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Posted at 12:23 AM ET, 01/19/2011

Flyers defeat Capitals 3-2 in OT, Michal Neuvirth injured

By Katie Carrera

After giving up an early goal and playing an underwhelming 40 minutes before the energy brought about by desperation set in, the Capitals rallied late in the game to earn a point. If that scenario, which played out Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center, where the Flyers handed Washington a 3-2 overtime loss sounds familiar, you're not alone.

It's become a common refrain for the Capitals recently and although they salvaged a point despite trailing by two with 20 minutes to go, that is not enough to sustain this team for long.

"It's somewhat of a good thing, but nothing to pat ourselves on the back about, that's for sure," Matt Hendricks said.

And after so many of these comebacks in the third period, or second half of the game, it's to the point where the rallies themselves aren't enough to build off of. The Capitals need to put together a full 60-minute game. After falling to the Eastern Conference-leading Flyers, they were fully aware of it once again.

"After every game we say if we score one goal ugly we think like okay, this gets us going. It has to be every game, working hard," Alex Ovechkin said. "All guys in this room understand if we work hard and if we use our skill nobody can stop us. Right now you can see first two periods ... we have probably four shots on net, six shots on net. That's not our game. We have to go to the net, find the rebound, crash the net, make some hits and be angry."

There's been a lot of talk about the Capitals needing to get ugly goals, as the offense has lacked its previous firepower, and against the Flyers they got two of them. After the contest though, no one was in any mood to be overly pleased about obtaining two goals from rebound retrieval and hard work around the net because it's something Washington must do on a regular basis.

"To me they're beautiful goals," Coach Bruce Bodureau said. "Lookit there's 30 coaches in this league and they tell the team to do the same thing all the time. You go to the net, you get rebounds. You look at the Philadelphia Flyers, they can move the puck around and everything, but where do they get all their goals from? It's in front of the net, going to the net, crashing the net and so I mean it's not like it's a secret."

--The major news that came out of the contest resulted from goaltender Michal Neuvirth being unable to return to the ice after the first period. The official word from the team is Neuvirth is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. After the morning skate on Tuesday, Neuvirth iced his left groin and hip area, which has bothered him previously this season.

"You could tell, the first goal, he didn't move that well, I didn't think, on it. He gutted it out for the period," Boudreau said. Neuvirth "said he couldn't go anymore [during the first intermission]."

Semyon Varlamov played well in his relief role, stopping 20 of the 22 shots he faced.

-- Defensively it wasn't hardly a bad game for Washington overall, but when that's coupled with an offense that sputters out of the gate and for more than half of regulation while facing a deficit from the very beginning it's hard to create momentum.

"We have to find a way to wake up," Nicklas Backstrom said. "We can't let teams have a 2-0 lead. We did it last game and we were lucky this game. I think we're lucky we got one point. ... We can't really work like this, every game doing a comeback."

By Katie Carrera  | January 19, 2011; 12:23 AM ET
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Philadelphia Flyers, Semyon Varlamov  | Tags:  Flyers, slow starts  
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Next: A look at the Eastern Conference standings

Comments

this team has been saying the same things for two years now. i'm sick of the excuses and the talk, just skate dagnabit!

Posted by: natresgroup | January 19, 2011 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I guess the Caps have the excuse down pat. And the scores reflect their excuses. Only five points now separate the Caps from the 8th seed. By the time the break comes around, that will probably be gone. BB will still be here, which is great, if you're anybody but a Caps fan. The buzz is wearing down, and another season like last years (or the year before) will be the harbinger of death for this team. Ted has promised. He has not delivered. People take note of that and hey, ultimately, if you can't deliver, people will find something else that will. And at this juncture, this team does not deliver.

Posted by: Almazar80 | January 19, 2011 12:30 AM | Report abuse

"We have to find a way to wake up." Can you imagination saying that about yourself at work?

Take their cars.

One final note on the other thread - the two farm implements there are very similar so you can say if you want one man's scythe is another man's sickle.

So whatever PhilR wants to call it, that's the swishing sound you hear cutting through the night.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 19, 2011 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Would anybody argue with the following statements?

In the hard cap era, the role of the GM is a bigger factor than ever before in terms of team success because each GM is given the same available resources to build his roster (even though not every team uses all their cap space).

A superior GM can gain a competitive advantage over some other teams by more effectively and efficiently using his available cap space.

Holmgren has done a far better job than McPhee (with the same available cap space) at constructing a roster that has a good balance of skill/toughness and offense/defense. As a result, his team is far more suited for playoff hockey where you need skill, toughness (mental and physical) as well as the ability to win games with offense, defense, or both on any given night.

Now a question: Who's looking forward to the next several years of George McPhee decision-making?

Any GM could have built an above average team after a full-scale rebuild and tons of 1st rd picks (I believe I read somewhere about a year ago that no team had more 1st rd picks over the previous 10 years than the Caps).

Some GMs though would have built more complete/balanced rosters that were better suited to win when it matters. I don't know who out there is better but this guy hasn't gotten it done and doesn't look to be getting it done again this year (with or without the injured players).

How many years has it been since the beginning of the rebuild?

How many more years/chances does McPhee get before Leonsis pulls the plug?

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 19, 2011 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Does not drinking for four days count as quitting?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 19, 2011 12:03 AM

if you don't have the opportunity to perform your husbandly duties for a couple of days - that doesn't count as quitting - just hang tough and i'm sure you'll get enough strength back to uncork a bottle real soon.

you wanna know how i know... i'm a kool-aid drinker and i have faith in you.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 19, 2011 12:30 AM

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 19, 2011 12:38 AM | Report abuse

People must be getting sick of me saying this, but I'll say it again. Let the boys play, Bruce! If this game didn't show that we can be a great team once again if we get back to our offensive style that brought us success since Boudreau took over nothing will. The change in how we played in the 3rd had nothing to do with desperation or hard work. It had to do with Bruce taking the gloves off our guys and letting them get back to our bread and butter. All of a sudden we were a completely different team and were all over the Flyers who are one of the best teams in the NHL.

I'm sick and tired of watching us sit back and play this crappy new defensive system that results in us not generating any offense whatsoever. How many times have you seen goose eggs on the board after 2 periods since we started playing this way? All the god damn time! This is a team that was by far the highest scoring team in the NHL last season!

OK, we listened to all the idiot critics who jumped to conclusions based on our 1st round exit from the playoffs last season and changed our style. Nice experiment. It's beyond obvious that it's not working at all. All it has done is kill our offense and result in us putting much more pressure on our goalies than before. There was no reason to change our style and it will work even better this season because we finally have top notch goaltending now that the sorry excuse for a goalie that was Theodore is off the roster. Despite what the same clueless idiots who wanted us to change the style believe goaltending is not our weakness now. It's our strength. Varlamov & Neuvirth are very talented young goalies that are improving all the time. They are amazing athletes with insane reflexes. All they needed to do was to adjust to the NHL and improve their position, which they have done under the tutelage of Arturs Irbe. They can more than handle an occasional odd man rush that we'll give up by playing our aggressive, offensive style (like we did today in the 3rd).

The best defense is offense. The other team can't score if they're running around trying to put out fires in their own zone. That's what we've been doing to teams when we played our way. And we had a fantastic record doing it. One playoff exit at the hands of a goalie that played out of his mind doesn't change that!

What was really satisfying to me is that the Flyers broadcasters (I watched the game with a Philly feed) who are very knowledgeable made exactly these points during today's telecast. Finally someone out there said what I've been saying after every game. Play to your players' strengths, Bruce! Let the boys out of the prison and stop impersonating Glenn Hanlon. You didn't become the most successful coach in NHL history after 250 games by playing this passive, defensive crap system that's putting our fans and players to sleep.

Posted by: ranndino | January 19, 2011 12:55 AM | Report abuse

@tmac

I think GMGM has more leash than any of us would think. Leonsis just loves putting on a show and packing the seats. As long as their record is good enough to do this Leonsis will let him keep doing what he does best, building teams that can't get past the first round. Yes, I realize that they did this on one occasion. But honestly, Mcphee is a bum. If he can't pull off a serious roster shake up this seasons a waste. Right now, this team's not winning anything.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | January 19, 2011 12:55 AM | Report abuse

boo-drow has been a very good coach,but now its time for a change.his rants and raves arent moving these players anymore,and the rest of the league has caught up to his non-halftime adjusting style.we need someone else to take us to the next level,which is a championship.boo-drow must go!

Posted by: billydee123 | January 19, 2011 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else think Ovie might need glasses? He's getting chances and just whiffing on the puck (see, e.g., his goal tonight) - and we saw in 24/7 how close he sits to the tv. Hopefully our staff is on top of this

Posted by: PVGtownAz | January 19, 2011 1:10 AM | Report abuse

It's time to gut the team from the top on down. They are all a bunch of losers(what have any of them ever won?). Get rid of GMGM, BB, all the assistants, coaches in the minors, scouts, training staff, etc. Then get rid of the players, almost all of them(possibly keep Hendricks and Bradley). The rest of the team has no heart and are not winners(Hendricks and Bradley aren't winners either though). After stockpiling draft picks and prospects, whom the new GM obtains, a new rebuild can begin. They need to start building this team with gritty players who have heart and are winners. Players like Brooks Orpik and Max Talbot.

It will take at least another 3 years, but what is the point of waiting as this team has zero chance of ever winning a SC.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 1:13 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3 -

How much longer are you going to pretend you're a goat blood drinker?

We know the things you're saying in your recent posts aren't you being serious and that you're making fun of the folks who do think exactly what you're saying.

but i do appreciate your attempt at sarcasm and poking fun at the doom and gloomers. now please go back to "the glass is half full" and make way for the real goat blood drinkers, there's plenty here.

Posted by: natresgroup | January 19, 2011 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Gabby said it himself the other day - "they just can't get that second forechecker in there." Erskine said it at the 2nd intermission - "we need to work hard AND FORECHECK and crash the net (etc., etc.) ... that's our game."

Well...that's the game Gabby's been TEACHING them. But it's not "your" game, until you start playing it.

This team lives and dies by its commitment to the forecheck. Gabby ALSO preaches short shifts, meaning more line changes per game. You can only change shifts on the fly with the puck in your offensive zone. And you can only forecheck with the puck in your offensive zone.

Reconciling those priorities is the big problem.

Greater forecheck pressure 1) takes choices away from puck carriers, stressing them to quickly make decisions. This makes the game less fun for them, and dampens their confidence. If the forecheck is sustained, then the puck carriers play frustrated, and they start thinking more about not making mistakes than thinking in positive terms about creating.

Greater forecheck pressure 2) building confidence in our guys, because they have begun to dictate the pace of the game, they are thinking positively and creatively, they are looking for mistakes and hungry to exploit them.

Greater forecheck pressure 3) draws penalties, or at least icing calls, which makes tired skaters play, which further increases the chances of drawing penalties. And when the team has been forechecking hard, i.e. smelling blood, power plays are more creative, confident and successful. When we go on the PP after being forechecked to death for 10 minutes, we dont' play well. And that's the story of our PP woes in the past 20 games.

LISTEN TO GABBY WHEN HE TELLS YOU TO FORECHECK, BOYS.

Posted by: large23220 | January 19, 2011 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Please please BB stop the stupid trap system. Let loose the Caps dogs of war!

You know why the Caps play better in the third? Because internally they say F it and go back to their aggressive offensive style.

Work on the PP. Keep the PK the way it is going now, and crank up the transition game again. This over reaction to last years loss the Montreal has to stop.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | January 19, 2011 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Please please BB stop the stupid trap system. Let loose the Caps dogs of war!

You know why the Caps play better in the third? Because internally they say F it and go back to their aggressive offensive style.

Work on the PP. Keep the PK the way it is going now, and crank up the transition game again. This over reaction to last years loss the Montreal has to stop.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | January 19, 2011 1:50 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree. The Caps have become a boring team to watch now. This team is no longer fun to watch. Why can't the team go back to what works? When we get a lead, then you go to a more defensive strategy.

Posted by: dsterp931 | January 19, 2011 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Gabby is NOT having them run a trap. The trap is a system that relies on one forechecker in the offensive zone, with 4 skaters closing off the neutral zone. We are never trapping anybody, we concede the middle as the Dmen collapse quickly back into the crease.

Gabby has BRIEFLY had them run a trap on a half a dozen occasions in the past 2 months but it is by no means a typical system for the Caps.

We would be having WILD success IF we were running a trap. Our skaters wouldn't tire as much, they would need fewer line changes and we could forecheck harder- even start running a left wing lock.

The problem is not Gabby. They guys are not following instructions.

Posted by: large23220 | January 19, 2011 2:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't see the GM or Bruce as responsible for the lack of consistent effort on the ice. I agree that Bruce needs to let them loose a little more, but I don't see McPhee or BB missing open shots, putting crossing passes behind the player or overskating the puck (last night's first goal) so that the opponent gets a break away. Let's be serious here - the Caps players need to finish better, stop allowing the enemy to stand in front of the goal waiting for the puck and to stop treating the first period like some kind of damn warmup. Its time to get down to the core of the problem and get off this so called defensive system which has proven nothing except an ability to get down 1-2 goals almost every game. That part falls on Bruce but its time for the Caps players to man up and get their act together.

Posted by: loanphd | January 19, 2011 5:42 AM | Report abuse

Can someone answer this?

When was the last time this "team" held a closed door players only meeting?

Have they done it this year? I would think that at sometime during the 8 game losing streak there was one, but I never heard about it.

Unless this happens, I don't see a whole lot changing for the Caps.

Posted by: jwash4472 | January 19, 2011 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Another absolutely pitiful effort save for about ten minutes in the third. And did anyone else catch that shot of BB rubbing his face and looking completely baffled and clueless?? Please Ted, for the love of god this guy has lost the team! Please replace him soon so this season is not a complete waste.

Posted by: PhilR | January 19, 2011 7:45 AM | Report abuse

BB is such a horrible coach. I mean, even though he has MORE THAN TWICE THE NUMBER OF WINS THAN LOSSES says that, obviously!

166-70-36

What a **PATHETIC** record! JFC I see more whining on here than from my 3 year old.

Posted by: BoomerTSFX | January 19, 2011 7:54 AM | Report abuse

these "upper body" and "lower body" injury labels are beginning to be real annoying

Posted by: Nats1924 | January 19, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Hey boomer, what is his playoff record??!!

Posted by: PhilR | January 19, 2011 8:06 AM | Report abuse

BB is a good coach - unfortunately in hockey, going deep into the playoffs is what matters.

Hockey playoffs are probably the most different and unique postseason out of all the US major sports.

And, right now BB is an awful playoff coach. If we don't make or go deep into the playoffs this season. Bring in a coach that has this experience.

Posted by: Nats1924 | January 19, 2011 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I think it must be very hard to motivate a team that learned the hard way that regular season success translates into absolutely zero come playoff time.

Unfortunately, after the Montreal debacle last spring, the Caps realized that it would be until this April and May that they could find redemption. If they were #1 in the NHL, would it make any difference? Is anyone ready to hand Vancouver the Stanley Cup?

I am as frustrated with the team as the next guy, but I do think this tight defensive style is what they need to be able to play in the playoffs. Time will tell.

Posted by: bill_in_damascus | January 19, 2011 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else notice BB's face after DJK's dance? He looked disgusted. Flash back to his comments to Matt Hendricks during the HBO series where he said to him "you don't have to fight every night, I certainly wouldn't" with DJK within earshot. BB detests fighting and it is evident in his body language and expressions. Both him and GMGM place zero value on the muckers and grinders. Did anyone else notice that Chimera and Hendricks were not playing thier usual, aggressive games?

Another priceless expression was one of complete bewilderment when the Flyers scored thier second goal. He looked completely clueless on the bench or..maybe he saw his job and stupid commercials dissipating right in front of his eyes.

There is no way this team should be playing as bad as it is with the talent they have. I believe the team has no identity, lack leadership, and they are stuck in nuetral.

You have to respect Ted's loyalty to his staff to a certain extent but enough is enough already. Drastic changes need to be made and made quickly.

Posted by: SOMDHockeyCoach | January 19, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

The problem is not Gabby. They guys are not following instructions.
---------------------------
If this is true then "Gabby" probably is at fault for not having a regimen in place that makes them follow instructions. BTW, what's a "left wing lock"?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 19, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else notice BB's face after DJK's dance? He looked disgusted. Flash back to his comments to Matt Hendricks during the HBO series where he said to him "you don't have to fight every night, I certainly wouldn't" with DJK within earshot. BB detests fighting and it is evident in his body language and expressions. Both him and GMGM place zero value on the muckers and grinders. Did anyone else notice that Chimera and Hendricks were not playing thier usual, aggressive games?

Another priceless expression was one of complete bewilderment when the Flyers scored thier second goal. He looked completely clueless on the bench or..maybe he saw his job and stupid commercials dissipating right in front of his eyes.

There is no way this team should be playing as bad as it is with the talent they have. I believe the team has no identity, lack leadership, and they are stuck in nuetral.

You have to respect Ted's loyalty to his staff to a certain extent but enough is enough already. Drastic changes need to be made and made quickly.

Posted by: SOMDHockeyCoach | January 19, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Whether this team runs the old system, the new system or something else BB cooks up, it really doesn't matter unless the players execute it properly and play with more intensity from start to finish.

Next time any member of this organization talks about playing 60 minutes of hockey, I'm just gonna puke.

Posted by: joek443 | January 19, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Can someone please tell me why we cannot defend the puck on the half walls? Teams wear us out in the corner and seem to be able to pass to left left point man when ever they chose. He passes to the right for a shot, rebound goes to the corner and it starts all over. Drives me crazy

Posted by: johleger | January 19, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

It's not just one thing, it's a lot of things. The bottom line is the team is underacheiving. What is the typical thing that is done in pro sports, especially hockey, when a team underacheives? The coach gets fired. While I support this move now, and expecially during the losing streak, it isn't going to happen. Unfortunately it will take another early playoff exit. And, if a high profile player is injured before/during the first round it won't happen then. :(

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | January 19, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Another priceless expression was one of complete bewilderment when the Flyers scored thier second goal.
-----------------------
I thought it was priceless looking at the Capitals standing around looking dumbfounded after they had just lost in OT. It was if they were saying "Oh, that's how it's done is it? Darn, we should've been doing that."

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 19, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Get rid of that lazy ass Mike Green and pick up a veteran stay at home D-man who has a ring to go along with his name on the Cup. This team has no veteran leadership but Knuble and he's just a role player. I am fine with Ovie as Captain, but because for the most part he is a leader, even if he ain't producing, but still this team needs a veteran who has seen and done it all and will gain the attention of the group in the locker room.

And if BB keeps saying the same thing and guys aren't responding than that tells me they have tuned him out at this point. This team is consistently incosistent and no one seems to want to make a change! I can promise you if you got the truth that the players in that locker room are starting to doubt themselves and will be a nervous bunch come play-offs.

Posted by: Devils19 | January 19, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Is what Ranndino is saying (go back to the former offensive style of play) and what Large23220 is saying (forecheck, forecheck, forecheck) more or less the same thing? Or at least compatible? Because those two commenters on this blog thread make the most sense to me in terms of what the Caps need to do.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | January 19, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Line changes! Nobody gains from the constant musical chairs (except BB looking like he is on top of something).

Joe B. and Locker made two telling comments. First, about how Flyers have gelled around their lines, going back to last year's playoffs (shown by the spread of points among their forwards). Second, that BB "looks down the bench to see who is playing, then puts that player into the top line."

(BB says - correctly - that slumps happen. But isn't it nuts to consider a couple of shifts as telling information - enough so that lines are shaken up?)

So, the Caps face the same, tough lines with their own on-the-fly changing assignments and teammates. How can they physically or mentally prepare, practice and perform with such a system?

Results are more offsides, errant passes, "crossed signals" and collisions.

In overtime, the Flyers came out with their set lines and set plays. The BB-chosen Caps zoomed all over the place - and lost.

Has to be very frustrating to players, making it hard to get up for the next game. Ditto for the fans.

Posted by: OccasionalCritic | January 19, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

BB is such a horrible coach. I mean, even though he has MORE THAN TWICE THE NUMBER OF WINS THAN LOSSES says that, obviously!

166-70-36

What a **PATHETIC** record! JFC I see more whining on here than from my 3 year old.

Posted by: BoomerTSFX

A lot of people are going to point to the 13-15 record not the regular season record. But that's not really the point I'm replying to.

I think you miss the point of a lot of posters including me. I'm not saying, nor do I think, Boudreau is a "horrible coach" (using your term). As a fan of the Caps I want to see them do well. Right now they are underachieving. Unfortunately, the fallout is that the coach gets fired when a team underachieves. I can only speak for myself but I suspect there are those that share this opinion.

Of course there are those that thing BB sucks and perhaps it is to those people that your post was directed. I'm just sayin' there is another viewpoint out there that I think is rational.

Also, I as I alluded in an earlier post there are a lot of things contributing to the situation and one of them is player execution. Often a coaching change gets the attention of the players and they start executing.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | January 19, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Neuvirth is getting hurt quite offen now, and this make me nervous.
Holtby is not ready yet.
I hope that playing to much Varlamov will not cause any problem.

Posted by: enrinat | January 19, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Neuvirth is getting hurt quite offen now, and this make me nervous.
Holtby is not ready yet.
I hope that playing to much Varlamov will not cause any problems.

Posted by: enrinat | January 19, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

@dccitizen

I don't think BB's old offensive system ever relied heavily on the forecheck. It was based around bailing out of the D-Zone as fast as possible to create odd-man rushes. It would be like a basketball team whose offense is based entirely around fast-break points.

A sustained forecheck along with cycling the puck is more of a "half-court" offense. For a good example, look at what PHI was doing to us for most of the game last night.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, VTDuffman. As the Caps get healthier, and possibly with more consistent line configurations, I see no reason why the "half-court" offense wouldn't be a better system for Bruce to explore.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | January 19, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

DC, I honestly don't know if BB knows how to coach that kind of offense. I think that's this team's biggest problem right now, BB is stubbornly try to shoehorn his old offensive system in with this new defensive system, and the result is something that creates odd-man rushes, just in the wrong direction...

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I dislike the devils, but i completely agree with Devils19 in getting rid of Mike Green.

the lazy skater, bad defensive dman is not what this system needs. AWFUL

Posted by: Nats1924 | January 19, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Line changes! Nobody gains from the constant musical chairs (except BB looking like he is on top of something).

Joe B. and Locker made two telling comments. First, about how Flyers have gelled around their lines, going back to last year's playoffs (shown by the spread of points among their forwards). Second, that BB "looks down the bench to see who is playing, then puts that player into the top line."
----------------

I totally agree with this observation. How on earth can you expect consistent play, when guys have literally no idea who their linemates are, not just from one game to the next, but from one shift to the next?!

And I agree we could learn from the Flyers; Leino-Briere-Hartnell was terrific in the playoffs - so what did Laviollette do? He left 'em alone. What a concept.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | January 19, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Nats1924 for agreeing with me on the Green issue....truth is, there are not too many people out there with balls enough to say it.....everyone seems to think the Caps are better with Mike Green in the line-up than without him and why? because of his offensive skills? who cares! we need guys who can play D and do it well.....not cough the puck up over and over and over again. His plus minus in the play-offs is horrendous and like Semin, he fails to score goals in the play-offs when it's ALL on the line. Is he good enough to be in the NHL? sure he is.....but is he a Norris trophy type of guy that evryone seems to think he is? NOPE. He gets the nomination because he puts points on the board. He fails to win it because he stinks defensively. Just ask Steve Yzerman when he was picking the Canadian Olympic team.

Posted by: Devils19 | January 19, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@randinno - largely agreed, let us play an offensive style, that's who we are. But even when the team was playing more wide open, we weren't scoring...

@SOMDHockeyCoach - I was struck by that sequence also but I had a different read. Hendricks himself enthusiastically agreed: he doesn't want to fight (no reasonably sane person would want to) either. He feels he HAS to fight sometimes. BB is right to care about his players. If a hockey player - someone who has played the number of games BB has played - doesn't like fighting, knows what damage it causes or can cause, then maybe he knows something the average fan does not know...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | January 19, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

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