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Caps Can't Hang on Against Red Wings

Jose Theodore might have just played his best game of the young season at Joe Louis Arena, but his 34-save effort wasn't enough to save the Caps from a 3-2 loss to the Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

The power-play proficient Red Wings struck twice with an extra man, including the game-winner by Tomas Holmstrom 13:07 into the third period.

One positive (and there were a few): For the first time this season, a Caps goal came from someone other than a top-six forward. Matt Bradley's first-period slap shot gave Washington a 1-0 lead over Detroit.

Brendan Morrison beat Chris Osgood from long range on the power play to give the Caps their second score. But penalties again seemed to be an issue, with two each from Alexander Semin and Mike Green.

So here's a question (and yes, it's a bit broad):


Stay tuned for some notes, quotes and a postgame video analysis from Tarik.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  October 10, 2009; 9:42 PM ET
 
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Next: Red Wings 3, Caps 2

Comments

In the salary cap era...

things can change a lot from year to year. There is much more parity. A top seed in one season can end up on the outside looking in the following season even if that team has the league MVP.

You have to play smarter and outwork opponents in this day and age no matter who is on your team. You can't coast into the playoffs on talent alone.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 10, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I won't comment on the play, but I want to thank atdhe.com for allowing me to see the game while traveling. I also will like to say that it was nice to hear a play-by-play guy and a commentator who could keep their talk about what was happening on the ice, other than one quick comment at the end of the game about Theo losing his son the talk was strictly about the game. THANKS!!! And by the way, these guys were NOT homers, they were very fair - how refreshing.

Posted by: hock1 | October 10, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

YAY BRADS!! Just had to restate that.

Posted by: CapsKH | October 10, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

The D corps on this team is one of the worst in the league (not just the Eastern Conference, but the NHL). It's old news, but GMGM is terrible. The Caps probably won't make the playoffs with this defense. I know Tarik won't say it. since he wants to stay on the Caps good side, but someone has to speak the truth about this team.
The Caps like to talk about all their depth at forward. Don't be fooled. This organization lacks depth. It's Ovie, Backstrom, occasionally Semin... and nobody else. Fact.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | October 10, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

hock1,

I assume you are talking about the Red Wings announcers. I listened to them for the first two periods then switched over to the Caps feed. I agree that they were very good and enjoyable to listen to, even for a fan of the opposing team.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 10, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

caps seem like they dont want to work hard bad trends now,the first wing goal was a joke they should have not had that many chances are d is soft they dont clear the crease crosby last year if they dont get this fixed and dont start playing as a team this will be a long season only good thing about bad season is maybe some of the bandwagon jumpers will leave,and true fans will be at games no leaners or getting up during gameplay.

Posted by: baltraven52 | October 10, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute...

Is that REALLY Mike Green on the ice or is he in his PLUSH loft? Could he have invested in a clone to play parts of the season so he can be fresh for the playoffs?

Hmmmm.....food for thought...

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 10, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

mdmtnbiker - How about Knuble, Laich, and Morrison? And what's with this "Fact" you end with. Do you know something nobody else does?

Posted by: gonchpup | October 10, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

yeah if the caps really had 8 good d-men like they claimed during the pre-season, Green wouldn't have to play 25 plus mins/game. then he would be fresh for the playoffs.

it's funny how some people get on Green for everything but when I suggest OV should be on the PK, you people get on me.. saying OV can't handle all those minutes... LOL what a JOKE

Posted by: joek443 | October 10, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

This is becoming maddening. The last three games were measuring sticks to see where the Caps were, and they have NOT lived up to expectations. They've been parts sloppy, careless, lazy and, frankly, dumb. Ill timed penalties in three straight games have left them with losses. These have all been winnable games, but their energy level and concentration in third periods has been terrible in all but one game this season. Now, they certainly looked better tonight than they did against the Rangers. And Theo was solid in net. But at some point, you have to put it all together and beat good teams.

Caps still need a legitimate No. 1 D pairing. Mike Green has looked terrible, and I don't think that's an overstatement. He's misplaying pucks, making bad decisions and putting every shot he takes everywhere but on net.

But one of the biggest problems still is the the forwards on this team don't do enough to help defensively. Semin and OV are the biggest culprits.

Posted by: CDon | October 10, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

PENALTIES PENALTIES PENALTIES!

We're killing ourselves!

Posted by: TheSuperhoo | October 10, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

We should trade Mike Green and/or Semin.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | October 10, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

LOL all those people who voted for Green for the Norris Trophy must be a bunch of MORONS... listening to all the jokers on here, you would think he's the WORST d-man in the NHL

Posted by: joek443 | October 10, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

I don't think Green is one of the worst D-men, and I don't think he should be traded. But watching him this year, he just hasn't looked great. He seems to be positionally unsound at the moment, and offensively he's been pretty bad. Nothing he shoots goes on net.

Posted by: CDon | October 10, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

CDon - What game were you watching? Ovie played one of his best defensive games so far.

DannyBoy1975 - Trade Semin? I agree he needs to control his stick, but trade a potential 50 goal scorer?

The Caps played a much better game overall. If the last 3 games happened in the middle of the season, not much thought would be given to them. Did you really think we'd have games like the opener all year?

Posted by: gonchpup | October 10, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Green's play has been very consistent since playoffs last year. That and this season its close to 20 games. You be the judge of the quality of his play during that period. More and more it looks like last year incredible play was just flash in the pan. Current trade value close to zero.

Posted by: Slava1 | October 10, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Third straight game a late third period penalty has killed this team.

I got crucified on here over the summer for criticizing the defense and teams management. Well, same problems as last season are here again for the third straight season. I don't blame the players for that, because they are who they are. It is the job of management to correct problems on the team and they have continued to ignore the most glaring error on this team. They'll make the playoffs easily, because they play in the southeast, but this team as constructed cannot win the Cup.

I am still trying to figure out how Alzner is in the minors, because the team was afraid to lose Tyler Sloan. This team has 6 third pairing defensemen on their team (Poti and Green the exceptions) and they can't find room for Alzner, because they might lose a guy who has appeared in 1 game so far on defense. Or losing Jeff Schultz who has appeared in two games.

New year, same middling defense.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 10, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and for anyone who even tries to credit the defense for having a decent game, I challenge you to go back and watch the game and see the Wings cycling the puck, beating the d-men to rebounds, and absolutely controlling the play.

I'd also like to add that the PP should be taken to task for actually playing as if they were killing a penalty and not attacking the Wings while they had the puck in the Caps zone. Extra man on the ice and no one challenges the puck...disgusting!

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 10, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

CDon,

Green is the LEAST of their problem on defense. If they had two more blueliners of his caliber, they would win the Cup. The problem is they barely have 4 d-men they can count on every night.

why do you thnk BB changes his third D-pair every night???

Posted by: joek443 | October 10, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Semin will not be with this team after this year.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | October 10, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

I saw OV make one fantastic back check that I noted. I thought that was great, and I wanted to see more of it. But most of the time, when the Red Wings were flying out of their zone, I saw OV skating back at half-speed. He began helping out more in the final five minutes when the team was down, but for the most part, it was more of the same.

Like all Caps fans, I love OV. But I've been critical of his defensive play in the past. Watching Zetterberg and Datsyuk, I think, showed us all how OV and Semin and others should play defense from the forward spot. Semin, in particular, has a knack for lifting sticks and removing guys from the puck, when he decides he wants to play D. We need to see more of it.

Posted by: CDon | October 10, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Slava1 -

Green's 70+ points last year was preceded by 50+ points the year before. Players can start slow or slump for 10 games in mid-season. Sometimes they press too hard and can't seem to buy a break. Give him a break. We're only 5 games in.

Posted by: gonchpup | October 10, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

I don't think Green is the biggest problem on D. But I do think he hasn't looked too interested yet this year.

I agree that the team needs more help defensively. This depth BB and McPhee talk about always rings odd to me. If they had six solid D-men, then I think BB would be playing those guys every night. Alzer and Carlson should be getting a look if BB is going to give everyone else a chance.

Posted by: CDon | October 10, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Same team that lost game seven to the Pens last year. No energy and afraid to make a mistake. Talk about skating on egg shells.

Posted by: hessone | October 10, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

If this loss hadn't proceeded two stinkers and if someone on the Caps hadn't again taken a late penalty that led to the decisive goal, I wouldn't be as frustrated. What's aggravating me most is that everything the Caps said they knew they needed to do to get better, they haven't done. It was a chorus they sang last year, too--don't take silly penalties, clear out in front of the goal, don't get too cutesy. I'm seeing much of the same so far, and it's maddening to watch.

Yes, it's early. They've played five games so far. Who knows what will happen in the next five or 10. But at some point, you have to stop talking and start doing, and if you aren't able to start doing, you have to look at the players and reassess. It's a great thing the Caps have a small home stretch here. It's time for them to take the next four or five and show some renewed vigor and life.

Posted by: CDon | October 10, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Wow...look I am one of the more critical of this team...but lets get a grip. Like Peerless said earlier...its a marathon guys...not a sprint. Are there problems to work out, sure but 1) now is the time to fix them (not April), and 2) we have been playing some very good teams (except TOR) and even in the 3 losses, each game has been tight. I am not worried...would be if we were getting blown out. Its early yet folks.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | October 10, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

@CDon

Yes, it looks we are not passing the test for a truly good team.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 10, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

@CDon

yes, I do agree that Alzner and Carlson should be playing for the Caps right now. if they're as good as everyone seems to think they are, there's NO way they could be any worse than their 5th or 6th D-men every night.

they might as well get them up here right now and let them get some experience at this level. I have a feeling they will need them in the playoffs if they wanna go farther this year.

Posted by: joek443 | October 10, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

@DannyBoy1975

Question for you. Do you think that Semin will be gone from the team before Nylander?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 10, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I get so sick of people saying it's early. What if we lose the last playoff spot at the end the year because of these games. These players get payed big money to show up every night. Time to can the "It's Early" garbage and tell it like it is.

Posted by: hessone | October 10, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

@DannyBoy1975

Who else do you propose to dump? You've already proposed Semin and Green.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 10, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

CDon - Obviously I saw things differently. Not only did he play better positionally on the defensive end, but also, on developing plays, he seemed to use better judgement... took higher percentage shots and fewer risky passes. Does Datsyuk a better job defensively? Yes, but Datsyuk would not be so unique if his style of play was mirrored by other forwards. As for Semin, that 1st "questionable" call appeared to be a miss of stick lift. From one angle, it looked like his stick never made contact. Anyway, he's not going to succeed every time. I am bothered more by his habit of taking hooking calls when he gets beat. Unlike most people posting tonight, I like who we have and would rather see them work through some things.

Posted by: gonchpup | October 10, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@hessone

Great...feel free to jump off the ledge. Unbelievable. Guess anything less than 82 wins is unacceptable.

You entirely missed the point. I am not saying to blow losses off; the opposite, fix the errors and get better and responsible which I agree with you. Any season is going to have some stretches where the team under performs...that is all I am saying.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | October 10, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

This had to be OVI's WORST game yet.mike green has not showed up all season,knuble hasnt done crap,dont know if goaltending is gonna be on or off.WHat is happening to this team??? BB should just bench the next one that gets a stupid penalty.they need a hard kick in the butt and keep kickin untill they pull this thing together.players fault or coaches fault?? you make the call.GET UR SH@# TOGETHER CAPS!

Posted by: gratefuldid | October 10, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Our biggest reason for losing for the past couple of games (including the playoffs last season) is...the inability to clear the front of the net!

1st...Alsner should be brought up but I understand due to salary cap reasons...

2nd...well let trade every D man besides Green and get a solid D-man (sit at home D)

3rd...we have so much talent in the minors as well as the 3rd and 4th line, why not package CLARK, while he still has value, with other D men(Shultz while he is young) and get a D Man like Pronger...

just a thought but Clark is good but nothing special and think the "C" should be transfered to Ovi...it's time for a Change!!

Posted by: Wagnerchristopher | October 10, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I love the Caps, but one thing that has always disturbed me about them is the lack of passion and gutsiness....they just lack the kind of grit that, say, the Canes or the Flyers have. I think that they have a real leadership deficit that top flight teams enjoy. Compare a guy like Clark to the captains on other teams...not in the same league, to my mind. Don't underestimate the lack of mature, high performing leaders. It's a real boost, and its absence is a real problem. Boudreau shouldn't be the only one who has to pull Semin aside about goofy penalties. A captain needs to be able to do that as well. Leadership...its 50-60% of the equation. Caps get a C+ on this factor. Agree, or am I talking mumbo jumbo?

Posted by: gocaps2009 | October 10, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

THE CAPS ARE GONNA GIVE ME A HEART ATTACK!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | October 10, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I understand your point. I just don't see the same fire in this team and I don't think I've every seen it on the defensive end. And Clark is just lost on the ice.

Posted by: hessone | October 10, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

What offense Semin contributes, is more than offset by his turnovers and penalties. When he becomes a high-priced liability, dump him.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | October 10, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

joek, I thought you were giving me crap this summer about the D, why the change of attitude...or am I remembering wrong?

I completely agree that Alzner and Carlson can be no worse than the 5th and 6th defensemen on this team. I just have one question, who are the 5th and 6th defensemen on this team. On most championship caliber teams it could be any one of Sloan, Erskine, Jurcina, Schultz, Sha-Mo, or Pothier. Unfortunately, this team has 6 who belong in that category.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 10, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Two things stood out to me:
1. Red Wings stood in the crease and dared Caps to move them out. No one could or did.
2. The Caps power play that looked like a Red Wings power play.
It's early and they've played some very good teams, but there are definitely areas that still need alot of work...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | October 10, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau shouldn't be the only one who has to pull Semin aside about goofy penalties. A captain needs to be able to do that as well. Leadership...its 50-60% of the equation. Caps get a C+ on this factor. Agree, or am I talking mumbo jumbo?

Posted by: gocaps2009 | October 10, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

You are absolutely right. Go back to those Caps teams in the 1980s and to a man they will tell you that they busted their butts because they were afraid of what Langway would say or do during intermission. That doesn't exist on the Phoenix Suns...I mean Washington Capitals.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 10, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Watching the Caps and the Skins much longer and I'm going to need a rubber room. GOOD NIGHT!!!

Posted by: hessone | October 10, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

I know one of Semin's penalties tonight was the missed stick lift. Neither of them were hooking calls.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 10, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

What do Caps Fans think about my post??...our D, and Clark...look above this post at my earlier one

Posted by: Wagnerchristopher | October 10, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

@DannyBoy1975

Who do you propose trading Semin for?

No, I don't think his penalties; etc. offsets his goal scoring and offense; etc.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 10, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

they should have traded Semin for Bouwmeester last year when they had the chance.

Posted by: joek443 | October 10, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Don't trade Semin at all....talk to him about his laziness and using his stick by hooking, tell him to not get scared on the breakout like he is in Pee-wee hockey player by throwing the puck up the boards without looking...that's it...otherwise, trade Clark, give the "C" to Ovi, trade any D besides Green and get a stay at home D man....bring Alzner up...I understand this might be hard with Nylander just sitting there...

Posted by: Wagnerchristopher | October 10, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

First of all, Detroit is just damn good. you almost have to play a perfect game to beat them. If you enter the 3rd period tied, chances are you're gonna lose. They always find a way to make that one important goal. Second of all, it's early in the season. the rags and habs were scorching hot in the start last season. both ended up firing their coaches. we started slow too and got hot later on. the good news is that we have the guns to score against anyone. our problems are easily corrected. we are just not focused right now. but i think when the stakes are higher later on, we'll get better

Posted by: Andoy | October 10, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Ohfer.

It was CLOSE. Far closer than the last loss we had, even though the score was similar. We were not owned on the ice. Theodore looked fantastic.

Their first goal should not have happened. Give anyone enough time to shove the puck and it'll get past the goalie. It should have been whistled dead when the Red Wings knocked Theodore on his keester. Should there have been a penalty? Don't think so, but still. You whistle the play dead when the goalie is not able to defend his crease due to the actions of the attacking team.

The first Semin penalty was a missed stick lift. I'm not completely sure he hit the other guy in the face. I didn't see the interference penalty.

BTW, we took five to the Red Wings' three tonight. I don't consider that as bad as the nine we took the last game, though two to Green and two to Semin needs to stop.

The boarding call to Meech should have been a major, or at least a double minor. Laing could have had his neck broken by that move.

Ovechkin had NINE shots on goal. NINE. And at least two of them were good scoring chances. That is insane for not one of them to go in. The Caps as a team had only 24 shots.

I don't think a loss this early in the season is the end of the world. I'm not going to freak out over it. I just hope we win on Monday night, because as a team, we've never lost four in a row since Boudreau took over.

If we're not going to play Nylander, we should let him go home to Sweden, though. This is getting stupid.

Posted by: irockthered | October 10, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

wagnerchristopher: Of course the problem is the inability to clear the front of the net. The team was unable to do it last year and in response they went and got a forward to do it for Washington...instead of getting someone to clear the front of the Caps net.

Alzner isn't up, because GMGM (and perhaps BB) are convinced that this corp of d-men can do the job, despite their failure to do the same the past two seasons. This team is rotating defensemen because none of them deserve to be every night players. Were not talking about a rotation between three guys for the final roster spot, but a rotation between 5 guys to see who will end up in the second pairing! Fear of losing a middling defensemen is what prevented Alzner from being with the Caps right now, not the salary cap.

Please name this minor league talent you speak of? Outside of Neuvirth, Alzner and Carlson it is all marginal NHL talent. There is not one guy in Hershey who could break into the Caps top 6. That is another great fallacy sold by this teams management.

As for some trade involving Clark and Schultz. What do you think you are going to get for them? Every team has a third or fourth line character guy, why do they want ours who is coming off of two straight years of injuries? Why do they want a young defensemen who is in at least his third year with the team and still can't crack the top 6 on a nightly basis.

As for the notion of Pronger (or Pronger like) this isn't a video game. Look at what Philly gave up to get Pronger. They also wanted a kings ransom from the Caps for him (can't remember the deal at this point, but it did include either Varly or Neuvirth and either Alzner or Carlson).

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 10, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Time to vent here... on you guys, not the team. Overall, they picked it up a notch from the past couple games but fell short. They cut the penalties down, played a tough team in their own building, broadened their responsibilities, and gave us a pretty good game to watch. A few like Green still need to find their game, but many of you are ready to over-hall the team. What's your problem? Did you follow Chris Cooley over, because you sound like Redskin fans. Crappy, crappy fans. Oh, but you DO know more about coaching than Bruce and more about the game than those on the ice, not to mention how to swing deals better than GMGM. Give me a break - you aren't even good fans.

Posted by: gonchpup | October 10, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

i'd have to say, coach needs to either bench or lower green's minutes. he is lazy, playing stupid and not playing like it matters. coah needs to set an example. these players need to know: the expectations are higher this year, no more excuses. if you don't play hard, you will get benched, period.

Posted by: Andoy | October 10, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

@joek443,

I'm with you 100% brother!

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | October 10, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

gonchcup, Who are the top 4 d-men on the Caps? Were 5 games into the season and only three of the eight defensemen have appeared in all 5 games. Which means that someone who is described as a top 4 d-man on the Caps has been scratched at least once already.

You think they played well? The team had 24 shots on goal...9 by Ovechkin. That means the rest of the team managed 15 shots during the 60 minute game. Did you see that power play where they were playing as if they were on the penalty kill? Did you see Detroit's first goal where the Red Wing wasn't knocked on his butt until after he scored. Want me to go on?

All I know is I had no confidence at any point in this game that they were going to win? Did you? Can't say I thought that at any point last season and I am now into two straight games with that feeling.

Will the team improve and make the playoffs, most definitely. But the same issues they had last year and there again.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 10, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

i'd have to say, coach needs to either bench or lower green's minutes. he is lazy, playing stupid and not playing like it matters. coah needs to set an example. these players need to know: the expectations are higher this year, no more excuses. if you don't play hard, you will get benched, period.

Posted by: Andoy | October 10, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I think I would also use "lazy and stupid" to describe you. bench this guy, that guy.. they don't play hard enough!!!... rants of typical and often stupid sports fans

if you bench your best D-man (Green), who are you gonna replace him with??? who's gonna fill in his 25 plus mins/game? if you wanna sound smart, at least offer an alternative.

Posted by: joek443 | October 10, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

Yes, I'm annoyed. Like you, I hope they play better on Monday. They got two more tough games coming up -- against New Jersey and San Jose.

Generally under Boudreau, they're rarely had extended losing streaks. They probably can't afford to lose both of the next two.

I know it's hard to think straight (and I'm certainly not) but last year the Rangers, Montreal, and Buffalo all got off to great starts. Look what happened to them. The first two self destructed during the second half of the year, fired their coaches and squeaked into the playoffs. Buffalo was on the outside looking in. The Pens had started decent and then had a horrible stretch in January that found them in 10th place and led to Therrien being fired.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 10, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Losing to Detroit on the road by one goal is not the problem. It's the feeling that this team (like last season) tends to coast at times, thinking that they've got the talent to turn it on when necessary. Now you could almost understand if a team like Detroit did that, considering their success for more than the past decade. But no, it's the Caps, eliminated in Round 1 two seasons ago, and in Round 2 last season. They have no reason to "coast". Big problems: Dumb penalties, and as we all know the Defense is missing something or someone who adds toughness, grit, and a mean streak.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | October 10, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

@joek443,

Is it possible to trade Semin for a strong D man? If so, who do you think we should get?

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | October 10, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

freakinandpeakin

I wrote back but it has to be approved....

Posted by: Wagnerchristopher | October 10, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

@Wagnerchristopher

Yes, the inability to clear the crease it what's killing us. We nearly have a penalty killed (or actually, technically have it killed) and we can't seem to clear the crease at the end.

Is our Hershey team merely a bunch of AAAA players?

My take, I'd say next year will definitely be time to make room for Alzner and Carlson at D. Trade some of our older D for draft picks or prospects or let them walk.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 10, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Bouwmeester has a bigger cap hit.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 10, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75, I advocated for getting rid of the D this past offseason and got crucified by many on here for it.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 10, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Caps are tuning Boudreau out in the same way that Ron Wilson was tuned out by the team in the weeks and months before he got fired.

At a 2-2-1 pace Bruce could be gone by season's end...Not his fault, bur that's what happens when the GM doesn't give you the personnel to succeed.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | October 10, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

@ joek443
I guess BB was stupid too for benching theo for varly in round 1 last year even though theo was our number 1 goalie entering the playoffs and varly was untested at that point. coaches bench good players all the time to energize the team or set an example. green may be our number one dman on paper, but he hasn't even been the best dman this season, not even close. have you seen him play? he plays with no urgency. we got 7 other dmen out there. let them push each other to be better. let pothier play his minutes, i don't care. but green needs to be called out.

I hope that sounded smart enough for you. I'm sorry that i am a stupid sports fan, unlike you.

Posted by: Andoy | October 10, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse


Caps are tuning Boudreau out in the same way that Ron Wilson was tuned out by the team in the weeks and months before he got fired.
At a 2-2-1 pace Bruce could be gone by season's end...Not his fault, bur that's what happens when the GM doesn't give you the personnel to succeed.
Posted by: Hatfield223 | October 10, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

You look & sound like an idiot whitey.

Posted by: Rocc00 | October 10, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

freakinandpeakin - Saw everything you did. I just don't get all bent out of shape. It was a good game. Not perfect as you would like. We're not always going to manage 35 shots. Not always going to have the powerplay in synch for the full 2 minutes and yes I saw Detroit keep it in our zone that one time and was screaming for them to get it going. The goal you speak of - when ? wasn't knocked over until after he scored - he had just arrived in the crease in time to poke it in. Poti had the 1st guy tied up and Backstrom was back-checking the goal scorer but a little too late. Oh... let's trade Backstrom. Sorry you don't have confidence in this team. (I was with them until the horn sounded). And please, don't go on. That's the problem here. Too many go on-and-on about the same stuff. Wah, wah, wah. We are fortunate to have an exciting team to watch and so many fans turn on them when they struggle, and when they struggle for any considerable amount of time, the fans leave. Go...

Posted by: gonchpup | October 10, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

POST GAME THOUGHTS:
Before I get to them - some of you need to really take a step back and get a clue. It's a long season. Yes we're only 5 games. Yes Mike Green just doesn't seem to be himself right out of the gate. Yes Alexander Semin can look so good one minute and look so bad the next.

Bottomline - regardless of the result - this was a fun fun game to watch. It's nice to see the Caps skate with one of the elite teams in the game. The pace was awesome. Back and forth - both goalies making ridiculous saves. Yes it would've been nice if the Caps had some bodies to move people out of Theo's way. Great game by Theodore - solid.

DID ANYONE NOTICE HOW BETTER THE DEFENSE WAS TONIGHT AND WHO WAS SCRATCHED? OH YEA - SCHULTZ AND ERSKINE..HMMMMM.

This was a tough one to lose but they'll have another crack at the Wings in Verizon. Take the good with the bad and just keep moving along. It was a lazy penalty that Green took. Penalties is the one thing remaining consistent right now and this team still needs to get better. It sucks to keep saying it but oh well. This game is the books. Learn and on to the next game.

Back to the booth for three straight. The Devils come calling on Monday.

Ice Breakers Goal Shakers.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | October 11, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

i think they solid tonight except for the dumb penalties again. we haven't been blown out in any losses. all losses so far have been close and definitely winnable. look at the bruins and the hurricanes, getting ugly losses. it's early in the season, alot of time to fix the problems, find out who plays well with who, what are good lines, etc... by how the bruins game showed, we can play a complete, tight game. it's just a matter of not coasting and not getting complacent.

Posted by: Andoy | October 11, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Jonathan6 - Finally, there IS somebody else who believe in this team. Too many whiners on board tonight.

Posted by: gonchpup | October 11, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

found a Alan May highlight... LOL the Caps can't beat the Pens in the playoffs but sure sure beat'em up here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0JoHFDaQpE

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

@ jon6
exactly. green is just not himself. is he still hurt? i dunno. but he is making some really lazy drop passes out there and just seems to not get himself out of an aggressive forecheck. the devils are reeling right now. we need to take it to them hard on monday. i say let theo start again. he deserves it.

Posted by: Andoy | October 11, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what's up with Green. Just isn't there right now. There's no way any panicking should be taking place. One game at a time. This team needs to continue to build off of tonight's game. The backchecking was amazing from both teams. They got in each other's face. If Green doens't take that penalty - we go to overtime. Things happen. Detroit caught a break. Again - enjoy this game. I rememeber when it was a dream to see the Caps hope to be even competitive with stronger teams in the league. Tonight they showed they can skate with the best. Be encouraged. C'mon - let's go caps.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | October 11, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

@freakinandpeakin

I wasn't ready to dump all our D at the end of last year. This year, an extra year of ripening at Hershey is fine for Alzner and Carlson. After this year, then clear some space and bring them up.

Of course, if the team doesn't get untracked, then it's youth movement time sooner.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ68NHFjGb0

another great fight against the pens... notice how the old man Johnston stays behind Trots on the bench when yapping at Shoeny... LOL

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it wasn't Alexander Semin's day. Neither of his penalties tonight were hooking.

It's amazing that nearly everyone who takes a costly penalty is considered to be taking a "lazy and stupid" penalty. Stupid, maybe. Lazy, I doubt it. Many times, it's more of a matter of being overly aggressive or over eager. Or an attempted take-away (or other defensive maneuver) that misses.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Green's playing time probably needs to be reduced a bit -- for now. Okay, his offense has been off. He has still contributed on defense.

But wonder if the large amount of time is working against his productivity. As if we're reaching diminishing returns on the amount of ice time he's currently getting. Probably cut down on his PK time, if his best roles are at "regular" strength D and the power play. He should kill some penalties -- just not as many.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

1 - The most immediate question is which forward do you plan to sit once Fleischmann comes back. If you watched the last several games, the obvious answer is Chris Clark.

2- I'll say it again, I really think the team is stronger with Steckel playing the fourth line center, along with the primary penalty killing unit. Brendan Morrison looks great so far. I think he and Nylander should be the second and third-line centers, in whatever order you prefer. With Fleischmann back there will be three lines that can score. I want to hear other coaches saying, 'They come at you in waves' after the game. The FOURTH line should be the 'energy' line.. Laing-Steckel-Bradley fills that role. If you think Boyd Gordon is indispensable, you could always send Laing back to Hershey and go Gordon-Steckel-Bradley.

3- I agree there's not many forwards in Hershey with a great chance of making a difference in Washington this season, except for short fill-in stints.

As for the long-term issue..

4- The people who talk about trading Semin are talking about his contract. Backstrom isn't going anywhere, and -- memo to McPhee -- HE GETS MORE EXPENSIVE every game that goes by without a new deal. Semin's great but with Ovie at $9.5 million and Backstrom at, who knows - $5.5? 6? 6.5??? the Caps might not be able to afford them all. I wouldn't be surprised by a trade involving Semin this season, or an offer sheet from another team that the Caps can't match in the off-season.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | October 11, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem with penalties as long as they are a bi-product of aggressive plays. there's something to be said for "sending a message" with your elbow or stick.

but I do have a problem with lazy penalties such as the ones Semin seems to get all the time. the next penalty he gets had better be him elbowing somebody in the mouth.

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Caps played a good game against one of the best teams in the league. The energy level was up and the defense was much improved. All this mass hysteria and calling for Semin and Green to be traded is ridiculous. Sure neither had a good game, but no one is perfect. Even Lidstrom took a hooking penalty that led to the B. Morrison goal. I think it is unrealistic to expect these guys to play out of their minds every game

Posted by: ablake70 | October 11, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why people are surprised. What changes did GM really make? Knuble and Morrison. That's it and apparently they aren't enough to cover up our terrible defense. And although Green looks trimmer, has his play improved much over the last 1/2 of the year? The difference is now he's not blaming it on his stick, it's now his gloves...

People can't even blame Theodore who had an awesome game tonight. If it weren't for Theo, this game would've been 5-1 Red Wings.

I'm actually glad to see them fumble early because someone in that organization needs to wake up and get some defensive talent. I'd rather see the youngster in Hershey come up then have the same defense that sunk us.

Posted by: sasha_206 | October 11, 2009 1:19 AM | Report abuse

And I don't know how anyone could watch that game and think it was fun to watch. The Caps played their worst game so far. Yes, Detroit is an amazing team, but how many years are the Caps officially going to be in "rebuild" mode? The Caps are supposedly close to being competitive for the Stanley Cup and yet the team I see looks exactly like the team of last year that will struggle to get to 2nd round.

They were sloppy. The two goals they got were a little flukey. Bradley's had a strange bounce and there is no doubt in my mind that the Red Wings thought they were going to get a whistle with Theo's net off.

Two goals that were so hard to come by for the Caps, an offensive team.

Detroit played a complete game. Were it not for Theo's hot hand, it would've been a massive blowout.

Varly is not the panacea. He will be a great goaltender but for some reason people think that he and Ovie is the recipe for success. Wrong. Defense wins the Cup.

Posted by: sasha_206 | October 11, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

If you all are going to dump on the team for shoddy play, at least spell the individual team members names correctly.
PensFan must love the panic the Capitals "fanbase" exhibits on a nightly basis. Even the very best hockey teams experience slumps, and they experience hot spells. Pittsburgh had a 5-game losing streak last year and they won the cup*. Detroit lost 7 of its last 10 last season and they went to the Cup finals. It's like these people have been watching hockey for only two or three years. Oh wait...

Posted by: pga6 | October 11, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

@TheRealOneal

Any team coming up with an offer sheet for Semin would have to sacrifice a lot of picks. (If it's between 5-7.53 Million, it would be 2 1st round picks, a 2nd round pick, and a 3rd round pick. If it's over 7.53 Million, it will be 4 first rounders.)

(Are all the picks to be made the following year?)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

@pga6

Of course, Caps fans have suffered so much heartbreak over the years, it's not funny.

Pessimism, thy name is Caps fan.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

@pga6

Of course, Caps fans have suffered so much heartbreak over the years, it's not funny.

Pessimism, thy name is Caps fan.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

And guess who has 14 penalty minutes this year. None other than Evgeny Malkin of Pittsburgh.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 1:44 AM | Report abuse

good for Malkin... he showed me something in the finals last year, he's more of a leader than Crosby

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

@ablake70

Yes, that is a tendency. If Semin has a bad game (or takes a bad penalty), everyone calls for trading him.

When Boyd Gordon had two costly penalties in the last two games, there were people calling for him to be benched or even sent back to Hershey but I think the outcry is greater for Semin.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75 I've noticed the Semin bashing on a lot of the Caps boards. Sometimes I wonder if the backlash has more to do with him not speaking English than his actual play.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 11, 2009 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Semin reminds me of Alexei Kovalev when he was with the Rangers in his early years.. he's lucky he doesn't have Mike Keenan as his coach like Kovalev did...

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

@ablake70

I think Semin gets more bashing than Boyd Gordon.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 2:18 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

I think Semin is probably a better player than Kovalev. There are some similarities between them. Although I didn't think Kovalev's problem was penalties.

I must confess I have a kid who's a lot like Alexander Semin. Both good and bad.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 2:21 AM | Report abuse

@ablake70

Wouldn't be surprised if that is the case. It's much harder for an introvert to feel comfortable speaking a foreign language.

I will give Semin credit for at least one thing. He seems to be a resilient sort. He may take some bad penalties but he'll come back later that game (or soon) and make up for it. Never give up.

I've also noticed one thing. I hear more criticism of Russian players in general for "taking shifts off". I don't know what it is. I'm sure Russian players are not the only underachievers in hockey. They just get credit for it. I've never heard a Swede or a Canadian or an American get accused of "taking shifts off". Only Russians. (Kovalev, Semin, Zherdev; etc.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Anybody else think that Pothier has looked really solid this season?

Posted by: capscoach | October 11, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

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