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Morning roundup: Third-period breakdown

(Blair Gable/Reuters)

Morning roundup

Despite jumping out to a two-goal lead in the second period thanks to a tally by Jay Beagle -- the first of his NHL career -- the Caps only ended up with a single point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Senators at Scotiabank Place.

On a positive note, what says "We've got depth" like a goal from Jay Beagle?

From Tarik's gamer:

OTTAWA -- Jay Beagle did what most young Canadian hockey players aspire to when he notched his first NHL goal Monday night. But the Washington Capitals' fourth-line center didn't get the chance to celebrate his achievement properly in the solemn visitors' dressing room at Scotiabank Place following a disheartening 4-3 overtime defeat to the Ottawa Senators.
Beagle, an undrafted rookie who was recalled from the minor leagues last week as an injury replacement, intercepted a pass midway through the second period and buried his shot to give Washington a 3-1 lead. But the Capitals suffered what Coach Bruce Boudreau called a "collapse by 20 guys" in the third period and overtime en route to a third straight loss -- each by a single goal.

Click here to read the rest. Postgame wrap-up is here and Tarik's video analysis is here:

*Game highlights from

*Ottawa Citizen recap:

Beating the Capitals is a particular badge of honor -- the Senators had only won two of their previous eight meetings.
Third period goals by Chris Neil and Alex Picard pulled the Senators into a 3-3 tie, setting up the late drama.
Alex Ovechkin was in the penalty box for roughing when Picard scored the critical power play goal.

*Also from the Citizen, a feature on ex-Senator (and current Cap) Brian Pothier, who overcame a period last year when he thought he might not play hockey again:

For more than a year, Brian Pothier's life had literally spun out of control.
On the receiving end of a legal but devastating check from Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic in January 2008, Pothier's career appeared over.
The Washington Capitals defenceman was immediately sidelined with a severe concussion and he didn't dare even put on skates for 11 months. At times, the vertigo became so severe, he couldn't push his two boys, Jake and Luke, on a swing because he became too nauseous.
After all that heartache and frustration, he is now receiving a second chance at his NHL career thanks to a simple pair of glasses and some cutting edge experimental eye therapy.

*Mike Green tweets that he's "def" unhappy with the way he played: "Brutal game. Def not happy with my performance. Don't hate. See you on Wed caps fans. Your the best!"

*Making a difference through hockey: NHLPA's "Goals and Dreams" program (In the Room)

*Ted Leonsis tells email-happy Caps fans to "chill" for the five trillionth time this season. (Ted's Take)

*The NHL hands Montreal's Georges Laraque a five-game suspension for his hit on Detroit's Niklas Kronwall. (

Tarik's stuck in Ottawa and won't be back until the afternoon, so Mark Giannotto is filling in at practice and will have some updates later this morning.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 24, 2009; 5:32 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Senators 4, Caps 3 (OT)
Next: Plenty of Caps absent from practice


On last night's game -- Corey of the Times has mentioned the depressing statistics:

1) The Caps have lost 10 (count it) 10 games lost after having the lead. 10 out ot 11. Over 90%.

2) The Caps have yielded the tying or winning goal with a guy in the box during 3rd period or OT 8 times during 3rd period.

3) Caps winning percentage is 54.2%

Now you know why I'm so angry.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 24, 2009 6:47 AM | Report abuse

I still feel really bad for Varly. I hope Bruce lets him chew out the team. I guess our players are stupid because they keep making the same mistakes and then they'll talk about what they have to do to not make those mistakes, and then next game they forget everything and it's back to playing stupid.

Posted by: dfe1 | November 24, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Since bad luck comes in 3s, this one must be my fault.
1) brought college kid home Mon. sick with swine flu
2) 16 year old son & car had run in with fire hydrant
3) Caps lost.

Praying for Wed. when we all will go, assuming the swine has left the house.

Posted by: Steakum | November 24, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Does anybody mind if I puke on my keyboard this morning? Please?

Posted by: irockthered | November 24, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Green ... Stop tweeting and play some hockey with some passion for a change. Your play appears non-chalant and casual as if you don't give a damn. Nobody is "hating" Mike, but maybe you should be a right wing and could leave the "D" to someone who is committed to playing it.

Is the coach getting through to these guys? Even with a partial Hershey roster, the Caps should have taken more than a point away tonight. The addition of Bob Woods is taking the overall defense and GAPG backwards. If players make the same mistakes over and over again is the coach not getting through or are these hockey players dumb as a bag of pucks?

Posted by: cwiseman | November 24, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

I wanted to throw a shoe at Mike Green last night. He had not one but two total breakdowns on the same OT shift because he was trying to play offense. He got away with the first one and got burned on the second.

When Ovi is you last line of Defense and you have a D-man in teh neutral zone just watching the play, something has gone horribly wrong.

Posted by: hackeynut | November 24, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Hey, guess what? Ottawa is leading their division, one that includes the Sabres and Bruins. The Sens are a better team this year than they were the last 2 years. Tough loss, yes, but no one should be giving up on the season after this one.

I mean, it's not anywhere as bad as the Redskins losing to the Lions. Not even in the same ballpark

Posted by: aaman4ever | November 24, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse


You are missing the big picture. Last night was tough, but I agree the Senators are much better than last year. However, the Caps blowing leads late in the game because of sloppy play and stupid penalties has become a common theme this season. Way too much talent on this team for them to continue to play such uninspired hockey. Someone needs to light a fire under their @$$.

Posted by: eorr53 | November 24, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Whats so obvious about this team is that they are consistent in competing game in and game out. They can look at every loss, and say..we should of won...EVERY SINGLE LOSS...

Look at other teams towards the top..especially the Pens..when they lose..they get crushed...they give up, and they dont compete...not our Caps..

That being said..we have to work on our the clock...especially on the that prevent D, and we will be a much better team come playoff time.

This team is so good. We will get it right..get healthy, and we can win the Presidents doubt in my mind...

Posted by: SA-Town | November 24, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Here's just a reminder. I play beach volleyball in summer and it's hot down here. By the middle of the day you are tired and your feet are on fire. You do not play with the same skill or intensity as you do at 10 am (beer doesn't help).

Green played 31 mins. The coach might want to address that. IMHO his mins should be cut back, especially his PK mins. Carlson only played 11 mins. Does anyone see what that means? The coach thinks Green is better after 30 mins than Carlson after 11. Meanwhile people want to switch Green to RW and I suppose promote Carlson to full-time D. Do you really think there's any way on God's white ice sheet this will ever happen?

At the next home game, the promotion should be that the first 18,000 fans entering the turnstiles are given a "clue."

Some of you, I realize, don't need one, so give it a neighbor.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 24, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Just got up-to-date on all the comments from late night....
Happy Birthday, Tom.

Posted by: tess2201 | November 24, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Mike Green needs to have his minutes cut back.
He reminds me of the guy in Adult league who has skills but doesn't know when to get off the ice. Eventually gets tired and miss-handles the puck at the wrong time and... He is relying on skill way too much...

Posted by: bhouse | November 24, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

cwiseman: Why don't you take the day off, go to Kettler, and impart your obvious superior hockey knowledge unto BB and Green.

Now, if common sense would be applied, it is apparent the injuries are starting to have a major impact. Carlson is not performing as hoped. He was cut down to just over 11 minutes last night, and he looks a little lost. He's a youngster though, so I'm not trashing him, just pointing out the obvious as far as where is game is right now. Green is logging a ton of minutes which leads to mental and physical breakdowns. We are seeing how important ShaMo and Poti are to this team.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 24, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

eorr55: If you are a fan of the NHL you would know that losing two goal leads is common in the NHL now. I watch games on Center Ice on Caps off days and see comebacks every night. Not just 2 goal leads drying up, but I have seen many 3 goal leads disappear. Scoring in today's NHL is fast and furious. Do I like seeing the Caps blow leads? Heck no. Does it make them a bad team? No, because it happens all the time now.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 24, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone but me notice that Green *tried* to get off the ice during the overtime, and couldn't? He did. I saw him trying to get to the bench, but because the clear was too weak, he had to skate back out.

He was on the ice for a minute solid in overtime. But he DID try to get off.

Posted by: irockthered | November 24, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Please, everyone stop comparing the NHL players to adult league, or your glory days as a 4th liner on a mediocre High School team. Green had some blunders last night. The man was friggin' tired, period.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 24, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I think I'd much rather get crushed 6-2 than lose 3-2. See our previous 2 game 7 losses. That Flyers loss in OT still stings- a lot. The Pens loss, well, ya it sucked bad. But for me, wasn't as bad as the Philly loss.

Posted by: Fro_ | November 24, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Carlson is 19 years old.

He's a boy, playing a game with men. Hell, he hasn't stopped growing yet! Not every 19-year-old hockey player is Nicklas Backstrom.

Green's ice time will go back down when there are more men on the blue line to help him. It isn't always that he "doesn't know when to get off the ice." Sometimes, it is that he can't do so without leaving the ice open to attack. It isn't just that he needs his minutes cut back. He played those kinds of minutes last season, and was a Norris trophy finalist. No. It's a combination of that, and three back-to-back weekends in a row, with travel. And injured players dropping like flies.

Someone posted a link to a blog post about what that travel entails, but I can't find it right now. Just take what you normally go through in traveling, and add hockey gear. Expect to arrive at your hotel some time around 2:00 in the morning.

We missed Laing out there last night, badly. And Sasha. But we missed Poti and ShaMo more.

Green earned that third star of the game. And people on here are willing to give him the "first schmuck" award. Jeez.

Posted by: irockthered | November 24, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse


When did I say the Caps were a bad team? And yes, I do know that a two goal lead is not safe in the NHL these days. All the more reason for them to step up and play hard in the third period. Last night may very well have been the cause of fatigue and too many injuries but at the same time we have been coughing up the lead all season long.

Posted by: eorr53 | November 24, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Oh - and to those of you still arguing that the AHL plays back-to-back games every weekend: when both teams are playing back-to-back, it negates the effect of exhaustion. The traveling team still has a slight disadvantage due to travel, but both teams are tired.

Posted by: irockthered | November 24, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

@Fro_ - For me, that Flyers overtime loss stings, not because we lost in overtime, but because the officials handed the Flyers a free goal that should have been whistled dead when their player shoved our player and goalie out of the crease and sat on them both for long enough to allow the Flyers to score.

Posted by: irockthered | November 24, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

The Caps still haven't lost a game in regulation in which the other team has scored 1st. That's a pretty good stat for a lazy team that needs a fire lit under them. (sarcasm)

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 24, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Varly's expression in that photo pretty much sums it up.

Posted by: CapsChick | November 24, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Excuses were more acceptable at the beginning of the season. Now, it's just getting old. It has nothing to do with injuries, because we have the talent. They've been blowing leads all season, committing bad penalties, and Green continues to make lazy passes and plays. It's just frustrating.

I appreciate the minutes Green puts up and his skill, but the guy needs to learn responsibility and discipline.

Posted by: JD09 | November 24, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

And the bickering returns

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

The most frustrating thing about our losses this year is it seems like it's all mental. I like "gabby" a lot but he needs to start holding these guys more accountable. When we lose games with the lead it's usually because we take our foot off the gas and/or think the game is over and stop playing. In the 3rd period last night everyone stopped playing their hearts out. This needs to change, we shouldn't have as many losses as we do. I know injuries have hurt us this year but there are no excuses for not playing 100% throughout the entire game.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | November 24, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

@JD09 - Has it occurred to you that maybe - just maybe - the minutes Green is putting up might have something to do with what you call a problem with responsibility and discipline? He played well enough last night to earn the third star of the game, and yet people are beating him up for his one big mistake that led to a goal.

What about beating on Steckel? He had TWO failed clears that led to goals. And he admitted it. Why isn't he getting beaten up?

I'll tell you why. Because his mistakes aren't as glaring as Green's. You don't NOTICE when Steckel screws up. But he did last night. Twice. And we lost the game.

I am not saying the blame is wholly Steckel's, but people need to be more even-handed when passing out blame around here. It's all Green's fault?

I don't think so.

Posted by: irockthered | November 24, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

OH NO the team is in FREE FALL!!! OH NO all the way down to tied for second in the league in points! OH NO missing two of our top three fowards, two of our top PK forwards, our top minute d man plus two other d men from the opening roster and playing 5 guys who were riding a bus last month and STILL LOSE by one goal to a hot team at home in the fourth game in the fourth city and second country this week!! OH NO THE HORROR! WE ARE DOOMED!! OH NO its almost Thanksgiving...WAIT, GOOD's the stupid turkeys turn to feel the heat!! OH BOY i hope the Caps score five against Buffalo and they give away TURKEY WINGS. OH NO ChickenLittle wishes everyone a happy Thanksgiving! OH NO ChickenLittle is thankful for all the doomsayers on this board! Makes ChickenLittle feel at home. OH NO...

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | November 24, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I am always one to stay positive...but this team has got to get into a lock down mode with the lead...

Only one forward in, and have 4 back.....flip and dump in if we have too. Watch some Devils game tape for the 3rd period when we are up.

Posted by: SA-Town | November 24, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"...Green is logging a ton of minutes which leads to mental and physical breakdowns..." - fanohock1

Yes, but that doesn't explain his nonchalant back checking on the first Ottawa goal. I'm not bashing, he also made some excellent and subtle defensive plays, there was also IMHO some fatigue because of the minutes in the latter part of the game and overtime. But, the bottom line is each goal counts and that first one is on him for not getting back and tying up the stick of the opposing player.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | November 24, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Shout out to Tarik!

Glad others notice how good a job you do!

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | November 24, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the Caps can hook and trip in the 1st period so they won't have to worry about a third period meltdown? Seriously, I agree with a lot of the posts last night.

With a condensed scheduled, minutes need to be managed better. This has been an ongoing problem. Not just Green, but Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin always seem to get more ice time than their counterparts. It's always during the 3rd period when their ice time is ramped up, so they look tired and make mistakes. It is time to put a little more faith in the other guys, even the ones from Hershey. I'd have more faith in Carlson and A. Gordon late in the 3rd than a dog tired Green and Ovechkin.

I also agree with joek's take on penalties. I am getting a little tired of hearing "We take dumb penalties and that's why we lose games". Every team takes penalties. And, believe it or not, some teams actually take more penalties than the Caps. This is becoming one of those don't look at the man behind the curtain excuses.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 24, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered - Do you really need someone to criticize Steckel? Isn't it obvious? Green on the other hand has been given certain responsibilities, which leave him open for criticism. Maybe it's more of BB's fault for giving him the responsibilities and so much ice time. Right now he isn't disciplined enough on the defensive end to play so aggressive on the offensive end.

@SA-Town - you might be right. We might have to switch to the 2-2-1. It's not exciting, but what we're doing right now isn't working to hold leads.

Posted by: JD09 | November 24, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

these guys just dont have the fire in their gut right now.

Posted by: doughless | November 24, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Yes, you can't win them all. No it's not realistic to think we should.

However, trying to defend that loss doesn't cut the mustard. The players and coach are upset with it.. so telling others who are upset that they are wrong isn't a great argument.

We had 3 shots in the 3rd period. I don't care how good Ottawa is... if we can't muster more than 3 shots in a period, we didn't play well. Green may have done well in the first 2 periods (offensively), but he did SUCK in the 3rd and OT.

Thus, I can only concur with the assessments that maybe 30 minutes is too much for him.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | November 24, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

No one who is bashing Green is mentioning the beuatiful assist to set up BMo. It was the same kind of high reward play (him going to the net) that sometimes leads to risk.

Someone above said, "Green needs to learn to cut down his minutes."

Lesson in hockey 101: It's the coach who determines the minutes, not the player. If Green is on too long, put that one on BB. And when Stecks makes a bad clear, there's two D to back up. When a D makes a bad clear, there's only Varly.

Oh, and I did notice several times when the Caps were on for a very long shift due to they couldn't get off. They were dog tired. None of these guys came out of Juniors with HoF skills, just the talent. The skills they will learn. Games like last night are a lesson.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 24, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Tess: Thank you!

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 24, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

It was a question of who wanted it least last night. For two periods, it looked like Ottawa.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 24, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm with chickenlittle--oh no!!! Come on. It's a bad stretch for our boys. Fatigue, injuries, rookie inexperience, all played a role in the last four games. No one is being lazy out there. Come on--with that many minutes our key guys are playing. Really. It's the mental edge they need to regain. Any system will fail if the guys are slipping and making mistakes with mental and physical fatigue. And I have no doubt that the players themselves are the angriest--far more than we fans.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | November 24, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

So I flew from Dubai to Atlanta, to Chicago to Ottawa to watch the beloved Caps vs. Sens. Only to be few minutes away from Ottawa and the flight was diverted to Montreal (Fog). After a two hour bus ride to Ottawa, I was able to see the end of OT at my sister's house.

The tickets were right behind the penalty box, my nephew is got a great pic of OV in the game tying power play score. Oh well....

Mike Green gave up the puck 2 x on the same shift. I am sorry, but the guy has got to do better. every time i listen to a game on the net or watch on tv, Green is giving up the puck.

It all started with gr8 getting squeezed at the boards in the sens zone, and the play turning quickly.

Did not see a whole bunch of back check on that sequence... I hope they learn to play team defense before the playoffs. Good thing there is a lot of time left in the regular season. But the comments are right on...same mistakes over and over. Are they listening to BB??

The article few weeks back with regards to the wings, and Scotty Bowman saying that the team did get better until the key players started to listen, and play team defense is spot on.

Green should not worry about the tweeting, or Canadian Olympics roster, he should focus on playing better defense oppps defense.

I realize it is only one game, but it really is not one game is it?

Posted by: hunter32 | November 24, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I could care less about shots on goal in the 3rd period...

It's all about holding the lead....we dont need any shots on goal...we need to stop shots on goal..

Posted by: SA-Town | November 24, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I am not making excuses either but the reality is these are contributing factors. And they have figure out how to cope. And regroup.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | November 24, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Tom, we hope that they took it as a lesson instead of some thing to piss and moan about.

Posted by: superpaqman | November 24, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

it is simple: buckle up and play hockey. good ol simple hockey. also, seems to me the team is sorta fighting itself over what style to play now that OV is back.

Posted by: doughless | November 24, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

If you replaced BB's post game rant from last night with one from last February, no one could tell the difference. It's always penalties and guys not playing 60 minutes of hockey. We can blame individual players, but what has coach done about these ongoing problems? Ultimately, it is his job come up with a strategy so that these guys can play a consistent 60 minute game. Maybe it's time to tweak the system.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 24, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the caps could hire Olie to come back & spiritedly discuss their play as if he had been between the pipes. Or maybe he could just just give Varly a few choice phrases to use.

Posted by: uncatim | November 24, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Caps are what, 13 - 5 - 6? To me, that is 13 - 11. Spin it how you want, but I watch every game; 13 times I felt good after the game, 11 times I felt lousy.

They are far from an elite team. Watch out for the teams behind them in the division. They all (even Carolina?) are getting better.

Ottawa is a decent team, but the Caps played with no guts when they needed to step it up. They just can't finish teams off. I am concerned.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | November 24, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Yes, last night and this weekend was disappointing. Yes, there are errors that you can point out that everyone made that you wish they didn't. Yes, there are injuries and fatigue and that it hurting us. But we are only about a quarter of the way through the season. Where the Pens last year at the hal way point? Your criticism is expected - you feel that these guys live in your living room with you and that you have all the answers. But I just have to say, when you can show me the professional contract that you signed to be a player or coach, then what you say means something. Armchair quarterback this team all you want but know that you are just letting off steam that will ultimately not get anyone anywhere. How about give support? How about talk about how great Varly played last night? Yes, he let in a number of goals and to quote Joe B "I bet he wants those back." But since you can't do anything about it now, why not find the good in what they did? Why not remember the elation you felt with those were made? Maybe that is too sunny for this forum but I bet some of those players read this. And maybe you are thinking that if they read this and see your advice, they will take it. And maybe some of them will. But why not also put in there GO CAPS so that they know that ultimately we enjoy watching them and will enjoy the roller coaster to the playoffs right along with them? I didn't live here in the days of mediocre hockey in Washington. But I can only imagine what that felt like when you knew the team didn't have a shot, even with the Olie's of the world on it. That isn't the case now. You are moaning now but the team could achieve something better than last year - Eastern Conference winners or even the cup! Won't you feel like an @ss then?

Posted by: mikesfan | November 24, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan75

The caps have had the lead in 23 of their 24 games, the lone exception being an OT win against NYI (they finished with the lead, but never held one during the game). In the other 23 games, they are 12-5-6 (points in 18 of 23).

They haven't lost 10 of 11 games in which they had the lead - Corey must have been discussing a different stat.

In addition, they've taken a 1-0 lead in the first period 18 times this season.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 24, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Also, while their winning percentage isn't stellar, their point percentage is .667. The league average is .568.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 24, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@JK - No, you're missing my point.

My point is that it is NOT just Green's fault that the team lost, and people need to quit acting like it is.

Green was NOT the only player on the ice last night to make costly mistakes.

Tom said it: "No one who is bashing Green is mentioning the beuatiful assist to set up BMo."

If you're going to call people out, at least call out everyone who deserves to be called out. Hating on one player because he made a high-profile mistake because he got stuck on the ice and COULDN'T get off - if he'd actually made that shift change he was trying for, the Senators would have had a breakaway with nobody between them and Varlamov. Instead, he stayed out and stopped them before fatigue set in to the point of error.

But it was NOT JUST GREEN who messed up last night, and people bashing only Green are missing the rest of the team.

Bash Steckel for missing two clears, both of which led to goals, and either one of which, had it been made, would have kept the game a Caps win.

Bash Ovechkin for daring to use his elbow in a check on a guy shorter than him who was ducking. He should have known better, with McCreary on the ice. McCreary will mis-call anything.

While we're at it, bash Clark for that tripping penalty. He really DID do it, but it wasn't what he was trying to do. He was TRYING to do a stick check, and the guy got tangled up.

Oh, and let's bash Erskine for the high-sticking penalty that was only high-sticking because the guy he high-sticked had his head down, and he got swatted in the face. Yeah. Wouldn't have even connected, if the guy hadn't had his head down.

Let's bash Varlamov. Probably he made one bad missed save, right? Every goalie gets one, except for the Caps. THREE deflected goals for the other team. THREE. Including the game-winner. How the heck do you defend against bad hops?

I am sick and tired of Green being at fault for everything. He made a BEAUTIFUL assist last night, and the Ottawa press gave him the third star of the game.

If he messed up that badly, they would not have done that.

Posted by: irockthered | November 24, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night, and it was very obvious that the Caps are a tired and injury depleted team. Playing 3 games in 4 nights with 6 or 7 regulars out of the line up is brutal, and the team looked dead in the third period.

That being said, there is no excuse for the way Mike Green played last night. I had my Green jersey on, and it was embarrassing. He had so many bad giveaways in the wrong places that I have no clue what he was thinking. Hopefully this ship gets righted starting on Wednesday, when the schedule gets a little less hectic for a bit.

Posted by: Aldred15 | November 24, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Can someone put that damn ChickenLittle out of his/her misery? Instead of turkey, somebody serve some homestyle FRIED chicken!

Since everyone is prone to talking like they're in the heads of the players, managers, and coaches, I'll attempt to pretend to know what the GM, the coaches, and Ted are thinking when they sometimes read the crapola that you people type on here "STFU!"

It gets tired, people. We get it. You have nothing better to do than b*tch and complain about the number of games the Capitals are losing. Poor you. Stop making it personal, people. They'll get a win eventually but keep in mind, it matters more if they start losing in March and April. Remember, the girls in black and gold and white were in 10th heading into the playoffs. The Capitals aren't even close to that so calm the eff down.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 24, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I would like to follow up my post by stating that Green is my favorite player, and I usually always defend him.

I skipped all the comments to make my previous post, and was just reading them when I noticed all the Green bashing. I am generally the first to defend him, and was in no way trying to join the assault on him; it was just what I saw at the game last night.

Posted by: Aldred15 | November 24, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

A real disappointment last night for a tired and injury depleted team. They did not appear so dispirited to start the game -- Caps had jump -- but ended poorly. I agree with Ovi on his diagnosis of his penalty; the guy just went low so his hit carried through high. Tough break.

Congrats to Beagle, and to Perreault for continuing strong play. Beautiful feed by Greenie and great play by BMo to get to the net. Glad Clarkie got a rare good break in front of net.

At least this is coming at the right time of year. Lots of season left to work on the shut down game, both through practice and personnel.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 24, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

While this loss hurt (as do all of them) home losses hurt more, as it then becomes personal. Since about $3,000 of my personal money goes in to bying my season tickets- not to mention lots of frost-brewed concessions. Although, a hard fought loss, while playing an entire 60 mins- I'm ok with that. Sometimes you just lose.

Posted by: Fro_ | November 24, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered - YES, I DID see the assist and it was nice, but it didn't win the game. You remember we lost right, and a lot of it DID evolve around Green. His pretty assist doesn't make up for the lost or his SEVERAL defensive mishaps. Get over the pass already.

And for the Ottawa press, so they are the determining factor now??

Plus, my argument isn't just based on last night. The guy gives up the puck ALL THE TIME.

Posted by: JD09 | November 24, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I am happy at least to read so much support for our Caps--the haters thankfully are not online. Don't mind the criticism tho' I disagree vehemently with the lazy tag. Also happy to read the posters who put the losses in perspective--our expectations are so high that we feel the losses keenly. I'm sure the players feel the disappointment even more keenly than we can imagine.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | November 24, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I hated to see the Caps cave in the 3rd period again...I saw the demise coming and went to bed before the inevitable end. I hope they can pull a win out on Wednesday...but Miller has been hot as of late. Yikes Caps!

Posted by: NatyBG | November 24, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse


Mike Green, is that you?

Seriously, this a messageboard. Everyone is an armchair analyst, coach, player, GM, etc. People come here because they like to watch the Caps/hockey and want to discuss the games with others. After a loss, there are always going to be negative comments. If players get upset over negative comments posted on messageboards, this team is in worse trouble than I thought. It's not going to be all roses. I would hope a professional would understand that.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 24, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone ever get to the bottom of the little scuffle between Clark and Green was about? Not to say that this is in any way related to Green's (good/bad, take your pick) play, just something that crossed my mind.

Also since I have the text box for the moment, We as fans need to stop complaining about one player losing/winning the game. If you believe like I do, that hockey is one of the ultimate team sports, then you have to agree that it's the team that won or lost, maybe a player missed an opportunity but that is just a small fraction of the rest of the game.

Posted by: superpaqman | November 24, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Well the positive outlook here is that with 8 regular players out we've only been losing by 1, and still garnering points, while atop the Eastern Conference.

Bad news is lethargic play against bad teams, and in reality the team is 13-11.

Posted by: breaklance | November 24, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Also, while their winning percentage isn't stellar, their point percentage is .667. The league average is .568.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 24, 2009 10:56 AM

Good point. Caps are on a pace for 109 pts. And that's with a tough schedule so far and injuries.

I'm trying to find stats for giveaways and takeaways but I can't find them. I want to dispute JD09's assertion that Green gives up the puck "all the time." A comment like that is so generic that it's worthless.

Giveaways per minutes played would be a meaningful stat. I'll keep looking.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 24, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@hockeypuck 1

Dont ever count a shootout loss as a real loss...OT lose is fine, but a shootout loss has nothing to do with team play and the system...

Posted by: SA-Town | November 24, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Still can't find the stats for giveaways/takeaways. But, Green carries the mail so much, we would expect more giveaways by him than someone like Schultz who touch the puck far less.

Again, though, if you find fault, you have to question the coaching.

1) If a coach puts a player on the ice for 31 mins;

2) And the coach encourages a system that has the particular player freewheeling with the puck while (very importantly) other players (like those with initials AO) take off full speed toward the offensive end of the ice;

3) Then you will have more turnovers.

Just like in basketball a team that fast breaks all the time will have more turnovers than a team that plays a deliberate, half-court offense.

Are these things only obvious to me?

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 24, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - If you would have read my previous post you would know that I said the exact same thing. I said maybe it's BB's fault for giving him so much responsibility. Again, he doesn't have the discipline.

Posted by: JD09 | November 24, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Plus, if you're looking for actual stats on giveaways/takeaways, I would waste your time. There are a lot of technicalities in determining what an actual giveaway/takeaway is (when considering it a stat).

Posted by: JD09 | November 24, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Here's a stat for all of you armchair geniouses. What would you think of a quarterback who threw 212 career TD passes while tossing 210 career interceptions?

You'd be calling him "average, at best."

No, he's one of the greatest players, one of the greatest champions in league history, and my favorite player from a city I otherwise can't stand.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 24, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Re Mike Green: All anyone has to do is look at the Columbus game a couple of weeks ago. I was sitting right behind goal Columbus was shooting at and Rick Nash rushed down the ice, skated right around Green (Green easily let him have the inside) and easily scored as Theo had no chance. Even my wife said to me, he made no effort to stop him. Granted, Nash is a great player, but supposed elite Dmen do not allow that sort of thing. It was like a man playing against a boy. I, for one, am tired of Mike Green's lousy play.

Posted by: jamesacarroll | November 24, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - just found that stat for ya on Mike Green leads the Capitals with giveaways and 21st in the league.

Posted by: JD09 | November 24, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

JD09: All I'm asking is to drop your frustration just a bit. I agree with giveaway/takeaway, the more I think about it. Guys who don't get as involved in the play would have inflated stats. But look at Terry Bradshaw as an example. As many TDs as innterceptions. Did you know that? Do you know why? Because the Steelers employed a high risk/high reward style. And they kept the other team off balance as a consequence and they won 4 SBs behind Bradshaw.

I agree Mike Green has been off his game, somewhat, compared to last year. My eyes are telling me that. But the stats aren't - he's league leading scorer for defensemen. Obviously he's doing what the coach says or he'd be practicing in his own rink like Nylander.

I think Green is just trying to do too much, trying to hit a home run on every pitch.

The coach needs to calm him down a bit and reduce his minutes to a normal 22-24. That to me is the end of the story.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 24, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"I think Green is just trying to do too much, trying to hit a home run on every pitch.

The coach needs to calm him down a bit and reduce his minutes to a normal 22-24. That to me is the end of the story."

Posted by: tominfl1

100% Agree with you. I think that would help him out ton and make him a better all around player overall.

Posted by: JD09 | November 24, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - just found that stat for ya on Mike Green leads the Capitals with giveaways and 21st in the league.

Posted by: JD09 | November 24, 2009 12:04 PM

JD: I'm going to say 21st in the league isn't bad for a player with his number of minutes and given the Caps' style of play.

Sgt. Carroll: I've seen Green do the same thing to enemy D every game. And, if I were told that the Caps had to give up Ovechkin, and I got to choose his replacement, any player in the league, I'd take Rick Nash.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 24, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

One player who doesn't get a ton of mention around here is Brendan Morrison. The guy is having a phenomenal year so far with 18 points and a plus 8 rating. As has been mentioned in the past, he has taken the odd lazy penalty, but you have to commend GMGM for signing this guy to such a cheap contract.

Hopefully he stays healthy; if he does he could put up 60-70 points this year.

Posted by: Aldred15 | November 24, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

JD: Since we found common ground on this, do you think maybe they want us to solve the health care debate?

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 24, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - Since people like to comment on how early we are in the season, here are his overall stats from last year:

Giveaways - 2nd in the entire NHL & 1st for the Capitals.
Takeaways - 7th in the entire NHL & 1st for the Capitals.

I'm seeing a trend.

Posted by: JD09 | November 24, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

If you believe like I do, that hockey is one of the ultimate team sports, then you have to agree that it's the team that won or lost

Posted by: superpaqman

this is so true - i've said this before too - but in here, after a loss, it doesn't mean much to most posters

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 24, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1- Haha, the world would be a better place.

Posted by: JD09 | November 24, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Aldred1: I recently posted that Morrison was like the $25 bottle of wine you got for $10.

So far - so good.

BTW, since Caps are back home, I'll be rocking the red tonight. Lamb chops for the birthday dinner with probably a very nice cab. I just also put in an order for mashed potatoes, since I can't stop thinking about them (thanks, Tess).

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 24, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

JD09: I presume those stats are for Green. 2nd in the league last year in giveaways and he was 2nd for Norris Trophy.

And now he has "improved" to 21st. Yes, you see a trend - like with Bradshaw and the TDs vs interceptions, it's the Boudreau style that is causing all this.

Very often I see a Caps player in the defensive zone, with the puck, enemy forechecking, and the player has NO HELP.

This isn't the players - it's the system.

Maybe part of Nylander's problem, I dunno, maybe he just wouldn't do this. Maybe his training made him more disciplined and maybe BB doesn't want that.

I don't see any other defenseman in the league lug the mail like Green. And what is BB's response? To turn him loose with a full head of steam for 31 mins. And we agree - he ran out of steam.

So do you want to change the team's style? Then they aren't the same team. No, we want the players to keep the style but get a little better at decision making. ALL the players.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 24, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday tominfl1 (and Backstrom too, right?)

Now I'm finding the best way to read the CI blog is AFTER a game is over, and only read the posts from people I respect. Tominfl1, you are at the top of the fairly extensive list!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 24, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@ablake - Nope not Green. And not a puckbunny with a hardon for him either. I admit his play right this second isn't the same as it was at the end of last year. But does your complaining do anything about it? If this was March, I would whole heartedly agree with you. But it's not.

I just think that you all focus on the crap and don't try to say something positive. Personally I am happy that 3ormore and circles aren't in the lineup. And it totally sucks that there are so many injuries. When Semin and Knuble are back with Ovi and BMo, I think that your tune will change. This is a team sport. Without the whole team together, or very perfect replacements, you don't get the same production that you get when they are working smoothly. Accept it and move on.

Don't you do something professionally? Do all of youy clients/coworkers ridicule you each and every day? Probably not. I honestly do like Ted's advice - chill.

Posted by: mikesfan | November 24, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

dccitizen1: Thanks much! And maybe not so coincidently this is my "Mike Green" birthday. So I'll be keeping a watchful eye out for him and any bashers better watch it!

Next year will be the Quintin Laing birthday. Ouch! I'll need to then keep a watchful eye out for my own body parts.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 24, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow, we can really spin stats the way we'd like to make our Caps look bad. Green is in fact 21st in the league in giveaways with 21. Tied with the likes of Lidstrom, and less Giveaways than players like Spacek, Hal Gil, and oh yeah, 6 less than Sidney Crosby. The prototype stay at home defenseman that a lot of fans would like on our team, Chris Pronger, has 18 giveaways himself. Pronger and Green have 12 takeaways each.

The top defenseman in the league for takeaways is Mark Streit. BTW, Mark Streit has been a healthy scratch on a couple of occasions for playing poorly.

Now, Green is a +3, and 19th in the league in scoring. Tops among D. He is tied with Kaberle but wins the tie-breaker because he has 1 more goal than assist.

Mike Green did have a tough game yesterday but this kid is talented as heck and all some can do is complain about every aspect of his game. The folks on HNIC raved about the world-class move Nash made on Green, they didn't bash Green. If you don't want to read Green's twitters, don't read them, I don't. Mike Green is 24 years old, 24 people, he's just a kid too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 24, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

only read the posts from people I respect. Tominfl1, you are at the top of the fairly extensive list!

Posted by: dccitizen1

my feelings are hurt now - is it because i don't drink wine?
way to go tom!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 24, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Tominfl1, what a clever way to reveal your age.

And I'm so grateful that fanohock1 is back on the blog. I know he was only out for a short time due to frustration with some of the posters, so I'm glad to have his rational "voice" back in here.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 24, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Capt_Kirk_in_AZ, my Capt_Kirk_in_AZ, of course, your voice is another great one on the board. I feel like I'm at the Oscars now and am scared to mention all the people who helped me on my way to becoming a better hockey fan---maybe I'll leave someone out?
(I can hear the Oscars orchestra starting to play now, so I will exit the stage!)

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 24, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The NHL scheduling is a big part of the problem this year. Teams play 4 or 5 games in 6 days, some of which are on the road, and then they won't have any games for 5 or more days. This makes the guys tired and doesn't allow them to rest injuries. Also, one team might play many games in a row against a team who has fresh legs bec they haven't played for a few days. This means one team is already at a big disadvantage.

Posted by: capsfan01 | November 24, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

wow - you're old
i just had my semin+knuble or bradley+varlamov a week ago

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 24, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, this a messageboard. Everyone is an armchair analyst, coach, player, GM, etc. People come here because they like to watch the Caps/hockey and want to discuss the games with others. After a loss, there are always going to be negative comments. If players get upset over negative comments posted on messageboards, this team is in worse trouble than I thought. It's not going to be all roses. I would hope a professional would understand that.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 24, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Actually, it's a blog. Some people just treat it as a message board.

Posted by: CapsChick | November 24, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Let's Go Caps!!! Win or lose I'm still a fan. It's just more fun when we win :). Last night could've been worse, we could've been like the Blue Jackets up by 2 pts only to lose 7:4 to the cheating Rags. Unleash the Red in Florida!!

Posted by: capsfan01 | November 24, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's rename this the Tominfl1 board.

Posted by: capsfan01 | November 24, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

First, the Caps did get points in their last 2 games - they're called losses but they're more like ties. It's a little less than an old tie because the opposition gets 2 pts, but...

There were a few moments where the Caps seemed brilliant - esp the Beagle goal - the team cycling in tandem, it looked like the system worked.

It could be simple fatigue: teams on the road do get tired. Thus, wonder if BB should have a "road" system or a shutdown mode for 3rd periods. It seems we just go flat out all the time and it may lead to penalties and breakdowns. We should be able to move through different modes in the course of a game. And we should be able to play a "road" game versus a "home" game. Maybe we already do and I don't know. But Green pinched in and missed two times in a row on the OT goal shift - first miss led to the brilliant save by Varly, 2nd to the goal (brilliant save by the net behind him).

Posted by: RedLitYogi | November 24, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Next year will be the Quintin Laing birthday. Ouch! I'll need to then keep a watchful eye out for my own body parts.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 24, 2009 12:58 PM
Tom, just be sure you get that whole health care debate settled before the QL birthday and you'll be fine.
And for the record, I celebrated my Varly+Brads birthday last season with a Caps victory over the Pens at Verizon.

Posted by: tess2201 | November 24, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Capsfan01--we were standing in the NYC NHL store and that game was on (of course). I had just said to my son that I didn't know which one to root for when Avery got his two goals. Yuch! When they pulled Mason and the backup goalie wasn't any better we knew it was going to be a bad night for Columbus. Our losses are hard but not that bad. Yeah we hung around in the store watching but it was at least nice standing under the gigantic wall poster of Ovechkin. He greets the customers!

Tom, Kirk, Sonyask, Boo, irockthered, randino, richmondphil and many many other supportive Caps posters (and I've missed many great posters), feel exactly the same as Dccitizen. Your posts are always worth reading. I have always believed constructive criticism is worthwhile and I enjoy dissenting voices but respect for opposing points of view is in my world view crucial. Especially now that Tom and JD will solve the healthcare debate. Moreover we get such good wine tips from you Tom.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | November 24, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

In re:

"Seriously, this a messageboard. Everyone is an armchair analyst, coach, player, GM, etc. People come here because they like to watch the Caps/hockey and want to discuss the games with others. After a loss, there are always going to be negative comments. If players get upset over negative comments posted on messageboards, this team is in worse trouble than I thought. It's not going to be all roses. I would hope a professional would understand that.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 24, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Actually, it's a blog. Some people just treat it as a message board.

Posted by: CapsChick | November 24, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse "

I don't object to negative comments per se, ablake70. In fact, I learn a lot from them. And it's not as if we have the strict Pollyannas versus the Debbie Downers. It's the pointless hair-trigger ranting about "get rid of the bum" after a bad game or mistakes(s).

Here's a message for you, Capschick:
Are you resentful that others get/send messages? Is it the light hearted banter that helps to pass the time between games that upsets you, or is it something else that bothers you much? Don't read what you're not interested in.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 24, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Capsyoungguns; Did you see when two of the Smurfs cross checked Nash into the crossbar of the net? And he got the penalty for crashing into the net. Looked like it hurt. That was a terrible call and he was probably injured on top of that. I've never liked the Rangers and I am hoping that we don't play them first round in the playoffs next year bec they cheat and don't play fair. Besides Brashear will do anything to try to win over NY fans bec they have given him such a cold reception.

Posted by: capsfan01 | November 24, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan01--yeah we did. It was a bad bad night all around for them. And I agree with you I don't care much for the Rangers. Nor for Columbus. But I wouldn't wish that kind of devastation on any team, even the Pens. Well maybe I'll make an exception with the Pens. LOL

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | November 24, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't care for Columbus either. But my dislike for the Rangers is tied w the Pens for the two teams I dislike most. The Rangers cheat. Torts is a jerk. And Avery doesn't have skill enough to play the game so he has to use below-the-belt personal attacks to get players off their game to make plays. And he cheap shots goalies. And Brashear is at a point where he'll do anything to justify his exorbitant contract and get the Rags fans to stop booing him. All of it amounts to poor sportsmanship and cheating. Nothing worse than a cheater thinking he won the game.

Posted by: capsfan01 | November 24, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I didn't bother to read every single post on here, but I am wondering why Chris Clark is playing on the top line. He should have had AT LEAST 3 goals last night. I counted 3 times in the first two periods that he failed to put away the easiest of scoring chances. I respect what Clark has done as a captain, but he shouldn't be on the top line trying to finish off Backstrom's passes and Ovechkins rebounds.

I fully believe that if Laich, Fleischmann, or Fehr were in that same position, they would've walked away with at least a pair of goals.

Posted by: MeatSweats | November 24, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

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