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Posted at 12:33 PM ET, 12/21/2010

Caps look to get power play clicking again vs. Devils

By Greg Schimmel

The Caps have converted just two of 24 power-play opportunities over their past six games, and they are hoping some extra effort close to the net will help to turn things around.

The team has emphasized getting more bodies near the crease when it has a man advantage the past couple of games, with the thought being that goals resulting from a bad bounce or scrappy effort down low count the same as a goal coming off a slick pass or fancy individual effort.

"When things aren't going well you want to sort of simplify a lot," winger Andrew Gordon said. "So you shoot a few more pucks from the point and wait for a lucky bounce to hit you or something. That's what we're trying to do instead of make a lot of those seam passes that only work when you're winning 6-0."

Gordon's work in front of the net was key in center Mathieu Perrault's game winner Sunday in Ottawa, the Caps' only power-play goal in six chances in the 3-2 win.

It was exactly the type of the play the Caps have been talking about, and the fact that it came from secondary scorers was telling.

Sound positioning and grit can sometimes take you as far as skill.

"We haven't done a great job of finding pucks after the initial shot, and a lot of times it's just that they're outnumbering us in front," winger Mike Knuble said. "We're just trying to get more numbers there and have some layers. Not only a guy in the crease but also somebody 10, 15 feet in front of him trying to grab a long rebound."

One well-timed goal by the second unit certainly isn't much proof that the Caps are finding their way out of their power-play funk, but a couple of extra-man goals could get the momentum going back in a good direction.

The Caps' power play will face a tough unit tonight against the Devils. Despite New Jersey's woeful record this season, its penalty-kill success rate of 83.9 percent is the eighth best in the league.

"Anytime you get one of those cheesy goals, it kind of motivates you and makes you more hungry to score more," defenseman Mike Green said. "If you can get one to go in off somebody's arm or leg or something, then usually things roll from there."

By Greg Schimmel  | December 21, 2010; 12:33 PM ET
Categories:  Power play  
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Next: Injury-riddled Devils have had it even worse than Caps

Comments

well now... caps sign Erksine to extension... 2 years, 1.5 mil per season...

http://capitals.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=546659

http://www.capgeek.com/charts.php?Team=30

Posted by: FrankM73 | December 21, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

wow, where have I been, didn't even see that the erskine extension was from the 17th... my bad all!!

Posted by: FrankM73 | December 21, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Here' what Yandle had to say about Cooke. Yes, I'm glad the Caps don't have Cooke on their team. I find it disgusting that people actually commend him for intentionally breaking the rules in an attempt to cheap shot another person trying to severely injure another person's head and brain. It's shameless and disgusting, and he has done it multiple times.

"It's just a dirty hit," Yandle said. "Dirty player. He's got no respect."

Yandle believed Cooke attempted to injure him with the Penguins leading, 5-0, and shorthanded at the time of the hit.

"I mean, he's killing a penalty, and he's coming like that," Yandle said. "His only intent was to hurt me with his hands high like that, and I hope they (the NHL) review it."

Yandle said Cooke turned down an invitation to fight and believes he should be suspended for five games.

"They're up 5-0, and he cowers away from all our guys. I mean, every guy on our team tried to fight him."

Posted by: sgm3 | December 21, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

From the Devils' beat reporter's Fire and Ice blog:

The Devils’ two previous games against the Capitals have been at opposite ends of the spectrum. They lost 7-2 in Washington on Oct. 9 annd then beat the Capitals, 5-0, on Nov. 22 at Prudential Center.

“We struggled the last game here for sure and coming off a tough game we have to play hard,” MacLean said. “We had a good game against them in our building, so we have to be prepared and we have to work.”

Verizon Center can be a difficult place to play. The Capitals are 12-4-3 at home this season and have sold out their last 78 games at Verizon Center.

“They get loud in here,” MacLean said. “They support their team really well. We have to keep our emotions in check also and be ready. They come out hard. They’re ready to play. We have to be patient and capitalize on the opportunities we get.”

Goaltender Martin Brodeur will start his sixth game in a row. He mentioned after the 7-2 loss here on Oct. 9 that he had trouble picking up the puck at times because of the sea of red shirts in the stands. (Almost all Capitals’ fans wear red shirts to home games as part of the “Rock your Red” movement).

“It’s just something that goaltenders notice that maybe someone else wouldn’t,” Brodeur said. “You notice during the winter that the fans wear darker clothing (for winter coats).”

Posted by: Thisistheyear | December 21, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

what is this frank, groundhog day?

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

SGM, only you would act surprised and shocked by something that Matt Cooke has made a habit of his entire career. For XMAS I'm going to buy you a hockey dictionary so you can go look up the words "hockey agitator"

Because apparently you have no clue what that term means.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

sgm3-Yandle's comments are the standard NHL player repsonse. "He's dirty and no one respects him". IMO, 95% of these guys can be labeled dirty and would injure an opponent if given the chance.

I wouldn't want a Matt Cooke player alone. He would get our players a$$es kicked. Pair him with a few tough guys like the Pens have and he's a valuable asset.

Posted by: ablake70 | December 21, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"Yandle said Cooke turned down an invitation to fight "

gee, that's never happened before. Cooke, turn down an invitation to fight? Whats next? Claude Lemieux lays someone out with a questionable hit and then refuses to answer for it instead letting his teammates jump in instead?

How bewildering. For some of us anyway.

Still doesn't change the fact that Matt Cooke is an integral part of the Pens' success and he was very good for the Caps as well.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1:

Would you trade Semin for Cooke?

Posted by: will111 | December 21, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Take a step back from your hockey view and just look at it from a life perspective. Cooke has repeatedly cheap shotted people in the head and has caused some permanent brain injury(Marc Savard). That is despicable.

It is one thing to accidently hurt someone while playing within the rules, it is another to cheap shot someone's head and put them at serious risk. You are talking about shortening a person's lifespan and shortening the quality of that lifespan considerably.

Your defense is "Cooke is a hockey agitator". That somehow makes it okay for him to shorten another person's lifespan and quality of life. That is wrong. Cheap shots to the head are not an assumed risk of playing hockey. That falls out of the assumed risk.

It is one thing to be pesky, but to take cheap shots at a player's head is unbelievably wrong. Even Sean Avery doesn't do that(I don't think).

If you truly believe that it is okay for a player to take a cheap shot at someone's head because it is a part of hockey then that says a lot about you as a person. You would be the same person who in 1860 would have supported slavery because that's how things were instead of trying to figure out what was right.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 21, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

i fear this "holier-than-thou" good-guy noble persona is shared by more than just a fan like sgm. I think that flawed reasoning goes all the way to the top of this org.

Maybe we can raise a banner to the rafters at Verizon Ctr that states "Washington Caps - Team Lady Byng Winner"

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1:

Would you trade Semin for Cooke?

Posted by: will111

Of course cstanton would make that trade. He'd trade Semin for a hamburger and fries!

Posted by: ablake70 | December 21, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

as to the comment on Engelland jumping in (as did Asham btw).

We should be so lucky as to have a strong capable willing aggressive player like Engelland on this team. The same fans criticizing him would be applauding him if he jumped on a Flyer or Ranger who was tormenting one of our stars. As opposed to reactions by guys like Poti and Sarge who look for the nearest exit.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1:

Would you trade Semin for Cooke?

Posted by: will111

no but I'd trade you for a contributing member of this board.

To trade a 40+ goal scorer for a solid checking line forward is stupid. You should be able to get at least Cooke AND Kunitz.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:

Answer the question... would you trade Semin for Cooke?

Posted by: will111 | December 21, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1:

Would you trade Semin for Cooke?

Posted by: will111 | December 21, 2010 1:38 PM

Has a more asinine question ever been asked?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Awesome.... so he's not THAT integral to the Pens.

Posted by: will111 | December 21, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Your defense is "Cooke is a hockey agitator". That somehow makes it okay for him to shorten another person's lifespan and quality of life. That is wrong. Cheap shots to the head are not an assumed risk of playing hockey. That falls out of the assumed risk.

--sgm--

what was your opinion of Mark Messier? He took at least as many if not more cheap shots at players than Matt Cooke ever has.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"Sound positioning and grit can sometimes take you as far as skill."

That sums up the Caps failures perfectly!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 21, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Awesome.... so he's not THAT integral to the Pens.

Posted by: will111

integral enough to be a key member of their Cup winning roster and get an extension.

So in that respect, way more valuable than Semin.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1:

I think its a completely fair question. So many people on this board think so little of Semin and do NOT think he is integral to this team and that we need more people like Cooke. If that's the case and Cooke is so integral to the teams he is on, I think it is completely logical to ask some of the people that find very little value in Semin what they would be willing to trade him for.

I think you don't like the question because it exposes the hypocrisy of so much of the garbage statements that are made on this board.

Posted by: will111 | December 21, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

what was your opinion of Mark Messier? He took at least as many if not more cheap shots at players than Matt Cooke ever has.

Posted by: cstanton1

If Messier took intentional cheap shots to opposing players' heads then that is despicable also.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 21, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Take a step back from your hockey view and just look at it from a life perspective. Cooke has repeatedly cheap shotted people in the head and has caused some permanent brain injury(Marc Savard). That is despicable.

--sgm---

no more despicable then hundreds of other actions in this league. I don't take issue with the statement that head shots can cause permanent brain injuries. I take issue with your lack of understanding as to how prevalent this is in hockey. Or how you pretend that Cooke's accomplishments in this game are only that of a cheapshotter. You can get cheapshot thugs a dime a dozen. Just go to the LNAH.

Matt Cooke is a valuable member of any team he has been part of. That's why he's stuck around so long. If we had him (again), he'd automatically be our #1 forechecker and one of our top defensive forwards. So lets not paint him with one broad brushstroke and throw our hands up in dismay because **shocker** he hit someone in a questionable fashion. You sound like you just walked out of a flower garden into the nhl.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1:

See cstanton1 does see him as more valuable and logic would lead you to believe that if one sees Cooke as more valuable than Semin then the trade would make sense.

If you think the question was asinine, I would love to see what you think of his response.

Posted by: will111 | December 21, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

cstanton is the Cooke of this blog

Posted by: boomer44 | December 21, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I think you don't like the question because it exposes the hypocrisy of so much of the garbage statements that are made on this board.

Posted by: will111

Well said.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 21, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I think you don't like the question because it exposes the hypocrisy of so much of the garbage statements that are made on this board.

Posted by: will111

look, sgm's little brother.

The question is asinine because its overly simplistic and shows little understanding of how different players can complement their respective teams. Just because I may like Deryk Engelland and dislike aspects of Sarge's game, I wouldn't necessarily do a 1 for 1 trade there either.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

sgm3-These guys throw elbows to the head, board guys, and are looking to injure opponents every game. I remember in the 2009 SCF, Saint Sid looking around for the refs before slashing Datysuk in his broken foot. These guys will do anything to win. There are a number of guys on the Caps with this same mentality, including our captain. That's hockey. It's a dangerous, violent sport.

Posted by: ablake70 | December 21, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I will mention a former Cap that was an extreme agitator and his number hangs from the rafters I think.....Dale Hunter, did you ever defend his actions sgm3???

Posted by: PhilR | December 21, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

That's a dumb question to ask in the first place. It's the type of question that says more about the person asking it than the person responding to it.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 21, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Well said.

Posted by: sgm3

You get the "self-serving" poster of this blog award.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

i fear this "holier-than-thou" good-guy noble persona is shared by more than just a fan like sgm. I think that flawed reasoning goes all the way to the top of this org.

Maybe we can raise a banner to the rafters at Verizon Ctr that states "Washington Caps - Team Lady Byng Winner"

Posted by: cstanton1

It's good to see the old cstanton back. I was agreeing way too much with you there for a while.

I don't want dirty players who take cheap shots. If that means we don't win a cup, then fine. We don't win a cup. I don't remember the Red Wings having any of those guys, and maybe I'm missing someone, but I don't recall anyone like that on Chicago either.

I understand that you and many other fans value winning more than playing within the rules, but there are some of us who have principles. And we're )or at least I am) willing to forgo a championship, if it means we continue to not be a dirty team.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | December 21, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

If Messier took intentional cheap shots to opposing players' heads then that is despicable also.

Posted by: sgm3 |

IF ? don't you know? I thought your little computer told you everything.

Good, so we can then agree that Matt Cooke is one of several hundred NHL players over the past 3 decades who have hit other players in their heads. And yet bring other skills to the table.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

TheDoubleAlex,

Bob Probert and Darren McCarty ring any bells??

Posted by: PhilR | December 21, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

These guys throw elbows to the head, board guys, and are looking to injure opponents every game. I remember in the 2009 SCF, Saint Sid looking around for the refs before slashing Datysuk in his broken foot. These guys will do anything to win. There are a number of guys on the Caps with this same mentality, including our captain. That's hockey. It's a dangerous, violent sport.

Posted by: ablake70 |

I agree that hockey is a dangerous sport and people will get injured. When you decide to play the sport you assume the risk of many types of injuries.

However, cheap shots to the head is not one. You have to judge every case by its facts, but there are some actions that are considered outside the assumed risk.

Such as if a player is skating down the ice and an opposing player whacks him in the head with his stick. That is not part of the assumed risk. Getting illegally and intentionally smashed in the head is not park of the assumed risk.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 21, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Anyone whining about Cooke's penalties should probably at least realize he'd have helped the team last spring since they did better on the PK than on the power play. 2 shorties, if I'm not mistaken.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 21, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

will: Here's my point, then it's off to lunch. Semin has way more value than Cooke. Everyone knows that, see their salaries for an NHL determination. Every team needs a Cooke though (except we don't have one, and they are easier to get than a Semin) and every team should have a Semin (we have two, counting Ovi).

So we have two Semins and zero Cookes. Having two Semins is a luxury few teams enjoy. Having no Cookes is stupid since they are far easier to find. It's really hard to win though with two Semins and no Cookes (you need agitation). If you trade one of your Semins, you could get a Semin Light and a Cooke in return. At least.

You don't need a guy just like Cooke. My all-time fave was Dino Ciccarelli. He combined Semin and Cooke in one package. That's what you REALLY want. Or a guy like Tocchet. Can we get one please?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 21, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:

Ok so do you think Cooke "complimented" the Caps more than Semin?

Posted by: will111 | December 21, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Dale Hunter, did you ever defend his actions sgm3???

Posted by: PhilR |

not unless GM traded for him.


"I don't remember the Red Wings having any of those guys"

Their dynasty in the late 90s sure had a few players who crossed the line. If you're referring to the most recent Wings team then the examples are less but you still had guys like Cleary hitting guys from behind or up high. What about Kirk Maltby? He was the Matt Cooke of his generation. Other teams hated him because of his hitting and refusal to then fight.

Why not mention the Pens? Or the Ducks? Why leave them out?

failure to put a Matt Cooke into the right historical context is non-productive.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

( agree that hockey is a dangerous sport and people will get injured. When you decide to play the sport you assume the risk of many types of injuries.
---sgm---

really? So Ovechkin's hitting isn't dangerous? You don't have a problem with knee-t-knee hits but you draw the line at headshots? How convenient for you.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

IF ? don't you know? I thought your little computer told you everything.

Good, so we can then agree that Matt Cooke is one of several hundred NHL players over the past 3 decades who have hit other players in their heads. And yet bring other skills to the table.

Posted by: cstanton1

Just because others have done it before does not make it right.

You would have been the same person who in 1860 would have supported slavery because that's how things were done before instead of trying to figure out what was right.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 21, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1 :

Ovi is not Semin.

Posted by: will111 | December 21, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

You would have been the same person who in 1860 would have supported slavery because that's how things were done before instead of trying to figure out what was right.


Posted by: sgm3

I definitely would have enslaved your little butt and made you watch enough hockey from the past 20 yrs so you'd have a clue on how prevalent certain things are that you pretend are isolated incidents.

you act like teams waltz their way to the Cup without breaking a few eggs in the process. Like I said before, your naivete knows no bounds.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

PhilR -

Nope.

@cstanton -

"Why not mention the Pens? Or the Ducks? Why leave them out?"

Because they're not important to the point. No one denies you can win cups with agitators like Cooke. What I'm pointing out is that you can also win championships without players like him.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | December 21, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

You would have been the same person who in 1860 would have supported slavery because that's how things were done before instead of trying to figure out what was right.


Posted by: sgm3


Uh-oh, that is the second time I have seen that comment, how many more times will we see this little gem. I'm sure it will get just as overused as the Commodore quote a few weeks back.

Posted by: PhilR | December 21, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:

Ok so do you think Cooke "complimented" [sic] the Caps more than Semin?

Posted by: will111 |

In the playoffs? Sure he did. He brought it on every shift and set a tone the rest of the team was able to follow. His benefits on the ice aren't as easily quantifiable as are Semin's. Cooke's energy and aggressiveness was infectious and a chief reason the Caps were able to somewhat match the Flyers intensity (and in fact, they surpassed the Flyers physicality and intensity in at least 2 games that series). Guys like Matt Cooke are appreciated by teams like the Pens because they understand his overall benefit extends past his scoresheet. Teams like the Caps, don't understand that. And apparently, neither do some fans.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"So many people on this board think so little of Semin and do NOT think he is integral to this team "

I like Semin. =)

Sign him up...4 years $6.2 per.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 21, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

So this is more related to the subject of the post vs. the current matt cooke debate, but why is Ovi still on the point for the powerplay with semin out of the lineup. Wouldn't it make sense to bump him down to sasha's position, move green to the top, and put carlson in greens position? Or does this completely go against BBs shooting side bias?

Posted by: chatton | December 21, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

TheDoubleAlex,

How in the world could you have never heard of either one of those guys if you have followed hockey for any time at all?! Heck, Probert just passed away this year of a heart attack and that was all over the NHL newswires (he was only 45 BTW so he did not play that long ago).

Posted by: PhilR | December 21, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't go that far, since they traded for him initially, drafted SDR, signed Hendricks (who is a similar player), keep Bradley around, drafted Sutherby initially, and expressed hope that DJ King would be an agitator and a fighter.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 21, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Because they're not important to the point. No one denies you can win cups with agitators like Cooke. What I'm pointing out is that you can also win championships without players like him.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex

So you're going to try and defeat the odds then is what you're saying. You want to try and find that one needle-in-a-haystack example of some team that won the Cup that may or may not have a Cooke type of player on the team?

ok, at least I know where you stand. I'm not being sarcastic either. I can appreciate your desire to have your team aspire to a 'higher' level of morality. But I personally find that approach unnecessary. Its hard enough to win a championship in any sport let alone the NHL. To then further complicate matters and try to do it in a way that very few teams may have done is ....well you see my point.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't go that far, since they traded for him initially, drafted SDR, signed Hendricks (who is a similar player), keep Bradley around, drafted Sutherby initially, and expressed hope that DJ King would be an agitator and a fighter.

Posted by: GFisher1

every org, even the softest ones, have examples like that. Where do you think Sean Avery started out at? Detroit.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:

If sgm naivete knows no bounds, your hypocrisy knows no bounds. You have said time and again that the playoffs are all that matter. You have also said that Cooke has been way more effective in the playoffs than Semin. ... And yet not only do you say that you wouldn't make the trade, you challenge the question as being too simplistic.

You can insult me all you want. I did ask a simple question and all I got from you was inconsistency. Now I'm not even sure you believe what you type.

Posted by: will111 | December 21, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton -

It's not a needle-in-the-haystack proposition. It's not like a Cooke is integral to winning a cup. And as I said, I understand that you and others value winning over everything else, but I don't. I value good sportsmanship and generally being a good human being more than winning. I wish more people did.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | December 21, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

really? So Ovechkin's hitting isn't dangerous? You don't have a problem with knee-t-knee hits but you draw the line at headshots? How convenient for you.

Posted by: cstanton1

If you really can't differentiate the type(intent to injure versus reckless) of hit Ovie's knee on knee hit was and the long term effects of it compared to a guy coming up and deliberately cheap shotting another player in the head, then you are hopeless.

The type of person you are is becoming quite clear. The type who enjoys watching people get mamed for their own enjoyment. I find it disgusting when "fans" take pleasure in seeing players get seriously injured. Especially head injuries. The amount of people those injuries effects(the injured player himself and his family, wife, kids, etc.) is lost on you.

So go ahead and continue to applaud players like Cooke for cheap shotting others in the head. I have no desire to communicate anymore with a person such as yourself.

Have a good day and I hope at some point in your you will realize that this is only a game and not life and death.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 21, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

btw, you can also win Cups with the Alex Semins and Jeff Schultz's of the world. In fact, some may say you can't win Cups with players like that. But at the very least, you can win Cups without them and there is no evidence you need players like that.

So lets dump them like we dumped Cooke.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Cooke has been more effective in the playoffs than Semin.

What's the issue?

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 21, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

@GFisher1:

The only issue I have is why cstanton1 says he wouldn't trade Semin for Cooke when Cooke has been more effective in the playoffs than Semin. And we all know the playoffs are all that matter.

Posted by: will111 | December 21, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

All this sportsmanship talk is self serving garbage. You better believe that if it's game 7 OT and some one is in the slot like Savard and a Cap lets up on a hit he'd be crucified on here. I want players who will make that hit to stay alive in the playoffs. If you don't then you should probably stop watching hockey. either that, or learn hockey to begin with.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 21, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The issue is that some folks on here think Cooke=the Devil and that Semin's disappearing playoff act is how you win Cups.


"If you really can't differentiate the type(intent to injure versus reckless) of hit Ovie's knee on knee hit was and the long term effects of it compared to a guy coming up and deliberately cheap shotting another player in the head, then you are hopeless"

so lets get you on record SGM3. You're on record as saying you don't have a problem with knee on knee hits because you don't suffer brain damage from them, correct ? So basically any hit on any player you're ok with no matter the injury as long as its not long term concussion issues.

Got it.

You're right Will, no hypocrisy there at all.

Now lets revisit this if Semin gets injured on a knee to knee hit someday. I'd love to get your NON-HYPOCRITICAL reactions.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I would trade Semin for Viktor Kozlov and Sergei Fedorov.

Has anyone else seen these stupid stories about how the Caps should get Brodeur (on Puck Daddy and somewhere else). This is just dumb, nobody wants this old bag of dirt with 1.5 years on a contract that pays him 5 mill a year. The only goalie I would trade for right now would be Cristobal Huet in his 2008 form.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | December 21, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

It's not like a Cooke is integral to winning a cup.
------------------Alex--------------

you dig around deep enough and I bet you'll find more Cooke-type players on a Cup team than Semin types. Go digging, let me know what you find. It may not change your mind about how you want your favorite team to play, but at the very least it may open your eyes to players like Matt Cooke and some of the plays he makes that are over the line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Yo, the puck daddy story was NOT about "the caps should get Brodeur"... it was pointing out the idiocy of Larry Brooks suggesting brodeur would fetch a player like Mike Green or John Carlson.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 21, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

cstanton has no point. Look, you can look at every Cup-winning team and say 'see, they had a 40 goal scorer or an agitator or a grinder or a journey man or a wily old vet or a brash rookie.'

There's amrked difference between an agitator and a dirty player. Messier is a good case in point; he nearly lost his career in the minors because he used his stick as a hatchet. In the NHL, he was more of an agitator, he wasn't taking cheap shots or flagrant fouls; instead he'd irritate opposing players--a face wash, a butt end, a little jab from behind.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 21, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

So GFisher1, just so I am following correctly (and unfortunately I follow well so...) you hope and want to see, say Ovie, in Game 7 OT, give Crosby the ole McSorely to prevent him from scoring? Correct?

Let me just say this sir...truely CLASSLESS. And wonder if you would be singing a different tune if it was your kid on the receiving end.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 21, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

New thread, this one has been beaten to death.

Posted by: PhilR | December 21, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@double alex

Three of the biggest beasts to play the game played for the Wings and Hawks.

When the Joey Kocur and Bob Probert Wings came to town, guys were pissing their pants. Man those guys tore people up.

When Manson was with Chicago he had a fight with Scott Stevens (when he was dressed for the Blues) that is a classic. Manson was a nut!

When McCarty was on the Wings, he "called out" Probert to protect his teammates. Great fight. A classic !!

Rock the Red Newbies all over the place !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

No wonder we are the softest team in the league.

I don't like Cooke, but he really ticked off some of the Flyers in that Caps/Flyers series and took 'em off their game. He was huge. Big loss. Pens know how to build a
cUp winner !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 21, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

All this sportsmanship talk is self serving garbage. You better believe that if it's game 7 OT and some one is in the slot like Savard and a Cap lets up on a hit he'd be crucified on here
--------gfisher---

only if the guy who let up on the hit was someone like Erskine. Then you'd get the usual troll-like rantings of SGM3 who will pinpoint a player he doesn't like to support an argument he claims not to believe in.

and yes ftr, I will be beyond livid if a Capitals player lets up on a hit (even if its a Matt Cooke type of hit) in that type of situation. I wonder how many of these fans ever really watch a full playoff hockey season when the players are trying to run each other thru the boards and out the rink. I guess they don't watch hockey past the 1st round. Pfft!

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"Now lets revisit this if Semin gets injured on a knee to knee hit someday. I'd love to get your NON-HYPOCRITICAL reactions."
@cstanton1:

Please don't drag me into this stupid conversation on hits. Cooke's dirty but effective. I'd be lying if I said i didn't enjoy Kane knocking him out.... at least he had the respect enough to do it when Cooke was looking which is more than Cooke does.

Is Cooke effective enough to warrant a trade for Semin? You say no, but do admit that he is way more effective in the playoffs.

Posted by: will111 | December 21, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

So GFisher1, just so I am following correctly (and unfortunately I follow well so...) you hope and want to see, say Ovie, in Game 7 OT, give Crosby the ole McSorely to prevent him from scoring? Correct?

--saoti--

it doesn't have to be a stick over the head. But it can definitely be a hard aggressive hit that may or may not result in an injury. Again, go watch playoff hockey and then come talk to me about how other teams treat the playoffs. They don't pattycake around the rules the way some of you are implying that we should. NAIVE!

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 21, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

we're talking Cooke and Savard, which was a legal hit at the time. Don't make my words into your strawman, kid. Learn to read.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 21, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"so lets get you on record SGM3. You're on record as saying you don't have a problem with knee on knee hits because you don't suffer brain damage from them, correct ? So basically any hit on any player you're ok with no matter the injury as long as its not long term concussion issues."

I said I didn't want to communicate with a person of your kind anymore, but I do not like being called a hypocrite when I am clearly not being that.

Nope, I never said that. A knee-on-knee hit gets a penalty and a possible suspension(depending on the specific facts that led to the hit). But it is not at the same level as a cheap shot to the head.

Just because a 1st action is not AS BAD as a 2nd action does not make that 1st action okay.

That there is your problem cstanton. You are black and white. Something is eitehr completely wrong or completely right. A player is either great or horrible. A cheap knee-on-knee it is definiitely bad and not right. But it is nowhere near as bad as a cheap shot to the head.

Like DoubleAlex said "I value good sportsmanship and generally being a good human being more than winning. I wish more people did." Goodbye.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 21, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@getjiggly

Messier could get away with that because he had Semenko (spelling?) and/or Marty McSorley sitting on the bench ready to place a beat down. Why did #99 get so much room to operate ? Dave and Marty !!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 21, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

CStanton, I'll go the easy/painful route and say since most are bandwagoners they have never watched hockey beyond the farthest point the Caps reached in the Ovechkin era. Cooke's hits were probably watched for the first time via youtube.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 21, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

So that's the end of the great sgm / cstanton debate? I feel gypped.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 21, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"btw, you can also win Cups with the Alex Semins and Jeff Schultz's of the world. In fact, some may say you can't win Cups with players like that. But at the very least, you can win Cups without them and there is no evidence you need players like that."

Sure, some people may say that, and they'd be wrong. Teams have won cups with players like them a lot. You're intentionally missing the point, though. The point is that I don't want players like Cooke, but I do want a cup. I can have both, as has been shown over the years.

You better believe that if it's game 7 OT and some one is in the slot like Savard and a Cap lets up on a hit he'd be crucified on here. I want players who will make that hit to stay alive in the playoffs. If you don't then you should probably stop watching hockey. either that, or learn hockey to begin with.

Posted by: GFisher1

You're missing the point. I don't care about hitting a guy in the slot. I care about cheap shots. Yes, if it's game 7 OT and Savard is in the slot, I don't mind one of our guys hitting him, as long as it's not a cheap shot with an intent to injure. What I don't want is Hendricks in that situation boarding someone when no one's looking and he can do the most damage.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | December 21, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Hunter an agitator ?

He was a cupcake !!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 21, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

How the heck is it not on the same level as a cheap shot to the head? Can not both types of hits end careers? Can not a knee on knee hit end up with someone either in a wheelchair or walking with a significant limp the rest of their lives?

You are being a hypocrite in this situation if you can not see they are both dirty hits but because it is Ovie you are ok with it. Convenient.

Posted by: PhilR | December 21, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Phil, maybe it's ok because while you might be walking with a limp for the rest of your life, you won't be drooling and eating crayons?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 21, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

@double alex

We have too many Semin and Schultz types to compete in the playoffs. I don't like Cooke's cheap head hits, but his STYLE of play is A MUST to win the cUp.

As usual Cstanton is right !

The Pens know how to build a cUp winner.
We need to copy their blue print, or the early exits will continue !!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 21, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R,

But crayons are tasty!

Posted by: PhilR | December 21, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

And, when you say drooling do you mean like me when that new Victoria Secrets angels commercial airs on tv?

Posted by: PhilR | December 21, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Homer with a doughnut.

Yea, my wife busts my chops every time those commercials are on. Eyes glued to the TV.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 21, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

The only thing Washignton needs to do to improve their powerplay is to stick someone in front of the net and stop taking so many shots from bad angles. They work the puck around the perimeter and end up shooting either from nearly impossible angles, or from the middle but with zero traffic. The problem with a lot of the angles they are taking shots from is not only is it very difficult to beat a goalie from there, but if they miss the puck often goes around the boards and clears the zone. And there are very few shots from those locations that will create 2nd opportunities so you either outright beat the goalie from a difficult angle, or don't get anything from it. Seems like a lot of times they have open chances to shoot, sometimes with screens and are moving it out wide for a one-timer that has very little chance of working. They have players who are good at moving the puck around and players with good shots. Add someone to sit in front of the net and make saves difficult or tap in rebounds and that's all you need for a really successful powerplay.

Posted by: Stu_c | December 21, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

i REPEAT DO NOT EVER MENTION MATT COOKE'S NAME WHILE MENTIONING MARK MESSIER. THANKS FOR THE COOPERTAION. OH AND TARDING SEMIN FOR COOKE SOUND SILLY.

Posted by: pkme | December 21, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I REPEAT DO NOT MENTION DINO AND DALE IN THE SAME SENTENCE AS MATT COOKE. WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU GUYS TODAY? MESSIER AND DINO HALL OF FAME PLAYERS. DALE HUNTER HAD OVER 1000 POINTS. GIVE ME A BREAK.

Posted by: pkme | December 21, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

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