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Capitals are missing Mike Green

Morning Roundup

In each of the past three games, the Capitals have fallen to a two-goal deficit to start the contest. They've also gone 2-for-13 on the power play during that same span. While neither occurrence is singly responsible for Washington's 1-2 record over the past seven days, they haven't helped either.

One more important part about this past week, though, is that the Capitals have played it without two-time Norris Trophy candidate Mike Green. And the absence of Green, who is out with an upper-body injury, seems to be showing. His presence not only helps set up the power play, as that unit (at 4 for 30) tries to get back on track, but when the Capitals fall behind, Green's speed allows Washington to move the puck rapidly through the neutral zone and out of its own end.

"He's certainly the best offensive D in the game today, so when Mike is not there we're definitely missing him," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Whether it's on the power play or bringing the puck up, making the outlet pass or joining the rush, he's as good as there is. So when you take him out of your lineup, you're definitely missing."

When Green returns it will hardly be a cure-all, nor is his absence the sole reason for the Capitals' struggles recently. But it certainly won't hurt when Washington gets back the player who averaged more than 27 minutes per game through the first four games and, along with Jeff Schultz, held opposing top lines (New Jersey, Ottawa) to little or no impact.

FROM THE POST
My recap and blog post on the Capitals' 4-1 loss to the Bruins Thursday.

IN THE MINORS
Cody Eakin will represent the WHL in the upcoming Super Series.

AROUND THE WEB
Corey Masisak breaks down the lack of defensive depth in the organization.

Mike Green is starting a regular, weekly radio show with LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday. You can check out the first installment here.

By Katie Carrera  | October 22, 2010; 8:55 AM ET
Categories:  Mike Green, Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Bruins 4, Caps 1 as Washington can't solve the Tim Thomas puzzle
Next: Friday practice update from KCI

Comments

Game Over

Posted by: _828 | October 22, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The caps have been figured out...but lucky for us we have the entire season to correct that whereas last season teams figured us out at the end of the season and we didn't have time to adjust.

@hunter

I am sorry, but saying that Backie is sandbagging BB just made me LMAO.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

How to make hot goaly: Make 50 low quality SOGs. Goaly becomes more and more confident offence becomes less and less confident. And you have early play off exit.

@Randolph

Is that why they beat the Pens too?

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I am still confused as to what a goaly is???

Posted by: _828 | October 22, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Also...I do think that there is a chance BB will be fired by Christmas, and it is possible a new coach with fresh ideas and something to prove will do a good job...but I don't think BB deserves to be fired...though I am not completely opposed to it...which I realize makes little sense.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@jakopz

again...I am not saying u r wrong, but were the Pens also outcoached then? b/c I hate the Pens, but they have a VERY good coach.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Tim Tom has a GAA of .75

to be fair we are not the only team having trouble against him.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Christmas would be too late to bring in a new coach, the decision needs to be made before Thanksgiving so the new coach has time to implement his system like BB did. I'm not saying it's going to happen but if the next 10-15 games keep going like this it SHOULD happen.


_828,

Come on now, this isn't the grammar/spelling bee blog after all!

Posted by: PhilR | October 22, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

When did the Pens bring in their new coach?

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I think people are off in blaming the system and coach for the lack of scoring. A system is supposed to help put players in position to have very good scoring opportunities. A system cannot put the puck in the net.

If you look at the past 10 games(last 3 playoff games) there have been getting plenty of very good scoring chances. That means the system is okay.

The problem has been the low quality shots the players are taking. They are either missing the goal or shooting it directly into the goalie. A couple of Thomas' nice kick saves would have been goals if Laich and Knuble were able to lift the puck which they are supposed to do.

This has been the same for a while now. Laich does not have a scoring line shot. He is unable to consistently get good shots off in prime scoring opportunities.

And Semin's accuray has been horrible. The guy either misses the net completely or shoots it into the goalie's stomach. He creates plenty of opportunities but his finishing ability hs been very questionable. His erratic shot is the reason why he is so hot and cold as a player.

Backstrom's shot has been non-existent for a while. Flash is in the same boat. He either misses the goal or whiffs on glorious scoring chances. Knuble has no longer shown the ability to get the puck up when in close, a must for a net player.

I think Fehr has shown an ability to finish and place shots in the right area but he doesn't get the extended minutes to get a real determination.

Chimera was never expected to have an accurate shot. MJ is too young and inexpereinced to make any determinations.

I think Laich must be moved down to the 3rd line with Fehr moving up.

But it is possible that for all of the great skill and play-making the Caps have, that no forward, other than Ovie, is a good finisher.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 22, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I watched the game last night on NESN. Mike Milbury did the analysis during intermissions and in the second intermission, Milbury basically slammed BB and said BB must begin disciplining Ovi (for poor D and long shifts) or BB is gone. When pushed on whether Milbury was saying BB should be fired, Milbury backtracked slightly but said BB should 'almost' be fired.

As much as some may criticize Milbury, I agreed with his comments. Ovi was on for several minutes twice in the second period. One of those times was due to Ovi playing the point on PP... when the PP ended, Ovi was trapped as the D man and iced the puck twice.

The Caps have 8 players 25 yrs and younger, many of which are the Caps leader/skill players. Having the right coach is critical. BB is making too many strategic errors IMO.

Posted by: PSD1 | October 22, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Can't wait for Green to come back. I also think it's time for some line shuffling.

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Fehr
Semin-Johansson-Knuble
Laich-B.Gordon-Hendricks for a shutdown line.
Chimera-Steckel-Bradley for an energy line.

At this point I say we trade Flash for whatever we can get. 6/7th d-man so we can demote Sloan, draft pick, whatever. He just doesn't get it. Then we can call up A.Gordon and give him a shot on that third line. Or maybe give Perrault a shot.

Posted by: ssweeney | October 22, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Pens brought in their new coach just before playoffs... they were like 10 points out of playoffs and he supposedly got them in... Which, he really did not, he just let them loose like BB does and they went to the SC finals. The coach before tried to install a NJ type system and failed.

I agree, this is no spelling bee, but seriously, goaly??? How can people him seriously if he is spelling like that?

Posted by: _828 | October 22, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@PSD1

First off, the whole line got stuck out there...not just ovie...so he wasn't choosing to take a long shift, second Ovie has been 100X better about shorter shifts! He struggled on D a bit yesterday but overall has been ok. 3rd and most importantly....Miburry has a personal vendetta against BB, he hates famour Russians, and was the worst GM in NHL history so pardon me if I don't give a rats bottom what he thinks.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Even if "How to make hot goalie" is 20% true it's kind of a lot.

@capscoach
Is that why they beat the Pens too?

May be

Posted by: Randolph2 | October 22, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Let's not go too overboard..."Caps are Missing MIke Green"...

Yes, I would like to have him, BUT, we did have 39 shots and 1 gimmie goal...

And yes, Greenie is playing much better defensively this year.

And yes, this would mean Sloan wouldn't play.

Ok, I get it, we DO miss Mike Green!

lol...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | October 22, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

So the Pens have an excuse but the Caps just sucked...of course.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

_828,

LOL, yeah I know....had to give you a hard time though!

sgm3,

You mean to tell me the system implemented by the coach has nothing to do with the quality of shots the players are getting? I certainly think it has a lot to do with it.

Also, the players really seem disinterested out there and that is on the coach without a doubt. Playing consistently is also partially on the players but mainly on the coach. If a player consistently won't play the way the coach is asking him to then bench his butt for a game or two to make a point. And i really do not care what player that is, superstar or not.....as a matter of fact the bigger the star the bigger the impact on the rest of the team.

Posted by: PhilR | October 22, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@PSD -I completely agree with your comments. I can't stand Milbury at all, but agree with his comments.

Something has got to change and I think starting with Ovi is the right thing to do. He's the captain and is not playing like it on the ice or leaading by example off the ice.

Granted, it's only the second week of the season, but they just don't look right. They say all the right things, but when it comes to playing, they're just not there.

Posted by: jwash4472 | October 22, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't give a rats bottom what he thinks.

Posted by: capscoach


Potty mouth!!!!

Posted by: PhilR | October 22, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

@ssweeney


OBK looks like mess. PP with O on the point is terrible. B is not centering well.

What about Ovechkin-Johansson-Semin as 1st.

Posted by: Randolph2 | October 22, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Ovie is doing as well as can be expected considering his center is MIA...90 is not ready really for first line duty, but I wouldn't mind it for a game or 2 to send Backstrom a message.

Posted by: capscoach | October 22, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Milbury was a terrible GM but he's a pretty good analyst, in the sense that he calls it like he sees it. OV isn't developing on or off the ice, because BB doesn't demand it. BB is too busy with these idiotic commercials. OV hasn't been a very good captain thus far, and without his coach's help, or a real veteran leader, he'll never get there. Too comfortable, too soft, from top to bottom.

Anybody else think Backs may feel the pressure that comes with the big contract?

Posted by: Fletch22 | October 22, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"Ok, I get it, we DO miss Mike Green!

I think Mike Green gets too much of the blame when things go wrong, now he's out and everybody misses him.

The Caps are clearly trying to adjust now so that when the playoffs start they can win a Cup. The problem is GMGM never got any defensemen in the offseason so they CAN'T play different.

They just need to play and stop thinking so much, they are clearly pressing themselves over what happend LAST YEAR.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | October 22, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Was told Caps had the same amount of points this time last year. Time to PANIC!!!

Posted by: _828 | October 22, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

@Randolph2, it's probably a good idea since they like to play together, my logic was to reward Fehr's good play and give him a shot at real minutes/linemates as well as moving Semin back to his natural LW. I really just want Fleischmann gone.

Posted by: ssweeney | October 22, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

They may have the same points they did last year but they certainly are not playing nearly as well. Can anyone honestly say they are pleased with this teams performance on the ice thus far besides the Jersy and Ottawa games? This team is extremely lucky to be 4-3, if not for Neuvy they would be 2-5 most likely.

Posted by: PhilR | October 22, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

@Fletch22
Anybody else think Backs may feel the pressure that comes with the big contract?


May be he does not anymore?

Posted by: Randolph2 | October 22, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach

Can't answer that. I couldn't watch hockey for a couple of weeks after the Caps loss. Too nauseous.

Posted by: jakopz | October 22, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"You mean to tell me the system implemented by the coach has nothing to do with the quality of shots the players are getting? I certainly think it has a lot to do with it."

You missed what I was saying PhilR. Yes, the system has an effect in the quality of the scoring chance (i.e. where the player is in relation to the goal, goalie, and players from the other team when he is looking to shoot the puck to score).

The quality of the shots themselves have been poor (i.e. shooting the puck into the goalie's pads, shooting the puck into the goalie's stomach, whiffing the puck, or missing the net completely). That has nothing to do with the system.

I am talking about the shot itself, not the position the player was in. I think the Caps have had many glorious scoring opportunities the past 10 games, but they just can't finish. The trend is getting long enough that it may have to do with the inabiltiy of many Caps players to shot accurately. It's a skill set that many Caps do not have.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 22, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

No panic - October hockey. Still think this team needs a bona fide second line center - a North American leader who can score and provide grit...good luck! The ballet dance this team does obviously does not work against teams that play hockey. European style gets shut down quickly when teams stickto the game plan - see playoffs every year. It might help if we could hit the net with shots instead of glass or dman's shins. I will not cry when they trade Semin this year.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 22, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

If we start taking anything Milbury says seriously, it is the end of sane discussion on CI.

Posted by: zmega | October 22, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

by giving ov the c the caps said his behaviour on and off the ice was to their liking.....big mistake and we will suffer for it ...he is still trying to do it his way not the team way...awesome talent but not a great captain laich would have been a better choice

Posted by: wendel2 | October 22, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

@ssweeney

Agree on F.

Overall 8 games passed and team looks boring.

Posted by: Randolph2 | October 22, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

well it seems the frustration is starting to set in from the owner. If you go to tedstake, he even concedes that the team isnt good right now.

Posted by: ThePat | October 22, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

sgm3,

Ahhh, ok...got you there. But there is a way to coach how a player shoots as well. If he harped on elevating the puck on rebounds instead of sliding it along the ice which happened 3-4 times last night so TT could slide over and get it with a skate they would have potted a few more chances last evening.

If the players not being able to hit the net/pick their spots are the issue then lets just start trading folks away because at the NHL level there is no excuse for that unless you are a 3rd/4th liner only. Like I said, give it another 10-15 games and if it is still going like this then something needs to give.....and I don't see them trading away 3-4 guys anytime soons so that really only leaves one option....BB.

Posted by: PhilR | October 22, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@zmega, what part of Milbury's comments do you think are off base?

Posted by: Fletch22 | October 22, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Don't ever mention "Crapitals" Milbury on this blog again...he is a complete idiot.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 22, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Ted's comments about the hot goalie are in direct contradiction to every thing BB and GMGM (and a lot of folks here) said regarding Halak. Maybe there's some butts on the hot seat after all. Right now it's just words, but it will be interesting to watch this play out.

Posted by: Fletch22 | October 22, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@Lyle, what about Milbury's statement was incorrect?

Posted by: Fletch22 | October 22, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@ Almost Everyone :)

You guys can't really be takin Milbury serious? This guy couldn't control himself as a player or are you guys to young to remember him and the rest of the boston bench going into the crowd, he suck as a manager. All he has is the ability to be on his knees for Cindy.

I will say this the caps suck right now but they sucked at the start of last season too or has everyone forgotten that ????

This might sound crazy but Ted had a chance to dump GMGM and go get Stevie Y.

Shout out to Section 115 !!!!!!!!!

Posted by: bqts | October 22, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Green is not the only d-man we are missing, we're also missing a shut down one too.

Posted by: instinct227 | October 22, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"give it another 10-15 games and if it is still going like this then something needs to give"

I agree with this. That is one reason I liked MP in his short stint up here. He has the hands to get the puck up in tight quarters.

I think Fehr has the ability to shoot well but he hasn't had the minutes to see if he can do it with more minutes on the 2nd line.

I think Laich has the hands/shot of a 3rd liner. He should not be on a scoring line.

People have been on here talking of how the Caps need a mix of offensive forwards, defensive forwards, checking forwards, etc. And it is all true.

However, the same sort of theory applies to offensive forwards. Ideally you want someone who can do everything (Ovie). But there aren't too many guys out there like him. So you need lines that have a playmaker (setting up scoring chances) and a finisher. The Caps have plenty of playmakers (Backstrom, Semin, even Flash) but they have no finishers except Ovie.

It is only my opinion, but I am strongly in favor of moving Fehr up to the 2nd line because Fehr has shown an ability and the skill set to be a scoring line finisher. He needs the chance to see if he can actually do it or not on a scoring line. Then Laich bumps down to the 3rd line where he belongs.

One rule of thumb I use to quickly see if a guy is a good finisher or not is how do I feel when that player is rushing in 10 feet from the net with the goalie square to him. When Ovie has it I always think he is going to score. When Semin has it I think there is a possibility he will score but I think the puck is likely going to miss the net. When Laich has it I am almost sure the puck will be shot into the goalie's stomach with very little chance of scoring.

When Fehr is in those situations I actually have more confidence he will score than I do when Semin is in those situations.

I do think that this is a real problem for the Caps. Too many playmakers and not enough finishers. It also helps explain why they consistently turn many goalies into "hot" goalies.

To be honest, I'm not really sure what the solution is except acquiring a few new players.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 22, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I think the team misses Mike Green's offensive skills, particularly on the power play where he's always looking to jump down low and fire a shot vs. perimeter passing.

I also noticed how I never knew Tom Poti was missing from the line-up during his absence...please - trade him and a prospect for a real defenseman!

Posted by: Jaymagz | October 22, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised people so easily dismiss what Milbury said just because Milbury said it. His points were basically:
-Caps got dominated in second period, as they were hemmed in their own zone for lengthy intervals
-The aggressive Caps PK was exploited by quick 'one touch' passes (opening up lanes, triangles, etc)
-to paraphrase Milbury, 'I think keeping shifts under 30seconds is going too far, but keeping them under 2mins 30secs is important'
-Ovi had multiple 2+ minute shifts, and Milbury said BB needs to discpline Ovi and make an example

I don't like Milbury myself. And I think Milbury is incorrect about Ovi's shifts... i Think BB allows/encourages them and Ovi being Ovi, of course he'll want to be out there.

but i fail to see how some valid criticism about a flawed performance is dismissed due to its source.

Posted by: PSD1 | October 22, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I agree he's a terrible manager. I don't care if he went into the crowd, that stuff happened back then.

Regardless of whether you dislike him, what about his comments do you disagree with. No one will answer that question.

Everytime someone outside the Caps organization criticizes the team or its players (Don Cherry), it. becomes a smear campaign against that person.

Again, what part of his comments do you disagree with?

Posted by: Fletch22 | October 22, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

To be honest, the Caps look hung over from the failure of last season's playoffs.

Yes, Neuvirth is off to a strong start and Johansson has added a bit of energy up front, but those players were not in Washington last year during the Montreal series.

The problems with this team are in large part mental. Look at the Nashville game.

The team hardly showed up for the first 2 periods and then for 20 minutes recaptured the energy they showed last season.

Then against Boston that magic was gone.

I really think the team needed to alter the chemistry of the roster somewhat after a third straight Game 7 loss in the playoffs since 2008.

Obviously there is a missing ingredient there and to think after 3 tries that it is simply going to appear out of the blue is not realistic.

The Caps have the organizational depth to win the Cup.

But they need to use that depth to change part of the dynamic via trade.

Part of the problem with focusing so heavily on the draft to build is there a natural reluctance to TRADE any of the draft picks you have made that have turned into productive hockey players.

And that is the fallacy - McPhee and Leonsis now believe the Caps can simply grow out of their troubles by making and developing more younger players.

What this team needs is 2 or 3 veterans who have won before and can bring confidence and a consistency of purpose and execution to the ice night in and night out as an example to the other players.

Semin, Fleischmann, Green, and even Ovechkin to a degree are streaky players.

Sometimes they are dominant and dynamic and then at other times they are invisible.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | October 22, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

wendel,

If Laich would be such a good C, why doesn't he even get an A?

Posted by: Steve_R | October 22, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

So you agree that "hot" goalies can be made?

Posted by: Randolph2 | October 22, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Are you guys watching the same games I am? The caps played really well in both games against Boston. Apparently you guys didn't notice Thomas standing on his head and getting ridiculously lucky. Off the top of my head, I can remember four shots that would have gone in against any goalie that hadn't sold their soul to the devil for eternal goalie fame. Laich's opportunity, two Knuble opportunities, that absolutely ridiculous save on OV from between the circles as he was falling: all of those were bona fide goals against anyone else. Frankly, Boston had bounces go their way and I thought Varly made some very quality stops, overall.

Posted by: cech3 | October 22, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@steve r ask the moron that chose OV. It certainly wasn't a player vote

Posted by: wendel2 | October 22, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

sgm,

Gotta disagree with you. Semin has an ungodly good wrist shot

Posted by: Steve_R | October 22, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@_828

good points on the Pens - we are a team of thoroughbreds, we shouldn't be made to play like ploughhorses.

we do miss Green very obvious on the PP right now. And yes, about Ovie, his biggest problem is his propensity for long shifts. That has to stop. If BB wants to double shift him as an attacking defenseman, fine, but the shifts need to be kept short in today's league.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 22, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

@Steve_R

Semin has an incredible release on his wrist shot and shoots it at great speeds. However, it isn't very accurate. He misses the net so often and when he finally does get it on goal it ends up in the goalie's stomach.

If he was on a line with a great finisher, it would be fine. But he is paired with Laich who has the shooting skills of a 3rd liner, and with Flash who also has very poor finishing skills.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 22, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

sgm,

Define "finishing skill".

Posted by: Steve_R | October 22, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@Steve_R

Being able to score consistently on golden scoring opportunities. One finishing skill is a net guy being able to get the puck in the air above the goalie's pads. Another version of finishing skill is when a player has an open shot from 10 to 15 feet away, he his able to consistently puck the puck where he wants to. Such as corners or 5 hole. It may also have some deception on the shot. Pretty much a good finisher knows how to puck the puck in the net at a high percentage when he gets great scoring opportunities.

Consistently doesn't mean 100% but a good finisher does it at a much higher rate than all Caps not named Ovie.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 22, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Milbury may be correct but who cares - he is an a@@hole Caps hater and will never say anything good esp about Ovi - so it's pointless to listen to him.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 22, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@fletch...remember the Plyers playoff 2 years ago? Ov was having trouble getting any room to skate and Milbury called Ov a DOG? Saying if it looks like a dog, acts like a dog and smells like a dog, it must be a dog. Ov is playing like a dog. Do you remember that fletch?

Posted by: nimrodrsp | October 22, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

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