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Posted at 1:18 PM ET, 01/14/2011

Capitals looking forward to challenge of facing Canucks, Sedin twins

By Katie Carrera

Thursday night, the New York Rangers did something that no other team had managed to do since Dec. 5 by defeating the Vancouver Canucks 1-0 in regulation. It ended the Canucks' 17-game streak of claiming at least a point, and Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau said that game might have offered some lessons for tonight's game at Verizon Center.

"We certainly have to be able to take something from every game that we watch our opposition play. Last night was probably a perfect example of everybody on both teams playing as hard as they could," Boudreau said before turning to the Rangers' play. "They played hard. They blocked shots there was never a missed opportunity to hit a guy. There was a lot of playoff hockey in last night's game."

How well the Capitals are able to shut down the Canucks will stem from how much they can limit the damage done by Henrik and Daniel Sedin, who are tied for third in the NHL with 55 points each.

The Sedins possess more than run-of-the-mill linemate chemistry when playing with each other and that connection is part of what makes them so effective. It's a knowledge of what the other will do that Nicklas Backstrom witnessed first-hand when he played for Sweden in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

"I think nobody else in the NHL has that connection," Backstrom said. "It's fun to watch because they're good players and a good team."

Tonight, though, Washington must find a way to disrupt the Sedins, a task Karl Alzner inadvertently stumbled into a few times when the Capitals traveled to Vancouver last year.

"I got caught out against them maybe a couple times last year in Vancouver, they definitely work the puck real well. It's tough to say exactly what it's going to be like but it's going to be a challenge that I think we should all be up for," Alzner said. "I think [trying to defend the Sedins is] the same thing as all those other star players: have a guy near them at all times and take away any space that they get.

"If you get a stick on them it doesn't matter how good a player is it's tough to make a good play. They might be able to make an area pass or something, but that's when we close again. It's just working hard, we've got to outwork them. If we outwork them we should be Ok."

--A hearty congratulations and best of luck to Capitals' vice president of communications Nate Ewell, who will be missed by all those who have covered the team when he leaves Washington to take a position with College Hockey Inc.

By Katie Carrera  | January 14, 2011; 1:18 PM ET
Categories:  Vancouver Canucks  
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Next: Open thread: Capitals vs. Canucks

Comments

"This is enough to drive me to drink."
Posted by: tominsocal1

Not really a drive. More like a short putt.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | January 14, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh. The rats are jumping off the ship.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 14, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

previous thread:

@cstanton

"Semin fans claim he does this to him as well. Which I don't see a huge problem with because I'd like to give Semin a kick in the pants before and after EVERY game."

so it's ok as long as he doesn't do it to the players you love? :)

and as far as developing and encouraging role players...well our role players have been our best players almost all season...we may not have a true brute enforcer (it is something I personally don't care if we have) but we have Erskine, Hendricks, and Brads...thats enoug for me.

He has also been rewarding the role players a lot lately...Beagle getting PK time, Hendricks third line time, putting the fourth line out at the end of games to try to help their stats after they played well. Not sure where you all get the idea that he treats the third adn fourth line like crap

Posted by: capscoach | January 14, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Wiley: Cheers.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 14, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

are the Sedin twins hot?

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

in the physical sense NO! In the "I am a REALLY good hockey player" YES! :)

Posted by: capscoach | January 14, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Not sure where you all get the idea that he treats the third adn fourth line like crap

Posted by: capscoach

Guys like Hendricks, Beagle, lately Steckel, etc have been playing well enough to carry a big part of this team. Bruce would be stupid to bench them. He still needs to win games to hold onto his job and he uses those guys as his horses when he needs to rely on them.

But he rewards his more skill players with ice time when they shouldn't be rewarded. He'll never reward a grinder with ice time in the same way. And rightfully so.

for the purposes of this discussion, Chimmy=skill player (although he really is nothing more than Jeff Toms or Todd Krygier. Much ado and speed about nothing).) He's certainly not a grinder because he cherry picks which games and which players he chooses to play that role against.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh. The rats are jumping off the ship.

Posted by: tominsocal1

there's a great song by World Party

Inside my future 'eye'
What I see just makes me cry
I'm way down now
I'm way down now
The clocks will all run backwards
All the sheep will have two heads
And Thursday night and Friday
Will be on Tuesday night instead
And all the times will keep on changing
And the movement will increase
There's something about the living, babe
That sends me off my feet
There's breeding in the sewers
And the rats are on their way
They're clouding up the images of my perfect day
And I know I'm not alone
And I know I'm not alone
And I know I'm not alone

Let the carnage begin.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Funny, @cstanton1, I didn't figure you for a World Party guy.

Posted by: Justafan | January 14, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"Twins, Basil, twins!"

Posted by: justbrewit | January 14, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: You're not asking me to dance are you?

capscoach, please tap my shoulder and ask to "Step in."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 14, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone seen number 85 recently? Just curious where all his backers went.

Posted by: ThePat | January 14, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau said before turning to the Rangers' play. "They played hard. They blocked shots there was never a missed opportunity to hit a guy

-----------------

wow, Bruce finally opens his eyes and notices how the Rags play hockey.

The Rags have no issues racking up 40 hits in a game. And thats not even including a quality role player like Kris Newbury who they just brought up.

The Rags are swimming in the types of 3rd and 4th line players the Caps are bereft of. They have probably 6 or 7 forwards on that team who are gritter than Matt Hendricks. Just to put it in perspective. (Callahan, Duby, Boyle, Avery, Prust, Newbury). I won't even include Boogey since that's an unfair comparison.

Not to mention their depth at the young rugged defensive dmen position. Like Ryan McDonagh and that russian kid.


So either Bruce can't convince his guys to comfortably reach the 28-33 hit plateau in each game, or his mention of the Rangers' hitting style is just a cursory off the cuff remark that has no real significance behind it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Being a twin myself, Backstrom is correct in saying "I think nobody else in the NHL has that connection,"

I just hope the Caps can stop them and the rest of the Canucks tonight.

Posted by: jwash4472 | January 14, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Funny, @cstanton1, I didn't figure you for a World Party guy.

Posted by: Justafan

I just like to party. I like to rock n roll all night and party all day. I also like to live after midnite, and rock till the dawn. And love em till the mornin, and then I'm gone. Yeah gone.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

yeah umm steckel has not been good lately at all besides faceoffs

Posted by: _stevo | January 14, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@jwash4472

I think the twin ESP thing is an unair advantage!

Posted by: capscoach | January 14, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach You should ask my brothers and sisters about playing Pictionary while growing up. My twin and I couldn't be on the same team.

Actually, it's only unfair for the rest of the league. Vancouver was smart to get both of them in '99.

To everyone- So what are the rumors flaoting around out there regarding Caps trades? I haven't been able to find anything out on the web.

Posted by: jwash4472 | January 14, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I think Steck has been doing the little things better lately (over the past 7 or 8 games) than he has all of last season and most of this season. In the Tampa game for example, he was the high guy coming in on a rush with Hendricks and he made some little plays that he ordinarily wouldn't do. On one play he hammered a backchecking Tampa forward to the ice right inside their blueline and created an oddman advantage for the Caps in the Tampa zone. On another play he anticipated the pass to a dman (Clark?) and sealed him nicely into the boards which allowed one of our dmen to step up and grab the puck at the Tampa blueline.

Its those little types of plays I expect our role players to attempt to make every chance they get.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Wait until Dylan McGrath is ready to join the Rags in a year or two....I hear the kid is as intimidating as anyone to come around in years.

At least Rypien won't be in the lineup for the 'Nuks, so that's good for us.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 14, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Yes...Vancouver was genuis to get them both. Chemistry is invaluable on any team...biological accelerated chemistry seems like a smart move to me :)

Posted by: capscoach | January 14, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I dislike Steckel but he's definitely picked up his game and is using his size more frequently. Steckel over Gordon on the 4th line is a no-brainer....

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 14, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

@vermont

but Gordon was really good in the playoffs. I still favor him if he can get healthy.

Posted by: capscoach | January 14, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

What really concerns me about the Sedin twins is how when they touch each other one can take the form of something, and the other can take the shape of something. I think this gives them a really unfair advantage and the league should look into making a rule against that.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 14, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Gordon should have never been resigned to begin with, he is made of glass and is one of the sofest players on the roster. Steckle has been mush more impressive over the last month than Gordon has been the entire season and that line combo of him/Beagle/Hendricks has been amazing.

Posted by: PhilR | January 14, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

but Gordon was really good in the playoffs. I still favor him if he can get healthy.

Posted by: capscoach

Poti was decent too. V the Habs

I don't want him ever playing for the Caps again.

You have to look at the type of opponent we played last yr. Gordo does well against undersized quick teams. He doesn't do well against bigger physical competition, esp bigger defensemen.

so even assuming he'll be healthy (a BIG IF), his performance v Montreal is by no means reflective of how he'll play against different competition.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

decent point...I'll have to watch him against the big teams now. See if you are right.

Posted by: capscoach | January 14, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The thing that really makes me not like the way Boyd Gordon plays is he is 27 years old, yet moves and gets hurt like he's 37 years old. His body is way to broken down for a 27 year old. They need to cut ties with him in my opinion.

Posted by: ThePat | January 14, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I have lurked here for years and have never posted until lately. Their is a saying Be carefull what you wish for many said they wanted a defense first mentality well you got it A replay of the 90'S Teams. In the playoffs out the playoffs the only difference is Bonzai actually scored and nobody else did.

Posted by: koppleschloss | January 14, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty frustrating, at least considering the last couple of years, that we're now aspiring to play more like the Rags.

But it's true. They play hard every shift. They lead the league in blocked shots, and I believe in hits, too.

I'm not a huge Torts fan, but I guess that's what happens when you have a coach who demands accountability, even from his top players.

For all the talk about emphasis on D -- the measurement for me is that we're not a better hockey team than we were last year. Not even close. And if BB can't get more out of his players and improve the team, find a coach who can.

Posted by: sinbin | January 14, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

oh yeah, forgot about Dylan McGrath.

Definitely a purposeful trend by the Rangers to bring in a lot more defensive toughness to their organization. They now have 2 quality, maybe 3 defensive prospects who are Marc Staal types. Only difference being, those young prospects (McDonagh, McGrath) play a much McNastier style.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@VTduffman awesome refrence man I ll take the form of a whirling durbish and Ill take the form of a bucket of SH T!

Posted by: koppleschloss | January 14, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a huge Torts fan, but I guess that's what happens when you have a coach who demands accountability, even from his top players.

---sinbin--

trust me, it ain't a Torts thing. Anymore than the Leafs pugilistic style is a Ron Wilson-influenced trait.

The Rags are a Sather team. And the Leafs embody Brian Burke's vision. The coaches actually do not espouse that type of play but are doing so to keep their respective GMs happy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

They need to cut ties with him in my opinion.

Posted by: ThePat

but he's the perfect Cap role player.

Doesn't hit. Has speed. Doesn't take penalties.

I say lock him up now before he shops his wares on the open market!!

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Here's you 99 draft. Interesting only 16 of 28 1st rounders ever played at least 82 NHL games. Let's you know it is in fact a crap shoot. Islanders had 3 of the top 10 picks and didn't fare that well. Don't recall exactly how Burke (Vancouver GM) managed to get both 2nd and 3rd picks. Brendl was supposed to be such a hot pick at #4 and never did a thing. Notice our 7th overall pick. Those who criticize Fehr selection, at least he's contributing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_NHL_Entry_Draft

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 14, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

have lurked here for years and have never posted until lately. Their is a saying Be carefull what you wish for many said they wanted a defense first mentality well you got it A replay of the 90'S Teams. In the playoffs out the playoffs the only difference is Bonzai actually scored and nobody else did.

Posted by: koppleschloss

I say this without meaning to discourage you from posting again.

That's absurd. Although you wouldn't be the 1st fan to overly simplify things.

You can play very good team defense without turning into a one-note offensive machine. When the Flames went to the Cup, they only had Iginla as a chief scoring threat. They HAD to play GREAT tight-checking hockey. The Caps can aspire to the same standards but their skill level will allow them to create and capitalize on more chances. Becoming a better defensive team may not mean scoring 6 goals in a game very often, but they'll be a more balanced attack heading into playoff season. And they'll find a way to create offense by playing better defense, and being better on the forecheck. The Pens know how to play good defensive hockey and they do it by having an aggressive forecheck. Not by sitting back 5 guys at their blueline.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

When was the last time either the Rangers or Maple Leafs won a playoff series?

The Maple Leafs have not won a SC since 1961

The Rangers have won one SC over the last 70 years.

Quit putting these teams on a pedestal. The team to most revere are the Detroit Red Wings and their success over the past 16 years. Oh yeah, Detroit has been LAST in major penalties each year since 2003. But it's not like they had any success.

The posts of a few of these posters on this board reminds me of a very famous quote:

"a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

Posted by: sgm3 | January 14, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Here's you 99 draft. Interesting only 16 of 28 1st rounders ever played at least 82 NHL games. Let's you know it is in fact a crap shoot

----------

the draft is only a crapshoot for teams who don't know what they're doing. FTR, Tim Connolly and Taylor Pyatt weren't busts. They both evolved into their own roles. Connolly

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse


"Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

Posted by: sgm3

I like it! You gonna use that as your epitaph?

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@jwash4472

I think the twin ESP thing is an unair advantage!

Posted by: capscoach | January 14, 2011 2:07 PM

@capscoach:

Kind of reminds me of how I often wished our beer league refs would call this penalty against the opposition:

"2:00 for illegal mind-reading"


As for fixing the ailing power play, my "Easy Steps" are these:

1) When we have the puck in the o-zone there should be least one "nuisance guy" in front of the enemy net at all times--and occasionally 2. Could be Knubs or Laich or Hendricks or Fehr, though the notion of using DJK or Ersk in this role definitely has a certain appeal.

2) Until Bäckis gets his groove back, Stecks takes the initial O-zone draw on the PP. Possession helps maximize zone time, and thus scoring chances as well.

3) 74 on the point with 52, not 8; 8 on the half wall/working between the circles. This would have the added benefit of giving opposing goalies less time to react to Ovie's shots (and opposing penalty killers more chance of being hurt by those shots--heeheehee).

4) Above all: F****** everyone must f****** move their f******* feet!!!!

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 14, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

I beg to differ. Any team that throws itself in front of the puck as much as the Rags do is NOT a Glenn Sather team.

He's not really a blue collar guy -- nor is anyone lucky enough to be grossly overpaid by him.

The point remains -- the Rags have a coach they respect. Maybe not like, but respect.

He demands they play hard. Even the stars.

The coach rules the roost. Not the guys taking off practice.

Posted by: sinbin | January 14, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Quit putting these teams on a pedestal. The team to most revere are the Detroit Red Wings and their success over the past 16 years. Oh yeah, Detroit has been LAST in major penalties each year since 2003. But it's not like they had any success.

--------------sgm

you're right, we should put the Caps on a pedestal. Based on their reg season record last yr.

And you really didn't watch the Wings thru the 90s did you? If you did, you'd shut up and maybe learn something from something besides your numbers machine.You obviously also didn't watch them play recently on their 2 Cup appearances. Because they sure played a helluva gritter game than the Caps have in the playoffs lately.

And lets just ignore their blueline hitters like Kronwall and Stuart. Because you know, that means nothing either. Or the fact they could match the Pens hit for hit. Or little guys like Darren Helm who has more grit and desire in his little finger than half our team does collectively. Or what a Tomas Holmstrom brings to that team in the crease. Or the rich history of power forwards that team had thru the 90s. Or the fact they had the best checking line with guys like Draper, Maltby, and McCarty.

Should I go on?

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

Nobody does the Wonder Twins better than Peter Griffin. "And now I play the waiting game." :P

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 14, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

I beg to differ. Any team that throws itself in front of the puck as much as the Rags do is NOT a Glenn Sather team.

--

its one hundred percent a Sather team. He likes tough hardnosed checking line forwards, he likes enforcers, and he likes hard hitting defensive dmen.

Torts in Tampa had one of the softest teams in the NHL for most of the yrs he coached there. He also misused or refused to use his token tough guy Andre Roy.

your point about blocking shots, I won't rob Torts of that contribution. But the hard hitting style of the Rags is all about Glen Sather.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 14, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I like it! You gonna use that as your epitaph?


Posted by: cstanton1

I expected nothing less than for you to come back with the "I know you are but what am I" comment.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 14, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The most consistently good team in the regular season and the playoffs for the past 8 years has been the Detroit Red Wings, they have been LAST in major penalties each year over that time. So please do not give me the correlation that a team needs to fight to be successful in the current. It just isn't true.

That's not to say if a team fights it won't be successful, just that a team doesn't NEED to fight in order to be successful. The Red Wings have demonstrated this on a consistent basis.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 14, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

we've all listed numerous possible reasons why the Caps are struggling this year (PP, Goal scoring, new system, Coach, etc) but how about one simple explanation:

BMo, Belanger, Walker, Fleischmann are no longer with the Caps... (Corvo, Jurcina, Theodore etc for that matter).

and replacing them we have:
MP85, MaJo, Beagle, Hannan.

now it's possible that the new players are more skilled and/or will be better players over their career. But right now, today, it appears to be a downgrade, and one that relies heavily on youth.

I'm not sure how many rookies previous Cup champs had recently, but I suspect the Caps are a bit heavy on youth right now.

Granted, GMGM does have some dry powder and he may very well make late additions, but as of right now, I'm not sure if it's fair to have the same expectations of this year's Caps as we had of last year's.

Posted by: PSD1 | January 14, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Let's KICK THEM CANUCKLKEHEADS' A@@ TONITE!! Good luck #4 tonite, looks like you're going to have to push for the Norris the second-half if you wish to keep playing; we're starting to run-out of Hockey God interventions. But hey, it ain't nothing but something to do...TEAR IT UP!!

And Beagle, you've been growing on me with your tenacity, and I haven't seen you shy away in any of the scrums yet. If anyone challenges you tonight, go ahead and drop 'em and you'll endear yourself to legions of hardcore fans. (Don't worry, if you bite off more than you can chew just go down quick and live to fight another day...you'll do just fine, kid).

After two lackluster, extremely disappointing divisional games on the road, we'll be expecting a much higher COMPETE LEVEL tonight at home...the means will justify the end! GO CAPS!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 14, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 14, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abu


Glad I'm gonna be heard for a long, long time...unless, of course, the Caps are relocated to Quebec City (at which point, look out Boston Globe because I'll be coming)

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 14, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

The best part about playing Vancouver...that means an extra national anthem...which means one extra pre-game drink. WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 14, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

Sedin twins.

May I ask one. Do you think BB coaching ruined Ovie's game?

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 14, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Ohhhhh Randolh2,

You just handed a loaded elephant gun to Mr. CS1...stand back, those suckers spray a wide path of shrapnel.

Posted by: jeets | January 14, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

If there were a Tour player or players you didnt care for would you be so fast to criticize their actions on the course?

Posted by: pebowers | January 14, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, missed this. The answer is ABSOLUTELY. But, pebowers, you should know that my rage against BB started with his shameful handling of Kolzig and reached stratospheric proportions last year when he damned both Theodore and Erskine. My other complaints about the team in general can be traced to the conclusion of the '89-'90 season.

So when a guy like Ben Crane, notoriously slow on tour, bothers one of my favs in the group with his pace of play that wouldn't sit well with me. If it continued, I'd rail against him every chance I got. Who wouldn't??

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 14, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

vermont, his shameful handling of Olie helped get the Caps into the playoffs. Remember that stretch run? So it's better to have Olie feel good about himself, get some starts, and not make the playoffs?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 14, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Wait until Dylan McGrath is ready to join the Rags in a year or two....I hear the kid is as intimidating as anyone to come around in years.

Posted by: vermontcaps

They don't call him 'The Undertaker' for nothing. As intimidating and mean as they come. Rangers drafted him at #10, ahead of where he was projected, for that very reason. Was hoping GM would trade up and try to get Tinordi's kid in that draft, but it didn't happen.

I read somewhere that the Rangers may be pursuing Chris Neil, depending what happens if the Sens implode and clean house. He's another guy that would look good here come playoff time, or now for that matter.

Posted by: Fletch22 | January 14, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Tonight's game in a referendum on BB's coaching system and ability to motivate his players. Vancouver plays an uptempo but disciplined style that took them far in the playoffs last year and are playing even better this season. It's more than just the Sedin twins having great years. If the Caps lay another stinker like the did on the road this week or aren't competitive with the Canucks, that should be a clear signal to GMGM and Ted that a change behind the bench is needed.

I like BB, but he's on very thin ice. The Caps front office has been very quiet all week and that's not a good sign for BB. Any trade for Semin would be on hold given his injury and poor play - it's not like the Caps have anyone else with a lot trade value besides Varly, Neuvirth, and Carlson (all of whom are untouchable IMO). When a team has played this bad for six weeks, you either make some trades or fire the coach. I think it's going to be the later.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 14, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, they can't beat mediocre teams, so they should be really good against the best. Caps seem to rise to the better teams' levels and win.

Posted by: farmgirl19C | January 14, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1

Very good points on the Rags 3rd and 4th lines! That should help them in the playoffs this season, grinding down the opponents in a series.

The Caps are one of the biggest teams in the league, but unfortunately they play like midgets. We have hulking players that think ice hockey is a non-contact sport. Poti, Schultz, and Hannan are all over 220lbs but you would never guess it watching them play. The same goes for the front line big guys (with a few exceptions).

How sad is it that our 'super star' leads the team in hits??? Some say "You can't make a non-physical guy play physical", well I call bullchit! All BB has to do is direct them, if they don't hit they sit (I made a rhyme), pretty simple. I firmly believe if they played an aggressive style they would be much more consistant and effective.

Posted by: FLDave | January 14, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

wiz,

I was advocating BB getting let go at the end of last season, but I have to play Devil's advocate for a second.

How is on the coach when he is short 2 top six players (as I don't see Laich as a top 6 talent, and everybody and their brother sees the vacuum at 2C)? How is it on the coach when his stars are shooting at well below their historic shooting percentages? Semin turning invisible?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 14, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, I think the Caps need more team TOUGHNESS especially if we're going to a more defensive scheme. I don't mind losing every once in a while as long as we play hard and go down swinging. Go Caps!!

Posted by: great81 | January 14, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

New theory. Ovechkin is addicted to pills.

Posted by: Dizruption | January 14, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

vermontcaps,

I have been following Beagle for quite some time and believe me, he is not afraid to mix it up. The guy is the real deal which is why I was so peeved this offseason when BGordon was resigned, we have youth waiting in the wings that can play consistent 3rd/4th line minutes and bring more heart, determination and grit than BGordon has ever shown.

Posted by: PhilR | January 14, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Actually I have nothing against BB. Except this cup holder commercials. He is a very good coach for AHL. He can use players in 18-24 range pretty well and effectively or players he knows how to manage (long relations). OBSG where young when he started here. So they played by themselves hoping to win SC. It looks like last season disaster and humiliation completely broke faith in him. We don’t have 1st and 2nd lines it's because they played "too cute"?

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 14, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R

It should be like any management position. If your team is not meeting the companies goals it's up to the manager (coach) motivate/make changes. If the manager cannot successfully make the changes you hand him a compensation package, a box to put his things in and escort him to the door.

Posted by: FLDave | January 14, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@ FLDave

When?

Posted by: Randolph2 | January 14, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmmmm, Patrik Berglund may be on the trading block from the Blues. He is another Swedish center so could be a target for GMGM, top three lines could all have Swede centers.

Posted by: PhilR | January 14, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

It's on the coach when something is broken and doesn't get fixed. The PP is broken, the offensive is in shambles. Players aren't sure how to play the new offense. Defense first wins in playoff series & Stanley Cups. BB is an offensive coach, this "new" defensive system is confusing him & the players.
BB was the right coach when he was hired. He did a great job getting the Caps to this level. The Caps need a coach who thinks, plans and teaches defensive system. BB isn't that coach.

Posted by: chriscaps | January 14, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

It's also out there that Buffalo may just hold a fire sale. Derek Roy and Tim Connolly may be available as well for the right price. Looks as if plenty of teams are setting up to sell, Calgary is also looking to move people.

Posted by: PhilR | January 14, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

caps problem is up front...top 2 lines are floaters who feel it is beneath them to be defensively responsible...and the 3 and 4th lines are not tough enough every shift...Steckel might as well be 5 5 not6 5
way to soft....Bradley is ok ..Boyd Gordon is injury prone...and the young hershey guys at least try...why sign king if you never intended to play him...he cost more than Laing and Walker would have combines

Posted by: wendel2 | January 14, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

And lets just ignore their blueline hitters like Kronwall and Stuart. Because you know, that means nothing either. Or the fact they could match the Pens hit for hit. Or little guys like Darren Helm who has more grit and desire in his little finger than half our team does collectively. Or what a Tomas Holmstrom brings to that team in the crease. Or the rich history of power forwards that team had thru the 90s. Or the fact they had the best checking line with guys like Draper, Maltby, and McCarty.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

They probably would have won a couple more Cups had it not been for the tragic accident that ended the career of Konstantinov... imagine 10 more years of him and Lidstrom

Posted by: joek443 | January 14, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking about Ovechkin's slump and figured, OK, all players have off years. Check out Howe's stats. Did have an off year in 70-71 so Wings chased him out of town. Another off year in 78-79 but hey he was like 52 years old. Otherwise incredibly consistent. We need another theory. Addicted to pills? Doubt it. Somehow though Katie needs to get to the bottom of "WHIFFGATE."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordie_Howe

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 14, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

Isn't Derek Roy out for the year with an injury?

Posted by: sgm3 | January 14, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

vermont, his shameful handling of Olie helped get the Caps into the playoffs. Remember that stretch run? So it's better to have Olie feel good about himself, get some starts, and not make the playoffs?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 14, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Given how we eeked into the playoffs that year, not even myself can argue riding Huet down the stretch. By then, everyone knew that Kolzig was done and wouldn't be back. Knowing he came up and grew-up with the organization, took the team to the finals, stuck around to be the bedrock of the rebuilding when he could've beat feet for more cash elsewhere, was extremely giving to the community and fans, AND WAS JUST AN ALL-AROUND CLASS ACT...he deserved better.

How do you say farewell to a heroe? By giving him one last start at home, early in the series. He didn't get it, so he should've started game 5...WAIT, HE DIDN'T PLAY A MINUTE the whole series.

As a fan, I didn't think we were going to win the Cup that year and some things are bigger than the situation itself. Had BB given Olie a better farewell, I think a different tone would've been established and things would be much different today.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 14, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

I'm not sure, was just looking at rosters. I hadn't heard that he had gotten injured but you may very well be right.

Posted by: PhilR | January 14, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I just googled him and it appears he was hurt on December 23rd and that Ruff said it looked serious but I couldn't find the long term prognosis.

Posted by: PhilR | January 14, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

Yeah, just found it, he is gone for the year after undergoing surgery for a tron quad tendon so there goes that possibility.

Been looking at Calgary's roster and they seem to really have nothing at center other than Jokinen who is just ridculously expensive contract wise from what I can remember.

Posted by: PhilR | January 14, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

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