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Posted at 7:12 AM ET, 12/14/2010

Could Ovechkin's fight be a lasting spark?

By Katie Carrera
Morning Roundup

It's not a common scene to see the NHL's most skilled players, and captains, dropping the gloves in a fight. When they do, there's usually good reason. When Alex Ovechkin fought Brandon Dubinsky at center ice on Sunday it was a combination of frustration boiling over and trying to spark his teammates.

At about the 30 second mark of the clip of the fight below, you can see Ovechkin looking in the direction of the Capitals bench wave his arm upward as if to say 'Let's go' to his teammates.

Ovechkin said the fight was "just a moment in the game, nothing special happened." But to any who saw, it appeared to be more than that -- the biggest 'Let's go' gesture he could come up with for his team.

"He did what great leaders do," Coach Bruce Boudreau. "Trying to get their team going and that's what he did....He's an emotional player that wants to win and this is what captains do. I hope he doesn't have to do it anymore ever."

While it's not unusual to see a captain get involved in a fight to spark his team, captains who belong to an elite skill club - like Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Henrik Sedin, Nicklas Lidstrom, Jonathan Toews, Vincent Lecavalier and so on - may not do so on a regular basis. So when they do, it makes it that much easier for the rest of a team to stand up and take notice.

Perhaps for the Capitals, seeing Ovechkin leading the charge to break out of this slump, even if it didn't manifest itself against the Rangers, is exactly what they needed in terms of a spark or wakeup call to get back on track.

AROUND THE WEB
More on the power of a statement fight from Justin Bourne. (USA Today)

Capitals' ups and downs from the week that was, and they aren't pretty. (Japer's Rink)

Five reasons for the Capitals' struggles. (Puck Daddy)

Alex Ovechkin, along with Sidney Crosby and Jeremy Roenick are going to be on the Price is Right. Really.

By Katie Carrera  | December 14, 2010; 7:12 AM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Feinstein: it's too early to panic
Next: Semin, Gordon and Johansson not practicing for Caps

Comments

Had he won the fight or landed a solid punch it would have helped my decision. At least it silenced some of the 'Ovechicken' critics who caim he takes runs without manning up afterwards. I know I was glad to see him finally man up and act like a captain!

I don't see this as the spark needed. However, DJ King thumping Parros tomorrow night could be a turning point. But I'm sure BB will see Fehr's presence as more intimidating and necessary...

Posted by: FLDave | December 14, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Had he won the fight or landed a solid punch it would have helped my decision. At least it silenced some of the 'Ovechicken' critics who claim he takes runs without manning up afterwards. I know I was glad to see him finally man up and act like a captain!

I don't see this as the spark needed. However, DJ King thumping Parros tomorrow night could be a turning point. But I'm sure BB will see Fehr's presence as more intimidating and necessary...

Posted by: FLDave | December 14, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

DJ King fighting Parros won't do anything, even if he thumps him. And that's even if he could play tomorrow (which he can't).

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 14, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin's fight was the last straw...

When our "perennial" goal scorer and "best player in the world" has to fight...what is the next "spark"...

It would have been better if Ovie fought Semin at center ice at MSG...maybe it will wake that emotionless, lazy player up.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | December 14, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see the team star/captain fight. Sad to see the team respond by giving up 3 more goals. Maybe next game, they'll show more heart.

I still BB has to go for his crud system and lack of discipline.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | December 14, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Tried to correct a typo last second, sorry for ANOTHER multiple post. The thing needs a spell checker!!!

Posted by: FLDave | December 14, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm no NHL Coach or GM (except in my own head) but how hard is this stuff to figure out? Montreal series: clog the middle, block shots, make players shoot from long distance, see if they're willing to come inside and get pounded, and hope your goaltender is good. BB made no adjustments except putting Walker in the last game. Then he and GMGM denied there was a problem all summer. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 14, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

So it appears BB will not be fired. I am glad. McPhee knows it the players, not the coach. To me, this is a good sign. Firing the coach would have only been a band aid IMO. Plus, it would have been a train wreck firing him on 24/7.

Now get rid of some of these overpriced babies and bring in some guys that can win us the cup. Semin, I am looking in your direction.

Don't worry Mrs.Poti, no one will take your contract.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 14, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

FLDave,

At least he looked a bit better than "bongo" Semin trying to fight!

underpants2,

BB has got to go, period. Yes trades need to happen as well but the one trick pony needs to be put out of his misery. It is so obvious that teams have figured his "system" out and he is unwilling or doesn't have the ability to adapt.

Posted by: PhilR | December 14, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Spark the team? Did anyone see the Caps bench afterwards, or the resulting shorthanded goal? The intensity level of the game REMAINED STAGNANT. Either the team has NO HEART, or else the players have tuned Ovi out just as they have BB.

No doubt this team is missing something, and that something is an element of team toughness. Same as last year. And FLDave, when DJK does crack the lineup HE SHOULD MAKE IT A POINT TO NOT FIGHT OTHER PEOPLES' BATTLES. (He can mix it up, pick his own fights or respond to any challenges he receives; when an altercation happens on the ice, he can SHOW BB HE'S BUYING INTO THE TEAM PHILOSOPHY AND THEN PROCEED TO PLAY PEACEMAKER.)

Is is just coincidence that our last win came w/DJK, Erskine, Brads, and Hendricks in the lineup? I think not. BB's subsequent benching of Erskine and DJK sucked the life out of the team and demonstrated to all his FAVORITISM and UNWILLINGNESS OR INABILITY to ice anything other than a Euro/collegiate team.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 14, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I do not disagree, but IMO, getting value for Semin needs to be the number 1 priority. Actually, it was the number 1 priority in the summer as well.

My fear is if BB get's fired, McPhee gets off free and clear. This is his mess.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 14, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

So it appears BB will not be fired. I am glad. McPhee knows it the players, not the coach. To me, this is a good sign. Firing the coach would have only been a band aid IMO. Plus, it would have been a train wreck firing him on 24/7.

Now get rid of some of these overpriced babies and bring in some guys that can win us the cup. Semin, I am looking in your direction.

Don't worry Mrs.Poti, no one will take your contract.

Posted by: underpants2

wait...thought u hated BB, or did I just miss the sarcasm?

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

wait...thought u hated BB, or did I just miss the sarcasm?

Posted by: capscoach

No, I hate McPhee. Oh, and Semin and Poti as well.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 14, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

you really can be over the top sometimes!

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

we all hate Poti right now! There is nothing he is doing to like!

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

capscoach,

Hence why he hates GMGM who signed that worthless piece of waste to a two year extension when that money could have been spent elsewhere. I would be perfectly happy to see Ted create the perfect storm and rid the Caps community of both of them at this point.

Posted by: PhilR | December 14, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

DJ King fighting Parros won't do anything, even if he thumps him. And that's even if he could play tomorrow (which he can't).

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 14, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse


By continually benching DJK, BB is denying his team the opportunity to play w/a full arsenal of weapons and, thus, HE'S HOLDING THE TEAM BACK.

Like it or not, in the NHL the ability to fight is just as important a skill as all the others. The fighting dynamic is hard to quantify, BUT ANYONE WHO DENIES THAT IT ISN'T PRESENT and does more to forge TEAM UNITY than having an abundance of the other skills, doesn't know much about the culture that IN THE ONLY MAJOR SPORTS LEAGUE THAT ALLOWS FIGHTING. (Spare me the Red Wings, they are the exception and not the norm.) Aggression and intimidation has, is, and always will be a part of NHL hockey. Deep down, THE TEAM KNOWS THAT IT'S SOFT AND THAT INSECURITY IS REFLECTED IN THEIR PASSIVE, TIMID PLAY.

Unlike the Pens, Flyers, Bruins, Atlanta, and a few more in the Eastern Conference, the Caps have incredulously refused to acknowledge this.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 14, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Part of an article my dad sent me: 3 in a half years is not a long time people. It is so easy to lose perspective when it is your team that struggles...this is a great piece for those of you who only care about a cup.

Marv coached the Bills to 4 consecutive Super Bowl appearances, the only coach in history to have accomplished this feat. Despite his team's tremendous efforts to get to the big game, they didn't win a single one of those four Super Bowls. Imagine the type of fortitude, poise and courage it took to come back after each of those huge losses to continue his quest for the biggest prize in football. For his perseverance and dedication I consider Marv a big winner even though his team never won the Super Bowl. His peers obviously considered him a winner too, electing him to the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." - Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States


stay true people...it may not be this year, and it may not be next year, but when we do finally get it...I will feel good knowing I never gave up on the team, and though I didn't agree with many decisions, I was repectful of what we have acomplished and the people who helped us get there.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Hence why he hates GMGM who signed that worthless piece of waste to a two year extension when that money could have been spent elsewhere. I would be perfectly happy to see Ted create the perfect storm and rid the Caps community of both of them at this point.

Posted by: PhilR |

Throw in trading Semin for th hat trick. Sign m up for that.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 14, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Ovi did a great job.
Looks like a draw - takedown plus a couple of uppercuts by Dubi, however Ovi stood up first from the ice and actually had more energy when coming to the box.
With some training on punch throwing he can actually do some damage.
As for the heartless team:
The only guy who followed was MH26 - no coincidence, as he was in the box together with Ovi and Bradley.
Others are either too old for this #@$# or their name is Semin (this guy plays his own hockey).
Probably, if Ovi concentrate more on leading by example (like this time) rather than on Gilette-promos, discos and sportcars life-style, than he will have more leadership among veteran players like Knuble, Hannan, Laich.
They definitely like Ovi, but don't seem to follow his leadership, as he is younger, gets paid so much more and lives a full life out of hockey-rink. Why should they die on the ice for this "star"? To make him look better against Crosby? C'mon

As for Semin - he deserves some slap-punishment in the locker-room :-)

Posted by: Michael01a | December 14, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

@vermont

Hendricks can fight, Bradley can sorta fight, Erskine can fight when he needs to...don't see how adding a 5 min a game goon who can't skate will help this team?

Also...it is your opinion that fighting is a MAJOR part of a winning team, and yes many teams that have won the cup were fighters, but there is probably more than one road to a cup, and I bet some teams have won the cup that were considered "tamer".

Lastly...you lose credibility when you use caps in every other post. we get your point without the constant computer equivalent of screaming. and capsing everything is not more likely to change people's mind.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

capscoach,

You are wise beyond your years, whereas cstanton is wet behind his ears.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 14, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

You have to know that BB is the problem at this point. I want to be wrong about BB but I fear another slide in the playoffs assuming The Caps make the Playoffs. Who would have thought The Devils would be so terrible this year. look at their lineup and you scartch your head. Same with Caps. It is possible they may not make the playoffs. The Caps record is better than it should be. Based on their overall performance they probably should have a losing record. BB should be shown the door. I have never liked him because he never takes responsibility for anything that happen when things go badly. I mean how would you like him as your boss. Blame everyone else. Oh and if he does get let go do not feel sorry for him. He is a millionaire now and will be fine. Also some other team will hire him. Maybe The Islanders.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

What is up with the hating on Semin? The majority of the season he has played fantastic.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see Neuvirth fight Parros..that will get the boys going.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 14, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"BB made no adjustments except putting Walker in the last game."

I was thinking about this last night. If BB's coaching only involved moving guys around in thier line-ups then the Caps are in trouble.

Besides, anyone knows you cannot do this on a regular basis and be successful. You're killing any chemistry that there is by doing this.

Count me as someone else who has not seen any "adjustments" going back to last year. If the Caps keep dropping games I don't see any other choice as to get rid of BB.

Maybe they really have tuned him out.

- Ray

PS - Katie, where's our cookies at? ;)

Posted by: rmcazz | December 14, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Noone is talking about how horrendous The Caps goaltending has been during this losing streak.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

What is up with the hating on Semin? The majority of the season he has played fantastic.

Posted by: pkme

He is a UFA. His contract is a huge problem at this point. Plus, he is as soft as toilet paper.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 14, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@pkme
The caps seem to love him. The only player I ever saw that maybe doesn't is knuble. I realize that you will now say that the players have to act like they love the coach in front of the cameras, but what I have seen seems genuine to me.

All the players say BB never takes a day off. He is super prepared (possibly not in the right way)and dedicated beyond reproach. I have admitted he may not be the guy that gets us a cup (I also think he might be), but to go to the extreme that he is terrible I think makes people look dumb. 3.5 years is not a long time to build a team. He has taken us from a joke around the league to one of the better teams in the league. I would not give up on him yet.

@FloridaCapsFan

thanks

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

To be clear I'm an advocate of fighting. I love it. But King fighting Parros won't do anything. Especially since it won't happen because King is on the IR.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 14, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach

the team plays with a different edge (finishing checks, mucking it up) to their game when DJK is in the lineup. You say there is more than one way to the cup...well clearly the soft/skilled player way has not worked in the past, why not try something different?

and you make comparisons to Marv Levy like its a good thing, not quite sure i understand that line of thinking

Posted by: _stevo | December 14, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Detroit lost to the Kings 5-0 last night. I realize that we are on a skid so it's different, but it is a nice reminder that ALL good teams have bad games.

The Avs game was not that bad...we probably outplayed them, and we got robbed at the Stars game with that goal being washed out.

I AM NOT saying we are really doing well, it is just a little perspective during a frustrating time.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@stevo

my point is that you can judge a coach and a team by more than just championship rings. That coach is a hall of famer who never won the superbowl.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"A lasting spark?"

The fight didn't even light a spark under the gutless wonders *in that game*, what exactly would you think would be "lasting?"

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach

3.5 years is a lifetime in th NHL. Other than Lindy Ruff, is their anyone in the Eastern Conference that has been with their team longer? I am not sure, but don't think so.

Also, Levy went to 4 straight Superbowls, we haven't even been to one conference championship. Big difference.

Again, I do not agree with firing BB, but there is planty of justification to do so.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 14, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Lost in all of this is that sweet hip check. One of the best I've seen in some time.. I loved the fight as well, and if Ovie had to do that 2 or 3 times a year, so be it.

The only issue I have is that other than Hendricks and maybe Brads and Erskine (I don't count King because he doesn't play), GM has built a team that does not respond to, or feed off of, the physical game. People are saying the team didn't respond, but I'm not sure why they're surprised at that.

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 14, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I do not know how anyone can say Semin is soft. I just do not see that when he plays. You all will regret not having Semin in this lineup if they trade him like you wish. Kind of like when the Caps got rid of Larry Murphy. Fans tend to fixate on one player. Like Vermon talks about how awful Schultz is which I disagree with him completely. And then we have underpants saying get rid of the 40 goal scorer because he plays 60 very good games and 20 not so great games. i just do not get it. I watch the same players and the sames games and I get something different than many of the conclusions on this board. I guess everyone has a different perspective. however that being said people talk about Brad richards and I watch him and I think Semin is a better player and contributes more. I mean while we are at we should trade Green, Schultz, Semin, Laich and Fehr. I just am not sure that the players you trade for will do any better than this core group of players. Sure you could trade Fehr and Laich but what the heck do you get. Some player at their level. Everyone's solution is to trade someone. I just do not know. Everyone on here is looking for some magic player and then that magic player comes here and then you will miss the old player. On this team in my opinion you could trade a lot of players but what the heck are you going to get. Some GM is going to give us Mike Richards for Fehr, Laich and a 1st round pick. I do not think so.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Marv Levy won Conference Championships in his career.

Bruce Boudreau as won one playoff series in his career.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Detroit lost to the Kings 5-0 last night. I realize that we are on a skid so it's different, but it is a nice reminder that ALL good teams have bad games.

The Avs game was not that bad...we probably outplayed them, and we got robbed at the Stars game with that goal being washed out.

I AM NOT saying we are really doing well, it is just a little perspective during a frustrating time.

Posted by: capscoach


Ummmmm, the difference is they lost to the RED WINGS while the Caps were losing to much weaker teams. Add to that they haven't lost six in a row and your point is rather mute.

Posted by: PhilR | December 14, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

@ Everyone

Has anyone thought and THE BLOG KING ?

Let think back even 5 years, Caps were as the say in building mode and it was working I think everyone would agree there was hopes of a cup maybe even there was a cup in the not to distant future.

Then sad news. Abe was gone, no longer would his chair be filled. But some one else thought, oh goodie goodie I can own the building and all 3 teams. NEW FOCUS !!!

But while all of this was going on the caps entered another suckie play offs and missed out on any possible trades, see new focus.

Oh and don't forget one of the greatest PR spins by a sports group, THE PUNCH LIST. Someone some where got a nice big bonus for that one, got everyones mind off the team issues as we gotta have a good tasting dropping that we are getting ripped off for along with the over priced soda and beer. But it still tastes like a$$

So now Caps fans and Skins fans are alike, getting ripped off for the product they pay to see but not to worry

I AM THE BLOG KING

Here's another item to mull over. We are only 14 season away from 50 with out a cup.

Posted by: bqts | December 14, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, that should read "Marv Levy Won *4* Conference Championships in his Career."

Marv's Playoff Record was 11-8 for a 58% Win percentage.

BB's Playoff Record is 1-3, for a 25% Win Percentage.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I agree with those who say DJK getting scratched after the team's last win was a mistake by BB. He played solid, registered a point, forechecked and was responsible (Sounds familiar...). Yet I love how BB scratches him and now goes out and says how playing time will be based on performance. So why does he get benched and Fehr still in the lineup!?

I believe the players are now looking at Boudreau as a substitute teacher; not responding to him when he says something because Boudreau shows he won't back it up.

Posted by: dcox50 | December 14, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

@pkme

Brad Richards has a Conn Smythe. Big difference between he and Semin.

IMO, Semin needs to be moved for a veteran that can help this team. He won't get you Richards, but he may get a Dustin Brown plus something else.

We have tried to win with the Alex Show 3 times now, we haven't come anywhere close.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 14, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Most people here are like the pre-2004 Red Sox fans. They'd rather the team lose than win a championship so they have something to whine about, then puff up their chest and say "I told you so." We're dealing with people here who probably beat their wives when the caps win because they don't have a leg to stand on those nights and need something to do.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 14, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@pkme

Brad Richards has a Conn Smythe. Big difference between he and Semin.

IMO, Semin needs to be moved for a veteran that can help this team. He won't get you Richards, but he may get a Dustin Brown plus something else.

We have tried to win with the Alex Show 3 times now, we haven't come anywhere close.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 14, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Sports franchises are businesses. If they put out a lousy product for long enough people stop spending their money and the business either goes under or gets better. If you don't like getting "ripped off", then stop spending your money. I have.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 14, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"They'd rather the team lose than win a championship so they have something to whine about, then puff up their chest and say "I told you so.""

What the hell does that even mean?

I mean, I've seen some stupid stuff posted on this blog before, but you're taking things to the next level.

Everyone on this blog wants the same thing, we just disagree with the way it is achieved. Not even insinuating, but outright saying that people who disagree with you are spousal abusers makes you look like a frigging psychopath.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

underpants

you arguement with all due respect is flawed. We have not won with Backstron and OVI so we should get rid of them also. Go look at Brad Richards number on the Net. i am not impressed. He also is three years older than Semin and his number are not that great. The Caps can't score and you would suggest taking someone with worse stats for a guy with great stats. I still do not understand. Semin has been the best Cap all year. Yes he has been better than OVI and Backstrom.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

just curious, but how many years was he a coach overall though?

Ummmmm, the difference is they lost to the RED WINGS while the Caps were losing to much weaker teams. Add to that they haven't lost six in a row and your point is rather mute.

Posted by: PhilR |


Ummmmmm....I recognized that in my post!I menttioned the difference in a skid vs. 1 game. Also...Detroit lost(not LA) to the 7th seeded team (The Kings) you made it sound like the Kings lost to a better team.

It was an observation...I was not comparing the two situations simply noting that All top teams have crappy games, and Al have had slumps.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Oh I would trade Semin for Mike Richards. Not Brad. That would be a rip off.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"just curious, but how many years was he a coach overall though?"

In his 3rd season as coach of the bills, he was playing in the conference championship.

In his 5th season as coach of the Bills, he won the championship and went to the Super Bowl. He then repeated this feat 3 more times in a Row.

BB is in his 4th season as coach of the Capitals.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Curious...on the off chance that BB and the caps bring home the cup this season (or even next) do you all take back what you have said this past year (or2) or would u just say we were lucky?

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

@pkme

OV and Backs are signed for 10 more years, Semin is not. If we sign Semin to a contract like that, it will cripple tis organziation.

Also, the Stars are not trading Richards for Semin, they wil want young, cheap talent and picks.

I am suggesting trading Semin for a tough leader, that can chip in goals as well. Not as many as Semin, but a guy that can score big, timely goals. Semin hasn't scored in his last 14 playoffs games.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 14, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

What is the obsession on here about Brad Richards? I have watched him in about thirty games and I just do not see that he is even close to Semin. At leats at this time.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

isn't he actaully in his 3.5 year as coach :)

so you all are throwing him under the bus when other have done amazing, but taken a while longer to get the hang of it.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I loved seeing Ovie drop the gloves in an attmept to fire up his team. Here's what I would have loved more -- seeing Tom Poti (who was standing right there) or anyone else jump in. Ovie is a tough dude and doesn't need the protection (in fact, he's lucky he didn't get called for instigating). And he wasn't fighting a goon; rather he was only fightiing someone who has plays in both ends and has more goals than him this year (ha!).

But what would really fire up these guys? How about standing up for one another? You don't let your star fight.

But again -- there is no accountability on this team. And too often, too little heart. Add that to a coach who is incapable of making any adjustments and what do you get?

Well, you might still get a first place team in the regular season -- a long way to go. But you also get a team that will only get past the 2nd round by pure luck.

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

Ah yes, comparing football coaches to hockey coaches. I guess this is what happens when you get bandwagoners from a football town. I shouldn't be so surprised.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 14, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Can someone in know pls comment on liklihood of a trade 4 Souray, he's only a 3 hour drive away, so close but yet so far. I keep saying this team needs some nasty, some hate, esp w/ our cottony soft D. BB/GMGM have got to see come playoff time the other team's r going to plant a flag in our crease and make it their own, Erskine will need help keeping order. Nylander 4 Souray, their contracts are almost ident. Granted we'd have to throw in a teaser.

Posted by: collegehockeyfan | December 14, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

It will be a big mistake to trade Semin unless his contract demands are unrealistic which I don't they will be since he is happy playing in DC with Ovi. You can't just get rid of consistent 40 goal scorers, there aren't that many in the NHL - especially after getting rid of of a 20-25 goal scorer in Flash (which I was on board with) and now Green not being the offensive force he was in the past due to him concentrating on defense.

The simple truth is that the secondary players have to pick up their play - Laich & Fehr especially and the D has to tighten up (when completely heathly I do think the D is pretty good). I wouldn't be opposed to trading Fehr and a draft pick/prospect for a legit 2C.

I agree with people in playing Brads and Erskine more as well.

Posted by: Moose33 | December 14, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"Curious...on the off chance that BB and the caps bring home the cup this season (or even next) do you all take back what you have said this past year (or2) or would u just say we were lucky?"

---

I will "take back everything I said" if that's the case.

I think what you coach defenders don't understand is that for the vast majority of us, it's simply not personal. I don't have any ill will towards BB the man. I *wish* we didn't need a coaching change, I *hope* BB is a good enough coach to recognize the weaknesses in his beloved "system" and makes the appropriate adjustments to create a team that can actually win playoff hockey. I just don't *think* he is able to do this. If he does, more power to him. It would actually be my preferred course of action.

What about you, what if we flame out in the first round again? Will you admit that
The System" is bogus and BB is not the guy we need to win cups? What would it take? I mean, are you really SO devoted to BB that you're willing to wait until the wheels have absolutely fallen off until you realize it's the coach?

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@ GFisher1

yup...someone says something you disagree with and they are automatically bandwagoners! you have no clue what you are talking about.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

underpants

Forget the Montreal series because it would appear no one could score. Semin had more shots on goal than any other capital. His linemates stunk. Go to the previous two years. In 21 playoff games Semin had 8 goals and 14 assists. Those are respectful numbers and would reflect his regular season output.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I hope Ovie's fight is a spark. I'm glad he did it. However, I'd rather just see him start to play better. It's painful to watch him these days. He loses the puck half the time he has it. When he flies down the wing into the zone, 80% of the time he either loses the puck by himself, misses the net with a shot or has his shot blocked. And it just looks to me like it's a lack of effort. I don't know why that would be. I believe he desperately wants to win, but it's like it's not translating to playing good hockey for 60 minutes.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | December 14, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

What about you, what if we flame out in the first round again? Will you admit that
The System" is bogus and BB is not the guy we need to win cups? What would it take? I mean, are you really SO devoted to BB that you're willing to wait until the wheels have absolutely fallen off until you realize it's the coach?

Posted by: VTDuffman


I really am not that devoted to BB...I don;t think our current struggles have a whole lot (granted some) to do with him. I think we don't have the pieces we need right now (a center, and Hannan has not been helpful thus far) If we have another early playoff exit, barring extenuating circumstances I would not cry over firing BB.

What really gets to me is the disrespect people on here show towards a guy that took us out of the slums of the NHL to a good and exciting team, and also developed most of our best players! If people recognized that then I would not be so annoyed.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

college,

There isn't the cap room to take on SS's $$. Throw in his injury history and his bad play the last couple of years and I'd stay far away from him.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 14, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

pkme

The Montreal series counts. OV scored 5 times, so did Backs. Semin played on every PP, still nothing.

With his contract status, he is the odd man out.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 14, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

A lasting spark? Ovie's fight wasn't even a spark during the game. I'm glad he did it, I think maybe he's finally starting to understand what being the captain means, it's just a shame that his teammates had already totally checked out of the game.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | December 14, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm unsure if Souray can be traded w/o having to go through reverse waivers. I have forgotten the rules on that.

Even trading Nylander though to exchange real dollars, we don't have cap space I think to take 60% for the remaining year of Souray's $5.4M hit. And we don't have the space next year either, not if we want to bring back any of the potential UFAs.

The best chance for Souray is claim on reverse waivers. Since we are past the 30-day point in the season, waiver claims are now based on current standings. Caps keep losing and they will get first crack at him by mid-January.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 14, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Cap is going up 3 million. Laich will be the odd man out and Fehr. Semin will fetch 1 million more per season. Not exactly a major blow.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"What really gets to me is the disrespect people on here show towards a guy that took us out of the slums of the NHL to a good and exciting team, and also developed most of our best players! If people recognized that then I would not be so annoyed."

---

I don't mean to be his guy, because I hate when people play this card, but I have to ask because I think it might explain a lot.

Are you a (relatively) new Caps fan?

The *only* reason I ask this is because I think that explains a lot of the dichotomy. The reason I don't give BB more "respect" for taking us from the "slums of the NHL" to where we are today is because, when you look back at the history of the Franchise, being in the "slums" was the aberration, not the level of hockey that BB has brought us to.

This isn't anything new (to me). Sure, we're winning more regular season games which is fun, but ultimately it's meaningless. For most of my life, save for for the early 2000s, the Caps have been a team that leaves the playoffs in the 1st or 2nd round. BB has brought us back to the level of a team that leaves the playoffs in the first or second round.

Pardon me for not doing backflips over a guy who has restored this team back to the level of relative mediocrity that I've enjoyed my whole life.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Tom -- spot on, unless BigBaby is replaced, this team will keep spiraling down the sinkhole.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | December 14, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

How did Backs and OVI do in the last three games against Montreal when we were up 3-1.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Huge Rangers fan here. Bravo to Ovi for fighting. Sends a message to his teammates and the league that he cares. You can't be a physical player without a fight or two or year. Caps were out of the game and it didn't matter at that point if he was on the box for 5 minutes. He's just lucky that the refs didn't see it as an instigator because he would have automatically received a game misconduct as a result of his face shield. Also, I've been reading the anger and frustration of you guys and I'd probably feel the same but I think you guys need to calm down. I think the flu bug is a bigger problem on this team then they are letting on and I haven't seen that discussed on these boards nearly enough. The caps looked lathargic at msg, don't you think that this swoon and the flu bug happening at the same time are not a coincidence?

Posted by: JK111 | December 14, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

capscoach,

Cudos to BB for taking the team to the playoffs after that 6-14-1 start.

But....

Observations from a fan watching from 426: accountability - he talks a mean game but doesn't seem to follow through unless you're a bottom 6 skater.
adaptability - his answer when times get tough is to madly shuffle lines. Yes Halak played great, but BB got badly outcoached vs the Habs.
systems - scoring off of the rush isn't working this year (just like vs the Habs), what is he doing to change things up? PK looks much better, but the PP is doing bupkis.

He isn't getting the max out of the talent the Caps have. I'm very concerned about the play over the last 15-16 games. Atl is two back with a game in hand. Tampa is 3 back. Something is rotten in Denmark.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 14, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Detroit lost to the Kings 5-0 last night. I realize that we are on a skid so it's different, but it is a nice reminder that ALL good teams have bad games.

----capscoach---------

lol, when i saw that score last night i knew SOMEONE would bring this up.

Of course, the 5-0 pasting in Detroit wasn't the SIXTH LOSS IN A ROW for that team now was it? Not to mention, Detroit's had better playoff success and has earned the right for the benefit of the doubt way more than have the Capitals.

Lets not act like the frustration with this team has to do with the outcome of one measly game.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

But what would really fire up these guys? How about standing up for one another? You don't let your star fight.

But again -- there is no accountability on this team. And too often, too little heart. Add that to a coach who is incapable of making any adjustments and what do you get?

------------------------------------------

Exactly. When you look at teams like Chicago, Pitt, Philly, and look at what it took for those teams just to get to the SC finals, it's pretty clear we don't have what they all have, and not just from a player perspective. I don't want to hear about Detroit, because we're not Detroit.

Not even in the best of times can I envision guys like Chimera, Steckel, Poti, Fehr or Semin ever holding the Cup over their heads.

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 14, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

and yes i know you acknowledged the "skid" but if you really believe that the Detroit situation and our situation are apples and oranges, why even bring it up?

The frustration for the fans goes way beyond the skid. No one here is stupid enough (hopefully) to call for the heads of the coach and GM based on a 6 game stretch. Give us more credit than that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

People act like BB was some miracle worker. Give me a break. He is some selfless guy who is doing God's work. he is the me guy everytime. It shows in his presser. The Caps made the playoffs many years before he got here and got much farther with cheaper talent and less talented players. Oh lets not forget that Ted traded every player in the franchise to do his rebuild that was worth a darn. That was the reason The Capitals stunk for a couple of years. Spare me he is a good coach. No he stinks. Watch The Capitals get smoked by the Ducks on Wednesday. it just occured to me that The Caps could have gotten Getzlaf or Perry over Fehr. Great one. Watch these two guys humilate The Caps.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

I have been a die hard fan for about 8-9yrs and a casual fan (as I was justa kid) for 5 years before that.

What happened back in the day should have no bearing on how you act to a new coach...he wasn't responsible for that.]

@cstatnon

as I told PhilR...I was not using the detroit game as an excuse...I was simply pointing out that all teams have bad games (and also slumps) I may be a koolaid drinker, but I am not under the delusion that we are really playing well.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton

I brought it up to give you something to b**ch over :)

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

a fight can be a turning point in a game perhaps but the Caps generally don't seem to benefit from that. Part of it has been, we've had less outright wins in fights than almost any other team I can remember in recent history.

And even if a King walloped a Parros, the benefits of that aren't generally going to extend past this game unless King suddenly becomes a mainstay in this lineup AND he continues to proves himself worthy of that decision.

The only thing that will sustain this team is to improve the team toughness and team grit levels. How you do that with the current roster is beyond me. You have 2 or 3 forwards who seem to bring it every game. And 1 or 2 defenseman. You need a bare minimum of double that amount.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

new thread

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

BTW,

if BB wins a CUP then I will buy a BB Capitals Jersey if such a thing exists. Then I will apologize for all of my rotten comments. That being said I do not think that will happen.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

it just occured to me that The Caps could have gotten Getzlaf or Perry over Fehr. Great one. Watch these two guys humilate The Caps.

Posted by: pkme

I know you're post is Ducks specific, but I'd also add Mike Richards and Ryan Kesler to the list. Picking Fehr over any these guys will haunt us for a long time.

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 14, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I was simply pointing out that all teams have bad games
---capscoach---

can i ask you a ?

Did you really think that needed to be pointed out? Do you really think we don't know that good or great teams have bad games? Or a slump?

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

capscoach: How did you and cstanton do on your date? Did you watch Kings-Wings game?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 14, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

You need a bare minimum of double that amount.

Posted by: cstanton1

Who has grit to spare that would be a realistic trade partner?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 14, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone imagine if Mcphee had chosen Mike Richards. The Caps would have won a CUP by now or least gotten past the 2nd round.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton

I brought it up to give you something to b**ch over :)

Posted by: capscoach |

dammit woman! why do you torment me so!argh! :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@cstatnon

but if there weren't people like me to bug the hell out of you, you would probably die! Because having someone to argue with and make fun of is your oxygen! :)

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"I have been a die hard fan for about 8-9yrs and a casual fan (as I was justa kid) for 5 years before that."


I think that explains a lot, to be honest with you, it's an issue of having different perspectives.


"What happened back in the day should have no bearing on how you act to a new coach...he wasn't responsible for that."

I think it absolutely does have a bearing on how you act to a "new" coach (he's been here for 4 seasons). The point is that if you are a fan of the Capitals *franchise*, Bruce really hasn't done anything special. He hasn't taken us to a "new" level, he's taken us back to where we were. Which is great. If he can't take us to the next level, then he can't take us to the next level.

It's not a lack of respect, I respect the man just fine. It's a lack of gratitude. You think there should be a marked level of gratitude to BB for "where he has taken us," but that's because in your frame of reference, he's taken us to places we've never been. My frame of reference is much larger, therefore his accomplishments seems smaller, and therefore I have less of a desire to have any significant amount of gratitude towards him.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Who has grit to spare that would be a realistic trade partner?

Posted by: Steve_R

Sharks
Sens
Maybe Calgary
Maybe Leafs
Maybe Sabres
Konopka (Isles)

its not late but we missed the boat on some guys who got moved this offseason who could've helped. So it just makes it harder now to supplement our grit with the right type of players.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

special. He hasn't taken us to a "new" level, he's taken us back to where we were. Which is great. If he can't take us to the next level, then he can't take us to the next level.


But he has taken us to a new level for my generation! :) So I am allowed to be a little more patient than you.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

PhilR

Looking better than Semin, well just about any male would look better than Semin's slap fight.

vermontcaps

There's no doubt that having them out of the line up affects the players. When I played (YEARS ago) my teammates played bigger and tougher. I missed @ 3 weeks with broken ribs and the team lost it's physicality, it was like their heart had been surgically removed. Although my scoring prowess was not missed (I had none), my presence was.

I know I'm beginning to sound like a parrot, but so many people including BB just don't get it. Having guys like King and Erskine in the lineup makes EVERYONE tougher, they hit harder, they battle. Toughness is just as contagious as cowardice.

Man I hope BB wakes up and starts playing King regularly. I would love to see these 'we don't need goons' fans eat crow.

Posted by: FLDave | December 14, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Give Mike Babcock OVI, Backstrom and Semin and I think The Redwings would win Cup after Cup. Of course they already have. Just saying BB does not know how to win in The NHL level. Sure he was great at The AHL level.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

We need more Grit!!! Bring back Bobby Gould!

Pixiedust!

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 14, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Souray - Steve R and So Cal Tom THX for your informative and thoughtful reply/ comments, wish board was bttr laid out that I didn't have 2 search for replies, I know of SS wrist injuries and inconsistnt play in Ed, I acknow he can be a head case, reminds me of Iafrate but we need something out of the box, we're too predictable, the book on us it out, we need a WILD THING like Al I., remember even the John Kordic (RIP) trade, we went on a huge win streak albeit crushing PO loss (again), it changed the makeup of the team. BB needs to go but we'll still lose to Phil/Pens and not make conf finals, we need more than that.

Posted by: collegehockeyfan | December 14, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

didn't help in the game; why would it help three days later? Maybe, Ovi is not the Captain the team will follow through brick walls?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 14, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Souray - OK I'll shut up for awhile on SS, doesn't seem realistic but 4 anyone w/ doubts/?s see this pic, that's Darren McCarty getting beatdown, also did anyone see his first fight in Hershey, the goon wanted a fight and SS showed NO FEAR. What we need is a player who knows no fear to show all of the players on our team that play w/ fear, and we have too many, the way. Fighting will not solve our problems but SS-type attitude to me is a huge piece to our BROKEN puzzle, NOT Scott Hannan. If not SS then someone in the know suggest a player and I'll listen/read, thanks.

http://www.habsblog.com/images/sourayfight.jpg

Posted by: collegehockeyfan | December 14, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with those asking for Porky's head. You are too kind! The inability to adjust is nothing new, and goes back further than anyone has mentioned. This year: same power plays, same rushes (I use the term generously) up ice, same 'moves,' every time, by the same players (hello, Ovi), same inability to use line-mates. 2010 2st round: same PP approach, same refusal to attack the goal, same inability to defend Mont. counterattacks. 2009 2nd round: Pitt found out how to bottle up our move out of the zone, and Porky refused to adjust (oh, right, Green was injured, or exhausted, or sick, or whatever...). 2009 1st round (even in a win): no adjustments (what won that series was Brash knocking Betts out, and the PP magically came to life in games 5-6-7). And Sergei had one more moment of magic left in his stellar career.
The only thing Gabby DOES do to adjust is to shuffle lines at the drop of a hat. I can't fault the effort -- generally -- for the last 3 weeks; but it's ineffective effort. Is it any wonder they look like they have no idea how to play with each other? Look this up: they're rolling when they go into Buff, they have one bad period, Gabby panics and over-reacts, scrambling all 4 lines, and they haven't been the same since.
And for those of you who think DJKIng is the answer, tell me this: has he won a fight this year? I remember GMGM saying at the convention, 'we got a good one.' Is anybody else tired of GM's self-serving back-slapping after one of his moves? (oh, wait, hockey expert Feinstein calls him a 'master.' Yeah, the Corvo move sure was a steal. Among others.). I only remember King getting clobbered, not doing the clobbering.

Posted by: wotansdad | December 14, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I just wish he would have save the fight for Crosby and pound that stupid smirk off Sidney's face.

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 14, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall the Red Wings doing a lot of fighting... or the Pens, for that matter. The Caps have fought as often through the first 40% or so of the season as they did all of last year. Anyone want to argue that they are having a better season thus far because of it? Absurd that someone thinks that the key to solving the Caps struggles is more ice for DJ. In fact, I think there may be a direct correlation between the Caps efforts to be more scrappy, gritty and physical, and their current struggles. For all the talk, this is a skilled team. They need presence at the net, yes, but the skill is what sets them apart from the teams they are losing to... not 1 on 1 skill, but the ability to do things AS A TEAM that other teams just can't match.

Posted by: jalabar1 | December 15, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

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