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Posted at 8:00 PM ET, 02/17/2011

Open thread: Capitals at Sharks

By Washington Post Sports Editors

logologo The Washington Capitals (30-18-10) haven't beaten the San Jose Sharks (31-21-6) on the road since 1993, but they're hoping the momentum from last night's offensive breakout in Anaheim will help propel them to a victory.

Faceoff: 10:30 p.m., HP Pavillion; TV: CSN; Radio: 1500 AM

Update: 10:07 p.m. EST
Based on warm-ups here's what the lineup should look like against the Sharks:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Johansson-Semin
Chimera-Perreault-Bradley
Steckel-Gordon-Hendricks

Defense
Alzner-Carlson
Schultz-Hannan
Erskine-Sloan

Goal
Neuvirth
Varlamov

Scratches: Mike Green (inner-ear trauma), D.J. King and Patrick McNeill.

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 17, 2011; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  Lineups, San Jose Sharks  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Capitals try to escape San Jose with a win for the first time in 17 years
Next: Quote of the night from Sharks' 3-2 win over the Capitals

Comments

i wonder which caps team will show up tonight?

Posted by: natresgroup | February 17, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Let's show that offense again and maybe improve the defense by 4 or 5 goals! Let's go caps!

Posted by: TimeForACup | February 17, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

It would be awesome to win tonight. I don't care if we win 2-1 or 100-99.

Posted by: Doom_and_Gloom | February 17, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Just watched last nights game on DVR. It was like watching the CAPs of last year. You could tell that they just kept coming, coming back, and that they were going to win it in the end. A great effort! Let's see some more.

Posted by: festus75 | February 17, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I already did an article on RocktheRed.net on the Caps #2 Center spot, re-linked on Japers, 6 days before the Post article and blog post came out: http://rockthered.net/2011-articles/february/capitals-trade-prospects-second-line-center.html

There's more at: http://rockthered.net/site/content/trade-deadline.html

Posted by: greenmachine | February 17, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I saw last night's game on-line. It was as though Boudreau turned the team loose. They scarcely played any defense, but eventually made up for it with fire wagon hockey. It was refreshing to see them break out. What a triumphant, if uneven night for Semin too.

Posted by: Terptwin | February 17, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

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: cstanton

I will give a new GM any and all credit for acquiring the players and/or coach he brings in. I will not give him credit for having Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin, MJ, Green, Carlson, Alzner, Eakin, Kuznetsov or others who are already in the organization.

I went through Yzerman's acquisitions this year. They aren't that impressive. Gagne has been a disappointment so far(only 18 pts. and a -20), Ellis was a complete bust, and trading A. Mejzaros was a mistake(especially with their need for D). Acquiring Roloson was a good move, but he has been letting up more than a few goals lately. All of the players playing well for Tampa were already there before Yzerman got there(Roloson excluded).

It is also way too early to make any determinations on his drafts.

cstanton1, do you then give GMGM full credit for the '98 SC Finals run? In his first year as a GM, he took a team that didn't make the playoffs the previous year, and took them to the SC finals?

In your opinion, how much credit does GMGM deserve for that run?

Posted by: sgm3 | February 17, 2011 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I was watching some of the Detroit game and one thing I noticed that isn't mentioned much when talking about the Caps struggles, was how much better Detroit was at making tape to tape passes. Even just the easy passes on the PP were always right on the tape, the pass receiver rarely had to make any extra movement to get the puck and get set up.

In comparison, when you watch the Caps PP(and the Caps in general) it seems that a high percentage of their passes are not on the tape. They are behind a guy, or in their legs, which requires the pass receiver to make an extra movement to get the puck and get set up which then allows the opposing PK to get reset. I have no idea why the Caps is any worse this year, but it sure as heck seems it is.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 17, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

98 Finals: GM did great to bring in Bellows, Tik and Jeff Brown. Caps also got lucky with the draw, being #4 seed I think, and playing 5, 7 and 8 I think. Also got lucky as Boston (Rd 1) lost a goal due to "in the crease." That said, they played very good hockey and Olie was his best ever.

cstanton: I still hate Yzerman out of principle. He left off Green, fine, and that helped him, fine, but he picked Pronger, who looked about 300 yrs old in the games.

I agree with sgm, too early to tell with Yzerman.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 17, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

For those of you interested in my "Rock the White" (feels like the old days when I was tominfl1):

We have eschewed the fish for tonight. My daughter wanted stir fry vegetables and I bought some shrimp they are now cokking with the stir fry. I did this because I wanted to have French white, which worked last night. My only French white is Bougrier Vouvray 2009. For those of you unfamiliar, this wine is made with the chenin blanc grape and has therefore a slight amount of sweetness. That type of wine really doesn't match the fish, but goes well with the stir fry because the sweetness compliments the soy sauce.

So there you have it.

ROCK THE WHITE!

btw, this is a nice white wine they have it at Total Wine for like $7.99. If you like an occasional off dry bottle, give it a try. Works as appertif or shrimp with a sweet sauce.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 17, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

@sgm

I was watcing the Detroit game as well, and I agree they pass the puck really well. The other thing they do better than the caps is shooting for rebounds. They hit the net and then have 2 guys within 3 feet of the crease ready to make a play on the puck. A lot of the Caps like to try and pick corners (Semin, Backstrom, DJ King, LOL) and miss the net, wasting chances. Detroits a smart hockey team.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | February 17, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

tampa is about to lose, this is a big game tonight to make up some points!

Posted by: natresgroup | February 17, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Caps are gonna lose and get outmuscled.

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

The other thing they do better than the caps is shooting for rebounds. They hit the net and then have 2 guys within 3 feet of the crease ready to make a play on the puck. A lot of the Caps like to try and pick corners (Semin, Backstrom, DJ King, LOL) and miss the net, wasting chances. Detroits a smart hockey team.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks

Good point. I agree with all of that. Sometimes shooting for the far goalie pad is a better option than going for a corner. Especially when you know you have a teammate coming down on the other side. Detroit does a great job of that.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 17, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Have no fear kids, I am back again tonight. Hoping for a good game since I am offering up sleep to the hockey gods. Im all out of the Jameson 12 (Luck of the Irish) so I will be pimping the Glenlivet 15 (Heart of the Scots). Cheers tom.

@Rhino

A great comedian would always say "waka waka waka" after he told his jokes. This comedian was Fozzy the Bear. Yay Muppets. =) It basically meant something said was meant to be funny.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 17, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

You need to learn how to take the Friday off after a 10:30 game especially when you have Monday off anyway, so you get that 4 day weekend.

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

@ThePat

If I took the day off, who would comment on these boards during the day? ;)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 17, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

Im sure sgm3 and tmac can take care of it. Ill be at the driving range enjoying the 75 degree weather.

Posted by: ThePat | February 17, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

LETS GO CAPS !!!

Posted by: elkabong90 | February 17, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Im sure sgm3 and tmac can take care of it. Ill be at the driving range enjoying the 75 degree weather.

Posted by: ThePat

;)

Posted by: sgm3 | February 17, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

ThePat: It is 75 in DC? Mid-Feb? I recall that happening in 1976. It was the first year they gave us off in Feb for winter break because 3rd week of Feb was historically coldest of the year (they were trying to save oil) and it was of course 80 degrees in feb.

Glenlivet...can't say I drink it but of course Scotland is the ancesteral home. I myself maybe once a year might take a shot of Wiser's Canadian whisky.

The stir fry shrimp was truly incredible. If the Caps play half as well as mrstominsocal1 cooks, they will win.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 17, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Late game tonight.

Posted by: Doom_and_Gloom | February 17, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Locker just said Semin All Over The Score Sheet !!!

Posted by: elkabong90 | February 17, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Let the boys go full fire ahead, BB. Don't hold them back with some kind of by-the-book formula you head tells you you should adopt. Win or lose, I just want to see them act like themselves.

I don't get what it is about the Sharks that makes it hard to play against. Does anyone know?

Posted by: caraveli | February 17, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Check it out, 1976:

http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/daily/USMD0018

OK, so only 76 degrees.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 17, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Crucial game. Let's see if they build off last night or get settle back into mediocrity once again.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | February 17, 2011 10:36 PM | Report abuse

@tom

yeah today it hit 72, tomorrow supposed to be around 75.

But it also might snow next Tuesday. Got to love the bi-polar DC weather.

Posted by: ThePat | February 17, 2011 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Schultz is the John Tesh of defensemen.

Posted by: alanb1 | February 17, 2011 10:45 PM | Report abuse

it sounds like there is only about 1000 fans there for this game - really quite

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 17, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Infinitely better start for the Caps.

Semin with the most lousy shift of the game so far though on his previous shift. Coughed the puck up at both ends of the ice. That's what he was doing most of last night as well.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I really dislike the numbers on the front of the Shark's jerseys

Posted by: Doom_and_Gloom | February 17, 2011 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Get ready for this...

Ovechkin with a great start to the game.

^^
Compliment!

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

It also appears those Boston radio guys might have actually been correct for once. Stuart was scratched tonight and looks like he is going to be gone.

Posted by: ThePat | February 17, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I had to go and do it...

Still like his aggression tonight.

Good call though.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

There is the hockey IQ stuff again. Missed chances and then dumb penalties.

They need to watch tapes of the red wings.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 17, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

good stickwork by MJ to clear that

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 17, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Johansson continuing his strong play. He's doing a lot of little tihngs surprisingly well for a rook.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

make this PP count

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 17, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

8 getting too cute in the d-zone. Got away with it. He and 28 love to try that stuff.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

You sort of feel like it's time we score a PP goal. Maybe not on this one but soon. We looked better a couple games ago.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:06 PM | Report abuse

They are retarded what can you say.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 17, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Carlson... sigh.

Really needed to get up first in this one.

SJ will get going as the game goes on and our legs will start going.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Way to get it back Ovie !!!

Posted by: elkabong90 | February 17, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Vokoun would've stopped that...


Ovechkin is playing like the old Ovechkin tonight...lotta energy

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | February 17, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

WTG OVIE.

Keep firing.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 17, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

8 on a mission tonight. Lookin like a star.

Compliment #2.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

that one is on carlson. ovi covered the best he could.
nice ovi - i hope he is back

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 17, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Ovi plain doesn't like these guys, does he?

Posted by: zmega | February 17, 2011 11:09 PM | Report abuse

that one is on carlson.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 17, 2011 11:08 PM

Pretty sure everyone knew that. Even I couldn't pin that one on him.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:09 PM | Report abuse

OMG my boy Ovie is back. It must be that low hockey IQ at work again. If it gets any lower he will get a hat trick.

Posted by: caraveli | February 17, 2011 11:09 PM | Report abuse

That was such a critical response by 8 and the Caps. That gaffe looked like it could've been really costly, all factors considered.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:10 PM | Report abuse

You have to be more physical and aggressive in your own zone against these guys. They are too skilled to give this much room.

Yes Ovechkin is the one that committed the dumb penalty, but he is engaged and the sharks will have their heads up when they see him lurking. His teammates have to follow the lead.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 17, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

We're really missing Mike Green on the PP. I doubt he would have fumbled the puck like Carlson did.

Posted by: Doom_and_Gloom | February 17, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Ovi looks really good so far. And so does Douglas Murray, god I wish he was on our team. Love the way he plays.

Posted by: ThePat | February 17, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sure everyone knew that.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:09 PM

i guess i should have said on carlson as opposed to neuvy.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 17, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

Do you even understand the concept of hockey IQ, i.e., thinking the game?

Hate to say it but 8 is not a great thinker of the game at all. He's very subpar compared to other forwards in his pay scale.

What he's doing tonight is moving his feet and playing hard. Those were always 2 of his best assets when he was at his best. His elite status was largely based on athleticism and physical tools, unlike a player like Backstrom for example, who isn't a great athlete but thinks the game at an extremely high level.

You probably didn't get so you may want to learn a thing or two.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

You have to be more physical and aggressive in your own zone against these guys. They are too skilled to give this much room.

Yes Ovechkin is the one that committed the dumb penalty, but he is engaged and the sharks will have their heads up when they see him lurking. His teammates have to follow the lead.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 17, 2011 11:11 PM

Right on. Same could've been said about last night, particularly against ANA's top line. That really applies to us almost every night. Outside of a few players, we need to up the physicality all around.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:16 PM | Report abuse

To add to the earlier comment about Ovechkin's very easy to see low hockey IQ, a lot of that could be rectified by a coach that knew how to bring up that part of his game by helping him become a better decision-maker on and off the puck. BernieWolfeFan nailed it last night in her comment on the subject.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me, his or her comment... not sure of the gender of that poster. I knew Bernie Wolfe's daughter so that probably led to the subconscious assumption.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Getting the next goal is particularly important for the Caps. The overall energy levels of the two teams are likely to move in opposite directions as the game wears on.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:23 PM | Report abuse

@tmac

Haha, absolutely agree. Ovechkin's hockey IQ is definitely not what makes him so good. It's the fact that he skates hard, hits people, and shoots a ton. That's the same skill set as a someone like Jason Chimera, only that...Ovechkin is a freak. Pavel Datsyuk, the Sedins, Joe Thornton, have high hockey IQs.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | February 17, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Pavel Datsyuk is the smartest player in hockey. Anyone who wants to learn how to play hockey, that's the guy to watch. Embarrassment of riches that they also have that Lidstrom guy, his IQ is modest though (sarcasm)

Posted by: O-V-P | February 17, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

You can already see the energy shift. Getting pinned in our own end badly. Crucial stretch here for the Caps.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Sloan is turrrrrrable

Posted by: elkabong90 | February 17, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Montreal is losing in Oil Town, 3-1 with 2 and change remaining.

Posted by: Terptwin | February 17, 2011 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Tyler Sloan is going to kill the caps in one of these road games. It will lead to an L

Posted by: O-V-P | February 17, 2011 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Man, gotta step up in our own end. Getting sloppy and outworked.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Everyone move out of the way, Schultz is shooting. It is lethal!

Posted by: O-V-P | February 17, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Sloan is a pretty good skater and has good work ethic but he just doesn't have the defensive awareness to be an NHL d-man. He also tends to make bad decisions with the puck under pressure. I'd much rather see him as an extra forward if he's on the roster. I really don't like the Sloan/Erskine pairing. I like Erskine to be with a more positionally sound d-man.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Neuvy is looking a lot better today!

Posted by: Walle | February 17, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Montreal and Atlanta have both fallen on the road tonight.

Posted by: Terptwin | February 17, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Stop the lazy sagging and collapsing caps, they will score if you keep it up.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 17, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Again, got to know how to finish.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 17, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Chimera's hands must be contagious.

Posted by: zmega | February 17, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

WTF? No delay of game?

Posted by: O-V-P | February 17, 2011 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Really could've used that one Laich. Gotta get the next goal. I feel like the dam is about to break in our own end.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I know some of you are not happy, but we look like we're playing a pretty good road game so far. Let's see if we can play good D and take advantage of whatever mistakes SJ makes.

Still hoping we strike a deal or two before the deadline. We still need more consistent character and leadership on and off the ice.

Posted by: sca187 | February 17, 2011 11:45 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

"Do you even understand the concept of hockey IQ, i.e., thinking the game?

Hate to say it but 8 is not a great thinker of the game at all."
______________________

I don't claim to be a great expert. I am sure you can detect nuances in the game that I can't. I just think it's funny that you pick our best players to heave criticism upon.

You say that Ovie is not a great "hockey" thinker and I simply look at the results. With the exception of the last 4 months, he has dominated the NHL, had a big impact on the sport and was a decisive factor in making this team relevant.

He may not think the game through like Backcstrom but, overall, he is a much more influential and successful player than Backie.

Ovie does it the hard way, in some ways. He succeeds through taking many risks and making big mistakes but also getting big wins. There other measure to use to evaluate his contribution: His ability to electrify teams and game situations; improve those playing with and around him; impact on the sport...

But I enjoy hearing an opposing opinion in your posts and learning from it.

What I don't know about my favorite player is whether his style of play is sustainable. I would like to believe that he adapts and develops as a player and I agree with you completely that the right coach should take him to the next level.

Posted by: caraveli | February 17, 2011 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Alzner put Carlson in a bad spot there. We're really close to giving one up.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Even if atlanta and montreal lost, the caps have to continue to pile points. There are still Buffalo and Carolina just to name 2.

This is unacceptable by the caps to tell you the truth. A San Jose team back for the infamous first home game back from a long long trip and the caps are not taking advantage.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 17, 2011 11:47 PM | Report abuse

@tmac

I'm hoping the dam you're talking about doesn't break, but I have the same feeling. We need to find a way to play more minutes in their end...

Posted by: sca187 | February 17, 2011 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Sketchy pass by 8. Nearly resulted in a breakaway.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:48 PM | Report abuse

CARLSON with the recovery! He's going to be a really good one with experience...

Posted by: sca187 | February 17, 2011 11:48 PM | Report abuse

It's going to be tough with the Caps defense tonight. No Green, Carlson and Erskine slumping lately, and Sloan being, well, Sloan.

Posted by: zmega | February 17, 2011 11:48 PM | Report abuse

OV may just be nocturnal being by nature. He's been playing well @ 10 pm ET and later lately. :-)

Posted by: nicety251 | February 17, 2011 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I think it's more than that Locker. SJ is just outskating and outexecuting us right now. We now look like a team on the backend of a b2b after a strong 1st pd.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:53 PM | Report abuse

The X-factor in this game may be Neuvy. He's going to be tested for sure down the stretch here.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 17, 2011 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Joe B. made a good point. OV skated himself out of the shooting angle. If he could learn to churn the legs then... STOP! It would open up SO much ice for everyone. He definitely is showing his true colors tonight though. He's all over the place! Looking better IMO...

Posted by: sca187 | February 18, 2011 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I'll take that. Felt like we were gonna give up one for sure in that pd. Definitely had a few chances ourselves.

Gotta find some energy in the 3rd. SJ isn't gonna let up at all after a sluggish 1st. They very much turned it around as expected in the 2nd.

We'll probably need at least a couple of big time saves from Neuvry to get points here.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 18, 2011 12:02 AM | Report abuse

sharks forecheck was all over us that period and brooksy should have had 2 goals.

Posted by: natresgroup | February 18, 2011 12:03 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Part 1

You're really limiting your view of the definition of Hockey IQ (pacing the game, reading a play before it develops, etc., etc.) if you keep on opining that Ovechkin is somehow handicapped in this area. I mean really? There are many more facets to consider (even though I strongly feel you give short-shrift to Ovechkin for the traditional sense of the term).

Haven't you ever gotten the sense in some games that Ovi is moving through the game at critical speed, skating around players who are moving in slow motion and in a different plane? He's not always like this, but when he is, the neurons are firing faster and are more focused than any other on the ice. I know you're thinking, "that's not hockey IQ," but it is my friend. It is a facet that very few have mastered like him...complete control of his physical position with the puck no matter where his body is. Do you realize that we can now put together a "top ten" of the goals Ovi has scored while falling down? Most players when knocked off balance can't keep their concentration and fail to avoid the immediate distraction firing at their brain. Somehow, Ovi is able to isolate his focus on the puck and simultaneously position and move his upper body despite the dislocation of his lower body by an opposing player's contact. This, to me, is simply amazing in terms of the brain power required to do this. It's like being a drummer and singer at the same time while you're running down a street at full speed in a zig-zag pattern.

You might still be fuming though "that's not hockey IQ." While I disagree with this, and think you're parameters for hockey IQ are REALLY limited if you can't acknowledge a particular skill Ovi has that's beyond "aggression" and "moving his legs," Incidentally, there's plenty of players with tons of aggression and who move their legs like crazy, but they're crap for scoring and hockey IQ...remember Rico Fata? Are you seriously putting Ovechkin on par with Rico Fata? From using players as screens, having a presence of mind of where the puck is going to be, and so on, many of the skills Ovechkin displays may not be seen as hockey IQ simply because no one else uses these skills to change a game as effectively as he does (less so this season of course).

Posted by: fakedude2 | February 18, 2011 12:04 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Part 2

And I just don't buy that he has low hockey IQ in the traditional areas. I've seen him enough times make a beautiful pass placed exactly where it needs to be from out of nowhere, but the receiving player is to surprised to handle it because THEY can't think fast enough to recognize what's going to happen when Ovi makes a quick, no-look pass to put the puck on an angle to a spot the goalie is not expecting to feel comfortable enough that his "traditional hockey IQ is just fine. And for all the selfishness that Ovi is supposed to possess, he'll play the clock well when there's an empty net, and only take a shot if it won't cause an icing or turnover. I've even seen him improvise as a goaltender with an empty net and save the puck from going in when another player would have watched the shot go over his side while he laid on the ice trying to block a high shot.

He might not be Backstrom in terms of being a guiding quarterback, but then again he often leaves the field behind to the point that the rest of the team has to catch up to where he's bringing the play...why wait to implement the down and out pattern with youre teammates when you're already entering the endzone?

Look, I know that Ovi's had problems this year with no longer having success one-on-one, and giving a lot of pucks up because of it. I know he's had a few problems more than past years. But you just can't pick out a blip on the radar in terms of a career, and dismiss a unique talent like that and the production it brings by dismissing it as "low hockey IQ." I'll trade in my 140 and take the 88 any day if it gave me that type of smarts.

Posted by: fakedude2 | February 18, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

re fakedude2
Bravooo right on. tmac simply doesn't like or just hates Ovie. Tmac only talkes how bad Caps. Miserable

Posted by: dugza | February 18, 2011 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Read every word of that fakedude2 but I still respectfully disagree. I'm pulling for the guy despite the way I rag on him but he very simply doesn't think the game well. One area that you completely didn't touch on there was his play off the puck which is nightmarishly bad at times but it goes well beyond that. On and off the puck, his decision-making isn't where it needs to be for a top line wing. His elite traits through the first 5 or so years of his career have been his athleticism, his physicality, his agressiveness, his shot, etc... all largely physical tools. I'm not saying he has absolutely zero hockey IQ. You can pick and choose examples of very smart plays he makes. It's all relative and he's on the low end of that scale relatively in my opinion. I've elaborated on it a bunch in the past and I'll do it again but not right now. I'll finish by saying that a firmer coach who is better at teaching and demanding the details and the complete game would go a long way toward getting 8 where he needs to be to live up to his contract going forward as his athleticism inevitably declines.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 18, 2011 12:16 AM | Report abuse

And the caps defense keeps backing up until a wicked shot beats a screened neuvirth

Posted by: O-V-P | February 18, 2011 12:19 AM | Report abuse

lol @ dugza. You're awesome.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 18, 2011 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Yep that was coming. All they were doing was desperately trying to clear the puck with no attack.

Eventually it was going to go in for San Jose.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 18, 2011 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Well, there it is... gonna be really uphill from here. Really needed the next one.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 18, 2011 12:23 AM | Report abuse

They're going to need to fight fatigue...and a 1 goal 3rd period deficit.

Posted by: Terptwin | February 18, 2011 12:25 AM | Report abuse

2-3 road trip would be the worse case scenario. Boudreau keeps his job and they lose ground.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 18, 2011 12:25 AM | Report abuse

it was a 2 on 0 in front of our net, that can't happen. poor nuevy, left alone on that one.

Posted by: natresgroup | February 18, 2011 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Fatigue is BS. Look at what the kings did on their 10 game road trip coming into DC and winning and following it up next day with a win in Philly.

It's a lazy team that doesn't want to work and the coach lets it happen.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 18, 2011 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Whew, we're really being outshot here.

Posted by: Terptwin | February 18, 2011 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Kinda gotta hope we can keep the puck out of the net here on in and find a way to maybe get one. May need a fluke type goal.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 18, 2011 12:28 AM | Report abuse

i hope bb saw that big save by neuvy at a critical point in the game

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 18, 2011 12:30 AM | Report abuse

The reality is that it's not easy to play the 3rd of 4 games on the road...and especially at the Tank. The good news is the score is close with plenty of time to go.

Posted by: Terptwin | February 18, 2011 12:30 AM | Report abuse

bunch of rejects. Just go 1-4 so we get the changes that have to happen.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 18, 2011 12:33 AM | Report abuse

time to match SJ's shortie

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 18, 2011 12:33 AM | Report abuse

it's been all san jose for a while, now a huge PK coming up.

Posted by: natresgroup | February 18, 2011 12:33 AM | Report abuse

All kinds of predictable stuff happening now. We're losing our legs. They're getting their's more and more as the game goes on. A penalty was almost inevitable. Neuvy's gonna have to come up big for us here and beyond if we want to grab even a point.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 18, 2011 12:34 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

I appreciate your response, tmac2yao, but you're glossing some of what I said.

How is picking a defenseman as a screen physical?

The whole point of the falling down, scoring, example is that even after his lower body has been physically removed from the play, his brain is still committed as such that his upper body doesn't care and scores anyways. That is beyond physical attributes.

I'm getting into the weeds though. I agree that there's room for improvement, just not the gap you're talking about, and more along the lines of "what improvements are necessary for him to be the best player in the world." There's a big difference.

But no problem, you think Ovechkin isn't an elite player. We all have our opinions. I'm going to go outside during the break and see if I can make my lungs a healthy pink again by lighting up a couple of smokes.

Posted by: fakedude2 | February 18, 2011 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Gotta to kill this SJS PP.

Posted by: Terptwin | February 18, 2011 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Many teams in the league have no issue playing well in back to back and 3 in 4 nights. The caps just can't because they don't have the conditioning. No practices, no accountability, etc.

too many passengers as boudreau says, but at the end of the day he's the one that let it get to that with his iverson like practice philosophies.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 18, 2011 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Sweet move by Boyle.

They're just skating all over us now.

That's all she wrote, folks. Not a suprising result. Was leaning toward this before the game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 18, 2011 12:36 AM | Report abuse

oops... that could be all folks.

Posted by: natresgroup | February 18, 2011 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Well, that might be the game right there.

Posted by: Terptwin | February 18, 2011 12:36 AM | Report abuse

defense falling apart

Posted by: dugza | February 18, 2011 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Good night everybody. Get well soon, Green and Fehr. And what's going on with Poti?

Posted by: Terptwin | February 18, 2011 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Guess last night was an abberation after all. Just enough to save Boudreau's job till the next losing streak, which begins tonight.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | February 18, 2011 12:39 AM | Report abuse

The bad news is, they're playing in the Shark tank and they're getting sloppy(er). AND they just got scored on again...

No "we're on the road" excuses. We need each and every point we can get and we need to have the b@lls to make it happen.

I still think a shake-up needs to happen sooner rather than later.

We need help on D and up the middle badly.

Oh eff it. I'm sick of not seeing anything happen to address these issues. This is a frustrating team to love...

Any bets that nothing of major impact happens by 2/28?

Posted by: sca187 | February 18, 2011 12:39 AM | Report abuse

i sense a lot of east coasters shutting off the tube and going to bed.

Posted by: natresgroup | February 18, 2011 12:39 AM | Report abuse

The soft defense of NOT CLEARING ANYONE OUT haunts this team night in and night out. The 2nd and 3rd goals were clear cut evidence. Wake up McPhee you idiot and realize your defense is SOFT. S O F T. Horribly soft. Find some skill defensemen with Erskine-like grit and who hits and clears people out.

Disappointing. I know this team expended energy in that game last night but fatigue is a cop out and a lame excuse. That was a lucky tip on the 3rd goal but it was bound to happen with the way the Caps went to bed here in the 3rd period.

Too bad. Head back East and get the Sabres Sunday.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | February 18, 2011 12:39 AM | Report abuse

HIT SOMEONE!

Posted by: O-V-P | February 18, 2011 12:39 AM | Report abuse

The Kings are probably in better shape than the Caps. They are done for the evening. Have a good morning everyone. I knew they would lose this one. They just do not have the ability to win a clutch game. Or win back to back. It just occured to me that The Sharks are also a big choking team also. Not as much experince as The Cpas in losing.

Posted by: pkme | February 18, 2011 12:39 AM | Report abuse

this blows, just blows. will we ever have a sense of urgency for a whole game for more than one game in a row?

Posted by: natresgroup | February 18, 2011 12:44 AM | Report abuse

i sense a lot of east coasters shutting off the tube and going to bed.

Posted by: natresgroup | February 18, 2011 12:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm on the west coast and I'm considering doing the same.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | February 18, 2011 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Just lose the next 2 games. Boudreau needs to go.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 18, 2011 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I do wonder about our overall team conditioning at times. Tonight is somewhat understandable. I'm talking in general. I have no idea though. Just something I've wondered about at times.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 18, 2011 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Stick a fork in us...we're done...

You're Old Mother Hubbard and only Vaughn's in the cupboard !!!!

Posted by: elkabong90 | February 18, 2011 12:46 AM | Report abuse

NICKY !!!

Posted by: elkabong90 | February 18, 2011 12:48 AM | Report abuse

That was nice. Had a good feeling when 19 was cutting to the middle there.

Little glimmer of hope but still a longshot.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 18, 2011 12:49 AM | Report abuse

now they d - tease me. good shot nicky!

Posted by: natresgroup | February 18, 2011 12:49 AM | Report abuse

NICKY !!!

Posted by: elkabong90 | February 18, 2011 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Wow, hold on everybody! Backstrom strikes with 1:55 to go. It's not 3-2 Sharks.

Posted by: Terptwin | February 18, 2011 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't even get the puck into the o-zone. Oh well, on to the next one.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 18, 2011 12:51 AM | Report abuse

caps should learn a forechecking lesson tonight. it's a clinic for the sharks.

Posted by: natresgroup | February 18, 2011 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Only losing organizations go 17 years without winning a building and it doesn't matter that they don't go every year.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 18, 2011 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Darn. These guys are going nowhere.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | February 18, 2011 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Too little too late. Maybe the next time you'll show up early in the 3rd. Played the Sharks tough twice this year but gave it away in the 3rd. Still 4 points back of Tampa. Didn't take advantage.

I still say if they only win two games on this road swing - they will NOT make the playoffs.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | February 18, 2011 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Everyone thought it was all great when we put a 7 spot against that hack named mcallhaney last night. But tonight was just the same. This team is flawed, theres no way around it

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | February 18, 2011 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Really got heavily dominated in the 2nd and 3rd. Not nearly as bad as the last time we were in this building but it is what it is. We had good energy in the 1st but it was all but gone for the remainder of the game. SJ picked it up and we couldn't come close to answering. Might've been different if Laich or somebody else could've gotten us the lead goal but the team that carried the play tonight deservedly won the game.

Let's see what McPhee does in the coming days. He can't do any worse than last season, can he?

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 18, 2011 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Please explain why Sloan had more ice time than Erskine.

Posted by: timKosecki | February 18, 2011 12:55 AM | Report abuse

i'm getting really sick of this... i beg for some consistency.

that clowe goal just kills me when we leave two sharks alone in front of our goalie. how do you fall asleep like that?

god i just want to go off but that does nothing. this team is gonna drive me to crack!

Posted by: natresgroup | February 18, 2011 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Dany Heatley has no soul, and he kills people.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | February 18, 2011 12:55 AM | Report abuse

We are in a lot of trouble if we make the playoffs. of course everyone on here knows this. All three stars had good games. Does anybody here think we could beat The Bruins or Flyers? In a playoff series they would beat us like a drum.

Posted by: pkme | February 18, 2011 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Wish we lost last night, so Boudreau would like be gone tomorrow morning. However, winning last night gave him 2 more games at least.

No 2-3 trip, please no 2-3 trip.

Posted by: O-V-P | February 18, 2011 12:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm barely frustrated with this result. Felt it would be an L from the get go. At least we started the game strong. It would've been a total slaughter otherwise.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 18, 2011 1:00 AM | Report abuse

fakedude2

Finally an intelligent and fair assessment of Ovechkin. Let's be BFF's in this life and the next and the next.

Competence definitions, applied literally, are narrow and fall behind actual practice. In business, for example, all the favorite and widely accepted definitions for great leadership were blown to pieces with disruptive innovation and new types of leaders who broke the rules. Tmac2's line of thinking could miss the greatness of a player who did not fit that definition. But innovations that change a sport or the course of a game change definitions rather than the other way around. Ovie is definitely an innovator who uses his body and applies hockey skills in ways that are often inconceivable.

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: caraveli | February 18, 2011 1:03 AM | Report abuse

TWO more games?? No, Boudreau is safe till the next 9 game losing streak, or the next 1st round flameout...and even then I'm not sure. McPhee loves the status quo; not doing anything is always the safest course of action, obscures his deficiencies and ensures his job security despite his 1 playoff series in 13 years.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | February 18, 2011 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Not enough character or guts to make this happen.

Something STILL needs to change.

Come the f on GMGM! Oh wait, it's too late to make any changes that will help us this year.

Time to make some upper-level changes so we have a fighting chance in the years to come, because it was never really about winning NOW.

This team is so hard to back because our mgmt has no b@lls... Still! At least they've been consistent for 37 years so we know what to expect. I'm gonna go throw up then go to bed...

Posted by: sca187 | February 18, 2011 1:04 AM | Report abuse

It has been frustrating and I am just tired of the lack of commitment from top down.

On to baseball season I guess. And no Ted, this time I will not be renewing...

Posted by: O-V-P | February 18, 2011 1:13 AM | Report abuse

I still say if they only win two games on this road swing - they will NOT make the playoffs.

Posted by: Jonathan6

I disagree. If the Caps beat Buffalo and lose to Pittsburgh, the Caps are still significantly ahead of the 8th, 9th and 10th teams.

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

I'm glad Backstrom finally got a goal. The 1st line was very good tonight, Ovie created many scoring chances including setting up Backstrom on more than a few occasions, but Backstrom kept on missing redirections from in close. He has been missing the net too much.

There wasn't any offense from any of the other lines. Although, I thought the Steckel, BGordon, Hendricks line had another good game. They had a few shifts where they spent the entire time in the Sharks zone. The 2nd line didn't do much, although if Laich could've buried that open net rebound chance things could've been different.

The 3rd line was terrible. MP did absolutely nothing, Chimera has done nothing for a while, and Bradley didn't do much(but he was the best of the 3).

Here's my new wish, to have the Caps trade for a 2nd line center and to have Beagle replace Chimera in the lineup. Beagle has good speed, but he provides so much more to the game than Chimera. Beagle forechecks, plays good along the boards, and he plays very well in the defensive zone.

That was a bad penalty to take by Erskine. You can't take that penalty. Big mistake. Sloan stinks, but everyone already knew that.

I think Hannan is playing better and better throughout the season. He is really good at interfering with the other team but somehow not getting called for a penalty on it. Good veteran positioning and play. Schulz had an okay. The D had a lot of trouble exiting the zone again, especially in the last two periods. They really miss Green when he is out.

On Poti, is there a possibility he is done for the season? I know he has been skating some, but to be out this long with a groin injury it must be severe and there is probably a decent likelihood it may be reinjured when he returns. The Caps cannot count on Sloan to be the 7th D-man. If Poti is out maybe the Caps can LTIR Poti and gain that extra cap room.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 18, 2011 1:22 AM | Report abuse

On the Ovie discussion - I think he has a great understanding of hockey, hockey IQ, whatever you want to call it, but he's more creative than methodical. That is, he sees things that nobody else does (and we've all seen plays when this happens) but he also has lapses where he's focusing on something else and doesn't make the wise move(which we see as well). I think Ovechkin's kind of intelligence works well with his talent level - he's going to push himself to do things nobody's done before.


Posted by: 202character | February 18, 2011 4:58 AM | Report abuse

Tom
Jeff Brown was a complete bust for us. How was that a good move by Mcphee? It was akin to the Corvo deal. Let's not toss names out just to see what sticks, eh?

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 18, 2011 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Tom
Jeff Brown was a complete bust for us. How was that a good move by Mcphee? It was akin to the Corvo deal. Let's not toss names out just to see what sticks, eh?

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 18, 2011 6:06 AM | Report abuse

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