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Posted at 7:24 AM ET, 12/13/2010

How the losing streak has impacted the Caps' place in the standings

By Katie Carrera
Morning Roundup

In 13 games since Nov. 19 the Capitals have earned just 10 points. Washington still stands in first place in the Southeast Division, second in the Eastern Conference and fourth in the NHL. But the cushion the Capitals had built for themselves in the standings has largely disappeared.

The Capitals were 14-4-1 and 8-0-1 in the most-recent nine contests prior to what would become a 5-0 loss to the Thrashers in Atlanta to begin this uneven skid.

In the division, Washington leads Tampa Bay and Atlanta by three and four points, respectively, and both teams have two games in hand. In the East, the Capitals' skid combined with Pittsburgh's 12-game winning streak has given the Penguins a five point edge on first place and Washington is only four points out of eighth. If they can correct things and start winning again starting Wednesday against Anaheim they can try to begin rebuilding that lead.

"We've got one game Wednesday and then we've got three practices in there," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Now's the time to fix it. We have to fix it. We've had the build up of points and they've gone away so it's now time to turn it around and get back on track."

With a host of injuries and illnesses the Capitals are taking Monday off before starting back up on Tuesday.

FROM THE POST
If you haven't already, check out the recap from the Caps 7-0 loss to the Rangers Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.

AROUND THE WEB
On how Alex Ovechkin's weight has changed during his NHL career. (Alex Ovetjkin)

The Caps still hold an edge on the Wizards when it comes to TV ratings. (D.C. Sports Bog)

Tomas Fleischmann is starting to get used to his new team. (CSN Washington)

And if you'd like to see it again, here's the clip of Ovechkin's fight with Brandon Dubinsky:

By Katie Carrera  | December 13, 2010; 7:24 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps blanked by Rangers, 7-0, drop sixth straight game
Next: Big Chill at the Big House: Lessons learned for Winter Classic

Comments

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 13, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

From previous thread:

What happened to all those people telling everyone to relax, it was just a losing streak? I have been screaming since last spring for BB's head and got ridiculed by so many on this site but now my opinion seems to be in the majority. He has lost the team, please replace him before it is too late for this extremely talented team to recover.

Also, note to Ted......I was watching the Wizards game on Friday night and saw that they brought back a bunch of their alum to be around that young team and provide a positive influence. I am pretty sure that Langway and Bondra live in this area, why not give them a ring??!! Maybe give Maruk, Gartner and Kolzig a call as well!! I know none of those guys ever won it all but don't you think they could have a positive effect as mentors???

Posted by: PhilR | December 13, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Really, no practice today??? You have got to be kidding me!

Posted by: PhilR | December 13, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

well phil either you don't read all the posts on here, or you only focus on the ones where you can criticize bruce's coaching.

Bondra has been involved in two Caps events for consecutive weekends. Kolzig along with many others were at the convention. Alan May has been around Kettler and did an event with Bondra yesterday. and to be honest what really could old alums really give the Caps that anyone else couldn't, a good ol' hey "we sucked worse then you, and expectations weren't nearly as high, but you'll get through this, hooo rah!" haha please. the only thing that can fix this team, is the team itself, and they are simply too good not to bounce back.

Posted by: capsfan387 | December 13, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Trade semin.

Please.

Then Fehr.

Feel free to package in Alzner to help bait someone good.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | December 13, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

ya phil no practice...there is a flu going around, clearly the boys need to rest up, get healthy and come back to work on tuesday. we have the extra days might as well use them, since we are on such a losing streak and the continous days of practices has done nothing, but only made those sick more sick, seems like the smartest move to take the day off.

Posted by: capsfan387 | December 13, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't make sense to hold practices every non-game day. The season is long, players get physically and mentally fatigued and you have to be careful not to wear them out.

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

Also, that would be one of the quickest ways for a coach to "lose" a team.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 13, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I agree with no practice.

Besides, if it were an optional skate, ovie wouldn't show up any how.

So, make the decisions easy with no practice, which again, I agree with!

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

Alzner was one of our best D last night.

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

Also, note to Ted......I was watching the Wizards game on Friday night and saw that they brought back a bunch of their alum to be around that young team and provide a positive influence. I am pretty sure that Langway and Bondra live in this area, why not give them a ring??!!

PhilR

I was actually thinking the same thing.

I would be shocked if GMGM wasn't at least putting out feelers for a coach. If the streak stops soon, I doubt they make a move. I know you all thought/think BB should have been fired last season, but if every team fired their coach after a losing skid...well there would be an even more ridiculous amount of turnover in that dept.

I will be curious to see what happens next. Ovie finally acted like a capt. last night and he needs to continue it over to practice for the next two days. A lengthy team meeting to start, and a VERY motivational/hard working/systems focused practice.

Also...do not let ANY player with any signs of sickness near the healthy players, b/c that bug is tearing through the team like a wild fire...give the sick players a separate practice like a lepor colony!

I know I know...I am a koolaid drinker, but the truth is that I was so upset watching that game last night I couldn't see straight! Let me retain just a smidgen of optimism....I am 24...most of you are old(ish)...give me a few more years before you expect me to be as doom and gloom as you all.

intersintg...Ov was only a -1 for the night...I do realize he had a 5 min maj. but I think that is pretty impressive for a game where there were 7GA

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

capsfan387,

So good to see there are still some drinking the koolaid out there. Keep on believing that the status quo is good enough, it has really gotten us a long way the last couple years. But for me, I'm just tired of having my heart ripped out of my chest spring after spring, this team is too talented to be wasted.

Posted by: PhilR | December 13, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Ovi fighting is not going to turn this team around. Ovi playing solid defense and chipping in a few goals is going to.

Also, forwards going to the net while the D-men blast away can result in hurt players, e.g., Ovi last night. Use your best forwards to hunt out rebounds, don't use your best forwards as screeners.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 13, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

@capsfan387

I am not overly surprised there is no practice today. BB is going to spend the day (probably with GMGM) and make a plan. Hate to break it to you, but the fact that half the team is sick is also a good reason to give them a rest. We have half the team sick...no reason to go for 100%.

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Ovi fighting is not going to turn this team around. Ovi playing solid defense and chipping in a few goals is going to

FloridaCapsFan |

OV was only a -1 for the night...his D wasn't that bad.

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who is at all surprised/upset that there is no practice today is pretty weak in the Hockey IQ department.

Don't worry darlings, there will be other times for you to get autographs.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 13, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't saying there should be a full blown practice today but giving the day off (except for those with the flu) to me is not acceptable when you are on a six game losing streak. They should at least be in team meetings, looking at tape, and going over systems with maybe a short skate. This team is being treated with kid gloves, unacceptable.

Posted by: PhilR | December 13, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

From previous post:

Reading most of these messages here are comical.

As I stated a few days ago, BB has lost this team. No one can give a good explanation of how we got shut out 4 times in the last 11 games. We're not talking 2-0, 1-0. How about 7-0, and 2x 5-0.

OV gets in a scrap and then signals our to the bench afterwards and pumps his hand. Hendricks is the only one that follows with some dancing of his own. Laich, Knuble, Poti, Hannah - that was a signal to follow the leader. You didn't step up!

No one has mentioned that the Caps started to fall apart after they were winning consistently and BB decided to play musical chairs with the lines. His excuse, "well lets see who can play with who in case we get in the playoffs and we need to do the Harlem Shuffle".

Trading Fehr at this point is meaningless. Trading Semin with all his gifted talent is a huge mistake.

This team has the skill to win it all. They need a structured disciplined veteran NHL coach to make this team as one. That's the bottom line!

BB sorry to inform you but Hanlon and Cassidy need you to join their foursome.

Or maybe he can write another book and tell us how this all fell apart.

Change is coming...............

Posted by: puckman | December 13, 2010 2:15 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR
"Really, no practice today??? You have got to be kidding me!"

No, BB is serious. He just doesn't know what to do at today's practice if he had one. Better that the guys stay home and further feel sorry for themselves.

Posted by: puckman | December 13, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't implying Alzner stinks.

But you need to trade talent to get talent.

I just think Alzner will bring more back in return.

Lots of good comments so far (seriously).

We are all frustrated, and I know the players and management are as well.

The Ovie fight, I thought, was going to ignite them. But, since he has been a bad leader for so long, I don't think the team really cared that he fought. They had the look of...really? Huh, ok, ovie.

We have talent, tons. Just a piece away. George will figure it out, and we'll all laugh about this "streak" in June!


Posted by: SoaringCaps | December 13, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

ovi is definitely overweight. he really lost his speed, balance & explosiveness. he has to understand that as he grows older and he wants to be the best he has to care of himself and has to practice & work harder. he really needs to work on his accuracy.

Posted by: capsfan2007 | December 13, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Didn't Ovi's -1 result in the short-handed goal because he turned the puck over on the Ranger's blue line? Just prior to that the Caps had a little momentum going. Mistakes happen I know, but they happen with him a little too often. He is forcing too much. The game was probably over by then anyway, nevertheless he should be concentrating on eliminating mistakes regardless of the game situation. Also, he had a terrible line change that resulted in a goal against.

Besides, Fehr was +/- 0 for the night, does that make his defense better than Ovi's?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 13, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

BB lost this team, FINALLY AND FOR GOOD, the day he announced that Erskine would be banished to the pressbox after we acquired Hannan. What message does that send to the other players in the locker-room?? One of the TRUE WARRIORS on the team publicly benched in favor of someone WHO HAD YET TO PLAY A GAME FOR US!!

I guarantee you the players in the locker room know how hard-working, committed, and dedicated to the team #4 is. I'm sure they're aware of the sacrafices he's made for the team and how AWFUL he was treated last year. Considering #4 was off to his best year as a Cap and was CONSISTENTLY OVERACHIEVING, BB's decision to GIVE HANNAN A REGULAR SPOT proved to everyone that it doesn't matter how hard you work or how you're playing, IT ONLY MATTERS IF YOU PLAYED FOR BB in the minors OR WERE TRADED FOR IN-SEASON BY GMGM.

Then the players see a guy like DJK, who was acquired in part BECAUSE EVERYONE KNOWS WE NEED A HEAVY to compete in the Eastern Conference, get treated like rotten meat...how does that inspire anyone? FLDave hits it best when he writes that DJK's presence makes everyone feel a little bigger and stronger; the players aren't fools: WHEN THEY LOOK AT THE PENS, I GUARANTEE THE PLAYERS KNOW WE'RE IN A WORLD OF TROUBLE.

Does anyone think it coincidence that our last win came w/both Erskine and DJK in the lineup? (On the road, vs. a quick, skilled, and abrasive young playoff team in St. Louis). I posted then that "I was going to circle this date on my calendar"...I was pumped because I BELIEVED we were ready to roll, and BB sucked the life right out of the team with his CASTE SYSTEM and FAVORITISM.

If BB is still at the helm come this Saturday, I'm going to go buy a Bruins jersey AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE WEAR ANOTHER TEAM'S JERSEY WHILE SEEING THE CAPS.

Option #2 indeed....

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 13, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse


HERE'S A DEAL...what do you think...

Send Semin, Fehr, Shultz (he's injured, I know) and Sloan to Calgary for Iginla, Jokinen and Rehyr...

We need REAL leadership and heart, plus more grit. Jokinen is on a slump himself but might rekindle into that second line centre. Calgary needs to dump salary...they get a (rare) superstar back in Semin and lots of upside. We get help immediately.

What better way to prepare for the much hyped Winter Classic. I can see the ratings go up even higher after this deal.

Posted by: sproutingfire | December 13, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't saying there should be a full blown practice today but giving the day off (except for those with the flu) to me is not acceptable when you are on a six game losing streak. They should at least be in team meetings, looking at tape, and going over systems with maybe a short skate. This team is being treated with kid gloves, unacceptable.

Posted by: PhilR


Sorry, but the coaching staff need today to figure out their next step. Holding a practice with half the team out won't do a lot of good anyway. And the argument that they could have meetings and tape is valid, but my guess is that BB and the staff want to go through all of it first and pick out what they want to show and focus on...this is not the time for rash decisions. The next step needs to be made carefully and not based on heated emotions.

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

@Vermont...

If you are an adult, you shouldn't be wearing NHL jerseys (out of the house)...


I somewhat agree with #4 commments, he has been playing well enough to be in the lineup.

Truth of the matter is, Ovie looks overwhelmed/worn out, and Semin is in his "disinterested" phase. When your two true offensive players become regular...you become the Florida Panthers. BOR-RING!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | December 13, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Didn't Ovi's -1 result in the short-handed goal because he turned the puck over on the Ranger's blue line?

FloridaCapsFan

No...he tried to get his team going with the fight and then they got the shortie...you just want to be ticked off at him no matter what. He was one of the few players to put in a good effort. Fehr was also one of the only decent players on the ice. Be mad, but be mad for the right reasons. Ov and Fehr were the two players on the ice I didn't cringe at.

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Vermon,

Agree that shouldn't have been said. But was it really? Was he quoted correctly and in context? I can't believe a seasoned coach would say something like that.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 13, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

A day off and 3 days of practice coming up, seems like a good time to tell BB to clean out his desk and get a legit coach some time to install his system with 3 days of practice.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | December 13, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

ovi is definitely overweight. he really lost his speed, balance & explosiveness. he has to understand that as he grows older and he wants to be the best he has to care of himself and has to practice & work harder. he really needs to work on his accuracy.

Posted by: capsfan2007


That article was talking about him being over muscled not fat. I think he def. should shed about 10-15lbs to gain back some of that explosiveness he had two years ago. It doesn't serve him to be as muscled as he is. But don't say he is fat or out of shape...he goes out for long shifts (bad I know) and is ready to go again after a 30 second rest...

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Capscoach,

I'm not mad. Gotta go now, talk later.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 13, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Vermon,

Agree that shouldn't have been said. But was it really? Was he quoted correctly and in context? I can't believe a seasoned coach would say something like that.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan


Yes everyone is taking that out if context. BB was talking about letting Hannan get settled, and as Erskine was our #6 he would probably be benched some, but I NEVER took it to mean that if someone wasn't playing up to par he would still make Erskine the scratch...no coach would do that. Some people on here suffer from selective deafness...they only hear things that support their already held beliefs.

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

No...he tried to get his team going with the fight and then they got the shortie...you just want to be ticked off at him no matter what. He was one of the few players to put in a good effort. Fehr was also one of the only decent players on the ice. Be mad, but be mad for the right reasons. Ov and Fehr were the two players on the ice I didn't cringe at.

Posted by: capscoach

OV was responsible for that shortie, but it was minutes before the fight. Plus, since OV got off the ice right before the goal, he doesn't get a minus.

After looking at the replay, surprised OV didn't get an instigator. Plus, fighting with a visor is an additional penalty.

Not sure where the Fehr loves comes from, he has become a non-factor.

I have been very critical of McPhee since April. This is his mess. He should NOT be able to fire the coach and hire another.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 13, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

OV was responsible for that shortie, but it was minutes before the fight. Plus, since OV got off the ice right before the goal, he doesn't get a minus.

underpants

wait...he was or wasn't? I could have sworn the shortie can after Ovie got in the fight...going to check now.

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR
Do you work 7 days a week at your job?

Posted by: tess2201 | December 13, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I was right...Ovie got the major at 9:33 and Staal got the shortie at 10:42

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

Couple people have mentioned it before but I think a big part of the problem is the constant changing of the lines. The team has been essentially the same for a few years now and yet the lines are getting juggled every single game. How is chemistry supposed to be built this way?

Even if there is a bad game or a couple in a row, I don't think the solution is to switch up the lines for the next game right away.

Posted by: Moose33 | December 13, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

The shortie came a few minutes before the fight.

OV turned it over, went to the bench, the goal was scored. Then, later in the period, the fight happened. Because he got on the bench seconds before the shortie, I am not sure he gets a minus.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 13, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

That shortie was because of the joke BB put on us by putting Semin at the point on the PP because Ovie was in the box...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | December 13, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps

thats fine...but people were saying the shortie was Ovie's fault when actually he finally did what u all wanted him to and tried to spark his team by dropping the gloves...then his team kindly responded by allowing a shortie.

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Wait. OK, that was the shortie. OV turned it over on the 4th goal. Still, since he jumped off the ice, I don't think he gets a minus fo that.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 13, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

please check the box score...OVIE WAS IN THE BOX FOR THE FIGHTING MAJOR DURING THE SHORTIE!

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

tess2201,

If I was performing my duties as badly as this team is then I most likely would not be employed as I would have been FIRED!

Posted by: PhilR | December 13, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

OMG......I figured it all out.

ITS THE CURSE OF THE FLASH !

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 13, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

So many goals, hard to keep track.

I do think we need to try and pry Iginla loose in Calgary. Give them Semin and a prospect. We need a player like that.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 13, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

.

Posted by: Ve1ostrummer | December 13, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@underpants

ok...we got that straight now :)

Ovie had a bad play, but overall he played solid! He was hitting, driving the net, and trying to spark his team. Get mad at the 20 players who were abysmal for the entire game.

Interesting to see that there was no Varly hate...I mean all the goals were not his fault, but if u let in 7 then you know you are having a bad day!

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

2capscoach

Yes, you are correct. I confused the shortie with the 4th goal.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 13, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I said last year I thought OVI was too heavy. He is not a linebacker. Kind of like Tiger Woods. Before Woods did the juice he was much smaller and winning more.

Posted by: pkme | December 13, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

OMG......I figured it all out.

ITS THE CURSE OF THE FLASH !

Posted by: Capsfannmiss

I am not sure...It could also be the curse of the Hannan.

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

sorry if I came off rude underpants...I tend to be wrong on those things, so when I am right I get a little over excited.

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

no problem

Posted by: underpants2 | December 13, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I agree with no practice today...they've been working so hard and playing so well lately, they've really earned a break.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 13, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Just catching up....

The team has quit. That's the worst thing they can do from a fan perspective. I've defended BB in the past but I strongly suspect his time here will be over by Friday at the latest. For whatever reason, the players have absolutly quit and that's unforgivable. It's been fully a fifth of a seaon that they've been awful - they were lucky to win in St. Louis - and this isn't a murderer's row they are losing to right now. Even on a bad day, off night, hitting the post, having a streak of bad luck and this team beats 5 of the last 7 teams.

cstanton pointed out a last week, or agreed with a post, that the game 7 lose to the Pens nearly two years ago marked these guys. To watch this pathetic play is an embarassment.

This will get worse before it gets better. I don't think they win the division and slip into the playoffs as a 6-8 seed.

Talent alone doesn't get you there.

Horribly disappointing.

Posted by: saintex | December 13, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I think BB should go not because he's lost the team but because, frankly, he's not a great coach. He's blessed with one of the most talented offensive teams in the league and the most dynamic player on the planet (current slump aside).

It's not that the Caps aren't "buying" into his system... it's that he doesn't have any alternatives. I've said this before... he's a one note guy. When teams play the Caps tight, or when the puck isn't bouncing our way, our coach can't make adjustments and he deosn't hold guys accountable. Period.

BB is a good guy. Has a nice story. Is better than the guy whon had the job before him. But he won't win a cup for us -- even with the talent.

So yes, the boys need to step up. But the coach needs to be told it's time to step down.

Posted by: sinbin | December 13, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I agree with no practice today...they've been working so hard and playing so well lately, they've really earned a break.

Posted by: VTDuffman


Because having them practice injured and sick will make them a better team!

Like I said...BB and the staff need to figure out the next step before the next practice...otherwise it will only make it worse.

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"Because having them practice injured and sick will make them a better team!

Like I said...BB and the staff need to figure out the next step before the next practice...otherwise it will only make it worse."

---

BB's next step needs to be out the door.

The team has quit because they don't respect the coach. They don't respect the coach because he doesn't hold their feet to the fire. There's simply no retribution for playing like doodoo under this coach. He's too busy making terrible carpet cleaning commercials to instill any discipline on these guys.

I don't care if they're "injured and sick," they need to suck it up and get to work.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 13, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

If BB was going to be fired it probably would have been done by 8am this morning. I foresee Ted and GMGM giving him more time to work this out. Besides at this point it's like admitting failure for those two if they axe BB. However, that feeling will only last so long, then it becomes every man for himself. Cannot be pleasant at the Kettler offices today...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 13, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Ted: You need a new head coach.
GMGM: Noooooo, I just need HADEED!

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 13, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Y'all believe me yet about Jeff Schultz being our MVP?

Posted by: FergusonFoont | December 13, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

6 losses + BB's negative comments + booing at home + Pens good performance + HBO's 24/7 recording it all = player frustration and dismay

Teams require confidence to overcome slumps. That comes from discipline and teamwork. How on earth can that happen with BB changing the lines at random to see if there is some magic somewhere? Instead we get Semin taking out Ovie with a shot in the leg.

Sheesh. Hard to be supportive of BB. Sign of end is (should be) when a coach first blames all the players, then says he is at a loss as to how to fix the problem.

Posted by: OccasionalCritic | December 13, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

They will get a couple practices in before the Ducks game and then a couple more before their next game. Taking today off to regroup is fine and likely a wise move. The coaches can better prepare to make these practices more productive and the players that are ill have another day to recover.

There is plenty of season left to get on track and tuned up for the second season. Still plenty of hope and high expectations with this fan.

Posted by: _Mark | December 13, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

@FergusonFoont

no, i still don't believe you

Posted by: _stevo | December 13, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

This team definately needs a shakeup, I'd call Phoenix and ask about Scottie Upshall. He had some injury issues last year, but when he played with Philly he was active on every shift. Mixes it up physically, and puts the puck in the net from time to time. I think he'd look good on our 3rd line. I'd offer up Fehr, but I don't think Phoenix would do it. The Isles are going nowhere, make an offer for Konopka and put him on the 4th line with King and Brads. I do not care what happens to Stecks and Gordon. Demote them, trade them for picks, anything.

The other team I'd call is the Devils. They desperately need cap space. Offer them picks for a guy like Clarkson. GM needs to think outside the box on this, another skilled winger won't help us.

And then fire BB. It's seems clear he's lost the team. They're aren't responding to him, or to their captain.

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 13, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

@Mark

you're my hero! finally someone that is not COMPLETELY doom and gloom!

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

new thread

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"The team has quit because they don't respect the coach. They don't respect the coach because he doesn't hold their feet to the fire."

I love how all the people here pretend like they have all this insider knowledge because they go to Kettler a few times or because they saw Ovie at Hudson.

GMGM is not going to fire Bruce for losing 6 games in a row, especially not 2 weeks before the Winter Classic, one of the most hyped and marketed sporting events, and especially not while the team is leading the division and is 2nd in the east. Do you honestly believe that McPhee is going to bring in a new coach to teach a new system two weeks before one of the biggest (in terms of marketing) games in the country?

Posted by: sabredc | December 13, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Without singling anyone player or person out, I hope this loss streak addresses the problem we have faced for the last 3 years in the spring and that is D. The caps put a strong reliance on the ability to score from all locations and put up big numbers to overcome the goals they give up routinely. We literally have no shot blocking on the team. For some reason the caps rely too much on the tending to stop shots and the tenders they have in are not to that level which is why when we lose, it is with a huge score.

I love the caps but I think the biggest mistakes they have made over the last two years or so were signing Ovi to a huge contract, letting Theo go and not bringing in a blue liner of the Scott Stevens caliber with intense presence and leadership skills.

When Ovi first came on the scene he wowed people with his skill which came from trying to push and prove himself. What has he done in the last two years? Don't talk to me about his scoring, yes he brings that but think about the difference between how he scores goals and how Crosby scores them. He used to score them like Crosby but not anymore. Now, the majority of his goals are just hard shots that are screened. He used to have moves that allowed him to get around the D but not anymore, they figured him out so now he can't get around them. He stopped improving and I blame that on the contract. Nothing left to prove if he has the goals, the big hits and the huge contract. Problem is, the D will also learn how to counter his limited goal scoring so we will also see a decline in this area as well. My suggestion, force him to learn the center spot and make him start growing again.

As far as Theo goes, when they first signed him and I watched him play pre-season I was thinking oh my god, what did we just waste our money on. But last season Theo proved he still had it and wanted to still be big name. Yes he had his ups and downs but his ups where way higher than Varly who I find is a disappointment this year and Nuvi who I love but still has a ways to go, and Theos lows where much higher than either lows. His win streak last year proved how good he was. I think the caps would have at least 2 more wins under their belt if they still had him and would played him in the games where Varly tended and the team lost. Varly is too wild in net often making extreme moves without positional control which results in him not being able to get back into position and make the next save. Nuvi doesn't have this problem and is a lot more stable. Nuvi is going to be an awesome tender but still has to put some years under his belt.

As far as D goes. The caps just don't have the shot stopping, player dropping D that they need. It starts with a strong leader back there which they don't have then it builds upon strong position play and then shot stopping. Try to imagine the Caps with a Scott Stevens and a defense similar to the Haps last year when we faced them in rnd 1. OMG!

Posted by: junkmail2 | December 13, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"I love how all the people here pretend like they have all this insider knowledge because they go to Kettler a few times or because they saw Ovie at Hudson."

No, it's just what I'm observing on the ice. What are you observing on the ice, a team of hard-workers who beleive in their coach because he holds them accountable for their poor play?

"GMGM is not going to fire Bruce for losing 6 games in a row, especially not 2 weeks before the Winter Classic, one of the most hyped and marketed sporting events, and especially not while the team is leading the division and is 2nd in the east. Do you honestly believe that McPhee is going to bring in a new coach to teach a new system two weeks before one of the biggest (in terms of marketing) games in the country?"

I agree with you that GMGM cares more about hyped-up sports marketing ploys than winning championships. You seems to at least imply that this is a good thing, where I disagree.

FWIW, I don't think GMGM *will* fire Bruce, I think he *should* -- there's a difference. A good GM would, because he realizes what's really important. It's called being proactive, sitting back and watching the titanic sink as we back into the playoffs in a 6-8 seed only to flame out in the first round (again) and *then* firing BB is a waste of time.

Just do it now and actually pretend like you care more about winning championships than you do about selling throwback WC Jerseys.

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

how funny and how fast we forget so now ov is overweight ja ja just because hes not scoring well see what happens next game as for the coach i think he should all this crap it's his fault as for the fight i think he din't point the players i was for fat head BB

Posted by: arbeja666 | December 13, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

You guys (and gals) aren't going far enough. Not only Does Caillou need to take the next Amtrak out of town- he needs to take McPhee with him. Sorry, but I'm am still ticked about last year, and with good reason. Both guys brim with arrogance that is completely unwarranted. McPhee has done a good job drafting, but come on, this franchise turned around when Ovechkin fell into his lap, and all those other first-rounders can't even win a playoff series. I just don't like the guy.
And then there's Boudreau, who couldn't even crack the NHL as a player, yet now he's a genius who calls out the players and the fans, but never questions his own coaching abilities. This is not rocket science, and this is not just a "slump". Be honest, do we have anything to lose by ditching both these guys?

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | December 13, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

how funny and how fast we forget so now ov is overweight ja ja just because hes not scoring well see what happens next game as for the coach i think he should get fire all this crap it's his fault as for the fight i think he din't point the players i was for fat head BB

Posted by: arbeja666 | December 13, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

how funny and how fast we forget so now ov is overweight ja ja just because hes not scoring well see what happens next game as for the coach i think he should get fire all this crap it's his fault as for the fight i think he din't point the players i was for fat head BB

Posted by: arbeja666 | December 13, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

love the caps but I think the biggest mistakes they have made over the last two years or so were signing Ovi to a huge contract

junkmail2

that is HILARIOUS! every team in the league would have signed him to what we got him for! He is having a bad season...and despite that he is still one of the better players in the league...if you don't think that, please ask the 3 players on every other team that are tasked with the sole job of tailing him all game.

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman
"Just do it now and actually pretend like you care more about winning championships than you do about selling throwback WC Jerseys."

I care about our sport's overall growth and expanded fan base more than a banner in the rafters. I want to see the NHL succeed over the current trash like NBA and NFL. I want to see our fanbase (the NHL as a whole, not just the Caps) increase and one way is to market big games.

Selling merchandise is one of the key ingredients in running a successful sports franchise. When merchandise sales decrease, revenue that is used to have a state-of-the-art facility decreases. When revenue and facilities decrease, teams leave. Look at the Whalers or the Jets or the Nordiques. Look at the Atlanta Flames or the Minnesota North Stars. I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want to lose the Caps and have to wait 20 years for a new franchise, if we're lucky. I want the organization to be run as a successful business, and that includes marketing and merchandising.

You seem to forget that the Stanley Cup itself is a marketing gimmick, albeit an old one but a marketing object nonetheless. The NHL is a BUSINESS and it exists to be successful. It's a game; it's entertainment. The team that is most successful gets to use the Cup for a year's worth of promotional marketing. The teams that are unsuccessful get to pick first in the draft in hopes that their sales will increase.

"No, it's just what I'm observing on the ice. What are you observing on the ice, a team of hard-workers who beleive in their coach because he holds them accountable for their poor play?"

I observe a very diverse group of players who respond to coaching in different ways. Some respond to public admonishment; some respond to private one-on-one meetings. When a player says "We lost because we stopped playing the way Bruce told us to play" then yes, I do see a team who believes in their coach but makes mistakes. I see a team that makes some untimely and poor decisions on the ice that is not necessarily the result of poor coaching. Players make their own mistakes.

Last year, when the Caps went 14 in a row without losing, people said Bruce was a genius. When the Caps went from last to first in the SE in 2007-08, people said Bruce was excellent. Now, his team loses 6 games in a row and his head should be on a platter.

Posted by: sabredc | December 13, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

It's not just six games. This team has been bad for nearly 20 games. Go back and look at the last 20. A quarter of a season.

Posted by: saintex | December 13, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Caps will turn it around. They do however need to find a replacement for Eric Fehr who is lacking. Laich and Knuble in that order should also be put on alert.for the next couple of months.

One last thing, and this one is for BB: Stop doing those stupid commercials. They make you look real bad and I am sure the team would agree.

Go Caps!

Posted by: DCSportsfanatic1 | December 13, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Of all the fire the coach, trade so and so talk, JUNKMAIL2 is the only one i see that offers any real insight as to what our problems are. First and foremost, we are the most easily forechecked team in the league by far. BY FAR! The Rangers 2 years ago in the playoffs discovered, exposed it, but lacked the firepower to put us away. Pittsburgh then proceeded to forecheck us into oblivia the next series as we acted like we had never seen it before. That trend has continued. knowing this, i still see us trying to pass backwards way too much to start a play(the mindset of an offensive, finese team) instead of the play sometimes is just to get the puck out or in, whatever the case.But that requires grinding and winning some battles along the boards and we rather try to regroup and make the perfect play/pass on a highlight goal whether we are coming or going. The caps need puck moving defensemen that aren't afraid to clear the net of players and rebounds.That was the idea of getting Corvo last yr. We get very little of that with this group as a whole. To me, the reason for Ovie's lack of production in the goal dept is about halfway thru last season, teams realized he wasn't going to drive around them and drive to the net. so they have adjusted to him and give him little to no room to operate as soon as he crosses the blueline. Look at that famous Ovie"highlight" reel they like to show on NHL from time to time and most of those goals are coming from a guy driving to the net and around people. Now we get one timers and screen shots. They stand their ground, get into his jersey and block his shots. You can watch the caps for a month and how many backhanders do you see from Ovie during a game ? To go to a backhand, you would have had to be foiled somewhere else or be driving the net...Now i don't think our main problem is Ovie because i think he is one of our few hitters and he has adjusted his game by becoming a better passer and distributor when not scoring. But he spoiled us and his teamates the last few years because he was lighing the lamps almost everygame and that luxury has been exhausted. Remember some of those russian teams like the olympics last year and previous teams. When playing with the lead and being able to skate up and down the ice virtualy unimpeded. they shine. When the clamps, forechecks and mucking and grinding are required, it is not their game and they shrink...What you are now witnessing is the shrinkage! A finese teams trait!! Also, don't think the HBO, 24/7 thing is for us. We have shown in the playoffs in past years that the brighter the light, the tighter we play. Who knew That Flash was the straw that stirred the drink. I'd rather play this way now and maybe figure it out come playoff time then what it has been . That being us looking great during the season and looking clueless in the playoffs...

Posted by: klangley69 | December 13, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night and it was the first time I ever left a Caps game early. A few points:

1) The supporters of A Gordon should just stop. He was non-existent.
2) No practice today is not a good idea, it is a GREAT idea. Sometimes you just need a break from the arena, that is why we have weekends.
3) I miss Flash...or maybe it is just that Hannan is almost as slow as Erskine.
4) Does the coaching staff look at videotape of their opponents? It is obvious the other team does with us and has figured out a way to stop us.
5) Time to go to the defensive trap game until we can score more than 1 goal a game.

As are the players, I am taking a break from this team. Maybe I will watch on Wednesday, but right now I am not hopeful of a good outcome when I go up to Boston on Saturday.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 13, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"I care about our sport's overall growth and expanded fan base more than a banner in the rafters. I want to see the NHL succeed over the current trash like NBA and NFL. I want to see our fanbase (the NHL as a whole, not just the Caps) increase and one way is to market big games."

---

Then it makes sense why you think that GMGM is great and BB is infallable. They are *very* good at selling jerseys when things are good.

FWIW, I give you credit for openly admitting that you don't actually care about winning championships. And, I agree with you -- If you don't care about winning championships then what GMGM and BB are doing is just peachy.

I think if you win championships, the jerseys sell themselves. If this franchise doesn't start delivering on expectations, then all your doom and gloom losing the franchise nonsense is much more likely.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 13, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

BB is in trouble.

Posted by: DCFanatic | December 13, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@Vermont...

If you are an adult, you shouldn't be wearing NHL jerseys (out of the house)...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | December 13, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse


Adults can't wear hockey jerseys to games? HECK, I WEAR A JERSEY EVERY TIME THE CAPS PLAY WHETHER I'M THERE, AT A FRIENDS, OR HOME.

Sorry, soaringcaps, I guess I haven't grown-up yet

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 13, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh,

"Crosby’s scoring streak is now at 18 games (one shy of tying his career high), and the Penguins extended their winning streak to 12 games and unbeaten stretch to 15 (14-0-1)."

10 days and 4 games away from the Winter Classic prequel.

Think HBO 24/7 is loving this drama?

Posted by: OccasionalCritic | December 13, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Wow, what a down group! Me Included, as somene else said, i am stunned, hard to believe this is happening.

I have tried to help, buy changing routine, first few games, i woke up, and looked at the WP.com site, then NHL.com for the score board, i travel over seas a lot, and try to listen when i can!

speaking of changing things, i am not sure if it is time for the BB to go quite yet, I do agree with the rest of comments about changing lines too often, way too often.

Also, i did not like how Kolizig was handled, the guy deserved a better chance fo playing out the end. Huet was fine, but he ran to the Hawks, not happy with how they handled last years goalie, for sure Karma playing catch up with us!

Few years ago i said, if we can not win with OV, who can we win with? Cindy?
How about Green, Alzner, Fehr, and Bourque for Crosby? (oh we already traded Bourgue last year). Just kidding, ofcourse, that is crazy, but hey so are some of the other trade suggestions.

I hope this thing rights itself!!!

Posted by: hunter321 | December 13, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

the forechecking problem has been talked about ad nauseum, for the record.

Part of the problem is if our forwards don't forecheck the other team's D, they can break out of their zone with a full head of steam and it puts our D on its heels

the other prob is guys like Poti and even Sarge, don't do well under a heavy forecheck. They get flustered and flub the puck a little too often. Sarge isn't as bad about it as Poti is but he is susceptible to the forecheck

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 13, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Yes everyone is taking that out if context. BB was talking about letting Hannan get settled, and as Erskine was our #6 he would probably be benched some, but I NEVER took it to mean that if someone wasn't playing up to par he would still make Erskine the scratch...no coach would do that. Some people on here suffer from selective deafness...they only hear things that support their already held beliefs.

Posted by: capscoach | December 13, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I suggest you visit the archives and read the thread, capscoach...BB CLEARLY STATED THAT ONCE ALL D-MEN WERE HEALTHY, ERSKINE WOULD BE THE ODD MAN OUT....what he should've said is "Once all dmen are healthy, competition for ice-time will be keen and we'll give jersey's to those 6 who we feel give us the best chance to win that night."

Don't you get it, capscoach? BB did exactly what you find "hard to believe." I didn't hear "what i wanted to hear." I heard the coach publicly render our only tough-as-nails dman a LAME DUCK. Please, research my posts from that time and you'll FIND I CALLED ATTENTION TO IT IMMEDIATELY.

That's just but 1 reason why BB MUST GO!


Posted by: vermontcaps | December 13, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I like CTCapsPhan's post. BB is not the only coach. It's time for all the coaches to do a better analysis of what's happening and how to beat the other teams who have figured out the Caps and ESPECIALLY how to have the whole team play defense.

I also think BB is changing the lines way too much.

Illnesses and injuries are real factors. The rest is needed, but so is reflection.

I have to say that watching Tortorella's smirking face throughout that game last night made me absolutely sick.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 13, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Y'all believe me yet about Jeff Schultz being our MVP?

Posted by: FergusonFoont | December 13, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

We'll continue to be losers so long as people think ****55 is capable of being MVP of ANYTHING, let alone a team with Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, Green.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 13, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Anyone think that the pressure of the Winter Classic and the HBO series are contributing to the Caps problems?

Posted by: zmega | December 13, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"Anyone think that the pressure of the Winter Classic and the HBO series are contributing to the Caps problems?"

---

The pressure of the WC and HBO?

Holy cow, we're softer than even *I* thought.

You're not even going to get out of the first round (again) if the "Pressure" of the WC is getting to you, let alone the Cup Finals.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 13, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Pens' fan...did you see the start to their season?
The Caps are too talented not to turn it around.
And if they haven't done so already, watch how they play in the Winter Classic.
Trust me...they'll be fine.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | December 13, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@sabredc

well said about the business part!

we'll see. Don't trade Semin, but someone has got to get him to commit to the team. I agree with CStanton (from yesterday) was that Semin's xcheck was caused by Caps not protecting their skilled players. Berube once described it this way: Edmonton came into Philly and their tough guys were running all over the ice at Philly's skill players. Berube had a chat with one and said, go ahead keep that up, but we won't go after you (the tough guys), we're going to go after Gretsky, Kurri, Coffey. The "running around" stopped.

When someone takes a shot at Semin, Backs, Green, their should be someone who takes a shot at their guys. (Having said that, I do remember that Ovie creamed Duchesne on the first hit of the game...)

Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 13, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I think that BB's inability to make changes since last year's playoffs on the offensive system and the PP are known throughout the league . The Caps have never fully adjusted to what Montreal did to them last season and it shows when the Caps fall behind by a goal or two early in the game. Simply put, the Caps pysche is fragile and BB hasn't been able to make the systems changes needed to win consistently and now the team is playing with zero confidence. The Caps have been playing poorly throughout the season and have been lucky to win some games early in the season on talent alone.

Coaches unfortunately often "max out" with a group of players that they've taken to a certain level (Lindy Ruff in Buffalo being a rare exception). The Caps are a very talented team that hasn't yet learned how to win against teams that grind it out or in the playoffs. A veteran coach like Craig McTavish or John Stevens would get through better to the players at this point as a new voice is needed. I'd be very surprised if GMGM hasn't reached out to some of the out of work veteran coaches or has set a deadline for when a change needs to be made. I can't imagine he'd let things continue more than another few games without making a coaching change.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 13, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I thought they usually waited until the playoffs to start sucking...

Posted by: Scoonie97 | December 13, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

They need a day off and then a sports psychologist.

Posted by: CF11555 | December 13, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"I've defended BB in the past but I strongly suspect his time here will be over by Friday at the latest."

I was telling a friend that by the time we see the Caps play the Pens on the 23rd (going to the game) that the Caps could have a new coach.

They drop a few more and it can happen.

I was also telling that same friend that ONLY in the NHL you can fire your coach and still win a Cup in the same year.

It might be a good thing, it really seems to me after BB criticizing Varly last year that the play of ALL of the Ruskies went down. It's very possible they don't respect him anymore.

I don't think a trade is going to help.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 13, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

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