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Tonight's lineup: Leafs at Caps

Jose Theodore will start tonight at Verizon Center as the Caps open a three-game homestand against Toronto. Vesa Toskala, meantime, will be in net for the 28th place Maple Leafs.

Based on the warmup, tonight's lineup should look like this:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Fleischmann-Semin
Chimera-Morrison-Fehr
Gordon-Steckel-Bradley

Defense
Schultz-Green
Sloan-Poti
Morrisonn-Carlson

Goalies
Theodore
Neuvirth

I'll have more later.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 15, 2010; 6:44 PM ET
 | Tags: Toronto Maple Leafs  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps recall John Carlson (updated)
Next: Caps 6, Leafs 1

Comments

So Semin is playing??

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | January 15, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with Pothier?

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

LETS GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 15, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I would really like to see Ovie do something special tonight. Its been a while since he has been spectacular. He's overdue!

Glad to see Semin is toughing it out!
IRONMAN!!!

Build on that last game Theo, BUILD!!!

GO PP!!! CONSISTENCY!!!

GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

...also...

JOHN CARLSON IS A GAWD DAMN AMERICAN HERO!!!

...and a Washington Capital!

:)

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

are u kidding?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

SOMEBODY MAY HAVE HEARD ME...

OOOOOOVVVVVIIIIIIEEEE!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Bears at Albany tonight.
Per John Walton, John Carlson took morning skate with the Bears in Albany and then hopped a flight to DC.

Two minutes into the game, Bears had a 5 on 3 PP and Aucoin scored, his 20th of the season.

Bears 1 Rats 0

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

nice saves by theo

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

bad call, we were beaten but clean clear by Poti.
Its hockey, stuff happens, let um play

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Perreault scores
Bears 2, Rats 0
Bacashihua in net for Hershey

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

SOMEBODY MAY HAVE HEARD ME...

OOOOOOVVVVVIIIIIIEEEE!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking the same thing, you called it :)

Posted by: BlondeCapsFan | January 15, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Another team with an aggressive forecheck forcing the Caps to make mistakes and take penalites in their own.

To me, this is the number one issue that needs to be addressed. Our defense is not able to handle opposing forechecks effectively enough. It's the forwards, too, in some cases but I see at as mostly a problem with our defensemen.

It's not the skill players that hurt us. It's the fast, gritty players.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Should Green be on the PK?

Posted by: jgrasse | January 15, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Bears 3, Rats 0
Giroux scores

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Bears 4, Rats 0
Bourque scores!
Still the 1st period

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Carlson is looking good so far.

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Should Green be on the PK?

Posted by: jgrasse | January 15, 2010 7:22 PM |

BB loves Mike Green....its RIDE or DIE!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Bears 4, Rats 0
Bourque scores!
Still the 1st period

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse
----------
Bear's are doing work.

I wonder when we will see Bourque recalled

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Not that I'm hoping any of the forwards get injured or anything like that, that is.

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Bears 5, Rats 0
Rats changed goalies after the last goal and Beagle scores on the very next shot!
Still 5 minutes left in the 1st.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

2 firsts and a second for Kessel
making 5+mil per year on what a 5 yr deal?

worth it?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

E.WTF?

yawning net

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

He misses one, but pots in another. Nice shift by Fehr!

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

WTF HE MADE UP FOR IT!!!!

:)

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

The player that created that entire sequence of events was Brendan Morrison.

He sprinted across the goal mouth and beat a Leafs player to the puck and kept it in the offensive zone.

That led to a penalty being drawn and Fehr's first scoring opportunity.

Ultimately, Fehr got a second chance and capitalized.

Credit to Brendan Morrison for making that all possible. He generally hasn't shown the speed he once had but he showed it on that play.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Theo is having himself a game.

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

The player that created that entire sequence of events was Brendan Morrison.

He sprinted across the goal mouth and beat a Leafs player to the puck and kept it in the offensive zone.

That led to a penalty being drawn and Fehr's first scoring opportunity.

Ultimately, Fehr got a second chance and capitalized.

Credit to Brendan Morrison for making that all possible. He generally hasn't shown the speed he once had but he showed it on that play.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse
--------------
Seems Bruce has finally found the right line combinations.

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

E.WTF?

yawning net

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:38 PM

on the replay - it looked like it would have gone in but deflected off of the goalies stick
my first thought was 'how could you miss that?'

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 15, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

The day the Caps become an above average team in terms of handling opposing forechecks and applying more pressure with their own forecheck is the day we are going to take the next step in our progression.

It's amazing how much we accomplish right now largely through a softer, skill game. Once we add that little bit of extra grit and learn to work out of our own end better, this team will be even more exciting to watch.

I'm interested to see what a guy like Della Rovere can bring to the table. Perhaps, he could become an Avery, Downie, Cooke type that will add a little more edge to our forecheck.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

@elicea

I hope you are right. They look good on paper. We definitely need to establish some chemistry going into the latter half of the season.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Yea, it looked like Fehr's shot on the open net was headed right into the top left corner but hit the top of Toskala's stick.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

man

that reply of fehr deflection is a thing of beauty

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

@elicea

I hope you are right. They look good on paper. We definitely need to establish some chemistry going into the latter half of the season.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse
-----------------
The chemistry between lines 1, 2 and 4-from my perspective-are pretty evident. The third line is the only one I'm not all that convinced with. Recently, however, it seems they're finally starting to click.

The only glaring mistake, as tmac2yao has repeatedly posted and preached over and over again, is Caps' inability to soundly deal with the opposing teams' forecheck and cleanly exit out of their own zone.

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Bears 6, Rats 0
Boyd Kane scores at the start of the 2nd.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

KNUBES!

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

silly river rats

Posted by: uncatim | January 15, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I totally called Knuble's goal :o)

Posted by: cbs75 | January 15, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Some nice passing on the Knuble goal.

Posted by: zimbar | January 15, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

we good

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

WOOOOT! 2nd of the night!

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I would really like to see Ovie do something special tonight. Its been a while since he has been spectacular. He's overdue!

Glad to see Semin is toughing it out!
IRONMAN!!!

Build on that last game Theo, BUILD!!!

GO PP!!! CONSISTENCY!!!

GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse


Um, wtf_e_fehr, message received!!!

Posted by: cbs75 | January 15, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Rats broke the shutout.
Bears 6 Rats 1

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

And the rout continues, and the Bears are spreading the wealth around...Andrew Gordon scores!
Bears 7 Rats 1

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

nice hand-eye coordination by Poti

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

@cbs75

imagine my joy...

:)

GO CAPS!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Have we ever found out what the deal is with the Capstronaut?

Posted by: zimbar | January 15, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Nobody should blame Green for taking that penalty. I'm not saying anybody was blaming him but just in case they do...

Ovechkin bobbled the puck at the point which led to the rush the other way.

It was also a marginal call against Green but he did good just to hustle back after the turnover.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Ovi has been so dominant tonight. Can you believe that he has had a hand in every single oal scored?

Fehr has developed into such valuable player.

I can't get excited no matter how great Theo plays--and he is playing well tonight. I've gone down this road before-- thinking that he finally turned the corner and we finally have a solid goalie, only to be let down after a few games.

Posted by: caraveli | January 15, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

too much zone time on the pk

Posted by: cbs75 | January 15, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Awe. no shutout :/

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

You must have really hated Olie than.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Steckel and I think Backstrom had a chance to get the puck out up near the point by the penalty boxes.

They didn't win the battle, the puck stays in, Toronto scores.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

The difference between a good PK and a bad PK, among other things, is the ability to win the puck and get it out on the 50/50 plays where neither team has possession.

The inability of Steckel and our other forward to win that 50/50 puck up near the blueline was the difference between them scoring and not scoring.

I don't know if they track that stat anywhere but I wouldn't be surprised if we were well below average when it comes to winning loose pucks in the defensive zone while on the PK.

I don't know if it's a lack of grit or speed or skill or a combination of things, but we need to improve upon winning those little battles and getting the puck out of our zone. Opposing teams too often set up camp on their PP and keep the puck in when there are battles for loose pucks.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm also guessing that some of the reasons behind our difficulty in winning loose pucks in the defensive zone while on the PK are the same as those behind our diffculties handling strong opposing forechecks.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Bears 8 Rats 1
Giroux with his second goal of the night.
Early in the 3rd period
Bears have 3 PP goals tonight.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I would really like to see Ovie do something special tonight.

Posted by: cbs75 | January 15, 2010 8:11 PM |

a goal and 3 assists thru 2 periods? That's special.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 15, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Is there a mercy rule in hockey?? :)
Bears 9 Rats 1
Kyle Wilson scores!

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

All I have heard about the Capstronaut is that he bought the costume and was worried what would happen to him.

He's in the owners box tonight, so obviously good things are happening for the dork in the space suit.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 15, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

OMG!
Bears 10 Rats 1
Giroux with the hat trick.
Still 14 minutes to play.
Most goals the Bears have scored in a game since 1992.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Laich is the guy I want to see do something special.

He's been working his tail off with little scoring to show for it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

FLASH-ER-ROOONI!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

make that a goal and 4 assists for OV

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 15, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

That was a nice deflection

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Laich is the guy I want to see do something special.

He's been working his tail off with little scoring to show for it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse
----------
I second this.

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Laich is the guy I want to see do something special.

He's been working his tail off with little scoring to show for it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse
----------
I second this.

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

32 pts in 19 games against TO for Ovi.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Well isn't that special?

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 15, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

All I have heard about the Capstronaut is that he bought the costume and was worried what would happen to him.

He's in the owners box tonight, so obviously good things are happening for the dork in the space suit.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 15, 2010 8:56 PM

OWNERS BOX?

Is that all it takes?!?

Next game I'm dressing up like a CHIPMUNK!
I'll call myself CAPSMUNK!!
OWNERS BOX HERE I COME!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

That penalty was the result of Green trying to get too cute behind the net.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Ovie is now just 2 points behind Sedin for the points lead.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 15, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Ya gotta love the drunk Swedish guys.

Posted by: zmega | January 15, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Rats scored.
Bears 10 Rats 2

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao - Are you not enjoying this game?

Posted by: gonchpup | January 15, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

TO announcers; "Schultz is the best kept defensive secret in the league."

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Great patience and decision making by Semin there.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant play by Alexander Semin.

Nice read of the play and finish by Poti.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Smart of Semin to hook off, then follows it up with a nice pass to Poti.

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Semin,

That was a perfect pass.

V/R

WTF

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

10 years ago, that would be a free papa johns pizza.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

saved by the post

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I can't help but be a bit concerned about our firewagon, high risk, high reward style. In the first, when we were up 1-0 and 2-0, they have some very good chances. Against the Pens or Devils, they would have burried those chances.

Thoughts?

Posted by: floms | January 15, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

TO feed just did a bit on the Capstronaut. They would not stop laughing for 5 minutes.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Bears are getting sloppy.
Bears 10 Rats 4
Good thing we had a nice cushion.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

That would be Jerry's Pizza. Oh, the glory days!

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 15, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Orr's such a homo.

And people want to take up a roster spot for someone like him? hah.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Woah cheap shot by Orr!

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Way to stand up for your teammate, Sha-Mo!

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I hate this aspect of hockey.

A team is out of the game and the only thing left it can do is injure players by sending out goons.

Pathetic.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

That would be Jerry's Pizza. Oh, the glory days!

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 15, 2010 9:17 PM |

You might be thinking too far back.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

oops, showing my age with the Jerry's pizza thing. Sorry.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 15, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

floms - I'm not so sure. Toronto's not the slouch of a team their record indicates, and the Pens might not be as good as their record. New Jersey? They're legit but more for their defensive prowess. I for one, am all for Bruce's game plan even if it does mean giving up a few chances.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 15, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Bears game is final 10-4
Bacashihua gets the win in goal.
Goals by Giroux (3), Aucoin, Perreault,
Bourque, Beagle, Kane, Gordon, Wilson.

Home games Sat vs Wilkes-Barre and
Sun vs Syracuse

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the logic of people calling for an enforcer. What, do you want a top 3 enforcer in the league only? Bradley, Erskine, Chimera, and we just watched ShaMo answer the bell! Our team is fine on the enforcer role.

Now, if you want to talk about getting a pest...

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Did Locker seriously suggest TO to pull the goalie? lol.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Bad call on Chimera. .

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 15, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Blake is a stand-up guy. Don't get on him for that goalie run.

Good game.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Its open season on the Caps. PEriod. Once the score gets out of hand you can time it like clockwork. Someone on the other team will take a big cheapshot on one of our players, most likely a skill guy.

To pretend that the decision McPhee and company made this yr to go without a tough guy is about as stupid as stupid gets. It was a stupid decision to eliminate that role. We don't have a tough guy and in lieu of that we have no team toughness. Chicago doesn't have a tough guy either but they have plenty of team toughness.

Of course I don't expect McPhee to ever admit he was wrong. I'm sure its coincidence that this yr there's been a marked increase in cheap shots on our players esp when the score is out of hand.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy.

U happy?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Heck Yeah!

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 15, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

"Bad call on Chimera. . "

what was the call - I assumed it was 5 for fighting. was there something else?

Posted by: ebolean1 | January 15, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Ron Wilson sux. His team showed no class.

Posted by: zmega | January 15, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the logic of people calling for an enforcer.
------------------------

yeah, because enforcers serve no purpose in hockey. Thats why so few teams seem to have one.

Ana
MN
Cgy (2)
Boston
SJ (3)
Phi
Blues
Phx
Atl
Tampa
Tor
Vanc
CO

sorry I lost count

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 15, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy.
U happy?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr
---------------------------
Very happy. Hope they play with this much energy Sun against Philly.
And hope the Bears saved some firepower for Sat and Sun.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 15, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

what site do you look at for stats postgame?

tsn never gives the x for y for PP

what were we 2 for 4?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh, great job of taking a sentence out of context. It's what you do best though.

We just saw 3 guys answer the bell in the span of 3 games. What more enforcing do you want?

And the bit about more cheap shots to our players? Please. Quit digging.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

-Solid performance by Theo
-Ovie the playmaker!
-Semin has been playing really well, as of late. It may not be showing points wise, but on the ice and watching him, he's been playing hard.
-Knuble is on a roll.
-All four forward lines are clicking, and I love it.
-Defense could have been better.
-Caps are getting back to their old habits of taking a lot of penalties.
-Impressed with Carlson. Had a good night. Can't wait until both he and Alzner have permanent spots with the team.
-Green's tendency to get too cute in the defensive zone when he's pressured drives me up the wall.

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

@wtf_e_fehr

NHL.com has 8 different game reports to choose from that should cover anything you're looking for.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2009020705

Click on the Game Reports dropdown menu and select a report.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

cstanton - I think McPhee's put together a pretty good team, don't you think? We have some gritty players, and even if we still had Brash or a player in his role, opposing teams would still come at us hard. Chimera was added in part for his physical presence and so far, he has filled his role beautifully. I agree that crosscheck on Green was cheap, but the rest of the play was just a team (Toronto) that never quit. It's more the players going hard than the coach directing goonism. They played never-say-die... that's Toronto hockey.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 15, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

We were getting penalized like crazy there at the end. I would have kept that up for the last two minutes I mean you can't go down lower than 3 men can you? WTF, just clock 'em, even if they get a couple they still lose. Nice payback Caps.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 15, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

standing up for your teammates is all fine and good but they can't just sit and take it...

once Orr gave Green the cheap shot, someone should have taken a run at one of their skilled players

Posted by: joek443 | January 15, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Oh that's beautiful, thanks.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

They cheap shot Green - we take out Kessel.

Posted by: zmega | January 15, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I just don't get it. We have Bradley and Erskine. We just saw ShaMo step-up and Chimera has been stepping as well. What's the problem? I understand none of them are enforcers, but they are all enforcing. It seems you guys just want Brash or some top 5 fighter or something.

We should add sandpaper and grit to the lineup. Ott-type. If he fights, great.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

joek443 - We should have taken a run at one of their skill players? Nope. They handled it just fine by going after Orr. We are a skill team and there's no need to stoop to that level - that's what the Flyers might do.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 15, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil - Agreed.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 15, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Hockey is fantastic, but it would be even better if physical retribution along the lines suggested by joek443 weren't part of the equation.

Cheap shots of all types are passé, as are "enforcers" (or what I call "goons").

cstanton1's argument for enforcers by listing teams is also bewildering. Wow -- Tampa, Toronto, and Atlanta have goons? Let's do what they do!

Posted by: BigMogilny | January 15, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil,

We're doing fine. Some of our fans feel their masculinity is threatened if we don't win the fights outright.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 15, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

zmega - What?

Posted by: gonchpup | January 15, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Only in Washington sports can we win 6-1 and have fans complain about the makeup of our team.

Posted by: BigMogilny | January 15, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Morrisonn taking on Orr? Yeah, that showed em. They'll never try that stuff again. Oh, wait ....

Posted by: zmega | January 15, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

ROLL THEO ROLL!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

in all my years of watching hockey this is really the first time I'm seeing these goons taking a run at skilled players on the Caps...

there's always been an unwritten rule in hockey - goons don't go after skilled players on the other team. If they don't feel they need an enforcer, that's fine but if they're gonna stop this non-sense before someone like Green gets hurt, they're gonna have to be pro-active and go after the skilled players on the other team.

Posted by: joek443 | January 15, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Only in Washington sports can we win 6-1 and have fans complain about the makeup of our team.

Posted by: BigMogilny | January 15, 2010 9:51 PM |

heard dat

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Morrisonn taking on Orr? Yeah, that showed em. They'll never try that stuff again. Oh, wait ....

Posted by: zmega | January 15, 2010 9:51 PM |

And you really think ANY enforcer is going to stop Colton freaking Orr from being dirty?

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:
Headline - Canadian Beatdown Behind Woodshed

What a solid win all-around tonight. Ovi gets it started. Spreading the scoring around once again. Theo gets in and is rock solid. Welcome back Theo.

I remember when I was throwing Jeff Schultz under the bus last year but kudos to him for getting it turned around. A job well done and well deserved.

Jmurray019 - I'm only 33 but I remember Jerry's Pizza. Age has nothing to do with it my friend. Great times. I was chanting pizza pizza haha.

Back at it Sunday afternoon to knock the surging Flyers down.

It's been a two point night.

ICE BREAKERS GOAL SHAKERS.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | January 15, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree Mogilny. Let's enjoy the fact that it was a rout, Theo played outstanding, Ovie gets 4 assists, too many good things to list all of them.

And you gotta love Ovie's passing this year, just makes the offense even better.

Posted by: Gould23 | January 15, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

in all my years of watching hockey this is really the first time I'm seeing these goons taking a run at skilled players on the Caps...

_________________________

It's been like this since the lockout. That policy has been out the window. Enforcers are a changing breed.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

zmega - It wasn't Morrison TAKING ON Orr. He just stood up for Green. He did what was expected and nothing more. Why are so many people worried about us taking our hits? It's part of the game. Green's fine.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 15, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Caps top players shouldn't have been out there with only 3 minutes to go and them being up 6-1. That's on the coach.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 15, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

AMERICAN HERO WITH THE HARD HAT!


GO CARLSON!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 15, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm with richmondphil.

I see more of a need for some skilled gritty players at both ends of the ice than an outright goon. I'm not opposed to adding a brawler but I don't think it's our top need.

Up front, I'd like a Downie or Cooke type that can get under the skin of opposing teams as well as find the back of the net every now and then. A player that isn't afraid to mix it up along the boards and bolster our forecheck a little. Maybe Della Rovere will help out in this area in a couple of years.

On the backend, I think we could also use a little more grit as well as speed and skill in order to better handle opposing forechecks and get the puck out of our own end more effectively. I'm not sure that we have enough of that internally so it may have to come through trade.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

This team is fine. The Tampa game, which got loads of hash, proved to me that these guys will step up when they have to. That game was THE defining game of the season. We don't need an enforcer - we need 23 guys who will stand up and hammer away if they have to. Stecks going toe-to-toe, Brads, Chimera...this team is set. We aren't wasting a slot on a 4-minute guy - as much as I love Brash - we don't need that. Especially when I read nothing but two things here: first, we need an enforcer. Second, there's no fighting in the playoffs. Parallel: we aren't ready now and we can't play in the playoffs. You can't have it both ways. This team, built right now, can win the Cup.

I'd like a clear-out dman for the crease. I'd like Varly healthy. This team can win.

I felt this was a six-game stretch that would tell a lot and we won five and the TB game told the tale.

I'm very happy.

Posted by: saintex | January 15, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

We need an enforcer debate

Posted by: nickiefan83 | January 15, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I thought we handled their forecheck very well tonight, at least after halfway through the first period. We gave as good as we got I thought.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 15, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Carlson got the hardhat

Posted by: elicea | January 15, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

We are seeing a trend of other teams running our skill players. We need a strategy to respond to that. I don't think a pure goon is the solution. But whatever we are doing now is not working. If we continue to trade cheap shots on our skill players for minor skirmishes with the other teams' tough guys, there is no deterrent for the other teams. Green didn't get seriously hurt tonight, but as BB pointed out in the post-game, it was close. The only thing that makes sense to me is retaliation against the skill players of the other teams. If anyone has a better solution, I'd love to hear it. But just continuing to accept cheap shots on our skill players is not a recipe for success in the playoffs, since some of our guys are almost certain to miss time.

Posted by: zmega | January 15, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I agree that we don't need an enforcer. We know that Bradley, Knuble, Chimera and Erskine will throw down. But now we know so will Ovie, Stecks, Green, Morrisonn and Backstrom. The league is testing us. We are standing up and repsonding in kind. That makes us tough.

The other teams better hope Semin doesn't get ticked off

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 15, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I ask again, why were the Cap's top players out there with 3 minutes to go and a 6-1 lead?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 15, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

nickiefan83 - We need more fans here to realize that management has put together a hell of a team, with depth down through the AHL. No need for an enforcer or even a debate - it's an insult to the likes of Brads, Erskine, Chimera, and even Steckel. We do not have a team of wimps.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 15, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

@FloridaCapsFan

We struggled with their forecheck early in the game. It was the cause behind both of the early penalties.

I think Toronto ran out of gas and we capitalized at the other end so it wasn't a concern or noticeable tonight. I'll also give us credit for playing with more urgency in our zone but on most nights, I still see it as an area where we are below average compared to the rest of the league.

In my mind, it is as an area of weakness that needs to be addressed to improve our postseason chances.

I've said it before but I think what lost us the Penguins series had little to do with the Penguins' skill players or a few bad bounces or poor officiating. I thought the series turned in their favor through their relentless forecheck and our inability to apply the same pressure at the other end. I don't know if the stats are out there but I'm confident that the majority of the play throughout games 2 through 7 occurred in our defensive zone, not even counting special teams. I think the reason the penalties were so heavily in favor of Pittsburgh was because they worked harder and forced us to take penalties in our own zone. It wasn't a behind-the-scenes Bettman conspiracy. Pittsburgh's role players just killed us on the forecheck, keeping us hemmed into our own end for extended stretches. They also backchecked like beasts as a team. The ice seemed tilted in their favor quite a bit starting in Game 2 (even though we won) and it continued throughout the remainder of the series.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

They were out there because they can kiss our ass. You want to run our guys? We'll hang eight if we can.

That's that.

It's like Switzer - and I was am a Nebraska fan from my youth - I'll hang a half-ton if I can. Stop me.

Posted by: saintex | January 15, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I only saw the first period.

1. Did Green have an assist on the first goal. I thought he gave to Nick.
2. How did SMo do against Orr?
3. Chimera's fight?

Posted by: jgrasse | January 15, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

zmega - I still disagree. I don't think teams are singling out our top players. Watch several games each night and you will see the same play, penalties, and sometimes what equates to a cheap shot. It's league-wide and part of the game. As long as we have players stepping in when needed, we'll be fine.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 15, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao,

I concur with your analysis of the Caps-Pens series last year and the fact that we need to work harder to get penalties awarded in our favor. With regard to tonight's game, I was forgetting that TO was playing the 2nd of a back-to-back so that may account for our taking over the game. However, TO skated hard right to the end don't you think?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 15, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

nickiefan83 - We need more fans here to realize that management has put together a hell of a team, with depth down through the AHL. No need for an enforcer or even a debate - it's an insult to the likes of Brads, Erskine, Chimera, and even Steckel. We do not have a team of wimps.

Agree that we have a great team but we cant risk it getting screwed by injuries no offense to brads but he is so much better when he doesn't. Sure Erskine and Chimera can throw em down but they don't send a message they just do it when they need too and Steckle should NEVER fight he is extremely valuable to the team i never said once that we werent tough but we need someone to send messages and to scare people from cheap shotting us. If they just sat there and did nothing all the better because the message was recieved.

Posted by: nickiefan83 | January 15, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup - Tell me you still think the strategy worked if one of our skill guys misses the playoffs because he got taken out by some goon. I've been watching hockey for a long time, and it seems to me that our skill guys are taking more than their share of the cheap stuff.

Posted by: zmega | January 15, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Discretion is the better part of valor.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 15, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

does a game misconduct on chimera mean that he is not allowed to play next game against philthy.

Posted by: samb99 | January 15, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

zmega,

Prove it.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 15, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

nickiefan83 - Even if we had the league's "best" enforcer, guys like Orr would still play the way they do and take an occasional run at our skill players-that is all they can bring to the game. The only difference would be they would end up in a fight with a different player. A thought... who on our team and what role-player would you be willing to sacrifice for such a player. That is one reason Brash is no longer here. Scroll up to tonight's line up and pick the player you think we should do without.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 15, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

@FloridaCaps - If you are suggesting I stay up all night to put together statistics to try to convince you, I'll take a pass. I stated an impression. We'll just have to see how it plays out. I just don't think that the current situation is tenable.

Posted by: zmega | January 15, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

zmega, nickiefan83, and a few others I have disagreed with tonight.

I understand the right to opinion, it's just that I have the utmost confidence in the team as it stands, and am sure that GMGM knows a bit more than all of us combined. To read over and over what we need to fix our team gets old. They played a complete game tonight with a convincing win and so much written is critical as opposed to enjoying the moment and applauding the effort. I am more impressed in seeing our regulars step it up in defense of their teammates than I would be in seeing a designated "enforcer" need top be called upon to protect our "wimpy ?" players.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 15, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

they spanked a team that's not gonna make the playoffs this year and the Leafs are on the verge of becoming one of the worst PK team of ALL TIME.

you're gonna have to forgive me if I don't jump up and down in joy.

Posted by: joek443 | January 15, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

Well said. I just want to enjoy the win. I thought they played well--a full 60 minutes. A five point night for Ovi--boy he was on fire tonight. His line was white hot and again Knubes in the crease with the tip in. I also thought BMo played really well tho' he didn't end up with a point (I think)-but his play really got that Chimera/BMo/Fehr line going tonight. I found the fighting at the end strange but I'm tired of the argument. So I will just enjoy the win. Really how amazing is it that Ovi is now in second place with points despite playing six to eight games fewer than the other leaders. It kind of boggles the mind how far in the lead Ovi could have been (tho' hypotheticals are just that--unverifiable).

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 15, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

This is important. How the heck did the Capstronaut get into the box?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 15, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Ted saw him and invited him.

Posted by: zmega | January 15, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

@joe443

Not sure why you are cranky about this win. It wasn't close. The Caps dominated for most of the game. The goal tending was strong. They played a full 60 minutes.

If the Caps had been close in scoring or gone in to OT wouldn't everyone be upset because the Maples Leafs are so awful. Isn't it good that the Caps controlled the game.

The Maples Leafs has I believe the highest SOG across the league so while they outshot us, it wasn't by that great of a margin.

And I do believe that the differences between the teams are not that great, that there is a fair degree of parity. Therefore on any given night any NHL team can beat another--including the other top teams--NJ, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Chicago etc. They have all had their share of bad games. As have the Caps. It's okay to enjoy the moments when they have their good games too.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 15, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Toronto is probably one of the most difficult "bad" teams to beat. They are much better than their record and never give up... as witnessed by their effort even when down 6 - 1 in the 3rd. With better goaltending, I would not be surprised to see them turn things around much like Philly has done as of late. It was a good win!

Posted by: gonchpup | January 15, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Makes you want to go out and buy a Neil Armstrong suit, doesn't it?

I think our biggest issue is consistency. We have the ability to shut down the best teams in the league. Our problem is the mental focus to do that. Our players can do it, but need to be disciplined. This may sound obvious, but it is much harder to maintain over an 82 game season.

A stud, nasty Defenseman in a trade would be very welcome.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 15, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

Well said. I just want to enjoy the win. I thought they played well--a full 60 minutes. A five point night for Ovi--boy he was on fire tonight. His line was white hot and again Knubes in the crease with the tip in. I also thought BMo played really well tho' he didn't end up with a point (I think)-but his play really got that Chimera/BMo/Fehr line going tonight. I found the fighting at the end strange but I'm tired of the argument. So I will just enjoy the win. Really how amazing is it that Ovi is now in second place with points despite playing six to eight games fewer than the other leaders. It kind of boggles the mind how far in the lead Ovi could have been (tho' hypotheticals are just that--unverifiable).


if im correct and a one of the sharks still has lead in points not only is ovi 8 games behind but sharks have 10 more games than us

Posted by: nickiefan83 | January 15, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

in all my years of watching hockey this is really the first time I'm seeing these goons taking a run at skilled players on the Caps...

Posted by: joek443 | January 15, 2010 9:53 PM

This is the fourth game this season that I can think of, without even trying, that a goon has taken a run at one of our skill players. Columbus and Tampa Bay at Ovie, Colorado and Toronto at Green.

Posted by: timmyv38 | January 16, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

nickiefan83, Sedin is the points leader - Thornton leads in assists, and is now third in points.

Posted by: timmyv38 | January 16, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I'm late to the party, but what is this nonsense? This game shows that we need an enforcer? Really? Because I just watched one team that was focused on scoring a tidal wave of goals just bet the pants off of a team that is built around "toughness". I've heard Toronto called the toughest team in the game - and look what it's gotten them! Bradley and Erskine and Chimera know how to fight. They aren't going to land a knockout all the time or even most times, but they aren't going to get knocked out often either. Anyone who wants to take a run at Ovie or Green will wind up with a facefull of glove. Who lands on top of who when the pile goes down isn't worth anything, really.

Up above I saw a list of teams with enforcers. You know who wasn't on that list? Detroit. The organization that is without question the class of the league doesn't give a damn about fights. In fact, here are Detroit's rankings (as per hockeyfights.com) in number of fighting majors assessed in their Stanley Cup Finals years in the Bowman/post-Bowman era: '94-'95, 22 out of 26; '96-'97*, 23 out of 26; '97-'98*, 25 out of 26 (their SCF opponents that year, the Capitals, in their most successful season in franchise history to date, were 26 out of 26); '01-'02*, 30 out of 30; '07-'08*, 30 out of 30; '08-'09, 30 out of 30. If there is any franchise in the world I would want the Caps modeled after, it's the Red Wings, and it seems like GMGM has done just that.

Posted by: GrimReefa | January 16, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

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