Network News

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

Morning roundup: Minus Ovechkin, Caps fall short


(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Morning Roundup

With Alex Ovechkin out, other players didn't fill the void, instead committing costly penalties in a 3-2 loss to New Jersey last night:

The Capitals, who have dropped three straight (0-1-2), were assessed four penalties -- including two offensive-zone penalties taken by Alexander Semin and another by Brendan Morrison -- and the Devils struck twice on the ensuing power plays to break open a game that was 1-1 at the start of the third period. Semin, in fact, took three offensive zone penalties.
"They're automatic penalties," said Coach Bruce Boudreau, who seethed on the bench late. "If you go behind the net and you put your stick on a guy you're going to get a penalty. Brendan Morrison has been in the league for 10 years. Alexander Semin has been in the league for five years and it's just dumb penalties."

* Postgame wrap-up and video from Tarik:

Just a few additional links to get the morning going:

* Washington Times:

Well, that was a dud. There were two obvious problems for the Caps in their 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils -- offensive-zone penalties and a lack of well, offense.

* Star-Ledger:

Martin Brodeur on facing the Capitals without injured winger Alex Ovechkin: "The excitement level was a lot different with the fans. Whenever he grabs the puck, at home or on the road, the excitement level raises up."

* Highlights:

* The Sporting News: Can the caps overcome Ovechkin's absence? (Clearly written before last night's game. You'll see why.)

* Back with the Bears, Keith Aucoin gets a hat trick. (Patriot-News)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 5, 2009; 7:56 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Devils 3, Caps 2
Next: Ovechkin returns to the ice

Comments

this years caps after 15 games:

8-3-4 = 20 points

after 15 games last year, the eventual cup champs record:

9-4-2 = 20 points

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

ovechin' me crazy!

Posted by: CF11555 | November 5, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Play nylander. I think the guy stinks, but if he's making 4.5 million watching, that stinks worse. Send sloan down. Send Shultz down. Bring up Alzner and Carlson. Sit Mike Green. I will guarantee a winning streak (and yes, without Ovechkin)....

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 5, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

@ dcsportsfan1

Great stat...on the flip side, the Caps have held leads in EVERY game so far this season and have lost 3 in reg. and 4 in OT...

Killer instinct boys...killer instinct...you have to want to win, not just close your eyes and hope for it.

Posted by: netminder71 | November 5, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

sinking caps, if you can make that happen and stay w/in the salary cap and not lose sloan or schultz to waivers, we're all for it.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

John Carlson- a defenseman, 1 more point and Perrault and tied for 3rd on the team in plus/minus.

Karl Alzner- a defenseman, 2nd on the team in plus/minus.

This is a no brainer. WTF are they waiting for...till we lose to the Islanders? Oh, wait, it already happened...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 5, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

netminder, yes, the way they have lost (and won) has been a bit madening..but big picture is that it's november and they are still in second place in the east. and still have not lost a game by more than 1 goal..

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

sinking caps, have you heard of the salary cap? if not, you should read up on it.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

You are worried about losing Sloan and Shultz? I am not. I want to lose them. They even have Shawn Collins for defense if they get in trouble.

I am well versed on the Salary Cap. I understand all the ins/outs regarding the Caps situation.

That is why NYLANDER needs to play. He is 4.5 million sitting and watching. He is the reason we are strapped.

So, do you stay the course of all this garbage and inconsistencies? Or do you try to do something different that can benefit you in the long run?

Hey, if you are fine watching Sloan (a defenseman) play forward...and continue to lose night in and night out...fine. We pay too much money in tickets and ect. to not see our best team on the ice.

Perrault had a very good game. Aucoin's played well too...BUT both of these guys are NOT better than Nylander who is making 4.5 MILLION!

Don't criticize, I just want to see the best players on the ice. Carlson and Alzner are HEAD AND SHOULDERS better than Shultz, Sloan, Jurcina, and Morrison.

Don't settle for mediocracy...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 5, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

sinking caps,
yes, i am worried about losing sloan and schultz, both have value. schultz is young and realtively cheap and has been playing well. sloan adds versatility. i wouldnt burn my tickets if sloan were lost, but i'd prefer to keep him.

seriously, show me the math where we could add alzner and carlson and keep nylander under the current cap. if you can, please forward to GMGM cause i'm sure he'd like to see it.

i'm not criticizing your thoughts. they are good ones, but be realistic. the math doesnt work until nyls is gone.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Big picture: it's ONE game.

1) The officiating was very one-sided. 5 penalties to 1 is not paying attention to both teams equally. Two of those calls on Semin were weak. I'm not saying he doesn't take stick fouls; I'm saying the referees take his reputation for stick fouls into consideration, and any time he does anything that LOOKS like a stick foul, it'll be called as a stick foul, whether it is one or not as a result. Take away the two weak calls on Semin, and it's a better-called game. I suspect nerves on his part, because he's expected - even if it is only in his own mind - to be The Guy when Ovechkin is not on the ice, and Semin, for all his talent, is not Alexander Ovechkin. They're two different guys, and I feel like Semin will not be able to shine so long as people compare the two. It's apples and oranges here, and it's not fair to Semin to compare him to Ovechkin, or expect him to be Ovechkin when Ovechkin is not on the ice.

2) Green - apart from a VERY unlucky bounce - played well both defensively and offensively. He had a couple of great chances, and Brodeur robbed him blind.

3) Mathieu Perreault! WOW, what a game that boy had. I've been impressed with him in Hershey, and was so happy to see him with a pair of assists last night!

4) Flash's point streak is alive and well, with 4 points in 4 games (3 goals, 1 assist). He looks great this year so far, and I hope he can keep it up! If he does, he'll have a very good year.

(more)

Posted by: irockthered | November 5, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

... Even the Ameritel triplets had more oomph and enthusiasm than last night Caps... geez

Posted by: guer_j | November 5, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone is pointedly criticizing, but:

1) We cannot move Nylander. $4.8M killing us.
2) That means no flexibility w/ call ups.
3) Sloan is a good/hard working BB system type player that is versatile. No sense losing him to a bad team via waivers.
4) Carlson, Collins, Alzner are all good. No one doubts that, but dollars and sense prevail and until other teams/leagues want the big contracts of Nylander, Chris Clarke, Shaone Morissonn, or Poti, there is nothing anyone can do about it.

Schultz is the worst player on the team, and I believe he is two-way demotable to Hershey...that move can and should be done, for a cheaper prospect d-man like Collins.

The cap situation is regrettable, but it is a lesson the Caps will have to learn fast with the new deals on the horizon for Backie, Semin, and Flash...

You can be a good team for a while in the salary cap era, but you can only be a great team for a very limited window...good luck GM GM...we're pulling for you.

Posted by: netminder71 | November 5, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

5) This is ONE GAME without Ovechkin. Give them a game to get their rhythm. Losing the star player is bound to cause a hitch in the stride.

6) Look at the positives. We put 28 shots at that net, and several were VERY good scoring chances. Brodeur played a good game last night. The team, apart from late penalties, did NOT look horrible! I've seen horrible from the Caps, and this was not it. Yes, they could have used a bit more bounce. But I am willing to give them another game to get things working sans Ovechkin's energy.

The sky is NOT FALLING. It's an 82-game season. We have not lost by more than one goal all year. And our record is not bad. I am not worried. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | November 5, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

And I disagree. Schultz is NOT the worst player on our team. People who think he is don't look at WHO he is, and WHAT he does well. All they see is what they WANT him to be, and if that doesn't match with reality, obviously he sucks.

NOT TRUE.

Posted by: irockthered | November 5, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

... Even the Ameritel triplets had more oomph and enthusiasm than last night Caps... geez

Posted by: guer_j | November 5, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

HAHAHHAHA...

i'm guessing they wouldnt be that enthusiastic if their doofus brother went down w/ an upper body injury..

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Someone hasn't been watching Schultz very closely lately.

Posted by: snakegriffin | November 5, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or does Bruce Boudreau need to do fewer commercials, and do more pep talking the Caps??

I am kinda tired of watching him smiling during commercial breaks and scowling on the bench while the team sputters...

Posted by: netminder71 | November 5, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Guys. Really. Shultz? Come on. He is the softest 6'5" player in the league. I want no part of shultz anymore. Since he fell in the playoffs against the Rangers.

Sloan, come on. You are holding potential (and yes potential is a large word) Norris Trophy Candidates (real ones, not like Mike Green) down in Hershey for Sloan and SHultze. That's pretty funny...and the whole league is laughing about that.

We are not getting rid of Nylander. But, he is better than 1)Sloan on the wing and 2)Aucoin/Perrault/Giroux/Oksala (any hershey forward).

We are paying him, why not play him? Seriously? Not that I like seeing guys get hurt...but if he does...we can bring the ENTIRE Hershey team up in his place...

I challenge Tyler Sloan and Jeff Shultze to make another team better...HA! Those guys remind me of Steve Emminger...another bust!

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 5, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Mistakes arent just being made by Green, Schultz and the rest of the defense.

Poti has been horrendous, Knuble takes the worst stick penalties late in the game. Semin is sometimes lazy and uses his stick to create PK oppurtunites. And yes, even Ovechkin has been to blame for a loss.

The salary cap has really got us hamstrung.

There is no way on earth that Carlson and Alzner aren't playing for the big team if the cap wasn't an issue.

There are young players everywhere making an impact, EVERYWHERE.

Alzner was considered the best player in Canada not playing professional hockey at one point.

Posted by: JSchon | November 5, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Again, you apparently have not watched Schultz this year. He has been pretty solid defensively, and has actually been more physical.

Posted by: snakegriffin | November 5, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

sinking caps, good points. why dont we just trade nyls for lidstrom, a real norris trophy winner. then we could deal sloan for phaneuf and maybe iginla too. make schultz the equipment manager and clone ovechkin so he could center himself.

all of those are just as likely to happen as bringing up alzner and carlson and fitting them under the cap...

and potential norris trohpy candidates?? well, they are defensemen so i guess they qualify, but really...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Its kind of hard to argue for Nylander not playing at this point. Flash has come back far better than I, for one, expected. But, whatever the issue, the offense has been off for a few games, not just this one. You could sense this one coming. Semin, it appears, is just never going to learn. At some point it just becomes a question if his upside is greater than his downside.

Posted by: vafan3 | November 5, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Dcsports...come on...don't play me as a fool.

We can't get Sloan for Phaneuf AND Iginla, maybe just Phaneuf...

Seriously. We don't need any trades. We have the pieces of the puzzle RIGHT here (well and hershey too).

I didn't say trade nylander. I said PLAY him. Stop messing with Sloan and Laing.

Alzner is considered the top prospect in the AHL...so, yes, I think he will develop into something special. Carlson has "had an NHL body" for 2 years. This is from a great friend of mine who works with BOB MACKENIZE at TSN in canada.

The cap has screwed us...but if we play Nylander, drop sloan and shultze there will be plenty of money to bring up Alzner.

And btw...Poti has to be on his last legs too...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 5, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Semin- as big a liability as he is an asset?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 5, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1: It is very, very easy to squeeze in Alzner and Carlson, even counting Alzner with his bonus. Those two players add $2.5M to the cap.

The way to do it is to trade Jurcina and Erskine. Those two players subtract $2.6M. If Carlson and Alzner are really that good, then they are better than Erskine and Jurcina. You could also trade ShaMo instead of one of those two and be even better of vs the cap. This way you can keep Schultz and Sloan as back-up D and you can pay Nylander, whether he plays or not. Bottom line is if Alzner and Carlson come up, two D must go anyway.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 5, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

sinking caps,

schultz plus sloan = $1.355 cap hit
alzner = $1.675

estimated cap available = $60K

sorry, it doesnt work right now...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

TOM IN FL....now we are getting somewhere. I have heard and read on 3 different hockey sites/shows...the caps are NOT playing with their best defensive unit...so how do you expect them to win defensive games?

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 5, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

tom, jurcina or morrison may be trade bait as they are both UFAs at the end of the year. one of them will not be here next year...maybe both. i'd keep erskine because he's played well and is relatively cheap.

but nobody's getting traded right now barring long term injury to some other teams dman. alzner and maybe carlson will get their chances, but only when nyls cap hit is gone and/or at the deadline (or they could be injury call ups too).

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Semin- as big a liability as he is an asset?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 5, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

My position in the past and present (documented in various places on wapo.com) has been that he is a bigger liability than an asset. I don't see that changing.

Posted by: CapsChick | November 5, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I agree. Schultze should go. This other guy, Schultz, has been playing well. He has been a little more physical this year than last. He will have to continue to improve because he has Alzner and Carlson coming along quite nicely behind him.

Sinkingcaps says it all for the haters, "I want no part of shultz anymore. Since he fell in the playoffs against the Rangers." So, for many of them, it doesn't matter what Schultz does, he will never redeem himself for a few plays in the past in their eyes. Sad.

Posted by: _Mark | November 5, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

When Semin is on, he is one of the best in the league.

When he is off, people call for his head.

Really, people. Alexander Semin, for all that they share a first name, is NOT Alexander Ovechkin.

Ovechkin = extrovert
Semin = introvert

Ovechkin = shoot, shoot, shoot! One will go in!
Semin = puck possession, wait for perfection

Ovechkin = hit the other guy, and risk a physical penalty
Semin = steal the puck, and risk a restraining penalty

Quit trying to make them one and the same, and Semin will flourish. Unfortunately, I think ultimately that will be in the KHL, where he is not constantly in Ovechkin's shadow, and the fans don't expect him to carry the team on his shoulders in the same way as Ovechkin does.

Is Semin capable of carrying the team to victory in his quiet way? When he's not holding his stick too tight, yes. The first night without Ovechkin, he was anxious to prove he could do it. And he failed, probably due at least in small part to nerves. That goes along with my first point. Semin is an introvert. Don't crucify him for it.

Bear in mind that the officials are given a briefing before every game on who to watch for what. You can bet your bottom dollar, your socks, and your left butter tooth that they are warned to watch Semin for restraining fouls. I have seen ONE restraining foul on his part - and that was pre-season - that I would characterize as a purely selfish move. Two of the ones last night would not have been called if he hadn't been the culprit.

Posted by: irockthered | November 5, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Y'all have it all figured out. I'm with DCspotsfan1. It just doesn't compute until we lose a few guys, and I vote for Poti, ShaMo and Schultz. As for sending Schultz down for Collins, ...no way will that happen. Collins has a one-way and they'd lose him on re-entry waivers. Why do you think they kept his departure hush hush for 2 days?

Posted by: jerseygirl15 | November 5, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Tyler Sloan plays very well at forward on the line he's on. He skates like the wind. He's a strong player, and I like him on the big roster.

I like Perreault up here, too. He was SUPERB last night, and from what I've seen in Hershey, this is only the beginning for him. I can't wait to see what he can do.

Schultz has been playing well this season. Quit trying to make him into something he's not, and look at what he CAN do and DOES do, not at what you want him to do, and you'll see it too.

Posted by: irockthered | November 5, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Good coaches hold their players accountable for their stupid mistakes, Boudreau just seems to whine about it in the paper. Semin should be watching the next game from the press box, whether Ovie plays or not.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | November 5, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

i think Sarge has played just fine this year. i was a big critic in the past. so far, I am eating my words. keep it up, Sarge.

Posted by: doughless | November 5, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Why did resign Erskine to a 7 figure per year deal?

Can anyone tell me this?

He plays 6 minutes a game, and plays every other game.

Posted by: JSchon | November 5, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I think this will be a telling stretch for this team, as composed, for the remainder of this season and the near future. If you didn't read the Pierre LeBrun comments concerning Bowman and Yzerman than you should. I think BB and Ovi will be the two to maximize the future potential - that buy-in from those two, together, can strengthen the team. I have no doubt that the players are in place for this team to be in the Finals but they'll have to decide they want it - and that'll take a stronger mentality and a some committment on the backend of the ice and concerning penalties.

A few more games for these guys to sort out playing without Ovi and then we may see some changes.

I think the next few months - up to the Olympics - are BB's time to remake the mentality.

Posted by: saintex | November 5, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Ugh, Ovechin! Sorry, late night, early morning, lost the K somewhere.

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | November 5, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau appears to have no control or not willing to assert control. bad things happen when the inmates run the prison.

Semin = big baby. the guy is 25 but you would think he is 16.

Posted by: doughless | November 5, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

SinkingCaps - nice name, don't remember seeing you when the Caps were on the 6 game win streak. But I do agree that Nyls should get a shot, the only problem with your suggestion is that he cannot just replace Sloan or Laing because he is a pure center and has been awful when he has tried to play a wing. BB should put together a line for him maybe 92, 21, 14?

Posted by: ds_kelly | November 5, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Ok...it's clear 2 d have to go so we can get our best 2 defenseman in the organization into the NHL lineup. I know it is all salary cap driven.

Spacecadet---perfect point. Semin should be watching the next game. Hey we are losing with him in the lineup...so it can't get worse.

Green should also get sat...he has been terrible too...

SEND A MESSAGE!

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 5, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Erskine was one of our 3 best D men in playoffs and hasn't played bad so far this season. he was hurt. sure ditch our only guy that can fight. good idea.

Posted by: doughless | November 5, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Why did resign Erskine to a 7 figure per year deal?

Can anyone tell me this?

He plays 6 minutes a game, and plays every other game.


Posted by: JSchon | November 5, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

erskine logged over 16 minutes last night, his first game back from injury. he gets paid in the low seven figures cause that's what veteren dmen get paid. he's the only dman we have who has an edge to his game. he also played great in last years playoffs if you recall. not taking avery's bait, etc. he will be in and out of the lineup in the regular season, but i expect him to be in there in the playoffs.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Kelly...I have been airing my laundry out on Facebook...

Yes, I agree...92-21-14...makes sense.

I don't think Nyls is a player for this team...but he's better than the others who are playing in front of him like JAY BEAGLE...?

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 5, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

and keep playing Varley...Three-o is not our answer. Better see what Varley has now...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 5, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

score on Varly = glove side high. softies last night. Irbe needs to get to work.

Posted by: doughless | November 5, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I love Semin's offensive capability, but he may not be coachable.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 5, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

That Semin took three dumb offensive zone penalties isn't even news. The guy is incredibly talented with the puck, but every year he does this crap. Lazy/cheap stick penalties like slashing, hooking, high sticking.

I almost wish he had had his third penalty earlier in the period so his benching would have been more noticable.

I don't know that he'll ever be able to get away completely from the dumb play, but just some signs of improvement would be nice.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | November 5, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

OH NO Caps are sinking...OH NO another one goal loss with no Ovie..OH NO its so bad that Lindsay misspelled Ovechkin. OH NO she gets mad when people misspell her name!! OH NO Lindsay has same copy editor as Boswell...OH NO trade everyone and bring up Alzner and Carlson NOW...OH NO Semin!! OH NO Chicken Little hasnt seen someone with more lazy hooks since he went fishing with his drunk uncle...OH NO Nyls tougher to get rid of than Swine Flu!! OH NO.....

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | November 5, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

what's Varly's GAA? yeah. that's what i thought.

Posted by: MNMNT | November 5, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

oh nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Posted by: MNMNT | November 5, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Shultz is a becoming a solid D-man and his passing skills are getting better and better. If you look at Chara stats they are pretty much the same as Shultz in his first few years. They both have the similar builds. Give Shultz time he will be fine I don't get why people are so hard on him, the kid is around 23 years old. The problem with this team is the dumb penalties this team takes. Get on Semin, he take horrible penalties at horrible times. Of course nobody rides him b/c he scores goals. He cost us just as many games as he wins for us

Posted by: CapsBaby | November 5, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@ChickenLittleCapsFan - LOLOLOOL!

@CapsBaby - Half of Semin's problem is that the officials are given the expectation prior to the game that he takes stick fouls, and therefore... he takes stick fouls!

And if you watch those supposed stick fouls, some of them are valid. But some are not.

Posted by: irockthered | November 5, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

OH NO!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Lindsay_Applebaum | November 5, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Hit reputation comes from his play..Why are dirty players labled dirty player? B/c of the past. Semin is known for this b/c of his past. I believe every call last night was lagit against Semin...

Posted by: CapsBaby | November 5, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

JT = 2.92
Varly = 3.18

Posted by: doughless | November 5, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@ irockthered - I don't want Semin to be Ovechkin. I don't care if he's an extrovert.

I want him to be a team player. Unfortunately, he just isn't.

Posted by: CapsChick | November 5, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

OH NO Lindsay...OH NO take Bog Boy Steinberg off the Burgunday Revolution beat and put him on the Red Sinking Like a Rock beat...OH NO Caps will soon ban signs at Verizon Center!! OH NO Chicken Little will be sued by Caps for not having enough chicken feed to buy tickets!!! OH NO!!!

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | November 5, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

How many of you have actually watched Alzner play game after game after game in Hershey? I have. He's getting better, but he's not there yet, and he's certainly not the defensive savior you're all looking for. He needs to muscle up. You think Shultz doesn't hit people? Well, neither does Karl very often. He's a very steady stay-at-home dman who makes a good outlet pass, but he gets muscled off the puck in the corners and shoved around in front of the crease. Give him a year in Hershey and in the weight room and yea, he'll be a Cap next year.

Posted by: tess2201 | November 5, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I would sit Semin tomorrow night vs Florida. These stupid minors he constantly takes are getting more and more ridiculous by the game.

SinkingCaps - are we in first place?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | November 5, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@jshon

you bite your tongue when talking about the sexy lumberjack....John erskine is a saint!!

Posted by: _stevo | November 5, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I don't think you can sit Semin with Ovie out.. I do agree he needs to be sat, but right now just isn't a good time. I believe limit his play against Florida 12-14 mins tops. He has always taken horrible minors. I think BB needs to run this team into the ground during practice to sent a message...

Posted by: CapsBaby | November 5, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@tess2201 - I think when Alzner hits someone, he usually says, "oh, pardon me!" too. I agree: he's not ready for the big time yet. Give him another few months in Hershey, let him fill out some more... maybe next fall.

@CapsChick - It isn't that we as fans want Semin to be Ovechkin. It's that Semin himself seems to think that when Ovechkin is out, he HAS to be Ovechkin, and that simply is not who he is. It's a lot of pressure, being second fiddle to the best in the league. And everyone, to a man, looked at Semin last night to pick up Ovechkin's slack.

Why is his introversion a factor? If he's a typical introvert, he would have a drive to succeed, and - this is key - to not be made fun of. And as a result, he would try so hard to succeed that he'd miss.

I don't see him as "not a team player." But I think he won't really come into his own unless he's on a team where he can quietly be the best on the team, not second fiddle, and his reputation for restraining fouls is SOMEWHAT deserved from some of the restraining fouls I've seen him throw.

But that first hooking call last night was a weak call.

Posted by: irockthered | November 5, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Also, the reputation -> play -> reputation thing is a circular argument.

If you get a reputation for something, it is hard to shake it, even when the reputation is no longer the case (at least not all the time). And the reputation feeds itself.

Posted by: irockthered | November 5, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Side note: Ovechkin spells his nickname "Ovi".

Posted by: irockthered | November 5, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I dont care that Ovi isnt playing tomorrow - I would still sit Semin. Sit Morrison for that late dumb penalty as well. I know hes not known for them like Semin, but we cant keep doing this over and over and over and over.

Play Nylander as well - what the hell.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | November 5, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

hitting is an important part of the game but it's NOT the most important quality of a defenseman.. just look at Lidstrom

when Scott Stevens was in his first and second year, he used to look for those big hits instead of playing sound positional defense first... Bryan Murray used to talk about that all the time.

the problem is hits are more noticeable than playing sound defense so that's what most people pay attention to

Posted by: joek443 | November 5, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see Sloan and Perrault getting some kudos on this board. Did anyone notice Sloan clear the crease in front of Varly with a little over 6 minutes left in the 3rd period? It was a wonderful thing to finally see someone do that, but then a little later Poti & Schultz made no effort to do so and #9 for NJ was parked in front and in went the goal. Ugh.

Posted by: 1hockeymom | November 5, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

oh nooooooooo we are dooommed! chicken little is right. we are screwed! we should bench everyone and let the mites play for us.

Posted by: MNMNT | November 5, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@joek443,

Stevens (now a coach for NJ) talks about the importance of positioning. Being 2 or 3 feet over can make all the difference to be in position to make the play. What the play is (a push and take away, a stick check and clear or elbow and concussion) is a matter of defense style. Leach used to make great hip checks which sometimes really hurt people. Lidstrom just takes the puck away. As Stevens developed, he became excellent at reaching the spot someone would be with a full head of steam. Positioning is first, the bone crunch is secondary.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | November 5, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

if coaching was as easy as yelling and benching players when they don't perform, all of us would be able to do it

Posted by: joek443 | November 5, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

sinking caps - so you're going to sit semin & green? why not the whole team, they all lost. semin has the most talent of the bunch, hopefully he got the message with the benching at the end of the game last night. sarge has played well this year, I understand you want a Pronger or some other big name defensemen, but guess what...all out money is spent on forwards. if you are going to trade away any defensemen it should be Poti, he is big $ and old. Sarge is young and coming into his game nicely, the youngsters in Hershey are there for a reason. I've been up to see them, not ready yet. if they get pushed around by AHL players they will get abused up here. Alzner wasn't the rebirth of Stevens last time he was here.

Posted by: donkey1 | November 5, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

In my mind, Caps are 8-7. They are a middle of the pack team that will not cruise into the playoffs like they did last year.

Kind of tired of hearing BB go through his "dumb, stupid, selfish penalties" diatribe game after game. Just sit the guilty parties down and don't talk about it.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | November 5, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

TRADE GREEN/SEMIN!!!! FIRE BOUDREAU!!!! SELL THE TEAM LEONSIS!!!!


....or maybe just relax. it's one game.

Posted by: asdfasdfasdf123 | November 5, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone see the "identity" of the Caps this year? I don't.

Maybe "most fun team to watch"?? I'm suprised Knuble hasn't started to set the tone in the locker room...maybe a bit more time??

I don't know who the leader of the team is - OV is the man, but is he mature enough to lead the team?

Posted by: Jaymagz | November 5, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Varly- Every goalie has weak parts of their game. The question is can he be coached to overcome a weak glove and focus issues? He is what 21ish? He has a good coach that he should be comfortable with. If he does not improve there are 2 more prospective goalies behind him. That is the purpose of drafting and developing-it does not always work out.

Semin- Has games where he skates hard and avoids penalties and then the junk we saw last night. The interfence play by Semin was BS. He needs to better at avoiding dumb, cheap, bush leauge, crappy stick work. It is the kinda of play you see at a high school practice not the NHL. He needs to get his head out of his a** or get is a** out of Washington!!!!!!! His stupid play cost the caps a chance at getting a point. Million dollar arm 5 cent head (anyone notice there is no cent sign on a qwerty key board)

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | November 5, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

It's a good thing 2012 is almost here. That will bring a merciful end to all of this suffering.

;o)

Posted by: PensFan98 | November 5, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

if coaching was as easy as yelling and benching players when they don't perform, all of us would be able to do it

Posted by: joek443 | November 5, 2009 11:23 AM

WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU, JOEK443?!?! Your grammar is awful! You started the sentence with a lower case letter and forgot the period at the end!! That's a lazy grammar foul!!! You're BENCHED!!!!

See, I can do it.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 5, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

joek443: And, also, it's "If coaching were as easy..." not, "If coaching was as easy..."

That's the subjunctive clause! You should have learned that in the minors! Write it on the board 1000 times! You're BENCHED! STILL!!!!!!!

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 5, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Agreed that Alzner and Carlson are not the answers right now.

How can the same people that hate Jeff Schultz love Alzner? How many of you have actually watched Hershey this year? While Alzner moves the puck well and is rarely out of position, he does not hit and gets out-muscled on the boards. Sound familiar? Only difference is that Alzner might move the puck a bit better.

As for Carlson, he's still raw. I think he could be great, but he's not a 19-year old version of Chris Pronger. Hell, he's closer to Mike Green's size than Pronger's. I can't wait to see him in a Caps uniform, but I'm not counting on him to be the savior of the defense any time soon.

For anyone that has not been to Hershey for a game, you should go. Lots of fun to see the Bears.

Posted by: HeShootsHeScores | November 5, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@ irockthered - I disagree. I didn't expect Semin to "pick up the slack" in Ovie's absence. My expectations of him are and have always been low. I've watched virtually every Caps game since well before he joined the team, and he's done nothing in that time to earn high expectations from me -- although I realize that puts me in the minority. I don't dispute his talent. He's just never looked in step with the team IMO. I don't think it has anything to do with a burning desire to be the #1 guy on a team. I wish he did have that kind of fire and passion.

I wish him well with his future team.

Posted by: CapsChick | November 5, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Wow - just logged on and instead of arguing about benching Semin or playing Nylander, we're arguing about grammar! Only in Washington....

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | November 5, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

My old high school English teacher (who also served as the school's ice hockey coach) had a wonderful saying ..... "subjunctive clause errors are a lot like offensive zone penalties .... they are both born from laziness".

That guy could really turn a phrase.

Posted by: PensFan98 | November 5, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

It's a good thing 2012 is almost here. That will bring a merciful end to all of this suffering.

;o)

Posted by: PensFan98 | November 5, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

jeff, is that the year crosby moves out of mario's basement and back to nova scotia to raise sheep full time???

if you are talking about #92, that will be resolved next year one way or the other. he will either retire, get traded, or shipped to chocolate town...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

jeff, is that the year crosby moves out of mario's basement and back to nova scotia to raise sheep full time???

if you are talking about #92, that will be resolved next year one way or the other. he will either retire, get traded, or shipped to chocolate town...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse


No, December 21, 2012 is the end of the world. While the end of the world does have some negative consequences, it will help to eliminate stress and strife over Semin and Schultz and McPhee and the lack of an enforcer, etc. etc. etc.

Posted by: PensFan98 | November 5, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

jeff, is that the year crosby moves out of mario's basement and back to nova scotia to raise sheep full time???

if you are talking about #92, that will be resolved next year one way or the other. he will either retire, get traded, or shipped to chocolate town...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse


No, December 21, 2012 is the end of the world. While the end of the world does have some negative consequences, it will help to eliminate stress and strife over Semin and Schultz and McPhee and the lack of an enforcer, etc. etc. etc.


Posted by: PensFan98 | November 5, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

that's cool. i'm going to guess that it will be during a caps-pens game. ovi and crosby will finally drop the gloves and square off in perhaps the highest rated fight in NHL history and then poof...this is after schultz scores his first ever hat trick and folks were just thinking, man i hope we keep that guy for a long time...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 5, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

DevilsCapsGal: I guess you didn't pick up that I wrote that in jest.

I would never REALLY yell like that at joek443.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 5, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

PensFan,

It does suck when you have to explain a joke, eh?

CapsChick,

His new team? I don't think GMGM has the moxie to make a trade involving Semin. You seeing the KHL in his future or somebody throwing an offer sheet his way?

Posted by: Steve_R | November 5, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@CapsChick - Then you're one of a very, very small minority.

Posted by: irockthered | November 5, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"No, December 21, 2012 is the end of the world. While the end of the world does have some negative consequences, it will help to eliminate stress and strife over Semin and Schultz and McPhee and the lack of an enforcer, etc. etc. etc."

Can we please change the end of the world to the first week of Jan, 2013, so we can at least enjoy our Christmas break?

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 5, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow. There sure are a lot of comments since last night's final horn. It's great to see such a loyal following.

Before we claim the wheels are falling off the cart remember who the Caps played. The Devils have won literally a thousand games playing the boring, choke you out, defensive play we saw last night. They've won 3 Stanley Cups playing that way too. True, we could have done without the penalties. For some to say 6 penalties to 2 is a misrepresentation of the PP disparity because we actually only had 1 PP, each team had a 5 minute major. On our 1 PP we actually moved the puck effectively and had some good scoring chances. That was encouraging to me.

Semin didn't play great, but he had two of our best scoring chances. He had the break away, and he also had the chance where Brodeur stacked his pads. An inch higher and there is probably a different attitude on this board.

IMO goals 2 and 3 were OK, not sure why others aren't as upset as I am about the first Devils' goal. If Varly simply has his stick on the ice covering his 5 hole it is a routine save. He should have been in a basic goaltender's stance because it was a centering pass. Besides that I thought Varly played well. That's two in a row for him which is encouraging too.

I am still optomistic this group can win without Ovi. Too bad the Devils were the 1st opponent without him. I have NHL Center Ice and I NEVER watch the Devils unless they are playing the Caps because they are boring as heck and shut down teams like they did the Caps all the time.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 5, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@Steve_R - No predictions here. I just don't see Semin as a Cap long-term, GMGM comments notwithstanding. Maybe I'll be surprised and he'll end up being re-signed. But I question a new deal given the huge question mark: will he at some point become truly worth his salary?

Looking at his entire body of work as a Washington Capital, in proportion to his skill level, it's hard as a Caps fan not to be disappointed.

Posted by: CapsChick | November 5, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

it is so bad to watch a shutdown team.

Posted by: doughless | November 5, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

ChickenLittle has got to be one of the most hilarious and on point posters on this blog, SinkingCaps....not so much, kinda sounds more like Cheef....

Posted by: PhilR | November 5, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"They're automatic penalties," said Coach Bruce Boudreau, who seethed on the bench late. "If you go behind the net and you put your stick on a guy you're going to get a penalty. Brendan Morrison has been in the league for 10 years. Alexander Semin has been in the league for five years and it's just dumb penalties."
~~~~~~~~~~ Same 'ole song and dance!

Posted by: UngaBunga | November 5, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@SinkingCaps -- your name says it all; agitating, troll-like.

I just think you're wrong about Alzner and Carlson. @HeShootsHeScores had it right; you don't seem to be watching. These are our best defensive prospects. Alzner had a rotten camp and did not earn a place on the team. Carlson's a pup. They may be great prospects but -- even putting the salary cap aside -- they cannot step into the shoes of any one of our defensemen, including Jeff Schultz, without committing a ton more mistakes than our current corps. will.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 5, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

anyone can be traded for the right price but I don't see why Semin can't be as good as Bondra

Posted by: joek443 | November 5, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@ fanohock ...

Agree completely about watching the Devils. That's one Center Ice channel that doesn't ever get my attention. NJ's boring, zone-trap system may have won some cups, but it's unwatchable to me.

Posted by: PensFan98 | November 5, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

i will take boring and Cup, over "entertaining" any day of the week.

Posted by: doughless | November 5, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen Alzner play in Hershey but the comments by those who have make sense. Look at Flash, used his injury time to add something like 15lbs of muscle and so far he has been much more effective. He has the same moves but now he has the strength to stay on the puck and get shots to the net. I trust the Caps management to give Alzner the best chance to succeed when he gets to DC.

Posted by: ds_kelly | November 5, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Schultz has actually been quite good this year, I watch all these teams with 19-20-21 year old D-men contributing and ours are still waiting for the cap to ease in DC. One guy who's expendable and should be moved if it presents itself is Poti. We have the veterans in Pothier and Erskine and every time we give up a PPG, Poti is either floundering on the ice or screening the goalie, and he is due to pull another hamstring around the deadline.
That 3.5 million would help get the 2 young guns up from Hershey as well as help with the cap for next year on the Semin and Backstrom fronts.

GO CAPS!!!
BBD36

Posted by: BBDwrestling | November 5, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

the first Devils' goal was just a flukey goal, can't blame anyone for that... the third was a deflection, possibly a double deflection... I wouldn't blame Varly for that one either

the only one I would question a little is the second one but the shot was just too darn good, right under the crossbar... still like Al Koken and Alan May after the game, I was dumb-founded to hear BB say that the two goals in third were iffy goals.

Posted by: joek443 | November 5, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

i will take boring and Cup, over "entertaining" any day of the week.

Posted by: doughless | November 5, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse


Agreed. As long is it is "my" team doing the boring cup winning. I'm certainly not willing to watch New Jersey do it though.

Posted by: PensFan98 | November 5, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

i was referring to "my" team - Caps. i am not content with entertaining

Posted by: doughless | November 5, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Yay, Aucoin! *avoids having to read every bad post about Semin that I expected after seeing that he received 3 penalties in last night's game*

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 5, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

Welcome back. Too bad you weren't around to post here after last night. I needed someone to cry with about last night's game.

It was a fortunate thing for me that our cable TV was not working. That game sounded just too painful.

I currently feel like the mother of the "bad kid". From the sounds of things, it sounds like our favorite "bad kid" has exhausted every bit of good will from the team during last night's game and is likely to be gone next year, if not sooner, as a result.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 5, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

Great post comparing Semin and Ovi, with Semin being an introvert. That's been one of my points all along.

Prediction on where Semin will go after this year: the Cherepovets Severstal team in the KHL that's in the Vologda Oblast (in North West Russia). And why that particular team, you may ask. Because his best friend since his teenage years plays there and has played there for several years. (Semin gets along great with Ovi and loves to be with him but if there's no more acceptance from the management and the fan base, he would bail and that is the most logical place for him to bail to.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 5, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

*hugs CapsFan75* Wish there was a way to assure that "our" kid stays. I purposely stayed away last night because when I checked and saw Sasha was responsible for 3 penalties, my stomach dropped and I promptly closed the website and went to bed. =/

Should I tell him he's grounded or will you? =(

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 5, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

@BBDwrestling

Agree with you that Poti should be moved. And Pothier's contract expires at the end of the year.

With them gone, there's some room for Alzner and Carlson on D (and some cap space). (Yes, our 2 vets are two of the main cogs on the current edition of our power play but they're the most logical people to go.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 5, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

I think Boudreau has already grounded him.

I know what it's like to have a kid like Alex Semin. I have one. Granted, she's a year younger and an extrovert but there are similarities.

1) Astrological sign -- Pisces with Moon in Pisces

2) Accused of lacking focus

3) Had many detractors but supporters really loved her. (This was true for teachers at school; management on jobs)

4) Had a best friend who was born in September of 1985, her BF from 1st-2nd grade but HS friends too. (Her friend was born on September 23.)

5) Both spent most of their early 20's outside their native country.

Actually, I think Semin's friends are probably more loyal than my daughter's are.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 5, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

One more similarity. They both have a curl in the middle of their forehead (assuming the hair's the right length.) My daughter used to have a curl like that but she let the bangs grow out at age 8.

So, was the proverbial little girl in that nursery rhyme an ancestor of Alex Semin?


Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 5, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, spoken like a real awesome mom. =) Here's hoping #28 doesn't let the pressures of not having Ovi around get to him, forcing to make some bad penalties. C'mon, Semin, you got this!

Let's GOO Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 6, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company