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Posted at 5:30 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Open thread: Capitals at Lightning

By Katie Carrera

logologo

Faceoff: 7:30 p.m., St. Pete Times Forum; TV: CSN; Radio: 1500 AM

The Capitals try to shrink Tampa Bay's lead on the top spot in the Southeast Division. Lineups will be posted shortly after warm-up.

Update: 7:06 p.m.
Based on warm-up here's what the lineup should look like against the Lightning:

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

Defense
Alzner-Carlson
Schultz-Green
Erskine-Hannan

Goal
Varlamov
Neuvirth

Scratches: D.J. King and Tyler Sloan

By Katie Carrera  | February 4, 2011; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  Lineups, Tampa Bay Lightning  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Limiting Lightning's transition game a key for Capitals
Next: Capitals show a killer instinct against Tampa Bay

Comments

Does Ovie participate in warmups? He might need more "maintenance" time.

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

@akmzrazor

Since you've named yourself after "Mr. Simplest Explanation", I'll make it simple. Yzerman will purchase Free Agents with the money he's saved from not signing picks. He'll hire the "veteran play off type guys" McPhee can't spot.

Yzerman is a winner. He's spent his whole career around winners. He'll build a playoff monster quickly. GMGM will be busy trying to find ways to extend "nonplay off" guys like Poti to extensions.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 4, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

@Irishbear

You're on the wrong site. The "limeys" are all over the Cricket site "Gob smacking" each other. You from County Cork ??

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 4, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

@Irishbear

Don't crash into our site after a drunken bing at the Dubliner, and tell us how to support or tear down our club. You from County Cork ?

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 4, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

@Hunterforcoach

I 100% agree about Yzmerman!!!! The guy knows what a playoff hockey team needs. The lightning could make an addition this year, and definitely be scary. The future is bright for them. Mcphee will just keep locking up guys to extensions and bragging about how many draft picks are in the lineup and how many great prospects we have.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | February 4, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, just saw this on Caps Jobs Website:
http://capitals.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=42993

Head Coach

This position would be considered full-time, seasonal work and would fulfill the lifelong dreams of an oft teased and dis-heartened fanbase.

The position would be working full days on game days and would be assisting the team by holding optional skates on non-game days.

The ideal candidate will need a few extremely specific skills and knowledge:

• Prior experience winning a Stanley Cup with under achieving players
• Experience in defeating ‘Hot Goalies’, especially in playoff situations
• Ensures the team paces itself throughout the regular season
• Proof of ability to instill fundamental hockey concepts (dump n’ chase, crash the net, shoot the puck, clear the zone)

The ideal candidate should also have the following skills to fit our environment:

• Be able to say “I can’t explain it” on at least 82 different occasions in 82 different ways
• Not wear powder blue, hawk carpets, eat garden salads, nor drive a car with cup holders
• Carry themselves in a professional manner and not drop the ‘F-bomb’ in on camera situations
• Sports movie\cameo experience not required
• Ability to speak Russian desired
• Will need to provide own second line center


Resumes, a detailed cover letter including your experience with the mentioned qualifications, and references should be submitted to G. McPhee, General Manager for life, at GMGM4life@Caps.com.

Posted by: festus75 | February 4, 2011 6:59 PM | Report abuse

@festus

that is pretty good work. gave me a good laugh.

Posted by: ThePat | February 4, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

@festus,

That's good one lol. So, who's applying?

Posted by: RITdude | February 4, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

@festus

Great job-your post made me spit out my coffee.

Posted by: AADCDERM | February 4, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope Varly and Neuvy can stay healthy for the stretch run 'cause things are getting thin in the goalie depth chart. The Bears are playing Albany tonight (at Atlantic City) and Todd Ford is in net with Jared DeMichiel backing up. Both ECHLers. Holtby is out day-to-day with a knee problem and Dany Sabourin had knee surgery today that will sideline him 2-3 months.
And by the way, Albany in leading 1-0 midway through the 1st.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 4, 2011 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I 100% agree about Yzmerman!!!! The guy knows what a playoff hockey team needs. The lightning could make an addition this year, and definitely be scary. The future is bright for them. Mcphee will just keep locking up guys to extensions and bragging about how many draft picks are in the lineup and how many great prospects we have.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | February 4, 2011 6:52 PM

Pretty much. Well said.

And who's this irishbear cat? What did I miss?

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Funny how NHL channel is running back to back Ovie specials. It seems like he is a different player now. Maybe he will snap out of it...maybe.

Posted by: gs12 | February 4, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Funny how NHL channel is running back to back Ovie specials. It seems like he is a different player now. Maybe he will snap out of it...maybe.

Posted by: gs12 | February 4, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

atdhe got seized, any good streams?

Posted by: Chewbacca22 | February 4, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Those lines are awful. What are the odds of B. Gordon scoring a goal tonight? I say 1 in 450.

"So your telling me there's a chance."

Posted by: underpants2 | February 4, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

This was the best one:
"Will need to provide own second line center"

And sadly, there is some truth to this one: "Proof of ability to instill fundamental hockey concepts (dump n’ chase, crash the net, shoot the puck, clear the zone)"

I could elaborate on why this fan thinks that but I'll save it for another day. I spewed more than my share of the haterade yesterday.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

@Chewbacca22

hockeystreams.com

Posted by: RITdude | February 4, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

atdhe got seized, any good streams?

Posted by: Chewbacca22 | February 4, 2011 7:25 PM

This is absolutely the best way of catching a game if all you have is internet access:

It costs a few bucks but it's drastically better than free streams. They even archive games. There are various qualities of stream and you can purchase from a day to a year of access.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I'd let that third line sleep with my sister, but I'm not seeing much promise among the other forward combos.

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | February 4, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Doh, this is the link I meant to post: http://www6.hockeystreams.com/

I see another poster recommended it as well.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I have to watch the Tampa crew announce tonight, that should be different.
BTW, how close is Cindy Crysby to returning from her sprained labia?

Posted by: chriscaps | February 4, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Do people in Tampa even know that there's a hockey team there?

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

very weak, very very weak

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Shades of Theo Game 1 vs MTL...

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Another wow. BB seems to prefer Varly but that goal might put him in the doghouse.

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Lets hope if Carlson is taking the puck into the offensive zone and a player calls to drop the puck back, he make sure it's a Caps player and not the other team's like last game.

Posted by: instinct227 | February 4, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

1 goal closer to the new coach....

Posted by: festus75 | February 4, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

@gs12 Agreed, and it was sad to watch.
Have to also agree with commenters who have noticed a little flab around OV
abd we're down a goal already...

Posted by: bluejeener1 | February 4, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Rolo looks a little shaky with the long ones. Gotta keep shooting. Too bad we have 1 scoring line and 3 checking lines.

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

well done tampa. keep up the good work.

Posted by: pkme | February 4, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

crap the bed - what was that - did varly even warm up before the game started? jeebuz

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Seems like they're dumping the puck in from well behind the red line to deal with the neutral zone pressure. Worked a couple times but led to a couploe of icings too.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Looks like BB found him a new play. Icing! It's funny because Tampa looks disinterested in this game.

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

nice hendricks - doesn't matter if you were pushed or did it yourself - good work

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Hot goalie!!!

Posted by: instinct227 | February 4, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

TBL 1 for 1; the Caps are just sunk. 10 shots and most all are just weak shots. And speaking of weak shots, the mites take better shots than the one that got past Varly. This team is just terrible. One more nail in BigBaby's coffin. Bye bye Bruce; don't let the door hit you in your enormous a$$ on the way out.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | February 4, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

wtf - r we going to get to see what got hendricks in trouble?

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Hendricks got into Rolo's head like teams used to do against Olie. I miss Olie's temper. There it is!!!! In Rolo's head!!

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

i dunno - i like what i see - the boys are skatin hard

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Ovie!!!

Posted by: RITdude | February 4, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

crush the hot goalie - dirty goal by ovi

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Oviiiii

Posted by: instinct227 | February 4, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Ovie

Posted by: dave53 | February 4, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow, we need much more of that effort on the forecheck and around the net.

Awesome stuff from all players involved on that play.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

and they genuinely seem to be into the game so far

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Henricks should get an assist as well. Thats what we need to see.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 4, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I've criticized McPhee for going young at several key positions.

So far this year most of the youngins have done as much or more than you can expect of them with the possible exception of Perreault, who is up and down with long downs.

It's the vets and the stars that have struggled most.

My fear? The kids hit the wall and come down to earth and struggle consistently on top of the vets and stars struggling.

Ideally, the kids keep it up and the stars and vets return to form but there are worse possibilities for sure.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks might be a new better Bradley.

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

How much worse would this team be without Hendricks?

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | February 4, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Downie got the best shots in but good effort from Hendricks.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

okay there's a spark - hendie held his own and its downie that has the ice pack to his face

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Weaksauce call.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

where are all the ovie criticizes about missing the skate now. ...that's what i thought. OVIE!!!!

Posted by: capsfan387 | February 4, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks vs Downie

Called it 24 hrs ago. Watch this game long enough and you can do it too, lol

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 4, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Brads heard me...

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Too bad DJK is not in the game to turn a lightning into mush

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | February 4, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

i didn't see any blood = win for bradley

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

No blood and he got in the best licks... Bradley wins.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Ovie can score 9 hat tricks this game. Still doesn't excuse him for practicing once a week.

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

per tominsocal - the bradely fighting machine connects again - let's go boys make somethin happen - keep hittin

speaking of which backstrom skates past a bolt on the wall instead of engaging him and then coughs up the puck in our zone by shoveling it into the corner to noone. meh

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Tampa is an easy easy easy team for the Caps to play aggressively and physically towards. Brads cutting across center ice to hit Hedman. Laich bearing down on a guy. Chimera doing the same thing. Tampa is built kinda soft. And the Caps are confident about finishng checks and playing edgy.

Impressed with the overall effort so far? yep

Do I expect this effort against teams that are harder to play against or a little more intimidating? not a snowball's chance in hell. Not consistently anyway.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 4, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

bench is short forwards - come on boys - suck it up!

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

They figured out our icing play. Let's see how the great BB responds!

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

55 is so painfully slow both in foot speed and reaction/execution time. And we know he's soft to boot. Big, slow and soft = bad combo in this day and age.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I had a feelin Brads was going to cone out fiery tonight. Lots of heat on the team and he doesn't have any heavies on Tampa to worry about. I wish he'd go after Downie or something. Adam Hall? lol, that's like going after Knuble. I want Brads to beat Downie down to the ice and keep pummeling. He and Ersk are the only two guys on our team who can beat up a lightweight like Downie.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 4, 2011 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, that was a horrible play by 19.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:16 PM | Report abuse

If Green bluffs another slapshot I'm going to puke.

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

keep puttin it on net - as someone else said - rolo looks a bit shakey

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

If Green bluffs another slapshot I'm going to puke.

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

good energy tonight though. Broken record (they need to play like this every night regardless of who or where their opponent is)

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 4, 2011 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Don't have CSN +, gotta watch on NHL net with Tampa's feed... Announcers are boring, camera's miss action.. Gonna be a long nite...

Posted by: frostanna | February 4, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

call me a dreamer - but if (and I admit that is a BIG IF) they keep playing like they did in the first period, I sense a caps win in regulation.

disclaimer: I am givin to flights of fancy - especially when under the influence of a martini(s)

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

really enjoyed the cicarelli piece. unfortunately, he left before I arrived in dc

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 8:28 PM | Report abuse

That was a high quality first 20 minutes, minus the soft goal given up. The guys are flying around and finishing checks for the most part.

If we didnt have Hendricks on this team, god only knows where we'd be. 40 more minutes of that effort and they will win. If they dont play 40 more minutes like that, we will probably be headed to OT.

Posted by: ThePat | February 4, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

good energy tonight though. Broken record (they need to play like this every night regardless of who or where their opponent is)

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 4, 2011 8:22 PM

The sad thing is that games like this are proof that part of the problem is a)that they don't work hard enough consistently, expecting/hoping for things to come easy and b)we have too many players who are soft and timid and/or have relatively low innate compete levels.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

for those of you who don't follow certain forums, just FYI the same day ATDHE.ME went online literally the same day that ATDHE.NET was shut down, thats the whack-a-mole nature of the internet

Posted by: OVIwankanOVI | February 4, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Tampa is an easy easy easy team for the Caps to play aggressively and physically towards. Brads cutting across center ice to hit Hedman. Laich bearing down on a guy. Chimera doing the same thing. Tampa is built kinda soft. And the Caps are confident about finishng checks and playing edgy.

Impressed with the overall effort so far? yep

Do I expect this effort against teams that are harder to play against or a little more intimidating? not a snowball's chance in hell. Not consistently anyway.

Posted by: cstanton1

The Caps played a very good 1st period against one of the top teams (at least record wise) in the NHL. The only reason it is 1-1 is because Varly let in a weak goal(Varly looks shaky tonight by the way).

How about we concern ourselves with how the Caps have played and will play this game and we can worry about what they may or may not do in future games tomorrow.

I actually like the idea of the wide icing dump ins to start the game. TB plays the 1-3-1 and that was left open. TB wasn't ready for it and the Caps got the first few and got set up in the zone a few times on those that led to some scoring chances. But now TB is looking for those which should open up a little more room in the neutral zone. BB is not known for being a good in-game coach who makes good adjustments because he isn't, but that was a well thought out and planned move, IMO.

I also loved the play by Hendricks to run into Roloson. Now that is a good penalty. Even if he was the only one to get two minutes that would have been a good penalty. I mentioned earlier that when a goalie is in the zone against your team, you should take a run at him to try to get him upset and off his game. Great play by Hendricks.

The call against Chimera was absolutely garbage. That was one of the worst calls I've seen in a long time. I didn't get to see a replay of Erskine's so I'm not sure about that one, but the Chimera was ridiculous.

Hopefully the Caps continue to play the same way. My biggest concern is that Varly looks shaky and looks like he may let up another soft goal or two.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 4, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

bah, edit fail, well anyway ATDHE.ME is the new stream host.

Posted by: OVIwankanOVI | February 4, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

As much as I criticize #8, the one thing that is always true about him is that he has high innate compete level.

Even if he's slower and less physical this season for whatever reasons, the issue with him is not compete level.

The problem is that his concept of competing is flawed and is too individualistic and offensively oriented.

Competing shouldn't so often be bearing down and trying to skate through 3 or 4 players on your own.

Competing isn't even only delivering well-timed hits.

Competing also involves making the right decisions because you know it's necessary for the team to be more competitive.

It means backchecking more consistenly with effort and thinking about your positioning on the ice, on and off the puck, as well as the position of other players on the ice.

It means working harder along the boards to win puck battles and protect the puck, etc...

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

@ebolean1

With Dino, you missed watching a very determined, character guy who always came to play hard and win.

If we win, I hope it TEACHES us something. But if we win, I'm afraid that the changes that need to be made will not be for even longer...

Let's see what the 2nd has in store for us.

Posted by: sca187 | February 4, 2011 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Green plays with the intensity of a sloth.

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

ugh - bad habits seem to be raising their ugly heads

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

8 is still too easy to knock off the puck... not sure if his core strength is lacking or if it's just a lack of work ethic or good technique.

Laich once said he was nearly impossible to knock off the puck. You rarely see evidence of that in real games.

Maybe Laich is just too soft or was trying to talk good about his teammate publicly.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

erskine almost blew that one - you gotta know your going to get the puck when you do that

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

To many lazy passes by green he sucks

Posted by: jp14710 | February 4, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

my goodness was that an ugly stretch during and after the PP. Total chaos... nothing was in sync.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

ovi's new weapon - the stutter shot

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

The toughest player to knock off the puck on this team is Backstrom by a mile.

Maybe other than Knuble, nobody else is close, certainly not 8.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

That's what I'm talkin bout!

Posted by: sca187 | February 4, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

yea - baby!!!

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

gotta laich laich when he does that

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I Laichy

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | February 4, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I like Laich!

Posted by: Terptwin | February 4, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

WOnder what game Joe B. is watching. "CAPs have tied it"? Guess he is just used to saying that this year....

Posted by: festus75 | February 4, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

That there was an example of 8 moving effectively off the puck. More of that, please, offensively and defensively.

I want the TOR Ovechkin every game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

let's roll boys - time to pile it on!

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Ok this time Oviiiiiiiiiii

Posted by: instinct227 | February 4, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that's some quick redemption.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

This time it is Ovie !!

Posted by: dave53 | February 4, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Ovie again...and on the Power Play!

Posted by: Terptwin | February 4, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Best game, best effort since some time in November. If this is the real Caps team, the hard working team, they can win it all.

Ok, I know this is only the 2nd period, but this is what we all want to see.

Posted by: hanks1 | February 4, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

See, they can work harder. We need to see this far more regularly. No slacking or pacing yourselves or whatever other excuse.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about that. Backstrom was credited with our 1st goal. At any rate, way to go 1st liners!

Posted by: Terptwin | February 4, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

where has the team that we are seeing tonight been? only problem with success is that it saves BB a$$

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

On the downside, if the Caps follow this was letdown after letdown against physically tougher teams, fans will rage even more on the players and McPhee for the soft roster.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

IF they keep this up and can perform this well in "must-sin" games then maybe they really do have a chance.

Posted by: bluejeener1 | February 4, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I thought Ovie scored the first goal. Why did they give it to Backstrom?

Posted by: caraveli | February 4, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

must win games
trying to type and watch :-(

Posted by: bluejeener1 | February 4, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Green is the defenseman version of Ovechkin at times - he tries to stickhandle through multiple players a little too often but it's more costly when you are unsuccessful at that end.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli - As for that first goal, it must have been a tip that neither one of us saw.

Posted by: Terptwin | February 4, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

he touched last before it went over the goal line - it was close

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

We all know they have the talent to play this kind of game -- the only questions has been whether they were willing to put out the kind of effort we are seeing tonight. So far, it's 40 minutes of really good hockey against one of the premier teams. Go Caps! Let's make it 60 minutes tonight.

Posted by: hanks1 | February 4, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

It's a Caps goal... all that matters... ever.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

csn had a replay that showed it - maybe they will replay it

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

This is where BB should earn his money. If we start playing like poo now, its a lack of motivation from the players.

And BB should be able to do that tonight!

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Where was this ''wide dump in'' adjustment during last year's Montreal series? Wasn't Montreal also using a 1-3-1 system against us?

Posted by: floms | February 4, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

BB countdown.... another goal closer to our new coach....

Posted by: festus75 | February 4, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Completely saw that coming... I saw him look across the ice and see the open guy before he skated up the wall.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

think pk guys got caught out there too long - sigh

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Too many PP - it was only a matter of time. Bites.

Posted by: instinct227 | February 4, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

The defense should pass it back and forth the whole 3rd period.

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Just could not keep the Bolts off the score sheet at the end. This team is getting closer to another OT loss

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | February 4, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Not sure I like the stale passing back and forth between the D. To me, it just seems like it's a strategy for when you don't have a strategy. Whatever works I guess...

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 4, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Olaf used to say..."the worst thing you can do is give up a goal during the final minute of a period." Let's that doesn't hold true for the Caps tonight!

Posted by: Terptwin | February 4, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

yeah - two corners - that's the ticket ;^)

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't know which d-man it was (Hannan?) but it seemed like he could've done something better with the puck... not sure though, need to see a replay.

Regardless, they didn't have the legs or awareness to see that play developing. It was a good shot but we could've done some things much better there.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I like the 4-corners offense against the TB trap. They are patient until they see an opening to get through the neutral zone, then they go with speed.

Posted by: zmega | February 4, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

we've seen the intentional wipe-out-the-icing, the stutter shot - why not the hockey version of the 4 corners?

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

We played well until we got the 2 goal lead and then I think we took the foot off the pedal. And then got into penalty trouble. The way this team is constructed its got to be all out effort for 60 minutes. Looks like we are heading for another OT game.

Posted by: ThePat | February 4, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

One thing about that PP though, it was the result of the bad whistle by the linesman that stopped the Caps 4-on-2 when TB knocked the goal off.

That play never should have been whistled as the Caps had the puck moving out of the zone. They should've waited until TB got possession of the puck before blowing the whistle.

The Hendricks penalty shortly followed(bad penalty to take though).

----

Green is the defenseman version of Ovechkin at times - he tries to stickhandle through multiple players a little too often but it's more costly when you are unsuccessful at that end.

Posted by: tmac2yao

It was Green's risky but great stick handling that led to the Caps 1st goal that everyone cheered.

If Green gets that puck tipped of his stick, everyone on here is crucifying him for making a stupid play. But since the play worked it was considered a smart and awesome play.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 4, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

if the caps don't play hard for this final 20 minutes i might have to buy a new tv.

this is a chance to prove they are a team that can play a full game. don't take any shifts off boys and keep skating!

Posted by: natresgroup | February 4, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

At least it won't be 3-2.

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks took a double bad penalty... late in the period and in the o-zone.

At least you can see a notable difference with our forecheck tonight.

You need to be tenacious and gritty to forecheck effectively. Being a good skater doesn't hurt either.

Unfortunately, besides Chimera and Johansson, we don't have nearly as much speed as some think we do. We played a run 'n game so I think that added to the misconception.

We have the tallest and heaviest set of forwards in the NHL. They're big and average-at-best when it comes to collective forward speed. 8 is not as fast as some think he is. Maybe Semin is the next fastest after 25 and 90. I forgot Perreault but let's see if he sticks long-term.

It doesn't get much better on defense where we are also the tallest and one of the heaviest. Green and perhaps Carlson are the only ones even above average when it comes to skating.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I like the 4-corners offense against the TB trap. They are patient until they see an opening to get through the neutral zone, then they go with speed.

Posted by: zmega

I agree. There is nothing in the rules or anything that you have to rush up the ice immediately.

If TB is not going to pressure and just sit back the Caps should keep on taking the first few steps up the ice to see if a lane opens up and if one doesn't then take a few steps back and try again.

This is a big 3rd period for the Caps. Hopefully they will continue to forecheck and pressure TB and spend most of the time in TBs zone. It is not the time to sit back(I'm not saying take risky chances, just to forecheck with the forwards)

Posted by: sgm3 | February 4, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Just based on measurables, this team is built more like one from before the post-lockout rule changes. Unfortunately, we're big and not even tough despite the size advantage. Big and slow (average at best overall) plus soft seems like an awful combination in today's game. We've overcome it and even excelled despite it but I still think it's an issue. We need a few lower end skill players that are fast and gritty to counter the soft oafs. That, or get rid of some of the soft oafs. If you're big and you don't hit and get dirty at a high level, that's a problem.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting so sick of that play!!!

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Another OT lose????

Anyone?

Anyone?

Posted by: 555Mass | February 4, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Why are we sitting back? Where is the tenacious forechecking we saw earlier???

Posted by: floms | February 4, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

only of it goes to the shoot-up

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

make this PP work

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

This is interesting...

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

@555mass

I'm in for an OT loss. Let the BB is gone countdown begin. OT loss here, Thrashing on sunday, drop the Sharks game and its Sayonara Brucie boy.

Posted by: festus75 | February 4, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Okay, let's get an insurance goal here on the PP. I like Carlson and Green at the points. Since they've made that change, I've noticed better puck movement, zone time, and more shots.

Posted by: floms | February 4, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

19 just not lookin like 19....

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom sucks!

Posted by: festus75 | February 4, 2011 9:46 PM | Report abuse

of course as soon as I post a compliment to the PP, they get too cutsie again. 19 with an opportunity to shoot there an elects to pass down low to OVi, and it's intercepted.

Posted by: floms | February 4, 2011 9:46 PM | Report abuse

poor pass by backstrom - didn't look like he got it off of the ice at all

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2011 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Some really poor execution over the last few minutes. Some guys looked a bit disinterested as well.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Just a matter of time before the Bolts tie this one up

A totally lackluster pp gives the Bolts more life

This team is finding many incredible ways to lose leads

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | February 4, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

yep - they are certainly controlling the play in the caps end

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

lol... 39 put every ounce into that skate. Still pretty slow but great effort.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I noticed how simple Montreal's PP was this last time we played them. They had an umbrella that stayed pretty much stationary, but kept rotating the puck around, after faking a shot, which kept freezing our PK'ers, and eventually they would just bomb from the point.

I just don't understand why we can't just simplify and copy other team's PP scheems

Posted by: floms | February 4, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

well I was not expecting that, but happy happy joy joy

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | February 4, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

way to go BACKSTROM
going to the net work well - doesn't it nick

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Yea Backie - lets get a hottie.

Top line rolling tonight!!!

Posted by: instinct227 | February 4, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I think my eyes are playing tricks on me.

Posted by: 555Mass | February 4, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

and Rolo provides a juicy rebound - YES!

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Yea, you're right. Backstrom is really awful. Can't pass and can't score. Oh, wait a minute! Who was that? Looked like #19!

Posted by: hanks1 | February 4, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Nice goal but 8 kind of took a casual swipe at the puck when TB had it then somebody nearly got beaten on the backend. I did like where this was going... big goal.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

NICKY

Posted by: mja712 | February 4, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Nice Backs!!

Posted by: caps4life2 | February 4, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Nice Backs!!

Posted by: caps4life2 | February 4, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Chimera may have just saved BB's job.

Posted by: festus75 | February 4, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom has 2 goals and an assist tonight. I don't care what he looks like as long as he continues to produce like this!

Posted by: Terptwin | February 4, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Excellent shift by Perreault.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Did Steckel just stand up in Downie's face at that face off? Who are these Caps?

Posted by: jakopz | February 4, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Did Steckel just stand up in Downie's face at that face off? Who are these Caps?

Posted by: jakopz | February 4, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

come on boys - game isn't over yet - 5 minutes to go - balls to the wall play!

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

i will confirm my Backstrom jersey at the HHOF

Posted by: caps4life2 | February 4, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

No need to convince me... 19 is far and away my favorite NHL player.

I was referring to those poor passes on the PP and the turnover in our end earlier in the game.

19 last season was the rock of this team in terms of consistency and playing both ends of the ice as he should.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Yikes... 4 made some good plays there though. He's been up and down tonight.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

great job by hendricks to lay out and block that shot

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

That was exactly what this team needed. Clutch goal. Backstrom came to play and is determined to back up his words from earlier today.

AND...I haven't seen the Caps have as many tip in chances as they do tonight! EVery time down the ice, they are getting chances. GOOD CHANCES!

Lots of time left...
Keep the gas down

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 4, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Anybody noticing that Rolofson's looking very ordinary. Good to get that monkey off our back.

Posted by: hanks1 | February 4, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

shut em down for these last 3 minutes!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Gordo should crack a smile every once in a while.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

This may the best all season that this team has forechecked and battled along the boards and in general.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Another OT lose????
(3 goal win. 4 point gain)

Backstrom sucks!
(Player of the Game)

Let the BB is gone countdown begin.
(stuck at 1)


WHERE ARE THE NAYSAYERS NOW?


Posted by: Rocka | February 4, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

there's the selfish ovi we all know so well

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

This was a solid 60 minutes by everybody, especially the top line. That included both solid defense and some good scoring off hard effort. And, in a "must win" game. I'm one of the people very happy if this saves BBs job. Great game all around!

Posted by: hanks1 | February 4, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

oh my god hands of stone can score!

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Man, Ovechkin consistently loses puck battles on the wall, 1-on-1 or otherwise.

19 nearly didn't get that out of the d-zone.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Another OT lose????
(3 goal win. 4 point gain)

Backstrom sucks!
(Player of the Game)

Let the BB is gone countdown begin.
(stuck at 1)


WHERE ARE THE NAYSAYERS NOW?


Posted by: Rocka | February 4, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

@ tmac2yao

Hahaha! I totally agree. I've been watching that dude play hockey for almost 10 years. Never smiles

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 4, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Nice.

Posted by: zmega | February 4, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, this is what everyone envisions when they talk about playing a more defensive style.

Good job tonight, let's hope it keeps up.

Gotta give Backstrom some credit. He said the big guys had to step up, and he has 4 points tonight. Not sure why we're just hearing this now but I guess you gotta start somewhere. Means nothing if you lay an egg against Pittsburgh though, so if you need to mouth off and put extra pressure on yourself in order to perform, by all means, keep doing it.

Posted by: fanzee71 | February 4, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

good job boys, that's the way to play the whole game! well deserved win.

Posted by: natresgroup | February 4, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Great win tonight. The two key plays to the game were Hendricks taking out Roloson early. And then Knuble battling in front on Ovi's PP goal.

They played hard and smart hockey. If they do that every game, I could care less if they lose 3-2 some nights. Just keep it going like they did tonight with the energy and effort. Now the key is putting it together for a few games.

Posted by: ThePat | February 4, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Outstanding 60 minute effort on the road. If they play this way in the playoffs, they will be tough to beat.

Posted by: mja712 | February 4, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

i was screaming a 19 too when he didn't clear

it's like what we hope are the real caps were in a time warp and emerged tonight to play a big game. hope the window to the time warp has closed and they hang around a while

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

This is by far, bar non, without a doubt the best game they have played since last season. They are doing all the little things that win you hockey games.

Hell yes! Great F%^*ing hockey game! Huge win...HUGE WIN!

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 4, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Probably the best overall forechecking effort of the season. Most of the guys battled hard along the wall and otherwise.

A rare case where the Caps clearly outworked an opponent.

Great but let's see where they take it from here. It'll be even more frustration if they don't build on it and we can barely remember this effort 2 weeks from now.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I must be dreaming.....5-2? wow!

Posted by: 555Mass | February 4, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

This was a terrible game. Fire Bruce and GMGM immediately! Backstrom and Ovechkin are out of shape and do not deserve their respective A and C on their jerseys.

Posted by: sabredc | February 4, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Man that Tampa Bay team is soft.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | February 4, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Rocka, the neighsayers are still here. One good game in 20 doesn't mean anything.

I've given credit for tonight. Now let's see if they can keep it up. Because this year, they really have not been good at doing that.

Posted by: fanzee71 | February 4, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Big win for the Caps tonight. I'm proud of their all around effort. Let's make it a streak on Sunday!

Posted by: Terptwin | February 4, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

GREAT WIN!

Pens are next...Go Get'em CAPS!

Make me a believer!

Posted by: ekbinion68 | February 4, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Great win tonight. The two key plays to the game were Hendricks taking out Roloson early. And then Knuble battling in front on Ovi's PP goal.

They played hard and smart hockey. If they do that every game, I could care less if they lose 3-2 some nights. Just keep it going like they did tonight with the energy and effort. Now the key is putting it together for a few games.

Posted by: ThePat | February 4, 2011 10:12 PM

Great post. My sentiments almost exactly.

They largely played hard and smart. There were two stretches of really poor execution though and I thought they were heading toward a lapse of effort before the 4th goal. I thought that was a key play as well to cut off the momentum shift.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom sucks...give me 3 more centers that suck like him. The Caps played this like a playoff game & Tampa just got an old fashion butt kicking.
Hendricks is a beast. A head first shot block late in the game, excellent.
Ovie played a great game (he backchecked!) & gives the ENG to Chimera. CAPTAIN Ovie shows how to play team hockey.

Posted by: chriscaps | February 4, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Not just total team win, but 60 minutes of effort (or at least 57 after the early goal). Caps completely dominated and should have been up 5-2 or 6-2 after 2nd period if it weren't for Roloson. Tons of quality scoring chances and our top line outplayed Tampa Bay's first line. Ovie and Backstrom were everywhere tonight.

If the Caps can bring this type of effort for 60 minutes and continue to get solid goaltending from Varly, they should start to move up in the standings. Great forecheck by all 4 lines throughout the night and the two first period fights showed the Caps wouldn't be pushed around. Except for the dumb penalty taken by Hendricks, the Caps played a smart and disciplined game with very few breakdowns on the defensive end.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 4, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

The Caps played this like a playoff game & Tampa just got an old fashion butt kicking.
Posted by: chriscaps | February 4, 2011 10:20 PM

Exactly - now you see how teams like last years Caps get caught mesmerized when playoffs start.

Tampa Bay was schooled in this game by the Caps and the Caps exploited their defense and neutral zone clog and now other teams will copy that strategy to beat them (TB) in the playoffs.

Good win for DC.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 4, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

sabredc: Let's see more than one good game out of 10 before we declare victory.

1) A solid 60 minutes.
2) For the first time in eons, Boudreau outcoached someone. Eons, I say, eons.
3) I love the "4 Corners" as a strategy to counteract the Trap. Especially when you have the lead. Green was great there at ragging the puck.
4) I love Downie. He, Umberger and Clutterbuck are my favorite non-Caps.
5) Alzner had a great game. At this point, I say he's a better defenseman than Carlson.
6) Great game by Green, incl that block.
7) Hendricks running Rolo set the tone.

Sorry if I'm repetitive to what others put, but I didn't read the thread. Those were just my thoughts.

Summation: If...IF!!!...the Caps play like this all 60 mins, remaining 29 games, and into the Playoffs, there's hope. Delete Perreault, delete say Schultz (actually Poti would be a great delete) and add an Umberger up front and some nasty D on the blueline...I don't know...maybe.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 4, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Naysayer here. Great win!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 4, 2011 10:26 PM | Report abuse

That was a very solid effort...probably the best effort since the Winter Classic. This is what this team can do when they put forth 100%. Now they just need to string together a few in a row.

I'm sure that Varly wants that first shot back, but otherwise, he played well.

I'll sleep well tonight...thanks Caps.

Posted by: billracer | February 4, 2011 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I dont think Roloson really wants to come out so much and handle that puck...all the shoot ins I think took him off his game - watch other teams try that too.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 4, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

If you're watching the Hawks game right now, watch how effectively guys like Hossa and Kopecky use their body as a shield to shake the puck.

They're not nearly as amazing as last season because the guys they let go aren't easy to replace. Last season all 4 lines were highly effective in their roles.

Ovechkin and others need to learn how to protect the puck better along the boards and when facing one-on-one pressure. Datsyuk is brilliant at this as well. And our boy Backstrom is very, very good in his own right. He's elite in that area when he's on his game.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

The Caps had such a solid 60 minute effort that I had to look at the comments on CI just to see who had a bad game!

Posted by: vtavgjoe | February 4, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow! super pleased with that game...with any luck the players enjpyed themselves and will be motivated to keep up the effort!

The new tactic of just hanging around in the D zone and waiting for TB to come after them was HILARIOUS! I think the fans wanted to storm the ice and attack.

Hendricks saved the game takeing that interference call and pi**ing off Roloson...got in his head :)

Ovie looked sharp, and you can see how much more room he has to manuever when Backstrom is also having a strong game! Those two can really help each other. Ovie made some nice plays and passes...also was stronger defensively than usual.

Other props go out to Boyd Gordon and Brooks Laich...both had strong games and that play by Brooksie was great!

Only down side is that Varly looked shaky...not surprising since he gave up a week goal on the first shot...I think that is psychologically hard to come back from for any player.

Go Caps!!! Lets do the same thing to the Pens!

Posted by: capscoach | February 4, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Tampa plays the passive PK like the Caps did last year. I hope they stick with it.

Posted by: zmega | February 4, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

chriscaps: This was Backstrom's first half-decent game since 2010.

Sometimes a Kool-Aid drinker will take ANY opportunity to flaunt their plastic child's cup of the red, sugary beverage.

Let's see Backie earn that 6.7 each and every game. Like he earned the last contract.

His second gaol was a thing of beauty. Face it Caps fans, where have we failed mostly this year? Well, since you asked, I'll tell you - defelections and rebounds. When's the last time you recall Caps scoring on a rebound? What's that? Lincoln was President? No, hasn't been that long ago, Bondra scored hundreds that looked just like Backie's second goal.

You'll never win 16 in spring in the NHL unless one-third are deflections and one-third are rebounds. Mr. Feinstein already put those stats a few months back.

Play from the perimeter...you lose.

Play from in front of the net...you win.

JONATHAN6: HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE GAME! IT WAS A TWO-POINT NIGHT!!!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 4, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha! I totally agree. I've been watching that dude play hockey for almost 10 years. Never smiles

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 4, 2011 10:09 PM

He comes off as a manic depressive or something, always looks like he's miserable even if he isn't. No personality at all.

Get pissed or talk a little trash and smile after skating away from a scrum. Show a pulse.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Caps looked better tonight than they have in a while. They still seem to have one or two players, not always the same ones, who get brain fades during the game. Tonight, Carlson was the problem, although his lapses did not cause goals for the opposition.

Posted by: theoldrot | February 4, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Game was in doubt until the last 8 minutes. A win, yes, convincing, no. Convince me with seven of the next ten just like tnis. And yes, ChrisCaps, one game does not a season make. Two garbage goals does not redeem Backstrom from an entire season of suck.

Posted by: festus75 | February 4, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Look at it this way ... 4 out of every 7 playoff games are must-win games.

Posted by: kbash33 | February 4, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Great win tonight. The two key plays to the game were Hendricks taking out Roloson early. And then Knuble battling in front on Ovi's PP goal.

They played hard and smart hockey. If they do that every game, I could care less if they lose 3-2 some nights. Just keep it going like they did tonight with the energy and effort. Now the key is putting it together for a few games.

Posted by: ThePat | February 4, 2011 10:12 PM

I agree. I loved that play by Hendricks. I think the Caps need to do that more often, especially in the playoffs.

In the playoffs, when you play the same team up to 7 games, I like the idea of taking a run or two at the opposing goalie early in the series to get into his head. Even if it gets you an interference penalty or two. That can more easily be absorbed now with the Caps quality PK.

Knuble did set up a good screen and was battling well. But credit also has to go to Ovie with an awesome shot to the top corner. That shot, right there, is the reason to have Ovie on the half boards on the PP.

I think the main reason BB put Ovie at the point was to get Ovie and Semin both out for the PP at the same time as Semin would have the half boards. But with Semin out, Ovie should definitely be there and he might need to stay there when Semin comes back(if that happens), with Semin going to the 2nd PP.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 4, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Good night billracer.
For negatyive posters specially tmac will you shut 0p please when due give a credit. Even wins TB was soft ...etc just ridiculous.
Enjoy game.

Posted by: dugza | February 4, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse


Can anybody come up with a better adjective that this to describe Gordo?

Sto·ic   /ˈstoʊɪk/ Show Spelled
[stoh-ik] Show IPA

–adjective
1. of or pertaining to the school of philosophy founded by Zeno, who taught that people should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Another OT lose????
(3 goal win. 4 point gain)

Backstrom sucks!
(Player of the Game)

Let the BB is gone countdown begin.
(stuck at 1)

WHERE ARE THE NAYSAYERS NOW?


Posted by: Rocka | February 4, 2011 10:09 PM

Rocka: Did you think before you typed? Ok, maybe you just haven't watched lately. What's that? Last game you watched was the Winter Classic? Ahh, that explains it! OK, let me clue you in...since beating Pitt 3-1 on 1/1/11, the Caps have played slightly above AHL calibre.

Tonight they played like a real NHL team! Who woulda thunk? And Boudreau...he actually outcoached Boucher! Shocker, I know!

The question is, for Sunday, which Caps team shows up...the team that was 9-9-8 in the previous 26...or the team that outplayed Tampa tonight.

Hate to break this to you Rocka, but one good game outta ten doesn't cut it in the NHL.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 4, 2011 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that Varly wants that first shot back, but otherwise, he played well.

Posted by: billracer | February 4, 2011 10:27 PM

No doubt about it. That was shades of Theo in Gm 1 vs MTL.

It is a positive that he didn't seem to get too rattled by it. That's a key trait for a goalie, esp. a young one.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Varly used to have a huge issue of letting in one goal and then being very likely to let in another over the next two minutes...he definitely outgrew that!

But I still think he looked shaky tonight...not terribe or anything...just not as confident as I like him...

Posted by: capscoach | February 4, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I loved Gordon trying to give a little shot to Roloson near the end! It's not much, but hey, it hit me, "somebody actually tried to stir something up!" Good for Gordo. Please prove me wrong again on Sunday and win again!

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | February 4, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Bout time (hits play on the Ipod)

"BEAT THAT BEAT UP" (fist pumps)

Pitt next, looks like Malkin hurt his OTHER knee tonight.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 4, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Sure Varly has an occasional lapse. He is human. But he has not appeared shaky to me since he came back from his injuries. He seems strong, confident and consistent.If he makes a mistake, he recoups fast. He is ranked #3 in the NHL in terms of save percentage. I can't remember the last time we had a goalie who was ranked among the top 5 or even 10. Have we ever?

I think the Ovie, Backstrom, Chimera line works really great. Today they really shined. I think their chemistry is growing and I hope BB doesn't break this line if we have a bad game. They had-what--10 points between them?

Posted by: caraveli | February 4, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Every single team in this league can look unbeatable on any given night.

Any team can outwork and/or outexecute another team on any given night.

It's all about doing it with more relative consistency.

It's about having a GM that has built a well balanced team in terms of skill, grit, offense, defense, strength, speed, experience, youth (particularly in the cap era), etc... If he does all that then...

You need a coach that can implement effective systems for this theoretically well constructed roster. He needs to get the players to buy into these good systems and execute down to the details.

Great win tonight but McPhee has still failed to construct a well balanced roster in terms of the things listed above and more.

Boudreau still got outcoached in multiple playoff series and was unable to adjust to adjustments effectively. He still clearly hasn't held players accountable for certain things, either out of fear of upsetting a star or because he just doesn't know how to effectively get all forwards to play both ends of the ice.

Regardless, he finally had to give up on a lot of the things that worked in the AHL that seemed on the surface to be working at this level. Defense is largely a foreign concept to him. Let's see if he and Woods can keep them in line defensively over time. Let's see if Ovechkin on down are consistently committed to executing the details and making good decisions with and without the puck.

I still say this team never comes close to a cup under McPhee. Not even close. He has shown next to zero ability to make good personnel decisions from coaches on down. He gets some of it right but so does every GM. It's what he misses and hasn't done that is costing us and will cost us.

Great game tonight. That is all.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI
don't forget he has 3 knees - so one may be all he needs? ;^)

Posted by: ebolean1 | February 4, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Not and Ovechkin fan and won't be until he raises the cup.

Wished Backstrom would find his touch from last year.

BUT...

I will give credit where credit is due. Both Ovechkin and Backstrom wanted to step up, and tonight, they did.

Great win. Loved the Bradley/Hendricks physical presence.

Laich with the goal of the night, in which lil Matty made the whole play!

Congrats, now DESTROY Poopsburgh without Crysby and Semin (I mean, Malkin)...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 4, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Naysayer here. Great win!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 4, 2011 10:26 PM

@kcb: Hey, I was here sitting on the fence, eating my pork kabob and drinking my Murphy-Goode 2008 Sauvignon Blanc. Maybe it helped that I actually rocked the white like in the old days back as tominfl1, dunno, but I saw you there coming out of your cave! Yes, just when the final whistle blew, there you were, in hooded cape, in the moonlight, stretching and enjoying and unexplainable wave of balmy air that swept through the valley! And there was PhilR, too, and cstanton1 and even joek443! All of you guys, tossing down goblets full of goat's blood but smiling and patting each other on the back! It was, from my perch on the fence, a sight to behold!

Sorry I can't join you, it would be fun, but I must remain on the fence. We all have our stations in life, you see, and I have mine.

Neither Kool-Aid nor goat's blood for moi. Objectivity, kcb, objectivity.

Another game like this on Sunday, and...a flicker of hope.

Perhaps the Pens will come out hellbent to make Steckel pay retribution, and we can take advantage of that.

TO ANYONE WHO SUPPORTS MCPHEE: Cooke could have been had after his 13 games as a Cap for $1.2M/yr. McPhee chose not to re-sign him and gave that money to Steckel.

Looking back...can anyone other than Mrs. McPhee defend that decision? By God could we use Matt Cooke...a rich man's Hendricks...

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 4, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

So no one else found the "hang out in the D zone, and pass around the puck there until they come after us" kinda funny?

Posted by: capscoach | February 4, 2011 11:06 PM | Report abuse

New man crush. Matt HEndricks

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 4, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Hindsight is 20/20.

------

I'm surprised (not really) that no one was complimenting Ovie for his defensive zone presence. There were multiple times Ovie was back at the defensive goal line helping out his D.

MP, surprisingly, played very well defensively tonight. He was backchecking very well, getting in passing lanes and breaking up plays.

I don't think there is any question anymore(there might not have been anyways) that Alzner/Carlson are, by far, the go to defensive pair when the Caps have the lead. When you watch them play you can tell how important chemistry can be for a defensive pair. They almost always seem to know where the other is on the ice and where they want the pass.

In addition, they never seem to get rattled and always seem calm. A very good attribute to have as a defensive pair.

I think having them for this year's palyoffs will be a significant improvement over the previous Caps playoff teams of the past 3 years. The Caps actually have a dependable 1st pairing D pair that they can rely on for making the correct plays and not making many mistakes(Carlson still makes a few, but not a terrible amount).

Varly looks awesome also. He looked rattled in the 1st period but he got over it and played well the rest of the game. I wasn't sure in November, but if Varly is healthy I don't there is a doubt he is the Caps goalie in the playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 4, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Please prove me wrong again on Sunday and win again!

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | February 4, 2011 10:49 PM

Prove me wrong and play hard and smart for the entire game on Sunday and in the game after that and the one after that and on and on...

If they do those things and lose , I can live with it. I've seen plenty of games that they've won where they got outplayed (vs STL despite the score, vs NYI early in the year, plenty of others) as well as plenty of games they lost where they outplayed the opponent (vs DAL and several other games, including during that losing streak).

And you'll hear the same from the players' mouths. They know it's not all about a W or an L in terms of evaluating how they played on a given night. The only exception to that is maybe in a decisive playoff game. If you get lucky, you run with it but even then, you know if you got lucky or not. If it's GM 7 of the finals, all that matters is the W.

Basically, focus on the process and the wins and points will come accordingly, factoring in how well the GM has built the roster and how well the coach has gotten the players motivated and prepared to work hard and execute down to the details in all 3 zones as a team.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 4, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

capscoach: Look above. I posted that the "4 Corners" was the first time in memory Boudreau actually constructed a strategy to counteract the other team.

Maybe you, being a youngster, didn't get the reference. OK, some education:

Circa mid/late 70s. Dean Smith is coach of the North Carolina Tarheels basketball squad. There was NO SHOT CLOCK in the NCAA at that time. The Heels would get the lead at some point in the game, as early as 1st Half. Camera cuts to Smith, standing on the bench, holding up those DREADED 4 fingers. Here's me, a teenager, "F--- that Dean Smith!" Here's my dad, "F--- that Dean Smith!" My mom, "That Dean Smith is a bad person..."

OK, Mom wouldn't cuss.

Anyway, 4 Corners, you take the basketball into the offensive zone, one of your five players in each of the four corners. Your fifth player is your little guy running around like mad. The Heels would just lob the ball, corner to corner, wasting time, hoping that the little guy would spring free for a lay-up or else the other team would give up and foul.

Did I mention that every Tarheel on a Smith-coached team would be at least 80% from the FT line?

The NCAA finally got fed up with this and put in the 45-second clock.

But...the idea...get the lead, and then make the other team COME TO YOU.

Boudreau did that. I give him credit. I was actually shocked, because I've never seen any team attack (!) a Trap like that.

Maybe Hadeed suggested it, I dunno, or one of those Ameritel girls. Or maybe McPhee just before storming out of the locker room the other night.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 4, 2011 11:21 PM | Report abuse

i'm still sipping my kool-aid - win or lose

i think TB played much like the caps have recently. TB stepped up their play at the start of 3rd - as they were behind. sound familiar?
now - why did TB play like that - i say it was a result of the caps wanting it more or, for the most part, a 60 minute effort.
i agree that losing a game here or there by a goal, in OT or a SO with this type of effort is no big deal. the current challenge is to string together about two weeks of this type of play. if they can and then have a stinker of a game - that's ok as long as they get right back on the '60 minute' horse.
they still need a legit 2C to increase any chance they may have in the real season - provided they get there.
i don't see gmgm making any moves in the D end - i really believe he likes his chances when poti gets back - with any luck poti will be the injury fill in guy when he is healthy enough to play again.
over the last 19 games - caps goalies are 1.71 gaa, .943 sv%. PK at 92% and their woeful PP is at 11.1% (2 for 7 in the last 2 gms)
i think varly will get the nod against pit and then neuvy vs. SJ

ok - now i'm gonna take a gulp - mmmmmmmmm

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

click

Posted by: jfwil | February 4, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

With the Caps only having two games before next Saturday(Pens game and then SJ on Tuesday) do people think Semin will be out until then(assuming the only reason he is out because he is that he's injured).

@capscoach

I also noted earlier that the waiting of the D for everything to get set up and do the icing dump in was a great coaching idea by BB. The icing of the puck forced their back D-man to move back a little quicker opening up some neutral zone space and the waiting forced the TB lead forward to move up which created even more neutral zone space. It may have been the best adjustment I've ever seen BB make. That was very good coaching.

tmac2yao sucks

Posted by: sgm3 | February 4, 2011 11:28 PM | Report abuse

The Caps played well. BB outcoached someone tonight. Still think Tampa looked like crap. A win is a win. it would be interesting if The Caps can win two in row.

Posted by: pkme | February 4, 2011 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Great game all around. Shocking that Ovi could get 4 points without skating this morning!

Oh and great job on the chicken little predictions, Soaring Caps, lylewimbledon, JIMALLCAPS2, etc. With "fans" like these... well, you get the idea.

Looking forward to another smacking of the Pens on Sunday!

Posted by: yosemite_sam | February 4, 2011 11:44 PM | Report abuse

@festus

That job ap. is on of the funniest pieces I've ever read on this site. A crack up !!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 4, 2011 11:48 PM | Report abuse

I missed the game tonight, but it seems like I missed a lot of stuff going on around this game. Glad to hear about one of BB's adjustments come through and work. The strategy the Caps implemented seems like pretty boring hockey, but it worked...at least for tonight.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | February 4, 2011 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Also, you guys are ridiculous. I don't even want to read the comments on here now because it's turned into such a pi**ing contest... the last couple of threads are beyond being funny anymore. It's funny to see how some posters complete persona and posting style has changed as well...

I'll just grab my daily Caps news and move on from now on I guess..

Posted by: richmondphil2 | February 4, 2011 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Bruce for finally listening to your fan base or at least doing what we wanted you to do on the PP for it seems like an eternity.

THANK YOU FOR PUTTING OVI BACK ON THE LEFT SLOT IN THE PP!

Please never again put Ovi on the point.

Posted by: cirrus_nine | February 4, 2011 11:53 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

I just listened to Gilbert Arenas blame the whole gun play drama on Ted Leonsis while on the Ivan Carter show.

Man, Ted is carrying a heavy load right now. Be careful what you wish for in life ???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hendricks, Vulcon mind meld with the "cupcakes" on this team.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 4, 2011 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I've been defending Backstrom all year. He plays great defense & still does the little things when he isn't scoring. MaJo looks like a little Backstrom. I loved the Backstrom contract & I enjoy watching his game.
If Varly stays healthy (big if) he will be elite for years to come. Holtby may push him if he gets injured. The Caps have other guy but, I can't remember his name.

Ovie is going to be a really scary player if he keeps playing defense. He is starting to hit again (about time). A two-way Ovie who digs at the front will just be a stupid good player for years to come.

Posted by: chriscaps | February 4, 2011 11:57 PM | Report abuse

GMGM4life@Caps.com

Festus, that's a hoot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 5, 2011 12:01 AM | Report abuse

By God could we use Matt Cooke...a rich man's Hendricks...

Posted by: tominsocal1 |

They don't play anything alike...

We could definitely use an agitator right now, but it's not like Hendricks is supposed to be filling that role. Hendricks is a solid bottom-6 forward, on most NHL teams, I have no idea why you are trying to knock him for no reason. Cookie is the same, solid bottom-6 on most, if not all teams, but they don't play anything alike.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | February 5, 2011 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Ovie is going to be a really scary player if he keeps playing defense. He is starting to hit again (about time). A two-way Ovie who digs at the front will just be a stupid good player for years to come.

Posted by: chriscaps | February 4, 2011 11:57 PM

I totally agree but that is a huge "IF", esp. if Boudreau remains in da house.

He is a competitor by nature. He's strong. He's passionate. We all know those things.

Under better guidance, i.e., a coach who teaches more of a total game and isn't afraid of making him unhappy, he would've been further along as a total player at this point, defensively and even offensively. He has a lot to work on but it's within his reach if he is in the right environment and mindset.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 5, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

No doubt about it. That was shades of Theo in Gm 1 vs MTL.

Posted by: tmac2yao |

It was more like Varlamov 1-2 years ago.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | February 5, 2011 12:08 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil2
@chris caps

Richmond, If you can't laugh at the Festus piece you're just pi**ing in the wind. Which is all you ever did anyway.

Chris, "when he's not scoring" he's been gliding and watching for two months. The Wall flower senses McPhee is up against a wall, and wants the situation to stay the same: minimal work for max. pay (like in Sweden)

No goals in 7 weeks, and you think you have a chance to hoist? WTF

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 5, 2011 12:10 AM | Report abuse

It was more like Varlamov 1-2 years ago.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | February 5, 2011 12:08 AM

Thanks for the correction! I agree!!

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 5, 2011 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Hunter,

You can't have it both ways, make up your mind. Either this is just a 82-game preseason before the real season starts in April or it isn't.

You can bi*ch and complain all you want if they lose in the first round again but if you have been watching hockey as long as you claim, you have no idea what's gonna happen in the playoffs.

This team is better prepared than they were last season they are much more solid in defense, PK and goaltending.

God knows I do my share of bi*ching and moaning on here but I have nothing on you.

Posted by: joek443 | February 5, 2011 12:21 AM | Report abuse

for some people its - what have you done for me lately. for others its - i don't care what you did today, what are you going to do for me tomorrow. and for the rest its - man this kool-aid tastes good :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 5, 2011 12:26 AM | Report abuse

joek443:
when the 'real' you reads this later today - i thought you should know someone hijacked your computer on February 5, 2011 at 12:21 AM.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 5, 2011 12:29 AM | Report abuse

richmondphil: Absolutely, positively, I'm not knocking Hendricks.

Respectfully disagree...Jimi and Cookie DO play alike.

Cooke is an agitator extraordinaire and Jimi is an agitator junior.

Hendricks is ABOUT the only Caps player that stirs up the other team. But, whereas he does that, Cooke does it in spades.

Just think if we had kept Cooke and we could make a line now with Cooke-Hendricks-Beagle.

We had one of the best sandpaper guys in hockey and he could've been had at a measley $1.2M and McPhee let him slip away. THAT was my point.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 5, 2011 1:17 AM | Report abuse

@Hunterforcoach
You may be the dumbest poster around. Please, let us all know if you have something constructive to share.
Oh, and by the way, it would be a good idea if you investigate the tax laws in Sweden in regards to minimal work for max pay before you post.

Posted by: jakopz | February 5, 2011 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Well-played, Capt (and, indeed, joek).

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | February 5, 2011 1:47 AM | Report abuse

caught part of the second, and most of the third. The Caps definitely appeared to be hungry and want the win more than the bolts. It was also good to see OV score from almost a stand still form the side - reminiscent of last season.

The only thing I didn't like was Downie repeatedly targeting OV for hits and roughing him during the third. IF anyone is doing that with Sid, they're getting filled by Engyllend / Talbot and others. I know Bradley & Hendricks fought earlier, but Erskine or someone should have went after him...just my opinion.

Posted by: Jaymagz | February 5, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

@jay

I agree that if they had been targeting sid an enforcer would have been on them like white on rice...but I also kinda appreciate that Ovie can take care of himself (within reason of course)


He also tends to respond well (the "oh no you didn't response") in those situations and score a lot of points (4 last night)

Posted by: capscoach | February 5, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Also...notice that when Backstrom finally has a good offensive game, it creates a lot more space for Ovie to work...I love Backstrom and appreciate his defensive abilities, but when he is offensively week it allows teams to put too much focus on Ovie.

think how it would affect Stamkos if st. louis was in the slump Backie was.

Posted by: capscoach | February 5, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

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