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Morning roundup: Six in a row

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Morning Roundup

After jumping out to a three-goal lead last night in Atlanta, the Caps got a little complacent, letting up late in the second period and escaping with a 4-3 win over the Thrashers. From the game story:

In the first period, Alex Ovechkin extended his league-leading goal total with his 12 and 13th tallies of the season, marking his sixth two-goal performance in 12 games. Then early in the second, Brendan Morrison scored the Capitals' second power-play goal of the night, marking the first time since the season opener they recorded two on the same night.
But instead of clamping down, it seemed like some of the Capitals decided to give themselves the rest of the night off.
"I thought with about seven minutes to go in the second period, we thought this was going to be easy," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "And then we stopped skating and stopped playing. But I knew once they got one goal, just like last time, they would be flying. It's not like a faucet. You can't turn it on and off when you want."
But they definitely turned it off -- and it almost cost them the game.

Click here to read the rest, and then check out Tarik's postgame wrap-up and accompanying video.

On to some additional recaps and the like:

* Washington Times:

The Atlanta Thrashers clearly missed their top Russian player, and they saw more than they cared to of the Washington Capitals' guys from that country.

* Mike Vogel:

For the second straight Thursday night, the Washington Capitals cruised to a three-goal, second period lead against the Thrashers in Atlanta. And for the second straight Thursday night, the Caps held on for a white-knuckle finish and a one-goal win.

* Japers' Rink:

If you'd been told before the game that two Caps would be held without a shot all game, it probably wouldn't come as a shock that Chris Clark was one of them. It might come as slightly more of a shock that Alexander Semin was the other. And of course #28 threw in a couple of giveaways, just for good measure.

* Game highlights:


Games between the Washington Capitals and the Atlanta Thrashers are often affairs in which each team's Russian star tries to outdo the other. But with Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk sidelined with a broken right foot, Alex Ovechkin had the stage all to himself Thursday night -- and took advantage of the opportunity.

* Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Ovechkin, the NHL's leading goal scorer this season, just might be on track for his third straight MVP award. He scored his 12th and 13th goals to put the Capitals ahead to stay.
"You can see he can score two goals every single game," Thrashers goaltender Ondrej Pavelec said of Ovechkin. "It's very hard to play against him. Every time he's on the ice, he's a danger. Well, a little bit more."

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The morning skate is very optional this morning, but we'll have more then on whoever does happen to show up. On to tonight's matchup:


Islanders (2-4-5)
Capitals (8-2-2)
Verizon Center, 7 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 820 AM, 1500 AM

( preview)

Bonus link: Hockey fever in D.C. (Canadian Press via Alex Ovetjkin)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  October 30, 2009; 9:09 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps 4, Thrashers 3
Next: Boudreau: Caps need to 'not be happy with mediocrity'


Caps were absolutely awesome in the first period, truly worthy of the elite moniker but only temporarily. With a buzzer beater at the end, the outcome was not terribly in doubt. Sorry for Varly that last one had to go in -- blame the team.

Poor passing seemed to me the biggest culprit. Just lazy in the 3rd.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 30, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I have Verizon FIOS and I believe I don't get CSN+ but I do get just regular CSN. Does anyone know if FIOS will have a channel playing the Caps game tonight because I think the Wizards are going to be on CSN. Thanks to anyone who can offer help.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | October 30, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

FIOS often shows Caps on channel 1 when the Buzzards are playing on CSN.

Posted by: ds_kelly | October 30, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse


CSN+ on Fios is channel IIRC

Posted by: hbcapsfan | October 30, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Well, might help if I put the channel number in there.... :) Channel 1.

Posted by: hbcapsfan | October 30, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Over time good teams win consistently. Most of the rest of this seems like noise to me. On the front end of back to back games we should be worried that they didn't go all out for 60 minutes in an empty building, when they won? Sorry, doesn't bug me at all. I don't care if the Yankees win every inning, as long as they win the game.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | October 30, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Thanks guys but I Noticed the other day that FIOS has gotten rid of channel 1. Has it moved somewhere?

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | October 30, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure Clark is effective as a captain - intensity level is partly his responsibility. As he said last year, when he's not playing well, it's not effective for him to get on others about not playing well. It's time for either Ovie or Laich - would probably mean trading Clark, but at this point in his career he doesn't have a lot of upside, and he's taking away an opportunity for a young hershey player.

Posted by: hook99 | October 30, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse


I agree. The Caps don't seem to have a player on the team that demands accountability from the rest of the players. Even though they are winning, every game we see the same letdown and hear the same broken record about how they know they need to bear down and put teams away. Great teams with great leaders may have a letdown from time to time, but certainly not game after game the way the Caps do.

Posted by: cainoo7x | October 30, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

They seem to have figured out how to put the Sharks and Flyers away.

Posted by: pebowers | October 30, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I'm just wondering how long BB is going to keep Green on the Powerplay. If not for an amazing save, this should have been the 3rd game in a row we gave up a short handed goal.

Why? Because Green thinks he's a winger, and stalls everyone at the blue line trying to carry the puck in.. loses it in the corner, and is out of position for the shorty. That or he stands still with the puck at the point until the last second, and loses it.

We are amazing on PP when we move the puck and our feet. However, this year, they seem to be waiting for the puck, and not moving... which is just painful to watch.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | October 30, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

back-to-back with travel included and three games in four days? up 3-0 halfway through the game and they let up on the ice? I don't care one bit, at all. If we think that in the midst of a playoff series that the team is going to let-up with a 3-0 lead we are mistaken. Is there one game on the last 21 playoff games where they gave up or stop playing with a lead?

Six-game streak. Mission accomplished.

Posted by: saintex | October 30, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Best 40 minute team in hockey.

Posted by: ShutDownStud | October 30, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Apparently playing 40 is enough.

Posted by: saintex | October 30, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Just looked online on my Verizon acct and the Fios listings show the Caps on Fios 1. We should be good with Fios tonight.

Posted by: _Mark | October 30, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

As for the Sharks and Flyers games, the Sharks gave up after getting down and didn't really pressure the Caps, so it's hard to say whether the Caps let up at all. As for the Flyers game, the Caps never held a big lead. In that game, after taking the 3-2 lead, it definitely seemed like the Caps were playing back on their heels for the next 5-7 minutes, and they were lucky Philly didn't tie it back up. However, they did seem to get things back together and close out the game with a strong effort.

Posted by: cainoo7x | October 30, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

So I guess what you are saying is that it is a good thing neither the Flyers or the Sharks played a full 60 minutes.

Posted by: pebowers | October 30, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I agree "fricknoutstandin". Green is a good winger and a lousy defenseman. I like Poti and Pothier and Alzner. You can trade Schultz, Jurcina, Morrison along with a Semin or Fleischmann for a top A defenseman. Please no one tell the Caps they are leading in any game. Make them think they are always down by 2 goals. Isn't it funny that no matter who is on the team, this same story plays itself out over and over again. Blowing leads, being afraid of the Penguins .... It is like Groundhog Day year after year. Boudreau, I love you, but you also have to understand that some of your minor leaguers will never be on the caliber of an NHL player.

Posted by: Girl1 | October 30, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The Sharks didn't. In my view, the Flyers did, they just came up on the losing end of it.

Posted by: cainoo7x | October 30, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Umm...those PP breakaways by ATL was not caused by Green.

I believe Laich and Ovechkin were the ones back there on the most memorable. (the Enstrom breakaway)

Posted by: richmondphil | October 30, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

This team is also showing that it has the character to scratch out a win (philly game more than this one), which is definitely necessary for the playoffs -- the wins are sometimes ugly, but at least it makes for interesting tv (said half kidgingly).

Caps also seem to have these performances in dead buildings - many buildings have no energy compared the what the VC has become- given that the arena appeared half full (at best) I was pleasantly surprised that they played the first 40 so well.

Posted by: hook99 | October 30, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Thanks _Mark and everyone else for their help!

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | October 30, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

82 game season! Find me one team that plays 60 minutes every game.

Ted said it the best today.

Posted by: lightshow | October 30, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

ROME – The Italian Olympic Committee announced plans to vaccinate its athletes and officials against swine flu for the Vancouver Olympics and Paralympics.

Italy has reported at least six deaths related to swine flu over the past two months.

Italy expects swine flu to peak between December and January, with 1.5 million to 3 million cases. A vaccination campaign beginning Nov. 15 will immunize up to 40 percent of Italy's 60 million people.

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 30, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"He saved the game," Ovechkin said of his fellow Russian. "I can say right now we have two great goalies [along with Jose Theodore], and it doesn't matter who is going to stay in. We feel we have a wall in there. That three goals -- the way they scored -- it was our mistake."

Maybe Ovie...but oh about you guys start helping to defend your "walls."


Posted by: richmondphil | October 30, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I just realized why I don't get Channel 1 on FIOS. I used to get Channel 1 but than about a week ago I didn't. If you live in AACO it appears that you don't get channel 1 anymore. I don't know why but I looked online and it looks like PG County and Bowie still get channel 1 but AACO doesn't. Anyone live in Anne Arundel County and have the same problem?

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | October 30, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse


Absolutely. It is a long season, and what's most important is how they are playing in March and April as it gets close to playoff time.

However, that being said, this Caps team has never really shown that they can play at a playoff level for an extended length of time, the possible exception being the last dozen games or so of the 2007-2008 season where they needed every win to make the playoffs.

Good habits are developed over the course of the season, so while the lack of a killer instict is irksome right now, it'll be a bigger concern if we are still wondering where the killer instinct is in March.

Posted by: cainoo7x | October 30, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

It's days like today that bring out the fact that we have a less than knowledgable fan base. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but far too many are writing as though we are in the basement of the division. Are the expectations legit that we should be undefeated and have the best players in every position? That we should never have let-downs? That great players may get shut down now and then? After each game, the whiners and know-it-alls come out in force. What I wouldn't give to watch one of you go face-to-face with Bruce or McPhee or the players with your almighty opinions. Enjoy the ride, people!

Posted by: gonchpup | October 30, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Do you all not understand the concept of an offensive-minded defenseman? Put Green on the wing and he will absolutely fail. I am fine with him taking risks.

Posted by: snakegriffin | October 30, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@ gonchpup: Amen.

Posted by: snakegriffin | October 30, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

After each game, the whiners and know-it-alls come out in force. What I wouldn't give to watch one of you go face-to-face with Bruce or McPhee or the players with your almighty opinions. Enjoy the ride, people!

Posted by: gonchpup | October 30, 2009 11:15 AM |

Whiners and know it alls after wins vs. Trolls after losses.

Hm...I'd take the trolls.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 30, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Also, I like that bonus link, but their newest article over there is very intriguing. Talks about Ovie pre-draft.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 30, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you Richmondphil, at least the trolls are entertaining sometimes and fun to mess with. The whiners and know-it-alls are just annoying, kinda like when your underwear ride up on you all day!

Posted by: PhilR | October 30, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Mikebrady1 and gonchpup - well said.

Posted by: hock1 | October 30, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or is Lee-Anne Goodman (Canadian Press) not ... completely up on current events?

1) Three years ago, in fact, the Capitals were in last place and the downtown Verizon Center was as lively as a cemetery. But last year, the Capitals won the Southeast Division title for the first time since 2000-01, edging out the Carolina Hurricanes in the final game of the season.

In a remarkable end-of-season run, the Caps won 11 of their final 12 regular season games, becoming the first team in NHL history to make the playoffs after being ranked 14th or lower in their conference standings at the season's mid-point.

Hello? Um. We won two years in a row. She's talking about 2007-08 here, not 2008-09!

2) "Everybody have fun and no speed limit!" Ovechkin, who has a fondness for sports cars, declared last year when he was given the key to Washington, D.C., after being named the NHL's MVP.

Same thing. This is 2007-08.

But the article was published just recently. Someone needs to point this out to chickie-doo, before she gives Canadian hockey reporters a bad name!

Posted by: irockthered | October 30, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse


Yeah, I saw your comment on that blog. Haha...some reporters just need to stick with what they know and not what's catching on.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 30, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Just got my Blue Jacket tickets. Was going to go today to and make a weekend of it, but it didn't work at.

Nash/Mason should be fun to watch. Never seen Nash play live yet.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 30, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse


I live in AACO also and I can not get it either.

Posted by: washingtoncapitals | October 30, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

If your waiting for Mike Green to not be on the power play your gonna be waiting a long long time.

Lets keep things into perspective, we are not playing a full 60 minutes and are still winning. With the stlyle that Bruce likes, we are gonna give up some chances.
I like winning on 40 minutes of good play rather than losing with a good 60 minutes of good play. Good teams find ways to WIN. We will get better at closing teams off too.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | October 30, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The "find CSN in your area" box on (lower left of the page) says CSN+ is on FIOS channel 8 in some areas, so that might be worth a try.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | October 30, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I believe that the NHL Network will be showing tonights Caps game. I get the NHL Network with my FIOS package. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: Kevin9149 | October 30, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

if some of you haven't notived, they actually have a WINGER playing the point on the PPs and that's NOT Mike Green. That's the main reason why they keep giving up shorthanded breakaways.

Posted by: joek443 | October 30, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

just makes me laugh when most if not all of the goals scored against are somehow Green's fault or if they keep giving up chances on PP's, it's also somehow Green's fault...

No one defenseman can shut down the other team... Langway couldn't do it and neither can Green.

Posted by: joek443 | October 30, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse


Hard to imagine that Canadian reporter could mess up like this, but you're right!

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 30, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Although Green is often the culprit on odd man rushes on the PP, it's often because he is the only true puck handler at the blue line. Ovechkin is out of position IMO as a point man and should be along the boards. I think both the Rangers and Pens picked up on this during last year's playoffs and other teams have caught on as well. Green is also sometimes overly aggressive instead of just keeping the puck in the other teams' zone.

It's great to have 5 extremly talented players on the ice at one time, but we also need a smart defenseman (i.e. Poti) who can limit the chances for a breakout by the other team. Poti had the reputation as a good QB on the power play when he arrived but his play on the unit has diminished with Green's emergence. Either play Green in tandem with Poti or limit the amount of minutes that Green is on the ice on the PP.

The number of shorthanded goals and opportunities given up by the Caps is very high for a team with this much talent.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 30, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Capsfannmiss - Yep. Kind of hard to believe there are so many out there trying to hang Mike Green... runner-up defensemen of the year. While I agree he has played like a bit of an air-head at times, and his offensive thought process sometimes comes around to by it him the ass, the pros far outway the cons. Also, from the day Bruce came on board, he made it known that things would be opened up offensively and our defensive game would not be as tight. While I'm sure the goalies stats take a hit because of this, the wins are what's important. As for personnel, I like the team. No trades needed. I am confident the coaching staff can fine-tune things throughout the year and we'll have an even better team come playoffs.

Posted by: gonchpup | October 30, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

We won! People, don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Don't anger the hockey "gods."

Posted by: GoEagles | October 30, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

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