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Posted at 7:20 AM ET, 12/10/2010

Caps dealing with adversity after fourth straight loss

By Katie Carrera
Morning Roundup

Last night, Coach Bruce Boudreau called out most of the Capitals' regular point producers, naming Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Mike Green, Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble as those not living up to their offensive responsibilities.

"Those are our best players, and if they're not going to score and our power play's not going to work, you better win the game 1-0, but they're not playing good enough now to score goals," Boudreau said. "We could call it snake bitten, we could call it [that] they're facing adversity and not being able to handle the adversity and fighting through it; feeling sorry for yourself."

There's little denying that in the past four games, the Capitals, and particularly the players Boudreau singled out, have looked out of sorts. Yes, there have been moments in which goals went in -- like Ovechkin's trademark tally against Toronto and Knuble's rebound in Dallas -- but overall, Washington is struggling to score.

During the current slump, the Capitals have scored more than one goal just once -- in the 5-4 shootout loss to the Maple Leafs -- and none of the six players Boudreau named have more than two points in this stretch. But looking back a little farther -- say, 11 games -- to when Atlanta shut out the Capitals 5-0 on Nov. 19, an overall lack of production is not a new trend.

The Capitals have been shut out three times and scored one goal or fewer in those 11 contests, and the volume of goals and point production hasn't consistently been where Washington and Boudreau have come to expect it to be.

Here's the breakdown of those six players during the past 11 games and past four:

--Alex Ovechkin: 2 goals, 8 assists // 2 goals, 0 assists.
--Nicklas Backstrom: 5 goals, 6 assists // 0 goals, 2 assists.
--Alexander Semin: 4 goals, 4 assists // 0 goals, 2 assists.
--Mike Green*: 0 goals, 1 assist // 0 goals, 1 assist.
--Brooks Laich: 2 goals, 4 assists // 0 goals, 1 assist.
--Mike Knuble**: 2 goals, 0 assists // 2 goals, 1 assist.

*Green missed two games in the past 11 because of injury.
**Knuble missed three with a broken jaw.


FROM THE POST
Last night's gamer: Panthers 3, Caps 0

Ovechkin takes his new look out on the town. (Bog)


AROUND THE WEB
ESPN's Barry Melrose says the Caps have some thinking to do.

Ted Leonsis doesn't need to know where the Caps rank among other NHL teams: "Rankings don't matter. Qualifying for the playoffs matters."

Mike Green talks to Maxim about skateboarding.

Check out Alex Ovechkin's new Gillette commercial, courtesy of Russian Machine Never Breaks.

By Katie Carrera  | December 10, 2010; 7:20 AM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich, Mike Green, Mike Knuble, Morning Roundup, Nicklas Backstrom  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Capitals shut out for third time in 11 games, lose 3-0 to Panthers
Next: Poll: Is it time to panic about the Caps?

Comments

@JIMALLCAPS2

Who do you bench for a Hershey kid then? Our 4th line is playing great and thats where most Hershey players would go.


I was at the game last night...it stunk!! They were playing around with the puck and not playing like they were supposed to.

But in reality...people are over reacting. Sure we are playing like crap this week, but we were playing great this time of year last season and look where that got us! Let them slump now, face some adversity, and they can have it figured out by spring.

I am NOT for firing BB. First it is almost too late in the season, second I think the team would not respond well to it, and 3rd I don't think BB deserves it.

Just because things are not going well does not mean you automatically make a drastic change...that is letting the players off the hook and will only reinforce the idea that they are not doing anything wrong (which is horribly false)Give them a chance to work through this! A little hardship might be just what the doctor ordered for this team!

And for all the people about to post how they have been calling for BB's head b/c he can't win in playoffs...I KNOW! you have said it 5,000 times...this is called a DIFFERENT opinion :)

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

"Another terrific performance that was an absolute pleasure to watch......NOT! Another hot goaltender??!!"

please tell me that you are talking about koolaid kids saying that, b/c BB has said NOTHING about hot goal tenders this past month.

on a superstitious note...maybe we should ditch Hannan! he is obviously bad luck!

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Please queue the following pre-recorded sound clips:

"We tried to be too cute..." and

"We didn't go to the net and create traffic..."

Man is this team frustrating. It's not so much the losing but the fact that there does not appear to be any growth or long-term improvement. The problems last year are the same problems this year.

Posted by: cainoo7x | December 10, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Guys, relax. We just ran into a hot goalie?

Happens all the time...(to the Caps)

Posted by: SoaringCaps | December 10, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Time for the LEADERS to step up...

(we'll see who shows up for the optional skate)

Posted by: SoaringCaps | December 10, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

@cainoo7x

gotta disagree that there has been no growth. The PK is 100X better, our SOG (against) are down, I believe our GA are down...

On top of all that...let's not forget that we are grooming two rookie defensemen, and a rookie center. The defense is having moments of looking very good (and then they usually crap put again), and with some work I think they are going to get better as the season progresses.

Green has not looked good for a while now...he seems to be nursing an injury. Semin is in a little slump, and our scorers overall are not playing like they know how.

I agree with BB that after the 1st period they started to play like individuals. Ovie sometimes feels (it would seem) that when things are not going well it is his job to win the game single handedly. They need to work together more.

The caps seem rattled. BB gave them heck for the Toronto game(which they deserved), but I think he needs to get their confidence back up at practice today. A team only meeting would also probably be a good idea.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps

geez! again with the hot goalie jabs...NO ONE said ANYTHING about a hot goalie!

When your PP goes 0-100(an exaggeration I know) it is pretty obvious what the problem is.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

From previous post (the morning post usually isn't this early!!)

tominsocal,

Your cape was submitted to UPS this morning for overnight delivery and should be to you before the next game (if at this point we can call what they are doing a game).

capscoach,

The erratic play has been a constant since the beginning of last season. How can you not hold the COACH accountable for not being able to motivate his players to play 60 minutes each game or pay the price to screen the fricking goalie??!! Those power plays were pitiful last night, why the he!! are Fehr, Laich and Knuble standing to the side of the net and then moving to the front once they get a pass to try and stuff??!! The whole idea is to get traffic in FRONT of the goaltenders face, have your pointmen take shots at the net through the SCREENED goalie and pick up loose change. BB has lost the team, I'm sorry if some can't see that. And it is not too late in the season to replace him, the Pens replaced their coach in February a couple years ago and made a huge run to the finals. This team needs a coach to kick them dead square in their rears.......period, and BB is not that coach obviously.

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

And BTW, you know it's getting bad when my wife tells me last night that she would rather see ME coaching this team than BB!! She actually really thought he was a great coach up until the last few games when she finally admitted that he just isn't getting the job done and seems that the players are just skating around freelance. I immediately fitted her for a nice, warm hooded cape and served her a tall goblet of goats blood.

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 8:04 AM |

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach

You make a good point about the PK. Hopefully it can continue to be effective for the rest of the season.

However, I still think this team routinely falls into bad habits (playing too cute, "not skating", not getting pucks deep, standing around on the power play, not crashing the net or creating net presence on offense, getting outworked, not competing for the full 60 min, etc.) more often than they should.

Posted by: cainoo7x | December 10, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Because many won’t finish reading my post, I want to get this out early. Not that I need any validation, but those who read my post about the Pens game last night and watched the Versus telecast, I’ve gotta ask you: did Engblom and McCarty rip me off? Their 1st intermission look at the Pens was MY POST EXACTLY. Funny how I was ridiculed by some here.

As for the game itself, the team was defeated even before taking the ice. When the coach of the team comes out and talks about playing people based on merit, AND THEN SITS DJK THE GAME AFTER STICKING UP FOR OUR CAPTAIN AND GETTING HIS A@@ HANDED TO HIM BY ONE OF THE TOUGHEST FIGHTERS IN THE LEAGUE, how does anyone in the locker room take him seriously? Thanks for nothing DJK, go get’em Steckel !?!?

The pp was awful. 0-8 with two 5-3, and the best chance to score was Florida’s 2-1 when Varly made those sick saves. Why wasn’t anyone creating any traffic in front of Vokoun? DOES ANYONE REMEMBER BILLY SMITH WHACKING AWAY AT OUR GUYS’ ANKLES? Where’d that kind of hockey go?

The worst players on the ice? Carlson and Alzner BY FAR!! They were on for 2 of 3 scores against, with Alzner totally schooled by Frolik on the first goal in the dying seconds of the period. Remember Poti’s lack of heart defensively a couple weeks ago? Well sgm3, where was Alzner’s heart then? Alzner looked so God-awful that he made ****55 look good, causing me to almost wish for him. Carlson/Alzner hat ZERO HITS and 2 blocked shots COMBINED. Ahh, the golden chosen ones….

The good news? WELCOME BACK FROM EXILE JOHNNY E!! Hard-nosed, steady/responsible defensive play all game; he also made two nice pinches, one getting a shot (looked like a bull in a china shop, loved it) and the other starting the Caps most dominant shift of the 2nd pd. THE FINAL GAME STATS IN HITS/BLOCKED SHOTS? Erskine 7 hits, 3 blocked shots….the rest of the entire backline combined? 8 hits, 8 blocked shots…not bad money’s worth for THE LOWEST DMAN ON BB’S PECKING POLE.

I can just hear BB yelling now, “Hurry up and get well, ****55…..Erskine is producing as usual and I need you to play you w/Green, and Alzner has to play w/Carlson, and Poti has to play w/Hannan because we traded for him and he has to be in the lineup. That’s just the way it is. But stay sharp Ersk and DJK, and be ready when I think a team will try to bully us.”

BB MUST GO!!!


Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

capscoach,

I will almost guarantee we hear from one of the players or BB after practice today how good Voukoun was last night. It is a pattern and will most likely be spewed once more.

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

@cainoo7x

I agree 100%

@PhilR

again...your opinion is not a fact, also...don't think I am not dissapointed with this team. We had issues last season (of course I agree with that ...esp. inconsistancy) but I think BB has changed his style and the team is struggling to adjust.

Also...No matter what team you loved...you would find MANY reasons to be dissapointed with them at times throughout the season...No fan is ever completely happy with their team! Again...to only be able to see the bad is very sad. I AGREE the Caps AND BB are struggling. But I doubt a coaching change will fix it.

And I do not want these players to think that the coach is the reason they are not winning. With the right attitude (for the players) I could coach this team and they would manage to win...they have the talent, and they have an EXTREMELY dedicated coach. It is up to them now to figure it out.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

BB did not lay any blame last night on the loss on Vokoun! He played ok (absorbed a lot of shots) but BB knows his team didn't play right.

The only time this season BB has mentioned a hot Goalie was Tim Thomas...and I have to agree with him...as does 3/4 of the NHL!

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Wow capscoach, are you secretly BB's wife?? You defend the guy like you know him personally or something! I hate to break it to you but some coaches lose their teams, as a matter of fact most lose them at some point unless they hit legendary status like Scotty Bowman. BB is a one trick pony, offense first which the league has figured out and he has not been able to adapt his coaching style or if he has his players haven't bought in. That is on the coach NOT the players, he has to be able to make the players adapt to what he wants done and if he can not he needs to go.

And I still say that something will be said about a hot goaltender today!!

And I say again, what is the deal with the power play strategy to have your net presence standing at the side of the net waiting for a pass??? Pitiful!

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin and Semin cannot play on the same team any longer. They seem to be negatively feeding off each other. They have had 3 chances in the playoffs, and we never even had a sniff at the cup. Time to try it another way.

This isn't a good team right now. Dispite their record, they haven't played well all year. We are supposed to be a cup favorite, but in truth, we are not close right now. I would advocate firing BB, but I think even if we did, the problems would remain.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 10, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

A forgotten name in the coaching ranks, whose teams always overachieved, is Ted Nolan.....give him a call, GMGM!!! The man is deserving of another shot, and all the pacifist/liberal fans here can tout how the team celebrates and promotes diversity. The Caps armor is starting to show major chinks in it....wait, am I allowed to write that? CAPS FANS GET OFF YOUR HIGH-HORSES AND DEMAND BETTER!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Personally I'm fine with these losses as long as it gets BB out the door. When's the last time we hears the boo birds at verizon?

Posted by: chatton | December 10, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

And I say again, what is the deal with the power play strategy to have your net presence standing at the side of the net waiting for a pass??? Pitiful!


again...we all know that the team CAN be deadly on the PP...so BB has created one that works...the players are not following through.

BB may need to be let go after this season there is no doubt of that. But the consequences would be very negative if they did it mid-season.

@underpants

not sure why you think Semin and Ovie together is the reason the Caps are not playoff material...they almost never played on the same line last season. I think you pulled that idea out of thin air.

@PhilR

aslo...I am 24 so no...I am not BBs secret wife...he would make a cute grampa though!

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

That they lose doesnt bother me...if the game were competitive. Its the same way they lose over and over again. The league has two books on this team.

Bestseller #1 is frustrate them early and get key saves and wait until they press give one up and get depressed...

Bestseller # 2 is let them get a lead and then save all your energy until midway through the third period when their guys stop skating and following the puck into places like corners...get quick screen deflection goal from point...and then press to tie and take chances in OT and shootout - might catch them asleep again.

I am calling out Alzner - I have been on his case all month - he is a kid yes, but he wanted to make this team for the last 2 seasons!! being sent down as the odd man out - well its time to prove you are an NHLer...be a little more tough out there....

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | December 10, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Just wondering where leftcoastcapsfan has been? I remember him ripping us last year when we demanded better defense saying hockey was about scoring more than the opponent. Where are you????????

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | December 10, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

If this team doesn't make the playoffs, I will be shocked. That said, this is the best thing that could happen to them right now. Better now than during the 1st round. Everyone relax.

Posted by: kkd76 | December 10, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

@kkd76

exactly! I think some adversity is just what the doctor ordered for this team!

If you want them to learn to win better...they have to lose first...or else there is no incentive to change.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

capscoach,

That is the WORST power play idea ever! When they were clicking on the power play they had either Knuble or Laich standing in the crease or at least in the front of the net outside the crease, this thing of standing to the side of the net I have only noticed the last couple games and it obviously does nothing but run up the opposing goalies save totals.

And yeah, if you are 24 I apologize, that would just be gross!!

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach

I'm on the side of the fence that says that getting bounced in the first round by the 8th seed was all the losing that should be necessary. Not to mention losing 3 of 4 game 7s on home ice.

Posted by: cainoo7x | December 10, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I didn't have a power play idea...you are making no sense

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

@ Phil...

Caps coach is not BB's wife...it's HADEED!!!

@Underpants..

I agree, trade Semin to Dallas for Richards. While at it..throw in Fehr, Perrault, and a pick and grab Ribero...

This would make the caps more battle ready...less finesse, but Finesse doesn't win playoff games.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | December 10, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm on the side of the fence that says that getting bounced in the first round by the 8th seed was all the losing that should be necessary. Not to mention losing 3 of 4 game 7s on home ice.

Posted by: cainoo7x


hate to break it to you, but playoff upsets happen EVERY YEAR in EVERY SPORT...it REALLY sucks when it's your team though.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

And I say again, what is the deal with the power play strategy to have your net presence standing at the side of the net waiting for a pass??? Pitiful!


again...we all know that the team CAN be deadly on the PP...so BB has created one that works...the players are not following through.

Posted by: capscoach |


That is what I was responding to, it appeared from your post that you were siding with the strategy they were employing last evening of standing to the side of the net instead of screening the goalie. Sorry I wasn't clear.

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

@ Caps Coach...

You are right, upsets happen...

BUT IT SUCKS WHEN IT'S YOUR TEAM EVERY YEAR!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | December 10, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

You are right, upsets happen...

BUT IT SUCKS WHEN IT'S YOUR TEAM EVERY YEAR!

Posted by: SoaringCaps |


My thoughts exactly!

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Ovi is proving that he is NOT a leader and does NOT deserve the C on his jersey. It is well-documented that he is out partying at night and no I am not saying he should be inside thinking HOCKEY and HOCKEY only. But, I am saying that when there is an optional skate, or an optional practice, he needs to be on the ice. And, as our Captain, he needs to be rallying guys like Semin, Green, etc. to be on the ice too. Wearing the C is a huge responsibility. I have never thought that Ovi deserved it, but the Caps have PEN15 envy over the Pens, and since they made Crosby the Captain, we have to follow suit. Now it's too late and you can't strip him of the C, but you can healthy scratch him and send a message.

Oh, and we're 0-4 with Hannan in the lineup. Interesting...

Posted by: SuperZ3383 | December 10, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Glass half full... it's better to deal with this now. This teams reads too much of its own press and reading that they suck could help in the long run.

Glass half empty... some of the young guns, who are not that young anymore, seem to be regressing. This may not be a team that can handle distractions like the Winter Classic and HBO while keeping focused on hockey. This may be due to a lack of leadership.

Posted by: brihobbs | December 10, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

no...I am all for net presence! Believe it or not...I really was ticked off after that game...I am not all bubbles and sunshine...what I meant was that when we are playing the PP the way we are supposed to...it can be deadly. I also agree with most on here that Ovie needs to get off the point! He is wasted there and he isn't good at keeping the puck in play.

@soaringcaos

sorry...I think that the Habs series was our only real upset. Making the playoffs in the Philly series was a huge acomplishment there, and the Pens series...well they were unfortunately the better team...and they did go on to win the cup.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Super,

And they had 18 wins with Flash, what's your point? This losing stretch has absolutely zero to do with a single player, it is the overall system that is broken.

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I, too, am in a foul mood after last night's loss. 0-for-8 on the PP was was a disgrace.

OTOH I think the fundamental fact many of us are missing while we're in this funk, is that this team is better defensively with Jeff Schultz on the ice than it is without him.

Please note that I do support playing #4; he has really stepped it up and should be rewarded rather than being odd-man-out when 55 returns.

Heal up and hurry back, Mr. Nasty!

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 10, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

PhilR,

Nono, I just put mentioned the Hannan thing as an after thought. Obviously it's not Hannan's fault. Last year, we traded Chris Clark away and sucked for a little (maybe lost two in a row). This year we trade Flash away and we are now 1-4 in the five games since he's been gone. I think it's a bit interesting. Not going to read too much into it though.

All year I have thought that the Caps record was not indicative of their play on the ice. The same issues that were glaring LAST year are still glaring this year.

I was at the Toronto Maple Leafs game when Semin won it in the shootout. I was actually hoping we would LOSE that game since we had blown a 3-1 lead. Winning games when you blow three or more goal leads in the third period are NOT a trend you want to get into. You start to think you can get away with it and still win in the end based on the skill you possess. Well, it's starting to catch up to them. Luckily it's still December, but this is a trend that they need to quickly climb out of or it will be another first round exit.

Posted by: SuperZ3383 | December 10, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

vermont, I'm a big fan of Ted Nolan, but you know he'd never get hired by Ted or GM. He's not a players coach, and wouldn't fit in a 'soft' organization such as this one.

Some people will dismiss the idea, but he won the Jack Adams in 96 I believe, but then didn't coach in the NHL for another ten years. From what I've read, he wouldn't put up with Hasek's primadonna attitude in Buffalo. Their GM at the time, John Muckler, sided with Hasek, who had attacked Hall of Fame sports writer Jim Kelley during the Sabres playoff series with the Senators because he had written that Hasek wasn't physically tough (or something like that). Muckler tried to lowball Nolan in the contract negotiations, so Nolan bailed. It's an interesting read for sure.

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 10, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Cody Eakin remains on fire in the WHL again picking up the First Star in Wednesday nights game by getting the game winning third period goal and adding two assists for a +3. Swift Current won 4-1 in Kelowna BC. He now has 16 goals and 21 assists in 29 games.

Posted by: dull | December 10, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

hate to break it to you, but playoff upsets happen EVERY YEAR in EVERY SPORT...it REALLY sucks when it's your team though.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I understand upsets happen. My point is, if losing in the playoffs isn't enough to get the team motivated to improve areas of their game that have been repeatedly been identified as being deficient, what is?

Posted by: cainoo7x | December 10, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

First, I think the team will be fine and the O will come back. I also believe BB can effectively coach the team, however it is the time of the season to stop experimenting with line combos and pick your top 2 lines and go with them. How do they find consistency if they have different lines from period to period or shift to shift? All lines slump occasionally, but good lines (and the Caps can put out 2 very good lines) will work their way out of them. For the last 2 line there should be 8 skaters filling the 6 spots (King should not be one of them).

Posted by: ds_kelly | December 10, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

@ cainoo7x

like I said...I only consider last seasons playoffs a real upset...so it remains to be seen how the team responds.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

capscoach: For you to even half-heartedly suggest that the Caps have "so much talent" that "you could coach them" indicates that you don't understand the problem. Naturally I've never coached one so I don't understand either. What I do know from watching sports 45 years is I can tell when the coach has lost the team. You can see it in football, baseball, hockey. Last night's performance looked just like Terry Murray's last game coaching Caps vs Bruins 1993 and Hanlon's last game vs Panthers in 2007. Players skating like zombies with no apparent motive.

The one very good move BB made against Tampa was Ovi to RW and Semin to LW. Worked perfectly, but he abandoned it after one game.

I can't understand how the 4th line keeps drawing penalties on other team, then you put 1st line out on PP. Let the guys who earn to PP play on PP.

Alzner did very well last night to break up a 2-on-1 with his skate.

The difference last night is they went to the net and we didn't. Our guys are all talk.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 10, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

@soaring caps,

Regarding, Ribeiro, we don't need to add another player with potential 'off ice behavioral issues'.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/101210dnmetribeiro.17d053276.html

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 10, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

@ds_kelly

I agree about the line combos, but the problem is we do not have a 2nd line center and that is messing with us. I think MP will be a band aid at best that will hopefully hold until the deadline.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

@underpants

not sure why you think Semin and Ovie together is the reason the Caps are not playoff material...they almost never played on the same line last season. I think you pulled that idea out of thin air.


Posted by: capscoach

I mean they cannot play on the same team. They play soccer, they go out at night, they don't take the seriously enough. It's not a business to them.

They had their chance to win the cup as best friends. In fact, they had 3 chances, and they haven't come close. Time to breakup their party.

Do you realize that Semin is a UFA? We cannot commit to 10 years of this crap. Time to try it another way.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 10, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal1

it was an exxageration to make a point thank you. BB def. needs to get his players under control, but my point was that BB has given them what they need, (GM could throw in a center though)and it is up to them to execute now.Placing all the blame on BB is ridiculous...the team is not working together, and if they all got on board with the game plan they would be set. The whole "I could coach them bit" is in reference to the fact that I...who has never played hockey, could sit on that bench and yell out line changes, and they should still be able to score on ocassion with the talent they have...so if they listened to BB and worked together...they should be able to control games without issue 90%of the time. You don't have to agree...but you also don't have to speak down to me.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

We as fans are spoiled. I think this is the first time under BB that they have lost more than 3 in a row. Firing a coach that has gotten more production out of players that are marginal nhlers at best would a knee-jerk reaction by someone who doesn't know hockey. Are you telling me, that players that have given everything for this team have just quit and that they no longer can play. Or that this losing streak is eating them alive. Earlier this year there were other teams that we were calling dead and they are now leading the league. I hate Pittsburgh and Cindy but 12 games ago they woke up and started playing as a team. The Caps are more talented and will get back in a groove. We need to be patient. I have been a fan since the Caps started. They need our support - Think of all the thrills they have given us! LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: psugolf | December 10, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

previously...
Boudreau said. "Now it will be sitting out on merit. You might find guys sitting out four, five games in a row but it's down to that part of the season where we've got to make them understand that sitting out -- there's always a reason for it."

Does this mean when OV blows defenive zone responsibilities and has more giveaways then shots that #8 will be fetching nachos for GMGM?

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | December 9, 2010 1:19 PM |

Now...
Last night, Coach Bruce Boudreau called out most of the Capitals' regular point producers, naming Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Mike Green, Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble as those not living up to their offensive responsibilities.

"Those are our best players, and if they're not going to score and our power play's not going to work, you better win the game 1-0, but they're not playing good enough now to score goals," Boudreau said. "We could call it snake bitten, we could call it [that] they're facing adversity and not being able to handle the adversity and fighting through it; feeling sorry for yourself."

Tell O.V. ask for extra cheese and peppers!!!

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | December 10, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

previously...
Boudreau said. "Now it will be sitting out on merit. You might find guys sitting out four, five games in a row but it's down to that part of the season where we've got to make them understand that sitting out -- there's always a reason for it."

Does this mean when OV blows defenive zone responsibilities and has more giveaways then shots that #8 will be fetching nachos for GMGM?

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | December 9, 2010 1:19 PM |

Now...
Last night, Coach Bruce Boudreau called out most of the Capitals' regular point producers, naming Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Mike Green, Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble as those not living up to their offensive responsibilities.

"Those are our best players, and if they're not going to score and our power play's not going to work, you better win the game 1-0, but they're not playing good enough now to score goals," Boudreau said. "We could call it snake bitten, we could call it [that] they're facing adversity and not being able to handle the adversity and fighting through it; feeling sorry for yourself."

Tell O.V. ask for extra cheese and peppers!!!

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | December 10, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

So now that we all know the roof has finally started to fall on the phone booth I just wanted to ad some more fuel to the fire.

I love this team but I am now wondering about my choice for New Years eve and day. Here was me thinking that we could have fun news years eve and then get to see a good game of hockey and beat up on the flightless foul. However unless the pens agree to play the bears and not the caps I am putting a whole bunch of money down the drain. We will get slapped around like and echl team.

@ SuperZ3383

Its never to late to do anything, the problem is the so many people would have to eat crow if they had to take the "C" back but if they had done what most people thought at the time, given it to Brooks, maybe they would be in this spot. I am a caps fan thru and thru and a G.B. drinker too :). While Ovie is a great hockey player but he is not a leader, he has never shown he can led anyone let alone 20 other guys.

Anyway for awhile I was foolish to think that we might actually have left the dark days behind, I was scared the sun would melt me but I am safe, this team, my team our team will keep us in the dark side for many years to come.

Posted by: bqts | December 10, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Capscoach,

You just made tom and my points for us!! If the players "got on board they would be set." It is obvious to those who have seen coaches lose teams that this team does NOT WANT to get on board at this point. As I said earlier, almost every coach loses a team at some point, otherwise you would have a couple hundred legendary Scotty Bowman's out there! It is just time for a new way of doing things and a caoch that won't put up with this individualistic crap some of these guys do.

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

@underpants

Once a month we see a picture of Ovie and/or Semin out at a club and EVERYBODY freaks out about his party life style! STOP!!!!!

When we start seeing reports of them punching cab drivers, groping random girls butts, or getting DUIs THEN we can worry and pass judgements.

All the players play soccer before the game...and they do it on almost every NHL team.

And I am sorry, but you don't have magic posers where you know what these guys are thinking and where their priorities lie. 25 year ols guys have friends...they go out and have fun...sometimes they even get into mischief. On other teams their posts report about the stars going out on the town every now and again too...everyone does it...not just ovie and Russians.

If Semin goes, Ovie isn't changing his lifestyle. He has LOTS of friends to go out with. Semin leaving changes nothing except we loose a potential 45+ goal scorer.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Time to grow up...no more lessons...no more excuses...everyone should be held accountable including the coach.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 10, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I realize that in your collective heads I made ur point, however: I think they will and should work out of this slump together. Firing BB takes the responsibility off the players! And I also said BB may have to go after this season...but not now and not mid season...the team would self implode.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

psugolf,

Thrills this team has given us??!! I have also been following this team from the beginning and the only thing that has ever happened to me is having my heart ripped out of my chest season after season, I have no idea what "thrills" you are talking about!

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach - I agree 2nd line center is a weakness, but you still have to make a decision. By changing the 2nd line the other lines get messed up too. At this point I like MJ the best, at least until someone else is brought in. He is raw but has shown steady improvement and flashes of serious skill. I think Laich is better at wing and MP needs consistent time on the team to adjust to the grind of the NHL game and not just rely on flying around with all his energy to create offense.

Posted by: ds_kelly | December 10, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@ Vermontcaps
DOES ANYONE REMEMBER BILLY SMITH WHACKING AWAY AT OUR GUYS’ ANKLES? Where’d that kind of hockey go?

Do you really believe that would work in "today's game"

Also I think we all get the man crush you have for the Sexy lumberjack.........

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 10, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

capscoach,

Completely disagree that the team would self implode. The Pens were out of the playoffs a couple years ago when they made their change and it served as a WAKE-UP call to the players. This team needs a shake up, inconsistant play for the past year and a half is more than enough and someone needs to be held accountable. Since GMGM isn't going to trade half the team that "someone" should be BB.

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

capscoach,

Completely disagree that the team would self implode


I had a feeling you would! :P

All I can say is that every team is different, and I wouldn't compare the Pens needs to ours and what would be best for us.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Capsfanmiss,

Yes, that would work in todays game, when hasn't harrassing the crap out of the goaltender and getting his mind on you instead of stopping the puck not worked?? That is the type of dedication this team needs, to be willing to get the he!! kicked out of them in the crease in order to distract the goaltender. Why in the world wouldn't that type of game work in an era of hockey??

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

Sure we are playing like crap this week, but we were playing great this time of year last season and look where that got us! Let them slump now, face some adversity, and they can have it figured out by spring.

- Capscoach

I couldn't agree with you more, capscoach. Last season, I was almost hoping they'd go through a slump, just so they'd have to work through it and be better for it. As much as I love watching them play well and win games, maybe what they really need is a kick in the butt in the form of a losing streak and slump to instill in them the value of working hard every shift and not relying on your immense talent. Hopefully that's the result here, and by the end of January we're getting in a groove to make us ready for the playoffs.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | December 10, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"an" era should be "any" era......stupid fingers!

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

All I can say is that every team is different, and I wouldn't compare the Pens needs to ours and what would be best for us.

Posted by: capscoach |


Ok, let's look back a few years to around Thanksgiving time when Hanlon got fired, did the team implode then?

BTW, I really enjoy debating with you because you rarely get upset and stay at an even keel unlike a few others who drink the koolaid!!

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line is this is all on the players. Could it result in BB being fired and justifiably so? Yes it could.

What I think has happened so far this season:

BB and the coaching staff have tried to change up the style to playing a more defensive focused style. They have improved the PK. The PP is a mess due to the no traffic in front and having Laich hang out to the side of the net and KNuble in the slot, put them both in front of the net.

While BB and the staff have tried to change the style, it quite simply falls on the players. I think our star players dont want to play the new style. They prefer the run and gun style where they can look more like rock stars. Sad thing is they dont realize that they will end up getting BB fired and the new coach that comes in wont let them play the wide open style the stars want to. And who does that all start with, the Captain. He has to buy in for others to buy in, but its obvious he has just been floating around all season. And yes him floating around he is still one of the 10 best players in the league so he thinks he can get away with it.

My guess is you see up and mostly down play until Pitt comes to town on the 23rd. That will wake them up and get them going for a little bit. And then I expect another nose dive in the middle of January.

Posted by: ThePat | December 10, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I want the Ovi from last year back. I'd rather him get suspended for a few games a year than watch this new version. He's really not a finesse player. He overpowers people and imposes his will. That's the Ovi we need back. I've always thought one of two things would happen because the of the suspensions....Ovi would quit the NHL and go play in the KHL or the NHL would ruin his game. Looks like the NHL is ruining his game. Way to kill one of your top two stars Bettman. Here's to seeing the Old Ovi return real soon.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | December 10, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

You folks aren't seeing the bright side of this!

THIS IS GREAT DRAMA FOR 24/7!

WOOOO HOOOOO!

I'M SO FREAKIN' PISSED!

GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 10, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

The difference I see between Hanlon and BB is...Hanlon never had the team. He was not coaching in a style that made our players look their best. When the Caps play BBs system, they look good. I mean Hanlon almost single handedly ruined Green. The players didn't love Hanlon the way they love BB...It was pretty obvious they were relieved when he left. That would not be the case with BB. If they want to fire BB, I just think it would be less of a blow and more beneficial to wait for a new season.

@ThePat

were u at the game yesterday?

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Ugly game last night. I think I saw one tape to tape pass, all the others seemed to end up in the skates or having to be controlled by the skates before settling the puck.

OV needs a new move, the flying down the left board crossing the blue swerving to center ice while unleashing a shot using the Dman as a screen is no longer working, perhaps some time at RW would help wake him up.

PP sucked, way too many shots from the perimeter.

I have a bet with a friend (Pens fan) on the winter classic, loser buys the winner a WC Jersey - not too confident right now.

Bartender: a round of goat blood shooters!

Posted by: Redwolf1 | December 10, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach

Yes, I am at every game.

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

@capscoach

and why do you ask?

Posted by: ThePat | December 10, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Well, capscoach, sorry you think you've been talked down to. Once again we get mixed up on semantics.

I will tell you again, you make it sound too simple. What you are typing (and maybe not what's in your head) is the Caps have so much talent that the players should be able to just go out on the ice and play well. I think it's much more complicated than that. If the team turns off the caoch, they actually perform worse in some respects than if they were to "freelance" as you suggest.

The Caps have played this year, most of their games, just like last year's playoffs. That tells me the current head coach is having very little positive effect on the games.

Since you can joke about it in words, I can too.

So, time to bring Mrs. Ovechkina over here to coach.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 10, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Let's see, posters whine during the playoffs that they don't care about the regular season and the President's Cup doesn't mean anything.

Then, these same posters whine during the regular season that the planet is doomed if the Caps don't win every game.

Puhleez...

Posted by: truke | December 10, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

capscoach,

I guess my point is that you can look at any sport, when there is a coaching change mid-season the team seems to bond together and play better.......there are numerous examples of this including the fricking Dallas Cowboys this year. It seems to give the players the attitude of us against the world, we will show you type of thing. That is what I feel would happen with BB's exit.

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

truke,

I could care less if they win or lose during the regular season as long as they win enough to make the post season. No one on here is whining about a losing streak, we are complaining about the WAY the team is playing the games.....period. Big difference there, if they were giving a full 60 minute effort and playig with intensity and cohesion I highly doubt you would hear much complaining at all! Now go have another glass of koolaid.

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

BB is absolutely not the problem!

This is the most talent this team ever had.

Yes, our defense and PK seems to be improved.

Yes, we have two young defensemen that are growing up with every game plus a new aquisition in Hannan on the blue line.

Yes we have a rookie center in Johansson who is promising but going to make mistakes.

BUT THEY ARE NOT THE PROBLEM EITHER.

The problem is in the effort the main guys are giving. They look rattled, they look like they are trying to do many things individually and are not doing the things needed to create confusion for botht the defense and goaltenders.

As you saw last year against Halak, you can shoot 50 shots from the perimeter with little to no traffic or confusion and a good to above average goaltender will eat those up.

I know most of the players are waiting for the playoffs to start, but if we don't shore up things in the regular season we won't have much of playoff run in us.

Posted by: dglelite | December 10, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@thepat

met someone at the game named pat and thought it might be u...but he wasn't a season ticket holder so I guess not.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach

haha, yeah definitely not me.

Posted by: ThePat | December 10, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

@Tom

no worries...I am not under the dilussion that they could go out and win games without a coach (which would be the equivalent of me coaching)

I just think the fact that they are struggling to score at all is proof that the issue is with the players and not the coach. If they were only scoring 1 or 2 goals a game then i would think BB is the problem, but not scoring at all (on a fairly regualr basis) is a player issue.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

live with OV die with OV... gmgm gave him the team by making him captain and now can do nothing about it...that horrible choice will hurt the caps for a long time.....OV is a horrid choice for captain

Posted by: wendel2 | December 10, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@ wendel2,

Exactly. He is NOT a leader. But, you can't strip him of the C. Can you imagine the media circus that would cause?

We are stuck with Ovi as our Captain. Does he even realize the responsibilities that title brings? I don't think so. So, the other leaders in the locker room need to maybe call him out. It could get ugly, but I think at this point in the season it's apparent that his leadership is being put into question. GMGM made his bed and has to lay in it, but the other players in the room need to step up.

And, maybe BB needs to healthy scratch Ovi. Send a message to the whole team. Yes, it would be a big story and get a lot of media, but maybe the other guys would start to step up more.

BB definitely needs to do SOMETHING different since what he is currently doing is not getting it done.

Posted by: SuperZ3383 | December 10, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The Caps will be fine. Every team goes through slumps. At least its reasonably early in the season that this isn't going to impact their playoff seeding.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | December 10, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Read some of the blog entries on Flyers boards a year ago. No one was saying they were going to the Cup, in fact they were awful...chill out people...last year was a dream...an unreal regular season...these boys need to lose some games...they need to enter the playoffs as just another team with a shot at the cup...that will get them going.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 10, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

BigDaddy

Of course it won't impact their playoff seeding. But, it will just merit the same outcome as the previous years: NO CUP.

Posted by: SuperZ3383 | December 10, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The Caps woes are BBs fault. I think they are following his game plan, but when it doesn't work he throws the players under the bus. He's the guy who swears by the stretch passes and shuffles the lines like a deck of cards.

BBs worst offense is "rewarding" bottom 6 guys with a little Ovi-Backstrom time. It's like game 6 when Belanger was the 1C after losing 8 teeth the previous game or how Henricks always seems to get top line time after a fight. When Ovi and Backstrom are on, the can make anyone look good. Right now, they are both struggling. It's time to get them going, not trying to pad 4th liners stats.

Last, Mike Green is injured. Maybe Ovi and Backstrom too, but definitely Green. Probably time for coach to stop playing him 29 minutes per game.

Posted by: ablake70 | December 10, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

my gripe with BB right now is that his idea of making changes is concocting unlikely forward line permutations. if #8 is having trouble settling and finding is space on the ice, grouping him with Backs and Knubs on one shift, Perry and Fehr on another, Johansen and Semin on a third...he'll never find his rhythm

don't get me wrong, "tweaking" lines to offer a new look can be effective. but it is effective only as a break to something consistent. the only consistency now is the constant flux of lines

BB, find a new trick

Posted by: mcintire_will | December 10, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

All I can say is WAKE UP CAPS Start playing or be benched... that means everyone. The last time I saw 8 score, he gave up the puck several times. No consistancy... except loosing the last 4 games. Get tough or sit down.

Posted by: curb1 | December 10, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Typical Bruce....blaming the players. The PP is still terrible and stagnant. It has been for 3 years now, and THAT is the coach's fault. The only reason they ever score is because of pure skill, not tactics. Try something different Bruce!! Other coaches have figured out how to play the Caps, but Bruce refuses to change anything. That is why they get 45 shots, 40 of which are from the point or the walls.

Posted by: jwh37 | December 10, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

QUESTION FOR YOU GUYS.... do you think it is smart to try and change the style to a more defensive style???? Our personnel is suited for the more up tempo offensive game, and I think we have to live and die with that system....not ask a bunch of high flying talented offensive guys to slow down and get bored to try and play a style that doesn't suit them.

I think by the coaches trying to change to a more defensive style, it served as a panicky move that shows no confidence in the players....and I think our best players look dazed and confused and out of sync and might even be questioning themselves about our coaches decided that one playoff series should change the entire way we play. Bad Move!!!

your guys thoughts???


PhilR..... great point that nobody is complaining about a couple of losses in a row....we are concerned about the WAY they are playing.

Posted by: capitalsfan47802 | December 10, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

It's really entertaining how alot of you people seem to think you know EXACTLY what goes on in that dressing room. How the hell do any of you know if Ovi is a good captain or not. You have no idea what he's saying to those guys in there. Players go out and have fun once in awhile, it's normal. He is not out doing it every night, contrary to popular belief. The media blows things way out of proportion and if you guys hadn't noticed, the media likes to make Ovi look like Satan while making Crosby look like everything that is good and pure in the world. It's a little sickening, frankly, that you guys buy into it.

I do believe that most of this is a coaching issue. I'm not saying that it's Boudreau's fault, I'm just saying that the team, as a whole, has checked out. They're not buying into what he's preaching, and it shows. When the team no longer takes their coach seriously, that's when it's time to shake things up.

However, I also have to agree with whoever said that there is just no way to predict how this would affect the team at this point. With most teams in the past a mid-season coaching change has proven effective, yes, but the Caps are not "most teams". They almost seem a little fragile, and I think it's safe to say that most of them are very attached to their coach. I just think it'd be a really big risk to make the swap mid-season, with this team.

Posted by: JB-RockTheRed | December 10, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Pretty simple...shoot the puck and get dirty in front of the net. Too many ballet dancers on this team trying to look pretty...OMG how many shots miss the net or hit defenders in the pads? Why is Fehr still playing? Why is Knuble on the top line? By the 7th PP, I would have sent out Steckel, Hendricks, Erskine, Hannan, and one of the cheerleaders...maybe that would have been a loud enough statement.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 10, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

capscoach,
Patrick Kane beat up a cab driver and the Hawks won the SC. Maybe Ovie should beat up a cab driver. Or better yet maybe somebody should put their rear end into the goalie's face on the power play. Wow, what a concept. Rule of thumb...If the goalie isn't hitting you with his stick, blocker or glove, you aren't in the right position. When I played, you battled the d-man in front for position the whole time and got "cup checked" by the keeper during the process. "Paying the price" in front of the net in today's world is much easier. BB should run some "tip drills" in practice. Have the "fairies" (small winged creatures)screen the goalie and blast slapper at them from the point. If they will not pay the price during the game, make them pay at practice (old school hockey). The more you sweat in training the less you bleed in combat.

Posted by: chriscaps | December 10, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

all i can say is funny! The best stretch last night was the almost 2 minutes of PP with 5 on 3 for the Caps as they put on a passing clinic. Nice work, superstars. What does BB do?? Puts the same group out time after time, with OV double-shifting.

Lets face it: right now the best team in the league are the Penguins and the best player is Crosby. For the most part, they play like they are winners and they are. All we get from this team is the same ol broken record.

If the Caps are paying their superstars all the money they are getting paid and those guys can't play anything other than an offense first system, then this team is in more trouble than any of us are discussing here.

Posted by: doughless | December 10, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I am getting a big kick out of the doom and gloom that many of you are espousing on here, especially you PhilR. For a starter, PhilR, what is your hockey resume? Ever play, ever coach the game (I have done both---in Western Canada where I was brought up, you are disowned if not playing hockey by age 5!)...if you have done one or both, then I will agree to disagree. My guess for many of the doom and gloom types is that they are fanatical fans who have never played the game, have a win at any cost attitude towards most sports, and panic at the slightest sign of a slump. What were your comments when the Caps were running the winstreaks a la the Pens are now? And getting rid of BB? Hells bells, who would you hire? Give me the details. I can't think of an available coach right now who could step in and do a better job. No, the Caps are in a slump,and it is a hell of lot better to be doing it now and getting it out of their system then waiting until late in the season or the playoffs. I do think that they miss Schultz more than they realize; that Hannon appears to be having some problems fitting into the Caps style (although to expect that he would after such few games may be unrealistic)---it is a high tempo style, and the defense have to be aware of the sudden changes...not many teams in the league can do that; Ovie is trying to do too much on his own (as some of you have already stated). My guess....the moment that they have a blowout win, which could come against the Av's, they will be on track for a long series of wins.

Posted by: RogerNoVa | December 10, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The PP is still terrible and stagnant. It has been for 3 years now,


um...we had the best PP in the league last season (until the playoffs) so 3 yrs. is a stretch.

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

how many times do i have to watch the same PP play with Laich or Knuble getting a pass NEXT TO THE GOAL and then turning to try slamming it through the 'keeper?

i have seen it dozens of times and not once succeed

i had a coach once who would say things like "it's not the system that's at fault, it's the execution". well, at some point you need to A) improve the execution, B) find new players to fit the system, or C) GET A NEW SYSTEM

Posted by: mcintire_will | December 10, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Maybe a broken record, but the Caps did run into a hot goalie last night...a hot goalie who played cool as a cucumber.

Vokun was simply AMAZING last night...he barely moved much - the pad save on the "Ovechkin special" on the PP was something else...no rebound at all. Not much movement in making that save. It was like the Caps were shooting a slow moving beach ball at him. He was in the zone. Absolutely commanding performance!!!

On the other hand, Varly started doing the dance by the 3rd period...his sways become longer and thats his trend from rookie year...from playing tight in early parts of game, he goes 3-5 ft sways. On the Santorelli goal at the end of the game, he was way out there, way over-committed. Thats the one part that Varly has to improve on: overplaying in the 3rd in tight or trailing games.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | December 10, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

We really do need to just calm down. Look at the Eastern Conference representatives in the SCF the last two years. One went through a huge slump where for a good part of the season they were sitting out of the playoffs (and then went on to win it all), and the other got into the playoffs by way of shoot-out win in the last game of the season. Of course, both teams had coaching changes midway through the seasons, but the point is maybe going through the season with some adversity and hardship is what these guys need. Maybe they do need a coaching change. Who knows?

If we drop out of the playoff race over the next 2 months, I think a coaching change would be warranted. But let's get real. They're in a slump, but it's still December.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | December 10, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

how many millions does it take to motivate the Caps superstars?? how many blown playoff runs does it take? what does it take for the "young guns" to do what they are coached to do?? i just don't get this team. they think very highly of themselves but have nothing to show for it. i am sad now.

Posted by: doughless | December 10, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@ Political_Stratgst

I mean I am a koolaid drinker, but come on...we didn't exactly make Vokoun work very hard. Even BB didn't mention the goalie

@TheDoubleAlex

well said

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

RogerNoVa,

Guess we agree to disagree because I played from the time I got my first pair of skates at 3 or 4 until about ten years ago when my knees got too bad to skate anymore. I have helped out with coaching a few youth teams at different points as well.

To me the team has just completely tuned BB out and he has lost the team, sorry if I see things differently than you do but if you are happy with the way the team has played not just these past four games but the entire season (other than maybe 3 games) then I think you have a very low expectation as to what good, sound hockey is.

Posted by: PhilR | December 10, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach

In the playoffs last year is when Montreal showed the league how to beat the Caps. Let them shoot all day long, but from outside. That has carried over to this season. They are going to score on the PP, and score often because they've got 4 of the best players in the world. However, just because it has worked int he past doesn't mean it will work now. 5 guys standing like statues, passing around the top and then taking slap shots from the top of the circles is NOT the best way to run a PP. The whole point is that you have an extra man, so if everyone moves and shifts, eventually the D will lose that lone guy, who should be right next to the goal for an easy tip in. Watch Crosby on a PP. He makes me want to puke, but he knows right where to go, and he doesn't need to blow the puck past anyone. He just taps it in.

Posted by: jwh37 | December 10, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach and all other new fans

I remember when the Grateful Dead suddenly became popular, and real deadheads had to take the new fans under their wings to teach them properly how to navigate the scene.

Well, you new fans have to shut-up and stop telling us old-fans that everything will be ok, BB is great, and fighting guys like DJK are useless. CAN YOU NOT SEE THE SEASON GOING DOWN THE TOILET? If you don't, you sure will on Jan. 1

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@ Vermontcaps
DOES ANYONE REMEMBER BILLY SMITH WHACKING AWAY AT OUR GUYS’ ANKLES? Where’d that kind of hockey go?

Do you really believe that would work in "today's game"

Also I think we all get the man crush you have for the Sexy lumberjack.........

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 10, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm embarrassed that you're a Caps fan, as I am of many who post here. IF I DON'T POINT OUT WHAT ERSK DOES, NONE OF YOU IDIOTS WOULD BE AWARE OF HIS CONTRIBUTIONS. Would you, capsfannmiss, take him out of the lineup right now (if all were healthy?)

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach, @JimJones (others...)

I'm enjoying the koolaid so much thought I'd share:

I'm with capscoach - this team is experimenting, willing to lose a few games to learn about what it has. It's very gm-centric in that sense, probably hard on the coach and players. We'll be in a strong position to make a trade at the deadline, but right now we've very weak up the middle past #19.

I like MJ but wouldn't say he's untouchable. Most we can hope for from MP and MJ is just get us to the deadline in reasonable shape in the standings.

I would like to see more signs that Ovie is improving/growing. That's NOT the coach's fault. Crosby and Stamkos haven't improved every year because of their coaches but because of themselves.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 10, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

The Caps have a pattern. They make a trade and lose the next three games. It's happened every time the Caps have made a trade during the season.

But this time, in that third game, we lost Jeff Schultz to injury. I don't know how we are going to win without Jeff Schultz. Although nobody seems to realize it, he is our most valuable player as it relates to our chances of winning actual hockey games, more valuable to the Caps than Ovechkin and Semin combined. The way he breaks up the opponents' rushes and disrupts their ability to hang around the front of our net has an impact not only on our defense but also on our offense, which can play with much more reckless abandon knowing that Shultzie is back there to cover their butts.

Without Schultz I don't know when we might recover. Because hockey is largely a game of luck we might win a few, but the Caps won't be the Caps again until Schultz returns to the lineup.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | December 10, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, you new fans have to shut-up and stop telling us old-fans that everything will be ok, BB is great, and fighting guys like DJK are useless. CAN YOU NOT SEE THE SEASON GOING DOWN THE TOILET? If you don't, you sure will on Jan. 1

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 12:04 PM |

Haha! You're too much, man. Nobody's telling you everything will be OK or that BB is great or that fighting guys like DJK are useless (not that I've seen anyway, and it's certainly not capscoach or me). What we're telling you is that the season is not going down the toilet. Just relax. Yes, the Caps are having troubles, but as I said, the past two EC champions had more troubles than we've had during their regular seasons. We still have 50 games left to go. We are showing improvement in some areas like PK and overall defense. So, just chill out. Remember, this is not me saying we'll definitely go far in the playoffs or anything, but you can't take every 4-game losing streak and slump by players as a sign of doom.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | December 10, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm only surprised that Caillou didn't lash out at the ungrateful fans for booing. Bruce, it ain't what you did last year, it's what have you done for me lately.
Oh, that's right, you didn't DO anything last year, or the year before, or the year before...

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | December 10, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

SOME GAMES THE CAPS DON'T SHOW UP AT ALL. OTHER GAMES THEY PLAY A 40 MINUTES GAME WHILE THE OTHER TEAM PLAYS THE FULL 60 MINUTES. WHEN THE CAPS GET A LEAD THE OTHER TEAM KNOWS THE CAPS WILL RELAX SO THEY BIDE THEIR TIME AND SURE ENOUGH THE CAPS GET OVER CONFIDENT AND GIVE IT ALL BACK. MENTAL TOUGHNESS IS NOT PART OF THE CAPS GAME PLAN.

THEY KEEP PLAYING LIKE THIS AND YOU CAN KISS ANY PLAY-OFF PLANS BYE BYE.OUT IN THE 1ST ROUND AGAIN. EMPTY SEATS NEXT YEAR. THIS TEAM CAN'T GET OVER THE HUMP----WHY???

Posted by: duckyjimpond | December 10, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Where is chicken little caps fan when you really need him?

Posted by: boomer44 | December 10, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

BB needs to start looking at some of his coaching methods. There may be some tweaking there to be done.

Posted by: DCFanatic | December 10, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree with DCFanatic. The Coach may be the problem here. These are good players.

Posted by: TheChileanPresidentIsMuchBetterRespondingToDisastersThanObama | December 10, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

hey boudreau, why don't you look in the mirror when calling people out. Just cause things are working out doesn't mean you should change up the lines every other shift. I have to think a good amount of our problems stem from coaching. Tell Mike Green he's not a winger. Tell someone to visit the slot once in a blue moon. Try screens and redirects. Tell the blue liners to shoot more. Want to know why we never get rebound goals? Cause every single person on the team is trying to snipe the corner. Very few people are willing to take a hit to get a goal on this team (read: only Chimera and the checking line). Our offense is just entirely predictable. Take a low slapshot every now and then. Also, fire Knuble because he is old and worthless.

Posted by: laughing1 | December 10, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Here's an idea from a regular lurker: if you want to be a good team, play like you think you might be a bad team--harder and simpler.

Chances are the team will be fine in the end, and we fans won't give a, um, darn about this stretch come April. The team, on the other hand, needs to treat this as a crisis before they slip into a long-term funk. That's some ugly hockey with some ugly scores to go with it.

I wouldn't worry about a coaching change unless they're still playing like this in January. But they been annoyingly inconsistent for pretty much the whole season, so it makes you wonder . . .

Posted by: Bass1 | December 10, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"Because many won’t finish reading my post, "
Posted by: vermontcaps | December 10, 2010 8:16 AM

You can add my name to the growing list of people who have stopped reading your posts. You haven't come up with a new concept in many weeks.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | December 10, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Who knew that "flash" was the straw that stirs the drink ???

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Posted by: shoestrade30 | December 10, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I am very disappointed in the Caps. Want to see them do really well. So they can fall flat on their faces again in the playoffs.

LOSERS!!!

Posted by: TommyMcGuire | December 11, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

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