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Red Wings 3, Caps 2

The Caps put forth a much better all-around effort tonight. Alex Ovechkin seemed to be everywhere while taking nine shots on goal and making 10 hits, and Jose Theodore put together a solid, 34-save performance.

But the Caps couldn't stay out of the penalty box, again. And so they lost, again, this time dropping a 3-2 decision to Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

The Caps took five minor penalties, including two by Alexander Semin and another two by Mike Green, in the defeat, which was their third straight. Green was in the box for hooking Ville Leino when Tomas Holmstrom beat Theodore with 6:53 left to play.

"We competed," defenseman Brian Pothier said. "We did a lot of little things well. But it was the same situation for us. If we don't address our penalties. It's difficult because it ruins the whole flow of our game. Our penalty killers are tired. Are top guns aren't on the ice. Not to mention they've got a five-on-four."

While the volume of penalties wasn't outrageous (by comparison, the Wings took only three) it was the timing and location of the fouls that had Coach Bruce Boudreau fuming afterward. Not to mention the fact that the Caps decided to be undisciplined against a perennially potent Wings' power play.

Semin's first penalty -- a slash -- came in the offensive zone. Those types of penalties are inexcusable. Period. His second infraction wasn't much better -- interference on Todd Burtuzzi -- and it proved to be very costly. Jason Williams tied the game up with a rocket of a shot through a screen.

"I'm not happy," Boudreau said. "We have to figure out how to teach him not to do these things. He can go along for great games and then his head's not in it and takes dumb penalties. It's a downfall for our team. If hadn't taken penalties in this game or in other games, we could easily be 5-0. Instead, we're .500. It's back to the drawing board."

Early in the third period, Brendan Morrison tied the game up, but then Green hooked Leino near top of the zone with 7:37 left to play. You can argue all you want that the whistle never should have been blown. But for the past four years, refs have been pretty consistent about calling players for impeding another with his stick, no matter how slight. Green now is ranked second (to Pittsburgh's Evgeny Malkin) with six minor penalties in five games.

It's unclear what Boudreau is going to do about the problem. He's hinted in the past that he would take ice time away from repeat offenders. But it remains to be seen if he follows through on that. It's an especially tough decision when the punishment might involve benching a player (or two) who has enough skill to win a game on his own.

A few other notes:

*Quintin Laing was checked from behind into the boards by Derek Meech in the third period. Laing told me that he expects to be a bit stiff in the morning, but doesn't expect to miss any time.

*After allowing two weak goals in the third period against the Rangers, Theodore was good all night. Couldn't really fault him for any of the goals. In fact, if not for a few huge saves from him early, the Caps might not have been in the game late.

*For the first time this season, both Nicklas Backstrom and Semin went without a point.

*Eric Fehr skated 8:15 in his return from surgery on both shoulders. He did not register a shot on goal, but was credited with three hits.

*Sunday's practice has been canceled.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 11, 2009; 12:17 PM ET
 
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Comments

first! ever!

caps have to stop these penalties and play more disciplined hockey

Posted by: RussianMachineNeverBreaks | October 11, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

if you're gonna get a penalty, at least get your money's worth... go slash, elbow or highstick somebody in the face!! enough with all these sissy interference penalties...

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

1 - The most immediate question is which forward do you plan to sit once Fleischmann comes back. If you watched the last several games, the obvious answer is Chris Clark.

2- I'll say it again, I really think the team is stronger with Steckel playing the fourth line center, along with the primary penalty killing unit. Brendan Morrison looks great so far. I think he and Nylander should be the second and third-line centers, in whatever order you prefer. With Fleischmann back there will be three lines that can score. I want to hear other coaches saying, 'They come at you in waves' after the game. The FOURTH line should be the 'energy' line.. Laing-Steckel-Bradley fills that role. If you think Boyd Gordon is indispensable, you could always send Laing back to Hershey and go Gordon-Steckel-Bradley.

3- I agree there's not many forwards in Hershey with a great chance of making a difference in Washington this season, except for short fill-in stints.

As for the long-term issue..

4- The people who talk about trading Semin are talking about his contract. Backstrom isn't going anywhere, and -- memo to McPhee -- HE GETS MORE EXPENSIVE every game that goes by without a new deal. Semin's great but with Ovie at $9.5 million and Backstrom at, who knows - $5.5? 6? 6.5??? the Caps might not be able to afford them all. I wouldn't be surprised by a trade involving Semin this season, or an offer sheet from another team that the Caps can't match in the off-season. If he helps them win a cup, then that's the price the Caps have to pay.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | October 11, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

There is no reason to trade Semin. There is no way he gets too much more of a raise (cap hit wise) then he already has. His cap hit this year is already 4.6 million. At most he gets another million. Next year Theo's deal is gone so there is 4.5 million to go to Backstrom. Also Nylander will be gone next year so there is another 4.875 million to spend on the two. So that means with the two players leaving and Semin's currnet contract space they will have 13.975 million just from that so that is almost 7 million each in space. Considering Zetterberg just signed a contract with a cap hit of only just over 6 million I think that Caps can sign both since they both like it here and will probably give a discount. We also lose all but Green and Poti on our NHL D-corps where we will most likely bring up Alzner and Carlson who while young will sure up the D. Also for all those talking about how bad the D played today they were playing one of the top scoring teams in the NHL and one of the best Power Plays in the NHL. I while it would have been nice to get at least a point it is not the sign of a bad year. So many people were talking about how great we were going to be after the first two games and now are taking about not making the playoffs. WE ARE FOUR GAMES INTO THE SEASON. Sorry to type in all caps I just wanted to make a point. No team is going to win every game and while the team has some weak points everyone does espically after only four games.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 11, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Sorry five games not four (too much thinking for 1:15am)

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 11, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

A few more games like this and the message to Ted will be clear: Boudreau must go. We all love him, but the players seem to be tuning him out. If you want the team to win this year, you either bring in someone they'll listen to for the short term, or you go to the source of the problem and replace the GM who built the team.

Ignoring the defense and toughness in favor of finesse will lose you a playoff series every single time.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | October 11, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

They need to hiure someone to translate for Boudreau when he talks to Semin.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | October 11, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Icehammer I'm with you in that I hope the Caps can keep Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin and Green. I'm just not as optimistic that it can happen.

One reason -- Nylander's contract does not come off the books next season. He's got a $4.875-million hit this season AND next season unless the Caps can find some team dumb enough to take him. Which is why the only real options are to start playing him or buy him out.

We're also on the hook for Chris Clark for $2.6-million for next season. Ugh..

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | October 11, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

they probably could have and should have traded Semin last year for Bouwmeester... too late now

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

Anytime Semin takes a bad penalty (or does not have a good game), the "Trade Semin" lobby comes out in full force. There's more anti-Semin outcry tonight (and all such nights) than there was for Boyd Gordon after our last two losses.

Must admit I have a kid alot like Alex Semin. I'm sure if I ever compared notes with his parents (assuming we could get over the language barrier), we would discover similar experiences. "Sasha is doing very well in school but sometimes he doesn't always focus..."

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 2:43 AM | Report abuse

As for Nylander, the NMC clause expires after this season although he's still under contract.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 2:44 AM | Report abuse

@TheRealOneal-

If they keep benching Nylander and don't deal him, then he will be wavered at first possible opportunity and the cap space freed up.

Posted by: trunkenmath | October 11, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

My pre-game feeling was that the Caps would play much better. I think they did. And, for the first time this year, I'm going to complain about a penalty. That 3rd-period call on Green was really lame - even the Detroit announcers said so.

Can't believe Ovechkin missed the net on that one shot at the end of the period.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 11, 2009 6:44 AM | Report abuse

The frustrating thing is that they are doing the same things they did last year. The same ones that BB went on about and that hurt them every time -- too many penalties, too many passes, not enough shots (especially during pp), and not clearing the front of the net. Until/unless they address these issues and get it in their heads that they must do so every game, not every fifth or sixth game, they won't be able to compete consistently with the elite teams and thus won't be able to take that last step to the Cup. Their losses to Rangers, Flyers and Wings tie right back to their losses to S*itsburgh last season.

Also:
-- Ovie and Green need to cut back on turning over the puck.
-- SOB line needs to be broken up. Would like to see Knuble up top and Semin on second.
-- Give Nylander a shot or two and see if his purported dedication and desire to play here results in tangible returns on the ice. If so, it would provide another skilled center for the third line.
-- BB needs to make good his threat to sit out players because of stupid penalties and to give others a chance to replace them: Mr Semin, Mr Green (and a few others) your seats are waiting.
-- D-men who don't clear out the front of the net should be treated in the same way -- they should sit a game or two until they learn that fundamental.

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | October 11, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Mike Green needs to sit for a game. He can use that time to get over himself and start thinking about actually playing hockey.

Then again, he's so interested in interior design that he hired someone else to do his work for him; maybe he should hire someone to play defense for him as well.

Posted by: aybee27 | October 11, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

In response to the previous thread:

gonchcup, if all you want is an exciting team then you got what you want. I want a championship team and I don't have what I want.

CapsFan75, I NEVER advocated getting rid of the entire defense. What I said was it was ridiculous to keep all three of the RFA defensemen, Schultz, Sha-Mo and Jurcina. They team was heavy with middling defensemen and keeping all three made zero sense. Seeing as how the early season has played out with 8 d-men on the roster (I'm still waiting for a legitimate explanation on Sloan when you re-sign all three of those guys and give Erskine a two year deal) I think I have an early season vindication of my feelings that McPhee screwed up his handling of the situation, although it is still early and I could turn out to be wrong.

Lastly, and not from the earlier thread, tominfl, just want you acknowledgement that I have now won 2 of our 3 bets from this summer: 1) Sloan's salary would be under $750K; and 2) Aucoin would not spend the entire season with Washington. The last bet won't be known for awhile, the combined salary of Flash and Fehr (do you remember the over/under on that...I know I had the under and think it was something like $4 million).

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 11, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

The Caps are showing the effects of playing with a mediocre defense. The only consistent defenseman this year has been Pothier. Morrison and Erskine have had some good games, but the rest have played inconsistenly and very poorly at times. I think the Caps will need to let go of one or two of their propspects on D, and get a solid blue liner if this is going to be 'the year'.

Posted by: festus75 | October 11, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Too busy to comment last night, so here's a couple thoughts.

1. SEMIN, GOD ^%&#^%, STAY OUT OF THE BOX! The guy is an immensely talented sniper but he takes the most idiotic, lazy or sloppy penalties. I think last year he was like #3 on the team in penalties, and that's behind a guy like Brashear. You can't sit the guy because of his talent, but he needs to get a message.

2. We've talked a bunch about whether the 8-19-28 line is a good idea. Obviously, it goes against the conventional wisdom of having a RW with OV who can stand near the crease and screen or hammer home rebounds. I think the jury is out on that, line working, but clearly the 21-9-22 line is awesome. This line needs a name like "The Hard Nose Line" or "Unsung Heros Line", I'm kidding about the naming, but three guys who play a pretty direct style and it works.

3. I had not noticed in the offseason that Detroit signed Brad May. My god, talk about an old school enforcer.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 11, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how many of you picked this up last night on the Cap TV broadcast.

Craig Laughlin stated that Green went back to using last years gloves because he said he did not feel comfortable (or something along those lines) with this years gloves.

I think his mind is somewhere else with his recently new large contract. There's too many outside distractions right now. The guy has tremendous talent but the focus is lacking.

Posted by: puckman | October 11, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

"Semin's first penalty -- a slash -- came in the offensive zone. Those types of penalties are inexcusable." Holy cow, Tarik! Can you stop aping others? Even the Detroit announcers said that penalty was not a slash, and on the replay it showed that it was an accidental high stick.

BB is using too many excuses for his loses, it seems to never be his coaching approach. Singling out one player - one of the best players this team has - for penalty which led to one goal and then calling him out on the press (especially with semi-qualified reporters) does absolutely nothing.

Penalties are bad, but they are not the sole reason why this team loses. Every team commits penalties, it is part of the game. Some examples of teams that committed more penalties than their opposition and still won:
Anaheim
Boston
New Jersey

The Caps are in the middle of the pack in PIM/G with 12.8 while Pitts is last with almost double that amount, and they are 4-1.

Give me a break.

Posted by: hock1 | October 11, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

One of the problems with Green is the coach playing him way to many minutes. He is always above 25 minutes a game, closer to 27 or 28. I do not care what kind of shape y0u are in when you skate as much as Green does, he is going to get tired and either make a mental mistake or will be physically tired and not be able to keep up with fresher legs. BTW, same with Ovie playing 24 or 25 minutes a game. Cut them back, it is a long season to be playing that many minutes this early.

Posted by: RichC3 | October 11, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Now Green is getting bashed for allowing US into his home to see how he redecorated his condo. Why in the heck do so many think they really know the players. The weight at which Green showed up to play at this year completely jives with his declaration that he worked out in his hometown this summer. He doesn't work hard? He doesn't work hard?? He plays 25 plus minutes a game and wins races to pucks. Hopefully these players don't waste time reading these boards. If they are my recommendation is for all of you to enjoy your time away from the rink. Don't give any interviews or snapshots into your personal lives. You guys give away your privacy on a regular basis just to get trashed by people who thing they know you now because they watched a video. Rumor had it Ovi read this board last season. If you are Ovi, I would like to apologize to you and your team mates for the rediculous attacks to the work ethic of you and your friends. Good luck getting the little things straightened out. Also, THANK YOU for what you and your team mates bring to DC. Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 11, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@oneal: Nylander, if still with us next season for some crazy reason has a Cap hit of 3 million. As someone already said he can be waved after July 1st.

Someone asked why penalties are considered "lazy" or "stupid." Lazy penalties are the ones where a player is reaching with a stick while gliding when keeping the legs moving would have most likely closed the gap and made the penalty unavoidable. Especially when it is from behind. The amount of penalties taken was an approvement. I know it has been said already but I'm gonna say it too...Theo played a great game. He gave us a chance to win and that is all you ask of a goaltender. Very solid game.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 11, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

One of the problems with Green is the coach playing him way to many minutes. He is always above 25 minutes a game, closer to 27 or 28. I do not care what kind of shape y0u are in when you skate as much as Green does, he is going to get tired and either make a mental mistake or will be physically tired and not be able to keep up with fresher legs. BTW, same with Ovie playing 24 or 25 minutes a game. Cut them back, it is a long season to be playing that many minutes this early.

Posted by: RichC3 | October 11, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

well why do you think Green has to play 25 plus mins/game? it's the same reason Stevens, Langway and Murphy had to be out on the ice every other shift in the early to mid 1980's. they don't have anyone else. At least Green isn't as hot-headed as Stevens was and the rules have changed since then.. otherwise every agitator on the other team would try to sucker him into a fight like they used to do with Stevens.

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

@hock1

Yes, the Caps have taken too many bad penalties lately. I've been wondering, how on Earth do the Penguins get away with taking so many penalties, both major and minor, and still manage to win.

Malkin, in particular, has 16 penalties, all minor, including 4 in one game. If the Caps had Malkin, we'd be calling for him to get traded.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Good post. You usually have some good thoughts. It does seem like hf we hear too much about a guy's off rink life (and if they have a bad season or bad stretch with a season), there's even more castigation.

I wonder if Ovi had read this board or did he read the Discussion Boards from the team site or even read Japers? Or all of the above.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

Bouwmeester's cap hit is greater thatn Semin's, at the present time. So we couldn't have afforded him any how.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Green has twice as many penalties as Semin, but only Semin is lazy? It's still early and the team will turn it around, but Green is given too much of a pass by the media and maybe the coaching staff. How many excuses have they had for his poor play? He is still injured from the Pronger hit last November, but managed to score 31 goals. He had mono, his stick isn't right, his gloves aren't right. Give me a break? It's silly to nitpick over every mistake Semin, Poti, Erskine, etc makes yet ignore the 800lb Gorilla in the room.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 11, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

if you commit a penalty in the offensive zone, 99 times out 100 they're LAZY penalties. do you actually watch hockey or just the stat sheets??? LOL

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@hock1, re Semin's high stick. Yes, it was accidental, but it was careless. That's really Semin's biggest downside is his occasional periods of laziness and sloppiness usually leading to silly penalties, often of the stick (hook, high, trip) variety.

Great talent, but needs to play a better mental game.

As for the "trade semin" people, I don't know. I've gone through bouts of thinking we should trade him for a defenseman, but I don't know if GMGM can make that work. This is why I am not the GM, not sure how easy it would be to pull the trigger on a trade like that.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 11, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@hock1, re Semin's high stick. Yes, it was accidental, but it was careless. That's really Semin's biggest downside is his occasional periods of laziness and sloppiness usually leading to silly penalties, often of the stick (hook, high, trip) variety.

Great talent, but needs to play a better mental game.

As for the "trade semin" people, I don't know. I've gone through bouts of thinking we should trade him for a defenseman, but I don't know if GMGM can make that work. This is why I am not the GM, not sure how easy it would be to pull the trigger on a trade like that.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 11, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

again most coaches can live with penalties if they're from aggressive plays or to prevent scoring chances and so can I. I happen to think it's worth taking a minor penalty here and there to "send a message", such as elbowing someone in the mouth or stuff like that.

what they have a problem is penalties committed in the offensive zone.

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@joek443 Not sure if you were referring to me, but I will respond. I'll agree that Semin's first penalty was lazy and that he would have probably been called for a hook if Lidstrom doesn't move his leg. He had an awful game last night and I don't think anyone will deny that. But the difference is that his mistakes are always acknowledged. Mike "Superstar" Green takes a selfish hooking penalty late in the third instead of letting Laich defend and nothing is said. If Semin can be called out for laziness, Poti for own goals, Theo and Varly for giving up "softies" and even Ovi for poor defense, surely someone can at least mention Green.

And dude, don't mean to be rude, but there is no need to take these thing personally. At the end of the day, our lives are unchanged.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 11, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

JayBo is almost as bad on defense as Green is. He is an offensively minded player who is routinely a negative guy. I don't see him helping much except giving us points from the blue line. Which we do not need. Yeah, he hits, but his defensive play is mediocre.

Green definetely does not need to sit. This is not freaking football. Reduce his minutes, sure, but sit him for a game? Come on now.


I don't really see the need to be dissecting a few regular season games. It's early. Maybe it's just me, but put me in the camp of "not freaking out."

Posted by: richmondphil | October 11, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Icehammer I'm with you in that I hope the Caps can keep Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin and Green. I'm just not as optimistic that it can happen.

One reason -- Nylander's contract does not come off the books next season. He's got a $4.875-million hit this season AND next season unless the Caps can find some team dumb enough to take him. Which is why the only real options are to start playing him or buy him out.

We're also on the hook for Chris Clark for $2.6-million for next season. Ugh..

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | October 11, 2009 1:25 AM |

Check the numbers. We have more than enough space to re-sign Backs and Semin at around 6 each. Will that create further problems in the future? Maybe...but at the very least we would be able to afford them.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 11, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@oneal: Nylander, if still with us next season for some crazy reason has a Cap hit of 3 million. As someone already said he can be waved after July 1st.
_______________________________________

Correction. Nylander's salary is 3 million. His cap hit remains the same; 4.85 million or whatever.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 11, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why everyone complains about Semin more than any other, but not Green. Semin is one of the top players in the league based off of raw talent. Green had a hot streak last year, but consistantly shows his laziness. My point is if you want to place blame you should look at each player equally.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | October 11, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

fanohok1: perhaps you are new and missed the discussion about how Green professed to have an interest in interior design, but then, rather than using that interest to develop his own personal design for his pad, he hired someone else to do it for him? Granted, that was a long time ago, but I was referencing that. Anyway, it's a joke.

Just like his defense lately.

The guy gets payed $5 million per year. He should log 25 minutes a night. There are plenty of defensemen who made or are making a career out of being a workhorse, playing between 25 and 30 minutes a night. Chris Pronger comes to mind. As does Scott Stevens. Both did it/are doing it well into their mid-thirties. If Mike Green is worth the money this organization is tying up on him, he ought to be able to do it too, especially since, as you said, he worked so hard to get in shape during the offseason, and is so young as it is.

Posted by: aybee27 | October 11, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Ok for those that want to get rid of Semin. Wait till he misses some games this year due to injury and see how our offense looks then. We will have a tough time scoring 2 goals a game with Ovie being tripled team on every shift.

This is evident so far. We have 3 skilled players and 9 hard nose grinders.

Steckel, Bradley, Gordon, Clark, Laing are all 4th line/Fringe roster players on most top teams in the league. Fehr Jury still out but. I don't think people realize how much Ovie, Backs, Semin hide our offensive flaws. We lost to Detroit 3-2 but when our top line was not out. The puck was constantly in our end when 2-4th lines were out. It was also the case in Philly and against the Rangers.

To me Knuble looks out of place in this up tempo system. He doesn't have the speed or skill to play well 5 on 5. His game is PK and PP. And with Laich having early success that took away his minutes.

I know on the surface we replaced Feds and Kozlov with Old MO (lol) and Knuble but in reality we lost creativity. We have a lot less flow to transition game and creativity in 2nd and 3rd lines. Its still early and its a 82 game season. But those are my early observations.

I think once Flash comes back we need to break up the top line. Not because they are not producing but because right now if our top line is shut down we will have a tough time creating offense.

Ovie Backs Knuble/Flash
Semin Morrison Flash/Knuble
Laich Steckel Fehr/Clark

Would rather much have those top 3 lines.


Posted by: lightshow | October 11, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Have to do football stuff and I was out all night so I'll only make a short comment.

We have issues, but the biggest one is not taking penalties. Guys can get better at that. Theo was solid last night, I thought the forwards did a better job of playing a complete game to help out the D.

Bottom line, it's a little over the top to get this up in arms over 3 ONE goal defeats...2 of them coming on the road at Philly and at Detroit.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | October 11, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

By now, almost every team has someone capable of logging 25+ minutes.

From older guys, like Pronger to younger guys like Hedman, Green, Weber, etc.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 11, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't know where or how BMo got this "grinder" two-way persona, but he is very much a finesse player. He relies on his speed and passing to get his points. He has never been viewed as a two-way center.


Fehr isn't much of a "hard-nosed grinder" either. He's a 6'4'' creampuff who wants to rely on his skills (or lack of) rather than his natural size.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 11, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

aybee27: I'm not new. The fact that you know Green is into interior design makes my point. The players give us too much access into their lives and people start to act like they know what these guys are thinking. As I have experienced more wealth I do less and let pros do things for me. Being an athlete is a year round job and Green has the money, why the heck wouldn't he hire someone to design his home?

It wasn't all that long ago either. Two years ago at this time Green lived in the same apartment complex as Laich.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 11, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Steckel, Bradley, Gordon, Clark, Laing are all 4th line/Fringe roster players on most top teams in the league.

____________________

Quite the stretch.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 11, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why everyone complains about Semin more than any other, but not Green. Semin is one of the top players in the league based off of raw talent. Green had a hot streak last year, but consistantly shows his laziness. My point is if you want to place blame you should look at each player equally.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | October 11, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

in case you haven't noticed, they don't play the same position. Green was the Norris trophy runner up last year and good d-men in the NHL are always to harder to find than good forwards. And Semin doesn't play 25 plus mins/game either.

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Can we send Green down to Hershey for a while? Does he have to clear waiver first?

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | October 11, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

in case you haven't noticed, they don't play the same position. Green was the Norris trophy runner up last year and good d-men in the NHL are always to harder to find than good forwards. And Semin doesn't play 25 plus mins/game either.

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 12:22

And Ovi is a two-time Hart trophy winner yet BB, the media, and posters constantly criticize him for his lack of defense and " too cute" play.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 11, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Can we send Green down to Hershey for a while? Does he have to clear waiver first?

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | October 11, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

let me guess, you are one of those "whoop, whoopers" that chased Larry Murphy outta town, aren't you?

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

And Ovi is a two-time Hart trophy winner yet BB, the media, and posters constantly criticize him for his lack of defense and " too cute" play.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 11, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

and you think he should get a pass for the giveway the other night against the Rangers which led directly to their first goal??? what's your point???

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Hi gang ... also put me in the "not freaking out" camp ... this early in the season everyone involved (including us fans) need time to settle into the long race that is the regular season ... we are going to see some great and fun hockey from this team ... but i really appreciate and agree with the folks that are calling out Mike Green ... i'm a big Mike Green fan ... but i do think he is getting a pass from the media while Semin gets torched ... it's not that Semin should be excused for his penalties ... but every guy should be equally accountable and i don't see that with Greener ... it's interesting that both players committed 2 penalties and Detroit scored 1 off Semin's penalties and scored 2 off Green's penalties ... but it was Semin that the media (and more importantly) Boudreau focused on ... and Green's 2nd penalty came late in the game with the game tied and another Caps player in great position to defend the play ... that is not a good sign to me ... it shows that there is an imbalance in how players are viewed and held accountable ... in any great championship team ALL players are held accountable equally ... like some have said ... we'll see how Boudreau handles these bad habits ... again ... thanks to those of you who are acknowledging that Green and Semin should be treated equally regarding these terrible infractions.

Posted by: obx13 | October 11, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

also I don't know what you mean by everyone constantly criticizing him for his lack of defense..

they don't even ask him to kill penalties or do other many of the other things they ask other stars to do. if you look at the alltime short-handed goal list, 90 percent of them are top offensive forwards like OV, they are no "defensive" specialists on that list.

Posted by: joek443 | October 11, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

@Caps4Life1

Yes, I do think Semin is bashed more than his mistakes than most other people. Yes, he makes mistakes but he's bashed more.

It seems like I've only heard Russian players getting accused of "taking shifts off". Never Swedes or Finns or Canadians or Americans. I'm sure Russians do not hold a monopoly on underachievement. They're not the only underachievers. They just get credit for it.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

82 game season, people need to relax.

People forget what a disaster our early West Coast Road Trip was where we lost 3 in a row. Or in November our Road Trip to California and Minny where we lost 4 in a row.

Posted by: lightshow | October 11, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@joek443 No, I don't. Ovi should be taken to task for his bad play just like every other player on the team. But you can't say Green should get a pass because he was second in the Norris voting, but that it is alright to criticize the reigning two-time MVP.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 11, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why there is so much hostility to our own guys. Relax! Trading Semin is not smart, he's a point per game player. Those are hard to come by. We'll get rid of him and everyone will start complaining about not scoring as much. I'll take the frustrating penalties and the lack of effort at times in his own zone, because over the course of the season, he'll make up for it offensively (of course there's always the hope that BB's harping will make something in his head click, but I'm not going to count on that).
And there's all this stuff about Mike Green. I do have to say, if a company changes your stick and what they have now is no good for you, go to another company! But otherwise, let him be. Did anyone bother to notice last night during one of the scoring chances the Wings had in the third when the puck was loose out in front with Theo down and out, and he cleared it to the corner like defensemen should do? He is not as bad as he's being made out to be. His timing of that second penalty was not good, I'll grant that, but he's a defenseman; defensemen get penalized way more. Anyone know how many PIMs Chara and Pronger have (hint: they both have more than Greenie)? Think Flyers and Bruins fans are calling for either of those two to be sat, or traded, or sent down to the AHL? Didn't think so. Relax people.

Posted by: Capcrazy77 | October 11, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@lightshow
That was a tough road trip because everyone got hurt. That's when Mike Green got hurt, and our D was really banged up. We might have been at the top of the conference if we had taken a game or two from that trip.

Posted by: Capcrazy77 | October 11, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1 said: "As I have experienced more wealth I do less."

Wow, just like Mike Green. Thanks for playing and for very succinctly illustrating my point for me...

What do I owe you?

Posted by: aybee27 | October 11, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

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