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Postgame Quotes

Alex Ovechkin

On the loss: "I'm very disappointed. They played better. First 10 minutes were pretty good, getting pucks in deep. I didn't score on the breakaway, so if I score first goal, maybe a different game. I didn't score it. They're experienced guys. They're a great team. They played great."

On how he feels personally: "I don't want to talk about that, personally. It's all about team. Everybody is the team and everybody's disappointed."

Brian Pothier

On what was said in the locker room between the second and third periods: "Pretty much to not do what we were doing because it was terrible. It's the kind of thing where you try to regroup and you have 20 minutes left to play the best type of hockey you know how to play. You never know what can happen. That's the attitude we went on the ice with, but when you dig yourself in a hole with a team like that, it's almost impossible to climb out of it."

Brooks Laich

On why Pittsburgh won the game: "If you look at the game tonight, they were more composed with the puck [and] the reason they won the game is that they outworked us. It's not easy to stand here and say that we were outworked in our building in a Game 7, but I'm sure we're going to have to think about that for a long time."

Bruce Boudreau

On the pain of tonight's loss: "You had more time to think about it before the end of the game; it was definitely anti-climactic. It certainly wasn't the way I would have envisioned it, scripted it, you know; whether we won or lost, I never would have thought that we would have ended up in a game like it was tonight."

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 13, 2009; 11:02 PM ET
 
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Next: Poti: 'No Excuses'

Comments

i can understand frustration - especially from the STH's. but the hate needs to stop. every team in the league can say they need to make personnel moves to improve - the caps are no different – i believe they are better off than most of them though. i can’t believe a saw a comment about GMGM not making any moves at the trade deadline - way a d-bag. Ted, GMGM and BB will have to look real hard at the current roster (and each players salary) and make some difficult decisions about next year. there is some good young (even younger than the current squad) talent in hershey. i look forward to seeing what management thinks are the priorities for improving the team and how they plan to go about it.

mrszilla:
i like your outlook and attitude about the team

to all the haters:
suck it up – we lost and it’s not going to change no matter how much you complain

october can’t get here fast enough


Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 13, 2009 11:06 PM

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 13, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh Bruce, no one would have thought it would be a game like this.

Posted by: bluejeener1 | May 13, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

As I've said before the Penguins deserved to win this series and it was a miracle that we got to game 7. You just can't keep playing pond hockey against a great team and hope that your goalie keeps bailing you out no matter how good he is. It finally came to really bite us tonight even though Varly held us in yet another terrible 1st period. In truth, there were several games that could've been blowouts in favor of the Pens had Varly not stood on his head.

Congrats to Pittsburgh on a well earned series win. People can also say what they want about Crosby, but he earned my respect in this series. He's an excellent player who consistently plays very hard for his team.

As for these injuries I fully expected these to be reveled once the series was over. I've been saying for a while now that it's obvious that Green and Semin were injured. Ovechkin also looked hurt badly in one game, but it's a testament to what a great player he is that he played through it and still had a great series. It's also a testament to the other guys' courage to play through bad injuries. I'm sure many fans will say that it's just an excuse, but those are people who have obviously never played any sport themselves. When you're badly injured no matter how much you want to do something you just can't. It's like a car that has something major wrong with it. No matter what kind of car it is it's just not gonna drive the same.

Thanks to the Capitals for a great season. We have a very bright future.

Let's go, Hershey Bears!

Posted by: ranndino | May 13, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

It would be one thing if we lost 5-4 where we were in it right to the end, but it's completely different to lose 6-2, especially when we ended up down 5-0 halfway through the second period! To be let down like that after they'd fought so hard through the previous thirteen games, it's just a bitter pill for everyone to swallow. Now there's plenty of time to figure out what went wrong and how we can be better prepared for next season.

Posted by: kresneck | May 13, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I liked Laich's bank & bakery quote better but this one rings very true.

Posted by: uncatim | May 13, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

thank you Caos for a great season and a great playoff run. I got to enjoy some of the most exciting hockey and as a STH I couldn;t be more happier with the games we played. Our team just needs a few tweaks, but I am not going to get down because of this loss. it was a great series and our boys played great. can't wait until next season. C-A-P-S Caps Caps Caps!!!

Posted by: capsfan387 | May 13, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

We will not be truly successful untill we slay the dragon, and defeat the Penguins in the playoffs. In the past, we were not as good as the Pens, but I believe we are as good now if not better, but we have to get over this hurdle.

Posted by: SeattleRob | May 13, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Good season Caps, next year will be even better. The officiating in this series was an absolute joke. The Caps have a lot of fast, talented players coming up from Hershey for next year: Bourque, Osala, Aucoin, Giroux, Alzner, and Carlson could all figure into next year's starting line up. Go Caps -- Rock the Red! Oh, and the Pens still suck and so does Pissburgh.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 13, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

It was painful but was it totally unexpected? Throughout these series the Pens have always had more shots, more chances to score in every game. I think we got here with some luck and it was going to run out at some point. Also, our defense was more porous and easier to penetrate, and even though most of their goals looked the same we had no answer to that.
I'm not saying I saw this coming but you could that they were better than us in this series.

Posted by: thor2 | May 13, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the game was over to all intents and purposes about 5 minutes into the second period. Very disapointing but hopefully we will do the same to them next year.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 13, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Agreed Capt_Kirk_in_AZ. I was as upset as anyone tonight, even shed some tears out of shock/sadness but then pride in our fans at the end of the game.

But I'll never boo my team, will never throw sh!t on the ice, and will never kick my team when they are down. They are MY TEAM, and I take that seriously. If you're not still proud to be a Caps fan, beat it. I want to keep only those who will cheer the team in the last 2 minutes, knowing it is the last two minutes in this season. All else need to apply.

Ovie, if you are reading this (as he has read other posts/blogs), we love you, we are proud of you. Learn from this and we will see you next season.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 13, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, good night ladies and gents. The sun will still shine tomorrow (unless it's supposed to rain tomorrow; I don't know DC's weather forecast).

Wear a smile!

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 13, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Those complaining are obvious bandwagoners who have no place being a true Caps fan. Look, we're all kinda down! But we made Round 2 with a very very young team. There is so much to celebrate and look forward to. True Caps fans stand up and clap for their team. Bandwagoners whine and complain and throw beer bottles on the ice in a temper tantrum. I'm glad to be the former and I can't wait for next year. Go Caps!

Posted by: schrute | May 13, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Truth be told, the Caps were lucky to even get to game 7. Perhaps if the thug, AO, hadn't knocked out the #1 defenseman for the Pens, Gonchar, this game would have been finished days earlier. One only has to look at the stats to see the the Caps were outshot twice.

Posted by: 1hockeyfan | May 13, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I posted this before, curious if any other feedback:

Lines tonight:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Fleischmann-Fedorov-Semin
Laich-Steckel-Bradley
Beagle-Gordon-Clark

Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Jurcina
Erskine-Pothier

Varlamov
Theodore

Preferred lines next year:

Ovechkin - Backstrom - (?)
Fleischmann - (?) - Semin
Laich - Steckel - Bradley
(Bourque/Gireaux?) - Gordon - (Aucoin/Fehr?)

(?) - Green
Poti - Jurcina
Erskine - Alzner

Varlamov
Johnson
(Neuvirth?)

Other possibilities:
-Someone in place of Flash?
-Someone in place of Poti?

Discuss.

Posted by: mischadc83 | May 13, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

mischadc83 - You need to include Fehr, and you have to somehow trade Nylander's contract. Theo has one more year on his contract also. Pothier has a few years left on his deal also I believe and with the cap supposed to drop, I don't think you will have much in the way of takers other than ~maybe~ Theo. McPhee will be a magician if he can now unload Nylander's contract.

Posted by: larryn703 | May 13, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

One word:

CHOKE.

That's for you Caps fans who walked out of Games 1 & 2 acting like you won the Cup.

Pittsburgh still owns your building, and Crosby proved he's better than Ovechkin. Thanks for providing a roadbump in our playoff run again.

Posted by: docciavelli | May 13, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Late to the comments - just want to say thanks to the Caps for a great season, and Tarik and Lindsay for wonderful posting and press coverage. Figured we had some injuries (OV, Greenie, etc.) from the last post, but that's no excuse in the post-season. Everyone plays hurt. They did the best they could and gave us a thrilling post-season. Hat's off to the Caps organization, especially Ted, for bringing a great product to DC and breathing some life into DC sports. We have such a young team, a Cup will come soon enough - I actually never thought in all honesty they'd go all the way this year. As a Chicago native, we always say with the Cubs "there's always next year". With this so very young Caps team, that rings more true than ever. And as a Chicago native, at least I can root for the Blackhawks now in this post-season.

Love ya Caps, keep Rocking the Red DC - we'll be back stronger next year and rocking for many years to come!!! Watch out Pens - we'll be coming to get ya soon!!!

Posted by: hilmerdm | May 13, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I am so glad that not everyone in here is shouting gloom and doom. Was tempted to avoid this all together tonight because I didn't want to get more depressed but I'm happily surprised to find other Caps fans who appreciate the good we have.

Have been more or less alone this regular/playoff season since I'm not in DC so getting to commiserate/banter with you all has truly been a pleasure. Even a little tiny itsy-bitsy thanks to the trolls. You all said some pretty funny and redic sh!t, kept us on our toes and reminded us how passionately we care about the Caps.

gnight and LETS GO CAPS!!

Posted by: mrszilla | May 13, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Right on about Nylander, I'm just not sure where he goes if we're talking about actual, usable lines. Are we *really* going to ruin Semin's run-and-gun with circles?

As for Fehr, he's gotta fit somewhere, but I'm not sure where. Maybe Line 2 instead of Flash?

Theo you can move, they may very well not, but it would be possible. He's not a deep playoff run guy, but someone will take him. Colorado? (I'm somewhat serious). Passable starting goalies are high demand.

Posted by: mischadc83 | May 13, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Rough finish, guys, but let's not lose sight of what a great year this was. The guys who had their first 7 of playoff experience last year are now getting to be battle-hardened, and there's not a question that we'll have the assets to make the postseason again.

Only one team of 30 gets the Cup. As good as the Caps were this season, there are no bad teams in the postseason, and the bounces, the whistles, and everything else mean that there's never a sure thing. As much as it sucks to be here, 23 other fanbases have already heaved this sigh and moved on this year, and 6 more will.

Let's all raise a glass tonight, toast to our 2008-2009 Washington Capitals, throw our favorite lucky jerseys in the wash if need be so they're fresh for the fall, and get back to working hard enough this summer that we can all slack off to watch hockey again come October.

Posted by: KurtNYC | May 13, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

What's with all these haters coming on this site all of a sudden? I may have joined before the series started, but I'm not calling out Ovechkin or the Caps team for choking. Show some class other haters.

Posted by: SC87 | May 13, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

wow sc87... someone has actually crossed your line? hahahahhaa now it really has been a redic night. thanks for keeping it lively.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 13, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Nylander's contract will be bought, which will give us a slight hit on our cap (2/3 of his contract spread over twice the lenght so about $1.7 M a year).
I woould try to trade Fleischman who will never be a playoff player. Gordon will also go as he is out of contract and there are a gazillion players like him that will cost minimum wage.
Theo will have to be back up. No one will want him. I would certainly not resign Fedorov for any amount of money, nor Kozlov. Give a few Bears a chance and trade to shore up the defense. Kommisarek is a free agent and will not want to go back to Montreal. He will be available for $4-5 M a year. I would keep my money for him.

Posted by: atybat | May 13, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

mischadc83

OV, Backstrom, Cole (FA and we have cap room. I can dream that we get him... mainly because I am tired of seeing him score on us)
Flash, Federov (at 2 mil), Fehr. (no semin, trade him for a top defensemen. We probably wont afford him in 2 years and he has the best upside)
Laich, Steckel, Bradley (if you watched the playoffs you know why
Enforcer TBD, Auccoin, Clark
Extra forwards, Laing

Green- Top D
Jurchina I say we keep, he started hitting more in the playoffs and has a hard slapshot he is still developing
Erskine brings the physical element and can fight. Keep him as a 5-6 d.
Poti- can live with keeping not sure he is worth 3.5
Poither - not worth 2.5 but I admire his dedication to hockey. I am sure ottawa would take him back.
Mo - let go
Schultz - not even going there

Varly is our franchise goal and nuvie looks good too. Johnson is a capable backup bring him back if you can find a way to get rid of theo.

Nylander - RETIRE or go play with Jagr

Posted by: caps512 | May 13, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Flash is not a top 6 forward, neither is Fehr.

I don't feel like getting into post-season specifics yet. I am going to enjoy the rest of the post-season. See you guys around draft time!


LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: richmondphil | May 13, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

The only way we trade Nylander is for some other team's problem child / salary cap hit, right?

I'm interested to see what some of our young guns (Osala, Borque, etc) in Hershey can do ... but I'd also like to see the Capitals bring in a new top-6 forward.

Would the Capitals trade Semin?

Who else -- besides Nylander / Theodore -- would the Capitals possibly trade?

Posted by: Cerealman | May 13, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Just got home. Yeah, I live that far away. That was a great season, and sure am glad that I can afford season tickets because this team is exciting. A few tweaks need to be made but we're not that far off. I had to stay until the end so I could give the boys one more cheer.

For any of you out there that feel as bummed about this as I do...I guarantee the boys feel much worse. Today's showing was a bit surprising but Varly got a little rattled and came out cold for the 2nd and let in 2 goals on 2 shots. Still have to give him kudos.

If you're a fan you'll stop hammering the team in here, take a breath, and think about how fun the ride was. There are more rides to come with this group, and the rides will be longer. Have a good night Caps fans. For those that want to stay here all night and trash our boys...GET A LIFE.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 13, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, we are only in the same position as 26 other teams. Not too bad.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 13, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

as the lineup for next year goes in place for kozlov we would need someone like him a big guy who can score a good compliment to backstrom and ovie idk who really is in free agency to fits the bill but like Pittsburgh Crosby has kunitz and guiern....i really feel if we traded for a guy like pronger this whole 40 shots a game wouldn't even be a question..i think fedorov is going to come back and i would like him too but still need a really solid d men but pothier showed me something during the playoffs but i would like alzner to play more along with that young guy carlson next season and jurcina needs to shoot more he had a really hard shot which could open things up a little more next year but that just my opinion

Posted by: skinsst21 | May 13, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

@ Aty:

-Good point about buying out Nyls.

-Agree with dropping Flash, he seems redundant with Fehr at best.

-Feds I would keep if he takes a massive pay cut, but he'll probably retire instead. Kozlov will go, retire or play back home.

-I'm CERTAIN you can unload Theo. Maybe not for as much value as you want, but I'm sure there will be offers for a starting-quality goalie.

@ Caps512:

-Cole is an interesting suggestion, him and OV would be a physically powerful top line. I like that idea.

-Strongly disagree with trading Sasha. A second line of Flash-Fehr-Feds is horrible, I don't see anyone there getting >20 goals together. Semin was bad against Pitt, I'll give you that, but he has a very good playoff track record and carried this team early in the year.

-Yep, agreed keep that third line together.

-Agreed Poti and Pothier are good players at $3 m. total, but not $6 m.
Mo and Schultz = Gone.
Alzner and someone (Sloan? Carlson?) can fill that.

Posted by: mischadc83 | May 13, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

ONE AND SEVEN!!!

Posted by: malkinshockeyskates | May 13, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

(PS I love these people who bothered making Washington Post user IDs with Penguins trash-talking names. It's 11:45, does anyone in Pittsburgh know where their children are?)

Posted by: mischadc83 | May 13, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

What the hell is a "playoff run"? I've heard of a "championship run" and a "title run" and even a "cup run," but never a "playoff run."

Posted by: nhcaps | May 13, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I'm disappointed in tonight's game. Before the season started, I was hoping to make it out of Round 1. Check.

I'm upset that they lost to a Pens team that had a worse record than them in the regular season (even though the Pens are loaded in talent.) After this series, I dislike the Pens even more than before (if that's possible.) My opinion of Crosby as a person has gone down (although he's a good player.) I've decided that I really detest Orpik (i.e. Orprick).
I will be rooting hard to the winner of the Boston-Carolina series to dump the Pens. (I'd personally rather see Boston since I'm annoyed at the whole idea of Carolina making it further in the playoffs than the Caps, plus I'm no fan of Carolina.) At this point, I don't care who wins the Stanley Cup, as long as it's not Pittsburgh.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 13, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1, great comments. Thanks for staying and cheering--I was very proud of all our fans for showing our team the appreciation and thanks they deserve after giving us so many thrills this season.

Yeah, the roster needs to be tweaked a little, but we have a great club in the making, and I'm really looking forward to many great seasons and postseasons to come. C-A-P-S, CAPS, CAPS, CAPS!!!

Posted by: wocoliz | May 13, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

As a Pens fan, I couldn't be happier! But I'd like to congratulate the Caps. Even though Game 7 was a blowout, I don't think the Pens are 4-goals-a-game better than he Caps. This was one of the best series the Pens have been in - ever. And for all the big hits (including Ovechkin's hit on Gonchar...) the Caps are not a bunch of rockheaded jerks like the Flyers.

Hey - root for us in the finals, dudes!

Posted by: fatack | May 13, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

I was at the game too. It just seemed like the team ran out of gas tonight, so to speak. We'll admit that Varly played more often in the playoffs than he had all season long, both here and in Hershey. I hope he's not too traumatized by tonight.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 13, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Flash can still develop. He got 20 goals while disapering for long stretches. With another year 30 is attainable. Fehr is too young to be on the 2nd line but I like Laich, Steckel, and Bradley too much to break that up.

This season was a success because we got one round farther and found our franchise goalie. We still need a D though. Thank god I don't have work tomorrow...

Posted by: caps512 | May 13, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Got home a little bit ago. We didn't have it tonight. Everyone was out of sync. Not going to throw anyone under the bus though, team just looked out of gas. The Pens came to play, give them credit. You can't really throw Varly under the bus either, he made some saves that kept it only 2-0 after 1st. Tonight was the definition of a team loss. It sucks that it comes in a Game 7 against probably our biggest rival in our home building, but that is what happened.

This team did a lot of great things this year, and don't forget this is the defending EC champs that we pushed to 7 behind a rookie goalie. Our team is only going to get better. Kudos to all the other fans who stayed till the end and helped salute the team over the last 3 minutes.

Give credit to the Pens, they're a great hockey team. This was probably our worst game of the playoffs, at the worst time. Can't do anything about it, we will retool and come back next year with that much more experience.

Great year, great series, tough finish.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | May 13, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks caps for a great season and run!

Im pretty sure we will get the cup next year and hold onto it for many years!

Thanks Tarik and Lindsay and WaPo for all the great coverage!

Lets Go CAPS!!!

Posted by: malujoker | May 13, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

As a Pens fan, I couldn't be happier! But I'd like to congratulate the Caps. Even though Game 7 was a blowout, I don't think the Pens are 4-goals-a-game better than he Caps. This was one of the best series the Pens have been in - ever. And for all the big hits (including Ovechkin's hit on Gonchar...) the Caps are not a bunch of rockheaded jerks like the Flyers.

Hey - root for us in the finals, dudes!

Posted by: fatack | May 13, 2009 11:53 PM |

Glad to see some classy Pens fans here.

Although I won't be rooting for you ( come on, we are arch-enemies), I will say that the better team won. Crosby is an amazing player and proved once again why he is the best center man playing the sport.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 13, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Any chance we bring back Fedorov on defense?

I would like to keep Semin, for sure, as long as he's healthy.

Flash is safe ... for now. (Glad to see him attacking the net in the third period ... where's he been all series?)

Fehr is running out of time.

I'll take whatever we can get for Theodore. He was only a stopgap for the Caps, and Johnny fits that bill and is much cheaper.

Posted by: Cerealman | May 13, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

On Flash, Fehr, and Fed being a terrible line. At one point, that line was doing fine -- back when Fehr was on a goal scoring streak. (And then we had Fehr doing fine when Backstrom was centering him and Flash.)

I'm not ready to give up on either Flash or Fehr yet. I guess Fehr has still not fully recovered from his back injury he got earlier this series.

I'm not surprised that Green and Semin are hurt. Green was playing like he was hurt. And, with all the stuff that Orprick was doing to Semin, not surprised that Semin is hurt despite all earlier denials. (Now, Boudreau is admitting it.) I was surprised to hear of Poti having a broken foot and Ovi having a groin injury.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 13, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

I like sasha but if I can get pronger (or someone similar) I would do it in heartbeat. Defense wins championships. I will take 50 goals from 8, 30 from back, 20 from laich, green, flash (19 this year he will get better... I hope), and someone else that will step up.

Posted by: caps512 | May 13, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks ... I appreciate the class from Pens fans too ... but nope, no way I'd root for Pittsburgh.

Plus, it's time for me to root for D.C. United, right?

Even if I'm in Tennessee.

Posted by: Cerealman | May 14, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Folks, don't freak out about the trades and line up changes for next year. IMHO, the only thing we need is a really good goalie. Varly played great in both series, but broke down tonight unfortunately. But remember, he's only 21, and played unbelievable for 12 to 13 games. Yes, we need more D, but that comes about since Green didn't play well at all this series...but remember how awesome he was in the regular season. Give it a rest - hopefully GMGM will make a few tweeks in the off-season, and BB will have a strong pre-season training routine. And look at all the talent in the Bears. NO reason to panic or make massive changes. As I said before, we still have a really young team full of strong talent thanks to Ted, we'll get there soon enough.

Posted by: hilmerdm | May 14, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

@ Caps512 -

I'm just reluctant to trade Sasha because as it is now, if OV gets hurt / off-kilter / whatever, Sasha's the only player on this team who can pick them up. Fehr/Flash can be decent players, but you do need a second guy whose shown the ability to be a real star, even if he isn't one every game.

If we got a free agent to fill that void, then maybe, but I'm just reluctant to trade a guy who has scored almost 100 goals in his last 200 games for an aging defenseman if it means we have to hope that Flash or Fehr or someone from Hershey suddenly makes a leap.

Posted by: mischadc83 | May 14, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

@ hilmerdm:

What else should we be talking about?

Posted by: mischadc83 | May 14, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Cerealman,
OMG, someone else who's a United fan!

Posted by: wocoliz | May 14, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to a great season overal.

My thoughts:

Trades-

Alexander Semin is not cut out for grueling NHL playoffs. And he has a tendency to not show up for games in the playoffs and regular season, takes untimely penalties, and has had attitude problems in the past. All together this just isn't the right ingreadient for a stanley cup contender.

Trade him. He can get us at least 3 quality players or picks. The trade get us players that can net us 30 goals total.

Fedorov - Retire. I love what you've done for us and the NHL. Time to hang 'em up.

Schultz - let him go or trade if possible
Morrison - let him go or trade if possible

Mike Green - I think he deserves another shot. There's too much potential for him to become a great D-man like a Niedermyer, Zubov, Leach, etc. He is still very young and can learn to manage the puck better and I'm sure his injury had something to do with his performance.

Ovechkin - Trade him. (ok, now that I have your attention) he is the heart and sole of the Caps. He's here until he chooses to leave.

BUT....

He has to improve his game in his own end. If you read the Candadian press, a lot of it is bias, but he does deserve some of the critisism for play in his own end.

The biggest knocks on him are -

"He floats in his own end. And cherry picks at the blue line".

As a die hard long time caps fan, and OV fan, I have to agree. Now, was this why we lost the series? NO. His game still works for him and our team because he is such a dynamic offensive talent, he hits, and that out weights that negative by a lot (as evidenced by his +/- in the playoffs)

BUT...and I want to ask you guys this...

Would having OV play more agressive and in his own end, and participate in getting pucks out of the zone with control, would that send a better message to his team, and also reserve energy of his linemates and defensive???????

Sorry for the long post. Appreciate any replies.

Go Caps!

Posted by: floms | May 14, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

For the future,

While I respect the talents of Fedorov and Kozlov, I know their days are numbered due to age, especially the former. Sergei is 39. Is there any way we could keep him as a player coach for less money so he can mentor the kids? As for Kozlov, if we can afford him for next year, keep him, but in the long run (say 2010 and beyond), we'll need another right winger for Ovi & Backstrom, such as one of our usual suspects (Fehr or Semin) or someone from the minors.

Brash is probably near the end of the line, being 37. These days, he gets hurt when he gets in a fight so it's probably not worth keeping him. We can probably get a cheaper, younger enforcer.

I know Nylander still has two years to go on his contract. Would buying him out now make it worse for our future cap him (or should we just buy him out after next season)? I'm wondering what's the best way to maximized the amount of money needed to keep Backstrom and Semin. (Yes, I'm the resident wierdo who wants to keep Semin. I'm sure he'll be healthy next year, at least most of the time.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 14, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Hrmpf. Not what I expected ... not even close. I am beyond disappointed. Oh well, I still love my boys and joined the masses in saluting them tonight. Here's to a great season, the Pens getting hammered in round three, the summer flying by, key moves in the off-season and Lord Stanley's Cup coming to DC in 2010. LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 14, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

@caps512

Due to the age factor, I would NOT recommend trading Sasha for Pronger. Pronger turns 35 this October. Sasha just turned 25.

While Pronger is a very good defenseman, he is getting up there in years. And trading our 2nd best offensive player is not what I'd recommend.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 14, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

floms,

One thing I will say that Ovi needs to improve on is his work along the boards. It seems like someone with his level of talent could do a better job of getting the puck away from another player, but he is rarely able to. If there's anything we know about Ovi though, he'll do whatever it takes to get better.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I think we're pretty shored up in goal.

I wouldn't mind seeing Laich with more time on the first line or at least on the first PP squad, but I think this was tried this year with somewhat lackluster results. Maybe keep him on the third line which has been fantastic.

Erik Cole would make for a great first line addition, but I'd address the D before making a major top line addition there. Cole is a sexy choice though. Great speed, great forchecker, fairly good defensively. Would love to have two Clarkson alums on the Caps!

Hard to say what we're going to do with Theo/Johnny. I'd say dump Theo and keep Johnny, but I'm not GMGM.

As for the D, I think we pick up a solid defensive D and a quality penalty killer and we're good to go. Feds is gone, Nyls is gone, so that leaves a probable gap at center somewhere. Guess I need to take a look at what's out there...

Obviously we could use a little more grit, as the scoring is definitely there. Bring on next season!

And I think my allegiance lies with Carolina and Chicago now. Both exciting teams to watch!

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 14, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

@fatack

I'm glad you're a Pens fan with class. Thanks for posting.

But I won't be rooting for them since they're the enemy.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 14, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Snake, regarding Carolina and Chicago, personally, I'm with you, but I think the NHL and the network suits would much rather see Boston and Detroit.

Posted by: wocoliz | May 14, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

A big "thank you" to Tarik, Lindsay, and all the other Capitals Insider contributors for outstanding coverage throughout the season.

Posted by: decoy13 | May 14, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Tarik - First (maybe second) time poster here. Thanks to you and all of the other Washington Post reporters (some more recently than others) for covering the Caps season so well this year! I have enjoyed reading your posts all season and look forward to next year. Go Caps!

Posted by: schnervel | May 14, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

@floms

Disagree with trading Sasha for a bunch of guys that can score 30 goals when put together. Heck, he can score 35 by himself for the year.

"Not built for NHL playoff hockey rigor". His track record -- good vs Philly last year; good vs Rangers this year; okay, this series wasn't too good. In Game 1, he scored a couple of key assists and he got a couple of assists in Game 6. The official word is that he's injured. I know he had gotten his face slashed up in Game 1, courtesy of Orpik (and he got his assists after that). And then there were reports of other stuff done to him.

Yes, I know Semin is not perfect by any means but we're better off with him than without him.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 14, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

yea when you mention that pronger is 35 it makes no sense.

Posted by: caps512 | May 14, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

fanohock1/USDave:
Here, here. Great comments - couldn't agree more. This is frustrating but not the end - next season they'll go further. Their day is coming. Thanks to them, Tarik, Katie, Lindsay and the whole gang for a great season. Things can only get better.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 14, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

How's Schultz doing healthwise? Would he have been healthy enough to play? Given that Poti was playing with a broken foot and Green's shoulder was hurt.

No, not ready to give up on Schultz yet. I'll admit he made a costly mistake in Game 1 vs the Rangers but Schultz had to have done something right to have one of the better Plus/Minus ratings on the team for the year. He's still young.

And then Sloan was also available but was a healthy scratch.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 14, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

To break The Curse of Scott Stevens you have to be PERFECT.

They were far from perfect tonight.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | May 14, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

@mischadc83

Agree with you. Doesn't make sense to trade a guy who's had 100 goals in 200 games. It seems that everyone's favorite remedy for what's ailing the Caps is to get rid of Semin.

I'll admit Semin reminds me of my first born child (who's a year younger). Many similar characteristics.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 14, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Well, that game was absolutely stunning, I know we were out played all series but, wow. I have to give credit where credit is due though and as much as I hate 'em the Pens are a tough team.

As a STH I was really blessed to see this team play, think about Caps fans, that was one of if not the best season in franchise history. This season was a success and frankly, we're ahead of The Plan's schedule.

Now we wait for this years Champion to be crowned and then off to the off season, where the tweaks will be made, so see, standing pat at the deadline wasn't so bad.

Don't know about everybody else but I'm hoping the Blackhawks win the Cup. Despite Huet.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | May 14, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

fanohock1/USDave and Boo

Good comments. I think the Caps have a good young core. I couldn't blame GM McPhee for not making a trade if the cost was too high.

Hope to get Backstrom and Semin signed before their contracts expire. (We have Ovi and Green for a good long time.)

I must admit I'm jealous of Pittsburgh. How did they build their team to continually go further than us in the playoffs when they got younger stars? I've heard reports that their team's rebuilding is a couple of years ahead of ours. Is Bylsma really a better coach than Boudreau (although ironically, Boudreau helped mentor him as a player)? Or will Pitt's tendency to acquire "rent-a-players" at the trading deadline hurt in the long run?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 14, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

If anyone feels like grinding their teeth, take a look at the comments on this TSN article about the game.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=278628

Are Canadians this blind and ignorant, or are those comments all from gloating Pitt fans?

The TEAM lost this series. OV did everything he could. This isn't boxing, its team vs. team.

Most of their comments are like "see, and that's why Crosby is ...blah blah" or "OV is an overated T.O. or Alan Iverson.."

WHAT THE FCUK?? OV led his team in points, hits, and I think +/- this playoffs. All that, with a 39 year old center, a 35 year old winger, a rookie goalie, 1 missing D-man, and a glorified AHL defence.

Crosby has the #1 point producer on his team for crying out loud! AND Gonchar, and bunch of other Talent.

Are Candadians that frieken ignorant and blind? Just because OV is not Canadian?

Or is deeper than that? Are they jealous that OV isn't Canadian?

And how did their Canadian hero do last year against the Sweedish National team in the cup finals? Out in 6. Crosby's fault, right?

Either case, the next Canadian hockey fan I meet, I'm bringing this up. I can't stand BLIND PRIDE.

Posted by: floms | May 14, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

For the rest of the series, I'm hoping for Boston to beat Carolina. In any case, I hope the winner of that contest cleans Pittsburgh's clock.

I don't really have a strong feeling on who I'd rather see win between Chicago and Detroit. I have individual players I like on both teams.

No matter what happens, I will root against Pittsburgh.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 14, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Internet gambling and the Russian mafia have obviously infiltrated the NHL game. Don't know how I can ever watch NHL again. This game was so bizarre. An investigation needs to be done on bets placed.

Posted by: KlayKey | May 14, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure this series proved anything about OV and Crosby. Both had 8 G this series and OV had a better +/- by 1 notch and 1 more A. Both players are awesome, they will always be compared to each other. But like it or lump it, this series only proved the Pens are better than the Caps, and thats only by a hair.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | May 14, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Some of these trolls have no life in that dump called Pittsburgh. At least we live in the nation's capital and have a decent income so we can go on with our lives while looking forward to the next season.

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | May 14, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
I don't know how to explain it (and they had so much turnover this season that their continued, albeit interrupted, success is a mystery). Frankly, I don't think they are the better team. They were the better team tonight, but they won the series because of lucky goals and bad calls (not whining - just an opinion). The two teams are actually pretty evenly matched - this series could have easily gone either way. It's ironic that we were the better team in the regular season and our SOG were so low during the series (comparatively). I can't explain it. I'd love to blame it on the seven injuries but it was more than that. Regardless, the Caps will get theirs ... and I'll never be jealous of Pitt. (Bitter? Angry? Resentful? Sure. Jealous? No.)

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 14, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

As a STH and a life-long caps fans, F*** you for calling me a bandwagon fan! I'm pissed about tonight. The effort tonight was pathetic. Don't call me a bandwagon f***ing fan!

Posted by: ralph4100 | May 14, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

floms,if there's one thing I've learned from reading comments from other sites, there are a lot of Pens fans who comment on everything. It's not that there's more Pens fans in the world, it's just that their fan base seems to have the time to make a lot of comments. So I wouldn't take everything you read with the idea that everyone in Canada feels that way. I would say most of the Canadian people I know like Ovi better than Crosby.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

probably the single worst thing about this is: Crosby gets to look like he's the best. We know Ovi is the best and that sucks balls.

Posted by: ralph4100 | May 14, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

I'd keep Semin - he was not at his best in last two series, now we know why. Lots of skill players get injured; it's not his fault. Varly will get better with experience, and Neuvirth is looking good also.

about the projected lineup

I'd prefer

Ovechkin - Kozlov - Bourque/Osala
? - Backstrom - Semin
Fleischmann - ? - Laich
Gordon - Steckel - Beagle/Aucoin/?

For D

Morrisohn - Green
Alzner - Carlson
Poti - Jurcina
Lepisto

Ovechkin - Backstrom - (?)
Fleischmann - (?) - Semin
Laich - Steckel - Bradley
(Bourque/Gireaux?) - Gordon - (Aucoin/Fehr?)

(?) - Green
Poti - Jurcina
Erskine - Alzner

Posted by: WritingLight | May 14, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

ralph, yeah, everyone in the media will be saying that, but I still don't see how you can compare the two. If they played the same position then, yeah, I could see it. And everyone who talks about Ovi not playing defense--wingers don't have the same defensive responsibilities as a center does.

I think it will be interesting to see how many goals Crosby gets next round. I have to admit he did a great job, but our D did a horrible job against him in the crease. It will be interesting to see how Chara does against him (if Boston wins). If he keeps getting those same goals against Chara, then I'll be really impressed

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Ugh. I am still reeling. Growing up I felt a pit in my stomach when we faced Pitt in the playoffs. I thought that sh** was over. No. Not over. WTF. What kind of effort was this tonight? F*** injuries. What were our players doing? 6-2??? WTF.

Posted by: ralph4100 | May 14, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

"I'd like to retract all comments I previously made about Sidney Crosby." Alex "Invisible Man" Semen

Posted by: marsid | May 14, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

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