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Posted at 2:07 PM ET, 02/ 5/2011

Boudreau says Capitals must carry effort from win in Tampa forward

By Katie Carrera

The Capitals had a brief, light-spirited practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex Saturday afternoon and there was definitely a more up-beat tone to the session. Players were joking around on and off the ice and while the 5-2 win over the Lightning was an important victory, the Capitals understand that if they don't follow that up with more success it will mean little in the long run.

After a game that they spent two days implementing a plan to specifically thwart Tampa Bay alone, attention turned to what the Capitals could take from the victory and use against every other team in the league.

"Ridiculous as it may sound, when they want to pay attention they can," Coach Bruce Boudreau said when asked what he'd take from the win over the Lightning. "Because we went over this stuff, we changed a lot of things that we were going to do in two days -- power play to the forechecking -- and it will change again.

"It was like more of a football scouting mission, where you are basing things not on your system but how to combat one team. But what specifically we'll take out of it is the effort that it took to beat one of the better teams in the league in their building. It was by 20 guys. I didn't see any passengers last night, everybody was committed to doing what they're supposed to be doing."

Washington's win against Tampa Bay was it's first regulation victory against a team that would make the playoffs if the regular season ended today since defeating the Penguins 3-1 in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1. Before the end of February though, the Capitals will face many more of those playoff-caliber opponents.

Beginning with Sunday's contest against the Penguins, Washington plays seven of the 10 remaining games in February against teams currently in the top eight of either the Eastern or Western Conference, which will all require a certain level of both of the buzz words -- commitment and effort -- heard after Friday night.

"It is intensity, it is killer instinct," Matt Hendricks said. "We know that these points are important right now and we need to play that way right now. We can't play relaxed, we can't play comfortable thinking we'll win when we have to win. We need to win night in and night out."

That urgency is why the Capitals don't want to get too content that they put together one of their better, full 60 minute efforts this season on Friday night. They must continue to do so and Sunday's match up against the rival Penguins should help prevent any post-victory hangover.

"It sort of ensures that, that's not going to happen," Boudreau said. "You always worry about having an emotional win and the next game you play [off]. I don't think with the circumstances surrounding the game and it being on Super Bowl Sunday, which is a pretty raucous atmosphere to begin with. I don't think there will be any problem for either team getting up for the other team tomorrow."

By Katie Carrera  | February 5, 2011; 2:07 PM ET
Categories:  Tampa Bay Lightning  
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Next: Capitals, Steckel not worried about Penguins seeking retribution

Comments

How come it takes this long for the coach to actually start coaching??

There is no excuse for this.

Posted by: rblatch45 | February 5, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

so rblatch, are you being cordial right now or not?

Posted by: GFisher1 | February 5, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm being factual, thank you.

Posted by: rblatch45 | February 5, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"when they want to pay attention they can".

Uh oh... The insinuation is then that they DON'T pay attention the rest of the time. That doesn't sound like a team that has bought in on a regular basis.

Posted by: drewsie | February 5, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if it has been posted already, but Kuznetsov is a KHL All-Star.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | February 5, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe BB told them that he was not really Hadeed the carpet bagger, there would be no more F bombs in the dressing room, there would be an asking for leadership within the team to step up to the plate, and for everyone to remember that they are professionals paid the big bucks to actually play 60 minutes of hockey and hit whatever moves when stepping on the ice.

Great game last night Caps.....best all year...I'd all but given up on you but I see a spark...just a spark ...that might get you into the playoffs if you are lucky.

Play every game like you did last night and you'll have me believeing that super puffball BB is the real deal and we here in crtic land are all wrong about his great talent to motivate you all.

Good luck..dig deep and the Cup just might get into BB's SUV after all.

Posted by: capper3 | February 5, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

A SAFE TRIP TO AND FROM TAMPA!!!

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:
After reading a ton of the comments during the open thread - all I can say from being there in person at Tampa last night was this team was a different team. They got in the Lightning team and fans heads with the passing back and forth of the puck in their own zone. I love it. It showed me the Caps were saying "Hey Tampa come and get it."

Hendricks: What can you continue to say about him? He did what he had to do and loved him rattling Roloson and then fighting Downie. Gritty.

Varly: A good recovery after the first goal.

The game was a roller coaster but the Caps stayed consistent most of the time and yes there was some lacksadaisical play here and there but they stepped up in big moments especially when they were holding the 3-2 lead and Tampa was sending pressure.

I have to give a big kudos to Tampa's fans and the scores of Caps fans in attendance. St. Pete Time's Forum was PACKED - there was definitely 20,000+ there last night. Not alot of empty seats at all. A great turnout for a big game.

MY HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT: While I'm not a smack talker - if you initiate it with me you better believe you're going to get it back. While the Caps were holding a 3-2 lead in the third period - the Tampa mascot comes down with a "Rollie" sign and the Rollie chant begins and ends after about a couple minutes. Not more than a minute after the chant died down - Backstrom scores to make it 4-2. After jumpinng up to celebrate the goal - I started yelling the "Rollie" chant which got a lot of looks, laughs, and cheers from the Caps fans around. I was sitting 11 rows behind Tampa's goal - where the Caps shot twice in the game. How satisfying it was to get a victory like that last night.

Proud of the guys. The key now is to get ready for a Crosbyless and Malkinless Penguins team tomorrow. This team may be down but the Caps need to come out and exact their will on this team and take advantage right now. No messing around.

@TOMINSOCAL - thanks for the kind words and yes it was an enjoyable game. Definitely a two point night.

Looking forward to a double Pittsburgh whammy tomorrow as the Pens fall to the Caps and the Steelers fall to the Packers in the Super Bowl.

ICE BREAKERS GOAL SHAKERS

Posted by: Jonathan6 | February 5, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@joek

I knew it would take long for the goofs to start chirpping because I critcized Backy after a two goal night. I've been watching this guy "gliding and watching" for months at the phone booth.

Yea, the playoffs are all that matters. I want it bothways. Now is when Backy should be getting into the best shape of his life. Right here, Right now !! Because the other coaches in the East will have their guys ready to play injured, and play EXTENSIVE overtimes. Plechanic (spelling) called out our goalie and then lite him in overtime. Great start to the series. Habs in better shape due to the demands of a real NHL coach beat our goalie easily in overtime. Guy was wide open at the top of the slot. (Missed assignment due to fatigue ?)

I look at the Pens, Flyers, and B's play, and they already picking up the intensity (Look what Johny did against the Isles).
We need to go into the play offs ready to play play off hockey. That starts now.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 5, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

We need to go into the play offs ready to play play off hockey. That starts now.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 5, 2011 4:54 PM

so playoff hockey starts at game 54 of the regular season?
the pens, flyers and b's could burn themselves out if they try and continue to pick up their intensity from this point on.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 5, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to express my comments about the game last night as well, sitting next to "Jonathan6" and enjoying the game as much as he did. First off, It did look like a different team last night, extremely different from sitting back on a lead and hoping defense prevails. Instead, The Capitals didn't use their defense to hold the lead, they did what any great hockey team would, and play offense. Nothing was more important than that 4th goal we grabbed when Backstrom buried it in the back of the net. (This was the part where the Cap fans lead by Jonathan screaming "ROLLIE, ROLLIE!!")

Here's my "How important" moments went... How important was that win? How important was it that Ovi and Backstrom got a goal? How important was it that Laich (who I've honestly have questioned lately) scored and didn't get knocked off the puck every other minute. How important was it that after the first fight where Hendricks got smacked around pretty bad that Bradley came out and beat the living hell out of Adam Hall for the Lightning?) How important was it that we actually scored on the Power Play again? How important was it for the Caps to score in the 1st period and put nearly 20 shots on net to get Rollie off his game? If you answered "BIG TIME" or anything near that, you would be correct.

The word of the day would be "complacency" because even though this was a huge win for the Caps, they have to continue on a stretch that sees them playing a lot of top playoff contending teams while the Lightning get a lot more home games to come. The Caps get the Penguins without Crosby and Malkin (which looks increasingly like Malkin will be out for the rest of the year) Let's keep this rolling on.

Posted by: darrin25 | February 5, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Hunter,

What happened to the Bs in last year's playoffs? That's right, they BLEW a 3 games to none lead and also a 3-0 lead in Game 7.

They're bigger CHOCKING dogs than the Caps so don't tell me how great they look right now. Even being "gritty" doesn't guarantee you a GD thing in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | February 5, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

By the way for anyone wondering why we are not rushing Semin back just has to look at what happened to Malkin last night. Wathcing early parts of the game before the Caps started I kept saying he didn't look like he was 100% and sure enough he gets hurt and is probably going to be done until next season. I would much rather he wait until he is 100% before he comes back to reduce the chances he reinjures his injury.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 5, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

(Look what Johny did against the Isles).

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 5, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

You mean the fact that the goalie was the only one who went after the guy who cheapshoted his player while all of the other guys just let him go or the fact that he took on the most often injured goalie in the league who looked like he thought it was just going to be a play fight until the first punch?

Also the Pens were getting making ready for 'playing injuried' last night and now he is done for the year so how much do you think that helps them?

I agree that the team needs to put forth that sort of effort each night but the other teams are not in great shape either. The Pens are wondering when Crosby will come back and if he will still be the same player (see Eric Lindros) and now lost their #2 player for the year. The B's are coming off going blowing a 3-0 playoff lead so I am not sure why they get counted as a top team. As for Philly unless they get a goalie they will either be starting an untested rookie or a 34 year old who has never been a top goalie.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 5, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Anyone see that punch Brent Johnson laid on Depietro (sp?). That was sweet.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 5, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the KHL all-star game Kuznetsov won the break away competition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3rJXwoan6I

Also Chris Simon won the accuracy competition.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 5, 2011 6:38 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97:
thanks for the clip. i can't wait to see what he can do when he finally gets to the caps.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 5, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I look at the Pens, Flyers, and B's play, and they already picking up the intensity (Look what Johny did against the Isles).
We need to go into the play offs ready to play play off hockey. That starts now.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach

Didn't Philly just lose to Tampa 4-0 in a loss their coach said that their effort was poor. Apparently they either haven't picked up their intensity or their playoff intensity results in getting blanked.

Either or Hunterforcoach, pick one.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 5, 2011 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Man, that Tampa Bay team is overrated.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | February 5, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Caps aren't out partying tonight as some posters here say some of them are prone to do. We'll soon find out tomorrow at, say, 12:41 pm if they did.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | February 5, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Pens are hurt and stumbling. Good.. let's keep our foot on the back of their necks and crush'm tomorrow!

ps..watching the Edmonton game.. would love to get our hands on Penner. He wold be a great addition o the Caps!!

Posted by: great81 | February 5, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Some random musings:

I wish GMGM would give Hendricks a multi-year deal so I could buy his jersey already.

Thank God I am going to the game tomorrow, so I don't have to listen to NBC's pity party about the "Crosby and Malkin-less Penguins."

Good to see the Caps out play and out think a team for a change. Let's make it 2 in a row.

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | February 5, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Excited for the game tomorrow. Section 400 reporting for duty.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 5, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

You have a good point on not rushing Semin back from his injury with Malkin now out for the year. I think, with Malkin, it now appears that both his knees are hurt.

On Semin, could the current groin problem be an aggravation of earlier injuries? It sounds like Semin had been playing through stuff throughout December. He had a nagging condition at the tail end of Nov where the trainer recommended he sit out practice to "rest". He also was sick and then there was the injury in mid Dec in the horrible Rangers game right after being sick He came back from that injury too soon as evidenced by the fact that he came back the very day after he was reported to be "doubtful" for the next day since the Caps were desperate for bodies to dress since Fehr had a funeral to go to and Hendricks had gotten sick.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

@joek, capt,icehammer,sgm3


The B's are gonna' rip some body's lungs out and tie 'em around their necks after last year. I just hope it isn't us. They'll probably go to the finals.

Yea, I wish the Flyers would burn out, but like I'm always reminding sgm3, they are constantly in the Finals. Why ?????
Tough guys don't burn out !!!

Yea capt, Backy should just keep "watching and gliding" and then just flip that switch the day the playoffs start.

Ice, the Flyers could put Mother Theresa in goal and still play a "tight" series with us. Those boys play play off hockey, we golf. (Yea, I mean her corpse !)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 6, 2011 12:58 AM | Report abuse

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