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First period looms large for Caps

Morning Roundup

The Capitals understand the kind of opportunity they're presented with in a month where nine of 14 games will be played in the friendly confines of Verizon Center. They are 4-1 at home so far this season and finished with the league's best home record in 2009-10 with a 30-5-6 record.

To seize this chance to gain points and ground in the Eastern Conference though, the Capitals wouldn't mind having the help of a stronger showing in the first period. Washington's ability to come from behind -- the Caps are 5-3 this season when an opponent scores first and was 16-8-6 last year -- has never been in question, but that doesn't mean it's an ideal situation either.

Claiming a lead in the first period can only help the Capitals' cause. After all, they were 28-6-5 when doing so last season.

"These games are a great opportunity," Tomas Fleischmann said. "But for us, we have to prepare for every game and really for the first periods. They haven't been that great for us so far."

Through 11 games, the Capitals have scored five of their 34 goals this year in the first period and Alex Ovechkin, who posted a team-best 16 goals and 33 points in the first last year, has yet to tally a point in the opening 20 minutes.

FROM THE POST
Updates on Mike Knuble's scoring struggles, and how adding Alexander Semin to a line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom changes things for the Caps.

Box Seats blogger Kareem El-Alaily examines the most divisive issue among Caps fans: Jeff Schultz.

If you missed it yesterday, Michal Neuvirth was named the NHL's October rookie of the month.

AROUND THE WEB
The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek discusses the defense-oriented Mike Green.

Not only did the Maple Leafs lose 3-2 to the Senators last night, but they will also likely be without captain Dion Phaneuf, who left the game with a cut to his leg, tonight against the Capitals. (Toronto Star, Globe and Mail)

By Katie Carrera  | November 3, 2010; 7:08 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Boudreau ready to see how far Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin combo can go
Next: Caps recall Brian Fahey

Comments

If the "big 3" wants to stay together scoring in the first would probably help. :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | November 3, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the Globe and Mail article of...
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/eric-duhatschek/capitals-green-finally-gets-defensive/article1783119/

I find it heart warming to see the following personal statistics on Mike Green:
8 GP, 1G, 4A, 5Pts, +7Overall, 11TeamGoalsFor, 3PPGF, 1 TeamGoalsAgainst, 0 TeamPPGA

...and all this playing against the oppositions #1 line!

hmmm, curious what the Anti-MikeGreen crowd will say now... that's it's luck!

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 3, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

to further expound on Green's stats so far this season:
Translation: 8 games against the opposition's #1 Offensive line and 1 goal against while he's on the ice... and 11 goals for... seems kinda of Dominant in a Norris Trophy consideration kinda of way!

Translation #2 (full season stats comparison):
2009-10:
75GP, 19G, 56A, 76Pts, +39 Overall, 161 TeamGoalsFor, 60 PPGF, 81 TeamGoalsAgainst, 19 TeamPPGA
2010-11 (projected):
79GP, 9G, 39A, 48Pts, +69 Overall, 108 TeamGoalsFor, 30 PPGF, 10 TeamGoalsAgainst, 0 TeamPPGA

but the real question is... what happens if Green gets 55+ Points and is a +65 against the oppositions #1... can they not give the Norris to him again?

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 3, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that Jeff Schultz is most divisive issue among Caps fans, maybe last year but not now.

Posted by: MReilly9 | November 3, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

FrankM: thanks for laying that out...Nice!

MReilly: Agreed - 55 is having a strong start and I think people are much more verklempt about Fleischmans performance vs. potential

Posted by: jeets | November 3, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Man is that all Green has put up this year? Bah, trade him to Toronto for Kaberle and be done with it. :P

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 3, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

2010-11 (projected):
79GP, 9G, 39A, 48Pts, +69 Overall, 108 TeamGoalsFor, 30 PPGF, 10 TeamGoalsAgainst, 0 TeamPPGA

but the real question is... what happens if Green gets 55+ Points and is a +65 against the oppositions #1... can they not give the Norris to him again?

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

this projection is almist as ridiculous as someone scoring 5 goals in the first 4 games which projects to over 100 goals in a 82 game season.

Posted by: joek443 | November 3, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I was out west for Saturday's Caps game and watched the replay on the NHL Network Sunday morning. It was the CBC broadcast and I was surprised just how much the announcers respected Ovechkin's ability to take over a game. During pregame they talked about the Caps first line being in a slump and that Calgary better hope they don't come out of it. When Backstrom scored on the bang bang passing play they said, Uh-oh, even though the Caps were still down. It was nice to see a different broadcast because in our market the NHL Network, even the rebroadcast, is blacked out here in Washington. The Versus crew is always drooling about Crosby, Richards, and now Stamkos. It is the same story every day on there. The CBC studio guys were funny too. Milbury was not happy with the outcome.

Oh, and I cannot believe the first goal wasn't overturned. Jokinen not only had a distinct kicking motion but the outside of his right foot was facing the net and he opened his stance to redirect the puck. The NHL is very good about making the right call when the puck has crossed the line because that is black and white. However, the distinct kicking motion decisions are getting as bad as the NFL decisions after replay. What I mean is, the decision on the ice is usually not overturned. Of course whether or not that was a kick is my personal opinion.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 3, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

that puck never even touched his skate, if anything it might have touched his stick... Locker said that.

Posted by: joek443 | November 3, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

joek443: WRONG!!! Maybe I got different views because I watched the CBC version but on one of the replays he clearly opened his stance to redirect the puck with his right foot. Doesn't matter, game over and the Caps won. The CBC crew said the same thing until the one vantage point clearly showed the contact with the skate. Locker says a lot of things that are wrong. He was probably talking about what he and Joe B did when the Flames scored that goal. It takes him at least 1/2 of the 1st period to get focused on the game. I'm sure the 3rd period was loaded with Locker and Joe B BSing about everything but hockey too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 3, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

joek443: WRONG!!! Maybe I got different views because I watched the CBC version but on one of the replays he clearly opened his stance to redirect the puck with his right foot. Doesn't matter, game over and the Caps won. The CBC crew said the same thing until the one vantage point clearly showed the contact with the skate. Locker says a lot of things that are wrong. He was probably talking about what he and Joe B did when the Flames scored that goal. It takes him at least 1/2 of the 1st period to get focused on the game. I'm sure the 3rd period was loaded with Locker and Joe B BSing about everything but hockey too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 3, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock

I agree with joek here...the comcast angle showed that the puck never really came close to his skate. I didn't get a chance to see the CBC broadcast but the angle we had it didn't hit his skate

Posted by: _stevo | November 3, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock
I noticed the same things on CBC. 1- the announcers (Weekes & Lee ?) respected and feared the Caps top-line, although they also seemed fairly uninformed about the Caps because they thought playing Ovi on the Point on PP was a recent switch (maybe since last time the Caps-Flames played).
2-I also thought the Jokinen goal was kicked in due to the kicking motion, with skate driving towards net, and blade elevating off ice. the angles looked like the puck hit the skate but I cant say I actually say it hit the skate... but the kicking motion was clear.

for anyone interested in the Toronto media perspective heading into tonight's game, check the link:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/leafs-beat/leafs-limp-to-dc-minus-their-captain/article1783397/

headline is a good summary; fairly negative view on the recent losing skid and the Phaneuf injury. looks like last year's Leafs have returned.

Posted by: PSD1 | November 3, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Geez, BB, don't be saying Green's the "best player on the team night in and night out" we've got to sign him next year!

Great prospect update at RMNB: http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2010/11/03/prospect-watch-anderson-saves-russians-come-back/#more-9652

DeSimeone now getting 1C minutes at NH. Galiev and Kuznetsov and Eakin all playing well. Break up the Caps!

Posted by: RedLitYogi | November 3, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I was watching the game on CBC last Saturday night and there wasn't any question in the world - went off his skate, which he had dragged, turned and aimed toward the goal.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 3, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

2010-11 (projected):
79GP, 9G, 39A, 48Pts, +69 Overall, 108 TeamGoalsFor, 30 PPGF, 10 TeamGoalsAgainst, 0 TeamPPGA

but the real question is... what happens if Green gets 55+ Points and is a +65 against the oppositions #1... can they not give the Norris to him again?

---
this projection is almost as ridiculous as someone scoring 5 goals in the first 4 games which projects to over 100 goals in a 82 game season.

Posted by: joek443
----
OIY! I never said that he would get those numbers... Just saying that this is his current pace which, to a degree, demonstrates Green's attention to detail in his own end now in this young season.

Green said he's paying more attention to detail to Defense against the opposition's #1 line... and here are his stats to back him up...

While I agree that stating that he'll continue on this pace is ridiculous... You missed the point! It was an exercise in breaking down the stats.

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 3, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal - >

which only proves that the version of the game we see on comcast is different than the one they show on CBC. I was wanting to hear how the Canadians reacted: they love them some good puck, and those were some awesome, awesome plays by the Caps.

(C'mon, Dark Siders, you have to admit: who cares if we do it the right way if we get to see plays like that?)

Posted by: RedLitYogi | November 3, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I watched the CBC telecast last Saturday night and initially it appeared that the goal was kicked in. However, a later angle from above showed that the puck wasn't kicked in and it was a GOOD goal....that said, if it were the Caps who scored the goal it probably would've been disallowed

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 3, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I watched the CBC telecast last Saturday night and initially it appeared that the goal was kicked in. However, a later angle from above showed that the puck wasn't kicked in and it was a GOOD goal....that said, if it were the Caps who scored the goal it probably would've been disallowed

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 3, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Regardless if Toronto is slumping or what their own the media says, the Caps should not underestimate them and get too cocky. That's how we lose the "easy" games.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: AmyS1 | November 3, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Katie,
Sentence 2 of paragraph 2 could use some assistance:

"-- the Caps are 5-3 this season when an opponent scores first and was 16-8-6 last year --"

"Washington's ability to come from behind--...--has never been in question, but that doesn't mean it's an ideal situation either."...the ability is not an ideal situation? not sure that makes sense

Posted by: mcintire_will | November 3, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Watching the CBC broadcast was pretty interesting. I live out of the country, and sometimes try to watch the out of town announcers on the online feed. Usually I have to turn it off and switch to Joe B and Locker because of how biased other teams announcers are....but the CBC game was actually enjoyable to watch. Was surprised they weren't all over the Flamers and how great Canada is. I guess not all of Canada hates OV as much as I thought.

Posted by: rsl13 | November 3, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Re: Canada/CBC attitude towards Ovechkin, there's some media personalities who unduly criticize (cox, cherry, the CBC 'hotstovers'), balanced by others who respect/admire him (eg. Flames coverage last saturday).

But what is particularly interesting is how much the CBC has focused on marketing Ovi. CBC truly leveraged him to sell their coverage last year. From memory, I think the Caps played ~6 marquee Saturday night "Hockey Night in Canada" matches (incl ~3 vs Toronto).

Also interesting, at the start of last year's playoffs the CBC had billboards around Toronto with a "Heroes" theme. Crosby, Luongo, etc were obviously on the ads, but so was Ovi (with Miller as well, I believe). Even more interesting, there were some billboards in Toronto with just Ovechkin on them... and these must have been booked for the months of May/June because they were up there the whole time. It was a depressing remember to me, but also a sign that the CBC had bet big on Ovi and I can only assume they thought the Caps were the best odds for a deep playoff run... apparently even more so than Crosby, who didnt have a dedicated solo billboard.

Posted by: PSD1 | November 3, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

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