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Open thread: Caps vs. Senators

The Caps look for another home victory tonight when they host the Ottawa Senators at Verizon Center. Feel free to chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation with staff writers Katie Carrera and Gene Wang on Twitter and see your tweets here by using #capswp.



By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 11, 2010; 6:58 PM ET
Categories:  Ottawa Senators  
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Next: Capitals get contributions from all ages on penalty kill

Comments

Let's go CAPITALS

Posted by: instinct227 | October 11, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow Flash was pretty impressive

Posted by: guer_j | October 11, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Lets go CAPS!

Posted by: instinct227 | October 11, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I hate this using twitter thing. I liked it last year when all you had to do was put in your username.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 11, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Alzner probably saved 2 goals early.

Clear difference in the PK so far this season.

Time will tell if they can sustain it.

A lot of the Caps' problems can be resolved by working harder like they've been doing tonight despite playing so much in their end.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Agree, I don't even know what it is. Is it a chat or just twitter. Entries being feed here

Posted by: guer_j | October 11, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Caps look awful on the PP

Posted by: instinct227 | October 11, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Finally!! Semin.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 11, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

The second PP was much better just couldn't finish.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 11, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Slow start but good finish to the period.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 11, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I'll give them an A for effort level in that period against a determined Ottawa squad.

Play with that kind of effort and things will work out well more often than not for this team.

Horrible penalty at the end there after already having to kill 2 penalties. Who was responsible for that?

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Alzner had a strong period.

I think 90 got caught drifting in the defensive end late in the period but he made some strong plays as well.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

90 blocked a shot, did some good things in his own end, and made a real nice spinning no-look pass that Chimera or whoever it was couldn't handle.

I thought he had one lapse in the defensive end but was good other than that.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Booo..Twitter. Bring back interactive chats.

Posted by: nicety251 | October 11, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

1-0? Nice.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | October 11, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Great PK. Stays perfect.

Posted by: instinct227 | October 11, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Fortunate to come out of that period with the lead.

Sens carried the play with their forecheck, the ice was tilted way too much.

Good thing that the PK is hot now, because the PP is not!

GO CAPS!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 11, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin channeling Semin.

Didn't need that one.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Deflection on that shot.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | October 11, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

wtf?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 11, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

did u see the way Hendricks was admiring his pass like it was pool shot?

nice.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 11, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Well that game was tied for about 30 seconds.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | October 11, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

wtf indeed, wtf_.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | October 11, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I feel bad for dropping Fehr in favor of P. Bergeron now...

Sorry wtf_e_fehr

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I feel bad for dropping Fehr in favor of P. Bergeron now...

Sorry wtf_e_fehr

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Alzner has to react more quickly there but Green held on to the puck for too long.

Nice work there by Gordo, Hendricks and Fehr. Gordo skated hard to win the puck early in that possession I believe.

Some forward was out of position on Ottawa's goal but I'm still happy with the defensive effort and effort level tonight despite spending so much time in our end.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Well that game was tied for about 30 seconds.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | October 11, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Green has been great this game, continuing his performance from Saturday. Johansson hasn't looked very good to me..

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Breakdown there after Chimera misses the net entirely and the big rebound sends the Sens back the other way quickly. First really noticeable oddman rush off the top of my head.

Green with some good work on Spezza down low.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I noticed Geno in the twitter, does this means no more live chat for those without a twitter account.

Posted by: instinct227 | October 11, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Sloan with his 2nd huge gaffe.

I'd chalk it up just to him being added to the lineup late if I hadn't seen him do it so often in the past even when get more regular ice time.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Neuvy has been outstanding. Varly better be worried. He's about to lose his jobby job.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 11, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Great boardwork there from Laich.

Does anyone know what happened to Bradley?

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Erskine also had a gaffe behind the net.

Boyd Gordon having a strong game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Geno looks pretty lonely on that chat haha. Twitter isn't going to catch on to the average joe. It just isn't.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 11, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Lines are all crazified. Ovie's injury? Matt Bradley?

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | October 11, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

(Look back to normal now.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | October 11, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

lol Ruutu.

Did anyone see Hjalmarsson's late hit on Pominville? Ouch....that should be at least a game.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-4aH7nnPjc&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

It is great to see Fehr and Semin score...two of the guys many on this blog always dog..

Semin also tied up a Senator when there was a scrum in front of Neuvy. That was another thing many people bashed Semin for not doing. Lets Go Caps!

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | October 11, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Yea Geno does look lonely. I hope he reads this blog.

PK again!

Posted by: instinct227 | October 11, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Fehr is never dogged on this board. Semin..yeah...

Did you mean Flash?

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see, Dennis LaRue, the back ref come by and yell at Ruutu as he was on the ice? It looked like he was yelling at him to get up. I can't believe a ref you come by and yell at a player like that and not give him 2 for embellishing since he clearly thought Ruutu was doing so.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 11, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Bad call BB, all you can do is send video to league.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | October 11, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Run into Ovechkin. Give Ovechkin penalty because he's Ovechkin.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | October 11, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad they fixed the shoulder pad thing. Definitely one of the biggest contributing factors in these increasing injuries.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Time to pad this lead and increase our PP percentage.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 11, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

backstrom playing strong defensive hockey along the boards in his end

and erskine with some nice simple grinding as well.

Carkner heavy hit on Ovy

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with the PP it seems they pick up right where they left off at the end of the playoffs.

Posted by: instinct227 | October 11, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

It is great to see Fehr and Semin score...two of the guys many on this blog always dog..
-----------

no one dogs Fehr

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

It is great to see Fehr and Semin score...two of the guys many on this blog always dog..
-----------

no one dogs Fehr

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 8:59 PM

DAM SCRATE!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 11, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

ottawa's team speed is very good. Its not like playing the Devils where we were skating circles around and thru them once we got motivated.

nice to see Hendricks harass Gonchar, glad he got that nice steal and assist. Should keep him in the lineup longer. I wonder who gets replaced if King ever plays. Bradley?

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Nice goal..turnover by Backstrom.

Big hit by Erskine though, haha.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Erskine actually made a great quick stepup on that play and almost disrupted the pass. Good goal by Ottawa off the neutral zone turnover. Can't fault the D for that one.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

btw, no way is #4 slower than #55.

speakin of, Sarge just put a guy down. Hump from behind.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I wonder who gets replaced if King ever plays. Bradley?

Posted by: cstanton1 |

I had this discussion earlier. Though I like Steckel, I think it'd be better to move Hendricks to center and play King and Brads on the wing.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Yea, Backstrom ain't all the way there yet.

Maybe the leg is still bothering him.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

chimera with 2 hits on last shift (both uncredited by hit counter) and MaJo finished a check too, nice to see. But Gordo pretends to hit and misses his guy. Seen that before.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

That was a very nice move by Shannon on that Ottawa goal.

Hendricks is making it hard for them to take him out of the lineup. His versatility and play are paying off.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 11, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I had this discussion earlier. Though I like Steckel, I think it'd be better to move Hendricks to center and play King and Brads on the wing.

Posted by: richmondphil2

thats my preference. Hendy with Brads and King gives us our 1st legit nhltype 4th line in recent memory

hendy needs to work on faceoffs though

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks is making it hard for them to take him out of the lineup. His versatility and play are paying off.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr

the caps sent me a $20 check for the scouting report, haha

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

PP lookin PRETTY PUTRID!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 11, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Not just the PP, our forecheck in general has degenerated since the first period.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

gordo better start actually finishing a check or two. MaJo's putting him to shame

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Alzner has looked good this game, but Sloan is definitely slowing him down. I actually don't mind Erskine being a regular top 6 anymore either, as long as he continues his very, very aggressive, physical game.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

nice Erskine

haven't seen a Cap do that to Ruutu ever


maybe this is the yr we get to payback some other guys down the road.

im ok with the penalty. Just hope Bruce is and i hope we kill the damn penalty otherwise Bruce will get mad, and Ersk will ride pine and then play timid. I like the energy he's showing so far. Looks like the old Erskine.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

2nd embellishment by Ruutu. Glad they called something on him.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

o sweet, glad they got Ruutu also.

I want Erskine to keep playing with this edge. He played a tough game v the Devils too and he's had some nice hits tonight including the one on the last Ott goal

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, two amazing saves from Neuvy there.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

damn someone pi__ed in Erskine's coffee. He buried Mike Fisher on that last shift and then took out Carkner

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Need to dig down a little and finish strong here.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Ottawa just seems to be beating us to a ton of loose pucks in our zone.

I think Nuevy has been solid again!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 11, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Alfredsson may have embellished on that earlier Ovechkin penalty.

Lots of diving by the Sens.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Better PP..no finish.

Erskine has been great these three games, it really is easy to see why Erskine should be the 6th man over Sloan every game.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

really enjoying the pace and energy of this 3rd pd so far.

Also am pretty impressed that Matt Carkner who is looked at as nothing more than a thug is able to keep up with the pace of this game. He was looking at a career in the minors until the Sens needed a replacement for Brian McGrattan

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

sarge with his 9 foot wingspan makes a nice play against 2 senators

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

erskine on the ice at 4 on 4 in OT, woo hoo

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

nice check by mr changa

que no?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 11, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

another strong play by Sarge on Spezza

and chimera buzzin around like an nhl power forward no less, what the F Chimera

thats my new handle, no one else claim it

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

lol, yep, very nice plays the last 2 games by Chimera.

Talk to me after some road games in Philly, Pit, NYR and Toronto, then we'll crown him the best surprise of 2010.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

A THING OF BEAUTY...

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 11, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

How Sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: instinct227 | October 11, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

lol... Ovechkin sick.

Thank you, sir.

Great effort tonight, imo.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

nice!
caps deserved to win this one. The Sens have the kind of team speed and forecheck that makes them a fun opponent to play against.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Neuvy has looked phenomenal through 3 games... better than his numbers.

His job to lose.

Varlamov has had some good runs, too, so it's a good situation.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin turns his crappy night into a great night. Varly, I hope the end of the bench is comfy.

Posted by: Dizruption | October 11, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Certainly the right kind of effort, with a lot of efforting all around.

And terrific from Neuvy.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | October 11, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

And here I thought OV was playing injured. On to the next one.

Posted by: nicety251 | October 11, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think Ovechkin had a bad game.

2 of his penalties were on potential dives. 1 for sure.

Beyond that, he had the one bad giveaway before what I think may have been an Alfredsson dive.

He was laying down hits and playing pretty good defense by his standards.

Loved the effort level and work in our own end despite spending too much time there. Kept almost everything to the outside and didn't give up much space.

Lots of players had good games. Backstrom was not one of them. The team will take another step forward when he returns to form/gets healthy.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

shoot, i'll be pretty happy if the Caps play this way for 6 out of every 10 games. Skating, hitting, a little nastiness here borne out of the action. That's my cup of tea.

But, based on the fact they've been doing it at home against 2 opponents who aren't quite world beaters yet, I'm hesitant to blow my load just yet.

i think the roster logjam is working in our favor because the forwards are skating with more urgency lately. No one wants to lose their spot in the lineup. And Knuble and Fehr had some very strong shifts too. Fehr about took off Phillips' head at the end there, just rammed his face into the boards.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I was just sayin' to the missus that Ovi had had an off night then he goes and puts the game winner in the net. Well bless my soul.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | October 11, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I actually thought Boyd Gordon quietly had a very strong game. Good on the PK, playing well in his own end, pursued the puck that led to Fehr's goal, was focused and in good position all night.

Not sure about Erskine in 4-on-4 situations. Maybe Boudreau had one of those gut feelings or wanted to reward him for his hard work.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I figured you'd be happy with this effort tonight, too, cstanton.

Just about everybody was fully engaged, physically and mentally... working hard and doing the little things.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I thought OV had a decent game, he was just double and triple teamed all night. Remember the good ol' days when he was wide open and didn't always have to shoot through a defenders legs? I thought Carlson and Green both had unusually good games.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 11, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I actually thought Boyd Gordon quietly had a very strong game. Good on the PK, playing well in his own end, pursued the puck that led to Fehr's goal, was focused and in good position all night.
--

i agree, Gordo has played pretty well since the end of last season. But he still gets blown off the puck pretty easy. And for all his speed, he gets to the offensive end and then either fakehits the guy where he turns his body and slams into the boards or he just skates past him instead of finishing his check. No excuse for a 4th liner not to finish his checks when they're available. He's had one hit in 2 games. MaJo will blow him out of the water at this pace (which is a good sign)

Too bad Eakin isn't ready yet.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Can't forget Hendricks.

Looking like a great addition. Credit to GMGM and everyone who had input on that one.

Still early but I like what I see.

Schultz also had a strong game, as did Alzner.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

So the Sens are 0-3 for the first time in there history. Courtesy of the Caps

Posted by: instinct227 | October 11, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Agreed on that point.

I think a lot of guys in the past have suffered from being weak on the puck.

That's part of what defines grit and physical play... it's not just hits.

Overall, I liked the way just about everyone battled for pucks and took the body tonight.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Lots of players had good games. Backstrom was not one of them. The team will take another step forward when he returns to form/gets healthy.

Posted by: tmac2yao

he had a really good shift defensively in the 3rd. Erskine had made some good hits but then passed the puck up the boards where it was intercepted by Carkner who kept the play alive. And it was Backstrom who engaged 2 Senators on that shift along the end boards to get the puck away and out of the zone.

Nothing gets me more excited than seeing one of our Euros make plays like that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Can't forget Hendricks.

Looking like a great addition. Credit to GMGM and everyone who had input on that one.

Still early but I like what I see.

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

irony is, there's a lot of players like Hendricks out there who just need a shot. And of course, there has to be room on the roster. The good thing about him is he can play either wing position and center. So he has that going for him. But you look at a kid like Zack Smith for the Sens, he's even stronger on the puck than Hendricks is and he'll end up being a better player. Those guys are plentiful, they just need a shot with a team who has a roster spot open for them.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I know you'll disagree with me here, cstanton, but I still believe that Semin could by our best PKer if...

and this is such a big IF that it almost negates my point but...

if he can stay disciplined mentally, he has the best combination of anticipation, athleticism, speed, length and stick skills to disrupt play and apply pressure on the points/perimeter.

He'd also have to be more willing to get in passing lanes.

I'm not even factoring in that he's a threat to score the other way because he has to do all the other things before that bonus comes into play.

The biggest risk is that he loses his mind as he's prone to do and puts you down another man.

At a minimum, I like seeing him being used on a trial basis which seems to be the case early this season. Not sure if that was just because of the number of penalties we took tonight.

At best, he shows some maturity and becomes a key PKer.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom makes a few plus plays even in his worst games.

He's just not physically there yet. I'm guessing it's the leg or some other minor physical issue.

Could be the migraine thing as well.

When he's on his game, he's the most consistent and complete player on this team. Looking forward to seeing him back to his normal self.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

THE GOOD:

1) Neuvy. Not good - oustanding. Give him all three stars.
2) Fehr. If I've said it once, I've said it 1000 times - 30 this year; 300 over the next 10; 5 yrs, $20M min next contract; more goals than Flash in career.
3) Erskine. Thought he was our best d-man out there tonight.

the bad:

By God, Johansson was Awful with a capital A. Go back and look at the first Ottawa goal and you will see #90 standing by himself, near the blue line, doing nothing. He needs some time in Hershey even more than Lindsay Lohan needs another chance. Even Perreault would be a better choice but, to be honest, we are way weak down the middle.

THE UGLY:

The interference call against Ovechkin. And the way Matt Bradley's foot must look after blocking that shot. At least we have DJ King waiting in the wings.

Finally, please, someone, please, buy Marcus Johansson a bus ticket to Hershey. The experiment needs to end NOW.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 11, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Geez no updates or quotes or anything from the post game. This section really isn't the same without TEB.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 11, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks is REALLY making it tough to sit him. GMGM may have pulled one off here.
Is Backy really that hurt? He doesn't look likr he has any jump at all.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 11, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

So that 90 who blew his assignment on that goal, huh...

I couldn't tell who it was... just saw the shooter unmarked.

I mentioned a play where I saw him drifting and that wasn't even it.

He did some good things but I guess he was pretty bad overall. BB must've agreed... the kid didn't play much.

I saw him make some good plays in the d-zone and on the PK. He blocked a shot and laid a couple of hits. Also had a sick spinning no-look pass that Chimera I think couldn't handle.

Broke up a couple of plays and carried the puck out of the zone.

They had to expect mistakes.

I also wonder if his foot was bothering after the blocked shot early in the game. He winced as he came off the ice.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

if he can stay disciplined mentally, he has the best combination of anticipation, athleticism, speed, length and stick skills to disrupt play and apply pressure on the points/perimeter.

He'd also have to be more willing to get in passing lanes.

--tmac--

you lost me at "willing"

no seriously, i think he can be disciplined easier than he can disrupt passing lanes or use his body along the boards to jam a puck out when the pointman pinches on an attempted clear by our defense.

There was a play tonight in the 3rd along the near boards where Semin gets the puck and instead of protecting it while he tries to carry it thru the neutral zone he tries to flip it around a player and skate around him. Needless to say, quick turnover and the Caps had to backpedal to defend.

I guess I don't trust him with the puck because I think he takes too many chances with it. And when he does it in the off zone, its not as big a deal as if he does it near his own blueline. Its hard working to clear the puck on the PK, its a real killer when your PK forward gives it back to the opposition instead of just dumping it out.

If he adjusts his game a little to make more of the simple types of plays when we're on the PK, then I'd be more agreeable.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: Having just now read through the notes, when you decide to blow your load, let us all know, so we can turn and face the other way.

Also, your nickname for Hendricks, Hendy, just doesn't do it. You can try "Jimi."

And now that I went back and read through everything, I guess I'm really NOT surprised to see that everyone else was as high on Erskine as I was, Now, I have posted a bazillion times we should trade Erskine when/if we get an upgrade on D. But, not if he's gonna play like this. Erskine tonight was a VERY SOLID third pair D with the necessary, nasty component. If he plays like this every night, let's sign him to an extension!

Did I just write that? Hmmm, could it be he is negotiating as we speak and that is the reason for the upgraded play? I say then, don't sign him and let him play out the contract year like this!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 11, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

90 looks good out there. He's providing more than 85 could. By that, I mean defense. Not to mention he singlehandedly creates scoring chances every game. He's got incredible speed and great hockey sense. I don't understand how anyone would want him to go back to Hershey. The turnovers will stop...But I hope "the experiment" doesn't anytime soon.

Posted by: BACKS | October 11, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

the good thing MaJo showed was on the forecheck in the off zone in the 3rd. He got in deep and put pressure on the dman. So that was nice to see. But it is odd that they want him to be more aggressive in the off zone thus implying he's almost over-focusing on the defensive part of the game, but he does not react very quickly to action in his own end.

"Hendricks is REALLY making it tough to sit him. GMGM may have pulled one off here."

come on, that was not a genius move. Hendricks already proved himself last yr in the NHL, any team who needed that kind of player would have shown interest.

the caps had Hendricks in their system and let him walk. He had to prove it with another team at the nhl level before we took an interest in him. I'm glad he's here, but its not like GM plucked him out of some obscure junior league and signed him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: You have nit-picked Marcus Johnasson like a mofo. Now it is me. Am I mistaken? Did you see the first Ottawa goal? Am I wrong or did he look more lost than Paris Hilton being detained in Japan without her make-up bag?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 11, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Mojo might have been at fault on that goal sure, but honestly, you have to give him more credit for what he is doing well. Last game he has about a 15 second offensive zone possesion by himself creating multiple scoring chances. Not to mention, he's Pking in his third NHL game. I mean honestly, just project what his game will look like come March.

Posted by: BACKS | October 11, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

tom, i apologize, i hate that nickname for hendricks, but that's what he's called by his teammates. I read that somewhere. Terrible i know.

re: Erskine, whenever everyone bags on him i wonder if they remember that he was a 2nd round pick and highly regarded as a potential top 4 Derian Hatcher type when he got drafted.

He's not painfully slow. He just needs to stay within his bounds. He can be pretty effective down low against the grinder lines. I wish I had tape of him v the Rags in the playoffs, he was really good for us. As was Juice and Mo

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: You have nit-picked Marcus Johnasson like a mofo. Now it is me. Am I mistaken? Did you see the first Ottawa goal? Am I wrong or did he look more lost than Paris Hilton being detained in Japan without her make-up bag?

Posted by: tominsocal1

i'll be honest. I was watching this horrific link that someone sent me at the same time the Caps game was on. I was distracted for pieces of the 1st and 2nd pd. So I'll take your word for MaJo's lapse, and say its not surprising. From what I saw of him in the 3rd, he was using his speed to get in deep and be aggressive.

btw, for anyone who is curious and has a strong stomach for a horrifying story, go google "thad phillips sauk county" and look for a Discovery channel show. What happened to this poor kid will blow your mind. I'm still nauseous over it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

ok i'll ask it again.

is karl alzner really 6ft2 inches and over 200 lbs???

if i had to guess i'd guess he was barely 6 feet tall and about 180 lbs. He plays such a weak game when he has to go chase a forward on the end boards, all he does is hug the guy from behind and sweep his stick around trying to get the puck away. He shows nothing in the way of size, strength or even quickness. How is it Erskine has no issues getting on top of a forward and shoving him off the play and yet Alzner looks so ineffective when he has to leave his post to go chase a forward down low?

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I haven't read all the posts but... Erskine is doing exactly what this team needs... So far Erskine = SANDPAPER. That's EXACTLY what this team needs. Good to see some of them following suit some of the time.

Chimera = effing FAST!

This is a good team but they need Green to have a lot more agression in his game and stop trying to make soft passes... He's been the most frustrating player in my mind so far...

Neuvy = quite good! I think he's our #1 now. He's earned it... So far.

Posted by: sca187 | October 11, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Good points...

He'll also have to eliminate the fancy stuff and keep it simple

I think he can be strong enough on the boards to be effective, esp. in stick battles. What he can't do is take a dumb penalty if he doesn't win the puck... recover and get back in position... don't trip or slash the guy.

That's my biggest concern, along with the shot blocking.

If you saw the way he picked that puck out of the air tonight or that time last season off Crosby or the way he can lift sticks and strip pucks on the backcheck when he's committed to it, it's hard to argue that he has untapped potential as a defensive player. He truly has some Datsyuk/Malkin like ability in that area. I know Malkin isn't considered a great defensive player but when he's trying on that end, he has elite ability.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

But, not if he's gonna play like this. Erskine tonight was a VERY SOLID third pair D with the necessary, nasty component. If he plays like this every night, let's sign him to an extension!

_____________

Not only tonight, but all 3 games he's been a real, solid force.

RE; Alzner

Though I was hard on him the past two games, I thought he played a good game today, especially through the first two periods. Again, it's very apparent that Sloan slows down that pairing. And on that, it's also apparent that Erskine is above and beyond Sloan. Sloan = our definite 7th guy.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

This is a good team but they need Green to have a lot more agression in his game and stop trying to make soft passes... He's been the most frustrating player in my mind so far...

______________________

No way. Green has been great, on both sides of the ice, these past two games.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

to be fair to Sloan, most fringe players have a hard time stepping in or out of the lineup like he has to do. I feel bad for him.

I think Alzner made some good plays tonight with forecheckers bearing down on him. I kept waiting for him to cough up the puck but he managed to get there quickly and pass it around the boards to a forward.

I'm talking specifically about his inability to separate a forward from the puck, esp when he has to go chase him into the corners. And I'm serious about his frame, he looks smaller than his listed height and weight. He's listed one inch shorter and the same weight as Carlson.

But JC looks bigger and so much more powerful than KA. Even Green who is supposed to be smaller looks bigger to me than does Alzner.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that anybody would say Green has been the most frustrating player so far.

I'd say he's been quite the opposite - one of the best.

At his best, Green is a combination of just enough of grit and lots of skill.

He's been doing a little bit of everything in the first few games, even if he's not putting up points. Defensively and offensively, he's been an impact player. Not too many mistakes and bad decisions.

Sure, there is usually 1 or 2 plays a game where he may get a little complacent but nobody plays a flawless game. Green has been great thus far.

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

Good effort, and we need to keep up this level of urgency.
Yeah, Erskie did play well and nice pass by Hendricks.
I agree about Fehr and hopefully this is his breakout year.
As long as the other players not named Alex or being of Swedish decent contribute, we have a chance to win every night.
Neuvy HAS to control his rebounds better. This is the part of his game at the NHL level he needs to improve.
I would have prefered to see Holtby backup Neuvy but I can see the rationale of GMGM and the coaches.
Bring on NY.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | October 11, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbda6PfQv8w&feature=player_embedded#!

for you hartnell haters, he gets crunched here by Cam Janssen and Brad Winchester but its Cam who ends up KO'd courtesy of Winchester'd elbow


And this is the hit I mentioned earlier by the Blues who decided not to allow the Ducks to goon things up without some type of response. Winchester again, this time with a huge hit on I think Mikkelson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hs9y3VOkFk&feature=channel

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Interesting note from Japers. "Through three games, Mike Green and Jeff Schultz have played a combined 149 minutes and have been on the ice for a combined total of one goal (Green was out for Andrew Ladd's goal in Atlanta; opponents have yet to score with Schultz on the ice). They also have a combined plus-seven rating, 11 hits, and 12 blocked shots. Not bad for a soft player who can't skate and a misplaced winger, huh?"

Also if I was going to blame just one guy for the first goal it is Fehr. He skated right by Ruutu when he had the puck to start the play and didn't stick with him as he went to the net he just drifted off. He made up for it with the second goal so that isn't too bad. On the second goal Carlson shouldn't have gone up so much but Erskine cannot go weak at a guy who is already covered and leave a guy open in the middle. Carlson had to skate like heck just to get back and make any type of play.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 11, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Alzner made a lot of good plays tonight. He single-handedly may have prevented 2 goals early in the game and he was largely steady all game long.

He's pretty much a advertised - good hockey sense, sound positionally, composed, good with his stick, needs to get more physical to take the next step.

He doesn't need to become an Erskine but if he adds enough edge to his game, he can be better than I think what most experts would project for him.

I just get this feeling that he'll put it together at some point. I'm sure there are plenty of examples of players who were able to overcome similar weaknesses in their game earlier in their career.

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

i know people on here read japers (as do I) but tonights recaps is pathetic...i do love me some erskine and usually take offense when people talk junk about him but they are so freakin biased about schultz love/erskine hate its unbelievable. Big John has been on the ice for 1 or 2 goals total this year and they bash him. The only defender who hits someone..they bash him for penalties. I bet they would hate orpik, dion, pronger or anyone else who hits people and gets calls

sorry for the rant

Posted by: _stevo | October 11, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

The biggest area of weakness I've noticed in Neuvirth has been his decision-making with the puck behind the net.

I don't know what the rap on him is going back but his rebound control has been above average so far from what I've seen. The commentators and Bruce keeping talking that part of his game up. I don't know if it's as good as they're saying but it hasn't been much of an issue.

Even the best goaltenders give up a bad rebound or 2 each game. I saw Neuvirth do so but there have been like 3 or 4 at most in 3 games.

On the other hand, he's turned the puck over several times and just doesn't appear too comfortable in that area. Something to work on. He'll fix it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

The biggest area of weakness I've noticed in Neuvirth has been his decision-making with the puck behind the net.

I don't know what the rap on him is going back but his rebound control has been above average so far from what I've seen. The commentators and Bruce keeping talking that part of his game up. I don't know if it's as good as they're saying but it hasn't been much of an issue.

Even the best goaltenders give up a bad rebound or 2 each game. I saw Neuvirth do so but there have been like 3 or 4 at most in 3 games.

On the other hand, he's turned the puck over several times and just doesn't appear too comfortable in that area. Something to work on. He'll fix it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Erskine made a few gaffes but he's been very good in the early going.

He'll make about 1 or 2 bad passes more than he should make each game and he isn't the best of skaters but when he's bringing the physicality and play well positionally, he's a solid defender.

Would not ever use him 4-on-4 though. Not sure what Boudreau was doing there. He was freaking out every time the puck was on his stick.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

anyone else the MaJo didn't look good again tonight? he kind of looks lost out there especially in the D zone

Posted by: _stevo | October 11, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Yea, I've seen 90 caught drifting at times in each games so far.

I've also seen him do good things in all 3 zones and on the PK.

I expected worse to be honest. Not sure why anybody would expect anything other than what we're seeing from a kid making such a quick transition to NA hockey.

Everything considered, I'd even say he's done well and there is reason to be optimism despite the easily identifiable gaffes.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I bet they would hate orpik, dion, pronger or anyone else who hits people and gets calls

sorry for the rant

Posted by: _stevo |

don't be sorry. I find it ironic that fans all would be happy with the typical punishing dman type but i guess he's never expected to actually follow that up with any nasty play that may lead to penalties here n there. Erskine did exactly what he should do tonight, he roughed up Ruutu who was trying to act up around the net. Glad the refs nailed Ruutu too too

And I like that the very next shift Erskine then buried Fisher along the boards instead of playing tentatively.

And good sign that he got some ice time in OT. One thing I'm always wary of with Bruce is he tends to hold his tougher players on a pretty tight leash.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

On the second goal Carlson shouldn't have gone up so much but Erskine cannot go weak at a guy who is already covered and leave a guy open in the middle
----------------

oh come on! how often do our dmen ever step up to challenge a forward at the blueline? n e v e r

Erskine made a quick nice step up hit, the goal was not his fault. I don't even blame Carlson. That was a good play by Ottawa. The guy got off the pass despite the hit by Erskine and whoever scored (shannon?) made a great one on one play. Erskine staying back wouldn't have stopped that goal. He was already moving up towards the blueline to impede the forward's progress.

i for one get tired of watching our dmen retreat into our end without challenging the forwards. You can't hold that against #4.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 11, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

good points..perosonally i thought big john played his third good game(doing what he is supposed to do). i just hate when people bash him like japers and knit-pick just cause it is him and they want to screw the stats to show how great sugar schultz is.....i usually don't have an zny issue with japers except when getc and becca post

Posted by: _stevo | October 11, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I agree with everything except using him at 4-on-4 when there are other options.

I don't like using Schultz in that situation either regardless of what the stats may say.

My order of preference of which d-men to use at 4-on-4 would be Green, Carlson, Poti, Sloan, Alzner, Schultz, Erskine.

Depending on how much progress Alzner makes, he could jump ahead of Sloan. I'd pick Sloan now simply because of his speed and experience advantage. I do think Sloan's gaffes have more to do with just his sporadic playing time, though. I think you'd see that stuff out of him even with regular playing time, maybe just to a slightly lesser extent.

I figured Bruce was just rewarding Erskine for some reason. He looked entirely uncomfortable out there in OT. Every time he touched the puck, he panicked and wildly flung it to open space as soon as possible.

The game has changed. With that much open ice and no clutching, grabbing, etc..., you need guys with speed who can keep possession of the puck in those situations. You still need defensemen out there but speed and skill is at a premium.

The Blackhawks use Keith and Campbell most at 4-on-4 if I'm not mistaken.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

That 2nd goal was pretty much entirely on Backstrom. He coughed the puck up in a terrible spot.

Ovechkin didn't make a great pass but Backstrom just doesn't quite seem alert out there. I don't know if it's the leg or his migraines but he isn't 100% right now for sure.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 12, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

About Erskine, he has a roll on the team and he does it. He is not going to get Green-like points nor Schultz-like plus/minus but will hit and clear the crease. All I can say is, I'm glad he is on our team and hopefully gets the recognition in the intangable column that he deserves.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | October 12, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

the issue with erskine is, he hasn't filled that role very well lately

part of it has to be him, part of it has to be the Caps' general disdain for that kind of hockey. When our entire team plays grittier, Erskine seems to be more comfortable playing that style. And with Carlson adding to Green's newfound commitment to gritty defensive hockey, it provides a nice boost.

A few yrs ago Eminger and Erskine were actually our best defensive pairing for a while.

Did we miss Poti tonight? I guess you can say he's an upgrade over Sloan but I haven't given up on Tyler either. He has the mobility and the strength, he's just raw. He gave the puck away a couple of times and made it up with some hustle and aggressiveness along the boards.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 12, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Well, one thing for sure, is that some of those Japers folks came on here and ridiculed CI posters for "Caps hate." Now however as we watch the games and we see, for instance, that Erskine is playing better, and we give him his due, apparently the Japers people just can't do that.

I for one am and have always been happy with Schultz's play (for the money). You can search back through tominfl1 back to mid-2008 or whenever I started posting and you won't find one Schultz jab, one Green jab, one Bradley jab, Laich jab or Fehr jab. I identified Laich for 1.75-2.0M contract when the last one ran out, said Fehr should get about 2.25 on short deal for this one (is 2.2), promoted Schultz from 700K also to 2.25 on a short deal this time (got 2.75 for 4). What you will find is consistency. I have knocked Erskine repeatedly because, specifically, I called him out as a $6 bottle of wine being sold for $12. Now it seems amazingly if, perhaps, that extra time in French oak may have done him well. You can't knock what he is doing NOW. You can knock Johansson though because he seems ill-prepared for what he's dealing with. There's no reason to assume he's any better than Fehr and Fehr at this age was in his 4th year WHL and dominating, which is what Marcus should be doing somewhere. Maybe he will prove me wrong but God only knows whether we'd be better if we had a Saku Koivu type instead.

I won't bother reading Japers, all I know is they come here and scream because people don't like the guy who posts the stats articles. I actually had good things to say about that article today but last I checked, I was maybe the only one. Now I'm really wondering if Johansson will get anywhere near those point totals in the near term. Does this mean I'm a 90 hater? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! It just means, like with Fehr, it takes time. Rushing a guy to the NHL is like thinking you can cook a Thanksgiving turkey on 1000 degrees for 15 mins. Might look fine on outside but inside is a bloody mess.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 12, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

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