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Ovechkin: "Next Game is Gonna Be Different"

Luck stuff happened. (By Ricky Carioti - TWP)

There was a lot of talk about luck tonight. Both teams dominated stretches of the game. Both teams had chances to win. Sure, the Penguins earned their final chance by getting on the power play, and sure, Evgeni Malkin bulled his way past Sergei Fedorov to set up the goal, but still, Tom Poti and Shaone Morrisonn both have game-winners in this series, both for the wrong team. There's at least a little bit of randomness in something like that.

Now, if you are of or for the Penguins you say something like "you make your own luck, friend." Here was how Sidney Crosby put it, when asked if the hockey gods were on the Penguins' side.

"Um, maybe," he said. "You've got to work hard to get the bounces, though, and we hit two crossbars the second half of the game or whatever it was. And those go in, and we're not talking about overtime. So we've created a lot of good opportunities, and sometimes they haven't gone in, but they've found a way to even out. So you work hard for those breaks, and that's just the way hockey goes."

And if you are of or for the Capitals, you say something like "man, drat." Here was how Bruce Boudreau put it, when asked about the game winner.

"Both their overtime goals have actually been scored by our guys, so it's an unlucky break," he said. "I though tit was our best game of the series. I mean, they still get 42 shots They're a very good team, they come at you and they can skate, and holding them to few shots is gonna be very difficult, but I thought we had as many chances as they did, I thought we had the energy that they did, and I thought we played a really good game that was decided in overtime. I mean, you can't get closer than that. One shot, [David] Steckel puts it in in overtime, we're sitting here and we're talking a different tune, there's all different questions and we're all happy. On this side of the microphone, anyway."

Or how about Tom Poti, the man whose stick was actually responsible for the re-direct.

"I don't think there's anything I'd do different again," he said. "It's just an unlucky bounce and there's nothing you can really do about it."

Here's the victimized goalie, Simeon Varlamov: "It's always hard when you play in overtime and you allow a silly goal like this," he said. "Twice now, because the first overtime game, again it was a silly deflection, but as they say the winners make their own luck, so there's nothing we can say about that."

Or, as Alex Ovechkin said, "It was kind of a lucky goal, but it's a goal."

"You can see first shift [of overtime], Stecks miss empty net and I say, 'Jesus, where is our luck?' " Alex Ovechkin added. "Puck bouncing, and next shift they get power play and score goal. It's not about when you score the last five minutes of the game, it's all about when you play hard, how we want to play and how we can play. I think today we played good, but it's not good enough, so next game is gonna be different. There was in that situation when they [were losing] 2-0, and they come back and they winning right now. But it's not over yet. If somebody thinks it's over, it's not over."

(Ovechkin was gangsta with his quotes all night. "We have opportunity to win the game and we lost and we disappointed," he opened with, "but we're gonna come back here again Game 7. That's our goal."

"If we gonna play same way how we play first two periods we're gonna win this series," he added later.)

(And to be fair, both superstars sort of qualified their statements. Like, here's Crosby, seeing it from the Caps' point of view: "They're a good hockey team, and it's back and forth, these games come down to mistakes and bounces and we've been able to make a few less [mistakes] here and got a good bounce there on that last goal." And here was Ovechkin on the game-winner, after saying the team doesn't feel snakebit: "It's all about mistakes, and if you make some mistakes probably players gonna score goals. The kind of mistakes we make, give Malkin too many chances....It's all about mistakes.")

That's all fine, but the best quote I heard still came from Pens' defenseman Brooks Orpik, who was asked if the sound of silence after the game-winner was the best sound in the world. He paused. Then he said that the sound of silence in Philadelphia was better.

"That's just because the fans here, the fans here are a lot classier,"* Orpik said. "But that was pretty good, that was a pretty good second."

* Offer does not include the fans who shouted homophobic slurs about Sidney Crosby, nor the fan I saw who punched a Penguins fan in the mouth in a concession line drawing blood, nor the dozens of fans who threw bottles and balls (?) and pom-poms onto the ice in overtime.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 9, 2009; 11:02 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Next: How Not to React to a Loss


The only time I'm witness to this kind of behavior (slurs, fihhts, etc.) is during the playoffs. Just look at the lines to the men's room that are about a city block long and it tells you that way too much beer is being sold and consumed. Blame the beer, not the fans.

Posted by: luvdcaps | May 9, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Sidney Crosby takes it in the jaw.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | May 9, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Blame the beer? Seriously? Is this the kind of self-responsibility we have come to nowadays. I used to enjoy going to Caps games. We had so much fun until last season when an angry Caps fan turned around and threw a cup of beer on a Penguins fan - only to get my wife and her new Caps jersey an indirect dousing as well. It's a freakin game for cryin' out loud. Don't blame the beer. Blame the immature arsses that attend Caps games, voluntarily drop $7 on each beer and then act like Vikings. Don't "blame the beer" - blame the jerks that buy the beer knowing darn well that they will act like total a-hats. I had hope the Caps fans had more class - but like the playoff lost to Philly, we still have idiots who want to ruin it for us all.

Posted by: schrute | May 9, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Never seen a classy Pittsburg fan. He probably was already missing a few teeth.
The fans were pissed because we do not EVER get the critical calls/non-calls in OT.

Posted by: pgeagle | May 9, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

The only way they'll win game 6 is if there is Penguin blood on the ice. The hockey Gods are clamoring for a blood sacrifice; and the Caps have been playing too clean and too cute. I hope they hit Crosby, Malkin, Staal and Orpik left and right and terrorize Fleury's crease with abandon. It's do or die time. We need at least one bloody fight for game 6.

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | May 9, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

It's not over just yet. One thing about this team is certain, they are resilient and they never quit. Monday night will be Pittsburgh's most difficult game to win in this series by far.

I feel for Ovechkin. He has been without question the best player in this series. Even the most optimistic Penguin fan would have to admit as much. However, with the exception of Backstrom and Varlamov he isn't getting a lot of help.

Mike Green needs to step it up and I am sick and tired of the coaches and management defending his mediocre play. He has been playing his worst hockey of the season ever since Game 1 of the Ranger series. He is too good a hockey player to continue with such subpar play. BB needs to stop massaging his ego and put his foot right up Mike's backside. Go Caps!

Posted by: croftonpost | May 9, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Was at the game tonight. I felt our guys played the best game of the series so far. You do make your own luck, and the Pens were able to get it done when it counted. I'm a little upset about the non calls in overtime against the Pens, but right now, they're playing better than us. Ovi was a beast, but it's not enough. If Crosby isn't having a good game, then Malkin is, or vice versa. Tonight the Stall line finally came to play. We just don't have enough depth right now to match the Pens (or we do, but they're not showing up: Semin, Green), but anything can happen, and I'm hoping we can win Monday.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 10, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

The winning goal should never had happened. Gordon was clearly interefered with in the Penguins zone. If he doesn't get knocked down in the middle of the ice with puck 30 feet away from him, the breakout by Guerin never happens and Malkin never gets the puck for the final rush. As it was, the play should have been blown dead and the Caps should have gone on the PP. Feds take dwon on Malkin was a deserved penalty and so was the takedown of Gordon. Typically, only the call on the Caps gets made.

Posted by: billieb | May 10, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

"I though tit"????
Can you write that being a Post writer?

Posted by: pivo20 | May 10, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Love the quote about the Flyers fans.
*Those fans throwing stuff on the ice and punching Pens fans were not the real Caps fans, but bandwagoners with unrealistic expectations.

Posted by: farmgirl19C | May 10, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Wow, blaming the beer? Calling for extreme violence and blood on the ice for the next game? Caps fans throwing junk on the ice and fighting after the game last night? What is this, Pittsburgh? Or Philly? C'mon, DC, we're better than this crap.

Support the Caps. They played great last night and lost with a heartbreaking piece of bad luck -- but that doesn't mean it HAS to happen that way again. And if the Pens take this series, well, come back next year to cheer an even stronger Caps team on. Deal with whatever happens---hopefully we'll be dealing with Caps' wins in Games 6 and 7, though.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 10, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

What's the scoop with the Pens fan getting punched?

Man, this is frustrating. I can't believe that we have lost two OT game because of pucks that came off of our own guys' sticks. It's time for the Caps to have a bit of luck and it is coming Monday. Besides, I think these guys have a thing for game 7s at home.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 10, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Being a Caps fan since the '70's I can tell you this series is over. It's over because Mike Green is either hurt or totally exhausted. Definitely not the same Green we had during the season. He can't skate and he can't defend. It's over because the only part of Semin's game he brought was penalties. 5 or 6 goals from Semin and Green in this series and we win it. So prove me wrong Caps. Win in Pit.

Posted by: RTR80 | May 10, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

CRY BABIES!!! Pittsburgh didn't cry when they were down 2 -0. Pens have been the better TEAM!! AO has been the best player but it's a team game.

Gordon took a dive in OT. For you johnny come lately Cps fans - you don't get marginal calls away from the play in playoff OT's. Gordon was bumped and flopped like he was shot.

BTW - Caps fans are with out a doubt classier than Flyer counter parts. Flyer fans in general are scum. Can't say the same for Cap fan. You guys root for your team not against the other team or more accurately one player from the Pens.

Posted by: mark22mcp | May 10, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

This is why hockey is amazing. So much happened yesterday that you can forget 98% of it. The Caps could have had a 3-0 lead in the first period the way they came out flying. The Pens had like a dozen chances to take a 4-2 lead, but didn't. And the Caps were staring at an empty net that would have won it in OT. Each team lost and won that game countless times.

As for fans, reports have it that Caps fans as a group were deafening. As for the insensitive morons, we've got our share in Pittsburgh too. Fans are a cross section of society amplified by the $7 beers. But I agree with Orpik, Philly silence is the best silence of all.

Posted by: sonnysside | May 10, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Normally I am the first one to stand up for Caps fans. After last night's loss there were four Caps fans (young men) in the stands behind me harrassing the heck out of a couple of Pens fans (a young man and woman) who were celebrating their victory. The couple was well behaved, just happy, but the four guys didn't like that so they started to go at them. A security person was right there and with verbal force told the four guys to get down the stairs and out immediately. Kudos to security.

Posted by: luvdcaps | May 10, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Given the behavior of some the drunken front-runner CAPS fans during last night's game, I am not sure who I despise more, them or PENS fans. These front-runners belong @ FEDEX not VERIZON CENTER.

My wife and I enjoyed some banter with a pair of PENS fans, who attended game 4, drove down to DC for game 5 and truly have alot of respect for the game and the talent level of the CAPS.

As far as the front-runners who don't know the angst of the true cap fans look up these names:

Petr Nedved
Pat LaFontaine
Pierre Turgeon
Kenny Wregget

And to the front-runner (newly minted OV replica jersey, with lots of hair product and loafers) in the Acela club last night, yes the caps have made it further than the second round before, it was called the Stanley Cup Finals, the 1998 edition.

Posted by: cgar_dan | May 10, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

It is too ironic that the Caps lost last night the way they did.Especially during the two losses in P-burg,I kept wondering why our guys seemed unwilling to lay out in front of a pass or shot to block it,as it seemed some of the Penguins were doing all the time.We couldn't seem to get a pass or shot on goal because they were laying all over the ice.Finally,Poti has the stones to take one for the team and it ends up going off him into our goal for the game winner.UN-FREAKIN'-BELIEVABLE!!!

Posted by: hogancandl | May 10, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I'm glad to see that the fans are protecting the house. It SHOULD be inhospitable for opposing fans and teams.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 10, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to the second the sentiment of being responsible for your actions instead of blaming being intoxicated. Institute strict rules that punish these people beyond being tossed, follow through, and eventually it'll disappear and I won't feel like I have to defend these people as part of our fanbase to other fans. I don't want to have to hear constant associations of caps fans and booing santa if ya catch my drift.

Good luck Ovie, Backy, Greeny, and co. and bring it back to DC for 7!

Posted by: TheGreat8 | May 10, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse


Don't forget Martin Straka (courtesy of Sergei Gonchar) or Martin St. Louis (courtesy of the ridiculous 5 on 3 awarded to Tampa in OT).

The fact that the Caps have last 7 in a row in OT, and the Pens have won 8 of 9 is ridiculous. Is it too much to ask for a puck to deflect into the other team's net once in awhile???

Posted by: chombie13 | May 10, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I'll be honest, for a few moments afterward I was filled with actual, honest-to-god anger. But then I thought perhaps the Caps will win Monday and force a Game 7 at home, or if not, perhaps they're not yet ready for this stage.

It's hard to blame a deflection or two when the simple fact is they should've been playing better this whole series.

Also, I don't see much use in a superstar defenseman who ... isn't really a defenseman. Good for Green for scoring all his goals, but the Caps didn't need him for that. They've got plenty of offense (they even score for other teams -- snap!) without his gaudy stats.

I'm not saying get rid of the guy, just tell him to become a better defenseman -- and soon.

Posted by: scrappledog | May 10, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

They are done. It's time to change the name, the Bullets used the death rate in D.C to change the teams name.

The Caps should use their own death rate every season for the argument to change their name.

The Washington ????????????


Posted by: 1-20-09 | May 10, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

"Homophobic slurs"? Steinberg has apparently never played a contact sport.... it's part of the game, dude. It happens on the ice, on the fields and apparently in the Russian bars between Ovechkin and Malkin...get a clue dude.

Posted by: jambajuice | May 10, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Typical Caps fans, blame everything(including the Beer). Face it, you just haven't been able to close the deal. Ovenchkin is a Great player no doubt, but give the Pens their due. They are a very quick, tough, well built team who will close out the series with their 4th win in a row. Get used to it for the next 5-6 years. Go Pens!

Posted by: dkeller2pittsburghchampions | May 11, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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