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Ovechkin Takes Verbal Jab at Avery

A few quick notes from the morning skates here at MSG:

Rangers Coach John Tortorella said this morning that team captain Chris Drury will play tonight. Drury has been hampered by an undisclosed injury (it's believed to be wrist problem) and played only 1:34 in the third period of Monday's game. The Rangers are a significantly better team when Drury is healthy, but I'm not so sure he's doing much for them while he's hurt.

Some other items of interest:

Ovechkin on Avery
Alex Ovechkin had a little fun at the expense of Sean Avery, who took four minor penalties in Game 3 and received a misconduct for punching Simeon Varlamov in the face.

"He's a great player but everyone knows that he kind of wants to disrespect the [opponent's] goalie," Ovechkin said of the Rangers' agitator-in-chief. "I remember what he did last year against Martin Brodeur. He was just dancing over there. It's too bad there was no music. But it's his job."

Ovechkin went on to praise teammate John Erskine for not retaliating when Avery punched him in the jaw Monday.

"It was a pretty tough decision not to kill him," Ovechkin said with a smile, referring to Erskine.

Gamesmanship Explained
Some of you may recall that Coach Bruce Boudreau engaged in a little lineup deception before Game 3. All season, the Caps' forward combos and 'D' pairings could be deciphered from the line rushes during warm-ups. That was not the case on Monday. The lines and pairings that took warm-up (the ones the Rangers' coaches watched and marked down) were not the ones that took the ice during the game.

"I don't know if it does anything," Boudreau said when I asked him about that bit of gamesmanship. "But when you're down 2-0, you try every little thing that you can to win. We probably won't do that today. ...Maybe."

Double Take
Scouting opponents via video is such a big part of today's game, especially in the playoffs when teams face off in a best-of-seven series. But it hasn't been easy for the Caps' coaching staff to get a good look at the Rangers because the feed is so grainy here at MSG, Boudreau said.

"It's really bad quality when we get the tapes here," he said. "I don't understand that. It's not [the Rangers], it's the building and the wiring and that is a little old. So we have to watch stuff two or three times to make sure we're watching the right stuff."

Boudreau on Green
Mike Green had five hits and four shots on goal in Game 3, but Boudreau said he needs his best defenseman to be better.

"There's been a lot of positive press for Mike this year and sometimes he feels the weight of the world on shoulders," Boudreau said. "Instead of just playing like Mike Green, he's trying to impress people with hits and skating and staying out on the power play. When you do all of those things, usually you don't do anything of the things as well as you can. So we've talking to him about playing within himself."

Nylander Out Again?
Based on the morning skate, it appears the Caps' lineup won't change much tonight. Michael Nylander, who was scratched in Game 3, is getting some extra work with Chris Clark and Brent Johnson, which generally means he won't suit up.

I'll check in with a lineup before the game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 22, 2009; 12:46 PM ET
 
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Next: Video: Game 4 Notes, Keys to a Win

Comments

"It was a pretty tough decision not to kill him," AHHH HAHAHA

Posted by: cappies | April 22, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

finally an update! i'm dyin' here!

Posted by: Bagher | April 22, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

GO CAPS GO!!

Posted by: Cheer2Caps | April 22, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I hope Ovie runs into him tonight. Into and over him. I'm thinking the ref's will back off,somewhat on the punk from NY because of all the notice they got they other night. Just call it like you see it,that should be enough.

Posted by: ridgely1 | April 22, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Ovie. It worked when you got under their skin on Monday. The Caps should give Avory an MVP award for his great contribution to our win.

Posted by: caraveli | April 22, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

So upset that I have to sit in class tonight from 7:20-10. So upset.

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 22, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

such a great line by #8, and you just know it's soooo true. poor Erskine, but good for him

Posted by: billd2 | April 22, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Avery is a joke we just need to ignore him.

Also Tarik said it would be all right if i posted my caps fan site in the comments so here goes.

http://www.letsgocapitals.com/

Posted by: CapsHockey22 | April 22, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Tarik/Katie-

How come Johnny is traveling with the team on this trip? I remember BB saying he was at least a week away from potentially being ready if needed... obviously with Varly pretty much option 1A now, how come Johnny is even there? Just curious...

Posted by: jason595 | April 22, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"But it hasn't been easy for the Caps' coaching staff to get a good look at the Rangers because the feed is so grainy here at MSG."

Hasn't been easy for us watching on TV either - CSN's video quality from MSG, even what they are passing off as HD, is pretty much the worst I've seen all year. Seems like the lighting is bad, the resolution is low, and the main camera shot was so zoomed-out that we could hardly see the puck most of the time. Lame.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | April 22, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Someone mentioned that Green was going through personal issues with the ex GF?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 22, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Sean Avery is the proverbial problem child. The question for each game is "Who's problem is he going to be?"

The Caps did a great job of making Avery the Rangers' problem, rather than a problem of their own.

As one Ranger's fan put it, "Avery is an A-hole. But he is our A-hole." That's right.

Posted by: dml1077 | April 22, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Erskine played out of his mind on Monday.

No coincidence that since Schultz has been out with an undisclosed injury(thought to be a case of "the sucks")...we have given up one goal.

I loved what i saw from them saturday and monday. Loved when Avery got in Varly's face...the guy doesn't speak english you stupid ranger.

lets go CAPS

Posted by: carsonspence | April 22, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: ludeman95 | April 22, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah; I was glad Erskine didn't level Avery too. If he'd done so, he might have ended up with a suspension, and we need Erskine out there. He's been playing very well of late...

Fingers crossed for a really good game - and another Caps win! - tonight...!

Posted by: irockthered | April 22, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Tarik-

What about Schultz?

Posted by: dingogumby | April 22, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Varly has had a great run so far this year, and hopefully for the rest of the season, too!

So what happens this summer? Do you re-sign BJ? We're back with 3 goalies again.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 22, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I forsee Avery changing up his tactics and pulling one of these tonight...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B53W-7tk4Uw

Posted by: superpaqman | April 22, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the comments about the feed quality. The camera work is pretty awful as well, when they switch down to the on-ice shots and realize they can't capture any of the play it's really annoying.

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 22, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Capshockey22,

There have been a couple posters that did nothing but repeatedly put up the link to their site with something like "Hey caps fans, look at my site" and that was it. As long as you are contributing to the discussion, you shouldn't get any grief.

Posted by: _Mark | April 22, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone think that Avery will try to learn a few choice phrases in Russian that he can throw at Varly tonight? I assume that the Rags have at least one Russian or that he can use one of the internet based translators....I wouldn't put it past him.

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | April 22, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

It's only a matter of time before Green and OV break out. Lets hope it starts tonight.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | April 22, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

yosemite_sam: I have commented on the poor lighting at MSG every time we've been stuck playing in there, and I've noticed it every time the Rags were on Versus or NBC at home. I don't think I've ever seen a good looking HD telecast for any event held at MSG. Lighting plays a *HUGE* part in picture quality, and "grain" is a perfect word to describe what happens when the lighting is insufficient.

That said, I'm not dissing the building itself (just the lighting), and I've never been there to see it for myself. This is just based on 4-5 years experience of analyzing and critiquing HD picture quality from various networks, venues, etc. Yes, I'm an A/V and/or HDTV nerd.

(Go Caps.)

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | April 22, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

OMG!!! That video is great!! Hahahhaa

Posted by: ludeman95 | April 22, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

@jason, I wouldn't read too much into Johnny being out there, a lot of teams carry an extra goalie in grind of the playoffs, so they'll always have someone for the guys to shoot on if the #1 needs to re-charge and miss practice - i.e., Roy in his prime, and IIRC Brodeur rarely practice(d) once they were into the meat of the playoffs - playing every other day anyway...

Posted by: govtimbo | April 22, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I think the refs will be watching Avery just as closely tonight. They will jump on him no matter what now. Caps just need to completely ignore him and we'll be fine again.

Posted by: cappies | April 22, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it make sense for the Caps to designate someone to constantly agitate Avery? It seems like it could result in a steady stream of power plays for the Caps.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | April 22, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Even Bruce knows that MSG sucks.

GO CAPS!

Posted by: FancyDan | April 22, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@Jason

Johnny is still rehabbing and getting the hip back to full strength as well as getting the rust off his goalie skills, he can't do that at home by himself, so he is travelling with the team and particiapting in practices

Posted by: boomer44 | April 22, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

a "verbal jab"?

How about a feature on how good Backstrom was, instead of this stuff?

Posted by: BigMogilny | April 22, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

If Caps score the first goal tonight, the series is on its way to being over.

Posted by: djdavew2002 | April 22, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Can somebody at WaPo please mention that our 2008 season ended exactly one year ago today. I think a reminder of that would fire up the boys, Boudreau!

Posted by: Arlingtonian2 | April 22, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

If we just ignore Avery we can make him work to our benefit. He just raises his level of antics until he gets a response. If we can hold off we can milk power plays from it. Easier said then done though

Posted by: CapsHockey22 | April 22, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I wouldnt even call it a jab.

He is basically saying we will take a punch in the face to give us a better chance at winning.

How come Avery isnt answering questions about what Erskine did when he hit him? He's got nothing to say except that he is an idiot.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 22, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

to the guy who said he had class...no way in hell i'd miss this one unless i had a test or something. Maybe thats the reason my GPR was so poor...oh well, still got that piece of paper. Let's do the damn thing and knot up the series TONIGHT! GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: reesem37 | April 22, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Ovie is gonna come out like a madman tonight. By him making two nice passes to semin last game, may get them easing off of him just enough for him to score a couple

Posted by: _stevo | April 22, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree with BigMogilney. While the Varly story is nice, Backstrom was absolutely on fire. Best game of his career at the most critical time.

Posted by: KlayKey | April 22, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

No doubt I'll be hitting refresh on my iPhone over and over, but it's not the kind of class I can miss :( I just hope I don't disturb the others too much when we score first ;)

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 22, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Avery's problem is that he is denial about his dating preferences. seriously dude, just be yourself and all of the pent up rage you carry with you will vanish. perhaps an appearance on Project Runway....

Posted by: doughless | April 22, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

i hear ya man...i used to have chem and bio labs that started at that hour (those you definitely cannot miss) Good luck staying composed; I go insane in the comfort of my own home; don't know how I could contain myself in class):-)

Posted by: reesem37 | April 22, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I would not go after Avery in an attempt to get under his skin. I agree he will be watched somewhat closely and if we attempt to goad him, then that makes him relevant and leaves us susceptible to taking an uneccessary penalty. Our guys play our game and let him self destruct on his own.

Posted by: _Mark | April 22, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree about Backstrom. He may be, just may be, the best all-around player on this team. He rarely makes mistakes, can shoot, block, and is much more physical than most people notice. If I was a forward, I'd want him centering my line all the time. He plays so under the radar.

Posted by: pacapsfan | April 22, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@snakegriffin,

Class? What class? This is caps playoff hockey don't go :) That's got to be an excused absence for school? If not, that's just rediculous :)

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 22, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Haha... advanced computer architecture. Term paper is due tonight, so I have to at least go to turn that and homework in. Since there's only 5 of us in class, my absence will be noticed but I might think of a good excuse, like having to go back into work or something. Grad school suuuuucks.

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 22, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

double header in softball, be watching with one eye on Yahoo on a laptop in the dugout. Worst case would be to TIVO it and watch later.

Posted by: bhound69 | April 22, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

If we cant get on the board early, I would like to see a few shifts with Ovie and Semin on the same line.

I think it will give the Rangers D fits, as far as who to cover. Get Backstrom in the middle.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 22, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

NO! No permutation of the SOB line should be allowed. They cannot be trusted!

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 22, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@snakegriffin:
My sympathies to you for being stuck in class tonight. My excuse for missing the game tonight: I'll be in Hershey cheering on the Bears, but getting Caps updates on the phone. And recording the Caps in case I decide to go back and watch it later.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 22, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Tick-tock-tick-tock...the clock is moving so slowly

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 22, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@snake

You do know Ovie assisted on both Semin goals even though they arent on the same line?

Posted by: SA-Town | April 22, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Semin and Ovie do not play well together...too much of trying to make the cute play or over passing...I'd rather have 2 legit scoring lines and let Ovie keep his late shifts which he is going to do anyhow.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 22, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, but putting them together full-time usually ends in too much fancy skating, over-passing and turnovers. Although I do suppose some of that is working against the Rags since it's the only way to get around their D to funnel shots in from the middle. I like the idea of Laich on the first line hounding Lundqvist better than Semin.

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 22, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

@pdanziger

On NHL Live yesterday they had the president from Vs. on and I don't remember what the numbers were but he said the ratings were great and he specifically brought up the Caps/Rags series. I do remember however him stating something to the effect of them being in 97,000,000 homes right now which is a heck of a lot more than it used to be. Sorry don't remember the number at where it started but it was really low. He also stated that HD has done a ton for the sport as far as TV ratings go. Also said that Vs. is looking into expanding their coverage etc. Kinda sounded like he was implying that they would do like a Vs.2 channel or something exclusive to hockey. Sounds to me that Vs. has no intention of not resigning with the NHL when the current contract is up.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@carsonspence

Yeah the problem with Schultz is you can't take enough "suck" out of his stick to get him back in the lineup. Not to mention the fact that Pothier is playing some pretty darn good D right now. The 3 changes that were made with Varly, Pothier and Brash in has really changed the dynamic of the team and now looks like a much more cohesive group ready to make a run.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Coming from a Caps perspective I think Avery should have gotten one of the stars of the game. Don't dare suspend one of our best players out there. He's a cancer like a T.O. I was so sad to see him get cut from the Cowboys because you knew as long as he was with the Cowboys they would never win anything big. Same thing with Avery, as long as he's over there Rags won't win a series. Caps in 6!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

nice beard, but didnt Brash just play like 2 minutes?

Posted by: mikebrady1 | April 22, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm sick of hearing about Avery.

God, this day is taking forever!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 22, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"Michael Nylander, who was scratched in Game 3, is getting some extra work with Chris Clark and Brent Johnson, which generally means he won't suit up..."

...hopefully never again.

Posted by: oo7 | April 22, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe how this day is dragging! I'm already suffering my pre-game jitters. I offered to buy my son-in-law and his father (Rags fans) tickets to msg tonight - they were there on Monday and also at the game in December where we came back from the 4-0 deficit so I figure they are good luck for the Caps! Unfortunately they wouldn't agreee...

The CAPS have to win this game tonight - I don't think I have ever been this nervous before a game, even during the Cup run in '98.

LET'S GO CAPS!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | April 22, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@BigMogilney & KlayKey

I agree Backstrom has played incredibly well. There are several guys who have really stepped up their game like Pothier, Erskine and Semin. Lets not forget the kid, had he not been in the net would could be down 3-0 right now facing elimination. No he won't play shutout hockey for the rest of the series but we don't need him to. We just need him to stop the easy ones and make a few "solid" ones as well. If he plays well the rest of the way, which why would you think he wouldn't, I don't see Theo back in nets this year. Let's put it this way, if Theo gets back in the nets, that spells a lot of trouble for our season.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Enough of the Schultz bashing, too. The mistakes that are pointed out are easily recognized by those who don't know much about the game. The positives he brings are more subtle and go undetected by the less educated fans.

Posted by: gonchpup | April 22, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I think we win tonight, Varly with another fantastic game, 3-1 Caps.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 22, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom is the most underappreicated elite hockey player in the NHL. Its a shame he's buried under all the talent and rarely gets the attention and praise he deserves, but at the same time, what an embarassment of riches that Caps have!

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 22, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

i was reading a little on rangers forum earlier and boy is my head spining right now. Some things some people were saying are unreal,for example
If we play like we played in game 1&2 we will win(yes right maybe in game 2 but game 1? seriously they got outclassed,outplayed,slapped around in the faceoff circle and theo lost the game)
Lundy was ok in game 1, very good in game 2 and horrible in game 3. (really?!!!!! horrible in game 3?)
I also noticed they said Dc fans dont know hockey wow, talk about not knowing hockey with stupid comments like that!

Posted by: madboost35 | April 22, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@DevilsCapsgal
Yep I'm working from home today so I'm a bit anxious myself. I'm watching all the NHL stuff on the TV which is making me more anxious. We will win tonight I just can't wait to see it happen. I have no doubt in my mind we're gonna win tonight and the next 2 after that. I can't wait for this to start. A bunch of Caps fans called into NHL Live and the majority feel the way I do that we'll win tonight. Rangers are done. They'll come out hungry but we'll weather the storm and then take control.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 22, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I am sure Backstrom is aware of the positive comments from around the league, and I wouldn't be surprised if he enjoyed staying a bit under the radar. He comes across as being extremely modest and might not enjoy too much attention.

Posted by: gonchpup | April 22, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

gonchpup, yes he comes across modest but hes playing in NHL, if he didnt want the spotlight he would of stayed in sweeden

Posted by: madboost35 | April 22, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Tick-tock-tick-tock...the clock is moving so slowly

Posted by: lylewimbledon

I'm getting real antsy for game time!
damn clock - move faster.

Go CAPS / OV hat trick please / Avery game misconduct

Posted by: Redwolf1 | April 22, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom did not come here to be "in the spotlight". He came here to play in the most competitive league in the world. Not all players are egotists.

Posted by: gonchpup | April 22, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

As I recall, the Versus President said that the number of households watching, was 70-80 million, a huge number.
This was right before the Backstrom interview; he's getting a lot of accolades from around the league, that's fro sure.

And the ominous news from the day before, NHL Live reported, was that the players on the Caps indicated to BB, that they were more comforatble with Varly in net. Then the question was asked by a caller(or maybe it was EJ), if the Caps would buy out JT's contract this summer...

Posted by: Max231 | April 22, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@ snakegriffin

unless you will instantly fail (used up all of absences or some such), skip it... you are just going to be thinking about the game anyway, probably won't get much out of the class.

Posted by: AMHV2772 | April 22, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom is the best all-around player on the team.

Posted by: saintex | April 22, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

i doubt they buyout theo's contract this year. they will probably do so w/ nylander and thats a lot of scratch to throw out the window. besides, theo is a UFA at the end of the year and could be trade bait to a desperate (very) team in need of a short term fix at goalie. he can be a number 2 and spell varly. johnny will get more coin somewhere else. not sure i'd want to go into the season w/ two rookies in net.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 22, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

can a team's fanbase be any more mundane? What's the rush for tonight's game? Savor the moment; y'all only have two Caps games left this season, enjoy them.

Posted by: NostraChronus | April 22, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Expect a different Ranger team than the one we saw in game 3. We can still have success, but it will not come easy as the Rangers WILL make adjustments. They failed to put us in a very deep hole, and tonight they get another chance. I really do not have any feeling on how this game will turn out. Game 3 the CAPS were excellent, but too many times we have seen this inconsistent team lose after they looked like they were starting to play well.

Show me what you got CAPS so that we can head back home at 2-2. :)

Posted by: TrackCollector | April 22, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Is it 7:00 yet? GO CAPS!!

Posted by: pacapsfan | April 22, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Don't put semin, ov, and Baks together? Only a Ranger fan or some Lunatic would suggest that.
Brasheer changed the dynamic of the game? I guess someone only watched two minutes of the game.

I could have sworn that on the last game it was the SOB line who scored along with the 2nd PP unit. But then again, I must have been dreaming.

LOL. Some of you guys are in la-la land.

Posted by: hock1 | April 22, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching my first post-Russ Thaler WashPostLIve show. Topics have been Skins, Wiz, Mike Wise's brief take on the Caps, and now Perfume talk. Unbelievable!

Posted by: Max231 | April 22, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I dont think Nick Backstrom cares at all about our radar, and I suspect he sees 'celebrity' as a semi-tolerable tax on being excellent. A fairly modest American could pass for Terrell Owens in Sweden. (Watch 19's electrifying goal celebrations, which consist mainly of blushing and withstanding clamor from his mates. Very Swedish.)
Backstrom> Forsberg, before he's done.
Backstrom>100 assist season, soon enough.

Posted by: redlineblue | April 22, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone have a stream for tonights game on VS? Stuck at my boys hockey practice till 8:30pm.

Posted by: TrappedinGA | April 22, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

...and the caps lose again. But "Ovie" managed a funny comment in between crying to the referees.

Posted by: iguanadon1 | April 22, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Hi guys, Ranger fan here.
I do have to say, besides admiring your regular season performance, that this Post season team truly is showing coaching and players flaws.
I do not blame Varlamov at all, and neither should anyone. He's been outstanding so far, besides the gaffe in the game today. Like mentioned numerous times here, BB managing ice time from your top 3 is the first big problem, which is directly related to the teams second big problem, which is backchecking and laziness. How many times do you see Rangers breaking out of their own zone, while your top line is on, and OV along with Semin or Backstrom are coasting back to their own zone? What needs to be addressed is is whether it's due to the amount of ice time the top line is getting, or the players just being lazy. It was the direct result in Game Two's Callahan goal, which turns out to be the only goal in the game.
In tonight's performance, unlike game 3, the powerplay slots were addressed (or possibly just used) wrong, and once again the Caps were held to the perimeter and had no traffic in front of Lundqvist. While game three's goal weren't a direct result of that, it's just a typical known fact; The more traffic, the more chances on something "fluke-ish" happening.
I do want to say that I wouldn't completely blame BB for overplaying the top line, especially on the PP. Your number two ranked powerplay gases out the Rangers plenty of times, and the type of team you have is more than capable of carrying the play WELL over the actually time that the powerplay expires. Obviously it's just a thought, but could always work either way.
Here's to an enjoyable game on Friday.

Posted by: ScottBlack | April 23, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

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