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Jose Theodore on Montreal's winning goal

Washington Capitals goalie Jose Theodore played well enough to win tonight, but Montreals Jaroslav Halak was just a bit better, and that coupled with Tomas Plekanec's goal allowed the Canadiens to pull out a 3-2 overtime victory at Verizon Center.

"Tomas was skating across, and I kind of lost him for a second," Theodore said. "I thought he made a pretty good shot."

Plekanec is the Canadiens player who generated more than a bit of controversy when he said essentially Theodore was not in the same class as New Jersey's Martin Brodeur or Buffalo's Ryan Miller.

"He did a good shot shooting against the grain," Theodore said of Plekanec. "I was moving one way, and he went the other. He's a skilled player, and he was able to make that shot."

Theodore stopped 35 shots, including several huge saves late that enabled the Capitals to extend the game.

"You need that," Theodore said. "In the first period, Halak made some big saves. In the second, especially the last 10 minutes, they came out really flying. They had some chances, but we were able to keep the puck out of our net. In overtime, you only need one mistake, and they got the bounce tonight."

By Gene Wang  |  April 15, 2010; 11:12 PM ET
 
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Next: Ovechkin struggles, Caps drop playoff opener

Comments

If the Caps want to win, we have to put the puck into the twine more than twice over 73 minutes of game time.

Posted by: dimagus | April 15, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

We definitely need to dent the twine. But we won't win if our goalie can't stop that shot in OT. THE GOALIE MAKING THAT SAVE IS MOR IMPORTANT THAN SCORING 3 goals. That's playoff hockey. Caps playoff hockey is playing well enough to win but losing because the opposition goalie played that much better than ours. Come on Jose. We need you to be better than that. If that's all he's got then put in Varly now. Great game by Jose - but not good enough for playoffs.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | April 15, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

dimagus...

It's the playoffs dude, 2 goals is going to have to win it...if you have solid defense and a good goalie...

two things that were the biggest weakness with our team...

This is not over, but it's very disappointing...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 15, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Lol @ DisgustedInArlington, Jose single-handedly kept the Caps in the game. Stop bashing him.

Posted by: amorris525 | April 15, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else agree with these lines:
I know the lines aren't the reason why the caps lost tonight, but just wondering what people think about these lines for the rest of the playoffs....
8-19-22, 21-9-28, 14-18-16, 25-39-10
Def
55-52, 3-77, 26-74
You could even switch Mo and Belanger around, but I feel like those would be great playoff lines. You have three lines that can score. I love the last line, because they are a great shutdown line that have the possibility of scoring those dirty goals that are needed in the playoffs.
I also think SMO is more effective with Carlson.

Another thought:
The caps need to drive the net. You need to get those dirty rebound goals in the playoffs.

Thoughts?

Posted by: Thomas32 | April 15, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Epitaph on game

1) Our Power Play, as has usually been the case as of late, was ineffective. It's been ages since the Caps have had a PP goal.

2) Our PK wasn't horrible but made one fatal mistake.

3) We outscored them on even strength

4) Halak stole the game for them

5) If we had converted just ONE of the PP's, we would have won in regulation.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 15, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps

I will take the Caps chances if they only give up 2 goals in regulation every game.

The Caps need to score more than 2 goals in regulation to win.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 16, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I hate to admit it, but we match up terribly with Montreal. They have so many advantages that it's hard to count. They're 3-2 against us on the year now and we continue to struggle against their defense.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | April 16, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

@Thomas32

I agree with the forward lines. I would keep the D pairings the same as they were tonight.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 16, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

If the Caps want to win, we have to put the puck into the twine more than twice over 73 minutes of game time.

Posted by: dimagus | April 15, 2010 11:42 PM


If the Caps want to win, they also need to prove that they can win some low scoring games.

Even the most prolific offensive team needs to be able to win some tight, low-scoring games.

How many playoff teams have systems that are worse-suited for winning low scoring affairs than the Caps?

Maybe the Penguins? But they've won a cup and have shown the ability in the past to play pretty good team defense in the playoffs. And even if they are a bad defensive team this season, that's pretty irrelevant to the Caps if they can't get out of the first round.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 16, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

I think the Caps defense were well suited to win a low scoring game. They gave up only 2 goals at the 73 minute mark. At some point the Caps have to score a 3rd goal.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 16, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Hey fellow Caps fans: Chill out! There is so much negative thinking on these comment boards that have no basis in reality. There is no "D.C. curse" so if you are going to be doomsdayer after ONE GAME then I suggest rooting for another team. Have a little confidence in the Cappies. Look at all the other favorites who lost their first game -- Pittsburgh, New Jersey, San Jose and yes the Red Wings even though it was a road game. This not last year or the year before, the Caps will bounce back. The most important difference between last year and this year's game one is that Theo played a great game and will get his revenge against that idiot Plackenic by winning the series. And it is a mental thing with Ovie, don't think it is an injury. He will come back with a great game and get to Halek's head just like he did eventually to Lundquist last year. Don't worry Caps fans. It'll be alright. This is the playoffs. Nothing comes easy. Time to dig deep and prove the cynics wrong. Go Caps!

Posted by: jmarks09 | April 16, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Theo did not lose this game, he kept the Caps in it. The rest of the team let him down.

Posted by: butcherbaker | April 16, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

"The sky is falling" talk is coming way too early. Anyone remember when we beat Detroit earlier this year in a 3-2 defensive effort?

This Caps team outshot Montreal tonight, had good goaltending, and still ended up coming up short. Overtime wasn't a positive thing, but we had our chances all game to put this one away. Halak will have to continue to be the best player on both teams for the rest of the series in order to win against our team. Maybe he can do that, but let's wait until everyone's gotten their legs underneath them to make that assertion.

About our PP being ineffective, we had 1:30 straight of zone time on the second PP in the first period. We were moving the puck around really well and if one of our deflection tries or one timers had been on net we'd have won this game.

Honestly, I still feel confident even after losing this game tonight. Montreal was just a hair hungrier with a goalie that played extremely well. We'll see if he can do it again on Saturday.

Posted by: Raber | April 16, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I hate to admit it, but we match up terribly with Montreal. They have so many advantages that it's hard to count. They're 3-2 against us on the year now and we continue to struggle against their defense.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | April 16, 2010 12:02 AM


Then who do we match up well against out of the remaining playoff teams? If we manage to get into the later rounds, we will face much better teams that have more ways to exploit us. Montreal isn't the only team with a good goalie and we have a tendency to make every team look good on the PP.

Montreal was the worst even-strength team in the league and we were the best.

That should trump everything else because that is the majority of the game and we have as big of an advantage as possible in that area. Plus, Montreal doesn't typically draw a lot of penalties.

We were outplayed worse at even strength tonight than a man down. That is a concern and it shouldn't be one.

There was no good reason to lose this game. As a team and a coaching staff, we just didn't seize the moment. That game was our's to lose and we lost it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 16, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

It's not any sort of curse I'm worried about, jmarks09, but rather the fact that we are now 3-2 on the year vs. Montreal and we still have the chutzpah to think we're miles ahead of them for some reason, and Boudreau is out there talking trash about how we need to close out the series early so we don't get tired (talk about bulletin board material!) Montreal's defense has given us fits and they've bottled up Ovie all season. Tonight was just more of the same.

Hopefully we can get back on track on Saturday.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | April 16, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

if you thought jose lost it for us you're ridiculous. that's all i really need to say.

Posted by: beaupre33 | April 16, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully, the Caps come back and win on Saturday. But I think they'd be hard pressed to come back from a 2 game to nothing hole. Yes, I know they did it last year but it's hard to do.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 16, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Theo was one of the best players in this game. On each of the 3 goals, there wasn't much he could do, unless he had gotten lucky. He played the type of game that will win a game in the playoffs - the offense didn't deliver. However, there are quite a few bright spots.

1) Carlson held up very well in his first postseason game.
2) The 3rd line was awesome all night, and how about Belanger? 18 for 21 on faceoffs, and an assist. THAT is the Belanger we traded for.
3) The last two games, Corvo has started looking like the old Corvo - holding the puck in the offensive zone, taking shots, setting up opportunities.

One game is far too little to be getting this stressed about. While the Caps need to work on some things, they are still in shape to make a run all the way to the Cup.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 16, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

The caps are terrible. Was ov playing tonight? Didn't see green, semin, flash, fehr, or laich. If carlson is the best player we have then this team is out in 4. But at least we got a young team and a future. This ain't the year. Fire bb and get a real coach in here. He can't matchup, refuses to play any defense, and is an idiot on top of it all. Great regular season, playoff flop! This team stinks... Nice effort boys.

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 16, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

I can't blame any fan for panicking right now, even thought it was only 1 game.

There is enormous pressure to win game 2 and everybody knows it, including the Caps.

Sure, we came back against the Rangers last season... barely.

With the expectations on this team this season, going down 0-2 would be a potentially devastating situation phsychologically.

If we felt pressure being down 0-2 last season, it'll be two-fold this time around.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 16, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

@Raber

Power play being ineffective. It's been a while since the Caps have last scored a power play goal.

The power play unit will look okay for the first minute or so and get some shots off. Then, there's a missed pass and the puck goes into our defensive zone. Generally, if the other team can kill off the first minute of our PP, they can generally kill off the rest.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 16, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else agree with these lines:
I know the lines aren't the reason why the caps lost tonight, but just wondering what people think about these lines for the rest of the playoffs....
8-19-22, 21-9-28, 14-18-16, 25-39-10
Def
55-52, 3-77, 26-74

Posted by: Thomas32 | April 15, 2010 11:57 PM

I like the offensive lines, but the defensive pairings you suggested are terrible. Corvo is like Green, he needs to be with a solid defenseman - ShaMo is the best option for that. Boudreau has the best setup on defense right now - Poti and Carlson work very well together. But I understand why he is sitting BMo - it lets him play Gordon, who is much better on the PK. However, BMo has a speed advantage, which would probably match up well against Montreal.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 16, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

I agree with you on the lines and D pairings.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 16, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

I think it's the special teams that killed us today, not the even strength. We failed to kill one penalty. We scored on NO power plays. During regulation, we outscored them 2-1. If we had been able to convert just ONE lousy PP, we'd have taken it in regulation.

We could probably win if we were even on special teams.

You're right in that going down 2-0 would be a huge psychological blow that would be hard to overcome. I feel that way too.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 16, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

The caps are terrible. Was ov playing tonight? Didn't see green, semin, flash, fehr, or laich. If carlson is the best player we have then this team is out in 4. But at least we got a young team and a future. This ain't the year. Fire bb and get a real coach in here. He can't matchup, refuses to play any defense, and is an idiot on top of it all. Great regular season, playoff flop! This team stinks... Nice effort boys.

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 16, 2010 12:28 AM

Did you watch the game? Because that post would seem to indicate otherwise. All of those players you named played quite well, and would have had points if Halak hadn't been incredible. And fire Boudreau? Are you an idiot? He is the only coach in recent years to have any success with the Caps, and he got them their first Presidents' Trophy.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 16, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

One thing Locker keeps talking about that is a problem right now: why does Ovie keep cutting across the whole defense? That is the main reason he's been so ineffective recently. He needs to let Backstrom handle the puck most of the time, and get into shooting position.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 16, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Theo played well tonight. He was definitely keeping us in the game especially during the 2nd period. The supporting cast didn't show up, and they know that they ditched Theo. Too many mistakes tonight. Bad penalties. Bad passing. Poor offensive attacks. Too many attempts at finesse and fancy puck-work rather than working for the tough goals in front of the crease.

Then again, we do have to consider that Halak had a superb night. Any other night, I bet you he would have been overwhelmed by the sheer number of shots on goal.

Bruce will figure it out and thoroughly analyze the game to get our key players involved.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 16, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

And I have no idea of this is the case but what if one of our key players got banged up in those last few meaningless games of the season where they were largely just being allowed to pursue individual glory?

In a sport as physcially demanding as hockey, you should take advantage of being in the rare position that the Caps were in down the stretch.

In an Olympic season with a condensed schedule, it seems to me that we could have used the fact that we locked up the top spot to our advantage to allow our key players to get some extra rest. We earned that opportunity and the risks of playing those guys outweighed the benefits.

On top of that, they were making a lot of bad plays in those last few games in a conscious effort to get certain guys points. I doubt that they developed any bad habits but there was just no need for it.

I know that Semin and Green got banged up a little in those last few games. Who knows what happened to Ovechkin or Backstrom or what the team knows behind closed doors?

Even if nothing happened, it wasn't worth it. Hockey is too physical of a sport not to take advantage of resting players when you are in a position to do so.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 16, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

tmac, playing everyone those last few games was worth it. Kept them in playing form and let them build up more chemistry in games where the pressure to win wasn't on them. Please quit your bellyaching about this, everyone is getting sick of it.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 16, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Theo played well. This wasn't on him.

Posted by: letsgocaps3 | April 16, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

it's a credit to carlson that held up so well in his first playoff game but it's an indictment of the rest of the guys on the team that in doing so he stood out so much.

This team, and this franchise, have learned nothing.

Posted by: fanzee71 | April 16, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

@timmyv

No matter what you think of other people's posts, you'd be well-served to stop calling people idiots and taking personal shots at them.

You can disagree with people and make the same points without the unnecessary harshness and lack of respect.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 16, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

I also think Montreal is extra motivated to play Ovi hard because of that goal from last year. You know, the one where he hit the puck on the boards, spun around, and passed it to himself. It's something like #2 on his top 10. And there's another highlight goal where he shot through a defender's legs for a hat trick. No team wants to be on anyone's highlight reel, and Montreal is on Ovi's at least twice.

Posted by: letsgocaps3 | April 16, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

i don't know what effect playing everyone down the stretch had but it certainly did nothing for chemistry and form.

Posted by: fanzee71 | April 16, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

@letsgocaps3

They are gonna have the best highlight reel footage of all if they shut him down and knock us out in the first round.

If they are taking away his space, he needs to either be able to beat players one-on-one occasionally or dump pucks in and win board battles. I didn't see him doing anything productive along the boards or away from the puck.

If they are shading a second guy towards him, he should be able to maintain possession and find an open man instead of moving the puck into traffic and turning it over or getting his shot blocked over and over again.

He just wan't making his presence felt in the offensive zone with the puck or without it through physical play and effort.

No matter what happens in these playoffs, Ovechkin needs to develop his thought process and overall game. He is way too one-dimensional of a player.

What was it that Fedorov said about him? Something about needing to be less predictable or something.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 16, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Random but does anyone know where I can get a list of the songs they play during the games? They played this one song, don't know the name, during the 3rd period to OT intermission and for the life of me I cannot get it out of my head. Favorite all time Verizon Center game song: Warehouse by DMB.

Posted by: letsgocaps3 | April 16, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Less predictable but without the negative connotation. More like what you're saying - he has to work on a couple aspects to his game to be beyond phenomenal.

I also hope he gets out of this mental funk soon.

Posted by: letsgocaps3 | April 16, 2010 1:49 AM | Report abuse

@timmyv

halak didn't really play that well. Yes statistically he had good numbers but I don't remember him making too many saves that tested him. As for bb, any coach could win the presidents trophy with this team. They have too much talent. But he cleary got out coached last night. Maybe bb should stop worry about selling Mercedes. And the guys I mentioned definitely didn't show up... Take off your red colored glasses for a bit and realize the caps didn't show up last night. Halak didn't steal this game the caps gave it away.

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 16, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

@ firepelosi
Gotta agree with timmyv here, for the most part. Ovi, Backs, Knuble, and Laich were hitting like crazy in the first. That set the tone, and we really dominated the first. 19 shots, and many more that were near misses. Halak's goaltending was great, but still we could easily have had 3 or 4 in the first 20 minutes. Jose was very good, especially late in the third. And you think BB should be fired? Good coaching has a lot to do with making players succeed, in all sports. How often do you see a 'star' player go to another team, and suddenly become average?

Posted by: mcfarkus | April 16, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

IF the caps play like this Saturday, and the rest of the series for that matter, they will get swept. IF that happens then big changes need to be made. Since you aren't gonna get rid of ov or backs I say get rid of semin. He is a ghost in the playoffs. Or I think you gotta fire Bb. His system doesn't seem to do that well on the playoffs.

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 16, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

IF the caps play like this Saturday, and the rest of the series for that matter, they will get swept. IF that happens then big changes need to be made. Since you aren't gonna get rid of ov or backs I say get rid of semin. He is a ghost in the playoffs. Or I think you gotta fire Bb. His system doesn't seem to do that well on the playoffs.

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 16, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

@ IF the caps play like this Saturday, and the rest of the series for that matter, they will get swept. IF that happens then big changes need to be made. Since you aren't gonna get rid of ov or backs I say get rid of semin. He is a ghost in the playoffs. Or I think you gotta fire Bb. His system doesn't seem to do that well on the playoffs.

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 16, 2010 9:42 AM

OMG...jump off the bandwagon. We lose one game in O.T. and your ready to Break up a solid team,and fire the coach.

Sit back , relax ,take your shoes off. Did you expect the CAPS to win 16 straight?
Be thankfull it was the first game of the series. There are some other pretty good teams down 0-1 in their series as well. We will regroup and come out strong.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

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