Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

More on the Capitals' comeback in Nashville

When the Capitals started their comeback against the Predators, the most palpable change in mood and atmosphere at Bridgestone Arena came not before Alexander Semin's goal but after.

Washington's fourth-line combination of Matt Hendricks, David Steckel and Boyd Gordon created sustained offensive pressure down low in the Nashville zone. They got a couple shots off and seemed to get under the Predators' skin a bit, particularly after a scrum around the net when Hendricks was put in a headlock by Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter. The success rubbed off on the rest of the Capitals' forwards.

"It was a great energy shift and they did a great job of it," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I thought that was the shift that turned the tide. Then [Jason] Chimera's line came out and he was skating in the third period and driving wide and beating guys, and then Semin had the breakaway."

"You could feel the tide turning. They outplayed us so bad the first 27, 28 minutes of the game," Boudreau said. "When you look up and you go, 'Holy crap, we're only down a goal at this stage,' or two goals, you've still got a chance."

The shift in the game's balance rewarded the Capitals with Fleischmann's goal that tied the game at 2 just more than 12 minutes into the period. Finally, the previously undefeated Predators began to look like a team playing its third game in four nights.

"It was like one of those momentum shifts; if you're Nashville, you're hoping to hang on because we're coming," Boudreau said. "With us, we just hoped we had enough time to tie it up."

Said Alex Ovechkin: "I don't think they dominated the first two periods... It was our mistakes. We just took too many penalties and we couldn't get into the game. That's why they got their momentum. Neuvy kept us in the game and he played great today."

Here are some other notes and quotes from Saturday's game:

--Nashville utilized its speed to create puck support and keep the Capitals in their own zone for much of the first period and draw those first four penalties. While there have been times in the first four contests where an opponent had a territorial advantage, none were quite as lopsided as the Predators' edge in the opening 20 minutes.

"They hemmed us in our zone pretty good," said Karl Alzner, who played nearly 23 minutes, including a team-high 4:29 on the penalty kill. "They had a good cycle game going and they were using the points really well to just get a lot of shots through. We were trying to chip pucks out, but they did a great job of battening down when things came their way."

--Alzner and Carlson tied for the team-high in blocked shots with four each. The Capitals blocked 14 shots total.

--With Mike Green and Tom Poti out, the quartet of Jeff Schultz, John Carlson, John Erskine and Alzner each played at least 21:58. Carlson led all Washington players with 24:14 of ice time and Schultz has yet to be on the ice for a goal against this season.

--Washington's PK came up big once again Saturday as it weathered all six Nashville power plays, improving to 21-for-21 on the season.

--It wasn't the best of nights for the Capitals' Tomas Fleischmann or Marcus Johansson in the faceoff circle. The former was 1-for-12 while the latter 1-for-7.

UPDATE: Defenseman Brian Fahey was reassigned to Hershey.

By Katie Carrera  | October 17, 2010; 9:38 AM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Karl Alzner, Nashville Predators  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps 3, Predators 2 (OT)
Next: Nicklas Backstrom leads the way in the defensive zone, but is that a good thing?

Comments

same ole' Caps, play half the game and still win... that formula really served this team well in the playoffs last year, didn't it??

Posted by: joek443 | October 17, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

previous thread

@cstanton1

I told you to stop whining in the previous thread...sorry if you took that to heart...you then proceeded to tell me to put some make up on go out and "get some". I have NO problem when you go after my hockey opinions. actually agree with your assesments more than you may think. But your attack on my was WAY out of line and if you had any decency you would apologize...would you want someone talking that way to your mother, sister, or daughter! I do not attack your "manhood" when you ger me riled up. I keep it hockey related.

Also...I while I am by no means proud of that game, I think the D responded well by having their a***s handed to them in the first...they got progressively better and if we looked at just the last 40 minutes of that game the D did not look that bad (for who we had).

you see cstanton...I think if you look at my posts over the past few years you would see that I acknowledge the bad but try to also focus a bit of attention on the good...If you want to call be a koolaid drinker that is fine...it is far more classy and appropriate than the comments you directed at me last night.

It is so annoying when you post something and two seconds later another article comes out.

Posted by: capscoach | October 17, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Dedicated to cstanton:
Na Na Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye!

Posted by: jgmd | October 17, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Outplayed 27-28 minutes? Try 43-45 minutes. Oh well, it was a regular season game, they only have 77 more to go. Hopefully BB is trying some things that will help them grow to advance in the playoffs.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 17, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Why are you even commenting on this blog? It the regular season man. You told me yourself, it doesn't mean anything.

You spend a lot of time on this blog commenting on games you think are meaningless.

Posted by: will111 | October 17, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jakopz | October 17, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Ok I am out of town and didn't get to see the game so I can't comment about that. On the other thread stuff I read the last set of comments but didn't read the game ones and don't plan to so I don't know what exactally was said but this is just getting stupid. Cstanton, while we don't often agree I have always seen the posts between us as two people giving two sides of a story and letting the reader form their own oppinions. I feel that with the many new fans this team has they need to see all the different views about the team so they can form their own ideas about the team and also to become more informed about the good and the bad of the team. While I often don't see eye to eye with you I do respect what you say and only give an argument for the reasons I talked about above. There are very few times I think you are way too negqative but that is part of being human. I hope whatever happened last night on this blog stops because I think it is important to have both positive and negative thoughts about the team to give all views.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 17, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

If cstanton1 truly believes what he says, we shouldn't hear from that guy until the playoffs. He needs to stop commenting on games he believes are meaningless.

End of story.

Posted by: will111 | October 17, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm trying to remember when I saw a team play pedal to the metal hockey for 60 minutes - I mean, any team. And I mean for one game, not for a full season and playoffs.

The conclusions I drew from last night -
- The Preds came out flying and the Caps did not match their intensity for the first half of the game.
- The absence of Green, and to a lesser extent Poti, exaggerated the disparity in aggressiveness. The Preds could forecheck very aggressively because they didn't have to worry about Green skating or passing through them. The remaining Caps d are much less skilled in getting the puck out. So the puck was in the Caps defensive zone for extended periods of time, leading to penalties. The inability of 2 of the top 3 centers to win face-offs contributed as well.
- The Caps forwards really turned it on in the second half of the game - I would single out Semin, Chimera, Ovi, Hendricks, even Flash.
- Neuvy was tremendous.
- I haven't seen anything to change my mind that the team is thin at center and defense. If the team fails this year, it is more likely to be due to the weakness at these positions than lack of effort, IMO.

Posted by: zmega | October 17, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@zmega

agree 100% I do think if we shore up the D we may be able to get away with bad centers...anyone else wishing we had signed Belnger?

Posted by: capscoach | October 17, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm never happy with a win that I feel prolongs the lessons this team needs to learn. I'll use a Skins reference I've used in the past. Norv Turner's Skins once won 2 games in a row to 2 awful offensive teams who put up something like 500 yards of offense v the Skins D. Instead of addressing the awful defensive performance, Norv glossed over it as a non-issue. Needless to say, the season went downhill because our D couldn't hold the line. I think Rich Gannon was the QB at the time. That totally infuriated me. By ignoring clear flaws despite a win, you set yourself up for failure.

Posted by: cstanton1

This mindset would be fine, and expected, if you were some sort of coach with the team or tied to the team in some fashion. But you aren't. You are a fan, just like the rest of us. As fans, we are outsiders who watch the Caps for entertainment and enjoyment.

Yes, the Caps have some problems(so does every team), but you can't fix them. So why is that the only thing you ever focus on. Sitting wherever you are after each and every game and fixating on every single Caps' problem while never just enjoying a game is puzzling to me.

I just can't see the point of watching the Caps that way since watching the games would no longer be entertaining or enjoyable.

I watch the games for entertainment and enjoyment and am happy when the Caps win. I do enjoy discussing what I think the Caps need to improve on (defense and 2nd line center). But it's all for fun. It puts a smile on my face. If this part of my life became s more stressful than enjoyable then I would stop watching, because what would be the point.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 17, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Is this a hockey blog or Dr. Phil? Geez! Everyone has a right to their opinion, even if they want to drone on and on about the negatives. If you agree, great. If not and you can't handle a debate, just ignore the poster. Both sides are guilty of resorting to personal attacks when someone disagrees with their point of view.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 17, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

the Caps had 2 days off before last night's game and it was the 3rd game in 4 nights for the Preds so their effort despite the win was inexcusable.

Posted by: joek443 | October 17, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

So Juice had 2 goals and an assist last night...figures he learns how to aim that shot AFTER we let him go.

Anyon else shocked/pleasantly surprised that Schultz has not been on ice for any GAs! I remember two years ago hating BB for keeping him around. I thought he had no talent and was a wast of a roster spot (he kinda was at the time.) BB must have seen the potential in him...glad it paid off.

Posted by: capscoach | October 17, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The Caps are just not a well coached team. They coast way too much. They are inconsistent. And often they don't play smart. Talented yes, but well coached? No way.

Posted by: poguesmahone | October 17, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

sgm3 - Well said. And to be more specific, I think the D played pretty well "defensively" but, mirroring what Alzner said, they had trouble with the transition. Many of the Preds SOG were on the powerplay. Considering the lack of Green and Poti and the shifting of lines, I thought they did pretty well. Speaking of the PK, how awesome is THAT turn-around? I think the defensive pieces are in place and will continue to improve. As for 2nd center, I think Flash is doing pretty well. His face off percentage is downright bad, but certainly not the only measure. He seems to have improved his defensive game and has even thrown in a few hits.

Posted by: gonchpup | October 17, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

cstanton1: You honestly think we are going to believe you were offered a scouting position with the Caps. That is the biggest fabrication I have ever read in the CI. You should embarrassed that you decided to hit the submit button on that fairly tale.

You are a fan, nothing more, nothing less. You know hockey, we get it, but please stop pretending to be something you're not.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 17, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The Caps are just not a well coached team. They coast way too much. They are inconsistent. And often they don't play smart. Talented yes, but well coached? No way.

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

The Preds are the exact opposite, very well coached but except for their number one D-pair, not that talented.

Posted by: joek443 | October 17, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

... and the Caps won ... :-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | October 17, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm probably in the minority, but I am not really concerned with the lack of effort from the Caps last night. I don't think there is a team that gives 100% effort or plays hard for 60 minutes over 82 games. What I am concerned with is the lack of team play. Too many guys trying to be the hero. Guys trying to stick handle through three defenders instead of passing to an open teammate (not just Ovi and Semin), starting the breakout before getting the puck, everyone chasing the puck instead of sticking to their assignments. Those are some of the issues BB needs to resolve.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 17, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

yup, they sure did... played one good period plus a couple minutes in OT and still end up with a W.

the theme seems familiar, let's see if they really are serious about winning "the right way" like they claim they are.

Posted by: joek443 | October 17, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't think there is a team that gives 100% effort or plays hard for 60 minutes over 82 games.
---------------------------------------

you gotta look at the circumstances of each game. between the two teams if one team had a legit excuse not to give 100% effort last night, it was the Preds playing their 3rd game in 4 nights.

the back end of a back to back, a 3rd game in 4 nights... you can understand if they come out a little lackadaisical in those games but NOT after they had two full days off.

Posted by: joek443 | October 17, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I really don't see lack of effort as the reason for the Caps failure against the Habs. I see the weak, passive PK and the failure to get traffic in Halak's face as primary factors.

Posted by: zmega | October 17, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@ joek443

It's early in the season and as you said before, players pace themselves.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 17, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I posted this last night at the beginning of the game thread. I'd like to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or disagree:

Some interesting measurement data that I saw through a link on Japers.

Here is the link: http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2010/10/15/1751273/sizing-up-the-nhl-by-height-weight-and-age

and the associated spreadsheet: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AlBZxpXinYkCdGJHeHg1TGRwNG5SLUNiYlgyTHBwdEE&hl=en#gid=0

Observations and thoughts:

The Caps are collectively the tallest team in the league and one of the heaviest.

Our forwards are the tallest and heaviest.

Our D is above average in height and just slightly over league average in weight.

Tall and heavy usually spells slow.

Maybe that's part of why we look relatively lethargic compared to other teams at times.

The thing is that if you are tall and heavy, you need to take advantage of it by being a physcial team - use your physcial advantages to your benefit.

As is, the Caps are underly-physical in addition to potentially being slow, overall.

I've often see people claim that we are a speedy team and I've never gotten that impression. Team speed isn't just based on your 2 or 3 fastest guys.

In the new NHL, speed is certainly at a relative premium compared to the past.

It would seem intuitive to me that we need to sacrifice some of our underly-physical size (both height and weight) for speed going forward.

Also interesting is that the last 2 teams we lost to in the playoffs (Pitt and Mtl) have forwards that are both relatively short and light, overall, compared to the league average for forwards while we are the tallest and heaviest as mentioned above.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 17, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

yup

... and they have a lot of games left to come together, learning to play as a team for most part of a game (ablake70) and to play "the right way" ...

For now I am happy about the wins and that they are on their way into to playoffs ...

... and I am sure, there will be games, where the effort is there, where they dominate the other team ... and still loose ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | October 17, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

LOL ablake70, the season is barely one week old. I'm all for pacing and saving your best for the playoffs but nobody should be tired and start pacing this early in the season.

it's like excusing a baseball player for not running out a grounder. doesn't matter what part of the season, that's not excuseable.

Posted by: joek443 | October 17, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

hmm - interesting -

However, why are the Caps so successful? Those factors should be of relevance also during the "normal season" ...

... and I don't like the idea of breaking up the team ...

... "Our forwards are the tallest and heaviest" ... but also the most successful ... hmmm

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | October 17, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

ablake70,

I believe you hit the nail on the head! This is a team seperated by a large group of hard working players and small group of very well paid prima donna's.

The most obvious to me are the 'optional' pratices/skates. How can you hold a practice without 15-30 percent of your ice time leaders? I understand extra time can equal tired players, but we are not talking about 38 yr old veterans with bad knees and arthritis. What this seems to signal (I'm in FL, can't visit Kettler, so correct me if I am wrong) is certain players are considered above others. This does not equal 'team building' in my book.

BTW, how long do you think Herb Brooks would have kept the Caps on the ice last night after that performance? I'm guessing the whistle would still be blowing.

Posted by: FLDave | October 17, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I think it can be misleading to evaluate the average size and weight of the whole team, rather than just the guys who play the most minutes. But, generally, I think the Caps are a high skill team but not necessarily a super quick team. The young guys coming up through the Caps system are generally pretty quick - MaJo, Kuznetsov, Eakin, Orlov, even Bruess is pretty quick.

Posted by: zmega | October 17, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"it's like excusing a baseball player for not running out a grounder. doesn't matter what part of the season, that's not excuseable."

But over the past 15 years players on the Yankees and Red Sox do this constantly. Yes, I agree that they should be giving a full effort in every game, they are being paid a great deal of money to do so. However, this is not the case for all athletes in every sports. Especially sports like basketball, hockey and baseball which have very long regular seasons.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 17, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Two points:
1) @cstanton,
Don't let the door hit you on the rear end on your way out.

2) Katie, you are doing a much better job the past week. It is appreciated. How about:
- some video highlights links,
- locker room video quotes of your own,
- AM links to other papers, hockey sites with commentary on the last game.

You're getting there...

Posted by: pcalvert | October 17, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

it's like excusing a baseball player for not running out a grounder. doesn't matter what part of the season, that's not excuseable.

Posted by: joek443 | October 17, 2010 12:33 PM

Well said.

People keep using the point that no team gives 60 min efforts in 82 games per season.

For those that like to nitpick on details, the point that a few like myself are making are that the Caps don't work hard enough and consistently enough relative to other teams and most importantly, the kinds of teams that develop the right habits and win when it matters.

Simply put, nobody will mistake the Caps as a hard-working team and skill isn't enough. This season needs to be about develop better habits and a better work ethic from day one and we have been outworked (and outexecuted) in 3 of 5 games this season. I don't care about the record nearly as much as the process at this stage in the team's development.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 17, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

More nitpickers...

Off the top, the Yankees and Red Sox play in a sport with no cap where it's much easier to overwhelm teams with talent.

In today's NHL, there is hard cap, which amplifies the role of the GM and roster building as well as lessens the skill differentiator.

Getting to the point, joek's concept was simple and not meant to be dissected: he and others of us believe that the Caps do not collectively have the necessary work ethic.

My opinion is that part of that is on McPhee. Some of these players just don't have it in them. Part of it is on BB for allowing it to happen too often.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 17, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@ FLDave

... I don't know ...

However BB trust his team, knowing that there is always a possibility to win a game like that ... and he was right ...

... and with Herb Brooks ...

- hmm - I am not sure why at the beginning of a season a trainer should go that far, what will he do if the team plays such hockey at the end of the season going into the PO, when it really counts?

... there is always the problem with psychology ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | October 17, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@joek

It's the beginning of the season. Despite what some think, I don't believe most players are in "mid season form" in October. If they are, they usually are dog tired by mid season (see: Tomas Fleischmann). They use the early games to get into shape. I don't think it's a big deal. I would like to see the team play well though.

@FLDave

Not exactly my point. I don't think the "prima donnas" are hurting the team. I think it's the so-called hard working guys. Guys whose primary job is to crash the net or grinding it out suddenly thinking they have the skillset of Ovi.

And just because Ovi missed an OPTIONAL SKATE doesn't mean he was hanging out at home. He probably was still in the building, working out with the trainer or getting treatment for a minor injury. None of us know and it seems that our reporters are more interested in stirring up controversy instead of finding out the true story. FTR, Mr. Crosby has been known to miss his fair share of optional skates. Hasn't really hurt the Pens much.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 17, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

hmm - interesting -

However, why are the Caps so successful? Those factors should be of relevance also during the "normal season" ...

... and I don't like the idea of breaking up the team ...

... "Our forwards are the tallest and heaviest" ... but also the most successful ... hmmm

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | October 17, 2010 12:34 PM

Maybe we'd be even more successful playing run 'n gun, non-physical one-way hockey if we sacrifice some size for more speed. I'm not saying I agree with that style of play but if the coaches are offensive minded and don't hold the entire team accountable defensively compared to other teams, and the big guys aren't physical enough for their size, then maybe it would stand to reason that getting smaller and quicker would be even more condusive to BB hockey.

I have no idea... just throwing it out there.

Our forwards are successful, offensively, relative to the league but maybe part of that has to do with BB's system and our loose, risky, overcommiting style of offensive play.

Maybe if you put BB behind the bench in Mtl, those speedy little forwards are even more successful than our group has been in his system.

Systems dictate a lot of how much a team scores goals... and prevents them.

I remember hearing the Buffalo announcers during a random game last season (not vs the Caps) talking about how the forwards buy in to the system and sacrifice offense for the sake of defense.

I'll say this much: if you put BB behind the bench of any other NHL team, their scoring would increase dramatically while their defense and attention to detail in all 3 zones would drop off over time.

Bottom line: If we are going to be a relatively soft, one-dimensional kind of team, we might as well get the personnel for it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 17, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Baseball is a bad example. It is a 2+ hour game, most of which is spent sitting or standing still. It is not unreasonable to expect hustle for the few moments where actual movement is required. Basketball is a better example, though I don't consider it to be as physically demanding as hockey. Do the Lakers sometimes coast through all or parts of games? Absolutely. I'm not denying that effort is important or that improvements in that area must be made. But overall I really question whether lack of effort will be what limits this team's accomplishments.

Posted by: zmega | October 17, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@zmega:

... well said ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | October 17, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Let's forget about the comparisons to other sports and get to the point.

Those that subscribe to the insufficient work ethic theory are saying that the Caps don't work hard enough compared to other teams.

If there was a measurement on work ethic, top to bottom on each roster, and there was a numerical value representing a team that has average work ethic, the Caps would be below that number in my opinion without a doubt.

It's by no means the only problem but it's on the short list along with personnel issues and coaching.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 17, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Tmac, I'm not sure that we really disagree all that much - it may be more of a glass-half-full kind of thing. But I bet if the work ethic of teams could be quantified, most of the hardest-working teams would be in the middle of the pack. They work hard because they may not be able to compete in terms of talent and because they have character, which prevents them from accepting defeat.

Now, you combine talent and character like that, then you really have something.

Posted by: zmega | October 17, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'm on the Dark Side. After the first 40 minutes, I literally wanted the Caps to lose, and was a little disappointed that they weren't down 5-0. That's the only way this team is going to get the message.

The reason is that BB and the players are, independent of each other, overconfident. The players see themselves down 2-0 through two periods and think they played well enough to only be down 2-0, when in reality it required a herculean effort by Neuvirth and had nothing to do with them. The players further believe they are good enough to erase that deficit, when in reality it required questionable calls or non-calls that benefited the Caps, plus an exhausted Nashville team that was not capable of competing at the same level. The team won, and the players' delusion was fortified yet again.

BB probably did realize that they deserved to be down much more, but he is equally confident in the team's ability to erase deficits. He constantly makes the mistake of lauding the team publicly for this ability, which only reinforces in the players' minds that it's ok to play badly for two periods. Even if BB DID realize how bad the team was in the first 40 minutes, and even if he DID realize that they deserved to be down much more, and even if he DOES lambast the team in the next practice, it won't matter, because BB has never demonstrated that he has the ear of the team when it comes to embracing a sound game plan. The reason for this is that he brought with him an unsound all-attack game plan when he joined the team. The players LOVE this game plan. Any player in the NHL would love free reign to play that way. So after a couple years of overall regular season success playing that way, the players cling to that message. We have spent the last two years listening to BB tell the team to give a 60 minute effort and play more responsibly. And we constantly see them ignore that advice yet continue to win based on talent. BB simply cannot overpower his own message. It is an ingrained part of him and it has become an ingrained part of them. The only thing that can possibly wake them up in the absence of a coaching change is a solid string of losing. A solid string of seeing the real-world results (the possible playoff results) of putting in 25 minutes of effort.

Now for the Kool-Aid part: I firmly believe that the team's best chance to win the Cup is next year or the year after. That's when the maturity and talent of our core players will reach maximum potential and when we'll have the flexibility to make the right roster moves. Making a blockbuster move at this point in time is unwise, given that there's no reason to suspect that a bone-crushing defenseman would somehow create a responsible team, and no reason to suspect that he wouldn't be infected with the same systemic-woes that everybody else suffers from. So, I'll be calling for BB's head after the playoffs. In the meantime, I'll let the player's talent continue to blossom.

Posted by: struggler | October 17, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Would this be a better blog with out cstan?
Possibly. Would I enjoy reading this blog more with out cstan? Yes.
Goodbye

Posted by: billd2 | October 17, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Why does everyone assume BB lets the players do what they want and play poorly without addressing it? Did any of you making that claim watch the post game interviews? I believe it was Brooks, but he stated that BB has some choice words for the entire team after the first. The boys had to kill a penalty at the start of the 2nd and by the mid point of the 2nd the ice started to tilt the other way. BB has the attention of these guys. Also, people claim that his boys get a free pass, well Flash was out of the line-up for game 7 last year, doesn't sound like a free pass to me.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 17, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

To start with, there is nobody who has followed the Caps longer than I have, not that that means anything. There are very recent fans who are more knowledgeable than I and there are other longtime fans who may know less, but I congratulate each and every one of them for being Caps fans. Hopefully many will become hockey fans and not just Caps fans, if they are already terrific. If not, watch other teams and styles and realize that the Caps way is not the only way. Regrettably it may not be the best way. Hockey history, both recent and early, has shown there is a general formula that works to be successful in the playoffs. By successful I don’t necessarily mean winning the Cup though that is the ultimate goal of every player and team. As has been pointed out multiple times by many posters, the regular season for the Caps is about learning how to play and win in the post season. They have obviously learned at this point how to win in the regular season so that is not an issue to my way of thinking. I find it very sad when people who state they all root for the same team can’t discuss and debate without debasing themselves. It seems there are people on both sides that suffer from a disease I call Internetitis, the inability to type without creating flame wars. Do I agree with what is said by either the “Kool-Aid” drinkers or the “Haters”? Both sides have valid points. Nothing would make me happier at this point to see a solid consistent effort by the majority of the Caps players, I am not even asking for it by all. Nor am I asking for 60 minutes of effort, but I do want more than 15-20 minutes by them. It is early yet and they do have plenty of time to make the effort change. Am I surprised that the consistent effort isn’t there even though all the players and the coaching staff are preaching it? No. However, I can say with some authority based on experience that people do not change their habits overnight. It takes repeated reminding and suggesting and working to create the environment where change occurs. All I can say is we do need to give them more time to see if the change starts to really show. I would say that if there are not some real signs that the team is starting to really embrace the more effective style of play by mid to late December then it will truly be time to worry. At that point I think it would probably be incumbent on GMGM to make a coaching change and if not then it would become incumbent on TL to make a management change.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | October 17, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: You honestly think we are going to believe you were offered a scouting position with the Caps. That is the biggest fabrication I have ever read in the CI. You should embarrassed that you decided to hit the submit button on that fairly tale.

You are a fan, nothing more, nothing less. You know hockey, we get it, but please stop pretending to be something you're not.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 17, 2010 11:47 AM

I am more inclined to believe that statement from cs than I am to believe some of the statements that some other posters have said. Also, how does your post advance the conversation in any way?

BTW, I for one would be sad if cstanton1 decided to leave. There are many things he has said, both in tone and substance, I do not agree with. But that can be said for many of the posters on both sides.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | October 17, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I wish cstanton1 was here to comment on what was said during the Pens broadcast that was used by the NHL network yesterday at 6. Well, he might not have seen it, wait, that's foolish of me, he watches every game using TVs and video streams so he had to see it. Anyhow, they focused on his boy Deryk Engelland who he refuses to believe is a tough guy that is benefitting because of an injury to Orpik, and a team smashed up against the salary cap. The stats they focused on:

7 fights in 14 total games in the NHL
67 fights at the AHL level
62 fights in the WHL

Hardly sounds like a guy kept around for his hockey skills. I realize he skates better than the average bear, but if he didn't scrap, he'd probably be an ECHLer, or a saskatchewan based NHL scout. You know, the job cstanton1 was offered but turned down due to financial reasons.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 17, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

realoldcapsfan: His bogus statement is a way to pee on this board by making everyone else's opinion useless by creating a false background to solidify his credibility. Now that he has given us an age timeline half of his claims of witnessing things first hand from the 1980s don't jive. If he was offered a position when he was 30, by McPhee, the oldest he could be is 42, and that is if he was offered the ficticious position the year McPhee took over. Do you honestly believe that someone who has lived in the area (remember a Caps fan back in the 80s) he would have had access to the games he claims? The internet was not here, nor was NHL Center Ice. The only hockey he would have access to is Capitals hockey. The Memorial Cup wasn't even on US TV until the last few years. Also, a fan getting offered a scouting position, really? The man has serious issues. He makes sexist comments on here, and wanted to rip someone's throat out yesterday. I belive it was more like I want to rip you EXPLETIVE throat out. Now he has this strange claim that he went from fandom to potential NHL scout, he's a brick or two short of a full load.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 17, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:

First off: I can't claim to speak for anyone else here--only for myself.

Many times in the past I have called you out--not for any flaw I might perceive in your analysis (because sometimes I agree with it)--but for your tone, as expressed by your implacable hatred of GMGM; your only slightly milder dislike of BB; your absolutist pontifications about the Caps future (e.g., "The Caps will never win a Cup unless..."), and most of all your habit of belittling any who dare to disagree with your posts.

For those unclear on where I stand, here are the facts:

Do I want the Caps to win? Absolutely Gawddam Right, I do!
Do I think the team is fine as-is? Probably not. Of course I'm concerned by the lack of movement in trades/free agency, and I recognize the deficiencies (1st pair D, 2C) that should be addressed if the Caps expect to go deep into the playoffs. But I also recognize that GMGM--not I--is the General Manager of the Caps', and that BB--not I--is their coach. So I trust that they have--at the very least--a far better understanding of what needs to be done for the Caps than any of us fans.
Would I do some things differently than GMGM or BB if I were in either of their shoes?
Perhaps. But do I believe I could do better than either of them? No.
Do I think the Caps can win the Cup with the current roster?
Maybe. Maybe not. The season is just starting, and it has a great many surprises in store for us yet:

--Every one knows TOR just plain stank last season--in fact, for the last several seasons. Who knew they'd come out of the gate 4-0? Against playoff teams, no less?
--ANA--who must be one of your favorites for their level of team toughness--are 1-3. Ditto SJS.
--Who would have expected NYI atop the Atlantic div. and NJD in the basement, with PIT a mediocre 3-3?
--Just 2 wks. in, the Caps are 2nd overall--tying the 8 points of TOR and unbeaten DAL, both of whom have a game in-hand.
--We all knew the PK stunk last year, and hoped for some improvement. But who knew it'd be 20 straight kills at any point in this season?
--The power play has stunk so far, but is showing signs of life. Ditto face-offs.
--I am also concerned with how not all of the Caps' games appear contain 60 minutes of end-to-end effort. But a win is a win.
--Neuvirth has been very, very good. Period.

To summarize:

--The season is long, and nobody really knows for sure how it'll all turn out--which is why they actually play 82 games.
--I would classify myself as cautiously optimistic. If this makes me a Kool-Aid® Drinker, then so be it--Bartender, pour me another!
--I sometimes agree with you, and sometimes not; you don't need to go away, just mellow out, and try recognizing that there are also some good things going on with the Caps: they're easy to find! Just look at where the team is vs. where it used to be.

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 17, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

@realold

no one has issues with cstanton when he is talking about hockey...I and I believe some others take issue when he makes horribly rude and sexist remarks because he is upset. No one cares about littlejabs here and there, but some of his remarks last night were classless, cruel, and completely innapropriate...esp. since they had nothing to do with hockey!

Posted by: capscoach | October 17, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

@Cstanton
@all others

You need to apologize to capscoach.

I know a guy who scouts for the Sharks. You would never believe this guy was on the scout team because he only played college hockey, and he's really just a kid. Just saying !!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 17, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

So - does anybody think that the reason the Caps won is that Nashville didn't play a full 60 minutes game? They got up by two goals, then let off the gas in the third period, then they started chasing the puck.

They have a good coach, have good players, especially on defense, have guys in the forward ranks that are known for hard work more than skill, yet they eased up on the Caps at home in the last period.

That sounds a lot like the Caps were last season, where they would come out hard, get a lead, then try to get too fancy and cute and not pay attention to detail and lose the lead.

Possibly a part of the Predators problem last night was due to them running out of gas in the third, after having expended too much energy in the first two periods in an attempt to get up early on the Caps.

The Caps defensive zone coverage last night was not nearly as good as it was against the Islanders the other night, that may be due to having Green and his 28 minutes out of the game.

Posted by: piratusus | October 17, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

No one cares about littlejabs here and there, but some of his remarks last night were classless, cruel, and completely innapropriate...esp. since they had nothing to do with hockey!

Posted by: capscoach |


The same can be said about many who come on here and post so why single out cstanton? Just because you do not agree with his views? I can not count the amount of times that there have been personal attacks focused toward me and several other posters by the "real" fans that never complain about anything the Caps or their mgmt do. In fact, that is probably the first time I have seen cstanton take a real "personal" shot at anyone and yet he is personally attacked on here on almost a daily basis.

I assume you are a grown woman and have been insulted before, do you always react in such a manner? Or is your reaction simply due to who flung said insult?

And ftr, I do not want to see cstanton go anywhere as he does bring valid points and views of players that I sometimes know little about. This blog would not be as entertaining and insightful if he were not posting here.

Posted by: PhilR | October 17, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

@phil

If you read my post I clearly said I don't mind the silly impersonal jabs...heck I dole them out on ocassion, but extremely sexist remarks are uncalled for and should not be allowed to slide...not just sexist remarks either...anything personal or sensitive in nature...u have every right to disagree, but young people do come on sites like this and tellin me to go put on some make up and "get some" is NOT OK! I enoy having people disagree with me and challenge my beliefs! I even agree with cstanton more than I would like to admit...I do not agree with his attitude toward other posters and the Caps. Why should my sex be attacked just b/c I had the nerve to disagree with him? When I diagree with someone I keep my respone related to the issue I take fault with. When I don't agree with you do I then threaten your "manhood"? Ofcourse not! I may say you are too negative and biased or even whiny...but that all relates to the topic...call me a koolaid drinker, blind, or anything else related to my posts...but don't comment on me as a woman because it is wrong and sends a terrible message to young people...the last thing I would want my students to think is that when someone says something you find fault in, it is acceptable to attack them in order to shut them up.

Posted by: capscoach | October 17, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company