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Poti: 'No Excuses'

So much went wrong for the Caps in tonight's 6-2 loss to the Pens, and it all went so wrong so fast.

They took bad penalties (I'm talking about Shaone Morrisonn's slash that led to the game's first goal). The goaltending was suspect (I'm thinking about the Pens' second and fourth goals). And the effort wasn't good enough for regular season game, much less Game 7 in the semifinals.

The whole night, in my opinion, was summed up in this quote from Brooks Laich: "The reason they won the game is because they outworked us. It's not easy to stand ihere and say that we've been outworked in our building in a Game 7. That's not something that's easy to say, and I'm sure we're going to have to think about that for a long time."

Five months, to be exact.

There's lots going in tomorrow's paper, so I urge you to start there. Check out my gamer and notebook, Barry's A1 story, Steinz's sidebar and Wise's column. It all can be found here. Now that you've read all that, you're ready for a handful of leftovers:

Penalty-less
Referees Dan O'Halloran and Bill McCreary did not issue a single penalty to the Pens. Because of that, the Caps did not have a power play for the first time all season, regular or playoffs.

Top Guns
Alex Ovechkin had 14 points (eight goals); Sidney Crosby had 13 points (eight goals); and Evgeni Malkin had 10 points (two goals). Not bad, eh?

Boudreau on Varlamov
It's tough to put too much blame on young Simeon Varlamov, but he had a rough night. So rough, in fact, Coach Bruce Boudreau considered pulling him after the third goal. In retrospect, he wishes he did.

"With Simeon after the third goal, I was thinking of pulling him because he was looking really dejected," Boudreau said. "Maybe I should have called a timeout at that point. But after the fourth goal, the wind came completely out of his sails emotionally."

Boudreau on Mental Preparedness
"I don't want to make excuses, because Pittsburgh was definitely the better team tonight," he said. "But I tried to warn the players. You're going to have a 100 friends calling you. Everyone wanting tickets. And you've got to be able to stay focused. If they did, they did. But it didn't look tonight as if we were as ready as we should have been. When you're the road team, all you have to do to is come to the hotel, eat dinner together and think of the game."

Game 7 Blues
The Caps are 2-6 all-time in Game 7s, 2-5 at home and 0-3 against Pittsburgh. The four-goal difference tonight was the Caps' biggest in a Game 7. Ever.

Shot Differential
In this series, the Caps were outshot 256-180, 30-21 tonight.

Green Sits in Third
Mike Green, whom Boudreau acknowledged had been playing hurt, didn't skate much in the third period and finished with only 13:52 in ice time.

"He really struggled tonight," Boudreau said. "I know Mike really well. When he struggles, he puts a lot of pressure on himself to do something better. Every mistake is magnified in his mind. I just thought, 'Let's not play him anymore to save himself.'"

Tom Poti on the Loss
"We've been here before and we have some experience in this situation and there is no way to describe it. No excuses. We went up 2-0 in the series and then kind of shot ourselves in the foot. We had a chance to finish them in off in Games 3 and 4 and we didn't get the job done. That was the difference in the series."

Poti told me he doesn't know yet if his broken foot will require surgery. He's scheduled to see a foot specialist on Friday.

Crosby on the Series
"There were a lot of eyes on the series," the Pens' captain said. "We both [he and Ovechkin] wanted to make sure we did a good job. He's a great hockey player. He's got a scary shot. Even with the lead we had tonight, with the dangerous forwards they have, we were relaxed for a second out there."

Crosby on Game 7
"We got the lead," he said. "So many times throughout the first six games we got a lead and it was only a one-goal lead and we allowed basically one mistake to get them back in the hockey game. Tonight we got that second one quick after the first one and that third one early in the second period. That was big. Varlamov made some huge saves throughout the whole series and tonight I'm sure he'd like a couple back. But we did a lot of good things and deserved the ones we got."

That's it for now.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 14, 2009; 1:09 AM ET
 
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Next: Mike Wise: How to Frame the Season?

Comments

Penalty-less
Referees Dan O'Halloran and Bill McCreary did not issue a single penalty to the Pens. Because of that, the Caps did not have a power play for the first time all season, regular or playoffs.

And yet there was at least one hook that should have been called, and a holding the stick, and... I could list two or three more. Sucks. I hope the game gets reviewed and the League says something, because the disparity between penalties called on us (and yes, we did most of them) and NOT called on them - even for flagrant violations of the rules - was abysmal.

Posted by: irockthered | May 14, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse

penguins = kryptonite. tonight was really tough to watch.

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

And yet there was at least one hook that should have been called, and a holding the stick, and... I could list two or three more. Sucks. I hope the game gets reviewed and the League says something, because the disparity between penalties called on us (and yes, we did most of them) and NOT called on them - even for flagrant violations of the rules - was abysmal.

Posted by: irockthered | May 14, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse

jesus give it a freakin rest already! the penalties did not explain nor excuse the complete lack of effort energy and enthusiasm the Caps displayed in a critical game 7 in front of their own crowd. You can cry all you want about the officiating, the bottom line is the Pens were the hungrier team, they beat us on the boards, they beat us in front of the net, they beat us to the loose pucks. Start with that, and then you can go cry about the officiating Mr Sour Grapes.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

we need more toughness. we should've kept matt cooke, he has an abrasiveness about him that our team seems to lack. maybe the defense will improve with the addition of alzner and carlson, altough i'm loathing the return of schultz. if he'd been on the back line, we probably would've been swept...by the rangers.

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Our 3rd line and players like Jurcina and Erskine should get kudos for giving a great effort in every game this post-season. The rest of the team should go look in the mirror. I have no doubt in my mind that if the Caps were just capable of giving a consistent EFFORT that we'd have beaten the Rangers in 5 or 6 games and the Pens in 6 games. We got no mileage out of 50% of our team and we still took a great Pens team to 7 games.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

you're right. that shot chart on Crosby really summed up the whole series. except for his very first goal in the first game, every single one of his goals was a foot away. when will we learn to clear guys out of the crease and protect our goalie? also, it was a bad time for simeon to be varlamawful. he'll bounce back though, he's a beast.

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Come on irockthered, the Penguins were just the more disciplined team throughout the series, ESPECIALLY tonight. They didn't take nay penalites because they weren't playing too hard because the game was already over at the start of the second period.

Posted by: SC87 | May 14, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

we need more toughness. we should've kept matt cooke, he has an abrasiveness about him that our team seems to lack. maybe the defense will improve with the addition of alzner and carlson, altough i'm loathing the return of schultz. if he'd been on the back line, we probably would've been swept...by the rangers.

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

i was thinking the same thing watching Matt Cooke hustle his butt off all game even after the score was heavily in favor of the Pens. That kid never quits. And thats why he's so effective and infectious to his team. He sets that tone every shift and if the Pens were thinking of slacking off after getting a big lead, guys like cooke and kunitz remind them every shift of how they need to keep their foot on our necks. Cooke was slamming bodies even after they went up by 4 goals. How often do you see the Caps finishing checks when they're up by 4 goals ? Hell, this team doesn't have any clue how to play with a lead. The instant they get a lead they usually stop skating and hitting.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

i agree. people hated on jurcina and erskine all season, but i dont see why. everyone one of our d-men need the physicality that they showed during these playoffs.

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

you're right. that shot chart on Crosby really summed up the whole series. except for his very first goal in the first game, every single one of his goals was a foot away. when will we learn to clear guys out of the crease and protect our goalie? also, it was a bad time for simeon to be varlamawful. he'll bounce back though, he's a beast.

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

exactly. how hard is it to clear Sidney Crosby? He scored most of his goals on rebounds and tap-ins within a few inches of our net. He clowned Mike Green repeatedly. If you can't clear Sid the Kid, then you really are a soft team defensively.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:35 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

couldn't agree more. all that talk about how the caps are one of the biggest teams in the conference, but they don't play like it. we got beat up out there. they'll throw a couple checks in the first couple minutes, then it's like they just forget how to do it. it's infuriating.

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Guys like Juice and Erskine factor in more heavily in the playoffs because they have the brawn you need to win those battles along the boards. Those two guys were better than the rest of our defense although I think Pothier also played very well until about the last 3 games. I think his lack of conditioning finally caught upto him. But Green and Poti who pull down monster ice time sucked. And if they were really nursing bad injuries then the burden is on Bruce to protect our team by limiting their ice time.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

The Caps didn't get any power plays tonight because they didn't deserve them. You get power plays when you carry the attack, when you put defenders out of position, and when you drive to the net.

Washington did absolutely none of that tonight, and little of it through the series. They were satisfied with driving the puck as far wide and deep as possible, then wondering why they couldn't get a shot off. The Capitals were abysmal tonight and the result was deserved. They did nothing in their game to warrant the officials granting any advantages.

Washington was poor for much of the series, and the minute Varlamov cracked, the flood gates were going to open.

Boswell's column is right on. There's a lot to like about the Caps. But until the defense is revamped, they won't make it out of the second round.

Hopefully, GMGM changes his tune in the offseason about how he feels regarding the current top 6 defenders. They are absolutely not good enough. Period.

Posted by: writered21 | May 14, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Two clear mistakes I think Bruce made were

1) he barely played his 4th line while the Pens gave their 4th line a lot more ice time this series. That kept the rest of the team fresh.

2) He benched Tyler Sloan who didn't make a single mistake. He should've taken Poti or Green out and left Sloan in. But that woulda taken vision and guts.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

i just hope GMGM has the guts to tweak our roster. i was a little skeptical when no moves were made at the deadline, but i have a feeling there will be some changes, as there should be. no need to panic and do a roster dump, but this loss showed a real lack of character. time for some fresh faces

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

cstaton, I said earlier I'm looking forward to seeing how many goals Crosby gets against someone like Chara (if Boston wins tomorrow).

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

[The Caps didn't get any power plays tonight because they didn't deserve them. You get power plays when you carry the attack, when you put defenders out of position, and when you drive to the net.

Washington did absolutely none of that tonight, and little of it through the series. They were satisfied with driving the puck as far wide and deep as possible, then wondering why they couldn't get a shot off. The Capitals were abysmal tonight and the result was deserved. They did nothing in their game to warrant the officials granting any advantages.]

Damn right. IrocktheRed has his judgment clouded as usual. When the clear problem is our lack of effort, some fans want to use the officiating as a scapegoat. hopefully the Caps are smarter than that and realize the real issue isn't the refs at all.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse

And for anyone out there--is it our defensive players or is the defensive system/coach?

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

cstaton, I said earlier I'm looking forward to seeing how many goals Crosby gets against someone like Chara (if Boston wins tomorrow).

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse


Boston should crush the Pens in 6 games or less. The Bruins are finally playing upto their potential, they got lulled to sleep for a bit there and have finally woken up.

and yeah, the Pens wont have as easy a time trying to score close-in goals because Chara, Stuart and company will clear house. The Caps spoiled the Pens a little with our lax play around our net, they won't get that same luxury in the next round.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

if these guys are so seriously injured, give other guys a chance. there's a reason we were so successful in the fall despite having half our lineup out with injuries. giving an "injured" mike green or a pegleg poti first pair ice time is insane. and if these guys are so hurt, imagine if we had won and moved on. then what? at some point the tank will hit empty, which it did tonight.

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:44 AM | Report abuse

And for anyone out there--is it our defensive players or is the defensive system/coach?

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

look, defensively the only 2 players who clearly sucked were Green and Poti. The other 4 D weren't bad. The real issue in the Pens series was that our forwards refused to forecheck and take the puck down the middle. They were content to make plays from the outside, and except for our 3rd line the other forwards simply did not get the puck in deep and work the boards. That makes it very hard on our defense. Also, our forwards don't like to backcheck. That's another reason the Pens were successful, their forwards all backcheck.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:44 AM | Report abuse

for those who say penalties do not explain our loss: even if they don't, it was f***ing bullsh** when we got called for that first slash. And i for one think the refs were trying to help Pitt win.

Posted by: ralph4100 | May 14, 2009 1:46 AM | Report abuse

controversial statement but i'm gonna go with it: we should see what we can get for semin. the guy is exceptionally skilled, but our team has a penchant for getting way too cute. he can definitely be soft. we could get an awful lot for a guy like that on the market from a team that's got the grit guys but no finisher. thoughts?

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

I know Bruce walks on water with most Caps fans, and he should get a lot of credit for bringing out the creativity and skill in this team. But he clearly favors offensive over defense, and his team knows it. Thats why we make so many turnovers and are so careless with the puck. There's no repercussions with Bruce. He just pays lip service to "defensive hockey" and I think he feels his team will just outscore everyone else. Thats why he puts Semin and Flash on our PK unit, neither one of those two have any idea how to play the puck on the halfwall, they don't assist the D in clearing the puck. HIGH RISK HIGH REWARD. Yeah once in a while we'll score a shortie, but most of the time we're just hangin our D and goalie out to dry.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

controversial statement but i'm gonna go with it: we should see what we can get for semin. the guy is exceptionally skilled, but our team has a penchant for getting way too cute. he can definitely be soft. we could get an awful lot for a guy like that on the market from a team that's got the grit guys but no finisher. thoughts?

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

sign me up. Semin made too many turnovers, he killed the flow on way too many offensive rushes, and he failed to clear the puck too many times because he overhandles it and fumbles it away. And he doesn't drive the net. He's timid. And if he's nursing an injury, he's even more timid. Orpik easily and effectively got into Semin's head. too easily.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

@ralph

you can take away pitt's PP goals, and it still would've been a dominating victory for the pens. i think the officiating was questionable for much of the series, but what can you do? it certainly didn't cause us to lose, we lost this series ourselves.

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

cstanton, so then it is part of our system that's wrong in that we don't make our forwards backcheck? I thought our defense was supposed to "quickly" get the puck to our forwards and since our defense weren't being "quick" about it, we kept getting stuck in our own zone. Or is part of the problem that the Pens forward are a lot faster than our D?

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Don't know where to start.BB was outcoached this game...had no idea how to change the momentum(Pens were down 3-0 in game 6 against Philly,Talbot starts a fight,gets his butt kicked,and whamo,Pens go on to score the next 5 goals to win the series....hello???).Has anyone watched the other series(I've watched every game of every series.....fights,scrums,nastiest everywhere,PLAYOFF hockey).GMGM as built a great regular-season team,but has NO IDEA how to build a PLAYOFF team.We have too many "soft" players,too many "fancy,pretty boys" who have no idea how to win a street fight,and make no mistake,playoff hockey is just that.I'm sorry I'm a STH for next year,because for every game they win at home,for every great goal scored by Green,Semin,and Ovie,I'll be thinking....what can you do in the post-season?

Posted by: roccky | May 14, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

right, unless the refs gave us 10 PPs a game, we weren't going to get more quality scoring chances than Pittsburgh. They moved around in our zone with ease all series long. Everything finally just caught upto us. If we'd come out harder tonight, it would have been an easier pill to swallow. Looks like Boudreau has no control over which team decides to show up on any given night.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

semin and flash top a long list of guys that are scared to crash the net. again, if you look at crosby's shot chart, he scored all but one from about a foot away from the goal. laich seems to be one of few that go hard at the goalie. i mean, varly took a beating this series and i can barely remember MAF getting bumped. kozlov is another guy i think we could do without - a skilled guy that's a career underachiever.

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

@ralph: The Penguins didn't need the refs to help them win tonight. The Caps did a fine job of that on their own.

The refs didn't stop Ovechkin from scoring on that breakaway. They didn't stop the D from messing up simple clears from their own zone. And they didn't stop Semin from reacting like he's never held a hockey stick on ice before when the puck came to him tonight.

Posted by: writered21 | May 14, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

roccky, I agree BB was outcoached this whole series to be honest. Everyone talks about how smart he is and how he can make adjustments, but that didn't happen this series.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

if ovie had scored on that breakaway, i think this would have been a completely different game. getting that first goal would've settled them down and it would've at least been a game

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

SC87, EVERY team commits at least one penalty EVERY game, whether fans want to admit it or not. Whether the refs award a power play is a different story, but nobody plays 100% clean hockey, even teams like detroit. would it have made a difference tonight? no. maybe 6-3 or 6-4 at best if we get a couple of power plays, but still a loss. that doesn't make what the refs did right.

Posted by: capsfansteve | May 14, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

We have too many "soft" players,too many "fancy,pretty boys" who have no idea how to win a street fight,and make no mistake,playoff hockey is just that.I'm sorry I'm a STH for next year,because for every game they win at home,for every great goal scored by Green,Semin,and Ovie,I'll be thinking....what can you do in the post-season?

Posted by: roccky | May 14, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

with our luck, the lesson that McPhee will take from this playoff series is that we need more skill players to handle the puck better. Instead of realizing that our most effective players were our 3rd line checkers.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

this sets up a really intriguing goalie situation going into next year, especially with johnson being a UFA and theo being on contract for another year. don't forget about Neuvirth in Hershey

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

i mean, varly took a beating this series and i can barely remember MAF getting bumped. kozlov is another guy i think we could do without - a skilled guy that's a career underachiever.

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't this very thing happen in our loss to the Flyers LAST season also? hartnell and upshall got away with murder in our crease while we didn't even come close to their goalie. S o f t.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 1:58 AM | Report abuse

yeah i still don't know about McPhee. flashes on brilliance couple with some real mind-bogglers. this sure should make for an interesting off-season, b/c i know he's as embarrassed as anyone by this loss.

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 1:59 AM | Report abuse

SC87, EVERY team commits at least one penalty EVERY game, whether fans want to admit it or not. Whether the refs award a power play is a different story, but nobody plays 100% clean hockey, even teams like detroit. would it have made a difference tonight? no. maybe 6-3 or 6-4 at best if we get a couple of power plays, but still a loss. that doesn't make what the refs did right.

Posted by: capsfansteve | May 14, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

by the same token, we rec'd breaks also. What if Ovey had rec'd a 5 min major for kneeing and a game misconduct? I mean,it cuts both ways. The biggest thing I noticed was the Penguins "initiated" contact and we just reacted to it. This team's personality is to not stir the pot if possible.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

absolutely. i think it just comes down to that fear of getting hit. philly and pitt, as much as a friggin hate them, know how to get the job done around the crease and get to work. even if their net crashing verges on dirty, it's effective and gets into the goalies' heads.

Posted by: nwilson2 | May 14, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
You've gotta admit that the ref'ing was pretty uneven in this series. It had nothing to do with the loss tonight (although I suppose it could have impacted the score, but not necessarily the outcome). The Caps were simply outplayed tonight. Sad but true. That was arguably not only their worst game of the series or the playoffs, but of the season. Unbelievable. So the ref'ing didn't cost them the game tonight, but it could be argued that it cost them the series. No matter, it is what it is ... time to look forward.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 14, 2009 2:08 AM | Report abuse

capsfansteve:
"EVERY team commits at least one penalty EVERY game"
Except the Pens tonight ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 14, 2009 2:11 AM | Report abuse

my thoughts, this was a long time coming for those paying attention.

http://imbroglioh.blogspot.com/2009/05/esthetics-dont-equal-success.html

Posted by: rea232 | May 14, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Boo--

see the next part of my post(Whether the refs award a power play is a different story), if your Pittsburgh brain can handle a multiple sentence paragraph :P.

Posted by: capsfansteve | May 14, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

I forget how this works, can anyone help. Are players such as Beagle and Varly able to go back down to Hershey and help them in their playoffs?

I know Neuvirth is playing awesome, but having Varly there as a starter/backup would be awesome.

Posted by: graig82 | May 14, 2009 2:19 AM | Report abuse

capsfansteve:
LOL!!! I am a longtime Caps fan and STH, thank you very much! In fact, I was a regular here for years until recently, but I think a few folks here can still vouch for me. I was being facetious because it was just another example of uneven officiating (not that the Caps never got lucky when it came to calls, but they seemed to be on the losing end more often than not). So stand down, soldier - there's no battle here.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 14, 2009 2:21 AM | Report abuse

rea232, nice blog, but I think in the second paragraph, you have a couple of times where you say Penguins when you meant to say Capitals. I can agree with a lot of what you wrote though.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse

graig82:
Yes they can and I would assume that they will, although I would guess that BW would ride the hot hand.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 14, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Boo:
Thanks, I thought so, but I didn't know if there were any sort of games played in the NHL playoff rule.

And I agree, I think they ride Neuvirth, but to give him a night off somewhere would be nice. Beagle will get back in the lineup though. And I think those are the only two Caps that would play in Hershey, that I can think of.

Posted by: graig82 | May 14, 2009 2:27 AM | Report abuse

graig82:
Yup - I agree, and I may just have to make the trip to Hershey to get my hockey on.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 14, 2009 2:33 AM | Report abuse

definitely the worst time of the year to come out with a gutless lousy effort, thats for sure boo :)

but at least we showed enough grit to get past the Rangers. Hopefully this offseason we get some chippier nastier players to occupy our top lines and show the rest of our skill guys that it takes more than just finesse hockey to win in the playoffs

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Boo:
Same, I am only about an hour and a half away. I will definitely go to see a game or two.

Posted by: graig82 | May 14, 2009 2:36 AM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
I agree across the board. Regarding your last comment, that's why I hated to see Cooke go - I thought he brought some of that grit to the Caps and yet he still 'fit'. Surely GMGM will be on the hunt for that/D in the offseason.

BTW, new thread! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 14, 2009 2:40 AM | Report abuse

graig82:
Maybe I will see you there! BTW, tickets are a bargain compared to the Caps ... the savings more than covers the gas! :-)

cstanton1:
P.S. Please tell Steve that I am NOT a Pens fan!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 14, 2009 2:42 AM | Report abuse

system mostly works, coach is mostly good, players are mostly good. owner is one of the best in the league.


coach got outcoached in the 3 nhl playoff series he's been in. however, he didn't make the same mistake he made last year against philly (not switching goalies early in response to huet getting run over). i think he'll be better next year.

my issue with the team was that the forwards didn't dump in and fight along boards or take the extra step to get room on their d- man in order to be able to go to the net (as opposed to shooting from outside the circles). having that be a problem for one period is a player issue. having that be a problem for two play off series is a coaching issues.

erskine really stepped up his game and laich really showed he'd do anything to help the team win, even if it meant driving the zamboni. semin showed determination and skill. i believe the injury was a major issue and the "fans" should get off his back.

Posted by: am_jim | May 14, 2009 2:59 AM | Report abuse

Enough said about the lack of penalties. When the Caps did go on the power play, they stood around passing the puck around the perimeter. Did not attack the net. Regarding dealing Semin, I'm for it. He is talented but too soft. The Caps need to rid themselves of several Europeans. Semin being one, Kozlov the other. They need someone like Crosby to collect garbage goals. They may not be pretty but count none the less. BB should be questioned on his inability to motivate this squad. Too many times throughout the year, this team has come out flat and played uninspired hockey. BB must start to revamp his defensive scheme if he has one. They need stay at home d-men who can clear the puck!!! He must also demand forechecking and backchecking from these guys and start benching those who will not comply. This team is close but needs four to five new faces.

Posted by: jnjensor | May 14, 2009 3:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm a 20yr+ Pens fan but want to truly tell you Caps fans what a great and promising team you guys have. It's nice to see some real hockey smarts on this blog from a number of you.

Shore up the D and balance the great attack/transition that you guys have with a little more defensive discipline and grit and your journeys into the post season will only go further in the future.

This was a great series (all year long) and I look forward to our matchups, (both playoff and regular season) for years to come.

I have a legitimate question though. I'm not trying to stir up a hornets nest or anything but just a fan of the game trying to get your perspective.

What is it about Ted that makes so many people say he is one of the best owners in the league? I'm not knocking him, although I find his ticketing policy a little childish even though I live in Denver, I just don't quite understand what he has done that makes you guys love him so much.

Thanks for the input and seriously, congratulations on a great season and an even greater future.

Posted by: cjgracey | May 14, 2009 5:13 AM | Report abuse

cjgracey, from my perspective, here's a couple of reasons why I like Ted so much:

At the games, he's out in the hallways interacting with the fans.

He answers all of his emails himself.

He wants to win.

He built a great training facility for the team.

The players, coaches all love him.

He made a mistake with Jagr and admitted it.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Pens do something similiar to keep Detroit people from buying tickets last year? Although I'm not a big fan of Ted doing that, he just wanted to make sure that the locals had the first crack at getting tickets. From my own personal experience, I can tell you that 1/5 of my friends are from Pittsburgh and live down here, so it wasn't like there wasn't going to be any Pens fans. Not to put down your city 'cause I know it's improved, but I'm guessing that the job market isn't as good 'cause otherwise why are there so many people from Pittsburgh living down here? Maybe you have an answer for me.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 5:54 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully, GMGM changes his tune in the offseason about how he feels regarding the current top 6 defenders. They are absolutely not good enough. Period.

Posted by: writered21 | May 14, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

THIS is the post of the night/day. It's all I've been saying since Game 1 of this series.

Posted by: bundy44 | May 14, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Going into this series, and last year's against Philly - wasn't Semin our leading scorer and best player in the playoffs?

Obviously he has an upper body injury (probably hand or shoulder) and that affected his play. Then you go back to early in the season, before he got hurt and he was the best player in the league. I'd rather keep him and see if we can get him some toughness on his line to keep him healthy all season.

Posted by: eddiepanic | May 14, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

irockthered - are you kidding me complaining about the officiating...it was 6 - 2??? are you the guy who after their son/daughter loses a game...you pull them aside and say oh don't worry about it...it was the officals fault you lost your game...get a life!

Posted by: dcpensfan | May 14, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The Caps had a great season and are only a couple of players away from being a true contender for the cup. We could have used another scorer with toughness like Guerin and another center who can score/create would have helped as well. Biggest area to improve on is on the defensive side as we need at least one, maybe two, defensive minded defenseman like Pittsburgh has to clear the crease. The fact that the Caps never were able to move Crosby and Co. out of the crease was a glaring weakness.

Don't think we should be singling out Green or Semin who both were clearly playing with injuries that affected their ability to shoot and handle the puck. Green looked like he had a bum shoulder since the Rangers series and Semin wasn't the same after getting slashed in Game 1.

As much as I hate to admit it, Pittsburgh was deeper and more experienced which showed in Game 7.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 14, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

dcpensfan,

Are you kidding me coming onto to a Caps blog? You get a life and go over to the Pens blog.

capsfansteve, you just showed that you are a bandwagon fan or at least a newbie to this blog. Boo has been here forever.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | May 14, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

And the 3 Caps penalties - two were totally obvious - Federov running down someone after a check and whacking someone in the face and drawing blood will always get you a penalty. Oh wait you did that TWICE and only got it called once, or else it would've been 7-2.

Posted by: rdzbach | May 14, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

dcpensfan,

Are you kidding me coming onto to a Caps blog? You get a life and go over to the Pens blog.

capsfansteve, you just showed that you are a bandwagon fan or at least a newbie to this blog. Boo has been here forever.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan
Whoa big fella, Why do you hate so much? The guys had an honest opinion and a sincere question. You are the type of fan that makes me embarassed to take my G-Kids to the games

Posted by: CapCenterholdover | May 14, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

For DFE1 - Not to put down your city 'cause I know it's improved, but I'm guessing that the job market isn't as good 'cause otherwise why are there so many people from Pittsburgh living down here? Maybe you have an answer for me.

The answer is indeed many of the white collar type jobs are indeed in DC, Atlanta, Carolina, Texas and.... I am not from PA but have found that most of the people who have left PA do so only for the employment and would go back if given the chance. I think that says something for the loyalty to the area. At least the business in Pittsburgh are mostly self-supportive, not tax supported.

Posted by: rdzbach | May 14, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Why is everyone blasting Irockthered?
He didn't say that the officials were the reason the caps lost the game or the series. He just mentioned that there were several missed calls, and there were missed calls on both sides, and he had a quote about last nites game being the only time regular season and play-offs they never had atleast one PP oppertunity.

It was a great series, one that was watched wolrd wide. This should be a great rivarly in years to come, and I am looking forward to it already!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | May 14, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

rdzbach, well, most of my friend from pittsburgh work in maryland or va, and their businesses aren't tax supported either. And ALL but one of my Pitt friends want to stay here and don't want to go back. But I will say that I've only met one family from Pitt that has changed their allegance as far as sports--they're still Steelers fans, but they're Caps fans over Pens.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Crosby on the Series
"I just wanted to prove to Alexandra Semen that I'm really nothing special." I hope I got my point across, especially tonight!"

Posted by: marsid | May 14, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

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