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Posted at 4:14 PM ET, 02/17/2011

Capitals try to escape San Jose with a win for the first time in 17 years

By Katie Carrera

The last time the Washington Capitals traveled to San Jose and won was Oct. 30, 1993 -- when the Shark Tank was only three weeks old. They are 0-9-1 here since. That game was a 4-2 win with now Capitals goaltending coach Arturs Irbe in net for the Sharks at the time.

Not only would a win here snap that long history of futility at the Shark Tank, but it would help build momentum at the midway point of this five-game road trip with the Capitals coming off the 7-6 win in Anaheim last night. The more recent history against the Sharks, though, gives Washington enough reason to not come out of the gate slow.

The Capitals' 2-0 loss to San Jose on Feb. 8 at Verizon Center was one of the team's more lackluster in the past month as they suffered a letdown following two emotional wins. It's also important, Matt Bradley said, for Washington to quickly get back to its defensive focus even though scoring seven goals was a nice reprieve.

"We've done a lot of things for one game, and to say the flood gates are open obviously is very premature, but it's nice to score seven goals," Bradley said. "We didn't like to give up six against, but we needed a game like that offensively. We come in here, where I don't think we've won in over a decade, and they're a great team. We've got to be tighter defensively. I don't think we worked hard [against San Jose on Feb. 8] and we can't have that."

The Capitals aren't the only team with plenty of on-paper offense that has been struggling to score recently. In their last six games, the Sharks haven't recorded more than three goals and they've only posted three once in that span.

Asked about Washington's offensive eruption Wednesday night, Sharks Coach Todd McLellan said: "We're waiting for that to happen [to San Jose]. We have to earn the right to score more than two, three goals a night."

--Something a little extra to keep an eye on is that according to the game notes, one of the linesmen will be Don Henderson, who also worked Wednesday's game against the Ducks. Boudreau was displeased with Henderson after last night's game and said he missed several offsides calls that led to Anaheim goals.

By Katie Carrera  | February 17, 2011; 4:14 PM ET
Categories:  San Jose Sharks  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Neuvirth to start, Green out against Sharks
Next: Open thread: Capitals at Sharks

Comments

@icehammer

ok, toss in Poti too!!

Posted by: caps4life2 | February 17, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

This is why GMGM should get more credit then some give him here. Even if FLA would take the original trade which I don't think they would no way are they interesting in taking in contracts right now that don't expire at the end of the year. This isn't NHL 11. You can't just keep adding players to a trade to make it work.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 17, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

so the game was past my bed time...did Henderson miss some off sides calls?

Posted by: capscoach | February 17, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"The more recent history against the Sharks, though, gives Washington enough reason to not come out of the gate slow."

By Katie Carrera | February 17, 2011; 4:14 PM ET

This team has had reason after reason after reason not to come out slow. Why would this be any different?

Who knows? Anything can happen. Maybe the Caps will put a complete game together tonight. I don't expect it but we're all waiting to see it, and not just once in a blue moon.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

To those who praise Steve Yzerman as being "a better General Manager" (vice GMGM), check this out:


http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/4707/daily-debate-whats-the-trade-ability-of-alexei-kovalev

Of particular interest is this passage:

"We're going to run our team and make or not make whatever moves are necessary based on what we have to do, and I can't react to what another club is doing," Yzerman told a few of us Tuesday. "Obviously giving up draft picks and adding a talented, legitimate player, they've deepened their roster and improved their team, but it really doesn't affect what we want to do."

Yzerman was coy when asked what he was specifically looking for.

"You're constantly trying to improve your team," Yzerman said. "If there's something that would make sense to help us this year or even beyond this year, you'd have to consider it."

Gee, if I redacted the name, y'all might guess it was GMGM talking. Could it be that GMGM isn't the only NHL General Manager who doesn't show all his cards before he sits down at the table?

Waka waka waka

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 17, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

so the game was past my bed time...did Henderson miss some off sides calls?

Posted by: capscoach | February 17, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey @capscoach, it's hard to know from the TV feed that doesn't always give a complete view the the entire entry to the zone, but BB was shouting like mad on the Ducks' one third period goal, a long breakout pass that seemed possibly to have drawn the player offsides. CSN re-played it a number of times and it's certainly possible he was offsides. BB was livid.

Joe B. and Locker called it close but not quite offsides, despite the possibility that it was. That's one thing that makes these guys great announcers -- they are not pure homers when it comes to assessing play, often pointing out lucky calls, appropriate non-calls, and great play by opponents.

Posted by: Justafan | February 17, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a shallow comparison. You can find commonalities among the best and worst GMs, or players for that matter, in any sport.

You proved absolutely nothing with that point. Try again.

Waka waka waka... whatever the f that means.

And step back and look at what Yzerman has actually done. Don't just pick a few standard quotes that even lousy GMs like McPhee make.

More importantly, let's see where things stand after a couple of seasons or more. You'll probably get real quiet if TB surpasses our accomplishments since the beginning of our rebuild. And you'll definitely shut it if they win a cup and we fail to even take another step forward due to McPhee's consistently poor roster contstruction and inability to address needs.

I would fully expect Yzerman to prove over time that he can build more balanced and playoff-caliber rosters than McPhee. And that, in itself, says less about Yzerman and more about McPhee. Almost anybody could outdo McPhail in that regard.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

@justafan

I agree about Joe B. and Locker. I trust their judgement when I didn't get a good look at a play. They don't just call everything for the Caps.

I have listened to other announcers from different teams, and maybe I am just used them, but they are my favorite.

Posted by: capscoach | February 17, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or has tmac been more hostile than usual lately?

Posted by: capscoach | February 17, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Long story short: Yes, several Ducks' off sides were neglected.

Posted by: LesGrossman | February 17, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao:

No sir, it is you who "don't get it", because once again, you take me out of context. But you should know by now that if you call me a Kool-Aid® drinker, my response is:

"Bartender, Pour me another!"

Anyway, my point is this:

--Was last night's game perfect?
--Was it pretty?
--Was it "a full 60 minutes?"
--Would we have won if the Ducks had had Hiller?
--Did we win the "right" way?

"No", "Nope", "Are you kidding me?", "Probably not", and "Doesn't matter".

That's right: it doesn't matter, because the Caps won.

After all is said and done, I want my team to WIN, by any (legal) means necessary.

So I was stressed-out and upset and maybe even depressed through many parts of last night's game.

So what?

I enjoyed every goal the Caps scored.

And I was pleased that they won.


Why can't you just share the joy when it presents itself, düüüde (as opposed to
being such a negative buzz-kill all the d@mn time)? After all, we'll probably all have cause enough to 81+ch again sooner or later.


Posted by: Rhino40 | February 17, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or has tmac been more hostile than usual lately?

Posted by: capscoach | February 17, 2011 4:58 PM

It's not just you.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

To be specific, the difference recently is that I've felt like ripping on other posters a little for a change. I stay away from those games 99% of the time but decided for a change of pace. I'm doing it sgm styles for a little before I return to my norm of just bashing players and management. Heh..

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I counted three times the Ducks were a good foot offsides. Two of those times the resulting play ended in a goal.

To be honest, it is very rare that I think the linesman misses the call. Last night was suprising that it semed so bad. The Caps I thought were offsides once that was also not called.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 17, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

waka waka waka, whatever the f that means

@SAOTI:

Please to be educating sahib what is meanings wakawakawaka?

@tmac2yao:

I missed your last post, and must therefore confess that I misjudged you completely.

Ø Looks like maybe you aren't an 4$$h@t after all Ø

XD

Cheers.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 17, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Was it just me, or did the Duck's goalie look unbelievably awful last night? That guy has no business being in the NHL.

It's hard to tell if the Caps 7 goals were the result of their hard work or because the goalie went blind for 60 minutes last night.

Posted by: Doom_and_Gloom | February 17, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

On another note, did anybody catch that new chick on On The Fly last night? She was giving a tour of the facility where the Heritage Classic is being played at. I think she had a hispanic last time. Either way, pretty good eye candy. ;)

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"And step back and look at what Yzerman has actually done."

What has he done? He traded Mezsarros who is dong quite well in Philly(and Tampa could use more defensemen), he acquired Gagne(only 18 pts. and a -20) who has been a okay, at best, so far, he signed Dan Ellis who was a complete bust, and he acquired Roloson which looks to be a solid move but Roloson has been letting in a good amount of goals lately.

He hired Boucher, which looks like a good hire, but every team looking for a coach at the time was going after Boucher(i.e. Columbus) so it wasn't exactly a diamond in the rough. In addition, Boucher hasn't even coached a full season yet, lets see how he is doing 3 or 4 years from now before we making any conclusions(remember how good BB looked after his first 58 games in the NHL, he was coach of the year).

Did Yzerman acquire Stamkos, Hedman, St. Louis, Downie, Malone, Ohlund, or Lecavlier?

This doesn't mean he isn't good or will not become a good GM, but lets wait until the team starts to become a by-product of his moves and not the previous GMs. Lets not give Yzerman credit for things he did not do.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 17, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm also not a big Yzerman fan. I thought he was an idiot for passing on Mike Green for the Olympics.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 17, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

jarkko ruutu to the ducks for a 6th round pick

Posted by: natresgroup | February 17, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Jarko Ruutu to the ducks for a 6th round pick. I would have thought Murray could have done better.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 17, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

There were 2-3 bad offsides missed in 2nd period alone, I was wondering where the whistle was, definitely a terrible game for the linesmen last night for sure.

Posted by: BBDwrestling | February 17, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes I really wonder what people think in here. A few threads back, the one discussing potential centers, a couple of people mentioned that all the candidates were minus players. Well, of course they are. They are playing for teams that are not doing well which means they will most likely be minus players.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 17, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"I'm also not a big Yzerman fan. I thought he was an idiot for passing on Mike Green for the Olympics."

-------------------------

Yeah, with Mike on the blue line, Canada could've won gold instead of ... Oh. nevermind.


You can debate whether MG's rep should've got him onto that team but a GM has to allowed to build a team based on his own vision. Then he must be judged on the results. Yzerman went with guys he felt could play defensively as well as offensively and he told Green, point blank, that he didn't think 52 fit the bill, so he wasn't taking him. The team Y put together then went out and won it all. End of story; and any criticism of Y's handling of that pressure-cooker job becomes completely and permanently invalidated.

Posted by: fanzee71 | February 17, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully that means McPhee is looking for something greater than Ruutu.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 17, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Jarko Ruutu to the ducks for a 6th round pick. I would have thought Murray could have done better.

Posted by: O-V-P

I'm surprised he got so little for Ruutu also. Maybe the owner didn't think it was worth paying the guy for an extra 10 days to hope for a 4th round pick and just wanted them to take what they could get now. Or no one else wanted him. Just guessing here.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 17, 2011 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Funny you guys should bring up Team Canada's Olympic performance last year...remember how they started the tournament sluggish and unable to score goals even with all that talent they just got by the first few games....kinda like - ....oh well you can finish the thought.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 17, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Did Yzerman acquire Stamkos, Hedman, St. Louis, Downie, Malone, Ohlund, or Lecavlier?

This doesn't mean he isn't good or will not become a good GM, but lets wait until the team starts to become a by-product of his moves and not the previous GMs. Lets not give Yzerman credit for things he did not do.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 17, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

**********************

Agreed - the big Canadian hockey media machine loves Yzerman and his shine will take a while to fade but clearly coach Boucher is this year's Boudreau - just look how his team plays...teams come up with gimmicks to stop his offense gimmicks.

All Yzerman has done this year was go after Dwayne Roloson - another media favorite - to shore up terrible goaltending. "Roly" as they affectionately named him was demanding out of Long Island and so someone would have got him anyway if Yzerman didn't - its not like Yzerman had to look under a rock to find him - it was a convenient circumstance.

Yzerman does not equal Scotty Bowman just yet - we will see what happens when he gets all those young stars after contracts at the same time...

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 17, 2011 6:59 PM | Report abuse

If we would have gotten Jarkko Ruutu we wouldn't be able to call out the Penguins for the dirty play of Matt Cooke anymore.

:)

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 17, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

missed the game last night. Any good?

anyway, you gotta love the honesty from Brian Burke. He said what other GMs would think of, but never have the ballz to say

The Maple Leafs enter Thursday's games 11th in the Eastern Conference, six points out of a playoff spot. Burke said he's not punting on this season yet, but he also refuses to make a deal that will help the Leafs now but hurt their long-term rebuilding plan.

"The notion of getting in in the eighth spot and getting spanked in the first round doesn't do a lot for me or do a lot for our marketplace," Burke said. "We can make the playoffs. We can trade Luke Schenn tomorrow and make the playoffs. We can get three veteran players that'll get us in and then we'll get spanked in the first round. What have you accomplished? Nothing."

there have been times where I wished McPhee would do the same thing. Sacrifice making the playoffs for a year (with a weak team) and try and bolster his team for the near future with some player movement.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 17, 2011 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I know it's not likely to trade within the division, but would Atlanta do Semin + Schultz + MP + 1st pick for E. Kane + Bogosian + Peverly?

Bogosian is a pending RFA, apperantly not happy i A-town and probably taking a paycut from his 3,375 EL contract going forward. Peverly is signed for 1 more year at $ 1,325 mil could play as our #2C until MaJo is totally ready for that duty, and Kane has 1 more year at $ 3,1 mil (including bonuses) of his EL.

It gives us
Ovi-Backs-Fehr
Kane-Peverly-Laich
Knuble-Majo-Hendricks
Bradley-Steckel-Gordon

Alzner-Carlson
Bogosian-Green
Erskine-Hannan
Poti

And it would give Atl something like this
Semin-Antropov-Ladd
Bergfors-Little-Stewart
Thorburn-Burmistrov-Perreault
Modin-Slater-Boulton/Dawes

Enstrom-Byfuglien
Oduya-Hainsey
Schultz-Sopel

Posted by: Walle | February 17, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton
Also depends on the quality of players available at the top of any given draft year...some teams like Washington in 2007-08 had too many contracts in the system as decisions had to be made about who they were serious about developing... Burke just uses draft picks as assets to move in the next trade cycle (so far)...they can forecast what years might be best to horde picks in - 2011 is not the best crop..

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 17, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

All Yzerman has done this year was go after Dwayne Roloson - another media favorite - to shore up terrible goaltending. "Roly" as they affectionately named him was demanding out of Long Island and so someone would have got him anyway if Yzerman didn't - its not like Yzerman had to look under a rock to find him - it was a convenient circumstance.
--------------------------------

They finished 4th in the division and missed the playoffs by a mile last year and this year they will probably win the division.

He must be doing something right to have that kinda turnaround in a year.

Posted by: joek443 | February 17, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I actually think Montreal improved their playoff chances a bit by changing the look on their defense when they added Wiz and now Mara. I don't know how much Mara has left in him but they needed a slightly more rugged defense than they had. The Flyers exposed that last year.

Tampa to me is still a pretender. The Caps should have a better than 50/50 chance of beating them in the 1st round.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 17, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

GMGM reminds me of all the mayors of NYC in the '70s and '80s before Rudy Giuliani.

Posted by: joek443 | February 17, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Giving Yzerman credit for the Lightning's success this year is equivalent to giving GMGM credit for the Caps run to the SC Finals. They were both in their first years as GM and came into a team that didn't make the playoffs the previous year.

I will give credit to Yzerman for moves that he made, but not for coming into a team with a lot of talent. Like I posted earlier, look at the moves Yzerman has made so far:

He traded A. Mejzaros who is dong quite well in Philly(and Tampa could use more defensemen),

He acquired Gagne(only 18 pts. and a -20) who has been okay, at best, so far,

He signed Dan Ellis who was a complete bust, and

He acquired Roloson which looks to be a good move but Roloson has been letting in a good amount of goals lately.

He hired Boucher, which looks like a good hire, but every team looking for a coach at the time was going after Boucher(i.e. Columbus) so it wasn't exactly a diamond in the rough. In addition, Boucher hasn't even coached a full season yet, lets see how he is doing 3 or 4 years from now before we making any conclusions(remember how good BB looked after his first 58 games in the NHL, he was coach of the year).

Did Yzerman acquire Stamkos, Hedman, St. Louis, Downie, Malone, Ohlund, or Lecavlier?

No, and that is the meat of that team.

I will give him credit, he did pick a good place to start, a team that just went through a complete rebuild and was on the way up with a talented roster and some great young players.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 17, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm also not a big Yzerman fan. I thought he was an idiot for passing on Mike Green for the Olympics.

Posted by: tominsocal1


tell me you're kidding.

Yzerman is the reason Mike Green finally started to pay attention to his own defensive game. We oughta send Stevie Y a huuge Thank You.

You can literally trace the improvement in MG's defensive game and his physicality in his own end to the Olympic snub. He himself admitted that being left off the team forced him to reevaluate his defensive game and not act like a closet forward.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 17, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

hey sgm, I think most people on here heard you the first time.

And you're the most objective guy on here, right?

The glass is always half-full when it comes to the Caps but the rest, it's a completely different story!!

Posted by: joek443 | February 17, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

i can't believe he finally admitted (accidentally of course) that McPhee shouldn't be given much credit for the late 90s Cup run. haha, so without that to hang on his hat, McPhee's record has been pretty dismal over the past 13 yrs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 17, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

will give him credit, he did pick a good place to start, a team that just went through a complete rebuild and was on the way up with a talented roster and some great young players.

Posted by: sgm3

so what will your take be if McPhee gets canned and the next GM takes the current core of players, adds the right complements that McPhee couldn't, and gets this team to the next level? Are you gonna bag on that GM because he used most of McPhee's core players?

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 17, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

@joek443 Yzerman is bringing stability to TB...but be careful about taking our comments out of context...he inherited this cast, and made small moves but hiring Boucher wasn't exactly bold - he was the next guy up for a job...universally interviewed....and Roly well fell into his lap.

Revisit this discussion after Yzerman presides over a couple of drafts.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 17, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton - you just described Dave Tallon the ex-Chicago GM now rebuilding Florida until they boot him from there.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 17, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

CST, you must have hated last night's game. It went against everything you stand for.

Posted by: zmega | February 17, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Payback time tonight.

Go CAPS!

Posted by: tslats | February 17, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

The thing about Meszjaros is he needed a change of scenery as badly as anyone. He was a complete wreck in Tampa, and an unacceptable player for $4 million a year. Right now he's doing well while being sheltered in one of the most defensively adept teams in the NHL.

Gagne might not have been the best acquisition in hindsight, but there was no better bet to get Vinny going available in the offseason. Gagne also pushed Malone down to the 3rd line, which has been exceptional for them. No one could have really foreseen Gagne getting a random neck injury for no reason, nor the complete disappearance of the chemistry he and Vinny had every time they played together for Canada.

Posted by: yellowtail99 | February 17, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: zhengaak | February 17, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Given that, in a salary-cap era you've got to try and make a run eventually - presumably GMGM agrees - the window of core guys like Backs, Ovie, Carlson, Alzner & Varly won't last forever.

The trade value of Holtby will never be higher - slow feet are the curse of a goalie, and breakaways reveal fatal flaws. He got abused against the Rangers, by all 3 guys - none of them Gaborik. Ditto Fehr, and Schultz. C'mon GMGM, now's the time.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | February 17, 2011 9:36 PM | Report abuse

No one could have really foreseen Gagne getting a random neck injury for no reason,
------------

No, but a certain poster - i.e., me - said more than once this summer that Philly was smart to move Gagne; doubly so to get as much as he did. In a year or two Meszaros will likely be their best d-man; he's playing pretty close to that now.

But not just that - they got Ville Leino for next to nothing, and he was arguably their best forward last playoffs, along with Briere. And Homer got a great coach, who saw fit to pair those two with Hartnell, what a great line.

And then they picked up Bobrovsky in net. Philly could be trouble this spring, much as it pains me to write that.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | February 17, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Finally some goals last night. Man I miss 2010 vs. praying for goals every night.

Good defense apparently comes at the expense of goals.

Posted by: Rocc00 | February 17, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

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