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Eric Belanger loses eight teeth

With about 7 minutes 30 seconds remaining in the first period of Friday night's 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals forward Eric Belanger approached Canadiens defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron near center ice. Bergeron passed the puck away, and his stick came up and smacked Belanger in the face, causing him to double over in obvious pain. There was no penalty called, the sell-out crowd at Verizon Center responded with boos, Belanger made his way to the bench - and returned to play more than 10 minutes in the game.

That brief synopsis, though, masks what actually happened. The sum total: Belanger lost "seven or eight" teeth, he said, had some exposed roots in his teeth trimmed in between periods - serious dental work -- and he arrived Saturday morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex with a fat lip that had been stitched back together. He believes he will be available for Game 6 Monday night in Montreal, but between now and then he faces several hours in a dentist's chair.

"It was a long night, especially with the loss and the no-call, no penalty called on the play," Belanger said, his tongue occasionally feeling the gums where his teeth had been. "It makes it a lot tougher to digest this morning. The stick, he made a pass and the stick just came up, and I felt my teeth shatter right away. I knew I was in trouble. But I mean it's playoffs, and I came back and tried to help the team win."

Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau, who was frustrated with several elements of his team's play Friday night, said he felt horrible for Belanger on Saturday. He also didn't like the fact Bergeron wasn't penalized on the play.

"To me, it wasn't a follow-through," Boudreau said. "A follow-through is usually on a stick that is from a shot. This was a pass where Bergeron's stick was on the ice. When he passed it, it was a sliding thing, and his stick came up more out of protection than anything else, but it came up with blade first and caught poor Eric right in the mouth."

Belanger took some ribbing in the Capitals' locker room Saturday. "Ready for 'GQ'!", forward Scott Walker said. He does not wear a mouth guard because, several years ago, he lost his three front teeth on the top, making it impossible to bite down on a guard.

"It's the same memories all over again," Belanger said. "I know the amount of time I'm going to have to spend at the dentist, and stuff like that. If we had got the win I would've felt a lot better, but we have to go back to Montreal and get the job done."

Asked whether the injury would affect his availability for Game 6, Belanger - who leads all playoff performers by winning 68.8 percent of his faceoffs - said, "Not at all. No. Came back and played. No. I'm going to be ready to go 100 percent."

"Having a root canal done in between periods, and still come back to play," Boudreau said, "the courage it takes to do that is phenomenal. That's what you see in the playoffs."

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 24, 2010; 12:41 PM ET
 
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Next: Boudreau: 'I was a little too hot-headed last night'

Comments

Damn Belanger. Win the next game.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I feel bad for anyone who gets their teeth knocked. I lost two teeth once on a grounder. And going thru that dental process was a nightmare. I can't imagine losing 8.

But it doesn't change the fact that EB is not pulling his due weight and I'd rather have him out of the lineup than in esp now with him being more tentative and feeling weaker.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Bruce should be happy we didn't get a PP on that play. To steal TMac's line, it would've just provided the Habs with a few more shorthanded chances!

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

I'm here and I agree. I've decided there's inbreeding going on in the press box. I know this is the playoffs and everyone's expectations are high, but I can't recall Ovi or Backstrom every getting near the grief Semin does whenever they went many games without scoring, trying or not.
-------------------------------


there is no comparison between Backstrom and Semin. Backstrom is more consistent with everything he does. You see him backcheck, you see him fight for the puck, you see him go into the tough areas, you see him throw his weight around. Even if he went into a pointless drought the fans wouldn't get too down on him because his effort is usually commendable. Ovechkin can definitely be a little more inconsistent but compared to Semin he's still light years ahead.

#28 has no one but himself to blame. And one decent game doesn't erase the rest of the series he's had so far. If Semin had been busting his butt from the start of game 1, he probably would've had some more points by now. And if he didn't score, fans would be easier on him and call him "snake-bitten" vs lazy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Halak isn't that good. Our sorry shot selection and lack of desire to play tough in the slot make him look good.

These days, EVERY NHL goalie should be counted on to make all the shots he can see.

Our problem is that we let Halak see everything we put on net.

Posted by: large23220 | April 24, 2010 1:28 AM |

No actually, Halak is very good. That's why he posted a very good save % in the regular season and took Slovakia deep in the Olympics.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

So what are recommendations for lineup Monday night?

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 24, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

our most consistent line last yr was Steckel centering Laich and Bradley. I'd make them the 2nd line. Or at least unite them and give them good ice time. Bench Flash. Hope Semin can build on last night's performance and move him to BMo's line with someone like Fehr on the RW

So
Ovi-Backs-Knuble
Laich-Steckel-Brads
Semin-BMo-Fehr (this could be your 2nd line, it doesn't really matter)
Chimera-Gordon-Walker/Laing

Even if Semin doesn't fit in with his line, at least you get 2 other forwards on the same line who give you a decent effort.
And Semin can still get top line mins on the PP. Yeah the PP needs to get better but I'd be more concerned with better 5 on 5 play from all our forwards.

Replacing Flash and EB with Steckel and Laing or Walker also introduces a better work ethic and playoff-level intensity that this team is lacking.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The refs missed several crucial calls last night. At first, I thought the hit on Belanger seemed legal, but after seeing the replay, Bergeron raised his stick. It was definitely a missed high-stick.
We also should've had a 5v3 advantage against the Canadiens. They called two separate penalties for Pete's sake! It might be the playoffs, but a penalty is a penalty. They completely threw out the rulebook on that one.

The refs are conspiring for a seven game series.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 24, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

look who's back.. the drunken fool

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The biggest passenger of all is Bruce. Is it possible for a Bruce Boudreau coached team to NOT go two goals down, to NOT play 7 game series? Bruce is Glen Hanlon Helpless when it comes to making changes on the fly (hint: ditch flash already; he hasn't been getting it done ALL series). This team has failed to show up at the start of games all season. IT HASN'T BEEN READY TO PLAY AND THAT'S THE COACH'S JOB! And again, tonight, too many men. That's coaching. Bruce, get off your duff and get it done quit blaming others.

Posted by: caps1974 | April 24, 2010 1:44 AM |

lol.

First of all, Varlamov ran back to to his net. So no, it wasn't BB, it was Varlamov's fault.

Second of all, BB has come back from a 3-1 series and either won it or took it 7 games twice. That tells me that the coach would know how to adjust his team.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Bruce needs to think outside the box. Imitate if necessary. Who did the Habs start on LW last night on the top line? Travis Moen. He's not bringing skill or speed to the table. He's just a hardworking bruiser who knows how to get in deep and crash that net and the boards. And what did Moen do right as the puck got dropped on the opening faceoff? He drilled Knuble right down to the ice with a cross-check/elbow. Knuble was slow to get up and Moen gets to the front of the net for a scoring chance. That's a subtle but effective tone to set right off the bat.

So that 2nd line right now which is nothing but finesse and laziness needs to get a bit of a grinder overhaul.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Moen was put on the top line to counter Knuble's size. I guess it worked because he got a goal and it seemed to me Knubes played alot on the second line after that.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 24, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

why don't you keep your overblown analysis short and just say that the Caps needs to play like your beloved Flyers??

as always that's what you mean anyway.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

hey Joek, got a question for you since you know so much about hockey.

Didn't you proclaim in grandiose fashion right before the playoffs started that the Caps offense was such a juggernaut that no team could possibly contain them? And then you provided your flawed analogy (i.e. the 80s Edm Oiler dynasty)

care to revise that? lmao


and tell me again how the Flyers (if of course we can escape the lowly Habs) wouldnt' stand a chance against us? Didn't your mama ever teach you that wanting something to happen and it actually happening isn't the same thing? fool

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the loss of your teeth EB...

But it doesn't change the fact that this TEAM does NOT know how to play a 60 min hockey game when it matters most.

It pains me that this TEAM hasn't learned a single lesson from the past two years. Why do they need to be trailing in a game or being out played for most of the game before they decide, oh gee, we need to play now?

This team can not win the cup without consistency in their team play. I don't know if it's coaching or the players just really believe their own hype that they can score 5 goals a game or a combination of both, but something needs to change.

I'm starting to understand how Cubs fans feel. I would rather squeak into the playoffs and win the cup over breaking regular season records and a president's trophy.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 24, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

hey joe using your own idiotic childish logic against you, since you're now on this I Hate Mike Green bandwagon, doesn't that make you a Caps hater or something? You're pretty negative these days . What happened to those rose-colored glasses buddy??

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to understand how Cubs fans feel. I would rather squeak into the playoffs and win the cup over breaking regular season records and a president's trophy.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 24, 2010 2:07 PM |

lol?

Any fan of any team would want to win the Cup/Series/Bowl/whatever over a good regular season.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

or they just really believe their own hype that they can score 5 goals a game or a combination of both, but something needs to change.

---

ask JoeK (rearrange that and it spells JOKE!)

Wise Joe thought the Caps could score 5 goals a game every game in the playoffs. Reality is a bummer eh!

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

i know phil... i'm one of those any fans, so i'm allowed to say it.

i'm just peeved that team that i'm the biggest fan of can't get it together for 60 minutes when it really matters. I gotta let it out here, it's cheaper than punching a hole in the wall or throwing something through the tv screen or in a Pittsburgh fan's case killing my wife.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 24, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

It pains me that this TEAM hasn't learned a single lesson from the past two years. Why do they need to be trailing in a game or being out played for most of the game before they decide, oh gee, we need to play now?

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

Usually when you have a team with an abundance of skill, you end up sacrificing certain intangibles like character, leadership etc. Consequently this team doesn't have a ton of leadership or character up and down the lineup. So if you don't have a coach who can effectively motivate a team constructed this way, you'll have to deal with inconsistent efforts.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Halak was outstanding last night. The most important element in ANY playoff series is the goalie. If Theo had played the entire series, the Canadiens might've taken the Caps out in 5. Without Varly, there's no way the Caps win game 4....

Posted by: randysbailin | April 24, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh fan's case killing my wife.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 24, 2010 2:16 PM |

lol....was that link posted here already?

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Anyways, I'm not really upset about last night's game at all. I'm not really seeing the lack of effort, minus the first 5 minutes of the game. Halak was really good.

I would say Game 1 and Game 4 both exemplified a lack of effort/lack of 60 minute play than last nights.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

i know phil... i'm one of those any fans, so i'm allowed to say it
--------------------

you have a valid point. Its perfectly reasonable to question the coaching. And just because the Caps have fought back from a 3-1 deficit in the past doesn't mean they know how to close out a series either. In this case they're ahead and putting out a pathetic effort at home instead of sealing the deal. And they're lucky the series isn't 3-2 in Montreal's favor.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I would say Game 1 and Game 4 both exemplified a lack of effort/lack of 60 minute play than last nights.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

thats not saying much. Last night's effort was poor if you compare it what you should expect from a playoff team that is allegedly the Cup favorite. We were giving up breakaways all game, not just the first 5 mins. That's a lack of focus.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I'd be stunned if Steckel plays much tomorrow night, and especially not on the 2nd line. Love the effort and total team guy, but MTL's team speed is killing us [esp their top two lines] and guys like him and Erskine would just get badly exposed. Especially when Martin has the last line change. Like I said, terrific effort but he simply doesn't have the foot-speed [or hands, for that matter] to be a top 2 center on a playoff team.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 24, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Apart from the 2nd period of game 3, the Caps really haven't demonstrated that they're the better team. Varly's been the MVP of the series for the Caps by a wide margin.

Posted by: randysbailin | April 24, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Who was the quickest team last year? The Penguins arguably? How did Steck's line have so much positive impact in that 2nd round? When our top line was failing us, it was Steckel/Brads/Laich who were generating scoring opportunities and holding their own against Pittsburgh's top line. At some point, Bruce tried to match them up with Malkin's line on every shift.

I understand what you're saying but with the right line combination you can bridge that speed gap.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

i literally grew up with this team. i was 4 yrs old going to games their first season. i spent countless hours trying to adjust the rabbit ears on the tv so i could watch the games on WDCA. i also personally banned myself from home playoff games because they lost every game i went to. And now that i'm living in los angeles i make sure to shell out the money for center ice and set my tivo so i don't miss a single game.

Ok, i just realize i have a serious problem, but this IS my team and i just want them to get beyond the hype and just win the f'n cup and prove me and all the other nay sayers wrong.

Now with all that I'm going to get breakfast or a guess brunch now whatever I need food. Thanks for listening.

Posted by: natresgroup | April 24, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Apart from the 2nd period of game 3, the Caps really haven't demonstrated that they're the better team. Varly's been the MVP of the series for the Caps by a wide margin.

Posted by: randysbailin | April 24, 2010 2:27 PM |

And it's been Halak for them.

If Price was in net last night, we probably would've won. But enough of the hypotheticals, it's fairly obvious the Caps have not been the dominant #1 seed they should be. But it's also fairly obvious that the Habs haven't dominated anything either.

It's been porous defense and run and gun chances back and forth, with the goalies standing pat.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Just a reminder, we are up 3 games to 2.
Some of you act like we are down.

Posted by: jmy999 | April 24, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

so basically what we saw in the reg season. This team isn't able to tighten things up for the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Feel badly for Belanger-that sucks. And I think he's actually been our best center after #19 - not that that's saying very much. Overall, MTL's speed - particularly their top 6 - has been a lot for some of our guys to handle.

Corvo has been brutal - he's been on the ice for GA at crucial times, and the only reason he's at zero PM and not even worse is because he's usually out there with our top line and/or MTL's weakest offensive line.

Green has not been making good decisions, but esp. on the PP, particularly when to shoot / not to shoot.

Carlson has been a revelation, and right now he and Poti are clearly our strongest defensive pairing. This might be the best I've ever seen Poti play.

It is easy to bash Semin, but the guy is trying. A checker can just go out and hit somebody - and btw, last night was the best I've seen Laich do that all series [sac the body to make a play] and we need more of that from guys like him. But if they're not going in the net for a scorer AND you're getting called out publicly, that'll just make you grip the stick even tighter. Perhaps if Semin had a legit #2 center and/or his linemates didn't change every 3rd shift, that might help.

We've known for at min. 3 straight off-seasons what the weaknesses are - so far at least, GMGM hasn't exactly lived up to his own billing.

Thank God for Varly, I'll say that.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 24, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

And if you want to, go take a gander at Habs blogs about the series. Lack of effort, lack of focus, not playing 60 minutes....common phrases among them.

I had Caps in 6, and I would like to see that happen.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Just a reminder, we are up 3 games to 2.
Some of you act like we are down.

Posted by: jmy999 | April 24, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

trending downwards though. We got outplayed in game 4, we lose last night, now we're headed back to Montreal. I think its safe to feel a little uncomfortable at this point.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

And if you want to, go take a gander at Habs blogs about the series. Lack of effort, lack of focus, not playing 60 minutes....common phrases among them.
----------------

I wouldn't use them as the bar to measure ourselves by. They're not a strong team. I don't for a single minute think that Montreal is playing great hockey. If they beat us they'll probably get waxed quickly in the next round. Even on paper, Montreal isn't a great team. They were fading out of the playoffs as the season was winding down. Had the season lasted a few days longer the Rangers probably would've overtaken them.

Its just sad that the Caps are playing down to their level. This is a team we could clearly sweep. Hence the dissatisfaction.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

That's fine, but a lot of Caps fan do indeed think the Habs are playing great hockey. Which just isn't the case.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I thought Sloan has looked more than serviceable. He's made some strong plays over the past 2 games. Goal#2 last night was more Ovechkin's fault for standing around and watching the entire play develop than Corvo or Sloan.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

the irony is, a team like LA who takes it on the chin last night would be having a field day with some of the Eastern Conf teams.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The way we played yesterday made me feel like I had a root canal done. Anyway, game 6 maybe 7??? More money for NHL!
I hope the Caps signed the contract agreement that has them winning.

I agree with the following:

Ovi-Backs-Knuble
Laich-Steckel-Brads
Semin-BMo-Fehr (this could be your 2nd line, it doesn't really matter)
Chimera-Gordon-Walker/Laing

New Flash...no Flash! Until he grows a pair he can sit it out!!

Go Caps!!!

Posted by: DCSPORTSFANATIC | April 24, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

How is that ironic? The West is stronger than the East. That's just a fact.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

well its ironic in Alanis Morrisette's world.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Also, Kings rule.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

truth is, if I didn't follow the Caps, I wouldn't even watch this series. Its pretty bad hockey overall for a playoff series. Buf-Bos, Ott-Pit, Van-LA are all more infinitely entertaining from purely a hockey perspective. Even Sharks/avs

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

they're going back to Montreal for Game 6 for one reason and one reason ONLY... their inept power play.

you can over-analyze everything all you want and you always do but if they were clicking at even 10 percent, the series would be over by now.

one PP goal in 5 games and they've had plenty of opportunities in the series... if you say you saw that coming, you're more full of yourself than even I ever imagined.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I'd hinge it in Halak over our PP. Or lack of.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

in/on

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1, you are a riot!! LOL! How many bottles of Ripple Wine do you consume an hour? It is messing you up royally, you see things that are not there ... like pink elephants. LOL. You can barely spell hockey, and yet you are determine to believe you know a lot. Have another drink, (LOL) and keep up the entertainment.

Posted by: hock1 | April 24, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

come on, was it that difficult to predict that they wouldn't be able to easily translate their reg season PP successes into the playoffs? In general (nothing to do with Montreal per se) the calibre of most postseason teams lends to some tightening down. You face better defensive teams. And even the teams who didn't have great reg season PK stats find a way to play tighter hockey in their own end. But just in general, many offensive-minded teams will have a tougher time scoring goals in the playoffs. Which was my point earlier when you responded with booming confidence that we were simply going to continue being an offensive juggernaut all the way thru the playoffs. And anyone who thought otherwise was stupid. Hmmm..

We also gave up a ton of shorthanded chances all reg season. So that part shouldn't surprise anyone.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

i always wonder if certain fans have more than one username to log in under...so sneaky

either that or i inspire hatred

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Halak is NO Hasek... even the '98 Caps team beat Hasek in 6 in the conference finals and they had no where near the offensive talent as the current squad.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

It is not BB who should be called out, it should be the players. BB does not pass weakly out of the zone nor does he barely check Montreal players crossing the Cap's blue line or get out-hustled near the boards in their own zone. It was sickening watching Caps constantly passing to no one or passing too hard or passing to a Montreal player because they hear "footsteps" from all the hits they have been taking. "Man up" and start hitting back and stop being "skilled wusses".

Posted by: JohnWWW | April 24, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Losing teeth . . . bummer . . . Eric Bel paying near highest of price to play pro hockey - feel real bad for him - be one thing to sprain an ankle or something, but teeth do not grow back.

Hopefully Caps can make such sacrifices worthwhile to a degree, by putting forth their best efforts in the time remaining, whatever that might turn out to be.

Correct me if I am wrong, but, seemed to me that we started to solve Halak a few games ago when we aimed our shots high, over his shoulders. Then they started to go in. In the last game, looked like all the shots were mid to low. This seems too simple of a solution, so maybe I am mistaken.

Posted by: CommonHerdsman | April 24, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Halak is NO Hasek... even the '98 Caps team beat Hasek in 6 in the conference finals and they had no where near the offensive talent as the current squad.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 3:07 PM

what? Halak isn't the greatest goaltender to ever play the game? Okay...I never compared him to Hasek.

Here's the bottomline; No way in HELL Price is stopping Semin's and Flash's chance. Maybe one of them, but no way in hell he is stopping both.

I love how your logic works...I say Halak is the reason the Habs are in it, and you respond by telling me he isn't a HHOF, arguably the greatest, goaltender to ever live. What are you even trying to say?

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

they need to do what the Flyers did to us 2 yrs ago when they were generating nothing offensively. Crowd the crease, get into Halak's head the way we got into Price's. There's always a fine line between doing that and taking penalties but I'd rather this team change it up against a better goalie and take the odd penalty than simply keep trying to beat him with unscreened shots.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

the Caps are 1 for 24 on the PP, that's 4 percent efficiency. they clicked at 25 percent in the regular season.

I don't care if this is the playoffs, 4 percent PP won't win you many games. and the PP was in a slump several games before the playoffs even started.

Like I said if you say you saw that coming, you're just a BS artist.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

It is not BB who should be called out, it should be the players. BB does not pass weakly out of the zone nor does he barely check Montreal players crossing the Cap's blue line or get out-hustled near the boards in their own zone. It was sickening watching Caps constantly passing to no one or passing too hard or passing to a Montreal player because they hear "footsteps" from all the hits they have been taking. "Man up" and start hitting back and stop being "skilled wusses".

Posted by: JohnWWW | April 24, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

well who do you think has put his imprint on this team of "skilled wusses" as you call them? This is what Boudreau wanted. A highly skilled team that likes to play run and gun. The drawback is, you lose some other qualities. And any coach's job is to motivate his team to do exactly those things you want them to do. Its not just x's and o's.

And if our name players aren't worried about being benched, that only perpetuates the problem.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

What if Ray Bourque didn't sell out?

That's what it should say. Mike Modano is the man.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I love how your logic works...I say Halak is the reason the Habs are in it, and you respond by telling me he isn't a HHOF, arguably the greatest, goaltender to ever live. What are you even trying to say?

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Has Halak won a Vezina that I'm not aware of?? yes, he's a good goalie but they made him look like a swiss cheese for almost two games in this series.

it's more about what the Caps are doing than what he's doing.

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't care if this is the playoffs, 4 percent PP won't win you many games. and the PP was in a slump several games before the playoffs even started.
--------------------------

yes it was. So again, it didn't surprise me that they haven't been able to translate their overall reg season stats into the playoffs. And they're lucky they're not playing a great defensive team. I'm not saying I saw a specific 1-24 situation but you were overly optimistic (ie. wayyyyy off the mark) about this team's ability to simply pour on the goals. And you still are judging by your comments about how the Flyers won't present any real challenge to us. That's just foolish and arrogant to think that the Caps can roll over any team, much less a team who dispatched a higher seed in 5 games and a team who played very well down the stretch. You can go ahead and reply with your childish "Cstanton loves the Flyers" comments now. But you get my point.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Wait..so since Halak hasn't won a Vezina and "isn't NO Hasek" he can't be the reason why that game didn't go into overtime last night? What the hell does that have to do with the other games?

Again, bottom line; Price isn't stopping both of those chances.

Formulating a point is a stressful situation for you, it seems.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 24, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Agreed on Halak, the guy's a damn good goalie. No wonder Slovakia surprised so many in the *Pics [along with the boys in the red, white and blue!]. And they say your best PKer is your goalie, so credit where credit is due.

I don't know what the answer is, BB knows more about the PP in his pinkie than I'll ever know - but watching Green's decision-making on the PP is driving me up the wall, I will say that.

I do know what the answer to our PP woes is not, though - more Corvo.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 24, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

anyone interested in a Caps-related series that will actually be highly entertaining should watch the upcoming Hershey-Albany series via the AHL site. Its good quality video too. I've watched about 10 full games this year
Its going to be great hockey and will probably go at least 6 if not the full 7 games. Albany is a very strong opponent this year and they're hungry. Both teams are pretty fast and physical and very evenly matched. Osala will be one of the prominent Albany players in the lineup.

Here's the Bears lineup. Very good balance on the forward lines.
Giroux-Aucoin-Gordon
Bourque-Perreault-Beagle
Bouchard-Wilson-Rome (Rome was a great pickup at the deadline)
Kane-Joudrey-Pinizzotto

D-pairs:
Amadio-Helmer
Alzner-Collins
Wellar-Miskovic

(thankfully Patrick McNeill is out, he's a total liability on D imo)

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I will just go by what BB said which was if your goal-scorer can't score on point blank chances and shoot the puck right at the goalie, it's like a defensive player missing a check which results in a goal against.

Halak does NOT deserve that much credit when they shoot the pucks right at him. did he even have to make one flashy glove save last night? you know the ones he couldn't make in Game 2??

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I do know what the answer to our PP woes is not, though - more Corvo.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 24, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

mo cowbell

Corvo's just a forward thats all. He's a lot like Flash. If Flash spent a year learning how to play defense he could probably replace Corvo

One of the reasons our PP has been shaky is the fact our forwards are not winning any battles along the half-wall. Montreal's been able to get to those pucks and clear them out. I'm not saying our point men have been faultless but its pretty hard to try and hold in the puck when you're not getting much support from the wingers along the boards. They have to do a better job of winning those puck battles. When Laich or Knuble are clogging up the crease, the other forwards need to grind it out better away from the net. You have 9 players not incl the goalie occupying one-third of the ice. There's not a lot of open space to maneuver.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand all of the Semin hatred on this board. He played a hard game last night, and made a couple of good defensive plays. It seems clear to me that he is trying and he just isn't getting pucks in the net. But a lot of goal scorers are streaky players, and Semin is one of them. It doesn't mean he isn't putting forth an effort.

I noticed that BB put Semin back with Laich for a bit last night. I think that he should put them back on the same line in game 6. They play well together, and played on the same line for much of the season. Giving them both that consistency will help each of them (since Laich certainly hasn't been lighting it up either).

It surprises me that more than one person here thinks that Steckel should be centering the second line in game 6. I am a huge Steckel fan, but he is not an offensive asset to this team. Sure, he might surprise us with a goal now and then, like he did in OT against the Penguins last year, but that's exactly what it would be--a surprise. Even if our offense hasn't been producing as well as it had during the regular season, totally sacrificing any chance for offense and putting Steckel and Bradley on our second line makes no sense. If Steckel and Bradley are sitting on line two, how are we expecting to win? With our defense? I certainly don't think that's a formula for success.

Posted by: Steph22 | April 24, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, my last sentence should read "I certainly don't think that's a formula for success for this team." Obviously, I think teams can win in the playoffs with defense--that has been proven time and again. So I'm just saying that since the Caps' defense hasn't been strong, I don't think that's how one should be expecting to win. And if you're putting Steckel and Bradley on the second line, isn't that what you're essentially relying on?

Posted by: Steph22 | April 24, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Someone said that we should not expect the Caps to score in abundance in the playoffs because the teams player better defense. I agree long term, but so far they have scored alot of goals in the games they won. [6-5-5] and lost in the games they haven't. They have to learn how to win the low scoring games or they will not make it very far. But are there any teams that can score with us and play good defense? If we lose any series in the East, it will be a goalie that stands on his head for an entire series. I hope Halek doesn't have two more "monster games" in him.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 24, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

the other glaring missing element on the blueline is the obvious lack of any real physical presence. In every other series you see defensemen step up in the neutral zone and obliterate a forward. Every Cup team has one or two guys who can do that. Even the allegedly more finesse teams like Det had Stuart and Kronwall. Pens with Orpik. The Caps have no one with the possible exception of an injured Morrisonn. We just have no defensive teeth. Forwards can skate up and down the wing at will and keep their heads down the whole time. The middle of the ice is also wide open.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if they do this already but since the Caps suck on home-ice in the playoffs under BB, I think they should treat them like road-games.

meaning they can't sleep in their own bed the night before the game and should all check into a hotel instead. some NFL teams have been known to do that, I think

Posted by: joek443 | April 24, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Ian Lapierre & now Belanger... Man, hockey players are tough... we'll win gm 6... we're a good road team & have to understand the importance of closing them now & no gm 7. Will Semin & Green please show up!!!

Posted by: tony325 | April 24, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand all of the Semin hatred on this board. He played a hard game last night, and made a couple of good defensive plays. It seems clear to me that he is trying and he just isn't getting pucks in the net. But a lot of goal scorers are streaky players, and Semin is one of them. It doesn't mean he isn't putting forth an effort.
------------------------

do you think he put in a great effort in game 1? how about game 2? Up until last night he had put in a strong effort in exactly one period of the playoffs. So thats why there's some bashing going on. Of course goal scorers can be streaky. But if they're compounding the problem by not providing anything else then they deserve to get bashed.

re your point about Steckel. When he's on a line with the right kind of linemates, he can be very effective against ANY team. Forget the goal he scored last yr. Think about how effective that line was against Pittsburgh and the way they controlled the puck deep and cycled it on almost every shift. The rest of our forwards (skilled and fast as they may be) were not as effective. And it doesn't have to be the "2nd" line per se. But they should get decent minutes to see what they can do. I think they could be effective against any team regardless of the speed factor. They just know how to play together, get the puck in deep, keep it simple, cycle it and wear down the D. That creates momentum and the rest of the team can feed off it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Montreal's speed works against Green. He doesn't have the time like he's used to. Plus they are keying on him. Let's get past the Habs and move onto Philly. Green will be better. I guess he cannot be worse. As for Semin, if he plays like last night, then i expect a huge breakout soon. If he plays lazy, then the slump will continue. And we have to keep going to the net. Even if we take a penalty.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 24, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The issue with Semin is shot selection. if you plot his shots they are not coming from close in. The person that i thought would do more and has not been discussed is Laich. Laich was going to be the guy going to the next and scoring the goals. Lets focus on him.

Posted by: samb99 | April 24, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2NGB7Ur9l4&feature=related

this is a hit on Pouliot. Have any of the Caps defensemen even tried to cut off a forward like this in the neutral zone? We're all about retreating into our own end and then trying to defend. That chews up some valuable minutes even if it doesn't result in a goal. Its a moot point because the trade deadline has passed but its frustrating that year in and out McPhee does not seem that interested in acquiring an aggressive strong defenseman because he doesn't fit the "mold" of a swift skating offensive guy. And the only defensive dmen we have don't really like to hit except for Mo.

Andrew Alberts would've been a better pickup from the Canes over a Corvo type. He was inserted back into the Canucks lineup last night and had a very strong game on D last night against a challenging Kings team.

(Notice I said "type". Corvo is who he is, he can't change that.)

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

And if you're putting Steckel and Bradley on the second line, isn't that what you're essentially relying on?

Posted by: Steph22 | April 24, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

to finish my point, you have to look outside the numbers. Lines help other lines. If you can get a line that is responsible and maintains puck possession and can wear down a defense, they don't have to necessarily pot a lot of goals to prove their value. We had a line with Kono-Halpern-Dahlen a while back who was by no means a very talented line. But they were probably our best line because they rarely lost the puck and they created momentum for the rest of our forward lines. Thats who I liken Steckel and company with

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The defense backs in because they are afraid the Habs will dump the puck in and beat them to it with their speed. They need to find that balance of backing in without giving up the zone easily. They are expecting teams to dump the puck in and get in on them quickly. So they are anticipating this. It would be nice to have one tough defensemen who will knock people down all over the place but at the same time, we need defensemen that can move the puck up quickly. After the all, the Caps strength is transition.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 24, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Agreed we lack a true bone-cruncher, but a couple points on that:
- no secret there, going back at least 3 seasons
- Carlson and Green both have that capability, maybe not quite A-train like but they're both very powerful athletes who finish their checks. Green has done ok on that front, and Carlson will only get stronger physically in the next few years.
- It takes a ton out of you to make hits like that, and if they're on the PK for 10 mins per game your legs are just rubber from all the starts and stops; PK wipes you out;
- For different slightly different reasons they're maybe wary of going for the big crush and getting burned; Carlson because he's 20 and more than anything just doesn't want to risk missing the guy / a glaring make mistake leading to a two-on-one;
-I'd imagine Green is also pretty wary of leaving JS to defend on an odd-man break against some of their quick little buggers who pass on a freaking dime.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 24, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

cstanton, Semin may not have looked good in game 1 or 2, but I actually thought he looked good in games 3, 4 and 5, and for more than just one period. I just don't agree with you that there has been a lack of effort. I see him racing Montreal up and down the ice to get to pucks, and he has had some good defensive plays. So I wouldn't say he is compounding the lack of scoring by bringing nothing else.

As for Steckel, he may be able to wear down the other team (and I do agree this is something we haven't done nearly enough of), but he didn't look fantastic in games 1 or 2 and wasn't doing a very good job of exhausting Montreal. It's interesting that Steckel's problem is apparently his linemates, but when Semin's linemates have been changed on him constantly, it isn't a valid point in Semin's favor. Steckel has played with the same linemates for most of the season, one of whom was Bradley. I just don't think giving Steckel and Bradley big minutes and adding Laich to that mix is the solution to our problem. I don't see Steckel and Bradley doing a great job of setting Laich up for scoring opportunities. In the lines you have created you essentially have two checking/non-scoring lines, one of which you want to give huge minutes to, the top line, and then you're putting Semin with new linemates again (I realize he has played with B-Mo, but not that much with Fehr).

I don't think it's a coincidence that both Semin and Laich been playing on different lines and have been mostly silent on the score sheet. I would put them back together with either B.Mo or Belanger, put the other center with Fehr and Chimera, and then put Steckel on with Bradley and Gordon. But even though Flash has been horrible, I could also see the wisdom of keeping him on the third line, which would mean moving Chimera down to the fourth line. Wouldn't be much different than what we have now, but I think it's imperative to get Laich and Semin back together.

Posted by: Steph22 | April 24, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

BB seems to see things a little differently today...

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=319290

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 24, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"The defense backs in because they are afraid the Habs will dump the puck in and beat them to it with their speed"

even if we played a slow team, we don't have the defensive personnel or mindset to step up in the neutral zone. Our defense's natural style is to drop back and allow forwards to enter our zone. Thats been my observation. I don't think we adjusted our game to compensate for the Habs' speed.

"After the all, the Caps strength is transition. "

and what better way to transition than to step up on a timely hit and force the play back the other way instead of having to always start in our own end. The only times we transition at the neutral zone is when our forwards intercept a puck. Its never our defense that cuts the play off right there.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"Correct me if I am wrong, but, seemed to me that we started to solve Halak a few games ago when we aimed our shots high, over his shoulders. Then they started to go in. In the last game, looked like all the shots were mid to low. This seems too simple of a solution, so maybe I am mistaken.

Posted by: CommonHerdsman | April 24, 2010 3:08 PM "

I think you're right, CommonHerdsman. I thought that was why MTL changed to Price in goal. I gotta believe that there is a lot of tape-reviewing and discussion happening about how to get back to beating Halik.

My sympathies to Eric Belanger. That is really awful to lose so many teeth. Great attitude, too--he wouldn't have minded so much if the team had won.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | April 24, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Totally agreed re: the points some are making on Semin, Flash and Laich. If we're all going to crucify Semin and Flash, how on earth does Laich totally escape scrutiny? Fair is fair.

I would like to see Semin shoot the puck a little quicker. He shoots so hard and with such a quick release; the goalie almost doesn't have a chance on some of those if he hits the net/ MTL doesn't block it [which they won't if he gets if off quicker]. I'd also love to see him take more one-timers, the guy has phenomenal hand-eye I'd love to see him utiilize it a little more - of course, one-timers require really good passing and most of his linemates aren't exactly Forsbergian in their dishes [Flash's passing, on the other hand, is very underrated. As is Semin's, for that matter].

Posted by: govtimbo | April 24, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=526906

at least Bruce is open to the idea of Erskine playing at some point. Whoever said that if Erskine had to suit up for a game it meant our D was in trouble...sorry thats just not true. Its all about matchups and in some cases (like v the Rags last yr) Erskine is a better option to have

too bad Sloan gets the seat because he can play both sides of the ice and he played pretty well over the past 2 games. And I don't see the Mo-Corvo chemistry that BB is alluding to either. Mo just helps cover up Corvo's deficiencies. I think Mo-Green have way better chemistry and the few times they got paired up at the end of the season they played very well together.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Totally agreed re: the points some are making on Semin, Flash and Laich. If we're all going to crucify Semin and Flash, how on earth does Laich totally escape scrutiny? Fair is fair.
-----------------

Laich's job is to go to the front of the net which he's been doing for the most part. Last night he did everything possible to grind and muck it up. But his wingers have to play responsibly up and down their lanes, they can't be half-azzing it. Again, I'm talking over the entire series, not just one game. And its probably no fun for Laich to have to cover defensively playing with 2 wingers who generally have no idea how to play in their own end. Semin made a nice backcheck on the shortie chance but in general his play in his own end is very week as is Flash's. Laich has a lot to be responsible for playing with those 2 wingers. There's not another center who is a better fit for those guys.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you. But one of our defensive weaknesses is deep in our end. Because we don't have the toughness to battle in the corners. If we were able to build a defense that is tougher in the corners and would step up to break up plays in the neutral zone, then we would have a deficit in making that first breakout pass. I just think we sacrifice one for the other. As for Corvo, I dont think we needed him with Green and Carlson and even Poti able to move the puck. Corvo has done ok offensively. He had two great scoring chances last night. But no one is scared to challenge him in the defensive zone.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 24, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"I just don't think giving Steckel and Bradley big minutes and adding Laich to that mix is the solution to our problem. I don't see Steckel and Bradley doing a great job of setting Laich up for scoring opportunities."

They dump,they chase, they win the puck battle on the endboards, they then cycle the puck and one of em crashes the net. Simple and effective. They help our other lines by wearing down the D, they generate garbage type scoring opportunities, they also play well defensively. Lets not pigeonhole lines as "scoring" and "non-scoring" . Its more complex than that.

Moen played LW last night on the top line for much of the game. He's essentially like a Bradley or Steckel kind of forward. And he had a good game playing on the top line because his style complemented Gomez and Gionta. Hockey is more than just putting 3 talented skill players on a line and calling it a scoring line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

either that or i inspire hatred

Posted by: cstanton1

Well, if you're constantly bashing the team, GM, certain players, and ownership then it stands to reason that you will inspire a certain amount of hatred. I can't speak for others but for myself I watch hockey and root for the Capitals because I enjoy it and want to enjoy myself. I don't really see what's the point of watching when most of what you see is doom and gloom. I would say that most of us are hopeful and optimistic and see a Stanley Cup in our future. I guess I would equate it to going to a movie and criticizing the acting, directing, script and liking one or two scenes...then going to see the sequel and doing the same thing all over again.
Not trying to start a fight here, just explaining things in a reasonable, rational, calm way. An ability which Joke apparently doesn't possess

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

As for Corvo, I dont think we needed him with Green and Carlson and even Poti able to move the puck. Corvo has done ok offensively. He had two great scoring chances last night. But no one is scared to challenge him in the defensive zone.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 24, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

sad thing is, if there were two Corvos out there McPhee would've made a play for both of them. (i don't believe any of the Andy Sutton rumors either)
The Caps will never have the kind of defense you are referring to because our GM doesn't believe in it. Thats why teams are constructed so differently. Every GM has their own vision. And some of the types of players that our GM treasures would never be looked at twice by another org and v-versa. McPhee is on offensive overload. He's addicted to it. Even if we blow this series, he'll never really change the fundamental approach to building a roster. Puckmovers on D regardless of other deficiences, and a plethora of speedy skill guys upfront with a light sprinkling of tough grinders.

even the Carlson pick - everything McPhee stated about that pick had to do with Carlson's OFFENSIVE abilities (skating, booming shot). He never mentioned his toughness or his willingness to play hardnosed defensive hockey.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 24, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Holy balls! Give that man a beer.

Posted by: ozpunk | April 24, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I've always wondered about Carlson. Was there something that made him fall to the 27th pick? If that draft was done over again he'd be in the Top 5. The only thing I can think of was that he came out of the USHL and wasn't scouted very heavily

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't really see what's the point of watching when most of what you see is doom and gloom. I would say that most of us are hopeful and optimistic and see a Stanley Cup in our future. I guess I would equate it to going to a movie and criticizing the acting, directing, script and liking one or two scenes...then going to see the sequel and doing the same thing all over again.
Not trying to start a fight here, just explaining things in a reasonable, rational, calm way. An ability which Joke apparently doesn't possess

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

yeah he certainly doesn't, lol

but there's an assumption you're making that isn't true. You don't have to see a Cup in the near future to be a fan of a team. I'm a Skins fan and I haven't see an impending championship for the last 15 yrs. I truly don't believe we have the type of organizational approach to building a roster that would bring a Cup in the near future. So, thats why I say what I say. I can't just stop being a fan.

take for example Columbus - how many of their fans see a Cup in their near future ? probably none if they're astute. How would you characterize them? Should they stop watching their team?

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

They dump,they chase, they win the puck battle on the endboards, they then cycle the puck and one of em crashes the net. Simple and effective. They help our other lines by wearing down the D, they generate garbage type scoring opportunities, they also play well defensively. Lets not pigeonhole lines as "scoring" and "non-scoring" . Its more complex than that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I realize that everyone has a role on a line. However, there is no denying that Laich is a player who is a legitimate threat to get goals and assists in a game. Putting him on a line with two players who are not known for scoring or setting up plays only works to waste Laich's scoring abilities. Why take away a potential offensive threat? You should be able to get what you're looking for--someone to cycle the puck, crash the net, and go into the corners with Steckel and Bradley--with a player who doesn't have Laich's offensive abilities. It doesn't make sense to waste them.

Also, as for this:
either that or i inspire hatred

Posted by: cstanton1

I personally don't care that you consistently bash the players, coaches, etc. It can certainly get frustrating, but at least it inspires discussion. But the racist, ethnocentric stuff is unnecessary, inappropriate, and will turn pretty much everyone off.

Posted by: Steph22 | April 24, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

The second goal was probably Backstrom's fault. Sloan was a little late to cover Gionta, but nothing egregious. Corvo had Gomez perfectly covered. But nobody was covering Moen. That should've been Backstrom on that play. He made a mistake. Every player makes a few mistakes. Unfortunately, that mistake turned into a goal.

As much complaining as people are doing about the defense. It only let up 2 goals last night and it only let up 2 goals in regulation in the other loss. I will take giving up 2 goals in regulation every night. A goalie with a 2.00 GAA is considered to have played great. So 2 goals against in regulation is absolutely fine. The defense has only played one bad game in the series and luckily the Caps won that game.

The most signifcant problem throughout the series has been the PP. cstanton talks about it being the playoffs, but power plays have always done fine in the playoffs throughout history. The Kings PP is doing ridiculously well. I really don't know why the Caps PP is playing so bad. I think Dean Evanson mentioned it has been poor spacing and the guys are too close too each other. Especially Green and Ovie on the points. That needs to be fixed.

I think possibly putting BMo on the left point with Green remaining on the right point might be a good think to try. BMo is good at keeping pucks in and making smart passes and creating more space. The main drawback would be the lack of shot, but with the Habs grea shot blocking I don't see that being much of a problem. It can't be any worse than it has been so far.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 24, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

But the racist, ethnocentric stuff is unnecessary, inappropriate, and will turn pretty much everyone off.

Posted by: Steph22 | April 24, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? what racist stuff? i get the Euro/ethnocentric reference but there's about 30 Euro players in this league that I would love to have. And a couple of them play on the Caps. So its not a blanket characterization.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I have somebody else I'd like to add to the list of players I'd like to see Semin traded for: Joel Ward of Nashville. He might not be as scrappy as Simmonds or Chris Stewart, but in a package he'd be a good pickup. And all three of those players have more goals in these playoffs than Semin

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

cstanton
But I do believe the Caps have a Cup in them in the near future, if the cards play out of course. I really, truly from the bottom of my hockey heart, think that no team in the East can beat us in a 7 game series. Who? The Pens, there defensive play this season is awful. New Jersey is out. Philly? No way. I think Teams like Montreal and Ottawa match up better against us. I am more scared of playing the west teams who really match up well against us but i still think we can beat any of them as well.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 24, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I have somebody else I'd like to add to the list of players I'd like to see Semin traded for: Joel Ward of Nashville. He might not be as scrappy as Simmonds or Chris Stewart, but in a package he'd be a good pickup. And all three of those players have more goals in these playoffs than Semin

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

The teams who'll give us the best return for a Semin would be teams totally desperate for offense and willing to overlook some of Semin's deficiencies. Boston, Calgary (if they can afford him) come to mind. And they have rugged forwards and defensemen in abundance, something we can use. Guys who can play a regular shift.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

speaking of Simmonds, he's made it his personal mission to go after Ryan Kesler every chance he gets. Gotta love that spirit.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

but there's an assumption you're making that isn't true. You don't have to see a Cup in the near future to be a fan of a team. I'm a Skins fan and I haven't see an impending championship for the last 15 yrs. I truly don't believe we have the type of organizational approach to building a roster that would bring a Cup in the near future. So, thats why I say what I say. I can't just stop being a fan.

take for example Columbus - how many of their fans see a Cup in their near future ? probably none if they're astute. How would you characterize them? Should they stop watching their team?

Posted by: cstanton1

That's not a bad point, but most Caps fans are in Cup mode, and your style is going to turn them off. You peeved me a little during the summer when you criticized the Brendan Morrison signing. I couldn't understand criticizing that move and still don't. To me that just seemed like you were bashing for no reason other than just to bash. The Caps got BMo for $1.5/mill and that was less than what other teams were offering him. For that salary the Caps did pretty well, and were able to fit everyone else that needed to be resigned under the cap. There's still a lot to like about this team. Just because McPhee thinks offense will win it now, doesn't mean he always will. I still keep hoping someone in the organization will get thru his thick skull, and make him see that the Caps desperately need at least one good stay at home, preferably veteran, D.
I don't understand the constant bashing, but I guess you don't understand our pollyanna viewpoint either. So just saying here, that kind of attitude will earn you dislike. I don't mind debating things calmly and rationally myself. I just dislike it when posters (not accusing you, just saying) use grade school tactics. On Hockey's Future I got tired of debating one clown and said let's just agree to disagree. His response was "that's the only right thing you've said". That type of stuff, or Joke's lame toilet humor, has no place here

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Semin was the best Caps player on the ice last night.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 24, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I've always wondered about Carlson. Was there something that made him fall to the 27th pick? If that draft was done over again he'd be in the Top 5. The only thing I can think of was that he came out of the USHL and wasn't scouted very heavily

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

that...and the fact that particular draft was the deepest draft for defensemen in about 25 years. Think about the quality of the players in that draft

Doughty, Schenn, Teubert, Del Zotto, Karlsson, Sbisa, Tyler Myers. All of them went before Carlson and they're all very good prospects. The only clear mistake was probably Alex Pietrangelo. Thats what happens when you go after a guy largely based on his skating and offensive #s over the fact that he's not a shutdown type of defenseman.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Semin was the best Caps player on the ice last night.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 24, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

i don't know about that, but he was definitely much better. And accordingly, he's not getting railed for last night's performance. Its his overall play. Its just bad timing that the criticism is reaching a crescendo on the heels of his best game

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

If you redid that draft today then Carlson would go probably 5th or 6th. He's certainly eclipsed Sbisa, Karlsson, del Zotto. I think Toronto would want him or Myers before Schenn, who has no offensive game. Columbus would want both of them before Filatov. But alas! No do-overs are allowed. I still don't wonder if the BPA strategy is baloney and teams aren't picking based on needs. Hockey's Future disagrees with you on Pietrangelo. They've called him the best prospect in the world

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the constant bashing, but I guess you don't understand our pollyanna viewpoint either. So just saying here, that kind of attitude will earn you dislike. I don't mind debating things calmly and rationally myself.
-------------------

to be honest, i really don't care if i tick people off. I'm not necessarily trying to do that unless its some dumb flame war but its an inevitable outcome when you get into any meaty debate which involves a lot of people. Some folks handle it better than others. Discussion is what brings me here, not a popularity contest. I guess I made that comment tongue-in-cheek, I know I inspire some hatred :)

but overall I'm just here to balance out what I think are the overly optimistic naive types and also to engage in some rewarding discussions. And if I do think someone has a "pollyanna" viewpoint, I don't start off bashing them for that. I try to provide examples to back up every point. Hence the 50 line posts.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Hockey's Future disagrees with you on Pietrangelo. They've called him the best prospect in the world

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm not about to label him a bust or anything but his progress so far has been disappointing and there have been rumblings for a while that the Blues have been wanting to include him in a trade. He's just a tall offensive dman who struggles in his own end. But if Johnny Boychuk can come back from the living dead then anything is possible.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Semin was the best Caps player on the ice last night.

Posted by: sgm3

Since I'm trying to avooid mowing my lawn for as long as possible I'll explain my anti-Semin stance. I had the willies about him from the very beginning. All reports out of Russia said that he was a head case, prima donna, selfish etc. And he's done nothing to disprove those statements, starting with him not paying his honor bar bill, missing a team flight, refusing to report to Portland and refusing to play in the NHL when he had a contract. The off ice things have seemed to die down, but on the ice he's still lazy, selfish and plays an irresponsible game. His trade value is high right now. Get a good, young defensive D and a power forward for him. My proposal is Semin and Orlov for Wayne Simmonds, Colten Teubert and a #1 pick.

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

My proposal is Semin and Orlov for Wayne Simmonds, Colten Teubert and a #1 pick
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that would thrill me to no end

my only hesitation would be that I haven't seen Teubert play at this level and his skating is what could hold him back. He is a nasty guy who does put up some numbers from the point.

my other hesitation is I heard Orlov is actually a pretty gritty solid player. I'd rather include Alzner and a 1st instead of Orlov if his scouting report is accurate.

But Wayne Simmonds would be hard to pry away.

Calgary may be enticed into parting with Giordano. I'd go for Semin plus Schultz for Giordano and Nystrom. Giordano is the most underrated dman in hockey. And he's got oodles of character and unbelievably solid at both ends. Its why they could afford to trade Phaneuf

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 24, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

For the love of god he loses eight teeth (don't they wear mouth guards?), has to have his lip stitched up but he goes right back out there? Winning faceoffs .. What does it take to motivate the rest of his teammates? The guy's an inspiration to any other gaggle.

Posted by: tslats | April 24, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

He does not wear a mouth guard because, several years ago, he lost his three front teeth on the top, making it impossible to bite down on a guard.

Posted by: akus2 | April 24, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Calgary may be enticed into parting with Giordano. I'd go for Semin plus Schultz for Giordano and Nystrom. Giordano is the most underrated dman in hockey. And he's got oodles of character and unbelievably solid at both ends. Its why they could afford to trade Phaneuf

Posted by: cstanton1

Still too early to throw Schultz under the bus. I know a lot of people hate him, but I think he's taking baby steps. I won't go as far to say he's totally turned the corner like the pollyannas do, but in a year or two he might...REPEAT MIGHT....be a stud dman. I've heard good things about Orlov too. But you have to give up quality to counterbalance Semin's many issues. Dean Lombardi is nobody's fool

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | April 24, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

@bigschu8

Yeah, it's too bad none of this made it in Tarik's next blog post. Only bad news about Semin gets reported.

"Semin alone had nine shots on goal in the game, another five were blocked and three missed the net. Boudreau was able to recognize Saturday that perhaps Semin wasn't playing as badly as he thought a night earlier.

"It might be something that he's not used to, a slump," Boudreau said. "He's been scoring on a regular basis when he plays, so we'll just get him to relax and play his game and I think he'll be better."

Posted by: Steakum | April 24, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Dude,

I am so sorry about your teeth. :(

"Semin alone had nine shots on goal in the game, another five were blocked and three missed the net. Boudreau was able to recognize Saturday that perhaps Semin wasn't playing as badly as he thought a night earlier."

I thought Semin played his best game last night of the playoffs. He keeps playing that way it's only a matter of time before he catches fire.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | April 24, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Tonight I do believe I'll offer a prayer to God thanking HIm for NOT making me a hockey fan.

GAD!

Posted by: muawiyah | April 24, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

"...But I mean it's playoffs, and I came back and tried to help the team win."

That's why I got so much respect for hockey players. They are so sick with what they do with the puck out there. And what Belanger said makes me feel so wimpy right there.

Posted by: arakakij | April 25, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

This team is now in its third straight year of making the playoffs. There is no more learning how to play in the playoffs or growing together or any of that nonsense. If they choke this series away, changes have to be made. Green, Semin, Schulz, Laich, need to be on the trading block. A team that can't advance in the playoffs just isn't worth having no matter how well they play in the regular season...............

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 25, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I have been a CAPS fan for 33 years, I have endured this same misery every year they are in the playoffs. For all of the new CAPS fans, its ok, you will not have to wait as long. DEFENSE wins Cups, they are missing one D, like Langway, Give up Green and Semin for the best D-man in the league....Its 3-0.They are laughing at us!......I have seen it, no matter how loud the CAPS fans cheer Wed, CAPS lose this series. They don't deserve to win.

Posted by: DCFanatic | April 26, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

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