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Posted at 7:30 PM ET, 12/21/2010

Open thread: Capitals vs. Devils

By Washington Post Sports Editors

The Washington Capitals (19-12-4) are back in the 'W' column and hoping they can stay there after snapping an eight-game skid Sunday in Ottawa. The injury-laden New Jersey Devils (9-21-2), meantime, are coming off their most lopsided defeat of the season, a 7-1 loss Saturday in Atlanta.

Tonight's Caps lineup will appear below this post shortly before faceoff at Verizon Center.

Chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter and see your tweets here by using #caps.

Faceoff: 7:30 p.m.; TV: VERSUS; Radio: 820, 1500 AM.

Click here for a live game summary.


By Washington Post Sports Editors  | December 21, 2010; 7:30 PM ET
Categories:  New Jersey Devils  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tonight's lineup: Devils at Caps
Next: Capitals beat Devils 5-1, lose Matt Bradley for 2-4 weeks

Comments

Since RCN is garbage and I don't get Versus, is there a website where I can see the game?

Posted by: JEp1 | December 21, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

from previous post:

I look at their lineup, and their top two lines are as good as anybody's," Coach Bruce Boudreau said of a group that includes Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk. "I mean they've still got a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer in net and they're probably really ticked off that they lost 7-1. We better be ready."


How about a different stance, something like, "they kicked our but last time 5-0. They better be the f ready against us tonight!"

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 21, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

can we please end the twitter chat experiment.

Posted by: amorris525 | December 21, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

From the previous thread. I'm pretty sure Manson did kill a guy who he suspected had ripped his "family" off in a drug deal. I believe this was prior to his "family" committing the mass murders. Interesting subjects we get into on a hockey blog, huh?...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 21, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if Neil, Clarkson, Thornton, Thorburn or Crombeen would have developed into the players there are if they had spent time on the Caps?

All have turned into decent NHL'ers IMO.

Twitter chat is a joke just like our 4th line.

Posted by: StanleyCap | December 21, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

@stanleycap

It's so simple, yet so frustrating. Win or lose, I anticipate an uninspiring performance devoid of the emotion and intensity becoming of a SC champion. Anyway, who cares what happens tonight against one of the weakest teams in the league; I'd like to see tonight's lineup against the Pens on Thurs, as then it will be clear to everyone once and for all.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 21, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I wish we could do live chats on here like we did for some games last season. I'm sure there's more to that though, and maybe it's just not something that can be held here as easy as it seems. Still would be nice to have.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | December 21, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

To second JEp1, up top - anyone have a link to the game? So pissed, was planning on watching at gym later while I work out, stupid Comcast showing some garbage hoops game instead, nonsense.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 21, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

@timbo

the game is on versus if you have it

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 21, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

WaPo - are you ever going to drop this twitter fiasco?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 21, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

did the caps have a shot on goal on that PP?

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

halfway thru the 1st pd they have one hit. That's 18 skaters combining for 45 shifts and one hit. At home. Against a bad team. Just one game removed from their 1st win in 9 games.

Enuff said.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Enuff said.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 8:00 PM

somehow - i doubt this

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 21, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

i just saw ovie hit someone so there's at least 2 now

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Nice speed by Gordon on that.

Posted by: Dizruption | December 21, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

they had tripled their hits by the time there was 5 minutes left

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 21, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

and now for something completely different - caps score first

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

That's the best the Caps have played in their own end in a long time. It wasn't perfect but the sense of urgency was more noticeable than it's been in a while. They weren't giving them much space and they were making good, quick decisions with the puck and exiting the zone cleanly.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

A. Gordon sounds like a bright kid.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Three good things from 1st:

1) AG charges hard to net for first goal
2) Alzner shows off the "paw to the jaw" move I'd hoped he'd learn from Hannan
3) Big save by Neuvy in the last minute

Not good:
1) PP stunk like the five guys had never played together

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

nevermind that Brodeur us near the end of his career - what a thrill to score your first NHL goal against him

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I saved a small amount of that French white wine from Sunday night and mixed it with Spanish red (Borsao) for tonight. So far, so good.

OK, all of you watch Hannan and now Alzner for the "paw to the jaw" move as enemy comes over the blueline. Then watch and compare as other D instead try the ole poke-check.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Alzner just took down a Devil F with a nice elbow.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Ersk was disruptive (that's good) on the PK.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

OK, NJ interfered with Backie and got away with it. Very bad no-call.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

What in the world was Hannan doing on that clearing attempt?

The Caps didn't handle the shift after the PK well either.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

okay chance to get it back - be nice to have some sustained play in the NJ end of the ice

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Beagle! Woof, woof!

Maybe we need to put the grinders out there on the PP to show the fat wallets how to do it.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Not a big Steckel fan but he's been terrific so far tonight. He's moving quicker and playing with confidence.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

WOW - the kids are gettin the job done

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

GOOOO HERSEY!!

Posted by: Walle | December 21, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

(i meant) GO HERSHEY!! Only MP left!

Posted by: Walle | December 21, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh my god - hands of stone!

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

hands of stone - chimmychanga!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 21, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Great play Chimmy and primary assist my boy AGordo.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

That was a strong play by Chimera.

He's showing 8 what 8 used to be like.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Strong backcheck by Steckel. He's having quite a game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

ebolean1:
you win

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 21, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

The baby bears are making mama bear proud! :-)

Posted by: nicety251 | December 21, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

toi is going to be interesting - from the way they are playing - time for 3rd and 4th lines should be up there

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Bad blind pass by 8 into the middle... not for from turning into a breakaway the other way.

I long for the day that 8 displays consistently good decision-making.

28 has the same issue at times but I feel like he has innately much higher hockey IQ.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Nice pick-off by 8 and after another easily predicted fake, 74 follows up strong.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

finally - ovi loses the puck and their is capt america to take care of business!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 21, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

JOHNNY C!

BTW, the last of that French white is gone so Caps are doing it on their own now. I have freed them.

Also, btw, Sunday night I predicted a 6-2 win for this one. I also predicted a Hannan goal, we'll see on that one.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

nice drop pass by Ovi disguised as a successful NJ poke check

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Matty P must be chomping at the bit.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 21, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Steckel with great positioning and anticipation. I've never seen him play so well in so many areas. I wish I believed I could expect it more regularly.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

90 may have been our best forward over the last 2 games.

This has to be his best 2 game stretch of the season for sure. Well, 5 periods or whatever...

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

nice PK

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't it Fedorov that said something to the effect of Ovechkin needing to add some deception to his game or that he was too predictable?

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

There's no denying MaJo's skill. He's going to be good.

Steckel looks like an NHLer now that he's a LW.

Everything working but the PP. Maybe that's the last thing to come back.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Let's see if they have learned how to hold onto a third period lead. The Devils shouldn't be that big of a challenge.

Posted by: zmega | December 21, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Even tho the Caps are up 4-1 I've got a complaint. Where are the stars? The AHL call-ups are carrying the likes of Ovi, Backstrom, Green and Semin. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 21, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Just out of curiosity, where are all the people calling for Bruce's and GMGM's heads? A lot of people were all saying that whether the Caps win or lose, the system still sucks and Bruce should be gone.

Now everyone is a David Steckel and Jason Chimera fan. Two players that people said should be traded because they were worthless. According to people here, players can't just change their style.

You people make me sick. You're fans when the Caps are up 4-1. But if the Caps lose you hope they continue losing. Go to Raleigh or Philly and cheer them on.

Posted by: sabredc | December 21, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

And that was sort of an example of 28 with a bad decision. He must've been aware of the time left in the period and he chooses to make a somewhat risky cross-ice pass that gets deflected and taken the other way.

Part of it is the nature of 8 and 28 and part of it has to be coaching.

There is too much high-risk decision-making between the two of them. I'm not saying you never try to get creative or be extra aggressive but you have to balance and be aware of the game situation.

The smarter, higher IQ play there would've been to either hold onto the puck and take it deeper into the zone or even simply dump it and guarantee you have the 3 goal lead heading into the break. I don't care how skilled you are or what line you play on, there are times where you need to make the simple and smart play.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Carlson is a +4 with 2 points. He's having a great game. As is Neuvy. And how about the ol' Chimmy-Majo-Gordon line. Andrew Gordon is from Nova Scotia and I actually grew up playing against him, so I guess that's pretty cool. He's a local hero around these parts too

Posted by: Aldred15 | December 21, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

At what point do you move Backstrom and Ovechkin to the second line?

Posted by: festus75 | December 21, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

If you name starts with a "J" you need to score.

Posted by: MM11 | December 21, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I like that BB has Ovi in front of the net on the PP and that we don't have to ENDURE him out there the whole two minutes and therefore wheezing and gasping at the end of the PP when the other team comes charging down the other way.

Green looks better on O as well. Results aren't there yet, but at least it looks better.

Hey, don't get too excited, it's only the lowly Devils.

tmac: How come you only post during games?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

If your name starts with a "J" you must score

Posted by: MM11 | December 21, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

lines for pitt game agree or disagree

Ov Backie Fehr
laich MP Semin
chimera MJ AJ
steckel beagle Knuble

Does knuble drop to the fourth line

Posted by: samb99 | December 21, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Moving your feet solves a lot of problems. Let's hope they keep moving them in the third...

Posted by: sca187 | December 21, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't care how much this team struggles offensively at times or how they lost to Montreal, how well they play in their own end and defensively in general will determine their fate.

I like the emphasis they're at least trying to put on defense and hope it's not something they will abandon if the offense starts firing on all cylinders again.

I want to see a team that has the real capacity to win games by outplaying their opponents offensively or defensively or both on any given night. I understand that they've done that in the past but to really be an above average if not very good defensive team, you need to develop the right habits over time. You can't just flip a switch and learn those habits overnight.

Learning to play good team defense will also create another way of generating scoring chances for the top lines. It may mean sacrificing certain things and unlearning certain bad habits but I think it would pay off when it matters.

You saw it on the last goal. It wasn't just 8 but he finished off a good defensive sequence by intercepting a pass and going the other way. There are times where he might get caught cheating on a similar play and be on the wrong side of the defender or just in bad positioning altogether.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

You people make me sick. You're fans when the Caps are up 4-1. But if the Caps lose you hope they continue losing. Go to Raleigh or Philly and cheer them on.

Posted by: sabredc | December 21, 2010 9:13 PM

I'm just going to take a wild guess here but my wild guess is my dead grandmother (she died in 1998) knows more about today's NHL than you.

Sorry, Nin, didn't mean to disparage you, but I'm sure you'll concur on my opinion of sabredck.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I like the lines.

lines for pitt game agree or disagree

Ov Backie Fehr
laich MP Semin
chimera MJ AJ
steckel beagle Knuble

Does knuble drop to the fourth line

Posted by: floms | December 21, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Everybody's thinkin it... 4-1 lead at home... what could go wrong, right?

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm going to rant. I just FEEL it.

SORRY SABREDCK - The REASON the CAPS are WINNING TONIGHT is they are playing EXACTLY how many of us and many hockey experts said THEY MUST.

And we "make you sick." Awwww, too fkn bad sabredck!

The Caps are no different than my three adult daughters. Do things right and they get praised; do things wrong and I explain how to do it right; do it wrong time and time again and I send them back to Hershey!

If you were my kid Sabredck you'd be right now outside picking weeds in the mud and rain!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Ovi will change his game under BB. Unless he takes the initiative to change it on his one, he will remain one dimensional and predictable.

Posted by: floms | December 21, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Ovi will change his game under BB. Unless he takes the initiative to change it on his own (doughtful imo), he will remain one dimensional and predictable.

Posted by: floms | December 21, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

39 is simply in beast mode tonight... give him a personal copy of the tape of this game for when he's struggling.

He did make a bad play a couple min. ago but he's been as good as I've ever seen him tonight.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Tmac. I was thinking it and praying for Neuvy to stay awake and that the D holds.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 21, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Tmac. I was thinking it and praying for Neuvy to stay awake and that the D holds.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 21, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't even want to see anything resembling a shorthanded opportunity here, score or not...

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

There you go Bruce! Put the hard workers on the PP!

Posted by: festus75 | December 21, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

According to the Twitter box, Matt Bradley did not return to the bench so far after intermission.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 21, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

39 better be careful or I may be buying his jersey soon.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

You know, every game I watch, Alzner gets just a teensy bit better.

Ha ha, Brodeur! DoG!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

They've played this period almost flawlessly so far.

Like last time, there should be zero shortie opportunities on this PP. Look to score obviously but be aware of the game situation, whoever is on the ice.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Aww, I made some of you sad. Boohoo.

Posted by: sabredc | December 21, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I want a PP goal, please. Thanks.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 21, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't care less that they didn't score on the PPs.

5-1 and 12 min of smart hockey.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Man - I wish Backstrom could get back on track

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Love it! We score with TWO guys camped out in the crease! BTW, that's two guys MORE than during the whole losing streak!

Got it, sabredck? Play the right way and you win!

How bout the Caps just pretend this is shampooing for Thursday night!

Yes! Rinse and Repeat!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Poti deaks his way to a turnover in the offensive zone

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I think this was easily one of our top 3 or 4 performances of the season, not even considering the score.

Let's finish with a strong PK.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

@tmac
"39 better be careful or I may be buying his jersey soon."

TMAC, why don't you put "McPhee!!!!" at the end of your posts anymore?

Posted by: sabredc | December 21, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Thank God for the AHL players.

Some of us suggested all summer a well-balanced Caps team, if you couldn't get a Clutterbuck or Downie, should have Beagle and A Gordon as part of the bottom two lines.

Now, that said, some of us also said MaJo should spend the year in Hershey. I've amended that recently to, "defensively ready, still needs some work on O."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

@ tmac

I understand. I just want the PP to start clicking again. I agree about not giving up shorthanded goals.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 21, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I think you have to be proud of that performance. We were pretty srong in some of our relatively weaker areas. Hopefully they build on it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

would be great to see the same performance against a top tier team on thursday - Go Caps!

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

So, I arrived late. Is it safe to say that they played an entire good 60 minutes?

Posted by: nicety251 | December 21, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Bradley got blown up by Volchenkov. That may be why he didn't return.

Posted by: zmega | December 21, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

I am still ticked off at whatshisname Jones for his comment before the game that the celebration at the end of the Sens game was just for the HBO cameras. what a jerk. why if he was here I would - well I can't even tell you what I would do it is so heinous.

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 21, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Gordon! Great job Nuevy!

Overall happy with that game...but that top line needs to get it together! Backstrom, Ovie, Semin, and Green have been pretty lousy.

Ovie just wants to score so bad he isn't just playing the game. He needs to get back to basics and stop looking so desparate...he did play physical, but he can't just play in the O-zone...and it would be nice if Backie could feed him a pass on the offensive zone every now and again...he is being forced to carry the puck in every time giving the other team too long to go cover him.

Posted by: capscoach | December 21, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Predicted Sunday night by nostrathomas:

"Caps will win by four, 6-2."

Actual final, 5-1.

As it was written, so it almost was.

Borsao 2009 Campo de Borja red. $5.99/bottle at your local Total Wine. Gets the tominsocal1 seal of approval (like when Oprah endorses a book) as it is cheap, very nice and was consumed during a TWO-PT NIGHT!!!

SORRY, JONATHAN6, BUT I GOT HERE FIRST!

It's been a third-line shaking, grinding line making, two-point night!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

They won and that's good. They did it without the likes of Semin, Backstrom and Green. They should give their paychecks for tonights game to charity.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 21, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Jones was being nice... he didn't even show that curl and drag attempt at the opposing blue line early in the game.

He was being a little harsh given that Semin was out for a while but his general point is accurate and it applies to both 28 and 8.

28 did make some good plays as well, including a backcheck that may have saved a goal, but generally speaking, he and Ovechkin don't make good decisions nearly consistently enough. That's on both the players and the coaches for not getting through to them and it's been years that they've gotten away with some really bad habits.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Jonesy absolutely killing Semin for being a "passenger" all night, especially during his 2:40 shift on the 5 on 3 PP... he does nothing during his 160 sec shift and Knuble comes on and scores in 5 sec.

Posted by: joek443 | December 21, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Prediction...

Capitals-5
Penguins-4
F/OT

Posted by: robostop10 | December 21, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

good game against a struggling team.
as close to 60 minutes as they've played all season.
even neuvy can look like halak when you keep the majority of the shots to the outside and opponents away from him.
finishing your chances makes a world of difference.
they still have a lot of work to do to get ready for the 'real' season - but this makes it look like they are moving in the right direction.
i hope atl and tb push them all the way through the end of the season - they don't perform as well when they are not challenged.
time to start preparing for thursday.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 21, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

At what point do you move Backstrom and Ovechkin to the second line?
-----------------
I think you just cut back their minutes. You put the guys on the ice that are getting the job done. These two and some others just aren't cutting it right now.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 21, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I think that the #1 thing that needs to be fixed in 8's game is his his positional awareness, offensively and defensively.

Beyond that, it's knowing when to avoid the high risk plays based on the game situation and the positioning of the other players on the ice, reacting quicker in defensive transition (he often puck watches and reacts late to counterattacks), improving his effort and sense of urgency on the backcheck and in the d-zone in general, (needs to believe in the importance of this part of the game), avoid lunging at opposing players with the puck and taking himself out of position (ties into positional awareness and defensive awareness), etc...

There are a bunch of other things you could add like learning not to be so predictable on offense and being willing to dump pucks ini and work harder along the walls but the general point is that he has so much room for improvement and I just don't see a lot of growth in his overall game. How could that not be on the coaching staff to some extent? I'm sure they address things with him but talking about stuff and driving it home to a "star" player and causing him to change and develop those good habits are two different things.

A lot of that stuff applies to Semin and other forwards and even defensemen.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Great to see a big win, but let's keep in perspective that this NJ team is not good. Loved seeing the Beagles of the world score, but need to see the Ovechkins of the world score. PP still not working, although finally BB pulled #8 off the point (thank you). I cannot disagree with Keith Jones, Semin has gone back into his shell. What is up with this guy? He has the talent to be one of the best in the NHL, but doesn't seem to really want to play. He's like a teenager, one day helpful and dependable, the next day uninspired and lazy...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 21, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Some of you, at this point, are on the edge of your seats, waiting for that next prediction.

"Tell us, nostrathomas, tell us, please, what can we expect Thursday night vs the Pens?"

Well, I tell you, as Mister Ed might say, just hold your horses. What do you think will happen?

"Well, well, I don't...just don't know!"

But how they play, my child?

"Really well, except..."

Except?

"Well, except the power play!"

And isn't it written in the scriptures, "The third line must lead?"

"Yes, but, here in DC we never believe the scriptures!"

Mrs. Ovechkina: "You should get some books and read."

nostrathomas: "Yes, Mrs. Ovechkina. Get some books and read, as you have told Buttman."

Mrs. Ovechkina: "Absolutely."

And in the scriptures, under Gordus:09, you will find the following passage:

"The hockey Gods help those who help themselves to the crease."

As it was written, so it -

Hey, you know the line.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

BTW I don't see anyone in the media asking hard questions on why Ovi has scored only 3 goals in the last 18 or 19 games of the season... that's almost a quarter of the season folks.

That's also the pace Kovalchuck has been on this season... hmmm have these two guys made some kinda secret pact to stink up the joint this season???

Posted by: joek443 | December 21, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Jonesy absolutely killing Semin for being a "passenger" all night, especially during his 2:40 shift on the 5 on 3 PP... he does nothing during his 160 sec shift and Knuble comes on and scores in 5 sec.
-----------------
Yep, he deserves it. You could have fit the Back Street Boys between him and whichever Devils player he was facing. Maybe he is still feeling a little "delicate".

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 21, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Prediction...

Capitals-5
Penguins-4
F/OT

Posted by: robostop10 | December 21, 2010 10:18 PM

No!

Caps 5, Pens 2.

As it is written, so it shall be.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Caps 5, Pens 2.
----------
Drunk again tom?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 21, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1...

I hope you're right. I don't know if I could take that type of nailbiter.

Posted by: robostop10 | December 21, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Same thing that I said about Fehr the other day applies to Steckel: doing it once out of every several games is not impressive at this level of hockey.

I haven't been a fan of Steckel for a long time which is why I said " I wish I believed I could expect it more regularly."

If either Fehr or Steckel start showing up on a regular basis, I'd love to acknowledge it. I don't like seeing players underperform. It disappoints me.

As far as McPhee, I could go on about that all day even after this kind of performance but even somebody who loves to highlight flaws in this team takes a break once in a while when they play good hockey.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Haha @tominsocal1 - nice ending to the post with the grind streaking line haha. Keep it up.

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:
Star players take a backseat - the supporting cast has got this because that's what we do. Props to A. Gordon and Beagle on their goals. A hard working effort again tonight. They did what they should've done to a team flailing away in the standings - BEAT THEM DOWN.

NEUVIRTH: Standing tall between the pipes again. Strong goaltending tonight.

DEFENSIVE EFFORT: Every team will get chances but a good job clearing out in front and turning it up ice.

FRONT OF THEIR OPPONENT'S NET: Knuble's goal a prime scoring example - Two guys in front of the net.

This team is taking care of the little things and looks like they're hopefully starting a nice run. We shall see. Come Thursday night it's time for the stars to make their return against Pittsburgh.

BRING ON THE PENS!!!!!!

It's been a two-point night.

ICE BREAKERS GOAL SHAKERS.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | December 21, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

If either Fehr or Steckel start showing up on a regular basis, I'd love to acknowledge it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 21, 2010 10:31 PM

and you can do it - baby steps, tmac, baby steps.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 21, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see 8 just fire shots instead of trying the curl and drag for a few games. If they get blocked at least the defender is going to feel it and with Ovechkin's hard shot could at least make for a sore leg and a slower defender. If it does get by the defender he has been used as a screen a la Mike Eruzione in 80.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 21, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

That's also the pace Kovalchuck has been on this season... hmmm have these two guys made some kinda secret pact to stink up the joint this season???

Posted by: joek443 | December 21, 2010 10:22 PM

Yes, it's the Yalta Pact, signed off by FDR, Stalin and Ol' Winnie.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Imagine how big the winning margin would have been if they had started DJ King instead of the Hershey callups :-)

Posted by: MadCap1 | December 21, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

What a great night in the seats with my daughter -- first game back since we went to Carolina, the last home win.

I'd say it was a complete game. thurs night, bring it on.

Posted by: Justafan | December 21, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Caps 5, Pens 2.
----------
Drunk again tom?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 21, 2010 10:29 PM |

Hey, we'll find out who's drunk (or an idiot) Thursday night.

I'll be here...will you?

The thing is, FloridaCapsFan, and why you doubtless get told several times a day by your mother to take out the trash, is because some people watch trends and anticipate while other people watch Oprah and Dr Phil and wait for their mother to tell them what to do.

So you can squat on that hockey stick FloridaCapsFan until it comes all the way back up and gives you some dental floss effect.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal, you losing your goodheartedness? Watch mixing those reds!

It's so nice to watch our Caps play with their souls back. Can't wait for Thursday night!

Posted by: Justafan | December 21, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Bradley out 2-4 weeks with a broken finger. Never returned after the big hit/assist.

Posted by: Justafan | December 21, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Caps defense was magnifique! Like those guys at Belle Centre in the playoffs last year. Lots of swarming the puck and counter-plays. They were the fastest team tonight. What was the score the last time they played the Devils? Hallelujah!

Posted by: flynnie321 | December 21, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Semin definitely looked off, but he was out for a while and might have been rushed back due to the rash of the combination of injuries/illness/family deaths the Caps have had.

Ovie doesn't look like his old self, but he has been ridiculously close to scoring the last two games. The kicked in one against Ottawa, and that shot from in front on the net in the 2nd when Brodeur dove and got it with his stick.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 21, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Crap-hate to lose Bradley!!!!!!!!

Posted by: AADCDERM | December 21, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Imagine how big the winning margin would have been if they had started DJ King instead of the Hershey callups :-)

Posted by: MadCap1 | December 21, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see the Hershey Bears, er Wash. Caps, beat the worst team in the league sporting the worst goal differential. Holy hockey sticks, even DJK would've had a point or two tonight and he wouldn't have turned-away from Clarkson the way Brads did.

(C'mon Brads, what comes around should go around....McQuaid obliged you in Boston, perhaps concerned that another pummeling would change the momentum? Not exactly the swagger and attitude I'd hope would accompany such a lopsided score against the worst team in the league)

When our stars don't show up AGAIN on Thurs. night, we'll see how the call-ups do against a real NHL team, not one that couldn't win in the AHL and is in a complete state of disarray.

That said, congrats to both Gordon and Beagle on their goals, they were ones to be proud of for sure.

I'm glad some are excited and pumped to play the Pens Thurs. Our pp is inept, our playmakers and snipers are cold as ice, and our "role" players and call-ups...well, be careful what you wish for.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 21, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I tell ya, if we keep scoring by going to net (A. Gordon, Knuble, Beagle), and keep up the occasional great blast (Carlson), we'll be in great shape, but Chimera's use of speed to beat out the Dman, play through a penalty, and beat Marty high was just a thing of beauty. That man's speed and determination can serve us well, too. Very nice offensive output, around net and elsewhere.

Posted by: Justafan | December 21, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Justafan: Well, sorry, I guess, if you think I have "goodheartedness," then that's quite a fine compliment from you and I am appreciative. Thank you.

BUT, as you know, if you've read my stuff over the last three years I've been here, that I'm 95% light-hearted and maybe 5% serious. Because, lookit, it's all fun, right?

Now, I mean, all this nostrathomas stuff, just all fun, right, like we're all in the bar tipping the glass and the Caps have won and ain't it grand?

You know, I respect everyone here, unless they say something really stupid, like sabredck did earlier...what sabredck said was universally stupid...so I called him on it...and I put my normal silly posts...Caps will win, wtf...and FloridaCapsFan does this, "Drunk again, Tom," like some kind of an insult. Really, like an insult.

Let me say this to be very, very clear. I will joke with anyone, any time, and give lots of leeway for fun. If someone says something really stupid like sabredck I will take them on; and if I say something really stupid then challenge me on; but if I do a simple nosrathomas prediction based on tonight's game DO NOT PLEASE put a simple insult in reply. Just don't.

If you want to dispute what I put, lay out the facts.

Otherwise:

29385 Gary Drive
Santa Clarita CA 91387

And that's how it is. Anyone can show up and drop their gloves. You might win but I will make you hurt.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Also, on DJK sitting this game instead of AGordon, Beagle, or Chimera(the likely people who would have had to sit if DJK played). That turned out to be a good decision by BB as those three scored the first 3 goals. Hindsight is 20/20 though so I won't hold that against those people.

The reason I bring up DJK is that it may not have been possible for the Caps to take him off of IR and put him on the roster due to the current roster freeze. I know DJK is eligible to come off IR, but that would mean the Caps would have to either put another player on IR or send a player down, which they are not allowed to do until Dec. 27. So playing DJK tonight may not have been possible.

However, with Bradley getting hurt it is now possible DJK can be taken off of IR with Bradley going on IR(that move wouldn't violate the holiday roster freeze).

Very good overall game. The Carlson/Alzner D pairing was top notch again, with Carlson really shining. I also though Hannan played a very solid game. He seemed to block a few shots on good opportunities by Devils players. He does seem to be getting more comfortable with his teammates. Green looked average. I do believe that BB needs to cut down his ice time.

Also, people who complain about BB not giving Erskine an opportunity really need to quiet down. Erskine led the team in even strength ice time. If that is not a coach giving a guy an opportunity, then I do not know what is.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 21, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps, I don't care if it was against the friggin Devils. We needed to get our swagger back to be ready to go against the Pens and play them like we did last year. It's a heckuva lot better then playing lost, as we did neer 4 games and more ago.

They're back.

Posted by: Justafan | December 21, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to try and stay on your good side, @nostrathomas.

Posted by: Justafan | December 21, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

If Bradley got hurt on the hit by Volchenkov then he was not on the ice during any big lead and could not have turned down a fight while the Caps had a big lead, as the play he was injured on gave the Caps a 2-1 lead.

Also, for big hitter fans. The hit by Volchenkov was a clean, solid hit. But going for that hit took Volchenkov out of position which led to the crease being wide open for Steckel to get to and Beagle to sit in. That is a definite negative in going for a big hit. It is risky.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 21, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Re: 28, my daughter and I watched the warmups and were sure Semin would be out tonight. He was stepping gingerly and looked darned hurt. If his night was not stellar, that's the cost of contributing to a banged up team, but he had some good plays, a beautiful feed following some awesome board work, a couple of hits, a heckuva a backcheck to save a goal, and a few steals. He was not up to following through on a cute play, but he hung in.

As for the youngsters, John Carlson and Marcus Johansson shined; they might just be well seasoned come playoff time.

Posted by: Justafan | December 21, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Re: 28, my daughter and I watched the warmups and were sure Semin would be out tonight. He was stepping gingerly and looked darned hurt. If his night was not stellar, that's the cost of contributing to a banged up team, but he had some good plays, a beautiful feed following some awesome board work, a couple of hits, a heckuva a backcheck to save a goal, and a few steals. He was not up to following through on a cute play, but he hung in.

As for the youngsters, John Carlson and Marcus Johansson shined; they might just be well seasoned come playoff time.

Posted by: Justafan | December 21, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game. It was a blast. All I can say is, we want Pittsburgh.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 21, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

vermontcaps: First let me say that I like you, I really do. But you know I have challenged now some of the extreme Kool-Aiders and you being a Goat's Blooder I want to challenge your 11:28 pm post.

I am saying this - you put many posts that are really, really on the mark. Your normal critiique re:Erskine has made you one of the most astute people here when comparing fantasy to reality.

But this 11:28 post is off the mark IMO.

You are basically trashing an exemplary Caps effort from tonight on the grounds that it doesn't meet "your standards."

Now vermontcaps I will take this from you out of respect but I WILL NOT TAKE THIS BULL$H!+ from such people as floridacapsfan or sabredck.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

It's unfortunate Bradley got hurt, and I'll miss him while he's out. The challenge came right after we went up 3-1, just like Bradley went for McQuaid when we fell down by two.

As for Erskine, glad to see you're finally singing his tune, too. He, Carlson, and Alzner were the best dman tonight, imo. Erskine got the scoring started w/a nice out off the glass, led d-men in pk time too, and was his irascible self in a conversation w/Clarkson early on.

You know how I feel, sgm3, and I'm glad you're starting to understand where I've been coming from these last 2 months (again, I only started posting this year once the #4 bashing began for no reason) I look forward to you clamoring w/me for his return once ****55 returns and BB sends #4 to the pressbox.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 21, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

@sabre
@tomincal

Sabre, you're as big a goof as BB. That's precisely what we're saying about BB. Why don't we see that kind of effort every night and in the playoffs. Chimera fighting off that check and scoring was great. Do it again Chimy !!!!!!

What's up with Backi ? Just another Euro who signed a big contract. Take some of the pressure off Ovi buddy. Go to net!!

Semin was not ready to play mentally, which is why we should trade him while his stock is high.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 21, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Backi's ice time should be cut. He's not playing to the best of his ability. Seen enough.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 22, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

thanks much, and I likewise enjoy reading your posts (damn, you eat well!! ;) ) I'll grant that any win is a good win right now, and this was a win we needed against a team we should've beaten.

If you saw my post, it was in response to someone dissing DJK, who didn't even play tonight. Before that poster shoots off about how worthless DJK is and how much better the call-ups are, I think he/she should seriously put the game into perspective. I mean, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

The excitement of beating the worst team in the NHL should be tempered by the fact we'll be facing the best all-round team in the league. Sorry if you took offense.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 22, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to try and stay on your good side, @nostrathomas.

Posted by: Justafan | December 21, 2010 11:37 PM

Sorry. Really, the bite isn't nearly as bad as the bark. Fk em all, fk em even if they don't deserve it, my bad. I owe you a drink. You and many others. My address is above. My liquor cabinet is full. Stay thirsty, my friens.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 22, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

and I LOVE your 11:31 post....I wish we had some of that spunk and pizzazz on the ice!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 22, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

vermontcaps: NOOOOO! I would NEVER take offense to what you would write! NOOOOOOO!


OK, let me be careful...Those other posters I referenced are F'd. Your posts though are so generally insightful that I'm more than happy to take the bull with the cow. You were just too fkn negative there. Just think if you can "Kelly's Heroes" 1970 Clint Eastwood and Donald Sutherland and DS telling Gavin MacLeod, "Quit with those negative vibes, baby."

Sometimes life is much fkn simpler than we thought it was.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 22, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

think i typed a bad word in my last post, it got held for review. Anyways, you really must be Nostrathomas because how else would you know that "Kelly's Heroes" is one of my ALL TIME FAV movies? I think your on to something...

Unfortunately, I don't think I can change my thoughts and ways of expressing them. Seems like I've been moaning about the Caps my entire memorable life. And I like it. That which doesn't break us can only make us stronger. So long as we win the cup in my lifetime, I'll be happy.

I was up here when the Sox beat The Curse, and I think we'll win the cup w/Ovi and crew. That said, I reserve the right to criticize the team as I deem fit :)

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 22, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

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