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The Dangers of Game 3

There was a very business-like feel in the locker room at Kettler today, because the Capitals are acutely aware of how much a Game 3 can mean to a series. They need only to look to Game 3 of their first-round series against New York to see how much momentum can be gained, or lost, by not kicking a team when it's down.

They know how hard the Penguins will come out in what is essentially a must-win game for Pittsburgh. The challenge will be whether they can match that intensity, whether they can go for the jugular in this series.

"They're going to make their push right now," Brooks Laich said. "Game 3 is going to be their push, because if they lose that one its going to be a tough series for them....We've got to realize that they're going to push right off the bat and if we can meet them and push back, maybe get an early goal -- something [that] would help set them back a bit."

The players say that they haven't won anything yet. That a two-game lead is nice, but not a four-game series victory. Defenseman Brian Pothier though, went further to warn of the pitfalls (no pun intended) that await the Capitals in Pittsburgh. They might have a 2-0 lead, but they haven't yet played the way he believes they are capable of.

"I hope we're not going to be lulled into a false sense of security because we haven't really played well," Pothier said. "We've had timely goals and great goaltending, but as a team I don't think we've played nearly as well as we can.

"I'm sure Pittsburgh's a little frustrated by that; they have been playing pretty well but they haven't been able to score," Pothier continued. "We cannot think for a second that we've been dominating the series or anything. We need to play a much better game."

Corralling Crosby
Part of playing that much better game for Washington, in addition to a faster start, is finding a way to limit Sidney Crosby's effectiveness. For two games, Crosby has stationed himself on top of the crease, ready to pounce on rebounds and loose pucks that squirt free. Three of his four goals this series have come directly in front of the net.

And Bruce Boudreau had this to say when asked what his team could do to stop the Penguins' captain: "We can be more cognizant of where he is, is what we can do. But he wants to go there. Short of taking a penalty every time [to stop him], he's going to go there. One thing about Sidney that I've seen is he's got the courage to go to the spots that make people great scorers."

Not only does Crosby go to the net, but his ability to protect the puck and strong positioning, whether in the crease or anywhere else on the ice, makes it difficult for the Capitals to knock him away from the play.

"It seems like during the playoffs he's doing all the right things. We've got to make sure that we eliminate him," Mike Green said. "Last night there was two times where pucks bounce off legs and in the blink of an eye he's got it on his stick. Definitely have to be more aware of it but you live and you learn."

By Katie Carrera  |  May 5, 2009; 3:13 PM ET
 
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Next: Brashear Says Russian Report Is False

Comments

I AGREE!

Posted by: gconrads | May 5, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Green missed Cindy at least twice on goals..

Posted by: RichC3 | May 5, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

just saw where kunitz got no discipline whatsoever from the league for his crosscheck on varly ....yeah, thats fair!! but we'd better be careful about retaliation tomorrow night cause you know the refs will be looking for the caps taking runs at all the crybabies. . .i'll bet the pens will be wearing their baby blue sweaters to make sure the refs take extra special care of them!!

Posted by: madmax521 | May 5, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

mike green needs to eliminate his disregard for hanging back and playing defense.

Posted by: carsonspence | May 5, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm not going to complain about getting outplayed the first 2 games.. as long as we keep winning.

However, it is not a good trend you hope to rely on.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | May 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

It's time to take this party to Dumpsburgh....Lets do this....

Posted by: SA-Town | May 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

regarding Kunitz's non-suspension: its just going to feed the preception that North American players can get away with anything against Europeans, so long as it doesn't result in an on-ice death. How many more times is the NHL going to look the other way, and why is it going to take a player's career being cut short for the NHL to get rid of this blatant double standard?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 5, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

@capfan44

From the other thread: I did not say what Kunitz did was legal. What I said was it was worth a penalty when I saw it, but not a suspension. Please read more carefully. My point was that it was chippy, but its any number of countless penalties that go uncalled. It wasn't suspension worthy, especially given the lack of effectiveness. Like it or not, blood and injuries bring bigger suspensions. Think Brashear gets 6 if the Ranger doesn't miss a shift? No chance.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | May 5, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

An absolute outrage that Kunitz get's nothing from the league.

This is the time for one of Green's open ice checks - but much harder, so it hurts Kunitz to even try and get up.

Crosby needs some of it too, the little wimp. We all know he has no need to wear a cup!

Posted by: cfrazier91 | May 5, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

oldtimehockey, in contrast to your point, Campbell suspended Lucic for a cross check to the head. That should have set the standard. Lucic got the boot, Kunitz was basically told to have at it.

Do they retaliate against Kunitz? nope. why Kunitz? There are bigger fish to fry.

Posted by: oo7 | May 5, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

i think kunitz's cross check was suspension worthy, but really, do you think colin campbell looks at these tapes and says, well it was on a ruskie so lets let it go? do you think if some canadian (lets call him sean) two hands ovie in the face w/ his stick he wouldnt get suspended? please.

i'm not sure what campbell does look at, but my guess is he looks at (a) previous incidents by the offender, (b) the injury of the player who was hit, (c) the star power of the player who was hit.

in my opinion, the act itself should be the number one guideline for determining suspensions. followed by rep of the offending player and then consideration of how long the player who was hit will be out of his teams lineup.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 5, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"You live and you learn?" That's it?

Posted by: CapsChick | May 5, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Well then Green needs to stop blinking. He was terrible last night.

Posted by: Heidi1 | May 5, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Give Crosby some respect, his 3rd goal was skilled but given a penalty to Kunitz it doesn't happen. And penalty or not the check alone could have completely threw off Varly enough not to get completely settled back into the play. It was last minute desperation chaos and it's unfortunate for them because such a great goal is overshadowed by a goalie getting checked in the freakin neck!

Posted by: cappies | May 5, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Like it or not, blood and injuries bring bigger suspensions. Think Brashear gets 6 if the Ranger doesn't miss a shift? No chance.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | May 5, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I believe Jiri Hudler and the pools of his blood on the ice would disagree with you. Blood means nothing if its a North American delivering dirty hits on Europeans.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 5, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Regarding coralling Crosby: I would think it's easier to do when 5 on 5 where someone can be assigned to follow him all over the ice. On the PK however don't the defenders play a more positional game? Also, on the PK the defenders are generally looking the wrong way to pick up the rebounds, so the attackers have the advantage. Probably the best way is to stay out of the penalty box. Just my two cents.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 5, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't buy the whole Euro VS North America bit. If Varly was hurt I think there would have been a suspension. It's all about injuries which is just as ridiculous. But since there was no injury, the Caps won't press the issue as much as they would if he was hurt. We'll complain about it for a day or two but since we won we'll forget about it and the NHL gets by with little grievance.

Posted by: cappies | May 5, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Yeah... Like it or lump it, Sid is one of the best and needs a bit more attention out there.

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 5, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Sorry... I can't even read past "Give Crosby some respect"....

And for anyone who is saying that crashing the goalie happens, and about how it happened to Huet so its ok... umm, yea. you remember we LOST last year right? If someone is taking liberties with our goalie, we need to shut them down at the time, or make them pay later. I will be very disappointed if no one does exactly that to Kunitz. If we don't protect our goalie and show that we have his back, he will become a headcase just like Huet did.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 5, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Lets get Greenie injured for the haterz out there like heidiHo...then watch Colin Campbell give it to them.

kill 2 birds @ once - Suspend a Penz & removing Greenie from ice.
Apparently he's the worse D-Man ever.
I guess these noobs have never seen Leetch or Coffey.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

The Pens have adjusted their PP very well to our PP, I'm surprised they haven't scored more when they're a man (or two...) up. The caps play a "diamond"-style PK, meant to force the play to the boards around the blueline. The Pens have been very effective at getting their lead guy into our "diamond", the only place they've been missing is getting the puck to him.

Every time they get that puck to him, we're in for a rough time. I think our PK has been pretty good at recognizing this threat and adjusting accordingly. Quite simply, we need to stay out of the box. Instead of going a man up, Clark sucker punches a guy who hit the blade of his stick and the puck after the play was over.

Green is already playing almost 25 minutes/game, spending 5-8 minutes of that on a PK will drain anybody, and cause him to make the errors we've been calling him out for all day.

Posted by: CheckingLine | May 5, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I dont think its north americans on europeans, I think its Campbells ineffectiveness at his job. During his tenure, the reffing has gotten worse, and the lack of respect among players has grown; meanwhile, there has been an utter lack of consistency in issuing suspensions.

Again, Lucic should have set the standard for cross checks to the head in this years playoffs. It shouldnt matter whether there was an injury or not. If I shoot at you, and miss, I'm still shooting at you. Havlat got elbowed in the jaw on a face off. No suspension for his attacker. Carcillo does the same thing to someone, he gets suspended. wtf? Its the exact same action! Thats the problem, the guy isnt smart enough to see the parallels and thats why he shouldn't be in that post. He is so narrow minded he believes the outcome (ie, injury) should determine the discipline when in fact the action should. Its not just one teams fans that think this; its league wide, and has been for years. His concern was Bettmans issue: increase scoring. So refs were told to call every tap of the stick and hooking and obstruction calls are made when they dont even occur now. However, safety has gone down. Why? Because there is no clear message! If I was Kunitz, or another Pen, I would totally crosscheck Varly in the head again. Why not? Its not suspendable. Its hardly a penalty. All his talk about "not sending messages when the score is decided" doesn't count when there's a chance a team could tie things up. If it was 5-2, would Kunitz have been suspended? Unknown, because there is no consistency at all. So the message being sent is that you can ride the line as much as you want, we wont call anything unless we absolutely must, or in case we have a personal grudge against a player, team, or management. Thats no way to instill faith among players or fans.

Posted by: oo7 | May 5, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

This talk of North Americans vs. Europeans takes me back to the movie "Rocket". It's the same thing, different parties.

I think about the only thing the team can really do about it is the best revenge - crush the Pens anyway. We need to deny them game 3. Like Tarik says, a win in Game 3 is a shot to the jugular in a much more meaningful way than Kunitz's little bit of BS.

Also, Varly needs to wear the plastic shield that hangs from the mask for the rest of the series, if he doesn't already.

I expect a much more physical game, but I hope the boys don't get nasty, because the calls WILL go the Pens' way on their home ice. Get your revenge by scoring early and often. Chase Fleury from the crease. Make Crosby look like the crybaby he is.

Posted by: kittypawz | May 5, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh & while we're @ it, please stand up if you wanted Brash suspended like bhound69.

Apparently, this type of hockey isn't played anymore...u know the cheap shot intent to injure stuff.

U kinda know who the noobs are right houndie?

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Rocc00 - haven't seen you post here for a while before today. It was nice.

Posted by: ds_kelly | May 5, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't buy the whole Euro VS North America bit.

Posted by: cappies | May 5, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

you don't have to, but that's the preception. it was being talked about all season (not here), the Hudler hit really sparked it, and now this? Its like throwing a drum of gasoline on a fire. The preception is North Americans are held to a different standard, and this is just going to further entrench those preceptions in the minds of some.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 5, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

From the Mike Wise chat going on right now:

Wahington, D.C.: Please tell me that Brashear isn't going to the KHL? He is one of my favorite players. He is still the best enforcer in the league and he is a Cap's fan favorite. GMGM resign him.

Mike Wise: Given that most of the questions are relating to the article specifically and I want to get to those, I'm going to answer just one of these.

The report that a Russian team in the KHL is interested in signing Brashear is accurate, from what I know.

Deep down, I don't think Donald wants to go and wishes George McPhee would sign him for another year. But with all the people the Caps have to pay he might be taking a paycut of almost 50 percent to stay aboard.

And if that's case -- and you know you've got maybe a few years left to earn money in your profession -- maybe going somewhere for a few million dollars and a guaranteed deal of two or more years makes sense financially. Especially if you're trying to ensure your two young boys don't have to worry about their education.

Personally, I hope the Caps ante up in some way, because I know Ovechkin would hate to lose him. Even at 37, he considers him a real deterrent for the roughhouse guys who want to take a run at many of the team's skill players. And while Erskine is starting to fill that role, Tarik El-Bashir tells me he has a problem with concussions.

So, really, who knows? I think much of it depends of how far the Caps go and whether Brash comes back to play in this series or the next series. If not, I wouldn't be surprised if he weren't resigned.

Okay, sorry I'm not more of a hockey-news guy. But that's all I got. Back to the questions about the article.

Posted by: ModestProposal | May 5, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

you don't have to, but that's the preception. it was being talked about all season (not here), the Hudler hit really sparked it, and now this? Its like throwing a drum of gasoline on a fire. The preception is North Americans are held to a different standard, and this is just going to further entrench those preceptions in the minds of some.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 5, 2009 3:53 PM |
With the oil supported Russian economy, I wonder how long before the euro go back home & take their puck with them?

A shame that there is this bigotry in the NHL.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I dont think its north americans on europeans, I think its Campbells ineffectiveness at his job.

Posted by: oo7 | May 5, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I'll grant you that :) a friend of mine said today "I know there's not any logic behind suspensions. You know why? Because whenever something like this happens, Colin Campbell pulls out his Wheel Of Justice and hands out punishment based on where is stops. Quite simple, reall, and eliminates that whole messy 'looking at the evidence' thing."

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 5, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

(previous thread)

AyresGoober: I agree with the points you make. What is unbelievable to me is why NHL did not consider it an infraction. I don't know the millions of rules that exist but, just using common sense, I am often mystified by various distinctions.

In the case of the third goal, you had players crashing the net, hitting the goalie and shooting repeatedly until the puck went in. Casting aside the question of where our own defense was at that time, shouldn't there have been a ref whistle or penalty call or something at some point? I mean if 3-4 guys surround a goalie and beat him up, sooner or later they will score, but is this a sport? What's next? Hold him at gunpoint? I don't get where the boundaries are and what it is that they call "goalie interference" if not this.

Posted by: caraveli | May 5, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the refs did not see the cross-check. It apparently happened away from the puck.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 5, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@Rocc00
Your bromance with Green is clouding your judgement. Mikie isn't playing strong hockey; he's soft on his defensive assignments; he lost pucks last night while avoiding hits on the wall; he's slumping in the offensive end.
He doesn't look like a Norris winner in any way, shape or form.

Posted by: beeman | May 5, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

@Caravali: "...shouldn't there have been a ref whistle or penalty call or something at some point?"

You'd think so, wouldn't you? Used to be the refs put the whistle away with two minutes left in a game. They'd call tripping/hooking/slashing on a break away, but that's about it. Juice got called at, what, 18:30 for his cross check? Granted, it was a cross check, but it was pretty weak, and a gentle breeze would've knocked Cindy to the ice at the speed and angle he was skating at. Historically--no call.

Then, you have the situation one minute later with 2 guys taking whacks at the puck in front of Varly, and 1 guy taken whacks AT VARLY, you have to ask yourself as a ref if you called a fair game.

Posted by: CheckingLine | May 5, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't get where the boundaries are and what it is that they call "goalie interference" if not this.

Posted by: caraveli

exactly. Its like the refs are a whole other team you have to play against. they upped the number of on ice officials and yet more goes by than ever before. How did they not see Varly getting crosschecked in the head? And when they saw it, weren't they embarrassed?

Another thing, why can't coaches and players talk about the refs after a game? What is this, the Bush administration? A bad call is a bad call and you should be able to say so without being fined $10,000.

Posted by: oo7 | May 5, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

For the last time, folks, Green is injured. He only hits with his left shoulder, isn't shooting and is barely passing. We've all seen Mike Green play, we saw his goals all year, and this isn;t the same guy. There's not showing up for big games and then there is INJURED. Otherwise, the kid would be shooting like a maniac.

Posted by: oo7 | May 5, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

In that kind of a situation aren't the refs following the puck so they can halt play when they loose sight of it? Ergo, the possibility they don't see a cross check away from the puck.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 5, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"bromance"......funny!

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

If green's too tired, or if he's injured, he should play less. He arguably cost us a couple last nite.

Posted by: Sonyask | May 5, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

For the last time, folks, Green is injured. He only hits with his left shoulder, isn't shooting and is barely passing. We've all seen Mike Green play, we saw his goals all year, and this isn;t the same guy. There's not showing up for big games and then there is INJURED. Otherwise, the kid would be shooting like a maniac.

never mind that he's still playing betetr than 90% of the D-men out there. A hurt Green is still a better option than almost anyone else.

Hockey Gods willing, the Caps will finish off the Flightless Fowl quickly so Green can rest and heal up a bit before the next series.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 5, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Did you see that Kunitz will be fined but not suspended for the cross check to Varlamov's neck?

I guess the guys will have to handle this one themselves.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | May 5, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

This is a great post. I'm thrilled the Caps are winning, but their level of play is below what their success implies. And most of the Crosby goal highlights seem to feature him shooting, unmolested, from within five feet of Varlamov, which is really annoying.

Posted by: Aerocraft67 | May 5, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@FloridaCapsFan - Even if they didn't see it, the play was reviewed by NHL officials, and NOTHING WAS DONE. That gives Kunitz, in his pea-sized brain, the right to make runs at our goaltender, and maybe next time crush his throat.

Not. Cool.

Posted by: irockthered | May 5, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Funny how Carcillo got a 1 game suspension in the Flyers-Pens series for a similar play (off a face off). This was not consistent based on that suspension (which I personally thought was out of line). If the NHL is going to suspend people for "sending a message" then they should have suspended Kunitz for that last night.

Posted by: asharifi10 | May 5, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Funny how Carcillo got a 1 game suspension in the Flyers-Pens series for a similar play (off a face off). This was not consistent based on that suspension (which I personally thought was out of line). If the NHL is going to suspend people for "sending a message" then they should have suspended Kunitz for that last night.

the bad news for Carcillo was the Campbell's Wheel Of Justice landed on "1 Game Suspension!" when it was his turn to spin.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 5, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

A fine... there's your "warning". I suspect if it happens again, regardless of the offender, there will be a suspension. I think this subject is played.

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 5, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Kunitz now has bounty on his head!

PENGUINS SUCK!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 5, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

over a million for brash is money wasted that the cap tight caps wont have for next year.....are we winning without him and nyls? let brash go and buy out nyls for 1/2 and count our blessings.....take federovs 4 million and get some grit
that can help team toughness without brash

Posted by: wendel2 | May 5, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Campbell and Grapes are buddies. Do you hear the Saturday evening chatter about "good Canadian boys!"? The more I see of this NHL management the more I do think it's zenophobic and apparenlty racist to boot.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 5, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Why Kunitz did not get penalized.

Cyndy asked the refs to not call any more penalties to speed things up after the excessive hat throwing. There was a new Hanna Montana on that he did not want to miss.

Campbell sux!!!!!! No consistency with suspensions by him. Just call it the same for everyone!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | May 5, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

its , there's no "z." Sorry, its one of my more beloved 'x" words.

/"I majored in English" geek moment

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 5, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

hmm, my post got partially eaten. anyways, "xenophobic." I really like that word.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 5, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I seriously doubt that Colin Campbell reviewed the tape. He was too busy watching tapes of Cindy Crysby and Danny Brearend getting it on in the shower.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | May 5, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

if you watch all 3 of crosbys goals you can see green either out of position or just standing around. if you are going to play def then please start paying attetion. otherwise, go back to scoring goals.

Posted by: daddy_axe | May 5, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie

As I've said here many times, I'm dyslexic. I have difficulties spelling. Sorry. I've been hoping for CI to put in a spell checker for years, but...

Posted by: Greg S. | May 5, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"It is unclear whether Lucic's glove or stick makes contact with Lapierre," NHL senior vice-president Colin Campbell said. "[But] what is clear is that he delivered a reckless and forceful blow to the head of his opponent."

So--what's the difference between Kunitz and Lucic's cross check, Colin?

Posted by: kingbonehead | May 5, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie

As I've said here many times, I'm dyslexic. I have difficulties spelling. Sorry. I've been hoping for CI to put in a spell checker for years, but...

Posted by: Greg S. | May 5, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

My apologies then. I didn't look at the name attached to the post.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 5, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

So it's getting reported that Kunitz is apparently getting fined but not suspended? That's insane. How can the act be bad enough to get a fine but not bad enough to get a suspension of even a game? NHL is trying to make sure this series makes it to the weekend. Brutal.

Posted by: Stu_c | May 5, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm pissed that Kunitz did not get anything. I agree with irockthered, now he will feel like he can take runs at Varly with no punishment. I'm scared for him. Maybe Varly should wear something to protect his neck. And the fact that when Kunitz was asked about it he smirked and said he had no idea about it, is sick. It was intentional and vicious and it could've seriously hurt Varly. Hate him.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 5, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

@Rocc00
Your bromance with Green is clouding your judgement. Mikie isn't playing strong hockey; he's soft on his defensive assignments; he lost pucks last night while avoiding hits on the wall; he's slumping in the offensive end.
He doesn't look like a Norris winner in any way, shape or form.
Posted by: beeman | May 5, 2009 4:09 PM |

Got a better solution coach?
Cause a lot of guys were o-laying it on the blue line last night as the Penz came flying in.
Coach, can you put in yourself?

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

boy the nhl front office has done it again. when avery hit juice with his backhand/fist/butt end of stick (and orr's clothesline of semin), i tried to tell ragfan44(?) that avery should be suspended - because if the league doesn't - then you're telling the players to take care of it on the ice. well - that's exactly what is happening again. it won't be brash or erskine - but someone will, without regard to a pens players safety, give out on h*ll of a hit. this is where the danger factor for players comes in. it's too little/too late AFTER your orbital bone is broken. i believe this is the leagues way of keeping the fighting - not getting rid of it.

does anyone think the league put any thought into 'players must be aware of and control their sticks'? - sure doesn't look like that applied to the kunitz ruling

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 5, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Side note: Varly does wear the plastic attachment on his helmet to cover his neck, or at least he did last game.

Still no excuse for K's hit. Curious as to how the league justifies fining him (if that is true) rather than suspending him... PR spin here we come!

Posted by: mrszilla | May 5, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie

no problemo.

had to get that in for cinco de mayo...

Posted by: Greg S. | May 5, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

..avery hit juice with his backhand/fist/butt end of stick...

and orr's clothesline of semin...

because I adore throwing fuel on a fire: notice where the offending players are from? Notice where the players that were hit are from? Just sayin'

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 5, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse


For the last time, folks, Green is injured. He only hits with his left shoulder, isn't shooting and is barely passing. We've all seen Mike Green play, we saw his goals all year, and this isn;t the same guy. There's not showing up for big games and then there is INJURED. Otherwise, the kid would be shooting like a maniac.
Posted by: oo7 | May 5, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

This town has been pretty thick when it comes to offensive playing d-men.
2 who always were made fun of: Murphy & Gonchar seem to have had nice little careers elsewhere.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

For those worried about losing Brashear...here's a few words of solace:

Stefan Della Rovere, 2008 draftee of our very own Capitals...

He is young, can fight, can hit, can exact justice, and it dirt cheap for at least 3 years...

Maybe we re-sign Brash for a little discount for 1-yr and let SDR develop in Hershey...but if not, there is always hope on the horizon!

I love Brash, I do....I think he's made a huge impact on the team, in the locker room and has a large and loving fan base...first and foremost I think he'll come back...

That's all for now...!

Posted by: netminder71 | May 5, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Here's how the league justifies the fine but not suspension: if we suspend him it lessens Pittsburgh's chances of winning.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | May 5, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

ccCapsfan:
winning or whinning?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 5, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Green has been our worst player all playoffs. Not even close. He needs to get his act together. I dont understand why Bruce keeps matching him with Crosbys line, he is irrelvant out there. Otherwise our team has been pretty solid. The 3rd line of Stecks Brads and Laich has been absolutely dominant. Varly has been a savior. GO CAPS

Posted by: thenice8 | May 5, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

From DC Pro Sports Report's "Red Alert" Today. It's spot on.

"We said is last series and we will say it again, where the hell is Mike Green, you know, the Norris Trophy candidate? He, like Evgeni Malkin for Pittsburgh, simply has not been a factor, has not been effective, and at times hurts the team with lazy play. Green is still turning the puck over either through fumbled receiving of passes or through poor passing. Two of Crosby's goals could be attributed to Green. In fact, Green was on the ice for all three. I hate to say it, but Bruce Boudreau needs to step up and send a signal. Scratch Green for one game when Erskine returns."

Posted by: bucknelldad | May 5, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

It helps when you are in position Green. That always helps when you are PLAYING DEFENSE!

Posted by: cblankner | May 5, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

#52 Mike Green minus 3! I'll tell you what...scratch "Flush," and put Green on the line with Semin and Backstrom. Then let Alzner and or Sloan or Erskine if he's ready play "D." If you really want to mix it up and send Kunnitz a message...scratch Clark and insert GMGM! GMGM never mind the Hobey Baker, he would beat Kunnitz to a bloody pulp! Hey remember when he beat up the coach of the Blackhawks and served a month long suspension? That's the GMGM I love! Yeah Baby, Yeah!!!

Posted by: ReedRothchild | May 5, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Q: When Alexei Kovalev was in his prime, who was the only one who could stop him?
A: His own coach, Colin Campbell.

OK, it's an old joke, but it is no secret that Campbell hates Europeans and especially Russians, always has - the guy is an old-school, Don Cherry acolyte. Refs are told to swallow the whistle on Semin fouls, it was the same way with Forsberg, Jagr, etc. - conversely, if those guys look at an opponent the wrong way, down they sit.

You cross-check a guy in the throat - a goalie, no less - in the throat, how is that not a suspension?

Posted by: govtimbo | May 5, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Stopping Crosby is not a problem as long as no one else on Pissburgh is scoring. I really think the Caps are in Pissburgh's heads.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 5, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Our humorless Versus announcers missed a golden opportunity last night. In the first minute of play Crosby fell down just as he entered our zone. It was a perfect time for that classic hockey put-down; "He tripped over the blue line", but our boys were too busy firing up their praise of the Pens.

Posted by: Bartolo1 | May 5, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Versus, I am the only one who can't stand Mike Emerick. Does he ever get a night off? He literally gives me a headache. There are so many other hockey broadcasters out there, good ones you never hear unless you get Center Ice like me. Do you think for a moment that NBC/Versus wants a Caps-Canes Eastern final, no friggin way.

Posted by: pacapsfan | May 5, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

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