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Morning roundup: Trade hangover

Morning roundup


Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau refused to make excuses for his players following last night's 6-3 loss to the league-worst Hurricanes, but it was clear their heads were somewhere else.

Many of the Washington Capitals heard the stunning news on their way into Verizon Center, or upon arriving, giving them little time to digest the fact that two popular teammates -- one being their captain -- had been dealt away.
And the distraction caused by the trade that sent Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina to Columbus for Jason Chimera couldn't have been more apparent in the opening minutes.
Hockey's best first-period team allowed three goals in the first 14 minutes 30 seconds and never could catch up to the NHL-worst Carolina Hurricanes, who held on for 6-3 victory before an antsy capacity crowd. | Full story ยป

Tarik is traveling today, so I'll be filling in to chat about the trade at 11 a.m.

Just a few quick links:

*Is this the worst loss of the season? Maybe. (In the Room)

*What are the Caps getting in Jason Chimera? (D.C. Examiner)

*It's all about chemistry. (On Frozen Blog)

*Chimera, like Clark, is not necessarily thrilled to pack up and move. (Dispatch)

*Sunday night football does the Caps. (D.C. Sports Bog)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 29, 2009; 9:12 AM ET
 | Tags: Morning roundup  
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Next: Caps assign Varlamov to Hershey

Comments

I gotta be honest.

If you look at the way Caps Nation was set on their heels by this news yesterday - we were positively reeling over it - I cannot IMAGINE it being any easier for the team. It just isn't possible.

You can say "it's a business" all you want.

These guys are human beings, just like us, and they have emotions, and they *had* to have been reeling as much as any one of us was, if not more.

I'm willing to forgive this particular loss.

But, having been a Jose Theodore apologist all bloody season... you can't throw a hissy-fit like the one he threw before the last game, and then come out and let not one, but TWO soft goals in RIGHT AFTER YOUR TEAM SCORES and expect to get another start any time soon.

The first two goals were SO not on Theo... but #3 and #4 were... you can't give up a big juicy rebound right into the slot like that. You just can't.

And WTF was up with that "diving" call on Brooks Laich, -AFTER- the referees missed a blatant trip on Ovechkin, -AND- a clip on Ovechkin, both of which were bad enough that apparently Locker pointed them out on the telestrator???

The Hurricanes got lucky and faced a team that was reeling over the loss of their Captain. Next person to say "so-and-so is a useless bum, and we should trade him," needs to remember this day. Chemistry is very, very important to a team.

I don't want to villainize Theodore over this, I really don't... but if he stops ONE of those two that snuck past him, it's a whole different game.

Posted by: irockthered | December 29, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night and the trade definatly affected the Caps. My beef is that we traded Jurcina. He is one of the only Caps that would put a hit on the other teams players. We will miss that greatly. I think that was a huge mistake. Alzner is a great d-man, but doesn't use his body. We did get some grit back in the trade but lost a great deal of size.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | December 29, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Theo definitely should've had two of the goals he let in. At the very least we would've went to OT. The team was working hard to get the deficit to one but twice Theo deflated them.

Trying not to get too mad but NJ won and we just can't afford to take periods off like we did last night. Now we have the Sharks next... ugh

Posted by: rachel216 | December 29, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Dude should be thrilled to get out of Ohio to a team that wins...

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 29, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

It was a tough game, but we can't win them all...soooo many fctors went into us losing that game. We did not play well, but thebogus call on Laich possbly lost us the game! Anyone know if Backie's goal deserved to be washed out? I could not for the life of mefigure out why that ref was blowing his whistle!! I will miss Clark! Great leader...so sad that he was blindsided by this deal. I get that it is business, but it seemed really harsh!

Posted by: capscoach | December 29, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Caps4Life1 -

Sure it's tough to see an aggressive d-man leave but we 1) have plenty of bodies to put back there and 2) Juice was most likely gone next season.

Salaries of Nylander, Clark, and Jose will free up some serious money that we can work with (plus the HUGE need of signing Backstrom long term).

Who knows what GMGM has up his sleeve... maybe will make another move soon (or eventually add a tough dman)?? I trust their vision.

I agree our defense is a big issue (was also last season) but we at least have some $$$ to use this time around.

Bottom line is the deal freed up needed money, got rid of players that could easily be gone next season, and we also gained a roster spot.

Time will tell

Posted by: OVIE81 | December 29, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Jose "three or more!"

Gotta think GMGM has seen enough of Theo- bet he is on the trading block, but who in their right minds would want him?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 29, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Best wishes to Clark and Jurcina. I'm sure it must be very hard for them leaving this team.

Posted by: guer_j | December 29, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I would think that Halek in Montreal would be the first goaltender to be moved to a new team. IF the Caps had Theo on the block, he wouldnt be sitting on the bench unless a deal was already in the works.

Posted by: bigschu8 | December 29, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

For your information...
2010/2011 Salary Cap/Roster, your Washington Capitals

Line 1
Ovechkin - $9.538M
Backstrom - $6.5M (projected)
Semin - $6.0M
Line 2
Flash - $3.5M (projected)
Morrison - $3.0M (projected)
Fehr - $2.0M (projected)
Line 3
Chimera - $1.875M
Laich - $2.067M
Knuble - $2.8M
Line 4
Laing - $600K (projected)
Steckel - $1.25M (projected)
Bradley - $1.0M

Green - $5.25M
Alzner - $1.675M
Erskine - $1.25M
Schultz - $1.75M (projected)
Carlson - $875K

Varlamov - $822K
Neuvirth - $822K

Beagle - $800K (projected)
Sloan - $600K (projected)
Perreault - $717K

Total - $54,690,130.00
Salary Cap - $56,800,000.00
Balance - $2,109,870.00

This is a projected lineup. This is also considering the moving of Poti's contract. There is one hole to fill, 6th defensemen. You can put Sloan or any hack we have in Hershey, or you could use the $2.109M to resign Mo or Pothier. Maybe Pothier returns at a hometown discount?

Posted by: JSchon | December 29, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

OVIE81

I completly agree. Juice would have been gone next year. I just think that not having a physical presence last night hurt us. The Canes were all over the crease.

If there was any game to have a physical and emotional let down that was the game.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | December 29, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@lyle

No one. When there are multiple younger, cheaper, better, more handsome, taller, less French Canadian options out there.

We are stuck with Theo through this year.

If GMGM manages to unload Theo at any point this season, I will name my firstborn McPhee. McPhee Schonacher.

Posted by: JSchon | December 29, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Been following up a bit on Chimera. Sounds as if he's fast, obviously necessary for our Caps; is a pest; gets under the skin of opposing players; has a gritty mean streak; is a good character guy in the locker room; is a natural left wing; and finally sounds as if he will be missed in Columbus.

http://cbjcannon.blogspot.com/2008/11/closer-look-jason-chimera.html

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 29, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Oh BTW, you forget about Jurcina's hit and less than often used booming slapshot once Master John Carlson puts on the Caps jersey (sweater, whateva).

Posted by: JSchon | December 29, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach - It was played with a high stick, so no goal.

That bogus diving call on Laich, coupled with at least two missed calls (Ovechkin was tripped, and then clipped) that cost us power play opportunities did not help...

Posted by: irockthered | December 29, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

At--cbjcannon.blogspot.com/2008/11/closer-look-jason-chimera.html--not sure if the link works. Good info on Chimera--sounds as if he will bring more to the team than what we lost-especially speed and being a pest to the opposing team. Also sounds as if he's a good character guy in the locker room and that he will be missed in Columbus.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 29, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

sorry for the rewrite--I thought I had lost my post to the "ether"nets.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 29, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - Due to very poor officiating, I hereby recommend Stephane Auger and Dan Marouelli for positions under Bill McCreary in W Company of the Doofus Brigade (W for the Walrus).

Koo Koo Ka Choo.

Posted by: irockthered | December 29, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Give Chimera a few games with the Caps before we criticize. He may end up gelling, picking up his game and doing well under the Caps system. I think we've seen the last of Theo this season. he'll likely get a few more starts but Varly is gonna be the starter going forward. We need veteran experience going into the playoffs and I don't think a Varly/Neuvy duo will give us what we need. Theo is gone next season and Neuvy is going to be a regular face around Kettler/Verizon.

Posted by: callingallcars | December 29, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

We can say all we want about players being professionals, trades are part of the game, etc... But when you take a team thats in 1st place, coming off 2 big wins, who has players who like each other, and you disrupt them in the middle of the season (on a game day) with a huge trade, you risk hurting the "mojo" of the team. Not only were the players not expecting this but the team captain is part of the deal. These were both good guys who were liked by their teammates. I hope this doesn't have a long term affect on the team, but it could cause player mistrust of coaches and management...in other words "Am I the next to go?".

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 29, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

When Theo let in that third one by in the 1st period, my first thought was "Oh NO, it's an 'or more' night!"

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 29, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

That was just about the stinker of the century. For the most part, they all played pretty badly, and certainly a couple of questionable penalties did not help. Our guys were totally out of sync. About the only bright spot for me was the near-killing of the 5-3. Alzner did a great job there.

I just have to believe the shocking news affected them all. The early penalties by Backstrom and Green not only were a bad omen, but quite uncharacteristic.

But, they all are our guys and we will look for better games out west, a chance to see Chimera.

All the best to Clark and Jurcina. I am sad for Clark, mostly, though. His statement that it may take CBJ a few years to get there tore at me because he's 33 -- how many years does he have left?

Posted by: Steakum | December 29, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered

The Caps certainly have gotten screwed by Auger and McCreary over the years.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 29, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

as for Theo, i'm sure i read bb say something similar to wtf, and follwed it by where was he! when old man theo couldn't stand back up, on the last real gaol, his fate was revealed.

theo could be good on a defensive team, that plays a methodical system that would allow his positioning skills work. here the need is for fast net minders who can move side to side and bail out a team weaker structure.

Posted by: ewwsombra | December 29, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75 - Typically, if McCreary is on the ice, I know damn good and well we'll be overcoming a 2:1 penalty deficit to win the game, if we manage it.

The double minor on Backstrom? Apparently the guy he high-sticked lost a tooth. It was totally an accidental high-sticking, but it was legitimate.

Posted by: irockthered | December 29, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The players here can count, I'm alomst certain of that, maybe not Erskine, but everyone else can certainly count.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9... Nine defensemen...
1,2,3,4,5,6... 6 spots...
1,2,3... 3 don't play...

Semin, Knuble, Fehr, Bradley and Clark...

5 RW's...
4 RW's... play
1 RW... doesn't

All I am saying is that these players have to know that there is a numbers crunch. Something has got to give. I would be willing to say that they also think now, that the moves are not done.

Posted by: JSchon | December 29, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Is Chimera comparable to Matt Cooke?

I hated to see Cooke leave because he played so hard for us and added that grit on the ice.

Now I hate watching him on the ice (or maybe it's bc of his jersey logo) lol... funny how that works.

Nonetheless, I would gladly take a Cooke type out there on the ice!

Posted by: OVIE81 | December 29, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

the caps stunk last nite. as for offense, Backie and lines 3 & 4 at least tried. please, do me a favor and try to come up with a better scapegoat than JT60. he didnt lose the game. also, Bouds has to break up the mutual admiration society that is OV and $6 million dollar man on nites like last night.

Posted by: doughless | December 29, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Bradley plays. he gives it a go most nites. better than can be said of someof our stuperstars.

Posted by: doughless | December 29, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@callingallcars

We'll see how Chimera fits with us. Hopefully, he'll fit in and help us. There is plenty of upside for the player. I'll admit that most of us fans are emotionally reacting to the trade, with the timing, as in between the morning skate and the game. And the fact that it was our captain who was traded.

I assume Varly will be our #1 goalie before the season's done. But at the moment, with Varly out, Neuvirth is our #1 goalie by default. He will probably be the guy thrown to the sharks, so to speak. Theo will definitely be gone after this year so our goalie tandem will be the kids (Varly & Neuvy) who happen to fall right between the ages of my own kids.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 29, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond

I think the fact that this trade happened on a game day did affect the guys emotionally and it's quite understandable. And given that the team captain was involved.

I think the guys will be fine in the long run. But I can understand the concern they might have. Chimera at least has some time to get integrated with our system.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 29, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The whole team can take the "blame" for last night. Theo had terrible rebound control too often last night, but Ward wasn't so sharp on that either. We were scrambling around. Although you can't pin it all on Theo, he did not help his own cause. He didn't lose it on his own, but he didn't win it either.

It's done and best forgotten.... what Carolina game?

Posted by: _Mark | December 29, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Dude should be thrilled to get out of Ohio to a team that wins...

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 29, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

========================================

Like Brian McNally stated in his article, "Chimera plays on the edge. That can hurt you sometimes, too, but is something McPhee obviously thinks Caps need.". So who knows what Chimera is thinking, especially if Ovi, Backstrom and Semin are still holding a grudge on him. Really need to monitor how those team relationship will develop.

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 29, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@doughless

Are you ready to put Fehr on the first line? At this point, he's the most logical candidate if BB wants to break up OBS, given that Knuble is in a slump. The second line certainly needs to be broken up -- for now.

Backstrom has done very well for us lately but last night was not his day at all. Between the double minor penalty and some things.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 29, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

So the trade did distract the players. How could it not? Forget this one and move on.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 29, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

As far as the trade goes, I wish Clark all the best. I respect and admire him for his play here. He paid some incredible dues the first couple years here. I will always pull for the guy, no matter where he plays and who he is playing against.

Posted by: _Mark | December 29, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Your projected lines (and salaries) sound like a good suggestion as the normal lineup for the Caps.

I would not be surprised to see some strange lineups tomorrow.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 29, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Well, that sucked!!!! I am going to chaulk that up to the trade and move on. We have the sharks tomorrow and I am hoping for good times to be had.

Posted by: hbcapsfan | December 29, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@FloridaCapsFan

I'm sure the trade did distract the players.

I recall last year (December), we had laid an egg against the Flyers and then had a winning streak. (Before that Flyers game, we had won a few in a row.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 29, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

According to Tarik's article on the trade....

(in case you missed it: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/28/AR2009122802123_2.html?sid=ST2009122802817)

We have 6 left handed defensemen and 2 righties remaining. However. when I look at the caps roster on washcaps.com, Green is the only listed righty...is someone incorrectly listed?

Posted by: fedsfan91 | December 29, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

when the mutual admiration society is in full effect (as in last nite), I don't see what you lose by moving Fehr to the top line.

Posted by: doughless | December 29, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

hell, move Brads to the top line to start the 3rd period. at least he will lay a check on someone. who knows, maybe even chip in a rebound off an OV blast. if nothing else, stir it up to start the 3rd period. this team amazes me with their ability to pummel Buffalo and Devs, and then self-destruct against Carolina. that was the 3rd time this season that the caps have lost to the worst team in the NHL.

Posted by: doughless | December 29, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

OVIE81 - I think our D is a lot less suspect than people claim it is. It just gets magnified more and more when your keeper lets in easy goals. We just need a keeper who can save the stuff he's supposed to. I've seen enough of Theo in Colorado and here to know that he will never regain the form he had while in Montreal. In the beginning of the year Varly struggled too and that was the root of my concern. Varly has really improved over the past dozen games or so. He is the short and long term solution IMO and he's only going to get better. My thought on Theo is he'll be dealt at the deadline as somebody will want a veteran backup with playoff experience whose contract is up at the end of the year. If not so be it, he won't be a factor for us as I don't see him getting any ice time during the playoffs. The #1 reason for him being here this year was to give Varly time to develope which he did. I'm not saying we have a stellar D, I'm just stating that it isn't as bad as what some people think b/c our keepers (mainly Theo) were unable to stop the easy shots. I think we're in good shape going forward with our keeper now.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | December 29, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

the TEAM played lousy

Posted by: doughless | December 29, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Yep, trade distracted the team, but guess what, the other team (COlumbus) had a game too against a heated rival (Detroit) and they won it in OT. Don't tell me we are closer to Clark and Jurcina. Chimera was a fixture in COlumbus.

We need to act like professionals and tough it out.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 29, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

pokerfaceI208:

I agree with you about our goalie situation. Unfortunately for Jose I think he sealed his fate last night. GMGM and BB will be comfortable riding Varly into the playoffs based on what he did in the playoffs last season and the fact that he will have had an entire season to improve by then ... and Neuvy has shown what he can do under pressure here and in the AHL, so they will be fine with him serving as back-up. Yup, Jose's days are numbered.

As far as our D goes, it has gotten better but it would still benefit from veteran S@H influence. After all, our D is pretty young and our best Dman is very offensively-minded. A solid blueliner would not only be able to contribute with his own play but (IMHO - more importantly) his mentoring of the others.

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 29, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

If GMGM manages to unload Theo at any point this season, I will name my firstborn McPhee. McPhee Schonacher.

Posted by: JSchon | December 29, 2009 10:00 AM

Not so bad for a boy, but what if it's a girl?

And to the poster above, Pothier is a righty. And, so is the soon-to-be Cap, John Carlson. And, if another trade goes down, and the team needs an extra d for sometimes duty, Collins is right-handed and signed through next year.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 29, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan:
Maybe Columbus was excited to be getting Clark and Juice? :-) Regardless, the Caps are human - I think it had an impact. And that's OK, as long as it was only one game. They are pros ... they will bounce back (but cut em some slack for a second in the meantime, k? ;-))

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 29, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan?
For the record, I think the Wings lost more than Columbus won (what is up with the Wings, anyway?) ... although Mason did wake up. Who knows.

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 29, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

No need to dwell on last nights game. The Caps would normally be up for a division rival game, but had the emotional wind knocked out of them. They'll bounce back.

Posted by: FLDave | December 29, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

We all knew last night would unfold unkindly, even before the trade.

This five-game run is division-leading Sabres and Devils, Carolina, road trip to Cali for division-leading Sharks and a very good Kings team. Hmmm, which game will they not really care about?

Looking forward to a late night tomorrow.

Posted by: saintex | December 29, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Just a past memory....I remember when the Caps traded Zednik and Bulis for Linden while on a winning streak. I think they lost 6 to 1 that next game. They will be ok.

I agree with the Fehr comments. Get him on a line with the skilled players. He is still getting better by the game and would be a better choice than Knuble. (Just my opinion. Knuble will show his worth in the Playoffs.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | December 29, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Still not happy about Jurcina going. The move is more understandable if the Caps bring in a high-skill physical d-man at the trade deadline. Certainly the opportunity for increased playing time for Alzner and the increased cap space are benefits. But those same benefits would result from trading someone other than Jurcina. I'd love to know if GMGM offered someone other than Jurcina.

Posted by: zmega | December 29, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

they played a lousy game, it happens... has nothing to do with the trade.

and it was a minor trade... if the guys let things like that affect their game, they'll be the next ones shipped outta here.

Posted by: joek443 | December 29, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

doughless: Your inputs, every day, constantly poke at the skilled players on the team. I like players like Brads as much as the next guy. However, a team loaded with 18 Bradleys isn't going anywhere. The Ovi, Semin, Backstrom line was once again the ONLY consistent threat out there. Our second line of BMo, Knuble, and Flash, were borderline pathetic last night. BMo has definitely hit some kind of wall. His goal the other night was a thing of beauty but as the 2nd line center he needs to contribute on a nightly basis.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 29, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

doughless: Your inputs, every day, constantly poke at the skilled players on the team. I like players like Brads as much as the next guy. However, a team loaded with 18 Bradleys isn't going anywhere. The Ovi, Semin, Backstrom line was once again the ONLY consistent threat out there. Our second line of BMo, Knuble, and Flash, were borderline pathetic last night. BMo has definitely hit some kind of wall. His goal the other night was a thing of beauty but as the 2nd line center he needs to contribute on a nightly basis.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 29, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

we have 1 Brads and that is enough. Funny that guys like him (who make squat compared to guys like $6 million dollar man) are the ones that regularly bring energy to an otherwise terrible team game. sorry, fanohock, but if you thought the 1 line earned their salary last night you should visit your eye doctor. Line 3, while a little out of sync, played just as well.

Posted by: doughless | December 29, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

the caps used to be the team of guys like Bradley for the first 30 years of the franchise history... and what exactly did they produce??

Posted by: joek443 | December 29, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

the caps used to be the team of guys like Bradley for the first 30 years of the franchise history... and what exactly did they produce??

Posted by: joek443 | December 29, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

They still went further in the play off's than the current team, but I have a feeling that is all about to change...!

Posted by: hbcapsfan | December 29, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

uh, trip to stanley cup finals

Posted by: doughless | December 29, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Matt Bradley is a character player. He is always moving his feet and creating opportunites each game. He currently has 7 goals, that is more than Knuble has. Bradley is a team leader and a piece of the team that is greatly needed.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | December 29, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Bondra (who is one of my all-time favorites) figured prominently in that Cup run and he certainly was not a Bradley type. In fact, he was often criticized for the same things the current #1 line is criticized for.

Posted by: Satts | December 29, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

that was a team made up with a bunch of veterans who were only gonna be together for one year... still that's ONCE in THIRTY years.

I'd give this current squad a couple more years.

Posted by: joek443 | December 29, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys! Apparently Jagr's contract with the KHL is up soon and he's open to looking at NHL teams.... maybe thats the big move GMGM has been plotting?!

Posted by: mrszilla | December 29, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

We need balance of skill and toughness throughout the lines. And, se cannot expect the nuymber one line to put up 3 goals each and every game as they have been the last 10 games or so. Just because they didn't does not mean they were not trying.

Posted by: Satts | December 29, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

i made a comment about Brads being a guy that consistently brings energy. all of you other goobs turned it into something else. if and when our "superstars" bring equivalent energy on a regular basis, this team will win it all. that is my only point.

Posted by: doughless | December 29, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't think any team is going to take Theodore, what are the chances he'll be "Nylandered" this season? Would it be smart to go with a Varly/Neuvy combo?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 29, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

mrszilla,
Bite your tongue.... shame on you for uttering that name.

Posted by: _Mark | December 29, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

it isn't about how hard they play, it's about them being productive.

nobody sitting in the stands or watching TV can know for sure how hard they're trying... you just think you do.

some of Mario Lemieux critics used to say that he doesn't try hard all the time, looks lazy, etc... the sort of stuff some say about Semin.

I once saw Lemieux score 5 goals againt the Caps and signle handedly beat the Caps one night at the Capital Centre... I'll take that kinda skilled player and production ANY DAY even if he doesn't "try hard" all the time.

Posted by: joek443 | December 29, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

mrszilla,
Bite your tongue.... shame on you for uttering that name.

Posted by: _Mark | December 29, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

hahaha just trying to lighten the mood :)

Posted by: mrszilla | December 29, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@mrszilla - I think that would be exactly the kind of move that could disrupt team chemistry to a fatal degree.

Posted by: zmega | December 29, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

zmega

hahaha dont worry, it was a joke! i witnessed the J**r debacle first hand

Posted by: mrszilla | December 29, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Varly/Neuvy as our pair going into the playoffs? With some playing time through the rest of the season for Neuvy, sure. They both have playoff experience, albeit a Calder run for Neuvy. It makes me a little nervous, but not so bad.

Posted by: _Mark | December 29, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

joek, mario did make it look easy, particularly for a guy his size. however, the difference between him and semin, IMO, is that too many times semin tries to make the great play, not the right play. inevitably mario made the right plays, even if it didnt look like he was trying.

i believe semin also "suffers" from being paired with and compared to ovie, who no one will ever accuse of not trying. by comparison, semin looks lazy.

folks should remember that semin played very well in the playoffs, where things tighten up and there is no room for lazy plays...plus some of the penalties semin has been called for get overlooked.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 29, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

(From previous post) I rarely post here but....

Theo sucks. I mean he really is not good and the scoop is out on how to beat him in the NHL.

Everytime I see him in net I think the Caps are going to lose, and I think it effects the players the same way.

They never seem to play as hard for him and it's kind of hard to when you know he's going to give one or two up "through the 5 hole" or long slap shot or something stupid like that.
rmcazz

I have noticed the same thing. They just don't play welll for Theo. They don't seem to have confidence in him. I think BB would be suicidal if he plays him in any capacity other than to fill in for an injured goalie. And he really should trade him or assign him to Hershey. They did it to Nylander and his position was far less critical for the team than Theo's.

I hope Neuvy gets the nod for San Jose and really really hope he has another stellar performance.

Posted by: caraveli | December 29, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1 & Caps4Life1

Going forward, I think that OBS will normally be our top line, even though there are times they'll need to be broken up. Boudreau may decide that tomorrow night may be one of those times.

Our second line definitely needs some change. We have not gotten good productivity from there as of late. My recommendation: put Fehr there and move down Knuble to the third line with Laich and put Chimera there as well in place of Clark.

Despite my recommendation to move down Knuble, I still say he was a life saver for us at the beginning of the season when both Flash and Fehr were down. And he still will probably be a life saver in the playoffs. It seems that acquiring a veteran for a position seems to be the kick that the kids needed to get it into gear.

BTW, if they really want to shake up things, they could go with a first line of Ovi/Morrison/Fehr and go from there. I don't say that should be the first line most of the time but it's a recommended group to use when a change is needed. Although the first line was certainly subpar last night, the second line was even more subpar in my humble opinion.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 29, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

Neuvy WILL get the start against San Jose. Varly's been sent to Hershey for a rehab start. And I doubt if Theo will get the start. So it's Neuvy by default.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 29, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Theodore was the main problem last night - yes they weren't as sharp as Buffalo and NJ, but down 4-1 and got the game to 4-3 despite Theo. Then he flops and gets out of position and allows the 5th, which broke the team's back. Visualize some of those goals and ask yourself if Varly or even Neuvy would have been so down and out or out of position. The answer is no, folks. A lot of those rebounds would have never existed in the first place. Boudreau was never going to pull him so he could show him that he is getting his chance to make his own bed after being upset. Theo's answer was a bad game. How long are we going to have these conversations and have people try and make excuses for him. Look at Varly's numbers and Theo's numbers - same team in front of them, numbers a lot different. The team plays different in front of them NOT because of who they are, but what happens when a mistake is made. Varly makes the save and gives the team confidence, Theo does not and takes away confidence. Think NJ or Buffalo worry if a guy gets behind them or gets a good look? They are surprised when a guys scores, they don't get surpised when a save is made.

Posted by: Roose | December 29, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if any of you have seen this. And I apologize if it's already been posted about, but here's Laich's best quote on Clark (per In the Room).

"[Clark] once looked at his paycheck and said, 'They pay me too much to do this.' I said, '[Clark] there aren't many guys in the world who can do what you do and be a captain like you are. It is an honor to play under you.' He looked at me and said, 'Just make sure you tell me that once a day from now on.'

Shows how much respect the guys had for Clark and probably supports the fact that the trade did have some effect on the team.

Posted by: elicea | December 29, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"Shows how much respect the guys had for Clark and probably supports the fact that the trade did have some effect on the team."

Yeah, play well or get traded.

Clarks's numbers were marginal at best. Dude is always hurt. I mean com'on.

If the Caps tank it the rest of the year over that then trade really don't deserve to be where they are now. There's no way you can tell me that Clark was the glue that held the team together.

That's just silly.

I think GMGM has other things up his sleeve.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 29, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm..... Hopefully the trade won't mess up the team chemistry, and that this doesn't become a trade that GMGM lives to regret.

Posted by: festus75 | December 29, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

The Rangers need a back up goalie. Currently, they do not have one good enough for the NHL. If Lundqvist is injured or needs a break they got nothing. We should trade Theo for Staal. We need tougher defensive D and they need a back-up goalie.

Posted by: capsfan01 | December 29, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

And btw, no one should knock Brads or Semin it's not an either or situation. They both play differently and they both do their job. We are lucky to be able to have both.

Posted by: capsfan01 | December 29, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Sad day in Capsland. Bad loss--both on the ice and off.

I find it ironic that when the Caps have a big win, such as against the Devils, the posters mostly remain silent. Guess that's because there are only so many times we can say "good game."

That game against the Devils showed just how effective our defense can be.

And last night's game showed what happens when the defense is not playing well.

IMHO we shouldn't hang that loss on Theo's effort alone. What Theo didn't do was keep the Caps in the game. He needed to make the big saves. Had they pulled out that 5 on 3 penalty (almost 2 minutes long--I'm still mad about the refs calls), the momentum of the game may well have shifted in the Caps favor.

But our defense wasn't doing Theo any favors. They spent way too much time in the defensive zone and the blue line looked porous to me. The Caps defense pretty much shut down the blue line against the Devils.

I'm sure the sudden trade did affect the players BUT not IMO long term. Rather that they found out at a time when they are normally mentally preparing for the game and didn't have time to absorb the news. Add to that the fact that although the loss of Juice could not have been too surprising--some movement on our d-corps should have been anticipated--the loss of Clarkie was quite shocking. I was flabbergasted when I read the news on the way to the game. So I can only imagine how the guys felt.

That said, they have a long flight to adjust to the news and get to know Chimera. Trades are part of the NHL life. And the guys are professionals.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 29, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

@Capsfan75
Don't you think Knuble will pick it up? I think he needs to play on the first or second line. He goes to the net and works the boards. Don't forget he missed a month with a broken finger. It will take him a few weeks to get his timing and legs back. Players like Knuble and Laich compliment the skilled players. I think Morrison needs to be better however.

Posted by: bigschu8 | December 29, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Also this fan will miss Juice and Clarkie. Great character guys, especially Clark. He brings a lot of intangibles to a team as well and should be a real asset to his new team, particularly in the locker room. I wish them both success.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 29, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

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