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Tonight's lineup: Lightning at Caps

Semyon Varlamov will start in goal tonight for the Caps as they look to extend their franchise record winning streak on home ice to 12 games. Mike Smith, meantime, will get the nod for Tampa.

The new-look lineup appears to be unchanged from the morning skate. But in case you missed it, things should look like this:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Morrison-Semin
Fleischmann-Belanger-Fehr
Chimera-Gordon-Walker
Scratches: Bradley, Steckel and Laing.

Defense
Schultz-Green
Poti-Corvo
Morrisonn-Carlson
Scratches: Erskine and Sloan

Goalies
Varlamov
Theodore

Check back later for some postgame notes and quotes.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 4, 2010; 5:46 PM ET
 
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Next: Boudreau on Walker's two goal debut

Comments

Beyond just the novelty, I'm really interested in the third line and second pairing

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 4, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I think I'd rather see Gordon come out than Bradley

Posted by: joek443 | March 4, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I think I'd rather see Gordon come out than Bradley

Posted by: joek443 | March 4, 2010 6:46 PM

There is actually a logical reason - Bradley just had a really nasty hit to the head, so don't bring him back right into back-to-back. That said, that isn't necessarily the reason.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Still without a computer but finally got internet access.

Trade thoughts: All great moves without disrupting chemistry. Each play brings key traits you need to go deep in the playoffs. GMGM did a fine job. And for any of you whining about not getting that crease clearing defense - get a clue. You don't know how close they might've been to getting someone else. It's not about making a big bold move if it's also asking to give up too much. Remember that's why McPhee is a GM and you're not. Kudos to the moves. This team is being built for sustainability as a contender for years to come. So far so good.

Time to get the newbies in and rolling with the system. Drop the damn puck already.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!!

Posted by: Jonathan6 | March 4, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Those lineups look really good, to me. I say, despite any rustiness from Varlamov, and despite having played in Buffalo just yesterday, Capitals win by at least 3 tonight. And I bet we'll see a fight as well.

I'm so excited!

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

That's almost as an incredible coincidence as when Lou Gehrig caught Lou Gehrig's disease.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 6:47 PM

THAT was funny

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

i understand the caps got better as a team in the past 24 hours. but what about those god-awful superbly-hideous vomit-inducing uniforms they're wearing?

Posted by: kman2 | March 4, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1:
how do you plan to 'rock the camouflage'?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

What are the Caps wearing? The look sort of like plaid hunting jackets.

Posted by: Aldred15 | March 4, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

By plaid I mean camo

Posted by: Aldred15 | March 4, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Why no in-game chat tonight? :(

Posted by: BlondeCapsFan | March 4, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

good - they where only for warmups

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

The world is filled with people who are dumber than they thought. Think about it - if you are stupid, how do you really know?

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 6:05 PM

That's an important point to think about, I think, just in general, and I appreciate you pointing out this issue.

I think about that all the time, y'know, how if you're actually dumb, you might well be so dumb you don't actually know that you're dumb. I wonder how one would go about figuring out that he/she is so dumb that it would generally be profitable to not trust the thoughts in his/her own head. And then, once you have that figured out, what do you do? Go around doing the opposite of what you think you should? I dunno, man.

Anyway, I strongly suspect that many of the problems in the world stem from that one thought you thought, tominfl1, that there are too many folks who are too dumb to know that they are dumb, unwisely trust the thoughts in their dumb heads, and generally mess things up.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

BlondeCapsFan:
i'm gonna guess everybody worked overtime yesterday to give us our caps news and got tonight off

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

over 2 minutes in and no O - all D

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

FEHR!!!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

So glad we didn't trade Fehr!

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I guess Canada didn't need Green after all, eh?

I am glad Green got the time off, I think. He looks like the rest did him some good.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

wtf?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

What a shift by Fehr...

He won a battle along the boards, stole the puck at center ice then scored a goal.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I love Fehr! I knew Caps wouldn't trade him. I think he's a really valuable all-around player. Very underrated.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

haha love the freebie goals!

Posted by: Aldred15 | March 4, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy: I didn't think he would go, but apparently he was worried about it. He's a big, talented guy whose career is very much on an upward trend.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

That was a great individual play by Fehr. Interception and a score. Very nice.

Yeah, I heard about Fehr's worries. I'm glad he likes it in Washington so much.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

That shot by Ovie on the PP is on video. You have to game plan for that.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

did caps radio just stop working for anyone else? it says its still broadcasting, but i only hear silence...

CAPS CAPS CAPS!!!

Posted by: dc33 | March 4, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Green looks pretty sharp, eh?

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy: I didn't think he would go, but apparently he was worried about it. He's a big, talented guy whose career is very much on an upward trend.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 7:20 PM

i think just about every player in the last year of their contract, that are playing like they are due a decent raise, probably felt a little like fehr did yesterday

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Nice pokecheck by Carlson.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

time to see the new PK unit

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

new PK unit s*cks

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

We ain't going to win nothing till we clean up our PK.

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

No observable change to the PK yet. Ugh.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Downie standing by himself in front of the net.

TB's PP has been struggling... except against us.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Varly had ZERO help on that PERFECT deflection.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I really think that Belanger, Flash, Fehr line is gonna be pretty nice. Think about it, that line could be the 2nd line on most teams in this league.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 4, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Nice move by Sasha Semin.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

corvo's a puck hog - jk

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I guess it is to be expected that there is some sloppiness with all the new guys, but so far this is pretty ugly.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, good to see our PP is as good as Tampa's........

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we should've traded for a PK coach. Hah... sigh.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the strategy of leaving a forward unchecked in front of our goal something we normally reserve for Crosby?

Posted by: zmega | March 4, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we should've traded for a PK coach. Hah... sigh.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 7:34 PM

never gonna happen - GMGM has some great prospects in the equiptment room that he'll never part with

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I said to myself that this game could be rough with so many new faces in the lineup, but this period has been a brutal go so far. It's going to take time, just as it did for Chimera, so I guess patience will be important.

Posted by: Aldred15 | March 4, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Was that our 4TH LINE on that break?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

2nd line on a break. Laich knows how to play with Semin?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

ok these lines look quite ridiculous with the chances on O

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

"Isn't the strategy of leaving a forward unchecked in front of our goal something we normally reserve for Crosby?

Posted by: zmega"

Got to practice it so that it's perfect when we play Crosby. :^(

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom looks off... that is a rare thing to say about him. He'll get it back soon.

Belanger looks good. He has those clever Wild passing instincts.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

OK - they've had 20 minutes to figure out BB's system. i have much higher expectations for the 2nd and 3rd periods

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or does this game lack the excitement that usually comes with a home game? Maybe because it's only the 1st period?

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | March 4, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

So it was Poti and Morrisonn that let Downie stand unmolested in front of Varlamov.

I was actually hoping Corvo was one of the d-men so I could chalk it up to being new to the team.

But Poti and Morrisonn have been here and have no excuse for that breakdown. Neither of them were within 10 feet of Downie.

Poti also had a play last night where tried to pick up a guy that was already covered on a 2-on-2. Luckily, he got his stick on the pass or the guy on the left wing would have skated in alone on net.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see Fehr net a 5on5 goal. But that PK has to get better for the post season, sheesh.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 4, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling that Belanger is our 2nd best center.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why people thought that was a bad period. Other than getting hemmed in early by a TB forecheck and that breakdown between Poti and Morrisonn on the PK, I thought we looked pretty good.

We had 10 scoring chances. Like last night, we just aren't finishing.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

youaresquishy: Yeah, I got that all figured out about beinig dumb, but really can't be sure, as who's to say about my own dumbness?

Capt Kirk: I "rocked the camouflage" by hiding my own food from myself. I'm really getting hungry is the problem.

tmac: Backstrom looks as bad as Nancy Pelosi even after she put on her make-up. He got pushed off the puck on one play by the tiniest of nudges.

Belanger looks really good. I already have him penciled in for 2nd line center duty for next year. I'll need to update the spreadsheet. 2 yrs at current 1.75 would be great as a bridge till Johansson is ready.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

"Is it me or does this game lack the excitement that usually comes with a home game? Maybe because it's only the 1st period?

Posted by: kyle_woodruff "

They might need to play "Unleash the Fury" in the second period tonight.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Can the political invective already; this is a hockey blog after all

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 4, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

KNUBLE!!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Laich with the hustle and grit. Knuble with the finish.

Those 2 have been working hard the last 2 games.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

thanks Kanoobs!!!

Posted by: BlondeCapsFan | March 4, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

What an unlikely combo

Laich to K-bus?

wow

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Laich to Knuble. How about that? Knuble still knows how to score from more than 5 feet away from the net. Excellent.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Sweet Knuble makes up for the penalty -- love this guy! Best pick up this last year.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 4, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

thought ovi was gonna finish that one

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Ovie is a bit off, you can just feel it. He needs one.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

there are a few that would call backstrom o-zone penalty - seminish

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

they were force feeding Stamkos when gordo didnt have the stick

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

is it just me - or does gordo seem to lose his stick a lot while on the PK

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Man, Ovechkin sucks. Crosby would've scored on that breakaway. Wilbon was right.

Ovechkin with only 22% more points-per-game than the next best (minimum 2 games played), and only 27% more than Crosby.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

WHAT AN EXCELLENT KILL

THEY HAD SO MUCH ZONE TIME

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

The Caps now seem to own the 2nd period -- first, it was the first, then the third, and now the second. This is a dynamic team -- changing to fit the needs of the scenario. Luvin it

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 4, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Seems like Ovi is jet-lagged.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

PK looks a little more aggressive - coming out to the point to apply some pressure

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Greener with a great Geico commercial. Score!

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

No, Ovechkin just sucks. Wilbon said so.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Side note: How good have Carolina been lately? They're up 2-0 right now, and have won 6 straight. If they hadn't dug themselves such a hole early on, they would be top 6 in the East likely.

Posted by: Aldred15 | March 4, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful!

Posted by: uncatim | March 4, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Beauty.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Knuble being Knuble.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

there's the 5 footer we expect from knuble

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Trashman, cleaning up.

Posted by: zmega | March 4, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Time to start a new hat trick streak?

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

ugly goals rule!! well knuble's first goal wasn't. i don't think it's possible to love knuble anymore than i do. i love him.

crud 55 in the box..

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Knuble rules. 25 goals and counting. Too bad he missed time from injury.

Posted by: Aldred15 | March 4, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

The fans were begging for years for a garbage collector. It's clear we had that one right. Go, Knuble!

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

That's a pretty whiny goalie, I think. That didn't even look a little bit like goalie interference.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Time to start a new hat trick streak?

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 8:15 PM

i vote yes - but i want it to be semin

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I really feel like last night K-bus had TWO GLORIOUS chances to score or assist on a sure goal...

Tonight he has made up for it.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

god our pk sucks

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

WTF

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Argggghhhh!! WTF is with our PK vs Tampa?

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

PK fail... again.

It's a problem.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey PK, stop leaving players WIDE OPEN in the slot. Jesus.

Posted by: Aldred15 | March 4, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

our tendency to give up a goal right after we score kicks in again..

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

PK is improving - held them off for 25 seconds

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

HORRIBLY PASSIVE PK

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Good thing Caps got Belanger to help on the PK, eh? Caps will get slightly better soon, I'm sure.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

How can a team with this much talent be so bad on the PK?

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

oh my god smith, stop asking for a call everytime you get bumped into... have you never played goalie before? what an annoying guy.

now can ovie please score??

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

wow

carlson to flash was so pretty

even without the finish

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Mother Piss Bucket!!! The Caps PK is puck-sucky!

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 4, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Since Laing won't be seeing much ice, perhaps we should have him coach the rest of the Caps on how to kill a penalty.

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

another dead man


GET OUT OF THE WAY!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Both TB goals on power plays, right? That makes 65 power play goals given up on the season. Next highest going into today was 58 by the Flyers, and they have 3 more shorties than the Capitals to mark down on the ledger as well.

Yeah, I'd say we needed some help.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

what is our pk% against the lightning??

are you serious? a dive??? stupid refs.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Dive? Quoi? Que?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 4, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

haha Green with a ridiculous dive. That was a little too obvious.

Posted by: Aldred15 | March 4, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

and can everyone cease with the...


WTF WTF WTF


I kinda take it personal!

:)

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

if the pk is like this in the playoffs... oh dear.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

The Bolts may not be as eager to get in front of Ovi's shots for the rest of this game. I smell a goal or two coming soon for the great 8. That was an awful diving call.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

According to ESPN, as of this moment, Tampa Bay is 7 for 16 on the power play against the Capitals this season.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Smith needs some Midol. What a little b!tch.

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

they shouldn't give smith credit for a save on that

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

That'd be a 43.75% success rate for the Lightning against the Capitals so far this season.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

how lucky can you get?

just leave an extra stick in front of the net?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

gordo - hang on to your stick!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

omg

what r we doing?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

what is going on??? this team has a tendency to take penalties after penalties after penalties!!!!!! this needs to stop.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

What the hell are the refs trying to pull here? The high stick was legit, but that's about it in this whole silly sequence.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 4, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh, for f sake, how can the Caps take penalties when they suck chrome on the pk

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 4, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

holy cow

BACKS

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

wow - nicky has some nads

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Rule 67.5:

"67.5 Awarded Goal – When a goalkeeper, prior to proceeding to his players’ bench to be replaced by an extra attacker, intentionally leaves his stick or other piece of equipment, piles snow or other obstacles at or near his net that, in the opinion of the Referee, would tend to prevent the puck from entering the net, a goal shall be awarded. In order to award a goal in this situation, the goalkeeper must have been replaced for an extra attacker, otherwise a minor penalty shall be assessed."

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

i love you nicky. wowwww!!

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Also, since when is the goalie allowed to punch players in the head like that, is that some new rule I missed?

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 4, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

a PK kill - awesome

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

This will sound really stupid (big shock), but what kind of padding do the skaters have? It looks like those shots him him square in the back.

Posted by: TimDz | March 4, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

The arguably improper grammar is the NHL's, not mine. (I think it's missing an "or" somewhere.)

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

That's gotta be goalie interference.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 4, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

hey if we kill this off we're surely going to get some PPs later on..

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow. What a PK sequence. That was Karma.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 4, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

poti held that a stride too long

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

jesus poti...

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Man, how many odd man rushes and breakaways have we failed on just in the last 2 games.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

jesus poti...

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:34 PM
_____________________________

I think jesus poti plays for the yankees...

Posted by: TimDz | March 4, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

varly= very good tonight

i still have the most confidence in him. theo's been playing so well lately but i still get very nervous when he plays.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Rule 51.3:

"51.3 Match Penalty - If, in the judgment of the Referee, a goalkeeper uses his blocking glove to punch an opponent in the head or face in an attempt to or to deliberately injure an opponent, a MATCH PENALTY must be assessed."

If no attempt to injure, it's just supposed to be a two-minute penalty for roughing.

I would say what Smith did is worthy of a match penalty though. That rule is there I am pretty sure because that blocker pad is a fairly decent weapon to go around hitting folks in the face with, which is what Smith did.

If that wasn't enough to invoke the rule, I'm not sure what would be, and I'm not sure why the rule is there.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao: Yeah, that is definitely some rust showing.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

that sequence will do wonders for Varly's confidence.

He is on his way back!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, Semin is far and away our best forward penalty killer.

I blame the trailer more than Poti on that failed 3-on-1. I think it was Semin. He should've hung back a little.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Man, Corvo has a cannon.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

mike smith and brooksie are gonna fight tonight! ahahahah

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I am pretty sure I like Corvo's slapshot quite a bit.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I repeat, Smith needs some Midol and tampons stat!!

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

omgggg cindy shoved lundy!! omg what a baby!!

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Smith is a bit hot under the collar, isn't he?

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

come on wilbon, write about how cindy's behavior is unacceptable. he gets hit by a ranger then gets angry at lundqvist and shoves him. then all the rangers go after cindy!! ahahahaha!! he needs to control himself!

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Devoreski, now the reffing makes sense. That guy is a total a-hole

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 4, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why Crosby would just cross-check a goalie like that?

Takes a big man to do that to a goalie, when you know you won't have to face a fight.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Man, Corvo has a cannon.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 8:39 PM |

concur

thought it was just me

trade hype and all

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Our PK is most certainly our Achilles heel.

I hope Belanger proves to make a difference in that area.

I'd also put Semin out there as much as possible on the PK. He has great anticipation, changes direction quickly and is great with his stick.

Semin and Belanger at the points on the PK.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon was right. Crosby is a better hockey player, and a better person, than Ovechkin.

Sid "Nutcracker" Crosby.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

JIMALLCAPS: Making fun of Nancy Pelosi's make-up isn't political invective.

Corvo looked lousy on goal #2. He just stood there and backed off.

Backie sure got "back" into the game.

You gotta laich Brooks Like more and more.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

bel-lawn-shay not having a good night on the dot - only 2 of 8

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Crysby=POS crybaby.

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | March 4, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao: I agree with you on Semin on the PK. The man has skeelz.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I may be wrong but that last big shot by Corvo seemed headed for the top left corner. I think it deflected off the top of a Lightning player's stick.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Chris Kunitz walks up to Cindy and says "Cindy, where did you learn how to do that?"

Cndy, tears in his eyes, says, "From you, OK? I learned it from watching you!"

Anyone :)?

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 4, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

from Locker!

NO not MUGATU!

On K-bus:

"He's so hot right now!"

YOU HEARD IT!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman: Nice.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

ANYONE SENSITIVE TO POLITICAL REFERENCE PLEASE DON'T READ.

Poti came out of the box and made a pass to nowhere on a beautiful 3-on-1.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

It seemed more like Corvo never even came out to pressure the guy in the first place.

Belanger also watched him skate right by him.

I'm not sure who should've done what but my guess is that it was on both Belanger and Corvo.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I think the trailer on that 3-on-1 (Semin?) jammed up that play. Whoever it was came right up into the defenseman instead of hanging back a little to give Poti a passing lane. That basically allowed the defenseman to cover both of Poti's passing targets.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not sure who should've done what but my guess is that it was on both Belanger and Corvo."

Bums!

Those guys are out their playing like it's their first night with the team!

;)

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 4, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I pretty much love the comments on the first page of this blog entry here.

http://www.motherpucker.ca/nhl-news/sidney-crosby-cheap-shot/

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I wasn't tryign to be harsh, just pointing out what I saw as the breakdown and that it was probably on more than just Corvo.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, some rust is expected for the new guys. It doesn't worry me.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

TB involved in another game with lighting issues. What are the odds of that?

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

but i think poti held it a little too long but whatev.. let's go caps!!! we should get some PPs. whoa it's all dark!

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Maybe "rust" isn't the right word, but you know what I mean.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

No fair - tampa bay is used to playing in the dark

Posted by: uncatim | March 4, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

The Tampa Bay No Lighting

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Devorski is trying to figure out whether it would help Tampa to play with dim lights.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

lights just add to a intense weird game

DIGGIN IT!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

tmac: I know it's picky, but you'd really like your 3-on-1 to at least get a shot.

Often the 2-on-1 yields a better opportunity than 3-on-1 because the 2-on-1 has less options to consider.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

caps were used to playing in the dark under cassidy

Posted by: uncatim | March 4, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Maybe "rust" isn't the right word, but you know what I mean.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 8:59 PM

maybe a bit out of synch

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

VARLY SAID NO!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

schultz's size helped him there - good position

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Yes, thanks. "Out of sync" is what I meant.

That should've been Lightning goal #3 right there. Can't believe that didn't go in.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Not even a shot, geez...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 4, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Who the heck is that impostor wearing number 8 tonight?

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

so many awesome chances

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the Caps, Walker!!!!!

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to Washington, Scott Walker!

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 4, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Cha-ching!

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Yay new guy!

Posted by: uncatim | March 4, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to D.C., Scottie!

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

that's gotta feel good for walker

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

GREAT SCOTT?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I like that guy Scott Walker.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the Caps, Walker!!!!!

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to Washington, Scott Walker!

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 4, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

---

Jinx!

That said, holy crap, can'twe maintain a 2 goal lead for more than 5 seconds???

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 4, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

it's a shame schultz has no wheels - but it was not his fault

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Pathetic.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Vinny doesn't to squat all season except when he plays the Caps. Sigh.

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

That wasn't just on Varlamov but that's the type of big save you need from your goalie.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

guy chooses this game to earn his paycheck

didnt know he was the top dog in $$

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Our defense is failing.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

and we're tied...

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

that s*cked

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

well crap

Posted by: TimDz | March 4, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

wt?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Walker!!!!

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE YOU SCOTT WALKERRRRRRRRRR

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

TRACK MEET!!!!!!

Posted by: TimDz | March 4, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

OMG! This Tampa, not Pittsburgh or San Jose or Chicago or Detriot -- the Caps have to bury this game and go on

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 4, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

OK

GREAT SCOTTTTTTT!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Best 7th round pick in the history of the Washington franchise!

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Walker with an imitation of Walker. 5-hole again.

Still, our defense put fear in Caps fans.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Dang! New guy!

Posted by: uncatim | March 4, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

who gets the EN for the hat trick - knuble or walker?
nice scotty

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

holy crap GMGM you are a genius!!! talk about a debut! now let's hold this lead now!!!!

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Now how about some D, please?

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Lets see if we can hold THIS lead....

Posted by: TimDz | March 4, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I like that guy Scott Walker. Did I say that already?

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

What a scyzo game, but Walker has increased his goal output for the season by 33% (4-->6). You think he likes being traded to a Cup Contender? This trade looks good tonight

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 4, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Yeah!!!We got free wings. Go Caps.

Posted by: scropion | March 4, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

EXCELLENT!

WALKER HAS NO FRONTS!

Hockey personified!

WHAT A DEBUT

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

It's so weird to see Backstrom not playing consistently. It's such a rare sight. He's usually our rock.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

During my playing days, this is when you need your captain to tell all the boys to just settle down. Get back to your game and play to win. We lost that for the last two goals. Thank god Walker bailed us out big time just now. Geez...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 4, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

It's so weird to see Backstrom not playing consistently. It's such a rare sight. He's usually our rock.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 9:26 PM

makes you wonder if he's got one of his headaches going

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

See, I was thinking more along the lines that Walker be in a fight tonight.

I think Walker has already scored as many Capitals goals this season as he was expected to.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

As for Backie, yeah he has to forget the "new guy" mentality and just play.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 4, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin looks like he didn't get much sleep, to me.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I need an empty net goal from Knuble please.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

st louis has been GOOD!

Why cant we just CRUSH that lil guy?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 4, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I noticed Ovi deep in the defensive end a few time tonight. Why do people says he don't play defense.

Posted by: scropion | March 4, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Semin has been money defensively the last two games.

He made a key stick check in front of our goal with about 3 min left.

Over the last 2 games, Semin has been our best overall player, in my opinion.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

sweet - two in a row

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Yay.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Big sigh of relief...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 4, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Not the prettiest of games, but a win is a win. Now let's kick the crap out of the Rags on Sat.

Posted by: cbs75 | March 4, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov was better than his last start but I would have really liked to see him stop that Lecavalier goal.

I hope we figure out some good combinations of players on the PK. I really think Semin should get as much time as possible on the kill, esp. when he's playing like he has the last 2 games.

Hopefully, Belanger proves to be everything advertised and helps out, too.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

34 points in the standings in their last 19 games. Not bad.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Walker will be scratched anytime soon. Bad news for Steckel?

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

There's that kid again...he/she is gonna need therapy in the future

Posted by: TimDz | March 4, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Walker D.C. Ranger

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Semin has been good the last two outings. The kind of good that does not get press or score sheet tallies but either way, nice to see him play both ways.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 4, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Bernie Wolfe! I remember him. I was just a kid back then. The first Caps goalies I remember are Ron Low and Bernie Wolfe.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Where is old Bernie now?

http://www.bernardwolfe.com/

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 4, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Guys...I know the D was not particulrly good, but what did u expect with three new guys on the ice...we expected someshaky play. I am impressed we got the win!

Posted by: capscoach | March 4, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

The Caps look just good enough to win the last 19 and then 16 straight more.

Any game the Caps lose between now and June is an upset.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

carlson looked good. is he here for the season.

Posted by: samb99 | March 4, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

stupid pens won in OT.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

@samb99: I was thinking the same about Johnny C. He had a couple of shaky moments in the first period but mostly played a strong game.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

All in all, Varly looked pretty good tonight. OK, he got undressed by Vinnie on that one play. What a beautiful play by Vinnie. I guess if he did that more than once or twice a year he might be worth his $8M per annum.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Walker is going to become a big scorer hear, but I was glad to see him get in Downie's face after Downie got into it with Ovi. That's why GMGM brought him here.

Posted by: zmega | March 4, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

the reason why tampa has such a horrible record against the Caps is their goaltending... if they had any luck, they could have scored 7 or 8 goals tonight

you just hope that tonight's horrible effort in their zone was mostly caused by lack of familarity with the new players

Posted by: joek443 | March 4, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

stupid pens won in OT.

Posted by: ccCapsfan

oh well at least it wasn't crosby.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 4, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

In spite of the sentiment that Backstrom was off his game tonight, he was voted the #3 star. I guess it was the three shots to the keister during the extended 4 on 3.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Good hard fought win for the boys tonight. Great game by the "grumpy old men" (knuble and walker) and welcome to THE CAPITAL Scott.

However, giving up a goal within a minute or two of scoring one has been something this team has done for awhile. This trend seems to have resurfaced over the past 5-6 games. It seems like a matter of mental toughness and focus. BB needs to shake them free of that trend.

GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: eorr | March 4, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree on Carlson. I watched him in the WJC and with Caps and it was obvious he just lacks the confidence to bring his game to the higher level. And now, tonight, for he first time, in the 2nd and 3rd period, I see him playing "his game" in the NHL.

It's never surprising because every player goes through the same thing. I recall watching Ovi's first game vs CBJ Oct 2005 and how it took him about 7 seconds to acclimate. Or maybe it was 8.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:

Well a defensive game last night. Back to a track meet tonight. A win is a win.

Varlamov - strong when he had to be. Wasn't much he could do on any of the goals and still made some awesome saves.

Walker - welcome to DC - and talk about timely goals. Game winner. He gets my vote for the hard hat.

Penalty kill: GET OUT OF THE PASSIVE BOX. THAT CRAP WILL GET YOU NOWHERE. TAKE NOTES FROM BUFFALO'S PENALTY KILL. WHY ARE THEY NUMBER 2 IN THE LEAGUE. BECAUSE THEY DON'T SIT IN THAT PATHETIC BOX. THEY GET AGGRESSIVE AND ATTACK.

Gotta get back to tightening that D up. A hard effort by Tampa tonight. They always play the Caps hard.

Two in a row. Back to work at the booth as the Rangers come knockin on Saturday.

It's been a two point night.

ICE BREAKERS GOAL SHAKERS

Posted by: Jonathan6 | March 4, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Being off for Backstrom is like a good night for most players. He has clearly not been himself the last 2 games. Not a worry at all. He's human and will get back to his conistent greatness soon enough.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

"Being off for Backstrom is like a good night for most players. He has clearly not been himself the last 2 games. Not a worry at all. He's human and will get back to his conistent greatness soon enough."

The olympians in general have seemed to be a bit off the past two nights. I am sure it will pass and I'm not worried.

Posted by: eorr | March 4, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

A few interesting stats...

Semin with 4 takeaways and 0 giveaways. That doesn't surprise me at all given what my eyes have been telling me the last two games. He's been playing hard in all 3 zones. Our best player, overall, since coming back, in my opinion. The 4th line and Chimera were phenomenal yesterday but Semin was phenomenal in both games. I don't care about points and +/-. He's bringing it.

Gordon 12-for-14 in faceoffs.

Carlson with 4 blocked shots. Backstrom/Morrison with 3 each.

Morrisonn with 5 hits.

Belanger was on for 2 goals against as was Corvo. Walker was on for none and obviously scored 2 big ones.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Semin/Bmo/Laich...ehhn. Scratch Bmo and put Flash back there. That way you can put Chimera up with Fehr and Belanger and get Bradley back on 4th line. He deserves it. Bmo looks old most nights. Anyone agree with line switch?

Posted by: Todgak | March 4, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

@eorr

I'm not buying the Olympics excuse as much based on the way Semin has been playing. He's been our best player the last 2 games.

I'm sure some will say Semin didn't show up in the Olympics and that is why he doesn't look fatigued.

I don't buy that either even if he didn't play particularly well. He still got top line minutes and had to deal with all the travel and extra work.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I was actually glad to see Vinny Lecavalier look like his old self tonight. I have wondered whether his slump originated with his injury from the cheap shot from Matt Cooke back when Cooke was with the Caps. You never want to see a player hampered by injury, but it seems particularly tragic when it is a great player taking a cheap shot.

Posted by: zmega | March 4, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

@Todgak

I made the very same suggestion in a previous thread.

Morrison has been better the last 2 games but I'm not sure he has the legs anymore to play on either of the top 2 lines. And he's not physical enough to play on a 3rd or 4th line.

He has all the hockey smarts in the world and is a classy guy but I'd rather see one of the following sets of lines:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Fleischmann-Laich-Semin
Chimera-Belanger-Fehr
Laing-Steckel/Gordon-Bradley/Walker

or possibly

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Fleischmann-Belanger-Semin
Chimera-Laich-Fehr
Laing-Steckel/Gordon-Bradley/Walker

depending on what Belanger shows over the next couple of weeks. I have a feeling he may be our 2nd best center. He may be best suited for the 3rd line but we don't have that much talent up the middle after Backstrom. We may have some depth but not much top end talent. I think Belanger should get a legitimate shot to be our 2nd line center.

I also really like the idea of a Chimera-Laich-Fehr line. I think that line could be pretty gritty with plenty of ability to put up points.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

@tmac

I agree Semin has looked good the past two nights. Perhaps, I should not have generalized with the term "Olympicans" I should have said Ovie and Backstrom (even thought he played great) seem to have a bit of a disappointment hangover. Like I said before I am sure it will pass and I am not worried.

Posted by: eorr | March 4, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

youaresquishy,

Yeah, Ron Low lol...

I too was just a kid at the time and Bernie Wolfe was the first Caps autograph I got as well as the first Caps jersey. My next one was a Rod Langway jersey. Man oh man, I am dating myself here.

Mike Palmateer, Wayne Stevenson, he he, geez...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 4, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

@Todgak : I agree that BMo has earned a scratch. Based on the last 2 games, you really can't scratch Gordon and Bradley needs to play.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

@BernieWolfeFan

I mentioned it to you before but I was good friend with Amanda Wolfe, Bernie's daughter, and Jeff Halpern. We all grew up together in Potomac, MD.

I've actually been in Bernie's basement a few times. I remember seeing hockey pictures in their basement. His daughter didn't even care about hockey so she always laughed at how I got all excited about that stuff.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the best PK teams almost always have some speedy, shifty players that can switch direction and make up a lot of ground quickly. That's a necessity when you're a man down, particularly on the points.

That's why I want more Semin out there. I think he's a much better penalty killer than Steckel and Gordon. Steckel and Gordon will win you faceoffs but Steckel, in particular, is really, really slow and has trouble changing directions and covering ground. I understand that he has length but I think his lack of speed and reaction time more than counter that. He also has trouble clearing pucks. His hands just aren't very quick and he's not very skilled.

I hope Belanger proves to be as good as advertised, defensively. If he does, I'd like to see much more of he and Semin out there.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

both morison and belanger from a size comparison look very similar. They also have the same points to date. one could say belanger's numbers would look higher with the wingers in DC

Posted by: samb99 | March 4, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@tmac ya any of those combos look good. Either way ya ,Flash and Semin have great chemistry that shouldnt be tinkered with.

Posted by: Todgak | March 4, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao,

That's great, way cool!
Yeah, them days were not exactly like now where we are Cup contenders. There were some very gloomy days during the season where I'm sure Bernie himself will tell you, he as well as other Caps netminders got sunburn on the back of their necks from the red light shinning on them all night.

Lol...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 4, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

@samb99

They're identical in size but Morrison just doesn't seem to have his legs anymore. He's too inconsitent, in my opinion, to be playing on the top 2 lines and he isn't tough enough to play on the bottom 2 lines. He has great hockey IQ but without his once touted speed, he just doesn't seem able to execute the things he wants to do consistently. He gets muscled off the puck way too easily and he can't create space with his speed the way he could at his peak.

I have to believe Belanger is the faster and better skater at this point as well as a more physical and better player along the boards. He's also better in the faceoff circle and defensively, according to all accounts.

Looking back at Morrison's whole body of work this season, I just feel that we have better options at 2nd and 3rd line center. Who knows, though, maybe he'll step it up down the stretch.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Belanger/Fehr/Flash had a great couple of chances in the game. I was expecting to see them bury one, not including Fehr's unassisted.

Corvo stepped up physically against a rushing Lightning a few times. Glad to see someone step up at someone at the blue line.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao

Agree with your comments. Both of them are not the big center to match up with malkin/crosby/stal. Plus they are about the same slender size as Mathew Perault. MP looked great when he was here.

Posted by: samb99 | March 4, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

The Penguins outshot the Rangers 55-16. That's pretty absurd.

It's even more absurd that the Rangers scored 4 goals on those 16 shots. Fleury actually gave up 4 on 12 shots.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

And please, God get Backstrom off the PK. Yeah, he was amazing. Yeah, we had a ton of people in the box at that time.

But my heart was jumping every time I saw him kneel down.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

I see the logic with Backstrom on the PK but yeah, I think BB could have used 3 others I can think of in a coma.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 4, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Wolski scored against the Avs with 23 seconds left in the 3rd to win the game.

Wolski was an Av 24 hours ago.

lol....

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Backstrom is way too valuable to this team. I think losing him would hurt more than losing any other player, including Ovechkin or Green.

The Caps have never had to play a stretch of games without Backstrom but they've been able to win without guys like Ovechkin, Semin and Green.

I often wonder if the rise of Backstrom over the past few years is more responsible than anything else for the Caps rise to elite status, even more than Boudreau's impact.

On the other hand, I think that it's worth the risk to keep Semin on the PK. I may be wrong but he just seems so good at it, possibly the best we have before seeing what Belanger can do.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Yea, I just noticed that. Wolski burns his former team.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

The Sharks just pulled a Caps. Score and get scored upon right back. Hah...

Nabokov has had a rough week. He got screwed by the guys in front of him against Canada as much as anything he did wrong. He faced a firing squad early and often.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

if a little man such as Marty St. Louis can lay everything on the line doing whatever is asked of him every night, a young guy like Backstrom killing a penalty here and there is NO big deal.

one thing you have to wonder is why Ovie is out there in the last couple minutes of the game basically in a PK mode and don't play a shift during all the PK situations during the second period.

Posted by: joek443 | March 4, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

I understand your argument but to me, it's just not worth it to have Backstrom out there blocking shots. The risk outweighs any possible gains, in my opinion, especially when we don't even have a clear cut 2nd line-caliber center.

I don't care how Tampa or Pittsburgh uses it's top players. We're a different team in a different situation. Losing Backstrom for any extended time would outweigh any possible tangible or intangible benefits of having him kill penalties.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

tampa & pittsburgh = stanley cup winners

washington = ???

if you're gonna let your super stars cherry-pick, you're never gonna win the championship

Posted by: joek443 | March 4, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom: "It hit me on the pants. I had protection. It felt good. Why? I wanted to win."


SIGN HIM NOW.

Posted by: butcherbaker | March 5, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

I agree with your general point, joek.

I want to see him take another step or two in terms of his total game, whether he takes it upon himself or the coaches bring it out of him. If he ever gets to where his decision-making matches his skill and intensity, that would be incredible for this team. Having a star player that competes like Ovechkin does is already incredible. He just needs to play a smarter and more responsible overall game. Being the emotional leader that he is, it will trickle down the entire roster.

As far as Ovechkin out there with the empty net, I largely agree with your point. I guess it's just star treatment. That's Boudreau's call.

On top of that, I thought Ovechkin got a little fortunate to draw that penalty. He probably should have made the safe play along the boards. A giveaway would have looked pretty bad on him and Boudreau.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 5, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Came back from the game. Glad the Caps won. It seems that the Caps' defense is usually off when they play Tampa. The first two goals by Tampa were failed PK's. But at least they killed the penalties during 3rd period,

Walker was hot. (And to think that Walker was envisioned to be mostly a spare part.)

It almost seemed the guys were playing out of sync, with all the new people and different line combinations.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 5, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

So who will be the healthy scratches on Saturday?

Walker, probably not since he scored two goals.

Fehr, probably not since he has a point scoring streak.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 5, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

Well, Bradley and Steckel were terrific against Buffalo yet got scratched for this game. Maybe Boudreau figured Bradley could use the rest and that Gordon has missed a lot of time this season so he gave Steckel the rest.

Either way, we have 15 forwards that seem to deserve playing time every single night. There will probably be nights where a player plays well and still gets the next game off while Boudreau expirements with the new players.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 5, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

NB is the new Zetterberg/Forsberg/Datsyuk...he does it all.
That's what superstars do - play the entire game.

As for OV on the PK @ the end of the game, he's Allah...he can do anything he wants. PERIOD.

Cup or no Cup. We are only 3 years into the current playoff run. Lets not forget this is a marathon not a quick fix.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 5, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Does anybody buy the theory that McPhee had another deal lined up that fell through, resulting in the player overload?

Or do you think this is exactly what he wanted to do and it was all about depth and versatility?

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 5, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

I read some where that Boudreau said Steckel was fighting a cold, which probably contributed to the decision to scratch him.

Wouldn't be surprised to see Bradley get some rest. I bet Bradley will be back next game.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 5, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

tmac2yao:
i think he was trying for one of the other d men that was moved and used a 'backup' plan to get juice and corvo - so yeah i kind of do think that. i'd like to know who he tried to get and what he was asked for in return or who was offered and what was the asking price.

i think getting hard working role guys that give some depth and slight upgrade on skills was the right move.
with pothier being the only one leaving keeps the chemistry intact for the most part.

it really looks like having to many healthy guys is paying off with them making the most of the minutes they get.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 5, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

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