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On the Caps and Chirping


Tom Poti, not chirping. (Karl B DeBlaker - AP)


"Guys say the most ridiculous things," Brian Pothier told me, when I asked him about on-ice chirping. "Matthew Barnaby called me ugly once. That was an interesting one. What am I supposed to say? I'm like, 'Yeah, all right man. You got me. Sorry dude. I didn't mean to offend you with my presence.' "

The Caps, several players said, don't have many chirpers, or yappers, or trash talkers, or whatever you want to call them. Donald Brashear, as previously noted, thinks the whole thing is kind of stupid. John Erskine, Pothier said, doesn't need to chirp either; "he just scares the crap out of you, you know what I mean, he scares the life out of you," Pothier said. "He gives you the look, and it's like, 'Oh, ok, I've got you.' "

Tom Poti regularly manages to irritate opposing forwards, but he said it's not with his mouth.

"There's a lot of guys that like to chirp and kind of trash talk, but that doesn't really accomplish much, in my mind," he said. "I'm not a guy that really talks too much out there, just trying to get under guys skin and be physical and kind of get in the way out there on the ice. That's kind of my job, is to get under the other teams' first line's [skin] and kind of annoy them and try to get them off their game. So the madder I get them, the better I'm doing my job, I guess."

And Pothier, too, said he's never been fond of on-ice chatter.

"I'm not a talker," he said. "I believe that if you're gonna yip or chirp, then you should be able to back it up, and I've never been a good fighter so I don't get into it that much. Guys that I know I'll give it to, have a little fun on the ice, or if a guy's diving or something, just have a little fun with him and yip at him. But I leave that to the guys who that's their job."

Even Caps players who are predisposed to conversating said they've grown quieter of late. Eric Fehr said he was always a chirpy player at every level of the sport, but that things changed once he got to the NHL.

"I stay out of the game now," he said. "I'm out of the chirping game. In juniors, I was big into it, and in the A even, but it's not worth it, it's not worth the time....When I got to the NHL I kind of gave it up. Because at the A, I was still a pretty decent scorer so you could kind of chirp then, but when you have 11 goals, you have nothing to say. You know, you're the guy getting chirped. So it's different."

(What would he actually say? "Usually there's a couple guys on each team that like to yap, and it's usually their scrapper or their [stuff] disturber, and you're just chirping," Fehr said. "You tell him how bad he is, how useless he is. I don't know, all kinds of stuff. It was pretty fun, but it gets you off your game a little bit.")

"When it's warranted," David Steckel said, when asked whether the Caps chirp. "It's not really like, 'Hey we're going into the game tonight and we're gonna chirp so and so.' It just happens."

Is there a difference between chirping and yipping? Pothier wasn't completely sure.

"Yeah, I think so," he said. "I just think of yipping as just never shutting up, you know, whining at the refs all the time, just complaining about everything, just a whiner. And then guys who are chirping--it's similar obviously--but they're usually guys [who] just never shut up, they just try so hard to play the role as the agitator. Just wah wah wah wah. Shut up. It's annoying more than anything else."

When I asked a few players who chirped the most on the Caps, no names really came to mind. Pothier looked around the room and still didn't have a suggestion; "I'm trying to think of anybody," he said. "We're pretty good, man, actually I don't think we have anybody."

Which would be news to Bruce Boudreau.

"I think everybody chirps now and again," the coach said. "Every player on every team in every league and every sport does it, so whether I care or not, it happens, all the time."

I figured that the legendarily quick-witted, brutally honest and sharp-tongued Boudreau would have been an award-winning chirper in his day. Not so, he said.

"Maybe I grew into it, but on the ice, I wasn't very good at it," he said. "I was horrible."

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 31, 2009; 4:02 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Comments

other teams have gotten with that Number 1 pick: Tim Duncan, LeBron, Kobe, DWade, Carmelo Anthony, Yao Ming, Allen Iverson...

And we got...You.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 30, 2009 3:28 PM

Steinz might not like me saying this, but VTDuffman honestly why do you keep posting comments here? You never have anything intelligent to say and the above post just further illustrates this. D Wade was not a number 1 pick. Kobe Bryant was not a number 1 pick. Carmelo Anthony was not a number 1 pick. Thanks for that piece of nonsense that even casual fans could identify as untrue.

VTDuffman, here's my question: If you don't know what you're talking about, why are you trying to add to the discussion? Do us all a favor and save your uninformed comments for somewhere else.

No offense.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 31, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

i miss esa tikkanen

Posted by: am_jim | April 1, 2009 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Tikkanen, I believe, is Finnish for "Game 2 OT open net miss that was like a knife in my heart".

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 1, 2009 3:42 AM | Report abuse

"No offense."

Really? You're re-posting this from a Kwame Brown thread, literally, more than 5 posts down on the bog. For the sole purpose of saying that I "never have anything Intelligent to say." Then you try and say "No Offense?" and say I'm offering nothing constructive?

Really? *That* much effort on your part in a completely unrelated thread just to call me (sic) "stupid?"

Look, I'm sorry you think that I hate the UMD Terps college basketball team - but this is a little obsessive and kind of weird. No Offense.

That said, to get on topic a little bit (of your post, not this bog post which has nothing to do with what you posted). I was shaky on DWade and Kobe but used them for effect, and honestly thought 'Melo was the #1 pick. Who was #1 that year? My internet access at work is pretty limited (I pretty much only get the WaPo), so that was off the top of my head. I think 4/7 wasn't so bad...

That said, you keep up the good fight going after anonymous internet blog posters whom you have percieved to have slighted the University of Maryland in some way. It doesn't make you look creepy or weird at all.

No Offense.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 1, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse


If anyone wants to know what chirping sounds like, listen to Kevin Stevens & Bryan Trottier give it to Brian Bellows during the Stanley Cup Finals in this classic clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0KPHqU-K00

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0KPHqU-K00

Posted by: dgresh | April 1, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I know Barno's a big fan of accuracy - the Kwame Brown entry was 9 posts old, not 5.

And looking back on what you wrote in *that* thread, it looks like you actually went to the effort of re-writing the post and adding a bit of content, to lessen the offense I'm assuming.

If I really wanted to get your hackles up, I could say something like "4 out of 7 isn't bad, it's pretty close to the number of times Gary has made the tournament since winning the National Championship!"

But I'm a bigger man than that, so I won't go there...

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 1, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

So apparently Crosby is what they call a yipper then?

Posted by: mikesgirl1 | April 1, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

That said, you keep up the good fight going after anonymous internet blog posters whom you have percieved to have slighted the University of Maryland in some way. It doesn't make you look creepy or weird at all.

No Offense.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 1, 2009 9:08 AM

I could care less that you slighted the MD basketball program. It's that you continue posting false information, constantly, that is irritating. And I still ask the question, if you don't know what you're talking about, why are you trying to add to the discussion? I'm honestly curious about the mindset of someone who enters conversations outside their realm of expertise or interest, acting like they know what they're talking about when it's painfully obvious to others they don't have any clue.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 1, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"It's that you continue posting false information, constantly, that is irritating."

I "Continue" to do so "Constantly?"

You cited my 4 for 7 admitted off the top of my head 1st rounders.

Please list just 2 more examples.

Since I "continue" to do this so "constantly," this shouldn't be any issue for you at all. I eagerly await your response in an unrelated bog thread 9 posts from now.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 1, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, you better make it snappy. You only have 4 Bog posts to go...

I eagerly await.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 1, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

This: Look, I'm sorry you think that I hate the UMD Terps college basketball team - but this is a little obsessive and kind of weird. No Offense.

and this: Since I "continue" to do this so "constantly," this shouldn't be any issue for you at all. I eagerly await your response in an unrelated bog thread 9 posts from now.

Would this be "yipping" or "chirping"? Get a room.

Posted by: johnb5 | April 1, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"Would this be "yipping" or "chirping"? Get a room."

Mentally, I'm only about 5, so I just have to say for the record - "He started it."

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 1, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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