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Postgame Video Debate: Can the Caps Come Back?

From our satellite studio, AKA the copy room of Verizon Center's press lounge, Post columnist Mike Wise and Capitals beat writer Tarik El-Bashir argued over Washington's chances of coming back to win its series with the Rangers after falling behind by two games.

Watch the video and then, if you have a webcam, record your response and tell us who's right. If you don't have a webcam, feel free to sound off in the comments below. We'll excerpt one or two of the best video responses in the paper.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 18, 2009; 6:29 PM ET
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Next: Backstrom: 'We Have to Try Something New'


o for 2 and way 2 soft plus 2 many caps that get outworked for the puck.....2 bad 2 sad......... bring out the golf clubs
oh yeah could someine contact GMGM and let him know he has some work 2 do cause his trade deadline moves didnt pan out... again

Posted by: wendel2 | April 18, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I think I was the only guy who wanted Varly and Brash in. Well, there were others who wanted Brash, too bad BB didn't put him in.

All the pushing and shoving, it looked like Rangers played at home. Brash could really make them less comfortable. Now going to MSG Brash definitely needs to play, but it would be hard for him after missing previous game and game 2. Mistake.

That was arguably the worst game by Ovechkin for entire season. Unfortunately nobody else could carry the team. All the Russians except Varly struggled. The rest of the team didn't show any creativity, just shooting from the long range, that's all they could do.

I wish someone like Aucoin was there, seriously. The team really look deflated energy wise.

Posted by: CodePoetry | April 18, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Tarik: Love the suit. Please give Wise some fashion pointers. But, seriously, thanks to both of you for the video comments. I wonder to what degree putting Varlamov out there made the team feel like they were beaten already--regardless of what a stellar game he had. The rest of the team looked like they were playing game 52 of the regular season.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | April 18, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if they can come back. I really hope they can, but the Rangers will be jacked up playing in front of their fans, they'll want to end the series as soon as they can. I don't think they want to come back to D.C.

I do love watching Varly play though, and if there was one good thing to take out of today's game, I think we all learned he is ready for the playoffs and he is our future, along with Neuvy. All I know is I'm a lot more confident with Varly in net than Theo. Let's hope we can pull off a miracle and win the series, with Varly carrying us!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Jesus! I think SOME of you people were too entertained posting with Katie and didn't pay too much attention to the game. I have never seen so many idiotic remarks in one place. LOL. What is today Moron's day?

Posted by: opita1 | April 18, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Playing down to the opponent again. Maybe they should have come in at a lower seed. If you can't beat the worst team in the playoffs, you are not going anywhere.

Posted by: buzzardbait | April 18, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

According to Elias Sports Bureau:

The winner of Game 2 has 71.8% (381-150) of winning the series.

100% - 71.8% = 28.2%

Caps have 28.2% of winning the series, not 12.7%

Posted by: CodePoetry | April 18, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

There is no question in my mind that the Caps can comeback if they play with the same intensity that they displayed during the last period. I think BB should consolidate his power (8-19-28) on that first line,in my opinion they only need one line to score when playing the Rangers. I agree with you on one of your previous post, the Rangers deserve credit for the way they played.

Posted by: opita1 | April 18, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

CodePoetry: I think Tarik said the team up 2-0 wins the series 87% of the time, not whoever wins game 2.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

No rachel216, he said 12.7%

Posted by: CodePoetry | April 18, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Opita1: They can play with a lot of intensity, but they still didn't beat Lundqvist.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

how come nobody is slagging that whinning Canadian Crosby? He seems to be doing ok in the playoffs unlike some our walk on water Caps. Where is Bent Gustaffson's kid and our nert wave of Euros?

Posted by: wendel2 | April 18, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Must admit I'm not confident in the Caps chances of winning the series especially when they got in an 0-2 hole -- at home and have to go on the road to face the Rangers.

I'd like to see them not go down in 4 games. At least make it interesting.
I'd say, go with Varlamov as our goaltender of the future.

Sad to say, the Rangers really are a new team under Coach Tortorelli.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

CodePoetry: Yeah, that's what Tarik said, I was just rephrasing it. The team that is up 2-0 wins the series 87% of the time, so the Caps have about a 13% chance of coming back. (According to history.)

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse


I'm not sure playing down to the level of their opponent was really their problem today. Lundqvist was just that hot today. The Caps always seem to run into that hot goalie in the playoffs.

As for Wednesday's game, they should have won that game. They played well but a few fatal mistakes did them in.

So we need some supernatural help to fix the team -- for next year?

Aside from that, who of our upcoming free agents should we just let walk away. Believe that Brash has had the course.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Basically the team down 2-0 comes back to win the series only 12.7% of the time. The team up 2-0 wins the series 87% of the time. Hopefully that clears it up.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

All I can say, Rangers had a lot of luck on their side in both games. And Lady Luck is like the weather, you snowed in Colorado, you know.

I do believe Caps can win these series. All they need, like Ovie said, to score on Lundquist. He is good, but he can fall apart like anybody else. One goal can solve him, just one goal where he'd think he should've taken it.

He is no Martin Brodeur or Patrick Roy, and even them were solved.

Posted by: CodePoetry | April 18, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Why is Mike Wise suddenly a hockey expert? If the Wizards were still playing, he wouldn't even know whether the Caps were playing or not.

Posted by: raymitten | April 18, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

LOL,LOL,LOL I TOLD YOU SO! Now will you listen!!!!!! Here is another stat for ya 87% of the time a team that wins the first two games wins the series!!!another STAT. OV IS 0 for 19....hey BB give him another day off!!!! SEMIN YOUR POINT PER GAME MAN!!!! and where is he???? Hummm

TO SUM IT UP ......... CAPS HAVE NO DESIRE!!!!! ZERO!!!!! Blow up the team and get rid of Semin OV and Theo and BB while your at it... OMG a day off after loosing game one DAH!! I would have worked their Butts off. Nah Nah Nah nah ......Nah nah nah nah HEY HEY HEY GOOD-BYE...(sing along) Nah nah nah anh ......


Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I know it sounds cliche to take them one game at a time, but Game 3 is bigger than life right now. It's not like we're getting destroyed in this series, we've lost two 1 goal games. Varlamov was big coming in on short notice in his first playoff game. No one was stopping their goal it was a nice pass and finish. I agree that Clark (if healthy) needs to be inserted into the lineup.

I think Fehr was ineffective both games, sub him out for Clark. Nylander actually drew a penalty although that's about all I saw out of him. Mo had a pretty good game from what I saw. I thought Green was off the entire game, he hasn't been himself yet this series, maybe Avery was getting to him.

Henrik was a monster today, but we definitely missed some chances...I thought Kozlov was horrible today and this was the one game I wanted BB to put Semin on the top line much sooner than he did. I didn't see whether that one turn-around shot by Ovie late in the 3rd went off Henrik's mask or the crossbar and deflected into the netting but that's one he'll be thinking about. If it hit the mask, he didn't see it even though he gets credit for stopping it.

What else can you do? I thought we played pretty well overall today, a little sloppy in the O zone and the few 2nd chance shots we did have we didn't take advantage of. Varlamov has to start Game 3, no question about it. I'm not sure I'd put Brash in the lineup...overall we were dominating play. I'd sit Nylander and Fehr and bring Aucoin back up to put in with Clark. Pothier looked fine in place of Schultz.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 18, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

DID ov do his "Hot stick" routine"

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

SC: The way you type is hard to read, it makes you seem like you have no education. You must have not went to school. Poor dude.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I know it sounds cliche to take them one game at a time, but Game 3 is bigger than life right now.>>>>DAVE

LOL......NO SH%#@! Geez you should be coaching!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Caps beat Tampa Bay first 2 games @ Tampa in the first round of playoffs when Torts still coached there. I beleive it was '02-03 season. Tampa came to Washington and swept Washington the year they went on to win the cup. Maybe the Caps under Bruce can return the favor to Tortillia.

Posted by: Puckthepens | April 18, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Please rachel feel free to correct any thing i say as far as spelling and such . But we are here to talk hockey something you know nothing about!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Haha, that coming from you?! I would not be talking! Nothing you say has ever made me feel like you know a thing about this sport. I just sit here and laugh, what an idiot! :D

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

THIS JUST IN..... you can't buy a broom in NY...

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Ugh.. so depresssing. Well the one thing the Caps have going for them is truely the last couple of months the Caps have played better on the road than at home.

Posted by: alagarts | April 18, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse


I'm glad you still have faith -- for this year. I wish I felt that way. (I'd love to see a comeback just to shut up one certain troll,if for no other reason.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Point is....Like i have been telling you folks for 2 years this team does not have a hint of being a Stanley Cup team if you insist of having Heartless Russian players on your team you had better groom them on how to be a team player forget all the hot stick stuff the play when I want (Semin) and find players who know their role and how to be team players!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad you still have faith -- for this year. I wish I felt that way. (I'd love to see a comeback just to shut up one certain troll,if for no other reason.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Well we know thats not going to happen!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, the one certain troll on here, his team isn't even in the playoffs, so I guess he picked the Caps as his adopted team. I'd love a comeback too. But first we have to take it one game at a time. If we can make it 2-1, then we have a chance.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Bears @ Philly in game 2:
Phantoms leading 2-1 at the end of the first period. Bears goal by Helmer. Neuvirth in goal.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 18, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon/Kornheiser wannabees!

Eh, I like the energy
I guess

Posted by: austinsteve | April 18, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

IF IF IF .......IF my aunt had balls she would be my uncle!!!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I think we've now figured out who the troll's favorite team is -- the Pens. Well all I can say, is I hope the Pens get dumped in Round 2 by whoever they play, whether it's by Boston or by NJ or Carolina. I don't care who dumps them as long as they get dumped. And, by the way, I'm rooting for Philthy against them and that's pretty extreme.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I could care less about PENS "LEAFS HABS or any other team ..That is so lame hoping for a team ...Study the Game folks watch the players! the plays how they execute

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 18, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

nah his favorite team wouldn't be the Pens, they have a Russian player on top line. We figured out it was Toronto the other day.
D played well 24 shots killed all those PP, Our O hit the goalies crest a bit though. Damn I 95 traffic couldn't even see the first period.

Posted by: billd2 | April 18, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: His team is the Leafs. Not even in the playoffs.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

missed most of the first period due to I 95 traffic. D looked good only 24 shots killed all those if our O would stop aiming at the crest on Lundquists chest. not many top corner shots.

Posted by: billd2 | April 18, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

SC doesn't have a team, actually. What does that mean: "That is so lame hoping for a team.." You didn't finish your sentence.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

As a life long Caps fan, I'm putting their chances of coming back in this series far lower than the 12.7% history gives us. There are a few big reasons for that but none bigger than the fact that the Caps don't play the hard nose grinding game of hockey that the playoffs require. People keep talking about how the Caps go up against "hot" goalies or that the other goalie plays out of his skin. Are you even watching these games? The Caps don't challenge goalies at all. They take shots from 45 feet out without any sort of screen. They don't go to the net, and are very rarely in position to hammer in a rebound. Lundqvist didn't do anything super human today. There were no diving saves or cat like reflexes to make a stop, the Caps didn't challenge him at all. Shots come from an open lane right into the midsection. This is a professional goalie, one of the best in the world, shooting at him like that isn't going to net you a goal. Until the Caps put some guys in front of the net - and no, standing to the side like Ovie and Feir like to do doesn't count - they won't beat this guy.

If the Caps want a chance to win, they need to stop acting like figure skaters with pads and start crashing the net. Someone needs to have his butt in Lundqvist's face all of game three. Ovie needs to realize that his shots from the point don't have a chance unless there is traffic in front of the net, so stop wasting the opportunity and either drive the net himself or look for the man streaking in back door (because remember, in game three they will start crashing the net like I suggest).

Last but not least, Bruce and GMGM should sit everyone down and explain that there are a lot of talented kids in Hershey who want to play in the NHL - and have the skills to do so - and if these guys want to wear the red white and blue next season, they better show some heart and desire because right now it just isn't there.

Go Caps.

Posted by: VTPhil | April 18, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I think the Rangers are near .600 winning % when being outshot and down around .450 when outshooting their opponent. Wise needs to do some more research before the video - this is exactly the series the Rangers wanted, so far. I'm not sure what Tarik is getting at the with 12.7% of teams coming back from 0-2 and then reporting that the NHL is very old, and that's a low number? What does that mean? 1 in 8 teams that go down 0-2 come back to win. To make it look not so dire, I'll say that about half the opening round series probably start out 2-0, or 0-2, every season - that's 8 series per season. Using that model, one team a season comes back from 0-2. If you take the next six series that would take us to the Finals, you probably have 2 (or 3) that might start 2-0 - that's 14 series per season and you might see one, and nearly two teams, per season dig back.

Hey, it makes me feel better.

Posted by: saintex | April 18, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Or 11-12 a season, if my math were better....

Posted by: saintex | April 18, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

so SC1907, you hate the caps we get that, as most Caps fans, we hate any other team that isn't the Caps, I'm sure your the same way, that's the beauty of hockey fan, but you like to keep your team a secret and trash another team on a blog? it's not a big deal, nobody cares, it's more fun to go back and forth about hockey opinions when your honest about it. who gives a crap anyway, until THE TEAM is hoisting the cup it's all of us fans just BS'n.

Posted by: jaykim77x1 | April 18, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Most of this team is playing just their second playoff series ever and even the coach is coaching just his second playoff series ever (on the NHL level).

How long did it take Yzerman and Mario to get a Cup? It's probably not going to happen this year. They are still in the series though. Last time I checked the Rangers didn't have four games won yet.

If they lose in the first round, as a Caps fan you can hope these guys learn from this experience and grow from it. The Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy in sports to win.

However, standing pat at the trade deadline is coming back to haunt this team now. I really wish GM George McPhee tried to acquire some defensive depth during the season and/or at the deadline.

Posted by: BBride | April 18, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse


Finally a voice of reason. The game today played out exactly as it was. The veteran playoff experienced team beat the young playoff inexperienced team. Today wasn't rocket science and the sky isn't falling.

Whomever stanley cup 1907 pulls for I can guarantee you this, the team he is a fan of does not have the young talent the Caps have because no team in the NHL can match the depth of their young talent.

Everyone please be patient it may not happen this year but it will happen. Talent always wins in the end. As the above post suggested Gretzky, Yzerman, and Lemieux all went through this, none of them won a Cup right away.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 19, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

I really don't get those who think it is OK not to advance past the first round because they Caps are "inexperienced." While the Caps missed the playoffs for several years, this is the second year in the playoffs for many on team so they have playoff experience. Also, the entire team is not young. Players like Feds, Nyls, and Clark have more playoff experience. Other teams, like the Pens, can make the Cup run with younger players so it is NO excuse for the Caps. Backstrom's and Semin's contracts are up at the end of next season. With the salary cap, I think the window of opportunity for the core of the team is a lot smaller these days so I don't think they have the years that it took Mario or others to get the Cup.

Posted by: NovaCath | April 19, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

If they keep using Varlamov, we have a shot. If they go back to Jose, it's over Johnny.

Posted by: ejohnsto | April 19, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse


Nobody is saying it's all right, it's just reality. There is no substitute for experience.

The Penguins are not a young hockey team. They are an experienced team with young superstars. There is a big difference.

The Oilers of the 80's and Red Wings of the 90's are perfect comparisons to the current Caps. It didn't happen quick for them either.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 20, 2009 2:45 AM | Report abuse

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