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Caps practice power play

The Caps spent most of this morning's practice working on -- what else? -- the power play, which is a dismal 1 for 24 through five games in this series. The almost all-out 30-minute session appeared to be a little more intensive than usual, with Coach Bruce Boudreau often interrupting the unit to instruct.

"The other day he was more irritated, and today he was a little more calm," Mike Knuble said of Boudreau, the power play's architect. "Today, it was, 'Alright guys, I know we can do this', now that he's had a day to get away from it. It was just little things like puck recovery and being on rebounds a little more. Little things to focus on."

Boudreau also introduced a new wrinkle to the unit: Eric Belanger, who has not played on the power play recently, was in the rotation.

"Hopefully it's an opportunity and I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I played all year in Minnesota and had some success. Hopefully, I can bring something different and help the power play get back on track."

Speaking of Belanger, he said Marc-Andre Bergeron, his former teammate with the Wild, called him to a apologize for knocking out eight of his teeth with a high stick on Friday. (Belanger had just gotten thousands of dollars of work done on his teeth last year, and until Game 5, might have had the nicest smile on the team.)

"He felt so bad," said Belanger, who does not wear a mouthpiece because it makes him gag. "I spent a lot of time getting them fixed up, and here I am again."

On a positive note, Belanger is able to eat - just as long as it's cut into small pieces. So his energy level should be fine.

"I'm not going to eat crackers or stuff like that," he said. "But I can eat small pieces, chicken cut up or rice. I can chew in the back."

Despite some lingering discomfort, he'll be ready to play Monday.

Defenseman Shaone Morrisonn also told me he'll return after missing two games with a suspected arm/elbow injury.

As for the rest of the lineup, that remains a mystery. Three of Boudreau's lines had four forwards, so it was tough to decipher. But here's what the combos looked like:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laing-Laich-Fleischmann-Semin
Chimera-Morrison-Belanger-Fehr
Walker-Steckel-Gordon-Bradley

Defense
Schultz-Green
Poti-Carlson
Morrisonn-Corvo
Erskine-Sloan

Semyon Varlamov is expected to start in goal tomorrow and will likely face Jaroslav Halak.

Some other notes and quotes from KCI before I race (literally) to the airport:

*Asked to assess Mike Green (two assists, plus-1), Boudreau, as he often does, got defensive.

"You guys are all waiting for me to say, 'Oh no, he's not good anymore,'" Boudreau said. "He's trying his hardest. And no one cares more than he does. And I wish people paid as much attention to what Duncan Keith has done, being a minus player and no points as they did Mike Green. Or how many goals was Drew Doughty on [the ice for] last game? Start asking those questions. Don't worry about Mike Green, he's fine."

In case you're wondering, Keith is pointless and a minus-5. Doughty, meantime, was on the ice for one goal against in the Kings' 7-2 loss to Vancouver on Friday. In all, Doughty has two goals and four assists and is a minus-3.

*I'm hearing that Habs defenseman Jaroslav Spacek (illness) did not practice and will be out again.

*Milan Jurcina practiced before the team session for about 10 minutes. He looks like he's making progress. But I would be surprised if he practices with his teammates anytime soon, much less suits up for a game.

*Boudreau on the eighth seeded Habs forcing the Presidents' Trophy winning Caps to six games: "I don't think -- other than one comment from Mike Green -- anyone has said, 'Oh, it's only Montreal.' I've said from the very beginning that Montreal is a really tough opponent. They played really good against us in the regular season ...They're a team that could either go out in the first round or win the Stanley Cup."

That's it from me. Barry is going to take a look at Alexander Semin's struggles for tomorrow's Post.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 25, 2010; 1:48 PM ET
 
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Next: Tracee Hamilton to discuss the Capitals during First Things First

Comments

OK here is what is missing - the hate!

Teams wouldn't let players call each other in mid series to apologize for hits...save it for after the handshakes like when OV tried to reason with Gonchar about the knee hit last year.

This team does not hate Montreal enough...they are really nice guys that want to play hard and beat us.

I hope we have more animosity to get us up for games in the next round(s)....

Pittsburgh, Philly, Chicago? Gotta be some bitterness there.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 25, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

so who hates mike wise today?

Posted by: ravenhokiefan | April 25, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Keith has been bad this post-season, but the media has definetely grabbed onto that. There's Keith hate a brewin everywhere, and apparently it started from the Olympics on.

Doughty is the man though. Lay off him! :)

Posted by: richmondphil | April 25, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think -- other than one comment from Mike Green -- anyone has said, 'Oh, it's only Montreal.'
-----

whoa? mike green said that? are u kiddin me?

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

i'd like see a different lineup tonight. Something less boring to watch. Flash out, Laing in. Belanger out, Steckel in. That would at least bring a little more sandpaper to the lineup. If they don't think Erskine's a good fit for this matchup then neither is Walker.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

No need for hate, just the will to win.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 25, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

so who hates mike wise today?

Posted by: ravenhokiefan | April 25, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

he's a day late and a $ short. He just regurgitates everything that's already been written by some of the posters here. There's nothing revealing in any of his columns. He seems like a nice guy but his insights aren't that insightful. When the Caps run off a winning streak he jumps on the bandwagon. Now that they're struggling he jumps off. He offers no specifics as to WHY they lost or why they're not ready for a Cup run.

the only useful thing about hockey writers in DC is that a couple of em provide timely updates as to what is going on with the team. Wise is no different from Tarik except that Tarik is less effusive in his praise and criticism of the Caps. He just flies below radar without really committing himself one way or the other. And he's on the inside so he's more informative.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Here's highlights of the Bears game. Watch how strong Andrew Gordon is, players bounce off him like he's Ovechkin. He had 4 or 5 big hits in last night's game (again). 2 goals, 1 assist.

He's like head and shoulders over Chris Bourque in terms of NHL prospect material, and no one ever talks about him.

Speaking of hitting, the other top hitter on the Bears - Pinizzotto is another solid prospect. I think he should replace Matt Bradley here pretty soon. Pinner's got a nice hit along the end boards on the forecheck. Also led the AHL in shorthanded goals this yr.

The OT clinching goal was due to a hit that Ashton Rome put on an Albany player forcing him into a bad pass. The Caps could learn a little by watching their farm team. Much more focus.

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

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

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

view from a Bears fan at ice level

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

CAPS need to practice something because we have yet to play a good game in this series it's painful to watch really......I don't know what their problem is whether it be they're playing with a sense of entitlement or Bruce doesn't know how to make in game adjustments or just plain motivate the team then this is rediculous. Mike Green has been a joke the entire series I would rather see Sloan or Erskine out there with Green a healthy scratch. His lazy stick handling and lack of urgency whenever he handles the puck may work in the regular season but not in the playoffs...I hope we trade him at the end of the year because i'm tired of him always being the laziest player on the ice. I would really like to see Matty P and Alzner brought into the lineup because I know they would lay all they have on the table. I'm not going to be suprised if we make a first round exit because of the lack of effort from the club.

Posted by: velo_matt | April 25, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

When is BB not defensive when discussing Mike Green?

Posted by: govtimbo | April 25, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Here's a question, why is Fleischmann centering the second line when he has been non-existent on offense, is easily muscled off the puck and is terrible at faceoffs?

It just doesn't make sense why Fleisch keeps getting playing time.

Posted by: Liebercreep | April 25, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

i don't care about those other two defensemen, they are not playing for the caps. when you have a high priced d-man who has been playing like crap in the playoffs and not just these playoffs and that same d-man makes lazy passes and lazy plays in the defensive zone you need to say something about it. don't dump all over semin and not dump on green. i'm sure at the end of the playoffs we'll hear that he had a hang nail that kept him from playing to his potential. i guess stevie y had it right.

Step up to the plate BB, stop babying the players you like and start acting like a coach that wants to win the cup. start making in game adjustments, and start doing something that makes your players want to actually play a 60 minute game.

and to the players... play a full game, please.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 25, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Yea lets put Sloan or Erskine in for Green......now there is the key to winning......jeeeez

The play-offs are a process, all the good teams are not walking over their opponents, the margin for winning and losing is not that very big. We need to just relax a little bit.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 25, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else pi**ed that Hossa won't be suspended for the identical if not worse hit! I mean Chicago was soooo offended at Ovie's hit and then Hossa goes and does the same thing...but of course only gets a 5 min!

Posted by: capscoach | April 25, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

so who hates mike wise today?

Posted by: ravenhokiefan

Just today? How about everyday.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 25, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

BB is a Green apologist and he's a Flash fan so that explains both.

But to Green's credit, his effort is still there from what I can see. His execution is poor. But I still see him hustling around, taking the body etc.

Which is why I come down hard on Semin because aside from a few instances, his overall effort has been poor. All the Semin supporters seem to subvert the issue by claiming that he shouldn't be getting grief just because the puck isn't going in. I don't think THAT is the basis for the criticism he's getting. The basis is, he can't expect pucks to go in when he's not giving an all-out effort. And if he's not scoring there are others he can be contributing away from the puck even. Hanlon once said that the reason he didn't come down hard on Zednik was because even when Zed wasn't scoring he was still doing other things that made him valuable. Now Zed was never a checker, he was basically there for his scoring ability. So that just proves that even a sniper/scorer type can do many things to make up for his lack of scoring. Which is why a player like Chris Kunitz never gets benched despite his scoring droughts. He does many things that make him an asset even though he's relied upon for his point totals.

And re: Semin, one game doesn't erase the previous 14 out of 15 periods, sorry. Its a positive indication perhaps that he's willing to work harder moving forward, but the criticism he's rec'd for his previous play is deserved.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Steckel for B Mo and ShaMo for Sloan are the only moves I would make for tomorrow...

Possibly Walker for Flash, but not sold on that.

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 25, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

instead of getting ticked off about Hossa (neither one should've been a penalty ) the Caps need to do a better job of lobbying the league. This whole thing about the world against the Caps is getting old. The refs are out to get us, the league is out to get us...either McPhee needs to step up his game and be a squeaky wheel, or we need to move on. Whining about it on msg boards isn't going to accomplish anything (yes i know a lot of us gripe about stuff beyond our control too)

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Possibly Walker for Flash, but not sold on that.

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 25, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

how about Laing for Flash.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

lastly, who the h is gene wang? Wang? good grief. I should be the Wang of this board. I'm way more thought-provoking. Gene Wang is a poser. As the Habs would say, a real Hoser.

I'd rather read a RichPhil blog then have to subject myself to an alleged enlightenment session sourced to a japanese "member"

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:00 AM | Report abuse

you can only recover from so many slow starts

-confucious

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:23 AM | Report abuse


gm who invites too many euros to party find himself bagging groceries

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse


It's a sure bet that after a loss, @cstanton1, you're bound to get glued to the computer and tell us all how bad the team is in many respects, particularly leadership.

Now you're slamming someone for his national origin and baiting with racist claptrap.

Get off the friggin computer with this hateful crap.

Posted by: Justafan | April 24, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Sec423 | April 25, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

and i don't mean Laing on the 2nd line either. He can come in the 4th line, Chimera moves upto the 3rd line and maybe Laich-Bmo-Semin form a 2nd line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Possibly Walker for Flash, but not sold on that.

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 25, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

how about Laing for Flash.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I like Laing and he is solid on PK but not sure he gives us ANY chance of offense. Walker might....

That being said, I would be fine with Laing getting a start.

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 25, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

8-19-22
21-18-28
25-15-16
24-39-10

Sound ok??

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 25, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

lol, where did that come from, i'm reporting abuse!

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I didn't even post in that column, or the column before or after it.

Nice to know cstanton1 thinks of me when I'm not even posting here.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 25, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

ok except for I'd rather have a healthy BMo in the lineup over a weakened Belanger and I'll still take Laing over Walker because Laing is bigger, stronger, younger, and faster.

Walker offers some nice grit and nastiness but he's our slowest forward at this point and he doesn't look as good as he did last year even.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

i do, i think about you often.

last note on Walker, he's the type to take an aggressive penalty here or there. So be careful what you wish for. If you don't want a roughing call, then you probably don't want Walker in the lineup. Personally I have no problem with it but my experience around Caps fans is that they get a tad hysterical over "dumb" penalties which they usually equate to aggressive penalties. For my money I'd rather have an aggressive penalty that comes as a result of one of our team trying to set a tone early. Other teams do it but Caps fans are less forgiving.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

For those who caught the Blackhawks game yesterday what the odds that Hossa does/doesn't get suspended at least a game. If you didn't see it, it was a carbon copy of Ovechkin's hit on Campbell. I assume that if the same logic is used then he should get a suspension. If he does, I would love to see a media personnel get a comment from Campbell since he was so outspoken against Ovechkin.

Posted by: 104_CapsFan | April 25, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Game 7 for Wings/Yotes.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 25, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Looks like BMo will be out and possibly Walker in. But I'd rather have Steckel with Fleichmann and Fehr on the 3rd line than Fleichmann centering the 2nd. With how much better Belanger and Stekcel are on draws, Fleichmann probably shouldn't be centering. Hope Walker gets his chance, he's been solid since joining the team and would get the team fired up early if they are having a slow start.

Posted by: Stu_c | April 25, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone else pi**ed that Hossa won't be suspended for the identical if not worse hit! I mean Chicago was soooo offended at Ovie's hit and then Hossa goes and does the same thing...but of course only gets a 5 min!

Posted by: capscoach | April 25, 2010 3:43 PM"

I just heard Pierre and Mike Millbury agree that Hossa's hit was the same as Ovi's and that Hossa should have been kicked out of the game and at least a suspension. They alluded to the inconsistency in the league rulings.

I hope more than ANYTHING that the Caps put this series away definitively. That's because I wholeheartedly support the team and want them to win. But I also would like a win so certain posters on this blog might shut up for a while. However, after reading ad nauseum the Semin/Green/BB/GMGM/etc. hate that is spewed on this site, I'm not sure that even a win will stop the negativity.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | April 25, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Phoenix just scored their 3rd PP goal in the game. They were 28th this season in PP%.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 25, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I"ll take any of the healthy scratches for Flash. He needs to watch for awhile. Flash has been horrible on face-offs, is getting knocked off the puck too easily, and there is no reason to think he will begin to score, as he basically goes MIA once the playoffs start anyway.

Posted by: StanleyCap | April 25, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Why does Boudreau give Green a pass all of the time? Doesn't Green have a ton of room for improvement in his game too? Imagine how is overall game would be if he paid any attention at all to defense?

Defense is a decision ... play it.

Posted by: cwiseman | April 25, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I think moving Laich down woke him up, and a Laich/Belnager/Semin line would be effective.

Posted by: BACKS | April 25, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

If you had to choose, Alzner or Sloan, who would you take? Why is Sloan getting in these games? He missed a hip check the other night, led to a scoring chance. This team drafted Alzner close to 3 years ago. He captained Team Canada to a gold in the world juniors. He won a Calder Cup with Hershey. This is absurd. Take Sloan out, get Alzner in. Sloan hardly plays anyway.

Semin and Green need to be removed from the god awful power play. Put Carlson at the point. At least he tries to make the defense miss before he shoots. Green continues to fire right into the defense so his shots are all blocked. Move OV down as well. Get him off the point, they have taken that option away. I like BB as a coach, but adjust for christ sake.

Posted by: underpants2 | April 25, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

because Alzner looks mediocre. He's not as strong physically as Sloan is. He's not even as good a skater.

Who cares where he got drafted or which team he captained. As it stands today, Sloan is a better depth option. Alzner may have more upside (hopefully but doubt it) down the road but today he's not an NHL defenseman. At least not one you can count on. From the games I've in Hershey, he looks a little lost around his net. He's always turned the wrong way on rebound changes or pucks flying around the net.


and at least Sloan tries to throw a hip check which is more than I can say for some of our other D

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Semin and Green need to be removed from the god awful power play. Put Carlson at the point. At least he tries to make the defense miss before he shoots. Green continues to fire right into the defense so his shots are all blocked. Move OV down as well. Get him off the point, they have taken that option away. I like BB as a coach, but adjust for christ sake.

Posted by: underpants2 | April 25, 2010 4:33 PM

BB had Carlson on the point for some of last game. He also tried moving Ovie to the high slot where Semin usually plays, but that didn't work either. I agree though - Carlson and Poti have been so good this series that it might just make sense to put them both on the PP at once with the SOB line or the BKO line.

Posted by: Raber | April 25, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Defense is a decision ... play it.
------------------------------------


They should post this in the locker room

That's the best line I've heard yet.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

and at least Sloan tries to throw a hip check which is more than I can say for some of our other D

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 4:45 PM

You've opened my eyes cstanton1! We should have 6 Tyler Sloans and play all of them.

Posted by: Raber | April 25, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

wow Zetterberg with a monster game. 3 goals, 5 hits.

That's the kind of skill Euro I like.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

yeah thats exactly what I said. Clone Sloan and play all 6 of em. Way to comprehend Raber!

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

lemme guess Raber, you like your defensemen WIMPY and WEAK.

its fun making generalizations eh!

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Detroit lost 5-2... how the heck did Zetterberg score 3 goals in that game??

Posted by: joek443 | April 25, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

what? Z-berg had no goals this game. His hat trick was a different game.

Did google fail you on that one, or what?

Posted by: richmondphil | April 25, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I think you have not been correct in your assessment of the play of Semin. You have only credited him with 1 period of good/hard play in this series. That is not correct.

I completely agree that he didn't show up the first two games and showed little effort in those and he should be criticized for it. But Semin has been one of the Caps best backchecking forwards the past three games.

In game three he broke up 2 or 3 potential good scoring opportunities for the Habs in the first period with aggressive back checking. He was almost always the first guy back on his line. That should be appluaded and recognized.

I also think his game 5 was very good. He created numerous scoring opportunities, and if some teammates were better at putting in rebounds (Flash?) there would've been more goals. He also made a great diving sweep check to stop a Habs breakaway and Semin wasn't even a point man on the PP. And he was able to do it without committing a penalty. He almost dove then held up and waited a little longer to make sure he would get the puck and not get a penalty. If that was Bradley or Laich everyone here would have been talking about how smart of a play it was and that it showed amamzing hustle.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 25, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

As I've been saying for several days, please "Free Walker." He needs to be inserted into the lineup. We need his grit.

Posted by: robostop10 | April 25, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I want a dna test on Mike Green - is he related to bb? Is there another reason that bb is unable to be objective?

Posted by: bluejeener1 | April 25, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Your last post was well said.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

wow Zetterberg with a monster game. 3 goals, 5 hits.

That's the kind of skill Euro I like.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

must be binge-drinking again, eh?

didn't even watch the game... talladega takes priority over a non-Caps game

Posted by: joek443 | April 25, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Glad the Caps worked on the PP today. It has been ineffective this playoff series.

Okay boys, let's come out angry and WIN tomorrow.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

o my bad

no i have not been drinking, went to an old link to the nhl scores and saw 7-4, didn't realize it wasn't from today

and i never said i watched the game

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I want a dna test on Mike Green - is he related to bb? Is there another reason that bb is unable to be objective?

Posted by: bluejeener1 | April 25, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

actually BB has protected Semin plenty of times in the past that I can remember. Its only been lately that he's thrown him under the bus. I think BB for the most part protects his skill players from criticism until he just can't do it anymore. Its smart because you gain more loyalty from those guys. He's hoping that his mother-hen protectiveness will yield dividends

he generally doesn't have much to say about his checkers.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the coddling of Green either.

He was asked about Green's play... to essentially say 'well Doughty and Keith have sucked also' is a complete cop out.

Posted by: chombie13 | April 25, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

wow Zetterberg with a monster game. 3 goals, 5 hits. That's the kind of skill Euro I like.
Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010
-------------

Zetterberg had a hat trick in the 7-4 win April 16 game at Phoenix.

Posted by: Dalliquippa | April 25, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

sgm, i mentioned the backcheck on the shorthanded chance the Habs got. Maybe not in this column but in a couple of the previous ones. Why don't you mention the times (since you're talking about his defensive play also) that Semin has just refused to engage a player along the boards in our own end which has created numerous puck possessions for the Habs? Defensive play is more than just skating hard on the backcheck. Maybe Semin likes to show off his solo skating skills and get some glory that way, I don't know. Either way I'm glad he does have the desire to do that. Most players in this league will skate back to break up a scoring chance.

But the subtle things he refuses to do, esp his play along the boards is annoying. I can almost forgive him not doing that consistently in the reg season but to not do everything in his power to help his team in the playoffs is inexcusable.

When he's motivated he can play really well. I think it was game 4 in the 3rd pd when he made one of those non-glamorous plays that I wish he would make more often. He took a straight angle to an Habs forward inside the Montreal zone, used his body to knock him off the puck, then he picked up the puck and made a strong move towards the net. More often than not in that same situation, he'll opt out of making that play. He'll throw his stick out there weakly and the player will be able to get around him easily. And the play he made where he picked up the puck after a Sloan hit and skated thru players strongly, that was a great play too. But he'll just go to sleep on too many shifts for my liking.

He also shows no awareness when he's got the puck in his own end. He gets his pocket picked pretty easily. He's too casual with the puck in dangerous areas. If I was a dman, he's the last guy I'd throw the puck upto regardless of how skilled he is. He's alternately brilliant and horrible with the puck.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Zetterberg had a hat trick in the 7-4 win April 16 game at Phoenix.

Posted by: Dalliquippa | April 25, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

yes yes i know now. Even the great ones make mistakes once in a while. I saw RichPhil's post about that series going to game 7 and selected a link from my drop down bar and it took me to an old webpage and i clicked on the game sheet.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Yea the smart move would be to bench Semin and put Laing in the line-up. Laing has what 3 goals this year? Lets take a 40 goals scorer out and bench him.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 25, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

NOBODY here knows what BB may be saying to Green or any other player in private... BB is saying what he is SUPPOSED to be saying publically about any of his star players.

some coaches choose to rip his players in public but I've always thought that was just a chicken s**t way of coaching.

Posted by: joek443 | April 25, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Yea the smart move would be to bench Semin and put Laing in the line-up. Laing has what 3 goals this year? Lets take a 40 goals scorer out and bench him.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 25, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

who said that?

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

NOBODY here knows what BB may be saying to Green or any other player in private... BB is saying what he is SUPPOSED to be saying publically about any of his star players.

some coaches choose to rip his players in public but I've always thought that was just a chicken s**t way of coaching.

Posted by: joek443 | April 25, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

this doesn't hold water.

Bruce rips some players and not others. So he's most likely not saying one thing in public and pulling a 180 behind closed doors.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

and why should "star" players be treated differently in public vs other players anyway? that's pretty chickns_t in itself.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

you would know becaue you have sources or contacts inside the organaization??

and welcome to the real world where everyone doesn't get the same treatment...

Posted by: joek443 | April 25, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I have noticed that most of the games so far against the Habs in the post season Ovechkin will not backcheck. He also has watched as players skate past him in the Caps zone make a pass between him and the net and they score. Our star players need to step up for game six of we will be seeing them for a game 7 in the VC. Ovie tends to have great games when he comes out hitting. Unfortunately that has really only happened 1 game this post season. C'mon boys bring us a game 6 victory...

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | April 25, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I have noticed that most of the games so far against the Habs in the post season Ovechkin will not backcheck. He also has watched as players skate past him in the Caps zone make a pass between him and the net and they score. Our star players need to step up for game six of we will be seeing them for a game 7 in the VC. Ovie tends to have great games when he comes out hitting. Unfortunately that has really only happened 1 game this post season. C'mon boys bring us a game 6 victory...

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | April 25, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

i'm seeing double again

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"I have noticed that most of the games so far against the Habs in the post season Ovechkin will not backcheck. He also has watched as players skate past him in the Caps zone make a pass between him and the net and they score"

haven't noticed that a lot but that seemed to be case on goal#2 in game 5. sgm thinks if it was anyone's fault it was Backstrom's. But it sure looked to me like Ovy was just standing around watching the entire play develop. Sloan and Corvo did their job, Backstrom was also engaged with a player.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

The reason I thought it was Backstrom's fault is it is usually the center's job to pick up a player in the area where Moen was. The wingers duty is to be aware of the guys on the point. Sloan and Corvo had the two guys down low. I don't think Backstrom had a guy on that play. Moen was floating around the slot. But Ovie definitely could have assisted Backstrom and provided some defense too. I think it was Backstrom's responsibility but Ovie definiely could have helped out his teammate by picking up the man. So Ovie is not without blame on that play.

Ovie does not do a good job of guarding a man on the back check. He will get close and then watch the puck as the guy he is guarding will move away from Ovie and get open. It seems that once Ovie gets next to a guy he forgets that he has to keep on staying close to him.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 25, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

good point, he stops skating sometimes. See, this is the kind of specific memory recall that you just don't get from reading any type of blog, column, or article by any hockey writer. All that is is just fluff.


another point - Schultz needs to be more aggressive when he's closed in on a player. Not just hitting for the sake of hitting, but effectively separating the man from the puck. I can recall a couple of chances he had recently where he got on top of the guy along the boards and then didn't know what to do. He just kinda held him and the guy was able to still maintain puck possession. On a play like that, someone like Morrisonn or Erskine would just give a little extra into the guy and knock him down off the puck. There's a little much niceness going on in some of our players. You have to get much nastier if you want to survive in the playoffs.

Even a guy like gonchar who isn't usually equated with being a physical defender will seize an opportunity to knock a guy off the puck when he's on top of him. You can't let too many of those go by you. Usually by the time you close the distance the player has already passed the puck. The few times you're able to engage a player with the puck you have to be able to separate him from that puck

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else get the feeling that Plekanec is auditioning for the Caps? He's a UFA after this season ends.

Posted by: LesGrossman | April 25, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

@LesGrossman

We might actually have a job for him. (LOL)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

@LesGrossman

Although talented, I think his price range will exceed what we can offer. He is making 2,750,000 now and would expect him to get 4+. Not sure how that could fit into our cap scenario.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | April 25, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Check out possible subs here: http://acapitaloffense.blogspot.com/

Posted by: greenmachine | April 25, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Here's some music to inspire good play for the Caps:

"Sasha Fierce" -- by Lady Gaga

"That's the Way I Like It" -- by KC and the Sunshine Band

"Jumping Jack Flash" -- by the Rolling Stones

The above are to inspire great performance for the expected second line.

Other songs:

Anything by the group "Green Day" for Mike Green

Anything by the group "The Doors" or by the singer Van Morrison for Brendan and Shaone.

Anything by Abba for Nick B.

A long version of the Techno song that plays for nearly all of our power plays.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Once Sasha gets bored and decides to go to the KHL, we can afford anyone we want. That day is rapidly approaching.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 25, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

great line from the new Semin article

"Washington, the most dangerous offensive team in the league, is getting no production from Semin, one of the league's most dangerous offensive players. Through five games, he has no goals and one assist, and his propensity for seemingly drifting in and out of consciousness has only fueled the story line. "

boy does that nail it. Drifting in and out. That stereotype didn't just originate out of thin air. It has validity.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 25, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton @sgm3, @underpants2

As for me, I've been very happy with what Semin's doing - he's a plus player so evidently he's doing the job defensively (he's one of our better backcheckers - this may not be good news but...) and he's creating, on Friday he carved out more opportunities, created more space for him and others than any other forward. Then he puts good shots on net, creates rebounds, etc. His problem in many ways is he doesn't have linemates at his level - he makes a great move creates space then has no support, the guy he needs to be there to give him options isn't. He seems to be one of our better players even without the points...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | April 25, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

bearer of bad news - man, did Pittsburgh look good last night. Right now, there Defense is much stronger, quicker than ours is. If we can get that far, this team is going to have to play like a team and learn to keep its shape. Those guys were playing for each other.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | April 25, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

@Lloyd
Once Sasha gets bored and decides to go to the KHL, we can afford anyone we want. That day is rapidly approaching.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 25, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Don't disagree however that day will not be until after 2011, i.e. not getting Plekanec

Posted by: ralCapsFan | April 25, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

NHL has decided not to suspend Hossa. What a joke!

Posted by: robostop10 | April 25, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think Hossa deserved a suspension for that play. Milbury said it was from the side, which replays seemed to vindicate.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 26, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

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