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Varlamov: Caps had too many 'almost' moments

Goalie Semyon Varlamov shares his thoughts on the Caps' first-round playoff defeat to the Canadiens, crediting goalie Jaroslav Halak with winning the series for Montreal but adding, "I think we were playing too erratically. And in every game we had like five or six 'almost' moments."



(Mark Abramson/The Washington Post)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 29, 2010; 8:23 AM ET
 
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Comments

Story of the franchise...

Very angry.

If I hear of players playing hurt, it will only make me angrier.

If Green or Semin were that hurt, DON'T PLAY THEM...

Green should not have been on the powerplay past game 4.

They lost the series by not showing up in Game 5.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Wore themselves out chasing points, 40 goals, 50 goals, awards, and of course Olympic Medals....

Probably shouldn't have tried to change the lineups every game in March it broke apart any chance at getting 3 or 4 lines in some rhythm.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 29, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Game 5 was definitely the beginning of the end. Instead of working hard and improving, the Caps were drinking the Caps koolaid and thought they could just coast to the SC finals. There was no strategy whatsoever. They were just skating around in the offensive zone making individual efforts, especially Semin. He would rather pass to the other team than pass to one of his linemates (which he did often). What a joke. This team just wasn't as good as we all thought they were.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 29, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

A few things:

1. Move Green to forward, he is just not capable of playing defense. His play was laughable.

2. Trade Semin - Maybe you can package him and the first pick for Florida number 3 pick. Get Fowler, and get him in the line up day 1. This team needs 100 points to win the garbage division they play in. They can afford to let rookies play.

3. Let Flash go to RFA. Hopefully, someone gives him an offer. If not, sign and trade him.

4. Perrault needs to be an everyday player.

5. Why was this the first game Alzner played? He is much better that Morrisonn, Schultz or Sloan. Whay to pull your head out of your a$$ too late.

6. Someone apologize to Theo. He deserved better, he should have played last night. He is a man that went thru a lot, and BB treated him terribly.

This season was an utter failure/disgrace. The fans did their part, the leadership did not. I think if they want us back, some of the need not be back. McPhee for starters.

Posted by: underpants2 | April 29, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Erratic, yep -- poorly coached versus very well coached. Coaching trumps talent, bye bye BB.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | April 29, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

@Yes...

You are so right. Ovie was so concerned about playing in the 2014 olympics, he forgot to show up in the 2010 olympics and forgot the true passion of winning a stanley cup.

I vote to NOT send NHL'r to Olympics. I knew it would have a down effect on our team...

BTW, where was Laich? Did he play any other shifts than the one in the first and the one in the third?

Sloan, Schultz, Erskine should not be allowed in Washington.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Barry Melrose had it right - Will beats Skill

What fixes that? Ovie can be the diva-best player and take voluntary practices off (until they stop letting them BE voluntary) OR he can be Captain.

And if the team is going to talk all season and the previous off season about getting "gutty, gritty, playoff type players" then PUT THEM ON THE ICE in the playoffs.

Love the Caps, but I really am mad as hell right now

Posted by: bluejeener1 | April 29, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Something has got to give. The system or the players who don't fit the system or are too lazy or the coach who can't adjust to the players or the GM who puts it all together. Can't stay the same. But,I'm very sad the games are over. I'll bch and moan,but I'll be back ready to go this fall. But that is a long ways off. They just don't show up at critical times,it's unbelievable.

Posted by: ridgely1 | April 29, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Unlike our only Cup team this one is built for years. Seeing Alzner and Carlson out there was great and when the Caps learn go on talent alone in reg season to get into playoffs then turn it on, then they will get it. It took the Red Wings time, it took the Bulls time ...

Posted by: flee001 | April 29, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

GMGM has done a great job by not giving up future for D-man and this summer there are a few to be had. Poti is gone and Erks, well if you can't play in the first round why are you on the roster. There are 1-2 young centers in the minors that need to play more. This team is going to be solid for years and that I love. The Olympics, awards, etc are nice and the team will learn that one day.

Posted by: flee001 | April 29, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

BlueJeener...

You hit the nail right no the head...love the caps, but mad as hell right now...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Fire McPhee

Posted by: Mike4169 | April 29, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Caps/hockey newb who really caught the fever this year, and is feeling disappointed.

Don't know as much about the game as other folks so it's hard for me to breakdown what happened, but 2 things that I notice off the bat.

It seems that the Caps just want to outshoot the opponent, but they fire alot of slap shots and there's no one around the net to get the rebound. Credit Halak for all those saves, but the Caps seemed like they were helping him by shooting alot of shots from distance right into his gut without alot of traffic in front of the net.

Do we need help at goalkeeper? Is Halak just out of this world? Halak had like 30 saves last night and Varly let in a goal on something like 10-11 shots.

Posted by: p1funk | April 29, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

If anyone is "fired" its Boudreau.

McPhee gave him more pieces than any other GM in the league....it's the coach who puts the players on the ice and prepares them for the games.

Not the GM...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

GMGM has done a great job by not giving up future for D-man and this summer there are a few to be had. Poti is gone and Erks, well if you can't play in the first round why are you on the roster. There are 1-2 young centers in the minors that need to play more. This team is going to be solid for years and that I love. The Olympics, awards, etc are nice and the team will learn that one day.

Posted by: flee001

McPhee couldn't find his a$$ with both hands. His is incompitent, and should be fired TODAY. Poti is here for another year at 3.5 million. It's time to call a spade a spade. He has an owner that will let him spend to the cap, and he fails.

Posted by: underpants2 | April 29, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

At least 3 blue liners should be let go. Definitley the weakest link. Who would take Semin or Green at this point? Overpaid self-entitled divas...

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 29, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Great season, tough loss - the rest of this is absolutely blown out of proportion. This wasn't supposed to be easy, and the Caps got beat.

I've been a fan for 27 years and I'll be a fan for the rest of my life - this won't be the last disappointment, but there will be more glory.

Posted by: jesstyr | April 29, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

@flee001

I agree. The Caps have Carlson and Alzner coming up as full-timers next year and they will probably be the #1 pairing pushing Green/Schultz to #2 or #3 pairing. If GMGM can pick up Volchenkov (great shutdown defender and would be great on the PK and would play 25 minutes/game) then all of a sudden the D is starting to look solid.

Flash is gone. Get what they can for him. If the Caps aren't offered a lot maybe they re-sign him, let him build up regular season points and then trade him when his value is higher.

I would think there is a decent chance Semin could go. That will be interesting to watch. I'm still glad GMGM didn't make any stupid deadline deals over the past two years that would've given away Carlson or Alzner. Keeping those guys will pay off greatly in the short and long run.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Varly block 14 of 16 shots and lost another game seven playoff. His record is spotty and he is not a good as the franchise thinks. We need a solid goalie and help on the blueline.

In my opinion, Varly was just as much to blame in this series as the PP.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I really dont think firing McPhee is the right to say. McPhee gave BB all the tools to make a deep run, Yet BB mis managed what he was given. It's like a 7 year old who gets a bike, scooter, rollerblades, X Box and 550 Power Super Soaker and then comes back a week later and says all the toys are broken and they cant be fixed. BB was given good players to already good line-up and he blew it!!

I agree with the poster who said move Green to forward.. Although thinking about that would he back check? If not trade him, Along with Semin and Flash..

This team needs to grow up, coach and players and until then this is what we'll have. Anger and disappointment was not what I wanted in April... This loss stings worse than the loss to any Pens series and any Islander series in the 80's. Love this team and always will but enough is enough!

Posted by: darrylrbaker | April 29, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

@Jess

Season=failure.

You only play the regular season to get to the playoffs.

I'm not saying stop watching hockey or loving the Caps.

But don't tell me it was a good season. It was a waste of 6 months.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Great season, tough loss - the rest of this is absolutely blown out of proportion. This wasn't supposed to be easy, and the Caps got beat.

I've been a fan for 27 years and I'll be a fan for the rest of my life - this won't be the last disappointment, but there will be more glory.

Posted by: jesstyr

I guess you are patient and satisfied with failure. Nothing is blown out of proportion. The management failed to put together a playoff capable team. They should be held accountable.

"Let's hope for better luck next season" is not going to cut it. The failure must be dealt with accordingly. Rebuild starting by firing McPhee and Boudreau.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Also, the overreaction to Ovie's play by many media members and other idiots is embarrassing.

He scored 5 goals and 5 assists in the series NOT counting the game tying 3rd period goal he had in game 7 (that is usually considered a big time play) that the refs unfairly called a no-goal on a terrible call.

It's not a conspiracy or anything, but just as some players make some terrible plays or decision, that ref made a horrible and incorrect call in what turned out to be a very big moment.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I like our players...I am more concerned about the coaching and the inability to adapt the gameplan to get higher quality chances in the past 3 games...

Halak was good...we made him look great.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 29, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm still in shock because as regular posters here know, I am the eternal optimist, "homer" if you will. There were times in the last two games that I was in complete awe at the saves Halak managed to make.

Now, for those of you talking about moving Green and Semin, that's cool, although I disagree, everyone has their opinions. Be smart in your suggestions though. So maybe in the opinion of a lot of you Green and Semin were no-shows, I'll buy that. Now, to suggest trading them to the likes of Tampa or Florida is just goofy. Even if they are accused of no-shows in the playoffs, do you really want them to kill us and steal points during the regular season as a member of the Lightning or Panthers? I don't. If they do get traded I hope it is to a team from the West so they can't come back to haunt us unless we get as far as the Stanley Cup.

I know a lot of you have felt this heartache, anger, shock, for over 30 years so I can understand the reaction on here, I have gone through an emotional rollercoaster with the Capitals as well.

Ironically enough it wasn't the lack of a crease clearing defenseman (which we WILL still need) that lead to our early exit. Rather it was the lack of scoring depth that seemed to be our biggest asset coming into the playoffs that failed us. This will be along off-season that hopefully sees Backstrom get signed quickly so the salary cap status is known so the other issues such as the crease clearing defenseman and true 2nd line center can be addressed during the free agency frenzy.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 29, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I really dont think firing McPhee is the right to say. McPhee gave BB all the tools to make a deep run, Yet BB mis managed what he was given. It's like a 7 year old who gets a bike, scooter, rollerblades, X Box and 550 Power Super Soaker and then comes back a week later and says all the toys are broken and they cant be fixed. BB was given good players to already good line-up and he blew it!!

I agree with the poster who said move Green to forward.. Although thinking about that would he back check? If not trade him, Along with Semin and Flash..

This team needs to grow up, coach and players and until then this is what we'll have. Anger and disappointment was not what I wanted in April... This loss stings worse than the loss to any Pens series and any Islander series in the 80's. Love this team and always will but enough is enough!

Posted by: darrylrbaker

Wrong. Ted gave McPhee all of the tools he needed, and he preferred to go after fancy forwards and ignore the blue line. He has failed and disgraceful losses in the playoffs will continue until the management and team is rebuilt.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

The goal that was waved off was a very bad call. The reason Halak didn't stop it was because he was screened, not because he was pushed. You see that type of goal all year long and it always counts. Why it didn't count in this game is beyond me. I don't believe in conspiracys but that goal occurs a lot, and will occur a lot more this playoffs and will not be waved off. Very bad call.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 29, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

How can people say this team needs to mature? How long does it take? Look at the Coyotes. They do not have huge talent or maturity, but they almost beat the Wings in their series. The Caps would have been swept by the wings.

Maybe wait another 27 years and something good will happen. By that time McPhee and Boudreau will be long gone.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Look, if every team who made all the right moves won this season then there would be 8 Stanley Cup Champs. The Caps lost...but that doesn't mean that someone messed up - give the Canadiens and Halak some credit, they beat us. BB, GMGM, Leonsis, et al put together a great team that underperformed.

Oh, and that goal should never have been disallowed 20 seconds in to the 3rd...that was BS.

I'm as pissed off or more than all of you, even you "evtoi", but let's put this in perspective a little bit - the Caps lost. Success would have only been a Stanley Cup, and only one team will be happy.

Posted by: jesstyr | April 29, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@LloydChristmas

Agree completely.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

HISTORIC CHOKING DOGS! Seriously, someone should investigate Semin owing money to the Russian mob, because he looked like he was purposely throwing the series. All you Mike Green haters...hate on...he @#$%*@# sucks! Oh well, there is always next year...maybe they can go get some more offensive defensemen who stumble over there own feet in their own zone...maybe go get another 5'8" soft number one goalie who can only play only one playoff game...maybe pick up some more European players who are scared to hit or get hit or play defense because it might ruin their chances on whiffing or getting all their shots on goal blocked...maybe name another immature non-english speaking captain who is incapable of leading men on the biggest stages. HISTORIOC CHOKING DOGS! Nice job, losers!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 29, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm unhappy too, but calling the best regular season in history a failure, and wanting to hang the coach?

I say, trade Green and his Norris nod for a premier D or two, as in "ones who primarily defend".

Let him go to a team with weaker forwards who need the extra attack, and let us get a couple guys who can really support the goalie and lock down our zone the way Gil and co. did. That would give our forwards a chance to work methodically in playoff situations, without such constant desperation.

Posted by: jh-w | April 29, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"I like our players...I am more concerned about the coaching and the inability to adapt the gameplan to get higher quality chances in the past 3 games...

Halak was good...we made him look great."

Woah people.

All of this talk about "trade this person, trade that person" is rediculous.

They all played bad, this series just plain sucked for the Caps. But you don't go dumping the players, YOUNG players because they lost this series.

Mike Gartner got traded and it was one of the worst trades in franchise history. They said he never showed up in the playoffs. Sound familiar?

BB got out coached for sure, but I am not so ready to give up on him either. Right before the Olympics they were red hot, then they made all of those trades but never acquired a solid defenseman that they needed. Why? I thought after the Olympics and those trades they never looked the same. All they really needed to do was get a quality D-lineman, not a bunch of 3rd/4th line fowards. I like Chimera, but all of those other guys the Caps didn't need. BB was sitting people nightly as healthy scratches for crying out loud.

My biggest concern was Ovie though. He never regained his form and I think mentally it took it's toll on him, especially with all of that Crosby vs. Ovie crap and I am sure he got blamed for Russia losing in thier media.

It's a bitter pill to swallow, but re-load for next year. They will be a Cup caliber team once again(thanks God). They better fix thier defense though, there's HUGE holes there.

Just like when they came into the season this year. It's not the end of the world, I promise. :)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | April 29, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Do svidanya

Austin Millbarge: We need a plan.
Emmett Fitz-Hume: Let's play dead.

Posted by: DexterMorgan | April 29, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

varly's "almost" moment should have been him stopping the last goal

Posted by: _stevo | April 29, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Alex Ovechcan't

Posted by: Chia_Pet | April 29, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

if you have a team built on offense like the Caps, you can hardly blame the defense or the goaltending when they only manage to score 3 goals total in the last 3 games of the series.

I don't care how good your defense or goaltending is, you're simply NOT gonna win many games if you score one goal/game. they only gave up 2 goals/game in Games 5 and 7. No matter how good Halak was they should have been able to win one of those games.

they failed becaue of their offense which is supposed to be their main strength, NOT because of their defense and goaltending.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

My feeling was if our Caps had at least made it a round further (conference finals) than last year, we'd sense a "learning process" in the playoffs and we'd look to next year with some optimism.

When they blow 3-1 series lead, score 5 goals across 4 losses (including game 2), go 1-37 (was that the final #?) on the PP, two of their ostensibly best offensive players produce nothing (0 goals from Green and Semin in 7 games), the torches and pitchforks will of course come out. I won't join in, but I totally understand the Fan Rage. :(

I don't want the Caps to be like the 'Skins, where the offseason is always more interesting than the season itself, but I guess that's where we're at. I figure Leonsis is wrapped up in signing the Wizards/Verizon Center deal papers for a while, then he and (unless there's a GM change) gmgm gotta figure out a new direction.

Posted by: blackjack65 | April 29, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"Varly block 14 of 16 shots and lost another game seven playoff. His record is spotty and he is not a good as the franchise thinks. We need a solid goalie and help on the blueline.

In my opinion, Varly was just as much to blame in this series as the PP."

Neither of those goals were his fault whatsoever. When you play like the Caps and leave your goaltender out to dry that will happen. We obviously won the quantity battle, but how many times did we get one on one shots vs the goaltender or close in clean shots? Montreal got 2 or 3 a game. Is he a great goaltender? No. Is he decent? Yes. Is he a top 5 reason we lost this series? No. By the way, Theodore would not have made one bit of difference. He actually is more likely to let in a soft goal than Varly.

I think Varly's 5 or 6 "almost" moments every game was spot on. Putting the frustration and anger aside and the weaknesses exposed, the Canadians still had to get extremely lucky to win this series. Pucks hitting posts. Rebounds just missing player's sticks etc etc etc. Oh, let's not forget the very iffy call last night. Both Melrose and Barnaby said on ESPN it was a bad call to take away the goal to start the 3rd. That very well could have changed the entire outcome of the playoffs and our season. I've personally never seen that little of contact when screening a goalie lead to a no goal.

And, stop with the trading Semin talk. We need him to remain an elite team. Without him we have nothing for a second line. He needs a consistent 2nd line level center for starters. The only real candidate for a trade in my eyes would be Green. He is not only not good, he is a liability and could get us say the aforementioned second line center.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 29, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

fanohock1, jesstyr, lloydchristmasn, sgm3: thank you for your posts. I was very reluctant to even read this blog today, but I'm glad I did. I think you've all made the points that I would make, so it makes it easier to ignore the a$$hats that come on here to gloat or to overreact by calling for everyone's head.

This end to the SC pursuit for the Caps is very disappointing and sad. But anyone who criticizes me for still being a fan and loving the Caps at this point by saying I would be "satisfied with failure" is wrong. I'm NOT satisfied with the outcome of this series. But I love the Caps and enjoyed the heck out of the season. I believe the Caps will remain SC contenders next year and for years to come.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | April 29, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

For those that maintain a possitive outlook at this time, I applaud you. For me personally, the thought of possible success in years to come does nothing to take away from how unbelievably unacceptable this is. It is nearly impossible to face people that I know who are either Pens of Flyers fans. What do you say? Especially the Flyers, they essentially sucked all year and look at them now - at least they have a chance to continue and likely will. F it!

Posted by: kkd76 | April 29, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Most importantly, the Caps were outcoahed. To hear Fat Boy try to lay this all off on his players just galls me. HE is the one who made NO to FEW adjustments along the way. Jacques Martin showed that he is the SUPERIOR coach.

As for the players, I can see that many folks here have pulled out the typical cliche that Mike Green is the root of all things evil. That is just plain stupid. To lay this on a guy who was OBVIOUSLY trying to improve his defensive game and who has played much more responsibly since the start of 2010 is ridiculous. However, if you want to suggest that Flash is a joke and Semin is a headcase that would rather watch Ovie bang slutty Russian chicks than win a Cup, then I would say you are on to something.

Lets face it, this team and management forgot that nothing in this world is given to you. All the talk before this about a deep run in the playoffs. It didn't translate to urgency on the ice and the Caps got burned. Wake up call for TEd and GMGM. Lets hope they answer.

Posted by: doughless | April 29, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I truly believe the Capitals system doesn't work come playoff time and the players themselves are not to blame. Aside from that, I question Ovechkin's leadership? When Moore scored the winning goal, Ovechkin was standing at the Montreal blueline. I know there is a lot of hate for Crosby in this town but...In the Pens-Sens series, Crosby twice swept a sure goal away from behind his goalie. Does that sound like something Ovechkin would do?

Posted by: jackblob | April 29, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I am going to burn my copy of today's Sports section.

I have never had a sporting event make me feel so physically ill. I feel utterly sick from this. This is the best DC team my generation has ever seen, and witnessing the worst collapse in NHL history is physically debilitating. This is exactly on par with the Yankees collapse in 2004. People will argue that the Caps loss is worse than the Yankee because of different cirumstances (i.e. earlier playoff round for the Caps), but both teams clinched futility and ineptitude on epic proportions. We had good teams in the past two years, but this was supposed to be the best of them.

Passions are still reeling in high, but this team is still very, very young. While I am sure Ted is upset, he is not going to make a passion-based decision. That's not what made him a successful owner. That's what made Snyder an unsuccessful owner. Let's be realistic: Ted is not going to remove the best coach in team history despite the third straight premature bounce. He may remove GM^2, but GM^2 is not an incompetent Cerrato. I believe the triumvirate sees the defensive flaws and will correct them because they must. Ovie did not lose this series. With the exception of game one, he came out to play every game. Too many on the Caps bench were absent. No hockey team depends on a single player to win it for the team. If that was the case, Stamkos and the Bolts would be in the playoffs. Halak was fabulous, but the Habs were using their bodies to block 40 shots a game. You can learn a lot from losing, but you must avoid becoming accustomed to losing at all costs. This is the third time this young Caps team has bounced early. If we boost our defensive and veteran shortcomings, then the Caps will be Stanley Cup Final contenders for a decade.

Meanwhile, thanks to Tarik, Geno, Lindsay, and the rest on Caps Insider. I became a better Caps fan and hockey fan because of it, and I will continue reading it.

Enjoy the off-season fellas. We are going to need it.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 29, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I've been watching the Caps for almost 25 years. Every (post season qualifying) year its the same let down. Maybe for different reasons, but the let down is the same.

This current incarnation is a pretender. Nothing more than a soft pretender.
Hate to say it, but its true.

Every playoff year, around this time...give or take a few weeks...I'm reminded of a certain CCR song.

Someday Never Comes

Posted by: PothiersTradedThumb | April 29, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

My venting from last night is over. Not going to lie that was probably the most disappointing loss I've ever seen. It still hurts this morning but today is a new day. I truly belive that was the biggest collapse in NHL history.

This team needs to address some serious issues.

A good start in my book would be getting rid of Semin and Green. We could definitely get something for these guys, right???

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 29, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Ovie is the best player on the team and the captain, so its understandable that he takes heat. BUT....

Ovie wasn't our problem. You can't pin this on him. 5 goals, 5 assits in 10 games isn't bad at all. No one is blaming Backstrom, with similar numbers to Ovie, and they shouldn't. Backstrom and Ovechkin showed up.

Now if you want to pin this on Green and Semin... by all means, have at it.

Posted by: griz0615 | April 29, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The singular goal during a season should be STANLEY CUP. Instead, the Caps want their 50 goals, their 100 points, their SE division title, their Eastern Conference regular season title, their President's Trophy and then their Stanley Cup. It should just be Stanley Cup and nothing else. Seeding doesn't matter. Division titles don't matter. President's Trophies don't matter. All that matters is a Stanley Cup. The Penguins won it last year as a four seed, and they're setting themselves up nicely to make it to the finals again this year as a four seed. Until the Caps have a SINGULAR focus, they'll continue to flop and fail.

Posted by: CDon | April 29, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I think people need to take a day or two to actually think about this instead of making the idiotic posts that are the majority of what's on here today. McPhee doesn't need to be fired - he put together a solid team. Boudreau doesn't need to be fired - he took a team that, just three years ago, was among the worst in the NHL and made it into a powerhouse. The Caps were simply outworked, and there isn't much the coach can do about that - he only has so many options on what to do.

I hope McPhee takes the offseason to address the few issues the Caps do have. First, they need a solid 2nd line center, which BMo was for part of the season but not all - and I dont think the Caps are going to re-sign BMo. Second, they need another dman who is willing to block shots, especially on the PK.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 29, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"And, stop with the trading Semin talk. We need him to remain an elite team."

What? Why? No we don't. Someone who scores exactly zero points in the playoffs in no way contributes to us being an "elite level team."

Stop making excuses for these people. Semin has had three years now to prove that he's not a lifelong playoff no-show, and he has let down every single time.

I think his $6 mil would be much better served addressing this teams' real needs.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Green can still have a role on this team but NOT as the number one blueliner. He's a 3 or 4. BB needs to realize that he just can't handle the playoff pressure, maybe he could at the AHL level but not with the big boys.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I am frustrated as hell right now, but analysts takings shots at Ovie is not fair. Nobody tries harder and works harder on the ice then him. He wants it badly and gives 110% effort all the time.

As far as Varly - he wasn't spectacular (although 2nd period of game 3 he was), but he is not to blame. Have gave up 7 goals in Games 5-7 which with our team should be enough to at least win 1.

As far as Green, I just don't get it. He looked like a completely different person out there this series. I was a nervous wreck every time he was on the ice.

Hershey keeps winning and they have playoff goal scorers. Maybe it's time to let a few of those guys play up here regularly.

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 29, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Epic Fail.

However, i saw the will from the Caps. They outshot and outhit Habs in every game and played hard till the end. Still they lost.
They didn't know how to score, first on PP and eventually on 5 to 5.
It's not about leadership or will - they just didn't know what to do.
It's coach's work.
So, Bruce, thanks for everything, but it's mostly your fault. Don't you think so?

Posted by: Michael01a | April 29, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Ted is not going to remove the best coach in team history despite the third straight premature bounce."

---

How many straight premature bounces does he get? Three seems like a lot. If I were a manager and had an employee that consistently failed at really his only objective for three straight years...I would definitely consider firing him.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I am disappointed that the Capitals lost last night. However, I am more disappointeed with the Capitals fans today. The Ovechkin bashing is beyond absurd and an embarassment to the Capital fan base. There is not a team in the league that wouldn't take Ovechkin to include the Penguins. Just because Crosby has won at this point and Ovechkin hasn't does not mean Ovechkin is a loser. Crosby winning at such a young age is the exception not the rule. Ovechkin is only 24 years old and has only been in the league for five seasons. At the same point in their careers neither Gretzky (won Stanley in his sixth season) or Lemieux (won Stanley in his seventh season) had won a Stanley Cup. Further, Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, and John Elway all had not won a championship at this point in their career. Were they losers? Should their fans have thrown in the towel on them? Of course not, and the same is true for Alex. He is way too young for the kind of vitriol being thrown his way.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 29, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

You can call for all the trades you what but the biggest problem this team has wears no 8.Yea he's the best player in the world But you need more team players. If you look at those games he missed this season 7-2 record And a better team effort all the way around. Maybe three players 3 million each or two 4.5 million each are better than one 9 million superstar.With ovie and nyls money 13 million plus you could add a whole line top players.

Posted by: sporttraveler | April 29, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I believe we were out coached. It seems the theory was hey, if it worked for 82 games, it'll work at some point in this series. Meanwhile, the HABS analyzed, adjusted and took away the neutral zone and the center.
Bottom line is we never responded or adjusted. There is a reason the power play sputtered (ok died). Sorry, that's coaching and strategy.

Finally, Hal Gill was a free agent this summer. Someone ask GMGM why he didn't even try.

I am beyond disgusted and disappointed. Pin this on Ovie--no way.

Posted by: vafan3 | April 29, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@GMGM

Please get some tough, experienced blue liners next year! Please get a real #1 D-Man! If BB doesn't want these things because they don't fit his system it is time to send him and his system packing.

The ironic thing is that it was really our lack of offense that cost us the series...

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 29, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

And, not putting Theo in--unacceptable. It would be interesting to know if this was a BB decision or a BB/GMGM decision.

Posted by: vafan3 | April 29, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Semin for Iginla. Straight up.

Painful, in pain this morning. Hungover and depressed. Another year gone by. Green, no thanks. In watching his play the past 15 games, good lawd! Move to forward or get gone sir. I agree with most on here. This really boils down to BB. Stop makin so many fn commercials and worry about your team sir. A few moves will be made this off season. The first, starts with Semin.

Posted by: todderdj | April 29, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

I agree completely. Getting rid of Green is not the answer. But moving him off of the top D pairing is the answer because he clearly cannot take the pressure.

Luckily the Caps have Carlson and Alzner who will be regulars on the team next year and probably the #1 D pairing by the end of the season.

Carlson is a big game player who performs better under pressure. Both guys played well last night (excluding Carlson's back checking on the 2nd goal) and I am looking forward to seeing how good they will be after playing an entire season in the NHL.

Then you have Green and Schultz as the #2 or #3 pairing. Hopefully they can add Volchenkov and have him paired with whoever as the #2 D pairing (Volchenkov would be a much needed addition on the PK too) and have Green/Schultz be #3. That would cut down on Green's minutes and cut down on the pressure on him. Just because he isn't a 1st pairing defenseman doesn't mean he isn't a value to the team. The Caps just need to change his role.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"He is way too young for the kind of vitriol being thrown his way."

---

Tough. He's the captain of the, and the best player on the team. When you are in the position, you only get one of two roles when all is said and done - the hero or the goat. It was his job to show up when it mattered, and he didn't. Perhaps next year will be different. But this year, all the criticism is valid.

As far as all those other people you mentioned, Manning, etc. all of them were also aptly labeled "chokers" until they actually won anything.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I also have to give props to the optimists after such a heartbreaking loss, it's tough but as alot of people said, we're closer to a complete team than farther away I think.

To address a few posts:

- Can't pin this on Ovi. Perhaps he tried to do too much at times and take the puck by himself but there isn't anyone else helping him out in terms of secondary scoring so what's the guy supposed to do?
- I don't blame Varly either (but I do think the second goal was completely stoppable, under the right arm is not s good place to be beat) and you're not going to win too many games by scoring 1 goal.
-It's too early to trade or release players because you have emotion envolved but I really don't see a use for Flash at this point. I would definitely keep Semin though. Green is another issue all together.
-The system seems to be at most fault here which is on BB and GMGM. It was exciting in the regular season but isn't cutting it in the playoffs.

and lastly, I would still take this roster over any other team. With a few changes, whether it's players, mentality or system, we're going to be contending for years to come.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 29, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

In a few days, people will realize that the Caps were a flawed team who ran up amazing regular season stats by playing in the weakest division in hockey. If the Caps had been in the NE Division playing teams like Buffalo, Boston, and Montreal, I think we'd all have had a reality check before the playoffs.

BB's system is not cut out for playoff hockey and his failure to make adjustments during the series was exposed by the Montreal coach and players. Second, some of the Caps top players simply aren't playoff type players (Semin, Green, Fleischmann). They rely too much on skill and not enough hard work to score goals or prevent them. The Caps need to recognize Green's strengths and consider moving him to forward or pairing him with a true shutdown defenseman. With Schultuz as his running mate, the Caps were too often exposed on the defensive end and Green took two horrible penalties in Game 7.

Lastly, McPhee needs to address some of the shortcomings on the roster. There was never a true 2nd line center on the team. Belanger was a decent acquisition, but not as a 2nd line center. Corvo was an upgrade over Pothier but not what we needed to improve the defense. Even if both Carlson and Alzner are in our top 6 defenseman for next year (seems a given), we're still short a defenseman of the likes of a Hal Gil who did this to us with Pittsburgh in last playoffs.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 29, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

And, not putting Theo in--unacceptable. It would be interesting to know if this was a BB decision or a BB/GMGM decision.

Posted by: vafan3 | April 29, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

1. they only scored one goal... did you think Theo could pitch a shutout? he has two SOs total in his two years with the Caps.

2. wouldn't have been fair to him or the team to throw him in Game 7. Again Varly is not the reason they lost the series, it's the OFFENSE.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@vafan3

There was no cap room to sign more free agents last summer because of Nylander.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

All this losing started when daniel Snyder got the Redskins. Welcome to our world Capitals.

Local teams in this area cannot cut it anymore. They don't have that instinct.

Redskins, Wizards, Capitals. Same difference. Go enjoy the games but go St. Else Where to see Champions. These teams will never win one. Even Georgetown had their chance within the past few years it's something about this metropolitan area.

Posted by: bonggong | April 29, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"Just because he isn't a 1st pairing defenseman doesn't mean he isn't a value to the team. The Caps just need to change his role."

---

He makes too much money to be a #2 or #3 defenseman. That's why you trade him to a team that needs a #1 defenseman for an actual #2 who is making #2 money, which frees up salary to use elsehwere.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Varly was fine. Both goals were very good shots and would've taken great saves to make. In addition, Varly did make some spectacular saves to keep it a 1 goal game.

I would actually rate Varly's performance last night as good.

The Caps only let up 1 goal with less than 4 minutes remaining, the team was clearly, and correctly, pinching everyone up. The Moore had a perfectly placed shot on the 2nd goal. Every time a goal is given up it is not necessarily the goaltenders fault.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

BB out coached.

No adjustments to the power play - went from best to worst. This is the difference in the series.

Limit the number of optional practices. OV, your the captain. No practices are optional for you.

Don't trade Semin but get him a true 2nd line center. The BMo option was not the fix.

Sign Backstrom to long term deal.

Let some of the RFAs go and bring some hungry blood up from Hershey for the 3rd & 4th lines.

Posted by: puckman | April 29, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"All this losing started when daniel Snyder got the Redskins. Welcome to our world Capitals."

---

To be fair, the Caps have been flaming out early in the playoffs LONG before Danny Boy ever came to town. This kind of thing is honestly old hat for a lot of us, the only difference this year is that a lot of us were actually stupid enough to get our hopes up.

Literally, in 1992 when the Redskins won the Superbowl, the Caps lost in the first round to a lower seeded Penguins team after leading the series 3 games to 1. Sound Familiar?

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Using the Southeast as a reason for the presidents trophy is a joke...Caps rolled all season vs all opponents...

We just didnt adjust and get it done...I love our players...our core is good...Bruce needs to watch tape...everyone said our D and goalies werent good enough...they were wrong...It was our inability to adapt...the last 3 games with all those shots werent bad luck and a hot goalie..they were a trend...a trend we didnt fix.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 29, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Almost moment #1 - Bruce rearranges a lineup that won 54 games to match up against THEM!?!?! Um, wouldn't a 54 game winner expect the OTHER team to worry about match ups? Steckel and Erskine were sorely missed, and you can take Mike Green and give him to the Penguins. A regular season isn't worth doo doo if you play like a chump in the playoffs...just ask Peter Bondra.

Posted by: soloman5000 | April 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

I understand that thinking, and that could be a way to go.

He is making a good amount $5M/year, but he is still only 24 (or around there). Defenders don't usually hit their peak until the late 20's when they become better at all the little things.

Green clearly does not play well under pressure, but he has a lot of talents. I think having him on the second pairing or third pairing next year with Schultz would be good. Then maybe you trade him the year after or reassess.

Clearly this is contingent on what other teams would give up so it is hard to say definitely trade or not trade without knowing what the Caps would get in return.

I think the big question is going to be what happens to Semin.

I would rather have that $6M go to a 2nd line center. Possibly Plekanec? The failure of the 2nd line center was huge. You could see the Habs leaving the center area open because they knew the 2nd line center wasn't going to do anything.

Flash is gone, but his contract value has dropped tremendously. But if he is going to make over $2M/year then it would be best to trade him.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

HEY GMGM, So how bout all those leadership veteran guys you got for the playoffs?Great job! sorry but ur gone,BB coaching when it counts sucks,and theo should have never been pulled and given the chance to bounce back

Posted by: gratefuldid | April 29, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"In a few days, people will realize that the Caps were a flawed team who ran up amazing regular season stats by playing in the weakest division in hockey."

---

You know how I know you don't know a whole lot about Hockey? I mean, I hate to pull this card, but come on. This isn't football. The Caps play exactly 2 more games against each SE opponent than anyone else in the East. I can't buy the idea that 6 games out of 82 (7.3% of all games) really made that big of a difference.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

As a lifelong Caps fan since the beginning, I have to admit this is more of the same thing. Welcome to being a Caps fan,newbies. We have been suffering through this for decades. Saying that, I do have some hope for the Caps. They need to get rid of Fleischman, Semin and Green. They cannot take the pressure of the playoffs and are generally useless because of that. Green was absolutely pathetic last night. Boudreau needs to admit to himself that his system is flawed when it comes to the playoffs and make the necessary changes. GMGM needs to have some guts and make tough decisions(ie-trading Flash, Semin and Green. I have hope that BB and GMGM will learn their lessons and make the necessary changes. If they don't then they will need to go. I say give them each one more season-if no results next year-make the changes at the top.

Posted by: johnatlanta | April 29, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Flash - Gone
B and S Morrison - Gone
Belanger could stay as a 3rd line C if he wants too.
Theodore - Gone
Corvo - Gone
Semin - on the trading block

Lots of changes coming...

Posted by: SA-Town | April 29, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Here we are again. Another early exit. Blocked shots, goaltending and their PK ruined us.

Trade Green for Hamhuis and Arnott and ...?

We can all play monday morning quarterback, but there are definite flaws in our system - Umberger was right. No D, shoddy goaltending, missed defensive assignments.

I do hope we keep Belanger and Chimera.

Dare I?

Ovie-Backs-Knubs
Laich-Belanger-Semin
Chimera - ? - ?
Bradley - Bob Probert - ?

Alzner-Carlson
Langway-Hatcher
Stevens- ?

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | April 29, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

What is this nonsense about Ovie not being at a voluntary practice, and comparisons to Haynesworth.

Ovechkin was on the ice at Kettler at 11 am after taking the red-eye back from Vancouver (post-medal ceremonies). He is a great captain!

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | April 29, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Varly did not play up to the same level as Halak. He now sees and hopefully understands the level of play required for play offs.
Theo deserved better and to play all of this series.
Carlson became an observer instead of a back-checker and needs to understand all the hype he's been showered with won't stop goals. Stop watching - get your head in the game. Alzner showed more maturity and hustle and was almost flawless in initiating up plays - his trademark.
Green hasn't played up to the level he's capable of for some time. Time for a heart-to-heart about becoming a leader or he and the Lamborgreenie can take the beltway out of town. Love the guy when he brings all of his talent.
Caps had no lucky bounces & Montreal game plan was perfect....hard work and devising a plan focused on their opponent's style.

Posted by: rockdaredlangely | April 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Ok, after reading a lot of these posts, I think people need to step away and come back in a week once they've had a chance to grieve over this season a bit. After that, I'll bet many more of these comments will be sensible and objective.

That said, despite my own advice, I'll give my two cents.

1- Could the Caps defense be better? Certainly, but it wasn't even a top 5 reason they lost this series.

2- BB absolutely got outcoached. First, 1 for 33 on the power play, some of the blame has to fall on the coaching. Second, he stuck with Flash way too long when it was clear that he would contribute absolutely nothing but missed opportunities. Semin wasn't a lot better, but at least he was shooting the puck, and he's earned a longer leash anyhow. Third, the Caps lost 3 of 4 at home (almost 4 of 4), seems to me that BB doesn't know how to use having the last change. BB didn't do enough to get Ovechkin/Backstrom away from Gill/Gorges.

3- Mike Green didn't have a great series, but I don't think he was nearly as bad as some people are making him out to be. He's absolutely the goat for taking a terrible offensive zone penalty, but the other penalty he took wasn't his fault, and while he might have made a better play on the second goal, Carlson not bothering to get back created the scoring opportunity.

4- The Caps don't possess the mental toughness needed to win. After the game 5 loss, it looked like Halak got in their heads, they were all gripping their sticks too tight and overthinking every play instead of instinctively reacting.

5- Varly/Theo; I don't think playing one over the other would have made a difference. Unfortunately, Varly wasn't able to be spectacular for an entire game down the stretch which was needed given the Caps' struggle to score.

6- Whatever combination was put out there, the Caps got absolutely nothing out of the second line the entire series and only marginal contributions from the 3rd and 4th lines. This is not a recipe for going far in the playoffs.

7- Part of the game is luck, and the Caps just didn't have it the last few games.


Once again, these are only my humble observations. Feel free to agree or tear them apart, but any way you slice it, this was a tough one to swallow.

Posted by: cainoo7x | April 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Green - Semin = Outta here. Please.

Posted by: ridgely1 | April 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Certainly plenty of blame to go around. My guess is BB sticks around, as the powers that be will determine the President's Trophy is an accomplishment. It is -- but that doesn't take away from the epic failure to win this series.

BB was badly outcoached. He failed to take advantage of the last change and never made any adjustments, other than yanking Theo. (By the way -- yanking the goalie was also the only adjustment he made last year, even though we were outplayed significantly by the Pens.)

Green was successful by one measure. He made Steve Yzerman look awfully smart for not picking him to be on the Olympic team. Yes, the penalty in the 1st was a horrible mistake and bone-headed play, directly leading to the goal. But getting pushed off the puck late in the third was more telling about what a liability that guys is -- and always has been -- in our own zone. That he is a candidate for "Best Defenseman" is a complete and utter joke.

I'm so frustrated and upset -- but I'll spare everyone from going on.

Posted by: sinbin | April 29, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The Caps are like the pre-2004 Redsox and the Cubs. They find new ways to lose and break your heart every year. Bunch of DUDS.

Posted by: topshelf | April 29, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

semin and green aren't going anywhere, green especially, while bruce is still here. We have cap room to bring in some players (volchenkov should be our first priority).

If i had to guess...
ShaMo/BMo - gone
belanger - gone
flash - gone
walker - gone
corvo - gone
theo - maybe back at a discount

Posted by: _stevo | April 29, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Green is no Lidstrtom, Bourque or Chelios... he's a Leetch, Coffey or Murphy.

he's still a good d-man but not as an anchor. I'd like to see Carlson and Alzner stay with the big club all year next year and Green's minutes get reduced to about 20 minutes/game.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

1) Trade Green
2) Trade Semin
3) Release Fleishman
4) Get an experienced goalie (Turco)

Get some good hard working Canadian boys who know how to grind up a win when it counts. (I know Green is Canadian, but he is not a grinder or a winner)

3) Rip Ovechcant's "C" from his jersey. Captains don't incite the other team by mocking their goalie...and they don't miss practices during the most important time of the year.

4) Get an experienced leader. Even if he only plays 10 minutes a game. Someone to teach these kids how to get it done. Federov did a little of that last year...

Bettman- NO NHL PLAYERS IN THE OLYMPICS. And Ovie if you still want to go, then just play in the KHL.

I don't care about Hershey, I don't care about the Olympics, all I care about is the Stanley Cup.

This season was a complete FAILURE. Who cares about the regular season...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Where is the "CHOKING DOGS!" guy? I expected to see him today. I would actually like to see some of his posts today for amusement.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

A wasted season in where the team does not make the playoffs. The current team is good to three to four more seasons. Alzner and Carlson should make the defense better (as it needed to be). Not suprised at LW's statement, he did not seem to enjoy this season from start to finish.

Posted by: adhardwick | April 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@cainoo7x

I agree with all of that and especially #7.

Also, Umberger was not completely right. Read his statement. He said a defensive team would win if they could keep the Caps off the PP. The Caps scored even strength and short handed goals, but failed on the PP. The Habs didn't keep the Caps off the PP, the just shut down the Caps PP.

Umberger used a condtion that a team would beat the Caps, even with the Caps PP clicking as normal. If the Caps PP was only bad and not miserable and horrible then the Caps win the series.

Unfortunately for the Caps, their PP was dead and they are at fault for not scoring on the PP.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

It all starts from the top.
GMGM needs to go! It's his operations, if, he does not understand playoff hockey, he is not capable of building a team for the Playoff run.

Posted by: 555Mass | April 29, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

We miss you Rod Langway.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | April 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

guess offense does not win you Cups when you can't score a goal. CHOKING DOGS!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Great season, tough loss - the rest of this is absolutely blown out of proportion. This wasn't supposed to be easy, and the Caps got beat.

I've been a fan for 27 years and I'll be a fan for the rest of my life - this won't be the last disappointment, but there will be more glory.

Posted by: jesstyr
--------
I couldn't say it any better - the words of a true sports fan. That's in contrast to the Yankee fans who have a sense of victory entitlement but who probably would shun the team if they were ever in the cellar.

Posted by: dldbug | April 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Playoff hockey is VERY VERY SIMPLE:

DEFENSE AND GOALTENDING!!!!

Caps have neither!!!!

Caps should have traded for Tomas Vokun not Belanger and Walker.

Posted by: 555Mass | April 29, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Green showed why he should never win the Norris Trophy.

Posted by: jmy999 | April 29, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

This was not our third in a row "early" exit from the playoffs. 2008 the Caps came from 14th place to win the last game of the season and get a playoff spot; taking the Flyers to 7 and exiting was realistic. 2009 the Pens were the better team; exiting in the second was realistic. This year can truly be classified as an early exit but its the first with this coach and group of players. So, to me, all this talk of fire this person, trade this guy is silly. The reality is the "best" team does not always win.

Posted by: rayofsunshine | April 29, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The Caps are like the pre-2004 Redsox and the Cubs. They find new ways to lose and break your heart every year. Bunch of DUDS.

Posted by: topshelf | April 29, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Ha! Speaking as a lifelong Red Sox fan, the Caps can't hold a candle to them.

The Caps have had some big failures for sure, but the Red Sox have done it on the biggest stage in the most spectacular fashion repeatedly. I mean, the Red Sox lost in game 7 of the World Series in '67, '75, and '86. Other spectacular collapses include blowing a 14.5 game July division lead in '78, and of course the Grady Little/Pedro Martinez fiasco of game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.

The only thing I can tell you is that a history of futility and heartbreak makes it that much sweeter when they finally pull it together and win it all.

Posted by: cainoo7x | April 29, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

some people on this blog need to get a grip on reality....lots of teams never even made the playoffs....we got spoiled...do changes need to be made absolutley...we panicked...50 blocked shots is due to our forwards just shooting even if lanes were filled...we made the habs look good....some more grit and maturity needs to be added ...get rid of the floaters....remember we are still led by young guns who will make ROOKIE errors but the core group is still very solid...time for gmgm and bb to step and fine tune this team

Posted by: dshowler | April 29, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

140 some shots over 3 games and then how many blocked shots (80?).

They (Caps players) gave it an effort, unfortunately the coaches told them to try to shoot from the outside into blocks and they never adjusted from that.

What would any other team have done?

Shoot wide on purpose to try and get a rebound with goalie out of position?

But not the Caps.

How about shoot it into the corners and make the Montreal D chase back to it and follow them in? I bet by period 3 they would have made a mistake or just tired out trying to go back every time.

You can bet Pittsburgh will try those things, but not the Caps.

Either way you slice it up the team with the best game plan for the people they had over 7 games won the series.

Yes 1 or 2 goals on the powerplay for Washington might of swung the whole series, but that did not happen. Going 1 for 34 on the PP is being too predictable.

That's another coaching issue.

Changing the lines every period to try and do the same thing with different pieces is not the best strategy for a team slumping around the net.

By game 2 they should have known that strategy had to change.

What baffles me most looking back on the series is how any team with such an advantage on face offs and as much of a team size advantage could lose a series by losing 3 home games where they scored a grand total of only 5 goals (20% off their usual output at home) had to be unprepared for the series.

That blame will fall primarily on the coaches.

The Caps followed a plan that was not working to a "T".

Last season after San Jose was eliminated the folks out there had public meeting with some players coaches, team managers, and season ticket holders to discuss "the state of the sharks" and why they kept losing in playoffs despite great seasons.

They seem to be overcoming their ghosts there so far.

Can that be done in DC too this spring?

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 29, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@Lloyd- I posted a rant earlier.

Choking Dogs- I hate being right all the time...it's a full time job.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 29, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

Carlson and Alzner will be up all year next year. If you start Carlson all playoffs and Alzner in game 7 over other choices then it is no question in my mind.

I think they will be the Caps #1 D pairing by the end of the season next year.

I agree completely about getting Green's minutes down to about 20. As pissed off about these playoffs as I am, I am a little excited about the potential D next year if they can sign Volchenkov.

Alzner/Carlson
TBA(maybe ShaMo)/Volchenkov
Schultz/Green

I think the big question is what to do at #2 center. I think Plekanec is a UFA and he would be a very good pickup as he is good on offense and was considered a Selke candidate this year.

People do have to remember that young players do improve with age. Just because some young guys weren't great now doesn't mean they won't be better players next year.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

repost:

HISTORIC CHOKING DOGS! Seriously, someone should investigate Semin owing money to the Russian mob, because he looked like he was purposely throwing the series. All you Mike Green haters...hate on...he @#$%*@# sucks! Oh well, there is always next year...maybe they can go get some more offensive defensemen who stumble over there own feet in their own zone...maybe go get another 5'8" soft number one goalie who can only play one playoff game...maybe pick up some more European players who are scared to hit or get hit or play defense because it might ruin their chances on whiffing or getting all their shots on goal blocked...maybe name another immature non-english speaking captain who is incapable of leading men on the biggest stages. HISTORIOC CHOKING DOGS! Nice job, losers!

very angry - today...but I'm going to let it go...the World Cup is right around the corner.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 29, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Oh for crumb sake, I wish a lot of you--especially you underpans--would quit your whining and bad mouthing the caps. Yes they lost in the playoffs, but what a season they gave us. I have been a fan since 1974 and will continue to be a loyal fan for many years to come. Thanks guys, coaches, gm and owner for an exciting season, and I look forward to even more excitement next year! Ffor you whiners---enough already!

Posted by: RogerNoVa | April 29, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Notice my choice of words? I never said Bruce "should not" be fired. I never said Ted will "not consider" it. I have no idea what Ted is thinking, and there is probably a good chance that Ted is, in fact, considering firing Bruce. What I AM saying is that when all is said and done, Bruce will still be the coach regardless of the three early exits.

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

How many straight premature bounces does he get? Three seems like a lot. If I were a manager and had an employee that consistently failed at really his only objective for three straight years...I would definitely consider firing him.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 10:26 AM

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 29, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@GMGM - Please fire yourself. You don't know how to build a playoff winning team. Nice pickups at the deadline. Really put us over the top this year, huh?

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 29, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@rogerNoVa

You are right...that President's Trophy banner will look awesome next to the banner of the DOG CHOKING! Great Year! They should be proud of winning meaningless games.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 29, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse


Great season, tough loss - the rest of this is absolutely blown out of proportion. This wasn't supposed to be easy, and the Caps got beat.

I've been a fan for 27 years and I'll be a fan for the rest of my life - this won't be the last disappointment, but there will be more glory.

Posted by: jesstyr

I mostly agree with this, have been a fan from the start of the franchise and will remain one. However, glory will not come unless some changes are made. I believe in most of the talent that the team has. I believe in Ovechkin. The team has to make some changes this summer,however,to have some hope of improving in the playoffs next year. I will remain a fan of the Caps, but I will believe they are Cup contenders when I see it on the ice. I hate to say this, but, we need to pattern ourselves after the Penguins. They seem to know that the only important thing about the regular season is that you make the playoffs. Here they are "only" the 4th seed, they did not win their division(oh how horrible), but they are the highest remaining seed in the east and seem to have the path cleared for another trip to the Cup finals. We need to deemphasize the regular season. We need to build ourselves for the playoffs and not care so much if we are a top seed coming out of the regular season.

Posted by: johnatlanta | April 29, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

BTW---an offer to all you whiners and ranters---if you want to get rid of your seasons tickets for next year, I will gladly take them off your hands, as will many others on here.

Posted by: RogerNoVa | April 29, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Nothing matters next year except the Stanley Cup.

This loss last night made the entire regular season next year meaningless. So we basically have to wait another YEAR to see a meaningful game. Thanks for the wasted 6 months Caps.

C-R-A-P, Crap, Crap, Crap

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 29, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@lyle

Right on, I do remember reading that. It was just so much more depth than your earlier posts though so I was caught off guard, sorta like Mike Green and Jeff Shultz.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 29, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

This loss last night made the entire regular season next year meaningless. So we basically have to wait another YEAR to see a meaningful game.

Posted by: Firepelosi

Couldn't agree more. The regular season just does not matter. I'll go to a few games but will definitely keep my expectations at bay until they get through a first round series (preferably without a game 7 but I'll take what I can get). Still a fan for life but this just puts in perspective how the 82 games just really don't matter in the least.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 29, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"few things:

1. Move Green to forward, he is just not capable of playing defense. His play was laughable.

2. Trade Semin - Maybe you can package him and the first pick for Florida number 3 pick. Get Fowler, and get him in the line up day 1. This team needs 100 points to win the garbage division they play in. They can afford to let rookies play.

3. Let Flash go to RFA. Hopefully, someone gives him an offer. If not, sign and trade him.

4. Perrault needs to be an everyday player.

5. Why was this the first game Alzner played? He is much better that Morrisonn, Schultz or Sloan. Whay to pull your head out of your a$$ too late.

6. Someone apologize to Theo. He deserved better, he should have played last night. He is a man that went thru a lot, and BB treated him terribly.

This season was an utter failure/disgrace. The fans did their part, the leadership did not. I think if they want us back, some of the need not be back. McPhee for starters.

Posted by: underpants2 | April 29, 2010 8:44 AM"

AMEN BROTHER! I am totally with you. I think you have to bring up a winger that can give you more net presence. I think Perrault and Giroux have to be on the reg roster next year. Same with Alzner. Goodbye Flash and Semin. Green to forward.

Posted by: jackstraaw | April 29, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"BTW---an offer to all you whiners and ranters---if you want to get rid of your seasons tickets for next year, I will gladly take them off your hands, as will many others on here"

---

You claim to have been a fan since 1974 and you don't have season tickets? It's not like there haven't been many opportunities for you to get them in the past. Especially at a much lower price than you could get them for now.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Wow, more Semin bashing.

Dudes - watch the tape. Tell me another forward on the team worked harder, created more chances, playing the game his own way. (They all play their own style). No one in last three games except for Ovie got or created more quality chances. They didn't go in because of the absurd defense the Habs were playing.

This is a wild, strange team to be sure, but it's our team. Some of you would rather have teams put together with Powerpoint slides? There's no way to force good results - they gave us a great ride and they'll get better...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | April 29, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Fire BB.
I took my nephew to the practice in the AM at Kettler on day of game 7. BB didn't even step on the ice with his team.
If Semin wants to return to Russia to play, that's fine with us.
So where was Bruce?
Probably doing another commercial.
Don't get me started on Green. He sucked last year and he sucked this year too. He's BB's favorite (BB coached him prior to the caps) and that's another problem.

Posted by: nolana | April 29, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

1)Green should never have played 26 min and if he is still with the team next year he should be on the 3rd pairing and a PP specialist (though wasn't much more effective there this series). He was trying too hard to be great not playing hard or smart enough and failed rather miserably.

2) Wish Theo would have started. Varly played adequately and made some key saves but thought Theo deserved the start.

3) GMGM should stay. I think blame goes on BB and the players. Volchenkov wouldn't have changed anything. Defense wasn't the caps problem this series quite possibly would have been later had they advanced. That being said GET VOLCHENKOV in the offseason if the caps manage to advance past the first round next year they will need someone like him.

4) Serious chat with BB to determine if he now sees some serious adjustments need to be made to his system. Also I agree with the complaints about optional practices. You don't need to make it an intense practice, but just skating around (in formation) to keep chemistry and feel for the puck and positioning going would imo have helped. Further forward positioning especially wingers in the defensive zone was exceedingly poor. They just seemed to be floating around until a capital got the puck and then they start skating. That is a system problem and a discipline problem. Ovechkin scored before Bruce and even before Backstrom. He scored 52 his rookie year which leads me to believe he could score just as many in a more defensively responsible system.

5) Semin needs room to perform and he will not get that in the playoffs. He tried and I think he played decent the last couple of games, but his game is just not suited for the NHL playoffs. Not sure what you'd get if you trade him. Maybe a marginal team could use him to help put some people in the seats and squeak into the playoffs before relying on the trap.

6) Ovechkin played fine. Scored a clutch goal (though the ref decided otherwise while being on the wrong side of the play). That said if he's captain he should show up to optional practices.

7) Defensive hockey is not bad hockey. If you want high scoring watch Basketball. I like that will can beat skill and that one mistake will make the game end 1-0 or 2-1. Low scoring, defensive, no room tight checking hard hitting games are what make playoff hockey so much fun to watch.

8) Seriously wondering if I'll be able to watch and care about 82 games before chance at redemption comes. But I guess it'll be a long summer now so I'll be ready.

9) All this talk about it being a business and not a family is crap. Hockey is not a sport you can buy championships, the rangers tried this for years. It also doesn't mean everything has to be lovey dovey. Families can be tough on each other and call each other out. I take criticism from someone I like and respect a lot more seriously than I would from someone I don't think cares about me.

Posted by: BorntoHula | April 29, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"I mostly agree with this, have been a fan from the start of the franchise and will remain one. However, glory will not come unless some changes are made."

---

To some people, being a "Good fan" means you love a team like a child loves their parents - wide-eyed, without questioning, and eternally devoted at all costs.

To me, being a "good fan" means you love your team like you love your brother. You're going to be there for life, you encourage him when he's doing things right, and you aren't afraid to let him know when he's doing something wrong or making a bad decision.

Last night the Caps just told us that they are going to Major in Ceramics in College.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

The big thing I'm worried about is the culture that's set in with this nucleus. This regular season was a blast. So much ground was broken and it was a pleasure to watch. But here's the thing. That can't be done again. There is NOTHING the Caps can accomplish during the next regular season that will matter. Nothing. This series is going to be in their heads from the moment the puck drops for the next playoffs, and it's going to be hard as hell to overcome. No matter what personnel changes are made this will be a fact of life.

I still believe the Ovechkin era will yield a Cup. I truly do. But it's going to be awhile I think. Not to transcend different sports too much, but I just keep looking at the Colts. Early on in Manning's career he got the choker label, and they had to go through a hell of a lot of playoff pain, but they did mature and get there. The Caps will too. Stick with it. And no, don't clean house. BB and GMGM should stay and so should Semin. Flash does need to go. Green I'm wavering on. I really see both sides

Posted by: JS26121820 | April 29, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm still not sure if the problems are mostly personnel (making them a GMGM issue), or whether they are strategy/coaching (making them a BB issue).

For example ... is the obvious lack of net presence due to a lack of personnel willing to do that kind of thing, or is it because net presence/traffic isn't stressed enough or insisted on enough by coaches. And is the team so run-and-gun because that's the only style this group of personnel can play, or is it because coaching hasn't worked on adjustments and other areas of the game that are important in the playoffs.

Either way .... a first round playoff loss is unacceptable and changes need to be made. If I were a STH, status quo wouldn't be good enough.

Jeff

Posted by: PensFan98 | April 29, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@Lloyd

I can be deep...it's just easier to sum it up with:

CHOKING DOGS!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 29, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Playoff hockey is VERY VERY SIMPLE:
DEFENSE AND GOALTENDING!!!!
Caps have neither!!!!

Posted by: 555Mass | April 29, 2010 11:22 AM |
I thought it was to outscore your opponent?
Simple math bigger # > smaller # on scoreboard.
You haven't gotten any smarter have you?

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 29, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

You're a MORON if you think Green should move to forward or be traded. He's the BEST offensive defenseman in the league. No, he is not a shutdown guy. Yes, he should probably play more like 18-20 mins/game instead of 25.

Mike Green did not lose this series. The Caps lost the last three games 2-1 (not counting the two empty netters). I can't remember the last time the Caps won a game they only scored one goal in. Boudreau was out-coached. Montreal's system beat his system both 5-on-5 and on the power play (unfathomably bad!). Boudreau should have adjusted but he made no adjustments. He just kept saying how his guys were playing great (within his system, of course). THIS LOSS IS ALL BOUDREAU.

Posted by: butcherbaker | April 29, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Goaltending and D didnt cost us this series!!!

Anyone who thinks thats the problem is a dope.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 29, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"Wow, more Semin bashing.

Dudes - watch the tape. Tell me another forward on the team worked harder, created more chances, playing the game his own way."

---

If they scored the games based on who was trying the hardest, you might have a point. Since they score games based on goals scored, you really don't.

Even if this were an aberration for Sasha, you would have a point. The problem is that this is the third year in a row he has done this little disappearing act when playoff time starts.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@jackstraw,

Giroux, seriously???? He has had his opportunities during the regular season when there is more space on the ice and was unable to perform...what on earth makes you think he could perform at a high level in the playoffs?? He is a career AHLer without a doubt.....him replacing Semin is just comical!

Posted by: PhilR | April 29, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Yea The system sucks. Ask Hershey fans. Oh.......... bears 2 championships,3 finals in 4 years.5th Season,Best record in team history.7-1 in playoffs this year. Funny,It was the Habs farm team beat the Bears in the other final when they couldn't score against Price. Diff.in Caps series...Jaroslav Halak final three games 3GG, 122 shots, .976 save pct. It's Going to a long summer.

Posted by: sporttraveler | April 29, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Wow, more Semin bashing.

Dudes - watch the tape. Tell me another forward on the team worked harder, created more chances, playing the game his own way. (They all play their own style). No one in last three games except for Ovie got or created more quality chances. They didn't go in because of the absurd defense the Habs were playing.

This is a wild, strange team to be sure, but it's our team. Some of you would rather have teams put together with Powerpoint slides? There's no way to force good results - they gave us a great ride and they'll get better...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | April 29, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"Yea The system sucks. Ask Hershey fans. Oh.......... bears 2 championships,3 finals in 4 years.5th Season,Best record in team history.7-1 in playoffs this year. Funny,It was the Habs farm team beat the Bears in the other final when they couldn't score against Price. Diff.in Caps series...Jaroslav Halak final three games 3GG, 122 shots, .976 save pct. It's Going to a long summer."

---

Weird. It's almost as if sometimes different systems work at different levels of competition where there is a wider talent gap.

Why wasn't Steve Spurrier the most successful NFL Coach of all time, he won several national championships at the college level!

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The over all SYSTEM is the problem, NOT the players!

Imagine what Jacques Martin could do with Caps personale!

Posted by: 555Mass | April 29, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

Plekanec sure would be an upgrade over BMo or Belanger but would the Caps be able to afford him?

I seriously doubt Theo will be back with the team next year so they will save a few mil there but there are guys who will get a hefty raise as well.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I will say it again...

Regular season is for everyone.

Post season is for champions.

If you want to win the regular season, and lose in the post season (early)...then you don't understand the motivation of this game at the pro level.

We should not put a "Presidents Trophy" banner up. Who cares...you didn't do it when it mattered...

Listen, I DO love the Caps. And I will still be their fan. They need to have success in the post season.

That's all that MATTERS! Teddy said it himself at the beginning of the year...

Nobody gets fired (this year), but players (passengers) should be moved!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

and those of you who think we should be happy with the regular season, are the same people who think everyone should be given a trophy or medal for participating.

Great, maybe the caps should get a mini stanley cup...after all, they did qualify for the playoffs...

booooooo.....

In the words of a friend of mine...everytime green touches the puck next year..."WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP"...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm a daily/hourly reader of CI and for the most part I don't contribute that often as most of the regulars manage to cover all topics COMPLETELY and then some. I have to say, though the tone of the CI has been getting more and more dismal for the last month, and this series has really pushed everyone over the edge. I get it; I was there last night and was saddened by the result. Misery, thy name is Caps Fan. But the edge everybody's had the last few weeks towards the Caps and each other on this site is getting tiresome. Maybe someone should start a site called CI Dark Side, where interested parties can hiss death threats to each other so that the rest of us can carry on. In the meantime, my contribution today will simply be this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPOzQzk9Qo

Posted by: maalesh | April 29, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"but there are guys who will get a hefty raise as well."

---

Who, besides Nicky is a)up this year for and b)worthy of a "hefty raise?"

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

To some people, being a "Good fan" means you love a team like a child loves their parents - wide-eyed, without questioning, and eternally devoted at all costs.

To me, being a "good fan" means you love your team like you love your brother. You're going to be there for life, you encourage him when he's doing things right, and you aren't afraid to let him know when he's doing something wrong or making a bad decision.

Last night the Caps just told us that they are going to Major in Ceramics in College.

Posted by: VTDuffman
-------------------------
That is what I was saying. It is apparent that some changes have to be made. The Caps probably would have won last night if not for Green's absolutely stupid, pathetic penalty in the offensive zone and his ole defense on the second goal. He was just a turnstile on the second goal. It is also readily apparent that BB's coaching style needs some major changes. He has to learn how to use the last change to his advantage, something he seems to have no clue how to do. If the Caps make the necessary changes, they can have success in the playoffs. I do have hope and the bad times will only make the good times that much sweeter. Success is winning in the playoffs, not in the regular season. The only use for the regular season is to make the playoffs. Lets go Caps!!!!

Posted by: johnatlanta | April 29, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Laughable that people are still defending this team after they handed the Habs the biggest upset IN NHL HISTORY!!!!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 29, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

maalesh..

I want no one dead, just better personnel.

It would make me very proud to see Green win the Norris Trophy with Florida or Minnesota after racking up 150 points (and not making the playoffs)...

Semin will have fun in Dallas...again, not making the playoffs...

After all it is just a sport. Death is not an option, on myself, or someone else...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

GO CAPS!!!!!

Thanks for a great season boys. Next year you will no doubt find an even better way to break my heart as you have for so many years...

I have only one more job to do this year...

CHEER FOR THE HABS!!!!!!!!!!! I knows its childish but if the Habs beat the Pens then it will take away at least least 20% of my pain....maybe more....

There I was again daydreaming...as everyone knows the Habs will be swept...or worse bring the Pens to a game 7 and have Cindy score the GWG in OT....

I need a new sport. Does DC still have a women's Basketball team?

Posted by: allCAPS | April 29, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow, more Semin bashing.

Dudes - watch the tape. Tell me another forward on the team worked harder, created more chances, playing the game his own way.
------------


2 games doesn't make a series.

Forget the players though. The msg comes from above. The head is rotten and it needs to be cut off. This shouldn't be looked upon as a vengeful move, just a smart one. The current heads of this team will never change the basic elements of what they believe in, nor will they accept systemic changes. Now that they won the reg season a certain way, they won't be happy if they have to struggle thru the regular season as a lower seeded team even though it could mean fielding a more balanced roster and system.

so, bruce and McPhee need to go bye bye. And someone smarter can come in and build on what they have constructed instead of ripping the whole thing apart. They're like 5 players away. They have AG and SP down in Hershey who should be given every chance to crack the roster next yr upfront. They need to invest in centers and dmen. And they need to change their system. Trading Semin would be a good start because he has trade value, how much I don't know at this point. But if you can package a deal to get a dman/center for Semin and some combo of picks/players, you need to pull the trigger on that. Flash of course should never be allowed to play again for the Caps. Neither should any player resembling Flash.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 29, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

VT: Even if this were an aberration for Sasha, you would have a point. The problem is that this is the third year in a row he has done this little disappearing act when playoff time starts.
____
Um....
2008 Sasha had 3G/5A in 7 games
2009 He had 5G/9A in 14 games
he didn't score against the Pens but he also had an injured wrist which is huge for a sharpshooter.
2010 the first post season he didn't contribute on the scoresheet but that doesn't mean he "disappeared". I agree with RedLitYogi - "Dudes - watch the tape. Tell me another forward on the team worked harder, created more chances, playing the game his own way. (They all play their own style). No one in last three games except for Ovie got or created more quality chances. They didn't go in because of the absurd defense the Habs were playing."

Posted by: rayofsunshine | April 29, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Varly blocked 14 of 16 shots and lost another game seven playoff. His record is spotty and he is not a good as the franchise thinks. We need a solid goalie and help on the blueline.

In my opinion, Varly was just as much to blame in this series as the PP.

Varly is athletic and young but he basically sucks as a goalie. Theo the guy who was phenomenal during the regular season and should have at least started game seven.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

For those two guys in particular (Green, Semin), maybe playing with one of those teams and "not making the playoffs" is a better vocation.

Play 82 regular season games of run and gun, score some goals, maybe win some individual hardware, then a nice long vacation.

Nobody can question the regular-season skill that they possess .... but lots of people rightfully question whether they have what it takes to be successful in the playoffs. As of now, they don't.

Jeff

Posted by: PensFan98 | April 29, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Why is everyone bashing our players, coaching etc yet few have offered any discussion on that goal last night that was disallowed? We can be critical of our team but we should not forget that we probably lost that game as a result of one of the worst calls in playoff history? Where is the anger at this? BB should have at least got himself
thrown out and fined arguing that call...it may well have sparked
the team and revealed clearly to all that it was a horrific moment in officiating!! Why are we not lining up with letters of rant and protest to assure that it never happens again. This was not a bad penalty call..they took away a legitimate goal and our cup!!!'

Posted by: eyechip | April 29, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Laughable that people are still defending this team after they handed the Habs the biggest upset IN NHL HISTORY!!!!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 29, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

is there really anyone still doing that? that is laughable. I don't think i have the stomach to pore thru pages of comments.

We'll see how quickly the Pens dispatch the Habs to show us how you really play a series.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 29, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Varly is athletic and young but he basically sucks as a goalie. Theo the guy who was phenomenal during the regular season and should have at least started game seven.


Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

LOL after last night, you're gonna bring up what anyone did during the regular season???

the mistake they made was NOT giving Varly enough starts after he came back from his injuries because they clearly believe he's better than Theo when healthy... and so do I.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

remember you cannot spell ovechkin without spelling c-h-o-k-e. i think i'll take anyone but eliminat-8 as the best hockey player in the world.

and, your boy semin had the gall to call crosby just another player. see on the golf course, craps fans.

Posted by: dgaudy | April 29, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

PENS in 4.

Please, no more debate who is better Cindy or Ovie.

Cindy has only lost 2 playoff series and won 8.

Ovie is 1 for 4.

Posted by: 555Mass | April 29, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

LOL after last night, you're gonna bring up what anyone did during the regular season???

the mistake they made was NOT giving Varly enough starts after he came back from his injuries because they clearly believe he's better than Theo when healthy... and so do I.

Posted by: joek443

Varly is unproven. He belongs in Hershey at best. He choked in game seven two years in a row.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

I'm not sure but I think they could.

I remember tominfl1 doing his charts and it was with Flash who was projected at $3.3M next year. Well that's not going to happen now, and I'm sure other RFA's value have gone down some with the playoff performance.

I think the two moves to make is a defender (hopefully Volchenkov) and a 2nd line center.

The more I think about it the more I'm convinced that the lack of a 2nd line center was the Caps biggest downfall this series (yes, I know of the many others). The 2nd line was horrible the entire series and the lack of scoring depth proved to be the killer. I don't remember at any point seeing the 2nd line center being in a position to score a goal.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@eyechip
It should have been a goal but the fact is it shouldn't have mattered. Maybe the game would have changed. However, there should never have been a game 7 and when there was it should not have been this close.

Posted by: BorntoHula | April 29, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Everyone wanted Larry Murphy traded and out of DC. He was to offensive minded. They would woop it up every time he touched the puck. He was the scapegoat for the teams problems. Finally he was traded and all the fans were happy. Larry Murhpy goes on to win 4 stanley cups and is now in the hall of fame.

Lets trade Green?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | April 29, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@ RayofSunshine

So, you're telling me that in 28 Playoff games, Sasha has produced 22 points?

I personally don't think that .78 ppg in the playoffs is worth $6 mil a year. You may disagree, and that's fine, but I think that $6mil would be better served toward a player or players who will actually help this team advance beyond the second (or first) round.

You can make all the excuses you want, but the proof is in the pudding. When it counts, Sasha doesn't produce.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Varly is unproven. He belongs in Hershey at best. He choked in game seven two years in a row.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

the whole team CHOCKED... you're an idiot for blaming any goalie when your team only scores ONE lousy goal.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Please, no more debate who is better Cindy or Ovie.

Cindy has only lost 2 playoff series and won 8.

Ovie is 1 for 4.

Posted by: 555Mass

I don't think you'll find any credible hockey fan disagreeing with you. The verdict is definitely in.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"Why is everyone bashing our players, coaching etc yet few have offered any discussion on that goal last night that was disallowed?"

---

Because that's loser talk. It never should have come down to a controversial goal in the third period of game seven in a first round playoff game against the #8 team in the conference.

Champions take care of business in game 5 and this is never an issue. Losers whine about disallowed goals.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

For those two guys in particular (Green, Semin), maybe playing with one of those teams and "not making the playoffs" is a better vocation.

Play 82 regular season games of run and gun, score some goals, maybe win some individual hardware, then a nice long vacation.

Nobody can question the regular-season skill that they possess .... but lots of people rightfully question whether they have what it takes to be successful in the playoffs. As of now, they don't.

Jeff

Posted by: PensFan98 | April 29, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

*******

Obviously when push comes to shove these players (#52 & #28) and their salary needs would force one or both out eventually anyway. I just always assumed Semin would be traded and pretty sure that the 1 year deal was for a reason. However, Green has regressed defensively and going forward the money will not be there if he under performs.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

What happened to In BB we trust? We must be the best team because we are #1 in the Conference and swept the Penguins? What happened to throwing people into the Doofus Brigade for dare questioning BB or this teams play? How quickly some of you forget.

This team has relied on talent all year long. When they won everyone was happy. When they lost, fans let BB convince them that the goalies were bad, Semin was too lazy to play all 3 forward positions by himself, or that Green was too worried about defense instead of scoring goals. I couldn't believe some of the posts berating Varly for giving up a goal to Vincent Lecavalier or Theo for giving up 5 goals to the Devis when the rest of the team stayed home. "He had to have that goal". Right!

If you want to leave, goodbye. Just don't pretend that you've been deceived because the signs were there all along.

Despite this crushing defeat, I still believe in this team. I think they can win with the core personnel they have (Semin and Green included). All they need is a 2C, a couple veterans with Cup rings, and a coach that understands that coaching is more than switching up the lines every 3 shifts.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 29, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

!!!!!CHOKING DOGS!!!!

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 29, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Everyone wanted Larry Murphy traded and out of DC. He was to offensive minded. They would woop it up every time he touched the puck. He was the scapegoat for the teams problems. Finally he was traded and all the fans were happy. Larry Murhpy goes on to win 4 stanley cups and is now in the hall of fame.

Lets trade Green?

Posted by: capsfansince74
-----------------------------
OK, I agree we should back off on the trade Green talk. However, we do need a proven playoff performing defensive d-man. Green should absolutely not be on the top line of the defense. We have to realize his limitations. I am sure that is how the teams utilized Murphy. Green is talented, we just need to learn to use his talents more effectively. BB also needs to stop his seemingly blind loyalty he has shown to some players(ie Flash). He has to realize if he does not win, he will not have a job to be loyal to anyone with. Winning is more important than loyalty.

Posted by: johnatlanta | April 29, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I really hope Semin and Green get traded to Pittsburgh so they can deal with them not showing up every year in the playoffs.

There are two reasons we lost the series. Semin and Green.

The main guy to blame for last nights loss... Mike "Fumble the Puck No Show in the Playoffs" Green.

Watch him win the Norris... I am gonna laugh my A** off if that happens. He is no where near the best D-Man in the league. In fact, trade him for a bag of peanuts for all I care. Just get rid of him he is TERRIBLE!

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 29, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@capsfansince74,

Absolutely trade Green at this point and get that REAL number one Dman we need while his stock is still decently high. Green is not and never will be a number one Dman for any contender. Never understood the hate for Larry Murphy, he was a solid two way Dman that never deserved the blame he got. Watchjing Green over the past couple years, he deserves every bit of criticism he gets for his weak d-zone play and bone head penalties at the most inoportune times as well as simply disappearing in the playoffs unless it is for the aforementioned bone head penalties!

Posted by: PhilR | April 29, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3
re: nylander fiasco--forgot about that--good point. tho, also makes my point re: coaching issue.

In terms of Varly, wasn't that he only let in 2 goals, it was 2 goals in 2 games at the worst times. After they had those two they very effectively shut us down, thus bringing us back to the no adjustment issue.

Posted by: vafan3 | April 29, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

@ ablake70 - Amen. Good post.

Trade Semin? He's Ovie's best friend, so I don't know if that works.

We need more John LeClairs and Kevin Stevens's.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | April 29, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

remember you cannot spell ovechkin without spelling c-h-o-k-e. i think i'll take anyone but eliminat-8 as the best hockey player in the world.

and, your boy semin had the gall to call crosby just another player. see on the golf course, craps fans.

Posted by: dgaudy | April 29, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHA The Pens might not be losers but their fans...well that is obviously another story... show some class dgaudy maybe life will treat you better and you will be able to move out of the trailor park someday...

Posted by: allCAPS | April 29, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

....and in a nutshell the game last night was a 2-1 loss on Green's penalty and Green getting beat on the 2nd goal along the boards in a race to the puck.....tough to be him today (would we have won with Erskine instead)

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 29, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"All they need is a 2C, a couple veterans with Cup rings,"

---

How do you propose we acquire all these missing pieces while having $11 mil in salary tied up in two guys (Semin and Green) who can't perform in the playoffs?

That's kind of the point. You can't make cap space for all these "missing pieces" just appear out of thin air.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I think neuvy and holtby be should be givin a shot more than varly next year.Weve seen what varly has,he can never really put together a full 60 min game of heroic performance.which you need in the playoffs.And ive always felt neuvy was better than varly and not just cause of varlys ok perfomance of late.And now holtby should be givin a chance to shine,cant do anyworse than what we got.Either way i think the caps need to get rid of varly and theo for a top #1 goalie while either holtby or neuvtcan take the reins.I'm just sooo still in shock and cant beleive what has happened.A BIG change needs to happen next year and it should start in the head office on down.Not a rebuild but better management.While GMGM & BB are runnin things,the caps will never win a cup.I dont care about the regular season or being #1 all year.It all counts in the playoffs and the caps arnt built to go far in the sc.The caps need better leadership and more will in the locker room and bench more than they need another top d or forward.Well enough ranting,just 5 more months of sulking.

Posted by: gratefuldid | April 29, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Make Dale Hunter the coach.

Posted by: rockbroker | April 29, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Please, no more debate who is better Cindy or Ovie.

Cindy has only lost 2 playoff series and won 8.

Ovie is 1 for 4.

Posted by: 555Mass

I don't think you'll find any credible hockey fan disagreeing with you. The verdict is definitely in.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Any credible hockey fan knows that it is a team sport. Cindy's team has won more. So what? Using your logic Craig Adams is also a better player than Ovie.

I'll still take Ovie on my team every time. Cindy is more like Backstrom...well...if Backstrom had deformed lips and whined a lot...

Posted by: allCAPS | April 29, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"I think we were playing too erratically. And in every game we had like five or six 'almost' moments."

This is a completely wrong translation. It should be "I think we were attacking very strongly (or aggressively or sharply)" with positive sense not negative. Doesn't change much though....

Posted by: fnralch | April 29, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Trade Backstrom!!! Waive Carlson!!!

Hire Bobby Knight as coach!!

Posted by: SA-Town | April 29, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

if this team were built to play 2-1 and 1-0 games then you could blame your goalie for games such as last night's and Game 5.

but this team simply is NOT built that way so you can't suddenly expect your goalie to match the other goalie playing outta his mind and come up with a shutout when you only score a goal/game in the last 3 games of the series.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Ovie, sedin, crosby finalists for the Hart

Posted by: _stevo | April 29, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

@allcaps

You are correct, hockey is a team sport.

Here is the difference, Cindy makes others around him better. Thus, resulting in more wins.

Ovie makes others "watch" him, as he tries to do all the work.

Remember Caps were 7 - 3 WITHOUT Ovie in the lineup this season.

Posted by: 555Mass | April 29, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Here I sit just like last year saying that we need a stay at home D-Man. Whoever made the decision to go with an all-out offensive team should be GONE. Anyone with half a hockey brain knows that the key to winning playoff hockey is defense. That run and gun Euro-trash B.S. style is great for the regular season and the Southeast Division but does not translate to wins in the playoffs. Hey Ted, pull your head out of you A** and get rid of McPhee. I get tired of investing so much time to the regular season, only to be knocked out early year after year.

Posted by: baybuster | April 29, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

This series was effectively lost last Friday when the Caps couldn't close out the Habs in game five on home ice.
That being said, I believe there is a long way to go before the book is closed on OV and the Caps. OV is a relative child, will still improve and will also grow into the role of Captain.
Backstrom is a flat out player. He and OV will become a special pair of teammates over the coming years. He is also a relative child and will only get better.
I couldn't watch last nights game, due to some personal issues that (without divluging specifics) have given the perspective that hockey is a great sport, but it is just a sport and, despite the fact that they lost a series many (myself included) expected them to win, the sun actually came up.
Yes, I am bummed that there will be no Stanley Cup in DC this year. At the end of the day, its a game.

Posted by: TimDz | April 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I thinking giving up on Varly is idiotic. He played well in the playoffs and he's only 21.

Goalies improve with age and experience. Varly played well in the season before he got hurt and he performed pretty well in the playoffs.

Some people are too quick to cut the chord on young players.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Varly is unproven. He belongs in Hershey at best. He choked in game seven two years in a row.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

the whole team CHOCKED... you're an idiot for blaming any goalie when your team only scores ONE lousy goal.

Posted by: joek443

I'm not just blaming the goalie, but I am not letting him slide. You are the idiot in supporting Varly. He sucks and so does BB for playing favorites and thus LOSING. Who's the idiot, idiot?

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Ovie will another Hart and said "oh..oh..its..hot...hot" and point to the Stanley Cup that Cindy just won and say "Next year it's ours".

Posted by: 555Mass | April 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Jacques Martin.............. WE Lost the Last Game 2-1

Posted by: sporttraveler | April 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@eyechip the habs had the same phantom call agianst them as well, so it was a wash. At least the calls were consistent.

The Moore goal was more Carlson getting caught up ice or gliding back. Green neutralized his man but his d-partner was absent and no forwards had gotting back yet to cover Moore.

The caps have the same probloem now the had on October. The caps do not move there feet, lose too many battles on the boards, are out forechecked and are predictable on offence.

Neuvy has always been the better goalie on the franchise depth chart, but injuries have slowed his growth. At the seasons start, Neuvy went down because he was injured otherwise he would have been the 1A goalie with Theo. Varly was a Dave Pryor find and project.

When talking about salary for next year, Nylander will count against the cap unless the caps can move him!!! So once Backie is signed there is no cap room. The RFA's will have to sign for less or be moved out for entry level contracts to sign a d-men or 2nd line center of significance.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | April 29, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm not just blaming the goalie, but I am not letting him slide. You are the idiot in supporting Varly. He sucks and so does BB for playing favorites and thus LOSING. Who's the idiot, idiot?

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

YOU ARE... you're saying he should have come up with a shutout because that's the only way they would have won any one of the last 3 games in the series

IDIOT.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I hope Sedin wins the Hart. He really does deserve it...(seriously)...

And Bob Knight as the coach! I like it! Semin wouldn't last 1 day under coach Knight...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Top reasons we lost this series....


1. BB failed to make adjustments after game 5 to adjust for the neutral zone trap and their PK strategy.

2. Semin didn't show up until late in the series.

3. Green continued to make weak plays in our own end.

4. We flat out didn't show up for game 1, believing the series would be easy.

5. We did the same thing again in game 5 - figuring since we scored 17 goals in 3 games, we wouldn't lose 3 of 4.

6. Halak stood on his head in games 6 and 7.

7. Ovechkin tried to go one-on-two way too often.

8. In general, our youth showed with Carlson, Semin, Green, Ovie and others making some weak plays.

9. We lack a physical defenseman.

10. The team just doesn't have the heart or desire to play in the playoffs just yet. Watching Gill and Markov dive all over the ice blocking shots made me realize this.... other than Laich, Belanger and Knuble - nobody else seemed to be willing to completely sacrifice their bodies for victory.

Walker and Laing should have been playing over Flash - the entire series.

Posted by: joe47 | April 29, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

YOU ARE... you're saying he should have come up with a shutout because that's the only way they would have won any one of the last 3 games in the series

IDIOT.

Posted by: joek443

Nope. I am saying that second goal should not have gone in and the prior two games he let in soft goals. He did not hold us in the series. I am saying Varly sucks and so does the coach for playing favorites instead of playing to win.

Look in the mirror pal. IDIOT

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I thinking giving up on Varly is idiotic. He played well in the playoffs and he's only 21.

Goalies improve with age and experience. Varly played well in the season before he got hurt and he performed pretty well in the playoffs.

Some people are too quick to cut the chord on young players.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree, it's plain STUPID. They need to give him at least 50 starts next year if he stays healthy.

all this Neuvy/Holtby talk is stupid as well. these coaches/scouts are PAID to watch and evaluate these guys everyday and if they thought those guys were better than Varly, they would be playing here right now.

it usually takes years for goalies to develop and Varly is years ahead of 90 percent of these young prospects.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

it usually takes years for goalies to develop and Varly is years ahead of 90 percent of these young prospects.

Posted by: joek443

What is he doing in the playoffs?

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

@ VTDuffman

This team doesn't need big names, they need role players. Replace guys like Belanger, Corvo, and BMo. With Theo leaving, they can sign a cheap veteran backup goalie and use the rest of the money to pay Backstrom.

As for Semin and Green not performing in the playoffs, that is crap. When you are put in a position to fail, you usually will. Of course the top line scored. They were the only line that was kept together for the majority of the playoffs.

Semin was expected to carry the 2nd line with a revolving door of line mates. Before the line could gain any type of chemistry, BB switched them up and threw Flash in there. And for all the grief Semin gets, he was only on ice for two even strength goals against (including the empty netter in game 6). And the PP stalwarts were Ovi, Backstrom, Green, so you can't pin it's failure on him either. So he wasn't hurting the team like everyone claims.

Green had some bad plays (including the 1st penalty), but he is a young defenseman. You can't compare him to guys like Chara, Pronger, and Lidstrom because they are much older. And you can't compare him to Carlson because the bar was so low. Had Green made of the same mistakes as Carlson, he would have been flamed for life. He still has a lot of potential.

The most important thing to remember is this team scored only 1 goal in each of its last 3 games. There were more problems than Semin and Green.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 29, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Season is over
Burn the book
Move forward
Even the Gretzky Oilers stepped backwards before their Cup runs

So what do we have going in to the summer?

Roster Players Only:

7 forwards signed:
OV-Semin-Knuble-Laich-Chimera-Steckel-Bradley

5 Defenseman signed:
Green-Poti-Erskine-Carlson-Sloan

1 Goalie:
Varlamov

Cap money left: $20 million

Priorities:
-Sign RFA Backstrom long term
-Make Alzner full time roster player
-Maybe a # 2 vet goalie to help the kids

Would leave about $14 million left

11 UFAs and don't see the need to sign any of them-maybe Belanger on the cheap
9 other RFAs to figure out besides NB: Fehr-Gordon-Fleishman-Schultz...

Would leave about $ 9-10 million

Then do a blockbuster out of Conference with Calgary.

Semin/Poti for Iginla/Regehr
Flames are in Cap trouble and Iginla needs a new address

Would leave about $ 6-7 million after contract swaps.

Next trade with the Leafs who desperately need forwards:

Kaberle for Pickem kids or a draft pick
Can't do that?
Chase hard after Volchenko

Then cheap hungry Hershey guys

Coach?
With respect to BB-a good man for the wrong time and team.

Go beg borrow and steal for Jacques Lemaire to get some discipline.

Maybe Lemaire's 9 Stanley Cup rings might impress the young guys to listen and smarten up their lifestyles.

Posted by: htgolf | April 29, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@ evtoi

LMAO dude you're a total clown. They only scored a goal/game for Games 5, 6 and 7.

you might have an argument had they scored a couple more goals but they did NOT.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

What is he doing in the playoffs?

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

becaue Theo is 19 and 28 in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to find a Madden / Kelly Miller type player.

@ htgolf - You know your stuff.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | April 29, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@ evtoi

LMAO dude you're a total clown. They only scored a goal/game for Games 5, 6 and 7.

you might have an argument had they scored a couple more goals but they did NOT.

Posted by: joek443

Are you stupid? Get your facts straight before you post moron.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

What is he doing in the playoffs?

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

becaue Theo is 19 and 28 in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443

And that is worse than Varly's playoff record? I don't think so pal. Varly choked.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Complain all you want about the individual players and their performances (or lack thereof). But this team lost for one reason and one reason only: a complete lack of mental toughness. Semin, Green, and Flash all suffer from it the worst, but there are other key players on this team who are also lacking, including the guy who wears the C. Knuble, Chimera, and one or two others have it. None of the others do. They need to get it or they will be done, again and again.

Posted by: SameOldCaps | April 29, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Varly did not suck, he just didn't play great. Not great does not equal sucking. Plus he's 21 with loads of athleticism. Neuvirth is better positioning wise I think but Varly will improve in that area and be a pretty good to great NHL goalie soon.
I would have liked to see Theo in Game 7 and possibly game 6 but anyone who blames Varly and says he sucks is an idiot.

Posted by: BorntoHula | April 29, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Complain all you want about the individual players and their performances (or lack thereof). But this team lost for one reason and one reason only: a complete lack of mental toughness. Semin, Green, and Flash all suffer from it the worst, but there are other key players on this team who are also lacking, including the guy who wears the C. Knuble, Chimera, and one or two others have it. None of the others do. They need to get it or they will be done, again and again.

Posted by: SameOldCaps

If that is true, then you must blame the coach and the GM. They built this team.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

VT -
I was simply pointing out that Sasha did not disappear in all 4 playoff series as you had alluded to.

Whether he is worth the $6M is up to George.

I think the lack of a stable 2C has hurt both Sasha and Brooks. And a 2C should be a priority for the offseason.

Posted by: rayofsunshine | April 29, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"I was simply pointing out that Sasha did not disappear in all 4 playoff series as you had alluded to."

He disappeared when it mattered.

"Whether he is worth the $6M is up to George."

That doesn't prevent us from expressing our opinion on a message board. I don't think he's worth $6mil if he can't perform when it matters. Do you?

"I think the lack of a stable 2C has hurt both Sasha and Brooks. And a 2C should be a priority for the offseason."

It's loser talk to blame your issues on something or someone else. Last year it was injuries, this year it's lack of a second Line C. The Lack of a second line C wasn't firing pucks directly into the goalies chest and missing wide open nets. That was Sasha.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

SHUT UP Varlamov!!!!!!!!!!!. We don't need to hear your excuses for redefining the word CAPITALS which is now C-H-O-K-EITALS.

Posted by: memyselfI1 | April 29, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

@allcaps

You are correct, hockey is a team sport.

Here is the difference, Cindy makes others around him better. Thus, resulting in more wins.

Ovie makes others "watch" him, as he tries to do all the work.

Remember Caps were 7 - 3 WITHOUT Ovie in the lineup this season.

Posted by: 555Mass | April 29, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Ovie makes everyone around him better too. you can't use regular season stats to prove your point...because the Caps OWNED the Pens in the reg season for THE PAST two years...and we both know what That means...NOTHING. As for the playoffs...if it wasn't for Ovie's hustle the Caps would have been swept by the Habs. This whole "Cindy makes everyone around him better but Ovie is a selfish player who does not" is a really stupid argument.

Alas, I do agree that until the Caps win a cup Ovie will be blamed... Cindy's teams have accomplished more sure...but is he a better player? That is an entirely different equation...

Posted by: allCAPS | April 29, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I am greatly disappointed like most fans but this is a young team that will only be better next year. Thanks Caps for a wonderful season!

Posted by: BaldwinBooster | April 29, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I have been a Caps fan since they were created, and remember clearly the many other times that were so much worse than this setback, including the year they almost moved to another city because the team and the fan base had gotten so bad. Grow up all of you whinny prototype yuppie Johnny come latelies who can only support a team if it achieves your championship fantasy. We have a very good team that is dramatically better than it was five years ago. Recognize that a lot of the skill players of whom we expect so much are still very young. On the one hand that is a good thing for potential longevity, but on the other it means sometimes these kids don't act as maturely as we would like them to, and that is why we experience so much inconsistency and psycho drama. They are not in a team culture that coddles them, so they should be able to develop that required maturity and therefore get truly playoff ready over time. I can't believe some of you are seriously talking about dumping an excellent GM and coach (of course, without stating who exactly you think would be able to do a better job), and are referring to OV as a prima donna. There are fan bases out there that would die to have what you have. And lest you forget, we also are blessed with the most fan supportive owner in professional sports. Yeah, I am sure that the team leadership is going to be reaccessing and making whatever moves are necessary to cure our playoff deficiencies. But don't be screaming for them to blow it up and start over. That's insane. Grieve, get over it and keep up your support, both for the players and those who direct them. Better times are down the road, and setbacks like this will just make them sweeter when they occur.

Posted by: northvajim2 | April 29, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

becaue Theo is 19 and 28 in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443

And that is worse than Varly's playoff record? I don't think so pal. Varly choked.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Varly is 10-9 in the playoffs, I don't know where you learned math but that's better than 19-28... once again you're an IDIOT.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

My opinion is that the Caps should keep Sasha.

My point about the 2C was more of a general statement for the enire year. And it's not "loser talk" as all factors come into play - injuries, changing linemates, shooting pucks into the goalie chest. It's shades of gray not black and white.

Posted by: rayofsunshine | April 29, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

To say that the reg season was a waste just boggles my mind. Sorry. I'm so, so upset as well and think some things do need to change for improvement's sake but I'm not backing out on this team at this devastating moment because it's convenient and makes me feel better.

Collectively, they had a great season; one that was certainly noteworthy. Quite frankly though, I could've done without the fairly effective, completely unwarranted and incessant media-driven drawing and quartering of Ovie's character as well as the constant media and fan-driven discussions of inflated (my opinion) expectations for the post season (expectations can quickly transform into assumptions and we all know about what happens when we ass-u-me) and the redundant, predictable, grammar schoolish Ovie v Sidney/Caps v Pens "debates".

So, this season's over now. I can't imagine the heartbreak that each player/coach is going through. Don't know how they'll get through these next days/weeks/months? but hope they each do before next season. As a fan, I know where I'll be when the puck drops next October.


GO CAPS!! THANK YOU!!!

Posted by: nena1 | April 29, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

what did every hockey expert say before the playoffs began? they all said the Caps just need good/solid goaltending... that's exactly what they got

About 2.50GAA and .910 save percentage, that's not spectacular goaltending by any means but certainly solid goaltending. and it should have been good enough.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who translated Varly's comments, but he never used the word "erratic" and translating it that way completely changes the meaning of what he said. It sounds like a good quote in English to fit the result, but it's simply not what he said at all.

He said, "My atakovali ochen ostro", which actually means that "we attacked very sharply (dangerously)". So what he was actually saying about the way we played was positive, not negative as the translation makes it sound. He was basically making the point that the Caps attacked extremely well and did all they could, but Halak was incredible. Varly gave all the credit for the series win to Jaroslav.

Posted by: ranndino | April 29, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Just so that I don't have to write multiple times here's my post on Puck Daddy which is relevant to all the criticism everywhere & also addresses Mike Wise's article:

This type of retarded analysis by pundits & fans today (all over the place, not just here) was fully expected. It's all based on the result and not on what actually transpired during these games. Observational evidence is just someone biased perception of reality. Stats are objective reality. Also, even observational evidence tells you that Bruce is 100% right on. There was nothing wrong with our style of play in this series. We dominated every facet of the game as much as any team can.

Montreal was in full survival mode for the past 3 games barely getting out of their zone. It was all Halak. The guy played completely out of his mind stopping 131 of 134 shots in the last 3 games including 53 in game 6 (most ever in a game that didn't go to OT since 1968!). If he can keep it up this level of play (which I don't think is humanly possible) no team will beat Montreal this season & they'll win the Cup even though they're not very good, as a team. Montreal did the best they could against us. They got timely goals and played their hearts out, but it would not have been enough if not for absolutely mind boggling goaltending of Jaroslav Halak. We did everything that any team can do to score and win games, but he stopped everything. Point blank shots, rebounds, tips... even when he didn't see shots they would hit him. It was simply incredible to watch.

Lastly, Mike Wise writes about hockey about 3 times a year and even then can't help himself, but make references to the NBA. Perhaps he should stick to writing about something he knows about. As you have rightly pointed out he's completely off on his analogy because we were in no way "clamped down by a tougher, more physical team". If anything we clamped Montreal down. The difference between basketball and hockey is that in hockey there's a player called a goaltender and in this case he nullified everything we did. In basketball goaltending is illegal so it's understandable that Mike Wise doesn't get how that aspect of the game works.

Posted by: ranndino | April 29, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

What northvajim2 said. I just started paying attention to the Caps last season after about 20 years of ignoring them. They're fun to watch, and frankly are STILL the best run team in town right now. I'm not about to advocate blowing up everything just because we have a few wrong pieces, and a lot of young players.

Posted by: AtomicOvermind | April 29, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"What? Why? No we don't. Someone who scores exactly zero points in the playoffs in no way contributes to us being an "elite level team."

Stop making excuses for these people. Semin has had three years now to prove that he's not a lifelong playoff no-show, and he has let down every single time.

I think his $6 mil would be much better served addressing this teams' real needs."

Get back to me when you got another 40 point goal scorer you are going to get to replace him in your fantasy land. He created many chances and was close several times. And, just like Ovie, he draws attention on the ice, which makes life easier for his linemates and/or the top line as well. You sound moronic. You don't blow up the best team the franchise has ever had. Tweak maybe, but that's all.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 29, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm not opposed to keeping Semin, but the capitals don't absolutely need his 40 goals. If I'm not mistaken the caps would have still led the league in goals without them. So trading him could be a tweak. It would also suck to lose him next year for nothing.

Posted by: BorntoHula | April 29, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

what did every hockey expert say before the playoffs began? they all said the Caps just need good/solid goaltending... that's exactly what they got

About 2.50GAA and .910 save percentage, that's not spectacular goaltending by any means but certainly solid goaltending. and it should have been good enough.

Posted by: joek443

Allowing 2 goals in 16 shots is not solid. Varly choked as much as the rest of the team and did not hold the Caps in.

Indeed, the caps do need solid goaltending and some players willing to work hard along the boards and in defense.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Jordan_Kitts:

lol @ Bob Probert. The other ? on that line should be Chuck Norris.

Posted by: jh-w | April 29, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

To evtoi:
2 goals on 16 shots on the surface doesn't seem great, but when one goal happens on the PP (with a so-so PK, but on a 4-on-3, anyway) and the other happens when your defensemen hang you out to dry (Green taking the body instead of the puck, and Carlson not skating and covering his man), those two goals are going to be scored on any goalie. You can't blame Varly for Montreal not shooting more and helping out his SV% or him not scoring goals, for that matter.

Posted by: fbutler1 | April 29, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

You're both IDIOTS. Boudreau did play favorites AND Varly shouldn't have to pitch a shutout the past 3 games - Caps didn't score enough.

Posted by: fbutler1 | April 29, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

You're both IDIOTS. Boudreau did play favorites AND Varly shouldn't have to pitch a shutout the past 3 games - Caps didn't score enough.

Posted by: fbutler1 | April 29, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Allowing 2 goals in 16 shots is not solid. Varly choked as much as the rest of the team and did not hold the Caps in.

Indeed, the caps do need solid goaltending and some players willing to work hard along the boards and in defense.


Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

let me explain something to you, NOOB... their system only works if they score at least 3 goals/game. They lost 4 games in the series and they scored 2-1-1-1 goals in those games.

if you play the run and gun style hockey like the Caps and Gretzky's Oilers, you're gonna get a ton of shots while not giving up that many because you're gonna keep the puck a lot longer than the other team. but you are gonna give up some quality chances because you're gonna attack with 4 guys most of the times.

the only way you can win playing that style of hockey is by outscoring them, NOT by shutting out the other team.

Posted by: joek443 | April 29, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Now for some perspective: Beating Montreal would NOT have automatically gotten the Capitals into the Stanlley Cup finals.

Who's left in the East besides Montreal? The Flyers, Bruins and Penguins. Sooner or later, we'd be likely to face the Penguins. We've faced them around eight times in playoff contention, have won one series and lost seven. As for the other teams left in the NHL East, the Flyers are rather bitter rivals and the Bruins have a distinguished history in playoff competition as an old NHL franchise.

In the NHL West, the teams left include the Blackhawks, Red Wings, Canucks and Sharks. At least two of those teams could beat the Caps in the Stanley Cup finals. Our record against the Sharks is 0-2 WITH Ovechkin these past two years. The Red Wings beat us 4-0 in our only Stanley Cup finals years ago. The Blackhawks, like the Bruins, are an old established NHL franchise, and the Canucks would also put up a good fight.

One lingering question: Would the Caps be the best team in the league if we played the NHL West teams more often? Many of our games were against Southeast opponents with rather poor records this past season, perhaps enabling us to look better than we really were.

Another question: How about a post-Stanley Cup series against the up and coming Russian Kontinental Hockey League champion? That would be a true world professional hockey championship. In addition the NHL and KHL should sign a long-term agreement on interleague player exchange or trading. I bet the KHL is getting ready to stage another postseason raid on NHL players and, now that we have two professional hockey leagues in the separate hemispheres there ought to be an inter-league accord to deal with the issues of player exchange and a possible world professional hockey championship series.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | April 29, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey evtoi one suggestion listen others.
joek already told you you are idiot. Now you are acting plain stupid. Your comments nothing offering almost hatred filled, I think pens fans posts better than you at least they know some hockey.

Posted by: dugza | April 29, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I love these guys and it's sad to say, but Bruce Boudreau did not have this team ready to go for the playoffs. As Boswell points out, they may not even have been built to compete in the playoffs. The coaching staff assumed that if it worked in the regular season, then it ain't broke, and don't fix it. The result? Montreal executed a perfect defensive plan, combined it with stellar goaltending, clogged the middle, blocked shots, and beat us fair and square. We made no coaching adjustments whatsoever, other than "hey, everyone just shoot more." Result: disaster.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | April 29, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

let me explain something to you, NOOB... their system only works if they score at least 3 goals/game. They lost 4 games in the series and they scored 2-1-1-1 goals in those games.

if you play the run and gun style hockey like the Caps and Gretzky's Oilers, you're gonna get a ton of shots while not giving up that many because you're gonna keep the puck a lot longer than the other team. but you are gonna give up some quality chances because you're gonna attack with 4 guys most of the times.

the only way you can win playing that style of hockey is by outscoring them, NOT by shutting out the other team.

Posted by: joek443

Oh thanks for explaining something to me moron.

If you want to win in the playoffs, you need solid goaltending. You said so yourself. What you do not realize is that Varly sucks. He is an AHLer. He never belonged in the playoffs last year and this year.

You don't need to shut out the other team, but you do need solid goaltending. Varly was unset, surprised, and out of position on the second goal. If you are an NHL goalie, you make that save. He choked in game seven two years in a row.

Posted by: evtoi | April 29, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Someone said something really smart on here. I think they were giving Green way too many minutes. That comes down to coaching. He should have been 20 minutes. Let BB go and hire Dale Hunter

Posted by: pkme | April 30, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I like everyone am disappointed with the outcome of the season , but we still had a awesume year and made some major waves in the league. We have a GREAT core of players and only need minor tweaks to take the next step for GREATNESS for many many years.

We won the presidents trophy......not the "one" we really wanted , but being the best in the regular season does have some merit.

We lead the league in scoring......and by a wide wide margin. I know if didn't help us get by the HABS but it also means we do have some great players.

We had a 14 game no losing streak......think about that for awhile.

We lead the league in PP (if we did in the play-offs we would still be playing)

Backs grew as a Star.

Green is nominated for the Norris in back to back seasons. I know alot of people are down on Green right now, but EVERY TEAM in the league would want him on their roster.

Semin nets 40 goals......he very easily coupld have/should have had 5 or 6 golas against the HABS....

Thats all I have...I am looking forward to next season.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 30, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Where was Erskin? Green should have been benched for Erskin. Theo should have played the last game. Chimera and Knuble played very well. This was an embarrassing end to a season where the caps were the best, and still couldn't get out of the first round.

Posted by: curb1 | May 3, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

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