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Varlamov to start in New Jersey

The big news today is that Alex Ovechkin is feeling 'a lot better'. But not well enough to suit up later, which means the must do without their best offensive player when they face the notoriously stingy Devils.

Semyon Varlamov came off the ice before Jose Theodore at the morning skate and is expected to start in net at Prudential Center. Martin Brodeur will start for the Devils, who are also banged up. They'll be without Patrik Elias, Paul Martin, Johnny Oduya and Jay Pandolfo, who are all injured.

Boudreau didn't show his lines during the morning skate, but it's expected that Mathieu Perreault will make his NHL debut and center the third line.

"He's the guy that, when we phoned down, got the best recommendation," Boudreau said of the 2006 draft pick.

Eric Fehr skated this morning but will not play tonight because of a painful rib injury that has lingered. That means defenseman Tyler Sloan will skate on the fourth line again.

With Ovechkin out, this could have been a great time for Fehr to get some big minutes and show what he can do. But, once again, he's being held back by an injury.

"For him, personally, it's not a good time for him to be out," Boudreau said. "I thought he was getting closer. He took most of practice yesterday and had to come off. We'll reevaluate today and take it from there."

Asked if he felt Fehr could thrive if he were given more ice time, Boudreau said: "I just don't know who he's going to beat out as a top-six forward on this team. I don't think he's going to beat out Semin or Knuble or Fleischmann or Laich or No. 8. So it makes it difficult. I think he has the potential to score 20 plus goals if he got 15-18 minutes a game, but it's just not there right now. So that makes it an inopportune time for him to be hurting still."

Without Ovechkin to man one of the points on the power play, Boudreau said he plans to rotate defensemen Tom Poti and Brian Pothier in that spot, with Mike Green remaining on the other point.

"You're always going to miss Alex's shot," Boudreau said. "The other thing you're going to miss is that people won't have to pay special attention to Alex. Other than that, I think our power play should work pretty well. We've still got some pretty good players on it."

Asked by a national reporter what he's thought of Green's play this season, Boudreau said the defenseman has been "outstanding" over the past five games. Boudreau also took the opportunity to lobby for Green to make Team Canada.

"He's got his legs, he's jumping into the play," Boudreau said. "He had a little bit of a hiccup when [Rick] Nash came down on him [Sunday]. But overall, defensively, he's done fine for us. He's not usually on for any goals against. And if I'm [Team Canada GM] Steve Yzerman, I'm looking at him as one of your top pair."

The Caps also must decide what to do with Michael Nylander. He's scheduled to return from a conditioning stint with the Grand Rapid Griffins today, which basically leaves the team with three options: 1) trade him to another NHL team; 2) loan him to a club outside of the NHL or 3) recall him to Washington and continue to deal with one of the most awkward situations in the league. This much is for sure: He can't go on another AHL conditioning stint.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 4, 2009; 1:34 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's lineup: Caps at Devils

Comments

Anyone else surprised by Boudreau's defense of Green's recent defensive play? He directl allowed a goal in the last 2 games, and seems to be a step behind whomever he is defending.

Posted by: capscoach | November 4, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, he not going to come out and say he is playing like he has an anvil in his pants, even though he is.

I am not surprised but I am concerned.

Posted by: opus1m | November 4, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

BB loves Green and Flash. They never do anything wrong.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 4, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I love this kid Perreault (5'10"...170 lbs.)!! Plays with 100% Heart!!

Posted by: j3rockstar | November 4, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Not to Green bash, but he should be a top pairing on the Canadian Olympic team? Really, BB? If he had a hiccup when Nash came down on him, what do you think will happen when he's facing Ovi, Malkin, or Kovalchuk?

Posted by: ablake70 | November 4, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Question: How would you characterize the Caps?

When I was a kid, it was easy. Dale Hunter was the poster child, and we were a blue-collar team: gritty and hardworking. Now, with a combination of fancy skills for some guys and grinding it out by the net for others, with defensemen whose styles vary from tremendously as well, how would you describe our team as a whole?

Posted by: nicko | November 4, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

nicko,

I would say.... Russian. :)

Posted by: j3rockstar | November 4, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

@MetalCapsFan (from last thread) - there is a correlary to that rule. You need to read a bit further on down.

47.12 Instigator in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in
Overtime)
- A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at any time in overtime shall be assessed an instigator minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting, and a game misconduct penalty, subject to the conditions outlined in 47.22.

This is the part where the instigator gets kicked out of the game.

Posted by: irockthered | November 4, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I love this team and the skills are definately there...but I am getting REAL tired of hearing how great Green is. He is terrible. Got his contract, even though he stunk in the playoffs. I know I know...he was "hurt"...well Poty and Erskine were playing with broken feet and were awesome...Green is -3 in the last 3 games...

And another thing...Nylander is taking up 4 MILLION dollars of our salary cap...which means a bunch of things, but more importantly...1) We now have to play Jeff Shultze (who is putrid) 2) We have to play a NOBODY in Tyler Sloan (a defenseman) on the fourth line and 3)Call up every no name only to send them down after 3 games....

Are you serious, Perrault is better than Nylander? Please. Nylander has more points than Perrault in the AHL...and Nylander has played a 1/3 less games...

SOMEONE NEEDS TO WAKE UP!

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 4, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

SinkingCaps must be getting tired of complaining about the Redskins, so he's brought his marginal knowledge of the team to the board.

Thank you and well said!

Posted by: SA-Town | November 4, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Lastly, I hope (and I'm sure you guys do too)...I would rather lose overtime and shootout games with Varley in net than Three-o...

Jose is playing well, but he is playing well for HIM! He has no lateral movement, and ZERO athleticism to react to rebounds. If you aren't going to have your best defense on the ice (Alzner and Carlson are the best the Caps have..and they are in Hershey)....then Three-O is not taking us anywhere except the golf course in April.

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 4, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

In response to

"Anyone else surprised by Boudreau's defense of Green's recent defensive play? He directl allowed a goal in the last 2 games, and seems to be a step behind whomever he is defending."


And


"BB loves Green and Flash. They never do anything wrong."


At the time Boudreau was hired he was exactly what was needed - Someone who knew the current capabilities of the players and how to convert that into wins immediately. Unless he reveals another dimension in strategy/motivation, I'd like to think that his days here are numbered. That said, I feel he deserves at least this and next season to prove that he can or cannot add another dimension to this team.

Lets look at whats changed since then and now:

Then: The team's greatest non-Ovechkin assets were not being exploited prior to Boudreau's hiring. In short order he exploits those assets and wins alot of games, scoring alot, but also allowing alot of goals. The team evolved from sub standard into what they were capable of. This strategy continued on through last season.

Now: The overall strategy continues although the team now has a screening specialist (Knuble). The team is losing games they should win, and barely winning games against sub-NHL caliber teams, with the games against SJ and PHI as exceptions. Thus, another dimension needs to be added because every opponent knows exactly what the Caps are going to do, how they're going to execute, how they will react to various counter strategies, and that they don't back check.

What we have here is an interesting situation where the problem is not that the team is playing below its capabilities. It is meeting its capabilities. What is lacking is a new expectation to be reached. They are not playing a 2 way game, nor are they apparently expected to by management/coaching. This is what needs to change. An expectation to play a 2 way game needs to become the mandate that the team strives for. The attack has been developed beyond perfection.

Perhaps now that Boudreau has developed these players to the point that their individual capabilities are abundantly clear it may be time for someone who does not know them or like them or come up from the AHL with them to push them beyond the current level, the same way Scotty Bowman did with the Red Wings in the 90's.

Boudreau has earned the right to more time to add another dimension. But if it doesn't surface, someone who can add it should be brought in.


Posted by: LesGrossman | November 4, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

yawn...

Go Caps!

Posted by: Sonyask | November 4, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town...no sir. I hope the redskins go 0-16 every year. I don't watch Football, and I'm most definately not a Redskins fan!

Look up the stats. (btw, Nylander 5gp-6pts, Perrault 11gp-7pts....so I was a little off, but I think you got my point)

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 4, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

In addition to what I said above, I offer this as well:

The fact that every opponent knows exactly what the caps are going to do and they still win more than they lose is a testament to the fact that they are capable of much, much more, and that the missing dimension is not something that needs to be invented, but something that neds and is available to be dug up and surfaced from within.

Posted by: LesGrossman | November 4, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"So that makes it an inopportune time for him to be hurting still."


fehr=brittle= total let down

Trade him!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 4, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Look at this unremarkable career:

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

This insignificant blip on the hockey world got into the heads of one of the most elite teams in the world and still walked away to tell about it.

Posted by: LesGrossman | November 4, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

saw this on puckdaddy comments but it is pretty funny....do you think tyler kennedy is immune to the swine flu?

Posted by: _stevo | November 4, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@MetalCapsFan (from last thread) - there is a correlary to that rule. You need to read a bit further on down.

47.12 Instigator in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in
Overtime) - A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at any time in overtime shall be assessed an instigator minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting, and a game misconduct penalty, subject to the conditions outlined in 47.22.

This is the part where the instigator gets kicked out of the game.

Posted by: irockthered | November 4, 2009 2:05 PM

Yes, that is true, and the League can arbitrarily decide to rescind the resulting 1 game suspension (see Malkin, Evgeni in the SC Finals).

However, for the purposes of the general discussion around the Ovechkin incident, noone on the Caps would have been kicked out of the game in the 1st period when the initial incident occurred. The pre-cursor to the scrum was Chimera getting levelled by Ovie at the player's bench and then skating directly to Ovie and confronting him at the next whistle several seconds later. At that moment, or the next time Chimera stepped on the ice, someone on the Caps should have immediately jumped him. Situation solved. Instead, due to no designated muscle in the Caps line-up, or at Boudreau's direction to not go after Chimera, noone steps to him, the 2nd period incident occurs, Columbus' tough guy Boll grabs Ovie, and we now have our goal-a-game superstar on the injured list. I'll take an early game instigator and the resulting 2 minute power play for the other team any day in order to make a point not to mess with our bread and butter. Instead, by hoping the refs will control the game, our top goal scorer is sidelined for a game, or many games. Not an acceptable situation in anyone's universe.

The script has now been rendered for this to happen again and again until the Caps show the intestinal fortitude to say "NO MAS!!!". But, for now, the slogan that will appear on the opposition's blackboard prior to every game vs the Caps will be, "If we can't beat them, we'll beat them up!!!"

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | November 4, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Playing with heart????? Where does that get you?? Ask Aucoin..back to the minors. To bad, he plays with a lot of heart and should still be up. Clark what have you done for me lately????

Posted by: jmcale57 | November 4, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Don Cherry called it two saturdays ago...Ovie is playing with fire...someone is going to get him...what HNIC two Saturdays ago...so I guess Chimera did. It's all part of hockey. And NO we don't need a waste of salary like Brasher...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 4, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

touche MetalCaps.

@dcsportsfan1

Come on, Clark and Knuble have sandpaper in their game? Clark plays 8 minutes a game and is completely ineffective. He has no game left.
True that Knuble is big and can be effective when he parks his big fat butt in front of the net but to say he's got sandpaper is an exageration. He is a disappointment to me so far. Two hand slashes is about as much as he has laid in on the opponent so far this year. Inconsistent battles along the board; he is tough but has little roughness in him; not the solution about the current dilemma regarding toughness. Now, a guy like Lucic... (well, he's hurt too).

Posted by: atybat | November 4, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Agree here too. Knuble and Clark have a small degree of grit in their games but they're not "sandpaper" type of players ala Carcillo or even little Matt Cooke. Clark doesn't hit enough and he's not looking to drop the gloves, and Knuble is an inconsistent hitter and he doesn't involve himself in scrums, and he doesn't fight.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

wow, les, just wow. i used to think everyone was entitled to their own opinion, until i read yours.

you'd like to think BB day's are numbered?
the team is "barely" winning against "sub-NHL caliber" teams?
the team is "meeting it's capabilties".
they need another coach to come in to take them to the next level?

wow, just wow. have you checked the standings lately?


Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 4, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

and come on..didn't most of us see this coming ? the instant they decided to not replace Brashear's role (notice, I did not say anything about re-signing the big lug), there was a clear msg sent that the Caps are trying to be more of a skill-based finesse team. You could read it in the player interviews from Laich to Gordo. They were pretty unsure of how this team would respond to situations on the ice. Some gobbledygook about sticking together and we have to support each other on the ice blah blah blah.

McPhee will not admit a mistake and reverse this anytime soon. So, it is what it is.

And to be honest, this team is more than a simple goon away from being a tough team. In most cases, just adding a goon doesn't accomplish much unless you have the type of team that enjoys physical contests and is just looking for a tough guy to support them in that style. This is not the Caps.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

@Jmcale

Aucoin was sent back down because he only needs to play 2 more NHL games...then he would have to clear waivers- chance are he would get snagged by another team. He was not sent down for his play.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 4, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Somebody has GOT to know what's going on with Nylander. There's no way a player of his caliber and experience can be ignored and shunted for no reason. If he can't/won't play Boudreau's system, you have to ask why GMGM acquired him in the first place. If McPhee IS at fault, then some reporter should confront him with this issue. Don't you think it's time to clear this mess up??
If Nylander's attitude has changed since being acquired, then trade him to somebody, anybody, for whatever you can get. Trading him (how about for a goon??)has got to be better than "punishing" him by not playing him...while we're still paying him $4million A YEAR!! By doing nothing, it seems to me like we're punishing ourselves.
Anyone know what's REALLY going on??

Posted by: scmonty1 | November 4, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

the argument for and against Boudreau is a tough one. He's brought this team upto much higher success with largely the same kind of roster that Hanlon had. However, in that same stretch, while this team has turned up the offensive firepower and gotten more creative, there has been a significant dropoff in basic things like

1--finishing checks
2--clearing the crease
3--attention to the defensive side of the game

These are all indictments of Boudreau (w/McPhee looking on).

Boudreau doesnt' suck and he's not infallible. He's made mistakes and he continues to make mistakes. He has not addressed or fixed this team's silly PP turnovers and overall slack defensive play. Someone mentioned we need two defensemen on the point on the PP to stop the ridiculous shorthanded chances. Amen. That should be obvious. As is not playing Semin on the PK unit. As is being able to address laziness issues IN-GAME, not just POST-GAME.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Somebody has GOT to know what's going on with Nylander. There's no way a player of his caliber and experience can be ignored and shunted for no reason. If he can't/won't play Boudreau's system, you have to ask why GMGM acquired him in the first place. If McPhee IS at fault, then some reporter should confront him with this issue. Don't you think it's time to clear this mess up??
If Nylander's attitude has changed since being acquired, then trade him to somebody, anybody, for whatever you can get. Trading him (how about for a goon??)has got to be better than "punishing" him by not playing him...while we're still paying him $4million A YEAR!! By doing nothing, it seems to me like we're punishing ourselves.
Anyone know what's REALLY going on??

Posted by: scmonty1

As has been posted here 8,937,923 times, Nyls has to agree to go to where ever he is to be sent! He has a (N)o (M)ovement (C)lause (NMC)! anyone else want to beat the dead horse????

Posted by: hbcapsfan | November 4, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

@scmonty,

Long story short...Nylander was acquired when we sucked and fit perfectly in Hanlon's system...this is before backstrom...Ovie needed a center. He had a bad string of injuries, and Hanlon got fired...he does not fit in Boudreau's system...never gelled with the run and gun style... a lot of circling around instead of pushing the puck towards the goal. The only thing GMGM did wrong at the time was give him a no-trade clause. Now we can't get rid of him because he makes too much money for an older center in a salary cap league...and Nylander still has final say.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 4, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Dead horse beaten to hell now

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 4, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Question: How would you characterize the Caps?

When I was a kid, it was easy. Dale Hunter was the poster child, and we were a blue-collar team: gritty and hardworking. Now, with a combination of fancy skills for some guys and grinding it out by the net for others, with defensemen whose styles vary from tremendously as well, how would you describe our team as a whole?

Posted by: nicko | November 4, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

when i was a kid, we were a pretty tough defensive team that lacked power forwards on the top lines. We had some good skill guys in Gustafsson, Gartner, Dave Christian and then later Michal Pivonka. But no real gritty two way players on the top lines. Our best line on many nights was Haworth centering the plumber line.

When we added Dale, Dino and Courtnall, we were a very balanced team of skill/grit within the same players. Not just having some players who were skilled and some players who were gritty.


Now, we just have some skill guys who don't like to get their noses dirty except for Ovy, and we have some gritty guys who aren't that gritty. And a coach who loves offense and pays lip svc to defense.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The absolute blindness and ineptness of soem who post in here is incredible. How could GMGM have known Nylander would not fit BB's system when BB was not even the fricking coach when he signed Nylander!? Unbelievable......

Posted by: PhilR | November 4, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1

In response to

"wow, les, just wow. i used to think everyone was entitled to their own opinion, until i read yours.

you'd like to think BB day's are numbered?
the team is "barely" winning against "sub-NHL caliber" teams?
the team is "meeting it's capabilties".
they need another coach to come in to take them to the next level?

wow, just wow. have you checked the standings lately? "

My retort:

I'd like to think that IF and only IF BB can't add another dimension to this team, then yes his days are numbered. That is unless the goal is only to win the division banner every year.

They barely beat Toronto
They should have beat NYR
DET was an acceptable loss (still a winnable game)
Same for the NJ game
ATL is a sub-NHL caliber team. A very bad team that has no chance of finishing with a winning record. A team that shouldn't exist. Caps struggled to beat them.
NYI is a bad team. Stuggled to beat them, and also lost to them.
Columbus is a decent team, but not an elite team. You don't always beat these kinds of teams but the way this game played out was unacceptable. Of course they targeted OV, but that was because they knew the caps wouldn't react.

Yes, the team is meeting its capabilities under the current strategy. The issue is that the strategy only demands what they can easily provide. it does not challenge them to be great.

Posted by: LesGrossman | November 4, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

BB is not the one trying to make saves or not clearing the crease...as he has said many times- he implements the system and when the players stray from the system - get too cute- that's usually when we play poorly. He is a very, very good coach! Folks- all I have to say is "Butch" Cassidy- not too far removed from that- don't have such short term memory loss. BB asked for defenseman last year at the trade deadline and never got one- he has to make do with the players he has...especially average defensemen.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 4, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm a big supporter of GMGM but I'm really really ready now for the Nyls situation to go away and the fact that we're dealing with a salary cap $5M less than the rest of the league. I know the time for good deals is at the deadline but can the deal be THAT much better for him at the deadline? What do we get 20 pucks in the bag instead of 10?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | November 4, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

i daresay Nylander with his FA contract wasn't going to fit a lot of teams' systems including the one he vacated in NY. Being able to dish the puck off to a big body like Jagr shielded him a lot in the NY system. He didn't have to go win any puck battles or drive the net, he could stay up high, dish the puck off and then have a shorter distance back to his own end if he had to backcheck. Compile that with his age, the years on his FA contract, his overall finesse style of play....it was a bad move from the get-go. I remember praying that Edm would win his contract.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

not trying to be "mr know it all"=just bored to tears at work!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 4, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I think it is way to early to start bashing BB! We are 2nd in the conference, top of the division (weak as it may be)...I think it is a testamen to how far we have come as a team to be able to get frustrated over our current situation...two years ago we could barely win a game! Could we at least give BB until Thanksgiving before we tart talking about his future with the franchise!

Posted by: capscoach | November 4, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

PhilR

Obviously, their crystal ball works better than GMGM's.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 4, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

BB is not the one trying to make saves or not clearing the crease...as he has said many times- he implements the system and when the players stray from the system - get too cute- that's usually when we play poorly. He is a very, very good coach! Folks- all I have to say is "Butch" Cassidy- not too far removed from that- don't have such short term memory loss. BB asked for defenseman last year at the trade deadline and never got one- he has to make do with the players he has...especially average defensemen.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 4, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau decides WHO to put on the ice and WHEN. Many of those decisions have been the wrong ones. If you're going to put highly creative players together whose nature it is to be "cute" and "fancy", then thats on the coach. If you're going to play offensive forwards on your PK, then thats also on the coach. If you're going to not penalize your players for taking dumb penalties, thats also on the coach. If you're going to watch Ovechkin or whoever get run at without addressing it during the game, thats also..yup you guessed it. If the message you clearly send to your team is that OFFENSE is the #1 priority, everything else be damned..well what do you expect when we play a loose defensive style?

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

In general, everyone knows what to expect from the caps. Despite this, the caps will still win more than they lose because their attack is just that good. Still, those teams that are not as highly skilled but have what it takes to shut them down will continue to embarrass them unless they add another dimension to their game.

Posted by: LesGrossman | November 4, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

RE: Tarik's post

Fehr - oft injured every year. Do the Caps let him go at the end of the year - probably.

Green and Flash - yes, these players are BB's favorite sons.

Nylander - Somebody ask McPhee what he's going to do with #92 and why is Nyls in McPhee's doghouse. Nylander > Perrault. Leonsis is a business man. Will he pay someone $4 mil to watch games until the trading deadline? It appears that the decision!

Posted by: puckman | November 4, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

In general, everyone knows what to expect from the caps. Despite this, the caps will still win more than they lose because their attack is just that good. Still, those teams that are not as highly skilled but have what it takes to shut them down will continue to embarrass them unless they add another dimension to their game.

Posted by: LesGrossman | November 4, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

and where it'll bite em is in the playoffs because thats where teams tighten it down, not as much room for the offensive guys. And where a lack of a strong defensive style will burn you. Not to mention, you can't afford to take a period off. Every shift matters. This team isn't used to playing that way. They get by on their talent.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Well.....the sky is falling.

We have 20 points in 14 games only behind Piss berg, Clorado, San Jose and with a game in hand on all three.

We have scored 52 golas- three way tie with Piss berg and San Jose, still with a game in hand

We have only "lost" (in standings) 2 games. I do realize they O.T. losses seem more like we are a .500 team.

Our PP is 16th and will climb.
Our PK is 15th and I think will get better.

We have a few concerns....yes we do, but we are pretty good still with room for improvement. Our players are young and will get better with expierence.....lets let em grow some.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 4, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Also, I've seen this movie before.

Next time you're at blockbuster, rent "The Detroit Red Wings Under Coach Bryan Murray"

This is exactly what is happening here now.

Then watch: "The Detroit Red Wings under Coach Scotty Bowman" along with companion pieace "The trade of Paul Coffey & Kieth Primeau for Brendan Shanahan"

This will you what probably needs to be done here.

Posted by: LesGrossman | November 4, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Our PP is 16th and will climb.
Our PK is 15th and I think will get better.
----------------

really? cool! I feel much better now, thanks

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Then watch: "The Detroit Red Wings under Coach Scotty Bowman" along with companion pieace "The trade of Paul Coffey & Kieth Primeau for Brendan Shanahan"

This will you what probably needs to be done here.

Posted by: LesGrossman | November 4, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

to be fair, Primeau turned into a great player for the Flyers before the concussions ended it for him. Coffey..yeah I'd agree. The Wings needed to become a better defensive team, they already had the offense.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

As far as MG is concerned. He plays 20-25 minutes a game against the opposing teams top lines. He is 3rd in scoring (for D-men) and hasent even scored a power play goal yet. He has a +3 rating. He is working on a 9 game point scoring string. He is a candiadate for Team CANADA, and was a Norris Trophy finalist last season.
We are not trading Mike Green.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 4, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

We have a few concerns....yes we do, but we are pretty good still with room for improvement. Our players are young and will get better with expierence.....lets let em grow some.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 4, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

apologize for my prev sarcastic response but just saying "I THINK" our pp and pk will get better..thats a little naive unless you see actual reasons for that happening.

I understand we have some young players. The concern is that the same issues that have plagued this team since we started improving in the standings under Boudreau have not been addressed and there has been no improvement. So, I don't expect those things to change. They're as much a part of the staple and personality of this team as the good things are.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure what games Bruce has been watching, but Green has been anything but outstanding.

Green needs to learn how to play defense (undressed by Nash), and control the puck when you are moving out of your own zone (remember the flub).

Posted by: mdterpsgrad | November 4, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Less great posts! I enjoyed them. Sorry people that disagree with you just claim you are not intelligent. It seems a lot of people have those issues about many subjects these days. I hope people are more accepting of other's opinion's in the near future.

I agree with SOME of what you are saying but I think it starts with Mcphee not with BB. Unless you want a different system I think BB should stay but McPhee should go. He is not adding the parts that win Cups and he really has not been able to do that in over a decade. Without Ovechkin, which he cannot really take credit for, this team is not even close to a cup.

The record is nice and all but keep in mind the record was 2nd best in the conference last season and they looked terrible in the playoff's. Ovechkin being a big reason why they even did as well as they did. Ovechkin any GM would have picked and McPhee was lucky to win a lotto in order to pick him.

This team is not built well otherwise. BB's system would work well if McPhee had the ability to add the much needed D-men to compliment it.

Oh well nothing can be done about it though. McPhee and BB are locked into their spots and will not be fired any time soon. So this is what we are stuck with for now. Could be a lot worse I guess. I am just tired of the regular season champs. I do not want to be like the Dallas Cowboy fans that win their Super Bowls the first 5 weeks of the season just to choke when it matters. lol

Posted by: Mike4169 | November 4, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@ j3rockstar

Have a friend who attends hershey games fairly regularly. says Perreault is built like a gnat, won't survive a major league hit if any one can catch him - rather shifty & elusive & good playmaker. reminds of Aucoin. sounds like you've seen him play ahl - don't think we've seen enough of him to evaluate fully - tonite will be interesting to watch.

Posted by: rockdaredlangely | November 4, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
when i was a kid (well a teenager anyway) the caps were 8-67-5. no offense, no defense and no goaltending, no grit, no skill and no enforcer. if wikipedia existed then and you look up 'laughing stock' - it would have been the team picture from 74-75.

this team is exciting and a winner, maybe not the cup favorite but good enough to challenge for it. every team in the league has a need somewhere and for the caps it is currently grit/toughness and a steadier d.
it sure would be more enjoyable if everyone could see what we have and where we are headed - is a better place than this team has ever been

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 4, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The record is nice and all but keep in mind the record was 2nd best in the conference last season and they looked terrible in the playoff's. Ovechkin being a big reason why they even did as well as they did. Ovechkin any GM would have picked and McPhee was lucky to win a lotto in order to pick him.

This team is not built well otherwise. BB's system would work well if McPhee had the ability to add the much needed D-men to compliment it.

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

which is why this is a great test of McPhee's team. I wish we could watch this team for about 30 games without Ovechkin just so we'd be able to see what McPhee has really constructed here without the benefit of a lucky lottery pick that only came about because this team sucked so badly the yr before. Don't get me wrong, I love Ovy but his presence in the lineup really helps cover up a lot of this team's deficiencies.

McPhee took over what, in 1997? 12 yrs later we're still talking about the defensive issues on this team. TWELVE YEARS people.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

Agreed.

All I was trying to point out that he was part of the price that had to be paid to get Shanahan. Primeau was a fan favorite and a great player but was no longer missed once the cup(s) were won.

Posted by: LesGrossman | November 4, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

you all are a bunch of "nattering nabobs of negativety"

good grief Charlie Brown...

Posted by: jeets | November 4, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

James T Kirk

"this team is exciting and a winner, maybe not the cup favorite but good enough to challenge for it. every team in the league has a need somewhere and for the caps it is currently grit/toughness and a steadier d.
it sure would be more enjoyable if everyone could see what we have and where we are headed - is a better place than this team has ever been"

ok, i can't put it any better than this...

If the Caps front office themselves admitted in a loud clear manner that they understand what their own shortcoming are, and that they have a current plan to address it, I'd be a lot less worried.

But I can guarantee you, they dont' think they have a toughness/grit shortcoming.

And defensively speaking, I don't know how they gauge their own personnel but if you take Bruce's preferred playing style for this team, and the personnel that McPhee has provided him -- its not a great Cup winning combo.

So the reason for despair is obvious if you understand that the areas of weakness as WE view them may not be how the CAPS view themselves.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The problem I see with BB is that he really needs to take an objective look at all the players. While others on the team are held accountable for poor play, "his boys" seem to get a pass.

Last year he moved Backstrom down to the 2nd line because he said Backstrom depended too much on Ovi. He has taken Semin off the power play and kept him off the top line. He has scratched Pothier for poor play. He even punishes Ovi by not letting him play with his two favorite line mates. BB saw something that wasn't working and took steps to address the issue.

Green, on the other hand, is out of shape for the playoffs, supposedly injured during the playoffs but turns over the puck trying to be "too fancy", and decides that he wants to score a goal with 3:30 left in a game the Caps are winning 3-1. How does BB respond? He gushes about what a great player Greenie is, and how he's not playing well because of his stick or because he has mono or he doesn't have his legs under him. How is Green ever supposed to learn if his coach doesn't correct him?

Posted by: ablake70 | November 4, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I mean..if there was a clear msg from coach and management that-- "hey fellas, we know we need to toughen up this team, we know we have an imbalance of skill to grit, we know our top two lines need to have a better work ethic on the PP and in general, we finally understand that we cannot continue to play loose defensively and still expect to advance deep into the playoffs"

If they said all of that and followed it with some tangible actions, I'd be the first one on this board preaching patience. But..alas, its not the case here. Its obvious they feel this is a tough enough team which is why they didn't replace Brashear's role, which is why they continue to field a defensive corps that doesn't like to make things uncomfortable for the opposition, which is why they drafted Francois Bouchard instead of Milan Lucic, which is why McPhee stated that the Caps new strategy for deterrence is their vaunted PP (gag me with a fkng spoon). etcetc

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Good Grief.

If you don't like GM,
If you don't like the Coach,
If you don't like the players..

Go find another team and another place to post.

Geesh..

Posted by: jdhoover | November 4, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

How to handle the Nylander situation? Easy! Play Nylander the full 60 minutes every game and give him the puck on every possession possible. Eventually he will get injured or have a heart attack or something and the Caps can then place him on Long Term Injury Reserve. That way, the Caps can go over the Salary Cap without penalty! Nylander's $4,875,000 number should allow the Caps to bring up Alzner, Carlson and a cheap veteran free agent via trade. I know, I am cruel, sometimes! But desperate times requires desperate measures.

Posted by: JohnWWW | November 4, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Green, on the other hand, is out of shape for the playoffs, supposedly injured during the playoffs but turns over the puck trying to be "too fancy", and decides that he wants to score a goal with 3:30 left in a game the Caps are winning 3-1. How does BB respond? He gushes about what a great player Greenie is, and how he's not playing well because of his stick or because he has mono or he doesn't have his legs under him. How is Green ever supposed to learn if his coach doesn't correct him?

Posted by: ablake70 | November 4, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

its a total double standard. And when the coach plays favorites, how do you think that affects team morale? If I'm Jurcina and the coach calls me out publicly like he did last season for one questionable play where Jurcina let a player have too much time in the crease to knock in a rebound, but then gives Green free pass after free pass...yeah that would totally tick me off.

Boudreau whines about his team's lazy offensive zone penalties, but has he ever followed it up with any tangible actions against his top players who usually end up taking those penalties ? Lets face it, its guys like Semin, Backstrom, Ovy, Green, Schultz who take those hooking and holding calls. Its not the Bradleys or the Laings.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Good Grief.

If you don't like GM,
If you don't like the Coach,
If you don't like the players..

Go find another team and another place to post.

Geesh..

Posted by: jdhoover | November 4, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

its a discussion board, if you don't like it go somewhere else. I'm sure there's a pompom waving cheerleader board you can post on if you can't handle critical discussions.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
based on public comments (bb and gmgm) - it would appear that they are happy with the current roster (and skills). however i don't really believe anything gmgm tells the press (i don't think he is bad gm) because he just doesn't want anyone to know what he's thinking.
i think the team is moving in the right direction now and while i would love to see them win the cup - that is not my only criteria for getting entertainment from the team.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 4, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Now that all you nabobs have figured out the best way to run the Caps org. why don't you make yourself doubly useful and roll on down to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Your fellow countrymen will be ever so grateful

Posted by: jeets | November 4, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The sky is NOT falling, everyone here needs to A. Take a deep breath and B. Stop treating this team like Redskins fans treat theirs (Demanding changes every time a player makes a mistake or we have a poor game).

and @ LesGrossman

My retort:

I'd like to think that IF and only IF BB can't add another dimension to this team, then yes his days are numbered. That is unless the goal is only to win the division banner every year.

They barely beat Toronto
They should have beat NYR
DET was an acceptable loss (still a winnable game)
Same for the NJ game
ATL is a sub-NHL caliber team. A very bad team that has no chance of finishing with a winning record. A team that shouldn't exist. Caps struggled to beat them.
NYI is a bad team. Stuggled to beat them, and also lost to them.
Columbus is a decent team, but not an elite team. You don't always beat these kinds of teams but the way this game played out was unacceptable. Of course they targeted OV, but that was because they knew the caps wouldn't react.

MY retort:

You can't criticize the Caps for losing to a team that you call 'bad'. First of all, with the exception of a few really weak teams like Carolina, Toronto and maybe Florida, there is a great parity in the NHL this year and the NFL's 'on any given Sunday' principle applies more often than not. You obviously don't watch games or even the highlights of other teams around the league, because Atlanta has had a really hot start, beating some 'good' teams and therefore is not a "sub-NHL caliber team" as you stated. The same goes for the Islanders, except they're probably better than ATL right now. They beat the Eastern Conference's best (at the time) NY Rangers a week or so ago 5-0. Almost all of their loses have been by one goal.

The only reason that we don't kill these teams is because the guys don't get up for games that don't seem as important or don't have a rivalry involved. Also, as evident in the Toronto game, after they start to feel like they're outworking a team early and think they'll beat them handily they take their foot off the pedal. To me these issues, along with playing a better 2-way game are the biggest concerns for this team at the moment. Obviously they are problems, but we are young and will continue to learn and grow as the season progresses.

Just relax and enjoy the ride because this is our year. LETS GO CAPS

Posted by: apollak8 | November 4, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

If anyone has a problem with GMGM, it shouldn't be about Nylander. It should be about Fehr.

We passed up on Mike Richards, yes that Mike Richards the captain of the Flyers, to draft the bum that is Fehr. Imagine if we had Richards on this team......just imagine. But no we have the oft-injured and underproductive Fehr. Here's what the lines would look like this year if we had Mike Richards.

8-19-28
21-18(richards)-22
Flash-Morrison,Clark
Bradley-Gordon-Steckel

pretty good looking lineup, eh? But nooo we had to pick fehr......

Posted by: gfsportsfan | November 4, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

when I started following the caps in mid 80's, they were just about top 3 in defense just about every year. they lacked two things - a power forward and a great playoff goaltender.

the current caps have everything needed to win the cup except defensive discipline. and without that they cannot win the cup... nor can anyone else. you don't necessarily have to have a shutdown D, just have to play with discipline. and it has to start with their best player.

BB, GMGM and Ted have to make OV understand he doesn't have to keep delivering thunderous hits... that's not what wins championships even if it's important part of the game. he has to start playing with more discipline especially in neural and defensive zones.

Posted by: joek443 | November 4, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

All of September and the first two weeks of October, I woke up each morning hoping to read something about how Nylander was going to team X and his cap hit was off the books. It's gotten to the point where I just accept that our target salary cap number is 4.5 million lower than any other team. If there's a day when I read on caps insider that Nylander is gone, then great.

Whatever the case, it's sure as bleep not worth talking about until the Caps announce that he's leaving. Nylander is a great player, but he won't see a Washington jersey again. No amount of whining is going to change that.

Posted by: Raber | November 4, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

i think the team is moving in the right direction now and while i would love to see them win the cup - that is not my only criteria for getting entertainment from the team.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 4, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

fair enuff, I can see your side of things. By the way, I'm the same way. I don't need to see them win the Cup this yr to enjoy watching them play. I guess my problem is, with their current playing style, I really don't get a whole lot of enjoyment watching them play. I can appreciate the tic-tac-toe passing that as Caps fans, we're lucky to see that level of skill. But in the absence of solid defensive play, hitting, scrumming, intensity, some good ole fashioned hatred on the ice, there's a lot missing. And because it doesn't appear that mgmt really feels this is an issue, its discouraging because you know those aspects won't improve unless things get really bad (like we get bounced in the 1st round or whatever). And even then its no guarantee.

I thought it was pretty damn clear that the main reason we lost to the Flyers 2 yrs ago was we had some big dropoffs in intensity and our defense never figured out how to keep the Flyers out of our crease. Did mgmt make any moves to address that? I haven't seen any.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I am very excited to see Perreault. I am from Halifax and saw Perreault (who played for Baie-Comeau at the time) every time he was in Nova Scotia, and he was AMAZING. Watching him play against Voracek was awesome, and I am really excited to see what he can do at the big league level.

Posted by: Aldred15 | November 4, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

apologize for my prev sarcastic response but just saying "I THINK" our pp and pk will get better..thats a little naive unless you see actual reasons for that happening.


Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

No Apology necessary but thank you anyway. In short I beleive the team has Alot of talented players and the Power play will get up to par with where it was last season. For the most part we have the same players on the PP as last season ( other then Feds and Koz).

As far as the penalty killing. I like what I see more this year than last year. I like it when they are very aggressive on the puck. We seem to be much much better when we are attacking the puck as opposed to letting the other team to set up and pass.

I cant give a reson other than "I think: we will be a top 5 in PP and hope to be top 10 in PK. Speciality teams are so key to doing well.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 4, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't get why people are saying that posters can't critique players, coach, GMGM,etc,? This is a message board, that is what people do. Instead of complaining about complaining, present a valid counterargument. Yes the team is 8-2-4, they are not perfect. Besides, the great record hasn't stop the coach or the owner from blasting the team play.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 4, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

If anyone has a problem with GMGM, it shouldn't be about Nylander. It should be about Fehr.

We passed up on Mike Richards, yes that Mike Richards the captain of the Flyers, to draft the bum that is Fehr. Imagine if we had Richards on this team......just imagine. But no we have the oft-injured and underproductive Fehr. Here's what the lines would look like this year if we had Mike Richards.

8-19-28
21-18(richards)-22
Flash-Morrison,Clark
Bradley-Gordon-Steckel

pretty good looking lineup, eh? But nooo we had to pick fehr......

Posted by: gfsportsfan | November 4, 2009 4:07 PM

I mostly agree. But you're forgetting about Richards' 5.75 million dollar cap hit. That 4+ million has to come from somewhere...

Posted by: Raber | November 4, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

You cap fans do not deserve Mike Green. 29 other teams would love to have him. I do agree that Alzner would be a huge upgrade to Morrisonn, Schultz or Jurcina, Morrisonn is the one I really do not like. Maybe Green should move up to rw and play with Nik and OV full time. Not really but Greenie would make a fine right winger. Let's be thankful we have an exciting guy like Green where goals are going to come at both ends of the rink. Bring up Alzner, he is not a big hitter but he plays a sound defensive game and headmans the puck.

Posted by: jgreif | November 4, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what's going on with Alzner and when we'll seem him in DC again?

Posted by: apollak8 | November 4, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
i can empathize with how you feel. for it to be so obvious as to what this team lacks and then yr after yr not see any imporvements or actions by the front office must be frustrating as h*ll.
i'll watch all 82 games and however many playoffs games they play - but i will not stress over things i have no control - hence - i just enjoy watching them play

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 4, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Rangers vs Canucks nastiness from last night after Vancouver's Kesler messed with NY's top scorer Gaborik during a line change (sound familiar?)...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9pNxiHM5kM

There's ten Rangers on the ice when this goes down. Of course, even though Avery is on the bench, you know he'd be involved haha (he makes his appearance at about 2:47). Overall, the scrum was a lot more relaxed than it might have been considering the amount of players on the ice.

However, later in the game, the Rangers' Dane Byers instigated a fight in the last 5 minutes and got booted, with the requisite suspension coming today. The kicker is Tortorella got a $10,000 fine haha. Guess Torts can't read the game clock. Awesome!

Vid - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXFQp09BBZo

Story - http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=504796

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | November 4, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

when I started following the caps in mid 80's, they were just about top 3 in defense just about every year. they lacked two things - a power forward and a great playoff goaltender.

Posted by: joek443 | November 4, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Just a crazy sidenote to that.

from my recollection, the first true scoring line power forward the Capitals EVER acquired via draft, trade or FA was Chris Simon in the mid90s. Then briefly Rick Tocchet. And Simon was always questionable as a top line power forward. That is I think the longest drought in the history of the NHL. 23 yrs from inception to acquiring a top line power forward (sorry, Yvon Corriveau doesn't count and Courtnall was a tad undersized).

"current caps have everything needed to win the cup except defensive discipline. and without that they cannot win the cup... nor can anyone else. you don't necessarily have to have a shutdown D, just have to play with discipline. and it has to start with their best player."

starts with their coach. Everything starts ABOVE the players. And frankly, the GM is the guy who puts his mark on the team.

"BB, GMGM and Ted have to make OV understand he doesn't have to keep delivering thunderous hits... that's not what wins championships even if it's important part of the game. he has to start playing with more discipline especially in neural and defensive zones"

he has to play with a lot more discipline because he gives up the puck in many stupid reckless ways as does Semin. But the thunderous hits gets Ovechkin into the game mentally, and it provides us with really just one scoring line forward who can play that way. I'm not willing to give that up. If he had Mike Richards as his center and Lucic on the wing then maybe I'd be willing to concede that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@ rockdaredlangely

I am a Bears' season ticket holder. Perreault should not be counted out because of his size.

I hope he shows you that tonight.

Posted by: OverTheBoards | November 4, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't get why people are saying that posters can't critique players, coach, GMGM,etc,? This is a message board, that is what people do. Instead of complaining about complaining, present a valid counterargument. Yes the team is 8-2-4, they are not perfect. Besides, the great record hasn't stop the coach or the owner from blasting the team play.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 4, 2009 4:12 PM

Critique is fine. I'm just tired of hearing the same people complaining about the same things every day. The topic of Nylander has been beaten to death from 50 different angles. Half the people on the board applaud GMGM for putting together a decent team compared to the pre-lockout years. The other half think he's a chump who has made nothing but mistakes since he took over the team. You know which people are which because they make the same argument in every post.

I'd like to see more of "man Green misplayed that play the other day, I wish he had played more like he did against X. He totally stood up against Y." Less of "GMGM sucks. He drafted OV (a gimme) and what else has he done? He's the reason we lost the game yesterday." If it's not a new argument, what's the point in posting it?

Posted by: Raber | November 4, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

i'll watch all 82 games and however many playoffs games they play - but i will not stress over things i have no control - hence - i just enjoy watching them play

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 4, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

you're one lucky dude. I wish I could be that chill. Yours IS the smarter way to go..lol

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

apollak8:
Does anyone know what's going on with Alzner and when we'll seem him in DC again?
either shortly after nyls is finally moved or the playoffs when there is no cap restriction.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 4, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if Dane Byers will ever turn into a 20 goal NHL scorer, but it would be nice if the Caps drafted more players like Byers. He has size, strength, a mean streak, and he showed he could score in the minors and at the AHL level. He's a good boost to the Rangers team - a young big strong kid who can skate decently and is more than willing to hit and throw down. Thats the kind of energy play you want to see from your AHL recalls.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@ rockdaredlangely,
I've seen a few Bears games on the net. He reminds me a lot in size (as well as play) of Sergei Samsonov. I think the key for him is to keep his head up and not stop moving. lol
Looking forward to see what he can do tonight!!

Posted by: j3rockstar | November 4, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

If anyone has a problem with GMGM, it shouldn't be about Nylander. It should be about Fehr.

We passed up on Mike Richards, yes that Mike Richards the captain of the Flyers, to draft the bum that is Fehr. Imagine if we had Richards on this team......just imagine. But no we have the oft-injured and underproductive Fehr. Here's what the lines would look like this year if we had Mike Richards.

8-19-28
21-18(richards)-22
Flash-Morrison,Clark
Bradley-Gordon-Steckel

pretty good looking lineup, eh? But nooo we had to pick fehr......

Posted by: gfsportsfan | November 4, 2009 4:07 PM

I mostly agree. But you're forgetting about Richards' 5.75 million dollar cap hit. That 4+ million has to come from somewhere...

Posted by: Raber | November 4, 2009 4:15 PM

How about the guy taken one pick after Fehr? Ryan Getzlaf... you may have heard of him. Like Richards, but with a lot less whining.

Of course, there's no way you have the salary to keep Getzlaf with the talent on the current team, so it's purely speculation.

Posted by: zloss126 | November 4, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

a young big strong kid who can skate decently and is more than willing to hit and throw down.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 4:26 PM


outside of the core of the team - if the above could be taught to half of the remaining players on the roster - almost every team would fear playing the caps

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 4, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

what perreault lacks in size, he makes up for in heart. I actually prefer watching him play to Chris Bourque. Perrault works hard at both ends of the ice. He's a little sparkplug.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

what perreault lacks in size, he makes up for in heart. I actually prefer watching him play to Chris Bourque. Perrault works hard at both ends of the ice. He's a little sparkplug.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 4:33 PM

This. Looking forward to seeing what he can do for us tonight.

Posted by: Raber | November 4, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

i love entertainment value. however, that pales to the ability to shoot back at a d-bag Rags or Pens fan that yes indeed, "we have won a cup!" my entertainment value ends everytime an opposing fan at the Phone Booth whips out "have you won a cup". lets be serious with ourselves, kids; we all want to see the Caps raise the Cup. if you are only hanging around for "entertainment" well then i guess i have to call you a liar (in a nice way).

Posted by: doughless | November 4, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@ OverTheBoards
re: Perreault - I was praising his skills in spite of his size and hoping he doesn't receive a "welcome to the NHL" hit like Sloan put on a guy last year in Calgary - guy still doesn't know his name. That kind of hit will send him back to the ahl quickly. Send Beagle down here - we need some bangers with size. Seriously, I wish nothing but the best for these guys when they get a call up. Perreault included.

Posted by: rockdaredlangely | November 4, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

the "critics" hang around because we want to seem the same short-term desire obviously shared by the consistent effort out on the ice. to date, i am not sure i have seen level of effort commensurate with the goal.

Posted by: doughless | November 4, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@jgreif

Where in life do you get to say "I'm perfect at 24 and don't need to change a thing"? Everyone, even someone like Lidstrom, is still learning how to improve his game. None of these guys are perfect. And if they can't handle fair criticism from coaches, the press, or us keyboard warriors, they probably need to find a new profession.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 4, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

still, for my money, there is no better Hershey forward than Andrew Gordon. He's got the tenaciousness, he's got the speed, the skating. He may not score the most goals at Hershey but on a shift by shift basis, he's the most consistent player. Hopefully a Bears fan can back me on this. AG is all about the forecheck and he has better hands than your avg checking line player.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Perreault is AWESOME! I LOVE this guy! :-)

Posted by: irockthered | November 4, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Damn. Just came back from the Red Rockers forum... People over saying they can't Cheer, they're Flat and They're Ugly.

Just can't win.

Posted by: jdhoover | November 4, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

doughless:
i except be called a liar (in a nice way) - becuase that is your opinion - which i would never deny that you are entitled to.
but i'm not just hanging around - i've been clinging to it for 30+ yrs.
i've been asked "have you won a cup" before too - i take a slightly different approach and say - "none, and neither have You"
i'm just a fan, not a player - i have absolutely no control over who wins and loses - so those types of comments mean nothing to me

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 4, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Cliffsnotes version of this boards complaints:

1) OMG WE LOST = THE SKY IS FALLING BLACK IS WHITE WHOTE IS BLACK THE WORLD IS ENDING
2) varly sucks. No wait Jose sucks. Or they both suck. Might as well have a sack of potatoes in the goal instead.
3) all of the caps defenders suck, except for that one guy I like. All oter teams defenses are better, I don't even know how ours got into the NHL let alone surviving life.
4) semin does speak English in interviews. Get rid of him.
5) the Russian machine can break. Get rid of ovie
6) in case gmgm and bb are stupid enough to keep ovie and semin we'd better call up the UFC fighters to put on skates bc there is no way our team can just win with talent.
7) our stars are around 23-25 yrs old, but clearly they have peaked and therefore we should get rid of them bc they don't play like experienced 30 yr olds
8) gmgm sucks. Regardless of our winning or losing, but he's def to blame when we lose. No credit of we win.
9) same for bb. I can't believe he actually likes and supports the players on his team. Clearly a stupid move.
10) Ted sucks. Just bc.
11) every loss automatically means we will never get the cup.

Did I forget anything? Let's just copy/paste this on every post and save everyone time. I'm just trying to remember if we are currently in last place... Or if people even complained this much when we were...

Posted by: mrszilla | November 4, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 4, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

obvi there are typos in my post, assume y'all are smart enough to pick up on them (ex: semin doesn't speak English in interviews..)

Posted by: mrszilla | November 4, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

So instead of that stupid FIRST! We can can post Mrszilla's comment.

Love it.

Posted by: jdhoover | November 4, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

if we're going to bring up fehr for getzlaf/richards, lets also talk about the teams who passed on semin or green, etc. it's a fun game to play but the NHL draft is a huge crap shoot. a while back i looked at recent draft classes on hockeydb.com. i was amazed at how many first round picks havent made a dent in the nhl, and this is going back a few years. even more suprising is how many second and third rounders never make it.

GMGM's biggest failure is not getting enough value outside the first round...and every pick from 1997-2000...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 4, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Some interesting results from the "Worst" in the NHL

NYI have won 4 straight games beating Ranger, Caps in O.T., Buffalo and Edm.

Atlanta Lost to Wash 2 times by a goal, to San J by a goal and then went on the beat Montreal and Ottawa on the road.

Toronto Beat the Ducks 6-3 then had four straight OT losses all on the road Dallas,Buffalo, Mont. Tampa

The really bad teams are not all that bad....Teams got to come to play every nite.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 4, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

But you forgot:

12: all our defensive problems would be gone with the addition of a single crease clearing, stay at home defenseman to replace (you pick) Sarge, Greenie, Erskine, Poti etc.

Posted by: jdhoover | November 4, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

@mrszilla

Russian Machine not broke, just bruised, so he can stay.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 4, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Very lively discussion today, and for the most part respectful. Just my two cents about GMGM. Mcphee is a very intelligent GM. After his short hockey career, he got himself a law degree from Rutgers. He learned a lot of his management stuff from the Vancouver Organization 12-15 years ago. He literally lives and breathes the game, during his entire waking hours.
This being said, he does have his shortcomings. He has a very stubborn streak and once he has made a decision, it is almost impossible to make him change his mind.
Case in point, the old swede's situation...
Also, I am not convinced that he is well surrounded scouting wise. For example, his choice of Gustaffson will turn out to be a mistake. According to the folks I know in Sweden, this guy is a Dud (confirmed by my own eyes during the camp). I know, some of you will say that he's only 19 yo...still, he's way behind the learning curve.
People will say that most teams have plenty of examples as such, fair enough.
I can tell you though, that as recent as 2 months ago, he GMGM said that Perrault will never play in the NHL...too small, not enough physicality. And here we are 2 months later...
Anyways, the puck stops with Mcphee. With the team he has built, he knows that only success will guarantee his job. So, I don't believe for a second that he sits on his arse and do nothing about the weakness on the team. The other GMs knows that Mcphee is cunning and wily; they see him coming; not easy to make a trade under Mcphee's set of circumstances.

Finally, in this era of salary Cap (and the likelyhood that the Cap will compress), I DO believe that Semin will have to go. Between Ovie, Backie's next contract, Green, Laich's and Fleischman's next contract and the future salaries of Varlamov and Carlson, you will tie in beaucoup $. We can not perform without a good supporting cast and Semin can bring us 1-2 good players but even moreso, good draft picks.
My heart says to keep Semin but my head says that, we will either lose him to the KHL, or signing him will be so expensive that we will be left with not enough money to get a good second and third line, and a good second defensive pairing.

Posted by: atybat | November 4, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

i am not a player either but i get sick of the comments. perhaps i am the only that does. from the fan activity at phone booth, i suspect i am not the only around that wants the monkey off the caps (and our collective) backs. no offense meant Capt Kirk.

Posted by: doughless | November 4, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

But you forgot:

12: all our defensive problems would be gone with the addition of a single crease clearing, stay at home defenseman to replace (you pick) Sarge, Greenie, Erskine, Poti etc.

Posted by: jdhoover | November 4, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

ahhh yes! How could I forget that magical missing element that will solve all of the caps problems and perhaps the world at large! Which would lead to:
13) nylander ruins everything. Or bb ruined nylander.

Posted by: mrszilla | November 4, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

@mrszilla

AMEN!

Posted by: ludeman95 | November 4, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

@ rockdaredlangely

Thank you! It seems some people pull for the call-ups to fail.

Beagle had a tough start, but he's gotten his legs back under him and is back to old self - sort of. He's had to take on more of a "banger" role this year and leave a lot of the "finesse" stuff to other guys - so when people look at the score book and only that, they think he's not doing well. Then they come to Giant Center and see that he's actually had to replace a lot of grit, and he's handled it well. It shows that Beagle can legitimately play the game two ways, which is always a + in my book!

Posted by: OverTheBoards | November 4, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Caps are perfect...no problems or shortcomings

Posted by: doughless | November 4, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

@mrszilla

Russian Machine not broke, just bruised, so he can stay.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 4, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

perhaps... He's allowed one injury. A second one this season and he's out. Or forbidden to hit anyone ever. Let's just wrap him in bubble wrap.

Posted by: mrszilla | November 4, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Watch out for Tampa Bay and Atlanta. Caps pansy Southeast schedule might be tougher than it appears.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | November 4, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

@Raber, mrszilla

I get what you are saying about the complaining, but dissent makes the message board go round. If everyone just came on here to praise every aspect of the team, these boards wouldn't exist. Yes, the Nyles thing is tiring, but as long as he is on the team, people will ask questions. As long as the Caps are without a Cup, people will question
GMGM. That's just the way it goes.

Anyway, enough ranting. I hope the Caps have a good game against the Devils tonight. I hope Perrault gets a decent amount of ice time. Of course this is his first game, so I'm not expecting him to save the team, but a few nice plays to show he's going in the right direction will be nice.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 4, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

@ atybat

How much do you think Brooks Laich is going to get paid?

Posted by: ablake70 | November 4, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Caps are perfect...no problems or shortcomings

Posted by: doughless | November 4, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

not perfect but I think we can all admit some people on this board need to borrow Cindy Crysby's waaaaaaaaambulance. You would think we are Toronto.

Posted by: mrszilla | November 4, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say it but Ovie missing a few games may be just be what the rest of this team needs. Just a few years ago they were known as a hard working team. Then they got some success and got lazy. Now some players just don't work as hard. I thought they got some of that back after Ovie left the game Sunday. I hope he's out just enough time that the rest of the team figures out thats how they have to play EVERY game. No more playing down to the opponent. No more just getting up for the "big" games. If they can do that they'll go a looong way.

Posted by: jfwil | November 4, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

yeah, waaaambulance like in all the people with closest inferiority complexes that have to always bringing up Crosby when talking about how there are no problems with the Caps

Posted by: doughless | November 4, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone watch the Bruins and the Red Wings last night? If you did you may have heard a familiar name centering for the Bruins (Trent Whinfield). Last night the Bruins couldn't buy a goal. The puck either hit the post or squirted through the crease.

Posted by: estuart0 | November 4, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

To make tonight's game even more interesting the Lowell Devils play the Hershey Bears tonight. NJ vs DC on 2 fronts!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | November 4, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Watch out for Tampa Bay and Atlanta. Caps pansy Southeast schedule might be tougher than it appears.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | November 4, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Its good for the Caps to face some stiffer competition. I like the effect Tocchet has had on the Tampa team. Their games are actually watchable now. Atlanta is still Atl. They'll fall back towards the pack as the season goes on. I wonder if we had to face the Flyers, Rangers and Penguins 7-8 times a season, how much that would benefit us heading into the playoffs. It'd make us a more battle-hardened team I think.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I am in awe of the hockey expertise on this blog.
The regurgitation of crap is an endless action. Brilliant!

Posted by: hock1 | November 4, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

It's a testament to the popularity of the Caps that there are this many comments on a 'hidden' article (why do we need to hear what any skins player has to say at this point as 'news'?). Anyway, I agree with the commenters - Green hasn't been sharp since he started believing his own hype mid-last year. he was downright bad in the playoffs, and hasn't been much better so far this year. Still, the talent is there - maybe it's just a slump? ALso agree about Nylander - why do the Caps hate or 'zorn' him? I never understood it, bad blood? He is a good hockey player, give him a break.

Lastly, it might be good for the team to NOT rely on Ovie everynight, sometimes teams pull together when their is a big injury - and learn to play more as a team...who know.

Semin scores 2 tonight, Go Caps!

Posted by: gs12 | November 4, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Atybat: Also, I am not convinced that he is well surrounded scouting wise. For example, his choice of Gustaffson will turn out to be a mistake. According to the folks I know in Sweden, this guy is a Dud (confirmed by my own eyes during the camp). I know, some of you will say that he's only 19 yo...still, he's way behind the learning curve.
-----------------------------------

I think Anton has a long ways as well. The 2 kids we drafted high this year have more promise. Too bad, I liked the bio on Anton. Rangy center who can play a 2 way game and likes to hit. We ain't got a plethora of that around these here parts..

Also, Pokulok and Finley..egads. I had hopes for Finley but after watching him play defense for that one game in Hershey against the Baby Pens last yr it was clear he can't skate backwards at all.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

In the name of showing some sense of loyalty, do we really want Boudreau telling the media that Green s*cks? We spend an exorbitant amount of time with all of you on your megaphones calling for everything under the sky, fire this person, shout to the heavens that so-and-so s*cks. Can it! STF*, people. Don't you get tired of listening to yourselves talk?

Okay, got that out of my system. To be media-savvy, you'll not want to bash any member of your team. Write that one down, kiddies. Some of us are getting tired of you people thinking it's productive to bash someone to the media.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 4, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

Thanks for the kind comments about me (and PensFan) on a previous thread. Especially this week when I've been in a foul mood due to Ovi's injury.

You and I are usually on the same page, especially when it comes to one certain Caps player. We will either be celebrating together (in different locations) when a certain red haired winger from the "City of Red Ore" signed his name on the dotted line for a new contract with the Caps or crying together if he's traded or leaves as a free agent. (At this point, his agent doesn't believe in discounts but who knows...)

I'm hoping we don't get a situation like Zherdev where he files for arbitration, wins, and the Caps walk away because they can't (due to salary cap) or won't accept the arbitrator's decision.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 4, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear that Ovi is doing better.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 4, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

@doughless

On your suggestion to move Flash to the top line -- he already IS on the top line. He earned his way there.

Next question: will he stay there and switch to RW after Ovi is back?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 4, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

In the name of showing some sense of loyalty, do we really want Boudreau telling the media that Green s*cks? We spend an exorbitant amount of time with all of you on your megaphones calling for everything under the sky, fire this person, shout to the heavens that so-and-so s*cks. Can it! STF*, people. Don't you get tired of listening to yourselves talk?

Okay, got that out of my system. To be media-savvy, you'll not want to bash any member of your team. Write that one down, kiddies. Some of us are getting tired of you people thinking it's productive to bash someone to the media.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 4, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

considering he PUBLICLY blamed a loss on Jurcina last year, that blows the Green argument out of the water.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to see Flash succeed to the point he can make Semin even more tradebaity.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Go Caps, good luck tonight.

Also, good luck to the San Jose Sharks tonight. I hope they clean the clocks of the Blue Jackets big time. That team needs a beat down. And the Sharks are good for doing that.

And good luck to the Philadelphia Phillies in beating the Yankees and forcing a 7th game of the World Series.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 4, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

considering he PUBLICLY blamed a loss on Jurcina last year, that blows the Green argument out of the water.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 6:37 PM


And Erskine, Poti, Pothier, Semin, Fedorov...the list goes on and on.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 4, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I am afraid I have to agree with LesGrossman & even cstanton1 on their assessment of Caps problems.

What is extremely frustrating to me is watching them repeat the same mistakes that kept them from advancing in the playoffs and plagued them last year. It seems to me that they have settled in certain bad habits and a certain attitude and are defeating themselves.

I hope that Boudreau is the one who can get them unstuck. He brought them such a long way from the timid, losing team they were under Hanlon to the offensive power house they are now. But I think they reached a level of accomplishment and stopped there. They need another major jolt to a next level. I hope he is the man to do it. He seems endlessly creative. He's got to figure the next move.

Posted by: caraveli | November 4, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
is your willingness to let semin go from:
a) his frailty
b) lack of drive (like ovi)
c) lazy penalties
d) salary vs productivity
e) likelyness to jump to the khl anyway
f) his insane raw talent that he doesn't always bring to the ice
h) some combo of any/all of the above
fyi - it's a real question
i wouldn't cry if they could keep him for $6M for the next 3-5 yrs

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 4, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

a short answer to your question is yes, all of the above.

long answer -- I'd say the chief issue I have with Semin is, you have to be able to predict and rely on what your players bring to the ice every night. Everyone's entitled to deviate once in a while but for the most part a coach has got to be able to predict what kind of effort/execution he'll get from each of his players. Semin is highly unpredictable. Do I want to go into a playoff series having to rely on Semin? Hell no. I need to know that when he's on the ice, he's going to:

A - work hard
B - be smart

The rest will just follow. Same way, if you employ a goon on your team. If you can't trust that guy to control his emotions in a critical game you can't play him. You have to be able to trust your players, and Semin plays too important a role on this team to be untrustworthy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

and I think there's no guarantee that his trade value will be any greater in the future than it is today. Deal him while you can. That combined with, we have some depth at the wing position. Its not like we're talking about dealing Backstrom.

If you can get back a young strong defenseman, why not? I'll take a Luke Schenn. Maybe get creative and pick up a young 2nd line center and a 2nd pair defenseman. Dubinsky/Staal a bad return for Semin? Throw in Gordo if necessary.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
interesting points
i sometimes wonder why there is so much player bashing that goes on here - could it be that we all would like every player to give 100% every shift like ovi does?
ovi's work ethic sure makes the rest of the team look expendable

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 4, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

still, for my money, there is no better Hershey forward than Andrew Gordon. He's got the tenaciousness, he's got the speed, the skating. He may not score the most goals at Hershey but on a shift by shift basis, he's the most consistent player. Hopefully a Bears fan can back me on this. AG is all about the forecheck and he has better hands than your avg checking line player.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 4, 2009 4:42 PM
-------------------------
@cstanton1: Yes. I'm a long time Bears STH and for once I agree with you 100%.

Posted by: tess2201 | November 4, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

You know that Don Cherry thinks anybody who is not Canadian is playing with fire and will get burned.

Posted by: trunkenmath | November 4, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

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