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Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 01/15/2011

Bruce Boudreau: Caps 'just as desperate' as Ottawa

By Katie Carrera

On Dec. 19, the Capitals traveled to Ottawa in dire need of a victory. Washington snapped its eight-game losing streak at Scotiabank Place that night with a 3-2 win over the Senators that relieved some of the pressure on the club. Sunday afternoon the struggling Senators will visit Verizon Center in a similar situation, having gone 1-6-1 in their eight previous contests.

But don't count Coach Bruce Boudreau among those who see the Senators in any particularly special position. The Capitals have lost three straight themselves and considering the log-jam of teams in the Eastern Conference, Washington needs to maintain a steady stream of points to prevent itself from falling in the standings.

"I think we're just as desperate as them," Boudreau said. "It's two desperate clubs going at it. The conference is so close -- 13 points from ninth to first -- every team needs every win they can get. I don't think they need it any more than we do. ...It was just four days ago that we were 6-0-3 in the last nine, now you can sit here and say we're 0-3 in our last three. It happens so fast the consistency of an NHL team these days has to be so good or you tumble."

Ottawa sits in 14th at 17-22-6 with 40 points. The Senators have been plagued by injuries and inconsistencies, especially in goal. Brian Elliott is expected to start against the Capitals despite losing each of his past seven starts.

The best way to guard against the Senators doing what the Capitals did to them a month ago, players said, is to make sure they have their foot on the gas of the game from the get go. Washington's developed the bad habit of responding to other teams in games rather than initiating their own plan and Ottawa is as good an opportunity as any to search for that elusive, solid 60 minutes of play.

"We're not far off from being in the same boat," Brooks Laich said of the Senators' slump. "There should be no reason why we'll have any sort of let down. Guys should come to the rink and be excited to play, just ready to launch at 3 o'clock tomorrow.... You always want to make it tough on teams below you. You want to keep distancing yourself and win at home -- we haven't won at home, we haven't been dominant at home in the last month like we were in the first six weeks of the season."

By Katie Carrera  | January 15, 2011; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  Ottawa Senators  
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"My experience with stubhub has always been good and I have grown to trust their system both as a buyer and seller. Hope this helps."
Posted by: fanohock1 | January 15, 2011 9:45 AM

You forgot to mention the part where they bend you over the table, pull down your pants, reach into your pockets, and take considerably more than their service is worth. I use CraigsList -- No fees.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | January 15, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Other than the fees, StubHub is good. Just don't order them too close to game time, because sometimes there is a wait for them to contact the ticket holder and have the tickets emailed to you.

BB is so good at stating the obvious. He made sure he got in the "we were 6 - 0 - 3 in the last 9...". He's losing the team and the fans. I guess he still has GMGM and Ted.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 15, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone go to the Elliot in the morning John Carlson party? Just curious how that was because the videos on RMNB look really lame and John looks like he feels somewhat awkward. Elliot is such a loser too. What an awkward event.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 15, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

BB is so good at stating the obvious.

So is Laich aka the Quote Machine.

Posted by: joek443 | January 15, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"Just as desperate." Really? Didn't see much evidence of that last night, until it was too late. I'm afraid Ted Leonsis was right, the Caps are just "pacing themselves," but its looking more like an early pacing to the golf courses come May. Prove it, Bruce.

Posted by: Exile_in_Philly | January 15, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

BB needs to go. All he does is switch up the lines every game. That is not coaching. We need a change. IMO, he has lost the team.

Posted by: Wagnerchristopher | January 15, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"It happens so fast the consistency of an NHL team these days has to be so good or you tumble."

Maybe if you would stop messing with your lines so much you might be a tad more consistent. Ever think about that one BB??

A team always reflects his coach. Always.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 15, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Injuries and poor chemistry are really hurting this team right now. Boudreau needs to study some of Greenberg's stats, create some lines and let them (jell) least until the next injury occurs. :-/

Posted by: Terptwin | January 15, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we need to start the 4th line with DJK. He could go out and drop the gloves at the opening drop (of course DJK hasn't had a jersey in so long he may try to fight a Cap by mistake). Maybe that would fire up the team.
From the pregame meeting.
BB: "You f-ing players are going to lose me my f-ing job if they don't f-ing play hard at the start of the f-ing game."
Ovie: "Oh, $#%& we better play hard tonight or they may hire a coach that actually makes me practice."
Chimera: "Crap, a new coach may actually realize that I suck and bench me."
BB's favorites: "A new coach will hold us accountable for our actions! Oh, %$&# we better play hard tonight."
DJK: "Coach if you lose your job does that mean I actually get a jersey?"
BB to DJK: "Who are you? And when did you join this team?"

Posted by: chriscaps | January 15, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Injuries and poor chemistry are really hurting this team right now. Boudreau needs to study some of Greenberg's stats

Try telling that to Detroit, you will get absolutely no sympathy... Semin wasn't doing anything for a full month before his latest injury anyway so that's just an excuse.

Quite frankly there is nothing more BB can do... they need to ship some of the players outta here or BB needs to go. It AIN'T about studying anyone's stat at this point, it's about executing and making plays.

Posted by: joek443 | January 15, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

vermontcaps doesn't need to post anymore, DJK & Erskine are skating. If those are the actual lines Sunday, I can't wait to see his postings after the game.

Posted by: chriscaps | January 15, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Of course I'll need to keep posting as the two will only be in the lineup because of injuries. I know Erskine will be in tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath for #17 because, well, you seem to get it so there's no need for me to explain.

In a perfect world, they'll both play tomorrow and here's what we'd see: early on, DJK finds Carkner and they fight a spirited bout. The arena and benches buzz with the adrenaline that comes w/a good fight. Ovi and Co. use those emotions to bust-out of their scoring slumps and we romp. Late in the game, Neil tries his shenanigans and Erskine beats him silly. Everyone goes home happy as the team finally puts a whooping on someone, both on the scoresheet and in the fights.

We'll play inspired, tough hockey for awhile...until the injured players heal. At that point, #4 and #17 will be sent back to the pressbox until the next round of injuries. The team will begin to sputter and lose any momentum they gained. We all know it will happen this way.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 15, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I am not really paniked over where this team is at this point of the season. They've a lot of road games the remainder of the season, so it will be a good test. They will show us whether or not they are a playoff calibre team over the next six weeks or so.

Get rid of Bruce? Personally, I don't see it. However, one can make a fair case for it based on how long it is taking this team to establish themselves offensively, on the powerplay, and early in games while playing a tighter defensive system.

Sit some of the frontline players for a game or two? I somewhat agree with this, if for no other reason than to get the Alexes and Nicholases to take a step back to refocus.

Has Bruce lost the team? Unless a front-line player steps forward and announces this, or you are in the locker room every day, you have no idea whether or not this is true. It is purely conjecture based on what you see on the ice. I understand the frustration, but no one outside of the locker room knows whether or not Bruce has lost the team.

Just my two cents' worth.

Posted by: prestoj | January 15, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Quite frankly there is nothing more BB can do...

Posted by: joek443

I'm thinking the same thing. He's tried everything. The players won't execute, for whatever reason.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 15, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Has Bruce lost the team?

Posted by: prestoj | January 15, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Here's a repost of something I wrote a month ago, and I still think it true today:

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

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

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

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

If BB is still at the helm come this Saturday, I'm going to go buy a Bruins jersey AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE WEAR ANOTHER TEAM'S JERSEY WHILE SEEING THE CAPS. Option #2 indeed....

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

Has BB lost the team? Of course he has, and who are you to question those who raise the issue? Based on your logic, unless we were out on the ice playing the game then we've really got no right to comment or speculate on any specific plays or the game in general.

At some point, perception becomes reality and the overwhelming perception is that BB has lost this team...fair or not. Your two cents, like 2 pennies in the real world, amounts to nothing.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 15, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I am a Caps fan and a poster like most other users of this site. I am simply stating an alternate opinion. A rebuttal, if you like. There were no comments personally attacking other posters. I see no useful need to do so, thank you.

Posted by: prestoj | January 15, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

no system in the world will work if players cant or wont buy in...the Caps are too complacent right now so to fix it you need to change coach or players and coach is earier so look for bb to go...even though gmgm and ov are way more resposible for the slump than he is

Posted by: wendel2 | January 15, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

The leading power play scorer in the AHL Andrew Gordon is not in the Hershey lineup tonight. Guess Bruce will put him on the 3th or 4th grinder line if he gets the call to replace Fehr.

Posted by: dull | January 15, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I wish they wouldn't print any more quotes from the Caps that include the words "60 minutes". I'm kinda over having to read that. Either they figure out how to play hard for 60 minutes or close to it, or they just shut up about it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

and yeah, Erskine's still the 7th dman on this team. When he should be the 4th or 5th guy. He's in there because of injury to Poti.

If Bruce can't figure out who his 18 best skaters are, he's an idiot.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I am a bit amazed, and somewhat confused, at how much blame is being put upon BB and not the actual players.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 15, 2011 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Like I've said many times before he has the potential to be a Joel Otto type defensive center but just doesn't have the mindset.

Posted by: joek443

he's showing a little more inclination lately to display a mean streak. He's been more physical over the past several games than he has all season and last yr.

He absolutely steamrolled a player a few games ago. I had to rub my eyes and make sure I wasn't watching the Flyers or Pens instead of the Caps. He literally tried to run the player thru the boards by launching himself at him. And he's had some other more subtle examples of trying to grit it up. I think he knows he needs to play that way now to hold onto his lineup spot since he's not contributing offensively and the coach has a soft spot for Gordo

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

and the promotion and play of Beagle has also prolly created some urgency on the part of guys like Steckel, maybe Laich.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

am a bit amazed, and somewhat confused, at how much blame is being put upon BB and not the actual players.

Posted by: richmondphil2

coach sets the tone. A team doesn't collectively suddenly decide not to play hard or consistently start slow. The right coach is able to get his team to play the way he wants them to.

that's just the motivational weakness in Bruce. It doesn't address his overall systemic deficiencies, his incorrect roster selections, and a few other debatable flaws in his coaching style.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

what is wrong with the caps - what has been covered so far on CI?
includes but not limited to...
- just wants your money
- pick the wrong guy to run the team
- has no clue how to draft players
- can't assemble a playoff team
- treats players poorly
solution - should be fired or just resign
- has lost his team
- has no clue who should get a jersey on game day
- can't adjust during a game (or in a series)
- only an ahl coach
solution - should be fired
team star(s):
- one dimensional
- only in it for the money (can't play after getting big contract)
- takes lazy penalties, floats, is soft etc.
solution - benched or traded
mid level skill guys:
- too soft
- can't finish
- too inconsistent
solution - trade them
role players:
- not enough skill
- not enough grit
- not enough energy
- too weak
solution - benched, sent down, traded, released
- too young
solution - bring in a vet, package in a trade

what isn't a problem?
trainers and equiptment guys

what is wrong with every nhl team (according to their fans)
see any of the above

in conclusion - somebody is right because this team does have its issues
however - plenty of you are wrong because its not everything

what would be refreshing is instead of repeating what you believe is wrong - pontificate on why another theory is flawed

1... 2... 3... go

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 15, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I was at the Canucks game and have just got back to Fla. I don't want to go over old posts so did anyone here complain about McCreary? He made some very dubious calls and non-calls all of which went against the Caps. A couple I can think of off-hand are when Mike Green poked away the puck on a break away on our PP - that made it 4 on 4 for 2 minutes. Another time was when Ovi was being mugged in front of the Canucks goal. Ovi said something to him about that as he skated off. There were numerous others but can't recall them now. How does this guy get away with it? Is he like that all the time or just when the Caps are playing?

Other observations:

Vancouver stronger on the puck and the boards than the Caps.
Caps PP totally ineffective.
Caps were discombobulated too many times times i.e., two players taking up the same ice, two players knocking each other down as they came off the ice, too many men on the ice after a line change. Sometimes they looked like the Keystone cops.
Two nice goals by the Caps.
Varly should have had the second goal, but the D did let him (the Canuck) have time to set up and shoot.
Crowd very repectful of the National anthems.

Bottom line:

The Caps are sucking the energy out of the Verizon crowd. It was not a "Rocking the Red" experience. People tried, but their hearts weren't in it. Just like the players themselves. As I was walking away I passed a fan in a Caps shirt sitting in his seat yelling "Let's go Hawks" at the top of his voice.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 15, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

a coaching change alone won't accomplish positive results. Some personnel changes will also have to occur. Its definitely a two-fold issue. The roster McPhee has assembled. And BB's coaching style and philosophy.

i love how he calls out Green for his step-up hit on the forward last night. That wasn't a bad play by Green to step up considering our D NEVER steps up. What about all the other times we've given up odd man rushes in the 3rd pd of a game where we've been up by 2 goals? There's never a reason then for our D to get caught pinching in deep and yet that has been allowed to occur for the better part of 3 yrs now. He's never once mentioned that. But he's going to call Green out for the play last night?

BB's feelin the heat. And in true Bruce fashion, he deflects blame to his players. He's really an A hole.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

what would be refreshing is instead of repeating what you believe is wrong - pontificate on why another theory is flawed

1... 2... 3... go

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

since this is your idea, i vote you start this off :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of sounding like a jerk and staring by mentioning that I dont know as much about hockey as others, I do watch every game all season. Last night to me the caps got outclassed in everyway. They looked like grumpy old men out there; they got beaten to the puck almost all the time, their passes sucked a lot of the time compared to the Canucks, and they just seemed to flail around. I swear Ovi just stood there and stared most of the time. I felt bad for them; it was like watching a aaa team play a aa team in high school. Honestly, I felt like only MH and MJ seemed to care.

the conditioning for the canucks just looked better. and sorry to be a jerk, but its time to change something on the powerplay... either the players or the person who is telegraphing it, I mean it can't get much worse can it? And for god's sake stop circling backward, last night was ridiculous.. looking at you 52... you guys were almost in your own net,

the only thing they were good at is stripping the puck, but unfortunately the other team was just as good since the caps passes suck so much!

AND Stop switching the lines BB! It isn;t helping. Get the lines to develop different attacks rather use the same attack with different people.

I still have hope Semin will score when he gets back.. this is his usual seasonal pattern if I remember rightly, score a lot, get injured, get rested, and score again. Watching him you can tell he's been injured for a while. I have to assume that with Ovi too with those shots to no where.

If I can go to the game out of my mind with morning sickness, you guys can show up too! I am skipping Sunday, but I expect better soon!

Posted by: kmr2r | January 15, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse


You're right on Semin looking injured even before he went out with his latest injuries. He had not been healthy since late November. We first heard the report of missing a practice right before the Blues game. Then, getting sick with the flu. After that, a "lower body" injury where he missed three games (first ones he missed this year despite various ails). He came from that injury way too soon given the fact he played in the Devils game the VERY day after he was considered doubtful the day before. (Bet he played since the Caps were desperate as Fehr left town for a funeral and Hendricks was too ill/injured to play that day.) I even wonder if Semin was fully recovered from that injury before going down again.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 15, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

@Tess re: the Rinaldo/Miskovic tangle last night.

Here's the clip. Zack basically covered up but at least he skated the full length of the ice to engage Rinaldo after his great open ice hit. Also see andrew gordon mixing it up a little but didn't look that interested.

I don't know if you guys are familiar with Rinaldo but he's an extremely chippy hockey player who is extremely strong on his skates and is one of the hardest hitting forwards not currently playing in the NHL. His hits from the juniors thru to the AHL this yr are legendary. Just monstrous hits. And of course, he's a Flyer draftee and imo he skates well enough to at least compete for a bottom 6 role in the nhl. And a pretty good fighter for his size. He easily handled Della Rovere when they tangled last yr.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

The performance of Ravens' WR corp just now reminds you of a certain hockey club that wears red, white and blue... what a CHOKE job!!!

Posted by: joek443 | January 15, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

here's a question for you guys......

in almost every hear the best coaches say they use a system that best suits their talent.

well clearly, our talent is best suited for an offensive, up tempo style of play.

even though we havent won in the playoffs....arent we best served going back to the up tempo style since that is true to who we are???

can we do that and somehow tighten the defense or that not possible???

playing a defensive style with a coach the players don't seem to believe in is sucking the life out of the team...or so it appears.

Posted by: capitalsfan47802 | January 15, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Bruce ... Your 15 minutes of fame is done. I hope you enjoyed driving the comp Mercedes because it's back to your Izuzu Rodeo real soon.

Posted by: VirginiaLonghorn | January 15, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

just blame it all on won presidents trophy then choke in playoffs gmgm tinkers and weakens team OV goes in the tank....just blame BB...wake up folks the players are the reason

Posted by: wendel2 | January 15, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

playing a defensive style with a coach the players don't seem to believe in is sucking the life out of the team...or so it appears.

If that's the case then just about every player on this team is a liar and a fake. What do they all say when asked about the importance of playing better/tighter defense in order to do better in the playoffs? None of them says he wants to go back to the old system, at least not in public.

It doesn't really matter, if they go back to the old system then we all know what's gonna happen come April. If these guys don't want the new system then they're not the kinda of guys you can win with anyway.

Either case it's a lose/lose situation for us fans. What else is new??

Posted by: joek443 | January 15, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse


Kirk, Don't act like people on this site haven't watched how Stanley winners behave during the season. I remember when Al Arbour and the 4 cup Isles would swagger into our building. This guy and his boys were total pro's. We usually would give a great effort and it was fun to watch, but that coach just refused to let people take "nights off" because they were playing the Caps.

We have a boatload of talent, but we don't
go into buildings with the intent to burn it down like Al Arbour and the Isles did. This coach doesn't force guys to play hard. I saw the effort in Pitt. It was great. It was one game. I saw what a goof BB is from the HBO series. He is a problem.

It all starts with the GM and the coach. It's just a lovely thought that 3 highly respected cup hoisting coaches are back coaching old Pat. Div. rivals. Teams that all know what it takes to win a Cup, because they've won them recently. When will this franchise hire a proven playoff coach ? We're becoming the Cubs.

Watch how soon JL in Jersey has that team taking names and kicking butt. This team has to start acting and playing like it wants to win the cup, or they'll never win a cup.

How can our PP stink that badly when we have some of the best shooters in the league ? Lack of effort because the coach permits it.

Get off the high horse Kirk. Let folks state their piece. I've seen NHL winners, and this guy isn't one. I'm projecting my life experience with watching cup winners in our own division. If it's all repetitive, too bad. If it's not a philosophical response, too bad.

Was JL available to coach this team? What a joke. Caps = Cubs is not too far off

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 15, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Wendel, did I mention that at the Caps vs. Pens game in late December there was a guy sitting a couple of rows in front of me wearing an autographed QL jersey?

Gone but not forgotten.

Posted by: zmega | January 15, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

even though we havent won in the playoffs....arent we best served going back to the up tempo style since that is true to who we are???



you don't win by playing the way the Caps excelled at offensively the past 2 seasons. well, you don't win when it counts.

Can you tighten it up while stiill playing uptempo? of course you can. The Pens do it.

The Caps are trying to do it. But they can't. And even if they went away from their newfound defensive minded style, i don't think they could simply recapture their offensive magic from last yr's regular season. Many other teams have gotten better and closed the gap and figured out how to neutralize our free flowing offensive game.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Get off the high horse Kirk. Let folks state their piece. I've seen NHL winners, and this guy isn't one


i'd like kirk to simply present his arguments over why maybe he disagrees with some of the theories being put forth. I'm assuming you don't agree with some or most of the criticisms based on your sarcastic post. I just would like to hear WHY you don't agree with them. Back it up with some specifics. Which is what you're asking the rest of the board to do in defending their theories.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

But can this team, as currently constituted, win playing a defense first style? If you wanted to play that style, I don't think you would want this roster. In particular, you wouldn't want so much of your salary cap tied up with guys who are strong offensively (although not at the moment) and average-to-weak defensively. It just seems to me that if the Caps want to play a defense first style, they would have to blow up the team and start over.

Posted by: zmega | January 15, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

the irony of this season would be

- the caps have a mediocre reg season which causes them to reevaluate their style of play and personnel, they get a better work ethic because of it, maybe make the right 2 or 3 personnel moves, battle for a lower seeded playoff spot and then go into the playoffs with a different attitude and chemistry then in yrs past.

and actually beat a good team in the 1st round.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Z - it doesn't matter if they may not have the roster for it right now to play that style. Playing the other way is not the answer. Even if they don't have the right roster in place to play a defense-first style, they need to still stick with it and make the correct roster additions to fit into that style. Trust me, it won't take more than 3 or 4 players to fix. 1 dman, 1 center, 2 better bottom-line forwards. That about covers it.

That won't guarantee them anything but it will make them a harder team to play against and they have enough talent to score 3 goals per game. They may be struggling offensively now but that's because this is an uncertain identity for this team, they're still adjusting, and they still don't have all the right pieces in place.

But they have to start with the right foundation and mentality, and high risk offensive run and gun ain't it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Trying to judge the team and coach before the all-star break is useless.

BB will stay through the playoffs. Do well in playoffs, BB stays. Do poorly in playoffs, BB goes.

Posted by: garbageout | January 15, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

This is a perfect example of how screwed up the Caps are. They don't even know their own recent past. They're acting like "slow starts" is a recent trend. If you can do an archive search of WaPo articles dating back to last season, you'll see that this exact topic was covered at least 10 times last year. This is NOT a recent trend. I've noticed their tendency to slack off and not be ready at the start of a game dating back now before even the Flyers series.

They even had a game v Atlanta in their run to the playoffs that year (when they won their last 8 or whatever games to qualify) where they completely mailed in an effort in a critical game for the first 50 minutes of the game. No lie. I sat in the stands in Atlanta and watched this allegedly hungry team not do ANYTHING for the first 50 minutes of the hockey game. This was a critical game v a terrible opponent and the Caps didn't display any effort at all. Then they turned it on in the last 10 mins of the 3rd and mounted a comeback to win it.

So the comments by Laich and Bruce in the latest article Katie just posted are flat out inaccurate. I ranted about this same thing all last season. So unless I have ESP and I predicted this scenario, trust me, its been a problem long before this year. The only reason its getting media focus now is because the Caps aren't pulling out wins in their "slow starts".

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Maybe so, but this complete loss of offensive effectiveness by a team with 4 guys who are proven offensive talents is the strangest damn thing I have ever seen in sports. Slumps happen, but this is way beyond that. I can't think of anything even close to this that I have seen in hockey or any other pro sport. And I have a lot of years watching pro sports.

Posted by: zmega | January 15, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: prestoj | January 15, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse


Explain to me this new complicated defensive scheme that were running now with BB.

What, Ovi is trying to morph into Kesler. So, he is not scoring.

What, Backy is trying to morph into Datsyuk. So, he is not scoring.

Watch the battle along the boards. We're not trying. Hockey is simple. "Be first to the puck" as they tell the mites.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 15, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Zmega, This team stopped playing for this coach in game 5 against the Habs. Put them on National TV and they start working hard.
For one game they played playoff hockey.

Cstanton is right. High octane does not win in the playoffs. They're too long in the NHL. Also, too prone to the Tugnutt, Hrudy, Burke, Vanbeeee@#$%%brook, Halak effect.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 15, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Get off the high horse Kirk. Let folks state their piece.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach

wow - did i touch a nerve?
at no point have i ever told someone they can't/shouldn't state their opinion. i don't agree with them all - but high horse? you are a riot - thanks

i think this team can win as they are - even with their flaws.
they could increase their chances of winning with more effort and execution. they do need to play more physical.

i'm only trying to elicit differnent viewpoints from posters here. most just repeat themselves over and over. i've stated before that i am not from a hockey background - so any theories i would have on why others views are flawed - would be weak at best.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 15, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse


You are implying that we just repeat all season long. Hockey skills are difficult to acquire, but the game is simple.

We've now watched enough to know that this coach is not an NHL level coach. Like Butch, he will not coach in the NHL again. The info that will spill out (post firing) about how incompetent BB is, will sink him. The contrast between BB and Bylsma on the HBO series was STARK !!!!!!!!!!!!

GMGM may GM again, but only in some rebuild situation or in Jersey. I hope I eat my words, but I'm smelling DOOM come the playoffs. We need a coaching change right now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 15, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

based on your sarcastic post...

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 8:59 PM

i guess there can be a fine line between detecting sarcasm and humor in a forum like this.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 15, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

"Something is rotten in the State of Denmark"

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 15, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

We need a coaching change right now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 15, 2011 10:23 PM

Hunterforcoach - i can see your reasoning for wanting BB out. in your opinion he has done all that he can do with this group. i'm not completely convined that is true - but it is a valid concern. what i'm interested in would be your views on why getting rid of semin might not help or sitting ovi doesn't serve any purpose.
i wasn't trying to imply that any one viewpoint is wrong - just that they all can't be right.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 15, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse


you don't win by playing the way the Caps excelled at offensively the past 2 seasons. well, you don't win when it counts.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

um Yes, you can win that way. Remember why the Caps lost to Montreal right? They kind of had a problem scoring goals.

The problem with the Caps in the post season against the Flyers, Pens, and Canadians has one common trait and it isnt defense ... it was the Power Play Kill.

The Caps dont have the personel to play like the Devils. This year goal production of the Caps is down by 1 goal per game and their defensively they are a 1/4 point better.

Bad trade off!

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | January 16, 2011 2:15 AM | Report abuse

Although I'm not an expert in Hockey, it seems that the team constantly comes out flat, BB is constantly tinkering with lines, and with their new theme that another writer described as trying to turn Greyhounds into Huskies isn't really working. I like BB, my kids like his wierd commercials, although hey are bizzare to me, since I've never seen a coach in so many, the focus should be the players (is he underpaid?) and that tend to somewhat demean him, ie., bird calls?

If we are going to refocus towards a more defensive minded strategy, is BB the one to implement it? Do we want to make a change now in coaching, or closer to the playoffs? If they drop the next 2 or 3, my guess is that he's gone. Your thoughts?

Posted by: guruvinny | January 16, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

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