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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 12/14/2010

Capitals' tenor during practice is all business

By Gene Wang

There are days for lighthearted practices, when players joke and often fool around on the ice. This morning's wasn't one of them. Not even close.

With the specter of a season-long six-game losing streak weighing on the team, Coach Bruce Boudreau conducted an approximately hour and a half practice that touched on all aspects of the game, most notably forechecking and attention to defensive responsibility and accountability.

"Just getting back to basics, paying more attention to detail," defenseman Tom Poti said. "Trying to defend against some of the things other teams might do against us. We were working on that a little bit today, and like I said, just getting down to basics, trying to be sharp for tomorrow night" against Anaheim.

Last week, because of a compressed schedule, the Capitals were able to practice just once. This week, however, two more practices are scheduled.

Missing from practice today were center Marcus Johansson and left wing Alexander Semin, both out because of illnesses suspected to be linked to a bug that has been going around the team. Andrew Boyd Gordon is out one to two weeks because of a lower body injury. Gordon has missed time previously with a sore knee. Defenseman Jeff Schultz, meantime, continues to heal from a broken thumb that's expected to keep him out four to six weeks.

Defenseman Mike Green participated fully in practice, and he said he felt much better today after missing Sunday's 7-0 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

"It was frustrating," Green said. "Obviously I want to be out there. Especially at a time like this, I think it's important that we go through this as a group, and we come out of it stronger. As bad as things are, they can only get better now. It's frustrating to watch those games."

The practice time gives Green and the rest of the defense a chance to work more together during a season in which the club's ideal blue line combinations have been a work in progress largely because of injury. Poti and Green have missed games this season, and with Schultz out until next year, the Capitals have lacked continuity on defense.

Washington also is trying to get defenseman Scott Hannan, recently acquired from Colorado in exchange for forward Tomas Fleischmann, comfortable with the rotation.

"When you don't practice a lot, it's amazing how quick things fall, and that was the case I think," Boudreau said. "You've heard me talk a lot of times that we need a good practice. This is a great week. We have two practices, tomorrow and Friday. Hopefully with this one we'll get on track to beat these guys."

By Gene Wang  | December 14, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Marcus Johansson, Mike Green, Tom Poti  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Bruce Boudreau on goaltending: 'We're not going after anybody else'
Next: On the Capitals' quest for balance

Comments

Hillarious !!

George McPhee is the SOLE reason the Caps will never, EVER, win a championship.

I'm sure somewhere, Eric Belanger is laughing.

George "the defense is complete" McPhee !
Classic....

Posted by: Cheef | December 14, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

nice job Katie maybe now all those ppl who whinned for a practice breakdown can stop trying to subtlely tell you they think tarik was better...pft. You're doing great!

but question. Andrew Gordon or Boyd Gordon is injured? thought A. Gordon was sent to hershey, and if it is B. Gordon maybe A.Gordon will be back in DC soon.

Also ducks practiced at kettler today. they ran some really interesting drills, should be a good game tomorrow.

Posted by: capsfan387 | December 14, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@jiggly (previous thread)

Pick-up the link at the 0:24 mark - LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asOmo8a4hrE

Posted by: puckman | December 14, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

BB is definitely the problem.
- He panics with making abrupt line changes all the time.
- He also hasn't settled on a starting goaltender since he has been head coach (Kolzig doesn't count).
- The team has not looked comfortable since he started making line changes every game.
- BB needs to make a decision on a starting netminder and settle his lines for at least a 8-10 game stretch.

Posted by: kickass10101 | December 14, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan

hey...I wanted a prtice update and now I have it! Thank you Katie! Nothing wrong with asking for something.


Question...is A-Gordn out or B-Gordon? because in the other article is just said gordon so I assumed B-gordon, but now I am confused. Also...isn't Semin a right wing on this team?

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Uh ok. It was because they weren't having practices. Ok, now I understand. Thanks BB!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 14, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Nope I ws wrong...he is listed as a l-wing, but I guess he switches to right when with Ovie?

Where is SAOTI when u need him!

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree, capsfan - Katie, you're doing a great job, thanks for all the updates. And, much as he seemed like a nice guy, I'm not sure how much hockey her predecessor really knew, or was just very good at channeling what BB / GMGM wanted to have in print. IMO.

I don't know if it's the "rotation," or if Scott Hannan is simply not quick enough anymore - he seems to leave pretty generous gaps for some of those opposition forwards. Also, it appears the Caps are simply a different team with and without Mike Green in the lineup. That said - BB, do you really have to play the guy almost half the game, this early in the season?

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 14, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Uh ok. It was because they weren't having practices. Ok, now I understand. Thanks BB!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 14, 2010 4:18 PM

of course - they must be working on their 'how to counteract a hot goalie' plays

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 14, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"When you don't practice a lot, it's amazing how quick things fall, and that was the case I think," Boudreau said.

So why didn't you hold a practice yesterday?

Posted by: puckman | December 14, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: getjiggly1

Lol. I realize you won't read this, but I can't resist playing along.

Sure, we're 4th in the league, but we have some serious issues.

Our goal differential is horrible. 98GF, 92GA. Goal differential of +6. The three teams ahead of us have GDs of +30, +29 and +18.

Our road record ranks 22nd in the league. Pitt and Philly are 1st and 3rd. Our home record is tops in the league, so I guess we have that going for us. Pitt and Philly are 7th 8th at home. Bottome line, the Caps have no chance against either of those two teams in a 7 games series.

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 14, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Read the by-line people. It's Gene Wang that posted this, not Katie. And Andrew Gordon practiced in Hershey this morning so I'm quite sure he meant Boyd Gordon.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 14, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Gene, Katie,
Did someone proof read this blog? Andrew Gordon was sent down to Hershey, Boyd Gordon is the Gordon out 1-2 weeks with a lower body injury.
And while a natural left wing, Semin plays right wing for the Capitals.

Posted by: Graveysgrl | December 14, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

@joe

poti's lack of involvement in the scrum is due to his perception that he's too valuable to lose as a 3rd man in. A Bieksa or Mitchell would have reacted differently.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

So Cheef, GMGM is at fault for the Caps playing crappy right now? Could you explain that one?

And aside from your well established blaming of GMGM for the bad economy, the hole in the ozone layer, global warming, the potato famine, the Exxon Valdez, Somali pirates, being the hidden gunman on the grassy knoll, the electrical wiring problem of British sportscars, disco, the epic choking of the NY Mets, the US not getting the 2022 World Cup, what do you think ails the Caps?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 14, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the typical damage control. Craps will wow for another 3 or so games, then falter again like wet tissue paper. Ovechkin and the other young'uns will focus on the games for a week, and then it's back to wine, women, and song.

Just admit the facts to yourself, craps fans(I'm looking at you, Mr. jigglypuff). That's your captain right there.

BTW, my Habs' Carey Price used to be that way too, but he fixed it up. You guys, on the other hand, will have these young'uns keep it up 'till they're 30 since BB will be here that far into the future. hahahaha.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | December 14, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

he did put together the roster and hire the coach.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"When you don't practice a lot, it's amazing how quick things fall, and that was the case I think," Boudreau said.

"I think" ??????

Boudreau is sounding more and more like Hanlon!

Posted by: puckman | December 14, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to read all the posts declaring the team's problems are behind them if they win their next gm

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Aw come on cstanton, Cheef doesn't need help throwing crap GMGM's way. I forgot to mention also GMGM's fault: gridlock, smog in LA, old Yeller getting rabies, French people being rude (I apoligize if I've offended anyone who might be French, have French relatives, who went to France on vacation, likes French wine, or has a poodle), Three Mile Island, New Orleans flooding and the spreading of the Sahara Desert.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 14, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

the 'basics' shouldn't be an issue you work on just when you're in mark knopfler's band.

how many times will we get caught with our pants down with regard to sloppy habits.? It's a comical neverending cycle.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

don't forget he is also responsible for the very hot miley hittin the 'salvia' pipe!

saliva on whose pipe, whaat?

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Cheef,

Email me. I can't find your address.

spceel at yahoo

Posted by: Leeguru | December 14, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

McPhee is 100% at fault for building a Paper Thin team. The recent play on validates everything I've been saying for years. Sure, win 5 in a row, I'll still know that a Stanley Cup will NEVER be won with McPhee as Caps GM.

Enjoy the Prez Trophy
Screw Belanger (The latest classless move)
Roc da Red

Thank you George "the defense is complete" McPhee

Posted by: Cheef | December 14, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Err - Katie didn't post the practice update. That's why we got some details.

Posted by: keeef | December 14, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

My wife got mad at me for not raking the leaves. I said "It didn't get done because of the hot goaltender". She didn't believe me! How do BB and GMGM get away with saying crap like that all the time?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 14, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

With all of the angst in our CI posts this week, it is only fitting that the trolls will coming crawling out from the bridges to spew their nonsense. Although BigGameSid is really annoying, he or she sometimes posts something meaningful (yesterday I saw a few). In contrast, we have the Canadians fan slurpeesarecool who offers nothing but poorly thought out taunting. However, we have to consider two factors. First, he or she is a Canadians fan and we need to go no further than the booing of our National Anthem at their games to comment on the character of Canadians fans. And you think New Yorkers are bad? Secondly, slurpees are cool? Grow up, dude. Most of us gave up slurpees when we were 15 and switched over to beer and coffee, a man's drink. So, slurpeesarecool, why don't you take your cherry slurpee and cotton candy back under the bridge and let us continue our discussions.

Posted by: AADCDERM | December 14, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

we have a cheef and a keeef. Hmm what else rhymes with that?

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

You know Lee, GMGM coulda had Bryzgalov way back when...

Posted by: Steve_R | December 14, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

oh shut up

Posted by: Leeguru | December 14, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to read all the posts declaring the team's problems are behind them if they win their next gm

Posted by: cstanton1

come on darling :) even me the koolaid addict isn't going to pronounce the caps healed from one win. No one is saying they look good right now...I just don't think this team is hopeless.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

All a great "veteran" goalie would do for this team is cover up the exsisting problem... kinda like spraying a whole can of Lysol in your stinky bathroom.

Eventually you're gonna have to clean up the bathroom unless you wanna keep buying boxes of Lysol.

Posted by: joek443 | December 14, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Some wounds never heal

Posted by: Steve_R | December 14, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

gm coulda jumped in and grabbed hartnell, timmonen, and coburn for dirt cheap also. That was the launching point of the philly turnaround

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

it has taken martin and michalek 30 games to figure it out and get adjusted for the pens. so why are we throwing hanon under the bus.

Posted by: samb99 | December 14, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to read all the posts declaring the team's problems are behind them if they win their next gm

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 4:47 PM

they've had a practice - all is behind now
if they could just figure out how to a 'flash' like player for the 2nd line - all would be great :D

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 14, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

you are right babydoll, I stand corrected. I guess mine was a preemptive measure so I didn't have to see red when the usual suspects started crankin up the caps bandwagon on thurs morning

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

but now I might have to do it...just for u :)

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

ok, but i'll withold my 'favors'

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Has the "date" just started between capscoach and cstanton1? Will they go to the caps game together tomorrow night?

Posted by: MReilly9 | December 14, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djakYXqKwC4

great video of some beauty caps fans taking out their aggression on the boards at MSG

Posted by: PaulWilliamDavis | December 14, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

It's love at first fight.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 14, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

@PaulWilliamDavis - Yeah, I remember seen those fans punching the glass, funny.
I didnt notice they got thrown out of the their seats tho.

Posted by: guer_j | December 14, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

the capitals allstars need some help vote for our players i cant stand seeing crosby as the top voted player in the league lets how the nhl why washingtons americas hockey capital

Posted by: funkyroyal38 | December 14, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse


@Puckman:

They didn't hold a practice yesterday because they played back to back nights this past weekend. They normally get Sundays off as their one day to rest each week but with them playing a game in NY that night he gave them yesterday off instead plus they had two days between Sunday's game and their next home game on Wednesday to get ready for Wednesday's game. He also has Thursday and Friday this week to hold practice as well since they only have one game this week and it is at home, so no traveling until Friday afternoon. On top of that several players were recovering from the flu as well as some new players coming down with the flu and he would rather have them rest a day.

Posted by: theresa21 | December 14, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse


@Puckman:

They didn't hold a practice yesterday because they played back to back nights this past weekend. They normally get Sundays off as their one day to rest each week but with them playing a game in NY that night he gave them yesterday off instead plus they had two days between Sunday's game and their next home game on Wednesday to get ready for Wednesday's game. He also has Thursday and Friday this week to hold practice as well since they only have one game this week and it is at home, so no traveling until Friday afternoon. On top of that several players were recovering from the flu as well as some new players coming down with the flu and he would rather have them rest a day.

Posted by: theresa21 | December 14, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

the wife said I can go.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

the capitals allstars need some help vote for our players i cant stand seeing crosby as the top voted player in the league lets how the nhl why washingtons americas hockey capital

Posted by: funkyroyal38

I hate crosby, but he is the best player in the league (right now at least)Allstar game is the least of our worries...maybe none will get in and they can have more practice time.

Posted by: capscoach | December 14, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

So Semin's sick again. Or did he really never recover from when he was sick last week? Or did he relapse?

My bet is that he would have been more likely to have controlled himself better when Liles had whacked him had he been feeling better. I know for a fact that when I'm sick, I'm much grouchier than normal.

It seems that Semin would have been better off if he had been given Saturday's game off to rest instead of playing.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 14, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

How 'bout a trade with the Sens.

Fehr, Schultz, MP and Neuvy for Fischer, Phillips and Rundblad

And then Chimera + 3rd pick for Clutterbuck to the Wild

Posted by: Walle | December 14, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I believe it would take Eakin to get Clutterbuck. Even then maybe not.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 14, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Eakin i wouldn't give though.
how many picks have we traded away for the coming two years? i lost track

Posted by: Walle | December 14, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Bouchard, Clutterbuck and Burns for
Fehr, Schultz, MP, Chimera and a 1st?

Posted by: Walle | December 14, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

My ears perked up when I heard the guys on NHL Power Play lauding the toughness the Pens have surrounded Crosby with. They spoke about how a lack of team toughness had to have contributed to the derailment of Lindros and Lemieux's careers. One of them mentioned Mario having to fight "Kelly Miller" of the Caps (it was Bobby Gould, who ko'd Mario w/one punch...I was there). The bottom line, they were commending the Pens specifically, and other teams in general, for surrounding their star, skilled players with guys who could do some heavy lifting.

I thought of the Caps, and with Erskine, DJK, Hendricks, and Bradley I was excited that we would do VERY WELL in that department at the start of the year (and not to dismiss Green, Laich, even SEMIN who've shown even they have a tipping point). So what happens? DJK never gets a shot, Erskine is labled a lame-duck, and the team (minus Hendricks and Erskine) degrades into a bunch of floating individuals devoid of any heart, passion, or intensity. Their spots in the lineup guaranteed by the coach, who could blame the chosen and golden ones for not playing with a sense of urgency?

It's time to play intense, physical hockey oozing with badass attitude. We've got to get the four mentioned above into the lineup, and they'll have to lead the way and INITIATE confrontations, not merely respond to them

On offense Laich, Fehr, Chimera, Gordon, Steckel and Knuble have to be told that their lack of physicality is contributing to the offensive slumps of those paid to score. Maybe if they'd camp in the crease or take the body once in awhile, we'd wear-down some d-pairings and perhaps buy our playmakers and snipers some time and space later in the game.

On defense Hannan, Poti, Carlson, Alzner, ****55, and Sloan/Fahey need to play with some determination and intensity. Hannan and Poti have been the worst; their statistics bear this out. I thought Carlson was the second-coming of Mike Green; where are the points? Even worse, he's tied w/Poti for hits the last three games with ZERO. Fortunately or not, Alzner has shown signs of coming to life and Fahey has looked steady in his two games. These seven need to be told they'll be competing for 4 spots, with Greening nailing one down on the first pairing and Erskine one on the third.

One step at a time, but it better be quick and it better be fast.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 14, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Why do we want their Bouchard? He's overpaid and he's been hurt forever.

Maybe we can get THEIR Schultz.

And they can have OUR Bouchard.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 14, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

a decent 2nd line center, to pair with Semin. He might be overpaid, i agree with you on that. But our options aren't that many.
To get Burns (big hitter, hard slapper good shotblocker) and Clutterbuck (i know you like him) we might have to throw him in to fill all our gaps.

Posted by: Walle | December 14, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

HBO saying BB is very potty mouthed in new series. Some quotes: "You guys better start playing #%$^& hockey or I'm going to lose my &*$#% job!". "Let's see how many different %$^*# line combos I can %$^#@ come up with!". "It was the &%$*# hot goaltender!". "Call my ^%$*$ agent and tell him I'll do more %$#^& commercials!". "Just keep $%&*@ shooting from the blue line, they'll %$#^@ go in at some point!". "All of this is DJ Kings $%#^@ fault!".

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 14, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Under no circumstances do we trade Eakin. He somehow slipped under George's "I only draft wimps" radar. He is the kind of player our next GM will need to build a
playoff ready group.

Yea, I said it. GMGM drafts wimps !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 14, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

vermontcaps

Agreed as usual. The Caps are one of the biggest teams in the league, make them play BIG. Let the forwards grind it out/wear down their D in their end and make their forwards pay in our end. Let King take on their tough guy instead of Bradley/Hendricks taking a beating. King WILL quickly regain his form if given the games/ice time, that I can assure you.

By doing these extremely simple things it will instantly turn the momentum in the Caps favor. The ice will open up for the skilled players (almost 'pixie dust' magic like) and it will be like someone finally flipped on the light switch.

It's not freakin' rocket science! The fact BB does not understand these basic fundementals of the game is frightening!

Posted by: FLDave | December 14, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

vermontcaps: Your post there reminds me of a William Faulkner novel. Set in the post-Civil war south, this story would feature such characters as "Boss" Boudreau, Uncle Ted, Jim Bob Semin and Boss' favorite whipping boy, John Boy.

"John Boy, tote that bucket!"
"Yes, boss."
"Mind you, John Boy, you're seventh in line for bucket totin'!"
"Yes, boss."
Jim Bob: "Boss, them Yankee carperbaggers is comin'. Should I wake up DJ and tell him he should be fixin for a fight?"
"No. We don't need him. We'll outmanuever the carpetbaggers."
Jim Bob: "Out what?"

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 14, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

tominsocal1

I don't know what to make of that post other than 'puff, puff pass, don't bogart dude'...

Posted by: FLDave | December 14, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, Keith Jones just said that BB is staying as the Caps coach so now we just need to move on to the next game that the Caps will be playing, tomorrow night.

Posted by: MReilly9 | December 14, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

MReilly9

Keith Jones was a hack player and that trend continues into his 'broadcasting career'. He's probably right about BB, but I never liked him as a Cap or his post career 'F the Caps (who gave me a break so I could become a Flyer) and his blind Flyer's loyalty' attitude.

Posted by: FLDave | December 14, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Hillarious !!

George McPhee is the SOLE reason the Caps will never, EVER, win a championship.

I'm sure somewhere, Eric Belanger is laughing.

George "the defense is complete" McPhee !
Classic....

Posted by: Cheef | December 14, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Actually the hilarious part is how you only come on the boards when there is a losing streak in order to tell everyone "I told you so." That is so fecking funny

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 14, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

I love to write, I love the Caps...I love writing about the Caps.

Instead of saying little in a lot of posts, I'm just going to throw out what I have to say and let ya'll run with it.

My mission for #4, I think and hope, is complete; it's up to Johnny E. now to KEEP IT UP.

BTW, I liked your post....very Mark Twain-ish (oh no, now you've got me thinking of the Gilded Team....)

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 14, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

How about someone like Dubinski. I really enjoyed watching him play against the Caps on Sunday.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Cody Eakin scored for Team Canada tonight (semi serious scrimmage against CIS all-stars) by taking a beating in front of the net. Can't wait to see him next season.

Posted by: jakopz | December 14, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Vermont caps and fl dave

You 2 are right on the money

Posted by: capper3 | December 14, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Vermont caps and fl dave

You 2 are right on the money

Posted by: capper3 | December 14, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Concerning the players I called-out in my earlier post, I'd offer any of 'em plus picks/prospects to get us what we need: a real power forward, a strong 2-way center with an edge, and another hard-nosed dman to complement Erskine. (Sorry, we've got one to many of Hannan/Poti/****55/Alzner/Sloan). If anyone down on the farm can satisfy any of those needs, they should be given a shot.

Unfortunately, I'm not confident anything we do will matter much anyway. I've written how BB has offended the Hockey Gods multiple times this year. In commenting on the goalies earlier, BB reminded me of the greatest offense to the Hockey Gods of all time: his snub of Theodore in game #5 last year. Simply put, BB's decision was shameful and I think ALL THE POOR DECISIONS he's made since then (concerning his treatment of players)...well, we're reaping what BB sowed.

Four days until Boston, c'mon GMGM and pull the plug; I don't want to see what I saw at MSG

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 14, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

From new home in So. Calif., think I've read everything now (whew!), but didn't see any mention of Crosby's glowing write-up in The Wall Street Journal today. Nor SI.com's article saying a loss to the Ducks could be BB's end. Can only imagine the mood and talk at Greene Turtle tomorrow.

Not much has been said about HBO's 24/7 and its effect. (Someone incorrectly said a coach change would be a fiasco for HBO. No. Controversy, turmoil and injury are the lifeblood of entertainment reporting.) I expected Ovie's potty mouth, but not the sentences mentioned above. First episode could make tomorrow a double whammy day.

Many talk trades. Aren't you getting tired of all the "if only the Caps would -tweak something-" talk? We're still yelling the same stuff, like "Get in front of the net!"

Re. BB's desperation line changes. Not only has teamwork suffered, but Semin's shot that took out Ovie... Horrible!

Yes, BB said "I think." Worse, after stammering with periods of silence, Gabby said, "I'm looking for the right words here." There were no right words.

Some have said Ted & GMGM will not make change because they want to sell trinkets. How about their need to sell seats? Ted is committed to hockey - good hockey - good, entertaining, profitable hockey. And that takes winning - especially in the playoffs.

How close are we to a change? My wife just said today that we should look into following the Ducks and Kings.

Ted and/or George: Do something about the coaching!!

Posted by: OccasionalCritic | December 14, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I luv how the Caps bandwagon fans have begun to slash their throats.
Way to be front runners chumps.

As for the real fans:
Great piece on NL:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?columnist=lebrun_pierre&id=5918807

Posted by: Rocc00 | December 14, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

OccCritic: Are you going to Ducks game Feb 16th? I was going to sit near Caps Fan Club seats but they are $90 in the lower bowl.

Sorry, but name is tominsocal1 not johndrockefellerinsocal1.

Needless to say, I'll be looking for cheaper seats esp since I need 4.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 14, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

hey Rocci,

some of us REAL fans laugh whenever GMGM or anyone else on here compare the Caps to Detroit and the player featured in that article is one of the reasons why...

who's our Lidstrom supposed to be, Green?? LOL or the positionally sound Schultzie???

Posted by: joek443 | December 14, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Flyers beat Pens 3-2.
Hope we pull out a win tomorrow.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 14, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

penguins streak is over.

Posted by: natresgroup | December 14, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I am fascinated how both the Flyers and Pens play. We have no chance against these teams in the playoffs. My goodness they play tough strong hockey. Wow what a game. Look how angry Crosby looked after they lost the game. he looked furious.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The Caps list Semin as a LW so, the article is correct on that point. samb99 made a great point about the PIT d-men. Give Hannan a chance, I think he will do just fine. I'm all for losing as many as it takes to get BB fired (please take out GMGM at the same time. GO DUCKS, get those two fired!

Posted by: chriscaps | December 14, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Just caught the Pens vs Flyers highlights and the thing that caught my eye is how both teams have a net presence and we do not. Also the Malkin one-timer that scored was at the top of the circle. That's where we need to get Ovi. He's way too far out on our powerplay. The other glaring difference is both of these teams are big, strong, and play tough hockey. We do not and don't think that we can...not with the current roster.

I think will break the winless streak soon, but we can't compete with these teams in the playoffs without making some moves.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | December 14, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

He looked downright sinister with that John Waters stache.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 14, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I am fascinated how both the Flyers and Pens play. We have no chance against these teams in the playoffs.

Posted by: pkme

I thought the same thing. As much as we all want to think the Caps can match up against these guys, they are really nowhere close.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 14, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Boy that Crosby is on fire this year. What I find most interesting about The Pens is how intense they play. Everyone on their team is moving at all time. Both The Flyers and Pens come back to help out their D. Both teams play with a chip on their shoulder. Hey they play angry. Wasn't that are lingo for this year. Stay Angry or Play angry. Whatever.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Semin illness? He'll be out 2or3 weeks.Talk about soft! Let's trade him now before he goes to the KHL.

Posted by: sporttraveler | December 14, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I still thought we should've re-signed Matt Cooke after the 08 season. For awhile, I remember a lot of us thinking we were gonna go out and sign Orpik that summer as well.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | December 14, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Flyers and Pens play at about an '8' intensity overall. The Caps play at about a '4'

To get to that level they'd have to fire their coach and GM, bring in the right coach and GM, make about 4 or 5 player deals, and then need time to balance their newfound energy and aggression with a cohesion so they're not just running around disorganized.

piece o cake!

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 14, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

With all of the angst in our CI posts this week, it is only fitting that the trolls will coming crawling out from the bridges to spew their nonsense. Although BigGameSid is really annoying, he or she sometimes posts something meaningful (yesterday I saw a few). In contrast, we have the Canadians fan slurpeesarecool who offers nothing but poorly thought out taunting. However, we have to consider two factors. First, he or she is a Canadians fan and we need to go no further than the booing of our National Anthem at their games to comment on the character of Canadians fans. And you think New Yorkers are bad? Secondly, slurpees are cool? Grow up, dude. Most of us gave up slurpees when we were 15 and switched over to beer and coffee, a man's drink. So, slurpeesarecool, why don't you take your cherry slurpee and cotton candy back under the bridge and let us continue our discussions.
------------
I would like to inform you that I'm a Marylander and that I used to be a part of this fandom, until the Habs showed me the light. So, you're little rant means NOTHING to me. BTW, you probably think everyone loves Don Cherry over there. NOT THE CASE, since he's Mr. Laff and Mr. Booin. Hahaha.

BTW, I just wanted a funny name.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | December 14, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

AADCDERM - Poor girl. Must suck being one of the "light siders". You and getjigglypuff can't even figure out finishing a check is or how valuable it is. Assuming I'm a Canadien? Ha, I must emphasize that I have a birth certificate from the local Holy Cross hospital in this area, AND that I'm a Chinese dude with no French connections. Try again. lololol.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | December 14, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Redskins>>>>>>>>>>Craps.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | December 14, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Semin is not soft. He played 73 games last year. What I find most interesting is over four seasons he averages a point per game. First I do not believe any professional athelete is soft in any sport. At least compared to all of us fans they are pretty tough.

2006–07 Washington Capitals NHL 77 38 35 73 90 — — — — —
2007–08 Washington Capitals NHL 63 26 16 42 54 7 3 5 8 8
2008–09 Washington Capitals NHL 62 34 45 79 77 14 5 9 14 16
2009–10 Washington Capitals NHL 73 40 44 84 66 7 0 2 2 4

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Patrick Wey was selected to the preliminary roster for Team USA in the World Juniors. Cody Eakin made it through today's cuts for Team Canada.

Posted by: zmega | December 14, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Here was McPhee's explanation for not signing Cooke.

"Obviously, Matt Bradley has been with us longer and was committed to us,' McPhee said. 'You can't keep everybody."

I love Brads, and Bradley has been a fourth line player, and Cooke is a third line guy. Although I know that Clark was set to return for the 08-09 season, I just don't like the reasoning. Then again, when has anything been reasonable? Alright, getting Feds, Huet, and Cooke was a great move, and letting Huet go afterward and signing Theodore turned out to be alright as well.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalsinsider/updates-on-cooke-feds-laich.html#comments

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | December 14, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I am fascinated how both the Flyers and Pens play. We have no chance against these teams in the playoffs. My goodness they play tough strong hockey. Wow what a game. Look how angry Crosby looked after they lost the game. he looked furious.

Posted by: pkme

Agreed. The Caps stand no chance against either of these teams in a 7 game series.

It's not just toughness either, the fundamentals are there. Puck support, consistent and aggressive forchecking, shot blocking, playing both ends of the ice. Both teams can cycle the puck really well, which leads to more than a 1 and done in the O zone.

Both teams are built with the post season in mind.

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 14, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I just listened to Babcock on NHL live. What a guy. Sounds like a coach that is in control and composed. Can The Caps trade BB for Babcock. Would the Redwings do that trade?

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

@pkme

Good post on Semin not being soft. Granted he's missed his share of games over the years. So far this year, he has not missed any, despite playing through illness (last month), a nagging injury (less than 2 weeks ago), and that flu going through the locker room. He probably should not have played on Saturday and I'm sure the lack of health contributed to him "overreacting" to Liles.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 14, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I think Semin is the least of the Capitals issues. He will come back and be strong and be on a tear soon. The contract issue has to be weighing on him. They can start negotiations with him Jan 1, 2011. He does not want to play in The KHL. No disrespect but The KHL is not even in the same calibre as The NHL. Folks on here just want to hate on Semin. He is eccentric but he sure does know how to play hockey.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

There is no player who has disappointed me more on ths squad than Fehr. I thought at one point he was going to be really good. He is so one dimensional. I used to be a fan but not anymore.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

There is no player who has disappointed me more on ths squad than Fehr. I thought at one point he was going to be really good. He is so one dimensional. I used to be a fan but not anymore.

Posted by: pkme

I think people forget that he was drafted 7 years ago. If that's not enough time to develop your game, it may not happen. Especially considered he was drafted before Getzlaf, Burns, Richards, Perry and Kesler.

I'v heard people say that 2003 was the deepest draft of the last 10 years, and it kills me that out of all those players, we got Eric bleeping Fehr.

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 14, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Fletch
I will say that Fehr is better than about
12 guys in that draft depending on who is doing the talking. . A few never even cut the mustard. Maybe we can talk to the Ducks and out of their sense of fairness they will give us Perry or Getzlaf because we really meant to draft one of them. It seems completely resonable to me. I went through every player in that draft today and it is interesting that how good the players were from pick 15-30.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

2003
Draft
in case anyone cares

Round one
# Player Nationality NHL team College/junior/club team
1 Marc-Andre Fleury (Goaltender) Canada Pittsburgh Penguins
(from Florida Panthers) Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL)
2 Eric Staal (Centre) Canada Carolina Hurricanes Peterborough Petes (OHL)
3 Nathan Horton (Right Wing) Canada Florida Panthers
(from Pittsburgh Penguins) Oshawa Generals (OHL)
4 Nikolai Zherdev (Right Wing) Russia Columbus Blue Jackets CSKA Moscow (Russia)
5 Thomas Vanek (Left Wing) Austria Buffalo Sabres University of Minnesota (NCAA)
6 Milan Michalek (Left Wing) Czech Republic San Jose Sharks HC Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic)
7 Ryan Suter (Defence) United States Nashville Predators U.S. National Team Development Program (NAHL)
8 Braydon Coburn (Defence) Canada Atlanta Thrashers Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
9 Dion Phaneuf (Defence) Canada Calgary Flames Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
10 Andrei Kostitsyn (Right Wing) Belarus Montreal Canadiens CSKA Moscow (Russia)
11 Jeff Carter (Centre) Canada Philadelphia Flyers
(from Phoenix Coyotes) Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
12 Hugh Jessiman (Right Wing) United States New York Rangers Dartmouth College (NCAA)
13 Dustin Brown (Right Wing) United States Los Angeles Kings Guelph Storm (OHL)
14 Brent Seabrook (Defence) Canada Chicago Blackhawks Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
15 Robert Nilsson (Right Wing) Sweden New York Islanders Leksands IF (Sweden)
16 Steve Bernier (Right Wing) Canada San Jose Sharks
(from Boston Bruins) Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
17 Zach Parise (Centre) United States New Jersey Devils
(from Edmonton Oilers) University of North Dakota (NCAA)
18 Eric Fehr (Right Wing) Canada Washington Capitals Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
19 Ryan Getzlaf (Centre) Canada Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
20 Brent Burns (Defence) Canada Minnesota Wild Brampton Battalion (OHL)
21 Mark Stuart (Defence) United States Boston Bruins
(from Toronto Maple Leafs) Colorado College (NCAA)
22 Marc-Antoine Pouliot (Centre) Canada Edmonton Oilers
(from St. Louis Blues) Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL)
23 Ryan Kesler (Centre) United States Vancouver Canucks Ohio State University (NCAA)
24 Mike Richards (Centre) Canada Philadelphia Flyers Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
25 Anthony Stewart (Right Wing) Canada Florida Panthers
(from Tampa Bay Lightning) Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
26 Brian Boyle (Centre) United States Los Angeles Kings
(from Colorado Avalanche) St. Sebastian's (USHS)
27 Jeff Tambellini (Left Wing) Canada Los Angeles Kings
(from Detroit Red Wings) University of Michigan (NCAA)
28 Corey Perry (Right Wing) Canada Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
(from Dallas Stars) London Knights (OHL)
29 Patrick Eaves (Right Wing) United States Ottawa Senators Boston College (NCAA)
30 Shawn Belle (Defence) Canada St. Louis Blues
(from New Jersey Devils) Tri-City Americans (WHL)

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

@pkme,
I was just looking at the list now. The list of North American players alone is impressive. I have no clue how the scouts put these lists together, but Fehr was ranked as the 15th overall NA prospect.

Then again, Getzlaf was ranked 5th overall, and he was there for the taking. We all know what they say about hindsight.

Anyway, here's the list, if anyone cares.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/hockey/news/2003/06/17/draftrankings_naskaters/

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 14, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

In the year Semin was drafted Nash, Ward and Semin were the best players taken in that draft. Steve Eminger went before Semin. Boyd Gordon after Semin. Stop the Semin hating. Yes he is crazy and a mystery but he should stay with the Capitals.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I misunderstood, I thought you were talking about the draft rankings, not the actual draft. I can't tell you how many times I've stared at that draft order.

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 14, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

compare the 2003 draft to 2002 and it is no contest. 2003 smoked 2002.

Posted by: pkme | December 14, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

If you think about I think Mcphee did a good job in 2002. There are a ton of players from that draft who never made it to the NHL. Give credit where credit is due.

Posted by: pkme | December 15, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

hockeynightincanada: Caps could not sign Cooke after 2008. There was absolutely no money. Well, had they traded say Bradley, or if they knew in advance Clark would go downhill and had traded him ahead of time, otherwise the Nylander contract was more of an albatross around McPhee's neck than Ted Kennedy's driving record when he tried to run for President.

In a related story, when asked if he would fire Boudreau if the Caps were to lose to the Ducks, McPhee said, "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it."

Cooke was a great addition to the team. Kind of a poor man's Sean Avery but with far less baggage. My posts are here, somewhere, from that time, saying it was really a shame we couldn't keep him.

Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I strongly advocated 3 yrs/$15M for Huet as soon as the season ended. McPhee dilly-dallied and in this case it saved him.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 15, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

tom,

where did Mcphee say that about BB? It would be nice to have Cooke on this team now. He is one mean son of a gun.

Posted by: pkme | December 15, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

The interesting thing with all of the press asking the question about BB is usually the owner and GM will say the coach has our complete support (When they actually intend to keep said coach). You here nothing but crickets from Ted and George. That does not bode well for BB. Ted would issue a press release and say BB is my guy. But nothing. In fact on Ted's Take he directs people to a blog discussing BB's future and the teams woes without any real comment. Interesting. I think BB is done if they lose tomorrow.

Posted by: pkme | December 15, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Great article by Katie today and here is where the rubber meets the road. Read BigBaby say his system is not at fault whereas hockey insiders are laughing at how predictable the system is:

Bruce Boudreau, who recently marked the third anniversary of his being named head coach, dismissed suggestions that opponents have discovered a magic formula for beating his team.

BigBaby is tied to a losing system. Martin figured it out and everyone knows how to stimie the BB system -- line up at the bluelines, clog up the middle, screw with the stars, and make the Caps shoot from the perimeter. Brads and Hendricks and Knuble have all said in code that the Caps are NOT playing a playoff oriented system.

Drop BigBaby in 2010!

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | December 15, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

I remember BB would compare this team to the Oilers. My goodnes the Oilers had a lot of grit. The Oilers of the 80's, Islanders of the 80's, Canadians of the 70's are in the modern era the greatest teams ever assembled. Sure The Red Wings of the modern era are very good but still not in that range. Caps and Oilers not even close.

Posted by: pkme | December 15, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't believe the comment we're getting back to basics and the details, hockey more than any other sport is about details, winning loose pucks, corner battles, clogging lanes/blocking shots, tying up sticks, worse than that did you hear BB this morning on radio "i hate losing, i don't tolerate losing, i went back and looked it up i haven't lost more than 3 games in a row since 2001, what makes me mad is i don't like losing streaks" I almost drove into off the road, "I" counted 4 or 5 I's and a ME. HOW ABOUT A "WE" or an "US" BRUCE ? ? ? ? I know that I hate the Caps losing to but to ME I would hope that MY coach would spend his time making some adjustments instead of going back in his diary to see if this is his worst PERSONAL losing streak. BB IS A JOKE and his message is fading fast. But thank god he can fall back on his acting career.

Posted by: collegehockeyfan | December 15, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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