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Posted at 7:18 AM ET, 12/24/2010

Fantastic Fleury saves the Pens

By Mark Giannotto
Morning Roundup

The latest installment of the Capitals-Penguins rivalry appeared to get off to exactly the start Washington would have wished for. Forward Brooks Laich broke free for a scoring chance off a takeaway just 30 seconds into the contest. Captain Alex Ovechkin soon followed with consecutive knockdown hits on Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Zbynek Michalek that drove the sold out Verizon Center crowd into a frenzy.

Just 20 seconds later, Malkin retaliated with an illegal hip check on his Russian compatriot that drew an interference call from the referees -- the first of six power-play opportunities the Capitals would receive. But that's when the real star on this night made his presence felt.

Washington fired eight shots on the ensuing man advantage -- three of which were blocked by Penguins defenders -- and all but one came from the sticks of Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin or Mike Green. And yet Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped them all.

Little did the Capitals know at that point, this would become a recurring theme. By the time Pascal Depuis gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 shootout victory, Fleury had turned away 32 shots, including an acrobatic glove save that stole a game-winning goal away from Green in overtime and all 12 shots he faced during a penalty-laden first period.

"It could have been much different if we don't kill those off and we're behind a couple right away," center Sidney Crosby said afterward. "Without him and his play, it's a much different outcome. At the start, at the end, all the way through, he was a big part of us finding a way to win."

This, though, should have been expected given the way Fleury has played of late. Entering Thursday night he was 14-1-1 with a 1.74 goals against average and a .940 save percentage in his previous 16 starts.

Coach Dan Bylsma called Fleury's overtime save on Green "outrageous" and said "without a doubt" this is the best stretch of hockey his 26-year-old netminder has played since he's been coaching the Penguins. Not to mention, Fleury stopped six of the seven shootout opportunities he faced.

Fleury said during the Capitals early deluge all he kept thinking about was, "If we could get out of it on a good note, we should be in a good spot for the game." That they were, and the lone goals Fleury gave up came on a point-blank power play shot from Green and a shorthanded 2-on-1 breakaway by Mike Knuble and Laich.

"He was good. He was making saves that he might not have seen and he was just reacting," Green said. "He's so quick it's incredible. He won them the game. He made a lot of great saves."

It didn't seem to matter that Fleury had given up more than three goals per game and had just a .903 save percentage in his 14 career starts against Washington. Or that the Capitals out shot the Penguins, 25-12, through two periods. Fleury deflected any praise in the postgame aftermath, instead crediting his teammates for blocking 23 Washington shots.

But maybe his teammate, Brooks Orpik, put it best: "He was our best player by far all night."

FROM THE POST
In the Caps and Pens' first meeting of the season, Washington comes up short in a shootout, 3-2. Game story »

John Feinstein: These teams provide some tantalizing theater. While Neuvirth was very good, Fleury was even better.

AROUND THE WEB
Matt Cooke on his puck-over-the-glass mishap: "If I had to do that again, you can bet money that I wouldn't be able to do that again." (Puck Daddy)

Could Washington's Winter Classic be in Baltimore? Yes, but it probably wouldn't happen. (Ed Frankovic)

Highlights from last night's game:

By Mark Giannotto  | December 24, 2010; 7:18 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps fall to Penguins, 3-2, in shootout
Next: Capitals' penalty kill shines in shootout loss

Comments

Unfortunately, being "stoned" on the power plays has been a recurring theme all season -- not just last night. That was our problem in the game vs the Panthers.

This is one of those games I almost wish we had Ryan Miller in goal but then again, what's Buffalo doing this year?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 24, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Coach Dan Bylsma called Fleury's overtime save on Green "outrageous" ...

That's one word for it... the puck was also over the line, just covered by his glove. Bylsma of course knows this, maybe he can say as much in one of those honest, reflective moments... you know the kind he wants his son to be proud of, right?

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | December 24, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I hope the Caps, media, and haters on this blog don't dwell on this game as a loss. It was a tie game that, in the end, was decided by a breakaway contest. If the stupid Penguins really are the best team in the league right now, we did pretty well against them. We outshot them and for good stretches, outplayed them.

Posted by: griz0615 | December 24, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I hope the Caps, media, and haters on this blog don't dwell on this game as a loss. It was a tie game that, in the end, was decided by a breakaway contest. If the stupid Penguins really are the best team in the league right now, we did pretty well against them. We outshot them and for good stretches, outplayed them.

Posted by: griz0615 | December 24, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

PP looks the same as in the postseason last year. It is killing this team right now.

Also, can we all agree it's time to move Semin. Does anyone think it is a good idea to commit to 10 more years of this guy?

Posted by: underpants2 | December 24, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

That was a hell of a fight the Caps put up last night. If they can dig themselves out of a tough battle twice in a game like that, then they can make a deep run in the playoffs because that was a playoff performance. The Pens had the mere benefit of a technicality on Green's second "non-goal," but what can the refs do? Mike Green played great, and Knubes' short handed goal was a fantastic boost.

Shootouts are stupid anyways.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | December 24, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Thought the Caps played well and probably should have won that game. Fleury was amazing on some of those saves. The PP is not looking good. We need to change something up. I'd rather see Ovi on the half boards than in front of the net.

I thought Green played really well. I agree we need to move Semin, but we need to make sure we get a fair return for him. He's way too streaky and when he's not scoring...he's almost invisible some times. I'd love to bring Iginla in here and their salaries are very similar. I know he's older, but I think he still has a couple good years in him and he could be a great leader for this team. Not to mention he's a pretty tough player on top of being a scorer. Thoughts....I think most people will disagree because of Iginla's age, but he could be just the player we need.

Looking forward to the Classic.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | December 24, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I hope the Caps, media, and haters on this blog don't dwell on this game as a loss. It was a tie game that, in the end, was decided by a breakaway contest. If the stupid Penguins really are the best team in the league right now, we did pretty well against them. We outshot them and for good stretches, outplayed them.

Posted by: griz0615 | December 24, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

The Pens didn't bring their "A" game (still ragged from their tough game the night before?), we played our best game in quite awhile, and we still couldn't beat them. Despite being outplayed, the Pens were a Malkin penalty shot or a Crosby breakaway from building an insurmountable 2-goal lead. (We needed both a 2-man advantage and a late, improbable shorthanded goal just to force the o.t.)

I'm surprised, and disappointed, that the Pens didn't try to exploit their huge physical advantage. Godard, Rupp, Engelland couldn't find anyone on the Caps who would even look them in the eye. Wait, Rupp did...right after he smashed Green's face w/a huge hit in the corner. I guess BB was "smart" to hide Erskine from them, making sure his 12 minutes didn't coincide w/their shifts. (really? down to 5dmen and that's all he plays?)

Griz, a loss at home to our (currently) most-hated rivals, shootout or not, is still a loss at home. Add the fact that if the game turned ugly the Pens could've and would've embarassed us in the fight department, too, and I don't see a whole lot to take solace in.

BTW, the Bruins helped us out by taking care of the Thrashers last night. Thornton set the tone by fighting Boulton (he of the hat-trick last week) 2-seconds into the game, then proceeded to score 2 himself later on. Funny how other teams have noted-tough guys who contribute in many ways for their teams, and we just keep our fingers crossed that the games don't turn nasty.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 24, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I have never seen a team that throughout history always runs into a "hot goalie". They always outshoot their opponents yet only score 2-3 goals. Ovechkin wiffs on half of his shots/passes. Something else is wrong here, and the coach needs to figure it out. This team will be golfing in May, AGAIN.

Posted by: DCFanatic | December 24, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I would move Semin for Iginla in a heartbeat.

Right now, Pittsburgh's stars are playing lights out. Our stars, other than Green, look awful. We are a different team if they wake up. The question is, can they?

I think we can all stop blaming BB, he isn't the problem here. The problem rests at the skates of OV, Backs and Semin.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 24, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Coach Dan Bylsma called Fleury's overtime save on Green "outrageous" ...

That's one word for it... the puck was also over the line, just covered by his glove. Bylsma of course knows this, maybe he can say as much in one of those honest, reflective moments... you know the kind he wants his son to be proud of, right?

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | December 24, 2010 8:06 AM

I view those replays from a different standpoint than a lot of fans, and I think it's because I work in the practice of law. In my view, it's simply a burden of proof issue: There is a rebuttable presumption that the call on the ice is correct (regardless of whether it's "goal" or "no goal"), and to rebut the presumption and overturn the call you need "indisputable video evidence," which is essentially similar to the standard used in criminal trials where the prosecution must prove the accused's guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt."

On a shot like last night's, you simply could not see the puck in the replays--all you could see was Fleury's glove. Under those circumstances, the call on the ice will not be reversed because there is no "indisputable video evidence" to justify it. Remember that the rule in hockey is the same as soccer and the opposite of football--to borrow a phrase from soccer, "the whole of the puck must cross the whole of the line," whereas in football it's enough for the tiniest portion of the ball to break the plane. As much as I wanted that to be called a goal last night, I simply don't see how anyone could argue with a straight face that the replays PROVED that the whole puck crossed the entirety of the goal line.

From an emotional standpoint as a fan, yeah, I absolutely understand why people were unhappy about it, but viewing it from a "rules standpoint" I can't disagree with the result of the replay review there. Had the ref called it a good goal before going to Toronto, I'm pretty sure it would have been called a good goal after review.


On an unrelated note, I see Katie Carrera's story in this morning's paper says the game goes into the record books as a loss. I believe the NHL's record books will show it as an overtime loss, not a loss, and the difference is not merely semantics when the OTL is worth a point in the standings. (Now, how the points should work is a matter for discussion, but Bettman refuses to consider the issue....) If an "L" is worth no points and an "OTL" is worth one point, then I don't see how you can consider the two to be equivalent. I'd love to see Ms. Carrera explain her thought process on this, but it's pretty clear that she doesn't read these comments.

Posted by: 1995hoo | December 24, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Pens fan here, but I try to be objective. I just slow mo'd the Fleury OT save a bunch of times and, at the height of his glove's movement, there's only, at the very most, a puck's width of it completely over the goal line. Since the entire puck needs to cross the goal line for it to be a goal, and since it obviously wasn't trapped under the very back edge of his glove, I'm convinced that it would be no goal even if we could "see through leather." Watch it yourself and you should see what I mean.

You're welcome to disagree, but know that I'd be just as honest if I thought it had crossed the line, since heaven knows the Pens have been robbed of enough goals over the years due to lack of explicit visual evidence of the puck over the goal line. It's just part of the game; I've learned to take the tiny bit of bad with the abundance of good when it comes to hockey.

Having said that, I think the Caps outplayed the Pens fairly badly and deserved to win based on skater play. I can't completely say they deserved to win since goalies are part of the game too and Fleury outdueled Neuvirth. Winter Classic should be pretty badarse!

Posted by: HockeyGawd | December 24, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Also, I'd happily take Semin on the Pens. Dude's a legit goal scorer. He'd look tres magnifique on Sid's wing. He is streaky, true (looks like he's in a pretty bad slump even as I type, actually), but I can't deny the talent and having someone feeding him great chances with regularity would help a lot.

Fun to think about, but the Pens could never afford the asking price or the contract, even if the Caps would be willing to give them another scoring threat, which would never happen. Sigh.

Posted by: HockeyGawd | December 24, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

So the caps basically lost a coin toss last night. It was a great effort but they shouldn't have taken so many penalties in the last 10 minutes (although Kunbles shorty was awesome). Keep it up Caps.

HockeyGawd, I can't really argue any of your points. It may have been a goal, but it wasn't obvious. We'll never know. I sorta thought the Pens outplayed the Caps in the third. Oh well, great game all around. Definitely had a playoff feel.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 24, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

That was a game we can build on. We outplayed the Pens pretty good. We did alot of good things. Sure we had a couple of break downs , but if we play like that the rest of the way, we will win ALOT of games.

We now have "earned" 5 points out of a possible 6.

On another note, there was a team last season that went on a tear like the Pens are on now...I think 14 straight?? Its' nice to be on a tear like that, but it does not too much at this time of the year.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 24, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Happy Christmas eve day!
Living in STL for last ten years, last night i get excited and subscribe to the NHL ticket on the net, only to find that CAPS / PENS is blacked out in our area.
:-(

But cool to watch other games while i listen to Kolbe stay consistantly behind the play.........

Yeah,@DCFanatic - Since watching the caps from early 1980's, lost count on how many times we have run into got goalies, Billy Smith, Barraso, just to name couple....

But still love the CAPS, what is wrong with OVIE? Few weeks ago, i was reading the article about his goal scoring down but assists up, but now i am concerned.

I saw him last year here in STL (regular season). He just seems to be in a fog?Something is off from mid season last year. And this year, crazy....low counts.

Does he understand the responsibility, what the team is counting him for?

Does any body have theories? Does GM, or Coach say what it could be?

Semin leaves and scores 15 goals in playoffs, for sure move him to West.....

Posted by: hunter321 | December 24, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I am p....ed we lost. Coming into the year, we were the elite team. We need to start playing like one and win games at home against teams playing their 3rd game in 4 nights. Not pleased.

Caps, perform better or we will need to make some serious trades.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 24, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@ vermontcaps

If you are going to play that game, then we were one missed assignment and one lift check away from shutting the pens out. Not to mention an inch away from winning in ot.

Both teams played well and you could argue the caps didn't have their a game either with all the power play time and little to show for it. Or with our big guns still slumping. Or with no Schultz and with Poti leaving early with an injury.

Posted by: griz0615 | December 24, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

wow---my post is being held for review---and I promise there were no bad words in it. weird.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 24, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

A hot goalie -- I think I've heard that excuse before. It couldn't have anything to do with the Caps shooting from the outside on an unscreened goalie, could it?

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | December 24, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps:

I think you have over emphasized the importance of people like Godard, Rupp, Engelland. Rupp maybe the only exception of talent and toughness.

You're not possibly arguing that Godard and Engelland are the reason why Pitt is good? Godard averages 2 and 1/2 minutes a game. ...... and his presence on the bench is NOT a deterrent and a creator of space. I think Ovi proved that to be untrue last night with his hit on Malkin. I never saw Godard.

Is toughness important? Of course. BUT not as a replacement for talent.

I know you must be a King fan as am I, but who do you take out to put him in? How many minutes should he get. He's slow and hasn't scored a goal since 1982. Please don't say Fehr. He is having an off year for sure, but this team is not better with fehr out and King in.

And finally your man-crush on E is funny but over the top. E is what he is. He is not a top 4 D- man. He's a 5/6 who should get paid about 1.5 mil. This has been done. He's got a history of concussions which can not be ignored. He can't fight like he used to and his toughness which is appreciated is not scaring any tough guys on other team.

I'm sure you have said in the past that the regular season is meaningless, the playoff are what count. We beat Pitt 4-0 last regular season and went on to be knocked out the 1st round. Yes Thursday was a loss, but a shootout loss in the regular season. As a measuring stick, it shows nothing. Pitt was not the better team last night. NO excuse can be made. Pitt played last night? They were off? Fine, but GREAT teams don't let up. They play night in and night out. If Pitt is so good, this shouldn't happen.

Posted by: will111 | December 24, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"So the caps basically lost a coin toss last night."

Pretty much.

I was at the game, great atmosphere. It really could have gone either way, I still don't know how Green doesn't score that goal.

Things I noticed at the game you don't see on TV:

Ovi just isn't shooting the puck as much. He had clear shots, he just didn't take them. I think BB should just let him loose, I understand what they are trying to do but aleopard can't change his spots.

Green turns the puck over WAY too much. I've been defending him over the last couple of years but if he he plays like that all of the time I just can't.

BB needs to stop tinkering with the line-ups, that helps nobody except the other team.

Good game, the second period was the best I have seen the Caps play in a very long time. Maybe the win the next one like that.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 24, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

That was probably the best Washington has played all season. Pens were a bit tired from the Florida game, but they really never got many chances in Washington's zone. There were a couple of turnovers that gave Pittsburgh some chances, but not too many. Washington will say that Fleury played well (and he did) but they should have taken the game early with the powerplay chances. 5 on 5 I think they looked really good and like the initial lineup with scoring threats spread over 3 lines pretty equally. On the powerplay it was too predictable in 5 on 3 situations (always going for the tap in instead of just outnumbering in front and shooting through traffic when it wasn't working) and on 5 on 4s they still didn't have much traffic in front and kept passing off to one-timers from bad angles. When that works is looks pretty impressive, but it's not a high percentage play. No problem gaining the zone or getting good possession and puck movement so the powerplay's not really in as bad of shape as it seems, they just need a different shooting strategy. Two of the three parts of it are working really well. They need to fix the other part for them to be able to start producing again, but they don't need to rebuild from scratch or anything.

Overall the team played with good energy, Ovechkin played physical for a change and looked like he was skating harder, defensively they were quite good aside from some risky passes that lead to odd-man rushes the other way, Green looked like Green again, Hannan is looking much less out of place than in the past weeks (there were a couple of mis-cues, but he was far more in-tune with defensive partners than he has been). Didn't think Perreault had a great 2nd half of the game after playing well at the start, and the team started trying too many fancy played beginning late midway through the 2nd, which lead to some bad turnovers. But overall, there are a lot of good things to take away from this game. Even with the powerplay off, very few teams would be able to stay with them in games if the played like that every night.

Posted by: Stu_c | December 24, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

That was probably the best Washington has played all season. Pens were a bit tired from the Florida game, but they really never got many chances in Washington's zone. There were a couple of turnovers that gave Pittsburgh some chances, but not too many. Washington will say that Fleury played well (and he did) but they should have taken the game early with the powerplay chances. 5 on 5 I think they looked really good and like the initial lineup with scoring threats spread over 3 lines pretty equally. On the powerplay it was too predictable in 5 on 3 situations (always going for the tap in instead of just outnumbering in front and shooting through traffic when it wasn't working) and on 5 on 4s they still didn't have much traffic in front and kept passing off to one-timers from bad angles. When that works is looks pretty impressive, but it's not a high percentage play. No problem gaining the zone or getting good possession and puck movement so the powerplay's not really in as bad of shape as it seems, they just need a different shooting strategy. Two of the three parts of it are working really well. They need to fix the other part for them to be able to start producing again, but they don't need to rebuild from scratch or anything.

Overall the team played with good energy, Ovechkin played physical for a change and looked like he was skating harder, defensively they were quite good aside from some risky passes that lead to odd-man rushes the other way, Green looked like Green again, Hannan is looking much less out of place than in the past weeks (there were a couple of mis-cues, but he was far more in-tune with defensive partners than he has been). Didn't think Perreault had a great 2nd half of the game after playing well at the start, and the team started trying too many fancy played beginning late midway through the 2nd, which lead to some bad turnovers. But overall, there are a lot of good things to take away from this game. Even with the powerplay off, very few teams would be able to stay with them in games if the played like that every night. And they didn't look too down and didn't give up when the Penguins scored. That's the biggest and most important difference from a week ago.

Posted by: Stu_c | December 24, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@griz

No sense in arguing the outcome of the game, hockey has always been a game of "almost/could've/should/ve." I do know that we played at home against our most-hated rival and lost. (Personally, I'll always hate the Flyers the most.....probably comes from witnessing too many humiliating beatdowns over the decades)

I'm glad, griz, that you and others are happy w/the make-up and performance of the team last night. I was extremely disapointed by the following: w/the build-up and anticipation of the game, knowing that the Pens lead the league in fights, we dress a 4th line of Beagle/Steckel/Gordon?? (anyone know why Gordon only played 4+ minutes? did he get hurt?)

Anyone who thinks last night's game was indicative of how we match-up against the Pens is grossly mistaken. I thought it would be clear for everyone to see last night, but the Pens let me down. If they can push us to o.t. in our building w/out their best game, I can't wait to see how we'll do in their stadium when they WILL bring their "A" game.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 24, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Vermontcaps, do you always sound so stupid when you write a comment?...or are you just working extra hard to because it's Xmas? So it was the Caps who were lucky to only lose in a shootout huh?...That would be the Caps who stoned the Pens PP to a pathetic 0-5 showing..the Pens who had it not been for their goalie would have lost 4 or 5 to 2?...and please dont let facts get in the way of your moronic post i.e. the goal the Green scored was during a 5 on 4 powerplay as the 2 man advantage had already expired dolt. Good thing we couldnt see the puck Fleury pulled back from over the goal line with his glove or wed have had to wait until Jan to read your next idiotic post...

Posted by: opticlguy | December 24, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Good game last night. MAF played an excellent game. I didn't see the Green OT shot as a goal. You just can't tell, that's hockey.
The Caps played great 5 on 5 and on the PK. Our PP needs some help. Ovie needs to move down to the left circle. That is the only place he can score. Carlson should take left point. The PP doesn't move around that makes it easier to defend.
The NHL has figured out Ovie's couple of moves. He needs to adjust. Crosby sucked at faceoffs when he joined the league. He worked his butt off and now is one of the better faceoff centers. Crosby wasn't a huge shooting threat and worked his butt off now he is the best scorer in the league. Crosby is the best player in the NHL because he is talented and outworks others.
Ovie is talented. He doesn't seem able to change it up. Try starting a rush on the right side. Maybe take the left rush wide and look for a pass. How about give the puck up before you reach the zone and come in as support for the rush. This would sure spread out the defense. When 3 guys are on you try going behind the net, that would sure screw up the defensive set.
I have a crazy idea, if you want to trade a Russian, trade Ovie and see what you can get. Maybe that would help his career and the Caps, win, win.

Posted by: chriscaps | December 24, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@opticalguy

too funny....I trust, then, that you'll be looking for my next idiotic post Jan. 1st (but feel free to read my many more before then)

@will

a. Since Godard and Engelland (5blocks in 9mins) are so insignificant and essentially sat on the bench, wouldn't that have put the Pens essentially 2-men short all game and further-taxed their teammates? I guess that makes our loss last night even more unimpressive.

b. As for #4, we agree that he's a 5-6 dman worth 1.5million. On a team completely laking in toughness, he's even more valuable than that. The rest of your comments on Erskine are just MORONIC and demonstrate that you know very little about him, his reputation, or the fighting culture that makes the NHL unique.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 24, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps:

Your very aggressive response indicates that I hit a nerve describing your feelings toward E. Please don't feel threatened here. We accept all.

It's funny the only thing I said after the 5/6 d man comment was:

"He's got a history of concussions which can not be ignored. He can't fight like he used to and his toughness which is appreciated is not scaring any tough guys on other team."

I thought this was common knowledge considering the "concussions and not being able to fight like he used to" comes directly from E himself. What I know about him is what I read about him and he has acknowledged this to be true. So before you call people morons because you feel threatened you might want to do your homework. Don't let your strong emotions, romantic or not, get in the way of what is absolute fact from ANYONE who knows E or hockey.

Please review what people write BEFORE you respond, so your comments have at-least a little coherence and add something to this discussion. Please respond and tell me what part of concussions and not fighting like he used to was wrong .. PLEASE... PLEASE. I can't wait for your response. It will give me and everyone else on here real insight into what you know because so far you have given little.

@ Everyone else:

Please encourage vermontcap to respond. I have never actually met anyone who knows anything about E or the CAPS deny that this statement is absolute FACT.

Posted by: will111 | December 24, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps:

If you're gone for the day, I'm gonna save my post and repost later. I really want an answer from you. You get on here all the time as a know it all and never back up what you say. I am begging you to actually show us that you know more than me or other people on here.

I guess you might know him personally and have secret correspondence that the rest of us don't have, but:

Does he have a history of concussions?

Does he not fight as much as he used to?

Do other tough guys know this and therefore he is less of a threat?

In the spirit of Christmas answer these questions for the rest of us. Give other CAPS fans on here the gift of your great hockey knowledge. PLEASE!

Posted by: will111 | December 24, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I agree with those that felt that this was one of the best performances by the caps this season. I also agree with those that are stating that the top line is not pulling its weight. This has been iterated by the caps commentators as well. I am sure those players feel the same. But even heroes need to be rescued every now and then.

It is funny but it seems that we have been talking about Semin for years now and how he has become more of an orange cone out there than a player. Many have claimed that if we released/traded him some other team would pick him up in a heartbeat because of his talent and it would hurt us. Well it is hurting us now and we only have the past to show that it is not going to change. I am not sure on contracts but maybe the solution is far simpler. Move him down to Hershey for a little while. Maybe it is a confidence thing and down there he can build it back up.

Posted by: junkmail2 | December 24, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure on contracts but maybe the solution is far simpler. Move [Semin] down to Hershey for a little while. Maybe it is a confidence thing and down there he can build it back up.

Posted by: junkmail2 | December 24, 2010 12:20 PM

Can't do that. Well, they CAN, but it would be a bad idea. Under the terms of the CBA, they'd have to waive him. He wouldn't last long on the waiver wire.

The waiver process is why you see the same several players riding the yo-yo wire between Hershey and Washington all the time--those guys are not subject to having to clear waivers.

Posted by: 1995hoo | December 24, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Caps fans: gotta love 'em! "Cindy" sux; Ovie's the best; Pens are stupid; Pens dive; Pens would've lost by 5 except for their goalie (uh, I think that's why teams have "goalies").

I've been hearing it since the days of Langway. Substitute "Lemuiex" for "Crosby" and it's the same arguments. 3 Stanley Cups to the Caps' 1 appearance in a final.

Caps have good players, but the whiniest fans anywhere.

Posted by: observer23 | December 24, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

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