Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Morning Roundup: Caps Waste Late Lead


(Jonathan Newton - The Washington Post)

Morning Roundup

The Caps' 4-3 loss at home to the Rangers last night wasn't all Jose Theodore's fault, but the two soft, third-period goals he allowed certainly don't help his case for becoming Washington's No. 1 goalie. From today's game story:

"Both of them were top of the circles," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Those are the ones in the third period you've got to stop. You have to stop them. He kept us in the game for most of the game, but those are ones -- goals three and four -- that you've got to stop."
Although the season is only four games old, frustration is already running high. Boudreau, who is normally affable after wins and losses, grew agitated in the postgame news conference, snapped at one question, then left the podium briskly.
But before he departed, he said there was plenty of blame to spread around.


Click here to read the rest.
Other odds and ends:

* "The Caps have now allowed 14 goals over the last eight periods of hockey. That's an unacceptable rate for a team that fancies itself a contender in the Eastern Conference." (Examiner)

* "... the Caps have followed up five periods of looking like the 1977 Canadiens to open the season with seven periods of looking like, well, a team that can score goals but can't stop them." (In the Room)

* Washingtoncaps.com: Recap | Postgame video

* The Caps need to "realize that talent alone isn't enough." (Japers' Rink)

* ESPN: Can Ovie get 50 in 50? (Sorry, bad timing for this, but the good news is he's got goals to spare.)

*Whoa, whoa, whoa -- did Scott Hartnell bite Kris Letang's finger in Philly last night? (ESPN's Pierre Lebrun)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  October 9, 2009; 5:41 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Rangers 4, Caps 3
Next: Slight Changes Up Front (Updated)

Comments

A trip to Detroit is a great way to figure out how good you are, and how good you want to be...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 9, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

I'll start things off with a bold statement that I will stand behind until #52 does something to change it:

Mike Green is the laziest defensive player on the Caps. I honestly hoped they would move him to forward to let him play the game he was trying to play.

The seats we had were on the Caps "home" side so I got to see him more than normal - he just doesn't care about his own end. Ovechkin played better defense than Green last night - and that seems to be a trend.

People chalked up his playoff meltdown to fatigue and injuries - I think it's just that he does no seem to know how to play defense any more.

(Now to go find an alternate route around the pedestrian-struck-beltway...)

Posted by: armonroe | October 9, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Terrible effort defensively for everyone last night, both forwards not back checking, and D being out of position..Not that it was their fault last night, but anytime Schultz and Erskine are two of your six defenseman, you've got a weakness back on the blueline...No speed and no mobility with those two...

Posted by: topshelf | October 9, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

I agree, Mike Green would be better served as a forward. But than again...he can't hit the NET!
Green took 15 shots last night (2 were on net, 6 missed the net and 7 were blocked).
Everybody know Green is shooting glove side high...every single time!

Posted by: 555Mass | October 9, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

OK...First, there is a superstition that has been around forever that you dont talk about the cup until you have the cup. The media does nothing around DC but talk about championships that a team should be able to win before they even start playing their season. So the media builds these guys up and makes them think they are so good that it seems as if they get lazy and start to think things are going to be handed to them. So since we have 82 games that have to be played before we even get to the playoffs, can we please please please stop talking about the cup.

Also, I said it last year and I'll say it again, Mike Green does not know how to play defense. I know boudreau has this obsession with him because he is explosive offensively but if he is going to put him on the ice with Semin, OV, and Backstrom, you need someone on the ice who is going to backcheck and play defense out of those 4.

That was the sloppiest, most pathetic game i have seen them play in a while. This team is great and has a lot of talent, but if you can't play defense, and stop a puck through your 5 hole (3 of the 4 goals last night) then this team is in for a rude awakening

Posted by: CapsFan44 | October 9, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Yea, it stinks to lose this way, but all things considered it's early. And if they use games like this as a lesson for later in the season so it doesn't happen again, then fine. I'd love for the Caps to win every game, but that's not going to happen. I'd rather them finish strong than start strong. And I'm not going to excuse the goaltending, but having them play every other game makes it hard to get some consistency out of each goalie. I think we're fortunate that we have a third option in Neuvirth if things don't shape up. But really, it's early, the boys will make adjustments and things aren't going to be so bad. This was the first game after all that we didn't get any points out of.

Posted by: Capcrazy77 | October 9, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Question for you Schultz bashers that are also saying Theo gave up two softies. The only goals against Schultz was on the ice for are goals 3 and 4, the same one that are considered Theo's softies. Which is it, softies by Theo, or defense. It isn't both. IMO, I was sitting behind Theo, two in a row between the wickets, sorry they were weak. From the distance the shots were taken the defense gave Theo a clear look, they should have been stopped.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Switch Knuble and Semin. Now. Pls.

Posted by: CapsKH | October 9, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Oh man, and I have to put this out there. There is a new season ticket holder (assuming he is because he's been in the same seat two games in a row) in section 430 Row M or so that is freakin' killing me. He believes he is coaching the Caps, I swear. He is constantly yelling "pass to the left, you got time, you got time, back door, back check back check, body body." You all get the picture. If you're on here dude, shut the HE double hockey sticks up. Hey everyone has their thing, but please, anyone else that may be in section 430 please share just how annoying this is. It gets progressively gets worse as the game goes on because he's sucking down the brews too. Hey, I'm all for cheering, or for showing displeasure for a boo here and there, but I honestly believe this guy thinks the Caps are listening. Gonna tolerate it for a couple more games and if it continues me and about 8 other fellow season ticket holders are going to calmly go up and ask that he refrain from this annoying compulsive behavior.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Also, I hope we are not going to have another disgruntled veteran on this team. From early articles I am lead to believe that Knuble thought he was going to be cleaning up Ovi's garbage in front of the net. He doesn't even get PP time with a quality group. By the time Knuble steps on Ovi's tired and Semin and Backstrom are on the bench.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Knuble SHOULD be in that position...I really hope BB makes that switch for tomorrow's game. That would hopefully also eliminate some of the unnecessary extra passing that goes on.

Posted by: CapsKH | October 9, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

You could tell from the jump the Caps weren't into the game last night. They seemed lazy and careless. I guess they really do need Fehr and Flash back so that they have some third-line scoring opportunities.

@fanohock1, by not putting Knuble on the top line and on the first PP unit, they're essentially rendered the signing ineffective. His job is to be the gritty winger on the top line and to be the guy screening the goalie on the first PP unit. I know Laich had some success there in the first couple of games, but I'd like to see Knuble take it over.

Green can't put a damn shot on net these days. Sickening. Fans only tolerate his lackadaisical defense because he scores. Well, that hasn't been happening dating back to the playoffs.

I guess Schultz is still shying away from contact of any kind. Still the least physical defensive player. And he got danced on a breakaway last night. Looks familiar.

Posted by: CDon | October 9, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I knew we would lose from the moment Ms. D.C didnt take off her crown to sing the National Anthem.

Uncle Sam punishes those who disrespect.

Posted by: SA-Town | October 9, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town - well put. Now if only something can be done about the whole "O" and "Red" bs....

Posted by: superpaqman | October 9, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

The season is in its infancy stage but the cast of characters have not changed. They looked outstanding in Boston but old habits continue to haunt this team. I do believe they have bought into the hype. Mike Green is a lazy player along with several others playing defense. BB, stop switching the d-men. It is time to establish pairings. The defense is flawed and nothing was done about it during the off season. The goalies are unpredictable and our defense will not clear the area around the crease with consistency. Coach B is bringing up the same issues that he talked about last year in terms of reasons for losing. Matters that you think the coaching staff would have resolved. The Rangers deserved to win last night's game by at least 3 goals if not more. They were tenacious defensively when needed and now have offensive support. The term elite has been used to describe the capitals but based on what we have seen so far it is premature to put them in that class. There are quite a few teams in the Eastern Conference that will be heard from before the 2009- 2010 season concludes. The Capitals need to make adjustments if they plan on being one of those clubs. associate this team

Posted by: jnjensor | October 9, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Yea..the anthem is a joke now...if people want to make noise through the whole song, we might as well go Chicago style and scream and yell through the whole thing...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 9, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

As a veteran I find the disrespect shown the anthem and the flag a complete disgrace. I have taught my children to remove their hat and place their hand over their heart during the anthem and most importantly DO NOT SPEAK!! Show reverance people....a lot of brave men have given their lives for that flag and to give you people the right to act like complete a$$'s during its playing, show respect for their sacrifice and shut the he!! up!!

Posted by: PhilR | October 9, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or is Backs a backchecking demon? I think he's the only forward on the first 3 lines playing any defense right now.

Posted by: snakegriffin | October 9, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

@capskh and foh1, we are definately on the same page, put Knubbs on the pp and line him with ovi and backs!!!!!!! attn coach woods, can we have a little pep talk with the D. oh i almost forgot how beautiful that pass from pothier to semin was!and on another note, all the other teams D are gonna play us the same way the rags did, gonna set 4 on the blue line and not try to let us carry the puck through the neutral zone!!!!! see everybody mon. night at vc! now get your heads outta your a$$ CAPS and lets go kick the S#*T outta red wings damn it!!!!! sorry got a little excited... LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: bigBinMd | October 9, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Switch Knuble and Semin. Now. Pls.

AGREED! 1000% And have him on the 1st Power Play unit.

That's why Knuble was signed, wasn't it? To create havoc in front of the opposition goaltender and score from close in.

Posted by: roger14 | October 9, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Nickie is the only constant consistant player out there. (was that redundant?)He is amazing! I can't remember the last time I saw him not play good in a game.

And speaking of the anthem, F'ing Rags fans when they did their cheer DURING the anthem...couldn't get more disrespectful. Tot'y uncalled for.

Posted by: CapsKH | October 9, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Also, the puck control and cycling of the Clark line has been pretty darn good. Nice to see a healthy captain.

Would also like to see Knuble on the first line as well - I think Bouds is just trying to go with the hot line right now, but it may be hurting the rest of the team's chemistry.

Posted by: snakegriffin | October 9, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

@CapsKH

One of the reasons why Caps fans hate Pens/Philly/Rangers the most is because they come in our building and act like scum.

Im over them...I loved it last year during the playoffs, that anyone with a Rangers jersey that got in an altercation or acted a fool was gone...

they were gone, unless a Caps fan stood up for you and said...it's not his fault..I saw the whole thing..

Posted by: SA-Town | October 9, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I thought the best quote after the game was Knuble's which was something like:

"if we score 3 goals, we should be able to win games in this league.. it's not about trying to outscore your opponent at the end of the game in order to win"

That's the kind of thinking the Caps desperately need. While we're blessed with offensive talent, the entire team needs to be able to play defense because until I see otherwise, our goaltending is hot/cold at best.

A lot of that is up to Boudreau - getting the team to buy into a more defensive system and punishing those who don't play it.

Posted by: Jaymagz | October 9, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Hot on the heels of the Cap's exhibition like approach to hockey last nigth .. for joker of the game, the award goes to the Cap's management and the mess they are making out of the National Anthem by their continued silence in the face of an escalating pile of trash.

Trashy comments, RED! O!!! .. what's next? And in the nation's capital no less. Maybe 2 songs .. a Cap's fight song (stage a contest) to be sung right after the anthem might give fans from both sides the chance to take their verbal shots. But can we get back to the anthem being only that?

Posted by: tslats | October 9, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

For those wondering about Neuvy's health, this is from Tim Leone's article this morning:
"French didn't announce a starting goalie for tonight, but he said the decision will be between Braden Holtby and Jason Bacashihua. He said it is 50-50 whether Michal Neuvirth (hip flexor) will play this weekend."

Bears are AT Wilkes-Barre tonight and AT Binghamton Saturday, HOME Sunday against Manchester.

http://www.pennlive.com/hersheybears/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/sports/125504341476250.xml&coll=1

Posted by: tess2201 | October 9, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Theo was aweful...d was terrible...how much longer until someone wakes up and says our defensemen suck and we need some new blood back there? It's been several years of this...trade Nylander and a couple defensemen.

Alzner, Carlson?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 9, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I'll start things off with a bold statement that I will stand behind until #52 does something to change it:

Mike Green is the laziest defensive player on the Caps. I honestly hoped they would move him to forward to let him play the game he was trying to play.

The seats we had were on the Caps "home" side so I got to see him more than normal - he just doesn't care about his own end. Ovechkin played better defense than Green last night - and that seems to be a trend.

People chalked up his playoff meltdown to fatigue and injuries - I think it's just that he does no seem to know how to play defense any more.

(Now to go find an alternate route around the pedestrian-struck-beltway...)

Posted by: armonroe | October 9, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't agree more...everyone rides his jock bc he scores goals...what I'm looking for first in a defenseman is to keep the puck out of our net. I wouldn't go into panic mode yet, but, man, this looks like the same team - they haven't matured or learned at all...dumb penalties, bad goaltending, horrible defense, no one clears the crease. When is enough is enough? It will not be enough in June!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 9, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

As a veteran I find the disrespect shown the anthem and the flag a complete disgrace. I have taught my children to remove their hat and place their hand over their heart during the anthem and most importantly DO NOT SPEAK!! Show reverance people....a lot of brave men have given their lives for that flag and to give you people the right to act like complete a$$'s during its playing, show respect for their sacrifice and shut the he!! up!!

Posted by: PhilR | October 9, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse


I agree...it's moronic and disrespectful behavior.

Posted by: JCB9 | October 9, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Well the main reason Greenie's defensive deficiencies are glaring is because he's not scoring. As an offensive defenseman, he's supposed to take risks in the offensive end and play adequately defensively. Unfortunately, these two things are nearly mutually exclusive because if you're jumping in on the rush or pinching down, you're almost certainly going to be out of position defensively if you're not controlling the puck offensively on the shift. Green's problem is not that he's a terrible defenseman, it's that his out-of-sync offensive play (shots missing, being blocked, etc.) are almost as bad as turnovers because they lead to rushes where he's out-of-position.

In other words, he's an *adequate* defenseman when he's producing offensively, but that ain't happening right now. So I agree with most, but for a different reason.

Posted by: snakegriffin | October 9, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the ongoing goalie issues...

After seeing some posters slam Varlamov the other night, I said it would be interesting to see the reactions as soon as Theo gives up some softies and gets lit up.

It took all of one game.

Now some are clamoring for Neuvirth to get called up.

My thought: Wait until Neuvirth gives up some softies and gets lit up. It will be interesting to see the reactions.

All goalies give up soft goals at times. People are overreacting to small sample sizes with both Varlamov and Theodore and they'll do the same if and when Neuvirth gets called up.

Plus, any goalie who plays for the Capitals is going to look worse over the long run than he would playing for most other NHL teams. Our defensive abilities and concept of team defense puts anybody in our net at a disadvantage.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm a little surprised by BB putting this one on the goalie (and quite frankly also by Tarik being spoon-fed his lead!). I'm as critical of Three-or-more as anyone, but let's face it. He was much, much better than Varly was the other night. And yes, the 3rd goal was weak and a real killer... but he didn't see the 4th goal. If Ovie scored that one, we'd all be saying "did you see the lightning release and how he used the d-man as a screen." Gaborik -- when healthy -- is an elite player; that last one was hardly the goalie's fault. Nor were the other 2.

There was terrible team D last night -- from the D-men backing in too much to the pp unit being lazy with the puck, etc, etc.

BB took it out on the goalie because that unfortunately for us is an easy target. He might as well of blamed Nylander, too.

He needs his boys working harder instead of being enamored with just how wonderful they all are.

That's on the coach, my firends.

Posted by: sinbin | October 9, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

How right you are with your last statement about our goalies looking worse cuz of our D.

I'm sure the goalies would be more confident in the net if they knew they had D in front of them that could get the job done. But unfortunately, they don't have that luxury.

Posted by: CapsKH | October 9, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I was watching the MSG feed and they had a short interview with Knuble between the second and third periods. Now I know why BB gave him an A. The guy was genuinely pissed and was very unhappy with the play (I also remember a great back check from him in the second).

It's good to see that he will be a leader on this team. I hope BB utilizes him to his full potential because I think he will be very important for this team going forward.

Posted by: Moose33 | October 9, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

All goalies give up soft goals at times. People are overreacting to small sample sizes with both Varlamov and Theodore and they'll do the same if and when Neuvirth gets called up.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 9, 2009 9:50 AM

Took the words right out of my mouth. A certain Vezina winner from last year has a 4 GAA through 3 games. We need to be a little bit more patient with the guys between the pipes.

Posted by: Moose33 | October 9, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Ugh, the MSG feed... was "The Maven" making bold predictions about the Rags winning the cup yet?

Posted by: snakegriffin | October 9, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

This team went through this same process last year - coughing up leads. Over the last two they've given up the lead five times (three times in Philly and twice last night). They eventually worked their way out of that style and they will this year. We got exactly what we expected from the NYRs last night - great PK and a rejuvenated offense with all the new guys and Gaborik. Without the rerigged offense the Rangers score 2 and we win, even without Nicky's fluke goal.

Still not worried. Let's head to Detroit and see what's what.

Backstrom will get 100 this year.

Posted by: saintex | October 9, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Nickie is a god!

I sure do hope Auger isn't the ref AGAIN on Sat. 2 games in a row with him is too much to handle.

Posted by: CapsKH | October 9, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse


Guys, you really can't blame the ref on this one.

Auger was fair throughout the game. He gave 9 penalties on NYR. Yet, how many PP goals did we cash in??

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | October 9, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Michaletti and Rosen are such homers it's unbelievable. They showed the Caps first line and then put up the Rags first line and said they were comparable in skill. I think Michaletti gave the Caps the benefit of the doubt and said they might be "slighty" more skilled. Thanks.

Posted by: Moose33 | October 9, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

tslats,

You must be kidding. You blame the Caps managemanet for the way the crowd acts during the National Anthem? And they are supposed to do what? Remove the offenders one by one? I never liked the "O" and do not like the "red", but I am afraid that stuff is not going away. They announce about joining the singer loudly, proudly, and respectfully. Lead by example, sing loud and proud.

Posted by: _Mark | October 9, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I agree Mark...you cant blame ownership for something the crowd wants to do...

It is what it is...

Get a war vet with his legs blown off on the jumbotron to ask everyone to respect the anthem in it's true format because it means alot to him...

You wont hear anything then...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 9, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm not blaming the ref. But in my opinion, Auger is a horrible ref who calls tickytack crap and doesn't let the boys be boys and to get him 2 games in a row sucks.

I tot'y blame the team for last night's performance, hands down!

Posted by: CapsKH | October 9, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Hey, if that is an Ovi coffee mug at the top of the page that is for sale I want one.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm a pretty tolerant guy, patient and willing to let the guys grow. Last year we knew that D and goal would kill us and it did. So what I was looking for at the beginning of this year was growth and effort.

I see no growth from Poti at all. Neither do I see any from Schultz.

I do see some from Erskine, but mostly I see effort. Same from ShaMo and Juice.

Green is a basket case. I don't know what to think about him. Why not put him on 3rd or 4th line wing instead of Sloan. He's still not interested in playing defense and we need defense.

Speaking of Sloan, I was impressed with his drive on wing. He may not know where he's going or what he's supposed to do all the time, but it isn't for the lack of effort.

I would be amenable to trading any of the D except Erskine and ShaMo maybe Juice. Bring Sloan back to D and put Green in his place.

On goalies, it seems they can only play 2/3 of a game so switch them in the 3rd. Baseball has relief pitchers and closers, so why not? Kinda fun to think about anyways.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 9, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"The media does nothing around DC but talk about championships that a team should be able to win before they even start playing their season. So the media builds these guys up and makes them think they are so good that it seems as if they get lazy and start to think things are going to be handed to them..." - Capsfan44

Very good point. The Washington media have no sports' journalists worth a dime. They just provide sound bites and worthless opinions - not much different than the people blogging here.

"Switch Knuble and Semin. Now. Pls."-CapsKH

In my opinion that will be a mistake.

@tmac2yao
I agree with you post on the goalie situation. And lets not forget how many times people have called for the stars of the AHL to come and replace one of the current players to then find out he is not ready for prime time.


Posted by: hock1 | October 9, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Bouds needs to be the coach and stop trying to be buddies with the "young guns". 8-19-28 needed to be broken apart by the mid-2nd period last night (on the PP also). also, mike green looks completely lost. the guy is a liability on the ice right now.

when are the "young guns" going to realize that reputation and attitude aren't going to win games? More Knuble & back to basics hockey, less "Young Guns" BS and passing arounf the perimeter during 5 on 3 PPs.

Posted by: doughless | October 9, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I'd be more worried if Bruce weren't all over the situation. He recognizes there are problems, and I'm sure he'll have the whole team working on those issues. I'm with saintex - we'll get the worst of this straightened out.

If our two "bad" games equal an OT loss on the road in Philly and a one-goal margin loss to the NYR, then I think we're doing alright. Can we do better? Of course. And I'm sure we will. We saw what we're capable of in Boston opening night, especially the first 40 minutes. Tighten it up later to hold the lead and I think we'll be alright.

I love the explosiveness of the OV-Backstrom-Semin line, but they do get a little cute sometimes. I would like to see Knuble and Semin switched at least as an experiment for a few games to see how that chemistry works out in a regular season situation.

Let's go Caps!

Posted by: BigRed8 | October 9, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

2 random comments: Nicky's second goal was a thing of beauty. Nice passes, nice finish. That goes in on a wall with a crack in it.

For those of you down on our older defensemen (the Ps, mostly), recall the 2 on 1 in the third where Poti (or maybe it was Pothier), calmly played the pass and let Theo made the save. Its basic hockey, but its amazing how many defensemen, especially with a goalie that's a little leaky, will try to be a hero and get burned.

And a specific comment: can we PLEEEEZE not start the national anthem debate AGAIN. For those of us who have been here many seasons, I can assure you we will not reach a consensus on this any more than we will solve mid-east peace on the blog. Ted's on record as saying he doesn't like the yelling, but people do it; they aren't going to start throwing people out who don't comply with instructions to stand or remove hats or whatever for any number of reasons that I won't get into. Clearly, its an emotional issue for many people on many levels, and it comes up every year and usually hijacks the blogs for a long time. So, for those of you new this year, please understand that its one of those subjects that many of us don't like brought up because its the same every year. So, with that history lesson/ PSA/ plea, I return you to our more interesting debate as to who sucks more: the goalie or the defense. Best, OTH.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 9, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

From a couple of post back.

"...The main thing I've suggested is reorganize the cast of characters on the PP units. (No, I don't have any groupings in mind and assume it will be most of the current group -- but reorganized a bit and maybe substituting a guy or two.)

Posted by: CapsFan75

I would agree with that, and more forcefully when they have a two man advantage - I notice that the Rangers pretty much stationed a barrier on goal with their D-men, we need players to go in and move them away.

Posted by: hock1 | October 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@hock1,

Neat idea, but going into the offensive crease to push people aside is a good way to end up in the box, get a goal dis-allowed or get the crap beaten out of you. Or maybe all three. Just saying.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 9, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

How can anyone complain about the OV-Backs-Semin line? - oh, wait, it is the Caps fans.

Asking them to break the line is asinine, that is the best line in the league. It is like taking a Ferrari engine apart so you can run the GM clunker you have in the garage.

Posted by: hock1 | October 9, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@olttimehockey. I hear you, but someone has to open a hole somewhere, the pucks are not going in through that wall.

Posted by: hock1 | October 9, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town - well put. Now if only something can be done about the whole "O" and "Red" bs....

Posted by: superpaqman | October 9, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

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

Another vet here - I too think the O and red is deplorable - don't think management can do anything about it. Rangers fans yelling during the anthem is just plain crass.

Team looked awful last night - OV sucked, Semin thinks he can dance through the zone. Knuble, Backs and Bmo were the only ones that impressed overall. Must say that Theo kept us in the game through the first two periods. We have problems but the sky is not falling, BB coach "em up and let's go beat the Red wings - then I'll see you all back in the phone booth on Monday.

One last thought: the Rags fans were classless and obnoxious after the game - I can see why fights happen.

Posted by: Redwolf1 | October 9, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"How can anyone complain about the OV-Backs-Semin line? - oh, wait, it is the Caps fans."

Did you see the Ovi-Backs-Knuble line play in pre-season?? Thought not. They are an amazing line as well, and they didn't overpass, etc. etc. I'm not saying change it for ALL OF TIME...but Ovi-Backs-Knub make a damn good line, as well.

Ovi-Backs-Sem have great potential, but last night proved that even that line needs a shift every now and then.

Posted by: CapsKH | October 9, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@oldtimehockey...

You are right..the anthem is a dead horse...


I will say this before I end the subject...I have farted during the Canadian Anthem, and I dont regret it one bit.

Posted by: SA-Town | October 9, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I have asked people what they think or do when the national anthem is played. Very few - count it on your hands really - are thinking of the nation, the sacrifice by the soldiers, or any patriotic thought for that matter. The majority could be classified as the "DUH I don't know" response. When asked if they know the words to the anthem, well, the jay walkers in the Jay Leno show will give you just as good responses as I got. When I inquired on how it was possible for them to shout at the proper moment during parts of the songs, the replies went from reflexes, echoes, to a mental alarm clock.

It seems to me, that it is time to re-think the playing of anthems at the start of sports events. Alcohol and Patriotism don't mix well.

Posted by: hock1 | October 9, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Asking them to break the line is asinine, that is the best line in the league. It is like taking a Ferrari engine apart so you can run the GM clunker you have in the garage.

Posted by: hock1 | October 9, 2009 11:03 AM

It's more like taking a Ferrari engine apart and run two Porsche's with the pieces. You can put my grandmother (or Kit n' Knubble) with OV and Backs and it's still one of the best lines in the NHL. Then you have Sasha, BMo and whoever BB wants to play which is a good line as well. I would be up for the experimentation.

Posted by: Moose33 | October 9, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

And a specific comment: can we PLEEEEZE not start the national anthem debate AGAIN. For those of us who have been here many seasons, I can assure you we will not reach a consensus on this any more than we will solve mid-east peace on the blog.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 9, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

AMEN-AMEN-AMEN.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 9, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I've attached at link from NHL.com and the argument that Green is not holding up his end of the bargain isn't holding water. He's 4th on the team in +/-, and keep in mind Backstrom and Ovi are tops in the league in that category. He may not be scoring but he's not a liability either. His scoring will come because his shots that are going over the net, are not missing by much.

Backstrom was having the same issue prior to last night's game. His first was a fluke but his second was a nicely placed one-timer. I swear on my 1st dog's grave that prior to last night's game I told my son that Backstrom would bag 1 and he bagged 2.

Here's the link to all the Caps stats from NHL.com.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20102WASSASAll&sort=plusMinus&viewName=summary

Green is tops for our D and plays way more minutes than any other, 7th in the league for Time on Ice (TOI). Schultz isn't looking bad even strength either. On the other hand Erskine is the worst D in +/-, plus a lot of PIMs. You can also see why BB is ticked at 3rd and 4th line guys. They aren't scoring and they are on the ice for a lot of even strength goals.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

@Capskh
Yes I did see it, but you do understand it was preseason and the type and quality of play is different, don't you? I didn't think so (sorry, I was thinking the same way as you).
Potential? Like on "Capable of being but not yet in existence?" I think they left you behind a long time ago. OV-Back-Semin don't have potential, they are a real existing machinery of hockey.
I am not saying Knuble could not play on the first line, he is a good player, but he is more suited to play with Morrison who he has partnered before. I think the second line is good too, and I would not break a great line to create two mediocre lines. But, of course, we can differ in opinion and I respect yours.

Posted by: hock1 | October 9, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

BB has demonstrated that throughout the last year and half that no line is safe. He runs with a line while it is doing well, and when there's a problem, he'll mix them up (which he'll likely do tomorrow). Still early in the season and there's obviously some experimentation going on. Knuble was brought in for a net presence in the playoffs, and I'm confident he'll be used with the first line guys as the season progresses.

Its still early. If BB had shrugged his shoulders after this loss, I'd be a little worried, but he was mad as he-- and I'm guessing is going to light the team up today for a completely unacceptable performance. He knows what the problems are, and will do what it takes to fix it, even if it means putting people in the pressbox for a few games while giving some hershey players a little time in the bigs.

Posted by: hook99 | October 9, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@moose33
Ok. you might have your two porches, but they will not be running on all their cylinders. Matter of opinion. From what I know of BB, you might get your wish sooner than later, in my opinion that will be a mistake.

Posted by: hock1 | October 9, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

It's nice to see people finally coming to reality and calling out Green. I've been saying this all along, even last year during the goal streak. The guy is overrated and had the season of his life last year (only offensively). He's a second rate defenseman who shouldn’t have so much ice time. I hear how "great" of a skater he is. We'll i don't see it. Maybe it's because he's lazy, like someone else said. It's so frustrating to see people praise him and continue to make up excuses for him. BB needs to give him a reality check. Reduce his ice time and drop him down in the defensive lines. Most importantly, TELL HIM TO STOP SKATING THE PUCK UP!!! Our defensive is bad enough as it is, the last thing we need is for a forward to have to stay back and play defense. Plus he loses the puck EVERY TIME.

oh, and please learn a new shot. Every goalie in the league knows where he's going to shoot.

Posted by: JD09 | October 9, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@hock

Wow, you know how to use a dictionary, I'm actually smart enough to use one, too, even though you apparently think I'm an idiot. Try "capacity for growth, development."

Posted by: CapsKH | October 9, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

8-19-28 tend to get complacent and try to work on their passing skills during the game. same with the PP when 8-28-19-52 are on the ice. when this happens it is time to alternate 22 to top line and 28 to second line. line 2 needs more balance. by the way, the ferrari line will not likely keep up the current pace and opposing D will be more and more likely to put shutdown players against 8-29-28. Knubes alternating on line 1 will help open things back up.

Posted by: doughless | October 9, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

CapsKH
You seem to assume too much for your own good. You assumed that I didn't watch the preseason games, now you assume that I know how to use a dictionary and that you think you are an idiot. All wrong assumptions.
I did watch the preseason game. I don't know how to use a dictionary - I don't own one, and I don't think you are an idiot.
Relax. We differ on opinion and that is it, I did say I respected your opinion ... didn't I?
As for "capacity for growth development" - well, I stand for what I said, that train left a long time ago, but that is just my opinion and you are welcome to disagree, no one will think worse of you.

Posted by: hock1 | October 9, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe what I am reading regarding Green. Go to the NHL.com link I provided. He is THE top defensman on our team. I know, some of you hockey experts (I am being sarcastic) will say that stats don't mean anything, but you are dead wrong. Statements like he loses the puck EVERY time he carries it up is a blatant lie. He carried the puck several times last night and gained the red line and dumped it into the offensive zone. At that point it is the O's turn to do something with it. Stat wise Erskine needs to go. You can love his hits but based on +/- and his PIMs he is a liability. He has played 36 minutes less of hockey than Green this season and has 3 more PIMs. Maybe the Erskine project vice the Schultz project should end.

I don't know why I let fly by night Caps fans get under my skin. I know that 8 years from now when the Caps are having some down years most of you that complain about the Caps won't be anywhere near Verizon, well, unless the Wizards are good then you'll be rocking the blue gold and white.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@dougless,
I totally disagree with your "8-19-28 tend to get complacent and try to work on their passing skills during the game" statement. The PP is a different matter. I would eliminate Green, in my opinion he is a weak D and here I would either put Pothier or create an all forward line with Knuble on it. I think - I know I am going to get kill for this - OV is also a liability in the PP and I would definitely would not play him the full two minutes.
The bottom line the PP needs some tweaking.

Posted by: hock1 | October 9, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@ hock1

A line with two snipers on it doesnt necessarily equate to "Ferrari's". You need balanced scoring otherwise the other team can put there best blueliners out there and match your top line every shift they are on the ice. By switching them out you put two very dangerous lines on the ice thereby making it hard for the other team to stop both.

Knuble putting in rebounds from OV would be a very good idea and would probably net us a couple more goals which we could use until our D situation gets fixed. Just because the guy played with B-mo in collage doesn't mean they are a great pairing.

You do not know what you speaketh...

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | October 9, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

I think you are delusional. Simply.

Yes he can get it to the red line and dump it in. Any one of us could do that. But when he tries to skate it end to end, which he tries every night, he loses it EVERY TIME. You cannot give me an example of him skating from one end of the ice to the other and scoring.

I will check in with you midway through the season and continue to prove my point.

And stating that Green is the "top defensive on our team" doesn't say anything.

Please give me another excuse for his poor performance.

Oh, and who are YOU to decide which fans are better than others??? Get off your high horse. Every fan is just as good as the next.

Posted by: JD09 | October 9, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

This sucks! Everytime I supported Theodore, he ends up choking like a dog! Anyway, it does not matter what the Caps regular season wins or losses are as long as they make the playoffs. There is really no "home-advantage" in hockey anymore, it is more about who gets hot at the right time. Last year, the Pens and the Canes both got hot towards the end of the season and ended up in the Conference Finals, while teams such as Boston and the Caps basically were dog tired trying to maintain first and second in the standings. Well, we all saw what home court did for the Pens as they practically won all the game 7s on their opponent's rinks! Everyone knows that there are really no differences between the Capitals, Penguins, and Flyers. I would even put the Rangers, Bruins and the Canes in the mix. Any one of those teams can beat the other on any given night or series, it is just a matter of the luck of the bounces and who gets hot in the playoffs that will determine the eventual Stanley Cup representative. Regular season for me is just to see if Ovechkin can pass 100 goals or 200 points. If not, then lets just skip to the playoffs already!

Posted by: JohnWWW | October 9, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking for video of Gabby getting upset in his post-game conference. The video on Caps 365 conveniently stops short of that moment.

Posted by: CapsChick | October 9, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Give me a break. In the end, this is about results and Green hasn't produced. Granted, everything he does this season will be compared to last season, but why shouldn't it? Based on last season, we know he can be a great player, but last year's green is no where to be found.

And I really take offense to people think they are better fans than others. This is about supporting what's best for the team and questioning some players performances isn't a bad thing. I think it's actually productive. If he starts proving himself, I'll be the first to admit that I'm wrong. But if he's our "best" defenseman, we've got things to worry about this season.

Posted by: capshockey1 | October 9, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town, superpaqman, PhilR, JCB9, et. al.;

According to flag etiquette as codified within U.S. law, men are supposed to remove their hats -- women are not. That has been the rule for a very long time and you can argue that in these more enlightened and equal times the rule should be the same for both genders, but as it stands now, Ms. D.C. and other women who leave their hats on are completely correct.

See: Title 36 of the U.S. Code, Subtitle, 1, Paragraph A, Chapter 3, Section 301

Posted by: greggwiggins | October 9, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Dear Fanohock1---I understand how annoying it must be to listen to the new STH "coach" from the stands. I hope for your sake, and for the sake of those around the new STH, that he sobers up and realizes his behavior is unwelcome. I've got to admit to more than a tad bit of jealously, though, that I don't have season tickets.......

Nothing wrong with switching a line now and then, for all those who want to keep Ovie, Semin and Backstrom always together. Seems like the other teams aren't kept "guessing" enough when it's always the same-old, same-old.

Backstrom is really brilliant, right out of the starting gate and on and on. Got to say I'm not happy with Greenie---almost like he's trying only for scoring and not doing his D job. And I was a big defender of him last year.

I'm disappointed, of course, in the outcome of the last two games but knowing that it's a long season and hoping that Boudreau and the other coaches do their jobs is keeping me from despairing.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 9, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

This review below (from the Caps' recap) sums up my views and fears:

"Alarmingly, Washington has now surrendered 39 goals in its last 11 regular season games, dating back to last season. The team has had the same group of defensemen and goaltenders during that stretch. That’s an average of 3.55 goals per game during that span. The league’s most porous defense over the entire 82-game regular season slate of 2008-09 was the Toronto Maple Leafs, and they allowed just 3.49 goals per game."

And we are not talking about isolated soft goals folks. We are talking about overwhelming patterns, including both goalies' melt-downs that allow bunches of goals at a time.

Personally, I have given up on Theo--other than for occasional good games. If there is any hope in the current roster, it has to be with Varlamov if he can pull it together. I can't believe that, to add to our goalie bad luck. Neuvy seems to have been suffering from an injury for a while now.

What do you think BB will do about the goalie-defense situation?

Posted by: caraveli | October 9, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The seats we had were on the Caps "home" side so I got to see him more than normal - he just doesn't care about his own end. Ovechkin played better defense than Green last night - and that seems to be a trend.

People chalked up his playoff meltdown to fatigue and injuries - I think it's just that he does no seem to know how to play defense any more.

(Now to go find an alternate route around the pedestrian-struck-beltway...)

Posted by: armonroe | October 9, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse


I don't know what the heck you were watching but OV made the worst defensive play of the game BY FAR which led directly to the first Ranger goal. And what does BB do after the game? he rips his 3rd and 4th line forwards instead of his star player who made the worst mistake of the game.

Posted by: joek443 | October 9, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

if BB really cares about defense and wants to set the tone early in the season, he should have ripped OV for the mistake.

Posted by: joek443 | October 9, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Fanhock-agree with you on Green..He's struggling a little bit, but the way everyone is on him you would think he's the worse D-man in the league. If the Caps were to get rid of him every team in the league would be lined up to get him...
And yes, send Erskine and Schultz somewhere else. I'd rather see Jurcina and Sloan if they are not going to bring up Alzner and Carlson

Posted by: topshelf | October 9, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Also the people who come on here and say they should trade Green are just a bunch of MORONS. This team doesn't have enough good D-men RIGHT NOW. And you wanna get rid of your best D-man, the guy who was the Norris trophy runner up last yar???

what planet are you people from????????

Posted by: joek443 | October 9, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Who said anything about trading him?

BB just needs to knock him upside the head and tell him to play defense and stop worrying about his ego.

Posted by: JD09 | October 9, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

From a previous post.


@ hock1

A line with two snipers on it doesnt necessarily equate to "Ferrari's". You need balanced scoring otherwise the other team can put there best blueliners out there and match your top line every shift they are on the ice. By switching them out you put two very dangerous lines on the ice thereby making it hard for the other team to stop both.

Knuble putting in rebounds from OV would be a very good idea and would probably net us a couple more goals which we could use until our D situation gets fixed. Just because the guy played with B-mo in collage doesn't mean they are a great pairing.

You do not know what you speaketh...

Posted by: Dizzy1205

I don't want to get into the dictionary thing again, but what is your definition of "sniper"? I have a feeling that we don't speak the same language.
Ideally you will have scoring from all your lines, but to destroy a proven scoring machine so you can hope you can create two mediocre lines, in my opinion, is asinine. Of course, they could click and you would have created two very good lines, but that is something that BB tried in the preseason and decided against it for right now, and it seems to be paying off. The offense is not the problem right now. The PP could be tweaked, and I have said so before. So I reiterate, in my opinion it is crazy to call for line changes when there is no problem in existence.
By the way, you are right that just because Knuble played with Morrison doesn't mean they are great pair, but I never called them great pairs, did I? But they seem to be playing well with each other, do you think putting Semin with Morrison will improve both lines drastically? Of course you do, that is your point, the problem is I don't know what you base that on. Maybe is on the sniper thing ...

I do know what I "speaketh", although I might not be a professional on the subject I know and understand what I see. Do you?

Posted by: hock1 | October 9, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Who said anything about trading him?

BB just needs to knock him upside the head and tell him to play defense and stop worrying about his ego.

Posted by: JD09 | October 9, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

OV deserved that more than Green last night. some people in this town have double standards. OV makes the biggest mistake of the game and NOBODY wants to criticize him. But the slightest mistake by everyone else, he's the biggest bumb on the team and should be traded immediately.

you win as a team and lose as a team. you must play TEAM DEFENSE if you wanna win the Cup and that mean EVERYONE must be accountable.. and YES, that includes OV.

Posted by: joek443 | October 9, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company