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Video: After Defeat, Caps Fans Still Proud

Caps fans expressed their disappointment following Pittsburgh's victory in Game 7 last night at Verizon Center, but they remain very optimistic about the team's future.

Watch the video below:

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 14, 2009; 6:09 AM ET
 
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Next: D.C. Sports Bog: Fan Questions About Game 7

Comments

That made me tear up almost, I am so proud of our boys. Still, the post-season heartache is hitting pretty hard

Posted by: feelinhellagood | May 14, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

I am not sure what to think about this team. They look like world beaters one night and then lack heart for a few games in the playoffs. One thing is for sure, their defense is really bad. Mike Green was awful this entire series and not all of it was related to his stick. Boudreau is a really good coach, so I hate to second guess him, but I think he needed to give Varly a rest after game three.

Posted by: BT23 | May 14, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone really surprised that the Pens won? How many players do they have that were top 5 picks? And for everyone who thinks Crosby is so much better than Ovi, what about during the season when Pens fans wanted to TRADE Crosby? They wanted to keep Malkin and just get rid of Crosby. How much easier would it be on Ovi if he had another teammate that could take over when he was having a bad stretch? Not trying to take anything away from Crosby, but I think it must be a little easier when you know that there's another top 3 player on your team taking some of the pressure off you.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Pens fans NEVER wanted to trade Crosby...what planet are you on?

Posted by: beanfrompa | May 14, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

beanfrompa, I remember reading the Pens boards when the season wasn't going very well, and there were fans on there wanting Crosby gone, hoping they could get something of value for him. Don't believe me, I'm sure you can go over there and do a search. Even on the HM Boards, there were fans there wanting him trading and moaning about how much better Malkin was. And I'm from this planet thank you.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

beanfrompa, and I'll also say that when I read that, I thought those fans were crazy. I've always thought that Crosby was a great player. I just think it's stupid to compare him to Ovi.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

pens wre better this year, IMO caps will be better next year. great season though, and bashing mike green is as stupid as a pen fan saying they want to trade crosby.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | May 14, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

beanfrompa,
Look back at the pens message boards from back when they were slumping and you will find endless posts about getting rid of Crosby and how he was no leader and such. It was absolutely insane at the number of posters that were ready to be rid of him. It was also crazy that there were not that many arguing against it.

Posted by: _Mark | May 14, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

They need more physical D men. They are too soft to win in the play offs. Varly carried them as it was.They hardly bothered to show up last night. Pretty sad for a game 7.I love the team,but it's the truth.

Posted by: ridgely1 | May 14, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Mark, thanks for proving my point--I guess beanfrompa only goes on our boards. But I will say that it's obvious that Crosby has grown as a leader. Maybe that tough spell that he and the Pens went through actually paid off in the long run.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

For next year:
1) Buy out Nylander. $8.5M at 2/3rds = $5.7M over four years (cap hit when buyout) = cap hit $1.4M/yr = savings almost $3.5M next year.
2) Don't resign Kozlov or Mo (not worth arbitration $) and bring back Feds, even if only Dec1 on, at no more than $2M.

Total savings, those moves, $10M.

Use that money for Alzner and the best, tough free-agent crease-clearing defenseman you can get.

Trade Theo if possible and have Varly-Johnny, otherwise Varly-Theo.

Aucoin has one-way so he plays. Good, pesky addition. Bourque is out of options so he plays too. Trade Semin? Maybe, but only for a really rugged RW to play with Ovie. Flash and Fehr? They deserve one more year - too young to give up, considering what they make. Carlson and Neuvy? One more year at Hershey, same with Perrault. Bouchard? I don't know - his AHL numbers aren't impressive. That'll do it.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I really miss the days of this blog before all the mindless trolls and impolite Capitals fans. The camaraderie has disappeared while the ignorance and rudeness is at an all-time high.

Such as the poster who insulted Boo! and accused her of being a Penguins fan. Oh my ... such ignorance ... I got your back, Boo!

This blog is great to read, but I skip over the reader's comments more and more. Sigh, I use to read them religiously.

Posted by: Cerealman | May 14, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

@ BT23

Yes, I love this team but it is hard to watch when a game like last night happens and even more so when it matters the most. I'm not sure I believe they were lacking any heart - I think this team has a way of letting nerves get the best of them. Like Boudreau said, the away team just has to come in and focus on the game -I almost think we would have been better off being away last night.

As for Boudreau, I think he's a great coach as well and really knows the guys but the only thing that bothers me about him is that sometimes I think he has too much faith in certain players. I understand playing guys hurt - it's the postseason. But look at the difference between a hurt Ovy and a hurt Green. You couldn't even tell Ovy was hurt but Green just looked bad. Just about every replay of a Crosby goal, you see #52 standing right there. Green needed to sit.

And yes, I completely agree about Varly. I thought Boudreau should have sat him during Game 3 to give him a breather.

Anyways, you live and you learn. There were some positive things that came out of this postseason still - Varly being the biggest one, the play of Stecks and Bradley, and I actually liked what I saw from Kozlov this time around. I still think this team is developing like it should and I'll be very interested to see what happens during the summer, especially with Nylander and the goalie situation...

Posted by: capsfantess | May 14, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Great series.

Playoff runs takes Your heart and soul and stomps on them.

High and lows.


~~


I am so glad fans cannot trade players and Gm's do not read message boards to get ideas.

To some fans, no player is off limits for a "trade"

Players get thrown under the bus on the time by fans.Usually the people who toss them under the bus only ride the bus when it's going on a nice run.


Posted by: akus2 | May 14, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Players/current salaries that could impact deals for next year next year:

UFA's
Brashear 1.2 mil
Kozlov 2.5 mil
Giroux 475K (could be used for a trade)
Federov 4 mil (will prob retire. would be nice to get one more year though)
Laing and Mink 500K (possible trade)
Johnson 825K (would be nice to keep johnny and dump theo)
Helmer 475K
Sloan 475K

RFA's
Fehr 735K
Gordon 725K(need to keep)
Bourque 525K
Morrisson 1.975 mil
Jurcina 912K (most physical in postseason besides OV and Erskine)
Schultz 650K (SEE YAH LATER)
Collins 685K
Lepisto (675K

Players to dump or use in trade:
Theo 4.5 mil
Nylander 5.5 mil

Ok now that I have done the run down on salaries I have 2 others that I am going to mention... Semin makes 5 mil a year which seems like a lot to me considering backstrom make 875K (or something like that) per year and is far more productive. And I would rather keep Backstrom over Semin since Semin is always hurt. Also Flash (725K) may be used in a deal as well. He is good and has the potential to be great and wow, if he would have played like he did last night all series things may have been different.

Needless to say it will be interesting to see what is done to bring in some quality D men and some grinding forwards.

Posted by: CapsFan44 | May 14, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Caps made the same mistakes last night they had been making all series. Pittsburgh was must more thorough in exploiting them.

Some of the problems - like the inability to efficiently exit the defensive zone and minimize the Pittsburgh forecheck - were complicated by injury (that is really where Mike Green shines, and he was absent this series). Other problems - like dumb penalties - have haunted the Caps all year.

This is as far as they should have gone with those flaws. As much as it reopens the old Pittsburgh wound, I feel good about where this team is going.

A lot of tough decisions need to be made this offseason, but this team needs to be Stanley Cup ready next season.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 14, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Well, I'm happy that the caps were competitive this season. HOWEVER, I'm disgusted by their team defense. This is a major liability for the caps, and they have to get better at it across the board if they expect to be true "cup contender".

Their lack of ability to move the puck out of the zone was tough to watch. I put some of that blame on BB. He needs to be more defensive minded in the future. If he can't be, I'd like to see a more level-headed coach brought in.

I can't see giving up 40+ shots every game and not having so much as a meeting or film session to review what's going wrong. I'm sure the pens were tired too, but they practiced, why can't we.

We'll see if GMGM can put the final pieces of this puzzle together in the off season.

Any thoughts if Sloan/Alzner/Carlson will play for the big club next year?

Posted by: ChuckCounty | May 14, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Sloan and Alzner are definitely faster..However we need speed and physical presence on D. If you notice when someone is in front of our net we are standing next to them holding their hands. If we are in front of the other teams net we are getting the s**t kicked out of us to clear us out from in front of the net.

Thats the D presence we need. The ability is there with Jurcina and Erskine. We just need a couple more pieces like that

Posted by: CapsFan44 | May 14, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Also, the forwards need to start back checking. The D-men need some help.

Ovechkin is being to remind me of Gilbert Arenas, all O, no D. That's not good.

Posted by: ChuckCounty | May 14, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

re-post from the last thread:

I'm an admitted hockey newbie (I was a fan in the 90's, but then lost interest after the lockout) so I'll preface my comment with that disclaimer.

One thing I feel like I noticed with regards to our defensemen was that they gave waaay too much respect to the Pens when they decided to carry the puck across the blue line (as opposed to when they decided to dump it in). I know the problems with clearing the front of the net, working the boards, protecting Varlamov, etc. But on top of that, it just seemed to me that the Caps defense was scared and tentative when taking on the skilled players of the Pens.

When you watched Ovie, Semin, and Backstrom carry the puck in the offensive zone, it was almost as if they didn't have room to breathe. They were being hounded from the second they crossed the blue line to the moment they rid themselves of the puck. The Pens? Not so much. It reeked, to my hockey-virgin eyes, of the Caps not wanting to be 'embarrassed' by their skilled players - particularly Crosby and Malkin.

I don't care what sport you play, that's a universal motif with regards to defending. And to me, I hate it. Take the guy on fearlessly and aggressively, and if he beats you with a spectacular move or goal, so be it. But you have to force him to earn it. Too many times I felt like the Crosby and Malkin were afforded too much space to operate when entering the zone, and they were able to either carry the puck deep and/or lay it off to trailers with little to no resistance (and I'm not speaking about odd-man rushes).

Anyway, that's my .02. I could be horribly wrong, but it was incredibly frustrating to watch at time.

Posted by: psps23 | May 14, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

@Cerealman,

Playoffs tend to bring out the bitterness in some people.

I did see the comment that was made at -Boo- from two post back,it kinda of surprised me to see another Capital fan being accusing of being a Pens fan cause of a comment about no penalites. Then he adds a dig about " your brain can handle a multiple sentence paragraph"
Hmmm, and his he brain could not handle the word "penalty".

I have read this blog and i seen -Boo- post here before.

i guess the person who made the comment was not here for the highs and lows of the season/playoffs.

Posted by: akus2 | May 14, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Been watching the caps for the past 20 years. would have rather lost this game in quadruple OT on a goal that was scored by our own team than the way we lost last night. I feel sorry for Varly. He played great and last night at the most crucial time the whole thing came apart. The second goal was really the dagger. I know everyone keeps saying that we are trending up, I guess i have just emotionally gotten drained by saying to myself wait one more year. Look at the wizards. Gil blows his knee and who knows in sports..

Posted by: samb99 | May 14, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

The last frame of that video sums it all up. Fans cheering the caps getting blown out the stadium, there's a guy with a mullet starring in disbelief and his wife looks up at him to see how he's emotionally handling the loss.

I saw the same look on my wife's face last night too. ...lol GO CAPS 09/10

Posted by: ejohnsto | May 14, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Boo rocks! She makes good arguments and points. It is a shame that she and other regular posters have either limited their posts or went away because of some of the trolls that crept onto this blog. We miss a lot of valid thoughtful discussion as a result.

Just another person that has Boo's back.

Posted by: _Mark | May 14, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

UFA's
Brashear 1.2 mil -- cya
Kozlov 2.5 mil -- half the price, maybe
Giroux 475K (could be used for a trade) -- resign and see if he can make the jump
Federov 4 mil (will prob retire. would be nice to get one more year though) -- half the money or retire
Laing and Mink 500K (possible trade) -- ahl'ers, don't care
Johnson 825K (would be nice to keep johnny and dump theo) -- agreed about trading Jose 3ormore
Helmer 475K -- ahl'er don't care
Sloan 475K -- maybe makes the jump, but not likely

RFA's
Fehr 735K -- don't let the door hit you on the way out, can't make the jump to the nhl, doesn't play pp or pk, take face-offs, won't stand in the crease
Gordon 725K(need to keep) -- must keep for pk, face-offs, and grind line
Bourque 525K -- time to bring up Bourque for his energy, grit, and speed
Morrisson 1.975 mil -- hello arbitration, depends on how much the asking price is
Jurcina 912K (most physical in postseason besides OV and Erskine) -- resign no questions asked, really elevated his game lately
Schultz 650K (SEE YAH LATER) -- good riddance
Collins 685K -- ahl'er don't care
Lepisto (675K -- never could make the jump, fine in Hershey, that's about it

Players to dump or use in trade:
Theo 4.5 mil -- trade or rotate with Varly
Nylander 5.5 mil -- trade or buy out

Alzner, Carlson, Seabrooke, Finley, and a few others have a chance to shine in camp and make the jump

Osala, Aucoin, Giroux all have a chance to jump up and play big (and Bourque if resigned)

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 14, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to Tarik, Katie, and Lindsay for the quality and growth of the Capitals Insider. It will be a long off season and hopefully we will still get trickles of whatever info does come out over the summer and then back to as much coverage as we can get when we start up again.

Posted by: _Mark | May 14, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Really, Post? we're "stil" proud? STIL? STIL!!??

Posted by: BigMogilny | May 14, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I didn't read any of the posts (a bit depressed to rehash) so I'm sure much of this has been mentioned quite a few times.

Couple things. One, this whole "we can't beat the Pens in the playoffs" thing is garbage. The reason for that is pretty much everytime they have beaten the Caps, they've had a better team. What if we had beaten them last night? Besides bragging that we finally beat the Pens, there is no way this team was going to win the Cup or even advance past the Eastern Conference finals with the defense and the lack of commitment of the team as a whole on defensive assignments. That has to change.

Speaking of defense, it was kind of shocking to see the Caps commit the same mistakes in every single game. The commitment to defense from the forward position was almost non-existent which lead to the downfall of this team. You can't realistically expect your goalie (who by the way is a 21 year old rookie) to make 40 stops a game and bail you out every time.

This poses a couple questions. Did BB just not change tactics at any point during the series or do the players just not understand the fact that they have to play defense - especially the forwards - to win.

Yes, we may need a couple pieces on defense but I think the bigger issue is the overall game plan and strategy of this team. BB has to commit to playing a more defensive minded system if they want a shot at the Cup. I didn't look this up but I would probably guess that no team (maybe the Oilers but they are an exception) have won a cup after going through the season being in the bottom half in goals against. I believe the Caps were last or second from last among playoff teams in terms of goals against.

Alright I'm done.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 14, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Moose, I agree about the team defense. I asked this last night--was it the defensive players or the defensive system? I know that some of the D were injured, but as someone said in a post above, everytime we brought the puck into our offensive zone, we were completely surrounded by their D with no room to operate.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

This is going to sound like a Homer, but I dont think Crosby was much better that Ovechkin. The result was obviously better, but if you look at the shot tracker, about 90% of Crosby's goals were slop within 3 feet of the net he banged in off rebounds.

Not saying that does not take skills, but Ovie creates goals where ther should be none.

Need yo get a little better on D and I'm a little shocked that Varly got tagged so badly. I am going to get the NHL center ice pacakge because after last nights debacle, I am no longer allowed in the only sports bar in Cheyenne.

Damn penguins

Posted by: CheyenneWY | May 14, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

My only question is that if Green was hurt and obviously playing terrible, why did we not use Hershey defenseman instead?? I respect what Green did but that should not trump the team needs. Just do not understand why we had to watch him escort Crosby to the goal every night.

But we have good years ahead of us and this was a fun year as a Caps fan. Thanks to the fans who gave the Caps a standing O. They may not have played well last night but they probably appreciated that the fans were still behind them.

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | May 14, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I get why OV and Crosby are compared because they're the faces of the two franchises, but they're such different players. Crosby is great at what he does, which is passing and being in the right spot in front of the net. OV is more physical has the explosiveness and wicked shot. You really can't say who's "better". They both played great in this series, but Sid's team played better around him last night. No shame. I'm proud to have OV and wouldn't trade him for the world, and smart Pens fans will say the same about Crosby.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

dfe1,

Exactly right. The pens would dump the puck in and before you know it, there are two guys on our D and the passing lanes are all cut off (especially along the boards). It almost seemed like they were playing with 6 guys out there in our zone.

There was no adjustment made throughout the series to prevent this. I think someone said this previously but it has to do with their ability to come into our zone with speed since they owned the neutral zone.

When we don't have any forecheck, they just clear and come in 100mph in our zone, dump it and get to puck at the same time or even before our D gets to it. From there, it's a matter of numbers and winning one on one battles which we obviously didn't do (and I will say injuries would have something to do with this, but will not use it as an excuse).

Posted by: Moose33 | May 14, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The Pens just keep mortgaging their future, they're gonna suck next year.

Crosby ? What's so special about this guy ?

Caps GM is very smart by not making any moves, keeping the "future" in mind.

Priceless.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

trying to stay positive here....

What an amazing ride. 108 points, second in the conference.

Running, legitimately, with the NHL big boys like Detroit.

Not one but two absolutely "Did you just see that?! goals from Ovie.

More hat tricks than I care to count.

Greenie's goal scoring streak.

Backstrom blossoming into a premier center.

Hero moments from unsung guys like Bradley and Steckel and Poti in the playoffs.

Fedorov reminding the world why he's not just a hockey god but why we're the luckiest fans in the world with a shot that saved the season.

Semin's amazing early season run.

Theo shutting out Montreal.

Brett Leonhart night.

Racking up points when it was "Ovie and the Hershey Bears" at some points during the season.

A city brought together in their (newly discovered) love of hockey.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

@ Richmondcapsfan

Two problems with your logic. 1) This is playoffs, not regular season. Who is gonna be better than Green from Hershey, honestly? 2) It wasn't just Green. Semin and Poti had pretty serious injuries too. Why not just send everyone down that has a boo-boo and bring up the whole Hershey team?

Face it, everybody is banged up this time of year. You make the best you can out of it. I have no doubt some Pens are playing with injuries that won't be disclosed until their season is done.

Besides which, Hershey's on a deep playoff run and it would be nice to let those kids take it as far as possible and gain the experience the way some of our current guys did a couple years ago.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Give Credit Where it's due... Our D was awesome against the Rangers. In this series it was the penguins forecheck that was straight up unbelievable!!! There's not much that's going to help when you go into each game with the same formations and practices that failed night after night. It's not enough to just say "we need to play harder and get the puck deep." The Caps played their hearts out and in the end it wasn't Malkin, it wasn't Crosby(who's strength is underrated by our bias towards his whining,) It was their forecheck.... Can't wait to see what Boston or Carolina has as a solution for it... Be proud. It was a great year for this team.

Posted by: cappies | May 14, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Moose33: One thing is the Caps could bring in a new assistant, someone defense oriented, back like when we had Randy Carlisle. BB is clearly not defensive-oriented, so maybe having a "defense coordinator" would not be bad.

For some players, like Semin, this would be a major leap. His specialty is "sniper," yet he spent the whole series stick-handling across the blueline and then losing the puck. Coaches are supposed to put the right player in the right place to maximize his talent.

A lot of people are propping Jurcina. He played very well, but still made that completely boneheaded between his legs hand pass that gave the Pens a goal. You'll never win a Cup when one of your players does stuff like that at crucial times. It's like if an army squad has a guy who every once in a while drops the grenade instead of throwing it.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

CAPPIES......Our D looked Great against Rangers because their forwards are slow.

Looked like crap against Pens because they do everything with speed/energy.....Which is what we need

Posted by: CapsFan44 | May 14, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

""Running, legitimately, with the NHL big boys like Detroit.""

You are kidding right ? What sport you watching ?

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Speed kills and it killed the Caps defense.

Does anyone really think Erskine & Jurcina were going to stop Crosby & Malkin ?

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The only time the Caps really struggled all season was when Green was hurt. He has to be nursing a leg injury. Green was slow, slow on his first two steps (getting to Crosby in front of the net), slow to the boards to get the puck and slow through the neutral zone. The Caps score lots of goals on the counterattack and their speed through the neutral zone pushes the defense back. This creates space inside the blue line for the forwards to organize and pass. When Green can't do his sonic speed breakout this team looses alot.

I also think Ovechkin looked slow, especially getting back on defense. I usually think he gets a bad rap for not being defensive minded enough, but he was in no hurry to get back this series - again I assume it was an injury. All season he hustled back when he needed to.

What are you going to do? Not play Green? Only use OV on the powerplay? This team is not that deep - yet.

Posted by: sailchef1 | May 14, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

No, actually they did run with the big boys. I don't think we were eliminated from the top spot in the east until there was a few days left in the regular season. Is that not running with?

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Other than the fact that the Caps stunk up the joint last night, my two beefs with the game are the following:

1. Ovechkin was clearly tripped on the play that resulted with the Crosby breakaway goal. You can argue that Crosby may have stolen the puck and scored anyway, but you can bet your life that a penalty would have been called had the roles been reversed in that situation.

2. I disliked Brooks Orpik before last night, but even moreso now. His team is up 5-0 and he's diving trying to draw penalties. Totally classless, even for a POS like him.

Obviously, neither of these events were going to change the outcome of the game last night. The second goal they scored completely knocked the life out of the Caps. Pittsburgh played better and deserved to win. I just had to get those complaints off my chest.

Posted by: cainoo7x | May 14, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Question for the Peanut Gallery about "Clearing people out from in front of the net"...

I agree that we should have done more about this, but my question is basically: it seemed like every time we tried to do this, we got whistled for a cross-checking or interferance penalty.

How exactly do you clear someone out of the front of the net without getting penalized?

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 14, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

""Running, legitimately, with the NHL big boys like Detroit.""

You are kidding right ? What sport you watching?

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

oh, I don't know, maybe I watched the entire season and not just the penguins series. Those 108 points didn't cme just from the SE divison. They came from beating the likes of Boston and Detroit and Pittsbrugh and New Jersey and the rest.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The "Big Boys" have a number of Cup victories under their belt, let me know when the Caps can say the same, otherwise your stuck in fantasy land.

Or you only care about regular season stats. I'd take an eighth seed going to the Conference finals over a #2 seed exit in the second round.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

1st Thank you Caps for a GREAT Year! You took it a step further and this is and will be great team for some time! Just remember where we were this time 2 years ago.

2nd Thank you Caps fans for giving your team a standing ovation at the end of the game. They deserved it and so do you.

Posted by: Iceman10 | May 14, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@ RedBirdie

I guess if you don't win the President's Trophy your regular season just sucked. :)

BTW, what did that trophy get the Sharks exactly?

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

tominfl1,

That might not be a bad idea. They have to commit to a defensive system first and foremost. Be proud to shut down the other team instead of outscoring them 5-4. Yes, it's not going to as exciting and we're not going to have as many scoring chances but we have the offensive pieces in place to take advantage of the fewer chances we will have.

It's basically the detroit mold. Commitment to defense and forecheck and bury the puck when the other team coughs it up.

The high-flying, up and down circus act is fun to watch but it's not going to get it done in the playoffs. BB let out the offense leash a bit too much after Hanlon. He has to reel it back.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 14, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

This team will see some changes for next season. They will be better and stronger than this year. I will hope for a deeper run next year. We did pretty good to stay with a better forechecking team in the Pens. It is disappointing the way last night went. As was said, we picked a bad time to have our worst game of the post-season.

Still, we would have given any team in the playoffs a good run for their money and had a pretty good chance of beating any of them. Now we look to next year.

Posted by: _Mark | May 14, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

@ LarryDavid

Sorry, but the regular season does matter. When you play consistently enough to beat good teams regularly and win your division over an 82 game course, you are a good team. Don't sneeze at that. It would seem you think the NHL is made up of one team that wins the Cup and 29 teams that suck. That ain't the way it works. I'm proud of a second straight division title and 108 points and won't be told otherwise.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

someone peed in LarryDavid's wheaties this morning, apparently.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Like Richmondcapsfan suggests, there seems to be an issue, with BB perhaps, or the GM, of favoring the status quo. As great as it is that players like Green and Poti (and Semin??) are out there trying to play through injuries, when an injury keeps a player from doing the things that make them effective, it doesn't make much sense to keep throwing them out there. Sloan played well at the beginning of the series, and actually has some speed in addition to his size, so why not reward him, even if it means sitting someone who was up with the big club for most of the regular season. Same with the Aucoin/Nylander/Gordon situation. Aucoin comes up at the end of the season, plays with energy and creativity, and seems to generate plenty of scoring opportunities, but for the playoffs Nylander and Gordon automatically jump above Aucoin on the depth chart, even though Nylander has been ineffective all year and Gordon is basically a marginally effective defensive center whose only strong point is faceoffs. Not sure if it really would have made sense to sit Semin, since he was a major reason we won games 1 and 6, and sitting him would have allowed the Pens to focus even more on Ovechkin. But Green clearly couldn't play his game, which seems built on having superior physical ability relative to most other players on the ice.

Hopefully, if we make the playoffs again next year, there will be a little more inspiration behind the inevitable roster juggling. Except for the Varlamov switch (which probably seemed more radical to people who haven't seen Varlamov play this year), basically everything they did this playoff year was the "safe" thing.

Posted by: bbposter09 | May 14, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

How about that Trophy Detroit picked up last year ?

People that think the Caps will advance every year is out of touch with reality.

I thought by now people will realize that there is no sure fire plan, instead you need the right person at the top.
Keep believin

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

January 31: Capitals 4, Red Wings 2, final

Also, if the Capitals hadn't struggled against some of the weaker teams in the Western Conf, the top spot would have been ours. Of course, that doesn't ensure anything (see San Jose), but it was great to be one of the top guns in the league. :)

Posted by: Cerealman | May 14, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I thought by now people will realize that there is no sure fire plan, instead you need the right person at the top.
Keep believin

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 9:54 AM

You sure you didn't mean to post that on the Redskins board? I'll take our people at the top, thank you.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I enjoyed the season and look forward to camp. Love the Caps and alot of people got turned on to the game and the scene down at Verizon. It was a dissapointing finale,but they need to make the moves and go forward. There are glaring needs that have to be addressed.

Posted by: ridgely1 | May 14, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

People that think the Caps will advance every year is out of touch with reality.

I'm starting to think you're the one out of touch with reality. Are you trying to tell me that you seriously don't see the caps as a consistent playoff team for the near future?

I wasn't happy about last night. I was fairly numb by the end. But i got up and cheered with the rest of them because that's the msot fun I've ever had in a hockey season, and I was here for '98 and that's pretty tough to top. I wanted to see the Caps win the Cup, but apparently it wan't meant to be this year. Next year, perhaps. But it was a successful season. (at least the Caps did pull a San Jose and win the Pesident's trophy only to get bounced by the 8 seed in the first round. Now that's sucks and is ground for calling the season a failure)

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

How exactly do you clear someone out of the front of the net without getting penalized?

Posted by: VTDuffman

I think it's like with basketball and drawing a charge. You get into the right position and hold your ground. On Crosby's tying goal in Game 6, everyone started charging up the ice before the puck was cleared (up by only 1 w/4 mins left!). Pens kept the puck in the zone (whoda thunk?) and flipped it on net. Crosby gathered the rebound with no white jersey within ten feet of the crease. I don't want to criticize my team, and I'm surely no expert, but shouldn't someone be on him? Where's Esa Tikkanen when we need him?

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Trying to justify blowing a 2-0 lead as the #2 seed, to a team that "mortgaged their future last year", with a "not so big deal Crosby" is a FAILURE.

Remember the Pens were not even supposed to make the post season and Semin himself said Crosby was "no special player".

So yes, the Caps failed miserably, especially last night.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Moose33: The Detroit "system" reminds me of ping-pong. Some players just slam the ball. (I'm not talking Olympics, I'm talking pick-up games.) I couldn't win that way, so I developed the skill to cut the slam back over the net. If the other guy was really, really good, I'd get beat. Otherwise, the slammer would eventually mess up and you could hit a dinky shot to the corner that he couldn't get.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"So yes, the Caps failed miserably, especially last night."

Thanksgiving 2007, the Caps were literally the worst team in the NHL. This year they got over 100 reg. season points, a #2 seed in the conference, and got out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time in over a decade...

Anyone who thinks this team is a "failure" has no idea what they were talking about.

What team are you a fan of, anyway?

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 14, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@ RedBirdie and everyone else who went.

I'm jealous! I hope you had a great time anyway. You did Caps fans everywhere proud and showed class as the video in this post demonstrated. A cold one from me to all of you.

I live in Milwaukee so I have myself and my TV and nobody here gives a crap about hockey. Not to mention, last night a storm rolled through and took out the dish so I couldn't even watch! To make matters worse, our Admirals up here lost their AHL game 7, thus eliminating the possibility of me getting to go watch a CC Finals between them and Hershey. *sigh*

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

but LarryDavid, you've once again ignored my question. I'm past last night (for the sake of my own mental health, and my family's well-being, I have to be). You seem to be implying earlier that you think the Caps are a fluke, a team that isn't even going to make the playoffs next year.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Ducks V Wings gives you the best of both.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@ moose,

I completely agree. The lack of defense is kinda embarrassing. Especially when watching games with my friends who are Boston/Pitt fans. They always say: "THE CAPITALS DO NOT PLAY DEFENSE". And I'm said to say I never really had a comeback for that. PLEASE GM/BB work on this!

Go CAPS in 09/10. We need redemption.

Posted by: ChuckCounty | May 14, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@JS26121820, Wisconsin represent! (I lived in Ashland for 6 years. Freaking Freezing up there!) Last night was a strange strange night. I couldn't believe it was happening. But I fortunately sit in a good section with a bucnh of people who went through this season together and we all shared in it, the good and the bad, together. And then we all hit the bar together and toasted to all the amazing things we witnessed this year, and toasted to an even better 2009-2010 season.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Let me see, they rallied from 3-1 against NY, which I believe scratching Avery cost them the series and then blow a 2-0 lead against the Pens.

You tell me, where in there is a bonafied contender ?

Great regular season team ? YES, post season Cup Contenders ? No way.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I know. Our spring is just now kicking in. I want to go back east; probably will when I'm done with school

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Sure, the Caps failed last night. Easy call after the fact. The season was not a failure and they will be better next year.

It was great to see some of the players improve over the season. Erskine was widely maligned early in the season and his improvement was fantastic. Jurcina did pick his game up as well. The players have picked up great experience and that will help us to be stronger next year.

Posted by: _Mark | May 14, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

We are as much post season cup contenders as any of the other teams that made the playoffs. We will continue to be that threat for a few years because we are built solidly in to the farm system. We needed a couple different pieces to make the leap this year. That did not happen, but we will be a little different and stronger next year. LarryDavid may think very little of the Caps organization and team, but I doubt their opponents think that little of them.

Posted by: _Mark | May 14, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

That's exactly what my friends (who are Bos/Pitt fans as well) have said in the past too and I also don't have much of an answer.

After crucifying the defense in my earlier posts, it might also make sense that BB realized the current roster of players does not suit a defensive minded system. Maybe he thought "look, I don't have the players to play a shut down style so the best I can do and the furtherst I can take this team is to go balls out on offense."

This way if you get ahead in the game, the other team actually ends up giving you more chances to score by pushing the issue to try to come back.

The truth is I have no idea but I have faith in BB to make the right decisions given the players he has.

Now if we change the roster a bit and include more defensive minded players and the results are still the same, then it will be time to start doubting BB's tactics.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 14, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

With Erskine & Jurcina ? You are high.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm just a little miffed that BB didn't hold any meetings to rectify the lapses in our zone.

Again, Offense wins games, which we did, Defense wins championships, which we didn't. BB needs someone to help him with that, b/c he is obivously missing the point.

Posted by: ChuckCounty | May 14, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

If you were here and saw what everyone posted at the beginning of the season, losing in Game 7 in Round 2 was about a 50/50 bet. That's what the caps did - they met our upgraded-from-the-previous-year expectations. Not making playoffs? Would have been awful. Losing in 1st Round? A bummer. Making the Eastern Finals? A success. Going further - WOW! - was the average sentiment. They have come a long way in a short time. Goaltending seems set. We don't need anything but a tweek. I'm wondering if Anaheim will dismantle after the season. Pronger would be a nice addition.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

It was great to see some of the players improve over the season. Erskine was widely maligned early in the season and his improvement was fantastic. Jurcina did pick his game up as well.

Yes, I was very impressed with the huge improvements both of them made this year as well. Sexy Lumberjack in particular.

Other season highlights I forgot:

Pothier coming back to hockey after 14 months of not playing.

Kozlov finally getting his playoff goals.

Smokin' Al calling Fed's game winning goal.

Varly's NHL debut in Montreal.

Karl Alzner's absolutely infectous enthusiasm.

Tyler Sloan, as a 27 year old rookie, laying out a monster hit in his first game

Fehr calling Wilkes-Barre/Scanton fans "freaking pyscho" on the Sports Bog.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Erskine and Jurcina were solid overall down the stretch and in the playoffs. You need players like that. I guess you could put a team on the ice that has the top 6 defenseman in the league, but then you would need to have the mites playing forward for you because you could not afford much more.

Posted by: _Mark | May 14, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

With Erskine & Jurcina ? You are high.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 10:32 AM

Larry: How's Cheryl doing? Anyone, my opinion, even though you didn't ask, is a team can win the Stanley Cup with Erskine as #6 defenseman, Pothier as #5, Alzner and Poti as second pairing, and Green and TBA as first pairing. Jurcina? Many here like him, but I'm not convinced he fits into the equation due to the too-often brain locks that he gets.

BTW, Sloan is a UFA. Do people favor keeping Sloan if it means trading Jurcina?

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Carlyle has done a hell of a job with Ducks. Funny how Hanlon was chosen over him.
Keep thinking the Caps will get better under this GM, this is as good as it gets.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Pronger would be a nice addition.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I really don't want a guy like Pronger, who thinks rules are for others and plays beyond dirty, in Washington. I mean, I really hate that guy, at a deeply personal level. Anahein plays dirty, and just because you take a guy out of there doesn't mean he's gonna change; just look a Kunitz.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Would people like LarryDavid and those with like minds feel differently if we hadn't lost to Pittsburgh? Hypothetical, let's pretend we played NJ instead and lost to them in 7 games because MB stole the series. Would we still be a bad team all of a sudden? Maybe there's an inferiority complex that comes with losing to the Pens.

I suppose if we had won last night, the same guys would be talking up the same people they're putting down this morning. We're a very good team on the cusp of being great, and last night wasn't going to change that one way or another.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

It's not that I'm calling for a revamping of our defensive personnel. I'm calling for a revamping of our defensive philosophy, and that starts with BB, GM & Ovi, commiting to play more/better defense/backchecking.

Posted by: ChuckCounty | May 14, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@ RedBirdie

I was trying to ponder other moments and I had forgotten Sloan's game against the Flames waaay back. That was spectacular. Thanks!

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Sloan is a UFA. Do people favor keeping Sloan if it means trading Jurcina?

Abso-freaking-lutely. Took Sloan long enough to figure out the game, but he's a real D-man. BB also likes Sloan and you know how he goes to bat with management with those guys from his Hershey days (much to my dismay when it comes to Flash, alas).

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

mt favorite moment of the season, though, was when Fedorov smiled and said heloo to me at six flags :) talk about fangirl "ohmigod did he really just say hi to me?!?!" moment.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"Keep thinking the Caps will get better under this GM, this is as good as it gets."

So far, things only *have* gotten better.

What basis are you using to make the assumption that "this is as good as it gets?"

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 14, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Hugs is gone and we have BB. Live in the past if you will, larrydavid. We went through some very lean years and now we are near the top and looking pretty darn good. We will be there for a long time.

Posted by: _Mark | May 14, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

just a reminder, but Aucoin has an NHL contract next year, meaning he's likely to play in Washington most of the year. Where does everyone see him fitting in?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

RedBirdie: I remember how I hated Dino Ciccarelli until he became a cap, then he was my favorite player and it killed me when they traded him for Kevin Miller. We even named our cat "Dino." You might learn to like Pronger, if he were a Cap.

Seriously, it surely doesn't have to be him. Just a top-eschelon, s@h, bruising d-man. JSchon always used to talk up Komisarek. Someone with a mean streak is needed back there. Pens have Hal Gill and Orpik. Again, many hate Orpik, but he's effective when it counts. It's bad that the only player on the Caps "hated" by other teams' fans is a forward.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

This is the same GM that ruined a viable team, then (because of being a loser) was allowed to draft what you have now, to this day he's been unable to trade or sign proper players, only draft by way of being a loser.

Look at the Pens, last year everyone was making fun of them, how they would suck this year, then Shero steps up with 2 key signings and fires the coach that took them to the finals. That's a GM.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

RedBirdie: If Laich, Steckel and Brads stays as 3rd line, Aucoin, Gordon and Bourque could be 4th line, with Gordo playing on PK and Aucoin chipping in on PP.

I say Bourque because his entry-level deal is over, and as RFA he will get a one-way offer surely from some team that the Caps will match.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@ LarryDavid

I should ignore this, but I can't. GMGM is great because when the chips were down, he made a plan and stuck with it and has stubbornly refused to deviate from it. This is why we are a playoff team and are set up to be a contender for the next decade. Enough of the bashing!

With your fickle fandom, if you were a Pens fan you'd have been on their boards last year talking about how crappy they were because they lost in the Cup finals to Detroit so can it!

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 I unfortunately missed the Dino years in DC, but he earned my undying affection with that infamous "I can't believe I shook his freaking hand" in 1996!

My distatse for Pronger is at Jagr-like levels. I never like Jagr as a Cap and until there's a Cup in this town, I'll never fully forgive GMGM and Ted for that like disaster.

What we need to do is convince Baby Kronwall to play like his big brother. Just hit people so hard it makes them regret their decision to crawl of of their mothers' wombs.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"After crucifying the defense in my earlier posts, it might also make sense that BB realized the current roster of players does not suit a defensive minded system. Maybe he thought "look, I don't have the players to play a shut down style so the best I can do and the furtherst I can take this team is to go balls out on offense." "

Um, when Hanlon was the coach here, he tried to implement a defensive system and look how that turned out.

In any event, the Caps need to tweak their personnel to fit their style of play. For example, Schultz might be a great fit on D for a team like Columbus, but he doesn't fit in Washington where the system requires the D to have the skill and speed to create offense while also not turning into a pylon when playing one-on-one on a breakaway (see Dubinsky goal from game 1).

Of course, personnel isn't everything. As a group, the forwards have to commit to being more physical on both ends of the ice, and it has to start with AO doing it consistently.

Posted by: cainoo7x | May 14, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 I unfortunately missed the Dino years in DC, but he earned my undying affection with that infamous "I can't believe I shook his freaking hand" in 1996!

My distatse for Pronger is at Jagr-like levels. I never like Jagr as a Cap and until there's a Cup in this town, I'll never fully forgive GMGM and Ted for that like disaster.

What we need to do is convince Baby Kronwall to play like his big brother. Just hit people so hard it makes them regret their decision to crawl of of their mothers' wombs.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

sorry for the double post, i have no idea what happened.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Whatever the problems might be with this team, only 4 teams in the NHL will be able to say they got farther than the Caps this year. If the Caps' management tries to "remake" this team into a team "built for the playoffs," there's a good chance we'll end up like the Phoenix Suns next year. I'm thinking we can add a few players with legit defensive talent without revamping the whole approach. A team full of dedicated backcheckers might take some of the pressure off our weak corps of defensemen, but we'd probably sacrifice the one thing that gives this team a potential edge in the playoffs: overwhelming skill that allows us to score goals even when the other team has a hot goalie or is playing well defensively.

Posted by: bbposter09 | May 14, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

George McPhee is a loser GM.

George McPhee cannot bring a Stanley Cup to Washington.

He's had 10+ years of being a LOSER.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

SC87, is that you?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@ bbposter09

I don't watch the NBA so I don't get the analogy, but I catch your drift. I think he's smart enough to not mess with something unless it's broken. You don't take a sledgehammer to a young team that has 2 straight division titles. Just little tweaks that balance out the defense and the skill a little bit more.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Question for someone who has been a regular poster much longer than I. Is LarryDavid a troll or has he been on here with this crap for a long time? I'm happy to debate anyone but now he's just getting stupid.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

LarryDavid, I suspect the Pens coach was fired because he had lost the confidence of the players. I don't think that's the case with the Caps. As for key signings at the trade deadline, did we have enough cap space?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 14, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

no, to the best of my knowledge, LarryDavid just showed up this morning. however, his writing style is similar to a couple of known trolls, namely StanleyCup1907 and SC87, who are believed to be the same person.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

RedBirdie, the last paragraph was worth reading twice.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 14, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I think the reason there were no deadline deals is that some deals are better left on the table. It's called a trade for a reason. You have give up something to add a piece. I'm betting he's turned down tons of deals that would've only yielded short term benefit, which is why we're so well set up for the long term today.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

LarryDavid, I suspect the Pens coach was fired because he had lost the confidence of the players. I don't think that's the case with the Caps. As for key signings at the trade deadline, did we have enough cap space?

Therrien was disliked, to put it mildly, by hiw own players.

The Caps were fairly tight against the cap at the deadline and were maxed out on the number of NHL contracts (you can have 50 guys in the NHL and AHL on contracts that stipulate NHL pay) at the trade deadline as well. That means to get an NHL player, you give up an NHL player, not a prospect without an NHL contract, not a pick in a future draft, but an actual NHL player.

Anaheim reportedly wanted Varlamov, Alzner, and a third (possibly just a pick, or maybe a prospect form college or in the juniors system) for Pronger. IMO, that was waaaaaaaay too much for rental services. GMG also said he was 99% confident that Pothier would be back, who played better than I think could have been expected given his circumstances, and that he (GMGM) didn't want to mess with the locker room chemistry. He felt the team had gelled and was wary of messing it up. (and let's been honest, pronger is a well-known @$$. I just don't see him fitting in with the Washington vibe)

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I don't know; I saw a modicum of class at times from 87, but never a lick of class from 1907. Maybe it's a Jekyll/Hyde thing.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

FloridaCapsFan, which last paragraph? (about Krownwall making people regret they were born?)

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Great, great season. so exciting, so much fun.

But I don't think we should be satisfied at all, nor do I think we should just expect to be better next year because of Varly and a couple of Hershey call-ups (Alzner).

Yes, Varly is way better than the way over-priced guy he replaced. (And untradeable, too... repeat after me GMGM: "buyout") Varly was a huge presence, and he will only improve. But last night showed he's still young, and he still has some flaws (glovehand and angles... and not just in Game 7). Last night also showed we're more than an Alzner away from having a quality defense.

Green is awesome. Every team would love to have him. But injury or not, favorite stick or not, we can't afford to have a D-man on the ice for that many minutes who doesn't or can't play defense. No excuses, and we can't just let him off the hook. (I know -- BB sat him in the 3rd. Series was over by then.)

We need some real help there, and it remains too bad we didn't get any help at the deadline. What if... what if? What if we made a move and didn't reach the Calder Cup finals? Perish the thought.

Finally, as delighted as I am withe season and as excited as I am about the future... waht gives with the Game 7 stinkers?

The question needs to be asked: why weren't these guys ready? Everybody said we had the Game 7 experience? Didn't look like it. What it did look like was a carbon copy of the way we played in periods 1&2 of Game 7 vs the Rangers. Had the Rangers been able to hit an ocean from the edge of a pier, if they had any offense at all, we never would have made it to the Pens.

So the question remains: 2 Game 7s in a row -- why didn't these guys hit the ice ready to compete?

That's it for me. See you all next year.

Posted by: sinbin | May 14, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"I think the reason there were no deadline deals is that some deals are better left on the table. It's called a trade for a reason. You have give up something to add a piece."

IIRC, wasn't one of those deals left on the table along the lines of Pronger for Varly + other prospect(s)?

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 14, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

From seeing many Caps games this year, I think I'd concur with the sentiment of several of you here .... you don't need to "blow up" the team. That would be a silly over-reaction. What IS needed is better team defense (both by the D guys and by more responsible forward play), a little more grit, and a lot more willingness to go to the net.

Truth is, the team has lots of talent ... but it can't just be a bunch of forwards running up and down the ice playing pond hockey. That approach is entertaining and can work in the regular season, but in the playoffs, grit and responsibility and net presence and digging pucks out of corners trumps "pretty" offensive skills.

Posted by: PensFan98 | May 14, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman, see my previous post for what Anaheim wanted. They wanted to raid the Caps future.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

RedBirdie, thanks for the insights, you seem to know a lot about the business side of hockey.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 14, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"VTDuffman, see my previous post for what Anaheim wanted. They wanted to raid the Caps future."

Exactly, I'd rather have Varly and Alzner and whomever for the forseeable future and a game 7 loss this year then Pronger rental services and a game 7 win this year.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 14, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

RedBirdie, yep, that's the one.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 14, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

As if Pronger would've made that much difference last night.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Look at the Pens, last year everyone was making fun of them, how they would suck this year, then Shero steps up with 2 key signings and fires the coach that took them to the finals. That's a GM.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 14, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Let me just start by saying you're a moron. Now to your point. How many years in a row did the pens suck to acquire multiple #1 picks? How do you think they drafted Fleury, Malkin and Cindy?

Seems like it's working out pretty well for them now. And it's not because they signed Guerin and Kunitz. It's because they got their QB on D back and started playing to their potential. True GMGM didn't sign any players but I would not have either if it meant giving up Alzner, Varly or Carlson.

Let's say they traded Alzner and Nuevy/Varly for Pronger and let's say we got past the Penguins and into the SC final (really a stretch). Now we get bounced by the wings because everyone who has any type of hockey knowledge knows that the team isn't ready of the cup just yet.

So now we can't sign pronger and just lost two huge prospects in two of the most important positions for absolutely nothing.

You'd make a great GM.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 14, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

thank, Florida. I've found that obsessing about hockey and learning the ins and outs has filled the whole where gymnastics once was (don't ask!). And I'm glad I could make you laugh with the Kronwall remark.

From Boswell's chat (I respect this guy so much)

Next Season: So, is it too early the speculate about next season? Does hockey keep its grip on Washington over the summer? Are the Caps will positioned for another deep playoff run?

Tom Boswell: The grip is now well entrenched. Hey, they've got me hooked and have for a year now. I'm taping games, studying and understanding why larry King once told me, "Boz, you'd love hockey. People who love baseball always love hockey. After baseball, it's the sport that most rewards study."

And lots of hockey people, like Boudreau and ex-Caps-coach Ron Wilson, are big baseball fans.

The Caps are well-positioned to be very good for a long time. The are strong at the most important points. They have a superstar. They have a "second offensive star" in Semin __if he'd show up. Backstrom is first rate and had a fine post-season. They have a superior offensive defenseman in Green. Steckel is blossoming. Behind Varlamov is a whole line of goalie prospects in the minors. Hershey beat Wilkes-Barre in seven games with back-to-back shutouts in Game Six and seven against Pens farmhands who hadn't been shut out all season. Michal Neuvirth! Also, they have a strong GM and a supportive owner who doesn't meddle too much, but loves the sport andf is extremely fan-friendly. Do they have the right coach? The players love him. We'll find out. IOW, the Caps are strongest in the hardest areas to improve and weakest in the areas where it is (relatively) the easiestto improve.

Contrast with the Redskins.Who are the thee most influential people in an NFL franchise? Quarterback, coach, maybe owner. Campbell __unproven, now undercut by his FO and owner. Zorn __see "Campbell." Front office __ouch. Owner __will spend money, otherwise...

See the contrast.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

LarryDavid- You're a classic front runner, dude. Up here, spouting off after the game 5 loss...then you go AWOL after the game 6 win...not a peep from you. Then you're back after last night's loss talking about how bad things are for the Caps.

You want bad? Things are bad in Redskins land...that owner/GM haven't got a clue. What's the core group of players over there?...Yeah, exactly.

How about the Caps? 23 year old Ovechkin and Green. 21 year old Backstrom. 21 year old Varly. Yeah, he had an off night at the wrong time...they wouldn't have been here without him.

Better team defense...that's the key going forward.

Posted by: 4-12 | May 14, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Actaully, I think Prongs would have made a huge difference this series.

This was a great season and a good post-season. Last night's game was a disappointing way to end. I could handle the loss better if it was a "tooth and nail" type of game.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@ RedBirdie

Did you have to take us down another notch by bringing up the train wreck that is the Redskins? LOL

Well put, but I'm still a little concerned with the goalie situation next year. Was Varly's playoffs a Jim Carey type fluke or will he stand up as a number 1 over the long haul of a regular season? I like his odds, but that's still unproven. If he doesn't hold up, what will Theo provide, assuming he's still on the team?

I wouldn't make any moves at that position aside from trading Theo if a good deal came up, but still has me not quite comfortable.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I told you 1000 times what to do with this team to make them a winner . GET RID OF SEMIN. Next sit down with OV and tell him to stop his unrelated hockey antics. Last find a goaltender. Your lacking the hunger need to win the cup . As long as your core is made up of Russians who do not have the drive or heart to chase the cup than you will remain the NO CUP CAPS!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | May 14, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Pronger would have made a difference but the outcome of the series would have still been the same. There are bigger issues then throwing one player in.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 14, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I told you 1000 times what to do with this team to make them a winner . GET RID OF SEMIN. Next sit down with OV and tell him to stop his unrelated hockey antics. Last find a goaltender. Your lacking the hunger need to win the cup . As long as your core is made up of Russians who do not have the drive or heart to chase the cup than you will remain the NO CUP CAPS!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | May 14, 2009 11:37 AM

I don't know; I saw a modicum of class at times from 87, but never a lick of class from 1907. Maybe it's a Jekyll/Hyde thing.

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 11:17 AM

Case in point

Posted by: JS26121820 | May 14, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

If there's one upside to last night, it's that there is no way in hell that anyone, especially the Caps, are going to be okay with the way things ended.

This team needs a pair of hard nosed, stay at home defensemen who know how to clear a crease without it costing us too many penalties and can lead the young D-corps by example. You could make an argument for a solid power forward as well, but I think that will develop from the farm soon enough (dumping Nyls and promoting Aucoin would be a great start). I have no idea who's going to be up in the UFA market this year and no idea what sort of magic GMGM would need to make it happen, but that's what the Caps need to be gunning for in the near future from where I'm sitting.

Boudreau needs to contemplate his system. It doesn't need *too* many adjustments, just more of a focus on team defense and puck posession. He also needs to drill it and drill it hard from day one, and bag skate them when they wander into individualistic mode. The Caps seemed to lose sight of what made them so good over the last third of the season or so, and it never really came back. That can't happen again, or it'll just be more of the same from here unto eternity.

Posted by: ModestProposal | May 14, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

hey, now, Boswell was the one that mentioned the skins, not me!

Rejoice, in a small way. the Bears will be facing the baby bruins in the AHL Eastern Conference finals. So we get Caps-Bruins after all, in a way.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@SC1907 Yea I agree, the Red Wings with those Russians & Swedes have never done anything either. Get rid of them all and give those jobs to our good Canadien boys, so they won't be stuck working at the GM plant!

Posted by: boomer44 | May 14, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I think the Caps bloggers are being a bit harsh considering Green, Semin, and Ovechkin all played with injuries the entire series. It obviously afected Green who couldn't handle the puck or shoot with any authority. We're only a couple of players away from being a true contender.

A tough as nails defensive minded defenseman who moves guys out of the crease is a must. A Chris Pronger-type of defenseman is needed. Alzner will be an upgrade over Jurcina or Schultz, whoever they let go, but an upgrade is still needed. I'd be surprised to see our Top 6 defenseman remain the same next year.

Up front, another scoring center is a must particularly if Feds retires. Except for Backstrom, we don't really have another center who can set up our talented wingers.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 14, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@LarryDavid...Your HBO show ia as God awful as your hockey knowledge

Posted by: boomer44 | May 14, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

As long as your core is made up of Russians who do not have the drive or heart to chase the cup blah blah blah *fart*

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | May 14, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse


The 96-97 Red Wings called. They'd like to have a word with you.

Posted by: ModestProposal | May 14, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Sergi Fedorov and his three Stanley Cups says "Soviet defectors win cups, biznitch! Now, where is vodka?"

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

hmmmm, NHL.com says Semin also has a broken foot. I wonder if that is addition to the painfully obvious wrist injury.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

SC1907.......thats right cause ottawa is in the cellar and will be all over it again next year. Anyone planning on playing the lottery anytime soon.

Why dont go tell ottawa how to run their team you wanna be know it all Canadian. Maybe thats the reason everyone was an A-hole to you in DC. If you haven't figured it out yet, we dont like people who think they know everything. you probably never played hockey but you think you have one up on people in the south cause you watched everyone else around you play. Do us all a favor GO AWAY

Posted by: CapsFan44 | May 14, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Listen fellow Caps fans,

As a fan of this team of 25 years, I've seen some brutal losses in the playoffs. But this wasn't too tough to swallow because the Pens clearly are better than the Caps right now no matter how they finished in the regular season. They just need to add a few pieces to the puzzle, that is all. The nucleus is already there and they don't need to do anything big in the offseason. So take a chill pill and let's not panic. A couple of solid blue liners and a center iceman is all they need and McPhee should be able to fill those holes.

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

1) Varly, Alzner and another player or pick was way too much for Pronger.
2) Pronger was not a rental, as he is signed thru next year.
3) IF the caps HAD Pronger and Varly, they would have beaten Pitt before it got to game 7.

But I concur with WizFan, he's pretty much saying what I'm saying.

One conclusion pretty much from everyone - there's no love at all for the Sarge.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I just read the Boswell piece and I'm not sure the Caps "came out flat". The first ten minutes were competitive (at least as the previous six games). It just seemed like they couldn't answer the bell after that first goal went in. OV had just missed an opportunity (five hole was wide open)and the wounded Gonchar had capitalized (no pun intended) on one. Then Varly let in that second goal which had a demoralizing effect on him and it was all downhill from there.

BTW, the D could have done a better job on that second goal, to the point where they didn't get to take a shot.

Anyway, it is what it is and no amount of wishing is going to make it different. I just think that, for whatever reason, the Caps couldn't respond after that first goal went in.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 14, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

well, we get bruins-'Canes and Wings-Duck tonight. Who y'all got?

I just cannot bring myself to care about the East now. its dead to me. DEAD.

Gotta go with the Sexy Swedes in the West. Mostly because I want to play the Zetterberg slow jam one more time. Snipe snipe!

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

bruins and canes are in the EAST

Posted by: CapsFan44 | May 14, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

BBPOSTER09, I could not agree with you more. We do not need to reinvent our ENTIRE team... a few of changes for a stronger D will be enough improvement. I love the Caps team that we have. I am looking forward to another great season in 09-10.

Posted by: capsfan01 | May 14, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1,

They don't need Pronger and the price to get him was too high. All they need is what the Pens have, solid not great Dmen such as Orpik, Gill and Scuderi. You don't give up a future Vezina winner such as Varly for Pronger. The future is bright for this team so let's not get panicky. If McPhee can't fill these small holes on this team then he doesn't deserve to keep his job.

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

And please don't let Brashear go!! He is entertaining and the best enforcer in the league. A real fan favorite!
Schultz, 3ormore, Nylander, can all go. But don't completely remodel the team. The chemistry will be upset.

Posted by: capsfan01 | May 14, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan44, I'm well aware the the bruins and canes are in the East. I just don't give two licks about the East right now. Unlike in baseball where I'm usually willing to root for whatever AL team makes it (minus the Yankees), I really don't feel that way about the East in hockey. I always want everyone else in the East to lose. I wish terrible plagues upon their houses, soley because they happen to play in the East.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Ok knock what i say Caps fans....Ah...are your boys OUT! have they ever EVER won the CUP???? .... Its time CAPS fans to SHUT UP AND LISTEN! or once again you will win another year listening to ME ....Congrats!!!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | May 14, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Morrison will likely be gone. Kozlov may leave. Fedorov seems very up in the air. Brash only stays if he'll take a huge pay cut. Nylander I'm afraid we're stuck with, unless you can convicne those idiots in Tampa to take him (given the idiots down there, this isn't so far-fetched)

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

capsfan01

I couldn't agree with you more. I had a big argument last night with some idiot who said they should trade OV. These bandwagon fans don't know anything. You gotta learn to walk before you run and this is a process. They just need to stay the course and add a few better role players.

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

chemistry will be upset.

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | May 14, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

StanleyCup1907,

what the hell have YOU won??

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Redbirdie.....HAHA...thats funny.

For everyone who is cheering for Brash to come back....Listen...Fan favorite or not, best enforcer in the league or not the guy is old and is not doing all that well in the game anymore because he lacks serious skill. He's a "fan favorite" and everyone wants to keep him like we did when we had Kolzig and look where that got us.

Dont get me wrong. I like the guy and like what he has done for this team but there is a point in time where you have to move on...and if it comes down to trading him for someone who can put 20 goals on the board and still serve the same purpose i'm willing to let him go. You can't hang on to guys because they are fan favorites because if you do that you are just taking steps backward.

I loved Bondra and was pissed they got rid of him but it was what was best for the team. Something that has to be done, not whats best for the fans so that they can keep their "favorites"

Posted by: CapsFan44 | May 14, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are trying to build their team the same as the US builds their National team. Maybe it time to look north

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | May 14, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

They don't need Pronger and the price to get him was too high. All they need is what the Pens have, solid not great Dmen such as Orpik, Gill and Scuderi. You don't give up a future Vezina winner such as Varly for Pronger. The future is bright for this team so let's not get panicky. If McPhee can't fill these small holes on this team then he doesn't deserve to keep his job.

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:05 PM |

Exactly. We don't need the big Prongers or Lidstroms back there, what we need our the Scuderi's and Eaton's. Real solid defensive defense men who play their position well and are fairly affordable under the salary cap.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie

who cares where Morrison ends up?? you think there's a big demand for him? I seriously doubt him. Other than Poti and Green, the Caps won't miss any of the rest.

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

If Brash comes back, he better take a huge pay cut. Under a mil, and he better WORK for his 4th line winger spot.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

joe... I my friend have won a cup

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | May 14, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Apparently he won a toy model of the stanley cup from 1907

Posted by: CapsFan44 | May 14, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

So many grammar mistakes..

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil

I'm glad you agree

Gussy

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, Rat Portage shows up! Of course! The Caps lost.

I will not say that one player would have made a difference in the outcome of the series. Pronger would have had a serious impact, and possibly to the point of this series not going to game 7, but the cost would have been prohibitively high. Also, considering that we had only $12.98 in cap room, it couldn't have been done without losing a LOT of talent.

I think the goalie situation is in good shape for next year. Love Johnson, but he's expendable I think.

We need another strong banger on D. Schultz is NOT that person. Juice has some potential. I'm not sold on Morrisonn at all. Erskine grew up in a hurry and I'm happy to eat my crow and keep him on.

We need more grinders to stand in front of the net and deflect/screen. Flash, Fehr don't cut it. Koz played great at the end, but I'm not sold on his grinding abilities. Feds is great to have, but I'm thinking he'll retire to HHOF.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil are you looking for the Nationals uniform designers blog

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | May 14, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie

who cares where Morrison ends up?? you think there's a big demand for him? I seriously doubt him. Other than Poti and Green, the Caps won't miss any of the rest.

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I was simply tossing that out there for discussion. I don't really care one way or another about Mossion. Who pissed in your cornflakes this morning?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I usually avoid feeding the resident troll, but I hate the Nats. Just so you know...so you know..can come up with other things to insult me with.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

What the Caps need is solid Dmen they always used to have, such as the Mark Tinordis and the Joe Reekies. Wouldn't say no to the Scott Stevens and the Rod Langways but the price to get them is too high. I would keep Fedorov and let him play no more than 50 regular season games next year and save him for the playoffs. They still need another center iceman.

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

sic him RedBirdie

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | May 14, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Did someone just say about Brash... "if it comes down to trading him for someone who can put 20 goals on the board..."?

Yep, that's likely. Why not hold out -- Maybe we can trade him for both Sedin twins and Luongo? Let's throw in JT and get 2 stud defensemen, too. Maybe Chara for JT?

Kidding aside, I agree wiht the larger point. Fans like Brash, but he's done. Can't keep up and quite frankly, he's not even the fighter he once was.

Thank you for your service. Next.

Posted by: sinbin | May 14, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Fehr looks like he should be a grinder, but he's not. Flash is more of a lightweight than Semin (how the heck did he a Poti, who may have to have surgery, play on broken feet? WOW)

any grinders coming up through the bears? I can't think of any off the top of my head, except maybe Bourque. I guess Aucoin is a bit of a grinder. Only problem is that both of those guys are about 5'6" on a good day.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I usually avoid feeding the resident troll, but I hate the Nats. Just so you know...so you know..can come up with other things to insult me with.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Now that would be TOO easy!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | May 14, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

We need more grinders to stand in front of the net and deflect/screen. Flash, Fehr don't cut it. Koz played great at the end, but I'm not sold on his grinding abilities. Feds is great to have, but I'm thinking he'll retire to HHOF.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2009 12:17 PM |

Honestly I would not be too upset to see Flash or Fehr go. Especially Flash. The dude is tiny and not consistent enough to work the finesse game. He needs to learn how to adjust to take the net, like other little guys like Kane, or trade him to a team that needs a finesse 2nd linesman, because we have Semin. I love Flash, but he is 26. It's time to go.
Fehr...I dont know. He doesnt work hard enough. Again, he tries to play a finesse game and we players who do that already. We need him to adjust to net camping. I dont have a strong connection to Fehr as I do Flash, so wouldn't mind seeing him go while he is still labeled a "prospect".

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

god, is Flash seriously 26 now?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Don't feed Larry David, everyone. He does the same stuff on the Skins blog, but he seems more apologetic of the organization over there at times. Weird, considering who's running that debacle of a football team. (I love the Skins to death, but that FO is the absolute worst.) But he's shown on here that his hockey knowledge is limited. And that's OK. But the main issue I have with his comments is that he seems to think the team will never improve, which he says while staring directly at a team that's won two division titles in the last two years after enduring years of misery and losing. That's call improvement, and it's been done on GMGM's watch.

You also said GMGM has only drafted well because the team has lost. Another fabulous DUH statement. But guess what, even when you have a high draft pick, it doens't always mean you're going to make a good selection (see Wizards, Washington). But you go through the lean times, you get a good selection as a result, and you take good players (Ovechkin, Semin, Green, Backstrom).

You can call this year's result a failure. I'm fine with that. I think we all expected more out of a 108-point, 50-win, No. 2-seeded team. But let's be realistic in the aftermath and start putting things in perspective. In my heart of hearts, I never thought the Caps would win a Cup. I was hoping for a trip to the ECF at least. But I'll take, for now, whatever kind of May Capitals hockey I can get. Now next season, I'll be right on board with you, LarryDavid, if the Caps haven't improved and we're still talking about all the holes in this team. But until then, I'm giving GMGM, Leonsis and these players a chance to reach the pinnacle of the sport. I have faith that it will come.

Posted by: CDon | May 14, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

They still need another center iceman.

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:22 PM |

Amen. To be honest with you, Backstrom plays the center spot well, but he still gets caught behind the puck sometimes. (This could just be a consequence of BB's system) I would like to see a more traditionally sound two-way forward. Doesn't need to score a lot of goals, just needs to play the position well. Center man have quite a bit more responsibility.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

richmond.....trade him to a team that needs a finesse 2nd linesman,....what the F... is a linesman???? you need a ref?

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | May 14, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

god, is Flash seriously 26 now?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 12:25 PM |

I'm wrong actually. He is about to turn 25.

Still....25...it is time to turn it up. Show the people that size doesn't matter.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Thanks, guys. You sure know how to lift a girl's spirits on an otherwise bummer of a day!! :-) (Is anyone else tired of being approached by co-workers about the game? It literally started before I even got through the front door!) You guys are the best. I still pop in from time to time and am always available via email (I never turn down a chance for hockey talk with my fine fellow fans!). Keep the faith - their time will come. We've certainly gotten through worse. LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!

Posted by: Boo- | May 14, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

2nd-line man.

you happy troll? Semantics are the pickings of the sheep.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil,

when I say they still need another center iceman, that's no slight on Backstrom. He reminds of my favorite Cap Bengt Gustafsson every day. He's clearly the number one center they have. I mean they just need more depth because Feds will be 40 soon and they should save him mostly for the playoffs next year.

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

thats better richmond ...dont let it happen again..

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | May 14, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

great insights guys, very much looking forward to next season.

As per the discussions on who shouldn't have played last night, who could have helped etc- We all have to recognize that last night was a breakdown of the team. D broke down, yes, but the forwards also didn't come back to help at all, the team dynamic broke down leaving the goalie and the Pens. With a couple tweaks and this experience playing with this pressure/injuries/blind refs I know we will go further next year. Not surprised that Semin is more hurt than his wrist, talented people don't just stop playing for no good reason. Green haters- apparently you started watching hockey two weeks ago. He is a huge reason why we got to where we did in the standings and is clearly not in good physical health. Look forward to seeing him next season after healing, same goes for Semin.

I too disagree with the idea that we came out flat, the first 8 mins or so were good. They had good chances but so did we, forced Fleury to make some great saves. But after the scored two goals 8 seconds apart, it was obvious that took a toll on the team. We played shell-shocked and that only got worse after the scored at the beginning of the second. At that point I knew that spirit-wise, it would be nearly impossible to rally from that. That said, this one game doesn't discount the talent of our team, or the talent of our coach/gmgm nor does it wipe away the amazing season we had.

Proud of the Caps, and even more proud now that I'm hearing what crazy injuries they played with. They still played their hearts out for us with broken bones and seeing that level of dedication speaks volumes.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 14, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Why is Gonchar on the concourse?... seen in background at 1:28 of video.

Posted by: UngaBunga | May 14, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm also impressed with my coworkers who have all been really nice today despite their being Rags fans. They are treating me like a wounded puppy, which is a pretty accurate desciption of how I feel...

Posted by: mrszilla | May 14, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Keep the faith - their time will come. We've certainly gotten through worse. LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!

Posted by: Boo- | May 14, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

To late Boo ...their gone! Semen got on a plane this morning back to the homeland

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | May 14, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Brashear still serves his purpose. Especially during the regular season. If he is not resigned we will wish he would have been when we play physical teams who have fighters. Had we have gone on to play Boston/Carolina we would have needed him.
With respect fellow CapsFan44, if you find the player who can put 20 on the boards and still do what Brash does as a fighter, physical player, and team leader then I'll agree w you. Until then, I hope to see him back next year.

Posted by: capsfan01 | May 14, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Centers:

Fedorov, Kozlov, Backstrom, Laich. 2 others are Nylander and Flash, but Flash won't be back and Nylander will be bought out if not traded (please let it be so).

IF Feds retires, we still have 3 centers, and Steckel is great at the dot.

So we're thin WHERE on center?

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil, I think my problem with believing Flash is 25 is I will forever think of him as the goofy looking prospect we got for Lang. "Who the heck is that? We traded Lang for this guy and a pick? jeeeeeeeeeeesus."

Ok, so I was way wrong about that pick!

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

when I say they still need another center iceman, that's no slight on Backstrom. He reminds of my favorite Cap Bengt Gustafsson every day. He's clearly the number one center they have. I mean they just need more depth because Feds will be 40 soon and they should save him mostly for the playoffs next year.

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:30 PM |

Oh, I know. I am referring to the 2nd line. Backstrom is definetely our 1st line center, and I didn't mean to come off as if I was knocking him too. But like I said, an older "traditional" (read: Canadian, read: North-South style) two-way center on our 2nd would help. I like Feds, but he is going to have to want to take quite a pay cut and at 40 next year who knows.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Thank You Caps - We are your fans and will always be. Can't wait to see what next year brings! The future is bright and full of promise! You gave us plenty to cheer about this year!!! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!!!
PS: Please OV don't kill yourself driving those rockets you call cars!

Posted by: psugolf | May 14, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@Boo It wasn't just limited to the folks in my office, who have been offering their condolences all day. The trio down at Starbucks (which happens to be the same one the Capitals themselves visit here at the Ballston/KCI complex) were actually "worried" about me when I didn't arrive for my Venti Bold at my usual time this morning.

For the rest of you Arm Chair General Manager Wannabees, feel free to keep yourselves entertained by providing your opinions as statements of fact (i.e., "So and so will be gone next year), as the best I can tell from my window, there is a skeleton crew down at KCI today. I have to assume that no decisions have been made regarding any contracts over the past 12 hours. Only time will tell.

As far as I am concerned, however, IT WAS A GREAT RIDE and I'll be back next season!

Posted by: Caps16Fan | May 14, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

when was the last time Kozlov played center? And laich is a much better winger than a centerman. Flash rarely plays C, too.

Fedorov.....I'm torn on this one. A guy like him, with the resurgance he has had in Washington, should retire while kissing the Cup. But he's got issues. But then again, he brings so many intanglibles to this team.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S

Fedorov may or not may not be back, but if he is, remember that he's 40 years old. Kozlov shouldn't play center. Laich or Steckel are fine (preferably Steckel). And obviously Backstrom will be back. Flash can't handle the puck, so he can't center, and Nylander, even if he's back with the team, will be scratched quite a bit. Caps do need center help. They definitely need to get younger at that position, too. Steckel is good centering a third line now, so a good young second line centerman would be a nice addition. But then again, I know those guys don't just grow on trees.

Posted by: CDon | May 14, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Centers:

Fedorov, Kozlov, Backstrom, Laich. 2 others are Nylander and Flash, but Flash won't be back and Nylander will be bought out if not traded (please let it be so).

IF Feds retires, we still have 3 centers, and Steckel is great at the dot.

So we're thin WHERE on center?

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2009 12:38 PM |

Well, a lot of those players have not played their natural center position in along time.

And the discussion is what do we do about a 2nd line center when/if Feds is gone. But you bring up a good point...I would like to have Kozlov and Laich re-work on their center game this year. Like I said, that position carries a ton more responsibility, but honestly Laich could be that perfect fit for a gritty two-way responsible center.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I thought BB should have called a timeout after they scored the quick second goal. That's the only thing I would second guess. He waited till they were up 4-0 and by that time it was too late. Other than that, I wouldn't second guess him anything because he had most of his stars playing hurt and it was a tribute to his coaching and the abilities of OV and Varly that it took the Pens 7 games to finish them off because clearly they were the better team in the series.

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie-

Hahahaha oh man.. I TOTALLY forgot we got him for Lang. I remember being confused but didn't remember who we got. Was hard to keep track during all of those "Everything Must Go" years...

Some of you might be able to admit that getting rid of Kolzig and Bondra were good ideas but I don't think I'll ever get there.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 14, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

And there is always Nylander guys...the potential is there..if we does not get bought out/miraculously traded, will he dig deep and perform like he has? Or is it apparent he needs a Jagr and for some reason Ovie doesn't cut it?

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Greg S.

last time I checked Kozlov and Laich are wingers.

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@mrszilla

I think getting rid of Kolzig was a good idea because he wanted out and, according to reports, he was slowly poisoning the locker room because he still felt he deserved to be the started. I was more broken up about the Caps trading Bondra away. I never liked that one. He was a guy who I thought should've retired with the Caps. (I thought the same about Olie until he started throwing his hissy fits.)

Posted by: CDon | May 14, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Caps16Fan, everyone in the building is giving me exceptionally wide berth today.. someone made the mistake of having an '"mergency" because they failed to a) read the e-mail that would have informed them about the deadline; b) plan to do anything about the project until the last second. I read him the riot act. he started to yell back when a co-worker stepped in and said "She was at the game last night. Don't make her snap." He left muttering an apology.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Hahahaha oh man.. I TOTALLY forgot we got him for Lang. I remember being confused but didn't remember who we got. Was hard to keep track during all of those "Everything Must Go" years...

Some of you might be able to admit that getting rid of Kolzig and Bondra were good ideas but I don't think I'll ever get there.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 14, 2009 12:43 PM |

We didn't get anything for Kolzig, as he left us as a FA, but we got Laich for Bondra! I love the Bonzai as much as anyone else, but at least we actually got a good player out of this one!

also; http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=1737956

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Greg S.

last time I checked Kozlov and Laich are wingers.

Posted by: joek443 | May 14, 2009 12:44 PM |

They are natural centers, but like others have said they haven't played those positions in years it seems like. (Though I didn't really follow Laich while he was a Sens...lol)

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

best I recall, we got Flash and the pick that turned into Green for Lang. For Gonchar, we got Morrison. Bondra gave us Laich. Jagr resulted in someone I forget and is no longer here. The pick used for Varly came form somewhere, but I can't remember. I know there are some other assorted ones I'm forgetting, but those are th ebig ones.

The Caps didn't so much "get rid" of Kolzig, as the Caps-Kolzig marriage suffered an ugly divorce.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

And thank you joek443.
I don't understand the haters, like StanleyCup1907, who waste time writing negative posts about other posters on these boards. It's immature. It's cowardly to hide behind the anonymity of your computer and mock other people. And it is just downright mean.

Posted by: capsfan01 | May 14, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could fire whomever appointed Mike Wise as an all-seer expert on Capitals hockey. I hated his condescending tone and his fluff pieces which insulted our intelligence. How long has he been following the Caps? Mike, Get off the bandwagon and go back to your dark cubicle. Oh, and you’re not only clueless, you’re also NOT funny, especially on video. Go Caps!

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | May 14, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Laich played a bit of center last year. The addition of Fedorov freed him up to play wing, and the return of Nylander this year meant that position was pretty well set. Remember, Gordon is a good 3/4 line centerman, too, as far as wining faceoffs go.

Laich knew he was going to play wing this season (2008-2009) and worked hard all off season to make sure he'd stick with the Caps in his new role.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are a great team and made us proud to be fans. We enjoyed watching and cheering them till the end. This is a team of destiny and a temporary setback does not tarnish all of this season's accomplishments. I look forward to the next season. Go Caps!!

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | May 14, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Well losing to the Pens sucks any day of the year, and this one was no exception. But I've got to say, after the initial kick to the gut that comes from being eliminated, I'm always excited for the off-season. Free agency, draft day, development & training camp, its like Christmas if Christmas was months long!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 14, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

It was the final act. Although the outcome had long since been determined, there was one thing left undone. The applause was no longer an effort to spur the team on to victory. There would be no unleashing of the fury this time. This applause was to simply say thank you. And it was most heartfelt. Thank you for a season filled with so many brilliant memories. The enthusiasm. The tenacity. The selflessness.

For in this moment, we cannot dwell on this loss as a singular failure. Rather, we remember all the moments that brought us out of our seats. And we stand one final time. To applaud our team. And this does not seem to be lost on you. Before you leave the ice, you gather together and raise your sticks to us. It is a simple gesture. But one that brought tears to my eyes. Until we meet again.


Posted by: CFF8 | May 14, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

LETS GO HAWKS.


:)

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

anyone know who the 2005 2nd round pick we got from ottawa for Bondra is?

You know who I think played with Bondra in ottawa that year? Pothier. strange.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil
@Greg S.
@CDon
@Boo

Just want to take a timeout to say thanks for your all's postings. Always insightful. Only hope they can take me through the summer :( Tough one but the team has to sometimes have a painful lesson in order to learn and get better. Agree with many of the comments (improved Dman or two who plays with more physicality and soundness, someone willing to go to the net). GMGM has some work to do...I have faith.

Posted by: robblahs | May 14, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

HEY, WHY IS GONCHAR ON THE CONCOURSE?... APPROACHING IN THE BACKGROUND AT 1:28 OF VIDEO.

Posted by: UngaBunga | May 14, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie, I am pretty sure we got nothing for it because we traded that 2nd round pick to Colorado. I have no idea what we traded the pick for though.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

hm, that's interesting. I'll do some more searching and see what turns up regarding those 04 and 05 draft picks

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it seems we included that Ottawa 2nd round pick that we got for Bondra in a package to Colorado for their 1st round pick.

Who did we get?

Joe Finley.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Joe Finley, interesting.....

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

We traded that pick to Colorado for the 27th, which got us Finley.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 14, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Oops, guess I need to be a bit quicker!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 14, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone have any info on how close Lepisto is yet? He is 24 years old..time to make something happen.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@mrszilla

I think getting rid of Kolzig was a good idea because he wanted out and, according to reports, he was slowly poisoning the locker room because he still felt he deserved to be the started. I was more broken up about the Caps trading Bondra away. I never liked that one. He was a guy who I thought should've retired with the Caps. (I thought the same about Olie until he started throwing his hissy fits.)

Posted by: CDon | May 14, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse


Kolzig wanted out? Management forced him out, he basically said ok what are my options for staying and they responded with none. Bitter divorce indeed.

Well said CCF8, well said.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 14, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

JMU, just the person I need. You are my prospect/Bears/Sting ray go-to person!

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

not sure what the deal on Sami is. Is he back playing since suffering that spleen injury? I honestly think he's at beast, a 5/6 D-man. And the Caps have that position covered quite well. He may be more useful as trade bait.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil, haha, I'm here!
I'm not sure about Sami. He puts up a good number of assists, but he seems to make mistakes in his own end. I've never really been impressed with him, but then again, I've only seen him in Hershey once and the rest of the time, its been here in DC and he hasn't exactly been flawless here. Tess or some of the other Bears fans probably know more about him. He seems frustrated that he's still in Hershey, but trying to maintain a "for the good of the team" attitude. He's arbitration eligible this year, so we'll see what happens.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 14, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

sorry, that should read "at best, a 5/6 D-man." sami is the posted child for non-beast.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Let's start talking about next year. I predict these guys won't be here: 26-55-87. Unsure about 25. Before yesterday I would say 60; now, I'm thinking 1, but not compeletely sure.

SC07, good to see your back. I was worried your residential mental hospital was never going to get its DSL line repaired.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | May 14, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

where's Tarik with the full injury report?! or just any update, really. This is like going through heroin withdrawal.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Schultz will stay, I think, because they really like him. Not that they should....

I can see either Kozlov or Fedorov staying, but not both.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

People of other teams (especially the original 6) can say what they want about Caps fans, but we were absolutely fantastic during this disaster of a game 7 at home. To cheer loudly when your team is down 4 goals with pretty much zero chance of coming back and to stand up and chant "Let's go Caps!" in the last 2 minutes to thank the team for a good season was extremely classy.

Posted by: ranndino | May 14, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

This might be interesting to some of you. From an email reply to my buddy (a Rangers fan with whom we had some major battles during round 1):

I pretty much already answered all of this in my post game post on Capitals Insider that I sent you. Yes, we played pond hockey in this series, but when you consider that 2 of our best D played with injuries that would have sidelined them in the regular season (Green with a recurring shoulder injury that made him miss about 10 games and Poti with a broken foot) as well as Ovie and Semin being injured it's not that surprising.

It was obvious to me even in the first round that Green was badly injured. He was just not the same player at all. It may have been better not to play him and put Alzner in there instead because poor Greenie couldn't do anything. He couldn't shoot, he couldn't hit, he couldn't make hard passes and he couldn't absorb hits or clear people from the front of the net. By playing him all it did is shower him with criticism for being brave enough to play when he should've sat.

I'm pretty sure the same goes for Semin even though I don't yet know what his injury was. All I know is that Boudreau said that it would have been enough to sideline him in the regular season.

I also don't really know how one can play with a broken foot (Poti). That explains a lot cuz he was terrible.

Erskine missed 2 games, but I'm also pretty sure he played injured for most of the series.

Fans and sports writers tend to underestimate injuries, but it's because they're couch potatoes and have no idea what a real injury is. They probably take time off work when they get a cold or suffer a paper cut. I find them to be very annoying. You've played sports so you know that once you're hurt significantly you just can't do what you normally do no matter how much you might want to. In retrospect I think that Boudreau might have been better served with calling up some D from Hershey even though they would probably sink them in the AHL playoffs (which I know he didn't wanna do). When we had pretty much our whole D out with injuries during the regular season guys like Alzner, Collins and Helmer came up and did a great job. I think it might have been better to have those guys at 100% than say Green at 50%, which is what he looked like, if that.

Posted by: ranndino | May 14, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

those Original Six fans are a little strange. I mean, some of them haven't won a cup since before the Caps came into the NHL. for them to be ragging on caps fans and thorwing out "you're team has never won a cup!" seems a little, dunno, strange. Ok, so the Caps havn't won a Cup. But you won your last one when, what John McCain was still a child? That gives you bragging rights how, exactly?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

We've had a few peeks at Lepisto. He seemed to be on the bubble to me. Not ready, and maybe too much of a project to justify keeping him. IMHO. Same with Quintin Laing. I think they'll retire as AHL'ers. Nothing wrong with that!

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie, I'd imagine the entire organization took the day off to decompress. I think someone mentioned Friday was the big media day.

I guess I'll watch the third period today. I keep hoping if I just don't watch it, it means its not over.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 14, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Ranndino, It honestly depends what the injury is. Their whole argument is that everyone plays with injuries in the playoffs. But it really depends what the injury is. If someone is getting surgery right after they get eliminated, you know they were on some heavy duty painkillers or just pain. Ovie is known to play with painkillers when he has injuries. It's a double-edged sword..you want your guys to keep going, but then again you don't want them getting reinjured.

green should have had a reduction in ice time in the 1st round, and we never saw it. We probably would have benefited by seeing Sloan or Alzner out there instead of him.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

To cheer loudly when your team is down 4 goals with pretty much zero chance of coming back and to stand up and chant "Let's go Caps!" in the last 2 minutes to thank the team for a good season was extremely classy.
Posted by: ranndino | May 14, 2009 1:20 PM |

Agree - I will remember last night for what it was, DC becoming a true hockey town & 95% of the fans staying till the end.

@ least the game ended early so we could see the guys for the last time until next October.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 14, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'll watch the third period today. I keep hoping if I just don't watch it, it means its not over.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 14, 2009 1:26 PM |

If you look at it just by the 1st period, the game is tied 1-1 !


LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Also, I do not if it has been pointed out, but Ovie joins the very short-list (8 i think) of players who have averaged at least 2 pts/game in a series.

14 pts for Ovie.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I will always defer to the professional - in this case BB - when it comes to playing hurt vs. bringing up a minor leaguer.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 14, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

2009-2010 season starts earlier than usual, I believe, because of the 2 week Olympic break. So, hockey in September, anyone?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil, I know. I figured sitting at the bar wouldn't be the best place to have my little deflation/meltdown, so I left during the second to go watch Star Trek again. The standing O just started. That was great of everyone there.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 14, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil, I know. I figured sitting at the bar wouldn't be the best place to have my little deflation/meltdown, so I left during the second to go watch Star Trek again. The standing O just started. That was great of everyone there.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 14, 2009 1:35 PM |

I too, left the bar in the 2nd.

I watched the rest at home in sadness.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie

I was going to ask when the season starts next year... :D

mauree! How long 'till next season? Where's our clock?

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

for those bashing BB and the rest of the coaching staff (although those lovely souls seem to have left at the moment), I'd like to know what other team could have managed having what seemed like half the roster on IR, replaced with prospects and career AHLers, and kept winning? (besides Detroit, but they're not normal)

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

those Original Six fans are a little strange. I mean, some of them haven't won a cup since before the Caps came into the NHL. for them to be ragging on caps fans and thorwing out "you're team has never won a cup!" seems a little, dunno, strange. Ok, so the Caps havn't won a Cup. But you won your last one when, what John McCain was still a child? That gives you bragging rights how, exactly?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Your whole reaction is based on the idea that the people who rag on our team are operating in the realm of reality, which they are not. They will rag on the SE division regardless of who wins the Cup, and will make fun of us for being Cupless regardless of how good their own teams are now because jesus, who can you forget how the Quebec Bulldogs totally rocked in the early 1900s!!

Posted by: mrszilla | May 14, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I have been a Caps fan since the beginning of the team when I was a kid and lived in Reston. I used to take a bus to Tyson's Ice Rink to watch the team practice. This is the first time that I have been excited with the long term potential of the team. 1998 was a fun time but it did not seem like something that was going to last. It is going to be hard to wait for the next season to begin. Thanks to all of you for keeping me updated daily on what is going on with the Caps.

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | May 14, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

October 2 is the first day of the season (games in Europe). Countdown: http://tinyurl.com/0910nhlcountdown

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 14, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The Caps love is strong here in Richmond.....

I was @ Hometeam Grill on Main. Until I left early...

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see this posted before, but I got this off of the messageboards. There is a post game interview with OV on NHL.com. At the very end, the last question he is asked is "what did you think at the end there, when the fans were chanting MVP and still standing at the end there?"

OV, with that horrible look of disappointment during that entire interview replied with "well you know, it was great feelings, and our fans i think are better than montreal and everyone, they're just awesome"

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

MVP indeed. Put his name on another short-list.

averaged 2 pts/game in a series. Only a claim 8 people can make.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

We didnt lose game 7 we were embarassed in game 7.....this reflects on our lack of leadership and grit...how can we be so flat in a game 7 at home??? if we say oh we had a great season and resist change next playoff will be the same after a good regular season. get rid of brash nyls koz federov and go with the young talent supplemented with gritty 3and4 lines

Posted by: wendel2 | May 14, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Also nice little bit at the end about what Ovie said to Gonch, Cindy etc at the handshake line. Everyone who called him names, saying he was a dirty player- take notes.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=422708&navid=DL|NHL|Home

Posted by: mrszilla | May 14, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

wendel, agree with the lack of leadership and grit. But who do we get to be the leader--do we keep clark, give it to Ovi or laich, get someone else?

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

2 years away - need two more defensemen who know how to play defense - Alzner and Carlson may be the saviors - there is a Cup in this team's near future if we can keep the pieces together.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 14, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse


We didnt lose game 7 we were embarassed in game 7.....this reflects on our lack of leadership and grit...
Posted by: wendel2 | May 14, 2009 1:48 PM

Caps weren't embarrassed but if you are then GOOD.
Caps have nothing to be embarrassed about.
From where we came from esp. the playoff drough of 4 years.

...if we say oh we had a great season and resist change next playoff will be the same after a good regular season. get rid of brash nyls koz federov and go with the young talent supplemented with gritty 3and4 lines
Posted by: wendel2 | May 14, 2009 1:48 PM |

& this why u don't make decisions less than 24 hours after the seasons end.
Geebus...who do you think got us into the 2nd round or the 7th game?!

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 14, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

To answer some people's question: what came from Robert Lang to Detroit was Flash and the pick that became Green; Gonchar went to Boston for Morrisonn and the pick that became Schultz; Varly was taken 23rd in 1st Rd 2006 with a pick that came from Nashville (for rental of Brendan Witt); and Jagr was traded for Anson Carter, who I think was traded to LA for Steckel. Not sure on that one.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I've had some time to digest last night. And I keep comparing it to the other two Game 7's that I've been lucky enough to see live in the last 12 months.

The one against Philly last year where we lost in overtime after a bad penalty was a Dagger. No other word for it. So high, so excited, then a dagger to the heart. And the take-away memory of that night was beer bottles raining down on the ice.....thrown by a few idiots that were endangering OUR players along with the ref's and the Flyers. It was ugly.

Late last month.......Game 7 against the Rangers. Fed's goal with 5 minutes left. I don't think I've ever personally witnessed a more exciting moment in sports. The sound was deafening. The look on the guy's face that sits across the aisle from us is etched in my mind as much as the net bulging where the puck hit it.

And then last night............stunned to silence for a large part of the game. And then, being able to stand and cheer and yell for the final 2 minutes as a salute to the Caps for the season........that was actually a very good and healing experience. So much better as a way to end than last year. And so much more to hope for that a season sometime soon ends....and I mean ENDS, with the same delirious happiness as we experienced in the Ranger Game 7 this year. But the added joy will be seeing the boys skating around with the Cup.

Posted by: hawkeye56 | May 14, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Steckel was a free agent signing, not a trade. He was drafted by LA, spent one year in the AHL affiliate in Manchester, with BB as his coach. I think LA then released him and at same time Hershey hired BB. BB convinced the Caps brass that Steckel was a good risk.

Outstanding risk, I say.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse


wendel, agree with the lack of leadership and grit. But who do we get to be the leader--do we keep clark, give it to Ovi or laich, get someone else?
Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2009 1:53 PM |

Leadership wasn't going to allow Green to lift his arm above his shoulders or get Clark to go effectively for more than 2-5 minutes.
We got beat by a less injured team with maybe 1 or 2 playing skills that we currently lack. Leadership wasn't 1 of them & certainly wasn't a problem to get to a 7th game in the Conf Semis.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 14, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@rocco being hammered at home is embarssing and if u are proud of the effort so be it.yes we got to the 2nd round...we wont be back there next year if we dont improve...if u think we will if we stand pat so be it ...I just think we need to make some serious moves and need to start thinking about what to do now not in August

Posted by: wendel2 | May 14, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

All that stuff about OV is great. And it explains why and how he's such a classy guy. That's something we've always known, but the occasional ignorati from other fan bases don't seem to have a clue about this guy when they call him dirty or assert that he's a thug. But it's always nice to see that your favorite team's star player is a stand-up guy. Dude is the MVP.

Posted by: CDon | May 14, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

we had injured players as did the pens...my concern is the lack of intensity by the other caps who were healthy and uninspired to pick up the pace in game 7

Posted by: wendel2 | May 14, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@JMU

Thanks! That clock moves so S-l-o-w-l-y though! Still stuck on 140 days!

Rocc00

I have 5 words for Wendel2's postings:

"Unencumbered by the thought process."

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

A while back, and I mean a whiiiile back, someone posted a link where they breakdown each team's payroll and list of RFA, UFA, length of contract etc. Anyone have this by chance?

Posted by: Moose33 | May 14, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Moose33, nhlnumbers.com and nhlscap.com both work well.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 14, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

new post by the way

Posted by: Moose33 | May 14, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

...and thanks jmu

Posted by: Moose33 | May 14, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse


@rocco being hammered at home is embarssing and if u are proud of the effort so be it.yes we got to the 2nd round...we wont be back there next year if we dont improve...if u think we will if we stand pat so be it ...I just think we need to make some serious moves and need to start thinking about what to do now not in August
Posted by: wendel2 | May 14, 2009 2:04 PM |

By your above statements I know you are a noob. when was the last time this team stood pat?

How did we even get to the last 2 playoffs by standing pat?!

Geebus - what game were u watching?
Try putting an effort out with 1 arm tied behind the back.
Last night's game was the culmination of the entire pounding the pinz were laying to us for all of the prior 6 games.
To take it to a 7th game with a squad so beatup the coach won't even address it after the game. The dam was finally going to break. Just like the Rags were outplayed by us & took us to 7 we in turn did the same to the Pinz even while being OUTSHOT, OUTHIT, OUTPLAYED.

I dunno what type of noob u are but the caption to this thread was After Defeat, Caps Fans Still Proud

I know you sure aren't that last part apparently by your rant.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 14, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

we stood pat at the trade deadline rocco u idiot knob gobbler

Posted by: wendel2 | May 14, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Looking ahead and I'm not a salary cap expert, but the best FA defenseman is Jay Bouwmeister (sp) of Florida . Florida isn't expected to resign him and he'll command huge $$$'s on the market. He's also one of the Top 5 two-way defenseman in the league. If the Caps can clear some cap space by buying out Nylander, trading Theodore and not re-signing Morrisson, we might have the space to sign him.

Given the makeup of our defense and the fact that Greenie is an offensive first defenseman and our only true puckmover on the D-Line, we could use the upgrade. Poti and Pothier are solid vets, but are probably on the 2nd or 3rd pairings for most teams. If people remember the old Edmonton teams, they had a great offensive defenseman in Coffey but he was complimented by a HOF partner named Kevin Lowe. I think Green needs that type of compliment to help him grow to the next level.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 14, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@ LarryDavid

If you think that the Caps will be a push over the next few years, keep on believing that. I think we are on the same rebuilding path as the Pens.The fact of the matter is we both just played a hard fought,7 game series, that could have been won by either team. You win this round, go ahead and beat your chest and be proud, you deserve it. To the victory goes the spoils.

If you think this was a season to forget because we lost to the Pens in the second round your wrong. You won't be able to change our minds, so you go back to Pens Blog and party with the winning side. You are one of the reasons that alot of people despise Pens fans. I have been encouraged by some of the Pens fans who have been good winners.

In the end of the day its all about having fun and sportsmanship. And the love of the team you root for. Hopefully you will grow up one day a be a good sport like some of your fellow Pens fans.Its as hard to be a good winner as it is a sore loser.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | May 14, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

wendel2:
if there is so much about the caps org (from top to bottom) that you don't like - why don't you go find a team to root for that will make every move you deem acceptable?
how can you possibly think that this season was not successful? if your only criteria is winning the stanley cup - why bother being a hockey fan at all? det fans must be livid that the red wings have only won 4 cups in the last 11 years.
being disappointed/frustrated is completely understandable - being an obnoxious know-it-all - is just annoying to the rest of us

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 14, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Though the game didn't go as Caps fans would have liked the overwhelming memory of Game 7 for me is standing up for the last 2 minutes with the other Caps faithful clapping and yelling "LETS GO CAPS" with Sam the Horn Guy and "MVP" for Ovie in appreciation of a fantastic season and the players in turn raising their sticks in appreciation for us after the game. I was really proud to be a part of it. I was also glad that their was no barrage of beverages and trash thrown onto the ice after the loss - really classy. Lots of great memories even in defeat. PROUD to be a CAPS FAN!!

I wish there was some way to get a whole bunch of Caps fans to go over to KCI tomorrow to say farewell to the team as they come to clear out their lockers for the season.

Posted by: theresa21 | May 14, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Looking all over the place, but not finding it - is there any video of the last two minutes of the game on CSN, followed by the Caps being applauded by the fans? My wife would like to see it, but I foolishly deleted the game from our DVR before she could see it...

Thanks!
eds

Posted by: EddieP1 | May 15, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

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