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Pre-Game Notes and Tonight's Lineup vs. Carolina

Brent Johnson will oppose Cam Ward in goal tonight against Carolina in what's likely the biggest game of the Caps' season so far. It's Johnson's sixth start (and seventh appearance) in the past 12 games.

Meantime, Matt Pettinger and Steve Eminger will be the healthy scratches.

Forwards:
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Fehr
Fleischmann-Kozlov-Semin
Laing-Steckel-Bradley
Brashear-Laich-Gordon

Defense:
Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Jurcina
Erskine-Schultz

Bruce Boudreau was especially "Gabby" a few minutes ago in the pre-game news conference. Here are some highlights:

* Asked whether being in first place has changed anything, he said: "We're in the same mode we were in 30 games ago. It's nice for a day to hear it and see it, but we know that if we blink we're back in 13th spot. Our goal is to push forward and be the best. It's still a long way to go."

* About passing Carolina in the standings: "It's almost like someone has taken away something that was theirs. They are going to be doing everything to get it back."

* About Mike Green's recent struggles (which the young defenseman seems to have gotten past with his two assist performance in Philadelphia), he said: "For Mike, this is a whole different set of circumstances. [It's different] from coming up and just trying to be a good NHL player and being able to stay here. There's been tremendous media attention, which is really new to him. He gets called everyday. Handling going from an NHL player part-time to a regular to star in the making is a lot for him to handle. Sometimes, I think he tries to do too much. But when he plays within himself and his game, he's as good as there is."

That's it for now.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 8, 2008; 5:20 PM ET
 
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Next: Lineup Shakeup for Caps

Comments

Go Caps!!

Posted by: cbs | February 8, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update Tarik.

Let's hope that Mike Green doesn't go all Jim Carey on us in the future.

Posted by: Jordan | February 8, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

See you all at the game - and if you're not there. Shame, shame.

Posted by: keef | February 8, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Thanks again for the awesome updates and inside scoop. It's always a pleasure to read.

Posted by: TripDonkeys | February 8, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Great to see Johnny !!

GO CAPS GO

Posted by: Helge | February 8, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

let's get this party started beeeeeeyyyyoooooooooooooooootch!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: dude | February 8, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

There can be no parties until Puckgayru is here. -- OK party on.

Posted by: Puckgayru | February 8, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Jordan with the Carey reference. Careful, that'll be lost on some.

As I told my friends earlier today, these are when the games really start to matter. Let's hope for a solid showing and a win tonight!

Posted by: Kip | February 8, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

With all the media attention the Caps are getting lately we are reading a bunch about how Boudreau has changed the "system" to a more aggressive one, but what system exactly does it most resemble?
It seems that one of the biggest changes I've seen is on Defense at the blue line we are constantly poke checking and disrupting the other team's flow. Before we were conservative and backpedaled waiting for something bad to happen which usually didn't take too long.
Is there a team out there that uses a similar system? I know it's not to trap because one thing you can say about the new Caps is they aren't boring.


Posted by: capfan1 | February 8, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Let's go Caps!!!!!!!

Posted by: Steve R | February 8, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!

Posted by: Greg S. | February 8, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

this might have been the worst start possible.... do we even know how to run a power play anymore

Posted by: Mike | February 8, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

For Lent, the Capitals should have given up ridiculous defensive breakdowns.

Posted by: Kip | February 8, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

LOL Kip!

Great energy...poor result. BB will set 'em straight during the intermission.

Posted by: fullright | February 8, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Power Play blows two early chances to tie the game. Very few shots...come on boys! Why does this team routinely crap the bed whenever they play a big game on home ice??

Posted by: Dinger | February 8, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

dunno dinger...the crowd sounds great! they'll pick it up

Posted by: fullright | February 8, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Seems like Caps are gonna loose unless AO goes nuts again :-)
I am fine with that, you can't win all of 'em

Posted by: I was in coma | February 8, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Any way anybody can get me a copy of this game? Stock footage of me and my girlfriend walking around made it on air between periods.

Posted by: Jordan | February 8, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

When the Caps look like crap they are the best in the league at it.

Posted by: Puckgayru | February 8, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm a big fan of 4 v 4 for us. Space does an anemic team good.

Posted by: Raber | February 8, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Looks like we're going for the SHUTOUT.

Posted by: Puckgayru | February 8, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Now that Semin has scored, the rest of our Russians can get one.

Posted by: Jordan | February 8, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Semin fought through a hook! Great individual effort there.

Posted by: Raber | February 8, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

You know, if we're going to be a team that's constantly playing from behind in the 3rd period, it would be definitely to our advantage to have GOOD ICE.

Posted by: Raber | February 8, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

DECLINE THE PENALTY

Posted by: Raber | February 8, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Semin scored the goal and I still want to sit him down next game. We have a ton of momentum and that is undoubtedly the stupidest penalty I have ever seen a Caps player take. Not even some of Brashear's old roughing penalties compete with what Semin did there.

He needs to learn a lesson.

Posted by: Raber | February 8, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Semin is such a dumba$$, trade him for Hossa. He's a chemistry cancer.

Posted by: Puckgayru | February 8, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Worst overall performance of the Boudreau era?

Posted by: Dinger | February 8, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Raber.... we create more 5 on 5 then we do on the power play.... seems like the power play has come full circle from the begining of the season and just flat out blows again

Posted by: Mike | February 8, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

A pp for us is really one for the opponent.

Posted by: Puckgayru | February 8, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

The Atlanta game and this one make me sick!! The Caps have no business losing to these crap teams.

Posted by: Puckgayru | February 8, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

At the moment, I would happily see Semin and one of the terrible Caps D-men (there's like 5 to pick from) in a trade to anyone for a real stay-at-home defensive defenseman.

Semin's too... DANGLY all the time. That, and a mild breeze is enough to knock him over.

Posted by: Kip | February 8, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, how bad is the ice surface? how many times do guys have to lose the puck just carrying it, untouched, through the neutral zone before they fix the situation? i mean, AO blows a wheel on a 2 on 1.

you've got a team that's strength is its offense, skill, and speed and they might as well be playing on a frozen pond in the rain.

Posted by: PJ | February 8, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

IT'S NOT THE ICE. It's is ranked 11th best in the league by the NHL. GREAT MOVE gmgm.

Posted by: someone else who knows | February 8, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

If the ice is as bad as people say then the Caps need to adapt. Slow the game down and go for the 2-1 win. Play a more defensive game.

Posted by: Puckgayru | February 8, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

wow I'm surprised by the comments, I thought the Caps played really well. While 5 on 5 that is. However a PP for us is a liability, we produce more on even strength.

Bruce: please get to work on the 5 on 4, 5 on 3. They almost scored AGAIN while 2 man advantage. DO SOMETHING.

But, other than the PP, I think our boys did very well, it was an exciting game.


Posted by: mauree | February 8, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

The ice looks pretty bad to me. So many unforced stick-handling turnovers. So many bouncing and sticking pucks. So many guys losing their edge. I don't know how the NHL rates the ice, but that rating doesn't square with what I see and what the local announcers say.

As far as slowing the game down, that's what Hanlon tried to do and we all know how that turned out.

And the Caps didn't lose because of the ice, of course. They lost because Ward played great.

But it would be in the Caps interest to improve the ice surface. The strength of the team is its offensive skill. Making AO, Backstrom, Semin et al play on a crappy surface limits their advantage.

Posted by: PJ | February 8, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

The anti-semin crowd are out in force. Gee. you scored in the last 20 seconds with that Semin penalty. Morons. Do you think that really had anything to do with the outcome of the game? The Caps couldn't score on all those power plays, even 5 on 3 and now you dwell on a penalty at the last 20 seconds. How about the 4 minutes to Brash, that was as dumb a penalty as you can ever get. Morons.

Posted by: Opita | February 8, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

i went to the game tonight and it just seemed like the caps weren't in sync at all. they had moments, but i don't know why those moments weren't earlier in the game. with carolina, you need to hit them hard and try to stickhandle past them, as they will hook and hold more often than not. as for brashear, he made a dumb move, but right before that, he was nailed from behind by that little weasel gleason that was as blatant an interference penalty as i've ever seen, and the ref was looking right at the play and did nothing. it was an undisciplined call, but i like the fire - something the caps did not have tonight. ovechkin looked just awful.

Posted by: 7734yeah | February 8, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

The ice is not the problem. The Canes were skating on the same ice and had no problems with it.

The problem is guys making too many passes when they should just crash the net and shoot the puck.

Posted by: Tess | February 8, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

@Opita-you come in here calling people morons when you don't even consider the obvious facts like; his 14 goals are easily out weighed by goals scored on his countless penalties and powerplays lost because he took a cheap slashing call in the first 6 seconds of it. His -10 is unacceptable as is his less then remarkable play. He has a nightmare contract and is hurting the team. I was a big Semin fan last season (even have his jersey), but it doesn't take much to read between the lines. we could get a lot in return for Semin and I think it is in the team's best interest to do so if he doesn't step up. Maybe we wouldn't have scored in that 20 seconds, or maybe we would have but the very fact that he would be that selfish to take a cheap call....just crazy. I was at the game and saw him cross checking the dude he later slashed. He should have been called for both and needs a very stern telling off by BB.

Posted by: DC FURY | February 8, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN TRADE SEMIN

Posted by: TRADE SEMIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! | February 8, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

And finally I have to say, there's an i in Semin's name :-)

What can we learn from this loss?

- This "weak" division is no cakewalk, they gonna fight for their lives.

I think Caps didn't get it when they lost to Thrash. And tonight Canes were better prepared just like Thrash.

- Not just this "weak" division teams, every team will take Caps very serious from now on.

Caps D is still bad, so, yeah, score more than they can let in.

Johnson was very good, I was surprised, normally after letting 2 he would go to complete meltdown, not tonight. Good news, we got very good backup for sure.

What else can we learn from this loss?

?

Posted by: I was in coma | February 8, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Its only one game of many more but I don't like the trend of losing to division foes at home and looking very blah on offense.

OV did not get in sync. He lost the puck so many times...didn't look good at all. Johnson played well but he gave up two really bad rebounds in the slot, one of which resulted in the 2nd Carolina goal.

Flash is simply not productive and should sit upon Clark's return. Brash was painful to watch...dumbest two penalties in one sequence ive ever seen.

Team def played hard though, Mike Green is so fun to watch flying up and down the ice. Anybody catch what happened to Erskine? I'm assuming his early tussle played a part.

Start to worry if we play the same and lose to the blueshirts on sunday.

Lets go Caps!

Posted by: Pat | February 8, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh and I cant believe some people had the audacity to use the P word in earlier threads. are you nuts? Caps still way too inconsistant and will continue to lose to veteren teams like the canes with sloppy efforts like tonight.

Posted by: Pat | February 8, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Opita. Bruce Boudreau himself said in his post-game interview that Semin's "selfish penalty" "canceled out" his goal. I was pleased to hear him calling out a player in the media. Some of our past coaches would not do that.

Anyone check out Tarik's comments on Semin in his chat today? "Distant relationship" with teammates...refusing to even attempt an interview in English even at the urging of teammates including Ovechkin...

I do not dislike Semin, but isn't it obvious that he is simply out of step with the rest of the team?? Either Ovie and Kozlov need to sit him down for a Russian-style intervention, or the Caps need to find the right trade for him.

Posted by: Jill | February 8, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@Opita

So the last 20 seconds don't mean anything? How many times have we seen a goal scored in the last 20 seconds of a period? Short memory? How about Tuesday night with less than 1 second to go. Losing a man in that critical moment pretty much ended the game 20 seconds early in the offensive zone. Any team that's losing by 1 would almost kill to have an opportunity like that and again Semin takes a penalty at a horrible time. I think you should look in the mirror before you start calling people morons. Obviously you haven't played any kind of sports before.

Posted by: Puckgayru | February 8, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Old Bob sprang for ice level tickets tonight and the thing that amazed me was the number of clearing attempts that Carolina against all odds, managed to get through the forrest of legs and sticks.

The Caps dug their own hole tonight. I couldn't tell whether they were sluggish or whether they were so hyper that they couldn't do anything right for the first half of the game. In any event, you cannot do that against a primarily veteran team that knows how to play from the front.

I'm disappointed they didn't beat that team by three goals like a good team with more experience would (and did on Tuesday night). But, it's coming. It is easy to tell, even with the final score staring you in the face, that the Caps are clearly heading in one direction long term and Carolina is headed in the other. The Hurricanes have more than a few over the hill veterans that they have surrounded (Staal and a couple of other excluded) with mediocrities. They were very lucky to win tonight.

The loss is bad, but if it reinforces the lessons they should have learned from playing Toronto and Atlanta, the effects will be short-lived.

Posted by: Old Bob | February 8, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Anybody think that maybe Semin was just frustrated? Sure it was a crappy time to take a penalty, but that play is a non-call just as often as it lands you in the box. Ease up on the Caps only goal scorer of the night.

Posted by: Jordan | February 8, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I felt like I was at the Atlanta game ... the two were not very different! Lots of Caps shots on goal (we totally out-shot them), but not a lot of quality shots. They just couldn't seem to get it together.

BTW, why is no one ripping Johnny? If Olie had been in net, you would have been ALL over him ...

Posted by: Boo! | February 8, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

RE: the goal judge discussion from earlier, we sat in different seats tonight and were close to one of the goal judges. Quite ironically, I ended up at the stairs to exit the game at the exact same time as him. So I asked him, "Can you see from up here?" With a very sour look on his face, he just shook his head no - didn't say a peep. I don't know if he was not happy about being moved, not thrilled with my question or what ... regardless, he was not a happy camper.

Posted by: Boo! | February 8, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Someone summed it up perfectly. Skill teams should not be playing on crappy ice.

But, how do we fix the ice? Simple. We don't. Someone will have to die before anything constructive can happen and I don't mean Rich Zvotkin or however he spells it.

We are constantly screwed by the preferential scheduling the other tennents get. Georgetown won't get done until after 11:00 PM tomorrow and the Caps go at it at 1:00 on Sunday Afternoon. Why can't georgetown play in the early afternoon like they seem to do every time the Caps have a Saturday night game?

Things ain't going to improve even minutely until Ted owns the building and can let the other tennents play in 40 degree temperatures.

Posted by: Old Bob | February 8, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

OH, and we brought people with us tonight - first time at a game ... thinkin' this one did not win them over. I need to stop bringing new people - we always lose when I do. I should have known better ... guess this one was my fault?!?

Posted by: Boo! | February 8, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

@Jordan - Your argument that Semin was "just frustrated" is the perfect backup for BB's labeling the penalty as "selish." And let's not forget this isn't exactly the first really bad penalty he's taken in the past few games.

Scoring a goal here and there doesn't make up for generally lousy play. I'd give up his 20 goals for a 10-goal scorer who is a more complete player and a team player.

Posted by: Jill | February 8, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Semin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: SA-Town | February 8, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from the game and well, yuck!

Loved having to explain the gay signs the guys had for Green and Backstrom during pre-game warm-up to my kids. Thanks! Besides, I swear it threw them both off their games. No more college nights during big games please!

The refs really helped tonight didn't they?

Okay, well to lighten the mood, I did get one good laugh tonight. My eight year old angelic darling daughter leaned over to me during the warm-up with this gem. She said, "Mommy, the Hurricane's logo looks kinda like a butt doesn't it?" I swear I will never be able to look at a fat guy in a Hurricane's jersey and not bust out laughing again.

Well, I am just looking forward to us finding ourselves again on Sunday. What does the Ranger's logo look like?

Posted by: Kim | February 8, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I think we're focusing too much on Semin. The glaring hole in the Caps' play hasn't been him. It's the power play. 1-20something now? Terrible. If we're getting at least one PP goal a game, we're winning.

Posted by: Jordan | February 8, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

@Jordan,

I agree. A power play should be an advantage. The other team should not get a shot on goal on a 5 on 3 that is more than 1 minute!

Posted by: Kim | February 8, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

@Boo,

I thought the same thing when I read all of the posts when I got home tonight. I think Olie would have been blasted (not that I think Johnny played poorly - just that I think a lot of folks give him more of the benefit of the doubt).

I say that we start the move right now to get the crowd going in a big OLIE cheer at the beginning of the game on Sunday to bring out Godzilla! I want to see the fire in his eyes.

We can all post about his failings, but what we fans need to do is find it in ourselves to be the force that brings out his positives. Oh my God, I think I have been watching Dr. Phil too much.

Posted by: Kim | February 8, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

"It was a great individual effort. (Semin) did a good job there," Boudreau said. "But he also took a selfish penalty at the end of the game. Does one offset the other?"

Posted by: I love Jill | February 8, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Kim:
LOL!! :-D I'm on board - I'll be there and will cheer for Olie! I agree - people here tend to be kinder to Johnny. Seriously, Olie would have taken a beating for the same performance tonight.

So what did I miss with the gay signs?!?

Posted by: Boo! | February 8, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

So the Semin debate continues, but this time Gabby has weighed in ... I knew I liked the way he thinks!

Posted by: Boo! | February 8, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Guys wanted to puck Green and liked how Nicky handled his stick. Seriously, try explaining that to an 8 year old and an 11 year old. I went with, well they like the way Green and Nicky play.

Still not sure if they were serious, or if their girlfriends were just too shy to hold up the signs.

Posted by: Kim | February 8, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Kim:
Nice ... yes, you are a very wise woman - well played!! ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | February 8, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Having played team sports for many years we always seemed to have that one guy that was a great player but he always seemed to do something to hurt the team. As long as his good play out weighed the bad we would tolerate him. Inevitably we would trade him or dump him. It just ends up hurting the teams chemistry to keep a player like that.

Posted by: Puckgayru | February 8, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Already thinking about my sign for Sunday.

Seriously, think we will be okay. Just would like to see us dominate in a game in the SE Division. At least we will be playing an Eastern team. And who doesn't like to beat up on the Rangers?

Posted by: Kim | February 8, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I emailed Tarik about Semin and his stupid penalties earlier this week. Tarik was legitimate in answering my question by saying that benching Semin for a game to teach him a lesson would not be appropriate since the team is pushing for the P!@y00f$. At the time it was a good argument. Now, having seen Semin score a goal then take a stupid penalty and hearing BB say the penalty canceled the goal out I have to wonder if Semin will get a jersey come Sunday afternoon. You know, we dealt with one drama queen a few years ago by the name of Jasmine Jagr. Last year, Semin could have run G.W. Bush out of the White House with his awesome play and stats. This year he's slowly turning into another Jagr. I think the biggest thing behind this is the fact that he's already been re-signed for the next few years. I think of the Caps had waited till the end of the season we might be seeing a different Semin. Anyway, 1 down 26 to go. We're still only 1 point behind Carolina, but we can't afford to play anymore games like this against our division.

Posted by: Mitch | February 8, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

i think all these comments are just stupid.... the caps outplayed the Canes the entire game. The Canes scored on two rushes. At no point were they able to set up in our zone. The third peirod all the Canes did was hold on for dear life. If the Caps had any idea what to do on a power play then this would be a different game. As much as I like A.O. he needs to stop being so selfish and dump the puck on the power play.... I am sick of him turning over the puck at the blue line on the power play while trying to skate through the entire team.

Posted by: Mike | February 9, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

went to the game tonight. best crowd/atmosphere I can remember since Bondra was potting power play one-timers in the playoffs...made the loss all the more disappointing. that's on top of the fact that it was a 4-point night versus the canes and that we were 0-7 on the power play. for the first time, the team looked a little nervous due to the atmosphere. youth was definitely not an advantage for us tonight. we'll see how they respond on Sunday. I'm hoping they take out some aggression on the uninspiring overpaid rangers.

Posted by: MTB | February 9, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

They came from the sun
From the east from the west all around
And so fate's die is cast
They marshaled their forces
and found us at last.
So it's come to this.

Ovechkin is the destroyer
The young god comes to slay
Ovechkin is Fate's master, he sits all alone...

They say war is all we know
if only that were true
No matter how I work my schedule
There's always other things that I do
But excuse me now, there's a Penguin at the door
and Sidney's head just
rolled 'cross the floor...
He tries to say something and
that something is puke
Right about then the Pens set off a nuke.

War is all we know.

When I said I loved war I lied
it f**king sucks on the losing side
and speaking of which, my face is on fire!
a lightning withdrawl! we quickly retire!
A flury of carnage, Ovechkin is nicked!
to their unending shame the Pens a$$ just got kicked!
And as the pucks fall in a relentless hail
the Mellon Arena was gutted and we had to bail...

War is all we know

Posted by: OV The Destroyer | February 9, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

I went too and here's what I saw tonight -

I actually thought the Caps were the better team aside from two defensive lapses in the first period. The differences were two things.

1) Cam Ward outplayed Brent Johnson tonight. Johnson was very solid in the final two periods, but on that 2 on 1 he let up an awfully big rebound. Ward didn't make any mistakes. He seemed to let up any rebounds all night. It's not that Johnson was bad, but Ward was really good.

2) Our powerplay. The guys without the puck don't move around enough and they don't get open. The guy who has the puck is never decisive enough to put make quick passes. It's very frustrating considering the talent that we can put on the ice for this situation. If the Caps want to contend they really need to get the power play figured out ASAP.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 9, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

Mike,

You must have had too many beers at the game. To say the Caps outplayed them the whole game is just insane. Right from the start the Canes had more energy and levied some big hits on Ovie, and got shots and the lead. The Caps did well in spurts but always seemed to fumble the puck away or make a bad pass. In the 3rd yeah we started to look a little better, but not nearly good enough. Brashear and Semin committed stupid penalties and we didn't capitalize on any of the Canes mistakes.


Posted by: capfan1 | February 9, 2008 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Surprising that there haven't been any comments about another lousy game from Mike Green. He's been out of position, making bad passes, making the wrong play, etc.

Maybe he should just start practicing being a defenseman again.

Posted by: Joe B | February 9, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

First time in a long time that Ovie looked flat and disconnected to me. He just couldn't get it going. Whether it was the Canes defense or whatever, he didn't seem right. Hopefully, all can get back to normal for the Rags on Sunday. This team still has a long way to go. And Semin needs to be sat down for a game or two. It worked for Pothier. No one should be above the team, and BB needs to show the team that when you hurt the team, you will pay for it.

Posted by: kenhockey | February 9, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@Joe B

Green was +1 with 32:04 of ice time. It's obvious that he was BB's choice to step up with Erskine out. Looks like BB doesn't share your opinion.

Posted by: Steve R | February 9, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

It seems as if OV will have a game or 2 where he just doesn't miss the net. Then he will follow it up with a game where he misses with almost everything and can't score to save his life. The same thing would happen to Bondra except his streaks would go a lot longer, good and bad.

Posted by: Puckgayru | February 9, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The first period was completely lost to Canes, they dominated and outplayed Caps. I've posted in the first intermission that the Canes would win. But in the second and third Caps came back strong, but not strong enough to win the game. I wouldn't say Caps dominated, but they did come back strong.

I think Caps were unprepared to the level of intensity from Canes in the first. If it would be the playoffs, the second game would definitely be won by Caps.

Johnson had one juicy rebound, but he was strong otherwise. The main thing: he didn't melt down and kept Caps in the game to the end. There were numerous occasions when Canes could score, it could've been 4:1, but Johnson was strong. He performed very well under pressure.

I think AO played very well. Yes, he made some errant passes, but he usually does that. Nothing over normal percentage. If people think he can be Superman every game like vs. Montreal, well, I can only shake my head. :-)

Sitting Semin makes no sense. First, he won't get it anyway, second, he can explode any minute and start winning the games for Caps singlehandedly. He has that much talent. BB just needs to order, if he didn't order already, a book "How to deal with difficult people". Hanlon did sit Semin several times, no result. The kid is just that stubborn plus he doesn't understand English well enough. He needs to be handled with a lot of Russian profanity and Tikhonov style of coaching. That's why those Russians in CCCP lived in the dorms 11 months a year. Too many semins.

Posted by: I was in coma | February 9, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@Opita,

Agreed, Brash took a bad penalty. Semin did too. It's OK to say it.

Posted by: Steve R | February 9, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Fire GMGM, dump Olie, and give Semin 40 minutes a game. Penalties don't matter, they are no big deal. Duh, which way did he go george?

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