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Too Much Alex?

A lot of the talk after the Caps' 2-0 loss to the Flyers tonight was about Alex Ovechkin's 26:45 of ice time and whether the long shifts, especially on the power play, slowed him down later in the game. His total included 10:03 in the first period (which was more than six players on both teams got all game).

Bruce Boudreau addressed the issue in his postgame press conference. And after listening to his comments, I would be surprised if Ovechkin averages 1:20 per shift in Game 3, regardless of how many power plays the Caps are awarded.

"You know, I didn't like how much he played," Boudreau said. "We had the four [first period] power plays. But if you look at the amount of shifts, he only had seven shifts that period. I think he stayed on too long."

"It's hard when it's Alex," Boudreau said. "He wants to go so badly. He gets it in his head that 'I can do it' and most nights he can. He looked a little tired but he looked a little frustrated was well because he wasn't getting the puck and they were all over him every time he did touch the puck. You could see in that third period, he had a couple of passes on the tape and they went under his stick."

Thoughts?

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 13, 2008; 8:32 PM ET
 
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Next: Milbury Apologies to Leonsis

Comments

OV has played a lot of minutes all year, so not surprising he is playing them now, what he is not used to is the intensity of the playoffs and he will adjust.

Posted by: Rich C | April 13, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

let's go caps

Posted by: woo-hoo | April 13, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I think you only need to think back to Game 1 and realize that the supporting cast had a major role in the win. No player should be on the ice that much--especially when he wasn't really getting it done. You love Semin when he makes the great play, but man does he just simply try to do too much sometimes. The curl and drag has somehow infected every player on the team and there are times when they just need to go back to basics and shoot the puck.
This was truly a team loss though. Passes were lifeless and rarely connected, and the forwards had a awful time entering the zone. All that being said the Caps still had their chances and could have easily been in it had some of their point blank shots gone in.

Posted by: capfan1 | April 13, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Remember, his first year he did the same thing because he wanted to make something happen. Today's game was a lot like those games. At least he wanted to try and do something. Most of the D corps should sit down and take a look at the film of the game. They were pretty slow and crappy.

Posted by: nadir | April 13, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

OV looked less than MVP-ish. But, the real odor came from Green. I;m used to him making the occasional Defensive zone gaffe in exchange for his puck moving abilities, but the trap the Flyers ran was brutal. Green would rush, get stripped and lead to a rush the ohter way. That happened at least three times. Once it lead to a goal.

I actually thought BB did a good job rolling the 4 lines during the second and third. I saw a lot more Brashear than I thought I would.

That said, 2645 for a Forward is insane. Even if he skated a ton of PP time, that number needs to stop at 22. 24 tops. 20 would be better, but you know, its Alex.


Posted by: old time hockey | April 13, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Caps were lazy this entire game and were trying to make too many pretty plays when they did have the man advantage or the puck on offense. Our guys were just bracing for impact half the time - Mike Green should have changed his name to Mike "Yellow" before this game. He overcame his Game 1 bad play with two goals in the third period, but tonight he played poorly again for 40 minutes and that was all she wrote. If our defense doesn't play more physical hockey, Philly is going to beat this team around and end it in 5 or 6. Pathetic. The crowd was behind the Caps bigtime, there were very few Flyers' fans in the building except for the loudmouth behind me all game in section 108, and still, the team laid down under the pressure. I want Fehr and Eminger in the lineup and Flash and Schultz out. I think they're just better fits against this opponent. Plain and simple.

Posted by: JC | April 13, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Steve R.:
Maybe your lack of G(r)een is what made him tank!! ;-) Ya know, I hope he is not starting to believe his own press. Anyway, I think you made a good choice - I like 24 (and I hope he sticks around). I don't think that he gets the credit that he deserves. I am hoping that his style rubs off on some of the other guys.

There was mention of Laing on the previous thread - anyone think Flash is out and Laing is in? That might be just what the Caps need to shake things up a bit. Putting Fehr in for Flash won't shake things up at all ...

Posted by: Boo! | April 13, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

If Green was getting an inflated head, then maybe this game was the best thing that could happen. Bring him down to earth a bit.

Still do not understand the Flash thing. I agree with whoever it was that said how we come out in the first 10 minutes on Tuesday will set the tone.

@Jon Jon, I am so sorry that your son had to go through that today. Those guys were not the Caps fans that I have seen. There is no excuse for that kind of behavior and it just makes me sick to my stomach. Please know that neither the team or real hockey fans would ever condone that kind of behavior.

And, I am not for running anyone. We just need to play our game. Pure and simple. Remember, we beat the Flyers twice in their house already this season.

Posted by: Kim | April 13, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

@boo

I disagree with you on Fehr v Laing. I have nothing against Laing at all, but... with the addition of Fedorov and Cooke we have two more guys for the PK. That was part of Laing's tremendous contribution. Obviously Stecks, Fedorov, Cooke, and (I'd imagine) Gordon are not going to be taken out. I just think Fehr adds a dimension that Laing does not offensively. I've said it before, I know he didn't produce like we thought he would, but the kid has game. And especially with D. Hatcher back next game, I'd rather have Fehr battling him in front than Laing. Flash has gotta go either way though.

Posted by: reekie | April 13, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

This game was bound to happen - we've been on quite a run. Get Clarkie in there for Fleishmann...with another viable scoring threat he wont need to get so much ice time. We've been playing 3/4 of the season without a C on the ice.

Posted by: jesstyr | April 13, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I think if one of those shots by cook or semin goes in we're not talking about it. yeah towards the second half of the game they were pressing and looking less like a team and fell apart, but one of those goals would've changed. a younger team needs at least one goal earlyish.

Posted by: crd | April 13, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I love the Caps, but today's loss has nothing to do with Ovie. The bottom line is that the Caps blew: they were sloppy in the warm ups, Green was lazy all game, Schultz is playing paddy cakes on defense, Huet is constantly mugged, and no one wanted to forecheck Philadelphia.

What happened? It's simple. The Capitals were beaten by a team who wanted the win,

Posted by: Harry | April 13, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Toto, we're not in the Southeast Division anymore.

Posted by: Herb33 | April 13, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Goat said to me during the second intermission that tonight was looking like the night Ovechkin truly became a Washington Capital.

The more things change.... But it's one game. I wouldn't be surprised if the guys tried to ride the energy from the third period on Friday too far. Let's see what happens Tuesday before we get completely bent out of shape.

Posted by: 1995hoo | April 13, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

The Caps looked tired and listless for most of the game. I sort off anticipated this. So many reports mentioned how exhausted the players were after the first game. These guys were bound to lose once and collectively they seemed to lose their wind. They were no where near as physical. Their passes were off, they were out of sync and their legs looked tired. Semin had some beautiful chances and, as someone mentioned, if two of his shots had gone in it would have given them the spark they needed. Green's ego was definitely put in check. Too cute too much. It was like watching Gonchar out there. Collectively, a stinker.

One important note: Hartnell tackled our goaltender. Brashear should have fought him. No ifs ands or buts. Thats his role and it was necessary today. Briere cuffed Huet in the back of the head as well and there was no retaliation. I was shocked and angry. THAT CANNOT HAPPEN. By not making Philly pay the price they fueled their confidence. THe flyers are going to run over Huet on tuesday as well. THe response should be severe.

Posted by: oo7 | April 13, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

oo7,
good points, i think though revenge in the playoffs needs some patience. with a 2 goal deficit its risky to get anohter penalty and go down 3. nothing was all that bad like what they're doing to brodeur. if we're patient we can get them on our terms. payback can be rough!

Posted by: crd | April 13, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Brodeur just got run over and the response was immediate.

By the way, did anyone else notice the horrible ice at Verizon today? That makes tired legs even more fatigued. Something has got to be done about the ice at the phone booth. Home ice advantage is marginalized if the ice sucks, no?

Posted by: oo7 | April 13, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

@crd

I think you have to respond, not retaliate. I didn't mean revenge, i just meant that you can't allow your goalie to be roughed up and get his head slammed. The response must be swift and immediate. Brash should have been on the ice with Hartnell and someone should have crushed Briere. He's been slashing, running Huet and getting away with it.

Posted by: oo7 | April 13, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

reekie:
I hear what you are saying, but I want to see what Laing can do in the playoffs. After all, it is not like Fehr is a big scorer (not to say that he never will be).

oo7:
While the ice not being good is ... well ... not good, I don't think it works against the Caps since both teams have to play on it. Ya know?

Posted by: Boo! | April 13, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

@reekie
we need to establish defensive control
Flash is brutal defensively
reunite laing steks and bradley
If brash isnt going to protect huet put fehr in for him
a shake up is needed
cant allow 40 shots in game 3 and expect to win...we have a defensive shot blocker
and a responsible forward why sit him and suffer through flash floating and falling

Posted by: wendel | April 13, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

oo7 yeah i hear ya, they were pretty dead to respond in ANY way.

TARIK, have you talked/seen clarkie anywheres???

Posted by: crd | April 13, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I would love to see them go back to the 12 forwards that made the run the last 2 weeks. I know Steckel has played well, but when the lines got shuffled something seemed to be lost. They were used to playing with each other and 21/43/14 are better together than they are separated for some reason. The third line did nothing for either game.

Posted by: Rich C | April 13, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Boo-

Both teams have to play on it, yes, but bad ice affects stickhandling, passing, shooting, doesn't keep the puck cold enough so it bounces, rolls and makes it more difficult to control. And if your tired, your weight and force drive the blade into the ice rather than gliding on top of it. Its not fair to either team at all. It hurts the Caps because they are a puck possession team that is dependent on passes and stickhandling. Take that away and they are at a disadvantage.

Either way, it only gets worse as the season goes on. When was the last time you were cold at Verizon center?

Posted by: oo7 | April 13, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

A few points...

1. NBC sucks, plain and simple, the have never done sports right... Never. Milbury is somply put, a jack-a$$.

2. Ovechkin playing 26:46 minutes is not what you want, but it had nothing to do with why we lost. It had absolutely ZERO to do with the outcome.

3. We are getting ZERO screens in front of Biron. Biron isnt bad, if he see's a the shot, he will probably get to it. Someone needs to take some whacks and plant their rear end in the crease, then pepper the net with shots. Too many passes. Our 1st power play is OV, Semin, Backstrom, Green and Fedorov. The only guy in there willing to take the pain is OV. Put OV in the crease, and let Fedorov and Backstrom run the point, keep Semin in the slot.

4. Green played lousy. Who does he think he is, a young Paul Coffey? Actually... Seriously, the Flyers took away the middle of the ice, skating through 2 guys is not a good idea, even if you're Paul Coffey. And for god sakes, shot the damn puck when you're that close.

5. Semin could've changed the whole game if he capitalized on his 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6... chances? He dings the post from 1 foot away all alone. Cooke missed another opportunity. We didnt our chances, and when you dont do that, it ends up biting you on the a$$.

6. Hartnell should get clocked in Philly. He mashes Huet head into the ice, and Morrisonn tries to push him off? I would've kneed him his grill, then put him in a rear naked choke hold and wouldnt stop even if he tapped out. He needs to get run in Philly. Sick'm Brashear.

7. Laing is the solution, sorry to all Laing lovers. Flash, unfortunately, is the lesser of two evils between him and Fehr. The whole team was out of sync, not just Flash. To place any of blame on Flash is nonsense. The Flyers have scored 6 goals, of those 6, 5 of them were defensive breakdowns.

8. The Flyers bounced back today, Biron stole this game as much as we blew it. Congrats to them. Screw them too. They took away the middle of the ice and made us attack from the sides. Erskine couldnt make a decent pass to the edges if it had training wheels.

9. Our ice sucks. Too bad for us, since we seem to be faster, quicker and more skilled skaters than most of our opponents. We negate our advantage every time we play at home. Luckily for us we will be playing in Philly where the ice is decent.

10. The prayers are done, we had a nice ride, 8 straight games.

11. JSchon is not a happy man.

Posted by: JSchon | April 13, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Laing "isnt" the solution...

Posted by: JSchon | April 13, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree with everything JSchon said, exept for the Laing part. Did you mean he IS the answer or IS NOT the answer. If he is the answer what the hell was the question?

NBC does suck.

Oh and when do the Caps ever play well on Sunday afternoon? THey suck on Sunday afternoons. Its been going on for over a decade. I HATE the 2pm and 3pm games. NBC moving it up to 2 kills me. It should be 7pm.

Posted by: oo7 | April 13, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Boudreux has a way with words. Per Tarik's article, when asked what he expected of the team next game Boudreux replied, ""Like they've done all year -- come out and be great."

Per "too much Alex" - could be. Any player who puts too much pressure on themselves hurts their play. Boudreux (and Federov?) will speak to OV for sure.

Posted by: dezlboy | April 13, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau*

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

This has been said a good many times now, but it still rings true: that is the most sluggish/lethargic I have seen them in a long, long time.

Everyone looked slow all the time. There were sparks at the very beginning of the game and the beginning of the 3rd, but soon thereafter they were tired and looked, frankly, sick.

While watching the game at home, we remarked that Ovechkin looked like he might not be feeling well.

And c'mon Ted, we really need to rework the ice somehow. Let's give our boys a good sheet.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | April 13, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Tarik -- Is there any way to check on this Jon-jon post from the previous thread? If this story about his 6 year-old is true it should be forwarded to the Caps office and to Ted Leonsis so they can do something to try to take the bad taste out of this guy's mouth.

Posted by: uncatim | April 13, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

JSchon:
You are right - Laing is not the answer - no one player is the answer. But it still might not hurt to put him in for a game, for the reasons stated above and for the fact that it would shake things up (much like when a goalie is yanked not because he is tanking, but because the whole team is - it gets the team's attention). I would never suggest it if we were suiting up 20 solid players, but the reality is that we are not. Again, no one player is the solution ... and no one player is the problem.

Posted by: Boo! | April 13, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

A lot of you are noting how crappy Green looked today, but Schultz looked just as bad, if not worse. Those two were the two worst players in the entie game on either side. I understand that BB can't sit Mikie, no matter how bad he looks on some nights, but Sgt. Jeff "I Hit Nothing" Schultz should get a seat in the press box for at least the next game. I don't care if they play Eminger, Lepisto, or Pothier's helmet, but he doesn't deserve a sweater for the next game.

Posted by: 121 | April 13, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Stand By...

BB will coach for the moment. Greenie will be back...give the kid a break...look at the year he's had. You question if he has the heart of a champion?

Ready to see Lainger now. Ready to see Flash...next year. This year has been a great learning experience for him. Let him show us what he has learned...next year!

RUSSIAN MACHINE NEVER BREAK! Still, it is nice to see lines other than the 4th and defensemen score. Hell, at this point I'll take all the goals Brash and Greenie can muster. Keep 'em coming OV.

Hello, Sasha. You out there?

Keep the faith. Get Nasty!

Posted by: OleMiss | April 13, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

121:
I think everyone is being so hard on Green because they expect more from him. Schultz? Not so much ... :-)

So, having said that, Schultz or Eminger?!? Discuss ... ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | April 13, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Eminger. Schultz sucked toast, and should be sat for a game.

Posted by: 121 | April 13, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I dont know if anyone else feels this way but I think that Jeff Shultz needs to be sat for the rest of this series. I think that he is def not physical enough to hang with Philly. It is too bad that Steve Eminger is half his size but plays with twice that guys heart. I dont get the reason he doesnt play. It needs to be changed now before we get cooked again for two dumb plays by #55 in game 3!

Posted by: Phil9 | April 13, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Eminger, he should have been played tonight in the first place. I'm not a huge Schultz fan anyways, but I feel like if you're going to be a *literal* game-time decision, give yourself another day at least. I can't really point to a solid reason for Emi over Sarge, but I think I'd give him a chance and give Sarge another few days of rest.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 13, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Scratch:

Erskine, Flash.

Start:

Eminger, Fehr.

Toughness in, toughness out.

quality in, crap out.

Posted by: old time hockey | April 13, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

It just didn't seem like a real TEAM out there today. It was frustrating to watch from home because from that particular vantage point, it looked like they came out there tired, all over the place, passing HORRIBLY, and just weren't clicking together. I wonder if bringing Schultz back was anythign to do with it. he was the only change between the first game and this one. maybe it threw off the dynamic from the first game. who knows. all I know is that EVERY cap had a bad game. Because they were just not playing together.

Posted by: IrresistibleForce | April 13, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

PP
ovie/fed/laich w/ green/jurcina

ovie/back/koz w/ semin/poti

different. but hey jurcina has a wicked shot that never gets used.

Posted by: capcla55 | April 13, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

I think Philly found a loophole in the system: our D play very high - so their D play the trap, while sneaking up someone between the points. That threw us off all game imho. However one good news is, I don't think they'll play like that at home. They'll be more aggressive, more cocky - we have to take advantage of that.

Posted by: mauree | April 14, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

@capcla55

are you crazy? Jurcina on the PP. The dude has a cannon, but when was the last time you saw him use it. Never, because he can't get the shot off. Thats exactly what we need. A 5 second windup followed by a blocked shot and breakaway going the other way, because we all know Jurcina couldn't catch Biron going down on a breakaway.

@ JSchon

Are you serious about your power play suggestion. Ovechkin in front of the net? He's got the best one timer on the team. Why would you want Fedorov and Backstrom on the point, that completely removes them from their strengths. You have Green in your "power play" but not on the point, what do you want him doing?

On other matters, Schultz did look like garbage, I wanted him to play, but not if he wasn't healthy.

Posted by: reekie | April 14, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Anyone noticed that Backstrom has been horrible the first two games? He seems slightly intimidated out there. He's avoiding contact and the crease, getting knocked off the puck instantly, making poor decisions and getting owned in the faceoff circle. Granted everyone was lethargic today, but he was completely lifeless and sloppy like this in BOTH games.

And for the love of pancakes get Flash OUT of there and insert Fehr. He's got good hands and the cajones to crash the crease. Flash wouldn't know cajones if they were resting on his chin.

Overall though, I don't think we need to shake up too much for Tuesday. It was just one of those days. They were fatigued, but I think more mentally than physically. As Dean Evason said on the WJFK call-in show post-game (paraphrasing here): sometimes it's good for a team to get on the road and rally around the "us-vs.-the-world" feel of playoffs in hostile territory. These Caps are road warriors...they'll be fine in Philly.

Posted by: Ben | April 14, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

I became a Caps fan at the beginning of the season so I don't really have the instilled dislike that most Caps fans have for Danny "the spear" Briere. But I have a bad habit of watching the other team's post-game videos, win or lose. And I have come, in the past week, through videos, to really hate him. He just gives me the creeps. Not like Biron gives me the heebie-jeebies with his creepy eyes. There's something about Briere that just makes me hate him. I think slimy is the best word I can come up with to describe it. He's like the weird guy in the bar who leers at you. I don't like wishing injuries on players, but I kind of hope he really is getting the flu. A few days of knowing he was worshiping the porcelain god would make me feel better about this whole thing.


Let's go Caps!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 14, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

The power play simply has to step up. Mike Green needs to add the one-timer -- from either side -- to his skillset. He looked reluctant to rip it off the feed from the boards, even when there was an opening to the net. He'll have that shot by next season, but we need it now.

Posted by: Eric | April 14, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Schultz or Erskine out....Emi in
Flash out..laing or fehr in


Thoughts?

Posted by: Thomas | April 14, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

this encourages me for many reasons:

winners want the puck...want to be on the ice

its his first playoffs, he will learn in time he has limits and when he does he will be all the more dangerous

he is playing against arguably the most brutal team in the league and still is the most dynamic player on the ice

and among other things he is 22 and will bounce back stronger

i dont know what this holds for the next 3-5 games, but it makes the next 10 years brighter

Posted by: love | April 14, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Ok, I'm back! Never left, really. Just got a little tired of all the uninformed, juvenile retards, and their assinine comments. But, this is the play offs, damnit!! And, my boys are in the hunt. How special is THAT!? I embraced them in 1974. They are MY TEAM!!
I must admit I've been impressed by more than a couple of you guys. Danny and Wendel come to mind. You both seem to, "Get it." Which is great. We need as much keen insight as possible.
Just a few observations. # 1. Get Flash the hell outta there. He's spineless and is being overwhelmed. BB needs to get the memo that this is NOT THE AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE. Stop wishing for miracles, Bruce. We're in a dog fight. We need courageous athletes like Lange. The NHL Playoffs ARE NOT for the timid.
I'll be EXTREMELY disappointed if Brother Donald doesn't do his thing Tuesday, and KNOCK SOMEBODY OUT!! One major problem we have, is that there aren't enough "Hard asses" on our roster. That's why I was very, very disappointed when gmgm saw fit to send Sutherby packing for his cherished "2nd round, 2009 draft pick." Hogwash!! Sutherby has GRIT! Always has. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we have a tendency to want to be too cute, and "Pretty" sometimes. Screw that! GO TO THE FRIGGIN NET!! Morrisson, when are you going to pound somebody's ass? I've been waiting for 4 years now.
We can win this series. But, not with Flash in the line up ( IMHO ). Less glit, and more grit. Ah, THERE'S THE RUB. LET'S GO CAPS!! LET'S KICK SOME PHILLY ASS!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Puckguru | April 14, 2008 2:29 AM | Report abuse

JMU:
I am creeped out by Briere, too - he is a dirty player. He was up to his old antics again yesterday. When he got tangled up between Poti's legs he started kicking him - not cool. Sure, he's talented, but he is dirty, too ... I can't stand that.

Posted by: Boo! | April 14, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

If the Caps want to say they were tired yesterday, so be it. But this is the playoffs and not the time for that.

But they lost just about every battle along the boards, including multiple times where they outnumbered the Flyers on the wall and still couldn't work the puck out.

The power play was a disgrace. It seems odd to say for a 65-goal scorer, but Ovechkin needs to be more unselfish right now. He often passed up the open shot to make one more pass, and the play disintegrated.

Mike Green, from hero to goat in one game. Such is the playoffs. His performance in all areas of the game was dreadful yesterday. The turnover that led to Philadelphia's second goal is something that happens in Game 22 of the season, not Game 2 of the playoffs.

The one thing Biron needed was confidence, and unfortunately, he should have it after yesterday. Washington better get off to a fast start in Game 3, or they're in serious trouble.

Posted by: Eddie C | April 14, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

From NHL.com:

CAPITALS

Fast and furious
We ride the universe
To carve a road for us
That slices every curve in sight
We accelerate,
No time to hesitate
This load will detonate
Whoever would
Contend it's right
Born to lead
At breakneck speed
With high octane
We're spitting flames
Freewheel Burning, Judas Priest

If those lyrics by Judas Priest don't describe how the Capitals play hockey when they reach top speed, CTN has no idea what does. The song's message especially is appropriate for Alex Ovechkin, the leader of this motorcycle gang of a hockey team. He's fast and furious, he doesn't hesitate, he always accelerates and he's always ready to detonate. Washington is a high-octane proposition for sure.

Posted by: Boo! | April 14, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

@reekie

I did mean Green and Fedorov at the point. Not Fedorov and Backstrom. That said, my suggestion was more out of frustration than out of sane thought. Although, putting someone in front of the net to occupy one of their PKer's is needed and more shots needed to be taken. Many more.

Posted by: JSchon | April 14, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Are you going to tell us about the quality of practice today or whenever it is? If there is any "backlash"?

Posted by: Anthony | April 14, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Look who's back :D

Completely disagree on Sutherby though, the kid needed fresh air (like Pettinger). He's not doing that good in Anaheim either, Carlyle sat him last game because of a stupid penalty he took the game before.

But I agree on Brash, he should have done something yesterday, and should do something tuesday. Can't allow Flyers that much freedom of harassing Huet.

Posted by: mauree | April 14, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

No one would be saying that Ovie played too much if we had finished our chances in the 1st.

We had chances and didnt light the lamp, and they only had a few and buried them.

In my opinion the 1st period set the tone, and it was done after that.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 14, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Ovie may have played a little too long for a playoff game, but with all the PP's I see why he was on the ice. However, I would think about changing his role on the PP for a bit. Philly was just looking to exploit the point and play very aggressive which casues Ovie to expend a little more back there. I would move him in (even consider putting him in front) -HE WILL get noticed there and could potentially draw guys in rather than out to the point for a break. We do have guys with great shots from the point (i.e -Feds).

Green will have to get used to being hunted as well.

Erskine needs to sit - please put Eminger back in.

Posted by: Grape8 | April 14, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

So I missed the entire game yesterday because I was at the Patriot Center watching the circus. It truly is the greatest show on earth btw.

The way I look at it, we have 2 chances to win a game in Philly. And we won twice there in the regular season. Let's do it.

Posted by: dave | April 14, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but I don't buy this "the team looks tired" stuff. They had 5 days off before the playoffs. They're playing alternating days, one on, one off.

There's no Cap in front of the net.

There's no Cap taking their guys out from in front of ours.

Too many cute pass attempts and not enough shots in close.

Touch my goalie, and you'll become one with the ice. The Caps haven't sent that message, and as a result Huet is getting run on all night long.

NBC announcers suck big-time, but they are right about a few things. They played as individuals yesterday, not as a team. That, and WAY too many east-west passes. Philly is taking away passing lanes to AO, so let him fade into the noise of the game to strike out of nowhere.

The only way through the neutral zone trap is with speed.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 14, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

And I totally agree with the NBC sucking comments. Their commentaries are HORRIBLE. Though right about a few things, I just thought they were terrible and made watching the game that much more painful.

Posted by: IrresistibleForce | April 14, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I just saw the video coverage of Green with a club owner I know at the Wizards game. 100% they went out on the town Saturday night, no doubt. I use to be able to party all night and compete in athletics on a weekend warrior level, but against professionals in play-off situations... C'mon Greenie... Trust me, stop hanging with those dudes, nothing good can come out of it.

Posted by: JSchon | April 14, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I will be terribly upset...nay...furious if Schultz gets a jersey tomorrow night. While no one on the team looked playoff capable yesterday, Senor Schultz looked nothing short of dreadful. Until he learns to use his size to his advantage (i.e. actually hitting someone in lieu of a love tap) he has no business in this lineup. ESPECIALLY paired up with Erskine.

Posted by: Yosh | April 14, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I just write off yesterday's game as a lousy game ... after the Capitals had won 12 of 13. Most everyone played poorly.

But ... the Capitals aren't going to win this series if they don't create havoc in front of Biron. I see Hartnell digging in his skates at the top of our crease for the Flyers ... we need to do the same. I don't care if we need to put Fehr, Laing or Santa Claus in the lineup ... get someone in front of the NET!

The Capitals will bounce back. I believe in Bruce!

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | April 14, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Ofcourse Ovechkin tried to do it all himself! He had to!

Kozlov and Backstrom are not willing to compete and between them have not won a single one on one battle down low.

BB needs to put two guys on his line that will help him do the dirty work.

Hopefully lineup changes will address this. Keep us up to date on that! We could really use guys like Laing, Fehr and Eminger back in the lineup.

Schultz was awful along with Kozlov and Backstrom. Their games, at this point, are not suited to the rugged style of play in the playoffs. They aren't showing the capacity to pay the price.

Don't get me started on Morrisonn. What a dog! Just standing there watching Huet's face get rubbed in the ice.

I'm glad you brought that up to both Huet and BB. Mo needs to check himself after that gaffe.

Posted by: KillerT | April 14, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Long time no see Puckguru.

Good point on Fehr, I'd much rather see him in instead of Flash. He has no problem planting himself in front of the net.

Disagree on Suds. He'd be riding the pine here.

Posted by: Steve R | April 14, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

The other coach adjusted to conditions in the first game better than ours did. We need to counter that in game three.

Posted by: Bartolo | April 14, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The whole team looked like they didn't have food for three days.

Green is Green, he's been like that forever. The reason he choked is that Flyers coaching staff didn't sleep the whole night and analyzed how to catch Green. They were very well prepared. They know every movement Caps make way ahead.

BB needs to make major changes to PP.

I'd take Semin out and put him in a second unit. He is very undecisive when the puck gets to him. He just eats PP time, standing there with a puck.

Posted by: KIng Huet | April 14, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

The boys got a rude welcome to the Stanley Cup playoffs yesterday. Ovie tried to do too much. Green had a serious case of Gang Green, Huet has not looked comfortable at all in goal...I could go on. I would have to say, that without question, Federov, Semin, Backstrom and Cooke were the best players on the ice yesterday along with Steckel, Bradley and Brashear.

Let's look at it this way, could we have walked out 2-0...yes. Did we? No. It's still anyone's ballgame when we get to Philly tomorrow night. At least we didn't pull at Anaheim or New Jersey and get swept out of our own building. This is a tight, very tight series and I wouldn't be surprised to see it go 7 games.

Posted by: Mitch | April 14, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Where was Laich on the PP? I didn't see him camped out in front of the net once on any of the 6 PPs they had (maybe I missed one) but I think his presence as a screen has been a big factor in the resurgence of the the PP in the last few weeks. Skill guys are great, but screens are key. Especially with a hot goalie. I'm not sure why Bruce didn't have him out there after the first couple of PPs had no success.

Posted by: Kate | April 14, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

We need a Nylander to carry the puck into the zone.

Posted by: Omar | April 14, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

@Eric

One timer from both sides? There is nobody in the NHL that can take a one timer across their body consistently.When you do that you can't put your whole body into the shot. The problem with the power play is everyone is standing around. When you have a team that is so aggressive you need to take advantage of it. When a guy steps out on you need to make a pass then cut around him and look for the pass right back and start creating numbers down low. Oue power play has lived off Ovies' one timer too long. We need to start making plays down low.

Schultz looked horrible and must sit next game. My guess is he was still hurting.

Posted by: UDhockey | April 14, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm not really sure why all you caps fans are so confident about playing in philly. You won 2 games in the REGULAR SEASON... this is the playoffs. If you thought your younger players looked rattled and out of place in your own building (which they have for 5 of the 6 periods played so far) wait till you see how intimidated they are in a building 10 times as loud as yours. Honestly how can you all be so comfortable after being out played in your own building. Not to mention if you think the flyers have come after your players in the first 2 games, wait till you see what home ice advantage does to this flyers team. This is a whole new series. A series that in all honesty the flyers should be up 2-0. Just a little stat for you caps fans. We haven't lost at home in monthes oh and we play in a much tougher division then you. So not only have to not lost but we've been beating the likes of Devils, Rangers, Pens... but go ahead enjoy your guys pipe dream of winning even 1 game on OUR ice... we've only been out playing you majority of this series anyway

Posted by: Jeff | April 14, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

1. This amazing run had to come to an end eventually
2. Philly coach Stevens made some great adjustments
3. Semin scores that first goal instead of hitting the post we may be having a different conversation
4. I'm curious to see how this team reacts in Philly
5. Ovie and Green are not to blame for the loss . . .team game = team win = team loss. As fans get that through your thick skulls
6. On that same thought . . there are no martyrs. When a player says that was my fault its only part of the story.
7. As far as the crowd is concerned, we were no where near as loud in this game.

Posted by: WhooHoo | April 14, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

A bad game, the sky is falling, the sky is falling!

Posted by: Bob | April 14, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"The whole team looked like they didn't have food for three days."

Lol, yeah their passes were off and they seemed to have no idea where there linemates were half the time. The plus-side of this game is it really highlighted the Caps' weaknesses, which all of you already mentioned, so hopefully they don't try to cover up any more sloppy play with miraculous third periods.

Posted by: honed | April 14, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm not trying to be harsh or sound like a typical idiot flyers fan, I just think its rediculous that you guys think that this series is all of a sudden going to change for you guys. Both teams have horrible head coaches, but our coaching staff is much stronger. I don't see the caps changing much next game. I see them putting up more of an effort, But i already expected to play a caps team with a bunch of pre madona puck hogs to begin with. Federov has been your best player as expected. The flyers team is better defensivly as i stated before the series started and thats what wins playoff hockey. You guys got into the playoffs playing an offensive style game relying heavily on one player, and that never bodes well in the playoffs. I don't think the flyers are the best team in the east by far, but its clear after the first two games which of these two teams is better. Good comeback in game 1 don't expect another one. Also don't expect to play the same flyers team in game 3 and 4. The flyers as you're all about to see, will be a much more offensivly aggressive. Time to see how you guys wheather an offensive storm in a nasty loud building. Time for your team to play defensive... Start Praying for miricles

Posted by: Jeff | April 14, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see a shake up of the Ovechkin line. They could use a more physical presence against this team and it's obvious that the Flyers have countered our 1st line well. The playoffs are all about making adjustments when needed. You can't expect to keep the same game plan throughout the playoffs.

The Caps lost yesterday because they didn't put enough pressure on Biron. Sure they had their share of chances and shots but they weren't in his face enough (like the Flyers seem to be with Huet). The Caps need to crash Biron's crease hard, fast, early and continuously tomorrow night. They can't let this inexperienced goaltender go unintimidated. We're not going to beat this team by playing like gentlemen because it's obvious that they'll pull every dirty trick to give themsleves an edge (i.e. Briere's slash across the hands and Hartnell's goalie interference with the X-check to the back of Huet's head). We need to go on the offensive and stop letting these goons have their way with us. Finesse alone isn't going to get the job done.

Posted by: DeadKings08 | April 14, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@DeadKings08

The reason the caps aren't crashing the net is the flyers protect their net better then any team in the league... Birons not a great goalie so we have to protect him. Go back and look at the first two games... Count how many flyers there are in front of the net clearing bodies after the play. Plus the flyers D is pretty mean after the whistle. It looked like last game the caps wanted nothing to do with going near the net. Not to mention during the play when the caps got players there they were crushed with a bone crushing hit from either Richards or someone else. I don't expect the capitals to be able to get to biron all series and not only that but i don't think its a good idea for them to even bother and risk getting hurt

Posted by: Jeff | April 14, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The caps need to stop being so cute. When they get the PP's in Philly they just need to put shots on net.

Also, pretty much every major media has said Friday night was the loudest NHL arena in the Country. The only thing Philly has ever been able to show is how to be a town full of classless fans. The stadium was still loud on Sunday, but not as loud. The team didn't show up and there is only so much the fans can do.

Unleash the FURY!!!!!!!

Posted by: Jon | April 14, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

@Jeff

Nice comment about us not having a good coach. Maybe he will win the Coach of the Year...but he's not good.

Save you words for the Philly board...chump...

Skill...Skill...Skill...Skill....we got it...you dont....Your lucky we didnt bury our chances early yesterday or the Red Army would of erupted, and your 500 fans at the game would of been running for the exits.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

There have been many comments today about Green's offensive problems yesterday, but there were two plays Green failed to make defensively that really got me angry.

Near the beginning of the 2nd period, a Flyer was skating along the boards with the puck all the way from the Flyers' end into the Caps' zone. Green skated parallel to him the entire way, about a foot away. Not once did he try to make the correct defensive play of edging the Flyer into the boards.

Later, the Flyers dumped the puck into the Caps' corner. Green was at least a stride closer to the puck than a Flyer. Green didn't touch the puck; he backed off and let the Flyer get it. My immediate thought was that Green was going to punish the Flyer as soon as he touched the puck. Nope, no contact, and the Flyer skated out of the corner in possession of the puck.

Someone needs to remind Green of two things:

1. He is a DEFENSEMAN.

2. He is NOT Bobby Orr.

Posted by: Joe B | April 14, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

NBC referred to the crowd at Verizon as "a house divided." The crowd was estimated to be, at different points in the broadcast, between 25% and 50% Philadelphia fans. From what I'm hearing from those who attended, this appears to be innacurate.

Also, I don't want to feed the troll, but really, saying something as dumb as "Both teams have horrible head coaches" is what makes you a typical idiot Flyer fan. Boudreau is so terrible, he's going to win the Adams this year. (Stay in school!)

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 14, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

*inaccurate

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 14, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Joe B

Re: Green's Play

I've had issue with Green's play (or lack there of) at time on defense. But you get what you pay for in that aspect. Ever since BB has been here, Green has been given the green light to essentially morph into a 3rd winger. While his play on D frustrated the hell outta me at times (yesterday included), I believe that his offensive contributions far outweigh his defensive deficincies.

Schultz's play yesterday frustrated me much much more than Greens. He looked lost out there. I said it ealier, but I will be distraught if he gets a jersey tomorrow night. 44's play in game 1 should have guaranteed him a jersey yesterday...at least he's finally learned to use his body.

As for the team's lack of offensive output yesterday, I'm not convinced a line-up change needs to be made yet. But if one is made, I hope it's a one-for-one swap...Flash for Fehr. Though I don't think that swap is going to generate any additional offense.

Posted by: Yosh | April 14, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else think this is possibly the best thing to happen to the Caps? This team has shown they respond to adversity, and now they definately have it. The team is full of young kids, and while coach is a stand up guy, and Fedorov and Olie are long time vets, in listening to some of the comments over the past few weeks, no one really gets loud or tries to focus the team. Yea everyone will be happy and friendly when you're winning, but now that they laid an egg they need to show they can regroup and get back on track. While I don't think we need a miracle, we do need to get our act together, because if anyone doesn't think this Flyers team is as dangerous as our Caps, you're sadly mistaken. We need to get a good practice in today, maybe rotate some of the personnel and get ready to be the villains in someone else's house for the first time in a while. Now LETS GO CAPS.!!

Posted by: AP | April 14, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

What does everyone think of this..putting gordon back with brash and brads and moving stecks to center with laing moving to left and fehr back in...2 rugged lines to match up...15/87/10 were great together..

Posted by: Rich C | April 14, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Jeff, we had no problem in game one putting 5 pucks in the net from various places around Birons crease. That was also some great breakout pass and recovery by your "great" defense in game one. And thanks for Brashears by the way. He's been training with a guy from UFC (no joke) just for opportunities like games 3 & 4. Short of some idiot in the stands hitting him with a tire iron, I don't think he's too worried about Briere, Richards, Hartnell or Cotex for that matter.

Posted by: DeadKings08 | April 14, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

But where does Laich go?

Posted by: AP | April 14, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Sorry....what was i typing...meant Laich...my fault

Posted by: Rich C | April 14, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see these lines tomorrow:

AO/Backstrom/Koz
Semin/Fed/Cooke
Laich/Steckel/Fehr
Brash/Gordon/Bradley

Posted by: UDhokcey | April 14, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

AP, I do think this loss was a good thing. They were on cloud 9 for the past few weeks... as were the fans.

However, things do not need to change, they just can't be lazy. Yesterday's game, I saw a lot of laziness. They won 12 of 13 with who and what they currently got... they just need to be focused and play like each game could be their last and f'ing shoot the puck. We should be shooting 30+ shots on this team... Biron is not THAT good.

Posted by: 828 | April 14, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

These next two games will be tough, but they are also exactly the kind of experience that our team needs. They need to check their nerves/egos at the door and come out flying on Tuesday night.

I am not sure what will happen, but so far Bruce has not let the guys get into a losing funk for very long. This is also where we should benefit from Fedorov in the locker room. Hopefully he can settle down some of the guys and also instill the necessary work ethic. Some of our guys look too tentative (and it is not just Nick, Green and Schultz). I still think Mo is hurting and am puzzled by Poti and Kozlov. Also have to wonder if the Boston game has gotten into Brashear's head a little too much.

Many have said that if only we had converted on a few of our missed opportunities it could have been a different game. That is what we have to seize on. Do not get out worked again and remember that but for a crossbar, and three or four missed opportunities we might be the ones with the swagger. The next two games we have to be the team that works hardest and the team that takes advantage of the opportunities.

One thing is for sure, every single player needs to step it up a notch and take responsibility to ensure that we get back to playing our team game. All season long this group has come together as a strong team, and I still have faith that they can do it again.

Things happen for a reason, and maybe yesterday was the hockey god's way of getting these boys focused back on what got them here in the first place (rather than mohawks, parties, interviews, making highlight videos, etc.). I would rather they have the clunker in the first round when we were already up a game rather than later in the playoff run.

Posted by: Kim | April 14, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@UD.....that is what I meant to say...totally agree...bad typing hands...one hand spanking the other for the bad typing..

Posted by: Rich | April 14, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Note to Caps: Skip your own game 2 tape and study the Flames/Sharks tape from last night.

BOTTOM LINE: Throw the puck at the net every chance you get and have 2 or 3 guys there waiting for the rebounds. Forget about crafting the Perfect Play.

Posted by: Herb33 | April 14, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@ AP and oo7

I think you guys summed up nicely what Sunday was and should be to the team (and the fans). Did we honestly think Washington was going to sweep, and win 19 in a row? NO.

They lost 1, and looked horrible doing so (Chicago game anyone)? With Feds and BB leading the way, I expect a great game in Philly on Tuesday.

Should we "change".. I don't think so. We need to be aggressive and stick to our game plan. It worked to get us in the playoffs from the basement, and it will work in the playoffs.

Any team that expects a good run in the playoffs will have to do 2 things. 1) win on the road. 2) Recover from a loss. (Take that Maddenism and enjoy it)

I'm excited as hell for Tuesday. It should be a great game. I only hope Brash comes out and pummels Fartsmell for running into Huet. Paybacks are often best served cold, and the message needs to be sent. I love the fact Brash scored our first goal, but the fact he hasn't dropped the gloves yet in what is billed to be one of the most physical series has me pondering what his role is. We need him to really provide an early spark in my opinion.

In fact, if Brash, Steckle and Gordo step up and play that physical hockey, I just know it will motivate Ovie and company even more. Let's get that energy from our 4th line, and keep it going.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | April 14, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,
Heard you on Mr. Tony's show this AM.
My aren't we the negitive Nancy ?
You make it sound like barring an eruption from the heavens the Caps don't stand a chance.
What gives? No faith in coach B and the rest of the boys to get it together?

Posted by: Washcaps37 | April 14, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

At the end of the day its one game . . .nobody thought we were going to sweep . . .

Was it a bad loss? As opposed to a good loss???!!!

They played flat and tired, you know that BB will have the team ready to go tomorrow night

We don't need to change lineups, we don't need to shackle the team to their hotel rooms. We simply need to come out and play our game. We are a better team then Philly but not so much better that we can just expect to get by on our skills. We need to do all the little things right.

BB needs to tweak his strategy so that we can create some space in the neutral zone for Green to carry the puck.

We need our second line to score

It is the payoffs and you need to be able to capitalize on the opportunities. We just didn't do that. If Cooke or Semin scores in the first period, this is a different day

Posted by: WhooHoo | April 14, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Also, I don't want to feed the troll, but really, saying something as dumb as "Both teams have horrible head coaches" is what makes you a typical idiot Flyer fan. Boudreau is so terrible, he's going to win the Adams this year.

Ditto. The guy has no clue. He said Fedorov was good... Fedorov was horrible on faceoffs, this is where he usually dominates...

But BB needs to do a lot of home work for game 3. I think he was outcoached in game 1 and 2.

Posted by: King Huet | April 14, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Wow ... the Capitals have played lousy in five out of six periods and the series is ONLY tied at 1?

What happens if the Capitals stop sleepwalking?

Tuesday night should be fun. :D

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | April 14, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Anyone think there's a chance Olie starts tomorrow? Not that it was his fault entirely, but Cristobal looked less than good yesterday.

Posted by: old time hockey | April 14, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure Brash has been given a green light to drop them - or anyone else for that matter. They didn't play with grit under their skins yesterday. They need to be irritable tomorrow night and bring attitude.

The Caps play well on the road, but they need to get better presence in front of the net, and make things uncomfortable for Biron. Anyone hitting us gets hit back.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 14, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I just want to give a huge thumbs up to the fans for this weekends games.

Total sea of Red.

I have been to so many Philly, Pens games where they are 30-40% of the crowd. It was our house, and they were no where to be seen. It's a shame we had nothing to pull for yesterday, but we need to make sure that Saturday is not 1/4 Philly fans. They were locked out a bit by our tickets going on sale before they knew they were playing us. Lets hope for the same on Sat.

Lets hope we're up 3-1 on Saturday! Im not making a prediction...I just said lets hope..

Posted by: SA-Town | April 14, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Old Time - I don't think you start Olie unless Huet loses another, I'm not saying he played bad, but maybe its the beginings of some fatigue, after all he had those back spasms in the Boston game, he's not a machine.

Posted by: AP | April 14, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I would stick with Cristobal, only because there's no practice today and Olie doesn't take morning skates on the days he plays.

Posted by: Jordan | April 14, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure what Jeff was trying to do, he made some valid points and then said some ridiculous things as well, make up your mind. Either be an a$$ or talk intelligent hockey.

For those who want to break up the best line we've had so far in Brashear/Steckel/Bradley to fix the 3rd line, find another way to it. So far the line has 4 points and is +2, and hasnt been scored on.

The sky isnt falling, but we have been outplayed 70 minutes to 30 minutes with 20 minutes of neutral hockey.

I think keeping Laich as a C is a bad move, he isnt allowed to crash the net, put him on the wing and let Gordon center the 3rd line.

Posted by: JSchon | April 14, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, folks. The Flyers know they outplayed the Caps for 5 of 6 periods and corrected their Friday night 3rd period mistakes. I don't expect the younger, less experienced Caps to have an adequate answer.

Hope I'm wrong, but I see the Flyers advancing, 4 games to 1.

Posted by: Herb33 | April 14, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

you caps fans need to stop worrying about how many flyers fans go to your games... expect flyers fans there. they are one of the biggest franchises is the sport. as for your coach... great you guys did awesome in a crappy division, he's not the coach of the year... don't kid yourselves. detroit owns the coach of the year. Your coach is an idiot though, so is ours. If this was a quick draw between the two, one (stevens) would show up with not bullets and the other (BB) would forget his gun

Posted by: Jeff | April 14, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter how many minutes Alex plays, this team won't win another game this series. This team isn't mentally tough enough to compete with the Flyers.

And the fact that Mike Green is listed as a "Defenseman" is a joke.

This team MUST re-sign Huet to have any hope next year.

Posted by: Villainaire | April 14, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Funny that a lot of people think we can turn our "game" on like a light switch...that we are sleepwalking and just need to wake up. Hello, the Flyers have EVERYTHING to do with it. This is a terrible matchup and it's going to take more than just "waking up" to fix. The Flyers have dominated this series.

Posted by: Hector Camacho | April 14, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

JSchon,

Brashear/Steckel/Bradley has been a good line, but the Brashear/Gordon/Bradley line was a dominate line down the stretch. I think Steckel adds a little more offense to the third line and Fehr hopefully will be able to hold up to the physical play more than Flash.

Posted by: UDHockey | April 14, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Hold on there everybody! Stop with the PANIC. It was one game! Let's take a step back and see what's up.

Caps get into the playoffs and start on home ice. New distractions everywhere (friends family calling-people looking for tickets...) along with the will to please the fans maybe too much.

They were out of character and nervousness makes one more tired.Instead of just playing, they are getting too cute with execution. Just skate, play, fire the puck at the net, and go to the net...all will be fine.

Best thing now is to get out of town away from the distractions and bond again. Time for Fedorov to take over the team and calm things down-That's why the Caps traded for him. He has a Cup ring and experience-time to pull it out and use it!

Time for the rest of the guys to play and stop watching OVIE.

Time for OVIE to be less selfish.....that's right, less selfish because he hurts the team and himself with long shifts and nothing left at the end! This is where Fedorov, and not Boudreau, comes in to play.

Now it Philly's turn to play in front of their wacko fans. All we need is one win out of 2 and we're back in the driver's seat. We just need to hang on for the first 5 minutes or score the first goal.

Also keep an eye on Huet.....He's been great, but didn't look like the same guy who played at the end of the season. Be ready OLIE-just in case.....

Posted by: Ron C. | April 14, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Jack Adams...
Carboneau, Julien or Boudreau... Babcock 4th...

Posted by: JSchon | April 14, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Jeff,

Actually the Caps had a higher winning percentage against playoff teams than non-playoff teams during the regular season.

Do a little research there Sparky.

Posted by: Bobo | April 14, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

HA..4th you're nuts... yeah Boudreau is great "I don't believe in matching up lines" ... hmmm so that's why all your lines have been out played aside from your 4th... yeah hes definatly coach of the year material for sure

Posted by: Jeff | April 14, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Why is anyone talking about Olie? Huet has not been the problem. He got beat on a breakaway. Then the other goal was on a second chance shot. It is not even like their was a big rebound on the second shot.

Posted by: UDHockey | April 14, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

@bobo
look at the ladder half of your schedule... then look at the flyers... then get back to me "sparky"

Posted by: Jeff | April 14, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

back to the fans... i love how all these band wagon runner caps fans come out of the wood works... when the flyers were the worst team in the NHL last year they still sold out every game... can't say the same for the caps... obviously there will be flyers fans at your rink DC is a train ride away for us... hope to see some caps fans at games 3 and 4, but i don't expect too

Posted by: Jeff | April 14, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

@Jeff -

Flyers are one of the biggest franchises out where? Not in the known world. Let's go with the top ten:
Detroit
Montreal
Chicago
NY Rangers
Boston
Maple Leafs
Ducks (like it or not, they had a movie)
Penguins (like it or not, they have this Crosby kid that gets a little attention)
Avalanche
Devils

I don't think that the Flyers have more fans in PA than the Pens, or in Jersey than the Rangers, Isles and Devils.

Flyers fans can come to VC because it's an easy drive. That's it. Not because there are more of them.

Posted by: RobMonroe | April 14, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Just shoot the damn puck.

My Huet jersey comes in on Thursday. Couldn't wait until he got re-signed.

Posted by: MNMNT | April 14, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

There it is, the "we have better fans" argument, which somehow validates that one team is better than another. Philly fans love playing that card.

Whoop-tee-do...you support teams that have by and large SUCKED for 25 years. You guys are SUCH great fans. BEST FANS EVARRRRRRRRR!!!!11!!!

Posted by: Hector Camacho | April 14, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

the fact of the matter is the flyers carried the run of play for 5 of the 6 periods in dc, and barring a 3rd period meltdown would be up 2-0. this includes multiple stretches of 8-10+ consecutive minutes where the caps could not even register a shot on goal.

the flyers are built for playoff hockey; muck it up in the corners, grind it out on the forecheck, and physically punish anyone you can lay wood on at any opportunity. the caps are not built for this brand of hockey, nor did they play it much at all in the SE division, and it has started to show.

barring a collapse by biron - not impossible - the flyers should win this series in 6 at the latest.

i had great respect for brash when he was w/ the flyers. that being said, if he brings the noise on tuesday he'll find many willing combatants. he'd probably win the individual battle, but stepping up the rough stuff plays right into our hands.

i'd like to see the flyers play downie over cote. he can play the role of enforcer, agitates more than upshall, and is much heavier on the puck than either of them. that being said, if fisticuffs are a certainty for tues then cote dresses no doubt about it.

if you're comparing locker room leadership , i'll take our 4 captains (smith, timmonen, hatcher, and briere) over federov & co. any day of the week....

hope some of you caps fans can make it up to wachovia center this week.

Posted by: flyers fan | April 14, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Brashear/Gordon/Bradley dominant?
The last 15 games of the season, 5 goals 1 assist +3.

Brashear/Steckel/Bradley The last 15 games they played together, 6 goals 5 assist +1.

The 4th line hadn't been changed the entire season until Steckel got hurt, why? Because they were the most consistent line all year according to their job desription.

Posted by: JSchon | April 14, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I am a native Washingtonian who grew going to the caps center with my dad and sister in the late 80's and early 90's. My first ever game was a 12-6 romping of the rangers and of course there were rangers fans at the game. After the game waiting to get out of the parking lot a Ranger fan punched out the window of the car in front of ours in line. That behavior was more tolerable then the two flyers fans that sat next to me in section 401 row k seats 7 and 8. They we a couple and the guy was actually very respectful of the fact that there were kids sitting around us and that he was in fact visiting our arena, his girlfriend on the other hand spent the entire game holding up signs (that no one would ever see) blocking not only my view but the people sitting behind her as well and not screaming but screeching. I was only waiting for our guys to give us something to shut her up, but alas that never came. During the second intermission I asked the girl what she was hoping to accomplish with her signs , since it was a nbc game and the only other cameras in the arena were the in house cameras, not to mention that no one shows the 400 level anyway. Her response " we want to get on tv" my response but your not going to get on tv" her boy friends the interjects with it's none of your concern. to which I replied yes it is she is blocking my view and the view of the people behind her. her response "no i'm not your just pissed at how your team is playing and I will get on tv!" there you have it folks your typical flyer fan more concerned with being an ass and getting on tv then watching the game.

Posted by: GRRR! | April 14, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

And when the Flyers get bounced in the next round (if they advance), are they still built for playoff hockey? They just have a favorable matchup against the Caps and their style of play.

Technically, every team in the playoffs was built for playoff hockey. They're all in the friggin' playoffs.

Posted by: Hector Camacho | April 14, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Jeff,

"look at the ladder half of your schedule... then look at the flyers... then get back to me "sparky""

Ladder is something you climb up........ You want me to spot you a couple of letters to help you find the correct word to use?

Also, it's spelled Fedorov.

Posted by: Bobo | April 14, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

JSchon,

The job of the fourth line is not to put up points. Their job is to cycle, hit and wear the other team out. Go back and watch the games. Their cycling was impressive.

Posted by: UDHockey | April 14, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

>> Ladder is something you climb up

Which is what the Caps did in the, uh, latter half of their season. :)

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

@ GRRR!

They had signs? Funny, I always thought they couldn't read or write.....but could always BOO the Zamboni Driver! Anyhow, sounded like a real class act-unfortunately, it was all second class....as to be expected

Posted by: Ron C. | April 14, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

not that it really matters, but it's not who has the MOST fans, it's more who has the more dedicated fan base that can contribute to a positive atmosphere for the team both home and on the road.

point above is a very good one, the fact that game 1 & 2 tix went on sale so early and we didn't know who we'd face until later played a major role in lack of flyers fans showing up. game 5 on saturday (especially if we're up 3-1) and you'll see a sea of orange invade the vc.

the list above is laughable: flyers consistently outdraw (and have a larger road presence) than chicago, boston, and especially the devils. i live in nyc area now and can assure you they have the worst fan base for a successful team in the league. pens were about to move the franchise for goodness sakes, some unbelievable multi-year luck in the draft saved that franchise.

you can't really compare the western teams as it's much harder for their fans to travel to road games, and while sj/anaheim/dallas have great fans it's a different environment than an original 6 or northeast city.

flyers are right in line with detroit/nyr/montreal/leafs/edm for best fans in the game.

Posted by: flyers fans | April 14, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Let's not get on the Flyers fans for their spelling. It's a well known fact that their strengths don't lie in the command of the english language. They are more known for not winning any championships, booing their own players mercilessly and talking out of their a@@es.

Having said that, I'm still not that concerned about the series. Like someone said before, being outplayed 5 of 6 periods and still being tied at 1 is a good thing. Semin, Cooke and co. arent going to miss point blank chances throughout the series and if the Flyers want to give the Caps 8 or 9 power plays a game, then good luck to them.

Just need to play solid D, forecheck and get puck on net from all angles. Huet is not the problem, the guy gave up 2 goals for Christ sake. If the Caps cant score, there is not much he can do.

F the Flyers.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 14, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

hector, technically they're all in the playoffs because they were built for regular season hockey, getting in is indicative only of how well you succeed in games 1-82, not 82+. once the 2nd season starts, then you see who is willing to make the sacrifices necessary to succeed and advance.

considering we had a winning record vs. the pens this year, if we advance (assuming boston folds) i like our chances in the next round. remember, this pens team blatantly folded up shop last game of the season to avoid the physical beatdown they'd have received in rd 1, preferring instead to tussle with ottowa.

flyers have reached the stanley cup finals 7 times in 40 years of existence, tied for 7th all time. teams in front per # of appearances came into the league in 1910, 1926, 1917, 1924, 1926 (x2).

unfortunately they've lost 5, all to dynasties. the 4-peat canadians, the 4-peat islanders, twice to the 4 out of 5 oilers, and to the back-to-back red wings.

the flyers, while lacking in recent championships, are a tradition-rich franchise any way you look at it.

and let's not go crowning all caps fans summa cum laudes here, on yesterday's thread it took quite a while for you guys to correct someone who insisted the caps still had home ice advantage.....

Posted by: flyers fans | April 14, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

So, it shouldn't matter that you played the Penguins well in the regular season since the regular season doesn't matter.

And nobody is saying that the Flyers aren't rich in tradition. It's just funny when people play the "we're better fans" card like that means something. Congratulations, here's a cookie.

Posted by: Hector Camacho | April 14, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

hector, good reply, i walked right into that one re: pens reg season.

Posted by: flyers fan | April 14, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

UDHockey

According to their job decription...

Steckel is one of best fore-checkers, back-checkers... he is a load @ 6'5". He is not an offensive forward, nor is he a great passer. What can do is use his size as an advantage...

Why on earth would put him on a line that you would hope to get scoring from?

Bradley is a much better passer and more adept on the offensive end than Steckel...

I guarantee the 4th does not change.

Posted by: JSchon | April 14, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I'll give that Flyer fan one thing--I do also think the Flyers are one of the most popular hockey teams "out there". I think on the east coast you have to have them in your top 5 most popular.

I also think the Caps have been outplayed for the majority of the 2 games. However, if the Capitals get their PP together and it was one of the better PP's during the regular season and the Flyers keep taking as many penalties as they have so far then Philly will be in big trouble. Quite simply, as bad as the Caps were in game 2 we still had point blank chances that should have been finished off and we still could have won the game.

Bruce Boudreau is coach of the year for the comeback he orchestrated. He gets credit for implementing the new system and getting the youngsters to believe. Calling him an idiot is just showing your own stupidity.

Posted by: Capfan1 | April 14, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Your coach had nothing to do with your comeback, just as our coach had nothing to do with this seasons turn around. Both teams had something to do with the comebacks. Both coaches are minor league coaches at best. Hitchcock was 10 times the coach stevens was. One thing about flyers fans is that we are very honest... sometimes brutally honest. The flyers won't make it past the next round... neither would the caps. The coaches aren't talented enough to take either of these teams the distance... keep bragging about your nonsense coach who doesn't believe in the one facet that wins playoff hockeys "Line match ups" theres a reason none of your lines have got going in scoring and you've had to rely on a 22 year old dare i say defenseman in green. Its match ups. thats not to say stevens is a smarter coach. You guys may very well have a smarter coach. Stevens is dumb all of philly knows that. But don't sit there and act like your coach is a hall of famer after one season, he's proven nothing... you guys made it into the playoffs with the least amount of points in the worst division... thats not much to brag about from a coaches standpoint... id stick with the argument that your GM is almost as smart as ours... cause thats a true statement...hes the reason your in the playoffs not your coach

Posted by: Jeff | April 14, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

@UDHockey

You're right that Mike Green shouldn't be expected to shoot the one-timer from across the body. (Lidstrom and Gonchar can, though.)

I agree that the power play looks like it's reverted to the Hanlon PP.

Posted by: Eric C | April 14, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Don't f..k with UNCLE TED

Milbury sucks

Posted by: FAT JACK | April 15, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

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