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Orpik: 'There's a Line You Can't Cross'

There was plenty of blame to go around after tonight's 5-3 loss at Mellon Arena.

Consider:

Simeon Varlamov had his first bad game of the playoffs. Alex Ovechkin mustered only two shots on goal and was involved in a controversial hit that may or may not result in disciplinary action. And the power play unit was outshot by the penalty kill unit.

As a result, a series that was once 2-0 in favor of the Caps is headed back to Washington tied 2-2.

As usual, there's a lot going in the paper and online, so be sure to check it all out here. In the meantime, here are a few notes and quotes:

Varlamov 'Struggled'
The Russian rookie is probably the biggest reason the Caps survived the first round and won Games 1 and 2 vs. the Pens. But there's no way to sugarcoat his performance tonight: he wasn't very good.

"He struggled," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He hasn't a bad game. Arguably, there were four soft goals out of the five. But he'll bounce back."

Boudreau also indicated he plans to give Varlamov a chance to redeem himself Saturday night, saying, "As far as I'm concerned, yes [he'll start]."

If Varlamov plays, it will be the first time he's started on back-to-back days in the NHL. It's only noteworthy because there have been concerns about his ability to recover adequately between games.

Power Play Comes Up Empty
The power play went 0 for 4 tonight, mustering only one shot (two fewer than the Caps mustered while shorthanded). The problem wasn't the Penguins' penalty kill. The problem was the same one that's occasionally dogged the Caps' unit throughout the season: too much passing.

Seemed to me that Alexander Semin attempted at least three high-risk, low-percentage passes that had absolutely no chance of connecting.

"We just have to play simple," Ovechkin said. "You could see at the beginning of the second period, we tried to be so cute. Everybody, me [Mike Green, Semin, Nicklas Backstrom.] We have skills, but if we play simple game, it's going to work."

Punishment For Ovechkin?
Opinions among the media varied regarding Ovechkin's right knee to right knee hit on Sergei Gonchar at the end of the first period. Gonchar had to be helped off the ice and speculation around here is that it could be serious. We should know more in the morning.

We should also know tomorrow morning whether the league felt the hit warranted a fine or suspension.

"It tried to hit him and he tried to move to his left, and I don't have time to realize what is going on and I hit [him with] my knee," Ovechkin said. "It was accident. I'm not the kind of guy who wants to injure a player like this, especially [because] I know Gonch. I tried to hit him with my shoulder and he moved left but his legs were in the same spot."

A couple of Penguins had a different take on it.

"That's three games in a row where he's out there trying to hurt guys," said Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik. "You just watch the way he hits. And I love the way he plays ... but he could get a charging penalty every time he hits. He leaves his feet, and takes countless strides. We've gotten lucky up to this point. And he likes to target the Russian guys, for some reason.

"Everyone likes to play hard, and play physical," Orpik added. "But there's a line you can't cross, and a lot of guys in our room felt like the last couple games he was taking shots where he was trying to hurt guys."

Rob Scuderi added: "It's tough. You want instant retribution. You want a big hit, catch him with his head down, knock him out across the middle, something like that. But it doesn't do you any good. That's your first snap thought but after a couple seconds you calm yourself down and you realize the best place to hurt them is one the scoreboard."

For Starters
Backstrom's goal 36 seconds into the game gave the Caps a 1-0 lead. It also pretty much sealed their fate because the first team to score in this series has lost every game.

History Not on Caps' Side
i'm sure you know how the Caps have won only one of their seven postseason meetings with the Pens. But did you know this? Pittsburgh is 7-0 all time in Game 5s, including 3-0 in Game 5s in Washington. Yeah, yeah, I know; none of the current Caps were around for any of that. But ...

Boudreau Defends Green
Green had another tough night. He had a nice dance through the slot to help set up Chris Clark's goal. But Green was also on the ice for three Penguin goals and committed an ugly turnover on Maxime Talbot's marker late in the third.

"I thought he had a couple of gaffes defensively," Boudreau said. "We asked him to go. And I thought he made some a really great play on Clark's goal and some really nice offensive plays. The last goal he tried to be too cute, but it should have gone in anyway. Yeah, I'm going to defend my players. He's a Norris Trophy candidate. He's good. But sometimes he makes a mistake and they're going in our net. That happens sometimes."

Said Green, referring to Talbot's goal: "Late in the game, my role is to get up ice and try to create something. I was just trying to get it out front there and hit Semin. But it wasn't there and it turned into a one-on-one" the other way.

That's all for tonight. Got a long drive back to Washington in the morning. I'll check in from Verizon Center tomorrow afternoon.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 9, 2009; 12:49 AM ET
 
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Next: One More Note on the Brashear Story

Comments

Blah.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 9, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

There's a line you don't cross. Sure.

You don't cross-check a goalie's neck.

Leaving your feet for checks? There was plenty of that from both sides tonight and has been all series.

Then there's the whole thing about Crosby not liking Ovie's goal celebrations, then Malkin jumps into the glass when he scores.

Hypocritical pieces of warmed-over ostrich crap.

Posted by: writered21 | May 9, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Oprik needs to shut up! He's been trying to kill Semin all series!

Posted by: madden091 | May 9, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Saw the hit. Even the incredibly biased people on CBC admitted that this was not "one of the times" Ovie left his feet. Watched the analysis on TSN. Bob Mckenzie on TSN, who was all for the Brashear suspension - said he was "surprised but pleased" by the 6 game suspension - said the knee contact was accidental - and the rest of the panel agreed with him.

It's natural that Orpik - and Scuderi - should be biased. And the Pens would probably love it if the league stopped Ovie from hitting any of them during the rest of the series. Would make their jobes easier, wouldn't it?

Want to know how biased the CBC commentators are? They praise the Pittsburgh player and plays. They ignore the Caps plays. Tonight they referred to Ovie as "that man there". Everytime a penalty is called, they assume it will be on a Cap - and have to retract on the odd occasion it's on a Penguin. I've even heard them use the word "we" when talking about the Pens.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | May 9, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

And speaking about the Malkin celebration. Did anyone else notice that when he tried to celebrate like Ovie by jumping into the glass, he couldn't get the necessary altitude, and ended up looking like a rhino trying to scratch its back on the glass?

Posted by: RedRocker1 | May 9, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Shut up, they never say "we" when referring to the Penguins. They only praise them so much because they are the better, classier team.

I hope Ovechkin is suspended. At least for one game. Eye for an eye.

Posted by: SC87 | May 9, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

and Malkin does that all the time, but not like a retard like Ovechkin. He actually has class and respect for the other team.

Posted by: SC87 | May 9, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

of all people, Orpik saying this ish is laughable. he's gotten away with a few dirty plays in this series, most notably his shot to Semin's marbles.

anyone that isn't wearing either gold-colored glasses or red-colored glasses can see that Gonchar tried to side-step Ovi's check at the last second and paid the price for it.

Posted by: sargeantmofo | May 9, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

@madden091

I agree with you on Orpik (or should I call him Orprick). He is such a hypocrite. This is the guy that keeps trying to take out Semin abnd he has the gall to complain about Ovi.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 9, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

@RedRocker1 - And this is surprising how?

I fully believe that the hockey media and The Powers that Be A) wants this series to go a full 7 games, preferably with lots of overtime; B) will probably NOT suspend Ovechkin over the obviously accidental knee-on-knee contact, because it will nullify their Ovechkin-vs.-Crosby, who is the god, contest; and C) the calls will go more the Capitals' way when we are on home ice tomorrow night.

It's unfortunate, but there you have it.

And yes, we did do most of what we got called for tonight. The Penguins did what they got called for. And at least the calling of penalties was more consistent this time. Sortof. Kindof. In a skewed way.

But if Varlamov is fresh, he doesn't let those three goals in the first frame past him... whole new game.

Just my .02 - I hope Boudreau rests him tomorrow night.

Posted by: irockthered | May 9, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

eye for what eye, SC87? you mean Ovi should get suspended like Kunitz was for his INTENTIONAL cross-check to Varlamov's neck in game 2? like Orpik was for his jab to Semin's marbles?

oh wait, NEITHER was suspended for their INTENTIONAL actions. Ovi did not do anything intentional. sorry, game over, try again...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | May 9, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

And, don't forget, Semin needed stitches in the face in Game 1, thanks to guess who -- Orprick himself.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 9, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

@SC87

Malkin was REAL classy when he had his knees up to his chest on the Morrison hit!

Posted by: madden091 | May 9, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Comparing Ovechkin's malicious hit to Kunitz soft crosscheck to Varlamov's chest is retarded. Varlamov was fine after that, get over it. Ovechkin's hit knocked Gonchar out of the game, that's what the eye for an eye should be morons.

Caps fans are actually so dumb. You think Ovechkin's hit was fine and you think the Caps still have what it takes to win the series.

Posted by: SC87 | May 9, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they should have played Theodore tonight so Varly could be fresh for tomorrow night. But, who would have recommended that....

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 9, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh has only played 7 Game 5s...Ever? That doesn't sound right.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | May 9, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

hey WaPost, can you guys run about 30 stories about how Mike Green needs to wake up and stop sucking? It worked for Malkin in Game 3.

I love Greener, but man, he's been personally and directly responsible for at LEAST 4 of the goals we've given up in this series. not only that, but some of the relentless pressure in our own zone. he's had trouble clearing the puck.

let's call out Greener, and hope he has a big-game response!!

Posted by: sargeantmofo | May 9, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

With a Game 6, I see that Brash is back. Maybe he can keep these jokers like Orprick and Kunitz in line.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 9, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Time for the Caps to break the string of Pitt always winning Game 5. All good things come to an end. And that includes Pitt always winning Game 5 of playoff series vs Caps.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 9, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

The refs messed up on a call again - just because someone gets hurt doesn't mean there was a fault. Ovie is clearly going for a clean check and the puck, Gonchar side-steps and is off balance, causing the wrong parts to collide. Gonchar's actions lead to his injury.

As for Orpik - glass houses. Don't create a controversy where there isn't one.

Posted by: pstenigma | May 9, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

@SC87:
Oh, please. That Kunitz cross-check was head high, don't try to deny it. However, watching the replay, it looks semi-believable that he was just trying to dig out a puck, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Just like Ovechkin wasn't trying to leg-check Gonchar. He went in for the hit, Gonchar tried to sidestep and didn't get completely out of the way. It's a normal play with unfortunate results.

Posted by: Murshawursha | May 9, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey, everybody remember way back at the beginning of the season when this photo was shot?

It's a great shot of the team on a roller coaster down at Six Flags. And I said when I saw it that it would be our season. I guess I wasn't joking as much as I thought I was...

BUT... roller coasters always end with lots of laughs and fun. It's a great ride; hang on, because just when you think it's over, there's one more curve, or loop, or barrel roll to make the end just as exciting as that first 100 foot drop that gets the whole thing rolling!

LET'S GO, CAPS!!!

Posted by: irockthered | May 9, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Gonchar was injured on the fall, not the hit. Anyway, I hope he is ok and plays tomorrow; don't want there to be any excuses if the Caps win the series.

Posted by: madden091 | May 9, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse

@madden091: it doesn't matter if Gonchar plays or not. if we win the series, Pens fans will make excuses no matter what. that's just how they roll. it's never their fault if they lose...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | May 9, 2009 1:45 AM | Report abuse

@pstenigma - Actually, the call of tripping was technically right, by the letter of the law. It's using the stick or any other body part to cause another player to fall.

The knee-to-knee action was, in my opinion, accidental; I've seen enough of Ovechkin's actions both on and off the ice to know that he isn't the type to deliberately try and hurt someone.

Remember that check on Jamie Heward? Yeah. The one where he reportedly sat out in the hallway by Heward's team's locker room wearing nothing but a towel waiting for news after the game? And the look on his face on the ice said a lot, too.

Ovechkin never moved his leg out when he hit Gonchar tonight. Gonchar shifted, and the hit happened that way. I will never believe it was on purpose on Ovechkin's side. Ever.

Posted by: irockthered | May 9, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

How about the crosscheck call on Backstrom? That was a clean body check. I was stunned.

Posted by: BigMogilny | May 9, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin tries to hurt guys all the time. Every hit from him is a leaving the feet, taking 5+ stride hit. Briere, Heward, and now Gonchar all have been hurt form Ovechkin. I'm listening to Gabe Morency on Hardcore Sports Radio and he says himself that Ovechkin is a dirty player who always gets away with crap like this. If this was Chris Clark or Craig Adams, you know they would be out of the game and suspended. But since this is the "best player in the world" (not rally, but that's not the argument here) Ovechkin gets away with it once again.

Posted by: SC87 | May 9, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Barry Melrose actually called the hit dirty. I was shocked. I was at a friend's house watching and replayed it several times myself to see. I'm not even convinced it should have been a penalty. This is one topic that no one on the Penguins or one of their fans will look at objectively though. He didn't turn his knee, he didn't lean forward onto the knee into Gonch. It was unfortunate they were both going hard to the puck and came together. Gonch took the worst of it. You never want to see a guy get hurt off something like that and it didn't look good when he got off the ice, but it was accidental. This is my opinion but when you watch the tape it's pretty clear. If he gets suspended for it the ONLY reason will because Gonch ended up hurt whereas Varlamov shook off Kunitz cross check to the face.

As for the game tonight...sloppy. The kid has been great in goal so he was bound to have a bad game, but there were at least 3 he should have stopped. Fleury did give us one on Backie's though. At first I thought Juice goal was sketchy with the possible interference from Bradley but my brother informed me Letang was actually the last person to touch the puck before the hit on the boards...haven't seen a replay to check for sure but if true I have no problem with that goal.

They held serve at home just like we did, it's a 3 game series now and 2 are at Verizon. Tomorrow is basically a must win game. Short memories and a big rebound.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | May 9, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

For anyone who thinks OV's hit deserves a suspension, please. Google Mike Brown Jiri Hudler. And why would the NHL suspend half of their marketing?

However, if for some reason he is suspended, I will officially side with the conspiracy theorists.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | May 9, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

SC87,

Who is Gabe Morency? and why does his opinion matter anymore than yours, mine, OV's, or Gonchar's?

In the end there is only one that matters and sadly it's Campbell.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | May 9, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

ya basta... look for green and semin to step it up in game 5. caps in 6.

Posted by: raext23 | May 9, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that Ovi's hit on Goncher was deliberately aimed at his knee. The more I think about it, if someone did want to do that, what guarantee do they have of not damaging their own knee? I will agree with Orpik though, I have complained before about Ovi's tendency to leave his feet when he checks people. That wasn't an issue tonight, but as hard as he hits, it is really only a matter of time before something bad happens.

This crosscheck to Varley is a lot harder to defend, there really isn't a good reason to aim a stick at someone's throat or head. It's tough to do that accidently, especially when the puck isn't there. We're lucky that Varley wasn't hurt. Gonchar got unlucky, and Ovi might have gotten lucky in the fact that he didn't get injured as well.

Posted by: isaacc7 | May 9, 2009 2:02 AM | Report abuse

He's a radio personality in Canada. I'm not saying you have to know who he is, I was just using him as an example.

Posted by: SC87 | May 9, 2009 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh, the way you said "he himself" sounded to me like he might have been one these hockey gods mentioned in previous posts.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | May 9, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

I noticed on the Caps boards that folks are calling for us to get rid of some people after this season. Including Green, Semin, Flash, Fehr, and some defensemen. Next question -- who's going to replace them?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 9, 2009 2:08 AM | Report abuse

"We all have to talk to each other at certain times," said Bill Guerin. "Guys need to get calmed down for different things. Injuries are part of the game. I'd bet my house he didn't mean to do that. You just have to focus on the game."

Posted by: irockthered | May 9, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

hahaha, "every hit from him [Ovi] is a leaving the feet, taking 5+ stride hit."

Ovi's hit on Gonchar tonight, he took at most 3 strides. see for yourself (about the 1:10 mark) -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsIfl9HpPyI

if you wanna suspend Ovi? fine. then also suspend Orpik and Kunitz and whoever made that extra cross-check on Semin when he was down on the ice after taking an initial cross-check (which was called).

Posted by: sargeantmofo | May 9, 2009 2:11 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75 - Amen! Preach it! :) I agree with you completely.

These guys are our TEAM. Back them, or go cheer for somebody else.

Posted by: irockthered | May 9, 2009 2:11 AM | Report abuse

After last years contract problems with MO it wouldn't kill me to see him leave. If we're gonna get rid of someone dump Nyles and Theo to free up 9 Mil. Just too bad it's not as simple as telling them to "Go Away".

Posted by: Osfan092589 | May 9, 2009 2:15 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered

The call may have technically been right, but it shouldn't have been called. It was another penalty only called because an injury happened. Another example of the result rules the decision.

Posted by: pstenigma | May 9, 2009 2:19 AM | Report abuse

"Shut up, they never say "we" when referring to the Penguins. They only praise them so much because they are the better, classier team.

I hope Ovechkin is suspended. At least for one game. Eye for an eye." - SC87

Classier team? Whining to mommy about every little thing that doesn't go your way is not classy, its childish. Then again, if I could get everything I wanted from the NHL that way like the Pens seem to, then maybe i'd do it too, but it isn't classy. Classy is a term that Pittsburgh as a city, and including the Pens as a team, has never heard of.

Posted by: jonsnoek | May 9, 2009 2:20 AM | Report abuse

get rid of Green, Semin, Flash, and Fehr?! LOL. no. Nylander? definitely. not re-sign Brash? probably. not re-sign Kozlov and Federov? the loss of nostalgia sucks, but reality says we gotta bring in the young'ins.

we DO need to evaluate or D though. Alzner is coming whether the current guys like it or not. he HAS to be with the big boys next year. Green obviously has to be with us too.

I think Ersky, Jurcina, and Pothy have played well in the playoffs. Poti is a pretty steady player for us too. But as much as I hate to say it, I think these guys are sorta "B" players, not "A" players like a Pronger or Niedermeyer or what have you.

We need at least one "A" D-man back there. I mean, how good would we be right now with Anaheim's D-corps? It will be interesting to see what happens over the summer. (btw, bye bye Sarge Schultzy in my opinion)

Posted by: sargeantmofo | May 9, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Watching the replay, Gonchar would have never gotten hurt if he did no try to avoid the hit. I was one in the chat saying it looked a bit dirty, but on review, it is completely Gonchar's fault.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 9, 2009 2:36 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered and @sargeantmofo

Someone seriously wanted to get rid of those folks (Semin, Green, Flash, Fehr, Green). They first suggested getting rid of 5 poeple and getting 5 new ones. So I posted a reply and those guys (and the generic "2 defensemen" were named). I couldn't resist saying that they named all my favorite players, outside of OV. Yup, that's right, the person named all my faves.

I'll be sad when they go. (I still wonder if Green is injured since he's been subpar.) Could Semin be physically subpar as well since Orprick has kept doing stuff to him (once resulting in stitches). Note: Semin did not do the morning skate. Maintenance day?


Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 9, 2009 2:56 AM | Report abuse

@sargeantmofo

While Pronger is very good, my main concern about him is his age -- he's definitely over 30. I can't recall if he's 32 or 34. We've been burned by signing old guys like Nylander to long term contracts. (He started off okay, then got injured, and now he's taking up our Cap space so we couldn't really acquire anyone at the trading deadline.)

Should we bring up more of the young D-men to replace our older guys. Poti and Pothier are both over 30. There's Alzner even though rumor has it he didn't do well in Hershey today.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 9, 2009 3:03 AM | Report abuse

Alright. I was unfortunately/fortunately unable to watch tonights game, but after being told about Gonch being hurt and Ovie's hit etc I checked it out on youtube.

After watching it over and over again I have to say honestly, and with no predisposed bias to the Caps- I DO NOT see grounds for a suspension. Am I Caps fan, yes, absolutely, but I tried to watch it with unbiased eyes, really looking only at the play that was taking place and that hit etc. Especially with the puck being right there, I didn't see the headhunting people are claiming. I see an attempt to get to the area by the puck, an attempt for a quick but relatively harmless check and then a diversion from that plan as per Gonch's repositioning. I have to say, Gonchar tried to avoid the hit, he stopped and turned and I think it was that combined with Ovie's speed that cause the injury. I saw no last minute jerk of Ovie's knee, I saw no aim to create that kind of hit.

Moving on from that:

I'm not sure what went wrong in this game because I didn't watch the whole thing, but from all of my trusted hockey experts- Varly had an off night and we couldnt seem to get control. Honestly, this makes me want to cry because I know (as many of us do) that this team is so much better than how they are playing which makes this all so much more frustrating. It's one thing to be outmatched, its another to be evenly matched and performing below potential.

But either way, I love the Capitals, always have and I always will. I just hope they look at themselves and realize they really can do this, and play like the team we all know they are.

(Sorry for the long post, know they are boring and people usually skip over them, but with a couple beers and this loss, I just have to get it off my chest).

Posted by: mrszilla | May 9, 2009 3:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm probably taking crazy pills here, but I really would prefer starting Jose over Varly tomorrow. If we start Jose, we can tell Varly that it's because it's back to back games and that he should be ready to play game 6.

If Varly goes in tomorrow and has another off night, his confidence takes a shot. if Bruce has to pull him, his confidence REALLY gets shot. I know he acts like a stone wall on the outside (in more ways than one), but he's still 21.

If Jose goes in tomorrow, he'll be hungry for redemption knowing that his starting job during his contract year is in jeopardy. He'll probably do what any half decent professional goalie does in his case and pitch the best game of his career. If he lets in a softie, he comes out.

Just babbling.

Posted by: Raber | May 9, 2009 3:34 AM | Report abuse

"Shut up, they never say "we" when referring to the Penguins. They only praise them so much because they are the better, classier team.

Comparing Ovechkin's malicious hit to Kunitz soft crosscheck to Varlamov's chest is retarded. Varlamov was fine after that, get over it. Ovechkin's hit knocked Gonchar out of the game

Posted by: SC87"

(1) Anybody that uses the phrase "Shut up" to start off a counter-argument has already lost 100% credibility.

(2) Only a being of lesser intelligence would surmise that a head on knee-to-knee knock (as in MY knee vs. YOUR knee, travelling towards each other) is more "malicious" and less "eye for an eye" than using a blunt object as a weapon towards the neck and head of an unsuspecting 2nd party being attacked from a blindside.

But yet again, Pittsburgh fans are representing like anyone and everyone has expected. Pure (lower) "class"...

Posted by: psps23 | May 9, 2009 4:32 AM | Report abuse

Ovie's knee on knee won't result in a suspension. Bettman can't afford that.

Poor showing. Why aren't they playing their game with these guys? There's not much forchecking going on.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 9, 2009 5:32 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone considered the following:

1) The Caps aren't playing their game because the Penguins are preventing the Caps from playing the Caps' game?
2) The Caps aren't drawing penalties because the Penguins are controlling the puck and the way to draw penalties is to control the puck and keep it pressed in the offensive zone?
3) Most importantly: This is not the Caps' year. This is as good as the Penguins are going to get but the Caps are absolutely loaded in the minor league and will get significantly better. Next year, there are about five guys who will be in DC (or shuttling between Hershey and DC) who are terrific and will make a difference long term for the team (for example, Alzner, Osala, Bourque, Carlson). So, relax, this is a gift, *next year* and beyond, those are the Caps years.

Posted by: Matt23185 | May 9, 2009 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Gonchar jumped out of the way of the hit...He should know that if he is going to sweep out on hits, his knee will get caught.

Sorry he is hurt...but this is not a knee out hit, and more then it's Gonch jumping out of the way.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 9, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Matt23185 is right. The Caps have really been crappy this series. I think several guys must be playing hurt but it's not an excuse. The thing that gives me some hope is that as poorly as they have played, it took the Pens 70 minutes to win game 3, and the Pens needed soft goals in Game 4 to win. We're playing poorly but not losing big. But if we lose tonight, even as a huge Caps fan, I have little hope.

@SC87: I will agree that OV has tried to be a little too aggressive on his hits, no question. But It think it's hard for any objective person to argue that OV was trying to hurt Gonchar or should be suspended. It it perfectly clear on the video that OV is skating in a straight line and Gonchar tried to avoid him, and that's how he got hurt. It's not OV's fault.

Posted by: jhamond1 | May 9, 2009 7:08 AM | Report abuse

OV, if you read this blog and get to play in game 5, don't change your game. What I mean is, keep up the clean hitting. It's what they're doing to us and you can see the effects. This goes for the rest of the team too.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 9, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Agree FLACaps...someone on this team has to forecheck. If Semin, Kozlov, or Fleischman hit anyone, its purely by accident. We need Ovie to be Ovie tonight plain and simple.

Also agree with Matt...our best is to come. Team is building for the long haul.
I just think its great we're talking about games in May.

Posted by: rnscaps | May 9, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

I am surprised that Orpick is being given the time of day in this write-up and our blog...I'm sure I'm not the only one who saw him push the goal net off its mooring after Clark's goal, just like a little child would do. Even my 12-year old said "Why isn't that a Delay of Game Penalty"?

And SC87, get back on your own blog. We don't really care what you have to say, but to call the Penguins the "classier" team is just plain ridiculous.

Posted by: Caps16Fan | May 9, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

If the NHL suspends Ovechkin, I'm done.

Posted by: FancyDan | May 9, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Caps16Fan, I agree--why are we leading with Orpik's quote? Is it just me or does Tarik really not like the Caps? I know he wants to be objective, but it seems like any controversy against the Caps and he's all over it with big headlines. How about somewhere in the writeup that Gonch moved out of the way to avoid the hit and that's what caused the knee on knee?

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Now the pens are complaining because Ovie hits too hard. If Gonch would have not tried to side step Ovie...the only thing he would have hurt would be his a$$ and his pride.

Its a play that happened at full speed in a blink of a second. GET OVER IT!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | May 9, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Orpik is an idiot. Ovechkin isn't intentionally trying to hurt players, unlike Kunitz who intentionally cross checks a goalie in the throat. Orpik just has to find something to complain about. That hit on Gonchar wasn't even dirty, and Ovie never left his feet. If you look at the video again, you can see that Gonchar lets up on the puck in an attempt to miss the Ovechkin hit, and that's why they went knee to knee. If he hadn't tried to avoid the hit, he wouldn't be hurt, and no one would be talking about it.

Posted by: SarahM28 | May 9, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

10 Million in annual salary for 2 guys sitting out, brilliant.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, apparently not all Pens fans wear blinders. When I got to work this morning, before I could say anything, a co-worker who is a diehard Pens fan said "That was not a dirty hit by Ovechkin. Purely accidental."

Posted by: tess2201 | May 9, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow. This is desperate and we clearly need to talk some folks down off the ledge. It's 2-2 and the Caps still have home ice. We can break down all the film we want, as fans, but the Pens - who outplayed the Caps in both games - didn't put them away until OT in Game 3 and until 55 minutes into Game 4 when they got the two-goal lead back. I'm not happy because I'd have liked to close out the hottest team in the NHL in 5 or 6 but that was never realistic. If the Caps win their games at Verizon then I don't care what happens at Mellon Arena.

I'm not sure Orpik is who I'd choose to make my commentary on chippy. Like I said during the game last night, I had no issue with the calls in the game.

We need some Xanex to calm everyone down. If we'd split here and split there we'd be in the same situation. The guys didn't play well in Pittsburgh, I think they know that based on their comments, but everyone take a deep breath and hit Verizon tonight ready to make some noise.

My last - I cannot believe anyone on this blog is of the opinion that JT60 should start tonight. There were questions about Varly's experience before this started and we were wrong to think he couldn't handle it. This game - much more than game 6 in Pittsburgh - is vital. Keep home ice, let Varly play. You can go to JT if it gets ugly, but it won't.

Caps win 4-1.

Posted by: saintex | May 9, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

HAHAHA Who's gonna remember who was classier when the team is hurling the Cup around.....thats right nobody! mmmmmm....uh thats right...."Red Wings are champs but ya know in the Eastern Conf Semi's that Pitt team was really classier". Great, hope everyone in Pittsburgh is sleeping better knowing they have a classier club while were dancing in the finals.

Posted by: bhound69 | May 9, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

@saintex

TRUE TRUE TRUE!!!

Posted by: bhound69 | May 9, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Are reporters really still asking if Varly will start, just because of one bad game? Have they forgotten the alternative? It's not the last bad game he's ever going to have, but if Jose had been out there the spread would have been bigger. Varly can't stand on his head every night. At some point, his teammates are going to have to start bailing HIM out.

Posted by: FedsFan | May 9, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I think the only reason Ovechkin would not be punished is that he is a big star. But as in many similar conditions, this can be counterproductive because if the league does not do something, then the Pens may take matters into their own hands and have a goon take OV out and then the NHL really loses their star attraction. And surely the person who takes him out will not be a star. I have long thought that it would be an automatic penalty that if you take a guy out with a dirty play, then you are penalized at least as many games as he is out (without pay, of course).

Posted by: TomfromNJ1 | May 9, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

orpik talking about dirty hits? come on! that's hysterically full of irony! someone sit butthead down and explain the meaning of irony, and see if he gets it. he who has spent the entire series beating up on sasha semin has the nerve to talk about someone else's dirty hits? yeah, it's apparent the pens keep orpik around for his skill work. uh huh.

i am sorry about gonchar- hope he's okay. but there's no way ovie did that on purpose. he's not the type of man who spends the game lurking around hurting people intentionally. that's brooks orpik's job.

it's clear that several members of our players are playing through injuries, and they haven't said anything about these injuries because you bet your booty if mikey said 'think my body part is hurt' that body part would become the object of much attention from every penguin with a free arm or shoulder or stick. remember when sasha returned from injuries and got crossed-checked by st. louis blues backes? yeah? where? right in the same spot that had been injured before. so i can't blame the team for keeping injuries secret. who wants to give cheap shot punks like brooks orpik any ammunition?

give the team a little consideration before you spew such bile at them. sure no matter how mad and frustrated we are, they are feeling it ten times worse.

Posted by: spinner-33 | May 9, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

If either team opens up a 3 goal lead, look for trouble.

Any other player last night would have received a major for the knee to Gonchar.

Like Scuderi said, deep breath an hurt them where it counts most, for now.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

So Green had a few "gaffes" that resulted in goals but there is no reason to say that he isn't great, right? Sure you guys can keep reassuring Green how great he is when you're on the Golf Course next week due to a few more of his "gaffes." Now is not the time to salvage a players feelings, now is the time to make critical moves. The team has not shown up to the last 2 (arguably 4) games. One would think that this would concern a coach.

Posted by: ejohnsto | May 9, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Tom from NJ, how about the only reason why Ovi wouldn't be punished is because it wasn't a dirty hit? Have you watched the replays? Who is moving out of the way? Ovi was going straight in for a hit and Gonch tried to move out of the way at the last minute.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

LarryDavid, Gonch moved out of the way to avoid the check. Why would Ovi try to take out someone's knee with his own knee and possibly hurt his own knee in return? Can you stop looking through homer's eyes and see the truth? If it was the other way around, I WOULD BE BLAMING OVI for trying to duck the hit!

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

OV has been hunting, that only hurts his reputation.

Players will say they "love the way he plays" to the press, behind closed doors they think he's trash.

Great goal scoring player, trash as a person.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Fix, fix fix, pro sports are fixed.

If you believe any differently than you're a fool. Name me one multi-billion dollar business that leaves the outcome of it's product to chance? Good luck with that...

Posted by: soloman5000 | May 9, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

The guy initiating the hit is far less open to injury as opposed to the guy trying to avoid.

Hoping it was a charlie horse rather than the knee, in any event, Ovechkin has demonstrated he's willing to go end to end for the big hit, in the old days he would have been beaten down like a little girl.

I think OV MUST drop the gloves and fight in order to retain respect, hopefully one of the teams will open up a 3 goal lead so OV can be challenged at center ice.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The league isn't going to do anything about the Ovi - Gonchar collision because it happens in hockey. Some analysts are even surprised Ovi got any penalty. I'd suspect that when, and if, Gonch talks about it he'll absolve AO of anything other than the two of them getting involved in some bad luck. I hope Gonchar can come back and play.

We've said all playoffs long that Green doesn't look right, for whatever reasons. He has one goal and a nice assist last night but he has become a defensive liability in 5-on-5 and I don't think anyone would question that. I'd like to see him in the third defensive pairing against lesser lines and on the PP. Keep in as fresh as possible and let him work the PP with the lead team - his passing is still good enough and if he isn't as tired then we may see some slappers. 13 goals against in the series and he's had a significant hand/defensive breakdown on at least half, if not more.

Posted by: saintex | May 9, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

When does Brashear come back? Tonight?

I hope so. That's what we need a bit of the Donald to clean things up.

Posted by: eddiepanic | May 9, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

maybe we are expecting too much of the Caps right now. They are a young team & right now they are in unchartered territory for them. This may just be another step or "growing pain" toward reaching the ultimate goal which may not occur for another year or two. I would love to see them play better and advance of course, but at least they are playing right now even though we may not think much of their play in this series.

Posted by: PGM17 | May 9, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Brash is eligible until the next game

Posted by: PGM17 | May 9, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I watched the CBC feed last night and felt they were definitely biased toward the Penguins.

Ovechkin tries to hurt people? Of course. That's what hockey is about ... physicality. But there's a difference between being physical, as Ovechkin is, and trying to intentionally injure players.

Hope Gonchar is OK.

That's hockey. And SC87 isn't helping the Penguin fan's reputation as being soft.

Posted by: Cerealman | May 9, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Given the way the Caps played in games 3 & 4, along with Varly letting in the softest goals, I'd say some Russian guys have money on these games, especially Feds, he needs the money bad.

Would not surprise me at all if Russian guys are placing big bets and then falling asleep.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"Ovi must fight in order to retain respect" you mean like when Crosby butt punched that one guy or jumped the other guy off of the faceoff? And no, I don't think most players talk bad about Ovi behind his back. Why when they polled NHL players, the winner was Ovi when they were asked who they would most like to switch places with?

And if Gonch didn't try to avoid the hit Ovi was initiating, their knees wouldn't have hit. It's as simple as that.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

This team may be very good next year. They are very good this year. Lay off the resignation in a seven-game series, in which we have home ice, that is tied 2-2.

Posted by: saintex | May 9, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

How about when Crosby had his visor removed in between a shift to go out and settle a score ? That's a class act.

Beating Ference in his first fight was priceless.

Center ice, Crosby & OV tonight.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Ov isn't paid to fight, he's paid to score goals. Gonch was scared to get hit so he tried to move out of the way and got hurt. it happens. He's an old foggie anyways, obviously Pittsburgh didn't need him with a 3-5 victory, stop whinning.

Posted by: ejohnsto | May 9, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"Crosby had his visor removed"--okay so one "class act" against two unclassy acts (butt punch and jumping the player). And I guarantee that MOST players in the NHL do not think that Ovi is "trash".

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I'll be in my seat tonight, and you know what I want more than anything else? I want a win so I don't have to listen to my fellow Caps fans talk about next year and how horrible this all is, how being the conference semis, tied 2-2, is a fate worse than death - that would be the best thing ever. I'm not sure I've ever heard fans so negative in this situation. Yes, I'm calling out all those that think this is over and long for next year. Every last one of you.

Posted by: saintex | May 9, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin has yet to record a fighting major, even his girlfriend picked one up.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Players will say they "love the way he plays" to the press, behind closed doors they think he's trash.
Great goal scoring player, trash as a person.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 9:00
-----------------------
Excuse me??? Ovechkin won the Pearson Award last year, and is nominated again this year, as the BEST PLAYER AS VOTED BY HIS PEERS. That doesn't sound to me like they think he's trash.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 9, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

The players all know OV is "not to be touched",or else big problems with the league office, otherwise he would have been dealt with by now.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

At least now on a national scale people will start to see that overchjerk is a dirty player. Crosby has always played with class. crosby>ovechjerk.

Hopefully Orpik catches ovechjerk skating across the middle tonight with his head down. I mean, if he's not suspended before the game starts. GO PENS.

Posted by: bellamay08 | May 9, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

He is one of the best, award is not for personality but for best player.

I think he's an incredible talent, also believe he's an incredible punk that needs to drop the gloves at least once.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Last comment to LarryDavid--HAHAHAHAHAHA. Guess what, players have tried to hit him, and he takes it and doesn't complain. Sorry you don't have anyone on your team that can hit like a freight train. I'm looking forward to seeing your players try to hit him tonight.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

bellamay, on a national scale, they didn't think the hit was dirty. Listen to all of the national commentators (except of course the pitt homers). And I'll say it again with Crosby: butt punching and jumping a player off of a faceoff does not equal classy.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

First order of biz will be the win, then if an opportunity is there, Id like nothing more than to see Crosby challenge OV at center ice, would make for classic rivalry.

Everyone wants to see OV back up his behavior like a man.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Fine, I'll indulge LarryDavids (btw, great shows).

Everyone has their shot at AO every single shift, every game, all season. They can all take their shots at him for 16-20 shifts per game. Why would fighting one guy in one game signify or justify anything. If he drops gloves with Mark Staal and the beat the crap out of each other, what would that mean? Nothing. Ovi may be the most physical player in the league and it shows in his hit numbers - he doesn't get suspended, he does get penalties, but no one wants to hit him - that's their issue, not his.

Posted by: saintex | May 9, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Crosby can & will fight, unlike the russian wussy.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Politics trump everything, OV is well protected by the league, players are not going to risk it.

I want to see Ovechkin notch the fighting major under his belt as another right of passage in the NHL, unfortunately the NHL has become watered down, thank God for Iggy, Crosby, and all the other classic stars that can do it all.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

crosby will fight? no, more like cry to the refs...waaaaaaa he hurt me...I have a booboo

Posted by: PGM17 | May 9, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

redrocker1....of course they admitted this wasn't "one of those times" when Othugkin left his feet...leaving your feet and kneeing are two completely different issues. Kneeing is much more effective when you keep your skates on the ice so you can drive through with more force and better injure your opponent. And Othugkin is a moron...a quote from after the game, "I think it was an accident." You "think"? Either it was or it wasn't -- and even Othugkin was hedging because deep down he knows he took a cheap shot at Gonchar. That's the dark side of playing with Othugkin's "passion". He crossed over on that play and he deserves to pay the price. He won't -- because the league will poo poo it away like they always do on his charges -- but he should get at least 3 games. If he doesn't, the league has declared open season on knee on knee hits. Frankly, I don't want him to get 3 games. One at most. Because I want to watch him sulk off the ice after losing the series.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

First order of biz will be the win, then if an opportunity is there, Id like nothing more than to see Crosby challenge OV at center ice, would make for classic rivalry.

Everyone wants to see OV back up his behavior like a man.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 9, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

You have anyone better the Crybaby to choose from? Cindy would hit Ovie with his purse one time, the Ovie would knock his lights out.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | May 9, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

well the NHL has declared open season on the caps goalie, might as well add knee to knee hits to the list too

Posted by: PGM17 | May 9, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

For the braindead Caps fans, a translation:

Ovechkin=Othugkin

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Dan_comet, wat about this part of Red Rocker's quotes: "Bob Mckenzie on TSN, who was all for the Brashear suspension - said he was "surprised but pleased" by the 6 game suspension - said the knee contact was accidental - and the rest of the panel agreed with him."

And his English is not perfect--he's just basically saying that he believes it was an accident, but he doesn't know what the league will think.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

lol @ capsfannmiss

Posted by: PGM17 | May 9, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I am guessing that all of the people complaining about ovie's hit are the same ones who said that what kunitz did to varly was ok *since he didn't get hurt*....go figure

Posted by: PGM17 | May 9, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@ dan_comet

That is good. I can imagine which three game suspension you think Ovie should get.....LOL....the next three against the Pens. Then you might have half a chance to take the series......keep on praying buddy boy! Please please please give him three.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | May 9, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

If Ovie did get three games, it would only be two against the pens and then one against the Canes?....or the B's ??

Looks alot like a Southeast Confrence Final....Caps and Canes.....tune in next week!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | May 9, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

MissCapsFan...apparently you can't read...I said I hope he gets one game at most. He deserves 3...but I want him on the ice to sulk away after losing the series.

Nice to know Caps fans are so classy that they are licking their lips at celebrating over a win that would only come by injuring another player.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

dan_comet, I don't want to win if Gonchar is out, so I'm hoping he comes back.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Fairy David......lil jealous are ya?? Too bad your golden boy pees sitting down. His playoff beard looks like my 2 y/o's ass. Grow some ball$ Crosby....quit your whining.... Gonchar had it comin.

Posted by: bhound69 | May 9, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Orpik is an ass. I wonder if crosschecking the goalie in the throat crosses that line? And Mike Green SUCKS. What a self absorbed piece of you know what. In fact, far too many Caps seem to have believed their media clippings and aren't doing the job in this series.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 9, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

bhind69...classy. Gonchar had it coming. I wonder what Othugkin has coming.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

yeah mike green does SUCK. He and Poti have been awful so far. Our nonskilled players have been the real heroes - Jurcina, Erskine etc.

If Bruce had the guts to do it, he'd reinsert Sloan and bench Poti (I'd like to bench Green but there's not a chance in hell that'll happen and apparently we need him for our great PP unit)

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 9, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Everybody so sensitive...injuries part of the game, Crosby has all you Pitt fans hypnotized.....you are getting verrrrry childish...yooooou are going toooooo cry like a babbbbyyy....waaaaaaaa.....gonchar.....waaaaaaaaaaa......supend him.....wasssawaasswa. Ovieeees a devil......hahahahhahahah... jealous deockkk!

Posted by: bhound69 | May 9, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

He's got nothing coming.....what do you think of that? I'm sure Ovie is inviting it. Are you so blind to see he whips peoples Arses out there.....I'm sure he won't back down....especially from a girlly crosbyman.

Posted by: bhound69 | May 9, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

hey bhind69...haven't you read the papers? or is reading hard for you? Bruce whines win or lose. Ovie was whining about the Kunitz hit all over the headlines. Othugkin is a prissy little wide receiver type who likes to showboat, but when the going gets tough, he disappears. You won't see him battling for pucks in the corner as the first one in when he might get hit. He only takes runs when there is no risk to him. So stick your head back in your nickname and get ready to see the Caps season end in 6.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Ovie looked like a scared little boy talking to Malkin's dad last night. Even Othugkin knows what he is. I predict if he plays tonight, he'll be more or less invisible -- just like the last two games except for one lucky bounce and one dirty hit.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Class is for all maggotry in PITT....The clASS capital of the world.......You can have it....20 years from now, we'll remember how classy those Pen's were. Mark my words......lolololololol.....IDIOTS ALL OF YA

Posted by: bhound69 | May 9, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

You are right Dan, Crosby and Gonchar are no threat to Ovie......He'll run them into next week. Anytime.....How girls are in the Pens line-up now? I'm sorry non-threatening. Believe everything you read, Homer.

Posted by: bhound69 | May 9, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

it was a dirty hit. But dirty hits occur with more prevalence in the playoffs. And the Penguins also do a lot of leaving their feet to emphasize a hit. not a big deal, it cuts both ways.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 9, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Just ONCE I'd like to see Crosby hit someone without choking on his tampon string or accidentally swallowing his pacifier.

Posted by: bhound69 | May 9, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Crosby
Always
Pees
Sitting down

Posted by: bhound69 | May 9, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

bhind69...classy. Gonchar had it coming. I wonder what Othugkin has coming.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

did you watch gonchar play in DC in one of the last reg season games between the 2 teams? He was out headhunting on his hits and he stuck his knee out a coupla times to finish a hit. This notion that he's a good guy and Ovy is a bad guy is just oversimplification. I would hope when the playoffs start with more on the line that you have a lot more bad guys on the ice, it adds flavor and spice and creates heated rivalries, and we as fans benefit from that. Did you also want Kunitz to get suspended for his xcheck? hmm. Or how about Malkin with the elbow to Jurcina's head? hmm

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

i agree cstanton. However, what makes Ovie different are the 20 foot run ups. He charges at least 6 times a game and it's why he routinely injures people. Only his superstar status keeps him from getting suspended. Frankly, he'd fit better on the Flyers than with the Caps. The other thing is that knee on knee is a whole different animal from charging even. A charge might put someone out for a few games. Knee on knee can end a season or a career. Oh -- and to you "he wouldn't try to hurt a friend" Caps fans -- Gonchar is no friend of Othugkins. They are both Russian, but Othugkin seems to have a problem with other Russians. This is the second time he injured Gonchar severely. The first was in the Russian league when he ran him and gave him a severe concussion with a head shot.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

cstanton...Clearly you have Gonchar confused with someone else if you think he ran anybody. Not his style of play. He's no generally physical -- more cerebral style of defense.

You've been smoking something to compare any hit in this series so far to the Othugkin hit on Gonchar. He's dirty. End of story.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

NHL just announced Ovechkin is suspended for two games.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The thing that really gets to me is that hardly ANYONE has any remorse or concern for a great AND ALWAYS classy player...Gonchar. Its all about how pens fans suck or caps fans suck. I am a pens fan, but I will admit, Ovechkin has a lot of skill and passion when he plays the game. Personally, I don't like his antics, but to each his own. However, if any of you can honestly tell me that his hit on Gonch didn't have ANY intent to hurt, or wasn't fueled by any agression because he and his team were getting outplayed, then you're a liar. Gonchar is a great and humble VETERAN player and got cheap shotted by a YOUNG star who needs disciplined.

Posted by: Passion_Pens | May 9, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Come on Passion Pens, you're dreaming. Expecting Caps fans to be anything more than a bunch of goon lovers who celebrate when someone gets injured? Donald Brashear, Dale Hunter, Craig Berube. The Pens history reads like a list of Hall of Famers -- Lemieux, Jagr, Frances, Coffey, Crosby, Malkin, Trottier. The Caps History reads like a list of goons. Why expect anything more from the fans? It's all they've ever known.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

NHL just announced Ovechkin is suspended for two games.
Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 11:04 AM

where did you hear that?

Posted by: Passion_Pens | May 9, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Just having some fun baiting the Caps fans.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

dan_comet,

Get back to work!

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 9, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I think there is a difference between playing with aggression and intending on hurting an opponent. I do think that Ovy gets carried away with his hits in an attempt to get going but I do not think he intends on hurting anyone. That being said, the action has to be addressed even without intent. I do not agree that the suspension should be equal to the injury. Thus, the crosscheck to the throat should also be penalized. I love Ovechkin but I do think he has to play a little more controlled and within himself. It would help his game as well. Pens fans only get to see what is in the media and it is often misquotes or out of context. We know what a great guy he is. I feel we have the same press bias about Crosby that Pens fans have about Ovy. Don't you feel sometimes like a media pawn??

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | May 9, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Passion Pens,

I can honestly say that I'm sad that Gonchar is hurt and I would hope that he can come back soon. I think he's a classy guy. But I can also honestly say that Ovi was not trying to hurt him other than what a normal hit would hurt. He was not trying to take Gonchar out.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

haha. I got excited for a minute there. But I do agree with what you said before. I guess expecting class from an unclassy team like the caps is ludacris.

Posted by: Passion_Pens | May 9, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

dfe1..thank you. I respect your opinion.

Posted by: Passion_Pens | May 9, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Fellow caps fans, stop trying to appease the Pens trolls. It's like trying to negotiate with the Taliban.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 9, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

FloridaCapsFan

no..its about a great player (Gonchar) getting hurt by an unnecessary and controversial hit. Its people like you that bring in all of the unnecessary drama.

Posted by: Passion_Pens | May 9, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

RichmondCapsFan

I agree with what you said about OV playing a little more controlled. It would help his game a lot. And I'm sure you're right about what we as pens fans hear in the media about OV, just as what you hear about Sid.

Posted by: Passion_Pens | May 9, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"People like me"?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 9, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I just hope that OV stops whiffing on his wrister.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 9, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Brooks Orpik, the same guy who broke Eric Cole's neck with a dirty boarding from behind:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRMz6A6r5fs

Oh yeah, that Orpik.
STFU, Orpik, you fool.

Posted by: pcalver1 | May 9, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The Penguins should get the memo: If you try to get out of the way of a clean Russian machine hit at the last minute, you'll risk injury. Tonight I want to see Ovie hit Sindy to high heaven. That should be entertaining.

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | May 9, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I don't see how the Pens have anymore advantage in this series than the Caps do. You're supposed to win at home; Caps got it done, Pitt got it done. Now it's a best of three series with two at home; if you're a Caps fan I don't know how you can be "worried" or "disappointed" yet. And I feel for Gonchar, but Ovi was not trying to hurt him. It was not intentional knee on knee contact, just an unfortunate hockey play. The Pittsburgh fans can whine all they want, but Ovi is gonna be there for Games 5, 6, and 7. Go Caps take a the 3-2 series lead.

Posted by: reesem37 | May 9, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

correct, why can't you just have a heart and realize that one of the most talented and humble defensemen, powerplay pointmen, and leaders in the NHL got injured pretty bad and could miss what he's worked his whole career to do (hopefully win a cup). I know injuries happen, but this was completely aviodable, and simply tragic.

Posted by: Passion_Pens | May 9, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

pcalver1,

I can't remember OV doing anything like that can you?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 9, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

reesem37, glad to see someone with the same mindset as me. No worries. A win tonight makes the sun come out tomorrow.

Posted by: saintex | May 9, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsIfl9HpPyI


For all you penWHINE babies.
I'm figuring you dolts never saw the replay and only just regurgiatate what you read in the s***tsburgh papers.

dan_comet: routinely injures people? Try TWO in a span of 4 seasons. Idiot.

Posted by: Chase4 | May 9, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@FloridaCapsFan,
Nope. If you watch the Gonchar hit closely, Gonchar shied away from the hit by veering to his left, as Ovie said in his comments after the game. That attempt to avoid the contact left his Right leg in Ovie's path. Ovie was in a long glide to the hit, and didn't move an iota to make the contact knee-on-knee.

This is just an excuse for the Ovie-envy and Ovie-hatred around the league, not just in Pitt, but also across Canada to come out in full-throated song. They need to shut up and play the games.

Posted by: pcalver1 | May 9, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

haha. I got excited for a minute there. But I do agree with what you said before. I guess expecting class from an unclassy team like the caps is ludacris.

Posted by: Passion_Pens | May 9, 2009 11:26 AM

You penWHINE fans are hilarious. Brainwashed masses who think your team is classy and saintly. I'll take Ovy and his hard, clean checks any day over a baby like crysby who punches a guy in the balls after he is tied up in a scrap with another player, or wait until the puck is dropped and the player is trying to win the faceoff and crysby sucker slaps him. Even your moronic announcers were creaming their jeans over crysby's slap fight.

Posted by: Chase4 | May 9, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Passion_Pens

I doubt anybody here wants Gonch to be hurt and not able to play. He was a big part of the Caps. Honestly, you want to blame someone for a player getting hurt and that is fine but you are not going to convince us that Ovy intentionally tried to hurt Gonch or that it was more than an accident. It is not for us to decide anyway. But I think it is safe to say that we are sorry that Gonch is hurt.

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | May 9, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Does this Larry David prick actually think Crosbaby can beat Ovie in a fight. LOL.

Unless he pulls his jersey over his face right off the faceoff, what a d-bag Crosby is.

And he also lives with Mario. Weird.

And what about the hit malkin took a penalty for? Yea thats right, for leaving his feet. You Pens fans are such hypocrites.

Posted by: digster1013 | May 9, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Absolutley, pcalver1.

As someone mentioned earlier, I'm sure gonchar's flips didn't help things any.

Posted by: Chase4 | May 9, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Orpik should shut the hell up. He, of all people, shouldn't be talking about "dirty hits". He's the one who BROKE Eric Cole's neck in 2006 with a dirty hit.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2357095

Posted by: hawk1009 | May 9, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Go Caps. Let's try and win one and get back on top in the series. I will be driving up with my son to Rock the Red!!

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | May 9, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@cs

Great point, lets play hockey. Rememeber Pitt fans its gonna get rough, your guys might bumped or elbowed. So hike up the skirt and man up.

Posted by: bhound69 | May 9, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Passion Pens, it was only completely avoidable if you're not allowed to hit anymore and if Gonchar didn't try to avoid the hit. And Ovi definitely felt bad about Gonch being injured. He has said many times that he wants people to respect the way he plays. He does not want to be known as a dirty player, but he likes being known as someone who can hit and is not afraid to take a hit.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

from NHL.com

"We all have to talk to each other at certain times," said Bill Guerin. "Guys need to get calmed down for different things. Injuries are part of the game. I'd bet my house he didn't mean to do that. You just have to focus on the game."

Let it go. Stuff happens. It's hard, physical play and a very tough incident for Sergei.

Posted by: saintex | May 9, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

and, even thought I have no love for Orpik, I don't think dude was or is trying to break anyone's neck. It adds nothing to the conversation. Why does every injury in hockey have to be condone as "dirty hockey" or a "cheap shot"?

Posted by: saintex | May 9, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Chase 4

Actually, I did see the replay. In fact, I watched the whole game. I've tried to be nice about it and some of you caps fans are respecful, so thank you, but tools like this is what can effect your reputation. Show some respect for a player who has more poise than your whole team, shut your mouth, and watch the rest of the series.

and for pcalver1..

If you saw, Orpik got ejected from the game and suspended for 3 games...which is exactly what OV should've got. OV got and gets special treatment so don't call Crosby a baby.

Posted by: Passion_Pens | May 9, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"A line you can't cross"???

Real rich coming from a guy who broke somebody's neck...

Posted by: CapsNut | May 9, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@Passion_Pens,
He got suspended and ejected because he obviously intended to injure Cole, and broke the guy's neck, threatening his life and certainly his livelihood. No argument there. It also removes Orpik's credibility as a voice calling Ovie's hit dirty, when it clearly was not.

You need to think more before you post, I am sorry to say. You made my point for me.

Posted by: pcalver1 | May 9, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, your incorrect about the Pens being 7-0 in Game 5's, as they lost 3-0 to Flyers in the 1st round.

Posted by: dmonsef33 | May 9, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Chase 4

Actually, I did see the replay. In fact, I watched the whole game. I've tried to be nice about it and some of you caps fans are respecful, so thank you, but tools like this is what can effect your reputation. Show some respect for a player who has more poise than your whole team, shut your mouth, and watch the rest of the series.


You mean by calling the Caps a classless organization, in what, your 2nd post on this topic? You are such a hypocrite it's not even funny. If we are referring to Gonchar, he deserves respect. If you are referring to crysby, then you are most certainly brainwashed.
How about you take your own advice and take your whining elsewhere. Maybe to a penwhines blog where they can all hope someone shoots Ovy or someone kills him on the ice. It's absolutley hilarious when penwhines fans come on here and start accusing the Caps or it's fans as being classless.

Posted by: Chase4 | May 9, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Nevermind, I realized your saying that record is only against the Caps.

Posted by: dmonsef33 | May 9, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

pcalver1: you have to take in consideration who you are taling to. A pens troll who drinks the crosby kool aid daily. We all know that crosby or malkin had hit a capitals player, that they would have gotten no penalty at all and their fans would claim it was clean. Difference between Caps fans and penwhine fans is they lack the ability to see things objectively.

Posted by: Chase4 | May 9, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Keep whining, Capitals losers.

So far, y'all have complained about:
* traffic (please - Ted and Bruce need to wait in line @ Primanti's just like everyone else)
* ice (like the Verizon Center is so much better)
* penalties
* officiating
* scheduling (it's your own doggone fault you went to Game 7 against the Rangers - the ECSF Game 1 should have been 48 hours later on the following Thursday with Game 2 on Saturday, but Teddy and Georgie wanted some days of rest)
* Mellon Arena (don't think it's a coincidence a new arena is being built across the street? duh!)

and now about Ovie's knee-on-knee hit on Gonchar not being a dirty hit.

Absolutely laughable.

Posted by: malkinshockeyskates | May 9, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Gonchar is not as hurt as initially believed because he has little swelling and is a game time decision per NHL.com. That is good news.

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | May 9, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Malkin--NBC wanted that first game on primetime. That's why it was on Saturday. It had nothing to do with Ted and GM. And Pens were SUPPOSED to keep the Igloo available during the playoffs and they didn't. This happened the last time we played the Pens in the playoffs, they had some dance competition, and intead of 2 home, 2 away, 1, 1, 1, it was 1 home, 2 away, 2 home, 1, 1.

Pens have complained about

Officiating before the Caps did,
Penalties
Throwing too many hats

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Richmond, that is good news, and I hope he plays tonight.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

@saintex

I'm with you on the positive thinking, team support, and game enjoyment.

I'm just thrilled the Caps are in Series 2 this year. It puts them ahead of schedule IMO.

Go CAPS!

Posted by: pstenigma | May 9, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

dfe1

You failed to add that both teams have complained about the ice!! Not just the Caps. And bad ice favors the Pens. Got that one from Pens fans themselves so if they disagree, they disagree with their own kind.
To be fair to the Pens only Crosby mentioned the hats. Hate to bring the entire team into it even if he is their leader.

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | May 9, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Richmond, good point about the ice and about Crosby.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 9, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

im not sure if its just me but i dont see anything wrong with the ov hit on gonch at all there saying on espn that he stuck his leg out to hit him but to me that is total bs

Posted by: skinsst21 | May 9, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

While some of you are citing a 3 year old story about Orpik and a hit on Eric Cole, consider what the league said when they suspended him:

"While it is apparent that there was no deliberate intent to injure on this play, Mr. Orpik's careless hit on his opponent resulted in a serious injury," NHL executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said.

"Even if a player leaves himself vulnerable, the checking player does bear some responsibility in avoiding a hit on a defenseless player."

Some of you are arguing that it was Gonchar's fault, but change the name Orpik to Ovechkin, and the principle applied to Orpik demands a suspension. He won't get it, because, he, not Crosby, is the darling of the NHL. But it is deserved.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Keep whining, Capitals losers.

So far, y'all have complained about:
* traffic (please - Ted and Bruce need to wait in line @ Primanti's just like everyone else)
* ice (like the Verizon Center is so much better)
* penalties
* officiating
* scheduling (it's your own doggone fault you went to Game 7 against the Rangers - the ECSF Game 1 should have been 48 hours later on the following Thursday with Game 2 on Saturday, but Teddy and Georgie wanted some days of rest)
* Mellon Arena (don't think it's a coincidence a new arena is being built across the street? duh!)

and now about Ovie's knee-on-knee hit on Gonchar not being a dirty hit.

Absolutely laughable.

Posted by: malkinshockeyskates | May 9, 2009 1:00 PM


Hey idiot whiner:

Maybe there wouldn't be back to backs if your idiotic management hadn't scheduled Yanni to try and bring culture into that dump of a city. George and Ted had NOTHING to do with it DOLT.
Keep making yourself look like an uneducated fool. I suggest you stop drinking the pen(i)s kool aid. You only WISH Ovy was half as much of a punk, baby, whiner, classless loser as Crysby. Maybe if gonchar wasn't afraid to get hit (i.e. side stepping the contact), he never would have gotten clipped on the knee.

Posted by: Chase4 | May 9, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Dan Rosen's latest on nhl.com:
http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=420671

Posted by: pstenigma | May 9, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

pstenigma...one man's opinion in that article. So believe him if you want. But if he's smart enough to be all-knowing about Ovechkin's intent, then you've got to believe he's pretty smart when he all but says the Caps are cooked.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

pstenigma...one man's opinion in that article. So believe him if you want. But if he's smart enough to be all-knowing about Ovechkin's intent, then you've got to believe he's pretty smart when he all but says the Caps are cooked.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 1:44 PM


More than one man's opinion. His echoe what many others are saying outside of pittsburgh: It was not intentional. The only ones who are saying it was is espn.

So are you saying you don't agree with his opnion on the hit but that you think his opnion is that the Caps are cooked?

Which one is it? Is he only correct on the one opinion you share with him? If the Caps win today, it is your team which might be cooked.

Posted by: Chase4 | May 9, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

It isn't the article, but the reader comments that are revealing:

http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=547095

Posted by: pstenigma | May 9, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@dan_comet

I stated no opinion about Dan Rosen's article.

Posted by: pstenigma | May 9, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

2 BROKEN VERTEBRAE?

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/cup/2006-05-21-cole_x.htm

Carolina Hurricanes forward Erik Cole hit from behind by Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on March 4.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 9, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dan_comet | May 9, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

One man's opinion, dan_comet.

The great crysby isn't even listed as the 3 best players in the league for the Hart. LMAO

Posted by: Chase4 | May 9, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The line that can't be crossed is the one Kunitz crossed checked on the back of Varlimov's 3rd cervical vertibrae, during Crosby's supposed hat trick. They make a great one two punch. Tazer and Taper. With Orpik waiting in the wings. Don't like it? Our prison thug will shank you.

Posted by: chavez66 | May 9, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

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