates.

Posted by: sroessle | October 13, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

FYI , one of the picture captions above reads Mary Brodeur. LOL.

Posted by: Grape8 | October 13, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

bring up the kid that can fight...lets get him to start the fire...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 13, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

We look very average:Chris Pronger would look really good in a Caps uniform right close yet so far - sigh.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 13, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

@Grape8: AH! Thank you!

Posted by: Lindsay_Applebaum | October 13, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

should have left it as Mary.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | October 13, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The 2nd line wasn't getting anything going last night. On the ice for both goals against and really didn't do much for offensive pressure. Knuble on the top line is pretty good but in this game Semin didn't seem like as good a great fit with Morrison and Laich.

Posted by: Stu_c | October 13, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@ lylewimbledon: Let it go, dude. It's a sad waste of everyone's time to have to see someone lament over Pronger. Let me guess, you still harboring ill feelings towards your parents for not getting you a pony for Christmas? *rolls eyes*

Move on....

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 13, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@Grape8: AH! Thank you!

Ah come on. You couldn't have left it that way for fun? ;-)

Posted by: BigRed8 | October 13, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Our current troubles aren't defense, or goalie related. These two units are playing very well right now. Our problem is the offense. The first two lines have been plagued with no look backhand passes leading directly to odd man rushes the other way for the past two and a half games. You can only stop so many 3 on 2 breaks before a connection is made that make the Defense and Goalie look bad.

Posted by: rovingbandit | October 13, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't want the Caps to peak too early, maybe right after the Olympics break?

That said, I wouldn't mind seeing a trade for a veteran defender.

Posted by: hockeygood1 | October 13, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

On the plus side, Theo has looked very good in consecutive games. 2.65 GAA with a .908+ sv% should be good enough to win a lot of games for this team (especially if he can keep up his more recent .925 sv % clip). In four games, the NYR loss was his only mediocre effort.

Hopefully, it was just an off night for the second line. I worry the second goal resulting from their inability to clear the zone was not a fluke. BMo and Semin cannot win the puck in battles along the boards.

While the PK (largely thanks to Theo) had a very solid night, the power play unit looked terrible.

Posted by: HeShootsHeScores | October 13, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Chicken Little was doing the same clucking back in April and May when the Nats got off to their horrific start ("Oh Nooo Cluck cluck this MEANS Nats will finish last! Sky is falling!")
Yo Chicky- news flash. Different sport, but ya, the sky WAS falling, Nats DID finish last something like 50 games out of first, and i guess we DID have reason to be concerned back in May.

Posted by: peabody2 | October 13, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

OH NO there's someone here who has no sense of humor. OH NO the Nats wear red the Caps wear red so the Caps will lose 100+ games this year!!! OH NO, the two teams and sports are so comparable!!! OH NOOOOOOO.....

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 13, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@ Left Coast

I'm trying to move on, but I get reminded every other day on how crappy our defensemen really are.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 13, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I agree our problem is offense right now. When you score 3, 2, 2 goals(our last 3 games) the margin for error is really small and everything is magnified. When you go 1 for 9 on PP and 0 for 2 with 5 on 3 (Ranger Game) Will be tough to beat anyone. Yesterday we had numerous chances to put the game away on the Power Play and another 5 on 3. We are 2 for 17 in last 3 games that's 11% would put us in the bottom 3rd of the league with that %.

I think the problem so far lies in meshing styles. Where you have Green, Semin, Ovie, Backstrom with great amount of skill and they want to move it around with quick passes and find those seams. Last year many times our Power Play had Feds, Kozlov, Semin, Backs, Ovie, Green and Flash a combination of those 5. Boudreau would throw Laich from time to time in their to mix it up but for the majority of the time we had 5 guys with immense amount of skill moving the puck around and setting up those tap tap goals.

Bottom line it will take a little time to mesh Knuble and Bmo with the skilled guys. I also think when Flash comes back will give us more creativity on top two lines.

11% on the power play is not going to win you many games.

P.S By the way watched Carlson over the weekend. 20-30 more games in AHL and he will be bored. He is already the best D-man between the two teams on any given night. Alzner looks like he is playing a lot more aggressive this year and challenges forwards early and doesn't back in to the net as he had a tendency to do that last year when called up.

Posted by: lightshow | October 13, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

This will be my one contribution to the CI today. The sky is NOT falling. The Caps are NOT in a hole - a bit of a funk maybe, but when put to task, the team has responded. Team D has stiffened considerably. Theo has been pretty good.

Penalties are an issue and that takes discipline. We're down to 5 penalties now. It should be no more than 4. The timing of the penalties could be a whole lot better, though.

The one thing I noticed is the percent effectiveness of the shoot-out. NJ had no one under 50%. We had no one over 28%. I'm sorry, but Ovie is not the person to put out there. I'd keep Semin and Backstrom maybe and use Knuble.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 13, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@ChickenLittleCapsFan: Are you really tominfl? Because you have a beautiful sense of humor and are making me laugh?

And if you are tominfl, please report on your first phonebooth experience!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 13, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I thought Green had a HORRIBLE game out there last night. Yes, he pinched and got the 2nd goal. But he was also slow and looked lazy out there once we got the lead.

He made poor turnovers on both ends of the ice, and I think he held the puck on his stick and started at Brodeur for 13min and 24 seconds of the 5-3 PP (give or take a few seconds). So frustrating when 80% of the fans in the section I was in were just yelling "SHOOT IT". Reminded me of watching the Caps under Hanlin. They looked confused on what to do.

At least OV knows that you can't score if you don't shoot... sigh. That PK kill was HUGE.

Also noticed that right before start of 3rd period: NJ players all standing at bench, and players on ice were skating around w/ energy. US: sitting on bench w/ heads down, and guys on ice standing around.

Body language spoke volumes.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | October 13, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Another idea:

why is everyone so fixated on moving Semin to Morrison's line? Why not Ovie? Semin and Backstrom have great chemistry, add Knuble and you have a banger. (Ovie doesn't need a banger, he's one himself..) Maybe Ovie plays with Morrison and Laich. (And no, neither Laich nor Morrison paid me to write this but I'm sure they'd be thrilled...)

This gives us, instead of a number 1 and 2 line, two number 1 lines. When he needs more O, BB can always pair the Alexes.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 13, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

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