Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Sharks 5, Caps 2

Yep, the Sharks scored twice on penalty shots tonight, making them the first team to accomplish that feat since 1982. No, it wasn't the reason the Caps lost 5-2 in San Jose.

The defeat was the direct result of a second straight anemic first period. You thought four shots in the opening 20 minutes against Carolina was bad? Tonight, the Caps outdid themselves and mustered just three (and two came of the sticks of light scoring defensemen John Erskine and Tom Poti).

Because of that, the Caps found themselves down 2-0 to a team that's every bit as good as they are, if not better. And when you do that in front of a loud, sold out crowd three time zones away from home "you're not going to win many hockey games," as Coach Bruce Boudreau put it bluntly.

Check out my gamer here and my story on Mike Green being left off Canada's Olympic team here, then come on back for some other notes and quotes from tonight's debacle:

*The loss marked just the second time this season Caps suffered consecutive regulation defeats. The other stretch was Oct. 8-10 against the Rangers and Red Wings.

*The last time a team scored two penalty shots in one game was Feb. 11, 1982. Vancouver did it at Detroit, in case you're wondering.

"I've seen three shorthanded goals against," Sharks Coach Todd McLellan said. "But two penalty shots, I haven't."

*Alex Ovechkin moved into a tie with Marian Gaborik atop the league goal scoring list with his 26th tally. But the Sharks' physical defense, led by Doug Murray, pushed Ovechkin over the edge late.

After a hit by Dan Boyle, Ovechkin threw off his gloves and challenged Boyle at center ice. But the linesmen broke up the scuffle before the two could square up. Ovechkin had cooled off by the time he spoke to reporters, and he even managed to laugh about the incident.

"I was angry about how we play," Ovechkin said. "My game, my lines, the whole team. I tried to drop the gloves. But the referee was there. Thanks God. I'm not going to get hurt."

Boudreau added: "He was competing. He competed really hard against a good team. He battled and battled and that's what leaders do. He's definitely a big leader on our team. Even at the end with Murray taking cheap shots at him from behind, he still competed every shift."

*Back to the penalty shots for a second. The first one was deserved, I thought. The second one, well, that one was debatable. The referee ruled that John Erskine threw his stick at Joe Thornton in an effort to stop the breakaway. After watching it in slow motion, it was clear that Erskine lost his stick after Thornton's skate kicked it.

"I don't think I threw my stick," Erskine said. "It's not even something you do when you're six years old. But he made the call. I just tried to go and get the puck and the way I went at him, my stick hit him and kind of flew out."

*Green, the defenseman who bowled over Ryan Clowe to give the Sharks their first penalty shot, fired four shots at the net. Two of them clanked off the post, including one on the power play late in the second period with the Sharks leading 2-0.

*Although the Caps lost, I thought Jason Chimera's debut was a success. He was put in the starting lineup, then began the game skating on the second line with Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin. That combo, though, didn't last through the second period.

Still, Chrimera got an assist on Mike Knuble's goal. He also disrupted a breakaway by Clowe early in the game by racing back (showing his incredible speed) before diving to knock the puck off Clowe's stick.

*The power play went 0 for 4, mustering only four shots in 7:11, including 49 seconds of five on three early in the second period as the Sharks clung to a 2-0 lead.

Too much standing around. Too many passes. Not enough shots and havoc in front. Stop me if you've heard this before.

"On the power we try to make too many diagonal pass," Ovechkin said. "We have to take a couple of shots [like Boudreau says]. You do that, and they start running around. But we tried to be so cute and it's just killing us."

*I wanted to close out this blog entry by thanking Corey Masisak for making the grind of life on the road a little bit more tolerable the past few years. On Monday, Corey covered his last game for The Washington Times, which, as you might have heard, is dropping its sports section.

So please join me in congratulating Corey on a job well done and wishing him good luck landing on his feet (which I know he will).

I'm off to Los Angeles first thing tomorrow morning. It was unclear whether the Caps would have a practice or not.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 31, 2009; 2:47 AM ET
 | Tags: San Jose Sharks  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tonight's lineup: Caps at Sharks
Next: Morning roundup: Caps can't win in Shark Tank

Comments

It's about time, Tarik. Ha, jk, good work.

Posted by: redskinsux | December 31, 2009 3:28 AM | Report abuse

Remember though, Erskine hits people, so that's why he's a better player than Schultz.

Posted by: Section117 | December 31, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Will it be a hard practice today -- complete with a bag skate?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 31, 2009 7:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm your Captain, I'm your Captain though I'm feeling mighty sick....

Posted by: festus75 | December 31, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

It better be a hard practice. Two poorly played games in a row.

Goals one and two were exibits A and B for getting a solid stay at home defenseman. Please GMGM get that done. The D can not leave the goalies so vulnerable game after game.

I hope Neuvy's confidence is not shot he still made some great saves.

Posted by: Hokies4Caps20 | December 31, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Good luck Corey!

Posted by: MNMNT | December 31, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Man, those Sharks looked really good last night. I wouldn't have wanted Neuvy's job.

Thank God, we won't have to face them in the Stanley finals and they will surely fold in the first round again. It's a Shark thing, you wouldn't understand. Neither do I.

Posted by: rjma1 | December 31, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

@MNMNT,

Is there further updates on the Paper Moon cuts? I know its widely expected that the sports guys are hitting the bricks, but is this confirmed yet? Or, are you just generally wishing him luck?

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 31, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line we will not be able to compete for Stanley Cup without a sold stay at home defensemen. I know we are in top echelon of Eastern Conference but our Defense is starting to show it can’t competitive every game. Yes the D has played well at times, but we need to improve if we want the Cup here in D.C.. We have the cash, we should pick one up sooner rather than later. The longer you wait the high the price goes as other team try to add pieces as well. We add a D-man now it gives us half a season to gel.

Posted by: CapsBaby | December 31, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

We get our butts kicked two games in a row, but unlike other Division leaders we don't have to worry about anyone catching us. You need high-powered binoculars look behind and see ATL/FLA/TB.

A 1,2 or 3 seed is in the bank. These games are just a three month warm up to the playoffs.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | December 31, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

The Erskine penalty shot call was so wrong and stupid. I thought you had to be DENIED a clear scoring opportunity, but Thorton still got a shot off, so how is that a penalty shot? It's clear Erskine wasn't intentionally throwing his stick, he was just trying to get a piece of the puck and it flew out of his hands. That was such a horrible call.

As for Neuvy, I think he shouldn't get too down on himself. He tends to get down on himself after losses. I thought he made some fantastic saves and I love the way the pucks hit him and stick to him like velcro. I really like his game. It's good he's getting valuable experience right now against really good teams.

Posted by: rachel216 | December 31, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Remember though, Erskine hits people, so that's why he's a better player than Schultz.

Posted by: Section117 | December 31, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

just about any NHL forward can skate around Erskine... that's why he's NOT a better player than Schultz

Posted by: joek443 | December 31, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Credit San Jose for making things difficult for us all around. They are a very good team.

They need to move on, LA is good too.

Posted by: JSchon | December 31, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@oldtimehockey

wishing him luck at the next gig since the Times is dropping their news section. that sucks.

Posted by: MNMNT | December 31, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line we will not be able to compete for Stanley Cup without a sold stay at home defensemen. I know we are in top echelon of Eastern Conference but our Defense is starting to show it can’t competitive every game. Yes the D has played well at times, but we need to improve if we want the Cup here in D.C.. We have the cash, we should pick one up sooner rather than later. The longer you wait the high the price goes as other team try to add pieces as well. We add a D-man now it gives us half a season to gel.

Posted by: CapsBaby | December 31, 2009 9:30 AM


Our defense had holes in it LAST season. Instead of picking up a veteran D-man last year we got Knuble and Morrison, both forwards. I'm not complaining about that but we should have gotten a D-man. There probably weren't any on the market either that were within or price range but even then, the defense was kind of suspect last year.

Posted by: MNMNT | December 31, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Well the defense is always going to be suspect because of the "high risk high reward kind" of system they play in. They're always going to give up odd man breaks, breakaways...etc. But that doesn't have anything to do with the problem of not being able to clear during PK.

Posted by: rachel216 | December 31, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I think that Erskine is going to be the eventual odd man out, if salary cap is not the issue. He was single-handedly responsible for 2 goals for the Canes, and I can go on..Crosby's first goal in game 7 last year...on and on,..makes fundamental mistakes in his choice of who to cover - without any mention of his skating (if you call it that); and, recovery speed. His physical play along the boards is probably the only asset of any value - and probably will be for many GMs. So he can be moved.

Green, Poti, Pothier, Morrison, Alzner, Schultz = that probably should be line-up with Carlson pushing someone down the stretch.

I know that Green was trying to make a statement about not making Team Canada in the SJ game, but all he ended up doing was proving Steve Yzerman right about what a liability he can be on the defensive side.

We suck on D right now with Poti and Pothier out of the lineup.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | December 31, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

In McPhee we trust. He knows we need some D.

If nothing is done before the deadline then, well, in McPhee we no longer trust.

Posted by: CF11555 | December 31, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

UGLY...Alzner and Mo are terrible together...Chimera has no business on the second line...BB tinkering was idiotic.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 31, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@ Bottom line we will not be able to compete for Stanley Cup without a sold stay at home defensemen. I know we are in top echelon of Eastern Conference but our Defense is starting to show it can’t competitive every game. Yes the D has played well at times, but we need to improve if we want the Cup here in D.C.. We have the cash, we should pick one up sooner rather than later. The longer you wait the high the price goes as other team try to add pieces as well. We add a D-man now it gives us half a season to gel.

Posted by: CapsBaby | December 31, 2009 9:30 AM

Who would you suggest that we go and get at this time of the season. It sounds like a great plan, but we need to have a willing trade partner.

I do believe that they have a short list of players that they would like and they will be trying to figure who is the best fit for the team, but I believe it will take place closer to the trade deadline when the line between "buyers" and "sellers" is drawn. JMHO

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 31, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I do think that Mike Green deserved a shot at Team Canada but it it reminds me of a quote from 1980 :
"Craig Patrick: You're missing the best players.
Herb Brooks: I'm not looking for the best players, Craig, I'm lookin' for the right ones. "

Posted by: jono57 | December 31, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

UGLY...Alzner and Mo are terrible together...Chimera has no business on the second line...BB tinkering was idiotic.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 31, 2009 10:12 AM

Personally, i liked the idea of having Chimera start on the 2nd line. Lets give him a shot to see what he can do. We found out and then the lines changed. No harm in that. The 8,19,28 line has been working well, but can also be risky too. Mixing up the lines was a good move on BB's part I think.

Posted by: OviFan08 | December 31, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

We suck on D right now with Poti and Pothier out of the lineup.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | December 31, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse


But Poti was in the lineup. What, you couldn't tell? I guess he had an assist in the game, but otherwise was invisible. IMHO, he's the d-man we should have traded away. He's the most expensive but what does he really bring to the table? He is an average skater and is ok with the breakout pass, but he doesn't contribute offensively, he isn't physical, won't clear the crease and has trouble getting the puck out of corners and out of the zone. I would have kept Juice and offered a draft pick to Columbus to take Poti instead.

Posted by: cainoo7x | December 31, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

That game reminded me of last year's playoffs with the Caps D inability to make quality passes from their own zone when pressured.

I think we need to find a quality D man who can do this. Hopefully one will be available, but we are going to have to give up quality to get quality.

I would love to add S. Niedermeyer, but if he is traded the cost will be very high.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 31, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I would love to add S. Niedermeyer, but if he is traded the cost will be very high.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 31, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse


I'd be wary of adding Niedermayer because, just like you said, the cost will be really high and I'm just not sure he's that effective anymore. He's been a minus player each of the last three seasons (including -10 so far this season).

Posted by: cainoo7x | December 31, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

stellar effort from the Caps last night.

Posted by: doughless | December 31, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Crimes is dropping its sports coverage!? Awesome!

I'm so glad that rightwing wad of toiletpaper will no longer be involving itself in my life as a Caps fan. Here's to the total, ultimate and lasting demise of radical cultist Sun Myung Moon's interference in American politics.

Posted by: large23220 | December 31, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse


@large23220,

Can you comment on sports. It is a sports board you know.

Posted by: hessone | December 31, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I would have be the house Caps would lose to sharks. This is the exact reason Caps are NOT an elite team. We all know it. come on they play in easy division. sharks are an elite team

Posted by: phrdlick | December 31, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

prediction: Caps lose 3 in row when Kings beat them. Caps right now are in my opinion 6th best team in hockey. NEVER win big away games

Posted by: phrdlick | December 31, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

prediction: Caps lose 3 in row when Kings beat them. Caps right now are in my opinion 6th best team in hockey. NEVER win big away games

Posted by: phrdlick | December 31, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

How about in Colorado this year. Or game six in Pittsburgh last year in the playoffs or the games in NY last year when being down 2-0 in the series? I guess big playoff wins don't count.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 31, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I think the CAPS are still in shock a bit from loosing two players. The CAPS were winning and life was fine, then comes the trade. Now some players may have some concern about whether they might be next.

BTW, the Sharks ARE one of the best teams in the league, so this "trade shock" may have been only part of the reason they lost.

Posted by: TrackCollector | December 31, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company