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Rangers Shut Down Ovechkin, Edge Caps

Despite a pair of third-period goals from Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin's fifth tally of the season, the Caps were unable to hold off the New York Rangers tonight at Verizon Center in a 4-3 loss.

Marian Gaborik scored his second goal of the third period at 10:42 to lift the Blueshirts, who managed to hold Alex Ovechkin without a point for the first time this season. The Caps' generally reliable power play also sputtered, converting just one of nine opportunities.

"We played as individuals instead of a unit," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That's what happens. We talked about it between periods. ... It's a team game. You have to be a team to succeed."

Jose Theodore's first two saves of the game were beauties, but he fizzled in the third period, getting beat twice by Gaborik in a span of two minutes 33 seconds.

Let's get straight to it:

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  October 8, 2009; 10:02 PM ET
 
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Next: Rangers 4, Caps 3

Comments

Reposted. I blame it on coaching.

OK, I'm outta here, vacation day tomorrow, off to the beach, biggest question:

WHERE WAS KNUBLE???????????????????

BB: Are you going to play him or does GMGM need to order you to get him on the ice?

Chris Clark: Both Ovie and Sloan gave you perfect set-ups...are you watching?

It's too early to get negative...except that in Montreal they act this way after the first practice.

Caps: Get it together or get killed in the Motor City.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 8, 2009 10:03 PM

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 8, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

First!!!!

Bad game for the caps we should have had that one.

0-8 on the PP? Not good.

Posted by: digster1013 | October 8, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Man I was second.

Green is starting to worry me a bit, but I think he will put it together.

Theo was bad, but did make some good saves.

And yea agree on Knuble lets step it up.

Posted by: digster1013 | October 8, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

goaltending/defense is becoming a real concern.

Posted by: zyvo23 | October 8, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

*Farts* Nope that wasn't me. That was a gigantic zipper fart ripping out from Verizon Center tonight. If you cared to dial up defense/goaltending with Verizon tonight - we apologize for the busy signal as the combo was not able to answer tonight. Yikes.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | October 8, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Well it's too early to get crazy about the loss but it wasn't fun. I don't think it's the loss that bothers me as much as HOW we lost. Theo obviously let in 2 really easy ones. To me that's the difference in the game. An average goaltender has those and we don't seem to have an "average" goalie that can stop the rather routine shots at the NHL level. D wasn't horrible tonight and I thought Pothier played a great game even outside of his sweet assist. I thought BMo played strong as well. We have a problem in net though.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 8, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Look, I have to write one more thing, and it's that BB has a long way to go before he's in the company of SB.

One thing about SB hockey - St. Louis, Buffalo, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Detroit - is you saw a dedication to disciplined hockey.

Avbsolutely, positively not what we saw tonight.

Me? I'm no sports coach. But...when a team struggles, at all, any sport, you always see the best thing to do is to "turtle" and pull back and then quietly re-start your engines through defensive play.

Yes, you come out of a slump through solid, fundamental play.

I am a charter member of Camp B. W/O a solid, 1st pair, defensive, defenseman, this team will struggle mightily to get past the 2nd round.

I love the Caps like I love my kids and yes I can critique my kids too.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 8, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

pokerface: I give you credit on BMo. He was maybe the best Cap on the ice tonight, and you said it first.

Of course, Knuble might have been the best Cap - had he been allowed ON THE ICE.

Memo to Bruce Boudreau: Dude, let's get some ice time for Knuble.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 8, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

A few things...

Goaltending was up and down. Theo looked great but also looked bad. Can't give Gaborik an open slot to shoot, he's pretty good.

The salary cap dictates our lineup way too much.

We need Flash and Fehr back to get secondary scoring.

There needs to be a skilled LW on the 2nd line. Flash.

Move Laich to 3rd line LW, and Fehr on the other side with Steckel centering. Laich plays on both special team units, probably shouldnt be playing 2nd line minutes on top of that.

The defense is just playing poorly. Everyone, besides Pothier.

Not a shocking revelation, but if not for Semin/Backs/Ovechkin, we are 0-4.

Taking away playing time works if there is a way to replace players, but the salary cap has got pinned up.

Posted by: JSchon | October 8, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I see alot of people complaining about ice time for Knuble. TSN.ca says he got 17:16. Morrison had about the same time. How much time do we want for Knuble?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 8, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

JSchon: I agree except that ShaMo has also played surprisingly well on defense.

Right now, we don't have a "team." We have a collection of individual and small group efforts.

Caps chance of winning the Cup with team and coaching as assembled:

REMOTE (less than 1 in 10 chance)

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 8, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Give the Rangers credit, because they out worked the Capitals tonight. Three-or-more gave up two soft goals, but Schultz sucked again and the power play never had a chance to set up and score.

The Caps need grit, heart, and passion to add an edge to their game. After being outworked and out muscled - the Caps had nothin...they were just tired.

Posted by: hlalor | October 8, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Well Green (while he doesn't seem himself right now) made an All Pro play against Gaborik in the 2nd period. Gaborik has wheels and got around Green on the Left Wing. Green turned and whacked his stick on the stong side making the puck shoot off his stick and into the end boards. Gaborik blew by the puck and Green easily corraled it and sent us away on a break. Outstanding play and just shows that Green is improving on the D side of his game. It'd be nice to get him going though on the offensive side as well. He's not jumping up in the play as he used to and isn't breaking back door on the PP for whatever reason. IMO if he continues great D play we need that alot more than we need more goals scored.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 8, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

You in the 52 jersey, what have you done with Mike Green??

Posted by: Kirg | October 8, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Admittedly, I am disturbed that Mike Green continues to lead us in ice time, and has yet to be close to being last years Mike Green.

SOMEBODY GAS UP THE LAMBO!!!!

This of course is a side note. I agree that our real problems lie in the usual areas of defense and goaltending.

But where the heck was the power play!?!?

I expect our O to compensate, while the D and G get it together...

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 8, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Schultz experiment is finally over!

Posted by: thd1 | October 8, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Is this poll a joke? How is there no mention of Boyd Gordon's role in both of these losses?
Against Philly he took a third period offensive zone penalty at a critical juncture in the game that allowed Philly to tie it up late. Tonight he took an offensive zone penalty in the third period. The Rangers scored the winning goal on the ensuing power play. Offensive zone penalties are generally inexcusable regardless of the circumstances But two games in a row in the third period of tight games? Gordon should sit a game.

Posted by: ph0082 | October 8, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

wtf_e_fehr:

We want Knuble on the first line on the PP.

His minutes were secondary ES and PK. Yes, I like him on PK. Knubie and BMo and Laing give us strength on PK not there last year.

But Knuble's main strength is in front of the net. He got 3:40 PP time vs Ovie 11:27. I'm not the coach - God knows - but is that how we thought it would be when we signed him? That his minutes would be ES and PK?

I love Brooks Laich almost as much as my children but Knuble should be on the #1 PP line.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 8, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem with Knuble not getting a ton of icetime. he's 37 and he'll do his thing in the playoffs. Besides the terrible defense, two things this team does or doesn't do always bother me.

1. they need to have a legit scoring threat on the PK. this team doesn't score enough shorties. this team also doesn't have enough good defensive players to just sit back and try to kill penalties. great offensives teams in this league have always been just as offensive minded even when they're short-handed.

2. I don't like having forwards playing the point on the PP. the first goal the Rangers scored tonight wasn't officially a shortie but might as well have been. The Caps were on a 4 on 3 PP and as the penalty ended they scored on the breakaway. And the Caps had 4 forwards on the ice.

Posted by: joek443 | October 8, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how Theodore is the problem. In fact if it wasn't for him, this game could've been way before the 2nd period.
He was screened on the fourth goal, and there's nothing he could really do on the power play and shorthanded goal.

Knuble, Laing and Pothier have played well, but I think our other forwards need to improve on the backchecking.

Pittsburgh struggled throughout most of last season, but they heated up when it mattered and won a Cup. It's still too early, just saying.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | October 8, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

While I was shocked the PP only mustered one goal, I continue to be amazed by the poor D positioning. Check out Poti on the last two goals; he allowed Gaborik to skate right into the zone unmolested. Theodore should've had that third goal, but it wouldn't have even gotten to him had Poti stepped up. This is two games in a row Poti has slumped.

Posted by: binky1313 | October 8, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Ladies and gentleman, these are your 2009-10 Washington Capitals. Like it or not. There won't be any earth shattering trades or blockbuster deals coming down the pipe, so we're just gonna have to live and die with the team that has been constructed. So, it's time to come grips with the team we have and not the one that some here wished we had. This team is not gonna be a defensive juggernaut any time soon, so sitting guys down isn't gonna change anything. It's like expecting a man to go against his nature and be something completely different. The playoffs don't come around til April, so ranting about "we're not going anywhere when we get to the Dance" is nonsensical as, the last time I checked, the Caps have not clinched a playoff spot. So, let's recognize this team for what it is, roll with the punches, and let this year's version of the team evolve and gel as they will. The Caps may not win every game, but we'll collectively be entertained more often than not. Enjoy the ride people, it's a long season...

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 8, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Once again - Green is trying to make plays that aren't there or missing the net on the power play. I dont' take away he's talented, but the whole "non-chalant" way he plays just bothers me.

Backstrom is the best player on the ice - whenever he gets hold of the puck I don't worry.

Poti had some jump in his 7 foot long stick, but he backs into our goalie like a house league mite player when challenged.

There's lots to improve upon and I think we're seeing that our goaltending is definitely a weak spot for this team right now...despite the Varly / Neuwirth back up.

It's early, but still - let's see more contributions from 2/3/4th line.

PS - Sloan experiment didn't work.

Posted by: Jaymagz | October 8, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

If I'm the coach, Boyd Gordon is scratched in Detroit and replaced with - Nylander.

And Sloan is back on the blueline.

In goal ... Varly. In the end, he's more talented than Theodore.

Sorry to be so negative. But, with apologies to Jack Nicholson, can you handle the truth?

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 8, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

We want Knuble on the first line on the PP.

His minutes were secondary ES and PK. Yes, I like him on PK. Knubie and BMo and Laing give us strength on PK not there last year.

But Knuble's main strength is in front of the net. He got 3:40 PP time vs Ovie 11:27. I'm not the coach - God knows - but is that how we thought it would be when we signed him? That his minutes would be ES and PK?

I love Brooks Laich almost as much as my children but Knuble should be on the #1 PP line.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 8, 2009 10:49 PM

"I love Brooks Laich almost as much as my children"

HILARIOUS!!!

...and I get your point. But Laich has looked pretty good on the pp to me up to this point. This game in particular, our pp seemed to have other issues. Cashing in on rebounds, deflections and goalie obstruction didnt seem to factor in to todays game IMO.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 8, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Once again - Green is trying to make plays that aren't there or missing the net on the power play. I dont' take away he's talented, but the whole "non-chalant" way he plays just bothers me

Posted by: Jaymagz | October 8, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

just because a player seems "non-chalant", doesn't mean they actually are. some players just skate more gracefully than others. they used to say the same thing about the all-time greats such as Jean Beliveau and Mario Lemiuex. some Caps "fans" thought the same of Larry Murphy and look where he ended up after he was traded.

Posted by: joek443 | October 8, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

This loss blame goes to BB. Aside from our penalty issues, we haven't been playing very tight D and I find it alarming that we've been so sloppy knowing that we can't keep outscoring opponents while playing with such weak discipline. As much as I like to root for a comeback of Schultzie, he we poorly positioned a several times, as was Green. Speaking of Green; I ran into a girl that lives a floor up from him Arlington and apparently there has been nothing but non stop parties until late August which is alarming. She had some deflating stories to tell about Greenie..I no longer wonder why he's so puffy and reckless.

Posted by: jakopz | October 8, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

What a hipocrite. It was Bruce Boudreau who, at the beginning of last season, told Mike Green, "You should score at least twenty five ( 25 ) goals this year." Now, Greener seems obsessed with "Jumping up into the play" at the slightest opportunity. I wonder where he got the idea in the 1st place.
Mike Knuble did everything but specifically single out Greener when he spoke of guys seemingly more concerned with their individual stats, than the "Team" concept. Ho hum...

Posted by: Puckguru | October 8, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

What a hipocrite. It was Bruce Boudreau who, at the beginning of last season, told Mike Green, "You should score at least twenty five ( 25 ) goals this year." Now, Greener seems obsessed with "Jumping up into the play" at the slightest opportunity. I wonder where he got the idea in the 1st place.
Mike Knuble did everything but specifically single out Greener when he spoke of guys seemingly more concerned with their individual stats, than the "Team" concept. Ho hum...

Posted by: Puckguru | October 8, 2009 11:06 PM


Whoa...where/when did Knuble make that statement? Seems kinda early in the season and his Caps career, for him to say something like that.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 8, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

how do you fight back for the lead and then blow it all in about 3 minutes.it seems that our top line are the only ones to come to play every night.does the defense know that pre-season is OVER!time to step it up.poti just let gaborik walk in and score.no excuse.and as for goaltending???? HERE'S A STAT FOR YA,THE CAPS HAVE LET IN 15 GOALS IN 3 GAMES.NO FREKIN EXCUSE!NONE! get it together caps.And i still say to bring up neuvy.he cant do anyworse.GET IT TOGETHER! GO CAPS!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | October 8, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Didn't we see this type of game many many many times before season?

Weak goaltending, weak defense, no secondary scoring?

What really has changed since last season?

Posted by: 555Mass | October 8, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

@ wtf_e_fehr
He said it when interviewed ( Comcast Sport Net ) after the game.

Posted by: Puckguru | October 8, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

No intention to stir the pot here, but, with the across the board criticism of the team defensive effort, a question needs to be posed at this point: how can the fans, on one hand, call all the 'D' men scrubs and essentially worthless, but yet expect any better out of them? It can't be both ways. At this point, I doubt it's a matter of coaching. These guys are who they are. But, as is always the case, you can't change the players, only the coach. So, what, are the Caps gonna cast off BB and promote Bob Woods to head coach?

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 8, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

if BB really wants the team to pay more attention to defense instead of just talking about it, all he has to do is make his best player spend some of his energy on the PK even if that means less offensive production from him. Then the rest of the players will pay attention.

Posted by: joek443 | October 8, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

No to Ovie on PK. If he gets a shot in the head or breaks a hand/foot/etc it would be insane!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 8, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Wayne Gretzky took that risk, so did Mario, Steve Yzerman, Mark Messier, etc...

Career Shorthanded Goal Leaders

1. Gretzky - 73
2. Messier - 63
3. Yzerman - 50
4. M. Lemieux - 49
5. Butch Goring - 40
6. Kurri, Poulin - 39
8. Fedorov - 36
9. Theo Fluery - 35

Posted by: joek443 | October 8, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

King Henrik has our number

9-3-2 vs. da Caps ?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 8, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Maybe playing Ovie on the PK will be what he needs to break the 70 goal plateau.

Posted by: eorr | October 8, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Point well taken. Pretty incredible numbers by some great players. Maybe send those over to Ted and he can pass them on to BB haha

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 8, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Random question, why was one of my posts "held" for approval by the blog owner? No swear words in the post or anything! Did Dan Snyder brain wash Ted and tell him to not let anyone say anything negative about the team?

Posted by: eorr | October 8, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Thoughts on game (I was there, unfortunately).

1) Top line -- fine, even though Ovi didn't have any statistical contribution

2) What happened to the KLM line? No points and they were looking like last year's first line -- on a bad day. Perimeter shots. They had been good all year.

3) Power Play -- or should we call them the Powerless play. With all the penalties called on NY, we should have had more than 1. Is it time to tweak the personnel on it to some degree,

4) Backstrom finally got a goal. Note: we have had zero scoring from anyone all year, outside of our top 6 forwards. No scoring from the 3rd or 4th line. No scoring from defensemen. (Okay, we've had a few assists.)

5) My kingdom for a goalkeeper. Theodore was having a game like Varlamov of this year.

6) Is it my imagination or if Boyd Gordon gets a penalty, it's always costly. Two days in a row. (He's historically been a good PK'er but he can't do that when he's in the box.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 8, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Fourth game of the season and the team needs to be revamp? Come people, time to go your doctor and ask for some prozac. They had a bad game, they were outplayed by a less talented team but a well coached one. Theo wasn't as bad as the score makes him look, Lundqvist allowed just as many and the softest goal of the game. Except for Semin and Backstrom everyone had mediocre game, even OV had a bad game, he seemed to constantly give up the puck, one actually leading to a goal.
It is not the end of the season. It is not time to despair nor start changing the team. It is only one game.

Posted by: hock1 | October 8, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 & @wtf_fehr and others,

The PP has looked so bad lately, that it's probably time to try something different. Maybe it's time to put Knuble on the 1st PP unit. One way or another, the cast of characters should be rearranged there.

I wouldn't rearrange the 1st & 2nd even strenth lines. The OBS is scoring. The KLM line was scoring -- until today. In any case, when Flash & Fehr return, we should be in better shape for the 3rd line. (It doesn't mean Flash & Fehr necessarily go on the 3rd line but gives us a few more options. Both of them have historically usually been on either the 2nd of 3rd line.) At least Fehr is back.

Next question: once Flash is back, are we better off teaming Laich with Steckel on Line 3 and putting Flash on Line 2 or putting Flash on Line 3 (with Steckel and Clark) and leaving Laich where he is).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 8, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

it's not just about one game... I've been saying OV needs to be on the PK since last year. look at that list of career shorthanded goal leaders. Not only are they all time great players, everyone except Poulin also won the Cup multiple times.

Posted by: joek443 | October 8, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Agreed with Hock1, this sounds like a Redskins message board.

Posted by: eorr | October 8, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Okay, made an error in my last post. I know Fehr is back soon but not yet.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 8, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

@hock1

No, I'm not ready to change the whole team yet. I'd leave the 1st and 2nd even strength lines alone. The main thing I've suggested is reorganize the cast of characters on the PP units. (No, I don't have any groupings in mind and assume it will be most of the current group -- but reorganized a bit and maybe substituting a guy or two.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 8, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

@digster1013

I thought we had 1 power play goal, not zero. Granted, one out of 8 is a pretty pathetic percentage. (Combined with 1 out of 5 against Philthy.)

No wonder I've been calling for reorganizing the PP units lately.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I'm annoyed. And think that we should be 4-0, with decent goaltending and a working power play.

I still think the Caps will make the playoffs and likely win their division. I'm not yet ready to give up on the team as a whole.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

for great players like Gretzky, Lemieux, Yzerman, Messier and Kurri, being on the PK unit is all about making sacrifices for the good of the team. heard something interesting from BB in the post game news conference. he basically said, "if you can't contribute on offense, at least don't cost the team goals on defense"

I don't think that's the right attitude. to me it sounds like some players can make mistakes on defense because they can at least score. EVERYONE must be accountable on defense, doesn't matter if they can score 70 goals/year or 2 goals/year. that's how you win championships.

Posted by: joek443 | October 9, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I see there are some people here who are calling for Boyd Gordon to be benched for costly penalties in 2 consecutive games.

I think the outcry would be much greater if it had been Alexander Semin rather than Boyd Gordon. Just saying. (No, I'm not ready to bench BG. If we benched every guy who got a bad penalty, we wouldn't have too many people left.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Is BB the Mike Martz of hockey?

Posted by: eorr | October 9, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

On our guys for PK. While Ovi isn't necessarily against being on PK, it probably isn't the best use of his time since he's on the ice so much.

I see Green getting plenty of PK duty. Of course, he gets lots of even strength and PP duty for a ridiculous amount of ice time. (He may need to have his PP duty shorted until he gets untracked. But he's certainly contributing on defense.)

Backstrom and Semin get their share of PK duty. Okay, that didn't happen today but it does happen.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

If I was the coach Ovie would have to be in phenomenal shape because he would be playing all 60 mins!

Posted by: eorr | October 9, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

don't know if he is or isn't but all I know is that Mike Keenan would have benched OV after his giveaway led to the first goal for the Rangers.

Posted by: joek443 | October 9, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

@joe443
I agree 100%. I don't care how many goals Ovi scores, he needs to be accountable just like everyone else.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 9, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan75

I would tend to agree that putting OV on the PK isn't probably the best use of his time but I believe this team needs an attitude change on defense. BB keeps saying they talk about defense all the time but I just don't see it in their play.

I know it's too early to panic and try a move like that but in a month from now if the defense stays the same? I would def. try it.

Posted by: joek443 | October 9, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

wtf_e_fehr:

At least I left my house in a great mood because of your predictions. If our boys had only listened to you.

Yes I am mad at our team and anyone else who dares cross my path while I am stewing over the loss. Not because they lost the game, or even because they made mistakes, but because we are right back where we were last year.

CapsFan75:

I agree. Power play was pathetic and the goalie situation beyond frustrating. What are the odds that we would end up with two moody. fragile, inconsistent goalies?

Randino:

Being disappointed in Varly by no means implies an endorsement of Theo. I was hoping, from what BB said, that he had at least improved to be an okay goalie but he seems the same to me. Varly has the potential and explosive talent that we need. But if he has mental vulnabilities, he cannot have sustainable success. Hopefully it is a matter of adjustment and even a couple of off nights. At the moment, though, I am very concerned about the goalie situation.

Time to give Neuvy a shot.


Posted by: caraveli | October 9, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

@caraveli

Only problem. Neuvy's injured. Gee, will they now bring up Jason B? (Can't remember his last name but it sounds like "chihuahua" and includes "cash"). He wouldn't have much of a cap hit. (Okay, I'm kidding.)

The burning question now is ---- who will start in goal against Detroit. Let's hope Chris Osgood will be Chris Osbad against us.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Tonight, the Pens beat Philthy. Notes on game. Jeff Carter was hot. Malkin sure took a ton of penalties, 5 minor penalties, including a double minor, I think. How does Pittsburgh manage to win when they had a ton of guys going to the box?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

don't know if he is or isn't but all I know is that Mike Keenan would have benched OV after his giveaway led to the first goal for the Rangers.

Posted by: joek443 | October 9, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse
-----------------------------------------

Thank God you and/or Mike Keenas aren't our coach then. Get a clue Joek. And your argument of having OV on the PK is ridiculous. Oh gee I almost forget, your the one who said Mario was the best Pker ever. You don't bench the best player in the game and the one who out skates everybody every shift he's out there. If he's coasting or not trying sure but OV's mistakes are never from a lack of effort.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 9, 2009 3:35 AM | Report abuse

OV is just as accountable as anybody else on the team. He has been taken off of PP's and has missed shifts. Like I said, you don't BENCH the best player in the game and the one who out skates everybody on the ice.

That's a pretty intelligent comment, bench OV. I supposed you'd bench Gretzky and your beloved Mario too. The day that OV becomes the biggest part of the problem here in DC to warrant a benching is the day we'll start another "Save the Caps" campain.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 9, 2009 3:38 AM | Report abuse

campaign

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 9, 2009 3:40 AM | Report abuse

TominFl - I couldn't agree more. You and I have been some of the more optimistic people on this board. I think what bothers me so much about tonight is the way we lost. Our PP struggled, but ok things like that happen. You don't score at a 30% clip all the time. I think what it comes down to for me is Varly cost us the game the other night (Erskine and Poti deserve assists) but IMO it was mainly Varly. Then tonight Theo blows it. I really thought going into the sesaon we'd be set in goal b/c if Theo blew up Varly would be there and be better than ever so all we'd have to worry about is the D. I thought the D would be improved as well with the 2 signings (MK & BMo play both ends of the ice), Pothier healthy and Woods on board. So I guess what bothers me is, we still have just as bad of D problems as last year (Pothier didn't play Tues) if not worse and our goaltending is weak at best. OK OK you can say yeah but if "x" didn't make "x" saves in the 1st and 2nd then it wouldn't have been a game but that argument is weak with me. How many times do you hear announcers say "In the NHL if a goalie can see it he'll stop it"? Well it doesn't seem to be so true with our goalies to this point and that's pretty bothersome to me at this point.

If we play like we did in Boston and lose, hey that happens but not many breakdowns so you can accept it. When you lose like we did in Philly and now tonight that's unacceptable. This team is better than this.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 9, 2009 3:50 AM | Report abuse

Already at this point I'd say trade Erskine and Poti for a bag of pucks and get Alzner and Carlson up here. I can accept their mistakes because they'll get better but Poti and Erskine have reached their peak. You know what you're gonna get with them and we already know that isn't pretty come playoff time. For those in love with Poti, he was booed out of Manhattan and booed off the island so don't act like he's the only one who knows how to clear a puck on the PK.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 9, 2009 3:52 AM | Report abuse

I think the Caps are making me lose sleep! LOL! And I'll never get it back either!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 9, 2009 3:54 AM | Report abuse

OV was directly responsible for Calahan's goal. GEtting stripped of the puck twice and not being able to catch up allowing 2 breakabways- first saved by #9. Second goal.

Posted by: fehrrocks | October 9, 2009 4:06 AM | Report abuse

How about coaching and top line powerplay failure to keep the puck in the offensive zone? Line combos are not maximizing team play. Pothier/Erskine is consistently solid when playing together. Put Pothier or Poti on the PP point.

Posted by: fehrrocks | October 9, 2009 4:55 AM | Report abuse

Was at the game last night and Theo kept us in it early. The Rangers could have easily been up 5-1 going into the third. My opinion is that the team just doesn't have enough naturally physical defenseman. They seem to have to try to be physical. Sorry, Jeff Schultz is not that good. Why he is on the ice is beyond me. The only thing he brings to the game is the fact that he is 'big'. Not at all physical. Sick of watching the defense poke check.

Posted by: chasedano@gmail.com | October 9, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Theo and Varly have let in some howlers, but until I see more consistent clearing of the puck (and opponents) from the crease and slot, I'm pinning it on the blueliners.

Posted by: fengraf | October 9, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

"How does Pittsburgh manage to win when they had a ton of guys going to the box?"

--That's the NHL for you. The night before last, the Penguins had like 9 penalties and got beat at home by the lowly Coyotes 3-0.

Look at it this way, the Caps have two solid wins (the 3rd period vs Tor accepted) and two very close losses, against a tough schedule so far. They are going to be very hard to beat every night, even with the defensive/goaltending issues.

That being said, I still think most of their issues are mental as opposed to skill. They have shown they can play as a unit and can play much better defense. But they get away from those schemes still way too often and that's why you see Bruce so ticked off after games like this. They should be 4-0. Maybe playing the Wings will wake them up.

Posted by: southside721 | October 9, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

blame it on dan snyder,...i'm sure he won't come out to deny it!!

Posted by: astroman215aolcom | October 9, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Actually, the blame in mostly coaching. Boudreau constantly allows certain players shifts that are way too long. He has to stop allowing top guys to stay out on the powerplay for minutes at a time. Callahan's goal in the second period was a direct result of players being on the ice too long. It cost us last year in the playoffs and it did again last night. When will Boudreau start out-coaching other teams?

Posted by: michaelc3 | October 9, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

PLEASE TRADE MIKE GREEN. Get someone who can play defense. Plus, he looks lost early on this season. His value is high now and could tank soon. This team doesn't need anymore offense with Fleish comng back soon. However, they aren't going anywhere quickly with the lack of defense and goaltending. Its a glaring weakness and the window may close sonner than later.

Posted by: oneft2dice | October 9, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@pokerface Star players like Ovi should get benched if they are not putting forth the effort. Hockey is a team sport, and as great as Ovi is, he can't win it alone. It sends a bad message to the team to bench Boyd Gordon for poor play/effort but let Ovi continue to play because he is more skilled than the rest.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 9, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Problem #1: Clark on the PP. Clark does not have skills and thus should not be on the PP unless both Knuble and Laich are tired.

Problem #2: Theo starting. I dont see why he is playing, when the future of the franchise is sitting on the bench getting no experience. It's not like Theo is any good.

Problem #3. Our defense. Just because guys like Erskine, Jurcina, and Schultz have some NHL experience doesnt mean they should be playing rather than the future great defensemen of our franchise like Alzner and Carlson. Cut Schultz!!

Posted by: BarraPuta | October 9, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Thank God you and/or Mike Keenas aren't our coach then. Get a clue Joek. And your argument of having OV on the PK is ridiculous. Oh gee I almost forget, your the one who said Mario was the best Pker ever. You don't bench the best player in the game and the one who out skates everybody every shift he's out there. If he's coasting or not trying sure but OV's mistakes are never from a lack of effort.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 9, 2009 3:35 AM | Report abuse

Mario Lemieux ranks in top 5 in all time shorthanded goal list. Do you know ANYTHING about hockey or do you just like having arguments WITHOUT any point???

Posted by: joek443 | October 9, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

To the yahoo who wrote "Sloan experiment didn't work" ... stay current -- it wasn't an "experiment" (Kane sent down, Fehr on his way to Hershey for conditioning, Cap situation, etc.) What did you expect from a new NHL D, given 2 days notice, playing a different position with different line mates? He at least had some jump, set up Backstrom's 1st goal for an assist & had 3 hits ... all in 7.22 min. Take a look at the other forwards (minus Semin & Backstrom & Laich) who played more minutes & note their lack of contribution. What other D would have filled in any better? Green? He couldn't hit the broad sign of a barn right now. Sloan did a great job given the circumstances.

Posted by: gogetem | October 9, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Good to see everyone in a complete knee-jerk panic. Yeah, let's bench OV and trade Mike Green. Good lord, people.

Posted by: ouvan59 | October 9, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

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