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Posted at 11:36 PM ET, 01/14/2011

Capitals can't rally, fall 4-2 to Vancouver

By Katie Carrera

Playing a complete 60 minutes has been a sticking point for the Washington Capitals often this season. The latest example came Friday night in a 4-2 loss to the NHL-leading Vancouver Canucks at Verizon Center. Washington was outplayed for 40 minutes before turning on the energy and threatening to rally in the third, but by then it was too little, too late.

For those first two periods, particularly the second, it was staggering how little time the Capitals were able to sustain any form of pressure in the offensive zone. Instead, they spent the bulk of their shifts fending off Vancouver's advances and trying to simply fend off rather than attack a team that is almost waiting to be burned.

"We played a lot better in the third period," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "At the end of the game, I said that's the kind of way we have to play for 60 minutes. We cannot play this sit-back, we'll score a goal [and] we'll let them come to us all night long type of game. We've got to be aggressive. You can play a defensive system but when you've got the puck you've got to be aggressive and go after it. It's just that simple.

"In the first two periods we were playing like not to lose," Boudreau said. "Cautiously trying to do the right things but not creating any opportunities."

One thing that everyone watching this game tonight likely noticed -- along with the Capitals' tentative nature early -- is that all that talk of Vancouver resembling the Washington squad from a season ago wasn't purely hyperbole. The Canucks looked confident and posed an offensive threat consistently throughout the game, which was a stark contrast to the Capitals' struggle to create any sort of energy in the vicinity of Roberto Luongo.

"Of course it's frustrating when you don't score as soon as you want, but at the same time you can't just use magic and push a button," Nicklas Backstrom said. "You have to work hard and then the chance is going to come to you. Maybe if we play good game, 60 minutes, it will come but right now we don't do that."

There's no doubt that Washington's offensive frustrations continued Friday night but the third period makes you wonder if it could get on track with a full, 60-minute effort. As Matt Hendricks pointed out, it's hard to maintain that precise level of intensity and desperation for an entire game, but that doesn't mean a more even performance throughout a contest wouldn't lead to more success.

"It's tough to play that way for 60 minutes because we're so focused on pressure, pressure, pressure, you kind of lose your responsibility defensively trying to get pucks to the net from all over the ice," Hendricks said when asked if the Capitals could carry momentum from the positive play at the end of the game forward. "You really can't do that for 60 minutes, but I think the energy was at a level that should be matched for the entire game."

--Eric Fehr left the game with 11:01 left in the third period with what appeared to be a shoulder or perhaps collarbone injury after colliding with David Steckel in the neutral zone. Boudreau said he wasn't sure how much time Fehr would miss but said he won't play on Sunday against the Senators.

By Katie Carrera  | January 14, 2011; 11:36 PM ET
Categories:  Eric Fehr, Vancouver Canucks  
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Next: Marcus Johansson's steady improvement and Capitals' latest practice lines

Comments

"At the end of the game, I said that's the kind of way we have to play for 60 minutes."

Broken record...

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 14, 2011 11:46 PM | Report abuse

There's no doubt that Washington's offensive frustrations continued Friday night but the third period makes you wonder if it could get on track with a full, 60-minute effort...

Isn't that pretty much what was said after that furious onslaught late against Boston?

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 14, 2011 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I'd also like to know what in the world happened when Ovechkin hooked/tripped Knuble or whoever it was when he was skating back out of the o-zone.

I'm assuming he thought it was a VAN player but even then, it would be a pretty stupid play.

It would've been hilarious if the ref called a penalty on him then realized it was his own player.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 14, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm officially worried of the caps not making the playoff.

Posted by: guer_j | January 14, 2011 11:59 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

Actually 2 Caps scored were pretty high quality goals( no shooting crashing and praying). If they take this road they can be pretty good in post season. If they don't get to post season at least we won't see BB anymore.

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 15, 2011 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau's messages to the team have become stale, very stale. The top six have been on a month and a half scoring slump. The power play is terrible and "everyone" knows it. No matter how he instructs them to play, no one camps out in front of the net and the play is very sloppy.

The scorers are on the 3rd & 4th lines. They bust their tail because they know if they don't produce, they are scratched from the line-up or are sent back to Hershey.

It's not the system. Either the top 6 buy into the system, BB sets examples by benching top 6 players or BB is replaced. One or more of the three will correct the course of their season.

I strongly suggest that the word "optional" be removed with any association with practice. At this point in the season, "all" players practice and play as one unit, one team (unless medically unable). You only need to read into Matt Hendricks statement made earlier in the day.

Posted by: puckman | January 15, 2011 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how the Caps would've fared against a VAN team that DIDN"T play a tough road game the night before.

At a min, I bet they look stronger in the 3rd.

It's hard to imagine them dominating us more than they did for the majority of the first 2 periods but that would probably happen, too.

As is, they seriously outskated and outexecuted us for the first 40 minutes.

After the first period, they had doubled us up in shots, scoring chances and puck possession despite the 1-1 score.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2011 12:09 AM | Report abuse

your worst fear could come true?

* caps hang on to capture one of the last two playoff spots
* play like crap in the first round but advance on the stellar play of one of the young goatlenders (pull a halek)
* get a favorable matchup in round two, play somewhat better with a few good bounces, winning this one also
* play in the next round is irrelevant as Ted, GMGM and BB have learned that their plan can and is working and agree that no major changes will be needed - they will stay the course for at least the next three years.

this is your fate caps fans - accept and embrace it
may you find peace and happiness in your misery

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 15, 2011 12:18 AM | Report abuse

i'm thinking 92 pts should at least get a team the 8th spot
caps need 37 pts in 37 games to get there
17-17-3 is well within reach for this team

accept and embrace :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 15, 2011 12:35 AM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Looks like you're starting to drink the goat's blood as well.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 15, 2011 12:44 AM | Report abuse

It's frustrating to see that our players don't camp in front of the opponent's goal - we could get MANY more shots by doing so consistently.

Why do they think Cindy Crybaby has so many goals? He is ALWAYS posting up in front of the net.

Posted by: blueblonde | January 15, 2011 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Deja Vu... Also, what's up with Ovechkin, must be partying too much, just not the same player this year.

Posted by: dcsportsfan51 | January 15, 2011 2:07 AM | Report abuse

those young goats need to get it together

Posted by: guer_j | January 15, 2011 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Look on the bright side: Flash scored a goal tonight.

I think BB is right. It's not a lack of effort, they are playing not to lose.

tmac-Did Ovi run over your dog? Before you bash Ovi for not dominating like Sid, check out who won the Conn Smythe and was named to the Olympic All Star team. I'll give you a hint: It wasn't Crosby. Sid's a great player, but if he and Ovi switched places, the Caps would still be without a Cup and Team Russia would still have lost. The only significant change is that Semin would have competition for the most slashing penalties.

It's not Ovi's fault he was drafted by an organization that doesn't know how to build a championship caliber team. If Mario was the owner, the team wouldn't have waited years for(insert 1st rounder) to develop into a player the team needs or watched highly touted draft picks turn into KHL rejects. Those guys would have been traded long ago for vets that could mentor Ovi and help the team win. Mario also wouldn't have waited three years for a coach to figure out that teams need to play offense AND defense.

I commend Ovi for sticking it out with the Caps. He's not perfect, but he is trying to adapt his game. Last year Ovi would get the puck and shoot. ALWAYS. Most of his assists came from rebounds. This year he is making a conscious effort to pass to his teammates.

And FTR, Crosby's "I'm the greatest" DVD came out in 2008.

Posted by: ablake70 | January 15, 2011 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Do any STH plan on not attending the game on Saturday February 12th, 2011, against the Kings? I looked on various ticket exchanges, and they were all a bit pricey. I don't mind paying for good tickets, I just don't want to pay such a high premium. Email me at forsbergbackstrom@gmail.com if you know anything! Thanks!

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 15, 2011 5:07 AM | Report abuse

Actually I see a few on stubhub that seem good. Is buying from stubhub guaranteed legitimate tickets?

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 15, 2011 5:08 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the Caps are in any trouble of losing their playoff spot. However, they better start playing like we know they can play.

Despite all the changes from last year, positively speaking, there still seems to be something missing.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 15, 2011 5:11 AM | Report abuse

Also, although I don't agree with all his points or comments made in the last thread, tmac2yao's comments about Ovechkin really makes you think. I don't know, to me I sort of am seeing the same thing. He routinely makes poor decisions with the puck, and others routinely make poor decisions with the puck to try to get it to him. Maybe it's a bit of frustration, I don't know, but I would just like to see our first line try to forecheck as opposed to trying to score off the rush.

No primary scoring, and no secondary scorers has stepped it up to replace those goals, minus the recent surge from MaJo.

You want to talk about smart with the puck, look at Marcus. If he grows a few inches and puts on 20-30 lbs, he'll have the size and strength to match his awareness and overall play.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 15, 2011 5:28 AM | Report abuse

The only reason they "looked good" in the third was that Vancouver was gassed from playing last night. O.K. it's time to call out Ovie....bench him starting tomorrow!!!!!

Posted by: CB28031 | January 15, 2011 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Optional looked bad again tonight. He is starting to remind me of Jagr. Great talent, but no results...thus leading to the downfall of an awesome franchise...


Something, honestly I don't know what, but something has to be changed...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 15, 2011 7:33 AM | Report abuse

The new defensive minded system needs to be junked and whoever was the brain child fired. McPhee hopefully you read these posts? This team was built around Ovie, the best offensive player in hockey and the results have been amazing and exciting to watch night after night. Now none of our big 4 can put the puck in the net, I can see one of them slumping but all 4 at the same time and for most of the season! The team no longer plays with passion and on most nights are completely out worked and out played. I also don't believe the nonsense that the league has figured out how to play Ovie, when you have 4 great goal scorers, if they shut down one, than that should open opportunities for the others. The power play? What power play? The PP has gone from the best to horrendous. It's so bad that a 41 year old goalie not only shut them out but has shut them out twice in succession! And then fat Gabby waddles out and voices the typical post game rant about how they need to work harder and play for 60 minutes, yet he can't seem to get them to do it. Leonsis says he thinks they're saving themselves for the playoffs, well that's great, maybe we fans should just stay home and wait until playoff time so that we can see our team give us a 100% effort! Now all will be forgotten should the Caps makes the playoffs and go on to win the Cup. But if this team fails again (assumming we are one of the eight)then I say McPhee has got to go he's been around long enough and we still have no Cup!

Posted by: craigy7169 | January 15, 2011 7:35 AM | Report abuse

... I don't know, but I've been on this train before. They've frustrated me since I've started following them in 1980, but something that was mentioned here before still rings true in my head... it doesn't matter as much what they do in the regular season... the goal is getting into the playoffs. From there, you better be able to show what your system can do. I don't see them not making the playoffs. The road to the cup is a long one. As much as I dispise the Black and Gold... I seem to remember their last cup year being a rocky one during the regular season. They replaced their coach because they were in 9th or 10th place. I think we need to step back, enjoy some decaf and see where this takes us.

Posted by: Fmr_u_bio | January 15, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

'miss 100% of the shots you don't take'

.Wayne Gretzky

Can't score throwing the puck in the corners for most of the game . Crazy thing happen when you put it on the net

Posted by: jono57 | January 15, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Something is wrong with OV. He's either injured and we don't know about it or there's a reason why he's not showing any effort. He gives up on his first effort and is not playing with the fortitude, intensity and drive that he did in the past.

What gives?

Posted by: cfrazier91 | January 15, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Something is wrong with OV. He's either injured and we don't know about it or there's a reason why he's not showing any effort. He gives up on his first effort and is not playing with the fortitude, intensity and drive that he did in the past.

What gives?

Posted by: cfrazier91 | January 15, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Here is how to fix the Power-Play, Bruce if you are reading this, try it and IT WILL WORK!!!

Carlson, Alzer, Perrault, Beagle, and Johannsen.....The HERSEY line...maybe a 1.6 million dollar combined line with work better than a 16.7 million dollar line.

2nd unit: 35-40 sec. shift Hendricks, Steckel both in front of the net, Ovi floating each wing, Green and Schulz on Point..55 to keep puck in he is great at doing.

And when it works, just say thanks...

Posted by: gilbertedunet | January 15, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

"Despite all the changes from last year, positively speaking, there still seems to be something missing."

Desire.

I think they thought they were just going to get the Cup handed to them last year and got thier butts kicked instead. This year that's all I have heard anyone said,"Well last year....." Problem is it's not last year anymore.

"Last year" it looked like they were having fun, this year not so much. Even when they win. They have the talent I think it's just a lack of desire.

As I have said before, that lies on the coach. Switching the lines 50,000 times every game isn't helping either. That never works in any sport.

We all know they can win, I just think they have to want to themselves. If the players are tuning out BB then it just might be time for that change. Pitt did it a few years ago, they looked exactly like the Caps and eneded up winning a Cup. The Devils before them.

Honestly, if I am BB I stop making them more confused and just tell them to go out and "play." No thinking, just "play." The worst thing that happens is that they lose, which they are already doing.

"Something is wrong with OV."

I don't know if he's hurt but he's definately not giving the same effort. It's funny, that's all you hear people asking each other at the games,"What's wrong with Ovie?" He's not giving 100% and I don't buy the excuses everyone is saying. It's not like he's an overnight sensation all of a sudden and dudes are clamoring to hit him.

What more can anybody say that hasn't been said? I just hope they make the playoffs. Losing is just as contagious as anything else in sports.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 15, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

@craigy7169

The Caps were having trouble this year even before adopting their more defensive minded system so that isn't the culprit for their current struggles. The "trap" is certainly a technique they needed to develop as a tool to hold on to "small" leads and not have a repetition of their last game vs Toronto.

That being said, I still would not reply on the trap as their primary system and would not do it until 3rd period.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 15, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I like Gabby, but do the players still believe in him? Are they playing to get him fired?

Posted by: coastallp74 | January 15, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

What I want to know is: what does Bruce say at the beginnings of games? Isn't that the time for "good 60 minutes" talk rather than at the end of the game?

What does he say at the beginning of the game--if anything--that makes them come out so flat almost every single game?

Rudderless ship.

Posted by: aybee27 | January 15, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

This is not going to be fixed without a MAJOR influx of talent from outside the organization.

On another note, Chimera has turned into a train wreck.

Posted by: underpants2 | January 15, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Actually I see a few on stubhub that seem good. Is buying from stubhub guaranteed legitimate tickets?

Posted by: richmondphil2

I've bought tickets from stubhub before and have never had a problem. stubhub requires you to send in your tickets before they will post your sale, so every ticket on stubhub is already at the stubhub facility, wherever that may be.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 15, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"Something is wrong with OV."

Not only the same level of effort, but there's not been any sustained level of effort. He's out of shape, and probably carrying to much weight for his frame.

Combine that with a low hockey sense, and the least demanding coach in the NHL.

He stands still in the D zone, he won't go into the corners, he's not hitting and not scoring. Yet he gets to play the full 2 minutes on the point on the PP. Mind boggling.

Posted by: Fletch22 | January 15, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I like Gabby, but do the players still believe in him? Are they playing to get him fired?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think he as well as GMGM are getting exactly what they deserve. They were arrogant enough to believe that the team was just fine and they just ran into a "hot goalie" in the playoffs. Nothing was done to correct anything during the training camp except a change in PK which has been about the only bright spot of the season so far.

Instead they waited till they were 2 months into the season before implementing this so-called change in their system. It was more like they had to do something to end the losing streak. They were forced to make the change, I don't think they've ever embraced the change at any point no matter what they might say to the media.

They had better start embracing pretty soon or a few of them will get shipped outta here. If they don't, BB will be fired eventually and the next coach will not be so "player-friendly".

Posted by: joek443 | January 15, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

It's been the type of year thus far where I wonder if it's time to seriously consider dismantling the team as it's currently constructed. I would say if the core of the team were, say, 33 years old or even over 30, I would say, do so. And, after last year's playoff collapse, I might have called for just that.

Except it doesn't really make sense to dismantle a team where the core is 25/26 years old. And, even if we attempted to get rid of everyone, the lengths of the contracts for Ovi and Backstrom would be a deterrent for any acquiring team.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 15, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I was at game last night. Maybe it's me, but I had a few thoughts: More empty seats on a Friday night than normal... A decent number of Canucks fans... Oddly enough for the first time I noticed, that when Ovechkin takes a shot, the crowd doesn't really exect it to go in. It's like they exhale and think "there's another one"... The "Unleash the Fury" videos and stuff just seem out of place this season... Just my thoughts, sorry if you don't agree.
A few more things:
If Ovechkin is playing hurt, sit him down, because he's not carrying the team while injured.
I'm tired of BB's spin after games. He has no clue what to do at this point.
Bottom line: When your money players are scoring, then when guys like Hendricks score, it helps you win games. However, when your money players aren't delivering, you cannot expect guys like Hendricks to win games for you.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 15, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

richmondphil2: Not sure what stubhub Lloyd is using but that's not how it works at all. If someone posts tickets and they are not available for electronic delivery stubhub NEVER physically touches those tickets. There is protection for the buyer and seller though. The buyer "purchases" the tickets because the buyer provides credit card information. The money is not actually taken from the buyer at that point in the sense that you will not see the transaction, but stubhub has verified the card is valid. The buyer then gets an email with a FEDEX label to put on the envelope and the address is for the buyer, directly to his or her house. The tickets are then sent and once FEDEX confirms delivery the credit card is charged. I have never experienced a problem but technically FEDEX could report the envelope as delivered, the transaction completed, and the buyer opens an empty envelope. The buyer is still not financially screwed just yet though because you could call stubhub immediately and they could cancel the transaction.

My recommendation would be to look for the tickets that are available for electronic delivery. First off it is less expensive for the buyer, and second, you get your tickets delivered to your email account just like when you buy them from ticketmaster.

To make a short story long. My experience with stubhub has always been good and I have grown to trust their system both as a buyer and seller. Hope this helps.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 15, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

kcbrichmond, that is the problem in a nutshell. The Caps best players have not been their best players this year, except for Semin for the early part of the season.

Notwithstanding what my esteemed colleagues here have been saying, I don't see how it is GMGM's fault that the Big Four have all lost their games at the same time. BB - maybe. The players themselves - probably.

Steckel is really doing some damage with these accidental collisions, isn't he? Maybe BB should find a way to have him finish more checks.

Posted by: zmega | January 15, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I thought the 8-game losing streak would be the "Big Hurdle" to overcome this season, which would also be the ultimate spark for a deep playoff run, but this team just keeps playing sloppy the entire year.

With the loss, the Caps were overtaken by the Rangers for 5th place in the East (this would also ruin Bettman's scheme of another Caps vs. Pens series). They are also only 7 points ahead of a 9th place.

The Thrashers and 'Canes hold 8th and 9th respectively, so unless the Caps want to be shocked and miss the playoffs in the last week of the regular season, they need to seriously pick up the urgency. The 'Canes and Thrashers will have little motivation to play hard when their season is on the line.

Some guys are nowhere to be found. We know Ovie is struggling. Nicklas is on pace for only 72 points this season, which is only 3 more than his first year here. Mike Green is taking some dumb penalties including one on a breakaway last night (I didn't see how the play developed, but it seemed like it was a neutral zone turnover on a Canuck line change).

Ugh, these games are becoming too stressful to watch.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | January 15, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

BB will be gone before the playoffs if they keep this up. Nothing seems easy for them...watching them play Vancouver looked like two teams in different leagues.
I still don't know why Steckel is a regular in the lineup...what can he do besides win faceoffs?
Also, MP and MJ are their best players right now...how about playing one or both with OV and try to get him going.

Posted by: landocalrissian | January 15, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"I wonder if it's time to seriously consider dismantling the team as it's currently constructed." *CapsFan75

Seems that the team has been dismantled. BB has been taking players who once worked together and scattering them about, then doing it again and again. Now BB is even playing with the defensive pairings.

Meanwhile, other teams develop strong, consistent lines like Sedin, Sedin and Burroughs, who play together game after game, scoring goal upon goal.

Posted by: OccasionalCritic | January 15, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The reason BB is unable to keep these players focused and in line with performing their responsibilities is that there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY, and almost NO REPERCUSSIONS for the lack of effort and discipline. None of the stars on this team have been performing for MONTHS, and yet OV, Back, Green and Semin never get scratched, never sit a shift, never have anything done to them that might ruffle their feathers. The problem with this team is that the inmateds are running the asylum. BB has either no authority, or no balls to rattle some cages in that locker room. The only players he scratches/sits are the poor hapless blue collar players on the 3rd and 4th lines who happen to be the only players actually producing/performing. When the 3rd and 4th lines are out, the energy from the players is palpable, as is any shift that includes call ups from Hershey like Beagle, Perrault, Carlson and Alzner et al..when the top two lines come out, with the exception of MOJO it looks like a Sat afternoon skate with the kids at Cabin John ice rink. Bunch of lazy artful skating, half a## puck handling and puck possession time in the O zone that averages about 5 secs per rush if we are lucky. All that's missing is the triple axels and music that usually accompany ice dancing. Here is a clue fans, OV, Backs, Semin and to a certain extent Green hate the new system BB has imposed, and while they might not tell him to his face, their play says volumes about how they feel about it. So what you have is a system that 3/4s of the team is buying into AND working hard at during the game both offensively and defensively, while the top skill players are just out there going through the motions because of their disdain for it. So one of two things needs to happen..the system needs to go, or the coach needs to grow a set of balls and crack the heads of his top players and tell them it is get in line or get on the F ING bench. My guess is, neither will happen and we will continue with this mess for the rest of the year and yet another early exit from the playoffs...THEN we will see one VERY interesting offseason...

Posted by: opticlguy | January 15, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Optional looked bad again tonight. He is starting to remind me of Jagr. Great talent, but no results...thus leading to the downfall of an awesome franchise...


Something, honestly I don't know what, but something has to be changed...

Posted by: SoaringCaps

You are a complete moron. Do you even watch hockey? Here is Jagr and his no results resume:

2 Cups
1 Olympic Gold
2 World Golds
1 Hart Tropy 1999 (nominated 5 other times)
5 Art Ross
3 Lester B Pearson (Player voted MVP)

1273 Games
646 Goals
953 Assists
1599 Points

Oh and he was the top scorer each year he played with the Capitals.

If anyone is to be called "optional" it's you for your optional use of brain power.

Posted by: jdove80 | January 15, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"Tentative" and "losing focus", mmm, sound like an over-coaching problem to me. The guys are thinking too much in a fast game where that trait is a handicap - maybe it is time to let them play and use their natural talent.

Posted by: hock1 | January 15, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

opticiguy-"The problem with this team is that the inmateds are running the asylum. BB has either no authority, or no balls to rattle some cages in that locker room. The only players he scratches/sits are the poor hapless blue collar players on the 3rd and 4th lines who happen to be the only players actually producing/performing."

This captures a lot of truth.

Whatever the reason, the team is clearly not prepared to give consistent effort, not only from game to game but also within games. Players now openly state that they often aren't ready to play a strong first period-and they often play from behind as a result. This goes back to the playoffs last year.

It's sad, because Leonsis put together a team with lots of talent. BB seems like a great guy, but is apparently not the one to lead the team to the next level. Time for a management fix, bacause you can't fire all the players,,,

Posted by: Towson_Tiger | January 15, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

This team had/has a chance to own this town. We are starved for a winner.

Please Ted, help us.

Posted by: underpants2 | January 15, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The problem is not BB, geniuses...
Watch how many times the Caps have the puck deep in the Offensive zone, and the defensemeb are somewhere in the neutral zone. We've all seen the puck squirt up to the point, and nobody's there... repeatedly.

Posted by: RARedskinsFAN | January 15, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The biggest event that may have happened last night was Fehr's injury. If he is lost for an extended period of time that could hurt severely, especially with the Caps lacking scoring.

It's a shame too as he was really starting to play a good all-around game. Hopefully it isn't as serious as it looked.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 15, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Ted makes a good point on last night's game:

"A star player on Vancouver buries a breakaway opportunity on a bad turn over by us. We have the same opportunity but we don’t score on our breakaway chance. Two goal differential. End game."

If it goes the other way and Backstrom scores on his breakaway and Daniel Sedin doesn't score on his, the Caps win. For all this talk about systems and effort, sometimes it just comes down to execution. Vancouver executed on their chance, Washington didn't.

I'm pretty sure Backstrom didn't miss on that breakaway because he wasn't trying either. He just got beat by the opposing player, that's sport.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 15, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone considered that this team might have in fact been on steroids during the last two seasons? At least the top few. Seems very similar to the drop-offs in performance in MLB after steroid discovery. Just saying... It felt very strange to watch last night's game - feeling like other teams must have felt against the Caps last season. We are not a mirror image of the Vancouver. I hope this gets better............

Posted by: kkd76 | January 15, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

That might have something to do with Luongo being better than Varlamov.

Posted by: alanb1 | January 15, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

steckel really needs to learn to skate...this team is dead from the _-____both ways and needs a change

Posted by: wendel2 | January 15, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Yeah it looks like Leonsis and the whole organization is playing the bad luck card. They're just having bad luck. lol

Posted by: alanb1 | January 15, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Yeah it looks like Leonsis and the whole organization is playing the bad luck card. They're just having bad luck. lol

Posted by: alanb

Huh?????

Saying you got beat is not calling it bad luck. He said that Vancouver's goalie beat Backstrom when Backstrom had the breakaway and D. Sedin beat Varly when he had his breakaway.

There is no statement about luck at all, just that in the two big one-on-one situations Vancouver won both of them. They executed, the Caps players didn't. It wasn't about hard work or systems, just that the Vancouver players beat the Caps players. Maybe it happened simply because the Sedin and Luongo are just better players. Again, that's sport.

There was no speak of luck whatsoever.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 15, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I guess that I watched a different game than everyone else last night. I saw Ovie attempting to use different entry points & different moves in the offensive zone. He is trying to change it up. Ovie will improve if he keeps working on the changes.
IMO Backstrom looked good last night. I had more problem with not lifting the close in shot than the missed breakaway. MoJo keeps getting better.
BB changed the 1st PP unit late: 74, 90, 85, 8, 19 (I think) were out on the 1st unit. If he moves 8 off the point & doesn't keep him out for 2 minutes, that will help.
The Canucks are an excellent team. Their play impressed me. The Caps struggle had alot to do with the Canucks. Their PP was outstanding.
Chimera was (is) horrible. I'm not going to blame Green (like BB did) for his terrible turnover. The stupid penalty he took in front of the net that led to a PP goal. Maybe he can obtain DJK's injury & trade places with him.
Of course I would like to see the Caps win but, I saw some good things from the team last night.

Posted by: chriscaps | January 15, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

joedove

Soaring was off on his opinion of Jagr. No doubt. Jagr is one of the all time great hockey players in the history of the game.

Posted by: pkme | January 15, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Watching the Caps last night reminded me of watching a pee wee game. Players would have an open lane to the net but instead of shooting would pass the puck. There were so many BLIND passes that I lost count! You typically want to get the puck to the front of the net to create opportunities, weird bounces, battles, etc. However nobody on this team is willing to camp out in the crease so it was plucked every time allowing Van to transition.

OV was a hitting machine last night, but that was his only contribution. Constantly high in the D zone looking to cherry pick, horrible passes, horrible decision making, trying ultra fancy (predictable) moves and horrible shots.

On a bright note, Varly was outstanding! The game could have easily been 9-2 if not for his play. If the Caps drop another game to Ottawa I would expect some type of change to be made. Unfortunately I think it will be a trade to shake things up insteas of curing the problem by kicking BB to the curb.

Posted by: FLDave | January 15, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Vancouver's a good team to try and model a style of play after. They play aggressive and score a lot of goals but can switch it up and play defensively when they need to. I think the Capitals should be going for more of that type of gameplan instead of trying to play overly defensive and cautious. You need to know how to play defensively to win in the playoffs, but if that's all you know how to do, you won't get very far.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 15, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

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