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Tonight's lineup: Stars at Caps

Semyon Varlamov will start tonight at Verizon Center as the Caps attempt to tie the longest winning streak on home ice since the 1975-76 season. At the other end of the rink, Marty Turco will be in net for a desperate Dallas team, which sits points behind Detroit in the race for the eighth in the Western Conference.

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

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

Goalies
Varlamov
Theodore

I'll have more later.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 8, 2010; 6:39 PM ET
 
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Next: Caps' record run at home ends in shootout

Comments

GO CAPS!

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

i have directv. does that mean i am screwed for watching game tonight? anywhere to watch live online???

Posted by: adamkatzen | March 8, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

@adamkatzen: There is a site called hockeystreams.com where you can watch the game for $4.99. It may also be possible to get the Versus feed for free at adte.com.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 8, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Dalliquippa | March 8, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

How many necs could a Plekanec plek if a Plekanec could plek necs?

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 8, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

this kinda reminds you of most of the 80's and early 90's when the NHL had two of their all-time greats in Gretzky and Lemieux in their prime but not easy to be found on national tv or cable...

Posted by: joek443 | March 8, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

@adam

www.hockeystreams.com is also good if you're willing to pay a few bucks.

It's more reliable than atdhe.net and other free streams.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I just noticed ccCapsfan already pointed out hockeystreams.com.

I've used it multiple times and have been extremely happy with it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

This is looking like the real Varlamov. Now, how about the real Caps.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 8, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

That's what I'm talkin' about!

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 8, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Whoooo Poti!

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

4th line - awareness by stecks and poti moving into open space!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 8, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Nice play by the 4th line and sweet finish by Poti.

Posted by: cbs75 | March 8, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

atdhe is working great...thanks!!

Posted by: adamkatzen | March 8, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Caps look like they have come out hard.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for Ovi to start finishing again. At least he's moving a lot better tonight.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 8, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

What's the deal with the new music after each goal? I've noticed the change tonight, SAT and Th games (was at the VC for TH & SA). It sucks and they have no rhythm. Bring back the old tunes - They Rock!

Posted by: puckman | March 8, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Man, Ovechkin is getting tons of golden scoring opportunities. They're going to start going in soon.

Varlamov has been tested early.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Too many defensive breakdowns early.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

The score could easily be 3-3 or something. Both teams playing poor defense.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

very fast paced first period
i think this favors the caps

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 8, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Caps are moving the puck really well tonight.

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

The score does not reflect how the first period was played.

Both goalies made some big stops and various players on both teams didn't do enough with their scoring chances.

We have to tighten up defensively.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear that the experts agree that Cooke's hit was dirty and intentional. They ought to suspend him for the season. He's a repeat offender.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 8, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I thought that was a pretty bad period for us. We were playing way too wide open and although Dallas only had a handful of shots on goal, just about every one of them was a good scoring chance.

I like how Craig Button put it the other night. The Caps need to start playing tighter playoff hockey every game down the stretch. It's okay to create offense and scoring chances but not by taking too many risks. We need to tighten it up and think defense first.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I missed the first period...Did Joe B sound like a homer at all, or did he call it neutral?

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

Whoa Varly...

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

Brads-Stecks-Gordo are flying.

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

Brads-Stecks-Gordo are flying.

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

I think that is a result of them getting some rest and having to fight to play every game.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow B-Mo can not buy a break right now.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

wow - stoppage in play - i thought they would go the whole 60 without a whistle for a penalty

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

Joe B isn't really sounding like a homer, he's just giving credit where credit is due, unlike NBC or the NHL.

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

stars self destructing - gotta get a least one here

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

Bad mistake by Green there.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I do not like how Dallas is hanging around. Friggin Turco!

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

What a shot!

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

Drought over!!

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

OVI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Finally!!!

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

Welcome back to the score sheet, Ovechkin!

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

maybe the flood gates will open now for OV

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

I actually would like to see the Caps use Poti and Ovechkin on the points on the first unit and have Green on the second with Corvo. I think that having a righty and a lefty on the point so both can take one-timers on that top PP is important. If I am wrong and it doesn't work then they can always change it back before the playoffs.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Were those HOCKEY PUCKS in his ears?

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

Were those HOCKEY PUCKS in his ears?

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

Couldn't tell if they were real or not but those were pucks.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

41 SOG's already.

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

scratch that. 42 SOG's

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

Were those HOCKEY PUCKS in his ears?

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

Couldn't tell if they were real or not but those were pucks.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 8:35 PM

______________________________________

I never thought I would say this, but I prefer the Capstonaut over that freak show...

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

How is Fleischmann a healthy scratch? The Caps have enough talent to put out a 5th line which would be good enough to play for any team in the league. 18 goal, 27 assist guy a healthy scratch......insane.

Posted by: jamalnasir_2000 | March 8, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

SOG: 42-16

It's amazing that both teams haven't scored more goals, even Dallas. They haven't had many shots but they've had some really good chances.

I do like our sense of urgency in front of the net. That has probably prevented a goal or two.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Turco has made some nuts saves. A few on OV and Semin, and one really good one on Laich. Varly has had a couple as well. This game could easily be 5-2 right now.

Posted by: Aldred15 | March 8, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Must be nice to watch the game. Thanks Directv/Versus.

Posted by: jackstraaw | March 8, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

turco - sv pct 95%
varly doing his best theo impression

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

I'm sure Flash being scrathced is to acclimate the new guys asap for the playoffs. He could use the rest anyway since the Olympics took alot out of anyone participating so I have no issue with him sitting out a game.

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

This is not the time to let them back in the game. Play to win boys!

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

jackstraaw:
atdhe.net
i have dirt tv - no versus s*cks

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

And our PK continues to blow chunks. This just won't do in the playoffs.

Posted by: cbs75 | March 8, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Glad we didn't go on the PK until the third because it is still getting worked on. Varly never saw it.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

$#!+

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

For $4.99 and an average internet home connection, you can get a great stream at www.hockeystreams.com.

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

Figures tonight would be when Turco decideds to play well against the East.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Needless to say, the PK is going to make or break us in the playoffs. If we don't get that to a measurable level of success, we are out in Rnd one.

Crap Brads...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 8, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow, two weak penalties. Shocker.

Posted by: cbs75 | March 8, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

And i was just about to praise the Caps for being so disciplined...

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

crap crap crap crap crap!

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh boy....

Posted by: TimDz | March 8, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

ouch

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 8, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable. Just sick. Bad penalties lead to bad goals.

Posted by: cbs75 | March 8, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Really all our PK has to do is only give up as many as we score on the PP because there isn't a team in the NHL that can play with us 5 on 5 for a whole series.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, for the Caps Pens series, our 30 penalties versus their 8, we're really going to need a decent PK unit.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | March 8, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Our Achilles heel continues to be our Achilles heel.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I am a very optimistic fan, but I don't see how you can win a Cup with this PK.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 8, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I really wish the GM were talking as much about diving as they are about head hits. Yes head his are more dangerous but the constant diving in the game is getting worse and worse and if nothing is done soon we will be watching soccer on ice with guys going down holding their face where nothing comes close to their face.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Those were both awful penalty calls but you have to be able to kill those off.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 8, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

ccCapsfan,

"Needless to say, the PK is going to make or break us in the playoffs. If we don't get that to a measurable level of success, we are out in Rnd one."

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 8, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

justin.tv go to the sports section. They have decent streaming for free.

Posted by: jamalnasir_2000 | March 8, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Semin looks mad right now. You see him slam his stick on the ice looking for a pass from Belanger? And that slapper? He's been like this all game!

Semin's on a mission right now and I LOVE it.

Posted by: Raber | March 8, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Yet another struggling PP comes in and gets it going against the Caps' soft-as-butter PK.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

wtf

Posted by: cbs75 | March 8, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh. My. Lord.

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

That was a weak one for Varly

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

varly is not back yet

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 8, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Come come out Theo/Neuvy haterz.
Geebus. Varly is a mess.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 8, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I think Varly has answered the goalie question. He should of had the 2nd and definitely the 3rd. JT looks to be the man.

Posted by: cbs75 | March 8, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov, leaky.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Still lots of time here

Posted by: TimDz | March 8, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Whoa..haven't seen any of this game yet, but 3 3rd period goals?!?! 2 of them PPGs?!?!

yeesh,

Posted by: richmondphil | March 8, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Gotta shoot up high on Turco. He's a mudder.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 8, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Sasha is snake bitten tonight but my crystal ball sees him with the tying goal and OT winner.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 8, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

That 3rd goal was completely deflating. That was the time of the game where your goalie has to at a minimum stop the easy shots.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

hopefully they played unleash the fury during that last ad break.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Green and Poti are out together trying to put even more pressure on Marty

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. Bruce has Green and Corvo as a pairing.

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Varly needs more time in Hershey cuz his play is pretty weak right now and Neuvy was playing pretty well -- better than Varly

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 8, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. Bruce has Green and Corvo as a pairing.

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse
------
Well he did have them together in one shift.

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. Bruce has Green and Corvo as a pairing.

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Actually Green and Poti were the pairing Poti just came off first and Green hadn't

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Just thinking haven't seen Earskne since he took that puck to the face are we playing with only 5 D?

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

OVIE!

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Ovie!!!!

Posted by: cbs75 | March 8, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

YES!!!

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

sometime he just takes what he wants

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 8, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

SUCK ON THAT ONE!! WOOOOO!!

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | March 8, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Clutch.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Ya Know...I think this Ovechkin kid might do OK in the NHl...

Posted by: TimDz | March 8, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Sick! from the world's best player.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 8, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh captain my captain

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I had a feeling he was going to tie it up.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 8, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

OV is a hockey god!

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 8, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Actually Green and Poti were the pairing Poti just came off first and Green hadn't

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse
-------
I see. thanks.

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Looks like OVIE is back...love that inside outside move and the shot right to the corner!! Sweet!

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | March 8, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Shoot high on Turco boyz!

Intensity & energy up tonite vs. the Rags - Sat. night.
Only 1 who wasn't into it was Varly.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 8, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

time for Corvo to score his firs goal as a Cap...

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

come on boys - get 2 pts in OT

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 8, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Man, Green turns it over with 20 some seconds left. That could have been costly.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Varly needs to be solid here.....

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | March 8, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

4-on-4 hasn't been good to the Caps.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Now Green is with Carlson.

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Earskne has to be out haven't seen him in a very long time. It is the only reason Green and Carlson started the OT.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Choppy ice

Posted by: TimDz | March 8, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I agree. We need to shoot high on Turco.

Geez, Ovie needed to shoot high that time!!!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 8, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Carlson with 3 giveaways, no takeaways....

Was he noticeably bad this game, or were they recovered giveaways?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 8, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

did I hear that right? 51 shots?

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Semin has the right idea...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 8, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Corvo made a real bad play there almost lost it for us

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

At least the ice gets cleaned...

Posted by: TimDz | March 8, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't like shootouts...

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

not liking a shootout with Varly in net.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | March 8, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil he has not looked very good at all. None of his 3 turnovers lead to a great scoring chance but didn't help us. But that is just my oppinion.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

That's because we suck at shootouts.

Varly's real good at them though at least, as is Theo.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 8, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Hate the shootout!!

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | March 8, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov can redeem himself.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Time for my Jeff Schultz stinks comments. Only NHL defenseman who doesn't hit, when he tries he falls down, can't clear the slot on short handed situations, creates better screens of his own goalies vision then the oponents do, and has a slap shot only rivaled by a 12 year old girl. Plus Boudreau can't use him in overtime.

Posted by: wgoodm01 | March 8, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Basckstrom!!

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Backs is such a joy to watch!

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Basckstrom!!

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Semin is in Lah lah land.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | March 8, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Varly!

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Way to come up big Varly

Posted by: TimDz | March 8, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Semin Toe pick

Posted by: wgoodm01 | March 8, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Other than Backie and Richardson, these look ugly.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 8, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Poor Varly, he is just not ready to be back in the NHL right now

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 8, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Guys have to do better then one for five in shootouts if they want to win.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Nother 3rd period meltdown courtesy of our fine penalty kill.

Nice.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 8, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to Comcast for not letting us watch this.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | March 8, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

poo. Big fat smelly dallas stars poo...

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | March 8, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

-All was well until Caps took their foots off the pedal in the third.
-Varly was pretty bad.
-Good news is that Ovie is finally ended his 'slump'
-4th line looked good.
-Still not sold on Corvo.

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

We gave that game away.

Turco was great but we should've scored more early.

Varlamov gave up a softie at the worst possible time with that 3rd Stars goal.

It would've been nice if Varlamov could've redeemed himself in the shootout but it wasn't meant to be. He did make a couple of nice stops though.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Not too worried about SO since they don't have them in the playoffs but still, the PK lost that game.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | March 8, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Yeah that PK stinks. And Varly looked ordinary, whereas Turco looked like he did in his prime. Hopefully, Varly can work himself into game shape and the Caps can figure out how to play a man-down before the playoffs start.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 8, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Even though I thought those two calls were weak...well one was terrible, we have GOT to figure out how to kill penalties!

Can't win them all guys! Good news is we played well excpept in the PK, and OV got his groove back!

Posted by: capscoach | March 8, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how much only having 5 D in the third effected the Caps? Earskne only had one 7 second shift in the third which I think is when he got the puck in the face. It also ment that for the first PP goal we only had 4 D to choose from so we had to use what we had even though Carlson doesn't normally kill penalities.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Versus = Comcast = NBC = evil empire putting greed above letting fans enjoy sports.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | March 8, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Varly needs to stay at hershey. He is no where near the level of play he was a year ago.

Posted by: hersheykid | March 8, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Varly will be fine. We've got tons of games until the playoffs.

The PK however....

Posted by: richmondphil | March 8, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Yea, I'm not sure about the Corvo deal, either.

Does he help our PK?

Does he help us deal better with aggressive forechecks? Hopefully, but I've heard his decision-making isn't top notch and there have been signs of that being true in his first few games. Maybe his speed will allow him to get to pucks first but he keeps talking about how he won't recover and regain his speed fully until next season. I don't know. Time will tell I guess.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Varly needs to stay at hershey. He is no where near the level of play he was a year ago.

Posted by: hersheykid | March 8, 2010 9:50 PM |

That's funny, because he's played his best hockey this year.

A game or two after injury, and he needs to go to hershey? lol. okay.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 8, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

The Caps should work on the PK at every practice for the rest of the season. Varly is closer to going back to Hershey than he is to taking over for Theo.

Posted by: zmega | March 8, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Like I said about the PK it only has to limit goals against to the number of goals scored by our PP because our five on five is better then any other team. The good thing is in the playoffs you have to win 4 games in a round so a goalie can't just have one good game like Turco did tonight.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Versus and their owner Comcast suck as does their new uber-owner NBC

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | March 8, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree with richmondphil. It's too early to write Varlamov off. It's going to take time for him to get back to form. It would be the same for any goalie who missed 2+ months with injuries.

If anything, Theodore has been relatively healthy and playing well. It's his job to lose. People shouldn't be too hard on Varlamov given that he's going through what any goalie would in his situation.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Who forgot to tell the team during the second intermission that NHL games are 60 minutes long, thus leaving 20 minutes left to play? The Mites on Ice could have outplayed the Caps for the first 10 minutes of the third!

Hopefully this gut-punch of a loss will help the team remember that being up by two goals doesn't mean the game is over.

Posted by: kresneck | March 8, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Varly ain't going anywhere. There is no way they will bring up Neuvy and put Varly in Hershey. Varly has been to the playoffs and won a series. Neuvy was the AHL playoff MVP. As neat as the playoffs are in Hershey (I went to the finals last year), it's nothing compared to an NHL playoff game.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | March 8, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Any reason Walker was scratched tonight? Injury, healthy scratch??

Posted by: blackbear9 | March 8, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Our PK is simply too soft and slow to react, in my opinion.

I think we need more speed at the points. Steckel may be great at faceoffs and have reach but watching him change directions is like watching paint dry. Watching him try to gather himself and clear pucks is about the same.

Semin and Belanger look like two of our better options at the point. We have to put more pressure on the opposing points and close gaps and shooting lanes more quickly.

All the PKers need to do a better job of winning 50/50 pucks and clearing the zone.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I mentioned it earlier but as good as Turco was, we simply didn't finish on a number of golden scoring chances. It wasn't just Turco playing well. It was also our guys failing to capitalize. The same can be said about a few of the Stars' early chances.

Sometimes it's as simple as putting the puck in the net more often. We should have easily put up 5 goals tonight with all the shots and scoring chances we generated, regardless of Turco's performance.

I also think some of the breakdowns can be attributed to the fact that we've been changing lineups every game recently. That was one of the obvious risks of McPhee overloading the roster. Hopefully, it turns out to be a good thing in the long run but I expect more confusion in the short term.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Yea, I'm not sure about the Corvo deal, either.

Does he help our PK?

Does he help us deal better with aggressive forechecks? Hopefully, but I've heard his decision-making isn't top notch and there have been signs of that being true in his first few games. Maybe his speed will allow him to get to pucks first but he keeps talking about how he won't recover and regain his speed fully until next season. I don't know. Time will tell I guess.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse
---------
Don't know if any of you saw it, but during the last game against the NYR I posted saying I liked how aggressive Corvo was. Well I'm starting to regret saying that. I'm noticing that he over commits a lot. He leaves the middle wide open for the opposing player to sneak in and it's frustrating to watch.

Posted by: elicea | March 8, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Some people are unnescessarily harsh. Do the Caps need to work on the PK...yes

Does Vsrly still need to find his groove...yes...but he also looked pretty good in the first two periods so maybe that is a goodsign.

We ouplayed te Stars and lost...it happens sometimes, but lets no throw the team under the bus.

The important game for us is when we play Chicago soon. That will be a true bencmark for our playoff readiness.

Posted by: capscoach | March 8, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:
Ouch. That hurt. The team got exactly what it deserved after laying down in the early part of the third period. Instead they waited until they were down 3-2 to turn it on. Inexcusable. Don't you remember what you did during the win streak when you brought it regardless of being ahead or behind in the third?

PENALTY KILL - continues to be a huge area of concern. It seems like it's an automatic goal. Too much running around but still not as aggressive.

PROPS TO DALLAS - Turco kept them in the game and they kept coming at the Caps.

MIKE GREEN - was horrible tonight. He telegraphed passes and when he had a chance to shoot he misfired. He wasn't even close to being average. Not to mention taking a STUPID penalty.

VARLAMOV - had the chance to redeem himself in the shootout but not so much. Not sure what happened on that third goal but you go letting those kind in during the playoffs and that won't win you games. He still should take Ovie to dinner for saving his ass in regulation with that sick goal to tie it at 3.

A point is fine - but another one was pissed away. This team needs to get back on track to finishing strong. Hope this was a braincramp.

Back to the booth on Wednesday night with a Hurricane warning.

Ice Breakers Goal Shakers

Posted by: Jonathan6 | March 8, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Our penalty kill is awful. They really need to get this remedied SOON.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | March 8, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I actually thought Carlson looked great for the second consecutive game. I even thought he did a lot of good things in the previous games where there were more mixed reactions.

He's making good plays in all zones and I think the giveaways are still related to him getting adjusted to NHL play.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

The important game for us is when we play Chicago soon. That will be a true bencmark for our playoff readiness.

Posted by: capscoach | March 8, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't agree more. If we don't bring our A game against them, it could look like us at San Jose, Part II.

To me, Chicago is the class of the league right now. Their goalie situation is their Achilles' heel. Other than that, they are the definition of a puck possession team. It's no accident that they have a +10 margin in shots on goal/against and lead the league in both categories. Their 5-on-5 play sometimes looks like a power play with the way they control the puck in the offensive zone. Their defensemen are fast and fundamentally sound and don't let opposing teams get much going in the defensive.

Basically, they're a great offensive and defensive team. They get it done in all 3 zones. It will be tough for any team to beat them in 7-game series if they stay healthy and their goalies are just average to slightly above average, sort of like the Red Wings in the past.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

My biggest fear heading into the postseason is that we don't have enough time to clean up our weaknesses.

Sure, every team has weaknesses but the kind of weaknesses we have our the worst kind for playoff hockey. A lot of the teams that won't be making the playoffs this season do a lot of the little things that contribute to postseason success better than us.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao I would not say they are the class of the league right now especially after giving up 5 in the second period yesterday against the Wings who while finally healthy are not the Wings of the past where that was common place.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I think people are overreacting a little. The Caps dominated the game. Sometimes the puck just doesn't find the back of the net, especially when the opposing goalie played great. With the exception of a few minutes the Caps were by far the dominant team. I would take that sort of energy, and scoring opportunities in any game. If a similar game was played the Caps would have 5 or 6 goals by the 3rd instead of 2.

However,

-The PK was atrocious, and the team committed two lazy and unnecessary penalties in the 3rd. Maybe they shouldn't have been called but when up 2-0 you don't want to give the refs an opportunity to call a penalty. I still think that maybe the PK philosophy should be changed because the current gameplan does not seem to be working.

-Varly wasn't bad overall, but the 3rd goal was awful. My main worry is that when he gives up a few goals over a short period of time he gets rattled and is prone to let in a soft one. But it is only his 3rd game back and he is improving with each game played. He still gets more time and starts before any conclusions can be made on whether he should be the starter in the playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 8, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao I would not say they are the class of the league right now especially after giving up 5 in the second period yesterday against the Wings who while finally healthy are not the Wings of the past where that was common place.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 8, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

One game.

The numbers speak for themselves for anybody who hasn't watched a lot of Chicago this season.

And I wasn't even basing it on numbers. I've watched parts or all of about 10 of their games and they are really, really, really good.

Even in most of their losses, they totally carry the play. It usually takes a perfect game by their opponents, some bad luck and/or poor goaltending for them to lose.

Huet is leaky and inconsistent and Niemi isn't proven. That to me is their only real weakness.

To each their own but I truly believe that Chicago is the best overall team this season with the fewest weaknesses. That doesn't mean the Caps or any other team can't beat them but that is my honest assessment after having watched a lot of them this season.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Also, I hope that by the time we get to the playoffs Boudreau settles on a lineup that's designed to win games, not make everybody happy. Gordon and Steckel are redundant, and Flash should be in there.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | March 8, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I agree about Varly. As bad as that 3rd goal he allowed was (and it was horrible), he really didn't make any other glaring mistakes. It looked to me like he was screened on one, if not both, of those PP goals. Those shots got through WAY too easily. We need to fill shooting lanes better or clear the front of the net to allow Varlamov, or any goalie, to see the puck and have a chance to make the save.

Having said that, Theo has been relatively healthy and has played well so the job is obviously his to lose at this point. Varlamov missed 2+ months so his performance really shouldn't be shocking from that perspective. It would probably be the same for any goalie who missed that much time.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Flash needs to be in for sure.

Chimera is now a 4th liner on this team.

Stecks had a nice pass to Poti for the 1st goal. Need more of that from Stecks.

Posted by: floms | March 8, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey tmac whats your guess for lines on wed and goin in against chi? Id love to see same setup as during the streak except Bmo nixed for Belanger and alternate 4th liners with Walker at some point. Flash was only 20% on faceoffs against Rangers but still like him up there for more finish on that 2nd line.

Posted by: Todgak | March 8, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

@Hatfield

I totally agree and would expect the line shuffling to settle down well before the playoffs. Games like tonight will make things settle down even sooner.

Fortunately, we were in a situation that allowed us to add depth and experiment with it. If the standings were different at the time of the trade deadline, McPhee may have made different moves and Boudreau wouldn't have the room to expirement as much, if at all.

Having said that, all the moves have really created a tough situation for Boudreau and the team. There are clear cut positives and negatives to the situaion. Hopefully, the positives end up outweighing the negatives.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@Todgak

I have no clue. Your guess is as good as mine. I didn't expect to see Fleischmann sitting for this game. Somebody else nailed it though. I think it might have been floms.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Someone also needs to tell the Caps that loosing to Dallas is unexceptable to any Washington fan. They need to play as if they were a rival.

Now I gotta here 5hit from the Cowboy fans at work

Posted by: floms | March 8, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Another positive is that we looked good 4-on-4 tonight and carried the play.

Coming in, we had something like 2 goals for and 11 or 12 against in that situation.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the Kings are up 4-0 in the 1st and just started a 5 min PP.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 8, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

At least Ovie finally broke out of his slump.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | March 8, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

The final outcome of this game is just about irrelevant. But it did show how strong we are 5-on-5, no one in the league can match us. Caps are now +65 for the season even strength, next closest is Chicago at +44.

Unfortunately, it also showed our biggest weakness, and we all know its the PK. We're now under 79 percent. Since 1990, the only 2 Cup winners with regular season PK under 80 were the 91 and 92 Pens at 79.2 and 79.9 percent. So time for BB to coach up the PKers.

Posted by: Gould23 | March 8, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

People also need to calm down a little about the scratches. BB is clearly alternating scratches to give most of his forwards some more rest. This could be very helpful come playoff time with the compressed schedule. Every guy will be playing in at least 3 games this week (except Laing and Sloan and probably Erskine).

I think giving Flash a game off was a good move. It's just one game and the only point of these games now is to prepare for the playoffs. If BB feels some extended rest will make the Caps the most prepared for the playoffs then he should do it.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 8, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Our PK is absolutely atrocious. 100% conversion by the other team. That is not acceptable at all. I know Boudreau tends to rest the high minute guys the day after a game a lot but they need to work on systems like PK.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 8, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Sat behind Varly during the 3rd period tonight. He did not look ready.

Of course, we should have had that no-goal early in the game. Weird game. Oh well.

Posted by: butcherbaker | March 9, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

We're now under 79 percent. Since 1990, the only 2 Cup winners with regular season PK under 80 were the 91 and 92 Pens at 79.2 and 79.9 percent. So time for BB to coach up the PKers.

Posted by: Gould23 | March 8, 2010 11:36 PM

Interesting stat. Where did you find that?

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 9, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

@tmac: hockeyreference.com Has lots of good team stats, both regular season and playoffs.

Posted by: Gould23 | March 9, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

So many times the Caps will play very disciplined hockey the first two periods and then they get in the box for Period 3. The sad part is that their PK is so bad, they really have no margin for error so any guy who has a propensity to take penalties stands out like a sore thumb and is an easy scapegoat.

Good as Evgeny Malkin is as a player for Pittsburgh, he takes an awful lot of minor penalties and if he were with us by some fluky chance, some of those penalties would be costly and people would be calling for him to be traded for a shutdown defense man (or whatever is our greatest need).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 9, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Other intersting note about those 2 Pens teams. Both were way over the league average in regular season goals against/game (by nearly .4 goals per game each year).

Only two other Cup winners since 1990 have been worse than the league average for cup winning year: 2006 Hurricanes (+.09 g/game), and 2009 Pens (exactly equal to league average).

Posted by: Gould23 | March 9, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

@Gould23 & tmac2yao

Great stats on our PK. If we're at 79% on PK, that means the other team's conversion percentage on the Power Play has our conversion rate beat. Yes, in spite of all the offensive talent the Caps supposedly has.

It seems that almost any team can kill penalties better than us. We're down there with the worst teams in the league.

79%, a pathetic percentage overall. That would earn a C- in the old high school grading scale for Virginia. Today, I would grade the Caps PK as a F.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 9, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

@Gould23

Thanks, I use basketballreference and baseballreference all the time. I've never really explored hockeyreference beyond just basic stats. I'll have to check the advanced stuff out some time.

Again, that was a great find about the relationship between PKing and Cup winners.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 9, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, I appreciate the good reviews. Have also used baseball reference for a while and feel like I'm only scratching the surface on what hockey reference has to offer.

Posted by: Gould23 | March 9, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Did someone forget that before the Olympics when we moved Thomas Fleishhman to center on the second line we went on a 14 game winning streak. He was scratched tonight for boulanger who at best should be our 3rd line center. Bruce had been searching for 2 solid lines for so long then he got them (Ovechkin,Backsrom, Knuble) and (Semin, Fleishhman, Laich) and won 14 in row and seems to have forgotten about it already. One of the reason's I love Bruce is for rotating lines when they are not meshing but those 2 were. He still could have changed up the defense and put boulanger on 3rd line. Please Bruce no more scratching Fleishhman and play him as our 2nd line center and maybe well go on another 14 game win streak.

Posted by: wstwd73 | March 9, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

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