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Ovechkin on loss: 'It's all about me'

As expected, Alex Ovechkin and his shot-less, point-less effort Thursday night was the center of attention this morning at KCI.

Ovechkin, like many of his top-minute teammates, did not go on the ice at all today. But he was available to reporters and predictably shouldered the blame for his performance in the Caps' playoff-opening, 3-2 loss in OT to the Canadiens.

The two-time MVP was held without a shot for only the second time this season and fourth time in his career. He had five shots blocked and misfired on three others. (For the record, Coach Bruce Boudreau said it was Ovechkin's first shot-less game of the season because the scorers got it wrong Jan. 19 vs. Detroit.)

"I don't know why, but last game, I don't feel that power or something," Ovechkin said to the throng of media. "I talked to Bruce, and how I said, I didn't play my game at all last night. It's not about Montreal. It's all about me."

That may be true. But the Canadiens also deserve credit. In fact, they've held Ovechkin without a goal four times in five games this season and without a point on three occasions.

Ovechkin saw all three Canadiens defensive pairs early and was matched up a lot against Jaroslav Spacek in the third period. It wasn't just Spacek, though. It was the combination of Montreal's veteran defensemen getting in Ovechkin's face and the Habs' forwards diligently applying pressure from back side. The end result? Ovechkin had nowhere to go with the puck.

"He's been played like this," Boudreau said. "It's not a secret. Everybody plays him like this."

"He wasn't being given a lot, and when he was, they were redirecting or he was shooting them over the net," Boudreau added. "He didn't have any A-1 chances that he shot wide. He just didn't have a lot chances."

When asked whether the fact that all of Montreal's D-men are all lefties is posing a problem for right-handed shooting Ovechkin, Boudreau acknowledged that possibility.

"Maybe when he's coming down to shoot the puck," he said, "it's easy to [defend him] because their sticks go to the middle."

While Ovechkin's Game 1 struggles might be cause for concern, Boudreau and Ovechkin both attempted to shrug it off as simply a bad night.

"I think we're making mountains out of molehills," Boudreau said. "He just had a bad game and they played very well against him. Hopefully, it will be a little bit different tomorrow."

Ovechkin added: "No, it's not a personal challenge. It's a challenge for the team."

Boudreau also said he's not planning to overhaul the Caps' lineup for Saturday's Game 2 in an effort to mix things up or to begin chasing matchups. In his opinion, he said, it's up to Ovechkin to ramp up his intensity and fight through Montreal's pressure.

"The deal is when he's on top of his game it doesn't matter how they are playing against him," Boudreau said. "That's the way we've looked at it for the two and half years I've been here, and that's why we don't try to get him away from matchups. Because if he's on top of his game, it doesn't matter who he's playing against."

Asked what he can do to loosen up Ovechkin, who, at times seemed tight, Boudreau cracked: "Give him a massage?"

On the bright side, at least they're still able to laugh.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 16, 2010; 1:13 PM ET
 
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Next: Boudreau on power play: 'We're just off'

Comments

wee hoo, first one to post.

If they have to devote that much to stopping #8, it must free up space for the others. I'm guessing a defenseman sneaking into the play would be wide open...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | April 16, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Good comments! Shrug it off Ovie...you'll get em Saturday!

Posted by: capscoach | April 16, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Smile people. We're only 1 game into this series. Montreal is a good team that received a lights out performance by their goalie. That said, I really don't think they can win 4 out of 6 against us.

Posted by: Terptwin | April 16, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Anyone think any lineup changes for tomorrow?

Boyd Gordon is great on faceoffs and PK, but #9 brings more offense and by bumping him up to 2nd or 3rd line it moves Chimera to 4th line which can balance the offense a little.

Thoughts?

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Anyone think any lineup changes for tomorrow?

Boyd Gordon is great on faceoffs and PK, but #9 brings more offense and by bumping #9 up to 2nd or 3rd line it moves Chimera to 4th line which can balance the offense a little.

Thoughts?

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Darn it, have to try this again.

For all of you hitting the panic button, maybe this will put you at ease, at least for today.

Here are the results for the 1st round for the eventual Stanley Cup Champions beginning in 1996 following the shortened season of 1994-95.

2009 Penguins 4-2
2008 Red Wings 4-2
2007 Ducks 4-1
2006 Hurricanes 4-2 (Lost game 1 and 2 @ home to...Montreal)
2005 Lightning 4-1
2003 Devils 4-1
2002 Red Wings 4-2 (Lost game 1 and 2 @ home)
2001 Avalanche 4-0
2000 Devils 4-0
1999 Stars 4-0
1998 Red Wings 4-2 (Lost game 1 @ home and actually went down 2-1)
1997 Red Wings 4-2 (Lost game 1)
1996 Avalanche 4-2 (split 1st 2 at home)

Relax...

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

It will be very interesting to see how he responds on Saturday.

Posted by: sroessle | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Anyone think any lineup changes for tomorrow?

Boyd Gordon is great on faceoffs and PK, but #9 brings more offense and by bumping him up to 2nd or 3rd line it moves Chimera to 4th line which can balance the offense a little.

Thoughts?

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Darn it, have to try this again.

For all of you hitting the panic button, maybe this will put you at ease, at least for today.

Here are the results for the 1st round for the eventual Stanley Cup Champions beginning in 1996 following the shortened season of 1994-95.

2009 Penguins 4-2
2008 Red Wings 4-2
2007 Ducks 4-1
2006 Hurricanes 4-2 (Lost game 1 and 2 @ home to...Montreal)
2005 Lightning 4-1
2003 Devils 4-1
2002 Red Wings 4-2 (Lost game 1 and 2 @ home)
2001 Avalanche 4-0
2000 Devils 4-0
1999 Stars 4-0
1998 Red Wings 4-2 (Lost game 1 @ home and actually went down 2-1)
1997 Red Wings 4-2 (Lost game 1)
1996 Avalanche 4-2 (split 1st 2 at home)

Relax...

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The Caps turned the Rangers series around last year when they started dumping the puck in deep and stopped trying to skate or pass the puck through the middle. Montreal has taken that away. Dump it in and forecheck. Work Harder!!!

Posted by: joshu1 | April 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

OVI has not played his game in quite some time.

Posted by: pkme | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Anyone think any lineup changes for tomorrow?

Boyd Gordon is great on faceoffs and PK, but #9 brings more offense and by bumping #9 up to 2nd or 3rd line it moves Chimera to 4th line which can balance the offense a little.

Thoughts?

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

You know, I didn't feel right either, last night. I didn't have a single beer and I was way back in the couch instead of sitting up at the edge the way I usually do. Just an off night. I still have the six in the fridge and I bet I'll be ready for them come Saturday night.

Posted by: billmelater | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Habs deserve credit; they played tight. I am confident that we can break that down, otherwise they'd have been the #1 seed.

Posted by: Blah-Blah-Blah | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The Caps turned the Rangers series around last year when they started dumping the puck in deep and stopped trying to skate or pass the puck through the middle. Montreal has taken that away. Dump it in and forecheck. Work Harder!!!

Posted by: joshu1 | April 16, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Smile people. We're only one game into this series. We knew Montreal was a good team. We knew they had a hot goalie and a strong power play. That said, I really can't see them taking 4 of the 6 games from the Caps. We're simply too deep and too talented to let that happen. Saturday is a new day!

Posted by: Terptwin | April 16, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

You know, I didn't feel right either, last night. I didn't have a single beer and I was way back in the couch instead of sitting up at the edge the way I usually do. Just an off night. I still have the six in the fridge and I bet I'll be ready for them come Saturday night.

Posted by: billmelater | April 16, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps get behind in Game 2, I think we'll see some line changes. I predict Semin and Knuble switching spots half way through game 2.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 16, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

You know, I didn't feel right either, last night. I didn't have a single beer and I was way back in the couch instead of sitting up at the edge the way I usually do. Just an off night. I still have the six in the fridge and I bet I'll be ready for them come Saturday night.

Posted by: billmelater | April 16, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I liked the Chimera/Bel/Fehr line but would like to see a bit more patience from #18. I'm a Semin fan but thought last night's game by him weak. He can do better, he certainly can finish his checks better.

Wonder what happened to #9...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | April 16, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Smile people. We're only one game into this series. We knew Montreal was a good team. We knew they had a hot goalie and a strong power play. That said, I can't see them taking 4 of the 6 games from the Caps. We're simply too deep, too talented and too determined to let that happen. Saturday is a new day!

Posted by: Terptwin | April 16, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Gee, BlahBlahBlah, think you did enough copy-and-paste today? Why not do a few more?

Posted by: OvechkinFan92801 | April 16, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

this team needs to stop relying on Ovie and go out and win. the team has proved this year that it can win without Ovie. GO F'IN DO IT!!! i don't think i have ever seen a more pathetic display as this team (arguably the best in the NHL) sit around and ponder why 1 player isn't playing well. PLEASE, get over it donkies. Bruce Boudreau is SUPPOSED to be a coach. well baldy, why don't you get your fat keester in gear and be an F'IN coach!!??!!

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

what a TERRIBLE header for this blog post" "Its all about me". PLEASE, it is all about why this team won't go out and pplay like the team they are (Ovie or not).

Posted by: doughless | April 16, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Anyone think any lineup changes for tomorrow?

Boyd Gordon is great on faceoffs and PK, but #9 brings more offense and by bumping #9 up to 2nd or 3rd line it moves Chimera to 4th line which can balance the offense a little.

Thoughts?

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I said on wednesday when I first heard about the possible lineup that I would stick with BMo... not that I'm a huge fan of his but like it or not he's one of their top 3 centers

I've never been a huge Gordon fan and I'd rather play Walker than him... Walker brings more grit and I would use Chimera and Knuble more on the PK with Gordon outta the lineup

Posted by: joek443 | April 16, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Here is my happy thought I'd like to share with you all:

Since the Caps started making the playoffs again they have been in three series. In two series they won the first game. In both of those rounds, they ultimately ended up losing the series. The one series that they lost the first game in (NYR), they won the series. That doesn't make me feel 100% after last night's game, but it's a start.

Posted by: Aldred15 | April 16, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Fanohock:

the only problem with your list is that none of those teams is/was the CAPITALS

Posted by: doughless | April 16, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Is it something in the water up north that makes philly fans so obnoxious?


http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5098407

Posted by: rbpalmer | April 16, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Give credit where credit is due: Montreal has beaten us 3 times this year, to our 2 victories. They know exactly how to defend against us and have played almost flawless hockey, given their limitations, in the 5 games we've played.

Gotta find a way to bounce back Saturday night and get the offense going. Glad to see Theo looked very sharp last night. 9 times out of 10, if he gives up 2 goals in 60 minutes, we win.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | April 16, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

BMo and Walker definitely need to be in the lineup. Flash is pulling a disappearing act, as is Fehr. Sit of of those guys. Playoffs mean grinding time. We need more grinders out on the ice.

Posted by: doughless | April 16, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

On a fairly regular game basis, Ovi will slip to the right side and work that wing to good effect. I know it means Knuble slips over and that might cause him some issues but a move to 28-19-8 line for a bit, with both Alexes opening an weaving, might open up the Habs' defenese. I had no idea they had all lefties out there. I think AO with all lefties on him, from the right, would be a nightmare for them.

Ready to rock it tomorrow night. Think of it this way - as I do these days - if we knew we'd win a series 4-2 (how I think this will end), just considered last night one of the two.

Posted by: saintex | April 16, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

OV hasn't been right since the Olympics. I bet he's fatigued beyond belief.

Posted by: formerwxman1 | April 16, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

The Habs don't have to win 4 of 6... they only need to win 3 of 6 at this point.

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 16, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I can see Steckel or Fleischmann out of the lineup for B. Morrison...

Neither gave the Caps much up the middle. Stecks seemed to lose every key faceoff...(not all of them that he took) and Flash couldn't win a o-zone draw to save his life. I'd rather have Laich taking the draws.

Just my two cents....i'm fine with the lineup we just have to finish better. Flash, Laich, Stecks all had chances, great chances and none of them scored. Flash and Laich one on one with a goalie like Halak need to shoot and not deke and get so in tight. Halak will eat that up all day.

Posted by: rdiehljr | April 16, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

this is the third playoff year for most of the players and coaches on this team and it's not just the players who need to raise their game in the post season...

I think BB and his coaches need to raise their level as well in order for this team go where it wants to go.

you can't keep doing the same old stuff and expect the same results in the playoffs no matter how successful you were in the regular season...

Posted by: joek443 | April 16, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Smile people. We're only 1 game into this series. Montreal is a good team that received a lights out performance by their goalie. That said, I really don't think they can win 4 out of 6 against us.

Posted by: Terptwin | April 16, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse


They only need to win 3 of six. The Caps need to win 4 of the next six.

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 16, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I thought Fehr was decent last night. He got off a few shots and made a few nice takeaways also. In addition, he had a very good backcheck that prevented a Habs scoring chance.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Semin played like trash, didn't try lost every one on one battle, flash looked fine to me and steckel won several key pk face offs in the defensive zone, also gordon for walker, gordo looked good last night, and gives you a more versatile pk becuz he can play center

Posted by: joshekurtz | April 16, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Ovi has been off his real game for a long long time. Maybe he ate or drank something in Vancouver that took away his "mojo", maybe it was a date with "Lottagina" who is an accomplice of "#2" (Crosby).

We won without him when he was out with injuries and suspensions - we can win without him even now.

This team needs to stop looking for excuses and start playing as a team. As a little kid who sat by his radio way past 2 am as Ron Weber called that Pat LaFontaine shot from the circle in the 4th OT of Game 7, I have known our playoff demons all too well for all my life. They are out again - up to BB Caps v 3.0 to exorcise them, or let me be the first one to say that Bruce Boudreau's job is VERY much on the line if we don't get past Montreal.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | April 16, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

So it sounds (to me) like the Caps are thinking "Ovi wasnt Ovi, so we lost. As soon as Ovi becomes Ovi, we will win." Hmm, I don't like the sound of that. The TEAM needs to play as a TEAM. When they are on, there are few that can beat them. It's not Ovi's rookie season where he singlehandidly could take the team on his back.

So you know, once Ovi comes around we'll be ok right? Let's not practice any special teams, or work on 3 on 1's. Yeah BB, that'll work.

Posted by: SuperZ3383 | April 16, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Caps win next 4. Book it!

Posted by: chrislarry | April 16, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

It's not that Ovie is having trouble fighting through their D,but the simple fact is,considering Montreal is the worst 5-on-5 team,his line was on the ice for the 2 goals(including the game-winner)that met that criteria.Maybe if Ovie didn't "cherry pick" so much,and did some back-checking,things would have turned out differently.Everytime he's on the ice,the first pass is going left,duh,don't you think they know that too? Run-and-gun is great for the regular season,but if R.J.Umberger is right,then get the golf clubs out early.

Posted by: roccky | April 16, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

There were so many give-aways by the Caps last night it wasn't funny. And I didn't think Corvo had a good game at all, in spite of his goal. Caps will snap back, though, they are good at that! As a team, they appeared sluggish to me, and Montreal's goalie won the game for them. I thought Jose did a great job and didn't get enough support from defense.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | April 16, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Belanger was crazy on faceoffs last night so I'd consider moving him up to the 2nd line and bringing in BMo to center the 3rd. Or keeping him on the 3rd and putting BMo on the 2nd. Fleichmann didn't have a horrible night on faceoffs but he didn't seem to win many of the important ones. Belanger and Laich play well together and winning draws back to Semin in shooting position would be a huge boost for that line. Fehr would probably be the player who would get dropped in that case with Fleichmann going wing on the 3rd line.

Also think Walker should be in there somewhere. Maybe even just a Walker for Fehr switch but more likely swap him for Bradley so Gordon is still there for faceoffs. Either way I really like the energy that Walker brings and would consider even putting him on the 3rd line with Chimera and BMo. That would wear down Montreal's defence. And forwards.

I don't know about taking Steckel out. He went 11-5 on draws. The team overall dominated on faceoffs but Backstrom and Fleichmann didn't have great nights. It doesn't help your offence when your top two lines aren't winning faceoffs. I wouldn't suggest taking Backstrom out of the lineup, but would move Fleichmann off centre. I think Fleichmann has good chemistry with Semin, but with Belanger winning 18 of 21 faceoffs, that could be a much bigger advantage. And he does well as a 2nd line centre.

Posted by: Stu_c | April 16, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if BB will put Semin on the first line. With the size of the Habs defense with players such as Gill, maybe having a faster, skating line of 8/19/28 could be useful since the defenders would be less likely to shade too far to Ovie with Semin hovering on the other wing.

Then have 21/9/22 as the forechecking second line that pounds the defense and grinds out scoring chances. Or even 14/9/22 and then 21/18/16 as 2a and 2b.

I have always been a fan of the 8/19/22 line and think it is the best but maybe this matchup calls for the 8/19/28 line.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 16, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere, Mike Milbury and Don Cherry are laughing their as**s off. They must feel justified in their claims that European players lack the toughness to be successful in the SC playoffs.

The suggestions for line changes are focusing on the players who are giving their best effort. The problem is with the high paid stars who played lazy or dumb.

BB should have had a mandatory practice today, even if it was all off ice. He should have broken a few chairs. He should have gotten in the faces of a few "star" players. He should tell them that if the lack of effort continues he will bring in some Hershey players, since he'd rather lose with guys who are at least giving it an honest effort.

Posted by: zmega | April 16, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Its amazing what can transpire in 24 hours.

Yesterday at this time we were all optimistic and could not wait for the playoffs to start. Now we are ready to bench half the team, trade the other half, and fire the coach. All because we lost one very close game.

Just an observation. I am as guilty of the above as anyone.

Posted by: hockeypuck2 | April 16, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

@zmega
sometimes the yelling and screaming works, but sometimes it does nothing.

Bench conflict is a bit better in my opinion. The power play at times looks like they're trying to be so cute with the puck it's worthless. I would have sent out the third line for the power play to send a message and get the guys heads straight.

The play-off's aren't about being cute and scoring pretty goals, it's about grinding it out and getting it done.

Posted by: Jaymagz | April 16, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Lazy passes, not paying attention to clearing/passing attempts, just going thru the motions, THAT is why we lost last night. Ovi didnt get his, but we have way to many weapons to still lose. Semin & Green CHOKED so many pass attempts, and lack of effort attempts last night. We may have a better talented team, but exactly what makes the NHL the best league in all of sports is why we lost: We Were Out Played.

All that being said, I know we will pull our heads out and take the series in 5 or 6. Hopefully 5...

Posted by: airforcegymrat | April 16, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Message to Caps Management: I was at the game last night. All that pre-game scoreboard crap about going for the Cup, not being satisfied with the Pres Trophy, 16 wins to go,etc. was not a good idea.

All it does is put extra pressure on the players. God know they don't need (nor can they handle) that.

Posted by: hockeypuck2 | April 16, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Caps looked pretty decent on their PP (except for the last one).

The problem was they were unable to bury any of the shots taken. I would like it if Green started shooting more on the PP. He has a great shot and often has an open shot because the D is shading towards Ovie.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 16, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's just me but I think the bigger the game the smaller Ovi plays. I'm not talking about games in November or January. I mean April, May and beyond.

Posted by: bndra12 | April 16, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@bndra12

Ovie was good in the playoffs last year. He had a bad game last night.

Lets wait for some more results this year before you start making blanket statements like those.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 16, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

IF BB does does not know how to motivate this great core of talent and put a good system in place it is on him not OVI. I like BB but I wonder how this team would play under coaches that are tougher more system oriented instead of all of the freelancing. If the Caps lose this series BB should move onto other endeavors. Bring in Dale Hunter or go for one of the old tough championship coaches that implement discipline. Also I never believed a coach talking about the play of his players is appropriate. I wonder if you lose the respect of the players. Keep it in the locker room. Maybe BB should stop worrying about being in the media spot light. I can not imagine Scotty Bowman getting into all the crazy stuff. Can You? Even an old Brain Murray?

Posted by: pkme | April 16, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Green needs to shoot more on PPs. I never thought I'd say this but if they're going to shadow OV like they are, we need much more offense from Green!

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 16, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Message to Caps Management: I was at the game last night. All that pre-game scoreboard crap about going for the Cup, not being satisfied with the Pres Trophy, 16 wins to go,etc. was not a good idea.

All it does is put extra pressure on the players. God know they don't need (nor can they handle) that.

Posted by: hockeypuck2 | April 16, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure about the pressure part, but I agree it should not be a part of the pre-game. It's presumptuous, bad karma, and potentially jinxing.

Posted by: Justafan | April 16, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I have never thought BB is some great hockey coach genuis. You could plug Dean Evason is this role and you would get the same regular season result. You might even get a better result actually. The best coached team in the NHL right now is the Coyotes. Dave Tippet a former Cap. You see how that whole team plays with a system and the passion they play with. In the West I am picking the Coyotes to win it all. How many 30 goals scorers, 40 or even 50.

Posted by: pkme | April 16, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I have never thought BB is some great hockey coach genuis. You could plug Dean Evason as head coach would get the same regular season result. You might even get a better result actually. The best coached team in the NHL right now is the Coyotes. Dave Tippet a former Cap. You see how that whole team plays with a system and the passion. Aside from their goaltending they play with a sense of urgency every night. In the West I am picking the Coyotes to win it all. How many 30 goals scorers, 40 or even 50 do they have?

Posted by: pkme | April 16, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The Habs played like it was a game 7, while the Caps played like it was game 1. This partly accounts for the disparity in effort and intensity. I doubt the Habs will have the energy to play four game 7s against the Caps. This is no time to panic but to regroup and re-arrange some of the lines (no centering more centering for Flash please). I am confident that the Caps will bring it on for next game.

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | April 16, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

At times, certainly last night, the team has played as if they were bored with winning - like, just another day at the office . . .

We have never been a cruisin', dominating team that just has to skate out onto the ice, take a few shots, hit a few players, and slide off with a win. We hit our stride because we went out and took control of the game by skating circles around the opposition, relentless and intense, winning possession of every loose puck, working harder. We must have had good conditioning, especially as we seemed to gain advantage as the game wore on.

If the team is no longer driven to win more games, I am sure that several of the other teams will be happy to skate around the rink holding up the big prize.

Posted by: Satchelass | April 16, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Instead of the woe is me c**p, Ovi needs to lead this team. Instead of constantly drifting to the right with the puck, into the teeth of left-handed d-men, maybe take it left once in a while and to the rack hard. If he forgot how to do that, watch Chimera. He should be skating hard and playing physical every shift, even if he is not scoring. If he can't lead this team with his effort, rip the "C" off his jersey and give to Knuble or Laich.

Posted by: zmega | April 16, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

sorry for double posting

Posted by: pkme | April 16, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The Japers' Rink website has a great front-page article on the X's and O's problem the Caps are experiencing, yet again, from the Canadiens, who have had our number all year and know just how to beat a team with our style of offense. We will be very lucky to pull off wins in 4 of the next 6 games.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | April 16, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Don't throw in the towel just yet. BB has yet to lose (or win) a series in less than 7 games. Montreal still needs to win 3 more games. I wouldn't fold up your Caps jersey quite yet.

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

I have no life so I watched the game again and they were outcoached and rattled. Bad job BB. Someone above compared the Red Wings to this team. The difference is that the Red Wings played usually great hockey even when they were losing. Well coached and the players bought into the system. The coaches did not spend time with the media trashing his players when they had a rough night. BB focus on the locker room and not your press briefing. Leave the trashing of players to the fans and non professionals. I think BB is excellent at developing young players and helping them get their game going so they can play at the NHL level. He should coach an AHL team or Collegiate.

Posted by: pkme | April 16, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else seem to think that Ted Leonsis is much more concerned about matters regarding the iPad than his professional hockey team? The Ted's take page is very odd lately.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 16, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the posters that it appeared that Ovie was drifting to the middle every time he received the puck on the wing, no attempt to take it hard along the boards. He was essentially playing into the hands of the Habs defenders who seemed to know exactly what he was going to do. It's not a coincidence that they've shut Ovie down almost every game this season. They seem to have his number, just like he has the Pens number.

BB needs to think about switching things up, maybe it means having Semin on the same line with Ovechkin at times. Knuble can play well in either the 1st or 2nd line. It didn't seem that BB did anything to adapt to the type of defense the Canadiens were using in the neutral zone. Instead of having the guys play dump and chase to establish the puck in the neutral zone, they continued to make bad passes or to try to stickhandle it through the neutral zone. That doesn't work during the playoffs.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 16, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

billmelater...best comment ever

on another note: caps fans relax. the caps played a regular season style of game last night. they will adjust and win the series. trust me i don't want them to win (Pens fan) but i know a great team, as do most if not all hockey fans, when i see one.

Posted by: thomaschiappetta | April 16, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

At times he was, but there are way too many "big" games in the playoffs, wjc or olympics where he earns the nickname floatvechkin. You can't call yourself a leader and play like that, no effort.

If you are hurt than don't suit up.

Posted by: bndra12 | April 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: hockeypuck2 | April 16, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure about the pressure part, but I agree it should not be a part of the pre-game. It's presumptuous, bad karma, and potentially jinxing.
----

Totally agree. All the pre-game nonsense, combined with Boudreau's bluster about needing to win the series as quickly as possible to be rested, amounts to free bulletin-board material for the Habs. BB is a great coach, but Phil Jackson he ain't. All we should be focused on is the game directly in front of us.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | April 16, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin has been playing this bad for half the season now. It has nothing to do with Montreal shutting him down, he has just lost his game. Remember that 20 game "slump" (would have been longer if we didn't account for the empty netters he got in the middle of the season) and some fans said he was saving it for the playoffs (and I said you guys were WRONG) well it looks like he wasn't saving crap. Only way to get him going temporary again would be to bring back Semin on his line. BB of course, is ignoring the problem and saying that it was just a bad game. Well BB he has been having "just a bad game" for 30 games now so it is time for concern. Mark my words: these playoffs will go down as the one where if Ovechkin played well we would have won the Cup, but he is going to continue to struggle and we will not win the cup.

Posted by: zackattack4492 | April 16, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I actually like this from Ovechkin.

I love that. He’s redirecting all criticism to himself. He can bear the weight. And the team has shown the ability to respond when Ovi is either out of the lineup or in need of support.

Look for the rest of the team to rally around him on Saturday.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 16, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@bndra12

Ovie has had signifcantly more good playoff games than bad playoff games. His teams record in elimination games is 6-2. Ovie scored 11 goals in 14 games last year including 8 goals in 7 games against Pittsbrugh in which every game was considered a big game.

Bringing up the wjc is ridiculous.

1) Ovie got hurt in the early part of the game.

2) The Canadian team was loaded from top to bottom. The Canadian was significantly better than any team in the torunament that year.

3) Ovie was 18. Why don't we go back further and find how players played when they were 16, 14, and 12.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 16, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Lest anyone think the Bell Centre is some sort of impregnable fortress...it's not. The Habs are 3-9 at home in the playoffs since 2004, and 2 of the 3 wins came against Boston (8 seed) in 2008.

Posted by: jcurrin | April 16, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Rarely post, but here goes:
1) The Caps need to score more than two goals in regulation if they want to win. Lots of shots maybe but nowhere near the quality chances you need. No shots for OV is just a symptom of that problem.
2) The main problem I saw is that the Habs were able to skate unabated with the puck through the neutral zone (Gomez's rush to the equalizer being a prime example), while the Caps kept turning the puck over between the bluelines or very high in the offensive zone.
3) We have to get the puck in deep and forecheck their D, even if that means dump and chase. We're bigger, let's start to wear them down. I hope all it takes is one game to get a sense of urgency and start taking the play to them, taking away their time with the puck and getting some for ourselves. We just need a little more time with the puck to generate some good chances.
4) Everything went perfectly for the Habs. Powerplay goal, no shots for OV, strong performance from Halak, and lots of pressure on Theo. Still they needed OT to beat us. There's enough room for improvement that we don't need to panic yet, but there's no reason to smile until we see a better performance in game 2.

Posted by: Bass1 | April 16, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Being a fan can be a helpless feeling. Hopefully the Caps will respond in game two. Montreal plays a style of hockey that matches up perfectly against us. I would enjoy seeing a blowout on Saturday but will settle for a win for sure. My guess is that the coach is reviewing more film on the Habs to try and come up with a better plan of attack.

Hope, hope, hope, faith, faith, faith, believe, believe, believe. And if your lucky enough to be at the game:
Lets go Caps!!!

Caps Caps Caps!!!

Posted by: DCSPORTSFANATIC | April 16, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

BB needs to take responsibility. Overtime records come down to the better coached, more disciplined team. Blame your players. That is kind of like every boss in America blaming a department's performance on its employees. I question his honesty. Where is a Scotty Bowman when you need one? Heck even Babcock would do.

Posted by: pkme | April 16, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

You can have hope, you can "believe", you can be optimistic, you can say that "real" fans should not get down on our Caps, or...you can be realistic.
Canadiens stopped Ovie with their defense.
Caps Gen Mgr George McPhee decided not to upgrade our defense. As a matter of fact, he traded for ANOTHER puck-moving defenseman. Everybody knows that our shortcoming is defense. They can make all the line-up changes they want...bottom line is we gotta stop the other team, and we can't.
Where's George now???

Posted by: scmonty1 | April 16, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

The deal is when he's on top of his game it doesn't matter how they are playing against him," Boudreau said. "That's the way we've looked at it for the two and half years I've been here, and that's why we don't try to get him away from matchups. Because if he's on top of his game, it doesn't matter who he's playing against."

That's BS. Boudreau's JOB is to get the best matchups. He had the last change. If he's sees Ovie getting smothered, he changes him to match up with less talented defensive guys. That isn't rocket science. Boudreau seesm to be saying don't blame me, blame Ovie. He's starting to worry me.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | April 16, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Ovie said " I'm not shoot or score " after the Caps loss. Look at replays of last nite's Pens game and see what a real captain and MVP does in the playoffs. He scores when you NEED it and even tends goal ! Elliot and Smith are STILL dizzy from watchin' The Kid skate around the net! Luv it!

Posted by: jerryc57 | April 17, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Another big show for Ovie and another no show for Ovie . You can't spell Ovechkin with out "choke".

Posted by: jerryc57 | April 17, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

jerryc57 - You may be right in one aspect - Ovie did not have a good 1st game whereas Crosby did in game 2, BUT you are showing your idiocy by making such a blanket statement like it is a continual situation. This is not the only time Crosby has demonstrated his skill but you need to remember that Ovie does so just as frequently. They are both highly skilled and what is the reason for you, if you are a real hockey fan, for not seeing that. If my memory serves me right, I do believe Ovie and his Caps beat Crosby and your sweet Pens each time they played this season. Hmphhh. See my point? Last playoffs the Pens got the best of the Caps but it wasn't for the lack of Ovie's performance there or Sid standing out, but 1 TEAM bringing their A-game and the other not. Be objective.

Posted by: gonchpup | April 17, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

My point is that Ovie is one dimensional. If he can't shoot he can't score . If he can't score he is not a contributing factor in any win. Sid , on the other hand , wins face offs ( led the league this year ) , plays on BOTH sides of the ice , and also led the league in goals this year , something that was the most important factor in determining who was " the best player in hockey " for the last few years. Until I see Ovie doing things like playing defense ,winning the battle for the puck on the boards and behind the net and winning face-offs , I , or any other true hockey fan will never think that he is a better PLAYER than Sid. You notice I didn't mention tapping your stick on the ice to call for the puck as a skill. If the league gave a trophy for that, Ovie would lead the league every year. Sid goes and gets his own puck!

Posted by: jerryc57 | April 17, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Let somebody else get their brains beat out on the boards and behind the net to get the puck , then tap your stick on the ice for the dish pass . Sounds like a preetty good gig to me. Then tell the media " it's all about me " after the game . Sounds like somebody I would sure want for my captain.

Posted by: jerryc57 | April 17, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Charlie Brown was right not to have the Caps skate on Friday. Not because they shouldn't skate , but because they probably couldn't skate on Friday. Their tongues were hanging out after that game. Those big guys are good for about 15 minutes of hard skating in the first couple of periods . Forget it after that. Those little forewards of the Habs skated past them , around them and through them for last five minutes of the first two periods and then most of the third period and all of overtime .

Posted by: jerryc57 | April 17, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

jerryc57 - You don't know how to read or comprehend what you're reading because you are obviously seeing things through Penguins-tinted glasses. Ovie's "all about me" comment was all about himself shouldering the blame. He took full responsibility for the defeat and was not saying so in the selfish sense. Also, this one dimensional crap - Do you really know hockey? He's a wing and Crosby's a center, right? Different roles, right? The center generally is the setup guy and the wing the finisher. That's why, in most cases, the center racks up points on assists and wings in goals. Why don't you ccheck out this year's stats and see which of the two has the most assists. Seems Ovie is doing his fair share of setting up team mates while Sid is tapping them in more for his squad. On the defensive end, the roles are different as well. Check out their +/- stat and tell me how Ovie can be so much better in this category than Sid. He DOES take care of business on both ends. Both of them are arguably the best in the league in their position. Are you a naive 10 year old that can't back off from your "we're great and you suck" stance? I recognize and applaud Crosby's talents.. I don't like the guy as an opposing player and think he's a bit of a wimp out there, but for you to say that Ovie is selfish and one dimensional just makes you look ignorant.

Posted by: gonchpup | April 17, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

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